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Wings of Grief

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            She had met him a few days before her father and brother had left on the Kerberos mission. The Pilot that would take her family to Kerberos.

            He had been tall, over six feet tall, with black hair that was shaved short on the sides and back with bangs falling over his forehead. Strong onyx eyes that shined brightly in the light of their kitchen as they ate dinner. His dark raven wings were folded neatly against his back while his uniform was impeccable. Nothing was out of place on this guy that was nothing but muscle.

            He was kind and intelligent, capable in keeping up with her mother in conversation about mechanics and gardening, but not with the other three Holts in science or mathematics. It had been funny watching his face change from completely amused to confused to amused again and again as he tried to understand what they were all say.

            Katie had quickly forgotten his name after that though, more interested in listening to her father and brother talk about all the science projects that they had going and were going to start on their mission. It was going to be awesome.

            Unfortunately she hadn’t been able to go.

            It had gotten worse when the Kerberos crew was proclaimed dead due to piloting error. She knew that had to be wrong though because that man had been anything but incompetent.

            So she had snuck into Garrison to find information, but only to be caught by Iverson.

            Operation Pidge Gunderson had begun then.

            And then she flew into space in a Giant Blue Lion.

            Shiro had known who she was almost instantly, recognizing her by her eyes and hair, matching up with Matt way too much for it to be a coincidence.

            “I won’t tell anyone until you’re ready.” He had said and she had believed him.

            Which was why she had told the others after the whole castle debacle. She had also told them she was only fifteen and that was why she hadn’t grown in all of her adult feathers yet. Though there had been times that some people didn’t get their full adult wings until seventeen or eighteen.

            It didn’t stop her from flying in the sky with her flock though. It just made her a bit slower and a little clumsier in the air, but no one made fun of her for it. Shiro made sure that she always had someone flying with her just in case her fluff couldn’t handle the weather on whatever planet they were on.

            Especially after she watched Shiro and Lance fly so seamlessly together that it was like a dance they had rehearsed beforehand.

            She had felt so warm and comfortable and wanted within their flock that made up the paladins and Alteans. It had become a home to her. Become a place for her to retreat to when she was missing her own family and home and all the comforts that she had left behind on Earth.

            That was why, when Shiro had disappeared after their battle with Zarkon, it had hit her so hard like the others.

            She had cried and screamed and then began to work her tracking program she had made to find her father and brother, and she made it look for Shiro as well. She made she that she could reach as far as she could using her resources, the Blade’s, the Olkarion’s, and anyone else’s that could prove to be of any help.

            She desperately needed to complete her flock.

            But it wasn’t just for her anymore. No, it was for everyone that was on the Voltron team that needed Shiro back.

            Keith and Lance especially.

            Keith needed the stability that Shiro gave him. The older man was a rock for the half Galra and gave him someone to vent to without hurting anyone. Shiro was the only one that could keep up with Keith in hand to hand. He was the only one he would talk to and would calm at a single look from. Shiro was the only family their Red Paladin had ever known before Voltron.

            Now the teen was completely erratic and irritable. He would snap and growl and shout and attack first without questions. There had been too many negotiations that had almost been ruined because Keith had opened his mouth and snarled at possible allies. If it hadn’t been for Hunk’s food and Allura’s quick intervention, then they would have enemies that weren’t Galra.

            Then there was Lance.

            The boy was an instinct flyer like Shiro and so him flying with anyone but him wasn’t going to work. For the interim back at the Garrison, flying with Keith had apparently been a great substitute because he knew how to fly with someone like Lance. It had been total luck that meeting Shiro and flying with him after his wings had been restored had been a perfect match. Shiro and Lance had quickly bonded and had become mates only weeks later. It had been a match made in heaven.

            Only becoming mates had its setbacks.

            The absolutely torn and despair filled screams had torn everyone apart on the inside.

            Mates were for life, unlike flight partners that were only together for as long as it took them to realize that they just weren’t right for each other. Mates were the epitome of a match that everyone looked for and had such a bond that it was unbreakable.

            Unbreakable all expect for death.

            Even then, individuals that lost their mates were normally not too far behind. Rarely did one half of a match live longer than a year.

            She didn’t expect Lance to make it through this, not with him and Shiro having been instinct flyers.

            She sighed as she heard the screeching of Lance once more, along with the sound of something bashing against something hard. He was probably ramming himself against a wall or something.

            Coran would have to clean up the blood because Pidge refused to do it.

            It would just tear her apart further.

 

WG

 

            Hunk had known Lance since they were kids. Grew up with him and his family despite him being two years older than the Cuban.

            He had learned to fly like the McClain family since both of his moms were wingless. It had been pure luck that they had met the Cuban family while on vacation to Veradero Beach.

            Hadn’t taken a whole lot of effort to move to where the family was and allow their son to fly with the family and learn how to fly that way. Hunk had always disappointed that neither of his moms could fly but Lance had filled in that gap with his own special ability to fly at the age of six.

            Hunk had to wait until he was fourteen but he had been excited to join his friend and family and then had agreed almost instantly to follow the boy to the Garrison. He would follow his friend everywhere he went for as long as he could or wanted to. Lance knew this and returned the favor tenfold, always inviting Hunk to things or going to things the Samoan wanted to go to.

            Even if it bored him to tears.

            It made him feel like he had a place to go to when his moms were nowhere in sight. Like another flock that he could count on when he was in need of one. And he could count on the McLain family to be there for him, no matter what, even if it was just one of them to show up.

            Like how Luis showed up to one of his science fairs when Lance was sick with the flu and his moms were running the restaurant.

            How Lance’s mom had stepped in with Lance and Veronica to take care of Hunk when he had gotten an infection that had come from a cut on his hand. He hadn’t cleaned it and had gotten oil from one of his projects in it.

            Lance’s dad taught him how to drive and taken him in to get his license when his moms had both out of the country to get some ideas for their restaurant.

            Marco and Rachel had been there to help him with English homework and history respectively.

            Grandma McClain had taught Hunk the old legends of their people, including the tales of Aviador Primigenio. Primal Flyers. Which they were all so proud to announce that Lance was, which made so much sense.

            Lance had taught Hunk how to fly when his wings had come in. Taught him all the tricks and tips that any great flyer knew. He taught Hunk everything he knew and then some, even moves that the bigger flyer wasn’t able to replicate even if he tried.

            Either way, it was a flock Hunk was proud to say he was a part of and did all he could to let them know that he would return the favor to them all whenever needed.

            Only now he wasn’t sure he would be able to.

            Because Lance had lost his mate, the only one capable of keeping up and overtaking him in flight.

            Hunk sniffled as he sat against Lance’s bedroom door, listening to the screams and slamming inside, knowing that it would take a miracle for the other to come back to himself. He doubted that it would though as the bond between mates was exceptional and very few survived one breaking.

            A brutal bang came from inside, followed by a blood curdling screech, and then a wail, and then a sob.

            He couldn’t take it anymore and stood up, running away from where his friend was suffering alone.

            It was too dangerous for any of them to go in. Lance would tear them apart while he was in the feral state and one of them would be able to calm him from it. None of them were Shiro and so didn’t have that bond that was needed.

            Hunk really wished his Moms or Lance’s mom was here, they would know what to do.

            He sniffled and wiped his nose with the back of his hand as he entered into the common room, hoping Pidge would be there and willing to cuddle. He’d even take Keith or Coran at this moment. He just needed someone to hold in his arms at the moment, or be held and told it would all be okay.

            He knew it wouldn’t but that didn’t matter. He hoped someone would be willing to lie at the moment.

            “Oh Hunk! There you are!” Allura exclaimed as she caught sight of the Yellow Paladin with a smile on her face. “I’m glad you’re here! We’re about to talk about what to do about Voltron.” She explained as she waved over to where Pidge, Keith, Coran, and Kolivan all sat on the couches.

            Hunk paused as he looked at the princess in confusion, as did the others, excepting Coran and Kolivan. “What do you mean?” He asked as he moved over to the couches and took a seat himself.

            “Well, since we’ve been continuing the missions without both Shiro and Lance, the negotiations have become much more difficult. Many of the planets wish for Voltron to make an appearance.” She explained calmly.

            “Voltron was the one to defeat Zarkon.” Kolivan stated calmly, arms crossed over his chest. “Many wish to see the one that defeated the legendary tyrant that lived for thousands of Deca-Phoebs.”

            “Which means that we must find a way to form Voltron once more.” Coran stated with a solemn frown.

            “We are not replacing Shiro or Lance.” Keith growled out at once, hair fizzing up like a cat’s hackles raising. “We’ll find Shiro and Lance will return to normal and everything will be alright once more.”

            “I know that we don’t wish to, but we must be able to form Voltron once more.” The princess’s own frown was serious but tinged in sadness. “We must find a new paladin for the black lion and bring Lance out of this…this feral state he has fallen into.”

            The three humans stared at the princess in surprise and horror before looking at each other.

            “Didn’t you tell her?”           

  “No! I thought you guys would!”

            “Why would we? We aren’t the oldest!”          

   “Yeah, but you guys are smarter!”

            “That doesn’t mean we should tell her!”

            “That definitely means you should tell her!”

            “Dude! I’ll end up breaking down in the middle! I can’t tell her!”

            “I’m too young to explain this!”

            “But you’re still the smartest of us! That and I’m not exactly the closest to him!”

            “That’s exactly why you should explain it!”          

   “We’d totally just fall apart in the middle! I’m getting ready to cry right now just thinking about it!”

            “Guys! Seriously!”          

   “Just explain it Keith!”

            “Fine!” The half Galra growled before turning to the bemused looks of the Alteans and Blade Leader. “Lance could very well die within the next few quintants.” He stated bluntly.

            “What!” The Alteans shouted in alarm as Kolivan blinked in confusion.

            “What do you mean by that!?” Allura demanded as she stood up to look at the other Paladins in horror and confusion. “As far as I know Lance has gained no new injuries that grave.”

            “It has nothing to do with the physical state of Lance.” Keith sighed as he leaned back on the couch, ignoring how Hunk was now openly crying once more and Pidge had wedged herself into the Samoan’s side. “It has all to do with the animal inside. Our kind mate for life Allura, we only ever have that one person that we will have.” He stated.

            “Yes, many other planets are like that.” Coran said with a raised brow. “Us Alteans are similar though there were many of our kind that preferred open relationships to keep things from becoming boring.” Which explained why they had looked at Lance and Shiro as if they were strange for committing themselves to one another so quickly.

            “Yes, well, for those who have mates and their bonds are strong, if one was to die…” Keith trailed off with a heavy sigh. He glanced at the two younger Paladins, both now holding tightly to one another. “Well, Mates are important for our survival and so if one was to die then most of the times the other follows them. Normally it would take a Deca-Phoeb at least but…”

            “But what?” Kolivan questioned with a raised brow. “Galra are similar to this, we mate only once in our lives with one individual and when they die, we do not find another. We do not suffer from any side effects like your kind seems to. Though it seems that the Blue Paladin is much different even to yourself young one.”

            “Yeah, well, Lance is what is called an Instinct Flyer.” Keith shifted uncomfortably on the couch. They hadn’t really explained why Shiro and Lance had been different to himself and the other two before. It had always seemed a little too personal to explain to the aliens. “It means he flies like a wild animal, needing no restraint or practice or instruction or anything. He can fly anywhere and anytime. He can fly in calm winds and typhoon storms.”

            “That makes him powerful, no?” Keith nodded to the Blade leader before looking down at the ground

            “That also makes him weak to basic instincts the rest of us can resist.” He added on, hands clasping together as his elbows leaned against his knees. “Just like how he reacts when his wings are tugged on and he freaks, losing Shiro has basically broken something in him that kept him happy and stable. He’s lost in those instincts right now and where it would normally take a Deca-Phoeb for someone to die at the loss of a mate, Lance will probably only take a few quintants or a movement at most.”

            “He’s in…in so-so-so mu-much pa-pain.” Hunk sobbed out as ugly tears fell down his face, along with snot and spit.

            “He’s suffering.” Pidge added quietly, not moving from her place at Hunk’s side. “There’s nothing we can do to help.”

            “Nothing at all?” Allura questioned sadly as Coran’s own face paled and tears built up in both of their eyes as well. “Not even to lessen the pain he is feeling?”

            “Nothing. This is something that will either kill him or he’ll pull through.” Keith shook his head solemnly though. “I doubt he’ll pull through though. He’s just too young, not to mention inexperienced in the ways of his own instincts to make it out.”

            Shiro had been strong and capable but he had been weak when he tried to fight against his instincts. He had fallen to them more than once before but he had eventually gotten control the older he had gotten. He was in full control by the time Keith met him.

            “Then we will need to find a Blue Paladin as well.” Kolivan sighed in irritation. These paladins were getting more complicated than it was worth actually dealing with. He wasn’t sure how much longer the Blade could make use of them if they didn’t pull themselves together.

            “We aren’t looking to replace anyone!” Pidge snarled as she whipped around to glare at the Galra. “They are our friends! Our family! Our Flock! You do not dare to understand what we’re going through!” Her face had gone red and tears were dripping down her cheeks. She was pissed and she couldn’t believe that the Galra had the gall to say what he just did.

            “I know that this is not the most favorable of options…” Allura began as she held her hands up in a calming gesture.

            “It isn’t an option!” Hunk growled back as his wings flared up behind him, startling everyone in the room. The normally gentle giant was beginning to show a side of himself that the others weren’t sure was a good thing. “Lance and I have been together for years! We’ve been Flock for years! He has been my brother for years!” He snarled as he stood up, towering over the sat Galra. “Just because you think we should stay soldiers and abandon those we care about for a war we were dragged into, doesn’t mean we will. I will not leave my brother behind just because some fucked up furry alien told me to.”

            It was completely silent. No one could say a word for what seemed like hours as they all stared at Hunk in shock, even the aliens that didn’t understand the words themselves but the meaning they held.

            The only one who did not show a shred of surprise or fear was the leader of the Blade of Marmora.

            Kolivan held the teen’s eyes, making sure that the boy knew he was serious when he spoke next. “You must stop acting like an unruly kit and stand up for the responsibility you chose to take on.” He looked at the other paladins next as well with a grime glare. “You are all saviors of the galaxy and defeaters of Zarkon. There is no room for you to act like kits out on their first field mission.”

            “Well, you see Kolivan,” Keith spoke up next as sent a glare to the older Galra, “That’s just what we are. Kits. We’re just kids that stepped into a giant blue lion into a war we knew nothing about.” He explained, standing up so he could be next to Hunk and now Pidge as well. All their wings were flared and fluffed up, Pidge’s almost looking like a little amber cloud at the moment. “We’re children fighting an adult’s war.”

            The Galra could only stare up at the trio in horror, eyes widened as he took them in. All of their features and their sizes, especially Pidge’s, and the look in their eyes.

            The fear, the anger, the worry, the little light in their eyes that spoke of youth. These Paladins were nothing but younglings and were now expected to act like adults. To get out in giant robotic felines and kill other individuals in a war they had no knowledge about beforehand.

            They were all children.

            Kolivan refused to let any of their own children in this war. Zarkon had refused to allow any of the kits to fight in this war until they had gone to training and come of age in the Galra culture. At least that monster had that going for him.

            But now he could say that. He had allowed children to fight this war. The princess of Altea had allowed children to fight this war.

            They were no better than Zarkon.

            Everyone was silent as they all looked at the three children. Took them in for once in their miserable lives.

            They truly realized the pain they were now facing and understood that these children hadn’t been faced with the same tragedies as the adults had. They weren’t prepared to handle the pain that they were stuck dealing with.

            Now he truly understood why the Blue Paladin was in so much pain.

            Speaking of which.

            “Why has the Blue Kit stopped screaming?” He questioned as his ears twitched at the sudden and complete silence.

            Since he had arrived after the Black kit had disappeared, the Blue kit had done nothing but scream and thrash and beat himself against the walls of the castle.

            The sounds were a constant for the past few weeks and he had lost count on the number of times they had tried to force the boy into a cryopod after finding him with a broken leg or wing or arm. It was a struggle each time that had ended with one of them joining the Blue Kit in the cryopods.

            Now the sounds weren’t there and they were all wonder why.

            “Shit.” Keith hissed and Kolivan could only watch as the Red kit led the others out of the room at a run. He and the Alteans weren’t too far behind.

 

WG

 

            They had gone running into the Black Lion after the battle with Zarkon. Keith was the first but he had been right behind him. Looking for his mate and flight partner.

            He came to an empty cockpit with a black Bayard.

            He had known before he had gotten there though, before he had left his lion, just after they had finished off Zarkon. He had known long before the others.

            He had wished that he hadn’t though.

            He had known long before anything that Shiro was gone. His mate had disappeared from his reach and there was nothing he could do to bring him back.

            As soon as he had seen that empty cockpit, his mind had gone blank.

            He had enough mind to stumble out, unable to hear the yelling behind him and the screaming of the others. None of them had notice him take off from the Lion.

            Not until his mind completely blanked and he changed entirely.

            Screams ripped from his throat as his eyes turned a solid sky blue and lines of blue shot over his skin and wings. He thrashed his wings wildly as his fists slammed into the ground repeatedly.

            His chest was burning, the area where his bond with Shiro should have been. The love and kindness and caring and worry and fear and all the other emotions that they shared should have been there, but they weren’t. It was empty.

            Like a black hole that was trying to consume him and destroy him.

            He remembered nothing during the time of his frenzy. He knew not hunger nor exhaustion. He knew not pain nor comfort. He knew not happiness nor fear. He was completely taken over by his instincts and the hurt that a broken bond brought.

            He didn’t know how long it had been since he fell into that state, but he knew how exhausted he felt when his mind cleared just a bit.

            His instincts were still flaring though and he followed them. His right wing was snapped and dragging behind him and his right shoulder hung awkwardly. Blood blinded his left eyes as it fell down his face and he could feel other places that were covered in cuts and bruises and other injuries.

            It did nothing to stop him from dragging himself out of his room.

            He snarled the entire way down to Black’s hanger.

            “You.” He snarled out, his left wing flaring behind him and the right screaming as it tried to do the same. “You were supposed to protect him!” He spat out at the still sprawled out lion. She hadn’t moved a bit since they had dumped here there after the battle. “He was supposed to be here!”              He ignored the sweat, snot, and tears falling down his face. He was never a very pretty crier and instead was a nasty looking one. His emotions overwhelming him completely once more and his vision was turning blue as the lines of power appeared on his body once more.

            “HE’S SUPPOSED TO BE HERE!” He screamed at the beast as power flared around his being. “HE WAS SUPPOSED TO BE HERE WITH ME!” The anger inside of him was overpowered by grief as he fell to his knees, holding his arms to his body even as he continued glaring up at the lion. “He’s supposed to be here with me.” He cried out as his glare fell away and the burning pain in his chest expanded further.

            He wasn’t going to last much longer.

            Mates never lasted long without each other, not unless one had experience in their control of their emotions. Very few had that ability though and Lance was not one of them.

            No, he was too young to have that kind of control and though he had mated young, he had done it happily. He done it knowing the possible consequences and he had not regretted it.

            He regretted letting Shiro go without him though.

            His chest burned and he could feel the pain in his heart beginning to fade and his breath beginning to slow and become shallow. He really wasn’t going to last much longer.

            “Shiro…” He gasped out as he fell onto his good side, letting his eyes begin to gloss over as his energy began to fade from his body. “Shiro…”

            “Please…I’m…com…ng.”

            His eyes closed as he felt a chill converge on his body that soon changed to a snowstorm in his body.

            He wasn’t going to be suffering from this pain for much longer and he wasn’t going to have to make his mate wait for him much longer. He was going to meet up with him and be with him finally and he wasn’t going to suffer from being alone anymore. That loneliness was going to finally disappear completely and he would never have to fight that depression ever again.

            A flood of warmth shocked his body, flowing from that hole in his chest.

            A hole that was slowly filling in with warmth once more.

            A familiar warmth that he thought he would never feel once more.

            He blinked his eyes open as his body began to warm up fully, the warmth leaching into his limbs and head. He pushed himself up onto his hands, his head turning up so that his eyes were taking in the glowing yellow eyes of the Black Lion.

            Warm tears flowed down his cheeks as he took in the Black Lion, watching as it stood up onto its feet before crouching down in front of him, opening her mouth wide open.

            The feeling he had, it just couldn’t be though. There was just no way that he was feeling what he was. There just was no way.

            “Please…” He begged as he slowly began to drag himself up the ramp. It was taking time and he was so tired and so sore and hurting. “Please…don’t tell me….that…that’s not…real.” He gasped out, finally pulling himself up into the cockpit after what seemed forever. “Tell me…”

            He begged, he pled, he cried as he looked at the lit up station of the Lion. “Please…” He begged as he pulled himself over to the chair and pulled himself up into it. “Please…Black…please.” He whispered as he allowed his wings to fall over one arm of the chair and his legs to fall over the other. He folded his hands up against his chest as his chin rested against them.

            This couldn’t be a dream or Black trying to comfort him, because he knew that if it was.

            Well…

            He would really die this time around.

            His eyes closed as his body relaxed into the pilot’s chair where his mate had once sat.

            ‘Please Black, don’t lie to me.’ He thought as he felt a familiar broad hand caress his cheek as exhaustion pulled at him once more. “Please….Shiro…be…here.” He whispered out as his breaths evened out and deepened.

 

WG

 

            “Where is he?!” Hunk cried as he looked at the destroyed room. The once nest that was big enough for two was scattered around the room, torn and shredded. The desk that had held the beauty products had been smashed, along with the mirror, and all the jars. “Where could he have gone!?”

            “He can’t have gone too far.” Pidge stated as she looked at the smears of blood and cracks in the room. “It looks like he injured himself pretty badly again.”

            “Look, we’ll follow the trail.” Keith quickly pointed at the little red crimson drops on the ground. “From the amount he’s losing and the amount in that room, I don’t think we have a whole lot of time left.” He growled low in his throat at the thought. He had already lost one brother, he couldn’t lose the other one too.

            With that in mind, the three took off in the direction of the drops, following them as the other three kept up with them from behind. “Do you think we can somehow knock the young Blue Kit out of this…state he is in?” His brow was furrowed and his hand was running along his blade as he followed the kits.

            “I have no idea.” The princess could feel her worry and fear overwhelming her. She had lost everything and knew how harsh it could be on individuals. She could understand in a way of what Lance was experiencing but it was still nothing she could do to make him feel better. “Their species are much different from Alteans.”            

“Not to mention different than most species we have ever met. I’ve never known a species to lose their mind completely over a mate before.” Coran huffed as he tried to keep up, he hadn’t been in the greatest of shapes before the cryopod and he still wasn’t in the greatest shape now.

            “Then we must do all we can to help the kits.” Kolivan refused to allow such a fate to befall a kit under his care, no matter how annoying that kit could get.

            “Hurry up you three!” Pidge shouted as they arrived to the Black Lion Hanger.

            “Hey, wasn’t the Black Lion lying down last time?” Hunk questioned as he took in the form of the sat up lion. “When did she start moving again?”

            “What does that matter!?” Keith ran straight towards the black lion, looking up at her. “Please! If Lance is in there, then you need to let us in so we can help him.” He had pled with the thing back when they had crashed so long ago and now he was doing so again.

            They all watched as the Black lion sat there for a long moment before crouching down and opening her mouth. “Thank you!” Hunk crowed as he dashed inside before anyone else could move. “Lance!” He cried out happily as looked happily at the sleeping form of his best friend.

            “He’s sleeping?” Pidge stood astounded as Hunk quickly and carefully picked his friend up. “How is that possible?”

            “He should be freaking out still.” Keith agreed as he took in the broken wing and arm, along with the cuts along the boy’s forehead and all over his body. “But something must have changed since we last saw him.”

            “I wonder what it was.” The littlest one looked around the Black Lion, taking in the untarnished insides. “He wasn’t feral while in here.”              “We’ll figure it out later.” Hunk stated with a chirp. “We need to get Lance to a cryopod.” There was too much blood pooling around the other’s head and chin.

            “Alright, let’s go then. Coran, get to the med bay and set up a cryopod.” Keith ordered and watched as the older Altean disappeared with Hunk right behind him. Pidge and Allura followed close behind, leaving Keith and Kolivan behind to look at the cockpit of the Black Lion.

            “The Black Lion reacted to the Blue kit.” The Blade leader said as he looked at the slowly turning off dashboards. “Does that mean he will be able to pilot the Black Lion?”              “That’s only if he makes it out of this alive and sane.” The boy admitted sadly before turning away.

            Kolivan nodded sadly along with him.

 

WG

 

            “You need to pilot Black.” The voice said to him. “It’s the only way for you to survive and for the team to have a leader.”

            “But…What about you?” He questioned as he looked at the figure in front of him. “You’re…You’re stuck here…wherever here is.” He frowned as he took in the star filled sky and ground. He was swathed in blue energy and Shiro in purple.

            “We’re inside the Black Lion and you’re in here because of our connection.” He explained as he tightened his grip on the boy’s waist. “I know that this isn’t ideal and that it would be better if I could fly with you myself, but we will have to make do with this.” He nuzzled his nose into the messy brown locks.

            “I’ll be able to fly with you. It’ll just have to be through Black. I’ll be fine.” He smiled sadly at the other, wondering if he would really be able to survive flying without his mate. “I’ll make sure to take care of the others as well. We won’t let you did go in vain.” Tears welled up in his eyes before falling down his cheeks. “I just wish you could be there.”

            Shiro gave a sad smile as well as he wiped the tears away with his hands. “I know, I wish I could too, but you know why I can’t.”

            “Yes.” He mumbled as he buried his face into the other’s chest. “I know, bu-but I-I-I wo-won’t li-like it.” More tears fell and there was no way Shiro was going to be able to wipe them all away. “I want yo-you ne-next to-to me!” He cried out.

            “I know you do and I wish I could be there with you too, but I can’t be.” He grimaced as he remembered his body disintegrating. It had hurt and it was lonely in the Black Lion by himself, but there was nothing he could do about it. “I’m still here, in Black, so you’re never alone.”

            Lance sniffled but nodded his head. “I’ll fly Black and lead them, with you at my side in any form, it’ll be alright.” He smiled tentatively at the other before closing his eyes and getting on his tiptoes.

            Shiro smiled as he leaned down and met the other halfway.

            They may not be able to stay together on the outside world but they would on the inside, where it truly mattered.