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Saving me will keep you sane

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Friends look at you thinking you’re joking. You can’t be serious, they say. That thing just isn’t possible.

You show them all your pity barely hiding it in your eyes, smirk in place. It hurts, never being recognized, but, well, this is hardly their fault.

They’re just humans.

But you’ve tired of them, of playing along, of pretending.

They’re prey, and they’ve made you sad.

Bon Appetit.

-o-

The life of an alpha is full of surprises. The life of a true alpha is, according to Deaton, even more full of even more surprising occurrences. Whether they are bad or good isn’t relevant – they are simply incredible.

This is what Scott McCall tries to tell himself, when Argent looks at him with patient eyes and the face he has when he tries to tune down his air of professional, competent hunter. A professional, competent hunter whose partner is a twenty years old werewolf alpha who might be a true alpha, but still blinks owlishly at him.

“A… what?” Scott asks, clearly confused: “why playing along for months if he was going to kill every human he had any contact with, anyway. I don’t get this”

Argent snorts. The question sounds like the typical thing Malia would say. Hearing it from Scott’s mouth is surprising in a funny and morbid way. The evidence Scott is growing out of his innocent, pure-hearted naivety and turning into a cynical adult.

“I don’t know, Scott. His previous behavior would suggest this guy wanted to integrate, lay low. He avoided any type of exposure. I don’t get why he outed himself like that” Argent comments.

Theo, arms crossed against his chest and leaning with his back against the wall not far from them, just snorts.

“Maybe it was always a ploy” Liam muses, from Scott’s side.

Scott lifts an eyebrow his way. Argent mirrors it with a slightly less surprised face, and then looks where Theo is smirking at the floor.

“… Why would it be a ploy?” Scott asks, confused, slightly shaking his head.

Liam shrugs, nonplussed: “Well, if he plays innocent, more people will approach him. So he’ll have more victims around when he decides to strike”

Scott frowns, turns to glare briefly at Theo, the chimera still smirking at the floor, and turns again to pin his beta with a sort of ‘I’m-disappointed-in-you’ expression.

“You’ve spent too much time with Theo” he declares.

Liam rolls his eyes and blushes: “Well, it is possible, though” he insists.

“I agree” Argent butts in, before this conversation turns into yet another round of Scott implying that Liam should work with someone other than Theo, and Liam insisting that it’s not like he chooses Theo because he wants to work with him, it’s just that they’re very effective when they work together.

Scott tends to react a bit too much like the father who tries to convince a wayward teenage daughter not to date the bad boy she frequents. And there is more than one reason Argent wants to keep the number of occasions he has to assist to that as low as possible.

Not last the fact that not long ago he used to think Scott was a bad influence for Allison.

“Yeah, me too actually” Scott admits: “but I don’t know if this is really the case. This guy acted like he really wanted to befriend the town he moved in. I don’t think he went with the plan to slaughter them all, as soon as they got close enough”

And now Scott sounds like Stiles, Argent muses. Judging from the way Theo lifts his eyes from the floor, expression sobering up, the chimera must share the feeling.

“I think you’re right” Theo comments: “something is wrong, I don’t think we’re dealing with a serial killer. I think this guy is just a nutcase”

Argent nods: “It could be” he agrees: “he was trying to adapt to his new life, then something happened, triggered him, and he killed five people”

“And he bailed out of dodge right after?” Liam offers: “but, if he killed people in a moment of insanity, shouldn’t he have felt any remorse? Why leaving like that then?” he asks.

“Not everyone feels as guilty as you do after an episode, little wolf” Theo comments. He wears his trademark smirk on his face but his eyes and tone are soft.

Liam closes his teeth with a loud click and grits them together, his fists clenching, but other than that, he doesn’t react. There is a long moment when Liam looks at Theo and Theo looks back at Liam, the two having their usual type of silent conversation that puzzles anyone, scares Stiles to no end, and worries Scott. Even Argent admits it’s a bit creepy, the way Liam and Theo have grown so in tune one with the other.

“Fine” Liam concedes after a while, releasing air in a soft sigh: “so either he is a serial killer and planned it, or he panicked and left, even if he hadn’t planned it beforehand”

Theo nods, and pushes his hips away from the wall. He takes a few steps forward and joins Scott, Argent and Liam where they stand around the table. The surface is still full with the pictures from the crime scene Argent has dropped onto it. He picks one and brings it closer to his face for a better inspection. Nobody comments – this is the reason why they have Theo around: he can pick up details better than anyone else, for more reasons than the obvious, superior knowledge on the supernatural he has.

Liam shifts in his place, studying nervously the chimera’s face and trying to interpret his expression, but Theo’s blank mask is still hard to crack, even for Liam. Scott and Argent wait patiently for Theo to be done, but Liam isn’t as patient. He starts fidgeting until he snaps.

“Well?” he asks.

Theo raises his eyebrows first, then his eyes, and meets Liam’s impatient stare with a calm, expressionless face: “Well what” he says, and there is something in his eyes that gives him away, revealing just how much he knows the elusive answer will irritate Liam.

Predictably, the beta snorts and half-growls: “Don’t be an asshole. What are you looking at? What do you think you’ve seen?”

Theo drops the act and smirks slightly. Argent expects this to escalate, but Theo actually surprises him by turning the picture Liam’s way and pointing at something. He angles the picture in a way that Scott and Argent can see whatever he is pointing at, as well.

It’s another shot of the crime scene, so it’s pretty gruesome as subjects go. But Theo’s finger is pointed at the tiny thing lying on the floor, close to one of the victims. The body has been torn apart, the throat clawed out and the chest splintered open. The ribcage looks eerily like an open book, some ribs have been broken.

Argent frowns, and so does Scott, shaking his head: “You don’t tear people apart like this if you’re after food, anyway” he mutters.

“I bet you don’t” Argent agrees, and moves to take a better look at whatever Theo is pointing at.

“Son of a bitch” the hunter whispers, raising surprised eyes into Theo’s: “is that a book?”

Liam and Scott frown, Liam leaning further close to the picture. He squints his eyes and hums: “It… it is” he confirms, raising his eyes to meet Theo’s.

Theo nods and smiles softly: “Scott’s right. You don’t do that to people if you’re after food. But you do it if you have to make a point”

“Like what” Liam frowns and throws him a sarcastic stare: “that he can read people like open books? That he can open them like one?”

Theo snorts to cover the fit of laughter and hurries to regain his composure: “Nice, that one. But, yes. Obviously the book plays a role. I don’t have the slightest idea what, but I bet it does. And I am very sure this thing here, ripping the ribcage out? That has to do with the book”

Scott frowns and looks down at the picture. Then he smiles ruefully and wiggles his eyebrows, having recognized the cover of the book: “Oh, joy. The book is the bible”

“Yeah, I know. Which means the reason behind this MO can’t be very sane” Theo points out.

Liam snorts: “I don’t think you’d kill anyone if you were sane” he comments lightly, then he raises his eyes, meets Theo’s pointed stare and blushes.

“… Well, you can’t tell me you are” he protests.

“Next time a hunter is trying to fill you with wolfsbane, I will remember this” Theo replies, smiling sickly sweet.

Liam rolls his eyes: “Oh, come onnnn…” he starts, but Scott interrupts him, raising two hands between them and pointedly staring at Liam with a very judging face.

“If he’s crazy, that’s fine, but what are you, that always insist on working with him?”

And as Theo starts to laugh, and Liam to complain loudly, Argent rolls his eyes and mutters: “Oh god, not this again”.

-o-

It’s a crime scene, it’s another goddamned crime scene. It’s blood and gore and psychopaths leaving trails of crazy behind them. Hopefully, some of that crazy can help them.

Scott shakes his head, thinking again of the pictures. The victims’ age spanned between sixteen and eighteen, and all of them frequented the same school. So did the guy, the one who’s presumably their murderer. The police is looking for him as he is their main suspect as well, even if they don’t know he is a crazy werewolf. The guy didn’t show up the morning after: Scott thinks he must have panicked and ran away.

He shares Theo’s feeling, he doesn’t think this is a premeditated killing. Something must have triggered the werewolf and he’s lashed out.

“And if he’s left a bible on the crime scene, it could mean all sort of things” he tells himself.

“What?” Malia asks, looking up from where she’s helping Melissa McCall chopping vegetables.

Scott shakes his head and goes back to help her, taking the portion of vegetables whose chopping he’s been assigned to.

“Nothing, I was just thinking about this thing again”

“You mean the killing thing” Malia insists, the blade of the knife hovering in the air.

“Oh, think about the families of the victims” Melissa murmurs, shaking her head.

Scott pulls his lips in a thin line and nods to Malia.

It hasn’t happened in Beacon Hills, it hasn’t happened anywhere close to the city, and he had initially planned on not sharing the information with the pack, let alone his mother. But well, it turns out it’s difficult to hide something from people you’re close to, especially if you live in Beacon Hills.

“The guy left a bible close to one of the body. Theo thinks it means something, the way the ribcages of the victims have been torn open, and the bible. I agree. I just… have no idea what” he explains.

Malia snorts: “He’s probably done something similar in the past. But, yeah, it makes sense”

Melissa clears her throat and changes the topic. Scott and Malia share a look, silently deciding they’ll discuss it further later on, when they’re alone, and move onto whatever new topic Scott’s mother is trying to raise.

-o-

“So you think he left the bible for a reason” Liam repeats.

Theo sighs, equally exhausted and exasperated. He’s been working double shift every day this week, and he’s frankly doubted at some point he could make it to the next Monday. Yet here he is, a true survivor. Or, well. He was, before Liam spent the entire Sunday night pestering him. Theo is really trying not to kill him, but he doesn’t think Liam will shut up otherwise. And if Theo does kill Liam, then the pack will kill Theo.

“Must you really do this. I’m fucking tired, Liam” he complains, sagging further down in the couch.

Liam punches him slightly in the meat of his arm: “Stop whining. If you answered me I would stop, you know” he insists.

“How can I answer when I don’t know the answer, Liam!” Theo points out, frustrated and raising his voice. He grabs the TV remote and changes channel.

“Hey, I was watching that!” Liam protests, making a move for the remote. Theo stretches his arm out and away from the blond werewolf, planting one knee on his chest to keep him down.

“You obviously weren’t, you were too focused on annoying me”

“That’s not true… Theo, come on!” Liam protests, dodging Theo’s knee and launching himself towards the remote. He lands heavily on Theo’s stomach and lap, Theo making an off-ing sound and blushing slightly at finding his lap suddenly full of young, blond beta werewolf.

“Liam, get off me” he says, gritting his teeth and still making sure the remote is out of Liam’s reach.

“Just give me the remote then” Liam insists, still trying to take it from Theo and not fully realizing he’s basically straddling the chimera.

“Liam!” Theo almost shouts in warning, and that’s, of course, when Liam stops looking at the remote he wants to regain control of, and makes eye contact with Theo. Whose eyes are suddenly closer than they used to be, given their current position.

He looks down, surprised, realizes he is sitting in Theo’s lap, knees bracketing Theo’s hips, and when he raises his face again to meet Theo’s eyes he’s blushing furiously.

“…Ops?” he offers.

Theo snorts and uses his free hand to push him away. Liam doesn’t give up, though, the embarrassment apparently not being enough, and he still makes a move for the remote. Theo lets it fall behind the couch and tackles Liam to the floor.

“Get off me!” Liam protests, squealing to get free from Theo’s hold. Theo is pinning him with his hands on his wrists, pushing them down, and uses his entire weight on Liam’s body to further make sure the wolf isn’t going anywhere.

“Come onnn” Liam whines, squealing more and managing to slips his legs in between Theo’s.

This actually works against him, though, because now the chimera is sitting astride him, and pushes him down with his knees on Liam’s thighs.

Liam looks up, sees Theo’s face, reddened for the effort, his fringe falling in front of his eyes and the green of his irises almost gone behind blown pupils. Theo smiles predatorily, his full lips stretching to show teeth, and Liam growls.

“Let go” he says, the threat obvious in his tone.

“I don’t think so” Theo sing-songs, pushing more on his wrists.

Liam growls more and tries to flip them. Theo fights his first and second attempts, laughs at the third but loses balance at the fourth, Liam finally managing to flip them. And ending right on top of Theo, between his now splayed legs, his face hovering over Theo’s.

And, despite Theo’s ass against Liam’s dick as the chimera wiggles on top of him being one of the things Liam is growing more and more used, and fond, of, even having Theo splayed under him is insanely satisfying. The way Theo squirms and fights but he can’t get rid of Liam. The millisecond his eyes are blown and the green almost vanishes behind black, and comes back only after turning yellow. The way his lips can’t seem to fully close, and he pants more, under Liam, than he was doing when he was on top of him.

Liam grins wolfishly (and, oh, the pun), and even shows a bit of fangs.

Theo stops fighting and relax on the floor, seemingly in surrender, eyes pinned to Liam’s fangs. He tips his head back just a tiny bit, exposing his throat only barely. Liam wants to plant his teeth in the white column of his neck. He wants to sink his fangs in it and hear Theo scream.

He’s not sure yet if he wants to hear Theo’s pain or… something else.

The thought sobers him enough that he stops grinning, and meets Theo’s eyes. The silence is uncomfortable now. Theo’s pupils are still blown, and the irises are green, the tiny sliver Liam can still see at least.

He doesn’t know what to do, so he waits there, waits for Theo to make a move, to decide.

Theo swallows, bats his lashes, and when he meets Liam’s eyes again he has that damned expressionless mask that Liam really wants to claw away from him.

“Liam” Theo almost whispers, calm and controlled: “let me up”

Liam grits his teeth.

He doesn’t want to. He doesn’t want to let Theo up. He doesn’t want to let Theo out of his grasp. He likes Theo under him. He liked Theo also on top of him, true, with that pert ass rubbing against his crotch, but he’s let Theo decide, and this is what Theo decided. Again.

Like all the other, many times.

Liam grits his teeth, and swallows. Then he nods, silently, and pushes up, away from Theo.

He stands, and looks down, Theo still splayed there. He looks really good, on the floor, at Liam’s feet. He’s pushing himself up on his elbows, and in that position he looks almost obscene, the muscles of his biceps squeezed and even more bulky. One knee bent up, the other still down, the more Liam looks at him the more he wants to return to his previous position. +

But he doesn’t. He’s let Theo decide, and he’s decided.

He clears his throat and offers him a hand. Theo swallows again, looking just as torn as Liam feels, then he accepts it and lets Liam help him up.

And if Liam lingers with his hands on Theo’s biceps, his arms around his broad back, well. Sue him.

-o-

They have never talked about it, but. It’s hard to forget. Liam was pretty drunk, the first time he’s tried wolfsbane laced alcohol and he hadn’t really gone easy with it. But still, he remembers.

He remembers lying on the grass, starfished in Scott’s garden, his back damp with sweat and dew, and Theo’s head so close to his own. Both looking up at the sky, with Liam making up new constellations and Corey and Mason cracking up at his bullshits not too far from them.

He remembers the short moment of silence, no answer coming from Theo, he remembers looking up, pushing his head back to see Theo, and finding the chimera flipped on his stomach, chin resting on one hand, the other hovering close over the tips of Liam’s hair.

He remembers the look in Theo’s eyes, calm and content and happy, safe, satisfied. He remembers Theo smiling like the most beautiful thing in the world, and whispering, so low only Liam could hear, you have saved me from more than you think, you know.

He remembers Theo whispering how Liam saved Theo from himself.

He doesn’t think he’s ever been so close to anybody, not even Mason or Scott, like he’s been close to Theo in that precise moment. It had felt otherworldly, a soul experience, as if by looking in Theo’s eyes Liam hadn’t been seeing just his smile, his green eyes, his face, but more, deeper inside, straight into Theo’s soul, and Theo had seen Liam’s.

Before he could have replied Mason and Corey had fallen almost on top of Liam, sprawling over Theo as well, therefore drastically ruining the moment. And when Liam had looked Theo’s way again the chimera had been laughing at them, ignoring that magic bubble that had just burst.

They have never talked about it again, but Liam remembers, and Theo knows Liam does.

But that proximity, that feeling of staring into each other’s soul had been unsettling, and it has scared them both. Theo because, well, he’s never seen inside himself that much and even considering the rare times he had, he had never allowed someone else in, before. And Liam, because it has never ended up well for him when he’s let someone. Cough cough, Hayden.

For some inexplicable reason, instead of picking up that conversation where they’ve left it after Theo’s confession, they’ve moved on more dangerous grounds, on the thin ice that was whatever keeps Liam going back to Theo and Theo looking for Liam. The pure physicality of the sort of bond between them – provided you could even call it a bond.

The casual touching between each other has increased. Theo has become even more Liam’s first partner of choice whenever he needed help with the supernatural – and not just that, actually. Really, he’s lucky Mason is more and more caught up with Corey or he would be blamed for being a terrible best friend, given how many times Liam has favored Theo over Mason.

Soul was too scary? No problem, why don’t we turn this into a messed up, physically-first type of relationship, without it being a relationship in the first place at all, and see how deep in shit we can get with it.

Yeah, it doesn’t sound smart, because it isn’t.

Liam knows, now. Theo does too. They are reminded every time they end up on top of each other when they spar, or bleed one close to the other at the end of a hunt, when their eyes meet and they see that something, the same force that beckons them close to each other.

And Liam wants to fucking follow this force, give in to the impulse. Just see what happens if he really kisses Theo. He doesn’t even know if he’d like it, or if Theo would. He doesn’t care, he doesn’t need to know, now. All he has to do is have the gut to just follow the pull, and kiss the chimera. See how things go from there.

Only, this is a tango you’re supposed to dance in two, and he can’t be sure that, if he makes a move, Theo will follow out of his pure will and not because of some fucked up brain process Liam would never dream of, but that are pretty normal for the chimera. Some twisted, ex-prince of darkness reasoning, some messed up things like Theo owning it to Liam.

So, to avoid that, Liam has decided that it’s Theo the one who’s got to decide, even if he decides no. Liam’d rather respect Theo’s decision. At least for another while, until the moment Liam will decide he’s waited enough for Theo to make up his mind, and he’ll make the move the chimera seems too scared to do.

Liam would laugh, really: big bad chimera afraid of a kiss.

With the way Theo looks at him sometimes – pupils blown, throat exposed, lips parted, panting, sometimes even hard – Liam wonders what the fuck is he afraid of. What the fuck is Theo waiting for.

One day, Liam thinks. One day I’m going to fucking rip that fucking shirt off his chest and I’m going to make out with Theo until he faints.

-o-

It turns out it’s not a serial killer.

It’s a teenage werewolf who has been brought up by fanatics, so it’s possibly even worse.

Scott find him before he’s been triggered a second time, but by then the new human friends have seen the guy wolfed out, and they all have a horrified, scared look on their faces that suggests everyone it’s better if Scott, Liam, Theo and Argent take the teenage werewolf somewhere else. Somewhere they can talk and assess the situation – or, as Stiles put it, how crazy the new werewolf is, without his old friends bringing the pitchforks in.

You’d be amazed to know how many pitchforks you can find even in non-rural America.

The teenage werewolf’s name is Trent. He’s a sweet guy, when he keeps his cool, but a sweet nature can’t do much if you grow up with your adoptive parents being religious fanatics who tell you every day of your life that you’re possessed by the devil. Apparently they have even tried many, many times to exorcise the devil out of Trent. Most of them in ways that have hurt.

At some point Trent has accepted the so-called devil within, if not really embraced it, and has left his family. After slaughtering half the community. Then he’s moved to another town, tried to make a new life for himself, friends, started school… When he’s tried to tell his new friends that he was a slightly bit less human than them they’ve laughed, not believing him.

And Trent, has thought, I’m not going to wait till you believe me. If you laugh now, then you’ll be trying to exorcise this shit out of me later on, and that’ll hurt me. So he’s acted first. Follows the massacre Argent has heard of, and then Trent starts again in yet another city.

This time, before the new round of killing, he’s been rescued by Scott McCall, the one and only true alpha (at least in North America, and living). Trent thinks Scott is some kind of angel – a warrior angel, because he’s still a werewolf, which is sort of a demonic thing, for him. Too much religious, fanatic teachings, is Liam’s reasoning.

Scott talks Trent out of killing again, but it’s Theo the one who sweet-talks Trent until the werewolf recognizes he can’t live within a human society, he can’t function with other people. He will never gain control over himself and he’s been too traumatized by his family to trust other people. He doesn’t want to die either, and Scott glares at Argent when the hunter points out that Trent can’t be left alive and free.

“He’s right, Scott. Trent might end up getting himself killed too” Theo reasons aloud, talking to Scott but actually looking at Trent.

Liam is pretty sure by now Trent is looking at Theo the way you could look at the devil, if you found out that actually the devil gives a shit about your survival and wants to help you. And judging from the way Theo carries himself and the way he talks to Trent, Theo knows as well.

“You could be taken care of” Theo tells Trent: “in a special place. There’s humans guarding it, but they know about us. They know what you are. Nobody would hurt you for what you are, and they would protect you from hunters, too”

Trent accepts being taken to Eichen House. Scott promises he will visit him. Trent looks at him as if god or something not much far had promised the same. Then he turns to look at Theo, and asks if Theo might want to do the same, sometimes.

Liam feels the insane urge to growl. Insane because, come on. Trent is a sweet, crazy guy who went rampant and killed and slaughtered but only because he’s been warped out of his mind. There is no way someone like Trent might take Theo from Liam.

But then again, they have more in common than Liam and Theo do – both have killed, both are sort of on a redeeming path, both were corrupted as children.

Theo glares Liam’s way before Liam can even make a joke about the affinity between the chimera and Trent, and he blushes, wondering how the hell Theo found out what he’s thinking.

“Why?” Theo asks Trent.

Trent looks at him with a candid air of innocence, and a bashful smile.

“I need the devil to tell me what I should not do” he answers.

Nobody understands the logic behind but that’s hardly a surprise, so nobody protests. Theo accepts and they call the sheriff and Parrish to take Trent to Eichen House. Trent likes Parrish, sees him as a sort of divine helper, and follows his instructions without uttering a single word.

Argent drives back to Beacon Hills with Scott, leaving before Liam and Theo have made a move towards Theo’s car.

He has a feeling he knows what’s about to happen, and he definitely does not want to assist.

“Are we in a hurry?” Scott asks, casting him a naïve, confused frown.

Argent snorts: “Depends how much it takes them to pull their heads out of their ass” he replies.

Scott frowns, then it dawns on him, and he blushes.

“Oh” is all he says. Then he chuckles, shaking his head: “Good thinking”

Argent snorts.

He knows.

-o-

They are alone. They are alone, in the semi darkness of the preserve at twilight, the sky going darker by the minute. They stand one in front of the other, and for some reason they are stuck there, eyes pinned in the ones of the other.

Theo knows he should move. So does Liam. Yet they don’t, they stay there, and look at each other.

Liam wants to tackle Theo to the ground. No, actually not tackling, something gentler. But he wants Theo on the ground, under his own body, he wants Theo’s knees to bracket his hips and wants to push against Theo’s crotch. He wants Theo’s chest under his own, wants Theo’s hands to scratch at his back, wants to kiss Theo until Theo squirms for air.

But he doesn’t move.

Theo looks into Liam’s eyes and sees all of this. And Liam knows that he sees it all. He doesn’t want to rush him. He doesn’t want to pressure him. He just waits, and wonders if he’ll have the strength of following through if Theo decides to play it off yet again.

Theo looks at Liam, holds his stare, and seems tempted to hide again behind his expressionless mask.

He doesn’t.

Liam tries not to read too much in that, but he can’t help the rush of euphory – of lust, when he realizes.

Theo picks it from his scent anyway, and swallows, nervous.

Liam swears he can almost feel his own pupils grow larger and larger, his hunger growing all the more obvious in his face, the more Theo looks at him.

But Liam picks up Theo’s lust in his scent, too.

‘Good god’ Liam thinks: ‘help me, because if he doesn’t make a move I’m going to jump him this time’

Theo swallows, suddenly looking skittish. He grits his teeth, his eyes look away, he takes the smallest step back. He parts his lips, as if he couldn’t breathe properly, and the scent of lust comes stronger from him. Liam is going crazy with all the mixed signals – can’t be sure if Theo wants it or not, and is terrified that Theo might have a reason to be so… averse to physical contact. Or to contact with Liam, specifically.

Theo tries to calm himself down, slowing his heartbeat, his breathing. He swallows again, takes another step back, and before Liam realizes it he growls, a clear threat.

Theo freezes in his tracks, but so does Liam.

Theo’s eyes move back into Liam’s, the pupils shrinking, the irises flashing from green to yellow, back to green. Liam swallows and tries to regain composure.

“I’m… I’m sorry” he whispers.

Theo swallows as well and nods, as if to say, no harm done. But then the expressionless mask is back and he makes a move to turn, putting up the usual act, and Liam is way too fed up for it.

His hand shoots out and he grabs Theo’s hand by his wrist.

Theo freezes again, his eyes darting down to where Liam’s clawed fingers are closed around his wrist. Then he raises his eyes again, meeting Liam’s. The mask is gone. The pupils are dilating again. His breathing quickens and so does his heartbeat.

“Theo, please” Liam whispers again, and he hates himself for pushing but, well. Theo can still say no, right?

Except Theo grits his teeth together, looks at Liam – good god, he’s looking at Liam’s lips, and then back into his eyes, and Liam has to make a serious effort not to launch himself at Theo right now.

“I…” Theo starts, lips parted, and he doesn’t seem able to go on, or to close them, eyes enraptured by Liam’s mouth.

“Theo” Liam whispers again: “Theo, please, can I kiss you?”

Theo’s eyes snap back up, into Liam’s ones.

“I don’t… I don’t know” he croaks, and blushes slightly.

Liam tips his head to the side the tiniest bit: “You don’t know if I can kiss you?” he echoes, and he can’t help the quirk of his lips.

Theo swallows, looking serious and slightly haunted: “I don’t know if you should” he explains.

Or well, Liam imagines that for Theo this might be enough as explanations go, but, well.

“Why should I not?” he asks.

Theo swallows: “I.. I don’t have the best track records when it comes to what I’ve done to the people who’ve tried to kiss me” he whispers, so silently Liam almost doesn’t hear.

His eyes change again, and Liam realizes Theo is starting to look scared.

He takes a step closer, and is happy to see that Theo tenses up but he doesn’t take another back. He lifts Theo’s hand, the one he’s holding by the wrist, and places a soft kiss on its back, behind the knuckles, equally distant from thumb and pointer.

“Why?” he asks.

Theo shudders, his lashes flutter.

Liam kisses the same spot again.

“Theo” he repeats, and Theo blinks a couple of times: “why?”

“I’ve.. I’ve killed Tracy” he whispers, so low it’s barely a gush of air.

Liam freezes, still holding Theo’s hand.

Theo looks at him, swallows. Liam can see his eyes harden, as he tries to snap himself out of this sort of stupor they’ve fallen into. Liam doesn’t let him.

He places another soft kiss on the back of Theo’s hand, in the same spot.

“Because she kissed you?” he asks.

Theo tries to shove his hand out of Liam’s grasp, but Liam doesn’t let it go, and actually grabs Theo’s other hand as well, firmly holding it in his. Theo’s eyes pin him with a thunderous glare.

“Let go” he hisses.

“Not even if you try to kill me” Liam replies, and frowns, mirroring Theo’s glare.

Theo tries to shove himself free again, tries to push Liam away, even trips him, but Liam doesn’t let go and in the end they find themselves tangled into each other, chests pressed flat one against the other, faces too close for comfort, breathing each other’s air.

Theo’s hands are trapped between their body, and Theo looks equally tempted to flee and to kiss Liam. Liam doesn’t honestly know what he himself is doing, he feels sort of disconnected from his body.

“Liam” Theo croaks, his voice broken, his eyes stuck on Liam’s lips.

“Theo” he echoes: “Theo, I’m going to kiss you. If you don’t want me to, you better say it now”

Theo swallows, looks up into Liam’s eyes, and Liam has never seen Theo so scared, not even when he was being dragged into hell or when he’d come out right out of it.

“Theo” Liam repeats, softer: “Can I kiss you?”

Theo grits his teeth: “I… why?”

Liam smiles: “Because I really want to kiss you” he answers.

Theo shakes his head. He looks down at Liam’s lips, back up.

“I… I really want you to” he says, almost a confession.

“So, can I?” Liam repeats again.

Theo nods.

“Say it” Liam prompts him: “I want to hear you say it”

Theo swallows: “You can kiss me”

“Good. Thanks. Now, do you want me to kiss you?” Liam asks.

Theo grits his teeth again, then he nods.

Liam smiles again: “I want to hear you, Theo”

Theo rolls his eyes: “Don’t be so dramatic and fucking kiss me”

Liam laughs: “You’re being dramatic, I just want to kiss you”

Theo glares and looks tempted to headbutt Liam, but he must think better at the last moment because he looks as if he changes his mind at the last second and –

Liam’s brain is a bit slow on the intake, but he is sure of this: Theo is kissing him.

Soft, just the chaste pressing of lips against lips, but nonetheless a kiss.

Liam moans, surprised, and Theo grins against his lips. He tilts his head to the side and opens his mouth, drawing Liam’s bottom lip between his own, gnawing on it lightly with his front teeth. Liam opens his eyes, meets Theo’s, sees the amused quirk of his lips, the challenge in his eyes.

“Oh, you’re on” he growls, grabs Theo’s hips in his hands and pushes him close, flat against his chest. Tilting his head to the side and opening his mouth, slipping his tongue between Theo’s soft, plump lips and diving inside the chimera.

Theo moans, startled, and buries his hands in Liam’s hair, pushing his lips against Liam’s and his hips just the same. Liam, still busy kissing the daylight out of Theo, moans at the sensation the friction gives him, and slides his thighs between Theo’s, offering the chimera something to rub against. Theo gasps, tries to resist Liam’s assault but then he just gives up, widens his stance enough that Liam’s thigh slides to perfect fit between his legs and pushes his hardened erection against the meat of Liam’s leg.

Liam moans quietly and does the same, pushing his cock against Theo’s hip and rubbing himself against the hard flesh. Theo’s hands move, one roaming down Liam’s back, the other pulling at his hair. Liam digs his claws in the small of Theo’s back, tearing them upwards towards his shoulder blades, making Theo gasp and moan louder.

It’s a bit of a blur after that. At some point Liam finds himself with his back against the bark of a tree, his hand in Theo’s boxers and Theo’s hand in his, both jerking the other off as if they were in a competition, let’s see who lasts longer.

And Liam hates to lose, but so does Theo.

Only, Theo doesn’t mind playing dirty.

He smirks devilishly and pushes Liam’s hand away from his dick. Before Liam can protest he drops on his knees, pulling Liam’s pants further down his legs, his hand still jerking him off, the other one on his hip to keep him still. He pushes his face in the crook of Liam’s crotch and looks up, from under his fringe, mouth open, blowing hot air against the leaking tip of Liam’s cock.

Liam pants and clenches his teeth.

“That’s cheating” he growls.

Theo wiggles his eyebrows and flashes him a dirty grin, before turning enough to lick a stripe all the way up his cock. Liam gasps, his hands buried in Theo’s soft hair, and he whimpers.

Theo does it again, trying to keep eye contact despite the slight pressure of Liam’s hands.

Liam, when he meets Theo’s eyes, looks ready to cum in a bunch of seconds, and Theo grins around his cock.

He takes Liam deep in his mouth and lets the tip hit the back of his throat, sucking on it as if he’d done it his entire life – and what do you know, apparently he really does not have a gag reflex, after all, which Liam must be very grateful of, given the sound of him moaning and almost screaming.

Liam comes down Theo’s throat after a couple of minutes. Theo looks up at him, smiling smugly and satisfied, still hard in his pants. He can’t gloat much though, because Liam growls at him and drags him up. Theo is forced to follow his pulling and yelps when he’s slammed against the bark of the tree he’d captured Liam against.

“Oh, you think you’re so smart, don’t you” Liam growls, low and predatory, right under Theo’s ear, and Theo shudders.

Liam’s hand sneaks back into Theo’s underwear, his other hand still firmly clasped around Theo’s throat, pushing him up and holding him standing against the tree. Liam jerks him off with a punishing grip and a fast pace, and Theo can’t help it, he moans and shudders and almost cries under the rough ministrations until his eyes roll back and he comes all over Liam’s hand.

He almost misses Liam growling, murmuring right below Theo’s ear: “Mine, Theo, you’re mine”

Or maybe not, because he could never miss something like that, not when it’s part of the reason he’s coming so hard he almost blacks out.

Just like Liam would never forget the way Theo comes whining and moaning his name, the bitten off cry and the “Yes, Liam, please” that he whispers as pleasure washes out on him, or the way he goes limp between his body and the tree.

He presses butterfly kisses alongside Theo’s jaw and neck for all the time it takes Theo to regain awareness of his surroundings, and when he’s sure Theo is back with full faculty on his body, he softens his grip and moves the hand down his front, right over Theo’s heart.

Theo looks at Liam, Liam looks at Theo. They swallow. They don’t say anything.

There isn’t anything they should say.

Theo pushes forward, bending slightly to capture Liam’s mouth in a lazy kiss, and Liam answers.

The howling and trashing inside Theo’s mind is calm, suddenly silent, and he thinks, this, this is what I have been looking for all my life.

Not approval, not someone who wanted him around.

This.

Liam, wanting only him.