Keith is unhappy, Shiro could tell. Keith is scowling, and when he stops in front of his locker, he punches in his combination in a manner Shiro could only describe as vicious, and all but rips the locker door off its hinges when he opens it.
Shiro, in the middle of slipping another one of Sven’s love notes in Romelle’s locker, steps back and lets out a surprised yelp.
Keith seems to snap out of whatever seething rage he’s under and looks at him with wide eyes. He blinks. “Oh. Shiro. Sorry. Didn’t see you there.”
“Yeah, just dropping off another poem from your sister’s secret admirer.” Shiro offers a smile. “Hi.”
“Hi.” Keith replies. His smile looks more like a cringe and then his eyes are closed and he’s letting out a frustrated huff.
“Bad day?” Shiro inquires, leaning against Romelle’s locker. They’re friends now, he likes to think. They feel comfortable in their little talks, they’ve exchanged jokes, and they’ve shared enough exasperation about the whole secret Sven-Romelle love letter exchange thing they’ve found themselves in the middle of.
Keith looks at him, resigned. He shrugs. He raises his arms, gesturing vaguely as he’s looking for words, and Shiro notices that he can’t see Keith’s hands.
Keith’s hands are covered by too-long sleeves.
Finally, Keith gestures to the rest of him, and Shiro takes in what he’s wearing: a cardigan two sizes too big it almost looks like a short kimono. Under that is a blue tank top that Shiro thinks is also a bit on the bigger side, from the way it hangs low below Keith’s collarbones.
“Uh… Are those your clothes?” he asks, because over the short time Shiro knew Keith, he had come to accept that Keith’s entire wardrobe might only consist of red, black, white and various shades of gray.
No yellow. No blue. Maybe a dark blue, one time. Not that Shiro had been keeping track, of course he wasn't. Why would he be? Haha.
Finally, Keith exhales. “Nope.” he says with a frown. “McClain was being his obnoxious self, too busy being loud and talking everyone’s ears off, he didn’t look where he was going and spilled all his whatever stupid Starbucks drink at me. It was cold, and sticky, and it got all over my shirt.”
Shiro frowns sympathetically. “Keith, that’s awful.”
“It is!” Keith whines, tugging the cardigan’s sleeves up to free his hands, only for them to slip down again because they were so loose on his arm. “My favorite band shirt, Shiro!”
“Is the drink gonna come off? What did Lance say?”
Keith huffs, flails an arm in a dismissive wave, making a yellow sleeve flop around. “Hopefully. He knows I’m pissed about it, he actually apologized and practically ripped the shirt off of me and told me he’ll get it washed and dried. I didn’t have extra clothes, so he gave me this… monstrosity.”
Shiro looks at said monstrosity, only now noticing the faint, almost-faded print on the tank top. It says “Proud Drama King”. Yep. It is definitely not a shirt that would belong to Keith.
“And Hunk lent me this jacket, which is nice, and comfy.” Keith says, picking idly at the cardigan. It did look soft and cozy. “But I feel like I’m walking around with a blanket.”
“It is a bit big.” Shiro agrees, this time not hiding his amused smile. “Or maybe you’re just used to cropped jackets?”
Keith pouts and says nothing but he slaps Shiro’s shoulder with the length of sleeve hanging off his hand.
It’s cute. Shiro dies a little.
“I’m still worried about my shirt. If he bleaches it, I will kill him.”
Keith moves to run a hand through his hair, realizes his fingers are effectively trapped, and starts waving his hand back and forth until the yellow sleeve slips down and frees his hand.
It’s entirely too cute. Shiro dies a little more.
“Did you tell him not to try to wash it himself and just give it to his mom to deal with?”
Keith looks at him with wide eyes, and then nods. “I should do that.”
Shiro watches as Keith tugs his phone out from his pocket while he wiggles his other arm to free his other hand from Hunk’s cardigan’s arm-eating sleeves.
Shiro doesn’t know why Keith flailing his arms with no sense of grace whatsoever looks like the most adorable thing in the world, but there it is. Shiro dies some more.
Hands freed and sleeves pooling in his wrists, Keith types a text to Lance. Shiro doesn’t mean to peek, but he notices a series of indiscernible emojis follow the first message. They’re all of the red and orange variety. The gray ones might be skulls.
Keith doesn’t wait for a reply and tucks his phone back into his pocket.
Then the sleeve swallows his arm again. He groans.
Shiro chuckles. “Have you tried folding it?”
“I did! But it’s just so… soft , it keeps slipping off again.” Keith grumbles. He raises his arms forward, a good couple of inches of sleeve hanging off them again. “Here. Try.”
Shiro looks down at the sleeves thoughtfully. He glances up at Keith’s face blinking up at him, then back at their current predicament. Then he chances a glance at Keith again and hums. "Hm."
“What?” Keith asks.
“I have an idea.” Shiro says, then starts carefully folding up one of the sleeves. Keith keeps quiet as he works. When it’s folded neatly just an inch or two below Keith’s elbows, he stops. He raises a hand towards Keith’s head, then stops when Keith blinks and he realizes what he’s doing.
He’s pretty sure his face is completely red as he stammers. “Sorry, I- Uh. May I? The… um… in… in your hair?”
Keith nods. His eyes remain wide and curious, observing Shiro as he gingerly plucks one of the several bobby pins keeping Keith’s hair from his face.
He keeps the folded sleeve in place with the pin, then reaches for another one and adds it on the other side for more support. Then he lets the sleeve go and watches as Keith wiggles his arm experimentally, grinning when the folds stay in place.
Keith beams up at him.
It’s blinding. Shiro is actually dead now.
“Do the other one?” Keith asks, and perhaps it’s Shiro’s imagination or his stupid humongous crush eating his brain cells (it does that a lot these days), but does he sound a bit… soft?
So Shiro does the same for the other sleeve. Keith ends up with only one bobby pin left in his hair, and he asks Shiro if he can “fix it a bit” as well, and Shiro is not about to turn down the chance to step closer and run his fingers through Keith’s soft hair. He gladly does as requested, combing back and gathering stray strands from Keith’s face and securing it with the one pin.
Then the bell rings, and Keith leaves him with a “Thanks, Shiro. See you around!”, a soft little smile, and a boop to his nose.
Shiro buries his face in his hands, and it takes him a good minute to compose himself and head for his class.
It’s a few weeks later when Shiro next sees Keith not wearing what he now calls Keith Colors.
Shiro is in the campus library, neck deep in a project but sitting cozily on a couch in the more isolated part of the reading area. He’s typing on his laptop, surrounded by reference books and notes, glaring at the essay he’s trying to compose when his peripheral vision catches a pink blur approaching. Shiro dismisses it until the stranger picks up the stack of books beside him on the couch, puts them away on the table in front of them and just… plops down beside Shiro.
“Never seen someone so angry at a paragraph before.”
Shiro recognizes the voice and jumps. “Keith!”
Keith raises a hand and says, “Yo.”
“I didn’t recognize you.”
“You haven’t taken your eyes off your screen.”
“No, I mean, you’re wearing pink.”
Keith blinks, then glances at the knitted pink sweater he’s wearing before raising an eyebrow at Shiro. “You didn’t recognize me because I’m wearing pink?”
“Y-Yeah…?” Shiro gulps, knowing he’s slipped. Matt’s been teasing him about how he can zero in on Keith’s leather-jacket-clad form whenever Keith is in the general vicinity. Shiro argues that it’s just easy to spot Keith’s mullet and his punk rock band look in a crowd. It's totally not because he's pining. Nope.
“Huh.” is all Keith says as he makes himself comfortable on his side of the couch, tucking one foot under his leg, like he’s just lounging at home.
Shiro stares at the sweater again. It’s a loose fit on Keith, the wide collar exposing the black sleeveless shirt under it. The sweater’s sleeves aren’t as long this time, but still gave Keith sweater paws. The hem ends high on Keith’s thighs, the light pink standing out against Keith’s dark ripped jeans.
If Shiro thought Keith looked cute in yellow, pink is another matter altogether. It makes Keith look so impossibly soft , specially paired with the messiest and tiniest hair bun Shiro has ever seen. And like icing on the cake, the thin black choker he’s wearing just accented how nice and slender Keith’s neck and shoulders are.
It’s quite a look, and it is not good for Shiro’s poor heart. Not at all. He hates to sound like Sven, but he’d sure like to go to the hospital right about now.
Shiro’s entire essay is now lost to the wind, and he doesn’t try to continue his paragraph lest he type something about Keith’s neck and submit it to his professor. He just turns his attention to his friend and asks, “Did… did someone spill something on you again?”
Keith squints at him. “What are you talking about? I’m wearing my own clothes.”
“You are?” he blurts out before he can stop himself.
“Not all my clothes are black, Shiro.”
“Y-Yeah, some of them are red.”
“And sometimes, pink.” Keith nods, brows furrowed. “Do I look weird or something?”
Shiro hurriedly shakes his head. “No, not at all! You look gorg- cute-great- I mean- good! You look not-weird. You- you-...”
Keith’s starts to grin.
“-oh my God, what.”
“What?” Keith asks, very amused.
“What?” Shiro asks back, very horrified. “I- I’m- Why are you smiling like that?”
Keith shrugs. “You think I look not-weird.”
Shiro runs a hand over his face and groans. “Yep. I’m just that articulate.”
“You are.” Keith agrees, even nodding indulgently for emphasis.
Shiro sighs. He lets out a sheepish smile. “I’m sorry, I’m the one being weird.”
Keith waves him off casually. “Nah, you’re cute too.”
If Shiro was still counting, he’d add this to the tally of moments Keith has caused his brain to short circuit, but alas, a mere month into their friendship, Shiro had given up because the number reached triple digits and he knew he was bound to lose count eventually.
“I mean, you’re a disaster, but you’re cute.” Keith adds. “Just say you like the pink. I don’t mind.”
And there goes another one for the books.
“Thanks…?” he says, because what else was he supposed to say here? “So… um… what brings you here?”
“Matt said you were here.” Keith answers, then reaches into his bag for his sketchbook. He flips to a certain page, extracts a tiny flower-printed envelope, and hands it to him. “My sister asks me to send this to your lovestruck friend.”
“Of course she does.” Shiro chuckles, taking the envelope. He takes note of the wax seal. “Oh. Fancy.”
“She’s had that thing forever. The wax thing. I told her nobody writes letters or does that seal thingy anymore but she said she’ll make use of it someday. I guess she did, now.” Keith rolls his eyes.
“It’s pretty cool.” Shiro smiles, and tucks the letter carefully in his bag. “Sven will be over the moon. As always.”
“Do you like cats?”
Shiro looks up, blinking. “Uh. Cats? Yeah, I guess?”
Keith hands him a small strip of paper, and Shiro gasps when he sees the picture in it.
“It’s Black!” he beams, recognizing the black cat that regularly roams around the campus grounds. The picture is a pencil sketch with splashes of watercolor. “This looks great, Keith.”
“Eh, it’s… whatever, it’s a study.” Keith says, a hint of reluctance in his voice. The color in his cheeks almost perfectly matched his pink sweater. “Thought you’d like it, I saw you trying to give her treats the other day.”
Shiro laughs. “Yeah, she’s a really picky one. I’ll convince her to like me one day, though.”
Keith nods, quiet now, eyes on him as Shiro looks at the picture again. Shiro dares to think it’s because he’s trying to gauge Shiro’s reaction.
“Can I keep this?” he asks.
Keith reaches up to comb fingers through his bangs, blocking Shiro’s view of his face, but he wasn’t quick enough. Shiro still catches the small smile he tried to hide. “Yeah, sure.”
“Thanks, Keith. It’s a really nice picture.”
Keith hums in reply, then quickly puts his sketchbook back into his backpack before pulling the bag to his chest like a pillow. “I’m gonna take a nap. Wake me up for next period?”
He yawns, then closes his eyes and snuggles deeper against the back of the couch, taking up more space but making sure not to crowd Shiro’s side.
Shiro stares. Keith looks like a cat, curled up on the corner of the couch like this. With the pink sweater, the distracting hair bun, the cat picture, and Keith saying he’s cute, Shiro’s brain has been essentially fried. Goodbye, essay. Maybe Shiro can work on it again later.
After a few moments, with his eyes still closed, Keith speaks. “I don’t hear movement. Are you watching me sleep?”
“Nope.” Shiro lies.
Keith’s leg moves to nudge his knee lazily. “Go back to your homework.”
“I’m taking a break.” That’s true, this time, technically. “Enjoying the view.”
Keith opens one eye and says, “Dork.”
When he goes back to his nap, he hides his face behind his bag.
Saturday morning on the weekend after their first date, Shiro gets a call from Keith.
“Mom and ‘Melle are having a girls’ day. Wanna join me and Kosmo for boys’ day?”
He says yes right away, and an hour later, finds himself in the public park a walking distance from the Kogane home. Keith had said his plan was really just to walk Kosmo, let the dog enjoy an afternoon in the sun, and eat some snacks.
Shiro smiles at the sight of the small crowds of family, teens and children milling around the park and the playground as he walks around, looking for Keith and Kosmo.
He finds Kosmo first, tail wagging and tongue lolling as he savors a good head scratch from someone who's not Keith. Yep. It can’t be- It can’t be Keith. Nope.
It’s a stranger, the cute boy in the gray beanie, white shirt, and distressed, faded denim overalls sitting comfortably on the grass, who of course looks up and right at Shiro and smiles and huh-
-okay, so it’s Keith after all - beanie, dungarees and all. Shiro freezes.
“Shiro, over here!” Keith calls again, waving this time.
Shiro finally manages a smile back as his feet take him to join Keith and Kosmo on the grass. “H-Hey… Keith.”
“Glad you could join us.” Keith says, then leans forward to kiss his cheek, not taking his hands off Kosmo’s fur. “Have you just been standing there? Did you have a hard time looking for us?”
“Not… really.” Shiro says faintly. “Kosmo is easy to spot.”
“That, he is. Huh?” Keith frowns as his fingers catch on something on Kosmo’s fur and he tilts his head to expect whatever it is. Shiro notes that Keith left one strap of his overalls unbuckled, half the overall’s top hanging off one side, that he still folded the already short sleeves of his shirt up, and that besides his bangs, the rest of his hair was probably tied up and tucked under his beanie.
Shiro doesn’t know how to process this new aesthetic. Keith looks like Romelle dressed him up. Keith looks like one of those cute K-Pop boys who model one of those phone apps that make all your photos look smooth and glowy and soft, with sparkles. In fact, Shiro briefly wonders if something is wrong with his contacts, making his vision all... sparkly... or if Keith just actually looks like this when he’s dressed up all bright and sunny.
Shiro concludes that Keith looking soft in cute beanies and pastel colors is a threat to his sanity as much as everyday punk rock Keith is.
In the words of his good friend Matthew Holt after finding Shiro a mess in the aftermath of the Pink Sweater Incident: ‘Well, get you a man who can do both, I guess.’
He’s pulled back to the present when Keith clicks his tongue, untangling a clump of dirt and leaves from Kosmo’s fur.
“Ew, Kosmo, how do you even get this?” he says, with a crinkle to his nose that somehow was the last of the many straws Shiro has been trying to hold onto.
He lets out a sigh so hopeless that both Keith and Kosmo look at him.
Keith looks curious. Kosmo looks judgmental. Shiro didn’t even know a dog can look like that.
“What?” Keith asks.
“Nothing.” Shiro grins - it’s probably a real dopey one but he couldn’t care less at the moment - and shakes his head as he scoots closer and wraps an arm around Keith to pull him snugly to his side.
Keith chuckles, shifting so he can peer up at Shiro’s face. “No, seriously, what?”
“Seriously, it’s nothing. Just…” Shiro shrugs, and doesn’t resist the urge to comb his fingers through Keith’s bangs. “I have the cutest boyfriend.”
Keith’s eyes narrow at him. Shiro adjusts the beanie. Keith squints. “Okay…” He looks at Shiro, eyes darting down, then up again. “You look good too.”
Shiro thinks it’s sweet of Keith to say that, seeing as he’s only wearing a simple button-up, shirt and jeans combination.
He leans down and presses a kiss to his boyfriend’s temple. “Thanks, baby.”
He only realizes what he said when instead of melting against him, Keith stiffens. He looks down and notes that Keith’s brows were furrowed.
“You… what- I’m… I’m ‘baby’ now?”
“Uh... Well, yeah, I-” Shiro leans back, concerned. “Keith, if you don’t like it, it's fine, I’ll stop-”
Keith grabs his sleeve and pulls him back close, hiding his face on Shiro’s shirt. “No. It’s fine. Just… new.”
“I can call you baby?”
A quiet nod.
Shiro tilts his head and grins when he sees Keith’s red cheeks. “Baby, are you blushing?”
Keith groans and slaps his chest playfully before squirming out of his hold and opening his arms to Kosmo again. “Don’t push it.” he huffs as Kosmo squeezes in between them, demanding the attention of not one but two pairs of hands available for optimal head scratching.
Shiro grins as he and Keith get their hands on the wild wolf-dog fur. “Okay, baby.”
Keith falters only for a second before Shiro catches an evil glint in his eye. He grabs Kosmo’s head and tips it so Kosmo is looking up at him. “Hey, Kosmo, we really like Shiro. What do we do to people we really like?”
Kosmo yipped once, and next thing Shiro knew, he’s on his back on the grass, an entire enthusiastic wolf-dog pinning him down and- “K-Kosmo! Kosmo, stop- No-”
Keith looks smug as he says, “Good boy, Kosmo. Go on.”
Shiro lets out a wail as his face meets dog drool.
‘WHY TF DO PEOPLE KEEP SPILLING STUFF ON ME’
‘Oh no what happened?’
‘your favorite cousin didnt check the paint buckets before passing em to me’
‘NOOOOOOOO baby i’m so sorry’
‘Tbh he’s my only cousin which means he’s my least favorite too.’
‘good to know’
‘anyway he says you got extra clothes here so’
‘im gonna borrow some if thats ok’
‘Take anything you need.’
‘why does this always happen when im wearing clothes i actually like?’
Shiro is sitting between Matt and Pidge, perched on the edge of the auditorium stage, when they hear Romelle’s jolly “We’re baaaack~!”
Matt lifts his head from his laptop and Pidge takes a break from her attempt to explain the plot of the drama club’s show to Shiro.
Pidge hops down to greet them. “Did you get stuff we can use?” she asks.
“A lot of them!” Romelle answers, skipping while carrying a cardboard box filled with what looked like old paint rollers and brushes. “I told you guys it’s a good idea to go on that garage potluck drive!”
Sven trails right behind her, several worn out buckets of paint in each hand.
“So, you really just went and asked around the neighborhood for old but usable junk and they gave it to you?” Pidge asks, taking the box from Romelle.
“Of course! Romelle and I just asked nicely.” Sven beams proudly, a picture of the supportive boyfriend he is.
“She charmed the little old ladies and he talked football with the old men.” Keith says, stepping around Sven, arms filled with stacks of old magazines and newspapers. Shiro moves to ease his load as Keith turns to Hunk. “There are more outside. We’ve already unloaded the jeep.”
“Got it. You guys take a break now.” Hunk says, and calls out to the other club members scattered around the auditorium. “You heard ‘im, guys! Let's go!” He waves the others over, then leads them outside to fetch the rest of the collected junk. Sven follows to help and Romelle comes with them because she left her bag in the jeep.
“So how much do you think we can make with what you got?” Pidge asks Keith.
“I think we can cover more than half the paper mache props we planned, and then some.” Keith says. “Also, some of the people who gave them told us to do another drive in the weekend, said they might have more stuff in their basements and attics they could lose.”
“Nice.” Pidge grins, patting his arm. “I’m gonna go tell TGM.” Then she’s gone backstage.
“She’s gonna tell who now?” Shiro asks after putting away the stack of newspapers he had been holding, leaving them beside the pile of prop materials.
“The Gorgeous Man.” Keith chuckles as he eases himself up to sit on a stack of prop crates on the stage. When he’s settled, he extends grabby hands towards Shiro.
“The who?” Shiro walks to him, taking the hands and letting Keith pull him closer.
“Professor Smythe. Coran, The Gorgeous Man.” Matt provides from his seat nearby.
“It’s an inside joke.” is Keith’s explanation. Shiro settles to stand between Keith’s legs, and Keith guides his hands around his waist. Shiro likes that he can wrap his arms around Keith so easily, and he smiles when Keith places a quick peck to his nose.
Matt groans. “Guys, don’t be gross in my presence. Why do you have to be total koalas around each other?”
Keith huffs as he wraps his arms around Shiro’s shoulders. His current perch gave him a boost that he can do that without having to lean up or tiptoe, and Shiro can snuggle against his chest without having to lean down.
“Okay, you’re just proving my point now.”
“We’re not trying to argue with you, Matthew.”
“Don’t call me Matthew. You’re not my mom. Or Sven.”
“In speaking of Sven-” Shiro starts, pulling away slightly to look at Keith, and then he realizes that Keith is wearing a very familiar hoodie. “Oh. I didn’t think you’d pick this one.”
Keith shrugs. “It’s comfy. Do you mind?”
The pullover hoodie used to be a brighter color, Shiro remembers. Now it’s a muted lavender, and the logo of the math camp Shiro got it from is cracked and faded. These days, Shiro only wore it at home, or when he’s out for a quick jog in the early mornings. He’s not even sure how the hoodie ended up in his emergency clothes stash in Sven’s jeep. He had expected Keith to pick the gray button up or the band shirt he knew was in there.
“Nope." he answers, tugging at the hoodie to assess the fit. "It’s a bit big, though, don’t you think?” It’s not as bad as Hunk’s cardigan, but it’s still considerably big on Keith, and the loose fit around the neck made Shiro realize that Keith wasn’t wearing a shirt under the hoodie.
“All your clothes are probably big on me.” Keith says. “I like it anyway.”
“I thought you’d pick my Queen shirt.”
“I was tempted.” Keith hums. “But it looks new. This one looks old and I think I can get away with stealing it from you.”
Shiro catches the impish grin on Keith’s lips, which just grows more pronounced when his grip on the other’s waist tightens a bit. “You want it?”
He feels Keith’s finger trace circles at the back of his neck. “I want it.”
“But it’s old.” Shiro frowns. “I have other ones, they’re thicker too.”
Keith’s grin falters a bit, but he blinks innocently. Shiro thinks he’s never seen Keith do that before. “I don’t mind.” he whispers. “I want this one.”
And of course, this is the moment Matt chooses to whine. “Oh, ugh, please get a room.”
Shiro rolls his eyes. “We’re just talking!”
“Well, it’s getting spicy!”
“We’re talking about a shirt, Matt.”
“Oh, are we?” Keith interjects.
Shiro narrows his eyes at his boyfriend. “Not helping, Keith.”
“Bold of you to assume I intend to help.” Keith tugs him closer, voice lowering.
Shiro doesn’t know what’s happening. “...What?”
“Oh, God.” Matt groans. “I don’t want to hear you with that voice. I don’t want to know how you sound using that voice. I need brain bleach now.”
“Stop ruining this.” Keith snaps at him, exasperated. “I’m trying to get my first boyfriend hoodie.”
Matt throws his hands up. “There we go! Shiro, just give him his first boyfriend hoodie!”
Shiro is really lost now. “You-…? Okay? You... you can have it?”
“Yay.” Keith says, without enthusiasm.
“Baby,” Shiro soothes. He doesn’t know exactly what’s wrong, but Keith halfway to sulking is bad for his sanity. “You could’ve just asked.”
Keith huffs, but his cheeks were tinged pink. “I was trying to be sexy about it.”
And that… that breaks Shiro. Completely. He’s been holding up well until then, he didn’t even gasp or freeze when he saw Keith wearing a pastel color, wearing his clothes. But of course Keith still finds a way to grab his poor gay heart and squeeze on it. Keith was trying to be-? And he didn't notice-? TAKASHI, he screams internally. TAKASHI, HOW COULD YOU?
“Nope.” Matt interrupts again, pointing accusingly at Keith. “No, no, nope . I don’t want to hear you say that word.”
“What are you, my parent?” Keith asks, all sarcasm.
“I’m your friend, Keith! And your boyfriend’s best friend!” Matt cries. “Stop saying ‘sexy’ in my presence, I don’t want that image in my head!”
Shiro sighs. “Matt-”
“And you, Shirogane, just notice that your poor boyfriend is trying to seduce you!”
“He’s not-” Shiro starts, then pauses abruptly.
He takes in Keith’s arms around his neck, Keith’s legs bracketing his sides, his own hands on Keith’s waist, the dip of the oversized hoodie down Keith’s collarbone. The innocent blinking and Keith’s lowered voice.
Shiro voice breaks as he asks, “Are you?”
Keith doesn’t meet his eyes, squirming slightly. “Y-Yeah? Didn’t work that well, though, right? Haha...” he shrugs, awkward.
Shiro gapes, and… well…
He looks at Matt and mouths ‘HELP ME’ .
Matt looks unimpressed. “He can see you doing that.”
“I can.” Keith agrees, and now he sounds like he’s holding back a laugh.
“Yeah, but.” Shiro starts, comes up with nothing, and shrugs.
Matt runs a tired hand down his face and then finally he says. “Well. I think. Uh. This is when you’re gonna grab him and go somewhere else and you make out.”
Shiro swallows. “Oh.”
Keith squirms again. “You don’t have to do it.”
“No, but I want to.”
Keith yelps when Shiro picks him up and off the crates, legs instinctively wrapping around the other’s torso and arms around the other’s neck like the koala Matt accused them of being. He holds on for dear life as Shiro carries him and they exit stage left.
They almost bowl over Pidge backstage.
“What the- Okay. OKAY! ” she cries as she hurriedly steps aside to make way for Shiro’s decidedly un-sexy wobbling around to avoid the various props littered through the space.
Keith doesn’t mean to, but he squeaks when Shiro almost trips. “Shiro, you can put me down!”
“Nope.” Shiro says, bouncing Keith up once to adjust his hold.
“Uhhh... What’s up?” Pidge asks as Shiro looks around, eyes searching.
“Keith is wearing my hoodie, and I like that very much, so I’m gonna make out with him.” Shiro answers, one hundred percent determination.
She thinks she hears Keith mumble ' oh my god’ into Shiro’s shoulder.
“Okay. Good for you.” Pidge answers, eyes wide behind her glasses. “Dressing room’s empty. Go straight, first door to the right.”
“Perfect. Thanks, Katie!”
“Lock the door.”
Keith lifts his head to look at her as Shiro carries him off. Pidge does a series of wild, incomprehensible hand and arm gestures. Keith blushes, but he nods and gives her a thumbs up.
Shiro loves hearing Keith sing. Keith insists that he’s not singing, not really, but Shiro will take what he can get. They’re sitting on the spot Romelle calls “Keith’s balcony”, which is really just the part of the roof outside Keith’s bedroom window where Keith sometimes sits to draw or play guitar. Tonight, Keith is playing guitar, strumming chords to a song he told Shiro was an original of his old band.
“We didn’t play it much.” he had said. “But it’s a finished song. I don’t remember all the words though. I just played guitar.”
“It’s fine.” Shiro told him, eager. “I wanna hear it.”
Keith’s voice is soft, sometimes he stumbled on the lyrics, and sometimes he just hums instead of singing the parts he completely forgot the words to.
Shiro smiles softly, and pretty soon he just closes his eyes to savor the music.
And then Keith sneezes, breaking the magic. Shiro’s eyes are open again, looking at his boyfriend sniffing and rubbing his nose.
“Shit, I ruined it.” Keith says, laughing lightly. “Sorry.”
Shiro shakes his head. “It was beautiful. Are you okay?”
Keith sniffs again, but shrugs. “It just got a bit chilly.”
Shiro takes in Keith’s clothes and notes that he’s only wearing a shirt and drawstring shorts. He automatically moves to take off his jacket. “Baby, here-”
“Hey, no, no- You don’t have to.” Keith says quickly, latching on to Shiro’s sleeve before he can slip his jacket off. He chuckles. “Just grab mine? The one on my chair?”
“Of course.” Shiro nods, carefully propping himself up. He peers through the window and inside Keith’s bedroom. “The fur one?”
Shiro slips inside the room to retrieve the jacket - white, thick, soft and fuzzy like a teddy bear - he can tell that it’s gonna warm Keith up in no time. He’s back quickly, handing Keith the jacket first before he slips back out through the window.
By the time he’s sitting down again, Keith has slipped the jacket on, and then he pulls the hood up-
-and Shiro almost falls off the roof.
Almost. He managed to grab on to the windowsill.
Shiro sighs in relief as he sits, properly and safely this time.
Keith is looking at him with wide eyes. “Shiro?”
“Keith.” he squeaks out. “Hi.”
Keith scoots closer, brows furrowed. “Are you okay? You almost fell!”
“I’m fine!” Shiro says, laughing nervously. Then, he gestures towards Keith. “You have cat ears!”
Keith blinks, reaching up to pat at the fluffy cat ears on his jacket’s hood. “Yeah. It’s a family jacket.”
This gives Shiro pause, and it takes a couple of seconds before he asks, “Romelle and your mom have one too?”
Keith nods. “Romelle has the pink one. Mom’s is purple.”
Shiro smiles at this. “Yours isn’t black?”
Keith frowns, eyes distant, probably remembering something. “It was out of stock.”
“What?” Keith pouts at him. “I really wanted the black one!”
“Aw, baby, you look good in this one too.” Shiro says, shifting closer, tugging at Keith's hand. “C’mere, you look very huggable.”
Keith rolls his eyes, but moves so he can sit leaning back against Shiro’s chest. “Yeah, I know I look fluffy.”
Shiro wraps his arms around him tightly, and buries his nose on Keith’s jacket-covered shoulder. He sighs. “It feels like hugging a teddy bear.”
Keith squirms half-heartedly. “Dammit, you got more cuddly.”
“Mm-hm.” Shiro hums, nuzzling further. “It’s like I’m hugging Keef.”
Keith huffs. “I’m not Keef.”
Shiro chuckles. “That’s right. You’re better.”
Keith elbows him affectionately, before settling comfortably against his boyfriend. Well, as comfortably as he can while holding his guitar.
Keith strums once. “So, wanna hear how the rest of that song goes?”
Shiro nods, closing his eyes again. “Yes, please.”
“Do you see them?”
Keith stumbles sideways as Romelle uses his arm for leverage. As if tip-toeing or jumping up and down will help them find their friends faster among the crowds and picnic blankets scattered around the field faster.
“‘Cause I can’t see them. I can’t even find Hunk. He’s usually the easiest to find!”
Keith squints - there are lights from the stalls, some spotlights, and of course, the inflatable screen of the outdoor cinema - but he still found it difficult to spot someone he knew among the groups of people already huddled together.
Then there’s a distant call of “MY LOVE!!!” and finally they find their friends, arms raised and waving various stuff to get their attention. Pidge and Lance had their phones, both in flashlight mode, Hunk looks like he’s offering a foot-long hotdog sandwich to the heavens, and Sven has two sticks of pink heart-shaped cotton candy.
“MY LOVE!!!” Romelle shouts back, because of course she does.
“I GOT YOU COTTON CANDY!” Sven replies, just as loud, waving the sticks like signal flares.
“You shouldn’t do that to cotton candy.” Keith says. “It will melt.”
“I told him that.” a familiar voice says from behind him, and Keith smiles when he feels an arm wrapping around his waist and lips pressing a kiss to his cheek. He smells popcorn and leans back to take some from the large bucket that Shiro cradles in his other arm.
But of course, Romelle doesn’t care about proper handling of cotton candy because Sven is the perfect boyfriend. She just sticks her tongue out at her brother before making a run for the others.
Keith doesn’t move to follow her just yet, reaching instead for more popcorn, but Shiro moves the bucket away.
“Baby, the movie hasn’t even started yet, and this bucket is for everyone.” Shiro says with a chuckle.
Keith steps back and faces him, crossing his arms in front of his chest and pouting. “You didn’t get popcorn just for me?” he asks. He knows he sounds like a brat, but that’s kind of the point. He likes teasing Shiro.
But Shiro doesn't give in, and instead hides the popcorn behind his back. “Keith. It’s a party-size bucket.”
“I can finish it.” Keith huffs, eyeing his boyfriend up and down, sizing him up, coming up with a strategy to take the popcorn. Shiro may be big, and he may look like a total dreamboat tonight in tight pants and a tight black shirt and a leather jacket Keith has never seen on him before, but Keith is fast and has a black belt and Shiro is also wearing his glasses, which is overkill at this point, and Keith- Keith had a point here, going in- about popcorn- popcorn what? Keith doesn’t even like popcorn that much, no thanks, but Shiro’s shoulders look great and his pants hug his legs really nicely and oh, wait, he’s- Shiro's saying something-
“-and I won’t let you overdose on popcorn-”
“I don’t want the popcorn anymore.” Keith blurts out.
Shiro blinks. “Hey, no, you can still have popcorn, we’re just sharing this with the others-”
He cuts Shiro off. “What are you wearing?”
“What am I-?” Shiro looks down at himself, then at Keith’s carefully blank expression. He smiles, sheepish. “It’s my… dad’s?”
“Your... dad’s.” Keith says, looking him down and up again.
Shiro laughs nervously. “Okay, so… funny story… Sven told jii-ji we’re going out tonight, and jii-ji asked if you’ll be here, and what I’m going to wear, and… I swear, I was just gonna go on my normal clothes! But Sven and Jii-ji and… and somehow, uncle-... I mean, Sven’s dad... and Sven’s mom, they said my normal clothes are not cool, and they didn’t let me leave the house until they think I look cool enough. And their idea of cool, somehow, is to get me to wear a shirt that’s two sizes small-”
Keith eyes the shirt. “Uh-huh-”
“-and pants I can hardly move in-”
Keith eyes the pants and nods.
“-and my dad’s leather jacket. I feel weird. I bet I look lame. And I don’t feel cool-”
“No, because you’re not cool.” Keith interjects.
Shiro stops. He looks... hurt.
Keith looks him in the eye and says, “You’re hot.”
Shiro almost drops the bucket and chokes on his spit. He coughs. “Wha- S-Sorry...?”
Keith spares a quick glance to their friends. They’ve settled down, and there’s a distant announcement that the movie is starting in a few minutes. He turns back to Shiro. “Do you have the keys to the jeep?”
Keith grabs his free arm and starts dragging him to where he remembered spotting Sven’s jeep when he and Romelle arrived. “This is ridiculous. I wasn’t ready. I’m gonna send your jii-ji and Sven and Sven’s parents a gift basket.”
Shiro’s lizard brain catches up, and he feels his cheeks heat up. “Um… Uh, Keith? What- What about the movie?”
“It’s on Netflix.” Keith says.
“The… the popcorn?”
And then they’re on the backseat, and Shiro has a lapful of Keith. Keith’s mouth is on his neck, and Keith’s hands are under his shirt. He doesn’t even know how Keith managed that when the shirt had been stuck to him like a second skin, but Shiro decides that’s not important, because finally his brain, which has been lagging for the past few minutes, catches on a very important fact.
He takes Keith’s face in his hands to look at him and he smiles giddily. “So you like the jacket?”
Keith looks at him in disbelief, but it lasts for all of a second before he chuckles, breathless. “I really like the jacket.”
Shiro leans forward and kisses him, short and sweet. “I’ll wear it more often.”
As if to prove his point, Keith tugs at said jacket’s collar to pull him close. “I'd like that very much.”
They miss the movie.