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with your ocean arms

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Taste like summer

Midnight blue forever

Wearing each other

Visions in lucid colour

Up on the roof

Dancing for you

Under a million stars

Magnetic moon

Pulls me to you

With your ocean arms

 

— Tiffany Young, Magnetic Moon

 

 

— S —

 

After the war, Shiro feels a little like he’s lost at sea.

It’s been years of being a soldier, an officer, a captain. He’s been so used to constantly performing, running drills and managing Paladins, so the thing that gets to him is the silence.

And it’s everywhere.

During the day he can hide from it better, immerse himself in training with the Paladins, or talk to Atlas, or spend time with Keith.

It’s inescapable at night. Shiro finds himself wandering the halls more often than not, aimless, adrift.

The Garrison hums quietly, orange panelling glowing as Shiro walks along the dimly lit corridors. His heels click loudly on the floor, almost echoing as the dark presses in.

Normally these hallways are bustling with people, and so it’s unsettling, walking through with no other presence than the dark for company.

But it’s better than the confines of his room.

Keith finds him huddled over some star charts one night, after a nightmare that left Shiro gasping and longing for the unnerving quietude of the Garrison hallways instead. Keith doesn’t say anything, just puts his hand on Shiro’s, and the warmth of his touch is enough to distract Shiro long enough that he barely notices Keith shutting down the charts.

That’s Keith though, always sucking Shiro in like a vortex and never letting him go. Shiro once had a thought that flying across the Universe and back with the same group of people would give him cabin fever, and it did, in a way, because there was only so much of Lance’s terrible flirting he could stand, and Hunk’s anxiety sometimes tested his patience, but Keith.

Well, Shiro would stay by Keith’s side for as long as he could, if allowed.

“Why are you still working?” Keith asks gently.

His hair is long now, long enough to tie up in a bun. Shiro wants to pull it free and bury his face in it. Keith is pretty, always has been, but now he’s the kind of beautiful that blindsides Shiro at every turn of his head. He’s the kind of beautiful that Shiro looks at and sees his whole future with, because he’s always been stunning, with his dark hair and violet eyes, but now he’s everything, with how many times he’s given his life for Shiro, over and over, without question.

How could Shiro not love him?

They haven’t addressed the facility though, not properly. On the way home to Earth, they’d tiptoed around the subject, sat next to the fire when everyone was asleep and Shiro had said, “I’m so sorry, Keith.”

Keith, always the spitfire stubborn one, simply said, “What’s done is done. I wouldn’t take any of it back.”

“Nothing?” Shiro asked, because he’d seen the fight, had heard every cry and scream from Keith and hadn’t been able to stop it, hadn’t been able to say anything until Keith found him in the astral plane and they’d talked for the first time in what felt like forever.

“No,” Keith confirmed, and that was that.

Shiro tilts his head to each side, rolls his shoulders back. It’s a poor attempt to get rid of the tension from his body but he does it anyway out of habit. Keith is still looking at him, unimpressed.

“It’s not work?” he says feebly. “Just… digging for information.”

“So, work,” Keith says. “Shiro.”

“I know,” Shiro sighs, rubbing the back of his neck to ease the ache building there.

Keith shakes his head. “What am I going to do with you?”

“Chain me up and never let me out of your sight?” Shiro offers, and it’s supposed to be a joke, but maybe it hits too close to home, because Keith’s eyes close.

“I hate you,” he says, but he’s fighting a smile.

No, you don’t, Shiro thinks, but he would never dare to voice it. Not now. Not here. Another time, maybe. “Me too,” he says instead.

Keith laughs at that, a sound that Shiro will always love to hear, and then Keith prods him towards the door. “Out, mister.”

“Yes, sir,” Shiro salutes, laughing at Keith’s groan.

 

— K —

 

The idea of having a road trip comes about one night after a Monsters and Mana session.

Pidge and Hunk are reminiscing about their time in the Lions returning to Earth after the Rift, and then Lance mentions that were it not for the looming threat of getting back home as quickly as possible, it would have been enjoyable.

Keith wants to point out the cabin fever, and the time they all got caught in that game show, and when the storm swept through and he fought with Allura and everyone.

He wants to talk about Shiro’s nightmares and his missing arm; he wants to talk about the way they never brought up the facility, how they never peeled back the layers of hurt and pain to see what was underneath.

But he doesn’t.

Instead, Hunk says, “The war is over now,” and Keith can almost feel the collective sigh of relief around the room as the reminder settles over them again. “We should do another one sometime.”

The other four murmur half-hearted agreements, but the hour is late and most of them have to get up early to run the Lions through drills with Atlas, so Keith hauls himself to his room and forgets about it in his mission to get more than two hours of uninterrupted sleep.

Until Allura brings it up again at lunch a few days later.

“You know,” she says, thoughtful as she licks yoghurt off her spoon. “On the topic of road trips: it would be nice to travel without the title of Princess dragging me into diplomatic meetings.”

Shiro is next to Keith, as always, and he shifts in his seat. “The Universe has settled down enough to make that a reality,” he offers. “If you wanted.”

Allura dips her spoon into her yoghurt in lieu of answering, but Keith can tell she’s already made up her mind.

So they make it happen.

 

 

Australia hadn’t really crossed any of their minds; it seemed like it was always going to be the States, or maybe Cuba, because Lance wanted to show Allura his homeland, but then Allura had pointed to the map and asked, “What about there?”

And she said the name curiously, flicking through the photos that the screen offered up. “It’s so blue,” she said. “Like home.”

They all knew home was Altea.

Keith didn’t care where they went, as long as he was with Shiro; Hunk and Lance wanted the tropical weather; Pidge shrugged, and Allura hadn’t stopped staring at the ocean.

 

 

Before the foster homes, there was the desert. And after the Garrison, after Shiro, there was the desert too.

Keith remembers the heat of it, how hot the sands burned all through the day until night. Sometimes the wind would whip the sand into submission, and other times it would pick the sands up and dance with them. Keith would stay inside on those days, watching the two chase each other about outside.

Australia's heat is different to the one of the desert. It's thicker, more cloying.

It's the first thing he notices when they step out of the airport, with the way it rises up from the tarmac.

“It's so hot,” Pidge whines, fanning herself.

“You know it's going to get hotter as we go, right, Spud?” Hunk points out.

“No, this is perfect weather,” Lance says, before he throws his hands into the air happily. “We gotta go to the beach!”

Half an hour later, the six of them are crammed into the vehicle Allura booked for them. Keith is glad they left the wolf back at the Garrison with Romelle. There would have been zero room for him.

“So,” Pidge says as she peruses her data pad's map from the very backseat which she has claimed as her own. “Apparently the beach is an hour away.”

“An hour?” Lance echoes, and Keith sends up another little prayer that Hunk is sitting between them.

He loves Lance, truly, but in in a begrudging brotherly sort of way where he thinks he’s lowkey annoying unless anyone else threatens him. Besides, it took them minutes to get here on Red, so Keith can understand Lance's impatience.

“Apparently,” Pidge confirms.

“Whose idea was it for me to drive first?” Shiro grumbles from the front seat. “I haven't driven a car in years.”

“Because you're our leader,” Pidge snarks from the backseat, as if Keith and Allura aren’t present.

“It’s like riding a bike,” Hunk adds.

“They drive on the left,” Shiro retorts.

“Is that a problem?” Allura asks, because she's never driven a vehicle other than a spaceship and that's precisely why she's been relegated to the passenger seat and is supposed to be in charge of their navigation.

“You're a quick learner,” Keith smirks, not at all envious of Shiro's responsibility as they leave the relative safety of the airport.

Shiro looks into the rearview mirror to make eye contact with him, and the look he gives Keith can only be described as scathing, but Keith knows Shiro better, proven right when Shiro rolls his eyes and smiles begrudgingly at him.

Keith loves him.

He smiles right back.

 

— S —

 

Australia is hot, sticky, relentless, but its heat isn’t so harsh once they arrive at the beach that had too many ‘O’s in its name for Shiro not to laugh at it every time he tried to say it. The sand burns their feet and squeaks as they run across it; the water is teal and crystal clear, and Shiro loses himself to the surf.

He can’t remember the last time he swam just for fun; on the Castle of Lions, he’d only ventured to the pool once to watch Keith swim laps.

He’d almost said something stupid then, like asking how Keith even knew how to swim, except Keith beat him to it with, “I know what you’re going to say. The desert has pools too, you know.”

Shiro always wonders if that memory was when he realised he was in deep, the way he couldn’t stop looking at the strength with which Keith pulled himself through the water, at the way he flicked his hair out of his eyes after, at the sloping muscles of his chest.

He’s still staring at Keith now as he sits next to him on the sand to catch his breath.

“This was a good idea,” Keith says, hair long and salty, still-wet skin glistening in the harsh Australian sun.

“Yeah,” Shiro manages to get out, wanting so much and wishing he didn’t at the same time, wishing he could reach across and pull Keith closer and kiss him on the mouth.

Beautiful, he thinks helplessly.

Back down at the water, Allura is standing at knee depth, holding on tight to Pidge’s hand as the waves crash, and Lance is chasing Hunk around with a fistful of sand. It’s so different along the beach: blinding white back at the dunes, damp and cooling here, and Shiro digs his toes into it.

“Finally got you to take a break,” Keith teases him, and Shiro’s heart flips in his chest. “God knows I made you often enough.”

“You did promise,” Shiro says softly, and maybe it’s not the best thing to be saying right now, maybe it’s not the best thing to say at any given point in time, but it’s out in the open then, and Shiro just has to stand up and face the aftermath.

“I did,” Keith says, mouth curving into a smile. “As many times as it takes.”

Shiro doesn’t really know how to interpret that neutrally, really.

“I never thanked you properly,” he says, and it’s hard now, to stay looking at Keith, so he stares at the sand instead, scraping his fingers through it, letting it build under his nails.

“You never had to,” Keith tells him. “You know that.”

Part of Shiro does, yes, and the other part of him wants to dredge up the fight, and the months of seeing Keith sit inside Black’s cockpit crying. Shiro has known so many horrors and hurts, but seeing Keith all alone like that, too afraid to open his eyes and return to the outside world where the paladins were waiting for him to be their leader, was its own specific brand of pain.

“I know,” he says, even if the words feel hollow, because he knows Keith flew across the Universe for him, knows that his spitfire pilot will do it again in a heartbeat if necessary, and it leaves him feeling inadequate.

“Good,” Keith says, knocking his shoulder against Shiro. “But I’m happy to keep reminding you.”

Shiro can’t stop himself from butting his head gently against Keith’s, words failing him. “You know I’d do anything for you too,” he murmurs, because Keith needs to know at least that much.

Australia is hot and bright, and yet it has nothing on the starburst of Keith’s smile. Shiro wants it to burn him.

 

 

The Sunshine Coast lives up to its name. It’s sun and sand and surf, and the thick blanket of heat makes Shiro’s clothes stick to his skin, makes him keep his hair brushed back off his forehead, makes all of them constantly seek shade and water wherever they go.

Over the next few days, they wander along the beachfront shops, watch another unfortunate group of holidaymakers get swarmed by seagulls after one of them drops a hot chip on the sand, and spend a lot of time getting waterlogged at the beach. Allura is getting the hang of the waves, by the way she dares to brave the deeper waters when Lance and Hunk take her hands and lead her out.

Shiro likes the water, likes how weightless it makes him, how it tumbles and tosses him onto the sand. He likes how Keith swims with him, how Keith wakes him up in the mornings to drag him outside before the others wake, and how it’s just the two of them braving the surf as the sun climbs its way into the sky.

The heat stays with them once the sun sets, but it’s a muted, softer version as they explore the nightlife. The first is spent eating dinner at a surf club overlooking the water, the second at a minigolf venue that is more of a nightclub. Lance and Pidge go head to head while Hunk and Keith play for fun and Shiro teaches Allura how to actually hit the ball.

“You’re a princess,” Hunk says as Shiro stands behind Allura and guides her hands over the golf club. “I’ve never seen you unable to do anything.”

“I’m always open to learning new things!” Allura protests, before squealing happily when she manages to sink the ball.

“You’re doing great,” Lance tells her, holding out another drink for her.

She takes it after nuzzling his cheek affectionately and Shiro laughs into his glass at how red Lance goes.

Keith beats them all at bowling and Shiro barely remembers the walk back to their hotel because of how much beer he’s had. Keith smells like whiskey and home and Shiro lets himself be selfish, loops his arm around Keith’s neck, pleased when Keith reaches up and holds his wrist to keep him there.

The next afternoon, Allura hustles them into climbing Mount Beerwah and the six of them watch the sunset from the lookout.

“It’s beautiful,” she whispers, and the way the light hits her makes her eyes glow.

Shiro watches fondly as Lance steps closer to her and steps back to let Pidge climb onto his back to see further, because Hunk isn’t tall enough. He doesn’t know if those two have figured themselves out, but he isn’t going to judge, not when he’s looking at Keith the exact same way.

On the last day, Keith rubs his eyes sleepily and wrinkles his nose up adorably when Shiro asks if he wants to go for a swim. They sit on the sand for a change, Keith holding it up in his hand and watching the grains fall.

“It’s weird,” Keith says. “This.”

“The quiet?” Shiro asks.

Keith nods once. “Keep thinking it’s a dream.”

“It’s not,” Shiro says.

Keith smiles slightly. “Yeah. None of my dreams were ever this good.”

 

— K —

 

The Australian summer continues to do its best to melt all of them as they travel north. They squabble over the playlist and Hunk makes them play I Spy before Lance complains that there’s only so many trees he can point out.

Hervey Bay is quieter than the Sunshine Coast. Browner. Hotter. It’s a hub for whale watching in the warmer months due to being a stopover for humpbacks on their way to the Antarctic, and after Allura became enamoured with the beach, the whales were the next on her list of things she wanted to see.

Hunk spends half the time looking queasy despite the meds Pidge fed him with breakfast, and Lance—always the camera happy one of them all—takes photos. Keith steps next to Shiro, leaning his forearms against the railing.

“Beautiful, huh?” Shiro says as he watches the pod before them play. “It’s crazy how small we are.”

They’ve literally been across galaxies, seen planets and monsters much larger than the whales performing backflips in front of them, but Keith understands.

“Crazy,” he repeats in agreement, because he’s flesh and bone and nearly died more than once; because he’s standing next to Shiro who did die, and here they are, watching the whales frolicking and being reminded just how fragile they are, how lucky they are.

 

 

The next week flies.

Keith catches up on missed sleep in the car when Hunk takes over with the driving. They’ve all been rotating with each other, apart from Allura and Pidge: the former because she can command armies and create wormholes but somehow doesn’t have a valid driver’s license, and the latter because Pidge refuses to give up her backseat throne to anyone else.

Hunk driving means they got up earlier because Hunk wanted to beat the heat and watch the sunrise from the road, so Keith closes his eyes and leans against Shiro, a small thrill running through him when Shiro rests his cheek on his head. He’ll always love all the ways Shiro touches him.

He isn’t sure how long they sleep, but he’s woken up by Pidge shouting out directions to Hunk from her backseat hellhole when the road splits and they end up on a dirt one with more potholes than line markings.

“This is the main road?” Hunk asks.

Pidge plays a sound clip of an audience clapping in answer.

Bundaberg has a rum factory that they explore for a day, and Keith is a whiskey drinker at heart but there’s something really pleasing about the way the alcohol sits in his mouth, the way Shiro smiles at him over the top of his glass and makes Keith feel both pinned and in freefall.

Rockhampton has cows. Lots of them. Both real ones and statues of them, all of which Lance takes photos of. Allura actually coos at one of them in the middle of a roundabout, pointing to its ears.

“It’s like Kaltenecker!” she says.

No one mentions the milkshakes.

“Take a shot every time you see a cow,” Lance snickers.

Pidge holds up one of the bottles of rum she procured from Bundaberg. “Don’t tempt me.”

“It’s ten-thirty, Pidge,” Shiro sighs, but he’s grinning.

“And legal time to drink!” she crows, unscrewing the bottle and gulping a mouthful down.

 

— S —

 

Airlie Beach is a return to the sands that Shiro liked on the Sunshine Coast. Along the way, amongst the hours of being trapped in the car with the aircon blasting and the abundance of banana farms blurring together outside the window, they’d stopped in at each town to relive the fantasy of their first few days.

But the sand was dark, the water even more so.

They’d stood on the beach of Yeppoon, and the black grains had glittered in the sun while the tide had kept receding until they could wade out to where earlier, they would have been neck-deep.

Mackay was a write-off in terms of swimming at the beach. There were organised activities on the sand for kids, all of whom were dressed up in strange lycra body suits and wearing coloured caps, but even they didn’t go into the water.

“Mackay urges visitors to be aware of crocodiles, sharks, and stingers,” Pidge read off her data pad while the rest of them steal Allura’s chips.

“Stingers?” Keith asked, licking chicken salt off his fingers in a way that was so innocuous and yet so distracting. 

Shiro wished he had the strength of mind to look away instead of staring at him and wanting to pull Keith’s fingers into his mouth.

“Jellyfish,” Pidge confirmed, pulling up photos of the animals she’d mentioned.

“The reports were right,” Hunk shuddered, throwing a hot chip into Lance’s open mouth. “Everything here will kill you.”

Pidge kept reading the reports on her screen, frowning as more animals popped up. “Uh, what the fuck are drop bears?”

 

 

Hunk was right; it’s gotten even more humid as they travel towards the equator. They stop in at the army base in Townsville, the only work-related venture on their holiday, and Shiro wonders if the heat ever gives up.

It does when they reach Mission Beach.

The others are sleeping off a night of drinking games, at the end of which Pidge was carried off by Hunk. Allura had been playing with Lance’s hair the entire night and Shiro sensed the atmosphere so he tugged a sleepy Keith to bed, pushing him to the mattress. Keith drifted off like that and Shiro followed soon after, curled up opposite him, heart aching with how much he adored him.

When they’d driven into town yesterday, Mission Beach had looked beautiful, literal postcard perfection, but when Shiro wakes, the skies are dark and grey, the clouds threatening rain.

The temperature is down but the humidity is somehow the worst it’s been as Keith lets Shiro prod him outside, yawning his way through their coffee order and leading the way down the beach.

“Think it might rain,” Keith comments.

Shiro snorts. “No shit.”

Keith laughs at that, a wonderful sound, and then tilts his head to look at Shiro. “You slept well.”

“Yeah,” Shiro says honestly, because his insomnia and nightmares are always with him, but sleeping next to Keith had been calming, enjoyable.

He’d do it forever if he could.

“Should do it again sometime,” Keith says, and for a moment Shiro panics, wondering if he spoke aloud. “As many times as you want.”

“Would you like that?” he says carefully.

“I promised, didn’t I?” Keith says. As many times as it takes.

It starts to rain.

Shiro clutches his coffee cup closer. “You did.”

It’s a heavier conversation starter than Shiro thought they’d have this early in the morning, the two of them slipping from casual into deeper emotions with the ease of dipping one’s head below the waves.

But Keith is looking at him, tired and beautiful, and that’s all Shiro wants to wait for. He knows his heart, knows exactly which way the compass points to every time he spins out of control, and that destination is sitting right in front of him, holding a coffee and looking at him with stars in his eyes.

I’m a fool, Shiro thinks. A fool for you.

So he decides to dive straight in.

 

— K —

 

“The facility,” Shiro says, and Keith wishes the reminder didn’t slice through him. “You said you wouldn’t take any of it back.”

“Yeah.”

“Nothing?” Shiro says, and that’s unlike him, Keith thinks, to be hedging about a topic they both have imprinted in their memories and remember too clearly.

Maybe that’s why Keith says it, why it’s so much easier to get it out. He’s thought a lot about telling Shiro again, wondered if Shiro would accept it from him in a situation where they aren’t fighting each other to the death, where Keith has other things in his mind instead, where his body doesn’t latch onto the last thing he can think of and pushes it out.

Because he knows Shiro, knows how Shiro doubts himself, how he’s always fighting with himself to be the Garrison Darling, to maintain the image. He knows he’s probably the only one Shiro lets his guard down around, and yet even then, they both have hurts and old wounds from each other, ones that haven’t been able to heal fully, ones they’re opening now while the rain gets heavier.

“I meant everything I said,” Keith says. “Everything. You know I did.”

“Keith,” Shiro says, his brow creased, his eyes reddening with tears, and that tells Keith all he needs to know.

Keith adores him.

“You have to know,” Shiro whispers. “Surely.”

And he doesn’t say it, but Keith already feels it, feels the affection in Shiro’s gaze, the warmth in his touches, the love in his smile. He’s felt it the entire time they’ve been in this country.

Thunder rumbles above them, and then the floodgates open.

 

— S —

 

Outside the car, the rain pours down. It thunders against the roof, and Shiro glances up at it, wondering if it will cave the roof in, before looking back at Keith. Keith is soaked from their desperate sprint to the car, shivering in the towel he’d snagged from the back, and his hair is plastered to his face, rainwater dripping down it.

He’s gorgeous, as always.

Shiro follows the path of one of the droplets, unable to tear his eyes away when a droplet lands on Keith’s bottom lip and Keith licks it away without thought.

Shiro reaches out, touches the space that droplet was. When he looks up again, Keith’s holding his breath. His eyes are big and round and it’s almost comical, feeling suspended in the air like this, because he trusts Keith with his life. If Shiro is an asteroid belt, a million and one pieces barely held together, then Keith is the planet he orbits happily.

No one speaks.

They don’t need to, after the beach.

The rain continues to bucket down, gets even harder in the short moment of time that Shiro glances between Keith’s eyes and mouth. Shiro could drop his hand. He could pull away and sink back into his chair and laugh about the way the weather is battling itself outside, how the waves are flattening out to the demands of the heavens, how the skies are raging to bring as much of a downpour as they can manage. He could laugh about Pidge at breakfast yesterday morning, when they’d all been eating McDonald’s and she’d complained about the stickiness of her hotcakes, and then Lance and Hunk had made inappropriate jokes with her until she’d thrown her sauce packets at them.

But he doesn’t want to.

He doesn’t want to, because Keith hasn’t moved, hasn’t protested, hasn’t done anything since Shiro first placed his thumb to Keith’s mouth, and that’s—a really lovely thought, that Keith always lets Shiro touch him so freely after a childhood of not trusting anyone or letting them close. He’s so open with his affection and physical contact to Shiro in a way that he isn’t with others, even the other Paladins.

Shiro is so lucky.

So he doesn’t move, instead sweeping his thumb along the softness of Keith’s bottom lip until he reaches the corner. Keith’s eyes sparkle at him, and his mouth pulls up into a small grin.

“Thought I lost you for a bit there,” he says, a little awkwardly.

Shiro shakes his head. “No chance.” Then he checks, “Just tell me to stop and I will.”

Keith pauses, and then his hand comes up to curl over Shiro’s wrist. “Don’t,” he whispers.

Shiro doesn’t need anything else.

 

— K —

 

Kissing Shiro has always been something of an enigma to Keith. He’s dreamt about it more times than he can count, has looked at Shiro doing something mundane and ordinary and wondered what it would be like to match up their smiles, but actually kissing Shiro is an entirely different experience.

They’re both wet and rainwater is everywhere, but Shiro’s mouth is warm and soft against his, his hand is huge upon Keith’s face, and Keith wants nothing more than to sit in this car and be kissed by Shiro.

Shiro, who is pressing into Keith’s space and kissing him with a little less curiosity and a lot more intent. Shiro, who woke Keith up this morning by blowing on his face like he was a cat. Shiro, who Keith chased halfway across the Universe, who he would do anything for in a heartbeat.

Shiro kisses Keith like he’s got nothing better to do with his time: slowly, thoroughly, like he’s seen the layers of Keith, all their imperfections and marks and scars, and never wants to let them go. It feels nothing like the storm raging outside their car and everything like a sunshower: watery, but with the promise of warmth and healing after.

“Shiro,” he gasps out, squirming closer, pleased beyond anything when Shiro nods and kisses him again, falling more over Keith now, bracketing Keith in his arms and kissing him more confidently.

“Yeah,” Shiro mutters, and Keith could kiss Shiro for the rest of his life and be happy.

Shiro pulls back to breathe, to look at Keith, as if he needs the confirmation that they’re kissing as much as Keith does, and doesn’t that do something to him? The idea that the Garrison Darling, Captain Shirogane, Keith’s best friend, can’t believe they’re kissing either.

“Well,” Shiro says, a little strangled. “I’ve waited a long time for that.”

“Yeah,” Keith says. “Me too.”

He wonders if he looks as much of a mess as he feels. Shiro does, eyes dark, mouth wet with spit and cherry red to match the flush on his face.

Shiro bites his lip, and then smiles, ducking his head and burying it in Keith’s neck. “Oh my god,” he laughs.

Keith laughs too, threading his fingers through Shiro’s wet hair and relishing the weight of him on top. The gearstick is in the way of Shiro properly blanketing himself across Keith’s body, but Keith doesn’t want to move, either. Not that he thinks he has much of a choice. The rain is a complete washout outside.

“Don’t think we’re going anywhere any time soon,” he murmurs into Shiro’s ear, curious at the shiver that goes through Shiro.

“Shame,” Shiro mutters, face still hidden.

“Are you cold?” Keith asks. The towels they have wrapped around them aren’t doing much apart from protecting the leather of the carseats.

Shiro shakes his head, and then Keith gasps when he feels Shiro press a kiss to his neck. “That okay?”

Keith nods. “Yeah.”

Shiro pushes himself up to see Keith’s face again. “I really want to kiss you again,” he confesses.

“What are you waiting for then?” Keith asks.

 

— S —

 

After the war, Shiro was so ready to immerse himself in whatever work he could get his hands on because the silence was too suffocating.

But it’s nowhere to be found here.

Outside, the rain is bucketing down.

Beneath him, Keith is writhing, gasping into his mouth, his ear, please, Shiro, please, oh god, as Shiro chases after it, drawn to the heat of it.

And there are things he wants to say, horrible things the silence usually offers him, like how Shiro still believes he is inadequate, or how he thinks Keith is the best parts of him, but he doesn’t.

The rain is bucketing down, Keith is beneath him, and Shiro loves him.