These train conversations are passing me by
And I don't have nothing to say
You get what you pay for
But I just had no intention of living this way
-It's Raining In Baltimore, by Counting Crows.
It’s raining on New Year’s Eve.
Shiro takes exactly three seconds from the moment he opens the door of his sleek black car to decide whether or not he wants to use his umbrella, or if he’d prefer to let the Earth attempt to wash his sorrows away with the new year as well.
He picks the umbrella. Parked in a covered garage in a reserved space, the hesitation doesn’t mean anything anyways.
The sun has long since sank beneath the horizon, and the swollen moon spills it’s light onto concrete stairs that take Shiro from the garage’s corridor to the mouth of his work building. It’s unassuming in outside design. Overhead, the buzz of a dated neon blue sign glares down at him, and the raindrops bouncing off its surface looks like sparks.
No one should be in tonight. After all, the lab is closed. The silence is what Shiro is looking forward to most as a heavy blacked out automatic door slides open before him after he taps a keycard to a screen.
“Divorce rates are at an all-time high.” The news anchor’s voice is static in the background, and the D-word cuts through Shiro like a rusted spoon. He grimaces. “Am I crazy for feeling like it has something to do with the recent legalizations of same-sex marriage? You tell me.”
“What are you listening to?” Shiro’s voice is weary when it becomes very obvious that he isn’t the only one pathetic enough to come to work by choice on a holiday, even more so that oddly pointed media headlines seem to be following him everywhere. His loafers leave small puddles and clack against the linoleum as he walks towards his desk. Matt Holt, the only other person there, looks away from the TV in the upper corner of the room.
“This conservative jerkwad who’s getting his ass handed to him.”
“If you’re not working, shouldn’t you be home?” Shiro didn’t intend it to sound rude, but he supposes that’s how anyone would take it the second it left his lips. Internally, he sighs, chastises himself for bad people skills these past few months. Maybe that’s why his marriage ended, he muses.
“I can turn it off if you want?”
‘It’s alright,’ Shiro thinks he says says but doesn’t notice that it never makes its way out. It’s not fair to Matt, really. Though truthfully that could be said in regards to most people who were unfortunate enough to share a space with Shiro for any length of time anymore. There was something almost purposefully ignorant about knowing what an unpleasant entity you’d become while choosing to do nothing about it.
“Y’know,” Matt begins again. “You can use your words. It isn’t rocket science .”
Shiro can hear the grin in Matt’s voice as he says that last line. A small huff that might be considered a laugh to someone who reads through the lines pushes its way free from Shiro.
“You’re never gonna give that joke up, are you?”
“It’s the birthright of an aerospace engineer, you should use it more often.”
“I’ll keep it in mind.”
Shiro sits down to a stack of research he’s nowhere near close to getting sorted or figured out. A silence slips through the room that’s unsettling in ways he wishes he could ignore. The unspoken ‘why aren’t you home’ that has no business being asked anymore. Not that he missed it. If anything, the past six months have done wonders for the amount of work he’s gotten done now that he doesn’t have everyone on his case.
Don’t you want to get home to your wife?
That’s what he was supposed to have felt.
Nothing to be concerned with anymore.
Then, and now, Shiro has always felt that there’s more important things in life than conventional relationships. Part of the reason he’d gone into the field he did was because he wanted to be at the forefront of discovering just how everything in the universe fit together, and what the fabric that tied them was made out of. In relation to that, how could everything else not seem overwhelmingly trivial? His wedding day had been nothing to move the stars for.
Maybe now that he was in his mid-thirties and a sanctity-spoiler, people would leave him alone--
The door slides open again.
“What’s up, nerds?” Pidge announces her entry with a smile in her voice that immediately tells Shiro she’s up to no good. But then again, when is she ever? He doesn’t look up, and instead flips around a few papers at random. Hard at work, clearly.
“I just changed the calibration on the door scanners last week,” Matt says. “How’d you still get in?”
“By changing the calibrations on my tactics.” Pidge sounds proud of herself for that one.
“Successfully breaking into a government building,” Matt pauses. “I like it.”
Shiro manages a snort at that comment. Unfortunately, it directs Pidge’s attention to him.
“Anyways,” she begins. “I came to rescue you both from research hell. We’re going out. You too, Shiro.”
When Shiro looks up from the extremely interesting number sets in front of him, Pidge’s accusing finger is pointed in his direction.
He sighs when he says, “Sorry, Pidge. I think I’ll sit this one out.” There’s a reason he’d come here, and it definitely isn’t to tag along and feign celebration into the New Year.
“Not a chance! You’re already cornered.”
“Yeah,” Matt pipes in, a smug look on his face. “You didn’t really think I was waiting around here to work, did you?”
He’d been ganged up on, and all he can do is drop his jaw at the mutiny.
“Look.” Shiro holds up his hands in surrender. “I appreciate the thought, but--”
Pidge isn’t having his sidestepping. “But nothing, Mister. I’m tired of Matt calling me to talk about how glum you look all the time. We’re going. All three of us. It won’t even be a big deal, just a bar…” she trails off before muttering, “with a couple of my friends.”
“A couple friends,” Shiro repeats, leveling his stare with Pidge’s.
“ College friends.”
“Shiro, c’mon, you’re not that old! Just get the hell up, we only have two and a half hours to drink away our year’s worth of sorrows.”
Matt stands, cracking his back. “Amen to that, sister. We all have enough of them.”
“You can say that again,” Shiro says. The invitation sits in the silence that spans only briefly, but enough time for Shiro to feel its weight in his chest. He’s reluctant. Going out means he definitely won’t have any time for a somber ringing in of the new year alone in an office with lights that shut off after twenty minutes from inactivity. He doesn’t like to say he’s the mayor of Pity City, occupation one, but there was a certain comfort in the safety of feeling sorry for oneself. Matt and Pidge’s eyes are on him. Shiro stands up and says, “Alright, alright. I’m in.”
The bar isn’t as rowdy as Shiro had been expecting (dreading), which allows him to wring a bit of the nerves out of his hands. The place is more along the lines of a pub. Pidge leads him and Matt to a large table in the back corner where one big guy is waving enthusiastically, another is trying to balance a fork in between his upper lip and nose while making eyes at a giggling waitress, and the third is…
Shiro feels his saliva catch in the back of his throat as he takes in the man’s appearance. Jet black hair falling in disarray around eyes that rivaled any galaxy in the universe. He’s leaning his chin in his hand and only after appreciating the slender curve of his neck does Shiro realize he’s staring right at him.
Immediately, his heartbeat sounds the alarm, Shiro looks away.
“Shiro,” Pidge breaks the silence, gesturing to the three. “This is Hunk, Lance, and Keith.”
Shiro takes a seat at the end of the curved booth, across from the person he’s too embarrassed to make eye contact with. Unfortunately for his shots of ducking out of that one unnoticed, Keith speaks to him.
“Let me guess,” he says with a voice like smooth velvet. “You don’t get out much?”
Shiro swings his eyes up as he responds. “What makes you say that?”
“You look nervous.”
“Just need a drink.”
The guy who’d previously been holding the spoon, Lance, perks up at the comment. “I hear that, buddy.” He swishes around clacking ice cubes in his empty glass until Keith’s eye twitches in what Shiro thinks is irritation. Lance raises his hand up to another passing waitress to get her attention, and the second she stops by their table, her eyes land directly on Shiro.
“Well, what can I get you, Handsome?”
“I’ll take a scotch,” Shiro pauses. “A double, actually.”
“I’ll have a Bourbon Sweetheart,” Lance says as he winks at her. “ Sweetheart .”
The woman orients her body towards Shiro and reaches to place a hand on his shoulder. “Is there anything else I can get you ?”
The touch and tone of her voice sit oddly with him, he shifts his body out from under her hand and says, “Just the scotch.”
He pretends not to notice the way her face falls when she walks away from him. Before he can get caught up in thought over it, however, Keith’s low whistle makes him look over.
“Think you just blew your chance at a New Year’s kiss.” Keith flicks a balled up straw wrapper in Shiro’s direction.
At first, he doesn’t know how to answer, doesn’t know just how truthful he’s letting himself be yet. For now, he’s peering over the edge. Once he topples over, Shiro knows he’s done for. His answer is the easy way out.
“She’s not my type.”
Keith responds without missing a beat when he says, “What is?”
Shiro is three drinks in when the clock reads 11:30 PM, and by this time not only is he effectively tipsy, but Keith is sitting beside him. The others are meandering in different places: Matt and Lance are scouting out potential ‘kiss candidates’ to see who can woo the fastest, and Pidge and Hunk are fawning over the fact that a man across the room has a small personal robot he built by hand.
Shiro’s nervousness seems to slip out the window as smoothly as his last drink went down, and he already has another before him.
“So,” Keith says, leaning his jaw in his hand and staring up at Shiro from under a canopy of sinful lashes. “You’re really a rocket scientist?”
“Aerospace engineer,” Shiro sofly corrects, though he’s smiling.
“Impressive. Why wasn’t that your opener?”
“I guess I’m not looking to impress anyone.” He laughs on the tail end of it, but it isn’t entirely true. Thought within the privacy of his mind, Shiro wants to remain interesting enough to hold Keith’s attention, even if he has absolutely no idea what to do with it.
“Not even to get a wife?” Keith says it so casually that Shiro almost misses the genuine curiosity in his stare. He waggles his fingers in front of Shiro’s face. “Left ring fingers are one of the first things I notice.”
It’s the alcohol that let’s the truth fall from Shiro’s lips. “If I was, I’d be on the road to a new occupation of Serial Divorcer.”
Keith whistles low under his breath once more. “Baggage. She wasn’t your type either?”
Shiro locks his eyes with Keith and says, “No.”
“I think I know what might be.” Keith’s voice is pitched lower, a seductive whisper that catches Shiro off guard and has him steeling his face, gritting his jaw. Keith shifts closer to him and places a hand on his upper thigh just out of sight beneath the lip of the table. Unlike with the waitress’ hand, Shiro doesn’t move away.
“You’re really confident.” Shiro may not be moving, but he isn’t giving an inch yet either. This territory is uncharted for him, and in the back of his mind he remembers where Pidge met Keith. College. Keith is a college student. It should be off-limits, not unmapped.
Keith moves his hand up to grip the front of Shiro’s jeans, earning a soft grunt. “Actually, I’m just working my way to strategically propositioning you.”
“You’re certainly working something…” Shiro swallows thickly, unable to stop his hips from pressing up into Keith’s hand.
“I can take care of it for you, Shiro. But you’ll have to do something for me.”
Shiro finds it difficult to keep his head from swimming with Keith applying pressure just right. Though he suspects that’s the point. “What’s that?” he says as his brain begins to supply vivid imagery of every possibility under the sun. He feels his dick swell in his slacks.
“Well, my classes don’t pay for themselves…”
When Keith reaches for his zipper, Shiro finally finds the wherewithal to grip his wrist and halt the motion. The topic of compensation sits unprocessed in Shiro’s mind. “Keith,” he says around an exhale of breath. “I’m pretty sure I’m a bit too old for you.” You’re too young, is what he should say, but for some reason, Shiro leaves the ball in Keith’s court.
“Hot, loaded, and wholesome. Your ex lost the jackpot with you.” Keith leans closer, his lips ghosting Shiro’s jugular. “What’s the number, thirty-two?”
“Close enough.” Keith may have forsaken his assault on Shiro’s zipper, but his hand still manages to squeeze despite Shiro’s grip on Keith’s wrist. Shiro can’t tell if the vice is turning into encouragement rather than an attempt at deterring.
“How old are you?”
Shiro begins to pull away. “Keith--”
Keith moves back, though not far enough that their breath isn’t still intertwined. Shiro realizes he should have been concerned at anyone seeing their display. When Keith speaks, there’s this analytical look to his eyes that Shiro can’t place. “No way I was totally off the mark with you. Are you really not into this?”
Shiro stares at him, dumbfounded.
“That depends on which mark you’re talking about.” He considers omitting an answer to the second half, but his brain is fuzzy and loose-lips have always been his achilles when he’s drunk. “I, uh, didn’t say that.”
“Oh my god,” Keith says seemingly more to himself than to Shiro. “I totally thought-- y’know . You have the whole businessman look going on, rich, beats around the bush about not being into women? It’s textbook.”
“I guess I’m under-read,” is really the only thing Shiro can manage, especially when there’s the threat of a blush on his cheeks at Keith’s comment about women.
“Look, forget I said it, okay?”
“Can you not afford your tuition?” The mood is turning all wrong, but Shiro can’t help the concern that seeps into his voice. He’s still half hard and awkwardness is settling around them like a dense fog, but the thought of the world’s shitty economy depriving another smart young person out of a college education is enough to make him press on.
Keith laughs like Shiro just made the world’s greatest joke. “More like that’s how I afford it.”
“By…?” There’s a word on the tip of his tongue. But there’s not a cell stupid enough in Shiro’s body to think he’d be able to salvage this if he tossed out the term ‘prostitute’.
“By ‘being a whore’? No. Well, kinda. I guess it’s more long term than that. Typically I only sleep with three or four men at a time, it depends on how much they want to pay me a month. But I found out two of them were married last week, and the last one stopped calling me, so, I’m on the market.” Keith isn’t looking at Shiro as he talks, just swirling his straw around in his drink before knocking it back.
“I’ve never…” Shiro finds himself struggling to say. He doesn’t know where he’s going with this. Doesn’t know what to make of the B-line this night took. The alcohol is helping, he thinks, and so are Keith’s eyes. “With a man, I mean. Don’t judge me but, I’m the stereotypical ‘hides in the closet through marriage and being a workaholic’.”
“I just told you I’m a sugar baby for a living and you think I’m gonna judge you?” Keith laughs.
Shiro thinks he’d be able to listen to it forever. They’re staring at each other again.
There’s a few beats where neither of them move, and Shiro swears he can hear his heartbeat in his ears. When Keith shifts towards him again, Shiro stares at his lips.
“What if,” Keith starts, slowly letting his fingers trail back up Shiro’s thigh. “I give you a taste of how good of an investment I’d be, and then you can turn me down for real?”
“Like a free trial?”
“One that doesn’t even need an email address.”
The clock reads 11:39 PM.
Keith’s hand is working at the front of Shiro’s slacks again, and this time, Shiro doesn’t stop him. Instead, he grips Keith’s jaw to force eye contact and lets his lips fall open as shallow pants leave him.
“Is that a yes?” There’s a smirk to Keith’s eyes when he asks, and Shiro knows this is the last opportunity to do the responsible thing and excuse himself from the table. The only problem is he can’t seem to get his body on board with the logical parts of his brain.
“Not here,” Shiro says.
“Duh. Take me home.”
“We’ll have to get a cab.”
“Good, I’ll have time to blow you before we get to your house.”
“Yeah, that’s kinda the idea.”
The cab ride makes it seem like the city is swirling by them in tandem with the spinning Shiro’s head’s doing as he lulls it against the back seat. Keith is giggling in his ear and saying things like “Can’t hold your liquor, Old Man?”
Truth be told, Shiro has never been a big drinker. He doesn’t say that out loud, and instead grips Keith by his hip to pull him closer in a straddling position. Their taxi cabby grumbles something about seat belts, but puts the middle divider up nonetheless. It feels like a fever dream to Shiro who had assumed he’d be spending the night alone.
“You still with me?” Keith asks, kissing along Shiro’s jaw line down to his neck. His hips grind down against Shiro’s and cause them both to groan.
“I’m here…” Shiro bucks upwards deliberately and the sound that drips from Keith’s lips is an oasis in the desert.
“Good,” is all Keith says before he moves backwards from where he was previously sucking a mark into the side of Shiro’s neck. Sliding his hands lower, Keith yanks Shiro’s zipper down in clumsy drunken jerks, almost catching it on the fabric twice before finally getting the desired result.
Shiro’s mind barely has the time to comprehend the fact that his dick is being gripped before Keith is closing his lips around the head of him and humming in satisfaction that’s gotta be more for Shiro’s benefit than his own.
For a second, he thinks he’ll lose it the moment he feels Keith’s tongue swirl and lap at his sensitive underside, but somehow gets a grip on himself. It’s all happening quickly and there’s a part of Shiro wanting to slow down, to let every touch and caress soak in and overtake everything his imagination has supplied him with for years.
Yeah, Keith’s mouth feels a hell of a lot better than anything Shiro’s dreamed up.
With trembling fingers, Shiro cards into Keith’s hair, soft spoken words tumbling out of his mouth like prayers to a God.
“Right there,” Shiro whispers. “Good boy.”
Keith’s subsequent moan reverberates over Shiro’s skin, and the grip on his thigh becomes harsh. In the foggy depths of his mind, Shiro still manages to put two and two together on that one. He continues speaking since Keith’s obviously learned not to talk with his mouth full.
“You like that?” Shiro’s gentle hand in Keith’s hair turns into a vice, clutching the tresses and coaxing Keith down farther. The moment those beautiful purple eyes with lust-blown pupils turn up to him, Shiro can’t hold back the buck to his hips. For a split second, he worries whether or not he’s being too rough.
When Keith pulls off of him with a curse under his breath, that fear is almost solidified. But Keith grabs Shiro’s palm, presses it against the front of his jeans and ruts against it with a whine .
“Shiro, fuck… You can’t talk to me like that unless your dick’s inside me.”
“I think there’s some legalities against sex in a public taxi.”
Keith seems like he’s too horny for jokes because he makes a sound of frustration and turns to bang his fist against the backseat divider.
“Hurry up, I’m gonna die back here!”
“You’re gonna get me arrested,” Shiro says as he leans closer to mouth at Keith’s exposed throat. His dick is still laying hard and slick with Keith’s saliva against his thigh.
The car comes to a stop, conveniently, only a minute later, and Shiro struggles with stuffing his turgid issue back into his pants before Keith is practically dragging him out of the vehicle.
They can’t seem to get into his house fast enough.
“Holy shit,” Keith says upon entry, looking around and swaying in his step. “This place is huge.”
In reality, it wasn’t. Or, at least Shiro didn’t think so. He was proud of his home but a two story, four bedroom wasn’t exactly a mansion. Not that he cared to clarify.
“Do you want a tour?” There’s a certain smirk on his lips when he says it.
“Of your bedroom,” Keith counters, closing the gap between them and wrapping his arms around Shiro’s neck.
“I can arrange that.” Shiro knows with no room for uncertainty that he’s showing off when he scoops Keith up by the backs of his thighs and carries him effortlessly up the stairs to his room.
The moment Keith’s back hits the bed, he looks up at Shiro from beneath those lashes, the moonlight swathing him and making him look utterly luminous. Something in Shiro cracks open at the sight, like a chamber of himself that he’s kept locked away is finally open and yearning for everything it’s missed.
When they fuck, it’s euphoric.
Shiro chalks some of it up to the alcohol but most of it is Keith. The way Keith’s body takes him in and tightens around him, urging Shiro closer, harder, faster, more. It takes all of his energy to keep himself in just enough check that he doesn’t hurt the beautiful boy beneath him.
Keith, apparently, is trying to break him.
“Cmon, Shiro,” he urges, hands tangled up in sheets, his chest pressed against the mattress as he moves his hips back urgently. “I can take it, give me more.”
Shiro doesn’t doubt him, maybe he doubts himself. Maybe his entire life he’s always had to be careful and calculated and now he truly doesn’t understand the concept of letting go, of giving in. But he wants to, oh god does he want to. He lets his teeth sink into Keith’s shoulder, wracking a sound from him that has his own dick throbbing in Keith’s ass.
“Tell me if I hurt you.”
Keith’s nodding his head almost violently before he finds his voice on a hoarse groan. “Roger, roger. Just fuck me. ”
Shiro can’t say no to that if he tries.
He flips them over, gripping just under Keith’s knee and hiking his leg against his beautiful pale chest flushed in scarlet, and fucks into him once more. Giving Keith exactly what he wants is like taking a muzzle off.
Shiro moves his hips faster, angles them to slam against Keith’s prostate with each thrust, and reveling in the keens and sounds it’s milking from him. For a scrappy, no holds barred guy like Keith to be reduced to a whimpering mess on Shiro’s cock does something for his ego that he can’t quite place but damn if it isn’t gonna make him come harder than he has in years.
“Shit, Keith, I’m…” He doesn’t want to come first, but his orgasm is coiling in his belly like a hot spring and there’s only so much self control one guy can have. Shiro’s panting open-mouthed, leaving a battleground of purple marks across Keith’s collar bone and jugular.
“Me too...Don’t fucking stop.”
“Wouldn’t dream of it. You feel… god, you feel incredible. So tight on my dick, so good for me, Keith...” Shiro can’t stop himself from talking, but Keith is eating it up. Their breaths are falling harder, chest rising and fingers grappling to find purchase on sweat-slicked skin.
“Gonna--” Keith’s voice is cut off by a groan as he comes between them, and the sight of his swollen, flushed dick spilling milky fluid between their bodies is enough to send Shiro over the edge.
“ Yes…” Shiro yanks Keith even closer, driving into him until the coil breaks, until he’s filling Keith to the brim with his release for what seems like forever. He rides out his orgasm before collapsing to the side, half on top of Keith and have next to him. For a moment, there’s nothing but the sound of their panting in the room, slowly beginning to even out.
Shiro feels sleep beckoning him down like a second round of seduction when Keith’s low, fucked-out voice brings him back to the present.
“Happy New Year,” he says, shifting slightly and giggling.
“Happy New Year.”