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Happy Birthday, Lance!

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He didn't belong here. Blue must have chosen wrong. He was just there. There was no one else for her to pick. She'll just leave him on the nearest planet once she finds her true Paladin.

Everyone has a thing.

Shiro's their leader, has an awesome bitch slap, and other shit that he doesn't want to get into.

Hunk is their engineer who makes them food and comforts them whenever they need.

Pidge is literally their brain for this whole thing.

Keith... Why does he even need to get into it? Keith is just... Keith. He's perfect, amazing, any god damn adjective that's anything like those first two.

And Lance?

Lance is just the seventh wheel.

He doesn't even have a thing. All he does is make dumb jokes and be annoying. For God's sake, he can't even shoot like the sharpshooter he claims he is!

On the good days, he could ignore the voice in his head that told him he was pathetic, useless, stupid. Others, he couldn't.

Today, he couldn't. It was just impossible.


 Ever since they left Earth, Pidge had been trying to make an electronic calendar so they could keep track on how long they've been gone.

After three months of work, she finished.

It was blue and white, with a circular shape. In the center, it said what day, month, year and time it was on Earth. There was a digital version on the walls in their bedroom; That way they would know the day and time without having to walk all the way to the bridge.

When Lance woke up, it was one of the bad days. He didn't want to get up.

No alarms were going off; Allura had given them a free day. He wasn't sure why, but wow, was he grateful. He turned his head to look at the time-

Oh no.

No.

Why was it today?!

Lance groaned, dragging the blanket over his face. He really, really, hoped Hunk had forgotten. He didn't want to deal with it today. The universe had to be on his side, sometimes, right?

A knock came at his door.

Lance stopped breathing, hoping that the person knocking (Hunk, probably), would think he was sleeping and go away.

"Lance, I know you're awake, open the door," Keith? What the hell? Why was Keith there?! He didn't have time to hide his blushing with confidence and jokes today, he was so damn tired and just wanted to die in a hole like the pathetic lump of sad he is.

"I'm asleep," Lance yelled back, voice muffled by the pillow he was currently burrowing in. "Call again later."

"If you don't open the door, I will, and we both don't want that," Keith retorted. Lance very much did not want that. He slept without a shirt on, and he didn't want Keith to see his muscle-less chest.

"The door's locked," Lance smirked, voice still muffled. Good luck with that, Keith.

"Have it your way," and God, Lance could hear the smug smile on his face.

"Wait- no! I'll-" Lance was tripping out of bed, feet tangled in the sheets.

The red bayard appeared on the side of the door, forcing it open. Lance groaned into the ground. "Couldn't you have waited two minutes?!"

"No," Keith said, putting away his bayard. "Get up. You're training with me."

"What? Why?" Lance asked, kicking the blankets off of his legs, huffing when Keith laughed at his attempts. "Asshole, help me up," Lance whined, kicking at the blankets desperately.

"Because Shiro and Allura are busy, Pidge would decapitate me if I turned her computer off, and there's no way I'm fighting Pidge," Keith answered, completely ignoring Lance's request.

Lance huffed, pushing himself from the floor. "But it's a free day! Why train?!" Lance asked, stretching his arms out. 

"I-" Keith cut off with a sharp cough, turning his face away from Lance. It might've been the light, but Lance swore he saw Keith blush. "Fucking-" The coughs didn't stop.

"Dude, are you okay?" Lance asked, walking closer to Keith's bent frame. One hand was clutching his stomach, while the other was up in the air, motioning for Lance to stop and give him a minute.

"I think," Keith wheezed, straightening up, facing Lance again, a bit of red on his cheeks still. "I think I'm allergic to you," Keith smirked. 

Lance feigned being hurt, placing one hand over his heart as he gaped at Keith dramatically. "Keith! I'm hurt!" 

Despite his efforts, Keith's eyes never met his face. They stayed downwards, moving ever so slightly. Why was Keith looking dow- Oh. Right. He was shirtless. He didn't have to swear to see Keith's blush this time.

Feeling self-conscious again, he coughed awkwardly, moving to the hidden closet. He placed his hand on the desk, and the wall slid open, revealing a rather large closet with clothes that belong to Lance, the previous Blue Paladin's, and clothes Allura thought would fit him. He pulled out his shirt, quickly slipping it on before grabbing his jacket and closing the doors. Pulling on the jacket, he turned to Keith again, catching his confused expression.

"What?" Lance asked, pulling the zipper up. It was unusually cold today.

"We have a closet?!" Keith shout-asked, waving his arms around in the air, as if that would help his point. Lance stared at him, fidgeting with the ends of his sleeves. 

"Uh, yea? Didn't Allura show you?" Lance asked, noticing the red jacket missing and the slightly trembling arms. "Are-"

"No, she did not show me," Keith scowled, subconsciously wrapping his arms around himself.

"Huh," Lance said, not having anything else to say. He grabbed his bayard from the desk, and moved towards the door where the Red Paladin still stood. "Are we going, or..?" Lance asked, noticing Keith hadn't moved from his spot. 

"Oh, right. Right, training," Keith blinked, walking at a fast pace down the hall, his arms crossed and shoulders hunched.

"Are you cold, or something? You keep shi-"

"No, I'm not cold," Keith answered, hugging himself a little tighter.

"If you are, it's fine. I think it dropped like, a zillion degrees overnight.

"Pidge said something about making it colder at night and warmer during the day. Maybe she broke it," Keith offered, teeth chattering at the end. He quickly stopped it by clenching his teeth together.

"Alright, that's it," Lance sighed, taking off his jacket. They weren't even close to the training deck yet; Keith was already starting to tremble from the cold. He'd probably mock him for doing this, but Lance didn't care. Keith needed to be warm.

"W-what are yo-you-" Before Keith could finish the sentence, Lance draped his jacket over Keith's shoulders, bracing himself for when Keith laughed and pushed it off, mocking Lance for doing so. A few minutes passed where Keith stared at Lance, a faint blush spreading across his cheeks, not quite noticing the jacket over his crossed arms. Lance would've left, but for some reason, his feet stayed planted where they were. Keith blinked, slowly putting his arms into the sleeves, no longer staring at Lance. Lance let out the breath he didn't know he was holding. "T-thank you," Keith mumbled, and it was so quiet, Lance wouldn't have heard it if a pin dropped.

They started walking again, Lance grinning smugly at Keith, who's face was covered by his hood. Funny, Lance didn't remember Keith pulling it over his head. The jacket reached his mid-thigh, fingers no longer visible due to the length of his sleeves. Lance snickered at the sight, wishing he had some version of a camera.

"What?" Keith asked, stopping to look at Lance. Lance immediately felt any oxygen he had leave him. Keith looked so handsome- no, cute- no, adorable- no. He looked like all of those in his jacket. The dark green complimented his skin nicely, even with the grey hood covering up most of his face. The top of the jacket covered most of his eyes, but Lance could still see those violet hues peeking at him cautiously, as if Lance would just backhand him out of nowhere, his lips twitching downwards slightly. Keith's hands were fidgeting with each other behind the sleeves, and Lance couldn't help but think of how much he loved this boy.

"What is it?" Keith asked again, breaking Lance from his thoughts. 

"Nothing," Lance said, fighting the heat that crept to his face.

"Are you sure?" Keith asked, stepping a bit closer to Lance. And wow, he was so damn adorable and cute and handsome- and Lance was going to explode from all of this.

Being Lance, he didn't use his filter (the one that hardly works) on his next sentence. "You look so damn cute with my jacket on."

Fighting the blush was no longer an option. It was too strong to fight.

Unable to tear his eyes away from Keith's, once again, shocked face, he noticed the faint red climbing up his face. Ignoring his own blush, Lance smirked smugly at Keith, not hearing any form of retort. "What? Did I get your mullet in a twist?"

Keith opened his mouth, then closed it again, settling on glaring at Lance before turning on his heel and entering the training room. Lance breathed out of relief, glad he wouldn't be able to see his blush anymore, following Keith onto the training deck.


"Are you sure you don't want to just, I dunno, laze around the Castle until lunch or whatever?" Lance asked, moving to shrug off his jacket for training. He realized he'd given it to Keith, who was now stripping it off to train with Lance. He moved to where the weapons were kept, grabbing two staffs. He walked at a terrifying fast rate, for his height, at least, to the centre of the room, tossing Lance a pole. After a bit of fumbling, Lance managed to catch it, smirking at Keith's eye roll, getting into his own defense position.

"I'm sure," Keith answered, moving forward to attack Lance. "And, it's past lunch. I think it's like," Keith glanced up quickly, swiping his staff towards Lance's chest. "Three o'clock? I'm not sure, there's no-" Keith dodged a hit aimed for his head. "Don't aim for the head, clock in here, but when-" Keith jumped over Lance's staff. "I woke you up," Keith jabbed Lance in the chest with his pole. "It was around two thirty. I win."

"Bullshit! You distracted me!" Lance yelled, trying to find an excuse to not lose against Keith.

"With what? My words?" Keith smirked, outstretching a hand for Lance to take. Lance grumbled but accepted, hauling himself to his feet with Keith's aid.

They moved back to the center, getting into position. It had gone on mostly quiet, that is, until Lance's mouth started flapping away. After a few minutes, Keith managed to hit Lance in the chest, gaining another win. Lance glared but got back into position, figuring out a way to beat Keith. Of course, it would take some foul play, but, no way could Keith beat him three times. He'd never live it down!

When Keith moved forwards, Lance pretended to be dizzy, dropping his staff and stumbling back a few steps before falling. Keith shouted his name in alarm when his eyes closed, making his way to Lance's side. He couldn't see Keith, but he felt Keith crouch beside him, placing a hand on his cheek before patting it.

"Lance, wake up!" He yelled, patting his cheek harder. Lance forced himself to groan, moving his arm around as he made it look like he had difficulty opening his eyes. He hoped Keith thought he was looking for him while he moved his arm around, actually looking for his staff. Finally feeling it in his grasp, he clutched at it, moving his hand a bit closer to where he thought Keith was. His eyes fluttered open for a second, trying to pinpoint where Keith's chest was, before fake groaning and closing his eyes again.

He felt bad for worrying Keith, but he could. Not. Be. Beaten. Three. Times. By. Keith.

Lance muttered 'I win' under his breath quietly enough for Keith not to hear, but forcing him to ask.

"What was that? Lance, are you okay?" Keith asked, taking his hand off of his cheek and instead placing them on either shoulder.

"I said," Lance answered, jabbing him in the chest with his staff as he opened his eyes with a smirk. "I win," he laughed, watching as Keith stared at him on the ground from where he'd fallen over.

"What the fuck," Keith stated, pushing himself from the ground. He glared at Lance, pulling something from the sheath where he kept his knife. Laughing uncontrollably, he didn't see Keith pull out a blindfold until it was too late.

"Wait- Keith, pal, buddy, let's be reasonable about this!" He yelped, backing away from Keith.

Keith sighed, moving to the door where he had dropped Lance's jacket, putting it back on. He flipped the hood over his head and walked to where Lance was standing holding out a hand for him to take and giving him the blindfold with the other. "Just put on the damn blindfold and come with me, dumbass," Keith demanded, and Lance was trying very hard not to blush about the fact that Keith had just willingly offered him his hand, and put his jacket back on without Lance forcing him to.

Visibly swallowing, he took the blindfold from Keith and wrapped it around his head hesitantly. Once he was done, he reached for where Keith's hand would be, finding it almost immediately. 

Keith intertwined their fingers, then dragged him out of the training deck and into the cold hallways. He had to suppress a shiver, considering he wasn't going to take his jacket back. After a few short minutes of walking, Keith stopped letting go of his hand. "Wait here, I'll be right back," Keith said, and Lance wasn't sure, but he thought he felt Keith... kiss his cheek? What the fuck? No, he must've imagined it, but, come to think of it, he realized how much he wanted to kiss Keith, taste those perfect pink lips-

"Alright," Keith said, taking his hand again. He heard a door swish open before he as dragged again. Once he heard the door close, Keith let go of his hand, probably moving to take off his blindfold.

Ah, he was correct.

Not used to the sudden light, he blinked a few times, trying to see straight.

It took a few minutes, but once adjusted, he saw... he saw the beach.

"Keith?" he whispered, unable to step forward. He looked around, seeing Pidge, Shiro, and Coran all watching him from a picnic table, while Hunk cooked something on... on a barbecue? "Keith... Is this..?"

"It's the beach," Keith answered, smiling brightly as he stepped beside him. "Go see the others."

Lance swallowed thickly, nodding. He walked towards the others, sitting at the picnic table they were all at. On said table, there were plates, along with bottles of ketchup, mustard, relish, and mayonnaise. He stared at it all, uncomprehending of what was going on. He breathed in, smelling the aroma of Hunks hamburgers. Turning his head behind him, he saw Hunk's plate with stacks of hamburgers, hot dogs and sausages piled on it, bags of buns on the other side. He was still cooking, but smiled at Lance before returning to the burning meat. "Happy birthday!" He called over the sizzling of meat. Lance blinked a few times before returning his gaze to the others. They had the same smiled as Hunk did, save for Shiro. He looked so smug.

Keith sat down across from him, glaring at Shiro's smug look. Why was he so smug?

"So," Pidge cleared her throat, noticing Lance's shell shocked expression. "Happy birthday."

"Happy birthday," Shiro parroted, pulling Lance into a side hug. Lance responded by slowly wrapping his arms around Shiro. He looked up, catching Keith's eye before he quickly looked the other way. Was Lance imagining it, or was Keith frowning? Lance shook his head, letting go at the same time Shiro did.

"Happy birthday, m'boy! As you can see, your fellow Paladins, Allura and I have recreated your earth beach!" Coran said, smiling at Lance through his bushy moustache. "Sadly, Allura had battle plans to make, so she couldn't be here, but she sent her gift through me! We had birthdays back on Altea, as well!"

Lance smiled at Coran, but was still confused. How did they get hamburgers? Ketchup? Did they stop by Earth?

"We stopped by the space mall while you were sleeping," Pidge answered, as if knowing his yet to be asked questions. "They had that Earth store, remember?"

Lance nodded, feeling tears well up in his eyes. He quickly blinked them away. He wouldn't cry in front of them, no matter how much of an emotional guy he was. He settled for smiling. "This... This is sand?" Lance asked, rubbing his feet on the ground.

"Something like it, yea. Apparently the Castle had loads of it. We used the ball room to make a beach," Pidge smiled, standing up from her chair. She had a full suit, green bathing suit with padding on. Looking around, Lance noticed all of them were in swimming attire, even Keith. He must've changed or something. Noticing his confusion, Keith tossed him a pair of blue swimming shorts.

"I stopped by our rooms when you were kinda.. zoned out, I guess. Go get changed or something, and before you ask- Pidge made some weird ass outhouses over there," Keith said, pointing to a green and red outhouse. Lance smiled and walked towards it, quickly getting changed in the lemon smelling booth. When he got back out, all of them were in the water (that they magically got into the ballroom without flooding the castle). Hunk seemed to have finished cooking, seeing as he was in the water with the rest of them, save for Keith. Lance walked over to where he was looking at his hands on the table, wrapping his arms around Keith's neck.

"You not gonna swim?" Lance asked, leaning close enough to feel his ear when he talked. Keith lowly relaxed into the touch, almost leaning into it.

"No," Keith said, fidgeting with the sleeve of Lance's jacket that was, surely enough, beside him.

"Come on," Lance whined, holding a little tighter. "Swim for Lancie. You're in your swim suit.. type. Thing."

"The fuck? Who calls you Lancie?"

"Just come swimming, mullet."

"Sorry, but no, " Keith said, taking Lance's hands off.

"Ugh, fine," Lance said, totally not admitting defeat. Once he was sure Keith wasn't paying attention, he grabbed Keith's waist, pulling him out of the bench.

"Lance-!" Keith yelped, not having enough time to grab the table. Lance hoisted him into the air, throwing him before catching him bridal-style. Lance laughed at Keith's scared look when caught. Keith quickly wrapped his arms around Lance's bare neck, still a little shocked from being thrown in the air. When he ran into the water with Keith, Coran and Hunk gave him knowing looks, the traitors, while Pidge doubled over in laughter with Shiro.

Keith glared halfheartedly at Shiro and Pidge, oblivious to the looks he got from Coran and Hunk, still gripping tightly to Lance's neck.

"Relax, Mullet, I'm not going to drop you," Lance teased, walking waist deep into the water.

Keith rolled his eyes, but still looked a little frantic. "Can you put me down, please?"

"Who, me?" Lance feigned innocence, but put him down when he huffed. That is, for the total of two seconds. He ducked underwater, trying to avoid Keith's eyesight, before pushing his shoulders underneath Keith's thighs. He heard Keith scream underwater, before coming up, lifting Keith on his shoulders. He placed his hands on Keith's hips, keeping him upright.

"L-lance!" He squawked, arms moving to grab something solid, that wasn't his head. "What the fuck?!"

"Hunk!" Lance yelled, ignoring Keith. "Grab Pidge!" 

"Wha- No!" Pidge screeched, stopping her laughter to run from Hunk, promptly running into Shiro's grabby hands. She screeched when he placed her on his shoulders, trying to get off.

"You up for a battle, mullet?" Lance asked, looking up at him with a smile.

"Fine," Keith grumbled, trying to act upset, but Lance saw the smile tugging at his lips.

"Come at me!" Lance yelled, running as fast as he could through the water to Shiro and Pidge.

This was going to be fun.

Why was he so worried?


 

After that, they all ate the burgers, sausages, and hot dogs like wolves when Hunk placed them down, all except for Coran, who ate a sausage and hot dog hesitantly, before digging in like the rest.

"My, that was amazing, Hunk!" Coran yelled, taking a sip of water.

"Thank you so fucking much, Hunk," Pidge sighed, nibbling her hot dog.

Lance was breathing in the hamburger, unable to thank Hunk. Thankfully, Shiro did for him.

When Lance looked up, he saw that Keith had finished a hot dog, not moving onto more.

"Not hungry?" Lance asked, ignoring the other conversations.

Keith shook his head, pulling a dozen hamburgers, hot dogs, and sausages onto his plate. Keith brought out a container from nowhere, placing it all in. "No, hoarding. I need to hoard it. Keep it for later."

Lance laughed, pulling Keith into a side hug when he finished. "You're so weird," he said into Keith's incredibly soft mullet. Keith didn't tense this time, just accepted the hug by wrapping arms around his waist.

After a few seconds, Hunk spoke up. "Okay, love birds, break it up for a few minutes," Hunk laughed, pulling out a cake type thing with a candle in it. Lance and Keith seperated immediately, not meeting each other's gaze. "We're not doing the song, it makes me cringe. Blow out the candle and make a wish so we can eat it."

Lance laughed again, thinking for a loooong minute, just to spite Hunk. 

"I will eat the cake whether or not you've blown out the candle, man. You know I will."

Lance rolled his eyes, making a quick cliche wish before blowing out the candle.

He looked to the side, noticing Keith slip on his jacket with a red face. They had all changed after swimming; Lance forgot about giving Keith his jacket.

Not that he was going to take it back, of course.

Keith looked so damn cute in it.

When he finished the cake slice he got, he noticed Keith adding a slice to his container of food. Lance laughed again.

God, he loved this boy.

He wrapped an arm around Keith's shoulders, ignoring Hunk's smirk when Keith leaned into the touch.


Later that night, when everyone had left, claiming they had to do other stuff, and wishing one more happy birthday, Keith caught up with Lance when he was about to go into his room.

"Hey, Lance," he breathed, panting from running.

"Aw, Mullet, did you run all that way to meet me?" Lance smirked, but for some reason, he knew it was true.

"Yes," Keith answered, grabbing Lance's wrist. Lance looked at him, confused, the smirk slipping from his face.

"What's up?" Lance asked, not pulling his wrist back. He subtly noted that Keith hadn't taken the jacket off, even though the halls had gotten back to their normal temperature.

"I, uhm, God, okay-" Keith's face was getting really red, and his grip was getting tighter.

"Keith? You okay?" Lance asked, concerned for Keith. He didn't look too good. Was he sick? His face was pretty red. He pulled his wrist from Keith's grasp, placing the back of his hand to Keith's forehead. It felt normal, if a little sweaty from running. Keith blinked at him with confusion written all over his features when Lance pulled his hand back. "Oh, sorry, I was-" Keith grabbed the sides of Lance's shirt, and pulled him down. Lance stared at Keith in shock, his eyes wide. 

Keith's lips were just like they looked. Soft, full, not at all chapped, and it felt so damn good. It ended too soon though, Keith pulled back when he let go.

Noticing Lance's expression, he blushed hard. "I- uh, I- sorr-"

"Don't be fucking sorry," Lance smiled, wrapping his arms around Keith's waist and pulling him closer. He dipped down to kiss Keith, closing his eyes right after Keith did. Keith wrapped his arms around Lance's neck, sighing contently into Lance's mouth before pushing him into the room. Lance grabbed both of his thighs, holding him up against the wall as Keith wrapped his legs around Lance, the door giving a soft swoosh behind them. "This was my wish."

"It just occurred to me," Keith breathed heavily when they pulled apart for a minute, going back in right after. "I never said happy birthday," Keith said against Lance's mouth. "So, Happy Birthday."

Lance laughed, making Keith's whole body move with the noise.

"You're still wearing my jacket," Lance noted, shifting Keith a little higher.

"Uh-huh," Keith moaned a little bit, causing Lance to laugh more.

"Any reasons why?"

"It's my birthday suit," Keith answered, tugging at the ends of his hair when Lance went to kiss his neck.

"Oh yea?"

"Yea. Go get yours on and we'll see whose is better," Keith said, dead serious.

"Is that a competition, Mullet?"

"You bet it is."