Teddy Bear - pinetreez23 - Ghosts (TV 2019) [Archive of Our Own] (2023)

William glanced over to the seat next to him, smiling at the sight he was met with. Theodore was curled up against the car door, his arm cushioning his head against the hard metal. Havers had reached over and laid his jacket over Theodore when he fell asleep to keep him warm.

They were just on their way back home after a long night out. William smiled at the memories from the night.

They had gone to Havers’ family’s house to celebrate his sister's birthday. It had been a chaotic night– from the children running around to the games they played together and the confetti that seemed to be in every nook and cranny. William all but dragged Theodore into the car after the last card game they played, practically falling asleep as he was playing his hand.

As William pulled up to their house he was careful to put the car in park gently, so as not to startle Theodore awake. Once the car stopped moving, he leaned over and gently nudged at Theodore's shoulder to wake him up. But since his lover was practically comatose every time he slept he had quickly taken to roughly shaking him awake.

He chuckled when he saw Theodore startle awake with a sleepy expression on his face, “we’re home love, c’mon.” He smiled fondly at the sight of Theodore sleepily rubbing his eyes with the palm of his hand. He got out of the car and walked over to the other side to open the door for his lover, knowing that if he just left that he would instantly go back to sleep in the car.

Judging how hot it was even at night, the car would turn into an oven sooner than later and he didn’t particularly want a ghost as a lover. He opened the door for Theodore and saw him fast asleep once again. He smiled and grabbed his arm, gently pulling him away from the car. Theodore sleepily grumbled, “ ‘m so tired.” William looked down to see him leaning heavily against his side as he all but dragged him toward the door. William chuckled amusingly, “I can tell.”

Once they clambered into the house, William turned around to lock the door and threw the keys onto the little table near the door. He turned around to see Theodore swaying slightly where he stood, still drunk on sleep.

He walked over to stand in front of him and wrapped his arms around Theodore’s waist. Theodore let his head drop onto William’s chest and leaned a majority of his weight on him, William practically holding him up.

William playfully kissed the top of Theodore’s head and immediately brought his hand up to wipe at his mouth. Theodore smiled, “what, have I caught a disease that forbids you to kiss me any longer?” he teased, lifting his head up to meet William’s gaze. He couldn’t help but laugh at the disgruntled look William had on his face, “Will, I just made that up, I hope that isn’t true.”

William chuckled and brought his hand higher up to thread his fingers through Theodore’s hair, “no, it’s just I got a mouthful of mud when I kissed your head.” His fingers caught at some strands of hair, untangling the mud matted in his hair. Theodore leaned his head towards the soothing touch, “it’s your fault the mud is even in my hair to begin with,” he teased. William laughed at that.

Earlier that day it had rained for hours—more like stormed really. Typical England weather. But eventually, it had stopped, thankfully before the party started.

What they didn’t account for though, was the fact that there was going to be 3 children and a grown man who acted like a child coming to the party who would no doubt want to play games and maybe even a round or two of deconstructed cricket outside. Of course, the children had dragged everyone out and despite the complaints of many people that it was muddy and wet and overall miserable, William's sisters agreed to play outside for a while. It was their birthday after all, and who were they to deny the birthday girls?

They had played a few games of ball, just throwing it to each other from across the lawn. On one catch though, William threw the ball a bit off the side, making Theodore have to step a bit to the right to catch it. He did not take into account of how slippery the ground would be and fell straight into the mud. He had dirt and mud caked all over his back, arms, neck, head, and even some on his face. This evidently was a sign to the children for a mud fight. Needless to say, everyone’s clothes were rather ruined after that night.

Theodore hummed into William’s neck when they stood there together for another minute, tangled in each other's arms, “Will, m’tired. Can’t we go to bed?”

William tsked, “absolutely not, you’re not coming anywhere near the bed before you shower.” Theodore grumbled, shoving his face further into William's chest, bit like a child, William thought. Theodore pushed himself to stand straight and then started to walk towards the living room, albeit a bit disoriented, “I’ll sleep on the couch then, I can shower tomorrow.”

William quickly grabbed his arm before he could go too far, “no you will not, the couch will get all muddy and you’ll complain about your back tomorrow from sleeping on the couch,” Theodore looked like he wanted to argue but William continued, “come on, Prince Charming, I’ll wash your hair for you, you don’t have to do anything.”

Theodore seemed reluctant but agreed nonetheless. He hid the small smile threatening to break across his face as William followed him up the stairs.

Just 2 years ago they were still at Button House and had no idea of the relationship that would soon blossom between them. 3 years ago they still were at war. 4 years ago William was in North Africa, fighting on the front. Theodore had no idea if he was even alive then. He stood in the bathroom watching William turn the water on, reminiscing. He thought how just a few years ago they had not known of the way they both longed for each other. They were not yet aware of the fact that they would come to be together.

Theodore would’ve had a heart attack if you told him he would be living in a homely little house with William, just them two together, blocking themselves from the cruel world just outside the door and being allowed to love each other. Allowed to touch. Allowed to kiss. Having dinner and family gatherings with his family who knew about them yet still chose to be around them regularly.

Every day Theodore found himself wanting more touch, asking for more kisses, and William was always there to give it to him.

He was pulled from his thoughts when he felt a solid figure attaching itself to his back and strong arms around his waist. He leaned back into the warm touch and let his head fall back onto William’s shoulder. William tilted his head so he could press a kiss to Theodore’s forehead, “are you going to shower with your clothes on, then?”

Theodore chuckled and pulled away to slip out of his messy shirt and mud-caked pants.

Theodore's heart skipped a beat when he tripped over his pants, his mind too foggy with sleep to think about such things as balance, “Will this isn’t a good idea, I’m too tired, I’m going to fall and bang my head.”

William lightly shoved his shoulder towards the shower, “I’ll hold you up, now stop trying to find excuses not to take a shower, you’re all muddy.” Theodore wanted nothing more in the world than to curl up under the covers and fall into a deep sleep. But he could only dream of it as he stepped under the hot water. He immediately jumped backward into William, “Bally hell, Will!”

“What?” He chuckled

“It’s burning hot!”

William couldn’t contain his amused laughter, “not my fault you take showers colder than the Arctic!”

Theodore looked up at him in shock, a few strands of hair stuck to his forehead from the humidity in the shower, “it’s going to melt my skin off!”

William smiled at him, “oh, stop being dramatic.”

He reached over to turn the temperature down just a little, not so much that he would be shivering but enough so that Theodore would actually get under the water.

Theodore stood under the stream of water, letting it flow down his back and legs. The warm water started to make him feel drowsy again and he started to sway, almost like he was going to fall asleep on the spot. William noticed and splashed some water on his face, “oi, sleeping beauty, the whole reason we’re in here is to get clean,” he threaded his fingers through his hair, Theodore's head following his touch when his hand left.

William poured shampoo into his hand and started to wash Theodore’s hair, making sure to get every piece of mud out. He could see that Theodore was getting closer and closer to passing out and decided that he needed something to wake up a bit.

He grabbed the comb from the edge of the shower ledge and used it as a makeshift microphone as he jokingly sang the lyrics to Theodore’s favorite song by Glenn Miller. Theodore’s eyes lit up and buried his face in William's shoulder in embarrassment. This only made William sing louder, looping his arm around Theodore’s shoulders and swaying him to the tune of his voice.

William jokingly bowed when he finished singing, making a show of it. Theodore was beaming at him, his lover had managed to make his chest feel tight like it might burst from fondness and at the same time made him want to bury his head in his hands in embarrassment for him. God, he was dangerously in love with this stupid man.

He laughed light-heartedly as William set the comb back down, “that was quite possibly the best singing I’ve ever heard,” he teased. William laughed and wrapped his arms around Theodore's back, his hand coming to rest at the small of his back, “why thank you, kind sir, I’d say it was my best performance yet.”

“Honestly, why didn’t you become a singer? Or a singing Lieutenant?”

“I would’ve been discharged on my first day if I was a singing Lieutenant. I’m afraid I’d make all the soldiers go deaf.”

They continued to stand there in the shower, the water gradually getting colder as they playfully joked around until William went suspiciously quiet and Theodore felt William’s hand drift farther down to rest gently over his arse. Theodore looped his hand gently over William's wrist when he felt him grip his arse tighter, “I thought we were here to shower?”

William chuckled and nipped his neck, “we haven't done much of the showering part yet, I’m afraid.” Theodore suddenly remembered how he could be in bed fast asleep cuddled up next to his lover rather than standing under cold water and started to wash up faster, making William laugh amusingly.

Once they had finished Theodore all but leaped out of the shower to find a towel. He scrambled around the bathroom, looking in cabinets, on top of shelves, and even on the back of the door but still couldn’t find the towels.

He shivered violently and turned to look at William, “where are the-” He cut himself off when he was met with William’s amused face and saw he was holding two fluffy towels. William came forward to wrap a towel around Theodore, running his hands up and down his arms in an attempt to warm him up.

They picked up their dirty clothes from the bathroom floor and threw them into the hamper as they walked to their bedroom to get dressed. Theodore opened the drawer where his pajamas and underwear were and decided putting on a shirt and pants would take too much energy so he put on a pair of underwear instead.

William stood next to him, enjoying the view. He watched as he all but jumped into the bed and immediately got under the blankets. He got dressed himself, also deciding upon just a pair of underwear since it was bally hot in their house in the summer.

He smiled fondly when he came over to stand on his side of the bed, seeing Theodore drift in and out of a state of sleep. He seemed so peaceful like this.

He thought back to a time at Button House when he found Theodore fast asleep on his desk. He remembers Theodore sitting at his desk all day finishing paperwork that wouldn’t be due for another month at least. He had skipped lunch so William brought him up a plate. When he didn’t see him for dinner he went up to check on him and found him asleep on his desk, his elbow on the tabletop and palm under his chin to hold his head up as he slept. William couldn’t hold back the fond smile that split across his face. He left for a moment to grab something and quickly came back to his office to drape a small blanket over his shoulders. He refrained from his deep urge to kiss Theodore on the top of his head and shut the lights out as he left. He remembered the way the sight made his heart clench in his chest, seeing Theodore in a state of such vulnerability. He looked bloody cute then.

His daydream was interrupted when Theodore lifted his hand towards William without opening his eyes and motioned him toward the bed. William laughed, “do you know what you remind me of?”

Theodore’s voice was soft when he replied, “hm?”

“A zombie”

“So I’m a zombie, sleeping beauty, and Prince Charming?”

“No, you’re Teddy, but you do have a tendency to walk around like you're back from the dead.”

Theodore couldn’t help but crack a smile at that.

William shoved at his hip so he could at least try to maneuver him around so he was laying normally rather than lying diagonally, taking up all the bed. But Theodore was practically a dead weight already so he pushed him onto his side so he could slot himself behind Theodore, clinging onto his back like a koala.

Theodore soon felt a heavy arm holding him in place and a large hand splayed over his stomach. He threaded his fingers together with the hand on his stomach and smiled to himself when he felt William’s smirk on the back of his neck.

William suddenly gripped Theodore’s hand tighter and drew in a breath like he was frantically trying to speak, “oh! I thought of another name for you!”

“What would that be?”

“Teddy bear, because it reminds me of when I hugged my Teddy bear as a child and because your name is Teddy.”

“god lord, don’t let your sisters hear that, I’ll never hear the end of it.”

William chuckled against his neck, pressing a kiss into the spot just behind his ear, “I wouldn’t dream of it, love.”

Theodore blushed and pushed himself back into William’s chest harder.

He didn’t know how he managed to stay awake so long but he found himself drifting away rather quickly in William’s comforting grasp. He heard a rough voice against his ear just before he fell asleep, “goodnight, Teddy bear.”

Theodore scrunched his nose up in embarrassment at the name but managed to respond nonetheless, “g’night, Will.”

William pressed a final kiss to the crown of his head and listened to Theodore’s heart rate become slower and more steady. He let each beat lull him into sleep, his lover wrapped up in his arms.

They were safe in their little bubble they created together, hopelessly and immensely in love.

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