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Arrangements and Rearrangements

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To say it’s an arranged marriage would be to say that Keith didn’t agree to it. But he had. He had because he knew he was the best option, the most eligible, and that the Blades really needed this alliance. Galra everywhere really needed this alliance.

The war had been brutal, and even after Zarkon and Haggar fell the distrust of the Galra ran hot throughout the universe. What better way to mend it, than a marriage to one of Earth’s mightiest heroes?

Takashi Shirogane was the alpha leader of Voltron, and before that he’d been the Captain of the Atlas. He was known for being honorable and true in diplomacy, and undefeated in battle. Though human, he had miraculously bested Galra forces time and time again, and with his crew in Voltron he had saved the universe from a dark fate.

And now he had agreed to marry Keith, for the alliance.

Word of his agreement had baffled Keith. Keith had done a lot with the Blades during the war, sure, but he wasn't and still isn't a war hero. He isn’t even an omega. Keith was a nobody.

“Nonsense,” His mother had said the first time Keith had brought it up. “You’re clever and strong and one of the best Galra fighters we have. Captain Shirogane, I’ve heard, is nothing but thrilled at the arrangement.”

Keith had scoffed but dropped it. His mother didn’t know how it felt to be a beta halfbreed. Stuck halfway in all things, but never belonging anywhere. He definitely didn’t belong on the arm of one of the most impressive alphas the universe had ever seen.

Except that Shirogane had said yes. To him.

Keith shoves the feelings down now and gives up on the last of his work. He puts his datapad away in favor of going to finish packing. He, his mother, and a few Blades would be making the trek to Earth in the morning, and two quintants from then Keith would be married.

Keith had tried to avoid thinking about it as the date neared, but it slowly swallowed everything. He’d be leaving his job, his life, his mother to stay on Earth. It was hard not to ruminate on it. Hard not to fixate on his new husband to be.

Did Shirogane even like Galra?

The Blades were well aligned with Voltron and Terran forces, but Shirogane had once been captured by Galra. He had even lost an arm to them. Everyone knew the story, hell even Keith had been impressed to hear about the escape. Every clip and story Keith had ever read about Shirogane only added to the mythos.

But now Keith looks at those video clips and wonders, is he really kind? Is he really all that they say he is?

Or behind closed doors and away from cameras, was he someone else entirely? Did he secretly hate the Galra? Would he hate Keith?


Keith hurries down the hall trying to outrun his thoughts. He can’t be to be doing this, especially not now. There was an alliance on the line and too many people counting on him.


Keith’s never met Shirogane in person, but he’s seen his face often enough on the datapad to feel a weird familiarity with the man when he walks up to greet them upon their arrival. The Alpha’s tall, broad-shouldered, and handsome. More handsome in person somehow. Even with the Altaean arm and scars, he cuts an imposing, attractive figure.

Shirogane smiles and shakes hands with Kolivan and Krolia, stopping when he gets to Keith.

“Keith Kogane,” Keith says, raising his eyes to meet the other man’s. “Nice to meet you Captain Shirogane.”

The man shakes his hand and smiles. “Please, call me Shiro, I don’t want to stand on ceremony.”

“Except for the actual ceremony,” Keith says. He cringes.

Shiro’s smile freezes, but then he barks out a laugh. “Yeah, yeah I guess so.” He’s so cheerful it almost hurts to look at. “It’s nice to finally meet you,” he says, “I’ve read and heard so much about you, it’s nice to finally see you in the flesh.”

In all the worrying, it never even occurred to Keith that Shiro might know of him. That he might have done research on him. But of course he would, Keith thought cynically. Shiro was a tactician, a captain. Certainly he would want to know what he was getting himself into, would want to know a half breed's backstory.

Except… Shiro is looking at him right now like he actually is thrilled, like he had looked Keith up and found him better than imagined. Even to Keith’s most jaded thoughts, it’s hard to look at that earnestness and not believe him.

It's more uncomfortable to think he means it. Keith has no idea why he means it.

“Yeah,” Keith mumbles in reply, ignoring the way his face is getting hot, “same.”

Shiro beams.


The rest of the day Shiro tours them around the base, making small talk and explaining where everything is for the Blades who've never been to the base. When they finally get to the personnel quarters, his mother pulls him aside.

“Will you be okay?” Krolia asks quietly as Shiro explains the cafeteria service to the other Blades.

They would all be staying here while Shiro and Keith went back to Shiro’s house off base. Shiro had suggested it as a good opportunity for the two of them to get to know one another before the ceremony, and Keith figured he was right. The house was about to be his permanent living quarters after all, he might as well start settling in now.

 “I’ll be fine.” Keith says to his mother, leaning in to give her a hug.

Krolia gives him a look when they part that says she doesn’t believe his faux confidence, but it doesn’t matter. He bids the rest of the Blades goodnight, and then turns his attention to Shiro.

“So,” Shiro says after they walk out of the personnel quarters and are starting toward the hangers. “Is this your first time on Earth?”

Keith looks over at Shiro to judge the question, but the man is steadfast looking ahead, expression relaxed.

“No,” Keith says, “I was born here. Did some work during the war with the Blades here.”

“Oh!” Shiro turns to him. “You were born here, I didn’t know!” He looks pleased with this information.

Keith scowls, rethinking his former assumption that Shiro had researched him. “They did tell you about me, right? I’m only half Galran. Hence,” Keith gestures to his mostly human appearance. The Galra in him was only present in the facial mark, and when he half-transitioned during piques of adrenaline.

“No, yeah. I know. I’ve seen you. I wasn't kidding about before. I’ve watched a lot of your work. Uh— via clips— like from your missions. Uh. For work, you know?”

Keith isn't sure what exactly that means. “They tell you I’m not an omega too?” Keith doesn’t know why he says it all of a sudden, or why he spits the words like they taste of jurgan fruit.

At the bike, clearly Shiro's by the Atlas-similar design, Shiro stops and tries to catch his eye. Keith looks anywhere else but at him.

“Yeah,” Shiro says after a moment. “And it’s not a problem for me.”

“Good,” Keith snaps, finally meeting Shiro’s gaze.

For once Shiro isn’t smiling, he’s just looking at Keith sure and steady. “Really,” he says.

“Alright,” Keith rolls his shoulders as if he could shake the tension free, as if he doesn’t care. He isn’t sure he believes Shiro, but there's nothing else for it. Keith’s been living with his own disappointment at not presenting for years, so if Shiro is secretly displeased he will have to get in line.

“Ever rode a hoverbike?” Shiro asks as he unhooks a helmet and hands it to Keith. Keith can’t stop his eye roll quick enough, but Shiro just laughs.

He’s not used to his spines getting a laugh, and it’s strange. Uncomfortable. The captain’s a strange one.


Shiro drives them to his house out toward the edge of the plateau. Keith knew that Shiro was one of Earth’s top pilots, but the race out into the desert still takes his breath away. The wind and sand whip past the bike as Shiro speeds them along sharp curves and sudden drops, and it feels amazing. Freeing. It does a lot to clear away the mess of clutter in Keith’s head.

When they pull up at the house it smells heavily of desert heat, of his early years on Earth with his father before the accident. Maybe Keith can think of this time on Earth as a way of reacquainting himself with his father’s heritage, refreshing the memories that had grown so faint from his time in space. At least then it won’t be a total bust when he proves to be an unfit husband for Shiro, and the man kicks him out.

As Shiro leads them into the house, something about him changes. It’s a subtle shift, but Keith’s been trained to pay attention and case those around him for danger.

Except Shiro isn’t telegraphing danger right now. Instead the change is… a diminishing. He gives Keith a brief tour of the house, but it lacks the confidence and exuberance of the first. This tour is a going-through-the-motions sort. 

They make small talk as they move Keith’s bags into the bedroom and then go back into the kitchen. Keith watches him keenly.

Shiro said he wanted Keith here, but as they sit across from each other at his kitchen table eating sandwiches for dinner, Shiro just seems… tired. Checked out. Like he doesn’t want to be entertaining Keith.

“It’s not too late to call it off,” Keith says, interrupting Shiro talking about the timetables for tomorrow.


“The wedding. If you… don’t want to.”

At this Shiro frowns, his brows coming together. “I want to. Do you?” He sets his sandwich down. “Keith, I know the alliance is important but this isn’t— I don’t want to make you—“

“I’m fine,” Keith says, sharp. “You just seemed kind of over it.”

“Over it?”

Keith shrugs, at a loss of how to explain it.

“Keith I… I know we don’t know each other very well, but I’m in. Yes for the alliance but not just for the alliance. I wasn’t lying when I said I knew of you. I do. Did. You did the field work for most of the important Blades missions. So, if I seem ‘over it,’ then it’s just that the day has been long and frankly I work entirely too much. It does not at all have to do with you or our arrangement.”

“Okay,” Keith says, gruff even though Shiro’s words have settled him. “Just checking.”

“Uh huh,” Shiro watches him for a moment longer, and then returns to polishing off his sandwich. Keith can’t tell if the atmosphere after that is better or worse.

The improvement comes when they finish eating and retire to the couch. Keith fully expects Shiro to beg off for an early night, but instead he pulls out cards from a drawer and convinces Keith to play a modified drinking game where they ask each other questions. It’s not really Keith’s thing, but he doesn't want to turn the man down when he's clearly making an effort, and then Shiro starts to tease him that he's just scared of losing and well...

Three beers in the questions from Shiro are beginning to get ridiculous.

“Would you rather fight 100 duck-sized horses or one horse-sized duck?” Shiro is slouched on the couch, grinning at Keith, one beer held loosely in hand.

“Uh,” Keith says eloquently. Then, “what’s a duck look like again?”

Shiro nearly spits his drink when he cracks up laughing. “Oh stars! Didn't you live here?"

Keith gives him a playful shove. "Sure, and a ton of other places, hard to keep all the animals straight. Do they have horns?"

Shiro only laughs harder. "I should video Pidge, she would lose her mind.

Keith knows who Pidge is just because she’s as famous as Shiro. “So you all are really friends?” That information is in all the Voltron accounts, but Keith knows how stories can go, especially stories that are being twisted for propaganda purposes.

A smile breaks out over Shiro’s face then that strikes Keith. Shiro’s a smiley person, this is already well established, but this one is markedly different. He’s cozy on his own couch, softened but the late hour and the drinks. It’s not even a cute smile, his face sort of pressed sideways into the cushion to look at Keith, but something about it is nice to look at. It feels like a nice warm blanket. “We are,” Shiro says.

Keith smiles back because he’s had two beers and can’t help it. Shiro may be a poster-handsome hero of Voltron, but there’s something here that counts for more than all of that.  Something here that, for the first time since the arrangement was presented to Keith, he can put real belief in.

“Then I can’t wait to meet them.” Their drinks come together without either of them saying another word. They cheers, and the game goes on.

An hour later when they’re both fading, Shiro suggests they go to bed.

It’s been an age of a day, so Keith falls into the bed beside Shiro without a fuss and shuts his eyes. Between the questions and the alcohol Keith does feel better. He’s a little steadier, a little more sure that Shiro is as good as he is rumored to be.

They wish each other pleasant dreams and Shiro turns off the lights. The dark silence that falls then is nice, almost friendly. Keith lets out a long breath, like all the days tension finally falling away.

He lets himself settle in to sleep.


A thick heat and pleasant smell pulls Keith awake in the morning. Something plucks urgently at his attention.

Keith blinks awake, rubbing his eyes. The room is still dark, but light is just beginning to peek in the far window. Keith can see it just over the slope of a shoulder.

A shoulder he is tucked up into.

Everything from yesterday comes back to him all at once. The travel, the meeting, the occasion. Shiro.

Keith’s certain they’d gone to bed not touching, but at some point that had clearly changed. Now Keith’s pressed to Shiro’s chest, and the man’s arm is wrapped heavy and secure over his waist.

It’s… a lot.

He's warm, so warm, and smells amazing. So good, in fact, that Keith almost leans further in to get more. Do all alphas smell that good?

Something in Keith’s belly squirms, but he pushes it away. It’s fine to be here, cocooned with Shiro. It’s perfectly normal to move toward heat in the night, especially with someone who is supposed to become his husband.


When they go to bed tonight it will be as husbands.

That thought doesn’t have the same dread it did just a day ago. Shiro, even tired and a little drunk is more dorky than anything else. He’s still wildly skillful and devastatingly hot, but seeing him not being Captain Shirogane soothes something in Keith. It helps him feel not so out of his depths.

Like maybe through this they could be friends. There’s far worse things in the universe than living with a very handsome and nice roommate.

Especially if it’s like this.

He should probably get up. Shiro’s holding him tight in his sleep, and their hips are close, dangerously close. Keith’s a little hard because it’s morning and he should pry Shiro’s hand off and excuse himself to the bathroom to…

Keith bites his lip. Not to do that. Just to shower. Brush his teeth.

But Keith doesn’t move and doesn’t move. Shiro just smells so good and—

Now he’s properly hard and it’s becoming a real problem. He doesn’t know what’s going on with him.

If you’d asked Keith yesterday, he would have says that sharing a bed with a stranger is a trial. He would have done it, but he wouldn’t have liked it. He certainly wouldn’t be luxuriating in it.

But now Keith leans into the dark space of Shiro’s chest and takes a deep breath.

Fuck, he smells good. How has Shiro stayed single himself for so long smelling like that?

And it somehow gets better with every breath. Keith snuggles closer, moving himself up more to follow the scent. It’s in Shiro’s shirt, but the source is clearly his scent gland.

Keith wants. It’s a sudden burning, something fierce and undeniable in his veins. If he could just get his mouth on Shiro’s throat he knows it would—

“‘eith?” Comes Shiro’s slurred voice.

Keith freezes and then jerks back, his face flaming as sense comes back to him. He detaches his hands that at some point clawed into Shiro’s shirt.

He doesn’t know what the fuck that was. What was he even thinking groping on Shiro while he was asleep?

“Fuck,” Keith stumbles up out of the sheets, and then tries to cover his own highly visible physical reaction. “I’m sorry!” He turns away to flee to the bathroom. “I’m so sorry!”

“It’s fine!” He hears Shiro shout after him, but it doesn’t matter. It’s not fine, Shiro’s just too nice.

Keith stands in the cold shower for far too long trying to bury his shame, worrying that Shiro's going to call the marriage off and then Keith will have to explain—

But there's no solution in the shower and Keith grows too pruny and he has to get out. The heat buzzing underneath his skin remains even as he pulls on fresh clothes.

At breakfast Shiro has enough grace not to mention it, and after they finish, Keith leaves for the wedding preparation with a building pressure in the pit of his belly.


The ceremony itself is small, attended more by witnesses than guests. Keith meets all the other Paladins, and he introduces his mother, Kolivan, and the other Blades. He tries not to look directly at Shiro who is done up in a black and white suit and looks absolutely amazing. He thinks his own purple and gray Galra dress looks drab in comparison, despite the awed compliment Shiro gives him.

The Altean Princess Allura has been tasked to do the rites, which is a blending of human and Galran customs that Krolia talked him through earlier. It's a simple ceremony, but nice. Shiro smiles at him the entire duration of Princess Allura binding their hands and reading the rites. Keith, for some reason, can’t get the flush to leave his cheeks. He feels a little ridiculous to be at all moved by the ceremony. It’s not like it’s for real.

They say the words as dictated, unwrap the ribbon, and they’re bonded.


Keith doesn’t know whether he’s disappointed or not that they’ve removed the human custom of kissing. It’s the right call for their circumstance, but—

Shiro still takes his hand when they're finished and drops a kiss on the back of it. Keith doesn't manage to get anything out of his tied tongue before his mother swoops in to hug him. He buries his face in her shoulder so maybe no one will see the red on his cheeks.

After the wedding they all retire to the Garrison cafeteria that’s been decorated for the occasion. There are more people there from the base and Keith meets and shakes so many hands he feels dizzy with it. Or maybe that’s just the heat. It’s stuffy with so many bodies, and Keith starts to sweat under his layered Galran attire.

It’s just as he’s beginning to consider bailing that a metal hand slides around his waist as Shiro steps close to Keith. Easily the man excuses them from a group of officers that were regaling Keith with some story about Shiro.

“Hey, you okay?” They’re away in a corner but Shiro’s voice is low, his face concerned as he looks at Keith.

“Yeah,” Keith takes a deep breath and it helps a little. He can smell Shiro, even with all the other alpha and omega scents in the room. It reminds Keith of the morning, of how nice that was.

“Just feeling a little overwhelmed.”

Shiro nods knowingly. “It is a lot. Want to go? I can drive us home.”

The image that comes then is heady. Keith can practically feel his whole body tune into the idea. A breezy, cool ride into the desert and then Shiro’s bed. It was so comfy before, and just the promise of it has Keith suddenly so incredibly tired.

“Yeah. I do, actually,” he confesses. “Would that be okay?”

He knows this part of the day is important, maybe more important than the wedding. They’ll both be out of work for the next week as they settle in, so this is really the first big event to set the stage for their alliance. Keith doesn’t want to fuck it up just because he’s tired.

The hand around his waist gives a squeeze. “Of course,” Shiro says. “Let me just make our excuses, back in a tick.”

Keith leans against the wall and watches. Shiro goes and starts collecting handshake and hugs and well wishes as he makes their goodbyes. Just before he’s swinging back around Krolia appears beside Keith.

“You look tired Starlight,” she says. Her hand comes up to the side of Keith’s head.

“Long day. Long week.”

She hums, and then her palm sweeps to his forehead. “You’re warm.”

“Stuffy in here,” Keith grunts. Then he meets her eyes and softens. “It’ll be okay. Shiro’s a good one I think.”

He’d told her all about their evening earlier today. She nods. “Keith,” there’s something in her face, a strange look. “I know this isn’t the ideal marriage but… I’m still proud of you. For doing this. For who you are. I met your father under unusual circumstances, and I wouldn’t change that for all the stars in the universe.”

Keith blinks at her, struck and a little turned around. “What? Mom that’s— we’re not—“

She leans down to press a kiss to his forehead. “Maybe not right now, but just be open, okay?”

“Open to…?” She can’t be saying what he thinks she’s saying.

But she’s smiling and pulling away and Shiro is back.

“Captain Shirogane,” Krolia says with a nod. “He’s all yours.”

“Krolia please,” Shiro says with a bashful tilt of his head. “It’s Shiro, we’re related now.”

She lets out a light laugh. “That we are. Take good care of him,” she nods at Keith and Shiro gives a serious nod. “Goodnight boys.”

They both wish her a good night.

Something about the conversation still doesn’t sit right with Keith, but Shiro bundles him out of the cafeteria and out of the Garrison and into the night, so Keith tries to let it go.


By the time they got back to Shiro’s house— their house— Keith thought he would feel better. He actually feels even worse.

There’s a heat climbing up his spine and it has him nearly shivering by the time he arrives. He feels clogged, fuzzy in a way that an oncoming sickness would present.

Is he really getting sick? Now?

Although with a week off ahead of him there is truly no better time.

“Keith,” Shiro says with meaning as he helps him off the hoverbike. Keith can barely register it, his focus has dwindled down to just getting one foot in front of the other. If he could get to the bed, he thinks, everything would be alright.

“I think I’m getting sick,” Keith says. Shiro helps him to the door and it’s nice, the strength of him, the warmth pressing into Keith’s side.

He still smells so, so nice. It’s pushing away the slight nausea Keith has from the ride.

“Yeah,” Shiro says. He takes them in and guides Keith immediately toward the bed. “What do you need?”

Bed is the only thing Keith can think about now. He must manage to say so, because Shiro helps him sit and then divests him of his boots.

The waist cloth and sash are harder, but Shiro is diligent and careful and before long Keith is just in his under suit.

“Uh,” Shiro says.

Keith waves off his embarrassment, he doesn’t have any room for it with how he's feeling. He can’t focus on anything but crawling up into the sheets. They’re cool and smell of Shiro.

“I’ll just let you rest then—”

Keith mumbles something in return he hopes is an agreement and presses his face into Shiro’s pillow. Everything then is still and calm and Keith gives into it. He’s still too hot, but the exhaustion is strong. Before long he’s asleep.

Then, what feels like a moment later, blistering heat wakes him.

 Keith comes to gasping, tearing off the blankets and his own shirt. He’s absolute drenched with sweat, chest heaving as he tries to get air. He stumbles up still half-asleep. He needs water or cold air. Something, anything.

He lurches out of the bedroom toward the air controls, getting a glance of a surprised Shiro on the couch with his datapad.


Keith doesn’t answer. Can’t. He needs air, he’s burning up and—

“Hey, Keith, you don’t look so good.” The air that pushes in toward him then is cool and sweet and amazing. Keith turns away from the air controls and practically falls into Shiro’s arms. He clutches at him, gulping air and finally, finally getting a breath. “Keith?”

A palm touches his forehead and then his cheek. He presses into it, nuzzling the hand at the lovely sensation that spreads down his nerves and soothes some of the sweltering fire inside him.

“Sick,” Keith mumbles. He pushes in against Shiro’s chest, resting his head against Shiro’s throat. It’s perfect there.

Shiro makes some sound and then lowers his head to Keith’s neck and takes a deep breath. “Fuck,” he hisses.

Keith hums, concerned only with how nice it feels here, how for a moment the sickness has abated.

“Keith, I uh—“ Shiro clears his throat and it’s a nice sound. Keith can feel it where they’re pressed together.

And then Keith thinks of the bed, of having the bed and Shiro. That sounds good. Perfect. Why aren’t they doing that right now?

It’s becoming more pressing by the second. Standing has him feeling weak, and ever so slowly the burden of standing is becoming Shiro’s alone.

“Keith, I think—“ but then Keith’s knees feel like jelly. “Woah, hey! Okay, I got you. Bed, you should—“

There’s a moment of struggle before Shiro just scoops him up. Keith should hate this, would never ever let someone carry him.

But he leans his head on Shiro’s chest and closes his eyes against the dizziness. “Sick,” he groans.

“Uh huh,” Shiro’s voice is off, a little nervous sounding, but Keith can’t be bothered. They’re moving, probably toward the bed, and that’s enough.

A moment later proves him right. Shiro lowers him into the bedding. “Okay um, I’m going to call someone— I shouldn’t—fuck.”

Keith blinks his eyes open trying to figure out what Shiro’s babbling about. Call someone?

The idea of someone else coming in to poke or prod him is abhorrent. “No,” Keith mumbles, reaching up to try and grab Shiro.

Shiro stays just out of reach which infuriates him. “Keith you’re— Keith you said you were a beta. The records say you’re a beta.”

Parsing the words together is difficult. He swipes again for Shiro and then growls when the man evades him. “Come here!” He demands.

Shiro waffles. “Keith I don’t think you’re a beta and—“

The man is gesturing nervously, and Keith sees his opportunity. He lunges and then latches onto Shiro’s metal arm and pulls him down. They collapse down into the bedding in a tangle of limbs. They bump elbows and knees, but Keith doesn’t mind because that smell comes with him. It’s so clarifying. Everything comes into sharp focus suddenly, including Shiro’s words.

“What?” He muffles into Shiro’s shoulder.

The man tries to get up, but Keith’s hands wrap firmly around his middle.

“Keith let me up, this is…” Shiro trails off as he presses his nose into Keith’s throat. “You smell amazing.”

And that’s the thing that snaps all the clues together for Keith. Because Shiro smells good, but he shouldn’t. At least, not to Keith. Not so much that Keith’s practically wrapped himself around the man like an octopus. He would never, ever do such a thing.

But he is right now. And it’s the only thing that’s helped clear the brain fog enough to think.

Keith did tons of reading on presenting during his adolescence. He’d wanted to catch his early so there would be no issues with his work or teachings. He’d wanted to be prepared. So Keith knows the symptoms, has read about what presenting one way or the other feels like. What he’d read was exactly like this. Exactly.

“I’m— “ the words stick in Keith’s throat. It’s almost too big to fathom after all this time. He’d put presenting behind him with a bitter kind of jealousy, telling himself he didn't care that he wasn't an alpha or omega. That he could be just as happy without the connection or the messiness of the hormones.

But now Shiro is nuzzling his throat and Keith can feel it. The heat is still there, but now it’s taking shape, seeping down his spine and pooling between his legs.

“I’m an omega?” He whispers.

Shiro draws back to look at him. He looks dazed but blinks several times as if trying to clear his own head.  “I think— I mean, I’ve never, but you—“ Shiro clears his throat and then seems to realize he’s still lying on Keith. “Shit— sorry, let me—“

He tries to get up, but Keith’s hands tighten over his waist. “Wait! Wait!”

The struggle ceases. Keith almost feels bad that he’s still trapping Shiro to him. “Just wait. Your scent is the only thing making me able to think. I just need to think for a second…”

“Oh,” Shiro’s response is soft. He relaxes in Keith’s hold.

“Sorry,” Keith adds, loosening an arm to rub his own face.

“No, it’s okay. If it helps. Uh.”

Shiro shifts then, not to get up but just to adjust and Keith becomes keenly aware of what’s between them. Namely that they’re both hard and pressed together.

“Fuck,” Keith says. “Fuck. It’s too late to present, way too late.”

But Keith knows even as he says it where his calculations went wrong. It’s late for a Galra. He doesn’t even know when humans present. Clearly older. Much older. Like now. Or his biology is just fucked up because he's mixed.

“It’s fine,” Shiro says, but his gaze is going a little vague again. “It’s gonna be fine… I can go and…and…” Shiro is bending toward him again, breathing in Keith’s scent. Automatically Keith tilts his head to give the man more access, melting under the feeling of contentness that floods though him as Shiro noses his scent gland.

Then Shiro comes out of it again and jerks away. “Shit! Keith I need to go. I can’t— your smell is too— it's going to make me—”

“You can’t!” Keith clutches at the man atop him even as they accidentally grind against each other with the movement. “If you leave, I’ll lose it.”

Shiro’s hips rock unconsciously into his. “If I don’t, I’ll lose it,” he grunts. “You’re not just presenting, this isn’t just that. It’s.”

He doesn’t say it and he doesn’t have to. Keith doesn’t want to make the deduction, but it’s quickly becoming unavoidable. He’s an omega who, as far as his biology is concerned, has just met and married his mate. There’s only one thing that comes next.

The heat is just there under the surface, just behind the heady masculine smell of Shiro. It’s been building since he shook hands with Shiro, and now it’s threatening to overwhelm him if he doesn’t tend to it.

“Fuck, what do I do?”

“I can call someone. Your mom?”

It’s a kind offer, and maybe the right one, but Keith doesn’t want it. Even at his most clear, he knows that option sucks. He has no other alpha, and bringing his mom into this while he’s like this is just bad. He’s not a kit anymore, he doesn’t need or want her to fix it for him.

And if he’s more honest with himself, Keith knows what he wants to do. He knows what decision he’d rather make. It’s the one that’s still lying heavy on top of him.

“I don’t want someone, or Mom.” He tries out honesty, because it’s the one thing he has left.

“Okay. I, uh." Shiro’s trying so hard to focus, but looking up at him Keith can see his eyes drift back to his neck. There’s a tension where their bodies meet, like Shiro's trying so hard to control himself. Keith's read about it in alphas, how an omega's heat can push them into a pseudo-rut. Is that what's happening to Shiro? "What? I can’t just leave you," he says.

“No, you can’t.” Keith says, and then because he is a little too turned on for his own good and it’s aching, “You’re my husband.”

Stars,” Shiro says it like a curse. “Yeah but, Keith you’re going into heat…”

Keith hums in agreement, staring up at him.

Shiro blows out a heavy breath. “Keith I can’t, ah, be responsible around you right now.”

This almost draws a laugh from Keith. Leave it to captain and hero of the universe so be so stupidly honorable. “I’m not actually asking you to,” Keith says, casting his voice lower. He reaches then to touch Shiro’s face, to draw his eyes back to Keith’s. “I’m actually trying to ask my alpha husband to take care of me.”

Shiro stares blankly at him for a moment. “What?”

“Is that okay?” Keith asks. He tries to hold tight to his courage and allow himself to believe that the thing between them is more than just an alliance. More than a piece of paper. Maybe it isn’t now, but it could be. Keith can almost see it. “I know we didn’t get into this for romance, but I… like you. As a person. You’re nice and funny, kinda dorky. Really fucking hot.” He has to look away at this, feeling his cheeks burn just from his own confession this time. “I would be into seeing where this goes, if you are.”

“I am,” Shiro blurts, drawing Keith’s eyes back.

“You are?”

“Yeah.” Shiro’s hand comes to mirror Keith’s, pressing against his cheek. “I like you. Have liked you, actually. Uh. For a while. What I said before, I've been watching your work for a while. Am kinda a fan.” Shiro’s smile then is the same one he had on the couch the night before. Too soft and too earnest.

"A fan?"

"Of your skills," Shiro says. "But the outfit didn't hurt." He looks bashful at the admission.

Keith just doesn’t have it in him to defend against that. He doesn’t even want to. Instead he curls his fingers around Shiro’s neck and pulls him in.

The first kiss is simple, a warm press of their lips. It’s nice, maybe nicer for the way it moves something inside Keith. It's something fluttery and soft. Then Shiro is tilting his mouth and fitting them better together and it’s— wow. More than just movement, Keith feels it quake through his nerves and down to his bones. It’s never been like this with anyone else, and he doesn’t know if it’s the heat or rut or just Shiro.

Shiro comes over him all at once, body moving, hands grasping, and kisses searing Keith’s lips. Keith gasps for air and clutches him back, feeling the tension pull, the electricity wind. Shiro tastes of wedding cake and champagne, and Keith can’t get enough even as Shiro licks into his mouth.

“Shiro,” Keith groans when they split to breathe.

“Yeah,” he says in reply, kissing Keith’s lower lip, the corner of his mouth.

Keith catches him again and can’t help but lick at his lips, at the taste of Shiro that’s improved by the scent pouring all over. Fuck, he smells good. “Shiro, please.”

The fire now is everywhere, engulfing Keith. It doesn’t daze him like it did when he was without Shiro, but it does make him itch in his own skin. Makes him need. Shiro kisses down to his neck and it’s all Keith can do to move his legs so Shiro is a better fit between them, so they’re grinding a little bit better together.

It’s happening so fast, but Keith doesn’t want to stop it. His heat is coming and with Shiro he just wants to give in.

Shiro kisses his throat, his scent gland, and the sensation is like a full body shiver. Keith’s nails dig in and whines. “That good?” Shiro mumbles into his skin.

“Yeah,” Keith says breathless. “More, I need—”

He’s cut off by Shiro biting down.

The cry tears itself from his lips as he arches up, grinding hard against Shiro. The feeling is red hot electricity, one of the best things he’s ever felt. He can only imagine how good it would be if they were naked. If Shiro was inside him.

“Yeah,” Shiro says, “Yeah we can— fuck,” Shiro’s following his motion now, licking and kissing at his throat while they grind on the bed.

Keith snaps his mouth shut. Did he say that aloud? Stars.

The embarrassment is short lived though, because it gets Shiro on the same page. The man begins to get Keith out of his clothing. They’re both a little out of it, and the fumbling is more than clumsy. They bump and fuss and at one point Shiro is so tangled Keith can’t help but laugh.

When Shiro gets them both stripped, he collapses back onto the bed to kiss the laughter off Keith’s lips. It’s an overly-familiar gesture that makes Keith’s heart flutter.

It’s never been this easy, this fun.

“So,” Shiro says between kisses. “You were saying…?”

Keith slides his own hands down to grab at Shiro’s ass. He got a good look when they were undressing, and it’s only made him more eager. Shiro is hot in his captains uniform and hotter in his wedding suit, but getting his stripped down definitely takes the cake.

He’s just so much. Thick and muscled and fuck, now Keith feels the weight of his cock pressing into his thigh. He’s big.

“Yeah,” Keith grinds into him. “I was saying…” he slides a hand around and gets it between them. Shiro’s cock is hot and wet at the tip when he wraps his fingers around him.

Shiro groans and buried his head back in Keith’s throat. He sucks at the skin around the gland, beginning to fuck into Keith’s hand. “Keith.”

“Fuck me,” Keith hisses back. “Please!”

The heat is almost drowning now, pressing up from inside him. When Shiro pull off his underwear he could feel the wetness, the slick he’s just started producing.

Shiro backs up, and his eyes are glazed again, but still he looks at Keith adoringly. “Yeah,” he breathes, moving Keith’s thighs to get himself in a better position. “Need to…”

His hands slide slowly up Keith’s thighs and then in. The human one dips down under and at the first touch they both gasp.

“You’re wet,” Shiro says in awe.

“I’m in heat,” Keith returns. “You— you triggered my heat.”

Shiro curses. One finger trails across Keith’s hole, more concerned with the wetness than anything else.

Keith bumps him with a knee. “Focus!”

There’s a low apology from Shiro and then one finger presses in. Keith moans. It feels so different, so different having presented, being in heat.


Keith bumps him again. “More!”

Shiro meets his eyes and nods before he looks back down to where his finger is working. Another pushes in.

Keith tries to breathe, but even this much is destroying him. The heat is still building, encouraged by his arousal and an alpha all around him. He wants it like he’s never wanted anything else before.

“Fuck me, please,” he whines when the two fingers continue to push in and pull out slowly.

“Have to— prep.” The words look like they cost Shiro. He’s sweating and his shoulders are high and stiff. He can’t take his eyes off where he’s fingering Keith.

“I don’t need— Shiro it’s heat, fuck the prep!”

“Fuck the…?”

Keith groans as a finger slides in deeper and the pleasure spikes. “Alpha!”

Something about that snaps Shiro to sharper attention. His eyes meet Keith’s, and Keith in turn holds a hand out.

“Come here.”

There’s no hesitation. Shiro’s fingers slip out of him and the man crawls back up. As he does so Keith reaches and gets his cock positioned.

Shiro pauses only when the head touches his wet hole, but Keith’s warmed up enough for a lifetime.

“Alpha,” he whispers, tugging Shiro in to kiss him. “Alpha, I need you. I need my husband.”

There’s a broken sound from Shiro, and the last strands of his needless nobility snap. His hands wrap tightly around Keith’s waist, and in one push he presses in.

It’s a stretch, a hell of a stretch, and Keith cries out at it. Shiro swallows the sounds, kissing him hard as he forces his cock deep. There’s a growl to his voice, a possessive way that he takes Keith. Rut.

The sensations is sharp, the pressure heavy, but it’s followed by a wave of pleasure so great it knocks Keith flat. He hasn’t come, at least he thinks he hasn’t, but it’s a similar feeling. His whole body is buzzing.

Like before, it’s a sense of rightness, like everything in the universe has just convalesced to get him to this moment. Like there’s no where else he should be.

Then Shiro starts to move.

The glide is so immediately smooth that Keith gets what Shiro was so fascinated by. Keith’s drenched, which is excellent for exactly this, but the sound is filthy. It’s hard to even imagine it’s his own body when he's spent years using lube and careful fingers.

The next push in clears all that away in a rush of electricity. Keith moans into Shiro’s mouth, claws at him to keep him close. And he does, he kisses and moves in Keith, holding him up with all that strength just to keep the angle right.

“Fuck, fuck,” Keith arches into it, falling into the rhythm with him. Everything is hot and all-encompassing, and he doesn’t have to fight it. His alpha is here, his alpha will take care of him.

Shiro fucks him hard, and only goes up from there. His kisses peter off to until he’s back at Keith’s neck, sucking and biting at the scent. The sensations compliment each other and pin Keith between them. “Mine,” Shiro grunts, nipping at him.

The pure possessiveness makes Keith clench around Shiro’s cock. His own is throbbing between them, but Keith doesn’t bother with it. He doesn’t need to, everything else is so good, and he doesn’t want to rush the end. His alpha is going to give it to him when he’s ready.

“Yeah,” Keith can barely breathe. He lets go with one hand to grab at the bedding, to ground himself as Shiro really begins to fuck him. “Yours.”

The snarl then from Shiro makes him shiver, makes him gush. It’s a new sensation, but Keith loves it. He loves how Shiro pushes into a sloppy mess, how it shows his alpha that Keith’s enjoying himself.

“I can smell your slick,” Shiro says then, his voice is black and gravel. “How wet you are for my cock.”

Keith flushes hot and whines, beneath his claws the sheets begin to shred. Shiro keeps pounding into him, his huge hands like brands on Keith’s hips.

“More,” Keith moans.

There’s a low laugh and Shiro adjusts him, pulls his hips up further and slams back in even deeper than before.

But Keith only meets his eyes like a dare. “More,” he challenges.

There’s a flurry of movement then. Before Keith can even register it, Shiro pulls back, flips him, and pushes right back into his hole. He drags Keith up on to his knees by his hair and wraps the metal arm around him. When he fucks back in Keith can feel it in his whole body, from his pulled hair to his dripping cock.

“That enough for you?” Shiro says low and dirty into his ear. One of his hands moves up and tweaks one of Keith’s nipples.

And that’s—

He must make a loud sound of appreciation, because Shiro doubles down. He rubs his thumb over the nub, pinching and pulling at it. Keith’s so sensitive, so turned on he can’t stand it. There’s pressure in him, just under his skin, and everywhere Shiro is touching him is the only relief.

Keith swallows thickly, arched into the hand playing with his nipples. It’s so good but his body is still screaming for more, he needs it. “Harder,” he gasps.

The fingers on him clench and tug harder as Shiro fucks him. Keith almost screams.

“Sensitive, baby?”

He is, so much, but he’s also so close to something now, something his body is urging him to. He presses into those hands, crying under their attentions, needing more and more—

The release comes sudden and unexpectedly, but it’s not an orgasm. It’s something else. Something from his nipples that Shiro’s still working over.

It’s only when they both feel the wetness that their momentum shifts.


Keith tilts at the same time that Shiro leans to look over his shoulder. They both see it at the same time.

Wetness, from his nipples.

Shiro’s fingers squeeze then and Keith groans as they both watch another dribble of liquid come out. It’s opaque, vaguely milky.

“Are you…?”

Keith knows maybe he should be embarrassed, should be apologizing because he’s lactating. But he can’t. It feels amazing and it does something to him to know his body is capable of this. That his alpha has helped this happen.

“Fuck that’s so fucking hot,” Shiro says, as if they’re sharing one mind, and resumes fucking him even harder. Both his hands now go to Keith’s chest and squeeze and pluck at his pinkened nibs. “My perfect little omega.”

Shiro milks him and fucks him and Keith can do nothing but moan and whine at how filthy it all is.

“The knot,” he groans as his nipples grow sore and stop giving up milk. It’s the last thing left and he’s desperate for it, desperate to come. “Give me your knot.”

There’s another bite on his throat and Shiro’s heavy breathing. His hands smear through the wetness on Keith's chest as they shift to hold him tight. “Yeah, baby? Think you can take it?”

Just the way he says it, like it’s a dare, riles Keith up. He’s so close to an absolutely stunning orgasm, and he knows he just needs the knot. His body craves it. “I can take anything you can give me,” he shoots back.

Shiro hums against his throat. “Good.”

It gets brutal then, but it’s exactly what Keith needs. Shiro fucks him with all that strength, keeps him almost completely buried on his cock. It’s intimate and hot and Keith gasps for breath, for words, for anything.

Behind him Shiro makes noises that only light him up further. Noises that push him higher and higher, to an end that keeps getting sharper and sharper.

“I’m—” Shiro’s word bites off and then Keith feels it, feels a push of something thick and hot.

Shiro’s knot.

Keith’s mouth falls open and he thinks he begs, but he might just cry out for it. It’s all a blur behind the heat. The only thing he knows is that each time Shiro fucks in the knot presses a little more, working him open on it.

Keith tries to relax, tries to will it. It’s so fucking big and he needs it.

And then Shiro groans, something guttural and devastating, and the next push gets the knot inside Keith.

It’s a ricochet then. The knot is enormous, and Keith can’t help but clamp down on it, nearly sobbing. It’s pushing into him, pushing the pleasure into something else. Into everything. He cries and starts to come, pulse after pulse of whiteness that tears him completely out of his body.

He writhes in the hands that hold him, pulsing around a hard knot, listening to Shiro start to come. It’s amazing and perfect and so much more right than anything else has ever been. He never wants it to end.

The heat and electricity slide out slowly, almost gently, as he comes down. It leaves him with aftershocks that flutter across his skin and are unbelievably pleasant that Keith feels like he’s floating.

Shiro, carefully, lowers them down to the sheets, keeping his knot from pulling where it’s still stuck inside Keith. Just the thought gives Keith another pleasant pulse.

The sheets are a mess and they’re sweaty and gross when they lie down on their sides. Still, when Shiro tugs him back and spoons an arm over Keith’s waist, Keith welcomes it. There’s no way after having the best sex of his life that Keith is letting this man get away.

Shiro nuzzles the back of his neck and kisses his throat gently. Already Keith can feel the soreness there setting in. He remembers the bites, remembers encouraging the savagery. He’s going to regret that in the morning.

Then again, anyone seeing such marks on him is going to know exactly where they came from. Keith can’t deny he doesn’t take a perverse pleasure from that thought.


“Hm?” The glow has dimmed, but he still feels so damn happy, so damn relieved. Presenting and going through a heat with a man he just met could have gone so wrong, but it didn’t. In fact, it may be gone very, very right for their circumstances.

“Please tell me that was okay.”

Keith turns his head to try and get a look at Shiro. “What? Yeah. Yes. Of course. Were you not present?”

The hand around his middle gives a small squeeze. “Yeah, I just… wanted to make sure. Kinda lost myself there for a minute.”

“I noticed,” Keith says with a grin. His nipples are throbbing now from the abuse, but he would do it again without question. “It’s excellent, you should let yourself go more often.”

At this Shiro buries his head into Keith hair and groans. It makes Keith laugh.

“Seriously though,” Keith adds in the following silence. “That was… good. Really good. You can absolutely do that to me anytime.”

“Anytime?” Shiro’s hand wanders up, his thumb just touching the edge of Keith’s nipple.

Fuck, he still can’t believe that happened.  He can still feel the wetness smeared across his chest.

“Yeah,” Keith shifts a little purposefully so Shiro’s thumb grazes his nipple. He’s so sore, but the sensation still kind of turns him on. Just the memory of it, of Shiro squeezing his tits, milking him— “How about in twenty minutes?”

Shiro snorts.

“I’m not kidding,” Keith says. Already he can feel the heat beginning to reignite, that itch in him starting up just as Shiro’s knot begins to deflate.

Shiro swears. “Good thing we have the week off.”

The knot goes down then enough to pull out, and Shiro does. Keith is quick to turn around the bury himself against Shiro’s chest. He’s suddenly afraid the man will leave. It’s irrational, and yet he can’t fight it. Omega hormones.

He almost rolls his eyes at himself.

“Oh!” Shiro says as his arms wrap back around Keith. “Yeah, to answer your question. Yes for the absolutely anytime. But can I ask for one thing?”

Shiro could ask for so much, and in this moment Keith wouldn’t have any qualms about giving it to him. The man is ridiculous, how did Keith get this lucky?

“Sure, what?”

“After this, uh, your heat… could I um, take you on a date?”

He says it so uncertain, as if ten minutes ago he wasn’t spitting the dirtiest things into Keith’s ear and fucking him like he was a porn star. Stars.

“Shiro, we’re married,” he says even as he feels the blush on his own cheeks.

Did they both really confess to liking each other before they had sex? Fuck, that’s embarrassing.

And kind of charming.

“Is that a no?”

The stupidest of grins spreads across his face, and Keith pulls back so he can look at Shiro. “No— yes. I mean yes, it’s a yes. To the date.”

Shiro’s whole face lights up then. “Oh, great!”

Then Keith has to kiss him, because he just looks like that.  About a date. After they’ve just had raunchy, heat sex.

Compared to earlier, this kiss is downright wholesome. Shiro leans in, but he kisses Keith soft and with so much care. Keith tries not to think about how it causes butterflies in his stomach. He tries not to think about how far he’s fallen, and it’s only been two days.

When Shiro opens his mouth and begins sliding his tongue into Keith’s mouth, Keith’s heat flares back to life.

“Hey Shiro,” Keith mumbles against his lips.


“Remember when I said twenty minutes?” Shiro makes a sound of agreement but doesn’t stop pecking kisses to his mouth. “I actually meant like five.”

The look Shiro has then when he pulls back is one Keith won’t ever forget. His lips are swollen, his eyes half-lidded, but he’s still looking at Keith like he’s some kind of wonder.

“I don’t think I can get it up yet.”

But Keith already knows that, a pseudo rut is unreliable like that. He reaches for that metal hand and draws it down. “That’s okay,” he whispers as he guides those fingers to his hole. He’s a mess of come and slick, and it’s easy to get those thick fingers pushing into him. “You have two hands, don’t you?”

“But if my hands are busy…” He pushes in with a sloppy noise even as his eyes wander down to Keith’s chest.

“You have a very wonderful mouth too.”

Shiro grins, a shade of that wicked one from before. “Anything for my husband.”

Keith tells himself that when Shiro’s lips wraps around his nipple it’s the sensitivity that makes him mewl like that, and not something deeper and more nebulous. Not the something that makes his stomach squirm and a hot flush spread across his cheeks.

But it’s something more than physical that has him coming on his husbands fingers less than two minutes later, pressing his nipple into Shiro’s mouth as the man kisses and sucks him at him. It’s much more dangerous than just sex, but Keith doesn’t want to fight it. The chemistry between them is undeniable.

When Shiro shifts back up to kiss him, Keith doesn’t hold back. They are married, after all.