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Tell me all the ways to love you

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Shiro’s hair had looked purple under the glow of the lights. He’d gotten in a day early and Lance, the hospitable friend that he was, had met up with him and offered his place for the night.

It was the five year anniversary of Allura’s death tomorrow. Her sacrifice. And every year the paladins and Coran would gather and have dinner, catch up on each of their busy lives, and Lance felt bad that he always looked forward to it so much.

They’d dropped Shiro’s bag at Lance’s place and gone straight back out. Shiro had said he’d figured Lance needed something and that he’d buy the first round if Lance bought the second.

Lance had needed something. So they’d gone to a bar, but it had been half dead, and so they’d found themselves in a club. Four rounds later (two from Shiro, two from Lance), Lance had dragged him onto the dance floor when a song he particularly liked had come on, and so here they were.

Dancing. It wasn’t really dancing, more just… moving against one another, pressed close together by the other bodies around them, lights low in a violet glow and Lance could practically feel the beat in his bones.

Five songs later, Shiro had promised him another round if he didn’t make them go for another song, and Lance had agreed with a playful roll of the eyes, dragging him back over to the bar and they’d drunk more, still pressed close, giggling softly to each other until they’d decided to be responsible adults - or Shiro had requested and Lance had complained - and gone back home.

And so they were back at Lance’s, coats off and slung on hooks by the door, shoes lazily kicked off in the hall.

‘You have anything to drink?’ Shiro asked with a hum.

‘Are you trying to get me drunk, Shiro?’ Lance giggled, as if he wasn’t completely feeling it already.

‘Maybe.’ Shiro said, a soft smirk tugging at the corner of his lips and Lance just giggled harder.

‘Was that a flirt, Shiro? Hoping you’ll end up in my bed tonight?’

Shiro spluttered at that. ‘What? I- no! Of course not-‘

Lance laughed and slapped his arm lightly. ‘Oh hush, I’m only teasing you. And to answer your question, yes. I do have something to drink. And if by some chance you were trying to get me drunk, that would be okay.’

He sauntered away to the kitchen with that, pulling out whatever he had in his cupboard, which honestly, he wasn’t too sure he still had, but was glad that he did, and poured them both a glass.

He gave Shiro his glass and clinked them together, thankful he hadn’t put too much in as he made the decision to down it and look at Shiro challengingly.

Shiro raised an eyebrow, downing his own in response.

‘We could just skip the part where we get drunk enough to justify it.’ Lance breathed, biting his lip as Shiro took a step towards him. ‘I think we’re there already.’

‘I think you could be right.’ Shiro agreed, taking another step, pressing Lance against his kitchen counter and stopping about an inch away from his lips. ‘Aren’t you…?’

‘What, straight?’ Lance asked with an airy laugh, fisting his hands into Shiro’s collar and pulling him against his lips. ‘Where did you hear that?’

‘I- just assumed-‘ Shiro murmured between kisses and Lance laughed again.

‘You see me once a year, Shiro. Now shut up, and kiss me properly.’ He said, making a soft noise as Shiro dragged his teeth over Lance’s bottom lip, hands sliding over his waist, and Lance had never loved his kitchen counter more than right now, being pinned against it by Shiro.

Lance gasped into his mouth as Shiro parted his lips with his own and slid his tongue over his, and then Lance was stumbling forwards, still holding fistfuls of Shiro’s shirt as he pushed him out of the kitchen and towards his bedroom the best he could while trying to keep kissing him.

Lance fumbled with his door handle, pushing the door open and Shiro inside, backing him up towards the bed and down onto it, clambering on top of him and meeting him half way as Shiro leant up to recapture his lips.

Lance shivered and gave a soft gasp as he felt Shiro’s hands under his shirt, parting from him to let him pull it up over his head and then doing the same to Shiro’s, biting his lip and running his hands down Shiro’s chest.

‘You’re gorgeous.’ Shiro breathed, pressing open mouthed kisses to his neck and Lance breathed a soft moan, biting his lip and entangling a hand into Shiro’s hair.

‘Shut up.’ He mumbled, feeling his cheeks heat.

‘Why?’ Shiro asked, nipping at his skin and Lance gave a soft audible gasp, eyes fluttering.

‘Take a look at yourself.’ He said back, tightening his grip in Shiro’s hair as he nipped again.

‘But I’m looking at you.’ He said, pulling back to look at him. Lance felt himself flush harder and he pulled Shiro back in against his neck.

Shiro huffed a laugh against him, kissing over his skin and sucking again and god, it had been so long since Lance had done this he couldn’t find it in himself to even want Shiro to stop or move to a more easily coverable place.

Shiro’s hands trailed over Lance’s back, slowly moving down to grip his ass, squeezing a little and eliciting another soft gasp from Lance, and then a moan as he pulled Lance’s body against his own in a slow teasing grind.

‘S-Shiro…’ Lance breathed, head tipping back a little to give him more room as he marked him.

‘I want you.’ Shiro murmured against his skin and Lance shuddered, whining softly.

‘Take me, please fuck, take me, Shiro.’ Lance breathed and Shiro gave a low groan into his neck, biting a little harder.

‘Lube and condom?’ Shiro asked, and Lance got out of his lap, crawling over to the other side of his bed and opening his bedside drawer, getting them out.

Shiro took them from him and pushed Lance down onto the bed, metal hand closing around both of his wrists and holding them above his head against the pillow.

Lance whimpered softly as Shiro leant back over him, kissing down his chest, tongue flicking out over one of his nipples and Lance gave another breathless whimper, back arching a little into him.

‘You’re so responsive.’ Shiro murmured with a soft laugh, lightly pinching his other between his fingertips as Lance whined.

‘S-shut up.’ Lance whimpered, flushing.

‘’S cute.’ Shiro murmured, wrapping his lips around the bud and sucking, eliciting a soft high moan from Lance, arching further against him.

‘S-Shiro… please…’ Lance whined, hips stuttering a little, cock straining in his pants and begging for some attention.

‘Please what?’ Shiro asked in a soft hum, flicking his nail against his nipple and watching with an amused smirk as Lance flinched and gasped out a moan.

‘S-stop teasing me…’

‘But you make such cute little noises…’ Shiro said, a soft tease in his voice and Lance glared at him.

‘You can quiznaking well find somewhere else to stay…’ He threatened, but it came out in a weak whimper as Shiro began to kiss further down his torso and unbutton his pants with his free hand.

‘Still saying quiznak?’ Shiro asked in amusement and Lance squirmed as he kissed over ticklish spots on his stomach.

‘It’s- it’s a good word!’

Shiro hummed in agreement, unzipping his pants and pulling them down his hips, kissing over his pelvis and his underwear, over his clothed cock and Lance gave a long whimper as Shiro let his tongue slide over it, hips stuttering a little.

‘Do I need to hold here, too?’ He asked, raising an eyebrow and flicking Lance’s hip, nuzzling his cock and Lance whined, shaking his head. ‘Good. Be a good boy for me, Lance.’

God, Lance had never really appreciated Shiro’s voice until now, and maybe it was because he was mostly drunk and it was raspy with arousal, but god. Lance knew he’d be thinking about it for weeks to come.

‘I’ll be good.’ He breathed and Shiro looked up at him, releasing his wrists and hooking his fingers into his underwear.

‘I know you will, you always are.’ Shiro replied, pulling the underwear down his hips along with his pants and Lance groaned softly as his cock was freed. ‘Always so eager to please.’

‘Please, Shiro…’ Lance whined, biting his lip.

Shiro raised an eyebrow at him, ‘Please?’

‘Touch me- oh fuck…’ He moaned, cutting himself off as Shiro wrapped his hand around the base of his cock, slowly stroking over it.

‘Like that?’ Shiro asked and Lance nodded, eyes fluttering closed. ‘...Like this?’ He asked, softer, and Lance didn’t have time to ask what he meant before lips were wrapped around the head of his cock and Lance was gasping breathlessly, doing everything he could to hold himself back from pushing up into the heat of Shiro’s mouth.

‘Fuck- Shiro- fuck-‘ Lance groaned, and shit, it had been too long since he’d had sex, he’d almost forgotten what it was like to have a blow job.

‘Thought you were saying quiznak now.’ Shiro said as he pulled off, pressing wet open mouthed kisses down his shaft before taking one of his balls into his mouth and sucking.

Lance gave a soft shout, hand moving to bury in Shiro’s hair, tugging as his hips stuttered.

‘Fuck me- god, please, fuck me, Shiro…’ Lance begged and Shiro laughed softly around him, the sensation making Lance give another shout which was more close to a sob. ‘Please…’

‘Okay, baby, I’ve got you.’ Shiro soothed softly, pressing a kiss to his hip bone as he picked up the bottle of lube and carefully spread Lance’s legs, slicking his fingers and working one into him.

Lance whimpered softly, spreading his legs further for him and biting down on his lip, giving soft mewls of pleasure as Shiro gently worked a second into him when he was ready and spread them inside of him, hooking them in just the right place that had Lance arching off the bed and breathlessly moaning, arm thrown across his flushed face and by the time he was comfortably taking three fingers Lance was all but begging for him.

‘Shiro- Shiro, fuck, I’m good- I’m good, I promise-‘ He moaned.

‘Are you sure?’ Shiro asked, wetting his lip. ‘I’m not small.’

Lance groaned softly, nodding. ‘Please- I want you, please, Shiro, give it to me, I can take it…’

Shiro bit his lip and nodded, sitting up so that he could pull the rest of his clothes off and Lance watched with a moan as he ran his fist over himself a few times before rolling the condom on. Fuck. He was big.

‘Fuck, you weren’t kidding.’ He moaned and Shiro huffed a laugh.

‘Still sure you’re ready?’

‘Shiro, if you don’t get inside me right now I’m kicking you out.’ He said, narrowing his eyes.

Shiro laughed again, crawling over him and mouthing at his jaw as he gripped Lance’s hips, pulling him against him as he lined himself up, gently beginning to push into him.

‘Fuck. Fuck, fuck, fuck.’ Lance breathed all at once at the stretch, arching off of the bed and into Shiro’s touch.

‘I’ve got you.’ Shiro murmured, sliding a hand around to rest on the small of his back, holding him close as he slowly rocked into him a little more and Lance gave another breathless moan. ‘Tell me if you need me to slow down.’ He said, kissing up his jaw and catching his lips.

‘Don’t you dare.’ Lance moaned against them, wrapping his legs around Shiro’s waist to pull him in deeper.

‘Easy, sharpshooter.’ Shiro said with a soft laugh as Lance gave a whimper.

‘Haven’t called me that in a while.’ Lance laughed back, moaning softly.

‘You always said it would stick, didn’t you?’ Shiro said, groaning as he finally bottomed out, giving Lance a moment to adjust.

‘Not sure what shooting I’ve been doing lately.’ He said, rolling his hips a little against Shiro’s.

‘I’m sure you’ve still got it.’ Shiro murmured back, kissing at his jaw.

‘Shiro- move- please…’ Lance whimpered, giving a high breathless gasp as Shiro began to draw his cock back out of him and thrust it back in.

‘God- you feel incredible, Lance…’ Shiro groaned, burying himself back inside of Lance.

‘Fuck- fuck, Shiro… so good- fuck-‘ Lance whined back, rolling his hips back against him. ‘More… I can take it…’

Lance felt Shiro give a soft groan against his skin and then he was burying his cock inside of him over and over, hips gripped and pulled flush against him so that he could angle himself in a way that had Lance desperately crying out with each thrust, head thrown back against the bed and eyes screwed shut as he raked his nails down Shiro’s back, desperately trying to cling to him.

‘S-Shiro-‘ Lance gasped, throwing an arm over his face as he writhed on the bed. ‘S-Shiro- close-‘

Shiro groaned at that biting into his neck. ‘Cum, baby.’ He murmured against his ear and Lance did, crying out loudly, back arching as he shot thick ropes of cum over his chest, thighs shaking as Shiro held him, kept driving into him through it and Lance was shaking and whimpering from over stimulation.

And then Shiro was groaning against him, panting, hips stuttering as he came, fucking him through his orgasm and finally slowing his hips to a stop.

The two lay there panting and breathless for a good few minutes before either of them moved, and Shiro carefully pulled out of him, tying the condom and throwing it in Lance’s bin, collapsing back on the bed beside him and throwing an arm around Lance, pulling him close.

Lance really couldn’t have moved even if he wanted to, he was so exhausted. He hadn’t had sex in a very long time, let alone actually be fucked- hard- but he didn’t want to move, because Shiro was comfortable, so he closed his eyes with a soft sigh and quickly fell asleep against him.

 

***

 

When Lance woke up he was warm and comfortable in a way that he hadn’t been in a very long time. He shifted against Shiro and gave a soft contented sigh. Wait- Shiro?

Right. Shiro. That had- happened. He and Shiro had happened.

He blinked, looking up at him.

‘Morning.’ Shiro said, voice a little rough from sleep.

‘Morning.’ Lance said softly back, not sure whether it was appropriate yet to disentangle himself from Shiro’s arms.

‘How are you feeling?’

‘Mm, not amazing.’ Lance said with a soft groan, more well versed with the signs of a hangover than he would have liked to be. ‘You?’

‘Yeah. Not great.’ Shiro admitted. ‘At least we should feel better by tonight, though.’

Tonight? What was- oh. Oh fuck.

‘Oh fuck.’ Lance echoed his thoughts. ‘It’s-‘

‘Yeah.’ Shiro said, biting his lip and inhaling.

‘Yeah.’ Lance echoed quietly.

‘Do- you um… regret… it?’ Shiro asked quietly and Lance was quiet for a long moment.

‘No. I just- wish it hadn’t been last night.’

Shiro made a soft noise of acknowledgement. ‘It’s been five years.’ He said quietly. ‘I don’t think that she’d mind.’

Lance sighed softly, curling in on himself a little. ‘I know she wouldn’t. It’s just- yeah. You know.’

‘I do. I’m sorry.’

‘No, don’t apologise.’ Lance frowned. ‘I came onto you, anyway.’

Shiro didn’t say anything to that, and the two were quiet for a long minute.

‘Breakfast?’ Shiro asked and Lance looked up at him.

‘Is that a do you have anything or a shall we make some?’

Shiro gave a soft laugh. ‘It’s a how about I make us breakfast in bed?’

Lance smiled and bit his lip. ‘Why?’

‘When was the last time you had breakfast in bed?’

‘I- can’t actually remember.’ Lance admitted.

‘Then stay here, and let me make you something. You have eggs?’

Lance nodded, watching as Shiro got up, stark naked and left his bedroom, before Lance remembered they’d left his overnight bag out in the living room.

Lance gave a soft incredulous laugh as he buried himself back down in the sheets. He’d- hooked up with Shiro? And now Shiro was making him breakfast in bed.

The guy that had once been his hero, turned friend, turned someone he’d been able to consider family, turned someone he saw once a year, every year.

He realised he’d fallen back asleep when Shiro was gently shaking him awake, holding two trays of food.

Lance wet his lip and sat up, picking up a sweatshirt off of the floor and pulling it over his head, as Shiro got into bed next to him.

‘This- looks really good.’ Lance said. It was scrambled eggs on toast, so nothing too extravagant, but everything was nicer when you didn’t have to make it yourself.

Shiro looked a little bashful as he shrugged, putting Lance’s tray down on his lap.

‘No really- thank you.’ He said softly as he picked up his cutlery and began to eat.

‘You’re welcome.’ Shiro said softly back, doing the same.

The two ate in a comfortable silence and Lance didn’t think he’d ever been in a weirder situation than this. And that was saying something.

‘Are you feeling any better?’ Shiro asked once they were finished, taking Lance’s tray from him and putting them on the bedside table.

Lance made a non committal noise. ‘Yeah, a little.’

Shiro nodded. ‘I didn’t know where you kept painkillers… I didn’t want to just, root around.’

‘’S okay.’ Lance said softly, getting up, pulling some boxers out of his drawer and putting them on, and then some sweats, going into the bathroom to get some.

Shiro was in the kitchen when he got back, washing up the dishes.

‘You don’t need to do that.’ He said and Shiro shrugged.

He handed him the painkillers and they both took some.

‘Mm, I’m blaming you for getting me drunk.’ Lance said with a soft groan, running a hand through his hair.

‘That’s fair. I had an agenda though, remember?’ He asked with a laugh and Lance laughed with him.

‘How could I forget?’

‘How’s that feeling?’

Lance shrugged. ‘Little achey. Okay, a lot achey.’ He said, and Shiro gave him an apologetic smile. ‘Anyway, we slept in. We should probably get going- the others’ll be arriving soon. You can shower first if you want.’

Shiro nodded and made his way to the bathroom and Lance heard the shower start a few moments later.

He spent a few minutes finishing the washing up and putting it away, before going back into his room to get some clothes out.

It was always a weird atmosphere on the anniversary - a mixture of excitement to see his friends again after so long, and a deep sadness and longing for Allura. It had gotten easier, over the years, but Lance knew it would never stop completely. He was always going to miss her. He didn’t know how to move on.

Lance jolted as Shiro came back in to the bedroom, towel slung low around his waist, overnight bag in hand.

‘It’s all yours.’ He said with a smile and Lance nodded, getting up and going into the bathroom.

He blew out a long breath as the hot water hit his skin. He stood there for a few minutes before lathering soap onto himself and shampoo into his hair.

There was also… a sense of something else, on the anniversary. It was hearing about the amazing things all of his friends were doing… and realising that he wasn’t. He wasn’t doing anything with his life. He’d saved the universe and then what?

He supposed that Shiro was in the same boat as him, he didn’t know what he’d been doing with his time since his divorce, but he hadn’t heard about it. Lance had a stupid job, which he enjoyed, but… was that what he wanted to be doing forever? Was it ridiculous to miss the old days?

He finished up in the shower and went about putting cream on his face and brushing his teeth, letting himself mostly air dry and wrapping a towel back around his waist to go back to the bedroom in case Shiro was still there. Not that it would have made much of a difference, Shiro had- seen everything.

Shiro wasn’t in the bedroom, and Lance quickly changed and brushed his hair, before making his way out into the living room where Shiro was reading the paper. He didn’t know where he’d gotten it from, and he supposed Shiro must have brought it with him.

‘You ready to go? Hunk should be there, at least, finishing the food up. Coran, too.’ Lance said and Shiro nodded, standing up.

Lance led him outside to his car and drove them to Coran’s place, where they’d been having the dinner for the last few years. Lance felt a little bad that he didn’t stay in contact with the man much, as he lived relatively close, compared to the others, some of which lived galaxies away.

It didn’t take them long to get there, and as Lance had thought, Hunk was already there, and he welcomed them both with tight hugs.

Coran was next, whisking Shiro away to show him something that Shiro really looked like he didn’t want to see, and Lance and Hunk laughed at the desperate look on his face.

‘So.’ Hunk said with a wide smile, wrapping an arm around Lance in another hug. ‘Are you seeing someone?’ He asked, raising an eyebrow.

Lance furrowed his brows in confusion. ‘What?’

Hunk gestured to his neck, and Lance winced.

‘Um- no, it was just. You know.’ He said with a shrug and Hunk nodded in understanding.

‘Oh. So when did you pick Shiro up?’ He asked, changing the subject.

‘Last night.’ Lance said, biting his lip, watching as Hunk frowned in confusion.

‘But I thought-?’ Lance gave him a look. ‘Wait- Shiro?’

‘Don’t tell anyone.’ Lance sighed. Why couldn’t he have just told Shiro not to leave marks? Why did anyone have to know about this? ‘It was just sex. A one time thing, and we were drunk.’

‘Still- Shiro?’ He asked, practically incredulous and Lance rolled his eyes.

‘Please. Seriously. It’s not a big deal, and we don’t need to talk about it, anymore. Just forget about it, okay? We haven’t seen each other for months and you wanna talk about my sex life?’

‘Yeah, no, of course- okay- I’m just- yeah-‘

‘Oh, I think that’ll be Pidgeon.’ Lance said as the doorbell sounded, making a swift exit and going to open the door. Why couldn’t anything be simple?

It was Keith, who Lance quickly enveloped in a tight hug, and Keith huffed a laugh and hugged him back.

‘Finally tying the beast up, hm?’ Lance asked, tugging on Keith’s pony tail and Keith grumbled, shoving him off of him.

‘Shut up, Lance.’

‘Now now, don’t start already, you two.’ Shiro said, coming back in, walking over to greet Keith with a warm hug.

‘Aw, it wouldn’t be a family meal otherwise, Shiro. You love us, really.’ Lance complained, moving to tug on Keith’s hair again and Keith laughed, shaking his head.

‘You’re a dick.’

‘You love me.’

‘You’re lucky I do.’

‘Aw, Keithy.’ Lance cooed, throwing his arms around his neck and teasingly nuzzling him. Keith rolled his eyes with a soft laugh.

‘Right everyone- at the table! Hunk’s nearly ready to serve!’ Coran called and they went into the dining room, sitting down around the table, Lance placing himself next to the two empty seats where Hunk and Pidge would sit.

Pidge was a little late, arriving just as Hunk was bringing the food in, full of big smiles and apologies, but no one minded, giving her big welcoming hugs.

The dinner was good. It was always really nice to sit down with good food and catch up with the people that they had all considered to be family. They all toasted their drinks to Allura, taking a moment with sad smiles to miss her, before continuing enthusiastically talking to one another and eating.

Finally, when it was time to bid each other farewell, there were a few tears; there always were, and they said goodbye for the rest of the year. All making promises to meet up and call that they knew they wouldn’t keep as life took over once more.

Lance really missed the old days.

Lance and Shiro were almost the last to leave. Pidge was first, followed by Keith. Hunk was staying for a little while to clean up in the kitchen, and he held Lance tightly as they said goodbye.

‘Promise you’ll call?’ Hunk asked, holding him tighter and Lance nodded.

‘I will, I promise.’

‘You always promise.’ Hunk said with a soft laugh, shaking his head.

‘Don’t we all? Seriously, though. If you have a free couple of days? I’m literally- never busy. Come over, buddy.’

Hunk nodded. ‘I will. Take care of yourself, okay?’

Lance smiled and nodded. ‘I will. Love you, man.’

And then they were back in Lance’s car, making the drive back to pick up Shiro’s bags and take him to what Lance still referred to as the spaceport.

‘Do you want to come in for a drink?’ Lance asked with a sigh as they got in, desperately not wanting to be alone again after having such a nice day with everyone. He hated coming back and being alone. Knowing that he wouldn’t see them again for another year. God, he hated it.

Shiro bit his lip and nodded. ‘Yeah, I could go for a drink.’

Lance sat him down on the sofa, picking up the bottle from the previous night and getting out a few half empty bottles from the back of his cupboard.

‘You feeling okay?’ Shiro asked, huffing a laugh as Lance carried everything in along with some glasses, pouring them both a drink and taking a long swig.

Lance shrugged. ‘I love seeing everyone. But- I don’t like going home afterwards… And I love getting to catch up with everyone… but there’s always- it’s fun. But that’s not what it is, not really. It just marks another year since she’s been gone.’

Shiro gave a soft sigh and nodded and Lance took another long drink as Shiro spoke. ‘Yeah… I know what you mean. It’s always… there should be another chair there. She should be there with us.’

‘And it’s- it’s been five years now. But it doesn’t get any better. It never gets any better.’

‘I’m sorry.’ Shiro said softly, frowning. ‘I know it’s harder for you.’

‘Sorry. I didn’t invite you in so I could complain.’ He said with a soft laugh, shaking his head.

‘It’s okay.’ Shiro said, refilling Lance’s glass as he finished what he had left. ‘Sometimes it’s better to talk about things…’

Lance gave another small shrug. ‘It’s just- hard, you know? Everyone’s off doing amazing things with their lives and I’m just- here. What am I doing? I’m not. Keith’s doing incredible things with the blades, and Hunk- god, he’s doing everything he ever dreamed of with food… Honestly, I couldn’t even tell you what Pidge is doing, but I know she’s happier than she’s ever been… Even you got married.’ He finished quietly. ‘You found something, even if it didn’t work,’

Shiro was quiet for a moment and nodded. ‘I guess I’m in the same boat as you now though, huh? I’m still trying to figure out what I’m supposed to be doing.’

‘Why didn’t it work?’ Lance asked quietly, biting his lip.

Shiro was quiet again, and Lance could practically see him thinking. ‘I’m too damaged.’ He said at last.

‘Shiro…’

‘I don’t need you to tell me I’m not, Lance. We all are. Everyone who was touched by the war, is. And some more than others, and I fall into that category.’ He gave a soft sigh. ‘It was nice at first, you know? Having something good and pure after all of that shit… It was like… desperately clinging on and trying to move on, but you don’t really… move on. And it was too much to ask him to deal with everything that went along with that, and he couldn’t.’ He gave a shrug. ‘And that’s okay, we rushed into things, anyway. I think I was just desperate for some sense of normality after everything, some way to get things back to how they were beforehand.’

Lance nodded. ‘I’m sorry it didn’t work out.’ He said softly.

‘I’m not.’ Shiro said with a soft smile. ‘He’s doing better now. I wasn’t good for him.’

Lance shook his head softly with a smile. ‘You’re too kind to everyone but yourself, Shiro.’

Shiro huffed a soft laugh. ‘One day I’ll figure it out… I haven’t had much luck with men, so far. I empathise with you, though; I still miss Adam. I know it’s not- remotely the same situation… But I know how it feels to lose someone that you love, and I’m sorry.’

‘How did you get over it?’ Lance asked, resting his head against the back of the couch.

‘I’m still not, not really. I never had the time to grieve; we were in the middle of war, I just had to get back out there and carry on. I think… I think that I didn’t have enough time and you’ve had too much, and that’s why it still hurts so much. Because everything is a reminder.’

‘I know it’s been five years… That’s- that’s a long time. That’s- an insanely long amount of time when you’re not doing much. But how do I get over her? How do I get over that? There was- not like with you and Adam, there was no break up, there was no closure, she was just taken from me and now she’s gone… And I had her for such a short amount of time, isn’t fair, she deserved so much more…’

‘I don’t think you really do get over it. Not really. I think you just somewhere along the way, find a way to carry on.’

‘Have you?’

Shiro hummed softly. ‘I think the war was my carry on. I still miss him, but it’s not- it’s not a constant hurt.’

Lance nodded, biting his lip and they were quiet for a few minutes.

‘I just don’t want to be alone anymore.’ He said with a heavy sigh. ‘I haven’t dated anyone in five years, just- hook ups and first dates that I never want to go on and never follow up… All the people that I considered to be my family are scattered around the universe doing whatever the hell amazing things that that they’re doing… What am I doing? I just- I just don’t want to come home and be alone anymore.’

‘I know the feeling, trust me.’ Shiro said, running a hand through his hair. ‘Since the divorce… I know it was a few years ago now, but coming home to an empty house is still hard. It’s not- yeah.’

Lance looked at him for a long moment. ‘Stay with me for a while.’ He said quietly.

‘What?’ Shiro asked, brows furrowed.

‘Well, you could get on the next ship home tomorrow morning and go home to your empty house, and leave me here in mine. And then we can both mope about how alone we are and probably get drunk by ourselves and cry a bit, or maybe that’s just me. Or you could stay here for a bit. A week, a month. I don’t care. However long you want. If you want.’

‘I- okay.’ Shiro said softly, nodding.

‘Okay?’

‘Yeah. Going home doesn’t sound all that great and staying here sounds a lot better…’

‘Oh, that’s- really? Great.’ Lance said with a soft laugh, shaking his head, and Shiro laughed with him.

‘It’ll be fun - like the old days.’ Shiro said with a smile. Lance really missed the old days.

‘Oh- I, um. I don’t have a spare room.’ He said, biting his lip, hoping that wasn’t a deal breaker.

Shiro shrugged. ‘I can take the couch, I don’t mind.’

‘Um.’ Lance said, hesitating. ‘You could just- share my bed. I mean, it’s not like it’s any different, you already did last night… It’s not like… there needs to be a prelude of sex for you to sleep somewhere comfortable…’

Shiro laughed softly. ‘Okay, we’ll share the bed then.’

‘Okay.’ Lance agreed with a smile. ‘Which- to be honest, you should probably take me to before I drink any more and then do something stupid like sleep with you again.’

‘Oh? Is that something stupid?’ Shiro teased and Lance groaned.

‘Ask sober Lance.’

Shiro laughed, leaning over him until he could feel his breath against his lips. ‘I’m finding I quite like intoxicated Lance - he does stupid things like sleep with me.’

‘Oh, shut up.’ Lance groaned, sliding a hand around to cup the back of his head, pulling Shiro against his lips and kissing him messily, groaning as Shiro slipped his tongue into his mouth, kissing him like he was hungry for him.

He gasped softly as Shiro parted from him, kissing wetly over the already bruised skin of his neck and nipping.

‘Mm, I’m too tired.’ Lance complained softly as his eyes fluttered closed. ‘I’m too emotionally exhausted for sex.’

‘That’s okay.’ Shiro murmured softly, standing up and scooping Lance up into his arms, flicking out the light and carrying him into the bedroom, setting him down on the bed. ‘Do you want any help out of your clothes?’ He asked teasingly.

Lance glared at him. ‘No, because then I’ll want you to fuck me.

‘Maybe I want you to want me to fuck you.’

‘Mm, fuck me in the morning.’ Lance said through a yawn, pulling his clothes off and clambering under the covers.

‘Is that something sober Lance would allow, do you think?’ Shiro asked, doing the same and slinging an arm over Lance’s waist.

‘I don’t know yet, you’ll have to ask him.’

Shiro laughed softly. ‘Are my chances good?’

‘Mm, probably.’ Lance admitted, snuggling against him.

Shiro made an amused sound of acknowledgement. ‘Sweet dreams, Lance.’

‘Mmmm, you too.’

 

***

 

Morning was warm again in a way that Lance really didn’t want to think about getting used to, because he really could.

Shiro was awake before him again, gently stroking circles into his side with his thumb which soon came to a stop as he realised Lance was awake.

‘Mm, morning.’ Lance said in a soft hum, not opening his eyes yet.

‘Good morning.’ Shiro replied, not starting the movements up again, which in his sleepy state, was quite disappointing. ‘Sleep well?’

‘Mmm, I think.’ Lance said, yawning and turning over to face Shiro. ‘You?’

Shiro nodded. ‘Yeah, okay, I think.’ He said and they were quiet in a comfortable sleepy silence for a few moments. ‘You have any plans for today?’

Lance shook his head and huffed a laugh. ‘Today’s usually out ‘cause I’m blind drunk.’

Shiro didn’t say anything to that, frowning and looking at him.

‘I don’t have a problem.’ Lance said softly.

Shiro raised an eyebrow.

‘I don’t!’

‘I don’t know, I’ve been here all of two days and it seems a little like you might.’ He said sheepishly.

Lance sighed. ‘I over indulge sometimes, sure. It’s not like- an all the time thing… I’m not an alcoholic.’ He said quietly.

‘Okay.’ Shiro said softly.

‘You don’t believe me?’

‘No, if you say it’s not a problem then it’s not a problem.’ Shiro said firmly. ‘You can forgive me though for worrying, right? I care about you.’

‘I know.’ Lance said softly with a smile. ‘I care about you too.’

‘So if you don’t have any plans…’ Shiro said with a long hum. ‘We could… stay in bed… or go out and get breakfast - your cupboards were looking a little bare.’

Lance gave a deliberating hum that came out more like a groan. ‘Staying in bed sounds good. But so does food…’

‘Well… we could have a little longer.’

‘Mmmm…’ Lance hummed, biting his lip.

Was that even the best idea? He was still pretty much in Shiro’s arms, and he was very well aware that they had fucked, and that it hadn’t strictly been a one time thing judging by what Lance had said last night. And the fact that he’d kissed him again.

He was grateful that Shiro hadn’t brought up Lance’s offer of morning sex, because really… a one night stand was a one night stand but friends with benefits always got complicated, everyone knew that. And Shiro was one of the few people in Lance’s life that he wanted to keep there, and didn’t want things to be complicated with. Sex got complicated, that’s just the way it was.

Then again, Lance had had what- one drink last night? Two? That… That was an excuse. An excuse to kiss Shiro, an excuse to offer him sex and blame it on not being sober…

And on the other hand, Shiro was so incredibly attractive, and Lance was so incredibly horny and touch starved, and Shiro was so incredibly good in bed. Did sex always have to get complicated?

If Shiro wasn’t going to bring it up then Lance definitely wasn’t going to bring it up. Probably.

‘Are you feeling better?’ Shiro asked gently and Lance was shaken out of his thoughts. What?

‘Oh- yeah. Thank you. I think so.’

Right. He’d also spilled all of his innermost thoughts to Shiro last night. Someone that he had only seen once a year for the past five years and was currently laying in the arms of. God, he needed a drink. Maybe Lance did have a problem after all.

‘I’m glad. It always helps to talk about things, I’ve found.’

‘It’s weird, talking about your feelings.’ Lance said, looking up at him.

Shiro laughed softly. ‘It is.’ He agreed. ‘But it gets easier. I um- used to see a therapist, for a while.’

‘Oh.’ Lance said softly. ‘That sounds like it was probably a good idea.’

‘It was. I’m- better at dealing with everything now, and my nightmares are better.’

‘That’s good. I probably could have used one of those.’ Lance hummed.

Shiro laughed softly. ‘’S not too late.’

‘Mm, I’ll think about it.’

‘Mmm. Are you ready to get up yet? I, for one, am pretty hungry.’ Shiro said, stretching and Lance nodded, sitting up.

‘Yeah, you wanna shower before we go? I can’t really be bothered.’

Shiro laughed again and shook his head. ‘I’m too hungry.’

‘Mm, okay then. Let’s get dressed. You should probably get some more clothes if you’re gonna be here… however long you want to stay for…’ Lance said, trailing off, suddenly doubting that Shiro really did want to stay.

‘You’re right, good idea.’ Shiro nodded, pulling some clothes out of his bag and putting them on, as Lance went over to his dresser and put some of his own on.

Well, that answered that then.

‘Ready?’ Lance asked, walking out into the hall to put his shoes on and Shiro nodded, following after him.

Lance drove them to a small coffee shop which was close to his apartment, and the two ordered a coffee each and a few pastry type things for breakfast.

‘So… why here then?’ Shiro asked as he took a bite of his croissant.

‘What?’

‘Your apartment. That’s not where you first moved to, is it?’

‘Oh… Well, no. I started farming, I don’t know. Bad decision, I was bored out of my mind. I’m still- well, this place wasn’t supposed to be permanent. But I suppose I’ve been here three and a half years now…’

‘What were you planning to do after, then? If it’s temporary?’

Lance sighed. ‘I don’t know… I feel like everyone has their shit together but me. I kind of want to move back to earth? I guess- I mean, I miss my family… but I don’t want to move back in with them… I really have no idea what I’m doing. The reason I’m even still here is because I procrastinated too much.’

Shiro hummed in thought. ‘You always struck me as the type that knew what he wanted.’

Lance laughed. ‘Yeah, well. Not so much. It’s all just so… mundane. Is that crazy?’

‘What, to miss the war? Absolutely.’ Shiro laughed softly. ‘But I know what you mean. It’s like you’re waiting for something to happen, just itching to get back out there into the action… Even though you know you should be grateful that it’s over and that you made it and you’re okay… I think we all kind of became adrenaline junkies.’

‘That’s one way of putting it.’ Lance laughed, shaking his head. ‘I know it was crazy dangerous… and- not all of us made it… but I do miss it. And then I feel terrible for missing it. But I do.’

‘Me too.’ Shiro said softly. ‘That’s- I mean, I was so relieved, finally settling down and getting married and having a normal domestic life. But I was so bored. And he never understood why, how I could be craving anything remotely exciting after everything I’ve been through… and he was right, it doesn’t make sense. But I feel like I’m sitting here waiting for something that’s not coming.’

‘It’s boring.’ Lance agreed. ‘I mean- Lance the farmer, really? Lance the defender of the fucking universe? Where do you go from there? How do you come back from that? It’s been five years and my heart still races at loud noises.’

‘God, listen to us.’ Shiro laughed, nodding and sipping at his drink. ‘But I know what you mean.’

Lance laughed with him. ‘It’s crazy… I mean, when it was happening I felt so alone and homesick… I don’t know. Maybe we’re just fucked.’

‘Oh, we’re definitely fucked.’ Shiro agreed with a hum and they finished up their breakfast, still laughing soft with each other.

After that, they stopped by a few shops to pick Shiro out some clothes. Or rather, Shiro picked out some clothes, while Lance picked out the ugliest most outrageous things he could find, and then fell about laughing as he imagined Shiro in them.

Except then Shiro decided to humour him and try them on, and after Lance’s fit of hysterics went on for a little while, they were promptly escorted from the store.

Lance was henceforth banned from helping Shiro shop.

 

***

 

It was surprising how quickly they fell into a routine, Shiro waking up early to make them breakfast as Lance took advantage of a lie in, Lance making dinner later in the evening and the day filled with whatever the hell it was they felt like doing.

Neither of them had brought up the sex thing again, and there hadn’t been any alcohol thus far for Lance to slip, so for that, he was grateful.

Currently, Lance had pulled out his old wii upon learning that Shiro had never played Mario Kart, which was obviously, a blasphemy.

Lance was also kicking Shiro’s ass at it. Obviously.

Shiro groaned as he came in twelfth again, and Lance snickered, elbowing him playfully in the side.

‘Shiro, you are never going to get anywhere with Baby Peach in the fucking baby booster.’

Shiro pouted. ‘Why not?’

‘Because that’s a crap car.’

‘But it’s cute.’

Lance snorted. ‘Shiro. Are you seriously telling me right now-? Takashi Shirogane- former Black Paladin, and Captain of the Atlas, Defender of the Universe- wants to be Baby fucking Peach in the baby fucking booster, because it is a cute car?’

Shiro flushed. ‘Yes. That is absolutely what I am telling you.’

‘You. My god, you are such a dork. How have I not realised this?’ Lance giggled as he set up the next race.

‘Well, we were a bit preoccupied with all of that saving the universe shit.’ Shiro said with a soft laugh and Lance laughed with him.

‘That is very true. Now, come on- you can at least try not to hit into the edges, can’t you? Look- no, don’t run the cows over, come on, be nice. Think of Kalternecker!’

‘Why! Are there cows! In the middle! Of the road!’ Shiro cried as he tried to avoid them, but ended up going backwards.

‘Because! We’re in their meadow!’

‘This game is animal cruelty!’

‘No cows or Kalterneckers were harmed in the making of Mario Kart.’ Lance snorted.

‘How can you be so sure?’

‘I’m n- oh fuck- I’m looking at your half of the screen-‘

‘Lance, you’re losing! Look at your own screen!’

‘Yours is just too fucking entertaining, Shiro- no, look you’re going backwards, the little guy is telling you to turn around with that arrow.’

‘I really don’t know how to turn around, Lance.’

‘Just- twist really far and you’ll get back on track.’

‘This does not seem to be helping.’

‘Oh my god. I don’t think I have ever met someone so useless at Mario Kart.’ Lance laughed harder, finding himself in eleventh place now, because he was too focused on watching (laughing at) Shiro.

‘I would take offence to that, but I’m sure it’s very valid.’

‘It is. I literally haven’t moved for like three minutes and I am still ahead of you.’

Shiro pouted. ‘I don’t think I like this game. Do you have Nintendogs?’

‘Unfortunately, there is no nintendogs for the wii. But I am impressed you know what that is.’

Shiro shrugged. ‘I like dogs.’

How was he so fucking cute? Goddamn.

‘Okay, well, I am going to go and make a start on dinner, if you want to stay here and figure out how to finish the course.’

‘I… might be here a while.’

‘After that you should do the other one we liked!’

‘Dear god, not the mushroom one.’ Shiro groaned, putting his face in his hands. ‘Why are they bouncy? Why are they so big? Why, Lance? Why? And excuse you- we did not like it! You liked it because you were laughing at me!’

Lance snorted, getting up. ‘I believe in you, Shiro.’ He said, patting his shoulder as he went into the kitchen.

 

***

It had started innocently enough. Lance had suggested that they go ‘out’. Meaning out for a drink. Out to a bar, or something.

That’s where they’d ended up after a little wandering around. They hadn’t opted for the club this time, and were sat at the bar laughing together and drinking.

That was how it had started.

Lance wasn’t… entirely sure how they’d ended up in this specific scenario… They’d been drinking. And laughing. And drinking some more.

And now they were in the bathroom and Shiro was on his knees taking Lance’s cock into the back of his throat.

Lance’s hands were buried in Shiro’s hair and he was biting down hard on his lip to muffle himself as Shiro met his eyes, nose brushing against his abdomen as he took him back into his throat, moaning around him and Lance gave a desperate whimper, hips stuttering, feeling Shiro’s throat convulse around him.

‘Shiro, Shiro…’ Lance whined as one of Shiro’s hands left where they were gripped around his thighs, and Lance watched as it disappeared between his own legs and he heard him pull down his zipper, giving a long broken moan around his cock as he pulled his own cock out and began to work his hand over it.

Lance groaned, bringing a hand up from Shiro’s hair to hold across his mouth. The last thing he wanted to happen was to be kicked out from the bar for receiving an incredible blowjob in the bathroom.

Somehow, Shiro seemed to be incredible at everything. Somehow, it wasn’t fair, the way he worked his tongue over him, flicked and teased through his leaking slit, lapped around the head and slid down his shaft, taking him deep into his throat and swallowing around him, looking up at Lance with the most innocent sexy look he had ever seen in his life, and in all honesty, if he was going to die right here, right now in this bathroom; it would be a good way to go.

It would be a really, really good way to go.

And fuck. Fuck, then he pulled back, just leaving the tip of his cock heavy on his tongue, mouth slack and open, looking up at him so fuckingly invitingly. Lance groaned against the back of his hand, tightening his grip in Shiro’s hair with his other, holding his head in place as he pushed his cock back into the wet heat of his mouth.

Shiro groaned and Lance saw the hand that he had on himself speed up. Lance whimpered, fucking his face, using his grip in his hair to pull Shiro’s head down onto his cock, meeting his thrusts half way and Shiro had such a blissed out look on his face as he moaned around him, fucking into his own fist as Lance used his mouth.

‘Shiro- Shiro- close-‘ Lance groaned, loosening his grip on Shiro’s hair to allow him to pull back, put Shiro just looked up at him, sinking back down all the way and sucking, hard.

Lance came with a desperate cry that he tried his best to muffle, spilling straight down Shiro’s throat. Shiro gave a broken moan around him, hips stuttering as he spilled over his hand.

‘Shiro- fuck, fuck…’ Lance whined, pulling his cock from his mouth and panting softly, looking down at the mess that Shiro had made with a soft groan.

Shiro looked up at him, giving him a lopsided breathless smile.

‘Let’s go home.’ He said, voice a little raspy and Lance whined softly. His cock had done that. Lance swallowed, nodding and offering him a hand up. ‘I want you to ride me.’

Lance couldn’t stop the small whimper that escaped him at that. He watched and waited as Shiro washed his hands, and then they left, paying their tab and catching a cab home.

Shiro made quick work of riling Lance back up again in the back of the taxi, lips pressed against his ear, nipping at his lobe as he ran his hands over Lance’s chest, teasing his nipples through his shirt and then slipping them underneath, moving them teasingly close to his waistband every now and again.

By the time they got home, Lance had a sufficient bulge in his pants again, as did Shiro, and he was giving the tiniest little whimpers as Shiro thumbed and teased his nipples, biting gently at the skin under his ear, working a mark into his skin.

The driver cleared his throat, and Shiro handed him some change, pulling Lance out of the cab and up to his door, pushing him inside and closing it behind them after Lance unlocked it.

Lance giggled, taking Shiro’s hands in his own and pulling him into the bedroom, pushing him down onto the bed and clambering on top of him.

‘Clothes.’ Shiro mumbled, pulling Lance down against his lips and kissing him.

‘What about them?’ Lance teased, nipping at his bottom lip.

‘Too many.’ Shiro whined, tugging at Lance’s shirt.

Lance gave a soft giggle, getting out of his lap to tug off his clothes, and waiting for Shiro to do the same, before seating himself back into his lap, looping his arms around Shiro’s neck and kissing him.

‘You’re so gorgeous.’ Shiro breathed as he ran his hands over Lance’s body, settling them at his hips.

Lance flushed, kissing down the side of Shiro’s neck in lieu of replying.

‘Want you.’ Lance breathed, rocking his hips a little against Shiro’s, and they both breathed a soft moan.

Shiro pulled back to grab up the lube from the side, quickly slicking his fingers and sinking two into Lance.

Lance groaned, head tipping back as his back arched a little in pleasure.

‘Fuck, yes.’ Lance groaned, already a little breathless as Shiro began to thrust them into him.

Shiro wrapped his hand loosely around Lance’s cock as he stretched him, lightly jerking him off.

‘Another, please, fuck.’ Lance moaned, rolling his hips and Shiro slid a third into him, spreading them inside of him.

‘Ride my fingers, baby.’ Shiro murmured, keeping his hand still. Lance gave a soft whine, rocking his hips and fucking himself on Shiro’s fingers, stretching himself out with them until he was ready.

‘Please- want your cock, wanna ride your cock, Shiro, please…’ Lance whimpered, and Shiro pulled his fingers from him, unwrapping a condom and rolling it down onto his cock, slicking it with a little lube and positioning himself at Lance’s entrance.

Lance moaned, carefully sinking down onto him with a low breathless moan, lip caught between his teeth and eyes screwed shut.

‘Fuck, fuck, fuck-‘ Lance groaned.

Shiro breathed a soft groan, keeping his hips still as he gripped Lance’s hips and helped to pull him down onto him.

‘Feel so good, baby.’ Shiro murmured, brushing his lips in the curve of Lance’s neck.

Lance whimpered and nodded, biting down harder on his lip as he experimentally began to roll his hips, gasping softly, the angle of being on top of Shiro’s cock like this driving it deeper into him, and making it feel so much bigger than it had before.

‘S-Shiro…’ He whined, rolling them again and Shiro hummed softly against his skin, brushing his thumbs over Lance’s hip bones.

‘Okay, baby?’ He asked gently and Lance nodded.

‘G-good, so good.’ Lance moaned, carefully lifting himself up and sinking back down, groaning.

‘That’s it, baby, like that.’ Shiro groaned as Lance carefully began to fuck himself on his cock, lifting his hips and sinking back down, rocking over him with soft breathless gasps.

‘Fuck-‘ Lance gasped softly, hips stuttering as he knocked Shiro’s cock into his prostate and Shiro groaned softly, rocking his hips upwards to fuck into the spot again.

Lance whimpered, looping his arms around Shiro’s neck and burying his face into the crook as he rocked his hips.

‘T-there, please.’ Lance whined and Shiro fucked up into him again, gripping Lance’s hips to keep him still, making sure to angle himself and Lance cried out again.

‘Touch yourself for me.’ Shiro murmured and Lance gave a soft whimper, bringing a hand down to quickly fist over his cock, desperately trying to rock his hips in time with Shiro’s thrusts.

‘Fuck- please, Shiro, please-‘ Lance whined, working his hand over himself faster as Shiro fucked up into him harder.

‘Gonna cum for me, baby?’ Shiro asked, lips pressed against Lance’s ear.

Lance whined, nodding, desperately rutting into his own hand, thighs shaking a little from the exertion as he gave a long breathless moan, spilling over his hand.

‘Fuck, baby. Good boy, so good for me.’ Shiro praised softly, fucking him through it and then flipping them over so that Lance was pressed between him and the mattress, spreading his thighs and pushed back into him.

‘Oh fuck…’ Lance whimpered, hips stuttering from overstimulation as Shiro fucked back into him. Hard.

‘Okay?’ He asked softly, nosing at the crook of his neck and Lance nodded, back arching a little.

‘Yes- fuck, please, want your cum.’ Lance moaned and Shiro gave a low whine, holding Lance’s legs apart as he drove into him.

‘C-close.’ Shiro choked out against his skin and Lance whimpered.

‘Please, please, please, please.’ He moaned, clenching around him and Shiro gave a choked gasp, thrusting erratically into him as he came, fucking him through his orgasm before slowing his hips to a stop.

He all but collapsed onto Lance, both of them breathlessly panting, and Lance wrapped an arm around Shiro, gently tracing small patterns onto the small of his back as they got their breath back.

Eventually Shiro pushed himself up, pulling out of Lance and throwing the condom away, collapsing back next to him and pulling Lance against his side, who quickly snuggled into him, closing his eyes with a contented hum and they were both quickly pulled by sleep.

Lance wasn’t sure how long he had been asleep for when he woke up. It was still very dark outside and it took him a moment to realise why he had woken.

Shiro was making soft little whimpering noises of discomfort. His skin was clammy and he was moving a little in his sleep, face scrunched up as he gave another small desperate noise and Lance’s heart probably broke then and there.

‘N-no…’ He moaned and Lance bit his lip, sitting up and gently trying to shake Shiro awake.

‘Shiro?’ He asked softly. ‘Shiro, you’re dreaming. It’s just a dream, wake up, baby.’ He said, gently stroking a hand through Shiro’s hair, pushing it off of his damp forehead. ‘

It took a few moments, but Shiro woke up, eyes flying open, glassy with tears, panting hard as he stilled, looking up at Lance in the dark.

‘Lance?’ He asked, and Lance had never heard him sound so small and unsure.

‘It’s okay, you’re okay.’ He said, gathering Shiro up into his arms and kissing his head.

Shiro gave a small broken sob as he melted into Lance’s embrace, burying his face into his neck.

Lance made soft soothing shhing sounds as he gently rubbed Shiro’s back, other hand gently stroking at the nape of his neck as he cradled his head.

It was then that Lance decided he didn’t miss the old days.

It took a few minutes for Shiro to calm down, and then he was quietly sniffling into Lance’s neck and Lance held him tightly still, carefully lying them down, pulling Shiro against his chest and the covers back up around him.

He gently kissed his forehead, brushing his fingers through his hair.

‘Go back to sleep, okay?’ He murmured softly. ‘I’ve got you.’

Lance felt Shiro give a small nod against him, arm wrapped tightly around his waist and face pressed firmly into the crook of his neck.

‘I’ve got you.’ He murmured again, closing his own eyes and holding Shiro tighter.

It… It was one thing knowing about it. Knowing that Shiro had PTSD, knowing that he had nightmares. It was something else to see the fear on his face while he was asleep, the scared little whimpers he gave, how small and vulnerable he had been. How Lance would have done anything to make it go away, to wrap him in his arms and make them stop, make him stop having to hurt and having to remember.

It wasn’t fair. Shiro was… probably the best person he knew. He’d done so much for so many people, he didn’t deserve this.

He kissed Shiro’s forehead again, hoping that he’d already drifted back to sleep. At least he knew that they were better now, that they were infrequent. However, that meant that they had once been a nightly occurrence, that Shiro had once had to fear going to sleep at night, every night.

Lance knew what the war nightmares were like… he’d had his fair share. But Shiro had been through more than any of them had. And Lance just wanted to stay like that in the middle of the night, Shiro wrapped tightly in his arms, nestled firmly under his chin, and keep him safe from everything. Hide him away and protect him.

 

***

 

Lance laughed, bumping playfully into Shiro’s side as they came out of the movie, and Shiro snorted, rolling his eyes and offering Lance what little was left of their popcorn.

‘That- was terrible.’ Lance giggled, taking a small handful and popping it into his mouth.

‘It- yes, it was.’ Shiro agreed, throwing the empty bucket in the trash as they passed.

‘They could have at least had English subtitles.’ Lance giggled and Shiro wrapped an arm lazily around his waist, pulling him against his side as they walked.

‘Well… This isn’t Earth.’ Shiro reasoned but Lance rolled his eyes.

‘English is an important language!’

‘Everyone just uses translators these days.’

‘Then they should have translated that!’ Lance giggled and Shiro laughed, shaking his head, leading Lance out of the cinema.

‘That is true, they should have.’

‘Mm, what are you fancying?’ Lance asked as they walked down the street.

‘You say that as if I know or understand any of the cuisine here.’ Shiro laughed.

‘That is so true.’ Lance agreed, pointing to a restaurant across the street and they crossed, going in and asking for a table for two.

‘Lance, no offence, but why the fuck did you move here?’ Shiro asked as their food arrived.

Lance looked at it sceptically. ‘Well. Normally I just cook Earth food with food from the Earth market… I don’t normally- eat this.’

‘I think it’s moving.’ Shiro said doubtfully, prodding it mistrustfully with his utensil.

‘It’s not moving.’ Lance said, though he also eyed it suspiciously.

‘It definitely moving.’

‘Why would they feed you something that’s moving? That’s- oh my god, it’s moving!’

Shiro snorted, pushing the plate towards Lance, who promptly made a very undignified squeaking noise, and pushed his chair away from the table.

‘We should get a pizza. I want pizza. Do you want pizza?’ Lance asked, standing up, quickly.

‘Yeah, pizza sounds good to me.’ Shiro said, getting up with him and going to explain their predicament to the waiter, who seemed incredibly offended. However, they simply blamed it on the ignorance of tourism, and maybe or maybe not pulling the Paladins of Voltron card… and they got let off.

Lance grabbed onto Shiro’s hand, lacing their fingers together and pulling him down a few different streets until they found the ‘Earth market’.

‘It’s not entirely accurate. But mostly, it does the trick.’ Lance said, picking up a few bits and paying for them.

‘I smell pizza.’ Shiro said, turning to look where the smell was coming from, grabbing Lance’s hand again and dragging him over to where it was coming from. ‘Lance- pizza.’

Lance gave a happy hum as he sniffed the air, ordering them a large cheese pizza and then calling them a cab home so that the pizza wouldn’t get cold.

‘I haven’t had pizza in so long.’ Lance groaned as they got into the living room, setting it down on the coffee table and flopping down onto the couch, putting the tv on and opening it, grabbing a slice each.

‘This is good pizza.’ Shiro said with a contented sigh as he took a bite and Lance hummed in agreement.

‘It is. God. I have missed pizza.’

Shiro laughed, handing him a second slice before he’d finished his first and Lance laughed with him, taking it and quickly finishing the first and starting on it.

‘What the hell have you put on?’ Lance asked, looking at the tv and Shiro shrugged.

‘At least its in English, this time.’

‘True.’ Lance said with a giggle. ‘Still, it was funny guessing whatever the hell was going on in that film.’

‘It was fun.’ Shiro agreed, giving him a soft smile, looking away as his phone rang and he moved to get it out of his pocket as Lance muted the tv.

‘Keith.’ He said with a smile as he answered it and Lance picked up another piece of pizza.

Lance watched with a small laugh as Shiro winced.

‘No… um. I’m- I’m actually at Lance’s.’ He rolled his eyes. ‘Yes, still. Okay- shut up? I’m not talking to you about this. No- no- Keith.’ He glanced at Lance, giving him a pleading look, but Lance just laughed into his hand. ‘Look- now, is not a good time, okay? We’re in the middle of dinner. I will text you, okay? ...Yes. Now, shut up and go away. I love you, too. Bye.’

He ended the call with a groan, running a hand through his hair. Lance snorted.

‘Everything okay?’

‘Mm, perfect.’ He said, gritting his teeth as he smiled. ‘Keith tried to come over, and realised I was not there. He was surprised to learn I am in fact here, and have been since the meet up.’

‘Ah.’ Lance said in understanding, nodding. ‘Well, obviously you’re still here because I let you use my wii and I’m a good cuddler. And I cook you dinner most nights.’

Shiro nodded. ‘Obviously. And you let me stay because I cook you breakfast, and I haven’t broken the tv or the wii remote in frustration yet.’

‘Mmmmhm.’

‘And I’m warm. And you get cold at night.’

‘You’re a good roommate, what can I say?’

‘You should say nothing, and feed me more pizza, instead.’

Lance laughed and nodded, picking up a slice and directing it towards Shiro’s mouth, as he eagerly took a large bite and gave an appreciative groan.

 

***

 

Shiro was usually already up when Lance woke, and as much as he didn’t like to admit it, his favourite days were when he woke up still nestled against Shiro’s chest, arms firmly wrapped around him.

However, the smell of food that was drifting from the kitchen was enough to brighten him up, and he sleepily got out of bed, pulling the first thing he could find over his head as he stumbled out into the kitchen.

‘Hey sleepy.’ Shiro said with a soft laugh, turning around with a smile to greet him.

‘Mm, good morning.’ He said, rubbing his eye. ‘Whatcha making…?’

‘Pancakes.’ Shiro said, gesturing to the small stack he’d already made and Lance’s eyes lit up.

‘You. Are the best, oh my god.’ Lance groaned softly, wrapping his arms around Shiro’s waist and burying his face into his chest.

‘That’s mine, you know.’ Shiro said, laughing as he wrapped an arm around Lance’s waist in return.

‘Hm?’ Lance asked softly, and then realised that he’d pulled the sweatshirt that Shiro had been wearing yesterday instead of his own. ‘Oh.’

‘You look good in it.’ Shiro hummed, pulling away to get another pancake cooking.

Lance flushed. ‘You like me in it?’ He asked teasingly, putting a hand on his hip, swallowing as he watched Shiro rake his eyes over his body.

‘Yes.’ Shiro said simply, turning his attention back to the food.

Lance bit his lip, working his own eyes over Shiro’s body. He was only wearing sweatpants, and Lance wasn’t going to lie and say that it wasn’t a good view.

‘Well, I’m glad you’re not wearing it, I must say.’ He murmured and Shiro smirked as he turned back to him, raising an eyebrow.

‘Oh?’ He asked, and Lance dragged his eyes back up to Shiro’s face.

‘Mmmmhm.’ He agreed, looking back over his muscles.

Oh. Was this flirting? This was definitely flirting. Sober Lance did not flirt with Shiro, as a general rule. Sober Lance was doing a very good job of not flirting (or sleeping) with Shiro.

‘Really now?’ Shiro asked, taking a few steps forward and Lance took a few steps back until his back hit into the counter.

Lance didn’t say anything, wetting his lip and flicking his eyes down to Shiro’s as he pressed him against it, and Lance really didn’t have a choice but to think about the last time that Shiro had pressed him against the counter and what followed.

He was close, he was so close, and god, Lance wanted him to kiss him. Kiss me, kiss me, kiss me, oh god, please kiss me.

‘Maybe I want it back.’ Shiro murmured, hands going to rest ever so lightly at Lance’s hips, gently tugging at his shirt.

Lance wet his lip again, eyes half lidded as he flicked his eyes back down to Shiro’s again, lingering and god, if Shiro didn’t kiss him right now, Lance was probably going to die.

‘Mm, lucky for you I like you in it.’ He said teasingly, pulling away and going back over to the pancakes, serving some up onto a plate and putting them down onto the table for Lance, raising an eyebrow at him.

What. The fuck? What the fuck? Had Shiro really just done that? Was he really just going to fucking tease him like that and walk away? God, that’s fucking self satisfied smirk on his face as he gestured to the pancakes and Lance swallowed thickly, shakily moving over to the table and sitting down.

If Shiro wanted to play that game then Lance could play that game and Lance was really trying to run through his head all of the reasons as to why sleeping with Shiro again was a bad idea.

Shiro smiled, handing him some different toppings and Lance reluctantly put them on and began to eat the pancakes.

‘Do I get a thank you?’ Shiro asked as he also dug into his.

Lance hummed, tilting his head. ‘Well, that depends on what sort of thank you you’d like.’

He smirked as he saw Shiro take in a breath and wet his lip. ‘A verbal one will suffice.’

Lance gave an airy laugh. ‘I wasn’t aware I could say thank you without speaking. What did you think I was offering?’ He smirked.

Shiro’s eyes flicked to his lips and back up to his face. Oh, Lance could play this game alright.

‘You’re welcome.’ Shiro muttered, turning his attention back to his food.

They ate the rest of their food in a silence that Lance couldn’t quite decide whether it was comfortable or not, maybe leaning a little towards not, and then when he was finished, Shiro exited the room and he heard the shower start.

Lance blew out a long breath, finishing his own food and then beginning to wash the dishes up.

‘I’m just gonna go and pick a few bits up.’ Shiro said, dressed, popping his head around the door.

Lance turned to him and nodded. ‘Will you pick up something to drink while you’re out?’ He asked and he could see the relief on Shiro’s face as he nodded.

‘Yeah, I will.’

‘Okay, see you later.’ Lance smiled and Shiro smiled back, and then he was gone.

Lance bit his lip, finishing putting things away and then getting in the shower, taking his time and then drying off, going back into his room and getting dressed, stealing another of Shiro’s shirts to wear, just to see if he could rile him up.

Shiro got back a little while later and Lance was sat at his desk, going through a few things on his laptop for work. He should probably go back soon, but he always took a little time off around Allura’s anniversary, and they weren’t exactly in a position to decline him.

‘Hey.’ Shiro said, holding up the shopping bags.

‘Hey, you good?’ Lance asked, looking over his shoulder with a smile.

‘Yeah, I got everything.’ He said and Lance really could have laughed at how hopeful he looked.

‘Mmkay.’ Lance hummed. ‘I’m just doing some work stuff.’ He said, grimacing. ‘But I shouldn’t be too long. We should get a take out tonight.’

Shiro nodded. ‘Yeah, sounds good. I might see if I can try to crack that Mario Kart level then, while you’re busy.’

Lance laughed. ‘Okay. I wish you luck.’

Shiro laughed with him. ‘I’m gonna need it.’

Lance shook his head, laughing softly as he turned his attention back to his laptop. He didn’t really need to be doing this now, but it was Shiro’s own fault, so he could damn well wait. He could have had him this morning, and Lance wouldn’t have done a damn thing to stop him.

And maybe that was stupid. Definitely, it was stupid. But Lance was entitled to feel salty about being blatantly teased like that. He was going to get a good fuck either way.

He took his time, finishing up everything he’d missed while he was away, doing a little extra while he was at it, smiling softly to himself as he heard Shiro shouting and groaning from the other room.

Maybe introducing Shiro to Mario Kart had been a mistake; he had created a disaster. But if Lance was looking up prices for one of the ds’s and nintendogs? That was his business. He didn’t need to think about it too much, just ordering one with next day delivery and then shutting his computer off with a hum.

He went into his bedroom to get the lube and a condom before going out into the living room, glancing at Shiro with his lip quirked into a smile as he went into the kitchen and opened the alcohol that Shiro had bought, pouring out two glasses.

It was only around thirty seconds before Shiro was in there after him and Lance could have laughed, but instead he just handed Shiro his glass and clinked them together with a smirk.

‘How did you get on?’ Lance asked and Shiro grimaced.

‘I made it through the moo-moo one, but that mushroom one wants me dead.’

Lance laughed. ‘It does not want you dead, Shiro, you’re just very terrible at it.’

Shiro pouted.

‘Don’t you worry, I’ll have you on rainbow road one of these days.’

Shiro perked up at that. ‘Rainbow?’

Lance laughed and nodded. ‘Mhm, I’m sure you two will get along very well.’ He said, biting his lip as Shiro nodded with a smile. God, that poor boy didn’t know what he had coming.

‘What about you? Get everything done that you needed to?’

Lance hummed and nodded. ‘Mm, yeah, I should be all caught up now. Another one?’ He asked, gesturing to Shiro’s empty glass and filling it up.

‘We should be doing shots or something.’ Shiro laughed and Lance laughed with him, shrugging.

‘We can if you want to. I’m sure I’ve got something somewhere.’

Shiro laughed. ‘If you can find something I wouldn’t be opposed.’

‘Trying to get me drunk, Shiro?’ Lance teased as he rooted through his cupboards, knowing that they both knew full well where this was headed.

‘Mm, definitely.’ Shiro hummed, downing the rest of what was in his glass.

‘Vodka?’ Lance asked, pulling out a bottle and Shiro laughed, nodding.

‘It amazes me that you can just… lose a bottle of vodka.’

Lance looked a little sheepish as he got some shot glasses out. ‘Well, you know when I said I don’t have a problem?’

‘Mmmmhm.’

‘I may have a very little one.’

‘Mm, yes I may or may not have figured.’

‘Rude.’ Lance snickered, holding the glass up to Shiro and they both clinked them and took the shot.

‘Just observant.’ Shiro reasoned, holding out his glass for a refill.

‘Or maybe you’re the one with the problem, hm?’ Lance asked with a raised eyebrow as he poured them both another.

‘I don’t think the alcohol is the problem.’ He said, biting his lip and Lance rolled his eyes playfully. Sex was always a problem.

‘Hoping to end up in my bed tonight, Shiro?’ He asked as they downed the next and Shiro laughed at the reference.

‘I end up in your bed every night.’

‘Mm, well, sorry, but the only thing you’re going to be doing in my bed tonight is sleeping.’

‘Oh?’ Shiro asked, raising an eyebrow.

‘Oh.’ Lance said, leaning back against the counter where he had been this morning. ‘I want you to take me where you wanted me this morning.’

Lance heard a soft gravelly noise catch in the back of Shiro’s throat as he put his glass down and stepped towards Lance until their bodies were pressed together, and he was lightly running his hands down Shiro’s sides.

‘That’s also mine.’ He said softly, untucking the hem of his shirt and running his cold fingertips over Lance’s abdomen.

‘Only just noticed?’

‘Oh, I noticed the second I saw you.’ He said lowly, leaning in to brush his lips over the skin under Lance’s ear, sliding his hands up his chest and Lance shivered, giving a quiet whine.

‘You could have had me this morning, you know.’ Lance breathed with a soft gasp as Shiro gently bit down into his skin, sucking.

‘If sober Lance was going to sleep with me he would have done so by now.’ Shiro murmured back, sliding his hands down and around to cup Lance’s ass and pull him flush against Shiro’s body.

‘I wanted you.’ Lance breathed back, hand moving to curl into Shiro’s hair.

‘I know you did.’ Shiro said in a soft growl, grinding his hips against Lance’s. ‘It was written all over your face. You just wanted me to bend you over this counter and take you right then and there, didn’t you?’

Lance gasped a soft moan, head tipping back as Shiro marked his neck. ‘Y-yes, fuck, I wanted you.’

‘You looked so fucking hot like that in my shirt.’ Shiro murmured, moving to unbutton Lance’s pants and Lance quickly pulled out the lube and condom from his pocket and shoved them onto the side.

‘S-Shiro…’ He whined softly and Shiro huffed a laugh against him.

‘Such a pretty little slut for me, Lance. Look at you, you’re already hard, and I haven’t even done anything.’ He said, sliding Lance’s pants down his legs and cupping his cock through his underwear.

Lance bit back a whimper, biting down on his lip.

‘Tell me what you want then, baby. Tell me what you’ve been thinking about all day since this morning, hm?’

‘That confident?’ Lance asked through a soft whine and Shiro huffed another laugh.

‘Absolutely.’ He said, gently squeezing his cock and Lance gave an embarrassingly desperate whimper.

‘T-thought about you fucking me here, like this. Just bending me over the nearest surface and taking me as hard as you could.’

Shiro gave a low hum at that. ‘Been thinking about it while you were working, baby?’ He asked, pulling Lance’s boxers down his hips and watching as Lance kicked them off the ends of his feet.

‘M-mhm.’

‘And in the shower, this morning? And while I was out?’

‘Yes.’

‘Mm, I knew you would be. Been thinking about having my cock, baby? Me wrecking you?’

Lance nodded, a whine catching. ‘Y-yeah…’

‘And you know why?’ He asked, hand moving to gently close around the base of his throat and Lance whimpered.

‘Why?’

‘Because you’re a slut.’ He murmured, gently squeezing and Lance gasped, eyes fluttering.

‘Y-yes…’ He agreed softly. ‘Slut for you.’

‘So why are you being such a little bitch about it, hm?’ He asked, moving his hand and gripping Lance’s hips, flipping him around and pushing his front down over the counter top.

‘W-what?’ Lance asked through a moan as Shiro gently squeezed his ass, nudging his legs apart with his thigh and reaching for the lube.

‘If you want me then you want me, baby.’ He said and then Lance felt a finger against his entrance and he rocked his hips slightly, and Shiro tutted, pushing it inside. ‘Look at you, you needy bitch.’

‘Shiro, please…’ Lance whimpered.

Shiro huffed a laugh. ‘You’re not even trying, are you?’

Lance gave a frustrated groan. ‘Shiro, I swear to fuck you are sleeping on the couch tonight.’

‘Tell me I’m right then, you little fucking whore.’ Shiro growled, hooking his finger hard against Lance’s prostate.

‘Fuck! Yes! I’m your fucking whore, I’m your needy bitch, I want nothing more than for you to slam me against something and shove your cock into me until I’m crying, please, Shiro.’

Shiro huffed another laugh, slipping another finger into him as Lance gave a relieved moan.

‘Please, please, please…’

‘What’s got you so desperate, baby?’ Shiro murmured, running his hand under his shirt and along Lance’s back.

Lance whined. ‘Stop fucking teasing.’

‘What have you got against foreplay, hm? Maybe I just like making you beg, maybe I just like the slutty little noises that you make, hm?’

‘Shiro…’ Lance whimpered and Shiro finally took pity on him, adding a third finger and thrusting them quickly into him. Lance gave a strangled moan, rocking his hips back against Shiro’s fingers.

‘Look at you, fucking yourself on my fingers, baby. You want it that badly?’

‘Yeah, please, I want your cock…’ Lance whined, rocking back harder.

‘You think you’re ready, baby?’ Shiro hummed, spreading his fingers inside of him.

‘Please, wanna feel it tomorrow, want you to fuck me hard.’

Shiro gave a soft groan at that, stretching him a little more before pulling his fingers from him and rolling the condom onto his cock, thrusting over Lance’s ass a few times.

‘Give it to me, please, give it to me, Shiro.’ Lance whined, rocking his hips and giving a low groan as Shiro finally began to push into him.

‘God, you’re always so fucking tight. Feel so fucking good, baby.’ Shiro groaned, gripping his hips as he eased his cock inside and Lance whimpered, biting down on his lip.

‘F-fuck…’ He breathed, stopping himself from rolling his hips back against him.

‘Look at you, taking me so well baby. Taking my cock so good, beautiful.’

Lance whimpered, panting softly as he began to rock his hips back against Shiro, begging for more.

‘Easy, baby. Let yourself get used to me.’ He soothed softly, stroking a hand over Lance’s back under his shirt and Lance whined, slowing his hips.

He gasped as Shiro began to pull out and thrust back in, gripping back at his hips and gently pulling Lance’s body back against his own as he set a gentle pace.

‘Want you hard…’ Lance whimpered and Shiro gave a soft chuckle.

‘Don’t worry, baby. I’ll give you what you want.’ He said softly, fucking into him gently a few more times, getting Lance used to it before speeding up, pulling Lance back against him harder and Lance was giving soft desperate mewls and whimpers.

‘Please, please, please…’

‘Shh, baby, I got you.’ Shiro soothed, roughly grinding his cock into him and fucking his cock into him harder, fingertips digging into his hips as he slapped Lance’s body against his own and Lance cried out, biting down on his lip hard.

‘Yes, yes- fuck, yes-‘ He cried out softly as he moaned and Shiro groaned. ‘Please- like that, fuck yes- please- like that- Shiro, please-‘ Lance cried desperately rolling his hips and clutching desperately to the counter.

‘God, you sound so fucking good, baby. Feel so fucking incredible, just taking my cock like you were made to.’ Shiro praised and Lance gave a long broken whimper, letting his forehead fall against the cool counter surface.

He knew that he wasn’t going to last long with Shiro fucking into him like that, god, he was so big and the drag of his cock inside of him felt so fucking amazing Lance just wanted to take him like that forever.

Shiro fucked him hard like that against the counter until all that Lance could get out was a desperate intelligible stream of moans and whines, his cock hitting against all the right places inside of him with each hard thrust, each rough pull from Shiro’s hands and he hoped he’d have bruises on his hips from how hard Shiro was holding him.

Shiro was groaning, low and raspy, soft gasps spilling from his lips as he got closer to the edge, moaning in time with the rough slaps of their skin together.

Lance managed to choke out Shiro’s name, desperately whimpering and Shiro groaned in response. ‘Cum.’ He groaned, and Lance did, letting go and cumming hard, cum spattering over the side of his kitchen counter, dripping down and pooling on the floor as he cried out loudly, limbs feeling weak and knowing that if Shiro wasn’t holding him like he was he would have long collapsed by now.

‘Fuck- Fuck, Lance, baby-‘ Shiro gasped, fucking into him erratically as he found his own orgasm, thrusting into him through it as he spilled into the condom and groaning, before finally slowing to a stop and gently easing out of him and tying off the condom.

Lance whimpered again, and Shiro wrapped an arm around him, holding him up and then gently scooping him into his arms and carrying him into the bedroom.

‘I’ve got you, baby.’ He murmured softly, kissing his forehead as Lance nestled against him and then got into bed, pulling the covers up around them and holding Lance close to his chest. ‘You did so good, baby, took it so well for me.’

Lance gave a soft whine, nuzzling him as he snuggled down, giving a soft satisfied sigh.

‘Haven’t had dinner…’ Lance mumbled.

‘Have a little rest first, baby.’ Shiro said gently, stroking his fingers over Lance’s skin.

‘M-Mmkay.’ Lance murmured through a yawn, pressing a kiss to Shiro’s chest and he felt the gentle rumble as Shiro laughed softly, threading his fingers through Lance’s hair.

Lance still felt exhausted when he woke up. He was alone in the bed, but he could smell something amazing, so he pulled on some loose clothes and sleepily stumbled out into the kitchen where Shiro was dishing up something he’d ordered.

‘That smells really good.’ Lance said through a yawn.

‘It does, doesn’t it? I don’t quite know what it is… but it smells amazing.’

Lance laughed and nodded. ‘Yeah, some of the food around here is interesting.’

‘Mm, we should go and eat on the couch. Put on a movie or something.’ He said and Lance nodded.

Shiro picked up the plates, carrying them into tzhe lounge as Lance got a blanket for them.

After-sex was quickly becoming a strange experience for the two of them. They never spoke about it, other than for Shiro to ask if Lance was hurting, but there was still the intimate and familiar softness that came along with it. Something that didn’t let them pretend that they were ‘just friends’, even if they wanted to.

They settled down on the sofa, Lance nestled against Shiro’s side as they flicked through the channels, settling on something that neither of them had seen as they began to tuck into their food.

‘How’re you feeling?’ Shiro murmured softly and Lance hummed.

‘Okay. I think. Probably be worse tomorrow.’

‘I’m sorry.’ Shiro said softly, frowning.

‘It’s okay.’ Lance said with a soft laugh. ‘I know the repercussions of asking for it hard.’

Shiro laughed with him, shaking his head.

The two watched the movie in mostly silence, empty plates long since discarded on the coffee table and Lance was rapidly falling asleep against Shiro’s side.

He wasn’t really consciously aware of much after that, just that at some point the movie ended, and Shiro carried him to bed and undressed him, while Lance murmured a sleepy ‘thank you’ and then he pulled Lance against his chest, and Lance was asleep again in moments.

 

***

 

Shiro was still in bed when Lance woke the next morning and Lance smiled softly to himself, snuggling down further into the duvet and against his chest. Those were his favourite mornings, after all.

‘Morning, sleepy.’ Shiro said softly, and Lance briefly wondered how it was that Shiro was always awake before him.

‘Mm.’ Lance made a soft noise in response, not quite ready to articulate something yet.

‘How are you feeling?’ He asked, gently stroking circles over Lance’s side.

How was he feeling? Sore, mostly. Tired. Sore. He hadn’t had enough to be hungover, so that was a plus. But that was also not favourable for his no sober sex rule, which at this point, he wasn’t quite sure why he’d created in the first place and it seemed rather stupid.

‘Sore.’ He mumbled softly, turning his face into Shiro’s chest.

‘Mm, I’m sorry.’ Shiro hummed softly and Lance gave a small shrug.

‘Worth it.’ He mumbled back and Shiro chuckled softly.

‘I’m glad.’ He said softly. ‘You want to have a little while longer in bed?’

Lance nodded against him. ‘Tired.’

‘I know. Get some more sleep, baby.’ He said gently and Lance almost didn’t catch that slip. He was too tired to think about it though, just smiled softly and nestled himself further down against him, letting sleep take him once more.

Shiro wasn’t in bed with him when Lance woke up for the second time, and he pouted. Why did he always have to get up and do stuff? Why wouldn’t he just spend the whole day snuggling with Lance? That sounded like a much better option.

Actually, thinking about it a little more coherently as he sat up and rubbed his eyes. That did not sound like an option at all. Why would Shiro even want to do that? Why would Lance even want to do that?

Probably because Lance hadn’t been with anyone for five years now, and even then it hadn’t been like that, as such. It had been fairly innocent. No sleeping together- or in the same bed. And so now that Lance had a warm comfortable body to snuggle up to every night, he supposed… logically… it would make sense that he had been a little touch starved, and therefore his body was now craving it.

That. Was the only logical explanation.

‘Package for you.’ Shiro said with a smile, popping his head around the door and seeing that Lance was awake again.

‘Ooh- that’s actually for you.’ He said with a smile, patting the bed next to him.

Shiro’s eyes widened momentarily. ‘For me?’ He asked, sitting down next to him.

Lance nodded with a smile. ‘Yeah. I thought you’d enjoy it. And I didn’t have one, so…’

Shiro looked at the package curiously, opening it and then making a small happy noise as he saw what was inside.

‘You got me Nintendogs?’ He asked, biting his lip as he smiled.

‘I got you Nintendogs.’ Lance agreed with a soft laugh.

‘Can we get a puppy?’ Shiro asked, opening it up and switching it on, putting the game card in.

Lance laughed and nodded, leaning against his side as Shiro loaded the game up. ‘What type do you wanna get?’

‘Um…’ Shiro bit his lip and hummed. ‘I’m not sure yet, I’ll know it when I find it.’

Shiro spent the better part of half an hour going through all the starting breeds and looking at all the different colour variations and personalities, before finally settling on one.

‘Lance, I want this one.’ He said, petting him and looking at Lance.

Lance snorted. ‘Really? I wouldn’t have thought you would have gone for a chihuahua.’

Shiro pouted. ‘Why? What one did you think I would get?’

‘Mm, maybe like a husky or a golden retriever.’

‘But he’s so little and he needs protecting and he’s my son, Lance.’ Shiro said very seriously.

Lance laughed. ‘Okay, go ahead and get him then’

Shiro bought him, and then they were taken back to the main living area with the new puppy. Shiro called him over and petted him with a happy noise, and honestly, he was so cute he was probably going to kill Lance.

Shiro, not the dog. This was a good purchase. Also less of a chance of Shiro throwing something into the tv if he kept on playing Mario Kart.

‘His name is Walnut.’ Shiro said as he rubbed the puppy’s tummy.

‘Walnut?’

‘Yes. It suits him. Don’t you think? He’s my little walnut.’

God. Lance wasn’t going to make it.

‘It does suit him, you’re right.’

They went through the tutorial of teaching him his name and then they were free to do whatever they wanted.

‘Were you making breakfast?’ Lance asked with a hum as his stomach rumbled.

Shiro gave a small guilty nod and Lance laughed.

‘Don’t worry, I’ll finish it up, keep playing with Walnut, okay?’

‘Really?’

‘Really.’ Lance smiled, getting up and dressed and going into the kitchen.

Lance shook his head with a soft smile as he went, resuming the toast that Shiro had been making, buttering it and putting on their spreads; strawberry jam and honey respectively.

He hummed, putting the plates on a tray and bringing them back into the bedroom.

‘Breakfast is served.’ Lance smiled, sitting down beside Shiro. ‘How is Walnut?’ He asked and Shiro showed him the screen excitedly.

‘Look, I taught him to sit. And I took him for a walk. He’s such a good boy.’

Lance gave a soft affectionate laugh, holding up a piece of toast to Shiro’s mouth for him to take a bite.

‘Mmm, thank you.’ Shiro hummed as he chewed, throwing a tennis ball for Walnut to chase.

‘Have I lost you now for the rest of the day, then?’ Lance asked with a laugh and Shiro nodded.

‘Oh most definitely. Walnut needs me. This is your own fault.’

Lance shook his head, and Shiro lifted his arm for Lance, and he snuggled against his side.

‘That’s okay. I’m glad you’re enjoying it.’ He said, watching as Shiro played with the puppy, not quite ready to admit to himself just how glad he was that it was looking like they were going to be having a snuggle day.

 

***

 

Lance was cold when he woke up. He gave a sigh, turning over to the empty bed beside him. He really really hated that Shiro woke up before he did.

He wasn’t sure what he’d been dreaming about, but it hadn’t been great, and he knew pretty much the moment he became coherent enough to think, by the heaviness in his chest, that today was not going to be great.

He hadn’t felt like this… in a while. Since before the annual meet up at least. But before then, he’d felt like it a lot. He always did in the weeks leading up to it, increasingly so as they got closer, and the rest of the time was a smattering of decent days and bad ones.

Lance sighed again, curling in on himself. He really just wanted Shiro back in bed. Something nice and warm and soft to snuggle up against. Was that really too much to ask?

He heard the door creak open and Shiro pad in, holding a tray.

‘Morning, sleepy.’ He said with a smile and Lance cracked an eye open, looking up at him.

‘Not hungry.’ He mumbled, feeling his heart drop a little at the look on Shiro’s face.

‘Oh. Okay.’ He said softly, putting the tray down on the side. ‘Are you feeling okay?’

‘Can you just- play with Walnut?’ He asked with a soft sigh, running a hand over his face.

‘Yeah.’ Shiro said softly, getting his ds off of the side and getting back into bed. ‘Are you okay?’ He asked gently, biting his lip.

‘I’m fine, Shiro.’ Lance snapped and then gave a heavy sigh, curling in on himself. ‘I’m sorry.’

‘It’s okay.’ Shiro said gently, brushing a hand through Lance’s hair. ‘You wanna talk about it…?’

Lance shrugged and then shook his head.

‘That’s okay.’ Shiro said softly, pulling Lance against him as he opened up his ds and loaded up the game.

He kissed Lance softly on the head and Lance tensed momentarily, before snuggling down against him with a heavy sigh, screwing his eyes closed. He didn’t want to feel like this today. Not any day.

Shiro turned the volume up a little so Lance could hear the happy yaps of the puppy as Shiro pet him, resting the console on his lap as he gently laced his fingers into Lance’s hair with his other hand, and Lance made a soft whining sound, relaxing a little against him.

They stayed like that for a good few hours, Lance not quite able to fall back asleep, but just laying in his embrace, listening to Shiro talking softly to the puppy as he interacted with it.

‘You’re hungry.’ Shiro said a little while later as Lance’s stomach growled for probably the fourth time.

‘A little.’ Lance admitted, feeling guilty for turning down whatever Shiro had made him earlier.

‘I’ll make you something.’

‘You don’t have to do that…’

Shiro huffed a soft laugh. ‘I don’t mind, really. Walnut needs a walk- if you’d walk him while I do it? You want scrambled eggs?’

Lance bit his lip and nodded, sitting up a little and taking the ds from Shiro as he got up, going to the menu and selecting walk, guiding the little puppy to the park and playing with the other dog that was there before making his way home.

He gave him some water and then the puppy promptly fell asleep. Lance had never had a puppy before, but it seemed pretty realistic for a game. He could see why Shiro liked it so much. Walnut was very cute.

He saved the game and shut it off after that, not having the heart to wake him, even if he wasn’t real, and putting one of Shiro’s large baggy jumpers on, smiling softly as the cuffs fell past his fingertips and the hem part way down his thighs.

He wandered into the kitchen, pressing his face against Shiro’s back, as he was just dishing up the eggs.

‘Was Walnut a good boy?’ Shiro asked, turning around and putting an arm around him, holding him close.

‘The best.’ Lance mumbled softly, giving another soft sigh.

‘Still hungry?’ Shiro asked and Lance nodded. ‘Okay, let's get some food in you then.’ He said, leading Lance over to the table and setting him down, bringing the food over to him.

‘Thank you.’ Lance said softly, giving him a small smile.

‘It’s okay.’ Shiro smiled back.

‘No, really.’ Lance said, biting his lip.

‘Really. It’s okay.’ Shiro smiled, and Lance smiled back, taking fork in hand and beginning to eat.

‘It’s really good.’

‘Thank you.’ Shiro smiled. ‘If you want, after this we can play some more Mario Kart. I think you promised to show me a special gay level.’

Lance gave a gentle laugh at that. ‘Rainbow road?’

‘I think that’s the one.’ Shiro nodded.

Lance bit his lip, giving Shiro a soft smile. He was really trying. He knew that Lance was always in fits of laughter when they played Mario Kart. Shiro was really, really great.

Lance nodded. ‘That sounds good.’

Shiro put the game on after Lance had finished, getting him a blanket to curl up with on the sofa as they chose their characters.

‘Ooh, that looks pretty.’ Shiro said as he saw the thumbnail image for the level. ‘Very rainbow-y.’

A small smile tugged at Lance’s lips as he watched the smile on Shiro’s face turn into a concerned frown as they saw the preview full screen.

‘That- that looks hard, Lance.’ He said doubtfully.

‘You’ll be okay.’ Lance assured him as the race begun.

Lance didn’t try very hard, too focused on watching Shiro’s half of the screen as he fell off of the screen every few seconds.

‘Lance!’ Shiro cried as he fell of again ‘This was a terrible idea! Why would you do this to me!’ He groaned. ‘I can’t even do the mushroom one! How can I do this?’

Lance gave a small laugh. ‘You’re just terrible at this game. And you’re still using Baby Peach in the baby booster, Shiro. That’s- I mean a bad car is probably better for staying on the track for this level… but you’re still falling off.’

Shiro pouted. ‘That’s so mean.’

‘But it’s true.’

‘But it’s mean! I’m trying my best.’

Lance gave another small laugh. ‘You’re doing great, keep going, Shiro.’

Shiro was not doing great.

Lance refused to finish the level until Shiro had, and they spent the next three and a half hours sat there on the sofa until Shiro finally finished his third lap of the race.

‘You did it!’ Lance said with a smile as Shiro threw his hands up in the air.

‘Only took twenty-seven hours!’ He grinned and Lance laughed.

‘You did very well for someone whose only been playing for a week and a half.’

Shiro pouted. ‘I did not do well.’

‘But you finished.’

‘But I finished.’

 

***

 

‘Did you see the pop up carnival when you were out?’ Lance asked, putting his shopping bags down on the side.

‘The what?’

Lance laughed. ‘I am going to take that as a no.’ He said, shaking his head and putting away the groceries. ‘Do you want to go?’

‘Hell yes.’ Shiro said excitedly.

‘Right now?’

‘Already putting my shoes on!’ Shiro called as he went out into the hall and Lance huffed a laugh, following out after him and putting his own back on.

‘Okay, let’s go then.’ He said, grabbing up his keys and going to the car.

It only took them a few minutes to get there, and Lance parked up and bought them both some tickets and passes.

‘What do you want to do first?’ Lance asked, but Shiro was already grabbing his hand and dragging him over to a line for a ride.

‘I want to do everything first.’ He said very seriously. ‘So we’ll just have to make our way around systematically instead.

Lance laughed. ‘Remember when we went to that carnival? And you won that arm wrestling contest?’ Lance asked and Shiro huffed a laugh, shaking his head.

‘I still can’t believe I won that. I think Allura probably just made my arm really strong.’

‘She probably did. But to this day I will never understand why she did that-‘ he said, moving his hand in the gap between Shiro’s shoulder and forearm. ‘It’s- why?’

‘Honestly… I don’t know, either. It was a very… strange design choice, I must say.’

Lance hummed, looking at it sceptically. ‘Well… We shall never know.’

Shiro nodded with a soft sigh. ‘We shall never know.’ He agreed.

They couldn’t dwell on it for too long, though, as they were quickly being ushered onto the ride by the worker, who gave them the run down of keeping their arms and legs inside of the cart at all times, and to smile for a photo half way through, which they promptly bought a copy off afterwards.

Lance wasn’t sure how a ‘pop up carnival’ had managed such a roller coaster.

It was faster than he’d expected, with a ton of twists and loops and even a big dip.

It was actually really fun. And so when they came off with Shiro begging to go on again, Lance wasn’t going to be one to say no to that face. Or, uh, the chance to go on again.

So they queued again, and rode it again. And again.

And nearly a fourth time until Lance pointed out that they could always come back, and they had the entirety of the rest of the carnival to explore and enjoy. Shiro perked up at that.

They went on a teacup ride next, Lance feeling thoroughly sick afterwards, and wondering just how it was fair that the thirty-one year old man was enjoying all of the rides more than Lance was, who was only twenty-four.

They moved around the stalls next, getting some cotton candy to eat and then arriving at the games.

‘Come on sharpshooter.’ Shiro teased, pushing Lance towards one of the games. ‘Win me something.’

Lance looked at him, and then at the game, biting his lip. ‘What do I have to do to win?’

The worker started up the moving targets. ‘Shoot those down and you win a prize.’

‘I want two go’s.’ Lance said, handing his tokens over and he was given the rifle. ‘This is my test go.’ He murmured to Shiro, aiming and shooting at the targets to gauge how they were rigged.

He hummed in concentration, loading up for his next go and shooting them all down easily.

‘I’ll take that prize.’ He said expectantly and the worker looked between him and the targets in awe.

‘Pick whatever you like.’ He said, gesturing to the array of stuffed animals.

‘Shiro?’ He asked, turning to look at Shiro.

‘Lance, that was amazing.’ Shiro said.

‘Well, you know. I did used to defend the universe and all that shit.’ Lance said with a grin. ‘Pick something.’

Shiro bit his lip, looking around and then pointing to a large stuffed white rabbit with floppy ears.

‘That one, thanks.’ Lance said and the worker handed it to them, and Lance gave it to Shiro.

‘Still though, it’s been five years. That was amazing.’

Lance flushed slightly, shrugging. ‘It was nothing.’

They played a few more games after that, not really winning anything worth keeping, until Shiro found a tiny little black lion plushie stuffed away at the back.

‘I want that one.’ He said, after playing again and again and again until he finally won, refusing to accept any help from Lance.

‘Ah, an old one, this is.’ He said as he reached for it. ‘Haven’t seen one of these in a while.’

Shiro smiled, taking the little lion from him and giving it to Lance.

‘For you.’ He said almost bashfully and Lance flushed, taking it from him.

‘Thank you.’

‘I know it probably would have been better if they’d had blue or red…’ He said, trailing off and Lance frowned, holding the lion close to his chest.

‘I love him.’ He said softly. ‘And besides, he was your lion.’

‘Kind of.’

‘No, not kind of.’ Lance frowned. ‘And I love him.’

‘Okay.’ Shiro conceded, leading him over to the queue for the Ferris wheel.

The queue was long, but they finally got into a seat, holding their toys close to their chests as they began to slowly circle upwards, looking excitedly around at the carnival from above.

‘Today’s been fun.’ Shiro said softly, biting his lip.

Lance gave him a soft smile. ‘It has.’

‘Thank you for my bunny.’ He smiled, giving a soft laugh and Lance laughed with him.

‘You are very welcome. Thank you for my lion.’ He murmured, and then Shiro was brushing his hair behind his ear, gently cupping the back of his head and moving closer and Lance’s eyes were fluttering closed, moving forward to meet Shiro halfway and then-

There was a loud bang, making them both jolt and jump apart.

Fireworks, really? They both glanced at each other, and burst into a fit of giggles.

‘Let’s get off of this thing.’ Lance said as they reached the bottom, reaching for Shiro’s hand and lacing their fingers together as they got off, leading him away from it.

‘We should watch the fireworks.’ Shiro said with a hum as they walked towards the edge of the carnival, looking up at the sky.

‘They’re very pretty.’ Lance said with a smile and Shiro nodded.

‘They are.’ He said back and Lance locked eyes with him. Oh. Shiro was already looking at him.

He flushed, smiling and averting his eyes.

‘What do you want to use our last tickets on?’ Lance asked and Shiro gave a deliberating hum.

‘Do you think they have a photo booth? That would be awfully cliche.’

Lance laughed, looking around. ‘I’m sure they do.’ He said, pulling Shiro around by the hand until they found one.

They sat down together on the seat, pressing the start button and grinning at the camera, holding their stuffed animals up so that they would be in the shot.

The camera flashed, and then counted down to the next photo. Shiro held two of his fingers behind Lance’s head in a bunny ears and Lance giggled as the camera flashed again.

‘Do something cute.’ He giggled, biting his lip and Shiro looked at him, laughing softly with him.

‘Like what?’ He asked and Lance squished his cheeks as it flashed again.

Shiro giggled with him, shaking his head in amusement, and squishing Lance’s cheeks in return as it flashed again and then counted down for the final photo.

Lance pulled Shiro in, looking at the camera and resting their heads together, smiling.

They both got up when it was finished, stepping out of the booth and picking up the photos.

‘Are you ready to go?’ Lance asked as Shiro slid their hands together again.

‘Mm, I think so.’ Shiro nodded, and they made their way back to the car to drive home.

They drove in a contented silence, soft happy sighs as they got inside and ate the leftovers from last night’s dinner, laughing softly together as they ate and talked about things that Lance couldn’t remember anymore, but he knew that he hadn’t felt so carefree and content in a long time.

After eating they washed up and quickly fell into bed together, Shiro wrapping Lance up in his arms and Lance contentedly snuggling down against him, and the both of them were asleep within minutes.

 

***

 

Shiro was on the phone when Lance came in and he frowned at the look on his face.

‘No- no, I understand.’ He said softly, nodding. ‘Yes- I know, and I will be back and I will pay them all. No- I’ve been staying with a friend, but I will be back, please don’t do that- I’m not dead. I will be back, okay? Just- give me a few days, it’s not a quick journey.’ He said with a huff. ‘Yes- thank you. Bye.’

‘What was that?’ Lance asked softly, biting his lip.

Shiro ran a hand through his hair, letting out a groan. ‘My landlord.’ He said. ‘Thought I was dead or something and wanted to rent out my apartment.’

Lance frowned. ‘He can’t do that.’

‘He can, if I haven’t paid my rent for the last two months. Which I haven’t.’

‘Doesn’t he know who you are?’

Shiro shrugged. ‘I’m not entitled to free accommodation. He has to make his living too.’

‘So, you’re- going back then?’ Lance asked quietly, biting his lip.

Shiro sighed heavily, running his hand through his hair again and nodding. ‘Yeah… I kind of need to. My bank details for paying are all there, I didn’t bring anything important with me, I didn’t… know I’d be staying.’

‘No, of course.’ Lance said softly, nodding. He didn’t want Shiro to go. ‘You gotta do what you gotta do.’

‘Yeah.’ Shiro agreed, looking away. ‘I should- probably book a trip back pretty soon.’

‘How soon…?’

‘This evening. Tomorrow morning. Soon.’ He said, grimacing.

‘Oh. Okay.’ Lance agreed, nodding. He really didn’t want Shiro to go.

‘Yeah…’

‘Well, you can borrow a suitcase. You have some extra things now. And I’ll come with you to the spaceport, of course. And you have to promise to keep in touch.’

‘I will. And thank you.’ Shiro said, finally looking up at him. He didn’t think that Shiro wanted to go either. But he couldn’t just… stay indefinitely. That’s not what this was. This was- Lance didn’t know what this was, but it was always supposed to be temporary.

‘Of course.’ Lance said, offering him a small smile.

They decided to go for the next morning, booked his flight and packed his things, and if Lance clung tighter to Shiro that night, it didn’t have to mean anything.

The atmosphere was strange the next morning, Shiro made breakfast as usual, and they sat and they ate it in mostly silence.

‘Okay.’ Shiro said with a soft sigh as he came back out of the bedroom once he was dressed, suitcase in hand.

‘Okay.’ Lance agreed, grabbing his keys up and putting his shoes on.

He drove them to the spaceport, which wasn’t far, and walked with Shiro as he checked in and dropped his bag off, and then went through to departures.

Lance wasn’t sure if this was the part where they were supposed to kiss, but they didn’t. He wrapped his arms tightly around Shiro and Shiro wrapped his tightly around Lance.

‘Thank you for staying with me.’ Lance mumbled.

‘Thank you for having me.’ Shiro said softly back.

‘And I mean it, okay? Stay in touch. And call me when you land so I know you got there okay, and-‘

‘Lance.’ Shiro said softly, pulling back and cupping his face. ‘I will. I promise.’

‘Okay.’ Lance said with a small nod, biting his lip. ‘I hope you have a good trip.’

‘Thank you.’ Shiro said softly, gently brushing his thumb over Lance’s cheek.

Lance’s chest felt heavy as he watched Shiro walk away, and he turned to give him a small smile and a wave, before disappearing from sight.

He stood there for a few moments before making his way back out. Alone. Always alone, and now he would go back to his empty house and his empty life and continue the existence that he’d had before Shiro.

Before Shiro. Ha.

He sighed, picking up something to drink on the way home and kicking his shoes off by the door, slinging his keys down and tossing his coat off, flopping down onto the sofa.

Lance stayed pretty much like that for the next few days, a short text from Shiro having arrived to let him know that he’d arrived back safely, that Lance had responded to, and then Shiro had texted again, but Lance hadn’t responded to that. He’d hauled himself up to do a few more work bits, and he’d gone food shopping, but he hadn’t really eaten much.

He’d drunk. A lot. But at this point, he wasn’t even surprised at himself.

And so now he was alone again. Just the day before Shiro had left, they’d been talking about plans for the weekend. Except now Lance would be spending his weekend alone, just as he had been doing since Allura died, since Voltron.

Since he’d had a family, and even then he’d felt alone. Maybe Lance just wasn’t supposed to have people in his life like that. He’d had Hunk at the Garrison… but other than that- he’d been alone.

When was the last time he hadn’t been alone? Back when he was fourteen and living with his family? He was nearly twenty-four, now. That’s a long time of being alone. So why hadn’t he just picked up and moved back to earth yet? Why hadn’t he gone back to the place where he didn’t feel so alone? Why had he been living in this empty fucking apartment for three and a half fucking years?

Lance… didn’t know. He didn’t know what was stopping him. Maybe he felt like he didn’t want to move back until he’d moved on. But that didn’t look like it was ever going to happen… He still missed Allura so much it hurt. He missed her every day. He missed Voltron, and he missed the team and he missed the rush of putting his life on the line to save others. Missed the fight, the energy, the aftermath, when they knew that they’d won; that they’d saved someone else.

There was no getting over it. There was no moving on. That’s what Shiro said.

Lance just had to find a way to carry on.

His chest felt heavy and he took another drink, having lost count by this point but not particularly caring. He didn’t know how to carry on. He didn’t know how to get back to feeling like he had when Shiro had been here.

Oh.

He didn’t know how to get back to feeling like he had when Shiro had been here.

Shiro was his carry on.

And he missed him. He missed him so fucking badly that it hurt. A constant ache, everywhere he looked, he saw Shiro all over his apartment, all over his life and he didn’t know how to escape it, didn’t want to escape it… Because Shiro was still here, Shiro was okay.

It was like missing Allura, just not as intense. Because she was gone. She was taken from him and he could never get that back, never get her back and that would never stop slashing him across the chest until the day he died because she had never deserved that, she had never deserved to die and she was gone.

But Shiro wasn’t gone. Shiro was just… not here. And he should be. Shiro should be here, right now, with Lance, curled up on the sofa together, angrily playing Mario Kart, or petting their Nintendog together. Shiro should be here with him, not at home, paying his bills and being alone.

Shiro should be with Lance, because Lance didn’t know how to do this without him, he didn’t know how to move on, it had been five years now, it didn’t seem like he would ever be able to.

But he’d felt so much more okay when Shiro was here, happier than he’d felt in years. And the hurt didn’t stop, it never really stopped. But it was dulled and Shiro shone and god, Lance had been so fucking stupid, because Shiro was his carry on. Shiro had shown him how to live again and Lance didn’t want to let go of that, he didn’t want to let go of healing, because he was healing.

And now he was breaking all over again and it hurt.

He heard the dial tone before he realised he had even called, waiting as it rang and rang and went to answerphone, and it was probably a completely different time now for Shiro, Lance still wasn’t sure how that worked, but he knew he needed to tell him.

‘Shiro…’ He said softly, hoping he didn’t sound quite as drunk as he was. ‘I- I realised something very important, that I need to tell you… And now you’re gone… I miss you. I miss you like fucking crazy, Shiro. Fuck. It hurts. It hurts with how much I miss you. And I don’t know how to move on… I don’t know how to be better, I don’t know how to move on from Allura’s death, or from Voltron, or the old days… But I’ve- fuck- I’ve never felt happier… than when you were here with me. I’ve never felt more okay, or had as many good days versus bad ones…

‘And I know you said that you never really move on. And I don’t think that I ever will. But you said that somewhere along the way I’d find a carry on, and I’d be able to carry on with my life and heal and not be so fucking goddamned miserable all the time, and Shiro, god, you are my carry on. And now you’re gone, and it hurts so much, I miss you so much, and I need you here with me. I need you, Shiro, I need you so fucking badly, I don’t know how to be okay on my own and I know that one day I will be able to, but I need you to help me get there… I don’t want to be alone, anymore, Shiro. I just want you to be here with me. I miss you.’

The tone that sounded the end of the message went in Lance’s ear as he stopped speaking and he wet his lip, pulling the phone away from his face and ending the call, wiping the few tears from his face that he hadn’t realised were there and he hoped that Shiro wouldn’t be able to tell in his voice.

He fell asleep quickly after that, having a few more drinks and passing out and spending the majority of the next day with a terrible hangover, still curled on the couch and feeling absolutely awful, only just managing to stumble to the bathroom to throw up a few times. He could have really gone for one of Shiro’s omelettes right about then.

He called in to take another week off of work, and they explained to him that whilst obviously, he was granted some leaniences around this time of year, he wouldn’t be able to keep taking continuous time off of work and still have a job to come back to.

Lance half thought about quitting then and there, but he knew that if he did that he’d have nothing to do, and would probably just end up wasting away on this very sofa.

He didn’t hear from Shiro over the next few days, and Lance was really trying to push it from his mind, groaning when he heard a knock at his door.

Who the fuck was bothering him?

He trudged over to it, pulling his sweatshirt cuffs down over his hands as he opened the door, ready to yell at whoever was there.

It was Shiro.

He blinked at him.

It was still Shiro.

‘You look terrible.’ Shiro said softly, gently cupping Lance’s face.

Lance was still just standing there blinking at him. Somehow, it was still Shiro.

‘Feel it.’ He muttered in response and Shiro huffed a soft laugh, wrapping both of his arms firmly around Lance in a tight hug.

Lance melted against him, crumpling into his arms and Shiro wheeled his suitcase inside, closing the door, before scooping Lance up into his arms and sitting down on the sofa with him, holding him against his chest.

‘Missed you.’ Lance mumbled, carefully clutching at his shirt as he buried his face into Shiro’s neck.

‘I know, sweetheart.’ Shiro said gently, lacing his fingers through Lance’s hair. ‘I missed you too.’

‘Haven’t called me that one before…’ Lance said with a soft smile. ‘Like it.’

‘I’m sorry I left.’ He said gently. ‘I shouldn’t have.’

‘No, you shouldn’t have.’ Lance agreed, shaking his head.

Shiro gave a soft sigh as he eyed the mess on the coffee table. ‘Lance.’ He said softly and Lance made a soft sound of acknowledgement. ‘You have a problem.’ He said gently.

‘Yeah.’ Lance agreed quietly. He did.

‘But we can make it better.’ He followed, gently stroking over his back. ‘When was the last time you ate?’

Lance gave a small shrug.

‘Lance… you need to take care of yourself…’ Shiro said, biting his lip. ‘I need you to take care of yourself, for me, yeah?’

Lance sniffed and looked up at him with a small nod. ‘’M sorry.’

‘It’s okay, beautiful.’ Shiro smiled softly. ‘Let me get you some food, yeah? Then we can shower and go from there.’

Lance nodded, letting Shiro carry him into the kitchen. He made him scrambled eggs, and Lance whined as Shiro put him down.

‘Mm, let’s get you some protein, hm?’ He said as he cooked them, before setting Lance back in his lap and carefully feeding it to him.

Lance knew that he should probably have felt stupid to be babied like this, but he’d missed Shiro too much to care. He knew he probably should have felt stupid for that too. But he didn’t.

Shiro led him into the bathroom, carefully undressing him and getting under the stream of hot water with him, arms wrapped around Lance’s back for a few moments before lathering soap over the both of them, and then washing Lance’s hair for him.

‘Mmhm, and teeth?’ Shiro said as they got out, drying off.

Lance nodded, going to the sink and brushing his teeth, turning back to Shiro with a small smile.

‘That’s better, baby. You want to go to bed?’ He asked softly and Lance nodded.

The two clambered into bed and Shiro pulled Lance against his chest. Lance smiled softly, leaning up to gently cup his face.

‘Can I kiss you?’ He asked softly, only a few millimetres away from his lips.

Shiro nodded wordlessly and then Lance gently brushed their lips together, a soft light press at first, tentative and experimental, before pressing a little more firmly, moving their lips over each other’s with a soft sigh, before pulling back to look at him.

‘Do you want it to be like that?’ Lance asked softly, worrying his lip between his lips.

Shiro gently pulled Lance’s lip from between his teeth. ‘Like what?’

‘Where I don’t have to be drunk to kiss you. And where I kiss you a lot.’

‘Like… boyfriends?’ Shiro asked carefully and Lance felt a flash of anxiety at the term. He hadn’t had anything as solid as that since Allura.

He gave a small nod of his head.

‘We don’t have to label it if you don’t want to.’

‘No, I want it. I want you. Like that.’

‘Okay.’ Shiro said with a soft smile, gently brushing through Lance’s hair.

‘Really?’ He asked softly with a small smile.

‘Really.’

‘Why?’ Lance asked before he could stop himself. He really was a mess… He didn’t know why Shiro would want to put himself through that. Lance wasn’t going to get better quickly, and it was going to be a long and difficult process to heal.

‘Why…? Because I want to be with you. Because I care about you. Because being here with you is a hell of a lot better than being at home by myself with all of the things that I don’t have. You were right, okay? Everyone is doing all these amazing things, and you and me? Right now, we have nothing. So let’s make something here. Now. Together.’

‘Make what?’

‘A life? I don’t know, fuck. Let’s go back to Earth- or travel the whole goddamn fucking universe together, I don’t care. Let’s do something crazy, let’s just do something. Let’s make something worth having, me and you. Together.’

‘Okay.’ Lance said with a smile, biting his lip.

‘Okay?’ Shiro asked, letting out a breath.

‘Yeah, okay.’ Lance nodded. ‘Let’s go back to Earth and get somewhere together. Let’s figure out what the hell it is that we’re supposed to be doing with our lives.’

‘That sounds like a good plan to me.’ Shiro smiled, kissing his forehead and holding him close.

‘It really does.’

 

***

Approximately one year (and a bit) later; Christmas Eve.

 

***

 

‘Lance, it’s your turn!’ Lance heard Pidge call from the living room and he called back, picking up the tray of refills that he’d gone to get.

He went back into the living room and setting it down on the other coffee table, sitting down on the floor next to Shiro, leaning against him as he wrapped an arm around him and picked up the dice.

‘That’s me.’ Keith said, picking up his property card to have a look.

‘Oh fuck.’ He cursed. ‘I’m gonna have to mortgage something. Keith, I hate you. You’re never coming back.’

Keith snorted and shook his head. ‘Pay up.’

Lance whined, getting a loan from Coran, who was acting banker, and giving Keith the money.

‘Don’t pout, baby.’ Shiro said with a soft laugh, kissing the side of his head.

Pidge wrinkled her nose. ‘PDA, guys. Please.’ She said and Lance chuckled, turning to press a soft kiss to Shiro’s lips. ‘Yeah, I’m really never gonna get used to that.’

Shiro laughed, gently stroking through Lance’s hair as he rested his shoulder in the crook of his neck. ‘To what?’

‘Shance. I mean, I get it. This is your house, you literally bought a house together. And you’ve been together like, a year at least, now. I just, wow. It’s crazy.’

Hunk laughed and nodded. ‘I mean, we see you one year, and I get the confidential information that you hooked up.’ He said and Lance’s mouth fell open.

‘Hunk! That was confidential!’

Hunk held his hand up. ‘We see you the next year, and you’re dating. Then- we get invited for Christmas, in the new house on Earth, that you bought together. I mean, what’s next, an invite to the wedding?’

Lance laughed, nuzzling Shiro’s jaw. ‘Clearly, you just don’t stay in contact enough, then.’

Shiro shrugged with a hum. ‘Maybe.’ He said and Lance narrowed his eyes.

‘What was that a maybe to, mister?’

‘Ooh, well wouldn’t you like to know.’ Shiro teased, kissing his nose.

‘Yes, actually I would.’ Lance said, pouting.

‘Don’t pout, baby.’ Shiro said, gently cupping his cheek and kissing him.

‘Oi, Shiro, it’s your turn.’ Pidge said unamusedly and Shiro gave a small laugh, shaking his head and rolling the dice.

‘Can we change the playlist?’ Keith asked, resting his chin in his hand. ‘I swear, if I have to listen to ‘All I want for Christmas is you’ another time-‘

Lance gasped. ‘’All I want for Christmas is you’ is the most iconic Christmas song, Kogane, how dare you.’

‘Lance, this is probably the ninth time it’s played.’ Hunk reasoned.

Lance huffed, switching the playlist over and clambering into Shiro’s lap.

‘Ew.’ Pidge said, rolling her eyes.

‘Shut up, Pidgeon. You’re happy for us really.’

She eyed them sceptically for a few moments and then gave in. ‘Yes, fine. You’re cute.’

It didn’t take long after that for Lance to go bankrupt, and Shiro, Hunk and Coran followed soon after, leaving it a ‘battle to the death’ between Keith and Pidge, as Lance had called it.

Pidge won, of course.

After that they snuggled on the sofa with blankets to watch a few Christmas movies. By the time they were onto the third, Hunk and Pidge had fallen asleep, and Keith looked like he was well on his way, but Coran was still watching avidly.

Lance sighed softly, kissing Shiro’s cheek and getting up, going into the kitchen, running a hand through his hair as he began to get various things out of the cupboards for tomorrow’s meal.

Hunk had offered to help, which Lance had gratefully accepted, but he did want to do at least part of it himself. It was how he’d always done it in his childhood.

‘Baby, what are you doing?’ Shiro asked softly, leaning in the doorway to the kitchen, arms folded over his chest.

‘Getting things ready for tomorrow.’ He said, biting his lip and getting the chopping board out to cut up the hedge tables.

‘You can do it tomorrow, sweetheart, you’re tired.’ He said, coming over to him and wrapping his arms around his waist.

‘It’ll be more efficient if I do it now and then we can get it done quicker tomorrow.’ He said, leaning back into his embrace for a moment, before shrugging him off and beginning to chop the carrots.

‘Why does it matter how long it takes?’ Shiro asked softly, frowning at him as Lance yawned.

‘Because I can’t be entertaining people if I’m in the kitchen.’ Lance said with a huff, picking up the next carrot to chop.

‘Baby, what’s this about?’ Shiro asked, wrapping his arms back around Lance’s waist and pulling him away from the counter.

Lance sighed, leaning into him.

‘I just want everyone to have a good time.’ He murmured.

‘Everyone is having a good time.’ Shiro assured him, kissing the crown of his head.

‘Do you know that?’ He asked. ‘If they don’t have a good time then-‘

‘...Then what?’

‘They won’t want to come back.’ Lance said quietly.

‘Oh, baby.’ Shiro murmured. ‘Look at me, darling.’ He said, gently turning Lance in his arms. ‘They are having a good time. And they’re gonna want to come back. I promise.’

Lance bit his lip. ‘Okay.’ He said softly, looking down.

‘Lance, talk to me. What’s going on in that pretty head of yours, hm?’ He asked, gently brushing Lance’s hair from his face and kissing his forehead.

Lance sighed. ‘I always used to think I missed the war.’ He said softly. ‘I always used to say it, always used to think it. I miss the old days, I miss the old days, I miss the old days. But I realised that I don’t miss them. I don’t miss the war, or the danger, and everyone constantly risking their lives.

‘I died. You died. Somehow, we’re still here, but we were so nearly not. Keith tried to sacrifice himself, Allura did sacrifice herself. I don’t miss not knowing whether everyone is going to make it back home. Because not all of us did.

‘I miss our family. I miss being important to people. Going out and doing something that means something, that helps people. Saves them. And we’re doing that again, you and me. We’re helping people and I feel better than I have in a very long time, possibly ever.

‘But I miss our family. I can’t… keep seeing them once a year… We all went through so much together, and I don’t miss the circumstances, but I miss that and I miss them. And they’re right here, with us, right now. Where they should be.

‘But… If they don’t have a good time… they won’t want to come back again. They’ll want to keep doing the meet up once a year and that’s all we’ll ever get. And I don’t want that. I want them to come for Christmas and throughout the year when they’re free. We have each other, but we’re still alone, Shiro.’

Shiro pulled Lance closer, kissing his head and then pulling back to gently wipe the tears that Lance hadn’t realised had fallen.

‘Come on, baby.’ He said softly, taking Lance’s hand in his own and leading him out to the living room, where now both Keith and Coran had also fallen asleep.

Lance sniffed softly, looking at Shiro as he squeezed his hand.

‘We’re not alone.’ He said softly. ‘Here’s our family. And you know what that means? It means that they’re gonna want to come back, even if they don’t have a good time. Because they’re our family. They love us just as we love them. They love you.’

Lance felt his eyes well again and he turned his face against Shiro’s chest as Shiro wrapped his arms around him, holding him close.

It’s okay, darling.’ Shiro said gently, kissing his head. ‘It’s okay.’

‘I’m s-sorry.’ Lance mumbled.

‘You don’t need to say sorry, my love. Do you want to finish the movie, or go to bed?’

Lance sniffed. ‘Want a cuddle.’

Shiro lead him back over to the sofa, sitting down and pulling Lance into his lap, holding him close as Lance nestled his face into the crook of his neck, giving another soft sniff and Shiro rubbed his back soothingly.

‘Shiro, what did you do to make Lance cry?’ Pidge asked sleepily, accusation in her tone.

‘What? I didn’t do anything!’ Shiro protested and Lance gave a watery laugh, pulling back and wiping his eyes.

‘It’s not him.’ He said softly. ‘Well, technically, this time it was because of him, but not in a bad way.’ He said, giving Shiro a soft smile. ‘Just because he knew exactly the right thing to say, and he’s wonderful and I love him.’

‘Gross.’ Pidge said with an affectionate smile. ‘Are you okay?’ She then asked gently.

Lance sniffed and nodding, rubbing at his nose with the cuff of his sleeve.

‘Just worrying about stupid stuff.’

‘It’s not stupid.’ Shiro cut in gently, gently stroking through Lance’s hair.

‘Just worrying about- stuff.’ Lance amended.

Pidge nodded. ‘Anything I can help with?’

Lance gave a small shrug.

‘Ask her, baby.’ Shiro prompted.

‘Do you um.’ Lance wet his lip. ‘Think you’d want to come back for next Christmas…?’

Pidge gave him a soft lopsided smile. ‘Of course I would. Is that why you’ve been fussing all day? Because you thought we wouldn’t wanna come back next year?’

Lance gave a small guilty nod. ‘I just miss you guys… I don’t like only seeing you once a year.’

‘Me neither. And I know the others don’t.’ She said softly, biting her lip.

‘I know you’re all busy… and I mean, Shiro and I are busy now, too. I just, I think I’ve been so un-busy for so long that it’s just got to me a bit.’

‘That’s not stupid.’ Pidge said softly.

‘I didn’t-‘

‘You were thinking it.’

Lance huffed a soft laugh and Pidge held her arms out for him. He gave Shiro a soft kiss on the cheek, clambering out of his lap and crawling across the sofa to Pidge, falling into her arms as she wrapped them around him.

‘I love you.’ She said softly and Lance gave a small nod.

‘I love you, too.’

‘Now cheer up, hm? It’s Christmas. Santa will be coming soon.’

Lance gave a soft snort at that. ‘We’d better get everyone to bed then, hadn’t we?’

They woke everyone up, taking them upstairs and reminding them of where their rooms were, saying sleepy good nights.

Lance gave a soft squeak as Shiro scooped him up into his arms and carried him down the hall to their own bedroom, nudging the door open with his foot and closing it behind them, gently laying Lance down onto the bed.

‘Gonna undress me?’ Lance asked with a sleepy smile and Shiro kissed his forehead, carefully pulling his clothes off.

‘I thought you had a rule about that.’ He said with a low amused hum.

‘I think I can resist you.’ Lance giggled. ‘“M too sleepy.’

‘Mm, just as well I’m also exhausted, because I don’t think I could resist you.’ He teased as he took his own clothes off and clambered in next to him, pulling him close against his chest and kissing his forehead.

‘Flatterer.’ Lance teased, tipping his head up to catch Shiro’s lips in a kiss.

‘You’re gorgeous.’

‘You’d really have me right now if I asked?’ Lance teased.

‘I would.’

‘Even though you’re exhausted?’

‘Even though I’m exhausted.’

Lance giggled. ‘Wow, I must be really sexy.’

‘Not what I was angling for, but you definitely are.’

‘What were you angling for?’

‘That I love you too much to resist you.’ He said softly and Lance smiled, gently kissing him again.

‘I love you, too.’ He said, resting his head back on Shiro’s chest, tracing gentle patterns onto his skin. ‘Seriously though, we should have Christmas morning sex while everyone’s asleep.’

Shiro hummed. ‘I seem to remember them being early risers. Maybe Keith and Coran, at least.’

Lance gave a soft laugh. ‘We’ll just have to be late down to breakfast then.’

‘That sounds like a good plan to me.’ Shiro smiled, kissing Lance’s head.

‘Mm, sleep now.’ Lance said through a yawn. ‘Sweet dreams, baby.’

‘You too.’ Shiro murmured softly back. ‘Love you.’

‘Love you, too.’ Lance murmured back with a soft smile as his eyes fell closed.

 

***

 

Lance woke up to Shiro pressing soft kisses along the curve of his neck. He woke with a soft smile on his face, gently brushing his fingers through Shiro’s hair and giving a soft hum.

‘Morning sleepy.’ He said affectionately, leaning up to catch his lips. ‘Merry Christmas.’

‘Merry Christmas.’ Lance said against his lips, gently brushing his thumb over Shiro’s cheek bone. ‘I love you.’

‘I love you, too.’ Shiro smiled, kissing back down his jaw to his neck, gently sucking at the skin and Lance made a soft sound in the back of his throat, eyes fluttering back closed as he tipped his head a little to the side.

‘You’re really not wasting any time on that morning sex promise, my love.’ He said with a laugh and he felt Shiro huff a laugh against his neck.

‘I just wanna kiss you. Just wanna love you.’ Shiro mumbled, lightly nipping in retaliation.

‘Oh, I see.’ Lance teased. ‘So it’s got nothing to do with this then, hm?’ He asked, lifting his thigh a little, pressing up to where Shiro’s morning wood was resting against his leg.

‘N-no…’ Shiro said, choking on a soft groan, hips rolling down against his leg.

‘Of course not.’ Lance agreed, trailing his other hand down Shiro’s back, teasingly rocking his thigh up against him again.

‘L-Lance…’ Shiro whined, rocking his hips down again, and then again, giving a soft moan as he worked a mark into Lance’s throat.

‘You must be very worked up this morning if you’re really going to hump my leg, darling.’ He teased and Shiro grumbled.

‘Be nice, it’s Christmas.’ He said, looking up at him with a pout.

Don’t pout, baby.’ Lance teased, as Shiro always said to him and Shiro grumbled again.

‘Only I’m allowed to say that.’ He said, pouting harder.

Lance rolled his eyes playfully, leaning over to the bedside table to get the lube and handing it to Shiro, who took it eagerly and quickly spread Lance’s legs, settling between them.

Lance breathed a soft moan at the first finger and Shiro leaned back over him to press their lips together, giving him a series of soft tender kisses against his lips.

‘You’re so beautiful, Lance.’ Shiro murmured gently as he slipped in a second and Lance moaned.

‘So are you.’ Lance smiled softly back, brushing the front part of Shiro’s hair away from his face so he could look at him better. ‘You’re gorgeous.’

Shiro flushed, burying his face back against Lance’s neck, spreading his fingers inside of him.

‘You’re not allowed to say things like that.’ He mumbled and Lance gave an airy laugh.

‘Well that’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard, pretty baby. I will give you as many compliments as I like, and you will accept them, however begrudgingly that may be.’

‘Mm, fine. Only because I love you.’ He said with a soft hum, leaning back to pepper Lance’s face with kisses.

Lance giggled, wrinkling his nose. ‘Good, because I love you, too. Now, another, come on.’

‘Mm, romantic.’ Shiro laughed, pushing a third finger into him and gently thrusting them, feeling around for his prostate and Lance gave a high moan as he found it, back arching a little. ‘Oh, there, baby?’ He teased.

‘As if you don’t know exactly where there is.’ Lance hissed as Shiro teasingly rubbed his fingers over it firmly and Lance gave a long broken moan. ‘Baby, please, ‘m ready.’

Shiro kissed him softly again, pulling his fingers from him.

‘Grab a condom, I’m not going down there with cum in me.’

Shiro pouted. ‘I’ll pull out…?’

Lance hummed, looking at him for a moment. ‘Fine. Only because you look so damn cute pouting like that. It’s not fair.’

Shiro gave a soft laugh, kissing his lips again and then slicking his cock, lining up to Lance’s entrance, hooking his thighs over his hips and Lance was quick to hook his ankles over one another, successfully keeping Shiro in place as he began to push into him.

‘Oh god…’ Lance moaned, gently cupping his face and pulling him against his neck, clutching to him tightly as Shiro bottomed out and was quick to latch back onto Lance’s neck.

‘Lance, baby…’ Shiro breathed in a soft groan, gently rocking into him, panting a little against him.

Lance gave a soft whine, digging his heels into Shiro’s back in an attempt to drag him in deeper, rolling his hips a little against him.

‘You’re such a needy baby.’ Shiro teased lightly, nipping at the lobe of his ear and Lance whined again.

‘Want you, Takashi, I want you…’ He moaned softly.

‘You got me, baby.’ Shiro soothed softly as he picked up the pace a little, still keeping it soft as he rocked his cock into him.

‘Oh fuck…’ Lance breathed. ‘So good, baby, feel so good…’

Shiro groaned, resting his lips against his neck as he gently fucked him, picking up the pace as Lance would dig his nails into his shoulders and his heels into his back.

‘Fuck-‘ Lance said in a high moan, panting softly. ‘Baby- baby, fuck-‘

They both jolted as there was a sharp rap at their bedroom door and Shiro quickly stopped his movements.

‘If you two lovebirds want to stop fucking and come downstairs, Hunk is making breakfast.’

It was Pidge’s unamused voice.

‘Merry Christmas to you too, Pidge.’ Lance called back, barely just stopping a whimper as Shiro began to rock back into him. ‘A-and we’ll be down in a minute, god.’

They heard Pidge snicker and footsteps leaving, as Shiro picked up the pace again, gently kissing up to Lance’s lips and giving him a gentle kiss.

‘We’re not fucking.’ He whined softly. ‘I’m making love to you.’

Lance gave a soft giggle. ‘Ooh, how romantic.’ He teased, kissing him again. ‘Make love to me a little bit harder, my darling.’

Shiro gave a soft moan, easily complying and groaning as Lance scratched at his back, clinging to him and giving a high moan.

‘Fuck- yes, baby, like that-‘ He moaned and Shiro kissed him again.

‘I love you.’ He murmured, reaching down to wrap a hand around Lance’s cock, smirking a little at the strangled moan that left Lance’s lips.

‘I-I love you, too.’ Lance moaned. ‘You’re being a-awfully affectionate today, my love.’

‘I just love you.’ Shiro mumbled back, working his cock faster and Lance cried out softly.

‘I-I’m not c-complaining, b-baby, fuck.’ He groaned. ‘I love you s-so much…’

‘My beautiful baby.’ Shiro moaned softly, kissing along his jaw, thumbing through Lance’s slit a few times in a way that had his thighs shaking.

‘P-please, n-not gonna l-last…’ Lance whimpered, head thrown back against the pillow.

‘Wanna feel you cum on my cock, my love.’ Shiro breathed, working him faster and fucking into him a little harder. ‘Want you to cum for me.’

‘T-Takashi, baby…’ Lance whined, giving a breathless moan, rocking his hips to rut his cock up into Shiro’s hand as he spilled over his abdomen.

‘Oh god- fuck- baby- gonna cum-‘ Shiro whined, fucking Lance through his orgasm and then pulling out, working his fist over his own cock quickly, before giving a low groan and spilling onto Lance’s hip bone.

‘F-fuck…’ Lance breathed, panting harshly and pulling Shiro in for a soft kiss as he unhooked his legs from around Shiro’s waist, letting them fall weakly back on the bed.

‘Merry Christmas.’ Shiro said, and Lance huffed a soft laugh.

‘Merry Christmas. Now, clean up your mess.’ He said, raising an eyebrow and Shiro snorted.

He stood up and Lance watched him cross the room into their bathroom, coming back with a dampened towel to gently clean the cum off of Lance.

‘We can shower after breakfast if you want.’ He said and Lance nodded, sitting up.

‘Mm, where’s your Christmas jumper, babe? Remember to put it on.’ He said, swinging his legs over the side of the bed and standing up, getting some clothes out of the drawer.

‘Yes, yes, I wouldn’t dare not.’ Shiro said, rolling his eyes playfully as he pulled it over his head and tossed Lance’s to him.

Lance giggled, going over to him and standing up to kiss him, before lacing their fingers together and leading him downstairs.

‘Morning you two.’ Hunk said, raising an eyebrow as he turned around from the stove.

‘Oh shush, it’s Christmas.’ Lance said, rolling his eyes and wrapping his arms around Hunk’s waist in a tight hug.

‘I didn’t say anything.’ Hunk laughed, turning around to hug him back.

‘Everyone sleep well?’ Lance asked. ‘Coffee?’ He asked, boiling the kettle and getting the coffee out of the cupboard.

Keith and Pidge raised their hands in agreement.

‘Babe?’ He asked and Shiro nodded.

‘Please.’

Lance set about making the coffee as Hunk began to dish up the food, setting it down in front of everyone at the table.

‘Mm, plan for today?’ Lance asked with a hum as he gave everyone their mugs.

‘You’re the host.’ Keith supplied.

‘Okay, well. We should do presents first, because I need to go and pick Shiro’s up. Don’t ask.’ He said, holding back a grin. ‘And then Hunk and I can make food. Other than that… We can just do whatever.’

‘That sounds ominous.’ Shiro said, looking at him with a raised eyebrow.

‘It’s not ominous!’ Lance said with a laugh. ‘You’ll understand when I give it to you. It’s a bit, um… extravagant, but it’s technically for us to share, so it’s okay.’

‘Wow, babe, way to give me anxiety.’ Shiro laughed, shaking his head.

‘Oh hush, you’ll love it. I hope.’

‘That’s somehow not what I’m anxious about.’

Lance pouted. ‘Baby, please. It’s Christmas. Anxiety is not allowed. Hunk, you’ll come with me to pick it up, right?’

‘If I get to know what it is, absolutely.’ Hunk said with a nod.

‘Of course.’ Lance agreed.

‘Oh no, I didn’t give Walnut his Christmas walk yet…’ Shiro said softly to himself and Lance gave a soft giggle.

‘Shiro, I promise you, Walnut doesn’t even know it’s Christmas, or that you haven’t walked him.’

Shiro pouted softly but nodded. Lance laughed at the questioning looks the others were giving them.

‘It’s his Nintendog.’ Lance supplied.

Our Nintendog.’ Shiro pouted and Lance nodded, giving him a quick kiss.

‘Our Nintendog, baby.’

They quickly finished breakfast and situated themselves back in the living room, Pidge sitting by the tree and handing out presents which they all opened eagerly, before Coran set up a new game of Monopoly to play while Lance and Hunk were gone.

‘I’ll be back soon.’ Lance said, leaning down to kiss the top of Shiro’s head. ‘I love you.’

Shiro tipped his head up to pull Lance down for a kiss. ‘Love you too, baby.’

Lance grabbed Hunk’s hand, pulling him to the front door, putting on his shoes and coat and grabbing up his keys.

‘Do I get to know what this mysterious present is?’ Hunk asked as they got in and Lance started the engine.

‘Um, yes.’ Lance said, pulling out of the drive. ‘Okay… Don’t say I’m crazy. Let me explain first.’

‘That… does sound ominous.’

‘Okay, well. You know when he was going on about his Nintendog?’

‘Uh, yes…?’

‘Well, he’s had that thing more than a year now, and he plays with it every day and he loves it. And I always tell him to get another one because you can have like six, but he’s never wanted another one because let me tell you, that puppy is the fucking light of his life.’

‘Lance, you didn’t.’

‘I did.’ Lance said, grinning and biting his lip. ‘The thing is- we have talked at length about getting a dog, we just haven’t gotten around to it yet because we’ve been busy. But things at work have calmed down now and we’re not so busy, so we have the time… And I managed to find one that looks pretty much the same as his Nintendog.’

‘Oh my god. I can’t believe it.’ Hunk said, lips parted. ‘We’re going to pick up a puppy?’

‘We’re going to pick up a puppy.’ Lance grinned.

It didn’t take them too long to get there, and Lance had already been debriefed on everything and paid, so they were only swinging by to pick him up, as not to disrupt their Christmas.

‘I get to sit with him on my lap, right?’ Hunk asked, taking the tiny puppy from Lance and cradling him protectively.

Lance pouted. ‘Fine. But only because you don’t know the way home.’

‘He’s so tiny, I love him, oh my god.’ Hunk cooed, kissing his nose and cradling him on his lap as they made the drive home.

‘I hope this means you are going to be having regular visits, hm?’

‘Most definitely.’ Hunk replied emphatically. ‘And so will everyone else. Shiro is going to die, oh my god.’

‘Well, I really hope he doesn’t die. Kind of like him alive.’ Lance laughed, shaking his head. ‘But I hope he’s happy…’

‘Are you kidding me? He’s gonna be over the goddamned moon, Lance. Have you met the guy? Or been with him around dogs?’

‘Yes to both of those.’ Lance laughed. ‘Okay, nearly there now.’ He blew out a long breath. ‘You gotta relinquish him now, bud.’

Hunk made a small protesting sound but gave the little puppy over to Lance when he held his arms out.

‘Let’s go meet your other daddy, hm?’ Lance cooed, holding him to his chest and giving Hunk his keys. ‘Can you make sure everyone’s seated? And Shiro’s got his eyes closed?’

Hunk nodded, going in and then calling for Lance a few moments later.

Lance couldn’t stop himself from grinning as he carried the little puppy in, and he heard an audible gasp.

‘Lance, you fucking didn’t.’ Keith said and Lance giggled.

‘Oh my god, what does that mean?’ Shiro whined, eyes tightly closed.

‘I’m gonna put it on your lap, okay, Shiro?’ Lance said, coming over to the sofa and everyone quickly gathered around them.

‘Okay…’

Lance bit his lip, putting the puppy down in Shiro’s lap. ‘Okay, you can open your eyes.

Shiro did. He opened his eyes, looking down, mouth falling open and eyes immediately filling with tears.

‘Y-you got me Walnut?’ He asked, voice a little shaky as the tears quickly slipped down his cheeks.

‘Baby, don’t cry, oh my god.’

Lance.’ Shiro whined, scooping Walnut up and holding him in front of his face. ‘L-Lance…’

‘I made my boyfriend cry on Christmas, I’m the worst boyfriend ever.’ Lance said with a soft laugh and Shiro held the puppy out for Keith to hold, grabbing Lance and pulling him in, throwing his arms around him and sniffling into his neck.

‘Shut up, you’re the best boyfriend in the entire universe and I love you.’

‘I love you too.’ Lance replied softly, kissing his head.

‘I can’t b-believe you got me Walnut…’ He said, pulling back and wiping his eyes, holding his arms out for him. ‘Where is he? I want him back.’ He whined, and Pidge who was now holding him, carefully placed him back into Shiro’s arms.

‘Well, we did say we wanted a dog…’ Lance said with a smile, standing up. ‘Let me go and get his bits, hm?’ He said, going out into the hall cupboard and getting a cardboard box that had the things Lance had already bought for him inside.

He set his little bed down on the floor, with a blanket, and put a few toys around, then going to fill up a water bowl for him and putting it down for him.

‘Okay, let’s put him down now, yeah? We don’t want to overwhelm him, he’s only tiny.’

Shiro reluctantly handed him over to Lance, who showed him where the water dish was, and he had a tiny drink, before then placing him in his bed. He looked very confused, looking warily between everyone, but eventually settled down in his bed, curled up in a ball to sleep.

‘I am never gonna stop looking at him.’ Shiro said softly, pulling Lance down onto the sofa and curling into his side.

Lance laughed softly. ‘Have I lost you to your new baby?’

You’re my baby.’ Shiro murmured, kissing his cheek. ‘But now we have our own baby…’

Lance bit his lip, smiling softly. ‘Yeah, we do.’

‘Lance, we gotta make a start on food.’ Hunk said as he stood up, stretching.

‘Mm, okay. Why don’t you play another board game, baby?’ He said, disentangling himself from Shiro and kissing his forehead. ‘Don’t scare little baby too much.’

‘I would never.’ Shiro assured him, going to their bookshelf to pick a new game as Lance followed Hunk into the kitchen.

‘I must say.’ Hunk said with a soft laugh as they started to prepare things. ‘You guys are adorable together.’

Lance flushed, laughing. ‘You think?’

‘Yeah. You’re good for each other. I’m glad you’re happy, buddy.’

Lance smiled softly, biting his lip. ‘Me too.’

They prepared dinner, and it took a few hours, but soon enough they were all gathered around the table eating, and not long after that, Walnut was eagerly yapping at their ankles, clearly refreshed from his nap.

They all went back into the living room, putting on another Christmas movie and sitting on the floor, taking turns flinging the toys around and watching Walnut chase them until he was all tired out and fell asleep on Shiro’s lap.

‘Lance, I’m in love.’ Shiro whispered softly and Lance smiled.

‘I’m glad, baby.’

‘With Walnut, too.’ He said and Lance flushed, giving a gentle laugh.

‘That was sweet.’ He said, nestling against him. ‘I’m in love with you, too.’

‘But also, if you thought I wasn’t letting him sleep on the bed with us, then I’m sorry, but you were wrong.’

Lance laughed. ‘That’s okay, I know you’re a weak man, Shiro.’

Shiro gave a mock gasp.

‘Sorry, Shiro, he’s right.’ Keith interjected with a laugh. ‘You’re weak for two things in this world, and that’s your boyfriend, and cute little animals.’

Shiro pouted. ‘I hate it when you’re right.’

It wasn’t long after that that Pidge left, having to get back early for the next day and they bid her farewell with tight hugs and making her swear for real to come and visit more often, and she promised that she would, and Lance believed her.

The others were staying the night again, leaving at various times the following day.

‘Mm, let’s go, baby.’ Lance said softly after the others had gone upstairs, holding his hands out to help Shiro up off of the floor.

Shiro picked up the sleeping puppy from his lap, cradling him to his chest with one hand as he let Lance help pull him up with the other and then Lance picked up Walnut’s bed and water dish, carrying them up to their bedroom.

‘At least start him in his bed, baby. He’s so small, it might be scary.’

Shiro pouted, but nodded, setting him down in the bed and switching the lights off, clambering into their own bed and snuggling up next to Lance.

‘Did you have a good day, baby?’ Lance asked, kissing his forehead.

‘The best.’ Shiro said with a tired smile, nuzzling him. ‘Did you?’

‘I did.’ Lance agreed softly. ‘You know…’ He said with a soft hum. ‘Last Christmas we hadn’t really been together very long. But… we have a house now, and we work together, and we’re happy, and now we have our own little baby.’

Shiro smiled, leaning up to gently press their lips together. ‘It’s the first Christmas of the rest of our lives.’

‘Took the words right out of my mouth.’ Lance laughed softly, wrapping his arms around him. ‘I’m so incredibly in love with you.’

‘That’s lucky then, isn’t it?’ Shiro teased, gently kissing him again. ‘I’m so incredibly in love with you, too.’

‘Ooh, you’re right, that is lucky.’ Lance giggled, gently brushing their noses together.

‘You what is lucky?’ He asked and Lance bit his lip with a smile.

‘What?’

‘That you invited me in for that drink.’

‘And then proceeded to have a mental break down? That drink?’

Shiro laughed, nodding. ‘Otherwise I’d just be that guy that you used to defend the universe with and slept with once.’

‘Mm, instead, you’re the love of my life. I’m sure it would have worked out one way or another, baby.’ Lance said gently, brushing his fingers through Shiro’s hair as he laid his head down on his chest.

‘Well, I’m glad it worked out the way it did.’

‘Me too, baby. Me too.’