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Suffocation

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The truth of the matter was, it wasn’t love at first sight to Keith. When he first saw Lance, he felt nothing. Not even annoyance, though that quickly followed. He was just meeting another person who would probably fade into the crowd of faces.

But rather than fade, Lance slowly took up the crowd, worming his way in as quiet as a mouse while simultaneously bursting in at unexpected at angles. It was a two way attack that Keith never stood a chance against, and before he knew it, his face seemed to be the only one that mattered in that crowd.

Similar to how Lance had become something precious to him, he wanted to become what Lance needed, whether it was his protector, his lover, his friend and his brother- he would be whatever Lance requested.

It was an odd realization, coming to terms with that thought, but he wouldn’t change it.

Of course, he preferred to be the lover in that list of options and was lucky that Lance felt the same.

Love had never interested him before now.

It was just something others did, and to him, it was a waste of time and energy.

Till Lance.

He’s found himself saying that a lot lately, doing things he never normally would have after meeting him and growing close to him.

He’s discovered sides of himself he considered impossible for him to have. He wanted to be in Lance’s life and follow him through it till they grew old.

He wanted to go adventures and- heck, he wanted to do more than piloting in his future.

He didn’t want to go back to Earth and live alone again. After everything that happened, he forgot what it was like to live in solitude and not with Lance.

He’d lose his mind if he even tried to go back to that life.

Stranded on an unknown planet for 7 months had been hard, with a lot of struggles.

Lance made it worth it.

Then the team showed up and found them, and he thought he had it all. He didn’t want to be the loner anymore.

After everything, he wanted to try and be a better friend. Perhaps try and sit down and talk with Hunk about cooking or with Pidge and her inventions.

Get to know Coran and Allura a bit more and really tell Shiro how much he relied on him as a kid- and still did now.

But most importantly, he wanted to show them all how precious Lance had grown to him. It was embarrassing to say the least, but he was proud when he finally told them how he loved the goofy Blue paladin.

He thought he had finally found his place in this messed up galaxy- somewhere he could belong and be loved.

He felt so close to it too- like he had just made his way to the finish line. So close, but not quite there.

Allura made sure of that when she jabbed an accusing finger at them and screeched at the announcement of their love.

She was angry with them- furious that Keith would declare he loved the Blue paladin.

Was it so wrong to say he loved Lance? Or to be happy that Lance loved him?

In the end, it came down to this.

“Relationships between paladins are forbidden!”

Those few words were enough to make his blood run cold. He couldn’t fathom them. It just felt too wrong to be true.

Beside him, clinging to his hand like a lifeline, Lance shook his head, “W-What?”

“A relationship between paladin’s has been forbidden since I was a child!” Allura’s tone is enough to make Lance’s knees buckle, threatening to give out on him. Keith tightens his grip to hold him steady, his throat going dry

“Huh?” Lance croaked. “W-Why? That isn’t- This isn’t a problem, Allura,”

“It is!” she barked.

Just as shocked at her outburst, surprised she was so mad, Shiro stepped forward, “Lets calm down,” he offers, turning to look at Keith and lance with an exasperated look, “How did this happen?”

“How did it happen?” Keith repeats him, not understanding the question, “It just- It just did,” he shrugs. How else do you explain falling in love with someone? There was no choice to it because it just happened- at least, that was how it went with other people, right?

Of course, Keith had never fallen in love before, so he assumed there was no means to it. It just happened out of the blue as far as he could tell.

But here everyone was, looking at them like they should have some sort of explanation.
“We just- we spent time together?” Lance mumbled, “We got close and, you know… Keith is cute,”

“Oh jeez,” Pidge made a little face, definitely not expecting Lance to announce that, “Don’t say that,”

“Why??” he gawks at her. 

“Because it is weird! You two- you just- you hated each other,” she couldn't wrap her mind around it.

Allura, regardless of their reasons, seemed to be lost in her anger, “You two need to break apart. We can’t have this in the team. Voltron’s balance would be thrown into a ballistic state!”

What exactly kind of state was she expecting? They had just gotten back, so it wasn’t like they were able to form Voltron anyway. Being together didn’t mean they weren’t going to be able to do it anymore.

“We can’t just do that, Allura,” Keith tells her.

Lance looked to his friends, hoping they would agree that this was crazy… but they didn’t. They looked too shocked to do anything, “Hunk?’ Lance turns to him, desperate.

Hunk tenses, the blood draining from his face, “I… I don’t know,” he whispers weakly, “I’m still trying to wrap my head around the fact that you two are… Are a couple,” he admits. “It’s shocking.”

“Yeah,” Pidge agrees, eyeing them cautiously, “You two hated each other- like, loathed each other.”

“We weren’t that bad,” Lance disagrees.

“Oh yeah, sure you two got together sometimes… sometimes,” Pidge folds her arms, an unbelieving glint in her glasses

“That was before,” Lance insisted, desperate to have them understand. “Yeah we didn’t get along but- I really got to know Keith while we were there. Things just happened,”

"But you're married?" Hunk whispered hoarsely, staring down at their hands. "Isn't that, I dunno, too soon?"

Lance wasn't sure, was it? Once upon a time, people got married after knowing each other for a day. He had known Keith for a long time, and sure, they hadn't been dating for that long but was seven months considered too soon?

Wait, why was he even worried about that? They were only married in Coeihn terms.

"We aren't- I mean, we are..." Lance mutters, "We are Equivalents," is all he can manage in trying to summarize it. 

"Isn't that married??" Pidge shakes her head

Shiro lifted a hand to his chin, finding that curious, “It still is strange,”

Lance gawked at him, “No it isn’t-”

Shiro ignored him, turning to Allura, “Perhaps that is just it,”

“What is?” she huffed.

“You two were forced together for so long… you can’t help but grow feelings,”

Thinking that maybe he started to understand, Lance held some hope before he realized that hadn’t been what Shiro meant.

“Being isolated with someone sometimes leads to those two people growing romantic feelings for each other. You just naturally grow closer, even if the two would never normally do such a thing in normal circumstances,”

Lance didn’t really like the way he phrased that, or how he assumed that they would never have grown to be this way if it wasn’t for being trapped on that planet. Honestly, he didn’t know that for sure, but there had always been that chance.

“What are you trying to say?” Lance inquired weakly.

“I’m not saying the Princess is right that paladins can’t be together ,” Shiro says quickly, “I’m only saying that you two have spent 6 to 7 months stranded on an alien planet with nothing but each other to rely on. In situations like that, feelings tend to form. But… it is only when you are pulled out of that situation that they are tested to see if they are true,”

Keith, who had been very quiet this entire endeavor, finally spoke up, his voice crackly, “Are you saying this is fake?” 

“How could you say that?” Lance demanded,

“I’m saying you two should make sure this is real for yourselves,” Shiro says quickly, but Lance can see it in his eyes. He doesn’t believe any of this to be real. He thinks that it was all in their heads and that they would most likely separate if given time.

It pissed him off.

It pissed him off so much that he wanted to walk up and punch Shiro right in the nose.

“I think spending a little time apart might show you the truth,” he says. He is trying to be nice about it but Lance knows he is just waiting for them to start bickering with each other again.

“Regardless of what is real or not, you two won't be able to continue this as Paladins. You have a duty. So, until you two realize these affections are nothing but a convoluted dream made up from being isolated from everything you knew, you two will not be spending time alone,” Allura concludes, completely on board with Shiro’s messed up theory.

“You can’t just decide that!” they argue.

“We never even knew about some paladin code!” Lance agrees

“You never once mentioned it!” Keith roars, “I don't’ even remember agreeing to it! We just became paladins! That was all!”

“We were in a rush for time,” Allura snapped irritably.

Coran clears his throat, catching their attention, sensing that a bomb was beginning to go off- if it hadn't already, “Even if it were not because of the paladin code… Perhaps it would be wise for you two separate for a while?” he says, his voice gentle but firm, “As Shiro said, it would be a test of your feelings.” He is trying to find some middle ground to make everyone happy, but Lance just thought that hurt more. 

No one was standing on his side with this. 

Lance shakes his head, horrified that everyone started to agree to his solution if that is what you could even call it.

“I think it would be for the best,” Shiro concludes.

Keith had never looked so betrayed, “Shiro,” he croaked

“Guys?” Lance looks for Pidge and Hunk, wanting them to back him up.

Pidge doesn’t say anything, but Lance can take that as her answer. She didn’t know much about relationships, and this whole thing had kind of freaked her out. To her, Keith and Lance had truly hated each other, so logically, Shiro’s idea that they only felt this way because of isolation kind of added up.

And Hunk, well, he loved Lance like his own brother, but he tended to follow what Shiro ordered when he was unsure. Plus, he didn’t want Lance to be hurt if this relationship ended up being fake. It would be for the best to test it and make sure, right? Instead of just waiting for it blow up in their faces or something.
“I can’t… I can’t believe you guys,” Lance steps away from them, “Have you all become heartless in the months we’ve been gone?!”

“Buddy, no,” Hunk shakes his head, “We just-”

Keith barked at him, “Just nothing! No one should ever have to prove they love someone else! Who are you all to simply decide what is real or what isn’t?” 

“Keith, please don’t make this more difficult,” Shiro pleaded with him, “Just- this is just to see if it is right for the sake of the team,”

"Right..." Lance repeats Shiro's choice of words to himself, feeling numb. 

“The team?” Keith was seething, glancing at Allura, aware there was more to it than just that for her. She didn’t care if they proved their feelings to be true or not- she just wanted the emotions gone in general. It was something he couldn’t fathom.

How could being in love cause problems? Why was it even a rule in the first place? He always thought and was told that love made you stronger.

Tightening his grip on Lance’s hand, he was unwilling to let it go for even a moment. “And if we prove they are real?” Keith growled. There was no confirmation that the team would be accepting if they did this.

“Then your feelings are real,” Shiro concludes,

“And you won't ever try to stand between us again?” Lance inquired. “You’ll accept it?”

“I will,” he nods.

Lance and Keith glance at each other. They didn’t like it, but they were positive they wouldn’t be able to get the others of their back if they didn’t agree. Though Keith honestly didn’t care if they ever accepted it or not. It hurt that Shiro thought this, but he didn’t want to live his life always seeking Shiro’s approval.

The idea that he had to prove something so serious to their leader made his stomach tighten in horrible ways. But if Shiro wanted proof, then he was going to get it.

His feelings for Lance wouldn’t change just because they spent a little time apart.

“How long?” He demanded. “How long do you want this stupid test to go?”
“A few weeks,” Shiro says.

“Weeks?” Keith frowns, “And how far are you going to take this?”

“No…” Shiro looked a little awkward, “No kissing, hugging- no relationship. Be teammates for a while, that is it.”

“You’re kind of pushing this Shiro,” Lance narrowed his eyes.

“We can’t allow this otherwise, Lance.”

“How can you not allow it? You don’t decide what I do in my life, Shiro!” Lance feels like exploding, officially done when Shiro took it too far. “You aren’t my father, and even if you were, I still wouldn’t let you talk to me this way. You don’t decide who I love or why! I don’t need to give you some reason to why I love Keith! I just do! That is like asking why I breathe, or why I like to swim- I just do! I do it because it is my choice to do it!”

“Lance,” Shiro lifts a hand to calm him down, regret pooling in his eyes, “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean it that way. I’m just trying to be rational about it. I know you both don’t understand, but you are paladins. If this relationship does end up going sour, it affects the whole team. It affects Voltron. We have been out of the game for months and who knows what Zarkon has been planning while we have been away. We need to be prepared and on our top game. If you two suddenly have a bad break up, it could be catastrophic.”

They both knew he had a point, but it didn’t make the situation any better.

“I’m asking for a few weeks of you putting this on hold.” Shiro pleads with them, “Just to make sure,” he glances at Allura, watching how her eyes narrow at him, enraged. He blinks rapidly, “And when we get to that point and your feelings are still there, we’ll try to talk this out about the paladin code,” he says, hoping that was enough to satisfy her for now.

Lance couldn’t bring himself to answer.

After a few ticks of crushing silence, Coran suggests that everyone step out of the room for a while.

“Coran?” Allura questions him. 

“Give them some time to think it over, Princess,” Coran pleads, “We just got them back…”

Her anger subsided for a moment, her expression softening, “I… Alright,” she turns without another word and exits the room. The others follow, glancing at Keith and Lance before closing the door.

The second they were gone, Keith slammed his fist into the closet panel, cracking it.

“This is bull!”

Lance flinched, a shuddering breath making his body tremble, “Yeah,”

Pissed off, Keith paced around the room, “I don’t want to agree to some kind of term for this!! They either accept us or they don’t- end of story. I don’t need their approval… I’ve never needed anyone’s permission to live my life,”

“Keith,” Lance reaches out for him, taking him into his arms. Realizing how tough this was for him, already feeling the weight on his own chest, he sighs. “What should we do?”

“Punch Shiro in the face,”

Lance pales, “No,”

“It could be so easy,”

“Keith, no,” Lance shakes his head, unable to stop himself from smiling. “We- Shiro had a point. It isn’t smart to break apart the team, and we need to be able to form Voltron.”

“They would be the one breaking apart Voltron if they think this separation thing is a good idea,” Keith huffs.

“Allura was so mad,” Lance mumbled, pulling apart from Keith to shakily move towards one of the examination tables. Not trusting his legs, he lifted himself up to one to sit down.

“She was. What was her deal?” Keith fumed, “What is she going to do, anyway? She can’t keep us apart just because she commands it,”

“She is kind of royalty- they usually are allowed to command others,”

“She isn’t any Princess of ours,” Keith grunts and Lance couldn’t help but recall how Pidge has said that once, “I don’t have any obligation to listen to her when she tries to be bossy to us,”

“She could stop us from being paladins.”

“Well, then she is down two lions.” Keith snorted, “And I doubt she has paladins lined up for her to replace us. She won’t stop us from being paladins… She can’t do anything.”

Perhaps Keith was right, but Lance worried Allura would find some means. Feeling exhausted, drained from all the yelling, he sighs. He wanted everyone to get along, and has always tried to see both sides of an argument...

“Maybe it’s a good idea…” Lance whispered. Keith turned on his heel, the blood draining from his face.

“What?” he whispered hoarsely. “What is that supposed to mean?”

“I’m not saying they are right, Keith. I’m pissed off they even suggested it- but… We have spent every day, almost every second, together. I loved that. I really really did- but what if we… get bored of each other?”

“Bored?” Keith didn’t understand.  

“I think it is healthy to spend a little time apart,” Lance admits, “Not in the way the team is trying to do, but we don’t need to be attached at the hips. We need to be a little independant.”

Keith blinked a couple times, then shifted his gaze around the room. Slowly, he lifted his arms, “We are in a giant Castle in the middle of space. How exactly are we supposed to have some distance from each other?”

Lance sees his point, “I know… I’m sorry. I don’t know what to think anymore.” he sighs, sitting down in one of the chairs. “I wanted them to accept us, and I thought they would… I mean, Hunk has always accepted whoever I dated. Was it really that hard to believe I would love you?” When Keith got close, Lance rested his head on his shoulder. “He didn’t have my back in this at all.”

“I… Lance, I’m sorry,” Keith pats his back, “I thought Shiro would too.”

“I’m Shiro,” Lance made his voice deep to mock their leader, “I think I’m always right,”

Keith snorted, “Sounds just like him.”

Lance chuckles too, but it quickly fades.

“I really don’t want to do this,” he admits, “But we can’t afford to fight right now with Zarkon out there. I don’t-” he sniffs, “I want everyone to get along and I don’t want anyone to be angry or upset but- I-I am, Keith. I am upset with this. And I-” Keith lifted his chin, sealing his lips with a kiss.

Waiting till Lance calmed down a little, he pulled away, cupping his Equivalent’s face.

Lance was always one to please others. He wanted everyone to like him and did everything in his power to try and make that a reality.
Even if it meant hurting himself in the process.

Keith hated that Lance had to be the mature one in this situation to assure everyone got along. It could be so easy for the others to just go along with this. They didn’t need to understand- just respect their choices, and maybe then after some time they would begin to realize why they loved each other.

“What do you want to do then, Lance?”

He shrugs meekly, “Couples have been separated for weeks, and nothing has changed between them,” he muttered.

“So then, we’re doing this?” Keith sighs. Lance tugs him closer, making a choked hurt noise. Knowing he was torn with this, Keith inhales brokenly, “If you think this is the right thing to do- I’ll follow you. But I’m not doing this for them… I don’t need to prove anything to them. I’m doing this for you,”

“Keith…”

“But just know, that as soon as this stupid test thing is over, I’m whisking you away for our honeymoon, and they can’t do anything to stop me,”

A watery laugh bubbles from Lance’s chest and he smiles, “Where are we going?”

“A secret,”

“You’re just saying that because you haven’t decided yet,” Lance pursed his lips

“....No,”

“You hesitated,” 

“Did not,” Keith turns away, “Just prepare for a romantic endeavor of… romance,”

Wrapping his arms around Keith’s torso, Lance hugged him from behind, nodding. “It’ll be something to look forward to,”

“You bet it will,”

Batting his eyelashes, Lance says, “I want one last kiss,”

“It isn’t the last one,” Keith corrects him. “It’s just one we’ll have to make last for a while,”

“Better make it a good one then,” Lance suggests, “Give me all you got, sweetheart,”

Smiling, Keith met Lance with vigor, surprising the blue paladin when he gripped his hips and dipped him. It was only fair since Lance seemed to enjoy dipping him while kissing.

Pulling up, Keith stepped back an inch to say, “A few weeks…”

“We can manage that,”

“I’m not so sure,” Keith mumbled, “Can I sneak in a kiss every once and awhile?”

Lance chuckled, “I’m sure if no one is watching you can~”

“It’ll be like a challenge- how many can I sneak in a day without anyone realizing?” Keith cooed.

“I’ll be sure to keep a score,” pulling together for another smooch, the two chuckle. “Star cross lovers. Romeo and Juliet- torn apart by the social acceptance of others,” he sighs dramatically, pretending to faint in Keith’s arms.

“...Didn’t they die in the end?”

Lance pursed his lips, “Well… yeah, they did. Then we’re Hamlet and Ophelia,”

“I’m pretty sure they died too,”

“Macbeth and Lady Macbeth?” Lance frowns

“Both died,” Keith nods, “Plus they were both pretty power hungry,”

“Well geez! Does anyone who falls in love in a Shakespeare play actually live to have a happy life together??”

“Duke Orsino and Viola,” Keith smiles

“I wasn’t aware you read so many Shakespeare stuff,” Lance says, a little impressed.

“I had a lot of free time after getting kicked out of the Garrison,” he smiles, “How do you know Shakespeare?”

“My Mom loved it. Read it to us during middle school. It’s been a while though, so I don’t remember half of what she told us,”

Chuckling, Keith glanced back to the door, realizing it wouldn't be long till the others returned.

Standing hand in hand, they stood together.

They both knew neither of them wanted this. In fact, now that he thought about it, Lance could agree today, but he was 100% positive that he wouldn't be so willing to continue this tomorrow…

It was easy to say they could stop for a few weeks- words were something everyone could throw around. The test would be to see if they could actually pull it off.

How strange…

This was a test to see if they truly loved each other- but the real test for them would be to see if they could actually step away from each other for a few days without attempting anything.

Lance bet Keith would go one day before he looked him with that puppy dog look, quietly asking for a kiss.

...Lance bet himself to last only half that time.

Anyway, when the others returned to them, Lance announced that they would agree to their terms, but only Shiro’s. Allura seems angry that they decided to only hold off for a few weeks but accepted it for the time being.

And then nothing else was said. What could they say?

Lance was pissed, and honestly, he just wanted to go to bed after staying up so late.

“I’m going to bed. Goodnight, Keith,” Slowly, painfully taking his hand from Keith’s, he moved to the door.

“Lance,” Hunk attempts. Brushed aside by Lance’s arms, he watches in distress as he friends storm off to his room without a word.

Shiro put a hand on his arm, “Give him time,”

Hunk wasn’t sure that would help any.

A moment later, Keith followed in Lance’s steps, death glaring the entire team before he vanished down the hall.

It was going to be a long next couple weeks, but Shiro didn’t regret his decision. He had known Keith for a long time, and things like relationships had never interested him. His focus was purely on piloting, and sense finding Allura, all he thought about was Voltron and stopping Zarkon.

So yes, he was confident that Keith would realize this himself after a while and go back to how things were.

They needed the team to stick with the mindset of taking down Zarkon and having that as their only goal.

Besides, from what he had learned from Lance is that he tended to flirt and get overconfident when trying to impress others. Often times that attitude had caused some major slip ups during missions and Shiro couldn’t afford that.

He also didn’t want his baby brother to get hurt because Lance couldn’t stay faithful….

Not that he wanted to assume Lance would be that kind of person, but that is why he was doing this test. He was doing it to be sure.

He just needed to give the two time and they would understand he was just doing this for their sakes and the sakes of the team.


 

Seated in his room, curled up on his bed, Lance felt very cold. He had spent weeks here and had grown to considered this room his before going to the Coeihn world. Now- it felt unfamiliar and strange, like that first night he had spent here.

He honestly wanted to go running to Keith. They had spent so much time together; he didn’t even know how to sleep in a bed alone anymore.

Now that he thought about it, he hadn’t even bothered to ask how many weeks Shiro planned to make this go one. Just one or two? Or an entire month??

Sighing, he hears a knock. Still pissed at the entire team for agreeing to have them separated, he growls, “Go away,”

The knock is a little more insistent, “Lance, can I please have a moment?”
Recognizing it as Coran, Lance sat up

“What?” he grumbles, opening the door.

“Hello, my boy,” he smiles, hoping to come to Lance as a friend, “I just- Lance, I know this is tough. Honestly, I really wish this could all be avoided. I’m just so happy you are alive and here and well-” he sighs, “There is nothing I can say to make this better, but I want you to know something.”

“Oh yeah, what’s that?” he muttered 

“I follow Allura, and though I know she can be a little hard headed sometimes, I know she doesn’t mean anything bad in what she does. She’ll come around to this, I know. As will the others.”

Curious, Lance lifted his gaze, “And what about you. What do you think of it?”

Coran surprises him with a smile, “Love is a mysterious thing, Lance. I don’t think anyone on this ship really understands what you two feel because they have never been in love before.”
“And you do?”

“Of course I do. I was in love once-” he looks at his feet, “Still am. It doesn’t just go away. It stays with you forever, following your life till you're gone. I saw the way you two looked at each other earlier.” he grins, “It reminded me of my wife and myself.”

“I didn’t know you had a wife,” Lance’s shoulders relax, and he realized that Coran’s wife must have been…. “I-I’m so sorry, Coran,”

“It is okay, Lance. We all die at some point. I’m sure my darling is at peace wherever she is. But I didn’t come here to talk about my love life. I’m here to tell you that Keith and you have my support. I think it is correct to give yourself times to prove if this is real, if nothing else but to assure the others, but I want you to know you already have my belief in your relationship.”

Touched, Lance nods, “Thank you. Though- it doesn’t really make me feel any better that everyone else flat out didn’t believe it.”

“They are young, just like Keith and you. And while I know why Allura has her reasoning for this, because she does, I also know it can’t be easy for you two. So I think it is best that Keith and you get a little time to yourself, but I don’t see why you two can’t say goodnight to each other,”

Not sure what he meant, Lance lifts his hand when Coran extends something out to him. Taking it, realizing it was some sort of communication device, his raises an eyebrow.

“What is this?”

“Go back into your room and figure it out for yourself,” Coran chuckles.

Lance blinked and nods. “Okay…”

Before he can turn, Coran pats his shoulder, “It’s good to have you back, Lance. We sure did miss you,”

Giving him a quick hug, Lance nods, “Yeah, I missed you guys too,”

“And thank you for at least trying this. You didn’t have to do as the others requested,” Coran smiles, warm and admiring, “I always thought that was the best part about you two. Both Keith and you are always trying to do the right thing- even if that means you two get hurt in the process. So if there is anything you need, if things get too hard, or if the others are pushing you just a little too much- you can come to me,”

“I…” Lance feels touch, “Thank you, Coran,” with another hug the two pull apart and Lance returns to his room

Sitting back down to his bed, he stared at the device in confusion. Finding a button along the side, reminding of some kind of walkie talkie, he lifted it to his mouth.

Pressing the button, he is surprised to hear noise from the other end. It sounds like someone talking to themselves, muttering angrily.

He recognizes the sound, his heart fluttering, “Keith?”

The muttering stops, and there is a wild shuffling before he hears Keith, “Lance?”

“Why that sly dog,” Lance laughs to himself, realizing what Coran had done, “Hey sweetheart,”

Relief floods into Keith’s voice and he laughs, warm and loving, “Hey there-” he pauses, “Uh… Lancey?”

“That was the worse pet name ever,” Lance shake his head.

“I tried,”

“Try again,”

“....Lance-muffin,”

“Oh my god,” lance tosses his head back against his pillow, “You are adorable.”

“I thought I was getting somewhere with that,”

“You are getting better,” Lance assures him.

On the other end, there is a long silence.

Curious, Lance spoke up, “Keith? You still there?”

“Yeah, I am. I just uh… It’s strange sleeping in a bed alone,”

Lance understood that feeling, “These beds are a lot smaller too,”

“I was really looking forward to that cuddling thing you suggested,”

Lance bit his lip, chuckling, “I figured you were…. I was too,” he lowers his head down to his pillow, feeling depressed as he looked up at his ceiling.

“I hate this,” Keith tells him.

“Me too,” Lance says, “But um… just a few weeks, right? It isn’t like we aren’t allowed to see each other. Just no kissing or whatever,”

“I can’t do that,” Keith admits

Lance blinks, “What do you mean?”

“I want to kiss you everytime I see you- a request like that is impossible,”

With his heart stammering out of his chest, Lance laughs, “You are- geez, Keith,” he lifts a hand to cover his mouth, grinning into his palm. “I love you,”

“I love you too,”

“Well hey, if nothing else, this should give you plan one hell of a honeymoon,” Lance leans back into his pillow, smiling.

“I’ve already started jotting down a plan. It is messy and unorganized, but I’m figuring it out.”

“I’m glad to hear that.” Lance lays there for a while, not sure what else to say and knowing that if he drew this conversation out for too long he might just end up running to Keith’s room and tossing this separation thing to the wind. “G-Goodnight, I guess,”

“I love you,” Keith’s voice echoed in his ears, making him shiver.

“I love you too,”

“I’ll see you tomorrow,”

“Will do,” without another word, Lance turned off the walkie talkie, placed it on the floor beside his bed, and sighed. With a longing to hold Keith close, he compensated by snuggling with a pillow.

It wasn’t warm or even remotely muscular like Keith was… But he had to force it to be enough for now.

Just a few weeks.

A few weeks.