— “I’m not sure if this is for love or old friendships or new friendships” by Claire Luisa
So this is what Keith’s life has come to.
Guests from every corner of the universe seem to be gathered for the day’s celebration. Each is dressed lavishly in the traditional attire of their people, creating a stunning spectacle of rich cloth, dangling jewels, and enchanting body art, like thousands of dancing canvases.
As a prince, Lance is dressed like royalty. Allura managed to find an old suit of her father’s on board the ship. Thankfully, the Altean style is similar to that of the Vruan’s. The suit material glimmers a dazzling baby blue under the light of the levitating chandelier overhead. Lance wears a white button-down beneath his suit jacket with the top two buttons undone. Blue swirls adorn his collarbone, as well as his shoulders, hidden for now. Tiny white and blue dots stretch the length of both eyebrows, and the makeup Allura chose makes his eyes stand out even more than usual. Turquoise gems adorn the rings on his fingers and dangle from fragile silver chains on his ears.
As much as Keith hates to admit it, Allura and Coran did an amazing job. Lance certainly has an ethereal, royal air about him.
Which is great for the mission but terrible for Keith’s sanity.
Every few minutes, while they make their way through the crowd, Keith convinces himself everything is fine. Then, he stares at Lance for a second too long and the allusion is shattered. Lance is easily one of the most beautiful people in attendance. It’s almost impossible to ignore the whole crush thing when said crush practically looks like an otherworldly being, like a fucking god or goddess or something.
Keith, on the other hand, feels… out of place.
The prince’s escort is not allowed to dress more extravagantly than the prince himself. His suit clings comfortably to his figure, and the black color with red accents certainly complements Lance’s outfit. A silver chain hangs around his neck with a small charm, adorned with the Vruan crest. The ring on his right hand matches one of Lance’s, boasting a sizable ruby. In the Vruan culture, a matching set represents the bond between the prince and his escort.
“Like wedding rings,” Pidge was all too happy to point out when Coran presented the rings to them.
At the moment, Lance is chatting up two lanky aliens. Keith doesn’t recognize them, but the tiny gold crowns on both of their heads are explanation enough.
“Of course, of course,” Lance answers with a little chuckle. “Thank you for your time.” He bows to both in turn and then grabs Keith’s hand. Even through his gloves, Keith senses the faint trembling of Lance’s fingers. He’s nervous?
Keith lets Lance drag him toward the center of the dancefloor. There’s a lull in the music and most guests have cleared the area. Once they reach a spot far from any potential eavesdroppers, Lance stops and fixes his attention on Keith.
“None of these people know where that stupid Galran prince is,” Lance hisses, lowering his voice. “Hell, the first few couples I talked to didn’t even know the dude was alive.”
Before Keith can answer, the band picks up where it left off. But, this time, the music has a more pleasant, slow melody. Keith curses softly under his breath. Of course the next song starts right as he and Lance reach the center of the dancefloor. They need to move and fast.
But Lance doesn’t seem to be on the same wavelength.
Far too gracefully, he wraps an arm around Keith’s waist and draws him closer. Keith is too busy having a minor heart attack, what the fuck, to stop Lance from intertwining their fingers and lifting their clasped hands. Unsure of what to do, Keith lets his other arm hang awkwardly at his side. “Uh—Lance?”
“Put your other hand on my shoulder,” Lance whispers. “Get rid of that noodle arm right now.”
“But… what… are we dancing?”
“Not yet, but we’re about to be.”
Keith reluctantly obeys Lance’s instructions. His gloves feel far more constricting than before, and, yep, here comes the sweat. He silently hopes there aren’t pit stains on his suit. And if he starts to smell, too, that’ll be the end of him. No more Keith Kogane.
Lance slowly begins to spin. Completely out of his element, Keith blindly follows. Or at least attempts to.
“You’ve never danced before, have you?” Lance prompts.
“Right. That explains why you’ve stepped on my feet, like, four times now. Even though you’re looking down like a weirdo.” Lance scoffs and shakes his head. The light catches the jewels on his earrings as they swing. “You really never went to any of the Garrison dances?”
“Seriously? Of course not,” Keith huffs.
“Alright, geez, calm down. I should’ve known.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“You look way too good in that suit to be giving me such an awful headache,” Lance whines.
He thinks I look good. Keith feels his heart crawl up his throat. That had to be a joke.
“And you look way too good to be giving me shit right now,” Keith quips. Two can play at this game. “But here we are.”
“You think… I look good?”
Keith considers tearing out his own tongue. Maybe it’ll keep him from saying embarrassing things for the rest of the evening. “I mean, Allura and Coran did a good job of making you look like a prince.” Smooth.
“I guess they did,” Lance mutters. He almost sounds… disappointed. “Now, to avoid blowing our cover, please just follow my lead. Okay?”
“Okay.” Keith can’t bring himself to protest. Lance makes a good point. A prince and escort would definitely know how to dance.
Lance resumes turning, carefully guiding Keith along. Other couples smile fondly whenever they pass on the dancefloor. To his delight, by the tenth or so turn, Keith quits stepping on Lance’s feet. They develop a comfortable rhythm, each footfall in time with the beat of the song. As the musicians continue to strum their instruments on stage, Keith takes a second to close his eyes. The melody really is beautiful.
The longer they dance, the closer they seem to get. Keith isn’t sure who’s responsible, but he likes to think they’re both at fault.
Keith inhales Lance, savors the body heat and comfort of being so close without the worry of what others might think. That’s the beauty of disguises. For a time, no matter how brief, you’re someone else. You can do just about anything under the guise of staying in-character.
At least that’s the excuse you can use if someone later questions your actions.
This moment feels fragile to Keith. It’s almost as if he and Lance are an actual couple, dancing together at a party. Keith wonders what it would be like to travel the universe like this. Lance at his side, a steady presence, a constant.
Keith lets himself be a bit selfish. He leans his forehead against Lance’s and breathes. His heart beats a frantic staccato in his chest, but he doesn’t pull away.
isn't it just incredible that marvel wrote two characters from the 1940s to be openly bisexual? that both steve rogers and peggy carter would not only be in a romantic relationship together, but go on to be in specified and explored relationships with people of the same gender? wow it is just so cool. so revolutionary. the bi dream team.