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“Are you sure this is a good idea? I'm pretty sure it's supposed to start raining soon and you’re going to freeze your ass off when it does.”

“Don't be a buzzkill man,” Lance scoffed. “Besides, those clouds are still way over there, by the time they reach this part of the beach we'll be long gone. No supposedly dark and ominous clouds are going to ruin today for us, I won’t let them.” He slung his arm over Keith’s shoulders with a grin, pulling him forward and into the sand.

Keith rolled his eyes at that but leaned into Lance’s embrace, a small, fond smile fighting its way onto his lips. His boyfriend’s words did nothing to easy his anxiety about the very much dark and ominous clouds slowly creeping their way over the horizon, but he’d let it slide for now. Besides, the best shells washed onto the beach right before a storm, which was far more interesting than copious amounts of pebbles, kelp, and crabs.

They tossed their shoes under an empty lifeguard post and headed down to the damper sand, and Keith watched for a moment in amusement as Lance headed knee deep into the water immediately. “Ah, fuck, that’s cold!” he exclaimed, running back out a bit to where Keith was standing.

“The ocean, cold before a storm? I never would’ve guessed,” Keith deadpanned, stepping back when Lance tried to kick some of the water at him. A moment later though, he splashed some water back with a small laugh.

Lance turned around quickly, eyes narrowing. “It’s on, Kogane!” he declaring, and Keith quickly retreated down the beach. “You can run, but not for long!”

Keith only shrugged again. By now Lance should've known his tricks, but it seemed not. After a few moments, he turned abruptly, this time turning to chase Lance instead. “Who's running now?” he said with a small smirk, catching Lance quickly.

“Oh my god,” Lance wheezed through his laughter. “That's not fair at all.” He turned in Keith's grasp, bringing his hands up to cup Keith's face. The other man let him do it, only staring in amusement as Lance leaned in to whisper, “You're such a pain in the ass,” before pulling Keith in for a kiss.

To anyone passing around, Keith had no doubt that they looked absolutely mornonic, like awkward, carefree fifteen year olds instead of the adults that they were supposed to be— laughing and splashing around in the water, sullying their collared shirts and fresh hair with salt water and sand. But in this moment, he was entirely content.

Eventually they settled down a bit, instead deciding to walk down the beach slowly like some terrible romance novel, with their hands tightly interlocked and twilight gradually taking over the sky above them. Lance was humming some song under his breath that Keith didn’t recognize, tapping along to the silent beat with his fingers against Keith’s knuckles.

Even as the wind grew stronger and the water turned frigid underneath their toes, they continued down the beach smiling. They picked up conch shells that washed up and threw them back into the ocean and Lance made horrendous beach puns. Every time Lance glanced over at him, something warm bloomed deep in Keith’s chest, and he fell even more in love than before.

They were encased in their own little bubble of content, and nothing could break it.

Well, until the clouds finally gave out and it started to pour rain in goddamn buckets .

“Fuck!” Lance exclaimed, covering his head with his fingers.

Keith laughed, taking one of Lance’s hands gently and intertwining their fingers. He could feel the rain already soaking through his tank top and shorts, something that should’ve been miserable, but he didn't mind too much. Instead he focused on the way Lance was beaming up at the sky, eyes narrowed against the heavy downpour but shining like the sun. It should’ve been impossible for someone to look so ethereal as Lance did, but he was always good at surprising Keith.

“I told you it was gonna rain,” Keith said, grinning. “C’mon, we need to get under a roof or something.” He pulled at their hands until they were over the small hill and onto soft sand. They didn’t go much further though, instead remaining in the center of the beach.

Lance elbowed Keith lightly in the side. “Oh shut up, I know you like the rain too.”

Keith said nothing, instead shrugging as he lifted his face to the sky as well. It was true, Keith was almost fond of the water as Lance himself was. Perhaps that’s why they’d gone so well together, that mutual affinity for the ocean and sitting in a rainstorm. Or perhaps it was Lance who had made Keith love it so much.

They sat there for a while, fingers intertwined and eyes to the sky. It was a new type of peaceful, a quieter one that left Keith able to think and enjoy Lance’s presence beside him.

He let his mind wander, and eventually Keith’s eyes drifted back to Lance’s profile. It seemed that they always did, no matter the circumstance. When Lance turned and shot Keith a fond smile, the air left Keith’s lungs once again.

“It’s a good storm,” Lance said. “No lightning or anything. There weren’t even that many people around either.”

Keith only nodded, still unable to speak. His mind was reeling as he reached out and brushed Lance’s wet bangs away from his forehead with a shaky hand. “It’s because you’re the only moron who wants to be out in this weather,” he finally managed, voice teasing.

“You’re out here too, babe, this isn’t all just me,” Lance reminded him.

“Perhaps it was meant to be, then,” Keith said a bit breathlessly, a small smile on his lips when Lance blushed.

Lance scooted over and leaned his head against Keith’s shoulder. “I guess it is, huh?” he mused. He pressed a light kiss to Keith’s jaw then turned to look at the darkening ocean again.

Keith didn’t stop staring at Lance.

The thought had been flitting around for a while, but now Keith was sure. He was so goddamn sure it physically hurt, like he was drowning in an ocean of unbridled love for the incredible man sitting next to him.

Keith wanted to marry Lance. He wanted to marry him so fucking bad, he’d already gone ahead and bought a ring a few weeks ago. It was a simple silver band with an aquamarine gem at the center, a bit over his budget but absolutely perfect.

But back then, Keith wasn’t quite sure if he’d ever be brave enough to actually do it. So he asked Shiro to keep it until he was ready to just ask Lance the question already. Now, he was sure. Maybe he’d do it the next time they came here, or maybe he’d be so impatient that he’d just do it in their dining room. It didn’t really matter to Keith. All that mattered was that Keith loved Lance more than anything and everything— more than the bookshelf in the corner of their room full of picture books, more than even the slushies on the pier. Even more than even the best rainstorm.

Keith leaned down and kissed Lance deeply, trying to suppress the giddiness starting to bubble in his chest. Soon , his mind echoed.