Sometimes, when the afternoon is sunny and bright, the Math Club members troop out of the school building and do their work on the schoolyard benches. Shiro likes these sessions. It’s always a nice change of pace, not being cooped up in their windowless artificially-lit club room.
Today, he is only accompanied by a couple of underclassmen, most of them doing exercises. Shiro, like his fellow senior members, had kindly offered to mentor some of them, and he’s in the middle of reviewing a junior’s work when his phone chimes.
It’s a text from Keith, that alone enough to make him smile. Keith is, supposedly, with Drama Club in the auditorium. With their show coming in less than a month, the whole troupe is currently one of the busiest groups in the school.
Keith’s text only asks if Shiro is with the Math Club. Shiro replies yes, adding that they’re working outside today, and waits several seconds for a reply. When it doesn’t come, he shrugs and simply resumes his work.
The only warning he gets is some muffled sniggering from the student sitting across him, before slim arms wrap loosely around his shoulders and a familiar weight settles against his back. Shiro tilts his head to see Keith looking down at him. His expression may look blank to others, but Shiro can see the fond twinkle in his eyes.
“Hi.” Keith greets.
“Hello, Keith.” Shiro greets back, sitting up straighter to lean against his boyfriend. He glances at his club members first. All of them are busy pretending to be busy, which is good enough, Shiro decides. He catches Keith’s hands in his and twines their fingers together. “Wanna sit with us?”
“Nope, I’m just dropping by.” Keith replies, and before Shiro could ask, he goes straight to business - “Romelle said that you have a pickup truck.”
Shiro blinks, he did not expect that, but okay. “Uh… Yes, I do have a pickup truck. Well, it’s jii-ji’s, but it’s been years since he last drove it, and I’m the only one who takes it out these days.”
Keith hums, then grins. “That’s cool. Wanna go on a day trip this weekend?”
Interesting , Shiro thinks. Keith usually preferred to stay in during weekends. Sometimes they go out to walk or play with Kosmo, but other than that, Keith is always perfectly happy cuddling with Shiro at home.
“Day trip? To where?” he asks.
Keith answers with, “You know Red died on me last week.”
Shiro nods. He does know, it’s the reason Sven has been driving both Kogane siblings to school the past few days.
“I tried to fix her, then mom tried to fix her, then Romelle… cried over her, and now we’re stuck. I need to bring her to an actual mechanic.”
“The auto repair shop downtown?”
Keith shakes his head. “Next town over. Friends of mom’s. Practically family. I already called and they said to bring Red over and they’ll take a look at her.”
“And you need a pickup truck for that.” Shiro nods again, considering. Then he sighs tiredly, frowning. “Keith, is that all I am to you? A free pickup truck?”
Keith snorts, recognizing the joke that Shiro has grown fond of re-using since they first started dating. “Not at all. You’re more than that, Shiro. You’re also a free pickup truck driver.”
Shiro fakes a gasp. “First my goods, now also my services?” That earns him a laugh. He finally smiles and drops a kiss to the back of Keith’s hand. “You’re lucky you’re cute.”
“Yeah?” Keith chuckles, ducking his head to nuzzle Shiro’s cheek. “Have I successfully scammed you, then?”
“I never stood a chance.” Shiro says, and he knows that it’s incredibly cheesy because Keith rolls his eyes, someone on the table squeaks , and another one chokes.
That last person recovers quickly, and then says, “Gross.”
And because Keith is always faster than Shiro, Keith is the one who says, “Fuck off, Griffin.”
Shiro sighs and turns to stop James from standing up and possibly stabbing Keith with his pen, but someone beats him to it.
“Ignore him.” Rizavi says. “He’s just jealous he doesn’t have anyone to be cute with.”
“Shut up, Nadia.” James snaps at her this time, then glares at Keith. “You’re disturbing an official Math Club activity.”
“You’re not even in Math Club.” Keith points out.
His gaze wanders towards the rest of the occupants of the table - Leifsdottir has not looked up from her exercises once, Rizavi has her feet propped up on the table and looks like she snuck out from track practice, and Kinkade is watching a video on his phone.
“Only Shiro and Leifsdottir are Math Club here?”
“I joined yesterday.” says James.
Keith’s eyes narrow. “No you didn’t.”
“Actually, he did.” Shiro corrects gently, thumbs rubbing gently on the back of Keith’s hands. “James is working on extra credit for his math class, and I’m reviewing his work.”
“Huh.” Keith says, and only uses the fact to cling closer as he peers at the aforementioned work in the paper in front of Shiro. “Okay.” Then he looks up questioningly at Rizavi. “You too?”
She laughs. “Nah, I’m just here because James is doing my homework.”
“Your what-” James looks at the paper he was currently working on. “No, I’m doing exercise problems-”
“Oops~” Rizavi sings, not even sounding remotely guilty. “I might have mixed in my homework questions when Captain asked me to hand you the exercise ones…”
“You little- I’m almost done with all of these!” James cries, staring at her in disbelief.
Rizavi beams, reaching out to pat her friend’s back. “Great job, James! Imma get you a gold star!”
“Nadia...” Shiro sighs in resignation. His tone indicated that he’s not angry, just very disappointed.
“I should’ve known it wasn’t supposed to be three pages.” James groans, looking in horror at all the math he had done for the past hour.
Shiro raises an eyebrow. “It’s supposed to be just one page, actually.”
“What? So what’s this other one?”
James turns to his best friend, gaping, looking very much betrayed. “Ryan. Are you kidding me right now.”
“I didn’t think it would work.” Kinkade says, and well, at least he looks a bit guilty. Just a bit, though.
Shiro tilts his head up to look at Keith with an expression that says, ‘Do you see what I have to deal with?’ and Keith only shrugs.
Then they hear a distant screech of “ KEITH! Lance tripped and broke the tower! Again!”
Keith closes his eyes and buries his nose in Shiro’s hair for a moment before he sighs and composes himself. “Alright. I’m gonna go. I have my own set of children to babysit.”
“Okay. Good luck with that tower.” Shiro says, giving Keith’s hands a squeeze.
“Thanks. Have fun with your math stuff, Captain.” He drops a kiss to Shiro’s cheek and finally untangles himself from his boyfriend, stepping back.
Shiro watches him go. “See you later?”
“Later. And on Saturday.” Keith promises. “Can’t wait for you to meet my four dads!” he adds over his shoulder, then starts jogging towards the school building.
“Me too!” Shiro automatically smiles, and then it hits him- “Wait, what?”
But Keith, who would really do wonders if he joined the track team, is already gone.
He turns to the others. “Did he say- He said ‘dads’. He said ‘dads’, right?”
But Rizavi and Kinkade were busy trying to wrestle their respective homework answers from James, who had gone as far as stuffing the papers under his shirt.
It’s Leifsdottir who says, “Yes. He said ‘dads’.”
“Did I hear him say four? Dads? Four dads?”
“Affirmative. Four of the dads.”
Shiro pales, and doesn’t move even when Rizavi pounces on James, and James falls off the bench, and Kinkade follows them down.
Leifsdottir spares him a short glance, and then resumes her work. “Best of luck, Captain.”