Crossed Signals

by Forest (as Lance) and JoAnn (as Keith)

Warnings: m/m, lime, first attempted collaboration, and through ICQ chatroom to boot...

prequel to The Promise (sort of) by JoAnn (as both)

Lance pauses for a moment outside the door, looking at his wrist. One end of a handcuff is fastened around it, the other end is open. This might not be the most brilliant idea... Holding the cuffed hand behind his back, Lance knocks firmly on Keith's door.

Keith stares at his door for a moment. Who could that be? If it's Allura, again... Sighing in frustration at the thought, Keith arranges his face into a polite mask as he hauls himself out of his chair.

The door opens, and Lance swings his arm around from behind his back, hoping he'll be quicker than Keith for once, clamping the open end of the handcuffs onto Keith's wrist.

Shocked, Keith tries to twist away, familiarity and trust causing him to be a crucial second too slow. "Lance!"

"We need to talk. Since you seem to cut me off or run away every time I see you lately, I figured I wouldn't give you the option."

Snarling, Keith grabs ahold of the wrist that is handcuffed to Lance's, and uses that leverage to yank Lance inside his room, and then again to pin him against the wall. "You want to talk?" Voice a low growl, Keith's face is a few inches from Lance's. "Let me go. Now." I can't stand to be this close to you ...

Lance swallows, but manages to meet Keith's eyes. "If I do, will you talk to me or are you just gonna punch me and throw me out?"

Startled, Keith's eyes widen. He thinks I'd actually hurt him.. Ignoring the pain that thought causes, Keith forces his face into the fiercest mask that he can.

Lance eyes Keith's expression warily. Yup. I'm gonna get punched.

"I'll let you decide. You think it'll go better or worse for you the longer you keep this.. thing on my wrist..." Keith softly growls the words for the maximum effect.

Nope. Not the most brilliant idea. Nice move, idiot. Lance seems to wilt, collapsing slightly against the wall Keith has him pinned to. With his free hand, he reaches into his pocket, pulls out a key and undoes the cuffs.

Startled at being freed so easily, Keith shifts his grip so he's holding Lance's shoulders. I've never seen Lance act like this... Hardening his resolve, he shakes Lance, slightly. "All right. What sort of prank were you supposed to do this time?"


Pulling away in surprise at the sudden shout, Keith lets Lance go.

"You think this is a prank? You think I'd actually use what's going on between us for a joke? Maybe we don't need to talk after all." Lance reaches for the door.

Completely shocked, Keith barely manages to get in between Lance and the door in time. "What do you mean, what's going on between us?" Face still under tight control, there's the faintest hint of hope in his eyes

"I don't know what I mean by what's going on between us, that's kind of the point. Lately you've been... I don't know. You're avoiding me, and I need to know... if it's because I'm making you... uncomfortable."

Keith stares at Lance. The bit of hope in his eyes is smothered by what Lance didn't say. Hells. He's picking up on it.. That's the only reason why he wants to talk. I didn't think I was doing that bad a job at acting... Sighing, Keith moves around Lance to collapse on a chair. Not looking up, he regards his folded hands, as he admits, "Yes. You do make me uncomfortable." Shutting his eyes, he stills himself, waiting for Lance to leave.

It is no less than he expected, really, but still the flat admission causes a rush of embarrassed anger. Well haven't I just been the fool then. Lance stalks to where Keith sits and, leaning over him, pins his hands where they rest on his lap. His voice is bitter. "You should have said something, Keith. I would've left you alone."

Keith, still refusing to look at Lance, sighs softly. "That's what I'm afraid of..." The tension in his body rises another notch.

The flare of hope Lance feels translates into an almost painful increase in the strength of his grip on Keith's hands. Unwilling to believe he's interpreting correctly, Lance asks in a low voice "What do you mean? What are you afraid of?"

Keith flinches slightly, misreading Lance's intent. Body tightening even further, Keith gathers his resolve. You led him on. Time to finish this... "I'm... ah..." Shutting his eyes, he swallows hard before he can continue. "I'm... attracted to you.... that's why I'm uncomfortable..." At the end, his voice is barely a whisper.

Silence for a moment, until Lance realizes that no matter how shocked he is by this confession, silence is probably the worst reaction he could possibly have. Caught off guard, suddenly ridiculously giddy, he starts laughing. "You idiot! You avoid me because you want to be with me? Gods Keith, I've been flirting with you for how long now? I thought I was making you uncomfortable by pushing too hard!"

The longer it takes for Lance the reply, the more Keith shrinks inside. At the sound of Lance's laughter, Keith feels as though everything inside him is breaking apart. At the beginning of Lance's speech, Keith mindlessly tries to pull away from his grip, trying to get away from the source of his pain. Then, Lance's words sink in, and Keith turns a dumbfounded look on Lance.

Lance continues, through his laughter, reacting to Keith's expression. "What? Don't tell me you didn't notice. I mean, I may be out of practice but I can't be that bad at flirting."

For a moment more, all Keith can do is stare. Then a brilliant smile lights his face. "I guess I must be out of practice then..." Cautiously, Keith pulls one hand out from under Lance's to gently touch Lance's cheek.

Nuzzling into Keith's hand, still feeling the slight hysteria of recent emotional highs and lows, Lance can't restrain another grin. "So, are handcuffs always a bad idea, or just when I want to talk?"

Laughter involuntarily escapes from Keith. His smile turning wicked, Keith grins back. "Handcuffs are only a bad idea if you want to talk." Keith's eyes glitter a mischievous challenge at Lance.

(snick) "I think we're done talking."

Keith's eyes widen, surprised that his challenge was taken up so quickly. "Ah.. Lance...?"

"Ah.... Keith?" Lance mimics with a wicked grin of his own.

Keith's eyes narrow, smile widening further, he abruptly pulls Lance on top of him by his handcuffed hand. Purring into the face barely an inch from him now, feeling the heat of Lance's body along the length of his own, Keith grins sensually, "Now what are you going to do?"

"You are out of practice, if you can't figure that out." And Lance closes that scant inch between them.

----------------------------(time is passed pleasurably)

Waking up slowly, Keith nuzzles into the body he's wrapped around, savoring the feel and scent that he half believed was a dream.

"Do you always fall asleep that quickly?" Lance's voice is tinged with amusement, betraying none of the embarrassingly, ludicrously romantic thoughts he'd indulged in while watching Keith sleep in his arms.

Tilting his head up to meet Lance's eyes, Keith blearily blinks his own eyes open. "Only with people I trust." Yawning, Keith snuggles deeper into Lance. "Y'gonna let me sleep..?" His eyelids sag shut again.

With a very put-upon sigh, Lance strokes Keith's back lightly. "If you must. But really, sleep is over-rated and I can think of much better ways to pass the time."

Snorting softly, Keith blows a soft puff of air against Lance's neck. "maybe later... gotta tell you first.. should have told you before.. Don' think I can share you... s'that'alwright?" Keith's voice trails off as his breathing evens out.

Lance sighs in exasperation. "Keith, I don't even remember the last time I stayed in someone's bed long enough for them to fall asleep on me. If it wasn't all right, I wouldn't still be here." How could he think I could possibly want anyone else if I have *him*? Okay, monogamy isn't exactly my strong suit, but he should know me well enough to know I wouldn't mess with our friendship like this without being willing to make some kind of commitment. Some kind of commitment. Lance mentally rolls his eyes at himself, realizing he's going to have to work at coming to terms with the depth of his feelings for Keith. They didn't fit his cultivated playboy attitude, and they were hard to admit, even to himself. Noticing that Keith's breathing has settled once again into the regular rhythms of sleep, he decides it's time for a first step. Quietly, not wanting to wake Keith, he whispers "You don't have to share. I love you." Sleepily, Keith murmurs, "love you too, mine..." Tension flashes through Lance's body. He's still awake? SHIT! Then it occurs to him what Keith's response was. Love you too... Lance is suddenly very glad Keith's eyes are still closed so he can't see the ridiculous, loopy grin that Lance feels spread across his face. Love you too, mine... Sinking into sleep, still, Keith feels Lance's sudden tension at his admission... doesn't want that from me... Even the embarrassment and hurt he feels is unable to counter the relaxation satiety gives him. this all Lance wants, for as long as he's willing... And Keith sinks into true sleep, dreams of Lance leaving him causing him to unconsciously clutch that much harder at the warm body he's wrapped around.


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