It all started one morning during downtime between missions.
Everyone was chilling in what they'd all deemed the living room all those months ago, when they first arrived in space. Coran was scrolling through something on his holo-pad, humming a soft melody; Shiro was listening with full-fledged attention to Allura ramble on about different planets and solar systems she'd visited, about beautiful buildings and places she'd love to visit again, with him and about what she used to think different human phrases meant before they'd been explained to her, most of the latter got everyone else who happened to overhear laughing.
Hunk and Pidge were playing Little Big Planet on their old Ps3 they'd acquired at the space mall. They were currently on their twenty-seventh try for ‘'The Bunker’ level, after rage quitting many times and lots of strategizing they just couldn't get through it. Lance was snuggling into Keith's shoulder, sitting in between his legs, watching amused at how they played. He'd already completed the level on his account, even completing the ‘no lives lost’ and the ‘get all goodies’ achievements, now it was just fun watching those two struggle through the level that everyone always deemed impossible, even if he completed it on the first try.
He'd gotten so much more comfortable with the team lately, he'd stopped wearing his binder to training, and when he was just calmly chilling out with them too. He didn't feel as pressured anymore and he was so happy he could let his ribs breathe for a good amount of time without feeling like he needed to cover up. It's not like he would stop wearing his binder all the time, it made him feel good and confident, but he didn't particularly care about what his body looked like, he knew he was a guy anyways, and it wasn't like he had a big bust or anything, so he was fine just wearing a sweater like he was then, though this one made him feel even better, mainly because it was keith's, and it smelled like him and looked like it belonged to him.
Keith was running his hands through lance’s soft brown curls while his boyfriend sat comfortably in between his legs, Lance was wearing his red sweater and he looked so cute in it, just snuggling into him wearing his sweater (so what he was possessive, he fucking loved lance, with everything he had, something he always reassures to his blue-eyed boyfriend) he continued playing with Lance's curls, admiring the slope of his nose and the sharp definition of his chin and jaw, admiring the light freckles that littered his cheeks, and the collarbone he could see thanks to his sweater riding down a bit.
It was when he was caressing Lance's exposed shoulder that lance gasped softly, grabbing onto his hands and bringing them close to his face.
“Hey, what are you doing to my hands?” Lance looked up at him giving him a small, nervous smile.
“You just- you painted your nails” Keith nodded slightly turning Lance's face so that he could look into those ocean eyes.
“Yeah, I found some nail polish in the earth store at the space mall a few days ago, you like them?” Lance nodded glancing between Keith’s amethyst eyes and his red-painted nails, as if asking a question. “Do you want me to paint your nails?” Lance nodded nervously, looking away, an embarrassed blush rising high up his cheeks, hiding his freckles. “Hey, are you embarrassed? There's nothing wrong with wanting to paint your nails, you know that right?” He whispered to Lance, making sure no one else overheard their conversation. Lance hid his face in Keith's neck, breathing in his faint scent. Quietly he started mumbling.
“It's just- I when I was- I mean- back then, I loved to paint my nails, but-but when i-i ca-came out-” Keith shushed him softly, his boyfriend was getting worked up and he didn't want the rest of his friends getting worried so he carefully grabbed him, holding onto his thighs, while Lance burrowed his face into his neck and hooked his long legs around Keith's waist. They slowly got up, Keith nodded goodbye to the rest of their friends and made his way out into the hallway. They walked through the empty hallway for a bit and when they finally reached Keith's room he sat Lance down on the bed. Keith gently sat down next to him.
“Tell me, was it something they said?” Lance nodded slightly looking down, preparing himself and then he looked up, and Keith was once again mesmerized by those bright blue orbs.
“When I came out” he paused briefly, looking to the side, then came back to Keith's familiar gaze. “When I came out, the-the other kids the-they shunned me, and when I tried to wear nail polish, they, they would laugh at me and c-call me th-that” He looked down, a single tear rolling down his cheek. Keith cupped his face, wiping away his tear with his thumb, then leaning in close, placing a soft kiss to those pink lips he loved so much.
“It's okay, we won't judge you here, you're safe” Lance nodded, smiling at him.
“I know” he pulled back a bit. “but it hurt, because, painting my nails, i-i liked it, it was one of the only things Vero, Rachel and I could do together, and then- then I couldn't do it anymore, then I wasn't allowed to like girly things, I was forced to be separate from them, and to-to not interact with them, because, because” more tears had started rolling down his cheeks during his rant, Keith squeezed his hands. “Because they would call me that again, and a girl, and i-i I couldn't handle it, I couldn't” Keith pulled him close suddenly, letting Lance softly cry into his shoulder.
“Hey, no matter what you wear, or what you do, you'll always be a boy, and i'm proud of you, for telling me, okay?” Lance separated himself from Keith's now wet shoulder and looked into his amethyst eyes.
“Yeah, yeah” He paused, looking down at his own hands. He looked back at Keith. “Can we paint our nails now?” Keith nodded, reaching for his nightstand were he kept his few nail polish colours, some acetone and cotton pads. Lance started chuckling, then slowly he started laughing louder. Keith looked at him confused.
“what? Is there something on my face?” He smiled though, seeing Lance laugh always made him happy.
“No, it's just, of course you wear nail polish, you emo mullet” Keith snorted out a laugh, “What colours am I gonna find, black? Red do you alternate” Lance laughed louder.
“No you idiot, I wear red and blue, y'know, like the blue and red paladins, you and me, Lance and Keith, neck a neck” Lance opened his eyes, wiping away the moistness that gathered there. Looking at Keith then back down at his nail polished he realized that in fact, yes keith had blue and red nail polish.
“God you're a sap, get over here and paint my nails red, I want to wear your colours, and you will let me paint yours blue” He gave keith a fake glare, keith raised his hands in surrender smiling cheekily.
Keith put his hands on Lance's thighs and the blue-eyed boy set to work, getting the old chipped polish off and applying a few coats of the ocean blue colour keith had picked out. Meanwhile they talked about everything and nothing at the same time, Lance talked about that stupid level of Little Big Planet that Hunk and Pidge couldn't complete. Keith suggested they all play on the four player mode, which sounded very interesting indeed. They talked about a most probable rematch in monopoly they wanted to have, and about and UNO match they wanted to win against Allura and Shiro. Then they swapped, Keith started applying a few layers of the red polish onto Lance’s hands, making sure the colour was vibrant enough, continuing their conversations and their laughs.
By the time they were done, it had been almost two hours, but they didn't really care because they’d had so much fun talking and laughing and painting nails and stealing kisses, so when Hunk came by to alert them about dinner they just got up and followed him out, hands intertwined.
Dark-skinned fingers painted red, intertwined with pale ones painted blue.