Loud. Lance had forgotten how loud Earth was. Or rather, how loud humans were. The ATLAS was a big ship, huge, you would think there would be some semblance of quiet with so much room but no, it's still loud. People bustling about, running to and fro, talking into communicators. Lance was use to the quiet of space, so needless to say, he's still adjusting to life on the ATLAS.
They just finished a meeting with the Garrison, it went well, nothing to complain about. Keith actually asked him for suggestions and ideas, he's been doing that a lot lately. Including Lance and taking value in his opinion. It makes his heart flutter when Keith looks at him with big earnest eyes, a bright smile and says, "Good job Lance!" or "Nice one Lance!"
Ugh! He can't stop smiling like a love sick school girl. His crush on Keith rearing its ugly head again. He was able to suppress it for a little while, but now it's back full force.
Someone dropped something down the hall making Lance jump.
It's loud. He wants quiet.
He turns the corner to the hall where his room is and sees something standing in front of his door.
Lance smiles widely, "Kosmo! Hey buddy!"
He starts to jog toward the space pup and Kosmo wags his tail and turns around. There's something in his mouth. Lance furrows his brow and narrows his eyes to try and figure out what it is.
He stops short of Kosmo a few feet when he realizes what it is.
O no. O no no no nononono!
There, in Kosmo's mouth, are Keith's gloves.
The same one's he use to wear before he left for the Blade.
"Hey boy," Lance approaches Kosmo, slowly reaching out his hand to grab the gloves, "where did you get those?"
Lance knows exactly where he got them, in his closet, in a shoe box, buried under a pile of clothes.
Kosmo looks at him with wide playful eyes and crouches his front legs down with his butt in the air, tail wagging a mile a minute. He wants to play. Lance makes a grab for the gloves but Kosmo leaps out of his reach. Lance follows and tries again.
"Come on buddy, those aren't yours...now give them back!" Lance makes a quick swipe for the gloves but Kosmo is too fast. Sliding easily away from Lance.
He looks Lance in the eye and yips playfully then there's a sizzle, crack, POP!
And he's gone.
Shit! Shit! Shit! Where did he go?
Lance runs down the hall yelling out Kosmo's name. Everyone he passes gives him a strange look. He feels a charge in the air, sizzle, crack, POP!
He whips around and sees Kosmo running down the hall. Lance runs after him, dodging a few cadets looking down at tablets. He passes the kitchen and hears Hunk yell out.
"Lance! Lunch is ready!...Was that Kosmo? His food is here too!"
"Thanks man! Be there in a few!" Lance hollers as he gains on Kosmo.
They hit a dead end. "HA! I got you now!" Lance lunges for Kosmo.
Sizzle, crack, POP!
He hits the floor face first, arms stretched out in front of him. He'll worry about those bruises later.
Kosmo is behind him. He scrambles to get up and tries again. He's almost there, he feels a tuft of fur on his finger tips...
Sizzle, crack, POP!
Lance lands a little more gracefully this time but still manages to land hard on one elbow. Ow, right on his funny bone. As he lies there with that tingly feeling crawling up his arm, Kosmo lands right on his chest.
"Ooff!" All the air is pushed out of his lungs. His head hits the ground and he's down for a solid minute. All the while Kosmo is sitting on his chest, wagging his tail, looking expectantly at Lance like "Come on! Get up! I want to play!"
Lance lifts his head, "Kosmo......." he heaves in a breath, "buddy you are...heavy....get.....off." Lance tries to push him off but as he touches his fur a shock of static electricity runs through him and his arm hairs stand on end...
Sizzle, crack, POP!
Hunk comes striding around the corner, "Laaaanncce you're fo--" He looks around, "Where'd he go?"
"Ok. We'll get those supplies out to you by tomorrow." Keith checks over an inventory list of supplies set to be delivered to a satellite base forty miles from the Garrison. Matt is in charge, helping set up. "O and do you think you could ask Hunk for more of those home made twinkies?" He flutters his eyelashes and puts on his best smile. "Those things were wicked good! I only had two and then Nyma ate them all." Matt pouted and Keith could hear Nyma yell in the background, "They were delicious too!"
Keith snorts,"Heh, they were really good. Hunk's been cooking up a storm since we've had free time so I'll ask him tonight."
"Thanks man!" Matt throws up a peace sign and ends the transmission.
Keith sets down the checklist and starts to head for the door when....
Sizzle, crack, POP!
"What the fu-!" He crashes to the floor in a tangled mess of limbs and fur.
Kosmo? And....someone else... Fur is blocking his vision and he feels around with his hand. He feels a head, then short hair. Then comes a groan. Ah, it's Lance.
"Wha-what happened?" Lance looks up rubbing his head.
Kosmo hops off Keith and sits himself a few feet away.
"Keith?" Lance rubs his eyes and realizes he's half laying across Keith and he clambers off of him. Face as read as his lion.
"Sorry! Are you ok?" He extends a hand to help Keith up.
Keith grabs it and Lance hoists him up. "Ya, I'm fine. Surprised but fine. Kosmo use to do that to me all the time when he was a puppy. He did it to Mom once, she was so mad." Keith chuckles, "He's never done it to her since."
He glances over at Kosmo and notices he has something in his mouth. Keith's eyebrows shoot up into his hairline and his eyes go wide. "Are those my...gloves?"
Lance whips his head up, remembering how he got here and his chase down a few hallways. He steps in front of Kosmo and snatches the gloves. Kosmo lets out a bark and returns to Keith's side.
"T-they're...they...aren't...ya," Lance deflates. "They're your gloves." He hands them to Keith holding his breath. He doesn't know how Keith will react.
"Have you had these this whole time?" Keith is turning the gloves over in his hands, rubbing them like they are precious.
"I-I, yes. Ever since you left for the Blade actually."
Keith snaps his eyes to Lance, his mouth hangs open in shock. "Really? Why?"
"I don't know," Lance rubs the back of his neck. His face feels like it's on fire. "I just thought you might want them back some day. I made sure to grab them before we left the Castleship. And.." He gulps. "I missed you so it was nice having something to remind me of you."
O man, he said it. He actually told Keith that he missed him. He had missed him so much but was always too embarrassed to tell him.
"I wanted to give them back to you sooner but we were just to busy with.." he waves his hand around and gestures to everything around them. "Saving the world and all and I couldn't find the right time to do it."
Keith's eyes are a little watery and he sniffs. He runs his hand under his nose and looks up at Lance. Lance's heart stops when their gazes meet. Keith is looking at him like he is the most special person in the world. A toothy smile spread across his face.
"These were my Dad's" His voice is wobbly and he sniffs again. "Thank you so much Lance."
He puts them on and they somehow still fit perfectly even after all this time.
Lance is frozen. He definitely did NOT expect that kind of reaction. Keith's smile will be burned into his memory forever. "T-they look good on you."
Keith is feeling brave and in a moment of courage he leans forward and kisses Lance on the cheek. It's quick, but Keith's lips burn from the sensation of Lance's skin.
"I missed you too." Keith smiles and Lance is pretty sure his brain has shut down.
Keith missed him. Keith just kissed him. Has he died and gone to heaven?
Their moment of intimacy is broken by the sound of Hunk's voice on the overhead communicator. They both jump.
"Lance! Are you in there?"
Lance blinks and tries to form a sentence. "Y-ya! I'm here!"
"O good! Come get your lunch, it's getting cold! Have you seen Keith? I have his food too."
"Ya, he's here with me. We'll be there in a tick!"
The communicator turns off and they stare at each other.
"H-have you noticed how loud it is on this ship? It's like a circus is marching down the hall at all hours of the day!" He's rambling, he rambles when he gets nervous.
Keith giggles, an honest to god giggle and the butterflies in Lance's stomach take flight into his chest and threaten to escape.
"Ya, it's way different than the Castleship." Keith bites his lower lip and asks, "I know of a quiet place in the east wing..want to grab lunch and eat with me?"
Keith extends his hand to Lance and he eagerly takes it.
"Ya!" His voice comes out a little squeaky so he clears his throat. "Yes, I'd love to."
They are both smiling like idiots as they leave the control room, hand in hand, intertwining their fingers. Lance calls for Kosmo and he trots up besides him, nudging his hand. Lance looks down and scratches behind his ears.