Lance McClain was many things.
A hard worker when he had to be - see only working when he wanted to. But damn if he wasn’t good at whatever he set his mind too. Academics, flirting, playing the guitar. Name it and he’s tried it and was probably at least halfway decent at it. A jack of all trades if he did say so himself.
But above all Lance McClain was a damn good son. A good big brother.
Lance was the oldest of five. Two younger brothers and two younger sisters. Each of them with a two year gap between. Lance had been helping raise those kids since he was ten. After his father passed away in an unfortunate accident, Lance had had to grow up real quick.
That little fact probably played more of a role in his career choice then he wanted to admit. But what could he say? It helped his Mama pay the bills. Now, his Mama wasn’t particularly pleased with his job choice. But, she didn’t complain too much about his ‘evil’ job when it took the stress off of raising five children from her.
And yes. He did just put air quotes around evil.
Because what was evil about paying to put his younger siblings through college? Making sure that his Mama didn’t run herself into the ground to make enough just to get by. Sure Lance may do so by… questionable means. But honestly? He couldn’t be happier.
Okay. He could be a little happier.
Like, just a smidge.
“You are literally the worst.” Pidge chortled at what he’d just stupidly admitted to.
Someone to be on his side once and awhile would be nice.
“Come on Pidge.” Hunk, the angel, patted her shoulder and sent Lance a small smile. At least he could always count on him to keep the peace. “You know that isn’t how he meant it.”
He totally did mean it the way he said it, but bless Hunk for trying.
“Don’t care.” Pidge grinned evilly. “This is too perfect.”
“Don’t you dare say a damn thing you sneaky gremlin.” Lance snapped at her. “Otherwise I’ll never buy you another damn video game again!”
Maybe he shouldn’t have had that last drink? He never cared much about what he said when around his two best friends but… well he didn’t really want to confess that. At least not to Pidge. Hunk was more than familiar with Lance’s… nevermind.
She sipped her drink, unbothered by his threat. “Come on. I don’t run into him that often.” She tapped her chin. “I mean. Not like ‘Red Midnight’ needs any of my tech. The guy is plenty deadly on his own.”
“That’s not the point! If you even think of mentioning-”
“What?” Pidge cut him off with an evil smirk, taunting him as she leaned all up in his business. “You don’t want me to tell him how much you wanna-”
“Okay!” Hunk pushed the two of them apart. “That’s enough for the night.”
“Hunk!” Pidge scowled deeply. “I just got the juiciest bit of gossip about Lance and-”
“Nope!” Hunk physically picked her up. “No more tonight. You’ve had more then you said you wanted and-”
“You don’t need to babysit me.” Pidge huffed as she crossed her arms.
And the way Hunk easily cradled her in his large arms made her look like a pouting child. Which really wasn’t as far off as it should be given she was an adult. Like twenty years old but still kind of looked like she was twelve. Sixteen if Lance was feeling generous. But he wasn’t.
“I’m not.” Hunk denied and both Pidge and Lance rolled their eyes. “But you're already drunk and if I don’t get you home before your parents find out then I’m in trouble.”
“I’m not drunk.” Pidge slurred suddenly. She frowned, likely not pleased at the way her words sounded. Drinking was a fairly new discovery to her after all.
What? So Pidge was technically under age. So what if Lance let her have a few drinks with them at his house. They were being responsible- Hunk was being responsible. Pidge and Lance may have gotten a little tipsy in playing a drinking game while watching scary movies. Hunk hated those kinds of movies. Because of that he only had half of what they did because, drinking makes scary movies extra freaky . Which, if you asked Lance, was kind of the point, but whatever.
Lance had been friends with Pidge and Hunk for years . Pidge had graduated high school with them but was two years younger. She’d been too advance for her years so they bumped her up. Truthfully she may have been able to pass their grade as well, but Pidge said she didn’t want to move up again. At this grade she had Lance and Hunk. She never really had friends before them.
Not that Pidge had ever admitted to that. Lance just had a hunch. Pidge may be smarter but Lance was way better at reading people.
“Do you really want me to get in trouble?” Hunk asked her.
“... Course not.” Pidge relented with a sigh. “Then they wouldn’t let you come over.”
Lance raised a suspicious eyebrow at Hunk.
“We’re working on a project together.” Hunk quickly supplied.
“Really Lance. You know we work on things for the organization.” Hunk didn’t meet his eyes as he began making his way to the door.
What a crock of shit.
“Sure, buddy.” Lance let him off the hook anyways.
Pidge had already drifted off to sleep in Hunk’s arms, so he’d pressure the subject another time. Given how much Hunk knew about Lance’s love life - or lack of at the moment. It was really just flings at this point - it was only fair that Hunk should confide in him.
“Don’t stay up too late.” Hunk mothered him as Lance walked the pair to the door.
He snorted as he leaned against the wall. “Not like I have to go to work tomorrow.”
“Must be nice to have no time commitment.” Hunk sighed as he checked his phone for something.
“I keep telling ya, you and Pidge should just join me! We’d be an unstoppable team!” Lance threw his arms up, grinning widely.
“Yeah… no…” Hunk chuckled.
They’d had this conversation many times before, after all. Hunk always humored him. Guy was the best of the best friends.
“Offers always on the table for ya.” Lance went to open the door.
“Got an uber, right?”
“Yep, waiting just outside. Wanna buzz them in? Normally I wouldn’t ask but…”
They stared at the downpour.
“Yeah of course.” Lance scowled at the downpour. He pulled out his phone, searching for the app that helped control his security system. Sure enough there was a black sedan sitting there. “Looks nasty out. And I’d rather someone pick you up. Don’t want you drinking and driving.”
“Ah, now who’s being the ‘mother’ of the group.” Hunk teased with a wide grin.
“You buddy. Always you.” Lance laughed and patted his broad shoulder. He pushed Pidge’s hair from her face. “Take care of the monster.” As much as they bickered, the two were good friends.
“I’ll make sure she gets home.”
“And all tucked in?” Lance smirked suggestively.
“Goodnight Lance.” He didn’t even bother rising to Lance’s jab.
Hunk rushed out into the rain. He heard Pidge’s cry of “What the fuck!” before they got in the vehicle about twenty feet from him. He chuckled to himself as he shut the door.
He’d be happy for the two of them if they got together, really he would. They just needed to verbally confirm what he already knew.
Lance settled back onto the couch, determined to at least finish the movie.
The plan was to scare himself enough that he wouldn’t be reminded of what he’d confessed to Pidge before they left. About how much he wanted a certain someone that he most definitely shouldn’t.
The pairing just didn’t make sense.
Never had. Never would.
Lance sighed, swiping a hand through his short brown hair. He forced his focus back on the movie. He would not think about a certain someone. Or the repercussions of what telling Pidge might lead too. Hunk had already known of course and had obviously kept the secret given how surprised Pidge had been.
He just wouldn’t think about it.
About an hour later, during the climax of the movie. It happened.
His doorbell rang.
Lance squeaked, popcorn flying at the perfectly timed noise. He knew he shouldn’t have continued the movie after Pidge and Hunk left. He was freaking himself out. But he had sobered up considerably, so there was that at least.
“Chill, Lance. It’s probably just someone lost…” He tried to convince himself. “On my private property, at two in the morning, in the middle of a thunderstorm…”
Okay, so that was super creepy timing on the stranger’s part. Maybe Lance should pretend he was sleeping?
The doorbell rang again, followed by relentless knocking.
Lance cautiously approached the door and opened it slowly. “Hello?”
A figure in a deep red leather jacket and dark clothes sighed audibly. Black hair plastered against their head. Water dripping off their clothes all over Lance’s doormat. Rude.
“Lance…” The person in front of him called tiredly.
He furrowed his brow, pulling the door open wider. He recognized that voice. “Kogane?”
Keith Kogane raised his head, a small smile on his lips. Before Lance could even begin to be confused about that smile - about the whole situation really. Like what the actual fuck was Keith doing on his doorstep? In the rain? Looking simultaneously like a drowned cat and the sex symbol the city claimed him to be -
“Lance.” Keith tried to get his attention again.
Only now Lance could hear it. The strain to that low tone. The normally already graveled huff that made even the straightest men question their sexuality was even gravlier. If that was a word. It should be a word. It seemed like a legit word. He’d have to look it up later.
Lance’s eyes trailed over Keith’s face, which was pinched tight in… pain? “What happened?” He began with a sneer. “What the fuck are you-”
And then he saw it. He finally saw it.
Lance swallowed thickly past his heart trying to make an escape. Keith was hurt. The great Keith Kogane was hurt and on his doorstep. Lance will repeat his earlier sentiment.
What the actual fuck?
“Who did this?” Lance practically growled. Because, yeah, him and Keith may be at odds - most definitely were on opposite ends of the fence given their jobs - but Lance never would want something like this to happen to his Mullet.
Uh, did he say his?
Na. Nope. Didn’t happen.
The fact remained that someone had fucked Mullet up. And that was not okay. Not even a little bit. It had to take a special kind of sadistic asshole to do this to golden boy Keith.
And Lance had been at home all night.
Lance felt his whole body soften. Keith Kogane did not flinch. Ever.
“Keith.” He tried again. Voice far gentler then he wanted it to be. He reached out a hand tentatively to - what? Cup his rivals cheek? His hand hovered awkwardly in between them.
“I…” Keith started, eyes trailing from Lance’s hand to his face. So far the only words Keith had said had been Lance’s name. “I had nowhere else to go.
And then he was falling forwards.
Into Lance’s awaiting arms.
“Whoa, whoa!” Lance shifted Keith in his arms. He brushed the wet hair out of his face.
Keith was out cold.
“Are you fucking serious?” Lance cursed. Despite the harshness of his words, he lifted Keith delicately as he carried him into the house. House was putting it modestly, but those were details for another time. Right now Lance had more pressing matters.
Like a passed out, wet and bloody Keith Kogane pressed up against him.
Minus the passed out and bloody part, Lance felt like he had this dream before. But again, wrong time to get into details.
He carried Keith to his closest couch - a different room then he’d been watching movies in with Hunk and Pidge - and gently placed him down. For the first time that night, Lance got a good look at him. Like really got a look at him.
Cuts scattered the pale complexion of Keith’s face. His hair matted down with water and - Lance’s fingers ran over his head. A few bumps and yep, definitely some blood caked in the dark strands. Fuck. The black shirt Keith wore underneath the deep red leather jacket, along with his pants clung to Keith like a second skin. He was just as fuckable in civilian clothes as he was in his work attire.
Keith was in civilian clothes. Not his normal tight spandex like material he always wore for work. Which was weird. Lance would have expected him to be working with how injured he was. Not a good sign.
Lance calmed his stupid libido and pushed up Keith’s shirt. Just to check for injures, he swears.
“Damn.” He let out a strained whisper.
Because Keith was tight . Like stomach muscles had no right to be so damn attractive when the guy was basically a limp noodle on Lance’s couch. Fuck Keith for being all of Lance’s desires in one person.
But his blood ran cold as he noticed more cuts. And specifically the bruises on Keith’s hips. Suspiciously looking like hand prints.
A spike of possessiveness hit him. Keith was his to mess with. Who the hell did this to him? It was unheard of that someone would seek him out. Keith stopped people from doing bad things. People avoided Keith at all costs. For someone to get the jump on him when he wasn’t even on the clock...
Lance resumed his petting, pushing the hair out of Keith’s face. “What happened, Mullet?”
“I don’t know.”
He sprung back as Keith’s eyes fluttered open.
“Quiznak!” Lance placed a hand over his racing heart. “Warn a guy before you decide to come back from the dead!”
Keith groaned, trying to sit up.
“Whoa, whoa,” Lance lurched forward, hands on Keith’s shoulders to keep him down. “Relax, would you?”
“I shouldn’t be here.” Keith shut his eyes and turned his head into the couch cushion, away from Lance.
He frowned as he agreed. “No you shouldn’t.”
Keith’s features pulled together. Clearly the guy was in pain. Lance could see the injuries on his body and - Well, he wasn't going to let Keith leave in this state. Not without patching him up and getting the story out of him as payment. Lance didn’t do things for free, after all.
“You’re here now, though. So you may as well stay.” Lance sighed, pulling his hands back to rest on the cushion near Keith instead of on the other man’s shoulders.
“No, I really should-”
“Stay, Mullet.” It wasn’t a request.
Keith stopped moving, probably recognizing the commanding tone. He crossed his arms in what Lance had to describe as a pouting manner. A pained hiss left Mullet’s lips.
Lance scowled. “Let me help you sit up for a sec. So we can get this jacket off you at least. I need to see what I’m working with here.”
Keith snorted. Another wince of pain. “Last time I checked, you weren't a doctor, McClain.”
Oh, back to the last name, huh? Fine. He could deal with that.
“I’ve taken care of my share of injuries, Kogane.” He replied as he looped an arm under Keith’s armpit. Lance began to lift him, glaring into deep amethyst eyes as he said, “most, if not all, caused by you.”
Keith had the sense to at least pretend to be guilty about that. “Yeah well… comes with the territory I guess.” It almost sounded like an apology.
Lance rolled his eyes. “Fair enough. I did pick a fairly risque business venture.” He reached for the first aid kit he kept under the coffee table.
What? He got injured a lot in his line of work.
“Being a villain is probably one of the riskier ones.” Keith hummed in agreement. His eyes following Lance’s movement.
“Being a hero isn’t much better.” Lance grinned cheekily.
Keith chuckled, a smile smile on his lips.
What? Did Lance forget to say what he did for work?
He's a villain.