The paladins had gathered shortly after a tough and tiring mission. Keith can't help but notice the dynamics that were forming in the group. It was almost a family. Shiro was the sometimes overprotective dad, always willing to look out for the others. Allura was the no nonsense mother who everyone feared and loved all at once.
"Pidge for the last time, No. You cannot borrow my helmet and use it for whatever tech modification you and Hunk are planning." Keith turns to the source of the commotion, and see Lance attempting to pry Pidge off of him. It was weird at least, since Lance was usually the one who supported messing with the Altean tech available on the ship.
"Lance come on pleeeassseeee! If you do I'll find a way to download music across space time from Earth using my computer and let you download it to your music player!" Keith raises an eyebrow at that, sharing an amused look with Shiro who was currently reviewing battle plans while debriefing Allura on the other side of the room.
Keith heads over ready to help Pidge out, after all seeing Lance get worked up was too funny.
"Heads up, small gremlin heading your way." Keith turns only to have Pidge flung right at him, causing him to fall back and slam his head into the wall. Groaning he looks up at the two heads of Hunk nervously hovering over him.
"Oh my god! Lance careful what if Keith had you know actually bashed his head o r something!" Keith shakes his head to rid of the dual picture, and the rooms spins slightly as he stands up wobbly.
"Did you just us Pidge as a literal weapon?" Keith was too tired to be angry, and found the whole situation more amusing in that Lance was significantly taller than the small genius. An image of Lance in medieval armor holding Pidge like an actual lance came to mind and Keith snorts.
"Uh... sorry about that. But seriously what happened to your super ninja skills dude. Shouldn't you have avoided it?!" Lance says mockingly. Keith smirks. Recently he and Lance had gotten closer, their bond stronger. No longer were the insults thrown between the two of them malicious, they were more soft and much like the bickering of two brothers. Lance was actually really quick with throwing creative insults regardless of whether or not they made sense, and Keith enjoyed the challenge of seeing how quickly he could make Lance blow up.
"Oh hardee-har-har, maybe if your aim wasn't so bad you might've done some actual damage." Keith goads grinning up at Lance. In return he gets a finger shoved in his chest and Lance starting to get red.
"No way! My aim was flawless mullet and you fucking know it!"
"Language Lance!" Shiro interrupts the impending disaster that was beginning to grow.
"Um... if we're talking about the swear jar, Pidge owes you at least $500 at this point." Hunk tentatively interjects, resulting in Pidge looking angry.
"Hey! You said you wouldn't tell him!"
"Sorry Pidge, but Lance said he'd make me his Abuela's bean and rice recipe the first minute we get supplies out here in space to do it with."
"You throw like a monkey high on nitrous oxide Lance. That's the truth!" Keith responds getting up in his face. He could feel the adrenaline spiking.
"Bah! You know you love me!" Lance laughs casually shoving Keith aside. Despite the insults it was obvious Lance enjoyed the bickering just as much as Keith.
"I hate you actually." Keith says in a deadpan voice, of course he was joking expecting Lance to respond with false shock. What he wasn't expecting was the shadow that seemed to cross Lance's face the moment the words left his mouth.
"Ha! Guess that makes two of us." Keith would've thought he was joking if it weren't for the dark tone and slight wobble of Lance's voice that followed.
Shit... that was not what he had wanted. There was an awkward silence between the two. The other paladins had left the minute Lance's mood had shifted, sensing a larger fight was about to break out.
Lance gives a weak smile and shrugs, chuckling to himself. "I mean, just kidding I love myself! And everyone loves me, I mean what's not to—".
Keith didn't know what had possessed him to do it, but he wraps his arms around the lanky boy, and buries his face in his chest. He was surprised when Lance buries his own face in his shoulder, and was even more shocked at the growing damp spot.
"Uh... I don't actually hate you, I thought we were joking around like usual... um... I'm sorry?" Keith hesitates, and begins rubbing circles in Lance's back. It was awkward. It was always awkward when he attempted to comfort people. It wasn't like he didn't know how, it was more like he usually wasn't the person people when to for comfort. Even on their team Hunk was the one everyone went to for physical comfort, while Shiro and Allura were better at the verbal reassurance and confidence boosters. Even Pidge who was closer to Keith in terms of antisocial behavior was better suited for the task.
"Heh. I just... I don't know, sorry. This must be awkward. I mean...". Lance begins to ramble letting go of Keith and rubbing his eyes trying to avoid eye contact.
"I don't mind. If you need to cry cry, I don't see why it would be awkward?" That whole, men don't cry idea had always confused him. He may not be overly emotional but even he knew holding them back and preventing others from seeing them wasn't healthy.
"Thanks!" And that smile, if it meant having to deal with awkward physical contact, Keith would gladly do it any day.