Had Liam known how exhausting the whole thing would be, he would have continued to let Theo sleep in his truck.
He watches Theo, who walks a little too fast to conceal his excitement, and smiles.
He could never have done that.
Liam’s breath goes just the tiniest bit faster, the only sign that he ran a full 10 miles in sprint tempo, as he finally slows down next to the supermarket two blocks away from his house.
The young beta closes his eyes, trying to get rid of the last pieces of anger clouding his mind. They are the reason he went for a midnight run in the first place.
When he opens his eyes again his gaze glides over the empty parking lot, only to stop at a familiar vehicle that is parked in the last corner.
“Theo?” Confusion overlays the anger in his brain as he starts walking towards the blue truck, Liam listens closely and really, there is a single heartbeat, coming from inside the car.
Theo is curled up on the backseat, laying under a thin looking blanket, head resting on a rolled up shirt and his face looks peaceful for the first time Liam has known the Chimera.
It almost hurts to disturb this image, but he needs to know.
And so Liam knocks.
It took a lot of screaming matches, a few bloody noses and an original made-by-Jenna parent talk for Theo to be convinced that he didn’t owe the Geyer's his life just because he could stay in their guest bedroom.
“The only guest we ever get is David’s mother – and I would rather she doesn’t stay too long anyways. Actually you are helping us, Theo.” Had been Jenna’s final argument, cracking Liam up and even bringing a careful smile on Theo’s face.
Sadly the guest bedroom wasn’t fit for housing anyone for more than one or two nights at all – the old couch in there that you could transform into a bed would stay, but not even Theo’s supernatural healing could help with the back pains he got after the third night. The closet and nightstand were fine and the sideboards full of books could stay too, so Liam’s list (“You take that list with you, Liam! I don’t want to make a second trip!”) contained next to a new bed, a desk plus chair, curtains – and whatever Theo wants to make that room his home.
Yep. There goes his college fund.
(Liam knows that this is neither fair nor true, because David as a doctor and Jenna with her general money saving abilities can certainly allow themselves to help Theo out, but it’s fun to pretend sulking. Yesterday he got an extra piece of cherry pie out of it.)
“Come on, slow poke! We don’t have all day!” Theo shouts and brings him back to reality.
“That’s not even true!” Liam yells back, but he walks a little faster so that they can get into the IKEA towering in front of them. People on the parking lot smile at the boys’ exchange.
Two hours later Liam feels like yelling again. Because Theo. Is. Whining.
Choosing a desk, a chair and simple grey curtains had been easy and Liam should have known that this luck wouldn’t continue.
Who knew that a boy who slept in sewers and back seats for most of his life could be so picky when buying a mattress?
A thought crosses Liam's mind. Maybe it was just because that facts?
He takes a deep breath. “Maybe we should eat something before we look for the bed?”
Theo stops mid sentence, genuinely surprised at Liam’s calmness. Then he nods.
“You are right, little wolf, so hot dogs?”
Liam grins, an answer already on his lips, as another voice from behind them interrupts him.
“You boys are so sweet together, I know me and my Clark we would have already been in the middle of the biggest argument...”
An old lady, small nearly fragile, smiles up at them, eyes slightly teary.
“But we-“ Liam starts, only to be interrupted by Theo again.
“Well, ma'am, you know how difficult it can be – I like soft mattresses, Li here prefers it hard... but we will come to an agreement eventually. We always do.” He shoots a weirdly dreamy look at Liam before smiling at the woman again.
She sighs and murmurs something about young love before slowly walking away.
“What the fuck Theo?”
“Oh come one, she is so old and you really wanted to destroy her view of two young lovers buying their first shared bed?” Theo let’s his arm slide from Liam’s shoulder (huh? When did that happen?) and he feels almost cold after the other boy steps back again.
It isn’t until they sit across from each other in the restaurant, each a plate with three hotdogs in front of them, that Liam is finally able to identify the feeling inside his chest. It’s longing. He hasn’t felt it since Hayden left and it’s a surprise to feel it now with Theo. But then again, not really.
Ever since the Chimera came back from hell, disoriented, with nothing left but his raw sense of survival, Liam had felt a pull towards the other boy, a certain need to protect and care.
It is sudden to see that feeling grow into something more, but not entirely unexpected.
Liam smiles to himself, sadness tinting his thoughts, if only it would be as easy as the old lady saw it.
“Are you eating that?” Theo eyes Liam's last half hot dog, his own plate already empty.
This is another habit the dark haired boy hasn’t gotten to loose yet, he always eats as if it’s his last meal for a long while.
Liam shakes his head: “Go ahead”, then he watches with a smile on his face how Theo wolf’s the sausage down.
“I wish you would let me eat your last hot dog, baby”, a masculine voice behind them says, and as the young couple walks by, hand in hand, the girl answers: “Forget it, those were mine!”
Theo chuckles, his eyes glowing with happiness. It is strange, really, two weeks before, he didn’t know where he would sleep the next day and now his belly is full with delicious food and he’s got Liam with him, buying an honest to god bed for his own room.
Liam... the beta had been furious when he found Theo sleeping in his truck and when he finally ‘convinced' Theo to come home with him, the whole drive had been composed of angry murmuring about responsibilities and stupid stubborn Chimeras that are too proud to ask for help.
After their lunch break Liam is determined to get this done. He grabs Theo’s hand and pulls the dark haired boy with him. “Come on T, let’s get that stupid bed, I am tired!”
Theo just smiles patiently, he lets Liam guide him back to the bedroom department.
None of them sees the knowing looks other customers send their way.
“Ufff!” Liam makes as his back hits the mattress. “I like this one – it’s squishy.”
“That’s because it’s a water bed, Li.”
The beta perks up. “...Can we-“
“Nope, I don’t want to feel like drowning every night.”
Liam’s pouting is short-lived, his eyes are already glowing with excitement when they reach the next bed “Theo, look! That headboard would be perfect for fairy lights!”
The Chimera shakes his head, the smile never leaving his lips anymore.
Like a damn puppy...
“Sir, you and your boyfriend have to tone it down a little. It is fine to try out the products, but please do not jump on the bed like that.” A guy in a suit appeared behind Theo, stern face and even sterner voice.
“You know what? Actually we are buying this bed. Then he can jump on it all he wants, right?”
Theo’s smile is so fake, even Scott wouldn’t have trusted him if this was three years prior, but the salesman is buying it, happily weasling away to get the delivery papers.
“Li! Come on, we are done here!” Theo calls out to the beta who is still rolling around on the bed, imagining it in Theo’s room.
“So... what do we need now? Bed? Check. Desk? Check. Curtains and chair? Check... Oh! I know it! We need the fairy lights!”
What follows is a full two hours of Liam mutating into an interior designer and Theo having the best time of his life watching the beta picking out fun decorations and plants and, of course, two strings of fairy lights.
Liam was right. The little string lights fit perfectly. But so does everything else.
With a little help from David, who took the morning shift for a change, and Jenna they managed to assemble all the furniture relatively quick (if you ignored the one occasion when their desk looked like an alien for a few minutes until they figured out the right place to put the legs.) and Jenna watched her son proudly arrange the plants and little nick-nacks around the room.
By now it’s quite dark outside and both boys are laying on the freshly done bed, watching the ceiling tinted in warm yellow lights. Low music is coming from Liam’s old speakers standing on the shelves.
“Liam-“ Theo starts speaking, only to stop immediately.
“Hm?” The beta perches himself up on his elbows, his a little too long blonde hair falling in his face as he watches Theo, “What is it?”
“Oh, nothing. It’s just... this pillowcase is really neat.”
Liam laughs and his blue eyes nearly glow. “Yes. The light grey really is something special...” then a determined look displaces the humour in his eyes.
“You know what else is really special?” slowly he leans down, until Theo can feel his hot breath on his face, until his hair tips brush against his cheeks.
And then Theo is tired of waiting. Tired of dancing around when both of them know exactly what they want and so he lays his hands around Liam’s neck and pulls the beta down.
He squeals of surprise and when their lips meet, its with a crash and clack of teeth on teeth and Theo is almost certain he can taste blood for a second, but it’s perfect nonetheless.
And when they lay next to each other later, lips red from kissing, their hands intertwined, Liam giggles and because his head rests on Theo’s chest, the sound fills Theo’s whole body.
“You know what? Now we didn’t even lie to the old lady!”