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Rising Star

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Monday 6:15am

Another typical day. His phone blared to wake him up and Lance groaned loudly, eyelids still feeling too heavy and the rest of his body still feeling too stiff. However, his phone clearly had no sympathy for him at all and kept making noise until he let out another groan and reached for his nightstand, tapping the snooze button before he buried his face in his pillow that still smelled like his favorite shampoo.

He had to record a bunch of videos today and he really didn’t feel like it because it meant that he had to get up early and look bright, which he definitely didn’t. Winter was getting closer, which made him want to stay in bed all day to stay warm, but he knew that if he didn’t get up and start filming soon that he’d regret it, so he rolled over a few more times to wake himself up and reached for his phone again.

The sound of a door opening and closing sounded from the living room. His roommate Hunk was up, too, and was probably on his way to make some breakfast. And yeah, the door of his own room opened and Hunk was kind (read: not) enough to turn on the lights.

“Lance, get up.”

“I am up.”

“No, you’re not.”

“Just scrollin’ through insta, leave me alone.”

“Well, at least you’re awake. Imma make some pancakes if you’re interested?”

Lance peeked out from under the covers and gave him a coy smile. “Yes, please.”

“But only if you get your butt out of bed in the next twenty minutes.”

“Fine, fine,” Lance mumbled and sat up to lean against the headboard, his pillow comfortably supporting his back as he grabbed his laptop and phone from the nightstand. He thumbed at his notifications while he waited for his laptop to turn on. “I’ll be out in a sec. Gotta check my emails and stuff.”

Hunk was satisfied, but still left the door open as a small reminder to get out of bed already. Lance was used to it by now and simply continued to go through his routine of deleting a few random emails, liking posts on Instagram, and scrolling through Twitter before he finally tapped the YouTube bookmark in his browser to check his statistics, subscriptions’ videos, maybe some inspiration and maybe some new songs to use for his videos.

The latter was actually something that he needed to work on because there were a few people, including himself, that had noticed his repetitive song choices and that he could use something new. Sure, there were some standard, bubbly songs that most YouTubers used and Lance would be lying if he hadn’t taken inspiration from that, but he also wanted to be a bit original. Then again, it was pretty hard to be original these days, especially when it came to creating content and using interesting background music.

Ugh, this was depressing. Lance clicked on YouTube’s own music library and listened to a few of their songs, looking for something that didn’t sound familiar, but he pretty much knew every song on there already, either from his own videos or from others, so that was useless. His personal favorite and like playlist didn’t offer a lot of instrumental music, either, and Lance’s eye had already started to twitch because it’d already been over thirty minutes damn it.

Finally, he decided to scroll through his recommendations and saw a channel he’d never heard of before. The title of the video was the name of a song and artist he hadn’t heard of before, so he clicked on it, intrigued.

“Keith Kogane – Ours”

Lance’s eyes continued to dart around as the soft guitar music started playing. The song was really chill and relaxing to listen to with just hint of happiness in it. Perfect background music actually.

Again, intrigue.

The video was posted a few months ago and had 1,4k views with a mere 15 likes and even a dislike, and the red square button under the video read: SUBSCRIBE 13K

Lance’s eyes softened. This was a really small channel. Had been for a little over two years, but was still going strong and posted new videos every two months or so with new music and/or covers. The channel had a bunch of playlists, sorted alphabetically by album and genre and woah, a few livestreams of him doing requests, improvising or literally writing music on the spot. They were all videos of his hands hitting keys on the piano or playing the guitar and Lance pouted at his screen because dang, he’d love to see the face of the genius behind all these wonderful songs.

The music ranged from chill guitar music to melancholic piano. Lance clicked on all of them, listening for about one minute before he clicked on the next video, cursing his short attention span and curiosity.

Lance couldn’t help himself and watched a couple of those livestreams, instantly noticing that this guy wore the exact same fingerless gloves in each video. Like, okay, how is one supposed to play the piano while wearing leather gloves? But he kept nailing it, moving his fingers naturally over the keys as if he didn’t need to think at all and stretched out his hands without even breaking a sweat.

Either this dude was insanely talented with his fingers or— Lance. Those are bad thoughts and he did not want to go down that road because he was just interested in this guy’s music, nothing more, nothing less.

He scrolled back up to Kogane’s channel banner and looked at the little corner of social media icons. Twitter, Instagram, Patreon, Snapchat oh okay, and Tumblr. Lance checked them all, going on borderline stalking him because he was just that curious to find out more about him, but alas, all his social medias were focused on promoting his music with little to no information about his personal life.

All his descriptions were the same:

Keith Kogane
Freelance musician

There weren’t many posts on his Twitter, either, just a few posts about upcoming songs and videos he was working on. His Instagram account was a little dead, pretty much only a few photos of his instruments, which was rather adorable in Lance’s eyes and a few of his—

“Dog!”

“What?” Hunk called from the kitchen, voice thick with confusion.

“Oh my god, a husky,” Lance whined out and leaned closer to the screen as if he was going to kiss it. “He has a doggie. What a cutie.”

“The hell are you on about, man.” Hunk poked a head into his room to give him an odd look. “Also, you still haven’t moved and the pancakes are gettin’ cold.”

Lance looked up with a small pout. “I love you for making breakfast, but hold on a second, okay? I found a freelance songwriter on YouTube and his music is pretty cool and I’m thinking about using his music for my videos.”

“Oh, really? Can you play me some?”

Hunk took a seat on the edge of the bed and Lance quickly went back to the YouTube tab to click on the first video he came across while he scrolled through the description box, which contained links to his other social media platforms and, most importantly, his iTunes page. He looked back at Hunk and saw a small smile on his face as the song continued down its bubbly path, obviously putting him in a good mood, which was the very reason why Lance really wanted to use this song.

“’s good, right?” Lance grinned with a little bounce in his voice.

“Yeah! Who is this guy?”

Lance looked down at his screen again. “Some guy named Keith Kogane. Started his channel a couple of years ago and has a few thousand subs. Think it would be really cool if I could help him out a bit because more people should know about his music, don’t you think?”

“Totally agree. You should email him.”

Right. It was a good excuse to stop ogling his social media posts and go back to his channel to look for— Ah, there it was under the about tab.

Keith Kogane
Freelance musician

Business inquires only: keithkogane@xxx.com

Lance opened up his mailbox and started typing while Hunk got up to go back to the kitchen.

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To: keithkogane@xxx.com
Subject: Song Usage Request  

Hey, man!

The name’s Lance McClain, I’m a YouTuber who does a bunch of stuff on his channel, including SFX make-up and lifestyle. I often play soft music in the background to make my videos a little more uplifting and am always looking for new music to buy and use for my videos. I stumbled upon your channel and I really like your style, so I was wondering if you’d be okay with me using your songs as my background music.    

Obviously you will get a percentage of the money the video will make and I will put your name both at the end of my video and in the description box, accompanied by a link to your channel and social media. I think it’d be a great way to promote your channel and I hope you think so, too.

If you’d rather not have me use your music, then that’s totally fine.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Lance McClain

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A few more clicks.

[Subscription added]

[Follow Back]—

Hold the fuck up.

Lance frowned as his mouse hovered over the Follow Back button. He clicked on the [Following 50] button and only had to scroll for a bit before he saw his own account and his eyes widened because oh.

His heart fluttered anxiously as he went back to his mailbox, typed Kogane’s name in the search bar and yes, there it was: A two-year-old email from YouTube, confirming that Keith Kogane was subscribed to his YouTube channel.

What.

Oh, shit, that meant that Keith knew exactly who he was and he’d already sent that email and probably made himself look really stupid and fuck. Lance did a rather comical facepalm and leaned back against the headboard with yet another loud-ass groan.

“Did you mess it up already?” came a rather menacing sneer from the kitchen and Lance flailed around, almost throwing his laptop off his lap. “That’s gotta be a new record, buddy.”

“He’s already subscribed to me!” Lance wailed and shoved his laptop aside so he could lay back down and bury himself under the covers. “Has been for two years, which means that he’s been there since my channel was, what, super tiny? I had, like, 50k subs around that time, so he’s probably a fan and I didn’t even check beforehand. I made myself look like a jackass. I fucking introduced myself in that email.”

“Lance,” Hunk said oh so patiently, god bless. “it’s a good thing that he knows you because that’ll increase your chances of him letting you use his music. Plus, it’s always important to introduce yourself in a business email, isn’t it? I thought you knew that. If you don’t introduce yourself, you’re implying that the other person should know who you are that would make you look like a jackass. Honestly, you’re fine.”  

Okaaay,” Lance sighed and finally got out of bed. “So, pancakes?”


Lance wanted to wait for a reply, he really, really did because his waiting game would include making coffee, scrolling through his Instagram and Twitter while listening to Kogane’s music because he’d only become a tiny bit obsessed. Honestly, Kogane’s music reminded him of cozy fall nights where he’d be wrapped up in a blanket and watch the leaves fall from the trees and all that other hipster shit.

It was just really chill music.

But alas, he had to film, so he was busy setting up the camera and lights in his room, going over the videos’ scripts in his head. His notes were on his desk, right below the camera in case he had a brainfart, but he’d been doing this for over three years now, so he knew how to improvise.

His phone was playing Kogane’s latest album, Forbidden Dreams, because, well, he’d bought it on iTunes to be supportive and it was doing a good job at putting him in a better mood to film.

It had been a good two hours since he sent that email and, granted, it was eight in the morning and Kogane probably wasn’t even up yet (if he was American), so Lance told himself to be patient and just start filming.

“Alright, what’s up, McDreamers! Lance here with a brand new video for your,” cue his fingerguns. “a-pleasure.


Okay, four videos in one day was just way too much. It usually took three to four hours to film one single video, so Lance seriously felt like death when he was finally able to do his last outro and hit the record button again.

Uuuughhh.” He slumped against his desk and used his arm as a pillow for his head because he was too lazy to take those last few steps towards his bed. His brushes and pallets were poking his arms annoyingly and he knew that he was fucking up his foundation like this, but damn, he was tired.

His half-eaten sandwich looked as lifeless as he felt because he still had to edit all those videos and find new music if Kogane didn’t reply soon. It’d be such a blast if Kogane said yes because then he’d have an excuse to talk to him again and maybe, possibly, hopefully get to know him a little better.

Lance was seriously a lost cause. He didn’t even know this guy. Kogane could be a forty year old dude who’d been divorced three times.

“But he has a dog,” Lance muttered out loud, trying to convince no one in particular (read: himself). “and he’s a musician.”

A somewhat pathetic sound came out of his mouth and he thumped his head against his desk. He had to focus on these new videos, for fuck’s sake. He’d been working on his December specials for a few weeks now and had to keep the ball rolling to keep the anticipation in the air.

He reached for his phone, opened Snapchat, picked a flattering filter because he looked tired as hell, and recorded a quick promo for his upcoming videos before uploading it on his Snapchat and Instagram stories. He also typed out a quick post on Twitter before going through the notifications he had gotten while he’d been recording.

And oh, one of them was an email from Keith Kogane.  

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To: Me
Subject: [RE:] Song Usage Request 

Hey Lance,

I’m flattered to hear that you want to use my music for your videos and am glad to see that you’ve bought a few of my albums on iTunes. Appreciate it.

Of course you can use my music but honestly, don’t worry about the money. Just put credit where it’s due because that’s all I need.

Look forward to your new videos.

Keith

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Well, then. At least they were on first name basis. But wait, wait, Keith didn’t want make any money off the video? That was weird. Most freelance musicians were pretty broke and could use all the money they could get their hands on, but again, Lance didn’t know anything about this guy, so maybe he was some kind of bored, prosperous dude who did music on the side.

But like hell Lance wasn’t gonna take the bait.

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To: keithkogane@xxx.com
Subject: [RE:] [RE:] Song Usage Request 

Hey Keith,

Wow, thank you so much! I will definitely credit you and hope that people will like your music as much as I do :) I was thinking of using them in my upcoming videos, so you’ll see them soon enough!

You sure you don’t wanna share the profit? I don’t wanna toot my own horn here, but it’s not like I would lose money if we split it. Or would you be more comfortable if I paid you right now? Say, $150 per video?

Thanks again,

Lance

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Lance put his phone back down with a sigh, unplugged the lights because they were bright and plugged the camera into his laptop to upload the ginormous files. He dragged his ass towards the kitchen, past Hunk who was watching some random show on Netflix, and made some coffee.

“Hey, you done for the day?”

“Yeah, fucking finally. I can’t smile anymore,” Lance whined pathetically and leaned over their coffee machine, trying to breathe in the strong smell of the espresso in a lame attempt to wake himself up. “My cheeks hurt.”

“Thought we’d already come to the conclusion that four videos is just too much, man.”

“I know, but this means that I can take it easy for the rest of the week,” Lance said, a little brighter. The coffee machine beeped loudly and he gladly took his fresh coffee and was about to join Hunk on the couch when his phone buzzed in his pocket.

After plopping down right next to Hunk, Lance unlocked his screen and found another email from Keith.

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To: Me
Subject: [RE:] [RE:] [RE:] Song Usage Request 

Hey Lance,

$150? That’s way too much, man. I’m an underdog artist and you’re an actual influencer, so it would be unfair of me to ask you for so much money. It may not be a lot to you, but it is to me. I don’t deserve such a huge amount of money just because you’re using it in your video as background music.

Don’t worry about it. You wanting to use my music is enough for me.

Keith

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That last sentence was enough to make Lance curl up with a shriek and Hunk nearly jumped off the couch.

“Dude, what?”

Lance pouted at his phone. “He… He doesn’t want my money. He literally said that he’s happy enough with me wanting to use his music, oh my god, he’s cute.”

“… Are you seriously crushing on a guy you’ve exchanged, like, three emails with?” Hunk stared at him accusingly and Lance jutted out his bottom lip even more. “Lance, don’t. Okay, he’s a gentleman and clearly cares more about his music than money, which means he does have some quality, but you don’t even know what he looks like or if he’s married or, has a kid— stop looking at me like that—  just thinkin’ out loud here.”

“You’re right,” Lance admitted and slumped against the couch, tapping his fingers against the back of his phone. “Dunno what to say to him, though.”

“If he doesn’t want your money, then don’t give it to him. Simple as that.”

“Uhuh,” Lance breathed as he hit the reply button and thumbed away.

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To: keithkogane@xxx.com
Subject: [RE:] [RE:] [RE:] [RE:]  Song Usage Request 

Hey Keith,

Lmao @ all those [RE:]s

Alright, I hear ya. It’s cool that you value music over money, tho, I really like that

Talk to you later, man

Lance

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Sent.

Oh, god. Did he actually type that. Did he seriously go all buddy-buddy on Keith. The email was gone and Lance wanted to shove the couch they were sitting on down his throat because what the fuck, he probably scared Keith away with his lame attempt to lighten the conversation.

“Hunk, please kill me.”

“For the last-fucking-time, Lance, no.”

“Fine, what’re we watching?”

When Lance went back to his room and tapped the spacebar on his laptop, his files had been uploaded and were ready to be edited. Lance saved them in individual files and went back to his iTunes library to pick the songs for his videos. He scrolled through Keith’s album playlist and listened to each one of them, notepad in hand and writing down suggestions under the name of each video.

He also kept staring at his phone, hoping that if he stared long enough he’d get a reply from Keith, but his last email didn’t really require a response, so he’d probably end up having to suffer through the unknown.

At least until he found an excuse to hit him up again.

Maybe through DMs this time.


It was time to edit his videos. Lance was peacefully sifting through his video with a cup of coffee in one hand and mouse in the other. Cut, select, delete, drag, cut, select, delete, repeat. His glasses got foggy every time he held the cup a little too close to his face, which made him chuckle unironically because he was looking at such a polished version of himself on his computer screen while he was sitting there in his bathrobe and untamable bed hair.

Pidge was sitting on his bed behind him, playing the newest Pokemon game and talking about her day.

“So, Matt’s got a new girlfriend and lemme tell you, he’s fucking smitten. It’s crazy. He practically melts every time he sees her. Sure, she’s pretty, I’ll give him that, but still,” she babbled and Lance laughed along, happy to listen to her ramble. “If I ever get a boyfriend or whatever and start acting like that, I give you full permission to slap me in the face. I mean it.”

“Nah, I’ll just smack you in the face with a pillow,” Lance mused and continued to remove all the wrong takes. “’s been a while since my last girlfriend, but seriously, you’ll probably start acting like that. Everyone does that in the first phase.”

“Guess I’m the only normal person on this planet,” was the instant retort and Lance flipped her off over his shoulder, earning a chuckle.

“You working on your December series?” she asked and got up to look over his shoulder.  

“Yep. You still on for next Tuesday?”

She squeezed his arms with both hands. “Definitely.”

They’d decided to celebrate Hunk’s birthday earlier this year because he’ll be visiting his family in the first two weeks of January, which meant that he’d be gone on his actual birthday. Pidge was gonna come over with a bunch of videogames and bring their presents and Lance was gonna invite Shay, that one girl Hunk’d been crushing on for the past few months, and make sure that they could finally get to know each other better. And of course, as soon as everyone’d settled, Lance and Pidge would retreat back into Lance’s room to give them space. 

Hunk was not gonna like it, which was one of the primary reasons for organizing it, but Lance was like 87% sure Shay liked him back, so it was fine.

Pidge grabbed his cup and took a sip before she went back to sit on his bed again. Lance’s phone lit up with an Instagram notification and he almost threw his phone off the table because he was a bit too eager to see that Keith had posted something.

“Lance?”

“Yeah?” Lance looked up innocently, phone clutched between his fingers. “Sorry, almost dropped it.”

“Yeah, I can see that. What, did Jeffree Star finally text you back?”

“Shut up,” Lance grumbled and unlocked his phone to tap the notification. He was directed to a video of Keith’s fingers gliding over the keys of a keyboard, wearing those same gloves he always did.

The description simply said, “a snippet of something I’m working on” followed by a bunch of tags.

Lance smiled, plugged in his earphones and tapped the video to turn on the sound. Ah, it sounded really pretty and Lance was a bit disappointed to see that it was only twenty seconds, but Keith had done a good job at editing the video to create the perfect loop.

Which was actually really bad, because now Lance was gonna be listening to this song for the next fifty years.

He just kept staring at Keith’s addicting fingers. They moved so smoothly as if they were doing some kind of dance and Lance wondered if he’d already lost his last two braincells because he couldn’t stop watching that stupid video and Pidge was right there.

“You gonna tell me what’s up, or…?”

Ahem, he tapped the video twice, then the arrow and went back to his feed. He took a picture of his editing screen and uploaded that to his Instagram and Snapchat story, adding a messy “Editing!” in the middle and put his phone down.

“Nothing, nothing. Just managing my insta and snap story,” he said meekly, cleared his throat and went back to editing.

Pidge got off the bed again and leaned into his personal space. “Seriously, what?”

“A musician that I recently started following just posted a new video. Had to check it out,” Lance kinda blurted out, the white lie easily rolling off his tongue, shocking both him and Pidge.

“Oh? Cool, do I know them?”

Lance opened his music library and played the first song he came across: Forest of Stories, which was a little too soft and floaty to use for his videos, but it was nice ambience music. Made him feel like he was walking on the beach all by himself at night without a single care in the world and he could really use that right now, actually.

“Nice,” Pidge grinned after a minute or so. “Keith Kogane? Gonna google him real quick.”

“His channel is super tiny, so ‘m not sure if you’re gonna find anything interesting.”

Pidge was typing away on her phone, though, and didn’t respond, which Lance would’ve said something about, but his phone lit up again and he couldn’t help but look.

And oh boy. It was a private message from Keith’s Instagram account.

KeithKogane: wow you’re fast

Lance was officially dead.

Chapter Text

KeithKogane: wow you’re fast

“Oh, no, what-do-I-say, what-do-I-say, what-do-I-say, what-do-I-say—” Lance was bouncing his leg like a maniac because he was the one supposed to be in control of the conversation and now Keith had just jumped him by blatantly calling him out like that.

There were so many thoughts going through his head. Maybe Keith would think he was a stalker, or that he didn’t have a life because he was on his phone all day, or that Lance was crazily obsessed with his music and— yeah, okay, all of the above were kind of true, but still.

Keith had been the one to initiate a conversation this time, which was definitely a good thing in Lance’s eyes. It meant that Keith wanted to talk to him, right?  

“Okay, so I can’t really find anything about this dude,” Pidge interrupted his dramatic inner monologue dryly. “Except for his social medias, which are all very much the same. Either this guy doesn’t give a shit about his social status or he might actually have a life outside of the internet. If you want me to do some in depth research on him, just say the word and I’ll go get my laptop.”

Lance blinked up at her, phone still in his hand, screen still lit from Keith’s message. He hadn’t opened it yet because he didn’t want to leave Keith on read because, well, that’d be rude. “Oh, yeah, you’re a hacker. Totally forgot about that for a minute.”

“’Cause you’re so busy daydreaming about your boyfriend?” Pidge smirked and Lance huffed loudly and obnoxiously.

“Psh! He’s not— We’re— Pshhh, what even— what’re you talkin’ about, ya crazy girl?” Lance laughed and elbowed Pidge in the side. “No, Keith and I are… business partners. I’m only talking to him ‘cause I’m gonna use his music in my upcoming videos to promote his channel. I mean, I don’t know anything about this guy, right? Just that he’s good at writing music and, uh, that he has a cute dog that I would love to pet someday.”

“Him or the dog?”

Lance did a rather impressive verbalization of a keysmash and buried his face in his hands, trying not to die of embarrassment as Pidge threw her head back in laughter. “Oh, my god, Pidge.”

“You’re even worse than Matt and he’s already in a relationship.”

But Pidge showed mercy by patting him on the head and leaving the room, mumbling something about getting a cup of coffee. Lance was very grateful for that because his face was literally on fire, like, even his ears and chest felt hot. She did have a point though: Lance was starting to develop some kind of crush on this guy even though they’d hardly talked and the only thing he knew about Keith was the fact that he was a musician, had a fluffy dog and a pair of gloves.

Pair of nice gloves— Okay, back up, Lance.

Hormones. That was what this was all about.

It’d been a while since he had kissed someone.

(And had sex, but let’s skip that for a sec)

Lance cleared his throat, straightened up and finally, finally, unlocked his phone to answer Keith.

LanceMcClain: yeah, dude, was just uploading my story so I saw your video poppin up on my feed. sounded really good!

There, that wasn’t too weird. White lies never hurt anyone. He could play it cool. He was the master of playing it cool, he was—

Trying to breathe normally as Keith was already typing a response.

KeithKogane: thanks! I’m not used to people liking my stuff right away so you kinda caught me off guard there ngl

Lance didn’t know how to function anymore. Leather glove guy getting caught off guard because someone liked his post was beyond adorable and Lance wanted nothing more than to hug him close and tell him that his music deserved the praise.

LanceMcClain: I feel u man. I had that when I just started out

For fuck’s sake, Lance, Keith had been trying for a couple of years already. Now he totally sounded like an asshole who was shoving his success in another person’s face because a couple of Lance’s earlier videos had gone viral, practically dragging his ass to the top right away.

Fix it, fix it, fix it, fix it.

LanceMcClain: so about those gloves

LanceMcClain: do u like

LanceMcClain: ever take them off?

Well. It was better than nothing.

Pidge came back with a large cup of coffee and grinned at him. “How’s the flirting going?”

Deflating like a balloon, Lance slumped and sighed at his phone. “Bad. I’m usually good at flirting! Why is this so hard?”

“That’s what she—”

“Not now, Pidge!”              

KeithKogane: lmao ofc I do. what kind of question is that?

Lance wanted to drown himself in his cold coffee and threw himself on the bed, right next to Pidge who had taken a seat while he’d been reading the new message. Pidge went to lie down next to him, being careful to keep her cup straight, and read along as Lance continued to type.

LanceMcClain: had to know if you didn’t have some kind of

LanceMcClain: idk glove fetish

“Do you talk to people?” Pidge snickered helplessly and pressed her lips together when Lance pouted at her.

KeithKogane: my dad gave them to me

LanceMcClain: soooo

LanceMcClain: does that mean your dad has a glove fetish?

At this point Pidge was dangerously close to dropping the cup because she was laughing so hard while Lance was dangerously close to eating his phone because what the actual shit. He always made weird jokes whenever he was uncomfortable or had run out of topics to talk about, but this was literally their second conversation ever.

He was gonna scare Keith away with his weird sense of humor. Keith was probably gonna tell him that he was beyond crazy and take back his permission to use his music for the videos.

Any second now.

Keith was typing and Lance was forever trying to calm down.

KeithKogane: you know

KeithKogane: I thought the Lance in your videos was some kind of persona but it turns out you're ACTUALLY like that

LanceMcClain: … is that a good or a bad thing?

And then the weirdest thing happened.

Keith liked his message and went offline.  

Lance was forced to move on with his life after staring at the stupid heart under his message for a good thirty seconds and Pidge patting his chest sympathetically. “C’mon, let’s talk about Hunk’s surprise party. That’ll cheer you up.”


Later that day, Hunk got back from the restaurant he worked at and the three of them hung out for the rest of the night. Lance was absently editing the last bits of the video because he was supposed to upload it within the next hour, so Hunk and Pidge challenged each other to some Mario Kart. He watched them play competitively with a small smile before his eyes landed on his phone for the umpteenth time that day, still wondering why Keith had left the conversation so suddenly.

There was a knock on the front door and everyone looked up at the same time.

“Don’t remember ordering pizza, but sure,” Hunk joked and got up to answer.

Lance’s eyes widened when the door opened to reveal his ex-girlfriend, Allura. He quickly averted his gaze, pretending to be lost in editing while Allura hugged Hunk in the doorway and Pidge jumped up from the floor to greet her as well.

“Allura! What brings you here?” she grinned and shot Lance a quick, warning look, silently telling him to stop being rude, but Lance was having trouble forming words because his mind was replaying their entire relationship like a movie without a fucking stop button.

He saw them kissing for the first time in his parents’ garden, under their oldest tree, telling her he loved her and Allura giving him a short and sweet smile in return, squeezing his heart painfully. He saw Allura sitting on his lap in this very chair, holding his hand in a loose grip as they all talked about their day and Lance wanting to hold her even closer, but not having the guts to, squeezing his heart even more. He saw their first stupid fight, which squeezed Lance’s heart so tightly that he was pretty sure it tore a little.

And finally, their breakup. Allura had pressed their foreheads together and whispered that it simply didn’t work out between them and that they would be better off as friends. Lance remembered crying his eyes out that night, not sure if he’d be able to get over that one girl he’d been crushing on for so long.

Three years to be exact. He’d been crushing on her for three years until he finally had the balls to ask her out, but it turned out that them being together was draining for both of them. It was neither his nor Allura’s fault, it was just the wrong place and time and they separated on somewhat friendly terms. Except for the fact that they’d hardly talked ever since and it had been, what, five months?

Ouch.

So, yes, Pidge, he was having trouble not to start blabbering nonsense in front of her. Leave him alone.

“Lance?” Allura’s soft voice brought him out of his hazy thoughts and he looked up to see her beautiful face way too close to his. Her bright blue eyes softened when Lance’s focused. “You were spacing out.”

“Yeah,” he breathed in response. “was nodding off, sorry.”

“Probably thinking about that Keith guy,” Hunk muttered a little too loudly and Lance felt that all too familiar warmth brewing in his stomach before it spread to his face, causing him to blush furiously.

Hunk!”

Allura blinked a few times, her face going through several expressions before it settled on a genuine smile. “You found someone else?”

“He knows that Lance exists, if you know what I mean,” Pidge quipped and went back to her spot on the floor, grabbing the controller. “If you two are gonna get all mushy on each other, please be so kind to do that in the other room ‘cause Hunk and I’ve got a few laps left and I’m winning.”

But moving spots wasn’t necessary because Allura simply took a seat on the arm of the chair Lance was sitting in and continued to smile down at him. “I’m happy for you.”

Lance felt a lump forming in his throat and he closed his laptop so he could give her his full attention. “You— Um, you are?”

“Of course I am. Lance, I don’t hate you,” Allura said in the sweetest voice that would’ve made Lance lose his shit if he’d still been in love with her. Instead, it made him feel warm and safe and his lips curled into a smile to mirror hers. “I’m glad you’re moving on. I was worried that our relationship not working out might have had, I don’t know, influenced your love life. In a negative way. I never meant to hurt you.”

She placed a hand on his arm and Lance’s smile widened. “It didn’t, don’t worry. I did need time to move on, but I’m doing just fine right now. Hope you are, too.”

“I am.” Their hands touched and she squeezed his comfortingly for a second before she turned back to the others. “Actually, that’s why I came over. I need to tell you guys something.”

Hunk and Pidge turned back to her curiously, including Lance who looked down as she carefully pulled her hand out of his so she could place both of hers in her lap, folding them and taking a deep breath. She was nervous and Lance sort of wanted to place a hand on her thigh to ground her, but figured that now would not be a good time.

“Well, I got a job at Altea. It’s nothing major, but you guys know that I’ve been looking for a job ever since my dad died and that it wasn’t easy. So, there’s that,” Allura started, her voice shaking, and Lance frowned.

“That’s good, though, isn’t it?” Pidge said quietly, catching up on Allura’s shakiness. “I mean, everyone has to start off somewhere and I think working at a coffee shop is something we’ve all done at some point in our lives. I know I have, Hunk started out a dishwasher, Lance literally had zero views when he uploaded his first video and had to like, keep uploading until he finally got one sub—”

“She gets it,” Lance quickly interrupted her because Allura was starting to laugh.

“It’s not that I’m not happy with this job, I am, but, I um,” she continued and cleared her throat, clasping her hands together and looking down at the floor. Another shaky breath. “I’m bisexual.”

Lance’s heart nearly leaped out of his chest, suddenly reminded of him coming out to Pidge and Hunk and how scary that had been. Both Hunk and Pidge looked between her and Lance, having probably hopped on the same train of thoughts.  

Lance didn’t care anymore and placed a hand on her leg, gripping her skirt and reaching for her hands with his free one. “Allura. It’s us. You don’t have to be scared.”

“I know, but it was just a little weird when I realized it because I’ve always been into guys and have always pictured myself with a husband and kids. And now I think I—” she looked at him, her eyes watering. “I’m falling in love with a girl that I met at work.”

After Allura had calmed down and had gotten pulled into multiple hugs by everyone, she told them that the girl at work was named Romelle and that they had been dating for a few months now. Lance listened intently with a smile on his face because he found himself being truly happy for her, like she was for him. Hunk had given him several looks while Allura continued to talk about her work, probably to make sure he was okay and Lance wasn’t hesitant to give him reassuring smiles.

He even ended up asking Allura if she wanted to come to Hunk’s surprise birthday party because he'd been too scared to invite her at first. Mostly scared that it was gonna be too awkward to handle. She hugged him close, burying her face in his chest. “I’d love to.”


“Notification squad, go!” Lance yelled as he set the settings to “public” and pressed enter. He quickly clicked on the link to his new video, pasted a previously typed comment that contained another link to Keith’s channel and social media because he knew that a lot of people skipped the credits, didn’t read the description and most importantly, went to the comments right away.

And yeah, after a minute or so, the first comments came flooding in, varying from memes to compliments and fuck yes, someone mentioning the music he had used.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Lauren T a few seconds ago

omG! i've been a fan of keith’s music for years and i'm so happy that you found his channel! he's finally gonna get the recognition he deserves!!!

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Lance liked the comment and a few others he found truly heartwarming or funny for the next twenty minutes and then turned off his notifications after because, well, not to be cocky or anything, but his phone usually blew up after uploading a video. One time Hunk got so annoyed at his phone for constantly buzzing and pling!ing that he threw a pillow at Lance’s head, begging him to turn it off. And honestly, Lance was not a huge fan of it, either, so he decided to only leave it on for the first half hour or so and turn it back off afterwards.

He posted the link to his new video on his other social media platforms and then went to the kitchen to make a sandwich because he was going to edit the other videos that he’d filmed.

… Until he came back in his room and saw that he had a bunch of messages from Keith on Instagram.

KeithKogane: okay, my phone is blowing up

KeithKogane: the fuck

KeithKogane: jEsUS

KeithKogane: Lance, literally what the fuck, I just got a few hundred subscribers in less than an hour what is this

KeithKogane: did you do this

KeithKogane: okay this isn’t funny anymore. this is actually freaking me out. my dog is also going crazy because my phone won’t stop making noise

It was working.

And Lance was beaming like an idiot.  

LanceMcClain: I just uploaded a new video in which I used your music and I think people are checking out your channel :D

LanceMcClain: that’s great, isn’t it??

It took a few minutes for Keith to reply in which Lance grew nervous once again, like he always did whenever Keith took longer than a minute to type.

KeithKogane: also got some new patreons. and loooots of comments on one particular video of people saying that you brought them there

KeithKogane: Lance, several people have bought it on itunes. I don’t know what to say

Lance seriously couldn’t stop grinning and sent a few clapping and thumbs-up emojis. He was so excited for Keith that he did a stupid happy dance before he collapsed on his bed.

LanceMcClain: dude, how awesome is that?!? told you your music is great!

KeithKogane: thank you so much, Lance. This seriously means the world to me and I’m glad people like my stuff. I don’t know how I can ever thank you for this

Okay, Lance did not squeal. He did not. Shut up.

LanceMcClain: No need to thank me, man

LanceMcClain: in all seriousness, you should probably turn off your notifications for a while before your dog loses it lol

KeithKogane: hahaha yeah, I should

Their conversation kind of died then and Lance bit the tip of his tongue, not wanting it to end yet. He wanted to talk to Keith more because otherwise he’d have to go edit his video, which wasn’t necessarily boring, but talking to Keith was way more fun. Especially now that Keith was getting all worked up.

Or maybe Keith needed some space. The guy was obviously not used to all these people watching his videos and needed time to get used to all the attention.  

KeithKogane: your video’s hilarious btw

Never mind.

LanceMcClain: watching me fail at several challenges must be very entertaining yes

KeithKogane: tbh yeah

LanceMcClain: thanks, Keith. appreciate it

KeithKogane: no need to thank me, man

Did he just—

Wait.

Was Keith flirting? Nah, he was just being playful. Hunk and Pidge never went a day without making fun of Lance.

LanceMcClain: wOW, such betrayal. R u d E

And Keith, fucking Keith, liked his comment and went offline again.


The next two days were a blur. Lance had received a few emails from companies who wanted him to sponsor their products and of course, he had to reply to all of them. Lance’d had his fair share of sponsoring brands and wasn’t really interested in signing something new, so he politely wrote them all back, thanking them for the offer but no bye.

His video had reached a million views and Lance smiled at all the comments about Keith’s music, praising Lance for promoting such a “tiny” channel as most of his subscribers called it. He went back to Keith’s channel and chuckled when he saw that most of his videos had gone from a few thousand views to a good fifty or sixty thousand.

He scrolled back up.

62, 491 subscribers.

Keith’s Instagram and Twitter had also gained thousands of new followers and Lance lowkey wanted to send Keith another message. He’d gone back to their conversation, staring at that stupid empty heart with Keith’s icon (a cropped image of piano keys) next to it to reread it and regret everything.

When he went back to it this time he saw that Keith was online and right at that moment, he got a notification that Keith had added something to his story.

Like a true stalker, Lance tapped it and gasped dramatically when he saw a video of that beautiful husky running around in what looked like, a tiny living room, leaping at the person holding the camera, presumably Keith, going back to the black couch, jumping on and off it and running in circles around the coffee table before he went back to Keith, waggling his tail in excitement.

And—

A chuckle.

Hold the fuck up.

Was that Keith who had chuckled?

It was so very soft and short that Lance had almost missed it. He was already being a stalker, so it didn’t matter that he rewatched it so he could hear it again. Besides, it wasn’t like Instagram notified Keith of Lance rewatching it, so ‘twas all good.

Oh, there was also a caption that read: “my dog every time I get home from work”.

Lance waited for the chuckle at the end and wasn’t disappointed. Well, maybe little because it only lasted for, like, a second before the video cut off. He wore a goofy smile on his face as he watched the dog being happy to see his owner coming home from work because it was the cutest thing ever. And Keith chuckling was the cherry on top of this adorable video.

So he watched it again.

And again.

Until Lance felt that he had embarrassed himself enough and simply left a comment on it like a normal person. It appeared in their private conversation, right under the thumbnail of Keith’s story.

LanceMcClain: your dog is the cutest omg

It had been, what, a few minutes since Keith uploaded that, so it wasn’t too weird, right?

KeithKogane: lmao you’re so fast

Damn, called out again.

KeithKogane: but yes, he’s very cute. it doesn’t matter that we’ve been living together for two years because this happens every time I come home

LanceMcClain: what’s his name??

KeithKogane: you’re gonna laugh

LanceMcClain: I won’t. I promise

KeithKogane: fine. William Cornelius Bertus III

Lance blinked. And then stared.

And burst out laughing like the good friend he was.  

LanceMcClain: AJDKSFHJF WHAT

LanceMcClain: ARE YOU SERIOUS ASDFJKSAJFAL

KeithKogane: you promised you wouldn’t laugh, lance

LanceMcClain: I’m not laughing

Lies. Lance still hadn’t stopped laughing. But come on. He was pretty sure Keith was making this up and if he wasn’t, well, then Keith had a very interesting perspective on dog names.  

KeithKogane: I can hear you from all the way up here

LanceMcClain: shit, are you secretly my neighbor or something?   

KeithKogane: so you admit that you were laughing?

Fuck. He walked right into that.

LanceMcClain: KeItH

LanceMcClain: okay now I feel bad please don’t hate me

LanceMcClain: you can name your dog whatever you want

KeithKogane: dude, relax 

KeithKogane: of course that’s not his real name. it’s Kosmo

KeithKogane: I was just fucking with you

Lance was literally on the verge of having a nervous breakdown, so he did the only thing he could think of.

Hunk!”

Which was to scream for help.

Hunk came running in with a spatula, still wearing his apron because he’d been making dinner. “What, what? Are you okay?”

“Keith’s too playful for me to handle. It’s making me nervous and I don’t know what to do. Please shove that spatula up my ass so I can die a gay man.”

Silence. Lance pouted at Hunk who rolled his eyes, waved his spatula around in some sort of gesture that Lance couldn’t really understand and went back to the kitchen, leaving Lance with his raging thoughts.

There was a fine line between flirting and platonic playfulness and Lance was that loser who couldn’t tell them apart. Especially since he didn’t know Keith very well, so for all he knew Keith treated all his friends like this. He didn’t even know if Keith was into guys.

At least he’d learned a lot from that video and their past conversations. Baby steps but there was definitely some progress there.

He knew that Keith had a dog, a job, a tiny living room, loved making music, was probably somewhat bashful and playful.  

His phone lit up with another message.

KeithKogane: oh god did I break you?

Lance squeaked and quickly started typing.  

LanceMcClain: no no I’m fine! sorry, was caught off guard hahaha

LanceMcClain: also my roommate came in

Another white lie because saying “I’m crushing on you so please don’t do anything that could be considered flirting” was downright inappropriate.

KeithKogane: oh yeah, you have a roommate. you’re one of those youtubers who doesn’t live in a huge mansion

LanceMcClain: well yeah, cause we were living together before I started youtube and I can’t just leave him, right? I’m not THAT mean

KeithKogane: you seem like a good friend

LanceMcClain: don’t wanna brag or anything, but

LanceMcClain: I’m the best friend anyone could ever wish for tbh

Oh no.

Keith had liked the comment.

“No, no, no, no, don’t you dare!”

And went offline.


It was incredibly stupid and Lance was very much embarrassed to admit that he was glued to his phone twenty-four-fucking-seven. Not only was it influencing his social life, but he had also noticed that he was neglecting his social media platforms because he grabbed every opportunity to talk to Keith.

Their conversations were steadily getting longer and yes, more personal. He was finally getting to know Keith better and learning stuff about his life outside of music.

Turned out that Keith worked at a bar, which was probably the reason why he was online at irregular hours and sometimes left in the middle of their conversation. Lance had learned that Keith had wanted to become a musician ever since he was a kid and got his first guitar, that he was mostly self-taught because he never had enough money to pay for lessons and that his closet was the studio in which he recorded his music.

The latter was something that Lance found both endearing and sad because it screamed that Keith didn’t have a lot of money and was doing everything he could to make his dreams come true.

Keith was a hard working dude. That was for sure.

“Oh, my god, Lance. Am I gonna have to take your phone away like a teacher?” Pidge groaned and poked him with her foot.

Lance jumped because he’d been so engrossed in stalking Keith’s seven Instagram posts and shuffled out of Pidge’s reach. “No, no, sorry. I’m here, I’m queer and I’m listening.”

His phone was shoved to the side for good measure and Pidge huffed, waving it off. “Okay, good. Have you talked to Shay yet?”

“Totally. She’s coming and Hunk has no idea.”

Allura, who was now officially part of their party squad as Lance called them and was sitting next to Pidge on the couch, nodded in agreement. “Great, and this is gonna be on the 9th of January, right?”

“Yep, and everyone owes about fifteen bucks for all the drinks and snacks and stuff,” Pidge said as she pulled out the list of groceries she’d made. “Unless either of you decides that they’re not gonna drink any alcohol for the night, which I highly doubt. Also, Lance, can you pick me up from my place? ‘Cause Matt needs the car that day.”

“Sure thing,” Lance grinned and looked over at Allura. “You want me to pick you up as well?”

“I get off at five so that’d be great. Also, I was thinking,” Allura said, her voice getting small right at the end of that sentence. “can I bring Romelle? I thought it’d be a great opportunity for you all to meet her.”

Lance and Pidge looked at each other for a few seconds before Pidge chuckled. “Yeah, why not? She can be part of the gang.”

Of course Lance didn’t mind. Yes, it’d be a bit weird, but he’d be lying if he said he wasn’t curious to meet the girl that had turned Allura bisexual. Plus, there was a chance it’d make Hunk feel less uncomfortable because then he wouldn’t be the only one with a romance thing going on at the party.

At least Lance would have Pidge to be single with.

If only he could invite Keith, even though he had no idea what he looked like.

Speak of the devil.

His phone lit up. Lance stiffened and looked at the screen from the corner of his eyes, seeing that it was a message from Keith.

Stay calm, stay calm, stay fucking calm, Lance. Allura and Pidge were still in the room.

But maybe Keith was on his break and didn’t have much time to chat. Yeah, Lance liked to believe that Keith was taking time out of his busy schedule to talk to him because his mind was so nice to him. Still, it’d be rude to go on his phone again after Pidge had literally kicked him off five minutes ago and he knew that he hated it when people went on their phone in the middle of a conversation.

Well. He looked over his shoulder at Pidge and Allura who were talking about Allura’s day at work, so technically, he wasn’t part of the conversation and could easily check his phone without either of them noticing.

KeithKogane: [image] 

Lance tapped it curiously and snorted when he saw a screenshot of a top comment.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Elvis 5 days ago

Lance has discovered a genius

710 thumbs up

----------------------------------------------------------------------

LanceMcClain: wow. Elvis thinks you’re a genius

KeithKogane: the ultimate compliment

LanceMcClain: 710 thumbs up, tho. I take it the videos are doing well? 8)

KeithKogane: this one is going on 200k which is fucking weird

KeithKogane: kinda wanted to thank you again

KeithKogane: my wallet also wanted to thank you bc people have been buying my stuff on itunes. I still can’t believe it

LanceMcClain: Keith, pls stop thanking me. I did it with luuuuuurve

Wait.

For fuck’s sake, Lance.

He fought the urge to cringe and was already typing something to fix it, but Keith beat him to it.

KeithKogane: also, I know this is kinda random and creepy but people have been messaging me to ask if you and I are friends, which is fine ofc bc I tell them yes and move on

KeithKogane: wait we’re friends right? if we’re not, sorry, I’ll msg all of them individually to clear that up but anyway

KeithKogane: they keep asking me if I can share some personal information about you?? like if you have a gf and where you live and stuff

KeithKogane: I’m actually THIS close to telling them you’re dating taylor swift

KeithKogane: and that you live in japan bc you’re secretly a weaboo

Okay, woah, that was way too much information. Lance kept reading the last part of the first message over and over again, feeling his heartbeat increase until he felt like he was gonna vomit. Keith was the first one to say that they were friends and Lance wanted to clutch his phone to his chest like a teenager in a romantic comedy because wow, that was honestly the best thing ever.

All right, next was the creepy shit about some of his fans asking Keith about his love life, which, unfortunately, was nothing new. People were constantly messaging him to ask if he had a girlfriend and if so, when he was going to do a video on that.

And him? Dating Taylor Swift? A weaboo? Man, Keith just loved to fuck with people.

If only he’d want to actually fu

Yikes. Get it together, Lance.

LanceMcClain: sorry that you have to deal with that, man. You can just tell them that you don’t know because if you say yes or no, they’ll keep probing

LanceMcClain: when Allura and I broke up she got so many hate messages on her insta, even though it was mutual. I’ve been very careful when it came to talking about my love life ever since

KeithKogane: understandable

LanceMcClain: also taylor swift?

LanceMcClain: WeEaboO???

LanceMcClain: thought you were better than that, man

KeithKogane: I haven’t said anything about those things

KeithKogane: yet :)

LanceMcClain: lmao you’re the worst. also, yes, ofc we’re friends! wouldn't be talking to you if we weren’t

Good, keep it subtle. He didn’t wanna ruin this. They were having a moment here. A teasy, playful, totally not flirty moment. Just bros being bros.

Until Keith liked the comment. Moment was over.

Lance looked back at the two babbling behind him and theatrically threw himself between them, prompting lots of squealing and giggling.


His next video went viral. Lance kept blinking at the screen, his jaw forever on the floor because woah, he hadn’t expected that. He’d attempted to do a Grinch makeup look and apparently it was getting recommended like crazy, because his statistics were through the roof. The comments were pouring in, most of them about his makeup, others noticing that he’d used Keith’s music again and a few standard ones.

A week had gone by since his last upload and that video had a whooping 4.2M views, which was really awesome, but the video that he posted a few hours ago was already pretty close to reaching one million.

This was insane.

Apparently Keith thought so, too, because he’d gotten another message from him.

KeithKogane: hey Grinch  

KeithKogane: it’s like you’re sending over a fucking army

KeithKogane: I wanted to post a new video today, but I feel like people are watching me now

Lance had managed to close mouth, but his jaw had dropped again.

LanceMcClain: really??? omg exciting! post itttttttttttt

KeithKogane: lance  

LanceMcClain: keiiiiithhhhhhhh

LanceMcClain: come onnnn it’s not like people weren’t watching you before

LanceMcClain: and I will personally kick some ass if people are mean to you

KeithKogane: lol people have left mean comments before so that’s not a big deal but I suddenly have a much bigger audience, you know? big mindfuck

LanceMcClain: I know but it’ll be fine dude

KeithKogane: are you still wearing that grinch makeup

LanceMcClain: maybe

A heart appeared under the comment and Lance was about to throw his phone out the window when he got a subscription notification.

Keith had uploaded a new video. Lance forgot all about the heart and tapped the notification. Snatching his earphones off his desk, he plugged them in and hit the play button, butterflies fluttering giddily in his stomach.

The song was called “New Promises” and Lance listened to the bittersweet melody in the beginning while he scrolled through description in which Keith thanked his new subscribers and that he was thinking of doing a special for when he reached 100k. And – Lance made a weird noise— a special thank you to Lance for being the first YouTuber to reach out to him for his music.

Sap. Keith was such a sap.

Strings took over the song, accompanied by a few delicate piano notes and Lance breathed out a sigh, feeling something crawl down his spine upon hearing the melancholic violin. Goosebumps appeared all over his arms and Lance was pretty sure that there were only a few songs out there that could make him psychically react to them.

And Keith’s songs had that effect on him.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Lance McClain a few seconds ago

Fucking amazing ♡

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Keith pinned and liked the comment.

Chapter Text

Being a YouTuber wasn’t easy.

It was on these days that Lance felt beyond stressed and was glad he could jog it all out. His calves were burning pleasantly while he mentally made a list for possible future videos. Of course there were people requesting stuff, which was great, but there was a line between pleasing his subscribers and getting too personal on the internet.

Yes, Lance was an influencer, but not a vlogger. His family, friends, apartment and daily activities were never captured on camera as they were strictly reserved for his eyes only.

When he had filmed the Girlfriend Tag video with Allura, it went viral and most of his subscribers were definitely supportive, but, sadly, there was a small amount of people who started leaving hate comments on her Instagram posts, telling her to back off. Allura was a strong girl with thick skin who didn’t really care that people were hating on her for simply dating Lance and didn’t let it influence their relationship, but Lance was shocked.

Shocked that people were leaving such horrible comments on her posts just because they were dating. Shocked that there were girls who kept sending him messages in which they begged him to break up with her. Shocked that a fan who recognized him on the streets told him he was not being a responsible YouTuber because, “Everyone knows you should remain single as a YouTuber, or at least, pretend to be.”

After their breakup, he got supported once again by the majority and, alas, some comments of fans who were happy that he was finally single and “available” again. Allura had also gotten some backlash for “breaking his heart” even though Lance made it perfectly clear in his video that it was mutual. Both the Girlfriend and Break Up video had been taken down after a few days.  

He’d learned his lesson: YouTube was for entertaining others with his goofy personality and positivity, not for talking about his personal life.

Hell, he hadn’t even come out on camera yet.

People had their suspicions because he sometimes did makeup videos, but Lance had never addressed it, knowing that he would only cause a mess.

On top of that he had to stay relevant in order to be successful. YouTube was probably one of the most unstable jobs out there because the amount of money was strictly tied to the amount of views and sponsors. Lance couldn’t complain as he had millions of views on most of his videos, but still. Having to constantly come up with new and interesting content was very difficult, especially since people had such high expectations of him, so Lance had learned to plan ahead, like he was doing right now.

Jogging and brainstorming. Trying to get inspiration by running around the trees and avoiding bumping into seniors who were walking their dog.

(Un)fortunately, his mind wandered off to Keith.

Was he a jogger as well? His wrists looked slim enough to be.

Lance seriously needed to get a grip.


Christmas was right around the corner and of course Lance was about to upload a holiday special for that. His phone was buzzing violently with new comments and subscribers, Hunk had deliberately chosen that moment to watch some random show on Netflix to block it out and Lance…

Lance was talking to Keith, rather concerned.

LanceMcClain: you’re seriously gonna work on christmas eve?

KeithKogane: yeah, the pay’s really nice and people tip generously because of the whole “season of giving” thing  

LanceMcClain: I don’t want you to be alone man

KeithKogane: dude I’ll be fine. I could use the money and it’s not like I mind working on christmas eve

LanceMcClain: who’s gonna watch kosmo tho

KeithKogane: my brother

He didn’t want to pry. Maybe Christmas was a touchy subject for Keith, so he decided to leave it alone for now. They weren’t that close (yet?) and Keith was not very open about his life to begin with.

Lance was considering offering to come over, but they’d only been talking for a few weeks so that’d be weird. Too forward, too awkward and definitely too soon. He still didn’t know what Keith looked like or how old he was or if he lived in The States. Maybe Keith was African, or maybe even European? Hm, surely it wasn’t too soon to ask where he lived, right? Nothing about his address, or anything, but just a simple, y’know—

LanceMcClain: are you from sweden?

What. Damn it, Lance blamed it on thinking about Europe and that was the first country that popped into his head and— Okay, he was just plain bad at this and it was embarrassing.

It took a few seconds for Keith to reply. He was typing, typing, and typing, liked the comment oh no, but still replied, thank god.

KeithKogane: that’s oddly specific lmao

KeithKogane: are YOU from sweden?

LanceMcClain: asked you first

KeithKogane: asked you second

LanceMcClain: ohm ygod

Really? Really? If Keith hadn’t told him he worked at a bar, Lance would’ve thought Keith was a teenager, which made all the alarm bells go off in his head, so no, bad thoughts. Obviously Keith was at least eighteen, hopefully somewhere in his 20s, possibly 30s and please not in his 40s or 50s. Oh, god, what if Keith was a middle-aged guy who had been working in a bar for over 30 years? Maybe that was why he wore the gloves in every video, to hide his wrinkly hands.

Lance really hated his paranoid mind.

Bzzz

Text from Pidge.

Pidgy: yo loverboy

Pidgy: lura, hunk and i (and matt’s gf) are gonna hang out at matt’s. u coming?

Pidgy: he has dance dance revolution

Me: hell yeah gimme twenty min

Pidgy: kk

Lance tapped the spacebar on his computer to turn on the screen, finished his description, took a picture with his phone for his stories on Snapchat and Instagram, copied the generated link to post on Twitter, set the video to public, turned off his notifications and reached for his car keys.


Wow, Pidge wasn’t kidding when she told him that Matt was absolutely crazy about the girl shaking Lance’s hand.

“Nice to meet you, Lance. Name’s Casey.”

Casey was pretty, petite and pretty much Matt’s type. She was a tad bit shy and was glued to Matt’s side, probably intimidated by the amount of new people around her, which Lance found understandable. He didn’t mind being around new people, but Matt was lowkey putting her on the spot like this, so Lance gave her an encouraging smile, trying to reassure her.

“Same here, Case. ‘sit okay if I call you that?” Lance gave her the gold ol’ fingerguns and bingo, she laughed.

“Sure. I like you already,” she giggled and it seemed that Matt was relieved as well.

Lance winked at her and took a seat next to Hunk and Allura who were trying to set up the game. Pidge emerged from the kitchen and was holding an entire box of cookies, obviously very much feeling at home, and sat down on one of Lance’s legs because there wasn’t enough room on the couch. She protectively held the box to her chest when Lance tried to grab a cookie.

“Hey, may I remind you that you’re sitting on my lap? Might as well share the cookies,” Lance quipped, but Pidge simply raised her eyebrows.

“Grab your own box.”

“Bet’cha took the last one.”

Pidge grinned and made a show to shove an entire cookie in her mouth before she turned back to Matt and Casey who were standing way too close to each other. “Hey, lovebirds! Are we gonna dance, or what?”

Apparently the two were lost in their own world, gazing into each other’s eyes like they were on their honeymoon and Pidge rolled her eyes with a groan, looking back at the others. “I swear, once they have eye contact, boom, they’re gone. It’s like we don’t exist anymore. Last week I actually had to yell his name three fucking times before he finally snapped out of it.”

“They’re in love,” Allura smiled and watched them in awe. “I think it’s cute.”

“It’s freaking me out,” Hunk said, wide-eyed. “Dude, it’s like they’re hypnotized.”

“Or on drugs— Hey!” Lance had managed to steal a cookie and tried not to laugh when Pidge narrowed her eyes at him, not amused. “I will burp in your face.”

“Youngest of five, Pidge. Youngest of five,” Lance drawled, totally unphased and waved her off, taking a bite of the cookie. “I will just burp back.”

Bzzz

Pidge blinked and looked down at their legs. “Please tell me that’s your phone and not your dick.”

Hunk snorted so loudly that he started coughing while Allura covered her quickly reddening face with both hands and yelped when Lance pushed Pidge to the side so she ended up sprawled on the other two. The cookies went flying everywhere, Hunk was trying to breathe normally, Pidge was nearly crying with laughter, Allura was still hiding her face and Lance just rolled off the couch, wheezing.

Pidge!” he shrieked, causing Pidge to laugh even harder and Allura soon joined after, doubling over and hiding her face in Pidge’s shirt.

They were making enough noise to draw the lovers’ attention and Matt calmly interrupted their ruckus. “You guys okay?”

“Look who decided to join us,” Pidge called over her shoulder, her glasses almost falling off.

The two started bickering and Lance used this opportunity to grab his phone, seeing a message from Keith and opening it.

KeithKogane: Lance?  

Shit. He’d totally forgotten about their earlier conversation and buried his face in the carpeted floor with a dragged out groan, holding the phone to his chest. Of course, he’d closed the app after he got that message from Pidge and hopped in the car right away and oh no, had left Keith hanging like that and—

And his thumb had been holding down the little microphone icon. Lance screeched hysterically because he’d just accidentally sent Keith a voice message. Dread brewed in the pit of his stomach and his face grew unbearably hot.

“What?” Hunk asked but Lance ignored it.

“No, no, no, no, no, no—” he rambled and replayed the message, putting the phone to his ear.

It was a lot of muffled sounds, scratching and oh no, Lance groaning.

To say that Lance shrieked was an understatement.

Nooooooooooo!” His entire body was on fire and not in a good way. It sounded like he’d just sent Keith a fucking sex tape and he wanted nothing more than to sink through the floor and die a painful and slow death because even that would’ve been way better than to be stuck in this situation. More unmanly screeches were coming out of his mouth as he tried to come up with a plan to fix this before Keith listened to it, which could be any second.

Life was so unfair. Life was laughing at him. Life was meaningless.

“Lance, what’s going on?” Allura tried and Lance continued to make unholy noises, looking at her and praying that that would magically fix this.

KeithKogane: …

KeithKogane: lance tf did you just send me

KeithKogane: you okay?

Too late.

LanceMcClain: nononono keith

LanceMcClain: i accndthlyy record d myself

LanceMcClain: m hangignout with some friends i promise

KeithKogane: sounds like you’re having a good time

LanceMcClain: sdaljfksdfsd keith keith keith i swear i'm just lying on the floor

KeithKogane: uhuh

Not helping.

Wait.

Lance tapped the camera button, grinned cheekily and took a quick selfie, making sure to capture the couch in the background along with Allura’s and Hunk’s legs. Without even adding so much as a filter – an actual crime — he sent it to Keith and continued to type like a maniac.

LanceMcClain: THERE

LanceMcClain: PROOF

LanceMcClain: SEE

He looked absolutely horrible. His face was still unnaturally flushed and the angle was awkward and Lance continued to wallow in self-pity. He’d hoped that his first selfie for Keith would be more attractive (it didn’t matter that Keith watched his videos, okay, this was different), but drastic times called for drastic measures.

“Lance, what the fuck are you doing?” Pidge inquired and got up from the couch to look over his shoulder, but Lance curled around his phone like an animal trying to protect its baby.

“Nothing, nothing. U-uh, gotta go to the bathroom, berightback!” Before anyone could ask him another question, Lance jumped up from the floor and sprinted to the bathroom like a maniac, not ready for his phone buzzing in his hand.

He locked himself in Matt’s tiny bathroom, pulled down the lid of the toilet seat and sat on it, staring at his phone with a pout.

KeithKogane: alright I believe you

KeithKogane: why were you groaning though?

LanceMcClain: sometimes we have to lie on the floor and groan keith

KeithKogane: you got me there   

Yes, thank god, he’d fixed it. Lance heaved a heavy sigh of relief, ran a hand through his hair and tapped the camera button again so he could take a proper selfie. He put on his best smile, held up one hand like a gun and winked at the camera.

Snap. Sent. There, much better. His pride was on the line here. Whatever that was left of it anyway because he was pretty sure he’d left most of it back in the living room. Back where everyone was probably wondering what was going on, but eh.

LanceMcClain: proper selfie cause the other one doesn’t count

LanceMcClain: that was an emergency selfie lol

KeithKogane: hahaha nice

KeithKogane: are you in a bathroom?

KeithKogane: thought you were on the floor  

LanceMcClain: couldn’t let me have it for one minute could you

KeithKogane: stop making it so easy then

Okay, that was definitely flirting. Right? God.

KeithKogane: btw you never answered my question

Question? Oh, right. He’d wanted to find out where Keith lived. Right, right, right.

LanceMcClain: nope. I’m from cuba

LanceMcClain: your turn

KeithKogane: texas

Oh. Well, that wasn’t too far from New York. Like a thirty fucking hour drive maybe. And they were sort of in the same time zone. Cool, cool.

LanceMcClain: cool, so I’m only an hour ahead of you

KeithKogane: I don’t live there anymore though. moved out a couple of years ago

LanceMcClain: oh

KeithKogane: lance

LanceMcClain: yea

KeithKogane: you can ask if you're curious 

LanceMcClain: what, are you psychic or something?  

KeithKogane: would it make you feel better if I said yes instead of saying that you’re just easy to read?

What the fuck.

LanceMcClain: yes

KeithKogane: then yes I’m psychic

LanceMcClain: bet you don’t know the color of my socks tho

Two could play at this game.

KeithKogane: k nvm i take it back. you’re just too easy to read

Oh, come on.

LanceMcClain: kEiTH

KeithKogane: too easy

Lance needed a minute to calm down and collect himself.

There was a loud bang on the door and Lance nearly dropped his phone in shock.

“Lance, seriously, dude. Are you dying in there?” Hunk’s voice sounded both amused and concerned.

“Can’t a guy take a shit in peace?” Lance yelled back and instantly regretted it because Hunk barked out a laugh on the other side and left, on his way to tell the others, no doubt.  He turned back to his phone and saw that Keith had liked the comment, his usual cue to leave.

But he didn’t leave. Instead, Lance had received a video and oh, no. His heart started beating so fast that his entire body moved in synch with it.

He thumbed at it, lowered his volume, and saw Kosmo trying to lick the camera while he was in, what appeared to be, Keith’s lap. The camera moved away from Kosmo’s face, revealing a rather toned chest hidden behind a black shirt and fucking collarbones, this was so not okay.

Chuckles from Keith. Cardiac arrest for Lance.  

More chuckling and shifting until, of course, a gloved hand appeared to scratch behind Kosmo’s fluffy ear as he continued to try to sniff and lick the phone. Kosmo seemed unfazed by the petting and tried to get closer until Keith let out a real laugh (cute) and pulled his dog to his chest to keep him away from the camera.

Lance actually covered his mouth, trying to regulate his breathing because this was way too adorable to be real. Did Keith know what he was doing? Was he doing this on purpose? Was he actually trying to kill Lance with a five second video?

KeithKogane: typing’s hard when there’s a giant dog trying to lick your phone

It took a great amount of willpower not to comment on Keith’s adorable laugh, or his chest, or his everything. Lance had to be cool, had to be casual and not creepy or stalker-y.

LanceMcClain: seems like it hahaha

Nailed it.


He never asked where Keith lived. Didn’t have the guts. Keith had sent that video closely after their little play fight, but did encourage Lance to ask. If Keith did actually know what Lance was going to ask him and oh, this train of thoughts was so annoying. Lance always made things way too complicated whenever he was thinking about Keith, analyzing every little detail and—

Honestly, it was like high school all over again. The hormones, the crushes, the insecurities and he was twenty-three for cryin’ out loud. At least he didn’t have braces anymore and had developed some kind of toned physique instead of looking like a noodle with arms and legs. Puberty had been very nice to him and Lance was pretty confident in his own skin, but when it came to people he had crushes on… well, that made him feel like he was that awkward fourteen-year-old again.  

Back when he was with Allura, he had also felt pretty insecure in the beginning, but that got better overtime and it definitely helped that she’d never had a boyfriend before so Lance kind of had to show her the ropes and constantly tell her that she didn’t have to worry about everything. He’d only had a couple of girlfriends and the occasional hookup if he felt like it, so Lance was confident in the whole being-with-another-person-thing, except for the fact that he felt small whenever he was really into them.

Probably because he always wanted to leave a good impression and he kind of felt weird about having a crush on Keith because, yeah, Keith was a fan of his videos. Had been for a couple of years. And Lance secretly felt very vulnerable because of it, knowing that Keith had seen his silliest moods, his serious face, had heard about his weird encounters and all the other things he had recorded. He’d already left multiple impressions behind and he didn’t know what those impressions of him were. They never really talked about his videos or how Keith felt about them.

Lance had dug in his email box, but couldn’t find a single comment Keith had left on his videos. Favorites and liked videos and subscriptions on Keith’s channel were private, so Lance was left with absolutely nothing.

Again, he seriously needed to get over himself.

Instead of getting over himself, he went to Keith’s latest video and saw that it had over 60k views and that his comment had already reached 1.4k thumbs up.

Subscriber count was 90, 824 and Lance couldn’t be more proud. Keith was growing so fast that it was almost overwhelming to watch from the sidelines. He couldn’t even begin to imagine how Keith was feeling, so he did what any other stupid friend would do.

LanceMcClain: so about that 100k sub special huh?

LanceMcClain: what do you have in mind? (͡ ͡° ͜ つ ͡͡°)

Wait, what time was it?

The tiny digits in the upper corner of his phone told him it was 1:27am and that he had randomly messaged Keith in the middle of the night, you idiot. He hadn’t even realized it because he’d been staring at the ceiling for ages with all the lights still on and very much in his own bubble.

Surprisingly, his phone buzzed and Lance blinked at the Instagram notification.

KeithKogane: wouldn’t be a surprise if I spoiled it now would it?

LanceMcClain: oH COME ON

LanceMcClain: I’m so very good at keeping secrets

KeithKogane: also your lenny face needs a nosejob

LanceMcClain: ( ͡° ʖ̯ ͡°)

KeithKogane: there u go

LanceMcClain: you’re so mean smh

KeithKogane: thanks man

LanceMcClain: THAT WASN’T A COMPLIMENT

KeithKogane: I’ll take it anyway

LanceMcClain: wait wait waaaait

LanceMcClain: I see what ur doing

LanceMcClain: you’re changing the subject

LanceMcClain: tell me about the sub special

KeithKogane: dude go to sleep

LanceMcClain: no I wanna knoooow

KeithKogane: I’m not budging so it’s best if you just go to sleep

LanceMcClain: I feel so betrayed

Lance narrowed his eyes, made a quick selfie of him flipping off the camera and sent it.

Of course Keith liked it but did send him another short message afterwards.

KeithKogane: goodnight lance

Baby steps.

Lance fell asleep with all the lights on and woke up the next day with his phone sticking to his cheek.

Iconic.

He groggily rolled out of bed and looked at his planner.

One more day before he’d fly over to his parents’ to celebrate Christmas and after Lance was done eating breakfast and packing, he set up everything to record two more videos. He was now comparing a couple of outfits in the mirror, not sure if he had to stick to his casual hoodies or something more holiday-feely, like an ugly sweater. He’d already uploaded a Christmas special, but then again, he could milk it for a little and spread those holiday vibes some more.

Christmas Eve was tomorrow after all.

Hunk had already left for work and always kept his phone in his locker like the good employee he was, Pidge would be the last person to ask for fashion advice (no offense, Pidge) and Allura was also at work.

He’d just talked himself into messaging Keith again, but whatever. He put on a black hoodie, took a mirror selfie, then put on the ugly Christmas sweater and did the same thing before sending both to Keith.

LanceMcClain: which one?

He didn’t expect an answer right away, so he walked to the kitchen to grab a cup of coffee and some water for filming, but there it was.

KeithKogane: and you’re asking me?

LanceMcClain: well yeah, why not?

KeithKogane: I don’t do fashion

LanceMcClain: do you wear clothes?

KeithKogane: …

KeithKogane: yeah?

LanceMcClain: so you do know something about fashion

LanceMcClain: also you wear gloves 24/7 so that’s gotta mean something

KeithKogane: lance

LanceMcClain: which one do you think looks best?

KeithKogane: fine. obv the hoodie

LanceMcClain: you’re useless

KeithKogane: what????

LanceMcClain: it was a test. should've gone for the ugly christmas sweater dude

Okay, so it wasn’t a test, but he didn’t want the conversation to end yet and he finally felt like he was the one in control. Talking to Keith was slowly but surely becoming easier and he was enjoying every second of it.

KeithKogane: what is this

KeithKogane: what test

LanceMcClain: the

LanceMcClain: fashion test (͡ ͡° ͜ つ ͡͡°)(͡ ͡° ͜ つ ͡͡°)

KeithKogane: i hate you

LanceMcClain: (͡ ͡° ͜ つ ͡͡°)

KeithKogane: stop that

LanceMcClain: ( ͡~ ͜つ ͡°)

KeithKogane: oh my god

Lance wore hoodies in both videos.


His sister Veronica got him a new phone for Christmas and told him that he could use it as his “YouTube/work” phone.

“You know, like, I have a phone for my job at the lab and my phone for private shit. This is the same thing,” she tells him, her blue eyes sparkling cheekily behind her glasses. “Saw that you recently hit a new milestone, so I wanted to give you this as a reminder that you’re doing great and that I’m very proud of you, little bro.”

Lance hugged her very tightly and asked her if she wanted to dance to the endless playlist of standard Christmas songs that was playing in the background. It wasn’t long before the rest of the family joined them and Lance couldn’t ask for a greater Christmas.

As he was dancing, though, he couldn’t help but think about how Keith was doing. If he’d still be at the bar and was talking to those who didn’t have anyone to celebrate Christmas with. If he was cleaning an endless amount of glasses instead of hugging his parents and opening presents. If he was mopping the floor all by himself instead of sharing a blanket with someone in front of a fire place. It wasn’t that Lance felt sorry for him. He just wanted Keith not to be all by himself tonight.

Well, Keith did say he had a brother, so maybe he’d get off work and celebrate it with him afterwards?

Yeah, that was probably it.

He didn’t have anything to worry about.

But he still sent Keith a message after they were done clearing up the table and he was back in his old room. It was kind of late, so he expected Keith to be back home already, that he’d possibly be on his phone or maybe watching some TV and hopefully reply to him soon.

LanceMcClain: merry christmas! how was work?

While he waited for a response, he installed his new phone and used it right away to post the same wishes on his social media.

It didn’t take long for Keith to reply, though.

KeithKogane: yeah you too

KeithKogane: and it was tiring. it was really busy and it was just me for tonight

KeithKogane: I think this one guy thought I was his therapist because he kept rambling about his ex gf for a good two hours

KeithKogane: I kept patting him on the shoulder but at some point I kinda ran out of the standard “so sorry/that’s rough” lines so that was awkward

KeithKogane: then he asked me if I had any hot girl friends that I could give his number to

LanceMcClain: what

KeithKogane: I said no and then he started telling me his lifestory  

LanceMcClain: wtf

KeithKogane: and I apologized and told him that we have a two hour policy so thank fuck he left after that

LanceMcClain: you guys have a two hours policy?

KeithKogane: no

Lance literally barked out an ugly laugh and covered his face, feeling it grow hot beneath his fingers.

LanceMcClain: AUIDSFJKLADS KEITH OH M YGOD

KeithKogane: WHAT. HE WOULDNT FUCKING LEAVE

LanceMcClain: ASDJKFASKFDASL;DSJHSDJ

KeithKogane: it’s not like in the movies where the dude behind the bar is the one with all the answers and shoulders to cry on  

LanceMcClain: wait

LanceMcClain: it’s NOT like that in real life?

KeithKogane: sadly

KeithKogane: no

LanceMcClain: damn

LanceMcClain: so whatcha up to?  

KeithKogane: celebrating the last few hours of christmas with my bro and his bf

KeithKogane: they’re kinda all over each other now though so I’m glad you texted me

Lance could almost fucking hear the disc scratch sound effect in his head because woah, woah, woah. Keith had a brother who had a boyfriend?

Wait, this didn’t actually mean that Keith was into guys as well, but it did mean that he was tolerant of homosexuality, so that was a great start. Not that Lance was gonna come out to him anytime soon, or anything— at least, not yet. Not until he was absolutely sure he could trust Keith enough to not spread it around. Keith had already proven himself by not telling all the people who’d messaged him that Lance was not seeing anyone right now, but he had to be 100% sure.

And there was another problem on top of that. Crushes aside, Keith was still a guy and yes, there was a chance he’d be into guys, too, but it hadn’t truly hit Lance until now that there was a possibility of Keith being straight.

Hunk and Matt were straight and, as far as he knew, Pidge was as well. The only non-straight people in their friend group were him and Allura who had only recently come out. Lance usually had a pretty good gaydar, but with Keith he couldn’t really tell. Probably because he was talking to him through a screen and unfortunately, still didn’t know what he looked like.

Keith hadn’t sent him a selfie or anything yet. He’d only seen a small part of Keith’s chest (nice) and his hands. Which made him very sad. Yes, he was curious, but he didn’t want to pressure Keith into sending him a picture because, well, some people didn’t like sending pictures of themselves. Simple as that.

Oh, yeah, he still had to reply.

LanceMcClain: nice. free gay porn

KeithKogane: WHAT

Subtlety had left the building.

KeithKogane: they’re just cuddling ffs

LanceMcClain: suuuure ( ͡~ ͜つ ͡°)

KeithKogane: LANCE  

KeithKogane: he’s my BROTHER

KeithKogane: but if they’re gonna start making out i will throw something at them

LanceMcClain: niiiiice

KeithKogane: okay i’ll throw YOU

LanceMcClain: I mean

LanceMcClain: are they hot?

KeithKogane: oh my god

KeithKogane: wait

KeithKogane: lance

LanceMcClain: yeeees?  

KeithKogane: you like guys?

Ah— Okay, time to panic.

So much for keeping it a secret.

Lance had been so caught up in his teasing that he hadn’t realized he’d indirectly come out to Keith by saying that.

The irony was real. His entire inner monologue from five minutes ago had been for nothing and that was just sad. This was about his career. Keith could make a screenshot and post it on Twitter, dragging Lance out of the closet and shaming him for hitting on his brother. He could be in so much trouble if Keith made this conversation public. There would a huge fucking shitstorm. Of course Lance’s loyal fans wouldn’t care, but there was undoubtedly a small percentage of his following that would terrorize him about it.

He didn’t want the internet to know. Not everyone was as open and friendly as his friends and family.

Maybe Keith was, but that didn’t automatically mean that he wasn’t a blabbermouth.  

Lance let out a small whine and buried his face in his pillow, feeling like he was gonna vomit any second. His heart was beating so incredibly fast that it was making his entire body shake, including his fingers so he couldn’t type properly, further delaying his response and probably making Keith even more suspicious than he already was.

He could always tell Keith that he’d been kidding. They’d been goofing around a lot more recently, so it wouldn’t be totally unbelievable. He wanted to trust Keith with this information, he really did, because Keith had been nothing but nice to him so far. Keith had been the one that had reached out to him a couple of times, had thanked him so many times for promoting his channel, sent him a video of him and his dog and he was the one who said his brother had a boyfriend just like that. 

Which meant that he trusted Lance to not judge him for having a gay (or bi?) brother. He'd said it so very casually, too. 

KeithKogane: lance?

He was cold. 

KeithKogane: dw dude you’re fine

KeithKogane: i just told you my brother has a bf, didnt i?

KeithKogane: also pretty sure he's gonna propose soon 

KeithKogane: thanks obama 

His lips curled into a wry smile but it wasn’t enough to calm his nerves.

Deep breath in. Hold for four. And out.

LanceMcClain: yeah I’m bi

Hold for four. Out.

LanceMcClain: but keith please don’t tell anyone

In. And out.

LanceMcClain: I haven’t come out on youtube yet and I’d like to keep it that way

KeithKogane: ofc i wont

KeithKogane: and if it makes you feel any better

Oh?

KeithKogane: i also like guys  

Oh.

KeithKogane: you told me you’re very good at keeping secrets so i’ll hold you to that

Lance had never craved death more.

Chapter Text

It had been a few days and the world was still turning, his social media hadn’t blown up, no one had tagged him in weird posts, except for the rather unflattering screenshots people took of his videos and other memes because his fans were just that lovely, so it was safe to assume that Keith had kept his secret. Lance was still somewhat mad at himself for blurting it out like that, but after thinking about it some more he came to the conclusion that he was starting to feel safe around Keith.

Safe enough to be himself, to be playful, to make stupid dick jokes and most importantly, he didn’t regret literally everything he said. Well, he still regretted about 78%, but they were definitely getting somewhere.

After they’d both come out to each other, they accidentally stayed up all night because Lance was nosy and casually asked Keith about, yeah, about the liking-guys-thing. Keith wasn’t that open about it, though, but did tell him that he was probably gay as he never really looked at girls like that and that his brother, Shiro (Keith had trusted him with a name!), had been a huge help to him.

Lance told him that he’d only been in relationships with girls so far, but that he found himself thinking about guys every now and then. He also admitted that he’d made out with this one dude he met at a bar one time and that was when he realized he legitimately swung both ways.

It was really nice to be able to talk about it with someone because as much of a sweetheart and a great listener Hunk was, it wasn’t the same as talking to a dude who was also attracted to dudes. It was hilarious to talk about his so-called “guy crushes” on celebrities he used to have as a kid and that he and Keith actually shared some of those crushes. Even though Keith never admitted that it was a "crush" because all Lance could get out of him was, "Sure, they were good looking." 

And above all, it was nice to know that Lance had a chance.  


The days leading up to the new year went by so fast that Lance could barely keep track. His December specials were still a thing, which that he was on his laptop pretty much all day to edit his videos because he had to upload twice a week.

He had some off days, like today, on which he just lounged on the couch in his bathrobe, surrounded by crumbled up pieces of paper with crossed out ideas and every single mug he owned. January was getting closer and closer and he seriously needed some new ideas for videos, so he was scrolling through every single social media platform to look for new trends that might be interesting to touch upon, but how he was going to incorporate that into his videos was a whole other level.

Pidge came over to help him brainstorm and even offered to be in one of his videos to change things up a little, but Lance had immediately declined. 

“No, nope, nu-uh, no way,” he babbled and sat up straight, causing the small pieces of paper to roll off him. “I don’t want anyone to start stalking you guys on your social medias and spread unnecessary hate. You do remember what happened to Allura’s accounts, right?”

Pidge raised an eyebrow and kept typing away on her laptop, obviously unimpressed. “First of all, I’m not your girlfriend, so all your crazy fangirls won’t have a decent reason to hate me. Second, my Twitter account is pretty much dead anyway and if people’re gonna start hating on me for whatever reason, I’ll be able to handle it just fine. I’m a tough girl.”

“I know you are, but,” Lance sighed and went to lie back down, covering his eyes with his elbow. “what’re we even gonna do in that video?”

“Name a challenge you haven’t tried before and we’ll give it a shot. It could be fun.” More typing and scrolling while Lance glanced over at her without moving his head, too lazy. “Ooh, how about the smoothie challenge? We get to buy all these delicious and gross things, mix them up and make ourselves sick. I know it’s a few years old, but whatever.”

Lance hated to admit that that did sound fun. “Fine, you win.”

“We could even make it a New Year’s Special,” Pidge continued and Lance felt a smile tugging at his lips as Pidge held up her hands and looked at him dramatically. “Oh, oh! How about we each have to add champagne and other ingredients of traditional meals that we have with our families on New Year’s Eve?”

“It’s gonna be so gross,” Lance chuckled but kept smiling at her. “but it does sound like a good idea. Thanks, Pidgy.”

Pidge smiled at him and went back to typing. “I’ll make a list of all the ingredients we’re gonna need. Will you have enough time to edit it if we film it tonight?”

“Yeah, definitely.” He’d already finished editing the video he was gonna upload tonight, so he had time. “Ugh, that means I have to get up and get dressed.”

He rolled off the couch and dragged his ass to his room, leaving the door open so they could keep talking.

“You gonna wear a hoodie again?”

Thump. Lance dropped the hoodie he’d grabbed out of his closet and looked over his shoulder to see that Pidge hadn’t even looked up from her laptop but was smirking still. What the fuck was that supposed to mean? His heart jumped at the thought of Pidge having noticed that he’d been wearing hoodies in the last four videos he’d recorded, possibly because Keith had sort of told him he liked hoodies and come on, cut the guy some slack.

Okay, so he wanted to look good (for Keith). Sue him.

“What?” Lance said oh so casually and picked up the fallen hoodie. “I have a lot of hoodies.”

“You usually wear button-ups in your videos. I would know because you told me a lot of your female subscribers like it when you wear those and the majority of your subscribers are girls,” Pidge continued to gloat and gave him a quick look over her shoulder, her eyes sparkling dangerously. “So, is there a reason you’ve switched to hoodies now? I don’t recall you telling me about comments asking you to wear hoodies.”

“It’s December. Hoodie season,” Lance quickly fired back because oh hell no was he gonna give her that satisfaction.

“I thought December was sweater season? Ugly sweaters if I might add,” Pidge shot back calmly and looked back at her screen, feigning nonchalance. “You’ve always worn sweaters in your December Specials because you love sweater weather and told me that it gets you in the, and I quote, holiday mood.” A pause and then, “Just saying.”

Lance narrowed his eyes. “Pidge.

“Yes.”

“Stop analyzing me.”

Apparently that was what Pidge had been looking for because she turned around and dramatically pushed the glasses farther up the bridge of her small nose. “I’m not analyzing you, I’m merely making an observation. What are you getting defensive for?”

“I’m not.” He wasn’t

Yeah, he was. She’d grab any opportunity to tease him about Keith and he really didn’t want to give her this one.

He’d had the same conversation with siblings multiple times, hell, he used to tease Veronica every time she had a crush on a boy, so he knew how this was gonna go. It was a lot harder to be on the receiving end, though, so he seriously had to think of something to get himself out of this conversation. 

“So, why’ve you been wearing hoodies in all your latest videos?”

She was pushing it now. He was racking his brain for a good come-back because there had to be something he could throw back at her.

“’Cause I feel like I’ve been neglecting my hoodies.”

Nice, a very Lance-like answer. 

“Did Keith tell you you look good in hoodies?”

But apparently not good enough.

Oh, no.

Fuck. Shit. Crap. Lance needed more curse words as his face was slowly turning red and even though there was a good ten feet between them, he knew that Pidge would notice it, so he quickly turned around and pretended to be going through some more clothes.

“No, what makes you say that?”

“Oh, my god, he did! Lance, you’re such a— No, stay away— Laaaance!”


Altea smelled like cupcakes and coffee and Lance was here for it. He was sitting in a corner with his laptop, earphones plugged in, reading glasses perched on the bridge of his nose, sipping his latté and peacefully editing the video he and Pidge had recorded the other day. And yeah, browsing Keith’s channel for an upbeat song he might have missed. Lance was scrolling through his videos, unable to not notice the massive growth in views, which still made him smile, and writing down some titles.

Keith now had a whooping 104,036 subscribers, but still wouldn’t tell Lance what he was planning on doing.

LanceMcClain: so about that 100k special

KeithKogane: lance

LanceMcClain: :(

KeithKogane: you’ll see on the 31st

LanceMcClain: fiiiiine but we should totally celebrate!

KeithKogane: celebrate how?

Huh. Usually Lance could come up with something but he still had to get to know Keith better to know what kind of stuff he’d like. It wasn’t like he could take him out to the arcade or something, so he’d have to get creative.

Movie night on Rabbit maybe? Lance instantly flushed at the thought because, ah, that almost sounded like a date, so maybe not.

LanceMcClain: i’ll think of something

LanceMcClain: unless you have something in mind??

KeithKogane: nothing in particular. didn't think I’d ever get this far tbh

LanceMcClain: what? but you’re so good!

Lance was in the middle of smiling goofily when Allura approached his table with a steaming cup of hot chocolate and a sandwich and sat across him. “Hey, I’m on my break. Mind if I join you?”

“Not at all, hold on,” Lance grinned as he closed and moved his laptop so they’d have some more room. “You doing okay?”

It was quite busy because of the holidays, but it looked like rush hour was over. Poor Allura had to work during the busiest hour of the day and she looked really tired. A few stray hairs had fallen out of her neat bun, but still framed her face nicely because it was Allura who couldn’t look bad even if she tried.

“Yeah, just tired, but I can’t complain,” Allura said with a small smile and brought the cup to her lips to take a small sip. “You?”

“Going through a bit of a turmoil right now because I keep running out of ideas. Pidge was a great help, though, and she even filmed a video with me.”

“I was actually wondering,” Allura started and gave him a pointed yet genuine look. “why don’t you do more singing videos?”

Lance nearly choked on his coffee and started coughing violently because wow, okay, the memories of his old YouTube days where he would record himself singing covers of his favorite songs came flooding back and he couldn’t put a stop on it. Those videos had been up back in the beginning of his YouTube career, but he’d deleted them a long time ago because he felt too vulnerable to keep them public. Only the fans and subscribers that had been subscribed for longer than two years knew about his passion for singing and there were the occasional requests from those long-term fans.

He couldn’t even remember what he was thinking when he uploaded those videos. They were bad quality because he didn’t have money for a decent camera back then, no studio lights, no good set-up, hell, he did them all in one take because he felt that confident at that time (and didn’t know how to edit yet, but details, details). Now he knew that he was average, maybe slightly above average, when it came to singing and that was it. There was nothing particularly special about his voice or range, so it—

“It doesn’t fit my channel. I do lifestyle and SFX make-up,” Lance said after clearing his throat and wiping away the tears. “Also, I’m out of practice. Bet my technique is way off now.”

“You can pick it up again,” Allura countered easily, her eyes twinkling with interest. “I always loved listening to you sing under the shower and when you made breakfast. You have a lovely voice, Lance, and I’m sure that your fans would go crazy if you’d make a singing video.”

Yeah, that made him really flustered. It didn’t help that his phone was buzzing with new messages from Keith, which made him even more nervous. Allura used to be over all the time when they’d been dating and Lance still had a vocal coach back then, but he started to get busier with YouTube and didn’t have the motivation to continue singing because he thought he’d never do anything with it.

Singing was merely a hobby after all. It was something he’d love to do on the side, but being a YouTuber meant that he had to pump out regular content and he was doing a pretty good job at that, and it kept him occupied most of the time, so there was simply not enough time in one week to keep up with the singing.  

Maybe Allura was right in that he could add it to his content. Maybe he could do a couple of covers every now and then, or do a livestream of him playing random songs on his dusting guitar.

“Isn’t Keith a musician? You could ask him for advice on how to start doing covers and such.”

What.

No. No. Back up, Allura. That was not an option here.

A bunch of very stupid and very gay scenarios started playing in his head in which he was sitting with a handsome stranger, teaching him how to play the piano, or a faceless guy helping him with his posture while singing, and of course, kissing behind the mic because that was not cliché or anything.

“Allura—” Lance tried but his voice was so high pitched that he shut up right away, not wanting to embarrass himself any more than he’d already done by opening his damn mouth.

“Can’t hurt to ask.”

“Please stop talking.”

He didn’t miss her grin as she did what he asked and started eating her sandwich, leaving Lance with his inner crisis.


Her words haunted him. Maybe stalked was a better way to describe it because they wouldn’t fucking leave him alone. The thought of picking up on singing again was a very exciting thought, but as soon as he went there, her words came crashing into him like a wave. If he wasn’t thinking about singing, they’d swirl around in his head anyway, taunting him into sending Keith a simple message.

Something innocent. Something totally casual. Like, “Hey, so how do you go about recording covers? Do you have a producer? What programs do you use?”

It seemed a lot easier than asking where Keith lived, ‘cause he still didn’t know. That was very close-friends-type of information that he had yet to unlock. Maybe after a few more months. Or weeks.

The moment had to be right and it was pressuring him immensely. It wasn’t like he had to know where Keith lived or something. It was for practical reasons. That practical reason being that Lance wanted to know how long he’d have to fly or drive to meet up. If they were ever going to, that is. It wasn’t like their friendship was bound to continue to bloom (Lance had hopes though) and that they would do one of those corny meet-ups people post on their Instagram in which they meet their internet friend for the very first time. And run up to each other. And hug each other real tightly until one of them would fall over in the grass and they would roll around, giggling like a bunch of losers.

Anyway.

It was New Year’s Eve and Lance had plans.

Allura, Pidge, Matt and his girlfriend were coming over to celebrate and he and Hunk were currently emptying bags of Doritos into large bowls.

Lance had a social life to worry about.

And wait for Keith to upload that 100K special, but that was totally not the reason why he was being so antsy and had nearly dropped the last bag of chips. His phone was on the counter, taunting him by staying quiet even though it was almost 7:00 pm. Keith had told him he’d be at work and that he had scheduled the video to be uploaded sometime later tonight, which was not okay.

It was so not okay to leave Lance in the dark like that.

He’d also scheduled his video because he knew he’d forget about it as soon as everyone got there, but still.

“Dude,” Hunk broke the tense silence and eyed him worriedly. “Lance, seriously, you’ve been staring at your phone for, like, a minute straight and it’s freaking me out. Is it about Keith? 'Cause if it is, please get over it.”

Lance gasped, offended. “I can’t believe you told me to just “get over it,” Hunk. Also, it is not about Keith.”

“Right.”

“It’s about a video of his. Totally different.”

“And I repeat, get over it.

There was an attempt to throw an empty bag at Hunk’s face but it was so light that it kind of just, floated for a second before it fell to the ground and Lance had enough pride to walk away with a dramatic huff, ignoring his friend’s laughter. He had to go back, though, because he’d forgotten to take the bowls and place them on the table right next to the couch, which made Hunk laugh even harder.

The doorbell rang a few minutes later and Lance gladly took the distraction. It didn’t take long for everyone to settle on the couch and surrounding chairs, laughing at each other’s memorable and funny stories of the year. Lance was already tipsy and had gone extremely giggly because Pidge and Matt were trying to one-up another with embarrassing childhood stories.

It was getting late. And Lance was snuggling someone because he was craving psychical attention, but he’d closed his eyes a while ago and forgot who he was cuddling. They smelled nice, though. It was probably Hunk. Or maybe Pidge. Nah, Pidge wasn’t very cuddly, so it was either Hunk or Allura.

Yeah, he was pretty buzzed.

The random TV show in the background was showing a clock to let everyone know that they only had about twenty minutes until midnight.

“Lance, can you go get the champagne?” Hunk called out and Lance opened his eyes to see that he had been indeed cuddling his roommate.

Nice.  

“Sure thing, buddy.” Lance got up from the couch with a small sway in his step because woops, he’d had a little too much to drink. Maybe he should drink some water and stick to apple juice instead of champagne.

The light of his phone that he had left on the counter was blinking rapidly. Multiple notifications.

Lance blinked and lazily tapped the home button, jaw dropping as he saw the notification of Keith’s new video and several new messages from him on Instagram. Most of them from two hours ago and the most recent one sent half an hour ago.

It was a good thing he wasn’t holding the bottle of champagne because it probably would’ve hit the ground. He quickly reached for the phone and opened the messages, his hazy mind clearing up right away.

KeithKogane: shiro and his bf are kinda drunk and keep kissing each other and idk what to do

KeithKogane: they nearly drank all the champagne wtf  

KeithKogane: kosmo keeps trying to join in and it’s hilarious. they're so annoyed

KeithKogane: serves them right for thirdwheeling me

KeithKogane: now he’s whining to me bc they won’t give him attention

KeithKogane: got him to go to sleep

KeithKogane: [image]  

KeithKogane: also your video’s hilarious

KeithKogane: really thought you were gonna throw up at some point lmao

KeithKogane: either pidge is really tiny or you’re really tall. couldn't tell

KeithKogane: I take it you’re celebrating with your friends rn so wanted to wish you a happy new year

Lance’s sanity had officially left his body because what the fuck, Keith was so cute. The image he sent was of Kosmo sleeping against a – once again— toned chest and this time, Lance could see Keith’s jawline and haa, that was a manly jawline, alright. So very sharp and defined and hot and Lance wanted to shove that bottle of champagne up his ass right now.

Or let Keith cut him with his jawline.

Possibly both.

“Yo, Lance! Anytime soon would be nice!” Pidge called out and Lance looked over his shoulder to see her leaning back against the couch so she was looking at him upside down. “Or is the bottle too heavy for you to carry all by yourself?”

Everyone laughed as Lance started sputtering, reaching for the bottle and holding it up above his head. “I’ll have you know that I can hold it with one hand!”

“Impressive,” Matt joked and Lance flipped him off while he grabbed both his phone and the bottle and walked back to their spot.

He quickly excused himself to his room (not suspicious at all, Lance) and started typing like an idiot.

LanceMcClain: happy new year keith!!

LanceMcClain: yea my friends are here rn so sorry for not replying earlier

LanceMcClain: your bro and his bf need to stop making out cause that’s rude and kosMO IS SO CUUUUUTE

LanceMcClain: big floof

LanceMcClain: and yeah, pidge is tiny. she's like, a smurf

LanceMcClain: gonna watch your new video now 👀

There were still ten minutes or so left. He could easily watch a three-minute video and fanboy for a few more minutes before he had to go back to the others, right?

Wrong.

He was so wrong.

Because when he tapped on the subscription notification, he was brought to a video with a whooping 40K views already and he couldn’t stop himself from smiling like an idiot at it. Because the description thanked Lance once again for promoting his music and the many that had subscribed to him in the past four weeks.

Because when he plugged in his earphones and hit play, he stopped breathing.

Because it was a video of Keith singing.

It was so low and soft. Nothing like Lance could’ve ever imagined it to be.

He literally couldn’t stop blushing and felt himself curling up like a worm, somehow trying to get away from the soft, raspy voice in his ear, but also turning up the volume at the same time. He couldn’t even focus on the lyrics, he didn’t even know if it was a cover or another original song because all he could hear was Keith’s lovely voice. And Keith harmonizing with himself, holy shit this guy was good.

Lance had decided to cover his face with his pillow so he could scream in peace. Goosebumps had appeared all over his arms and legs again because he was ridiculously attracted to Keith’s singing voice. It wasn’t just that but it was obvious that Keith was a good singer and had been well trained. He sounded so real, barely even tuned, because apparently, he didn’t need it, and Lance wanted to die.

Once he’d composed himself again, he decided to scroll through the comments a bit and saw that he was definitely not the only one who was going crazy. There were lots of people, mostly girls, gushing about the fact that Keith had uploaded a singing video and Lance didn’t know whether he had to leave a comment or not.

Last time he left a comment Keith had liked and pinned it, but that was a pretty normal comment. The best he could come up with right now was “asdifhldsjk;flasjkfhs <333” like another crazy fan.   

Which he most definitely was, but other people, including Keith, didn’t have to know that.

Someone knocked on his door and he looked up at Hunk.

“Hey, there’s only a few more minutes left. You comin’ for the countdown?”

Lance pressed his lips together, chewed on his bottom lip for a few seconds before he typed something anyway.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Lance McClain a few seconds ago

So proud of you, bud

----------------------------------------------------------------------


Turned out that Keith’s song was an original. He didn’t tell Lance much about it, but it was one of the first songs he’d written a couple of years ago. Lance couldn’t stop listening to it because not only was it a good song, but it was also something anyone could relate to.

It was about change, coming across new paths and breaking down walls. Something everyone had gone through at least some point in their lives. It was raw as fuck, it was real and moving. Lance wasn’t embarrassed to say that he’d completely fallen in love with it and didn’t hesitate to buy it on iTunes right away.

And yeah, Keith’s voice was just—

Yeah.


LanceMcClain: I just realized something 

KeithKogane: what?

LanceMcClain: I don’t have you on snapchat

LanceMcClain: such a shame

KeithKogane: well i'm KeithKogane on there too so you can just add me. i don't use it a lot though

LanceMcClain: will doooooo

Hunk’s surprise party was tomorrow and Lance tried to fit in as much chatting with Keith as possible in between recording new videos and running all over the place. He’d met Romelle already because he kept getting coffee at Altea and she was a really nice girl and totally in love with Allura, which only stung a tiny bit.

But it was for the best. Romelle seemed like a really nice girl and he saw the way Allura looked at her, which was downright adorable.

After talking to Shay for a bit he found out that she also had a crush on Hunk by the way she talked about him and got all flustered when Lance invited her over, so there was that. It did kind of suck that everyone around him was in love and/or in a relationship and he was crushing on some dude who he’d met on YouTube.

Hell, even Keith’s brother was getting some and Lance was over here, sulking in bed and eating leftover Chinese because he was feeling particularly lonely today. Pidge came over to drop off some stuff, gave him a quick hug after he started whining, but left again because she had a paper to finish. Hunk and Allura were still at work and Lance honestly wondered what he was doing with his life.

Honestly, he just wanted someone to cuddle with. Or make out with. Or have sex with.

Lance had needs, okay.

His phone buzzed.

KeithKogane: unless you’re one of those people who spams others on snapchat all the time

LanceMcClain: you know what I wasn’t gonna spam u but now I will

LanceMcClain: :)

And like a true asshole, Lance opened Snapchat, took a picture of his plate, typed a lame comment and sent it to Keith. He tapped the selfie camera, looked for a cute filter and took a few of him making silly faces, including an over-the-top duck face, and sent all of them.

KeithKogane: oh my fucking god stop

But Keith did open them and Lance chuckled to himself, completely satisfied.

He opened their Snapchat conversation and wanted to tap the gallery button to look for any other pointless pictures he could send, but—

Tapped the phone icon instead.

A bubbly tune echoed through his empty room and Lance actually fucking squealed, tapping the blaring red button to hang up.

LanceMcClain: ohMY GOD SORRY

LanceMcClain: THAT WAS AN ACCIDENT I SWEAR

LanceMcClain: I WAS GOING FOR THE GALLERY BUTTON

LanceMcClain: ADSFIJKLSDJFUDISOKFLJSD

His face was on fire and a few odd laughs came out of him because what. Why did he keep messing up like this? Why. He watched as Keith typed but not before locking his phone and burying his face in his hands for a few seconds to catch his breath.

Sure, he’d love to call Keith. Would love to listen to his raspy voice and maybe hear him chuckle, but he hadn’t even asked. He’d just accidentally, yes accidentally, called him and now Keith was probably gonna make fun of him for acting weird again. He’d already recorded himself groaning like the idiot he was and Keith had been so confused.

Keith was probably confused now, too.

Oh, god, Lance was gonna have to look at his reply.

KeithKogane: hahaha that’s okay

KeithKogane: they’re right next to each other so i get it

At least he took it well. Keith was so nice and Lance was so stupid.

He pulled his knees up to his chest, unsure whether he should… ask Keith if he wanted to call. Would that be weird? That would be weird.

But then an idea popped into his head.

LanceMcClain: hey remember that I said I wanted to celebrate your 100k?

KeithKogane: yeah?

Okay, deep breaths.

LanceMcClain: well

LanceMcClain: I mean

LanceMcClain: it's kinda silly 

LanceMcClain: and only if you want ofc

Smooth, Lance. Smooth.

KeithKogane: lance

LanceMcClain: we coldu call?

Damn typo. Not because his hands were shaking or anything.

LanceMcClain: *could lol 

LanceMcClain: I know it’s weird cause I just accidentally called you but

LanceMcClain: irony yknow

He was rambling and practically threw his phone away to stop himself, watching it bounce on his bed a little before it went still.

There, he’d done it. He’d asked Keith if he wanted to call.

And needed some coffee to get over himself. He put his dirty plate on the nightstand and got out of bed but not before grabbing his phone to make sure he hadn’t missed any messages from Keith. His screen lit up with a Snapchat notification of Keith typing and Lance made a weird noise that sounded like a dying elephant.

Keith was gonna answer. What if he said no? What if he said yes? Lance didn’t know if his heart could take it if Keith said yes. 

KeithKogane: sure

Well, there it was. He was gonna choke on his own heart because it felt like it was stuck in his throat, but it was gonna be worth it.

KeithKogane: right now?

Lance tripped over his own feet.

No, seriously. He actually fell over and nearly broke his nose because— Well, the reason was obvious.

It took some groaning and Spanish curse words for him to get back up and type a decent reply.

LanceMcClain: i mean if you want?

His knees really hurt, but that wasn’t important right now. Keith wanted to call. They were gonna call. 

KeithKogane: okay hold on

Oh, yeah, Lance was holding on. Holding on for dear fucking life as he slowly rose to his feet, went back to his bedroom, closed the door and threw himself ungracefully on the bed. He reached for his earphones and managed to plug them in after a few shaky tries.

Bzzz bzzz bzzz

Keith was calling him. This was it. Stay calm. 

Lance shut his eyes for a minimum of two seconds, breathed through his mouth and picked up.

Chapter Text

Silence.

He had to say something, he had to say something. Literally anything.

His mouth was open, but there was no sound coming out and Lance felt so incredibly betrayed by his own body for shutting down at a time like this.

“Hello?” a quiet, low and tentative voice asked, nearly sending a shiver down his spine.

Thank god Keith had broken the damn silence and Lance actually let out a stupid sigh of relief. Actually, no, it was the worst thing ever because Keith sounded so, so, he didn’t even know how to describe it. So gentle, possibly with a hint of shyness, yet confident and—

Jesus, Lance was analyzing Keith after hearing one word.

“… Hi,” was his lame attempt to greet Keith back.

A chuckle and Lance gripped the duvet to keep himself from making any embarrassing noises. “Hey. ‘s kinda weird that I’m talking to you, isn’t it?”

Weird? Weird how? Keith, what—

“Wha— Huh, what, um, what-why is it weird?”

Good one, Lance. Why was it so hard to function right now?

He got rewarded with more chuckles and Lance was somewhat grateful for not being able to speak properly at the moment. At least Keith was getting a laugh out of it and, for some reason, hadn’t made fun of him yet, which was nice.

“I dunno, because most people have to pay if they wanna talk to you. They’d have to go to conventions or meet ‘n greets and we’re, well, calling on Snapchat,” Keith explained and Lance swore that he’d never be able to get over the fact that Keith was making it sound so… special? Or maybe that was Lance just being overly mushy.

“What a lucky bastard you are,” he joked and cringed immediately afterwards, but felt like he could continue because of Keith’s hum of agreement. “Can’t let anyone else find out you get to talk to me for free.”

“Won’t tell if you won’t,” Keith shot back, a smile evident in his voice and then there was some shuffling and some other weird noises Lance couldn’t recognize. “Ah, hold on—” Scratching, shuffling and sniffing. Heey, buddy.” More freaking friggin' chuckling. “Heh, hey. Sorry, Kosmo’s here and he’s, woah! Okay, yeah, hi. He’s feelin’ particularly cuddly today, I guess. Sorry ‘bout that.”

Keith had absolutely nothing to apologize for because that was the cutest thing Lance had ever heard and his poor heart couldn’t take it. He’d buried his face in his pillow at one point and hadn’t been able to wipe the stupid grin off his face. His cheeks were gonna burst, but that was okay. Totally worth it.

“That’s okay, man,” Lance continued to grin like the idiot he was. “Huskies are needy.”

“They really are,” Keith agreed and there was some more scratching, as if someone was continuously tapping Keith’s mic and Lance could only imagine Kosmo trying to sniff Keith’s phone. “He’s— No. He’s trying to lick the— Dude, hey, I said no. Sorry, Lance, I’m— Ow! Stop scratching me, I’m giving you attention, aren’t I? C’mere.” Distant patting, a grunt and more weird noises and Kosmo let out a small whine. “Good boy.”

Okay, no, that was just not fair. Lance was having a particularly hard time to keep himself from whining along, so he decided to clear his throat a few times to feign nonchalance. If only he had a self-destruction button.

“What’s, uh, what’s going on over there?” Lance inquired oh so casually.

“To put it bluntly, he’s lying on top of me right now,” Keith responded dryly and Lance snorted, covering his mouth. “Hilarious. Let’s see how you deal with a huge dog of 50-something pounds on your chest. And— Kgh, licking your face, okay, no. Jesus, Kosmo, seriously, what is with you today?”

Lance looked up at the ceiling, questioning his existence. A greater power up there was probably enjoying every second. Was having a good ol’ time torturing Lance like this.

“Think he’s jealous you’re talking to me. Should I leave you two alone?” he brought out lamely.

“Shut up,” Keith laughed and made some more uncomfortable noises. “Hm, yeah, hi. Okay, I think I might need to go for a walk or somethin’, ‘cause I can’t really focus if he’s breathing down my neck. Literally.”

The world was so, so cruel.

“What do you mean? This has been a great conversation so far.”

“Oh yeah, definitely,” Keith played along and Lance smiled to himself, lying back down on the pillow and staring at his hands, which had finally stopped shaking. A little more shuffling and a quiet sigh, which was so cute. “Okay, there we go. I think he realized that I was about to leave, so he’s calmed down now.”

“Yeah?”

“Mhm.”

Again, silence. The only thing Lance could hear was Kosmo breathing, so he was probably real close to the mic, probably really close to Keith’s face and Lance was this close to asking for a video call just so he could see how cute those two were being, but it was better to take one step at a time. The fact that Keith had said yes to calling each other was a huge achievement in his eyes and he didn’t want to push for more.

“Hey, so I was wondering,” Lance started and played with his pillow case, pulling at the ends. “how long have you been singing?” Because you sound amazing and controlled. Shut up, Lance.  

“Oh, uh,” Keith started and Lance bit the tip of his tongue. “Dunno, probably for about five years? I did have a vocal coach who gave me some good tips. You can teach yourself how to play the guitar and shit, but you can’t really teach yourself how to sing, ‘cause you’ll mess up your vocal chords. Didn’t wanna take that risk.”

“Right.”

“He was expensive, though, so I quit after two years. Now I have to rely on the basics and hope for the best.”

Lance frowned, confused. “Huh? But your vocal control is pretty good, isn’t it?”

A pause and Lance wanted to bang his head against the wall because he’d obviously gone overboard, but Keith spoke up, “You think so? It’s not like I recorded that song in one take, y’know.”

Duh, but still,” Lance argued and huffed. “You’re like, really good.”

“Well.” Lance’s heart did a little leap because Keith’s voice had grown softer all of a sudden. “You’re not too bad yourself.”

Woah, woah, woah. Hold the flipping, flying, flickering fuck up. Lance couldn’t contain himself any longer and actually screeched, not even realizing that he’d just made a bird-like noise in Keith’s presence. His brain was going through every single conversation he’d had with Keith, but it was seriously not possible that Keith had ever heard him sing because this was the first time they’d ever called and heard each other’s voice, like, directly, so what even—

Oh.

Lance’s earlier videos.

But those videos were over three years old. Keith had only been subscribed to him for a little over two years, so it was… weird. Had Keith been watching him way before he even subscribed? Lance’s face was steadily growing warmer, his palms becoming clammy and dread pooling in his stomach.

“When, uh, when’d you ever hear me sing, buddy?” Lance faked a laugh. He had to make sure he wasn’t going crazy.

“You used to do covers a couple of years ago. You removed those videos, but—”

“Oh, no,” Lance drawled and curled up into a fetal position, unable to process the fact that Keith had heard him sing.

Keith, someone who’d been doing music for years had heard Lance, a silly hobbyist, sing. Had seen the bad quality videos of teenage Lance who thought he was a good enough singer to put it on YouTube. This was really embarrassing, holy shit.

“What? What’s so bad about that?”

Keith,” Lance whined and groaned, rolling over to his back. “Those videos were so horrible. Why do you think I deleted them? Ugh.”

“Okay, you’ve lost me. I figured the reason why you deleted them was because your channel changed directions. I mean, yeah, singing is a private thing, but you wouldn’t have uploaded them if you thought you were horrible, right?” Keith was either trying to comfort him or trying to be logical about this, Lance couldn’t really figure it out, but appreciated it nonetheless. “Unless you really thought you couldn’t sing, which I don’t think is true. I thought they were pretty good.”

Another compliment. Lance wasn’t really used to receiving compliments from people other than strangers on the internet, so he grew quiet for a bit because he didn’t know how to respond to that. Especially because Keith was the one doing it.

“Lance?”

“Still here,” Lance mumbled incoherently, voice muffled by his pillow. “Sorry, not used to compliments. I’m weird.”

“Yeah, you are.”

“Hey!”

“Your words, not mine,” and Lance could fucking hear the smirk in Keith’s voice oh no, another shiver ran down his spine because ha, that was hot. This was not healthy. Every time Lance thought he was used to hearing Keith’s voice, he had to go and take him by surprise, that asshole. “You’re giving me so much blackmail material here. I didn’t know you could get this flustered.”

“Woah, dude,” Lance breathed and sat up, as if that was gonna change anything. “First of all, rude. Second of all, you’re an ass. We never should’ve called.

He didn’t have a good comeback. He really needed one because now Keith was just being a dick and speaking of which, Lance was so not getting turned on right now. This was bad, so, so, so bad.

“You suggested it.”

Breathe, Lance, breathe. Get over it and take control.

“Oh, yeah? Well, I have blackmail material, too!”

“… You do?” Keith sounded utterly confused and for good reason because Lance had no idea why he’d said that and only had two seconds to come up with something, oh shit.

“You have a glove fetish!”

Death was right around the corner, wasn’t it. Please, something, anything, kill him.

It was silent for a few heartbeats before…

Before Keith laughed.

And not just a quiet, breathy giggle, no, it was full-blown laughter. Pure, belly laughter. And Lance was very grateful that it was so loud because he actually gasped and covered his face, feeling it burn beneath his fingers. He couldn’t do this. He couldn’t get over this stupid crush, couldn’t get over the way Keith sounded so adorable when he laughed and most of all, couldn’t get over the fact that he had been the one to make him laugh.

A true blessing.

After Keith had calmed down, he panted, “Dude, I think you’re the one with a glove fetish, ‘cause you keep bringing it up.”

Maybe he did, but that would be Keith’s fault. More blood was rushing south and Lance wanted to flirt so bad because he was, like, 82% sure that Keith had been flirting with him. And if he wasn’t, then it couldn’t hurt, right? He’d flirt with Hunk sometimes, in a totally platonic way, of course. Lance flirted with a lot of people and it wasn’t like he’d be proposing to Keith, or something like that, so…

So, yeah, he was gonna flirt. One little flirty comment. Just to test the waters for a bit. Just to see how Keith would react to his flirting. Just for shits ‘n giggles.

“Didn’t know you were so interested in my kinky side, Keith.”

Well. Go big or go home.

Keith made a really weird noise on the other end, which almost sounded like he was choking.

Which meant score. Sweet, sweet control.

Lance! Wha- You were the one who mentioned it!”

You’re the one who wears gloves all the time. Leather ones, if I might add. It’s okay, bud, I’m not a prude.”

“Do you seriously think I’m into BDSM?”

“I mean, are you?”

This was very dangerous territory. Lance wasn’t sure whether he wanted to hear the answer and he also wasn’t exactly sure why he was finally able to talk like a normal person. Maybe because they were talking about sex, which was just peachy. Or maybe because he’d managed to turn the tables and make Keith flustered for once, ha, take that.

Or maybe because he’d finally allowed himself to flirt with Keith for once and hadn’t made it weird. At least not yet.

The sound of a door opening and closing reached his ears and Lance’s eyes widened. He got out of bed and pressed his ear against his door, but he didn’t hear anything. That meant—

Shit,” Keith whispered and Lance entire body shivered because he was still wearing earphones and it was as if Keith had been right next to him. “I think Shiro’s here. Hold on for a sec.”

“Oh, no, mister,” Lance called out. “You didn’t answer my question!”

He wasn’t sure if Keith was ignoring him or if he truly hadn’t heard what he said because he heard a lot of shuffling, the little patpat of dog paws against a hardwood floor and two distinct voices. Had Keith forgotten to hang up?

More shuffling and Lance winced, lowering the volume.

Denwa kaketa?” a voice, presumably Shiro, said.

Wait. What language was that?

Un, Lance ni. Warii, mada aitsu to hanashitete, chotto sotoni itte kuru.

Damn, since when was Keith bilingual? The sentences came out so naturally, so he was definitely fluent. It sounded kinda hot, Lance’s overloaded brain added unnecessarily to his stupid train of thoughts. He couldn’t really place the language, though, because they were talking too fast, but it sounded a lot like Japanese.

(Lance had an anime phase)

Mada aitsu ni denwa kakite itano shiranakatta.”  Walking, more shuffling, metal clicking against metal, what.Nihongo wakarunda?

Maybe Keith would translate everything for him later, but there was still a chance he’d leave something out. Because it was Keith.

Wakaranakute, denwa kakeruno wa hajimetenanda. Soreni Adam wa?”

Jugyou ga aru to itta.

“Wakatta.” A door opened. “No, Kosmo. You stay here with Shiro.” Random language switch because apparently Keith spoke English to his dog. Wait, Keith was leaving? Was Lance supposed to hang up? “Jaa, ima iku.

Itterashai!

Anta wa Kaa-san janaizo!” Laughter, a door closing, more shuffling, breathing oh god, and then, “Sorry about that. Told him that I was still on the phone with you and that I was going for a walk.”

“Was that Japanese?” Lance blurted out, still flabbergasted and curious.

“Yeah. I usually talk Japanese with Shiro and my parents. ”

“Cool,” Lance breathed in response and found himself gloating ‘cause his crush was bilingual. Nice. “I’m bilingual, too! Ha, geddit, bi-lingual.”

A dramatic pause in which Keith was probably reevaluating his life choices before, “I hate you.

Lance was too busy laughing at both his own lame pun and the fact that Keith was annoyed because of it. “Oh, come on! It was right there!”

“I’m hanging up.”

Noooo, Keith! Buddy, my man, amigo, don’t leave me,” Lance continued to laugh and didn’t miss the snicker from Keith. “So, anyway, about your BDSM thing—”

“Lance, I swear to fucking god.”


The surprise party was a success. Pidge had come over in the morning after Hunk left for work to help decorate the place with as many yellow balloons they could find and left the drinks in the fridge, leaving Lance alone to do some final preparations before he had to start the car and pick everyone up. Hunk practically burst out crying when he got home and hugged everyone, even Romelle, for at least five minutes. When it was Shay’s turn to get hugged, he kind of stood there awkwardly, so Lance quickly guided everyone to the couch and chairs. Allura had brought a huge chocolate cake and everyone encouraged Hunk to make a wish and blow out all the candles.

After a couple of hours of getting to know Shay and Romelle, gaming and drinking, everyone grew a bit tired. Matt and Casey got there as well and within no time, all the (semi) couples were sitting next to each other and Lance couldn’t stop himself from feeling a tad bit jealous.

Hunk and Shay were sitting very close to each other on the couch, laughing and, oh yes, holding hands, Matt and Casey were, like, two seconds away from making out because they were practically breathing in each other’s mouths, and Allura and Romelle were the only ones who were acting decent— Never mind, Romelle started whispering in Allura’s ear and Allura couldn’t stop giggling.

“I know I’ve said it before,” Pidge, who was leaning against Lance because she was tipsy and tired. “but if I ever start acting like them,” she waved a hand in the couples’ direction. “feel free to hit me. This is just ridiculous.”

“They’re happy,” Lance sighed and laid his head on top of hers, also buzzed. “but PDA, dude. Pee-dee-fuckin’-A.”

“As if you wouldn’t be all over Keith if he were here.”

Lance nearly choked on air or something and pulled back, giving her an offended look. “I would not!”

“Oh, please,” Pidge snorted and elbowed him in the ribs. “You wouldn’t shut up about that call you guys had yesterday. I mean, congrats, ‘cause you talked to him for like three hours, which is definitely a good thing. Plus you guys text, like, every day. I dunno if he’s gay or whatever, but it wouldn’t surprise me if he likes you, too.”

“I—” Lance could burst into flames any second. His brain kept replying Pidge’s last sentence over and over again, because Pidge was smart and wouldn’t just say something for the hell of it. She wouldn’t give him false hope, right? “Youthinkhelikesme?”

“I said it wouldn’t surprise me if he does,” she corrected him and reached for a cracker, giving him a pointed look over the rim of her glasses. “Look, it’s obvious that he likes you as a person, otherwise he wouldn’t still be talking to you, right? I’m not saying that you should get your hopes up, because, how long’ve you known each other? A month?”

“Something like that,” Lance mumbled and grabbed his beer bottle because more alcohol, yes please.

Pidge held up a hand, palm up in a there-you-go gesture. “Exactly, not that long, so just keep talking to him and we’ll see what happens.” She ate the rest of her cracker, hopped off the couch and beckoned him to follow her. “Seeing as the couples aren’t gonna stop ogling each other for the next fifty years, I say we play some Mario Party.”


“Thanks so much for watching! If you liked the music that I used in this video, please make sure to check out Keith’s channel– his links will be in the description down below and if you enjoyed my lovely personality and wanna see more of,” a wild hand gesture. “this, then subscribe to my channel to become a fellow McDreamer. Buh-bye!”

Lance sat up to reach for the red button of his camera and plopped back down on his chair with a small sigh because he’d just filmed for three hours straight.

This was supposed to be a hilarious and care-free “Embarrassing Childhood Stories” video, but Lance had been unable to stop staring at his dusty guitar in the corner of his room, distracting himself every few minutes and causing him to mess up. He could already hear his future self cursing him right now because that poor guy was gonna have to edit this.

So sorry, Future Lance.

The guitar he hadn’t touched in two years was sitting there in its stand so very innocently, but Lance could practically feel its magnetic pull, trying to lure him in. His hands were itching to play, but he knew that if he picked up his guitar now, he’d be sitting here for another three hours and he couldn’t afford that right now. It was his turn to do grocery shopping and he was on bathroom cleaning duty on top of that, so his guitar would have to wait for just a bit longer.

He’d also have to tune it first, ugh. Poor neglected thing. 

After Lance had plugged the camera into his laptop, he grabbed his phone and opened his conversation with Keith.  

LanceMcClain: keith

It only took a few minutes for Keith to reply and Lance was definitely not giddy about that, or anything.

KeithKogane: yeah?

LanceMcClain: I think I wanna start singing again

KeithKogane: really?

KeithKogane: that’s great lance! 

Not giddy.

LanceMcClain: yeah! and uh I was hopin you could

LanceMcClain: yknow

LanceMcClain: help me out a bit?

KeithKogane: sure, what do you need to know?

LanceMcClain: how to sing

KeithKogane: lance you know how to sing wtf

LanceMcClain: nooo I don’t! I’m so rustyyyy

LanceMcClain: It starts to hurt after like three songs

KeithKogane: that’s not good

KeithKogane: do you know why it hurts?

LanceMcClain: nope

KeithKogane: okay, let’s go through your routine then

KeithKogane: what kind of warm ups do you do?

LanceMcClain: uh

KeithKogane: lance

KeithKogane: please tell me you do warm ups before you start singing

LanceMcClain: keeeeith

KeithKogane: dude you gotta warm up your voice otherwise you’re just gonna strain it

KeithKogane: it’s like exercise. you don’t go running without stretching your legs first right?

Lance made a mental note that Keith was probably a jogger. And worked out. Ha.

KeithKogane: same goes for your voice. there’s really simple ones you can do with a piano

LanceMcClain: don’t have a piano :(

KeithKogane: pretty sure there’s websites for that. just do some scales based on your natural vocal range. shouldn’t take you longer than fifteen minutes or so. or an hour if you wanna reach those high notes i guess

LanceMcClain: but how can I make sure I’m doing it right?

KeithKogane: it’s called getting a vocal coach ffs

LanceMcClain: UUGHHHHH can’t you be my vocal coach?

Um. Oops. But Keith didn’t seem to mind.

KeithKogane: lmao how are we gonna do that? I gotta make sure your form’s good and everything

KeithKogane: it’s not like I can teleport to your place

LanceMcClain: I mean. video calling is a thing?

Lance, seriously, back up. He’d literally just called Keith, which was a huge step and now he was already pushing for a video call of all things. One of the things he'd told himself not to do. Yeah, Keith was down to call, probably because he’d already uploaded a singing video on YouTube, so his voice was not necessarily a private thing, but showing his face obviously was.

His heart fluttered anxiously and his brain was yelling at him for being an idiot as he waited for the dreaded response.  

KeithKogane: yeah but that’d be like following tutorials on youtube. i'll be limited during a video call because i’m not psychically there to correct your posture. i can give you a couple of pointers but that’s it

Was… was that a rejection to the video call? Or was Lance reading too much into this?

LanceMcClain: dude I used to have a vocal coach. I do have the basics and everything

KeithKogane: I had classical vocal training though, so that’s probably completely different than what you had

Woah, woah. Classical?

LanceMcClain: … you sing opera?

KeithKogane: dude no

KeithKogane: just because my voice was trained for classical purposes, does not mean that I sing opera

LanceMcClain: but

LanceMcClain: did you?

KeithKogane: lance

LanceMcClain: COME OOONN I WANNA KNOOOWWW

LanceMcClain: for science

KeithKogane: fine. yeah, i used to cause my vocal coach gave me those parts for practice

KeithKogane: i was allowed to bring my own stuff after I got the basics down

LanceMcClain: coooool

LanceMcClain: that explains why your vocal control is crazy

KeithKogane: anyway

KeithKogane: why don’t you just go back to the vocal coach you had a couple of years ago?

LanceMcClain: I really don’t have time for that anymore. i’m always busy trying to come up with new ideas for videos, keeping up with my other social media platforms, maintaining a social life, filming, editing, exercising…  

Talking to you, he nearly added, but didn’t.

KeithKogane: you could hire people to take care of your social media?

LanceMcClain: nah. they don’t have my type of charm. my followers might notice

KeithKogane: hahaha true

The fact that Keith had somehow indirectly agreed with him on that would keep him happy for the rest of his dutiful day. Which reminded him of the fact that he’d been talking to Keith for the past twenty minutes while he needed to get shit done.  

LanceMcClain: but hey gotta go

LanceMcClain: am on cleaning duty wish me luck

KeithKogane: dude I’m literally always on cleaning duty. Kosmo sheds like crazy

KeithKogane: you’ll live

LanceMcClain: BUT I GOTTA CLEAN THE BATHROOM

KeithKogane: I always have to clean the bathroom cause I live by myself

KeithKogane: stop whining

LanceMcClain: oh mygod youre mean go away

KeithKogane: お前はうるせぇな

LanceMcClain: I have google translate you know  

But before Lance could copy it, Keith deleted the message.

LanceMcClain: JHLADSKFLDS;FJKSDA L K EEEEE I T H

LanceMcClain: YOU DICK  

LanceMcClain: SEND IT AGAIN

LanceMcClain: OR TELL ME WHAT IT SAID

LanceMcClain: PICK ONE

Keith liked his last five messages.  

Oh no.

No fucking way.

And went offline. Back to square one.  

LanceMcClain: KEEEEEEEEEEEEEITH

LanceMcClain: COME BACK AND FACE ME LIKE A MAN

LanceMcClain: COWAAAARD  

Wait, Lance knew how to solve this. He opened Snapchat and hit the phone button again. It barely rang before Keith picked up.

“What,” he deadpanned.

“What’d it say,” Lance deadpanned back.

“You’ll never know.”

“Two can play at that game, you know. Or did you forget that I speak Spanish?”

“You gonna insult me in Spanish?”

Aha!” Lance held up a finger for no one to see. “So it was an insult! You just sold yourself out.”

“Didn’t say that. I just assumed you’d insult me because you probably think I insulted you.”

Lance opened his mouth to retort, a weird, incomprehensible noise came out and he shut it again, unable to come with a witty response. Instead he went with, “Fuck you.”

“I believe that was English.”

This time a loud screeching noise escaped Lance's lips and Keith guffawed and Lance instantly lost every ounce of whatever he was feeling, completely shocked. Then, his dry lips curled up into the biggest and dumbest grin as he listened to Keith's cute and boyish laugh. 


Lance couldn’t keep track of things anymore. It had come to the point where he’d never leave his phone. He’d given addiction a new name. Yes, it had been bad before, but he’d taken it to the next level by grabbing every chance he got to talk to Keith or stalk him on social media to make sure he hadn’t missed a single post. Didn’t matter if he was filming, in the shower, talking to someone else or even jogging.

And that was bad. Very bad.

Days went by in a flash, he had to stay up late to edit his videos and squeeze in time for his friends who commented on him being on his phone all the time. Lance would feel guilty but knew that Keith never minded when he was hanging out with his friends or busy with something else, and therefore leave the conversation all of sudden.

Hell, Keith was usually busy himself, but there were days where he didn’t have to go to work and would talk to Lance for a couple of hours straight. He was also working on a new album and would sometimes send him small ten second snaps of him playing something he’d written that day and Lance couldn’t feel more honored.

And the more Keith showed him, the more Lance felt drawn to his own guitar. He’d tuned it and tried to play a few chords, but got sore fingertips after just a few minutes. Keith told him to take small steps and try to play a little bit longer everyday, which did motivate Lance to keep going.

KeithKogane: have you written any original songs?

Lance looked down at the guitar on his lap and up at a cabinet under his desk. A small notebook was in there somewhere in which he’d written a couple of his own songs back in the day, but they were nothing special. They were extremely simple and Lance knew that he wouldn’t even remember their melodies if he tried.

LanceMcClain: yeah but meh

KeithKogane: meh what?

LanceMcClain: MEH

KeithKogane: I’m sure they’re not bad

LanceMcClain: they are dude

LanceMcClain: I’ll write new ones one day

KeithKogane: yeah?

LanceMcClain: yea

The conversation was dying. Something Lance wasn’t used to anymore, but it really was his fault for acting all mopey, so he changed the subject.

LanceMcClain: you gonna do something special when u hit 200k?

KeithKogane: what  

KeithKogane: wait, I’m nearly at 200k??

Keith went offline for a bit, leaving Lance with a burning feeling in the pit of his stomach because yes, he was stupid and knew that Keith’s subscriber count was somewhere around 180,000 now.

Yeah, his channel was blowing up.

KeithKogane: jesus christ

KeithKogane: I turned off my notifications a long time ago cause they were driving me crazy

KeithKogane: lance wtf hold on

Oh, Lance was holding on. Holding on to every little shred of sanity he had left.

KeithKogane: lance holy shit

KeithKogane: I finally have enough money to buy a new keyboard

His heart melted along with his entire body, oh no that was too cute.

LanceMcClain: that’s great!!! go buy one!

KeithKogane: I’ve been trying to save up for this thing for so fuckin long. my old one is dying and a gigantic pain in the fucking ass to work with on its bad days

A thing Lance had noticed was that Keith started swearing a lot more when he was excited and it was something Lance found cute instead of vulgar. Because it was Keith. 

KeithKogane: shiro kept trying to give me money but I never took it cause it wasn’t mine yknow

KeithKogane: he’s already done so much for me

KeithKogane: he said he’d get it for my birthday or something but I said I’d punch him if he did

Huh. Lance wouldn’t mind if Keith punched him in the face.

LanceMcClain: I’m so happy for youuuu!

KeithKogane: I owe it to you lance

In fact, getting punched in the face would be great right now.

LanceMcClain: nah man. you owe it to yourself. I just gave a small push in the right direction

KeithKogane: pretty big fucking push

LanceMcClain: <3

Because Lance was running out of words. And breath. And he wasn’t even moving, wow. He didn’t even mind Keith liking his message and going offline. He didn’t mind at all.

He plucked at his guitar string absently as he stared at the second drawer of his cabinet through blurry eyes, an odd mix of nostalgia and dread washing over him.

Chapter Text

Lance was supposed to be editing, but he was lying face down on his bed, pillow under his chin as he watched Keith’s new video on his laptop.  

"(LIVE) Trying Requests On New Keyboard | 250K Special"

Yes, his subscriber count was going up so fast that the 200K special had turned into a 250K one. Keith had gotten his new Kawai keyboard and snapped the entire thing to Lance, which practically made Lance’s day because Keith explained every little setting with so much joy in his voice.

He’d press a button and play a tiny melody on the piano keys to demonstrate, “This is what strings sound like—it also has an organ setting for when you’re too lazy to psychically go to church— a playback button— No, Kosmo, don’t touch that—”

After, like, twenty snaps he’d told Lance he’d go live that night for his special and there Lance was, wondering if he should troll.

Because he felt like fucking around. Because he was an asshole.

Keith had placed his webcam just right. The angle allowed the viewer to watch a small portion of Keith’s nice torso, a glimpse of his sharp-ass jawline, a few strands of dark, black-looking hair and (un)fortunately, his toned arms. Man, Lance was having very wrong and dirty thoughts and was gonna need a long and cold shower because Keith’s arms were not overly toned, no, just the right amount that said, “Hi, I probably work out a couple of times a week and have a healthy diet” and he was living for it.

And Keith was of course, wearing his stupid fingerless gloves because why not. Lance was forever in awe about the fact that Keith was able to play flawlessly while wearing those leather things, especially live.

On top of that, a couple of hundred people were currently flooding the live chat with requests and Lance was lowkey getting anxiety over the amount of songs that Keith was supposed to play. Lance was lurking like the little creep he was, observing the way some people were talking about him and how he had invented Keith or something and Lance was kind of glad Keith was not reading the comments right at that moment.

Kosmo had already come in a few times, brushing past Keith’s legs and Lance definitely didn’t miss the small huffs of laughter and Keith going out of the frame to gently push the huge dog away.

Anyway. Back to the trolling.

There was a small chance that it wouldn’t work, but he’d love to give it a shot. He had his phone next to him and was this close to calling Keith on Snapchat. Of course he had no idea whether Keith had put his phone on silent or if it was anywhere near him, so it was far from foolproof. Still, Lance was feeling particularly mean today, but not mean enough to call him in the middle of a song, so he waited for Keith to finish and turn back to his laptop.

“Okay, that was JT’s Mirrors for Kate M and let’s see what the next one’s gonna be…”

Lance hit the call button. Obviously there was a small delay, so he waited patiently and… his jaw dropped.

The familiar tune of the Snapchat phone call rang loudly through the small room and Lance was leaning back in dramatic shock as he saw Keith’s body tense.

“So sorry, that’s my phone. Gimme a sec to turn it off.” He disappeared out of the frame and Lance burst out laughing, covering his mouth because he couldn’t believe that Keith had been so stupid to leave his phone on during a live video. Poor thing. “Oh, hey, it’s Lance.”

Wait. No way.

And now the chat was going batshit crazy.

californiadreaming lance???? as in lance mcclain???
nani
SDFDGSHJS LANCE ILU
FrenchFry lance has entered the chat
Greg V
wow wtf is going on
GirlsRule
EEEEEEEEE PICKUPPICKUPPICKUP
pancakesloveme
bet theyre fucking lmao
TSlover what is happening what is happpingggg
Cloud9 LANCE IF UR WATCHING I LOVE YOU
sweetenedtea guys this means lance is watching holyshit
shooketh awwwww you should pick up!
ur mom OMG OMG I’M SUCH A HUGE FAN OF LANCEY LANCE PLS PICK UP
anime5evar is this for real what the frigg hsadfsd

Okay, he hadn’t thought this through. He thought Keith would reject his call and put his phone on silent, but his legs came back into the frame, holding his phone in one hand. “I guess Lance wanted to be in my live, so it’s only fair if I pick up, right?”

Acelticdream YES YOU SHOULD
GirlsRule AAAHHHHH YEEEESS
lotrownsme i can’t believe lance is calling lmao did they plan this
Lauren T ahhh yes please pick up! i love you both!!
90skid PICK UP ALREADYYYY

Lance couldn’t hang up now, so he kept calling like a man and watched as Keith sat down and tapped his phone. The ringing stopped and the two colored bubbles appeared in the chat, indicating that the call had started.

“Lance?” Live Keith said, smirk evident, and it echoed through his phone. “You’re on speaker.”

The chat was still flooded with comments about Lance suddenly appearing out of nowhere and he didn’t know whether he should feel guilty for stealing the show or flattered because people were getting so excited. Everyone was focused on him right now and shit, he had to say something.

“Yo, Keith. My man,” he said awkwardly and yeah, heard it back in the live video after a second or two. “How’re you?”

Keith laughed softly and shifted a little closer to the camera. “Good. Am kinda in the middle of somethin’, though. Can I call you back later?”

“Woops. Sorry for interrupting, dude.”

“You do know you’re in my live now, right?” Oh, how naive he had been. Keith leaned over, exposing his flippin’ collarbones, to read all the comments while he held the phone with the screen up. “’Cause I saw you entering the chat an hour ago.” Another barely concealed laugh. “Idiot.”

Ionlyswimfree who else ships them???
wannabe musician omg it’s happening guys it’s happening
psycho keith’s exposing lance’s ass i think i'm in love
GirlsRule LAAAANCEEEE
fieldofdaisies *grabs popcorn*
thebestusernameever wait wasn’t lance the one who promoted keith’s channel? are they together??
avoidingmyresponsibilities y’all so thirsty for the gay smh
im hungry pls collab w lance
Sophie D i cant breathe rn
yandere nightmare y’ALL SHOULD DO A COLLAB
trashcan I think they would break the internet if they did a collab lol
shooketh omg yes do a collab!! @lancemcclain
Penguin do you guys realize that we’ll finally get a face reveal from keith if they do a collab?
Lauren T lance, if you’re reading this, please please PLEASE collab with keith!!
diggingfordicks gaaaaaayyyyy

“Thought it’d be funny,” Lance continued to play along, his heart beating incredibly fast because of all the comments. “But I’ll be taking my leave, then.”

“You can stay and watch if you want.”

coffee addict theyd make a hot couple tbh
A&E please do a face reveal!!!
Queen Elizabeth
fuck I ship them
dailybull keith’s flirtingggg
sugarnspice guys ffs they’re just friends

“Will do. I’m your number one fan, Keith,” Lance joked without thinking, causing another chain reaction in the chat. “Bye. Congrats on the 250K.”

“Bye, Lance.”

It took a good thirty minutes before the hype died down, but Keith didn’t seem to mind and continued to play songs people had requested earlier. He didn’t really answer any questions regarding Lance or their relationship, except that yes, they were friends and yes, Lance was the one who promoted his channel. Any questions about doing collaborations or if they were more than friends, were left unanswered.

And Lance watched. Watched as people were saying that they’d make a cute couple and they wanted to see them do a video together. Watched as people asked for a face reveal.

He looked down at his hands, realizing that he agreed with everything they were saying.


This was like, the tenth time Lance had run into Shay in the kitchen. He’d fled back into his room the first time because he’d only been in his boxers, but after the fifth time he kind of stopped caring. So, here he was, in his star covered PJ bottoms, bedhead and stretching his arms above his head with a small groan.

It was 8:30 in the morning and Shay was hunched over the counter, dressed in one of Hunk’s shirts (probably wearing nothing but), turning on the coffee machine and looking over her shoulder, her hazel eyes sparkling happily.

“Morning, Lance,” she greeted, her voice still coated with sleep. “Want some coffee?”

“Yes, please,” Lance grinned and sat on the counter and couldn’t help but give her a quick once over because well, the shirt was long enough to reach her thighs, yes, but Lance would be lying if he said he wasn’t in love with the whole boyfriend shirt thing and that she looked good in it. “It’s like having a third roommate.”

She gave him an apologizing smile. “Sorry, does it bother you?”

“Oh, no, not at all!” Lance quickly held up his hands in a surrendering gesture. “I’d be a hypocrite if it did. When I was with Allura, she was also here every other day, so I totally get it. And I’m happy for you guys.”

The late night talks, the cuddling, the sex, he knew exactly what it was like. It was either his place or Allura’s when they’d been in a relationship, especially in the beginning when they wanted to be together all the time. And Hunk never complained about running into her in the morning, so it would be unfair of Lance to whine about it. Besides, it wasn’t like it was bothering him per se, but it did poke at his loneliness a bit, not so nicely reminding him of the fact that he didn’t have a girlfriend or boyfriend to give his shirt to.

Would his shirts fit Keith and vice versa? Now that he thought about it, he didn’t even know how tall Keith was. Hm, something he’d have to ask. For science.

Hunk came out of the bathroom, dressed in PJ bottoms like Lance and laid a hand on Shay’s waist when he leaned down to give her a kiss on the cheek. “Hey. Mornin’, Lance.” A smile for Lance before he went to the fridge, presumably to fetch some ingredients for breakfast. “What were you guys talking about?”

“About Shay possibly becoming our new roommate,” Lance smirked and took the cup of coffee Shay handed him with a nod. “’Cause she makes coffee.”

“It’s a two bedroom apartment, though,” Hunk pointed out as he carried some eggs and vegetables to the stove and dug around for a pan. “We’re not allowed a third person. Can you pass me the butter, Shay— thanks – And besides,” he turned on the stove and started chopping some onions. “I don’t think you’d wanna live with a couple. Don’t do that to yourself, man.”

Duh. Lance wasn’t gonna torture himself like that, especially since he was currently pining like a madman. “Yeah, you’re right.”

He was only half-kidding. Somewhere in the back of his mind, he found himself getting scared that Hunk was going to want to live with her at some point in their relationship and ask Lance to move out. It wasn’t like he couldn’t afford to live on his own, but Lance was an extrovert and liked having a roommate to talk to and hang out with. They’d only been dating for a month or so, but Lance could tell their relationship was going really well and, yeah, maybe he should start looking for a new place to live.

Maybe Pidge’s? Nah, she liked her space and would definitely prefer to live on her own and close to university, so she wasn’t an option. And living with Allura would be a bit too much, not to mention weird because she was also in a relationship with someone, so Lance was slowly but surely coming to the conclusion that, sadly, he was gonna have to look for a new one bedroom apartment at some point.  

Bzzz

KeithKogane: hey so i’ve been thinking about the stuff people said in my livestream

KeithKogane: do you think we should do it?

Ha. Haha. Lance casually excused himself to his bedroom, almost forgetting to bring his coffee because he was so busy trying to pick up his jaw, and leaned against the door to close it.

Do what exactly? Those people had said a lot of different things, ranging from collaborating to, well, fucking.

LanceMcClain: you gotta be more specific man

KeithKogane: collab

And there went Lance’s jaw again, pulled to the ground like an anchor. Was this real life? Had someone (Pidge) stolen Keith’s phone or something? His heart shot up to his throat, beating at an incredible speed and making him unable to think straight.

His limp legs managed to make it to his chair so that Lance could put his cup down and type with two hands.

LanceMcClain: I mean

LanceMcClain: what kind of collab did you have in mind?

KeithKogane: I think they’d want us to do something music related

KeithKogane: don’t know what exactly but

KeithKogane: maybe a cover?  

Lance eyed the notebook on his desk warily, thinking about how he had tried to play his old songs again and how rusty he had sounded. It wasn’t like he was a bad, but he had a lot of catching up to do and— Collaborating with Keith sounded amazing, but he’d be unable to keep up with his trained voice. Recording would probably take weeks instead of days and they’d have to tune him like crazy, which he didn’t like at all, so, Lance honestly didn’t know whether it was a good idea or not.

LanceMcClain: would love to but idk I’m still rusty af

LanceMcClain: I’ll need a couple of weeks to get back on track n stuff

KeithKogane: understandable. have you found a vocal coach yet?

LanceMcClain:

KeithKogane: lance

LanceMcClain: sTOP LOOKING AT ME LIKE THAT I’VE BEEN BUSY

KeithKogane: with what? you had enough time to call me DURING my livestream

LanceMcClain: in my defense

LanceMcClain: I took time out of editing to do that

KeithKogane: in that case, take time out of editing to find a vocal coach and get back into singing

LanceMcClain: keeeeeiiiithhhh

KeithKogane: srsly do you have something against getting a vocal coach?

Yes, because that vocal coach wouldn’t be Keith.

LanceMcClain: not really. I guess I’ve been postponing for no reason

LanceMcClain: anyway, speaking of that livestream, m still waiting for you to call me back

KeithKogane: was just about to walk kosmo, so I could call you right now if you want

Again, Lance hadn’t really meant it and hadn’t expected Keith to respond like that, but oh well, guess they were gonna call. Guess he was going to hear Keith’s voice again.

Then Lance’s phone started vibrating with a Snapchat call notification and he picked up right away.

“That was quick,” Lance snorted and grabbed his coffee again, glad he didn’t have to multitask anymore.

“Well, I was about ready to leave, so I’ve got my earphones plugged in and everything,” Keith replied simply and a door opened. “Come on, Kosmo.” Patpat. “Good boy. Alright, let’s go.”

Lance truly, truly hated himself right now. Hated how Keith’s low and hoarse praise shot right through his soul or something and sent blood rushing south. This wasn’t porn, this was real life, a normal phone call between two adults who were talking about— What were they talking about?

The sound of a door closing, a key being shoved into a lock and echoing footsteps made Lance honestly feel like he was spying on Keith. Like he was there because apparently the quality of Keith’s microphone was beyond amazing and Lance had a love/hate relationship with it because yes, he’d love to be there right now.

Okay, stop being creepy.

“So, about collabing,” he started lamely and cleared his throat, playing with the fabric of his pants. “did you have a particular song in mind?”

“Not really, to be honest,” Keith replied in a slightly apologetic tone. “I thought it’d be better to discuss it with you and just see how it goes from there. Unless you have something in mind?”

Yes, because Lance hadn’t been able to stop thinking about it ever since that livestream, but he wasn’t gonna say that. “Nope. I’ve never recorded a song before, so I don’t even know where to start. Well, I have, but that was with a very bad camera and all done in one take. I bet you have special editing programs and people for that.”

“I could get a producer now that I’m making more money, but I’m used to doing everything myself,” Keith explained and Lance smiled to himself, glad Keith was finally able to afford things to help his career, but that he still chose to do it himself. “And the programs that I use aren’t special. Not gonna bore you with that now, though, ‘cause we haven’t even picked a song yet, but once we do and you’ve recorded your part, you can just send me the audio file and I’ll edit the rest to save time.”

Why was that so disappointing? Right, because Lance had secretly hoped the two of them would have to meet up, go to a studio to record everything and just chill for the rest of the day. The way Keith wanted to do it was… normal. It didn’t require any unnecessary awkward meetings or real life interaction. And it was totally reasonable because they hadn’t known each other for that long and Lance still didn’t know where he lived, so this was probably the easiest way to do it.

Wind blew against Keith’s microphone and yanked Lance out of his stupid thoughts. “Cool, cool. D’you think I can use the microphone I use for my videos?”

“You should probably get a seperate mic for vocal recording,” Keith said, his voice coated with enthusiasm, and Lance covered his face, fighting the urge to smile even wider. “In all seriousness, though, I don’t want you to damage your voice, so you should really get a vocal coach.”

“Well, I’ve been practicing and doing warm ups like you said and it doesn’t really hurt anymore, so,” Lance replied meekly, staring at the door as he heard Hunk and Shay giggling like a bunch of children on the other side and tried his best to ignore them. “been trying to remember what my vocal coach taught me a couple of years ago and I’ve been getting better. Still rusty, obviously, ‘cause I haven’t practiced in years, but I’m getting there.”

He wasn’t lying. He just needed time to practice. “Just lemme know if you need some tips, yeah? Maybe we could video call like you suggested and do some exercises together.” Silence, a bark, some laughter and Lance held his breath, scared he was gonna ruin this very precious moment of Keith offering to video call. “Like we talked about the other day, remember?”

Boy, did Lance remember. Of course he remembered.

“Yeah,” he breathed. “That sounds good.”

“I’m not a qualified vocal coach, though, and like I said, it’s not perfect, but I think warming up and doing other vocal exercises together will help,” Keith added, somewhat softer and Lance unconsciously ducked his head. “And Lance.” His head shot right back up, ears perked upon hearing the slightly warning yet gentle undertone. “I’m trusting you.”

Lance’s eyes softened even though Keith couldn’t see it because he knew exactly what that meant.

“I got you, buddy.”


Doom’s day. He still had a couple of hours before Hunk came back from work, he’d put his work phone on silent and was wearing one of his most flattering hoodies for god’s sake.

And had definitely not spent a good fifteen minutes on his hair. Shut up.

Now for the other mental checklist.

Laptop: charged.

Guitar: tuned.

Earphones: plugged in.

Anxiety: through the roof.

He was logged into Skype, ready for Keith to come online. His previous icon was a stupid selfie he’d taken at the beach when he was sixteen and he’d quickly changed it to the standard LM one because he was feeling too self-conscious to make a better one now. Keith also had a standard KK one, which he thought was very fitting because he didn’t seem like the type of guy who took a lot of selfies—

Oh, god he was gonna see Keith’s face.

Live.

Keith was trusting him with his face.

He wasn’t ready.

KeithKogane: be there in a sex

What.

KeithKogane: *sec

Jesus Christ. Now he definitely wasn’t ready. He reached for one of his many pillows and placed it in his lap just in case because ha, Keith did not need to see that as soon as the camera turned on. Lance had a problem. Lance had fucking issues.

LanceMcClain: did you do that on purpose

KeithKogane: yes

LanceMcClain: SDFJKLDSFHSDKJ

KeithKogane: no i didn’t. calm down

KeithKogane: okay turning on right now  

LanceMcClain: K E I TH

KeithKogane: *it

KeithKogane: ffs sake lance i’m talking about my laptop

LanceMcClain: you are doing this on purpose istg

KeithKogane: that one was on purpose :)

A minute or so later, Skype made a happy noise that Keith was online and Lance bit his lower lip, which was covered in small wounds that couldn’t heal in peace because he hadn’t been able to leave them alone over the last few days, as he watched Keith type.

KeithKogane: ready?

LanceMcClain: yeah

Just like when Keith had called him on Snapchat for the first time, Lance had to take a deep breath through his nose and let it go through his mouth before he tapped the green button in the middle of the screen. It morphed into a…

A wall. Oh, wait, no there was a chair with a jacket draped over its back as well, placed right in front of the camera, and there was a bed behind said chair. And in the far corner Lance could make out some parts of a keyboard, but overall, the room appeared to be very empty.

Speaking of which, where the fuck was Keith.

As if on cue, Keith’s somewhat distant voice filled his ears. “I said out, buddy. You can come back in later.”

Kosmo was in the room and Lance instantly smiled.

“Let him in!” he called playfully, hoping that he was on speaker.

“Don’t encourage him!”

Ah, so he was on speaker. Cool.

Kosmo,” Lance sang and he heard a happy bark in response, along with a groan from Keith. “Come on, Keith, what’s the worst that could happen?”

“You’ll see.” The beautiful and huge –  holy shit he’d never been able to see it from this point of view — husky passed the chair and circled it for a bit until it placed its front paws on the seat, looking up at uh, Keith, probably. Two legs and a torso entered the camera’s vision and Lance’s heart leaped uncomfortably. “He’s waiting for me to sit down. And then he’s gonna sit on me and it’ll be your fault.”

“Aww,” Lance smiled, forever masking his nerves. “he loooves you.”

“Yep.” Keith leaned forward until he could gently pry Kosmo’s paws off the chair with his gloved hands, teasing Lance by showing about half his profile, which looked good. His pixelated chin and nose looked really good and Lance should’ve fucking known that Keith had a nice face.  

Because life wasn’t fair.

Kosmo probably thought they were going to play because he barked again, pawing at Keith’s (toned) arms and chest, tail waggling in excitement, pulling a (cute) chuckle from Keith. “Lemme sit, will you?”

Because the universe was shrieking with laughter right now.

Finally, Kosmo got the message and stayed, never taking his blue eyes off Keith as he… sat down, allowing Lance to… see him.

He bit his lip to keep himself from making any weird noises.

Keith was—

Gorgeous. He was handsome. He was that one popular guy in high school that’d have over 130 likes on his Facebook profile picture, that several girls in his class would have a crush on, that would only have to smile at someone in a store to get something for free and to send Lance into overdrive.

Oh, yeah, Lance was fucked. It was like his crush had gone up several levels without a proper warning, causing him to stare at the screen like a soulless puppet. He found it incredibly hard to function whenever he was in front of a good-looking person, even though if there was a screen between them, and Keith was definitely one of those. With his small yet plump lips, dark and nicely shaped eyebrows, messy yet cute bangs and cheekbones to die for.

His dark eyes were thankfully still focused on Kosmo, who was, just like he had predicted, trying to climb his legs.

Lance didn’t have time to breathe before Keith’s dark eyes shifted to the camera, practically looking right at him, his lips curled into a (deadly) lopsided grin. “Told you.”

“Uhuh,” he uttered back intelligently.

But Keith didn’t seem to notice his haziness, too busy with Kosmo climbing him like a monkey until he “oof”-ed as the giant dog dropped itself onto his lap, paws and neck draped over his shoulder and contently flapping its tail against Keith’s legs.

He raised his hands in a comical fashion, looking back at the camera, at Lance. “This want you wanted?”

Yes. Yes. Lance wanted to sit on Keith’s lap like that.

Wait, no—

“I’m sorry,” he snorted and scratched the back of his head. “You okay?”

“It happens on the daily, so you kinda get used to it,” Keith said and patted Kosmo’s back, burying his fingers into his thick coat of fur. “Can’t really sing like this, though, so you’re gonna have to do all the work.”

Funny. Hilarious. Lance raised an eyebrow, pursing his lips in mock annoyance. “’scuse me? You suck as a vocal coach.”

Keith frowned and Lance shook with silent laughter because that was too cute holy shit. “First off, I’m not your vocal coach and second, this,” he stopped stroking Kosmo’s back to gesture vaguely at his current position and got licked in the face for it, causing Lance to let out an ugly laugh. “augh, — stop laughing — is your fault, so you brought this upon yourself.”

Him being his usual dry self helped keeping Lance grounded. His heart was still fluttering nervously in his chest, no doubt about that, but they’d been friends for a while now and Lance was slowly but surely able to join in on their useless bickering.

“You can still sing like that. Show some abs, dude.” That came out wrong. Error, error. “Okay, I didn’t mean it like that, y’know?”

A smirk and ha, Lance thought that lopsided grin was deadly. “That why you wanted to video call?”

If only a big black hole would appear out of nowhere and swallow him so he didn’t have to deal with this. Thank god for bad quality webcams because his face was beyond red. “Keith, I didn’t mean it like that.

Now Keith was the one shaking with silent laughter and went back to stroking Kosmo’s back, scratching behind his twitching ears. “For the umpteenth time, Lance, you’re just too fuckin’ easy. But if it makes you feel better, I was kinda nervous, too. Havin’ a huge cuddle bug on top of you does make it somewhat easier, though.” To emphasize his point, he patted Kosmo’s head delicately, scratching it with the tips of his bare fingers and Kosmo shoved his nose into Keith’s face in appreciation, causing him to laugh again. “Hmm, yeah. He’s spoiled.”

This was so not good for Lance’s heart. It was literally melting at the sight because Keith was smiling down at Kosmo with this indescribably gentle look and, oh no, pressed their foreheads together.

No. No.

Lance lost the battle against the rational voice in his head and cooed at his screen. “Oh, my god. Stop that, go away. It was hard enough to hear it and now I have to look at it.”  

“Sorry,” Keith chortled and adjusted Kosmo to divide his weight better. “he starts whining if I don’t give him enough attention. You don’t have any pets, do you?”

“My parents own a cat, so I dunno if that counts,” Lance replied, unable to tear his gaze away from the way Keith was leaning into Kosmo’s nuzzling. He was gonna have to cancel life because of this new piece of information of Keith being a cuddler. “She prefers my sister Veronica over me and merely uses my face as a pillow whenever she wants to take a nap. Which is a lot, so I’m glad I don’t live with her anymore.”

It pulled another laugh from Keith and he gave the camera an amused look. “She sleeps on your face?”

Lance clicked his tongue. “Yep, but I’ll take it as a compliment. Means my face is very comfortable.”

It was weird, but Keith stayed silent for a few seconds before he shook his head with a smile. “Sounds like a thing that would happen to you.” Whatever the hell that meant. He looked down at Kosmo and back at the camera. “I’d probably die if Kosmo sat on my face.”

He definitely wouldn’t die if Lance sat on his— Yo.

Chill, Lance. He unconsciously gripped the pillow in his lap, grateful his past self had been smart.

“It’d be a beautiful death,” Lance kept up his façade as he felt the heat spreading to his face. Cleared his throat. “So, those exercises. What’d you have in mind?”

This seemed to catch Keith off guard for a second because he blinked a few times and comically tried to look over his shoulder without moving too much. “Right. Uh, I was gonna play some chords and scales on my keyboard, but I guess that’s not gonna happen.” Then he raised his head a little, his eyes shifting to the door. “Oh, wait, I’ll ask Shiro’s boyfriend to watch Kosmo. ‘Cause if he stays here, he’s just gonna scratch at me.”

Great, now Lance felt guilty. “No, it’s fine—”

“Adam!”

Oh, okay. Lance pretended to be looking at his hands when he heard the door open. “What’s up?”

Wait, what was Shiro’s boyfriend doing there?

Warii, chotto iika?” Apparently Shiro’s boyfriend spoke Japanese as well. Keith looked at the person by the door for a few more seconds, nodded and then started pulling Kosmo off of him, causing the dog to whine and Lance to feel even guiltier. “Kosmo, c’mon. Down.”

After watching Keith getting up and guiding Kosmo out of the frame, he heard some more mumbling in both Japanese and English before the door closed and Keith sat back down.

Yeah, the good news was that Lance could look at Keith’s defined chest now. The bad news was that Lance could look at Keith’s defined chest now.

“I gotta learn Japanese,” he joked to distract himself and almost gasped when Keith shifted closer to the laptop and laid his arms on the desk, giving him a more detailed view of those damn collarbones and toned arms.

“Adam’s still a beginner,” Keith started and Lance frowned right away, confused. “He’s learning it because they’re gonna spend a couple of months in Japan after they get married, so he asked me to practice with him.” He blew his bangs out of his face and Lance wanted to die. “I remember having to learn Japanese. Wasn’t something I could just breeze through unfortunately, but if you’re interested, I could recommend you some books.”

Even more confused now, Lance stared at the screen and wrung his hands together. “You’re not Japanese?”

Keith pressed his lips together and gave him a somewhat wry smile. “No, I was eight when a Japanese family adopted me. My biological parents are from Texas.”

And that was probably all the personal information Lance was gonna get for now, so he didn’t pry and simply nodded in understanding. “I didn’t know. Sorry.”

“Don’t worry, ’s okay,” Keith mumbled and he looked down at the desk, fueling Lance’s nerves.

“I thought you said you lived by yourself?” he quickly changed the subject and Keith instantly brightened.

“Yeah, I do, but they hang out here all the time. Adam’s waiting for Shiro to get back from work and then they’ll probably go to their place,” he explained and Lance nodded along because Pidge came over every other day as well, so he knew what it was like.  

“Will Kosmo be okay? I feel like I interrupted your guys’ cuddle time,” Lance pouted, unable to help himself and smiled as Keith shook his head with a reassuring smile.

“He’ll be fine. But anyway,” he awkwardly looked around for a bit, making all kinds of cute faces and eventually scrunched up his nose, which was way too cute to be real. “hm, how’re we gonna do this? Maybe it’s best if I grab my laptop and…” Lance wasn’t ready for Keith to lean forward and grab his laptop, causing all kinds of weird noises to come from his earphones and for Lance to see his neck up close. Not okay, not okay, not okay. “take you to my closet.” He brought the camera up to his face and gave it a look. “Don’t even think about making that joke.”

Damn, Keith had read his mind and Lance smacked his lips, biting the tip of his tongue. “I would never.”

“You’ve made more gay jokes in the past three months than I can count.”

“And you keep calling me out.”

“Someone has to.”

Because he was so close to the camera, Lance could see several piercings in his ear and casually adjusted the pillow.  

Keith walked into his closet and set the laptop on some kind of stool, tilting the screen a bit so Lance could see yet another keyboard, which he recognized as the new one from Keith’s snaps and live stream, and sat down next to it. It was highkey adorable to watch him look at the screen with a small frown before he leaned forward again to adjust the angle until Lance could see both him and the keyboard.

“There,” he grinned when he was done and turned on the keyboard. “Okay, let’s go.”

Turned out that everything Lance had ever been taught was a lie. Like Keith had said earlier, his techniques were a lot different from Lance’s, but didn’t mind starting at the beginning. In fact, he was actually pretty good at explaining everything and used a lot of cute hand gestures, touching his neck and ribcage to show off some breathing exercises he remembered, turned this way and that way towards the camera to show his stance and yeah, Lance was drowning.

Drowning in Keith’s soft voice, his expressions and movements and just— the way he smiled and nodded every time Lance sang the little melody he’d played and encouraged him to try and reach a higher note. Lance never knew his voice could sound this smooth and that it would be surprisingly easy once he’d mastered the right technique.

And these were just warm-ups. Lance usually hated doing these types of exercises because they were so boring, but Keith managed to make them fun and exciting, possibly because it was Keith and Lance kind of died every time he demonstrated something. But also because Lance was starting to feel confident in his own abilities and didn’t feel embarrassed at all whenever he hit the wrong note. They would laugh off their (yes, Keith made them, too) mistakes and moved on right away, which Lance really appreciated.

Adam and Shiro both came in at some random point to tell Keith they were going home and brought Kosmo with them who tried to sit on Keith again. They playfully waved at the camera while Keith struggled with his huge dog in the background and Lance snickered helplessly at the sight.  

An hour flew by. And another one.

It wasn’t until Hunk came in to awkwardly ask him to quiet down that Lance realized they’d stopped doing vocal exercises and were talking about silly things they remembered from their coaches and laughing really hard. And that it was getting late.

“I should check if Kosmo hasn’t fallen asleep on the couch,” Keith muttered after Hunk left and took the laptop back to his room to drive Lance crazy one more time. “Sneaky little shit knows he’s not allowed to sleep on that thing, but he still does it a lot.”

Without even waiting for an answer, he disappeared out of the frame, leaving Lance alone with his thoughts once again.

They’d been calling for almost three hours now, it was getting dark and Lance hadn’t even realized it. His lips were stuck in a stupid smile at the thought of him and Keith losing track of time because they were having so much fun talking about nothing in particular.

It was a good sign.


Word got out about Lance “disrupting” Keith’s live stream and Lance was honestly getting worried about the amount of emails and PMs he was getting. Most of them asked whether he and Keith were in a relationship, others pleaded for a collab and some of them creepily asked if he knew what Keith looked like and if he was willing to share pictures.

The latter was a thing that was also slowly getting out of hand. More and more comments on Keith’s videos were from people asking for a face reveal, their argument being that Keith had been on YouTube for a couple of years now without ever showing his face and that he was definitely famous enough now to do so. Keith said he didn’t mind those types of comments and kept uploading regular videos, using simply drawn pictures or nature photos as usual.

Lance hadn’t mentioned the overwhelming amount of messages he was receiving to Keith because he merely replied with “We’re friends” and focused on getting better at singing instead of feeding the fire.  

He didn’t have much time for them anyway. Because he’d been glued to his phone and Keith’s social media in the past few weeks, he’d fallen behind on editing and filming and was now cutting sleep to keep up with his uploads. He didn’t even have that much time for Keith, except for their occasional (video) call to practice together so that he could be on his best for their future collaboration.

Speaking of which, his top comments were also about him and Keith doing a possible collaboration, drawing more attention to the issue.  

The pressure was growing. And it was affecting his thoughts.  

It had come to the point where Lance was tired all the time and had to permanently wear his reading glasses because his eyes were always tired.  

“Lance, dude. Do you need a break?”

Hunk placed a hand on his shoulder and Lance nearly launched himself off the couch, being too engrossed in the script of an upcoming video to notice his roommate coming home.

Jesus, don’t sneak up on me like that,” he panted, laying a hand over his racing heart and looking up at Hunk who walked around the couch and sat down next to him. “And no, it’s okay. Just gotta finish this and then I’m gonna head off to bed.”

“Lance.”

“Hm.”

“Tonight’s movie night.”

Oh. Oh yeah. Pidge and the others were coming over.

He took a deep breath through his nose and felt a lump in his throat. “Right.”

“Lance—”

“I’m gonna take a walk.”

Yeah, some fresh air would be good.

Hunk nodded sympathetically and watched as Lance took off his glasses, grabbed his keys and lazily slung his coat over his shoulders. He gave Hunk a small wave after he managed to put on a small smile and left their apartment, taking the stairs so that he had an excuse to keep moving and put his earphones in.

But as he was scrolling through his playlist, he realized that he didn’t feel like listening to music and simply made his way over the park instead. It was dark and there weren’t a lot of people for which Lance was grateful as he sat down on the nearest bench and stared at the lake like a dramatic movie character.

Listening to sad music would only encourage that thought so he was about to tuck his phone back into his pocket until it lit up with a snap from Keith.

It was a red box. Lance opened it to see a picture of a wooden bar with a few empty glasses on it and the classic black caption that read, “when u try to send a drunk person home and he threatens to kill ur first born.”

Drama. Interesting.

Lance took a quick picture of the lake in front of him, added a sparkly filter and typed, “top ten anime betrayals.”

KeithKogane: don’t meme me

LanceMcClain: :(

KeithKogane: i told him that i probably won’t have any kids cause yknow

KeithKogane: gay

LanceMcClain: why did you even try to explain that to him lol

KeithKogane: then the guy stares at me with these wide eyes and asks me "why" 

KeithKogane: and i tell him that if a guy has sex with another guy, neither of them will get pregnant because, well, fuck, guys don’t have a uterus

KeithKogane: basic biology but okay  

Lance was already shaking with helpless laughter as Keith continued to type.

KeithKogane: and then he’s even more confused and asks me how that works

Where was this going.

LanceMcClain: how WHAT works?? not having a uterus?

KeithKogane: gay sex

It was a good thing that Lance was the only person there because the sound that came out of his mouth was not human. It was one of the ugliest laughs ever and he was forever thankful that no one had heard it.

LanceMcClain: IM; SHDAFJDSAKF DSFAHKDAJKDSL

LanceMcClain: WHAT

LanceMcClain: KEITH

LanceMcClain: KE IT H

LanceMcClain: CALL ME PLEASE

LanceMcClain: P L E A SE OH MYGOD

KeithKogane: I CANT

KeithKogane: I’M STILL AT WORK IDIOT

LanceMcClain: OH MGYOD SDFJKDSAFDSJKL

LanceMcClain: YOUR BAR ATTRACTS THE WEIRDEST PEOPLE ISTG FHSDFASDJKSD

LanceMcClain: DID U GIVE HIM THE TALK™

LanceMcClain: WAIT WAIT

LanceMcClain: DID U TELL HIM TO WATCH SOME GAY PORN AND F I N D OUT

Lance was doubled over, clutching his stomach with the goofiest grin ever on his face, his anxiety completely forgotten.

KeithKogane: my boss came out to ask if there was a problem bc people were staring. the guy’s mind was blown at the thought that two guys could have sex

LanceMcClain: mindblowing sex yes

KeithKogane: LANCE

LanceMcClain: SORRY KEEP GOING

KeithKogane: dude keeps saying it’s not possible because and I quote, “but where do you put it. there aren’t any holes left”  

LanceMcClain: AFUWAEJFKDLSASJKFHSAJDKLFA;SD

LanceMcClain: kEITH

LanceMcClain: we gotta get together someday so you can tell me all about your weird ass bar experiences omg

Hello, stress, long time no see. He’d already typed the words and wanted to delete the message, but Keith was way ahead of him.  

KeithKogane: lmao sure. i can get you free drinks here

The air was completely knocked out of him. Lance seriously needed a minute to process that Keith was totally cool with the thought of them ever meeting up in real life and that was uh, yeah, Lance was cool with that, too. Or maybe Keith was merely saying that to be polite and keep the conversation going, but Lance was too exhausted and stressed to go down that road.

LanceMcClain: niiiice

Keith was typing, but he got another message.

Pidgy: hey hunk told us you don’t feel so good. let us know if you want one of us to come over there

Lance smiled and typed a quick reply to let her and everyone else know that he was gonna come back up in a minute.

He was feeling much better after all.

Chapter Text

It was finally warm enough to jog without a jacket and Lance fully took advantage of that by going for a run in the park on an early Thursday morning with a very grumpy Pidge. Hunk had been staying over at Shay’s for the past three days or so and Lance had started to feel lonely, so he quite literally dragged Pidge out of her messy ass room to go jogging.  

Because friends hung out with each other.

“No, Lance, go away! I’ve been waiting years for this game to come out!”

Because friends cared about each other.

“I hate running! Stop pulling!”

Because friends made sacrifices for each other.

Lance hadn’t been able to stop grinning at Pidge who was grumbling while stretching her legs on his go-to bridge. “Still can’t believe you wouldn’t let me game in peace. Why am I even friends with you?”

“Because you love me,” Lance sang dramatically and playfully flicked her ponytail, making her to groan even louder.

Right after he said that, a girl walked past them and eyed him a bit longer than a random stranger would and should. Lance was about to look away when she gasped, took out her earphones and brought her hands to her mouth. “Are you Lance McClain?”

Ah, a fan. He subconsciously straightened his shirt and put on his trademark smirk. “Yep.”

“Oh, my god.” She made a really weird noise that would’ve put him off if it hadn’t been for the fact that this had happened at least a hundred times ever since he became a YouTuber and reached for her phone. “I absolutely love your videos. Can I, um, take a picture with you?”

“Of course!”

Pidge wasn’t even putting effort into stifling her giggles as the girl tremblingly took a step towards Lance and handed him the phone because he had longer arms, but he didn’t mind because he was making someone happy with a simple picture.

After all, it only took a few seconds for Lance to put an arm around her, hold the phone up and tap the screen several times. He noticed that she was leaning into his touch and that her cheeks were flushed, which, again, was not nothing new per se, but, well, she was a stranger and even though Lance was a touchy person, it never really stopped being a little awkward.

“There you go,” he continued to grin and gave her back the phone. “Glad you like my videos. ‘s always nice to hear. You havin’ a good morning so far?”

She nodded and brought the phone to her chest with a happy smile. “Definitely. Thank you so much!” Her eyes drifted over to Pidge who was leaning against the bridge, absently playing with her hair. “Ooh, you’re Pidge, right? You were in one of his videos not too long ago.”

Well, that was definitely new. Pidge was also a bit surprised at that. “Uh, yeah, that’s me.”

Awkward. Damn it, Pidge.

But his fan didn’t seem fazed by her shyness and tried to make herself as small as possible as she turned back to Lance. “You guys… together?”

Oh, no.

No.

Sure, he liked the attention and didn’t mind girls coming up to him to ask for a hug, but once they started asking questions about his love life, it just—

Wasn’t cool. It was so painful.  

As he was getting ready to put on a fake smile and answer her question, Pidge burst out laughing. “Me and him? Uh, no. Lance’s great and all, but he’s more like an older brother to me. I’d never date him because I like being alone and Lance is kinda clingy. And overdramatic.”

Wow. Lance’s jaw dropped because hi, overkill. “Pidge! Rude, oh, my god.”

Girl-who-had-yet-to-introduce-herself, however, seemed rather pleased to hear this and bounced on her heels, smiling.

“So, you’re single?”

Single? Yes.

Available? No.

Because he was mentally dating Keith, thanks.

“Well, yeah, but—”

“Would you like to get a drink with me sometime?” she rambled on, her cheeks getting even redder. Then, she squeaked and tucked some hair behind her ear. “Sorry, I’m Jennifer, by the way. Totally forgot to introduce myself.”

Honestly, she was pretty. Big green eyes, short and curly hair, button nose, wearing a cute dress that showed off a nice figure and yeah, he had been so busy drooling over Keith that he’d almost forgotten about his undying love for boobs.

And yep, there they were.

Being bi was truly exhausting sometimes.

A quickie would be nice, though. It wasn’t like he was actually dating Keith, so he wouldn’t be cheating on anyone. Still, it was dangerous territory. He didn’t know this chick and for all he knew, she would be in for the long-run and he really wanted things to work between him and Keith, so he couldn’t take that risk.

“Look, you’re really cute,” he started softly and felt like a total asshole when her face fell. “but I’m not really… interested. I’m sorry.”

“Oh,” she mumbled and tucked her hair behind her ear again, nodding. “That’s okay! Thanks again for the picture. Have a nice day.”

Another painful smile before she walked on and Lance sighed through his nose as soon as she was out of earshot. “I hate this. I hate it when I have to reject them.”

“Don’t worry, I think you handled it pretty well,” Pidge comforted him and nudged him with her hip with a cheeky grin to bring a smile back onto his face. “Come on. Let’s go, loverboy.”

Poor Pidge got a bad leg cramp after a few rounds and Lance ended up having to carry her home on his back. She couldn’t even wrap her bad leg around his waist, which made her extra pouty, and Lance had to press his lips together to keep himself from laughing out loud.

Coincidentally, Hunk came home right after Lance had gently dropped Pidge on the couch.

“Hunk, you’re right on time!” she chirped and propped her leg up the pillow Lance put in front of her, giving him her dooey puppy eyes that even Lance found hard to resist.

“Leg cramp?”

“Yep.”

“On it.”

While Hunk sat down to massage Pidge’s shin, Lance pulled out his phone to check if he had any messages (from Keith).

KeithKogane: how was your jog?

Hm, Lance loved Keith’s small-talk.

LanceMcClain: pidgy got a leg cramp so i had to take her home

KeithKogane: poor her. those can be so painful

LanceMcClain: hunk’s giving her a massage now so it’s all good haha

He bit his lip as he typed out the next sentence, his heart easily picking up the pace.

LanceMcClain: what time should we meet up tomorrow?

Oh, yeah, did Lance mention that it turned out that Keith only lived two hours away? And that they were going to meet up at Keith’s bar? And that he was staying over at his place for the weekend? And that he hadn’t been able to calm down yet?

Yep. 

KeithKogane: i get off at 3am, so like i said, it’s fine if you decide to come over on saturday instead

LanceMcClain: but i wanna see the baaaar

LanceMcClain: maybe get a couple of free drinks from my favorite bartender (͡ ͡° ͜ つ ͡°)

And see Keith in his work clothes, but shh.

KeithKogane: lance

LanceMcClain: yea

KeithKogane: if you start complaining to me about messing up your sleeping schedule

LanceMcClain: I wont. pINKY PROMISE

No reply for a good thirty seconds or so and Lance stared at the screen, his left eye twitching. He looked up at Hunk and Pidge who were babbling on the couch, totally oblivious to him losing his mind.

Bzz bzz  

KeithKogane: idiot

KeithKogane: the bar’s usually pretty empty around 2 so that’d be a good time to hang out

LanceMcClain: roger that


Lance was so nervous that he kept gripping the steering wheel like a lifeline. Like, he was pretty sure he’d rip the gear stick out if he’d been driving manual.

The navigation voice told him to take the next turn and he literally yanked it to the right, making a rather sharp-ass turn and causing his hip to crash against the center console, which hurt. That was gonna bruise.

Red light. Lance sighed through his nose as he rubbed his sore side, grumbling some Spanish curses that would’ve made his mother yell at him. Give him a break, mom, he was about to meet that one guy he’d been crushing on for months for the first time and he was just not okay. He wasn’t ever gonna be okay because Keith was, like, really attractive and he was gonna be there after closing time and, and, and— it was definitely a good thing there weren’t a lot of cars on the road right now.

It was around 2:15am when he got there. There was one couple sitting in a corner, cuddling and loosely holding their nearly empty glasses and a few guys in another booth, laughing quietly to themselves. It looked pretty cozy and small, unlike what Lance had expected it to be for some reason. He’d half expected there to be lots of drunk people, yelling out orders and throwing their beer bottles around, but these people were probably tired and buzzed and didn’t have a lot of energy left, so it was nice and quiet.

His heart on the other hand, was quite the opposite. Lance shoved his shaky hands in his pockets to hide them and looked around, his eyes landing on the bar in the middle, which was surrounded by a couple of stools and… didn’t have anyone standing behind it?

Raising an eyebrow, he took a few steps closer and noticed a door, so he relaxed and took a seat on one of the stools, waiting for someone, hopefully Keith, to walk through said door as he shrugged off his jacket.

But then:

Gah!”

Lance nearly fell off his seat as someone literally appeared in front of him out of thin air.

And that someone was—

“Keith! Oh my, god, where the hell did you come from?”

He really, really, hadn’t expected the one person he’d hoped to leave a good impression on to suddenly just, stand there, like he’d just pulled off an invisibility cloak or something.

Of course Keith, motherfucking Keith, laughed. Shut his eyes, pressed his knuckles against his lips to hide his grin and doubled over in laughter, allowing Lance to compose himself for a few seconds.

And take in the cute sight that was real life Keith. It was… weird to see him in, well, HD. There was no lag, no pixels, no weird scratchy noises, no blurs. He didn’t look that much different, except that Lance saw a few details, like the shine on his leather gloves, his long and thick eyelashes, the loose hairs that were sticking up and, yeah, the softness of his skin.

Yikes.

“Are you done.”

“… No,” Keith snickered back, his shoulders still shaking and looking up at Lance through his long lashes, his lips stuck in a goofy smile. Cute. “your—” Snort. “face. And that s-sound that came out of you…” more laughter and Lance covered his face with his hands, his cheeks an undeniably unnatural shade of red, burning along with the rest of his body.

Why was the universe like this.

Why.

“Stop enjoying this. You just took me by surprise.”

Keith cleared his throat, trying to calm down. “I noticed.”

“Seriously, how’d you do that?” Lance tried to change the subject and ran a hand through his bangs to appear casual but it was just a nervous tick.

Keith stepped aside and pointed at the floor and Lance held onto the bar as he leaned over it, seeing a hatch that was still open. He looked up at Keith whose own eyes were glittering with mirth. “I was putting away some stuff down there.”

Now Lance felt incredibly stupid. “In my defense, I was focused on the door.”

That didn’t help because Keith huffed out another laugh and closed the hatch before straightening back up and leaning against the back cabinets with his hip. “Sure. So, d’you want anything to drink?”

It was a really bad position. Lance was still hunched over the bar and therefore, could let his eyes roam over Keith’s body like the stupid creeper with a crush he was. He couldn’t help it, okay, Keith was dressed in loose fitting pants, which still somewhat showed off his defined thighs and, uh, was that—

“You have the menu on your shirt?”

A grin. “Yep.”

What. This was so unfair.

Now Lance was forced to look at his chest and put his poker face on as his eyes read over the standard drinks until he remembered that he drove here and dryly held up his car keys, communicating silently because he didn’t trust his mouth.

That didn’t seem to leave an impression on Keith. “I could drive us back. No big deal.”

Oh. Right. “You sure? Not that you look bad, or anything, but you seem kinda tired.”

It wasn’t a total lie. Even though Keith still looked handsome, his eyes looked a bit irritated, but he gave Lance a lazy shrug. “I’m fine. It’s barely ten minutes. Or we can take the bus if you’re that worried.”

Lance raised an eyebrow, a smirk pulling at his lips. “Do you want me to get drunk?”

And shit, Keith mirrored the smirk and came a little closer, which was not okay. “I could always use some more blackmail material.”

It was almost as if Keith was using the words as “blackmail material” to cover up the fact that he was flirting. Because he’d done the exact same thing when he made that other flirty comment a while ago. Or maybe that was Lance simply overthinking and being overly hopeful of things.

Still, they were somewhat close right now. So close that Lance could smell his cologne and laundry detergent.

Which was bad.

So bad.

“In that case, I’ll have an amaretto coffee.”

The smirk didn’t leave. “Extra whipped cream?”

No— yes. Stop that. “Sure.”

He watched as Keith reached behind him for the liquor, giving Lance a perfect view of his ass and, hm, bless.

Again, bad.

Lance draped his jacket over the stool next to him to distract himself and cleared his throat. “Had any weird people to deal with lately?”

Apparently he did, because Keith started telling the craziest stories as he cleaned the coffee machine and cleared out the dishwasher. He talked about people crying puddles of tears on this very bar because they’d stepped on a leaf or something, some of them so drunk they thought Keith was a ghost because “he was so pale”, others pretending to be over the legal drinking age but very much teenagers who’d tried lowering their voices, and of course, a few who had thrown a fit about their drink.

The couple and the guys had left, leaving Lance and Keith alone, both of them leaning on the bar with their arms, (sub)consciously mirroring each other’s stance.

Maybe it was also because he was very tired and had barely had anything to eat that day, but Lance was feeling pretty buzzed after one more drink. There was a slight delay in his vision, Keith looked even more appealing than usual and ugh, he needed sleep.

“’s getting late. Gonna clean up and then we can go back to my place,” Keith mumbled, glancing at the clock behind him and folding the cloth he had used to clean the bar with before he looked up at him through his, again, really pretty eyelashes. “You stay right here.”

Lance frowned. “Wha’ you mean?”

“You’re drunk. You shouldn’t move too much.”

“‘m not drunk.”

A cute chuckle. “Yeah, you are. Gimme ten minutes, okay?”

Keith hopped over the counter because Lance couldn’t have nice things and placed all the stools on the bar. Sadly, he had to brush past Lance, once again giving his fuzzy brain the opportunity to drown in Keith’s cologne. He felt so awkward, watching Keith mop the floor in quick and precise moments, like, this dude could even make mopping the floor look interesting.

But it was over sooner than he thought and Lance found himself sliding off the stool, pulling on his jacket and grinning cheekily at Keith who, once again, brushed past him to put his stool on the bar as well.

“Good to go?”

“Mhm.”

The ride to Keith’s place was very short and Lance was kinda thankful for the alcohol soothing his nerves, otherwise he wouldn’t have been able to sit next to Keith like that. In his own damn car.

Keith suggested taking the elevator instead of the stairs for Lance’s sake, but Lance insisted that he was starting to sober up.

They ended up bickering in the elevator.

‘Twas true, though. Lance’s vision was starting to clear up and he could feel his heartbeat going back into overdrive.

The door to Keith’s apartment opened and the first thing Lance noticed was a huge ball of fluff in the corner, snoring peacefully. Lance looked around, noticing how clean the place was and that Keith didn’t seem to have a lot of stuff.

A warm hand was placed on his shoulder to gently guide him a little to the right. “I’ll go get you some water. Try not to wake Kosmo up, yeah?”

Lance nodded and watched him walk ahead, his eyes shamelessly going up and down a few times, before he followed him into the kitchen. “’s a pretty nice apartment.”

“Thanks,” Keith replied, handed him a glass and walked over to Kosmo, patting his head a few times with a smile and looking back up at Lance. “Forgot to mention that he always wakes up early and that I’ll have to walk him.”

“Aww, I don’t mind. I’ll come with,” Lance cooed and took a few sips. “So, um,” he continued, awkward. “where do I sleep? ‘Cause I’m totally cool with the couch.”

A pregnant silence in which Keith’s face went through a series of expressions. “Well,” he started and rose back to his feet. “I actually don’t recommend it, because Kosmo might start bothering you when he wakes up. I just figured we’d sleep in my bed. It’s big enough for the two of us.”

Hold the flickering, flying, flipping fuck up. Lance nearly dropped the glass, instantly sober, and stared at Keith as if he’d dropped a bomb. “… Wha— Um, huh?” It was really hard to keep his voice down. “I didn’t— Oh. Oh.

Be cool, Lance. Take a breath.

Damn, he’d forgotten how to breathe.  

“Lance.”

“Ya.”

“We’re just gonna sleep. Don’t make it weird.”

“… Ah.”

Keith shook his head fondly and motioned for Lance to follow him, which he obediently did, still holding his glass even though it was empty. It was true that Keith’s bed was definitely big enough for them, but still.

Eh, Lance hadn’t expected to be sharing a bed with him. He’d be fine on the couch. It wasn’t like he minded sleeping with Keith (ha), but, like, they’d be really close and this was their first night together and, well, uh—

“Do you wanna take a shower?”

“No,” Lance uttered, unable to function properly.

Keith turned to him, eyes searching his face worriedly. “You okay? You gonna throw up?”

“Oh, no, I’m fine,” Lance blurted quickly and waved a hand between their faces. He was gonna kick his own ass later for getting drunk on their first meeting, for fuck’s sake. “I’ll go, uh, change.”

“Okay.” Keith obviously didn’t believe him. “I’m gonna take a shower, but I’ll leave the bathroom door open in case you do need to throw up.”

Of course he would.

It wasn’t until Lance had changed into some sweatpants and a comfortable shirt and almost fallen asleep that Keith came out of the shower, turned off the lights and carefully climbed into bed. It squeaked a little in protest, or maybe that was Lance, when he moved to get comfortable and pulled at the sheets a little.

Lance pretended to be asleep, pretended that he didn’t feel really hot with a shirt on, pretended not to notice the lovely smell of soap and shampoo, pretended not to smile a little when Keith sighed softly through his nose and mumbled, “G’night.”

And then something really stupid happened.

Uuuuaachoo!”

Both of them stilled. Lance wanted to fucking die because his sneeze had been so loud and awful and oh man—

Keith was snorting. And the bed shook along with his laughter and it was annoyingly cute and Lance was gonna eat his pillow.

“Stop laughing.”

Kgh— Lance, I—” More snorting and Lance covered his face, feeling immensely hot.

This was gonna be a long ass night.

(He woke up somewhere in the middle of the night with his face really close to Keith’s, but that didn’t happen, okay, moving on)

Patpatpat. Sniffsniff.

A low whine. Sniffsniff.

Lance was somewhere in between waking up and still being asleep, so he sort of noticed a heavy weight on his legs and stomach. Something soft and wet was touching his neck and face and he did a lame attempt at pushing whatever it was off of him and rolling over to his side, but when he did, his hand brushed against, what felt like, hairs.

He opened his eyes and came face to face with two curious blue ones, blinking down at him. A white tail waggled behind the huge, beautiful dog that was sitting on top of him, probably excited that he’d managed to wake Lance up.

“Um. Hi.” He blindly reached for the dog’s owner, who was probably still asleep, and patted the first lump, presumably a shoulder, he could find. “Keith, wake up.”

Said person inhaled deeply through his nose, groaned quietly and mumbled a hoarse, “No.”

Cute, but not now. “Keith, your dog’s literally on top of me.”

Keith grumbled something under his breath and sat up, gravity doing its work in pulling the blankets down and ha, he just had to wear a tank top to bed. He rubbed his eyes – Lance noticed the small scars on his knuckles but didn’t say anything — and blinked drowsily at the two before he nudged the dog with his knee. “Kosmo, get off.”

More whining and Kosmo climbed off of Lance, which was not pleasant because his paws dug into his stomach and chest, oof. And of course his crotch. Lance quickly placed the pillow over his head to cover up the embarrassing sound that came out of his mouth.

“I said off, not on,” Keith continued to scold, but Lance could hear him smiling as Kosmo continued to whine and sniff, so Lance peeked up at them from under the pillow, eyes softening when he saw Kosmo trying to bury his nose in Keith’s neck. “Stop, I’m up— I’m up!”

Stupid cuties. Lance wished he could kiss Keith’s neck—

No, wait.

“’s’it okay if I take a shower?” Lance mumbled lamely and practically rolled out of bed so he could stretch.

It was both the best and the worst idea ever because yes, he loved showers and getting clean, but he was showering at someone else’s place, which meant that uh, those people sometimes needed to use the bathroom as well.

“I’m coming in. Gotta take a piss,” Keith’s voice sounded behind the curtain and Lance froze on the spot, hands in the middle of rinsing out the conditioner.

“Dude, I’m naked!”

“Stop whining, there’s a curtain. Besides, I’m a guy, too, remember? Nothing I haven’t seen.”

Valid point and the curtain wasn’t see-through at all, so Lance was, like 98% sure that Keith couldn’t see him, but still. The only thing Lance could make out was Keith’s silhouette moving around until he was standing in front of the toilet and he quickly averted his gaze.

Oh, no. Lance was beyond grateful that the loud clattering of the water was covering up his weird noises because Keith was right there, peeing, while Lance was in here, naked, covered in foam and face wash.  

And then he realized one other very important thing.

“Keith.”

“What.”

“Don’t you fucking dare.”

He did. He flushed and yep, the water turned to ice and Lance shrieked his lungs out.

“Well, there’s that high note you’ve been dying to hit.”

“GET OUT.”


Walking Kosmo together was a bliss. Not only did he get to play with the cutest dog ever, but he could watch as Kosmo tackled Keith to the ground and licked his face until Keith was wheezing with laughter. They took turns in throwing the ball and other squeaky toys for Kosmo to get, laughed at each other’s stupid jokes, walked side by side, and hmm, yeah.

It was nice. Just like last night at the bar, Lance didn’t have any trouble talking to Keith face-to-face even though he still had the occasional gay panic and wished he could disappear whenever Keith did something particularly hot.

Like breathing. Or existing.

But anyway, it was nice.

When they got back to the apartment, they sat on the couch, had some coffee and snacks, patting Kosmo every time he rubbed against one of their legs, and chatted away about random stuff. Lance had his knees drawn up to his chest while Keith had not been afraid to stretch one of his legs across the cushions, his socked foot nearly touching Lance’s hip.

It was surprisingly intimate and Lance couldn’t help but think that maybe… possibly…

Ugh. It hadn’t even been 24 hours and Lance was already having his umpteenth bi crisis.

“Wanna practice together?”

Make that umpteenth plus one.

But at least Keith had a really cool built in recording studio.   

It had looked a lot smaller on camera, but it was big enough for about four people to stand in.

The walls were covered with acoustic foam, there were several mics, accompanied by popper stoppers, an electric guitar and drum kit woah, the infamous keyboard, a violin and acoustic guitar and finally, some very large headphones.

“Woah,” Lance breathed and hesitantly touched the electric guitar, genuinely impressed by the amount of work Keith had put into this. “Amazing. Can you play all of these?”

“Yeah,” Keith answered and put his hands in his pockets, looking around with a weary smile. “It’s really not that big a deal.” He reached for the violin’s case and briefly stroked the fabric. “All you need is a little motivation and sense of rhythm. And don’t give a fuck about your hands.”

Lance snorted and rubbed his thumb over his slightly sore fingertips. “I know that feel.” He wanted to ask if that was the reason for Keith wearing his gloves constantly, but decided that now was not a good time.

And so, they moved to the keyboard in the corner and Keith took a seat behind it. It was a little more intimidating to stand right in front of him and sing, though. It had been a lot easier when there was a screen between them because now Keith was gonna be able to hear everything clearly, hear every tiny mistake.

“We can start with scales. But first, your stance.” He gave him a once over, oh no. “Don’t lock your knees.”

Right. Lance did his best to relax his stance and held his breath when Keith got up and moved to stand behind him.

“Is it okay if I help you out?”

He could feel the words against the back of his neck and Lance kind of died.

“Uh, sure.”

“Alright, gonna touch your shoulders and back now.” One hand was on his shoulder while the other one was pressed flat between his shoulder blades, pulling him into a straighter position. “Also, it’s better if your feet aren’t right next to each other, so shift your weight a little— There. Tilt your head a little towards me— Perfect.”

There was a small, praiseful pat on his shoulder and Lance wanted to die.

“Remember the breathing technique I taught you in our first video call?”

“The one with the um—” Lance motioned towards his ribs and took a deep breath to expand them and felt the blood rushing towards his face when Keith chuckled.

“Yeah, that one. Let’s do it one more time. I’ll help you.” And shit, Lance jumped when those same hands were now on his ribs, earning another chuckle. He was practically on fire at this point and it was bad. “… You ticklish?”

Jesus. No. Stop. Help. “Keith, I swear to god—”

More laughter ghosted over his neck and Lance groaned audibly. “Don’t worry, I won’t tickle you. Not now at least.”

“Keith—”

“Just breathe into my hands.” Ugh, fine. Lance did his best to expand his ribcage as much as possible by breathing in through his mouth, feeling Keith’s hands guiding him through it. “Little more, little more— There you go. Now try to hold it there as you breathe out. Remember to hold your abs— Good, that’s it. One more time?”

The warm hands let go of his ribs, but the torture was not over yet and Lance was starting to wonder what he’d done to deserve this. Keith came back into his line of vision, eyes on Lance’s torso to make sure he was doing it right and it was making him self-conscious and oh, yep, Keith took a step forward to place a hand on his stomach, right above his navel.

Now this was intimate.

“Focus on this spot.” He pressed a few fingers right against it. “Breathe in… Now flex and keep it like that.”

And this was only one of the exercises Keith showed him. At some point, Lance somewhat got used to Keith touching random spots, because, honestly it couldn’t get any worse than this. There was this one moment where he was standing so, so close to Lance when he was trying to hit this one high note, holding his jaw in place because, “You’ll murder your vocal chords if you keep locking your jaw like that.”

The good thing was that Keith kept complimenting him. And that he was starting to believe in himself.

And that… they sounded great together.


They ordered pizza and watched The Greatest Showman because Keith hadn’t seen it yet, which was a crime in Lance’s eyes, so he’d brought the DVD. Lance was shamelessly singing/performing along with every song and Keith kept facepalming, snickering adorably at the sight.

Kosmo tried to join in on the dancing and circled Lance whenever he got up to dance along, making Keith laugh even harder and Lance was radiating with warmth.

Especially when they were finished and Keith got up to get something to drink and started humming the chorus of the opening song.

Score.

Unfortunately, Lance had skipped his skincare routine last night and tried to compensate it by putting on a mask before bed, much to Keith’s amusement.

Then Lance tried to talk him into trying on a mask as well, much to Keith’s non-amusement.

“No.”

“Oh, come on, your skin will thank me. Lemme see your face.” Lance totally forgot about his feelings for a minute, stuck in his skincare mode, and inspected Keith’s face to figure out his skin type.

He was yanked right back to reality when he noticed a couple of really cute freckles on Keith’s nose. There were only five (yes, he’d counted) of them and they were so light that they were hardly noticeable. It made Lance feel like only people who were really close to him, both psychically and mentally, were allowed to see them.

Ahem. Anyway.

Apparently Keith was one of those people who had naturally good skin. But a very light, hydrating mask could never hurt, so Lance handed him one of the many bottles he’d carried along, which Keith eyed confusedly, which was cute.

“Apply it like I did,” Lance said helpfully and pointed at his own face.

Ah. Keith took a seat on the edge of the bathtub and held out the bottle. “You do it. I’ve no idea what I’m doing.”

Well, then. Peachy.

Lance pretended to be okay and took it back, squeezed a little onto his fingers and leaned forward to apply a very light coat on his face.

“Cold,” Keith grumbled, flinching slightly, and Lance laughed, making Keith glare playfully at him through his bangs. “Warn me next time.”

“Nah.”

It was very satisfying to try to apply an even layer over his cheeks, forehead, nose and chin. He had to move Keith’s face a little by placing a finger under his chin, grab a hairband to push his bangs back, and it was— yeah. It was something. He’d done this with Hunk and Allura countless times, but it was so much different with Keith because he was very aware of their proximity. And his face. And his voice. And his breathing.

Oh no, what if he had bad breath?

“You don’t,” Keith answered truthfully after Lance had asked just to make sure, okay.

They continued to babble uselessly until the masks were dry and neither of them could move their faces. Lance had to make sure Keith didn’t scrub too vigorously at his skin and applied a moisturizer afterwards before they went to lie down.  

Would it be weird to take off his shirt? Lance usually slept without a shirt on because he felt too hot in it. Of course he’d keep his pants on, ha, no way he was gonna sleep in his boxers, no, he wouldn’t do that to Keith.

But okay, back to taking off his shirt. They were both guys, so it wouldn’t be that weird, right? Except for the fact that, yes, Lance had a crush on him, and felt lowkey self-conscious about being half naked around him.

Fuck it. Lance had to stop making it weirder than it had to be.

He took off his shirt, mumbling, “Sorry, ‘m really hot,” and noticing how stupid that sounded, but they were both adults, so whatever.

“I don’t mind,” Keith said casually and rolled over to face him with a… what kind of expression was that? “Makes it easier to do this.”

Lance blinked before he squawked because Keith had just poked him. He quickly grabbed his wrist when he reached for Lance’s waist again, that little shit. “Such betrayal. Can’t believe I shared my expensive face mask with you.”

But Keith simply huffed out a laugh and Lance was not afraid to press his cold feet against Keith’s legs in retaliation, getting a yelp in response. “Oh, my god, Lance. Get off— No, Lance!”

It was so stupid. Keith tried to roll out of reach, but Lance had so much experience with this growing up that he easily kept Keith in place and continued to make him suffer with his cold touches. Sadly, this gave Keith an excuse to wiggle his fingers against his sides in earnest and Lance was forced to let go, guffawing and curling up under the teasing and playful touch.

Keith was so close, laughing along with him, warm and soft fingers roaming over his bare skin.

Again, it felt so intimate. And warm.

Apparently they were being so loud that Kosmo had woken up and was now trying to join in by barking and jumping on the bed. Lance felt like such a loser for admitting to himself that he already missed Keith’s hands on him when he got out of bed and tried to coax Kosmo into going back into the living room.

He tried to catch his breath, flushed with arousal beyond saving and decided to sleep on his stomach.

Oh, who was he kidding. When Keith came back to bed and accidentally touched his lower back (of all places) with a very quiet “Sorry”, Lance knew he was gonna be up all night. It was fine, really, he wasn’t even that tired and found it oddly relaxing to listen to Keith’s breathing evening out until he was sure he’d fallen asleep.

Lance raised his head a little, eyes landing on the nightstand where he’d placed his phones and decided to check both of them because he had nothing better to do.

Well. Blame it on the fact that he’d been so preoccupied with Keith and his pretty face, but it turned out his work phone was drowning in thousands of notifications.

Mentions, comments, emails, DMs, even his manager who he barely talked to because he was doing so well on his own, had left him a voicemail because he’d been quiet for too long, affecting his statistics in a negative way. He scrolled and scrolled and scrolled, a nasty wave of anxiety crashing into him, because he’d been neglecting his job.

Yes, seventy-two hours was a very long time for the internet and Lance groaned, stressed out. He’d lost a percentage of his followers already, there were some tweets that mentioned him, asking where he was, wondering if everything was okay. Maybe he should’ve said something instead of “disappearing” off the internet for three days.

‘Twas time to get to set up a plan and get to work already.

Business emails first. Then DMs, then mentions, then comments. He’d listen to his manager’s voicemail in the morning. It was probably gonna take all night to catch up and he’d rather be on his laptop that was still safely in his bag in the living room, but there was no way he was gonna be able to get it without waking Kosmo again, so he pushed himself up with his elbow with a grunt and started writing his first email.  

There was some movement behind him and Lance felt the tips of his ears growing hot. Oops.

“Lance?”

“Shh, go back to sleep.”

You go back to sleep. It’s…” More shuffling. “ugh. What’re you even doin’?”

“Being a YouTuber,” Lance grumbled, thumbs flying over the keyboard to type out his usual “no thank you” emails.

Just when he was about to hit send, something warm pressed against his bare back and Lance gasped in shock, but it was only Keith, leaning over him and huh, stealing his phone.

“It can wait.”

“Wha— Hey!”

Keith put the phone on the nightstand on his side, far out of Lance’s reach and turned back to him. “Sleep.

“Keith, I appreciate it, I really do, but this is my career we’re talkin’ about,” Lance pouted and tried to climb over him, but Keith stopped him by laying a hand on his chest, oh help. “Come ooon.

“No.”

“Please?”

“No.”

“… Pretty please?”

“Lance.”

“I’m losing followers here.”

“You have millions of followers.”

Lance threw his head back against the pillow and huffed. “I know, but I haven’t posted anything in the last three days and now everyone thinks I’m dead.”

Obviously Keith was not impressed. “Welcome to the afterlife.”

“Stop that.” But Lance was smiling.

“Just update everyone tomorrow. A couple of more hours won’t hurt.” Goosebumps appeared all over his arms and legs when Keith laid a hand on his arm, squeezing it. “I mean it, go back to sleep.”

He woke up a few hours later, hearing the familiar patpatpat on the other side of the door and opened his eyes to see that Keith was still holding his arm in a loose grip.

Intimate.


It was their last day together and Lance was working. Sitting on the couch with Kosmo taking a nap on his feet and his glasses nearly falling off his nose because he was typing like no tomorrow, trying to get through the huge mountain of work he’d stupidly allowed to pile up.

Didn’t matter how many times Keith told him that he didn’t mind and had to work on his songs anyway, Lance couldn’t stop feeling guilty. Especially when Keith had brought him his third cup of coffee after a good four hours of speed-reading and typing.

“Don’t you need a break?”

“Hmm.”

Keith lingered behind him for a second before he leaned down, reading along over Lance’s shoulder. “Jesus, two-hundred unread emails.”

Lance had been so absorbed in his reading that he’d barely registered their closeness and jumped, a sharp gasp escaping from his lips. “Ack! Don’t do that. Hunk does that, too.”

The sudden shift had woken up Kosmo who grunted in discomfort and nuzzled his ankle, but Lance was too busy staring into Keith’s dark eyes like a complete idiot. “Do what?”

Maybe Keith didn’t know anything about personal space and Lance knew he should be used to it by now because of the whole touchy-singy practice round and sharing a bed, but he was probably never gonna get used to being this close to Keith.

Like, seriously, those few inches between them were practically non-existent.

“Sneak up on me like that.”

A chuckle that he felt against his lips. “Sorry.” A heartbeat. “Didn’t know you had glasses. They suit you.”

Breathe, Lance. “They’re just for reading. And watching TV,” he answered dully because their eye-contact was pretty solid and it was distracting him. Was he supposed to keep the conversation going? Quick, quick. “Didn’t know you wore cologne. Smells really good.”

And the moment was over.

Keith blinked down at him, his smile widening, about to retort, but Lance cut him off before he could say anything.

“I meant that in a totally non-creepy, heterosexual way.”

And there was the laughter that would forever haunt him.

Just few more hours, just a few more hours.

But those few hours flew by and Lance found himself standing next to his car, Keith by his side and leaning against the door with his shoulder, arms lazily folded over his chest. They said their goodbyes, Lance nearly tripped when he tried to get into the car, which was very entertaining to watch, and they waved at each other until Lance was out of sight.  

Keith stood there for a few more seconds, his face still stuck in a smile Lance had left behind.

Chapter Text

Some good-looking guy who was very obviously not Keith opened the door and Lance stood there, blinking, mouth open, but the greeting got lost somewhere in his throat, so instead of saying something, he let out a small, confused sound.  

“Lance, right? Your videos are hilarious,” Handsome Dude said with a lazy grin and adjusted his glasses before he held out his hand. “I’m Adam. Keith’s brother’s fiancé.”

Damn, Keith’s brother had good taste. Lance returned the grin and shook his head. “Nice to meet you, Adam.”

Grunt. Lance’s eyes widened and looked up at Adam whose lips hadn’t parted, so it couldn’t have been him and Lance was pretty sure it wasn’t him, either, so he stood on the tip of his toes to look over Adam’s shoulder and lo and behold.

Keith with another guy, presumably his brother, Shiro, planking in the middle of the living room, breathy and sweaty. Like, there was a wet patch between Keith’s shoulders and small droplets were trickling down the sides of his flushed face as he continued to breathe in through his nose and out through his mouth. And, oh, Lance sucked in his bottom lip to keep himself from making any inappropriate noises.

“They’re having a planking contest. It’s been twenty minutes already.”

“… Nuh,” was the only sound Lance could produce, much to Adam’s amusement. “I didn’t know that uh, you guys were coming over. I just came here to pick up my glasses. Left them here the other day.”

“You drove two hours for that?” Adam said, eyebrows shooting up. “Come on in. I’ll make you some coffee. Besides, Keith’s probably gonna cave in the next five minutes or so.”

“Fuck off, Adam,” Keith panted, his voice breaking, and Lance seriously craved death more than anything.

Adam held his hand out invitingly as he yelled, “It’s called being realistic.”

Well, Lance would be lying if he told himself he wasn’t curious to see who would win. He somewhat awkwardly walked past Adam and decided to tear his gaze away from Keith for one second to take in his brother and woah, no offense, Keith, but Shiro looked absolutely ripped, as if he lived in the gym, or something. Lance would definitely lose to him, too, because he was much more of a cardio person than a weight one, and Keith was probably somewhere in between them?

Not that Lance was trying to imagine what Keith would look like without a shirt on, of course.

Of course not.

“Milk? Sugar?” Adam called out helpfully when he went into the kitchen and stepped over Kosmo who was chewing on a squeaky toy in the middle. “Black?”

“Sugar, please,” Lance answered and shuffled past the other two to grab his glasses from the table he’d left them on. He noticed a phone lying next to them, the stopwatch app reading 00:21:32. “Is this normal, or…?”

“They usually do it every other week to motivate each other to stay in shape. And bonding, I guess.” Adam looked over the kitchen counter and clicked his tongue. “Saggy back, Keith.”

“You cheating?” Shiro breathed and Keith just groaned in response, straightening up a little and blowing out some more air. “Maybe you can keep an eye on him, Lance? Make sure he’s not getting away with cheating?” He looked up at Lance who had taken a couple of steps closer, absently playing with his glasses. “Hey, I’m Shiro, by the way.”

“Hi.” And now Lance was forced to look at Keith, which was killing, because he just noticed that he’d pulled his hair into a ponytail and Lance could actually feel his face reddening at the sight. The back of Keith’s neck looked so cute, so kissable, and Lance was this close to throwing himself out the damn window.

The smell of coffee was not so casually bringing him back to reality. Adam placed his steaming cup on the counter and leaned against it, folding his arms over his chest and looking at the scene with a smirk. “And I’ll watch Shiro to keep things fair.”

Then, a really mean idea popped into Lance’s head.

It was bad idea, though. Bad and mean.

But it would be funny.

Lance put his glasses right next to his cup, bit his tongue to keep himself from laughing, and stood right next to Keith’s slightly trembly form.

“You don’t have to breathe down my neck, Lance,” Keith panted and that comment made Lance’s stomach do a couple of uneasy flips. “Why’re you— No! Fuck y— Lance!” Yes, Lance had taken a seat on Keith’s lower back and both Adam and Shiro burst out laughing. “Oh my fucking god, that hurts, get off, get off, get-off!”

“You callin’ me fat?” Lance laughed, prompting more snickering from the other two and more groaning from Keith. He kept one foot on the ground to divide his weight a bit more. He wasn’t that evil. “Unbelievable.”

“Hang in there,” Shiro chortled and Lance suppressed a shudder when Keith’s body shook with a huff, casually laying a hand on Keith’s back to keep his balance, which also allowed him to feel the muscles shaking, which was just… peachy.

“Shut up.” It was almost like a growl and Lance couldn’t help but squirm a little, making Keith groan some more. “Lance, seriously, what did I ever do to you?”

Exist. “I’m helpin’ you out, buddy. Maybe you’ll get a six pack after this.”

And Lance would just end up in the hospital from cardiac arrest because he still couldn’t believe that he was sitting on top of a sweaty and breathy Keith and getting away with it.

“’s not in my genes,” Keith continued to pant and let out another groan that almost sounded like a whine, which was not good for Lance’s health. “Ngh, for the love of fuck, get your bony ass off me before I—”

Thump.

Keith’s arms had finally given in and he landed flat on his stomach with a small grunt, which was masked by Lance’s loud surprised yelp. Kosmo’s head shot up at the sound and immediately sprinted over to them, circling them in excitement and Lance wouldn’t have minded that if he wasn’t too busy trying to pretend that his hand had not ended up on Keith’s ass during the fall.

“That didn’t count,” Keith muttered, rolled over onto his back, but carefully enough so that Lance’s legs were still draped over his torso, and laid his head down so he could look up at Shiro.

“It didn’t,” Shiro agreed and went to stand on his feet. “’Twas a good exercise, though.”

“You didn’t have an extra—” Keith looked back up at Lance and now he could see that Keith’s face was completely red, but that was probably thanks to extra strain he’d been through. Lance didn’t have that much time to discuss this with himself because Keith was literally checking him out with a raised eyebrow. “I dunno how much you weigh, but at least 130 pounds to carry.”

“I still had one foot on the ground, y’know,” Lance heard himself say and tried really hard to stop the blood from rushing to his face.

Keith snorted. He failed.

“Yeah? You plank for twenty minutes straight and have some asshole sit on your back. With one foot on the ground.” He pulled his legs from under Lance’s and rolled his shoulders and stretched his triceps. And never broke eye-contact. Lance hated it. “Wanna try?”

Oh, a challenge. Lance loved challenges, he really did. Unless they involved having a hot guy sitting on his back, then, ha, no. Plus, he hadn’t planked in, like, forever, so this was definitely gonna kill him.

Still, how could he say no to a flushed Keith who was running a hand through his sweaty bangs, holy shit, abort.

“Sure.”

“That oughta be interesting,” Adam called out from somewhere behind him and Shiro agreed silently by grinning down at them. “Do it fast, ‘cause I think Kosmo wants to go outside.”

Yeah, Kosmo continued to run around them and whine quietly, pushing his nose against Keith’s chest. Said owner of that chest scratched Kosmo behind his ears, dug his fingers into the fur and looked up at Shiro. “Could you guys walk him?”

There it was. The fuckening.

Not that Lance was scared to be alone with Keith, but, well, someone had to stay there and watch, right? To make sure that Keith didn’t accidentally murder Lance by sitting on his lower back and ah, Lance was starting to regret this more and more. And continued to regret things when both Adam and Shiro left after putting a leash on Kosmo and walking out Keith’s front door.

Leaving them all by themselves.

“Keith.”

“Lance.”

They looked at each other for a good ten seconds or so, Keith’s lips forever stuck in a stupid smirk that practically screamed malicious pleasure and Lance suppressed the urge to drop back on the floor and pretend he didn’t exist.

Fifteen minutes later and Lance’s torso was shaking like a leaf. His core and arms were literally on fire and he couldn’t even keep his head up anymore, so he just opted for staring at the floor and tried to ignore Keith’s hands that were constantly correcting his form.

Because why not.

There’d been so many casual touches that Lance had lost count. Granted, his shirt was getting pulled down by gravity, but that didn’t give Keith the right to let his fingers accidentally touch the bare skin of his lower abdomen or his hips, what the fuck.  

“Hangin’ in there?” that asshole spoke up and Lance was so glad he was still facing the floor.

“I’m doin’ just fine, thank you.”

No, he wasn’t. His triceps and abs were screaming at him to please stop, but Keith didn’t need to know that. Even though it was probably pretty obvious.

“Then I guess you wouldn’t mind if I use your back as a chair.”

Not good, not good, not good—

Oh. Keith’s butt felt surprisingly soft yet firm on his lower back, so that was nice, and— Holy shit, more and more weight came with that butt, and little bit more, and Lance nearly screamed in pain, but held it in.

And he thought the burn before was bad, oh, how naive of Past Lance. Silly. Stupid. Idiot.

“Ohmyfuckinggodthathurts,” was all that came out in a very high-pitched voice that Lance barely recognized and Keith laughed, making Lance’s back shake along. “Keith, Keith, I’m pretty sure I’m gonna die if you don’t get off me right now.”

“It’s only been…” Some shifting and Lance couldn’t believe that he could feel Keith’s ass moving against his back. “Sixteen minutes.”  

Lance laughed at that. Laughed through the pain. “Oohhoww, I’m dying.”

“I know.” Keith almost sounded sorry. Almost. “If it makes you feel better, I have both feet on the ground.”

“Fuck you.

“Up yours, too.”

Bam. That was the final straw. Lance fell with a small “oof!” before he sighed in relief, totally not prepared for Keith to make a surprised noise and fall on top of him.

As in, bodies aligned. At least Lance had fallen backwards when he was on Keith’s back, but Keith dead ass fell on Lance’s back, knocking the air out of him once again. It was really bad for Lance’s health to feel Keith’s chest pressed against his shoulder blades and his warm hands scrambling to push himself up again and to hear him apologizing so close to his ear.

Yeah, apologize, Keith. Apologize for murdering Lance with his behind like that.

Shit, are you okay?” Keith was still way too close for Lance’s comfort and made it worse by laying a hand on his shoulder. “Did I hurt you?”

“’m fine,” Lance mumbled into the floor because his face was not presentable, but didn’t want Keith to get suspicious, so he rolled over. And regretted it right away because wow, they were really close now. “Yo, personal space, buddy.”

That came out wrong. Keith didn’t seem to mind, though, and simply grinned. “You’re the one who rolled over.” His eyes shifted towards his stomach and he fucking— Patted it. A couple of fingers brushed over the exposed skin (his shirt was such a traitor), which nearly made him shiver. Because why not. “Good job. Don’t forget to cool off.”

Before Lance could mumble out a lame answer, Keith got up with a small grunt and mumbled something about getting some water for him. Lance watched him go, eyes lingering on that lovely ass that had been sitting on his back not two minutes ago and laid his head back on the floor with a quiet whine.

Life was so unfair.


It was one of those rare days where Pidge wore a dress. Or at least, tried to.

“Lance, can you zip me up?”

Allura had picked out a dress for Pidge for their girls’ night out and Lance tried not to laugh too hard when Pidge grumpily walked over to him, holding her hair up. He gently turned her around and grabbed the zipper. “Still can’t believe you said yes to this.”

“I had three exams this week. I need to get wasted,” Pidge continued to grumble and turned back around when Lance was done, looking up at him with a small pout. “And Allura bought me this. I can’t not wear it.”

“Makes you look cute, though.”

Sadly, he lost his composure and started laughing in earnest when Pidge punched his shoulder. “I haven’t worn a dress in years. Pretty sure the last time I wore one was, I dunno, in middle school?”

The doorbell rang and Lance was too lazy to take three steps, so he yelled, “It’s open!” instead.

Romelle, Allura and Casey came in, dressed up just like Pidge and practically bounced over to the other two, excited to go. “You ready?”

Pidge huffed when Lance slung an arm around her shoulder and placed his chin on top of her head, but she didn’t try to get away. “As long as you two,” she motioned towards Allura and Romelle who were huddled a little too close. “keep it down. And that you don’t try to set me up with some random dude.”

“Who knows,” Romelle drawled with a big fat grin and looked around. “Hunk not here?”

“Shay’s,” Lance and Pidge said in unison and the three girls gave Lance a somewhat sympathetic look.

“Don’t tell us you’re gonna be all alone on a Saturday night.”

Okay, Lance hadn’t even thought of it that way yet. He’d been editing a new video and was kind of planning on working on perfecting some of his old songs. Now he felt like a loser who didn’t have anyone to hang out with because all his friends were spending time with each other and/or with their partner and he was going on a date with his laptop and guitar.

But he didn’t let it show. “No biggie. I’m gonna work on my videos.”

Obviously Pidge having known Lance for so many years, saw right through him and elbowed him in the ribs. “Lance tends to get lonely, so I’ll keep him company. I don’t mind.”

Even though it was really sweet and Lance definitely appreciated Pidge being nice to him, he didn’t wanna spoil their fun, so he squeezed her arm. “I’m a big boy who can take care of himself. Go have fun, Pidge.”

“Fine.”

For some odd reason everyone went to get ready to leave except Allura. Casey had to go to the bathroom and got joined by Romelle because she wanted to fix her hair, Pidge went to put on her shoes and then there was Allura, walking over to Lance with a soft smile and he frowned.

“… What.”

“You okay?”

“Yeah?” Lance answered, awkward. “Why?”

“I know you.”

Damn it. Lance clicked his tongue and folded his arms over his chest, muttering, “Fine, I’m feelin’ a little lonely and salty that I don’t have someone to be with tonight.”

Allura put her hands behind her back and took a step closer, playfully leaning in and pursing her lips. “You could, and honestly should, text Keith.”

The blood instantly rushed to his face and Lance sputtered in embarrassment. “I— Wha— I’m not— He— Allura!”

“Oh, yeah, I agree. You should.” And now Pidge was inviting herself into the conversation. Great. She finished tying her shoelaces and bounced over to them, a stupid and mean grin lighting up her face. “Get them manly cuddles from your male friend. Be dudes, be bros, have a heterosexual and bromantic night together.”

“I hate both of you. Get out of my apartment.”

Both of them started laughing and Lance shook his head in amusement, unable to stay mad. The other two came back from the bathroom, ready to leave, and the four of them waved until they closed the door behind them, leaving Lance alone with his gay thoughts.  

Stupid Allura with her stupid ideas that he couldn’t get out of his head. His thumbs were currently hovering over the keyboard as he stared at his private conversation with Keith, unable to make the decision.

It was Saturday night, Keith would have better things to do than to hang out with Lance. Maybe he was making out with someone at a club, or worse, having sex with a handsome stranger in a bathroom stall, and Lance felt his lower lip trembling at the thought. Was Keith the type of person to do dirty shit with strangers?

Nah, he wasn’t.

Right?

Well, a guy had needs, so it was understandable. Lance had needs, too. He needed to make out with Keith—

No. No. Back up. What he needed was a freezer to stick his head in. And to get that image of a flustered Keith throwing his head back against a dirty wall with a sharp gasp out of his head. Pronto.

Yeah, the bad thoughts had taken it to a whole new level and it was bothering him. He’d stayed over at Keith’s multiple times already and had seen him walk around in a pair of boxers, only a pair of boxers, leaving nothing to the imagination so that Lance finally knew what that nice chest looked like.

And that was exactly what it was. A nice chest. Very nice.

And legs. Nice legs. Nice happy trail.

Ha. Hello, dirty thoughts. Lance was not afraid to let out a frustrated wail and shove his face against the cold door of the refrigerator. He was home alone anyway. He didn’t have anyone to yell at, didn’t have anyone to talk to or cuddle with.

Didn’t have anyone to bang, either.

God, Lance pushed himself off the fridge, rolled his eyes at himself, strolled back into living room, grabbed his phone, went to his bedroom, closed and locked the door even though he was alone, because fuck it, he was horny.

And there was absolutely no shame in masturbating. So there he was, browsing through several different videos, not giving a shit about the genres, because whatever, and tapped the first video that looked… appealing. Plugged in his earphones, again, even though no one else was there, and hit play.

It didn’t help.

Lance couldn’t stop picturing Keith, picturing himself with Keith, picturing Keith between his legs, sucking him off while looking at him through those pretty lashes, picturing Keith panting against his lips and holding the back of his neck. His brain went absolutely haywire, playing all of these different scenarios until Lance was doubled over on the bed, gripping the sheets with one hand while the other one pumped him nice and slow.

It was bad. So bad that Lance was subconsciously dry humping the bed, squeezing himself until his mouth dropped open and the heat took over. It was spreading through his arms and legs, all the way down to his fingertips and toes, curling in on him like a warm blanket.

Close. He was close. His heart started beating faster and faster, harder, practically trying to break through his ribcage and Lance gritted his teeth, breathing heavily.

The pull got stronger and his hips stuttered, ready for the inevitable wave of pleasure that was about to—

Bzz bzz

“Hahh… huh?” Lance twitched in response and blinked lazily, cloudy eyes zeroing in on the shitty culprit that had brought him out of his lovely trance.

Of course. Of all people it just had to be Keith. Keith had just texted him.

His lock screen innocently displayed his message and the cockblocking got even worse when Lance read those dreading two lines Keith had just sent.

KeithKogane: had to drop adam off at a workshop in your area. you home by any chance?

At this point, his life had literally become a joke. The thought of seeing Keith didn’t help much, in fact, it caused a shiver to go down his spine, and Lance let out a shaky breath in response. His jaw ticked.

He didn’t know what to do. Yes, he wanted to see Keith so bad, but he was still very much turned on and didn’t want to embarrass himself in front of him by walking around with a very obvious boner on display. Tight pants would hurt and loose pants would give him away.

Seriously, what. He had to think fast because Keith was probably sitting in his car, waiting for Lance to type something back and he wasn’t gonna wait forever. It’d taken him a few hours to get to Lance’s area and…

Wait. Did that mean Keith wanted to stay over ‘cause that’d be— A blast.

Damn it.

LanceMcClain: yea i’m home

Typing with one shaky hand was a nightmare.

KeithKogane: cool. think i can be there in ten. at least, that’s what the navi says

Cool, ten minutes. That had to be enough to finish the job and clean up. And look presentable. And pretend he hadn’t been fantasizing about, well, that.  

So he fell back on the bed, closed his eyes and picked the pace back up again. He’d already softened a little because he’d panicked, how rude, so he decided to go big and shove his free hand under his shirt to pinch one of his nipples to speed things up.

Gasping sharply, Lance let the waves wash over him as he gently twisted the hardened nub between his forefinger and thumb and couldn’t help thinking of Keith leaning over him with that stupid smirk of his and running a hand down his chest. Fingertips and lips tracing his sweaty skin, eyelashes giving him ticklish butterfly kisses, warm breath against his jawline, his name spoken in that low and raspy voice.

Lance dug his front teeth in his lower lip, legs squeezing his other hand closer to create more friction, breaths becoming rapid and uneven.

There was that pull again, forcing him to arch his back and crane his neck. He shut his eyes as his heart fluttered in excitement, causing his hips and thighs to tremble along. More pulling, more panting, more heat, and, and

Bzz bzz

“Oh, come on!”

Bzz bzz

It was Keith again. Except he was calling this time.

Lance actually whined like a baby, shook his head to clear his mind and picked up.

“Hey.”

“Hi, um, I think I’m here? Number 34, right?”

No. Lance’s eyes nearly bulged out of their sockets and he looked down at his, well, oh, he was leaking already, for fuck’s sake.

“B-but,” he stuttered. Shit. “you said ten minutes.”

“Yeah, I know, my navigation was being dumb. Is this a bad time? You sound kinda off.”

Nooo. “No, no, it’s fine, I, uh…” Think fast, think fast. “I’m… kinda… eh.”

Silence. Then, a really quiet and warning, “Lance. What are you doing.”

“Taking a shit.”

Well. It was better than, “Getting off on you.”

A few more seconds of silence before Keith snorted loudly and Lance resisted the urge to crumple up in relief. “Okay. I’ll wait until you’re done, then.”

Ha, ha. “Gotcha.”

“Idiot.”

Keith hung up and Lance buried his face in his hands, this close to losing it. His dick twitched impatiently and Lance bit the tip of his tongue, getting pretty impatient as well.

He wasn’t gonna— Yes, he was. He was gonna fucking finish in less than two minutes because that was about the average time of taking a dump. He could do this. He wasn’t gonna let Keith in and sit there with a raging boner. No way.

After he’d grabbed a few tissues to make sure he didn’t leave any traces behind, Lance sat back on the bed and covered his mouth with his hand to make absolutely sure Keith, or anyone else for that matter, couldn’t hear him, and continued.

Just a few more seconds…. A few more... Nearly there

Lance sighed through his nose and curled in on himself in pleasure. A heatwave washed over him and he had to press his hand firmer against his mouth to muffle the pleased noises he couldn’t help but make, welcoming the familiar pull in his stomach. Almost there, almost—

Yes, there it was. Lance doubled over and pulled his knees up to his chest, pumping himself through his orgasm until he nearly had to bite his fingers to keep quiet.

His body shuddered, basking in post-orgasm state for a few more seconds, before he blinked, pulled his saliva coated hand away, jumped off the bed to wipe up the mess, unlock his bedroom door, sprint to the kitchen sink to wash his hands and phew, open the front door.

Keith was right there, leaning against the opposite wall, scrolling through his phone with one earphone in and looked up with a lopsided grin.

“So sorry about that,” Lance breathed and nervously ran a hand through his… sweaty bangs. Okay, sure.

“Dude, it’s fine. Everyone shits,” Keith chuckled and took his earphone out, rolling it up and stuffing it in his pocket. He walked past Lance and patted his shoulder. “Your fly’s still open.”

Oh yeah, irony. Irony was a thing.

That was undeniable proof that Keith had looked at his crotch and Lance couldn’t breathe. “Thanks.”


It was getting late. It was getting so late and Keith was still sitting on the couch with a cup of coffee and Lance was still fidgety. The guilt was eating him alive. And Keith kept glancing over at him every now and then when Lance made a particularly weird move like unnecessarily pulling on the edge of his shirt.

They’d put on a random Netflix series as background noise. Keith was half-watching it half-talking to Lance about that workshop Adam was at. Lance was too busy hating himself to pay enough attention, but it was something-something space-related stuff, and he managed to fake listen pretty well by nodding along whenever Keith paused to take a breath or change his tone of voice.

Still, Lance had to get a grip.

Because he nearly toppled off the couch when Keith poked him with his foot. “Lance, seriously, what’s wrong? You’re being even weirder than usual and that’s saying something.”

“Rude,” Lance pouted and played with one of the couch pillows to avoid looking Keith in the eye. “I guess um, I upset my stomach today.”

Blink. Blink. Keith tipped his head to the side and it was so cute. “You got a stomachache?”

“Yeah.”

A grimace. “Want me to leave?”

Man. Lance truly was an idiot. “No, I’m just— Ugh, I dunno.”

Keith licked his lips, woah, and the corner of his mouth ticked. “Should we… call Hunk? Or a doctor?”

“No, it’s really not that bad.”

“D’you have any painkillers that might help?”

“… No.”

It was only getting worse and Lance wanted to suffocate himself with the pillow he was currently squeezing like no tomorrow.

Then, Keith put his cup down and scooted over to him, placing a hand on his knee and Lance instinctively pulled back, not knowing what to expect. “Can I try something?”

“Uh, yeah?”

The hand on his knee went a little higher and Lance froze, totally freaked out and watched the hand go higher, higher, past his thigh, his crotch before it… rested on his stomach. What. Keith’s hand was incredibly warm, a lovely kind of warm. It made the butterflies in his stomach soar, as if he’d set them off all at once.  

“Does this help?”

Oh. Oh.

Well, it sort of did. It did have a calming effect but their proximity was also making his skin crawl. “Kinda.”

A smile. “Good.” Fidget, fidget. Lance could have sworn Keith was getting – dare he say it – nervous. “I know it’s kinda weird, but, um, it’ll be even warmer if I go under your shirt.” Fidget, fidget. Lance was pretty sure he’d died five seconds ago. This wasn’t happening. “Okay, yeah, it’s weird. I’ll just—”

He started pulling back and Lance wanted to smack himself in the face. Hard.

“It’s okay,” he blurted out and both of them stilled.

It was quiet for a few more seconds in which Keith’s hand was hovering awkwardly above his shirt and Lance couldn’t stop watching it. Couldn’t stop watching as Keith lowered it and-and-and carefully flicked it up so he could slip under it.

Yeah, it was warmer. Thanks to Lance’s skin setting itself on fire.

It felt nice, though. Keith’s hand was surprisingly soft. Still had a few rough patches because he was a musician, but Lance didn’t mind one bit. He was trying to comprehend the fact that Keith’s hand was under his shirt to ease his nonexistent pain. His brain kept short circuiting at the thought, so Lance was stuck staring at the TV and pretending that he wasn’t dying from the inside.

Keith was also watching the screen while his hand stayed right where it was. Sometimes his fingertips would twitch, which was natural, so Lance didn’t mind that much, but it wasn’t until his thumb started moving up and down that Lance truly thought he’d reached the point of insanity.

No way. Keith wasn’t— Lance couldn’t— Error, error, error.

Help.

His face was a furnace. It was as if he’d just jumped into a hot bath and was unable to resurface. Every time Keith moved his thumb, Lance would sink deeper and well, Keith did it a lot, so go figure.

It was beyond intimate in Lance’s eyes and he couldn’t handle it.

Maybe Keith didn’t even realize he was doing it. Either that, or he had a rather impressive poker face because he was still watching the screen with a blank expression and Lance narrowed his eyes, suspicious. Sure, his cheeks were still flaming red, but that didn’t stop him from keeping an eye on Keith who was oh so innocently caressing his skin.

Was it meant to be platonic? Platonic… tummy rubs. Bros being bros. Bros giving each other tummy rubs.

Oh, god, wait, Keith had a dog. He was so used to giving tummy rubs that he didn’t know any better. Yeah, that made sense.

And now Lance felt incredibly weirded out. His mind was a total mess and it was Keith’s fault.

“Keith.”

“Hm.”

“You’re…” he couldn’t even say it. He psychically couldn’t say it. Keith had turned to him, eyeing him, still appearing to be very innocent and Lance didn’t know what to do. “Nothing. Never mind.”

“What?” Keith looked down at his hand and stopped moving his thumb. “Oh. Sorry, didn’t know I was doing that.”

Lance sputtered and Keith snickered, which was totally unfair and Lance had officially lost the internal battle to stay rational and grabbed the nearest pillow he could find to hide behind, making Keith laugh even harder.

Everything was a mess, he was a mess and needed urgent medical attention.

“Lance.”

“What.”

“Why are you hiding.”

“’m not hiding. I’m,” Sigh. “inspecting the pillow.”

“Aha.”

The cushion he was sitting on moved and Lance huffed when the pillow was pulled away from his face. “Hey, you interrupted my very serious inspection.”

Keith, however, didn’t laugh at the joke and tapped his stomach with his fingertips, making Lance squeak and look up at him. His eyes had softened and Lance wanted to cry. “Is this— Am I making you uncomfortable?”

Yes and no. “No, not really. I guess, I, uh, no one’s ever done this to me before. I mean, it felt nice, but you’re— I dunno, where am I going with this, I have no idea what I’m saying. Ignore me. Gimme back my pillow.”

This time Keith did laugh and smacked him with said pillow. “Here.”

Augh— How dare. You fuckface.”

And it was on. Lance practically threw himself at Keith to hit him back and Keith used his forearms as a shield, laughing breathlessly and trying to kick Lance off of him, but Lance easily pinned him down and smothered him with his fluffy weapon. He'd celebrated too soon, though. Because Keith’s hands blindly found his shoulders and gave him a rough push until his world went spinning and now he was the one pinned to the couch, Keith’s thighs straddling his hips, hands holding his down on either side of his head and—

Keith’s face hovering over his, panting but smirking.  

Oh, no.

“I win.”

Lance tried to knee him in the butt, which did exactly nothing to get Keith off of him, so he opted for trying to move his hands and gasped when Keith tightened his grip on his wrists.

“Okay, ow,” he chortled and Keith loosened his grip, worried. Lance took advance of it by slipping out of his grip, taking his wrists into his own hands and sitting up, but ha, that was a mistake.

Because Keith was practically sitting in his lap right now. Their noses were touching and they were breathing in each other’s air. Lance could smell the remainders of the coffee Keith had been drinking earlier.

Alert. Alert.                                

What was he supposed to do? Pretend that this wasn’t exactly what he both feared and wanted? Because this was all very much platonic? Yeah, that could work. He used to wrestle with Hunk all the time, sometimes even with Pidge, so roughhousing could be totally platonic.

In gay hell maybe.

Lance let go of Keith’s hands and they dropped immediately. Keith kept staring at him and Lance didn’t dare push him off because he felt warm, and Keith was so nice to see and smelled so good, and he liked having someone in his lap for once. Sure, Pidge used him as a chair every now and then, but having someone face him like this while sitting so close was a whole new level.  

“The tip of your nose is cold.”

Wait. Huh.

Lance’s nerves got the best of him and he started laughing like crazy at that random comment. He almost lost his balance, but Keith steadied him by putting his hands on Lance’s waist, oh okay. “What— Yeah, it tends to do that.”

Instead of saying something, Keith hummed and, yeah, there was that smile. His thumbs were doing that thing again where they started moving and Lance instinctively squirmed, not knowing what to do. Keith was actually caressing his hips and it was not good and Lance’s heart was this close to leaping out of his chest.

Keith seriously needed to stop doing that.

“Hope your stomach’s feeling better.”

What? Oh, right. His fake pain.

“It is.”

“Good.”

They still hadn’t moved and were literally talking into each other’s mouths, so there was that.

And Lance was dying. Especially when Keith’s fingertips brushed against his bare skin, which was something he’d never get used to, and he was pretty sure it’d been an accident, but his spine still snapped straight and Keith frowned in response.

“You okay?”

“Uh, yeah,” Lance breathed and held the arm of the couch to steady himself. “’m fine. You’re… um. I wasn’t…” Ugh, words. “I can’t talk.”

A snort and fingers playfully squeezing his sides. “Sure you can. You babble in all your videos and some of them are twenty minutes long.”

“Okay, but there’s this thing called writing a script, Keith. Do you really think I can talk to myself for twenty minutes straight just like that?”

“Yes.”

Both of them snickered at the lame joke and Lance found himself relaxing in Keith’s soft grip. It felt nice and snug and he wanted to lean forward and kiss Keith so bad, or hug him, or maybe even lay on him, it didn’t matter, as long as they would be touching. Sure, they were touching now, hell, Keith was still cupping his waist, but Lance was a stupid loser who needed and wanted more contact.

Except, um. There was a weird noise coming from outside.

Giggling. Both of them snapped out of it and looked at the source of the sound, which turned out to be the front door.

It burst open and Pidge and the other three girls came stumbling in, all of them obviously drunk.

Lance!” Allura yelled and Lance pulled away from Keith so fast that Keith let out a surprised noise, which was cute. “Laaance, can Pidge stay here? Casey and Romelle are already staying over at my place and Pidge said she doesn’t wanna pay for an uber and wouldn’t let us pay, either. And she’s very drunk, so I don’t think she should be alone right now.”

Sure, add that to the list. Normally Lance wouldn’t have minded one bit, but now was really not a good time. Having Pidge over was great and all, but Lance and Keith had definitely been in the middle of a having a moment and Lance wished Keith’s hands had never left.

Pidge bounced over to Lance and almost tripped over her own feet if it hadn’t been for him catching her. “Hi, told you I wanted to get wasted and guess what, it worked.”

“The hell did you guys do to her,” Lance said in a somewhat accusing tone but laughed nonetheless because Pidge started nuzzling his chest. “Never mind, I like it when Pidge is drunk because she gets all cuddly ‘n cute.”

“Shut up.” Pidge blinked up at him and then her eyes fell on Keith. “Oh, hey. Who’re you?”

Bad, bad time. None of them had met Keith yet and Lance cringed, not liking where this was going.

“… I’m Keith.”

It took a few seconds for Pidge to process and her face lit up like a Christmas Tree, and Lance really didn’t like this. “Wow!” She rapidly tapped Lance’s arm. “So, you texted him and he came all the way over here?”

The other three girls started snickering and Lance casually grabbed the back of Pidge’s head and pressed her face against his chest to muffle her speech. “Thanks for bringing her over. I’ll take it from here.”

They got the message and left but not before Allura had winked at him, that traitor. Pidge was mumbling incoherently into his shirt and Lance simply patted her head, looking over his shoulder at Keith with a meek smile. “Sorry. Didn’t know that this was gonna happen. Would you mind getting me some water?”

“It’s fine,” Keith chuckled and got up to grab a glass.

“Pidge.” Lance turned back to her and snorted when she wrapped her arms around his middle. “Pidge, you should sleep. Come on, Hunk won’t mind if you sleep in his bed.”

Turned out that she didn’t want to move, so he laid her arms over his shoulders and grabbed the back of her legs to pick her up. Luckily, she went all koala on him to make it easier and hummed tiredly, slumping in his hold.

It even made Keith stop in his tracks, looking both amused and worried.  

“Yep.”

Pidge buried her face in his neck and uttered, “What were you guys doin’ before we came in?”

“Shh,” Lance quickly shushed her as he brought her to Hunk’s room and placed her on the bed  before he went through Hunk’s closet to look for a shirt. After finding one, he took the glass from Keith, placed it on the nightstand and pulled the shirt over her head. “There. Can you take off your dress by yourself?”

She clumsily motioned towards her back with a small pout. “Zipper.”

Lance shook his head with a small huff and reached under the huge shirt until he found the zipper and pulled it all the way down. He noticed Keith watching them with wide eyes, but decided not to comment on it for now as Pidge kept swaying back and forth, obviously unable to sit up straight. Her glasses were dangerously close to falling off, so Lance quickly took them off and placed them right next to the water.

“You need a bucket?”  

Instead of answering, she leaned forward until her head was resting against his stomach, which made both Keith and Lance chuckle. “Mmmno, don’t think so. Where’re my other clothes?”

“In the bathroom,” Lance answered and looked over at Keith who nodded and left to go get them and Lance got down on his knees to help her out of the dress. She didn’t seem to mind and simply held onto his shoulders and rested her forehead against his collarbone with her eyes closed. “Pidge, love you, too, but you gotta get up for a sec.”  

“Were you two about to kiss?”

Footsteps and Lance froze. Were they? Were they gonna kiss? No, no way, he’d already established that roughhousing was totally platonic, that Keith did that stupid-caressing-him-with-his-thumb thing without thinking because he had a dog, and that they were simply being bromantic. Totally heterosexual. Nothing gay about it. Or bi, for that matter.

“I dunno, to be honest. We’re not— Ugh, maybe? We haven’t kissed before.”

“Aww.” She looked up and gave him a quick peck on the cheek and Lance snorted. “There’s your kiss.”

And there was Keith, holding her folded clothes awkwardly, and still giving them that worried look, because Lance was carefully lifting up Pidge’s feet to help her step out of the dress. “Uh, where should I put these?”

“Thanks, you can put them on the desk.” Lance pulled back the sheets and put Pidge back on the bed. “Wake me up if you need anything, okay?”

“Is Keith staying over as well?”

Well. That was a good question actually. Both Lance and Pidge turned to Keith who looked like he wanted to be anywhere but here. “I dunno.”

“You um,” Lance started and smiled when Pidge grabbed his hand to play with his fingers. “you can if you want?”

“Yeah, Keith. Lance and Hunk share a wall, though, so as long as you two don’t start moaning each other’s names, I don’t mind.”

Holy mother of god, what.

Lance screeched in shock and pulled Keith out of the room as fast as he could, his face red beyond saving as he closed the door behind him and leaned against it with his back with a dramatic sigh, as if he’d just locked out a dangerous monster. A very dangerous monster called Pidge.

What was he supposed to say? What was he supposed to do? He didn’t dare look Keith in the eye now and could only wallow in self-pity as Pidge’s line kept repeating itself over and over again in his head.

And, well, Keith wasn’t saying anything, either, and Lance couldn’t exactly blame him, so he mustered up every little shred of dignity and courage he had left to mumble, “So sorry about that. She… says the weirdest things when she’s drunk.”

“It’s okay,” Keith said and Lance looked up at him, lower lip trembling, but Keith had folded his arms over his chest and looked sort of amused and it was a gift. “It was just a joke, right? Drunk people say that kinda stuff all the time.”

“Yeah. Yeah, they do.” Keith was smart. Keith was rational, unlike Lance who was still having a mental breakdown. “I’m not sure if I should ask, but um,” Lance almost squeaked out the last part and managed to put on a wry smile. “you still wanna sleep over?”


Pidgy: thanks for last night. didn't wanna wake u two up so i took the bus home

Pidgy: also thanks for not having sex.

Pidgy: i know u really wanted to

Me: fuck off

Pidgy: uwu


KeithKogane: so i reached 350k subs and some guy’s assistant reached out to me to ask me if I wanted/needed a manager

LanceMcClain: yeah that happens lol

LanceMcClain: you gonna say yes?

KeithKogane: idk do you have one?

LanceMcClain: yea, but we barely talk. I usually hit him up when I’m really stuck and don’t know what to do

KeithKogane: oookay, so you get a manager to have someone to brainstorm with?

LanceMcClain: you can give managers access to your channel and they’ll be able to manage your videos and look at your statistics too

KeithKogane: sounds invasive

LanceMcClain: it’s not lmao

LanceMcClain: they can also help you with merch

KeithKogane: … merch

LanceMcClain: yE aH. people wearin shirts with your face on it, or your name, or your song lyrics n stuff like that

LanceMcClain: I’d totally buy them

KeithKogane: ofc you would

KeithKogane: still feels weird so i’ll tell her i’ll think about it

LanceMcClain: cool, cool

LanceMcClain: and Keith

KeithKogane: yeah

LanceMcClain: congrats man

LanceMcClain: you’re doing amazing

KeithKogane: owe it all to you Lance

LanceMcClain: <3

Not only did Keith like his comment. He also replied.

KeithKogane:

Hunk came home later that day and found Lance without his voice because he’d screamed himself hoarse.


Honestly, Lance had flailed a lot more in this video than usual and it was entirely Keith’s fault. He was sitting backwards on Lance’s chair, casually observing the way he was recording and tried not to be too distracting by keeping his reactions minimal. Sometimes he’d check his phone or play with one of the many pots of scar wax and color pallets Lance had lying around, which was one of the cutest things Lance had ever seen and he knew he was gonna have a hard time editing because he kept staring when Keith was not looking.

His Chelsea Smile look was almost done and he looked at himself in the viewfinder. “We’re almost done and I gotta say, not bad. Not bad, at all.”

Keith snickered quietly and pursed his lips to keep his composure.

And Lance shot him a smile, which probably looked creepy as hell.

Umpteenth note to self: edit that out.

“Gonna do some final touch-ups and we’re good to go.”

He leaned forward to grab another sponge and their hands accidentally touched, uh oh. Lance pretended it didn’t happen and went back to blending, feeling Keith’s eyes following his every move, which made it a little more difficult to focus.

“How many times did you have to practice before you shot the real thing?” Keith suddenly spoke up.

More to edit. Worth it, though.

“Twice,” Lance mumbled and it sounded weird because he didn’t wanna move his lips too much. “Scared the hell out of Hunk when I did it the first time.”

“I can imagine. It looks very realistic.”

Ah, a compliment. From Keith. Lance couldn’t help it and made a happy noise, which earned him a cute chuckle. “Thanks, man. ‘s what I do best.”

Done. Lance put down the sponge and tugged at his bangs to make him look a little more presentable and noticed Keith pressing the back of his hand against his lips. “You gonna do that pose thing?”

“Shut up, I’m making art.” This time Keith actually barked out a laugh and Lance chucked the sponge at his head. His eyes widened when Keith was about to throw it back. “No, no! Keith, dude, I’m filming!”

“Fine.” Keith had lowered his voice and Lance really didn’t like that tone. Actually, that was a lie, he loved it. Wanted to marry it. “Guess I’ll have to get you back later.”

Yikes. That went right through him. And also right to his crotch, damn it. “Calm down, it was just a sponge. Okay, no, Keith, stay there, I have to pose and take pictures. And do the outro. Y’know, gonna mention your name, send all the fangirls your way, hi, yes, you’re welcome.”

A scoff, but Lance definitely didn’t miss the smile, so he happily did the posing thing (ignored Keith’s snorts), took some pictures, and quickly did the outro. As soon as he hit the record button, Keith didn’t waste any time and threw several sponges at him.

Keith ended up with fake blood and wax on his shirt and Lance nearly fainted when he quietly asked if he could borrow a shirt from him. Of course he could and Lance gave him a button up, which turned out to be one of his biggest mistakes yet as Keith left the first few buttons undone, showing off those damn collarbones of his. At least Lance had a video to edit, so he didn’t have to look at him all the time.

A true loss.

It only got worse because he had to remove all the makeup from his face and oh yeah, saw Keith watching him curiously. Apparently it was very fascinating to watch and Lance seriously wouldn’t have minded, because Hunk, Pidge and Allura used to do this all the time, but again, Keith was wearing his shirt while he was watching him.

Okay, Lance, there were other things to worry about. Like, uh, breathing. Functioning. What he was gonna have for dinner tonight. The nonstop requests for them to do a collaboration.  

Hey, wait.

“Keith.”

“Yeah.”

“We still gonna do that collab?”

That seemed to snap Keith out of it. “Oh, right. Yeah, of course we are.”

Lance ran a washcloth all over his face to get rid of the last bits and buy himself some time, because they both knew that all those comments were asking for a face reveal from Keith, and they hadn’t really talked about that yet. And Lance was afraid to. He didn’t wanna force Keith into anything, especially when it came to putting his face on the internet for everyone to see.

Still, he had to bring it up at some point. “Eh, might as well ask, but you still don’t wanna…” Lance pointed at his own face with a meek smile. “show your face, right?”

“No,” Keith answered and looked away and Lance would’ve flinched at the harshness if it wasn’t for the slight wavery undertone. “The amount of people asking for a face reveal is absolutely crazy, but that’s not what my channel’s about.”

“Are you,” Lance started quietly and hesitantly laid a hand on Keith’s arm. “scared?”

“It’s not that. I want people to like my music for my music, not because I look a certain way.”

Lance’s lips curled into a smirk. “Are you saying you think you’re good-looking?”

Ha, the look on Keith’s face was beyond priceless. “Lance!”

“Well, you are, so I get it.”

Wait, shit, no— Ah, yep, there it was. Heat was spreading through his body like wildfire, probably leaving a blush on his face, neck and ears, and Keith looked like a stupid, smug asshole about it. “Did you mean that in a, what was it, totally non-creepy, heterosexual way?”

Glare. “I want my shirt back.”

“Guess you didn’t mean it in a heterosexual way, after all.”

That was the final push Lance needed to completely dissolve into flames and the only sound that he could produce was a tiny little gurgle, because no, this was not happening. Keith was not flirting with him, no, this was about guys not being able to compliment each other without it sounding gay. The bro-code. Bros calling each other handsome was against the bro-code and—

Oh, who was he kidding. “Keith, you gotta stop fuckin’ with me, man.”

The weirdest thing happened. Keith gave him this odd, indescribable look that Lance couldn’t wrap his head around. It was as if his eyes were looking right through him and, honestly, it was kinda scary and Lance just stood there like an idiot. And there was probably still some gory stuff on his face, so that was great.

“Lance.”

Man, that also went right through him. “… Yeah?”

Keith leaned back against the bathroom wall and looked down at his feet, shoving his hands in his pockets and biting his lip. It was something Lance hadn’t seen before and it was making him incredibly nervous. And he could only watch as Keith slowly raised his head and, and…

No. A defeated smile. What. Lance’s eyes widened and his heart started beating aggressively.

“Okay, don’t look at me like that. You’re scaring me.”

“I was just wondering how long it was gonna take for you to realize that…” A pause in which Lance felt like he was gonna throw up and Keith only made it worse by sighing through his nose. “I’m not fucking with you, Lance.”

Chapter Text

“Hi, my name’s Lance McClain and this is my cover of Baby.” Stupid auto-play on YouTube had brought him to someone doing a cover of Justin Bieber, please god, no. “I know what you’re thinking, but it’s gonna be awesome, I promise.”

“Doubt it,” Keith answered even though no one could hear him and was about to get up from his spot on the bed to click on a different video, but oh.

He started singing. And Keith stared, totally dumbfounded. This guy was using his webcam and was sitting in this messy ass room — obviously didn’t give a shit about good lighting or angles — and was playing simple chords and quietly singing the beginning “Ooh” parts and well, hm, not bad.

Not that Keith was an expert when it came to singing, but he liked to think of himself as fairly decent and watched a little longer just to see if this guy, Lance McClain, was able to hit the higher notes. Plus, yeah, okay, Keith was gonna be honest and say that Lance wasn’t bad to look at, either. In fact, he was pretty handsome and had a dumb grin on his face as he sang into the camera, as if he was well aware of the fact that he had a nice face.

And he was able to play the guitar blindly. Not that the positions were exceptionally difficult or anything, but as a fellow guitarist, Keith liked it when someone was familiar with their instrument.  

So, he kept watching with slightly pursed lips. And nearly fell out of his chair when Lance did the rapping part, oh no, this fucking loser. Keith facepalmed, smiling, and continued to watch through parted fingers at Lance who happily continued to rap and play until he went back to the chorus to finish.

“Told you it was gonna be awesome,” Lance beamed after he played the final chord. “Thanks so much for sticking ‘round. Until next time!” Fingerguns and Keith blinked dumbly until Lance leaned forward to turn the camera off. He hadn’t even taken the time to edit that out.

Keith didn’t have a YouTube account, so he bookmarked the page before he looked at the view count, which was, unfortunately, not that impressive.

387 views. 12 likes, no dislikes. The blaring red button reading SUBSCRIBE 25.

A very small channel apparently. It was only a couple of months old, so that was probably the reason. The description looked pretty average with a bunch of social medias, all of them only having a few followers, and Keith absently scrolled through all of them, but didn’t find anything that caught his eye. Lance seemed to have a few more cover videos and Keith watched all of them because he did have a nice voice.

Most of his videos had less than 100 views, his Baby cover being the only one that stood out, probably due to the song’s never-ending popularity, and Keith hummed to himself.

Maybe he could start a channel of his own and earn some money with that? He had no idea how much money he’d be able to make, but a couple of hundred bucks would be great. Maybe he’d finally be able to get into the music industry, afford his own studio, sell his own albums, give concerts, oh wait, he was getting ahead of himself, but too late, Keith was already pacing around the room and mumbling quietly.

“I’m home!”

Keith had grabbed a notepad and was making a list of things he had to do. Sure, he’d already written a bunch of original songs, so maybe he could pick the best ones and put those on YouTube and iTunes. For that he needed a microphone, editing programs, a place to record, a camera…? No, he wasn’t really interested in putting his face on the internet.

Maybe he should go on other social media platforms while he was at it? Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, Snapchat— a Patreon, yes, that was what he needed.

“Keith?”

“Here.”

“Aren’t you supposed to be at work?”

Shit. “Uh, what time is it?”

“7:15.”

Motherfuck—”


It took a long time to get used to this editing program and Keith kept grumbling at his old laptop for being whiny about it. He definitely needed a new one if he was gonna keep recording songs and edit them himself because no way could he afford someone else to do it.

Layers. He hated layers. Drag, cut, listen, drag, maybe reverb that part, or tune it— Wait

Ugh. Keith flipped off his laptop when the program crashed and laid his forehead on his desk.

Apparently becoming a musician on YouTube wasn’t gonna be as easy as he thought it would be. His bank account was probably crying because he’d spent so much on a microphone and he hadn’t even been able to upload anything yet, so he was broke as hell and could barely pay the bills.

At least he was still living with Shiro and had him to share the expenses with.

Well. Living with Shiro and his boyfriend, because Adam came over almost every day.

Yeah, their relationship seemed to be going well and no matter how happy Keith was for Shiro, he couldn’t help the teeny tiny pang of jealousy that went through him every time he saw them being all mushy with each other. It wasn’t like Keith couldn’t get a boyfriend (or girlfriend, he seriously had no clue what his sexuality was, but he definitely liked dick, so yeah), because enough guys flirted with him at the bar and sometimes he’d go on dates with them, which was nice because said dates usually ended up with him getting laid.

Again, nice, but that was basically it. Keith worked at a bar, so those people hitting on him obviously weren’t interested in a relationship and just wanted to have fun, no strings attached.

Seeing Shiro being comfortable around Adam made Keith realize that he kind of wanted that, too. Wanted to have someone to laugh with. Maybe go on multiple dates with. Someone to talk to — Shiro was super nice and a good listener, but was still his brother, but anyway— stay up all night with, maybe… cuddle with?

“Thought you guys were watchin’ a movie,” Keith said dryly as he entered the living room and saw them practically making out on the couch. They didn’t even hear him and Keith snorted unironically as he went into the kitchen to make himself a cup of coffee. “Shiro, I’ll kill you if you do it on the couch, you know that.”

That seemed to work. They scrambled off the couch and really, turned off the TV and took it to Shiro’s bedroom.

“Oh, my god.”

Well, at least they were doing it now and not in the middle of the night, so good goin’, Keith.


More shifts at the bar. More sex. More writing. More recording. More editing. More kicking Shiro and Adam off the couch, for fuck’s sake.

Oh, yeah, Keith was getting somewhere. He had recorded about four songs that he thought would be good enough to upload on YouTube, so he decided to launch his channel and all the other social media platforms.

He had no idea how to tag the video, though, so he went nuts, wrote a very short description, pasted all his other social media links under it, and click. There it was. His first video ever.

“Keith Kogane – Ours”

Wait, was it the other way around? Was he supposed to put the name of the song first? Keith almost smacked himself in the face and was about to change it when he realized he could just look it up. Type in a random song and he’d find out right away, duh.

Turned out he was right and sighed in relief. He went back to the tab of his video and saw that it had zero views, of course, because it had only been a minute or so, and decided to subscribe to some people he had put in his bookmarks and like their videos. Which reminded him to set his likes and favorites to private because bye, nosey people, and scrolled through his bookmarks.

There were only a few musicians on YouTube that he wanted to subscribe to, so it didn’t take very long.

However, when he tapped on the “Lance McClain – Baby (Cover)” bookmark, he saw that the video had been deleted.

Weird. Keith frowned as he stared at the stupid “This video was removed by the user :/” screen before he typed “Lance McClain” in the search bar.

Oh.

SUBSCRIBE 53K

Keith hadn’t watched his videos in, what, a couple of months and this guy was somehow going places already? His round icon was a (cute) selfie and Keith’s eyebrows disappeared under his bangs as he scrolled through Lance’s twenty or so videos, unable to find the covers.

Again, weird. Seemed like Lance had decided to change directions and was now doing, oh, SFX make-up because that looked painful and some standard “Story Time” videos, and they all had a couple of thousand views, so he was doing alright.

“Realistic Morning Routine | Lance McClain”

Now this Keith had to see. And he was snickering helplessly within the first ten seconds because Lance had (supposedly) fallen out of bed when his alarm clock went off with the most dramatic shriek and was yelling and curse-bleeping at his phone. Then slumped towards the bathroom, bumped into the door multiple times, fell back asleep in the shower, got toothpaste in his eye, drank three cups of coffee and—

It was cute. It was really cute. Keith was smiling at his laptop, watching as Lance started running around the living room because he was running late for class or whatever, and kept forgetting to put things in his bag.

And well, at least it was more realistic than those wannabe aesthetic morning routines he’d come across, so he liked the video and subscribed. And stalked Lance some more by following him on his other social medias and watching all of his videos, which eventually resulted in running late for work again.


After exactly three weeks his video had 15 views and Keith was feeling… meh. That meant taking more shifts at the bar, less time to record and less time to watch Lance’s videos.

He uploaded every Monday, like a true dedicator, and Keith always watched his new videos because they were entertaining and Lance was nice to look at. Even though Keith literally didn’t know anything about SFX make-up, it was still cool to watch Lance turn his face into a, well, disaster, and tell funny stories about his friends and family.

It was obvious that Lance had a good sense of humor and didn’t take himself too seriously. He was likable and seemed easy to talk to. His videos cheered Keith up after long days at work and finding out his video still hadn’t reached 50+ views.

He knew he had to be patient and that these things didn’t just happen out of nowhere. Unless his video went viral.

Like one of Lance’s videos did.

Woah. Keith’s jaw dropped as the video Lance had uploaded a couple of hours ago had already reached over 450,000 views, clicking on it right away because what the fuck, it was only a video about turning his living room into a ball pit.

That was it, that was the video. And it was going viral.

Granted, the video was hilarious and Lance’s roommate made it even funnier by being horrified and continuously asking where Lance had put all his stuff and how he had been able to do all of this in only one day. And Keith certainly didn’t mind how close Lance had been holding the camera to his face as he explained what he was gonna do at the beginning of his video and did it again at the end.

Something Keith had also noticed was that Lance had finally found an intro and outro that he used in every video. He’d kept the fingergun thing that he also did in that cover video and was calling his subscribers “McDreamers”, which was kind of cute.

Keith kept refreshing the page for shits ‘n giggles and watched the view count go up and up and up until he’d had enough and went to sleep.

It reached a million views within a day and Keith could only watch from the sidelines as Lance’s channel started blowing up. The videos he posted after the ball pit one also went viral and Keith couldn’t help but feel a little proud when the subscriber count hit 100K after a few more weeks, even though he had never left a comment or had had any interaction with this dude.

Still. Keith knew he was witnessing something big.

Unlike his own channel that was barely growing. But at least he was making some money. After he finally reached 1K subscribers, he was allowed to monetize his videos and yes, had even sold a couple of singles. It was all very minimal, so it was gonna take a few more months of saving up before he could afford to live on his own.

Meanwhile Lance was doing incredible. The lighting and quality of his videos suddenly became a lot better. He knew how to edit to make the videos more entertaining by cutting off the music when he made a dry comment, adding random sound effects, zooming in when he made a weird face, the whole shebang.

It was all happening so fast and Keith… Keith was happy for him. Happy that Lance was becoming a successful YouTuber within such a short amount of time.

But he wasn’t so happy when Shiro knocked on his door later that day.

“I need to talk to you.”

Yep, there it was.

“You wanna move in with Adam, don’t you?”

Hit the nail right on the head because Shiro held up his hands in surrender. “You got me. We’ve been together for a long time now and things are going really well between us. I thought that…” he looked away and, sadly, Keith already knew the answer. “maybe he could live here? Wait—”

“You’re kicking me out.”

“I’m not kicking you out!”

“Yeah, you are.”

“No, listen, Adam and I have already found some apartments you might be interested in,” Shiro continued and took a few steps closer until he could grab Keith’s shoulders and squeeze them, but Keith was still half-glaring at him. “Besides, you yourself told me that living with me was temporary until you were able to afford your own place. So you can build your own studio, get a dog, have more room for your instruments and everything… Buy that drum kit you want so bad and play it whenever you want.”

“I do, but,” Keith sighed and motioned towards his laptop. “it’s not like I’m making hundreds of dollars right now and my YouTube career isn’t exactly going as well as I’d hoped.” Shiro bit his lip for a second, something he always did whenever he was gonna say something stupid and Keith’s eyes widened. “No.

“Yes, Keith, and it’s okay, you can pay me back whenever you want.”

“I’m not gonna— Shiro, what the fuck, I’m not gonna take your money!”


For a tiny puppy Kosmo shed an awful lot and Keith was not having it. Especially since Shiro kept giving him those knowing looks that were practically screaming, “Told you so,” because he was nice enough not to say it out loud. Not like this was any better, though, but it’d do.

Kosmo’s cute and tininess made up for Keith grabbing the vacuum cleaner from the supply closet. It was kind of impossible to do because Kosmo kept circling his feet and pawing at his shins, making small noises that were somewhere in between howls and barks and Keith’s eyes softened, but carefully shoved him aside with his boot.

Whine, shuffle, patpat. “He’s needy.”

Keith looked over his shoulder at Shiro who was sitting on the couch with his tablet. “He’s a husky, what’d you expect.”

“I expected you to wait and settle before you went and adopted a puppy right away.”

Valid answer, but Keith hmpf’ed and plugged in the vacuum cleaner. It started up, which was apparently very exciting for Kosmo as he hopped around it and tried to scratch it, even though this was the fifth time he’d seen it.  

It was true that he’d only been living in this apartment for three weeks, but both he and Shiro knew that he’d wanted a dog for a while. It was only a matter of time before he’d walk into a shelter to adopt one.

So there Keith was, vacuuming the floor once again and accepting the fact that he’d just have to make this part of his morning routine because otherwise him and his furniture would forever be covered in fur.   

It had taken a lot of convincing and bickering until Keith caved and accepted Shiro’s money. It felt wrong for all the right reasons. It wasn’t until Keith made Shiro agree to get a percentage of his YouTube earnings every month until he had enough money to fully pay him back that Keith felt like he was able to live with the little pride he had left.

He’d forever owe it to Shiro that he was finally able to move out and work on his music in his own private studio.

A closet studio, but baby steps.

It wasn’t that bad and the acoustics were a lot better than in his room back at Shiro’s, so his songs sounded much better when he recorded them. Plus, he no longer had to awkwardly tell Shiro he was gonna work on some songs and not to randomly come into his room or have sex with his boyfriend while he was recording.

A not so great thing, though, was that Keith was just getting by. His YouTube channel was slowly, very slowly gaining more subscribers, he had a few Patreons and a handful of people had bought his music on iTunes. Every time he hit a new (small) milestone, he’d do a livestream and play requests on the spot and some people would kindly pay a few dollars to make sure he’d play their song.

It was so awkward at first. Propping up his laptop somewhere near his keyboard or guitar, make sure his face was out of the frame and talk to his screen, but at least he was making money. Even if he sometimes had to apologize and look up the chords on his phone and improvise his way through the song.

He also greedily took all the shifts at work and even cheated by flirting with people he’d normally never flirt with to get more tips.

Whatever, it worked. And it was great practice. It had come to the point where he only had to look at a guy or girl a certain way to get an extra tip, ha. A casual touch, a sideways glance, a crooked smile, people were too easy.

Sometimes he ended up inviting them over. Because Keith didn’t have time to go out and find a longer lasting relationship.

And because he was not so casually crushing on Lance and it annoyed the shit out of him.

Yeah, that was a thing. He hadn’t stopped watching his videos and had come to the realization that he binge-watched them whenever he got the chance, that he had to cover his face every time Lance laughed at his own stupid jokes and that... he got jealous when Lance uploaded that one dreaded video.

“GIRLFRIEND TAG”

“Alright, what’s up, McDreamers! Lance here with a brand new video for your—” stupid fingerguns. “—a-pleasure. Today I’m doing a very much requested video with my beautiful girlfriend,” Lance grinned and put an arm around a very pretty, like, really pretty, girl next to him. “Allura! Yes, I read all of your comments and know you’ve all been asking about her and here she is!”

Keith never read the comments. Maybe he should start doing that.

“Not only are we doing the good ol’ girlfriend tag questions, but I’ve also picked out some questions from Twitter that you guys’ve sent me, so let’s get to it, shall we?”

Keith never went on Twitter. Maybe he should start doing that.

The video was over thirty minutes and Keith watched the entire thing. Watched as Lance stole a few cheek kisses from Allura whenever she was reading a question. Watched as Lance played with her hair. Watched as Lance put an arm around her waist. Watched Lance being totally head over heels for this chick, holy shit.

Because of course Lance had a girlfriend. And was probably straight. Hell, he didn’t even know Keith existed.

And Keith did not sulk in his room that night, shut up. He didn’t nearly squish the life out of Kosmo who’d already gotten so big that Keith nearly drowned in his fur, no he did not. He also did not save a picture Lance had posted on Twitter of him and Allura at the beach.

But he did feel fucked up when they broke up a few months later.

In the video Lance had said they’d only been together for three months, so okay, that hadn’t lasted very long.

The notification on his phone displayed “Lance McClain has uploaded We Broke Up”.  

And it was one of the hardest things Keith had to watch.

“Hey.” Lance didn’t even do his intro and, no, had tears in his eyes. Keith gripped the fabric of his pants and bit his lip. Hard. “’s not a happy video, so if you’re feelin’ down, please click away. I don’t wanna make this too long, ‘cause, honestly,” A laugh, but it sounded so fucking painful that Keith wanted to punch himself in the face. “I don’t think I can do that. And I don’t wanna go into great detail.” Sniffle. “It’s um, yeah, it’s been hard.”

Keith pulled his knees up to his chest as tears started to trickle down Lance’s flushed cheeks.

“Before I start, I wanna make one thing very clear,” Lance’s blubbered and his voice broke and he gave the camera a look that Keith had not seen in any of his videos before. “Our breakup is mutual and I don’t want anyone to pick sides. Please don’t harass Allura or send her hate, or whatever, because that’s…” He looked away and wrung his hands together. “that’s not cool, y’know? Neither of us are at fault here. It just— We didn’t work as a couple. Allura and I have been friends for a looong time and we figured that… that-that’s what works for us. We’re not meant to be in a relationship.”

The video wasn’t that long. Just five minutes. Five minutes of Lance talking through his tears and five minutes of Keith biting his glove.

It was so painful. It hurt. Lance’s hands and lips were trembling and he tried really hard not to let it show. He couldn’t finish one sentence without his voice thickening or breaking, he couldn’t look at the camera, and Keith heaved a breath when he felt tears of his own pricking in his eyes.

The video got taken down a few days later, along with the Girlfriend Tag one. Lance’s next video was a little off, which Keith was only able to notice because he’d been watching Lance for almost two years now (three if the cover of Baby counted), but everything looked fine in the video after that. He probably wasn’t fine, at all, but he was doing a damn good job at pretending he was.

Again, Keith could only watch from afar. At least he’d reached 10K subscribers on his own channel and had sold a few more songs.

He’d get there eventually. 


Bzz bzz

Bzz bzz

Bzz bzz

Bzz bzz

Bzz bzz

Jesus fucking Christ, what.”

Keith aggressively threw the sheets off him and reached for his phone, squinting when it lit up with multiple notifications.

Notifications that nearly made him choke. Notifications that wouldn’t stop.

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Gmail                                          5m ago
Lance McClain
Song Usage Request

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YouTube                                     4m ago
Lance McClain has subscribed to you!

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Twitter                                        4m ago  
@lancemcclain is now following you!

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iTunes                                         3m ago
New Follower
Lance McClain started following you.

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Instagram                                    2m ago
LanceMcClain started following you.

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Instagram                                    now
LanceMcClain liked your post.

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Instagram                                    now
LanceMcClain liked your post.

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This was a joke, right.

It had to be a fucking joke.

Keith just stared. That was all he could do. Like, seriously. He stared with his mouth wide open and twitched every time the phone would buzz with a new notification.

What the fuck.

Keith swiped all the follower notifications away and thumbed at the Gmail notification and oh, he should not have done that, and the subject really should’ve given it away, but it was right there.

Lance asking if he could use Keith’s music in his videos. Asking if Keith wanted a percentage of the video’s earnings. Complimenting his music.

Lance McClain. That one YouTuber who almost had six million followers. That guy Keith’s been watching for over two (technically three) years. And has been crushing on for so long.

Ha. Haha. Hilarious. Some guy must have made several fake accounts and thought it’d be funny to prank an underdog like Keith. Yeah, that had to be it.

… It was not.

He’d checked all the notifications. He and Lance were now mutuals on Twitter and Instagram. The name in the email was verified. Lance had bought several songs on iTunes.

What. What.

It was so hard to believe. How the hell did Lance find his channel? He had, uh, wait, gotta check, 13K subscribers. Lance had, um, 5,872,951, so, yes what the fuck. This didn’t make any sense. None whatsoever and Keith literally couldn’t get over it. How was he supposed to deal with this?

It was way too early, for starters. He dropped his phone on the carpeted floor and went to lie back down, staring at the ceiling like an angsty movie character for several seconds and trying to control his breathing.

How. What was Lance even doing. Lance was this super great and funny guy. So bubbly and cute, so carefree, down to earth and he had contacted Keith, of all people. Keith’s fuzzy brain was just spewing random bouts of information at him about Lance, about what he should do, what he should say, that he might be able to finally make it as a musician, and he could only lay there, eyes forever wide, mouth forever dry, hands forever shaking, heart forever beating at a dangerously fast pace.

Jesus, he needed to go back to sleep. This was his mind playing some real dirty tricks on him. Just because he wasn’t doing great on YouTube didn’t mean that his head could play with his feelings like this.

So back to sleep he went.

Alas, the email was still there when he woke up, god damn it.

Okay, he was gonna have breakfast, walk Kosmo, go to the gym and not bring his phone, bye.

But the email was still there when he came back home. It was sent nine hours ago and Keith couldn’t really deny it any longer.

Lance had contacted him.

And Keith really needed to answer. So he did. He pulled out his laptop and opened up his email, rubbing Kosmo’s head with one hand and typing out a reply with the other. A casual thanks but no thanks for the money and fuck yes please to giving Lance permission to use his music.

There, sent. While he was writing, he got several notifications of Lance’s other social medias and checked them out, because he obviously had nothing better to do.

“Yo, McDreamers!” Lance with a Snapchat flower crown spoke excitedly. “I’ve been filming videos all day, but it was totally worth it. December’s comin’, which means that I’ll be uploading twice a week, so you’d better stay tuned!”

“I don’t think I have a choice,” Keith mumbled back lamely.


So, uh, he and Lance had become friends. Sort of. Well, they talked almost every day and Keith honestly still couldn’t believe it. Couldn’t believe that Lance was so fun and easy to talk to. Couldn’t believe that Lance made him laugh all the time because apparently, Lance was goofy both on and off screen.

And Keith didn’t know how to handle it.

Speaking of things he couldn’t handle: His phone was blowing up.

Kosmo couldn’t handle it, either, and started barking loudly and Keith tried to shush him. It wasn’t working, though, because his phone wouldn’t stop, and Keith shoved it in his pocket before he turned back to his now full grown husky.

“Shhh,” he whispered and pressed their foreheads together, holding Kosmo’s head so he was forced to look into Keith’s eyes. “Calm down, okay?”

Slurp. “Augh!”

Turned out that Lance had uploaded his first December Special video a couple of minutes ago and had used Keith’s music in it, oh boy, here we go.

Comments, followers, subscribers, Patreons, people buying his music. Keith couldn’t breathe. It was happening. Lance was boosting his channel and Keith took a shuddering breath, refreshing his channel’s page and watching the subscriber count going up. And up. And up.

It was truly happening. And his phone was truly blowing up as well, so he turned off his notifications.  

He managed to calm himself down by watching Lance’s dumb video of him trying out several challenges and pretty much failing at all of them. The most precious one being the try-not-to-laugh-challenge because Lance kept making these adorable noises while biting the tip of his tongue until he snorted and guffawed.

Lance had a cute and contagious laugh. Hmm.

Keith’s crush on him was getting worse now that he was getting to know him better. But Lance was straight, so it wasn’t like anything was gonna happen, and Keith knew that.

And yet. He flirted.

Kept flirting with Lance. Just a little flirt here and there. Blame it on the fact that he had to flirt at the bar to make more money, but it was so easy. Lance made it easy. Lance was always super responsive (go away, dirty thoughts) and expressive, even in text, and it was way too much fun to throw in a little tease or other kind of playful remark at him.

Sometimes he liked to think that it was freaking Lance out. Maybe because Keith was, yeah, a guy, and Lance wasn’t used to guys flirting with him. Girls were probably throwing themselves at him, because, well, they were popping up in his notifications, asking him questions about Lance. Questions about their relationship, about Lance’s current love interest, Lance’s friends, Lance’s address what the fuck, Lance’s number, the list went on and on and Keith didn’t really know what to say or do because he and Lance weren’t that close.

Still, Keith flirted. Subtlety of course. Even though Lance was probably very straight. 

But he started… noticing things.

Like Lance leaving a comment on one of his new videos with a heart at the end.

Like that weird ass audio message he had accidentally sent him. Keith honestly thought Lance had accidentally recorded himself masturbating.

And, ha, that wouldn’t be necessarily bad.

Keith hadn’t had sex in a couple of months already, give him a break.

Lance had told him it was all a misunderstanding, joked about it, and sent him two very cute selfies that Keith oh so innocently saved. It almost made him want to take a selfie, too. He didn’t, though. He didn’t exactly know why, because he knew that his face was fine. He was fairly confident in his own skin.

But this was Lance.  

Lance who kept sending over subscribers and followers until Keith was suddenly close to reaching 100K, which was insane, and he kept biting the pencil he was holding. The wooden taste somehow managed to keep him grounded as he tried to write lyrics for a new song he was working on.

But as always, it was Lance who truly kept him grounded by sending him ugly lenny faces and nagging him about his 100K special. And asking Keith for fashion advice. Oh, yeah, Lance was sending him mirror selfies.

And they were cute and Keith saved them all, feeling only a little bit special that Lance felt comfortable enough to send him these types of photos.

Keith didn’t and stuck to pictures of him and Kosmo without his face in it.

Besides, he was also kind of busy freaking out about gaining a huge amount of subscribers in the span of he didn’t even know. And he couldn’t decide whether he wanted to do an original instrumental, a cover, write a lyrical song or use that one song he wrote as a teenager. It was… simple and wasn’t exactly uplifting on top of that.

Not that his style was the definition of happy-go-lucky, but, hm. That song was one of the first he wrote and had helped him through high school.

Fuck it. That was gonna be the 100K special. That also meant he was gonna have to record himself singing, which was new, but he was gonna give it his best shot.

In those weeks of writing and recording, though, Keith noticed another thing.

Lance randomly wearing hoodies in all his videos. Apparently the ugly Christmas sweater trend was no longer a thing and Keith couldn’t help but think (read: hope) that he had something to do with it.


KeithKogane: you like guys?

Yeah, Lance had obviously been kidding about joining Adam and Shiro, but not a lot of guys made those types of jokes and Keith had to know. Had to know that he hadn’t been imagining their flirty banters. Had to know that he actually had a chance with him.

Lance read the message and stayed quiet for a full minute.

And another. Keith bit the tip of his pinky finger, nauseous, pretty sure that the answer was yes, but that Lance was just scared. Which was understandable.

It wasn’t until five whole minutes had gone by that Keith felt like giving him an encouraging nudge.

KeithKogane: lance?

KeithKogane: dw dude you’re fine

KeithKogane: i just told you my brother has a bf, didnt i?

KeithKogane: also pretty sure he's gonna propose soon

KeithKogane: thanks obama

Read. Keith let out a small breath as Lance finally started typing again.

LanceMcClain: yeah I’m bi

Keith pulled his knees a little higher up to his chest and forgot how to breathe for a second.

Because holy shit there it was. Lance was bi. Lance liked guys and Keith couldn’t lose composure now because Lance was barely responding and there was something off about the way he typed and Keith seriously wished he could give him a reassuring hug.

He remembered Shiro being sort of secretive about being gay, but, well, Keith wasn’t an idiot. Plus, he liked guys, too, and he was right there when Shiro gave Adam a once over at the gym. Sure, he tried to be all subtle about it, but again, Keith was not an idiot.

“Yeah, I agree. He has a nice ass.”

Cue Shiro choking on air.

Ah, good times. Good times.

LanceMcClain: I haven’t come out on youtube yet and I’d like to keep it that way  

Oh. Keith’s eyes softened, unable to stop the corners of his lips to turn upwards because Lance trusted him. It felt good. Heartwarming.

It was only fair to tell Lance the truth about his own sexuality to even things out. He, too, didn’t want the internet to know, though, so he told Lance to keep things quiet as well. And Lance had the cutest response.

LanceMcClain: wait what

LanceMcClain: oh mgyod

LanceMcClain: i promise i wont tell anyone but

LanceMcClain: keithhhhh I don’t have any other guy friends who’re into guys

LanceMcClain: they don’t understaaaand. Hunk’s straight n great and i love him but it’s nice to idk

LanceMcClain: be able to talk about it with a fellow gay dude I guess? Or half gay whatever  

Keith covered his mouth to keep himself from laughing out loud, his dumb smile reaching his eyes and making his cheeks hurt.

KeithKogane: what do you even wanna talk about then?

LanceMcClain: (͡ ͡° ͜ つ ͡°)

Wait—

KeithKogane: lance

LanceMcClain: d i c k

Okay, he couldn’t keep it in anymore and snorted, making Adam and Shiro look up.

“What?”

“Nothing. Go back to making out.”


Life was good. Shiro had finally asked Adam to marry him, Keith was earning money through sponsorships, he and Lance had just finished another one of those endless Skype calls and…

Yeah. Had responded to his flirting. Keith couldn’t help himself and flirted with Lance whenever the opportunity arose because Lance had the cutest reactions to it. He also couldn’t handle compliments very well, Keith had noticed, which was another thing he added to his mental list of things he adored about Lance.

Ahem. Things were going great between them. It felt comfortable.

The wedding was coming up and Shiro and Adam came over to Keith’s place to discuss their plans and would not stop asking if Keith was gonna have a plus one. And even though Keith loved his brother, he had to stop, because it was awkward and Keith didn’t have anyone to go with. Except Kosmo.

“You could ask Lance.”

Keith shot Adam a glare. “No.

“Well, you guys seemed to be getting along just fine? And he also lives in New York, right?”

Sadly, Shiro spoke up, too. “Would definitely be something if a YouTuber came to our wedding. As long as he doesn’t vlog the whole thing, I’m cool with it.”

“I’m not,” Keith huffed and leaned back into his chair. “We haven’t even met. And he’s way too busy with his videos and trying to pick up singing again.” Then, he added very quietly, “And he doesn’t vlog.”

He got laughed at for the last part and folded his arms over his chest, settling for glaring at both of them until they were done. They stopped after a while and turned serious again, leaving Lance out of the conversation for Keith’s sanity (and pride).

They jinxed it, though. Not too soon after that, Lance suggested meeting at Keith’s bar. Sure, it had sounded like some sort of joke, especially since they were goofing around again and Lance was not a stranger to saying whatever came to mind, but Keith still took the bait.

And gave Lance the address of the bar he worked at. And Lance showed up a couple of weeks later.

It was something. The Lance McClain was standing in front of him, looking only slightly out of it after a long ass drive in the middle of the night. But still handsome. With his small and upturned nose, his fair skin, slightly toned and lean physique, pretty blue eyes, his trademark grin and simple yet dashing, as he liked to call it, clothes.

He was supposed to stay for the weekend and Keith was both terrified and excited for it because they were gonna share a bed and everything. And Lance’s reaction upon hearing that had been so adorable that Keith wished he had recorded it, but sadly, he only had his memories. The rest of the weekend made up for it as Lance was everything he’d hoped for and more.

Lance was so fun to be around with. He was super energetic, was able to make a joke out of everything, naturally magnetic and— Keith was seriously jealous of the people who got to hang out with him daily. And he felt like an asshole for it, but whatever, it was true.

Like,

“What are you doing.”

“Taking a selfie with your dog, what does it look like I’m doing.”

Yeah, that.

Keith also gave into his urges and looked for excuses to touch Lance. Even if it was only to gently push him out of the way by laying a hand on his shoulder or his waist (lower back was a bit too risky, but he did it anyway), or accidentally bumping their shoulders together whenever they had to walk Kosmo, and ha, teaching Lance breathing and singing techniques had been a true blessing.  

And albeit Lance being jumpy about it sometimes, he generally didn’t appear to mind and Keith had hopes. Hoped that Lance’s flustered state was because of him, that he was the cause of Lance’s nerves and that those moments weren’t just him seeing things.

It was so easy, after all. Lance started coming over more often after that because he wanted to work on songs together and Keith started noticing things again.  

Noticed the smiles. Noticed that Lance had decided to leave an extra toothbrush at his place. Noticed that Lance touched him a lot, too, even if they were brief and light. Noticed Lance’s jaw dropping when he came out of the bathroom in just his boxers because it was getting too hot to sleep in PJs. ‘Twas a nice ego boost, but Keith recognized that look, too.

Because that was the same look Shiro had given Adam at the gym that day.

It had to be mutual. It wasn’t outspoken, no, so Keith stuck to the careful approach. Kept testing the waters to see how far he could go. How far Lance would let him go.

… Which was pretty far even if he did say so himself. Not that he was complaining because he’d been holding Lance’s hips a couple of hours ago and was now lying in Lance’s bed. After nearly kissing him, of course.

And noticed the box of tissues on the nightstand. Noticed how Lance had paid no mind to it, practically pretended that it wasn’t even there. Of course it didn’t have to be necessarily tied to him, but it was a nice thought.

Also.

“I have to film today.”

“That’s okay.”

“… You wanna stay and watch?”

“Yeah, sure.”

Another thing he noticed was that Lance stared at him a lot. Especially when he thought Keith wasn’t looking. It was cute and Keith was having a really hard time not to let it show, because he was feeling ecstatic that their feelings were mutual.

Like, he was wearing Lance’s shirt because Lance had crawled on top of him to smear fake blood and all that other stuff he used on his face all over him. While having a fake ripped up face, which was weird, but Keith sort of managed to see Lance’s real and cute face underneath it all. And sort of managed to ask Lance if he could borrow one of his shirts.

It smelled like Lance’s deodorant. And Keith pretended not to make a big deal out of it. He also pretended not to make a big deal out of Lance saying that he was good-looking.

But he could no longer pretend when Lance stared at him with those wide blue eyes after Keith had flirted with him for the umpteenth time. It was nothing new. It really wasn’t, but for some reason Lance was upset.  

“Keith, you gotta stop fuckin’ with me, man.”

What. Had Keith been imagining things? It wasn’t mutual? No way, it had to be.  

He didn’t miss the redness on Lance’s cheeks. So there was definitely something. Or maybe not. Maybe Lance was an extremely touchy person and liked to be intimate with his friends—

Okay, no. No. They just had to talk. Communication was important in relationships and Keith had come too far. He was in too deep, he liked Lance too much and he was not gonna back out.

Now or never.


“You…” Lance’s lower lip couldn’t stop trembling and he raised a weak finger and pointed it at himself, still looking at Keith as if he’d told him he was gonna die. “… like me?” Nod. “Oh, my god.”

It didn’t stop there. Keith didn’t say anything because there were all kinds of weird noises coming out of Lance’s mouth that could only be described as wails, yelps, yips and squeaks. He kept pointing at both of them with that same finger, giving Keith a questioning look and Keith merely nodded along.

“Oh, my god. Oh. My…” Lance held the sink for a second and froze. “… We’re still in the bathroom.”

“Yeah?” Keith answered carefully and furrowed his brows.

“C’mon.”

Lance grabbed Keith’s arm and pulled him across the living room until they were back in his room and locked the door so they could have some privacy.

A shuddering breath and a step back until he was leaning against his desk. “Okay, um. Keith,” he chuckled oddly and motioned around with his hand. “all this time…?”

Another nod and Lance whined pathetically, hanging his head so he didn’t have to look at Keith as he spoke up. “I thought it was kinda obvious? I mean, I know you like me, too. I think…” he looked away and pressed his lips together for a second, which Lance took as an opportunity to screech again.

“Woah, woah, wait. What do you mean ‘obvious’?” Then the other words sunk in as well and he threw his hands up. “And you knew?  You fucking knew—”

“Hate to break it to you, Lance, but you’re not exactly subtle. Not that I was being subtle, either.”

More weird noises and Lance turned around, too overwhelmed. Too embarrassed. “I thought that… I…” Weird gurgling noise. He looked over his shoulder at Keith who looked mildly concerned. “So, you were flirting with me. All-this-time.”

Keith stared. “Do you seriously think that I wasn’t flirting with you? What do you think I was doing?”

“I dunno!” Lance yelped defensively, his cheeks beyond red. “I thought that, y’know, you were flirting with me platonically.”

“… Platonically.”

“Yes.”

Keith licked his lips, now was really not a good time for that, snorted and folded his arms over his chest, giving Lance a look. “You thought,” he said and it sounded both amused and annoyed, which was interesting. “that me touching you every chance I got was platonic?” Lance opened his mouth to protest, but Keith continued. “That me checking you out, multiple times, was me not flirting with you?”

“Guys… do that,” Lance still tried uselessly, the flush on his cheeks darkening, because he was felt so stupid. “Friends do that. I flirt with Hunk all the time and I don’t like him. I tell Allura she’s pretty. Sometimes I put my arm around Pidge’s waist. And we’re all just friends.

“Lance.”

Oh, god.

Keith took a step closer. “Do you and Hunk wrestle?”

“Yeah. Used to, at least.”

“Did you also end up sitting in his lap?”

“… Well.”

“Lance, my hands were under your shirt.”

Lance raised his finger again, ready to retort, but the words died in his throat and the blush spread down to his neck.

“I was talking into your mouth.”

Whine. “Stop.

“Are you—”

“I didn’t know what to think!” Lance flailed like he was trying to fly out of the room, out of this conversation. His voice sounded so high and it was embarrassing him even more. “I just kept telling myself that you weren’t flirting with me and that it was all very platonic. And I can’t believe you were onto me. Why didn’t you say something?”

Now it was finally Keith’s turn to look awkward and, ah, his nose turned red. Cute. “I liked things the way they were. I thought you sort of knew where we were headed, ‘cause you were constantly flirting with me, too, and I kinda just went for it. You didn’t seem to mind me touching you, or me putting my hands under your shirt, or me… almost kissing you, the other day. I honestly didn’t think that you hadn’t realized it yet.”

Oh, no. No.

“You…” Lance uttered and felt the hairs on the back of his neck standing up because fuck. “you thought we were dating?”

Keith almost winced at those words and smiled wryly, the corners of his lips trembling. “Kinda, yeah.”

Keith.

“I know.”

Now that Lance thought about it, it did make sense. The more they talked, the lewder Keith’s flirty comments got. His touches had been careful and friendly at first, but they had started to get more daring after a while. Going for his waist, lower back, his hips, his stomach, and yeah, under his shirt. Holding his arm. Brushing their noses together. Stroking his hipbones.

Keith had been taking very slow and tentative steps. Made sure Lance was okay with it. Lance had, of course, been okay with it and allowed Keith to touch him like that. Allowed Keith to straddle him. Allowed Keith to hold him close and make comments about the tip of Lance’s nose being cold—

Holy shit. Lance was such an idiot.

“Maybe we were.”

Keith blinked cutely. “Huh?”

Keep breathing, Lance. He swallowed. “Dating, I mean.”

No going back now. This was it. It couldn’t exactly get any worse because feelings had been established, yes, but that definitely didn’t stop Lance from wanting to drown himself in his own tears. And rip his chest open to get rid of his nauseating heartbeat.

Especially when Keith took another step closer.  

“We’re dating?”

“… I think so,” Lance replied lamely and shifted his weight, too awkward to do anything else.

Keith was so close now.  

“Can I kiss you?” were the whispered words against his trembling lips, sending multiple shivers down his spine and causing goosebumps to appear all over his arms and legs. Warm fingers held the back of his neck, absently caressing the baby hairs, tickling him ever so slightly.

Lance breathed in, his glassy eyes looking up at Keith’s gentle ones, let it out and nodded.

And their lips touched. It was soft and shy, hesitant even, and it took him a few seconds to unfreeze and kiss Keith back. His hand crawled up to Keith’s shoulder to steady himself and he gently pried Keith’s mouth open with his own, creating a small chain of reactions.

Keith inhaled sharply through his nose, tightened his grip on Lance’s neck, pulled him closer so their chests were pressed against each other and finally, kissed him with more confidence. It was as if he needed that little push to make sure everything was okay before he could continue and Lance felt so warm because of it.

His hand dared to go even higher until it was holding Keith’s jaw, which prompted Keith to lay his own hand over it and Lance to smile into the kiss. It had been so long since he’d kissed someone, but it came naturally as he started moving his lips against Keith’s until they’d found their own rhythm.

Another hand found his hip, tentative fingers wrapping themselves around his waist, making him feel even warmer. Lance let it all happen, too absorbed in the way Keith was kissing him so softly, which felt new and exciting and all he wanted was to feel more, more, more, but then it stopped.

He blinked drowsily and was glad Keith was holding onto him because damn.

“You have no idea how long I’ve wanted to do that,” Keith murmured, his voice raspier than usual.

Help. Lance was trying really hard not to get too distracted by the back of Keith’s forefinger stroking his cheek because it was so absolutely endearing that he felt like combusting on the spot. “Yeah?”

Keith moved a little closer to lay their foreheads together, never tearing his gaze away. “Yeah.”

“Oh,” Lance whispered back and looked down at their fingers playing together before he intertwined them, unable to look the other in the eye because again, wow. “… Yeah, me… me, too.”

They both leaned in at the same time to continue where they left off. Lance automatically tilted his head to the side, feeling their noses bump, but it didn’t matter. In fact, he kind of liked it, and laughed breathlessly when Keith changed the angle and it happened again, which prompted Keith to mumble a quiet, “What?” without stopping his kisses and ha.

“Nothing,” he managed to breathe before Keith lightly bit into his cupid’s bow and Lance was here for it.

Wet and sloppy noises made his heart flutter as their kissing got more heated, Lance kissing Keith more eagerly, faster, and Keith simply responded, following his lead, not minding it one bit. His lips started tingling already and, oh, that was gonna leave a mark, which was totally fine, and Lance certainly didn’t miss Keith’s rapid breaths in between the kisses and the way he was gripping Lance’s waist.

This was happening. Lance hummed, happy and giddy, but then he realized, again, that they were not alone.

“Wait—” Kiss. “Keith, I—” Kiss. “Mm, yeah, same, but—” Kiss, kiss. Snort. “Keith, seriously—” Snicker. Get it together, Lance. “Stop kissing me.”

“Mm, stop talking,” Keith muttered back and lightly ran his fingers over Lance’s ribs, which was so not fair, because Keith kissed the laughter right out of his mouth and, ahh, no one had ever done that before and it was setting fireworks off in his stupid head.

“No, don’t— Ack!” Lance was fucking giggling into his mouth now and Keith was not letting up and-and-and, Lance finally managed to get a grip and pushed him off. “Okay, slow down, cowboy. Seriously, I love kissing, love it, and you’re a good kisser, but let’s um, take a step back.”

Keith huffed with a pout, so cute, but obeyed, his hands still holding Lance’s hips. “What’s up?”

“Just that, eh, Hunk’s still in his room?” Lance said meekly and fiddled with Keith’s, no wait, his, collar. “He’s gonna notice the silence after a while.”

A very, very dangerous smirk. “We can fill the silence.”

“Yo. Yoooooo—” Lance sputtered and gave Keith a very firm push, causing him to burst out laughing. “You’re— Keith, I’m…” Hmmm, he threw his hands up, and gave Keith a look. “We can’t have sex right now. Nope. No. Not doing that.”

“What, you’ve never had sex while he was in the other room?” Keith sounded so surprised that Lance felt both flattered and offended. His face and neck were burning furiously and he resisted the urge to slam his face through the door.

“… I have, but uh,” Lance started and narrowed his eyes when that stupid smirk returned. “Stop that. I don’t… I can’t…”

How was he supposed to say this without embarrassing himself even more?

Then Keith’s whole demeanor changed and he took another step back. “Oh, I’m sorry. I don’t wanna force you into—”

“No, no, I want to, Keith, I really do, but I…” Come on, be a man, Lance. Say it. Be an adult. “Idon’thavelube.”

Well. It was not a lie.

Keith stared at him for five whole seconds, his mouth shaped like an “O” before his face went through several interesting expressions. Lance could only stand there, mentally writing his will, as Keith blinked for a moment, turned his head a little, shook it and Lance was seriously starting to think that he had somehow broken him.

“You don’t… Huh. You don't use lube?”

Ha, Lance clicked his tongue and couldn’t help but run a hand through his hair, proud. “Nope. I’m that good.”

“Why am I not surprised.” What he didn’t realize, though, was that Keith’s eyes had softened. “But, Lance, does that mean you’ve never had sex with a guy before?”

Uh-oh. Lance stiffened and felt the blush returning, now worse than ever, and covered his face to hide it. He’d literally ratted himself out by saying that and hadn’t even realized it. Stupid, stupid, stupid, fuck, crapShit.

“Hey.” A curled up finger was placed under his chin and Lance was forced to look up into Keith’s eyes. “It’s okay. You know that, right? We don’t have to rush into things. We can just…” The finger moved up to brush a few strands of hair out of his eyes and Lance bit his lip. “take it slow. Hang out, kiss, go on dates.”

“You really need to stop talkin’, ‘cause I think I might die if you don’t,” Lance pouted and Keith laughed quietly against his lips. “Like, I’ve had a few girlfriends, so I know how these things work, but I’ve never been with a guy before. The only thing I’ve ever done is make out with a dude at a bar after a couple of drinks and that’s about it. So, I’ll probably suck.”

“Lookin’ forward to it.”

“KEITH.”


People knew. People knew that someone had been sitting behind the camera in Lance’s new video, because even though he’d watched it so many, many times, and had spent hours editing it, he’d missed a few frames in which his eyes darted to the side. And there were all kinds of comments about it and while some were pretty funny, others were just creepy.

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pancakesloveme 1 day ago
okay lance ur not foolin anyone lmao

2.1k thumbs up

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real unicorn 8 hours ago
anyone else see lance smiling at something off screen at 3:12????
and again at 7:43?? just me???

329 thumbs up

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bringbooze 3 hours ago      
does lance have a new gf?? 😱😱😱

83 thumbs up

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morphe brush 15 hours ago
GIRLFRIEND TAG I REPEAT
GIRLFRIEND TAG    

162 thumbs up  

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Lance had to divert their attention because this was bad. It was his own fault for allowing himself to stare at Keith while filming and now he was forced to face the consequences. And it sucked. Yes, he and Keith were… officially dating and he had yet to get over it, by the way, but that was also something he was not ready to share with the world just yet.

Even Pidge and Hunk didn’t know. They had their suspicions because Keith stayed over all the time and vice versa, but Lance liked to think that he was very subtle.

Okay, no, he wasn’t. Lance was not very subtle when it came to checking Keith out, but that was fine because his friends knew about his crush, so technically he wasn’t doing anything out of the ordinary. In his defense, though, Keith wasn’t helping, either, because he also kept staring at Lance or gave him a quick peck on the cheek and/or lips when no one was looking.

The latter was so adorable that Lance cooed at him the first time he did it, but then realized he wasn’t supposed to be making that noise. And tried to cover it up with a fake cough.

“Aww— huAH-hem.”  

“Lance, are you dying.”

No, but Keith most certainly was, that bastard.

“No, I’m fine, Pidge, thank you.”

“Good. Thought I had to get up for a second.”

Keith still thought it was funny. Lance only thought it was funny after he’d smacked Keith’s ass. Hard.

Anyway. Back to the real problem.

Theories and rumors about Lance having a new girlfriend were clogging up his notifications and Lance was losing sleep over it. It was bad enough that people thought he was in relationship and that he got attacked for it by a bunch of angry fans because he was ‘taken’, but now that he was with a guy, it just— Ugh.

After a couple of nights of pondering and being the little spoon, Lance came up with a plan.

A Q&A with Keith. On his channel. Because they would be collaborating and doing a face-reveal and distract everyone. Keith wasn’t afraid to put his face on the internet and was okay with going on camera on a channel that wasn’t his, and Lance made sure to thank him by hugging him for at least ten minutes straight.

And hell yeah, it worked.

People were going batshit crazy at the thought of them doing a video together and Keith showing his face. The rumor of Lance having a potential girlfriend was drowned out by fans tweeting and commenting about seeing Keith and Lance together. Sure, there were the occasional mentions of the possibility of them being together, but those got overpowered, too.

Lance hadn’t been able to stop gloating and was excitedly going through the questions people were DM’ing him and leaving under his latest tweet about the Q&A.

While he was sitting between Keith’s legs. Yeah. And Keith’s hands were under his shirt, absently stroking his sides and stomach, reading over Lance’s shoulder, pressing their cheeks together and Lance was so done. It wasn’t like they were doing anything, but Lance was used to being in Keith’s position, and didn’t know how to function. A memory of Allura and him sitting exactly like this flashed in front of his eyes and he pressed his lips together, his cheeks flushed.

“So, I was thinking of taking screenshots of the questions we’re gonna be answering and make a rough draft of what we’re gonna say? Unless you want the video to be forty minutes long.” Keith hummed quietly and Lance had the inkling thought that Keith wasn’t paying attention. “Keith.”

“Hm.”

“You’re not listening.”

A nose was pressed against his jaw and Lance pursed his lips to keep himself from smiling. “I am.

“No, you’re not. I know I’m irresistible, but come on.

“Fine. I wanna make out.”

Oh. They were sitting on Keith’s bed and hadn’t, um, made out on a bed before. A few kisses here and there on the couch or while Lance was editing, but those had been somewhat innocent still. Lance had enough experience to know that as soon as things moved to the bed that it was gonna be different and, well, he wasn’t against that per se.

Okay, he’d wanted to grab Keith’s ass for a while, so this was a great opportunity.

Lance was so busy daydreaming about Keith’s ass that he jumped when soft lips kissed that mean spot below his ear that nearly made him crumple up and sigh.

It burned.

“You’re such a fucking cheater.”

“And proud.”

It worked, though, because Lance turned around and captured Keith’s lips with his own, leaning over him until they were lying on top of each other, oh yeah, Lance was going for it. He certainly didn’t mind the harsh breath Keith let out through his nose as he kissed, kissed and kissed Lance back, hands greedily going back under his shirt. Which Lance also didn’t mind whatsoever, grinning into the kiss and nipping at Keith’s lower lip until he growled.

His phone that was connected the speaker had started playing a new song and the lovely sound of an electric guitar reached his ears, but he didn’t have time to listen to it.  

It happened very fast. Lance was now on his back, Keith leaning over him for only a couple of seconds before his lips were back on his.

Hm, Lance had noticed Keith didn’t take biting or nibbling very well and fully took advantage of it whenever he could. It was fun. It wasn’t as fun when Keith’s hand went higher and higher, past his ribs and rested on his chest, and Lance’s body betrayed him by leaning into the touch and making him inhale sharply.

Both wanted to be in control.

Bold. Exciting. Lance still felt the hints of shyness, but dared to place his hands on Keith’s lower back. There were no complaints, in fact, Keith only kissed him harder and Lance fucking went for it and let one of his hands slide down until he could give Keith’s ass a firm squeeze.

More heavy breaths and Keith broke the kiss to whisper, “We’re on ass grabbing territory now?”

His eyes were sparkling mischievously and Lance grinned. “You complaining?” Another squeeze and Keith closed his eyes for a second, digging his front teeth into his lower lip and hm, Lance loved it. “’Cause I kinda wanna hold your ass forever.”

“Just my ass?” Keith started drawing invisible lines all over his chest and mirrored that grin because Lance’s body kept betraying him by responding to his touch.

His heart pounded annoyingly fast, which Keith could probably feel, but Lance never broke eye-contact. “Shut up.”

“Gladly.”

Seriously, even after getting together with Keith, Lance still freaked out over these things. Not in a bad way, heh, because he definitely liked it when Keith was on top of him (ha) and liked the way Keith sometimes took control of the situation like he was doing now, but again, it was something he wasn’t used to. With Allura and his other girlfriends, he was usually the one leaning over them, feeling them up, pulling them onto his lap, everything, and now things were a little fuzzy.

“… We're double sixin’ it. Night after night, after night. We're double sixin’ it. Night after night, after night...

The song had reached the bridge already. Keith was panting against his lips. Lance wasn’t any better.

“… Night after night, after night...

A sharp gasp. He lazily draped his arms over Keith’s shoulders as they changed positions again so that Lance was sitting in his lap, Keith’s hands forever under his shirt and roaming over his back. Their kisses had somewhat slowed down, taking it easy for a bit by whispering sweet nothings against each other’s throbbing lips every now and then.

Sometimes Keith would smile into the kiss or try to pull him even closer, making Lance’s insides melt because he was a sap like that. And sometimes Keith would kiss his neck or his shoulder and Lance would cling to him, his nails digging into the back of Keith’s neck, barely breathing.

More electric guitar and drums.

“… Don’t you dare look at him in the eye, as we dance with the devil tonight…”

New songs started and were over in the blink of an eye. Lance could only catch glimpses of the lyrics, too focused on the way Keith lightly suckled on his lower lip, took it between his front teeth and tugged ever so slightly and holy shit, he liked that.

“…What a wicked thing to do. To make me dream of you…”

Lance’s lips felt raw and dry, but he was absolutely fucking addicted and couldn’t stop.

“’t kind of playlist is this,” Keith breathed, his voice nearly gone, yet laced with amusement, and Lance merely responded with a hum and continued to place open mouthed kisses on those damn collarbones. “Mm, Lance, I don’ wanna ruin the moment, but you said we had to record the vid— ah, today.”

“Mhm.”

“… You take me to the top, I'm ready for whatever it takes…”

They didn’t record the video that night.

Chapter Text

“Which one?”

Once again, Lance couldn’t decide and kept switching between the black and the blue snapback, ruffling his hair in the process, but he was having a bad hair day and the only way to fix that was to hide it, duh. He just couldn’t decide which one he liked better and was nudging Keith with his elbow, but the other appeared to be too busy going over the notes again.

Huffing, he leaned forward so he could look at himself in the viewfinder instead.

Smack.

Lance looked over his shoulder at an innocent Keith who was still reading the notes, his traitor of a hand still on Lance’s ass. “So, you were paying attention earlier.”

“Your ass was calling me.” Dark eyes blinking up at him, crinkling at the corners. A hand sneaking under his shirt to stroke the skin above his waistline. “The blue one.”

They were never gonna be able to film like this because Lance was floating on cloud nine already. He just had to pull himself together, adjust the blue snapback and sit back on his chair, which was as far as possible from Keith’s to avoid any, eh, mishaps. Obviously both of them had to be in the frame, so they couldn’t sit too far apart and were sadly only an arm-length away from each other.

It was gonna be really hard to find a balance between “Just because we’re not sitting right next to each other doesn’t mean we’re not friends,” and “We’re not being overly stiff because we secretly hate each other.”

Maybe this was not such a good idea, after all. Lance still had some back-up videos ready in case something went wrong, so he could use those, right?

Sit down, Lance.

But that hand. That warm hand on his back felt so nice and Lance didn’t mind staying in this somewhat awkward stance that were making his thighs burn. Now that he thought about it, this position was vaguely suggestive.

Keith’s eyes had gone back to his phone. He wasn’t even looking. Fingers just casually running up and down his spine, drawing mindless patterns over Lance’s skin. Up and down, up and down, down, down, wait— phew, up again. Maybe the intentions were fairly innocent and Lance was making a big deal out of a small thing again for the umpteenth time.

He really needed to sit down. So, he did. And Keith dutifully pulled his hand back, his expression, ha, fond. No one could fool Lance. He gave into his urges and gave the other a quick kiss on his temple.  

“Ready?” Lance fixed his snapback one last time, shifted in his seat to get comfortable, straightened his back, cleared his throat, and waited for Keith to lay his phone in his lap and look at the camera. Except that his eyes drifted off to the viewfinder, kind of like Pidge did as well when he filmed a video with her, and Lance gladly grabbed Keith’s jaw to make him face the camera. “The lens’s right there, buddy.”

“It’s distracting!”

Oh, yeah. That was gonna be in the video.

“Alright, what’s up, McDreamers! Lance here with a brand new video for your,” cue his fingerguns. “a-pleasure. Today I’m here with—” Seconds pass and even though they’d rehearsed this several times already, it seemed that Keith was camera-awkward, so Lance poked his cheek. “That’s your cue, dude. I’ll do it one more time. And today I’m here with—”

Pause. “I’m Keith. Fuck. Wait, no—”

Lance was cracking up already. “No! Not like that!”

“It’s a lot harder than it looks, Lance!” Keith shot back and his nose flushed and Lance’s shoulders were shaking with silent laughter.

“Just say your name! Like we rehearsed?”

More takes ranging from Lance doubling over in laughter and Keith getting up to walk away, muttering things under his breath.

“I’m out. I’m out, bye.”

“No, come back!”

They got it right after ten takes, but Lance honestly wouldn’t have minded sitting through another twenty because he couldn’t remember the last time he had tears in his eyes from mirth. And they hadn’t even gotten to the questions yet.

“In case you didn’t know, Keith’s a very talented musician with his own channel and I’ve been using his instrumentals in all my latest videos. Y’all have been asking us to do a collab for months now and we’re finally here to deliver,” Lance explained cheekily and slung an arm around Keith’s shoulder because he couldn’t resist. “We’re gonna do a Q&A, so you can get to know more about my good friend here—” Squish. Keith huffed out a small laugh and Lance knew it was time to let go. “—about moi, ‘cause, duh, this is my channel, how we got to know each other, all that good stuff. Alrighty, let’s go!”

It went pretty well. Sure, they had to redo some questions due to both him and Keith stumbling over their words, Keith having a brainfart and having to look at the notes again, Lance burping, random eye-contact that ended up in laughter, but it was all very much worth it.

There was also that one moment where Keith went to refill his water bottle and Lance casually sang, “Keith’s bringin’ sexy back, them other boys don’t know how to act,” after he came back in without looking up from his phone.  

“Lance.”

“That’s your theme song.”

Camera was still recording, but Lance knew he’d want to capture the hilarious look on Keith’s face.

I think it's special, what's behind your back—”

“Stop—”

Dirty baaaa- aaah!”

Keith had pressed the bottle of fresh, cold water against Lance’s nape, how mean.

But at least they were done filming. There was three and a half hours of footage and Lance both hated and loved it. Keith had offered to cut out some parts where they misspoke or had unnecessarily long silences while Lance was casually hugging him from behind. Had wrapped his arms around Keith’s shoulders and was using his head to rest his chin on because why not.

It was warm and snuggly. Lance was tired and wanted to cuddle.  

“I thought that you would only have, like, maybe one hour of footage for a ten- I dunno twenty-minute video. This is insane.”

“’s pretty normal actually,” Lance murmured, voice still a bit hoarse after talking and laughing for more than three hours straight, and felt Keith humming. “Usually takes a day or two to edit. Maybe three if I’m lazy.”

Oh, Keith’s head was moving and oh, was now looking up at him upside down. Cute. “Lance, it’s Saturday. Don’t you always post on Monday?”

His forehead felt warm against the tip of Lance’s nose. “I’ll manage. I already have another video ready in case I don’t make it, ‘cause, y’know, gotta be prepared.”

It was brief. Like, a millisecond, but Lance caught it. Keith’s eyes darted to his lips and hm, Lance agreed, so he leaned further down and smiled as soon as he felt Keith’s fleshy bottom lip touching his cupid’s bow. It was kind of weird. In a good way, though, and his position allowed his hand to sneak down Keith’s collar and yeah, that pulled a lovely noise out of him.

Finding each other’s sensitive spots had almost become a competition between the two and so far, Lance was winning. Keith breathed harshly into his mouth as Lance’s fingertips drew random patterns all over the back of his neck.

“Asshole,” he panted around a chuckle and Lance all but smirked into the kiss, happy to feel the skin twitch and shudder beneath his teasing touch.

Alas, Keith pulled away and got up from the chair so they could move this to Lance’s bed, which was… a thing. Lance was sinking deeper and deeper as Keith mouthed at his jawline and pulse, strong fingers gripping his waist to hold him in place, heart beating feverishly, eyes fluttering shut, dents appearing in his bottom lip, blood pumping, and—

Yeah. Loss of control. Loss of control could be nice.

Only in this particular situation, though, because after he’d finished editing the video and uploaded it, something expected yet unexpected happened.

The video went viral. Of course it did. And of course the plan both worked and backfired.

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sad bookcase 7 hours ago

OMG A FACE REVEAL WE’VE BEEN #BLESSED THANK YOU

1.8k thumbs up

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chocolatechipcookie 12 hours ago

keith is such a fucking dork omg i’m in love

509 thumbs up

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Panic At School 9 hours ago  

why???? does keith hide his face on his channel???? he's so pretty???

327 thumbs up

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planeairlines 13 hours ago

do guys like keith realize what kind of power they have

792 thumbs up

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This was the good part. Sort of. Keith’s eyes grew wider with each comment and he had stopped reading them after a while because he didn’t know how to deal with them, much to Lance’s enjoyment. After all, he was pretty used to receiving comments like this, so this was nothing new, but Keith was obviously not used to being in the spotlight.

“Aww, they like you,” Lance had cooed and continued to read the comments about Keith out loud until he nearly got shoved off the bed.   

Now for the backfiring part.

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coffee addict 5 hours ago

I KNEW THEY WERE A COUPLE #klance

239 thumbs up

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pancakesloveme 8 hours ago

told u they were fucking

3.9k thumbs up

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Ionlyswimfree 46 minutes ago

ALL ABOARD THE #KLANCE SHIP

120 thumbs up

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Queen Elizabeth 11 hours ago

y’all so blind can’t you see they’re in love

4.7k thumbs up 

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There it was. The fuckening.

Lance kind of saw this coming. It wasn’t unusual for people to ship YouTubers, so this was all very normal.

Well, as normal as shipping could get.

Maybe he should talk to his manager about this? Nah, they’d figure it out. Of course his manager had already contacted him to make sure everything was okay and even asked for a Skype call in case he needed any advice, but Lance told him everything was under control.

… Was it, though?

It wasn’t like they had an actual problem. No one had proof that they were together, the view count was skyrocketing, more people than ever were buying Keith’s music, both of them were gaining new subscribers— Oh, yeah, this was happening.

More and more comments of people shipping them together, calling the video “gay as fuck”, asking for a Boyfriend Tag video. The only normal ones were of fans asking if they could do a music video together, which freaked Lance out a little bit, since he still felt like he was very much below Keith and his amazing vocal control. Of course Keith kept telling him otherwise by saying that he had a nice voice and that he was getting better at playing the guitar.

Eh, that was sort of true because they often practiced together and things were getting easier.

Hell, he’d even considered teaching himself how to play the piano. More like, Keith had offered him piano lessons and they’d just finished a “lesson”. A lesson of Lance sitting between Keith’s legs and Keith guiding his hands, explaining the names of the keys, but Lance ended up dragging him to the couch instead.

That was where they were now. Kissing lazily and sloppily, laughing against each other’s lips every time Kosmo jumped on the cushions and tried to interrupt them. Sadly, that was not the only thing that interrupted them because Lance’s work phone blared with an incoming call.

But Keith was sitting on his lap and giving him his third hickey, so he wasn’t really interested, thanks. Meh, he wasn’t allowed to enjoy it as his phone kept buzzing, demanding attention. And Keith stopped mid-suck to whisper, “Maybe you should get that. Could be important.”

Mumbling the words against his freshly bruised skin wasn’t exactly doing him any favors. “Making out with you is also important.”

Chuckling against said bruises was even worse. “I agree and I’ll gladly continue after you’ve made your call, okay?”

“Fine.” Lance fished his phone out of his pocket and picked up without even looking at the screen. “Hello?”

“Lance, my boy! Is this a bad time?”

Something funny happened. Well, not so funny for Keith, because Lance sat up so fast that they nearly bumped heads and Keith moved back instinctively and… fell off the couch. With a squawk. And Lance slapped a hand over his mouth to stop the short guffaw that almost escaped.

“What the fuck, Lance!” Keith hissed and pushed himself up with one of the cutest pouts ever and—

“Hello? Lance? You there?”

Focus. Focus.

“Huh? Oh, yeah! Yeah, I’m sorry, Coran. How’re you?”

And apparently his manager had some bad news. Or good, he could never tell. All Lance knew was that as soon as Coran called that it was urgent. “Good, good. My apologies for calling you so suddenly, but there were a few things I wanted to discuss.”

God, there it was. “Such as?”

“Well, your latest video has already reached 2.3 million views and it’s only been thirteen hours,” Coran happily blabbed on and Lance, rather aggressively, pointed at his laptop on the kitchen counter for Keith to grab. “I do believe that’s never happened in your career, so this is truly an achievement. For both you and Mr. Kogane— Keith, was it?”

“… Right,” Lance said, way too distant because holy mother of everything that was holy. Yes.

“I know you’ve said that you have everything under control, but I think it’s important we talk about this.” Keith placed the laptop between Lance’s legs and he started it up immediately to check his stats. “Lance, this is a serious breakthrough and for good reason. You two have great chemistry on-screen, you pick up on each other’s cues, and appear to have a genuinely good friendship. I think collaborating with him was one of your best decisions yet.”

Lance kind of wanted to put him on speaker because Keith was eyeing him worriedly. “Wow, Coran, thank you. U-um, we’re good friends, yeah, Keith ‘n I. Best buds. Bros.”

Now he’d done it. Keith raised an accusatory eyebrow at him and Lance quickly scrambled off the couch.

“Yes, exactly! So, would you mind doing more collaborations with him in the future?”

Ah. Right. “I wouldn’t mind, no. Don’t think he would, either.”

An arm looped around his waist and Lance felt like dying. “Good, that’s why I called. I highly recommend you two make another video together in the near future. My assistant and I have already come up with a few ideas in case you’re having trouble and they’re quite fun even if I do say so myself.”

Lance made a sound to let Coran know that he was still listening as Keith playfully nuzzled his jaw. “Mmhm.”

“Anyway, if those collaborations keep bumping up your views, it might even be a good idea to start a channel together. Obviously this is all very hypothetical and I’m probably getting way ahead of myself, but I can’t ignore those two million views. Neither can I ignore people constantly demanding you and Keith collaborate in both his and your comment section ever since you started using his music. Your relationship is a hit.”

Woah. Wo-ah. Lance tipped his head until their cheeks were pressed together, his skin burning because what did he mean by “relationship”? Did Coran know they were dating? No, impossible, it wasn’t that obvious.

Right?

Besides, Coran didn’t even know he was bi.

“You want us to have our own channel?”

Yep, that caught Keith’s attention. His breath hitched and his fingers dug into Lance’s hip. “Not right away, because then we’d be moving way too fast. For now, I think it’s best to keep using his music in your videos, which you already are, and go back to your regular videos for, I’d say, the next three or four months. It’s important you don’t overwhelm your audience and, most importantly, keep them on their toes for a possible, second collaboration. In the meantime, you can keep commenting on his videos, or find other ways to interact with him on social media.”

“Right,” Lance mumbled, too passive to say anything intelligent and was glad to have Keith half-hugging him from behind still.

“And what do you think of recording two different videos for both of your channels if you decide to collaborate again? I know you’ve been promoting his channel for some time, but he’s come a long way and the boy’s got— let’s see — almost four hundred thousand subscribers. I’m willing to bet that he’ll have reached six, maybe even seven hundred thousand by the time you’ll post those videos and that he’ll be promoting your channel as well!”

Man, this was a lot to take in and Lance didn’t know what to do. “Coran, slow down.

“Ah, yes, like I said, I’m getting ahead of myself, but I’m just so excited! You’re one of my best clients and it’s—”

Seriously, Lance’s head was about to explode. “Coran!”

“Right, my apologies, Lance,” Coran chirped and cleared his throat. “All I’m asking is that you talk to Keith about this.”

Lance swallowed. “I will.”

“Good. While we’re on the subject, one of my colleagues has already tried to contact him, but it seems that he’s not interested in getting a manager. Or maybe he needs more time to think about it, I’m not sure. However,” his manager continued to babble, totally in his element. “I don’t think there’s any harm in you asking him. Would he be interested in promoting your new merchandise? It’s scheduled to come out— ‘scuse me — right, next month. Obviously we’ve already placed the order, but you know me, I have a huge network. I could pull some strings and have someone send him one of your shirts, or beanies, whichever he prefers, that he can wear in pictures or livestreams.”

Coran wasn’t gonna stop talking, was he.

Damn. Now was really not a good time to picture Keith wearing a “McDreamer” beanie. He would look so cute. Hm.

“I’ll ask him,” Lance mumbled, contributing to this very one-sided conversation.

“And one last thing—”

“Coran, gorgeous man, there’s no way I’m gonna remember all of this—”

“—ple seem to think you’re dating.”

His heartbeat jumped to his throat, a wave of nausea crashing into him. “… I’ve noticed.”

“Now, Lance, I know that you’d rather not talk about what happened with you and Allura,” Coran spoke in a much softer voice. Almost fatherly. “Whom you’re dating is none of my business, but there’s an overwhelming amount of comments about the possibility of you and Keith being together and as your manager, it is my duty to keep an eye on these things and therefore, it sort of becomes my business.”

Keith had noticed that Lance’s shoulders had grown tense and was rubbing his side with his thumb, face nestled against his neck, soft breaths tickling his pulse.

“Whether you’re dating him or not, this is a private manner and not something you have to share with your fans. No matter what you decide to tell the world, I’ll support your decision.”

“Okay,” Lance mumbled and laid a hand over Keith’s, still feeling a bit drowsy. “Thank you. I really appreciate that.”

“Anytime. I’ll send you an email with a small list of everything we’ve talked about later today. And don’t worry about a thing, Lance, you’ll do great. Take care now!”

The conversation was finally over and Lance shoved the phone back in his pocket, turning in Keith’s grip so he could kiss him properly.

“Um, hmph—” Keith started and got silenced, his hands comically hovering near Lance’s hips, totally stunned and only half-kissing him back. “Wait, wait, what was that all about? Everything okay?”

“You said you’d gladly continue after my phone call. And um,” Lance mumbled after he pulled back and gave Keith a smart grin. “I hung up, so, yeah, you owe me kisses.”

Keith looked pretty torn, but didn’t put up a fight when Lance leaned in to press their lips together again. Certainly didn’t take long for those hands to crawl up his shirt and Lance knew he’d won then.

“Fine,” Keith breathed into the kiss, his lips already plump. “Kiss now, talk later.”


Okay, Lance didn’t think this through. He should’ve drowned himself in the shower when he had the chance because when Keith came out of his room in a tux, his brain kind of just— stopped working.

What was it with men who always wore casual clothes looking fantastic in a suit? Probably some psychological shit that Lance wasn’t gonna explore, so instead he walked over to Keith because the poor guy seemed to be struggling with his bow tie. Keith was trying really hard to get it right and had a small pout on his face, which he always seemed to have when things didn’t go exactly as he’d planned and Lance was lowkey in love with it.

He wiped his product covered hands off on the towel and turned to a struggling Keith.

“C’mere,” he laughed and went for it by tugging on his collar so Keith was forced to follow him into the bathroom. “You’ve never done this before?”

“I don’t think I’ve ever worn a tux before. At least I managed to put on the cufflinks.” To emphasize his point, Keith held up his wrists and Lance shot them a quick glance, smiled, and went back to tying the bow.

“So proud of you for that.”

Two sneaky hands found Lance’s waist, which he didn’t mind that much, until those little shits went lower and rested on his ass. And squished.

There was eye-contact. Smirks were exchanged. One of them a little more menacing than the other. A glance over the shoulder to make sure Pidge’s eyes were still on her computer. A quick kiss. Another squeeze.

“Get your hands off my ass,” Lance uttered almost inaudibly, looking at Keith’s stupidly smug face through his lashes as he went back to tugging at his bow tie. “Pidge is right there and what you’re doing is not kosher. Not bro-friendly.”

“She’s not looking.” More kneading and Lance’s body was starting to heat up. Southern regions were, sadly, not left out. Their proximity, the fact that Keith’s aftershave smelled so good, that he looked so good in his white tux, that they’d only been together for a short time, which meant that almost every little touch was electrifying— all of it was making Lance’s head spin. “Remember what you said about wanting to hold my ass forever? Well, the feeling’s mutual.”

Two could play at that game. Lance was just about done tying the bow and adjusted Keith’s collar, accidentally stroking the back of his neck and got exactly what he wanted.

A jolt. More smirking, more ass grabbing until Lance was sure they’d been quiet for too long and quickly checked to make sure Pidge was still not looking.

“All done,” he spoke up, maybe a little too loudly, and ran a hand over Keith’s chest for good measure. Patted it like a friend would. Smoothed out some folds. Oh, yeah, he was subtle. A sad case of can’t-stop-touching-the-person-I’m-dating-syndrome, but subtle.

Damn it, Keith.

Pidge was still absorbed in her essay and didn’t even look up when they went back into the living room, both somewhat flustered. “Yeah? Can I go pee now?”

Apparently not and Lance’s body went rigid at the thought that she might’ve seen them, but there didn’t seem anything particularly different about her behavior and she simply hopped off the couch to brush past them.

“You gotta stop doing that, man,” Lance hissed and flicked Keith’s forehead after she’d locked the door, which caused the other to yelp and glare at him. “No butt action when there’s other people around.”

That sounded really wrong, he just realized, but Keith didn’t take the bait.

“Oh, yeah, ‘cause you smacking my ass doesn’t count.”

“… Go fix your vest.”

“What’s wrong with it.”

“The fact that you’re wearing it.”

Squish.

“What did I just say?”

“Sorry, can’t hear you over me fixing my vest.”

Lance grumbled something in Spanish under his breath as he watched Keith going back into his room to do whatever and decided to distract himself by grabbing his car keys and wallet. A few seconds later, Keith came back with the jacket on (oh, that was the reason) and Lance let out another one of those unmanly sounds he made whenever Keith did something that was too much to handle.

Peck. Because he couldn’t help himself. He needed a professional.

“We’re leavin’, Pidge!”

The bathroom door flew open and Pidge bounced over to them to follow them out of the door.

It was the weirdest thing to find out that Adam was one of Pidge’s teachers at her university. Even weirder was that she was one of his favorite students and had received an invitation to the wedding. Lance still had a hard time believing it because of the connection. Like, Pidge knew Adam, but she didn’t know Shiro or Keith, so it wasn’t a connection, per se, but-but-but—

“It’s not a connection, Lance.”

“It is!”   


Meeting Keith’s parents was… something. They were very friendly, very polite, and Lance felt the slightest hint of guilt for lying to them. But both of them had agreed not to fool around at the wedding because, just like they predicted, several people had come up to Lance to ask for a picture and/or autograph, so it was too risky to put an arm around Keith’s waist or to linger too close to his side.

They could be serious if they needed to be. Yes, they could.

Of course he and Keith got questioned for being at the wedding. At least these people were at a gay wedding, so that meant they had to be tolerant, which was a reassuring thought.

“I’m Shiro’s brother, Adam likes Lance’s videos and Lance’s become a good friend of mine, so that’s why I asked him to come,” was the repeated answer and Lance had to keep himself from snorting out loud because it sounded so practiced, but people believed it and complimented their Q&A video.

Overall, the wedding was great. Shiro and Adam looked so, so happy and even though Lance had already attended several of his siblings’ weddings, he couldn’t help but glow at the sight and Keith whispered, “Sap,” in his ear when he noticed it.

“Ass,” Lance whispered back and elbowed him in the ribs for good measure.

It was getting late and people started leaving so that there were only about twenty left who were still hanging out at the bar or slow dancing. Keith’s parents had left as well, but not before saying goodbye to both of them, which Lance found really cute, but Keith told him that they were merely being polite. Adam’s parents also came over to say goodbye and Lance politely shook their hands and sat back down to watch them leave.

Pidge asked Lance to have one last dance with her before she had to go home and he gladly dragged her to the dance floor.

She held onto his shoulders as he put a hand on her waist, guiding her. “So, you and Keith?”

What— “How’d you know.”

“Oh, come on,” she laughed, her big brown eyes sparkling mischievously. “You really think I’m that stupid? Maybe Hunk doesn’t know ‘cause he’s never home, but I’ve seen the way Keith looks at you. And okay, I’ll admit I kinda already knew what was going on when I walked in on you two cuddling on the couch that one time I slept over. Maybe you didn’t know, but I definitely did. Like, he was literally in your face.”

So, even Pidge knew that that couldn’t be platonic. Damn it.

Lance pressed his lips together and squeezed her waist. “Sorry for not telling you earlier. We were kinda… I dunno, it’s all very new and-and— I dunno.”

“I get it,” she smiled and giggled when he twirled and dipped her. “Watch it, Keith might get jealous.”

But Keith wasn’t watching them. He was having drinks with some of Adam’s colleagues, if Lance remembered correctly, at the bar and had a natural flush on his face, which was definitely an indication of too much alcohol. Interesting, very interesting. Yes, Lance would love to talk to a drunk Keith. For science.

“Nah, he knows we’re close. Besides, I dunno if we’re… exclusive,” he mumbled, suddenly feeling a wave of sadness crashing into him, and he pouted down at Pidge. “We’ve only been dating for a couple of weeks, so I can’t call him my boyfriend yet. I don’t think?”

She followed his gaze before looking back up at him with a sly smile. “Well, you should ask him later. Drunk people always tell the truth, so you’d probably get an honest answer out of him if you did.”

How very evil.

But so very true.  

It wasn’t like Lance was scared of asking him, nah, it was just um, intimidating. He’d asked previous girlfriends this before. Sort of. More like, it usually worked itself out. They’d go on several dates and eventually they naturally became “exclusive” and started calling each other boyfriend/girlfriend. And now, he was kind of hovering between taking a step back and watching it unfold and awkwardly wondering if he could confidently call Keith his boyfriend yet.

“I hate you for saying that.”

“You’re welcome.” The song slowed and Pidge took a step closer, so she could lay her head against his chest, barely moving her feet. Lance was about to ask her what was up, when she spoke up in a much softer tone, “Do you want the internet to know?”

Funny. Since the internet already thought they were a couple, which was obviously different, but still. Lance had learned that Keith was a very private person and didn’t share a lot of personal information with the world, let alone his sexuality and/or current relationship status. And it wasn’t like Lance was shouting it from the rooftops, either, so they were kind of in this silent agreement to keep it a secret.

At least for now.

He still had to call Coran back, ugh.

“… Not yet,” Lance mumbled against the crown of her head and felt her hum in response. “People can and will think whatever they want and that’s fine, but,” a sigh and he subconsciously tugged her closer. “some are not gonna like it and it’s gonna affect everything.”

“I know, Lance.” Her voice was barely above a whisper as she squeezed his shoulders. “I know. But let’s take one step at a time. Talk to him, okay?”   

Keith randomly looked over at them, as if he’d been listening, even though there was a good thirty feet separating them and Lance winked at him. “Possibly-soon-to-be-my-boyfriend has spotted us.”

“You’re hopeless.”

They brought an end to their dance with Lance twirling her one last time and bowing dramatically. “Thanks for the dance, m’lady. Text me when you get home.”

“Yeah, yeah.” She stood on her tiptoes and they gave each other a quick kiss on the cheek. “Goodnight.”

“’Night, Pidgy.”

That was also the moment when Keith joined them, mumbling something about Adam’s colleagues leaving, and Pidge grinned. “Hi, bye.” She also kissed him on the cheek and bounced over to Shiro and Adam, but Lance didn’t have time to think because Keith was watching her leave with one of the most shocked looks on his face Lance had ever seen and it was hilarious.

“I don’t think a girl has ever kissed me on the cheek before. Except my mom, but she doesn’t count.”

Snort. Lance laid a hand on Keith’s lower back (because they were practically the only ones there) and guided him towards their table where they’d left their jackets. It was their private space now that everyone else was gone and tragically sober Lance was sitting right next to a tipsy Keith who was entertainingly fascinated by his fork.

Yeah, Lance had already taken several pictures of it because, finally, some blackmail material.

Just when he was about to ask Keith about their relationship, Shiro and Adam sat across from them.

“Heeeey, you two,” Lance grinned and they smiled at him. “Great wedding, my dudes. Loved the band, loved the food, loved the people, Keith loved the drinks.”

“Shuddup.”

“Glad to hear you had a good time,” Shiro said and didn’t hesitate to link his and Adam’s fingers together on the table. “Thanks so much for coming. We had to do a bit of convincing until Keith had the balls to ask you.”

Groan. Lance’s eyebrows rose and he turned to Keith, the biggest and fattest grin on his face. “Really? Aw, Keith, look at’chu all shy.”

“It wasn’t like that!” Keith shot back and folded his arms over his chest, defensive stance activated. “That was before we met in real life. We didn’t know each other that well back then and it would’ve been weird to ask you to come to my brother’s wedding.”

“But you did have a crush on him already.”

Lance’s jaw dropped. Dropped to the fucking floor, because— “Wait, what?”

“’m not sober enough to have this conversation with you now,” Keith brushed him off and reached for his inner pocket to pull out an envelope. He put it on the table and slid it over to Shiro, but avoided eye-contact. “Here’s your wedding gift. Wanted to give it to you sooner, but didn’t get the chance.”

Smart way to change the subject, but Lance was so gonna ask for details later.

It was a good thing nearly everyone had left, because Shiro did a double take when he opened the envelope and pulled out the check. “Keith, that’s way too much money. We can’t take this.”

Adam also seemed pretty out of it and eyed him worriedly, but Keith simply shook his head. “I’ve made enough money to pay you back for everything, Shiro. And the rest is for your honeymoon.”

Silence. For a minute there, Lance was scared that they were gonna get into a fight, verbal or psychical, and was about to awkwardly excuse himself, but then Shiro’s face broke into the widest smile ever. “I had no idea things were going so well with your channel. I had a hunch when you bought that new keyboard, but this…” His eyes darted back down to the envelope before he looked at Adam and then at Keith. “I know how bad you wanted to make it into the music industry and how many different routs you’ve tried to get there. Honestly, I don’t even care that you’re paying me back, because my little brother has finally become the musician he’s always wanted to be and I’m so proud of you, bud.”

Lance watched as Shiro pushed himself up and walked over to Keith to pull him into a hug, and, help, there was something in his eye, so he quickly looked down at his empty plate and squeezed the table cloth.

Yoku ganbattana.”

And there was that Japanese again. It sounded soft and praising and Lance wanted to die. Maybe he could ask Keith to teach him the basics. Maybe he could talk dirty to him in Japanese, ha, that would be funny. Lance pretended to wipe his mouth with his napkin to cover up his grin, because he was that loser who laughed at his own jokes.

“Shiro, try to keep the cliché to a minimum, please,” Adam jested and the four of them huffed out a laugh as Shiro and Keith sat back down.

“That’s what weddings and alcohol are for,” Shiro argued back and gave him a quick peck on the cheek, intertwining their fingers again. Apparently it was natural for them to do so and Lance’s inner romantic was losing his shit over it. “In all seriousness, I am very proud of him. I’ve watched him struggle for so many years.”

“’s all thanks to Lance,” Keith drawled and craned his neck to look over at Lance, because he was tipsy and apparently couldn’t turn his head like a normal person. “He’s still boosting my channel ‘s we speak.”

“Dude, I told you that it all comes down to you and your talent. I can boost your channel all I want, but if people don’t like your music, then they’ll just leave,” Lance casually reminded him and chuckled when Keith pouted in response. “Stop lookin’ at me like that. It’s true.”

This conversation was way too much fun and Lance resisted the urge to lean forward and kiss the tip of Keith’s red nose, because he was being way too cute and it was annoying.

“He’s right, you know,” Shiro agreed and Keith groaned again, obviously dissatisfied. “Okay, okay, we’ll stop. So, Keith, I hope you’re sober enough to remember that I asked you to water the plants at our place at least twice a week? Maybe you can take Lance there to, y’know, show him your old room.”

Ooh, Lance perked up and shuffled closer to a grumbling Keith who was still not over the little shower of compliments he’d gotten, wrapping an arm around his shoulder. “Don’t worry. I’ll remember. Uh, I don’t wanna be rude, but I think it’s time I take this home.”

“’m not a thing, Lance.”

“Shh, you’re my thing.”

Oh. Woops. Blame Pidge for bringing it up. And Lance for being impatient and wanting answers, but it just— slipped out. Slipped out of his stupid, stupid mouth. That stupid mouth that wanted to kiss that adorable little frown off Keith’s face.

Anyway. Time to go. “Thanks again for the lovely wedding,” Lance flipped the conversation, using his people skills he was so proud of, and put on a genuine smile for the couple in front of them. “The pleasure was all ours. Have fun in Japan, be sure to take lots of pictures, enjoy each other’s company, send us a postcard— the whole shebang-shmang-thang.  Excuse us, please.”

Lance grabbed their jackets and dragged Keith to the parking lot. Poor Keith was kind of stumbling over his own feet thanks to the alcohol and Lance gladly took the opportunity to hold him close after a good eight-ish hours of agony.

Drunk Keith was a blessing. Drunk Keith leaned into his touch, nosed his neck, kept mumbling that he really liked Lance, help, and was generally a lot more affectionate than Sober Keith and it was murdering him on the spot. In cold blood. Like, for real. This was turning into a crime scene.

“Where’s my phone. You’re being illegally cute right now and I should call the police on your ass.”

“But you like my ass. You won’t be able to hold it if ‘m in prison—”

Ugh, get in the car.”

 “— ‘n my ass will be lonely without your ass to keep it company.”

“Oh, my god.

At least they were driving now. It was so late that there were hardly any other cars on the highway, so Lance looked over at Keith who was leaning against the window, his eyes drooping, ponytail so loose that a few strands of hair were framing his face. Lance laid a hand on his thigh and Keith hummed in acknowledgement, but didn’t move.

“Hey, can I ask you somethin’?”

“Depends. Am I gonna regret answering it in my drunken state?”

Gnawing on his lower lip, Lance ran a thumb over the fabric of Keith’s pants. “I dunno. Um,” he stalled and was glad he had to keep his eyes on the road for now, even though they were literally the only ones there. “Are we… Hm, how should I put this. Y’know, maybe I should wait until you’re sober, ‘cause I feel bad for asking you this right now.”

Damn him for being raised well. Damn Pidge for feeding him bad ideas. Damn this entire situation.

“Lance.” Keith’s leg moved as he shifted and a hand was put over Lance’s. “What is it.”

“Where are we? Wait, that sounds weird, I mean— what are we? Okay, no, that’s not good, either. It’s really hard to say this for some reason, because I really, really like you, Keith, and I don’t wanna make things awkward or weird and I know that we’ve already established that we’re attracted to each other and that’s great and awesome, and we’re having fun so far, right? I mean, I am, and I don’t wanna force you into anything, of course, and oh god, I’m rambling. I’m rambling, and you’re drunk and I just wanna know if you wanna be, y’know— Never mind, I need to rephrase this, hold on—”

He didn’t know how to rephrase it.

Seconds passed. Maybe even a whole minute, he was too nervous to keep track.

Okay, what the hell was that? The words had kind of flown out of his mouth at an inhuman speed and he hated himself for it, because Keith probably didn’t get a word of that and he was gonna have to say it again. This was totally his heart’s fault for beating so fast and his brain casually baking a rainbow cake instead of actually functioning like it was supposed to.

More heartbeats of silence and Lance gripped the steering wheel with his free hand, his palms clammy. Red light, even though there was no one else there, yes, hello, logic. Lance just wanted to get home. Keith was supposed to sleep over because his place was closer, but he’d gladly drive another three hours if it meant getting out of this dragging conversation.

Shift, shift. Fingertips tracing the veins on his hand, making his skin tingle.  

“And here I was, innocently thinking you were gonna ask me about my darkest fantasies,” Keith chuckled and intertwined their fingers, making Lance relax because even while drunk, Keith knew exactly what to say to make him feel at ease. “But I get what you were saying and ’s up to you. Do you want us to be more?”

Lance mewled, what the fuck. “Keith, don’t do this to me, man.”

“But you’re cute when you’re squirmy.”

Stop. I’m the flirty and smooth one here, not you.”

Oh, man, if only he had an extra hand to take a picture with because Keith looked so offended and Lance barked out an ugly laugh, his nerves completely gone. “I can flirt!”

“With your stoic face, yes.”

Sure, they’d had their playful banters before they were dating, but for some reason, they’d started bickering a lot more after their confessions. Lance had no idea why, or how it happened, though. It just did and Lance would be lying if he said he didn’t like it, because it always ended up in laughter and smooches. Eh, smoochin’ was gonna be a bit difficult in their current state, but whatever. Still fun.

Another red light and Keith didn’t hesitate to bring their hands up to his face and bite Lance’s finger.

Ow! Dude!” But he was laughing and could feel Keith’s upturned lips against his fingers and it was cute. “I swear to god, you and your biting.”

No reply, just a hum. Lips moving, featherlight kisses placed on each fingertip and Lance’s skin was glowing under the soft touch. It was like a spell, every little shred of worry left to make room for something more tender and it was working. Lance sagged in his seat, the grip on the wheel loosening until his hand started slipping.

Woah, woah, too much. Eyes on the road, Lance. Still driving a vehicle. Still a danger to both of them if Keith didn’t stop that right now. Green light and Lance hit the gas pedal a little too forcefully as a way to distract Keith.

“Stop making out with my hand.” And he tried to pull it back and he almost succeeded, but Keith’s grip was annoyingly solid. “I’m driving and you’re driving me crazy.”

The pun was not very effective. “It’s either this or biting, so pick your poison. We’re almost there, anyway, it’s fine.”

Unfortunately, he was right. ‘Twas gonna take another ten minutes or so. Ten minutes in which Keith could continue to kill him slowly and painfully. One of those ten minutes ticked by in silence and Lance’s hand was starting to burn. Keith wasn’t really doing anything, though. Just playing with his hand. Breathing on it, holding it, kissing it, nuzzling it, oh no, and Lance nearly screamed his lungs out.

It wasn’t sexy or hot, not particularly, just— intimate. Not one of his girlfriends had ever touched or played with his hand like that. He didn’t know that his hand could get this tingly and sensitive with nothing but a few kisses and nuzzles. Either his hands were very sensitive or it was because it was… Keith.

Stupid Keith and his drunk affection.

“But in all seriousness, Lance, if you’re asking me to be your boyfriend…” said stupid-and-not-so-sober person mumbled against his palm. The kissing had stopped and Lance’s wrist twitched nervously. It felt sweaty.  

“I am,” Lance whispered and was very grateful for the last red light, so they could have eye-contact.

The streetlights showed Keith’s slightly irritated eyes, lazy smile and red cheeks. “Then the answer is yes.”

Good. Fantastic. Lance had a boyfriend now. First boyfriend ever. Sure. Oh, boy.

Eh, wait, did that statement require an answer? Keith looked content enough with Lance’s mirrored smile and slotted their fingers together once again, laying them back down on his lap and running his thumb over the back of Lance’s hand.


The light in Hunk’s room was on, so Lance told Keith to be quiet, which of course, had the exact opposite effect.

Keith hid his face in Lance’s shoulder to muffle his snorts. Not that Lance was doing a good job at keeping a straight face, either.

“Please shut up before Hunk comes out and accuses us of being gay.”

Not a good idea to say that out loud because still-not-completely-sober-Keith was now shaking with silent laughter against his back, tightening his grip on his arms to keep himself from falling over. Okay, maybe Lance liked Keith when he was tipsy and giggly. And liked to take advantage of that with his lame ass humor as well.

Fuck, I need to sober up,” Keith sighed. He didn’t move, though. Simply continued to bury his face between Lance’s shoulder blades, which, oddly enough, was making Lance weak in the knees. “Think ‘m gonna take a shower.”

Ah, a shower sounded nice. Lance kinda wanted to take one, too, even though he’d already taken one this morning. He’d be a gentleman and wait his turn—

Or join him. Join Keith in the shower because that wouldn’t be weird, or anything. No, Lance, it wouldn’t. Couples did it all the time, hell, it saved water, right? And it wasn’t like they had to fool around in the shower. Nah, they could just wash each other’s hair, maybe make out a little bit, yeah, it could be innocent. Because shower sex was messy, not to mention dangerous, not to mention loud.

Because echoey bathroom walls. Also Hunk was home (and possibly growing suspicious already).

This internal monologue was the most useless thing ever.

“Mind if I join you?”

Just throwin’ it out there. Sometimes the direct approach was the best approach.

He looked over his shoulder, down at Keith, and instantly regretted it because Keith was giving him a look.

Never mind. Direct approach never worked in Lance’s favor.  

“Nope.”

Okay, apparently it did. Still, Lance was starting to regret everything once they’d grabbed some clean clothes and were standing in the bathroom, door locked, buttons undone, hair ruffled and… about to take everything off. It wasn’t like Lance had never seen another guy naked before, but he’d never seen Keith naked before and he was kinda dying.  

Definitely now that Keith was already halfway there and about to unzip his pants. Lance was jealous of his unsoberness. He needed a drink. Or five.

Or maybe ten because, oh. Keith’s boxers joined the small pile of clothes in the corner while Lance was still busy having a crisis. He’d showered with his previous girlfriends, so it wasn’t like this was gonna be his first time. And yet, for some reason, this felt significantly different.

“M’gonna turn it on.”

Not helping, Keith. Turning his back to Lance wasn’t helping, either. His ass was also something Lance would never be able to get over. Maybe squats weren’t that bad.

Anyway, Lance had managed to take off his pants, too, and watched Keith carefully swinging his legs over the edge of the bathtub, biting his lip. He looked over his shoulder at Lance and yep, checked him out. “You comin’?”

Again, Keith. Not helping.

“Yeah.”

There they were. Standing closer to each other than necessary, washing their hair, each other’s backs, and everything was fine. Sure, Lance couldn’t stare at the water droplets streaming down Keith’s chest for longer than a second because that’d surely end him, but it was fine.

It was nice, actually. Warmth, proximity, the smell of soap and shampoo, sweet smiles, hazy glances, thick and wet eyelashes sticking together. At some point Lance had subconsciously taken a step closer to Keith to wipe away a glob of conditioner on his shoulder and Keith glanced up at him, pupils still slightly dilated.

For some reason Keith was able to show so much emotion with his eyes only and it was seriously killing Lance. He did the only thing he could think of and quickly closed the distance to bring their wet lips together. Keith reacted right away by cupping the back of Lance’s neck and smirking into the kiss.

Also not very good for Lance’s blood pressure, so he decided to take control by grabbing Keith’s hips and pulling him flush against him. That sharp intake of breath against his sensitive lips was exactly what he’d been aiming for. Sadly, he was kinda facing the consequences, too, but managed to keep his composure and continued to nip at Keith’s mouth.

“You wanna be in charge?” the other whispered, barely audible over the water.

Oh, no.

Oh, no.

Keith was playing with his wet hair, nuzzling his cheek, kissing the corner of his mouth, his jaw and neck, his other hand tracing a straight line down his chest, stopping right above his navel before going back up again, all his touches sending non-stop tingles down Lance’s spine.

And further down south which he was unable to hide. Especially since they were standing so close.

It was probably time to talk about this. Talk to Keith about having sex, or anything related to that. This was something that had also kinda happened naturally in all his previous relationships, but it was different with Keith, because Keith had a dick. They needed to talk about— positions, preparations, preferences, stuff like that.

Tonight was Confession Night.

“… Um, Keith,” he started, his voice breaking, but he cleared his throat and tightened his grip on his boyfriend’s waist, which earned him another breathy sound. Panic, panic, panic. “Hold on, hold on— Okay, if you don’t stop that right now, I might die.”

“Nah, don’t worry. Unless turning you on will cause your dick to fall off. In which case,” Keith stopped for a second for dramatic effect and to give him a very amused look. “I will laugh so fucking hard I might die.” 

Why was this so hard— Difficult. Damn dick jokes.

To make matters worse, Keith started kissing his neck and Lance’s knees buckled, his skin overly sensitive due to the hot water. “Babe, I’m serious.”

For some reason, Keith froze and made a rather interesting noise. Their eyes locked and Lance’s grew soft upon seeing that Keith’s nose was red. “What, uh, what is it?”

But Lance was intrigued and reached for Keith’s cheek. “Wait, why are you flustered?”

“I’m not.”

Raising an eyebrow, Lance tapped the tip of his nose. “This one says otherwise.”

This was honestly not good for his heart because Keith pulled back with a huff, the redness spreading to his cheeks and ears and Lance had to psychically restrain himself from cooing. No words came out, however, so Lance splashed some water into his face, which made Keith splutter and grab the shower head to exact revenge.

“No, no, wait!” Lance whisper-yelled, held up his hands and looked at the bathroom door because he thought he heard something.

And he was right.

Footsteps. A knock. Shit.

“Lance? You talkin’ to yourself in the shower again?”

Ah, the cherry on top. He made the mistake of looking back at Keith who mouthed “Again?” with a grin, so Lance flipped him off. “Sorry, Hunk, did I wake you up?”

“Nah, it’s fine. Shay ‘n I were watching a movie. We were just wondering what was going on,” Hunk chuckled at the end and Lance seriously wanted to shove the shower head down his throat. “Also, I thought you said Keith was staying over, but he’s not here?”

The universe was never on his side. Lance felt completely and utterly betrayed by it. Keith also betrayed him by spraying water on his backside, which almost, almost caused him to squawk in surprise.

“He um—” Come on, come on, come on. “went for a walk.”

Good one, Lance. He was under a lot of pressure, okay, and oh so lovely Keith wouldn’t move the shower head away from his ass.

“What? It’s, like, two in the morning.”

“What can I say, he’s a weird guy.” That earned him a bite in the shoulder and Lance’s jaw dropped, totally offended, and he turned off the shower. “I’m sure he’ll be back soon. If not, I’ll give him a call.”

“Okay,” Hunk chirped, thank god. “We’re gonna go to bed, then. Goodnight, buddy.”

“Night!”

As soon as Lance heard the sound of a door closing, he flipped Keith off again. With both hands this time. Luckily, Keith didn’t take the bait and simply pecked him on the lips before he got out of the bathtub and started drying himself off.

They got ready for bed in silence and padded over to Lance’s room, bursting into silent laughter when they plopped down onto the bed, legs and arms tangled.

Lance buried his nose in Keith’s warm neck, trying to calm down. “That was so close. We should probably tell him soon,” he murmured and felt Keith’s skin vibrating when he hummed in agreement. “Mm, you smell all nice ‘n fresh.”

“Thanks, it’s my boyfriend’s bodywash.”

Ugh. Not fair. He pushed himself up on his elbows and carefully laid a hand on Keith’s chest. “Hey, um, so what was that back there?”

Keith blinked up at him, his lips curled up into a lazy smile. “What, Hunk nearly walkin’ in on us? I dunno.”

The subtle scent of toothpaste had Lance resisting the urge to lean down and taste it. “No, I mean, you were kissing my neck and I told you to stop and…” It hit him. Like a brick in the face. All the while drawing random circles over Keith’s chest and stomach with his moisturized fingertips. “Was it because I called you ‘babe’?”

Yep, there it was. That weird noise again. Lance smirked, very proud of himself, and Keith rolled away with a groan. “Shut up.

“Aww, first your cute little crush on me and now this. Man, why didn’t you tell me you were so easy to fluster?”

More groaning and Lance snorted loudly when Keith glared at him through his damp bangs. “I hate you.” He tried to kick him, but Lance simply grabbed his ankle to pull him closer until Keith was, well, under him again. “Lance.

“Yes, babe?” Lance continued to tease the hell out of him and took it up a notch by peppering his frowny face with kisses until Keith was laughing breathlessly against his lips.

It was so cute. Keith was being so adorable right now and Lance was seriously living for it. Living for the fact that he was the one pinning Keith down this time and kissing the underside of his jaw, making Keith writhe beneath his simple touch and feeling his raspy and clumsy words against the shell of his ear.

Now this was familiar territory to Lance. Letting his hand disappear under his shirt to trace the spaces between his ribs, feeling the curve of his lower back, chasing his lips as soon as Keith threw his head back with a small whimper, and oh, what a lovely sound that was.  

Fuck talking, this was way better. Making out and feeling Keith up couldn’t hurt. As long as they didn’t make too much noise, everything would be fine.

“So, you do wanna be in charge?”

Well, that yanked him back to reality real quick and made him look down at Keith who was staring at him through half-lidded eyes, cheeks flushed, rosy lips parted.

“… Um,” Lance mumbled lamely and noticed that his hand was still on one of Keith’s ass cheeks so he casually brought it back up to his waist.

After he finished his squeeze of course.  

“It’s okay, I don’t mind,” Keith breathed and shifted upwards, closing his eyes and letting his arm drop beside his head. Then, he opened his eyes again, tilted his head a little and Lance nearly died on the spot. “Think it’s kinda…” his voice went all quiet and deep and Lance’s heart couldn’t take it. “sexy.”

Great, now he was embarrassed. The tables wouldn’t stop turning and Lance didn’t know what to do anymore.

Fuck, you’re killin’ me here,” he whined and just let himself drop onto Keith, knocking the air out of him.

Keith snickered and ran a hand through Lance’s bangs, nails gently scratching at his scalp. “Sorry, I’m not tryin’ to be mean, but—” a pause and Lance put his chin on his stomach expectantly. Instead of continuing, Keith laid his head on the pillow and stared at the ceiling. And Lance was waiting patiently while drumming his fingers against Keith’s sides. “I dunno, you lyin’ on top of me like that, it’s just— it’s hot.”

He was getting flustered again. Ha. Ooh, you think I’m hot?”

Okay, maybe he took it too far. Keith flicked his ear and Lance yelped at the uncalled action. “Yes, I do. Now…” He sat up and Lance took the opportunity to crawl into his lap, arms wrapped around each other’s shoulders. “where were we?”

Ahem, Hunk was right there. And Lance didn’t want his best friend to hear him fucking things up. In a negative way. All those other times he'd had sex with girls didn’t count, okay, that was different. Him and Keith had to be alone because Lance didn’t really know how to— do all of that, was probably gonna embarrass himself and, well, it had been a few months, so there was the possibility of him being… loud.

Plan. He needed a plan. And fast because his heart was picking up the pace, not to mention that both of them were getting hard. Bad, bad, bad.

Keith. Hunk,” Lance murmured, his words getting swallowed. “Hunk and his girlfriend are right next to us. Kinda torn between wanting to go down on you and keeping my dignity.”

“What about your dignity?” Keith frowned and gently pushed him back so they could look at each other.

It was late. Lance’s filter was nowhere to be found. “Well, I’ve never given a blowjob before and I don’t want Hunk to hear me being bad at… giving you one. Dunno if you’ve noticed, Keith, but I talk a lot when I’m nervous, and I don’t want him to hear me babbling and giggling like a high schooler because I’m getting dirty with you.”  

Silence. Keith’s eyes glittered with both worry and sympathy, eventually morphing into something softer. “Hold on. You really think you’re gonna be bad at it? Why?”

Lance whined again and let his head fall on Keith’s shoulder. “I’m usually good at these things, y’know? I mean, I’ve been told I’m good in bed, I’m pretty confident in my flirting skills, and I know I’m a good kisser ‘cause of the cute, happy noises you make when we kiss and— stop laughing, I’m pouring my heart out here.”

“You’re—” More laughter and Lance pouted up at his ass of a boyfriend. “You’re not pouring your heart out, Lance, you’re bragging.”  

How very typical. “I’m not, I’m just saying.”

“Okay,” Keith not-agreed and stroked Lance’s bare back. “so, if you’re good at all of those things, then why are you so worried?”

“… I’m worried ‘cause you don’t have a vagina.” This was not going well. Keith actually threw his head back and slapped a hand his mouth to cover up his snorts, but Lance wasn’t done. “I’m serious! What if I, I dunno, choke on it? ‘Cause there’s no way I’ll be able to— Keith, stop enjoying my very serious dick talk.”

He just made it worse. Hunk was bound to open the door any second to complain because Keith’s muffled laughter was getting louder by the second. It was really, very cute, especially now that Lance was super close to him and could see every little detail of his flushed face, but he also really didn’t want Hunk to walk in on them talking about their sex life.  

“Lance,” Keith managed to bring out and cupped his cheeks to bring their faces closer. “it’s gonna be fine. You worry way too much. Besides, you shouldn’t feel obligated to blow me and—”

“But I want to,” Lance blurted out and both of them stared at each other for a couple of seconds before breaking into laughter again and shushing each other simultaneously. “Okay, this isn’t working. We’re both tired and I can’t take this seriously anymore, thanks to you (“Hey.”). Let’s just go to sleep and we’ll talk about this tomorrow.”

Nodding, Keith placed a soft kiss on his smiling lips. “Alright. I meant what I said, though.”

“I know.” Lance rubbed their noses together with a coo, rolled off of him to turn off the lights before he climbed back into bed.

They shuffled around until they were lying under the covers and Lance was about to turn around so Keith could spoon him, but he ended up staring at him instead.

“Keith.”

“Hm.”   

“I wanna be the big spoon.”

Blink, blink. Even in the dark Lance could see Keith’s lips curling into a grin. “Sure.”

It was gonna be the first time, but Lance made it count. Draping an arm over Keith’s waist, nuzzling the nape of his neck, kissing his shoulder, rubbing tiny circles over his stomach with his thumb, sometimes even brushing against his navel, tangling their legs, yes, he did it all.

Keith held his wrist the whole time, his grip not loosening until his breaths grew deep and even.

And Lance couldn’t stop smiling.

Chapter Text

Jealousy. Lance loathed it, maybe even hated it. Didn’t look good on anyone, neither on other people nor himself. He saw himself as a pretty positive, open-minded person, like, he never really got jealous when other guys flirted with Allura. Okay, maybe a little, but that was only because Lance used to be even more insecure back then and didn’t know how to deal with the fact that some handsome dude used the typical chin-lift, half-lidded gaze and would mumble, “Hey,” while he was standing there, feeling useless.  

Didn’t exactly help that his gay side was lowkey enjoying the view and that he felt like his relationship with Allura was hanging by a silver threat anyway, so yeah.

Ahem. Scarred? Him?

Just a little.

Then again, Lance was pretty outspoken and proudly swung an arm around her shoulder the second time it happened and very politely said, “Sorry, she’s taken by this handsome fella.”

Either that, or Allura would grab his hand and tell the guy that she already had a boyfriend, which made Lance feel wholesome. After they broke up, Lance thought he’d seen the end of it, yet he felt a pang of jealousy when he saw her with Romelle for the first time, but that was probably only natural, seeing as he’d been in love with her for so long.

With Keith, however, it was a whole different level.

Adam and Shiro had flown off to Japan and Keith asked if Lance wanted to come see their – and his old – apartment. He couldn’t help himself, of course, and said something really stupid.

“To stay there for a while or are we gonna, uh, water the plants and call it a day?”

It wasn’t particularly weird to ask, was it? Besides, they’d often spend days together because their apartments were so far apart, so, technically, it was for practical reasons. In this case, they wouldn’t have an excuse like that and it’d almost be like going on a small trip together and-and-and—

And, ho boy, Keith held his gaze for a while before he shrugged oh so casually. “I don’t mind either. Let’s pack some stuff just in case.”

So they did. It wasn’t that long of a drive from Keith’s place, so Kosmo didn’t mind sitting in the backseat for a while. In fact, Kosmo got pretty excited once they got close and impatiently clawed at the window and Lance could only watch with soft eyes as Keith opened the door and Kosmo hopped out of the car to roll on the huge field of grass in front of the building.

“Every time,” Keith sighed fondly and took the bag Lance held out for him before he locked the car. “s’only fair, I guess. Since he grew up here ‘n all.” Then, he bent through the knees and patted the huge, fluffy stomach. “Time to go, buddy.”

It took a good five minutes for Keith to drag Kosmo away from the grass, much to Lance’s amusement.

Said amusement kinda died down when Keith opened the door to the hallway and came face to face with a girl. And apparently they knew each other because the girl smiled and pulled him into a one-armed hug and Lance felt like he’d gone back in time, or something because oh.

Jealousy.

Eugh, no. Of course Keith was allowed to have guy and girl friends, Lance, what the fuck, don’t be a prick.

It only got worse, though. Kosmo seemed to know her as well and tried to tackle her to the ground to which both of them laughed.

“Hey, stranger. What’re you doing here?” she asked genuinely and now that Lance was closer, he saw that she had dyed her hair purple, which looked good on her, and that she was kind of toned, which also made her look good. 

Again, Lance. Take a chill pill. Why was he so paranoid about this?

“Housesitting. Adam and Shiro are on their honeymoon,” Keith explained and absently scratched Kosmo behind his ears and then, ah, looked over his shoulder at Lance. “That’s Lance, but I think you knew that already, being a fan ‘n all.”

Huh. No boyfriend label? For fuck’s sake, Lance, she was fan.

Lance awkwardly took another step closer and held out his hand, putting on his most charming grin. “’Course she knows who I am.”

“Kinda, yeah,” she smirked and Lance couldn’t help but notice her long, painted nails. “I’m Acxa. Keith and I used to be neighbors before he got his own place.”

“She sometimes watches Kosmo for me,” Keith added helpfully.

Oh. Oh. He dumbly looked down at Kosmo and realized that duh, someone other than Shiro and Adam had to look after him whenever Keith came over to his place. And Kosmo was obviously in love with this chick, seeing as he kept pawing at her stomach and waggling his tail whenever she smiled down at him or scratched his head.

Okay, Lance felt like a total asshole now.

And an even bigger asshole when Acxa used her manicured hand to gently coach Keith to the side. “Sorry, not that I’m not happy to see you but,” she grinned and squeezed his shoulder and Lance dug his front teeth into his lower lip when Keith’s features softened. “I gotta run some errands. Dunno how long you’re staying here, but if you wanna go for a run together, or something, you know where to find me, right?”

Lance caught a whiff of her perfume when she brushed past him next, her eyes blinking up at him. “You staying here, too?” The corners of her painted lips curled and she turned her gaze to Keith who looked oddly calm while Lance felt the nerves starting to kick in.

“Yeah?” Keith said nonchalantly with a hint of innocence because technically they weren’t doing anything out of the ordinary.

And yet.

To an outsider it would’ve looked like a movie scene: Lance giving Keith a 0.3 second look, Keith returning it, Acxa looking back and forth between the two once before she let out a quiet huff through her nose, which was obviously a laugh.

Then, to make the scene even more movie-like, Keith scoffed. “Shut up.”

“I didn’t say anything.”

“I can hear you making assumptions in your stupid head.” 

“I would never.”

And Lance could only watch the two ping-ponging for a few more seconds until Acxa finally left and there it was. Keith’s eyes lingering on her ass before they went to the back of her head, letting Lance drown in the sea of insecurity. Granted, she had a nice behind (yes, Lance snuck a peek, too), and it wasn’t like Keith wasn’t allowed to look at other people because that would be next level possessive. Still, Lance had a couple of good reasons to be worried, right?

Right.

Because Keith had never mentioned her before while they seemed to be good friends. They probably used to hang out all the time when Keith still lived here and jogged together, but whatever, Lance hung out with Pidge all the time, too, so he didn’t have the right to be suspicious.

The only difference was that he never looked at her butt or felt the urge to.

Something poked his chest. Keith. “C’mon, let’s go.” They took the elevator in silence and Lance let Keith nose his cheek and put an arm around his waist. “You’re quiet. What’s up?”

“Nothin’. Can’t believe I met a fan who didn’t want a hug,” was the dumb lie as a way to distract Keith and possibly make him laugh while he was at it.

Ding. The elevator doors opened and Kosmo practically sprinted to the end of the hall, Keith following behind and digging around in his pocket for the keys.

What was supposed to be some sort of special occasion had turned into Lance angsting quietly because he didn’t feel like he had the right to blatantly accuse Keith of cheating on him. Okay, he was obviously overreacting, like, Keith didn’t seem like the type of guy to cheat on someone. Then again, Keith was kind of a private person and hadn’t told Lance that much about himself, let alone his past relationships.

Not that Lance needed to know everything about him—

Having this conversation with himself was very exhausting.

‘Twas time to go back to the present in which Keith was showing him around the apartment.

“They turned your room into a study?”

Books were everywhere. There were so many that there wasn’t enough room in the four bookcases, so they were neatly piled up on the desk, under the desk, on the couch, the floor— everywhere. Still, it was chaotically beautiful, because the books, oddly enough, didn’t seem out of place. They made the room feel homey.

Lance wandered around, taking it all in while Keith stood in the doorway, hip leaning against the wood, arms crossed. “Yeah, Adam’s working on his PhD.” He laid a hand on the wall, a distant look in his eyes. “It’s been a while since I’ve been here. We usually hang out in the living room.” His voice had grown soft and Lance looked over his shoulder, lips parting as he watched Keith look around, eyes focused on a spot in the right corner. A nod. “That’s where my bed used to be.”

Obviously it wasn’t there anymore, but Lance still went over the spot, trying to picture it. “Where’d you even put all your instruments?”

Well, the room was bigger than Keith’s closet studio, but the bed must have taken up a lot of space. Keith didn’t seem fazed by the question and took a few steps until he could lean against him. “My guitar and keyboard used to be under the bed.” Before Lance could wrap an arm around him, Keith moved away and waved a hand in the desk’s general direction. “My electric guitar was right next to my desk and—” a few steps to the left, right in front of a bookcase. “I always put my violin on top of my closet, which was right here. And I bought my drum set after I moved out.”  

Right, right.

“Have you and Acxa ever hooked up?”

So much for angsting in silence.

Lance actually cringed at the question and curled up even more when Keith slowly, very slowly moved his head in his direction, his expression indescribable. It was a mixture of disappointment, apprehension and – embarrassment? As in, a hint of red blossomed on his nose and Lance usually loved it when that happened, but now it only fueled his anxiety.

“… A couple of times, yeah, but—”

Dun, dun, duuun.

“You’re the fakest homosexual ever.”

“Hold on,” Keith quickly interjected him, a tentative smile tugging at his lips and Lance was sort of grateful for his own defense mechanism that forced him to make jokes out of everything. Probably to make him feel more at ease, Keith took a few steps closer and let his hands hover near Lance’s as a way to ask permission, which Lance granted.

They slotted their fingers together and Lance felt his heartbeat slowing. “I don’t care if you’re into girls, y’know,” he began before he could stop himself. “I mean, can’t blame you, girls are awesome. They’re soft and pretty, not to mention that they have boobs and boobs are amazing, of course.” A huff of laughter tickled his chin and Lance bit the tip of his tongue. “And I definitely can’t blame you for sleeping with Acxa, ‘cause, well, I’m not blind, but I distinctively remember you telling me you’re gay, so I guess I’m a bit confused right now.”

“Well, long story short,” Keith started and looked him dead in the eye. Lance prepared himself. Bit his lip, gave Keith’s hands one more squeeze and inhaled through his nose. “Acxa was my gay awakening.”

It was as if someone had popped a balloon in Lance’s head.

The tension broke and Lance stumbled back with the most unattractive noise he had ever made. “What?” he screeched and gestured wildly around him, not giving a shit that Keith looked beyond amused. “Okay, first off, wipe that stupid smile off your face. Second, what the fuck does that even mean.”

“If you’d stop being so dramatic for one second, then—”

“Does Kosmo know about this?” Lance continued, completely ignoring the bark of surprised laughter that came out of Keith’s mouth, and brushed past him to talk to Kosmo who was scratching at the couch in the living room. He looked up with his curious icy blue eyes as Lance approached him, again, dramatically. “Kosmo, I think you need to know that your owner is the fakest gay boyfriend I’ve eve—”

He couldn’t even finish his sentence because Keith had swooped him off his feet. Literally.

Like, Lance had been thrown over his shoulder, which had caused him to let out another embarrassing noise. And for Kosmo to start barking and circling them with adorable enthusiasm.

“What the— put me down!”

“Kosmo’s got nothing to do with my sexuality,” Keith grumbled and slapped Lance’s butt for good measure, making him yelp in surprise, again. “And stop freaking out already.”

“How am I not supposed to freak out?” Lance argued back and playfully kicked his legs as Keith started walking towards wherever the hell he was going. “Apparently you’re a closeted bi and into spanking. You’re a bi-spanker, that’s what you are.”

“That’s not even a word.”

Lance was dropped unceremoniously onto a king-sized bed and stared up at Keith. “It is, ‘cause you’re one.”

Poor Kosmo was coached out of the room and Keith leaned his back against the closed door with a sigh, his dark eyes forever fixated on Lance. “Listen,” he murmured, serious now and Lance pushed himself up into a sitting position. “I’m not a closeted bi. I heavily prefer guys, so I call myself gay, but I have had sex with both guys and girls in the past.”

“Okay,” Lance encouraged quietly and felt oddly lonely on the bed without Keith. Especially since it was so big and he barely took up one side. “Why didn’t you just tell me that before?”

That earned him a knowing look and Lance wanted to cringe again. “’Cause I knew you’d freak out like this. Plus, I didn’t think it’d be that important. I mean, I know you’ve been with Allura and you’ve mentioned you’ve had a few other girlfriends before her, but I think that’s all I want and need to know about your sex life.”

For some reason it kind of hurt to hear Keith say that she and Lance had had a relationship. They had never really talked about that, but then Lance remembered that Keith was a fan of his videos and— had probably seen the Girlfriend Tag video and the Break Up video. It felt exceptionally weird to realize that Keith had seen Lance kissing Allura through a screen. And seen them hang out in real life as well.

Another realization was that Keith had never once complained about that. Wow, Lance felt like an even bigger asshole. A big, fat, jealous and curious asshole.

“You’re right, you’re totally right,” Lance spoke up and held up his hands in surrender. Then, because he couldn’t help himself, said, “That still doesn’t explain you tellin’ me that Acxa was your gay awakening and, not gonna lie, I’m dying to hear that story.”

Ahem. Keith narrowed his eyes and it should’ve been intimidating, but Lance felt a rush of excitement instead. The timing couldn’t have been more off.

“I’m not gonna tell you, so you’re just gonna have to take my word for it.”

The redness was back. Interesting.

“Oh, my god, Keith, what’d you do.”

“Nothing!” Keith snapped and pushed himself off the door, the redness spreading to the sides of his face and ears. “Drop it.”

“You’re blushing,” Lance purred, beyond intrigued and went to lie down on his stomach, propped his head up and smirked. “You can tell me. I won’t judge you, you know that.”

“You already are.”

“I’m not and I won’t, I promise.” And to lighten the mood even further, Lance held out his hands and wiggled his fingers invitingly. It had the desired effect. Keith walked over to him until he could sit on the edge of the bed and Lance could wrap around him like an octopus. “C’mon, babe. Can’t be that bad. Unless you really don’t wanna tell me, ‘cause, y’know, we’re all safe and warm here. Consent is everything.”

Keith sucked in his lower lip and cleared his throat, awkward. “When I first started YouTube I was very busy. My life pretty much consisted of working long shifts at the bar, writing and making music and editing it for my channel. I didn’t feel like I had time for a relationship, so I stuck to one night stands with both guys and girls. At first I didn’t put that much thought into it, ‘cause I think we can both agree that kissing a chick isn’t that much different from kissing a guy.”

“… Not really, no,” Lance added helpfully with a laugh. “Facial hair is pretty much the only difference between the two. Which reminds me that you,” he playfully reached for Keith’s jaw with one hand and pulled him in for a quick kiss. “haven’t shaved today. You should. Feels scratchy.”

“Shaving every day is a pain,” Keith mumbled defensively, but still leaned in to steal another kiss. “You’ll live.”

Lance hummed happily because, yeah, he’d never get enough of kissing Keith. “Hm, guess you’re right. But please continue.”

“Right, um, obviously sex is different. And, well, after a while I noticed that sex with guys was— more enjoyable. Even Shiro noticed that I was starting to bring in more guys than girls, but I avoided talking about it because, again, didn’t wanna put too much thought into it.”

This was all new information for Lance. Actually, any type of information about Keith’s past life was new, Lance continued to think as he eyed Keith’s gloves, remembering the scars he’d seen there. He’d leave that story for another time, though, and gently stroked Keith’s thighs.

“One day I met Acxa at the gym and we started working out together. We found out that we were neighbors and started hanging out more often and, yeah, one thing led to another and… ” Keith trailed off and hung his head, avoiding eye-contact. Lance was starting to worry that he had pushed him too far. “I slept with her and ‘twas okay, I guess. She was fine, wasn’t her fault, but I was having, eh, trouble.”

Oh, no. Lance’s eyes widened and he sat up, not sure what to say or do. “… Keith—”

“I thought there was something wrong with me. I’d never had that before,” Keith babbled on and Lance was seriously worried at this point. “We talked about it and tried to figure things out. She was nice and supportive and suggested we try different types of foreplay, positions, all that kinda stuff. Nothing seemed to work, though. Then, sadly, she started to think that it was her, that she was somehow a huge turn off, and I kept telling her that she was fine, that my dick was probably fucking broken, or something.”  

“I’m so sorry for bringing it up, Keith, I feel horrible,” Lance mumbled and hugged him so close that Keith wheezed in protest. “I know. My hugs are to die for.”

Thankfully, he managed to make Keith laugh and felt him returning the embrace. “Yeah, they are. And it’s fine. Guess you had to find out sooner or later.” They pulled back and Keith played with Lance’s fingers. “So, after some more talking, lots of talking, to be honest, we came to the conclusion that I wasn’t enjoying it because she— was a girl.”  

Okay, well, there it was. Lance sat there like the idiot he was and held onto Keith’s hands tightly. “Thank you for telling me. I’m glad you were with Acxa during all of this, though. She sounds like a good friend. Still, I’m sorry you had to find out that way. And I’m sorry for pushing you to tell me.”

“It’s one way to find out that you’re gay,” Keith chuckled and, hm, cupped Lance’s face, thumbs caressing his cheekbones. “Don’t worry, you didn’t push me. It’s just awkward to talk about not being able to finish, or worse, get it up.”

Lance’s shoulders shook with quiet laughter, glad that Keith was back to cracking jokes, too. “I get it. Dick-code.”

“Something like that.”

“Hmm— no, wait, I told you to shave.”

“Get over it.

“Ow!”


Apparently Coran was right. Keith promoting Lance’s merch had been a good idea and Keith, too nice for his own good, didn’t ask for anything in return. Simply wore the red “McDreamer” beanie out in public and had it in the background of promo pictures for his Instagram and Twitter. He also playfully pulled it over Lance’s head in the middle of a livestream, a bold ass move that caused many fans to clog up the chat with questions, asking him about their relationship and oooh, what was Keith doing there.

Poor Lance had to bullshit his way out while Keith was gloating on the other side of the room, out of the frame. Something along the lines of, “Keith has the cutest dog ever and that’s obviously the only reason why we’re friends.”

Yeah, he had to deal with an offended Keith later, but at least people somewhat stopped nagging him after that.

It was like their first meeting all over again. Practically living with Keith, walking Kosmo together, waking up next to each other, fighting over what they’d have for dinner… It was great. The only difference was that now Lance could kiss Keith whenever he wanted, could annoy him until he got his way, shower with him, casually lie on top of him and ask for cuddles, use his puppy dog eyes because he didn’t wanna move but still wanted coffee, all of that stuff.

True to Acxa’s request, her and Keith went jogging together and Lance didn’t mind. Sadly, hickeys were not allowed, even though Lance was pretty sure Acxa knew what was going on, but they didn’t need to give her more reasons to be suspicious.   

At least he had Kosmo to snuggle with.

Bzz bzz

Hunk: houston we have a problem

Um, okay.

Me: ???? what’s wrong, big guy?

Hunk: I think I might be in love with shay

Me: WHAT

Hunk: DON’T FREAK OUT THAT’S MY JOB

Hunk: I’VE BEEN AVOIDING HER FOR THE PAST THREE DAYS

Hunk: I’M PRETENDING TO BE BUSY WITH PIDGE’S BIRTHDAY PARTY

Woops, moved too fast. Kosmo let out a low whine from his spot on Lance’s lap and eyed him accusingly, as if to say, “How dare you, human.

Lance pouted back and carefully reached over the huge dog to grab his laptop and start up Skype while scratching Kosmo’s ears and chin, earning him happy noises and a flappy tail. The bubbly dialing tone of Skype echoed through the living room before Hunk picked up.

“Hunk, light of my life,” Lance started out gently because Hunk looked ready to run for the hills. “you love her?”

In love,” Hunk corrected and held up a finger covered in sauce. “There’s a difference. Although it might be both actually. Hold on, I can’t hold my phone and cook at the same time.” There were a few seconds of Hunk trying to put the phone down, so he could continue focusing on his cooking Lance recognized the area he was in as their kitchen and that also made him realize that he was very much not there to support his best friend.

Instead he was at his boyfriend’s brother’s place, working through another pile of emails and snuggling with said boyfriend’s dog. “Okay, in love, then. Why’ve you been avoiding her?”

“Because I dunno how to tell her,” Hunk continued and cut the green onions at an impressive speed. “Should I like, take her out to a fancy restaurant? Wear one of my suits? Maybe just invite her over for dinner because I’m cooking right at this moment. Have no idea what kind of meal I’m preparing, but y’know, I’ll improvise.”

Things obviously weren’t bad enough because Lance heard voices in the hallway and instantly recognized Keith’s as one of them. Hunk knew that Lance was staying there, but he still didn’t know him and Keith were a couple, which was starting to feel weirder by the second. Whatever, he couldn’t worry about that now. This was about Hunk, not them.

“Well, you’re not gonna propose, are you?” Lance teased and laughed when Hunk nearly dropped the chopping board with a screech. “My point exactly. Hunk, this is big, I agree, but it’s not something you have to blow up like that. You don’t need to take her to an expensive restaurant, or wear a suit, or anything fancy like that. Like you said, you can invite her over dinner, watch a movie and say it after the credits, or something.”

And that was when Keith came in, and oh hello, sweaty, breathless ponytail Keith.

Focus, Lance.

“Really? That simple?”

Kosmo had noticed Keith, too, and jumped off Lance’s legs so he could greet him like dogs do. It reminded Lance of that one video Keith had uploaded on Instagram once—

Focus, Lance.

“Yeah. I told my first girlfriend I loved her while we were cuddling in her bed,” he mused and absently tugged on his sleeves. Nervous habit. “And I confessed to Allura in my parents’ backyard. Obviously it wasn’t completely casual and it was kinda nerve-wracking, but it was still romantic in my eyes. The most important thing is, is that you don’t freak out when she doesn’t say it back right away. Everyone falls in love at their own pace.”  

He just realized he didn’t have earphones in and that Keith was right there and could listen to every word he was saying. Getting up from the couch or randomly shutting up in the middle of a conversation would be even more suspicious, so Lance opted for staying put. Like a man.

It wasn’t like this was about their relationship. Ha. Haha. That wasn’t a conversation they were gonna have any time soon.

Help.

Hunk thankfully responded. “Yeah, you’re right. I’ll ask her if she’ll come over for dinner and try to keep it cool. S’not that big a deal, right?”

“Well,” Lance mumbled and vaguely registered Keith coming closer and he felt his shoulders tensing, scared that Hunk was somehow gonna notice something. “it’s not nothing, it’s the next step in your relationship, but… I dunno. I’m not an expert.”

“Not a relationship guru, after all, huh?” Keith randomly joined the conversation and, ugh, ruffled Lance’s hair on his way to the kitchen. He slowed his step and his touch lingered a little bit longer than necessary, but it wasn’t that obvious. “I want a refund.”

His nails felt so nice that Lance couldn’t help but slightly lean into the touch, the hairs on the back of his neck already standing up in excitement. On top of that, Keith smelled like fresh air, trees, his (and Lance’s new favorite) deodorant and a hint of sweat and Lance had to fight every bit of animalistic instinct to not haul him back and kiss the living daylights out of him.  

“Too bad, no refunds,” Lance played along and heard Hunk snickering at them. “But Hunk, buddy,” he turned back to the screen, pretending that he didn’t feel the ghost of Keith’s fingers. “you’ll do great, I promise. You and Shay are such a great couple and it honestly wouldn’t surprise me if she felt the same way.”

“Thanks, Lance,” Hunk smiled wryly and went to grab something from the fridge. “Not gonna lie, I’m kinda nervous still. You don’t think it’s too soon?”

Lance stopped stroking Kosmo’s fur for bit. “You feel what you feel,” he said quietly and fumbled with his other sleeve. “And it’s not like you guys’ve been together for only a week.”

“Right, right…” More chopping, some stirring and the sound of oil spluttering. “Okay, I might puke if we keep talking about this, so let’s change the subject. Um, uh, Pidge’s birthday! Party’s next weekend and I can’t wait.”

“Wouldn’t wanna miss it. We kept having to postpone it because she was so busy with homework. For a minute there I thought we were gonna have to celebrate both hers and mine.” Lance was starting to drift off because couldn’t stop himself from watching as Keith entered his line of vision again, his shorts and loose shirt not exactly helping. He was probably gonna take a shower and Lance was very thankful that Kosmo had taken back his spot on his lap.

As if sensing his dirty thoughts, Keith shot him a look over his shoulder, his lips twitching upwards and oh, that was so not fair. He knew Lance couldn’t do or say anything and Lance absolutely hated him for it, so naturally, he voiced his thoughts.

“Fuckface.”

Keith didn’t take the bait and simply raised his hand in some sort of, “Whatever” fashion and Lance was about to eat his laptop when:

“Um, you guys fightin’ over there?”

“No, Keith’s being an ass.” Lance cleared his throat and awkwardly continued. “Hunk, I’d love to stay and talk, but I’ve got a lot of emails—”

He got cut off by Keith’s annoying yet lovable laughter and he was so done. It was only a white lie, okay.

Still, he got what he wanted and was happily kissing his squeaky clean boyfriend twenty minutes later, finishing what they started in the shower. Neither of them had bothered to put on a shirt and were merely dressed in their boxer briefs and even though they’d already seen each other naked, they’d never exactly, um, dry humped in the shower.

Their showers together had been fairly innocent up until now and Lance would be lying if he said he wasn’t ready to continue. There would be no interruptions here, Kosmo was sound asleep on the couch (“Just this once, I guess,” Keith had mumbled) and they’d put on a random playlist on Lance’s laptop to fill up the silence.  

Not like Lance couldn’t hear the lewd noises their lips made every time they slid against each other. Or the soft, broken sounds Keith let out every time Lance squeezed his thigh or one of his cheeks. He was hyper aware of everything, especially of the obvious hardness in Keith’s boxers that was brushing against his hip. It felt both surreal and so very real that it was driving Lance up the wall. Made him want to explore of every inch of Keith’s skin and roll under the bed with a pillow at the same time.

Preferably both.

“… Can I?” he mumbled, voice timid and small, as his hand hovered near Keith’s abdomen. Their eyes locked, pupils blown with arousal.

Keith’s hand slid up to cradle the back of his neck and gently pull him in for another kiss. “Yeah.”

“I’ll get a towel.”

Because doing stuff might cause a mess. Not to mention they were at someone else’s place. Oh, god, this wasn’t even their bed. They were literally sinners. Sinning on someone else’s bed. But Keith wasn’t even trying to stop him, so he either didn’t care or had somehow completely forgotten that this wasn’t his or Lance’s bed.

“You do realize the bed is not ours, right?” Lance called out as he reached for the cabinet in the bathroom for a towel.

“It’s not as if they haven’t had sex in this bed,” Keith pointed out and Lance nearly walked into the door on his way out.

Good point. They were all sinners.

“And you’re cool with that?”

Keith snorted. Unironically. “Would it make you feel better if I told you that I have his ‘permission’ to have sex with you here?” Lance buried his face in the fluffy towel with a loud squawk. “Said he didn’t mind as long as we’d wash the duvet afterwards and that he understands that we have, and I quote, ‘needs’.”

“Murder me. Now. Do it.”

“Lance, you’re so selfish. Don’t you care about my needs?”

The towel ended up in Keith’s face, along with a pillow and Lance jumped back on the bed, avoiding the pillow Keith threw back at him. He leaned over his boyfriend, bringing their lips together for one more nice and slow kiss while his hand rested on Keith’s chest, smoothing over his skin. The muscles quivered every time he hit a sensitive spot and Keith would lean into his touch, silently asking for more, and Lance’s heart soared.

“Okay, um,” Lance started lamely and sat back on his knees for a second. “Right. I got this.”

“Lance, wait.” Wow, he’d already messed it up without even doing anything. Lance jutted out his bottom lip as he watched Keith push himself up on his elbows, his eyes soft and fond. “You should do whatever feels right. If you feel uncomfortable, then you don’t have to do anything. Just because I’m turned on, doesn’t mean you have to do something about it.”

“I’m turned on, too.” Congrats, Lance. That didn’t sound stupid at all.

Yeah, Keith huffed out a cute laugh and linked their fingers together. “I know. Kissing tends to have that effect.”

“Wild,” Lance continued to joke his way through his embarrassment and opted for hiding his face in Keith’s stomach, making his boyfriend laugh even harder. At least his skin was soft and smelled good. “How are you so calm? Why am I like this? Why.

“Because I have experience with other guys and you don’t and that’s okay,” Keith told him so very gently that Lance wanted nothing more than to become one with the floor. “Maybe it’ll be easier if I go first?” A tentative hand was placed between his shoulder blades after Lance didn’t reply. “You still alive?”

It was like his first time with his first girlfriend. Lance was a complete and utter mess and his ears felt like they were on fire. What were words. He couldn’t form words anymore. Ability to talk was nowhere to be found, so he grumbled something incomprehensible into Keith’s skin and squeezed his hand.

Okay, no, he had to say something. Lance squirmed around until he was looking up at Keith. Gotta say something, anything. “I like you.”

Error, error. Keith’s abs shook under his chin as laughter took over and Lance could only lay there as Keith ran the back of his fingers over his cheek, his face stuck in a handsome smile. “I like you, too. C’mere.”

He was tugged into another kiss, a rather lazy one at that. Lance was unfocused, unable to think and move clearly, thanks to heat building up in his belly. Seemed like Keith was right there with him, his warm lips nipping at his, long breaths fanning over his sensitive skin in between the kisses, pulling Lance all the way in until they were almost buried between the blankets. Both were right there with each other, plumped lips moving in synch.

The weight of Keith’s arms around his neck felt grounding and so very, very nice. It felt safe and right. Made Lance feel so happy that he was here and lucky that he was able to give Keith an endless amount of affectionate yet sensual kisses.

Right, sensual. Keith had not been wrong when he said kissing tends to have a certain effect on people. Even though they weren’t really doing anything. Hell, this was the sloppiest make out ever, but it was still very much affecting Lance’s poor, neglected body.

“Shit,” he breathed before he could think and Keith hummed absently in response and looked at him through his eyelashes, curious as to why he had stopped. “Okay, wait, I’m— okay, so what you said earlier? Um, about, y’know, you going first? Maybe that’s a good idea.”

“Yeah?” Keith whispered and laid a hand over Lance’s jaw, thumb resting on his cheek. “What do you want me to do?”

“… ‘Cause there’s so much to choose from,” Lance deadpanned and half-glared down at him, but Keith raised his eyebrows in a silent challenge and Lance visibly crumbled. “Okay, fine, you’re right. Ablowjobsoundsgreatthanks.”

Smooth. But Keith heard him loud and clear and laid both of his hands on Lance’s shoulders, making his world spin for a few seconds until he was on his back and Keith was between his legs. And that was definitely a sight for sore eyes, holy shit. It got even worse when he leaned forward, caging Lance between his arms for a moment.

“You sure?” he mumbled and pressed their foreheads together, which made Lance feel oddly small.

“I am,” Lance sighed and leaned into the quick kiss Keith gave him afterwards. “’m all yours, pretty boy. Take the floor.”

Chuckling, Keith nuzzled his nose. “Gladly.”


Housesitting weekend was over and Lance reluctantly went back to real life, which consisted of working out very other morning, filming, editing, script writing, answering email after email and trying to work on his old songs. In between the chaotic planning, Coran called him to tell him that the sales were going very well and that Keith’s backdoor promoting had definitely helped.

And then there were the last preparations for Pidge’s birthday party. Lance was more than happy to go grocery shopping with Hunk, so they could talk about his confession night, which went really well and Lance’s inner hopeless romantic coached him into squishing the life out of Hunk. When they got back to prepare the food, Hunk babbled on and on in detail about Shay getting all cute and shy on him and telling him that she loved him, too.

Lance did not get emotional. No. That was all on the onions.

It was cute, okay.

A few hours and a gigantic mess of a kitchen later, their friends came over and Hunk excused himself to his room to change for some reason and Lance frowned to himself, because since when did Hunk care about this kind of stuff?

Well.

Said stupid (read: amazing) friends had all bought a “McDreamer” hoodie in their favorite color without him knowing and Lance had died and gone to heaven multiple times because no. That was too nice, no.

“It’s your first launch,” Allura tried to comfort him in her pink, cropped hoodie. “And we’re just being supportive.”

Nooo,” Lance practically whined and hugged her close, shaking a little, lowkey overwhelmed when he looked over at Pidge in her green hoodie that was way too big for her petite frame. “Today was supposed to be about you, y’all are crazy.”

“My birthday was ages ago, so your sentimental argument is invalid,” Pidge easily countered and adjusted her glasses unnecessarily, the sleeves slipping down her wrist as she did. “Besides, Allura’s right. We’re your friends and we’re here to support your merch. I am gonna file an official complaint, though, because even your smallest size is too big for smaller people like me.”

Even Keith was in on this. He was wearing the red version and Lance was seriously drowning in his friends’ love, so he did the only thing he could think of, which was dragging himself to the couch, shoving his face into a pillow and making weird, high-pitched noises into it. He was pulled into crushing hug by Hunk and Shay who were wearing the matching yellow couple version.

Lance, still totally overwhelmed, buried his face in Hunk’s shoulder, wanting to hide forever.

Hiding was not an option, however, and within less than five seconds, he was stuck in the biggest dog pile of his life. Cue lots of squishing, painful laughter and grunting from everyone.

“Ow, watch it, hey— Ow!”

“Whose leg is this?”

“Someone get their bony butt off my arm, oh my god.

“Can’t breathe, can’t breathe!”

Wait, wait. Not everyone was complaining, Lance noticed. He managed to wiggle away from Pidge’s chokehold and saw that the culprit was trying to sneak away.

“Keith’s escaping!”

“On it!” Matt, who was apparently on top, jumped off, ready to pounce and Keith’s eyes grew comically large.

The poor guy was hauled into the group hug/pile with the cutest yelp ever and Lance was lowkey disappointed that he couldn’t see the whole thing go down from his position, but it was all very much worth it.

After a while, someone yelled “Cake!” and everyone rolled away and followed Hunk to the kitchen to get a piece. Lance, unrightfully (and ungracefully) so, almost toppled off the couch, but was stopped by Keith grasping his waist out of reflex.

Of course.

“Thanks,” Lance mumbled, only half-embarrassed, and sat up and tried to comb his unruly hair with his fingers. As a risky follow up, and after checking if everyone still had their backs turned to them, he cupped Keith’s cheek and gave him a quick kiss. Then, he let his hand slide down to Keith’s chest, resting on the fabric of his hoodie that looked so damn good on him. “And thank you for buying my merch, idiot.” Over Keith’s shoulder he saw Pidge giving them a look and he snorted. “We’d better go to the others.”

Pidge, bless and curse her, decided to cockblock them for the rest of the day. Casually sitting between them, dragging Lance to the side if she needed help with a one man’s job, and Lance was psychically dying. It was even worse than the wedding because he knew Pidge was enjoying every second of it and had turned into some sort of silent but deadly competition.

No one else noticed, though. They were all too busy acting like couples themselves, which also made it worse. Like, seriously, it’d been bad at Hunk’s birthday party, but this was exceptionally torturous. Keith was right there, looking adorable in that oversized hoodie, his merch, and he couldn’t touch him, because he was still too stupid and anxious to admit that they were together.

Especially now that the internet had calmed down for a bit. Lance had gone back to uploading regular videos and the hype around his and Keith’s supposed relationship had died down. His followers were too excited about his launch, congratulating him on every platform, throwing in requests for videos and possible future merch while they were at it, and Lance was more than happy to take a breather from all their speculations.

“Ooh, should we have a Lord of the Rings marathon?” Romelle woke him up from his thoughts, followed by some noises of agreement.

“Or a Harry Potter one,” Matt tried after he took another sip from his beer.

And then Pidge sat up straight, still very much between Lance and Keith, chin resting on her folded hands. “How about…” she stopped for dramatic effect and smirked. “both.

Chaos broke out. A chorus of “Hell no!”s and “Hell yeah!”s echoed through the room, along with other panicked exclaims and laughter.  

Lance, usually in favor of movie marathons, wasn’t sure how to react ‘cause, wow, that’d be intense. Keith looked hilariously disturbed at the suggestion and was covering his face with his gloved hand, but Lance didn’t miss the hint of a smile on his lips. How he wished he could hold that hand, no matter how cheesy that sounded.  

In his defense, it was only because everyone around them was doing it. Allura and Romelle were huddled in a corner, their joined hands comfortingly placed on Allura’s leg, Shay was sitting on Hunk’s lap, fingers intertwined and resting on her stomach, and lastly, Matt had thrown an arm around Casey’s shoulder and she’d reached up to hold his hand. They were all being somewhat subtle, but Lance still felt personally attacked by them all.

Lance Salty McClain was his new name.

“That’ll take, like, two days!” Hunk shrieked over all the others screeching and Pidge snorted unironically in response. “We’ll run out of snacks, drinks, toilet paper.

That’s what you’re worried about?” Shay pointed out smartly and Lance was trying very hard to push Pidge off the couch and failing.

“I think Lance’s offering to get some toilet paper,” Pidge mused and giggled when Lance kneed her in the back with mock offense. “Aww, I’m sorry. Maybe Keith wants to keep you company?”

That— didn’t sound too bad. Keith managed to keep his poker face, or was somehow unaffected by Pidge’s obvious set-up, and shrugged. Totally subtle. “If we’re actually going through with this, then Hunk’s got a point and I don’t mind going to the store.”

“My friends have a serious bad influence on you,” Lance sighed and got up from his spot to grab his keys off the counter. And tried not to do a happy dance when Keith followed closely behind. “Fine, we’ll get some more snacks and all the alcohol we need.” He shot Hunk a look. “And toilet paper. We’ll back in twenty.”

As soon as they were safe and sound in the car, Lance climbed out of his seat to sit on Keith’s lap. And kissed him like there was no tomorrow. And felt him up while he was at it because why not. And Keith kinda just went along with it, warm hands gripping his hips, kissing him back with lips that still tasted like that ridiculously sweet chocolate cake Lance made.

Quick note to self: chocolate kisses were the best kisses.

The beautiful and cute sound of Keith’s laughter reached his ears when they took a quick break. “Not that I’m complaining, but you’re the one who said twenty minutes,” Keith panted, but his warm fingers found their way under Lance’s shirt, going over his sides and ribs before resting on the small of his back nonetheless.

“Meh, I hate it when you’re right,” Lance grumbled and was about to climb off when Keith tightened his hold on him. “What?”

Keith bit his lower lip for a few seconds and his warm thumbs stopping rubbing circles on Lance’s hipbones. “I get that you don’t wanna make our relationship public, I really do, but,” he began and Lance already hated where this was going and laid his forehead on Keith’s shoulder to avoid eye-contact, as if that would somehow make this conversation easier. “we shouldn’t have to sneak around like a bunch of teenagers in front of your friends. Pidge knows, why can’t everyone else?”

“I know,” Lance mumbled and pressed himself deeper into his boyfriend. “I just— ugh, I dunno, you’re my first boyfriend and I know there’s nothing wrong with that and it’s not like I’m embarrassed of you, but it’s-it’s still different?”

“… You are aware of the fact that Allura and Romelle are both girls, right? We’re not the only gay ones in the group.”

An embarrassing snort escaped from Lance’s lips and scribbled his fingers against Keith’s side, which made him jerk with laughter. “You don’t say.

“Mm, I do say.” The tip of Keith’s warm nose nudged his jaw until Lance turned his head and they could look at each other. “You don’t have to make a decision right now, but I think we should tell them soon. Mostly because it’s killing me that I can’t kiss you while everyone else is practically making out in front of us.”

“Oh, my god, yes, same!” Lance exclaimed, sat up straight and fisted Keith’s hoodie theatrically. “I thought that was just me.” Smooch, smooch, sigh. “I’m so happy we’re on the same level.”

Exactly thirty minutes later they came back with a large bag of drinks, movie snacks and, yes, toilet paper. The good kind.

They did a great job at blending in. Keith mumbled something about going to the bathroom and Lance made a show of giving him a roll in front of everyone, prompting a few snickers from their crowd. Lance went to put everything away in the kitchen, unconsciously smoothing his hair down because, um, they might’ve overdone it.

“Lance?”

“Gah!”

Lance already had a high startle reflex, but the given situation made it about ten times worse and caused him to nearly drop one of the bags, which in turn made him screech and try to catch it and, ugh, okay, good going.

“Yeah?” he squeaked, cleared his throat and tried again in his normal, manly  voice. “Yes, Allura, how can I help you?”

Allura smiled in amusement and grabbed one of the bags to help him put everything in the fridge. “You might want to take a look in the mirror.” Lance blinked at her and she tapped her own lips, confusing him even more. “Your upper lip.” Oh, no. “It’s red.” Oh, no. “Looks irritated.”

Busted. Damn it. They shouldn’t have had their last kiss at the front door.

“Is it, um, that obvious?” Lance whispered, paranoid and mentally smacking himself in the face for not being able to control his hormones.

“No,” Allura reassured him before her eyes softened and her smile turned weary. “I only noticed it because I’ve seen it before.”

There was an unexpected heatwave and Lance’s heart jumped. Blood was rushing to his face and he awkwardly walked around her to grab some bowls. “R-right. Guess I’ll stay in the kitchen until it’s gone.”

They fell into a bit of a painful silence because Lance seriously didn’t know what to do, so he opted for laying the bowls on the counter and reaching into the bag to grab the cookies and chips. Thankfully Allura worked alongside him in silence, filling up the bowls and throwing away the empty bags.  

“Obviously you want to keep it a secret,” Allura carefully continued. “Can I ask why?”

It was incredibly weird to have this conversation with his ex. Especially since said ex just pointed out that she knew what his lips looked like after a kiss. And that she was wearing his merch and looked really pretty and fuck, Lance couldn’t believe his mind just went there. His hormones were still going at it, having the time of their life, and he truly, truly hated himself for still having these feelings.

Then again, he’d loved Allura for three whole years. He still loved her as a friend, of course, but that didn’t take away the fact that he vividly remembered kissing her. And proudly showing her off to his friends. Taking her home in the middle of the night and not giving a shit that Hunk was in the other room. Pulling her onto his lap during hang outs and parties. Holding her hand in public.

Oh. Oh.

“Same reason you were scared to tell us about Romelle and your sexuality,” Lance said quietly, heart beating uncomfortably fast.

Allura’s smile trembled and she nodded. “In that case, I think you should take your own advice.” She took a deep breath and laid an elegant hand on his chest. Looked into his eyes with her own piercing blue ones. “It’s us. You don’t have to be scared.”  

“Scared of what?”

This was seriously not good for Lance’s health. He jumped again and turned to Keith who didn’t look all too happy about their position.

Ha. Now he knew what it felt like.

Okay, Lance, calm down.

“Scared of being with you in front of us,” Allura answered before Lance could and Keith’s attitude faltered.

Lance laughed, slightly panicked and took a step backwards, away from Allura’s touch. “Right. That.”

“Hey!” Hunk, who had pulled Shay along with him, chirped and Lance truly hated his life right now. “Came here to help you carry the snacks and everything. Also, I managed to convince Pidge that we’re only gonna watch three movies, because I like to believe that we all have lives and sleeping schedules to maintain.”

“Oh, god, thank you,” Lance sighed in relief and held out a couple of bowls. “Here.”

Sadly, the torture didn’t end there. Pidge came up from behind Hunk after he took the bowls, curious brown eyes scanning the current situation and Lance knew she knew what was up. “Yo, slowpokes. What’s going on here?”

Not good.

“Are we having a separate party in the kitchen?” Romelle asked, instantly bouncing over to Allura and Lance was starting to question his existence.   
And last but not least, Matt and Casey joined them. “What’s everyone doing here? What’d we miss?”   

Help. Pidge raised an eyebrow at him, Keith looked semi uncomfortable at the sudden crowdedness, Allura squeezed his bicep and Lance was seriously this close to making a run for it. He saw the way Romelle was caressing Allura’s bare waist, how Shay had linked her and Hunk’s arms together, how Casey and Matt were forever holding hands and finally, the way Keith was looking at him.

His dark eyes shone with both fragility and pride. His arms were at his sides, relaxed and open, and Lance’s heart stuttered at the sight.

Deep breaths. A nod. Keith nodded back.

Fuck it.

“I have news,” Lance blurted out dumbly, much to Pidge’s, Allura’s and Keith’s amusement. Everyone else turned to him and right, the pressure was on. “Okay, um, the thing is— wait, so, remember when I— no, I mean, it’s like this— okay, like— Keith, help me out.”

“Yeah?”

“Yeah.”

“As you wish.” Keith, looking way too smug about this, strode forward and cupped his cheeks with both hands.

Uh-oh.

And kissed him.

In front of everyone.

And Lance made the stupidest noise into Keith’s mouth and stared at him like a lunatic when he pulled back. Keith’s hands slid down to his sides, going up and down a few times, which was usually comforting, but woah.

At least it was out in the open. No going back. Definitely no going back now.

He looked around to see that some jaws had dropped and quickly turned back to Keith and placed a tentative hand on his shoulder. “U-uh, yeah, that. Keith ‘n I are… sort of… a thing.”

No one said anything for a good ten seconds or so. Pidge and Allura kept quiet, respectfully, Hunk and Shay were looking at each other for some reason, Romelle’s expression was rather neutral and Matt and Casey didn’t look that impressed, either. This was all very unsettling and Lance felt the urge to leap out the window returning.

Okay, yes, Keith’s approach had been very direct and maybe a little over the top, but the silence was starting to creep him out.

“Guys?” he tried.

“Lance,” Hunk grinned uneasily and rubbed the back of his neck. “We sorta already… knew?”

What.

Pidge burst out laughing and Lance didn’t hesitate to glare daggers at her.

“Was it supposed to be a secret?” Romelle asked genuinely and looked at Allura for confirmation who gave her a painful smile. “I just thought you two weren’t that big on PDA.”

“Pretty much,” Matt agreed and Casey nodded shyly. “I mean, we all knew you had a crush on Keith from the very beginning and we figured it was only a matter of time before you two got together.”

Lance made a noise that sounded like a dying whale, face now bright red, while Pidge only laughed harder and hid her face in Hunk’s chest. Keith’s eyebrows shot up and held Lance in place when he tried to escape.

This was not happening. Nope, nope, nope. Lance knowing that Keith had been crushing on him was perfectly fine, but Keith knowing about his crush was far from okay. He needed to get out of here and bury himself somewhere or something.

“Crush?” he smirked and Lance gurgled some more and pointed an accusing finger at him.

“You had a crush on me, too!” he screeched, prompting more laughter from the others, which shook him out of it. “Anyway, that’s not the point. The point is that everyone apparently already knew and that we’re not… as subtle as we thought, oh no, do you think people at the wedding noticed?”

“The internet hasn’t exploded yet, so no, don’t think so,” Pidge spoke up helpfully and some of his friends nodded. “But, man, you should’ve seen your face, Lance, that was fucking amazing. And I didn’t even have to do anything.”

More glaring. “I hate you.”

More laughter. At least Hunk saved the day. Sort of. “My best bud finally told us about his boyfriend, even though everyone already knew, and that must’ve taken some courage. I’m so proud!”

Keith, that asshole, snickered and Lance pinched his nose in retaliation. “Shush.”

“Me, too,” Allura grinned, ignoring their banter, and patted his shoulder. “And I’m happy for you, Lance.”

At least the worst part was over. Everyone was smiling at them, not a single hint of judgement or negativity in sight and Lance felt himself deflate like a balloon, leaning against Keith’s chest, hands holding his arms in a steady but easy grip. Keith’s heartbeat and solid touch were comforting, something he still needed, even though everyone was so supportive.

Yeah, it was a bit embarrassing that everyone had known about them, but it was also nice to hear that they hadn’t batted an eye. They just went with it, didn’t ask any questions and let them be. And, honestly, Lance couldn’t have asked for better friends.  

“Thanks, guys,” he mumbled and winked at Keith. “I’ll go get my glasses for the movie marathon.”

“Yes, let’s go, let’s go!” Romelle squealed and tugged on Allura’s arm.

The others took the food and drinks back to the living room while Lance went to his room to get his glasses and was of course followed by Keith who pulled him into a hug from behind. After closing the door behind him of course. And Lance melted into the embrace.

“Can’t believe you kissed me in front of everyone,” Lance said, no resentment in his voice at all.

“Can’t believe you had a crush on me.”  

Ugh, rude.

Humming, Lance turned around, glasses on, and draped his arms over Keith’s shoulders, hands dangling lazily. Keith’s arms instantly found his waist, hugging him tightly. “Fine, it started when I came across your channel. I admired your talent, still do, and wanted to find out more about you. Found out you had a cute dog, that you valued music over money, had a cute laugh, a beautiful voice and a handsome face. So, yes, I’ll admit that a I had big, fat crush on you. Happy?”

Keith’s face broke out in the brightest smile Lance had ever seen. “Very.”