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The Little Things

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It's the little things that Hunk picks up on.

He's always considered himself someone who’s good at detail. Being someone who works with and makes complex machinery, he notices when something is wrong. When something is... different.

And right now, there's definitely something different.

Ruffled hair, flushed cheeks, excuses that don't sound plausible -- but he ignores them, because the situation he imagines isn't very plausible either.

It's a Monday when he first notices.

(Or as close to Monday as he thinks it might be. Altean calendars are still a mystery to him.)

They're in the dining room for dinner. Everyone is there.

Everyone except Lance and Keith.

But that's not unusual, or anything. They always made their way in eventually, and it was never really a big deal.

But today, Keith arrives first.

He walks in quickly, running his fingers through his hair before tugging his jacket tighter around him, folding his arms across his chest and practically throwing himself into his chair. He avoids eye contact with everyone, looking nowhere but the table and cupping a hand around his neck awkwardly. Hunk watches, but says nothing.

Lance comes in three minutes later.

His hair is ruffled, his cheeks flushed. He's grinning from ear to ear, practically glowing, a nonstop ball of talking and energy and excitement that surpasses even his normal levels. His eyes slide in Keith's direction more than once. Every time they do, Keith’s ears grow a shade pinker.

Hunk watches, but says nothing.

He's probably imagining things anyway.


The next thing he notices is on a Wednesday.

They had just finished a mission. A successful one, at that. It hadn't taken them long, they hadn't needed to form Voltron, and it was the best they've felt in a long time.

It happens in the hangar.

Shiro is giving them a briefing as they walk, telling them ways they could improve or things that they did well. He, Pidge and Hunk walk together, Keith and Lance hang back.

“We could work on responding faster. I know that getting to the lions takes a bit of time, but maybe if we leave as soon as possible we can be out and moving quicker.”

“That’s true,” Pidge is saying, but Hunk is only half-listening. “Maybe we can ask Allura to run some drills for us-”

Hunk hears a laugh behind him, soft and comfortable and clearly attempting to be hidden. He turns.

Keith is stifling laughter behind a gloved hand, his cheeks pink and his eyes closed. He waves the other hand in Lance's direction, shoving him sideways and snorting a bit.

Lance is grinning, eyes shining as he watches Keith laugh, and he opens his mouth to say something before he catches Hunk looking. His smile falters a bit, but not in a bad way -- it's almost as if it falters enough to hide laughter of his own.

“What's up, buddy?”

He asks it as if it's the most casual thing in the world. Hunk shakes his head.

“Nothing. Just making sure you guys weren't lost or anything. You're moving pretty slow.”

Lance motions in Keith's direction. “It's all this guy. I think that last fight wore him out.”

“It did not!” Keith cries, and Lance only shrugs.

Hunk lets out a laugh, turning back to Shiro and Pidge.

As he turns, he swears he sees Lance’s hand reach for Keith’s.


It's Thursday, next.

Hunk is carrying a bucket of the Altean equivalent to popcorn and a water from the dining room. He walks into the living room, yawning a bit and shuffling in the direction of the couch. There's some movie Pidge has been recommending to him that he's been meaning to watch, and he finally has some time off to watch it.

He clears his throat, coughing a bit, and someone's head pokes out from behind the couch.

Lance scrambles, falling backward onto the cushion and throwing an arm over the back of the couch, hair sticking out in odd angles and breathing a bit harder than usual.

“Hunk! My dude! My main man. What's up? What is happenin’? What’cha up to to-NIGHT?”

It all comes out very forced, and very panicked. Hunk raises an eyebrow, stepping toward the couch hesitantly.

“Uh, I was gonna watch a movie...”

“NICE!” Lance cuts him off excitedly, shifting his weight so that his torso is hanging off of the back of the couch. “Movie. Nice. Sweet. A-ok. I'll watch it with you! I love that movie anyway!”

“I... didn't say which one I was watching.”

Lance waves a hand, making a “pffft” noise and rolling his eyes. “There's only one movie on this whole ship anyway I think so it doesn't matter! I'll tell you what. Go and grab me a drink and I'll set up the movie. Yeah?”

“Uh... okay?” Hunk turns, frowning in confusion, and makes his way back toward the kitchen.

As he's rummaging through the fridge for a drink for Lance, he sees Keith scurry behind him, attempting to dart from the living room without being seen.


They begin to take risks.

Hunk will catch Keith sneaking through the halls at night, most of the time coming from the direction of Lance's room.

They begin to lock the door of the training room, saying that “other people walking in is a distraction”.

Lance will hook his foot around Keith’s leg underneath the dinner table.

(Hunk finds this out after Lance mistakes his leg for Keith's, one night.)

They'll whisper as they walk together, laughing at jokes told in each others’ ears.

They get along better than they ever have.

(Hunk, at least, doesn't mind that part of whatever arrangement is going on.)

But every time he looks, there's a shift in the atmosphere before he can catch anything.

Hands move back a few inches, eyes break contact, laughter is cut off, bickering starts back up.

Something is different, but he isn't sure that he knows what it is.


On Friday Hunk can hear the two of them behind him as they walk to the control room, and he swears he hears something akin to a kiss, and Keith whispering.

“That’s 10-7, Cargo Pilot. Try catching up.”

When Hunk turns around Lance is bright red, and there's a foot of space between him and Keith.


The numbers change throughout the week. They begin to slip into casual conversation.

Lance will swoop in at dinner with a “13-12, Mullet.”

Keith will whisper behind them as they leave the hangar. “17-13.”

Lance will win an argument with “At least I'm at 18. What are you at, huh?”

(Keith's response is “25”.)

During a mission Hunk is pulled into Keith and Lance's feed by accident, and hears a “Listen, I'm just saying. I should get a prize when I hit 30.”

(Lance's response is “But you're at 29!”)

He has no idea what game they're playing, and he isn't sure he wants to know.


They're caught on a Sunday.

Hunk spills some goo as he's cooking. He had used all of the rags in the kitchen to clean the dishes, so he sighs and makes his way to the supply closet down the hall.

He opens the door to Lance’s screams.

At first he's not exactly sure why Lance screams. But then he notices Keith, flush against Lance in the confinement of the closet. He winces, since his ear is closest to Lance’s mouth, his hands half-way up the other boy’s shirt.

Lance screams again, practically shoving Keith out of the closet and attempting to smooth down his shirt.

“This isn't what it looks like!!”

Hunk raises an eyebrow, one hand still on the doorknob.

“Really? Because it looks like you two were making out.”

Lance raises a finger, opens his mouth to argue, and then closes it. He hums, shrugging and nodding his head.

“Alright. It's exactly what it looks like.” He steps out of the closet, smoothing out his hair and clapping Keith on the shoulder. “Well, Keith, looks like the game is over. I clearly am the winner here.”

Keith laughs. “Yeah, okay. I think 37-29 in my favor definitely means that I win.”

“Look, we could stand here and debate all day over who won, but we clearly have more urgent matters at hand here.” Lance breezes over Keith’s clear victory in whatever game they're playing, focusing on Hunk instead. “You can't tell anyone, okay?”

“Tell everyone what?” Hunk asks, motioning at the closet. “That you guys were doing it in a broom closet like a couple of horny high schoolers in a romantic comedy?”

“Okay first of all,” Lance says, as Keith talks over him with a “woah woah, hold on.”

“First of all, we were not ‘doing it’. Second of all, yes , please don't tell. Especially Shiro. He'll try and talk to us about it and that'll be weird.”

“What exactly is there to talk about?” Hunk asks, and Keith turns red as soon as Lance clears his throat awkwardly.

“We’re... a thing. Kind of. Mostly just making out in broom closets and sneaking kisses when no one is looking. So far I'm winning.”

“Again Lance, 37-29,” Keith snaps, and Lance ignores him again.

“Who is in the lead isn't important right now,” he says quickly. “What is important is that we don't wanna tell anyone yet because we aren't sure if we're even dating or anything. We don't wanna jinx it. Or have Shiro become a dad on us and try and talk about it.”

Hunk hums thoughtfully.

“Alright. I won't tell anyone.”

“Really?”

“Yeah,” he says, reaching past them to grab a mop. “But you should. Preferably soon. Just don't be gross and obvious about it and I won't care.”

Lance laughs, thumping Hunk on the back.

“Thanks dude.”

“Whatever,” he says, turning. “Congrats on the win, Keith.”

He hears Lance yell out in protest behind him as Keith laughs.

He rounds the corner just as he hears Lance cut off mid-sentence and Keith's voice carry behind him.

“That’s 38 now. You’re never gonna catch up.”