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it's not just gonna happen like that

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Keith’s wondered many times since they first met if he will ever reach a place where he gets desensitized to the way being around Shiro makes him feel.

After all, he’s experienced more heart-stopping, palms-instantly-sweating, if-you-don’t-kiss-me-within-the-next-two-seconds-Takashi-Shirogane-I-will-die moments, ultimately leading to nothing but Keith remembering it’s not something he’s ever going to have with him, than Keith could even keep track of at this point. And somehow—questionable as it has felt at times—Keith’s managed to survive all of them.

But even if his feelings for Shiro won’t change or ever go away, Keith can’t help but think that he should have learned how to adapt to them by now. Or found a way to work around them.

Seeing Shiro sparring in his undersuit, bench pressing shirtless, walking out of the shower with nothing but a towel the size of something that in no corner of the universe could ever be called modest hanging low on his hips—or facing the sight of him after Shiro falls asleep pressed close to Keith’s side during movie nights, waking up slowly and rubbing his cheek against Keith’s shoulder, whispering a soft, “Hi…” with his voice all low and hoarse as he smiles up at Keith, eyes crinkling adorably from it—none of that should be harder to get used to, to deal with, than staring down death while in battle.

Keith’s been in love with Shiro for so long, been around him and been best friends with him for years. Looking at the whole situation rationally, strategically and completely unbiased, there shouldn’t be more surprises left to hit him with.

It’s simple logic.

Basic science.

Keith’s pretty sure even Pidge would back him up on this.

Yet even if Shiro wasn’t the one person in the universe with a direct link to making Keith’s heart beat in a way that gets him keenly aware of how he occupies a body—even if Shiro wasn’t the one person to make Keith’s insides turn into hot liquid from affection in a way no one else will ever manage—looking at the sight in front of him right now, Keith suspects that he’d still feel thrown off guard.

Since, despite the countless moments he hasn’t known how to handle in the past, Keith has never once before witnessed this: Shiro, intergalactic war hero and Captain of the most advanced spaceship ever known to mankind, putting any kind of thick phallic food into his mouth and deliberately pushing it down his throat as far as it can go.

This really wasn’t the view Keith had expected to be met with when he walked into the—very open and unlocked and accessible to anyone, last time Keith checked—Officers’ lounge at the Galaxy Garrison.

Maybe Keith would have been able to tell himself that it’s his mind running wild and getting away from him because of the shape alone. That it could just be how a person eats a banana. Maybe he could’ve done that, if it weren’t for how Shiro starts to slide the damn thing in and out between his stretched lips, before trying to take it deeper. Shiro gags with a little broken-off whine, and pulls the banana out only to repeat the motion, moaning louder around it this time.

Ideally, this would be the moment that Keith twirls around and sneaks out again. Leaving unnoticed and with Shiro none the wiser.

Always in tune and aware of each other as they tend to be, though, Shiro snaps his gaze up and spots Keith before he has a chance to make his feet move.

In the full span of the two seconds directly following his discovery of being caught, Shiro manages to make a garbled noise as he chokes on the banana and then sputters around it, like he’s trying to talk even with a mouthful of phallus. He ends up biting down where he still has two-thirds of it down his throat, gagging some more before promptly spitting the whole thing out on the floor with an undignified, ’Plergh!’.

“K-Keith!” Shiro stammers out, his voice high-pitched even as it rasps on the name. Still holding the peel and what’s left of the banana, Shiro’s floating hand zips behind his back, while his left hand comes up to wipe at his mouth—as if getting the drool off his chin could possibly save face and cover up his tracks. “Wh–what’s up?”

What is up is that Shiro sounds all hoarse and throaty, even more so than after waking up during movie nights when he’s been sleeping tucked against Keith’s side. Keith sucks in a sharp breath, because now the reason for it is from how Shiro has been—

No.

Nonono, no—no, nope.

Keith rolls up a newspaper in his mind to smack first his head and then his dick with, hard. There will be no boners popped, metaphorical or otherwise, from watching his best friend choke on a fruit before retching it up on the floor. Some lines are not meant to be crossed, not even by Keith, however deep his love runs for Shiro. No matter how irrevocably head over heels Keith is for the guy and how he’s constantly dazed by everything Shiro does.

“What’s, uh—” Keith fumbles for something to say in reply; anything to break the silence that’s stretching out between them the longer it takes for him to answer, “—up yourself?”

It sure did break the silence, but Keith’s not so sure it was worth it. Not when both of them end up wordlessly gaping at each other, staring in mutual horror over where the conversation is heading.

Even though Keith would consider himself the reigning master at not giving a shit about staring down his opponents in awkward social situations—simply because he doesn’t care—he suddenly realizes that he’s never experienced one with Shiro before. Not like this.

“Nothing. I was…” Shiro clears his throat, and despite it all, Keith can’t help but to zero in on how adorable he finds it that Shiro’s trying so hard to look composed. Even as he rocks back on the balls of his feet, Shiro’s gaze flicking up to the ceiling like God herself might reach down a hand to offer help or remove Shiro from the whole situation. “I just—I was just curious?”

“Curious…” Keith repeats slowly. Because even if he had the social skills of one of the diplomats on their newly formed intergalactic peace council, he’s pretty sure that he still wouldn’t know how to properly respond to that.

Shiro was curious about choking on something down his throat?

In public?

“Well, I—actually, I was eating it,” Shiro tries again while his eyes follow the movement of his floating arm where it slowly comes out from behind his back, like it just can’t help itself. The hand picks up the abandoned banana from the floor, before making its way across the room to carefully dump both the fruit and the peel into one of the trashcans over there, before returning to Shiro’s right side. “Obviously. Or, I was going to, but it was—so big, y’know? So… so big…”

Shiro lets out what can only be described as a dreamy sigh, and someone makes a noise like a wounded man that’s lying dying in a ditch in reply. Keith hurries to cover it up with a cough when he realizes that the noise came from him, and he smooths it all out into a hum, hoping it at least vaguely resembles something in the affirmative—because yes.

Keith does know how big it was.

He did see the thing, even if Shiro tried his best to cover it all up with his mouth. Pretty much all the genetically modified fruits and vegetables produced on the Garrison’s grounds end up a lot bigger than they would be if they were grown naturally, and the banana Shiro stuffed his face with seemed like a huge example of something already large in general.

“Right,” Keith says, and tries to sound casual. As if that’s a perfectly normal observation to bond over. “Sure.”

“So I—I guess I just wanted to check if I could still do it.” Shiro thumbs at his bottom lip, eyes a little glazed, like he’s far off and deep in thought. “I mean, get it the whole way down. Take all of it. Like when—”

Despite standing still, Keith manages to trip over his own feet.

He tries to right himself just as Shiro snaps himself out of whatever cocksucking fantasy trance he’d drifted off to, looking back at Keith and furrowing his brows as if he hasn’t even realized what he just said. Keith plants a hand on one of the tables to steady himself.

“‘Sti—’? That’s—well. Wow. I—” Keith clears his throat, desperately doing his best to gather himself. Really. He’s not even the one that should be flustered here, is he?

Besides, maybe this is something perfectly normal to bond over. How often hasn’t Keith overheard Lance and Hunk talk about stuff related to sex, both unashamedly and enthusiastically? Sometimes seemingly more for the fact that they want to bring up the subject rather than actually having anything worth talking about—and how many times haven’t they tried to rope Keith in to join those conversations, too?

Just because Keith’s been the lonely kid who didn’t have friends his own age during his teenage years, and just because Shiro was his one friend back then and they naturally didn’t talk about those things in great detail—given the whole ‘cadet and senior officer’ and age difference thing between them—it doesn’t mean it has to be weird to bring it up now. Around your best friend, when you’re both in your twenties.

Maybe watching the love of your life choke as he tries to deepthroat a banana, before said love of your life verbally confirms your suspicions of him being excellent at giving head, isn’t such a big deal as Keith is making it out to be.

“Well,” Keith says, trying to be supportive by offering his condolences. He does know how harsh Shiro can be on himself whenever he doesn’t do something perfectly. “Sorry you couldn’t do it, then.”

Shiro drops the hand still rubbing at his bottom lip, face quickly losing any lingering traces of embarrassment. Instead he frowns while slowly shaking his head, like he’s trying to process those words. “Excuse me. What?”

“I mean, you—it didn’t look like—” Keith tries to find a good way to explain himself. “There was still a lot that didn’t… fit? Is all I’m saying. I wasn’t—”

“Well, I’m sorry, Keith, but it’s been a long time.” Shiro glares at him as he crosses his arms, and Keith easily recognizes the way Shiro goes defensive when he’s trying to cover up the fact that his pride is wounded. “I haven’t exactly been able to spend the last years honing my skills, but I’ll have you know I used to be really good at it.”

“Oh-okay,” Keith stammers out, forcing himself not to say anything else. Not just to keep himself from blurting out something irrevocable, like how the opportunity for practice was certainly there, had Shiro felt like doing some of it between saving the universe and traveling back to Earth or whatever. But also so he won’t start to reassure Shiro that Keith has already assumed as much about Shiro’s dicksucking abilities.

Seriously—Shiro excels at everything he does.

He always pushes himself to be the best he can be, at whatever task he takes on, and he cares so, so much about others. Even if Shiro didn’t carry himself with an air of confidence that could get people running in the other direction in defeat before they’ve even started if they were faced with a challenge from him, while Shiro’s still an absolute sweetheart who charms most people that cross his path too—Keith’s pretty sure he still would’ve taken for granted that Shiro is amazing at blowjobs.

As guilty as Keith sometimes feels about his feelings for Shiro—when Shiro is the best friend he’s ever had, and that friendship in itself is more than enough, and he’d never want to make Shiro uncomfortable—the time Keith has spent thinking about this is something he can’t even feel bad about.

The majority of his fantasies about Shiro wrapping his lips around a dick might be deeply personal in nature, sure. But the thought of Shiro sucking cock and being incredible at it crossing another man’s mind feels like nothing more than a perfectly natural observation to make, as an adult who has seen what Shiro looks like.

Still. Shiro clearly isn’t aware of that, since he’s squinting his eyes, as if Keith’s agreement was meant to be sarcastic. Then he scoffs, and in that rare, just slightly patronizing tone of voice he gets when he’s being a sore loser, Shiro says, “What, you think you could do it better?”

It’s not at all what Keith had meant, but the way Shiro says it still makes him shuffle his shoulders. Every other thought instantly disappears from his mind as the primal intense urge to prove people wrong, that's always slumbering at the back of Keith’s mind, wakes with a low defensive growl.

“Are you saying you don’t think I could do it?” Keith says.

Shiro twists his mouth, still glaring for a moment as they both stare each other down. Then something in Shiro’s expression softens—his muscles relax, face smoothing out with the smallest hint of a smile quirking up one corner of his lips. “I think you can do anything you set your mind to, Keith,” Shiro says. He’s all earnest and heartfelt, sounding fond in the way he always does when he’s proud of Keith.

Instead of blushing—or, say, passing out on the spot—over the fact that Shiro is more or less supportively declaring that he thinks that Keith would be absolutely amazing at sucking cock as long as Keith gives it his all and does his best and makes sure to have a good time, Keith crosses the space between them.

“Damn right I can,” he says and holds out a hand with his palm up in front of Shiro. “Bet I can get the whole thing down there.”

Shiro blinks, his mouth opening and closing a couple of times, as if his brain is only just now catching up with the conversation that’s actually being had. With his cheeks gone a little pink, Shiro quickly turns around for the fruit bowl, spending just a moment too long picking through the bunch of bananas in there. Finally seeming satisfied with his choice, he snaps off the largest of them, and turns back to hand it over to Keith. “Here. But. Keith, buddy, you, ah—”

“Just—shut up and watch,” Keith cuts him off. “Maybe you’ll even learn a thing or two.”

In some situations it might have been a completely ludicrous thing to say for someone who’s never even shared a friendly peck with another guy before. But Keith keeps unflinching eye contact as he snaps the top of the peel open, fully confident in his ability to outshine Shiro at this.

Being a twenty-two-year-old virgin doesn’t simply mean that Keith has had no experience with this, but also that he’s had a lot of time to himself to practice. And seriously, what kind of guy hasn’t tried to deepthroat a large dick-shaped object in the privacy of his own room at least once in his life, with nothing but his own curiosity as his witness?

Taking a deep breath, Keith puts the huge tip of the banana between his lips. With great concentration, and even greater determination—while still keeping his eyes trained on Shiro’s in a show of dominance—he slowly starts to slide it inside his mouth at a steady pace.

Keith has no doubt that Shiro really did used to do this easily and expertly at some point in his life. But while Shiro let himself slack off while stuck in space, the one thing in Keith’s life that he hasn’t learned how to adapt to, or figured out a way to work around, is the depth of his feelings for Shiro. Sure, Keith’s a twenty-two-year-old virgin, but it’s not because he doesn’t want to have sex. So what if he’s made sure to at least have some way he could impress the hot, older, clearly-more-experienced guy that Keith would actually want to have sex with—just in case a miracle ever happened and Shiro would want Keith too?

Because no matter how great Keith’s always been at pushing away his emotions—telling himself from such a young age that he doesn’t care if the world as a whole hates or doesn’t understand him—the reason he won’t ever force his feelings for Shiro to go away or be ignored, is because while trying to care for people when they always end up hurting you has always felt like a weakness, loving Shiro has always been Keith’s greatest strength.

It’s with that thought the banana gets buried all the way down his throat. Keith blinks at the wetness gathering at the corners of his eyes, unable to hold back the little whimper he makes, his chest swelling with pride. There’s always a certain kind of thrill he gets from beating Shiro at something; the weird mixture of having his ego stroked because Keith loves kicking his best friend’s ass, while still knowing that Shiro is the absolute best there is, and they’ll always both support each other more than anyone else ever could.

Too high on his victory, Keith tries to let out something like a cheerful whoop without thinking. He completely forgets about Shiro’s earlier attempt at talking when Shiro was doing this, and the cautious tale it provided of how talking with your mouth full is not only rude, but clearly a bad idea in general when one is trying not to gag.

Fully prepared to choke, Keith barely processes what’s happening when instead Shiro’s prosthetic hand grabs Keith’s jaw, metal fingers digging into Keith’s cheeks a little roughly while Shiro uses his other hand to pull the banana out of Keith’s mouth. Keith gulps down a breath of air as soon his mouth is freed, making a confused little noise over everything that’s going on. 

He’s barely managed to get out the, “Wh—?” before he’s cut off by Shiro crushing his lips to Keith’s own.

Keith gasps. This time it’s not for breath but from the shock, but his lips still part instinctively for Shiro’s tongue as Shiro licks into his mouth; kissing Keith hard and desperate for a long moment before suddenly wrenching back with a loud smack.

“I’m—so sorry!” Shiro says, staring at Keith with his eyes even wider than when Keith had first walked in on him. Keith gapes up at him in stunned silence, and Shiro quickly drops his tight grip on Keith’s face. “Holy shit, I—fuck, Keith, I’m—I mean, I don’t mean that I’m sorry for kissing you, but if you didn’t want me to then this is really more awkward than anything else that’s happened today, and I seriously shouldn’t have just—”

Admittedly, Keith’s brain still isn’t completely up to speed with what’s going on, but he still reaches out to fist both of his hands tightly in the lapels of Shiro’s uniform jacket, and tugs him back down to cut off Shiro’s rambling with a kiss that starts with a bite. Shiro groans, a needy sound going straight to Keith’s gut, and not only because he’s already riled up from whatever bizarre accidental foreplay they’ve been doing.

Letting himself moan back against Shiro’s mouth for a moment, Keith uses all the strength he has in his arms to finally shove Shiro away. He still keeps his grip on the front of the jacket, so Shiro only trips back half a step before swaying into Keith’s space again.

“Shiro.” Keith pulls him closer, glaring up at him with their faces so close their noses almost touch.

“Um.” Shiro blinks at him wide-eyed, his hands flailing at Keith’s sides, like he has no idea what to make of any of this.

Keith says, “Did we seriously just have our first kiss because I sucked off a banana in front of you?”

“What? No!” Shiro’s palms finally stop hovering in the air and settle on Keith’s waist, his fingers giving a reassuring squeeze. “We—I—… ah.” Seeming to realize how there’s nowhere left for that sentence to go, Shiro winces, and lets out a deep sigh in defeat. “Yeah. Yep. Yes. We—we really did, didn’t we?”

They both stare at each other in silence, Keith still gripping Shiro’s jacket and Shiro holding onto Keith’s waist.

“I can’t believe,” Keith starts to say, “that out of everything we’ve been through together, this is still easily in the top three of the most absurd things to happen.”

Keith’s about to start laughing, but then he catches himself and stops. He loosens up the grip he has on Shiro’s uniform, going from close to ripping the fabric to clutching it just a little bit too tightly instead, and swallows thickly. “Were you—just horny because it’s, uh. Been a while or something, or did you seriously realize you wanted to do that because…?”

“Keith.” Shiro licks his lips before he huffs out a self-conscious breath and blushes. “Buddy, c’mon. I didn’t just kiss you because I watched you deepthroat a banana like it was nothing and got turned on.”

“So—you really did just have an emotional awakening because of it, then?”

“No, I didn’t—Keith—” Shiro stutters as he fumbles for words, looking completely distraught. Keith can’t keep it together anymore; the laughter breaks as easily as the top of a ripe banana’s peel getting snapped open. He leans into Shiro’s chest while he shakes from it, can't even talk through his giggling, a hint of a chuckle in Shiro’s own voice mixed in with the confusion when he asks, “What?

“It’s just—you—” Keith pulls back to stare up at him, his wheezing bordering on hysterical as he moves one hand from Shiro’s jacket to wipe away the wetness at the corners his eyes, shaking his head in disbelief. “I’ve saved your life, Shiro. I brought you back from—and you… what I really needed to do this whole time was just to show off my lack of a gag reflex?

“No! I’m telling you, I wasn’t—I mean I haven’t, I wouldn’t—Keith.” Shiro closes his eyes with a pained groan. He tips his head back for a deep breath before he looks down at Keith again where Keith’s still snickering. “Lemme start over, alright?” Shiro pleads. “I promise the lifesaving part is why I—no, wait, god. No. That’s not right either. I mean it’s not the reason for it. I love you for who you are, and that’s why I’m in—”

Keith hiccups, sniffing a little as his laughter falls away. “Wait. You love me?” he whispers.

“Keith.” Shiro gives another squeeze of his hands on Keith’s waist. “Of course I do. You know that. Don’t you?”

Swallowing, Keith flicks his eyes down and takes a moment to stare at Shiro’s chest instead of answering right away. “Yeah. Sure, but—I would’ve eaten a banana in front of you a lot sooner if I’d known it was in the same way that I love you.”

“Keith.” Shiro snorts around a disbelieving little giggle when Keith starts laughing again too. Shiro wraps his arms around Keith’s back more firmly, pulling him close to rest their foreheads together while his eyelids slip shut. “Oh my god.”

“Shiro,” Keith murmurs, and tries his best to compose himself when both of them pull away enough to look at each other. His fingers curl against Shiro’s clothes while he takes in the sight of him, how unbelievably close they are—just like during movie night cuddles, but this time with both of them leaning in with intent and without Keith having to tell himself that he’s imagining all the tension he feels in the space left between their lips.

“Hey,” Keith breathes out. “You should clear your schedule for tonight.”

“Oh?” Shiro lifts an eyebrow, still staying close, with his voice low in the way that Keith loves it—the way that makes Keith’s whole body want to shiver from it.

“Mm. I’m taking you out on a date. A real one.” Keith pauses as soon as he’s said it. While he’s the kind of guy to jump headfirst into most things at his core, and Shiro has always seemed to like that about him, Keith figures that it can’t hurt to be a little more of a gentleman than Shiro’s proven to be while trying to declare his love for someone. “I mean, uh. If you want to, that is.”

“Of course I do.” Shiro moves one of his hands to cup the back of Keith’s neck, smiling softly at him. “What did you have in mind?”

“Well, I—I haven’t really decided on that part yet. Believe it or not, but everything that’s happened this afternoon has been pretty unexpected.”

Shiro lets out a snicker for half a second before he holds it back, sucking on a canine the way he does when Keith knows he’s about to say something really stupid. “Alright…” Shiro murmurs, “but if we’re going somewhere to grab a bite, just lemme know. There’s this place that serves a great banana sundae.”

Keith shoves him away for real this time, letting go of his hold on Shiro completely. “We’re not going anywhere now.”

“What, you don’t like ice cream?” Shiro says and hurries after him with a grin when Keith makes to walk away. “Maybe banana bread muffins instead?”

“Shiro.”

“Not up for something sweet?” Shiro hums. “Just a simple fruit salad, then?”

“I’m leaving.”

“No, hey—oh, I know! Banana fairy cakes. Get it? Fairy cakes—?”

“Shiro, I will kill you with my bare—”

“Wait! Wait, wait, wait.” Shiro grabs his wrist, and Keith steels himself as he slowly turns back to face him. Shiro squints his eyes at him. “Banana… balls?”

“Goodbye!” Keith calls out and tries to yank his hand free.

Shiro laughs, tugging Keith up against his chest before he can get anywhere. Stepping in closer, Shiro wraps him up in his arms again, and Keith tries his best to hold back his own giggle while Shiro presses his nose to his temple, whispering there, “Keith, c’mon. Don’t go anywhere.”

“No?” Keith says, pretending to be pouting. “Why shouldn’t I?”

“Because I really want to kiss you again.” Shiro pulls back enough to smile down at him, and Keith’s eyes automatically fall to Shiro’s lips.

“You, uh.” Keith has to clear his throat, while Shiro gives him an all too self-satisfied grin when Keith meets his eyes again. “Think you’ll be able to get anything you want from now on just by saying something like that?”

“What, are you planning on proving me wrong, Kogane?” Shiro murmurs back teasingly, and Keith’s primal intense urge to do so that’s always slumbering at the back of his mind, doesn’t even peek an eye open in consideration—undisturbed with wanting nothing less than just that.

Keith still stops himself from closing the space between them and parting his lips under Shiro’s mouth, though.

Instead he leans in close enough for their lips to graze, before Keith pauses there and whispers, “I told you. I’m taking you out on a date. A real one. Which means that the kiss doesn’t happen until the end of it.”

“Keith…”

It’s Keith’s turn to grin, and he lifts a hand to pinch Shiro’s chin playfully before pulling away, stepping back and starting to walk backwards. “I’ll see you tonight, Shiro.”

“Keith?” Shiro gapes at him. “Are—are you seriously—?”

“I’ve already taken enough time from your snack break!” Keith says and salutes him. “Be sure to eat your vitamins, Captain.”

With a wink, Keith finally twirls around to sneak out again—leaving far from unnoticed now as he feels Shiro’s gaze on his back the whole time, and Keith has to use every bit of impulse control he has in his body not to turn around.

The doors have barely slipped shut behind him before Keith can’t keep it together any longer—he does a victory jump in the air, complete with a high-kick, every bit of him ridiculous with his happiness as he lands on his feet again. He quickly looks around self-consciously, tugging his uniform jacket in place as he checks to make sure that no one’s around and saw him.

Keith bites his bottom lip around a grin so wide he has to close his eyes for a moment, while he presses his fingertips into his eyelids not to scream into his hands. Then he starts to head down the hallway to get back to his duties, instead of just running back into the lounge to jump into Shiro’s arms and kiss him senseless.

Keith can have a little bit of tact.

He can.

Just a little.

At least until tonight, and then Keith can make it up to both of them by kissing Shiro until neither of them can remember what it’s like not to kiss each other.

Keith smiles to himself again.

He can’t even care about the fact that out of all the infinite possibilities existing out there in the universe for how things will go in someone's life, a goddamned banana is what finally brought him and Shiro together.