When Shiro walks into Keith’s room he’s not expecting to see the man on the bed, back against the wall, shirtless, squeezing rhythmically at a small plastic device that’s suction cupped to the breast. The bottle attached to it is filling rapidly with-
Keith stiffens and his hand tightens on the nozzle, causing him to yelp. He freezes. Eyes blown wide.
Shiro can’t move either. If he didn’t realize it before, a tiny stream of white begins trickling down from Keith’s other nipple.
Keith looks away and slowly releases his grip with a hiss and the bottle gains more liquid.
”Keith, are you-” he finds his voice through great labor, ”Are you lactating?”
The hand not holding the pump grabs for the blanket pooled at his waist and raises it to collarbone. Shiro has the feeling that Keith wants to bolt but he was in the middle of milking and the better option would be to hide. Shiro himself feels like running.
”I...” he begins and there’s movement beneath the blanket until both arms emerge to hold it tight to his body.
The low hum of electricity and engine of the ship sounds loud in the pause.
Sweaty hair clings to Keith’s forehead, it’s messed in all different directions. His breathing is heavy, audible. Across the bridge of his nose and cheeks the skin is flushed red. When he continues his voice is quiet and raspy, ”It’s been doing this for a few months. I’m not sure why. It just hurts if I don’t pump.” He looks away from Shiro and to the wall.
”I’m sorry.” Shiro wants to bang his head against the wall for walking in on Keith. Especially walking in on something so... intimate. Something Keith seems embarassed over. ”It’s perfectly natural. Well, I mean lactating is. Natural.” Fuck.
Keith scrunches his nose and chews at his lip. ”Shiro, please. It hurts.”
If he weren’t feeling awkward already, Keith’s words would have done him in. To carry feelings for Keith so long, to have imagined so much, too much, things well beyond the appropriateness of friendship, and hear those words spill from Keith’s mouth, hoarse and teetering on the edge of desperation, it has Shiro feeling hot. His blood is burning in his veins. Please? Please what? He wants to say he’ll do anything. Wants to hope Keith means something less than decent.
”What do you need?”
Keith’s face erupts with fire. ”I wasn’t going to pump right now but I’m really full. Can- I have another pump in the top drawer- Can you help me?”
Not trusting himself to speak, to acquires the pump and sits down on the bed.
Refusing to meet his gaze, Keith lets go of the blanket and places the half-full pump back on his chest. Shiro watches the milk slosh a bit in the bottle and has to choke down the craving for it. They haven’t had any food or drink from Earth in so long and there it was, a bottle of milk, freshly produced, human or otherwise. He swallowed thick and tried to focus on attaching the other pump.
”You’ve gotta latch it right or it’s going to hurt.” Keith guides Shiro in placing the suction over the nipple. A nipple that’s puffy and deep brown and straining and leaking droplets of white.
He tests the latch by squeezing the handle and a low moan along with milk is expressed from Keith.
Keith just nods.
The only sounds in the room now are the pumps, their breathing, and the strained noises of pleasurable relief that seem to slip from Keith against his will. It doesn’t take long for the bottles to fill.
When the pumps are removed, his nipples are left swollen and red from the friction and glistening wet from the milk they just made.
”Thanks, Shiro. Can you set these on the table? I’ll clean them out later.” Keith sinks down into the pillows looking spent and exhausted.
”I’ll clean them.”
”Ok.” Keith waves at him and wastes no time curling on his sides and settling into the bed.
Shiro takes the bottles to his room, lucky to avoid running into anyone else. He takes them to the sink and unscrews the lids but his hands betray him and raise them to his lips. He gulps down the milk greedily. It’s warm and sweet, far sweeter than cow’s milk. He hates himself but he polished off both of them.
Two things had just happened.
One, he’d learned his friend was lactating.
Two was the real kicker. Or maybe it was three things?
His friend was making milk and it was sweet and drinking it felt like having a comfort from Earth.
Only now he wanted to drink it straight from Keith.
Shiro wanted to nurse.