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Start of something new

Chapter Text

”Keith, you’re going to be late!” Krolia shouts from the downstairs of their house. Keith, sitting on the floor of his room upstairs, groans.
”Do I have to go?” he asks after hearing his mother walk up the stairs and open the room to his room.
”Yes”, Krolia smiles, ”it will be much better if you make some friends right away. I made sure I won’t get transferred before you graduate, so you have plenty of time to get to know your classmates a little better.”
Keith sighs, and gets up.

What kind of high school even has karaoke nights? East High, apparently. Keith stares at the building for a while before he goes inside. At least he has nothing to lose, just his dignity and any possibility to make friends if he screws up. If he even sings.

Which is unlikely.

Keith finds a good spot from the darkest corner of the room where he can look around in peace without hopefully anyone noticing him.

Someone notices him, though.

And that someone drags him to the stage.

Keith is screwed.

 

He’s going to sing a duet. Of course he is. Keith looks at his duet partner, and at that moment his anger towards the person who dragged him there melts.

The boy is way too cute to exist. He has black tuft of hair and an undercut, and a tiny dimple on the left side of his lips. Then he starts talking and Keith feels so blessed that his mother transferred to this town.

”Uh, hi”, he says, ”I’m sorry, my braces probably make me sound stupid but hopefully it doesn’t bother you too much.”
He flashes a smile and Keith knows he doesn’t have to go to heaven to see an angel.
”It’s definitely not a bother”, he admits.

The one responsible for the karaoke has to tap their shoulders to get their attention.
“Hey guys, I’m gonna start the song now”, he tells and smiles, “one day you’re gonna thank me for this.”
Keith and his duet partner look at him in confusion.
“Or not.”

Keith tries not to focus on the situation too much. Because he feels like fainting. Performing has never really been his strong point, and to be honest he has fainted because of audience before. He looks down at his feet and hopes his partner gets the clue and starts singing first.

Thankfully, he does.

Living in my own world

And he has a voice of an angel. How did he dare to even say the braces would make him sound horrible?

Didn’t understand

Keith gets the courage to look at him.

That anything could happen

And he’s looking at Keith.

When you take a chance

When their eyes meet, Keith feels much calmer and is ready to sing his part, imagining it’s just him and his angelic partner in the room.

I never believed in

Keith really can’t believe this is happening. Can he actually sing this? He does know the lyrics, but…

What I couldn’t see

Oh no. The lightning changes a little and he can see how bright those grey eyes are.

I never opened my heart

Keith moves his hand over his chest.

To all the possibilities

Then his hand moves towards his partner. Bold move maybe, but he doesn’t want to give the impression that he doesn't like this. Always being told he has an awkward smile makes him prefer using other methods.

Then they sing together, and Keith can’t help but smile no matter how awkward he may look. At least his partner doesn’t seem to mind as he takes his hand, and Keith is so happy he wouldn’t mind dying right here right now.

After their song is over they end up sitting outside on a bench and just talking. Keith finds out the boy’s name is Takashi, and that he usually sings only in shower. Keith tells him it’s a waste, but Takashi tells him the same and he wants to say he’s lying. Takashi seems just so sincere Keith ends up turning his gaze to the ground in embarrassment.

They’re just sitting in comfortable silence for a while, before Takashi starts filling the silence with telling about the constellations they can see in the sky, or about how much he wanted to be an astronaut when he was little. Keith looks into the sky and smiles as he listens.

They exchange phone numbers, making silly faces to the picture that shows up when they call. Although Takashi says to Keith that it’s unfair how gorgeous Keith looks in his picture. Keith just laughs.

When it’s starting to get time to leave, Takashi offers Keith a ride home. Keith is really thankful for that because he can’t stop smiling and isn’t ready for Krolia’s possible questioning if she picked him up. Also, this gives Keith a little more time to get to know Takashi, so it’s just perfect.

The car ride to Keith’s house is filled with laughter and talking about space. They don’t have to worry about school or labels, they just are. When Takashi stops the car in front of the house, Keith spends the next few minutes just thinking about what to say. Then he turns to look at the driver and smiles.
“Thanks for this. I mean, the whole night. My mom forced me to come, but I had fun with you”, he tells, causing Takashi to smile really widely.
“I had fun with you, too, Keith. Thank you. I’ll see you at school?” he makes sure, and Keith laughs a little.
“I’ll see you at school”, he nods before he gets out of the car and goes inside.

He waves at Takashi before he closes the door.

Takashi waves back at him and it makes Keith so happy.

Krolia is reading a book in the living room, but turns to look at Keith when she hears the door close.
“Did you have fun?” she asks.

Keith’s cheeks are hurting from all the smiling.

“I did.”
I feel in my heart
The start of something new

Chapter Text

As Keith gets ready for his first day at his new school, he can’t help but to check his phone for new messages almost every minute. For the first time ever he’s going to a school while actually knowing someone who goes there.

 

They had sung together at a karaoke night few days ago and exchanged numbers. And now they have texted each other every day whenever they can.

 

Keith feels like he has known him for much longer than a few nights, though. It’s just so easy to talk to him.

 

His phone buzzes with a new message.

 

’Good morning! Are you ready to conquer East High? :)’

 

Keith shakes his head with a soft laugh. He doesn’t think anyone else uses that smiley face unironically except for Takashi.

 

’yes, i have my sword ready to destroy my enemies’ he jokingly answers.

 

’I don’t think it’s possible for you to make enemies’

 

Oh. Keith’s heart seems to beat a little faster than normal. That’s also a frequent thing when Takashi answers something cute to his messages. The picture of the other boy smiling brightly after getting his braces off also caused that reaction with an added blush on Keith’s face. It should be illegal to be so cute.

 

’you’re adorable’, he decides to reply. Takashi doesn’t need to know exactly how easy it is for him to make enemies.

 

Keith almost chokes on his breakfast when he sees what Takashi answers.

 

’Not as adorable as you :)’


The principal shows Krolia and Keith around the school, clearly having read Keith’s novel-length school history file beforehand. Proudly showing where the science classrooms are. All just routine for the student coming in the middle of the year, an attempt to make him feel at home. Keith has seen that act one too many times to believe it. What’s actually welcoming him is around the corner.

 

Literally.

 

Shiro crashes into Keith and right away starts apologizing, but when he sees just who he collided with he breaks into a happy smile.

”Keith, hi. Why are you here so early, doesn’t the first class start at nine?” he asks. Keith can’t resist responding with a smile of his own.

”Good morning, Takashi. I had to come earlier so the principal can show me the school. I could ask you the same question.” He hesitantly touches Takashi’s hand. When the reaction he gets is a tiny blush and a hand reaching out to his, Keith is really pleased that he got courage for those few seconds.

”Morning practice,” Takashi tells him, ”and since I know about the school tradition of showing new students around I may have hoped to see you before class.”

 

Takashi’s blush deepens and Keith feels a steady amount of butterflies in his stomach.

 

A loud cough bursts their bubble, and both Takashi and Keith turn to look at Krolia and their principal.

 

"Mr. Shirogane can continue from here, then? Since you hoped to see your fellow student." the principal raises an eyebrow.

Takashi nods. "Yes, sir."

"Keith, is this the nice young man who brought you home from karaoke? I'll leave you in his hands in that case, I should go to work anyway." Krolia smiles knowingly and waves before walking away. The principal goes away, too, leaving two blushing high schoolers in the hallway. For a moment Takashi and Keith just look at each other before Keith opens his mouth.

 

"You look really nice without braces. I mean, not that you didn't with them but now..." Keith feels like even his ears are burning with embarrassment, but when Takashi flashes him a huge grin to show off his braceless teeth Keith can't help but to smile too.

"Thank you, you look really nice without braces, too." Takashi takes a better hold of Keith's hand. "I'll show you the rest of the school now."


Takashi shows Keith around for a while before they need to go to the classroom. It's homeroom time, and their homeroom teacher, Mr. Coran Smythe, is ready for action.

"Good morning, class, welcome back to yet another wonderful semester here in East High! I hope you rested well during winter vacation, because we need to hurry up with our musical preparations!" the over-excited teacher announces.

 

Keith is lucky to be able to sit next to Takashi, and he writes on his notebook 'is he always like this?' before he nudges Takashi so the other one notices his message. Takashi smiles in amusement and nods. 'Coran is a big personality,' he writes back. Unfortunately their teacher notices their warm gazes towards each other and before they know it, Coran smacks his pointer stick against Takashi's table.

"Mind telling the rest of the class what is making you smile so much, number one?" the teacher asks with a smirk.

“Oh, Keith and I were just thinking about the musical, we’re both quite excited,” Takashi tries to explain while Keith nods faintly in agreement.

“Oh I see. I do hope our newest addition to the family is going to take part in our spring musical, for example: by painting scenery during detention,” Coran wiggles his mustache.

“Detention?” Keith stares at their teacher in confusion.

“Yes, I have a rule of no passing in my classroom, Mr. Kogane, but don’t worry because number one will join you for being such a sarcastic basketball boy,” Coran smirks. Takashi looks shocked.

"But Mr. Smythe, your honor, we have practice today!" a brown-haired boy with glasses and exclaims.

"Well, no basketball hooping for you two, then. What a shame, but luckily you will still be productive and paint some scenery!" Coran counterattacks.

"Wait, we two?"

"Yes, Mr. Holt, you too should know there's no talk rule during my classes. Fifteen minutes," Coran smirks, clearly amused to punish the students.

“I wonder if he lasts that long,” another brown-haired student mumbles to their friends.

“Fifteen minutes to you, too, Holt number two!” Coran declares. “Anyone else want to try?”


After the class is over, Takashi stays to wait for Keith. They walk together until Keith stops to look at a bulletin board.

“So, now that you’ve met Coran I bet you want to sign up for the musical,” Takashi jokes, and Keith chuckles a little.

“To be honest, I don’t think I’ll sign up for anything yet, I want to get to know the school first. I will come to see you if you do, though.”

“Me? That’s impossible.” Takashi rubs behind his head when he hears a voice behind him.

“What’s impossible, Shiro? I didn’t think that word was in your vocabulary,” a silver-haired boy says in amusement.

“Musicals, singing. They’re more of your thing, Lotor,” Takashi explains, and Lotor pushes past him.

“They sure are,” he chuckles as he writes his name in big letters for the musical auditions. He then turns his attention towards Keith.

“Oh I apologize, did you want to sign up, too?” He mockingly offers his pen. Keith swats it away.

“I was just looking at the board. So much going on in here. Wow.” Keith smiles and waves to Takashi before leaving for his next class.

 

During free period, Takashi and the team have decided to practice. They need to be in a good shape for the championship game they have next week, after all.

 

”Matt, what do you think about the spring musical?” Takashi asks when he’s passing a ball between him and his childhood friend, Matt, the Holt who tried to convince Coran not to give Takashi detention. Matt scoffs.
”The musical? It will be another Lotor show. Why do you want to know what I think, isn’t it obvious?”
”I was just thinking, it would be easy extra credit to be a part of it,” Takashi says with a smile.
”Since when do you need extra credit?” Matt questions and Takashi shrugs.
” Extracurricular activities are good for college applications , right?”

Matt laughs and passes the ball to Takashi who decides to gather everyone around.
”Alright, Wildcats! Split into two groups, let’s play!”

The two groups decide to take it easy first, before they start actually playing, passing the ball around.

 

Let's make sure that we get the rebound

 

Takashi tries to get in the zone, focusing completely on the practice play.

 

Cause when we get it the crowd will go wild

 

Yeah, the imaginary crowd would love that move. He passes the ball to Matt.

 

A second chance, gotta grab it and go

 

Matt passes the ball back to him, and Takashi is ready to go.

 

Maybe this time we'll hit the right notes

 

Wait. Notes. Keith. It was really fun singing with Keith... Takashi misses a pass and stares at the wall before he throws the ball back to game.

 

Why am I feeling so wrong?

 

Takashi feels so confused.

 

My head's in the game

But my heart's in the song

 

He wants this. He wants both of these things. It's so tempting...

 

He makes this feel so right

 

Keith. Keith is so sweet. With Keith he could do this.

 

Should I go for it?

 

Takashi is shaken from his thoughts by Matt who passes the ball to him.

 

I gotta get my, get my head in the game

Chapter Text

"So, how do you know Shiro?" Lotor asks Keith during a math class he's in with Keith, reaching over his seat in order to talk quietly enough not to bother the teacher.

"Oh he was just showing me around", Keith replies, not even glancing at the other student.

"Takashi Shirogane doesn't just show anyone around", Lotor scoffs.

"Why not?" Keith asks before he turns to look at the board and mumbles, "that should be 16 over pi."

That attracts the teacher's attention.

"What did you say, Mr. Kogane?"

"Isn't that 16 over pi?" Keith repeats with clearer voice this time.

"That's quite impossible", the teacher says but as they go through their files a wide smile spreads on their face, "I stand corrected. Welcome aboard, Mr. Kogane."

 


 

During their next break, Lotor goes to his cousin, Lance.

"I don't understand why Shiro was with that new student", Lotor huffs.

"Keith? I noticed he was looking at the board of our musical. What does he want?" Lance wonders, "What if he's planning on taking over?"

"Impossible", Lotor says, leading his cousin into the computer class.

 

"We need to find out about his past. What was his name?" Lotor glances at Lance, who's standing behind him in order to see the computer screen.

"Keith Kogane", he says, and Lotor writes the name into Google right away. The first article they find makes him smirk.

"So he's a science lover", Lance stares at the screen. Lotor hits the print-button.

"I don't think we need to worry ourselves with amateurs, but it can’t do any harm to make sure. After all, he loves pi", he says to Lance with a wink.

 


 

When it's time for detention, it's held in the auditorium. Coran is pacing and explaining something about the importance of theatre while making the students work on the set of the play.

 

Keith is painting a prop when Holt number 2 comes to him.

"The answer is yes!" they say.

"Huh?" Keith turns to look at them.

"For the scholastic decathlon team! We have our first competition next week and we'd love to have you aboard", they explain and hand Keith over some printed articles about Keith's former success in his former school's science fair.

 

Keith stares at the papers in confusion.

"Where did you get these?"

"Didn't you put them in my locker?" the brown haired asks.

"Definitely not."

"Oh. Well, we would still love to have you on our team", they smile gently.

 

Keith shakes his head.

"I need to catch up with the curriculum before joining anything."

 

Suddenly, Lotor emerges.

"Well what better way to catch up than with the smartest kids in school?"

 

Before either of them get to answer, Coran walks past them while talking.

"Lots of new faces here today! I hope you don't make a habit out of it, but the drama club does need extra hands to make our spectacular musical possible. While we are here, why don't we think about how theatre is the temple of art. A precious cornucopia of creative energy!"

 

Then the auditorium doors open and a man with an angry face comes in.

"Mr. Coran, what are my two best players doing in a tree?" he yells, pointing towards Takashi and Matt who are putting leaves to a prop tree with a stapler.

 

Coran turns to look at him.

"It's called crime and punishment, Iverson. They broke the rules, so they need discipline."

 

Iverson sighs.

"Can we have a talk... please? And you two, gym, now."



Takashi and Matt hurry to the practice, where they're greeted with a tough scrimmage. By the time they're done, the whole team is exhausted but happy with the way their exercise went.

 


 

When they get away from detention, Keith and Holt number 2 walk side by side, the brown haired still trying to convince Keith to join their team.

"I'm going to focus on my studies for now, and help mum get settled in the house", Keith tells them with an apologetic smile when they reach his mum's car.

"Just come eat lunch with us tomorrow, see if it works out", Holt number 2 suggests to which Keith nods.

 

Krolia opens the car window to greet her son and the brown hair.

"Hi. Keith, who's this?" she asks.

"Oh. This is..." Keith turns to look at his classmate, realizing he doesn't know their name. Luckily they take the matter into their hands.

"Hi, I'm Pidge, Keith's classmate. Pleasure to meet you," they greet Krolia with a handshake.

"See you tomorrow, Keith", Pidge says before they walk to their own direction.

 


 

After Takashi gets home, he continues practicing in the backyard of his home with Iverson. When missing a little bit of practice time it's convenient to have your coach to also be your foster parent.

 

"So, coach, I've been thinking," Takashi starts while trying to shoot the ball to the basket, "what if you wanted to try something new?"

"Like what? Faking to the right?" Iverson questions.

"No, like... Something completely new, not anything to do with basketball, and your friends laugh at you," Takashi explains, and Iverson looks at him for a while before answering.

"Well, maybe they weren't your friends at all in that case."

 


 

The next morning during home room Coran is beaming with energy.

"I hope you all learned your lesson yesterday in detention. I do have to thank you for doing good work on the props. Now, onto important things. this morning during free period you will get a chance to be a part of the musical, as we have our auditions, both single and pairs. I will be in the theatre until noon for those of you bold enough to extend your wingspan of your creative spirit. Now let’s talk about the importance of Shakespeare---"

 

After the lesson and Coran's explanations are over, Matt nudges Takashi before he's able to leave the classroom.

"Gym during free period?" the brown haired asks. Takashi smiles, but shakes his head as he starts walking to the hallway.

"Sorry, I have homework to do," he apologizes to his friend.

"Dude, you behind homework? Even I'm not behind on homework and I've been a lazy bitch about them since pre-school," Matt stops Takashi from walking.Takashi laughs.

"You can afford that with your brains. Really, sorry, but I have to run," Takashi waves to Matt before he barges off.

 

"Homework? No way," Matt scoffs and goes after Takashi.

 

By the time Matt gets to turn the corner, he loses the sight of Takashi. Why is he so fast? How is he so fast? For a while Matt tries to ponder his options before he gives up and leaves to the gym.

 

Takashi watches from an empty classroom's doorway as Matt goes away before he has the courage to walk to his direction.

 


 

In the auditorium Coran is keeping a speech on the stage as Takashi arrives, watching from the entrance to the room.

 

"This is where the true artists are revealed. Where the inner truth is found through the actor's journey--" Coran explains but is interrupted by a sound of bell, "Was that a cell phone?"

"Sir, that was the warning bell," a girl with dark skin and long white hair who's sitting by the piano says.

"Ah, well then. let the auditions begin! Our composer Allura will assist you," Coran tells and points at the girl by the piano, who nods as a greeting to the others in the room.

 

While many people audition, Takashi looks curiously from the entrance, when Keith comes to stand by his side.

"Hi. So you decided to audition?" Keith asks as he looks at Takashi with a soft smile.

"Oh, no..." Takashi chuckles a little nervously. Keith nods.

"Why are you hiding here?" Keith decides to change the subject as he looks around before he remembers Lotor's reaction from earlier, "your friends don't know you're here, right?"

"Yeah..." Takashi sighs before he turns to look at the stage again, "Um, Mr. Coran is quite harsh."

"The famous wildcat is scared?" Keith nudges his side.

"Not scared, just... yeah, I'm scared," Takashi admits.

"Me, too, usually," Keith whispers. Takashi glances at him and takes his hand after slight hesitation. They continue watching the auditions with smiles on their faces.

 

Lotor and Lance go on stage. They have made their own background track of the song, and Allura watches in confusion as the beat starts.

 

As Lotor and Lance perform, it's clear to see they have a lot of experience in this. Lance is dancing with skill, and Lotor makes sure to smile the whole time.

 

When the song ends though, Lotor turns to look at some people in the crowd, making sure they start to clap so he can smile once more.

 

Allura turns to the long haired boy once they're finished.

"I thought it would be slower, if you do the song," she says to Lotor.

Lotor looks at her and smirks.

" If we do the song? Allura, this is my seventeenth musical. So you do not offer me any suggestions, alright?" Lotor then turns around, whipping his hair as he leaves the stage.

 

Coran looks around the auditorium, unaware of Lotor's actions and waves him and Lance goodbye as they leave the auditorium.

"Any last signups?" the drama teacher asks while scanning the auditorium.

 

"You should go," Takashi whispers to Keith.

 

"No? Good. Done," Coran closes his notebook, but Keith gathers his courage and comes to the sight of the teacher from the entrance.

 

"I would like to perform," he tells Coran, almost right away regretting letting go of Takashi's hand.

"I apologize, Mr. Kogane, but the singles are already done so you'd need a partner."

 

"I'll sing with him," Takashi shouts as he comes out from his hiding behind the entrance way and takes Keith's hand again, his hand slightly shaking.

"Takashi Shirogane. Where's your basketball or whatever you call it?" Coran raises his eyebrow.

"Team. But I'm here alone. To sing. With Keith," Takashi stammers, causing Keith to smile.

"Yes, well, we take these shows very seriously," Coran starts when a bell interrupted him, "And now free period is over."

"But he has an amazing voice!" Takashi tries, but Coran gets up and gathers his belongings.

"Perhaps the next musical," he says before leaving.

 

Takashi looks at Keith with apologetic look, and Keith is about to tell him it's alright, when Allura, who has gathered her notes, trips to a CD player Lotor left next to the piano and falls to the floor.

 

Keith and Takashi rush to help her. They gather the notes back together, but the silence feels a little awkward so Takashi decides to change that.

"So you wrote the song Lotor and Lance performed? And all the other songs, too? That's amazing," Takashi smiles, and Allura turns to look at him in confusion.

"It is?"
"Definitely," Keith clarifies, and that makes Allura smile.

"Would you like to hear how I had thought the song would go?"

 

She goes back to the piano, putting the right notes so she can play. Keith and Takashi get up from the floor and go stand next to Allura so they can see the lyrics.

 

It's hard to believe

That I couldn't see

You were always there beside me

 

It's Takashi's turn to sing first. As he sings, he moves a little closer to Keith and turns to look at him with a smile. Keith smiles back.

 

Thought I was alone

With no one to hold

 

When Keith sings, he moves his hand closer to Takashi.

 

But you were always there beside me

 

Takashi takes a hold of the hand as he joins the singing again.

 

This feeling's like no other

I want you to know

 

It feels so natural to sing together with Keith.

 

That I've never had someone that knows me like you do

The way you do

 

Takashi is glad he went to the karaoke night and met Keith. It feels like Keith understands him so well. It’s a little scary how much he has already grown to like Keith.

 

And I've never had someone as good for me as you

No one like you

 

Keith makes him so happy. All their text messages after exchanging numbers, phone calls late at night, and now spending time at school like this. It’s great.

 

So lonely before I finally found

What I've been looking for

 

"Wow...That was nice," is all Takashi manages to say. Keith is still holding his hand and is about to say something when Coran's voice is heard from the door.

 

"Shirogane, Kogane, you have a callback."

Chapter Text

A loud high-pitched scream is heard all around the school the next morning.

 

”Callback? That’s impossible, this is not happening,” Lotor shouts and points at the bulletin board in front of him and Lance.

”Callback for the lead roles, next Thursday at 4 pm. Lotor Sincline, Lance Serrano and Keith Kogane, Takashi Shirogane,” Lance reads out loud, ”But they didn’t even audition!”

 

Curious about the shouting, Matt comes to see what’s up with some of his teammates.

”What seems to be the problem?” he asks before he sees the note on the board. “What the fuck?”

 

“Someone needs to tell that Keith kid our rules,” Lotor huffs.

 


 

During lunchtime something strange occurs in the cafeteria. People start confessing their secrets. Even one of the basketball players, tall and muscular build Hunk, admits he has a secret obsession. He’s one of the best players they have, always focused and giving his all. Having another obsession? Big deal. Except then Hunk tells he loves baking.

 

Matt is completely bewildered. Hunk and baking? Somehow it fits very well with how the guy always uses extravagant words to describe even the simplest dish, but actually hearing him say it... Oh wow. He doesn't know what to think. First Takashi is singing and now Hunk is baking? Okay, fam. What even is apple pan dowdy?

 

When Takashi comes to finally join his team for lunch, Matt decides to call him out.

"Shiro, you missed basketball period. You never miss it. And now karma's a bitch and people are confessing... Hunk bakes, what the fuck was it, creme bruleé !" he tells, looking at his friend with a stern face to show how serious he is. Takashi doesn't seem to get it though, and turns to look at Hunk.

"Oh cool, what's that?" he asks, and of course Hunk then starts to explain the contents of the dessert he has in his hands, and Takashi gets to take a spoonful of it before Matt slams the spoon off his hands.

"Shiro, no, focus!"

 


 

”Is Lotor really mad at me? He kept glaring towards me in the cafeteria,” Keith asks Pidge as they’re walking along the hallway.

”No one has beaten him in a musical lead role since kindergarten,” Pidge explains.

”We didn’t even audition. We were just singing… But I did like it,” Keith admits, his lips turning into a small smile as he thinks about it. He stops at his locker, starting to open it.

”Oh yeah, he’ll definitely forgive you if you tell him that,” Pidge huffs and roll their eyes before they continue walking towards their own locker.

 

Keith just shakes his head slightly at their reaction. He gets his locker open, and a piece of paper floats down from there. He wonders who might have put it to his locker, but when he reads the text in the note, he gets his answer and quickly heads off.

 

Meet me on the roof. T. :)

 

The first thing Keith notices when he gets to the roof is the plants. So many different plants, and in the middle of it all is the person he really wants to see.

 

When Takashi sees him, he smiles widely and walks to him.

”Keith, you made it. I’m so happy,” he tells, moving one hand to hold Keith’s.

Keith can’t help but to smile as well, and squeezes the hand.

”I’m happy, too… What is this place? It’s so quiet, and beautiful.”

”This is my hiding place. I come here when I need a break from everything. I have permission from the gardening club, so we won’t get into trouble, don’t worry,” Takashi tells, starting to ramble a little and it makes Keith chuckle.

 

”I wouldn’t mind getting into trouble, if it was with you,” he admits and moves a little closer. Takashi’s cheeks go red and after a while of just staring at Keith he leads him to a bench, hidden behind all the plants.

 

”Sometimes I wish there would be no pressure. Just being able to do what I want without getting judgement,” Takashi tells. Keith nods, understanding how it feels.

”Like in kindergarten. You could be anything you liked to be without others judging you and calling you the freaky science boy. No pressure when playing superheroes, or singing songs.”

”I never thought about singing, not until you,” Takashi says quietly. Keith looks at him carefully, before letting go of his hand just so he can smooth over Takashi’s reddened cheek.

 

”You really want to do the callbacks?” Keith asks, and gets a genuine grin from Takashi.

”Hey, just call me the freaky callback boy.”

 

Keith chuckles, and playfully slaps Takashi’s shoulder before wrapping his arms around the other boy, hugging him close in order to whisper, ”You’re a really cool guy. For being yourself.”

 

For a while they get to sit on the bench, hugging each other, but the bell interrupts the moment, telling them lunchtime is over.

 

They leave the roof hand in hand and with smiles on their faces.

 


 

The next few days are a bliss for both Takashi and Keith. They practice the song with Allura, just the two of them, or even alone in the corners of the hallways. They also meet after school to practice, or just to talk and simply hang out.

”It’s so easy being with you,” Takashi tells, and Keith admits he feels the same.



The bliss doesn’t last too long, though.

 

Takashi runs to the gym, knowing he’s late. Knowing doesn’t help it, though, because when he gets there, the others are already done with training.

 

Matt shoves the basketball at Takashi who catches it and walks to Iverson.

”I’m sorry for being late. I’ll practice some hoops,” he says, and is met with a nod from the coach.

”That’s the least you can do for your team today,” Iverson says before he follows the rest of the team to the showers with a shake of his head.

 

Takashi gets to warm up and get a few baskets before he hears a voice from the gym door.

”Wow. So this is your real stage?” Keith asks, making Takashi smile and turn to look at him.

”Or a smelly gym,” he replies before walking to Keith and taking his hand, holding it gently.

 

Keith chuckles at the answer, and squeezes Takashi’s hand. Takashi leads him to the bleachers where Keith sits down so he can watch the other boy train.

 

They chat a little while Takashi is training, and Keith is doing his homework. Keith cheers a little every time Takashi scores, and it makes Takashi want to try even more.

 

For a while they get to be alone in the gym, but then Iverson decides to come check up on Takashi, and is surprised to see he already has other company.

 

“Takashi, who is this?” the man asks, getting the other two turn their attention to him instead of each other.

“Oh, coach,” Takashi says, and stops bouncing the ball around so he can get Keith down from the bleachers to introduce him to Iverson.

 

“This is Keith Kogane,” Takashi tells, and Keith reaches out his hand so he could shake Iverson’s. The man nods, and very shortly takes the offered hand, clearly thinking on his next words carefully.

“Ah, your detention buddy. I apologize, but this is a closed practice,” he says. Keith lets his hand fall down before he starts gathering his things so he can leave.

 

“I’m sorry, sir, I wasn’t aware of that,” he explains before turning to Takashi, “I’ll see you after you’re done with training, okay?”

Takashi nods.

“I’ll come to your house as soon as I can,” he promises and after he watches Keith leave turns to Iverson.

 

“Since when have our practices been closed?” he asks in suspicion.

“Since that boy came around and made you distracted,” Iverson explains.

“I’m not distracted,” Takashi tries, but Iverson shakes his head.

“Takashi Shirogane. You come late to practice, you’re constantly unfocused and even got detention? You have to be able to give your team one hundred percent. They need their captain,” Iverson says before leaving Takashi alone in the gym.

 

Takashi throws the ball to the wall before he goes to the showers. He still has another practice to attend to. A practice just with Keith.

Chapter Text

"Shiro... if you want to I, of course, fully support you. But just keep in mind that if you play basketball you will get to be featured on the back of cereal boxes, and star in movies like Space Jam! But if you play in musicals you might end up in mum's fridge, and I really mean inside the fridge, my dude," Matt explains as him and Takashi are in the school library, Takashi trying to find some books for an assignment they have for class.

 

Takashi turns to look at Matt in confusion.

"Inside the fridge? But why would Colleen have a picture of a musical actor inside the fridge?" he asks, to which Matt scoffs.

"It's some kind of motivation to keep her healthy diet, I guess? Heck should I know, her mind is a mystery! Can you imagine what it's like to see the face of Michael Crawford while having a night snack? It's a nightmare."

 

Takashi chuckles.

"Phantom of the Opera, huh? She has always been fond of that."

"Takashi Shirogane, don't you dare laugh at this, this is a serious matter."

 


 

"We need to talk about Shiro and Keith," Matt says to Pidge when he sees them in the hallway. Pidge nods, and moves to a corner so they can discuss in peace. Unfortunately for them Lotor and Lance see them.

 

"What in the world are those two plotting?" Lotor wonders aloud, and Lance has a possible answer.

"Maybe they want to rule the school. You know, nerds would be as cool as jocks if they get Keith and Shiro together, and would mean free help with courses, right?"

"... We have to stop this madness."

 

"We're saving them from themselves with this," Pidge says and Matt agrees with a nod.

"Let's meet tomorrow by the gates at the beginning of lunch to get the plan started."

 

So next day Matt and Pidge meet up, and Pidge rolls their eyes when they see Matt's gear.

"Seriously, Matt? Three watches?" they ask from their brother, "Is that one mine?"

"Yeah, it's yours, because we need to be synchronized and I simply checked that we are," Matt explains like it's the most logical thing to do as he hands one of the watches over to Pidge.

"Okay, okay. But we're not Charlie's Angels, you know," they say as they put the watch on.

"First of all, fuck you. Second, it's time to go," Matt says and flips a finger before walking away towards the gym.

 


 

When Takashi gets to the locker room so he can train during the lunch break, the rest of the team is there waiting for him.

"What's going on? Is something wrong" he asks, confused.

"Who did we vote to be our leader, the youngest leader of Wildcats?" Matt asks, staring at Takashi as the rest of the team shout in unison:
"Shiro!"

"And who's gonna get their asses kicked in the championship game if our leader is too focused in singing?"

"We are."

"Come on, guys," Takashi tries.

 

"Throughout the years, humanity has done incredible things. Unfortunately, one part has stayed the same since cavemen age. Lunkhead basketball man," Pidge explains, and shows a picture of Takashi from their computer. Keith can't help but to smile when he looks at the picture, Takashi smiling so sweetly. Then he glances at the watch.

"Does this speech take long? Allura is waiting for me, I really should go," he tells.

"Keith, it will only take a moment, okay?"

"Okay."

 

"Do you really think I wouldn't put one hundred and ten percent in the game?" Takashi asks, getting frustrated with all this.

"But... What about the guy?" one of the teammates asks, and it makes Takashi lose all the rationality he has.

"The guy? He's more than the guy . He's Keith," Takashi says.

 

Little does Takashi know that that's the moment where one of his teammates turns a web camera on, making Keith watch the next parts through Pidge's laptop's screen.

 

"And singing with Keith does not mean I wouldn't be part of this team. When I'm on the field, I only think about the team. You're the priority. Winning the championship is all that matters," Takashi continues.

 

"Lunkhead. Basketball. Man," Pidge says and turn the video off. "Would you like to get lunch with us?" they ask a little regretfully, seeing how sad Keith looks. Keith just shakes his head, biting on his lower lip, jaw tight and eyes red.

"Okay. You know where to find me," Pidge says before they leave Keith alone in the classroom.

 

It's funny when you find yourself

Looking from the outside

 

Keith places his palm against the window of the empty classroom. He sees Takashi. Takashi and his basketball team, all smiles and pats in the back after they put their captain in his rightful place.

 

I'm standing here but all I want

Is to be over there

 

Keith doesn't want to admit how much he’d prefer to pretend everything was okay, that he hadn’t heard those words, and run downstairs, join Takashi Takashi, hold him or be held by him... Oh. Is this what a crush feels like?

 

Is this what heartbreak feels like?

 

Why did I let myself believe

Miracles could happen?

 

Keith can't believe himself. Of all the people he could get a crush on, of course it'd have to be Takashi. The gentle Takashi, who just said the team is more important than Keith. It really hurts that he could misunderstand the other boy's kindness for something entirely different. For something more.

 

'Cause now I have to pretend

That I don't really care

 

Keith just has to get over this. He has gotten over many things in the past, so one broken heart over a wonderful person is nothing. He just has to keep his distance so he won't get his hopes up for nothing.

 

I thought you were my fairytale

A dream when I'm not sleeping

 

He knows it's stupid, but for a moment he really hoped that Takashi would want him. Would care about him the way Keith desperately wants him to, that that gentle smile he shows, or showed, would be just for Keith.

 

A wish upon a star

That's coming true

 

Takashi's hand in Keith's hand has always been so warm. His text messages, first thing in the morning, and last thing before he goes to sleep, made Keith smile. Singing with him is the most fun Keith has had in a long while. Clearly that was only true for one of them, and Keith had been the last to realize that.

 

But everybody else could tell

That I confused my feelings with the truth

When there was me and you

 

Getting ahead of himself feels like exactly the thing Keith would do and ruin everything. Pidge has said it from the start, there are certain rules. Lotor has said it, and everyone else very much have shown there are strict hierarchical school rules Keith should follow. Everyone but Takashi. He made Keith feel like those bureaucratic norms were but childish preconceptions, but that too seemed to be just something Keith imagined. Takashi was just like the others, sitting tight in his social role. Keith hates feelings. They smother him, take the truth away until it's too late. Now it’s too late.

 

I swore I knew the melody

That I heard you singing

 

Keith should have learnt from the past. Any good thing would turn to bad, so it's better to hope for nothing and stay alone. He couldn't get hurt if he's alone. He's been hurt too many times already. Keith lightly touches his cheek, feeling a scar there, hidden under his bangs. He should have learnt already.

 

And when you smiled you made me feel

Like I could sing along

 

The time he's spent with Takashi has been like walking on clouds. Usually, and especially from childhood Keith remembers him rather walking on razor blades. All the bullying, calling names, and even booing and throwing things at him while he's in a school talent show, with his parents watching... Keith can't go back to the past. The past hurts physically. His old scars feel like burning, it's all becoming too real.

 

But then you went and changed the words

Now my heart is empty

 

Keith's hopes and dreams crashed. The way he feels now almost compares to when his dad died. No, it wasn’t the same. It's different, for at least this time no one died because of him. No good man lost his life to save his son’s, no roof fell on top of anyone, and no kid was left lost, orphaned, broken.  

 

I'm only left with used-to-be's

And once upon a song

 

Keith feels like he can still smell Takashi on his skin. The scent of Takashi's shampoo lingering in their hug, and a soft chuckle in Keith's ear. Keith already misses all of their conversations, but he knows it's futile. He has to give up before he thinks even more about Takashi, having the other boy completely take over his thoughts instead of just mostly. Takashi brings so much joy to his life... Too much joy. It was meant to backfire, Keith doesn't deserve someone as good paying attention to him.

 

Now I know you're not a fairy tale

And dreams were meant for sleeping

 

Keith just hopes this won't trigger the nightmares again. The burning house, his dad screaming his name, and then... The other kids. The other kids pulling his hair, calling him names and blaming him over what happened, blaming him for making a good firefighter die, telling Keith would have been the one who should have died. Keith knows, he knows that all.

 

And wishes on a star

Just don't come true

 

Keith still remembers what it felt like. The blade one of the kids had hidden in their pocket, slashing his cheek when the teacher was away from the classroom. Fortunately, or maybe unfortunately the teacher came back before the next cut. The damage was already done, though. Keith was broken.

 

'Cause now even I can tell

That I confused my feelings with the truth

 

Keith is broken. He crouches down and tries to focus on breathing. Why is he so stupid? He should have never gone to the karaoke, no matter how much Krolia wanted him to make some new friends. Some friends. Friends... Why did Keith try to even imagine he could be something more with Takashi?

 

Because I liked the view

When there was me and you

 

Keith closes his eyes. It would have been nice to have Takashi do the callbacks. Maybe performing wouldn't be so bad, if it was with Takashi. The first time certainly wasn't. Then, they could maybe perform some time again.

 

I can't believe that I could be so blind

It's like you were floating while I was falling

 

After singing, they could maybe spend time together, getting to know each other, and maybe even kiss...

 

Keith shakes his head. As if that would ever happen.

 

And I didn't mind

'Cause I liked the view

 

No matter how many times he would hug Takashi, hold his hand, Takashi would not feel the same. Good. It's too painful.

 

I thought you felt it too

When there was me and you

 

It's painful to love Takashi, and know he doesn't love Keith back. Keith isn't good enough.

 


 

At the end of the lunch break Takashi finds Keith from the raven hair's locker.

"Hey, are you alright? Your eyes look a little puffy," Takashi asks with concern before continuing, "there was something I needed to talk about with you."

"And here it is: I know it can be hard carrying a load with your friends. I get it. You've got your boys, it's okay," Keith says as he turns to look at Takashi, deciding not to answer the first question. He's not strong enough to admit he didn't eat because he spent most of the break to cry over Takashi and break his heart over nothing.

"What? I wanted to talk about the callbacks..." Takashi looks confused.

"I don't want to do the callbacks either. Who are we trying to kid? You have your team, I have mine. I'll do the scholastic decathlon and you'll win the championships. It's... it's where we belong. Go Wildcats," Keith says and shoves the song notes to Takashi before closing his locker door.

"But I..." Takashi starts, but Keith stops him.

"Me neither," he whispers before he leaves.

"Keith?" Takashi tries as he watches Keith walk away from him, and clutches the notes in his hands.


After the incident, the little boy started growing his hair out to cover the nasty scar, and himself, from the world. He wouldn't get hurt again. No more bullies.

Chapter Text

The Wildcat team is playing in the yard of the school after school, street basketball just to unwind from all the school work, when Takashi walks past them.

"Hey captain, wanna join us?" Matt asks and throws the ball at Takashi, but Takashi just throws it back at Matt after catching it, and leaves.

“What’s wrong with him?” Matt wonders as other Wildcats shrugging and shaking their heads.

 


 

 

When he gets home, Takashi tries to practice some hoops by himself but nothing works. The ball won't go into the basket no matter how many times he tries to score; something that always came so easy to him was all of a sudden unattainable, and in the end, he isn't able to even dribble. He's so confused about the exchange with Keith. What made him change his mind about the callbacks so suddenly? He looked so sad... Takashi questions, via text message, if they could talk, but gets no answer. He sends a few more messages, asking Keith if he is okay but it's no use; Keith is clearly not in the mood to text him back.

 


 

Next day, during lunch time, Takashi decides to obtain his answer in a more upfront way, since text messages were no good. But when he sees Keith in the middle of cafeteria, he freezes. Even with the red-shot eyes of someone who had cried himself to sleep (or not slept at all) Keith is so beautiful. Takashi barely gets to open his mouth to say that to Keith, though, before the boy is gone from sight, ignoring Pidge and the other people from the decathlon team.

 

Takashi considers running after him, but decides against it; what he does need is some time alone to think about everything. He leaves his teammates behind without a word.

 

Pidge and Matt share a look, knowing they need to do something. Again.

 


 

Takashi is sitting on the bench on the roof when he sees his team climb the stairs and walk to him.

"Hey, uh, we had another team meeting," Matt begins, and is interrupted with an annoyed look from Takashi.

"Oh, wonderful. A meeting without me."
"We had a team meeting about how we haven't been acting like a team. I mean us, not you. About the singing thing--" Matt continues but is interrupted again.

"I don't want to talk about it anymore," Takashi says quietly, his face changing quickly from annoyed to sad.

"We just want you to know that we're gonna be there. Cheering for you," Matt promises, the other Wildcats nodding.

"If singing is something you want to do, we should be boosting you, not tearing you down," Hunk admits. While Takashi knows it should make him happy to hear his team say that, he can't help but feel frustrated.

"There's nowhere to be. Keith doesn't talk to me and I don't know why, I don't know what to do!" he tells, and for a little while everyone is quiet. Matt and Hunk join him on the bench.

"We do," Matt says, and Hunk gives Takashi a basket of cookies.

"I baked these today. You might wanna eat them before you hear what we have to say."

 


 

Keith is doing calculations on the board in an empty classroom when Pidge shows up, knocking on the door before entering.

"Keith, I have been a jerk. No, wait, I was worse than a jerk, because I was a mean jerk. I thought that Shiro and the whole singing thing would stop you from being in the scholastic decathlon team," they tell.

"I heard what he had to say. I'm in your team now. Done," Keith says without turning his look from the board.

"No, not done. I knew Matt could get Shiro to say things he doesn't mean to make you forget about the callbacks. We planned it."

"No one forced Takashi to say anything. And it's okay. We should be preparing for the decathlon."

"The decathlon is whatever, comparing how you feel about us, and more importantly, how you feel about Shiro. That's what really matters," Pidge says, and turns Keith around by his shoulder so they can look into Keith's eyes.

 

Keith is silent for a while before he shakes his head, grabs his books and leaves.

 


 

That evening Takashi has a plan. He knows where Keith lives, so after dinner (and convincing Iverson he needs to do something important so he has no curfew), he drives there and rings the doorbell.

 

It’s not Keith who opens the door. It’s his mother. A tall woman with striking resemblance to her son. It’s obvious where Keith has inherited his beauty from. But no time to focus on that. Takashi is on a mission.

 

“Good evening, Mrs. Kogane. My name is Takashi Shirogane, I gave Keith a ride home from the karaoke the other night? I was wondering if Keith is home. I have something important I need to tell him,” Takashi explains, almost desperate to be let inside.

“Takashi, huh?” Krolia smiles, and glances away from the door for a few seconds.

 

At the top of their stairs is Keith, curious from hearing the doorbell this late, watching his mother and shaking his head. He can’t see Takashi, he’s not ready for his feelings to completely shatter.

 

“I’m sorry, but he’s drowning in homework,” she eventually says, turning back to look at a very saddened Takashi.

“I made a mistake, Mrs. Kogane, and I would really like to let Keith know that,” Takashi tells, and with a smile Krolia says to him, “I promise to let him know,” before closing the door.

 

Krolia turns to look at Keith, who’s avoiding her gaze.

“He seems like a decent fellow. Why won’t you give him a chance?” she asks.

“I can’t. He’s a good person. Too good for me. I can’t let him get my walls down and end up with a broken heart,” Keith mumbles, and Krolia shakes her head.

“You can’t be sure about that if you don’t try.”

 

Keith goes to his room without a word and closes the door behind him.

 

Takashi isn’t ready to give up, and calls Keith.

There is only as much running away that Keith can do, he thinks as he sits down on his bed. His mother’s words echo in his head before he finally answers.

 

“Keith, let me explain, please. What you heard the other day is not true. I was sick of my friends saying all kinds of things about singing, about you, so I said those things to shut them up. I didn’t mean any of it,” Takashi tells. Hearing his voice makes Keith’s heart beat faster.

“There’s nothing to explain, Takashi. The school, the universe has something against us singing together. You can’t let your team down because of me,” he says quietly. After days and sleepless nights repeating it in his head, he never thought it would hurt as much to say it out loud.

“It’s not possible to let my team down by listening to my heart. Keith… I don’t want to be just the basketball guy. If they can’t handle it, it’s not my problem. It’s theirs. So I’m going to sing. What about you?”

“I don’t know…”

“Well, I hope you say yes. Because I brought you something,” Takashi smiles.

“What do you mean?” Keith stands up, confused.

“Turn around.”

 

Keith does as Takashi told, and finds himself  face to face to Takashi, separated by nothing but the glass of the balcony door.

“How did you get there?” he asks needlessly through his phone.

“I climbed. It was surprisingly hard,” Takashi admits with a little shrug, sliding his phone back in his pocket.

 

Keith drops his phone on the floor and goes to open the balcony door, trying not to smile as he thinks about how the huge effort Takashi has put just to see him.

 

It’s the start of something new,

It feels so right to be here with you

Oh

And now looking in your eyes

I feel in my heart

The start of something… new,” Takashi sings before showing Keith the notes he has in his hands, “it’s a pairs audition.”

 

Keith has tears in his eyes as he takes the notes back, and kisses Takashi softly on the lips.

 

The start of something new.

Chapter Text

Over the next few days, Keith and Takashi are practicing hard on both fronts: basketball and decathlon. Singing rehearsals with Allura entwine with their schedule during the breaks of their respective specialities.




Such is the case during one day’s lunch time. After basketball practice, Takashi is hurrying to the music room so he’ll have as much time as possible to be with Keith, when suddenly Keith runs into him from a different hallway. They both fall down, Takashi on his butt and Keith on top of him.

 

For a while they just laugh there on the floor, but then Keith gets up, taking Takashi’s hand and both of them make a little friendly race to their common destination.

 

As they’re practising, Lotor and Lance happen to walk past the music room that’s occupied by the two and Allura.

“Wow… they actually sound good,” Lance stage-whispers.

“Yes, they do,” Lotor admits, “What a shame all three events are not on the same day.”
“That would mean Shiro would be busy with basketball, Keith with scie-- Oh, that would be good,” Lance smirks.

 

During the next free period Allura is in drama class, trying to figure out last minute lyrics, when she hears three pairs of footsteps.

“Mr. Smythe, we know you already decided the callbacks would be on Thursday, but wouldn’t it be magnificent to do them on Friday instead?” Lotor asks from the teacher.

“Magnificent… You are quite right about it being more magnificent. People do need entertainment to keep up until Monday,” Coran says, nodding, “Alrighty, I’ll see if it’s possible to change the date!”

 

Allura almost drops her notes after hearing the conversation. Change the date? She feels furious, but after a talk like that she also knows it’s impossible to turn Coran’s head anymore. They need a miracle.

 


 

The next morning Takashi and Keith are walking in the hallway hand in hand when they notice a note with big letters on top of the callback information.

 

Call-backs rescheduled to Friday 3 PM.

 

They look at the board in awe when some of their teammates notice them, and rad the sign too.

“Why would they do that?” Pidge wonders.

“I smell a rat named Coran,” Matt mutters. That’s when Allura passes by, and decides to set Matt’s assumptions right.

“Actually it’s two rats, neither named Coran,” she tells with frustration in her voice, and everyone turns to look at her curiously.

“You know something?”

“I heard them talking,” she says, “Lotor and Lance want to keep the show to themselves and convinced Coran to change the date.”
“Do you know what I’m going to do to those two show dogs?” Matt looks like he’s ready to fight, but Takashi stops him.

“Nothing. We will do nothing,” he says, still holding Keith’s hand as he turns to look at him, “except sing. I hope.”

Then he turns back to the others, clearly plotting something.

“This is only going to happen if we all work together.”

 


 

It doesn’t take long until the day of the callbacks arrives.

Which coincides with the day of the basketball championship game.

And the decathlon.

… Help?

 


 

The basketball team has decided to start the day with a surprise. They have homeroom in the morning, and the Wildcats burst into the classroom with plates and cups in their hands, and Hunk is carrying a large pie with the pi symbol on it.

“Coming through, coming through!” he says while zigzagging around desks.

“It’s a pi pie!” the team tells, making most of the other students laugh. The decathlon team gets the honors of cutting the pie and tasting it first. Its inside is chocolate and strawberry jam, rich in flavour and just the right amount of sweetness. Even the whipped cream on the sides has the taste of strawberry in them. Keith gets some of the whipped cream on his cheek while he’s busy eating, and with a smile Takashi sits down on his desk to face him, wiping the cream away.
For a moment the two just look into each other’s eyes with soft smiles on their faces before Takashi says, “We wanted to wish everyone good luck with this.”

 


 

In the afternoon before the game, Takashi is sitting on the bench of the dressing room of the gym, tying his shoelaces for the fifth or sixth time, and barely notices Iverson watching him by the door.

After a moment of silence, the coach decides to walk to sit down next to Takashi.

“How are you feeling?” Iverson asks as Takashi turns to look at him.

“Nervous,” Takashi admits.

“Me too,” Iverson huffs out with a laugh, “You know what I want from today’s game?”

“Victory?” is Takashi’s first thought, but that makes Iverson shake his head and pat the boy’s shoulder.

“I want you to have fun. No matter the score, I’m very proud of you for doing this. I will sleep with a smile on my face if you enjoy your time on the field, no matter the score.”

Takashi can’t help but to smile.

“Thanks… Dad,” he says, and Iverson huffs out a laugh.

“Oh no, that’s enough of this. We’ve got a game to play, son ,” Iverson says after a clear moment of thinking, and ruffles Takashi’s hair before leaving to the gym.

 


 

Meanwhile Lotor and Lance are preparing for their audition in the back room of the stage.

“I trust you,” Lotor says before turning his back to Lance and falling so the other can catch him. Lance does, and holds his cousin against his chest before lifting him up.

“Energy.”

 


 

The decathlon championship race begins with Keith doing equations against his opponent. They compete which one can finish the equation faster, and also be correct.

 

Keith knows his strong point is this, and tries not to stress too much. He has something way scarier ahead of him when he sings in public. But it will be with Takashi, so it will be alright.

 

And he’s done. He presses the buzzer, the judge checks his answer, and gives the point to team East High. The perfect way to start the competition.

 


 

“Theatre can be an embassy of comedy or drama. A joy and a burden. I commend you and all other young artists to hold out for the moon, the sun and the stars. Shall we soar together?” Coran begins the callbacks with a speech to the small audience consisting of members of the drama club.

“Lotor and Lance!”



Mucho Gusto

 

Lance enters the stage first, sliding from the left, wearing a sparkling blue dress shirt with like, three buttons, and tight black pants with matching stripes on the sides. His look is completed by a black fedora with blue accents.

 

¡Aye que fabulosa!

 

From the right stage side enters Lotor. He has a tight, dark purple dress shirt that’s only held together with a piece of black string, and black tight pants with dark purple stripes on the sides. His hair is held up in a messy bun and has hair accessories, both black and dark purple.

 

I believe in dreaming

Shooting for the stars

Baby to be number one

You got to raise the bar

Kicking and a scratching

Grinding out my best

Anything it takes to climb

The ladder of success

 


 

 

When they notice what time it is, Pidge takes out their laptop, pretending to do calculations when in reality they’re hacking into the school’s systems as easily as if they did this every day.

“Alright, Wildcats, time to exit the playfield,” they say under their breath.

 

In the gym right in the middle of the game suddenly the electric board starts spasming random numbers. All the players stop and stare, as does the audience, giving Takashi the perfect time to exit the field and run to the locker room.

 

Keith also runs away from the decathlon match right after they announce East High as the champions. While he is eager to celebrate with his team, he has somewhere else to be.

 


 

Takashi and Keith meet in the backstage right when Lotor and Lance are finishing their song.

“What if I can’t do this? They will all be staring at us, Takashi,” Keith admits his worries with a trembling voice. All the bad memories are coming back, no matter how much he has grown up.

 

Takashi smiles softly and takes a hold of Keith’s shaking hand.

“Just focus on me, Keith. Just like when we first sung together. I will be there with you the whole time,” he promises, making Keith smile a little.

“Okay,” Keith whispers, and pecks Takashi’s lips, “okay.”

 

As Coran calls them on stage, they hear lots of other sounds.

“Weird, usually the drama club members aren’t so loud,” Takashi wonders, but when they go on stage, hand in hand, they both see the cause. The rest of the Wildcat team has been able to leave the gym, among with their audience, as has the decathlon team. Keith squeezes Takashi’s hand, and Takashi squeezes back in encouragement.

“We can do this, Keith,” he whispers before giving Allura a nod to start playing the piano on the side of the stage.

 

We’re soaring, flying

There’s not a star in heaven that we can reach

 

Takashi starts singing, and keeps looking at Keith.

 

If we’re trying, so we’re breaking free

 

Keith smiles as he sings his line, his eyes focusing only in Takashi.

 

You know the world can see us

In a way that’s different than who we are

 

The words he sings feel ironic to Takashi. After all, they’ve had the problem of others seeing them in a different light. Luckily now the same people seem to be in the audience, cheering them on. Takashi can’t help but to feel happy as he glances at the audience before turning his gaze towards Keith.

 

Creating space between us

‘Til we’re separate hearts

 

Keith’s smile is soft and shy as he looks at Takashi and sings.

 

But your faith it gives me strength

Strength to believe

 

They sing in unison and move closer together. It feels so freeing to be together on the stage.

 

We’re breaking free

We’re soaring, flying

 

When the chorus begins, Keith lets go of Takashi’s hand so he can twirl around the stage, while Takashi runs around him like a plane. Keith is pretty sure Takashi promised not to do that outside their rehearsal, but he has to admit that it’s adorable.

 

There’s not a star in heaven that we can’t reach

If we’re trying, we’re breaking free

 

When Keith stops twirling, Takashi’s hand is in his the instant as they sing together. They can hear some cheering from the crowd.

 

Can you feel it building

Like a wave the ocean just can’t control

 

Iverson is a little late, so he stays by the doorway. He can still see, and more importantly hear the performance. Takashi looks very happy as he holds the hand of the other boy and sings with him. It seems like it was the right choice to let Takashi out that one evening to apologize.

 

Connecting by a feeling oh in our very soul

Very soul, ooh

 

Krolia is sitting in the back row so Keith wouldn’t notice him and get too nervous,but luckily she can still see and hear well. And she sees her son happy.

 

Rising ‘til it lifts us up so everyone can see

 

Maybe it isn’t so bad for Takashi to have something else besides basketball in life, Matt thinks.

 

We’re breaking free

 


 

After their performance Coran tells that he will put the results of the call-backs on the board later. That’s the cue for the Wildcats to get back on the field.

 

Keith is cheering for them in the front seat along with the rest of the decathlon team with him.

 

Takashi gets a free throw. He glances at Keith with a smile before he throws. Seconds are running out. The ball rolls a few times in the basket but in the end… It goes in.

 

East High wins the championship.

 

Keith runs to the playfield.

 

Takashi sees him and runs to him, wrapping his arms around Keith to lift him up and twirl around.

 

Keith chuckles and when they stop spinning he moves his hands on Takashi’s cheeks to press a kiss on his lips.

 

“Congratulations, Wildcat!” Keith says excitedly.

“Thanks! How did your team--” Takashi starts the question, but Keith stops him, too excited to hold the answer in.

“We won too!”
“That’s amazing. I’m so proud of you, Keith.”

 

For a few seconds they’re completely silent and just gaze into each other’s eyes before Takashi breaks into a wide smile and kisses Keith again. Screw the staring, he wants to kiss the best singing partner he could wish for and no one can stop him.

 

Except the Holt siblings who pull them apart. Literally.

“Enough flirting, boys,” Pidge says.

“Yeah, come to party with the rest of us,” Matt continues, already dragging them towards their teammates.

 


 

When the results for the callbacks are announced, Keith and Takashi go to see them together, hand in hand. It has come quite a common thing for them to do when walking in the school hallways.

 

“Is this for real?” Keith asks in awe as he points at the results. Takashi can’t help but to smile. Keith looks too adorable when he’s confused. In fact, Keith always looks too adorable, no matter what facial expression.

 

“Congratulations are in order,” a voice says behind them, and when they turn around they see Lotor standing there, hands on his hips.

“I guess this means I’m your understudy and have the lead if you can’t make it to some of the shows, so… break a leg,” he says with a smirk. Keith and Takashi exchange concerned looks, but before they can get too worried Lotor ends up chuckling.

“In theatre it means good luck,” he says before leaving.

 

Matt and Hunk have been on their way to see the results, too, when they hear the exchange. Matt looks horrified, but Hunk sighs with dreamy eyes.

“I’m so turned on right now,” he says. Matt turns to stare at him.

“What.”

“What?”

Matt sighs and walks away, so done with his friends. All of them.

 

Takashi and Keith stay in front of the board for a long while.

“Guess we’ll be the stars of the musical, huh?” Takashi asks, waving Keith’s hands back and forth. He has to admit, he’s excited about their victory.

“Guess so,” Keith replies and turns to look at him, smiling softly.

“But even outside the musical, you’re the brightest star of them all to me.”

 

We're all in this together

And it shows when we stand hand in hand

Make our dreams come true