Lance’s phone buzzed somewhere under his pillow, waking him from a turbulent dream, the details of which flittered away like wisps of smoke the minute he regained consciousness. He let out a muffled groan as he rolled over and fished his phone out from beneath layers of bedding, tapping the screen until it lit up.
The clock on his phone read 4:30 a.m. and he felt a moment of confusion as he slid his fingers across the screen to unlock it. He sobered when he saw that he had multiple messages from Shiro. They had been seeing each other for about a month, getting together once or twice a week since meeting at the Halloween party. Sometimes they went to a movie or dinner, and most of the time they ended up in bed. The chemistry between them hadn’t faded or fizzled in the least since their steamy first encounter.
Lance sat up and wiped the sleep from his eyes as he opened his messenger app.
(04:28 a.m.) Sorry, I know you’re probably asleep.
(04:29 a.m.) I just got off duty and had a really rough shift and
(04:29 a.m.) I don’t want to be alone…
Lance stared at the messages, his heart pinching. He knew that sometimes Shiro had to deal with some messed up shit. Shit that Lance probably couldn’t stomach. They had talked about as much over drinks on one of their first dates. Before he could type a reply another message came through.
(04:35 a.m.) Sorry, I’m being weird. You’re probably asleep so please just forget about these when you get them.
He quickly texted back.
(04:36 a.m.) Don’t be sorry. It’s not weird.
(04:37 a.m.) Do you wanna come over?
Lance waited, sitting up in his bed and looking around his messy room. His apartment was a small, one bedroom on the outskirts of the campus district, which was perfect for Lance as he spent most of his time as a lowly doctoral student at the university.
The unit was dated and they usually ended up at Shiro’s place because it was more centrally located. Lance hadn’t invited him over yet, a bit self-conscious that the posters on his walls and his barren kitchen would highlight just how much more adult and together his firefighter boyfriend was.
They hadn’t really discussed the b word yet and he winced at his brain for getting ahead of itself. His phone buzzed as two more messages came through.
(04:38 a.m.) Is that
(04:38 a.m.) Are you sure that’s ok?
(04:40 a.m.) Of course
(04:40 a.m.) I don’t want you to be alone either :)
(04:42 a.m.) Ok
(04:43 a.m.) omw
Lance went into a mild panic as he hopped out of bed, flicked on the lamp on his dresser and scrambled to clean as much as he could before Shiro arrived. His bedroom was a decent size, but he had clothes strewn about the room that he scooped up into the laundry basket he kept in his closet. He straightened the navy sheets on his bed and quickly made it up with his comforter, which had sharks on it.
Looking down at the pattern, he pursed his lips, a thought flittering across his mind that Shiro might think his stuff would be better suited for a dorm, but he quickly brushed it aside. Shiro seemed to like him, for whatever reason, and so Lance was going to continue to be himself, continue to let his quirks shine through. He felt comfortable with Shiro, who had immense patience and had been utterly accepting of Lance thus far.
Before he could dwell on the matter any longer, he made his way to the kitchen, bare feet padding along the tile floor. He was dressed in sweatpants, his baggy t-shirt riding up as he scratched the strip of hair that ran across his taut stomach.
He clicked on the light above his stove and put on a kettle of hot water, rummaging through his cabinets for two clean mugs so that he could make tea. He didn’t really know what kind Shiro liked, so he went for his go-to whenever he was having a rough time, peppermint.
The water hadn’t yet come to a boil when there was a soft knock on his door. His heart leapt into his throat and he jerked in response, walking quickly over to undo his deadbolt. When he pulled the door open, Shiro was waiting in the hallway, beneath the glowing light above his door.
Lance was always stunned at how tall and broad Shiro was, his shoulders practically filling the door frame. He looked tired, his clothes rumpled, dark circles smudged beneath his gunmetal eyes.
“Hey,” he said with a weary smile, lifting his left hand in greeting.
His voice was sandpaper, that one word crawling across the space between them. Shiro was dressed in dirty jeans tucked into tan work boots and a grey hoodie, clothes slightly rumpled. He looked exhausted.
“Hey, yourself,” Lance replied, a warm grin stretching across his dark lips.
He moved to let Shiro slip past him, noting the slump of his shoulders as well as the worn purple duffle bag in his hand. Lance immediately went over and wrapped his arms around Shiro’s waist. He tensed for a moment before sagging against him. Shiro bent his body around Lance, head resting in the crook of his neck.
“Long day?” Lance asked, rubbing his back before stepping away at the sound of the whistling tea kettle.
He turned off the burner and poured hot water into their mugs, watching the water bleed through the tea bag, swirling pale green beneath the light of his stove. When he was done, he handed a round, white mug of tea to Shiro, who accepted with a hum of appreciation.
“Long day would be an understatement,” Shiro answered, glancing around Lance’s apartment as if he was trying to get his bearings but his eyes were unfocused, drifting aimlessly across the space.
“Do you want to talk about it?” Lance asked hesitantly.
In the month or so they had been seeing each other, the two of them had broached some pretty intense subjects. They had talked about their jobs, and after a couple of especially rough shifts, Lance could see a change in Shiro. He was quieter, more withdrawn, needed to be coaxed into smiling. But never before had Shiro been so disturbed by something at his work that he had sought out Lance in the middle of the night.
Naturally, Lance was worried.
He scooched closer to where Shiro stood, their sides touching as he leaned a hip against the counter. He set his tea on the counter and reached a long arm up to rub a gentle hand across Shiro’s chest, as if his touch could sooth him.
“You don’t have to if you don’t want to,” he murmured softly.
His hand kept moving, sliding up his neck to gently cup his face, thumb brushing along his high cheekbones, gliding across the smooth skin of his scar.
“Our last call of the night was to respond to an accident on the freeway,” Shiro said, his voice barely more than a whisper.
He leaned into the palm of Lance’s hand, eyes closing as if he were reliving the memories of the night before, eyelids moving restlessly.
“It was a head-on collision,” he began, brow pinching and voice low. “A drunk driver got on going the wrong way and hit a minivan. Everyone was...” his voice trailed off and he grew quiet.
He swallowed thickly.
“There weren’t any survivors.”
“Shit,” Lance whispered in response, pulling Shiro roughly to him.
Shiro didn’t put up any resistance and instead melted into Lance’s warmth, arms hanging loosely around his lean waist. Lance could feel wet tears against his skin, but otherwise Shiro was silent. His first thought was that this was completely different than his own, uncontrollable sobbing that was loud, rude, and messy. Shiro’s crying seemed almost stoic, his muscles tense beneath Lance’s touch.
“It’s okay,” Lance murmured, laying gentle kisses on Shiro’s temple. “It’s okay.”
Shiro let out a gasp, his heavy shoulders shaking as he gave himself over to his grief. All the while, Lance’s hands were moving, stroking his back, his arms, his shoulders, an endless caress that became rhythmic. They stayed like that, silently embracing one another until Shiro stilled, sagging against Lance.
Sliding his face along Shiro’s, Lance felt moisture against his own cheek as he reached to press a soft kiss to Shiro’s lips.
“I’m sorry,” he said, voice low and sincere.
Having multiple siblings, the youngest of which was just now in middle school, Lance had been a shoulder to cry on for most of his life. Yet he’d never experienced this type of intimacy with a lover. They had only recently gotten together, he surprisingly wasn’t feeling any discomfort with the intensity of it all. It felt natural, holding Shiro, murmuring an unintelligible string of assurances into the tender flesh where Shiro’s neck and shoulder met.
“Come sit down,” Lance’s voice rumbled through Shiro as he grabbed his left hand and tugged him around the kitchen counter to the living room, their tea long forgotten.
It wasn’t a large space, but it was cozily furnished, a steamer trunk serving as a coffee table in front of an overstuffed sofa. Lance laid down on the couch, pulling Shiro on top of him, wrapping his arms around him and tucking his head beneath his chin. A hand slipped beneath his hoodie to stroke his back, fingertips running along bare skin.
Shiro’s cheek was resting against Lance’s chest and he could feel Lance’s heartbeat, sure and steady. He focused on its rhythmic thumping, focused on the gentle rise and fall of Lance’s chest, trying to match it with his own.
It had been a long time since he’d broken so completely.
This time felt different. He wasn’t alone.
Shiro sniffed his runny nose and reached up to wipe a sleeve along his face, knowing that he probably looked a mess. He pushed himself up to look down at Lance, whose beautiful face reflected gentle concern, his brows pinched in a v.
Lance reached up to brush a hand across his cheek, clearing away some of the moisture. Shiro felt his heart ache, looking down into Lance’s deep, blue eyes. He had never connected with someone the way he did with Lance. Things were just easy. No expectations, no judgement. He always felt cared for, which he hadn’t really been expecting.
Normally, when work got to be too much, he agonized by himself, working out excessively or drinking alone at a bar in town. But this time, he knew immediately what he needed.
Shiro leaned down slowly, eyes fluttering closed as his lips grazed across Lance’s. Their mouths met tentatively, a spark ricocheting between them as they kissed again and again, each with more passion than the last. Lance’s hands were firm on Shiro’s sides, fingers squeezing into the muscle around his ribs.
Lance broke the contact and let his lips drift across Shiro’s cheek, kissing away silver tears before moving quickly to his brow, his other cheek, and the tip of his nose.
Shiro was overwhelmed with emotion. There was so much going through his mind, flashes of the scene from earlier, the dark swirl of despair that clouded his thoughts threatening to bury him.
But the longer he spent in Lance’s arms, with his warmth surrounding him, the more Shiro was pulled from those thoughts and brought back to the present. He could focus on touch, on taste, on shutting down his brain and just doing .
Desire shocked through his system and his mouth was crashed into Lance’s, his need molding their lips roughly together.
Lance stilled in surprise, his eyes opening to give Shiro a questioning look.
“Takashi?” he whispered, giving him a questioning look.
“Please,” Shiro begged, his voice strained. “When I’m kissing you...I-I can’t think.”
To his own ears, he sounded frantic.
“And I…” His gunmetal eyes darted away as he trailed off, unable to finish the sentence. “Please,” he repeated.
Then Lance’s mouth was on him, his kiss forceful as his tongue swept between Shiro’s parted lips. He groaned and returned the kiss with equal fervor, savoring in the wet heat of Lance’s mouth. His hand fisted in silky, brown hair as he split his thighs to bracket Lance’s trim hips, straddling him.
He felt blood rush to his groin, his growing erection straining against the fabric of his jeans. Beneath him, the thin material of Lance’s sweats left little to the imagination and he could feel the younger man’s hard length pressed against thigh.
With a low moan, he moved against it, adjusting until they fit together and then shifting so that he could use his ass to grind down onto him.
A strangled whimper escaped Lance’s throat.
Their kisses became hungry and wild until Lance broke his mouth away to bite at the exposed skin of Shiro’s neck. He tugged on the bottom hem of Shiro’s hoodie and Shiro obliged him, pulling it over his head with one arm. Lance’s hands travelled down, gripping his hips as Shiro writhed against him. His fingers hooked into the belt loops of his jeans, holding him steady against his hardness.
Lance pushed himself into a sitting position, forcing Shiro to sit back on his feet. He remembered he still hadn’t removed his boots and scrambled to get them off, sending them clattering to the floor. In one swift motion, Lance stood, bringing Shiro up from the couch. He reflexively wrapped his legs around Lance’s waist, arms snaking around his shoulders.
Shiro yelped in surprise, unsure of how exactly Lance was able to carry him down the short hallway to his bedroom. There was smirk of satisfaction on Lance’s full lips as he maneuvered to his bed, tipping Shiro onto his back, only to come down on top of him. His hands moved across Shiro’s bare chest, short nails scratching along the hard planes of muscle, grazing his sensitive nipples.
Shiro felt himself surrender to the raging current of longing that was washing through him, giving full control over to Lance and his incessant touch. The other man’s mouth was on his and he melted into it, panting with anticipation. He felt sensitive and a bit overstimulated, shuddering as Lance’s fingertips gingerly brushed along the waistband of his jeans, through the crisp hair on his stomach, before popping the button on his fly. He worked the zipper down until Shiro’s throbbing erection sprang free.
Lance’s thin fingers wrapped around him through his black briefs and he groaned, lifting his hips so he could pull off his jeans. Lance took the opportunity to strip down to his short, blue briefs.
“Those are cute,” Shiro said, eyes roving over his lean form, which earned him a lascivious grin.
His grin made Shiro feel lighter, more buoyant. One of his favorite parts about spending time with Lance was his ability to pull Shiro from the darkest parts of himself, not allowing him to linger on depressive thoughts that could overwhelm him.
The fact that Lance naturally had this ability was a happy coincidence for Shiro. That Lance often sought it out, making a concerted effort to tend to Shiro’s mental wellbeing, made his heart skip a beat.
Lance returned to the bed, covering Shiro’s body with his own, lips gently brushing against his mouth.
“What do you want?” he asked, his voice a low rumble in Shiro’s ear.
“I…” Shiro started, feeling momentarily vulnerable beneath Lance’s half-lidded gaze. “I want you to fuck me.”
His voice was full of need, sending a molten wave of heat through Lance. Since they had gotten together, he had always bottomed, not that he had any complaints.
Desire curled sharply in his gut at the thought and he had to remind himself to go slow, to make it good. Lance wanted to take care of Takashi in this moment, when his touch and his body could love him, soothe away the demons that lurked behind those pewter eyes.
Lance leaned down and kissed him roughly, tugging at his black briefs until Shiro got the hint and shimmied them off. Licking into Takashi’s mouth, Lance deepened the kiss, nipping at his lower lip. He moved to suck at the velvet skin under his jawline, tonguing his way down Shiro’s neck to plant lovebites across his chest.
Lance sank lower still, mouth dragging across the corded muscles of his abdomen. He reached the dip in Shiro’s hips and let his tongue glide along the delicate flesh there, surprised when the older man let out a choked whine. Usually Lance was the loud one of the two, but he let the sounds Takashi made wash over him, guiding him as he took Shiro’s length into his mouth.
Lance swirled his tongue around the tip before pursing his lips and swallowing him down. Saliva pooled in his mouth as he bobbed up and down, one of Shiro’s hands tugging at his hair, and he loosened his lips to release him, allowing the wetness to leak down Shiro’s hard shaft.
He brought a hand up to wrap his fingers around the base as his mouth stroked him eagerly, lips pulled back around his teeth. He didn’t think he could fit all of him, but he went as far as he could, gagging when the head hit the back of his throat.
The weight of Shiro in his mouth made him feel wanton, spurring him faster. Lance used a hand to palm himself then pulled the waistband of his briefs down, his cock springing free. He took it in his hand, moving his fist in time with his bobbing head, fucking Shiro with his mouth as he stroked himself.
The heat burning through him was building, his muscles tensing in apprehension. He pulled his mouth away, looking down at Takashi beneath him. His hands were gripping Lance’s bedding, heels digging into the mattress. His hair was damp with perspiration and Lance reached up to brush his white fringe back from his face. Flushed and panting, he looked absolutely breathtaking.
Lance kissed him firmly then stood, padding over to his dresser. He sifted through his top draw to find the small bottle of lube and one of the condoms he kept there. Returning the bed, he settled himself between Shiro’s parted thighs then popped open the lube, squirting an ample amount on his finger.
He reached down between them, running the wet digit between the supple cheeks of Shiro’s ass, probing gently at his tight hole. Shiro let out a guttural moan as he slipped the finger in, slowly working him open. Picking up the bottle next to him, he added more lube to his fingers before adding a second.
Lance leaned down, mouth connecting with Shiro’s as he fingered him leisurely, giving him time to adjust to the sensation. Their lips were eager, hungry, moving fervidly against each other. Lance picked up the pace before he pulled his fingers away to tear open the wrapper of the condom and roll it on.
Shiro shuddered when Lance leaned down on his forearms, one on either side of his head. Their faces were centimeters apart, noses almost touching. Hot breath fanned out on his cheek, and Shiro felt Lance poise himself at his entrance, a thrill running through up his spine as the head of Lance’s hardness slowly entered him.
The pressure was intense, and immediately his muscles stiffened. Lance paused, looking down at him with concern.
“I’m okay,” he said, with a small, confident grin.
The returning smile Lance gave him was dazzling and he continued his push forward. Shiro let out a husky growl as Lance seated himself to the hilt. His breath was coming in long, rhaspy huffs. After a few moments, Lance found a gentle, languid rhythm.
They established synchronicity in their movements, hands and mouths roving over exposed skin, limbs twining fluidly. Shiro bit into Lance’s shoulder as he picked up the pace, the pressure spreading warmth throughout his body. The sensation was overwhelming, and soon Shiro’s eyes drifted closed as everything that wasn’t Lance faded away.
He wrapped his legs around Lance’s waist once more, giving him better leverage as the younger man pumped his hips. At this angle, his cock was gliding along Shiro’s prostate, causing him to grunt with each thrust. In unison, they moved faster and faster, Lance’s hips slamming into Shiro’s ass, the comforter bunching beneath them.
Shiro was on fire, heat overwhelming him as his arousal reached its peak. His arms wrapped in a vice grip around Lance’s neck, forcing them closer. Lance had one hand planted firmly next to Takashi’s face while the other dug into the thick flesh of his muscular ass.
“ Lance! ”
Shiro sobbed out his name and it pushed Lance closer and closer to the edge. He could feel Shiro’s muscles tighten, feel his ass quiver and squeeze around his length. He reached down, gripping Shiro’s cock in his fist and stroked him in time with his hard, relentless thrusts.
Lance felt Shiro stiffen, heels digging into his back as he let out a strangled growl. He came in a rush, hot liquid spattering across the brown skin of Lance’s stomach. Shiro’s body tightened with his orgasm, his hole spasming with release, milking Lance. The sensation pushed Lance over the edge as he found his own release, his hips stuttering as he pumped through the wave of pleasure that roiled through him.
He collapsed on top of Takashi, forearms bracing either side of his face as they each let out a frenzied huff of breaths. Shiro’s eyes were still closed, silver streaks of moisture running down his temples to the the comforter below. He was weeping, Lance realized, and he brought a hand up to wipe away the tears, planting a soft kiss on Shiro’s brow.
Lance pulled himself out slowly, carefully, hoping like hell that he hadn’t hurt his partner.
“Stay here,” he whispered as he got up from the bed, leaving Shiro to go to the bathroom.
He was gone longer than Shiro expected, but when he returned he tugged gently on Shiro’s left arm, pulling him up to his feet.
“Come here,” Lance murmured, an arm draped across Takashi’s shoulders, guiding him to the bathroom.
As he pushed open the door, Shiro noticed the room was filling with steam and could hear the shower running from behind the plastic curtain. There were no lights on, but Lance had lit three candles, their tiny flames giving the room a warm glow.
“I know I can’t really relate to how you’re feeling right now,” Lance began, his fingertips running smoothly down Shiro’s arm until their hands were clasped together. “But whenever I’m feeling overwhelmed or sad or shitty, I just take a shower like this and it helps me decompress.”
Takashi looked up at him, eyes wide. Standing naked in the golden candlelight, Lance was almost ethereal, his amber skin radiant as the steam surrounded them in a misty cocoon.
“Thank you,” he croaked out, his voice scratching against his throat.
Lance gave him a brilliant smile, “Of course, baby.”
Shiro gave him a small grin in return.
“WIll you shower with me?” he asked tentatively.
He was unused to feeling this needy, this...dependent. But somehow, Lance made it so easy and he wasn’t ready to be away from his soothing presence.
“Of course,” he repeated.
There was a lot Shiro wanted to say in that moment, but he let the words stay sealed within him as Lance pulled him under the steady stream of hot water.
Later, much later, as they were huddled together beneath Lance’s ridiculous shark comforter, Shiro listened to his soft breathing as he slept. He lay awake, his left arm wrapped around Lance’s waist as he slept snuggled against his chest.
What he hadn’t said earlier, the three little words that had suddenly become gargantuan in his mind, stayed hidden. Shiro had never been in love. Ever. And to fall so quickly and so completely should having fucking terrified. Yet for the first time in a long time, all he felt was peace.
His last thought as his eyes drifted shut was that he would say the words.