Shiro has a truck, which qualifies him to meet the rest of Keith’s family.
Romelle tags along because it’s fun.

Teen (13+)
Chapters: 5
Words: 14,125

never gonna run around and desert you

Chapter 4
a full commitment’s what I’m thinking of


Kolivan softens up. Shiro and Keith get some time alone.

Chapter Notes:


well. it’s just a bit. a tiny moment. and then we get some nice soft sheith fluff.
seriously it’s just me being sappy about shiro and keith. i just want them to cuddle… forever.

After lunch, Keith disappears with Kolivan and Antok again to continue working on Red. Without anything else to do, Shiro and Romelle volunteer to help clean up.

They’re in the middle of washing the dishes when Romelle pauses, leaning forward and looking through the glass of the window in front of them.



“Did we check the weather forecast today?”

Shiro stops too, and looks up to see the darkening sky. “No.” he answers slowly. “I don’t think we did.”

That’s when Keith appears on the doorway. He looks like he had run from the garage. “Shiro, the truck’s still on the driveway. You better move it inside. Quickly. Before it rains.”

Shiro nods, quickly washing and drying his hands. A low rumble of thunder is heard, and Shiro rushes outside as fast as he can. He had barely managed to get on the truck when the rain starts – no,  pours .

It’s a sudden downpour, and Shiro is lucky that it’s a quick straight drive to the safety of the garage. Antok and Kolivan had cleared a space for the vehicle, so Shiro parks easily.

Even though he was only out in the rain for a short time, Shiro still finds himself soaked by the time he climbs off the truck. He glances at the other stuff in the seats and at the back. Luckily, the only belongings they had left in the open were the single pillow in the passenger seat and the faded alien bobblehead on the dashboard. The other stuff should be safe inside the glove compartment.

He looks up and sees both Antok and Kolivan staring at him, and Shiro knows he must look like a big wet puppy, huddled on himself. It’s hard to see, too, what with his glasses wet and fogging up from his breaths.

“S-Sorry for dripping on your floor, sir.”

Antok says nothing and rushes out, through the door that Shiro knew was connected to the house.

Shiro looks after him worriedly, but Kolivan says, “It’s fine.”

Shiro nods weakly. “I… err… I can put the roof back up. On the truck, I mean. Later, for when we go back-”

Kolivan clicks his tongue and frowns. “You should have checked the weather before you got rid of that roof in the first place.”

“I-… I know, sir.” Shiro looks down, rubbing his arms for warmth. “That’s my mistake. But I can- I can put it back. Romelle can fit with us inside on the way back, there’s still space. Then, uh, for Red, I have a tarp we can cover her with-”

“You think you’re going back home in this weather?”

It’s hard to sound firm, but Shiro tried his best despite his shivering. “I- I promised Mrs. K-… uh, Krolia, that I’d bring Keith and Romelle back home. Tonight.”

Kolivan lets out what sounds like a growl, not far the rolling rumble of thunder from outside. Shiro flinches, and braces himself for a round of scolding, but what he hears instead is a sigh.

He looks up to see Kolivan crossing his arms across his chest. “I already talked to Keith. He told me it wouldn’t be good for you to drive under heavy rain. This storm’s a short one, it’ll pass overnight. You should leave in the morning.”

Shiro looks down, knowing the man is right. He’s not afraid of storms, but he never really did well during one. The accident that took his parents and his arm happened in a stormy night, on the road. Ever since then, he had always avoided being on a vehicle when there’s heavy rain and thunder. Keith knows this, and Shiro appreciates his boyfriend looking out for him.

Still. This isn’t just about him.

“I’m sorry, sir, it’s just that their mom knows we’re going back tonight. I think they have plans for tomorrow, and I don’t want them to cancel that just because I-”

“I’ll talk to Krolia.” Kolivan says, tone final. “You won’t do good, with this rain and the thunder.”

Shiro takes a deep breath, but jolts when they hear another thunderclap. He ducks his head, ashamed at his reaction. He hates that there’s too many memories he associates with it, hates that he can’t control some of his reactions. He hates that he always finds himself zoning out, that he has trouble focusing or paying attention to things.

He hates that he just couldn’t be okay, specially when people were counting on him to be, that sometimes he just finds himself struggling to catch his breath, or to know where he was, because everything is blurry and dark and too much-

Like now. Blurry, dark, too much, and it’s an effort to breathe…

He’s pulled back by a firm hand on his shoulder, squeezing firmly. It moves to his back, rubbing in steady circles.

“Come back, kid.” Kolivan’s voice is a low rumble like the thunder, but it’s calm and steady, and it helps Shiro breathe easy again. “You’re fine.”

Shiro nods, slow, shaky. He hadn’t even realized- Dammit, he had been trying not to look weak too, and now Kolivan has seen him almost breaking down just because of a little rain and some thunder?


The pat on his back is gentle, but firm. “It’s fine.” Kolivan maintains a distance, just enough to touch and ground him, but not too close to smother.

Shiro nods again, this time managing a shuddery exhale. The cold is grounding, somehow. It’s fine. He’s fine, now, he tries to tell himself as he rubs his arms.

He still hates that he’s being seen like this. “I-… I’m really sorry, I swear, this isn’t- I’m not usually like this.”

“I know. Nothing to be sorry for. And I shouldn’t have said it like that.” Kolivan continues. This time, his voice is less gruff, almost soft. “It happens to all of us. Don’t push yourself. Won’t do anyone any good.”

Shiro manages another nod.

“Now, come back.”

He does. He knows he needs to. He comes back, slowly-

-and then all at once, as something soft but heavy falls over his head, and then he’s blinking because someone has wrapped him up in a big, fluffy towel.

It’s Antok, he recognizes, along with the fact that it wasn’t just one, or two, but  three  big fluffy towels.

“Shouldn’t get cold.” Antok says. Shiro has learned that Antok is a man of as few words as possible, but he made up for it in his actions.

“U-Uh? Wha-?”

Antok huffs. “Kit will be sad.”

Shiro chuckles awkwardly as the man wraps one of the towels around his shoulders, puts another over that, and then proceeds to smush Shiro’s face with the last one. Shiro understands that it’s an attempt to dry his face and his hair.

There are footsteps, and a door swings open. “Antok, don’t do that to him while he has glasses on.” Shiro recognizes Keith’s voice, and maybe he sees a blurred Keith-shaped figure nearby through the towel and his smudged glasses.

“He’ll get sick if we don’t dry him.” is Antok’s defense, but he stops the smushing and settles on draping the towel on Shiro’s head instead.

“Thank you, Antok. I think I’ll be fine now.” Shiro manages, smiling up at the man, who nods but doesn’t let go of Shiro without one last head pat.

Keith snorts, and Shiro is sure that it’s because he must look ridiculous, wrapped up and drowning in fluffy towels, glasses askew.

“C’mon.” Keith says, tilting his head towards house. “Ulaz is getting you some clothes.”

For some reason, Shiro finds himself looking to Kolivan. For permission, approval or dismissal, Shiro’s not sure, but Kolivan meets his eyes for a second and nods.

“Go.” the man says, tone still carefully neutral.

Shiro chooses to think it’s some sort of blessing.




Shiro finishes changing into the spare clothes he was given just in time to hear Romelle’s announcement from the living room.

“Mom’s okay with it! We’re having a sleepover!” she says, and gets a hearty laugh from Antok in response.

Shiro smiles as he pats down the borrowed clothes. He expected to be swimming in them, but strangely enough, the button up fit him just fine, as did the torn faded jeans. They’re only a bit long, but it was easy enough to fold up the hems.

“I told you they’ll fit him nicely.” Ulaz tells Thace. “It’s the closest size we have.”

Thace tilts his head to the side, but nods. “I was just worried it might smell too much like mothballs.”

Shiro quickly shakes his head. “No, not all! They smell fine.”

He means it. Wherever they got the clothes from, they were comfortable, a good fit, and didn’t smell like mothballs.

“Shiro, you ready yet? I need-” Shiro turns to look at Keith, who had stopped by the doorway, eyes wide.

Shiro blinks, self-conscious. Did he look weird? “Uh… Yes?”

“Those are dad’s clothes.”

Shiro exchanges a look with Thace and Ulaz, then turns back to Keith. “They are? I didn’t-… Do you want me to change-”

“What? No.” Keith says quickly.

Shiro stops. “…No?”

“No. It’s fine.” Keith shakes his head, smiling. He looks wistful, but quickly shrugs it off. “Uh… Kolivan kicked me out of the garage, said he and Antok can take care of Red, so… Romelle’s breaking out the board games.” He reaches out, expectant. “I need your nerd brain for Scrabble.”

Shiro smiles back and takes his hand. “Okay.” he says, and he waves at Thace and Ulaz as he lets Keith pull him away.




“That’s… that’s not a word.” Romelle grumbles.

Keith huffs. “It is. Tell her, Shiro.”

Shiro shrugs. “It’s a valid word.”

“How do you even pronounce that?!”

“Uhhh…” Keith frowns at the tiles. “Sigh-zee-jai…?”

Shiro shakes his head, smiling fondly. “No, baby, it’s ‘see-zee-jee’. It’s when three celestial bodies align.”

Romelle pouts. “Ugh. Nerd.”

“My nerd.” Keith says, smirking.

“Your nerd.” Shiro nods. They fist bump.




“Um… Ulaz? What does that word mean?”

Ulaz looks to his partner. “It’s your word.”

Thace smiles. “It means drunk.”

Romelle squints. “Really?”

“…in the 60’s.”

Keith blinks. “Wow, you’re old.”

A gasp.

“You wound me, Kit!”




“Melle. What is a gherkin.” Keith deadpans. “That’s not a word you know.”

Romelle shrugs. “Antok just said to play it!”

“Wait, you kids have never heard of a gherkin?” Ulaz asks.

“Is it… a kind of shoe?” Keith asks.

Romelle claps her hands once. “A hat!”

Shiro decides he might as well try guessing too. “Is it uh… a mythological creature, or…?”

“A bird.” Thace chimes in. “From… Australia?”

Ulaz fixes Thace with a disappointed look, then he sighs. “No, children, it’s pickled cucumber.”

“Oh…” comes the general reaction.

Keith rubs his temples. “Okay, Kolivan and Antok are coaching Romelle all the way from the garage, Ulaz and Thace only play ancient words, and Shiro only knows nerd words. We’ve been playing for an hour and the only word on this board that I recognize is ‘pilot’.” He sighs. “Let’s just play Uno.”




The storm continues into the late afternoon.

Thace and Ulaz had joined the teens for board games until it’s time to start making dinner. Romelle had volunteered to help and disappeared with the two.

Shiro finds himself alone, sitting sideways on a plush window seat with his feet propped up, staring out at the gray sky and the empty roads. He’s waiting for Keith, who left shortly to drop by the garage and check up on the progress on Red. As always, with the weather as it is, he zones out a bit, and doesn’t notice how much time passes until he’s pulled back by a familiar voice.

“That’s mom’s favorite spot.” Keith says, his way of making his presence known. “Mine too. When I’m down, I’ll just sit there and curl up with Kosmo, and afterwards, I feel a lot better.”

Shiro looks at him and smiles softly. “It’s too bad I don’t have a Kosmo, then.”

Keith huffs, and wordlessly joins him in the seat, crawling between Shiro’s legs and settling comfortably on the older’s chest. Shiro wraps his arms snug around him, dropping a kiss on Keith’s forehead before leaning back comfortably on the sill. It’s a tight fit, but comfortable, and Keith lets himself be held and cradled by a quiet Shiro as they watch the rainfall outside.

Shiro is grateful that Keith lets him be quiet, that Keith just settles himself as a grounding weight on top of him without asking anything. He traces lazy circles down Keith’s side, and when Keith shifts to snuggle closer, his shirt rides up slightly. Shiro’s hand finds his waist, and traces the skin there.

Keith lets out a shiver and Shiro realizes that he’d used his cold prosthetic. He lifts his hand away. “Oh. Sorry, baby.”

“S’okay.” Keith says, voice muffled against his shirt. “It’s nice, was just surprised. Keep doin’ it.”

Shiro chuckles, but nods and obliges. “So… you spent a lot of time in this house, then?”

“Mm-hm.” Keith’s voice is soft, sleepy. Shiro peers at his face and notices a smudge of grease on the tip of his nose. He wants to wipe it off, but Keith looks so peaceful, eyes half-lidded, so Shiro decides that it can wait. “When dad- When dad was still with us, Kolivan and the others always went to our old house for holidays and birthdays and stuff. Well. Sometimes they’re there just because. After dad, it’s the opposite. Mom drives us here to celebrate special occasions, or sometimes just to spend the weekend, take a break, like that. I didn’t-… I didn’t know.”

Shiro looks down when he feels Keith smoothing a hand down his chest. “Didn’t know what?”

He watches, quiet, as Keith picks on a stray thread on his borrowed shirt. “I didn’t know mom made them keep dad’s old stuff. I never wondered where they went, after. So this… this makes sense. Also explains how Kolivan had Red.”

“Kolivan had Red?”

“Red was my dad’s.” Keith explains. “I didn’t see her for years, until my sixteenth birthday, when Kolivan brought her to the house, said he’d been maintaining her and keeping her safe for me all these years. I think that’s why I love Red so much.”

“That’s very sweet.” Shiro says, squeezing Keith closer somehow, just because it felt right. “Your family’s real special, Keith.”

“I know.” Keith replies, and Shiro doesn’t miss his grin. “And I’m really glad they like you.”

Shiro feels a surge of affection in his chest and doesn’t resist the urge to curl tighter around the boy in his arms. Keith lets out a surprised huff that turns into a small laugh, but doesn’t fight him, and instead just snuggles closer. Shiro drops a kiss to his forehead, then his cheek, and hums in satisfaction when Keith tilts his head to catch the next one with his lips. It’s chaste, short and sweet, and Keith returns to cuddling him after.

Shiro likes Keith like this. He likes Keith when he’s all quiet fire and easy confidence with their friends. He likes Keith when he’s being silly wrestling with Kosmo and singing old pop songs with Romelle. He likes Keith when he’s smiling a proud smile after Krolia praises him. But most of all, he likes Keith when he’s open, unguarded and soft, just for Shiro.

No, Shiro thinks. That’s not quite right. ‘Like’ doesn’t even begin to cover how Shiro feels for Keith right now.

Keith, like this, quiet and gentle, a hand stroking Shiro’s arm to comfort him from the intrusive memories this unexpected storm brought? Thinking about him brings a lump to Shiro’s throat. Realizing that he’s real and solid and this is happening, now, is almost too much, and Shiro doesn’t feel the cold that rain and thunder usually filled him with. Instead he’s warm and he’s safe. Funny how it’s him wrapped around Keith that makes him feel safe, but he’s-… He’s loved, and he’s loving. And Shiro already knows that he loves Keith, but he feels like can fall in love with Keith all over again, when he’s like this.

Finally, he sighs, content, pressing words against Keith’s inky black hair. “I’m glad.”

It takes several seconds for a sleepy Keith to fully process that. The hand stroking Shiro’s arm stills for a second. “Hm?”

He laughs a bit, and picks up on their conversation. “I’m glad your four dads like me.” he says, although it’s only one of many things he’s glad of at the moment.

“So you do believe that they like you?” Keith asks, sounding amused.

Shiro thinks about it. “Hm… Fine. Let’s just say that I believe they don’t dislike me.”

Keith scoffs. “So humble, Captain. They  do  like you. I know it.” Then he grins. “You have bragging rights for that, now.”

“Bragging rights?”

“Rub it on Sven’s face, would you? That you’ve got the Marmora Seal of Approval, but he’s still on the hit list.”

Shiro laughs. “That’s still going on?”

“We’re competitive.” Keith reasons.

“So I’ve seen.” Shiro readily agrees. He never knew Uno could get  that  intense until he played with Keith and Romelle. He finally raises a hand to wipe off the dirt smudge on Keith’s nose. Keith’s face scrunches up, but he doesn’t swat Shiro’s hand away. After that, Shiro leans down to press a short kiss to it.

“Wow, you really keep doing that.” Keith remarks, blinking.

“I can’t help it.” Shiro says, fingers brushing Keith’s hair behind his ear. Keith makes a skeptic noise, and Shiro grins. “I mean it. Baby, I don’t think you realize how cute you are when you’re sleepy.”

“Stop.” Keith groans in embarrassment, but he doesn’t resist when a finger tips his chin upwards. Shiro leans down and he kisses back sleepily. It’s sweetly indulgent, and Shiro is selfish enough to steal a few shorter ones because he feels like he can never get enough, with Keith.

When they part, Keith says, “Uh. I just meant. You know. You’re very kissy today.”

Shiro blinks. “Am I? I like to think I’m always kissy when I’m with you.”

“Nope, actually. I’m usually the kissy one.”

“Hm.” Shiro hums, thinking. “Do you want me to be kissy more often?”

Keith smiles as shrugs. “Nah. I like you just fine.”

“It’s nice to hear that.” Shiro says, and after a pause he adds, “But it doesn’t mean I won’t try.”

He props Keith up to sit on his lap instead. Keith yelps, caught off guard, but Shiro only secures his arms around the other’s waist and peppers playful kisses to the boy’s neck, up a delicate jawline, and then to flushed cheeks.

Keith laughs, it’s carefree and unbridled, and breathlessly he tells Shiro that he’s a dork, and that he’s cheesy, and ridiculous.

His voice is music, and Shiro barely hears the thunder.




They all sit down to eat dinner. Keith gushes over the food. Shiro compliments Ulaz’s cooking again. Romelle talks about their upcoming school play, which they’re all going to watch, of course, since Krolia had already bought the four extra tickets for her children’s four extra parents.

Meanwhile, Kolivan explains to Keith the repairs and fine-tuning they’ve done for Red.

Keith listens attentively, nodding in understanding until – “Wait, so it’s not done yet?”

Kolivan shakes his head. “We won’t be able to get the part we need until Tuesday. But after that, she’ll be good as new.”

“We won’t be coming back with Red, then?” Keith asks, catching Shiro’s attention in the process.

Kolivan nods. “You can come pick her up next week.” He returns to his meal. After a moment, he adds, “If Shiro is open to giving you a ride back here again.”

Shiro sits up a bit straighter, and nods eagerly. “It would be my pleasure, sir.”

Kolivan scoffs grumpily. “Drop the ‘sir’. We’re at home.”

Keith nudges Shiro with his elbow and they exchange subtle smiles. Romelle giggles. Thace hums knowingly.

Ulaz hands Antok his five dollars back.




Krolia is curled up on the couch with Kosmo. This time, with no urgent responsibilities and no teenagers to hang out with, she’s contentedly munching on potato chips while half-watching the Marvel movie marathon she stumbled upon while surfing channels.

Her phone chimes and she blinks when she sees it’s a message from Thace. She already received several selfies and group photos earlier from Ulaz and Romelle, and while Krolia felt a bit sad that she couldn’t join them, she’s just happy that her family is happy, and she also appreciates the rare, quiet time alone.

When she opens it up, she finds that it’s another photo. The shot is dark and a bit grainy, but she can make out the two figures curled up in her favorite window seat. She stills for a second when she recognizes the familiar shirt and the torn jeans, then relaxes when she takes in Shiro’s white hair and glasses. He and Keith were both asleep, and someone had draped a blanket over them.

Another message pops up, and she reads:

‘They remind me of this couple I knew.’

Krolia smiles and sends a short reply.

‘Yeah. I see it too.’



Chapter Notes:

kolivan: is this allowed in your house? they just make out and cuddle like this? right in the living room?
krolia: what? it’s just two boys on top of each other napping on my couch. it could be worse.
kolivan: what… what do you mean… worse…?
krolia: it could be sven and romelle reciting the corniest most terrible poetry known to man, out loud.
kolivan: …
krolia: EVERYDAY. sometimes with background music.
kolivan: …i understand.


next update is the epilogue! with sven, because we love sven. 😀

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