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“He's my responsibility.” At the time Theo had been ecstatic to hear those words. Liam's stubborn sense of duty to force Theo to help defeat the wild hunt and keep him from doing anything 'evil' was the one thing that could keep Theo out of the ground. He'd seen the fight die in Scott's face and wanted to cheer. It wasn't much, but it was a step closer to being safe. To smelting the damn sword down until it was damaged beyond repair.

If Theo had known just what a pain in the ass being Liam's 'responsibility' would be he probably would have slit his own throat right then. Or perhaps just grabbed the sword from Liam and sent himself back down into hell. It would have been less taxing.

Before Theo could slip off after the wild hunt had been defeated he'd be corralled to Liam's house, introduced to his family and promptly shooed off to bed with the demand he would be staying with Liam until they could trust him.

Hayden had ran for the hills with her sister to keep them both safe. A good plan if you asked Theo, not that anyone would. Stiles had also flown the coop, leaving a trail of dust in his wake as he travelled across country to become an FBI agent. Malia was next, off to France, then Scott and Lydia.

And yet, Here Theo was, still stuck in Liam's house until they 'trusted him'. Theo thought the fact he'd yet to slit Liam's throat in his sleep should have been enough to prove they could trust him. Hell, the fact he hadn't just slipped out in the night should have done it. Or the countless times he'd saved the remaining trio's lives since the original pack had left would show that perhaps, he wasn't actively, or inactively, trying to get them killed, perhaps he was stupid enough to actually care.

Which was exactly what had happened. He'd started to care, to really feel things again, letting the guilt from his sister's de-murder, seep in. The stings of remorse for everything he'd done to McCall's pack, to his own pack. He'd remembered what it really felt like to hurt, to be terrified. Hell had opened the flood gates and suddenly everything that had been pleasantly numb before was there. Emotions fighting over one another reminding him that although he was a Chimera, he was still human.

Painfully and stupidly so, with all the best and worst bits. He'd let people in, slowly, one by one. Hayden, before she'd left, Mason, even Corey, and Liam. Stupid 'my responsibility' Liam who liked to take it as an excuse to try to jump in front of hunters bullets or an enemies claws whenever they were aimed at Theo.

The worst part of it was Liam. For a while, after Liam freed Theo, he'd gotten into the habit of pressing a hand to his chest. Checking his heart was still there, still beating with a steady thump thump thump. Liam put a stop to that, not that he'd know it. Now when Theo thought of his heart, he wasn't trying to find out whether it was still there, he was desperately trying to shut it the hell up before Liam noticed that his heart was beating like a damn hummingbirds every time he did so much as breathe near Theo.

He knew what it meant, the damn flutter in his chest. Knew that if it was anyone else he would have just tried to do something already. But it wasn't anybody else, it was Liam. Who he lived with, and sure, maybe he was only there until they trusted him but Theo had a feeling that they did now, at least Liam did, that if he mentioned he wanted to leave Liam would scowl like a toddler but let Theo leave without an argument. Maybe even be relieved to get a bit of space from him.

The pack may be a pain in the ass, and repeating his senior year was like being tortured, but he was happy. Mason dragged him to Lacrosse games to watch Liam and Corey play, Corey forced him to study sessions, Coach coerced him into helping the lacrosse team. Not with playing, he'd broke a guys leg during try outs, but he was damn good at coming up with the plays, at luring the other teams into a false sense of security and then stealing the game out from under them. He and Liam's pack had a weekly movie night at Masons, Liam's Mom brought him a pair of 'fun' looking socks every time he had a nightmare, he now had a small armada of novelty socks that spilled out of the draws he shared with Liam. Dr Geyer would slip Theo pocket money whenever he and Liam ventured to the hospital to deliver him dinner on a long shift.

He actually had a nice life, and a fairly normal one. One where he was happy.

Most of the time. Probably would be indefinitely if he could squash the part of himself that had very non platonic feelings for Liam. He was just thankful Liam was still terrible at reading Chemo signals otherwise he'd probably have been chased out of the house a few months back. But he wasn't and so Theo was happy. He was enjoying life.

Happy, Content and enjoying life Theo thought to himself, like how Liam would murmur – the sun, the moon, the truth. Happy – A laugh broke through his thoughts. His jaw clenched. He flipped a page of his book. -content- The laugher continued. He was sure it hadn't been s shrill earlier...was it getting louder? Theo could feel the muscles in his shoulders straining from the tension running through him. -And- Theo peered out over his book as he heard the gentle rustling of fabric. The girls hand holding Liam's arm as she giggled. -going to enjoy ripping her spine out through her mouth- Theo thought. He snapped the book closed, dropping it onto the bed next to him before he gave into the urge to launch it at the back of her head.

“I'm gonna get a drink.” Theo hissed, finally drawing Liam's attention. “You want anything?”

“I'm good.” Liam said, looking back to the computer before he'd even finished the short sentence. Theo felt the muscle in his jaw twitch.

“I wouldn't mind a-” Sadie begun. Theo walked out of the room, closing the door with what was probably a bit too much force. He stalked down the stairs to the kitchen. Senses still searching out the pair he'd left in Liam's room. Listen to Sadie talking in a low voice that he was sure was meant to be seductive, he thought it made her sound like she was smoking forty cigarette's a day but then again, he supposed he was a bit biased, with the hole...feelings, for the guy she was currently trying to lure in with her croaky voice.

“You know what doorhandles are?” Theo jumped at the voice. Spotting Mrs Geyer perched at the kitchen table, mug of coffee in hand.

“Yeah?” Theo said slowly.

“Then how about you use them.” She said sweetly.

“Wasn't paying attention. Sorry.” Theo murmured, pouring his own cup of coffee.

“You deep in study mode?”

“Sure.” Theo said.

“Hows' school going?”

“Haven't killed anyone yet so I'd say better than last year.” Theo dead panned. Mrs Geyer snorted out a laugh, a dopey smile on her face that matched her sons and forced a fond smile to creep onto Theo's face.

“You have a very strange sense of humour.” She hummed.

“Hey!” The two turned as Liam's voice called down the stairs. “Theo, Get a can of coke for-.” The smile vanished as Theo thought of the girl still stinking out their room with horny teen girl pheromones.

“She can get it herself.” Theo huffed.

“She's a guest!” Liam replied easily.

“Then you get it!” Theo bellowed. “I'm not your lap dog.”

“Dude!” Liam exclaimed. Theo nodded to Mrs Geyer as he left the room. Mug clutched in his hand as he jogged up the stairs. Liam hovered in the doorway to their room, looking at Theo's empty hand with a glower. “You didn't get her a drink.”

“She's your guest.” Theo grumbled, shoving past Liam and back into the room. Liam stayed for all of ten seconds, heartbeat picking up in anger making Theo's lips twist in a smirk.

“Go get her a drink.” Liam growled in his best 'I am the alpha' voice. It only made Theo more amused.

“Nice try.” Theo snorted, falling back onto the rickety camp bed in the corner of the room.

“Theo. Sto-”

“She's your guest, your responsibility.” Theo snapped. Liam's shoulders straightened, perking to attention like a dog that caught a scent. Responsibility always seemed to work with Liam.

“Was it a coke you wanted?” Liam asked, Sadie gave a nod.

“Thanks Sweetie.” She purred.

“Be right back.” Liam said, his eyes meeting Theo's once again. “Be nice.”

“When am I ever not?” Theo said calmly. Liam's eyes narrowed before he raced out. Theo's eyes moved to Sadie slowly, her eyes lingering on the closed door.

“You don't like me very much do you?” Sadie asked, turning to meet his gaze.

“Think that might be the smartest thing you've said all day.” Theo said, flipping his book open once again. Sadie's eyes narrowed.

“So...You and your brother are like..really close aren't you?” Sadie said, Theo could hear the leather from the book in his hands creaking.

“He's not my brother.” Theo snapped.

“Right. So why are you here again?”

“I'm Mrs Geyer's live in hooker.” Theo said simply. Sadie let out a laugh, not the over reaching one she did when Liam said anything, but a real one, it still made Theo's skin crawl.

“Seriously, how come you're staying here?”

“Because not everyone has a trust fund and daddy's credit card.” Theo replied hotly.

“I'm not some trust fund baby.”

“Really? With the way you think you're entitled to answers it feels like you grew up a spoilt little-”

“I was just curious.” Sadie snapped.

“You know what they say about curiosity.” Theo murmured.

“Can you blame me? It's a bit weird that you share a room isn't it? Most people would ask.” Sadie said with a sugar sweet voice. “You afraid of the dark or something?”

“No but Liam is.” Theo said, the words rolling off his tongue before he could stop them.

“He's afraid of the dark?” Sadie hissed quietly, eyes flickering to the door as if he were about to pop back in at any second. Theo could still hear him downstairs as Mrs Geyer interrogated him on what he wanted for dinner.

“Yeah. Having someone else in here helps him sleep.” Theo lied. He thought, for a moment that that would do it. With the way Sadie's lips pulled into a frown, eyes flickering around the room, but then her lips quirked once more.

“Well. If you ever want a night off I could come sleep with him. To keep him safe, of course.” Theo knew that he wasn't allowed to throw her out of the window but it didn't stop his eyes from flickering towards it, judging how hard he'd have to throw her to get her through it and onto the patio rather than the soft grass.

“If you want to. A little bit of advice though. Do your business then sleep on my bed.” He flopped down onto the camp bed, lying back against the creaking headboard with a grin.

“Why? You get off on his sloppy seconds?” Sadie asked.

“Not when they're you.” Theo said easily. “Because you don't want to be in the way when he has one of his accidents.”

“Accidents?” Sadie repeated. The smile finally dropping off her face. “he wets the bed?” She hissed. Theo forced himself not to smile too widely.

“Poor kid could fill an Olympic pool in a night. Dr Geyer's trying to book him in to see a hypnotist though. See if they can stop it.” Theo lied. Sadie's face was twisted in disgust, her eyes flickering to Liam's bed every few seconds leaving Theo fighting back a grin.

The door opened, Theo and Sadie fell silent.

“Hey, here's your drink.” Liam said, holding the drink out as he sat down. Sadie stood in time with Liam, as if only one of them was allowed to be sitting at a time.

“I should go.” Sadie said, her cheeks flushed red, eyes unable to settle on Liam's face. Theo bit back his smile.

“But we've barely started our history-”

“You write the first half, I'll finish it off. Bye Liam..Theo.”

“Bye Bye Sadie.” Theo waved. Sadie's eyes darkened.

“It's Sally asshole.” She growled, stomping out of the room in a dramatic huff leaving it peacefully quiet.

“What did you say to her?”

“Nothing really. She asked about us sharing a room.”

“And what did you say?” Liam asked lowly.

“That you were keeping me under 24 hour surveillance because I'm an evil Chimera.”

“Dude!” Liam hissed. Theo rolled his eyes.

“Calm down. I said we're repainting my room.” Theo said.

“So why did she leave?” Liam inquired.

“I don't know. I didn't ask.” Theo sighed. “Now shut up. I've been trying to read the same page for the past hour.” Liam did as he was told. Turning back to the computer and tapping away at the keys looking glum. Theo's eyes lingers, lips twitching in a smile. The scent was already beginning to seep away, Liam's pores practically leaked confusion. Masking Sadie's scents. The smell would probably be gone in three days. Two if Theo could convince Liam to open the window once and a while. Theo leafed through the book, finding his page and starting to read.

Liam's fingers stilled from their sorrowful typing within a minute. Theo kept his eyes on the page, even as he could hear Liam shuffling back round to face him from the desk chair.

“You know anything about the industrial revolution?”

“I know people could get some peace and quite before It happened.” Theo grumbled.

“We can play that stupid version of farcry you like if you help me with my report.” Liam offered.

“Are you trying to bribe me?”

“Is it working?” Liam asked, lips twisting in a hopeful grin that made Theo clench his jaw as his heart fluttered.

“Fine.” Theo decided, getting off the bed and moving towards the desk. “But we get Thai next time we get take out.”

“I don't like Thai.” Liam whined

“If you can't pay the price don't ask the favour.”

“If it were a favour I wouldn't have to give you anything.” Liam said.

“Shut up, Liam.” Theo huffed shoving Liam out of the way and falling into the seat Sally had vacated. Liam came back moments later, scurrying along on his wheely chair.

“We only need to get half of it done. Sally'll do the rest.” Liam said. Theo didn't think it was worth mentioning that he already knew that. And he definitely didn't bring up that it'd probably be faster if he just did the work without Liam's help, not when he could force Liam into a conversation and sit with their knee's brushing as the two bickered over what word choice to use at the too small desk.

 

Chapter Text

Theo heard it the moment Liam arrived home. He listened, head tilted towards the door as Liam stomped up the steps, the top creaking ominously before the door was slamming open leaving a beet red Liam stomping into the room.

“Go shower. You smell disgusting.” Theo said immediately, wrinkling his nose as sweat dripped down Liam's forehead. His lacrosse jersey soaked through with it. “Did you run back?”

“Yes.” Liam panted.“Hey Theo.” Liam said, voice practically dripping with accusation. “Did you tell Sally that I still wet the bed?”

“You still wet the bed?” Theo asked. “You probably shouldn't go around telling people that, it's pretty embarrassing.”

“Theo.” Liam hissed, voice rumbling in a growl. The Chimera rolled his eyes.

“Liam.” He repeated dryly. “Why would I tell someone you wet the bed?”

“I don't know! Because you're evil?”

“Yeah, totally, because killing Scott and telling someone you wet the bed, totally in the same line of bad behaviour.”

“Will you stop bringing up the past murder my alpha thing?”

“I will when you stop asking me stupid questions.” Theo snapped. Liam huffed, chest rising and falling rapidly. Theo watched a drip of sweat as it crept down the side of Liam's face, moving slowly over his cheek bone. He forced his eyes back to Liam's.“When I lie it's because I want something. Because I'll get something out of it, what the hell do I get out of you being a bed wetter?”

“The chance to embarrass me?”

“If I wanted to embarrass you I'd tell everyone you Mom calls you Kitten face and she irons your boxers, at least those are true.”

“You wouldn't dare!”

“No. I wouldn't because there's no point. Sadie probably just made up a dumb story for attention. You're the lacrosse captain, taking you down a few social pegs would help her more than it'd help me.”

“No one's talking to me. Except Mason and Corey.” Liam whined. Theo bit back the retort of 'isn't that normal.'

“Sorry for your loss.” He said instead. Which, thinking about it, probably wasn't exactly a sensitive reply either. Liam sat down next to Theo with too much force, the camp bed shaking and creaking leaving Theo wondering if it were about to crack in half.

“Can you take this seriously? People think I wet the bed.” Liam sighed, running a hand through his sweaty hair leaving Theo grimacing as droplets fluttered across his sheets like Liam was a dog shaking.

“You want me to go kill them?”

“No!”

“Then I can't help you. I'm sure you're heartbroken to be missing out on Sadie's anecdotes about her three horses and dressage comp-”

“Boys? You here?” Liam's Mom called.

“In our room!” Liam yelled back, too close to Theo's ear making him flinch.

“You're like a foghorn.” Theo murmured. A few moments later Mrs Geyer was poking her head into the room.

“There you are.” she sighed, as if Liam hadn't just tried to deafen the whole street by telling her that. “Brenda's popping over, You two are fine hanging out with Sam for a few hours aren't you?”

“I'd really rather no-”

“Theo wants to, don't you Theo.”

“I uh-” Theo stuttered.

“Great. They'll be here in half an hour so how about you clean the room up a bit and Liam, have a shower. You look like you just got out of the trenches.” She scolded, before her eyes flickered to Theo. “I don't see how you put up living in the same room as him. We really need to clean the guest room-”

“Mom, if we're going to clean you're going to need to stop talking.” Liam interrupted swiftly.

“Right, I have to vacuum. Liam, shower. Theo, you look great.”

“Thank you Mrs Geyer.” Theo said, grinning toothily at the scowling Liam. The door closed softly behind her.

“Get to tidying then.” Liam sung, slapping Theo on the back with a sweaty hand. “Apparently I need a shower.”

“I think you need a few.” Theo grumbled.

Theo knew most people would be pretty accustomed to tidying their bedrooms. Or to being forced to go socialise with a friends family and their friends, but to Theo it was as bizarre as most people would think his life was. He spent the majority of his life living underground with the dread doctors, learning to scheme and manipulate, about supposedly mythical creatures and how to fight them.

While most people Theo's age had been graduating to tidying their bedrooms on their own Theo was letting the dread doctors open up his chest and put his sisters heart into it. And truth to be told. Theo wasn't sure which one was more daunting as he looked across the bomb site that was his and Liam's room.

Most of it was socks, and luckily most of those were clean. The rest was a mix of school work, books, games controllers, plates and a few herbs from when they were trying to figure out how to banish a fairy a few weeks prior.

On average Liam took around ten minutes in the shower, fifteen after a particularly gruelling lacrosse practise. So when Liam had been in there for twenty minutes Theo knew he was just hiding from having to help tidy the room.

“Hey Liam.” Theo said quietly. “If you don't get your ass out of the shower in the next two minutes I'm going to come in their drag your naked ass out and tie you to the flag pole at the school.” Theo waited for the shower to turn off, or any sort of reply when he got none he clicked his tongue, shoving another pair of socks into the draw. “I'll back up Sadie's bed wetter story.”

“You wouldn't dare.” Liam hissed quickly, voice almost drowned out by the pounding of the shower.

“Wouldn't I?” Theo hummed. “Two minutes kitten face.”

Liam was back in their room dressed and damp in seventy two seconds with a bitter scowl that made Theo grin.

“Help me with the socks.”

“They're yours.”

“Those aren't.” Theo huffed, pointing to a particularly crunchy set on Liam's side of the room. “How many times did you wear those?”

“Like four...or five?” Liam guessed sheepishly.

God, you have a crush on that He thought bitterly.

“You disgust me.” Theo said.

“I couldn't find any clean ones!”

“Really? You couldn't find a single pair of clean socks for five days in this room?” Theo snapped, jabbing a finger at the over flowing sock draw.

“You'd let me wear your socks?” Liam asked softly, eyes shining gleefully making Theo's heart pound. “that's so-”

“They're just socks Liam. Now throw that pair away I'm pretty sure they're fossilised. You can take the dishes down with you.” Theo grumbled, ducking away and crouching to collect some of the scattered papers.

By the time the allusive Brenda and Sam were due to arrive Liam was a metaphorical storm cloud.

“What's wrong? Don't like your Mom's friends?” Theo asked while Liam scrubbed away at the stained coffee mugs from their room.

“Brenda's cool, you know, for an old person. Kinda like Melissa.” Liam Mumbled. “So's Sam, but- Liam sighed, rubbing bubble covered hand across the back of his neck before he splashed it back into the soapy washing up water.

“But?” Theo prompted.

“She has a crush on me.” Liam admitted, flicking his hands in the water making small splashes. Theo sucked in a breath, ducking his head to hide his scowl. He doubted the bed wetting lie would work twice.

“Did she get dropped on the head as a child?” Theo feigned teasing, trying to come up with a plan to get her to back away from Liam. The beta scowled, flicking water at Theo.

“Liam don't make a mess!” Mrs Geyer hissed, rushing around the counters wiping them down hard enough to wipe off the finish and then fleeing from the room again in a whirlwind of energy as the doorbell rung.

“They're here!!”

“Great.” Liam sighed sarcastically.

It turned out Sam wasn't the exotic model Theo was expecting, instead it was a twelve year old girl with skin as pale as paper and shining red hair that if it weren't for the clear stalker vibes rolling off her Theo would have thought reminded him of Lydia.

After the awkward hello's, in which Sam hung off of Liam's arm like a vine on houses she dragged Liam upstairs. Liam shot Theo a desperate look as he was dragged away as if there were any chance Theo wasn't going to be following them every step of the way and glowering at the back of the girls head.

Theo watched Sam as she rolled around on Liam's bed. If she were a were creature Theo would have said she was marking it. As it was he was still waiting for her to start pissing around it and growling at Theo. His eyes narrowed on the girl as he picked up a not so subtle sniff coming from where her face was buried into Liam's pillows. He saw Liam's eyes widen in horror, his mouth gaping open.

“She seems normal.” Theo said monotonously, he let out a startled yelp as Liam's elbow landed a firm hit against his ribs.

*

“We need to get rid of her.” Theo hissed shoving Liam back into the bathroom as he tried to walk out, the fact that Sam hadn't followed Liam in in the first place was a miracle.

“Dude!” Liam yelped slapping Theo away. “Relax.”

“Relax? She's-”

“We can't get rid of her. Not until Mom and Brenda are done catching up.”

“Long does that take?” Theo asked, hopefully they'd be done soon.

“A few bottles of wine?” Liam guessed. Theo's hope died.

“What if she wants to leave? Will Brenda take her home?” he tried.

“I mean.. I guess but she doesn't ever want to leave. I'm pretty sure she'd live under my bed if she could.” Theo didn't doubt that.

“What doesn't she like? We could bore her, play one of your soccer games or something?”

“Okay one. Fifa is amazing, and two. She doesn't get bored, she just stares and bats her eye lashes and touches.” Liam argued.

“You've fought Dread doctors and the wild hunt and god knows what else but you'll be defeated by a twelve year old?” Theo hissed incredulously.

“Yes. I've tried before. Once me and Mason put a spider on her and she named it after me. The only time she's ever wanted to leave was when I got hurt. She hates blood but that's it.” Liam sighed.

*

A broken nose can produce a lot of blood. Theo mused. Watching with narrowed eyes as Sam ran a hand through Liam's hair. It had been an hour and a half since they turned up and so far the only time Sam had stopped touching Liam was when she'd been marking his bed and the bathroom.

A cut artery would spurt a lot more though He thought. Eyes skirting around the room looking for a conveniently placed cup to fall on. Theo let out a rattling breath when he found the room clean. He did too good a job at tidying. His eyes slowly moved back towards the pair cuddled on the floor by Liam's bed with a scowl trying to convince himself he wasn't going to self inflict bodily harm to get a twelve year old to stop flirting with the guy he liked.

But it would be so easy. He'd heal quickly enough. And if he hit it just right he'd probably manage to mentally scar her delicate little soul enough to keep her out of Liam's room forever. But maybe...

“Hey Liam, you want to carry on watching that film?” Theo asked, Liam's eyes jumped to him comically fast, wide and hopeful.

“Yes. The film. Totally.” Liam exclaimed, sliding himself out of Sam's forced hug ready to run for the hills if It meant a split second out of her grip.“Should we just go downstairs and-”

“We'll put it on up here.” Theo said easily. “I'll get it ready.”

“You sure you don't want to go downstairs?” Liam pleaded.

“I am.”

“But-”

“Liam. The Tv.” Theo hissed. Liam waved his eyebrows in a way Theo figured he was expected to understand, as he didn't he just gave another stiff nod towards the tv. Liam sighed and trudged towards the screen like Theo was sending him to the gallows. “You don't mind watching a film do you? We're only about twenty minutes in so you'll pick it up. We can set some pillows and a blanket on the floor.” He suggested. Sam's eyes lit up in delight, no doubt at the idea of spending almost two hours at Liam's side.

“Sounds perfect!” She said, a smile bordering on Cheshire cat levels. Theo faked a smile back. Digging out the laptop so he could pull up the film. He clicked through it slowly, volume muted so Sam wouldn't hear the screams. Liam stood by the tv, hands tucked into his armpits shooting Theo nervous looks while Sam created a love nest on the floor.

“Turn off the lights.” When Liam returned to the nest Theo grabbed his arm, yanking him down beside him, on the far side from Sam. Theo ignored the scent of annoyance rolling off of her. Liam was too prone to being nice. He wasn't going to have Liam comforting her and ruining the plan.

“Can I sit in the middle. I'm cold.” Sam said sweetly. Theo smiled, reaching behind him and grabbing the remaining blanket from Liam's bed and draping it over her head.

“There you go.”

“I prefer sitting in the middle.” Sam tried.

“So do I and I got here first.” Theo said petulantly.

“But-” Theo laid his arm across the back of the bed so Liam's hair brushed against the bare skin, Sam narrowed her eyes.

“But?” Theo repeated.

“You going to play the film or what?” Liam huffed, shifting closer to Theo. The chimera shot the girl a smirk before clicking play.

Theo could tell the moment Liam realised what film it was from the way his breath hitched and his shoulder tensed.

“Theo, this is-”

“A great film, I know.” Theo murmured cheerfully, shifting his arm from the bed and grabbing Liam's shoulder, giving it a reassuring little squeeze.

“It's has-”

“Trust me.” Theo said. He expected Liam to huff, to roll his eyes and either stop Theo's plan or settle down with a glower as if to say he wasn't happy with it but wouldn't stop it. Instead Theo could feel Liam turn to look at him. Eyes burning into the side of his face as the movie played and Sam glared at the screen bitter in loosing her seat to Theo.

“I do trust you.” Liam said softly. Theo turned so fast his neck cracked. Liam's eyes were soft, his lips twitching in an amused smile, no doubt at Theo almost breaking his neck to look at him.

“Yeah?” Theo asked, his voice breathy in a way that would have embarrassed the hell out of him were he not able to hear Liam's heart rate spiking like he'd just run a marathon or see his eyes following the gentle word floating out of Theo's lips. He gave a small nod, eyes drawing away from Theo's lips again leaving Theo struggling to breathe evenly. “I uh..” I trust you too really shouldn't be hard to say but it was, the words heavy on Theo's tongue. “I wouldn't let just anyone borrow my socks.” Theo said instead. Liam blinked dumbly, head tilting like a confused puppy.

“I thought they were just socks.”

“Read between the lines dumbass.” Theo snorted.

“I've never been good at English lit.”

“I trust you too you annoying little sh-” Theo's heart stopped as Sam let out a blood curdling scream. He and Liam rushing to clamp their hands over their ears only ending up in headbutting each other.

“Mother fu-” Theo hissed, hand clamping against his now throbbing forehead as Liam howled in pain next to him.

“MOMMY!” Sam shrieked. She was out of the room within a second. Theo moved his gaze from Liam back to the tv, the sounds of recorded screams finally registering to him. He watched the screen for a moment as a woman got flayed alive before he turned slowly back to Liam, the painful thrum of his head was already starting to fade but Liam still had his hand pressed to his forehead, rubbing gently while his eyes ran over the screen. Slowly Liam turned to look back at him looking the perfect picture of the special brand of amused guilt you only seem to get when terrorising a younger kid or sibling. He broke first, lips twitching, it was enough to set them both off. Liam curling over himself as he let out a full body laugh. Theo hung his head hiding his own chuckles.

*

“I can't believe you made me take the blame.” Liam grumbled, punching his pillow in the dark room. Theo shifted on the camp bed, wincing at the creaks.

“I didn't let you take the blame. Your Mom just ignored me when I said I put the film on.” Theo reasoned.

“If I get grounded I'll kill you.” Liam grumbled.

“If you get grounded it'd be worth it. She was creepy.”

“Coming from you?” Liam said.

“Shut up.” Theo said. Liam did as he was told, apart from the rustle of sheets as he switched position every few minutes and the little huffs he let out every few seconds, and the devastated sighs, and sad clicks of his tongue. “Will you stop!” Theo growled.

“I'm not doing anything.” Liam grumbled.

“You're fidgeting.”

“No I'm not.”

“Liam.” Theo said, growling more than metaphorically as he let his eyes glow. “Stop.” Liam flipped his middle finger up at him.

“It smells.”

“Yeah, it's called fresh air, it what happens when you open a window and get your radioactive socks off the floor.” Theo grumbled.

“No. you dick. I meant my bed, it smells of Sam.” Liam complained.

“Well tough. My bed smells of you you don't hear me complaining.” Theo grumbled.

“It's not the same thing. My bad smelling of Sam is weird.”

“But my bed smelling of you isn't weird?” Theo asked.

“We've lived in the same room for months, I think finding something that doesn't smell of both of us would be a challenge.” Liam said. “This though...it makes me want to sneeze. Am I allergic to her? Do you reckon Mom would buy that as a reason for her not to come over again?”

“No.”

“Do you want to switch covers?”

“No.”

“Theo.” Liam groaned. “I can't sleep if I'm allergic to her.”

“Then stay awake.” Theo said, turning to face the wall and effectively ending the conversation. He focused on his breathing, trying to ignore the sounds of Liam still fidgeting a few feet away. He'd finally managed to block out the other sounds when he felt the camp bed dipping, giving a sharp creak of protest as Liam flopped onto the thin bed beside him.

“What the hell are you doing.” Theo hissed into his pillow. Liam shifted, ripping the covers up leaving Theo wincing in the cold air before he was being cocooned again, only this time with Liam beside him, curled beneath the covers.

“I'm sleeping.”

“Liam.”

“Come on Theo. Would you want to sleep in that bed right now?”

“No. but that doesn't mean-”

“Then take one for the pack and let me sleep in your bed.” Liam huffed.

“It's not even big enough for two people.”

“It's fine.”

“No.” Theo decided, spinning around and shoving Liam off the bed, at least he tried to but Liam was immovable, clinging to the mattress like a suction cup. “Dammit Liam!”

“Stop pushing me!”

“Get out of my bed then!”

“No! Sleep in mine if you have a problem with it!”

“You can't kick me ou-OW! Did you just kick me?!” Theo exclaimed.

“I wouldn't have to if you shut up and stop complaining about-

“I'm allowed to complain when you-”

“Don't be selfish! I'm not asking for mu- STOP SHOVING ME!” Liam yelped

“DON'T KICK ME THEN!” Theo shouted.

“BE QUIET AND GO TO SLEEP!” Mrs Geyer bellowed. The boys fell silently instantly. Liam's elbow pressing into Theo's kidney painfully. Theo let out an aggrieved sigh.

“For fu...Fine.. but if you wet the bed-”

“I do not wet-”

“BOYS!” Mr Geyer screamed. “We're trying to sleep!” The two fell silent once more.

“Night Theo.” Liam whispered smugly.

“I take it back. You can't wear my socks.”

 

 

Chapter Text

“Theo, Theo?” Theo blinked at the passing traffic, his eyes itching to close. “Theo?” He jumped as a hand laid on his shoulder, head snapping away from the window to Mrs Geyer who pulled her hand back to the steering wheel quickly. “It's just me.” She said softly. “You're okay.” Theo scowled at the woman half heartedly. Twisting the paper bag that dangled loosely in his hands. “Do you want to stop for something to eat?”

“No.” Theo grumbled.

“You sure? You haven't eaten all day.” Mrs Geyer pointed out softly. “We can get anything you want. There's a nice Thai restaurant-”

“I'm not hungry... But thanks.”

“Okay. Home it is.” Mrs Geyer said with a small smile. Theo nodded his thanks again before turning back to look out the window. Breathing through his mouth to try and stop catching a whiff of the waves of worry seeping of Liam's Mom that made his stomach churn.

He didn't exactly blame her. Having the barely 18 year old you let living in your house because he's inexplicably homeless with missing parents wake you up by screaming bloody murder about someone trying to steal his heart, or doctors who cut people open and changed them, well, that's gotta be a bit of a downer.

Usually, if Theo had a nightmare she'd only be there for a split second of it, she'd hear a muffled yell and be met in the morning by a tired Theo curled up on the couch staring blankly at morning TV at which point she'd go fetch him some socks. This time though, well this time Liam wasn't there to wake Theo before it got too bad, or there for Theo to surreptitiously listen to his heartbeat while he calmed down so she'd gotten to their room just in time to wake Theo up and watch him have a brief mental breakdown that he still felt the need to throw up when he thought about. He was pretty sure there were sobs. There were definitely tears, and a startled Theo getting yanked into an awkward hug and then neither of them had slept. Mrs Geyer shooting Theo little heartbroken looks before it was late, or, well, early enough, for the shops to be opening and her to shoo Theo into the car to go buy socks.

That had been hours ago. Theo caught his reflection in the wing mirror and grimaced. Heavy bags hung beneath his eyes, his skin still startlingly pale. No wonder they'd been getting so many odd looks in the shops, he looked like a junkie.

“You going to take a nap when we get in?” Mrs Geyer asked. “I could wake you with dinner. Or just leave some of you in the microwave, so you can get it when you wake up?”

“Sure.” Theo hummed, not entirely sure which one he was agreeing to.

*

Theo must have been out of it to not notice the excited voices coming from his room. He pushed inside loudly, effectively ending the conversation as three heads snapped towards him. Theo blinked, clutching his small shopping bag tightly. He gave a small nod of greeting as he picked across the room towards the draws.

“Those socks?” Liam asked curiously as The upended the bag into the stuffed draw.

“Yeah. Thought I needed a few more pairs.” Theo huffed, crumpling the paper bag and turning to face the trio, still sitting watching him nervously.

“You alright?” Liam asked.

“Fine.” Theo said stiffly. Liam blinked at him owlishly, waiting for him to say more. Theo's eyes shifted to the TV, a game was on pause behind the trio.

“What'd you get?” Mason

“Bacon.” Theo admitted. Slamming the draw, or trying to, The mass of socks bringing it to a stop before it could close properly. “Figured they'd go with the hot dog socks she got me last time.” He jabbed his fingers into the gap, trying to squash the socks down so they'd fit. “Where were you last night?” He didn't mean for it to sound quite s much like an accusation.

“I stayed round Masons. We had a movie night.” Liam admitted. Theo tried to even out the frown on his face, shifting from foot to foot wondering why he hadn't been invited. “You sure you're al-”

“I'm fine. Liam.” Theo growled. “Just tired. I'm just going to cra-” Theo's words halted as he looked to the blank space where his bed was usually laid out. Well, blank if you didn't count the game board and little pieces scattered across the floor.

“We needed some more room.” Liam said sheepishly.

“So you packed away my bed?” Theo asked stiffly.

“We can get it back out?” Mason offered. He could feel the growl in his chest before it past his lips, rumbling out making Mason heart rate triple in speed. “put the bed back, Liam put the bed back.” Mason whisper yelled.

“Calm down Theo, it's not a big deal.” Liam scoffed.

“Not a big deal? You took apart my bed.”

“More folded it actually.” Corey mumbled.

“And we can put it back together in under two minutes if you stop-”

“It's my room too! I should get a say on whether or not people touch my stuff.”

“All you have is socks.” Liam huffed.

“AND A BED!” Theo screamed. “And guess who's fault it is all I have is socks. You're the one who forced me to stay here. I'm basically a prisoner the least you could do is not touch my shit!”

“Dude, if you shut up I could have put your bed back together by now. Stop making such a big deal out-” Theo snorted, grabbing a pillow from Liam's bed and yanking a blanket from where it was curled around Corey's shoulders. He stalked towards the door.

“Dude where are you going?” Liam asked.

“The spare room.” Theo grumbled. Liam raced forwards, slipping between Theo and the door with a small sigh.

“Will you stop overreacting? It's just a bed.”

“It's not just a bed it's my bed. I get a say in if you move it. If I had friends over and we moved your bed you'd be pissed off too!”

“Don't be silly, You don't have any friends.” Liam said, his lips twitching at the lame attempt of a joke. Theo darted a hand out slamming it hard into Liam's chest. The way his eyes widened in shock would have been amusing were Theo not trying to figure out what in the room he could beat the boys skull in with.

“Dude what the fu-” Liam growled, eyes flaring gold.

“Done.” Theo's eyes flew to the corner of the room, newly cleared and his bed laying flat once again, Corey stood next to it twisting his fingers. “Sorry we moved it.” He said. Theo gave a small nod.

“Thanks Corey.” Theo murmured.

“You done with you hissy fit now?” Liam huffed. Theo shoved him again, this time not even bothering to watch as he flailed. Theo heard a crash as Liam hit the floor before he was flopping face first onto his bed.

“You want us to leave?” Mason asked. “You do seem pretty tired.”

“Like a toddler throwing a tantrum.” Theo ignored Liam's words.

“Stay if you want. I can sleep through a lot.” Theo murmured.

“We'll keep it down.” Corey promised.

It took them a few minutes to start talking again properly but once they did it was constant. Quiet laughs coming from the three of them. Liam was the loudest by far, Mason and Corey shushing him every few sentences.

Usually the sound helped him sleep. In the past few months he'd grown use to falling asleep to Liam swearing at the TV as he played or muttering as he rushed through forgotten homework the night before it was due. He slept better with someone else in the room, something he'd learnt from the few times Liam stayed out. At first he hadn't, he'd been waiting for his throat to get slit in the night or to wake up to find Liam with Kira's katana ready to put him back in the ground but once the trust had built he realised he quite liked it.

It was a pain the ass sometimes, when Liam's snores would rattle the rooms walls (Liam said it was hay fever, Theo would remind him he was a werewolf and a moron.) but still, it was comforting. Maybe it was knowing that someone was there to wake him up before the nightmares got too bad. Or maybe just knowing there was someone there who wasn't trying to kill him was what made him that little bit less tense. He still had nightmares when Liam was around, the sock draw was proof of that, but there were fewer and usually stopped before it got too bad.

Unfortunately that knowledge didn't seem to be helping him find sleep now. Theo grit his teeth as he listened to the three chatter.

He was too tired.

He knew he was too tired, he'd barely slept the night before last. Liam's body warm and heavy next to his leaving him staring at the dark celling holding his breath scared to twitch and send Liam scurrying back to his bed. He might have handled it better had Liam not brought remnants of the smell of Sam with him leaving Theo with the stupid urge to wrap around him like a second skin and replace the scent with his own.

And then last night. Theo's fingers pressed against his chest. Eyes fluttering open as he counted the soft beats of his heart against his hand his other hand tapping the bed softly on each pump.

Theo huffed, wriggling until he could yank the cover out from beneath him and cover his head with it. It did nothing to muffle the conversation the three were having just wafted him in Liam's scent, still with a touch of Sam that made Theo frown. He should have just broken his nose. It would have been funnier than the film was.

Liam let out a bright laugh that made a familiar unease settle in Theo's stomach.

They hadn't even tried to get him to hang out with them.

They were acting like he wasn't even there.

You told them too dumbass Theo's mind supplied helpfully only for the words to be drowned out by another voice that reminded him Liam had stayed at Mason's last night, Corey probably had too. Theo was the only one not invited. Then why would they invite him?

The worst kind of jealously - not that Theo ever got Jealous because of Liam, and people touching him - but if he did, the worst kind, wasn't even from the girls, and guys, who seemed to hang themselves over him like cheap curtains. Those moments hurt, they itched in his chest and made him irritable but he could deal with it.

But the other kind of jealous, the one he'd get sometimes when the four of them would hang out, that one was agony, burning away inside him and leaving him breathless. It scooped out his organs and dumped them on the floor making him feel empty. Numb.

Because with the others it was easy to think that maybe he really meant more to Liam than they did. He'd sit and know that even if he couldn't sit and touch him like he wanted to, like they tried to do, he was Liam's friend. He lived with him, they had inside jokes and even when Liam did finally send them home, or Theo scared them off, he'd still be there. Getting to hang out with Liam. But when he got jealous of Mason and Corey's relationship with Liam it wasn't like that, because they also had actual relationships with Liam, they had history, and much kinder ones than Theo had with the beta. For every inside joke Theo had with Liam Mason had fifteen to top it. He had years of memories and good times. Theo had barely anything, the majority of the time Liam had known him Theo had been manipulating him, or fight against him. It was only recently they even started to work together and sure, maybe Liam trusted him now. But surely he could never trust him like he trusted Mason or Corey.

He hated that they'd both have better relationships with Liam than he ever would. He'd end up silent, staring at his hands or just at the floor. If Liam had been dragged down to hell he would have had people looking for him, fighting for him, people who'd die to get him back, Mason would have walked in to get him back and Theo, well....no one cared when he'd been put in the ground. No one would have looked for him, or missed him. Would anyone even miss him now? If he'd got put back by someone else, or would they just sigh a breath of relief, knowing he was back where he belonged without them having to lift a finger.

Maybe he wasn't even jealous. Just lonely. When he was younger he had Scott and Stiles, Stiles still hated him and Scott, well Scott tolerated him for now, that was it. After he killed Tara he didn't get to stop to make friends, to care about people. Didn't want to.

What would it feel like, to be the most important person to someone?

Liam laughed again, breaking though Theo's thoughts leaving him hissing out an annoyed breath. It wouldn't matter if he wasn't there.

“Get out.” Theo breathed. A normal human wouldn't have heard him but Liam did, silencing the other two instantly.

“What?”

“Get out.” Theo repeated, louder, ignoring the shake in his voice with little more than a wince. “Now.”

“Dude-”

“Liam. It's fine.” Mason said quickly. “Me and Corey have that thing anyway-” his heart skipped a beat at the lie but Theo couldn't bring himself to care. He listened to the quick shuffling as the couple grabbed their things, Liam's muttered objections to them leaving that the pair brushed off easily.

“Uh..hope you feel better man.” Mason said softly before they were leaving the room. The door shut with a soft click, Mason and Corey's footsteps scurried down the hall. Liam's heartbeat thrummed in Theo's ear. The beta's breath coming out a touch too fast as annoyance rolled off of him.

“When I said get out, I meant you too.”

“Do you want to talk about why you're being a dick or-”

“Get out Liam.” Theo pleaded.

“Stiles told me that nightmares our are brains way of making us deal with problems. They're basically free scary therapy sessions for like stress and stuff so if you want to stop having nightmares then talking about it is probably the best way to-”

“I'm not working through stress!” Theo hissed, throwing the cover off his face and sitting up to glare at Liam. “I'm not dreaming of being naked in school. I'm remembering my sister tear out my heart again and again and again and when I wake up I don't get to breathe, okay? I don't get to realise it was all a dream because it wasn't. You know what I get to wake up to? I get to wake up to knowing that one day I'm going to get dragged back down there. Whether it's because you get fed up of me or I just die. I don't get to escape it and I don't-” Theo broke off, letting out a hiss of breath, fist curling in the sheets so tight he could hear them tearing.

“Theo-”

“Don't.” The growled, lying back down and burying his face in the pillow. “I'm so tired.” Theo admitted. “So please, just get out.” Theo begged. It only took a second for the Liam to do as he was told, the door clicked closed.

 

Chapter Text

Awkward didn't even begin to describe the next few days. Theo had grown use to talking to Liam, at first they hadn't talked, not really. Theo would talk at Liam until he was told to shut up or Liam would talk at Theo while the older boy stared at the celling wondering why his life had turned into some shitty made for TV movie but then the flood gates had opened and it had seemed like one of them had something to say about absolutely everything. He'd go to bed bitching at Liam to be quiet and wake up to Liam complaining about homework he'd forgotten to do the night before and so the two would spend breakfast snapping at each other as they tried to get Liam's homework done. During school they'd talk about the supernatural goings on in beacon hills, something he really thought should be saved for later, where they couldn't be over heard but the other three failed to see the logic in his point and so after school was everything else, lacrosse practise and films and general stupid chit chat that left Theo rolling his eyes more of than not.

But now, now they didn't talk. Theo would go to sleep chewing his lip as Liam lay still as a statue in his own bed. He'd wake up to Liam quietly doing his homework in the kitchen. The lack of supernatural problems meant that they weren't even talking in school about the latest big bad.

Theo knew, technically, he could just break the silence. Start talking, complain about Liam's dirty socks that were once again littering their bedroom floor, not as dirty as before but still pretty gross, and maybe it would be enough to break the dam once more. But each time Theo went to open his mouth he found himself choking on the words cheeks heating up as he thought about everything he'd said when he was overly tired and his barriers had been down.

Theo wasn't actively avoiding Liam and It didn't seem Liam was actively avoiding him either, they lived in the same house, shared a room, avoidance was pretty much impossible but they just didn't talk and, strangely enough, not talking to the roommate you have a crush on is an awkward situation.

Which lead to Theo sitting in the kitchen with Dr Geyer on Sunday morning listening as Liam trampled downstairs, heading for the door something Theo was eternally grateful for. A few hours without Liam in the house felt like a godsend right now.

“Liam, Where are you going?” Dr Geyer asked.

“To practise lacrosse.” Liam called, jogging towards the front door.

“No you're not.” he sung, Theo tensed as Liam paused for a moment before backing up, coming to a stop in the kitchen doorway.

“No I'm not?”

“No.”

“Then what am I doing?”

“You're going to the mall.”

“I'm pretty sure I'll get told off if I practise at the mall.” Liam said.

“It's your cousin's birthday. Your Mom gave your aunt free reign of the house for the party this afternoon so you need to go get him a present and get ready to baby sit while the adults catch up.”

“Can't you get him something and we can just pretend it's from me?”

“No.” Dr Geyer said easily. He flipped a pancake on the stove.

“How old is he again?”

“Three today.”

“Three? What do I get a three year old?...You reckon he'd like a nerf gun.”

“No.” Dr Geyer said quickly. “Nothing he could choke on.”

“How's a kid going to choke on a gun?”

“The bullets Liam....Theo,-” Theo's head bobbed up, eyes wide. He'd been quite happy pulling a Corey and trying to fade into the furniture. “Please go with him and make sure he doesn't accidentally kill my nephew.”

“I'd rather no-” Theo started

“Good lad.” Dr Geyer hummed, clapping Theo on the shoulder. “You'll need to be back by two. We're going to need help decorating.”

*

The drive there was silent. Liam didn't even turn the radio on in the car leaving Theo gritting his teeth against the silence as he watched the world pass by outside the window. He'd thought once they got to the shop they could do more of the not avoiding each other they'd been doing. Theo could go to one side of the shop and pretend to look for a present for Noah, Liam's cousin, while Liam could go to the other side and actually look for a present for Noah.

Liam, it seemed, had other ideas. The moment Theo had tried to veer off Liam had appeared back at his side, eyes on the shelves, hands in his pockets, seemingly uninterested yet not leaving Theo the hell alone.

Theo copied his lead. Staying close, the two wandering down aisle together, eyes flickering across the displays of colourful boxes and tiny clothes . It stayed that way for a good ten minutes when finally Liam stopped. For a moment Theo thought that maybe he'd finally seen what he wanted to get his cousin, that they just had to survive the trip to the checkout and then back home and they'd be fine. Back to not avoiding each other from a distance. But then Liam opened his mouth.

“You ever played this?” Liam asked, pointing at the operation game. Theo blinked down at the colourful box before he slid his gaze to Liam. The boy watched him expectantly waiting for the answer. If this was Liam's way of trying to get them to really not avoid each other then he needed a few lessons in not awful conversation starters.

“Really. You haven't talked to me in almost a week and that's what you go with?” Theo grumbled. Raising an eyebrow, Liam grinned at the movement, eyes sparkling happily as if getting Theo to say those few words had made his day. Theo let out a sigh. “Yeah. I've played it before. My Mom bought it for us for Christmas one year.” He said, poking at the packaging.

“I guess your sister would usually go for the heart first?” Theo didn't mean to punch him, except he really did. Getting into a fist fight with his roommate at 11am in the toddlers aisle of a toy store, surrounded by rattles and baby grows really hadn't been what Theo had planned for his Sunday morning. But, as he'd found out from trying to take Scott's pack, his plans never really seemed to go particularly well so Theo was just thankful things weren't going worse.

*

“Okay, maybe that wasn't the best way to start the conversation.” Liam coughed, holding his ribs as he sunk down to the floor by the shelves dragging a few rattles along with him. Theo let out a small snort spitting blood onto the shiny white floor. At least Theo could count on Liam's plans going about as well as his do.

“I don't want to have a conversation about it.” Theo grumbled.

“Maybe not but I think you need to. Lydia once said-”

“I don't care what any of your pack said.”

“Our pack.”

“Your pack. Okay. I'm pretty sure to be part of the pack at least one person would have like or trust me.”

I trust you.” Liam snapped.

“No, you don't.” Theo sighed, leaning back against the shelves eyeing Liam, still strew about the cold floor of the shop, clothes dishevelled, face and fists bloody. “If you did then I would have the spare room, or at least some space. You wouldn't get jumpy every time I have a nightmare waiting for me to do something bad. You-

“You're still in my room because I want you there!” Liam snapped putting a swift end to Theo's rant as he clamoured back to his feet. His heart skipping a beat. “I like having it be our room and that your stupid socks are absolutely everywhere and maybe it's dumb and weird but whenever Mom brings up you moving into the spare room I shut it down because I'm worried if I say yes you'll decide to just leave for good like everyone else keeps doing and I get jumpy when you have nightmares because you are a dick-” Liam punctuated the last word by launching a barrage of baby grows at Theo's face. “-who refuses talk about it or even attempt to deal with it so I don't know how to help you!” Liam finished with a red face, panting harsher than when they had finished their impromptu fight.

“I-” Theo begun.

“Shut up Theo!” Liam hissed. “You know I can't lie like you can so listen to my heart and tell me if I'm lying.” he insisted. Theo's eyes fell despite themselves to Liam's already racing heart. “I trust you. True or false?” Theo licked his lips, eyes flickering up to Liam's face

“True.” Theo murmured, voice coming out embarrassingly croaky.

“I like having you around. True or False?”

“True.”

“You're my friend. True or f-”

“True.” Theo said gently. Liam nodded, waving his arms as if to say 'well there you have it'. Theo took a deep breath, trying to slow his racing heart.

“I want to help you-” Even though Theo knew the little game was over he was still listening to Liam's heart, his own heart jackhammering as Liam's stayed steady. “and maybe this whole werewolf thing Is still kinda new to me but I'm figuring it out. So you know, me and you I'm sure we can figure out the whole...heart ripping..thing, if we put our heads together.”

“You couldn't have said this a week ago before things got awkward?”

“I couldn't figure out how to bring it up.” Liam said with a tentative grin.

“You're an idiot.”

“I'd melt the sword if I could, I'd throw it into a volcano if I didn't know Kira would kick my ass for it when she comes back from the skinwalkers. I'm not going to let Tara take you again. You're stuck with me so can we figure it out?”

“As long as we don't figure it out today. I don't think the store could take more of us 'talking'.” Theo said, nodding his head to the aisle around them. Liam looked around, his ears turning pink as he ducked his head sheepishly as the carnage they'd left in the aisle. Little streaks of blood smeared into the floor, Children's toys and scattered around.

“Just, don't wait to talk until it's bitten us in the ass okay?”

“Okay.”

“Okay...We should really get out of this aisle before security come.”

“Yep.” Theo grabbed Liam's arm, the two dashing down the decimated aisle.

“So..when you said we shouldn't talk more today that was about like serious stuff yeah? I mean...normal talking is fine isn't it? Because we still need to find a present for Noah and-”

“Normal talking is fine.”

“Okay. So, what should we get him?”

“How should I know? He's your cousin.” Theo mumbled.

“Wow. You're so helpful. So glad you came.”

“What's he like?”

“I don't know? Mom says he's kinda like me when I was his age. What would you get younger me as a gift?”

“Anger management sessions.” Theo prodded. Liam sighed, eyes rolling dramatically.

“He likes Mermaids. At least he did last time I saw him.”

“All the mermaids I know of live too far of coast. We couldn't get one and be back before-”

“We're not kidnapping a mermaid for my cousin.” Liam hissed. “You've met mermaids? Are you just screwing with me or-”

“Shut up and look for something mermaid themed.” The said, shoving Liam down the next Aisle they passed.

*

Theo had made some tough decisions in his life, but none of them seemed to compare to this. Standing in a toy shop, staring into the abyss of an aisle that seemed to compete with the great wall of china in length covered in pens, pencils, crayons and paints.

Each one with different warning labels with varying levels of 'your child will die if they touch this'.

“Theo It doesn't matter.”

“It does. They're all a choking hazard.” Theo spat, stomping further up the aisle to inspect a few more colourful boxes, scowling when he saw the now painfully familiar hazardous picture.

“He's three. I'm sure he won't choke.”

“Liam. I've seen you choke on the lightsaber to one of Mason's star wars toys.”

“Just grab that one-”

“I'm not killing your cousin because you can't be bothered to look at a label.”

“Why does he even need colours?” Liam asked. “We're already getting this.” He waved the mermaid themed colouring book in front of Theo's face.

“Because, Liam, to colour, you generally need colours.” Theo drawled slowly. Slapping the book away from his face. “Just go wait at the checkout. I'll be able to look faster with you complaining all the-”

“I'm not complaining! You're just taking too long, it's not a hard choice. It's colouring-”

“Not a hard choice? Look at this.” Theo jabbed a finger at the little crossed out baby face. “This means it's not safe for kids aged 0-3. how old is your cousin again Liam? Wasn't it exactly three?”

“They're crayons! They're hardly dangerous!”

“Then why are they marked as a choking hazard?!”

“Oh my god.” Liam groaned brokenly. “Are you kidding me? We've been in this aisle for half an hour. Just grab a box. We need to go set up the party and-”

“Go pick wrapping paper. I'll meet you at the checkout.”

“You not worried I'm going to get wrapping paper that could suffocate him?” Liam joked. Theo opened his mouth, ready to tell him to shut up and hurry up. “Yeah. I'm going.” Liam grumbled, stomping off through the shop. “You've got ten minutes before I leave you here.”

*

It took longer than ten minutes, long enough for Liam to stomp out of the store and then go wit petulantly in the fast food restaurant across the street. Theo couldn't help but think that leaving him at the store would have had much more of an impact had Liam actually went more than 50 feet away and hadn't ordered Theo fries for when he did turn up.

Decorating the house seemed to be by far the easiest bit. Theo was simply sat on the couch, given a few bags of balloons and ordered to blow them up whilst Liam was on banner and streamer duty, shuffling around the room with tape, blue tack and a little step ladder grumbling about the injustice as he shot Theo angry looks. Theo would just blow up another balloon and grin over at him.

Noah, and his parents turned up a few minutes after Liam had finally put the stepladder away. Theo could see instantly what Liam meant by Noah reminding his Mom of Liam when he was younger, and not just because even though Theo had been lurking in the corner as they family greeted each other Noah's eyes had immediately found him, squinting in a small glare.

“Who are you?” Noah asked, Eyeing Theo suspiciously.

“This is Theo. He's my friend. Theo is is No-” Liam started.

“No.”

“No?” Liam asked. Theo moved forwards slowly, the child's frown only deepening.

“He wasn't invited.” Noah said, at least, that's what Theo guessed he said, the last word sounded more like invitated. Theo laughed as the adults and Liam fell into an awkward silence.

“I kinda have to be invited. I live here.” Theo said evenly.

“Why?” Noah pried.

“Because your aunt and uncle said I could.”

“Why?”

“Uh..Because they're nice people? And I had nowhere else to go.”

“Why?”

“You don't have to answer that.” Liam hissed.

“Noah sweetie you can't-” his mother begun.

“It's fine.” Theo said. “And I guess because not everyone has a family cool enough to throw you a party this nice. But it is your party, so I guess, if you want, I an just take the present I got you and go-”

“You got me a present?”

“I did, but if I'm not invited I guess I can't-”

“You're invited.”

“Well, That's real nice of you.” Theo said with a serious nod that made Noah's lips twitch in a toothy grin.

“Why don't you take uncle Todd and get a drink?” Noah's Mom prompted. Noah fell into the distraction easily, catching Dr Geyer's hand and rushing off towards the kitchen as fast as his chubby little legs could take him. “He didn't mean to be rude, he just-”

“It's fine. Liam does the same whenever Dr Geyer's friends turn up so-”

“I do not!” Liam snapped.

“I've gotten use to nosy children from hanging out with him and his friends.”

“You're such a-” Liam huffed, getting stopped by Mrs Geyer before anything rude could be added.

“You really don't have to hang around if you don't want to. I know a three year olds party isn't exactly how you two would like to spend your day-”

“It's this or watching Liam play lacrosse. Either way people'll end up crying when they trip over and smelling bad.”

*

Honestly, Theo expected it to be a terrible way to spend his afternoon and found himself mostly mistaken. Sure they were loud, and disgusting with more snot than any beings should be able to hold dribbling out their noses but they were also...sweet. Amusing, kind of like tiny drunk people and Miss Dunbar had somehow pulled her single salary together to get enough food to feed a small army so each time Theo wasn't being yanked around by the closest ankle biter he'd be shoving food into his mouth at the table.

The parents had indeed ditched them. Not entirely, of course, sitting in the back garden with the door open, close enough to be a part of it and play with the children who ventured outside but far enough away to talk without being overheard by prying little ears, not his or Liam's though. He was sure the only reason Liam hadn't already just given up and went to his room was because he too was catching the tense words of the conversation while Miss Dunbar panicked about money and school's and doing it all alone and felt that she deserved a short break to vent while the teens entertained the kids.

Watching Liam try to juggle the four children that kept literally climbing all over him was great and the way Liam would grin at him anytime Theo made one of the littleuns laugh was even better.

The only downside really was Cole.

Cole was Maisie's big brother. Maisie was a sweet girl who'd spent at least twenty minutes having Theo pick her up by her ankles and spin her in quick circle's until she was cackling with laughter. She had blond hair so pale it was almost white and dressed like spiderman. She was competitive, as Theo had found out when he'd jokingly challenged her to an arm wrestle and then almost had his eyes clawed out as she fought to slam his arm onto the table. The kind of kid that if Theo ever got hit over the head and decided the idea of starting a family was a good one he'd like to have.

Cole however was the kind of guy that reminded Theo of why he wasn't exactly adverse to murder. Since he'd walked in he'd paid no attention to the children instead hanging off of Liam's arm in the same way Noah did and spilling his incredibly long , incredibly boring life story

I'm Cole, I play baseball Liam, have you ever played baseball? oh Liam baseball, I'm so boring I'm basically a game of baseball. You know, I'm such a nice guy, I once even won an award for being so nice, I once saw an ant, how thrilling, oh and another time I sneeze, I know, wild right. You know I go to college Liam, oh yes I study the art of boring people to death, it's really fascinating, we watch paint dry for the final exam and I wear a fedora 350 days out of the year.

Of course, Theo may be paraphrasing a little bit. But unfortunately, not as much as he'd like to be. Liam had given up hovering at Theo's side in the hopes he'd stop the awkward conversations Cole was forcing him into.

“You'd look cute in a baseball uniform.” Cole murmured. “I bet you'd know how to handle the bat.” Theo snorted out a laugh, ignoring the annoyed look Liam shot him from across the room. Maisie flopped down on the floor in front of him.

“Up!” She ordered. Theo complied.

“Thanks.” He heard Liam mutter.

“You know, I'd be happy to pitch for you sometime.” Cole suggested. Theo's hand slipped on Maisie's ankles making her let out a shriek as she dropped an inch closer to the floor. Liam breathed in an entire mini quiche, choking on it like a cat with a hair ball. Theo would give the guy credit for such a blatant and horrendous come on had he not been the most boring guy Theo had ever had the misfortune to spend time with, and considering he spent years of his life in sewers living with three scientists who barely talked that was a big achievement on his part. The fact that he was currently trying to hit on Liam definitely didn't put him in Theo's good books.

But it was fine that he was hitting on Liam. Totally fine, because Liam wasn't interested in anyway shape or form, he found Cole just as annoying as Theo did, there was no chance that any of it was actually working.

No way at all.

“Can I talk to you. In private?” Liam stuttered, smacking his chest to dislodge the last few pieces of quiche. Cole looked like he'd hit the jackpot, greasy face lighting up as he nodded. “Hey Theo. You good for a minute?” Liam called over the excited yells of the children.

Theo looked between the two men, eyes narrowing as he begun to lower Maisie to the ground.

“UP! UP!”

“Okay!” Theo hissed, yanking Maisie back, high into the air. “Yeah. I'm good.” Liam nodded thankfully before marching out of the room towards the stairs, Cole following too close behind.

Theo span around, Maisie's small body swinging out. The other children shrieked.

Theo was not jealous of Cole.

There was nothing to be Jealous of. Liam didn't even like baseball. Or fedora's, or anyone going away to college. There was absolutely nothing to be jealous of. Just because Cole blatantly hit on Liam and then Liam took him upstairs, to their room, where there Is privacy and a double bed. It was just..coincidence. A strange coincidence that meant nothing because Liam was somewhat straight and not at all interested in Cole and Theo was not jealous in the slightest. Not at all.

“Teo! Teo!” A boy called Sketch yelled. “I need to pee!”

“Pretty sure you got a diaper for that little man.” Theo shouted back.

Not jealous, no need to be jealous, totally fine not being jealous just hanging out with the kids while they're upstairs, alone.

“I need to go potty!” Sketch bellowed. Theo thought of the bathroom opposite his bedroom.

“Uh..We've only got a regular sized toilet. You want to use it?” Sketch nodded. Theo deposited Maisie on the sofa in a giggling heap. “Let's go.” Theo shooed Sketch towards the stairs. He still hoped that it was a nickname not his real name but hadn't asked. Liam thought it'd be 'rude' Theo thought if you were going to call your child Sketch you should get use to people asking you what the hell you were thinking. “You good from here?” Theo asked pushing the door open for Sketch to rush inside the bathroom. “If you hang on a minute I can get you a book or something to stand on so-”

“I'm fine.”

“If you piss on the floor you have to clean it up.”

“I won't. I'm having a number two!” Sketch said, proudly standing akimbo leaving Theo blinking.

“Great. Well, that's something I really didn't need to know.” he yanked the door closed before Sketch could share any more information. Theo closed his eyes, trying to focus his hearing past the screaming from the kids downstairs. It wasn't like he was eavesdropping on Liam, he was just..trying not to hear the child taking a dump. A totally valid reason.

“I like that you're playing hard to get-” Cole said, voice still somewhat muffled by the door. Liam let out a stilted laugh.

“Dude no. I'm not. Look, it's my cousin's birthday party and I'm sure you're...great.” The hesitation made Theo biting back a laugh. “But I'm not interested and you saying the crap you're saying in front of children is just weird so...if you could like..not? That'd be great” Liam finished lamely. Theo grinned, see, nothing to be jealous of.

He moved across the hall to the bedroom door. Liam would be happy for him interrupting, it would give him a reason to leave the awkward conversation. He could make up a lame excuse, say the kids wanted to play something, or that Noah missed him and then Cole could spend a few minutes licking his wounds and then bring Sketch down when he was done in the bathroom.

Theo pushed into his room expecting an uncomfortable amount of distance between the two, for Cole to be flushed red and feeling like an asshole. He didn't expect to see Cole smash (quite literally) his lips against Liam's. Theo thought if he ever saw someone kissing Liam he'd freeze. That he'd feel not unlike when Tara would tear out his heart, the agonising burn of too much pain before he was left staring blankly, numb to everything. But then, whenever Theo had thought about someone kissing Liam it had been reciprocated. It was Liam leaning in and leaving Theo gasping on nothing as he watched the one person he liked unknowingly reject him.

This...this wasn't that. This was Liam with his eyes wide like a deer caught in headlights. This was some boring scumbag stealing a kiss.

Theo was across the room in a moment, yanking Cole away, his nose burning the coppery scent of blood from a small split in Liam's lick from the faceplant of a kiss.

“You need to leave Now.” Theo growled, shoving Cole towards the door.

“We were talking.” Cole snapped, shaking out of Theo's hold and turning back to Liam.

“No. We were done.” Liam squeaked. “You can-”

“I wasn't done talking-” Cole tried.

“He says you're done you're done. So leave before I make you.”

“You think I'm afraid of you?” Cole said, lips twisting in a smirk. Theo barely suppressed a full blown growl as he took a step closer to Cole. He wasn't a small guy by any means. The years of baseball and dragging his boring stories around had done him good if Theo weren't a Chimera there was a chance that Cole would actually land a few solid punches before Theo smashed his head in.

“I think you should be.” Theo said softly.

“Theo don't-” Liam started.

“I think you should piss off and leave me and Liam to have some alone-”

“You go near him again and I'll-” Theo let his head roll to the side as Cole fist hit his face in a sucker punch. stopping Cole from breaking his knuckles against Theo's cheek bone. Not that he wouldn't be more than happy for Cole to break a knuckle but well, he didn't want the screaming to interrupt the family party. Theo could taste blood in his mouth for the second time that day. He quickly swallowed it down, breathing low and shallow, keeping his claws and eyes in check.

“Theo-”

“That was a decent punch I'm impressed. You know I almost felt it.” Theo said, ignoring Liam. He heard the boy in question give a put out sigh muttering curses under his breath. “I'm still going to kick your ass though. How about this? I'll give you another freeby” Theo walked backwards, holding his hands up to show he wasn't going to punch back. “Maybe only having one hand will make this a bit of fairer fight, I mean it's still a long shot but-” Theo placed his hand in the door way. “Might as well try right?” Theo grit his teeth as he kicked the door closed, hearing a snap as the bones shattered beneath the heavy wood. He swallowed the scream, Cole, however, didn't. The door rebounded, hitting the wall. Theo pulled his mangled hand out, watching in interest, ignoring Cole's panicked yells, quickly snuffed out by Liam shoving a pair of Theo's socks into his mouth, as the bones began to mend. Clicking slowly back into place. They popped as they went, blood dripped to floor in a steady stream before the skin begun to knit itself back together with an itch.

Theo could tell Cole was watching from the rapid race of his heartbeat and his stuttering breath.

“I guess it won't give you much of an advantage after all.” Theo said, finally looking away from his hand. Cole was pale in the centre of the room, his hands shaking by his side, clean pair of Rudolph socks still spilling past his lips. Liam stood to the side, head in his hands. Theo's lips pulled in a smirk. He took a slow step forwards, Cole stumbled backwards.

“What's wrong Cole? I thought you weren't afraid of me?” He asked softly. Theo darted forwards, grabbing the lapels of Cole's jacket as he slammed him against the wall with a rattle. The sock gag spurted from Cole's mouth.

“Theo.” Liam warned once again. Cole let out a panicked sob.

“Shh, We don't want to scare the kids.” Theo breathed.

“Please don't-”

“I said shut up.” Theo growled, letting it rumble from deep within his chest. “Get out, if you as much as look at Liam again I'm going to shove your stupid baseball bat so far up your ass that you'll be coughing splinters. Well, that's if I'm feeling nice. If not-” Theo let his eyes glow. There was a moment where Theo worried he'd actually given the bastard a heart attack and was going to have to explain to all the guests and toddlers why Cole was dead on the bedroom floor and Theo had a broken hand.

“I won't come near him, I swear, just please don't kill me.”

“Get the hell out of here.” Theo ordered. Stepping aside. Cole ran the moment he could, leaving the room smothered in the smell of terror. Theo marched over to Liam grabbing his chin in his good hand and tilting his head towards the light as his eyes ran across the small cut on Liam's lip, Liam let him do it without any complaints. “You alright?” Theo asked, his own voice so soft it made him wince.

“You shouldn't have done that.” Liam said.

“One of us had to and you're too much of a goody two shoes.” He watched as Liam's tongue darted out past his lips, chasing a speck of blood even as his lip healed. Theo mimicked the movement unconsciously eyes finally snapping away from Liam's lip as Liam let out a quiet puff of breath that ghosted across his own. Liam's eyes were on his lips, Theo felt his heart beat stutter. Liam's eyes flickering from his lips to his chest where his treacherous heart was sat didn't help his heart beat.

He should pull away, take his hand away from where it was still holding Liam's chin, too gentle to really be holding him there, and shove it into his pocket. Should escape back to downstairs and make sure none of the kids had killed themselves in his absence. Liam's body swayed closer. Theo's mouth felt dry.

“How's your hand?”

“Healing.” Theo murmured. Eyes creeping back down to Liam's lips. It was fully healed now but still. Cole had kissed him, hard enough to draw blood. Would he taste like Cole? Would he mind if Theo closed the distance and chased away any memory of Cole's lips with his own.

Theo felt his body shifting as he moved closer, his finger's twitching against Liam's chin, sliding towards his jaw slowly.

The bathroom door opened.

“Teo?” Sketch's voice called from the hall. Theo felt like he'd been electrocuted. Body shooting back across the room too fast to pretend he hadn't been about to do something stupid, only guilty people moved that fast. He turned to the door, refusing to even attempt to meet Liam's eyes as he cleared his throat.

“In here.” Sketch's head popped in the door way a second later.

“Can we go back downstairs now?”

“You wash your hands?”

“Yeah. Can we-”

“Yes. I'm coming.” Theo said, marching towards the door without a backwards glance. He could hear Liam following him quietly, the boys heart racing a lot like Theo's own. The three of them made their way back downstairs. Sketch rushed to join the party instantly.

“He left his sister.” Liam said, quietly. Nodding to where Maisie was shovelling food into her mouth at the table.

“Good. She's cooler than him.” Theo said tentatively glancing to Liam who still stood hovering by his side, his lips twitched into a smile the moment Theo caught his eye.

“THEO! UP!” Maisie shouted, food spraying from her mouth.

“LIAM! COME BE THE DRAGON!” Noah screamed.

“How much longer of this do we have to do?” Liam asked.

“I don't know...It has to be nap time soon though right?” Theo guessed.

 

 

Chapter Text

“Is it weird that I'm kinda bitter I'll never be able to have a night like this?” Liam asked. Theo blinked, looking to where Liam was looking longingly, he was met with the sight of Mason vomiting into a drain, Corey was crouched next to him, rubbing small circle on his back.

“It's weird.” Theo said. “But hey, whatever floats your boat.”

“Not that.” Liam huffed. “Well, kinda that, but you know. The drinking part.”

“You want to drink?” Theo asked.

“No! Well. A bit? I mean, it's like a teen right of passage isn't it?”

“If you do get drunk I'm not coming out to at two am to watch you throw up in a gutter.” Theo said, grimacing at a particularly hefty gag coming from Mason that managed to make Corey jump.

“You don't have to worry about that, Werewolves can't get drunk.” Liam sighed.

“What? Yes they can.” Theo said.

“No. They can't. Alcohol doesn't affect us.” Liam hummed slowly.

“It does. You just process it too fast. Like a turtle and anesthetic”

“What?”

“It's like getting shot. You get shot with a regular bullet it hurts but you're fine. You get shot with a wolfsbane bullet and well, those stick.”

“So...We can get drunk?”

“With the right mix of herbs yeah.” Theo said sounding sure. He wasn't, he'd never even attempted it but he'd heard it was possible and knew what herbs he'd need. “You want to try it? I'm pretty sure Deaton would have what we need.”

“What now?”

“No. Not now.” Theo snorted. “I've got a calc test tomorrow. I want to go home and sleep.”

“You didn't have to come.” Liam pointed out.

“You tried to start the car with your house key. I had to come.” Theo scoffed

“I'd just woken up! It was an accident.” Liam whined. Corey hauled Mason off of the pavement.

“We good?” Corey gave a small nod. Mason gave a wide grin that left the smell of vomit floating through the air. “Get him in the car let's go.” Theo dived back into the drivers seat, leaving Corey and Liam to manoeuvrer Mason into the back seat.

“Why-Why are you in pyjamas?” Mason giggled.

“Because we got out of bed to come pick you up dumbass.” Liam said softly. “Try not to throw up in the car, Mom'll kill me.”

“I think she's more likely to kill you for stealing her keys.” Theo said helpfully.

The good thing about Corey, apart from the fact he had to decency to look guilty when Theo and Liam had pulled up outside the party and proceeded to wait twenty minutes for Mason to stop throwing up, was that he could turn invisible. Which turned out to be a good thing.

Theo tossed the house keys into the bowl by the door before grabbing Mason from Corey and Liam. He dragged him by the scruff of his neck towards the kitchen, sitting him down in a chair with a solid push.

“Sit. Shut up.” Theo ordered

“He should go to bed.” Corey hissed.

“In a minute.” Theo grumbled, tossing a loaf of bread onto the table before he filled a pint glass with water and slammed it down in front of Mason. “Drink it all. Eat a few pieces of bread. Then you can go to bed.”

“Thanks man. You're awesome.” Mason whisper yelled.

“I know.”

“Boys?” Theo's eyes jumped to the doorway as footsteps crept closer. Corey didn't need telling twice, grabbing Mason's arm and disappearing instantly. Liam launched at the table, grabbing the half eaten dry piece of bread and shoveling a bit into his mouth. Dr. Geyer turned the corner. “Did I just hear the door?”

“Uh-” Liam garbled past his mouthful of bread. Theo heard Mason give a small laugh that luckily Dr. Geyer missed.

“Yeah.” Theo said. “We were in the garden.”

“You were in the garden? At almost three am?” Dr. Geyer said slowly.

“Liam heard there was a meteor shower. Wanted to check it out.” Theo lied.

“There's no meteor shower forecast for tonight.”

“That's what I told him.” Theo said.

“Really?”

“Really.”

“You know. I don't even want to know what you were actually doing, just go to bed, you have a test tomorrow don't you?”

“Yeah.”

“You prepared.”

“Definitely.”

*

Theo wasn't prepared at all. He should have been, he had been. Before Mason and Corey had woken him up at ass o'clock in the morning to come pick them up and then Mason had spent the night snoring away in Liam's bed and Liam had spent the night snoring away on Theo's shoulder. Apparently, Corey wasn't up for sharing a bed with Theo when his boyfriend was the other option, shocker.

Theo rubbed his eyes before staring blankly down at the test in front of him. He knew this, he definitely knew this. He'd studied, he was a year older than he'd been the last time he took the same stupid test. He could do it.

He couldn't do this. He was so tired. Which was ridiculous, he slept next to Liam every night, just not..next to him next to him. IT shouldn't make such a difference, shouldn't leave him lying stiff as a board terrified to even breathe and wake up the blanket hogger that was Liam while he slept. Liam certainly seemed fine moving, the second he fell asleep he'd start to wriggle. It reminded Theo of a dog while they slept, when they dreamt about running and their legs would go. That was Liam, but with his elbows jamming into Theo's side while Theo stared helplessly at the ceiling.

Theo blinked his eyes open, unsure of when he'd even closed them. He raised his eyes to the clock, half an hour left. He looked back to the paper, ready to give it a go. It was multiple choice, if he just scribbled in boxes he was sure to get at least a few marks.

The first box was filled out in a neat pencil shading, as was the second, and the third. Theo's eyes ran down the paper each answer filled out. A scrap of paper sat peaking out beneath the test. Theo's peered up at the front again as the teacher flipped the page in their book, eyes flickering over the class for a moment before returning. Theo inched his hand towards the scrap of paper, using his pinky to slide it into view slowly.

Thanks for picking us up. :)

Theo's head snapped over to Corey who sat innocently twirling his pencil his own test finished on the desk in front of him. Corey's head turned after a moment, catching Theo's gaze. His lips twitched, a lopsided grin forming on his face.

*

“We should do it.” Liam announced as he slid up to Theo's locker. Theo blinked at his locker, waiting for Liam to change what he said, or to wake up to what would surely be the beginning of a very fun dream. When after a second he was still staring at the battered spine of his Calc book he slammed the locker shut. Turning to look at Liam with a raised eyebrow as he dropped to lean against the locker.

“What?” Sure, they had had what Theo would consider a moment, with the face touching and him leaning in, but that had been almost two weeks ago and hadn't been mentioned since so Liam coming up to him, in the middle of school no less, and saying that they should fuck was a fairly unlikely turn of events.

“My parents are going out of town for the night. So it's the perfect time.” Liam said with the same determined look he got before walking into a fight. Theo blinked at Liam. There was a normal explanation to this. He swallowed. Training his eyes on Liam's before they could do something stupid like look down to his lips. Looking at his lips lead to bad things, Like thinking about kissing the guy he lived with.

“You could at least take me to dinner first.” Theo said dryly.

“What?” Liam's face scrunched in confusion. Theo could see the moment it dawned on him exactly what he had said, his eyes widening and his cheeks turning a rosy red. “I didn't, I..the drinking, we should do the drinking.”

“The drinking?”

“You said you knew how to get a werewolf drunk.” Liam clarified. “That Deaton would have the stuff. We'll have the house to ourselves so we won't get in trouble and you know. It might be fun.”

“Alright.”

“Alright?”

“I'll go by Deaton's later.” Theo decided, backing away. “You get us some alcohol.”

“How am I meant to do that?” Liam asked Theo's retreating back.“Theo!” Theo waved over his shoulder, ducking into his classroom.

*

Breaking into Deaton's was a lot easier when he didn't have to break in. Deaton eyed him warily as Theo picked through his stash of herbs. Answering his string of questions as to why he was pocketing a variety of different types of wolfsbane and ashes was a big more annoying.

“And why-”

“Look, just call Liam if you don't believe me.” Theo snapped, shoving the last vial into his pocket. “He asked me to get the stuff we need.”

“But why do you need it.”

“Recreational use.”

“And that means?”

“It means mind your own business.” Theo sung stalking back out of the clinic his pockets clinking. Before long he was back at the house, just in time to wave Dr and Mrs Geyer off. Liam twisted his hands, smiling guiltily.

“How they haven't figure out you're a werewolf yet I have no idea.” Theo grumbled as he shoved his way back into the house.

“What's that suppose to mean?”

“It means, that you're terrible at keeping secrets.” Theo said. Liam muttered something inaudible even to Theo's enhanced senses. “Did you get the alcohol?”

“Yeah, it's in our room.” Liam lead the way upstairs. “So..It's not stealing if I left money for it right?”

“No..That's called buying something.” Theo said.

“Good.” Liam sighed. Grabbing a bottle of clear liquid from the desk, he unscrewed the cap the smell of alcohol hitting the air instantly leaving Theo wincing and Liam's lip curling in distaste. “Okay, so..What do I do?” Liam asked.

Mixing the herbs was by far the hardest part of the whole thing. Mainly because Liam didn't actually have a mortar and pestle to crush them so Theo ended up using a spoon and a decorative tea cup. Having Liam leaning over his shoulder the entire time didn't help either.

“That should be it.” Theo said, shaking out the teaspoon as he tried to collect the right amount of the mix.

“Yeah?”

“Yeah.” Theo murmured, mind running through what he knew again. He was at least 80% sure he'd done it right. “Let me do it. You need to be careful with the measurements.” Theo said, snatching the bottle from Liam.

“Why?” Liam asked, Theo poured the ground herbs wolfsbane into the bottle, thumbing the end as he begun to swirl it around. The greyish mixture fizzled into the alcohol, disappearing in moments.

“You do remember that wolfsbane is poisonous to us right?”

“Wait..poisonous? This could kill us?”

“If done wrong.” Theo said calmly.

“How do we know you've done it right?” Liam asked, looking at the bottle as if it were about to launch at his face.

“Only one way really.” Theo hummed, he took his thumb from the top off the bottle and quickly brought it to his lips. Liam let out an unmanly scream batting out his hands trying to slap the bottle away before Theo could drink any. Theo slapped him back, chugging some of the liquid before he let the bottle fall back to his side with grimace, throat burning, his hand came up, covering his mouth as he fought off a gag.

“Are you okay?”

“That's awful.” Theo groaned.

“Death awful or just awful awful?”

“Awful awful.” Theo grumbled, rubbing at his throat with a scowl. “Here.” Theo held the bottle out, glaring as Liam backed up a step. “Don't be a bitch Liam. You're the one who wanted to try it.”

“What does it taste like?”

“Like Fire.” Theo wheezed.

“You're making it sound real enticing.”

“Just drink it.” Liam snatched the bottle and took a long pull that he almost spat out a moment later. His eyes watered as he worked to swallow it, finishing with a panicked gasp.

“That's awful.”

“Told you.” Theo huffed.

“So, how long does it take to work?”

“No idea.”

“What do you mean no idea?”

“I mean I have no idea. I've never tried it before.”

“You've never tried it before?”

“This may surprise you Liam but me and the dread doctors didn't exactly sit around getting plastered. It works like regular alcohol. So...I guess we just keep drinking until we're drunk.”

“How long will that take?”

“I don't know. Give me the bottle.” The second gulp was in no way any better than the first leaving Theo desperately trying to hold in a full body shiver of disgust. “We should go get something to mix it with.”

“wimp.” Liam snorted, taking another drink only for it to come spraying out of his mouth. “How's it worse the second time?”

“What was it you were saying about me be-”

“There's coke downstairs.” Liam grumbled, stalking from the room.

*

“Can you feel your tongue? I can't feel my tongue.” Liam asked. Theo rolled his tongue in his mouth. He could feel it, although it was tingling, and didn't seem to want to fit properly. Had his tongue always been this big? “Did your herb alcohol poison me?” The younger boy fretted, Theo watched as even as the boy spoke he lifted his drink to his lips and took another gulp. Despite the fact Theo knew his drink had to be about 90% coke by this point it didn't stop Liam's face from scrunching up in disgust. Theo didn't blame him.

“I think you're just drunk.” Theo said.

“You're drunk.” Liam snorted. Theo shrugged, downing the rest of his drink. It still burnt in his throat but less so than it had at first now it was actually kind of pleasant. Like a warm cup of coffee. If coffee tasted like paint thinner. “Are you drunk?”

“I'm-” Theo tried to think of the right word, waving his hand in front of him. “light.”

“You're light?” Liam parroted.

“You know...Cloud like, Floaty.”

“You're so drunk.” Liam squealed. His arm gave out from beneath him and he flopped to the floor.

“No. I just..things aren't bad.” Theo said, starting up once again with the waving. He yanked his arm back to his chest when he noticed what he was doing. He was gesturing almost as much as Stiles. He busied his arms by pouring another drink.

“So things are good?” Liam guessed. Theo bopped his shoulders in a shrug. He wasn't scared. Liam had admitted he wanted him here at the toy store and Theo was inclined to believe him.

“Things are good.” Theo said with a small nod. A wide grin stretched across Liam's face, he jutted his glass out, knocking it with a clink against Theo's, sloshing the liquid in both the glasses.

“Good.” Liam took a slurping sip of his drink before he placed it back on the carpet and flopped onto the floor. Arms and legs spread wide doing his best impersonation of a bear skin rug. Theo's eyes trailed down his body, running across the small slither of skin visible where his top was riding up before Liam tipped his head back further and Theo's eyes were snapping up to his throat, stretched out like an offering.

“We should have a barbecue.” Liam mused.

“What?” Theo asked, it was too late. Liam had already flipped over and begun bum shuffling across the floor towards his phone. He grabbed it, thumbs tapping away quickly “What are you doing?”

“I'm inviting people round for a barbecue.” Liam said matter of factly.

“We don't have any food.” Theo pointed out. Liam nodded before he started typing away again. A moment later Theo's phone buzzed incessantly. Theo yanked it out of his pocket answering quickly.

“What.”

“Hey, It's Corey.”

“Who is it?” Liam questioned, shuffling back over.

“It's Corey-” Theo said.

“Do you know why Liam just texted me saying to come round..and to bring chicken?”

“Tell him to bring chicken!” Liam yelped.

“Liam has decided he wants a barbecue so-”

“Theo the chicken!”

“Shut up Liam.” Theo snapped, using his foot to yank Liam's arm out from beneath him sending him sprawling face first onto the floor. “You should come, to the barbecue.”

“Right...Are you okay?” Corey asked tentatively. Theo watched as Liam tilted his head to the side, grinning up at him from where his face was smushed into the carpet.

“I'm good.” Theo said, returning Liam's smile. “Don't forget the chicken.”

*

When a knock finally came to the door Theo had pretty much forgotten Liam had arranged an impromptu barbecue. The pair of them far too deep in a conversation about what was better. Old school tomb raider games or old school resident evil games. Theo was behind Tomb raider, and was pretty sure the only reason Theo wasn't was because the pixilated butler following Lara around had scared the crap out of him when he was younger.

Liam was down the stairs like a shot leaving Theo slouching after him. By the time he reached the bottom of the stairs Mason and Corey were already inside, packets of chicken in their hands as they watched Liam with wide eyes as Liam continued his rant about residential evil pro's as if it were them he'd been talking to before. Mason slunk away slowly, meeting Theo at the bottom of the steps.

“is..I mean I know the answers going to be a no because it's impossible, but is Liam drunk?” Mason asked. Theo watched as Liam gestured, accidentally slapping the packet of chicken out of Corey's hands, a grin found it's way onto his face, laughter bubbling out of him. “Holy shit are you drunk?”

“A bit.” Theo admitted. Turning the smile on Mason.

“How?”

“I'm a genius.” Theo replied. “Get the chicken. I'm going for a piss.” he walked back upstairs without saying anything else, Masons confused splutters following him.

*

It seemed Liam only invited two other people to the barbecue and it didn't take them long to arrive. Long enough however that Liam had drank another few fingers of the bottle leaving him stumbling across the living room while the other three boys watched trying, and failing, not to laugh. Liam opened the door, the three of them close behind.

“We're here for the barbecue.” The girl said. Liam nodded slowly, eyes slightly unfocused. Theo could see the guy in the background fighting off a grin as Liam started unconsciously doing blue steel as he tried to listen.

“We brought food.” The guy said, waving a shopping bag over Lori's head.

“Well come on in then.” Theo said sardonically. He yanked Liam out of the doorway to let the two into the house.

“This is Lori.” Liam said, tugging Lori into a one armed hug. Theo felt the familiar flare of jealous but squashed it down. Giving a nod as he took another gulp from his drink suddenly feeling the warm buzz he was feeling from the alcohol wouldn't be enough to get him through the next few hours. “And Brett.” Liam nodded over to the guy towering over both of them. “They're werewolves.” Liam fake whispered.

“So you're the chimera?” Brett asked.

“You're the lacrosse douche bag.” Theo said back easily. Brett's lip curled down from a moment before it was twitching into a smirk.

“You know when Mason said Liam invited an evil science experiment to come live with him I figured you'd look...different. More..Evil.”

“Science experiment?” Theo said turning his glare on Mason who gaped.

“I mean..That was months ago.” Mason said.

“Not helping.” Corey mumbled.

“You definitely look like you've got a bit of the devil in your but I wouldn't say that's a bad thing.” Brett hummed appreciatively. Theo's stupid tingling mouth lifted into a smirk.

“Well you-”

Theo stumbled as Liam slammed the bag of food into his chest with unnecessary force, stepping between him and Brett with a glower on his face.

“You should get cooking Theo.” Liam grumbled. He gave the bag at Theo's chest another push before spinning around. “Come on Lori, I'll get you a drink.” Liam said, shooing Lori from the hall. Theo blinked down at the bag.

“I'd love a drink.” Brett said, Liam ignored him. “Well. He's not a friendly drunk.”

“Liam's right man, I'm starving.” Mason said, clapping Theo on the shoulder and nudging him towards the back garden, decidedly gentler that Liam had done.

And so Theo was manning the grill. He wasn't sure why anyone had let him, if there was one person in the group that had the least chance of ever having had a barbecue before it was Theo. He did vaguely remember going to one when he was a kid. It was the for the sheriff station. Stiles had insisted he and Scott come along and Theo hadn't been able to eat any of the meat because it had been too bloody for his taste.

Something painfully ironic now.

Lori and Liam had flopped down on the glass. Lori chugging through her glass of alcohol like a pro as she and Liam talked in low voices, grins spread across their faces. Brett and Corey had commandeered the garden furniture both seemingly happy with watching the conversation rather than joining in fully.

“Make sure it's cooked.”

“it'll be cooked.” Theo sighed, dragging his eyes away from the group.

“Okay, but last time I asked Liam to cook me a steak I'm pretty sure it mooed when I ate it.” Mason said making Theo snort out a laugh. It was true, most werewolves seemed to prefer their red meat still pretty red. “When I say cooked I mean charred.” Mason ranted.

“I said I'll cook it.” Theo huffed, pushing Mason a step away from the barbecue so he could reach his drink.

“You also came to beacon hills saying you wanted to help the pack. Forgive me if I don't exactly believe you.” Mason grumbled. Theo paused, glass halfway to his lips. “That was a joke.” Mason rushed. “A bad one I'll admit but-”

“I'm laughing on the inside.” Theo said dryly. “You're really a hilarious guy. I can barely breathe. It was just. So funny.”

“How is possible you're still a dick when you're drunk?”

“A lot of people are dicks when they're drunk. At least I'm consistent.” Theo said with a sunny grin. Mason huffed. “So science experiment. That one a joke to?

“Uh.. No. That was me hating you for almost turning my best friend into a murderer.” Mason said, titling his chin up defiantly.

“Well. At least your honest.”

“You know you're cool now. Still a dick but like..a friendly dick.”

“You know all about friendly dick don't you.” Theo mumbled laughing as Mason punched his arm. “You know you should be thanking me for being a dick. You wouldn't know about any of this-” He gestured towards the werewolves and chimera currently drinking. “If it weren't for me.”

“How'd you figure that? A wolf is the reason I know about the supernatural.”

“I was the wolf.”

“Wait. What. Really?” Mason gasped.

“Who'd you think it was?”

“I don't know... I never really though about it. I mean there was Liam with fangs and glowing eyes and you know, the wolf he scared off kinda stopped mattering after that.” Mason said earnestly.

“Only you idiots could forget about a wolf.” Theo sighed.

“Why'd you chase us? Were..Were you going to eat me?”

“He was worried about telling you, about how you'd react.”

“So you were trying to help? To show me that he was still Liam. That he'd still protect me, even with the claws and-” Mason said eagerly.

“No.” Theo said. “I thought seeing him like that would scare you, that you'd hate him. Scott gave him the bite. if you hated him for being a werewolf he'd hate Scott for making him one.”

“Oh.” Mason said slowly, shuffling awkwardly on the spot. Theo shrugged nonplussed as he flipped Mason's steak again. “Now you see why I described you how I did to Brett...Can you still do it? The full wolf thing? Or did that go to when you-”

“Why? You worried I'll come and eat you because you called me a science experiment?” Theo asked with a small smirk. He couldn't really blame Mason for the comment, he was an experiment after all, and a failed one at that.

“Is that a yes?” Mason pried.

“Yes. I can still do a full shift.”

“Do you ever do it?”

“No.”

“When you do, you reckon I could watch?”

“Do I want to know what you two are talking about?” Brett asked, sliding up next to them at the barbecue.

“Dude, he can do a full shift.” Mason exclaimed.

“Cool.” Brett said, in a voice that told Theo he didn't particularly care. “Move over you're burning the steaks” Theo didn't get an option other than moving as Brett elbowed him to the side.

“I don't want blood steak.” Mason said. “Leave them-”

“And some people don't want charcoal steaks.”Brett hummed, moving two of the steaks from the barbecue. “But see, the magical thing about barbecuing steaks is there generally single servings, meaning you can cook it however each person wants. Lori, Food!”

*

It seemed it was never time for Theo to move away from the barbecue. Each time he'd take food off there would be another packet of meat being shoved his way. The alcohol had gone quickly between four wolves leaving Theo slowly sobering up as Liam sat too close to Lori, whispering and finishing the last dregs of the bottle.

The good thing about being at the barbecue was that he had a perfect vantage point to glare without drawing too much attention.

“He's not into her, if that's what you're thinking.” Brett said snatching the spatula out of Theo's hand and flipping one of the burgers. Theo snapped his eyes away from Liam and Lori giggling on the corner of the porch to Brett. Maybe he was bringing in a little bit too much attention.

“I wasn't thinking that.” Theo said stiffly.

“So you're not into Liam?”

“No.” Theo answered. “I'm not into Liam.” Brett took a drink from his bottle, draining the last of the liquid. His eyes running over Theo in a way that Theo would have to be blind to misinterpret. Brett lowered the bottle, lips twisting in a smirk.

“Good.” Brett said. Theo felt a small grin fighting it's way onto his face. He liked Brett, he was brash, upfront. And a bit of an asshole. Something Theo could relate with.

“Smooth.” He drawled.

“I try-” Lori let out another laugh. Theo caught her patting Liam's arm out of the corner of his eye setting his teeth on edge. What was it with everyone needing to touch Liam. Surely someone had to dislike Liam, why couldn't they come round? “You ever been to Sinema?”

“No.”

“You should come sometime.”

“I'll think about it.” Theo said.

“Hey Theo are the burgers done yet?” Liam called, walking over, footsteps heavy. Lori at his side smile a bit dazed, no doubt from all the alcohol he'd pilfered. Next time they did this they were definitely going to have to get more to drink.

*

After the burgers there was chicken and then finally Theo got to sit down and join the others. Not that he'd been lonely cooking, he was pretty sure he got a grand total of three seconds to himself. It seemed everyone had come over to talk at some point, or to check on the food and then made awkward small talk, although, that one was mainly Corey.

It was nice. When he was sat on the grass watching the stars appear in the black sky and listening to the group talking. But there was still Lori, her and Liam seemingly constantly finding reasons to touch and Theo could feel himself creeping towards the end of his rope.

It wasn't like with Sadie, or Sally, or whatever the hell she'd been called because despite looking like a sweet girl Theo could tell that Lori would happily call him on his shit if she sensed in anyway he was lying and even if she didn't, she would mention it to Liam. Theo may have been able to lie about Sadie but Lori and Liam were friends, Theo didn't doubt Liam would take her word over his if she came to him saying he'd told her Liam had genital warts. It wasn't like Sam, who he could scare off by putting on a scary film, Or Cole by just straight up scaring the shit out of him and well, Theo didn't want to ruin a nice night by snapping like he did at Corey and Mason whenever he got jealous of their relationship with Liam.

Which really, left one option. Theo waited until Brett got up to go to the bathroom and followed him into the kitchen, busying himself with pretending to get water while Brett used the toilet and then cornered him on his way past.

“Listen, I'm telling you this because I like you.” Theo said. “If your sister touches Liam again I'm going to rip her hands off and feed them to her.” Brett raised an eyebrow.

“Thought you didn't like him?”

“I don't.” Theo snorted. “But she's...he's going to stink of her and that will leak into our room.”

“I get it.” Brett said. “We should be heading off anyway, it's late.”

“I didn't say leave. I just said get her to keep her hands off of him.”

“It's late.” Brett said again. “We have school tomorrow.”

“Alright...well.”

“But you owe me. Cinema, next Friday.”

“I can deal with that.” Theo said easily. He slipped passed the counter ready to make his way back into the garden.

“Theo.” Theo blinked dumbly as Brett's hand caught his wrist, tugging him roughly back towards him. “You threaten my sister again and I'll make you regret it.” Brett voice was soft, his lips still in a small smirk but Theo could hear the genuine threat in his words. Theo didn't blame him, but then again, he wouldn't have to threaten his sister if she wasn't so intent on touching Liam.

“You can punish me all night long if you want.” Theo purred. Grinning as Brett's eyes widened, lips parting in shock.

“Okayyy-” Theo's eyes snapped to the doorway. Mason hovered awkwardly, his mouth hanging open as his gaze flickered between the two men. “You know what...I don't even need another drink I'm just gunna go outside and-”

“Calm down Mason.” Brett snorted. “We were just leaving.”

“You were? Like...Up to the bedroom leaving or..like I mean..not that I care I just..I mean. Your sister is like right outside and has werewolf hearing and I can't imagine she'd be very into hear-”

“I meant me and Lori are leaving.” Brett interrupted. Stepping away from Theo and pushing his way through the door. Mason stayed, gaping at Theo. “Mason, you and Corey need a lift?”

“Uh...Sure...If you're safe to drive.”

“Only had a couple of drinks. The buzz is gone by now.”

“Alright then yeah. Thanks.” Mason followed Brett back into the garden still looking fairly lost.

*

“That was a lot more fun than the last time I got drunk.” Liam said. They were lying on Theo's bed again. He wasn't sure why Liam had flopped next to Theo rather on his own much bigger bed no more than three foot away when they'd come upstairs, but, well. He wasn't exactly going to complain. He'd seen Liam tonight, talked to him a fair bit when he wasn't cooking, or when Liam would come and hover at the grill and chat to him while he cooked. But Lori had been hanging off of him the entire time. Theo could smell that it was platonic, there wasn't a hint of lust or arousal coming from her. If there had been he was pretty sure he wouldn't have lasted as long as he did before making them leave.

“Thought the whole reason we were doing this was because you'd never got the chance to get drunk.” Theo mused.

“Well I wasn't drunk drunk. I was already a werewolf, it was just-” Liam waved a hand instead of finishing the sentence.

“So..What happened last time then?”

“Creepy anti werewolf music got us drunk. A bunch of people tried to burn us alive.”

“Well...At least it makes for an interesting story.” Theo said dryly. Liam rolled his eyes, a grin twitching on his lips.

“Did you have fun?” Theo nodded instead of answering. “Good.” Liam said seriously, face planting his arms as he stretched out, kicking Theo in the shin as he did. “You know, I'm pretty sure you made Brett's year.” Liam mumbled, voice muffled by his arm. Theo made a sound that he hoped Liam would understand as 'what do you mean'. He did. “He'll be thrilled now he can actually drink drink.”

“Glad I'm passing on the gift of alcoholism.” Theo said dryly. Liam snorted, the sound like a raspberry against his arm before he was flipping over on the small bed, elbow catching Theo's chin twice before he settled down comfortably on his side, leaning over Theo. Theo blinked up at him, raising an eyebrow.

“It's weird.” Liam said softly. “that you know so much.”

“I'm in AP classes, you really expect me to be an idiot?”

“I mean about the supernatural.” Liam corrected. “When you first came to Beacon hills you acted like you knew nothing about the supernatural. Scott had to tell you about kanima's and wendigo's and kitsune's and now you seem to know more than anyone in the pack. Even Stiles and he'd read the bestiary a-”

“I always knew everything. It just suited me better to pretend I didn't.”

“I liked it when you didn't know anything.” Liam said. “Everyone seemed to know more than me. Even Mason. It was cool, having someone as clueless about the supernatural as me.”

“You are pretty clueless.” Theo hummed. “I could teach you. Give something other than a drinking problem to the younger generation.”

“You're like a year older than me Theo.” Liam scoffed.

“I have been dealing with supernatural for almost a decade though.” Theo said. Liam's face pulled into a frown, his brow creasing in a way that made Theo want to reach out and smooth it out.

“What was it like...With the dread doctors?”

“It was fine.” Theo said with a small shrug that seemed to only make Liam's frown deepen. “As long as I stayed quiet, stayed with them in the lab. So I'd read, learn everything I could so when they finally wanted me to do something I'd be able to help.” Theo smiled bitterly. “Guess I didn't read enough.”

“And what if you didn't stay quiet?”

“Then they'd make me.” Theo said, Liam opened his mouth, no doubt to ask more questions. “Use to skateboard though. When they'd let me out. I think I broke my arm eight times in one day while trying to learn to grind.”

“You don't sound very good at skateboarding.” Liam said.

“I got better.” Theo said with a chuckle.

“You'll have to prove it to me sometime.”

“Don't have a board.” Theo said.

“You could get one. This room really needs some stuff of yours other than socks. A bigger bed for one. It's not exactly easy fitting both of us on here.”

“Well I wouldn't need a bigger bed if you stopped climbing into my bed uninvited.” Theo said.

“I don't hear you complaining.”

“See I remember complaining a lot. Loudly, about people touching my bed without asking.” Theo pointed out.

Liam stood up, no doubt ready to stumble to his bed and get some sleep, or sulk, and really, that hadn't been what Theo had wanted. He'd just been taking the piss out of him. Theo could still smell Lori's scent rolling off him. His arm darted out before he could stop himself, latching onto Liam's wrist.

“Stay.” Theo ordered. Liam stopped his attempted exit. Hovering by the bed, Theo's hand tightening on his wrist as Liam's brow drew in confusion.

“Thought you didn't want me in your bed.” Liam said snottily. Sulk it was apparently.

“I didn't say that.” Theo said stiffly. “I just pointed out you've never asked.” Liam stayed hovering. “Stay.” Theo said again.

“You a cuddly drunk?” Liam joked softly.

“Not drunk anymore.” Liam raised an eyebrow, waiting for an answer. Theo let out a small huff of breath. Why could Liam never just do what he was told. “You smell like Lori.” He admitted. Giving a harsh tug, dragging Liam back onto the bed beside him. Theo's arm was trapped beneath Liam's body but he didn't mind. His fingers pressing gently into Liam's back, a silent plea for him to not ask too many questions for once in his life. Theo brushed closer, nose tickling along Liam's jaw as he sniffed the skin. “I hate it.” He pulled away again, flopping down as far from Liam as he could get on a large single bed with an arm trapped beneath him. Liam was right, the bed was too small for the two of them unless they wanted to cuddle. Which, really, Theo was exactly adverse to, he raised his eyes to meet Liam's. His eyes were already on Theo, his heart pounding away in his chest. His tongue darted out, wetting his lips before he spoke.

“Yeah?” Liam asked, the question more of an exhale than real words. Theo gave a short nod.

“Yeah.” He croaked. Liam's eyes followed the words as they left his lips leaving Theo gulping. “Smells wrong.”

“Really? And what smells right?” Liam asked.

“Our room. You should smell like our room.” Theo said.

Don't do it. Theo thought. Liam's tongue came out again, a slow drag that pulled at his lower lip leaving Theo breathless.

“Like us.” Theo offered. Liam's heart stuttered.

He shouldn't.

He wanted to. But if he did it, if he closed the distance and finally found out what it would be like to kiss Liam he'd give away the control. He wouldn't be able to pretend to be unaffected by him anymore. He could risk his home, risk losing his only friend.

But then, Theo thought tilting his body so he was on his side, watching Liam, maybe the need to be in control was his problem. He'd been so desperate for it he'd tried to kill Scott. His quest to be in control, to be the most powerful had ended with him being dragged into the ground by his sister. Maybe.. Maybe it was okay to give away control. Maybe it was okay to put his fate in someone else's hands. If those hands were Liam's.

Theo dove forwards, slowing just enough that he wouldn't actually hurt Liam as he crashed their lips together, or tried to. It was a bit off centre, his heart racing in his chest as his lips pressed half on Liam's lips, half on his cheek. He lifted a hand, cupping the back of Liam's neck and tipping Liam's head until he could press his lips to Liam's for real. Theo could feel his fingers shaking against the back of his neck so squeezed tighter, the pressure keeping them still as he let himself sink into the feeling of Liam's lips, soft and warm beneath his.

Liam let out a small breath, the air was hot against Theo's lips, tangy with herbs and alcohol. He felt him moving closer, his fingers teasing at his side's as if he were unsure whether or not to actually touch Theo. He felt the brush as Liam moved his lips tentatively against his. It drew a broken sound from Theo's chest, a mutter of Liam's name against his lips.

 

Chapter Text

Theo had kissed a grand total of three people. The first had been a girl he met at a skate park who was really the reason he finally learnt how to do a successful grind. She'd come running over after he broke his arm for the eighth time, luckily he managed to hide that injury from her until it had healed. The rest of the afternoon had been spent with her teaching him a few tricks, showing him up doing grinds and then showing how to do them. She'd shared stories of her failures while she was learning with a laugh, talking about the time she ended up having to have a skin graft after a particularly nasty fall on a steep hill. He'd told her about breaking his arm, making it sound like it happened years before rather than hours. It ended with her stealing his first kiss. It had been..Nice, a bit awkward as he was sure all first kisses were but her lips were soft and she tasted like the cherry coke she'd been drinking and it had made him feel normal, for a moment.

He'd left thinking he'd never get to see her again and been fine with it, but he did see her again, the next night. He'd watched as she screamed, writhing against the operating table as the dread doctors got to work. His teeth grinding together while he wondered why he hadn't paid more attention when she'd told him about the skin graft, he knew it wouldn't have mattered even if he'd connected the dots. He wouldn't have told her to run, or tried to help her. Didn't say a word the whole time the doctors worked. just watched as his stomach writhed like snakes were inside of it. As her eyes met his, tears pouring down her cheeks and an accusation in her eyes. He didn't bother trying to tell her he didn't know she'd be next. She died three days later, they moved onto the next town, the only tell they were ever there in the first place was the dead teens and Theo's skateboard abandoned in a dark tunnel and Theo left telling himself it didn't matter.

His second kiss was with Tracy. That time he knew exactly how badly it would go for her but it still didn't stop him. She tasted like the blood that lingered in the back of Theo's throat, Her lips had felt like the burn of ice against his, Frigid with the knowledge of what he was about to do. They'd still tingled hours later, a reminder of what he'd done, even as he told himself it wasn't a big deal, that he'd just put her back how he found her, that she should be thankful for the extra time he gave her. That he kissed her at all, giving her one more good memory before she died. She didn't matter, he told himself that it didn't matter.

The third was Liam. Liam who had defeated the dread doctors and who tasted like vodka and the bitter tang of wolfs bane. Liam who Theo would kill for, who he'd never tell to run because he would already be shoving him out of the way, forcing him to move because he knew he wouldn't go unless force. Liam who's lips were warm, like kissing fire, with stubble that scratched against Theo's chin. Liam who Theo hoped would meet a kinder fate than the other two because it mattered, he mattered.

Theo's eyes widened as he saw his claws sliding out, the ends biting against Liam's skin leaving pin pricks of blood seeping down them. He yanked his hands back, slamming them into Liam's chest forcing him off of the bed. Liam hit the floor with a startled yelp as Theo scrambled to sit up his claws scratching across the bed sheets as he did.

“What did I do?” Liam whined. Theo shook his hand, his claws stayed out. “You alright? Your hearts going crazy?” Theo jerked away as Liam's hand rested on his shoulder.

“Get away from me!” Theo snapped. Scuttling further up the bed, leaving it creaking beneath his weight. His claws still weren't going away. “My claws they're not..” Theo shook his hand again hoping for something to change, it didn't. “I can't put them away. I think, I think I poisoned us.” Theo said stiffly, swallowing the lump in his throat as he inspected his claws, his heart still jack hammering in his chest. They still had some of the herbs left, maybe if they burnt those they could just drink it and-

Liam let out an ugly snort of laughter that had Theo's head snapping towards him. It was a bad call, Liam's lips red and puffy, stretched into a wide grin that left his eyes crinkling. Theo's heart picked up further, doing a pathetic flip flop thing that Liam definitely heard, it the way his eyes softened was anything to go by.

“It's not funny.” Theo hissed. “I told you I hadn't actually tried the dr-”

“You didn't poison us. I think you're just horny.” Liam said, sucking his lips in, no doubt to attempt to stop another laugh.

“What?” Theo asked, voice low. Liam let a small grin slip back on his face then, throwing himself down onto the bed, far enough away that Theo didn't immediately kick him off again.

“It happens, you know, your heart beat sky rockets and control gets a bit lax.” Liam said softly. Theo hook his head.

“I'm always in control. Something's wrong.”

“I drank more than you, if it was poisonous I'd be reacting too.” Liam held his hand up, showing his normal human nails. Theo eyed his hand wearily. It was true, Liam should be reacting too, but then if he wasn't poisoned this was about to get very embarrassing. Theo's eyes flickered back to his claws. “Seriously, this has never happened to you before? I had to get a new mattress after the first time me and Hayden-”

“Do not finish that sentence.” Theo growled. If Liam was right and he was just...excited, he didn't need to add burning jealous to his emotions right now.

“Look just..Calm your breathing, it's just like when you get angry. If you chill out they'll go away.” Liam said. Theo shook his hand again, nothing happened. “Come on Theo, you trust me right?” Theo rolled his eyes. “Right?”

“Obviously.” Theo grumbled bitterly.

“Then listen to me, just..relax, calm your breathing.” Theo chewed his lip before giving a small nod. He closed his eyes taking a slow breath, matching Liam's unconsciously. He felt the skin on his fingers shift his eyes fluttering open to watch as his claws shifted back to nails agonisingly slow. “See? It's all good.” Theo turned his hands over, glaring at them accusingly, waiting for the claws to pop back out, they didn't. “I can't believe that's never happened to you before.” Liam said with a bubble of laughter that had Theo's stomach twisting in embarrassment. For months he'd been too chicken to do anything and when he finally did he cock blocked himself. Typical.“I must be good.” Liam hummed smugly. Theo bristled.

“Don't flatter yourself. It's not like I've had many chances for it to happen.” Theo snapped. Whatever insult Liam was about to throw back stopped abruptly as Theo ended his sentence, the boys bows pinching.

“How many chances have you had?” Liam asked and Jesus Christ, if there was one thing that could make this more embarrassing it would be telling Liam he'd only been kissed twice before this mess.

“We should go to sleep.” Theo said stiffly, he moved, stalking towards his draws searching for his pyjama's through the mess of socks trying to force down the heat he could feel creeping up his cheeks. He heard Liam shuffling around behind him, creeping closer slowly.

“Hey Theo.” Theo grunted in response, grabbing sweatpants from the draw.. Liam clicked his tongue, heart rate spiking, no doubt in annoyance. “Theo.”

“What?”

“Will you at least look at me?” Liam snapped. Theo let an annoyed breath out his nose and kept searching for a top. “You really think I care how many people you've..you know..with, or that your claws came out?” Theo shuffled forcing his heart to stay steady. He found a top but kept his back to Liam, twisting it in his hands. “Seriously?You're going to give me the silent treatment after you kissed me?” Liam asked incredulously.

“You laughed.” Theo grumbled bitterly.

“You thought you'd been poisoned! It was funny.”

“Hilarious.” Theo said dryly.

“It's flattering that they came out.”

“Great.”

“Nice to know I made you feel better about yourself. Night.” Theo hummed, stalking out past him towards the bathroom. He heard the uptick of Liam's heartbeat, the scent of anger following him out of the room.

“Asshole.” Liam said stiffly, words echoing softly.

*

Theo wasn't proud to say he spent at least half an hour sitting on the edge of the bath staring at his fingers like they betrayed him and forcing his heartbeat to stay at a nice steady beat rather than the crazed gallop it wanted to run at. Or that he spent another twenty minutes in the shower and then the same getting dry and dressed. By the time he was finally creeping back into their room Liam had long since fallen asleep, he was still fully dressed, flopped over at the end of his bed like he'd been waiting for Theo to come back in. Theo tiptoed through the room to his bed, wincing at the squeaks the frame made.

*

They didn't talk all morning, not when Mr and Mrs Geyer turned up in time for a family breakfast that left Theo feeling suffocated as he refused to meet Liam's eye. What was he meant to say? Sorry I kissed you? Sorry I freaked out about it? Sorry that you could sleep because Theo sure as hell couldn't. Not with the ghost of the kiss on his lips and the anxiety of 'I kissed Liam and liked it enough to loose control' bouncing around his head.

Loosing control was one thing, he could handle it, it was awkward but..the fact he'd admitted it never happened before, that he'd admitted that Liam was special, that he cared. That was another, because if Liam cared surely he would have lost control too, or kissed him again, or-

Theo jumped as his phone buzzed in his pocket, vibrating loud enough to draw the others attention. It was enough to finally jog Theo out of his Riviera. To force the anxiety leaving him feeling nausea's back down enough so he could speak.

“I gotta go.” Theo said, dropping his fork. He made a quick exit from the kitchen phone still buzzing against his pocket. Theo didn't stop to check it until he was three blocks away. Theo pulled his phone out just as a second call came through. He answered it.

“Who is it?” Theo asked stiffly.

“Good morning to you to.” Brett said with a small laugh. “It's Brett.”

“How did you get my number?”

“Mason gave it to me last night. Thought I might need it. You have any of that stuff left from last night? I'm going to sinema tonight and-”

“I'll get you what you need.” Theo said quickly. “If you let me come.”

“We weren't due for our date until Friday.”

“Yeah well. I don't fancy going back to Liam's sober.”

“What's up?”

“Can I come or not?”

“Yeah, Totally. You can pick me up after lacrosse practise.” Brett hummed.

“I don't play lacrosse.”

“I meant my practise dumb ass. Come watch if you want. I promise we're a better team than beacon hills.”

“I'll be there.” Theo promised.

*

“Hey Theo,” Mason called. “You want to come over tonight, me and Corey were thinking of wat-”

“Can't.” Theo mumbled, not even stopping. He listened as Mason and Corey scurried after him.

“Okay. Wanna say why?”

“I'm busy.”

“Wow. That was so ensightfull. I feel like-”

“I have plans, with Brett.” Theo said with a sigh.

“Brett, our Brett? Devenford Prep Brett. Tall hot eight pack Brett?”

“You think I know another Brett?” Theo snorted. “Wait, eight pack?”

“Yeah dude, it's awes-”

“Boyfriend. Standing right here.” Corey said. “It is pretty amazing though.” He added sheepishly.

“Good to know.” Theo said with a small chuckle.

“What are you doing hanging out with Brett?”

“Going to some club I think.” Theo said with a shrug. Theo tilted his head as heard the familiar thump of Liam's heart as the boy made his way over from the other end of the corridor. His own heartbeat picked up, his feet speeding up on their own. He'd lasted the whole day without having to talk to Liam, or look at Liam, or deal with the fact he'd kissed Liam in a fit of stupidity. “I'll see you later.” Theo said, turning tail and slamming through the doors.

*

Brett hadn't been lying, his team was good. Not that it mattered to Theo, lacrosse was lacrosse and fairly boring when he wasn't getting to watch Liam running around tackling people. It did however give him a few idea's on how to beat Devenford prep in their next match. Lori sat next to him on the bleachers, all friendly smiles and chatting to him as if she hadn't basically forced him to kiss Liam and ruined the small slice of happiness he'd found himself at the Geyer/Dunbar household.

Apparently 'picking Brett up' also meant dropping him and Lori home, waiting for him to shower and change, having dinner and breaking into Deaton's for more of the herbs. Theo had never been interested in drinking before but while he was waiting to finally leave so he could have a drink he understood why people did it. He remembered the floaty feeling from last night, before the barbecue had even been an idea, how smiles had found their way onto his face so easily and he wanted that again, for the alcohol to drown out the unpleasant feeling curling inside of him every time he thought of Liam and he couldn't stop thinking of Liam.

Brett and Theo had gotten comfortable in the bed of Theo's truck, the door to the club visible as they passed a flask between them. Brett had said they needed to wait a little while before going in, that it was 'too dead' right now and that no one wanted to be the first to a party. Theo begged to differ, being the first to a party seemed nice, at least it means you were invited to a party, and you get free roam of the snack table.

“What's wrong with you?” Brett asked.

“Nothing.” Theo grumbled, shrugging as he lifted the flask to his mouth, downing another mouthful eyes flickering to the door of the club as another lone patron was waved inside.

“You reek of anxiety.” Brett said bluntly. “You don't seem like a very anxious guy.”

“I'm fine.”

“You don't smell it.”

“Stop sniffing me.”

“You should learn to cover your scent more then. Why don't we see if I can guess?”

“You won't be-”

“You kissed Liam last night. Which is why you don't want to go back to his place, you know you'll have to face him and either he freaked out about it because he still believes he's straight or you freaked out about it. Not sure why you'd freak out about it though because I can't imagine you would be freaking out about kissing a guy.” Theo blinked at Brett for a moment.

“That was impressive.” He said slowly.

“I'm smarter than Liam would give me credit for. So come on-” Brett kicked Theo's shin. “Who freaked out?”

“Are we really going to talk about this?” Theo asked incredulously. He was under the impression they were there to drink, not talk about feelings.

“Well I'm guessing you can't talk about it with mason because he'll tell Liam anything you say and you can't tell Corey because Corey will tell Mason who'll tell Liam so-”

“Sounds about right.” Theo sighed. Brett nudged him, raising an eyebrow. “I can't believe I'm doing this.” Theo groaned pinching the bridge of his nose. When did his life become like this? Where he'd go to clubs with..friends and talk about his feelings and boys and -

“Theo come on, we're meant to be having fun. Just talk then we can deal with it and start enjoying ourselves.”

“Yeah, sitting here really is thrilling.” Theo said dryly. Brett nudged him again. Theo's chest felt warm already from the booze, but not in the same way it had last night, somehow this was a hollow warmth, like somewhere far off there was a fire and the tendrils had just managed to burn Theo before it was washed away leaving him with little more than a red mark. It was still enough though for him to actually open his mouth and talk.“Fine. I kissed him, he kissed back, it ended. We haven't talked since.”

“How bad are you at kissing?” Brett asked, Theo shot him a glare. “I'm kidding. So it ended, how'd it stop?”

“I..My claws came out.” Theo said bitterly. “I guess I got excited.” He winced at the choice of words. Downing another gulp of the harsh liquid as Brett's lips twitched in a smirk. “Shut up.”

“It's no big deal, Pretty sure that's happened to every werewolf at some point. At least you were necking with someone who wasn't going to scream about monsters when they noticed them. I once had a girl screaming 'el diablo' at me as she kicked me out.” Brett admitted leaving Theo snorting out an undignified laugh. The fire flickering back to life, a tiny ember that left his lips curling in a smile. The emptiness was still there, the lost boy trying to figure out what the hell he'd gotten himself into by kissing Liam but it eased him enough to find another small smile. Theo wondered if this was why people made friends in the first place, so when things hurt or hollowed you out you had someone there who somehow, unknowingly managed to put a bit of life back into you. “Claws are no big deal.”

“I wasn't expecting it.” Theo admitted.

“I don't think anyone ever expects it.” Brett said. “Pretty sure he'd take it as a compliment. Know I would. Guy like you can't keep in control because of you it's a bit of a confidence boost.”

“A guy like me?”

“You're hot. And you know it so don't even try to play coy.” Theo let out a laugh at that. Somehow he knew despite Brett's words, the flirty banter that Theo had half heartedly taken part in for the last few hours Brett wasn't actually interested in him, at least, not like that. He was happy for that, Brett was nice, but Liam was still swimming in his head and having someone actually hit on him would probably just force him to turn tail and run off into the night.

“Yeah I am.” He said proudly. “You're not so bad yourself. I hear you have an eight pack.”

“You been talking to mason?”

“How'd you guess.”

“He mentions it every time he sees me, I'm pretty sure he forgets about the werewolf hearing thing a lot of the time.” Brett said with a proud little smile as if getting Mason to swoon over him was a great achievement. “the way I see it. You have two options, one. Forget about Liam and we'll go inside and get drunk enough that you wouldn't be able to pick Liam out of a police line up or two, drink enough that you drunk dial Liam and work things out in a crying drunken frenzy and then we go drink so you don't regret all the embarrassing things you will say.”

“Is there any option where we don't go in there?” Theo asked, nodding to the door of the club. “I can already smell the sweat.”

“No. and you get use to it.”

“Option one sounds good.” Theo said. Brett grinned.

“Then drink up. The funs about to begin.” Brett nodded over to a large group sneaking towards the door. Theo didn't need telling twice, lifting the flask to his lips and chugging, ignoring the burn in his throat and tears prickling at his eyes from the fiery liquid.

*

When Brett had said about drinking enough that he wouldn't be able to pick Liam out of a police line up he'd thought he'd been joking, or at least one of them would have had enough sense not to drink that much. Not that there was an actual line up but when Theo woke up head pounding, mouth dry and cottony in an apartment he couldn't remember curled up a single arm chair with Brett while three people covered in glitter commandeered the couch he was pretty sure that he could say he was drunk enough he wouldn't have been able to spot Liam if he'd been standing an inch in front of him.

“Morning sunshine.” A sickly sweet voice came from the door way. Theo blinked over at a woman a few years older than him, dressed in marvel pyjama's with mascara smudged around her eyes like a panda bear. “Before you freak out-”

“I'm not freaking out.” Theo said knowing full well he was somewhat lying, the others were waking up and Theo was entirely positive he only knew Brett.

“Well, before you do-” She continued. “Nothing weird happened, I saw you and your friend trying to get into your car and well..it was pretty obvious you shouldn't be driving.”

“So you kidnapped us?” Theo asked dryly.

“I would have taken you to your place but you said you lived with 'the angry werewolf' and he kept saying he lived in the woods with a hundred and something year old Buddhist 'pack' so...I thought maybe here was best until you were making more sense.”

“Right.”

“Whattimeisit.” Brett slurred, elbowing Theo as he tried to wriggle on the small armchair.

“Around eleven for-” Theo wasn't even surprised when he was elbowed again as Brett tried to make a dash for the door because he was doing the same thing. He wasn't about to flunk out of his senior for a second time.

*

By the time the two had stumbled back to Sinema and Theo had graciously driven Brett to his school he managed to get to Beacon hills high in time for lunch. Something Theo was eternally grateful for, finding a quiet place on the bleachers and curling up as his head still pounded and his stomach churned. Did he actually poison himself this time? It felt like it.

“THEO!” Theo groaned at Liam's voice, listening to the clatter of footsteps as he was hunted down by the three people he had begun to call pack. “You're alive! Where the hell were you last night?” Liam asked. “You ever heard of calling me? Seriously, you've been MIA for over twelve ho-”

“Don't talk so loud.” Theo grumbled, burrowing his head further into his arms. A small part of him inexplicably happy that the pain in his head and the bile still threatening to spill out of his mouth made his anxiety about seeing Liam vanish. “I'm fine just-”

“Are you hungover?” Mason asked a laugh bubbling out of him that left Theo's head threatening to split open.

“This is what a hangover feels like?” Theo finally looked up catching Mason's gaze with abject horror. “Why do humans ever drink?”

“We're just made of tougher stuff than you lot.” Mason said, waving at the two were-creatures. “How much did you drink to actually end up hungover?”

“Too much.” Theo admitted. “Woke up with Brett in some girls apartment and had to drive him to school.”

“You woke up in some girls apartment? With Brett?” Liam asked, voice just the wrong side of too high.

“Went to Sinema, don't remember most of it.” An emotion rushed off of Liam the scent smothered by Mason sliding up beside him and offering him half a sandwich too quick for Theo to really place it.

“I need to go talk to coach.” Liam grumbled, heart skipping a beat before he was stalking away. Theo remembered the kiss forcing the bile further up his throat. Liam didn't even want to be in the same field as him.

“You should take a shower before class.” Mason said. “You smell like you just rolled out of a vat of vodka.”

“I feel like I just rolled out of a fight with an army of hunters.” Theo grumbled.

“The shower will help. Believe me.” Mason waved the sandwich in Theo's face again, this time Theo took it chewing at the crusts slowly.

“So are you and Brett friends now then?” Corey asked.

“I think so.” Theo said. The grin Corey gave him was blinding.

“Well done.” Corey said. “You made a friend.” and somehow it didn't feel condescending. Theo smiled back tiredly.

“You're becoming a real boy.” Mason said. Theo shoved him off of his seat.

*

Although Mason had been right and the shower Theo had snuck in before class had made him feel a hell of a lot better he'd still barely paid attention in most of his classes and bowed out of helping coach for the day. Getting home first gave him the advantage, at least this way he could have the metaphorical high ground. Liam would be the one hovering in the doorway too awkward to come into their room, not him.

So Theo had raced home, turned on the games console and tried to pretend everything was normal and that he wasn't waiting for Liam to get back and leave him spinning again.

“Theo! Your friends at the door.” Mrs Geyer yelled. Theo paused, fingers hovering over the controller as he turned to the bedroom door curiously. Mason and Corey wouldn't be round tonight, at least not until Liam would be home and Theo knew for a fact Liam wouldn't be home for at least another hour. He was counting on it, he'd barely even started to plan escape routes for uncomfortable conversations they may have to have now that breakfast with the parents and school wasn't in-between them.

“Go on up.” Mrs Geyer said, voice muffled by the floor boards between them. Her voice raised again. “Theo I'm going to work, make sure you offer your friend a drink!”

Theo watched the door as footsteps rumbled up the stairs and the front door closer. Mrs Geyer leaving. The door swung open after a moment, Brett leaning against the door frame, skin still a tad too pale for him to be feeling as good as he tired to look.

“What are you doing here?”

“We're friends. Friends hang out.” Brett said easily. “Can I come in?” Theo raised an eyebrow and Brett huffed. “I got sent home from lacrosse practise after the coach smelt me. Lori would laugh her ass off if I turn up at her art class early because of it. Figured I'd hang out here for a few hours before I head to pick her up.”

“You can come in.” Theo said, Brett stepped over the line of the door, eyes flickering around the room curiously, taking in the posters that were clearly Liam's with a smirk.

“Always knew he was a giant dork.” Brett said.

“You want to play something?”

“Will I have to move loads?”

“Just your fingers.”

“Then sure.” Brett flopped down heavily next to him settling back against the frame of Theo's bed leaving it creaking. “What we playing?”

*

By the time Liam arrived home Theo had been thoroughly distracted by how terrible Brett was at gaming. Brett had taken to complain he didn't play shooters very often, Theo thought it was a bullshit excuse he'd spent most of his life trapped with the dread doctors and could still give Liam a run for his money. Brett was just...terrible.

And a dirty cheater, not that it helped him win. Despite Theo saying he wouldn't have to move much Brett had taken it upon himself to play dirty, elbows jabbing out into Theo's sides and forcibly slapping the controller out of Theo's hands more than once. Theo would have been annoyed were he not still kicking his ass.

He hadn't seen a more pathetic loss since...well, since Scott and the others pulled one over on him and he ended back in hell. He was sure this would end in a lot less nightmares for Brett though.

“What is he doing here?” Was how Liam announced himself. Hovering in the door way with a scowl flickering between the two boys, sweaty hair dangling in his face and dirty lacrosse clothes still hanging off of him without the pads beneath them.

“Theo invited me.” Brett said. Theo didn't bother pointing out it was a lie.

“He is getting decimated.” Theo said instead, flicking the left trigger on his controller and watching as a shot went through Brett's character's forehead on screen. Theo grinned smugly. “you sure you're a werewolf?”

“Screw you. I'll beat you this time.”

“You said that the last ten times.”

“Keep talking and I'm going to punch you.” Brett grumbled.

“You wouldn't hit me. I'm too hot, you wouldn't want to damage the beauty.”

“Hot or not I'll still hit you if you don't stop gloating.” Brett said stiffly. “Go on, restart it. This time you're going down.”

“I'm going for a shower.” Liam said, voice too loud for just the three of them.

“Surprised you're washing without being prompted.” Theo hummed. Brett snorted a laugh. Liam turned on his heel and stormed away, bathroom door slamming with a resounding crack.

“You still haven't talked to him have you.”

“I'm taking an old friends advice and ignoring the problem until it goes away.”

“I feel like I know the kid who said that.” Brett said.

“Probably, everyone seems to know everyone in beacon hills. Come on, I'm gonna kick your ass again.”

*

Theo had been in a number of uncomfortable situations in his life but he still couldn't think of any much worse than what transpired after Liam got out of the shower. He'd thought Liam and Brett were friends but the scent of barely disguised anger pouring off of Liam as he sat as his desk ignoring the two boys still playing games typing what must be nonsense with the amount of passive aggressive keyboard smashes Theo had heard and shooting the occasion death glare in their direction.

When Brett got up to go to the bathroom, probably just to escape the anger leeching off of the boy Theo thought about staying behind, about talking to Liam about what had crawled up his ass and died. About whether the stupid kiss that Theo swore he could still feel tingling against his lips in quiet moments had screwed everything to the point that he needed to collect his meagre collection of belongings (socks) and leave.

One look at the betrayed look Liam gave him when he chased a glance back at him and Theo was rethinking that plan and rushing downstairs to collect him and Brett drinks.

Despite loitering in the fridge and taking a can from the very back purposely so he would have to reorder the things in the fridge to reach it he still managed to return to the bedroom first. Two cold cans clutched in his hands and a seething Liam tapping away at his computer. Brett entered the room again moments after Theo leaving Theo wondering if he'd been hiding out same as him.

“Hey Liam, you ever heard of a bath mat?” Liam's eyes flickered over to Brett raising an eyebrow in a way that somehow managed to be condescending. Brett scowled. “There's water all over the bathroom floor.”

“Sorry.” Liam said unapologetically. Theo eyed Liam curiously. He'd sworn Brett and Liam were friends, he understood Liam being pissed off with him, but really, half, if not more, of the anger seemed to be focused on Brett.

“He always does that. It's like a tidal wave hit every time he gets out of the shower.” Theo said a grin twisting at his lips as he passed a drink to Brett. “I always complain too. Don't I Liam?” Liam's eyes flickered to him for a moment only for him to shrug before his eyes moved back to Brett, glaring at the can in his hand as if it had tried to murder his family. Brett flopped onto the edge of Theo's bed. He placed the can on the floor, eyes on Liam as it hit with a passive aggressive slam. Theo looked between the two's glare off wondering what weird twilight zone he'd entered where people were glaring at each other and he wasn't one of the people being given evils and felt like the normal, mature one.

“How'd you live with him?” Brett asked, finally looking away from Liam.

“No clue. You should see the state this rooms in half the time.” Theo snorted. “Pretty sure living in the forest would be cleaner.” The tried to catch Liam's eye, lips pulling in a teasing smirk. Liam's eyes didn't move from Brett.

“You could come join me and Lori. We actually clean up after ourselves.” Brett said, ripping off one of his socks and ringing it out onto the carpet. Liam's eyes narrowed his heart rate picking up.

“Theo's fine here.” Liam said, voice rolling in a barely concealed growl.

“Yeah, till he drowns trying to swim over to the toilet after you have a shower.” Brett hummed, tugging his other sock off a smug smile on his lips. “Theo have you got a radiator I can put these on? There's no way I'm walking home later in wet socks.”

“It's a hundred degree's out and werewolves run hot.” Liam snapped. “We're not putting the radiator on.”

“What's your-”

“Just put those in the hamper. I'll find you some dry ones.” Theo said quickly, before whatever tension bubbling between the two was forced to the surface. He was just making a friend, he didn't need the two trying to rip each other apart over bath mat usage. Theo moved towards the draw as Brett tossed his sopping socks into the hamper as told and begun searching through the games.

“Do you have anything but shooter games?” Brett sighed. The clank of cases rustling as he searched.

“There's burnout. It's a racing one.” Theo mumbled, fighting the sock draw open.

“Sounds great” Brett said quickly. “Anything but more shooting people.”

“It's because I keep beating you at all of them isn't it?” Theo asked a smirk tugging at his lips as he peered over his shoulder at Brett who answered him with a middle finger. Theo turned back to his socks eyeing them critically before snatching a pair of hot dog socks.

He dropped back down next to Brett a moment later, the game already loading. Theo tossed the balled up socks in his direction.

“There.”

“Thanks.” Brett said, trying to pull them out of their cauldron like state of balled up. “Fair warning, you'll never get these back.” Brett said honestly. Theo shrugged.

“They're socks.” Theo said dryly. “I think I'll live if you have one pair.”

“Okay no. That's it get out.” Liam's voice came, quiet and cold as steel. Brett froze, sock barely past his toes.

“Excuse me.” Brett asked, laughter bubbling out of him. Theo heard Liam's heart beat pick up further. Anger seeping off of him.

“Get out. Now.” Liam growled

“Am I missing something?” Brett's eyes flickered to Theo as if he would be able to explain Liam's behaviour.

“If you are I am too.” Theo said. “Liam what the hell are you-”

“I said get out!” Liam roars, eyes flashing golden. Brett's heart rate was steady, his eyebrow raising as if Liam were crazy. Which really, he seemed.

“Alright fine. I'll see you later Theo.” Brett sighed. Scrunching the borrowed socks in his hand and making his way towards the bedroom door.

“Leave the socks.” Liam said.

“What?”

“Are you serious?” Theo hissed.

“Leave the socks!”

“I'm not walking home without socks Liam. I'll get blisters.”

“They'll heal.”

“Just take the socks. It's fine.”

“Those socks aren't leaving this room.”

“I'm not leaving without socks.” Brett said stiffly, heartbeat finally rising, annoyance rolling off of him. “I'd take my socks but since you decided to-”

“Fine!” Liam shouted, far too loud for a conversation about socks. Theo watched, utterly bemused as Liam tore the plain black socks off of his own feet and launched them at Brett's face as if they could hurt him. “Then take those and get the hell out before I throw you out the window.” Brett dropped the hot dog socks dramatically and swept out of the room.

The two were silent as they listened to Brett shuffle down the stairs and collect his things. Liam's heart still jack rabbiting in his chest. Theo eyed him subtly as he waited for the front door to shut and Brett's footsteps to fade away mutters of 'bat shit crazy' getting lost in the wind. Liam's chest was heaving his eyes still on the bedroom door as if he were considering running straight through it and catching up with Brett for a fight. Slowly, as if sensing Theo's gaze Liam drew his eyes to Theo's.

“What the hell is wrong with you?” Liam growled. Theo reeled back as if punched, mind running a mile a minute completely lacking any semblance of understanding at the current situation. So Theo did what he did best. He snapped back.

“Me? I'm not the one who just kicked a guy out of the house for nothing!”

“It wasn't for nothing!” Liam hissed stalking towards him.

“Really? Because it seemed like it was for nothing.” Theo said, pushing himself up off the floor, lips twitching in a smirk when he realised for the umpteenth time that he was an inch taller than Liam, forcing the younger man to tilt his head ever so slightly to look up at him. That1 degree's felt like a victory. Liam's death glare did nothing.

“You were giving him your socks!” Liam said, spitting the words out as if accusing Theo of murder. Theo's shoulder dropped as he tilted his head in confusion.

“You kicked him out over socks.”

“Yes!” Liam yelled. “I mean no! I kicked him out over what the socks represent.”

“There socks. They represent keeping feet warm.”

“You said you wouldn't let just anyone wear them and then you kiss me-” Theo's heart gave an embarrassing lurch, his cheek warming almost instantly at the reminder of the thing they weren't talking about, or at least, he'd thought they weren't talking about it. “-And won't talk to me afterwards and five seconds later you're drinking with Brett” Any other time Theo probably would have laughed at just how much resentment Liam managed to throw into Brett's name but he was too busy trying to understand where socks came into it to really take notice of it. “-and staying out all night at some random woman's apartment doing god knows what and before I can even ask you about it you're bringing him into our room and giving him fucking socks? You realise you're a giant fucking asshole right?”

“I'm an asshole for giving him socks?”

“You're an asshole for making me like you and then kissing me and making me think that this-” Liam waved between them frantically. Theo's eyes widened words circling his head. He likes me “-Was something and then proving me wrong right in front of me. If you want to be a whore fine but you could at least warn me first so I don't feel like an idiot when I realise you don't like me the way I-”

“You like me?” Theo breathed.

“Obviously. Though I don't see why you selfish ass-”

“I like you too.” Theo said, voice only wavering slightly. He waited as Liam's eyes widened, preparing for the laugh, for Liam to shout psych and rub it in his face, it didn't come.

“Say what now?”

“I like you.” Theo said again, voice stronger.

“You don't need to lie to make me feel better.” Liam snapped. “I get it, it's fine, it meant more to me whatever. I can deal but you bringing someone into our room when you can no doubt smell how I feel is just a dick move and-”

“Shut up Liam.” Theo said, voice enough of a growl to make Liam's lips snap closed. “You think I'd ever lie to make you feel better then you're an idiot. I've scared almost everyone you know out of the house because I like you. I kissed you the other night because I wanted to, because I want you.”

“If that's true then why have you been avoiding me? You ran out of here like a-” Theo shifted, cheeks heating in a red flush.

“Liam, I grew up with people called 'the dread doctors' what part of that makes you think I've ever done this-” He waved between them, mirroring Liam's move from earlier. “-before? You didn't mention it so I didn't mention it. I thought, I thought you regretted or hated me or-” Theo let out a small squawk as Liam yanked him into a hard kiss, lips hitting powerfully enough for their teeth to clink in an extremely unpleasant way. Theo didn't let that stop him, he wasn't a stranger to a little bit of pain. He chased the kiss, lips brushing softly against Liam, chasing away the ache from Liam's lip punch.

“Wait wait!” Liam said, leaning out of the kiss. Theo paused, heart stopping. He was sure he hadn't done anything wrong. Liam had kissed him yet his mind ran through every word in the past few minutes trying to figure out where exactly he'd gotten confused, at what moment he'd taken the wrong meaning and Liam had really just been trying to tell him they were friends and nothing more or.. Liam talked, shutting Theo's brain up. “If you like me why did you give Brett socks?” Theo didn't even attempt to stop the groan.

“Are you seriously?” Liam face said yes he was, dead serious. “They're fucking socks Liam.” Theo said softly. “I don't know if you've noticed but I kinda have a lot of them. I promise you they were entirely platonic socks.”

“And the socks you said I could wear?”

“They're..Romantic socks.” Theo ground out. “Now will you shut up and let me kiss you?” Liam pressed a quick kiss to his lips before pulling back again.

“Are you going to think you've been poisoned again?” Liam asked, a smile tipping on his lips. Theo forced the bubble of embarrassment creeping inside him down again and gave a non-committal shrug. Liam liked him, Liam kicked Brett out because of socks. Theo had nothing to be embarrassed about.

“I was more thinking I could get you to loose control this time.” Theo shoved Liam's chest sending him sprawling onto the bed, it creaked as always, Liam bounced softly against the mattress his eyes trained on Theo, blown wide the heady scent of lust rolling off of him. It was true what he said, he'd never done this before. Not really, The skater girl and Tracy hadn't been like this, hadn't left fire on Theo's lips and want burning within him, hadn't left him terrified to screw up, to do right. But Theo did know the logistics of it, he knew how to turn someone on, how to make them moan and writhe. At least, he did in theory and Theo had always been good at putting theory into practise. Theo grinned down at Liam wolfishly before following him onto the bed. Lips latching onto his neck and sucking.

“Fuck TheOOO!” Liam let out a girly scream that Theo would have laughed at were he not doing the same thing as the beds legs gave way and the mattress slipped to the floor with an almighty crack.

Liam's claws dug into Theo's sides, his eyes flashing yellow at the sudden impact. The two stayed frozen for a moment as if waiting for the ground to give way as well and send them toppling through the floorboards and into the living room bellow. Slowly, Liam's eyes flickered up to his, blown wide with shock his lips gaping open.

“That was more effective than I thought.” Theo joked.

“Sorry!” Liam yelped, ripping his claws out of Theo's sides as they quickly returned back to fingernails.

“Ow.” Theo said dryly. Liam grinned sheepishly. Their heart rates still too fast pounding away in their chests. Liam's lips still red from the few kisses they'd shared.

“That...really wasn't how I expected that to go.” Liam said. Theo was shocked at the literal giggle that left his mouth, Liam's eyes flying wider than they already were made Theo think he probably was too. His lips twitched in a bright grin.

“Did you just-”

“Shut up.” Theo huffed. Grabbing Liam's neck to yank him back in for a real kiss. 

Theo had kissed a gran total of three people, and he could say, without a shadow of a doubt, he'd be happy to keep it that way.