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Watching Voltron

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The Paladins were just finishing up lunch in the kitchen when they heard a thump and a groan coming from the common room just down the hall. Sharing worried glances with each other, the five Paladins jumped up along with Coran and Allura ran out to see what happened.

Pidge was behind the others and as they rounded the corner, they came to an abrupt stop.

“What? What is it?” Pidge asked anxiously, unsure of what could make the other freeze like that in the safety of the castle.

They turned to her and awkwardly gestured for her to go in, clearing a space for her to walk through. That’s when she saw what it was. Or rather, who.

A person was getting up off the floor, brushing themselves off.

Was it? Could it really be?

Yes. Yes, it was. The face adorning caramel coloured hair and the big amber eyes that matched her own was staring back at them from across the room.

Pidge heard herself shout something as she flung herself at her brother. The brother that she had been missed and been longing for since the day he left and been looking for since he got captured. Pidge could hardly contain her happiness and felt a huge smile stretch across her face. She couldn’t believe it! He was really here! He was alive! Finally, after all this time looking, he was here, alive and safe in her arms. He was- he was stiff and tense in her grip.

Matt grabbed her shoulders and roughly shoved her away from him.

“Who are you?” He demanded angrily, taking a few defiant steps back away from her, adopting a stance that showed he was ready to fight her.

Pidge felt her heart stop as it dropped down past her feet. She was suddenly cold all over as the world around her came to a screeching halt. It felt like the floor had been ripped out from under her, leaving her disoriented.

Did he not know it was her? Did he not remember her? Had the Galra done something to him? Wiped his memory? Take over his mind? Turn him into a brainless slave, forced to do horrible, dangerous tasks for them?

Pidge had been worried, stressing over the possibility of Matt being dead, but this, this was much, much worse. Pidge felt her stomach churns and dry heaved as she bit back a gag to keep herself from throwing up. Eyes wide and tears threatening to spill, Pidge hesitantly whispered “...Matt?”

Hearing a voice that Matt would know anywhere, Matt’s amber eyes widened with shock at who it was.

“Katie?!”

Pidge nodded and burst into tears with relief when Matt rushed forward and his arms were wrapped tightly around her shaking body. The force from his hug knocked them off their feet, but the two Holt siblings didn’t care. They were crying hard, lying on the floor and holding tight, breathing in the other’s presence, too scared to let go in fear of them disappearing. Pidge could feel that Matt felt skinnier, more bones were prominent than before.

After what felt like an hour, they shakily pulled away from their tight embrace.

“I’m so sorry that I didn’t realize that it was you for a second there, Katie. You can’t really trust strangers out here, and I couldn’t see that it was you cause the Galra broke my glasses and everything’s just a blurred mess, and I just,” he trailed off.

“That’s okay, I have them here!” Pidge reached up to take them off.

Matt’s eyes widened once again and snatched them off her face before she could.

“You’re wearing my glasses?!?!” He cried out in shock. “Katie!! You’ll hurt your eyes!”

“No, no, it’s okay,” she reassured quickly. “I switched out your prescription lenses with fake ones. I have your real ones here.”

Matt released a breath he didn’t know he was holding as he watched her switch them back.

“Why were you wearing my glasses?” Matt asked carefully.

Pidge looked down and drew in a shaky breath as she handed him his glasses. Matt slipped them on, the world came sharply into focus. He had to blink his eyes a couple of times to adjust to the lenses again.

“It’s a long story, but after the, uh, incident it was easier when I had your glasses with me. Felt like you weren’t really gone.”

When Matt looked back at his Katie, clearly this time, he could see that his baby sister wasn’t quite so young anymore. She had a mature aura around her. She had grown up while he was gone, something he was supposed to be with her for. Her eyes were still fully sparkling with young excitement, and though she was still small, her build was more firm, ready to fight anyone, at any moment but had a tired set to it. She had cut her hair, looking more like himself than she had before.

He reached forward, stroking his hands through her caramel locks that reached her collarbones. “Oh, Katie, your hair.”

“It was shorter, but I’ve been growing it out again.”

“You were so proud of your long hair, why’d you cut it so short?”

“Well, it was for, um, reasons that you will find out soon enough. But, hey, your hair is a lot longer now!”

“Oh, yeah,” Matt flicked his head so his hair fell in his face. “I’ve been going for the scruffy surfer dude look. Soon it’ll be long enough to put back in a… man bun.”

Pidge gasped and socked Matt hard in the shoulder. “Don’t you dare!” She shrieked.

Matt laughed out loud, throwing his head back. “I’m kidding, Katie, I wouldn’t do that. I just haven’t gotten the opportunity to cut it in a while.”

Then something familiar caught Matt’s attention.

“Is that, is that my sweater?”

Pidge fidgeted, “Uh, yeah.”

Matt sighed. “Man, what on earth were you doing? Literally, what on Earth were you doing? With hair any shorter than that, my sweater, and my glasses, you’d look just like me when I was younger.”

Pidge grinned, “Yeah, you grew up, you old man.”

The older Holt sibling let out an indignant squawk at her comment.

“Who’re you calling old man?” Matt demanded playfully while reaching forward and pulling her into his lap.

“You! You’re an old man!” She giggled.

“Oh, you’re asking for it” Matt grinned as he started tickling her sensitive sides with no mercy.

“No, no! Please stop!”

Pidge was full out laughing by that time, squirming around, trying and failing to escape her brother’s clutches.

“Then take it back. Say I’m not an old man.” Matt said as he lessened his attack, but not stopping.

“Never!” She cried out between breaths. “You’re an old man!” Then, even louder, “MATTHEW HOLT IS AN OLD MAN!”

Then Matt did the unthinkable. He leaned down and blew a wet raspberry against her tummy, at which she screeched before laughing hysterically some more.

The other paladins and the two Alteans watched the Holt sibling’s interactions with happy smiles on their faces. Lance felt a slight twinge in his chest, they reminded him so much of his own family back home, how he would wrestle and play with his younger niece and nephew and tease his siblings and cousins. When it looked like they were getting tired out, Shiro stepped forward still grinning from the siblings' crazy antics.

“Alright kids, playtime’s over,” in the tone the other paladins called his ‘dad voice’.

“Thanks, Shiro,” Pidge managed to get out through her heavy breathing.

Matt looked up, eyes widening just before he scrambled up and pulled Shiro into his tight embrace.

“Shiro? You’re alive!” Matt flung himself at his dearly missed friend. “I thought you were dead!” Pulling away abruptly to look at him, Matt asked: “How did you survive the arena?”

Things sobered up pretty quickly at that.

“Well,” Shiro seemed a bit uncomfortable. “About that,” he trailed off. “It’s kinda a long story, kinda goes with Pidge’s.”

“Pidge?” Matt asked, looking to Katie. “He’s using your nickname?”

“Yeah, you’ll find out why soon enough.”

“Boy, oh boy. You’re really trying to tire me out,” Matt chuckled.

“Yep,” Pidge said popping the ‘p’. “Hey, so what’s been happening with you? Do you know where Dad is?” she asked hopefully.

“No, sorry. I have no idea. He got taken somewhere else, I think a work camp when they brought Shiro and me to the arena to fight. After Shiro, uh, got me out of there, I was thrown into another cell, by myself this time. I was mostly left alone, unless some Galra wanted to ‘have fun’ or whatever, or when the witch wanted to experiment or run tests.”

“What’d they do to you?” Pidge asked quietly, horrified, not sure if she wanted to hear or not.

“The ones that visited my cell mostly just beat me up and stuff,” Matt spoke quickly, not meeting the pitying looks, a shame unknown to the others almost stopping him from speaking. He wasn’t lying, he just was omitting certain truths, which was fine, he reasoned.

Matt knew it was terrible, but he felt like if he told them something, the least horrible things, toning it down and saying it as if it was no big deal, they would accept it, and move on. He silently prayed that they would believe him, and wouldn’t suspect of what else the Galra did to him. Wouldn’t wonder about the things that kept Matt awake at night, and plagued the nightmare of every sleeping moment.

“The witch though, she took my leg,” Matt looked down at his prosthetic leg. “I mean, it is helpful at times, it’s also annoying,” Matt said, shrugging it off as if it was nothing.

“She did it to you too,” Shiro said angrily, more of a statement than a question. At Matt’s questioning look, he held up his prosthetic arm Haggar gave him.

“I hate her,” Matt said simply, forcing down the terror that was flaring up inside him.

When the conversation fell into a lull, Lance piped up from the other side of the room. “Right, well, this is getting depressing, so I’m just gonna change the subject… crap, I just realized how terribly I worded that. I’m sorry, I just meant to say that there’s a note on this box of DVDs. It says to watch them.”

“Watch them?” Pidge asked suspiciously. “Any particular reason why, or what it’s about?”

“Nope, not really. It’s pretty vague. Also, do you think the DVDs are going to work on the space tech? If they’re DVDs at all. Maybe they’re, like, the Altean version, or something. Huh. Nevermind, it probably is.”

“Space tech?” Matt asked. “Are we in space right now?”

When he got nods, a ‘totally different galaxy’, and looks of confusion he quickly explained.

“I thought I’d somehow got transported to Earth, what with Katie and all,” he trailed off as a thought crossed his mind. He spun around to face his sister. “What are you doing here in space? Why aren’t you home on Earth with Mom?”

“Ooh, someone's in trouble,” Lance singsonged to Hunk.

“Aha, well, you see, it kinda was an accident.”

“An accident?? How can you possibly go into space and across the universe by accident??”

“It’s a part of the same long story that will be fully explained. I promise.”

Matt narrowed his eyes and snorted. “Fine, but I expect to get every single detail. No skipping out on anything.”

Pidge nodded.

“Alright, let’s get this going, then.” Coran cried out, reaching for the discs.

“Hold on,” Matt broke in. “Who are you people? I only know Katie and Shiro.”

“Oh, sorry. The energetic one in blue is Lance, the angry red one is Keith, the cuddly teddy bear is Hunk, the guy with the crazy mustache is Coran, and the princess is Allura. Coran and Allura are from Altea.”

Matt chuckled at Pidge’s rundown on who’s who. “Got it.”

Pidge scramble up and pulled Matt over to the couch, cuddling up to him immediately.

“C’mon! Movie time! Coran, are they Altean discs?”

“Why, yes they are! Quite marvellous! I didn’t think there’d be any more out there that we didn’t have here in the castle already! This is most extraordinary! I’m quite interested in where it came from, or who! I wonder if I might be able to trace it back to-”

“Coran, please,”Allura broke in, getting a sigh of relief from the Paladins. “I’m just as interested in it being Altean as you, but I believe most of us are more curious as to what is actually on it than it’s origin.”

The others had sat down, filling in the rest of the couch the Holts were on and a couple loveseats and chairs around both sides of said couch. (Order of them on the couches, their left to right. Coran in a chair, Allura then Shiro on a loveseat, Matt and Pidge then Hunk on a couch, and Lance and Keith on a loveseat.)

“Hold on!” Hunk jumped up. “Every good movie time is only complete with snacks. I’ll be right back,” he shouted, throwing a ‘don’t start without me!’ over his shoulder as he ran out of the room.

“Alright,” Coran rubbed his hands together excitedly. “Let’s just pop in it here and we should be good to go!”

It took a few ticks for it to load, and Hunk rushed back in as it was starting, quickly passing out the food before settling down to watch whatever it was the mysterious person wanted them to watch.

Chapter Text

The screen was black, then a full moon appeared with the DreamWorks logo underneath. The moon got cut into the famous shape by a very familiar robot.

 

This shocked all but the older Holt until the screen changed to read: Voltron: Legendary Defenders.

 

“Wait, hold on. That was Voltron?” Matt asked.

 

“Yep. Impressed?” Lance asked, wiggling his eyebrows.

 

“I've heard about Voltron.” Matt continued on, too amazed to catch the hint Lance threw his way. “It's what keeps most people going in the Galra prisons. They kept telling me ‘Voltron will help us’ and to ‘have faith in Voltron’, but I didn't know it was a robot. It's so cool!”

 

The Paladins glanced at one another and silently decided not to spoil the surprise for Matt.

 

The view started in space with the words ‘The Rise of Voltron’ popped up, before it shifted to a view of a different moon came up on the screen with different words. ‘Kerberos: A Moon Of Pluto’.

 

“Kerberos?” Matt and Shiro shared a look, remembering what happened the last and only time they were on Kerberos.

 

Three figures along with an ice digger were shown on the surface along with a ship.

 

It zoomed in to show a hand gently grabbed the ice sample.

 

“Easy, son. This ice is delicate.” Sam Holt said.

 

Everyone in the room sucked in a breath when they realized what it was.

 

“Dad… ” Pidge stared at the faces of her father and brother in their spacesuits on the moon, so far from home.

 

“Amazing. Isn't this exciting, Shiro?”

 

Shiro was bracing the digger as Matt pulled the ice out carefully.

 

“Hey! It's Space Dad!” Lance cried it cheerfully.

 

Matt looked at Shiro with a raised eyebrow.

 

“Space Dad?” He asked in a teasing tone.

 

“Yeah!” Lance continued on, ignoring the defeated sigh from Shiro. “We call him that cause he's always looking out for us and acting like our father, and we're in space, so Space Dad! Allura looks out for us too, so she's Space Mom, and Coran is our Crazy Space Uncle.”

 

Matt laughed at that. “Right, got it.”

 

“You guys get a little more excited about ice samples than I do.”

 

“This is history in the making,” said Sam. “Not only have we travelled farther than any human ever has, but this ice could hold microscopic clues about the existence of life outside Earth.”

 

“Think of it, Dad. We could use those clues to become the first people to meet aliens.”

 

“You had to say that, didn't you.” Shiro sighed.

 

Mat grinned up at him cheekily. “Oops. Sorry.”

 

Pidge smacked him upside the head. “Dude. Insensitive, much?”

 

My life's work would be complete.” Sam said playfully.

 

Then the ground started shaking, and a rumbling could be heard.

 

“What is that ? Seismic activity?”

 

Shiro, always being safe, spoke up. “We should get back to the ship.”

 

An alien warship loomed above the scientists.

 

“Wha-? What is that ?! It can't be…”

 

“Run!” Shiro shouted, tugging on Matt's arm. “Come on, run!”

 

They start to run to their ship, but to no avail. The alien sent down a beam that pulled them, their equipment, and loose moon rocks up into the warship.

 

Pidge whimpered and Matt tightened his arms around her.

 

Shiro woke up in the ship, arms held behind his back in cuffs, surrounded by guards. He looked to his right and saw Sam and Matt Holt in a similar predicament, though they still had their helmets on.

 

“Emperor Zarkon,” the commander spoke to the video call. “We were scouting system X-9-Y as ordered when we found these primitive scientists. I don't think they know anything useful.”

 

“Take them back to the main fleet for interrogation,” the unclear video of Zarkon responded. “The Druids will find out what they know.”

 

A shudder ran through the room at that, as everyone knew with no uncertain terms, just what means the Druids used to interrogate their prisoners.

 

“Please, we come from a peaceful planet! W-we mean you know harm! We’re unarmed!” Shiro’s pleading doing more harm than good.

 

One of the guards standing behind Shiro hit him with the butt of their gun, knocking him out.

 

Everyone winced on instinct, although no physical harm came to anyone at that moment.

 

When he next woke up, Shiro was being dragged down a hallway by guards. He blinked slowly, still disoriented, and saw Matt being led down after him. He looked to the left and saw a line of cells, and through the windows to his right, he saw a strange, tall room with a bunch of smaller sections along the walls. More prison cells, perhaps?

 

The screen started back in the stars, shifting down to the moon Kerberos once more, with the words ‘One year later’.

 

The view zoomed out, showing the moon through the window of a spacecraft.

 

“Galaxy Garrison flight log 5-11-14,” Lance’s voice broke in. “Begin descent to Kerberos for rescue mission.”

 

“Rescue mission?” Matt looked at Lance, confusion on his face. “The Garrison sent out a rescue mission a year later?”

 

“Not really. Uh, you’ll see in a few what I mean.”

 

Lance turned the craft a bit too roughly, making Hunk groan.

 

“Ugh. Lance, can you keep this thing straight?”

 

“Relax, Hunk, it’s not like I did this !” Lance jerked it to the left and Hunk groan again. “Or this !” he jerked it to the left, and this time, Hunk looked ill.

 

“Wow,” Keith commented. “You are so lucky you didn’t do that when you were flying all of us in your, uh” his eyes darted to Matt. “craft.”

 

“Yeah?” Lance challenged. “Why am I lucky?”

 

“Cause I would’ve beat your head in.”

 

Lance gasped dramatically and placed a hand on his chest.

 

“You wouldn’t do that to me,” he pouted.

 

“Wanna bet?” Keith sat forward.

 

“Paladins, please.” Allura broke in. “Let’s just continue on with the show.”

 

Both boys grumbled out a ‘fine’ and sat back in their seats.

 

“I see what you mean about Space Mom, and I totally agree.” Matt grinned

 

“Okay,” Hunk piped up in an annoyed tone. “Unless you want to wipe beef stroganoff out of all the little nooks and crannies of this thing, you’d better KNOCK IT OFF, MAN !”

 

The view changed to Pidge as a beep sounded from her monitor.

 

“Whoa, that is short,” Matt said, staring at her hair with wide eyes.

 

“I know, right? It was so weird.” Pidge subconsciously ran a hand through her hair.

 

“Then why’d ya do it?” Matt pressed on, hoping to get some answers.

 

Pidge pointedly ignored him and stared straight at the screen.

 

With his arms still around her, Matt poked her tummy.

 

“Katie… Katie… Katie… hey... Katie… sis… you lil rascal… Katie… Kate… Katie-Kat… baby girl…”

 

That last one got her. She had been trying to hold back her smile, but she broke out laughing and smacked his hand, stopping him from poking her.

 

“Stop it. I’m not a baby anymore,” she complained, but she was still smiling fondly at him.

 

“You’re still my baby sister. You’ll always be my baby sister. Even when we’re, like, 80.”

 

Pidge smiled and tightened her arms around Matt’s chest, resting her head on his shoulder.

 

“And you’ll always be my big bro.”

 

Allura, Lance, and Hunk ‘awwed’ while the other Paladins and Coran had huge smiles on their faces, watching the two siblings, glad to see Pidge so happy after so long of being stressed, worried, and overworking herself, desperate to find any bit of information that she could about her family and their whereabouts.

 

“We’ve picked up a distress beacon!”

 

“All right, look alive, team! Pidge, track coordinates.”

 

“Copy.”

 

The spaceship began to rumble as alarms blared.

 

“Knock it off, Lance, please!” Hunk begged.

 

“Oh, this one’s on you, buddy. We’ve got a hydraulic stabilizer out”

 

Hunk grabbed his monitor before he groaned.

 

“Oh no-” he choked down vomit.

 

“Oh, no- fix now, puke later!”

 

“I lost contact,” Pidge spoke up. “The shaking is interfering with our sensors.”

 

“Come on, Hunk!”

 

“It’s not responding. Uugh-” Hunk groaned as he undid his seatbelt to fix the stabilizer.

 

“Oh, nevermind, fellas,” Lance said, as his monitor pinged. “Thar she blows. Preparing for approach on visuals.”

 

“Are you serious?” Keith asked incredulously. “You’ve lost contact, your stabilizers are out, and the repair monitors aren’t responding!”

 

“Oh, come on, you know I’m better than that now.”

 

Keith rolled his eyes, sighing.

 

“I don’t think that’s advisable with our current mechanical…” Pidge paused, glancing at Hunk, who was looking a bit green in the face. “And gastrointestinal issues.”

 

“Agreed.” Hunk choked out.

 

“Don’t worry. This baby can take it. Can’t you, champ?”

 

Lance patted the ship and it shook violently.

 

“Uh, see? She was- she was nodding. She was nodding. Pidge, hail down to them and let them know their ride it here.”

 

“Are you stupid?” Keith groaned, completely done with Lance.

 

Lance just laughed.

 

Pidge undid her seatbelt and climbed on the seat to reach the microphone.

 

“Aww, was someone too short?” Matt teased. Then he frowned. “That’s dangerous, you know, standing on the seat. You could get hurt.”

 

“Uhh..” Pidge chuckled nervously.

 

“Attention lunar vessel- ahhh!!!” She broke off as the ship shook, knocking her out of the chair, and smacked her head off of the floor.

 

“Katie! Oh my god! Were you okay? That looked like it hurt!”

 

“It’s okay, I was fine,” Pidge said reassuringly.

 

“Fine?! You’re head bounced off the hard metal floor!”

 

“I know, but I was okay, trust me.”

 

“Trust you? Katie, you’d be so sick that you wouldn’t be able to walk properly, throwing up your guts and you’d say you’re fine!”

 

“...True, but I was actually fine that time. Besides, there’s nothing you can do about it now.”

 

Matt huffed. “Fine.”

 

“What are you doing?” Lance shouted at her. “Buckle your belt. And, Hunk, stop that shaking!”

 

“I-I’m try- ah-ah o-oh no-!” Hunk stutters out seconds before he vomited in the main gearbox.

 

Hunk winced. “Whoops.”

 

That got a chuckle out of everyone.

 

Pidge, back in her seat, spoke into the microphone. “Attention lunar vessel this is Galaxy Garrison Rescue Craft One Victor Six Tango Three. Coming in for landing and extraction,” she spoke professionally, then grumbled in an annoyed tone, “against crew recommendation.”

 

“Uh, no time for your mutinous comments now, Pidge. They’re going under and we’re going in.”

 

Lance set the ship into a dive down to Kerberos.

 

“Look out for that overhang!” Pidge cried out worriedly.

 

“No worries!” Lance turned around to face Pidge.

 

“What are you doing?! Why aren’t you looking at where you’re going??” Keith shouted.

 

“Aww, are you worried about me?” Lance grinned.

 

“Not you, the mental health of your crewmates,” Keith said dryly.

 

“My first year in flight school, you know what they called me? They called me ‘The Tailor’ because of how I thread the needle . Come around, come around! Come on, come on-!”

 

The craft hit the overhang.

 

“We lost a wing!” Hunk cried out.

 

Matt tensed and tightened his arms around Pidge.

 

“Oh, man...” Lance said emotionlessly.

 

Matt shot a weird look at the Lance sitting next to Keith on the loveseat.

 

The ship flew straight for the ground and crashed.

 

“WHAT?!”

 

In big letters across the screen were the words ‘SIMULATION FAILED’.

 

Wait, was that all just,” Matt broke off.

 

Pidge nodded and Matt let out a huge breath.

 

“Dude, NEVER DO THAT AGAIN!” He shouted. “You’re going to give me gray hairs if you keep pulling stunts like that!”

 

“Aha, about that…” Pidge trailed off.

 

“You keep doing reckless things, don’t you?” Matt said as more of a statement than a question.

 

“Heh,” she grinned. “Love you, bro.”

 

Matt sighed.

 

Slumped in her seat Pidge mumbled “Nice work, Tailor.”

 

Everyone laughed and Lance just grinned.

 

“That’s my specialty.”

 

“That’s what I’m worried about,” Shiro sighed.

 

“Heeeeyyy,” Lance pouted.

 

The door to the insulator opened at Iverson stepped in.

 

“Roll out, donkeys!” He shouted.

 

“Ah, Iverson, he never changes,” Shiro said, rolling his eyes, making Matt laugh.

 

The three follow him out of the simulator and stand in front of the class.

 

“Well let's see if we can use this complete failure as a lesson for the rest of you students. Can anyone point out the mistakes these three so-called cadets made in the simulator?”

 

“Lance was the pilot,” Keith said with a smirk.

 

“Hey!” Lance turned to hit Keith's shoulder when he saw his barely-there smile. Lance smiled back and turned back to the screen.

 

“The engineer puked in the main gearbox!” A student at the back called out.

 

“Yes, as everyone knows, vomit is not ” he stared at Hunk. “an approved lubricant for engine systems. What else?”

 

“The Comm Spec removed his safety harness.”

 

“The pilot crashed!”

 

“Why was the last thing they pointed out?” Allura asked confusedly.

 

She only got shrugs.

 

“Correct! And worst of all, the whole jump, they're arguing with each other! Heck, if you're going to be this bad individually, at least be able to work as a team ! Galaxy Garrison exists to turn young cadets like you into the next generation of elite astroexplorers, but these kind of mental mistakes are exactly what cost the lives of the men on the Kerberos Mission.”

 

Matt and Shiro inhaled sharply.

 

“Mental mistakes?! Not working as a team?! What do they think happened?! That we crashed?!” Matt shouted.

 

“Actually, yeah. That's what they've been telling everyone.” Pidge said darkly.

 

“That's bullshit. Shiro is the best pilot they've ever had and they know it!!”

 

“I know, it pissed me off too. I'm still pissed about it.”

 

“Hey, language.” Matt scolded, instinctively.

 

“Really? You're calling me out on my language when you were the one to swear?”

 

Matt shrugged and Pidge rolled her eyes.

 

“That's not true, sir!” Pidge shouted.

 

Iverson whirled on Pidge.

 

“What did you say?!”

 

Lance lept over and clasped his hand over Pidge's mouth.

 

“Sorry, sir! I-I-I think he may have hit his head when he fell out of his chair. But point taken.”

 

“... His?” Matt looked at Pidge. “His? You cut your hair, are at the Garrison, wearing my clothes, and are posing as a guy? And with my glasses?”

 

“Uhh, yeah. When I got banned from the Garrison from breaking in and hacking into their computers too many times, I had to enroll to continue looking, but as a different person, hence the name Pidge Gunderson. The haircut and the glasses helped me look like someone else, and more specifically, a guy.”

 

“Katie,” Matt said sadly. He buried his face into her hair. “I'm sorry. I'm so sorry.”

 

Pidge reached up and ran her fingers through his hair.

 

“It's not your fault. Not your fault. You got captured by aliens. There's nothing could've done about that.”

 

“I know, I just... I'm just sorry that you had to go through that. I'm your big brother, I'm supposed to take care of you and protect you from things like this.”

 

“It's okay. I'm okay.”

 

After a few ticks, Hunk spoke up.

 

“So, you got banned from the Garrison?”

 

“Yeah, I would hack into their computers to find out what they were hiding, and I saw that there was no evidence about a crash. After I got kicked out for the last time, I had to sign up to keep looking. It was the only reason I joined the Garrison. I mean, I had been planning on going anyways, but not for another few years.”

 

“Few years? Wh- hold on, how old are you?”  Hunk asked, shocked.

 

Pidge shifted uncomfortably.

 

“Uh, fourteen,” she said quietly.

 

“Fourteen?! You’re only fourteen?!” Lance shrieked.

 

“Fourteen?” Matt said softly. “I’ve been gone for two years?”

 

“Almost, yeah.” Pidge sighed sadly.

 

Matt pulled Pidge closer into his body, hoping to convey just how sorry he was that he was gone for so long and how grateful he was to have her here with him again.

 

The other Paladins and the two Alteans watched on with sad smiles, Lance was silently freaking out with his mind blown.

 

“Alright! Sorry to break up this very cute bonding moment, but fourteen , Pidge?! Jeez, I knew you were young but fourteen? So you were what, twelve? Thirteen when we were at the Garrison?”

 

“Ahh, thirteen, yeah.”

 

Hunk whistled. “Wow, I'm impressed that you were able to keep up with the class at thirteen.”

 

“Thank you,” Pidge smiled proudly.

 

“I hope I don't need to remind you that the only reason you're here is that the best pilot in your class had a discipline issue and flunked out. Don't follow in his footsteps. Next!”

 

“Thanks, Iverson,” Keith said sarcastically. “Really feeling the love.”

 

Lance, Pidge, and Hunk stood to the side as three students boarded the simulator.

 

The scene changed to Lance and Hunk in their regular clothes, standing in the hallway.

 

“Lights out in five!” Iverson called as he walked past them. Everyone back to their dorms, now.”

 

“We shouldn't be doing this,” Hunk speaks up nervously from behind Lance, who in turn, rolled his eyes.

 

“Yeah, you really shouldn’t,” Keith piped up from his spot next to Lance, who, in turn, poked Keith’s thigh.

 

“You heard Commander Iverson. We need to bond as a team. We’re going to grab Pidge, hit the town, loosen up, meet some nice girls, maybe-”

 

“You were going to take my baby sister out to a bar, or something, to pick up girls?” Matt looked at Lance cooley.

 

“I didn’t know she was a she! Or thirteen!” Lance defended, hands up in surrender. “I was under the impression the Pidge was like a sixteen or seventeen year old dude.”

 

“At that size?”

 

Pidge’s jaw dropped as she started at her brother in betrayal.

 

“Okay,” Hunk broke in. “I’m just- I’m just saying this here, right now, on the record: this is a bad idea.”

 

“Not that that would stop him,” Keith smirked.

 

“Oh, hush, you.” Lance laughed.

 

Just then the lights shut off.

 

“You know,” Lance commented as the snuck down the hall. “For someone in a space exploration program, you don’t have much of a sense of adventure.”

 

“All of your little ‘adventures’ end up with me in the principal's office.”

 

“Geez, Lance! What’d you do to keep getting Hunk in trouble?”

 

“They were mostly accidents! Like the time I was trying to-

 

“That was a rhetorical question, Lance.”

 

“Oh. Okay.”

 

Lance crouched and sidled up to the wall, poking his head up to look in the window of the Instructor’s Lounge. Seeing the coast was clear, he motioned for Hunk to follow, which he did reluctantly.

 

“Wow,” Keith chuckled. “So stealthy.”

 

“Oh, man,” Hunk complained.

 

A guard walks around a corner, saying “L-5 North all clear,” while passing two garbage cans. When he’s out of sight, Lance jumps from one and Hunk attempted to climb out of the other, but got stuck and fell over.

 

“Yikes!” Allura said. “That looks like quite a fall, and onto a metal floor. Were you alright?”

 

Quickly getting out, he said “I’m fine,” more to himself than Lance.

 

“Oh,” Allura let out a small laugh. “I guess that answers that question.”

 

Looking around another corner, the two boys see Pidge already leaving, closing the door behind her.

 

“Where is he going?” Lance wondered out loud.

 

The scene changed to Pidge sitting relaxed on the roof, in front of her laptop and other computer things, listening to something through headphones.

 

Sneaking up behind her, Lance lifted one headphone, speaking directly in her ear. “You come here to rock out?”

 

Pidge’s eyes flew open as she jumped.

 

“Ahh!! Oh, Lance, Hunk. No, um, just looking at the stars,” Pidge smiled, trying and failing at looking innocent.

 

“Did you seriously expect us to believe that ?” Lance asked incredulously.

 

“Uh, well, I guess not. I was just the first thing I thought of,” Pidge defended.

 

Ignoring what she just said, Lance looked at the equipment.

 

“Hey, where’d you get this stuff? It doesn’t look like Garrison tech.”

 

“I built it,” Pidge said smugly, giving a look that asked if he was impressed.

 

“Nice,” Matt whistled appreciatively, making Pidge smile proudly.

 

“You built all this?” Hunk asked, reaching forward to touch it, only to get his hand smacked away by Pidge.

 

“Stop it! With this I can scan all the way to the edge of the solar system,” Pidge said proudly, sitting up straight.

 

“That right?” Lance raised an eyebrow. “All the way to Kerberos?”

 

Pidge let out an unhappy whine / grumble like noise and turned away, slouching.

 

“You go ballistic every time the instructors bring it up. What’s your deal?”

 

“I’m sorry,” Lance apologized honestly. “I realize now that that was insensitive.”

 

“Thank you,” Pidge said gratefully. “And that’s alright, you didn’t know.”

 

During their exchange, Hunk decided he was going to try and touch the equipment again.

 

“-Second warning, Hunk!”

 

“Aww,” Hunk pulled away.

 

“Look, Pidge,” Lance continued. “If we’re going to bond as a team, we can’t have any secrets.”

 

“Fine. The world as you know it is about to change.”

 

“Totally not cliche at all.”

 

“Heeeyyy!”

 

“The Kerberos Mission wasn’t lost because of some malfunction or crew mistake- STOP TOUCHING MY EQUIPMENT!!!” Pidge broke off as she saw Hunk reaching forward again .

 

“Geez, I would’ve bet that by that time you would’ve learned not to touch her equipment,” Matt spoke up. “Sometimes she wouldn’t even let me look at some things she would be working on when she was a kid.”

 

“You mean she’s not a kid anymore?” Shiro joked.

 

Pidge’s jaw dropped. “Heeeeyyyyy,” she whined as the others laughed.

 

Hunk whined and flopped over, like a cat.

 

“Awww, Hunk,” Lance teased. “Were you upset for not being allowed to touch her stuff?”

 

Hunk huffed. “Shaddup.”

 

“...So I’ve been scanning the system and picking up alien radio chatter.”

 

That got Hunk’s attention. “Whoa, what? Aliens?!”

 

“Okay, so you’re insane. Got it,” Lance deadpanned.

 

“So, on Earth, you really didn’t know about any form of species other than your own?” Allura asked curiously.

 

“Correct. Sam, Matt, and I were the first three to meet anyone not from Earth. Being the Galra, we didn’t really get good first impressions.”

 

“That is most interesting,” Coran broke in. “The fact that Earth is so far away from all other planets to have absolutely no knowledge of any kind, is just astounding. Earth must be really a long way from here to not be close to any other planet with life, and no one out hear to have even heard of your planet.”

 

“Thanks, Coran,” Hunk muttered sadly. “That totally doesn’t make me, or any of us, I’m sure, miss home any more than we already do.”

 

“I’m serious! They keep repeating one word: ‘Voltron’. And tonight, it’s going crazier than I have ever heard it.”

 

“How crazy?” Lance inquired.

 

Just then, the alarms from the Garrison sounded and Iverson’s voice came out on the intercom.

 

“I suppose that tells you how crazy.”

 

“Attention, students. This is not a drill. We are on lockdown! Security station Zulu Niner. Repeat: All students are to remain in barracks until further notice.”

 

Suddenly, a fiery ball appeared in the sky.

 

“What’s going on? Is that a meteor?! … A very, very big… meteor?”

 

Shiro tensed. “Not a meteor.”

 

Grabbing the binoculars, Pidge looked up at the flying object.

 

“It’s a ship!”

 

Lance took the binoculars from Pidge, dragging both them and Pidge over, the girl dangling from being too short, feet not touching the ground.

 

“Awwww, Katie,” Matt teased. “Were you too short to touch the ground when Lance was looking through the binoculars?”

 

Pidge pouted.

 

Lance laughed. “I hadn’t even noticed that!” He cried gleefully.

 

“Holy crow! I can’t believe what I’m seeing! That’s not one of ours!” Lance exclaimed.

 

“No. It’s one of theirs,” Pidge informed the other two.

 

“So wait,” Hunk said, panicky. “There really are aliens out there?!”

 

“Yep!” Coran said triumphantly. “And we are quite marvellous!” He continued as he twisted his mustache.

 

The ship came shooting down, streaking a bright orange red line across the sky. It crashed out of the view from the three students, sending up a big flash.

 

Garrison land rovers started up, driving off to inspect the crash.

 

Pidge, now standing with her stuff packed up and backpack on, looked out at where the rovers were heading.

 

“We’ve gotta see that ship!” She cried and took off.

 

“You know,” Matt broke in. “The announcement was to stay inside , not ‘Go closer to the ship from space’?”

 

“Are you sure?” Pidge asked, playing along. “I thought for sure that Iverson said that there was neat equipment from aliens, and to check it out.”

 

“…You’re impossible,” Matt rolled his eyes.

 

Grinning, Pidge bat her eyes at her brother. “You love me.”

 

Rolling his eyes again, Matt ruffled up her hair, laughing when she scrunched her face at him. “You know I do.”

 

“Hunk, come one!” Lance took off after the shortest of the three.

 

“Oh, this is the worst team-building exercise ever,” Hunk complained, but ran after them.

 

“Now that we have met and trained with Allura and Coran, I withdraw that statement. There are a lot worse than checking out an alien crash, getting thrown into space, and across the universe...” Hunk slowed down as he was speaking, trailing off into thought.

 

Lance, Hunk, and Pidge were sitting at the top of a cliff overlooking the crash sight. Pidge was typing away at her computer, Lance was looking through the binoculars, and Hunk was nervously standing behind them.

 

“Whoa… What the heck is that thing?! … And who the heck is she ?” Lance asked flirtatiously, focusing on the a female officer exiting the spacecraft.

 

“Wow, so, he’s always been like that? Flirting with every female he sees?” Allura asked rhetorically.

 

“Pretty much, yeah,” Hunk chuckled receiving a scowl from Lance.

 

“Lance!” Pidge scolded as she slapped his arm.

"Ow! Ah, right, alien ship. Man, we'll never get past all those guards to get a look."


"Aw, man. Yeah, we- yeah I guess there's nothing to do but head back to the barracks, right?" Hunk said, clearly itching to get back to the Garrison.

 

“Y’know, you probably should’ve listened to Hunk,” Matt said coolly, but in a teasing way.


"Wait. They set up a camera in there and I grabbed its feed. Look!" Pidge pointed to the screen, which now had a live video of Shiro strapped to a table as Garrison technicians examine him.

 

“What are they doing?!” Matt shrieked.

"Hey! What are you doing?" Shiro demanded.

 

“Heh.”

 

“...Hunk…”

 

“What? It’s amusing that they said the same thing!”


"Calm down, Shiro.” Iverson spoke calmly. “We just need to keep you quarantined until we run some tests on you."


“You have to listen to me!” Shiro all but yelled at him. “They destroyed worlds! Aliens are coming!"


"That's Shiro! The pilot of the Kerberos Mission. That guy's my hero!" Lance said with a hint of awe in his voice.

 

“Wait- I was your- what?”

 

“MOVING ON.”


"Guess he's not dead in space after all." Hunk pointed out the obvious.

 

“...Wow, Hunk. Just… wow.”


"Where's the rest of the crew?" Pidge spoke outloud to herself.


Back on the screen the trio was watching, Iverson continued asking Shiro questions.

 

"Do you know how long you've been gone?"

"I don't know. Months? Years?” Shiro spoke in a way that made it clear that he didn’t really care how long he was gone. He continued on, “Look, there's no time. Aliens are coming here for a weapon. They're probably on their way. They'll destroy us! We have to find Voltron!"


"Voltron!" Pidge exclaimed.

"Sir,” a technician spoke up. “Take a look at this. It appears his arm has been replaced with a cyborg prosthetic."

"Put him under until we know what that thing can do." Iverson said, completely disregarding Shiro still on the table.

 

“Is this how you humans typically interact back on Earth?” The Princess asked and was met with all (minus Coran, obviously) protesting and denying her question.

 

“No,” Keith said venomnly. “Iverson is just a-” his next words were muffled suddenly when Lance clapped his hand over Keith’s mouth.

 

“We, uh, well, no one here has any good feelings for him. But no, humans are usually more respectable than that.”

"Don't, don't be me under!” Shiro panicked. “No! No, there's no time! Let me go!"


"They didn't ask about the rest of the crew." Pidge mumbled, furrowing her eyes.

 

“You know, it makes a lot more sense, how you were so concerned, now that I know that they’re your family.”

"What are they doing?” Lance demanded. “The guy's a legend. They're not even gonna listen to him?"


More determined now, Pidge spoke authoritatively, "we have to get him out."

"Ah, I hate to be the voice of reason here, always, but weren't we just watching on TV because there was no way to get past the guards?" Hunk asked, trying to convince the other two that they shouldn’t go down there.


"That was before we were properly motivated.” Lance said in a tone that said duh , figuratively rolling his eyes.

 

Matt burst out laughing at Lance’s reasonings.

 

Shiro stared at Matt laughing, almost falling off the couch in his amusement. He couldn’t remember the last time he properly laughed, probably back at the Garrison in his dorm room with Matt some night at 2am. Shiro couldn’t help but feel a bit envious that Matt was in captivity longer than he, but was able to laugh and joke at the drop of a hat. For a brief second, Shiro wondered if he was really laughing or just putting on a show, but he quickly shook that thought out of his head. He knows Matt’s laugh. His really one and his fake one. And this one was 100% real.

 

Meanwhile, Lance was sitting up, pleased that he had made Matt laugh so hard.

 

“We've just got to think. Could we tunnel in?"


"Maybe we could get some hazmat suits and sneak in like med techs." Pidge said with a scheming grin, eyes lit up with the idea of playing officials to get in.

 

“You little gremlin,” Matt rolled his eyes endearingly.

 

Pidge punched his shoulder.

"Or we dress up like cooks, sneak into the commissary… little late-night snack." Hunk suggested.

 

“I still think that was a good idea.”

 

“Hunk, anything with food is a good idea. Besides, if we stayed on Earth, think of all the new foods out here that you wouldn’t have been able to experience.”

 

“Now that is a very good point, Lance.”

Lance stared at Hunk for a second to see if he was joking before finally saying,  "… No. What we need is a distraction."


All of a sudden, explosions burst in the distance, making the three cadets scream.

 

“Whoa, what?”

Hunk panicked. "Is that the aliens?! Are- Tha- The- Is that the aliens?! Are they here?! They got here so quick!"


"No. Those explosions were a distraction, for him!" Pidge pointed to a figure arriving by hovercraft while the Garrison vehicles raced out to the explosions. "The Garrison's headed towards the blast, and he's sneaking in from the other side!"


Lance grabbed the binoculars to try and see who the mysterious person was.

"No way… Oh, he is not going to beat us in there! That guy is always trying to one-up me!"


"Who is it?" Hunk asked, worriedly.


Lance took off.

 

"Keith!"

 

“I don't think that I ever purposely tried to ‘one up you’ as you say.”

 

“Well,” Lance tried to think of a valid excuse. “It felt like it.”

"Who?" Pidge was confused as to who this new 'Keith’ person was.

"Are you sure?" Hunk asked as he ran after Lance.

"Oh, I'd recognize that mullet anywhere!"

 

“Seriously?” Keith was staring at Lance with an unreadable expression laced through his features. “You’re at the top of a cliff at night and even though I was on a quick moving hovercraft, with a scarf on, so I don’t know how you saw my hair in the first place, without seeing me for months, you still were able to recognize me by my hair ??”

 

“Uhhhhh… yeah?” Lance chuckled sheepishly.

 

Keith rolled his eyes. “You’re impossible.”

 

From the couch, Hunk tried to hide his smirk, but found it extra difficult when Pidge elbowed him in the side and he saw the knowing look on her face.

 

"Who's Keith?!" Pidge demanded, following the two other students.

Inside the craft, the technicians were still examining Shiro.

“These readings are off the chart." One said just before Keith burst in.


“Hey!" Iverson shouted.


Keith quickly attacked all three technicians, knocking them out.

 

Allura cheered, and when she saw the others staring at her she sheepishly said “what? I don't like him very much. The fact that he would rather examine Shiro than heed his warning. Plus, none of you seem very fond of him, so I have my doubts on him being a great human.”

 

“That's, uh, hmm,” Lance started to correct Allura- the proper term being person, not human- but decided not to. Instead, he trailed off with with a small smile.

 

Back on screen, Keith then ran to Shiro, seeming surprised to find him.

"Shiro...?"

 

“Did you not know that it was him when you went to rescue him?” Matt asked.

 

“No, I had no idea. I'm glad it was him, though.”


Keith quickly cut Shiro free from his bonds and got Shiro in a standing position, one arm around his waist, and the other holding the taller’s left arm over his own shoulder. Before he has a chance to leave, Lance, Hunk, and Pidge burst through the already open door.

"Nope. No you—No, no, no, no, no, no, no you don't.”Lance said, shaking his head as he walked over. “I'm saving Shiro." Lance lifts Shiro’s other arm over his shoulder.

 

“Aww,” Matt leaned over to Shiro. “You've got two boys fighting over who gets to be your knight in shining armour.”

 

Shiro flushed. “I don't, I'm not,” he stuttered out. He didn't know how to react to what he was seeing.

"Who are you?" Keith asked.


"Who am I? Uh, the name's Lance," Lance said, clearly expecting a reaction, but none came. Keith just continued to silently stare at Lance without recognition. "... We were at the same class at the Garrison?" He prompted.

"Really? Are you an engineer?"


"No, I'm a pilot. We were, like, rivals. You know, Lance and Keith, neck-and-neck."


"Oh wait, I remember you. You're a cargo pilot."

 

“Yeah, totally sounds like you were rivals.”


“Well, not anymore. I'm fighter class now, thanks to you washing out."


"Well, congratulations."


Lance and Keith led the way, exiting the portable lab craft with Shiro draped between them.


“Oh, man, they're coming back and they do not look happy.” Hunk said, when he spotted the Garrison vehicles returning. “We gotta go. Uh, do you mind if we catch a ride with you?"


Without waiting for an answer, everyone climbed aboard Keith's hovercraft and it tipped over from the extra weight.

 

“You know, I never did say that you could hitch a ride.”

"Is this thing going to be big enough for all of us?" Pidge asks nervously.

 

“No.”

"No."


Lance passed Shiro up for Pidge to hold on to and Keith took off as the Garrison arrived to pursue the intruders.


"Why am I holding this guy?" Pidge asked.

 

“Wow, Katie, just-” Matt rubbed his head.

 

“He was heavy!” Pidge defended herself from her brother. “In case you have noticed, I am not strong and he has a foot or two and one to two hundred pounds on me.” She was mostly guessing because she didn’t actually know how tall Shiro actually was or how much he weighed.

 

“So, you admit you’re short!” Lance chirped up, grinning wildly.

 

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Keith asked, staring at the Cuban suspiciously.

 

“Oh, well,” Lance started. “At the Garrison, Hunk and I,” he gestured between the two of them.

 

“You did what?” Matt demanded protectively.

 

“We kept trying to get her to say that she was short, but every time she’d just-” Hunk was interrupted by Pidge.

 

“I’m not short! I’m just fun-sized!”

 

“Yeah, she’d say that.”


"Hey, we did all fit!" Hunk cried happily.


"Can't this thing go any faster?" Lance asked impatiently.


"We could toss out some non-essential weight." Keith sassed.


"Oh, right!” Lance glanced around for something to toss out before realizing what Keith meant. “... ... ... OK, so that was an insult. I get it."

 

Matt cackled evilly and went to lean over to high-five Keith, but noticed that there was Hunk, two armrests and Lance between them and decided that climbing over them or- heaven forbid, stand and walk over- would be too much effort and just sat back and said “nice, man.”

 

Keith looked over, startled, eyes wide. “Oh, um, thanks.” The younger boy felt a smile at the praise from the older Holt. He wasn’t sure what it was, but he had assumed that he and Matt wouldn’t really click, as he doubted they didn’t have a lot in common. But hearing that Matt liked his retort brought a small smile to his face.


Ignoring Lance, Keith shouted. "Big man, lean left!"


Hunk leaned over, helping the hovercraft turn, while the Garrison rovers rolled and crashed into said cliff.


"Aw man!” Hunk complained. “Mr. Harris just checked out Professor Montgomery! ... No, no, he's fine."

 

“Oh my god!” Lance started at the same time Matt shouted “no way!” Apparently thinking the same thing, the two yelled “teacher bumper cars!”

 

Shiro just stared at Matt blankly and said “you’re supposed to be setting a good example for the kids.”

 

Matt rolled his eyes and said “yes, Mom.”

 

“No, no no no. Shiro is Space Dad. Allura is Space Mom,” Lance corrected.

 

“Right, Space Dad,” Matt said as he grinned wickedly. Carefully leaning over Pidge, Matt pulled Shiro to his by his collar and whispered, “I promise I’ll behave… Daddy .”

 

As he pulled away, Matt was pleased to see that Shiro’s face had gone fantastically red.

 

“What? What did you say?” Pidge whispered quickly and quietly.

 

“I’ll tell you later,” he whispered back and the two grinned conspiringly.

 

Unfortunately, that wasn’t satisfying to the others who demanded to know what was said. Shiro had his head buried in his hands and Matt was ginning but wouldn't repeat what he said, so the others had to begrudgingly continue watching the screen.


"Big man, lean right!"


Hunk leaned and the momentum help the hovercraft jump from one cliff to the next, while another rover rolled and crashed into said cliff.

 

Seeing the cliff's edge ahead of them, Hunk began to panic. "Guys? Is th-th-th-tha-tha—Is that a cliff up ahead?" He stammered out.


"Ooooh no, no, no! No, no, no, no—!" Lance shreeked.

Keith just smirked and said “yup,” increasing speed while everyone else screamed. Keith dove the hovercraft off the cliff, heading straight down to the canyon below.

 

“Wow, you crazy man.”

 

Keith felt a smile form on his face again at another sort of compliment (Keith wasn’t sure what is was) from Matt.

"What are you doing?!” Lance screamed at Keith. “You're going to kill us all!"


"Shut up and trust me!" Keith replied, not even glancing at Lance.

 

“I trust you,” Lance whispered, barley even hearing it himself.

 

Without the Cuban’s knowledge, the three words reached Keith next to him on the couch.Said boy looked down with a smile stretching across his face, a blush forming on his cheeks.

 

Shiro noticed and stared, hoping to make eye contact with Keith to ask why his cheeks were so red, but when the other boy didn’t look up, he continued watching the screen, pleased that something made the younger smile so wide.


Just before they crashed, Keith straightened the craft out and continued flying, heading out into the desert, escaping the Garrison crew.

 

The screen was black for a second before a new scene was being displayed, showing Shiro standing outside of a desert shack as the sun was rising. Quietly, Keith joined him, staring out at the sun.


"It's good to have you back," Keith broke the silence.


"Heh, it's good to be back."


"So what happened out there? Where... were you?"


"I wish I could tell you. My head's still pretty scrambled. I was on an... alien ship but... somehow I escaped. It's all a blur. How did you know to come save me when I crashed?"

 

Matt frowned at his friend’s memory loss, but was somewhat grateful. If he hardly remembered anything, then hopefully he forgot the worst of their time there.


Keith pursed his lips. "You should come see this."


The two walked back into the shack, where inside, Keith shows the others his board. It was completely covered with a map, multiple diagrams, and notes.

"What have you been working on?" Shiro asked.


"I can't explain it, really. After getting booted from the Garrison, I was kinda... lost and... felt myself drawn out to this place.”

 

Lance looked at the other with a slight frown on his face. Then he did something he wouldn’t normally do. He put his hand on top of Keith’s where it rested on his thigh, and gave it a gentle squeeze.

 

Shocked, Keith looked up and met the blue eyes of his companion and smiled lightly.

 

“It's like something…” The Keith on screen continues. “Some energy, was telling me to search."


"For what?"


"Well, I didn't really know at the time... until I stumbled across this area. It's an outcropping of giant boulders with caves covered in these ancient markings. Each tells a slightly different story about a blue lion, but they all share clues leading to some event, some arrival happening last night. Then you showed up."


"... I should... thank you all for getting me out. Lance, right?" Shiro asked, turing and offering his hand. Lance hesitated, looking at the prosthetic hand, before shaking it anyways.


Shiro offers to shake Pidge and Hunk's hand, but Hunk doesn’t move.

"The nervous guy's Hunk.” Pidge shook Shiro’s hand while introducing her friend. “I'm Pidge. So, did anyone else from your crew make it out?" She casually asked.


Shiro’s brow furrowed. "I'm not sure. I remember the mission and being captured. After that, it's just bits and pieces."

 

When seeing the expression on her face, Matt wrapped an arm around his sister and said “hey, it’s okay. I’m okay, and I’m sure Dad is too.”

 

Smiling up at him, Pidge leaned further into his hold.


“Yeah, sorry to interrupt,” Hunk interrupted. “But back to the aliens. Where are they now? Are they coming? Are they coming for all of us? Like where are they at this very moment?"


"I can't really put it together. I-I remember the word “ Voltron ". It's some kind of weapon they're looking for, but I don't know why. Whatever it is, I think we need to find it before they do."

 

“And thank quiznak we do!” Coran exclaimed happily.

 

“We?” Matt asked, but no one answered.


"Well last night, I was rummaging through Pidge's stuff, and I found this picture. Look it's his girlfriend." Hunk grinned, holding up a picture of ‘Pidge’ in ‘his’ Garrison uniform with ‘his’ arm around a shorter girl, who was in a purple dress, grinning.

 

Pidge wrinkled her nose.

 

“Umm,” Matt started, but Hunk interrupted.

 

“Yeah. Yeah, I know now.”

 

Looking down at his baby sister, Matt said, “Y’know, I’m kinda honoured that you carry that picture around in your backpack.”

 

“Of course I kept it with me at all times. I was around boys a lot, and did not trust them enough to leave it behind.”

 

Matt’s eyes narrowed. “Did they treat you okay?”

 

“For the most part, yeah. There was one guy who hit on me. Poor guy didn’t know I wasn’t what he was wanting.”

"Hey, gimme that!” Pidge grabbed the photo from him. “What were you doing in my stuff?"


"I wa—I was looking for a candy bar.” Hunk admitted. “But then, I started reading his diary," he went on, holding up the diary.


"WHAT?!" Pidge shrieked, snatching the book out of his hand.


"And I noticed that the repeating series of numbers the aliens are searching for looks a lot like a fraunhofer line."

 

“Wait, I know what that is! I, uh, just don't remember what right now,” Matt tried to remember hearing the term back when he and his dad were at the Garrison.


"Frown... who?" Keith asked, clearly confused.


"It's a number describing the emission spectrum of an element, only this element doesn't exist on Earth. I thought it might be this Voltron, and I think I can build a machine to look for it, kinda like a Voltron Geiger Counter."

 

“So cool!” Matt let his nerdy side shine through about hearing about the properties of new elements to explore.


"Hunk, you big, gassy genius!" Lance complimented.


"It's pretty fascinating, really. Th-The wavelength looks like this." He pulled out a graph of the wavelength, holding it up for the others to see.


"Give me that." Keith grabbed it, holding it up to a photo on his corkboard, the line matching the skyline of boulders and cliffs.

 

“Whoa, no way!” Matt exclaimed, wide eyed. Allura and Coran laughed, amused at the other energy the boy was displaying. They too were interested in what the Paladins on screen were doing, but didn’t quite understand the Earth terms as well as Matt.

Not too long later, the team arrived at the location with the new device Hunk designed.

Lance was the first to speak. "... Ok. I admit it. This is super freaky."


"I'm getting a reading," Hunk followed his device, locating and leading the other four to a cave with ancient carvings of lions inside.

"What are these?" Shiro wondered out loud.


"These are the lion carvings I was telling you about. They're everywhere around here."


Lance approached a carving and carefully touched it, instantly causing all of them to light up in a bright blue light.


“The blue lion chose you, Lance.”

 

“What do you mean, chose?” Matt asked.

 

“It is really quite fascinating. King Alfor designed and built the lions of Voltron, and those lions choose who they form a special bond with,” Coran explained.

 

“So, one of the lions was on Earth? That’s so cool!” Then he turned to Lance. “And you have a bond with one of them?”

 

“Heh, uh, yeah. I guess I do,” he answered vaguely, not wanting to spoil the surprise just yet.

"Whoa... Whoa!" Lance cried out as he stared at all the blue carvings.


"Huh, they've never done that before." Keith noted just before the ground beneath them collapsed and they all fell into the cracks in the floor. On screen, the five were falling down a tunnel of sorts, all screaming as they went, and all flailing, save Pidge, who was perched on Hunk’s shoulders, gripping tight to his hair. They eventually landed in a cavern with water. Lance look up first, and spies the huge blue lion inside a force field.

 

“Katie, whatever did that man do to deserve his hair being pulled like that?”

 

“I didn’t mean to! I didn’t even know I was doing it!”

"They are everywhere."


"Is this it?” Pidge asked. “Is this the Voltron?"


Confused, Shiro said "It... must be."

 

Coran and Allura shared a knowing smile at the humans’ innocence.


"This is what's been causing all this crazy energy out here." Keith noted as he approached the lion, the rest of the team slowly following him. "Looks like there's a force field around it."


"Does anyone else get the feeling this is staring at them?" Lance asked the other.

 

“It chose you,” Matt whispered dramatically.

 

Lance glanced at him with a confused furrow, but dismissed the older boy to continue watching.


"Hmm... No." Shiro was the only one to answer, but the others were shaking their heads or looking at Lance.


Lance took a few steps to the right, then a few to the left. "Yeah. The eyes are totally following me."

 

“It chose you,” Pidge whispered, a bit louder than her brother, but still just as dramatic, if not more.

 

Lance and a few others stared at her similarly to how Lance looked to her brother. This time, however, he was a bit more worried, confused and a bit scared as to what they were up to.


Keith runs up to the force field and touched it. "I wonder how we get through this."


"Maybe you just have to knock," Lance joked, and literally knocked on the force field. The shield immediately dissipated and ignited the area around them in blue.

 

“It chOse YoU!” The siblings cried dramatically in sync.

 

“Okay, seriously, don’t do that! It’s weird and it creeps me out!”

 

That only made them laugh evilly at the same time.

 

“Oh my god, what is wrong with you two?!”

 

Flashes of images of Voltron forming from five lions were shown in their minds.

"Woah..."


Lance broke the silence. "Uh, did everyone just see that?"


“Voltron is a robot! Voltron is a huge, huge, awesome robot!" Hunk giddily exclaimed.


"And this thing is only one part of it!” Pidge, also excited, added on. “I wonder where the rest of them are."


"This is what they're looking for," Shiro noted, referring to the aliens that captured him.


"Incredible," Keith breathed.


The lion suddenly lowered its head and opened its mouth and Hunk and Pidge screamed and cowered, thinking it was going to eat them, but rather it simply opened its mouth so they could climb inside. Lance hesitated, but gleefully entered and takes a seat in the cockpit.

 

"Here we go," he relaxed into the seat, just before it jolted forward, making Lance yelp in surprise, and the command console activates. "Heheh! All right! Very nice!"


"Ok guys,” Hunk, ever the worried one, spoke up. “I- I feel the need to point out, just so that we're all, y'know, aware: We are in some kind of futuristic alien cat head right now."


Lance froze, sensing that the lion was trying to communicate with him. "Whoa, did you guys just hear that?"


"Hear what?" Keith asked.


"I- I think it's talking to me. Hmm... Um..."

 

“It’s talking to you?” Matt cried gleefully.

 

Lance pressed a few buttons and the lion stood up and roared, making Hunk and Pidge scream again. "Ok. Got it. Now let's try this." Lance grabbed the controls and smashed the lion out of the cavern and takes off flying, doing somersaults and wild turns in the air, terrifying the team, Hunk and Pidge screaming all the way.

 

“Oh my! Lance, are you trying to kill them?”

 

“Princess, you wound me!”

"YOU ARE. THE WORST. PILOT. EVER." Keith gasped out as Lance joins in on the screaming.

 

Back at the Galaxy Garrison, Iverson and a guard were watch the lion.


"What in the Sam Hill is that?" Iverson asked the guard.


"It appears to be a flying blue lion, Sir," his confusion clear in his tone.

 

Iverson grunts, clearly unimpressed.

 

The lion landed and ran along the desert at high speed.

"Isn't this awesome?!" Lance exclaimed, so excited by everything that was happening.

 

“Yes!”


"Make it stop! Make it stop!" Hunk repeated like a mantra.


"I'm not making it do anything,” Lance defended. “It's like it's on autopilot!" he said as the lion took off into the sky.

"Where are you going?!" Keith demanded.

 

“He just said it’s on autopilot!”


"I just said it's on autopilot! It says there's an alien ship approaching Earth. I think we're supposed to stop it."


"What did it say, exactly?!" Pidge inquired.


"Well, it's not like it's saying words, more like feeding ideas into my brain. Kind of."


"Well, if this thing is the weapon they're coming for, why don't we just, like—I don't know, give it to them?” Hunk tried to reason. “Maybe they'll leave us alone. Sorry, lion, nothing personal."

 

“That’s a very bad idea.”

 

“Well I know that now!”


"You don't understand. These monsters spread like a plague throughout the galaxy, destroying everything in their path. There's no bargaining with them. They won't stop until everything is dead." Shiro explained.


Everyone was silent as they stared at Hunk.

"... Oh. Never mind then."


Just then the lion left the Earth's atmosphere as an alien warship suddenly appeared, startling everyone.

"Uh... Holy crow! Is that really an alien ship?!"


"They found me… " Shiro muttered dejectedly.

"We've got to get it out of here!" Pidge shouted at the warship opened fire.


"Hang on!" Lance shouts as he steered the lion to dodge the onslaught of laser guns. "Ah! Alright! OK, I think I know what to do!"


"Be careful, man!” Pidge shouted. “This isn't a simulator!"


"Well, that's good. I always wreck the simulator." Lance joked as he used the lion's mouth cannon to blast the length of the warship.

 

“Thats… that’s not really funny? Considering how you’re risking everyone’s lives and the have no control over theirs.”

 

“That’s really dark. You okay, man?”

 

“Yeah.” Matt said quickly. Too quickly. “I’m fine.”

 

Pidge, though she didn’t say anything, stared up at her brother-her hero- with sorrow and pulled him in tight to her.

 

After a few tense seconds of silence, Allura said “Your planet is beautiful.”

 

"Let's try this." Lance swung the lion's paw, claws tearing into the warship's side.

"Nice job, Lance!"


"OK, I think it's time to get these guys away from our planet."


"Lord Zarkon.” Inside the warship, the unnamed alien commander that captured Shiro the year previous speaks to Zarkon through a video transmission. “The escaped prisoner and his people found the lion. It attacked us and is heading out of the system."


"Follow that lion and alert all ships in the area to intercept.” Zarkon ordered. “Capturing that lion is your first and only priority."


"Yes, your Majesty. Full power after the lion!" He commanded, pursues his warship after the lion.

"Oh, no!"


"They're gaining on us!" Pidge shouted.


"It's weird. They're not trying to shoot us.” Lance observed. “Th-They're just chasing."

 

"OK, seriously, now we think having aliens follow us is good? I am not on board with this new direction, guys."

 

“Neither am I.”


"Where are we?" Keith asked.


"Edge of the solar system.” Shiro informed them. “There's Kerberos."

 

Matt gasped as he stared at the screen. There was a fluttering in his stomach that he didn’t like. This alien technology was super cool, yes, but he his father and Shiro put so much time and effort into getting to Kerberos for their mission and his baby sister and her friends got out there in hardly any time. It made him feel… He felt worthless. Like there was no point to his mission, because without any preparation or difficulties, they made it further than he did.

 

He knows it's ridiculous for him to feel like this, but he couldn't help it. No, he had to push it down. In the end, what he felt didn't matter. His sister was safe (well, all things considered) and she was doing amazing things. He couldn't let his feelings get in her way or hold her back in any way, shape of form.


"It takes months for our ships to get out this far. We got out here in five seconds."

"What is that?!" Hunk exclaimed at the wormhole that appeared before them.


"Uh, this may seem crazy, but I think the lion wants us to go through there."

 

“I'm sorry, what?”


"Where does it go?" Pidge inquired.


"I-I don't know. Shiro, you're the senior officer here. What should we do?"


"Whatever's happening, the lion knows more than we do. I say we trust it, but we're a team now. We should decide together."


All five of them look at each other in silence.

"... All right. Guess we're all ditching class tomorrow." Lance says with less hoorah than before as he steers the lion towards the wormhole and it disappears before the alien warship can follow.

 

“You know, I’d say that I’m shocked at you for ditching school, but I’m really not.”

 

“What?” Pidge asked, looking to her brother for an explanation.

 

“Well, you’d been going on for years of how you couldn’t wait to go to the Garrison and learning about space tech. But at the same time, you used to talk a lot more about being in space itself. So, I’d be surprised if you skipped for something else, but to go into space? Nah.”

 

Pidge sat back against the couch, staring forward as she thought. Matt was more chill than she’d expected of going into space- save for his mini freakout earlier.

 

“Well, now you know what I mean when I said it was an accident that I got out here.”

 

“Heh, yeah.”