“You act,” Lance scoffed dramatically, “like I wanna make out with him or something.”
There were, Hunk decided , a lot of different ways one could respond to that statement. Most of them would result in Lance spazzing out. He chanced a glance over at Pidge, who only looked up from the screen she was typing at to shake her head at him. Yeah, silence was probably a safe way to handle this one.
Lance continued on, as they both knew he would. “Just because I think about him and talk about him all the time! That doesn't mean anything! He'd my RIVAL! I have to stay close to him to like, study his moves to know how to be better than them, right?”
“Study his making out moves?” Pidge looked like she hated Hunk for ever speaking. He does kind of regret opening his mouth on that one himself, especially once indignant howl bellowed out of Lance's throat.
“You know what I meant, asshole! I meant his moves! That thing he does when he's all,” He flailed around demonstratively, apparently trying to emulate Keith's 'fancy-ass swordy hopping,' as Lance had more than once referred to it as. “You know?”
Pidge was glaring hard at her computer screen, using the entire force of her body to ignore Lance as hard as she possibly could. Hunk wisely chose not to comment besides humming agreeably. Lance, predictably, continued on undaunted.
“And if I end up thinking about him all the time even when he's not around it's because like. We're in SPACE! We only hang out with like, six people in total! Who else am I gonna spend time thinking about, like, Coran? Because that would just be weird.”
“You could think about aliens,” Hunk offered to Pidge's absolute disgust. “We meet plenty of aliens. Hot alien chicks, even.”
Fortunately Lance was by now far too invested in his own rant to even hear Hunk's suggestion. “So it's totally NORMAL to spend a lot of time thinking about and talking to the guy! It doesn't have to mean we like each other or get along!”
Pidge was already shooting laser death glares at Hunk before he even spoke. “Do not-”
It was too late, as Hunk had stupidly already opened his fat mouth. “But you DO get along with him. You guys hang out like. All the time.”
“I hang out with everyone all the time! As I said, SPACESHIP! I'm hanging out with you guys right now!”
“You hang out with Shiro?”
“Why do you keep engaging him?” Pidge groaned, face in her hands. “If you don't respond he'll just peter out on his own, talking back to him just makes him go on FOREVER! You can end this Hunk, you have the power!”
Lance blissfully ignored her, in the middle of a scoff that dragged on so long it turned into a bizarre choking noise like he'd swallowed too much water and was gurgling and coughing it out of his lungs. “Of course I do!” His voice was way too high-pitched to be believable. “All the time! When we're piloting our lions and at dinner and stuff!”
“So, only the times that all of us hang out with everyone, then. Okay, I gotcha.”
“Damn it, Hunk!”
“Pppppssshtwhat-EVER! Shiro's busy with leader stuff and flirting with Pidge.” She looked up from her screen at this, confused, but Lance kept speaking over his friend's startled 'Huh?!' without noticing. “That's not even the point. Who I hang out with is not the point. The point IS,” he was pacing around the room, and waving his arms with flourish, “that you're totally off-base by that completely RUDE insinuation that I have some kind of gay crush on Keith! It's an absurd! I absolutely do not want to make out with him!”
Hunk was tempted to let that one go, he really was. It sure would have made Pidge happier if he'd kept his mouth shut. But instead, before he could stop himself his mouth was opening and Hunk said, “Well, okay, but you HAVE made out with him before. With your face.”
Pidge's head fell to the tabletop with a disappointed thud. The noise Lance made this time was, surprisingly, more dismissive than screech-owly. “Only because HE wants to!”
Hunk let the silence speak for him on this one, one eyebrow raised. Lance did not notice in the slightest, apparently now quite absorbed in thinking about making out with Keith. “And it is kinda nice. His lips and hair are so soft!” He said the word like it was personally offensive. “What's even UP with that? Pidge's hair isn't nearly as nice and she's an actual girl!”
“Hey!” Pidge, for all the wanted this entire conversation to not be happening, could not abide by such insult. “Are you saying Keith is prettier than me, you jerkwad?!”
“Don't worry, you're way cuter,” Hunk promised pacifyingly. “But his hair probably is nicer than yours.” Pidge thought about that for a moment before shrugging. That much, at least she could concede to.
“See, you DO know what I'm talking about! It doesn't have anything to do with liking him. I mean, you just said even you'd make out with him!”
“I did not say that,” Hunk denied, “and I absolutely would not.”
“Let it go,” Pidge begged. “He's way off yonder in the realm of delusion again. Just him be. It's nicer there.”
Hunk supposed she did have a point. There seemed to be no way to break through the impressive mental barriers of denial and fantasies that Lance saw the world through. He shrugged and conceded, “Okay, whatever, you're not bi and you and Keith aren't dating.”
It was, Hunk decided, a little bit sad that that seemed to have satisfied the pilot. “Thank you!” he said, finally ceasing his restless pacing to throw himself into a chair.
Around that moment, the door slip open with an automatic swish. “Ah, there you guys are,” Shiro said, ducking his head through the door without stepping inside. “Allura says that we're landing planetside in a few hours and to be ready for that,” he announced easily. “And Lance, I think Keith was looking for you.”
Lance stood up so quickly Hunk nearly got whiplash just form looking at the action. “Isee.” He said too quickly. “Thank you. I have... things to take care of now.” He sauntered towards the door, too casually to look normal. “You know. Stuff to do.”
He darted out the door past Shiro, whose response was to raise a sardonic eyebrow and drawl “I'm sure you do,” before wandering off himself.
The door closed, and Hunk turned to Pidge. “So... I don't understand why we can't just tell him he has a boyfriend. I'm starting to really feel sorry for Keith here.”
Pidge just sighed, leaning back in her chair with exhaustion. “I refuse to get involved with the maelstrom of stupidity that is their relationship. As far as I'm concerned, this is Keith's problem.” She cringed, her face warping into horrified disgust and she added “Besides, can you imagine how bad he's gonna be once he's figured out they're dating? Stupid arguments over nothing where neither one of them is making any sense but Lance will try to get us to agree with him anyway and then get mad when we don't automatically take his side?” She shuddered a little. “I'd like to put that off for as long as possible, thanks.”
“That,” Hunk conceded, “is an excellent point. Let's just let them do their weird stupid thing.”
Pidge finally smiled at that. “Now you're cooking with oil.”
“Nononono,” Lance said with a hint of frustration, shaking his head as he withdrew his hand. “I don't see how you're not getting this. You DID grow up on Earth, right? Human like the rest of us?”
Keith, sitting across from him on the floor with his fist still awkwardly hanging in the air between them. “You know I am,” he frowned. “And I understand the mechanics of the fistbump, I'm not a complete tool. I just don't understand all that stuff you were trying to do after that.”
“That's the flourish, man!” Lance explained with his own dramatic flourish, spinning his hand in the air like Keith was supposed to understand what the hell that meant. “It's gansta!”
“'Gangsta?'” He quoted back with confusion. “Why would we wanna be 'gangsta?'”
Lance's face had fallen complete flat, relaxing his weight on one palm on the floor. “Never say that word again. That was just completely wrong on every level.” He leaned back forward again and held out his hand in the space between them expectantly. “But we can still figure out this fistbump. It'll be cool. Now this isn't hard, just repeat what I do.”
Keith raised a dubious eyebrow, but figured he could at least try to figure out this bizarre ritual. They bumped their fists together, which made sense, but the rest of the maneuver seemed to grow more complex with each movement of Lance's hand, waving it and smacking it against Keith's in what seemed to be a rhythm. When Keith figured he basically got this and tried to follow along back, however, Lance ended up getting unnecessarily frustrated, shouting “No, dude what the hell, you're not doing a handshake you're trying to freakin' patty-cake on my hand here that's not even close to right!”
Frustrated himself now, Keith threw his hands in the air. “Well patty-cake makes more sense than whatever you're doing!”
“How have you never seen a fist-bump with the extra hand thingies?!” Lance asked in a shout. He rubbed his hand over his eyes, sighed a bit before finally saying “Okay. Okay, I think I've got this.”
Allura was passing through the ship's hallways, idly, taking a leisurely stroll through her castle. They were close to landing, but not enough for her to be busy with the task. So in this odd moment of free time, she decided to indulge herself in a walk, stretching her legs and enjoying the peaceful hum of her home as it flew.
She was having a peaceful enough time until the low hum of voices distracted her, and without thinking she wandered towards the source of it.
In an empty room with the door wide open, there sat on the floor Lance and Keith. There wasn't much space between their bodies, sitting close enough next to each other that they were able to reach one another and, for some ungodly reason, were currently engaged in clapping each other's hands in a rhythmic pattern as they chanted “Down by the banks of the hank-y pank-y, where the bullfrogs jump from bank-to-bank-y...”
She immediately continued walking. Earth mating rituals, it seemed, were far beyond her comprehension.