Lance’s weekend class with Keith was the same as always: easy conversation, Keith’s ever increasing frustration and Lance’s gentle coaching. Neither of them mentioned exactly what had happened in the beginner’s class earlier during the week, though they did have a good long laugh reminiscing about Pidge’s various incredulous expressions. Both noticed that they avoided the topic of their playful flirting but neither wanted to bring it up and make things awkward. Despite how close they had been dancing during that lesson, Lance made sure for every dance after that to stand a respectable distance from Keith. There was no reason to dance so closely with him, even if it had been nice, without Pidge there to rile up. If Lance was being honest, dancing closer with Keith like that had been more than nice, but Lance refused to let his mind linger on it. He didn’t need to recall how warm Keith’s hand was, he didn’t need to recall how easily Keith followed his lead for once, their hips and legs perfectly in line.
They had finished off the quickstep from Keith’s previous lesson and had started on the foxtrot. Much to Lance’s amusement, Keith had exclaimed that the foxtrot had similar timing to the quickstep and the pattern itself was kind of sort of similar to the waltz from his first lesson. Lance didn’t think he had seen his dance partner so excited over something. Despite the similarities that Keith had initially been excited about, it was those exact same similarities that had Keith grumbling and cursing.
Keith had lost count of how many times he had stumbled and stuffed up the sequence. Lance chuckled softly as Keith all but growled as he missed the timing, taking a slow step at the wrong time.
“It’s slow quick quick,” Keith grumbled, releasing his hold of Lance. “Not slow quick quick slow.”
“Would you like me to count it out for you? At least until you think you’ve got it?”
Keith looked at Lance, determination in his eyes. “No...I need to get this without counting the beats out loud.”
“It would probably help if you’d stop resisting my lead,” Lance said.
Keith paused. “It’s not like I’m doing it on purpose.”
Lance shrugged. “I know. It’s not something you’re used to and that’s okay. But try to make a bit of an effort? Like when we were waltzing in class. That was great!”
Keith sighed, nodding almost imperceptibly. His hair shifted slightly into his eyes and he brushed it back with a huff. “Fine.”
“Once more from the top and then you can try leading. Try imagining that you’re walking on water, or floating across clouds. It might help.”
Keith stepped into Lance’s hold. He was always standing so straight and tall. Poised. Elegant. He wondered if Lance ever lounged, or if he always stood with such perfect posture, like Shiro did thanks to years of dance training. He clutched at Lance’s arm as he felt the subtle push against his palm, the gentle pull by the hand at his back.
“And slow,” Lance said as he took a long sweeping stride, “quick quick. Slow, quick quick...”
It didn’t take Keith long to get the hang of the foxtrot. Lance’s firm leading coupled with the slower pace they danced made getting the steps right a somewhat easy task. Keith’s strides matched Lance’s for length as he grew more confident with the dance and although his posture was still a little lacklustre, Keith’s foxtrot wasn’t looking all that bad for someone who had only just learned the dance.
“Hey, you’ve got it,” Lance said with a smile when he noticed he hadn’t been counting for a number of measures.
“Yeah, I think so.” Keith smiled back. He paused for a moment before continuing. “You’re actually a decent teacher.”
“Why does this surprise you?” Lance scoffed. “You know I take the advanced classes! I have to be good.”
“Also decent enough to have Pidge suggest you do some extra classes with me at their place.”
Keith shrugged as best he could while dancing. Ever since Pidge had mentioned it, Keith couldn’t get scenario after scenario out of his head. Most of the time they were harmless little daydreams, the three of them dancing in Pidge’s apartment. Sometimes they’d be doing one of the dances Keith knew, other times they would be going over the choreography that Shiro and Allura had come up with. Though there had been one daydream...
“You know, I’m pretty sure Pidge was just shit-stirring when they said that.”
“Even if they were... would you want to?”
The question made Lance stop in his tracks. “Want to?”
“Uh, do extra lesson-things at Pidge’s place. I mean, assuming you’re not overworked with study and paid lessons...”
The smile that Lance gave him was bright, his eyes crinkling in the corners and sparkling with amusement. “I’d love to.”
Keith had messaged Pidge the moment he’d finished class and headed out into the parking lot. As he drove home, he could feel his phone buzzing in his pocket every few minutes. Keith dreaded the moment when he’d arrive home and unzip his pocket to look at the twenty or so messages in his notifications.
Pidge was waiting at his doorstep when he pulled into the drive way, so he didn’t even need to check his phone. Keith could tell almost instantly from the way they excitedly pushed away from the wall where they leaned and the gleam in their eye as he approached them that he was going to be ambushed.
“So!” they said devilishly. “You invited Lance over.”
“To your house. For practice.”
Pidge couldn’t help but clap with delight. “You still invited him over. Of your own accord. Without me there to press the issue!”
Keith heaved another sigh and Pidge practically cackled as Keith opened the door.
“Oh man! This could actually really work out for you though. I mean, I could conveniently be out when Lance is meant to arrive so you can then casually go ‘Oh, it’s weird that Pidge isn’t here...maybe we’ll just go to my place?’.”
“Oh!” They exclaimed, clicking their fingers as they kicked off their shoes. “Or I could lock my keys in the apartment. Lance doesn’t know you have a spare one, so we can just play it up.”
“Oooor, I could suddenly come down with a cold and can’t make it because I need to be quarantined and then you have no choice but to practice at your place because Lance did go out of his way to come over and you can’t waste his time like that.”
“Pidge!” Keith shouted with increasing alarm. “None of that. Nothing. We’re all going to practice at your place and you can laugh at how I stumble over my feet and how I refuse to let Lance lead properly.”
Pidge pouted. “You’re no fun...but you know I’m not going to dance a single step with you, right? And that I’m definitely going to tell Lance that we’re neighbours.”
They grinned and nudged Keith in the side. “And that the next lesson should definitely be at your house and that you should totally make us the Japchae you made for me the other week for dinner.”
Keith covered his face with his hands as Pidge prattled on.
“But then of course I'll remember that, I don't know, Matt is visiting and we're eating out so then it'll just be you and Lance and your delicious home-cooked meal."
Keith very much wanted to smother Pidge's mouth with his hands so they would shut the hell up.
"I’m the best wingperson ever and you don’t even know you have a crush yet.”
“What the hell, PIdge? I don’t have a crush.”
“Case in point. You’ll thank me later, I promise. So!” They said, reaching in to Keith’s fridge and taking out a can of soda from their special stash. “When’s Lance coming over?”
“Tomorrow after he finishes at the studio,” Keith answered reluctantly.
Keith swallowed heavily, trying not to think about what sort of things Pidge might try to get up to.
Lance fiddled nervously with the hem of his shirt as he approached Pidge’s apartment block. He could have driven his car, but that meant that he would arrive sooner and for some inexplicable reason Lance was nervous? Scared? Terrified out of his mind but sort of in a good way? He was kind of excited, he supposed, but the way that his stomach did somersaults with each step made him think that maybe he was coming down with something. Food poisoning perhaps? Though that couldn’t be it because the last thing he ate was a protein bar in between classes and he knew for a fact that the thing was well within its use by date. He almost jumped a foot in the air when his phone buzzed, too busy trying to figure out why he was so nervous about going to Pidge’s house.
Truthfully, Lance knew why, but he wasn’t quite ready to admit it to himself just yet.
Hey - just checking to see if you’re okay? You were meant to be here half an hour ago?
Yeah, I’m okay. Sorry. Be there in a couple of minutes.
He took a deep breath to try and calm himself down. Lance wanted to act normal. Or at least as normal as Lance ever acted. He didn’t want to be weird or stupid or, heaven forbid, a blushing mess. There was something different about the chance to dance with Keith outside of class.
Lance lifted a closed fist to the door and knocked three times. He took a half step backwards and waited.