“Guys, I have a confession to make.” All eyes turn to Keith as the hybrid stirs his spoon around in his food goo.
As he’s been doing for the past varga as opposed to actually eating any of it.
“What’s up bud?” Shiro looks up from his half eaten bowl.
“Is there something wrong?” Allura puts her spoon down to reach over and place her hand on Keith’s wrist.
“Have any of you heard of Officers James or Lance?” Allura thinks for a moment while Coran twirls his beard.
Everybody else is just confused.
“Those names do sound familiar, perhaps if we look in the records, we might find information on them. Why?” Keith bites his bottom lip (thankfully, he’s in his human form, otherwise his fangs would cut the thin layer of skin).
“Because I think they have a grudge against me. A personal one.” Allura’s eyes narrow.
“Have they sent you threats?” Keith shakes his head.
“No, but they do always come after me when we’re on missions.” Pidge perks up at that.
“Wait, hold up...I think I know who you’re talking about.” All eyes (except Keith’s) fall on the youngest paladin.
“On our last mission, two galra generals surrounded Hunk, but when Keith showed up, they lost all interest in him and flew after Keith.” Shiro and Hunk both nod their heads slowly.
“Yeah, that was strange. They had the advantage, so why didn’t they just finish me off?” Keith looks up slightly, remembering how angry he was when he saw Hunk getting shot at from both sides.
“Keith may have a point, they have a personal vendetta against him.” Pidge turns, having to lean on the table slightly to see Keith’s face. “Any ideas why?”
“I stole the Red Lion while they were standing right in front of me.” Keith holds up his index finger as he lists off the reasons.
“I rammed my lion into their ships so many times.” The middle fingers joins his index.
“I shot at them with my lion or with a regular gun a number of times.” Ring finger joins.
“I’m part of Voltron, a group of warriors whose goal is to defeat their boss.” His pinky comes up.
“And lastly, I’m a hybrid. Which, you know, most of Zarkon’s soldiers have a problem with.” Keith gives everyone a blank look as his thumb comes up.
“So…” Hunk swallows his food with a gulp. “Basically, you’re asking us to give you more cover when we’re on missions?”
“No.” Keith pushes his bowl away, appetite long lost. “I’m just letting you all know that getting between us might not be a good idea.”
“Keith, you can’t fight them on your own.” Shiro pushes his bowl away as well so all of his attention can be on Keith. “I respect your skill, don’t get me wrong, but these are two galra generals against one paladin.”
“I don’t want you to be distracted from your missions.” Keith stands up. “I’m just letting you know now in case I need to break formation ro go off on my own.”
“You will not be going anywhere on your own.” Allura stands up to stop Keith from walking away. “Especially not when two generals are after you.”
“I can lead them away and take their attention off of everyone else.” Keith insists. “Plus, I’ve had years of practice dodging shots and ships. I would be fine”
“Keith, I don’t care if you’ve had a lifetime’s worth of practice, you’ll not be going off on your own if there’s a chance to stay with the other paladins.” Allura walks forward to grip Keith’s shoulder tightly.
“We’re a team.” Shiro stands as well, walking over to grab Keith’s other shoulder. “We stick together and protect each other.”
“You all still need practice with maneuvering your lions.” Keith lowers his head as Allura and Coran send him pointed looks. “If can keep two generals off of you, then you have a better chance. At least until you guys get more practice.”
“If you’re gone, then how are we gonna improve?” Keith raises his head in surprise at Pidge’s question.
“What do you mean? I’ll still be with you during practice, I’ll only be dividing if we encounter James or Lance.” Pidge shakes their head, gesturing for Hunk to follow them as they join Allura and Shiro.
“Keith, a lot of what we’ve learned, we’ve learned from watching you.” Keith’s eyes widen in surprise while Hunk and Shiro nod in agreement with Pidge.
“You know what you’re doing. You’ve been fighting with the Blades and Allura for years. So, we benefit a lot from watching you in battle.” Pidge grabs Keith’s hand to bring him back into focus.
“If you leave to lead James and Lance away, then we lose sight of you. We lose our teacher. You leading them away will only benefit the mission.” As Keith contemplates Pidge’s words, Hunk decides to finish their though.
“It won’t benefit the team.” He comes around so Keith’s surrounded. “And you’ll be in more danger than you already are during missions. The consequences outweigh the rewards man.”
“Stay with them Keith.” Coran walks to stand beside Allura. “I understand where you’re coming from, bu they’re right. The only way to keep them safe is to stay together, which in return, will enable them to keep you safe as well.”
“Ok, fine.” Keith finally relents after everyone’s words start to sink in. “I’ll stay with the team if I can help it.”
“Good.” Allura nods stiffly, releasing Keith’s shoulder when he makes no move to escape. “You all will keep each other safe, not just you keeping them safe.”
“I get it. Don’t worry.” Pidge snorts at Keith.
“That’s not something we can do when it comes to you dude. I mean, have you seen yourself in the field?” Keith raises a brow with a ‘what do you think?’ look on his face.
“All jokes aside, we should probably discuss James and Lance now.” Everyone groans. This mean a ton of staring at a computer screen and endless surfing through archives and earlier reports.
“Hey, I’m not anymore excited than you.” Shiro grabs both of Keith’s shoulders to steer him to the control room. “But we need to learn all we can about them in case they do manage to confront Keith alone.”
“Or, figure out ways we can make sure that doesn’t happen?” Pidge’s tone makes it sound like planning that would be simply and obvious.
Obvious? Perhaps. Simple? No, not really.
“Thank you for bringing this to our attention, Keith.” Allura gives Keith a proud smile.
A problem he’s always had is not communicating with the team, fearing that expressing he has problems would burden everyone. Allura always insisted that his fears were nonsense, that he would never be a burden. Not to her, at the very least.
Good to see Keith’s made some progress.
“Thank you for helping.” Keith blushes lightly as Hunk comes up to throw an arm over his shoulder.
“These dudes will have a lot to go through if they want to hurt you.” Shiro chuckles in amusement as they finally reach the control room.
“Yes, besides the giant mecha lion surrounding Keith.” Hunk sticks his tongue out.
“Don’t be rude, Shiro.” Keith watches the exchange with adoration.
As one of the longest standing warriors of the group, he was prepared to protect everyone with little thought on needing protection himself. It’s clear that that’s not the case, as everyone is as prepared to protect him in return.