Disclaimer: I do not own Voltron or any of its characters. I don't have that much money.
People Will Say (We're in Love)
"Thank you for your continued support." Lance struggled to keep the smile on his face as the Oozorian shook his hand. He heard Keith snickering right next to him and wished he could snap at him to keep quiet. Keith was probably celebrating that he wasn't the one getting his hand shaken. Oozorians were a kind people but quite frankly, Lance was glad for the first time that evening that they had to wear their armor to this party and he was therefore wearing gloves to keep the slime off.
"Of course, Blue Paladin." The Oozorian squelched. "Oh, and," xe gestured between him and Keith, "congratulations on your joining."
Lance flushed. "Wait, we - I - " Before he could form a proper protest, the Oozorian had wriggled away.
"Smooth." Keith chuckled, but when Lance turned to throw him a flat look, he could see the red on Keith's own cheeks.
Lance sighed. It was another party for the Coalition, meant to help foster connections between the member planets. Lance had been voluntold into Keith duty, because while Keith was generally okay at these types of things, if he got agitated or caught up in some mental problem then he could potentially be rude to the guests and start an intergalactic incident. Again.
Lance didn't mind too much, but it seemed like he was always the one who ended up with Keith. And it seemed that some of the diplomats made assumptions based on that fact.
He hadn't been the only one to notice it.
"Why does everyone seem to think we're together?" Keith's face scrunched up slightly as he voiced his question.
"Hmm?" After thoroughly cleaning off his hands, Lance lead the way over to the food table. There was nothing like Hunk's supervised cooking to help get over diplomatic niceties.
"No, seriously." Keith frowned and crossed his arms over his chest. "Why do they insist on us being together? Don't they have better things to do than gossip?"
"Don't let Hunk or Allura hear you say that." Lance filled up a plate with several tasty looking items and offered it to Keith as they walked to the edges of the crowded ballroom. His free hand snagged Keith's arm to ensure they wouldn't get separated as they slipped between the diplomats. "Or worse, the mice."
Hunk and Allura frequently met up to exchange all the latest gossip within and about the castle. And the mice were little snitches. Lance had learned that the hard way. He was not going to confide in them again. Luckily, Kaltenecker had his back; she'd never betray him. And Keith's space wolf also had a compassionate ear as well, as long as you gave sufficient pets.
Keith sighed, but he willingly took some of the food off Lance's plate. "I guess I just don't get it."
"Well, obviously it's your fault." Lance pointed out as they exited the room onto one of the balconies overlooking a gorgeous garden, flowers seeming to glow underneath the planet's triple moons. The surreal beauty was only amplified by the soft music drifting from the open doors. It was only when they decided to stop and lean against the balcony to eat and gaze at the gardens that he let go of Keith.
"What?" Keith shot him an incredulous look and paused from grabbing some food for a second. His brow furrowed. "My fault? What do you mean?"
Lance chuckled a bit at the way that Keith's voice cracked a bit. "Jeez, cool your jets." He couldn't help but smile as Keith settled into a slight pout, refusing to look at him. "Look, if it bothers you so much then you should really stop doing things that make people think you're into me."
Keith finally gazed back at him and raised an eyebrow. "Like what?"
"Well, for starters, you could stop giving me little gifts that you picked up whenever you go out on a mission by yourself." Keith scowled at him, so Lance continued with a grin, "And you could stop laughing at my jokes when everyone else just groans."
"I don't laugh at your jokes." Keith muttered, but Lance had seen him. Sure, it may not be a full laugh and it wasn't every time, but Lance had seen Keith give him a fond look or a huff of laughter when he tried to lighten the mood.
"Also, you could stop gazing at me out of the blue." Lance snagged the final morsel from the plate from under Keith's fingers and popped it in his mouth with a grin. "I mean, I know I'm pretty amazing, but it could get you killed."
Keith spluttered a bit, his face turning red. "I don't - I don't just gaze at you!" He protested.
It was Lance's turn to raise an eyebrow at him. While for the most part he didn't have a problem with Keith staring at him, usually with a surprisingly fond look on his face, it did occasionally become a problem. There were several instances where Keith had done it in the middle of battle, generally after Lance made a really good shot or most notably when he used his sword in front of Keith for the first time. Keith gaping at him was flattering and all, but it wasn't worth Keith accidentally getting sliced, diced, or shot.
"And you're always taking my stuff, too." Lance decided to move on before Keith's face exploded. He really was turning an alarming shade of red. "Don't think I didn't notice that you were the one stealing my jacket."
Keith quickly went back to normal at the change of topic, but now he reared back a bit in indignation. "I couldn't fit in my own jacket and it was cold!"
"First of all, your jacket wasn't all that warm in the first place. It's way too short." Lance pointed out as he wandered back to the open balcony door and handed his empty plate to a passing waiter with a smile and quick thanks. "Second of all," he turned back and joined Keith again, "I already fixed your jacket for you with my awesome sewing skills." He wasn't called the Tailor for nothing.
Lance was proud that Keith actually couldn't protest that. Instead, Keith had crossed his arms and gone into slightly brooding mode.
"So, like I said," Lance concluded with a smirk, coming up beside Keith and leaning against the balcony, "it's easy to see why people would suspect and say we're - "
"You say that as if you're not to blame as much as I am." Keith interjected, blinking as if coming to a realization and a knowing expression crossing his face.
Lance blinked at him. "Uh, no, I'm not." He was pretty sure this was all Keith's fault; after all, he'd always been pretty adamant about pushing the rivalry and brother-in-arms angles.
"Oh, really?" Keith smirked as he inched a bit closer. "So you didn't even notice that half of the things you grabbed at the food table were things that only I would like to eat."
Lance stared at him blankly and thought back to what he'd gotten. Now that he mentioned it…
"It's called being helpful." He tried brushing it off. "You hate grabbing your own plate and having to carry it around."
"Hmmm." Keith was far too smug. "Maybe. But maybe you should take your own advice. There's some things you should stop doing unless you want people to keep making assumptions about us."
"You're the one who seemed bothered by it." Lance muttered mostly to himself. Sure, it startled him whenever someone brought it up, but he didn't mind too much. Still, Keith just kept right on going.
"You should probably stop praising me behind my back to other people."
Keith's words caused a spaceship crash in Lance's brain. If Lance had been drinking he would have spat it out.
"What?!" He straightened up and almost screeched. "I don't - I - When have I ever done that?"
Okay, so there had been that one time with Laika when he'd talked about how cool Keith was. And those aliens on planets they'd saved that seemed to look down on Keith for being half Galra that he had to set right. And a few Blade of Marmora members that he'd chatted with about Keith. And those fans who'd asked what had happened to their original Keith in the shows. And several members of Coalition planets here and there. And the mice and Kaltenecker and…and...
But it wasn't like he'd done it too often!
And he'd most definitely never done it to Keith's face! Except on the few occasions when he had been surprisingly insecure!
"And," Keith leaned closer, getting in Lance's space, "you could stop paying extra close attention to how you look when you're with me."
Lance snorted at that, crossing his arms. "I always look good, so no worries there. And besides, I always check my appearance because the universe deserves me looking my best. It's for everyone's sake, not yours."
"Uh-huh." How rude, Keith didn't seem to believe him. "Then explain why you're always grabbing my arm or hand."
"Well, some of us actually like physical contact that doesn't involve fighting! I keep all my friends close, not just you." Lance argued. "Besides, if I don't keep a hold on you, you either wander off and get lost or you jump into things without thinking it through."
Keith may have gotten a lot better about looking before he leaped since they started, but the bad habit did persist. Lance worried over everyone enough as it was, he didn't need Keith nearly getting himself killed by following his impulses without thinking on top of it.
Lance sighed and pushed off the balcony before he turned back towards the ballroom. "Jeez, the others are probably looking for us. We should probably - "
"You also shouldn't dance all night with me."
Lance rolled his eyes at Keith's interruption. "That's a load of bologna. You hate dancing. Usually, I'm the one who has to drag - "
Keith's hand latched on to his as he tried to leave and used his momentum to swing him around and into his arms. Lance felt the breath leave his lungs as he found himself eye to eye with Keith. They were pretty much the same height now, with Lance clinging on to his quarter of an inch advantage, meaning that they were now, literally, neck and neck.
When not on Earth did Keith get so smooth?
Keith's arms were wrapped around him and he sort of led them to sway a bit in time to the music still coming from the ballroom. Lance followed stiffly for a moment before rolling his eyes again and placing his own hands on Keith's shoulders like how he remembered dancing back in middle school.
"I thought you hated dancing." Admittedly, this wasn't really dancing. Not like the ballroom type stuff he and his sister would do all around the house when he joined first her, and then later his niece, for lessons.
"It's alright if it's you." Keith said honestly, like he always did, though his eyes had drifted down to their feet. Lance really hoped that the heat on his face wasn't as obvious as he felt it was.
"I…" Lance dropped his voice down lower, even as he pulled Keith closer, relishing at the contact. "I thought you were the one who said that we should keep things on the downlow. There's an entire ballroom of people right there."
Keith was the one who had said that they had to put the mission before their feelings. Keith was the one who had said that they should wait to even tell the others about their budding relationship. If Lance had had his way, they wouldn't be keeping any secrets about this. It's not like their enemies wouldn't be trying to take advantage of the fact that they're friends anyway, so it wouldn't matter if they were something more.
"Besides," Lance continued, "we were literally just talking about how we're obviously slipping with our cover." Seriously, they were obviously not keeping things as secret as they possibly could if everyone and their grandmother kept commenting about them being a couple. Though admittedly, some of that stuff they'd both mentioned was from before they were even dating…
Keith hummed and kept up the juvenile swaying, still gazing at their feet despite them not moving much. "I don't mind."
Lance blinked. "What?"
Keith slowly looked back up and met his eyes, and Lance could see the red gathering in his cheeks. "I don't mind if they see."
Lance's heart pounded in chest, a staccato beat that didn't match the music. "Really?" He whispered, because it seemed like too much to hope for.
Keith smiled. "Really."
He leaned forward and Lance met him halfway with a kiss. It wasn't the first time they had kissed, but before it had been only in their bedrooms or Lions, or a few quick ones when they were sure that they were alone. This one felt like they were out in the open in more ways than one. Somehow Lance felt lighter than air and grounded all at the same moment.
Given the setting and atmosphere, if Lance didn't know better, he would have said that Keith had actually planned on being romantic.
They both drew back, and Lance was glad to see that Keith had a giddy smile that matched his own. Lance leaned back in to kiss Keith again.
"Hey, dudes! There you are! I - " Hunk stepped out on to the balcony with a wave, but he froze as he took in the sight before him. Keith and Lance stared right back at him, kissing completely forgotten.
They all hung in limbo for a second, no one daring to move an inch.
Then Hunk let out a girl-like squeal, and it was clear that he was trying to suppress a smile. "Sorry for interrupting! Bye!" And then he left as abruptly as he came, disappearing into the whirls of the ballroom.
All the tension drained from Lance's body, and he groaned as he set his forehead on Keith's shoulder. His face felt like it was burning. Keith let out a semi-hysterical chuckle as he relaxed as well and Lance found himself joining him. "Well," Lance surmised, "now people will definitely say that we're in love."
Keith's hand curled around his jaw and gently tilted his face up to meet his gaze. Keith's face was as red as his, but his eyes were sparkling and his smile was sincere. Lance melted under it all, his nerves steadying, and he smiled at him in return.
"Let them." Keith whispered, and he came forward to kiss Lance. Lance eagerly reciprocated, his eyes falling shut in bliss.
Unlike Keith, he'd been alright with it ever since he had come to terms with his feelings and discovered that Keith felt the same way. He'd only kept it secret because Keith had asked him to. But now…
Let them all say they're in love.
After all, it was true.
AN: You thought that this was oblivious pining pre-Klance, but no, it's actually secretly-dating-and-trying-(failing)-to-keep-it-hidden Klance. Though you may notice that some of the things they mention are things that have happened in canon, so this has the double meaning of showing that they're in love (in this story) and why shippers can see the potential there. I was just listening to this song while having my iTunes on random months ago and thought that the song People Will Say We're in Love really suited Lance and Keith, but it's only now that I've gotten around to writing it and I took my cues from the song. Though admittedly, The Farmer and the Cowmen from Oklahoma is also a good song for these two as Lance does seem to know farmer skills (he can milk and take care of a cow) and Keith's home seems to originally been a sort of ranch set-up (cowboy Keith, people).
Also, while Lance is obviously a romantic (and a shipper looking at the preview for the Coalition handbook), I feel that Hunk and Allura would be the next ones in the castle to be speculating potential. You know, Hunk just dashed off to share the deets with Allura.