Keith had seen Shiro stare down galactic tyrants, fight off monsters and demons single handedly, and lead the team through countless impossible missions without so much as a scratch. He had even come back from the dead, for god’s sake. So, at that moment, it was completely beyond Keith as to why Shiro was such a fucking wreck now, at his own wedding. Keith wasn’t an expert by any stretch of the imagination, but he was pretty sure weddings were supposed to be happy.
“I’m so nervous. Why am I so nervous?” Shiro said, staring into the mirror and seemingly having an absolute meltdown. “Oh my god, what if I can’t do this?”
“You can do this.” Keith said, patting Shiro on the shoulder awkwardly. He felt really out of place in a tuxedo, but dammit if he wasn’t going to dress up for Shiro’s big day. “It’s easy.”
“It is NOT easy.” Shiro said, glaring at Keith through the mirror.
“Hey. Patience yields focus.” Keith said, smirking at him. Shiro narrowed his eyes, about to open his mouth to probably berate Keith for being a little shit, but Keith interrupted him. “And everything is going to go just fine, remember? We’ve got everything completely handled. Your only job today is to just get married to the love of your life. Trust me, I’ve threatened everyone. They’re not going to mess up, and everything is going to go perfect. You just need to quit freaking out and get ready, dumbass.”
Shiro looked like he was about to argue some more, but Keith just handed him his hair gel, a silent warning to just shut up and get ready. Shiro took it with his right hand, new metal fingers clasping around the bottle far gentler than his old galra arm could’ve ever managed.
“You’re a good best man, Keith.” Shiro commented. “Even if you are an obnoxious punk.”
“I do try.” Keith replied. And really, he couldn’t have been prouder of his brother at this moment. He had spent years in space, as a slave, fighting a war, dead, basically just going through hell, and, dammit, now it was his time to have a happy moment. A shining beam of peace in the midst of a war that was finally coming to an end.
Shiro got to work on fixing his bed head, starting to finally calm down, and at that moment, the door creaked open.
“Heya, Keith, Shiro, both of you are looking snazzy.” It was Lance, squeezing his face through the crack in the bathroom door. Lance’s family had generously offered their home to use as a prep station, which Shiro had at first tried to refuse, saying they were being far too kind. That, of course, had been fruitless. Much like Lance himself, the rest of the McClain’s were aggressively selfless and hospitable. “How’s it going in here?”
“Good, just helping Shiro through another crisis.” Keith said, grinning automatically. He'd been smiling a lot more lately, he'd noticed, especially when Lance came around. “What’s up?”
“Oh, nothing much. The florist just has a last minute question that only the best best man can answer.” Lance said shooting a wink at Keith.
“I can check that out in a few minutes.” Keith said, feeling himself turn slightly red, which was stupid. “Best best man” shouldn't make a person blush.
“No! Uh, nope. It’s better if you just come with me right now. Gotta nip the flower issue in the bud, pun definitely intended.” Lance said, voice sounding more urgent. Keith looked over at Shiro, who rolled his eyes.
“I’ll be fine! I almost got eaten by space lizards once and ended up okay. I can get myself ready.”
“I had to save your ass then too.” Keith reminded him.
“Go!” Was all Shiro said, waving him away. “Fix my flowers.”
“Great!” Lance said, arm shooting out and grabbing the crook of Keith’s elbow the second he was within reach. He dragged Keith out into the hallway and slammed the door shut behind them. Keith nearly tripped on his way out, holding onto to Lance’s arm to keep balance.
“Hey, Lance, Keith, what are you guys-” Lance’s sister Veronica started to ask, holding a half assembled centerpiece.
“Sorry, V, important wedding stuff. Can’t talk.”
“What’s so urgent about the-” Keith started to ask, but Lance didn’t stop, instead pulling Keith into a side closet, the one part of the house that wasn’t filled with wedding prep. The door shut behind them, leaving the two in a dim room, way too close to each other. Keith exhaled, staring at Lance’s wide eyes only a few inches away from his own.
“-flowers?” Keith finished.
“Don’t freak out, but I, uh, lied about the flowers.” Lance said, voice started to climb higher in the way it did when he was nervous about something. Keith’s heart rate picked up, and he was convinced Lance could feel it with how close they were.
“Why are we in a closet?” Keith asked, and Lance suddenly seemed to notice their proximity. He blushed slightly, looking pointedly at the ground.
“Panicked,” Lance said by way of answer, looking back up at Keith. “It's just, well, there may an itty bitty little threat to the wedding.”
“A threat?” Keith’s heart nearly stopped, feeling a little whiplash. That was definitely not what he was expecting. He steeled his voice. “What kind of threat?”
“Alien threat. Pidge thinks it’s from that one Galra Commander, Ranveig, who’s probably the last one trying to preserve the empire. He’s got a fleet just past Kerberos and is heading this way. You’d think after we took down Sendak, they'd've learned.” Lance was talking very fast. “I think it’s one last desperate grab for power, or maybe revenge.”
“Let’s get to the lions.” Keith said, eyes blazing.
It had only taken Shiro a few weeks of being back together with Adam, a few weeks after Earth had been officially declared “not at risk,” a few weeks after Shiro found out Adam almost died before he could get to him, before he proposed. Something about how life is short, and what’s the point of postponing something they both knew was inevitable anyway. He had sobbed through the entire speech, then came home and asked Keith to be his best man, still crying.
Keith, obviously, had accepted and was suddenly thrown into the throngs of wedding planning, a universe he didn’t even know existed until his brother had gotten the ring.
That’s when Lance had jumped in, another last minute rescue.
“So, the best man’s job is to basically be a groom’s crutch, and to organize his grooms people. Which is basically all of us on team Voltron, funnily enough.” Lance said over a McDonald’s booth, attacking a vanilla cone. Keith nodded, not even touching the fries he ordered. He’d barged into Lance’s room at three am, panicking because he knew nothing about being a best man, and before he knew it, both of them were at the McDonald’s, discussing the proper duties.
“Okay.” Keith said, writing that down in the binder Adam had put together for wedding planning. Lance laughed a little bit, peering across table at Keith’s notes, which at this point were mostly doodles.
“Right, so first, you’ll need to take Shiro to get his tux fitted and everything. You’ll also need to help him pick out all of our outfits, and watch the rings. And there’s two toasts you’ll need to make.”
“Two?” Keith said, nearly dropping his binder.
“Yes, one at the rehearsal dinner and one at the reception. Not long ones. The rehearsal dinner is the most important one, because the reception is basically a congrats.” Lance pointed to each respective tab, and Keith could feel his heart picking up speed. Why the fuck had Shiro asked him to do this? “Hey, hey, Keith, buddy, you still with me?” Lance waved his hand in front of Keith’s face.
“I can’t do this.” Keith said, feeling just about as lost as when he’d gotten kicked out of the Garrison. “This is so much, I’m going to let Shiro down.”
“Keith.” Lance said, his voice dropping slightly lower. He took Keith’s hand in his own, intertwining their fingers. His hand was warm, a soft and comforting presence. “Listen to me. You’re not going to do this alone. I’m going to help you, got it?”
“I can’t ask you to-”
“Oh, come on. We’re a team, remember? We all want Shiro to have a perfect wedding. God knows he deserves that much.” Lance squeezed Keith’s hand. They both stared at each other for a moment, and it struck Keith how weirdly normal this felt. The two of them, in a McDonald’s nearing 4 am, discussing wedding plans of all things. It was such a stark contrast to their previous daily activities, which mostly involved fighting space battles for the sake of the universe.
It was just nice to know that even though their war was all but over, Lance still had his back.
“Thanks.” Keith said, smiling softly. He squeezed Lance’s hand back. Lance grinned, stealing one of Keith’s french fries and popping it into his mouth.
“Right,” He said, a smirk on his face. He didn’t let go of Keith’s hand. “Let’s start with the tuxes.”
“About time you guys got here.” Allura said, smirking as she leaned against the outside of the new castle. She was wearing her dress and holding her bayard, which was a pretty badass look. Her dress had a tight white bodice that fell into a poofy rainbow skirt, very princessy and very beautiful.
“Sorry, we uh, got caught up at my parent’s house. It’s chaos over there.” Lance said. “So much wedding stuff.”
“What’s the status?” Keith said. The rest of them wore their wedding outfits as well, Pidge with a similar dress with less poof, and Hunk, Lance, and Keith in baby blue tuxedos and rainbow bow ties.
“A small fleet is entering our solar system. Definitely Galra. Probably a few who rejected the alliance and are gearing for one final strike.” Pidge said, a small grin on her face that she was trying to hide. “They’ll be here in a few hours if we don’t stop them now.”
“Ready to lion up?” Hunk asked, sounding more excited than he probably should considering it was Shiro’s wedding in danger, but Keith understood. It had been a few weeks since they’d gotten to form Voltron, and Keith was itching for some action.
“Born ready.” Keith and Lance said at the same time. They both grinned at each other, then the five of them sprinted into the castle towards the hangars.
Keith could already feel the lions calling towards them, sensing the incoming battle. He’d mostly taken over the Black Lion once Shiro decided to put his energy towards repairing his relationship with Adam, besides a few times Lance or Allura had piloted her.
Black was already powered on and practically purring in anticipation once Keith entered her cockpit. Keith grinned, sitting down and grabbing her controls. She hummed in his brain, saying something along the lines of “It’s about time you’ve returned, young one.”
Keith shot out into the sky, breaking through the atmosphere in a matter of seconds.
“Everyone here?” He asked, and was met with a chorus of affirmation from the others. “Alright, let’s go kick some ass.” They whooped and all five of them followed Pidge’s GPS to the edge of the solar system. Sure enough, a fleet of Galra warships were in formation, heading towards Earth.
Allura flew in front of the rest of the lions, turning on her broadcast.
“This is Allura of Altea, Blue Paladin and protector of Earth. What is your business in this quadrant?” She asked, her voice powerful and diplomatic. A familiar Galra face appeared on all of their screens.
“I am Ranveig, Commander of what remains of the Galran Empire. Surrender Voltron now or prepare to be destroyed!” Came the angry reply.
“Ranveig, all the other Galra have joined the coalition in an attempt to bring peace to the universe.” Allura said. “Stand down, or we will engage.”
“Never! Victory or death! Vrepit sa!” At that war cry, the battle ships in the front of the fleet fired, and Allura barely managed to get out of the way.
“They don’t seem too enthusiastic about the alliance.” Pidge commented.
“Let’s make quick work of this.” Keith said. He felt energy buzz just beneath his skin.
Less than two months before the wedding, Keith hadn’t slept in four days.
One part because of stress, one part because of all the wedding planning, and one part because sleep had never come easy to him anyway.
He ran on energy drinks and the brief rest he got when he passed out in the shower for twelve minutes.
“Keith, you look dead.” Lance said once Keith showed up in the kitchen of the new castle, arms full of envelopes, invitations, address lists, and various pens he had scoundered up from somewhere.
“Thanks.” Keith said, dumping everything onto the table. Pidge, Hunk, and Allura were also there, having promised to help Keith get these invitations out by today, so Shiro and Adam would have time to go wine tasting.
“When was the last time you slept?” Hunk asked, and Keith groaned, pinching the bridge of his nose.
“It doesn’t matter. Just get started addressing the envelopes and make sure each one has a Save the Date in it.” Keith said sharply. “The post office closes at five, so we need to be done by then.”
“Keith, perhaps your time would be best spent taking a nap-” Allura started, but Keith shot a glare that effectively shut her up. Probably had something to do with his half dead eyes.
“I promised Shiro I’d get these out today.” Keith said, by way of answer. “So that’s what I’m going to do.”
No one argued with him, and soon the five of them were working hard at the large pile of Save the Dates. Keith’s vision started to blur.
“Wow, your handwriting is terrible. Why don’t you take a quick break, dude? Then you can jump back in.” Lance said, sounding way to casual to not be up to something. But, on the other hand, Keith was both exhausted and very bad at saying no to Lance.
“Fine. Five minutes.” Keith said, sliding aside the envelope he was working on. It did look like a toddler had written it. Maybe Lance had a point. He crossed his arms on the table and found himself staring at Lance sitting next to him, writing down addresses with precision.
It was a stupid thing to fixate on, the way that Lance’s hand moved when he was writing, but Keith found himself doing just that, staring at the hypnotizing movement until his eyes started to glaze over and his brain made this overpowering humming noise.
Somewhere along the way, Keith’s head dropped into his folded arms. He didn’t even realize he was falling asleep until Pidge spoke, her voice floating by Keith like he was underwater.
“I cannot believe that worked.”
“Let him sleep.” He heard Lance say in a soft voice, before Keith felt something drape over his shoulders. From the scent, Lance’s jacket. Somehow that made it even more impossible to get up, even though Keith knew he should. “Now, let’s focus. These invitations need to be perfect. Pidge, I swear to god, write slower.”
“Are you gonna be this neurotic when you’re planning your own wedding?” Hunk asked in a whispered tone.
“Probably ten times more so. Heaven forbid that the champagne has too few bubbles.” Pidge said.
“I’m not being neurotic! I’m just being careful. This is Shiro’s wedding we’re talking about!” Lance said, in a hushed whisper.
“Or, perhaps,” Allura chimed in. “Your excruciating attention to detail has more to do with a certain someone else you've promised to help every step of the way.”
“Oh, shut it, you’ll wake him up.” Lance said, voice sounding slightly higher than normal. “And stop pointing.”
“Are you planning on doing anything about it besides jumping down our throats?” Pidge asked.
“Guys.” Lance hissed. “Can we focus?”
“Fine.” Hunk said. “But you know everything’s going to turn out fine, alright? With the wedding and other stuff. We’re here if you need anything.”
“We need to get these invitations out before Adam and Shiro get back from wine tasting” Lance said, setting a hand on Keith’s shoulder and stroking his thumb in circles. It felt like a absent gesture, way more comforting than made sense, and effectively lulled Keith deep into sleep.
Keith woke up probably half an hour later to Shiro shaking his shoulder gently.
“You alright, dude?” Keith sat up, strings of hair clinging to his face. He was on the couch in the new castle’s common room, somehow.
“Huh?” He asked, a little disoriented. This was not where he fell asleep. He had vague memories of writing invitations, and then…
Well, he remembered feeling warm.
“Lance called and said you guys sent out the invitations.” Shiro said, sitting down next to Keith. “Thank you for that.”
“Oh, I didn’t.” Keith said, rubbing his eyes, and feeling guilt pool in his stomach. “The others saved my ass, like usual.” He’d have to go thank them, somehow. Maybe take them all out for dinner.
“I’ll thank them, then.” Shiro said. He looked Keith up and down before smirking. “Nice jacket.”
“Shut up.” Keith said, wrapping Lance’s jacket tighter around him. This was dangerous territory, he knew. Sharing jackets was so...real. Intimate in the stupidest, middle schooler crush kinda ways. Only months ago the thought would've terrified him. But now? He decided to let himself indulge. A little. “How was wine tasting?”
“A little too fun.” Shiro said, looking sappy and probably still tipsy.
“Gross.” Keith teased, shoving him.
“Sorry, I can’t help it.” Shiro said, not sounding the least bit sorry. “I know wedding planning is stressful, but with Adam, all that stress seems to go away. It’s just like we’re hanging out, and also picking out napkins.”
“Good choice, then.” Keith said.
“Oh, definitely. I’m so lucky.” Shiro had that dreamy look on his face, like he couldn’t believe that this was his life. He slumped backward against the couch and sighed happily. “I love him.”
“Yeah.” Keith looked down at the sleeves of Lance’s jacket and found himself blushing again. Like a schoolgirl with a crush.
“Keith! I need you!” Lance yelled, and Keith was by his side in seconds, blasting the ships who had him surrounded only moments earlier.
“I got you, buddy.” Keith said, a grin on his face. Lance stuck out his tongue at him on the comm screen, before both of them had to dodge another attack from one of the cruisers.
“These cannons are no joke!” Hunk said, before ramming into the ships that just shot at Lance.
“Are you guys thinking what I’m thinking?” Pidge yelled through the comms.
“I think it’s about time.” Allura echoed the sentiment. Hunk cheered.
“Go ahead, Lance.” Keith said, because he knew that the other had been dying to say it again ever since he’d flown Black months ago. Lance grinned at Keith, They all fell into formation, waiting with bated breath for Lance to yell the words.
“Form Voltron!” He yelled, and the rest of the team cheered.
Forming Voltron was like breathing again, something he’d miss. He felt Allura’s steady determination, Pidge’s calculated intellect, Hunk’s calming optimism, and Lance’s stimulating energy. They were a team, and they were ready to kick ass as one.
“Alright, this’ll be easy.” Keith said, hands on the controls. “You guys ready?”
“Yeah!” The four of them cheered as one, sending another rush through Keith. They flipped around, facing the remainder of the fighter ships.
“Lance, form sword!” Keith yelled, sticking his bayard in the slot at the same time. Lance mirrored the action, two swords forming in Voltron’s hands. They charged the nearest two, slicing them in half as one. Adrenaline and the presence of his closest friends, his family really, fueled him.
Every few seconds Shiro would flash through their collective subconscious, a reminder of who they were fighting for. It always came with a rush of unexpected energy, because dammit if they were going to let anything ruin Shiro’s day.
Only minutes after they formed Voltron, the fleet had all but turned to dust. They disbanded, giving the carnage one more look over.
“It’s a shame that some Galra still believe war is the solution.” Allura commented sadly.
“Hey, we got a good majority of them to join the alliance.” Lance reassured, and Allura sighed, a sentiment that the rest of them understood. Even though treaties had been signed and peace had been declared, this was just a testament to the fact that war could never truly end.
A month before the wedding, Shiro and Adam had been way too excited to pick out the wedding party outfits, and it had taken several long trips to various wedding shops before they were finally satisfied. Keith looked down at his outfit, a baby blue suit with a white shirt and a rainbow bowtie, which almost made Keith roll his eyes. Shiro would go for the rainbow.
This was the final fitting, and Keith was in charge of making sure there were no final issues in anyone’s wardrobe.
Keith stepped out of his dressing room into the fitting area, finding he was the first person out there. He took a moment to look at himself in the mirror, turning to get the full angle.
Keith wasn’t a formal suit guy by any stretch of the imagination, and he had no idea how he was supposed to tie the bow tie, but he thought he might look good in this one. Lance walked out of the dressing room right after, coming up behind Keith in the mirror.
And Keith had thought that he looked nice in the suit.
The baby blue somehow made Lance’s eyes pop even more, firmly contrasting his warm brown skin. That skin had never looked so smooth, so soft to the touch. Keith clenched his fists so he wouldn’t do something stupid like try and stroke Lance’s cheek. The suit hugged him in all the right places, showing off his long legs and surprisingly broad chest. Keith bit his lip, immediately looking away. Focus. He needed to focus. They had a job to get done.
“Woah.” Lance said. “I’ve never seen you dress up before.”
He was staring at Keith, before blushing and looking away when Keith met his eyes. It was, honest to god, adorable and tested Keith’s resolve to focus on the task at hand even more.
“You, uh-” Lance cleared his throat. “Your bowtie looks awful.” Lance laughed then stepped forward, holding out a hand. “Can I-?”
Keith nodded, way more eagerly than he meant to. Lance smiled, closing the distance between them and putting his long fingers to work tying the bowtie.
“Can’t believe you’re an adult and don’t know how to tie a bowtie.” Lance commented, voice quiet because of their close proximity. “You can pilot a giant lion and fight aliens and can’t tie a tie.”
“I tried.” Keith said halfheartedly, trying to keep his eyes off of Lance’s lips.
“Your hair is getting so long.” Lance finished the bow but didn't move away, his fingers moving to play with the ends of Keith’s hair, which fell just past Keith’s shoulders.
“What, do you want me to cut it?” He tried to sound sarcastic, ignoring the fact that if Lance said he thought he would look better bald, Keith would be reaching for a razor. When the fuck had Keith become so infatuated, so fixated on the boy in front of him? Lance had kinda snuck up on him, hadn’t he?
“No. No, definitely not.” Lance took a shaky breath as he twirled Keith’s hair. “It looks-you-uh, well, you can definitely pull this off.” He opened his mouth again, looking like he wanted to say something more, when Hunk stepped out of his dressing room.
“I think the sleeves are too long on mine, but other than that, fits like a glove.” He said, and Lance jumped away from Keith in a flash. Hunk looked up from his arms, grinning and doing a goofy little turn. Hunk also looked great, which both Keith and Lance didn’t hesitate to say.
Soon after, Pidge and Allura stepped out, wearing dresses that were poofy and rainbow.
“Ooh, I love this! The skirt is so light and fluffy.” Allura twirled, hair floating out like a cloud of cotton candy. Pidge laughed, looking a little less willing to twirl but just as happy.
“Yeah, I like these. Shiro made a good decision.” She said, and Keith thought she outright adorable in a dress.
The tailor came in to make any final adjustments, poking and prodding at their bodies in a way that made Keith feel like cattle. He gave them all one more onceover before declaring that they would be finished within the week, anything for saviors of the earth, and Hunk, Pidge, and Allura took that as a signal to get changed.
Keith lingered in the lobby, busying himself with his bowtie. Lance stayed too, clearing his throat to get Keith’s attention, as if he ever didn’t have it.
“You never said what you thought, Keith.” Lance said, spinning around and striking a pose. The many lights in the dressing area made his skin glow. “Am I wearing the fuck out of this suit or what?”
Now, Lance in the suit was certainly...something.
But it was a lot more fun to tease him than give him an outright compliment.
“It’s okay.” Keith said, totally deadpan, and Lance gasped in offense, clutching his chest. “I just think you’d look better without the tux on.” Then he stood up and locked himself in his dressing room before Lance could work out what he said.
“Keith!” Came the startled puppy cry when it clicked.
“Yes?” Keith asked innocently, taking off his own suit.
“I hate you.” Lance hissed through the door. Keith had to stifle his own laugh, leaning shirtless against the wooden walls of the changing room. “You can’t say things like that.”
“Go get changed, Lance.” Keith said, drawing out his name. He could picture Lance’s face. “We got more errands to run.”
“You’re an ass.”
They landed the lions back at Varadero with only a few minutes left to spare.
“Do I look like I just solved a flower crisis?” Keith asked, as they all made their way back to the wedding, trying not to draw any attention to themselves. The focus should be entirely on Shiro and Adam today.
“I’m not entirely sure what that would entail,” Pidge said. “But I mean you look fine. Suit’s barely wrinkled.”
“It’s wrinkled?” Keith almost started to panic.
“Hey, dude!” Lance grabbed his elbow. “You look great, alright? Stop freaking out. Shiro’s not going to find out his wedding was almost sabotaged.”
“What about our wedding?” Someone asked, and all five of the paladin’s screamed. Standing there, right in front of them on the path back to Lance’s house and fully decked out in a tux, was Shiro’s fiance, Adam. Speak of the devil...
“What are you doing out here?” Hunk asked, peering out from behind Allura and Pidge, where he had lept in fear. “Shouldn’t you be, like, getting ready?”
“I’ve been ready for hours.” Adam said, putting his hands in his pockets sheepishly as he smiled. “Years, really. I’m just taking a walk to try and calm my nerves.” He narrowed his eyes at Keith in particular. Keith gulped; Adam knew way too much about Keith’s inability to hide anything. “What were you guys saying about our wedding? Did I hear you say sabotage? Is someone trying to sabotage our wedding?” He sounded angry or maybe just stressed, and Keith was about ten seconds away from giving it away.
“What? No!” Lance jumped in front of Keith, also aware of his dismal lying ability. “No sabotage. I said, uh, cabbage espionage.” Adam stared at him with a blank look on his face and Keith resisted the overwhelming urge to face palm. “Yes. Caterers at weddings are always trying to sneak vegetables in all the desserts. It’s a real issue. Back me up, Hunk.”
“Uh, yes. Definitely. Don’t worry, we took care of it. I’m a culinary expert.” Hunk said.
“Yes! Got that caterer all straightened out. No need for any stress. Just a lifelong commitment awaits.” Pidge said, looking ready to die.
“That was also a problem on Altea! Seems to be universal.” Allura chimed in, her voice way too high. Adam stared at all of them blankly for a moment, before blinking slowly and seemingly deciding that this wasn’t worth pursuing.
“Well, as long as everything’s taken care of.” Adam said, shooting one last curious look at Keith. Keith swallowed, keeping his face as passive as possible. “And nothing’s going to go wrong at this wedding.”
“Nope! Problem taken care of. Let’s get you back!” Keith said, already power walking back to the venue. “It’s almost time!
Adam’s family soon took Adam away to his tent, saying how the ceremony was only a few minutes away, so Keith and the other’s headed straight to the venue, where Krolia, Coran, Romelle, and Adam’s groom party were waiting.
“How did everything go?” Krolia asked, once she’d made sure all five of them made it back in one piece.
“Great, threat neutralized. How’d everything go here? Where’s Shiro?” Keith asked his mom.
“He’s ready to go, kit.” Krolia said, smiling as she put her hand on Keith’s cheek. “He knew you’d probably get caught up making sure everything was perfect. Which it is. He’s very grateful.”
“Well, you know Keith.” Lance chimed in, swinging his arm around Keith’s shoulder. “He’ll do anything to help people he cares about. He’s just a really stand up guy. Probably has something to do with his awesome mother.” Keith shot him a weird look.
“Are you hitting on my mom?” Immediately, Lance’s arm shot off of Keith’s shoulder.
“What, no! I was just trying to-No!” Lance started sputtering, but Krolia just laughed, patting Lance on the head like he was a dog.
“It’s okay, Lance. I understand who you are really trying to impress.” Then she winked at Lance, and Keith was just left even more confused than before, so he turned to Romelle.
“Do you enjoy the set up?” Romelle asked the group, sounding hopeful. “Krolia, Coran, and I helped Adam’s family set it up. We carried the arch, and most of the chairs. Humans are not particularly strong.” She grinned happily at the wedding set up in front of them. The white chairs were mostly filled, with Shiro and Adam’s closest friends and family, and the large arch was adorned with flowers, some of them, Keith noted, didn’t look from Earth.
“It looks beautiful, Romelle.” Allura said, pulling her into a hug that left Romelle beaming and blushing. Beautiful, Keith thought, was a little bit of an understatement.
When Lance first suggested Shiro and Adam have a beach wedding in Varadero, Keith was skeptical. He thought it’d be windy and cold, way to out in the open, and sand would get everywhere. Now, looking at what was set up, he took it all back. It nearly took Keith’s breath away. Somehow they had made the beach feel like a private sanctuary, a tiny pocket of paradise.
“Get into your spots.” Adam’s maid of honor and older sister, Alexia, hissed at the groomsparty. Romelle and Krolia bid everyone good bye and good luck, Krolia pinching Keith’s cheek, and departed to their seats in the front. Keith took a deep breathe, readying himself at the end of the long carpeted aisle. They had gone over everything about a hundred times, this would be fine.
Coran stood at the front, right under the arch, and cleared his throat. He had been asked to officiate the wedding, which he had accepted enthusiastically.
“I would like to ask everyone to take a seat, as the bonding ceremony is about to begin!” Coran announced, his voice serious. Well, about as serious as Coran could get. He seemed extra determined to do a perfect job.
“The grooms would like me to thank you all for coming, and for your digression. You are all honored guests. So let’s get this show on the road!” Coran spread out his arms, a born performer.
The crowd applauded.
“Your toast yesterday was beautiful.” Alexia said to Keith as they waited for their cue to walk down the aisle. Her arm wrapped around Keith’s elbow, in the traditional escort pose. “Like, really perfect stuff. Adam cried so much, it was hilarious. So did everyone, if I’m being honest. How’d you manage that?”
“I had some help.” Keith said, resisting the urge to glance behind him at Lance, whom he could hear telling, well, performing some of their space adventures for Adam’s groomspeople.
“I’m assuming from angels.” Alexia said, which made Keith laugh. It was basically true.
The music started to play, and Keith and Alexia started heading down the aisle.
“You could just write the entirety of Take On Me by a-ha.” Lance suggested, peering over Keith’s shoulder at the nearly empty sheet of paper. The only thing on it was a doodle of Keith’s pet wolf with a bone in his mouth. “And then recite it totally deadpan.”
“I thought you said that you were good at this.” Keith said, shoving Lance away with one arm. Lance walked away, hands up in the surrender position, before sitting down on his bed. They were in Lance’s room at his family home, only a week before the wedding, and Keith was currently at his desk with a sheet of paper and next to nothing written. “Maybe there’s a best man toast online I can steal, and like switch out names.”
“Keith, you can’t find a generic toast online for Shiro’s wedding. This thing is a high class celebrity event.” Lance said, and Keith whipped around to glare at him.
“You’re not helpful.” Keith said, he could feel his temper starting to bubble. “This is so stupid. Shiro already knows how I feel. What’s the point of telling a bunch of random people?”
“Hey, Keith, cálmate.” Lance said. “This is for Shiro. A show of support for his marriage.” Keith took a deep breath and closed his eyes, trying to calm his nerves.
“I do support his marriage, I just don’t know how to say it. In words.”
“Hey, I’m a love expert, Keith.” Lance said, but for some reason Keith could hardly hear him. Everything felt kind of far away, except for the toast, which was a looming obstacle, ready to crush him. “I can help you.”
“Why did I put this off until only a week before the wedding? Oh my god, I’m going to fuck it up, Lance-” His heart was beating way too fast.
“Hey,” Lance moved forward, taking a knee until he was right in front of Keith. He put one hand on the armchair, barely brushing Keith’s arm. “You’re going to be okay. Remember, Shiro’s going to be happy no matter what you say up there, but if you feel yourself panicking, just do what my mom always tells me. Inhala, exhala. Deep breaths.”
“Okay. Okay.” Keith tried to breathe. It didn’t quite take.
“With me. Inhala.” Keith breathed in, filling his lungs. “Exhala.” Lance said, and Keith let the air out slowly. Lance and Keith repeated that a few times, until Keith’s heart slowed down again, and Lance came into view, no longer impossibly far away.
“There you go.” Lance said. “See? You’ve got this.” Keith moved his hand on top of Lance’s.
“I used to get anxiety attacks all the time. Still do sometimes. It helps to ground yourself and breathe.” Lance looked at him for a minute. “Also, it’s kind of funny that public speaking is what triggers it for you, rather than like, I don’t know, almost dying.”
“Public speaking about my emotions does.” Keith corrected, playfully shoving Lance. “But the breathing helps, thank you.”
“Anytime, samurai.” Lance said. “You know you’re gonna rock this toast, right? You’re literally incredible at everything you touch.”
“So are you.” Keith said, and Lance looked so touched at that moment, face immediately softening. That’s the exact moment they were interrupted.
“Hey Lance-” The door slammed open, and Lance’s mom walked into his room, looking at something on her phone. Lance immediately stood up and backpedaled away from Keith. “Is it true that aliens-Keith!” She nearly dropped her phone when she saw Keith sitting in Lance’s chair. “Mijo! You didn’t tell me Keith was coming over today!”
“Keith’s coming over today, ma.” Lance flopped backwards onto his bed, letting out an overly dramatic sigh. Keith almost wanted to laugh, kind of feeling like he was a teenager in high school again. It was nice.
“Don’t get smart with me.”
“Sorry, Mrs. McClain-” Keith started.
“Oh no, Keith! You never have to apologize for anything. You’re always welcome in our home.” She quickly said. “You should invite your mother next time. I promised to make her some of my famous garlic knots she heard Lance brag so much about.”
“Sounds like a plan.” Keith said. He loved Lance’s mom. And Krolia loved Lance’s mom as well, saying something about how she was the embodiment of everything that was great about humankind. Keith thought that might run in the family.
“What are you boys doing?” She asked, walking into the room and plopping down next to Lance on the bed.
“Keith’s trying to write his toasts. He sucks at it.” Lance said. Keith threw his pen at him.
“You suck at helping.” Keith retorted. Lance stuck out his tongue like a six year old.
“You two are cute. Let me see what you have so far.” Keith held out the sheet of paper, which Lance’s mom took and looked at for a moment. Her blue eyes scanned down the mostly empty page, and she snorted quietly. “Well, this is a very nice drawing of your dog.”
“Thanks.” Keith spun around in his chair again, bumping Lance’s knee with his own.
“Keith,” She said, and Keith stopped to face her. She sounded wonderfully like a mother. “What you need to do is talk about why Shiro and Adam make such a wonderful couple. They’ve already got an incredible love story, from what Lance has told me. Just tell their love story from your perspective.” She said, handing back the empty sheet of paper. Their love story from his perspective. “That’s what Shiro wants to hear from you.”
“That’s actually really good advice.” Lance said, sitting up on his elbows.
“Don’t sound so surprised.” She said, before leaning over and giving Lance a noogie. “I am something of a love expert after all.”
“Thank you so much, Mrs. McClain.” Keith said, gears already turning in his head.
“It’s no problem, sweetheart. And you can call me Claudia. I hope you visit more often. It’s like you’re already part of the family.” She threw an exaggerated wink towards Lance, and once again Keith was struck with how alike the two of them were. It was cute, especially when Lance got all flustered and pouted.
“Sorry, she’s embarrassing.” Lance said, although he sounded more fond than anything, once she left, leaving the door open. “You know how moms can be. Actually, Krolia is really cool-”
“Your mom’s really cool.” Keith interrupted. “And now I finally know what to write.” Keith said, grinning widely. He spun around in his chair ready to write again. Lance returned the pen Keith had thrown at him, then scooted closer on his bed.
“Nice! Nice, an idea! Good ol’ momspiration, am I right? Do you need my help? Like for anything. I could go get snacks, or give you a shoulder massage while you work, or-”
“Snacks sound good.” Keith said, before Lance could work himself up. “We can talk about the massage later.”
Watching Shiro walk down the aisle towards his loving fiance, finally allowed to do something for himself, well, for once Keith didn’t feel ashamed to let himself cry. He felt proud, proud of his brother and all that he’d accomplished.
Lance and Hunk pretty much sobbed throughout the entire ceremony, which, honestly, Keith had expected.
“Takashi Shirogane,” Adam said, saying his name with the same reverence some people said prayers. “I take you to be my husband. I promise to commit my life to you, and even beyond that, since death hasn’t seemed to stop us before. You are the hero of my story, and I fall a little bit more in love with you every day. I love you, and I like you.”
“Oh my god.” Lance whispered in his ear, voice shaking with tears. “Oh my god.” Keith reached his hand over to him without looking, and Lance immediately grabbed it, squeezing hard. Keith could feel something bloom in his stomach.
Shiro covered his mouth, tears falling down his eyes, before realizing he had to start his vows. “Adam Costa Winston, I take you to be my husband. I promise to work every day to be worthy of your love and your devotion. I vow to be there every step of the way from now on. You’re my hero, the shining light I get to see every day. I love you, and I like you.”
“And the jewelry?” Coran choked out, looking at Keith through tear filled eyes. Keith stepped forward, whistling one low note. It had taken a few tries to get it right during rehearsal, but Keith had Kosmo trained pretty well. Immediately, his wolf appeared at the end of the aisle, the rings attached to a pillow secured on his back. Keith whistled again, and he teleported until he was right in front of Shiro and Adam. A couple of guests screamed, but Kosmo just barked, arching his back to make the rings easier to grab.
Adam took them, tears threatening to leave his eyes, and Kosmo teleported next to Keith, wagging his tail enthusiastically. Keith gave him a quick pet on the head, and turned to watch as Shiro and Adam placed their rings on each other, hands shaking. It felt like the whole crowd held their breath. They linked their hands together, staring into each other’s eyes as they waited for Coran to continue the ceremony.
“By the power vested in me by the dear King Alfor and the Earth Internet website getordained.org, I now pronounce you husband and husband, married in this life and any lives to come!” Coran said. “You may complete the tradition by touching your mouths together.”
Shiro smiled at Adam, ready to slowly lean in and give a respectful, tactful wedding kiss, but Adam seemed to have other ideas. He threw himself at Shiro, wrapping his arms around his neck and pulling him close. The wedding guests cheered, and Lance jumped and gave Keith a hug, which all the other paladins soon joined. It was a moment of pure bliss, and Keith wondered if he’d ever been happier than at this moment.
Then came the party.
“I can’t believe you talked me into the penis gummies.”
Planning the bachelor party had been..an ordeal to say the least. Shiro had told Keith time and time again that he didn’t want to go anywhere, just to have a night of fun with the paladins, a finally normal night. Maybe a way to make up for some of the years of reckless youthfulness they had all missed.
So Keith booked a fancy hotel room with a balcony and three beds, plenty of room to party, and fairly soundproof walls. It probably would've been an expensive purchase, except the fact that everyone was willing to do just about anything for the Paladins of Voltron.
Lance had gotten a stripper and dick decorations. He called them dickorations. Keith pretended he didn't find that funny.
“You can’t have a gay bachelor party without penis gummies.” Lance insisted, shoving a bowl filled with the phallic candies into Keith’s face. He pushed it aside, laughing. Music was playing, a party playlist that Lance had put together. The six of them had just come from a very intense game of laser tag and a burger dinner, and were ready to start the next phase of the night.
“Shiro just wanted a lowkey night. Not dick central.” Keith said. Currently, Pidge, Hunk, and Allura were playing a rather intense game of “Don’t let the balloon touch the ground” with dick shaped balloons. To be fair, Shiro still seemed to be having a good time, wearing a party hat and watching them play from the side lines.
“You vetoed my ‘Pin the Penis on Adam’ game, so I had to get the dick balloons to compensate. And a stripper. I think it’s illegal to not get a stripper at a bachelor party.” Lance said, which wasn’t true.
“Are you going to get a stripper at your bachelor party?” Keith asked, not sure why he suddenly felt embarrassed. He was an adult, asking another adult a perfectly normal question. He took a sip of the vodka Shiro had recommended and cringed. It tasted fucking awful.
“Depends.” Lance said, taking away Keith’s drink and pouring several fruity somethings into it before handing it back.
“On what?” Keith asked. The steady beat from the speakers matched the pounding of his heart as he sipped the drink. It tasted much better now. Sweet and fruity.
“Well, on what my spouse-to-be thinks of the age old tradition.” Lance said coyly.
“They’ll hate it.” Keith supplied automatically, taking another drink.
“Enjoying that Sex on the Beach?” Lance asked, and Keith nearly choked, before Lance gestured to the drink, laughing. Oh, that must be the name of the cocktail. For a second, Keith had thought-Just then, the doorbell rang, and Shiro rushed over to open it.
“Speak of the devil.” Lance said, as Pidge and Hunk nearly cried with mirth. Shiro had opened the door to reveal a very sexily posed...doctor.
“You got a doctor stripper?” Keith looked over at Lance, who smirked, shrugging his shoulders.
“My name is Doctor Valentino and-Holy shit.” Valentino dropped his sexy pose, looking around at the group. “You guys are- You’re Voltron! With the mecha lions and the earth saving!”
“Uh, yeah, that’s us.” Shiro said, sheepishly rubbing his white hair with his hand.
“Holy fuck, dudes. That’s so cool. Thanks for that, by the way. Mad respect.” Valentino said, pounding his chest and giving them a peace sign. The rest of them nodded sheepishly, before Valentino’s eyes widened as he seemed to remember why he was there. “Oh, right, I should probably get back to, right.”
Just like that, Valentino fell back into his stripper character, sidling up to Shiro.
“Should we get this started, bachelor?” He purred, and Pidge guffawed loudly. She wasn’t even drunk, instead opting to bring an entire container of apple flavored juice boxes to the party. A container she was very steadily working her way through. “It’s time for your physical.”
“Oh, no no no. I don’t want to be danced on.” Shiro tried to back away, his face a bright red color. He waved his hands in front of his chest, not moving from where he was pressed against the bar. “Someone else.” Valentino made a mock pouty face, before turning to the rest of the room, wiggling his eyebrows.
“Who’s volunteering?” He purred, and Keith had to laugh.
“Keith! He’s the best man!” Allura said, and she was way too drunk already. Keith wasn’t even sure she knew who this guy was or what was going on. Hunk cheered, yelling Keith’s name in a chant that the rest of them soon joined in. “Keith! Keith! Keith!” She shoved Keith towards the chair with far too much force, and Keith stumbled forward.
“Keith. A beautiful name” Valentino said, and stroked down the chair sensuously. Now, normally, Keith would not be into a random stranger dancing up on him. But, honestly, he’d had a couple drinks, so, why the fuck not? “Why don’t you have a seat, so we can begin the examination.” He punctuated that sentence with a low purr and several more eyebrow wiggles.
Keith sat down in the chair as Valentino dropped to the ground with the beat, running hands down his chest as he crawled towards Keith. Keith covered his mouth with his hand to stop him from laughing, his face absolutely burning. Someone-probably Shiro-whooped as he came closer, before whipping around and shaking his ass in Keith’s face.
Keith had never had a lap dance before, so he honestly had nothing to compare this one to. It wasn’t his favorite thing that had ever happened to him.
He glanced over at Lance, who was laughing at him as well. Probably because he had no idea what to do when a half naked stranger was dancing up on him and definitely looked ridiculous.
“It’s time for your checkup, Keith.” Valentino drew out his name, leaning forward right into his ear, and Keith couldn’t stop from laughing out loud this time. Valentino wasn’t at all put off by that fact, instead grinning and dancing harder, removing his scrubs in one fluid tear away. Keith briefly wondered if tear away clothes would be more convenient for quick changes during battle, before he remembered exactly where he was.
“Get some lay, Keith!” Allura yelled, poorly constructing some human slang she’d heard. She chucked her entire wad of one dollar bills, smacking Keith in the face. The dollar bills fell into his lap, and Valentino grinned before picking them up with his teeth. Oh god.
The rest of the dance passed by in kind of a blur, and after being showered in tips and cheers, Valentino grinned, bowing before grabbing his clothes and beginning to get dressed again.
Allura challenged Shiro to an arm wrestling contest, which Lance, Hunk, and Pidge immediately rushed over to cheer them on.
Already sure Allura could kick Shiro’s ass any day of the week, Keith headed to the bar, because he was far too sober at this moment. He grabbed the drink that Lance had mixed for him before, taking a long sip.
Keith had only been standing by the bar for a few moments when Valentino joined him, thankfully now fully clothed.
“So, Keith.” Valentino said, leaning against the counter. “This is legendary pilot Takashi Shirogane’s bachelor party?” He seemed nice enough, when he wasn’t shaking his dick in Keith’s face. Attractive, too, for some people.
“Yeah, he’s getting hitched in two days.” Keith answered, taking another long drink of the cocktail Lance had concocted for him. What was it called, Sex on the Beach? He giggled when he remembered the name, then grabbed a handful of gummy penises to snack on. They were actually pretty good, like gummy bears.
“It’s an honor to be here.” Valentine said. Keith just shrugged, a little confused as to why Valentino decided to come to him for a post strip chat sesh.
“Well, Lance is the one who hired you.” Keith said once he swallowed his gummies, tilting his head to the direction he assumed Lance was. Valentino just grinned, leaning slightly closer to Keith. “For Shiro.”
“So, Shiro’s spoken for, what about you?” Valentino tilted his head slightly. “What’s a savior of the universe up to these days?” The question took Keith aback a little bit. What about him? He didn’t really have an answer to that. He glanced down at his drink, and opened his mouth to say-he didn’t even know what. Probably a drunken ramble about a boy with ocean eyes and a maddening self sacrificial streak.
“Hey, Keith!” Lance appeared out of nowhere, as if Keith had summoned him with his thoughts. “I think we’ve finished with your services, Mr. Valentino.” He clasped one hand to Keith’s shoulder and swayed slightly, giving away the fact that he was tipsy.
“Oh, sorry-” Valentino started to say.
“Nope, we’re all good here, thank you for your stripper services! Always an honor to meet a fan.” Lance released Keith’s shoulder to firmly guide Valentino out the door, handing him a few more dollars as a tip, then slamming it shut. Hunk started giggling uncontrollably, having to lean entirely on Pidge to keep himself from falling over, and Keith heard Allura drunk call Romelle for what must’ve been the third time that night.
Lance rolled his eyes, then headed out onto the balcony by himself. Keith watched him go, thinking that it was his job as best man to make sure everyone was having a good time. He glanced over at the other four, who were currently in tears as Hunk recounted a story of something that had happened in space years ago. They certainly were having a good time.
So, after a moment of deliberation, Keith grabbed two shots and followed him outside.
It was warm in the Cuban air, a slight breeze ruffling Keith’s hair. He sidled up next to him on the balcony, looking over the beach. The moon reflected off the water in a beautiful way, but Keith found himself more focused on the view next to him. Lance stared at a single point on the horizon, face crumpled in a way that looked almost like a pout. A cute pout, his brain pointed out helpfully. Keith knocked back one of the shots.
“Oh, hello, Keith.” Lance said, not even looking up. He was definitely grumpy.
“Why are you pissed?” Keith asked, a combination of the lack of inhibition and the burning in his throat making him forget formalities. Lance made a face, lightly shoving Keith. Keith just bounced back, like a tiny string connected the two of them. He held out the second shot glass as a sort of olive branch, even though he wasn't entirely sure why it was needed.
“I’m not pissed.” Lance said, grabbing the vodka shot from Keith’s hand and taking it. Fast. Keith watched his adam’s apple move up and down as he swallowed, a little bit mesmerized.
“For not being pissed, you kicked the stripper out the door real fast,” Keith pointed out. Also, Super Bass was playing from the speaker inside, and Lance hadn’t even started rapping along with Nicki Minaj, which was just totally out of character.
“Did you want him to stay?” Lance sounded almost hurt at that thought, meeting Keith’s eyes for the first time. He looked like a kicked puppy.
“Nah.” Keith said. “But you were curt with him. He was just doing his job. The one that you hired him for.” Keith reminded him.
“His job isn’t hard. I could’ve done it.” Lance said. And god, would Keith pay a lot of money to see that. “I could’ve done a way better job than him.” His voice started sounding like his normal self, which must’ve meant Keith’s mission of cheering him up was working.
“Oh yeah?” Keith said, leaning in closer than his sober self would’ve allowed. “Then why didn’t you?” His hand brushed across Lance’s shoulders and ran its way down to his chest. His very solid, very nice chest.
“Because I’m the dumbest man alive.” Lance said, and he leaned in closer too, until his nose bumped Keith’s. He could smell the vodka on his breath, and for some reason it wasn’t disgusting. The opposite in fact. Maybe Keith was just drunk.
“Not dumb, maybe just a little dense.” Keith said, breath catching in his throat. “I think I’d like to see you try, though. Maybe you can-”
“Yo! Let’s play True Paladin!” Pidge interrupted, sounding enthusiastic and probably on a sugar high. Keith just smirked, running his fingers up to Lance’s face to flick his chin playfully.
“Coming!” He sang out, turning away as Lance groaned, out of frustration or maybe something else.
True Paladin was a drinking game of sorts, since drinking games were apparently universal, something they had concocted on the ship during one of the many long periods of anxiety filled waiting. The rules were chaotic, loud, and unclear, and when the paladins could drink earth liquor instead of Coran’s nunvil, it became a roaring, thunderous good time.
“The floor is lava!” Allura yelled, leaping up onto the nightstand with a half empty bottle of nunvil clutched close to her chest. The rest of the group yelled, scrambling onto various furniture. There was something special about seeing Shiro, their composed leader, literally leap onto a bed screaming.
It was truly a moment of closeness and vulnerability only stupid drinking games could bring.
“You’re last, Shiro, take a drink!” Keith yelled, and nearly stumbled off the counter before Hunk grabbed his collar and pulled him back to safety. Shiro groaned, but complied, a large grin on his face.
“We had a bonding moment!” Pidge yelled, when she had finished her fifth apple juice box.
“I cradled you in my arms!” Everyone else yelled back, before taking a drink. Keith scowled, shoving at Pidge, who just grinned back with the straw of her juice box between her teeth. For some odd reason, Keith’s Bonding Moment Meltdown (copyright Hunk), had always been a popular phrase when completing the quote during True Paladin. Keith was starting to think none of them would ever let him forget it until he died.
Allura was the first to the king, taking a large swig of the whiskey in the center of the hotel room, before declaring herself the True Paladin of Voltron and promptly passing out on the sofa bed.
“How does she always win?” Lance asked, stumbling onto one of the free beds. Pidge curled up next to Allura, mumbling something about princesses always being victorious.
Shiro and Keith took the last bed, while Hunk collapsed right next to Lance.
“I need friends my age.” Shiro groaned, rubbing his eyes with the heels of his hands. Keith laughed.
“Getting too old to hang with us?” Keith teased, rolling over to face the other bed. Lance was lying there, less than a foot away, looking up at the ceiling with a glazed over, drunken look in his eyes. Shiro smacked Keith’s shoulder, but there was no heat to it.
“Fuck off. I’m youthful. I’m spry.” Shiro said, sounding muffled, like he was talking into his pillow. The room giggled, then fell quiet for a brief moment before it shattered away again.
“I could give lap dances even better than that guy. My lap dances would be world class.” Lance said to the ceiling. His hand dangled off the side of the bed him and Hunk shared.
“We know, Lance.” Hunk said, yawning loudly.
“Definitely better than Valentino.” Lance drew out the strippers name in a mocking voice, which made Keith giggle.
Keith reached over the small space between their beds and grabbed Lance’s hand without giving it much thought. His presence was warm, steadying, almost sobering. Lance glanced over at him, meeting Keith’s smile. He smiled back, something soft and full of possibility, before closing his eyes. The ghost of his smile was still present as he sighed, relaxing into what looked like a good night's rest.
“This was a really fun party. Thanksyouguys.” Shiro said, his words slurring together. There was a slight pause, then- “I miss Adam. I wanna go see Adam.”
“You can see him tomorrow.” Keith said, feeling the tendrils of sleep start to overtake him. “Last night without him, remember?”
“Fuck that. I wanna see my husband.”
“Not your husband yet.” Pidge reminded him, sounding tuckered out.
“Two more days.”
“Close enough.” Shiro repeated, and that’s the last thing Keith remembered before slumber finally caught up with him, the warmth of a hand in his following him into his dreams.
The cake tasted delicious, which is what Keith found himself the most concerned with. Shiro and Adam had just celebrated their first dance together, smashed cake in each other’s face, and Keith had done his dances with Alexia. Now everyone gathered in the center of the dancefloor as Shiro and Adam held aloft their bouquet, ready to toss it, because they were cheesy like that. Maybe weddings were just supposed to be cheesy. Keith could roll with that.
He found himself standing near Lance again, where he was explaining the Earth tradition to Allura.
“So, whoever catches the flowers becomes the next to be married?” Allura asked, sounding slightly confused. “Did Shiro catch the flowers at the last Earth wedding?”
“It’s not, like, literal.” Lance said. “It’s just kind of a romantic gesture. A silly tradition. And, anyway, you won’t have to worry about that because I am going to catch this goddamn bouquet if it kills me.”
Allura turned, opening her mouth to retort before she caught Keith’s eye behind Lance. Keith winked at her, and Allura grinned, nodding slowly. Somehow they could have a conversation without either of them speaking a word. Allura stepped aside, just as the music started and the crowd waited with baited breath.
Then Shiro and Adam threw it to the cheers of the crowd.
The bouquet flew through the air, twisting and turning before falling back down. It was headed towards them, something Keith knew Shiro had probably planned, the loser. Lance reached out to catch it, the flowers just within his grasp.
Inches away from Lance’s fingers, Keith’s hand shot out and snatched the bouquet. He hadn’t planned to, his arm kind of moved of its own accord. Lance whipped around immediately, fire in his eyes that extinguished once he saw Keith holding the flowers. He heard someone, probably Shiro honestly, wolf whistled in the background, but he really only had eyes for one person.
“Hey!” Lance said defensively, but he grinned. It seemed like the crowd had dispersed, leaving just the two of them in the middle of the room. “That was mine.”
“Too slow.” Keith teased. Then a slower, sweeter song started playing, like they were in a goddamn rom com. “Want to dance?” He asked before he could lose his nerve.
“Yes.” Lance said right away. Keith kind of just tossed the bouquet aside, not caring where it went, eager to touch someone much more pleasant than a bunch of flowers.
Lance grabbed his hand, pulling Keith close. Oh, how Keith had grown to love the feeling of Lance’s hand in his. He wrapped his free arm around Lance’s neck, pulling him closer. Lance held his waist, and this definitely made up for all the school dances he missed growing up.
“Thanks.” Keith said as they spun around the dance floor. This wasn’t like the few rigid dance lessons he’d taken This was just Lance and Keith, improvising and goofing around on the dance floor.
“For what?” For what? Only everything.
“This. The wedding, the mission, always supporting me, even when I was a dumbass. I’m just really glad that you followed me out into space.” Keith said, finding himself growing nostalgic with something heavy. Perhaps a wedding would be the perfect time.
“I’d follow you anywhere, babe.” Lance winked, and, had he not been previously occupied with slow dancing, Keith would bet good money Lance would've finger gunned at that moment.
“You’re stupid. And beautiful. And smart, kind, funny, hot, amazing.” Keith said, and he had never been good with words but, for the first time, he felt completely ready.
“Oh.” Lance said, turning red. His brain didn’t seem to be working. “Oh.”
“What, you can dish it out but not take it?” Keith asked. His heart pounded, and he felt on the brink of something, something that’d been years in the making, and he was finally ready to take that final leap. “Lance, I-”
“Guys, emergency.” Allura suddenly grabbed Keith’s shoulder and hissed into his ear, making them both jump. Keith turned to glare at her.
“What?” Lance asked, looking about as annoyed by the interruption as Keith felt.
“Sorry, but we did not kill all the ships.” Allura said, and Keith immediately sobered up as she continued talking very rapidly. “Pidge’s father just got a call from the Garrison, their sensors detected something entering the atmosphere coming in near Cuba about half an hour ago, but they didn't take action because they assumed it was Voltron, but then they realized the timing was off, and-”
“Allura! What do we need to do?” Keith interrupted, ready to grab his bayard and his knife.
“I sent Romelle to distract Shiro and Adam. She said she can get us at least thirty dobashes to find and neutralize the threat.” Allura said.
“I’m coming with this time.” Krolia appeared seemingly out of nowhere right behind Lance, making him yelp and cling onto the front of Keith's suit. “No one’s ruining my adopted son’s wedding.”
“Awesome.” Lance said, recovering smoothly and throwing an arm around Keith again. “You know, it’s truly an honor to fight along your side-”
“Shiro! Adam! You must tell me exactly how earthlings jewelry binds their mates. Is there magic involved? Alchemy?” Romelle cornered Shiro and Adam, batting her large eyes and effectively blocking any escape. Keith had to smile, she was like their secret weapon, so innocent that Shiro would never suspect anything was wrong.
“That’s our cue!” Allura said, and they followed her as she power walked of the dance floor, and towards where Hunk and Pidge stood, just beyond the reach of the lights. Both of them were bent over Pidge’s tablet, discussing something intensely.
“Plan Romelle is a go.” Allura said, practically sliding next to them.
“Just in time. We just located them, and they’re only a few miles off.” Pidge said.
“We’ll have to engage them on foot, the lions could do too much damage.” Lance said. “And we are not hurting Cuba anymore, they’re barely back on their feet after Sendak.” He crossed his arms, eyes fiery.
“Don’t worry, Lance.” Hunk said. “Besides, I’ve been dying to kick some evil alien ass with my own two fists.”
“I hear that.” Keith and Krolia said at the same time. They all grinned at each other, then took out their weapons.
“Let’s get started then.” Allura said as she activated her bayard. And all of them ran.
They found the Galra marching in formation on the beach, a smoking ship sinking into the ocean. Luckily, they had landed in a practically deserted part of Cuba. Keith could hear Lance breath a sigh of relief.
“Alright, team.” Keith said, gripping his bayard. “Priority is keeping the border. No one makes it past this line, got it?” He drew a brief line in the sand with his foot. The team nodded, readying their weapons. And then, like a well oiled machine, they charged.
Keith had missed this feeling. Using his body and brain as a weapon, protecting the people he cared about, working fluidly as a team. Krolia grinned at him as she stabbed a droid through the heart, tossing it aside like it weighed nothing. Lance was right. His mom was cool.
Allura flipped through the air, attaching her whip to a Galra droid and launching it into another one. In a dress that just looked, well, magical.
“Nice one!” Pidge shouted, before jumping onto another soldier’s back and taking him down from behind. Hunk body slammed another that was preparing to shoot her. Keith turned just in time to cross blades with another droid. Sparks flew through the air, and-
“Shit!” Lance’s yell of panic sent chills down Keith’s spine, and he quickly stabbed the droid in front of him and whipped around.
A Galra soldier had Lance pinned, one foot trapping his gun against the ground. Keith sprinted towards him, ready to throw his knife at the bastard who tried to hurt him, when suddenly Lance sprang into action.
He retracted his bayard, which teleported to his other hand, and formed the broadsword. While the Galra stumbled, confusion infecting their movement, Lance twisted and swung, slicing the sword right through them and rolling away. He landed on both feet, breathing heavily with a grin on his face.
“Holy shit.” Keith said, quite forgetting that they were in the middle of a battle.
“Learned from the best.” Lance winked, suit somehow looking barely rumpled, then jumped right back into action. It took Keith only a second longer to realize he should probably follow suit. Lance had that crazy ability to always distract him.
It was only a few minutes later before the fleet of foot soldiers were destroyed, the remaining few fighters surrendering. They contacted the Garrison again, and it was only minutes before their pilots arrived for collection and clean up.
“All in a day’s work.” Lance said, as the group of them headed back to Shiro’s wedding, trudging along the beach. They were tired in the way that battle made them tired, but the happiness from the wedding hadn’t been dulled in the slightest. They stopped near the ocean’s edge, music from the reception just audible. It sounded like a corny Beach Boys song.
“We should probably head back to the venue.” Hunk said. “I gave Romelle a few topics of conversation, but they may try to ditch her after she asks how humans consummate their marriages.”
“Gross.” Pidge laughed, shaking the sand out of her skirt. Krolia giggled along with them
“Krolia, can I talk to you?” Lance asked suddenly, which surprised Keith. Krolia narrowed her eyes before smirking, and nodding.
“Of course, Red Paladin.” She said, and the two of them stepped just out of earshot. Keith watched them for a moment, watched Lance laugh awkwardly after no doubt saying something stupid, and his mom raise an amused eyebrow.
He turned away, giving them some privacy and watching as the sky melted from blue to red to purple. Sunsets on Varadero were beautiful, incomparably so, just like Lance said. Turns out Lance was right about a lot of things.
There were too many people at the rehearsal dinner. Okay, in reality, only about thirty tops. It was a pretty private event. But that was still too many people, way more than deserved to hear Keith’s private emotions. A fact that Keith was obsessing over when Lance elbowed him and gave him a look, the one that meant it was time for him to go.
Then Keith stood up, notecards fumbling in his hands. He took a deep breath, glancing at Lance’s eager face before remembering how to speak. He’d practiced this a million times.
“I’m sure you’ve all heard of Murphy’s Law, where any thing that can go wrong will go wrong. I actually like to refer to that phenomenon as Shiro’s Law.” Keith paused, as the room laughed goodnaturedly. “I’ve known Shiro since I was ten, and I can vouch for the fact that the universe, literally the entire universe, has it out for him.” Shiro almost cackled at that, nearly knocking over his glass of wine. Adam moved it out of the way in nick of time.
“He was diagnosed with a chronic disease at a young age, and, knowing that he should rest, decided his life’s passion would be to put his life in danger to fly to the stars. That dream took him to the Garrison, where he met Adam. I was only a kid when I met them, and didn’t know much about love, but what I did know I learned from Shiro and Adam. Shiro once described Adam as ‘putting the goddamn stars to shame.’” Keith paused, looking up at Adam, who was trailing his hand down Shiro’s arm, his real arm. “But life got in the way, and they fell apart, like people in love sometimes do.” He tried not to look at Lance when he said that, instead focusing back on his notecards, his hands starting to shake as he read the next line.
“Then he went to Kerberos, and, because everything must go wrong, he didn’t come back.” Keith could feel a lump in his throat, and swallowed. He could feel everyone’s eyes on him, and for a moment, faltered.
He glanced around, and his eyes caught Lance, who mouthed “inhala, exhala.” Keith obeyed, taking a deep breath and continuing.
“Shiro went through hell in space, but he made it through because he was driven by one thing. Love. Love for his family, love for his team, love for humanity, love for the universe, and his love for Adam. The universe put him through all the shit it could, but Shiro decided that his life wasn’t going to be dictated by something so inconsequential as cosmic design. He fought the universe ooth and nail, never once giving up his struggle against its flow, until he finally made his way back home.” Keith could hear sniffles in the crowd, and something told him the loudest belonged to Lance. He glanced over at Shiro, who had silent tears running down his face as he held tightly to Adam’s hand. Adam looked at Shiro like he was the entire world.
“Shiro once told me that he thought the universe didn’t plan a happy ending for him. When we finally made it back on earth, he decided enough was enough, he was going to make that happy ending happen himself. He made up with Adam that night. Four weeks later they were engaged, and I finally saw Shiro as happy as he had been back then. Happier, cause this time, no matter what, he was going to make it stick.” Keith could feel his eyes stinging now, which was stupid. He turned to the fiances, not looking at his cards anymore. There was a stupid lump in his throat as Shiro looked up at him with a face that could only be described as pride.
“You two have beat all odds to come together, and have fought against the entire universe to build your happy ending, and watching that has been the greatest privilege. Everything that could go wrong has gone wrong, yet you guys have made it turn out all right. Congrats to the both of you, and the life you’re going to make together.” Keith raised his glass as he prepared his final toast.
“To building our own happy endings.” Keith toasted, before taking his own drink. The room echoed his action, before Lance stood up, clapping with very clear tears running down his cheek. Allura, Hunk, and Pidge followed, then Shiro and Adam, and his wedding party. It was all very overwhelming, Keith didn’t think he’d ever received a standing ovation before, for anything. He sat down, face burning even in the cool night.
Lance sat back down next to him and pulled him in a quick hug before Keith could even react.
“That was really good and sappy.” Lance whispered, voice cracking as he pulled away. “And you thought you couldn’t talk about emotions. I told you you’d do great.” The rest of the room started to sit back down, humming and drinking.
“You’re crying.” Keith poked Lance’s cheeks, even though they were very clearly soaked in tears. His face was still soft.
“Of course I’m crying.” Lance said, sniffling again. “I helped you write that and it was fucking beautiful.”
“You didn’t help a lot.” Keith said, and he was just teasing Lance at this point. He’d actually helped Keith a lot more than he’d probably realized, and definitely a lot more than Keith was willing to share. Only one big emotional speech tonight.
“You’re so ungrateful. Who opened their home to you? Who brought you snacks? Who-” Lance said, and Keith leaned over and kissed Lance on his cheek. That immediately shut Lance up, for which Keith was grateful. Lance’s cheek was damp and very soft, and if his lips lingered against silk skin little bit longer than necessary, well, no one needed to know.
“Thank you.” Keith said, a smile on his face. He felt warm in his chest, and his blood was pumping heavy through his veins, making him feel alive. Lance just stared straight ahead, mouth snapped shut and cheeks burning.
“No problem.” Lance said, his voice very high. Keith laughed, bumping Lance’s knee with his own. Lance grinned, taking another sip of his champagne. “No problem at all.”
Shiro stood up soon after that, holding Adam’s hand. Adam looked at him in awe, almost like he was in disbelief that any of this was happening. Keith sometimes felt that way too, like there’s no way everything could have possibly turned out like this.
“Keith, that was,” Shiro swallowed, smiling proudly at Keith. “That was beautiful. Let’s hear it for my little brother one more time.” The room applauded again, and Keith had the urge to bury his head under the table. Shiro smiled at everyone
“I want to take a second to thank everyone for coming-” Shiro started, a formality speech Keith had heard him rehearse probably a hundred times.
“You know.” Lance was whispering in Keith’s ear, his breath sending chills down Keith’s spine. “If you ever want to kiss me in, say, other places, I’m always down.”
“We’ll see.” Keith said, trying to act as though his heart wasn’t pounding. Half of him, the primal, instinctual, animal half, wanted to drag Lance out of the hall mid speech, press him up against a wall, and kiss him until Lance turned to putty in his hands.
The rational side won over, but that didn’t stop Keith from hooking his foot around Lance’s ankle, an action that brought out another soft smile in his face.
Soon, Keith promised himself. Soon, he’d take Lance up on that offer.
“Are you coming back with us, Keith?” Allura asked.
“I'm gonna watch the sunset for awhile.” Keith said, watching the sun sink into the ocean, sending purple across the sky. “You guys can head back.”
“Alright, Keith.” Allura said. “Don't be too long, we’re going to vandalize-”
“Decorate.” Hunk corrected. “With like newlywed stuff.”
“-Decorate Shiro’s arm.” Allura finished.
“Go ahead and get started.” Keith said, and they walked away, laughter echoing across the beach.
He stood there for a moment, staring out at the ocean, before he heard footsteps in the sand coming near him.
Someone grabbed his hand, and Keith didn’t even have to look up to know who it was. He did anyway, finding blue eyes and an easy smile greeting him. A smile that felt like a home and an adventure all at once, something that Keith really enjoyed seeing nearly every day again.
“What did you talk to my mom about?” Keith asked, swinging their hands back and forth.
“Oh, nothing important. Me and Krolia banter on the regular. I told you, parents love me.” Lance said, bumping Keith’s shoulder.
“Hm.” Was all Keith said, although he liked the idea that Lance and his mom got along. Plus, he had a feeling that their topic of conversation may have been him.
“This was a great wedding. You did good as a best man.” Lance said, before turning around to look at the horizon. The waves crashed against the sand, and Lance leaned into Keith.
“Only because of you.” Keith said, hoping Lance knew exactly how much he’d helped. Lance shrugged, turning his head back to face Keith.
“We are a good team.” Lance said, and suddenly, Keith flashed back to that moment that felt like a lifetime ago and yesterday all at the same time. So much had happened since that time, so much had changed, so much had evolved.
“Yeah.” He said, softly. “We definitely are.” And at that moment, Keith really wanted to kiss Lance. More than he’d ever wanted anything. Before, in the beginning, those feelings seemed like a cruel twist of fate, jagged and destined for heartbreak. But now, looking back, this seemed like a natural progression of things, the next step for Keith to take. For so long Lance seemed untouchable, too good and too pure for someone who broke everything he touched. But maybe, after all the war and the fighting and the pain, Keith deserved a soft ending too.
He opened his heart to the possibility and pulled Lance close to him.
Lance’s lips were gentle on his own, soft and curious, like he was trying to learn all of Keith with just a delicate touch. He tasted sweet, like the vanilla cake they had just eaten. Keith’s arms slid up and around Lance’s neck, tilting his head in an attempt to get closer, closer, closer. His eyes slid shut. They sped up and slowed down, a rhythm passing back and forth between their lips.
This was like a conversation, two hearts communicating in the way they knew best. A slow, languid motion, telling a story and echoing scars that both of them boasted. It was scary in a way that all good things were, and for once the voice in Keith’s head seemed to shut up.
Kissing Lance felt like coming home.
Lance pulled away, staying close enough that their foreheads touched and their breath still mingled. His hand was on Keith’s jaw, thumb running up and down the length of the scar there. Keith opened his eyes, and there was Lance, blue eyes and looking so, so kissed with red lips and blown out pupils. Keith had done that.
“I cannot believe how hard I’ve fallen for you.” Lance said, and Keith’s heart stopped. In a good way, he thought.
“I love you.” Keith said, hearing the words echo around his brain after he said them. “I love you.” He repeated, because they didn’t quite feel real. He still couldn’t wrap his head around the idea that someone like Lance was okay for him to love.
“I love you.” Lance said, and he felt on fire.
“It’s about goddamn time.” Shiro said, and Keith whipped around to see the two newlyweds making their way down the beach. Shiro’s arm was around Adam’s waist and Adam’s around his shoulders. Shiro looked happier than Keith had ever seen him. “Is that where you guys have been disappearing off to this entire time?”
“Sure.” Keith said softly, while Lance turned bright red. “What are you guys doing down here?”
“Saying good-bye before we leave for Tokyo. Hunk told us you were down here, I think as part of a distraction while Pidge and Allura stole my arm. They are not slick.” Shiro said, laughing softly. He turned to Lance. “So, how come it took so long?”
“What?” Lance said, turning pink.
“Come on, Lance. I thought we had this pep talk months ago.” Shiro said.
“What pep talk?” Keith turned to look at Lance, who looked like he was about ready to die.
“The heart to heart about his crisis crush on you.” Adam said before Lance could answer. “Shiro told me about it, and I’m surprised it’s taken this long for you two to get together.”
“You had a crush on me?” Keith asked, feeling bubbly inside, which was stupid.
“We literally just made out. I said I love you.” Lance said, and Keith giggled. “And, anyway, it’s not like I went to Shiro specifically about you. I had some issues, about my identity and liking guys in general-it wasn’t even until halfway through our talk that I realized I liked you specifically!”
“He was an idiot.” Shiro confirmed. “But it was sweet.”
“He is sweet.” Keith said, and even in his head it sounded unbelievably cheesy, but, whatever, right? He was allowed to be cheesy.
“Thank you guys. You both made excellent best men.” Shiro said.
“But I’m not-” Lance started, but Keith elbowed him.
“Yeah, you are.” Keith said.
“Take the glory, Lance.” Adam said. “We should probably get going. Our flight leaves soon.”
The two newlyweds left soon after that, arms around each other and giggling.
“For the record, I didn't help you for the glory.” Lance said, once they were alone again.
“I know.” Keith dug into the sand with his shoes. God, he definitely knew, and it was overwhelming in the best possible way. “Are you in any rush to get back to the wedding?”
“Are you kidding me? No way. I’m all wedding-ed out for awhile. And I’d rather not deal with the press.” Keith grinned at his response before kicking off his uncomfortable shoes and socks. Lance’s eyes widened, and he started to do the same as Keith ran into the water.
“Woah! Wait for me, red!” Lance followed, running after him and grabbing Keith’s hands. They spun around, getting the sea all over their suits, but Keith could only see the beautiful boy in front of him. The wind blew their hair and the water was cold on their bare feet, just the right amount of chill that woke up every cell in Keith’s body. The sun sank below the horizon as they splashed around, acting like absolute children instead of saviors of the universe.
“Hey.” Lance stopped in his tracks, still holding Keith’s hands. “I think we need to finish our conversation from earlier.” Lance wiggled his eyebrows, and Keith knit his own in confusion.
“Which conversa-mmph!” Lance leaped, and Keith stumbled backwards, tumbling into the ocean, and, for once, he didn’t try and stop himself from falling. He clutched Lance like a lifeline, holding him closer as they tumbled down, laughing against each other’s mouths.
Lance kissed him again and again and again, and there was salt water and sand everywhere, but Keith couldn’t bring himself to care at all.
Cause, god, fuck the universe and its many attempts to ruin them.
Keith was on the way to building a happy ending of his own, and nothing was going to stop him.