Waking up in Lance’s bed is always twenty times better than waking up in Keith’s own, maybe fifty times better. There’s the memory foam mattress and his several fluffy pillows and perpetually clean sheets. Only the best of the best for YouTube’s top-performing vlogger. There’s also Lance, the vlogger himself.
Keith turns over in a sleepy daze as the sun shines through the bedroom curtains, curling up closer into Lance’s chest. Still asleep, Lance wraps his arms loosely around him, and Keith tucks his head in the nook of his neck. Lance’s quiet snore almost lulls him back to sleep.
It’s satisfying and safe.
And then the alarm goes off.
Keith groans, burying his face into Lance’s chest. Okay, so this part of waking up is infinitely worse than waking up in his own apartment. Lance gets up at the asscrack of dawn and immediately begins working. “Rise and grind,” he calls it.
“No,” Keith mutters as Lance removes an arm from around him to lean back and grab his phone. He turns the alarm off, and Keith is forced to adjust as Lance turns to lie on his back.
“Mmm, go back to sleep,” he says, lazily tugging on Lance’s shirt.
“No days off, baby,” Lance says, voice rough, kissing Keith atop his head. Keith can’t tell if Lance is using a pet name when he says that or if that’s just one of his sayings, and at this point, he’s too afraid to ask. He ends up with his head on Lance’s chest, one arm draped over his stomach. “I love how you always drool on my shirt, it’s like a cat marking its territory.”
Keith opens his eyes a crack so he can look up and glare at him. Just like he expected, Lance is checking his email already.
He doesn’t understand it. Sure, Lance has brand deals and merch and stuff, but his videos are only clips of his daily life with his friends, mixed in with lots of pranks, games, and stunts. Based solely on his content, you’d never guess how much work he does.
Keith runs a much smaller (1M subscribers compared to Lance’s 30M) reaction-based channel. His videos involve research, scripting, and planning of well-timed jokes, and he does his own editing. Yet he’ll admit he doesn’t work half as hard as Lance does.
Sometimes he’ll turn his alarm off and stay in bed, keeping their legs a tangled mess under the covers and leaving soft kisses down Keith’s face, but it only happens once a millennium. And yet, even on mornings like this, his work ethic is the most attractive thing about him.
“Okay,” Lance says, and his phone clicks closed. He scoots back a little, slowly lifting himself up on his elbows so Keith can move before he gets jostled off of him. “I have to go work out.”
“Do you have to?”
The mattress shifts as Lance gets up, and Keith opens his tired eyes as fully as they’ll go. He pulls the covers up to his chin and attempts to give Lance the same doe-eyed look Lance gives that can convince Keith to do anything for him.
“Now that I think about it, maybe you shouldn’t make those ‘Ko-gains’ shirts I suggested,” he smirks, Keith’s doe eyes not having remotely the same effect. He pads over to his dresser to get running shorts out, shimmying into them as he pulls them up over his knees.
Keith rubs his eyes with the back of his hand. “You’re right, the ’Lance Mc-gains’ ones are bad enough.”
“But then we’d match,” Lance grins back at him as he slips his shirt off.
“And then I’d have to pretend I’m copying you ironically,” Keith grumbles, tired voice cracking. Lance walks back over to him, laughing. “Or everyone would put two and two together, and we’d be screwed.”
“Ah, but would that be so bad?” He asks, leaning down to give Keith a much-too-fleeting kiss, but he isn’t expecting Keith to answer. He already knows what Keith’s thinking.
It’s been too long, too secret, and both of their fanbases are full of teenage girls that are a tad too enthusiastic. Of course it would be bad.
He met Lance four years ago in the most online influencer way possible: online, through his own YouTube comments. He’d been on YouTube for a year and a half, gained 100,000 subscribers, and was finally clear on what kind of content he’d make.
Lance was far ahead of him with over a million subscribers and, at the time, was growing rapidly because he managed to convince the internet that he got a tattoo of Harry Styles on his face. Of course, Keith had to make a video about it. It was all the internet would talk about, and half of his own subscribers had already come from a video he’d made reacting to Lance’s ridiculous personality.
It wasn’t long before Lance saw this second one, though, and he responded more positively than he probably should have. He even went so far as to get in touch with Keith on Twitter.
At the time, Keith was surprised by the ease with which he was able to talk to Lance – he thought he’d either be uncomfortable or star struck. It turned out that Lance was a completely normal and charming guy with a decent sense of humor. Keith couldn’t deny how cute he was either, what with his dimples and freckles.
They hit it off immediately and each spent months obliviously pining before finally admitting their feelings for the other.
It was Keith’s idea to keep it a secret when they started dating three years ago. As friends, they already didn’t put much of their relationship online anyway, and with a ton of eyes on Lance, it was best to keep himself hidden.
He never wanted a huge following, and if he got one, he didn’t want it to be because his channel to grew inorganically. Plus, his audience loved his videos about Lance, and he knew that there’d be more ridiculous content that called for reactions in the future.
So, they’ve kept their internet lives separate and, to this day, pretend that Keith’s videos are the only times their paths ever cross. He stays out of Lance’s vlogs, they both have continued to claim they’re single, and Keith tries to keep his reaction videos as neutral as possible. On the rare occasion they go out in public together, Keith keeps his head down, hair tucked into a beanie.
He watches Lance turn to leave, and he’s halfway out the door as Keith says, “You’ll come back, right?” His voice is laced with a longing and fondness he’d cringe at if it came out of anyone else.
Lance turns back with a frown, finally affected by Keith’s own pouting. “Babe, I have to shower.”
“Then I’m editing a little bit, and then making you breakfast.”
A smile spreads across Keith’s face. Okay, he can deal with that.
Keith is pulled awake again by the sound of Lance rummaging through his drawers. The shower runs in the connected bathroom, and Lance is covered in a thin layer of sweat, wearing nothing but a towel. He’d join him if he wasn’t certain it was still barely 7 a.m. on a Saturday.
He’s in and out of sleep for another hour, Lance and his roommates shuffling around downstairs, before he finally awakes fully to Lance’s voice.
“Keeeith,” he says, voice a pitch higher than normal. “We have made a grave error.”
“This better not be one of your pranks,” he says, burying his face into a pillow, but Lance doesn’t laugh. “If I wake up and you spray shaving cream on me again, I’m breaking up with you.”
Yes, McClainiacs, his pranks are real, and he conducts them with or without a camera on him.
“It’s not,” Lance says, clearing his throat, and Keith lifts his head to look at him. He’s holding a tray of food, but his eyes are wide, and he shifts his weight from one foot to the other.
“Did you burn something?” he asks.
Lance takes a small step forward, hesitating. Then, he books it to the bed, silverware clanking on the tray and apple juice sloshing around in the glass. It nearly spills when he sits down.
The plate of food is as normal as ever – fluffy scrambled eggs, golden brown toast with butter and strawberry jelly, and bacon. Nothing is burnt or ruined in anyway.
Keith sits up and Lance pushes the tray onto his lap without looking at him. His face is strained, and he looks like he’s going to explode with anxiety at any minute.
“What’s going on?” He takes a tiny piece of egg onto his fork and bites into it, ready to taste sugar instead of salt or something. But nope, still normal.
Lance kicks his legs under the covers and lies down, pulling them up over his head as he clears his throat. His voice muffled, he asks, “So, you know how I said it wouldn’t be so bad if people found out about us?”
“Would it really be that bad?” he says. Then he starts rambling, like he always does when he’s nervous about something. “Like, everyone knows I’m bisexual now, and you’ve been out since you started your channel. We don’t have to post a ton about our relationship or anything, and I feel like people wouldn’t follow you just because of me. I mean, it’s not like you’re a vlogger. They’d follow you because you make amazing content. But we’ve been dating for so long, and—”
Keith’s body admits the reality to himself before his brain does. He starts trembling, and it becomes harder to breathe.
Still, he starts, “Lance, we’ve talked about—”
Lance abruptly folds the covers down away from his face. “We’re kissing in the background of your brother’s recent video.”
Keith drops the fork and sets the tray to the side so he can scramble out of bed. He almost trips on the sheets as he rushes to get his phone off of Lance’s dresser. Lance stays lying still, staring up at the ceiling.
“And, um…” Of course, there’s more. “I guess you’re in the background of a selfie I posted on Instagram a few weeks ago? In like a mirror.”
He keeps his eyes trained on his phone – he has several missed texts from Shiro and a YouTube notification: “ADASHI uploaded: ‘WE ADOPTED A BABY **Not clickbait**’”
Keith slides the notification to open the app, and Shiro and his husband Adam’s smiling faces greet him. His own expression of dread and horror juxtaposes theirs, as Shiro says, “So, we’re about to go in and meet our new son.” Beside him, Adam cups his cheeks and squeals.
Then, their cheesy ass intro starts playing, and Keith scrolls down to the comments. His name is alongside Lance’s in too many of them.
Me: Aw does Keith finally have a man??
Me, looking closer: IS THAT LANCE MCCLAIN???
im not saying its definitely lance that’s kissing keith but in his vlog he posted yesterday hes wearing an army green jacket and a gray shirt and so is this guy so we might be on to something here
WTF??? LANCE THIS GUY IS IRRELEVANT #allurance
Yall are cute as hell and all but I came here for the apparent klance in the background
For everyone wondering the Keith and Lance moment happens at 10:36!
Keith braces himself and clicks on the timestamp.
“—mad that it’s a cat and not a literal child?” Shiro, who’s filming, asks from behind the camera. They’re standing in the kitchen of their apartment, and Adam has their new black kitten in his hands.
“It’s a baby cat,” Adam laughs. “It’s only clickbait if it’s a lie.”
Keith keeps his eyes trained behind Adam, where he and Lance are sitting on the living-room couch in the distance, watching something on TV. Lance has his arm around Keith, he leans in to whisper something that makes Keith laugh, and sure enough, they kiss.
Keith’s heart nearly jumps out of his chest when it happens.
“Shit,” he whispers. He takes a couple sweeping steps over to Lance’s bed, eyes still on his phone. Shiro keeps talking to Adam, and they’re still in the background, Lance nuzzling his head into Keith’s neck. “Shit!”
> keith im so sorry im a literal idiot
> its just, you guys have been dating so long
> it seems so NORMAL, yknow??
> i didn’t even think to idk blur it or cut it out
> i can take the video down if you want
> I feel like it’s too late now
> It doesn’t matter
> I just don’t know what to do Shiro
> it will be okay, i promise
> they were bound to find out some time
“Hey, come on,” Lance reaches up, tugging on Keith’s arm. But Keith is looking at his channel notifications now – it’s like a train wreck he can’t look away from.
Shiro couldn’t have posted the vlog more than an hour ago, and he’s already gained 46,467 subscribers. Most people are commenting on his videos about Lance, and Keith wouldn’t have expected anything else. He clicks on a notification for a comment made on the tattoo video.
“Hey there, knuckleheads,” a younger him says, and Keith cringes at the sloppily-drawn dick on his face. “Oh, this? I got a tattoo this past weekend. I wanted to dedicate the prime real estate of my face to something I love.”
A jump-cut. His old background music starts up.
“Get it? ‘Cuz I’m gay,” he says. “No? Anyway. So, when I made my last video about Lance McClain, I honestly didn’t think the dude was this crazy…”
The comments on this video aren’t any better than the ones on Shiro’s.
You can actually see the fond on his face when he’s watching Lance’s vlog omg
> RIGHT???? He looks so soft for him
How long have they been dating?
> No one knows for sure
> I think they just started dating
> no I heard they’ve been dating for a while, like since lance commented on this
> NO WAY
Ew hes so mean? I don’t think that was really lance in that video
Theres no way keith would ever date lance. They’re like polar opposites lol and lance is super annoying.
> just two buddies kissing
> ummmm sweetie LANCE would never date KEITH lol
And this is only the beginning; soon, thirty MILLION people will commenting on him, his love life, everything. He doesn’t know how Lance does it. His throat goes raw, and he feels like he might cry. At any rate, he’s about to have a panic attack.
“Come here, mullet.” His phone falls from his hands as Lance pulls him on top of him on the bed. He tries to even his breathing as Lance rubs his back. It’s like he can already feel everyone’s eyes on him. “It’s okay. It’s just us. It’ll always only be us.”
He kisses Keith’s cheek, and Keith squeezes his eyes shut.
“It’s fine, right?” Keith asks into Lance’s shoulder. “We can just ignore it. Everyone will move on.”
He can feel Lance’s energy shift the moment he says it.
“You really want to just ignore it?” he asks. His hand is still moving across Keith’s back, but just barely now, fingers grazing it and sending shivers up his spine.
Keith lifts his head. “Lance, I can’t—”
“We’ve been dating for over three years now.” He says it softly, but Keith can see the frustration in his eyes. “I don’t plan on stopping any time soon, do you?”
“No!” The tray of food rattles as Keith rolls off of Lance and onto his back beside him. They’ve had this conversation more than once – he thought Lance understood. “You know it’s not about hiding it. Hiding us. It’s just…all the people.”
“You learn to forget about them after a while.”
“No, you forget about them,” Keith says. He keeps his eyes trained on the ceiling, hand shaking. “I don’t know if I’ll be able to. They’ll all hate me. Already, people are saying I’m irrelevant and mean.”
Lance shifts around, and his hand runs along Keith’s jaw. “Hey, look at me.”
Keith turns his head, eyelids drooping sadly. Lance is propped up on his elbow, cheek resting in his palm. Whenever he looks at Lance, his chest fills with love and he knows he wants a future with him. A future is going to involve all of this tenfold, and he knows it’s worth it.
The trouble is in accepting that it’s worth it.
“I hate hiding you,” Lance whispers. “Even if that’s not what it’s about, that’s what it is. You’re hiding, and I’m hiding you. It was fine at first, but…I love you, Keith. You know that, but I want to tell anyone who will listen.”
Keith’s heart swells. When it comes down to it, he hates it too. He hates making videos about Lance’s latest ventures and having to leave out the fact that he had a hand in them, that he was there while Lance brainstormed and saw Lance’s beautiful face brighten when the perfect idea came to him.
He hates that he can’t talk about how thoughtful Lance is under his wild and loud personality. He hates that he has to keep it to himself that he finds Lance’s work ethic so incredibly attractive.
But can he do it? Can he get himself to say all of that, knowing that millions of people will respond?
“I just think…this is our chance to be open,” Lance goes on. “I think we should do it. And then we’ll go to Bali or Japan or Paris, wherever you want, and we won’t read the comments.
Keith laughs, and his first tear of the day is finally shed. “I love you so much. I don’t know why I’m so scared.”
“Just think about it, okay?”
“Yeah,” he breathes. “Okay.”
It takes Keith over a month to gather himself and to, essentially, say “fuck it.” He and Lance book an Airbnb in and a flight to Cisternino, Italy, for the week after they plan their videos to drop. It’s a little cottage in the middle of nature, away from any and all people.
He’s going to film the boyfriend tag with Lance – something Lance has begged him to do for a while now – and Lance has picked a few videos for the two of them to react to on Keith’s channel. They’ve planned all of the jokes together and everything, so Keith can just relax and concentrate on not letting himself be overcome with anxiety.
They’re in Keith’s room in his apartment, laptop propped open on his desk, ready to film for his channel first. This time, he didn’t have to take the stuffed shark Lance won him from a claw machine off of his bed while setting up.
He takes a deep breath, hitting record.
“Wait, can I say it?” Lance cuts him off, giddy. He nods slowly. Lance isn’t used to much of a script, anyway. He salutes the camera, winking. “Hey there, knuckleheads.”
“Oh my god,” Keith says before he can stop himself, breathless already. “I didn’t know I needed to hear that until now.”
He turns back to the camera, blinking.
“Um, you guys already know me,” he says, grin on his face but voice shaking. “And, um, you probably already know this goofball, too.”
“Lance McClain,” he cocks his head with a smirk, putting his hand out to the camera. “Pleasure to meet you. Oh, and if you’re here from my channel and are about to be mean to my boyfriend, you can just stop calling yourself a McClainiac now, thanks.”
Keith looks at him again. “That was more aggressive than you made it seem when we wrote it.”
Lance shrugs, mumbling, “I’m protective.”
Back to the camera.
“Yeah,” Keith breathes in. “I’m his boyfriend. We’ve been dating for three years. And if you’re here to be mean to him, I’ll fight you.”
Lance raises an eyebrow. “That was aggressive. We didn’t even write that.”
“Well, it’s true.”
Lance doubles over randomly, then, giggling. “We’re not even reading the comments. Why are we saying this?”
So, maybe they’re a shit show when they film together. The boyfriend tag won't be any easier.
“Because we need them to know that if they’re mean,” Keith says, “I will fight them, and they don’t deserve to call themselves a fan of yours.”
“Okay!” Lance takes a sharp breath in, sitting up. “So today, we’re gonna be reacting to some videos I picked out.”
“Yeah,” Keith laughs. They better just get down to business. “Lance wanted to show me some stuff, and contrary to popular belief, he actually has a pretty good sense of humor.”
Lance leans over Keith to pull up the first video, and Keith can see that his own hands are shaking. Maybe he’s a little nervous about this too. He was technically lying to his fans for a long time.
A video of him comes up on screen, and Keith’s eyebrows scrunch together. The first video was supposed to be of a cringy Instagram couple they’ve promised each other they wouldn’t end up like. Lance does a backflip in the video, kicking at the air.
“We didn’t…this wasn’t one of the videos,” Keith whispers to him.
On screen, Lance jabs at the air a couple of times, then runs up to the camera. Keith’s eyes widen as the camera pans and Lance gets down on one knee, movements fluid.
“Wh—” He turns, and the chair Lance was sitting in is empty, moving side to side. Instead, there Lance is: in person, on one knee. Keith almost loses it when he pulls out a ring. “Wait – what are you—”
“I wanted to do this for a while now,” Lance says, blue eyes never breaking away from his own. “I love you so much it scares me sometimes. But you’re overcoming so many fears for me, so I thought I’d do the same. Marry me, Keith Kogane?”
Keith just stares, mouth agape. He was not expecting this, to say the least. They spent hours writing the script, watching about 15 videos Lance picked out to choose which ones to feature. His brain is having a hard time registering it.
“Uh, Keith?” he notices Hunk, Lance’s best friend and videographer, now, walking into the room with his camera. “Is that a—”
Lance waves him off. “I knew this would happen. Give him a minute.”
“Ye—I mean, yes, of course. Obviously.” Keith shakes himself out of his daze soon after, and Lance’s smile takes over his whole face. He jumps up to kiss Keith, and when they pull away, Keith’s eyebrows are still knit together despite the smile he has himself.
“I mean, wait…” He looks at his own camera. “We’re just going to introduce ourselves to them as…fiancés?”
Lance takes Keith’s face in his hands, turning his head so he looks at him. “It’s never been about them, Keith,” he kisses his nose. “We forgot that, I think. It’s about you. It’s about us.”
Keith’s face relaxes, and he closes his eyes. “You’re right,” he sighs, and Lance kisses him again.
The internet – the world, really – erupts in confusion the moment their videos are posted. #mckoganeproposal trends on Twitter, hundreds of news articles are written, and now even more than 60 million eyes are on Keith.
But, as he lies in bed in Italy, a ring on his left hand, his eyes are on Lance. And he’s happy.