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Quiet

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Quiet.

 

At this time of night (well, not exactly night, as time runs differently in space, but at least in the sleep portion of the sleep/wake cycle that team Voltron adhered to) the ship was so quiet. Occasionally a faint creak or metallic crackle could be heard, and the operating systems powering the ship maintained a constant hum, but other than that... the footsteps and voices, the laughter and talking, the pinging and blamming of the training deck were noticeably absent. Even the lights in the corridors and common areas dimmed and this dimming seemed to magnify the intense... quiet.

 

The massive figure gliding down the hallways did nothing to dispel this quiet that had settled over the ship like a blanket. Kolivan liked it this way. Quiet was peaceful and for an old warrior like Kolivan quiet had been scarce at many occasions on his life, so when the night was like this he relished every minute of it. 

 

 For such a giant being, his footfalls were just a hair above completely inaudible as he made his way to his first destination. A huge hand lightly tapped the control panel on the wall next to the first door he encountered. As the door slid open, the sound of snoring greeted him. 

 

The corners of Kolivan’s mouth turned up almost imperceptibly as he entered, noting Hunk sound asleep in his bed with the blanket pulled up to his chin. He made a quick visual sweep around the room to ensure that everything was in place before checking the climate control display on the wall. The boy had mentioned in passing that he came from a place where the weather was always warm and thus he was not fond of being cold. 

 

Once he’d satisfied himself that the temperature was perfect and that Hunk was resting peacefully, he stepped out and tapped the button to close the door again.A few paces later, he repeated the process, stepping back slightly as the door slid open- 

 

A looping electronic melody confronted him, breaking the previous quiet. Kolivan raised a thick eyebrow and stepped in. On the floor, Lance lay folded up like a pretzel in front of his video game console, controller still clutched in his hand. The monster on the screen spit and breathed fire around the words “GAME OVER”... Kolivan shook his head and shut the console down, silencing the repetitive tune.

 

“Lance,” he said softly, shaking the boy a little. “Lance...” 

 

“Nh?” Lance looked up at him bleary eyed. “Wha....”

 

Kolivan carefully helped the youngster to his feet and guided him in the direction of his bed. Lance yawned hugely as he flopped down and pulled the covers over his head- “Night, Dad,” he mumbled in Kolivan’s direction.

 

“Goodnight,” Kolivan replied as he exited, letting the door slide shut behind him. 

 

He continued on to the next door, entering in the same fashion and picking his way through the debris scattered all over this room’s floor. He allowed himself a small chuckle as he approached the nest of blankets on the bed and leaned over to give Pidge a quick peck on the forehead. He remembered her wistfully mentioning that her own dad always said goodnight to her that way... although Kolivan was not normally given to overt displays of affection, he would do this one thing to make the little one feel at least somewhat at home. With a quick ruffle of her unruly hair, he turned and went on his way (carefully kicking an open path into the items littering the floor so she wouldn’t trip if she needed to get up during the night), a tiny smile still gracing his face. 

 

The next door showed a sliver of light under it, so instead of entering, he rapped on it lightly and after a minute or two Allura appeared at the door, in her dressing gown and with hairbrush in hand. “Is all well, Princess?” He asked politely, with a slight bow of his head.

 

“Yes, thank you,” she replied with a yawn. “Just preparing to retire.” One of the little mice that were her companions climbed out of the pocket of her dressing gown and skittered up her shoulder, causing her to laugh and Kolivan to snort softly. “Apparently this one agrees that it’s time, as well,” she smiled and scratched the mouse’s ears. “Goodnight, Kolivan. Rest well.”

 

“Thank you, Princess, and you too.” He nodded and turned to go on his way, bypassing the next door (he knew the room was empty) and continuing to the next. 

 

At this room, he opened the door and- “Is all well, Shiro?” he called quietly before entering the room. He had made a habit of making his presence known when he entered the younger man’s room after the first time he’d come to check on him he’d attempted to be silent and this had resulted in a startled Shiro who’d shouted out and grabbed his bayard and a Keith running down the hall, knife in hand, like the wrath of some ancient warrior god. 

 

Kolivan had to admit that he should have thought of this, that time spent imprisoned by the Galra and fighting for one’s life would cause one to be apprehensive of large figures looming in the dark. After that, he made sure to announce himself when making his nightly rounds. 

 

“Hi Kolivan,” Shiro replied in a drowsy sounding voice, turning his head to look at the elder with a sleepy smile. “Yes, everything’s fine, thank you-“ the blankets rustled beside him and a wild head of black hair popped up from beneath them.

 

“Mmmwha...” Keith said in a thick, sleepy voice, squinting in the direction of the door. 

 

“Kolivan just came to say goodnight,” Shiro told him, smoothing his hair. Keith yawned hugely and nodded as he smashed his face back into Shiro’s shoulder. “Ggddnnnttt...” 

 

“We were both having trouble sleeping,” Shiro told Kolivan a bit sheepishly. “So we started talking and that made us doze off....”

 

Kolivan merely nodded at this. “Understandable,” he replied. “Seeing that all is well here, I’ll leave you to get some rest.” 

 

Once he was out in the hallway and the door shut behind him, he merely stood for a moment, his rounds done and his soul satisfied that all the youngsters were safe and at rest, and basked in the quiet, standing alone in the dim blue light of the corridor... alone, but only for a moment as another figure approached just as quietly. Kolivan allowed himself one more momentary smile, a real one, before his face returned to its usual stoic expression as the man joined him. 

 

“All well?” Coran inquired, in a much more subdued tone than he usually used. He, too, seemed to enjoy the hush that settled on the ship at this time of night, and Kolivan deeply appreciated him for it (and other things, too, like the way he smiled, or his ridiculous but bubbly sense of humor- stoicism only got one so far in life, you know- or the way that he, too, looked on these youngsters from earth as being in his care, or how he just seemed to know what Kolivan was thinking and was already on the same page as him). 

 

“All is well,” he replied, with a small nod. “I take it everything else is in good order?” He gestured around them as if to indicate the workings of the ship.

 

“All systems are go,” Coran replied with a small chuckle. “Say... now that everyone and everything  are safely tucked in for the night... I was able to procure some high quality boonberry tea the last time I went to the space mall. Could I interest you in a cup?” He looked up at Kolivan, eyes twinkling, and Kolivan felt his face heating a bit. 

 

“That would be lovely,” he replied and Coran grinned from ear to ear.

 

“Excellent,” Coran exclaimed, still in a hushed voice, and offered his arm. “Shall we?”

 

Kolivan’s face heated even more but his expression was shockingly soft (if you’d asked any of the paladins if Kolivan was capable of looking that soft they’d have laughed you off the ship) as he took Coran’s arm. “We shall,” he answered and once they’d made their way to the kitchen, a thought struck Kolivan as he sat beside Coran, knees touching and leaning into each other a bit, not saying a word but exchanging meaningful glances over their respective mugs...

 

The only thing that made him enjoy the quiet even more was someone to enjoy it with.