“You’ll never guess what I found in the cupboard!” Coran announced as he entered the room.
“Yeah, you’re probably right,” Hunk agreed.
“What is it?” Pidge asked.
Coran held up a strange-looking package.
“Is that…” Allura began.
“It is indeed!” Coran grinned. “A packet of sklarp!”
“I didn’t think we had any left,” Allura said.
“Neither did I, and I must admit I was tempted not to share it.”
Allura laughed. “Of course. But isn’t it expired after ten thousand years?”
Coran checked the label. “We’re in luck! It expires precisely one week from now!”
“So, what IS this ‘sklarp’ stuff?” Lance asked.
“Well,” Coran said, “The legend goes that it’s the bacteria from the spit of the gods.”
“That’s… pretty disgusting.”
“Oh, well it’s just a legend, my boy. But to have one’s spit always taste like sklarp would be a blessed thing indeed.”
“I’ve missed sklarp so much,” Allura said. “We have to open this before it goes bad.”
Coran handed her the package.
“The honor goes to you, Princess.”
Everyone crowded around to see what was inside.
Sitting in a dark liquid, it was full of what looked like little black fishes.
“Are they… supposed to look like that?” Shiro asked.
“Only when they’re the BEST quality!” Coran said.
“Bacteria, huh?” Pidge snorted. “Those would be pretty huge for bacteria.”
“And they would be pretty huge gods as well,” Coran said.
“ARE they bacteria?” Hunk asked.
“Sklarp were a kingdom all to themselves,” Allura said. “But most closely related to fungi.” She picked one up by the tail and ate it. “It’s like it was harvested yesterday,” she sighed.
“Uh… can I try one?” Hunk asked.
“You all may,” Allura said, holding the package out. “But don’t waste any of it.”
The paladins all reached in for the sklarp.
“Ugh. I think it’s moving,” Lance grimaced, holding one up.
“It’s not moving, you’re just shaking,” Pidge elbowed him.
“It actually tastes way better than it looks,” Hunk said, licking off his fingers.
“Yeah but the texture is terrible.”
“Well I won’t be giving you another one, then,” Allura passed the package to Coran.
“I’m not sure I’d WANT another one,” Lance said.
“Well it’s clearly for a more mature palate,” Hunk said. “Or maybe just an alien one.”
Pidge started to laugh.
“Aliens. That’s not nice. You know they’re our friends, right?”
“Well yeah but that doesn’t mean they’re not aliens.”
“We just ate frikkin’ ALIENS!” Pidge brayed.
“I suppose, technically from your perspective,” Coran said.
“You know what the researchers back home would do? They would fucking KILL us for eating a valuable extraterrestrial specimen.”
“Pidge, please watch your language,” Shiro said.
“Yeah, yeah, totally,” Pidge said. “Frikkin ALIENS, Shiro! We just ate frikkin ALIENS!”
“Pidge, you doing okay?” Keith looked at her askance.
“Yes and if there are any more aliens to eat on this ship I need to know NOW. Coran, do you have any more stuff in the cupboard?”
“Well, there’s a few juice boxes…”
“Yeah, what’s the legend about THAT? Is that the pee of the gods or something?”
“I’m afraid those were invented when mythology was quite out of fashion.”
“Yeah, okay, great. What’s in the space juice, anyway? Can it be used to power a ship? Cuz I think it tastes a little like lighter fluid only I don’t REALLY know what lighter fluid tastes like but since it’s highly combustible it might be able to fuel one of your ships, and for all I fucking know maybe we’ve been drinking space lighter fluid ever since we got here and that might explain why my head’s feeling all fuzzy right now.”
“All right, slow down, Pidge,” Shiro said.
“YOUR head doesn’t feel fuzzy? Mine does. Hey, what would happen if we crystallized the space juice? Could it function as an energy crystal? I really think the space juice has something to it. Why doesn’t anybody agree with me?”
“We might agree with you if ANYTHING you just said made sense,” Lance said.
“What was that about feeling fuzzy?” Keith asked.
“It’s like feeling warm and fuzzy but without the warm,” Pidge said.
“Yeah,” Keith said. “I agree with THAT.”
“Holy shit Keith, did you know you just ate an ALIEN right now?”
Keith lowered himself to the floor.
“Yeah, it’s really starting to feel like I did.”
“Are you two okay?” Shiro asked.
“I can’t speak for Keith but I am fucking amazing,” Pidge said. “I’ll speak for Keith anyway, though, he’d say ‘I don’t know if I’m okay or not because I’m really bad at feelings.’”
“Can you please quiet down a little,” Keith hugged himself.
“Fukkin’ party pooper!” Pidge flapped. “Holy shit I never noticed how interesting these light fixtures are.”
“Yeah, they’re pretty cool,” Hunk said. He sat down with Keith. “Buddy, you look TERRIBLE.”
“Everything looks terrible,” Keith shook.
Hunk wrapped him up in a hug.
“Things aren’t as bad as they seem. You know I love you, right?”
“You’re gonna protect me from the bears, right?” Keith buried himself in Hunk’s shoulder.
“Those bears won’t know what hit ‘em.”
“Why are you all acting this way?” Allura said, sounding annoyed.
“Why are YOU acting this way?” Lance said, swaying towards her. “You’re acting all… tean!”
He started cackling at his own joke.
“Coran,” Allura said.
“They might be reacting to the sklarp. I didn’t realize it was incompatible with their Earth anatomy.”
“What about you, Shiro, are you doing all right?”
“Oh yeah, totally,” Shiro said. “I’ve been a lot worse than this. Like those times when the Galra would feed us the bodies of other dead prisoners.”
“I’m sorry, WHAT?”
“Yeah, I know, it’s hilarious, right? One time they gave me somebody I knew. God, I’m not okay.”
“Okay, I think we’re going to put all of you to bed now,” Allura said. “Where’s Lance?”
Lance was at that moment patching a message to Zarkon.
“Zarkonnnnn,” he began to snicker. “You’re PURPLE!!!”
“Oh, hey,” Hunk said, joining him. “Zarkon, buddy. You look like nobody’s hugged you in the last ten thousand years and that’s the saddest thing I can think of.”
“You know what’s sadder?” Lance said. “SATURDAY!”
“LANCE, turn that off right now!” Coran sprinted over. Hunk picked him up for a hug before he could do anything.
“Coran, you’re amazing and I wish you were my uncle.”
“END THIS CALL AND LET ME GO!”
“Come back, there’s bears,” Keith whined.
“You know what’s cool about bears?” Pidge said. “They walk on their heels just like humans do. Also they can fucking kill you.”
“Please don’t let them.”
“Heh, you know what else can fucking kill you?” Shiro said. “Little guys that are fighting desperately for their lives.”
“And bears,” Pidge added.
“And lions and tigers!” Lance came back over.
“Oh my,” Hunk set Coran down.
“Make them go away,” Keith shivered.
“I promise there aren’t any bears, Keith,” Shiro put a hand on his shoulder.
“Then why are there bears?”
“Are they, like, bears that go RAWR or are they like, big hairy men?” Lance draped himself over Shiro and Keith.
“They’re big hairy men that go rawr.”
Coran and Allura were trying to get back the call.
“Hey Hunk, I wanna check out the light fixture, can you give me a boost?” Pidge asked.
“No, because if I drop you you will fall for two million miles and then die,” Hunk said. “But I can give you a hug.”
“I’ll take that shit,” Pidge said.
“Hey Hunk, can I have one, too? I think I need one.” Shiro said.
“Whoa, I’m in such demand,” Hunk marveled. “I love you all so much and I don’t know who to hug first.”
“ME, OBVIOUSLY,” Lance shouted, abandoning Shiro and Keith.
“Can you children please quiet down?” Coran called. “We need to hear exactly what Zarkon is threatening to do to us.”
“Coran,” Allura said. “Get them something to eat, and then come back to help me. This negotiation might turn violent, and I’m not letting them fly the Lions like this.”
“Never have I ever licked someone else’s foot.”
One drink was taken.
“What the fucking hell, Shiro???”
Shiro lifted a hand.
“In my defense, it wasn’t my idea.”
“Whose fucking idea WAS it, then?”
“The owner of the foot, obviously.”
“Were you like… NAKED and shit?”
“Look, I’m trying to set an example here, I shouldn’t have to answer that.”
“And YOU know better than to kinkshame people, Lance,” Pidge said.
“I’m not kinkshaming PEOPLE, I’m kinkshaming SHIRO and Shiro’s a god.”
“He already said it wasn’t his idea,” Keith said.
“Jesus fuck, was it YOUR foot?”
“No,” Keith scoffed.
“Just to make sure,” Pidge said, “Never have I ever licked KEITH’S foot.”
Nobody took a drink. Except Keith.
“Jeez Keith, do I even WANT to know?” Lance said.
“What, you never do that? When you get a cut or something?”
“No, I don’t, actually.”
“I won’t lie, though,” Hunk said, “If my nose runs in the middle of the night, I taste it to make sure it’s not blood.”
“Hunk, I don’t know if we can be friends after this.”
“Yeah, YOU’RE WELCOME, ex-roommate, for not turning the light on in the middle of the night to check.”
“That’s actually not the worst idea I’ve ever heard,” Keith said.
“So what IS the worst idea you’ve ever heard?” Pidge snorted.
“Probably ‘let’s get in this giant alien robot that we have no idea what it does and then let’s go to space and nearly die like, two hundred times a day.’”
“Are you saying that was MY idea?” Lance said. “And that it was worse than licking somebody’s foot?”
“Would you just let that go already?” Shiro sighed.
“TOENAIL FUNGUS, SHIRO. What about toenail fungus??”
“You really think I would lick something that was obviously diseased?”
“I don’t know WHAT I think you would do anymore.”
“I’m not even talking about the prison food right now, I’m talking about fully consensual–”
“Yeah, you can stop, though,” Pidge said. “Also, never have I ever wanted to fuck somebody in this room.”
“Oh, Pidge, that’s fighting dirty,” Hunk snickered.
“Only if somebody takes a drink.”
Which did happen.
“Holy shit Lance, who is it???” Hunk grinned.
Lance made a vague gesture.
“Come on, what does that even mean?” Hunk asked.
“ALL OF YOU, OKAY? Except you, Pidge, I would never fuck you.”
“Thanks,” she said. “I’m flattered.”
“You should be, because it takes a very special kind of girl for me to NOT want to fuck.”
“You should stop talking before I get offended.”
“You’re not hot.”
“I’m offended now.”
“You’re also like a sister to me.”
“You must offend your sisters a lot.”
“Yeah, that’s how I got this scar on my elbow.”
Hunk leaned over to Keith.
“Keeeeeeeith, you gotta spill, too.”
“No, I don’t,” Keith drew in.
“At least tell us if it’s Pidge,” Hunk said. “Because poor Pidge needs some more appreciation.”
“Pidge,” Keith looked her solemnly in the eye. “When I first met you, I thought you were a cute boy, but now I think you’re an ugly girl.”
“You guys are really bad at appreciating me,” Pidge said.
“Well they’re a bunch of shallow pricks,” Hunk said. “I appreciate you for your brains, Pidge.”
“Yeah, so do I,” Shiro agreed.
“Great. Thank you,” Pidge said. “But should we all be insulted that Shiro doesn’t want to fuck any of us?”
“Yes,” Keith and Lance said simultaneously.
“No, you shouldn’t,” Shiro said. “I’m way too old for you guys. Also I’m on the ace spectrum.”
“Bullshit, mister foot-licker,” Lance spat.
“Yo Lance, do I need to give you a lecture about definitions and stuff?” Pidge said.
“No, but you DO need to tell me when you started saying ‘yo.’”
“Right the fuck now, you piece of potato skin.”
“Peace, everyone,” Hunk said. “And, never have I ever spied on girls in the shower.”
The rest of the room exchanged a glance, and most of them took a drink.
“Wow, you guys are a bunch of sinners,” Hunk said.
“No, you’re just inhumanly clean,” Lance said.
“Of course,” Hunk smiled. “I take all my own showers.”
“Hey, I never said I got in the shower WITH anybody,” Keith said.
“Also, it’s not my fault if it’s a locker room and there are boobs everywhere,” Pidge said.
“It IS your fault if you spied, though,” Lance poked her.
“Is it still my fault if it made me realize I was gay?” Keith asked.
“Keith, EVERYTHING is your fault.”
“Like this headache,” Pidge groaned.
“I don’t get how that’s my fault.”
“Don’t worry, Keith, I don’t blame you,” Shiro yawned.
“Guys, do you remember whose turn it is?” Hunk asked.
“Fuck taking turns,” Pidge said. “Never have I ever seen any of you guys naked.”
Lance held up his drink.
“Hit me, Hunk.”
They clinked juice boxes and took a sip.
“You guys gonna explain that?” Pidge snickered.
“Yes,” Lance said. “It’s called being best friends.”
“If you don’t have a friend you can hang out naked with, you need to reexamine your life,” Hunk said.
“I think my life is fine, thank you,” Pidge said.
“Pidge,” Lance thumped her shoulder. “If you ever change your mind, me and Hunk will definitely be platonic naked buddies with you.”
“Dude, I bet Coran had so many platonic naked buddies back on Altea,” Hunk said.
“Can we not talk about Coran being naked?”
“Yeah, okay,” Keith said. “Never have I ever thought about Coran being FUCKING NAKED before tonight.”
They stared as Pidge took a drink.
“No,” Lance said. “You can’t. That’s not okay.”
“Well the question was phrased kind of vaguely,” she said.
“How fucking vague does it get?”
“You just have a dirty buttsmudge of a mind,” Pidge huffed. “What I’d been THINKING about was whether Coran has more stripes that we can’t see. So yeah, by proxy, that kind of comes with thinking about him being naked.”
“I do NOT want to live in your brain,” Lance shook his head.
“Yeah, and I wouldn’t want to live in YOURS if you think a legitimate question about alien physiology has to be dirty.”
“Well if this game wasn’t dirty, it wouldn’t be fun,” Lance said. “Shiro, you still haven’t gone yet! What have you not done?”
“How would I even know?” Shiro said.
“Eh. Fair point,” Hunk shrugged. “How about, ‘To my knowledge, never have I ever?’”
“All right, then,” Shiro said. “To my knowledge, never have I ever… watched Bambi.”
“Spoilers, his mom dies,” Pidge scoffed.
“Oh, come on, Shiro, nobody cares about BAMBI!” Lance pouted. “We want to know your DEEP DARK SECRETS!”
“I’ve never watched Bambi either,” Keith offered.
“Okay, then we’re gonna watch it when we get home,” Lance said.
“You know in the original version, Bambi fucks his cousin,” said Pidge.
“Pidge, why do you have to ruin everything?”
“Because that’s the OTHER thing that makes this game fun,” she smirked. “And while we’re on the subject, never have I ever cried about Bambi’s mom.”
“Pidge, you’re a heartless piece of shit,” Lance said into his straw.
“I’m STILL not over Bambi’s mom,” Hunk mumbled.
“Bambi’s a deer, right?” Keith asked.
“Buddy, what else would he be?” Lance said.
“I don’t know, I never remember which one’s the deer and which one’s the elephant.”
“Keith, there are no elephants in Bambi.”
“Well what’s the sad movie about the elephant? And his mom probably dies?”
“You mean Dumbo?” Hunk asked. “Nobody dies in Dumbo.”
“Then maybe we should watch that one instead,” Keith said.
“Don’t get your hopes up, it’s still depressing as fuck,” Pidge said.
“So go old Disney movies,” Hunk said. “So. Never have I ever tried to fellate a banana.”
“Why do we have to talk about this? Clearly no one does that anyway,” Lance said.
“Shiro,” Pidge poked him. “Have you ever tried to fellate a banana?”
“Hmm?” Shiro lifted his head. “No, I fellate other things. Sorry, I’m really tired.”
“Go the fuck to bed, Shiro,” Lance said. “I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I really don’t want to hear anything else about your sex life.”
Shiro put his head back down. They all watched for a moment.
Then Lance broke the silence.
“Never have I ever jerked off to Shrek fucking Donkey with a corncob.”
Neither had anyone else.
“That’s… really specific,” Keith said.
“I just want everyone to know that I haven’t done that.”
Suddenly the door opened, and in walked Allura and Coran.
“Where have you guys been?” Hunk asked.
“Oh, we’ve just been staving off Zarkon for the past three vargas,” Allura said.
“What??? Without US?”
“Believe me, you were much more help staying here than doing anything else.”
“That’s a scary thought,” Keith said.
“Why, what did you do while we were gone?”
“Oh, nothing,” Shiro said from the table. “Just some healthy team bonding.”