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“Hunk,” Lance groans from the couch, phone in hand. “I’m dead.” The smell of lemon meringue wafts from the oven as Hunk grabs the tray and moves it to the kitchen island.

“Well, I certainly hope not,” Hunk says nonchalantly as he closes the oven door and gets out some plates. “Then you wouldn’t be able to enjoy this lemon meringue.” As he says this, Pidge comes out from her room (read: programmer cave) with a smirk on her face.

“Aaaannnndd he wouldn’t be able to enjoy the texts from his hot crush,” she says, using a spoon to scrape some of the meringue of the pie while Hunk isn’t looking. She stuffs the spoon in her mouth as she approaches Lance, who is scoffing unconvincingly as he crosses his arms. Pidge sits on the couch and drapes herself over Lance, putting the back of her hand to her forehead. “Oh, mysterious fellow passenger!” she moans with her mouth full. “I’m swooning. Please come take me away in your flying saucer and make a million alien babies with me!”

Lance shoves her away.

“Oh come on, that’s an exaggeration,” he says, red-faced. Pidge is highly unimpressed.
“You’re full of shit,” she replies without missing a beat. Lance gasps dramatically. “You always have some inane comeback, but not this time. That’s how I know you’re full of shit.”

“Pidge! Who taught you to talk like this?” Lance says in mock horror, hand over his heart. “Hunk, someone has tainted our precious daughter! I cannot take it!”

Pidge just cackles as she goes to the island for a second round of meringue. Hunk snatches her spoon away and hands her a plate and a fork instead.

“You know, if he likes space as much as you do, maybe it’s a match made in heaven,” Pidge adds thoughtfully before taking a bite of the pie.

“Aliens. Not space. He went on a forty-minute rant about alien conspiracies,” Lance says quietly, shy.

“Who is the mystery crush, anyway, Lance?” Hunk asks, bringing two plates to the couch.

“We’ll see soon enough, I bet,” Pidge says before Lance can answer. Lance laughs awkwardly as he takes a plate from Hunks extended hand, discarding the phone.
“Well, I did invite him to the beach?” he offers as he takes a bite of lemon meringue. Hunk lights up.

“Oh, that’s so cool! We can go tomorrow!” he says. “I mean, you’re only gonna be here for a week, Lance. And wedding festivities are gonna take up probably half of them. Might as well go earlier.”

“But Lance might want to be alone on his date,” Pidge singsongs. As much as Lance appreciates Wingwoman Pidge, he kinda needs the support right now because every time he talks to Keith he feels like he’ll spontaneously combust at any moment and that is not going to happen if he can help it. He’s Lance McClain, after all! Smooth, suave, sexy. And Keith was totally into him, too. Probably. Maybe? He could’ve just been a nice guy. His lowkey flirting doesn’t necessarily mean anything-

“So beach trip tomorrow for the four of us? Or Lance and his mystery man can go enjoy their privacy while Pidge and I do some boardwalk shopping?” Hunk asks. Lance gulps.

“Trip for the four of us. Definitely.”

“I need to find my wetsuit,” Pidge grumbles as she gets up.

“Good luck finding it,” Hunk says kindly as Pidge shuffles to her room. Lance scoffs.

“She’s never gonna find it in that trash heap she calls a bedroom!” he yells after her.

“Oh, fuck you,” Pidge yells back noncommittally. “Or get your dreamboat to do it for you. I don’t give a damn.”

Lance turns back to his pie and lowers his face into it, groaning with red cheeks.
“Hunk, I’m dead.”

“Oh!” Hunk exclaims gently. “Is this why you’re dead? Did he say something to you?”

“No, Hunk, he didn’t,” Lance groans into his pie. “But he’s soooo hooooot. Like hotter than Megan Fox hot. Hotter than Shakira hot. Hotter than Godfrey Gao hot. Hotter than the SUN hot. Holy shit.”

“Hotter than Beyonce?” Hunk asks in disbelief. Lance looks up suddenly, meringue smeared all over his chin.

“No one is hotter than Beyonce,” he says indignantly. He pouts, letting Hunk wipe his face with a napkin. “But he’s up there, that’s for sure.”

Hunk laughs.

“Wow, you really have it bad, huh?” he asks as he prods Lance with the base of his fork. Lance finally takes another bite of the pie and holds up a cute picture of Keith, which Lance totally didn’t snipe him in the airport terminal for when he wasn’t looking.

“Hunk,” Lance says forcefully. “Look at him. He’s so cute.”

Hunk scrutinizes the photo. Something about the guy is super familiar, but Hunk can’t place what it is exactly. He does have to hand it to Lance, though. The guy is good-looking. Hunk hums in reply. Lance looks at his phone again and sighs wistfully. Keith is adorable. Adorable. And apparently sending him a text!

Keith: hey. when do you want me to meet you? should i meet u there?

Lance sighs and clutches his phone to his chest. What a dreamboat. Who’s not going to fuck him this week because they just met and Lance likes to be wooed first. God, Pidge, have some faith. Lance returns to his phone.

Me: hihi~ meet me at the shoreline at 11:00? Pidgeotto (she evolved lol) and Hunk and I are gonna be there @10 bc *somebody* wants to get some anime thing when a store opens idk where tho but yah show up when you want to!!

Lance cringes. Why does he talk so much?

Keith: haha ur cute. C U there at 11! :)
Me: sahfksjahfjksahkjfsa

Holy shit, Keith thinks he’s cute! He could scream for joy!

Me: i talk too much haha

Fuck. Why did he say that?! That was definitely unnecessary!

Keith: no no ur fine. i like seeing u excited abt stuff

Lance is done. Dead. Gone. R.I.P. Lance. He died as he lived – enchanting the hearts of unfairly attractive people everywhere. Sort of.

“Lance, stop screaming into your pillow! Hurry up and get changed!” Pidge threatens from her room, her crap clattering around her. “The walls are too thin for my robotics stuff AND your voice to be causing a ruckus at the same time! Plus we need to go get Shiro and Allura’s present so hurry UP!”

Lance looks down at his phone again, at Keith’s lovely profile icon. It’s so tiny but even as an icon he can see the gentle slope of Keith’s nose and his jawline and his super-long eyelashes. Someone hold him. But out of the corner of his eye he sees Pidge rush by to a waiting Hunk near the door, so he starts to get ready.

---

“Soooooo,” Shiro starts. Keith groans. “Who’s this cute boy you’re mooning over?”
Keith groans again, ignoring his brother in favor of the coffee in front of him. After he got home last night, he ended up texting Lance for two hours before finally collapsing on the couch, still in his suit. His brother, ever the attentive one, quickly picked up on what was keeping him awake. Then again, there weren’t many options. He was either watching another episode of “Ancient Aliens” or obsessing over cute boys. That is to say, Keith was Facebook-stalking and lurking on their Instagrams.

“Shiro,” Keith groans. “I didn’t meet anyone special. He’s just a guy I met on the plane yesterday.” Shiro quirks an eyebrow.

“And yet you refer to a specific ‘him’ when I ask you about him, so clearly it IS indeed someone,” Shiro answers bemusedly. “So he must be your type, at least.” Keith sighs.

“Okay, fine, Shiro. I did meet a guy and he’s super attractive and I think I’m going to the beach with him and some of his friends tomorrow.”

“What’s his name?” Shiro asks. “Do I need to look him up?” Keith sits up.

“God no, Shiro. Please stop. I’m twenty-four. You don’t need to look after me anymore,” Keith says in a rush. “For quiznak’s sake, you’re only five years older than me.”

“I know,” Shiro admits quietly, sitting next to him. “But I worry about you. And so does Allura. It’s been a while since… you know… and we want you to be happy, baby brother.”

Keith sighs again. It’s been almost fifteen years since the accident, and while Keith wouldn’t say that he’s “over it” he also wouldn’t say that it has any bearing on his love life.

“Thanks, Shiro. But if it’s any consolation, it’s your buddy Lance McClain so-”

“Wait, you met Lance on the plane yesterday?” Shiro asks, astonished. “What a small world!”

After a beat of silence, Shiro puts a hand on Keith’s shoulder.

“Lance is a bit eccentric, but he’s a really good kid, Keith,” Shiro says. “You really should take him seriously.”

“And why wouldn’t I?” Keith asks, giving him a levelling gaze. Shiro sighs. Keith notes that this is probably where his own sighing habit came from.

“Keith, I don’t mean to baby you,” he starts. “But I know you go out sometimes and bring someone home when you don’t… really want that person.”

“Shiro, that’s my choice–”

“I know. And it’s your prerogative to sleep with whoever you want. But you never seem happy,” Shiro says, at a loss for how to continue. “I guess, I mean… you’re satisfied or whatever, but you just don’t seem… to enjoy these guys’ company. All I’m saying here, Keith, is that I think Lance is a good person. Do with that information what you will.”

Keith is silent.

“Thanks, Shiro,” he says. Shiro smiles.

“No problem,” he says back. “Anyway, now that you’re awake, sleepyhead, I have a lot to do before meeting with Allura later today. I think she’s picking up her dress now, but I have to go confirm some last-minute catering details. You wanna come with? Or do you want to chill?”

Keith gives a glance at the turned-over picture frame on his bedside table in the adjacent room.

“I’ll come with you.”

---

Lance is racing Pidge and Hunk to get groceries when he gets Keith’s next text. It is a time-honored tradition wherein the trio split the list of groceries into thirds, and then each person runs to their section of the store. Whoever’s at the register first gets first dibs on what to watch for Movie Night.

But Keith is more important. No he isn’t. Argh, not yet that is. Lance, just answer him.
Lance can hardly contain himself. It’s a text from Keith asking if he has a Snapchat. Lance sends him his Snapchat information as quickly as possible. It’s not even like, thirty seconds before Keith has sent him a friend request. It’s probably the quickest “accept” Lance has ever clicked.

About a minute later, Lance gets a snap from Keith. It’s a selfie in what appears to be a car. Keith is scowling.

“So bored,” reads the caption.

Lance sends a selfie back. “How come?”

The caption reads: “waiting 4 my brother to get out of the store. taking forever.” Keith is still scowling. He’s so cute.

“Oh you have a brother?” Lance asks, moving again with his cart. He sends a selfie with him on the cart.

“Yah,” Keith responds, sunglasses down and a coffee in hand. “The best – he got me this coffee.”

Lance is smiling down at his phone when Pidge and Hunk reach him.

“Ooh, is that the boyfriend?” Pidge asks with a shit-eating grin. Lance pockets the phone with a scowl.

“No,” he says petulantly as he glances down at his very full shopping list. Whoops. Hunk chuckles.

“Well,” he says good-naturedly, “Something important must’ve come up. Pidge and I have been waiting for ten minutes.”

Lance feels the blood rush to his cheeks and starts spluttering. Pidge decides to play nice.

“Alright, give me that,” she says as she snatches his list. “Go text him or whatever, and Hunk and I will take care of this.” Lance gives her a grateful smile. Pidge gives him a little push as Hunk waves.

This pattern may or may not continue for the rest of the day. Hunk and Pidge take care of stuff, and Lance highkey texts Keith as he lowkey freaks out at some of his selfies. What really breaks him is what he gets as he’s going to sleep: a selfie of Keith in bed, face curled into his pillow. And the text he gets separately is almost as cute.

Keith: im rly looking forward 2 seeing u. good night

Lance squeals into his pillow and goes to sleep with the goofiest grin on his face.