Theo is more than happy to agree to accompany Derek when the Alpha asks him to run to the store with him to buy food for the pack meeting tomorrow. He knows it’s partially because Derek doesn’t trust any of the rest of the pack to buy food he can cook in something outside of the microwave. There’s also the fact that the two have bonded over the past year, ever since Derek decided he wanted to move back to Beacon Hills.
The pack was surprised by their friendship but the two related to each other more than anyone else could possibly understand. Not that either one really talked about it. They just had an unspoken understanding, which led to them becoming friends. Theo would even go as far as to say Derek is his best friend if that title wasn’t already taken by Liam. Not that he would mind Liam taking on another title like boyfriend, but that’s not up to him. He’ll take what he can get, and right now that’s Liam’s friendship. He does suppose he can have more than one best friend though.
So here they are, walking the aisles of the store, with Derek carefully checking his list as Theo browses the shelves. Despite wanting to find something halfway decent to cook for dinner tonight, Derek still throws in the random items the pack asks for. He’s not the least bit surprised that most of the items seem to be for Stiles.
Theo notices Derek tense, hands clenching on the handle of the cart. He’s unsure why until a moment later Sheriff Stilinski rounds the corner. He smiles when he sees them, walking up to the pair. "Derek, Theo what brings you here?"
Derek’s eyes widen and Theo can tell before he opens his mouth that he’s about to say something stupid, "We're on a date!"
Both Theo and John look at him in confusion, the Sheriff looking around them before responding "At the grocery store?"
Theo can tell Derek is embarrassed so he decides to step in and save him. “We're shopping for the pack meeting."
John still doesn’t look convinced, his eyes narrowing when he spots something over Theo and Derek’s shoulders. "Do you bring Stiles on all your dates?"
Theo’s eyes widen and both he and Derek spin around to see Stiles peeking his head over a display of muffins. Theo expects some sort of reaction from Derek, knowing that the Alpha has had a crush on Stiles for years. But all Derek does is stare at Stiles, eyes tracking the human as he walks towards them.
Stiles steps up next to Derek, throwing a wink towards him and Theo before turning to face his father, “It’s a double date.”
Theo tries to keep his face blank, even though inside he’s screaming and wondering what the hell Stiles and Derek are thinking. Maybe they’re on drugs, a drug that can affect both humans and werewolves. That is the only explanation he can think of.
"A double date," the Sheriff responds flatly, "with who?"
That's when Liam rounds the corner, eyes focused on the cereal in his hand and completely unaware of what he’s walking into. Theo wants to scream and tell him to run far away. But all he can do is stare as Stiles' eyes light up and he shoots out a hand, grabbing Liam by the sleeve of his jacket and pulling him into his side with his arm around Liam’s shoulder. "With Liam of course."
Liam looks up, eyes wide and startled as he looks from Stiles’ arm to Theo. Theo does his best to communicate that he should just go with it so they can get out of this situation. Theo can tell when Liam decides his best option is to remain silent because his shoulders become less tense as he relaxes into Stiles’ side.
“So let me get this straight. You two,” he points to Stiles and Liam, “are on a date. While Theo and Derek are on a date. And this date just happens to be together.”
“Yes sir,” Derek says, reaching out and taking Theo’s hand. “I’ve liked Theo for a while. Since I was too nervous to go on the date alone Stiles offered to come along with Liam.”
“And you Liam?” John asks, directing his gaze to the younger beta. “You wanted to go on this date with Stiles? They’re not forcing you? Because if they are…”
Stiles scoffs, “Relax Dad. Liam isn’t doing anything he doesn’t want to do.”
Theo wants to point out that that’s not necessarily true but he keeps his mouth shut. He just wants away from this as quickly as possible. And then tomorrow they can tell the Sheriff the date went horribly and they realized they were all better off as friends. Except that’s not true either.
The sad part is he wouldn’t even mind being on a double date with the other three, he just wishes it was Liam he was on the date with and not Derek. No offense to Derek. He’s an attractive guy and he cares about him. Maybe in another life he could have liked him like that. One where he wasn’t hopelessly in love with Liam and Derek wasn’t head over heels in love with Stiles.
“Forgive me if I don’t believe you son,” John says, bringing Theo back to reality. “I was asking Liam. And that’s who I want to hear from.”
Theo isn’t sure what he wants Liam to do. Go with it so the Sheriff can leave them to get on with their business or admit the whole thing has been a terrible misunderstanding and that he has no idea what the hell is going on and then the Sheriff can shake his head, make a comment about kids being weird, and then leave.
“No one’s forcing me to do anything,” Liam says, wrapping his arms around Stiles’ middle. Theo can hear Derek growl, low enough that the Sheriff and Stiles can’t hear but it’s still a warning. Which is funny considering he’s the one that got them into this mess. They were going to have a serious talk when all this was over. Liam shoots a look at Derek and Theo before turning his attention back to the Sheriff. “I want to be here.”
“You all aren’t under some sort of weird love spell that I should know about?” John asks, looking even more perplexed.
Stiles rolls his eyes, “No Dad, we’re all fine. Trust me.”
“I would kid but this whole situation is far too weird,” John says, shaking his head. “But if this is what you’re all wanting to do then who am I to stop you?”
“Theo is irresistible,” Derek murmurs, placing a kiss just below his ear.
Theo sucks in a breath, trying not to let it affect him. His whole in another life scenario playing in his head. For a moment his brain short circuits and he starts to think this is something he wants. But it’s not. He’s just… fuck Derek needs to stop moving his beard across his neck. He never realized he had a beard thing. This isn’t anything more than that. Derek’s just hot and has a fantastic beard that just happens to be rubbing against the sensitive spot below his ear. He can’t help the way he body reacts to it. Especially not when he hears Derek chuckle so close to his ear. But he loves Liam, he knows that. Maybe he should just think of Liam with a beard.
“This is a favorite spot of his,” Derek says, nipping at the spot, causing Theo to gasp. What the actual fuck is happening?
He hears a growl, this time from Liam. Theo glances over to see his eyes flickering from blue to gold, his claws out and close to piercing Stiles’ skin through his shirt. Stiles doesn’t look all that happy either but he plasters on a smile, his voice high as he speaks, “Well then! I think it’s time we take this date elsewhere.”
John clears his throat, looking a bit pained. “Please do, before I have to cart Theo and Derek in for public indecency. Which is not something I thought I’d ever say.”
He gives the group a long look before walking off with his groceries. The quartet just stands there in silence for a moment, all four apparently trying to process what just happened. Except for Stiles apparently, who speaks up with his voice sounding far too cheery. “So? We going on this date or what?”
Derek glances over at Stiles, his face pinched in confusion. “We’re not actually going on a date Stiles.”
“Oh yes we are big guy. Because you,” Stiles points his finger at Derek, “said we were. Knowing my Dad he’ll ask around and see if we all actually went on this date and I’m not about to give him the satisfaction of knowing he was right.”
“So you want to pretend to be dating Liam while Derek and I pretend to date just to prove your Dad wrong?” Theo asks, not sure whether to be confused or impressed. With Stiles it always seems to be a little bit of both.
Stiles shrugs, “Might as well. I’m not saying we have to be all cuddly and lovey dovey. It is a first date, after all. Except apparently my Dad now thinks you and Derek have skipped the dating and gone right to the bedroom because of that little stunt.”
He shoots Derek a pointed look. Theo feels a little sorry for him. Stiles might be human but even he is afraid of the dangerous look in his eyes, and he’s not on the receiving end of it.
Theo is also more than aware that Derek has yet to pull away from him. Now he’s just standing with his arm around Theo’s waist and chin resting on his shoulder as he looks over at Stiles and Liam. To anyone else he looks relaxed but Theo can sense the tension there. He understands that Derek probably just needs the contact. The reassurance of pack and that they’re okay. There might not be anything romantic between them but they’re still best friends. He’d hate for anything to change that.
“We’re okay,” Theo whispers, “whatever happens nothing is going to change the fact that you’re my best friend.”
“What is he saying?” Stiles asks, eyes boring into the pair.
Liam shrugs, “Just that they’re friends.”
“Really? Why is that such a secret?”
Theo sighs, “It’s not you nosey little shit.”
Stiles narrows his eyes, about to open his mouth to speak when Derek pulls back, but keeps his hand on Theo’s back. “Can we please not do this here? I thought you said something about food?”
“I didn’t say food but yeah, we could go eat,” Stiles shrugs.
“Great,” Derek says, “Then let me pay for these groceries, because I am getting them. I’ll take them home and then we’ll meet you both for dinner.”
“Wait, you two are…”
Derek shakes his head, “No Stiles. You can come with me. Theo and Liam can go and get us a booth at the diner while we drop the food off.”
Theo almost starts to argue, he doesn’t know why. He’s been around Liam alone plenty of times. But after everything just happened he’s a little worried about it being awkward. He stops himself when Derek shoots him a pleading look and he realizes that maybe Derek needs to be alone with Stiles. He’s not about to deny his friend that.
Theo grabs Liam by the arm and leads him out to his truck, the beta coming along without complaint. Liam’s also silent the whole drive to the diner and while they’re being shown their seats. It puts him on edge. Liam is never this quiet.
“Are you alright?” Theo asks, looking across the table at Liam. He’s examining his menu intently despite the fact that they eat here quite often.
Liam glances up at him and shrugs, “I’m fine. I’m just wondering what the hell just happened.
“Honestly so I am,” Theo says and lets out a tired laugh.
Liam’s lips twitch up as he stares at him before pulling down again as he fidgets in his seat, suddenly reeking of nerves. “You’re not… into Derek are you?”
Theo lets out a startled laugh, “What? No! Of course out. Derek is my best friend, nothing more.”
“Okay, good.” Liam nods, looking back at his menu.
Theo wants to ask why it’s good but before he can there’s a hand on his shoulder signaling the arrival of Derek and Stiles. Theo raises an eyebrow at the slightly crumpled appearance of their clothes as Derek slides in next to him but doesn’t say anything. He’ll just have to ask Derek about it later.
“So let’s get this show on the road,” Stiles grins, leaning back in the booth with an arm thrown over the back of the seat as he shoots a wink in Derek’s direction.
Theo wrinkles his nose at the smell coming off the both of them. They can’t have been alone for more than 15 minutes, yet they still reek of... He shakes his head, better not to question it. If Stiles and Derek finally got their shit together then he’ll be happy. Derek’s been pining for too long.
Stiles grins at the server when he makes his way over, “Hey Luke, how’s it going?”
“Good,” Luke smiles down at them. “It’s been pretty slow tonight though. What can I get you guys?”
They tell him their order, Stiles slipping Luke a slip of paper before he goes. Once Luke is gone Stiles turns in his seat towards Liam. “So Liam. What brought you out tonight?”
Liam shifts in his seat, trying to get away from Stiles, who is now leaning in until he’s practically on top of him. “I wanted cereal?” Liam says, words coming out unsure. He shoots a panicked look to Theo who shrugs. Next to him Derek sighs.
“Hmm,” Stiles says, placing his hand on the table and all but caging Liam in. “I bet you love lots of milk don’t you? And not just in your cereal. I bet you like things thick and creamy.”
Liam’s eyes widen a bit as he tries to get away, almost falling out of the booth in the process. Theo barely suppresses a growl as he stares over at the pair. It’s only Derek’s hand on his thigh that stops him from shooting across the table and pulling Liam away from Stiles.
Stiles shoots a smirk his way and then he’s climbing into Liam’s lap until he’s straddling him. Beside him, Derek growls, the hand on Theo’s thigh tightening. “Do you have a mouth fetish Liam?” Stiles whispers, “Do you put things in your mouth and imagine it’s something else? Someone else?”
Theo growls, shooting up from his seat, almost sending his drink spilling over. “That’s enough.”
Stiles cackles, sliding off Liam’s lap just as Luke returns with a bag in his hand. He jumps up and grabs for the bag, “Just in time my man.”
Luke raises an eyebrow but hands the bag over, “Your food should be out in a moment,” he tells Theo and Liam before leaving again.
Theo raises an eyebrow at Derek, “You two going somewhere?”
He doesn’t need to ask. He already has a pretty good idea. It’d still be nice to finally have some confirmation.
Derek opens his mouth to speak but Stiles beats him to it, “We’re going to have sex, like we’ve been doing for weeks by the way. Maybe if you two would just admit how in love you are with each other you could do the same.”
He takes Derek’s hand and heads towards the exit to the diner, leaving Liam to gape after them while Theo just sighs and shouts after them, “You could at least pay for your food.”
Derek returns a moment later and places a wad of cash on the table. He puts a hand on Theo’s shoulder, giving him a small smile. “This is for all the food. As a thank you for dealing with all of this. Stiles isn’t wrong though. Honesty can’t hurt in this situation.”
“You might be right,” Theo glances over at Liam before looking back at Derek, “I’m happy for you, by the way.”
Derek grins and squeezes his shoulder, “Thanks. Hopefully I can say the same to you tomorrow. Enjoy your date.”
He leaves without another word. Theo turns back to Liam to see the beta already watching him. “What was he talking about?” Liam asks, playing with his straw wrapper.
“You really don’t know?” Theo asks.
Liam shrugs, “I think I do. But I don’t want to jump to conclusions. It’s been a weird night.”
“Liam,” Theo sighs, lips twitching up into a fond smile. “I just almost jumped across the table and tore Stiles apart because of the way he was talking to you and touching you. I’d say it’s pretty obvious how I feel about you.”
“You like me?” Liam asks, voice hesitant.
Theo rolls his eyes, “No you idiot. I love you. I have for years.”
“But earlier with Derek….”
“That was…” Theo blushes, ducking his head and looking up at Liam through his lashes. “I might have a beard thing.”
Liam’s eyes widen for a moment before he’s grinning over at Theo. “So you want me to grow a beard.”
Theo laughs, “If you want to. But I like you just the way you are Li.”
“No you don’t,” Liam says. He smirks and stands up, walking around the table and sliding into the boot next to Theo. He puts a hand on Theo’s chest and leans in, breath fanning across Theo’s lips. He’s so close all Theo would have to do is lean in just a bit and their lips would be touching. He’s so tempted. Liam must be able to tell because his smirk grows. “You love me.”
“And you?” Theo asks. He has a pretty good idea but he needs to know. He has to be sure before he does something reckless like actually kissing Liam.
“I love you,” Liam breathes, leaning in and placing a kiss to Theo’s cheek, then another to his nose. He keeps doing it until he’s kissed all over Theo’s face except for the one spot Theo really needs his lips to be. “I love every single part of you Theo Raeken.”
Theo can’t take it anymore. He whines and leans in, kissing Liam with a hunger that surpasses anything else. Liam’s hand stay on his chest while the other comes up and tangles through Theo’s hair, pulling him closer. Theo’s just pulled Liam into his lap and slid his hands up under Liam’s shirt when a throat clearing pulls them back to the reality of where they are.
Luke is looking slightly uncomfortable as he gives them an apologetic smile and holds their plates of food up, “So I’m guessing you’ll be wanting these to go as well?”
Liam nuzzles into Theo’s neck as he looks up at Luke, “Yes please.”
Theo can’t help but laugh and hide his face on Liam’s shoulder as Luke walks way. He hears as well as feels Liam’s body shaking with laughter of his own.
“I’m not even hungry anymore,” Liam sighs.
“I know, me either. But we’re both going to need the energy,” Theo says, pulling back to look at Liam intently. “I mean, if that’s something you want right now. I’m fine with waiting...”
Liam smiles, leaning in to peck Theo’s lips. “I want to. We’ve wasted enough time. I’m tired of waiting.”
When Luke returns with the food Liam grabs it and all but drags Theo out of the diner. Theo shouts his thanks to Luke and gestures to the table where the cash is sitting. He’d made sure to leave a generous tip.
Later that night, when Liam is asleep in Theo’s arms Theo shoots a text to Derek. “Next time you want out of a situation, maybe just drop a hint and let me know rather than dragging us all into some elaborate lie.” He thinks about it before shooting off another text right after the first. “And you definitely should be telling me you’re happy for me. You’re not the only one who got your man. ;)”
A response comes in a few minutes later, “Noted. And congratulations. I am happy for you.” Another text follows and Theo groans when he reads it. “Stiles says we’re going to have to officially double date now.”
Liam blinks up at him, giving a tired yawn that has Theo feeling guilty for waking him. “What is it?”
When Theo shows Liam the text he groans, burying his face in Theo’s neck. “Fuck no.”
“Oh I don’t know,” Theo says, running a hand down Liam’s back. “I don’t think this one ended too badly, do you?”
Liam smiles, kissing him softly, “Definitely not. But if we double date with them I am not sitting by Stiles.”
Theo chuckles, kissing Liam again.