After Lance has had some time to settle in at the house Keith takes him out to the shoal to watch the sunrise like he’d promised they would. There’s no sign of Hunk or Pidge and while Lance is disappointed he’s also pleased to have this moment with Keith. They’re both getting comfortable in the grey dawn when they’re ambushed.
Lance screams at the voice right behind them, flailing away from Keith and the side of the boat where they’re cuddled up. He hits the deck, staring wide-eyed.
A dark face is staring at them from the edge of the boat.
“Oh shut up it’s just me.” The tone is sardonic and unaffected by Lance’s apparent over reaction. “Mamá wants to know why you haven’t brought your bondmate home and introduced him to the family.”
Lance heaves a deep breath, flopping back against the boat with a loud thunk. “God damn it Rachel,” he snaps. Keith’s heart is still racing and he flinches as another face appears next to the first, equally as silent as she breaches the surface.
“You swear too much,” she scolds in the same tone Shiro uses to scold Keith and Lance lifts his head to scowl.
Keith looks back and forth between the three of them, utterly lost. “Um...hi?” He waves tenuously and the two girls’ heads snap around to him.
“Is this him? You brought him? It’s that why you’re on the boat? You look funny with legs. Everyone wants to meet him. You didn’t tell us he was cute.” They chatter over one another, wicked grins on their faces as they throw out anything they can think of to harass and embarrass their brother. Keith recognizes the tactic. He’s used it on Shiro with Adam before.
Lance’s cheeks are bright red. “Both of you shut up!”
The girls just snicker and Keith takes the moment to cut in.
“Not that I’m not enjoying this moment of familiar humiliation,” he says and Lance shoots him a glare Keith ignores. “But what’s a bondmate?”
Lance blushes, slapping a hand over his face, mortified. He sits up, glaring at both Rachel and Veronica.
“I swear to the Everlight, Rachel I will cut you apart and feed you to the leopard sharks.”
She bares her teeth and hisses which makes Veronica laugh. She brushes her shoulder length curls away from her face and Keith recognizes the same dimple in her cheek as Lance’s. The other one, Rachel, is the spitting image of Lance.
Lance makes a swipe at Rachel who ducks out of the way and sticks her tongue out at him, hiding behind Veronica’s shoulder.
Lance huffs, finally turning his attention back to Keith. His cheeks are warm and he huffs.
“It’s…” He bites his lip, rubbing the back of his neck. “I guess the human equivalent is- fiancé?”
Keith nearly chokes. “I’m sorry?” As it is his voice comes out higher than normal.
Lance exchanges a series of rapid looks with his sisters and he actually looks frightened. Keith doesn’t know what’s going on but at that look Keith grabs Lance’s hand.
“I’m not saying no,” he rushes to say and his thumb draws little circles over the back of Lance’s hand. “It’s just-” He lets out a slow breath, dragging a hand back through his hair. “Wow. That’s a little, uh, heavier than I’d expected that’s all.”
He slips his hand more comfortably into Lance’s, touching the ring Lance had given him that hangs on it’s permanent chain over his heart. “But I’m not saying no.”
Lance sags a little in relief, the tension leaving his shoulders. “Good, cause I already gave you my heart. I wouldn’t know what to do with it if you gave it back.”
Keith brings Lance’s hand to his mouth, pressing a kiss to his knuckles.
“Pretty sure I couldn’t live without it.”
Rachel and Veronica coo, leaning against one another, drawing Lance’s attention back around.
“Oh you’re both so gross,” Lance snaps without heat.
“Us?” Rachel puts an offended hand to her heart, looking at her sister, scandalized.
“We’re not the ones making faces at our bondmates for all the sea and sky to see.”
Keith presses another kiss to Lance’s knuckles just to see him blush.
Rachel and Veronica make the appropriate mocking sounds and Lance swings a foot at them.
“Oh shove off.”
They both push away from the boat with giggles, diving beneath the water.
Once they’re gone Lance covers his face with a hand and Keith laughs. He draws Lance in for a kiss.
“I take it those were your sisters?”
Lance nods. “Yeah, Veronica and Rachel. V is older than me, but Rachel and I were born together.”
“I think that’s the word for it, yes. I’m sorry they ambushed us. They were probably stalking the boat long before we got here. If they hadn’t I would have actually introduced you.”
“How many sisters do you have?”
“Just the two. And my brothers Marco and Luis. Marco lives nearby with his bondmate and my two nieflings,” he says proudly. “They’re just as much trouble as he is.”
Lance spends the rest of the time they’re out on the water telling Keith about his family, promising to introduce them all one day.
Bah, not a fan of this chapter but here you go. Who’s excited for mer Keith next chapter? I have no idea how meeting the family is going to go. So far my brain hasn’t been very helpful with that. But I want mer Keith damn it.
After their time on the shoal with Rachel and Veronica, Lance can’t stop thinking about introducing Keith to his family; and Keith’s mother’s necklace. He can’t get it out of his head. He finally offers to take the shell and get it repaired, the curiosity finally driving him to action.
Keith had shown him the necklace when he’d asked and Lance had seen the small crack they’d talked about, a tiny chip taken out of it along the edge. Lance hadn’t asked if it had been damaged in the crash but he suspected. He probably pushes a little too hard to get it repaired but an idea keeps spinning around in his head. He can’t let it go and doesn’t want to let Keith know until he can confirm it. It’s too intangible right now and such a long shot it probably won’t work. But Lance has to know.
Keith finally relents, giving Lance the necklace and Lance snitches a few strands of hair from Keith’s pillow to take with him.
“Take care of it okay?” Keith hovers in the doorway and Lance pockets the few stands, hoping he hasn’t been caught.
“I will.” His expression softens and he crosses the room. “I know how important it is.” He touches the two necklaces around his throat, both very similar to one another. “I’ll bring it back.”
Keith nods, his head lowered to the floor. Lance pushes his hair back, dropping a kiss to Keith’s forehead to get him to look up. Lance strokes a finger down the crack in the shell.
“How long will you be gone?” Keith asks, arms crossed loosely.
Lance hums while he thinks. “It depends on how long the repair takes. Tonight probably. It’s still early.”
Keith nods, dropping his hand and meeting Lance’s eyes. “Alright, I’ll see you after work.” He draws Lance in for a quick kiss before stepping around him to get dressed.
“I’ll be back soon.” Lance drops one more kiss to Keith’s shoulder before heading downstairs to get to the beach. He leaves his clothes in the little cave, Keith’s mother’s necklace safely around his throat before vanishing into the waves.
Lance takes the necklace back to the witch who had enchanted his and has it repaired, the spell woven inside it altered to fit Keith. There’s some small flexibility to the spell given he’s Krolia’s son, more than Lance had expected. Normally such a thing isn’t possible. The enchantment is specific to one person and one person only. Lance’s heart trips over when it works.
Keith yawns as he opens the door. He needs a shower. He smells like the bar. “I’m home,” he calls. “Lance?”
Keith smiles and heads upstairs. Lance meets him at the door with a delighted smile. He pulls Lance into a hug with a tired sigh. The bar was packed tonight. Some kind of a bachelorette party or something. His ears are still ringing from all the noise.
“Long night?” Lance runs a hand up through Keith’s hair, gently tugging the hairband free. He scratches along his scalp and Keith hums, pleased.
Keith nods, his weight sinking into Lance for a moment, enjoying the sensations before he pulls back.
Lance smiles. “Missed you too.”
Keith kisses him with a soft hum. “How’d it go with the necklace?”
Lance grins, all his excitement coming back in a flourish. “Really good!” He points to the little box on the dresser where Keith keeps the necklace and where Lance had safely returned it that night.
“They were able to fix the crack?”
Lance nods, pulling Keith over to the dresser. Keith lifts the shell out, smoothing his thumb over the now missing crack. It’s whole again.
Keith’s expression softens as he holds the necklace and guilt begins to gnaw away at Lance; guilt and hope until he’s fidgeting nervously. His fingers twist themselves into knots and he bites his lip. There’s a better time for this, a better place but before he can think better of it his mouth is already moving.
“Do you wanna meet me parents?” he blurts.
Keith blinks at him, startled. “I”m sorry?” The shell is still cradled gently in his hands and Lance winces. That was stupid. He should have waited, found a better moment-
“Uh, sure?” Keith’s eyebrow quirks curiously as he tries to find where this is coming from. “I mean- how though? Do you want to meet up at the shoal again-?”
Lance glances deliberately at the necklace in Keith’s hands and back up, fingers still tangled. He wills Keith to understand what he isn’t saying yet.
Keith’s heart starts to race.
“I may have, um, done a thing? I swear I didn’t hurt it,” Lance rushes on, waving his hands, afraid Keith will be angry. “Fuck, I’m sorry, this was a bad idea, I should have asked.” Panic grips him. This was a colossally stupid idea. He shouldn’t have done it. He should have told Keith what he had planned.
Keith looks at him, not quite able to put the pieces together but he isn’t angry.
“What are you saying?”
Lance bites his lip, fiddling with the hem of his borrowed shirt. He takes a deep breath and forces his hands to his sides.
“When I took the necklace home I took some of your hair with me. I hadn’t actually meant to have the spell altered, just to see if it was possible.” He licks his dry lips, trying to stay calm and keep his words from running together.
“The necklaces are keyed to us individually but since this was your mother’s…” He glances at the necklace in Keith’s hands again. “I thought maybe there was some small chance we could alter it for you. It wasn’t supposed to work but...it did.” He gathers his courage and steps closer, touching Keith’s hand. “It’ll work for you the same way it did for her. The same way mine does for me.” His eyebrows come together with anxiety, adrenaline leaving him cold even as his heart hammers.
“So,” he tries again, reaching for his calm as he cradles Keith’s hand. “Do you wanna meet my parents?”
Keith can’t believe what he’s hearing but a smile splits across his face like a sunrise, the necklace warm in his hands.
“Yeah. Yeah I’d love to.”