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Love Like You

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From the beginning Lance’s eyes were always on Keith, and Keith loved it. The feverous eyes that followed him wherever he went, that watched his every move, left a heat racing through his vein that no drug could ever hope to fabricate.  He craved it more than crack, but refused to ever acknowledge it. He simply let it happen and basked in the feeling.

 At first he had been alarmed by them, the presence that never left. It wasn’t that it was malicious or anything, but the constant presence had made his skin crawl and he spent weeks trying to find whose prying eyes were following him. He had confronted several boys and girls who he had caught staring at him before he realized it was Lance. Mr. Popular was a surprise to him. Why was Lance so interested in him of all people?

Then began his response, of sorts. He would steal small glances in Lance’s direction. After a few weeks of sneaking a peek every now and then he realized one thing, Lance was the sun and the rest of the student body were his planets that orbited him and could never depart from his radiant presence. Whether they openly acknowledged it or not was a different matter.  Most wouldn’t readily admit to being the class clowns friend, but no one could resist the infectious laughter that filled the air whenever Lance was around. They found reasons to approach Lance, usually in hopes they could worm their way into the bubbly conversation if even for a seconds. How curious people are to be so concerned of what others think, yet not be able to resist something as pure as the aura Lance bathed in.

Just as Keith had decided he could let Lance’s gaze fall contentedly into the back of his mind, Lance started acting… strange. At first it was loudly boasting of his grades whenever he was in Keith’s proximity.

“OH I aced that science test! Only 2 wrong out of 100. I’d say I’m probably the smartest kid in this class,” he had said one time only 2 desks in front of Keith’s. The group surrounding him was all impressed, not that it was hard for them; they weren’t exactly the best and brightest of their generation so to speak. Then as usual Lance’s eyes slipped from his friends and pierced Keith’s soul, but then not as usual they fell from Keith and on to Keith’s paper. Keith dropped his eyes down and at the top was a big 100% in red with a little smiley face. Apparently he was the only one in class to get a perfect score. He looked back to Lance but a frown had formed on his face and he was looking off at nothing. Clearly something had upset him, but Keith didn’t quite get it. Why did it matter what Keith got? Shouldn’t Lance be proud of himself?

Keith continued to feel Lance’s gaze on him so he didn’t chalk it up to too much. That is until P.E. had them do a pickup game of basketball for the period. Lance had been called over immediately by some acquaintances to join their team. The team captains each took turns picking the people to join their teams one by one till only two remained: Keith and an asthmatic boy. Keith wasn’t hurt by the class leaving him till last. If anything he understood them too well, Keith would be the first to admit he was a temperamental asshole who would rather punch first and ask questions later. What did hurt was what Lance did next.  Lance took the opportunity to lean over to team 1 captain’s ear and whisper something into his ear. The captain then shouted for asthma kid to join them. Keith was confused by Lance’s actions, didn’t Lance like him? Or at the very least admire him. Whatever.

He meandered over to team two and waited for instruction from the captain. The whistle blew and the ball was shooting across the court in instant. For the first part of the game, Keith was thoroughly ignored by his team mates, the ball being passed to anyone but him. Keith was actually really happy about that. He’d rather be off playing softball with the girls, at least then it would actually be fun to play. So he stood in the corner and watched the game unfold. Lance was trying to make every one of his baskets a slam dunk. Which both sides apparently found hilarious and weren’t getting pissed at Lance for dicking over the game.

Suddenly the ball came bouncing towards him, Keith easily picked up the ball. All eyes became glued to him as a heard of the opposing team surrounded him. He didn’t have time to pass it to the others so he did the only thing he could. He took aim and threw the ball towards the hoop. It soared through the air and landed gracefully through the hoop with a swoosh. Everyone was staring at him again, their mouths agape in wonder. Suddenly everyone was around him and a cacophony of noise suffocating him. He became an active participant in the game now and scored at least 20 more baskets for his team. During his sudden boost in popularity, Lance was desperately trying to get everyone’s attention again. Any time he had the ball he tried to shoot it, most times the ball fell short and was picked up by team 2.

By the time the game had ended both Lance and Keith were on the floor panting in their own pools of sweat. Many people from both team 1 and team 2 were surrounding Keith and asking annoying questions.

“How did you learn how to play like that!??”

He grit his teeth and gave a simple answer of “my brother makes me play with him sometimes.”

“You should tooooooootally come play with me and my friends at lunch.”

“No,” he responded.

“DUde!!!” one shouted, “Come to my party you’re fucking cool as shit!!!”

He really hated these people. “no,” he responded again. The Q&A went on for a while but slowly but surely the crowd dwindled as they realized Keith was still an antisocial prick, regardless of how good he was at basketball.

When the last annoying class mate left him, he realized Lance was still there, surrounded by two people. They were feeding him words of encouragement and praise. Collecting his things, Keith saw Lance regain his normally peppy attitude. He left the court to the sound of Lance’s laughter.

For the rest of the week Keith was acutely aware of Lance’s glare at his back. He tried to ignore it but intermixed with the hostility was the same heated gaze that licked his veins and made his skin crawl in the best way.

If he had thought after the basketball game was bad, he wasn’t prepared for when his brother came to his high school for college recruitment. When Shiro had heard that his college was going to his old and Keith’s current high school, he immediately volunteered to go run it. If not to catch up with old teachers, then to definitely pester Keith and meet Keith’s “friends.”

He had completely forgotten until he arrived at the school that Shiro would be there and all the kids in his senior class were freaking out because THE Shirogane would be there. All of the underclassmen were confused because they hadn’t witness senior Shiro single handedly take rival teams in basketball when they were freshman. They just couldn’t believe that he was back and they would finally be able to tell him how cool he was.

English had 20 minutes left. Lance was once again looking at Keith instead of the teacher as per usual. Keith himself was staring at the obligatory Shakespeare poster proudly taped to the wall. All was going peacefully until Shiro walked in.

“Sorry Miss White, mind if I borrow your class for a while?” Shiro asked sending the teacher a wink. Lance inhaled sharply at spotting Shiro, his gaze leaving Keith in favor for Shiro. The teacher gave a short giggle and gave her permission, but only because it was her “favorite student of all time.”

Shiro then launched into his speech on why they should apply to University of X and become a fellow wildcat! He had the entire room in the palm of his hand, all of them vocally promising that it would be the first place they applied. Shiro had that effect on people, he was so genuinely amiable to the point that no one could resist his requests.

The bell rang and everyone groaned because class was over and they couldn’t listen to Shiro anymore. Lunch was next and Shiro was headed to Keith so they could go get something together. The only problem was Lance who intercepted Shiro before he could reach Keith.

“Hi my name is Lance! You might not remember me but you were a T.A. for my 9th grade science class! You were honestly the only reason I passed,” Lance said giggling.

And of course Shiro being Shiro remembered Lance.

“I do actually remember you Lance! You were always getting in trouble for making the class laugh too loudly. Not to mention that one time you were super cool and didn’t tell the teacher that I skipped early to go see my girlfriend, thanks for that again by the way,” Shiro laughed happily back.

Lance clearly wasn’t prepared for this, his caramel skin dusted with a warm red glow.

“IF YOU DON’T HAVE ANYWHERE TO BE AT LUNCH WANT TO COME EAT WITH ME?” Lance shouted desperately. Shiro clearly wasn’t prepared for that, his face falling ever so slightly.

“I’m so sorry, I’m actually eating with my brother. You can always join us of course!” Shiro tried to assuage Lance’s clear embarrassment at being rejected.

“You have a brother here??” Lance asked flabbergasted. “Who????”

Shiro just pointed at Keith, and once again Lance’s eyes were upon him.  Lance just stood there, some mix of shock, betrayal, and envy filled his eyes.

“Come on Shiro, let’s go we don’t actually get that long for lunch,” Keith cut in, trying to end the conversation so Lance would stop looking at him like that.

“Oh I’m sure I could talk your next teacher into letting you off just this once,” Shiro said with a grin. He turned to Lance once again and patted him on the shoulder, “It was nice seeing you again Lance, definitely think about applying to the U of X so we can see each other some more!” and with that they both left Lance staring at the air Keith once occupied.

During the next month, Lance’s gazes were filled with that same hurt and envy. Keith hated them more than the anger. They made his heart heavy and sluggish, as if his arteries were filled with mud instead of blood. He wanted to do something, wanted to slap Lance out of it. But he just sat and let Lance watch him.

After the sad slowly faded from his stares he thought all would return to normal, but they didn’t. Instead he felt Lances wander away from him at times. Keith was beginning to worry. Lance hadn’t stopped looking at him ever since the beginning, no matter what he was feeling towards Keith. So Keith did what he thought was best. He sat close to Lance’s table at lunch and tried to listen and see what was up.

Lance was alone for about a minute before a large stocky Samoan, maybe Hawaiian, looking guy plopped own his tray next to Lances and launched into a long and very poetic speech about someone named “Shay.” Lance insisted the guy ask her out already. That’s when some gremlin walked up to their table and pulled out a lunch sack and began asking the man about some programming issue they were having. After a good 10 minutes they reached a solution and Lance took that time to interject with his news.

“I met the most gorgeous girl recently, not only is she pretty but she’s smart and funny and I think she might like me back,” he bragged. “I’m totally going to ask her out at the school Halloween party!”

His friends raised their eyebrows at that.

The gremlin who was the most confused, asked “Wait don’t you like K-“

“Nope! I hate that dick!” Lance cut them off. “I’m totally in love with Nyma though, that’s her name by the way. Isn’t it the most perfect name you’ve ever heard?” he sighed dreamily.

Well that explains a lot. Keith now had his answer why Lance wasn’t looking at him much anymore. He was fine with it, right?

The only problem now was he was really curious whether Lance and Nyma would hook up. Lance was really charismatic and charming so any girl would be a fool to reject him. Not to mention he was tall and had pretty eyes that looked like pools of the ocean. So Keith decided then that he would go to the Halloween party, just to see how Nyma compared to Lance. Make sure she was actually good enough for Lance.

The night of the party Keith was feeling… empty? Unhappy? He didn’t know what but as he put on his cow boy outfit that he wore every Halloween for Shiro’s party, he felt a pit settle in the pit of his stomach. He took some antacids before he headed out to hopefully get rid of whatever was making him feel bad.

The school was absolute chaos. He regretted immediately his curiosity and was so close to baling on the whole thing when he saw Lance pulling a blond girl away into some quiet corner of the school. He immediately followed them but lost track of them through the winding hallways. That’s when he heard bubbly laughter coming from an empty class room. He followed the sound and could hear voices now.

“Hey, Nyma, I-I was just wanting to say that, I, think you’re pretty cool and stuff,” Lance said practically choking on his confession.  Shit, was he already confessing? Keith didn’t know whether to leave or not but before he could decide Nyma responded.

“I think you’re pretty cool too Lance!”

Shit were they a couple now??

“Really??! I’m so happy! So like when do you want to go out?” Lance’s voice was projecting his overwhelming happiness and Keith felt like puking.

“Oh,” Nyma almost groaned, “I’m so sorry Lance! I didn’t mean like that! I’m honestly sorry. I only like you as a friend.”

“Oh,” lances voice dropped any happiness it showed earlier. “But, maybe we could, like, try dating and see if you could maybe like me?” now his voice was desperate.

Nyma sharply inhaled, “I’m sorry I already like Keith.” What???? How in the fuck did this chick know who Keith was??? He had never seen her before tonight so how???????

“I think I’m just going to go,” Nyma said quietly before a chair screeched and the door flew open. She didn’t see Keith lurking on just the other side of the door way. Fuck now what did Keith do?

That’s when he heard Lance. A quiet sniffle at first, then a full blown howl of pain. Keith was paralyzed where he stood. He didn’t know what to do. If He were someone else, anyone else, he would just march in and comfort Lance. But he wasn’t. He was just some loser who didn’t know how to interact with people. If he were Lance he would have no problem. He would be able to play it off as some small act and be able to have the person laughing in a matter of minutes.

So he pretended he was Lance, and opened the door. Inside Lance was a mess, snot running down his face and his eyes puffy from the tears still streaming down his face. When Lance saw the intruder was Keith his eyes opened as wide as they could and just stared at Keith.

“Uh, hey,” Keith said, not knowing what to say to the weeping boy in front of him.

“Get out!” Lance cried furiously wiping the tears on his cheeks.

“But you’re sad,” Keith brilliantly replied.

“No shit Sherlock, whose fault do you think it is??” Lance huffed tears still threatening to leak from his eyes. Was that a trick question?

“That girl you were with, right?” Keith felt like he stating the obvious here.

“NO! It’s you!”

“Me? Why me?!”

“BEcAUse, Mullet, You’re perfect and I’m not!” Lance screamed tears spilling once again.

“Are you kidding me??” Keith screamed back. “I don’t know if you were watching me closely enough, but I’m trash! I can’t relate to other people! I don’t know how to fucking like another person! You on the other hand are a fucking sun! Everyone always brightens up around you and you can just draw people to you! That’s not even the best part! NO, you fucking genuinely care like some empathetic asshole and you create meaningful bonds with our peers!!!”

“You knew I was watching you??” Lance gaped, mortified; a large scarlet blush burning his cheeks.

“How could I not?? I can’t concentrate sometimes because of it sometimes!!” Keith angrily barked at him.

Lance just stared at him. Those oceans gazed at him, piercing his heart and it hurt so bad but felt so nice to be staring back for once.

“D-do you… like me?” Lance whispered so quietly that if it wasn’t dead silent in the classroom Keith wouldn’t have heard it at all.

“I don’t know,” he whispered back. He didn’t like when his emotions got out of control but right now Keith thought maybe it would be alright. “I think I could maybe learn how to love like you do.” His voice was quivering and he didn’t know how Lance would respond but he had finally given a name to the feeling that had been circulating through his body since long ago. He loved Lance.

Then suddenly Lance was on Keith, smashing his lips against Keith’s. Keith was still for a moment, unsure of how to respond. He quickly returned the kiss with vigor of his own; he even circled his arms around Lance’s waist. Lance licked Keith’s lips, asking for permission to enter. Keith obliged and their tongues began tangling in a beautiful struggle for dominance. Keith ultimately lost when he felt Lances fingers intertwine with his hair and gently tugged it. A moan escaped Keith at the overstimulation and he felt Lance increase his furious kissing, adding soft nips every now and then.

“LAAAAAAAAAANCE, WHERE ARE YOOOOOOOOOOU?????” A voice called from down the hall.

“Shit,” Lanced breathed heavily into Keith’s neck. “I have to go.”

They slowly untangled themselves with a few embarrassed coughs and awkward glances. Lance was about to exit the room when Keith called out to him.

“So, like are we dating now?”

Lance whipped his head so fast and stared at Keith with eyes that were filled with a euphoria that illuminated his eyes. He marched back to Keith and grabbed hands.

“Keith, I would love to date the shit out of you. But right now I really have to go!” Lance then pressed his lips to Keith’s one last time before sprinting out the door. Keith heard a loud whooping running down the hall.

He couldn’t help but smile from ear to ear. Sure Lance staring at him was nice, but kissing Lance was like an inferno had been lit in his heart.