Shiro was so nervous. He planned to propose tonight after months of hand-wringing and anxiety and obsessively researching the perfect ring online. He was not afraid of marrying Keith. Honestly, he wasn't even worried that Keith wouldn’t say yes at this point. He was still nervous, though. He wanted the proposal to be flawless. Keith deserved something special.
He'd brought Keith to a beautiful restaurant an hour away from the Garrison for their third anniversary. It was one of those fabulously expensive places where you had to have a reservation, there was a jacket-required dress code, and the menu was one page.
Keith was radiant in the low ambient light of the restaurant. Shiro couldn't stop admiring the way the candlelight danced across his cheeks, the way his eyes sparkled at Shiro as he looked at him over the rim of his wine glass.
Shiro had arranged for two glasses of champagne to arrive at their table along with dessert. He'd asked for the ring to be placed on the plate with the dessert for Keith to find when he looked down. Just as the maitre d' was making his way to the table with their items, Keith excused himself from the table to find the restroom. That was fine, Shiro could use the minute alone to gather his wits and attempt to slow his racing heart.
The glasses of champagne, along with an ice bucket containing the bottle, were set down and an elegant piece of chocolate cake, topped with piped puffs of mascarpone, whipped cream and delicate curls of white chocolate. Shiro assumed the ring was on the other side of the cake, facing Keith. He hadn’t wanted the ring directly in the dessert because then it would have to be wiped off first before he could slide it onto Keith's finger. Not that Keith would mind but again, Shiro wanted perfection.
He reached for his champagne, throwing it back with the intention to refill it before Keith showed back up when he felt something sliding into his mouth. He was about to spit it out on instinct, but exactly at the same moment, Keith sat back down. With dawning horror, Shiro understood what he had just almost swallowed. Keith had picked up his fork and swiped a swirl of the mascarpone from the top, murmuring delightedly. Shiro looked at the cake and then down at his champagne glass.
The ring was in his mouth.
The fucking ring was somehow dropped into his champagne and he now had the fucking ring in his mouth.
What was he going to do? He couldn't just spit it out and hand it to Keith. He supposed he could still get it out of his mouth and maybe run to the bathroom to rinse it off and then propose with it. Keith noticed Shiro's change in attitude.
"Everything okay, Takashi?"
Shiro picked up his napkin and subtly pushed the ring into it under the guise of wiping his mouth. He smiled.
"Of course!" he said a little too brightly. "I just swallowed the champagne a little too quickly."
"You better slow down there," Keith said as he licked the chocolate off of his fork. "I need you in top shape for what I've got planned later."
"Wh—what do you have planned?"
"I thought we could have a different dessert," he said, voice laced with innuendo. Then he winked. Jesus Christ, Shiro was doomed.
Blushing fiercely, Shiro palmed the ring and tucked it safely into his pocket.
He'd try again another time.
A month later, Shiro regained the nerve to try to propose again and his pride had recovered from the disaster of his previous attempt. He had been restlessly checking the weather and cloud conditions for the perfect night.
This time, he wouldn't rely on someone else to put the ring for Keith to find. No, this time he was leaving no room for error. He packed a bag full of their favorite snacks, a bottle of wine, and a large blanket. He planned for the two of them to take their hover-bikes out to their spot in the desert and sit under the stars like they used to. Honestly, he's a little annoyed he didn't pick this plan in the first place, as it was far more attuned to their personalities and their relationship than a flashy dinner anyways. So really, the way Shiro saw it, the mistake the first time was just fate intervening.
Keith had been delighted at Shiro's plan, looking a little weary from the long day but appreciative of the time away from the base. Keith had been telling Shiro how he'd been up at dawn working with Kolivan and the other Marmora elders about the next mission that was being planned, then about the cadets he'd been working with on hand-to-hand combat, how he spent majority the day sparring with them because it's easier to show than to explain. One of the cadets showed a lot of promise, managing to land a hard blow to Keith's side. Shiro told him that he missed the days of training and teaching because leadership was far less interesting with far more paperwork involved.
They were laying on the blanket, having finished eating, Shiro propped with his backpack beneath his head and Keith cuddled to his chest. Shiro congratulated himself on his good fortune and excellent planning. The night was warm and the sky was clear and the stars were shining above and Keith was snoring softly—
He tilted his head to look down at Keith and sure enough, his boyfriend was dead asleep against Shiro's chest, mouth parted and drooling a little.
He pinched the bridge of his nose and gave a resigned sigh, careful not to jostle and wake Keith.
Okay...next time, then.
The next opportunity arose some weeks later, while they were on a lush tropical planet that orbits two suns. Lance was in high heaven, as the majority of the planet was lined with white sand beaches and blue-green water that looked much like Earth. Shiro had suggested to Keith that they take a relaxing walk on the beach. That was super romantic, right? He could just drop down to one knee, right as the sun was setting and sweep Keith right off his feet.
Shiro had spent too long in space, not enough time near oceans. He forgot how quickly storms could appear.
One moment they were walking hand in hand through the soft sand and the waves lapped at their ankles and the suns shone brightly above them and then the next a few light drops landed on Shiro's forehead and shoulders.
Keith glanced up. A crack of thunder called out overhead.
Then the skies opened.
With a shout, the pair began to sprint back towards the small airship they'd borrowed from the hangar for the evening.
They fell inside the open bay door, laughing and tripping over themselves. There was a breath of a moment between them as the laughter died on their lips and Shiro took in the heated, lustful look on Keith's face as he leered at the way Shiro's soaked clothes clung to his body.
They both moved simultaneously, Shiro slapped the button to close the door as Keith leaped into his arms, legs wrapping around his waist and claiming his mouth in a searing kiss.
They were too busy to notice when it finally stopped raining.
Alright, so Shiro was done with the lavish dates and other proposal ideas that would take lots of time and planning. Their lives were hectic and unpredictable and he finally admitted to himself that he just wanted to fucking ask Keith and move on to the next stage of their lives together.
So he decided what better way to propose than in the comfort of their own home? Keith was due back from a mission that evening, a routine security check around a war-torn system, but this time Shiro would ask before dinner so that Keith was still awake enough to answer him. He had planned to cook a romantic meal for them and then they could spend the evening in as they pleased. No freak weather incidents or swallowed rings or sleeping boyfriends to thwart his plans this time; simple, easy, and foolproof.
Shiro had gotten the notification that Keith’s ship was on its way back. Hmm. Normally, Keith called himself to let him know. Maybe he was distracted or merely in a hurry. They hadn’t seen each other for nearly two weeks since he’d been gone. Shiro shrugged off the niggling anxiety in the back of his mind and turned to finish the meal he had been cooking.
Everything was going to be fine.
An hour later, Shiro received a phone call from Krolia. One that left him cold with fear despite her calm tone and gentle words. He’s fine. He’s in the med bay. We’ve got him under right now, just so that the antidote can work faster. He’ll be cleared and released within a few hours.
Shiro barely remembered to flip the burners to the stove off before sprinting from their quarters. Proposal be damned.
He was sitting at the table half eating breakfast and half reading reports on his datapad one morning in their living quarters on the Marmora base which they were currently on rotation for. Keith shuffled into the kitchen, leaning over to drop a kiss onto Shiro’s forehead and then asked in a rough voice, coffee?
Shiro nodded, handing Keith the full mug at his elbow. The other man took it and smiled, dropping into his seat next to Shiro. Shiro glanced up at Keith, whose eyes were still droopy with the last dregs of sleep and was holding his cup with both hands as if it were his lifeblood.
Keith looked at Shiro, tilting his head to the side and smiled easily. In the early morning hours, Keith was soft and quiet and beautiful and Shiro’s breath hitched because he knew.
“Keith?” His heart was beating wildly.
“Keith. I wanted to—um. Will you—”
He was interrupted by the clanging of the alarm. Keith jumped to his feet, all traces of sleep and the lightness of the morning gone from his face. Shiro only spared a moment of regret before swiftly following Keith out of the room to pull on his battle suit.
It finally happened one morning while they're stationed back on Earth, months after Shiro's initial failed attempt. It was their day off and after wasting a little time in bed in the early hours of the morning, they had gotten up to run and then hit the gym. They were both sweaty and sore from several rounds of sparring as they circled each other around the ring.
Keith snapped the training blade he held in his hand and Shiro immediately shifted into a defensive stance with a taunting grin.
"Come on, babe. You can do better than that," he laughed. Keith's growled a little and then his eyes widened before he straightened up and dropped his stance. He had a funny look on his face and Shiro raised an eyebrow.
Shiro's fingers went numb with shock. His blade dropped from his hands and he gaped at Keith, who was still standing a few feet away.
"What?" he gasped.
"Marry me, Takashi. I love you, so much, and I've been wanting to ask you for months, but I couldn't find the right time. I can't wait any longer, though. So I'm asking now. Marry me."
"I've been trying to ask you for months!" Shiro cried before he walked over to his gym bag that was laying at the edge of the padded fighting ring and pulled out the ring box he'd been carrying around with him since he purchased the damn thing. Keith covered his mouth when his eyes caught on the glint of the ring and giggled helplessly.
"So that's a yes, right?" Keith asked breathlessly.
"Keith Kogane. Get your ass over here and kiss me. Of course, it's a yes."
The sound of Keith's delighted laughter reverberated through Shiro's chest as the other man bounded into his open arms and crashed their mouths together. They clung to one another, laughing and smiling into each other's mouths as they kissed. Shiro couldn't believe this was happening, this was real, Keith had just proposed to him after five failed attempts on Shiro's part but he didn't care because now he was engaged and—
Shiro was suddenly flipped down on his back, pinned to the floor.
He stared up in shock at Keith, who was now straddling him and looking down at his face with a gleeful, triumphant grin.
"Did you just use a proposal to win?" he wheezed.
"Not intentionally, but I'm an opportunistic kind of guy. Wasn't gonna leave a chance like that untaken." He leaned down and kissed Shiro right on his open mouth.
"You are ridiculous." Shiro huffed between kisses.
"You love it."
"Yeah," he said softly, biting at Keith's bottom lip. "I do."