Before the Galra reveal but roughly canon compliant.
The castle recieves a beacon from an old planet that was once a ally of altea, they are requesting a meeting with the paladins and the last alteans.
Allura is estatic to have an old ally fighting with them so she immediately agrees.
Lance and Keith who have been at odds more then usual get into an argument after keith expresses they should be cautious.
They are both scolded when the argument starts to become more of a verbal fight.
Later when they get to the planet the alteans comment about how much it has changed since they have last seen it.
Tall conelike dome buildings clustered together with no gaps, making the capital look like a dense stubby urchin.
The paladins are forced to land far away from the capital and follow the guides to the center of the city, making Keith even more suspicious.
They are invited to a party in the capital building before discussing the alliance and everyone is required to go by order of the councilship of the planet.
Later everyone even Coran has joined the formal party and are mingling amoung the natives, Keith takes this as an opportunity to scope out the capital and find clues that prove his suspicion right.
Lance spots him leaving and follows planning on barating him for leaving the important party and drag him back.
What instead happens is they over hear that the council has decided to turn the paladins and alteans over to the empire to make a deal that keeps them from being enslaved and their planet colonized.
Keith and Lance return to the party to warn Allura and Shiro, but its too late.
Everyone has drunk the drugged drinks and it has the odd side effect of making them woozy.
It's a close call but Lance and Keith manage to herd the other back tot he castle while fighting off the natives. It isnt difficult as the natives arent a warrior race and chose to drug them for that reason entirely, they are too weak to stop them for escaping.
Luckily they don't have to tow the extra lions, they are sentient enough to know to follow Lance and Keith back to the castle.
By the time they get back to the castle it gets harder to corral the drugged team to the medbay, at this point they can barely walk and don't understand anymore that they are drugged.
But eventually they talk Coran that they need the med bay and they make it there.
Lance and Keith get beat up enough in training and in missions to both know how to work the pods, so getting the occupents in is only as hard as their own stubborn drunkedness.
Lance and Keith collapse to a sitting position leaning against the last pods they shoved their teammates and release a exhausted sigh.
After some back and forth squabbling about whos fault it is, they leave the medbay to get out of their stuffy formal wear.
Sometime later they return the the medbay to see blinking red lights on the teams pods, and of course panic.
After far too much yelling and panic the pods open with far too much smoke to reveal cats!
Klance is struck silent as five conviently color coded cats stumble out of the pods confused and disoriented.
The cat teammates dont seem to be aware of their situation and act like regular cats, regular cats that happen to be unaturally colored. (Hunk is bright yellow, Pidge bright gree, Coran bright orange, Allura bright pink And Shiro bright purple)
Klance soon find out they not only have to keep and eye on the newly catified team, they have to keep the castle running, fight off any empire warships and scouts that find them sitting in space like sitting ducks, all while trying to find a way to turn the cats back to normal.
Lance who happens to be Corans number one scape goat for chores and repairs, uses that knowledge to keep the castle together.
Keith who pays the most attention in meetings figures out strategies to keep them safe and the castle from getting overrun while most of the team is out of commision.
Lance turns out to be the only one who knows how to get the kitchen to make food beyond plain green goo and takes care of the meals for him, Keith and the cats.
Keith finds himself on cat babysitting duty while Lance does castle upkeep, meals and ect.
Lance finds himself on cat sitting duty when the castle is in peril and Keith must focus on keeping them safe.
They eventually figure out how to pilot the castle and strategize the best place to hide it, but they can't use wormholes without Allura.
They hunker down on a planet outside of the empire's reach and put up the particle barrier, giving Lance the extra job of keeping the barrier from failing.
They get into a routine and stop fighting as badly as they were.
Their defensive and aggressive arguing turns into more friendly banter and teasing, they become really good friends.
During the times when they aren't busy with keeping the castle safe, they bond over conversation.
Lance confesses why he didn't like Keith when they met and how he couldn't seem to let the bitterness go even after going to space. Keith apoligises for ignoring Lance at the garrison and pretending not to know him, tells him about his trust issues and his fear of getting too comfortable at the garrison. They tell each other about their pasts, their families, their fears, anything to fill the silence.
It becomes a regular thing, when they are free they seek eachother out and talk while the cat team hangs around oblivious or how much they are missed.
One particular time Lance breaks down into tears confessing how he fears the team will be stuck as cats forever, how they will never return to earth and they will never be able to talk to Hunk or Pidge or any of the team again.
Keith tries to reassure Lance but he fears the same thing, they both break down that night, while the cat team tries to cheer them up the way a pet cat would if it noticed its human was crying, it only makes Klance cry more.
They decide to not mention that night again.
It's going on the second month since the team was catified when the galra find their hiding place.
Lance is forced to watch when Keith goes out in the red lion alone, before now Keith strategized from the castle understanding going out without hope of backup was the most dangerous and reckless option, but this time they have no choice.
Keith goes out in red to give Lance a chance to move the castle out of harms way.
They don't get the opportunity to flee this time tho, the empire brought more then one ship and with only one lion they cant hope to get away.
Keith keeps fighting regardless, Lance begging him to get away, telling him they should take the lions and abandon the castle, but Keith keeps fighting.
Keith is struck down and Lance makes the choice to go out and save him, forgetting the cat paladins in the castle.
So Lance in blue is the only thing standing between the warships and Keith who is unresponsive in red, Lance puts all his focus into defending Keith that he doesnt notice when back up arrives.
The team had returned to normal while Klance was gone and woke up to see the battle raging outside the castle.
Shiro, Hunk and Pidge scrambled into their armour and raced to back Klance up when they realized the situation.
They put enough of a dent in the empires forces that they have an opening to tow the blue and red lions back to the castle and wormhole away.
Lance is far too in shock to fully realize the team is back and unresponsive Keith is rushed into a pod.
Lance numbly fills the team in on the fact they were cats for nearly two months and how him and Keith were the only ones around to keep the empire at bay.
Lance doesnt leave the med bay, even after the team leaves.
To the team the two months passed in the blink of an eye, they were drunkenly escaping the party one moment an waking in the chaos of an empire ambush the next, they leave to clean up and focus on getting back on track with the lost time.
It's two days later that Keith awakes from the pod, he's disoriented and very much shocked to see the his team waiting for him, his human and altean team and not cats.
After Keith is filled in he is fed and showered and left to his own devices.
The habit both Keith and Lance developed to find each other when they weren't busy kicked in and Keith went to seek Lance out.
They sat in the silence of each others company, sitting on the observation deck watching the stars pass.
Things have changed between them after their time alone for two months.
The struggle to get along and cope with the responsibiliy to take care of the team and the lions and castle, they became each others sole support.
Keith and Lance didn't feel the same going to Shiro or Hunk to talk as they have been together.
They didn't know what to call this new thing between them, but as they leaned on each other in the observation deck only lit by distant stars, they quietly decided it didnt matter.