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(The) Garrison University

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     Lance woke up with the worst headache known to man. He doesn’t remember much of last night, after striking out with everyone he drank a lot more than he should’ve. Everything was a blur and all he knows now is that he wanted a large order of croquetas to fix the hole called “hunger” in his stomach. But, since he was at the Garrison, whatever they were serving for brunch would have to do.

     Lazily, he rolled over to check his phone, seeing that it was on 50% from whenever he got to charge it last night, and that it was still early enough for brunch. He slid out of bed, only to be greeted by a Hunk who was already dressed at ready to go.

     “How long have you been waiting for me?” Lance said, yawning.

     “About an hour. I picked out your clothes, because I am starving, and we gotta go.” There was a sense of urgency in his voice, but that was mostly because food was involved. If there was a chance to eat, Hunk would never miss it. And would kill him if he made him miss it.

     “Alright, alright.” Hunk picked out a black shirt and khaki shorts, with tan slippers. Not the most creative outfit he has, but since he was on a time constraint, he’d take it. After he brushed his teeth, he changed, put on some of his cologne; Hunk groaned; and grabbed whatever he needed, shoving it into his pocket.

     Hunk had the door open, and they left through it, Lance locking the door.

     “Hey, do you know what I was doing last night?” Lance said as he knocked on Pidge’s door.

     His friend shrugged. “I dunno man, I spent all my time talking to Shay, up until Pidge grabbed me and said it was time to go.”

     “Why did-” he was interrupted when a very disgruntled Pidge opened the door. Obviously, Pidge was just sleeping, not happy at all to being woken up by the person who cause them to have such a hectic night.

     “Can I help you?”

     “Pidge. Brunch. C’mon.” Hunk said, whining a bit.

     “Okay, give me five minutes.” Lance and Hunk were about to walk in, having no boundaries whatsoever, when Pidge stopped them. “Alone, please.”

     Shrugging, they went back out as the third started getting ready. “So, Shay huh? Is that the name of the girl you were talking to all night?” Lance raised his eyebrow suggestively, smirking. He was happy for his friend, for once not focused on school or food.

     Hunk’s cheeks were turning red. “Well, yeah. She’s really cool, goes to Balmara College, studying Environmental Science.” He couldn’t help but ramble, the girl he met last night being the only thing that’s been on his mind. They even texted throughout the entire night, Hunk making sure she got back safe before falling asleep. He wasn’t really looking for anything, however, since school was about to start and he really needed to make sure that he didn’t slip up, so he braced himself for the barrage of questions Lance was about to throw at him about this new girl.

     That's when Pidge stepped out and he silently thanked god as they locked their door. “Ready?” They gave a nod in return.

 

     The line to get into the cafeteria was surprisingly short, everyone still probably hungover from last night’s events. They filter in, Hunk excited to try out their brunch menu; he and Lance skipped yesterday morning to sleep in. Lance grabs as many pancakes as they allow him to, and Pidge opts for some nachos, breakfast wasn’t their favorite anyways. Hunk comes back to their table with at least four plates covered in different breakfast and lunch foods, sauces, ranging in colors and sizes. He already has a spoon in his mouth, and his face is covered in pure bliss. Setting the plates down with such accuracy, he side-eyed Pidge for just getting nachos when there was such a beautiful array of foods available to them.

     “Guys. Guys . There is so much friggin food here, I think I’m in heaven. I think I actually died last night and went to heaven.” It looked like Hunk was about to cry from pure, unadulterated joy.

     “I’m only interested in pancakes, gourmand. Besides, anything you’ll make is definitely going to be better.” Lance lazily shoved pancakes into his mouth, knowing he has to eat, but his headache being so awful he just wanted to spend the entire day in the room, in the dark.

     “That’s not the only thing you’re interested in.” Pidge muttered as they sipped their drink, hiding their sly grin.

     “What?” Hunk said between bites.

     There was a devilish glint in Pidge’s eyes now. “You didn’t see lover boy last night?” Hunk shook his head.

     “I don’t need to be reminded about how I struck out last night, Pidge.” The boy was sending daggers to the smaller one, hoping that they’d be quiet.

     “I’m not reminding you, I’m simply telling Hunk, and you just happen to be here.” They shrugged. “Anyway, as I was saying, Lance found himself flirting with the very person who dropped out, allowing him into the program.”

     Lance perked up. “How do you know that?”

     “Because I do.” In reality, Pidge hacked into the admissions database to change a couple of things around and decided to sort through the files. It was easier than it looked, but they kept on changing the interface to try to deter them. It worked, but only after they got the information they wanted but didn’t necessarily need.

     He scoffed. “I didn’t need him anyway. Him and his awful mullet, and disgustingly beautiful face...” He trailed off, getting red in the face. Still very bitter about the rejection, he angrily shoveled more pancakes into his face.

     “Yeah, he gave Lance his first name and an email that said ‘fuck off’, so it obviously went on a good start.” Pidge finished their drink. “But that’s Kogane for you. His profile said he was aloof, but very intelligent and promising, if that could make up for how spontaneous and reckless he is.”

     Hunk was eating all of this up, amused that Lance was so bothered by the boy. At least he wouldn’t be asked about Shay for a while, and he was free to eat his food in peace, this day at least. “It happens to the best of us, dude. But it’s okay, the school year is about to start, and there are plenty more parties and people to meet!”

     “I know, I know. But I didn’t think I’d fail that badly.” Lance groaned.

     “You weren’t exactly popular with the ladies back home.” Hunk pointed out, which caused Pidge to snicker in the background.

     “But this is a new beginning! I can be anything I want to be, although, who would want to be anything but this handsome?” A dazzling grin was shot at both of them, Hunk rolling his eyes while Pidge pretended to vomit.

     “Is humble a word in your vocabulary?” Pidge questioned.

     “I think in the countless years I’ve known him, I’ve never heard him use it, so I’m guessing that’s a no.” Hunk replied, finishing his last plate. “That was exactly what I needed.” His satisfaction evident as he reclined into the chair, smiling.

     Lance glared at the both of them as he picked up his empty plate and glass, and walked over to the dish disposal. Coming back up, hands stick from the syrup, he noticed one of the most beautiful people he has ever laid his eyes on. Her hair was a light silver, her eyes a clear, bright blue, even brighter in contrast with her dark skin. He turned on his swagger, walking up to her with confidence only he’d have.

     “Excuse me, miss?” She turned to face him, his face getting slightly flushed. “I didn’t know they let criminals on campus.”

     She raised her eyebrow. “What do you mean by that?” Her posh accent accentuated her words, and it was hard for him to keep his cool. He had a thing for accents.

     “Your beauty is killer.” He goes to move his hair back, but the remaining syrup on his hand made it awkward, his hair sticking to his hand and giving a fight when he tried to remove it.

     She laughed at his awkwardness as she picked up her books, entertained. “Nice try.” With that she walked away, shaking her head at his over-zealous nature. She’s going to tell Shiro about this because little boy blue had to be the Lance character he mentioned earlier. There is no way the Garrison would let two boys on campus like that, much less one.

     Pidge and Hunk witnessed the entire thing as they went to dispose of their dirty dishes, silently chuckling at their hopeless friend.

     Lance shot them a glare. “Hey! At least I’m putting myself out there! And it wasn’t a flat out rejection, and I got her to laugh!” Both of his friends rolled their eyes at him.

     “You were hitting on Allura, a graduate student who is an undergrad TA. Have fun with that when you see her in class.” Pidge said. They knew Allura through Matt. She is one of the sweetest people they have ever met, and she can hold her own against the majority male population of this school.

     “I have a thing for older women.” He said, flashing another smile. Hunk groaned in the distance. He still can’t believe they're both going to college together, and he’s still with his womanizing, obnoxious flirting ways.

     “You have a thing for anything that’s attractive.” Pidge retorted.

     “I can’t help it if I find beauty in everything!” He got defensive. He was just naturally flirtatious, that was all.

     “You found beauty in a mullet.”

     “Wait- who had a mullet?” Hunk interjected as they were leaving the dining hall.

     “Keith.” Pidge said before Lance could open his mouth.

     “His face was still beautiful, mullets can be cut.” He defended himself.

 

     When they got outside, Lance immediately started to bask in the warmth. The dining hall was unusually cold, and he was grateful for heat without too much humidity. Pidge was starting to sweat, but they didn’t seem too bothered by it. Hunk was on his phone, and Lance got a devilish grin on his face.

     “So, talking to Shay again?” He said, teasingly.

     “Yes, just making sure she’s okay.” Hunk was too distracted to give Lance the reply he wanted.

     “When are you going to bring her home to meet the family?” Lance wrapped an arm around Pidge’s shoulder, bringing them in closer.

     “Uh…” Hunk looked up from his phone, seeing Pidge trapped under Lance’s arm. “As soon as you let go of Pidge, and leave me alone about it. She’s just a friend, dude.” Lance let Pidge go, satisfied with the answer. They continued walking some and were almost back at their dorm when Pidge saw some red in the corner of their eye.

     “Gimme a moment, guys.” They said, and walked off to go meet their friend. Lance and Hunk just shrugged. They didn’t know them too well, but they figured that Pidge just liked solitude more than they did.

     “Hey Keith, long time no see,” Pidge said, reaching out a hand to their friend. They grew up around each other and went through a lot together, but recently Keith went off the radar. Which was part of the reason why Pidge hacked the admissions system in the first place.

     There was a glint of excitement in the guy’s eyes. “Pidge!” He said a small grin on his face as he shook hands with his long-time friend. And was exactly the person he wanted to see. “I have some questions for you about something…” He was pulling something out of the sack on his back.

     “Nice to see you too.” There was hints of sarcasm in their reply. “And normally I’d love too, you know how much I love examining the weird stuff you find, but I’m with a couple of friends.” Pidge pointed to the duo standing around in the background, talking.

     Keith squinted. “Don’t I know the tall one?” It was racking his brain trying to figure out from where.

     “You mean Lance? Yeah, he hit on you at the party we went to last night. You gave him your usual fake email.” They snorted.

     “Wait, you were there?” Keith was confused, not remembering them being there.

     “Yeah, you slipped out before I could say hi, but I figured I’d run into you soon enough since that meant you were in the area.” They shrugged. “Do you mind me giving your number to Lance? He won’t shut up about you.”

     This brought red to the raven haired boy’s face. “Yeah, I don’t mind.” Keith was preoccupied that night, looking for someone, so he wasn’t keen on any distractions. The tall, brown boy was attractive, but he just struck him at the wrong time.

     “Really?” Pidge didn’t expect that answer but really didn’t expect the look on his friend’s face. Keith was awkward, no doubt about that, but he wasn’t really one for dealing with relationships.

     “Yeah. Actually…” Keith fumbled around in his pockets, knowing he had all sorts of junk in there. He pulled out an old receipt and a black pen, and wrote his name and number down, trying to keep his cool in front of the ever scrupulous Pidge.

     Pidge wasn’t believing their eyes, but they were happy. When Keith handed them the piece of paper, they grinned wide. “I’m proud of you, y’know. Maybe he’ll talk you out of your mullet the next time you go to a barber.”

     “What's wrong with my hair?” Keith said, toying with the ends of it. His voice was filled with genuine confusion.

     Laughing, Pidge started to walk away. “Nothing, since it isn’t a deterrent.” They stopped and turned around, asking a question they already knew the answer to. “Are you still bumming with Shiro and Matt?”

     “Yes.” Keith sighed. His living situation was rough, but he was happy his cousin could pull through. “And Allura, since she’s starting to come around more.”

     That insidious grin of Pidge’s returned, now coupled with a glint in their eye. “Really? Anyway, I gotta go back to these two. It was nice talking to you, Keith! And text me whenever you want, I’m always free to examine things with you.”

     Keith stared at the honey blonde as they walked away, not really sure what he was getting himself into. His heart was still pounding from giving Pidge his number, unsure of what was going to happen next.

 

     “Here you go!” Pidge said, giving Lance the old receipt. Lance took it tentatively from Pidge’s hands, and stared at it, examining it.

     “You got me his number?!” Lance said, sort of surprised. He didn’t notice who Pidge was talking to since he was too wrapped up in conversation with Hunk, they were debating on which movie to watch Moana or Anastasia when they got back to their dorm.

     “Yeah! Keith and I go back.” They shrugged. “He’s the one who wanted to write it down to give it to you.”

     “Oh my god. Hunk has never been this good of a wingman!” There was a protesting ‘hey!’ in the background, coming from Hunk who was furiously typing away on his phone.

     “You’re welcome. Now, if you two excuse me, I have some stuff I have to sort through before classes.”

 

     They bid their goodbyes, and Lance and Hunk went to their dorm, Lance flopping down onto his stomach on the bed. In one hand he had his phone, in the other, Keith’s number. His face was flushed as he entered the number in the contact he failed to delete.

     “Do I text him now or later?” He mused aloud.

     “Now.” Hunk replied as he was organizing his desk.

     “What do I say?”

     “Hi is good. Or Hey. Ooorrrr, Hi my name is Lance and I’d love to have mulleted babies with you.” That earned Hunk a pillow to the head, which only got flung back at the boy two fold.

     “You’re no help.”

 

     He stared at his phone for another minute, then decided he was going to text him.

 

     [ME]

          Hey! It’s Lance.

 

     He immediately turned the phone over and buried his face in his striped pillow. It wasn’t long before he got a response.

 

     [MULLET BOY KEITH]

          Hi…

 

     His heart fluttered a bit, although his nickname for him in the phone wasn’t too kind. He wondered what this would lead to, he wasn’t sure of what he wanted, let alone Keith. But Pidge had gotten his number for him, so he couldn’t let that go to waste.

 

     [ME]

          It’s Keith, right? :)

 

     Lance felt dumb adding the emoji, but he thought it would make him look more approachable.

 

     [MULLET BOY KEITH]

          I wrote that on the paper, didn’t I?

 

     Oh god. Conversation was going nowhere fast. This guy was dry to the bone, this was going to take a while for him to warm up. He was thinking of a witty response when he saw the other reply.

 

     [MULLET BOY KEITH]

          I don’t mean to be rude, but I have to do something right now. We can talk later.

 

     He gave himself an out, and Lance started to freak out. He said one thing! Was it so dumb that Keith thinks him stupid? Why does he want to cut conversation so fast?

 

     [MULLET BOY KEITH]

          :)

 

     “SMILEY FACE!” Lance was happy.

 

     [ME]

          ;)

 

     And in his joy, sent a winky face instead. He was typing fast and his hands were shaking, so he didn’t do it on purpose, and didn’t catch his mistake at all. Little did he know that Pidge coerced Keith to send the smiley face just to seem less awkward. More so, now Keith is freaking out over the winky face, texting Pidge in distress.

     Pidge, during all of this, is laughing.