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we collide the spaces that divide us

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Keith would never say that a mission is bullshit. Through the years, a tiny bit of diplomatic training has actually made its way past his thick skull and, very occasionally, he can stop himself from grumbling in the interest of preserving the peace.

But Lance has . . . no such compunction.

“What the quiznak are we even doin’ out here?!” Lance shouts over the lions’ comms. “Seriously, we’ve been flying around for—for three fricken hours, guys, are we seriously—”

“Yes, Lance,” Keith says through gritted teeth. He thinks his words come out very evenly, for as much as his temple is throbbing listening to Lance complain. “The Drazanians are coalition members and we’re sworn to protect them.”

“Yeah, but—”

Keith silences the comms. He’s not having this argument for the fourth time.

A sharp sigh sounds from beside him. Keith turns to look at Shiro, sitting in the Black Lion’s second pilot chair: the corner of his mouth is twisted down, clearly not any happier to be here than the rest of them. Shiro reaches a hand over and pats Keith’s forearm in consolation or encouragement. “You’re doing great.”

“Not killing Lance is the lowest bar,” Keith says dryly, but Shiro’s words smooth his prickly edges over.

Shiro snorts after a moment. "Well, he's not wrong," he mutters, poking at the latest set of data sent to them by Drazan’s satellites. It indicates a massive ship right where all of the Black Lion’s navigational systems say they’re sitting right now, no enemy forces to be found. "This mission is stupid. We've seen no signs of Galra activity and we're expending a lot of resources on this."

“That map says—”

“I don’t care what the map says, we can’t find anything real out there and this is a waste of time,” Shiro snaps. He sounds tired and stressed, and Keith is far too used to hearing that from him these days. He makes a noise of understanding and Shiro sighs at himself. “Shit, I’m sorry, baby.”

Keith takes Shiro’s hand in his and squeezes it tight, a moment of silent forgiveness. He doesn't love this, certainly, but it’s much better than sitting in on another diplomatic meeting hosted by the Atlas in the next system over. Compared to that, an evening spent flying around with Shiro isn't his worst nightmare—he might prefer it without the other paladins constantly interrupting them and the obnoxiously suspect mission they're supposed to be on, but at the end of the day, there's only one man Keith wants to be stuck copiloting with.

Shiro must take his silence for displeasure. "And I’m sorry this is happening on your birthday," he says softly, finally catching Keith’s eyes with an apologetic smile. The purple lights of the cabin make his cheekbones stand out and he looks especially handsome like this, nearly distracting Keith from answering.

"It's okay, Shiro," he says. None of this is Shiro’s fault in the least. “Really. If anything, we should blame Coran—it’s been years and we’re still making up for his Voltron Show scheduling screw up.”

Shiro’s face flashes with horror for a moment before he schools it into something neutral. Keith has seen just enough video clips of that particular stage in Voltron’s history to never stop teasing Shiro about it; it’s the fastest way to get Shiro to turn as red as a tomato.

“Still,” Shiro mutters, turning away so Keith can’t gaze at the blush on his cheeks. “I was excited for your birthday party tonight. Coran and I spent a lot of time planning it.”

“I know,” Keith says, tapping his thumb against the side of Shiro’s hand. “We’ll celebrate another night, though.”

Shiro sighs again.

There’s nothing any of them can do about the party getting cancelled, so Keith doesn’t press the topic. He actually had a good day before the mission call came in—a miracle worker named Allura cleared his schedule of all diplomatic functions, leaving Keith to spend some time working in the lions’ hangar with Pidge and Hunk and nowhere near the bevy of over-puffed diplomats who are a near-permanent fixture on the Atlas these days. And while Keith isn’t wild about the thought of everyone on the Atlas celebrating him in a claustrophobic and well-attended party, it’s good for crew morale to have a reason to take a night off for fun. He appreciates the thought his friends and coworkers put into planning a night of drinking games and music, and he really was looking forward to the three-foot tall cake Hunk put together.

Sadly, it appears not meant to be.

 

***

Three more hours later, Voltron gets called off.

“Yeah, it looks like our scanners just caught a weirdly shaped asteroid,” the Drazanian president says. He sounds remarkably unconcerned for someone who just wasted hours of Voltron’s time by making them run laps around the solar system like trained dogs.

Keith’s eye definitely twitches.

“Perhaps we can assist you in recalibrating your satellites?” Allura asks. She sounds gracious, but Keith has been on the receiving end of that steely tone too many times to take it at face value. “After all, I’m sure the citizens of your planet have been quite worried. We would love to give them the peace of mind knowing—”

“Nah, we’re good,” the president says.

Interrupting Allura is a new low and Keith opens his mouth in indignation, but the feed cuts out before he can spit the kind of profanities that would make even Lance squirm with embarrassment.

Shiro swears loudly and covers the face of his helmet with both hands while he takes two deep breaths.

Keith seethes all the way through flying back to the Atlas and docking the lions. Maybe the birthday party wasn’t his idea, but Keith was looking forward to getting a little tipsy with his boyfriend and then going home to spend some quality time in their bed. Or near their bed. Well, somewhere in their quarters, depending on how far they really wanted to walk.

Keith is so very flexible about that part of the plan.

He is much less flexible about stepping out of the Black Lion at 2343 hours, meaning it’s barely even his birthday anymore. Keith isn’t tired, necessarily, fueled still by frustration and annoyance, but most of the ship will be asleep by now. The party is certainly off, and probably any fun bedroom plans too because Keith and Shiro are both the kind of people who like to go to bed early to get a head start on the next day.

“Thank the stars that’s over. Good landing, babe,” Shiro says. He tugs off his helmet so he can kiss Keith’s cheek.

“Thanks.” Keith’s gaze drags over Shiro’s smiling face, eternally beautiful and radiant despite the clear exhaustion lingering under his eyes. Just like that, Keith’s ire fades into a kind of peace he only ever feels around Shiro—there will be other cakes and other parties, but he still gets to go home with this man every day and curl around him underneath the blankets. He hasn’t lost anything at all, really.

Keith steps in close, the chest plate of his armor bumping gently up against Shiro’s. He still gets excited about their matching armor, the two Black Paladins looking like a sleek and polished unit.

“I have to, uh, give a mission report to Coran real quick,” Shiro says, interrupting Keith’s consideration of how best to proposition bedroom fun. They’re both tired, but that doesn’t mean Keith has forgotten the healing powers of a good romp. “Meet you back home?”

“Why can’t that wait ‘til tomorrow?” Keith says, definitely not whining. He leans in closer so Shiro has to support his weight.

“Because I want to sleep in tomorrow,” Shiro answers. He presses a quick peck of his lips to Keith’s forehead. “I’m the Captain, so I get to say I’m not scheduled to be on the bridge until the afternoon.”

Keith grins despite himself. “I love it when you’re in charge.”

“Yes, and since I’m in charge, you need to go back to our quarters and take a shower so I can have it when I get back.”

“Ugh, fine.” Keith leans in for a proper kiss and Shiro grants it, his mouth tender and enticing. He finds himself licking his lips when they finally pull away from each other—Keith can think of a whole lot of things to do tonight that would necessitate Shiro sleeping in late, now that it’s on the table. Most of those things involve a lot more kissing and not wearing armor so that Keith can feel Shiro’s body pressed all up against him.

It’s not too late to make this night something special.

 

***

 

Keith takes his shower and puts on a sweatshirt that possibly may technically be Shiro’s, even though Keith liberated it fair and square. He believes this is called a boyfriend hoodie and he is legally entitled to it.

Shiro also likes Keith to fuck him while he wears it, always a particular brand of possessive and excited when it happens.

He sprawls over the bed while he waits for Shiro to finish his shower. Romantic couple’s showers sound nice in theory, but they have a serious body temperature difference between the two of them and Shiro takes showers that make Keith feel like he’s going to start shivering at any moment. Conversely, Keith’s normal shower temperature feels scalding hot to Shiro. It’s a difficult thing to compromise on, but it’s probably for the best in the end: if they did shower together, Keith knows he wouldn’t be able to keep his hands off his boyfriend. This way is much more productive.

Sadly, Shiro does not exit the shower naked and dripping wet and immediately make for the bed to stake his claim on Keith. His black Henley and gray sweatpants are decent substitutes, but Keith’s first clue that something is up is that Shiro never wears a shirt to bed. He wants to go somewhere.

“Baby,” Shiro says, sitting on the side of the bed. He tugs the datapad out of Keith’s hands and sends his prosthetic hand away to leave it across the room. His free hand settles heavy on Keith’s thigh. “Come to the kitchens with me?”

Keith reaches up to pet at the side of Shiro’s hair and push the damp silver bangs off his forehead. “You don’t want to, uh, sleep?”

Sleep is code and Shiro doesn’t miss that.

“I’m hungry,” he whispers, leaning down so he can push his face up against Keith’s jaw and nuzzle him like an overgrown puppy. Instinctively, Keith pulls Shiro in closer, reveling in the way Shiro squeezes his thigh and kisses high up on his neck, blanketing Keith with his presence. Shiro smells clean and sharp—body wash, deodorant, laundry detergent. All those little non-human smells that make up Keith’s very much human boyfriend.

“Fine,” Keith mumbles. “Guess I’m kind of hungry too.”

 

***

 

Keith stumbles into a pair of modesty-preserving sweatpants and then down the hall after Shiro who’s laughing and dancing just out of Keith’s reach. He’s so distractingly handsome and cute that Keith doesn’t notice where they’re heading: the Paladins have their own wing of the ship’s quarters and it includes a well-stocked communal kitchen.

Shiro does not take him there.

“Where are we going?” Keith asks when he finally notices. Shiro just smirks at him and dodges down another hallway so that all Keith can do is turn on his heel to follow him. “Shiro!”

“I thought you were faster than this!” Shiro yells down the hall. “Don’t tell me turning twenty-four made you an old man.”

Laughter bubbles up from Keith’s chest as he sprints after Shiro. The Atlas has long, twisting corridors, a complicated pattern of hallways and rooms and elevators, but she’s intuitive to learn, somehow; the energy running through every inch of this ship makes her special in ways Keith struggles to understand. It’s the perfect place for a chase.

Shiro makes a hairpin turn at an intersection that Keith almost misses, stumbling over his feet in a way that’s totally not fitting for a member of the Blades. When he finally catches his balance, though, Shiro is gone.

“Shiro?” he calls out, slowing to a jog down the hall he swears Shiro took.

There’s no warning before Shiro leaps out of a hidden nook and captures Keith in his arms, pushing Keith up against the wall in full view of anyone who might walk down this hallway and kissing him enthusiastically. Their chests heave as they try to catch their breath, but Keith wouldn’t give up the chance to kiss Shiro for anything, not even the ability to breathe. He wraps his arms around Shiro’s neck and pushes his tongue into Shiro’s mouth, kissing him for all he’s worth. Shiro boxes him in, pinning him, and Keith absolutely welcomes it.

Shiro is a barely contained storm underneath his touch. Keith doesn’t know where this burst of energy and playfulness came from—just minutes ago, they were both exhausted from the day and ready to sleep—but that isn’t a complaint. Keith tries to hook a leg around Shiro’s hip and Shiro laughs breathlessly into the kiss, his right hand clasping the underside of Keith’s knee to help him.

“We’re in the hallway, baby,” Shiro says between kisses, like he isn’t the one who started this.

“You wanted—wanted to go to the kitchens,” Keith gasps. He tips his head back so Shiro can kiss the underside of his jaw. Shiro didn’t shave in the shower and Keith gets goosebumps from the scratch of Shiro’s cheek over his throat.

“Fuck,” Shiro growls and he tears himself bodily away from Keith. His reddened lips part for air and Keith barely resists whining with disappointment.

“Shiro,” he says. It’s sort of a whine.

“Later,” Shiro promises, swooping in for one last kiss that doesn’t press his whole body up against Keith. It’s safer that way.

Resigned, Keith trails after Shiro again but at a much slower pace. He grabs Shiro’s hand to lace their fingers together, wanting at least that one bit of closeness, and Shiro holds on tight.

They make one more turn and then finally Shiro draws to a stop. “Here we are,” he says, reaching to wave his hand over the panel to open the door in front of them. It slides open on darkness and Keith frowns—there’s no kitchen here, he’s pretty sure.

“Shiro, what are we—”

But Shiro grins and shushes him. “Come on,” he says, pulling Keith into the room. The door closes of its own accord behind them, bathing them in complete darkness.

Keith understands what’s happening exactly one and a half seconds before the lights come on.

“SURPRISE!”

Keith’s mouth drops open in shock. His mom is front and center with all the Paladins and Coran, surrounded by several of the Atlas crew and at least half a dozen members of the Blade of Marmora, Kolivan included. A huge banner hangs over the back wall, shouting “HAPPY BIRTHDAY KEITH!” in lurid colors that only Lance would have put together. Every single person in the room is wearing pajamas just like Keith and Shiro: Coran in a brutally ugly orange nightgown, Krolia in a striped tank top and matching pants, Lance in a robe that hopefully has something underneath it.

Keith laughs.

Giddiness and emotion roar through him as he laughs at his cheering friends and family. A bright flash from a camera startles him but he can’t wipe the smile off his face as Shiro wraps two arms around him from the side and kisses his cheek fiercely, whispering in his ear, “Happy birthday, baby.”

Coran holds up the camera again and screams, “Cheese products!” Keith laughs so hard at that stupid, stupid joke that he has to close his eyes to make room for the full force of his expression. Coran snaps a picture.

Keith can’t believe he wants to cry a little bit with joy over a surprise birthday party. He’s going to lose all his cool points.

Krolia is the first person to shove Shiro out of the way so she can get her own hug, and Shiro takes it with grace. “Happy birthday, my son,” she says, holding him tight and pressing her face into the side of his head.

“I thought you were in the Saroyin Quadrant,” Keith says, clinging to her.

“I would not miss this for all the scaultrite in the universe,” she answers. “Besides, your Shiro was very adamant that I be here. He says you have missed me.”

Emotion wells up in the back of Keith’s throat and he closes his eyes against tears for the second time in as many minutes. “I missed you so much.

The Paladins replace Krolia en masse, attacking Keith and shouting so many things at once that he can’t possibly understand or answer them. He smiles along, though, and accepts the drink Coran shoves into his hand.

The turnout is definitely much smaller than they had planned for the original party, but Keith can’t be upset about that. He knows every person here because of it, making this truly a gathering of friends, and it means a lot that they would all come out for something like this after a long day of work.

“How did you even manage this?” Keith asks the room at large.

Shiro’s hand lands on his lower back. “It was all Coran,” he says. “I messaged him from the lion and he took the time off to set it up by himself.”

“I couldn’t let you down on a day like this, number three!” Coran says, appearing out of nowhere to slap Keith on the shoulder. “Birthdays are meant to be celebrated! And I haven’t missed a chance for a party since I was this high!” He waves his hand down by his knees, but Keith isn’t entirely convinced he’s talking about height.

“It looks great,” Keith says honestly. The room is covered in streamers and the alien version of tinsel, so bright and chaotic that it would be gaudy if not for the fact that this is a birthday party. Gaudy is perfect.

“I assisted in organizing the musical selection,” Krolia says. It’s as close to bragging as she ever might allow herself.

“Mom,” Keith says. He intends to make that more of a sentence but it gets lost part way out of his mouth and he just pulls her in for another hug. God, he hasn’t seen her in four months and she didn’t even hint that she was on her way home. Keith tries not to embarrass himself too much in front of his friends, but also Krolia would single-handedly kick all of their asses if they said something snide. He knows this.

“Alright, nerds!” Pidge shouts from Keith’s side, interrupting his emo time. “It’s time to party.”

And party they do.

 

***

 

Keith is . . . well, he’s had some alcohol.

“You’re drunk,” Shiro says.

“I am barely tipsy,” Keith maintains. He holds his hand out. “Give me another champagne.”

“Drink this glass of water and I’ll make Lance go get it.”

An excellent bargain. Keith snatches the cup of water out of Shiro’s hands and has a front row seat to Shiro flagging down Lance and telling him to grab two more glasses from the drinks table. Lance grumbles about it, but he’s accepted Keith’s birthday superiority status and actually follows orders. Keith doesn’t even really like champagne, but he likes that people will go get him as much as he wants. Plus it makes his head feel fun.

“I love my birthday,” Keith declares. He sways into Shiro’s chest—it’s a fully controlled sway, thank you, and it’s completely on purpose.

“I love you,” Shiro says. He kisses Keith on the forehead.

Keith blinks up at him. “You missed,” he says with a frown, and before Shiro can argue, Keith tugs him down for a real kiss. It’s nothing crazy, not while Keith is abundantly aware of everyone around them, but he lets himself sink into it and feel the heat of Shiro’s body. This is really his man.

Lance interrupts them with a disgusted groan, but he’s forgiven because he has champagne.

 

***

 

Karaoke happens. That’s all anyone needs to say about that.

 

***

 

The cake is absolutely delicious: Hunk claims it’s made with a fruit native to Olkari and that’s where the slightly nutty, warm flavor comes from, topped with a classic buttercream from Earth. He’s been practicing and testing recipes for a month and this is its official debut to the public. Keith devours the giant slice Hunk gives him and then half of Shiro’s, too, and it’s easily the best thing he’s ever tasted.

“I don’t like to eat a lot of sweet food at once,” Shiro says when he passes over his cake, like the giant weirdo he is. Keith still wants to eat frosting off his body.

“I want to eat frosting off your body,” he says loudly.

“Oh my god,” Pidge hisses from the side. They should probably just leave now if they don’t want to hear what Keith has to say.

“I would let you,” Shiro says dopily. Allura barely muffles a laugh as Shiro gives Keith a big smooch, and yes, smooch is the only word for it. It’s very domestic and a little sloppy, and Keith wouldn’t have him any other way. Everyone else should go away so Keith can turn this smooch into something X-rated.

“Your whole body,” Keith says once he gets his mouth back. He doesn’t even know what he’s saying.

Shiro laughs and feeds him another bite of cake.

 

***

 

Shiro takes Keith’s drunk ass home because he’s the Best Boyfriend Ever, trademark pending; Keith begs for a piggyback ride but when they try it, it nearly ends in both of them face planting on the ground. Maybe Keith is the drunk one, but Shiro is still tipsy after making a decent dent in the champagne himself.

Keith settles for latching onto Shiro’s prosthetic arm, cradling it against his chest like he used to hold the space wolf before he grew so large. It’s a good enough substitute.

Their room cannot come soon enough.

“Finally,” Keith hisses as soon as they’re inside. He shoulders his way into Shiro’s space to press him up against the door and haul him in for a messy kiss, the deep kind he’s been aching to give Shiro since they stepped foot in that party. Keith is grateful for the celebrations but less grateful that he still has enough inhibitions that he hasn’t been doing this for an hour already.

But instead of kissing him, Shiro puts both his hands on Keith’s waist and firmly pushes him back a step.

“Brush your teeth,” Shiro says firmly, “and then we can do whatever you want.”

“I like it when you tell me what to do,” Keith murmurs.

Shiro snorts and ducks his head, taking Keith by the waist to drag him to the bathroom. Brushing their teeth is a process because Keith really wants to grab Shiro’s ass but Shiro is apparently sticking hard to his rule that nothing happens until teeth are brushed, which means that Keith has a fun game to play.

How many times can I grab my boyfriend’s ass before he puts me in a headlock?

The number turns out to be infinite.

“Keith,” Shiro says, laughing. “I’m trying—just let me wash my face!”

“Mm, no,” Keith says, plastering himself across Shiro’s back while Shiro is bent over the sink. Who cares if there’s a little toothpaste on Shiro's chin? Not Keith, not when this angle is giving him very specific thoughts about what he wants to do to Shiro.

He rolls his hips against Shiro's ass and Shiro pushes back into it with a laugh. Keith loves his laugh.

How Shiro wrangles the two of them into bed is a mystery. Keith only knows that suddenly he is no longer in the bathroom but is instead finally under the covers, no more stupid pants on, and Shiro is with him, shirtless like he should have been all along.

“Hi,” Keith says, dragging his hand shamelessly over Shiro’s chest.

“Hi, yourself,” Shiro says. When he grins down at Keith from this angle, he has just the tiniest hint of a double chin and it’s so cute. So cute.

Keith does the hard work of leveraging himself up so he can reattach his mouth to Shiro’s. The taste of mint between them is nearly overwhelming, but it’s so worth it to kiss him through it—Shiro’s hands stroke up and down his back, occasionally combing fingers through the hair at the back of Keith’s head. He’s warm and his face looks like it was meant to have one of Keith’s palms gently holding his scratchy cheek.

“You’re so . . . .” But Keith doesn’t know how to finish that sentence. He chooses a kiss instead of words, and Shiro’s lips part hungrily for him.

He loves Shiro. He loves kissing Shiro—it’s like they were born to do just this. Keith presses as close as he can, his hand tilting Shiro’s head just how he wants it, and Shiro lets him. He lets Keith bite at his lower lip, his jaw, leaving what will surely be bruises high up on his neck, and he moans for it. His arms, wrapped tight around Keith, only tug him closer until Keith slings a leg up to straddle Shiro’s hips and aligns their whole bodies together.

“Fuck,” Shiro breathes. His left hand cups the back of Keith’s neck and holds him so his mouth can’t leave the hollow behind Shiro’s ear. It’s a spot that always drives Shiro crazy and Keith capitalizes on that now, breathing hotly over Shiro’s skin. He laughs, low in his chest, and Shiro moans.

“Shiro,” Keith whispers, just to say his name.

“Keith.”

The return is sweet as buttercream frosting as Keith takes Shiro’s mouth with his own, finding him time and time again as they kiss away the memory of birthday cake and minty toothpaste until all that’s left is each other. Keith wants everything with him, wants things he can’t quantify or express, but mostly he wants to kiss him until their souls align.

Forget the champagne; Shiro is the most intoxicating thing Keith has ever tasted.

“I love you,” Keith gasps when he can’t hold it in anymore. “Love you so m—”

Shiro doesn’t let him get away, dragging Keith in for another kiss like the last one never even ended. The proof of his love comes in the way he holds Keith like he’s both precious and unbreakable, like something made to be molded to his touch—there aren’t really words for that kind of love. No one else could have him like this. No one else has ever been a best friend, a brother in arms, and a romantic love so deep and timeless that Keith struggles to quantify it. 

The kiss breaks when Shiro bites down on Keith’s bottom lip almost too hard and Keith has to tear himself away to handle the arousal that jolts through him. He leans their foreheads together, refusing to lose the shared breath.

“Sorry,” Shiro breathes.

“Don’t be,” Keith whispers, and he means it fiercely. The pain is nothing. All it proves is that Shiro totally lets loose with him, and that is worth everything. Keith’s head swims with champagne, but it’s Shiro’s heat that has his heart skipping beats and his breath coming in gasps.

Shiro swallows audibly. “I want you to fuck me so much right now,” he says. “God, baby, it’s been forever since—”

“Shiro, it’s been three days,” Keith rushes out with a laugh.

“Forever.” Shiro sighs, sounding genuinely aggrieved about it. “I’m so tired now, though. Really wanna feel it when you give it to me.”

As sad as it is, Keith has to agree. His body is exhausted from flying and his mind and vision are still spinning with champagne; he doesn’t want to know what kind of hot mess they would be like this. He can hardly open his eyes right now. “Promise I’ll fuck you tomorrow,” Keith says finally, kissing Shiro firmly one more time. “However you want.”

“Mm.” Shiro strokes his fingers through Keith’s hair. “Love it when you let me tell you what to do. We should do that.”

“What if I want to tell you what to do?” Keith argues. “It’s my birthday.”

Shiro laughs deep in his chest. “Not tomorrow, it isn’t.”

“Not my fault Drazan cheated me out of birthday sex,” Keith whispers before he dives back down to kiss Shiro. The heat is still there, but it’s a banked fire pit instead of a roaring bonfire. Keith has to marvel at that: he absolutely never gets tired of kissing Shiro, no matter how they do it. Every single kiss feels like it’s right where Keith belongs.

A yawn overtakes him, impossible to stop. Keith yawns right in Shiro’s face and Shiro just laughs, the hand in Keith’s hair sliding around to cover his mouth.

“You’re the worst,” Shiro whispers.

“You love it.”

When the yawn subsides, Keith slides just far enough off Shiro that most of his weight is on the bed instead of Shiro. He leaves a thigh between Shiro’s, a greedy arm draped over his chest, and Shiro’s hand comes to rest on his.

“I love you, baby,” Shiro says, “but please don’t yawn in my mouth.”

Hiding his smirk, Keith snuggles in as close as he can go and presses his face to Shiro’s skin. He’s gonna yawn in Shiro’s mouth for the rest of their lives because there’s nothing he can do to stop Keith from aggressively inserting himself into Shiro’s space no matter the circumstances. His touch is a balm as often as it is a firestarter and Keith could have forever with him and still never find it enough time.

It has a nice ring to it—forever. Keith sees a lot of forever with Shiro. 

“Y’know,” he says half to himself, “we should—we should really get married one day.”

Shiro pauses. His hand moves to gently brush Keith’s hair out of his eyes. “Yeah?” he asks.

Keith’s mouth turns up at the corner. “Yeah,” he whispers. “Could be fun. I wanna put a—a bowtie on space wolf.” Another yawn hits and Keith’s eyes slide closed of their own volition. He’s so close to sleep and Shiro is so warm, and visions of himself kissing Shiro in front of all their friends and family dance in his mind. It would be nice. 

He thinks Shiro says something else, but Keith slips thoroughly away into sleep.

Or passes out from all the champagne.

He’ll never know.

 

***

 

Shiro wakes Keith up with a hearty blowjob. He comes to with Shiro’s mouth wrapped tight and wet around him, and Keith can only stare unseeingly at the ceiling while he forces his hand not to grip Shiro’s hair too tightly as pleasure rolls through him. He comes quickly, still half-asleep and incapable of holding back his moans. While Keith attempts to catch his breath and reorient his understanding of the universe, Shiro’s head pops up and he gives Keith the smuggest grin. No one should look that smug with a smear of come at the corner of their mouth, but there Shiro goes, doing just that.

“Good morning, my twenty-four year old boyfriend,” Shiro says sunnily.

Keith groans in response and covers his face with both hands, trying to blink the stars out of his eyes. It’s just unreal what Shiro does to him.

“Cat got your tongue?”

“Shut up,” Keith growls. “And get up here, it’s my turn.”

“Later,” Shiro promises, kissing Keith’s hip. “For now, baby, I’m gonna go find us some breakfast and you’re going to nap until I’m back.”

Keith uncovers his face and squints in suspicion. “Is that an order?” he asks. 

“Yup.”

Shiro hops up from between Keith’s legs. He kisses Keith quick and dirty, the taste of his mouth exciting, and then he’s pulling a shirt over his head and hopping out the door before Keith can get up to chase him back into bed.

Maybe that’s for the best. Keith’s knees still feel shaky and his eyes are slipping shut.

He dozes while Shiro gallivants off to the kitchen—and hopefully he really does go to the kitchen this time, because Keith gets hungry after sex and if they’re going to keep at this, he’ll need the sustenance. Hazy dreams about Shiro wearing nothing but a black, frilly apron float through his sleeping mind, and he concedes that his brain has a very good point about that.

Shiro returns with a tray. He is not wearing an apron, but he brings the smell of real food instead of the protein shake Keith was expecting. Shiro doesn’t enjoy cooking but he makes a mean smoothie; he’s got Keith addicted to them.

“What—what’s this?” Keith asks, a yawn interrupting him as he pushes himself up to sit back against the pillows.

“Close your eyes for me, baby,” Shiro says. Keith raises an eyebrow at the request, but Shiro just stares him down until he does it. Stubborn man.

The bed dips as Shiro sits next to Keith. Something rattles on the tray as he carefully sets it down and Keith’s nose twitches at the unmistakable smell of coffee. He really has the perfect man right here, bringing the nectar of the gods straight to Keith’s sleepy hands after a brain-melting blowjob. It doesn’t get better than this.

“Alright,” Shiro sighs. He sounds almost nervous, but he shouldn’t worry—his cooking never fails to be simple but tasty and Keith appreciates his willingness to embark on a task he doesn’t care for in Keith’s honor. “Open your eyes.”

Keith opens greedy eyes on a stunning spread: coffee, a giant omelet for two, a big slice of leftover birthday cake, a bowl of rice, and—

“What’s that?” Keith asks before he processes what he’s looking at.

Shiro watches him carefully.

“Oh my god,” Keith breathes, glancing back and forth between Shiro’s face and the small black box sitting right in the middle of his breakfast. “Shiro—are you—”

But Shiro doesn’t answer: his hands are folded together tightly in his lap, back ramrod straight. Keith gapes at him, not sure if he’s more shocked by the ring box or the fact that Shiro is nervous, like he’s not sure what Keith is going to say to him. As if there would be any other answer but the single word bouncing around Keith’s head.

Heart hammering, Keith reaches for Shiro’s hands, pulling them away so Shiro can’t squeeze his human fingers to death. “Shiro?”

There’s a long pause while Shiro visibly gathers himself. “I bought it months ago,” he says slowly, unable to meet Keith’s eye. “But I—I really didn’t know if it was something you wanted. Until last night, you—”

Until last night, when Keith opened his drunk, horny mouth.

He can’t bring himself to feel embarrassed.

Shiro licks his lips and takes a deep breath. “But I want that. And now that—now that I know you want that too, I’m asking you to marry me.”

It’s a simple, matter-of-fact proposal, and Keith wouldn’t have it any other way. He grins wide at Shiro, his whole body fizzing with light, and he reaches out with both hands to smash them against Shiro’s cheeks and pull him in for a wet smack of a kiss and keep his face just inches away.

“Yes,” he declares, smiling almost too wide to get the word out. “Yes, god, Shiro, I want to marry you.”

“Good,” Shiro breathes. His irises jump from side to side as he glances between Keith’s eyes. “That’s—that’s really good. This would have been so awkward otherwise.”

“Heh. Yeah.”

“I love you, you know?” Shiro says. “You’re the love of my life, Keith, and I’m not saying that just to say it. I really mean it.”

Keith’s thumb strokes Shiro’s cheekbone softly. Bold of Shiro to talk about the love of his life when Shiro is the person in Keith’s life who hung every star in the sky and sketched for him every galaxy. Rude of him to assert that Keith would ever believe Shiro was anything but sincere.

“Well, if we’re going to get married,” Keith says, considering, “then . . . that means you’re gonna be legally bound to me, right?”

“Sure does, baby.”

“Which means you’re legally required to hand feed me breakfast when I want it, right?”

“Keith—”

“Shiro, I think we should practice being married right now.”

Shiro stares him down, face still sandwiched between Keith’s palms. His eyebrow twitches madly like he wants to throttle Keith, who awaits his potential punishment with unrestrained excitement. 

Then his face turns devious.

“What if I let you eat that piece of cake off my body instead?” Shiro murmurs, lowering his eyelids in that way he knows gives Keith breathing problems. It’s not fair at all. “Could make that our engagement anniversary tradition, you think?”

Annually eating cake off Shiro’s abs . . . has Keith died and gone to marriage heaven?

“Yeah,” Keith whispers, “yeah, let’s do that.”

And they do that for the rest of their lives.