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Halfway Point

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Today was the day. Keith had already packed the car with snacks and drinks and some other emergency supplies. He’d also been driving for a few hours. Soon, he would enter a town he’d never been in before, despite being only on the other side of the state line. Apparently, there was a park with multiple topiary figures. A fantasy section had been added this year and Keith was looking forward to seeing what they’d done.

Of course, he wanted to meet Lance more than see the trees.

They had met on a Discord server that one of their favourite artists had created to discuss a book series they all loved: Legendary Defenders of Voltron. Out of curiosity more than to socialise, Keith had joined it only to get drawn into a debate with Ta1l0r about their favourite characters. While Ta1l0r loved Sven, the leader of the heroes, Keith preferred Rotak, an initial villain who redeemed himself by saving Sven, the Princess and the Paladins and helping the Princess develop her power. Ta1l0r had been appalled (as had some other fans) and had started an argument. Irritated, Keith had given as good as he got until the artist had politely asked them to tone it down or leave. They’d both apologised and Ta1l0r had told Keith to message him on Tumblr.

Curious once again, Keith had done so and Ta1l0r had immediately followed back. While Keith’s Tumblr was minimalistic (he rarely reblogged things), Ta1l0r’s was an eclectic mix of everything he liked. Just scrolling through his Tumblr showed so much of him that Keith was both overwhelmed and relieved. He didn’t have to ask Ta1l0r anything if he didn’t want to and he’d still be able to satisfy his curiosity. Not that he’d have had any trouble with that - as soon as they’d followed each other, Ta1l0r had started up their argument once again.

When that had petered out, Ta1l0r kept chatting to Keith, asking him questions and effortlessly receiving answers. Before long, they’d become friends. Both of them exchanged their names. They began to do collaborations on fan projects: Keith wrote since he couldn’t draw and Lance would come up with a beautiful piece or a cute comic for the story. Slowly but surely, Lance wormed his way into Keith’s life so completely that Keith couldn’t go a day without talking to him.

Then Lance mentioned that he’d love to hang out with Keith and Keith had agreed. Hesitantly, cautiously, they had hashed out the details of a meeting. Now, they were going to be meeting in a town halfway between them, to go to a park neither of them had ever been to before. Keith felt his excitement thrumming in his veins, waking him far quicker than coffee ever had. He didn’t have many friends and he felt like this trip would cement Lance as one of them.

Speaking of friends… Pidge sat slumped in the passenger seat, half-awake. She was sipping forlornly on an iced coffee, eyes lidded as she watched the trees blur by. Both Keith and Lance had decided to bring a friend with them, just to be safe. Keith had felt a little hurt when Lance had suggested it, but Lance had quickly told him of how Hunk wanted to meet him as well. He’d heard a lot about Hunk from Lance and Keith was happy to include Hunk in their meeting, just as Lance was excited to meet the fabled Pidge.

“I’m just saying,” Pidge suddenly grumbled, her brain slowly starting up. “We didn’t need to get up this early.”

“We did if we wanted to have time to have fun and get home again in the same day,” Keith retorted.

Pidge hummed in acknowledgement. She shifted so that she could look at him properly, half a smirk on her face. “I hope this Hunk guy is cool. I don’t wanna have to watch you moon over Lance.”

Keith groaned. A couple of months ago, Pidge began to claim that he thought of Lance as more than a friend - only in more colourful language. She still had not relented, no matter how much he denied it and insisted that it was only friendship. Even now, she was calling their meet-up a date.

“Please don’t say anything to Lance about that,” Keith pleaded. “You’ll scare him off, and you know I don’t have many friends.”

“You’ve got more than enough friends.”

“I’ve got you and Shiro. And Acxa and everyone at the garage, I suppose.”

“That’s, like, six good friends, Keith,” said Pidge, levelling him with a look.

“But you’ve got more than six,” Keith protested.

Pidge sighed. “Okay, fine . I promise not to tease you about how much you obviously love the guy.”

Thank you,” said Keith with relief.

“So, next question: are we there yet?”

“Yeah.” Keith gestured out of the car. “This is it.”

He was right, of course. While Pidge had been waking up, he had driven them into the town. It was smaller than their own but still large enough that they’d been driving by large buildings for a while. During their conversation, Keith had seen shops and official buildings as they got closer to the centre of the town. Now, they could see a wall with a fence on their left and, just ahead, a large metal gate that had been pulled open for guests to drive in. Beyond that, Keith could see cars already parked and people moving further into the park. He pulled into it, keeping his eyes open for a large, faded yellow truck.

    ~~

ta1l0r: Terrible news!
           Blue wont start!
        [picture of Lance’s crappy, second-hand car]
ta1l0r: But hunks gonna drive us up
            So look out for a yellow truck
    [picture of a big truck that’s battered but evidently loved]
blade-23: Cool
                 Pidge is sleeping instead of talking to me so I’m gonna have to stop to get coffee
ta1l0r: God way ahead of you
            Brought three flasks of it
ta1l0r: I am sooooo excited!!!!
blade-23: Me too
blade-23: :)

    ~~

Spotting the truck in question, Keith pulled in beside it. He could see two people on the other side of the vehicle, talking to each other. One of them was Lance: the thought made Keith almost vibrate with impatience. Just putting the car into park was taking too long. Quickly, he grabbed his stuff from the glove compartment, unbuckled his belt and threw open the car door. Pidge grabbed her bag (which likely held her laptop and all the hayfever medicine she could find) and exited the car at a more sedate pace. Rolling his eyes, Keith hurried to the back of the truck, aware of movement on the other side.

“Keith?” came a voice he didn’t recognise, that he’d never thought he’d wanted to hear. Yet, now that he had heard it, Keith wanted to hear that smooth, deep voice every day.

He looked up - and stopped short. Lance had described himself a couple of times and Keith had read some of the asks and personal things he’d posted. A lot of the time, Lance bragged about being handsome and hot, but when he’d given Keith a description, he’d made himself sound rather plain. Keith didn’t know what to make of that except that Lance had been right when he’d said he was handsome; the boy in front of him was jaw-droppingly gorgeous.

Lance’s skin was a smooth brown, unblemished with any sort of marks. His hair was a shade darker and curled around his ears, artfully ruffled to look natural - or naturally perfect. Bright blue eyes lit up when he spotted Keith before they widened in surprise. Keith didn’t know why he looked so shocked: Lance wasn’t the one to have his heart skip a beat at the mere sight of his friend. He was wearing a shirt with short sleeves and buttons, the dark blue making his pretty eyes all the brighter. A few of the buttons were popped, probably to help cool him in the truck. Keith’s eyes were drawn to his collarbone for a moment, his mind helpfully recalling Lance’s posts about kinks he’d put up on Valentine’s Day. One of them had been about biting; Keith very much wanted to do that, to mark Lance’s skin. Trying to drag his eyes away, Keith glanced down to find that Lance was wearing tight jeans: Keith would have to look away when Lance turned around. Then he noticed something dangling from his belt loop. Lance had put a keyring there, hooked around the fabric of the jeans, Sven’s dark colouring popping from the background of denim.

Taking in a shaking breath, Keith nodded. “Y-Yeah. It’s me.”

“Woah,” said Lance on a breath. “I- When you described yourself, you didn’t tell me how hot you are. Right, Hunk?” he added to his companion.

Feeling himself flush from the praise, Keith turned his gaze to Hunk. He was a lot bigger than Lance: though Lance looked like he had muscles, Hunk looked even stronger. Instead of the hard muscles that Shiro sported, though, Hunk looked more cuddly. His dark hair was pushed back by an orange headband. Warm, brown eyes smiled at Keith just as much as Hunk’s mouth did, grinning at him in such a friendly manner that Keith relaxed enough to take a breath. He was wearing a yellow Hawaiian shirt over a white t-shirt which only served to make him look all the more cheerful.

“Yup,” Hunk said, nodding in agreement. “You’re a good-looking dude, man.”

“Uh,” said Keith, unsure how to respond, still stunned from Lance’s appearance. He was trying hard to look at Hunk, but his eyes kept being drawn back to Lance.

“Hi,” Hunk continued, apparently oblivious to Keith’s plight. “I’m Hunk. It’s nice to meet you.”

When Keith only stared at Hunk’s proffered hand, Pidge came to his rescue. So to speak. She brushed past Keith with a whispered, “Date!” and grabbed hold of Hunk’s hand. “Hi! I’m Pidge. I’m Keith’s chaperone for the day.”

“Pidge,” said Keith, frowning at her.

“What? It’s true.”

“You’re making us sound like children,” Keith told her, his voice low in warning. They both knew what she was also making them sound like.

“Well,” said Hunk, grinning. “Maybe we should leave them to it? I know that’s not how chaperones work, but everything looks cool to me.”

“Hunk!” Lance exclaimed. “I- Wait, I…” He waved his hands through the air. “The thing. I left it in the car.”

Blinking, Hunk stared at Lance as if he’d grown an extra head. “What ‘thing’?” he asked.

“You know. The thing.” Lance raised his eyebrows. His beautiful eyes darted around, landing on Keith a couple of times and making Keith flush.

“Oh, uh, that thing.”

“Yeah.”

“I’ll just come unlock the doors for you,” Hunk said.

“Thanks,” Lance replied and they both hurried down the side of the truck.

As soon as they were out of earshot, Keith looked at Pidge. She raised an eyebrow at him. “It’s not a date,” Keith hissed.

“I saw you staring in awe at him,” she said, nonchalantly shrugging. “Is he really that attractive?”

Keith shifted, wanting to deny it. But Pidge’s intent gaze and the fact that he was about to spend a whole day with Lance had him spilling the truth. “He’s gorgeous,” he mumbled. “I didn’t realise-”

“That you’re in love with him?” Pidge suggested.

No,” said Keith, firmly. “I barely know him.”

“You know him plenty.”

“I-” Keith took a deep breath. “I’ve only just met him. Sort of. I don’t- I don’t know how I feel about him, okay? He’s a good friend and… he’s attractive and…”

“You talk to him every day, even though you never talk that much with me or Shiro or anyone else,” Pidge added. She sipped on the dregs of her drink, the ice rattling around.

“I…” After taking a moment to consider that, Keith realised she was right. He’d been frequently caught grinning at his phone, at an argument with Lance or something he’d described about his day. All the times he’d been teased rose in his memory and he suddenly realised that she and Shiro were right. It was more than just friends. His eyes widened. “Oh.”

“Now that you’re all caught up,” said Pidge, “sounds like your future boyfriend is on his way back.”

Sure enough, Lance and Hunk suddenly stepped around the end of the truck. Lance’s cheeks were dark: Keith wondered why he was flushed. Had something happened? “Okay, cool,” said Lance, a little breathlessly. He peeked at Keith. “Let’s go?”

“Did you find what you were looking for?” Keith asked, taking large steps to catch up with Lance as he strode towards the entrance of the park.

“Huh?” he said, blinking at Keith as they ended up in step with each other. “Oh. Yeah. Got it. Excited for this?”

“Uh. Yeah,” Keith said, smiling at Lance in case he was worried. For a moment, Lance gaped at him before he ducked his head, smiling sheepishly. Keith was sure Lance's face was red.

“Cool,” said Lance again, leading the way into the park. Keith followed, not taking his eyes off Lance.


They’d lost Hunk and Pidge.

Keith figured he’d missed them slipping away because he’d been so focussed on Lance. The other boy chattered away happily, exclaiming at the talents of the gardeners. He was a joy to watch and Keith hung on his every word. His voice flowed over Keith, making him smile, making him relax from his nerves. As Lance rambled on about things that had happened on his journey to the park, Keith had found his tongue loosened and it became a conversation. It wasn’t until Keith realised that he had drawn close enough to Lance for their hands to brush against each other's that he also noticed Hunk and Pidge’s absence.

“Oh,” said Lance, looking around. “Where’d they go?”

Glancing at a signpost, Keith pointed at it. “I have the feeling Pidge dragged Hunk off to get a crêpe. She likes food better than plants.”

“So does Hunk,” Lance commented. “Should’ve figured that’s where he’d be.” He rolled his eyes good-naturedly, smiling at Keith.

“Should we go find them?”

For a moment, Lance gazed at the signpost. There were three options: the crêpe stand, a playpark, and the fantasy topiary. “Nah,” Lance finally said, grinning. “They can catch up. Besides, they’re the ones that ditched us.”

“True,” said Keith, following him once again as Lance set off for the rest of the topiary. “Do you think they have dragons?”

“They better,” Lance replied. He spun on his heel to walk backwards, picking up speed. “That’s the only reason I came. But there better be more than just, like, a single dragon.”

Keith laughed. “Yeah. Just one thing would be lame.”

With pink cheeks, Lance nodded, his eyes shining. “Come on. You’re going too slow.” And, suddenly, Lance grabbed Keith’s wrist, pulling him along as he spun around to hurry onwards. It was almost as though he was holding Keith’s hand and his breath hitched in his surprise. His heart thumped heavily in his chest but he still followed Lance, hoping his reddened face would fade by the time Lance next looked at him.

They came upon the hedge that surrounded the new exhibit and passed through the red gate, the metal towering over them in an arch. As soon as they stepped into the new garden, Lance had to stop short as a dragon threatened to breathe fire on them. Flowers were entwined with the leaves of the trees to give the dragon scales and spines and horns and a fiery breath. Keith watched Lance’s jaw drop, eyes alight with awe.

“Wow,” he breathed.

Smiling, Keith watched Lance step closer, pulling Keith with him. It made Keith pleased that Lance hadn’t let go. He hoped that it meant that Lance liked him just as much as Keith was starting to realise that he liked Lance. So he let Lance pull him along, happy enough to be close to him, though he wished he could hold Lance’s hand. Not wanting to startle Lance into pulling away, he made do with Lance’s long fingers wrapped around his wrist.

The displays were magnificent. Birds were wrapped in red and orange flowers to become phoenixes. A giant was in the corner of the garden, towering over everyone as it bent to look at the tiny humans at his feet. Centaurs leapt over a stream that flowed through the middle of it, ending in a fountain that threw water over a twisting kelpie. On a too-perfect rock beside the stream, a mermaid was sprawled, with flowers in her hair and covering her 'breasts'. That one was Lance’s favourite and it was then that he let go of Keith so they could take pictures. He even pulled Keith into a selfie despite Keith’s protests.

Finally, they had seen everything and they made their way out of the enclosed garden, only to bump into Hunk and Pidge. “There you are!” Lance exclaimed, waving his phone at them. “Why’d you ditch us? And why didn't you, I dunno, call?”

“I think you know why,” said Hunk, cheerfully.

For a moment, Lance gaped at him. Then he cleared his throat, glanced at Keith, then said, “Right. Food. Can’t go anywhere without losing you at the food stalls.” Lance turned to Keith. “We once went to a fair and I was real fired up about taking on the shooting games. I got to the first one, like, a minute after we’d entered, turned to talk to Hunk, and he’d gone. Found him half an hour later in front of the cotton candy.”

“I always lose Pidge in crowds,” Keith said, smiling at him, helpless to stop himself from doing so. “She’s so small…”

“Hey!” Pidge yelped.

Lance laughed. “I can see that.” He turned to their wayward friends. “So, you want us to give you the grand tour?”

“Nah,” said Pidge, quickly. Keith blinked at her, watching her mouth curl up in a mischievous grin. “We don’t want you to ruin the surprises. Why don’t we meet you at the crêpe stand? They’ve got a bunch of picnic tables there.”

“Oh, okay.”

Seeing Lance’s shoulders slump, Keith put a hand on his elbow to gain his attention. “I am pretty hungry.”

“Well… Yeah, makes sense,” said Lance, smiling gratefully.

“Okay,” said Pidge. “We’ll see you later, then.”

With that, they parted ways. Lance gave Hunk a hug, whispering to him. Pidge, meanwhile, winked at Keith. Her lips moved as she mouthed a word to him: date. Keith rolled his eyes, but couldn’t hide his blush. It was still there as he and Lance moved off, no longer holding onto each other.

Lance filled the silence by chattering about what sort of crêpe he was going to get. He kept changing his mind, swinging between traditional tastes to things Keith was sure he’d made up. Whenever he mentioned banoffee or mango and chocolate, Keith would argue against their validity. They ended up bickering all the way down the path, Lance dramatically waving his arms around and Keith shaking his head. Both of them laughed, though, so much so that Keith felt breathless as he watched Lance’s face glowing.

The stand turned out to be a grounded trailer, doors open and windows flung wide. Menus framed the people within. With practised moves, they darted around each other, flipping crêpes and squeezing bottles of chocolate sauce over them. Families sat at some of the tables that were clustered around it, a few children running around with shrieking laughter. Some tables had couples sitting at them, giggling and leaning close. Keith swallowed when he saw them, aware that they were about to be in a similar situation.

There was no queue, so Lance stepped up to the serving hatch. “Hiya,” he said, with a cheerful and charming smile. The serving woman returned it, her hair hovering around her head as it fell out of her bun. “Can I get…” He trailed off, leaning towards Keith as he ran his eyes over the menu. Keith had to resist shifting closer, putting his arm around his waist, holding his hand… “A strawberries and cream crêpe, please. And, uh…?” Lance turned to Keith, raising his eyebrows.

“Uh,” said Keith, suddenly stunned by Lance’s attention on him, by his gorgeous eyes, by the content smile curving his lips. “I, uh.” He hadn’t made a decision yet, far too distracted, so he scrambled for an answer. “A… chocolate… one?”

“Nutella or Hershey’s?” the woman asked.

“Er, Nutella?” Keith said, trying not to squirm under both of their gazes.

Smiling at him, the woman nodded. “Coming right up. If you’re gonna sit down, I’ll bring it over to you.”

“Thanks!” said Lance, as cheerful as ever.

Keith led the way this time, choosing one as far from the other people as he could. He didn’t want them paying too much attention to them. Thankfully, there was one in a nice spot under a tree, its branches hanging low over it. By the look of things, it had been recently vacated and Lance took it upon himself to remove the disposable plates and cutlery. Keith watched him with a fond smile, sitting down on the side that faced the stand. Lance was quick to return to him and sat across from him, grinning.

“What is it?” asked Keith, amused.

“I’m just having a good time.”

“Me, too,” Keith admitted, grinning as well.

And I’ve got a lot of cool photos,” Lance added. “Wanna see?”

“Sure.”

So, by the time their crêpes arrived at their table, Lance had his phone held between them, their heads bent close to each other. If Keith hadn’t had the distraction of the photos, he would have been embarrassed about being so close. Seeing the woman approach, Lance sat back, leaving his phone in Keith’s hand. Keith kept scrolling through, smiling as he listened with half an ear to Lance’s energetic conversation.

Then he found a picture that made him pause. It was one of Lance with the mermaid topiary. He’d forced Keith to take one of him pretending to kiss the mermaid. The exaggerated way he’d bent over, lips pursed, made Keith grin. Zooming in, he could also see the way Lance’s eyes were on the camera - or Keith, solely focussed on him. At the time, Keith had scoffed; now Keith felt his heart swell.

“See one you like?” Lance asked, startling Keith into looking up at him. “I can send it to you, if you want.”

“I- Uh. Yeah.” Keith glanced down before he handed the phone over. “You should post them. They’re pretty good.”

Lance blinked down at the picture in question. He snorted. “I don’t know if my followers want to see this.”

“They will. I do.”

Cheeks turning a little pink - something Keith was weirdly proud of - Lance ducked his head. “Yeah. Well. Maybe.” He reached for his crêpe. “Let’s eat before they get too cold.” The woman had brought cutlery, apparently, because Lance grabbed a set wrapped in clear plastic and held it out to Keith. They both got to work on the packaging while Keith eyed Lance’s crêpe.

“Are there actually strawberries in there?”

Poking at the pastry with his knife, Lance lifted a corner and nodded. “Yup. Strawberry slices, cream and strawberry sauce. Yum!” With that, he got stuck in, cutting off a large mouthful and lifting it to his mouth.

Keith had barely stuck the fork into his own crêpe when Lance made a blissful moan. Surprised, Keith looked up to see Lance chewing, eyes closed and head flung back so Lance could bask in the sun – or the taste of the crêpe. When he realised that he was staring, Keith cleared his throat. “That good?”

“Mmhmm!”

“Cool.”

Lance swallowed: Keith quickly looked down at his food. “Wanna try a bit?” Lance asked.

Humming in thought, Keith shook his head. “No, don't want to deprive you of something so good.” He popped his own, smaller portion into his mouth. It was delicious, Keith decided as he chewed. If Lance’s crêpe was as good as his own, it was no wonder that Lance had been making those noises.

“How's yours?” Lance asked. His gaze swept over Keith before he looked down at his plate. Since Keith was chewing, he waited until Lance looked up at him to nod his head. Lance laughed, dropping a strawberry as he did. “That’s too bad,” he teased. “That means I can't try it.”

Swallowing, Keith watched Lance wrap his lips around his fork. A thrill ran through him at the thought of watching Lance lick up the melted chocolate from Keith’s crêpe. “You can try mine,” Keith told him, pleased to be sharing it with Lance.

“Really?” said Lance through his mouthful. He lit up even more than he had at the taste of his crêpe. “Then you have to try mine!” he exclaimed with considerable excitement.

“Um, okay,” said Keith. Since he’d already cut a piece off his crêpe, Keith scraped it off onto the plate. But, when he looked up, Lance already had a piece on his fork. He offered it to Keith who blinked at it in surprise. Lance didn’t falter at his expression, merely keeping the fork as still as possible. Even so, a bit of cream started to fall from it and Keith quickly made his decision. He leaned forward and bit the piece of crêpe off it, sliding his lips along the tines of the fork as he straightened again.

Across from him, Lance stared, his face red. Keith wasn’t sure what that meant. “Well, uh… Kinda thought you’d- Never mind. How’s it taste?”

Confused by Lance’s flustered babbling, Keith frowned at him. Lance raised an eyebrow, an expression that sent a strange tingle through Keith. So he nodded again; the crêpe did taste just as good as Lance had implied. “Good,” he said once he’d swallowed.

“Give me some of yours now!” Lance demanded. Then, with a quick smirk, Lance opened his mouth wide and said, “Aaaah!”

The sight almost had Keith melting in his seat. Thankfully, he was willing to do anything Lance asked, and he scooped up the part he’d already cut off. Carefully, he lifted it and leaned forward to gently place it in Lance’s mouth. As soon as he felt the presence of the fork, Lance’s mouth shut around it and his pretty lips dragged the morsel off. Keith watched, wide-eyed, as Lance chewed, humming in approval. Once he’d swallowed, Lance opened his eyes and spoke.

“Beautiful,” was what he said - at the exact instant that Keith realised that he was still leaning over the table and was extremely close to Lance. Not to mention that Lance’s eyes were locked on his as he said that; Keith felt something in his stomach and heart squeeze, wanting that to be something Lance would say to him.

Flustered, Keith drew back and lowered his eyes to his plate. When he glanced up, Lance’s blush was visible, probably as hot as Keith's own. They fell into a strange silence, not exactly uncomfortable, yet still tense. Keith wanted to say a lot of things to Lance, to do a lot of things with him, but he kept his mouth shut save for eating and hoped that his heart would stop beating far too fast.


Somehow, the time they needed to leave crept up on them and, all too soon, Lance and Keith stood by their cars. Pidge and Hunk had graciously allowed them a private goodbye; both of them were in their respective cars, though they were nosily peering at them from inside. Their attention had Keith nervous. It was almost as if they expected something to happen.

“That was fun!” Lance declared, apparently oblivious. “We should totally hang out again. I would, like, suggest the beach but that would be a pretty long trip, considering. So we'll have to think of something el-”

“I'd love to go to the beach,” Keith said, hurriedly. He wanted to see Lance being ridiculously happy when he was in his element. When they'd talked over Tumblr and spoken in front of the mermaid, Lance had told Keith that he loved the ocean. Keith was desperate to see the way he would light up upon seeing the waves and the sun.

“Really?” Lance blinked at him in surprise, though it was quickly swept away by a delighted grin.

“Yeah. Or whatever else you want to do.”

Lance laughed. “We've gotta do something you wanna do, Keith – though not 'cryptid hunting'.”

“Hiking, then,” Keith said, grinning as well now.

“You won't fool me!” exclaimed Lance, wagging a finger at him. “I know what you're really trying to do.”

“Oh?” Keith tried his best to look innocent. It only served to make Lance laugh again. He smiled as he watched Lance's radiant face. How had he believed that he'd only wanted to be friends with Lance?

With a final chuckle, Lance’s laughter trailed off. “Well. We should probably...”

“Yeah.”

They hesitated, shifting as they tried to make themselves move away. Keith was loathe to go, even though he knew he needed to. There was also Pidge to think about. He bit his lip, unsure how to tear himself away from this beautiful boy. Thankfully, he didn't have to come up with the perfect way to say goodbye: Lance did it for him.

After glancing at the cars, Lance took a deep breath. Then, he stepped closer to Keith. Before Keith could react more than widening his eyes, Lance grabbed hold of his arm and used his grip as leverage to tip himself forward. His face came closer, even as Keith tried to twist to look at him. But Lance wasn't deterred and, suddenly, his lips were pressed to the corner of Keith's mouth. Keith gasped, surprised and confused, and tried to turn his head enough to kiss Lance back. Before he could, Lance was moving back, stepping away. His face was red and he only chanced a quick glance at Keith's shock before he turned away.

“Uh, see ya!” he yelled, a little too loudly. A nearby family looked over and Keith felt his face burning.

“Wait!” he called out to Lance. “Where-?”

Lance suddenly spun around and grinned at Keith, evidently ignoring his dark blush. “I'll talk to you on Tumblr later,” he told Keith. “Have a safe trip!”

“But-”

With a few more steps, Lance disappeared behind Hunk's truck. Keith heard a door slam a second later and realised that he wasn't going to be getting an answer soon. Had this entire thing been a date? Did Lance really feel the same way? And had Lance figured out his feelings today, or had he known about them all along? Keith thought back to their interactions during the day and tried to work out how Lance felt.

A loud honk had Keith stumbling out of Hunk's way. He reversed out of his spot and turned so that he was closest to Keith. Frowning, Keith tried to look around him to catch Lance's eye. Hunk waved at him with a happy smile, looking far too pleased. Reflex had Keith waving back before he realised what that meant. As soon as Keith had acknowledged Hunk, he drove off, taking Lance with him.

Keith watched them go, still stunned. The truck exited the parking lot and disappeared from view. Still, Keith stared after them, wishing Lance had stayed with him, wanting to draw him into his arms and kiss him. It took him some time to shake himself from his thoughts and get into the car, his eyes unseeing.

“See?” said Pidge without looking up from her phone. “It was a date.”

    ~~

ta1l0r: sorry by the way
blade-23: For what?
ta1l0r: you know
blade-23: Why?
ta1l0r: didnt it upset you?
blade-23: Why would it?
                 I like you Lance
ta1l0r: really?
blade-23: Of course
ta1l0r: then...
           can you be my boyfriend?
blade-23: Yeah. Here's my number. Call me.