Legs spread wide, panting out erratic breaths as his palm slides roughly up and down over his erection, Lance bites his lip. The images appear in his mind before he can stop them - and for sure he can’t stop his movements, strokes only becoming unfortunately more frenzied at what he imagines.
Long, silky black hair that tickles when it brushes against his neck, a broad chest glistening with sweat for entirely different reasons than usual, firm pectoral muscles flexing and abs rippling on the figure beneath him with every powerful thrust he makes, thick brows furrowed in pleasure rather than anger or a sulky pout, a familiar cracking voice murmuring garbled begging words and moans into his ear.
Lance grits his teeth, curses flying freely as his pace increases in part fury, part being more turned on than he ever has been in his life. As precum drips hotly between the hurried press of his fingers, he shifts, wondering if maybe doing this from a different angle will make it all go away.
It’s futile though, nothing’s working anymore. Correction - nothing has been. Envisioning breasts that only keep flattening out, imagining girlish giggles evolves into deeply pitched groans. Curvy, voluptuous figures morph into narrow waists and lean muscle, cute, well-styled haircuts become that haunting terrible one he knows all too well.
How could this have happened? Why is this happening?
He doesn’t understand. His frustration mixes with his ecstasy, burning thick waves of shame with every betraying buck of his hips. He wants to stop, but he can’t stop. The fact his body is so eager for this almost makes him nauseous.
A gentle and infuriatingly handsome smile, full lips catching teeth on his collarbone, a string of praises instead of taunts. So many ‘please, Lance, faster’’s and ‘harder, harder, don’t stop’’s bouncing off that quick-witted, cocky, totally-not-female tongue.
Almost, Lance thinks, heated coil unwinding fast and low in his stomach, and he’s unsure for a moment if he’s going to lose his lunch or come.
But then orgasm overshadows any unpleasant feelings, thankfully taking along the last of those images rolling like a reel of the highest quality porn. A name he should never, ever utter during a time like this tears from his lips. He slams his mouth shut tight afterwards, even though it’s much too late to take back the terrible crime he’s committed. Disgust runs through him while sticky globs of cum roll down his wrist. He’s too distraught to gather enough energy to move to clean himself up.
He throws his head back against the wall hard, wondering if maybe bashing his skull against it a few hundred times might at least help him forget this tragedy. He’s having trouble processing what the fuck exactly even occurred, besides the obvious fact that his fantasies have incredibly poor taste tonight. Trying to catch his breath, desperate eyes turned to the ceiling, he can only utter one last word.
It’s only lunchtime, and Lance has already decided to antagonize him for no apparent reason other than the fact that he exists.
Keith had been quietly picking at the alien goo soup they were all eating, intending to finish enough to maintain a decent blood sugar level so he could go train, when Lance set his spoon dramatically down with a loud clang, grabbing mostly everyone’s attention. Hunk and Pidge are discussing some technical jargon he doesn’t quite understand, and they are so invested in it that they are currently ignoring Lance’s sudden oncoming hissy fit.
“Could you be any more annoying today, Keith?!” Lance huffs, as if that is a completely reasonable place to go.
Keith raises a brow, pausing mid-bite. Shiro perks up from his position settled across from them at the table, giving a fatherly warning glare in Lance’s direction. Allura and Coran turn to Lance as well to observe what the commotion is even about.
“Excuse me?” Keith asks, tilting his head as his mood instantly sours. He doesn’t understand the attack, all he’s doing is eating. It’s as if every time they get a peaceful moment, Lance has to try his best to ruin it.
Lance snorts, looking like he’d prefer to jab his spoon into Keith’s neck. “Yeah, you should excuse yourself, mullet!” he spits angrily, crossing his arms. “I mean, honestly, could you breathe any louder?”
Keith places his spoon down firmly. He didn’t sleep well last night, and he is in no mood to deal with this today. “Are you seriously trying to pick a fight with me because of the way I’m breathing ?”
Lance remains indignant. “Obviously, since you sound like a fat, asthmatic old man who’s competing in a triathlon! So shut your quiznak already, I’m trying to eat here!”
“Lance!” Allura and Shiro exclaim simultaneously, only differing in the fact Allura adds for him to ‘mind his language’.
Allura’s face, appalled, sets into a deep frown. Shiro seems on the verge of getting out of his seat to maybe smack Lance upside the head. Pidge laughs, shifting her attention from her conversation at the yelled insult instantly, as if she has some sort of sensors in her brain that sound an alarm whenever shit is about to go down.
“Wait, why would an old man participate in a triathlon? Especially if he has asthma and is overweight? That wouldn’t be safe,” Hunk whispers to her, confusion stretched across his face. Pidge only laughs harder, slapping a hand on the table for support as Hunk continues. “This example is so disturbingly specific. Did I miss something? What’s going on?”
Keith takes a deep breath, trying to contain his rapidly growing irritation and failing. He hasn’t gotten a chance to train to vent off his usual pent up energy, so this is the absolute worst time Lance could choose to do this. Without his routine workout or a full meal, his temper rises much more easily. He has the sinking feeling Lance is well aware of this fact, too.
“Are you suggesting that,” Keith grits his words out slowly, eyebrow twitching, “I should just stop breathing? Is that really what I’m supposed to be taking away from this?”
“Well, it would definitely spare us from having to listen to your loud-ass old man panting, so maybe I am,” Lance humphs, leaning back in his seat and propping his feet on the table as he stares Keith down challengingly, as if he’s made some great case for why he doesn’t deserve to breathe .
Coran, who’s been standing silently on the sidelines simply watching, bats Lance’s legs down with a reprimand about dirtying the table. Lance has the nerve to glower further at Keith as if he was the one to correct him.
This is so unfair.
“What in the world did I even do for you to backhandedly suggest that I die while we are eating lunch?” Keith flings his arms wide, gesturing helplessly to the others. “Are you guys hearing this nonsense? Someone please tell me I’m not overreacting here!”
Pidge removes and wipes off her glasses, which were slightly fogged from how hard she’d been laughing. “I would back you up, but to be perfectly honest, this is entertaining.” She waves an encouraging hand, smiling in a way so not suitable for the situation. “So, please, don’t mind me. Continue.”
Keith turns towards Hunk for backup, but he only puts up his palms defensively in front of him.
“Don’t look at me, dude, I am not stepping into the line of fire here. Besides, Lance wouldn’t start anything unless he had a really good reason. Right Lance?”
Lance nods, closing his eyes with a smug smile. “Yes, of course. Thank you, Hunk.”
Keith stands up at that, balling his hands into fists. He can’t believe this. Has everyone lost their minds today?
“He literally just told me to quit breathing while I was simply sitting here being quiet and eating! Not only that, but you all were witnesses, sitting right here with us , when it happened! Why are you acting like you weren’t?! And what could I possibly have done during that time to rationalize that I deserved that?!”
“Gee, I don’t know, Keith,” Lance scoffs, rolling his eyes. His face is deeply flushed - probably from anger - as he removes his gaze to the side to sulk in a more flippant manner. “Maybe you could, you know, just be more aware of others and not wheeze like you’re dying already, and then I wouldn’t have to say these things.”
“What the hell! That makes no sense at all!”
“Lance, why don’t you go cool off somewhere?” Shiro suggests gently, apparently having enough of their bickering. Keith is thankful there are still some people acting rationally in the room - until Shiro says what he does next, that is. “Keith, you as well. Go hit the training deck or something.”
What the fuck. Keith gapes in Shiro’s direction.
“I agree,” Allura adds, voice stern. “This isn’t conducive to being able to form voltron. You’re both going to throw off our carefully contained balance, and then all our hard work will be for naught - so long as this continues. I cannot allow that. I’ll have to ask the two of you to leave immediately to solve your differences elsewhere.”
“What!” Keith’s voice cracks as it rises, incredulous. He was so sure at the very least, Allura would be on his side. “But I didn’t even do anything!”
“Yes, well, while that may or may not be true,” Allura admits in the most vague way possible, wiping her mouth with a napkin and then getting up with her empty plate, “You are still involved, and therefore, ipso facto - part of the problem in my eyes. I expect you both to address this issue before the sinquiplet passes - or, I believe, a 'day' as you Earthlings would call it.”
With that, Allura strides from the room with Coran trailing obediently after her, whom calls back to tell Shiro to make sure they “heed the Princess’ warnings”. Pidge collapses into more raurous laughter, and if Keith wasn’t so intent on his moral code to never punch children, he’d have knocked her halfway across the room already.
“Fine, whatever. I don’t want to be around Keith and his stupid excessively heavy breathing and his dumbass silky mullet anyway! Later, chumps.”
Lance pushes himself from the table, throws one last glare Keith’s way, and then stalks off. Leaving his lunch behind unfinished, he stomps so heavily as he goes that they can hear the echo of his footsteps for a solid five minutes afterwards as he makes his way to the lower floor.
Everyone continues staring at the area where Lance stood only moments before, all seeming to have the same thought. Keith unclenches his fists, not sure what to make of the situation, and lets his arms fall to his sides. Pidge is no longer laughing. Even Hunk seems perturbed, making a show of cleaning out his ears.
“I’m sorry, did he say ‘ silky ’ mullet? We all heard that, right?” Hunk courageously breaks the silence, head snapping back and forth worriedly to everyone to try and confirm he isn’t losing his mind. “Like, is that really something that just happened?”
Pidge responds with a question of her own, smile clicking back into place. “Is Lance still going through puberty?”
“That’s enough, you two,” Shiro says to them sharply, signalling an abrupt end to the conversation. “We don’t have time to fool around anymore, it’s going to be a busy afternoon. So eat up, and let’s focus on what we need to get done for today.”
Both Pidge and Hunk sink a little in their seats at the reprimand, glancing at each other before settling back on finishing their lunches. They all continue eating in silence except for Keith, who finds that his appetite is now gone. Returning to his seat, he stares pensively at his half eaten bowl of mush, so many questions running through his head.
Why would Lance try and provoke him out of nowhere like that? He thought they’d been getting along pretty well lately. Sure, not perfectly, but the night before they’d even trained together without a single argument. It had just been the two of them in the room, practicing a few simple martial arts moves that Keith had been helping Lance learn, and it was completely fine. Well, besides the fact Lance left abruptly afterwards with a strange look on his face and barely even said goodbye. Keith had assumed maybe he really needed to use the bathroom or something though.
So what brought this on? Was his breathing really that annoying? Even if that was the case, no one else seemed bothered by it. And how does his hair being ‘silky’ add to this equation, if at all?
He reaches up to absently touch his hair, curling a few strands between his fingers. It feels the same as it always does - like hair. No adjective comes to mind to describe it, and he wouldn’t go so far as to say it was ‘silky’ by any means.
None of this adds up.
Hunk and Pidge finish quickly, giving rushed goodbyes as they explain they are off to work on various tasks. Once they leave, Shiro turns a kind, sympathetic gaze towards Keith. He gets up and walks towards the kitchen to drop off his plates, but pauses by Keith on his way there. He claps a supportive hand onto his shoulder.
“Keith, you heard Allura. I’m sorry. I know that it wasn’t your fault, but you’re going to at least need to attempt to be civil with Lance, for forming voltron’s sake.” Shiro lifts his hand, and offers to take his plate. Keith passes it to him numbly. “Try to go easy on him though. We’re all running under some pretty high tension here, so I wouldn’t take it too personally.”
High tension, right. How stupid of him to forget. Of course, with them being in charge of saving the universe, there’s a lot of unresolved stress going on behind the scenes. His voice comes out small but resigned when he responds.
“...You’re right. Thanks Shiro, I’ll try to keep that in mind.”
Lance is sitting on the floor in the training room taking a break, back pressed against the wall while gulping down some water, when Keith walks in. His heart rate, which has slowly been levelling out, flutters wildly as it picks back up. The sweat on the back of his neck doubles, his mouth feels like he’s stuffed twenty cottonballs into it at once.
“Hey,” Keith greets him carefully, like he’s dealing with a bomb set to go off if he speaks a little less softly. Giving a small wave, as expected, he looks fairly uncomfortable. “Um...I just...you know, Allura wants us to try and ‘bond this out’ or whatever, so I thought I’d come and see how you were doing…”
Lance sighs. He irrationally lost his temper back there, and he’s definitely feeling guilty now that he’s had a chance to clear his head - especially since the blood hadn’t been rushing confusingly elsewhere from Keith’s presence. In any case, it’s not like Keith purposefully forced his way into his perverted fantasies last night. He wills the heat in his cheeks to die down, glad he can at least use the excuse of exertion if he needs to.
“Sorry about...earlier. I’m fine, buddy, don’t worry about it.”
Keith draws closer, hand smoothing over the back of his neck, ruffling his hair like a curtain in the process. “You sure?” he asks, sounding concerned in a way that makes Lance feel like even more of an asshole. “If there’s anything bothering you, you can always talk to me about it if you, uh, want...”
No, he really can’t. He really, really can’t say something like, ‘well, Keith, last night I vigorously jacked it to thoughts of you so dirty and depraved, your fantasy self might as well drop out of saving the galaxy and consider starting a career in porn’.
Well, he could say that, but he imagines it wouldn’t go over very well.
"Naw, really, it's nothing. Just didn't sleep well last night."
"Ah, I can relate," Keith says, unexpectedly flopping down next to him. He pulls out and offers a strange looking bar from his pocket, some weird thing that's a sickening shade of bluish-green and appears to be made of worms and woodchips. Lance scrunches his nose at whatever the hell it is, gesturing for him to keep it.
His stomach turns when he gets a whiff of the thing, which is reminiscent of a fish left out in the hot sun on a sidewalk, marinating in hot dog water. He has a feeling, though, that the churning in his gut has more to do with how unbelievably close Keith is to him right then. Lance scooches further away from him as subtly as he can manage, highly distracted by the sweet, musky scent emanating from the man in question, which is somehow overriding the awful one.
Stupidly, he finds his thoughts drifting back to the night before, back to when those strong hands had first gripped his wrists. They’d never had skin-on-skin contact like that before, either because of having their uniforms on or Keith never seeming to remove those tacky gloves he always wore. But he’d arrived to train without them for whatever reason, probably having actually put them in the wash for once or something.
The delicate structure of his hands, the velvety smoothness to them, had shocked Lance. He’d expected them to be more callused from fighting, and a little less...small and fine, much like a woman’s. His fingers could be said to be elegant even, cool and soothing to Lance’s clammy skin as they’d pressed hard into it. Keith encouraged him to utilize what he’d taught him recently about how to get out of his double-hand grab, and Lance had never jumped back so fast in his life.
As Keith congratulated him (making some snarky remark about how Lance had "finally retained some useful information" along with it), Lance’s thoughts had started their first descent straight into the gutter - and it really had only been more and more downhill from there.
Thinking about how soft Keith’s fingers felt curled around his bare flesh had somehow led Lance to wonder what they’d feel like elsewhere - which naturally was a slippery slope to considering if they might move or act differently had they been touching him more intimately.
Would he be gentler then? Would he trail or trace patterns with them slowly over his skin, or would he grip onto Lance so tightly it hurt? Would he scratch, maybe? Drag sharp nails into fleshier areas during the heat of the moment? Or was Keith the type to use them to brush back stray strands of hair or caress his cheek like a real lover might?
Lance didn’t know seemingly innocuous things like a man’s hands could have such a creative impact on his sexual fantasies like this, let alone that he would ever consider a man’s anything in that way. Everything hit him all at once, these strange new feelings, and he was still having a little trouble coming to terms with it.
As Lance drags his gaze towards Keith after forcing himself to stop thinking about those things before something far more embarrassing happens, he finds Keith munching on the nasty bar.
“Dude, sick. What even is that?”
“Dunno, found it in the kitchen. Coran says it’s good for energy.” Keith wipes crumbs from his mouth with the back of his sleeve, horrifyingly pulling Lance’s attention to it. “‘s not so bad, though. You should try it. I noticed you didn’t finish your lunch, so I thought you might need the sustenance...”
Keith breaks off a piece of the bar - from the goddamn side he’s already put into his perfect mouth - and practically shoves it into Lance’s face, dead set on probably trying to poison him with the suspicious “energy bar” as a form of revenge. Lance digs his fingernails into his thighs to keep from whimpering, because he finds his own stupid mouth opening automatically to take the dreaded thing between his lips.
Surprisingly enough, it tastes rich and slightly bitter, like dark chocolate. Keith’s face looms closely to his, a wry smile tugging up it. He’s leaning on one hand, moving forward onto his knees as he holds up some more of the bar, feeding Lance casually like there’s nothing weird or oddly sexually charged about the situation. Lance takes the rest of it, almost dying when the pads of Keith’s fingers just barely brush over him, fingernail catching accidentally on his lower lip.
“See? It’s good, right?” Keith’s voice is low, melodious, his head tilting enough that a tuft of hair unfurls over one eye. Sitting back on his knees, he darts out a pink tongue to lick crumbs that have fallen towards his chin, but Lance is focusing more on his cheeks.
He has dimples when he smiles. Keith has cute, motherfucking dimples.
How had he never noticed before how adorable he is? Lance can’t deal with this.
Lance struggles to gulp down what he has left in his mouth, choking over the lump in his throat.
“Y-you know, I think I’ve practiced enough today.” Lance waves his hand excessively as he attempts to get out of the room as quickly as he can without Keith noticing anything’s up. “I’ll see you at dinner. Thanks for the weird space bar shit, but I gotta run! I forgot that I have…”
Lance fumbles as he stands, then begins walking backwards as he tries to think of what he could possibly have to do. Keith quirks an eyebrow, sitting with his legs splayed and hands on the floor, looking much like a confused puppy.
“I have a thing!” Lance says lamely. Oh well. That will have to do for now, since it’s too late to take those dumb words back. “An important thing at the, uh...place...somewhere…”
Oh god, how he wants to die, how he wishes the reaper would smite him down where he stands at that very moment to save him from this gay hell.
“Oh…” says Keith, an unreadable expression sitting on his features - confusion, maybe, or worry. “Well alright then, see you.”
Cocking a finger gun towards Keith, Lance spins around and sprints away as fast as his legs will carry him.
“Duty calls, my man!”
As he races through the halls, Lance thinks about dimples, thinks about wrapping his mouth around other things Keith could potentially offer him in the future.
This is the end, having to defend the universe pales in comparison to this homoerotic death he has been sentenced to.
He can escape enemies attacking them, but how can he escape Keith?
There’s no way out.