Liam Dunbar was beautiful.
It didn't take a scholar or someone with 20/20 vision to understand just how gorgeous the lacrosse captain was, and in Theo's opinion, even someone who was blind could probably understand the gist of what radiance the boy gave off. His blue eyes were soft but piercing when they wanted to be, and his dark blonde hair looked good without anything in it, not to mention that fucking smile that made his heart melt. So, yeah, it was no secret to Theo's friends that he had developed a crush on the boy he was supposed to call his rival; the lacrosse team and football team were always at odds, so it was a little unfortunate that Theo was so smitten with him. That among other reasons.
"Are you gonna torture yourself by staring at him, or are you going to talk to him?"
Theo snapped his gaze away from Liam and his friends, not having realized he'd zoned off. Standing beside his place at the lunch table were his friends Tracy and Mason, who looked amused but also exasperated. "Seriously. This is getting out of hand, and frankly, a little pathetic," Tracy said.
"Oh, shut up," Theo grumbled, burying his face in his arms on the table. It was after school and the football coach had cancelled practice for whatever reason, so he was waiting for someone to come and pick him up since he didn't have a car of his own. Why they were still there was beyond him, but at least they were there to keep him company.
Liam was standing by his blue car with his friends Scott, Stiles, and Lydia, all upperclassmen. That was just how popular Liam was, (another reason he was way too far in over his head to have a crush on him) that the majority of his friends were older and wouldn't have given any other sophomore the time of day. They sure didn't with Theo, at least. Tracy had tried to tell him on several occasions that it was because they were on the lacrosse team with him and that Lydia and Malia were their girlfriends, but Theo wasn't hearing it.
Liam looked over at Theo were he was at his picnic table for a second, and Theo couldn't bring himself to take his eyes away. "Theo," Tracy warned, a smirk on her face. The lacrosse captain gave him a small smile and a wave, and Theo bit his lip. "You need to talk to him."
"No, Tracy," Theo sighed. "Not today. I'm not looking my best."
"God, you are pathetic," she scoffed. "You look fine. I'm gay, but it's literally impossible for you to look bad."
When Theo looked back at Liam after brushing her off, Liam was getting into his car. It was warm enough now that he could put the top down and let the wind in through his roof, and Theo as Theo waited for his ride, he thought to himself. He imagined getting a ride from Liam. The two had talked before, but not really enough to constitute this huge-ass crush on him, and it was really outlandish to think about, but he wondered what sitting in the passenger seat of his car was like. To see him smile up close.
While Liam situated himself in his car and put the key in the ignition, another car pulled up in front of it and beeped the horn. "That's my dad," Theo said, back to reality. He got up and swung his backpack over his shoulder, but his friends followed.
"Can I get a ride back to your place? My mom's trying to get me to weed the garden with her," Tracy asked, and Theo nodded. "What's your excuse, Mase?"
"Need a quiet place to study?" Mason said halfheartedly. Theo agreed anyway and started walking towards the front parking lot, squaring his shoulders so he wouldn't look stupid as he passed by Liam's car.
He was walking a few feet away and Liam's friends had dispersed, so he was expecting Liam to just drive away. Instead, he got a call of, "Hey, Theo."
Theo looked over in surprise, and sure enough, Liam was looking at him with another tiny grin on his lips. Mason elbowed Tracy in the arm to get her to stop giggling, and Theo struggled for a response. "Practice got cancelled? Too bad, you guys need it this season if you're going to keep up your rep..." Liam tsked, and if it were anyone else, Theo would have just been annoyed. Liam, however, had the type of voice that would give away exactly when he was joking. Even if the other guys on the lacrosse team chastised the football team for their rocky start to the season, Liam wouldn't.
"Scared, Dunbar?" Theo asked, smirking. "You talk pretty big for having the eagles beat the cyclones almost every year."
"It's only been two years, Raeken, not to mention you haven't won the second one yet," Liam said, pointing a finger in his direction.
"Well, captain. Guess you'd better get on that," Theo teased, and Liam smiled. His argument was completely shattered by the sight of that wide grin, and he wondered if he'd ever recover from that. "See you later, Liam."
"See you, Theo."
When they got in the car, Theo ignored the excited bouncing of his friends in the backseat while his dad gave him a questioning look. "What're you guys on about back there?" He asked, and Theo groaned, resting his head against the car window.
"Don't-" He started, but Mason and Tracy were already off.
"That sexual tension was fucking massive! Talk about the elephant in the parking lot, god damn!" Mason rattled, waving his hands around. Tracy laughed and nodded along while Theo's dad just shook his head with amusement.
After a few good minutes of this, Tracy and Mason finally ran out of breath and instead started spam texting their groupchat so Theo's other friends would know too. "So, what I'm getting from this is that you have a crush?" Theo's dad asked, free of judgement. "Good for you."
"No, not good for me," Theo retorted. "He's the captain of the lacrosse team, my rival, he's straight, and entirely out of my league."
This made the back of the car go into a whole new argument. "He fucking likes you, dumbass!" "There's no way that guy is straight!" "Did you see the way he smiled at you? That was NOT heterosexual!"
"LALALALALALALA," Theo yelled over the noise, and Theo's dad banged on the steering wheel a few times to get all of the kids to shut up.
"Alright, alright!" Theo's dad screamed above them all, and Theo was relieved that Tracy and Mason finally got quiet. They were always talking about this Liam situation, and it was never realistic things. It was all "He likes you, talk to him," never "Yeah, just move on." "Theo, I don't know how to help you with this considering I had a wife, but I'm gonna say it: it sounds like he likes you."
"Dad!" Theo gasped, betrayed. "Come on!"
"Well, what did he say?" Mr. Raeken said defensively, wanting to hear the full story.
"Do NOT tell him-" He shot to his friends, but once again, there was no stopping them.
Tracy sat up in her seat and leaned so she could see Mr. Raeken's face as she talked. "Okay, so we were walking back to your car, and if you saw the blue one behind yours, that's Liam's. We were about to walk past, and he said 'hey, Theo,' and the look on Theo's face? Oh my god," Tracy giggled, and Theo put his head in his hands. She recounted how Liam and Theo teased each other, and exaggerated just how flirty it was. "It wasn't like normal rival teasing, Mr. Raeken, it was a whole 'I love you, date me' sort of teasing. And then Theo said something back and his smile was actually killing me. It obviously killed your son, too."
While Mason was howling with laughter, Theo sat in the front seat, his face burning red as they pulled into the driveway of the Raeken house. "And how long has he had this crush and not told me about it?" He asked Tracy. Of course, Tracy told him.
"Since the end of freshman year," She said in a singsong voice. It was now almost a year later and Theo wanted to die.
"What? Why didn't you tell me?" Mr. Raeken asked incredulously.
"How was I supposed to tell you that?"
"Theo, I don't care that he's a boy, I care that you're happy! So go and fucking get him!" Mr. Raeken said, pointing at Theo and then at nothing in particular.
"The three of you are awful," Theo said, getting out of the car and heading up to the front door, fishing the key out of his pocket. He hoped to avoid talking about this anymore once they were inside, but it was still on his phone. The other three people in Theo's groupchat, Josh, Corey, and Hayden, were all talking about it amongst themselves, but at least he could mute those messages and respond only to what he wanted to.
Hours later as he layed in bed, long after Tracy and Mason had gone back to their own houses, Theo dreamed about Liam. The dream started off back where they were that afternoon, except this time, Liam invited him for a ride, and Theo took the chance.
At the end, Theo dreamed off Liam leaning over the center console and kissing him, and he woke up with a start. The sweetness of Liam's soft lips on his own was lost to his imagination. "God dammit," He whispered as he looked at his alarm clock. 5:56. There was no reason for him to go back to sleep now, so he got up with the memory of something fake haunting him.
As much as he wanted to tell someone about it, he knew he'd never hear the end of it, so he kept it to himself.
The lacrosse field and the turf the football team ran drills on were very close together, meaning Liam got a great view of Theo's every move as he ran. He could see every footfall in the unnaturally green grass and admire the sweat on Theo's well-built arms, all from a safe and seemingly unnoticeable distance.
Liam let his tongue run over his bottom lip as Theo raised his arms over his head, placing his hands on his head and making his shirt run up so he could see a sliver of his tanned skin on his stomach. Liam swallowed thickly. Holy shit. Theo's fingers were crossed on top of his head, and he let his hands go from his hair down to his neck to relieve some of the tension he held from running drills. "Fuck," Liam whispered to himself, not noticing someone come up behind him.
"Not switching teams, are you?" Scott asked, clapping him on the shoulder, and Liam jumped in surprise. "I'm kidding on one of those meanings. You guys would look cute together."
"What-what're you talking about?" Liam asked nervously, hooking a finger into the neckline of his shirt. It was a thin shirt, but he was still getting hot.
"You know well and good what I'm talking about, Liam Dunbar. Don't think I didn't see that adorable little car banter yesterday, either. Ask him out, that boy likes you."
Liam snorted and shook his head, but didn't say anything else. The older walked away, leaving Liam to scope out Theo on his own.
He had to look away when Theo decided to ditch the grey athletics shirt he was wearing, deciding that he might faint if he looked any longer. Theo was deadly attractive, but he would never be into Liam. It didn't happen too often, but Theo was just unreachable; he was out of Liam's league.
After practice was over, there was a mad rush to get into the locker rooms. The one the lacrosse boys were supposed to be using was being cleared out for ants (Greenburg leaving his sandwich in his locker again, no doubt) so they had to share one with the football team. That meant seeing Theo in there, and Liam wasn't sure he could bear to see all that. He would skip the shower and do it at home if it meant not having to be naked in front of Theo, which was a whole other level of intense he couldn't even think about.
He waited until most of the players had left, and had kind of assumed Theo was gone as well, so he went inside and to his locker. As he undid the lock and took off his shirt, he sighed to himself in exhaustion. Practice had been harder than usual today, since Finstock wanted the cyclones to outplay the eagles and take advantage of the football team's rough start. Even if they were playing for the same school, the rivalry was real.
"Was practice impressive enough for you?" An all-too-familiar voice asked behind him, and Liam whirled around to look. Theo was doing pullups on one of the bars, and Liam thanked god that he had a shirt on this time, or he might have exploded. Liam, however, didn't, and he scrambled to get his own out of his locker and put it on.
"You were okay," Liam offered, holding his chin up high and keeping up a relaxed stance. Even if his heart was racing and his palms were sweating, he couldn't let that show. "We're still gonna beat you though, don't get that wrong," he finished, and Theo chuckled and stopped doing his pullups.
He dropped down from the bar and gave a sarcastic eyeroll, and Liam bit the inside of his mouth. "You sure about that?" He asked, stepping a little closer to Liam. If he didn't know any better, he'd say that this was some intense sexual tension, but he shook the thought off. He crossed his arms over his chest, glad now that he was wearing a shirt.
"Yeah, I am. You can act like your macho football team is better all you want, but I don't know...you need more work."
"Oh?" Theo asked. "And what would you like to see me do?"
Abort mission, abort mission, Liam thought, but his mouth had other plans. "Maybe work on your abs. Gotta keep those tight, right?" What the fuck, Liam?
Theo just chuckled again and pulled his shirt up to his pecs, and Liam's mouth went dry, eyes running over the firm muscles. "I need to work on these?" He asked, a signature Theo Raeken smirk turning into a clear smile.
"Uh-huh, I need to go," Liam blurted, pointing his thumb towards the exit, and Theo raised an eyebrow. He started to walk away.
"Liam!" Theo called, and Liam had to stop.
Theo held out his backpack. "You forgot this. See you around, Dunbar."
Liam opened his mouth but no words came out, so he gave the popular boy a nod and left without another sound.
Ever since the Monday that practice was cancelled, Tracy, Mason, Corey, Josh, and Hayden wouldn't shut up about the Liam thing. It was a new argument that "everyone says you'd be cute together!" to try and make Theo make a move. It wasn't working so far, and Theo was planning on keeping it that way.
He hadn't noticed how Liam looked at him in the locker room when he was working out, since the thought still hadn't even registered in his mind that Liam might like him back. He didn't really have time to think about it, since his friends had moved on from the obvious "He likes you back" angle and had moved onto another point.
"Everyone at school thinks you two should get together. I heard one of the girls in my class say that you would be cute together," Tracy said. She seemed to be the biggest Thiam shipper, as they were now annoyingly calling it. Josh smirked and ate a fry, listening to his friends carry on. Theo hung out around Josh more often lately since he wasn't so goddamn crazy about it.
"Literally no one said that, shut up," Theo said.
It was Wednesday now, and he was getting kind of tired of this at this point. It added insult to injury that Liam would never like him back, and even if the idea made him happy, waking up from the same variant of a Liam dream was never a good feeling. Last night's had been in the locker room, but his alarm clock woke him up before they kissed. It was honestly one of the worst things to have to look at Liam and only see the hazy dream and phantom feeling of a kiss.
"You want me to prove it to you?" Tracy asked, standing up from their table. They were eating outside, so there were lots of people to talk to. "Get up, come on!" She didn't give Theo much of an option, as he was already being dragged by his ear.
"Tracy, what the fuck?" He hissed as she marched them over to a table, the rest of Theo's friends hollering excitedly.
"Hey guys, do you think Liam Dunbar and Theo here would make a good couple?"
Theo looked up at the sky in frustration, trying not to meet the eyes of the people at the table. It was a mix of girls and guys. "Yeah, they would!" One girl said right away, smiling up at Tracy.
"I could get behind that, yeah," One of the guys agreed, and the rest of the table muttered their own positive remarks.
"Screw you, Tracy," Theo grumbled, pulling out of her grasp and rubbing his ear. "Nothing's happening, forget she ever came over here," He told the group at the table, who were all now talking about 'thiam.'
He didn't know if Theo would be coming back around to the parking lot Friday afternoon, but Liam's heart was pumping so hard he thought everyone around him might be able to hear it.
Theo Raeken had been a big subject of his dreams for a long time, but this week was different. This week, he had heard so much about him that it was hard to ignore it anymore, and he had to do something. Between his friends pushing him in his direction and Theo's friends breaking into a flurry of excitement whenever Liam so much as looked at Theo, it was as big of a sign as he could ask for. He knew that this wasn't a definite way to do anything, waiting for him in his car, but it was wear he was most comfortable. If he was lucky, Theo would pass by.
He wrung his hands in his lap, checked his phone three times, looked at himself in the rearview mirror, and took his sunglasses off and put them back on a few times all in the span of three minutes. His knee bounced on the interior of the car, and he took a sip of his orange soda to try and calm his nerves as though it was alcohol.
Are you going to do it? A text from Scott read, and Liam puffed out a short breath of air. Scott had been one of the only people he told about his plans, and he was kind of regretting telling anyone at all.
He was too busy texting Scott back to notice Theo come out of the school, but he luckily caught him before he passed by. "Theo!" He called, and Theo stilled, walking towards Liam's car.
Liam had never been this nervous before, not for anyone, but Theo made him feel some type of way. "Hey, Liam, what's up?" Theo asked hesitantly, looking around. His dad's car was rolling down the street near the parking lot, so he would have to go soon. Liam seemed to notice it too, because he swallowed down his anxiety long enough to get a few words out.
"I was, um, I was wondering if you might want to go out," Liam started, watching Theo's face change from something casual to a slight look of confusion. "With me, I mean. Like, on a date?"
It wouldn't have mattered if Liam was smooth or awkward about asking him out, because he looked absolutely breathtaking there. While Theo still couldn't believe that this was real, he nodded dumbly after a second and remembered how to breathe again. "Yeah, um. Yeah," He breathed, a smile starting to creep onto his face. Liam sighed with relief and gave him a grin, not sure what to say.
"I-I'll pick you up later? Here's my number, you can text a time" He said, reaching into the pocket of his jeans and pulling out a slip of paper. His hand was shaky as he reached out to Theo, but it wasn't like Theo's was anywhere near steady either.
Theo stood there for a second and took in the sight of Liam until his dad pulled up, and he had to go. "I'm sorry, I have to go," Theo said, nodding towards his dad's red car. Liam nodded and smiled.
"I'll see you tonight," He said excitedly, starting his car and waving to Theo as he approached his dad's car. Theo grinned and nodded, getting into the passenger seat and hitting his head against the headrest harshly, trying to catch a breath.
"...You okay?" His dad asked, seeing how pink Theo looked and how heavily he was breathing. There wasn't any football practice that day, so there was no reason for him to be so winded.
Theo nodded and dropped the small paper on the dashboard.
"What happened to 'rival, straight, and out of your league?'" Mr. Raeken asked, excited for his son. Theo shrugged, still feeling a little dizzy from all of that.
"I don't know, but I have a date tonight," He realized aloud. "I mean, holy shit!"
"Theo, language," Mr. Raeken warned only halfheartedly, since he didn't really care. "But I'm glad. He seems like he makes you really happy."
Theo smiled to himself. "He does."
Getting ready for the date was a lot harder than the usually confident Theo had expected. He debated between a blue or a red shirt, muted his groupchat since everyone was freaking out again, and put on a pair of good jeans. He didn't know where Liam wanted to take him or what he wanted to do, since he wasn't sure what a first date with Liam Dunbar would bring.
He'd added Liam to his contacts and texted him his address, hoping that his dad wasn't going to try and have a sit-down talk with Liam. This was the first boy Theo had ever brought around the house since he came out as bi, so while everything else was also uncertain, his dad's behavior was also up in the air. Jonathan Raeken was supportive, but sometimes it went too far into being awkward. When he'd come out in freshman year, even though he was only fifteen, Jonathan just supplied him with more condoms and lube. That was a big reason why Theo didn't tell him too much about his romantic life anymore.
When he finally decided on the red shirt since he wore the blue all the time, he heard the familiar hum of the engine of Liam's car from his bedroom window. "Shit," he whispered to himself. The gravity of this whole thing hadn't really set in yet, but as he watched Liam get out of the car, he was hit with another dose of reality. He was going out on a date with his crush, the one who h would have never expected to actually want to date him. And he'd been nervous to ask him, too, like Theo was the intimidating one! It all felt like a big joke the universe was playing, but he pushed the thoughts out of his mind as he rushed downstairs before his dad could answer the door.
Mr. Raeken was indeed on his way to open the door for Liam, but Theo didn't let him and hopped in his place. "Dad, don't," He warned, and Jonathan raised his hands in defense.
"I was only going to get the door," He said, and Theo raised one eyebrow.
"Why don't I believe that?" He asked, putting a hand on the doorknob and pulling it open, stepping outside before Liam could even get to the door. "Bye," He said, closing it behind him. "Sorry, I wanted to get here before my dad dragged you inside," He explained awkwardly to Liam when he looked at him, but he was quickly more distracted by the way Liam was looking. He wore a black jacket over a blue shirt, making Theo glad he chose the red one, and even though there was nothing different about his eyes, they were brighter than usual.
"That's okay. You look great," Liam offered, and Theo bit his bottom lip when he saw Liam blush. "You ready to go?" He asked, extending a hand out to Theo and swinging his keys in the other. Without thinking about it too hard, Theo took it and let the slightly shorter boy lead them to his car.
Theo now understood what it was like to sit in the front of Liam's car, and it was different. It had a new uncertainty to it, but the nerves were all made better when Liam started the car. "So, where are we off to?" Theo asked curiously.
"I was thinking we could go to the drive-in. They're showing The Breakfast Club tonight, if that's something you'd be interested in," Liam said, and Theo nodded. "My brother works there, so I can get us some good snacks before they're gone."
"Sounds great," Theo assured him with a smile. He was convinced that going anywhere with Liam was perfect, especially since this was probably all just another dream. Oh, shit, was it? Theo pinched his thigh, hard, but nothing happened. He counted his fingers: he had all ten, and read a road sign. Nope, not a dream.
Theo wasn't entirely sure what to talk about with Liam, since usually it was all just teasing each other about playing scores for their different teams, but that didn't seem like it was appropriate for a date. Maybe a little bit, but not as the first conversation. Luckily, Liam knew more things to talk about. "So I don't actually think you need to work on your abs," He mentioned, referencing Wednesday when Theo had shown them to him. Theo flushed red when he remembered walking out of the locker room wondering why the hell he did that, but at least it worked. "They're pretty nice in their own right."
"Well, my abs thank you," Theo laughed, scratching his head nervously. "Your's are great too, by the way."
Liam smiled and took a turn, and Theo could see that they were fast approaching the drive-in. "You said your brother works here?" He asked, and Liam nodded.
"Yeah. He's kind of a jerk, but I love him. His name is Jase and he's a senior, you might have seen him before," He explained. "I'm trying to find a good spot to park, hold on. Usually Jase lets me stay after the movie's over as long as I'm not blocking the exit."
"You come here a lot?"
Liam nods. "Like I said, good snacks, decent movies. And sometimes it's cool to hang out away from the house in the dark."
Theo hummed in agreement, noticing how Liam put his hand on the back of his seat when he was backing up, and damn, Theo was gone on this boy. The little bit of care Liam showed was enough to set him off, and he remembered once again why he liked him. Liam was cute, and funny, but he was also caring and nice to people. Even if their relationship had only been teasing and jabs, he was willing to build something off of it if Liam was interested.
Once Liam found a good spot, he sighed and just took a good long look at Theo. He was honestly surprised that Theo had agreed to go out with him, because it really felt like a reach to ask him out. When he'd told his friends about it, the older kids all looked with varying levels of concern at him. Scott had been the most supportive, telling him to go for it, while his best friend Stiles seemed a little judgemental. "I know you like the guy, but the football team? Really?" he had said, which Liam ignored. Lydia just rolled her eyes at her boyfriend and told him to do it, but Malia was a pessimist. "This is probably a bad idea. But do it anyway, I want to see what happens."
Even with those doubts, though, Liam had gotten up the confidence to do it, and his mind was still running through every word he said, every stutter in his breath when he asked Theo out. He'd sounded so stupid, why did Theo even want to go with him? Somebody like Theo should be dating someone in a higher plane of popularity, not going to the drive in with somebody like himself. "Hey, you okay?" Theo asked, breaking Liam out of his trance.
"Yeah, sorry. Just thinking. Do you want to go get those snacks?" Liam asked, and Theo nodded, opening the door of the blue car and getting out. He let Liam lead the way, since he knew a lot more about where everything was than he did.
They got to the concession booth in the back and Liam groaned when he saw who was there. "I thought you weren't working tonight," Liam sighed, and the boy behind the counter smirked. Theo guessed that this was Jase.
"Good to see you too, little brother." Jase's gaze went from Liam to Theo, who was standing awfully close. "Aw, are you on a date? How cute! Mom would definitely want me to take pictures."
"That's really unnecessary," Liam grit through his teeth as Jase pulled out his phone. Liam went from calm to mortified really fast. "Are you kidding me-" Liam gasped as the flash went off, startling both of the boys. Liam knocked the phone out of his brother's hands and reached behind the counter, grabbing whatever snacks he could reach. He tossed a twenty at Jase, who was laughing wildly at the whole thing. "Don't keep the change."
"I'll tell Gary you said hi, he misses you," Jase called as Liam lead Theo back to the car. Theo was laughing quietly to himself, and he could vaguely see in the darkening sky that Liam's face was bright.
"I'm so sorry about him," Liam apologized once they got back to the car. "He can never give me a break."
"It's fine, really," Theo assured, putting a hand on Liam's shoulder. "I don't have any siblings, it was funny to see."
Liam sighed and rested his head back on the headrest. "I've got two. One little brother, and then Jase."
"Is Gary your little brother?" Theo asked, and Liam shook his head.
"Gary's my dad's golden retriever. I...haven't seen him in awhile. I don't see my dad that often." Liam rubbed the back of his neck anxiously. "So, only child, huh?" Liam asked, and Theo nodded. "Lucky. Siblings suck, especially the older ones."
Theo bit his tongue. "Well, I mean..." He said, fiddling with his hands in his lap. "I had a sister."
Liam's mouth went dry. Shit. "Theo, I'm so sorry-" He started to scramble, but Theo shook his head.
"It's fine, really. I shouldn't have brought up my dead sister on a first date. Kind of kills the mood, huh?" Theo chuckled awkwardly, much to Liam's relief.
"I guess both of our families are a little messed up, then," Liam said, and Theo nodded. "My parents split up right after my little brother Tyler was born, and I don't really visit him a lot. He just had to take the dog, I guess, but my mom got custody of all the kids with visitation. Which is good, I don't want to live with him anyway."
"I don't really remember when my parents divorced. All my dad explained is that she just didn't want to be with us anymore and she was gone. She's somewhere in Vermont now, or something. She didn't divorce my dad, she divorced my dad and his four year old son." Theo talked freely, feeling like he could be open with Liam. "So it's just me and him now."
The previews that were showing were starting to end. "Be screwed up together?" Liam asked, offering out a fist to bump. Theo smiled and Liam's heart jumped as their hands touched, and the movie started.
As it turns out, Theo was a big fan of John Hughes' movies. As they watched The Breakfast Club, Liam was more admiring the look of enjoyment on Theo's face instead of the screen, watching as he mouthed out some of the lines of the movie. Liam had seen it a few times, sure, but Theo seemed like he had watched it at least ten times. "You see this a lot?" He whispered, and Theo turned to him and smiled, nodding.
"One of my favorites. You know other John Hughes stuff?" He asked, and Liam thought. Nothing was coming to his mind, but he knew he had heard his mom talk about him before. "You probably have. You've watched Home Alone, right? He wrote that," Theo quietly explained, and Liam nodded.
"Yeah, me and my mom watch that every Christmas," Liam said, remembering a few months ago when they'd seen it last. It was April now, so they had a while to go until they saw it again.
"My dad and I always watch National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. He wrote that one too."
"I've never seen that one, actually," Liam said.
The movie was almost over by the time they got to talking, their voices hushed to not distract anybody, scared that they'd be heard above the loud dialogue on the screen. They talked mostly about movies, but it always went back to John Hughes. The pair didn't even notice that people were beginning to clear out of the drive-in since the movie was over, but Liam couldn't bring himself to care. Spending time with the boy he'd had a crush on for years was more important.
They let their voices get a little louder, Theo relishing in Liam's soft laughs. "So you've seen Weird Science, The Breakfast Club, Home Alone, and Flubber, but you've never seen Ferris Bueller's Day Off?" Theo asked, listing them off on his fingers. Liam enjoyed the way Theo was getting so excited about the movies he'd watched, finding they had a lot in common humor-wise.
"No, I really haven't, is that some sin?" Liam asked, falling back in his seat, body shaking with laughter at how set Theo was on this.
"Oh my God, Yes! That's one of my favorite movies, we have to watch it sometime!" Theo said, and Liam nodded in agreement. Anything to see Theo this happy again. He went quiet at the word "we."
"'We?'" Liam questioned. "You'd...want to do this again?"
Their laughter died down as Theo nodded, looking into Liam's eyes with a genuity that made Liam a little dizzy. "I'd love to."
With that dizziness still swirling around Liam's brain, he bit his bottom lip and sat up in his seat, wondering silently to himself if what he wanted to do was okay. He rested one hand on Theo's seat and leaned forward slightly, waiting to see if Theo would fill the rest of the space.
And it wasn't exactly how Theo had imagined this happening, but seeing Liam's body lean over the center console just as he had in his dream made his breath catch in his throat. He didn't have time to think about it, because before he knew it, his body was acting on its own and he was now right in front of Liam's lips.
Liam closed his eyes slowly and leaned in the rest of the way, catching Theo's lips against his own. The two boys shared a small gasp of surprise at first contact, Liam debating whether or not he should try again or if this was too fast, but Theo put one of his large hands on Liam's bicep and pulled him back in. Their lips pressed together more firmly now, and Liam found his hands going to the back of Theo's neck, pulling him closer, as close as they could get with the confines of the car.
Their hearts were both beating wildly in their chests as Theo's lips parted and their tongues met, the kiss getting more intense and desperate by the second. Neither could quite believe that this was real, and they were hanging on for dear life until they eventually had to come up for air. While they gasped for breath, Theo rested his forehead against Liam's.
It didn't feel at all like it did in the dream. Kissing Liam wasn't like kissing other people, it felt like he was finally opening up all the way for the first time. It wasn't the phantom feeling of pressure that he had imagined due to lack of better example; it was just right.
When Liam showed Theo that smile he'd grown to love, he went back in for another kiss, the only response he could think of. Liam sighed against his mouth and his heart was still beating erratically in his chest, the two of them feeling absolutely perfect.
"You have...no idea how long I've been waiting for that," Liam breathed when they had to break away again, panting from the sudden intensity they were both experiencing. As their foreheads rested together, Liam could feel it as Theo raised his eyebrows.
"H-how long?" He asked, and if his heart could jump any faster, it was certainly doing it now.
Liam's face got hot with embarrassment, for what neither of them knew, but he let a wavering smile pass. "Eighth grade. When we had Mrs. Anderson's math class together and I didn't know how the fuck to do algebra one and you helped me with the pythagorean theorem and I finally understood it. You were the reason I didn't fail that class the fourth marking period." All of Liam's words spilled out quietly like he had been waiting forever to say them, because he did. Even as a little fourteen-year old, he had started to realize that Theo Raeken was a lot more than just a kid in his class, and it had grown even stronger once they were rivals.
It was hard for Theo to grasp that Liam had had a crush on him for that long, almost a year before Theo thought of him that way. "That feels like so long ago," Theo admitted. "I've liked you since the end of freshman year, or at least, that was when I realized it."
"I never thought you'd like me back," Liam whispered. "I would have done something sooner. God, so much sooner."
Theo laughed, leaning back in his seat as he took Liam's hand. "I wouldn't like you? You've gotta be kidding me."
Liam shrugged. "You just seemed so far away, to be honest."
"What? I thought you were too far away!"
And while the boys talked and laughed, their misconceptions and doubts faded away into the nighttime sky. There was no tension between them anymore, but the subtle teasing remained as Liam walked Theo to his front door.
"I'll see you on Monday. Our teams have practice..." Liam started, his hand moving from where it was on Theo's shoulder. He rested it overtop of Theo's shirt on his stomach. "...and even if you don't need work, your team sure does."
Theo grabbed the hand that was on him and held Liam's wrist, pulling him in for a kiss to shut him up. "Goodnight, Liam," He said softly when Liam rested his head on his shoulder.
Liam made his descent down the stairs of Theo's front porch and gave one last smile and a "Goodnight, Theo," before leaving Theo with butterflies in his stomach and a story to tell his overly excited friends.