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A Cure I Know That Soothes The Soul, Does So Impossibly.

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When Keith stepped into the rustic looking ‘Garrison’ club, with his guitar slung over his shoulder, the very first thing that hit him was the voice on stage.

That powerful voice, that seemed to carry so much hope and experience and pain. He quickly bought a drink, something cheap, he didn’t know what it was but it burned on the way down and lit a warm match in his stomach, so he bought another. He walked down behind the stage, and put his guitar next to the stuff marked Mariner’s Revenge. He saw Pidge’s drum kit, and Hunk’s keyboard, and Shay’s bass, as well as Cosmo’s little backpack and spare set of headphones. He wondered where they were, and if they’d seen him come in. 

He walked back out to the club, that voice still singing, but something different now. 

That voice, calming and sultry, luring him into gathered crowd, who were all as seemingly transfixed as he was. 

It gave him the feeling of an unlucky -or very lucky, depending- pirate, who had been enticed by a siren, luring him to his death. 

 

I am not the only traveler

Who has not repaid his debt

I've been searching for a trail to follow again

Take me back to the night we met

 

And then I can tell myself

What the hell I'm supposed to do

And then I can tell myself

Not to ride along with you

 

I had all and then most of you

Some and now none of you

Take me back to the night we met

 

The moment Keith’s eyes set on the owner of that goddamn voice, his very first thought was ‘fuck’. He was hot. And built like a fucking building. What did this guy do, eat bricks and make deals with Aphrodite herself?

The man’s forehead was glistening with little beads of sweat, one single drop pouring down his temple. A tuft of white hair was sticking to his forehead, gone slightly curly from the humidity. The rest of his hair was damp, and black, slightly messy from what Keith assumed was him constantly running his hand through it. 

Keith nearly gasped when he saw the man’s eyes. They were a dark grey, but carried a sense of kindness with them and were by no means boring. His eyes were smiling, a real smile that can’t be faked. He moved his gaze down, and saw in the bridge of his nose was a long scar. His eyes glanced at the man’s arms, strong, ‘perfect for pining you against a wall while- nope, not going down that road. Keep your thoughts straight, Kogane.’ He mentally cursed. Fuck, how long had it been since he’d gotten laid? A glint of metal in the blue lights of the club caught Keith’s eye. He looked at the man’s right arm, quickly discovering that it was, in fact, almost fully metal. 

Before he could think anything of it, he felt a heavy hand hit down on his shoulder. He sighed, and balled up his fists, ready to punch whatever dude thought he was up for a quick fuck in the bathroom stalls. He knew he screamed ‘Topless Twink’, what with his leather pants that sculpted his ass, and his red cropped jacket, with a plain, red low cut silk shirt underneath, and the fucking black satin choker with ‘Baby Boy’ in white diamanté letters that Lance had paid $50 to see him wear, but he didn’t need a reminder. 

He stopped, however when he realised it was just Hunk, his friend, their band’s keyboard player, and half time bartender at the Garrison. 

“Hey, dude! I didn’t see you come in, want a drink? There’s a bunch of new specials, but I honestly can’t tell you the names without wanting to wash my mouth out with soap, I need to have a word with Lance, he can’t call something ‘Tie Me to the Bedpost’ because he wants to hear cute girls order it, but whatever, we’ve classics like tequila-“ 

“Show me the specials” Keith interrupted the babbling man. 

“Oh, dude one of them is so you. You have to try it. Maybe it’ll give you some courage to talk to Adonis up there” Hunk replied smugly, with a small motion to the man.”

Keith shoved him playfully. “Bite me. Besides you’re not much better with that bassist you’re always pining over”

Hunk sighed. “Yeah dude, but can you blame me? Shay’s.... something else. And at least I know her name.” 

Keith laughed, and starting walking toward the bar with him. “I can’t really say much, not like it’s a her I’d be looking out for, and I told you, I want him to tell me his name.” As much as Keith was gay, he couldn’t fully say Hunk’s crush wasn’t absolutely beautiful, she just wasn’t really his type. 

Hunk laughed, his entire build shaking as he did. “Oh, don’t I know it dude.”

Keith threw him a glance as Hunk mixed their drinks. The music had stopped, the band taking a break, when there was a sudden shout and a smash of glass that caused both boys to jump, and look around for the source of the commotion. 

 

One Keith had realised what was happening, he took off like a bat out of hell to the other end of the bar. 

His younger brother, Cosmo, was standing next to his bar stool, his Diet Coke bottle broken and spilling off the bar. He was visibly shaken, and had a bust lip. 

“You think because you’re cute you can fucking ignore me? I know you’re lying!  I heard you talking outside to the slut from that shitty band.” The stranger lifted a shaky hand to wipe his lip and scoffed. “Hey, if you’re telling the truth at least I can hear, you cripp-“

Keith was fuming. That was the last fucking straw. He shoved himself in front of Cosmo and the stranger who, now that Keith could see more clearly also had a bust lip. 

“Hey! Back the fuck off!” The stranger turned his attention to Keith, momentarily forgetting about Cosmo. “And who the fuck do you think you are, fag? Fairy superhero come to save pretty-boy here? I was gonna take him out to the alleyway and teach his worthless faggot ass a lesson but you’ll do just fine.” 

The guy turned out to be a full head taller than Keith, and he had a feeling the next ten minutes were gonna hurt. 

 

Hey! Get the hell out of here!”

Keith all but jumped at the new, powerful voice. Even without turning around, he knew he would not want to to be on the receiving end of that voice right now. The man from the stage was now beside Keith, staring the stranger down with angry eyes. Even though the dickhead stranger was tall, the man from the stage was even taller, and seemed even more jacked up close. 

“Oh, your queer steroid boyfriend over here thinks he’s the hero by coming to save your twink self, huh?” The stranger daunted, his slurs taking a clear effect on both Cosmo and Keith, even though neither would ever admit to it. 

The man from the stage glared daggers at the stranger. “I won’t repeat myself again. Leave.” 

The stranger turned around to get his jacket from his stool, when he suddenly went for Keith, who had barely enough time to react before a fist collided with his nose. “Fuck!” He reeled back, clutching his face. The man from the stage had enough and, after getting a few beat downs from what were assumed to be the dickhead’s gang who had just come out of the toilets, punched the dickhead stranger in the face, causing him to spin around as he dropped like a bag of bricks. 

Two men Keith had seen onstage with the tall man picked up the unconscious stranger and, with Hunk’s direction, carried him out to the back

“Where the garbage belongs” Hunk had said with a wink.

 

                                     ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Keith, Cosmo and the man walked to the storage room, each holding an ice bag (or in Keith’s case, a bag of frozen peas, Lord knows why the hell Hunk had those in his freezer, and when he’d asked Lance had started trying to stifle his laughter, muttering something about dares and a straw incident. Keith decided he didn't want to know ) and sat on the boxes of equipment. 

Keith was about to ask the man’s name, and offer to get him a drink, when a woman - Shay - came barrelling in, asking if they were alright, and doting over Cosmo.

“Wait, you guys know each other?” The man had asked Shay, when she had started scolding Keith for getting into yet another bar fight. 

“Yeah, I have classes with Cosmo, and Keith here is in band with that keyboardist I was telling you about.”

“I was about to ask your name, you know” Keith added, motioning to the man next to him. 

“Takashi, but my friends- you can call me Shiro” 

Shiro. He liked the sound of it it his head. Shay had left at this point, claiming to go get drinks for everyone. Shiro’s name suited him, Keith decided. At least it wasn’t something like Chad. 

“Well Shiro, I think I owe you a drink, for being so heroic like you were.”

Shiro laughed, and then groaned in pain, clutching his ice pack to his ribs. 

“I think I’ll take you up on that offer, that dickhead definitely left a bruise. What was he on about anyways?”

Keith glanced at Cosmo, who nodded in agreement, and starting signing what had happened.

 

 

“Well, my younger brother Cosmo here, is deaf, and that dude was trying to hit on him, and wouldn’t believe him when he said he’s deaf, and was convinced he was ignoring him, considering he ‘doesn’t sound deaf’ and all that bullshit.” Keith answered, translating for Cosmo. 

Shiro turned to Cosmo putting down his ice bag, and Keith stiffened up, waiting for The Questions:

‘You don’t look deaf?’

‘Isn’t it hard?’

‘How do you have a social life?’

‘Do you only date deaf people?’

‘Do you like music?’

‘Can you drive?’

 

Instead, to both Keith and Cosmo’s surprise Shiro started to sign. 

I hope that guy doesn’t come back, don’t you?’

Cosmo’s face lit up, he laughed, and responded ’If he does, you’ll be the first to hear about it

Keith smiled, he liked seeing his brother laugh. “So, Shiro, when did you learn ASL?” 

College course I took. That’s where I met Shay. I’m decently fluent in ASL and PSE” He replied, speaking and signing in kind. 

 Keith, can we keep him?’ Cosmo asked grinning, shamelessly making his brother blush. 

That made both boys laugh. ’If he wants to stay, he can’ Keith said back, smiling. 

I will, if Keith buys me that drink first’ Shiro responded, again both speaking and signing. 

“That can definitely be done, Mister Hero” Keith flattened out his bag of peas and held them back up to his nose. 

“Shiro the Hero” Cosmo laughed, and Shiro chuckled at the nickname. Today had definitely turned out better than he thought, even if he got a bruised rib, he finally got to meet the cute guy he’d seen at the bar those few months ago. He could only hope Keith liked guys, never mind him. He sighed. 

“Drinks?” Keith hopped off his box, Cosmo following. 

“Definitely” Shiro grinned, and sauntered off to the bar. 

You’re in love’ Cosmo teased.

Bite me’ Keith jabbed him in response. 

Don’t ask me, ask him.’ Cosmo laughed, and ran out of the storage room squealing, with Keith hot on his tail. 

Chapter Text

“Jesus dude, what did you do?” Lance guffawed.

“You should look at the other guy” Keith laughed, wincing at his bust lip. “Actually, I have Shiro here to thank it’s not worse.” He replied, motioning behind him at Shiro as he sat down on the bar stool next to Lance. 

Lance turned around to thank Shiro, but when he saw him all he did was squeak at his towering size and frankly unholy arms. He whipped his head back around to Keith and whisper yelled, much to loud for Keith’s comfort, “Dude, how the fuck did you get Adonis over here to save your mullet wearing rat’s ass?” 

Keith spluttered, as Shiro blushed, making the scar tissue on his nose stand out. 

“Shut up” Keith mumbled as he playfully, but strongly, shoved Lance off his barstool which, just so happened to have an uneven leg. Pidge swears she wasn’t involved in anything, Keith doesn’t believe her, especially since her stool seems a few inches higher than everyone else’s. 

Lance brought his hand to his forehead in dramatics, like a damsel in distress. “Oh won’t my Hercules come and save me?” 

Hunk snorted from behind the bar. “Your Hercules is busy not existing, now come back here and help me.” 

Lance huffed, and got off the floor pouting. Shiro awkwardly inched his was to a seat beside Keith, before he realised he was now in between both Keith on his left, and Cosmo on his right. 

Lance then draped his armed on Keith’s back, and stage whispered to him

“You know, I am the one in charge of the set list tonight, and I know a few songs in particular you aren’t gonna want to sing tonight, Keithy” He then patted him on the back and playfully winked at Shiro, which caused the large man to blush. 

Keith groaned and hit his head against the bar table, muttering. 

Shiro signalled for two beers, and pushed one to Keith. He lifted his head off the bar table and took a generous gulp of the drink. “I thought I was gonna buy you a drink?” He chuckled. 

Shiro hummed in agreement. “You looked like you needed it, and you still can buy me one of you want. Doesn’t have to be today though” he added with a smile. Before Keith could recover, Shiro continued. “So, you’re a performer too? What was Lance talking about?” 

Keith made a noise between a groan and a curse, and put down his drink. “Yeah, my band and I play here a lot. Pays well, and Hunk likes the extra cash flow on top of the bar. And as for that, I have a playlist of songs I like that are... a bit on the explicit side, and not something I’m pushing to preform” He grimaced.

Shiro laughed into his drink. “How explicit are we talking?”

“One song is called ‘He Whipped my Ass in Tennis (Then I Fucked His Ass in Bed)” Keith deadpanned.

Shiro spluttered, nearly coughing out his mouthful of beer, and had seemed to gone very red. 

Oh, t-that’s um, yeah, that’s ah, a lot, I guess” he stumbled out sheepishly.

Keith continued, explained that Lance had discovered this playlist, and, to spite Keith for blackmail purposes, had gotten Hunk and Pidge along with him to learn each and every one, in case the situation arose that they decided to revolt against their lead singer. 

“Lance usually picks the Tennis one, because there’s a ‘yeehaw’ at the start and he likes poking fun at my Texas side, but I hope to the gods it’s something different this time.”

Shiro raised his eyebrows. “You’re from Texas? I used to work on farms a lot in Tennessee a while back.”

Keith laughed hard at that. “Oh man don’t tell that to Lance, you’ll be getting pick up lines all night.”

He took the last sip of his beer and muttered slowly while getting up “although I think you get a lot of pick up lines anyway. 

Shiro’s face flushed a deep pink, and hid his smile in the neck of his beer bottle.

“I have to go um, preform but maybe I’ll see you after our set? I still owe you another drink” Keith, feeling uncharacteristically shy, put his hand behind his head and ran his fingers through the back of his dark hair. 

Shiro wondered how Keith could go from confident fluttery pick up lines to a blushing mess, but whatever it was it was incredibly endearing. 

“Definitely. I have to stay for whatever song Lance has in store for you anyway” Shiro grinned. 

Keith groaned at that, and told Shiro where Hunk kept the spare paracetamol if he needed it before walking backstage. 

 

**********************************************************************************

 

 

When Keith arrived backstage to the snickering of his bandmates, and his brother, he knew something was up. 

“Here, it’s the new set list Lance devised.” Cosmo giggled, handing him a sheet of paper. 

“Don’t worry, you know all the words and cords, he just added a few songs that um, fit into a certain situation that happened today”.Cosmo was grinning like a Cheshire Cat. The little shit had become best friends with Lance and Pidge, bonding over pranks being pulled on Keith. 

All the colour drained out of Keith’s face, he knew what songs were on that playlist, and the tempo of some of them. The ‘Garrison’ club wasn’t exactly a gay bar strictly, but it did participate in the pride parade every year, and most of the customers were definitely queer of some description. 

This was going to be embarrassing. Especially now that Shiro was going to be actively listening to him. 

Lance swayed up to Keith, and patted him on the shoulder. “Remember, if you don’t preform, I still have those pictures of 13 year old Keith. I’m sure Shiro would love to see you with braces, among other things.” He smirked. Keith was going to have to pull some favours with Matt or Pidge, he knew Lance had some cringe childhood pictures somewhere. 

He opened up the folded piece of paper, and groaned. This was gonna suck. 

He looked over to the bar, signalling hunk that they were going on so he could give the bar to his coworker Allura. Keith quickly told him of the changes to the set, adding that Lance and Pidge had lost their open bar privileges for committing mutiny, and walked on stage. 

As much as he disliked Pidge for her treachery, he had to admit she was really good with stage lighting and effects. 

The stage was lit a deep red, with the smoke machine on the lowest setting, as to create a spooky atmosphere, but not choke out Keith or anyone standing in the front row. 

They did sound checks, and Keith took the time to quickly tell the audience how his band was blackmailing him, and that considering the fight that had occurred, they decided to go the extra mile of queer, out of spite. That got a laugh from the audience, and Keith began feeling more confident in his set list. 

He signalled to Pidge that everything was ready, and she began to count them in, banging her drum sticks together in four sharp taps. ‘Here goes nothing’ thought Keith, and began singing the first song. 

*

 “You'll probably get sweaters

Underwear and socks

But what you'd really like for Christmas

Is a nice hard cock

You deserve a cute boy

Who's horny and queer

To make the most out

Of Christmas cheer”

 

Keith looked over at the bar, to see Shiro wide eyed and blushing profusely. The audience seemed to be loving it, laughing at the lyrics. Keith was suddenly very thankful that his bandmates had only put on three or four songs onto the set list, he didn’t think he could manage doing a whole two hours like this. 

 

“Have a Homo Christmas this year!”

 

That line always got a laugh, and the audience seemed really into the song. Keith miles, feeling cocky and confident. ‘Fuck it’ he decided. All or nothing was practically his motto and he’d be damned if he didn’t give his his all. Maybe some god would take an interest in his enthusiasm and delete the blackmail from Lance’s grip. 

 

“We’ll push the packages out of the way, 

And after you’ve unwrapped me

Naked on the floor we'll play

I wanna be your Christmas present

I wanna be your Christmas queer

I wanna be your Cristmas present

Have a homo Christmas this year!”

 

At his point, Keith - with the encouragement or his bandmates,- had jumped off the small stage, and was walking (gay-ly) around the bar patrons, over accentuating each line. He took a quick glance at Shiro, who was pressing his beer bottle to his leg. Keith noticed his blush hadn’t gone down, and he smirked. Never mind how big that guy was, he seemed to fluster easy, and Keith was definitely gonna use that information. 

 

“But let me give you

Sexual nourishment

Licking nipples

Licking nuts

Putting candy canes

Up each other's butts

I wanna be your Christmas present

I wanna be your Christmas queer!”

 

By this point, Keith had made his way behind the bar, and was standing on the counter top. Over the years, Lance had repeatedly told him he radiated “Power Bottom Twink Energy.” Keith didn’t give him the satisfaction of letting him know if any of that was based in truth, but he concluded that if that energy was true, he might as well take advantage of it, swaying his hips in time with the beat and over-exaggerating suggestive expressions, most of which were un-subtly aimed at Shiro, who as conveniently sitting directly underneath/ in front of Keith, looking very nervous, and still clutching at his beer that was presses to the man’s inner thigh. 

‘Wouldn’t mind being that beer’ Keith’s never ending intrusive inner monologue unhelpfully quipped. He finished the song without a hitch, and looked apologetically at Shiro.

Before he jumped back on stage, Keith hopped off the bar top. “Sorry if I got too close there, most straight dudes wouldn’t exactly like that..” 

Before Shiro could even think of a response, Keith was back on stage, drinking a bottle of water (and looking much too hot while doing it). 

Shiro groaned internally. He was so fucked over this hot boy. Now, all he needed was his hard on to go down.