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The Origins of Rivalry

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It was settled. Lance was going to ask Ina out on a date. She was cute and had other features that were attractive and Lance would list them… at a later date. The best thing about Ina was she was in Lance’s class (and was the only girl in his class who had yet to reject him,) which basically made her his soulmate.

It was in Flight Fundamentals class that Lance decided to make his move. He pretended to be writing class notes in his notebook when he was actually writing was a love note. Deception, thy name is Lance. The poetic masterpiece looked something like this:

Do you want to go see a movie with me on Saturday? (Check One)

__ Yes
__ No
__ Maybe

Yours,
The Tailor

It was perfect. Lance pulled the notebook down into his lap and used a well-timed cough to cover up the sound of him ripping out the page. Professor Wright only gave him a quick mistrusting glance before continuing on with the lecture.

Next Lance had to be patient. Had to wait until a kid asked a question that would require Professor Wright to use the board to break down the problem. If Lance was the one who asked the question it would look too suspicious. The Professor knew by now that if Lance was participating in class, he had an ulterior motive.

“Yes? Ina?” said Professor Wright.

Lance looked back over his shoulder to see Ina with her arm raised straight in the air. She then delivered a complex question about landing protocols.

‘Well done, my love,’ thought Lance, proud that she was anticipating his need for her to participate in the ruse.

With the Prof’s attention on the board, Lance lay the love questionnaire on this desk and quickly went about expertly folding it into a pinwheel. Most boys would send their best girls hastily crumbled up notes. Not Lance, he did origami. This was the kind of sophistication that you got when you chose him to go steady.

Lance examined the perfectly folded pinwheel. Unsatisfied, he drew a tiny heart on one of the sections to make it perfectly clear this note was not for secrets, it was for love.

Problem was Professor Wright was done explaining Ina’s question and as soon as he turned from the board he glanced at Lance. He did this all the time when he had looked away from the class for a while. Like he always suspected Lance was going to use that blind window to get up to something.

‘It’s unfair,’ thought Lance as he slapped down his hand to cover the origami note.

Professor Wright’s eyes narrowed slightly, but then he went back to speaking. Ugh. Lance would have to wait for another question to be asked before he could proceed.

“Yes? Hunk?” said the Prof, looking to the other side of the room. Hunk for the win! Lance could honestly kiss that guy right now. He made mental note to befriend Hunk and be forever in his debt.

As the Prof wrote on the board, note palmed, Lance made a big show of yawning and stretching with his arms far over his shoulders. He dropped the note on Ryan’s desk and whispered, “Pass it back.”

Lance peeked over his shoulder to see Ryan drop the note back over to Austin. Ryan did not give Austin the standard “pass it back,” in fact he grunted, but then the heart made it clear who the intended was and there was only one girl in their row a.k.a. only one girl for Lance.

Austin dropped the note over his shoulder onto Ina’s desk and Lance grinned seeing the note arrive at its destination, but then his grin turned to a wide mouth gape as he watched Ina just as casually take the note and drop it over her shoulder and onto the desk of the last person in their row.

‘That desk belongs to a boy!’ Lance screamed internally, ‘The heart made it clear!’

Keith had been staring out the window rather than paying attention to the riveting lecture on mid-air refueling when the note caught his attention. Keith looked down with confusion at the sudden arrival.

Lance began frantically waving at Keith to let him know to abort because that wasn’t for him. Keith stared at Lance with annoyed confusion.

“Problem, Lance?” came the Professor’s voice.

“Just… stretching.” Lance abruptly tucked in his arms.

“Gym is next period.”

“Ha! Right…”

As soon as the Prof’s attention was off Lance he whipped his head back to see with horror that Keith had opened the note. Okay, no, that’s fine. It clearly wasn’t for Keith so he’d probably fold it back up (without the proper finger grace Lance possessed) and send it forward one seat to the intended recipient.

Keith picked up a pen.

Keith picked up a pen?! Was he going to answer the question?! How could he possibly think that note was for him?!

Keith paused, looking thoughtful.

Keith paused, looking thoughtful?! What was there to think about?

“Lance! Eyes up front,” scolded Professor Wright.

With great distress, Lance tore his eyes away from the very confusing thing that was happening at the back of his row of seats and pretended to pay attention to fuel conversion charts while internally combusting.

What was happening?! Seriously, what was HAPPENING?!

Lance sat in discomfort for several minutes until something came flying over his shoulder and landed on his desk. The note had been returned and not in its original pinwheel perfection, no. Lance had assumed Keith would fold it twice and send it back all marked up with pen smudges and fingerprints. But instead…

It looked like a star now.

The Asian kid knew origami. Stereotype, much? In fact as Lance picked it up delicately and ran his fingers over skilled folds he realized it kinda looked like a throwing star now. Def stereotype, Keith. (Even if it was kinda badass.)

Lance brushes his fingers over the still visible heart before he began to unfold it, stealing a look over his shoulder to see if Keith was watching. He wasn’t. Geez. Way to uninvest.

Here Lance was likely about to see the acceptance of a date from a boy and the boy in question cared more about the tree outside the window. What would they talk about on their date? Foliage?

Maybe origami…

Lance shook his head, furious with himself. He was not going on a date with a boy! And certainly not Keith! Not loner Keith, weird haircut Keith, can’t string more than three words together Keith, too cool for school Keith, mysterious Keith, piercing gaze Keith…
Ahem...

Lance would corner him after class and explain (angrily) the misunderstanding.

Now unfolded, Lance scanned the page

__ Yes

Unchecked.

What was checked was No and that was… relieving? Yeah, relieving… And Lance was fine and relieved and could finally move on with his day and his life with… relief.

That is, if it weren’t for the fact that Keith had written something beside the No in his neat and tiny script:

Sorry

….

…..

…… KEITH WAS SORRY? Sorry he didn’t want to date Lance? This guy had the audacity to assume Lance would be heartbroken and therefore had to apologize to him? Like he was someone to be pitied?!

This guy was a jackass. Plain and simple.

And he said as much to Hunk when he cornered him coming out of class. “That guy is a jackass,” grumbled Lance.

“Who? James? He’s a little full of himself, but –“

“No, Keith!” cried Lance, forgetting to be quiet. Everyone who was still in the class looked including Keith. Lance felt his cheeks grow hot. Then when Keith walked past him like it didn’t matter to him that Lance was talking about him (and just asked him out which he then rejected,) Lance frowned. “Yep. Jackass.”

One intergalactic war and many years later Lance finally got up the nerve to ask Keith why he’d refused the date he’d very much mistakenly offered him.

“I don’t like movies,” replied Keith.

Keith. Doesn’t. Like. Movies.

Lance extracted himself from Keith’s arms, marched upstairs to his bedroom, pulled the throwing star origami note out of his desk drawer (which he had kept ONLY because he liked the shape,) stormed back out onto the porch and threw the throwing star directly in his dumb boyfriend’s face!

Chapter Text

“Takashi!” called Adam as he swung into the door of their apartment and let it slam shut. Shiro winced at the sound. He’d told Adam a thousand times to not be so noisy so the neighbours wouldn’t complain, but the thing with Adam was he couldn’t enter a room without being dramatic. “The love of your life has returned!”

“Hey, Adam,” Shiro called from the couch, a smile gaining on this face.

“Hold up. I’mma join you. Just let me slip out of my straightsona and into a gay martini.”

Shiro looked over to watch Adam mime unzipping down his front then shimmying out of his invisible garment. Apparently his “straightsona” was coveralls?

Adam sighed as he dropped down onto the couch and lay himself on top of Shiro. Shiro graciously received his boyfriend’s kiss hello before saying, “You forgot to make the martini.”

“Is that not what I keep you around for? To fetch me things?”

Shiro chuckled and tried to get up so he could be a nice guy and fix Adam a drink, but he was trapped underneath him.

“You’ll need to move.”

“Hmm why?”

“So I can make your drink. I can’t cuddle you and serve you at the same time.”

“See, this wouldn’t be a problem if you let me clone you.”

Having Adam weighing on his chest meant Shiro’s laugh came out more like a huff. He ran his hand down Adam’s arm affectionately then said, “Oh hey, I have gossip.”

Adam jolted to attention. “Why didn’t you lead with that? Tell me!”

“Keith got asked out on a date.” Shiro watched his boyfriend’s face look slightly horrified. “By a boy,” added Shiro. Adam relaxed.

“Oh thank god! I thought we were raising a straight for a second there and I just… By a boy, that’s amazing! I am designing his wardrobe for the date. When is the big day?”

“Um. Never. Keith turned him down.”

“Oh no, was the boy a scrub? A scrub is a guy that can’t get no love from Keith. That’s science. TLC taught us that.”

“I don’t think that’s how science works. But I don’t know what the guy was like. Keith was sparse on the details.”

“Kassssssh!” whined Adam. “How many times have I told you, you must get the deets? Because if you don’t give me the full deets then I have to get snoopy and Keith hates when I’m snoopy.”

“And Keith hates when I pry. I’m lucky he told me anything.”

“Fair, but I will forever wonder.”

“Let’s take your mind off it. Anything interesting happen to you today?”

“Well, I am always interesting, but my day was tragically basic. The highlight of my afternoon was pretending not to notice Lance and Keith passing notes in class. They think I don’t notice. But I notice.”

“Nice of you not to stop them,” said Shiro.

“Ugh. If I discipline anyone Iverson makes me fill out of a form and you know I hate tiny little boxes unless they contain diamonds HINT HINT! I’m not getting any younger.”

That deserved a generous eye roll from Shiro. They’d talked about getting married so many times, it was a given that it was going to happen. Mostly they were just waiting for a good stretch between Shiro’s missions. Plus they both knew it was Shiro who was on numbered days, but that was hard to think about…

“So what did the note say?” asked Shiro, redirecting his attention before he brought himself down.

“I don’t know,” said Adam, shrugging against Shiro. “I didn’t read it.”

Shiro wiggled himself up so he could properly look down on Adam as he said in his most mocking tone, “Adaaaaaam! You didn’t snoop? How many times have I told you, you must snoop?”

Adam made an offended sound. “The note wasn’t in the trash! Lance must’ve pocketed it.”

“Shame,” said Shiro though really he wasn’t invested.

“Hey,” said Adam slowly, “You don’t think…”

“The boy was named Taylor,” said Shiro, cutting off Adam’s train of thought.

“Oh… Well, that’s a deet you left out.” After a moment Adam said, “So that means Lance still has a chance.”

“Don’t start!” groaned Shiro. He wrapped his arms around Adam and squeezed him so tight Adam laughed and begged him to cut it out. So Shiro loosened his grip and kissed him instead.