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Shiro finds himself in a strange predicament when after a harsh battle with the Galra, when they won by the skin of their teeth and everyone was battered and beaten as they entered the castle, Hunk claps him on his shoulder roughly and positively beams, saying in a satisfied voice, “You were amazing out there, Shiro! I’ve never even seen Keith fly that fast!”


He barely hears the 'hmph’ of Keith's voice over the sound of blood rushing to his ears at the foreign words aimed at him. A compliment? Usually it was him dealing them out, sometimes when they were well deserved, and when sometimes they were well needed. He would let Pidge talk about the worries on their shoulders and assure them quietly that they were 100% worthy of being a paladin. He would train with Keith, spurring him on with little snarky remarks like ‘ I know you can do better than that.’ and 'Keith, You can do it.’ . He would ceaselessly compliment Hunk's succulent food and technological advances, both as equally important as their counters. When lance needed it, he would tell him how proud his family would be when he got back home. He even gave quiet words of assurance to Allura and Coran when they needed it.


So to have this kind of… thing directed at him was something he honestly never expected to happen, and for some reason it pooled low in his gut, his ears a brilliant red.


Keith even seemed to get into it. “Yeah, I gotta admit, Shiro, you were seriously focused today. We would have lost if it weren't for you.” None of them seemed to notice the red crawling to the upper part of his neck, but they did hear how his voice stuttered in his throat as he thanked them. Only Lance seemed to see how his pupils expanded, even if only slightly and how his breathing changed.


When they all went their separate ways, Lance couldn't get any sleep that night. Did Shiro like getting complimented? Hell, that might've been the first one anyone had said to him since they started. There was the one while Shiro was Quarantined when they first started, himself saying 'that guy's my hero!’ . But he supposed that technically didn't count. Did he always get that red and flustered?


And how far down does that flush go?


He groaned at the mental image, vermilion sliding over unseen skin. Was it flawed with scars? Almost undoubtedly. But Lance would put a million dollars on the fact that Shiro would be gorgeous anyways, scars standing out against the flush rising on hard pectorals. His nape would look delectable with the colour, but perhaps even better with purple littering the red.


Groaning, Lance turned over and hid his face, willing the idea away. Far, far away.



The next morning had Lance dragging his feet, his skin still as smooth and flawless as before the Praise Incident™, but as soon as he managed to get his way to breakfast, he saw with surprise that it was only Shiro and Allura at the table, both drowsy as they ate. Lance sat down with a drawn out yawn, stretching his arms above his head with a small noise of content as they popped and cracked before letting them rest at his sides. “So what’s going on? Where is everyone else?”


Allura quietly chewed (slurped? Ate?) the green alien goo, watching him with a warm but exhausted smile. “Today is a Day off for us, Lance. Yesterday's battle took a toll on all of us. Frankly, I’m even surprised you're up at this hour.” She picked up her now empty plate and smiled again, sleep deprivation evident as most of the time she usually smirked at Lance for his terrible flirtations. “It seems that only you and Shiro will be up this evening. Even Keith and Pidge are still asleep, it seems.”


Lance let his eyes slide over to Shiro, who’s eyes were half closed and his jaw was moving mechanically as he ate. He was disappointed to see that there was no red on him anywhere. “I’m sure we can figure out something to do.” An idea came to mind, and before a wicked smirk could slap itself onto his face he finished with, “I’d show him my beauty routine, but he’s already so good looking I think I wouldn't be able to compete.”


The effect was immediate. Shiro stopped chewing immediately, eyes whipping over to Lance as the cuban boy looked away, desperately hiding the smug look on his face. Out of the corner of his eyes he could see the tips of his ears turning yes a brilliant shade of red. He scratched the back of his neck and made a small noise as he nodded weakly. “I-uh. Th-thanks.” He did his best to not let the flush reach down to his neck, and was mostly successful, managing to stop it at his ears.


Allura looked at the two of them almost thoughtfully before humming quietly. “Well, I think I’ll head back to bed. Shiro. Lance.” She nods her head at the both of them before twirling gracefully and striding over to the exit, the door opening and shutting and leaving the two paladins in silence.


It was almost awkward, to say the least, but Lance now had a golden opportunity to test his Shiro Theory® and since there was no one around… “Shiro?”


The older paladin looked up at him as he swallowed his spoonful, a gentle smile on his face. Lance wanted to wreck it. “Yeah? What’s up Lance?”


Lance took a quiet breath before letting a small but confident smirk take over his face. “I forgot to say this yesterday, I was so tired, but you did so, so well. I was blown away by your skill and leadership, I almost just watched in awe.”


The effect was hard hitting and in a moment's notice.  Shiro’s eyes widened and the blush was back full force, flushing his cheeks and his ears, slowly making it’s way to his neck. “I-ah…” Shiro finally seemed as if he were at a loss for words and bit his lip before finishing his sentence. “Thank you, Lance, but I only did what a leader must do.”


“Oh, but you do so much more than that.” Lance scooted his seat closer to Shiro’s, eyes lidding as he noticed that yes , Shiro’s eyes were beginning to dilate. “You’re so above and beyond what an average leader. You’re so good at what you do, I don't think I could ever find someone else to follow. You're so great. Such a good leader and such a good role model.” He let his hand reach over to touch Shiro’s shoulder, letting his thumb move over the fabric as the flesh underneath it twitched and moved with his caress, yielding so easily to him that it almost gave him a headrush. “So, so good.”


Shiro’s whole neck was a vibrant red and Lance was frankly surprised he had enough blood in his body for both his face and his dick, which was now slightly straining the fabric of his pants. Lance pretended not to notice as Shiro took a shaky inhale. “Lance.” And oh, his voice was sultry and dark, like he’d already been face fucked within an inch of his life. Lance almost groaned at the image, puffy red lips and slivers of grey irises gone for the blackness of pupils. “Lance.”


“Tell me what you want, Shiro.” Lance murmured softly. It had occurred to him that permission is better than forgiveness in this case. He didnt want to add to Shiro's already extensive trauma. “Tell me what you want to do, okay? What do you want to do?”


Shiro’s eyes were looking away from him, his heart palpitating in his chest. “I…” he cleared his throat as he felt those navy blue eyes watching him, waiting for his answer. And it came out. Slowly, but surely.

“I want to be good.”