“Alright, Paladins. There’s a matter with which we need to discuss,” Allura began as she sat straighter in her chair at the head of the table. The five paladins, Coran, and Allura all sat around the table, just having finished eating their evening goo.
“A situation has come to light and after further discussion with Keith, he felt that it was best to bring it to the attention of everyone as it may potentially affect the rest of you and Voltron as it comes to pass.”
“Are you okay, Keith?” Shiro asked, leaning forward in his seat across from Keith. Keith looked a little green and a lot as if he would rather be anywhere else in the galaxy other than here in this moment.
“Go ahead, Keith,” Allura prodded gently.
“I—” he cleared his throat and physically appeared to steel himself. “I’m going to be in heat soon.”
The room fell into a shocked silence. Shiro felt the air leave his lungs and a rushing in his ears. Keith...an omega? He’d been attracted to Keith regardless of his secondary gender. He’d assumed he was a beta. His scent was always subtle and calming and unassuming.
It was Lance who broke the silence. “You’re an omega? ” he blanched. Keith glared at him.
“Yes. That gonna be a problem?” he spat. Shiro felt his hackles rise and he almost wanted to snarl at Lance, but he reined in the irrational impulse. Lance held up his hands in surrender.
“Whoa, geez. Sorry, man. I didn’t mean it like that.” He scratched his neck nervously. “You’re just. Well—you. You’ve never acted like a typical omega—” Keith opened his mouth to respond with indignant outrage but Lance plowed on “—and by that I mean you never went into heat or had a scent or anything at the Garrison.”
“Garrison regulations require medical-grade suppressants and scent blockers be available to all active-duty members and academy cadets,” Pidge parroted from their seat. “They make them where you can safely be without a heat for years.”
“Keith indicated that his last round of suppressants was given to him shortly before his departure from the Garrison,” Coran interjected. “Based on those calculations and a blood sample to confirm, I’d say he’s probably got about three weeks until his heat fully hits.”
“But he’s going to be okay, right?” Hunk asked looking worriedly at Keith. “You all are talking about this like it’s the end of the world.”
“We’re unsure how this will fully impact Keith, Voltron and the rest of you. So Keith thought it would only be appropriate to disclose this situation.”
“We won’t be able to form Voltron while I’m down,” Keith said carefully. “So we’ll be at risk.”
“We plan to navigate to a friendly system and orbit at a safe distance for the duration,” Allura supplied.
“There’s also the matter of my scent. The castle is big, but I’m going to have to be in quarantine so that my scent doesn’t...affect you three,” he gestured to Lance, Hunk, and Shiro without meeting their eyes. “I’m not saying that just because you’re alphas you’d all try anything, but you are alphas and my heat scent will probably be...stronger...since it’s been a while since my last heat.”
“I have already informed Keith that he is welcome to use one of the stasis pods if he wished. We had a similar biological trait on Altea and the pods are equipped to help control hormone regulation during deep space travel.” Allura glanced to Keith sympathetically. He looked absolutely miserable.
“Yeah. Yeah, I wouldn’t want you all to get uncomfortable.” He shoved back his chair and stood quickly. “I’m going to go lay down. Just talk to the Princess if you have any questions.” Then he all but ran out of the room.
“Woo, buddy. I did not see that coming,” Lance said once Keith was out of earshot.
“Yeah, poor guy. Going into heat in the middle of space so far away from home.” Hunk shook his head, looking concerned.
“What are this other options, other than being put into a pod for a week?” Shiro asked quietly.
“Well. He can go about his heat alone, I’m sure we can stop for the appropriate supplies,” Coran answered. “Or perhaps he might find someone to help him out. I’m sure that would be a suitable solution!”
“Whoa,” Lance said crossing his arms, “Hunk here is in a relationship and there is no way that Keith would let me anywhere near him while in heat. I’d rather not get my eyes clawed out.”
“Who said anything about you helping him?” Pidge shot at the blue paladin.
“Then who…?” Lance trailed off as four pairs of eyes fell on Shiro. His face heated up.
“Wh—what makes you think that Keith would even want that?” He asked, not meeting any of the gazes. Clearly, there was absolutely no point in denying his feelings. He was sure that the entire table could smell the protectiveness wafting off of him. Pidge rolled their eyes.
“We have eyes, dude.”
“And noses,” Hunk said with a sniff.
“We aren’t going to interfere,” Allura assured. She held up a hand when Pidge and Hunk leaned forward to object. “However. I would suggest that you make it known to Keith that—if you’re amenable—he has...options.”
“I couldn’t take advantage of him that way.”
“Look,” Pidge said matter of factly, “you can either continue to moon over each other or you could just ask him how he feels. Give him a choice.”
Shiro waited three days before going to Keith.
“Keith?” Shiro called, knocking on his door. “Can I talk to you?”
The panel slid open and Keith stood in front of him. Shiro could see the dark bruise-like smudges of sleeplessness staining under his eyes. Keith stood aside and gestured for Shiro to enter.
“What’s up, Shiro?”
He didn’t know how to even begin broaching the subject. How do you tell your best friend that you’d be willing to spend a week fucking their brains out? But like, make it casual? Not because you want it to be casual but because you don’t want them to think they owe you anything. You’ve been in love with them forever but—
“Shiro?” He snapped from his daze.
“I’d like to help you.” Shiro blurted out in a rush. Keith looked confused for a brief moment and Shiro barrelled on. “With your heat. If you want. I’d...I’d like to help.” Keith shook his head, a painful look on his face. A painful jolt of rejection and hurt lanced through Shiro as the other man began to back away. Shiro could already smell the sourness in Keith’s scent.
“Shiro...I can’t. I can’t ask you to do that.”
Shiro stepped forward and took Keith’s hands in his own. He could feel himself relaxing with even this small touch.
“You don’t have to.” He brought one hand to Keith’s cheek and the omega tilted his head into his palm. Just with that small action, his scent seemed to level out, blooming with something sweet and longing. It gave Shiro hope.
“It would ruin our friendship, Shiro.”
“Only if we let it.” He pulled Keith into a hug and the smaller man melted against him. “I’m here for you, always.” Keith sagged further into his embrace and Shiro pressed his check to the top of Keith's head, breathing him in.
“I haven’t had a heat since...since before it all.” His voice was small and muffled from where his face was tucked into Shiro’s chest.
“You have some time, Keith. You don’t have to make any decisions. Just know that no matter what, I support you. If you let me, I’ll take care of you, too.”
Neither was sure how it happened, but Shiro stayed with Keith that night. They’d stayed up talking, falling back into their easy lines of communication and friendship. Keith felt calmed by steadiness and familiarity between them. They’d been sitting on Keith’s bed and had fallen back onto the pillows. Keith was exhausted and Shiro’s arms were warm and inviting. He didn’t remember leaning forward consciously into his embrace or Shiro pulling the blankets up around them. He’d simply dropped off into a dreamless, peaceful sleep.
He awoke the next morning more or less completely covered by Shiro and his brain was alight with happiness. He’d long been carrying a torch for Shiro and this was everything he’d ever wanted. Yesterday, Shiro offering himself had been one of the hardest things Keith had ever experienced; to have the one person he longed for place Keith’s wildest dreams on a silver platter. But he couldn’t accept it. Not truly. He didn’t want Shiro to help him out of pity or loyalty or altruism.
Sometimes there had been flickers of something between them. He’d felt that flicker last night. He’d seen it in the way that Shiro’s eyes lingered on his mouth and in the dreamy cast of his eyes when Keith laughed.
He had to make a decision soon. If he was going to take Shiro up on his offer, then he would need to start preparing soon. The thought of being sealed away in a healing pod for an entire week, vulnerable and unconscious, made his throat hurt a little with anxiety.
Could he really let Shiro help him? Would a few days of his deepest fantasies be worth it even if his heart was sure to not survive?
He could hear Shiro snuffling a little in his sleep, burrowing himself closer to Keith and nuzzling his face further into where it was currently smushed into Keith’s neck.
Fuck the consequences.
It absolutely would be worth it.
For the remainder of the week and well into the next, they continued sleeping together. Shiro had to admit that he hadn’t had such a good nights’ sleep in years—even if Keith was a blanket thief.
As Keith’s hormones began to fluctuate, he gradually began to hover closer and closer to Shiro. He skirted around Lance and Hunk in the common areas with a muttered sorry, guys and had noticed him wearing old shirts of Shiro’s to bed.
It helps me sleep, he had said with a shrug when Shiro raised an eyebrow. He couldn’t help the curl of satisfaction at the sight of Keith in his clothes but fuck it. He’d decided to give up the pretense that he would ever feel anything different when it came to Keith.
Keith was also becoming increasingly...touchier. Honestly, it wasn’t really that much. However, considering how Keith always maintained his own personal space, even the smallest of touches seemed like a lot in comparison.
For example, once he started, there was almost never a time when the pair were in the same room and a part of them was not touching: Keith’s thigh pressed against his, long fingers brushing against his wrist, a foot hooked around his ankle as they sat at the table during mealtimes.
Each and every touch sent Shiro’s pulse hammering and he had to work very hard to tamp down on the impulse to wrap Keith up and claim.
Nine days before Keith’s heat was projected to begin, he accepted Shiro’s offer. They were laying in bed, Keith doing his level best to imitate an octopus. The omega had crawled into Shiro’s space, thrown a leg between his and wrapped both arms tight around his middle.
Yes. Let’s spend my heat together, he had whispered into Shiro’s chest. Shiro’s breath hitched and he clung to Keith, exhaling out okay and brushed his fingers through Keith’s hair gently. He fell asleep with Keith’s nose pressed into the juncture of his jaw as he softly scented him.
Keith couldn’t help the way he naturally fell into Shiro’s orbit. As his heat neared, he felt the natural pull that was always present increase until it was all he could do to not literally climb into Shiro’s space.
They cuddled, absorbed in each others’ space. However, they hadn’t kissed yet, hadn’t quite crossed that line between friends and lovers. Keith didn’t know what they were or what they meant to each other. He’d been in love with Shiro for years. This arrangement didn't mean Shiro felt the same. It wasn’t an offer to bond or for marriage or anything else. Shiro was his oldest and dearest friend. He was generous and kind and his offering to help truly could have been entirely altruistic.
Except he was pretty sure (like 80%) that Shiro felt the same way too. The alpha stood closer than normal, often laid a (proprietary? God he hoped so) hand on Keith’s shoulder when speaking, he made sure that Keith got first portions of meals and Keith was positive he was not hallucinating the possessive scent that filled the air between them when Keith came to bed in his shirts.
And good lord, the scenting. It seemed like the moment the two of them had a solitary moment they instantly were huddled against one another with faces pressed to the sensitive skin of their necks, breathing and rubbing their faces against the glands there. Blame it on the impending heat, but Keith had never felt calmer in his life than when he was pressed against Shiro. He was doing his damnedest to keep his paws off Shiro when they were around the others but eventually, he couldn’t stop himself.
Five days out and Keith finally just could not keep his hands to himself. He’d finally decided to give up pretending to be anything other than the needy creature he felt and that afternoon he found Shiro sitting in the lounge, reading something on his DAT-Pad. Shiro looked up right as Keith approached and smiled at him softly. Keith smiled back and climbed right into his lap. The alpha didn’t bat an eye, merely shifted his tablet to the other hand so that Keith could sit more comfortably, cradled in Shiro's arms. He hummed as Shiro skimmed his free hand up Keith’s back and wove into his hair to scratch at his scalp soothingly. He fell asleep shortly after.
Pidge found them like that an hour later. They wiggled their brows at the pair and shot two thumbs up, to which Shiro only responded with a small smile and a deep, triumphant blush.
Shiro quickly discovered that Keith nesting was one of the aspects of sharing a heat for which he was wildly unprepared. They had decided that it would be Shiro’s room that they would use—larger space, bigger bed (and absolutely soaked in Shiro’s scent to his unending delight, but Keith didn’t mention that)—it just made sense.
Keith had swiped numerous blankets and pillows, but he also started taking soft towels and the worn shirts that Shiro had in his drawer. The more that their nest (their nest!) grew, the more possessive Shiro felt of Keith. There was something about the omega sleeping in his room, in his bed, covered in his scent that ignited the alpha part of his brain. He tried to shove down the pinched feeling in his chest thinking about how this was only temporary. Keith needed help and he had offered, but that wasn’t something Keith had indicated would extend past the next week.
Beneath the hurt there was also an increasingly growing sense of guilt. He wondered if he really was taking advantage of Keith. He was desperate for this intimacy and he wondered if it was unethical to go into this without them both being on the same page.
Should he tell Keith how he felt? Should he possibly totally wreck their friendship and also put Keith in a precarious situation? He’d spent several days hard at work on their nest and was comfortable enough around Shiro to let go and give in to all of the pre-heat urges he seemed to have. There was still time to choose the stasis-pod option should he change his mind. Or perhaps it wouldn’t matter how Shiro felt, he would still graciously accept the help and then cut ties afterward?
Keith trusted Shiro. It was the right thing to tell him.
He just prayed that it all wouldn’t go to hell in a handbasket.
“Keith?” Shiro whispered into the dark later that night. He knew Keith was still awake as he could feel the omegas fingertips aimlessly tracing patterns up and down his bicep.
“I...there’s something I, um, need to talk to you about.”
Keith shifted up so that he could see Shiro’s face. His brow was furrowed with concern.
“What is it?”
Shiro moved to mirror Keith so they were laying on their sides facing one another.
“This is—I. I have to tell you. Before we go into this I want to be on the same page.”
“Are you changing your mind about helping me?” He couldn’t help the tremble of fear in his voice.
“No. No. Keith, I could never—fuck. Okay.” Shiro exhaled sharply and then calmly met Keith’s eyes. “I have feelings for you.”
Keith felt stunned. Shiro...what?
“I offered to help you because I wanted you to be comfortable and safe, but also. For me. It was for selfish reasons and I can’t go into this without you knowing. I don’t want to take advantage of you and the last thing I want to do is ruin our friendship because I want more than just this one heat.”
Keith’s brain finally caught up with Shiro’s words. He wanted more. That niggling suspicion that he’s had in the back of his mind for weeks that Shiro cares too was leaping with validation. He had known in his gut, but it was so much more overwhelming to hear it voiced aloud. Shiro was looking more and more nervous as Keith’s silence stretched on.
“Let’s ruin it,” he said softly.
“Wh–what?” Shiro still looked confused.
“Ruin our friendship,” he clarified with a grin. “With more.”
With a moment of wild courage, Keith leaned forward and pressed his lips to Shiro’s. He gasped in surprise against Keith’s mouth, but almost immediately pressed back. It was wet and hot and Shiro’s lips were so soft. God, it was good. It was so fucking good that Keith didn’t know how he’d gone so long without this and then Shiro’s hand was on his jaw, tilting his face and deepening the kiss and it was Keith’s turn to gasp when Shiro’s tongue brushed along his bottom lip.
Keith’s head was spinning and his heart was pounding and he nearly died at the feeling of Shiro’s tongue dipping inside his mouth and brushing along his own. He made a wounded sound and shifted forward so that he could crawl into Shiro’s lap, desperately seeking contact. Keith felt frantic with want. Each kiss was so devastatingly wonderful that Keith could feel them soothing the quiet hurt he’d been carrying in his heart with every slide of lips.
Shiro was the first to pull back, pressing his forehead to Keith’s. He was panting and trembling, but his voice was steady when he spoke.
“I love you.”
Keith’s heartbeat was thundering in his ears. Shiro was looking at him with a look so open and so vulnerable that it made Keith ache with love and affection and a fierce kind of protectiveness. He surged forward again, opening his mouth and swallowing the shocked noise that escaped Shiro as Keith breathed back between kisses love you, love you, Shiro, love you too. Keith gripped at Shiro’s hair, yanking at the short strands and bit at his lips until they were reddened and swollen. Shiro pulled away again, gasping and Keith tried to follow his mouth to recapture it and—
“Bond with me.”
Did he just…?
“I know it’s fast, I know it’s out of order—I know—but. God, Keith. I love you. More than anything. I want to be yours.” Shiro’s hands were gentle on Keith’s face as he cradled it.
And Keith didn’t even have to think about it. He just nuzzled into Shiro’s warm palms and hiccoughed a wet and wobbly, delighted laugh.
Here have some porn with your feelings
Waking up in heat is probably one of the least enjoyable experiences Keith has ever had.
Sharp pain in his lower abdomen pulled him out of a restless slumber and had him rolling over to press his face into his pillow to muffle a grunt of pain. He reached an arm out to feel around the nest for his alpha and punched his fist weakly into the mattress when he encountered nothing but empty blankets.
Keith’s entire body felt hot and his skin tight across his bones and he couldn’t stand the feel of his clothes against his skin. He was desperately pulling at his pajama pants, which were soaked through with slick, his hands felt clumsy and useless. He cried out in frustration.
“Shiro,” he called out hoarsely, hoping wherever the alpha had wandered off to that it wasn’t far. Fed up trying to get his pajamas off, he shoved his hand down the back and slipped two fingers inside himself to alleviate some of the pressure. He heard the rapid footfalls of Shiro running down the hall and then Shiro’s scent was in the room. Keith blearily opened his eyes and looked over his shoulder, a whiny noise trilling in his throat.
“Shiro... Shiro. I..I—it’s—fuck—it’s starting.”
Shiro was on him immediately with a growl, pressing his body into Keith’s to trap him face-first against the bed and he began to suck at Keith’s scent glands. Shiro’s hands were hot on his body as he helped work Keith out of his shirt and pull down his sticky pants.
“Where the fuck were you? ” He groused as he ground his hips into Shiro’s groin.
“I’m sorry, I’m sorry. I was making breakfast.” That made Keith’s heart tumble, but he was too overcome with the immediate need in his body to do more than whimper and press himself closer into Shiro’s hands.
Somehow Keith managed to wriggle completely out of his pants and Shiro slid down his body and dug his fingers into the meat of Keith’s ass to spread his cheeks apart in a way that felt so dirty Keith flushed from head to toe and his body pulsed with desire.
“Baby,” Shiro breathed, his breath ghosting along Keith’s tacky hole. Keith whined and canted his hips up in a silent plea, which Shiro readily answered and buried his face in the wetness between his cheeks, tongue laving at his hole. Keith moaned and desperately pushed his ass further into Shiro’s relentless tongue. If he didn’t get some kind of relief now he was going to combust.
The omega whined, gasping for more, more, more. Sensing Keith’s urgency, Shiro gave one last nip to his hip, then deftly crawled up Keith’s body and pressed himself into Keith without any further preamble.
Keith sighed with bliss. He could already feel the pressure in his hips alleviating as Shiro rocked in and out of him with slow and careful thrusts.
The novelty of Shiro’s gentle movements wore off quickly and Keith was getting impatient. There was a crackling desperation that was building in his muscles and he wanted to feel Shiro fuck it right out of him; to blow his knot and smother him in the feeling of being totally and completely possessed.
“Shiro, come on, don’t be so gentle. I’m not gonna break,” he gritted out, grinding his ass into Shiro. He gasped when he felt Shiro growl and pull out almost all the way before slamming back in. His nails dug sharply into his hips and Keith howled.
“I know,” Shiro whispered lowly into his ear. He curled his fingers into the back of Keith’s hair and yanked his head back to expose his neck so that he could lick a hot stripe along Keith’s pulse point, causing his back to bow in submission. “But you’re mine. All you have to do is ask nicely—” Shiro snapped his hips sharply, sending sparks of pleasure though Keith, “—then I’ll give my omega anything he wants.” Keith cried out and came messily over the sheets. Shiro groaned. “You’re so perfect, Keith. So, so perfect for me. Fuck.”
Shushing Keith’s desperate whine, Shiro pulled out and moved to turn Keith over. He pushed the omega down onto his back and wasted no time burying himself once more in the tight heat of his ass, setting a punishing pace. Keith clung to Shiro, raking red lines into his back that made him gasp.
Meanwhile, Shiro was mouthing an endless strain of nonsense into Keith’s skin. Praise washed over Keith and the gorgeous feeling of being claimed over and over again caused him to float higher and higher until he was coming a second time. His release was warm and sticky between their bodies and Shiro bent down and licked a droplet of come off of Keith’s chest. His eyes closed as he brushed his lips over one of Keith’s nipples and bit down on the bud.
“You’re so fucking pretty like this, baby,” Shiro groaned as he tweaked Keith’s other nipple.
That sent Keith over the edge for the third time.
Each orgasm helped to slake the seemingly endless and painful well of desire in Keith’s belly and Shiro appeared to be relentless in his mission to push Keith to climax as many times as possible.
He flipped Keith onto his stomach again, barely missing a beat in his rhythm and he smoothed a hand down the omega’s back.
He leaned forward and whispered hotly into Keith’s ear, “You like it when I call you mine, don’t you, Keith?” He changed the angle and somehow managed to fuck himself deeper into Keith’s ass, nailing the sensitive spot inside him with unyielding accuracy.
“Yes,” he gasped.
“Tell me,” Shiro demanded, pressing a hand to grip the back of Keith’s neck.
“I’m yours, I’m yours, Shiro—ah—please... ” Keith begged as he could feel Shiro’s knot teasing at his rim. This was it. The first knot of his heat paired with a bonding bite and they would be mates. If only Shiro would stop taking his goddamned time and give him want he wanted.
“Please, what?” Keith could hear the amused tone in his voice.
“Knot me. Please mark me, alpha. I n-need— hnng Shiro. I need you.”
“Ah—fuck ” and then Shiro bent down to set his mouth to the juncture of Keith’s neck and shoulder. His knot finally popped Keith’s hole just as he bit down, breaking the skin. With a wail, Keith exploded into the most intense orgasm he had had the entire night. (Probably his entire life, but he didn’t have enough cognizant brain cells to scrape together to determine that).
They were stuck in a loop of pleasure. Every wave of orgasm from Shiro pulsing inside him caused aftershocks through Keith’s entire body. It was so intense that Keith might’ve blacked out. He was weightless, floating in pleasure, tethered only by the bright pain in his neck.
He came to with Shiro wrapped around him, on top of him completely, still locked in place by his knot. The alpha was alternating between licking and sucking at the fresh mark and nuzzling Keith’s glands. He could have died with happiness at that moment. Through the fog of his heat, he wasn’t entirely sure that he didn’t die, actually, because this was heavenly in every way.
Jesus Christ, these heat hormones were making him sappy but fuck it all if he cared one single bit.
“Where do you want your mark?” Keith asked breathlessly a while later. The omega was riding him with Shiro laid out on his back, his fingers digging bruises into his thighs. Shiro had never seen anything more erotic in his life. Keith’s hair was a wild mess, face and chest flushed and littered with red marks, and a bit of blood had trickled down from his mark to his collarbone.
“High,” he groaned. “I want it where everyone can see.” Keith’s eyes darkened and Shiro could feel him clench down around Shiro’s cock. He reached down and grabbed at Shiro’s shoulders to haul him up so that their chests were flush. Shiro wrapped his arms around Keith’s middle and angled his head back so that he could stare up into Keith’s eyes. He was so in love and so amazed that this perfect creature had chosen him. Keith smiled at him, the moment between them softening into something a little more tender. He brought his hands to cup Shiro’s face, kissing him gently before biting at his bottom lip.
Keith tipped Shiro’s head to the side, kissing his way down the side of his face and to his neck. He licked a stripe just below his ear.
“It’s beyond me how you hadn’t bonded with anyone yet, Takashi.” Keith let his teeth scrape his neck as he spoke. Shiro tightened his hold. “You’re so fucking wonderful.” Shiro shook his head and let his hands wander down Keith’s spine.
“Didn’t want anyone else,” he whispered. “It’s only ever been you, Keith.”
Keith made an anguished sound and he could feel Keith’s lips mouth love you too into his skin. Then he bit.
Hours bled into days as Keith’s heat passed in a haze. He stopped trying to count the rounds after the first day; instead, he attempted to commit to memory the ways Shiro took him, the suffusive praise that washed over him and the bruising bites the Shiro left on his chest and inner thighs as he drowned in desire and love and lust and joy.
He was a bloody, bruised, sweaty, cum-covered mess. They both were. It was probably really gross but it didn’t matter, because Shiro loved him and wanted him. When he called him his omega—he meant it. Bonded or not, Keith had always belonged to Shiro, body and soul.
And then Shiro was moving again between his legs, his neck throbbed, and he was swept away once more.