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Cold Skies

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They’d gone on a whim, all three of them piling up in Lance's car and driving for fifteen minutes on darkened roads and streets until the sound of music filled the air, the bass felt even as they parked down the street and made their way towards the house.

 

Lance had suggested it, Plaxum had backed him up and Keith had been dragged along. Though it was more faux reluctance to keep up appearances than anything.

 

He couldn’t let them know they had him wrapped around their finger and as whipped as they come.

 

Though judging by the not so secretive smiles Plaxum and Lance exchanged he guessed he hasn’t been doing a good enough job on that front.

 

The air pulsed with music even at the edge of the yard, the cool air vibrating with it, causing goosebumps to appear on their skin.

 

Dragged by Lance they were all inside, the amount of people somewhat stifling yet with enough room to stand in a corner if the couch was taken.

 

Something Keith had planned beforehand.

 

Lance had come back, (when had he gone?) with drinks in his hand, three red cups expertly placed between his hands without spilling a drop and beaming his first place smile at them both as they each took one.

 

Soon after that it was just a blur of sound and bodies, the music progressively getting louder as the hours went on. Or maybe it was just Keith that felt that way.

 

Lance had gotten distracted by passing classmates from a few of his classes and was talking to them off to the side, smile light but just as gleaming as every other time he smiled.

 

Keith had watched him for a bit, content with staying in his own little corner until it was time to leave. While he didn’t socialize much at events like these he liked the fade of background noise it became after a bit, more of a white noise at the back of his mind instead of the oppressive sound and demand to interact like most parties were.

 

He scratched at the birthmark on his cheek idly, a habit he had formed ever since he was aware it was on his face from a young age. His eyes roamed the room until they landed on Plaxum, the girl having found the large aquarium of fish the host had, sitting in a dining chair she had pulled out earlier, vibrant green eyes staring wistfully at the fish that darted through the water.

 

It seemed no matter what she was always drawn to an animal of some sort, whether it was the cats or her fish it didn’t matter. If you couldn’t find her you either looked for Keith, Lance, or the nearest animal. She was bound to be there.

 

Keith was abruptly bright up from his music when someone bumped into him, a slurred sorry spilling from a stranger's lips as they took a moment to look him up and down.

 

He grimaced, pushing himself from the wall and walking briskly towards anywhere but there before they started talking to him.

 

The couch was surprisingly free from anyone, moving only a few empty plates and discarded napkins to get himself a place to sit comfortably until it was time to leave.

 

If no one bothered him that is.

 

His attention was drawn to a small group of girls in another part of the room, unperturbed by how loud they were in voicing their opinions of how hot he was and how they’re friend should go over and ask him out.

 

It took a lot of self restraint on his part to not let out a groan of frustration and level them all with a glare that could make even the most hardy roses wither. Lance had told him he needed to keep his natural bitch face at a minimum lest someone think he was plotting their murder and called the cops.

 

A buzzing from his pocket pulled him from his thoughts, retrieving his phone in record time, eyes scanning over the message that presented itself on the screen.

 

need interference?

 

His reply was instant.

 

yeah

 

A minute had barely passed before a weight settled on his lap, a wall of honeydew melon scent hitting his senses like a fresh wave of water on a comfortably cool day. Arms wrapped lazily around his shoulders, legs thrown across his own thighs without a care in the world. A smile was forced from him when an obnoxiously loud kiss was pressed into the softness of his cheek, the muffled giggling of Plaxum's laughter loud in his ears where she was pressed even with the music playing loudly in the background.

 

“So, who’re you escaping from this time?” She asked, a breathy giggle simmering down in her throat as she laid her head at his neck. He could feel her batting her eyelashes obnoxiously against his neck.

 

Lance was too much of an influence on her.

 

He nodded his head towards the group of girls that had been eyeing him from the corner of the room. They seemed an equal mix of miffed and jealous if the searing glares a few of them were directing towards Plaxum was anything to go by. The one that had been preparing herself to go over and talk to him had hung back, looking dejected and put off while her friends tried to comfort her.

 

Plaxum hummed thoughtfully, returning to her place buried in the side of Keith’s neck, the other leaning against her own as if she were a pillow. “Maybe they just wanted to officiate our marriage for us like the last one.” Her voice held a teasing quality to it, the same tone she used anytime she mentioned the incident as he called it.

 

 

 

He’d been dragged to a Christmas party with Lance, Plaxum had a cold at the time and had stayed back. It was only when her two brothers had come to take care of her that they felt at ease enough to leave her home. Lance had gone off to get a plate or two of food and some drinks, leaving Keith to sit at the bar and mill about is drink. He had heard someone sit in the seat next to him. And when he looked over it was a girl, clearly drunk and trying to ask him out.

 

“I have a boyfriend.” He paused a moment, “And a girlfriend.”

 

She had paused in her drunken rambling. It was almost funny how concentrated a look she had on her face as what he said processed.

 

“You need someone to marry you guys?”

 

She ended up leaving at some point, Lance returning with a plate of food and drinks for them both, asking what that was about.

 

 

 

And it was now Keith regretted telling Lance, who immediately told Plaxum, who had choked on whatever soup she was eating when she read the text and was thrown in a coughing fit that had her brother panicking with worry.

 

“Shut up.”

 

“Aw come on, you gotta admit that was funny.” She teased. Keith only grumbled in reply, his arms wrapping a bit more snug around her waist. He hadn’t said it back then but he’d been worried when they had gotten home and her brothers explained the coughing fit she had an hour before they’d gotten home. Wile she wasn’t as prone to sickness as some it was still more than average compared to Lance or Keith so they had reason to worry a bit more for her than for the other.

 

“You’re thinking, that’s dangerous.”

 

Keith huffed a laugh, dark eyes dragging towards her own. “Who said?”

 

“Lance. He warned me when you’re thinking nothing good comes out of it.”

 

“Pretty sure the same can be said for him.”

 

“Yeah but his thinking ends up just being stupid stuff, like sitting on the counter and eating cereal with a fork at 4am.”

 

Keith’s face turned puzzled. “He’s done that?”

 

“It was nearing last years finals and he was stressed out. I found him when I went to the bathroom and heard crunching sounds.”

 

“You hear crunching sounds at 4am in the morning and you go towards it?”

 

“It was either our dumbass cats eating the saltines again or one of you being stupid. Guess which one It was.”

 

Keith hummed, silently agreeing with her.

 

“Besides, we’re broke college students, who’s dumb enough to rob us?”

 

Again he had to agree.

 

They both shifted as someone made the couch dip on Keith’s right side, a warm and heavy weight pressing against all of his right side up to his shoulder. A face pressed to his cheek, giving him the same obnoxiously loud smack of a kiss that Plaxum had given him earlier, albeit a bit more sloppy than she had, leaving him to do a face in a mix of a grimace and a smile at the same time.

 

Lance’s laughter blew over his neck, settling himself comfortably against Keith’s body, maneuvering his legs under Plaxum’s so Keith had both of them draped over him comfortably.

 

“Both of you are ridiculous.”

 

“You’re the one that wanted to not get hit on, what better way to stop anyone from doing that than by having your girlfriend and boyfriend draped over you like the finest silk?” Plaxum said, laughing lightly at the flat look Keith gave her.

 

“Uh-huh, silk.”

 

“We’re at least the good bed sheets at the local Walmart.”

 

Keith couldn’t help but snort at Lance’s response, the other pressing closer to him, sounding every bit as tired as he looked. Given how late it was it was understandable and Keith wouldn’t mind heading home about now anyways.

 

He shook them both a bit, Plaxum getting the hint and reluctantly pulling herself up. With a bit of gentle coaxing Keith and Plaxum were able to get Lance off him long enough to go to the car, the taller complaining about the cold even though it was only a bit chillier than earlier.

 

“Where’s your jacket?” Lance pointed to Plaxum, who was indeed wearing the slightly oversized jacket on her person. Upon noticing their eyes on her she hugged it closer to her, taking a few steps away as she glared at them both. She was reluctant to give up the warm garment it seemed. Though despite how cold he complained he was Lance made no move to reach for it or ask for it back. Which left him clinging to Keith as he stood behind him, chin resting on the shorter male’s shoulder, waiting for him to unlock the car doors with an impatience visible in the way he moved his arms and shifted from foot to foot.

 

Lance piled into the backseat, laying across the cushioned shits with his arms bracing the back of his head in a makeshift pillow. It seemed he was content to take a nap on the drive home.

 

The ride home was silent, the only sounds were the heat blasting from the air vents and the low volume of the radio playing another hit pop song that he’d long since forgotten the name of. Plaxum was scrolling through her phone quietly in the passenger seat, leaning against the window, the glow of the phone reflecting off her glasses and the car window. Keith’s attention was focused solely on the road, occasionally looking into the rear view mirror to look at Lance. Which wasn’t much to see since he was laying down, only his knee visible from where he’d bent his right leg to get comfortable.

 

A gentle weight pressed on his shoulder, the glow from beside it letting him know Plaxum had draped herself across the two front seats to rest her head on his shoulder, eyes never once leaving her phone. The rest of the ride progressed like that, silent and comfortable.

 

Outside the trees rushed past in a blur, the light of the full moon just barely illuminating them to the point of visibility, their scrawling branches clawing at the night sky, cracking under the cold.