Klance High School!AU wherein Lance tries to pick Keith up (scientifically speaking)
How was all this supposed to work again?
Lance fiddled with the Bunsen burner, hoping he wouldn’t blow anything up in the process.
“You’re supposed to turn the gas on first, genius,” came a cranky voice to his left. His eyes flicked off to the side and he finally noticed his lab partner slinking into class late, hunched over and looking like he was trying to disappear behind the lab bench.
“You’re supposed to show up for class on time, genius,” Lance bit back. Well, they were off to a great start.
The mysterious lab partner had no retort to that, opting to scoff just loudly enough for only Lance to hear.
“Hey, fuck you, buddy–” Lance’s eyes finally landed on the guy sitting next to him, and holy fucking shit, he was pretty. Sure, he was scowling and he was giving off “stay the hell away from me” vibes like he had to supply enough for the entire universe, but his skin was like porcelain and his eyes were the most beautiful violet Lance had ever seen.
Lance hadn’t even realised he trailed off until a dark eyebrow arched upward in confusion. “Yeah?” the guy challenged.
Lance cleared his throat and got the Bunsen burner lit. “Well, would ya look at that? You lit my fire.” He waggled his eyebrows at his lab partner, whose expression grew increasingly puzzled.
“So, you come here often?” Lance tried to assume some kind of casual posture and only succeeded in almost igniting his elbow. He cleared his throat again and leaned a little closer to his lab partner, who was already attempting to ignore him and focus on following their lab instructions. He started mixing the solutions that needed to be heated.
“Uh, this is our first class, so…”
“Right. So uh, you must be a hypotonic solution.”
The dark-haired boy stared at him blankly, beakers poised motionless in his hands.
“‘Cause, y’know, you’ve just increased my turgor pressure,” he finished with a wink.
“Uh, I think we should focus on the lab here. We’re supposed to identify the anions based on–”
“Boy, don’t you worry, I’ll be keeping anion your fine behind!”
By now, there were some mildly interested twitters from their classmates, who clearly had nothing better to do than eavesdrop on the conversation. Lance could feel the way Hunk and Pidge failed at containing their snickers from halfway across the lab. Traitors. If only Garrett and Gunderson could’ve been closer to McClain in the alphabet, then maybe Lance could’ve had one of them for a lab partner and not this cute but prickly kid with bad hair and a nice face.
Who was totally not going for any of Lance’s advances…
“Uh, I… thought we were just gonna mix these solutions, get the reactions going, aim for an A and leave?”
Lance waved a flippant hand in the guy’s direction.
“Sure, babe, but I think you’ve already got some reactions going in my–”
“LANCE!” Shiro warned with a harsh note of exasperation from the bench behind them. Oh, right, Shiro was their upper year student tutor for the class, and he was sitting right there supervising them all while their chemistry teacher popped out of the room to replace… stuff.
“Relax, Shiro, I’m just making friends! See, this guy–”
“See, Keith and I–wait, your name is Keith? What kind of name is that?”
His lab partner crossed his arms defensively and frowned, curling into himself and looking like he regretted supplying his name in the first place. “I don’t know, it’s not like I picked it.”
“Fair enough. Anyway, Keith and I are just science bros. You know, we get some chemistry going on, then I invite him over later to do some hardcore physics with our biology–”
Shiro opened his mouth, probably to reprimand Lance again, but they both froze at the sound filling the room. It was laughter, kind of rough and perhaps unused, but melodic and lovely all the same.
Keith was laughing.
Lance did that. He couldn’t help puffing up a little at the thought.
“Oh my God, you… I can’t believe…” Keith gasped out between guffaws. Lance winked at him.
“It’s okay to be breathless, I have that effect on people.”
Keith swatted at his arm but stopped himself short of actually making contact. “You’re such a moron!” he cried, but he was still laughing and his eyes were watering a little, drops of moisture catching the light on his long, dark eyelashes. Lance’s heart rate picked up more than he’d like to admit.
“Now can I be your derivative so I can lie tangent to your curves?”
Keith rolled his eyes but he was still smiling as he poured another carefully-measured reagent into their test tube over the Bunsen burner.
“Maybe you should consider being co-linear so you can just touch me all over?”
If Lance had anything in his mouth, he would have had an incredibly unfortunate spit-take. As it was, Shiro looked positively scandalized and it made a wicked sense of glee rise up in Lance’s chest.
“So after school today, I think we have a lot of bonding to do, don’t you?”
Keith looked away coyly but Lance could see the colour staining his cheeks. His already inflated ego was blooming at the sight.
Pidge and Hunk could be heard groaning from their lab bench. Pidge was staring at their precipitate as if contemplating drinking the nasty chemical sludge to spare her Lance’s antics. Hunk was rubbing patient, soothing circles on her back.
Shiro finally barked out, “McClain, Kogane! Detention this afternoon. DO NOT show up together, and keep your damn hands to yourselves!”
I freaking loved high school science. Math I was not as fond of, but I still enjoyed some classic calculus humour. I imagine that Keith would probably not be super warm on initial meetings but he’d crack under Lance’s antics (I mean, who wouldn’t? He’d be the cutest class clown) sooner or later. Maybe it doesn’t seem 100% in character, but that’s the beauty of an AU–we get to explore characterization in settings that allow the same character to follow a different path and perhaps the influences from their environment can really shape their final character development and relationships with other people.
Lance is the cutest nerd. He may not get the highest marks, but what matters is how much he engages with stuff and how much fun he has with it. <3
Happy Lance Month!