Chapter 1: Querencia
Edit: The first three chapters are not very well done but I swear it gets better afterwards.
Allura, Shiro, Kolivan and Olia announced that after careful consideration, Lotor will be taken to the Castle of the lions and the interrogation will be held eight vargas later, giving them enough time to rest. The Blades and rebels were soon informed and permitted to stay on the ship until further notice.
Soon they were all en route to the Castle.
Everyone was tired- no scratch that, they were thoroughly exhausted. They wanted nothing but to hit the bed and sleep for eternity. Little did they know, the universe already had plans for them.
As soon as they touched the hangar, Matt’s voice crackled through their comms.
“Team Voltron, do you copy?”
Is the only word that could fully describe what happened after Matt told them that, it's about Keith and that he tried to do something wrong.
He didn't tell them the details.
That left everyone bewildered. Matt’s call implied that something was wrong, that much was clear and Keith was somehow related to it, which also meant that there was a possibility that he was not OK. This was enough to set them running towards where they last saw Matt’s ship about to land.
Everyone started shooting questions as soon as they saw Matt, he was already heading towards where they all assumed Keith would be.
“Matt! Wait up!”
“Matt! Slow down, we need to talk!”
“You said that it's about Keith? Is he alright? Had he done something wrong?”
“Matt! Would you just tell us?!”
The person in question abruptly stopped in his tracks, bringing their chase to a stand still.
“Do you guys consider Keith as a part of your family?” Matt asked, keeping his back towards them.
Confusion flashed on their faces. Lance stepped forward “Wha- What do you mean? Of Course we do.”
“Then make sure to tell him that.”
Keith had closed off his comms promptly after Kolivan had relayed the message to him and told him that he is required to stay on the Castle until the issue about Lotor is resolved.
Keith had just came out of the cockpit of his ship, when he heard distant voices continuously shouting Matt’s name. As the voices kept on getting louder and closer Keith turned to see what was going on.
Turning around, he saw Matt entering the hangar with the whole team Voltron in his tow, which wouldn't have been weird, if they all didn't look completely lost.
Something is wrong.
The reason why Matt was mad and headed straight towards him with a look that clearly said ‘ You.are.dead!’ was unnerving.
“There you are, you Quiznack!”
Frowning, Keith asked “Matt? Guys what’s going on? Weren't you all supposed to put Lotor in a cel-”
“You stupid little shit! I thought that you of all people would have far greater survival instincts but noooo You just proved me wrong by pulling that reckless stunt!” Matt continued to shout at Keith. “What were you thinking trying to pull a stunt like that?! I almost thought I lost you there!”
Pidge never thought she would see the day where Matt would go shouting on someone. He always kept his cool no matter the situation. Seeing him this enraged told Pidge that whatever Keith did was a grave mistake. Pidge musing was cut short as Shiro stepped ahead of her “What do you mean? What did Keith do?”
“Wha- What's going on?” Hunk hesitantly inquired.
“Yeah, I think it's about time you tell us.” Lance said while Pidge tried to make heads and tails of the current situation. She had never seen him look this mad in ages.
Shiro saw Keith’s expression quickly shifting from a frown to shocked then to full-blown panic and finally settled on anger.
‘Huh? He does this when he is hiding something really important.’ Shiro thought that as he saw emotions flickering on Keith’s face.
Gesturing towards Keith with both hands Matt began “Keith here, thought that is was a good idea to sacrifice himself by flying his galra cruiser into the barrier surrounding the ship Haggar was on. On which our weapons were practically useless!”
It felt like the universe shattered. Their whole world crumbled. Everyone stood there, their breath caught up in their throat as they stared at Keith, horrified. Nobody moved, trying to wrap their head around what Matt just revealed to them.
“Keith is what Matt’s saying true?”
Shiro’s calm voice broke them from their daze. It was a wonder how Shiro was able to keep his cool in this kind of situation.
“Are you implying that you don't believe in what I just said?!” Matt said, looking betrayed.
“No Matt! That's not what I meant. I do believe in what you just said but I need to hear this from Keith himself.” Shiro reassured him as he made eye contact with Keith who was uncharacteristically quiet.
“Tell me Keith is what Matt saying true?”
Crossing his hands, Keith looked directly at Shiro “.... What if I say Yes?”
That reply was all it took for everyone to lose their patience. Surprisingly, it was Allura who burst out first “Why did you even thought about doing something so outrageous?!”
“I don't understand why you guys are getting so worked up! I did what I had to, alright? Our weapons were not working at all, and we had to take the shield down somehow so-” Keith tried to counter but was swiftly cut off by Pidge.
“So you thought that if you could somehow cause an explosion by ramming your ship into the shield, it will go down?” Pidge surmised.
“Keith our weapons were having no effect on it. So what made you think that the explosion would have worked? There was no guarantee!” Matt needed him to understand that he was going to die a meaningless death.
“I wasn't going to just sit and watch. Whole ten solar systems were in danger. The whole Coalition! And amidst it all there was Voltron, blades and you guys, everything that we worked so hard for was going to disappear right in front of me!” Keith was seething.
“Keith, that doesn't change that what you did was completely reckless, without any concern for your own life!” Shiro tried his best to keep his cool but, he too was reaching his limit.
“It was better than doing nothing. Our weapons were useless on that force field, so I thought that maybe an explo-”
“You were going to ram your ship into the barrier on the off chance that it ‘Might’ have worked? Are you seriously kidding me?!” Lance shrieked.
Keith snapped his jaw shut as he glared at Lance. Shiro was pretty sure Keith was grinding his teeth. “So, what do you want me to do just sit there and do nothing at all while everything we worked so hard at, disappears right in front of my eyes?!”
“Surely, you could have ejected yourself before your ship crash into the barrier?” Allura argued.
“Allura has a point there.” Hunk interjected.
“The resulting explosion from the collision would have wiped me out before I could have gotten somewhere safe.” He replied Allura through clenched teeth.
Clenching his fists, Keith closed his eyes and inhaled deeply “Ok, let's just say that what I did was wrong if you were in my place what would you have done?” Keith challenged.
“Of course, I would have thought about another wa-”
“THERE WAS NO TIME!!! THE BOMB WAS TICKING!! EVERYTHING WAS ON THE LINE, MATT!! IF I DIDN'T DO SOMETHING, EVERYTHING WAS GOING TO DISAPPEAR IN FRONT OF MY EYES!!” Keith practically roared.
At that everyone went quiet, because Keith was right, there was no time, it was literally a do-or-die situation.
After taking a few breaths he continued, faintly
“Why don't you guys understand? It was the only option in that situation! I did what had to be done.” Keith voice quivered as his body trembled. “I'm tired of losing people.”
The last statement was spoken so softly that if they had not been paying attention, they would have missed it. Keith sounded as if he was in a lot of pain.
Keith’s eyes burned as he felt his breathing getting erratic and his felt his throat constrict.
I said I wasn’t going to cry!
With a growl of frustration, Keith spined on his heel and started walking away from them.
I don't want to deal with this! I will not breakdown in front of them!
He had just barely taken a few steps away from them when someone tackled him to the ground and wrapped their arms tightly around his waist, holding onto him with all their strength.
Keith quickly shot up, his first instinct was to break free of the grip and run, as he struggled to free himself from the grip of death, he realised that it was actually Pidge who was holding onto him.
“I understand.” Pidge voice came out muffled, as she continued to bury her face into Keith’s back.
“What?” All heads turned towards Pidge, looking at her incredulously, while Keith tried to turn his head around in a failed attempt to see Pidge face.
“I'm completely with Keith on this one, because I know, how it feels to be faced with a situation where neither of the choices are desirable.” she mumbled. “And I'm sure all of you had similar experience at some point in your life too.”
A moment of silence passed as they all stood there, speechless.
Lance stepped forward “Yeah. I guess, you are right. You guys are way important to me than this universe, for you guys I would have done that too.” Lance declared.
“Pidge is right. It isn't preferable but, I would have done the same too.” Hunk said as he sheepishly scratched his neck.
Did they really understand?
Keith thought as he blankly stared at them.
Shiro, Matt and Allura all shared a look before Shiro proceeded to sit near him. Seeing this Pidge finally let go of Keith, but she instantly latched onto his hood.
Shiro placed both of his hands on Keith’s shoulders, as he began “Keith, I need you to understand that just as you are afraid of losing us, we are afraid of losing you.” Shiro paused, letting the words sink in. “Do you know why you distanced yourself from us? Why were you afraid of us rejecting you? Its because you care about us more than you seem to think, but, you failed to notice that, we also love and care about you just as much, and would never push you away no matter what happens.” Shiro somehow always seemed to know what Keith might be thinking.
“Yeah, even if you somehow end up killing someone.” Hunk continued as he sat on the ground in front of Keith.
“Yeah not even if this ‘someone’ turns out to be Lance.” Pidge quickly added while shouting a grin at Lance.
“Hey!” Lance yelled indignantly as he glared daggers at Pidge.
Everyone chuckled at that.
As he looked around, he realised that everyone had already sat down in front of him. Allura and Matt were on either side of Shiro, whereas Lance was on Allura’s right and Hunk was on Matt’s left.
Keith saw as Allura took one of his hand in her own while covering it with the other. Allura lifts her gaze to him as she began “Keith please come back to Voltron” suddenly shaking her head, she adds “No, What I meant to say was: Come back to ‘Us’. I finally got a family of my own and I will do everything to keep them safe. I think I speak for all when I say that we are a family and whether you like it or not, you are a part of this family just as much as the others.”
“Yeah man, our space family feels incomplete without its emo member.” Lance proclaimed as he flashed Keith a lopsided grin.
“...family?” Keith asked as he blankly stared at them.
“Duh! We all are, like a big family, sure we are a bit weird, but we are still a family, you know?”
The puzzled look on Keith’s face said otherwise.
Keith furrowed his brows “No. I don't and last time I checked I wasn’t blood related to anyone.”
This clearly implied that he needed someone to spell it out for him, so Matt took it upon himself. “Keith, family isn’t always blood related it's made up of people who accept you for whom you are, they stand by you in the hard times, they never give up on you and most important of all, they will never push you away.”
“...I can't be of use to anyone right now but you still want me back?”
“We don't need anything from you in return, that’s how a family works.” Shiro explained.
“Keith, a family, loves unconditionally without expecting anything in return.” Lance added.
Keith’s eyes were shining with unshed tears.
“You...will never...push me away?” his voice cracked painfully on every word.
At that everyone softly smiled, and replied altogether, Firmly “Never!”
The confidence with which it was said made Keith tear up instantly. He doubled over, burying his eyes in the palms of his hands, trying to stop the tears that dripped down his cheeks as his body kept on shuddering uncontrollably.
Shiro was the first one to wrap Keith in a tight embrace, kissing his forehead, he said “It's OK to cry Keith, you have us now, we are not going to judge you for it, We love you far too much to do that. So, you can be as ugly as you like and I promise you we would still love you just as much as we did before.”
Soon, everyone’s face had tears streaming down, they all sat there wrapping him in their warmth, while he sat there screaming silently as tears kept streaming down his face. They were willing to keep this up until his tears stops flowing, until his body stops trembling, until he thinks that it is safe to sleep with them watching over him, until he stops pushing them away, until he starts to trust and confide in them. So, till that time comes, they will all keep holding onto him and will continue to do so until they wither away and die. They will never let go of him since he is one of them and they're his.
Keith woke up as felt someone move him. He cracked open his eyes and the first thing he saw as he focused his eyes, was Shiro’s face, which meant that Shiro was the one carrying him. Above Shiro’s head he could see the lions standing proudly.
Keith clearly remembers hearing the distinct roar of lions and a flash of light before drifting off to sleep.
Chapter 2: Lux in tenebris
Light in darkness.
Lotor snapped his head up as he heard Allura enter the cell along with the others. Although it was surprising to see a galra there. Noticing Allura he said “Princess Allura. I was getting bored.”
Allura kept her face stoic “Then let's get this ‘discussion' started.” As Kolivan, Shiro and Olia gathered around her, starting the interrogation.
When Keith woke, he abruptly sat up as he realised that he was in one of the rooms of the Castle. Upon closer inspection, he found that he was actually in his own room. Which, made no sense to him.
Why Am I in my room? What happened? Uh! My whole body hurts!
He thought, still feeling a bit disoriented. His eyes widened as yesterday's events came flooding back to him. Groaning, he covered his face in his hands as he fell back on the bed, curling on himself.
I can't believe I broke down in front of them! And fell asleep there and Shi...Shiro carried me like a child! Agrh! How Am I supposed to face them now?!
He dragged his hands over his eyes, staring off to a distance.
Family...huh? Does this mean I finally found a place to call… home?
He was debating the pros and cons of surviving as well as how he was going to face his old teammates. Allura’s booming voice came through the speakers, dragging him back to the reality.
“Attention everyone, I would like you all to gather in the control room immediately. We have an important announcement to make.”
Shit! The interrogation!
Putting his worries aside, he rushed to get ready. Within a few ticks, he was on his way to the control room.
Lance was sitting in the control room, along with the others. Pidge, Hunk and Matt were completely engrossed in the planning of their next upgrade or gadget while speaking (what Lance calls) gibberish.
He was sitting a little farther away from the trio, giving them the space to work as their tools tend to spread around them.
Having nothing to do, Lance mind started to wander.
“Guys...” Lance said.
“Hmmm...” Hunk responded, without looking up from his work.
“What do you guys think he is going to do?” Lance asked.
Shrugging, Pidge began, “I still think that it's better if we throw Lotor out of the-”
“No, Pidge. We are not savages, and that’s not what I was asking.” Lance replied as he sat up properly. “I was asking: do you guys think Keith really understood what we said yesterday?”
At this everyone stopped working.
“Well, I'm not sure but I think he did.” Hunk replied finally looking at Lance.
“If he didn't we will just keep on repeating it until he understands.” added Matt, looking determined.
“But will he stay here?” Pidge asked Matt, rueful.
“It's hard to say.”
“Shiro said he will talk to Kolivan about this.” Lance reminded.
Matt sighed, “Let's hope he at least is willing to try.”
Lance, Hunk, Pidge and Matt stopped their conversations as they heard the door hissed opened.
All eyes turned to Keith as he entered the room. He looked like a mess. His eyes were still a bit swollen and red, his hair was in a disheveled state and the bags under his eyes almost gave him a zombie like look.
Dropping her laptop, Pidge bolted towards Keith, wrapping him in her arms, or in this case as far as her arms went. Keith stiffened at the sudden contact, but awkwardly returned the hug, patting Pidge’s back softly.
Stepping away she said “Glad to see you up again.” giving his state a careful once over, she pursed her lips “You still alive there?”
“Apparently…” Keith said in a hoarse voice. He realised trying to keep himself from crying loudly had strained his throat.
Pidge nodded once as she grabbed his wrist leading him towards the place where they were sitting together. Keith saw Hunk, Lance and Matt sitting just ahead working on something while smiling and waving at them.
“Good Morning, Keith!” Hunk waved at him. “Glad to see you alive and kicking.” his voice was as soft and bright as ever.
“Good Morning, Your Mullet looks breathtakingly beautiful today.” Lance chirped as he finger gunned at him. Lance voice always carried a weird enthusiasm.
“Lance! Give him a rest he just woke up!” Pidge scolded.
“Ok, ok, Sheesh, I just wanted to lighten the mood.” replied Lance as he folded his arms and pouted.
“Don't worry Keith; Lance is just being jealous because you are the only person who can pull off a mullet while still looking cool.” Matt said, teasingly, wrapping Keith in a warm hug.
‘Hey! That's not true and you know it! ’ Lance thought but didn't say it out loud. It wasn’t the right time for it. So, he settled for just rolling his eyes.
“Anyway… How are you feeling?” Lance asked, as his expression turned serious.
“Exhausted.” Keith supplied.
“Can't blame you, that battle did a number on all of us.” Hunk added. As he carefully avoided the topic of yesterday event. They knew that it would be a sensitive topic for Keith.
A simple “….yeah.” was all Keith could manage.
Glancing around the room, Keith asked “Where is Shiro and Allura? What about Lotor?”
“They are interrogating Lotor as we speak.” Matt answered.
“Why are guys not there with them?”
“Shiro told us not to, because then it would not be an interrogation anymore instead it will turn into a meeting and we might end up slipping him more information than necessary.”
Satisfied, Keith nodded and made his way to a corner, crossing his arms, he leaned against the wall. Everyone soon followed. They deliberately sat near Keith and if he noticed, he didn't say anything.
A few doboshes later, Allura, Shiro, Kolivan and Olia entered the room with Lotor walking beside them. Allura stood in front of everyone as she proceeded to tell them about what they had learned from him. Apparently, Zarkon had exiled Lotor as well as ordered everyone in the empire to kill him on sight, giving him nowhere to run. Thus, he would be joining their rebellion against Zarkon and has promised to help them in any way possible. He had promised to give them all the details regarding the empire. As for the part where he would be staying, it was concluded that Lotor would be staying with the blades since it will be easier to keep him under surveillance there, not to mention blades undercover work ensures that there would not be any interactions between other species or planets, reducing his chances of escape in case he turned against them and even if he somehow did manage to sneak away, escaping from there would be almost impossible given the position of their base, making it an ideal choice.
Finishing her speech, she approached Lotor.
“Will you prove your loyalty to us?”
“Yes.” he replied.
“Coran, if you may.”
“Right away, Princess.” said Coran as he bowed to the Princess. Coran came back a few moments later, carrying a case with a small, silverish, knife placed within.
Coran offered it to Allura. The knife seems to gleam in the light as she picked it up, handing it over to Lotor.
Grabbing his hair in a fist, Lotor took the knife offered to him and in a swift movement, he sliced his hair, throwing it on the ground.
It seemed to hold great importance. Surprised gasps were heard all over the room and a loud squeak. Keith can bet that the strangled squeak that they all heard was from Lance.
“Now, I'm not a royalty anymore.” Lotor declared as he lowered his head, kneeling in front of Allura. “I pledge my loyalty to you.”
“Please, stand up. You have already proven your loyalty.” Allura said as Lotor obediently followed.
“Let’s shake hands to commemorate this moment. Voltron officially welcomes you.”
Clasping her hand, Lotor said “My abilities and services are yours now. I will try my best to ensure Voltron’s victory.”
“We expect no less from you.”
As soon as they broke the handshake, Kolivan gestured to the two blades near him to escort Lotor to their ships. Slowly, everyone filed out of the room. Keith saw as Coran, Matt and the Paladins gathered together, they seemed to be discussing something with each other whereas Shiro was busy speaking with Kolivan.
Everyone seemed satisfied with the decision since they knew that having Lotor on their side would give them a huge advantage. The place chosen for him was a shock for Keith, but he knew that if Lotor stayed in the Castle, it will only bring out negative effect on the future allies if they saw the prince of the empire on the Voltron’s ship as well as the paladins.
Wanting to speak with Kolivan about these changes as well as what their next move would be, Keith stood up and marched towards Kolivan.
As Keith arrived there, both of them halted their conversation, turning their attention towards him.
“Keith, we need to know your decision.” Kolivan stated as Keith stared at him baffled.
What was I supposed to decide? Didn't they already decide everything?
Shiro stepped ahead, placing a hand on his shoulder “Keith, we need to know whether you will be staying with us or will you continue to stay with the blades?” Keith tensed, his breathing getting erratic.
Shit! I was so focused on Lotor I forgot about what happened yesterday. What should I do? My mind is still a mess. I haven't even thought about it.
Seeing his panic, Shiro levelled his gaze with him “Keith, trust your instincts.” He stepped away, giving him space to think.
Little did he know his friends were desperately hoping for him to stay with them. Pidge and Matt were even ready to knock out Kolivan if he interfered.
Keith closed his eyes as he thought back to his friends words.
“We don't need anything from you in return, that’s how a family works.”
“Keith, a family, loves unconditionally without expecting anything in return.”
“You...will never...push me away?”
Squaring his shoulders, he turned to Kolivan “I… will stay, with Voltron.”
A beat of silence.
“I respect your decision. Well then, as of now you are free of your duties as a blade, I wish you all the luck. You are free to come back anytime.”
Turning to Shiro, he said “We will contact you soon with all the details.” with that, he exited the control room, leaving Keith alone with his team.
Keith was desperately avoiding eye contact with his teammates as they gathered around him. He stubbornly kept his eyes fixed on the floor.
I know this is my decision but, I don't know what to do. I'm afraid of looking at them. What if I made a mistake?
Suddenly Keith was wrapped in a warm embrace. He could almost hear the heartbeat. A shiver went down his spine as he thought that. He realised a bit later that it was Shiro who was hugging him. Keith saw as all of his friends were smiling at him. Pidge shot thumbs up to him whereas Hunk danced on the heels of his feet. Shiro broke it up but left his hands on his shoulders “Welcome home, Keith. You were immensely missed.”
“Time for the family Reunion hug!” Hunk yelled, excitedly as all of them cheered tackling Shiro and Keith to the ground. Unlike the last two group hugs, they all were laughing, trashing and giggling at each others antics.
Seeing the beaming faces of his tea- no, family members made a small smile to appear on his lips. He still felt tiny electric shocks going through his body making him a bit giddy. He felt his heart swell in his chest and his body felt all warm and tingly.
“It's good to be back.” Keith replied, a little teary eyed as his heart filled with warmth for the first time.
He let himself melt in their embrace as he thought it would take him sometime to get use to this but as they are the only ones that extended their hands to him even after seeing his worst, he was willing to give them a chance since nobody did that before, except for Shiro.
They somehow make me feel safe and warm in the cold darkness of this war prone universe.
Is this what a home feels like?
“Keith, you smell! You should go take a bath!” Lance shouted somewhere in the pile on top of him.
The sound of growling made everyone go still, “Ah… sorry guys, it's just my stomach.” Hunk said, sheepishly. One look at each other and then they were bursting with laughter.
After the laughter died down, everyone untangled themselves and soon they were standing on their feet. Keith was finally able to breathe easily.
As Hunk stood, he said “Now that the problem is solved, We really should eat breakfast. It's the most important meal of the day. Can't miss that.”
Turning towards Keith he said, “Keith you go take a bath and relax until then I will prepare something tasty to celebrate your return!”
Return? I like the sound of that.
At the kitchen table.
“Allura?” Keith asked grabbing the Princess attention.
“Why did you ask Lotor to cut his hair off to show his loyalty?”
“Yeah! It was a horrible sight to see.” Lance added.
“Well, it's because in Altean culture, only the male royalty can grow his hair that long. The longer the hair, the greater the power. Those Alteans that possess great power usually are royalties. Just like me. Though my father kept his hair short.” Allura sported a sad smile on her lips “When I asked the reason about it, he replied that it's because a few retems cannot define a person’s worth.”
“So, that's why you asked Lotor to cut his hair.” Lance stated as he finally understood the reason behind it.
“What's retem?” Pidge asked, curiously.
Coran piped up “Its an Altean measurement unit. Surely, you guys have them too right. I remember hearing Lance talking about an ‘Inch' or something.”
“Yes, Coran we do have a few measurement units.”
“That's good, because I remember there was a planet na—”
Even though he was a bit awkward, It was still the best breakfast he ever had, as he saw his friends animatedly chat with each other.
I really missed all of this. It's good to be back finally.
Chapter 3: Transit umbra; Lux permanet
The shadow passes; the light remains.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
The first day after his life changing decision, went smoothly. They spent the whole day together, enjoying snacks and retelling their time that was spent without Keith. How Pidge went and brought back Matt, how Coran was affected by some space worm and especially the shows they did for the coalition.
I'm glad I wasn't there.
Thought Keith, as he saw the mice mimic the most embarrassing poses of all time, hands down.
The next day, Matt returned to his rebel group. Everything was peaceful, almost too peaceful that Keith was starting to think that this might be what people call ‘the calm before the storm.’ He knows he is not being paranoid because his instincts are never wrong.
This whole time Keith was desperately trying his best to get the idea of finally having a family, which was good but, he was having trouble settling in. Today was even worse. He couldn't seem to sit down and relax. He was completely restless.
Something bad is going to happen. I can just feel it.
Keith had learned the hard way to never ignore his instincts, and right now they were saying that something was about to go wrong. Keith couldn't seem to shake off the bad feeling. He was trying to be subtle about it so that others wouldn't start worrying.
Spending several vargas in the training room didn't help him either. He was on his way to his room when he spotted Lance coming his way.
“Hey Keith! There you are!" Lance said waving at him."Are you feeling alright?” Lance asked, a crease forming between his brows.
He debated whether he should tell him or not but then remembered that they are supposed to share their troubles with each other. It's one of the rules of the family.
“Actually... there is something troubling me.” Keith stated, scratching the back of his neck.
“I'm willing to hear if you wish to tell me.”
Swallowing his nervousness, Keith began “Well, I have been feeling like something w-” He was cut off as Allura’s voice came through the speakers.
“Paladins report to the control room as soon as possible. We have a mission to discuss.”
“Let's talk later.” Lance said as he set out to the control room.
He stopped as he realised that Keith was not following him. “Keith? You coming?”
“I...can?” Keith asked, hesitantly.
“Duh! You can. You really need everything to be spelled out for you.”
“I'm still struggling to understand this...all.” Keith said as he walked beside Lance.
“No shit, sherlock.”
As soon as they reached the control room Allura began debriefing them.
The mission was simple, get in the factory, get the data, upon getting out, blast it all. But there was a catch, because the universe love to complicate things further.
Allura told them that their target was a factory, used for mass producing weapons. Lotor had informed the blades that it was heavily guarded since they had been working on a new weapon, that was being created here, he didn't know the specifics but said that they should avoid getting hit by it at all costs.
“Any questions?” Allura asked as she finished speaking.
“I'm going with you guys!” Keith exclaimed. Facing towards Shiro, he stated “No, Shiro. I'm not sitting here no matter what and you will not try to leave me behind.”
Whatever Shiro wanted to say died in his throat. Heck, now Keith was certain that ‘something wrong’ was going to happen on this mission only and he was going to use any means necessary to get onboard.
“Ah, ok, calm down, dude.” Lance tried to reduce the building tension between the two.
Crossing his arms, Shiro asked “Can we ask why you want to come?”
Keith seemed to be mulling over it. “I… I feel useless.” he said, hesitantly.
"Keith we talked about this…” Shiro said, massaging the bridge of his nose.
“I know but… Argh! I can't seem to sit. Im restless all day because I have nothing to do. Please take me there.” Keith admitted.
Good, see I told the truth, half but still true.
Shiro seems to contemplate on this.
He knew when Keith acted like this there was no way to change his decision. Sighing defeatedly, he said “Fine, but only on one condition: You are going to wear your red paladin armor, no questions asked.”
Keith’s expression of deer caught in the headlights was award winning. He never thought that Shiro would agree so easily.
“Ok.” he mumbled.
Turning towards Allura “Princess, do we need to take the lions there?”
“No, it’s preferable to take only one of them since this is an infiltration mission. It's best not to attract attention.”
“Then I suggest we take red.” Shiro declared. “Hunk, Pidge and I will take a pod whereas Allura, Lance and Keith, you guys will go in the red lion. Create a distraction while we sneak in.” Pointing towards Pidge, he continued “Pidge, as usual you would be the one to extract the data and hack into the system to shut the drones down so that we could take out the galra stationed there.”
Allura clapped her hand as she said “Alright, get ready we will leave in one varga.”
Shiro and Hunk went with Pidge in the pod whereas Keith and Allura went with Lance in red. As soon as they reached there, they spread out to carry out their mission. Hunk and Shiro provided cover for Pidge as she extracted the data from their databases whereas Allura, Keith along with Lance distracted them creating a commotion.
Initially, the plan went smoothly, Pidge had easily hacked into their system and shut down the drones, she was almost done with the download, too. It had been a perfect mission if not for Keith. He was fighting like a pro at first but later in the fight he was constantly getting distracted and ended up dodging the blows too near for comfort. It was weird to see Keith struggle with something like this. Why wasn't he paying attention? Lance couldn't take it anymore as Keith, once again dodged a blow which could have been fatal.
“Keith! Stop getting distracted!” Lance yelled, irritated.
“Shut up! I'm trying!”
“Well, try harder! I can't keep saving your back all the time!”
“Will you just-” He stopped mid sentence as he knocked out the galra that got too close for comfort.
They were just about to finish up. That's when lance saw a red flash in his peripheral. Lance whirled around to see a sentry holding a gun, aimed directly at Allura. Lance quickly shot at it but ended up being a split second late. The sentry had already fired and due to his shot colliding with the sentry the aim was slightly off. Meaning, that stray shot was still heading their way.
The next thing Lance heard was Allura horrifyingly shouting Keith’s name as he fell on the ground going completely limp. Lance rushed towards him as Allura finished off the galra. Lance hurriedly contacted Shiro.
“Shiro! Can you hear me?”
“What's wrong Lance?”
“Keith just got hit by the new weapon, he is currently unconscious. We need to get back to ship immediately.”
“Abandon the mission. Lance, you carry him. Allura, provide cover. We will take care of the rest.”
“Roger!” Allura said as she knocked out the last galra, running to catch up to Lance.
Shiro turned his attention towards Pidge “Are we done yet?”
"Unfortunately, we have to wait a few minutes more.”
Sighing, he went back to fighting the enemy.
Soon, Allura and Lance were out of the base. Boarding the lion, Allura sat down with Keith as Lance practically jumped in his seat, flying the lion on max speed.
As the planet got out their sights. Lance realised he was trembling a bit as sweat coated his hands, his throat was parched. The telltale signs of someone going into panic. He needed to calm himself down.
Allura had already taken off Keith’s armor to see where he was shot. There was no blood but Keith was too pale and his body temperature was critically low. She touched his neck to check for his pulse and by a work of some miracle there was a pulse but, it was very weak and his breathing was so shallow that she almost thought they lost him.
We didn't get him back to just to lose him again. Its my fault I should have been faster, because of me Keith got hit.
“How is he?” Lance asked, trying to control the budding panic.
“He is not physically hurt, but his pulse is getting slower and his body temperature is too low. I think the weapon drained his quintessence.” Allura said, frantically.
“Can’t you use your magic to heal him?” Lance asked as he saw the Castle. He didn't know whether the healing pods could replenish the lifeforce. He was desperate and willing to take any chance he gets.
“I don't know Lance, forcing the quintessence in the body could have negative effect on h-” Allura stopped as Lance heard her gasp.
Unable to turn his head as he was busy piloting the lion, he got even more panicked.
To hell with it! The lion could land itself.
Leaving the controls he turned around to check what happened.
To say that he was surprised was an understatement. The sight was too surreal.
He stood there stunned, staring blankly as the lion rumbled and the pastel coloured lights danced and waved beautifully around them.
This is going to get weird.
Chapter 4: Lambent
When precipitation descends vertically, it issues forth copiously and continuously.
Lance thought that coming to space, flying mechanical lions, and meeting new aliens, would mean that he had seen everything.
He was wrong. He was definitely wrong.
The scene in front of him was too surreal.
“Allura, do you know what in the world is happening to Keith?” Lance eyes were locked onto Keith, his mind numb. “Why is he glowing?”
He was covered in the fireflies… or should he say flying lights?
“It's the lions quintessence, they are sharing it with Keith.” Allura stated, touching Keith’s neck, she could feel his heart rate getting normal “They are trying to save him.” She was completely awestruck. “I never knew they could do that.”
Lance finally took his gaze off the lights, frowning at Allura. This was opposite of what she said earlier, “I thought you said it's dangerous to do that because the body might reject it or something?”
“Yes, but if the body rejected it, the reaction would be instantaneous. Keith doesn't seem to be in any pain, instead he looks much better.” Allura explained.
As the lights finally went out of existence, they were finally able to check Keith’s condition. He looked much better. His temperature returned back to normal too and his breathing was even, but he was still unconscious which was a bit worrisome.
Huh? Weird. That wasn't there before.
Lance thought as he saw purple bruise like strips appear out of nowhere, covering Keith’s whole body.
Lance and Allura shared a glance with each other. Lance breath a sigh, his mind giving up on thinking as nothing made sense anymore “Let's take him to the pods. We need to get to the others.”
Yeah, lets just focus on the things that I understand.
The mission was completed successfully. Pidge had already shut down their systems so they could not contact or call for reinforcements, making their mission an easy one. Getting out of the planets surface, Pidge blew the base up. Destroying their data along with it.
On their way back, Lance and Allura filled them in about what occurred. Lance mind was still blank, and he was glad to see the same expression on all of them as well. It reassured him that he was not the only one confused.
“Coran were you able to find out what happened?” Allura asked, as they all sat there anxiously looking at the screens displaying what might be Keith’s status. Coran and Pidge were looking at the screens that displayed various test results.
“It's just as you said. Keith’s quintessence was almost drained completely, but due to it being a stray shot it just left enough for him to stay alive.” Coran nodded once, examining the reports “Keith is fine now. Although,” He turned around “According to the reports, Keith is quarter Galra. He is apparently a mixture of Galra, Human and surprisingly, Altean.”
“What?!” This was a huge shock for everyone. They did not even in their most wildest dreams thought that Keith could be Altean. Sure, they didn't think he could be part Galra as well but, him being a mixture of not two but three species? Although that did explain why he never displayed any of the Galran features.
“That explains his appearance and also why he was able to sense blue in the desert.” Pidge stated as she studied the reports from various tests. “And it appears that the new energy is far from settled in his body. It will take sometime until the flow of quintessence stabilises in his body.”
“This explains why he was able to receive the energy without corrupting.” Allura said as she smiled.
“What do you mean?” Shiro asked, impatient.
Allura turned around, she was wearing a shy smile on her face, “Alteans can manipulate as well as give their quintessence to Balmeras. Whereas Galra can absorb and regulate it in their bodies. Like a core. To maintain the balance of the energy around them, they usually absorb the excess amount of it. I'm not sure about humans, but I think his human DNA is what prevented him from corruption.”
Pushing her glasses, Pidge began to explain in simple words “The process is like blood transfusion but just as there are different blood types similarly there is a vast variety of quintessence and everyone’s quintessence is quite different from the other. Similar to our thumb prints or DNA signature which is just unique to ours.”
“But that would mean you can't mix two quintessences together?” Hunk stated as he crept closer.
“Alteans can, but we are not allowed to give it to others, the Balmera’s are an exception. It causes the recipient to have severe reaction to it, they would go berserk.” Allura paused, seemingly hesitant. “According to the records, this process always ended in both of their deaths.”
“Why both when only the recipient went nuts?” Lance inquired.
“Its because the one that shared his quintessence would be bonded with the recipient thus, the madness would corrupt the giver as well.”
Coran rubbed the tips of his mustache between his thumb and forefinger “I have heard about this kind of quintessence but, only in the legends. There was a possibility but so far there were no facts to support it. It is very fascinating.”
They all stared at Coran perplexedly “What are you talking about?” Shiro asked.
“As Allura said, it is normally impossible to merge different kinds of quintessence together or even forced to merge in someone, but seeing as it really has happened, this shows that Keith quintessence has the ability to absorb and merge any kind of energy, negating its harmful effects on the body naturally.”
“So basically it's like Keith has an AB positive type quintessence group?” Lance added.
“May be that’s the reason he could communicate with blue, pilot with the unstable red lion and pilot the black Lion too.” Hunk mussed as he scratched his chin in thought.
Now, that it was confirmed that Keith was not in any imminent danger, Shiro asked “What about those marks?”
“Oh, that is harmless, it's just that his Galra DNA reacting to the sudden change of quintessence in his body.” Coran reassured everyone. “It appears that his Galra DNA has been dormant till now, hence the reason why he never showed any Galran features.”
Lance had gone to stand in front of the pod as he studied the marks visible on Keith’s face. “So, are the marks going to stay like that? Cause right now he looks like a tiger.” He said pointing his finger towards the sleeping Keith.
Coran hummed, “I don't know what a tiger is but, I can tell you that this will not be permanent. Those marks are just his Galra side reacting to the excess of quintessence in his body. Once it stabilizes, the marks will fade away.”
“Will he have any other side effects?” Shiro asked.
“He might have a fever later on but nothing too serious.” Coran answered as he shrugged. “He will be out of there in just a few doboshes, once I run a few more tests, just to be sure.”
“Now,” he said as he went back to Pidge. He grabbed her from the shoulders, turning her he pushed her towards the door. Pidge gave a squeak and turned to glare at him but Coran stayed unaffected.
“Off you go.” He shooed them out of the room. “You lot are in immediate need of a shower and a good rest. Don't worry your brains for number 4; he is absolutely fine.”
They all sighed as Shiro grabbed Pidge before she could launch herself on Coran and stepped out of the room. As they walked through the halls, Hunk nervously tapped the tip of his index fingers together “Well, who is going to explain this all to Keith.”
“I will do it.” Shiro declared, but stopped as he noticed Lance lagging behind them. Shiro sidles up next to him as the others walk towards their own rooms. He appeared to be so deep in thought that he didn't even realised when Shiro called for him. Shiro placed his hand on Lance shoulder, bringing him back to the world “Don't blame yourself.” Shiro said because he knew what was going on in his mind right now. “It was not your fault. You did what you could.” But Lance still looked unconvinced. “Besides, you know Keith, he won't go down so easily.”
Lance glanced up at Shiro as a small smile worked its way on his lips “Yeah, you are right. That Mullet can't relax even if his life depended on it.”
Keith woke up to the sound of chatter going on around him. Why were they being so loud? He tried to open his eyes, but the sharp light prevented him from doing so.
Everyone was waiting in the medical room for Keith to wake up. They instantly gathered around him as they noticed Keith trying to sit up. Lance was immediately at his side, helping him. He had yet to open his eyes. Seeing this, Lance turned towards Pidge as she was the only one standing near the panel.
“Close the lights.”
As the lights dimmed, Keith tried to open his eyes again, this time he succeeded. The only light in the room was from the symbols that gave off a soft glow. His eyes took a bit more time to focus but, he was able to see clearly. Coran pushed everyone out of his way to reach Keith.
“How are you feeling my boy?”
“I feel exhausted and restless at the same time.” Keith frowned. “My body feels like its burning.”
“Hmm… well, this is normal after what you went through.”
“Normal?” Keith’s eyes widened. Turning towards them he asked “What about the mission?!” He didn't want to be the reason to hold the team back just because he was a bit slow at shielding himself.
“Calm down. The mission was a success.” Shiro shuffled near him, sitting down on a stool beside his bed and began explaining about what happened.
As he finished, Keith brought his hands up to his face, inspecting them closely, unable to accept what they just told him.
...It's true. Am I going to turn Galra? Is this going to increase? Is this permanent?
“Please, tell me this is not permanent and its not going to increase.” Keith sounded scared out of his wits. He was staring at his hands as if he has seen Zarkon himself.
“Don't worry, it is not permanent. It should go away when the amount of quintessence stabilises in you. But until then you need extreme rest.” Shiro said trying his best to calm him down.
Keith kept his eyes on his hands, flexing them. A few tense ticks passed in complete silence, except for Hunk’s increased fidgeting.
How could they be fine with this?
Dropping his hands in his lap, Keith glanced at them. His eyes glinting in the low light in the room.
“Are you guys… ok with...this.” Keith asked, gesturing towards the purple bruise like marks.
“Why wouldn't we be ok with it?”
“Hunk, I'm covered in purple marks.”
“So, Shiro has a robotic hand. Lance has very long legs. I have a huge body. Pidge is really small but smart.”
“Hey! I'm still growing.”
Ignoring the offhand comment from the smallest member, he continued “Coran has the pringles mustache while Allura is really strong, has long ears, can talk to mice and is a magical princess. I mean, can you believe she threw Shiro with one hand as if he was made of cardboard.”
Shiro gave a painful groan of frustration as he dropped his head in his hands.
“Nobody in this universe can have awesome mustache like mine, not even this Prin ghools guy.” Coran said, proudly rubbing the ends of his mustache.
Ignoring Hunk and Coran, Shiro said “What Hunk is trying to say is that, everyone has something that sets them apart from each other. No one is the same, everyone is different. But unique? Very few. You are one of the unique one’s. So there is no need to feel bad about it.”
“Yup!” Hunk replied.
“Honestly, you look like a tiger right now.” Lance said, nonchalantly.
“Yeah, you heard me. You look like a tiger. Why do you always have all the cool things?”
“I agree with Lance. Now, you match the lions.”
Pidge said while giggling, “Which reminds me I used to watch a cartoon in which the creatures would glow and then evolve.” She gave an evil grin “I hope you guys know about what I'm talking about.”
“What?” Keith asked. Was this really something he should know? Well, he never really did watch any cartoons so he would not know what Pidge is talking about anyway.
Lance stood up “Keith congrats.”
Keith frowned. “Congrats? Why? For turning gal—
“For finally evolving from a paladin to a lion.” Pidge deadpanned.
“Oh, I can't unsee it now.” Hunk covered his eyes.
Lance was trying his best to not laugh out loud. His cheeks were puffed up and his eyes, watery. Pointing his finger at Keith, “Keith turned into a Pokemon!” Lance shouted.
“I'M NOT A POKEMON!!!”
Everyone lost it.
Pidge was wheezing with laughter. Tears ran down her cheeks from the intensity of it and Lance, well he had gone into hysterics. Hunk was hunched up in a corner, making failed attempts at hiding his laughter when Keith glared at him. As for Shiro, the one he trusted the most, he instantly hit his forehead on the bed side, shaking with suppressed laughter.
“This is not A LAUGHING MATTER!” Keith was getting frustrated at them. Why did they even think that this was funny? More importantly why would they think he is a Pokemon? Just why?
Lance tried his best to give him an answer “You look...You look… like lion!” This seemed to have made them laugh with more vigor. Pidge was howling with laughter now. Her face was getting a bit too red due to lack of oxygen.
“I'm… gonna… die” She said through her laughing.
Yeah, you definitely are.
Unable to go and wrestle with them as his body was still too stiff to move. Keith hit Shiro on the head as hard as he could, as he was the only one within his arm's reach. Covering his ears with the pillow, Keith buried himself into the covers.
I take back everything! I'm done with the family business. I want a refund!
Allura and Coran were standing there completely stunned by the display in front of them. Allura leaned slightly towards Coran, wanting to ask a very important question that has been bugging her.
“What’s a Pooke mon?”
Chapter 5: Stelliferous
Stelliferous: having or bonding with stars.
Pidge and Keith spend time with each other.
I love to read the bonding between these two. They both need help.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Sleep is a wonderful thing until it decides to turn against you. Keith wasn't able to sleep that night. He was too restless and there was a lot on his mind. So, after trying for a whole two vargas he decided to go to his favourite place. The star viewing room.
The room had a 360 degree view of space; from which they can see the area of the galaxy they were passing through, the door, the roof and even the floor displayed the space. He had stumbled upon this room after Shiro went missing, he had trouble sleeping at that time. So, he wandered through the Castle and by pure coincidence found this room. Keith remembers being confined in it, trying to find the way out. He was so grateful to Coran when he came in to clean the room and ended up freeing Keith from it. After that incident Coran added a huge red light indicating the door for easier access for the Paladins.
He walked through the door and stood in the doorway as his gaze fell on the slowly moving stars in front on him. No matter how many times he sees this, he is always mesmerised by the colours, shape, and the brightness by which they shimmer in the dark.
He is never going to admit how he nearly jumped out of his skin hearing his name being called from a room where no one else came. His eyes darted around the room as he found a little movement on the left side of the room, he relaxed as he saw it was actually Pidge who was sitting there.
“Pidge, you nearly gave me a heart attack!”
“Well, it's your fault for being so lost in your thoughts.” Pidge said as she shrugged, turning back to her screen.
“How did you found this room?” He asked as he walked towards Pidge, sitting down a few inches away from her.
“Actually, Lance and Shiro are not letting me work in the green lion’s hangar anymore. So, I went through the Castle map just to find another hideout. That's how I ended up here.”
Turning towards him, she asked “How did you found it?”
“By wandering through the halls.”
Setting her laptop down, she brought out a holoscreen and started typing in, probably working on yet another gadget or upgrade. Keith turned his attention towards the soothing view of the stars, leaving her to work.
Pidge and Keith were the only ones who knew what ‘Companionable silence’ meant. Since the other members regarded silence as awkward and the need to converse, just kept Keith more on the edge because let's face it, conversation was never his strong point and neither was Pidge’s. Maybe both being the arms of Voltron allowed them to bond more, just like Lance and Hunk. Though they both were friends even before they became the legs of a mechanical machine. Just like Lance and Hunk had a few similarities, Pidge and Keith were similar as well in some aspects, one of them being unable to communicate with others. So, just sitting there and relaxing was easy for Keith.
Though I'm not the right hand of Voltron anymore.
“Can’t sleep?” Pidge asked after a good forty minutes, bringing Keith out of his reverie.
“Yeah, I'm just too wound up to relax.” Keith replied, “I feel like I forgot how to even drop my guard down.” his eyes fixed on the stars in front of him.
“I guess I can relate to that. Except for me, I can't turn my mind off. It's like, working overtime. Besides,” Pidge shrugged “I have a lot to work on.”
Silence fell once again and soon, Keith felt himself finally getting a bit drowsy, his eyelids grew heavier as he laid down, looking at the stars through the roof. It felt peaceful, like he was wrapped up in a warm blanket of space.
“Keith, if you are going to sleep, sleep in your room. Trust me, the floor is the last thing you want to sleep on. I have plenty of experience.”
Pidge’s voice brought him out of whatever spell he had fallen under. Keith snorted as he sat back up “I know, but I just don't feel like sleeping in there. I don't know why.”
Keith could practically see the gears turning in her head as she seemed to be contemplating something. “Fine then, here use my lap. My working station is in the air anyway.” she said pointing towards the holo screen up in front of her.
It took a few seconds for him to completely comprehend what Pidge had suggested. “What?” Keith stared at her incredulously.
From Keith’s expression, it was clear that he was not used to this and the idea must have seem outrageous to him “It's fine Keith, Matt did this all the time.” she patted her lap “It is another family thing.”
“But isn't this a bit too much?”
She snorted, “No, Keith. It's not.” She narrowed her eyes dangerously at him “Your little sister is offering you her lap as a pillow and you are refusing it? Wait till Matt finds out, he will give you another lecture.”
“Ok, ok. No Matt and his lectures.”
He had a two varga lecture from Matt and Lance along with a presentation just about family and its rules. They were fully prepared. When did they had the time to prepare all that, was beyond him and to make matters worse Shiro was keeping guard, leaving him no choice but to spend his time listening to them babble about rules with a very enthusiastic Allura and Coran all the while Pidge and Hunk working on something out of the room. In peace. If he didn't like lectures before, he loathes them now maybe even more than he loathes Zarkon.
That two vargas were traumatising.
So here he was, lying down using Pidge’s lap as a pillow as she carded her fingers lightly through his hair. Keith found her behaviour a bit off. Pidge was never the one to start small talk. It felt like she wanted to ask something but couldn't find the right words or situation for them.
Pidge was glad to know Keith’s weakness and seeing how efficiently it worked, she was going to use this very often. As Pidge carded her fingers through Keith’s hair she was surprised to discover how soft it felt.
Maybe I should ask now.
Pidge thought as she mentally assessed the situation. She did have some questions for him but had no idea how to ask them without offending Keith. She couldn't risk asking in front of everyone as it might make Keith uncomfortable so now was the perfect time and she was not going to let this opportunity slip.
“Keith, can I ask you a few personal questions? You don't have to answer them if you don't want to.” she quickly added not wanting to force him.
“Hm… yeah.” Keith answered, tentatively. “But why suddenly?”
“Just curious about it. That's all.”
“...ok.” Keith was thoroughly confused now. What was he supposed to do? What did she want to ask me? I haven't done anything to offend her. Wait, she said personal! I don't like personal questions! More importantly was he supposed to answer her while sitting or just lying down on her lap?
“Alright. So, mind telling me why you keep your hair long?” Pidge asked completely unaware of the turmoil inside Keith’s head.
Keith didn't answer immediately, he seemed to shuffle a bit. Breathing a sigh, he hesitantly began “It's because...I feel safe when my hair covers my neck.”
Pidge stopped carding her fingers through his hairs abruptly. Turning her head towards Keith, she raised one eyebrow at him in confusion “How can you feel safe with long hair?”
Keith subconsciously touched his neck “Neck is the most easiest place to hit if you want to kill someone. My hair is thick, so, it acts like a crumple zone. If I'm attacked by someone from behind, my hair will reduce the damage to my neck.”
For survival huh?
She pursed her lips. She needed the answers, but this was not what she expected.
“Why do you prefer speed over strength? I know you are a lot stronger than you look.”
“Why are you-”
Rule number one: Do not question your sister. Ever.
Matt’s voice rang in his head. As he snapped his jaw shut. Stopping himself in time. He was never good with rules, but that was because he never really cared to follow them. This time was different, though, he was trying his best to open up a bit.
“Its an old habit I got in my younger days.”
“You liked to race?”
“More like I had no choice, being an orphan.”
Shit! ABORT. This was not what I wanted to do! The conversation took a wrong turn. Time to change the direction. Even if it's gonna be very awkward.
“Want me to sing you a poem?” She blurted out. Not giving him time to interject, she began “Scintillate, scintillate, diminutive asteroid-”
Keith eyes flew open as he jolted upright “What the hell Pidge?!”
“What? Its a poem.”
“First; No, it was clearly not a poem. Second; Im grown up. I don't need to hear poems.”
“So, what? It is a good experience and that language is English, it was a poem.”
Keith gave a scrutinising glare as he defiantly said “No, it isn't English and that was not a poem.”
Pidge gave him a smug smile “It is a famous poem which is known in simple terms as ‘Twinkle, twinkle little star’ I'm sure you have heard of it.”
Keith stared at Pidge, his mouth agape.
That was not even close to Twinkle. What the heck is saltylake? Or was it skilltilake?
Seeing the exasperated expression on Keith’s face Pidge couldn't hold back her bark of laughter anymore. Wiping her tears off her face, she said “Ok, ok, you can relax now. Come lay down. I promise not to do it again.”
Keith frowned. He knew better than to trust Pidge especially after witnessing first hand several times what she is capable of “No, its fine I will just go to my room.”
“I will tell Matt.”
“Fine.” Keith grumbled, accepting his fate, he placed his head on Pidge’s lap once again. She started to card her fingers slowly and lightly through his hair. The light movement of her fingers was soothing. Keith felt all the tension leaving his body and after a few minutes, light snores filled the silence of the room. She smiled looking at Keith as he slept completely unaware of Pidge silently taking a picture of him.
Opening up her laptop she started typing in a new message.
Hope you will burn with disappointment when you will acknowledge that your sister is a grade A+ cat whisperer.
“And… sent.” Pidge said as she sended the picture to Matt.
#I have no regrets.
Look, Im never wrong. I have a fucking tiger sleeping in my lap. You lose! I hope you remember our bet because from today onwards you are my personal slave.
P.S Im sleeping. Don't disturb.
Closing her work, she smirked, as she saw her inbox getting flooded.
Let him panic. He deserves it. I will tell him after I get a good night's sleep.
Pidge stretched her arms above her head as she glanced at the clock she programmed in her laptop. “Only four more vargas till the wake up call?” She should definitely go to sleep in her room but Keith was sleeping so soundly, she did not have the heart to wake him up. Luckily, she already came prepared as she took out a pillow and placed it beneath her head and laid down carefully maneuvering herself as to not disturb Keith peaceful state as well as hoping to get at least four hours of sleep otherwise she would have to see Shiro’s disappointed dad face again. Just thinking about it gives her shivers.
I wish I had a switch which I can flick to sleep. Im wasting precious seconds waiting for it. Being a robot is much easier.
Was her last thought as the darkness enveloped her dragging her to the world of dreams.
They both slept soundly wrapped up in the peaceful silence, under the star lights.
I hope my writing have improved a lot since the first chapter. Please let me know what you think.
Keith woke up to a painful throbbing in his head. He groaned as he tried to sit up, his joints aching with each movement. He was groggy with sleep, and his body was burning up, again, but this time it was accompanied with dizziness enough to make his stomach twist. He touched his neck with the back of his hand to check his temperature and yup; he is sick, just like Coran said he might be.
Keith will admit he doesn't know much about human biology but even he can tell that his temperature was critically high and that he needed to lower it, immediately. So, Keith stood up and silently made his way out of the room mindful not to wake Pidge, accidentally.
Reaching his room proved to be a much more harder task than he anticipated. With his blurring vision and the bouts of dizziness, the simple way to his room was further complicated. He was forced to take several breaks. It was getting harder and harder to put one foot in front of the other.
Finally reaching his room, Keith promptly rushed to the bathroom. Not bothering about his clothes, he stood underneath the cold shower in an attempt to reduce the increased burning sensation.
Keith had no idea how much time he spent there but he finally felt a little better and his vision became less blurry. He carefully stepped out of the bath and reached for the communicator in the room. He needed to get Coran or Allura to take a look at him. Connecting it to the kitchen, he hoped that they all would be in there. Usually, they were.
But my luck is currently working against me.
“I think we should visit planet Artrix next.” Allura said as she swiped, bringing out a hologram of the planet.
“Why this planet specifically?” Shiro asked as he studied the planet.
“Well, the inhabitants of this planet are telepathic. Their flight and manipulation abilities will come in handy in our fight against Zarkon.” Allura said.
“Princess, this planet sounds dangerous. The fact that it is still safe from Zarkon clutches shows that they use mind manipulation.” Shiro stated. “Wouldn't they use this on us as well?”
“Don't worry. They will know we are not their enemies once we land there. They are a great judge of a person’s nature.” Allura replied.
Shiro still skeptical, because it couldn't be this simple. Sure, they will be strong allies and would be an immense help in defeating the Galran forces but, it would be a huge problem if they turn against them. Not to mention, the amount of sensitive information they can obtain by snooping around in their minds.
“Is something that matter, Shiro?” Something on Shiro’s face must have changed for Allura to read him this clearly.
“What if they turn against us, Princess?”
“Oh, don't you worry.” Coran interjected as he mixed something mud like in a huge bowel. “The inhabitants of Artrix have crystal clear morals. This is the whole reason why they don't commit any kind of crime. They will be sure to join us.”
Coran was busy making something for Keith to aid him in the healing. Though, going by the way it looked, Shiro’s face contorted. He was sure instead of aiding him it will end up killing him. He really needed to sneak this thing out of the airlock.
A bell rang throughout the room dragging Shiro out of his thoughts.
“ Shiro… Allura ?”
“Keith?” Shiro was startled to hear Keith’s voice, because Keith never used his communicator and judging by his voice Keith’s throat was strained. Shiro quickly reached the communicator “Keith? Is everything alright?” He tried to keep the worry out of his tone but it was still clear that he was worried.
“ Shiro… I think I'm sick .” Shiro turned around and fixed his eyes on the two Alteans who were now standing beside him, ready to go.
“Stay there. I'm on my way.” Shiro replied as he turned around. “Coran, is that medicine ready?”
“Good. I need you to bring that as well as the equipment required to check Keith, in his room.”
“I will be right there.” Coran said but was left unheard as Shiro was already out of the door with Allura in tow. Coran also hurried behind them as he ran off towards the medical room.
Allura had never seen Shiro run this fast. They reached there in record time. Shiro slammed his hand on the pad and rushed inside as soon as the door opened enough for him to go through, only to find that Keith was nowhere in sight.
No. Not this again. Shiro gave a frustrating sigh as he frantically reached the door of the bathroom. Please, don't be sitting under cold water.
“Keith, I'm opening the door.” Not even waiting for a answer, Shiro entered the bathroom, only to find Keith sitting under a cold shower, his face flushed red, a complete opposite to his pale skin as shivers wrecked his body.
“Keith!” Shiro immediately snatched a towel and dragged him out. “... Shiro?” Keith voice was barely above a whisper as he stretched his hand in the general direction of Shiro. Shiro quickly set him down near the bed and grabbed his hand “Keith. How many times have I told you not to repeat this. This doesn't help.” His temperature was skyrocketing, and he had a glassy look in his eyes. Shiro turned towards Allura who stood in the doorway incase Shiro needed something. “Allura, can you just step out for a moment. I need to change his clothes.”
Allura’s face flushed as she nodded and quickly stepped out.
Not wanting to waste any time, Shiro quickly went through the closet and pulled out the first thing that looked similar to human clothes. It turned out to be the same kind of clothes that Lance uses at night except; Keith’s were in white, gold and red.
Keith had only been sick for a few times and the times he had been, was really bad. He would become really clingy and judging by the glassy look in his eyes and the way he was currently holding onto Shiro’s hand; this was bad.
After a few minutes of struggling with Keith. He had finished changing the clothes. Shiro then helped Keith to bed.
While changing his clothes Shiro noticed that the marks on Keith’s body were almost gone. Except for one. It was right on his neck and instead of getting lighter like the rest, it just got more darker.
He was about to check but the knock on the door stopped him. Shiro stood up and went to open the door. Coran was already standing out there carrying a large grey box whilst Allura stood right behind him, a worried expression on her face. Shiro stepped aside allowing the two Alteans to enter.
Coran sat down the box he was carrying and took out an ear inspection like device and started it up, scanning Keith. Shiro sat down right beside him as he clasped Keith’s hand. Reading the scans, Coran rummaged through the box, picking up various bottles. Keith’s hand twitched a bit as he saw Coran busy finding the right bottle. Shiro gently squeezed his hand assuring him of his presence and that he was safe. After finding the right bottle, Coran smeared it on Keith’s forehead. As soon as Coran applied it on Keith, he smeared the remaining on Shiro’s hand probably because Shiro was as shaken as Keith right now. ‘Oh. It is a cooling gel.’
Setting the bottle aside, Coran pulled out a water pouch, except the water in this was light pink in colour. Popping in the straw, Coran handed it over to Keith. “Drink this. It will reduce your fever but, it will make you drowsy.”
Shiro tensed up at that. “Relax Shiro. I made it according to his biodata.” Coran reassured him.
They all sat in silence as Keith drank the medicine. Coran took it away from Keith once he finished and true to Coran’s word, in a matter of seconds, Keith’s breathing evened out as his eyelids started to flutter close. Shiro started tracing soothing circles on the back on his hand. “Go to sleep Keith.” Keith shifted so that he was facing Shiro as he looked at him with bleary eyes. “Don't order me around.” Shiro chuckled at that as Keith tried his best to give him a glare, which only ended up with him closing his eyes. “Don't leave until I fall asleep.” Shiro smiled faintly at that. “I don't plan on leaving.” By the time Shiro answered Keith was already asleep.
Shiro turned towards Coran “Coran, you said that he might get a fever. Why is he feverish now?”
“Well, it appears that Keith’s body is going through some changes right now, that’s the reason for the fever.” Coran replied as he studied the scans, showing it to Allura as well. “The energy is settling down at a much faster rate than we expected, which is why the marks are already gone.”
Coran shut off the device as he turned towards Allura “Allura, could you check his quintessence? Maybe it's because of the change in it?” Coran said as he pointed towards the barely visible marks on Keith’s hand.
“Actually,” Before Allura could answer Shiro interjected, the thing on Keith’s neck was bothering him. “There is a new mark right around his neck.” Shiro said as he pushed Keith’s hair away from his neck, revealing the mark.
The ‘mark’ was a lavender coloured line that was looped around his neck. As the two ends of the line reached the middle of his neck, they bend sharply downwards, thinning out as they traced the dip his collar bones. It appeared to be somewhat similar to the bioluminent marks of the Alteans.
“Well… this is surprising.” Coran said as he traced the mark on his neck. “It appears to be a weird mixture between the Altean and Galran body marks.”
“I can try to scan his quintessence but, I can't guarantee anything.” Allura said, sitting down beside Keith as she took hold of his hand. Allura closed her eyes, concentrating on scanning Keith’s life force as her marks started to give off a soft glow.
Gasping, Allura snapped her eyes open, murmuring “Unbelievable.”
That word did not sound good. Going by experience that word always spelled trouble. But the Princess doesn't seem to be worried. “What's wrong?” Shiro asked. “Is Keith fine?”
Allura shook her head. “Keith is fine. It seems like he is now linked to the lions.” She locked her gaze with Shiro. “Just like me but his link is far more deeper.”
“Which means…” Shiro prompted, raising one of his eye brows. He needed full information and he could feel Allura was leaving something out.
Allura gave a tentative smile in return as she interlocked her fingers. Something she did when she was about to face or say something difficult. “I may have finally found someone who would be willing to part take in my ‘Magical training’?”
Shiro frowned. Allura watched as Shiro’s eyes widened a few seconds later as her words finally sunk in. “Wait. You mean he can use quintessence of the lions?”
“Yes. Though, when will he actually start doing that is still unknown.” Allura replied because that will only happen once his energy stabilises. “I don't think it will take long.”
Right. It won't. Keith love to get things done as quick as possible.
“This is great news!” Coran exclaimed with childish glee, jolting Shiro out of his thoughts and Keith out of his sleep. “This calls for a celebration!”
“What? Why?” Shiro asked as he tried to hold Keith down, stopping him from actually attacking Coran. “Keith. It's just Coran.”
Allura chuckled at Coran’s display of enthusiasm as she turned towards him “When my lifeforce was linked with the lions, the whole of Altea celebrated the event.” She smiled at Keith as she noticed him staring at them as a deer caught in the headlights. “Congratulations Keith, you have established a much stronger link with the lions and if my scan is correct, you will be able to wield the lions respective elements too.”
“Lets go inform the others about this joyous event!” Coran declared as he excitedly jumped up in the air walking out of the room. “I look forward to training with you.” with that Allura left the room as well.
Leaving Shiro with a box filled with various unknown objects, multiple water pouches and a probably delusional and bewildered Keith. He stood up and draped a blanket over Keith as well as he could with one hand.
Keith covered his eyes using his arms as soon as the two Alteans were out of the room. “Ugh… What just happened?” Keith’s voice broke at the end of the sentence. “Why are they so happy when I feel like crap.”
Shiro smiled at Keith fondly as it was clear he was trying his best to stay awake. The grip of his hand had slackened a bit. “Apparently, your life force is now linked to the lions. I will tell you the rest once you wake up.”
Keith just sighed as he closed his eyes going back to sleep. After a varga or two, Shiro silently stood up and tugged Keith in properly within the soft blanket. As he too stepped out of the room, heading towards the loud sounds coming from the control room. Hopefully, this will the last of the surprises… at least from Keith.
“Allura, your job is to get me all of those glass balls you mentioned, and a big empty room where we can put up all the things listed. Pidge, you will inform Matt and then you will help in setting things up. Lastly; Hunk, you will be in charge of the ‘sacred feast.’”
Shiro doesn't know what he was expecting to see once he entered the control room, but this, was definitely not one of them.
Lance was standing on the platform where Allura usually stood when she piloted the Castle. But that wasn't what surprised him. The thing that made him stop in his tracks was the way Lance was giving out orders as the others stood in front of him. It seemed that they had already planned everything.
‘Well, he is the Red Paladin.’
They were so focused on Lance instructions that they didn't even realised when he had entered the room. “What about me?” Shiro asked as he approached his team. That's when they all turned their attention towards him.
“Shiro!” Lance shouted as he saw him approaching them. “How is Keith?” Hunk asked as soon as he saw him. Shiro smiled at him, he was always extra worried about others health. “He is better now, but he will be sleeping for another six vargas; courtesy of Coran.”
“Oh. That's good to hear.” Hunk said as everyone sighed in relief. Shiro knew that feeling too well.
“I assume you all know what happened?” Shiro asked as he saw Hunk giving him an aggressive nod. “Yeah, you bet we do! Keith is now linked to all the five lions.” Hunk uncurled both of his hands, shoving them in his sight. “All five of them!” then he started counting off on his fingers. “He could hear Blue, pilot both Red and Black and now he is bonded to Green and Yellow too. I mean how cool is that?” His eyes were gleaming with excitement. “Hey, Allura do you think he can hear them too?” Hunk asked as he turned towards Allura.
“I'm not sure Hunk.” She giggled at his excitement. “Why don't you make sure to ask him once he wakes up?”
“I will make sure to do that!”
“Not to mention, he became an avatar.” Lance added as he tried to imitate what might be the moves that the so called avatars performed.
“Yup.” Came reply from the green paladin. “That's why we decided to combine the celebration with the welcome party.”
“And as you can see Lance is in charge of it.” Allura informed.
“I see.” Shiro crossed his hands as he faced Lance. “So, what should I do?”
A look of shock flashed on Lance features, but it was gone before Shiro could even focus on it.
“Well, let's see.” Lance said as he tapped his chin in thought. He seemed to be a bit hesitant about giving orders to Shiro if the frantic movement of eyes and tapping of his feet were anything to go by. He was doing a good job trying to hide it by dramatic movements but by now Shiro had learned to read those little signs. “How about you make sure everything goes accordingly. Like, you know, supervise us?”
Shiro raised his brow “That's all?”
Lance scoffed. “Supervising is hard.” Lance nervously scratched his neck. “But I-uh, I think you already know that, you are always looking after us anyways. Oh, and you will be on stand by if anyone needs any help.”
“Ok.” Shiro said as he shrugged.
Lance straighten up, placing his hands on his hips. “Alright team! We have only six vargas so, let's get the mission ‘Welcome party’ under way!”
There was a chorus of ‘Yeah' and ‘Let's do this.’ as Lance, Hunk and Allura went out to start the tasks assigned to them whereas Pidge sat on her chair as she called Matt. Shiro decided to go and check kitchen first. Just as he stepped out, he heard a very loud and unmistakable voice of a very furious Matt before the door slid shut.
‘ Katie holt. You have a lot of nerve and explaining to do! This picture doesn't explain a shit! I can't believe you just vanished after dropping a bom-
Well, looks like Pidge had already done something, no point in going back.
Just like always , Shiro’s job was off to a great start.
“Coran! What in the universe is this?!” Hunk was practically yelling on top of his lungs as he waved that brown mud like goo in front of Coran’s face. “This is inedible! Inedible!”
“It is edible! And it has all the nutrients Keith needs!” Coran crossed his arms and puffed out his chest in defence, but that only served to make Hunk even more irritated. “Oh. So, you mean that these bugs, mixed in mud- ”
“ It's vilom.”
“WE CALL THIS M.U.D. and we don't eat MUD!”
‘Guess this is my first job.’ Shiro thought as he stepped between the two, trying to diffuse the situation.
It took too long to get Hunk to cook something without hurting Coran feelings, because no matter how much Coran loves them, his food was not something they could eat without grimacing, and that mud like thing had a few chunks of something pink, blue and teal mixed in.
Resolving the arguments between Hunk and Coran were even more energy consuming than those of Lance and Keith because of the extra added effort needed to keep his face from contorting when the mud goo was waved in front of him several times by both Hunk and Coran.
After going through the wringer and still somehow coming out alive, Shiro was finally able to successfully separate both of them convincing Coran that he is entrusting the most important task to him: ‘Keith's wellbeing.’ Shiro told him that Keith was in dire need of someone to look after him and that be could trust no one except for Coran and himself.
He was about to sigh in relief at the peaceful silence as Hunk worked his magic when Lance bursted through the door. “Shiro! We need your help in the decorations.” Before Shiro could even utter a word, Lance grabbed his hand and began leading him towards the room that they selected. It was at the end of the hallway in which their rooms were located.
The door was humongous and so was the room. The first thing Shiro noticed as he entered was that Pidge was sitting on many mattresses laid out on the floor. Starting from one of the walls to the centre of the room. The second thing that caught his eye was that there were blankets, pillows, duvets, and sheets of all sizes piled up in one of the corners of the room. Pidge had a stained glass ball(?) plugged into her laptop as she worked on fixing it. She was surrounded by at least hundred of them.
This must be what Lance was talking about. They oddly had the same shape as a bucky ball to hold the multi coloured stained glass pieces together.
“Pidge. I brought extra help.” Lance announced as he continued to drag Shiro towards Pidge and then left him at the edge of the mattresses.
Pidge just spared him a glance before returning to her work. “Ok. Shiro I want you to pick each one of them and try to switch them on like this.” She showed him by turning on one of the fixed ones. “If they float like this then you will put them in that box.” She pointed towards a huge box lined with soft cushions. “But if they have any kind of problem put them right beside me.”
Shiro placed his hands on his hips as he took a look around. Allura and Lance kept on adding more and more to the already laid out mattresses. “So, you want me to sort them?”
“Ok.” Shiro said as he started sorting them out. Allura soon came in as she sat down beside the box and started cleaning the fixed ones while Lance continued to bring all and every blanket he could find. After finishing to sort them out Shiro joined Allura and then they were soon joined by Coran and Lance. About an hour later, they had finally finished all of them.
“Now, that the first step is done. Let's start with building it up.” Lance said as he, Pidge and Allura started up the stained glass balls and then proceeded to cover all of them by the massive bedsheet. Then Pidge used a remote-like device to maneuver them just a few inches away from the roof, right over the mattresses.
The floating stained glass held the sheet above them forming a huge tent. Lance started tugging the sheet underneath the edges of the mattress. It looked like a huge pillowfort now. Lance fished out a torch like tool as he proceeded to cut the sheet in half. Stepping out of it, he made a B-line towards the pile of beddings.
“Unbelievable. You are using those as a roof for your pillow fort.” Shiro stated as he stood outside.
“Yeah. Genius right?” Lance said as took yet another blanket as well as a few pillows inside the fort and started setting them up. “They can also light up and now it really looks like a fort with its size. Besides, I really wanted to build something like this. It's comforting.”
“What about the game? Are you guys going to set it up here?” Shiro asked as he gestured towards the game box and a monitor that was left with various other tools and machines.
“Oh shit!” Pidge exclaimed. “Lance, make sure to cut it properly. I'm gonna go work on setting it up. You take care of this.” Shiro saw as Pidge jumped out of the fort and quickly picked up the game box as Shiro took the monitor. As if on cue, he heard something being torn apart.
Hoping back in, she went straight towards the only wall that could be seen there as Lance worked on tugging the edges of the torn sheet under the mattress.
‘ So, they made sure to include a wall for the monitor.’
Shiro thought as he placed down the monitor near the dropped game as Pidge started on connecting the monitor with the game.
Hunk soon came in carrying some of his new creations as well as a hearty lunch. Shiro was about to go and check on Keith when Hunk assured him that he made sure to give Keith his lunch and had refilled his supply of water. After which he went to help Pidge set up the game.
“Phew, we did it.” Lance said sounding pleased as took a good look at his work: the pillowfort.
“Yeah.” Hunk agreed, his eyes locked onto the monitor displaying the game screen as Pidge made some last adjustments.
“I can't believe I forgot the most important thing!” Lance yelled.
“Uh...We did?” Hunk asked. His shoulders were suddenly grabbed as his world was shaken by a hysterical Lance. “We forgot the gift! What are we gonna do?!”
“Calm down, it's taken care of. Matt is on his way with it.” Pidge replied. “He should be here in the next 40 minutes.”
“Thank goodness.” Lance said, his shoulders going slack as he fell back on the mattress.
Hunk inched near Pidge. “By the way Pidge, what is the gift that Matt is bringing with him.” He was getting curious about it. Well, everyone was but they were tired so didn't prod much.
“It's just something we have been working on.” Pidge replied as a sinister smile painted her lips. “You will see when Matt brings it here.”
That did not sound like a good gift. That smile proved that this gift was dangerous.“I don't like the sound of that.” Hunk said, looking concerned.
“Don't worry. Keith will love it.”
Yup. This is something potentially dangerous.
Keith was still sound asleep by the time Matt arrived with the gift. Shiro had already visited him at least five times after Hunk.
Right now they all were on their way to the hangars to welcome Matt. As soon as the door opened, Pidge gave Matt a crushing hug as Matt patted her back.
“Hey there Pidge!” Matt said as he messed Pidge’s hair. “I brought what you requested.” Matt said in a tone that was only heard in spy movies or while making an illegal trade.
“So, care to tell us what is it?” Shiro asked.
Matt chuckled as he saw how concerned Shiro was, “It's actually a hoverbike.” Matt replied as he patted Pidge’s head. “When Pidge told me that Keith had a bike back on Earth. It reminded me of how much crazy he was about them. So, we both thought 'Why not gift him one?’.”
“Wow, you guys built one from scratch?” Lance was stunned. Shiro felt both proud and amazed at the same time. Was there anything they could not do? They really were using all the cards they had today
“Yeah. I guess we did, but it still needs some work.” Matt said as he scratched his neck, then he let his gaze settle on Hunk. “Hunk, want to help us.”
Hunk instantly brighten up, but tried to hide it. “What are we waiting for? Show me the bike already!”
“Then let's get started!” Matt exclaimed, as they all went and dragged out the bike they had been working on. It was an impressive sight. The bike was almost like those vehicles they used to get in and out of the lions, except this was built for more speed. Matt and Pidge soon began to explain. The bike seemed to be the fastest model they could built, but as it was built by the holts it wasn’t any ordinary bike. It had traps, guns and daggers built-in. They were still trying to stabilize it as it sped up. The bike seemed to lose its stability after a few seconds.
After working on it for a good varga they had finished it. They elected Shiro to take it on a test run. Matt, Pidge and Hunk were weeping with joy when he completed a lap around the hangar. The trio declared it to be the best achievement of their life.
They all were sitting in the lounge when Lance began, “Guys, We are forgetting about the biggest problem here. Will Keith really agree to this? I mean the party. We did prepare everything, but what if he gets all emo and refuses this.” Lance had a point there. Keith was always focused on the missions more than anything else. So, there was a high chance he would refuse it due to the war raging on. They needed some way to make him forget about the war and missions.
“How are we going to do that? Any ideas?” Hunk asked as he nervously glanced at everyone.
“I have an idea that might work.” Shiro said, grabbing all of their attention.
“I was thinking that we should show him the gift first. Maybe seeing that would change his mind. When he will see just how hard you guys worked, he won't be able to refuse.”
All of them looked unsure about this, but they didn't protest because they knew that out of all of them Shiro knows Keith better than anyone.
Matt stood up, brushing off the dust but ended up scrunching up his face as he smeared more oil on his clothes in the process. “So, we will be doing this in the opposite order? First, the gift then the party?”
Crossing his hands, Shiro shrugged. “Well, Keith never cared about rules anyway.”
Matt laughed. “Can't argue with that.”
“You guys should clean up and get ready. I’m going to meet you all in the Green lion’s hangar.” Shiro stated as he stepped out of the room, making his way towards Keith’s room.
I really, really want to make something like that pillow-castle or Pillowfort. Honestly, I have no idea how I got this idea of a beautiful pillowfort but Im thankful to the past me.
Your future self which is going to be a part of past the moment I post this.
‘Coran said that Keith will be perfectly fine after some sleep. Shiro thought as he was headed towards Keith’s room. I just hope he doesn't do anything straining after seeing the hoverbike.'
By the time Shiro reached him, Keith had been already awake and ready. He just had changed into his own clothes after taking a good bath, washing off all the sweat from his body. He was drying his hair when the door hissed opened as Shiro stepped in.
Keith stopped towelling his hair, placing the towel down on his shoulders. “Shiro?”
“I see you are awake. How are you feeling?” Shiro asked as took a good look at him. His colour seemed to have returned, and his voice didn't sound strained anymore. Well, Coran did tell him that Keith’s vitals were stabilizing. Shiro covered his head with the towel and started drying his hair.
“I feel perfectly fine. It's as if I was never really sick.” Keith said as he scratched his neck. Shiro noticed he was scratching right on the mark, which appeared to be scraped up.
“Try not to scratch that.” Shiro said, stopping Keith from making further scratches. Knowing him, he probably has tried to scrub it off. “And there is no reason to remove it. It's a part of you.”
“Why didn't it disappear?” Keith asked, weakly.
Oh right. Keith was asleep when he asked about it. So, he had no idea what it is. Well, better tell him before he does something irreversible. “It's a mixture of Altean and Galran mark, nothing more.” He noticed that the scratches were almost healed.
Keith visibly relaxed. “Oh…”
“I'm glad that the medicine worked.” Shiro stood as he gave a pat on his back. “Come on, we want to show you something.” Shiro said as he stepped out of the room.
“What is it?” Keith asked, following Shiro while he put on his jacket.
“The three engineers made something for you.”
“For me?” Keith paused as he noticed that they were headed towards the Green lion’s hangar. “Care to tell me what that thing is?”
Shiro gave him a smile. “You will see.”
“Ok guys, they both are headed here.” Pidge said as she saw the black dot heading towards them.
“Already?” Lance asked, surprised. Weren't they supposed to take more time? Shiro just gave them only twenty minutes to get ready. Though Pidge was already there in just ten. “That… was quick.” Matt said between his pants as he entered with Hunk in tow. They had ran all the way to get there on time.
“Get ready.” Pidge said as they all stood outside.
When they reached the hangar, everyone was waiting at the entrance. Seeing Keith, Hunk had rushed towards him and had given him the most bone-crushing/choking hug ever. “I'm so happy to see that you are fine.”
After being freed from Hunk, Keith took a huge needed breath, giving his lungs the much needed oxygen they were so deprived of.
Glancing back at Hunk he was confused to see him sporting such a serious expression. “Ok. Now, close your eyes.” Hunk said as he took a stance similar to Iverson when he was giving lectures.
Keith glanced at Shiro in confusion. Shiro being Shiro just gave a go ahead. Hopefully, it would not be a prank. Closing his eyes, Keith asked. “What now?”
“Just follow me.” Matt said as he began dragging him. “I'm gonna present you the most amazing thing in the world.” He heard a hiss of door opening. So, they were inside the hangar now. “Are you ready to see it?” Matt asked as he stopped.
Crossing his arms, Keith gave a slight nod. From the corner of his eyes, Shiro can see Lance snickering as he took out his camera, probably to record the moment.
“Ok.” Matt said as the trio drew in a huge breath. “Open your eyes.”
They were looking at Keith with such trepidation, that it reminded Shiro of his results. The moment Keith eyes fell on the bike in front of him, his face went blank. He stood there slacked jawed as his hands dangled lifelessly at his sides.
It was unbelievable. The bike was a cross between a hoverbike and a speeder. Thin and sturdy like the speeder but still had the balance rings of the hoverbike; albeit a bit smaller in size. It was painted black with red accents and if you look at it closely, it even had dragon scales at its front. Pidge must have told Matt about Keith’s wish to own a dragon.
Shiro knew from the moment Keith eyes hit the hoverbike, he was gone in a trance. Lance was having the time of his life recording it. After a few seconds, the initial shock seems to have faded from his system because he was able to at least form coherent sentences other than just gawking at it.
“Wha- How- Is this real?” Keith asked as he hesitantly placed his hands on the bike. “You sure it's fine to just give it to me?”
“Sure is. It was made for you.” Hunk replied as he puffed out his chest. “I mean, like, literally. We worked hard on it.”
“It works on a small Balmera crystal.” Pidge said as she stood beside Keith. “So, you don't have to worry about the fuel.”
“Oh…” Was all he could say as he moved his hands over the bike, as if he was confirming it to be real or not.
“Take it out for a spin.” Pidge piped in as she stood proudly with Matt and Hunk.
A maniacal grin worked his way to Keith’s face. “Just what I wanted to hear.” was all he said before he hopped on the hover bike and took it off. Everyone was laughing and calling out to him but he was lost in his own world. After flying it for a little while, he decided it was time to test the speed.
Everyone noticed Keith as he pressed the bike in one end of the hangar, stopped and then leaned down as he twisted the handles while the grin was still plastered on his face. They knew what he was about to do.
“Keith,” It was Shiro. “Don't do it.” He sounded so defeated and weak that the words felt more like a plea than an order.
Keith just spared Shiro a glance, and then laughed, the sound of which was muffled by the loud whoosh as he took off. Shiro was left with just an afterimage of him as he shouted once again, in a frustrated voice they had only seen him use with Slav. Keith never once stopped or showed any sign that he had heard him.
“Keith!” Shiro felt his heart lurching out of his chest as Keith approached the wall on the other side with astounding speed.
Note to self: Don't let the Holts bring presents EVER AGAIN!
Just when he about to hit the wall he jerked his bike up, climbing the wall. Reaching the highest height, he shut down the engines, pulling the bike in a nose dive.
Mere seconds away from the crash he turned on the engines as he jerked the bike, bringing it back on track, landing it perfectly. He was in complete euphoria as he brought the bike near them.
Keith is gonna be the end of me. He doesn't know how many times my heart almost gave up on me.
Shiro thought as he saw Keith approaching them. Everyone single one of them was cheering on Keith.
He was laughing so freely and wildly as he jumped down from the bike, that Shiro forgot the horror Keith just put him through. He never seen him laughed out this wildly before.
“I LOVE YOU GUYS!” Keith flunked himself on his team, taking down everyone with him. His laugh was contagious, everyone was a laughing mess despite being slammed to the ground.
After that horrifying stunt show, they all were heading towards the pillowfort room. Matt, Pidge, and Hunk were asking about the performance of the bike and what more would he liked to have(TERRIBLE idea.) Lance was trying to imitate the stunt and was trying to coax him to tell him the secret of how he did it, even Allura was willing to learn that stunt.
“As you know this made by us. So, it's not just any ordinary bike either.” Matt declared as he handed Keith a small book. “This specific bike has the following:” He held his index finger.
“Traps: Smoke screen bombs with charged electrons, to electrify the enemy approaching you.”
He held his second finger as Pidge began.
“Weapons: It had three beam sabers in a secret compartment.”
“You made A BEAM SABER?!” Lance yelled as he whirled around.
Clearing his throat, Matt continued. “The last but not least; the design of dragon scales on your bike are actually flying bits that can be deployed to assist you by shooting multiple enemies at once. It also has a shield for extra protection.”
Lance turned around to look at Hunk. “Did you know?” Hunk just shook his head in denial. “I swore not to tell anyone.” Hunk pointed an accusing finger towards the two as he used Lance as a shield. “Those two threatened to attack me with goo!”
Yes, it's true. They never gave any explanation regarding the traps and weapons. Shiro should have known better than to leave them alone. The Holts deceived him.
“Why didn't you give me any details about the weapons?” Shiro asked, curtly.
“We had our reasons.” Matt replied.
Before Shiro could ask another question Matt and Pidge threw Keith at Shiro as everyone bolted towards the door.
“What the heck guys!” Keith shouted, chasing them. Shiro picked the dropped book and placed it in a corner before chasing after Keith.
Keith had just stepped into the room, when everyone turned around and yelled “Welcome home!”
It was pretty hilarious to see Keith froze there as if he had been plastered. His eyebrows had disappeared in his hairline as he stared at them wide eyed. He blinked after a few ticks as Shiro nudged him inside the room. The room was dark except for the white sheet floating in the air, the inside of it seemed to be lit up.
"Wha- What’s tha-?” Keith stopped as Lance pushed him towards the huge fort.
The first thing that caught his attention as he entered, was that it was filled with the softest and comfiest of the blankets, pillows and mattresses. It was everywhere. Looking up, he was stunned to see so many stained glass balls floating above them, holding the sheet roof. They created beautiful patterns, wrapping the whole area in their soft and warm light. It was even greater than the stargazing room.
Keith’s neck was craned too far for comfort. At this rate he was definitely going to have a crick in his neck. Seeing as he had yet to take his eyes off the stained glass, the team took the liberty of guiding him safely. Once inside they sat him down. “So, did you like the Pillow fort?” Lance asked, looking smug. “It was my idea.”
“Hey, it was a team effort.” Pidge snapped.
“You guys did all of this… just for me?” Keith asked, amazed. His voice had a childlike innocence. It almost felt like his walls somehow came crashing down.
“Of course! It's a celebration as well as a welcome party for you.” Allura said, smiling softly. “I still have trouble understanding the purpose of this, but I think it's comforting.”
“That's the purpose Allura.” Hunk replied, chuckling.
“It's… amazing.” Keith said, his eyes still locked onto the decorations. He was looking around with a childlike fascination.
“Yes!!!” They all whooped with joy; exchanging high fives with each other.
Everyone was inside the fort. Shiro was sitting opposite to Keith with Pidge and Matt, Lance and Hunk were on his other side as Allura was sitting with Coran. Keith finally took his eyes away from the roof as he felt someone watching him. He turned around towards the source and ended up locking eyes with Lance. “Keith, is that the mark?” he pointed towards his neck.
That's when everyone suddenly crowded Keith. “What? Where? Let me see!” Pidge shouted pushing everyone out of her way. “Its glowing.” Pidge commented fixing her glasses.
“Yes, it represents characteristics of both Galran and Altean body markings.” Allura said triggering the bio-ramble from both Pidge and Hunk. They were barraging Allura with questions without allowing her enough time to answer them. Keith subconsciously hunched his shoulders and raised his jacket collar, hiding the mark.
“Well, it looks like the lions were finally able to bell the Ka-eth.” Lance so not whispered to Shiro. He just deadpanned in response.
Shiro chuckled as he saw Keith scowling at Lance. His expression opposite of the hopelessness that he showed just a few seconds ago. Keith was capable of stopping them but instead he chose to sit through it without any complains. It was up to Shiro to break them up. So, he stood up and clapped loudly, successfully grabbing their attention, “I think that is enough. You all are making him uncomfortable.”
Allura and Keith breath a sigh of relief. Hunk and Pidge seemed to deflate at that but didn't made any protests. “Yeah, I guess you are right.” Hunk agreed, ruefully. “Sorry, we got a bit excited.” Pidge replied smiling sheepishly.
“No, it's fine.” Allura assured them. Lance folded his legs and slapped his thighs “Alright. Hunk you go get the food.” Hunk gave a mock salute as he marched out. Lance then turned to Pidge. “Pidge! You got that movie thing going?”
“Yup!” Pidge replied. “Let me get my laptop then we can watch the movies.”
“Movie?” Keith asked. “We have that?”
“Sure we do. I have everything and if I don't; I will just create it.”
“Ohh... Nice Pidge!” Lance said as he clapped.
Pidge bowed down in front of Keith as if she was performing some act. “I’m your personal genie today. Your wish is my command.”
That elicited the best laugh out of Keith.
Hunk brought in all of the delicacies. Coran did acknowledge it but, was pretty upset about not having the honor of preparing the ‘Sacred feast.’ The barbecue flavour bars became Keith’s favourite. They saw a lot of movies once it was all set up. Starting with the coalition shows. Those were embarrassing, cringy and hilarious. Then it was mostly star wars, with a lot of arguments and explanations for the alien family members(Allura, Coran and Keith). They spend a whole two vargas playing the game as well. Needless to say Pidge and Matt were leading. They stopped only when Shiro called them out for getting a bit too worked up over the game.
After all the activities. They all were just laying around the fort, relaxing. Keith couldn't believe he ended up spending all of his energy on games. Looking around the room, he couldn't help but smile at his team. This was even better than his imaginations.
“Thank you, for doing all this…just for me.” Keith said as he glanced at them fondly, trying his best to burn this time in his memory.
“No thanks necessary.” Coran replied.
Pidge sat up, folding her legs. “Does anyone suddenly get a strong urge to save this moment somehow?”
Keith was surprised to hear that. Is his bond affecting the paladins?
“Yeah, I think.” Hunk.
“Me too.” Allura.
“Ok, so we all got the same feeling.” Shiro.
Ok. That explains it. His bond was definitely affecting his team. This doesn't seem to be good. They all would be able to read him like an open book.
“Then what are we waiting for?” Lance sprang up and started to search his pockets. Pulling out the camera, he stood up. “Let's take pictures to save this moment! What do you say guys?”
“Oh yeah! Let's do this!!” Matt said as he pumped his fist.
They all were supposed to sit side by side with each other in form of pairs (Lance idea.) with the bigger one hugging the smaller one sitting in front of them. Matt had happily picked Pidge. Allura picked Coran, Shiro picked Keith and Hunk picked Lance, who was still setting up the device. “Quick, we have ten ticks!” Lance had practically tackled Hunk as he took his place. Everyone made the victory sign as the countdown started. Shiro carefully maneuvered Keith’s victory sign on top of his own. When Keith gave him a quizzical look, Shiro pointed towards the others who sat in the same position giving Keith, thumbs up. Just as the timer got to zero they all shouted, “Keith!” as the camera clicked the picture.
That night was the best one in Keith’s opinion. He enjoyed a lot. Everyone had outdone themselves with the party. Keith felt like he was on cloud nine.
They all were dead to the world. Keith stayed awake after everyone had gone to sleep, a bad habit of his, but the sound of their rhythmic breathing soon lulled him into a peaceful sleep.
The next day, the picture was framed and hanged in Keith’s room. A small scribble was made by Keith on its edge.
“As you all know, today is your last day off.” Shiro stated. “After this we will be going on diplomatic missions. So, you are free to do whatever you want.”
“Does that mean I can take my bik-”
“No.” Shiro denied instantly.
“Are you still mad about this morning?” Pidge asked innocently.
As far as Lance is concerned, Shiro’s reaction is valid. Considering they had woken up to screeching noises as Keith and Pidge drove the bike through the halls while Matt surfed behind them on a long tray of some kind. Why does everything in this Castle is extra huge?
Needless to say, Shiro had been absolutely furious. Not because they were having fun, but because Keith literally used the electric smoke screen on Shiro as he tried to escape towards the hangar.
They were soon caught by Shiro as Matt made his escape. When asked why they did it. Keith told him that they were escorting Matt to his ship in their own style. They later knew that Matt was called by the rebels, and they were giving a proper goodbye to him. Shiro had then given them a good one hour lecture on teamwork and safety. So, yes. Keith was banned from using the bike, and Pidge was banned from the lab for at least a week.
They had just landed on Olkari, after hiding from the Galra forces for days. Allura and Shiro had gone to discuss their plans with Ryner. Everyone had agreed to spend the whole day out of the Castle. Since, being cooped up in one place even if it was a Castle, could have negative effects on them. Besides, it's been too long since they had a break from all the recent craziness.
“I missed the fresh air.” Lance said as he stretched his muscles. The air felt so refreshing. He can't believe he missed the warmth of the sun and the smell of flowers.
“Yeah, the smell of Earth and nature calms me.” Hunk said, agreeing with him.
“I'm not too sure, I still think robots are better.” Lance shook his head fondly at her. Pidge was such a techno whiz, always thinking about technology. He noticed that even though she said that, her voice lacked the usual confidence.
“I like the outdoors.” Keith stated as he closed his eyes, taking in the feeling of the cool, fragrant air. “It makes me feel alive.”
“Nature lovers.” Pidge grumbled under her breath, but unbeknownst to her Keith heard every word of it. He had noticed that since the fever, his hearing and eyesight had improved. On top of that, he seemed to be attuned to others feelings as well. He knew when someone was worried, sad or happy. At first it was just a hunch but later on he was having difficulty in just staying with all of them in the same room.
“Anyways, what do you guys want to do?” Pidge asked as they walked around aimlessly through the forest.
“Hmmm… Let's see.” Lance said as he scratched his chin in thought. Hunk started fiddling with the hem of shirt while Keith just crossed his arms and crooked his head.
Seems like nobody had anything planned and since his bike was on lockdown, Keith thought it would be good time to try out new things.
“I want to try creating the machine that Pidge made using the tree.” Keith said as he looked at them. Hunk smiled at the scene. Keith had openly shared his thoughts with them. Not only that; the two distant teammates were spending the free day with them as a team. Usually, Keith was cooped up fighting training bots and Pidge was busy tinkering with the Castle.
“Will you teach me?” Keith asked Pidge.
She gave an enthusiastic nod in return as she handed Keith the headband she was twirling in her hand.
Soon, they all were standing in front of those huge trees with the nuts that could turn into a moveable machine.
“Wear the headband.” Pidge ordered as she took her place near the bark of the tree. Keith obediently obeyed whereas Lance and Hunk stood awkwardly with their own. Pidge had taken another one from the passing Olkari.
“Want to try it?” She asked, glancing between Lance and Hunk.
“I'm not too sure.” Lance said. “Last time it didn't worked out. You know, because we are not the Paladin of Green lion.”
Pidge shrugged. “Ok. Your choice.”
And that was that. Lance and Hunk were sitting under a tree, soaking themselves in the warm light that filtered through the leaves. Lance watched as Pidge instructed Keith. He seems to ask more questions than actually listening to Pidge, probably because she was using the binary code or some space equivalent for it as an explanation for establishing connection with magical trees.
Lance had been sitting for fifteen minutes straight under a tree and he couldn't feel his back anymore. Being a Paladin meant to be always in action. He had become so accustomed to be being a Paladin that now it was impossible for him to stay in one place without moving.
Lance stood up as he dusted off his clothes. He took a good look at the tree under which they were sitting.
“Where are you going?” Hunk asked, his voice laced with panic.
“I'm gonna climb up this tree.”
Hunk bolted up the moment Lance jumped onto the tree and started climbing it.
“Oh no, no, no, no.” Hunk grabbed him, tugging on his jeans. “No, Lance we could fall off.”
“Hey! We won't know until we try.” Lance kicked his foot free of Hunk’s hold. Not that it was a strong one to begin with.
“Lance, for once, please listen to me.” Hunk begged. He was starting to understand how Shiro felt and the reason why Red chose Lance as her pilot.
“Lance!” Hunk shouted once again, but he was already following him. Following Lance had became a bad habit of his. Not to mention the strong feeling of deja vu that he was currently suffering from.
After climbing a bit, Lance jumped onto a branch.
“Lance no!” Hunk shouted.
Lance gave him a scowl. “Now what?”
“That branch is already bent down because of the weight of that fruit… nut thing. Anymore and it will break.”
“Pfff— No.” Lance dismissed his worries with a wave of his hand as if it was an annoying fly! “It's strong. Come on.” Lance pulled him up on top of the branch even though Hunk tried his best not to because; 1) It was swaying. 2) It was too high. 3) Hunk could not no longer feel his limbs and last but the most horrifying; it was creaking badly enough with Lance weight.
But Lance did pull him onto it and Hunk being scared out of his wits had grabbed the branch as hard as he could as the branch shook violently. Hunk opened his eyes as it stopped moving and just somehow, the branch didn't break. They were safe.
“See.” Lance was smiling. “It wasn't that hard.”
“Yeah. Ok. But I’m just gonna stay like this.”
“As you wish.” Lance let his feet dangle from the tree. His eyes were locked onto Keith and Pidge just a few feet away… on the ground… safe.
Then Lance laughed shaking the branch again, probably on something that happened. Curiosity can get you killed sometimes. That's what Hunk thought before he dared to look down. Few Olkari had joined them. They were explaining animatedly and this time Keith seem to have at least understood a bit as he was nodding more than asking questions. Pidge was grumbling right beside him.
“You know,” Hunk began. “It feels like Keith has finally opened up to us. I mean he did shared his eagerness to learn something new.”
“He should have done that soone— Woah!”
Keith had finally done it. He had made that machine from the fruit- nut thing. Keith looked so happy. Hunk could hear Pidge’s rambling from here as she circled around it.
Hunk had gotten enough courage from that scene to properly sit and that’s when the branch decided to give up.
Lance and Hunk had screeched hard enough to make themselves temporarily deaf. Hunk had somehow caught Lance and had latched onto a new branch just a few meters down, but that too broke in matter of moments.
“ SOMEBODY HELP!!! .”
“We are gonna DiE!” Hunk closed his eyes as he saw his life flashing before his eyes. He was literally falling to his death. Why did he follow Lance? Why didn't he try harder to stop him? Why did the branch break? Why didn't Lance listen to him? Why—
hadn't they hit the ground?
He peered open his eyes only to find himself hanging from a vine that had caught onto his ankle and waist mid-fall. Looking around he found Lance not too far away from him and he too was caught by those vines. He appeared to be fine other than being passed out.
He couldn't believe it. “We are alive.”
But those vines were not there before. So, how?
The said vines slowly lowered them onto the ground, but we're still latched onto them. Hunk sat up as he kissed the ground near him.
“Be more careful… next time.”
Hunk looked up to find Keith kneeling on the ground, rubbing onto his neck as he panted trying to catch his breath. He looked ready to hit the ground. Hunk quickly pushed himself towards him. “Keith, you ok?” Pidge was running soothing circles on his back. He rasped out, “...yeah.”
Hunk immediately pulled both of them into a hug. “Woah, your mark is green.” Hunk remarked, and that’s when Keith sagged against him. “Keith! Keith!” Oh shoot! Did he pass out? Hunk shook him, trying to wake him up.
“Calm down bud.” Lance placed a steady hand on Hunk’s shoulder, trying to ground him.
“Lance! Lance… he just-”
“Take a closer look.” Lance pointed towards the mop of black hair.
Keith weakly pushed at his hands. “Tired… sleep.” He was overwhelmed with the sudden burst of fear that spiked through him; not to mention he used a huge chunk of his energy. It's a good thing his ability worked. He squirmed around a bit and went to sleep once he settled into a more comfortable position. The vines soon freed both Hunk and Lance.
“Come on, let's go inside.” Hunk said as he gathered up Keith in his arms.
Placing Keith in the fort. Hunk turned to Pidge "Can you tell me what happened?”
“Keith managed to save you two from cracking open your skulls.”
“That doesn't explain a shit.” Lance replied as he took his seat with Hunk.
Pidge pointed towards the sleeping teen. “The vines. It was Keith who grew them to catch you guys before you hit the ground.”
Hunk furrowed his brows. “That's not possible.”
“Remember the talk Allura gave us regarding Keith’s ability?” Pidge crossed her arms.
“He awoke it.” Lance finished.
Allura and Shiro were discussing their plans with Ryner.
“How is the production of the movement detectors coming along?” Shiro asked as he inched forward.
“Rest assured Paladin.” Ryner smiled. “We are doing whatever we can. It is almost done. We will load it onto your ship the next day.”
“Thank you for completing this at such a small notice.” Allura always made the diplomacy seem easy. “It is imperative that we deploy them as soon as we can. So, that we can monitor the freed system.”
Ryner nodded her head. “We are aware of the current situation.”
Allura was about to say something when Shiro’s communication device gave a ping. It was only to be used for emergencies so that was their cue to get back to the Castle.
Everyone stood up. Shiro brought out the device. “Please excuse us. An urgent work has came up.”
“I wish you all the luck.”
Allura and Shiro had not wasted even a second getting out from there They had to reach the Castle as soon possible.
Allura and Shiro had practically torn down the door trying to get inside all together. Once they did, they had instantly started grilling them for details as Keith slept on despite all the noise. Of course Pidge was the one who was explaining everything.
Shiro ran a hand through his hair. “It's a good thing nothing happened to anyone of you.” Hunk was feeling guilty for ruining Shiro day off. It wasn't exactly a free day, but he was supposed to relax once the meeting with Ryner was over.
Allura sat down beside Keith as she combed her fingers through his hair. “He must be tired after using his ability.” She had been acting an awful like Shiro around him.
Keith had woken up after two hours. Coran and Pidge had taken a scan of his vitals to make sure everything is fine. According to Pidge his healing process has sped up. Not only that, his hearing, eyesight, stamina, agility, speed, and power had improved.
After that he was dragged by Hunk who stuffed him full of food to the point that even the smell of it made him barf. Not to mention the worry gnawing at his insides. He was having a difficult time trying to distinguish his own feelings from the others. He really needed a break from all of this. It was starting to overwhelm him.
So, Keith sneaked out as soon as he got a chance. He felt bad about disappearing on them, but he really needed some peace and quiet.
He was relaxing under the tree when he decided to try out his power once more. Maybe he can use it to finally give something in return to the team. They had done an awful lot for him.
Keith was surprised to find Shiro and Lance sitting outside as he returned. They seemed to be talking about something but stopped once they noticed Keith.
“Where were you?” Shiro asked as Keith sat down beside them. Seems like they were enjoying the night view too.
“I just wanted some time alone.”
Lance just shrugged dropping the topic altogether. After sitting in silence for a few minutes, Keith decided to just go with the flow. “Will you all come with me? I want to show you guys something.”
He felt more than saw Lance and Shiro giving him quizzical looks but in the end Shiro stood up and went to call the others. Once they all gathered, Keith took them to a nearby river, the place that he chose for the gift.
“Woah...” Pidge and Lance said at the same time as they took in the sight before them. The place was filled with cherry blossoms and juniberry flowers; both in full bloom. The grass underneath them was covered with pink and red petals. The light from the moon gave them an iridescent glow. It was a sight worthy of being a part of fairytale.
“I thought about giving you guys something in return.” Keith started scratching his mark. He felt like something was logged in his throat along with the electric feel. “Did you like-”
Shiro, Allura and Coran wrapped him up in their arms. Their cheeks wet and their eyes shone vibrantly with different colours as they reflected off the river's surface.
Lance, Hunk and Pidge stood at the sidelines as they watched them. They all pulled back wiping their tears. “Thank you for blessing us with this sight once again.” Allura tried to keep her emotions in check but her voice wobbled. Shiro and Coran remaind silent but Keith knew they were thinking the same thing.
Lance was standing while Hunk and Pidge tested the trees. Keith went with Shiro and sat under one of the cherry blossom tree just a few meters away from them while Shiro tried catching the falling petals like a child. He was soon joined in by rest of the team as they turned it into a competition. Once they all settled down Shiro told them that the flowers were edible. Everyone had been a bit hesitant but Keith and Shiro had eaten it without hesitation. The taste was just like he remembered, flowery. It reminded Keith of spring. On the other hand Keith watched as Allura and Coran picked one of the Juniberry but started laughing once they sniffed it.
“What’s wrong?” Keith asked; worried something might have been wrong with the flowers. He wasn’t able to move a lot due to the lack of energy. Even though this time around he got the hang of it and used it properly.
Allura shook her head dismissing his worries as she tugged one flower over everyone’s ear. They had all went nuts after sniffing it. Coran was batting their hands off but they all were picking out all of them. Allura came back and tugged a flower on both his and Shiro’s ear. Then she sat down beside Keith.
“Just sniff it.” She said while smiling.
Keith took the flower in his hand and proceeded to take a sniff. His eyes widened as he recognised the fragrance. We're they suppose to smell like roses?
“It smells like a rose.” Keith stated absentmindedly as he saw Hunk gathering more and more in his shirt.
“Yes.” Allura chuckled. “That is why we laughed because this is not how the juniberry smells like.”
“How do they smell like?” Shiro asked as he ate yet another cherry blossom.
“It has a sharp fragrance which lasts for a long time.”
“Oh… I didn't-”
“No, it's fine. It is natural that you wouldn't know that.” Allura said as she watched them.
Shiro and Hunk had disappeared into the Castle and soon came out carrying two huge bags. Shiro and Lance filled the bag with freshly picked cherry blossoms whereas Hunk, Pidge and Coran filled the other with juniberries. “Just the sight of them is enough for me. I can't thank you enough for that.”
“You don't have to.”
“Keith,” Allura was fiddling with dress. “Can I ask you something?” Keith found it strange to see the Princess nervous about something.
“What is it Princess?” Keith was worried about what it could be.
“Can you… grow them in the Castle? I will prepare a room.” her voice was barely a whisper at the end of her sentence.
She glanced at him from the corner of her eye but averted it as soon as she saw Keith looking at her with wide eyes.
The slight cool air had turned into a warmth, covered him like a blanket. The feeling of being needed and the fact that someone trusted him enough to request something was nothing less than a reward for him.
“I would be honored to.”
The happiness and proudness that followed after his declaration were indescribable. Apparently, everyone was eavesdropping onto their conversation.
All in all. Their last free day ended perfectly with a noisy picnic, coupled with rosy and flowery flavoured milkshakes under the most beautiful of trees as the sound of laughter filled the air, brightening up the place even more.
I hope you guys at least had a smile on your face while reading this.
Would this make Lance a mom friend? Or space mom?
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
“So, you have decided to move onto to the next element?” Lance asked as he crossed his arms.
“Yeah.” Keith replied.
They all had been sitting in the lounge when Keith stated that he had practiced Green’s element enough and had decided to practice another Lion’s element.
“Are you sure?” Shiro asked Keith as he leaned forward. Keith just gave a nod.
“Which one will you use?” Hunk asked. He was very excited to hear the line up.
“About that,” Keith scratched his neck. “I will be using Blue Lion’s. After that Yellow, Red, and lastly Black.”
Lance had a sinking suspicion that he had deliberately pushed Red and Black in the last because he still feels uncomfortable around them but he really wanted to see his beautiful Blue’s element in action. “Ok, when will you start?”
Once upon a time, there was a knight and a princess, deeply in love with each other. The Princess didn't know how to skate so the knight took it upon himself to teach her. It was actually just an excuse to spend time with her love.
As they skated, the Princess lost balance. The knight quickly wrapped his arms around her fragile frame, embracing her. It felt like a dream.
The Princess evil advisor, Mustache wannabe smile, snatched the Princess away from the Knight.
“What do you think you were doing to the Princess.” the evil mustache asked the Knight.
“Coran,” The Princess began in her melodious voice, “Relax, he wasn't doing anything. He is just a....”
I got ‘friendzoned.’
Allura had the innocence to smile at me as she spoke the words from my eternal nightmare.
It's funny how just some vibrations produced by the vocal cord could destroy dreams.
“This is great!!” Lance yelled and as if on cue Keith slipped.
Keith had made an ice rink(accidentally) when he used the new element. He was actually trying to freeze the water in the pouch which was now in a deep part of the huge skating rink. Luckily, no one was frozen with it as they all were standing in the doorway of the training room.
It was convenient to know that Alteans were familiar with ice skating. They had a few pair of shaking shoes stored which Coran brought to them.
Lance drifted past Shiro, who was struggling to support himself against the wall. He had his shoulders hunched up and brows almost touching each other whereas his legs were shaking like he was a newborn fawn whereas Keith was falling in the centre.
“Hey! Pidge, Hunk come join us!” Lance said as he skated towards them. They were sitting right outside the rink, away from them.
Lance winced as he turned around to see Keith fall once again on the unforgiving ice. Allura had learned skating much quickly than him whereas Shiro just stood stuck to the wall.
“No, we are fine here.” Pidge said as she started typing away on her laptop as Hunk sat with her tinkering with some kind of another gadget.
“Why are you not joining?” Lance asked Hunk because come on, his friend at least should give him company.
Hunk hands stilled. “I'm scared of losing my nose.” He then peeked on Pidge’s laptop screen. “And besides we are collecting information on Keith.”
“I think Shiro should just give up.” Pidge said as she giggled. “He is just standing there.”
Lance turned around to look at them. Coran was an expert on skating along with Allura, who just learned. Shiro and Keith on the other hand, were worse than a four year old. They both were stubborn as hell. They refused the help of Lance, Coran and even Allura.
By the time Lance skated towards them, Allura had already gone to help Shiro. So, he turned towards the Mullet.
“Keith,” And there he goes falling down for the umpteenth time, just what he was afraid of.
“...what?” Keith asked as Lance pulled him up again.
“I know how to skate.” Lance said as he tightened his hold on Keith’s hand as he yet again lost balance.
“You are never going to learn by beating yourself up.” Keith seem to be contemplating about the offer this time. Lance was hoping he would drop the tough guy act and accept his help.
It took Keith a few tries before he got the hang of it. Shiro too had left the wall and was shakily skating with Allura. When they reached the other side of the room Keith suddenly pushed Lance as he drifted away from him. Lance was surprised at first but when he saw the smirk on his face he knew what that meant.
Oh, it's on. I'm gonna win.
And he did, because how could you win against a pro and let's not forget ice and water is Lance….
were his element.
Anyways, Keith’s punishment was to create an ice sculpture just the way Lance wanted it to be. He was struggling with the minor details but the way he manipulated the water was mesmerising to watch. He wished he could get this power… uh his power too.
Hunk was very excited when Keith announced that he would be practising Yellow lion’s element. At that time, Lance had naively thought ‘how the heck could earth be an amazing element?’
He got his answer a few moments after Keith used Yellow’s element.
Keith had created a high grade gem, specifically, a sapphire. It was absolutely beautiful to look at but he couldn't spend his time to properly look at it because the Castle started going crazy. Again.
After running various tests on the system, they realised that Keith had ended up creating gravity fluctuations both inside and outside of the ship which in turn interfered with the rest of the Castle functions making everything go haywire.
“Keith, can you please keep this gem in air? I want to take a picture.”
“Lance,” Keith began, in the deepest voice possible, along with a glare which should have scared Lance, but he was used to dealing with it now. All the while ignoring the whole fiasco happening around them. “We are having more pressing matters.”
“I know. Coran, Pidge and Hunk will fix it.” Lance said as he placed the gem in Keith's hand forcefully. “I’m also aware of the fact that both of us are not qualified to fix such a problem.”
“It's because I used-.”
“No. Now, Can you please hold it just above your shoulder, it's a bit higher than where your palm is.”
Keith sighed as he focused on holding the gem the way Lance told him to while he watched Pidge and Hunk freaking out about the system not giving them access or something. Lance snapped a lot of pictures from various angles and then showed all of it to Keith. That's when Keith realised that the room was silent, and the ship seems to have gone back to normal.
“Did you guys fix it?” Keith asked when he noticed everyone looking at them.
Pidge scrambled to catch her laptop. “Actually, ah… How should I say this? Um… it got fixed on its own?”
Everyone gave her puzzled looks. “Huh?”
It seems that the gravitational fluctuations stopped altogether when Keith focused on keeping the gem in the air. Maybe because he finally took his mind off from the gravity fluctuations. Somehow, Lance’s absurd idea worked in the most absurd way.
Lance was glad his idea worked. Who knew yellow lion’s power meant having the mighty powers of planets instead of making stones appear out of nowhere?
Surprisingly, Keith didn't had much trouble with Green’s element. According to the mullet, green lion’s element came to him naturally. Allura says that it could be because he used it in a place that was filled with green quintessence.
All in all, it was great having a team member with elemental powers. They all had something exciting to look forward to every day.
Today, they were practicing to control fire. Matt had finally decided to join them.
“Keith calm down! Try to imagine the fires going out!”
“It's not working!”
Keith was a walking disaster.
They were watching from the observation room as Allura and Keith trained. As usual, the room was almost destroyed… well, melted would be the correct word. This happened everytime a new ability was used but today was a bit more intense. Maybe because fire was a difficult element to control; that or Keith was just afraid of burning someone.
Can't blame him, he was practically covered with fire.
Everyone watched as Keith ran around the training deck. As he hit the walls hard enough to send vibrations then he rolled on the ground trying to put out the fire.
It was the saddest attempt to put out an immortal fire.
“Keith, this is not going to help you!” Allura yelled. She had become reasonably pissed.
Lance will admit that he had seen Keith do some impossible things, but there was no way Keith could put this fire out. He had suggested Keith to pay a visit to Red before trying out her element but he flat out refused to. He still hadn't visited Red or Black.
Lance and Pidge had seen Keith several times at night heading towards the Red lion's hangar but he would leave without even entering. It was like he wanted to but something was stopping him.
“STAY AWAY!” Keith sounded almost hysterical. Right, he was still making futile efforts.
Matt facepalmed. “This is really bad. He is not going to listen now.”
“You think?!” Pidge snapped. She winced at how loud she sounded. Lance knew she didn't meant to do that and she was feeling guilty about it.
It was as if Keith’s frustration was affecting the other Paladins.
Exhaling loudly, Shiro stood up as he grabbed the mic “Keith.” The guy must have ran out of patience watching Keith on stampede.
“What?!” Keith turned around as the flames burned even more brighter. Lance whistled, he almost resembled a phoenix.
“I have a way that might work.” Shiro said as he shot a ‘disappointed dad look’ at Lance. “But, for that to succeed, I want you to do exactly as I say.”
Keith made a grab for his hairs as he squatted down. For a few seconds he didn't move. Shiro patiently waited. Lance don't know why but when Keith squatted down he knew he was going to give in.
Keith eventually relaxed his shoulders as he sat down folding his legs. “... Let's give it a try.”
Squaring his shoulders, Shiro took the mic. He had the look of a man ready to battle. “I'm sure you remember those breathing exercises. Try to do that, first.”
Keith hesitantly began and tried to do as he was told. Allura stood at the other end of the training room where the floor was miraculously not melted. “Good, now exhale slowly and try to search for the bond that you have with the lions. Listen to what they tell you.”
They all stood there, holding their breath as they observed Keith following Shiro’s orders. In the end, the flames died down and vanished as if it was never there.
Next time they encountered something like this Lance would just call Shiro right of the bat. Keith somehow seems to listen to Shiro only. Lance was starting to think it might be his instinct to respond to Shiro, because let's face it, how could he, even in his almost feral state respond to him? Aggressive, but still a response.
To be honest, it felt like Keith was running away from something. Lance thought as they all were headed towards the training deck.
Matt lifted his index finger as he said. “This is how we control a wild Keith. Never tell him to Calm down. You will be just adding oil to the fire.”
Well, looks like the bell around our cat's neck doesn't work the way it should.
Keith was laying on the floor as he tried to catch his breath. It took a good chunk of his power. Man, if fire was this difficult to handle how much difficult Black lion’s element going to be?
Keith opened his eyes, only to find his teammates standing in front of him, smiling.
Seriously, these guys...
Keith slowly sat back up. His head was throbbing, his whole body shook along with the frantic heartbeats and his vision was going in and out of focus. He hated when this happens. “Aren't you guys afraid that I might burn you accidentally?”
Lance stepped forward as he extended his hand towards him. “Nah, we are Paladins of Voltron. We face dangers like this all the time.” He said it so nonchalantly that for a second Keith thought that everything was just going to work out.
He smiled as he took Lance’s outstretched hand. It had taken him some tries to stand on his own two legs without Lance supporting him and the time he thought he had it, his knees buckled. Thankfully, Lance and Allura had caught him from his arms.
Sighing, he gave up on standing without support as he leaned his weight on the two. “I guess this is gonna take some time to finally being able to control it.”
Allura chuckled at him “Yes, it's gonna take some time but, you really need to keep yourself calm for that.” Keith pouted at Allura, making everyone laugh.
“Here, have some lemongrass tea.” Hunk said as he placed the cup in front of Lance, taking the seat next to him.
They had came to the kitchen after leaving Keith to sleep in his room. Hunk had dragged Lance there saying he wanted him to taste something which will reduce some of his stress whereas Pidge just vanished somewhere.
Lance muttered, ‘Thanks' before taking a sip. His eyes widened as he tasted it. The tea was an exact replica of the lemongrass tea that he used to drink on earth!
“...how?” Lance asked as he gave Hunk an incredulous look.
Hunk puffed out his chest as he began, “I asked Keith to grow it for me. I now have a whole Kitchen garden. My dream has come true!”
“Really?” Lance asked as he took a sniff of the steaming cup as if it could clear out his suspicions.
“Yeah its true!” Hunk flails his hands. “You can ask Keith or better I will just show you.”
Lance laughs at that. “Ok, big guy. Relax, I believe you.”
Hunk takes a sip from his cup as he sinks back in his chair. “Oh and did you know? The plants that are grown by Keith have sped up growth? They grow back as soon as you pluck them out!”
“Wow, that's amazing.”
“Yeah, I know. Pidge is going crazy with the samples. She was ready to ruin my garden just to check how many times it can grow back. I can't believe—”
For some reason, Lance couldn't focus on what Hunk was saying. His mind was already filled with a lot of things. Seeing Keith bond with the lions as well as obtaining their elemental powers made him again felt like he was just a burden. Of course, he was happy for Keith. He would never take this away from him. But, compared to him Keith always shone like the Sun. He makes his place whereas Lance always gets the leftovers. When they were in the garrison, Lance got the fighter pilot status only because Keith flunked out. When Shiro went missing, Black chose Keith and he got to be the pilot of the red lion, again, only because he left it for him.
“Do you think he can maybe create metal parts for me to use? Right, Lance?”
Lance just kept on staring at his cup with a forlorn look which clearly told Hunk what was going on.
Hunk had been Lance best friend for years and he knows that whenever he goes quiet like this, it means only one thing. Something big is troubling him.
Lance was jolted back into the present when suddenly a hand slammed down on his shoulder.
“Buddy? You alright?” Hunk asked as he leaned over the table towards Lance.
Damn, I must have spaced out on him for too long.
“Yeah, I'm fine.” Lance replied. Hunk squinted his eyes. “Ok, I will be fine.” Lance said as he pressed his cheek on the cold table while he spun the cup, sloshing the liquid inside.
“That's better.” Hunk nodded his head.
Lance started playing with his fingers, “Its the same old. I feel like I'm dragging the team.” He gave a hard blink. “I miss my family too.”
Hunk clasped both of Lance hands. “I'm sure everyone here miss their family and Lance, nobody thinks about you like that.”
“Hunk, you saw how Keith used his powers on our last mission. He took out a lot of Galra as soon as he entered.”
“I know, his bike looked so cool in action.” Hunk said as he looked at the roof with the most satisfied face.
Lance snorted, because when did anything that Keith did wasn't cool? “Yeah, I know.”
Hunk eyes went wide at that as he coughed loudly. “Lance his mullet! It dampens his cool look!”
Lance smiled at Hunk’s efforts to make him laugh. He could tell Hunk was happy about the bike’s performance but changed the topic to Keith’s mullet to make him smile.
“But you know,” Hunk began, all the enthusiasm from his voice was gone. “I think he was actually just showing off his trust in us.”
“What do you mean?”
“Allura told me that Keith was terrified of using his powers near us. Just because there was a possibility that he could end up hurting us. He trained himself to death so that he could avoid it.”
Lance was shocked to hear that. “He didn't show that at all.”
“Yeah, I know. But you remember that he did lost control once and froze the ground accidentally right?” Lance nodded.
“You have no idea how scared Keith was at that time. He was trembling when he realised what he did but then you just went ‘Ice skating rink. Yay!’ and started skating.”
Lance laughed as he remembered the time. “Yeah and Keith fell face first the second he took another step.”
Hunk chuckled, but it soon turned into one devoid of any emotion. “Yeah, in the beginning it seemed that way but actually he fell because his legs gave out on him. He was relieved to find that nobody was hurt. He kept on flinching because he was expecting someone to shout at him. That's why he fell whenever one of us shouted something.”
Lance thought that Keith was just falling over repeatedly on air because he wasn't that skilled. How could he not notice that? “That's not possible. Mullet can't even comprehend what danger is!”
“Pidge and I were watching him the whole time.” Hunk said as he looked down at his hands.
A few moments of silence passed as Lance thought back to that day a week ago.
“Lance, do you know that you are like water.”
“Huh?” Where did this talk about water came from? They were just talking about skating.
“You take on every role given to you with ease and change accordingly to provide the team what is needed in the given situation.”
Hunk locked his eyes with Lance. “You are an ultimate all rounder. That is why you were able to become a fighter pilot and pilot the Red lion. That ability of yours is a rare gem.”
Lance glanced up at Hunk. He never would have thought about it like that.
“Don't forget you were the first person to become a Paladin of Voltron whereas Keith was the last one.” Hunk stood up as he took their cups and placed them in the washer. “Plus, you got a cool lion looking after you.”
“Which one? The red or blue?” Lance asked, following Hunk out of the kitchen.
“Both, of course. I know you are still bonded to Blue.”
“Yeah. You are right.” That made Lance smile. He heard a grumble inside his head. “But you know Red is not too bad either.”
Lance looked around as they passed through the empty corridors.
“I’m thinking about making bread for you guys.” Hunk said, grabbing his attention.
“Hunk, we don't have wheat or flour here.”
“We have wheat and I completed the flour machine.” Hunk said as he flashed Lance a proud smile.
“Now, you are doing that on purpose to make me hungry.”
Reaching their rooms, they split up going towards their rooms.
“Well, then” Hunk said as he yawned. “Goodnight.”
Lance stopped as he pursed his lips. “Hunk.”
“Yeah?” Hunk asked, waiting for Lance.
Lance kept his eyes fixed on his shoes as he shoved his hands in the pockets of his jacket. “Thanks… for always being my support.”
“Hey, it's what friends are for.” Hunk replied as he neared his room. “Sometimes even the protectors need to be protected. The same goes for the supporters.”
“Try to get some sleep. We are going to go on another one of those diplomatic missions. You need a lot of energy for that.”
“Yeah.” Lance laughed as he scratched his chin. He felt a lot lighter. Taking a deep breath he gave Hunk his best smile. “Goodnight.”
Lance quickly went through his nightly routine. Climbing on his bed, he laid down to sleep. “I wish I could somehow spend time with blue once more. No, offense red. You are cool but blue is similar to my mother.” He closed his eyes.
He shifted to face the wall as he dragged his blanket over his head, cocooning himself.
“I wonder if others try to find their loved one's in these mechanical lions just like me.”
Your kudos and comments means a lot to me. Thank you so much for your kudos and comments. I know I'm still making a lot of mistakes. Honestly, I have no idea how did this mess of a fic even got these many kudos.
Please excuse my terrible communication skills.
As a princess, Allura was taught to follow a strict routine. The existence of a routine in a diplomat's life was of utmost importance. She had a duty to look after her people needs and to make sure they were in perfect health.
Humans needed more sleep than the Alteans to function properly. So, Coran and Allura always woke up earlier than the paladins.
The first thing she would do after getting ready, was to check and make a list of the important missions they were supposed to go. Shiro mostly joined her at this time. Afterwards, they would head towards the kitchen, where Hunk would be making their human breakfast. Though today Matt had also joined her with Shiro. Seems like the more human’s age the less sleep they need.
Allura loved to watch everyone as they slowly gathered in the kitchen, waiting for their breakfast. Humans looked so fragile when they were asleep and adorable when half-asleep.
Her eyes shifted to Keith as he entered, followed by Lance and Pidge. Keith was distant from everyone at first, but now he felt approachable. His aura had mellowed down but he would revert back as soon as he steps out of the Castle. Allura and Coran had been ecstatic to know that he had Altean ancestry, even if it was a quarter.
She smiles as Keith waves at her in greeting as he takes a seat opposite to her.
Too bad his ears didn't change.
“I'm in heaven!” Lance said as he stuffs his mouth with the their breakfast. Apparently, it's a sweet sponge like food called a pancake.
Hunk laughs, “Lance, this is the tenth time you said that.”
“Buh ish fru!” Lance tries to say around the food in his mouth.
“Well, I have to admit Hunk. You made great use of Kaltenecker’s milk and Keith’s ability.” Pidge said as she places another pancake on her plate.
“I know, It's all thanks to Keith.” Hunk states casually, placing another stack of pancake on the table.
Keith hunches up his shoulders. “N-no. It was all Hunk’s idea.” After which he starts to shove the food in his mouth with unnecessary force.
And if anyone saw the red colour adorning his ears and cheeks, they didn't said anything.
“So, Princess.” Matt began as he placed his empty plate. “When are we going to go?” Lance shots him a death glare.
“We will be going there in the next four vargas.” Allura said as she started gathering plates with Hunk. “Until then you are free to do whatever you want.”
“Oops. I almost forgot.” Pidge said, snapping her fingers. “Matt, you are to help me finish making the juice machine.”
“What? No!!!” Lance grinned as he heard how devastated Matt sounded. That's when he noticed Pidge giving him a shit eating grin as Hunk patted Matt’s back.
Ok. So, maybe he was enjoying his pain a bit too much for his own good.
Lance slid down on his chair, blankly staring the roof. “Whatever we want to do… huh?” Lance repeats Allura words as thought back to yesterday.
Showing off his trust in us. Huh?
He turns and locks his gaze at Keith, who was busy eating.
Does he really?
Keith did open up to them, but he was far from being comfortable about sharing serious problems. Even though that shouldn't be the case anymore. He trusts us but he still won't share.
Keith’s hesitancy to visit Red and Black has been bothering Lance. Maybe it's his instincts? Whatever the case, Keith has to visit them if he ever wants to control his fire.
Come to think of it, what is Black’s power?
“So, what do you guys want to do?” Shiro asked as he distributed the mugs from the tray to everyone.
“I'm thinking about doing some meditation.” Lance blurts out as he takes the offered cup.
Mmm... Lemongrass tea.
Silence followed his declaration as everyone gave him quizzical looks.
“What?” Lance frowned. “Allura told us that we should strengthen our bonds with the lions right?” Lance counters as he takes a sip from the lemongrass tea.
“Yes. It's the fastest way.”
“Oh, Me too!”
“Count me in.”
“I will be busy making the juice machine.” Matt stated sadly as he began muttering something about a joke being taken seriously. Seems like Pidge did something.
“Ok,” Shiro chuckled. “We will go after finishing up.”
Team building exercise it is. Lance thought, taking a sip.
They arrived in the training room and sat down together forming a circle, starting today's training which was to focus on their bond with the lion or lions in Keith’s case. According to Allura, the Lion’s bond would appear in a form of a ribbon.
“I think this will be enough.” Allura declared after half a varga. “So, how did it go?”
“I did it!” Pidge shouted as she jumped up. “The green ribbon. I caught it!” She was really excited.
“That's wonderful.” Allura replied as she clapped. “What about everyone else?”
“I had some trouble, but I managed to touch the ends of it?” Hunk said as he touched the tips of his index with the thumb.
“That's alright. How about you Shiro?”
“It was a bit far. I managed to touch it, but it kept on slipping.” He seemed a but down.
That was to be expected. Black did refused to take Shiro at first. Allura gave a soft smile. “That just means you need to spend more time with Black.” She turned towards Lance. “Lance?”
“I saw two ribbons. One blue and the other red.” Lance said as he avoided looking at Keith.
“I see. Did you got near enough to touch anyone of them?” Allura was using the softest tone possible because she knew that it was a sensitive topic.
Lance interlinked his fingers. “Umm… The blue one was a bit far but I touched the red one.”
He subconsciously glanced at Keith and to his surprise, found Keith smiling at him.
“Lance, that means you have a strong bond with Red and you still have a bond with blue too.” Allura words made him smile. At least he still had a bond with her.
“What about you mullet?” Lance asked, playfully shoving his arm.
Keith placed his fingers on the mark on his neck. “I caught Green, Yellow and Blue but Red and Black were far. It was like there was an invisible wall blocking me.”
“What does that mean?” Hunk asked turning towards Allura for explanation, but before Allura can explain the meaning, Coran voice came through the speakers.
“Princess, We will be approaching the planet Yac in the next half varga.”
“Didn't you say we had four vargas?” Lance was confused. First, they tell us we have four vargas and now they tell us we have only half a varga?
“Ah… well,” Coran’s voice was becoming harder to hear. “I miss calculated.”
“It's fine Coran. Thank you for informing us.” Allura stood up, followed by the others. “Let's get ready.”
Once they reached the control room. Coran informs them that a call came in, and they informed that only three representatives will be accepted along with one lion.
Shiro crossed his arms. With a huge sigh he began, “So, who wants to stay?” He knew that Keith would never go so, asking him was useless.
Lance and Pidge had their hands raised even before Shiro got to finished his question whereas Hunk raised his after the question.
“No fair. They didn't even listen the question.” Hunk whined as Shiro and Allura gave him sympathetic looks.
After saying a heartfelt goodbye to Hunk with the space parents Lance, Pidge and Keith went to their favourite place; the pillowfort to play some games. At first, Pidge kept on grumbling about how Hunk had roped Matt into going with them, freeing him from the work.
The first round of the game was Lance vs Keith. Keith was getting better at playing the game. He had nearly defeated Lance this time around but in the end failed to do so. He then switched with Pidge saying that she will avenge me.
He sat there as he watched them play. Pidge and Lance were really excited which was exhausting Keith. Sure, mirroring emotions is great but not for a very long time, and since he was still trying to control it, he couldn't just turn it off and on according to his will.
“Haha! I WON!” Pidge whooped with joy as Lance pouted, throwing away his controller.
“Keith, I avenged…you?”
Keith had fallen asleep. Lance knows how boring it is to watch someone play a game but he never expected Keith to fall asleep. He didn't even move when Pidge yelled right now. He must be tired.
They both couldn't help but smile at this. Keith, sleeping in front of them was another one of the signs that he trusts them.
“Another round?” Lance picked up the controllers, handing one to Pidge.
“Lance, you have lost forty-nine times already.”
“Last round. This time I will win for sure!”
“Give it up.”
“That word is not in my dictionary.”
“You should burn that outdated dictionary.”
They both looked around to find that Keith had just went out of the room. Lance and Pidge shared a worried glance as they bolted out of the room.
“Keith, wait up!” This was the third time Lance shouted. “Where are you going?” Keith was still giving him the cold shoulder.
“Lance, he is sleep walking.” Pidge supplied. “He can't hear you.”
Lance leaned down to Pidge’s ear. “Hey, isn't he going to Red’s hangar?”
“Yeah. But why?” Pidge shoved Lance away from her ear.
“I think,” Lance said as he placed his hand over his head. “Red is calling him.”
“I can hear a buzz, and it keeps on getting louder.”
That gives more questions than answers.
Lance was right. Keith really did enter Red’s hangar. Not only that, he walked straight into Red’s claws.
This will seriously affect him. Pidge thought as she glanced at Lance. She could tell that he was badly shaken to see that Red already had her barrier lowered for Keith. Not to mention, she was the one calling Keith.
“Gah. My head.” Keith rubbed his forehead as he opened his eyes.
Pidge saw the way Keith stiffened, when he finally realised where he was. He swiftly turned around towards the exist, but stopped when he saw them standing there.
“I'm sorry. I- Uh, I don't know-” Keith avoided eye contact. “I will just… go.” Saying that he walked past Lance.
Lance stood still for a few moments before he darted around and stood in between the door and Keith. Stopping him from leaving.
Keith moved around to get past him but Lance continued to stand in his way.
“Lance, I need to go.”
“Move!” Keith yelled as he tried to go past him but Lance was always there before he could escape.
“You need to talk to Red.”
“Step aside.” Keith pushed Lance out of his way.
It was only fair that Lance tackled him to the ground.
“Can't you hear her cries?!” Lance shrieked at him as he grabbed his collar.
“Lance!” Pidge shouted as Keith easily kicked Lance on his chest, pushing him off of himself.
“She has been calling you since yesterday!” Lance cried as he stood up and grabbed Keith’s arm. Keith yanked and twisted his arm to free himself.
“Why are you running away?!” Lance yelled. Seeing that he wasn't going anywhere unless he answers Lance, Keith gave up struggling to free himself.
“You want to know? Fine!” Keith growled as he batted his hands away in one swift motion and that's when Pidge realised that Keith was holding back the whole time. “I didn't want come here because you spent most of your time around Red. She was calling me instead of you. I'm not her Paladin anymore; you are. I was afraid that if I came here, your bond with her would–”
His sentence was cut off as Lance’s fist connected with his jaw, causing him to stagger back a few steps.
“That was for mocking our bond.” Lance said, giving him a cold look. His voice was devoid of any emotion, even though his eyes were filled with pain. “Our bond isn't so fragile.”
Pidge was forced to watch the whole thing unfold. She knew that it had to be done. It was necessary, but that didn't make it anymore pleasant.
“Did you really think that Red would just spit me out after seeing you?” Lance spoke after taking a few deep breaths.
Pidge got even more worried when she saw Keith flinch as he grabbed his shirt over his heart. His was sweating profusely as well which was not a good sign. She was serious contemplating interrupting their stupid argument.
“I never said that you bond would break with Red.” Keith stated as he tends to his throbbing jaw.
“I was afraid to weaken it.” Keith confessed. He still had his head lowered, as if he was afraid that he would further anger Lance if he didn’t. “I was worried that when you would see how Red lowers her barrier for me. You would start questioning your position again.”
Pidge frowned. Again?
Keith moved his hand to his side, leaving his jaw. “I didn't meant to increase your pain. I'm sorry.”
Keith shot up as he tried to make a quick escape but failed once again as Red trapped him underneath her paws.
“Red please.” Keith begged as he squirmed around in a desperate attempt to push himself up from the floor. He couldn't take the onslaught of pain and disappointment any more.
“I'm going to ask you a question and you will answer it honestly.” Lance stepped in front of him whereas Keith ignored him as he continued his futile attempts. “Do you think that you need a lion?”
“No.” Keith answered without missing a beat. Considering, he has a bike with weapons and traps as well as every lion’s element, he doesn't need a lion. Well, except for moving around the space.
“Then, you don't need to worry about any lion claiming you as a pilot anymore.” Keith tried to cran his neck upwards to see Lance expression but the claw was in the way. Though, Keith could swear Lance was smiling.
Lance squatted down as he tapped on the Lion’s claws. Pidge was surprised to see Red obediently retracting her claws, freeing Keith.
“What do you mean?” Keith asked as Lance pulled him to his feet.
Lance smiled as he saw that Keith didn't look him right in the eye but he was frequently stealing glances at his face. Like, every second.
“This right here,” Lance tapped at Keith’s now bloodshot mark around his neck. “Is a mark that you are already a lion.” It had been like this since yesterday, a sign that Red was calling him.
Pidge giggled as Keith quizzically touched the place Lance tapped and all the tension from the room seems to vanish. Lance always had this effect on everyone. He knows the true weight of words and how to use them in the best possible tone.
“So,” Pidge piped in making both of them jump. Seems like those two idiots forgot about her in their fight. Geez, what was she worried about? “Does that mean Keith is a lion now?”
Lance gasped giving her a mock hurt look. “Pidge, you don't know what lion babies are called?” He asked feigning innocence.
“A Cub!!” They both chorused as they laughed, making Keith groan in exasperation.
“So,” Lance began as he shuffled on his feet. “Are you gonna go and visit Black?” He rubbed the spot where he got kicked. “Because honestly, I don't want to go through this again.”
This time, it was Keith who was laughing uncontrollably.
After which Keith finally confessed that every Lion lowered their barriers for him whenever he approaches them. How was anyone supposed to know that? More importantly, why didn't he just shared it? Was it the same reason? Maybe that's why he visited the other three alone.
In the end, Keith ended up spending a whole varga with Black whereas Lance and Pidge were busy entertaining Red with the game of ‘Catch the bug.’ Where the so-called ‘bugs’ were them.
Shiro, Allura, Matt and Hunk had finally returned from their six vargas long, exhausting successful trip. After freshening up, Coran lead them to the Red lion's hangar.
“Guys,” Hunk began as he entered the hangar with Allura and Shiro in tow. “You are not gonna believe what happened. Matt almost started a riot-”
Hunk froze as he took in the sight in front of him.
Red was laying on the ground in a curled position. Her chin was on her front paws, which were crossed over each other.
Hunk, Shiro, Matt and Allura walked around Red’s curled body, searching for any signs of their friends. According to what Coran told them, they should still be in the hangar.
Allura gasped causing the three to immediately run towards her. They were puzzled to see Allura standing over Red’s tail as she leaned over one of her back paws.
Seeing that they were already there, she ushered them, pointed at something in the middle of Red’s protective wall.
Hunk cooed as he was treated to the universe’s most cutest moment.
Keith was situated between Lance and Pidge as they dozed off. Lance had placed his head on Keith's right shoulder while Keith had his cheek pressed on his head. Pidge had her laptop open as she too slept using Keith's left thigh as a pillow.
Matt leaned to Hunk as he whispered. “I think we should take a-”
Allura flashed them a bright mischievous smile, holding up Lance’s camera.
Feel free to share your thoughts! I would love to know what you think about it so far.
I take everything back. I want to go back to the Blades.
Was a very tempting thought crossing Keith's mind as he watched everyone arguing loudly with each other on the dinner table.
It all started a few moments before.
They were all peacefully sitting on the dinner table. Today they were having Lance’s favourite ‘garlic knots’ and pancakes.
“Keith say Aaa.”
“Lance, I'm not a baby bird.”
“Right. You are a baby lion.”
“Simba.” Pidge staged whispered while snickering.
“Its one of the family tradition, we get to feed you. Now, open up. The fighter jet is pretty fast.” Lance said as he waved the fork in front of his face.
“I'm older than you and you are not my mother.” Keith deadpanned.
Hunk chuckled. “He has a point Lance.”
“Right, my bad. I'm the fun brother. Hunk come here and feed him, will you.”
“Hunk is not my mother either you know.”
“Moms are heart of the family, and Hunk is the Paladin of heart, he is the mother of our family and you do not go against whatever mom says. Family rule.”
“Shiro, a little help here!”
“Dads do not go against mom. He knows that. You are alone Keith. Don't fight it.”
“That's a Hitler.” Keith retorted.
“Relatable.” Pidge agreed.
“...really?” Keith asked as he saw everyone agreeing with him.
“To be more specific,” Hunk began, “I think it's more like a weird mixture of Mother Teresa, Hitler and Buddha.”
Shiro was closely watching Keith reactions since it was a sensitive topic for him. So, it was natural for him to notice when Keith spaced out after Hunk’s weird description.
“Keith?” Shiro asked as Keith gave him a look between confused and worried.
“It's really hard to imagine.”
The sentence was said with such innocence that it caused everyone to halt their conversation.
Matt cleared his throat, as he hit the spoon on the edge of the table, grabbing everyone attention.
“Hey guys, me and Pidge want to announce something really important.” Matt announced, as Pidge and Matt exchanged a glance with each other.
“Please don't tell me you are a girl too.” Lance whined.
“What?! NO!! Im perfectly handsome, full fledged Male.”
“I have doubts about the ‘perfectly handsome’ part, but whatever, please continue.”
“Right… As I was saying…”
“We are adopting Keith in our family.” Pidge completed Matt’s sentence.
The silence was deafening.
Keith felt the hairs on his neck stand as the tension in the room reached its peak. He could almost hear the buzz of the building tension. Keith braced himself for the imminent burst of both sound and emotions.
“You are doing what now?” Shiro kicked off the argument.
“There is no way!” Followed by a dramatic, yet honest reaction by Lance.
“Yeah, I was gonna take him to my house. My moms will love Keith.”
“Hunk, my man, my best buddy. I never thought I would say this But I Hate You right now.”
“Fair. I also feel the same but was unsure of how to convey it.”
Shiro stood up, violently throwing the chair down. “No, He is staying with me. We were about to adopt him in ou—”
“But you didn't so it doesn't count.” Matt defended.
“I'm telling you!” Shiro had a finger pointed at him, which was; very threatening considering he only does this to Slav.
“Well, I'M WARNING YOU!” Matt exclaimed as he gets up in his personal space in an attempt to back him off.
“Guys! I'M RIGHT HERE?!”
Everyone ignored Keith completely, in favour of arguing with each other. Seeing that the argument had turned into ‘shout only, don't listen.’ Keith dropped his head in his hands as he covered his ears. Eyes flicking as he watched his teammates standing on the tables and chairs, animatedly trying to convince others why they would be a better choice.
Kolivan is going to visit today. Maybe I should just go back until they resolve this.
Keith was just about to stand, when the door of the kitchen hissed open revealing a stern Kolivan. Everyone halted their heated argument upon seeing the huge Galra.
Stepping into the room, the galra commander gave everyone a glare. Well, that was a given as Lance was standing on the table, Shiro yanking him down. Pidge perched on Matt shoulders, holding her bayard aimed at Shiro whereas Hunk stood clutching two huge platter in his hands, that by the thickness of it, were the heaviest one’s available. Not to mention, he was holding the platters right over his head about to throw both at Lance and at the holt siblings.
They all lowered their ‘weapons’ as well as their eyes upon being caught in the embarrassing fight.
“What is going on?” Kolivan demanded in the voice that Keith had heard only when he was giving orders to them.
Kolivan shifted his eyes to Keith who was sitting away from the whole disaster that was created on the table, the food was everywhere.
Thank goodness. I just hope that Kolivan gives them a lecture about it.
Keith thought, remembering his time with them. The base was always quite, no shouting, no loud noises, just peaceful silence. Though it did get onto his nerves after a little time.
Shiro stepped forward and was about to speak when Lance suddenly stomped his feet on the table and pointed an accusing finger at Matt and Pidge. “Matt just said he was going to adopt Keith. Even though I was going-”
“No, I said ‘we’.” Pidge corrected.
“Shut it you holt siblings.”
“I dare you to say it again and Im gonna-”
“Silence!” Kolivan silenced them. Keith was really grateful to him for stopping this nonsense before it escalated into another argument.
“I can't believe you guys are the last hope of this universe.” Kolivan muttered under his breath, rubbing his forehead.
Though they all did hear it clearly because of the deafening silence in the room. Shiro sheepishly rubbed his neck; Hunk tried to hide the platters behind him. Lance slowly crept towards the edge of the table as Pidge hopped down from Matt’s shoulder.
“There is actually a better way to settle this.” Kolivan said.
Keith’s eyes widened because he knew first hand that if any galra said anything about ‘settling’ something it would most definitely be through a fight. He felt his stomach dropped down as he saw Kolivan regarding him with a fond look.
That does not look good.
“Galra hold their young in high regard and because of this they often have dispute over having the honor of an abandoned kit.” He says that with such proudness.
“So what do you do to settle that?” Hunk asked with a face of a warrior ready to battle.
“A simple competition where all the contenders fight each other is held and who ever wins takes the honor of blessing his house with the kit.”
Keith facepalmed. He knew it! He knew this was gonna happen but he still hoped. Hoped, that it would never happen.
This can't be happening. Please say no, please say no!
Keith gave a last desperate look to them. Slightly shaking his head sideways as he locked his gaze with Shiro.
Maintaining his gaze with him, Shiro smiled as he gave a slight nod. Keith was about to sigh in relief.
“We are ready.” Shiro said.
Keith snapped his head up looking incredulously at Shiro for the betrayal.
“No! Nobody. Is. Fighting. And by that I mean NOBODY!!” Keith shouted at all of them because enough was enough. They were taking this to a whole new level. Nobody wants to see a fight among paladins.
He was glaring at everyone of them. They all were such-
Keith thought process was cut as he was grabbed by the back of his jacket and picked up in the air. Kolivan . His brain supplied.
“You do not order your soon-to-be-family.” Kolivan scolded him.
Keith was limp in his grip as he saw his teammates stifling their laughter muttering along the lines of ‘Tiger cub’ and ‘Kit'. Crossing his arms, he asked “What? Kits don't get to decide which home they want to be in?”
Kolivan turned him around, facing him replied in a stern tone “You are called a kit for a reason. They don't know what's best for them or the others. That is why they do not have the power to decide.”
As soon as he finished speaking, he dropped Keith on the floor as he landed on his feet. He stood up ready to argue, but Kolivan seemed ready to haul him up and lock him in a room. That was never good, especially in front of his team.
Grabbing Keith’s arm he finally glanced at the so called team that was watching their exchange with very amused expressions “You all get ready. I'm going to inform princess Allura about this.”
Kolivan had dragged Keith like a prisoner till the observation room. After which he informed Allura about the competition using the communicator. He didn't even go out! Oh, and might I add, Lotor was right beside her?!
We need to get back to earth safely together.
Keith thought as he saw everyone already eyeing each other as if they were ready to kill. Completely forgetting about him.
I'M SO D.O.N.E.
I thought I finally found a home, and this is what I got. I'm starting to regret my decision. I was holding onto my sanity and normalcy with both of my hands even though it went transparent as soon as I got to know my origins but now I'm sure I let go of it a long time ago.
His family was scattered all around the training deck and trying to duke it out in order to obtain the trophy that was Keith. I never thought I would be the reason for the dispute in my own family.
He heard a distant sound of someone laughing at him. He turned around irritated, to see just who thought that this situation is funny.
No one was there, except for Kolivan and he was far too serious about this maybe even more serious than his friends so he would never laugh at this and besides Keith had never seen him laugh either.
He saw Hunk and Shiro being thrown across the training room by the Holts. This would have been funny if Keith was not the reason for it. This was getting out of hand. Correction, it was already out of hand when Kolivan entered. Why did galra always settled things by fight?
Closing his eyes, he hoped that someone would just stop them before they permanently damage each other. They were quite determined and it was a possibility.
“Kolivan.” He stood up. “I can't watch this anymore. Can I please go out? I promise not to interrupt them.”
Kolivan took a few moments as he eyed Keith, before giving him a nod. “You can.”
That was all he needed. Keith had practically run outside the observation room.
Keith ran as fast as he could towards the hangars. He can't believe Kolivan let him go so easily. He had practically barricaded Keith in that room just a few minutes ago.
Just as he passed the door to the training room. He saw Lotor and Allura standing guard. Upon seeing him Lotor smiled as he waved at him.
Should have known.
He was just two minutes away from the hangar when he felt someone following him. He took off as quick as he could away from the initial destination.
He stood in front of the door after managing to shake off the stalker. “This better work.” Keith said entering the hangar.
Lance rolled away dodging Pidge’s taser, trying to put some distance between them which unfortunately lead him right where Matt was. He yelped as he yet again dodged a well aimed blow to his head.
“That's unfair. You guys are tag teaming!”
Pidge smirked. “What can I say? We belong to the same family.”
“It's not unfair.” Kolivan corrected. It seems that he was listening in to their conversation. “Unlimited family members can join in. The more members of a family are eager to help the kit, the more better.”
“Hah!” Lance squawked. “My family is the largest so I WON!”
“Oh, Yeah?” Matt swung his staff at Lance. “But I don't see anyone here.”
Seeing a chance, Lance managed to get in two clear shots, paralyzing Matt before Pidge intervened. After exchanging a few vicious blows, they both found themselves stuck in a stalemate with Pidge’s whip wrapped around his ankle while his rifle aimed at her head.
The alarms started blaring causing the battle to come at a standstill.
“What’s wrong?” Shiro asked.
“Everyone!” Coran’s voice came through the speakers. He sounded panicked. “The Lions!! They are MISSING!!”
“How could they just vanish from the hangars?” Pidge asked incredulously.
“Intruders?” Hunk squeaked. “How could there be anything like that? We are in the safe zone!”
“Coran, where is Keith?” Shiro asked as he took a look at the empty observation room.
“I'm picking up some strange readings, and all of them are headed here! Keith seems to be with them.” Coran said.
“Let's go!” Shiro ordered as everyone dashed towards the exit, but before they could even step out of the room, their enemies lunged at them as soon as the door slid open. They were lightning fast. Lance couldn't even make out their form before he was being tackled to the ground.
Lance’s bayard was tossed away as the intruder pinned him to the ground. Feeling the breath on his neck, panic took over him as he gave a violent push, throwing the intruder a few meters away.
Grabbing his bayard Lance aimed it at the intruder. His eyes widened when he finally got a good look at the one who attacked him.
The sound resonated in his bones, making the bayard a few pounds too heavy to hold.
It was not a person nor a galra or an intruder. Standing at eight feet tall, stealing his breath away, was his buddy, his majestic partner, donning the midnight Blue fur, the sight of which makes the person dream of a stars.
“...Blue?” Lance breath out, letting the gravity take hold his bayard as he kneeled, spreading his arms wide. The huge lion tackled him, smothering him in her love. How could he have not noticed this before?
Lance had looped his arms around her neck, pulling her down on his chest as he stuffed his face in her fur. Blessing himself with the nostalgic smell of earth after rain.
“I missed you so much.” Lance voice came out a bit warbled. Blue had just bumped her head on his forehead as if to say ‘Idiot, I'm right here.’
Lance and Blue finally separated and he noticed his friends squealing and shouting in delight as they met their lions in their real form. Oddly, they all were of the same height.
Green had already initiated a game of tag with Pidge, her fur was a fresh leafy green, the kind of which soothes your eyes. Yellow was busy grooming Hunk completely ignoring his yelps or protests, her fur was a warm, sunny colour that reminded you of the golden daffodils. She had even managed to get the band off of Hunk’s head. Shiro and Black were the most chill pair. She had curled protectively around Shiro as she continued to nuzzle him. Her fur was beautiful. When the light fell on the correct angle, the fur shimmered pearl white, like stars decorating the space. There was no doubt she was the guardian of cosmos.
Allura hurriedly entered the room. “Is everyone alright?”
Seeing Allura, Blue bounded towards her and wrapped her arms around her neck. Allura somehow managed to hug her back all the while standing there, not bothered by the weight of the lioness.
“Oh stars! You look stunning!” Allura complimented, earning a very pleased purr.
“But how is this possible?” Pidge asked as she tried pulling Green off of Matt. “Is it Keith?”
Allura chuckled as she saw how perplexed they all looked. “Yes. It's as you said Pidge. Keith was the one who did this. Apparently, Black’s power allows him to temporarily change an object structure according to his will.”
“Do you know where is Keith and Red?” Shiro asked, standing up.
Allura gave a sheepish smile. “He is with Red in the pillowfort along with Kolivan and Lotor.”
The Lions were the first one to enter the room as they pounced on Keith. “Keith!” Pidge yelled as everyone entered the fort. Red had her head laying on her paws, curled around Keith protectively whereas Keith was leaning on Red as she purred, as each lion came and nuzzled Keith. Lotor and Kolivan just stood pressed to the wall, outside the fort.
Red stood up and moved away, when Pidge gave Keith a tight hug and Matt fondly ruffled his hair.
“What happened here?” Hunk asked as he glanced at Kolivan and Lotor.
“He used some kind of magic, turning the Voltron lions into their smaller versions.” A pause. “With fur.”
“It's very amusing." Lotor stated as he looked around but didn't dare to move from his place. Red gave a low warning growl causing him hold up his hands.
“Keith, are you ok?” Lance asked as he sat down beside him whereas Hunk sat on the other side.
“Yeah.” He replied as each lion softly bumped their heads on his back.
“That's,” Pidge began, “An understatement.” Seeing the more than poor condition of his hairs. He looked like he just escaped from a storm.
“No.” Keith smoothed down his hairs as he caught onto what Pidge was implying. “Seriously guys. I used tenth of my energy to change them.”
“Nope.” Shiro folded his arms. “A war ship cannot be changed into a small creature without paying a lot of energy. Not to mention, you changed five of them.”
“Shiro, they have a quintessence core. I didn't have to use a lot.” Keith explained.
“Your condition says otherwise.” Matt said flatly.
“The reason behind this is Red.” Keith seemed done with this conversation. “She attacked me.”
“Again?!” Lance asked in disbelief.
"It's true.” Allura stepped forward, giggling. “It's because he and Red just had a brawl with each other.”
“Why?” Lance asked as he eyed Red who was standing guard outside the fort.
“From what I could gather. It was to tell him that he still has a bond with her that he is refusing to acknowledge. Of course Red won.”
“You did this to stop our fight, didn't you?” Shiro asked as he sat down beside Hunk while Allura and Pidge sat beside Lance, forming a circle.
Black boops Keith nose, asking for attention. “It's part of the reason.” Keith gave a pat on Black’s head as she nuzzled him whereas Yellow laid on her back, swatting Hunk’s band.
“What is the other reason?” Hunk inquired, dangling his band in front of Yellow.
"It was actually Blue’s idea.” Keith confessed as Red takes a swipe at Black which she dodged in an elegant way. “After that the others also wanted to join in and I know Lance had been missing her.”
“How would you know?” Pidge asked in an oddly accusing tone. Matt yelped as Green kept on trying to perch herself on his shoulders.
“I can feel your emotions.” Keith confessed, earning a deadpanned look from everyone. “I know, I should have told you guys early on.”
“So, like, can you tell what I'm thinking about?” Lance asked as he gave Keith a disturbed look. “Cause that's a breach of priva-”
“No!” Keith yelled as he covered his face. “I said, I can feel your emotions not read your thoughts. ”
“Oh, cool.” Matt commented as Allura finally managed to prey Green away from him.
“Can someone please keep this beast away from me?” Lotor hissed as Red stood uncomfortably near him and Kolivan, staring them right in the eye as her tail lashed.
Keith face palmed. “I told you to two to stop staring the lion in the eye. It's offensive to them.”
“You expect me to close my eyes in front of a predator?” Lotor asked a bit irritated as Red kept on growling and hissing at them.
Everyone started snickering as they saw the sight of the huge Galra and a prince being pushed into the corner by a lion. Kolivan had a calm expression but his eyebrow kept on twitching.
Space shows you the craziest sights.
Keith sighed heavily. “Lance call your lion. She is not listening to me.”
That was a surprise. But, knowing Red’s attitude Lance knew it wasn't impossible. “Ok. I will try.” Lance said as he turned back. “Red, buddy, can you just forget about them and come to me?” He folded his arms. “You and I still have to greet each other.”
Red’s tail stopped swishing as she slowly turned around. She stared at Lance for a moment before approaching him carefully. Lance had instantly pulled her into a hug, burying his face in the ruby coloured fleece like coat as he took in the smell of wood burning in the winters. After which she had just sprawled herself over both Lance and Keith laps. She was as awkward with interactions as Keith.
“She certainly knows how to greet.” Shiro stated as he laughed, which came out a bit strained because Green practically had three of her paws on his shoulder. Seems like she had moved from Matt to Shiro.
Red began hitting her head on his hand, demanding pats. Lance chuckled as he obeyed her.
It was a good thing that the pillowfort was big enough for to hold everyone. From the few interactions, Lance could finally get a gist of the personality of each Lion.
Green was the most playful one of them all. High places as well as antagonising others seems to be her hobby or call it habit. She had spared Shiro in favour of annoying Yellow. Lance was surprised by how much tolerant Yellow was with her, she had quickly subdued her by grooming her. Blue kept on bouncing around them, frequently nuzzling Lance and Allura. Black was just chilling with Shiro and Red well, she was the possessive one. She kept on taking swipes on any lion that dared to come near either Lance or Keith.
“Princess,” Kolivan called her.
“Yes?” Allura asked as Kolivan hands her a device.
“This is the Intel that you asked for.”
“Thank you for coming all the way for just this.”
Kolivan and Lotor both bowed to her. “We will be taking our leave now.”
“Please, Allow me to accompany you.” Allura said leading the two out of the room.
Lance watched Allura, Kolivan and Lotor exit the room. He had turned around just in time to see Green biting Red on the back of her neck.
Lance paled. She just did not challenge Red’s position of second in command.
It was like witnessing the few seconds before a disaster.
“Red!” Lance cried, but she had already launched herself on Green a split second after that challenge.
The others quickly moved away from the two as they were locked into a tense stand-off. Both of them had their teeth bared, the fur on their back and neck standing to full height as their tail lashed violently.
It was a terrifying sight. They both looked ready to murder someone.
Lance stood up. “Guys, calm dow- ahk.”
His sentence was left unsaid as Keith yanked him back just in time as the lions turned into a flurry of colours and sounds. The kind of sound that sends shiver down your spine.
“Lance! Be more careful!” Keith shouted at him but Lance ignored him, eyes were glued to the lions.
Matt chuckled. “This reminds me of the first time Shiro and Keith met.” The two in question just gave him unimpressed looks.
“Why are you guys so calm?!” Lance shouted at his friends who were just sitting at a safe distance from the whole fight.
“Lance, it's just dominance play. They are not fighting.” Pidge supplied, unhelpfully.
"I don't care about that!” Lance yelled as he pointed towards the feathers and cotton flying everywhere. “They are destroying my humble abode !”
Lance shrieked as even more pillows were shred in front of him, causing the particles to fly in the air. It almost looked like it was snowing, except.
They annihilated twenty soft pillows.
“Keith stop those home wreckers!” Lance shrieked as he grabbed his collar.
“Lance, I told you they don't listen to me!”
“ Why?!” Lance asked as Keith turned pale.
Two pillows zoomed past Lance face, hitting the two enraged lions, successfully stopping them as they stared quizzically at the pillow.
Lance turned around in time to see a pillow flying towards him, smacking him in the face.
The pillow fell away to reveal a smug looking Blue. Lance was incredulously staring at her. Did blue just threw a pillow at me?
He watched in trepidation as his team carefully stood up, taking a few steps back, huddling themselves whereas on the other hand the lions regrouped, each holding a pillow in its maw.
“Umff-!” Shiro knocked down as Black threw a pillow at his head followed by Red, but Keith ended up dodging it.
“If it's a fight you want, it's a fight you get.” Shiro declared, standing up, a mischievous glint in his eyes. Black gave an amused growl as she crouched down, riling him further.
Everyone quickly dived in, grabbing the pillows like their weapons, vibrating with the shared excitement. Shiro took an offensive stance, followed by the rest, almost in sync. Their determination flaring. “Let's show them what we are made of.”
“PILLOW FIGHT!!” Everyone yelled, fearlessly attacking the lions as Keith tackled Red. Starting a pillow war starring Lions Vs Paladins.
If the Lions were ferocious, the Paladins were vicious. They fought toe to toe with them. Allura did say that each lion's quintessence would be mirrored in its Paladin right?
It was only half way through the heated battle that Lance noticed Keith didn't know the meaning of pillow fight.
He doesn't care how he grew up, but it doesn't validate him to use pillow as a distraction while he barrels himself into the lions.
Lance had to drag him out of the fight to explain why it is called pillow fight in the first place.
Once the fight ended, they had just let themselves fall down onto the soft beddings as their lions purred, lying down beside them. “This was… the best!” Pidge said as everyone continued to laugh. They had gotten so invested in the game that they ended up exhausting themselves.
Red and Blue seemed to have made peace with each other as they laid down between Lance and Keith. To be connected with everyone on this kind of emotional level was amazing. Keith was still feeling warm and fuzzy.
“This is a bonding exercise I'm willing to do anytime!” Hunk declared as he scratched Yellow ears who had placed her chin on his chest. “Sorry, for thinking that you are a male. I kinda forgot that only lionesses hunts in groups.” Yellow gave a purr in return.
A growl tore through the silence, startling everyone in the room. They failed to find the source of it as everyone eyed each other suspiciously. It was only then that Hunk made eye contact with Shiro, as he mouthed the words ‘Pidge hungry.’ solving the mystery.
Hunk being Hunk did the most sensible thing by bringing everyone to the kitchen. He gave them a few trays of cookies to keep them busy as he cooked something up for them. He was baffled to see lions munching down on almost everything. Yellow was more than happy to help him out in the kitchen. She was also good at keeping Green off the counters.
Man, she really loves high places.
“Keith?” Pidge asked tiredly as she dragged her feet, followed by bouncing green.
“Can you change her into a shoulder friendly size?”
He shot a pointed look at Green.
“What?” Pidge asked curiously. Why was Keith angry with green?
“Pidge, the lions can change their form according to their will. As long as they don't change into their mechanical forms. I don't need to change them.”
“WHAT?!” Seeing Pidge’s rage directed at her. Green quickly turned herself into light particles before assuming her cat form.
Green had happily perched herself over Pidge’s shoulder as she purred. “Fine.” Pidge said, scratching her ears. Keith silently smiled at the scene.
Red had been parading around while holding green from the scruff as a pay back for earlier.
“Keith?” Lance asked as he turned his head to look at him.
Keith gave an acknowledging hum, contently watching everyone interacting with their lions.
“What did you mean by saying that the lions don't listen to you?” Lance was curious about why Keith kept on insisting they were not listening to him.
He watched in mild amusement as Keith’s eyes widened for a fraction as he nervously said, “Oh… Umm.”
Lance straightened up. “Keith?”
And that’s when Red startled both of them by placing her paws on Keith’s shoulder for support as she started grooming him while standing on her hind paws.
To say that it wasn't cute was just like denying the existence of Voltron.
“It's because of this.” Keith said, pointing towards Red. His voice devoid of any emotion.
“I'm Sorry. Can you explain?”
Keith huffed. “You guys were having a fight to determine who will get to adopt me. Right?”
“Well, guess who won.”
“The Lions.” They coursed in a haunting voice as the realisation dawned at them.
Matt started snickering as he whispered to Pidge. “Well, at least this clears any doubt about him being a cu-” His sentence was left unsaid as Black majestically sat down on him. Holding her chin up, the lioness gave everyone a pointed look.
The message was clear ‘Don't make fun of Keith.’
They were soon joined by Allura and Coran once the food was ready. Matt was freed once Black deemed him chastised enough. Or maybe it was because of the food. Nobody dared to question it.
The things were finally going smoothly as the Lions enjoyed their freedom and meal.
Squeak. Squeak. The mice scampered around the table as they usually did, munching on the food Hunk placed for them, except Green jumped down on the table, clattering the dishes, which caught the other lions attention.
The lions eyed the mice dangerously before lunging at them.
All hell broke loose.
Luckily, Keith was able to distract them by making use of his flames as a laser pointer. To be honest it was fun to see them running around trying to get the dancing flame.
By the time they had noticed, it was midnight. And if what Keith said was right the lions would be turning back into their mechanical forms in the next few minutes.
Lance got to admit it was difficult to say goodbye, even if the others assured him that they could do this anytime.
They all decided on spending the few minutes with their partners in the hangars. Lance and Keith were both with Red. She only left once her time ran out.Lance and Keith were shocked as their bond snapped into place. It felt much more stronger than before.
That night everyone went to bed feeling their lion’s presence even stronger than before. Their happy purrs lulling them to peaceful sleep.
“Remind me again why are we awake? Also where are we going?” Lance asked as he tried to rub the sleep from his eyes whilst Hunk kept on dragging him.
“We are going to the Kitchen Garden. I want to show you the wheat crops before we harvest them.” Hunk replied.
Lance had gotten only five hours of sleep before Hunk busted in his room, waking him up at ungodly hour. He had insisted Lance to come and see… something. Lance didn't quite catch what he was saying as he was still half asleep.
They stopped at a door somewhere. Lance heard the hiss of a door meaning that they reached their destination.
“Lance, Welcome to my Kitchen Garden.”
“Is this…” Lance was fully awake now. “The garden?”
“Yup!” Hunk gave him an excited nod. “Coran said that this room was specially for growing crops.”
“But it's so big!” Lance yelled. The room was so vast that it could easily pass for a hangar if not for the soil and water canals covering the room. Lance dashed towards the plants as Hunk followed him.
There were two apple trees as well as a chocolate tree. In the flowering plants there were rose, hibiscus, camomile and even a vanilla flower. Don't even get him started on the whole batch of lemongrass.
Hunk had gathered all the basic vegetables for the food. There were tomatoes, spring onions, potatoes, ginger and garlic.
“Hunk,” Lance eyes darted around. “Where is wheat?”
“Sorry. It's in the other room.” Hunk didn't sound least bit sorry.
The other room was right beside the first one. This room was similar to the other except that the soil was covered with wheat. If he is not wrong it is ready for the harvest-
Hunk latched himself onto his arm. He screamed.
“What?!” Lance asked frantically looking around for any signs of intruders.
“Lance there!” Hunk hit his shoulder as he pointed at the wheat field.
What the heck? Lance thought as he and Hunk stares at the weird sight of Pidge and Keith sitting together on the floor with both of their hands over the soil.
“Um… hi?” Pidge said, waving at them.
Lance and Hunk stood there, puzzled as they took in the sight. Pidge and Keith were sitting at the edge of the wheat field. Their hair was similar to a bird’s nest, but that was not the most surprising thing. They both had their hands on the soil.
The more Lance stares at it, the more unbelievable it feels. Because he seriously can't remember the last time these two sat together without causing havoc of some nature.
“What are you two doing here?” Keith asked as if they are the ones that finds this whole thing weird.
“That's my question.” Lance asked as he squatted down with them. Pidge and Keith shared a glance with each other. It appears that they were up to something. “What are you two doing here at five in the morning?”
“Pidge, is that a sprout?” Hunk asked, pointing right where she had her hand just a few seconds ago.
Lance tilted his head and yes there was a sprout and it's growing too fast.
Hunk gasps as Lance turns around in time to witness a red rose blooming from the ground near Keith. Then it clicks.
“Congratulations!!” Hunk gave Pidge a quick, but bone crushing hug.
“Oh man, Oh MAN!! I can't believe you can use Green’s element.”
“Calm down, Hunk.” Lance said as he patted his shoulder.
“Yeah, um… sorry, I just got too excited because this is so cool. Lance, it means that we can use the elements too. Wait, that would mean, I would have the mighty powers of the earth—”
“Hunk.” Keith interrupted. “Breathe.”
Lance sighed as he saw Hunk inhaling a large amount of air before exhaling it slowly. He squatted down but fell on his butt. After which he mirrored Pidge’s position.
“So, how did you know you got the power?” Lance asked.
“Umm…” Pidge fixed her glasses. “I was hiding here from Shiro and thanks to Matt; I lost my laptop.”
“Ok?” Lance prompted.
“I got bored and….” She trailed off.
Keith snorted as Pidge hung her head, the tips of her ears were red.
“She was bored.” Keith smirk reminded Lance of Blue right before the pillow fight. “So, she tried to imitate me when I used Green’s element and that’s when she grew a sprout.”
“Pidge is that true?” Hunk asked, while Lance laughed his lungs out. “Do you really imitate us when you are bored?”
She cleverly decided to not answer this stupid question.
“Alright.” Lance stood up as he patted his knees after calming down. “Let's go tell the others.”
“Tell what?” Keith smirked devilishly at Pidge as she groaned, shoving her head in her hands. “About the power or how Pidge loves to mimic us when she is bored?”
“Don't you dare.” Pidge threatened. “You are perfectly aware of what I'm capable of.”
“I’m aware.” Keith agreed. “I'm also aware of the fact that I'm the only person who can teach you how to use your element.” He grinned as he tapped his forehead. “Even you can't obtain information from up here.”
“Ah… actually she can.” Hunk supplied.
“Yes, but theory is different from experience.” Keith countered. “You are intelligent, so I assume you know this already?”
Lance and Hunk glanced at the two nervously as they had an intense staring competition.
“Fine. You win.” Pidge growled as he threw her hands in the air.
She watched as Lance ran out to announce the event to others.
She groaned. “Matt is never going to let this go.”
And it's over.
I just wanna say, Thank you everyone for the support and love you gave me. Honestly, I never expected to get more than 50 kudos but you guys blew my mind. Now, I have more than 100 kudos. I could never ask for more. You guys encourage me.
Can't wait for season 5!