Lance pulled his jacket tighter around his shoulders as he walked down the rest of the block to the club. The wind may have died down but it was still pretty chilly. His light jacket was definitely not warm enough for this weather. He knew he was just going to end up taking it off when he got inside, but he was regretting his wardrobe choices now that he was freezing out on the sidewalk.
He had honestly spent nearly an hour debating on whether or not he should even go at all. Tuesday night was always club night since he didn’t have to work an early shift the next morning. It’s something he always looked forward to. But tonight….
The moral dilemma he now faced was none other than Keith.
Yeah, he might have denied that he was attractive that first day they met, but that was only because Hunk called him out on it right in front of the guy! He still thought Keith needed a haircut and probably a new wardrobe, but really? He wasn’t too bad on the eyes.
Lance had shrugged off the vague feeling of recognition he felt from when they met in the shop on Sunday. Based on the clueless way Keith had acted there’s no way they could have known each other. If Keith didn’t recognize him, then it must have just been his mind playing tricks on him or something.
Meeting him today, though… That was unexpected.
Seeing Keith sitting there in the corner, huddled into his jacket with the afternoon sunlight settling on the planes of his face, and reflecting off his dark hair had caught him completely off guard. He looked… really pretty. Like some sort of grumpy angel who handled the cold even worse than he did.
It’s a good thing that Keith had been glaring at the spot on the floor because otherwise he probably would’ve noticed Lance’s staring.
Suddenly he knew he just had to talk to him again.
Did he insult him last time? After he figured out that he and Shiro weren’t dating. Lance couldn’t remember. He just hoped that he hadn’t said anything he couldn’t recover from.
Lance found that Keith wasn’t... the chattiest guy in the world, but Lance could chalk that up to something he probably said before that was mildly offensive and the fact that he was suffering from a headache. He also seemed a little out of it, considering he almost burned himself on his tea. But, again, probably because of the headache.
Lance wanted to know more about him, though. All he knew about Keith so far was that he was not in a very good mood, was probably on the quieter side, and that he was Shiro’s friend. Which was not a lot to go on.
Specifically, Lance wanted to know if he was Keith’s type or not.
If Keith was friends with Shiro, then that would mean that he’s at least a good person, right? All of the people Shiro ended up bringing with him into the cafe always ended up being really cool. Most of them were way out of Lance’s league. Like, goddesses or brainiacs. Super people. The kind of people that make you feel extraordinarily average and constantly remind you of your coffee shop job and club addiction.
Keith was the only person that he met through Shiro who Lance felt was actually just another normal human being.
When he first noticed the dark bruises under his eyes, Lance thought that Shiro had brought in another of his genius co-workers and that he had been up all night working on something. It was the same story when he had met Pidge’s brother. But then Keith had snorted in the most unattractive way and then his comeback wasn’t in like ancient Greek or something and Lance immediately relaxed.
He was a normal guy who was just really, really tired.
Lance was still feeling a little bitter at Pidge for interrupting before he could actually have a real conversation with Keith - maybe flirt a little; get his number or something.
Whatever; it all worked out in the end. Lance still managed to invite him to hang out with him and his friends and Keith had accepted. Which was a surprise considering that Lance had just met the guy.
Lance felt like the night had gone pretty well. He managed not to embarrass himself too horribly, despite almost letting it slip just how into Keith he actually was. The guy seemed pretty wary of new people and Lance didn’t want to come on too strong. It could’ve gone worse, he supposed. After all, his first idea was to just hit on him nonstop until he got Keith’s phone number or a restraining order.
Keith probably would’ve given him a fake one. Or a black eye.
But it wasn’t their exchange at the coffee shop that stayed with Lance. It was those few hours spent hanging out together at Hunk’s house that Lance couldn’t get out of his mind.
Even though he was such a grump the two times that Lance had met him, Keith turned out to be pretty fun to hang out with. The first hour or so Keith had been pretty quiet and kind of just watched what everyone else did. And after he warmed up to them a little Keith had still seemed a little hesitant in the way he held the controller… Lance figured that he probably hasn’t played in a long time. Not surprising since the game is so old.
So, Lance did the only reasonable thing he could do in this situation; he played terribly.
Not so bad that Keith would be suspicious, but bad enough that Pidge and Hunk noticed. He hoped they thought he was just being nice to their guest.
Of course there’s no way that Pidge would think that. She obviously could tell he had the hots for Keith. But at least Hunk didn’t seem to notice, so there’s a small blessing, he supposed. He loved Hunk; he really did. But the guy could not keep a secret to save his life. Or Lance’s love life, in this case.
Keith picked up on the game surprisingly quickly and Lance was honestly impressed. By the end of the night, Lance wasn’t losing on purpose anymore. Now he was losing because he was distracted by the exceptionally attractive man sitting in the armchair a foot away from him.
During the race he would sneak glances over to where Keith sat leaning forward, gripping the controller and focused intently on the screen. It was the most exciting part of the night, if Lance was honest with himself. The way Keith’s eyes narrowed and how his entire self seemed to fixate on the T.V. sent adrenaline pumping through Lance’s veins. He kept catching himself staring and had to remind himself to pay attention to the game they were playing.
He couldn’t help but want that focus turned on him, though.
They ended up playing longer than they had planned, something that Lance was secretly proud of. Clearly that meant that Keith had so much fun that he wanted to stay rather than go to wherever it was that he was supposed to be. Lance sort of hoped that he was a key factor in Keith’s reluctance to leave.
In the end, he decided to just go for it and ask him out. Lance sent him a series of texts and then sat on his bed, staring intently at his phone, and waited impatiently for his reply. At every noise, vibration, or flashing light, Lance would rush to pick it back up and check his notifications. Mostly it was just his game apps reminding him to come back and play. He got three messages: two from Hunk, one from his sister - none from Keith.
It had only been about 30 minutes since he sent those texts but it felt like hours. Lance decided to stop hovering over his phone, but he still didn’t know what to do with the rest of his evening. Tuesday nights he usually spent at the club, but it didn’t feel right to go to a place like that after he just spent the past hour pining over Keith and then asking him out via text. But then what else was he going to do? Sit around staring at his phone all night?
No, he can have this one night. It’s not like he and Keith were an item. Besides, a little dancing never hurt anybody.
As he dug around in his closet for a change of clothes, he wondered absently if Keith liked dancing. Probably not. He just didn’t strike Lance as the dancing type. He was probably too reserved and too irritable to enjoy something like that.
Lance tried to imagine them salsa dancing and he nearly burst out laughing. He could clearly picture the way Keith would screw up his face and stare intently at their feet. Somehow, he would still step on Lance’s toes. And Lance would laugh and peck him on the lips and tell him that he’ll get it eventually.
This was going a little too fast.
He barely knew Keith.
Besides, even if Keith did learn to appreciate it, he probably wouldn’t be into the dirty dancing Lance liked to do at the club. Which was fine, he supposed. It’s not everyone’s thing, and Lance only picked up on it about a year ago anyway. He knew all sorts of other dances he could show Keith.
He had pulled his cap over his head and slid his now muted phone into his pocket, without checking the screen, as he walked through the door.
Lance shook the lingering thoughts of teaching Keith to love dancing away and hurried down the sidewalk, dodging the other people who were all properly bundled up against the cold. He could see the flashing lights marking the club entrance now.
Lance grinned up at the sign that glowed “IMPULSE” and he headed straight for the intimidating looking man standing by the door. He handed his ID as he greeted him.
“Hey, man, how’s it going? Busy tonight?”
The bouncer barely looked at the card he had in his gloved hands before he was passing it back. “There’s more people here than usual for the middle of the week, but it’s still Tuesday.”
Lance laughed, “I guess that means you’ve had a pretty boring night, then.”
“Yup,” he smiled back, “but I consider that a good thing.”
“Hey! Are those gloves new?” Lanced asked as he held out his wrist to be stamped.
“Yeah, they are. My girlfriend made them,” he said proudly, pressing the ink into Lance’s skin. “She’s gotten really good at this knitting thing.”
“Daaammmnnn… They look good. Think she’ll make some for me?” he raised his eyebrows suggestively.
“Probably not,” he chuckled as he put the stamp back on its pad. “As soon as she finished these she swore she’d never make gloves again.”
“Even if I say ‘pretty please’?” Lance gave his best puppy face.
“I’ll ask her,” he said with a laugh. “But don’t get your hopes up.”
“Yes!” Lance began to head inside as another group came up behind him.
“By the way!” he raised his voice to get Lance’s attention again. “Your friend has been here every night for the past few days. I think he’s been looking for you.”
“Okay! Thanks, buddy!” Lance waved a goodbye, but the moment he turned back around he could not stop the enormous grin from overtaking his face.
This was exactly what he had been wanting.
It’s been less than two years since he started on the club scene and he has been working for this moment since he first saw him.
About a year and a half ago, he and a friend from school spent about a month checking out all the clubs in the area. The third week of their exploration was when they came to IMPULSE and Lance saw the hottest guy he’s probably ever seen. The Siren of Impulse, as he liked to call him. He danced alone in the middle of the room, owning the space with the bold, seductive way he moved his body. Lance had been mesmerized.
He asked around and found out that he was a regular and pretty exclusive. He wouldn’t dance with just anybody; you had to prove yourself to him. No one in the club that night had ever danced with him. Even his name was a mystery.
Lance had been new to the nightclub life but he’s been in and out of dance classes for most of his life, so he considered himself pretty good. He took to the floor, confident that he could earn the respect of the best and sexiest dancer in the room.
The guy had taken one look at him and turned away.
Lance’s pride took a harsh blow that day and he left shortly after, swearing that he would return and that next time this mysterious asshole would be pursuing him.
His friend left town a couple weeks later for home and Lance began his new mission in life. He spent about a month at each place within reasonable distance to his house, building his reputation and learning the ins-and-outs of seedy club life.
It was only about seven weeks ago that he finally felt like he was ready to take The Siren on again and so far everything has been going according to plan.
Lance got his attention on the first night. It took a few tries to get himself into a position where he could be seen, but once he made eye contact then it just became a matter of waiting. They quickly settled into their little game and Lance patiently anticipated The Siren’s next move over the past couple of months. Finally it seemed like his scheme was going to pay off.
Based on what he had heard, the guy would only dance with people that he was going to sleep with - meaning that sex was his end goal.
Not that Lance had a problem with fucking him against a stall in the bathroom (because he absolutely would, given the opportunity), but that would be too easy. He had to beat him at this stupid game and, as tempting as it was, his libido was not going to get him what he really wanted.
He took off his jacket and tied it around his waist as he moved towards the dance floor.
Time to see what The Siren had up his sleeve tonight.
He glanced toward the center of the room through the larger than usual weekday crowd, spotting that familiar short, black ponytail before he headed for the fringes. Lance didn’t know what to expect out of tonight but he was going to go through the motions and let The Siren make the first move.
After spotting a rather pretty looking boy to dance with, he searched around for his real dance partner and found him now on the outskirts of the group. He watched The Siren turn to find him through the throngs of dancers. From this distance, Lance couldn’t make out his facial expressions in the terrible lighting but he did notice that he was wearing his best shirt tonight. The Siren always wore some variation of the same skinny black outfit every time. Lance has only seen this particular shirt three times now but it was definitely his favorite. Even from across the room, he could see the sharp V neckline that left his collar bones exposed.
The two times that he had worn that shirt before he had practically ignored Lance in favor of dragging some dude off the dancefloor into the dark hallways near the back of the club.
He didn't want to make any assumptions about what he was thinking just yet, but the asshole was wearing his I’m-going-to-get-fucked shirt and had moved to the other side of the room. Realizing that tonight might end up being more disappointing than he thought, Lance turned to ask the other boy if he’d like to dance.
He tried his best to act like everything was normal, but the piercing way The Siren watched his every move was distracting and didn’t make a lot of sense. It was all too similar to Keith’s intense focus from earlier and he had to remind himself that this stuck-up douchebag was nothing like grumpy-but-fun Keith.
Eventually he decided to just give it up. The Siren did nothing but dance and stare at him. It was the second deviation in their routine and Lance could not figure out what it all meant. He clearly wanted his attention, but he moved to the opposite side of the room, away from Lance. Not exactly the maneuver he was expecting. He simply returned the look with a smirk and decided to wait.
Fortunately for him, The Siren was as impatient to take the next step as he was and, after a couple of minutes, he disappeared behind the crowd. Lance spotted him again closer towards the back of the room and tried to puzzle out exactly what was going on. But he just kept staring at Lance while he put up a pretense of dancing to the music.
Lance’s eyes flicked over to the glowing exit sign and then to the crowd filling the middle of the room.
Oh, that was his game. He was was trying to cut off Lance’s escape route.
Lance readjusted his hat and grinned.
Bring it on.
The Siren gave him a quick smile before he disappeared behind more people. It was hard to see, but it looked almost predatory and Lance’s heartbeat picked up in anticipation.
He leaned over his dance partner’s shoulder to say a hasty goodbye. As he was straightening, his eyes caught The Siren’s, who was now between him and the exit. He couldn’t stop the cocky grin if he wanted. This was precisely the kind of thing he’s been expecting.
Lance waited until he saw him move again before he turned and headed for the DJ booth. It was on the opposite side of the room from the door and was no doubt where he wanted Lance to go.
He slid into an open space and found his pursuer scanning the crowd. The moment he spotted Lance, he took off again, cutting through the pockets of people on the fringes instead of going around.
Talk about impatient.
He must have thought that Lance wouldn’t go into the crowd. Or, if he had considered that possibility, then he severely underestimated Lance’s ability to navigate through the mass of dancers.
He slipped into the middle of the room, expertly dodging the moving bodies around him as he pulled the jacket from his waist and quickly yanked his arms through the sleeves. Tugging the hood over his head, he turned his back to the DJ. Suddenly the windbreaker didn’t seem like such a stupid idea.
He felt the bass pulse through his body and he allowed himself to join the other dancers in moving to the beat. He checked around for any breaks in the crowd in case he needed another quick escape before he glanced down at his wrist to check his watch: 11:13. He still had another half hour before he normally left. It would be game over if The Siren caught him now.
He felt his heart jump to his throat when he looked over at the new body encroaching on his personal space and realized who it was. The Siren was still searching the crowd for him but he apparently didn’t notice Lance standing right next to him.
Lance couldn’t get a good look at his face without leaning into his direct vision, but, God, from this angle he looked so much like Keith it was kind of freaky.
What a stupid thought.
He may not know much about Keith, but the one thing he did know was that Keith had been friends with Shiro for a long time. Being friends with Shiro usually meant steering clear of dirty clubs like this. Not that Shiro had that much of a positive influence on Lance; he was too stubborn to listen to a reasonable person like Shiro and make responsible decisions in his life. Keith wouldn’t be as stupid as him.
He just had Keith on the brain.
With that firmly decided, he carefully reached out, gently set his hands on The Siren’s hips and pulled him closer. He came willingly, but he turned his back to Lance, for which he grateful. He had no idea who he was dancing with right now.
Lance bit back a smile. This was going too well.
He studied his movements from up close now. Even distracted, he could still dance. There was a reason Lance thought of him as a siren and he wanted nothing more than to reach out and put his hands all over the body in front of him.
Lance just focused on keeping himself in check and trying to follow along the motions of the other boy’s hips. It was surprisingly difficult to do, despite the two months he spent memorizing the way his body moved. This would be so much easier if he could just guide him to the way Lance wanted to dance.
He bided his time until The Siren gave up his search. When he moved back into Lance’s carefully crafted space, cradled into the curve of his body, he had a hard time stopping himself from finally moving his hands from where they had been resting patiently on his hips. One slipped just under the hem of his shirt and fingered at the skin above the waistband of his skinny jeans. The other ran down the side of his leg and then to the front so he could get a feel for the strong muscles there. He wondered if The Siren worked out at a gym or something.
When he pushed backwards again, his back hit Lance’s chest and he was certain The Siren could feel his hardening cock against his ass.
Lance gave in and trailed his fingers over his abs on his way to the sensitive skin under his arm. He never actually thought about how toned he would be under all those tight, black clothes but now that he was aware all he wanted to do was drag his tongue over his muscles and taste the sweat there.
The Siren dropped his head back onto Lance’s shoulder, leaning heavily onto his body now and letting him have control over the way they moved. Lance reveled in this power and pushed himself a little closer. He could feel the sweat from The Siren’s back soaking into his shirt. With his arm around his middle, Lance now had full command of his body.
Wow. Either this guy was so disappointed at not finding him that he honestly didn’t care who he was dancing with or he was really just a slut who was ready to go home with anyone that got their hands on him.
Unless… he knew it was Lance.
No way. Comparing how aggressively he pursued him before to how he was lazily draping himself across Lance now? There’s no way he could know.
Lance squeezed the hand on his thigh, feeling the muscles working there and let his other hand explore the skin under his shirt.
It was probably about time for him to leave.
He lowered his head so his mouth was close to The Siren’s ear and ignored the urge to nibble at it.
“Nice try today, hotstuff, but I gotta bounce. We’ll pick this back up next time.”
His voice was dry and cracked after dancing for so long and it honestly hurt a little to get the words out, but he didn’t stick around to find out if he had been heard. He made a quick withdrawal into the crowd, finally pulling down the hood so the hot air that had been trapped around his neck could escape.
Once free of the mob, he made a beeline straight for the door and prayed that he wouldn’t be caught. He wasn’t sure if he could tear himself away a second time.
He took a deep breath of the biting air when he made it to the street, but he didn’t stay long to enjoy it. If he was going to make his mysterious escape, then he couldn’t hang around right outside the door. Lance ducked down a side street that would take him the longer way home.
Things had gone mostly according to plan tonight. It was an unexpected stroke of luck that he got to dance and touch The Siren without him knowing it was Lance. He hoped that would drive him insane in the next couple of days before he came back.
If he came back.
Lance frowned at the ground as he walked.
He had a hard enough time deciding to come tonight because of Keith. If he had responded and said yes… Lance wasn’t sure if he should return. Asking a guy on a date and then going to fuck a guy in a nightclub just seemed… Well, it was kind of like cheating. That wouldn’t be fair.
Especially since The Siren reminds him of Keith. Which was really creepy now that he thought about it. He’s been sort of lusting after this guy but also out for revenge on him for two years and then he meets someone who kinda looks like him and immediately he wants to date him?
What if he wasn’t really interested in Keith? Maybe his subconscious connected him to the guy at the club who’s been haunting him and that’s the only reason Lance was attracted to him?
Lance felt awful. It wasn’t right to drag him into this bizarre hate/lust relationship he had going on. Keith deserved better than that.
He berated himself all the way home about the way he’s mistreated Keith and tried to think of ways that he could take back asking him out without possibly hurting his feelings. Although, Keith barely knew Lance and might not be too upset, it would still make things pretty awkward for next week’s game night.
This was making his head hurt and he didn’t want to think about it any more. He pushed the thoughts from his mind as best he could and told himself that he’d deal with it in the morning.
Quietly, he slipped through the front door, avoiding the attention of any of his family members. He knew at least two of them were still awake but he really wasn’t in a talking mood right now and he crept up the stairs to his room. Flicking the lights on and closing the door, he quickly discarded his hat on the small desk in the corner, pulled his phone from his pocket, and stripped off the sweaty clothes. He balled them all up together and tossed them in the vague direction of his hamper, smiling a little when a sock went through the old basketball hoop he had attached to his closet door right above the basket of dirty clothes. The rest of them ended up on the floor.
He grabbed a clean pair of boxers and the pajama pants he left on his bed and redressed quickly before plugging his phone into the charger. He resisted the urge to turn the screen on and find out what notifications he had and left it upside down near his pillows. Poking his head out into the dark hallway, he determined that the coast was clear and he snuck across the hall to the bathroom. He gazed longingly at the shower for a moment, wishing that his brother next door wasn’t such a light sleeper so he could wash the sweat and grime away before climbing into bed.
Instead, he turned the faucet on and splashed some water onto his face and through his hair. He snagged the used hand towel from the hook on the wall and dried as much moisture from his hair as he could before he replaced it back on the hook. With water still dripping into his eyes, he groped blindly for the clean towel rack behind him and snatched a small washcloth to wipe away the liquid.
He poured a glass of water straight from the tap and downed it before quickly finishing the rest of his nightly routine of brushing his teeth and washing his face with a proper cleanser and moisturizer. Returning to his room, he promptly fell backwards onto the bed, head barely missing his phone when it landed on the pillows in his now darkened room.
The last thing he thought about before falling asleep was the way Keith’s face lit up when he laughed at his jokes while they were playing MarioKart.