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Wings that Fold onto You

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In a world where your wings were everything to be wingless was a sign of disaster.

To be wingless was a sign of disease.

To be wingless was a sign of the end.

Lance knew the history of the wingless. He knew that to give birth to a wingless could ruin lives. The child would be put to death. Even the members of the family that the wingless was born into could be killed. All his life he had been hidden away, not for his own safety, but for the benefit of the family who had scorned him since birth.

Less than one percent of earth's population was wingless. A number they proudly confirmed had dwindled as years went by due to the extermination of wingless. Beings without wings were usually abandoned, but Lance was hidden away.

Yet he had not wanted to stay that way.

So, Lance and his mother worked to get him into the Garrison, a place where wings had to stay hidden to fit into suits and tight space crafts. With this Lance would be able to fly, even if it was not by feathered wings.

But the fear of being found out was still there.

It was kept alive with the secret codes his mother constantly sent to him. It was in the tone of voice his mother would use whenever she spoke to him. All hushed tones and pitched differently from her ordinary voice. It was in the fake person standing beside him in the photos he would show off.

It was like a haunting presence that slashed at his heels and clawed into his mind.

So, when he became the blue paladin he felt free for the first time.

He had a team – a family – and he had an amazing bond with a lion that showed him what flying was like. But the fear settled in again. His team, his family, had wings, even the aliens that were leading them had wings. They were beautiful and struck awe into Lance every time he laid eyes on them.

Like now when everyone had their wings out after a long mission. Stretching them out and showing off the beauty of their feathers. Lance could not help staring at them, gaze intense, memorizing every detail he could.

First was Pidge, whose wings were cute and matched the feisty green paladin well. They were the perfect size for her and would often become so expressive that Lance would try to irritate the paladin just to see more of it. Her wings were a soft golden sand color that had a tint of orange when in the light. Bits of white sprinkled across her wings like powdered sugar and whenever they puffed up in anger she looked like a powdered doughnut.

Pidge would often demand to be embraced by wings, just like her parents and her brother would do back on earth.

It always pained Lance that he could not give her any. Thankfully, Hunk could give her all the wing cuddles she needed.

Hunk's wings were a solid, dark brown that glowed hickory in the sunlight with dark feathers showing up when someone looked farther down. Much like the lion he piloted, Hunk was a great support and had the warmest wings to cuddle in. His wings that were powerful and seemed so large that it always surprised everyone with how swiftly he could fly. The most important thing, though, was that Hunk's wings smelled so much like earth that it comforted every single member of the team whenever he wrapped them in his wings. Even with so much time out in space, the smell was not lost.

Lance could remember how many back at the Garrison would say how plain Hunk's wings were.

He thought they were all blind if they couldn't see the beauty in his best friend's wings.

Suddenly, Lance felt something large cover him. He looked to the side to see orange with little specks of white all over. The smell of something warm and comforting filled his senses, making Lance smile as he looked up.

Coran's wings had looked funny to Lance when he first saw them because no one on Earth had such a color. But, from what Lance had been told, it had been common for Alteans to have a wide variety of colors. It made Lance dream day and night of people with pointed ears and wings of all shapes, designs, and colors.

There were even patterns on Coran's wings that Lance liked to take a closer look at. He had been happy when Coran presented a feather to him that had the design on it. He kept it nested in a secret spot in his room with feathers from the rest of the team. “How are you feeling dear boy?” Coran asked voice laced with concern.

'Just like clockwork...' Lance thought, before reassuring Coran that he was fine. It was something he had to do as he was the only one who never showed his wings. All the others assumed he had something embarrassing on them, a thought he let fester until it was true in their minds.

In the end... Lance was just afraid.

“Ah, Allura! Shiro! Keith! Good of you to join us!” Coran called, pulling back his wing. Lance almost wanted to whine, his body almost convulsing to follow the feathers.

He knew that he was touch starved.

It was hard to fight.

'Beautiful....' Lance thought, staring at Allura as she proudly spread out her wings as far as they would go.

Allura's wings were truly that of royalty.

The feathers that lined the upper part or her wings were a pure white that seemed to sparkle with hidden golden stars whenever the light would hit them. The next line of feathers was a shade of black that balanced against the white and seemed to shine with the same hidden stars. It wasn’t these colors that caught Lance’s attention.

No.

It was her primary and secondary flight feathers that drew his eyes. They shone in soft rainbow hues that almost looked like they were shimmering galaxies every time they moved. They were so beautiful that when Lance first saw them he had to cry. There was nothing like her wings and it made Lance truly say that they were 'out of this world' for nothing on earth could compare.

But, Lance was biased, as he thought all his friend’s wings were better than anything he'd ever seen before. Something that he proudly stated to multiple alien species whenever they landed. Ignoring their curious gazes towards his own back as he praised his team and family.

Lance would be lying if he said he didn’t have favorites in the group.

Shiro and Keith, the two who's wings made his heart flutter and try to take off into the sky without him. The two he stared at the most whenever their wings were out in the open.

Both had had their wings transformed due to the Empire, but that never seemed to dim their magnificence. Instead, it seemed to power them with a strength that showed the battles they had faced and won.

They now shared something that wasn't just their love for each other in the fact that they had started out with pure black wings that would have put a raven’s to shame and made the stars cry out for a chance to decorate their feathers.

When Lance had seen Shiro again he noticed three things about his wings. The first was that they were no longer the pure black that he remembered, now the upper ‘rim’ was black with specks of white and all the feathers below that point were an almost glowing purple. His primary and secondary flight feathers had looked so sharp that at first Lance hadn’t thought they were feathers at all.

The second thing was that they were much larger than they used to be and the third thing was that they now looked something like Allura’s wings.  The larger size of his wings was something that the team had to work around as more than once he had whacked them out of the way by accident.

Despite his massive wings, no one could hear a thing when he flew and he always surprised everyone when in the skies. Lance had more than once almost knocked into Shiro with Blue when he was flying around. It got to the point where he needed to wear a bell so that the scanners could pick up on his noise.

All of it was a reminder of what the Empire had done to Shiro during his time as their champion.

‘Still...’ Lance thought, staring at his wings, wondering what it would feel like to be embraced and cuddled by them. ‘Still... they're still so beautiful....’ Lance’s thoughts picked up again before his eyes wandered over Keith's wings.

They covered a part of Shiro's in such a loving way that he had to look away for a moment. Fearful that he was intruding on something pure with his, as many would call it, filth.

If Keith's wings reminded Lance of anything it would be purple fire. When the red paladin had been hit with druid magic and his true wings had appeared it was like watching something being born from the fire itself. His wings were many shades of dark purples and deep reds that matched well together. It almost looked like the edges were singed and sometimes when Keith flew it looked like he was a ball of flames soaring through the skies.

His wings weren’t the only thing that had changed though, he now looked enough like a full Galra to pass as one. It had been a shock to all of them when it had happened and had put a strain on the team’s relationships with him, especially Allura’s. She had been in a rage when his heritage was first revealed and had tried to rip out his feathers. Her attempt had not ended well or at least had not left them all happy. Lance understood her hostility towards Keith and his new appearance, after all, he looked like one of the race that had destroyed her homeworld and whatever family may have been left there. He knew that Keith had no idea where or how the Galra genes had entered his family, and he knew that he was the same person under all the new fur, but they both needed to cool off a bit.

That’s why lance took every opportunity he could to lighten the mood. Lance teased Keith about the new appearance of his ears, lightheartedly bringing up that they looked almost bat-like now. He joked about how he looked like a vampire rather than a Galra and got knocked over by Keith’s wings for his efforts. Lance was not deterred by this though and would comment about how Keith’s wings were just as big as Shiro’s and obviously that’s why he was being knocked off things now. The laughter of the others and the reassured smiles that were sent his way at his comments made his constant falling from things worth the effort of his jokes.

Thankfully everything had turned out fine in the end and the two had apologized to each other. Though Keith had not yet allowed the Princess to touch his wings and he had made no move to touch hers. Lance could tell it both pained both of them, but the shock to Keith prevented him from taking the step forward.

He was trying though and things like this didn’t get cured overnight.

Lance was happy that Keith had Shiro to help calm him. The two lovebirds were always wrapped up with each other, grooming each other and nuzzling in each other’s wings. It was a site that Lance longed for and one that reminded him that he could never have that.

“Lance?” came a voice causing the Paladin to squeak as he almost fell off Blue's paw.

Something big and warm stopped his fall and Lance blushed as Keith gently lowered him to the ground with one of his massive wings. As always they were so warm and Lance sighed in relief at being covered feathers.

“Lance are you alright?” Shiro asked, already kneeling to help him to his feet again. Lance blushed hard enough to make the red lion jealous, which earned him a snort from Blue.

“Yeah sorry, I was deep in thought... I guess... that battle really took it out of me,” Lance said. He wasn’t lying, as the battle had been long and exhausting. Lance realized that it had been over twenty-four hours since they had last slept.

“Oh... do you still feel up for a flight?” Keith asked and Lance hated to hear the hope in voice.

This was starting to become a trend every time Lance had been offered to do some group flying. When he was forced to go Blue would come save him and demand to be piloted while they were all out flying.

A part of him knew and feared that the facade wouldn’t last for long.

In fact, he was terrified.

“No... I'm actually really tired... it has been twenty-four hours since we last slept...” Lance said, getting everyone to look at each other in surprise.

“Alright, you go get some rest. Do any of you still want to fly?” Shiro asked though he kept a concerned eye on Lance.

“Yeah, I won't be able to sleep,” Hunk confessed, with a tired looking Pidge beside him.

“I'm feeling a bit restless too...” Pidge added though she looked at Lance with guilt. Lance waved it off with a reassuring smile, watching her little wings puff up again as they all started making their way outside. The castle had landed on a peaceful planet to rest, repair and resupply for everyone on board.

“I can sta-...”

“Mullet, your wings are literally shaking,” Lance cut Keith off, causing him to huff and Shiro to chuckle at Lance's statement. Keith grumbled, and Lance was shocked when his warm wings embraced him for just a moment before the red paladin stalked off to join the others.

“Are you sure you'll be okay Lance?” Shiro asked, reaching out to with his Galra arm, pressing it gently down on Lance's shoulder. His frown deepened when he noticed how Lance shivered and his shoulders sagged with exhaustion.

Lance could already see Shiro's wings showing some of his emotions as they grew bigger. They fluffed up a bit making Lance giggle as his beautiful, suave wings looked unusually ruffled up close. His laughter allowed Shiro to calm down and smile as he reached out his own wings to do the same thing that Keith had done. 

Lance was silenced as he took in the oddly cool feeling that surrounded him. Usually, wings were warm and Keith's wings ran warmer than most but for some reason Shiro's wings were cold.

'It's actually... comforting...' Lance mused, getting a growl of agreement from Blue.

“Stay safe and rest well,” Shiro said before leaving the rest. Lance gaped as he watched him leave and saw those magnificent wings spread out before disappearing into the skies. Without meaning too Lance rushed after his team and hid away out of sight to watch how they danced and soared around each other in the light of the planet’s moons.

Joy and laughter filled the night and a part of Lance longed for that same feeling they were having. A hand reached out towards the skies where wings blocked out the stars in blankets of feathers. Soon, though, Lance drew back his hand and sighed, no longer being able to stand the sight.

Part of Lance felt guilt over having such emotions for his friends.

He was happy for them.

He loved to see them happy.

Which is why this was more than enough.

So, Lance went back to his room. To his nest that he had made to near perfection. He went through his usual routine, throwing on his pajamas and crawling into bed. He was asleep in a matter of seconds curled up under the blankets.

Lance wouldn’t notice that not long after two figures would come into his room. He would not notice the Press of reassuring hands and wings before they vanished like they were never there.

Chapter Text

Lance knew that one day his secret would finally be revealed. 

He knew it deep in his heart.

There was only so many times Lance could dissuade from group flying, group grooming, and even group cuddling. He knew he was hurting them by lying over and over again. But, the fear was almost suffocating and Lance didn't know what to do.

So he continued to lie.

But, he knew... he knew he couldn't keep it a secret for much longer.

“Lance?”

“Oh... What's up Keith? You need something?” Lance asked, expression almost in a daze as he nestled in the large armchair looking furniture. He honestly didn't know what it was, but it was comfortable and he knew it was for sitting with the way that Coran used it. His eyes still kept to the stars in front while his fingers danced along the furs of the mice that had decided to cuddle up to the human.

Keith frowned at the pained look on Lance's features. The red paladin wanted to comment and demand so many answers from the other in order ease that pain. But, if there was one thing Keith learned about Lance it was that he kept many things close to his heart.

They were similar in that way and Keith would allow the other to come to him. Just like how he went to Lance when he first found about his heritage. Staring at the growing purple bruises with horror Keith didn't know what to do with the feeling of dread ripped apart his insides. But, when it came to much to bottle up inside of him did he go out to seek the only person he thought would help.

He sought out Lance and with Lance, he was able to find comfort along with safety.

Just like how he always found comfort and safety in Shiro so many time in the past and present.

“You didn't come to the grooming session,” Keith whispered, noticing the distinct flinch at the mention of the flock bonding session.

“Sorry... I haven't been feeling well....” Lance answered back, truthful in his words. He really hasn't been feeling all that well anymore and usually takes constant naps to regain some energy for the brutal training they go through. The blue paladin wondered if he should go to Coran about this. Then again, if he went to Coran the status of him being wingless will finally be presented to the team if the altean looked in too deep.

He wasn't ready to face the rejection just yet. He wanted to bottle all the warmth and all the friendly eyes for a little while longer so that it burned into his soul. Just so that he has something to hold onto and look back on when the team finally abandons him.

“You've been taking a lot of naps lately.” Keith agreed, making Lance lift up his head in surprise.

“You've noticed?” Lance asked, getting Keith to look at him back with genuine surprise. “Everyone's noticed. We're really worried about you.” Keith explained, making Lance smile as he felt that flooding warmth coming in and spreading across his being. He didn't say anything else though and just snuggle deeper into the blanket while he cuddles the mice that almost purred in his hold.

Keith seeing this as the end of the conversation watched as Lance slowly closed his eyes for another nap. The mice waking a bit after not feeling those hands petting them anymore chattered worriedly to each other. Keith studied as the smallest blue one seemed the most distressed about Lance's condition.

“Keith?” spoke a soft whisper.

Keith forced himself to look away from Lance in order to look at his mate, Shiro, walking into the darkened room. Immediately, they reached for one another with their wings and sighed in relief when feathers touched each other. It was like a puzzle piece sliding together whenever they touched and it made the two feel loved along with feeling whole. Something that seemed too rare nowadays with the war that took chunks out of them. 

In physical, mental and emotional forms. 

When Shiro finally came to the large chair his calm expression turned into a crestfallen look. Keith could understand the feeling and he turned to look back at Lance with saddening violet eyes. His wings along with Shiro's wings started wrapping around the chair in a protective covering. Preventing anything from harming their precious blue paladin and allowing him to almost fall into an even deeper slumber.

“He's getting skinnier.” Shiro whispered, reaching out with his metallic hand and brushing just a few strands of hair away from Lance's face. But, his eyes stayed on the other's wrists and fingers seeing how thin they were getting and how pale the other's complexion was becoming.

“Coran and Hunk... they said that we'll be stopping by a planet soon in order to restock some supplies. They want to collect a few things in hopes of making Lance more filling and nutritious meals. They hope they can do this to encourage  him to eat more too.” Keith spoke, reaching out to intertwine his fingers with Shiro's. Giving his lover support as they fussed over Lance and even let out very quiet coos when Lance let out a cute little yawn.

Back when they first meet, Shiro knew that Lance was a light sleeper. So standing here and speaking with Keith without him even waking was deeply concerning. The whole flock was becoming distressed over their member's declining health and even Pidge was getting less sleep than usual due to wanting to keep an eye on Lance. As the other started falling asleep in places that looked uncomfortable or even dangerous in a few situations they caught him.

“Did Coran figure out anything about Lance's condition?” Shiro asked, making Keith go silent.

The question was rhetorical as they both knew that Lance was hiding something big. Something that seemed to be tormenting and agonizing him to such a degree that it was affecting his physical health.

It was torture for them to watch.

“Shiro? Keith?”

In shock, the pair quickly unfolded the protective casing and turned around to see an equally shocked Pidge. She was holding what looked to be an extra blanket and her laptop tucked under her right arm. Keith and Shiro both stretched out their wings in order to give a small hug to the green paladin.

“Bring him to dinner alright?” Shiro asked, getting a huff from Pidge as she puffed up from the affection.

“Of course.” She grumbled, making her way to Lance and snuggling up against the other. Lance awoke just a little in order to move and carry the mice to safety before snuggling against the girl. The mice quickly jumping back onto Lance and using his hoodie like a kangaroo pouch. It made both Keith and Shiro smile fondly towards the small group allowing a few hair ruffles that were only mildly grumbled at. 

“Keith? Shiro?” came out the quiet voice of Pidge as she typed away at her computer.

“Yeah?” Keith asked.

“You hurt him.... you're fucking dead....” Pidge informed, her tone serious and her eyes showing a protective gleam. It made the two men stand up straighter and nodded to their flock member before leaving. Pidge nodded with satisfaction before she cuddled up to Lance and clung onto the other with her wing as she worked on her latest program.

For once Shiro didn't reprimand the swearing.


 

“Paladins as you know we'll be stopping by a planet in order to restock and repair the castle,” Allura spoke, her eyes going onto each Paladin before she continued speaking. “While you all still have to train. I'm going to allow a little more resting periods. You've all worked hard and earned this.” Allura explained, getting loud cheers from both Hunk and Pidge.

Lance also gave a small cheer, but he was a little more relieved than excited. He was hoping if he slept a little more than he would finally feel back too normal. He really disliked feeling like crap all the time and he hated seeing Coran along with Hunk so worried whenever he wouldn't finish a meal.

It wasn't his fault though.

It's just... the food wasn't sitting well with him.

'Then again, we've been eating the same thing for so long....' Lance thought, a small amount of distaste on his features. He pushed the food back and forth while nibbling on a few bites. Lance continued to listen to the Princess as she continued on with her explanation.

By the end of it though he couldn't eat anymore.

'Ugha, what's wrong with me?' Lance wondered, before placing his spoon down.

“Not feeling it today either my boy?”

“No, sorry Coran.... I think eating the same thing over and over is getting to me.” Lance confessed, getting a nod of understanding from the eldest member on the ship. Coran never really pushed Lance to eat more and instead ask Lance what he could do to make the meals more appealing.

It's something that Lance was thankful for and it made him feel giddy whenever the older man gave him a wing hug. He always wondered if this is what it felt like when a parent wing hugs their children.

“Don't worry buddy! I'll cook you up a mean meal! You'll be drooling all over it!” Hunk promised, puffing his wings in pride. Lance grinned finally feeling some excitement and started chatting on what could possibly be made.

Soon everyone threw ideas in from spaghetti too even pizza. Which of course started the debate if pineapple on a pizza should be a thing. Which started the next debate on what you poured in first the cereal or the milk.

The feelings like these were nice and Lance hopes the painful feeling in his stomach was wrong.

But, usually when he gets a gut feeling...

….. something bad will happen.

 

Chapter Text

"Shiro, do you have the scanner?" Lance asked, staring down at the fruit with stars in his eyes. For the fruit itself was shaped like a star and his whole body vibrated with excitement as a fond memory wiggled it's way to light. It looked just like the fruit that was in one of his favorite video games. He could still remember the deep storyline, playful characters and the signature fruit that he had begged his mother to buy him even though the fruit never existed. The old retro game was so good and he would be very depressed if he couldn't eat t his star-shaped fruit that he had found in space. 

Shiro had walked over and chuckled when he saw the look Lance was giving to the star fruit. Raising up the small device he made sure to scan a few times to be extra sure that it was safe to eat before giving Lance a thumbs up. Instantly the blue paladin cried out in joy and started placing much of the fruit into the floating metal carts that Allura and Coran had given them. Already many of them were filled to the brim with safe food that was slowly being moved inside by Coran and carefully stored away. 

"Guys! Guys! Look! Look!" Lance spoke, rushing over to the others. Hunk and Pidge looked up from a berry bush they were studying that were glowing an almost eerie pink. While Keith stopped his careful piling of... Lance thinks they were fish that were cut, cleaned, and carefully packaged. But, honestly, he couldn't really tell because they looked really weird almost like a cross between a fish and a chicken. 

"Whoa! That looks like the fruit from that old game! The one that Disney and Square Enix made together." Hunk grinned, taking the fruit from Lance's excited hands while Pidge puffed her feathers in joy. 

"Wasn't that game made a long time ago?" Keith asked, stretching out his wings. Making sure to give light touches to everyone, including Lance, as the large appendages stretched out after being closed for so long. It made Lance shiver and his body scream for more, but he held himself in as Pidge nodded her head before giving a snort. 

"You're making it sound like it's Pac-Man," Pidge grumbled. 

"Whoa, now that one is a fossil." Hunk explained while Shiro shook his head. 

"No that would be Pong," Shiro added, getting a nod in agreement from Hunk and Keith. 

Soon the group went into a deep conversation about video games all wanting each other's input. Lance laughed at the bubbly warm feeling of being around the others and relished in everything that was happening around him. Pidge was fighting with Keith on the majesty of Pokemon while Keith explained that Horizon is where it was at if you wanted to play 'good games'. At one point the two started tackling each other to the ground with a battle cry while Shiro and Hunk chuckled in amusement. The two being pleasant with one another and explaining their own favorite games to each other. Shiro admitting that he loves the farming games and Hunk exploring which ones the leader played. 

For Lance, it was nice to hear his team and flock's talking. Taking in the life of their voices and the warmth of their bodies that was so close to his own Lance allowed himself to sway in the pleasant feeling. He decided to keep silent as he made sure to commit everything they say to memory. Wanting to learn more about the important people he treasured around him. Of course, Keith seemed to notice Lance's quiet nature and forcefully pulled Lance into the conversation. Causing the flightless human to become flustered as Keith demanded to know if Lance liked dinosaurs or not. 

Fun fact: he did. 

"Hunk! What do you think? Do we have enough supplies?" Coran called, forcing everyone to look over to the adviser. 

"Oh! Shoot, sorry Coran! I think we need some more meats and vegetables." Hunk confessed, making everyone scramble back to their tasks. For Coran was forming the disappointed parent look and none of them have the courage to actually face the other while 'Space Parent' had that face. Pidge scrambled to find more vegetables that the scanners picked up while Keith and Shiro went into the skies. Using specialized scanners to tell which animals they could hunt and which ones could probably kill them if they were ingested. 

Lance too went to grab some of the fishing equipment and ran away as Hunk apologized for the group. The yellow paladin sacrificing himself so that way the others wouldn't have to experience the guilty child-like feeling of guilt that made Hunk grumble to the ground. He was a good friend, an amazing paladin that no one will ever forget. Pidge even gave a salute before vanishing behind the brush before Coran could lay his eyes on her. Even Allura was making herself scarce by grabbing a container and making her escape.

'Good man...' Lance thought, as Hunk went through the scolding from the eldest member of the parent of the ship.

But, as Lance was alone and as he waited patiently for the fish he couldn't help feel the gut feeling again. He wondered if the others were feeling the unrest too as he constantly looked around the area. A frown decorating his features as he made sure to look at anything that moved or made a sound. A part of him wondering if he's just being paranoid while another part of him screaming that something was watching them. Which wasn't far-fetched as there were many animals in the area that were looking at them curiously. 

Still... he felt something was wrong.

'I'm probably just paranoid.' Lance mused, wiggling the lure a bit in order to make it look enticing to the creatures that lived in the water. Thinking that his paranoia with hiding his secret was affecting his thought process and deciding to just let it go.

None of the team nor the alteans noticed the slim creature making its way inside the ship. Slipping past even the censors as it looked with great hunger at the group of fleshy humans and alteans.


"I'm so beat." Lance whined, slinking onto the couch after taking a nice warm shower. Keith was sitting beside him and nodding his head in agreement as his wings flexed out a bit in order to give them shade from the lights that shined above them.

"No worries guys! I'm going to get started on making a nice dinner for all of you." Hunk explained, looking a little tired himself. But, Hunk always found energy in one of his favorite hobbies. Lance knew that cooking was always a stress relief and a thing that helped him stay close to his family. Hunk always talked about his dad who was a great chef and taught Hunk everything he knew. In fact, Hunk's family owned a really nice restaurant in Hawaii that is run by his mother. 

When the two are in secret Hunk would confess that he wondered if his younger siblings finally took over the restaurant or not. There was a pained and wistful look on his features that Lance made sure to try and hug away.

Sometimes it worked... sometimes it just helped ease it just a bit.

"I'll also be helping with number two! I'm finally getting a hang on how your human taste buds seem to work." Coran explained, making everyone wince. It took Hunk long... LONG... LOOONNNNGGGG days to help Coran with his cooking. Something that was undesirable for both the humans and for Allura. Who oftentimes would 'mysteriously' fall ill every time Coran made her meals and snacks that wasn't the food goo. 

"Can't wait for it, Coran." Lance chimed, getting a happy and pleased look from Coran. The two quickly left in order to get dinner started allowing everyone else to leave in order to do their own things. Allura and Pidge left to discuss more of the Altean language. The princess gladly teaching Pidge her language and seeking out to spend time with the smallest Paladin. Leaving Lance behind with the resident space couple that still relaxed on the couch with Lance. 

"What's your plan till dinner?" Lance asked, fidgeting a bit from his place beside Keith. Watching as Shiro and Keith were pressed close to each other with their wings softly rubbing against one another. It was entrancing to watch, but Lance felt he was intruding a bit and looked away. He would get up or scoot a bit further away from Keith if it weren't for Keith's arm tightly wrapped around his shoulders. Trapping the blue Paladin to his side and even going as far as using his large wing to block Lance's escape. 

"I think I plan to work on the garden a bit," Shiro confessed, blushing as Keith and Lance grinned over at him. 

"Farming in virtual life..." Lance spoke. 

"Farming in real life..." Keith finished, causing the two to burst into laughter. 

"I'll have you know that the old game stardew valley and harvest moon were amazing and inspirational. You're jealous that my games can be a reality." Shiro informed, making Keith narrow his eyes. They faintly glowed yellow in the purple irises and Lance started to sweat just a bit when he heard a growl coming from the half galran. 

"You take that back. Dinosaurs can be are real." 

"Yes, Dinosaurs are real, but they're not alive." 

"With all this technology we could bring them back or make one." 

"There is literally a saga of movies, tv shows and documentaries on why that would be a terrible idea." 

"WHY YOU!!" 

Lance yelped as he managed to scramble away from Keith as he launched onto Shiro. The man also yelping as he was tackled to the ground by a flaming rage ball of Keith as the half galran let out a loud screeching noise. Lance started crawling his way away from the two when he felt something wrap around his ankle. Preventing his escape and making him scream as it pulled him back with vigor. Looking back Lance could see that Keith, in his rage, morphed more into his galran genes. He now sported his long tail along with his ears growing in size and his fur to be even fluffier. There were even red patterns showing on his face that complimented the fangs that seemed just a little sharper to the sharpshooter. 

Shiro was doing his best to calm his lover, but the biting was becoming a hazard.

"Keith! Don't be a little shit! Biting is cheating!" Lance shouted, trying to untangle the long tail from around his ankle. But, instead of unwrapping it to get it off his ankle the tail snaked further up along his leg and started moving him a bit side to side. Lance was about to scold again only for his mouth to be filled with feathers as Keith's large wings accidentally smack him in the face. At least this seemed to snap Keith out of his rage and he whines as he pulls Lance close to help him take the feathers out of his mouth. 

Shiro chuckled as he helped to get a few stray feathers from Lance's hair while Lance sourly looked at Keith. A brow arched and an eye twitching as he grumbled about stupid mullets being too hot-headed. Once all the feathers were out Lance begins his epic scolding on Keith on how to play fight. Watching as the other's ears lowered and his whole form sagged to the ground in a puddle of fur and feathers. And while Shiro thought he wouldn't get scolded Lance proved him wrong and started shouting at the leader as well. 

Shiro did goad Keith into the fight after all. 

"Now that's over. I'm going to go relax! You might have caused me to have a wrinkle with all this stress! A WRINKLE!" Lance cried, looking over the nearest reflective surface to actually see if these two troublemakers already caused the evil thing called wrinkles. 

"Lance, even with wrinkles you be perfect." Shiro let slipped. Shiro turned a very deep red color that made Keith a little jealous while Lance stared intently at Shiro. 

"DOES THAT MEAN I HAVE ONE ALREADY?!?!" Lance screeched, his cries were heard all over the castle as he rushed out of the room. Not getting the compliment or the implications of the words that Shiro spoke. Something that both Shiro and Keith were a little relieved and disappointed in.


"Mmuuucchhh, better," Lance whispered, watching his skin shine after a good washing. 

"Hmm, dinner might be ready soon.." Lance whispered when suddenly Blue roared in his mind while the alarms went off in the castle. 

"PALADINS! THERE IS SOMETHING IN THE CASTLE!" came a shout from the intercoms. Allura sounded angry and frantic while the lights turned from a pleasant blue to a dangerous red. Lance cursed grabbing hold of his bayard and thankful that he was in his room when this happened. 

"Guys! What's going on?!" Lance asked, bolting out of his room and looking around the massive hallways. 

"Lance! It seems that a creature from the planet we came from has snuck inside! It just attacked Pidge!" Coran replied back, his voice echoing against the metal walls and floors. "Thankfully, she was with green at the time and her lion was able to place a barrier before the creature could hurt her! Careful my boy for this creature can blend into its surroundings." Coran explained, making Lance curse as he stopped his running. Thinking quickly he rushed towards armory in order to get his armor and helmet. 

As soon as Lance came close to the doors Hunk and Pidge touched down next to him from their flight. Quickly Lance placed his hands on Pidge to make sure his friend and flock member were truly alright. Pidge allowed this as they made their way inside the armory with to reveal Shiro and Keith already dressed in their gear. Without a word, all the paladins got dressed as quickly as possible before looking to Shiro for their next instructions. 

"Everyone double up and search the ship. Coran can confirm that this creature can blend into its surroundings, but that is all we know. Shoot to kill." Shiro ordered, his eyes focused and his tone calm. "Pidge, Hunk I want you to head towards the kitchens. Allura and Coran will be heading there as well for the creature could be heading there next out of hunger." Shiro ordered, before motioning towards Keith and Lance. 

"Keith, Lance is with me. We'll be heading to the upper levels of the hangers to make sure the creature actually left." Shiro explained. It is better for him to be up high as he can snipe out the creature on the ground of the hangers if it was still in there. 

"Guys be careful this thing is fast, but it blending does shimmer a bit," Pidge explained, getting a nod from Lance. 

"You two stay safe," Lance spoke, getting a smile from Hunk and a scoff from Pidge. "Of course!" Pidge explained before the two left. 

"Ready?" Keith asked, placing a hand on Lance's shoulder. 

"... yeah." Lance whispered, feeling the horrible sick coming back worse than ever. As Lance left with Shiro and Keith, he couldn't help know that something will happen. 

He could only hope nothing will happen to his team and flock. 

No....

He'll use everything he's got to keep them all safe. 

Chapter Text

"Allura, where is it?" Lance whispered, raising his gun and making sure to cover the blind spots of both Keith and Shiro. 

"I'm trying to search right now for heat signatures," Allura informed, her voice also quiet and the faint noise of her typing away filling Lance's ears. It forced the marksman to turn the volume down just in case he heard anything that could possibly lead them towards the creature. 

"Guys, we're in the kitchens. We don't see or hear anything, but then again this thing can turn invisible." Pidge whispered, getting small whines from Hunk. 

"Hunk, my man, stay with us alright?" Lance soothed, getting a deep breath from the yellow paladin. With a grunt from Hunk, the others were able to focus once again on the pressing matter in finding a creature that could turn invisible and run faster than any of the paladins. It was almost like...

"Oh my quiznak," Lance whispered, clutching his gun as he turned around to look right at Keith. Keith turned to look at Lance and the two stared at each other while the half galran raised a brow at Lance's horrified face. Shiro also looked concerned and quickly went to Lances side and press a firm hand on his shoulder. 

"Lance? What's wrong?!" came the harsh whisper from Allura. 

"Guys... we're being raptor." 

"........" 

"........ Shit." 

"Language!" Shiro whispered, before staring at Lance with disbelief. But, Keith was looking at Lance like he was the most amazing thing in the whole multiverse, which made Lance feel nice inside. On the headsets, you can hear Pidge and Hunk both gasping as the two already were agreeing with Lance's statements. All the while Coran and Allura were asking if the sentence Lance spoke was a tactic or not. 

"In a way," Shiro whispered, before guiding Lance down the hallways as they were making their way towards the walkways that were built above the hangers. 

"Everyone! It seems that the creature is still in the hangers! Coran and I will shut the main doors. Proceed with caution!" Allura ordered. Already a loud sound of the doors closing could be heard along with the screech of whatever it was that resided in the hangers. 

Lance couldn't help move a little closer to Keith, who seemed to do the same, as they got closer to the hangers. It seems like they were all trying to head towards the top levels of the walkways in hopes that the beast was still on the ground. If it was, it would be easy pickings for Lance and Hunk.

“Stay close,” Shiro whispered, leaning his head to the side in order to make sure both Keith and Lance were actually close.

Keith gave a slight nod to Shiro while spreading out his wing to guide Lance a little closer to him. Making the other blush at the feeling of the other's warm wings pressing against his body. Lance almost wanted to melt against Keith, but they had an intruder and that needed to be dealt with first.

When they came to the large metal doors Shiro gave a signal to wait before asking through the coms if everyone else was ready. After soft confirmations and a soft okay, the group rushed into the hangars while smashing the doors shut.

The noise seemed to echo around the hangers and Lance saw the others nervously look around the huge area for any movement they could possibly see. It was so silent Lance didn't think that the creature was still inside until they heard a noise from below.

Not even waiting for a signal, Lance aimed and fire at the spot the noise came from. Hearing a loud warning hiss and screech from the invisible creature, but not making a direct hit. It made the blue paladin curse as he kept his gun up while Keith covered his back.

“Allura! Where is it?!” Shiro asked, his galra hand glowing an eerie purple and his wings flaring out to hopefully intimidate the creature.

“It keeps moving around too fast for us to give a direction!” Allura shouted while Coran pointed at a spot below.

“HUNK!” Coran cried, getting Hunk to aim and fire a barrage of shots down below. Again they heard the terrible roars that came from the beast and yet not shot has been made.

“This is ridiculous we're like fish in a barrel!” Pidge shouted, covering Hunk's back and watching over the alteans as they looked at the scanners.

“Keep your guard up!” Keith shouted, his large fluffy ears twitching with every step the creature made. Focusing as much as he could Keith was able to figure out where the creature seemed to be running before pointing to a spot.

“LANCE!” Keith cried, getting Lance to hold his breath and shoot.

Immediately the loud agonizing cry of the creature was heard as the tip of its tail was blasted off. Almost glowing neon blood spurted from the tip allowing everyone to the trail and soon the blood-soaked feet of the intruder.

“WATCH OUT!” Pidge cried, watching as it scrambled and slithered it's way up the walls and onto the metal catwalks.

“FLY!” Shiro commanded, getting everyone into the air.

Well... almost everyone.

“Lance what are you doing?!” Keith demanded, turning about to see that Lance wasn't following.

But, Lance couldn't follow.

'Focus, just focus.' Lance thought, pushing out all the shouting that blurred around him. Pushing away the thundering movement of the steel he was standing on as the creature scrambled from under the catwalk to above. Pushing away the fear of being found out in order to protect his flock.

'Have... hope... my... paladin...' Blue whispered, her voice washing over him like gentle waves. It soothed Lance and he let out a short breath before he started pulling the trigger.

The first blast took out one of the creatures arms and melted the hand bars behind the creature. The handlebars instantly snapped from the hot weakened metal and the powerful tail that slammed into it. Making the creature scream as the hot melted parts of the metal cacked onto its skin.

The creature thrashed so violently that the walkway that Lance was on groaned from the stress. Lance pushed the thought away as he gave his second shot. Effectively blasting a part of the monster's jaws off making even gasp at the brutality.

But, the creature was much faster and to agile as it got closer to Lance. Making the Paladin have to pull back and start running away. This made the others snap out from their awe of Lance's shots and race over to help him.

“LANCE! FLY! WHY AREN'T YOU FLYING?!” Pidge screamed, her voice cracking and the girl being visibly upset.

“LANCE YOU NEED TO FLY!” Hunk shouted, not wanting to fire his own weapon in fear that he would hit Lance as well. Shiro also shouting towards the other, but Keith.. Keith looked at Lance with a sudden realization.

Lance wanted to reply back to them, but the monster was faster. It came upon Lance and with a mighty roar swiped it sharps claws onto the paladin. Smashing Lance into the ground and making him yelp at the sharp pain of the claws breaking through the armor and piercing his side.

“GET AWAY FROM HIM!” shouted two voices.

Keith and Shiro rushing onto the monster to get him off of their flock member. Keith stabbed hard into the creatures back while Shiro smashed his hand into its throat. But, the monster had one last bit of life and managed one last swipe at the blue paladin below.

Effectively knocking Lance into the air and off the walkway.

For a moment Lance felt like the time was slowing down as he was flying into the air. His body was thrumming with adrenaline and pain from the injuries done to him by the monster. Yet the strange feeling of joy consumed him as he flew just a little higher into the air.

A part of him wonders if this is what it was like.

Being in the air so effortlessly.

Lance didn't ever think... he would be experiencing the horrifying feeling...

... of falling....

Even without wings, he could still fall. 

Soon the time seemed to go into light speed and everything around him became an almost white blur. He could hear the screams of desperation from his flock and could hear the agonized roar from Blue. He could feel the air around him slash at his body as if trying to push him up to prevent his fast descent. But, his body was like a rock in the ocean and his only destination was rock bottom. 

"I'm sorry," Lance whispered, closing his eyes in order to give himself a small mercy of not having to witness his own death. But, the blue paladin felt no fear for his own death as he continued to fall. Lance never had a fear of death, not since he was young and death loomed around his every corner. No, he was not afraid to die. 

The fear he felt in his heart was for his precious flock. He feared what would happen to them after his death. He feared what the Empire would do to them without his watchful eye over them. He feared what would become of them if the stress of war finally ate away at their courage without someone there to notice. He feared so many things for each of his precious friends that tears rushed out of his eyes. 

'I don't want to die.' Lance thought, warping his arms around him ready for the painful impact and the cold touch of death. 

"LANCE!" came a screech and Lance gasped as strong arms wrapped around him. Crushing his body against something much warmer than his own and feeling the rush of going down so fast to going up even faster. Lance opened his eyes to see glowing yellow staring right into his soul. While there was anger Lance could see there was also anguish and relief. Tears freely running down his purple furred cheeks making Lance reach up and try to wipe away those tears. 

Keith should never have to cry for someone like him. 

"Keith... you've changed...." Lance whispered in awe. Fingers tracing the red markings on Keith's face, but the other didn't seem to care. Keith was too upset with what almost happened to Lance to even say out words as the two finally landed safely on the ground. His large wings wrapping around Lance in such a tight embrace that some of the feathers got shoved underneath the other's helmet. Making Lance sneeze and gag as silky feathers were shoved into his face. 

"Kei- ACHOO! Gag! Feathers!" Lance managed to get out, wincing at the pain he felt on his side and being relieved when Keith allowed his wind to move just a small fraction. 

The two jumped when a sudden loud smashing noise that followed a crack and splurts could be heard a few meters behind them. The two quickly looking behind them to see the monster dead on the ground with its blood painting the metal floors below its corpse. Gently flying above was Shiro who's eyes were cold and his glowing hand sizzling the blood that decorated it. It was frightening to see, but Lance felt warmth and pride as seeing his flock leader finish off their enemy. 

Though, the feeling was short lived as Allura's voice cut through the hangers. 

"LANCE! Why didn't you pull out your wings! Why didn't you fly! You could have died with that stunt you pulled!" Allura demanded, landing just in front of the pair with rage on her features. She was even morphing a bit and her form growing a bit taller than her usual height. 

Lance whimpered at the harsh voice and Keith growled towards the altean princess. His wings flapping in warming and flaring up to intimidate the now larger princess. Pidge was also trying to get into the showdown, but Hunk held the feisty green paladin back seeing Shiro and Coran step into the tense group. 

"Allura, I believe it's prudent we first get Lance treated before any questioning begins," Coran informed, his voice stern as he looked at the angered woman. Coran knew that Allura was showing off this emotion due to the overwhelming feeling of seeing one of her own paladins, her friend, and her flock member almost dying. But, he also knew that the situation at hand was delicate and it seemed that Keith has realized something no one else was connecting with. 

The eldest member knew that the secret Lance holds must be dire. 

"I agree, Lance needs to be treated and we need to make sure that the blood of this creature isn't toxic anyone of us," Shiro explained, level-headed as he spoke and yet his wings showed a different story. While not outright puffed up the massive wings were twitching a tremendous amount and a few times the leader had to gently flex them in order to prevent any intimidation displays. 

"No! Enough! I grow tired of this! LANCE! WHY DIDN'T YOU TAKE OUT YOUR WINGS!" 

"BECAUSE I DON'T HAVE ANY!"

".... what?" Pidge whispered, staring at Lance in shock as the other coward in Keith's hold. 

"... I... I... don't... have... any.. wings..." Lance spoke, tears gushing out as he looked at everyone with a small desperate hope. 

".... Coran! Set up the quarantine room! Lance has been diseased!" Allura ordered, making everyone gasp at her as she looked at Lance with concern and fear.

While something in Lance's heart shattered at the words. 

Quartine room.

Diseased. 

Wingless. 

Lance knew this happy life wouldn't last for long. 

"Allura, what the fu-..." Pidge shrieked but was silenced as the prince moved forward and knocked Lance out of Keith's gripe. The movement was so fast that it made the two stumble on the ground while Keith was forcefully pulled away by the altean. Keith immediately fought back and gave out a loud screech that made everyone almost cover their ears from the noise. But, Allura was the better fighter and was able to subdue Keith easily making Shiro finally snap from his calm demeanor. 

"GET OFF OF HIM!" Shiro shouted, flying straight for Allura and managing to knock her off of his mate. But, once again Allura showed her power and her knowledge on fighting being able to throw off Shiro who gasped as he hit the ground hard. 

"Shiro!" Keith and Pidge cried rushing over to their flock leader. 

"Allura! Stop this madness at once!" Coran roared, while Hunk helped him detain the woman. 

 "Coran! How can you be so calm! Lance's life could be on the line here?! DO YOU WISH FOR HIS DEATH?!" 

"NO! I WISH FOR YOU TO CALM DOWN AND SEE WHAT IS TRULY GOING ON!" Coran shouted back, while Hunk gave a frown towards the princess. 

"Wait... what do  you mean death?" Hunk asked, making Allura put her attention on her yellow paladin. 

"Feather Rot disease was something the galra had created during the first battle against my people. It deteriorated the wings to the point where they would fall off and kill the person a few short days afterward. It wasn't until we managed to make a vaccine and antidote that the disease became extinct. But, we haven't given any of you a dose of the vaccine nor have we made one for you humans! If Lance already lost his wings he only has a few short days to live!" Allura explained, making the hanger do hauntingly silent at the princess's explanation. 

"... Oh... oh fuck... this is..." Pidge started, while Hunk had a grim expression on his face. 

"A misunderstanding... big time." Hunk hissed, letting Allura go in order to tend to his best friend to see... no one there. 

"Uh... guys... wheres Lance?" Hunk asked, making everyone see the small trail of blood leading away from the spot that Lance was. Everyone's eyes followed the trail to see it slowly making it's way to the lion area of the hangers. It was at this time where they could hear Blue's hanger doors open. All at once each paladin gasped as their lions roared into their mind and two sprinted for their own in order to stop what was happening. 

"BLUE IS TRYING TO MAKE A BREAK FOR IT WITH LANCE!" 


 

"I told you Blue... I told you...." Lance sobbed, making Blue rumble with sorrow for her paladin. Lance was curled up on her seat and sobbed at the words that seemed to penetrate him. Blue forcing her way out of the hangers in order to get her paladin off the castle ship. 

Blue didn't know where she would take her paladin, but she knew she wanted to take him to a place that would help her paladin. A part of her guilt clawing in the soul of the mechanical beast making her rush across the steel flooring of the massive hangers. But, she roared when a massive form blocked her exit and immediately raised her tail to blast at Black. She was surprised though when Red bite into her tail and slammed his smaller body onto her own. 

"Blue!" Lance sobbed, hanging onto the chair as the cockpit jerked all around. 

Blue whined for as soon as she was pinned to the ground by Red was Black on top of her as well. Roaring in the blue lion's face in order for one of his pride members to submit to him. Lance will say that he is proud at Blue for lasting as long as she did. Fighting against her two other pride members and even going as far as trying to bite Black. But, as soon as Black roared one last time with a firm bite into Blue's own throat did the lioness finally slump on the floor. 

"Blue! Just... it's okay! It's okay!" Lance whispered, placing his hands on the control and feeling Blue's love wash over him. It was cool, like gentle waves lapping over his body before it completely cradled him. It made Lance sink into the feeling for a bit as her jaws were forced open to allow the others inside. 

"It's okay Blue..." Lance whispered, flinching as soon as he heard someone making their way into the cockpit. 

But, before Lance could say anything something else washed over his person and this time it was a sickness with a bordering of pain. Gasping out a small surprised breath Lance looked down to see his wounds were still bleeding and some... didn't look too good. Lance would have laughed about the situation, but he soon found himself slumping against Blue's control and into the frantic arms of his flock leader. 

"LANCE! LANCE?! CORAN! A HEALING POD! LANCE!" Shiro shouted at him, but his loud voice was fading away. In fact, everything around him seemed like it was fading away into a darkness that beckoned Lance to come and rest. He didn't even notice when Coran came to kneel beside Lance. All Lance could really focus on was his flock leader that was running his hands all over him crying big fat tears that dripped down onto his face. 

Lance gave a little smile to Shiro before uttering one last thing to his special flock leader. 

"Don't touch me... you'll get dirty." 

He fell into darkness not hearing the screams of his flock as they rushed him to medical. 

Chapter Text

"Enough! We're losing him!" 

"Keep your hand on the wounds!" 

"LANCE! LANCE! WAKE UP!" 

"GET THE POD READY!" 

"CORAN! HE'S HEART IS SLOWING DOWN!" 

"LANCE! DEAR BOY! KEEP STRONG!" 

"I CAN'T LOSE YOU!" 

".... please... forgive me...."

"... my cub... my paladin... it's time to wake up."


 

When Lance awoke, it was to be very distorted and confused. His mind felt like there was a thick fog inside and his body ached in a way that was painful along with an almost hollowing touch. Something warm seemed to be covering him, but no matter how much Lance tried to will himself, he couldn't seem to open his eyes. So he listened carefully as the haziness in his mind lifted and memories of what happened came trickling back. 

The stress of remembering brought Lance under again. 

It was rather terrifying with how quickly Lance slipped from the waking world. But, the soothing murmurs of Blue told him that he was fine. That his body was still healing and trying to regain the strength he drastically lost. Still, Lance wanted to wake up and so when he felt his body wake again, he opened his eyes. 

For a few moments, Lance couldn't really see anything for his vision blurred and only blobs greeted him. After a few minutes of just blinking the soft haze disburse and Lance soon saw a ceiling of purple flames above him. Furrowing his brows in confusion Lance look around to see beautiful and yet unkept feathers shielding his body. 

'Keith?' Lance thought, wiggling just a bit to feel the warm body pressed close to him. 

With some more wiggling, Lance was able to carefully move the wing to give him a small opening to the outside world. It made him shiver as a blast of cold air came into his warm cocoon made of feathers and lance was tempted to close it back up. But, he needed to figure out what was going on and so he gently placed the wing down and looked to his right to see Keith snoozing beside him. 

To put it simply, Keith looked like a ball of fluffy mess. His fur looked unkept along with all of his feathers. There were distinct bags under his eyes and Lance swears that the other seemed just a little bit skinnier than before. While the other was sleeping Lance could tell he was getting no rest with how his features were scrunched up. Lance wanted to wake Keith in order to see what was wrong but decided against it.

Lance wanted to regain his barrings. 

'Blue... what happened?' Lance pressed, grabbing hold of his link with his lion as he looked around the room. 

The room definitely wasn't his own and it wasn't the rooms of any of his friends. It looked bigger than any of their rooms and the nest he was in was huge and made with soft silk comforters. At the side there looked to be a small supply a food with some that looked to have been eaten just a few hours ago. Feathers of all kinds were littered on the bed and floor, most being of Keith's feathers. Lance didn't even want to comment on some of the more... distinct claw marks he saw around the door. 

Lance didn't know how much time went by, but there was one thing he knew. 

He needed a bath. 

BADLY

"Keith... I need to get up... Keith, I stink.. and I'm hungry." Lance whispered, gently shaking the other. 

Instantly, those cute fluffy ears perked up and his eyes snapped open. Lance yelped when suddenly he was back to lying down as Keith let out a low growl from above him. The half galran looked almost crazed as he looked for any threat that might come. Lance had never seen Keith like this and tried to get the other to snap out of it by gripping his arms and shouting. 

"Keith! Keith! It's me!" Lance shouted, getting the Keith to look around a bit more before looking down. Violet and blue mixing into each other as they stared until Keith finally calms himself. His large beautiful wings lowering and his much furry features receding as he leaned down to shove his face into Lance's neck. 

"Keith?" Lance questioned, unsure of what to do. 

"... did you know... that you died?" Keith whispered, making Lance freeze.

".... Your heart stopped... Shiro and Coran had to do a lot of scary things to your body to get it beating again.... Coran said he didn't know if you would survive the healing pod." Keith stated, shedding a few tears that wetted and warmed Lance's shoulder. 

".... I'm... sorry..." Lance whispered, but it was a lie. It was a lie that both Lance and Keith knew Lance made for the other would do it again. 

"I-i... am diseased... and if anything... I rather be the one to disappear... than any of you." Lance spoke, his tone truthful as he looked at the large wings that twitched and quivered with every word he made. 

Suddenly, everything went south and for once Lance felt a small inkling of fear as Keith roared in his face. That roar he recognized as one of fury and something else as the other grabbed his arms painfully. It actually made Lance cry out causing Keith to falter for only just a moment before pressing him harder into the nest. His beautiful wings flapping dangerously before flaring out completely to hide them completely with a few feathers falling around them. 

Lance stared into those beautiful violet eyes that seemed to glow a bright light. He watched in almost an awe as that glowing yellowed bleed and swirled all around inside. Reaching to cover more until they finally consumed Keith's eyes completely. Lance had seen this before when Keith had shifted a bit more during battle, but it was never directed to the team. 

It was never directed at him. 

"K-Keith?" Lance whispered, staring in fear as the other leaned down. His forehead pressing into his own and those glowing eyes so close that Lance felt like he was losing himself in them. In those eyes, he saw anger, hurt, despair and... something else. It was something that Lance felt that he should personally know, but his mind wouldn't supply him the answer. He could only continue to stare at Keith before the half galran finally moved in order to mumble into the side of his neck. 

"Always live... please... please... always stay alive... I don't... want to lose you..." Keith sobbed, making Lance furrow his brows. He didn't understand Keith's words and he didn't understand his feelings. 

Why would he care about him? 

"Keith! What happened?! I heard you roar! Did something happen to Lance?!" Shiro asked, frantic as he scrambled into the room. HIs large wings knocked into the side of the doors making the leader wince in small irritation before heading towards the nest. At Shiro's entrance, the enchantment that seemed to be over on Keith and those yellow glowing eyes faded away back to violet. 

It was relieving to see and Lance sighed in relief as the vice gripe was removed from his person. Allowing Shiro to bring him into his arms to survey the bruises that formed on his arms. The flock leader giving his mate a scolding look that caused Keith to whine and for his ears to lower in guilt. Shiro just sighed and soothed Lance's arms by gently rubbing them and grabbing some ointment that was already beside the nest sitting on top a small table. 

"How're you feeling?" Shiro asked, diligently pouring some of the warm liquid into his hands in order to massage them onto the colored skin. 

".... confused?" Lance spoke, though it sounded more like a question than an answer. Keith huffed beside him but didn't dare leave his side as he shuffled around the two. 

"I bet... you... you really..." Shiro spoke, his voice faltering as he cleaned his hands and finished wrapping Lance's arms. For a moment the group was in complete silence and the tension became so thick that Lance wanted to choke. But, he didn't dare do anything as Shiro leaned forward in order to place his ear to Lance's chest. The Black Paladin listen carefully to the wonderful heartbeat coming from the warm body he rested on and his wings stretched out to cover everyone. 

Lance felt a blush streaking across his cheeks and his body warm as Keith immediately went into the snuggle session. Which soon turned into a scenting session as the two started rubbing themselves on each other and on Lance. It made Lance giggle a few times when some fathers get slapped into someone's face or when an elbow accidentally jabs someone. It was less than elegant, but worked for the three and Lance couldn't help relaxed from in their embrace. 

Sadly, things like these never lasted long. 

For as soon the door opened and revealed a figure of white. 

Keith let out a screech before flinging himself from the nest and into the 'intruder'. 

"KEITH! STOP!" Shiro cried, scrambling from the nest to stop Keith's attack on...

"Keith! Allura! Stop!" Lance begged, trying to get out of the nest to help break up the fight. But, the overwhelming numbness that spread through his body shocked him and all Lance was able to do was flounder on the floor. Even though he has physically healed from his wounds his energy levels and body still needed to heal from the ordeal. 

"HunK! Stop them!" Lance shouted, seeing his best friend walking into the room with Coran and Pidge behind him. Hunk didn't need to be told twice and he leaped forward to help with the fight. For Keith along with Allura in their state could overpower Shiro. 

Pidge rushed towards Lance's side tackling the other and mumbling into his stomach while her wings fluffed in distress. Coran was right behind her holding up a scanner and asking Lance a million questions at once. It was hard for Lance to focus on one thing as there was so much going on. He was becoming to overwhelmed and he tried to say that, but no words seemed to be able to fall out. 

Thankfully, Coran noticed and he wrapped his wings around Lance cocooning him and Pidge in his warm hold as he continued to check him over. Lance was grateful and he allowed the treatment as the fight just outside of the protective orange feathers finally ended. He heard some smacking, a few punches and what he thought was Hunk's shout before everything ended with the sound of struggling bodies being pulled away from each other. 

"Listen up! Lance is in a very delicate state! If the two of you can't bother to be civil then you're both going out of the room!" Coran scolded, holding firm even when two pairs of glaring eyes looked at him. 

"She shouldn't be here!" Keith hissed, his wings flaring out. 

"Keith! ENOUGH!" Shiro commanded, finally having enough and quickly subdued the galra to the floor. It was a hard slam and Hunk made a small gasp as Keith look at the floor in shock before his body completely slumped on the cold metal. Keith's breathing was labored and frustrated tears were building up in his eyes as he continued to lay limply on the ground with Shiro pressing above him. 

"Alright! There is a little to much stress in this room! Lance needs his rest and you all need to get out!" Hunk explained, dragging a surprised Allura towards the door and out the room. But, the gentle giant wasn't done yet as he came back with a determined look on his face. He soon grabbed Shiro and Keith, the two yelping as they were throw out of the room with a squawking Pidge landing on top of them. 

"For now! Coran and I will help out Lance! You all... do things that aren't attacking each other! Shiro, you're in charge!" Hunk explained, giving a scolding look before finally shutting the door. Hunk had a haggard look to him and judging by the bags under his own eyes. He also didn't seem to have gotten much sleep and yet Lance looked with a watery smile as his friend gave him a kind and sincere look of happiness. 

It was an instant thing that happened between the two. Lance scrambled to get to Hunk and Hunk bolted in order to get Lance into his arms. The two crying as they finally embraced and Hunk wrapped his wings so tightly around him that he thought he was going to drown. But, a part of Lance felt repulsed at himself for touching Hunk or anyone else for the matter. 

He didn't want to infect them. 

"You shouldn't touch me." Lance croaked, tears gushing out of his eyes while Hunk held him closer. 

"I-I... I'm dirty..." Lance sniffled, making Hunk shake his head. 

"You're fine Lance. It's fine." Hunk whispered, making Lance sob harder while Coran stood silently by their sad. A solemn expression on the man's face as he watched the boy he considered a son break and shatter in his best friend's hold. Coran knew that Lance held many painful things close to his heart with a key that was thrown away into the deepest ocean he could find. 

'I don't know how much longer Lance can handle this... I don't know how much longer any of the paladins can handle this.' Coran thought, his hands gripping the scanners as he looked at the soldiers that were literally giving everything they had for the war effort. 

But, when there is nothing left to take....

... What will be left of them? 

"It's my fault." was a sudden statement that shocked Coran out of his mind. 

"What do you mean my boy?" Coran gently spoke. Placing a firm hand on the man's shoulder and a wing pressed against Hunk's own in order to warm the wingless paladin. 

".... Allura... and Keith.... it's my fault... it's always my fault...." Lance whispered, gripping at Hunk's shoulder as the guilt smothered his heart. Hunk shook his head and started telling Lance that it wasn't his fault the two were fighting so viciously. That it was a long time coming and that it was the two's own problem. Coran painfully agreed with the statement knowing full well that Keith wasn't the only one at fault for the tension and knowing that Allura had a large hand of what happened. 

"No... No..." Lance whimpered, still taking the blame on himself. For Lance was looking at the bigger picture and he knew that Keith wouldn't be able to work with Allura. Since the galra reveal incident the other had been having a hard time obeying simple commanders their main leader gave them. Sometimes ignoring a few completely before being brought back in by Shiro and having him listen again. 

He was seeing the bigger picture that was Voltron and protecting the universe. 

"Coran! Can you hear me?" came a voice. 

This made Lance look up to see Coran taking the tablet and activating the video. A frantic Allura was on screen, but before anything could be said there was a loud rumble in the Castle and soon Lance was hanging onto Hunk as the lights turned red and everything seemed to go sideways. 

"Coran! Galra is attacking the ship!" Allura informed all the while Hunk as trying to keep both the advisor and his best friend from smashing into the metal walls of the room. 

"What! How could they find us? We're in dead space!" Coran cried, looking at the tablet before flapping his wings to rush out of the room. It was hard for the Castle was shaking so much that it felt like everything was two feet in front of you. Lance looked at Hunk with determined ocean blues making the other try to fight it before sighing in reluctance. 

"Don't... just... Lance... I can't lose you." 

"Neither can I," Lance explained, feeling a bit of strength as Coran came back to Lance. He held a small cylinder with a grim expression making Hunk's feathers fluff as he handed Lance the syringe. 

"Think of it as a boost of energy. It will only last one varga." Coran explained, making Lance nod his head for he already knew this. 

All of the paladins knew about the special serum that replenished strength quickly. It was only to be used in emergencies and you can only use one every few days. For as soon as the serum wears off it makes the user immobile for a full twenty-four hours and taking too much can lead to death. Shiro had wanted to ban it completely, but he knew things like these were needed in times of crisis. 

And right now it was a crisis. 

Lance gave Coran a small smile before whispering his consent. The Advisor sighed as he plunged the needle into Lance's leg already making the human spring up as energy coursed through his entire body. It made Lance feel light and so warm that he thought he was going to explode. But, there was no time to think and he already found himself rushing out of the room towards the armory. 

In just a few moments Lance was in Blue and blasting through galra ship after galra ship as swarms seemed to surround them. Blue rumbled with worry for her paladin, but Lance pushed it aside as they had the battle to win. His well being had to come second when it came to the Universe... when it came to his... flock. 

"Lance?! What are you doing here?!" Pidge and Keith demanded at the same time. But, Hunk shouted back at them that they needed Voltron in order to get out of this mess. 

"Hunk's right! Everyone get your head in the came!" Shiro demanded, cursing a bit when he was being shot at. Thankfully Pidge used the heavy shield on Green's back to block most of the shots enabling Hunk to bulldoze away the offending attack ships. 

"FORM VOLTRON!" Allura ordered, as she and Coran frantically tried to start the wormhole jump. 

Lance gave into the bond in order to form it, but suddenly the bond seemed to shake. The emotions of pure rage and turmoil-filled the bond making Lance feel anger as well. When they were partially transformed did the bond finally vanished under the weight of the wild emotions. Making everyone scream as they were flung all over the battlefield surprising even the battleships that were flying towards them. 

"What's going on?! Why can't we form?" Hunk asked while getting his bearings to get Pidge out of the line of fire. 

"KEITH!" Shiro shouted, but he couldn't get to the Red Lion as he was soon surrounded and chased. Keith didn't answer them and instead started fighting with his lion, but Lance could still feel the emotions of the other along with the Red Lion that roared with fury. 

Keith rejected Allura. 

Red rejected Allura. 

But, Lance couldn't focus on that anguishing realization as soon he too was chased by several fighter ships. He cursed firing away at each one and using Blue's ice beam, but he soon noticed how Keith seemed to freeze up for a moment before heading towards a particular ship. The Blue Paladin followed after him shouting his name at what was he doing until he noticed a lone figure that stood on top of one of the ship's surface. 

"Is that?" Lance whispered, his body wracking with fear at the imposing figure that stood menacingly on top of the ship without so much of a care in the Universe. His eyes were piercing into the Black Lion and Lance felt something sickening seep into his heart. 

"ZARKON!" Keith roared, surprising everyone when a weapon seemed to manifest on Red's back. When it was finished Lance was shocked to see a canon that powered up and shot a beautiful red beam towards the Emperor of the Empire. 

But, like a ribbon being cut by sharp scissors Zarkon was able to easily deflect it. 

Zarkon... deflected an attack that destroyed the surrounding ships beside the one he was on. 

He didn't even look like he was scratched. 

"SHIRO!" Lance cried, watching as the Black Lion rushed for Keith. It was for good reason as Keith bolted for Zarkon in rage and once again the team screamed as the leader was able to deflect the great lion as if he was nothing more than a nat. When Keith tried the same canon trick again Lance could only watch in horror as Zarkon deflected it back towards him causing everyone to shout for the other as it directly hit the lion. Leaving behind a broken pride member floating in space with eyes that just barely flickered. 

"ALLURA! The wormhole!" Shiro demanded, all the while Pidge and Hunk made cover fire for their teammates. 

"We're trying! TWENTY MORE TICKS! FORM VOLTRON!" Allura shouted, sounding just as frantic as Shiro was. Lance gritted his teeth as he felt a few shots hit him and Blue making him scamper off in order to destroy as many ships as he could. 

"We can't! Red's down..." Keith growled, making Pidge gasp. The news leaving a cold feeling in each of the paladin's hearts for if this Emperor was strong enough to take on a lion by himself. Then, how strong was the Galra Empire? 

'We can't do this alone.' Lance thought, eyes wide as the almost child-like fantasy of beating Zarkon with just them broke away like a shattered mirror. You can hear the soft catch of Allura's breathing before she let it out and order them to get back to the Castle. But, Lance saw something as Shiro and Keith were trying to make their escape. He saw Zarkon aiming for another attack and seeing as the two were fleeing...

Blue roared along with Lance's cry as they shot towards Shiro and Keith. Covering the two lions just in time as the beam towards them making Lance scream as he felt a blind pain of his body being thrashed around in the cockpit. In his ears, he could hear similar screams coming from Shiro and Lance making all three float close to the Castle with lions that almost looked lifeless to all that laid eyes upon them. 

"PIDGE GO! GO! GO!" Hunk shouted, getting the girl to scramble as they pushed the broken lions together and smashed into one of the hangers of the ship. 

Lance could just barely get up from his position on his control dashboard. His face felt like it was on fire and his whole body was sore as he watched from Blue's screen as they soon came into the safety of the Castle. Already he could feel the jump that Allura was making and let out a faint sigh of relief. 

But, that relief was short-lived as Allura started shouting. Soon everything went spiraling out of control both figuratively and literally as they all flung out of the hangers. Lance could only faintly hear the shouts and explanation from both the Princess and Advisor.

Then everything turned black.