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Like No One's Watching

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“-Left burns all over me…” The singer sang the last words, her voice ringing loud in Keith’s headphones. He had been staring out the window, so lost in thought that he didn’t see that the taxi had stopped.

Through the silence between songs, he heard the driver’s strong accent shouting, “Ay buddy, we’re here. You alive back there?” Keith took off his headphones in a scramble, resting them around his pale neck so he could still hear his playlist cycling through.

“Oh, sorry. How much do I owe you?” The boy questioned, fishing for his wallet in his bright red jacket pocket.

“Ten bucks.” He handed over twelve, as a tip, and moved to get his stuff out of the trunk. He has enough stuff in these bags to last him a few nights before the truck gets here with the rest of his stuff.

Keith grabbed his stuff, shooting another thank you to the driver and making his way up the stairs of his new apartment building. He moved here to join a dance school, one that he heard about during college. Of course, as a dance major, Keith was one of the first to hear about the best dance schools. It’s actually been said that there’s not much in the way of classes, more of a teach-each-other-and-collaborate, which is different, but they say that the dancer’s that come out of Altea are top notch. So they must be doing something right. And besides, if he doesn’t like it there, he can always leave.

He made it up the stairs, his arms aching under the weight of the bags, and unlocked the door. It opened up to a vast, spacious apartment, with the main room, adjoining kitchen, and two other rooms, the bedroom, and the bathroom. The raven sighed and lugged his large bags into the room.

“Okay, let’s get unpacking. I need to get to Altea to meet with the owner at 12:00, so that’s enough time to get semi-settled.” He said out loud to himself He put some food and drinks he had with him in the thankfully provided fridge, and put clothes in drawers. He also blew up his air mattress, placing it on the floor of the bedroom, where he would be sleeping until his bed frame arrived. “Well, that’s as homely as this place is going to look for now.” Keith looked at the clock on his phone. 11:30. He better get ready to head over to Altea.

He threw on a pair of sweatpants, a t-shirt, and his jacket. Grabbing his keys, phone, and water bottle, he quickly stepped into his shoes and walked out the door. He left early because he didn’t know how long the walk would take him, and his motorcycle hadn’t arrived yet. Keith pulled his headphones over his ears, pressing shuffle on his playlist.

Music flooded his ears as he stepped down the stairs and headed to the sidewalk, using his phone as a map. He started dancing along to the song now playing, while he put up his black hair into a ponytail. Keith also kept his eye out for various restaurants and stores that he may go to.

Keith made it up to the door of Altea Dance, and exhaled. He had literally no idea what to expect. What kind of people, music, or dance styles would he find behind this door?

One foot in front of the other

As the singer sang that line into his ears, he opened the glass door, and stepped inside.


“Lance, wake up! We’re gonna be late, and Allura said a new guy was coming in today. Wake up, bro!” Hunk shook his best friend and roommate awake, earning a groan and a pillow to the face. “Uncalled for. Now get up, Lance Lance Revolution. It’s almost 10:00.”

The Cuban boy sat up immediately when he heard the time, scaring the living daylights out of his poor friend. “It’s that late?! I need to go get ready!” He rushed to the bathroom without another word, leaving Hunk shaking his head and laughing.

“Don’t take two hours in there!” He called.

“Screw you!”

Hunk strolled into the small kitchen in the apartment, grabbing a muffin for himself, and setting one out for Lance. He also decided that he’d pack up his stuff for him since he was running late. After about 10 minutes, said brunette came rushing out of the bathroom, now fully dressed and cleansed.

“Thanks for filling my bottle and packing a snack for me, my man. I must have slept through my alarm.” Lance thanked through a mouth full of muffin.

“No problem. Should we get going?” Hunk asked when Lance swallowed down the rest of his breakfast. “We don’t want Allura to give us the look again.”

“Hunk, buddy, no one wants the look. Ever. It’s scarier than Shiro’s disappointed dad look. Let’s go. And you’re driving today, I drove yesterday.” The two boys grabbed their bags and rushed out the door. They hopped into their shared car and started driving toward Altea. Lance plugged in his phone to the aux cord and pressed play on the song he was planning on using for his recital song. “My man, you gotta listen to this song, I might use it for my recital dance, but I don’t know for sure yet. It’s such a good song!”

Am I the king of nothing at all,

Then you’re the queen of nothing at all

“Hmm, sounds pretty good so far. Is it WALK THE MOON?” Hunk questioned, humming along to the catchy beat. “Also, you should help me pick my song, I have absolutely no idea what to do this year.”

“Yeah, it’s them. Also sure, I’ll help you. Hey, I wonder what the new guy is going to be like? Like what music he dances to, what style of dance, or even what he’ll look like? Can’t wait to find out. Did Allura tell you what time he’ll come in?” Lance wondered out loud, looking excited to meet someone new.

“Lance, you just want to check him out to see if he’s hot.”

“I am neither confirming nor denying that accusation.”

Cross my heart, and hope to die

Takin’ this one step at a time

Lance had an idea, smirking his famously mischievous smirk. “Who do you think you’re going to do your duet dance with? Is it Shay?” He teased.

Got your back,

If you’ve got mine

Hunk took one hand off the wheel to punch his friend in the arm. “Shut up! Shut up shut up shut up!”

One foot in front of the other

Chapter Text

“Good morning my beautiful, wonderful, amazing, friends. Hunk told me that there’s a new guy coming in today?” Lance exclaimed, stepping through the doors of Altea Dance center with a flourish.

Pidge, a small girl with short light brown hair, groaned and laid down in the middle of the floor. “Lance, please don’t scare him off on his first day. We don’t need a repeat of that. Ever.”

“She’s right, you know. Nyma never came back.” Allura agreed with Pidge.

“Oh come on! It was one time! And if she can’t deal with a little flirting then she should get the fuck out of the dance world!”

Shiro walked into the studio, uttering a quick, “Language, Lance.” and went into the little mini kitchen, presumably to fill his water bottle.

“I can say whatever I want, you’re not my dad!” Lance retorted.

“I might as well be!” He called back.

Shay walked into the studio, just catching the end of the conversation. The girl burst out laughing, clutching her stomach. “He is not wrong, Lance.”

“Oh shut up! I’m going to go warm up. Dua Lipa is the only one who understands me!” He stomped into a separate practice room in a mock tantrum and slammed the door extra loudly. He could just hear Pidge and Allura cackling in the other room, and scoffed as he walked towards the aux cord and speaker. He started the selected song, and began with slow movements, building as the intro did.

Talking in my sleep at night

Making myself crazy

(Out of my mind, out of my mind)

He always did this routine to warm up, as it was simple, but enough to get his adrenaline going.

Wrote it down and read it out,

Hoping it would save me

(Too many times, too many times)

He went through a few abstract movements, his timing precise and clean as always. “My specialty.” The Cuban boy chuckled to himself, spinning a bit.

My love, he makes me feel like

Nobody else, nobody else

But my love,

He doesn’t love me

So I tell myself, I tell myself

He raised his arms in the air, face following them as he closed his eyes, losing himself. He got ready for a leap.

One

Don’t pick up the phone

You know he’s only calling

‘Cause he’s drunk and alone

He leaped immediately when the singer sand ‘One,’ and went through the rest of the routine. He started coming up with choreography ideas for his recital dance, wanting to get a jump on that. He did want to win this year, after all. Lance looked over at the digital clock thankfully provided in the practice room and saw that it was 12:15. He decided to go into the main room to chat with Hunk and Pidge before everyone gathered for lunch.

“Lance get your outdated 2011 stale ass meme ass over here, we’re discussing the new guy coming in today.” Pidge called over to the tan boy. “I got his name out of Allura. It’s Keith.”

“Really? Geez, that’s old-fashioned. I think I’ve only ever heard of 60-year-old men named Keith.” He responded, laughing. “How’d you get Allura to tell you?”

“Oh, we decided to do our duo dance together. We both wanted to do a Halsey song so we were like ‘How ‘bout we do it together?’ and we think we might do Castle?”

“Okay cool. I don’t know who I’ll duo with. Figure that out later.”


Keith walked into the studio, breathing in the smell of latte-scented Febreze and sweat. An interesting pairing. He pulled off his headphones, draping them around his neck as he paused his playlist. “Hello?” He called into the empty lobby. A man with bright orange hair and a mustache walked into the room.

“Oh hello my dear boy! You must be Keith! I’m Coran, nice to meet you. Beautiful day out, isn’t it?” He greeted the boy.

Keith nodded, looking out the window. “Yeah, totally. I walked here today. Well, is there anything that you need me to do?”

“Yes, I just need your email and phone number so we can send you information about the annual recital, song choices, and such. Please write them on this here paper.” He slid a form over the desk he was now sitting at.

Keith quickly scribbled down his number and email, clicking the pen a few times. He lifted his head up as he heard two figures walk out of a room to the right of him, presumably coming back from filling water bottles. He saw that it was two young guys.

“Oh, hey!” The sandy-haired man saw Keith and stopped. “You must be the new guy Allura told us about. I’m Matt, by the way. Who are you?”

“Keith.”

“Hi Keith, nice to meet you. I’m Shiro.” The taller guy behind Matt added. “Do you want us to show you around and introduce everyone?”

“I’m pretty sure we’re actually stopping for lunch soon, so you can introduce yourself when that happens.” Matt also stated in a matter of fact tone.

“Yeah, that would be great, if it doesn’t inconvenience you.”

Shiro laughed, “Of course it wouldn’t. Follow us, everyone is in here.” The two men lead Keith into another room, where there were a bunch of dancers scattered around the room.

“That’s Lance McClain, literally the definition of tall Cuban boy, and he’s literally the biggest meme you will ever meet. Flirts with every living thing. Not the best at execution, but is a god at timing and beat counting.” Matt pointed to a tan boy with brown hair and very bright blue eyes.

Shiro cut in, “Matt, I know you’re an analytical ass, but do you have to give poor Keith an entire description of everyone?”

“Yes, I do, Takashi, yes I do.”

“God dammit.”

Matt pointed to a small girl, who looked almost exactly like him. “Next to him is my little sister Pidge, well her real name is Katie, but don’t call her that, she’ll bite your hand off. Also a pretty big meme, and is super smart, but we think it runs in the family. Super sarcastic and hyper. Good balancing skills, but not the best at fluid motions.”

Keith laughed at Matt’s antics. He didn’t need a rundown of everyone’s personalities and skills, but it sure is entertaining.

“And that big hunk of love over there with them is Hunk, hah see what I did there? Anyways, he is a cinnamon roll who could never hurt a fly and is amazing at baking. An all-around good dancer, but doesn’t spin well.” He gestured to a large guy with dark skin, dark hair, and an orange bandana tying his hair back.

Walking out of the bathroom in the corner of the room, was a tall girl with dark skin and greenish-brown hair. “Oh, that’s Shay! She is probably one of the sweetest people alive, like, as amazing as Hunk, and definitely more pure. Probably because she doesn’t hang out with Lance and Pidge as much as he does. She’s also a very good dancer.”

Matt and Shiro then turned to a tall woman, also with dark skin and long silver hair, stretching in the corner. “And that girl over there with the silver hair? That’s Allura, her dad owns this place but she’s a student just as much as us. I also like to call her the British badass, ‘cause she’s British and badass. She’s pretty much a perfect dancer, I can’t really think of anything bad to say.”

“Careful Matt, you might make Shiro jealous.” Allura called from where she was stretching in the corner.

"Am I not allowed to have to best friends?" He yelled in Allura's direction. She looked up and saw Keith. She immediately got up from her straddle position and walked over to the small gathering.

“You must be Keith? I knew you were coming in today, but I didn’t know when. But I saw these boys have been showing you around? Even though they already have been introduced, I’m Allura, nice to meet you. We were just about to all break for lunch, so you can meet everyone formally. We always all eat lunch either in here, or we go to the cafe, at 12:30. I think we’re eating in here today.” Sure enough, everyone started getting up and heading to a pile of bags and water bottles, grabbing their lunches, and coming to sit in a circle. “Okay everyone, kindly shut your mouths, because exciting stuff has happened today! We have a new dancer! Introduce yourself, please.” She shouted over the talking voices of the other dancers and gestured to Keith.

“Well, hi, I’m Keith Kogane, I just graduated with a dance major and decided to move here and join Altea. So yeah, here I am.” Keith introduced himself, somewhat awkwardly.

“I like your shirt.” Pidge called from the circle. Said shirt was a simple black tee with an alien face on it.

“‘Course you do, Pidgey.” Matt laughed. “Allura, you’re gonna make him to the thingy, right?”

The woman laughed, “Yes Matt, the ‘thingy.’ Keith, he’s referring to our tradition of making a new dancer perform an improv dance in front of the group. Do you think you’re up for it?”

“Of course.”

“Okay, Pidge, kindly make your fantastic music selection.” Allura asked the smaller girl. The brunette stood up and walked over to the computer, immediately going to a specific playlist.

“Yo, you know Halsey?” She looked up and faced directly to Keith.

“Is that a question?”

“I like you already.” The opening of ‘Heaven In Hiding’ by Halsey came over the speakers in the room.

Needless to say, everyone was impressed.

“Wow, impressive Keith.” Shiro patted the boy on the back when everyone ceased their clapping. “I would have been surprised if you were anything but a dance major. Where did you study?”

“Garrison University.” Keith responded.

“Oh I went there!”

The two men drifted off into their own conversation, and so did the rest of the dancers. “Hey, he’s pretty good.” Lance stage-whispered to Hunk.

“Yeah, he’s awesome at improv.” He replied.

“But he’s got a mullet so he’s already on my hitlist.” Lance joked.

“Dude you were looking at him the entire time with your look you get when there is a pretty person. Look, even I’ll admit it, he’s attractive, no need to deny it.” He gave Lance the mom look. 100% scarier than even Allura’s disappointed look.

“Okay okay!”

Chapter Text

“Happy Friday everyone!” Pidge burst into the dance studio twenty minutes late holding two cup trays full of coffee. “You know what that means!”

“Friday Dance Off!” Everyone but Keith shouted as they went to get their coffees.

Keith tilted his head, confused. “What?”

“Every Friday we have a dance-off between two people, you’ll see how it works in a minute, and don’t worry, you won’t be chosen.” Matt grabbed his coffee, explaining it.

“Hey, newbie,” Pidge called and Keith turned his head back to the girl. “Here.” She handed him a cup.

“How did you know what I get…”

“She knows all things. She probably found your Twitter and snooped a bit.” Lance snagged his liquid energy, winking at Keith. “I’m gonna need to make her give me it…”

“Lance, what did we talk about?!” Shiro scolded.

“Absolutely nothing so fuck offffffffff.”

“Shall we get started with the picking?” Allura suggested, and everyone nodded, gathering in a large semi-circle around the computer and two bowls. “Okay, so, Keith, every Friday we have a dance-off between two of us. We pick their names from this bowl,” she held her hand above the bowl on her left, “and pick a letter from this bowl.” She gestured to the other bowl, “and that's the first letter of the song they dance to. One of the dancers has to shout out a song. Let's demonstrate, Holt siblings! Your letter is B!”

“I'm bad at love!” Pidge sang out, surprisingly on key. “So yeah, Bad At Love by Halsey.”

“Like that. Let's get started! Shay, will you do the honor of picking the names and letter?” Shay nodded and took the bowls onto her lap.

“Please don’t be me please don’t be me…” She muttered under her breath, causing Hunk to laugh.

“Shh!” She whisper-yelled and picked a name from bowl 1. “It’s you, actually.” She turned to Allura who was just about to sit down.

“Oh! Who am I up against, my lady?”

“Lance!”

“Wooh! Let’s do this shit. Wait, before we choose the letter, who’re the judges?” The Cuban boy stood up, cheering. “I think we said it would be Matt and Shiro, last week.”

“Yeah, that sounds familiar,” Shiro stated. “Okay, so we’re judges. Shay, please pick the letter? Oh yeah, and Keith, we forgot to mention that it could also be a number, one of the pieces of paper in there has a pound symbol, and that means a number.”

“The letter is… A!” Shay shouted.

“All The Love by SAARA!” Allura exclaimed immediately, cutting of Lance.

“Well damn okay, I was gonna say All I Want by WALK THE MOON, but whatever. Since you named the song, I get to start. Pidge, start the music when you’re ready.” Lance laughed. The two dancers got into position on opposite sides of the circle as Pidge got ready to press play on the song.

“Who’s SAARA?” Keith asked, leaning over to Hunk. The man chuckled softly and explained,

“It’s this Finnish singer Pidge and her are obsessed with. Both of their tastes mainly consist of foreign artists who sing in English. And honestly, it’s actually really good. Their main obsession is Gjan though. You heard of her?” He asked when Keith’s face lit up at the mention of the Lithuanian singer.

“Yes, of course, I love her.”

“You and Pidge appear to have very similar tastes. You’ll get along great.” He added last minute once Lance and Allura were prepped and Pidge had pulled up the song.

You and me used to be beautiful

Lance started off the dance with slow and almost flirty movements. He was stretching his arm out and waving it fluidly in accordance with the movements of the rest of his body, his fingers arched elegantly.

We really had sum

He continued with his flirty, sassy, and slightly jealous gestures, earning joking catcalls from the group and a snarky yet impressed look from Allura.

Oh, I really wanna be your lover

It’s not that I’m looking for another

At this point, Keith decided, was when Lance’s timing skill that Matt had mentioned, really shined. Going from a touch spin to a layup leap, he matched the beats and music perfectly.

I don’t know why you’ve got all the love,

And I got nothing

When he was met with a “Bring it” gesture from Allura, he picked up the pace as the song reached the chorus, still keeping his timing on point.

I don’t know why I keep going cold

No explanation

Allura’s part of the dance-off began, her nimble body flowing straight into the music. You could tell she knew the song better than Lance because her moves seemed more planned and meticulous. Though her timing was a little bit off in places, as are most dancers. Everyone was thinking the same thing, this will be a hard one to judge.

Used to fall for you daily,

But we out of touch lately

(I just can’t explain it, I just can’t explain it, no)

As the bridge of the song began, Lance joined Allura in the very sassy-like dance, their dance styles complimenting each other well.

Want you to be my baby,

But we out of touch lately

Both flirtatious dancers winked at the small audience at the same time, earning giggles and whistles.

I don’t know why you’ve got all the love,

And I got nothing

As the final, powerful chorus sounded throughout the room, Allura and Lance picked up their pace but making sure to keep on beat and timing. You could just about see Lance mouthing along to the Spanish singing in the background that was hard to make out but he seemingly knew it.

Keith leaned in to ask Hunk a question once again as the dance came to an end. “Does he actually speak Spanish, like, fluently?”

“Yeah, it’s technically his first language but he learned both Spanish and English around the same time. His family is entirely Cuban, so it’s not exactly surprising.”

Keith hummed in interest, “Does he add it to his everyday conversations often?”

The Samoan man nodded, “Oh yeah, all the time. He usually refrains from it when there’s a new guy, at least for about a week, just out of decency, but once you get to know each other more and really become part of the Altea family, he’ll do it more often.”

“Cool.” The two boys were called to attention when the song finally finished, Allura and Lance striking their final poses.

“Geez, this is a hard one,” Matt commented as he and Shiro began to deliberate. They talked for a good few minutes about who out of the equally talented dancers could possibly win this dance battle.

“Who ya thinking?” Pidge popped her head in between the two men, consequently getting shoved away by her brother. “Rude.”

“Takes one to know one.” Matt retorted and went back to discussing with Shiro.

“We think we have reached a decision!” Shiro called over the newly started small conversations. “The winner is…”

“Lance!” Matt finished his friend’s sentence and Lance fist-bumped Hunk.

“Wooh! Prince Lanceylance reigns supreme!”

“You’ve literally lost the past two times,” Pidge smirked.

Lance jumped back, clutching his chest in offense. “Excuse you, Pidge, we don’t talk about those times, now do we?” Shay quickly decided that it would be a good idea to break up the conversation, even though she knew they weren’t going to fight.

“Hey, I think it’s almost lunchtime! We’re going to the cafe today, yeah? We should probably get going.”

“Good point Shay,” Shiro added. “Keith, some days for lunch we walk down to the cafe down the street. Coran has some crazy connections with the staff there, and they love us.”

“Shall we get going?” Allura suggested, and everyone nodded, grabbing their phones and such before rushing out the door. Matt began front leaping down the road, earning giggles from the group. And then Lance and Allura started cartwheeling, and it all went downhill from there. Pidge then jumped on Hunk’s back for a ride, and he caught her with ease, seeing as she’s so incredibly light. The man began running top speed down the pavement, Pidge throwing her hands up in the air like she was on a roller coaster.

“Well, I guess we should catch up with them,” Keith stated and started running, hearing Shiro and Shay following behind him. The group finally reached a simple building, with baby blue outer walls and plain windows. “Castle of Lions Cafe” the sign above it read. “Hmm, an interesting name.”

“Indeed,” Shay commented, standing next to him. “That’s exactly what I said when I first came here. A lot of places around here have really strange names. Pidge works at a bookstore called Olkari, a few of the others work at this place named Arus, they all sound like planets in a sci-fi show to me. Have you found any place to work yet? I know you just moved here like a day ago,”

“I actually applied to Olkari before coming here. It’ll be cool to work with Pidge, she seems nice.”

Everyone walked into the building, sighing with relief from the air conditioner. “Nice, amazing, cool air! It’s so hot out there!” Matt exclaimed face planting into a table.

“Graceful Matt, real graceful.” Shiro chuckled, taking a seat in the large booth. Everyone else also sat down, all miraculously fitting comfortably. They all ordered their usuals, while Keith quickly looked through the menu before finding something to eat. Soft music was playing in the background and the counter was lit by candles to give a nice homely feel without feeling fancy.

“So, newbie.” Lance leaned back in his seat, putting his hands behind his head. “Tell us more about yourself.”

“Well,” Keith started, “There’s really not much to me. Not much more than you already know.”

“Tell us about the simple things.” Allura helped, “What’s your favorite color, book, musician, movie, DC or Marvel, Coke or Pepsi, et cetera. Just give us something.”

Keith laughed, sighing. “I guess my favorite color is red, the book is The Outsiders, a musician would be either Gjan or Against The Current, movie is most definitely Infinity War, although closely rivaled with Love, Simon, Marvel, obviously, and coke.”

“Nice choices, my man.” Lance high-fived him. “Although blue is obviously the supreme color.”

“Eh hem, no, green is!” Pidge piped up.

No one had noticed that Shay and Hunk weren’t talking, instead focused on their laps where they were texting each other. They kept up their silent conversation for two minutes until Hunk placed his phone on the table loudly to interrupt Keith and Lance having gotten into a light-hearted argument. “So, Shay and I have made a decision.” He stated.

“We’re going to do our duo dance together to Wake Me Up by Avicii, rest in peace.” Shay announced, earning light applause and cheering.

“Well, this will be an interesting time,” Keith muttered under his breath, joining in on another spirited discussion on whether the UK or US had better singers.

Chapter Text

Waking up to Chrissy Costanza from Against The Current singing, Keith sleepily turned off his alarm and stretched. He had forgotten to turn it off yesterday, and he had nothing to do today. He vaguely remembered that the rest of his stuff was scheduled to arrive today, so he at least needed to be up and decent by then. “Might as well get up,” He sighed and rolled off the mattress, landing with a thud on the wood floor. Not a good idea. Realizing how cold it currently was in his apartment, he quickly jumped back onto his bed, shivering. He wrapped two blankets around him, before getting up to grab his sweatshirt. He should probably at least go for a walk and scout out coffee shops. He would not survive living in this strange city if he did not have access to caffeine other than Coke.

If I show I’m fragile,

Would you go ahead and find somebody else?

Keith pressed play on his playlist, smiling when one of his favorites came on. He lazily danced around the apartment, getting dressed and fixing his messed up black hair. He brushed it for far too long, before just sighing and putting it in a ponytail. When he couldn’t decide on what to wear, he just settled on his white shirt saying “Don’t Kill My Vibe” in red and red jeans, literally looking like Sigrid on the Don’t Kill My Vibe ep cover. He grabbed his jacket and made his way to the door.

And if I act too tough,

Know that I care ‘bout you

I’m honest no offense

Slipping on his sneakers and putting on his headphones, Keith stepped out of the door, almost forgetting to lock it. It was relatively chilly outside, as it was only about 7 am. He jogged down the steps, restarting the song as he asked Siri where the nearest coffee shop was. The map popped up, showing that it was just down the street. “Why is everything here down the street?” The boy chuckled and made his way down the sidewalk, lightly dancing along to the music.

No, I could never fake it,

Like players always playing

As he walked, a teenage girl focused on a game on her phone ran into him, not even stopping for a second. The only thought Keith got in his head was, “She must be playing Hogwarts Mystery, dear god I don’t care if you’re learning Alohomora just please don’t walk in front of a car and get hit.”

Arrest me if I hurt you,

But no apologies for being me

When his favorite line came up, he began moon-walking and dancing more exuberantly, earning claps from the bystanders out here so early. He just laughed softly, striding in the direction of the coffee shop. There were an astounding amount of people already out and about, even though it was early and cold. Was everyone just awake, always? As far as he knew, this was not New York City.

I just wanna be pure,

You know I’m terrible at putting up a show

The ravenette stepped across the threshold of the coffee joint, breathing in the scent of fresh coffee and pastries. There weren’t many people inside, only maybe five at the most. They were all spread out as well, some looking as though they were studying or working on papers, or some just drinking while on their phones, obviously not staying for long.

That’s what you wanted me for,

So I get pissed off when you ask me to be more

The boy breathed in more of the smell, looking around at the interior. It was a pretty small place, with a homely and neat aesthetic with different shades of wood accented with white marble window sills and columns in the corner. To his astonishment, the floors were lined with a soft dark green carpet, cushioning his feet as he stood.

Ohhhhhhh,

That’s when he noticed small crystal-like shapes jutting out of the wood walls, colored blue and glowing, so they must be used as lamps. I bet this place looks gorgeous at night, Keith absent-mindedly thought, letting the music finish its chorus before removing his headphones and rejoining the outside world.

I just wanna be raw

Ohhhhhhh,

I just wanna be raw

Removing the headphones, he looked around some more as the half-asleep worker began to notice his existence. “Good morning,” The tired woman yawned, “Welcome to Balmera Cafe, what can I get- Keith?”

The questioned boy’s eyes snapped toward the counter, noticing that the worker was actually Shay. “Oh, hey Shay, I didn’t think I’d run into you today.”

“Well, you did come into Balmera Cafe and my last name is Balmera. ” She giggled.

“Haha, I guess I should have realized that huh?”

“Yeah, probably.” She retorted. “Hey, Hunk!” She called into another room in the back. “Keith is here apparently!”

Sure enough, Hunk strolled out of the room, which appeared to be the kitchen, and smiled. “Hey Keith, come for breakfast?”

“Yeah, I just looked up the nearest coffee place and didn’t even acknowledge the name. Had no idea that you two work here.” Keith answered.

“Well you did just meet us two days ago, so it’s understandable.” Hunk reasoned.

“So, what would you like? I assume you want some form of coffee and some form of solid food.” Shay went back into barista mode.

“I’ll just have a black coffee with a shot of espresso, and a chocolate croissant.” He stated after glancing at the menu and the glass case of pastries.

“Amazing choice,” Hunk sang, “I could live off of chocolate croissants and not complain!” The Samoan grabbed one of the pastries from the case, sticking it in a wax paper bag. Shay went back to the espresso machine, quickly dispensing the dark liquid as Hunk began humming a familiar song. “Sing it away… All my troubles away…”

“Sing it away, never make me fade away! Sing it away, all my troubles away! Sing it away, hey hey hey!” Shay and Keith joined in, laughing as they did so, attracting attention from the customers. Shay rang Keith up after finishing his coffee, Keith making sure to add a generous tip. “And Keith,” Shay began. “A bunch of us were planning on hanging out at Allura’s place later today, if you want to join us.”

“Thanks, but I’ll only come if Allura invites me, I’m new so I don’t want to impose.” He replied politely.

Hunk joined back into the conversation, “That I can respect, my guy, but I’m sure she’ll send you a text, as long as you gave Coran your number when you showed up on Thursday.”

“Which I did, so we’ll see. I’ll let you guys go now, so you can get back to work. I’ll see you guys around?”

“Yeah, see you man, I’ll try and get Allura to shoot you a text!” Shay called as Keith was walking out the door.

“Don’t pressure her!”

“No promises!” Hunk added. Stepping out into the cloudy day after bidding his friends farewell, Keith placed his headphones back on his ears. He pressed play on the song he had previously paused.

Keeping up appearances but,

Sometimes all we need’s a little break

(sometimes all we need’s a little)

He danced down the street a little more, smiling and breathing in the frigid early morning air. He ate his breakfast and drank his coffee as he walked, looking around the quiet city. It was really nice looking, pleasing to the eye. He basically had nothing to do today, unless Allura invited him over to hang out with the other dancers. His stuff wasn’t arriving till around six o’clock, so he couldn’t just wait for it.

Regret the stupid shit I said,

I hope that you’ll forgive me any day

(hope that you’ll forgive me)

Reaching his door, he unlocked it, stepping inside. Just as he was about to close it, however, an older woman, probably a neighbor, walked up. The boy quickly took his headphones off, expecting her to talk, which she did. “Hello, I heard that you just moved in a few days ago, I live a few apartments down, and just wanted to say hello.”

“Well, it’s nice to meet you, my name is Keith, by the way.”

“I hope you like living here. Have a nice day!” The lady said cheerfully and somewhat creepily and then walked away. Okay, that was creepy as all hell, and she didn’t even tell me her name. Keith could still hear faint music playing, and quickly realized he had left his music playing by accident.

Arrest me if I hurt you!

But no apologies for being me

The most powerful part of the song was playing, just the singing of the lyrics with no background music. He spun around his very empty apartment playfully, waiting for the song to end.

I just wanna be pure,

You know I’m terrible at putting up a show

That’s what you wanted me for,

So I get pissed off when you ask me to be more

Ohhhhhhh,

I just wanna be raw

Ohhhhhhh,

I just wanna be raw

I just wanna be raw

As the song was ending, he felt my phone buzz in his pocket, alerting him of a text.

 

###-###-####

Hey, it’s Allura, a bunch of us were planning on hanging out at my house today, and I was wondering if you wanted to join us?

 

Shay was right, Allura did text me, He thought. Well, I have nothing else to do today except my stuff arriving, so I guess I’ll go. He also quickly created a contact for Allura.

 

You

Yeah, I’ll join. What’s your address?

 

Allura

5 Paladin street, and it’s the big white house. Be here at 2 :)

 

You

I’ll be there.

 

Keith sighed and smiled, he wasn’t going to have to sit around all day. Two o’clock is a few hours away, so it might be a good idea to pass some time. He strolled over to his fridge, quickly remembering he had little to no food yet. He grabbed his jacket and stepped back outside, pulling up Google maps once again to see where the nearest grocery store or drug store is.


 

Altea Dance Group Chat!

 

Allura

Just so everyone knows, I invited Keith over to my house as well.

 

Shiro

Cool, it’ll be nice to get to know him better.

 

Shay

He ended up coming to BC for breakfast so Hunk and I got to talk to him a bit this morning.

 

Hunk

And then burst out singing Sing It Away

 

Shay

Shhhhhh! And you were the one to start humming it!

 

Lance

Tsk tsk

 

Pidge

Umm shouldn’t we add him?

 

Allura

We can ask him when he comes over along with the rest of y’all.

 

Matt

Y’all

 

Allura

Did I fucking stutter, Matthew Holt?

 

Matt

No, sir!

 

Allura

That’s what I thought.

 

Lance

Lmao, he’s terrified of you.

 

Allura

That’s rich coming from you.

 

Lance

…You got me there…

 

Allura

:D

 

Pidge

Demonic...

Chapter Text

Keith arrived at the address he was given, marveling at the large structure towering over him. “It looks like a damn castle,” He gasped, amazed. Hesitantly, he rang the doorbell, stepping back so that he didn’t get hit. With a small creak, the door swung open, revealing Pidge who pulled him inside.

“Finally you’re here!”

“I’m five minutes early?” Keith was confused, did he read the time wrong on his phone? Did Allura make a typing mistake?

“That’s fifteen minutes late for us, newbie.” He heard Lance’s voice from inside. What? Keith continued to be pulled in by the small girl, skidding on the rubber soles of his sneakers due to the speed.

Allura laughed at Lance and Pidge’s antics, rolling her eyes. “Sorry about that, those two have this running joke that if you’re less than twenty minutes early, you’re apparently late. I’m pretty sure it started because they had this short-lived war to see who could beat who to the studio.”

“Lance beat me, that lanky, long-legged fucker.”

“Hey!”

Keith then noticed the rest of the group was already there, and he blushed a bit, embarrassed to be the last to arrive. “We all had nothing to do today, so we all came over early, no need to be embarrassed,” Shiro said, noticing the pink in Keith’s cheeks. “You’re just in time, anyways. We were about to play Cards Against Humanity if you’d like to join.”

“Oh, I definitely will.”

“Wait! We need background music!” Matt exclaimed, earning nods of agreement. “Shay, can you start some music for us?”

Shay emerged from the kitchen after grabbing some chips, also grabbing Allura’s Bluetooth speaker that was sitting on the table. “Yeah. Is there a certain type of music we’d like?”

“Play something chill!” Hunk cheered.”

“Okay, I’ll just play my Chill Playlist. I know, convenient.” She sat down with her phone and speaker, tossing the chips to a hungry looking Allura. Keith looked around the circle for a place to sit awkwardly, which caught the eye of Hunk. He quietly motioned with his eyes for him to sit between him and Lance, which Keith was thankful for. Shay started the music, putting it on a decent volume. A few faces lit up in recognition at the opening, while the others didn’t know the song. Keith shook his head, finding the song familiar but not being able to name it.

“Trust Shay to play a ton of Chelsea Cutler.” Lance retorted.

“Did I ask for your opinion, McClain?”

“No, Miss!”

I tripped and fell into,

A rhythm with you

“If this is a chill playlist, and it doesn’t have Luna Shadows, Ella Vos, and Tove Styrke, I won’t hesitate to hack into your Spotify and make corrections. ” Pidge sneered creepily, causing the other girl to lean back, intimidated.

“Don’t worry, it has all three of those artists.” She placated her slightly scary friend, earning a nod of approval. “I know my music.”

“Shall we get started with the game?” Lance suggested, breaking up the conversation. “I don’t know about you guys, but I’m interested to see how dirty Keithy Boy’s mind is.”

I jumped off the deep end,

But still played it cool

The raven cocked an eyebrow, “Dear God, you did not just call me Keithy Boy.”

“Did too.”

“I’m- I give up, let’s just start the game.” After being prompted, Allura grabbed the black box from the drawer in her side table, popping it open and removing the two decks of cards. She propped the lid on her bare knee as she shuffled the cards.

Tried to pretend we’re not different

"God, I wish I could shuffle well." Matt groaned, leaning back too far and flopping onto his back. “Our aunt tried to teach me once and I was so bad at it. Pidge can confirm this.”

“Statement has been confirmed.” His sister said in a robot voice, earning cackles from around the circle. “Oh yeah, by the way, nice shirt Keith.”

He made a noise of surprise and looked down, realizing he was still wearing his Don’t Kill My Vibe shirt. A quick thought of, “Are we seriously the same person?” crossed his mind as he said, “That’s the second time you’ve complimented my shirt in three days. Want a medal?”

“Always.”

And I hate that I have to admit it

Allura finished shuffling the cards and began handing out five to each person. Shay glanced over her cards lazily, before going back to look at them again. She started choking on her chip and needed Hunk to pound on her upper back. The others giggled at their obviously dirty cards, and it was decided that Shiro would be the first Card Czar.

But I’m done with wishing

“War! What’s it good for?” Read the card, and after a bit, he read out the cards placed on the floor. “Panda sex. Oh my, no thanks. Suicidal thoughts. Now that’s not even funny, just too real. An outbreak of smallpox. God, I hope not. Attitude. Indescribable loneliness-” The group burst out laughing at that one.

“I actually hate the fact that I’m laughing. It makes me feel like a horrible person but, that card is also too real holy shit.” Pidge caught her breath.

I know it’s only a matter of time till the shine wears off

“This round is dark. Men. I don’t even know how to interpret that one? Eugenics? That one doesn’t make sense. The last one is; horse meat. Oh no, my mind went to the most depressing place for that one.”

Hunk gasped, realizing what he meant. “Shiro no!”

‘Cause I’m all out of words

“I,” Shiro began hesitantly, “I think I have to go with indescribable loneliness, as much as it makes me sad.” Matt whooped, taking the black card for himself.

“Bow down to the king of Cards Against Humanity!” He proclaimed and earned only shaking heads. “Rude.

“Slow your horses, Holt, ‘twas only the first card,” Allura smirked.

Feel alone every time we touch

“Jesus is…” Matt was the judge since he won. He looked at the cards in the pile.

“Holy fucking shit, Jesus is BATMAN!!! Lance I know that was yours and you win by far.”

The more I hold you,

The more I don’t know your touch

Lance took his turn as Czar, “What do old people smell like?”

“Fucking Old People Smell. Dios mío. That is literally the luckiest card you could have had. Who’s was it?” Keith rose his hand, taking the card from between Lance’s fingers, meeting eyes with the smirking Cuban boy before turning back towards the circle.

Keith sighed, picking up a black card. “Do not fuck with me! I am literally blank right now.”

I know it’s only a matter of time till the shine wears off

"Do not fuck with me! I am literally The KKK right now. While that one's funny, I think I'm going to have to go with I am literally not wearing pants right now. Who?” Shay quickly snatched the card from the center of the circle, giggling.

"Hell yeah!”

The game went on for much longer, ending with Lance as the winner. "What can I say, I just have a great sense of humor.”

"Thank god you're not a comedian.” Pidge chuckled, earning daggers glared in her direction.

"You wound me, Pidgeotto, truly.” The group of friends played a few more rounds, as well as other games such as Uno and Munchkin. Allura then cleared her throat, attracting all the attention in the room towards her.

"Some of you guys may have figured that I had an ulterior motive for suggesting this hangout,” She began, earning some whoops. "Keith, Shay, I'll explain in more detail in a second. The rest of you, that's right, it's time to start preparing for the recital!”

I'll be fine, knowing it's over

Clearer eyes, come with getting older

Keith turned to Shay, "You're new too? You seemed to know how everything worked yesterday when you and Hunk announced your dance?”

"Well, yes, I am new-ish. I joined about two months ago, and Hunk had explained the basics of the annual Altea Dance Recital.” The girl answered promptly, turning back to Allura as she continued.

"For you two, how the recital works, is we all perform one solo dance and one duo dance with another dancer. And then we have the final group number, but we'll cross that bridge when we get to it. It is around this time of year where we began claiming songs and choosing our partners. Something that makes the song selection exciting and slightly competitive, is that there can only be one song by a certain artist in the show. For an example, let's say Lance wanted to dance to Say My Name by Tove Styrke, but Pidge wanted to dance to Changed My Mind by Tove Styrke. Only one of them could dance to a song by her. Starting today, you're allowed to start claiming songs, and it works on a first come, first serve system.” The woman explained. "Any questions?"

We fantasize, but we had our day

Keith thought for a moment before speaking up, "Do I have to tell the specific song that I would like to dance to, or can I just claim the artist? I tend to enjoy keeping the song I use in performances a secret.”

"Yes, you can do that. Would anyone like to claim a song/artist already?"

"Shay and I said that we are going to dance to Wake Me Up by Avicii yesterday.” Hunk piped up, and Allura typed it into her phone.

Now your disguise is fading,

Your disguise is fading away

"Very good, very good. And Pidge and I are going to be dancing to Castle by Halsey, for your information.” She stated and Pidge cheered lightly.

"One Foot by WALK THE MOON!” Lance shouted, a smile on his face at the fact he got to claim the song he wanted. Keith jumped at the sudden shouting of the boy next to him.

"Hmm, I would like to claim a song by Gjan,” Keith spoke, earning a yell from Pidge.

"Dammit! There goes my idea! No more Wild for me!” The small girl groaned, resulting in a soft laugh from Keith.

I know it's only a matter of time till the shine wears off

"Sorry! First come, first serve!"

"Well, I guess I need to do some more thinking, ugh.”

Till the shine wears off

"Would you guys like to sleep over?” Allura suggested, changing the subject. "We haven't had a sleepover in quite a while.”

A majority of the group cheered at the idea, while Keith hesitated. "I mean, I guess, but a bunch of my stuff is arriving at my new apartment in a bit, so I have to be there for that. I can come back afterward, though.”

"Of course, we'd love to have you. Would you like any of us to come with you and help you unpack? You might want help with carrying the heavier stuff.” She offered. Keith waved his hand.

Feel alone anytime we touch

"Thanks for the offer, really. I think I'll be fine, but someone helping me would allow me to get back here faster.”

"I'll come.” A voice spoke up, and Keith turned to see that it was Lance. "Gotta see where you live anyways, mullet."

"What is it with you and stupid nicknames today?” Keith questioned amused. The Cuban boy just shrugged, moving to stand up. Standing up as well, Keith checked his phone and saw on the tracker that his stuff was due in around half an hour. Had they really been here for three and a half hours? "Uh, we should probably get going, we have about a half hour until the truck comes. Anyone else coming?” Shrugging, Pidge stood up as well.

The more I hold you

"Guess I'll come, we've been sitting for too long for my liking. We're walking, right?”

"I mean, yeah, I walked here. It's not that far, so it should be fine." Keith responded, grabbing his phone and apartment keys from the table he had left them on.

"Pidge, how have we been sitting too long?” Hunk exclaimed, confused. "You spend hours on end on your computer.”

"I think she means on the floor,” Lance interjected. "I don't know about you, but my butt's numb."

"TMI, Lance, TMI.” Keith patted him on the shoulder, moving past him towards the door. "You coming or not?” The trio walked out the door, Lance pouting and pulling up the rear.

The more I don't know your touch

Matt turned to Shiro, a serious expression plastered on his face. "I like this one, can we keep him?”

The room burst out laughing, Shiro just shaking his head. "That's the plan, Matt.”

Back outside, Keith, Pidge, and Lance made their way down the road, discussing the games they played, as well as the recital. "Hey dude, it looks like we live in the same complex. Has the creepy lady come to say hi yet?” Pidge commented.

"Yep. Just this morning, actually. Do you know what her deal is? Or even her name?"

"Nope, she always disappears before I go to ask her."

I know it's only a matter of time till the shine wears off

Unlocking the door, Keith held it open for his two new friends to enter. They looked around the empty space before moving further in and turning back to look at its owner. "The stuff should be here in maybe fifteen minutes, so we can do whatever until then."

They promptly sat around for a bit, chatting and drinking the small amount of iced tea Keith had in the fridge. A truck horn sounded outside, alerting them to its arrival. They rushed out to the apartment parking lot, beginning to unload pieces of furniture and boxes full of stuff. Luckily, Keith's apartment was only on the second floor, so it wasn't that hard to transport the items. The black-haired boy somehow managed to carry an entire recliner up the stairs, and Lance had to stop to gape for a second.

"Okay, showoff." He scoffed and began to lift the bed frame, carrying it a total of five feet before he almost dropped it.

"Don't break my bed frame, McClain."

"Oh, so we're using last names now, huh, Kogane?” He retorted, Pidge cackling in the background the entire time. Grudgingly, she came over to help Lance with the frame. After about an hour or two, they were finally done unloading the truck, and Keith's apartment looked a little less empty and a little more livable. Keith's mattress wasn't on the floor anymore!

"I think we're done here. Wanna start heading back to Allura's?” Keith suggested and the others nodded, heading back outside. On the way back, they came across a Dunkin’ Donuts and bought munchkins for their friends. You bet they received large amounts of praise from the others.

For the rest of the night, the ragtag group of dancers watched a bunch of movies and played Mario Kart, Shay somehow crushing them all. It all had Keith wondering how on Earth he had become so close and comfortable with this strange group of people in three days. Must just be a dancer thing. He thought as he fell asleep. Well, let's just say everyone's sleeping positions were a bit crazy. Hunk had somehow fallen asleep on the cold kitchen floor, Shay on the kitchen counter. Lance was positioned semi-normally on the couch, while Keith's sleeping form was draped across the top of the backrest (don't ask how.). Both Matt and Shiro were curled up in front of the dormant fireplace, and Pidge was impressively perched on top of the fridge, snoring slightly while still sitting up. Allura was the only normal sleeper, sprawled across the single air mattress she had laid on the floor.

This group was in for an interesting morning, to say the least. Let's hope Pidge doesn't fall off the fridge during the night.

Chapter Text

Some of you may know this already, but I have a discord server with my friend SimplyEssa, but I have also created a solo one for fans of LNOW! We can chat about anything and everything, and some of you guys will get special intel on upcoming chapters and such! I placed the link in the ending note of the last chapter, but I'm not sure if many people read the notes, so I decided to make an A/N. Also, I have created a Spotify playlist for the story! Links are down below!

Spotify Playlist

LNOW Discord Server

Essa and I's Discord Server

 

Hope to see you guys there!

Chapter Text

All was quiet in the Altea residence, all until the sun came up and shined through the curtains. Of course, for the aesthetic, Allura had white curtains, which didn't darken the room whatsoever. The sun shined right into Keith's eyes, startling him awake. You may recall that the black-haired dancer was sleeping along the backrest of the couch. He came tumbling off the backrest onto an unsuspecting, sleeping Lance, scaring the poor boy awake too. Both then fell off the black leather couch onto the cold hardwood floor, Keith landing on his back, Lance above him, just stopping himself from crashing into his friend with his hands on either side of Keith's head. The two stared at each other awkwardly for a moment before Lance rolled away, coincidentally knocking into Allura’s air mattress, which woke the woman up.

“Ugh, the fuck?” She groaned, running her fingers through her bleached-white hair, which had curled up immensely during the night. The ruckus startled Shiro and Matt awake, and they sat up and cracked their backs terrifyingly loudly. Maybe sleeping on the hardwood floor had been a bad idea.

“Good morning to you too.” Keith retorted at the explicit awakening. She flipped him off without looking, standing up shakily.

“Who wants some tea? We got green, English breakfast, Yorkshire, Chamomile, lemon…” Allura trailed off as she entered the kitchen, finding Hunk sprawled on the tile. This was normal for her at this point, so she just stepped around him, determined to get to her kettle.

“Do we have to have tea?” Matt groaned, following the dark-skinned woman. “Do you have any coffee?”

“Hell to the no, Holt, this is a British household and if you do not like tea then you go thirsty.”

"Do you have any water?

"Fridge, bimbo. Not that hard." The two bickered, as Keith asked for English breakfast, Lance asked for green, and Shiro asked if she had any chocolate chai, which she did. When she turned around to grab some mugs, she finally noticed Shay sleeping soundly on the marble counter. Taking no notice, as it was, once again, normal to her, she strolled over to the mug rack and collected six mugs, handing them out and leaving two for Hunk and Shay.

"Is all this normal?” Keith whispered to Shiro, who just nodded.

“Oh yeah, one morning we found Lance asleep in the sink, and Pidge was wedged halfway up the chimney.” Keith laughed at this, failing at being quiet, causing Hunk to slowly awaken.

"Speaking of which, where is my sister from hell?” Matt asked, looking around. "Katie I swear to god if you're stuck in the washing machine again I will not hesitate to deck you.” He received no answer. Keith shot a terrified look at Shiro who then told the story of how one morning they found Pidge asleep in the washing machine, stuck, so Lance and Matt attempted to help her out but got their arms stuck in the process. Allura and Shiro had to help get all three of them free, while Hunk looked for Shay, and funnily enough, found her sleeping in the dryer.

"I thought I saw her perched on the fridge before I fell asleep,” Lance spoke, confused.

"Wait, there's a sticky note on Shay's forehead,” Keith exclaimed, finally noticing a triangle-shaped green sticky note attached to the sleeping girl's face. He carefully removed it, attempting not to wake Shay. The piece of paper had a mix between almost illegible chicken scratch and confusing cursive. "I have no idea how the hell to read this.” Matt snatched it from his hands, knowing how to read Pidge writing.

He laughed at a memory, "I had to spend hours studying the way she forms her letters just to be able to help her with homework."

 

Turdblossoms (and Keith, I don't hate you yet),

 

Woke up super early, got bored, and went home. Don't flip the fuck out, Matt, I'm not stuck in the washing machine nor the chimney. Also, thank Shay for keeping the note on her head.

 

Peace out, losers

-P

 

"Whelp, guess she's gone,” Lance stated, stretching and making sure not to spill his tea. "Should someone wake up Shay? She looks like she's got a crick in her neck."

"Eh, let her sleep, she has an amazing knack for not screwing up her neck. Remember the dryer incident?” Allura reminded.


 

A few hours later, and everyone went their separate ways, some to work and others to their apartments. On his way home, Keith walked by Altea Dance and was surprised to see lights on inside. Wasn't it closed on weekends? Curiosity overtaking him, he crossed the street to the door, pressing his ear against the glass. Sure enough, he heard the faint beats of music. He opened the door and stepped inside without a second thought.

What if whoever-this-is wants privacy? He thought for a second after he closed the door, but once he heard the familiar chorus of a song playing in the other room, he knew exactly who it was. He followed the sound to a smaller practice room near the back of the building, the door propped slightly open by a green Van.

He peeked inside and, as expected, he found Pidge dancing to "Clothes Off” by Gjan, which just came out the other day. She had on very colorful leggings and a white tank-top with the letters LA as the eyes of a smiley-face. Her movements were calculated and precise, making sure to hit the movements just right. While she wasn't the most fluid dancer, the sharp lines worked immaculately well with the song.

When the song ended, Keith moved farther into the room, still not being noticed by Pidge. "So, I see you've heard Gjan's new song, huh?” The girl jumped, having thought she was completely alone.

"What the fuck dude! You don't do that to someone! How did you even know I was in here?"

"Front door was unlocked,” He moved farther into the room, "The lights were on, and I just barely heard the music.” Pidge swore under her breath at being found out. "The real question is; how did you get in here? Isn't it closed on weekends?"

She stopped the current running playlist, which Keith assumed was a Gjan playlist, as "Not Afraid” had begun playing. She reached into her green duffle bag and revealed a small set of keys. "Allura gave me a spare set of keys to the studio. I’m not the best with people and prefer to practice when no one’s around, you feel?”

"Yeah, definitely.” Keith stretched and sat down, feet tired from walking and standing. "When I was in college, I would almost never be around my dorm, I was constantly in a private practice room at the dance center after class hours. I don't even think my roommate knew what I looked like.”

She laughed, "Yeah, that will probably be me when I start college next year."

"How old are you again?” He asked, honestly curious.

"18, youngest at Altea. I know, I look maybe 16 at the most. I'm pretty short for my age.” She gestured up and down her torso. "When I start college, I'll still be able to come here often, seeing as the University I'm going to is just in the next town over, but I probably won't have the time or motivation to be able to participate in the recital, with my double major and all.”

Keith thought for a second, "So, this is your last recital here for at least four years…” He was suddenly guilty about claiming a Gjan song. "I can claim a different song so that you can dance to Wild like you wanted.” Keith offered.

"Nah,” She waved her hand in the air. "Go ahead, besides, I think I have some better ideas anyway.” She sat down next to Keith and took out her water bottle.

Keith flopped onto his stomach, resting his chin on his hands with his elbows as supports. His legs were bent at the knee and his feet dangling above him. "You gonna tell me what?”

"Only if you tell me what song you're dancing to."

"Touché.”

Pidge stood up after her water break, walking back over to her phone connected to the aux cord. She looked back to see Keith was still in the same position as before. "Dear god, get up. You look like a middle school girl asking her friend who her crush is.” The boy scrambled up without a second thought after Lance told him the story of how Pidge bit his hand for skipping a Transviolet song. The girl's teeth were sharp, if the scar on Lance's tan hand was any indication. "Well, since you're here and I'm bored as all hell, wanna spontaneously choreograph something?”

"Have a specific song in mind?” He questioned, stretching a bit. "Or should we just shuffle a playlist?"

"Shuffle time, Keithy-boy."

"Please no, it's bad enough when Lance says it.” Keith groaned. Pidge winked at him before turning back around to her phone, earning a middle finger to her back. She shuffled her favorite playlist, smirking when a certain song came on.

The black-haired boy recognized the song immediately as Confidence by Gjan, quickly getting into position near the middle of the room. Pidge joined him, restarting the song with a Bluetooth remote held between the waistband of her leggings and her skin.

I came from a place where everyone knows your name

The two friends worked slowly through bits of the song, wanting to make the choreography as good as possible, even though they weren't using it for anything. Sometimes the most relaxing thing to do was to focus on something that you didn't need to.

Where people decide your fate

For the beginning, with its slow-almost-sensual melody, they decided to have their movements be mostly fluid, but with a few sharp beats where they pause. The minimal percussion made this work perfectly, the few beats being strong and prominent.

I'm going crazy in this cage you put me in

But I'm done, I'm done

When the pre-chorus started, they rolled their necks in sync, hands cupping their ears like the universal sign of insanity. With the next set of words, they slid away from each other, faced one another, and bent backward at their lower backs. Each of their downstage arms (or the ones farthest from the wall covered in a mirror) were extended toward the ceiling, hands arched in an elegant shape. They held the position until the chorus started.

Oh baby you, you can call me whatever you want

Whatever you wish

During the "you"s, Pidge and Keith chaîné turned towards each other, promptly swapping sides of the room, except going much further, now on the far edges of the studio. They chasséd back towards the middle, doing a side leap and then a front leap, hitting the "want” and "wish” notes respectively.

But you're never gonna shake my confidence

'Cause I don't give a damn 'bout the things you say

The continued to dance and choreograph, making sure they adjusted the tone of the movements as the melody became more upbeat.

You can call me whatever you want but I'll be what I want

So whatever whatever

The bridge, the best part of the song in both of the dancers’ opinions, began and they split the two parts into solos, Pidge doing the first part. She reached out with her right arm and stepped with her right foot, and then returned to her previous position, dragging her foot. She repeated the motion with her left side, before throwing her right hand in the air, clenched in a fist, quickly followed by her left. Immediately both arms punched out to the side. The three hits matched with the "but I'll be what I want” part of the lyrics, which led into a few hip rolls during the last three words.

You can judge me, words don't touch me

Talk about me but I know myself better

Keith's solo was much the same, except adding his own touches and flair. This was definitely the most fun part of the dance.

I'm confident!

Pidge and Keith both slammed their left feet in front of them proudly. The same melody from the bridge started again and they did their solo choreography again, except together.

Before they knew it, the song was ending with the same sensual background music as before, and the two dancers collapsed on the floor. "We just choreographed an entire dance in one session, the fuck?” Pidge breathed, exhausted. Keith groaned, getting up to retrieve his water bottle.

"And I wasn't even planning on dancing today in the first place.” He looked out the window and was surprised to see it was getting dark. "Holy crap, it's getting dark already. What time is it?”

"6:30."

"Well then.” He had arrived at 2:00. "We just danced for four and a half hours straight? How?”

"Beats me, man.” She stood up and stretched, cracking her back painfully. "I should probably get going and lock up, Allura usually wants me out of here by 7:00. I'd say we could walk back to the complex together, but I'm not going home immediately. See you tomorrow?”

"Yeah, see you in the morning Pidge. You on coffee duty again?"

"Always. Just a heads up, Allura told me we have our first rehearsal for the finale dance on Tuesday, so prepare for that. Oh, and Hunk said he needed help picking a solo song, so he might ask for help tomorrow. I know I can trust you, though, because we essentially have the same taste."

"Haha, yeah. See you, Pidge."

"Bye Felicia!"

"You're the worst."

"Bitch I know.”

Chapter Text

“Mullet!” Keith heard as he stepped through the doors, and within the blink of an eye, a tan hand was wrapped around his pale wrist, pulling him through the dance studio. He tripped over his feet at the sheer speed Lance was dragging him and stuck his tongue out at Shiro and Allura laughing in the corner at their antics.

Keith began to drag his feet as he was guided farther into the building. "Lance, what the hell? I just got here, can I at least say hello to the others before you drag me off to god-knows-where? And what do you have against my hair?”

"One; you've been summoned by the Great God Hunk, two; it's a mullet, I have a personal right to make fun of anyone with a mullet.

"Summoned for what, exactly?” Keith smirked, forgetting his conversation with Pidge the night before.

"Hunk needs help picking his solo song, and Pidge tells me you've got good music taste. So, you are needed.” The boy continued to drag Keith further into the building. The raven-haired dancer glanced down at the slender fingers grabbing at his wrist and noticed a small tattoo on the other's wrist. When he looked closer, he discovered that it was a simplistic design of a flower and vines, in dark blue ink.

Lance's mf tattoo

"Hey, nice tattoo.” Keith broke the silence once the two reached the door. Lance stopped for a second, hand hovering over the door to one of the practice rooms.

"Oh, yeah! Thanks! Hunk and Pidge also have matching ones, that are yellow and green respectively. Hunk's is a little hard to see due to his skin tone, however.” He opened the door with a flourish, gesturing for Keith to go in first. As he stepped inside he was met with the smell of root beer and off-key singing of "I've Been Waiting For You” from Pidge, most likely referencing the new “Mamma Mia” movie. "Pidge, are you really drinking root beer in the studio? Allura is going to have your head and left foot. Also, how dare you make a Mamma Mia reference? We all know it is my job to do so.”

Keith leaned against the doorframe and smirked. “Whoever gave you that job is an idiot, for I am obviously superior in that field. You could say I’m the dancing queen. ” At that, Lance stammered and Pidge swore loudly. "What, Pidge?” I think I'm getting an idea for what Gjan song to dance to.

"I just realized that since I turned eighteen, I'm not the dancing queen anymore! This is the worst day of my life!” She flopped back on the floor and groaned dramatically, Hunk moving her bottle of root beer so that it wouldn't get knocked over. Shay walked in from the back, tying a light teal bandana around her short hair, and only hearing the last sentence.

She looked over to Lance with a deadpan look, "Lance, what did you do this time?” The boy in question jumped back, throwing his hands in the air in offense.

"Why do you automatically assume I did something? How do you know it wasn't Keith McMullet over here?” Oh, I definitely know now.

"I don't know, you're you, he seems decent enough, and I think the fact that you just called him Keith McMullet says enough.” Pidge started cackling at that, earning the middle finger from Lance.

"I, in fact, did nothing, it's not my fault that Pidge is no longer seventeen, blame the passage of time for that. And you; ” Lance turned back toward Keith with an accusatory finger. "From this day forth, I declare us rivals! Mamma Mia be damned! This coming Friday I shall request that instead of choosing names for the dance off, it is me against you. If you can beat me, you may claim my title. Sound good?"

"You are so, unbelievably, obnoxious. ” Keith groaned, "But I guess that sounds reasonable."

While the two bickered, Hunk, Pidge, and Shay were whispering to each other. "I swear I can smell the sexual tension.” Pidge snickered, earning giggles from the others.

Hunk stepped in between the two other boys. "Okay boys, while that was mildly amusing to watch, I still do need help finding a solo song! Help me brainstorm!”

The five dancers sat in a circle mindlessly suggesting songs and shuffling playlists. Lance's Spotify was currently on full volume, shamelessly playing various artists from Kelly Clarkson to Little Mix to 5SOS to Shakira.

Do do do do do do do do

Do do do do do do do do do

"Is this Bea Miller?” Pidge laughed, recognizing the opening of the currently playing song, Song Like You by Bea Miller.

"Uh, yeah? Bea Miller is a blessing to this world!”

She rose her hands in protest, "I'm not denying it!” She giggled again, "I'm just laughing at the fact that you have her on your phone."

Do do do do do do do do

Do do do do do do do do do

"Oh yeah? Well, I'm going to dance to it just to spite you.” Everyone in the room groaned, knowing exactly what was coming, as Lance got into position and gestured for Hunk to restart the song.

A song like you is a ripple of the waves

That rises to a hurricane

Oh woah oh oh, oh woah oh

He started out the dance as some goofy interpretive dance, earning laughs around the room. He switched back into a more serious style, matching the tone of the song much better.

A song like you is a whispered lullaby

That's drowned out by a baby's cry

Oh woah oh oh, oh woah oh

The dance continued, and after a few seconds, Shay joined in, laughing. The dance still had a bit of carefree energy laced in with it, but still held the solemn and almost sensual mood of the song. Keith, Pidge, and Hunk started singing along a little bit.

A song like you would never tell me the truth

They laughingly danced into the chorus, pointing and dragging out their movements as if they were telling a story to the three-person-audience. They prepped themselves for a series of spins during the next part.

It would turn me on,

Break me down,

Make me feel like there is nothing outside this room

They began to spin, bringing their arms up before quickly bringing them down again, matching with the "on” and "down” lyrics. Their bodies followed their hands, coming down to the floor allowing them to roll over themselves before standing up slowly for dramatic effect. Keith decided to join in now.

A song like you would have me lost in my youth
Oh, baby, a song like you

The three dancers went into a pencil spin, ending with their right arm and leg jutted out to the side before crossing their left leg behind their right. During "Oh, baby,” their heads slowly dropped in unison and they rolled their necks during the title.

I play it every night

They slid to the side, doing a ball-change before doing double pirouettes. They beckoned for Hunk and Pidge to join, Pidge responding with one finger, saying that she was going to join in when the time was right.

I play it every night
I play it every night

A song like you
A song like you

The second verse was coming, so Pidge hopped up. Hunk decided to wait for the second half of the verse, so he sat back and watched what Pidge had planned.

A song like you is a ballet black swan dance

That's brought down by a shotgun blast

Oh woah oh, oh, oh woah oh

The already-dancing three held onto each other's shoulders from the side and walked on relevé, doing some tondús to give the effect of doing ballet. Whilst Bea Miller sang the second part, Pidge spun up to the group and moved her hands in a way that looked like she was cocking a gun. Hunk then stood up to join in and no longer is there an audience.

If I wrote a song that was anything like you

It would turn from color into blue

Oh woah oh, oh, oh woah oh

The group of five continued to dance and goof off, forgetting the purpose of meeting here in the first place. The song was coming to an end, reaching the bridge.

Can't get you out my mind

When I'm alone at night

Everyone did their own movements, but moved at the same slow tempo, slowly moving into a circle in the center of the room.

I've been wasting so much time

And it's killing me inside

Once they were all in a tight circle, they slowly turned around so that they were facing out, and they prepared themselves for what was coming next.

A song like you

In unison, they all did cartwheels in the direction they were facing, landing, doing a fan kick, and chasséing towards the center once again.

I play it every night

During the last chorus, Hunk decided to look over at the clock, noticing the time that had passed. "Uh guys, we still need to find me a song!” He called over the music.

A song like you

It ended, and Lance rushed over to his phone to pause his music before another song started up. "Sorry buddy, you know I can't resist the urge to spite Pidge."

"I know bro, I know.” He replied, and laughed at Pidge flipping Lance off behind his back. "While I love Bea Miller with my whole heart, it's practically required when I live with you, but I think I'm feeling a guy singer this year? I don't know, I just have that vibe from this year.”

"That's fair, have any artists in mind?” Shay asked, and they all sat down in a circle. "I know of some, but not many, and most of them don't have dance music."

Hunk sighed, "I was actually thinking Måns Zelmerlöw, but Allura said Glorious is going to be our opener, so that's off the table. I was also considering Five Seconds Of Summer, but I couldn't imagine myself dancing to any of their songs. Ugh.” He groaned and flopped forward onto his stomach.

They all thought for a good few minutes, occasionally having ideas but shooting them down immediately or them not matching Hunk's dance style. After almost ten minutes of Spotify-scrolling and lazy brainstorming, Keith jumped up suddenly, muttering something about boys and crows. He grabbed his phone from his discarded sweatshirt in the corner and quickly typed in a few things. "Lostboycrow.” He murmured, only Shay barely being able to hear him.

"Did you say Lostboycrow?” She gaped, recognizing the artist. "I occasionally listen to him, but I don't have him on any of my playlists. I can't believe I didn't think! His style is literally perfect!"

"Hmm?” Hunk hummed, suddenly interested. He really wanted to find a song today. Keith came and sat back down, showing his screen.

"Lostboycrow, he's a singer, and his music style is like pop-meets-R&B-meets-electronic. You should totally check him out, I think he's what you're looking for, Hunk.” Keith explained and Hunk hummed again, connecting Keith's phone to the aux cord and pressing play on the song he had currently selected, Stay A Little Longer. His eyes immediately lit up.

"This is already really good!” He exclaimed and Lance and Pidge nodded in agreement.

"Reminds me of a higher pitched Troye Sivan.” Lance and Pidge said at the same time before meeting eyes and fist-bumping.

They listened to a few more songs by Lostboycrow, before Hunk decided on Stay A Little Longer, already coming up choreography in his head. "Hey Shay, do you have a song yet?” Keith turned to Shay, realizing he didn't know what her song is.

"Oh yeah,” She smiled, “It's Our City by TRXD featuring Emilie Adams.”

"Nice, nice.” He turned back to Pidge. "Are you gonna tell me your song now ?” The girl just shook her head, making a show of locking her lips. "Oh come on!"

"Maybe I want to keep my song a secret too , Keith."

"Ugh, fine."

It was a bit later, and the five dancers were laying across the floor lazily, talking and humming undeterminable tunes. Pidge did notice a bit of what Keith was humming and recognized the melody quickly. "Don't they all love a show, don't you dare forget it.” They both began singing it quietly, gradually building volume. "Don't they all love a show, don't you dare forget it. Don't they all love a show, don't you dare forget it. Don't they all love a show, don't you dare forget it."

Everyone in the room joined back in for the last repeat. "Don't they all love a show, don't you dare forget it!” They all sat up while singing it, now noticing Shiro, Allura, and Matt standing at the door, slightly scared-looking.

"We were going to come to tell you guys it's time for lunch, we're going to the Café today, but it looks like we walked in on some Satanic ritual, we'll, uh, we'll leave you guys to it!” Matt squeaked and pulled his friends away from the door to somewhere else in the building.

"Lunch! I am starving guys!” Lance cheered. “Race you fuckers there!"

"Lance, you know I'm faster than you!” Pidge yelled and ran after him, grabbing her phone and jacket before sprinting out the door. Keith quickly followed suit, leaving Shay and Hunk to grab everyone's stuff and bring it to the Café.

Keith beat everyone.

Chapter Text

Peacefully, Keith was sleeping as the sun began to crawl into the sky. This was, until he was rudely awoken by his phone ringing, a whole half-hour before his alarm was set to go off. He recognized the ringtone- Number One by Tove Styrke- and wondered why on Earth Pidge was calling him this early. He groaned and reluctantly sat up, reaching for his phone on the side table. He answered with another groan, making sure Pidge knew how annoyed he was to be woken up. "What do you want?"

"Good morning to you too, grumpy pants. You need to wake your ass up and open your door, I need your help with coffee duty today.” Her voice crackled through the phone, laced with sarcasm.

"You're outside my door?" He shrieked, momentarily forgetting they lived in the same apartment complex.

"Yes, now open sesame!” Keith quickly put on a shirt before opening the door, giving the girl on the other side an emotionless face. She shoved her way inside as he opened the door further, going to sit on his kitchen island instead of the fully-available chair. "Now get dressed, I wanna get to the coffee shop before the crowds start rolling in. Not to mention we got eight different orders that need to be filled."

"Why did you need me today anyways? You seemed fine the other day carrying all the coffee.” He questioned as he started tying up his hair, earning a deadpan from Pidge.

"Dude, I was almost dropping the trays the whole way between. I need help carrying them. I've needed help for quite a while and now that you're here, I can just hop over here, kidnap you, and we're off!” She explained, throwing her hands in the air for dramatic effect.

Keith sighed, "I don't have a choice in this, do I?"

"Nope! Now put on some clothes and let's skedaddle!”

Keith reluctantly did as told, disappearing into his room to put on actual clothing. They went on their way, just beating the large crowd of people who want their morning coffee. “-And three large black coffees with seven espresso shots, and one with creamer.” Pidge finished off the order. Keith turned to gape at her.

“The hell? That is literally so unhealthy, who are those for?”

“Matt, Lance, and I. The one with creamer is Lance’s.”

“You’re going to die before you’re 30.”

“Here for a fun time, not a long time.”


 

Upon arriving at Altea, Keith and Pidge were attacked by four exhausted dancers, and everyone was wondering where Hunk and Lance were. "They're always here on time because Lance is terrified of Allura.” Matt thought out-loud, getting smacked on the back of the head by Shiro.

"Well, hopefully, they get here soon, we have group practice today for our opener and finale dances. There have been rumors about Glorious by Måns Zelmerlöw being our opener, and they are true! The finale is-” Allura explained and Lance and Hunk burst through the doors.

"Sorry, we're late! Lauren Aquilina is back and I wasn’t ready !” Lance apologized, panting as if he had run all the way here. Keith wouldn't be surprised if he had.

"He spent ten minutes crying, but we're here now!” Hunk announced, smirking.

Lance slapped his arm, "Shut up! We gonna get started or what? Pidge, give me my caffeinated death!” He ripped the cup from the tray in Pidge's hand, almost accidentally throwing it in the air. "We do not need a repeat of that.”

"Don't worry Lance, I reacted the same way, just not late.” Allura cleared her throat to reclaim attention. "As I was saying, our opener this year is Glorious by Måns Zelmerlöw, and our finale is… Drumroll please;” Shay quickly tapped her fingernails on the table holding the speaker, "War Paint by FLETCHER!” The group cheered lightly.

“Best Fletcher song hands down,” Matt announced, immediately getting shot down by Lance.

“Uh, hell no, Avalanche is the best, get it right, Holt.” He stated.

Pidge stepped forward raising her hand. "You amateurs, the superior song is obviously Princess.”

"Why aren't we talking about Over My Head?” Keith cut in. Shiro walked up to the group, looking like he was going to break up the banter, but instead, joined in.

"Live Young Die Free wins it all, sorry.” Hunk and Shay decided to back away from the group, discussing the "argument” in quiet. After a while, they came to an agreement but decided to see how this all played out.

Allura cleared her throat loudly once again. "Enough! Besides, you're all wrong, the answer is You Should Talk.”

"Uh, one thing,” Shay raised her hand, her and Hunk rejoining the impromptu circle. “Hunk and I both agree that Wasted Youth and I Believe You are tied for best song.” There was then a chorus of reluctant agreement, and the two winners chuckled.

"Okay, now that that's over and done with, we can begin warming up. Everyone spread out so we can do some movement before getting ourselves stretching. The morning was pretty chilly so we don't want to snap our muscles in half.” Allura started some music before laughing. "Oh fuck yeah."

When you're dancing in the club

And the nights are getting hard

Do you think about us?

Do you think about us?

Various cheers erupted throughout the room as Perrie Edwards began to sing. The eight dancers began bouncing on the balls of their feet before doing three step turns. A faint humming of the melody could be heard as the opening began.

When the music gets so loud

And the girls are all around

Do you think about us?

Do you think about us?

Shay giggled, getting an idea and running up to be in the front of the room. She began singing along goofily, a few others in the room joining in.

‘Cause I do, think about you

When I'm up here in my hotel room

The group started doing synchronized two steps in time with the music, laughing and each adding their own flair to it. "Hey, Shiro!” Lance called out over the music, "When we did Don't Be So Hard On Yourself last year, why didn't we do the single ladies leggy march thing? It would have worked so well with the post-chorus!”

“Is this what keeps you up at night?”

"Yeah, this and Florence Welch's voice.”

Pidge chimed in, "Understandable, have a nice day.” Everyone cackled, all the while continuing to dance.

One touch is all I want

I call my girls, we go down to the club

Walk through the crowd 'til I find my love

I look in your eyes and the whole world stops

Woah

Allura and Matt jokingly do si doed on “We go down to the club” and the others copied them as soon as they caught on.

You put your hand on my waist

And then you pull me close

Boy, I promise I won't let go

They all moved more slowly at this section, almost like a waltz. They were all in pairs with the closest person to them, Allura still with Matt, Shiro with Shay, Hunk and Pidge, and Keith and Lance. They were all laughing so hard that they were extremely offbeat. But their hearts were racing so it did technically count as a warmup.

Now we're dancing in the club

And it's fire when we touch

Do you think about us?

Do you think about us?

When we're deeper in the crowd

Can you feel my body now?

Do you think about us?

Oh-woah-oh-oh-oh

"Now leaps!” Allura yelled and they all ran to the side of the room for the chorus.

Do you think about uuuuuuusssssss?

Woah-oh-oh-oh, woah-oh-oh-oh

They all lept across the room, spinning. Lance, extra as always, did a full aerial. “Oh screw you and your childhood gymnastics coach,” Matt swore, flipping off the other boy who just stuck out his tongue.

"How dare you disrespect Señora Álvarez.” He retorted. The group continued on to stretch, Allura, Pidge, and Lance showing off, being the only ones who could do a foldover split. After being dubbed "so stretched that their muscles might just melt” from Shay, they began working on the opening of the recital to Glorious by Måns Zelmerlöw. The costumes would be figured out at a later time. After a break and some lunch, they stopped on Glorious and began working on War Paint, the finale. These costumes, Allura already had decided. They will all wear completely white clothing, each of them having paint splatters of different colors on them. “I've already figured out your guys’ colors. I will be pink, Lance you will be blue,”

"Booyah!”

“Hunk you're yellow, Pidge neon green, Shiro black, Keith red, Matt orange, and Shay, you have a choice here, you can be purple, dark green, or brown.” She listed off the rest of the colors, ignoring Lance's interruption.

"Hmm, I think I'm gonna stick with my brand and go dark green.” She gestured to her short green hair. "Speaking of the recital, I'm gonna change my song to Backbeat by Dagny.”

"Nice, nice. Love her.” Pidge commented. The practice went on uneventfully until it was time to go home for the night and Lance approached Keith.

"Hey, mullet, I was just thinking, since I worked with Shiro last year and Matt is known to be a nightmare to work with-”

“Asshole!” Matt yelled, overhearing the conversation.

"Bitch!” Lance responded without a hint of hesitation, and Keith leaned up against the wall with an amused smirk. “Anyways, want to duo with me? It could even be a good opportunity to get to know me.” He said with a wink, causing laughter to erupt from Keith's throat.

"Sure, man. Now what Florence and the Machine song should I make your ringtone?"

Now it was Lance's turn to laugh. "Cosmic Love, definitely. Now I gotta go, it's my turn to drive Hunk and I home, I'll text you later and we can get a Spotify playlist going with ideas, okay? Bye!” He left and Pidge came up next to him, ready to leave since they were going to the same place.

As they walked down the sidewalk, a mischievous smirk suddenly overtook Pidge's face and Keith feared for his life for a second. "So, Lance, huh?” Keith shoved her into the road, seeing that there were no cars coming.

“I am going to break your glasses and destroy your computer in your sleep.”

Chapter Text

Keith and Pidge were walking down the street, careful not to drop the coffees when their ears were filled with the chorus of Cosmic Love by Florence and The Machine. “Really, Cosmic Love for Lance's ringtone?” she commented pulling Keith's phone out of his jacket for him, “Get good, mine is Soy Yo.”

“While that song is indeed a whole bop, he mentioned Florence yesterday and it just happened.” He answered the phone, handing Pidge one of the coffee trays so they could keep walking. “What's up?”

“Hey, I was thinking that today we could try and get some ideas for the recital? There's no group practice today so I thought it would be our chance to get a list going.”

“Yeah, sounds great. Pidge and I are almost to the studio.” He said between sticking his tongue out at the aforementioned girl for making sarcastic cooing sounds. He hung up after that before glaring at Pidge. “Pidge I swear to whatever higher power out there, you are fucking dead.” He grabbed the baseball cap off her head before running ahead.

“Hey gimme back my hat douchebag, and take your tray back!”

When they arrived, they were attacked by an animalistic looking Shay, whose hair was crazier than usual. "Late shift, I got a whole four hours of sleep. I just really need my coffee.”

"Shay, just go home and sleep, we don't have any important things planned today.” Allura suggested, placing a hand on the other woman's shoulder while grabbing her own latte.

"Nah, I can't, we got a bad wasp infestation at my complex, I'm staying with Rax right now but he's out for the day and I don't have a key.”

"Damn, your day seems to be going pretty shittily.” Pidge chimed in, walking into the room from the bathroom. "Yknow, you can stay at my place if you want, I'm sure it's a lot more convenient.”

"Really? You'd do that?” Shay exclaimed, eyes widening at the idea of sleep and being away from her brother for a few nights.

"Yeah, it'd be no problem,” she pulled her keys out of her pocket before tossing them to Shay, "Knock yourself out, the couch is a pullout. Just don't touch the tech, Hi-Chew, or Little Bites."

“Ahhhhhhhh thank you Pidge!” Shay squealed, rushing out of the studio after hugging Pidge.

Lance, having already finished his coffee, then dragged Keith by the back of his shirt into another room, “Alright mullet, brainstorming time.”

"Stop calling me that!”


"So I was thinking, maybe something more of like a pop anthem? Something that everybody dances to when they hear it. The type of song that they play at parties and one that you sing and bop to in the car.” Lance rambled off, staring at the ceiling while on his back. Keith sat crisscrossed beside him, searching through his music library for inspiration.

"Something by Sigrid maybe?”

"Nah, I heard Pidge saying that she was gonna do something by her.”

“Astrid S?”

"Nope, Matt laughed in my face this morning that he finally got to do an Astrid song. He and Shiro decided on Breathe last night.”

"Bea Miller?”

Lance laughed, “I know you're just saying that because of the other day, and even though Buy Me Diamonds and Motherlove are two of my favorite songs ever, I'm not feeling it this year, to be honest.”

"Xuitcasecity?" Keith rambles off the pop artists in his library.

"Shiro's doing Criminals.”

Keith groans, "Dammit. Song's a bop though. Seems like everyone got all the good songs already. What other artists have you heard are claimed?”

"Hmm, Allura got Freedom of Falling by VÉRITÉ, Shay Backbeat by Dagny, Hunk Stay A Little Longer by Lostboycrow, Shay and Hunk Wake Me Up by Avicii, Matt Talk Too Much by COIN, Allura and Pidge Castle by Halsey, I snagged One Foot by WALK THE MOON, and that's everyone.”

Keith then collapsed onto the floor, laying like Lance was, defeated. "Maybe if we warm up a bit we'll get some inspiration? Maybe you'll get less picky as the day goes on.”

"Well, I can't think of any better ideas,” Lance responded wacking Keith on the arm as punishment for the teasing, and Keith grabbed his phone and shuffled his playlist.

I'm just tryna dance my troubles away

Throw up my problems like money

But I can't stop crying on the dancefloor

No, I can't stop crying on the dancefloor

"Now this song is where it's AT!” Lance cheered and started jumping in place, Keith following suit.

I'm just tryna move, but you're in my way

Everywhere I look, I see your face

No, I can't stop crying on the dance floor

No, I can't control these tears and tantrums

"Hey, question, what XYLO song is your favorite from the intermediate period? Yknow the time after Paige went solo and before Pretty Sad?” Keith asked, beginning to do arm circles.

"Hmm,” Lance thought for a second, “Almost definitely I Don't Want to See You Anymore. You?"

"Same! I would say we could dance to that but it's a little slow for a duo. I honestly would've pegged you as a Don't Panic kinda guy, though.”

"While Don't Panic is good, I prefer the simplicity of I Don't Want to See You Anymore. But, we could do Nothing Left To Say?”

“Eh, not feeling it.”

“And you call me picky.”

I've been crying all night

Good God, I guess the boy of my dreams ain't right

Thought I'd love him for life, oh

I didn't wanna leave home

My girls hit me up on my phone like "no"

It's a Saturday night, oh

"Got anything going on soon?” Keith asked absentmindedly, getting down on the floor to stretch.

Lance's head snapped in the other man's direction, mind racing with possibilities of what that simple question could mean. "What do you mean?”

Realizing what he was implying, Keith nearly jumped right out of his straddle position. “I was just thinking that maybe if we have a conversation it could spark some inspiration.”

“Oh,” Lance shook his head to clear the thoughts from his head, "well Allura and I are going to a Jess Glynne concert next week, originally Shiro was going to come but he has work, so Allura is coming.”

So I'm just tryna dance my troubles away

Throw up my problems like money

But I can't stop crying on the dance floor

No, I can't stop crying on the dance floor

I'm just tryna move, but you're in my way

Everywhere I look, I see your face

No, I can't stop crying on the dance floor

No, I can't control these tears and tantrums

"Nice! Send me videos.”

"Yeah, I will. And I heard Abir was opening, I love her music as well. Jess's new album is so good, my favorite song is Broken-” Lance suddenly stopped talking and stood up, running to grab his phone.

"What, do you have an idea? I'm not sure Broken is much of a dance song.”

My tears keep on falling down

When I see you there in the crowd

These tears keep on falling for you

"Nonono, it's a different song, but it's perfect ,” Lance stated, scrolling through his playlist.

Keith remained confused, "Didn't you and Shiro do a Jess Glynne song last year? Isn't that a little repetitive?”

"Keith, my man, you don't understand, this song isn't just Jess.”

No, I can't control these tears and tantrums

As Tears & Tantrums by XYLO ended, Lance pressed play on the new song, the sound of guitar filling the air. Jess Glynne began to sing, shortly followed by Alex Newell.

"Kill The Lights?” Keith breathed, earning an enthusiastic nod from Lance. “Alright, fuck it, I'm in.”