Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” blared throughout Lotor’s (some popular kid Lance barely knew) house once Lance arrived with his two best friends— Hunk Garrett and Katie Holt, who goes by Pidge. It was the most highly anticipated Halloween party being thrown by any student at their school, the Garrison Academy.
Lance was clad in a black and white vest over a yellow long sleeve button up shirt, with blue skinny jeans and cowboy boots. He’d been a vampire the year before, so he wanted to be something less scary this year. Woody from Toy Story was perfect for that. Apparently he didn’t get the memo because Hunk and Pidge both dressed up as Mario characters, Hunk as Mario and Pidge as Luigi, though Lance wasn’t sure how that worked because wasn’t Luigi supposed to be taller than Mario?
“It’s razzle dazzle time, baby!” Lance cheered as they entered the house. “Who’s ready to get fucking wasted?!” Pidge and Hunk exchanged a look, clearly not looking forward to taking care of a drunk Lance— or worse, a hungover morning Lance.
“Razzle dazzle time?” Pidge narrowed their eyes. “Literally no one says that.”
“Well now I do,” Lance stuck his tongue out at them. “It’s gonna catch on, trust me. Right, Hunk?”
“Huh? Oh yeah, sure,” Hunk responds absentmindedly, eyes probably scanning the crowded house for his girlfriend — although he’s in denial that that’s what she is — Shay.
“Look, you go ahead and find your girlfriend. It’s okay,” Lance laughed and patted Hunk on the shoulder.
“Really? Great, thanks guys. You’re the best! I’ll see you later! And she’s not my girlfriend,” And just like that, he was gone.
“And then there were two,” said Lance.
“Oh look, it’s Keith!“
Lance narrowed his eyes. “Why is he here?” he questioned out loud, but what he really meant was Since when does Keith Kogane go to parties and why am I not with him? “Wait I don’t see hi-“
Somehow he lost sight of Pidge. Great. Just great. ”And then there was one.”
Lance sighed again. After pouring himself a drink he slid his back down the nearest wall, and sat down the wooden floor, bringing his knees to his chest. What a great Halloween, Lance thought bitterly. This is one of the most important nights of your senior year and your friends already ditched you not even an hour into the party.
He wasn’t sure how long he’d been sitting there but suddenly he heard his phone’s ringtone in his pocket. Birth Giver, read the caller ID. “Hey, sweetie! I just wanted to check in. How is everything?”
“Are the kids behaving?”
“Oh, yeah, the kids are fi-“ Lance broke off and choked on his drink, eyes widening when he realized he fucked up. The kids. He had promised he’d take them trick or treating tonight while his parents were at some other Halloween party. How did he manage to forget that?
“Honey? You okay?” His mom asked in concern.
“Totes, mi madre! Everything’s just peachy!” He assured her in a fake-cheerful tone that he hoped sounded convincing.
“You’re still planning to take your brother and sisters trick-or-treating, right?”
“Of course!” He lied. “The kids are still getting ready, so we’ll leave in,” Briefly he checked the time on his phone,”20 minutes.”
“Alright, sweetie. Be safe and make sure they get to bed on time.”
“Yeah, yeah, don’t worry, mom I got it all covered,” He swatted at the air dismissively. “Just go enjoy your night out with dad, you deserve it!”
“Okay, okay,” she chuckled. “Bye, mijo. I love you!”
“Love you too, now go, your party is missing its Wonder Woman!”
After hanging up, Lance considered his options: either try to find Hunk in the overflowing sea of people in this damn house or—okay, that’s basically it. There was someone else here he knew that could drive, but there was no way in hell that Lance would ask Keith for a ride home. Alone in an enclosed space with the boy he’s been pining after since he met him? It sounded like a nightmare, especially since Lance wasn’t sure if Keith reciprocated his feelings.
He decided against interrupting God knows what Hunk and Shay were up to, and headed toward the direction he thought he remembered Pidge walking in.
It took him a while, but eventually he found the two of them. Pidge was talking their head off while Keith just stood there, leaning against the wall as he listened to their jabbering. If Lance could describe Keith with only one word in that moment, it would be cool. He couldn’t help it; everything about him, from his arms folded across his chest to his insufferable mullet covering his eyes just slightly to— Wait a minute.
Keith was wearing his usual tight fitting black T shirt and black skinny jeans with his red jacket on top. Where the hell is his costume? Wait, why am I just saying this in my head? “What kind of loser goes to a Halloween party without a costume? That’s blasphemy!”
“Oh, hey, Lance!” Pidge greeted him. They looked to him then Keith suggestively. Was I seeing things or did Pidge just wink?
Keith narrowed his eyes, glaring. “It may come as a shock to you but not everyone dresses up for Halloween.”
Lanced rolled his eyes. “Only old people don’t dress up for Halloween!” Lance wasn’t sure why he was so riled up about this. Keith just had that effect on him. “And besides, it’s a Halloween party, it’s implied that you come in costume.”
“I assume you didn’t come over here just to insult my outfit,” Keith said.
“While that does sound like something I’d do, you are in fact correct. You see, I need a tiny little favor,” Lance chuckled nervously, unsure if Keith would agree to what he was about to propose. “You see....”
Keith raised an eyebrow. “Yeah?”
“There’s a snake in my boot!” Lance blurted. Pidge just burst into laughter.
“Lance, what the fuck? I know that’s not what you were gonna say, just spit it ou-“
“Okay, okay. What I really wanted to say was that I kind of need.... a ride....home?” It sounded more like a question than an explanation.
“And you want me to drive you?” Lance nodded.
“I thought you were going back to my place with Hunk and me later,” Pidge looked at him as if to say Is this just your way of trying to get Keith alone? Jesus Christ, dude. Lance tried to silently communicate to them that no, it wasn’t like that.
“I was but then my mom called and I forgot I promised to take the kids trick-or-treating so I need to go now and I have no idea where the fuck Hunk is, but you don’t have to, Keith, it’s totally fine if you don’t want to-”
Keith sighed. “I’ll do it.”
Lance looked up and his eyes met Keith’s. “Wait, what? Really?”
The black haired boy shrugged. “I mean, sure, why not?” Lance could think of several reasons why not. They’d never really hung out just the two of them before. Lance always gets the urge to tuck Keith’s hair behind his ears to reveal more of his beautiful vibrant violet eyes while they—him, Keith, Hunk, and Pidge— hung out as a group; would he be able to contain himself when it was just Keith and him?
“Well. Okay, then.”
“Let’s go?” Keith said while heading to the door. They both said goodbye to Pidge, and together they left.
When they arrived at Lance’s house, Keith choked. “Oh my fucking God, are you kidding me?”
“Is everything okay?”
“Oh yeah, everything's fine, except for the fact that my car ran out of gas!!!” Keith huffed and pouted.
Lance leaned over from his seat, and lo and behold, the dial was on E. Empty. Huh. “Did you, like, not notice it running out as we were driving?” Shut up, Keith thought. That was a common thought that Keith had whenever he was around Lance. He talked so much that sometimes he just wanted to shut the Cuban boy up with his fist. Or his mouth. Whichever was more convenient.
Keith only glared at him. “I knew it would be a pretty short drive. I didn’t think—you know what? It doesn’t matter. Shiro’s gonna kill me if I don’t make it home in time for curfew.”
“Calm down, it’s not the end of the world. Your brother is a reasonable guy, he’ll understand.”
“I guess you’re right...How the fuck am I supposed to get home?”
“I can call Hunk and Pidge and ask them if they can stop by the gas station and bring some later. Is that alright with you?”
“That... actually sounds like a not bad idea for once.”
“Why can’t you just say it? I make good ideas, Keith. Admit it.”
Keith grinned. “Never.”
“Come on, loser, let me introduce you to the kiddos.”
Keith and Lance were met with yelling and screaming when they entered the tiny suburban house. Lance called Hunk and Pidge as Keith scanned the house. He noticed that almost every inch of the walls were covered in pictures. Pictures of Lance, both in the present and from the past. Pictures of Lance and his twin sisters and his brother. Pictures of who he suspected were Lance’s parents. They all seemed so...happy. Keith turned away.
“Hey, give that back!” said a high pitched voice.
“No, it’s mine now!”
“It doesn’t even go with your costume! What kind of princess uses a sword?”
“The best kind, duh.”
“Now what is going on here?” Lance questioned, crouching down to their level. Keith wasn’t sure what to do, so just stayed put where he was by the doorway and watched. He had no experience with kids, so it was likely he’d be of no help.
“Lancey Lance!” said the first girl.
“Where were you? These two won’t stop fighting,” the girl’s twin frowned. The only thing that let Keith differentiate between the two were their costumes. The first girl was dressed as Moana, while her twin was Evie from Descendants. She had a blue wig and everything.
“Isabelle stole my sword! Every pirate needs a sword!” the boy exclaimed.
“Isabel,” Lance chastised,”give Nico his sword back.” Lance placed a hand on his hip authoritatively. Keith wasn’t going to lie, he liked Lance like this. Well. He liked him all the time but seeing him taking charge and being serious when he needed to be was really....something.
Isabel sighed and gave in. She handed her brother his sword.
“Now say thank you, Nico.”
“Thank you, Isabelle.” he mumbled.
Suddenly the other girl noticed the fifth person in the room. Keith. “Uh, who’s that?”
“Oh.” Lance seemed to have forgotten he was there, probably too distracted by his siblings’ sword crisis. “That’s my friend, Keith, Sofia. He’s nice sometimes. He’s gonna go trick-or-treating with us.”
Keith’s eyes widened. Did he hear that right? “Excuse me? I didn’t agree to this.”
“Well, what were you expecting to do while you’re here? The party is still going on and I’m sure Hunk is too drunk to drive right now, assuming he even listened to the message I left.”
Keith decided not to fight this any further. Besides, Lance did have a point. “Okay, I’ll go.”
“Good!” Lance said happily. “I wasn’t giving you a choice anyway.”
“I hate you.”
“But lance! Doesn’t Keef have to dress up too? where’s his costume?”
“Wow you’re right!” Lance rummages through his closet. He finds the outfit he wore for halloween the year before and holds it up saying, “Is this okay?”
Keith inwardly groans. Out of all the costumes Lance probably had, lance was making him go as a vampire?! He just gives him a you’ve got to be kidding me look.
Lance shrugs his shoulders. “Hey, it’s not my fault you have the complexion of a porcelain doll.” Plus, he thought, you’d make a hot vampire. Of course he’d never admit that out loud. Keith was still oblivious to his crush, and he planned to keep it that way. It was obvious he didn’t feel the same.
Keith took the clothes from Lance’s hand. “Where’s your bathroom?”
“You can just change in my room. It’s closer, just across the hall,” said the Cuban before realizing he just invited Keith Fucking Kogane into his bedroom. Wow.
When Keith came out (of the room) Lance was breathless. He felt his heart skip a beat. He couldn’t deny it—at least not in his mind—he’d been right: Keith does look hot as a vampire. Keith decided to keep his tight black skinny jeans (good choice, Lance mentally commented) but now he was wearing Lance’s white button up shirt and his black vest over it. Around his neck hung a cross necklace that was probably lying about in Lance’s room somewhere. Of course, to top it all off he had the fake fangs.
“Bite me,” Lance said in one breath before he could try to stop himself.
“Nothing! Let’s go!” Keith looked at him weirdly but agreed.
“C’mon, kids! Whoever makes it to the first house first gets priority in the candy swap later tonight!”
Keith had no idea what that meant, but apparently that was enough motivation for them.
Lance and Keith walked around the neighborhood together while the kids ran around from door to door getting as much candy as they could. Usually Lance would join in because who wouldn’t want free candy, right? But Keith didn’t seem like the trick-or-treating type, and if Lance was being completely honest, he actually didn’t mind just being with Keith. It felt right.
Keith groaned. “Stop right there.”
“What? Why?” Lance said in confusion. “I was just trying to fill the awkward silence.”
“Saying ‘so’ like that just makes the conversation even more awkward!” Keith explained like it was obvious why he was frustrated about this.
“Well, what do you want me to say?”
“I-i don’t know!”
“There’s a snake in my boot!”
“But there’s also a snake in my-“
Keith’s face turned red when he realized how that sentence was going to end. “LANCE.”
Lance just laughed. “I’m sorry, oh my god. Actually, no, I’m not.”
“Why are you like this?”
“Like what? Charming? Funny?” Lance suggested.
“I would say ‘annoying’ actually.”
“I hate you.” No, I don’t, Lance thought.
“I know.” You’re lying, Keith hoped.
They walked around some more. If Keith was being honest, he didn’t understand the point of Halloween. You go through all this trouble to play dress up and get candy from neighbors who you probably only talk to one night every year. Okay, maybe the real reason Keith wasn’t the biggest fan of Halloween was because he never really had anyone to take him trick-or-treating when he was younger. Sure, he had Shiro but the older he got the busier he was, both school-wise and boyfriend-wise. Keith didn’t want to burden him about kid stuff.
In need of a distraction from those thoughts, Keith couldn’t help but look up at the sky. The stars had always fascinated Keith. One day I’ll be up there, he promised himself.
Meanwhile, Lance was busy taking advantage of this moment to look at Keith. He looked so...beautiful. One day I’ll have the courage to ask him out, he promised himself.
With both of them distracted by their thoughts, neither had seen the tree root peeking out through the surface of the ground. They tripped, falling on top of each other. None of them knew who was the first to do it but somehow they both broke into a giggling mess.
“Lancey Lance! Keef!”
“I’m tired,” Sofia complained. “Can we go home now?”
“Of course!” Although he didn’t want to, Lance got off of Keith to stand on the ground. He held out a hand for Keith to help him up, but he didn’t know why. It was evident the vampire boy could get to his feet on his own. Regardless, Keith took his hand anyway.
“Wait, but you guys didn’t get any candy!” Isabelle pointed out.
“Yeah, we can’t go home yet!” agreed Nico.
“That’s okay,” Lance assured them, “Keith and I are big boys we-“
“No, she’s right,” Keith said.
“Huh?” Lance eyed him curiously.
“I actually wouldn’t mind getting some candy,” said Keith sheepishly, surprising not only Lance, but himself also. He wanted to see what he’d missed out on in his childhood.
Lance’s eyes lit up. “Well.... in that case, let’s go!” He took Keith’s hand as they raced to the next house.
Five houses later, they called it a night. Isabelle and Nico tried negotiating with Lance to let them stay out longer. Apparently all Sofia wanted to do was go home and sleep. Keith respected that.
“See, if it was the weekend, I might let you. But it’s a school night, so I’m going to have to say no.”
“Keef!” Isabelle whined, “Tell Lancey Lance he’s being a meany!”
Keith chuckled. “Normally I would agree. He is a meany most of the time.” Isabelle and Nico shared an evil grin, hoping this meant he was on their side. “But—“ they groaned—“I’m gonna have to agree with Lance on this one. Don’t you want to be well rested so you can show off all your cool candy to your friends bright and early in the morning tomorrow?”
“I guess,” Nico mumbled.
“No.” Isabelle just crossed her arms over her chest.
“Isabelle, sweetie,” Lance crouched down so they were at eye level. “Sometimes you just can’t get what you want,” he told her. If Keith didn’t know any better he’d think he sounded... what was the word he was looking for? Sad? Defeated?
“But that’s not fair!”
“Izzy,” Keith didn’t know where that nickname came from, but it sounded natural coming out of his mouth so he just went with it,”If you go back to the house with us I’ll let you have my candy. How does that sound?”
Isabelle wiped the tears that began pouring out of her eyes when she heard that. “R-really?”
Keith beamed at her. “Sure!” Before he knew it she was hugging him. From behind her he saw Lance mouth a thank you. Keith just nodded.
When they made it back to the house, Keith’s phone rang. Shiro. Shit. “I should take this.”
“Go ahead, you can go to my room again for privacy. I’ll just be putting the kids to bed,” Lance said.
“Shiro?” Keith squeaked.
“Where the hell have you been?!”
“I told you I was going to a Halloween party, right?”
“Yeah, but I kinda assumed you were joking.”
“Why would I-“
“Keith,” he said,”you never go to parties.” He wasn’t being judgemental; he was stating facts.
“Okay but Lance and Pidge and Hunk were there, so I thought ‘why not?’” Keith explained.
“Oh. Lance was there, huh?” Suddenly Shiro’s tone was teasing rather than scolding. “Are you with him now?”
“Uh, yeah, actually.”
“You finally get the courage to ask him out? Keith, that’s great!”
Keith choked. “Not exactly.”
“Well, what are you waiting for?”
“A sign?” Keith said.
He could just imagine Shiro rolling his eyes at him right now. “Keith, this isn’t some cheesy rom com. If you want something—or someone-- you need to take a chance and go for it.”
Keith sighed. “You’re right. But what if he doesn’t like me that way? He barely tolerates me as it is!”
“I guess that’s just a risk you’re going to have to be willing to take,” Shiro said. “Anyway, I should go. Matt’s yelling at me to come to bed.” He yelled something to his boyfriend that Keith couldn’t make out. “Bye, Keith. Be safe!”
“Shiro!” Keith said, disgusted. “We haven’t even kissed yet, god.”
Shiro laughed, “I was talking about your drive home but that too!”
Keith heard a cough from behind him. Lance. “So, uh, not that it’s any of my business, but who is it that you haven’t kissed yet?”
Keith felt his cheeks burn a bright crimson. “No one!” He said defensively. “Wait.” His eyes narrowed. “Were you eavesdropping?”
“My walls aren’t soundproof,” Lance deadpanned. “It was hard not to. So... who’s the lucky lady?” He teased.
“Has Hunk called back yet?” Keith asked, changing the subject.
“Yes, he said he’ll be here in fifteen minutes. Half hour at the most.” Lance told him. “Anyway. So, who?”
“You’re infuriating, did you know that?”
“Pidge tells me at least twice a day.”
“It’s what you deserve,” joked Keith.
“I’m kidding, I’m kidding,” he laughed.
“I like when you do that.”
“Laugh,” Lance clarified. “You sound so carefree, it’s kind of beautiful.”
Keith wasn’t sure how to respond to that so he said,”If I tell you who I was talking about on the phone you have to tell me something in return.”
“Hold that thought,” Lance said. Digging through the drawer of his bedside table, he found a white string tied around a plastic ring, similar to Woody’s in Toy Story.
“What are you-“
Lance taped it to his back the way the Woody in the movie had it. “Just pull this when you have a question and I’ll answer honestly. Here I’ll test it out for you What do I have in my boot?” Lance brought his hand behind him and tugged at the string. When he let go he answered himself, “A snake! See? Now you answer my question!”
“Okay.” Keith took a deep breath. Was he really about to do this? “The person I haven’t kissedyetisyou,” he said in a rush.
“Keith, you’re going to have to speak up. I couldn’t understand half of what you just sai-“
Keith cut him off by kissing him. He couldn’t believe himself. I’m kissing Lance. Holy shit, is this real?! He pulled away to see Lance’s reaction. His face was hard to read. “Did you just-“
“Kiss you? Yeah. Um, anyway, it’s my turn to ask you a question, right?” Lance didn’t say anything. He seemed to be thinking about something else.
“Uhh, what did you say earlier tonight before we left the house?” He pulled Lance’s string, imitating the Cuban boy’s actions from before.
That must’ve snapped him back to reality. “Oh. That.” Lance moved closer and closer to Keith, and guided him so that they were sitting on Lance’s bed next to each other. Keith didn’t think he could get any closer, but he was proven wrong when he felt Lance’s breath in his ear. “I said bite me.”
Keith blushed, not quite understanding why he would say that earlier. Then he remembered he was dressed as a vampire. Right. If Lance wanted him to bite him, then so. Be. It. Slowly he brought his teeth to Lance’s skin. His hands followed suit. Lance jumped in surprise at at the contact but soon relaxed under his tough. He bit and sucked at the nape of Lance’s neck, then his jaw, then his lips, probably creating noticeable hickeys.
“Like that?” Lance let out a whine at the loss of Keith’s mouth. Whether intentionally or unintentionally, Keith didn’t know, but he supposed that didn’t matter.
“Do it again.”
“I thought we were asking questions, not making demands?”
“Fine. Can you please do that again?”
Keith placed his hand on his chin. “Hmm. Let me think about it.”
“I hate you.”
“For some reason I don’t believe you anymore.”
Lance sighed. “Because it’s not true. It never was.”
Keith’s eyes widened. “What?”
“Turns out I’ve had this big fat crush on you since the day I met you but I’ve been too chicken to do anything about it. Ha ha ha.”
“Are you joking?”
Lance furrowed his eyebrows. “Keith. I literally asked you to bite me. Who says things like that platonically?”
“Good point. And since we’re confessing I guess I should tell you that I like you—in that way— too. I don’t know if it was as long as you claim to have liked me, but-“
“Trick or treat?”
“Oh my God, just pick one.”
“Treat I guess?”
“Yeehaw,” said Lance before his lips met Keith’s for a second time. Keith briefly pulled away. “You did not just say yeehaw. I take the treat back. I want the trick now.”
Lance beamed. “Too late! Plus I was gonna kiss you either way so...”
“I hate you.”
“No, you don’t.”
Keith sighed. “Yeah, I don’t.”
“Wanna-“ Lance was cut off by the sound of the doorbell. Frowning, they both went to go answer.
Swinging the door open, they found Pidge and Hunk with a gas tank at their feet. “Hey guys! How’s your night been?” Hunk asked. Pidge wiggled their eyebrows suggestively.
“Keith and I took the little ones trick or treating. It was great,” Lance said.
“Oh, and what kind of tricks has Lance shown you, Keith?” Keith choked on his spit.
Hunk coughed. “Anyway, here’s that gas you asked for!”
“Amazing. Hunk, you’re my favorite,” said Keith.
Lance pouted. “I thought I was your favorite.”
“I never said that.”
“It was implied-“
“I think you’re making things up.”
Pidge rolled their eyes. “We should probably get going. Good to know you’re still bickering like a married couple.”
“WE DO NOT BICKER LIKE A MARRIED COUPLE,” they both shouted.
“Sure you don’t,” said Hunk as the two of them walked in the opposite direction.
With Lance’s help, Keith put the gas in his car. Once that was done, they sat on the hood of Keith’s car. He said, “I guess I’ll see you around school?”
Lance smiled. “Yeah, you will. But one last treat before you go?”
Now it was Keith’s turn to smile. “I thought you’d never ask.” And then they were kissing again. This time even slower than before. Now that both of them knew that they wanted this, they never wanted to stop. Keith bit Lance’s lip, and when Lance gasped, he used it to his advantage, slipping his tongue in the other boy’s mouth. How was he so good at this? Lance silently asked himself. Not that he was complaining.
After what felt like forever, they separated their lips and their foreheads rest against each other. “I had fun tonight,” said Keith. “You know that was my first time trick or treating?”
“I wish you could stay,” Lance admitted, absentmindedly playing with Keith’s hair. Keith hummed his approval when Lance paused as if to ask if it was okay to run his fingers through Keith’s mullet the way he’d wanted to do for ages. “And really? Aw, man, I’m sorry you had to give up your candy to my sister.”
Keith shifted his position so that their heads were no longer touching. “Don’t worry about it,” he reassured him while smiling a big toothy grin,”I got plenty of other treats that I’ll never forget to make up for it.”
“I don’t hate you.”