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I'll Be Right Beside You Dear

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“What the hell?” Liam asks, eyes on the sky as a dark cloud crashes in like a wave covering the skies of Beacon Hills. “What is this?”

“I don’t know,” Theo sighs, “but it can’t be good.”

“We should let Scott know,” Liam says, “he’ll probably want to talk to Deaton.”

Theo’s eyes stay focused on the sky. Whatever this is feels wrong. He can’t help but have a bad feeling about it. He looks over when he feels a hand on his arm to see Liam watching him.

“Stop looking like that,” Liam tells him, “we’re going to figure this out, like we always do.”

Theo can only nod and drive them towards the clinic. He just hopes Liam is right. They’ve all suffered enough and are still recovering from the last disaster. This is the last thing the town needs.

Scott, Stiles, Derek, Lydia, Mason, and Corey are there when they walk in. They’re standing around the examination table with Deaton, who nods when he sees Theo and Liam, “Good, you’re here. Now we can get started.”

“So do we know anything about what this is?” Stiles asks.

“It’s a curse,” Deaton tells them, his face grim, “And a powerful one.”

“What is it going to do?” Derek asks

“It’s going to destroy the whole town, plunging it into darkness, and taking everyone here with it.”

Theo feels Liam’s hand clench tightly around his own, his shaky voice asking the question everyone is afraid to, “What’s in the darkness?”

Deaton’s eyes for once look worried as he speaks, “Nothing, Mr. Dunbar. Nothing but cold and emptiness and unimaginable pain.”

Theo would roll his eyes at the dramatics of it all if the threat didn’t seem so real, “Right, so how do we stop it?”

“It requires the ultimate sacrifice,” Deaton says, eyes focused on Theo and Liam, “It requires death.”

“Death?” Liam asks.

“Yes Mr. Dunbar, it requires the sacrifice of two lovers trading their own lives in order to save humanity,” Deaton tells them.

“That’s oddly specific,” Stiles mutters earning an elbow to the ribs from Scott. He just shrugs, “What? It is.”

“That’s because the curse itself is specific.”

“There has to be another way,” Scott says, ever the voice of reason.

Usually Deaton would agree and set them up with some books to figure it out, but he doesn’t look all that convinced. That has Theo moving closer to Liam, needing to feel his presence next to him.

“I’m afraid there might not be one Scott,” Deaton tells him, “but you are, of course, welcome to try and find one. You should just be aware that time isn’t on your side here.”

Scott nods, “We’ll figure it out. We always do.”

“I hope so buddy because I am not about to be plunged into cold and empty darkness,” Stiles says.

“We will,” Scott tells him, giving them all what would usually be a reassuring smile.

Most of the others relax, having faith in their alpha to save them once again. Liam doesn’t. His shoulders stay rigid next to Theo’s, and Theo gets it. They’d both been outside when the darkness came crashing in. None of the others had. Theo knows that whatever they’re feeling now is only going to get worse if they don’t stop it.

Theo walks in a haze out of the building, he and Liam stopping just outside his truck. The others wave and drive off but Theo barely notices. All he can focus on is the man in front of him.

“You know what we have to do,” Liam says, a look of grim determination on his face.

Theo gets it. He does. He’s known what was coming ever since Deaton mentioned needing a sacrifice. That doesn’t mean he likes it. That he thinks it’s even a little bit fair that in order to save this town that he has to give up the only thing that has made his life worth living.

“Liam…” Theo chokes out, his hands moving to Liam’s hips and gripping tightly.

Liam shakes his head, his own voice coming out hoarse, “I know okay? I don’t like it either. But we don’t have a choice.”

Theo wants to throw back that there’s always a choice. Isn’t that the fucking motto of this pack? But he knows in this case there really isn’t one. Liam wraps his arms around Theo’s neck, tucking his face against the skin there. He only allows himself a moment before going to move away.

Theo stops Liam before he can get far, pulling him in for a lingering kiss, “I love you. No matter what happens.”

Liam nods and kisses him again, and Theo can taste the salt of tears in the kiss. He’s not sure who’s they are, or if it even really matters.

“I love you too,” Liam murmurs, smiling softly at him as he strokes his cheek. Then he’s pulling back and squaring his shoulders, “Now let’s go. We have a town to save.”

“Don’t we always,” Theo sighs, letting Liam take his hand and lead him towards the door. Towards their fate. He doesn’t point out that after tonight it will be somebody else’s problem. Liam doesn’t need to hear that.

Deaton doesn’t look all that surprised to see them when they walk back into the building. Theo supposes he knew someone would come back.

“Mr. Dunbar, Mr. Raeken, what can I do for you?”

“We need to know,” Liam says, “More about the sacrifice and what has to be done for it.”

“Does Scott know you’re here?” Deaton asks.

Theo shakes his head, “No, he’s determined to find a different way. I think we all know that’s not going to happen.”

“You’re right,” Deaton says, “I do admire Scott’s optimism and need to save everyone, but with this potent of a curse I’m afraid it won’t be enough. And there is no loophole.”

“So the only way to break it is for two lovers to sacrifice themselves?” Liam asks.

“It is.”

Liam nods and takes a deep breath, “Then what do we have to do?”

“You two?” Deaton asks, eyeing them curiously.

“Yes us,” Theo grits out, “or are you about to tell us we’re not enough?”

“Oh no Mr. Raeken, your bond is one of the strongest I’ve ever seen. It should be more than enough,” Deaton tells them.

“Then what’s the problem?”

“I just want to be sure you understand the seriousness of what you’re doing.”

Theo lets out a bitter laugh, “Believe me, I do. And if you think for one second I’m okay with letting Liam die, you’re mistaken. Me? Fine. The damn curse can have me. But Liam doesn’t deserve this. Though I suppose that’s why it’s such a sacrifice.”

“Theo…” Liam whispers, his grip on Theo’s hand tightening.

Theo shakes his head, “No. Don’t Liam. Don’t tell me to calm down or that’s it’s alright. We both know it’s not. And that this isn’t fair. And we sure as hell understand how serious this is.”

Deaton’s eyes are sad as he looks over at them, “As long as you understand.”

“We do,” Liam says, “Now what do we have to do?”

“It’ll have to be done at the Nemeton,” Deaton tells them.

“Of course it will,” Theo mutters.

“How doesn’t really matter,” Deaton tells them, “Though I suppose you’ll want it to be as painless as possible?”

They nod and Deaton starts moving around the room, muttering quietly to himself. He turns around with a vial in his hand, which he hands over to Theo.

Theo holds it up and examines it before turning back to Deaton, “Poison?”

“A strong one,” Deaton tells them, “but a painless one. You’ll just feel like you’re drifting off to sleep. Only you won’t wake up.”

“So we can go together?” Liam whispers.

Deaton nods, “You can. Just go to the Nemeton before the sun rises and take this. The rest should take care of itself. The curse will be broken.”

Theo takes a deep breath, “Okay. Then I guess that’s that.”

“Thanks Deaton,” Liam says, “it’s… just thank you.”

“I should be thanking you both,” Deaton says.

Liam and Theo turn to leave only to have Deaton calling them back, “Boys!”

Theo’s not sure what he’s expecting but it’s certainly not for Deaton to pull them both in for a hug. His words are choked up as his composure slips, “What you are doing is brave and selfless. I’m so proud of you both.”

“Thank you,” Liam whispers, “Can you… can you tell my Mom? And Scott?”

“I will,” Deaton tells him.

Liam nods and pulls back, “Do you have any paper?”

Deaton gestures over at the desk. Liam goes over and grabs some paper and a pen. Deaton turns to Theo, “Do you have anyone you’d like me to talk to?”

Theo shakes his head. He knows Liam is probably covering whatever he needs to say to Jenna. Besides her and David the only person that really cares about Theo is in this room. Except…

“Maybe let Derek know,” Theo says, “Just tell him I said thanks for everything and that he’s been a better friend than I ever could have asked for.”

Deaton nods, clapping him on the shoulder, “I will.”

Liam walks over and hands two sealed envelopes to Deaton. His hands are shaking as his does it. “Just makes sure they get these.”

“I will,” Deaton assures him, “Now go spend some time with your family.”

Liam nods and takes Theo’s hand. Together they walk back outside into the ever growing darkness. There’s a chill in the air that Theo knows has nothing to do with the weather.

“So where to?” Theo asks, glancing over at Liam. It’s such a simple question but it holds so much weight.

“I need to see my Mom,” Liam says, “God I can’t tell her though. Is that bad? I just can’t bear to see her face or…”

“It’s okay Liam, I get it,” Theo says, wrapping his arm around Liam and pulling him close. “We’re going to have to act like nothing's wrong though.”

“Except for the threat of the world ending,” Liam mutters, then he pulls back to look at Theo, “That’s it! We should get everyone together with the excuse that we might not have another chance.”

“It’s better than having to make the rounds to everyone and draw attention to it, I suppose,” Theo says.

Liam pulls out his phone and starts typing something. A moment later a series of texts come through. Liam looks up at him, his blue eyes sad. “It worked. They’re going to meet at my house.”

“I suppose we should go then,” Theo says.

“Yeah,” Liam says, but he makes no move to break away, “We should.”

I'll sing it one last time for you
Then we really have to go
You've been the only thing that's right
In all I've done.

Scott, Stiles, Malia, Derek, Mason, Corey, and Lydia are already at the house by the time they get there. Theo looks over at Liam to see him watching the house. He turns to Theo when Theo puts a hand on his knee.

“You ready?” Theo asks.

“Not yet,” Liam says, and then he’s leaning over and kissing Theo with a desperation he’s not used to. Theo can only hold on and kiss him back, trying not to think about just what this kiss means. That they both know this might be their last chance.

“I love you,” Liam tells him, placing another lingering kiss to his lips.

“I love you too,” Theo says, running a hand through his hair.

Liam nods, “Good. Now I’m ready.”

“Liam, Theo!” Jenna greets them as soon as they enter the house, “We’ve been wondering where you were.”

“Yeah sorry,” Liam tells her, “We got a little distracted.”

“By sucking each other’s faces probably,” Stiles says.

Theo shrugs, “Maybe. Don’t act like you and Derek didn’t have a quickie before you got here. You practically reek of sex.”

“I imagine that would be a normal thing for Stiles when he’s around Derek,” Lydia says.

“Hey!” Stiles says, pouting at Lydia.

“She’s not wrong,” Malia tells him.

Theo and Liam share a look and Liam shrugs. He moves further into the room, taking a seat next to Mason on the couch while Theo moves over to where Derek is standing against the wall. He hates being away from Liam, even for a little bit. But if they’re going to do this then he needs to at least talk to Derek.

“You seem like you have something on your mind,” Derek says, frowning down at him. When Theo just shrugs Derek knocks their shoulders together, “Want to talk about it?”

“No,” Theo says, “There’s not really anything to talk about.”

“I find that hard to believe,” Derek says, “With everything that’s happening you’d think there’d be something to say.”

Theo takes a deep breath, unable to meet Derek’s eyes when he speaks, “You’re my best friend, you know that? You trusted me when you didn’t have to. I’ve never really told you how much that means to me, or said thank you.”

“You don’t have to thank me,” Derek says confusion clear in his voice, “It was obvious you were at least trying to be good. You deserved a chance.”

“Yes well, thank you for giving me one. And for being the best friend a guy could ask for.”

“Theo, what’s going on?” Derek asks, “And don’t say it’s nothing because it’s clearly something.”

“It’s not…” Theo sighs, knowing he’s going to have to think fast if he doesn’t want to blow it, “This darkness. It’s not good. And I just don’t want something happen and you not know how much you mean to me.”

“You mean a lot to me too,” Derek tells him. He puts a hand on Theo’s shoulder and squeezes, causing Theo to look up at him, “But nothing it going to happen. We’re going to figure this out. Alright?”

Theo nods and gives Derek a small smile. He reaches up and squeezes his hand before moving away. He’s barely made it two steps before he hears Derek speaking just low enough for him to hear, “Please don’t do anything stupid.”

Theo turns to smirk at him, “Who? Me?”

He makes himself walk away. He finds Jenna in the kitchen putting a tray of cookies in the oven. She smiles over at him as he enters, “Hello Theo dear.”

“Jenna. Do you need any help?” Theo asks, moving further into the kitchen.

She wipes her hands on her apron and looks around, “You know I think I’d got everything covered. Except one thing.”

“What’s that?”

She holds out a plate of cookies and smiles, “I need help eating these.”

“Well you have a bunch of hungry teenagers in the living room who I’m sure would be more than happy to help you,” Theo tells her.

“True,” She says, “But they’re not in here. And you are. So you get first pick.”

Theo smiles and takes a cookie, moaning as he takes a bite of the warm peanut butter cookie. “God I’m going to miss these.”

“What do you mean?” Jenna says, “Are you going somewhere?”

Theo swallows his bite and looks over at her, “No. I mean, not right now. But eventually I will have to leave and when I do I’m going to miss the cookies.”

Jenna nods her head, giving him a small smile as she pats his cheek, “I’ll just have to send you some.”

“That’d be nice,” Theo whispers.

“Hey Mom,” Liam says, walking into the kitchen. He looks at Theo’s face and frowns. Theo knows he must not be doing a very good job of keeping his act together. It’s just so hard. He doesn’t know how he thought he could come here and be surrounded by these people knowing what they’re about to do. It must be even worse for Liam. Jesus he’s going to be leaving behind his parents and his best friend.

Theo tries to get his breathing under control but it doesn’t work. He feels the world narrowing around him as his vision blurs. He needs to get out of here.

“Theo?” Liam’s hands are on his face, his expression worried. “Theo?”

“I’m… I just need some air,” Theo chokes out.

Liam nods and releases him, “Do you want me to come with you?”

Theo shakes his head, “No, you just go be with everyone.” The while you can hangs heavy between them.

Theo makes his way outside and sits on the back porch, putting his head between his knees as he tries to get his breathing under control. He hears the back door open and then footsteps but he can’t focus enough to figure out who.

He’s aware of a body sitting next to his but he can’t be bothered to look over to see who it is. But the silence is enough to tell him. It’s enough to calm him down.

“Derek,” Theo mumbles.

There’s a sigh and then a hand is on his back, rubbing soothing circles, “You’re going to do it, aren’t you?”

He doesn’t say what, but they both know, “Yeah.”

“I don’t suppose there’s a way to talk you out of it?”

Theo looks over at him before shaking his head, “No.”

Derek nods, clearing his throat and looking away, “That’s why you said all that stuff, isn’t it?”

“It is,” Theo says, “but I meant all of it.”

“I know you did,” Derek says, looking back over at him with a sad smile, “And for what it’s worth, you’re my best friend too. Probably the best friend I’ve ever had.”

Theo can’t stop himself from sitting up and hugging Derek, “I’m going to miss you.”

Derek takes a shuddering breath, his arms wrapping tightly around Theo, “I’ll miss you too.”

They sit outside in silence for a while after that. Eventually Stiles peeks his head out, raising an eyebrow at them, “Is this a party of the silent grumpy brothers?”

Derek rolls his eyes and gets to his feet, “We were just talking.”

“Didn’t sound like it,” Stiles says, “unless you can just read each other’s brooding.”

“I’ll be in in a minute Stiles.”

The door closes again and Theo just sits there, staring out into the darkness. He can tell it’s getting worse. The moon and stars are nowhere to be found. Just blackness.

“Theo,” Derek says, his voice quiet.

“Is this the part where you tell me you love me?” Theo asks, getting to his feet and walking over to Derek.

Derek’s lips twitch up slightly, but it’s more sad than anything, “I do though. I know I’m not the best with words but I do love you.”

“I love you too man,” Theo smiles, moving his hand up to wipe the tears from his eyes, “Just look after yourself alright? And the others?”

Derek nods, pulling Theo in for another hug, “I will,” then he’s pulling away and walking inside.

Theo watches him go. He takes a few deep breaths to compose himself before following him back into the house. Everyone is gathered in the Liam’s bedroom, a movie playing on the TV. Theo joins Liam on the bed, curling up into his side. Liam wraps an arm around him and kisses his forehead.

Theo doesn’t even know what movie is playing, not that it matters. He can’t pay attention to it. All he wants to do is enjoy being surrounded by Liam’s warmth, his scent, the sound of his breathing and his heart beating steadily in his chest, and the comforting presence of his pack and family around him. He’s grateful that at least tonight they’re all together. Even if it’s only for another few hours.

He doesn’t sleep. He can’t. Not knowing what’s about to happen. So he stay awake, his eyes drifting to each member of the pack in turn, before settling on Liam. Liam is looking right back at him, his blue eyes bright in the darkness of the room. They trade soft kisses while the others sleep, holding each other through the night. When it’s time, they slip quietly out of the house, driving together towards their fate.

To think I might not see those eyes
It makes it so hard not to cry
And as we say our long goodbyes
I nearly do.

The walk to the Nemeton is a quiet one, neither Theo nor Liam sure what to say. Theo’s not sure there are even words to describe what he’s feeling right now, or what Liam means to him. When they get to it, they just stand there, staring down at the old stump. The poison is a heavy weight in the pocket of his coat, a silent reminder of what they’re about to do.

Theo looks over at Liam to find his eyes already on him. He moves closer, wrapping his arms around Theo’s waist. Theo tucks Liam’s head under his chin and holds him. He knows they’re going to need to do this before the sun rises but he can’t bring himself to move just yet. He’s not ready to let go of Liam.

Eventually Liam takes a deep breath and pulls away. He moves towards the Nemeton. Theo watches as he hesitates before laying down on his back. He looks towards Theo and holds out his hand, “Come here.”

Theo can feel the tears streaming down his cheek as he moves to lay down next to Liam. His hand closes around the vial as he pulls it out of his pocket.

“Are you ready?” Theo asks.

“No,” Liam says, “Are you?”

“I’ll never be ready to say goodbye to you Liam,” Theo tells him.

“Me either,” Liam sobs. He moves until his arms are wrapped around Theo’s waist, “I hate this, but we need to do it.”

Theo nods and holds up the vial. Liam takes it from him, taking a big gulp before Theo can even say anything. Theo doesn’t hesitate before doing the same.

Liam turns his head up to look at him, bringing a hand up to Theo’s cheek and giving him a sad smile, “I love you so much Theo Raeken. And I will see you again.”

Theo leans down and kisses him, knowing that it will be the last time his lips will ever touch Liam’s. He sobs when he finds the taste of the poison there, pulling back to look into Liam’s blue eyes, “I love you Liam. So much. You really are the greatest thing that ever happened to me.”

“Don’t let go,” Liam tells him, laying down with his head resting on Theo’s chest, just above his heart.

“Never,” Theo tells him, his arms wrapped tightly around Liam.

“It works fast,” Liam says, his words starting to slow. “I’m tired Theo.”

“It’s okay Li,” Theo mumbles, pressing a kiss to the top of Liam’s head, “Just close your eyes.”

“Love you,” Liam whispers.

“I love you too,” Theo says, unable to suppress a sob when Liam goes still in his arms.

When Theo closes his eyes for the last time he’s not afraid, because he knows that he’s going to see Liam again, if not in this life then the next. If Liam believes that then so does he. It’s the only thing that keeps the fear at bay as death latches her cold fingers around his heart and squeezes, snuffing him out like she has so many others.

Light up, light up
As if you have a choice
Even if you cannot hear my voice
I'll be right beside you dear
Louder, louder
And we'll run for our lives
I can hardly speak I understand
Why you can't raise your voice to say

When Scott wakes up it’s to sunlight filtering through the window. At first he doesn’t think anything of it. It’s just a normal day. Then he remembers the darkness that had taken over the town and he sits up. He runs to the window of Liam’s room and looks outside, seeing the world is in fact brighter now.

He turns around, prepared to tell Liam, Theo, and the others to get up only to find Liam’s bed empty. He and Theo are nowhere to be found.

“Scott?” Malia asks, sitting up from her spot on the floor, “What are you doing up?”

“The darkness is gone,” Scott tells her, “I was going to tell Liam and Theo but they’re not here.”

“They’re probably downstairs,” Stiles grumbles into his pillow.

“They’re not,” Derek tells them from the doorway, “Jenna hasn’t seen them this morning.”

A knock sounds at the front door, drawing their attention. “It’s Deaton,” Scott says, confused as to why his mentor would be here.

Something has him slowly walking towards the stairs, his heart thudding in his chest. Derek is right beside him, his face grim. Scott has a feeling he knows more than he’s letting on.

“Something’s wrong isn’t it?” Scott asks.

Derek nods as they walk into the living room. Jenna is there, her head in her hands as her body shakes with the force of her sobs. David is next to her, tears streaming down his own face as he holds his wife. Mason and Corey are next to them, looking shocked and upset.

“What’s going on?” Scott asks, though part of him knows the answer. He just doesn’t want to believe it.

“Scott,” Deaton says, walking over to the group gathered by the stairs. His face is grim as he holds out an envelope, “I’m so sorry Scott. Liam asked me to give this to you.”

Scott looks down at the envelope to see his name written in Liam’s messy scrawl. He doesn’t open it. He can’t. “What happened?”

“Liam and Theo came to me yesterday after the rest of you left the clinic,” Deaton tells him, “they asked me about the sacrifice.”

“And what did you tell them?” Scott asks, his voice rising when Deaton doesn’t answer him, “Deaton! What did you tell them?”

“I told them what they already knew,” Deaton says, “That there was no other way to break the curse.”

Scott has never wanted to hit the man more than he does now. But he knows it’s not really him that he’s mad at. “What else?”

“They asked me how to do it,” Deaton says, “I tried to warn them how serious this was but they already knew. So I told them where to go and gave them a potent poison. It was completely painless.”

“Poison,” Jenna sobs, clutching at David tighter. “Oh my boys.”

“Where are they?” David asks, his voice choked up as he speaks, “They’re not still out there…”

Deaton shakes his head, “They’re at the hospital. In the morgue. Melissa is with them.”

“I want to see them,” Jenna says.

“Jenna that might not be a good idea,” David says.

“My son is dead,” Jenna says, “And Theo, who was like a son to me. I deserve to see them.”

“Okay,” David says, “We’ll go.” He leads his wife towards the door, stopping to look back at Scott and the others, “You all can let yourselves out.”

Scott watches them go with a heavy heart. He can’t help but feel responsible for what happened. If he’d just tried harder to find a different way. Scott slides down the wall, burying his hands in his hair, unable to stop the tears from falling. They were here last night. He should have known, should have sensed something was off, but he hadn’t. He’d missed this.

“They saved us,” Lydia says, but she doesn’t sound happy about it.

Scott can only nod, his eyes moving to look out the window where the sun is shining bright. It’s because of them. They sacrificed themselves to make sure that everyone else would live to see another day. Scott vows to make sure everyone knows just how much they owe those two. The darkness might be gone from the town, but without Liam and Theo theirs lives are a little less bright.

Chapter Text

When Theo opens his eyes he’s not sure what he’s expecting. Flames? Darkness? A small hand plunging into his chest and ripping his heart out? What he sees isn’t anything he expected.

He finds himself in a spacious room, on the most comfortable bed he’s ever been on. There’s a weight on his chest, and he looks down to see the familiar dirty blonde mess of hair he’s come to love. Theo can’t resist bringing his hand up and curling his fingers into the locks.

The body on his chest stirs and then Liam’s blue eyes are blinking up at him. He smiles, leaning into the touch, “Theo.”

“Is this a dream?” Theo asks, unable to believe that this is where he’d end up after dying. Because he is dead. He knows it.

Liam frowns at him at first, “What are you…?” Then realization takes over and he’s pulling back and looking around the room. “Where are we?”

“I’m not sure,” Theo says, sitting up next to him. “I wasn’t sure if this was even real. I’m still not.”

Liam looks at him, concern etched on his face. He brings his hand up to Theo’s cheek, his voice firm as he speaks. “This is real. I’m real.”

“He’s not wrong,” a voice says from the doorway.

Theo growls and jumps up. He tries to show his claws but they won’t come out. “What the hell is this?”

The man grins over at him, “Heaven.”

Theo snorts, “Heaven? Yeah right.”

“I don’t think he’s lying,” Liam says, his voice filled with awe. “Are you God?”

The man smiles over at Liam, "I am God, but you can call me Chuck."

“Chuck?” Theo asks, “Seriously?”

Chucks shrugs, “It’s a lot less formal than God.”

“This can’t be real,” Theo says, “this is… I’m in hell and this is some hallucination.”

“What makes you say that Theo?” Chuck asks.

“Because if this is heaven I wouldn’t be here!”

Liam frowns, taking Theo’s hand in his own, “Theo…”

Theo shakes his head, “Don’t Liam. I can’t. This isn’t real. You’re not really here.”

Liam moves in front of him, taking Theo’s face in his hands. His eyes are bright and dangerous as he looks at Theo. “I am here. And so are you. And don’t for one second think that you don’t deserve to be here with me because you do.”

Theo wants to believe him. He’d told himself while he was dying that he’d see Liam again. He’d tried to believe it. The fact that after everything that he could be standing here with Liam in Heaven seems a little surreal.

“Okay,” Theo says, looking from Liam over to Chuck, “Say we are in Heaven. Do you always greet everyone that comes up here?”

“Oh no that would be impossible,” Chuck tells him. “In fact I rarely see anyone at all. I’ve been on a bit of a vacation you could say.”

“A vacation?”

“Oh yes,” Chuck says, looking almost wistful, “I spent a lot of time on Earth interacting with the humans and other creatures there. I learned a lot. More specifically that good and evil aren’t completely separate. There is a gray area. And that just because someone does bad things that doesn’t mean they can’t be good. That they don’t deserve a place up here.”

“So you’ve been on vacation,” Theo says, staring over at him. “On Earth. And you what? Just decided to let everything all go to hell?”

“It’s not my place to step in,” Chuck says, “Though I have when it’s really mattered.”

“Would you have let the darkness destroy the town and kill all those people?” Theo asks, pulling away from Liam so that he can face Chuck.

He’s battling with his thoughts right now. He’s always said he was an Atheist, but that was easier than accepting that there was a God out there that was willing to let so many horrible things happen, to him and everyone else. So to be standing here in Heaven and actually talking to God is a little too much. “Would you have let them all die if Liam and I hadn’t stepped in?” Theo feels a wave of nausea hit him. He’d think more about that happening despite the whole being dead thin, but he’s too busy panicking. “Wait, we did do it right? We stopped it?”

“Your friends and family are safe,” Chuck tells them, “and to answer your question I’m not sure what I would have done. I do know that I don’t like seeing entire cities destroyed like that. So maybe I would have. But I had to trust that you all would handle it. And you did!”

“At what cost?” Theo growls, “We’re dead and Liam’s family are mourning him.”

“You don’t think they’re mourning you too?” Chuck asks. “You don’t think you’ve touched any of their lives enough for them to be sad you’re gone? Well you’re wrong.”

Chuck snaps his fingers and then the world around Theo disappears. Suddenly he’s in the morgue. Derek is there, his shoulders shaking with sobs as he leans over Theo’s body. Next to him stands Corey. His shoulders are hunched and his eyes wet as he looks down at Theo.

“I should have told him,” Corey says, causing Derek to look over at him. “He was my friend but I don’t think he ever knew how much he meant to me.”

“I’m sure he knew,” Derek says, his voice raspy from all the crying.

Theo looks over to see Liam standing by where his parents, Mason, and Scott are standing around his body. Theo walks over, taking Liam’s hand in his own as he offers up silent support.

“They were so young,” Jenna says, “they still had so much left to give the world.”

“I know sweetheart,” David says, his words catching in his throat. The normally composed man looks like a mess. Theo can’t remember the last time he saw him out in something other than a button down. Yet here he is in a T-shirt and a pair of jeans.

“What is the point in this?” Theo asks, turning to Chuck.

As soon as he does the world around them vanishes again and they’re once again in the bedroom from before. Next to him Liam sobs, tucking his face into Theo’s neck. Theo puts an arm around his shoulders but keeps his eyes on Chuck.

“I wanted to show you that there are people that care about you,” Chuck says, “and give you proof that your sacrifice was warranted. So all is well.”

“All isn’t well if we’re dead,” Theo snaps.

Chuck tilts his head as he looks at Theo, “What if you didn’t have to be?”

“What?”

“You don’t have to be here,” Chuck tells him.

“What are you taking about?” Liam mutters.

“You can go home.”

“Don’t mess with us,” Theo grits out, angered at the possibility of Chuck giving them hope and taking it away. He can take it but Liam can’t.

“Oh I’m completely serious,” Chucks says. “Your sacrifice saved thousands of lives. Because of that I think you deserve a second chance.”

“Really?” Liam whispers.

“Really,” Chuck grins, “This place will be waiting for you, both of you. Hopefully many years from now.”

“Thank you,” Liam says.

Chuck smiles, “You can thank me by living out the rest of your lives safe and happy. Maybe put a ring on it, as they say.”

Theo watches the way Liam’s face heats up at that. “Hopefully someday.”

Theo makes himself look away from Liam. That someday is something for them to discuss somewhere else. For now, Theo had other things on his mind. “Send us home.”

“You got it,” Chuck says, “Good luck boys.”

The room shifts around Theo again and this time he has to close his eyes. When he opens them he’s staring up into a familiar pair of green eyes.

“Liam,” Theo whispers, needing to be sure he’s back here with him.

“I’m here,” Liam says, “I’m here. We’re back.”

There’s a series of shouts from the others in the room, and Theo can’t blame them. They had been staring down at two supposedly dead bodies and suddenly they’re awake and talking,

“We’re not zombies,” Theo groans, “Don’t shoot us.”

Derek let’s out a wet laugh and helps Theo sit up. Then he’s pulling Theo into a tight hug, “We thought we’d lost you.”

“You can’t get rid of me that easily,” Theo jokes. He looks over at where Liam is standing with his parents, Scott, and Mason. When his eyes land on Theo he’s stumbling across the room and pulling Theo into his arms. Theo goes willingly, letting Liam’s scent and touch wash over him. He never thought he’d have this again. Yet here he is.

“Thank god you’re alright,” Jenna says, walking over and wrapping both of them up into her arms.

Theo and Liam share a look before they start cracking up. Theo tucks his face against Liam’s chest and smiles, “You have no idea how true that is.”