Books & Badges – Chapter Thirty-Seven

**Sorry for the delay! I was editing for someone yesterday and completely spaced the update**

NOT EDITED

Theodore paused his recording of Lucifer and grabbed his cane from where it leaned against the end table. He pushed himself off the couch, letting out a breath as he made his way to the door. After unlocking it and pulling it open, he found himself staring at a freshly showered Russell. “Hey.”

The detective smiled. “Hey.”

“Do you wanna come in?”

Russell held up a bag. “Tupperware, food for breakfast. I’m heading into the station, getting started early. I can’t sleep anyway, so I might as well make my time useful.”

“You made breakfast?”

“No, I watched while my friend made breakfast before heading back to his place. I just wanted to make sure you could have something homemade, even if you were in a bit of pain in the morning.”

“That’s sweet of the both of you.” Theodore wrapped a hand around Russell’s arm and pressed a kiss to his cheek. “You wanna carry them in for me?”

“Sure can.” Russell stepped inside, kicking off his shoes as Theodore closed the door. “Figured since it was only a little past two, you’d still be awake.”

“You figured correctly. I was watching Lucifer.”

“I missed the majority of the first season when it was airing. Work gets in the way of a lot of shows.” He smiled. “Maybe after we finish Nurse Jackie, you’ll watch that with me, too?”

“As long as you don’t mind that I’ve already seen it.”

“Not at all.”

“Perfect.” Theodore followed Russell into the kitchen. “Are you sure you don’t want to stay, try and get some sleep? You said it yourself, Russell. It’s barely past two in the damn morning.”

“I’m sure. I can’t sleep, so…” Russell shrugged. In silence, he put the food containers in the refrigerator. “The more progress I make before Halloween, the more my night is dedicated to you and Vera. I-I don’t expect to solve the case before then. It rarely happens that way, but you guys deserve as much of my attention as I can offer. I’ll be able to offer the most of it if I’ve made some more progress before then.”

“If you think that’s best, I won’t argue over it.”

“Thank you.” Russell laid his hands on Theodore’s cheeks. “I’m doing my best not to be distant. I’ve always struggled with balancing work and a personal life when I have an actual case on my desk. When that case is Vince…”

“It’s even more difficult,” Theodore filled in.

“Exactly. But I’m trying. I don’t want you to feel like I’m pushing you away or like I don’t care anymore. Because I-I do care, a lot. I’m doing my best.”

“I know you are, Russ. And I know you do. I consider myself beyond lucky that Vera and I met you. A little bit of distance hasn’t changed my opinion on that.”

“God, I like you so fucking much,” Russell whispered.

Theodore snorted. “I like you so damn much, too.” He looked down for a moment, smoothing his hands over Russell’s button-up. “Will you be over tonight for supper?”

“I’ll try to be. As long as I don’t get in any conversations with any of the cops that piss me off, yeah, I should be here.”

“Well, do your best to avoid them. They don’t deserve your time.”

“I’ll try.” Russell pressed a kiss to Theodore’s forehead. “Hopefully, I’ll see you tonight, Theo. Get yourself some sleep, enjoy breakfast, and call me if you or Vera needs a ride this morning or this afternoon. I’m always on the clock, but it doesn’t mean I have to be inside the station.”

Theodore nodded. “I’ll let you know. Good luck, Russell.”

“Thank you.” Russell stepped away, giving Theodore’s shoulder a gentle squeeze. “I still plan on fixing this tense knot here. You just have to remind me. Okay?”

“Deal. I’ll remind you.”

The detective smiled. “Perfect. See you soon, Theo.”

***

Theodore was still busy warming up breakfast when Vera padded into the kitchen. “Morning, baby.”

“Morning, Daddy.” She looked around, standing up on her tiptoes to look over the island. “Just us?”

“Just us today, yeah. Russell’s gonna try and be here for supper tonight, though.”

Vera nodded. “Okay.” She tucked her hands behind her back, leaning up on her toes to get a look at the stove. “No eggs?”

“Nope. Russell’s friend made breakfast for us, and Russell brought it over this morning so we could have something a bit more… flavorful.”

Vera smiled. “Just like before Father…”

“Yeah, exactly.”

“Awesome,” Vera whispered. “Daddy?”

“Hmm?”

“Is Russell still coming out for Halloween?”

“That’s still the plan. He really wants to go with us. That’s why he’s not here today. He wanted to make a bit more progress in his case, free up Halloween for you and me.”

“Russell’s pretty awesome.”

Theodore smiled, shutting off the flame on the stove. “Yeah, I think so, too. He’s pretty darn great.”

Vera nodded. “He makes me feel safe. He keeps away the bad guys, and he protects people like you and me. I like feeling safe.”

“I do, too, baby.” Theodore reached out to tuck her hair back behind her ear. “And… you deserve to feel safe. I’m glad Russell helps make you feel that way. One of the only things I always want for you is a feeling of safety, quickly followed by a feeling of love.”

“Daddy, I always feel loved.” She reached up and poked her father’s chest. “You do that one all the time.”

“Thanks, baby.” Theodore smiled. “So, let’s get ourselves some breakfast, huh? And then we’ll go from there.”

“Sounds good, Dad.”


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2 thoughts on “Books & Badges – Chapter Thirty-Seven

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