“Uh, a pretty old one. Dental check-up or cleaning, I think.”
“I still liked it. So much so that I subscribed and went through everything else you made,” Keith points out. "Voraciously."
Keith finds it charming, like he does everything else about him. “What made you decide to start making your own videos?”
There's a soft, silent lapse between them before Shiro quietly asks, “Have you, uh… ever thought about doing it? Making your own ASMR stuff, I mean. You have a really good voice for it.”
“You’re you,” Keith tries to explain, gesturing helplessly to all of Shiro. “That’s why almost half a million people want to watch you. I’m… just me, though.”
It's just barely teasing, the way it comes out. Keith's breaths quicken in his chest, heart too loud in the silence of the lonely night spread around them.
Abruptly, Shiro blinks, his full lashes fluttering, and lets out a weak laugh.
“Okay!” Shiro agrees just as quickly. “I mean, I did really want to check out your Suzuki. What better way than riding it?”
“Or, y’know, just send a text and let us know if—” He hems and haws for a moment. “If you’re gonna… be busy… so we know not to expect—”
“Hold on tight, Shiro,” is Krolia’s last piece of advice as the door is closing shut. “Keith thinks he’s sneaky, but I’ve seen how he rides that thing...”
Keith only gives him a look, an eyebrow arched, and lifts a shoulder. “Guess you’re about to find out, huh?”
“Thanks for offering to take me,” he tells Keith while circling around the cherry red Suzuki. “I’m grateful to your mom for all the rides, but sitting in the back of a cop car makes me feel like a teenager again. Not in a good way, either.”
“Just twice,” Shiro sighs. “Dumb shit, don’t ask.” But only a moment later, he adds, “Got caught trying to buy beer with a fake ID when I was 16. Then I got brought in after I punched a guy who was harassing a friend of mine.”
“It was,” Shiro acknowledges, laughing to himself. “You should’ve seen the ID I was trying to use. Not even remotely a match for me, especially when I was a noodly beanstalk of a teenager.”
Shiro’s a natural passenger— no surprise there. Keith’s never ridden doubled up like this, but he can feel Shiro’s trust as he relaxes around him on straightaways and leans expertly into every turn.
“When there are people around for me to race, yeah,” Keith says. And when his mom isn’t out on patrol, ready to bust him in the act.
“I don’t mind losing,” Keith replies, all innocence as he drifts after Shiro, his hands jammed deep into his jacket’s pockets, “so long as you’re the one doing it.”
And Keith is... himself.
But Keith wonders if it was a little much to admit...
It’s not like he’d even know what to do once he got his hands on Shiro, honestly. He’d freeze, most likely. And embarrass himself, no doubt. Keith’s sexual experience amounts to a couple of fumbling handjobs during his semester-and-a-half of college, after all—
Keith glaces down and finds an aluminum-and-polymer hand reached out to him.
But it went wrong somewhere along the way, neither of them letting go at the right time. Instead, they stand in front of Shiro’s motel room, staring at each other and holding hands.
“Goodnight. Keith,” Shiro says at last, more a whisper than anything else. He gives Keith’s hand a tender squeeze before finally uncurling his fingers and pulling away.
Shiro lingers in the frame of the open door to his darkened motel room, watching while Keith mounts his bike and slips the sleek helmet over his head. He gives a short wave, two metal fingers held up straight; Keith answers it with a playful little salute.
He can’t regret what he did to cause himself such a late night, though.
Then, ‘I hope you sleep well!’ with a string of smiley emoji trailing after it. Very Shiro.
Keith smiles soft, dragging the pad of his thumb across his bottom lip as he stares at the screen.
Everything else falls by the wayside, nothing more important than taking good care of Shiro’s car. And Shiro, by extension, giving him back the reins to the vacation he’d worked so hard for.
‘😥 They can scale the walls?? The ceiling!? 😱’
‘yup. working on your car now, btw’
Eventually, Regris and Antok drift over, curious. Their hovering only makes Keith more flustered, and he has to pause the recording once they finally start poking in close and asking questions.
It feels good, working on Shiro’s car. Satisfying, even.
But as it is, he focuses on the job at hand. He even forgets Regris and the camera for a while, falling into thoughtful silence while his hands move with practiced purpose.
It’s ridiculous, he knows. Shiro owes him nothing and Keith has no claim to him or his time.
And he’s never found it lacking, before. Not in any way he could put a name to.
Their fingertips brush as Keith takes it.
“You can’t— don’t laugh,” Keith warns, although there’s a warm bubble of emotion somewhere around his heart as he realizes that he trusts Shiro wouldn’t.
“I won’t laugh,” Shiro promises, his expression turning more serious as Keith lays his phone down in front of him. “What are you showing me here?”
Keith starts filing everything away, closing up binders and straightening up the counter just the way his uncle likes, eager to keep his hands moving so the faint tremble in them doesn’t show.
Shiro has a luxurious cabana on the beach waiting for him, already booked and paid for, and a functioning vehicle to get him there, too.
... But he is. With a metal finger looped through the keychain in his hand, nervously toying with it. “I mean… I could. I would.”
“You won’t,” Keith interrupts, straining to hold himself back. “You aren’t.”
“I’ve already been wanting you for so long, Shiro,” he confesses, rising up on his tiptoes, itching to reach across the counter and grab him and not let go.
But he waits, thirsting like a man who’s crossed the desert before a spring.
Shiro hums, the note a touch graveled, radiating all kinds of pleasure at Keith accepting him so near.
And as Keith twines himself around Shiro, Shiro clings back just as fierce. His hands rove down Keith’s sides and hook under his thighs, hoisting him a little higher, holding him tighter,
A full-body shudder rolls though Shiro; Keith feels it everywhere they’re pressed together.
Keith snorts into Shiro’s shoulder. Arguably, he actively looks a disaster -right now-, not that Shiro seems to mind in the slightest.
“Like the rest of you, yeah,” Keith says, leaning forward to catch Shiro in another clinging chain of kisses.
A nose presses into the tender underside of Keith’s throat
“Nope, I’m very real,” Keith says, covering Shiro’s hands with his own and pressing the other man’s palms firmer against his cheeks. “See?”
Shiro’s next kiss is tender, almost chaste. His lips are light where they touch against Keith’s temple, hair brushed aside.
Shiro’s expression blanks for a moment, like something behind the vacant grey of his eyes short-circuited.
Caught off guard, Keith straightens up and leans back, gaping. It -is- a lot— on Shiro’s end, that is, to offer up so freely.
It’s Keith’s turn to be dumbfounded. Offering to stay behind for him is one thing; it’s another entirely for Shiro to take him with.
“Anything,” Shiro repeats, his eyes bright, still eagerly trying to win Keith over to the idea. “Jetskiing, fishing, volleyball—”
“Me,” Shiro agrees, the blush growing bolder under his skin. And bolder still as Keith stretches up on tiptoe to playfully lip at his ear. “So... is that a yes?”
Keith smiles against Shiro’s lips, eyes slipping shut as they kiss again, heady with the thought of journeying with Shiro to the coast, of getting to tread down beaches with him, watch the sunset over the waves, kiss on moonlit shores.
“Ah,” he chokes out, Shiro’s next kiss inadvertently landing low on his cheek as Keith abruptly turns his head aside. “My uncle—”
“Keith? I brought your father’s pie plate, so don’t forget to— oh.”
“Antok told me this would happen,” Kolivan sighs, slapping the stack of papers down onto the counter. He lays the pie plate on top of them afterward, paperweight-like. “And I flat out denied it. Do you have any idea how insufferable my husband is when he’s right?”
“Why don’t you go start the car, Shiro,” Keith says, offering him an escape from the uncomfortable situation. “Get the AC going.”
“But I know that I like him,” Keith insists, his jaw firmly set. “A lot. And I’d— I wanted to ask for some time off to spend it with him. While I can. A week, maybe."
Keith's face heats under his uncle’s careful scrutiny.
“I don’t think I need to,” Kolivan mutters, a barely arched brow the only sign of his amusement. “Your state speaks for itself. And I -do- remember what it’s like to be young and enamored, contrary to what you might think,” he adds.
“Uncle,” Keith interrupts, pleading. There are a good dozen other places he'd rather be right now, all of them with Shiro and none involving his uncles' love life. “Please.”
“R-really?” Keith asks, his triumph taking a backseat to his surprise.
With a crooked grin, Keith ducks his head and darts inside. He wriggles into the seat as he buckles himself in, the pie plate resting in his lap,
And it’s a -nice- car. As much as Keith loves his bike, he’s looking forward to spending hours by Shiro’s side as they drive, able to listen to his voice to his heart’s content. “Kolivan gave me the okay, so…”
“So this,” Keith says, gesturing to himself, Shiro and the car around them, “is happening. I just need to let my parents know,” he adds, blowing out a sigh that lifts the lock of hair hanging between his brows.
Keith can practically feel the stars in his own eyes as he stares back, gaze lingering even after Shiro’s turned his attention back to the deserted road ahead.
“I know you are, Shiro,” he says, holding tighter. “I’m sure of it.”
Thank you for sticking with me and this thread!! 💖 I’m going to try writing this last bit a little differently in the hopes of condensing things. When I eventually unravel these threads to post on Ao3 in fic form, I’ll flesh the ending out a bit more :)