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Voltron One Shots

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The Castle of Lions was quiet during the night period that Coran had set up with hopes to help everyone on keeping their internal clocks adjusted. Flying through space was brutal on the mind let alone with body. Sometimes Coran wished on rushing meteor that they would find a planet they could use as a base; Pidge said that on Earth, they referred to them as ‘shooting stars’ but it was a nice sentiment for children. It gave him a little extra kick of hope when he was down. Coran still wasn’t used to his new quarters in a lower section of the castle. Back on Altea, nobility, high ranked officers, soldiers kept in the castle, would all be in the higher wings of the castle, but Allura was still not ready to explore the castle in full, not even when it came to her old room all the way at the top by her mother’s and father’s. Coran had brought down their necessities and they had placed themselves in rooms closer to where the Paladins had been placed. Rooms that were only there for guest to the castle or those they could not trust to be placed near such important people. Not that Allura didn’t trust her Paladins, but it was just hard to go back up there. Who knows what was left behind and in what condition. He remembered passing an old soldier’s bunker, twenty in a room, it was left in a mess…like they had all only just ran out to their ships. It was a short and powerful visit that he didn’t plan on ever making again.

So, night periods were hard on his mind and on his back. Coran wasn’t a young man anymore and the beds were proof of that fact. He walked around with the only lights being the blue that seemed to run through the walls and the floors, not enough to see comfortably, but Coran had walked this Castle more times than he could count; he knew his way around. Alteans had a good intuition, and it was what would lead him to find Pidge somewhere in the castle, hooked up to something, slumped over the computer she used. He would drape a blanket over her and continued. It had been worse before when she was just looking for her family…with the Black Paladin MIA, he would find her in the labs, sometimes still awake. After finding Pidge, his instinct would lead him over to another lab area where Hunk would be snoring as he was sleeping at a desk covered in blueprints and designs for the Lions and other ships. For someone who was so unwilling to fight, he was ready to be sure any ship they had could become a military one. Coran would gaze over the plans he had come up with, he spotted that Hunk was trying to find a way to mimic the shields on the castle and hook them into the lions. Since he was always sleeping, Coran always got him a blanket and lower the lights.

The Princess always went to bed first and the only one he could ever find in bed. Not that she was sleeping. Allura surrounded herself with books and documents. She would scour other planets who a recorded history on what had happened in the past 10,000 years. She was on the hunt for other Alteans. Allura was obsessed with the idea that her and Coran could not be the only ones. Some should have escaped, survived, maybe even integrated into another species she just wanted to know that they were not the last…or to be sure that the last alteans were not druids of the galra empire. Coran only took the time to be sure to turn off anything eating at castle power; he didn’t want her to lose her place in all her readings. Usually, Coran would next find Shiro, the fearless leader would also be in his quarters. He would press his ear against the door and find that the male was muttering to himself and the hum of a console to let him know that he was looking at something. It was usually Shiro scanning the areas to be sure that no distress signal was ignored. He could recall nights were Shiro was the first to alert everyone of a distress signal. Now, Coran walked to a room that has no one in it…just like most of the rooms in the castle.

Keith would be found outside the training rooms or in a singular room in meditation. Coran had been sure to alert Keith that he knew he was awake by standing at the observation level. Keith would be pushing his limits further and further, moving up the simulation ranking. Allura had the systems keep track of who was where, Shiro and Allura had made it the highest, next being Keith. With Keith being so admit, he was getting close to where Shiro and Allura left off. Once Keith would see Coran watching, he would usually shut down the systems and walk to shower before either heading to bed or to a meditation room where he would end up falling asleep anyway. Even if it was for a few vargas, it was better than none. Coran would have a hard trouble finding Lance. Lance remembered to sleep for at least six vargas in a bed, but then there were nights that Lance would be in a new location. Once on the observation deck of the control room staring out into space. He would be in a library with three translation books and trying to read through one. Once in the training room. In the kitchen cooking, something to leave for Hunk and Pidge in the morning. Putting away the books that Allura would leave outside her room when she was done with them, or, and this was only a guess because Coran couldn’t prove it, but Lance would be in the Blue Lion, doing something…maybe? Either way, Coran knew when the boy wanted to be alone. Slav, their newest edition now, would be all over the engine room, working for quintants at a time and then crash in a pile of blankets and pillows Coran had left for him in there. Slav would mutter statistics in his sleep, but never made them vocal, his way with morale was…not good and the paladins did not need that…none of them did. 

Tonight, was a calm night though. Allura and Keith had been in their room. Pidge and Hunk at their usual stations, and Lance had been spotted in the main room with a console on, scanning for distress signals. So, it meant that Coran would get a chance to check up on a few of the other occupants in the castle that would be the most lively of the bunch, especially during a sleep cycle. He grabbed a blanket and his second notebook as he made his way down to the bottom hangers, happy to have something to occupy his thoughts. A special secret that not even the Princess knew, just for the fact that Coran wanted her to keep something just for her.

Coran understood the Lions. Every look, every thought, every gesture, he heard, saw, and knew. The one thing that Allura did not know was that Coran was there for the building of the Lions, right beside King Alfor and even being as involved as setting up all the crystals in the Lions main drive. He remembered the cramps in his head after finishing one lion. Once the quintessence began to seep into their forms and began to try speaking to most of everyone around them, but there was Coran, who would wait and listen as they tried hard to speak. Sure, he never could make a bound like the paladins did, but he could hear them like he could anyone else. He never told anyone, first with the fear that they would think that he was losing it, but then, when the Lions had picked their paladins, he felt a little bitter. Coran kept to himself and after the attack, forced into a pod, waking up to a new universe and new paladins, it never came up again. His last connection to his home, his best friend, his world, stood beneath the castle in a large hanger.

Arguing.

“Still yet to figure out what to do with our missing Paladin?” He asked as he walked to his usual seat while all five lions sat and lied around one another. Coran always wondered how they opened their hangers to meet in the main hall. But, it was best not question a pride of lionesses that were in the middle of a heated discussion.

“Coran,” the Black was soothing and low, always cool and never panicked at the situation. She reflected her paladins, powerful and unquestioned, sometimes it was hard to tell who was in charge, her or her paladin. “I know who my replacement is. This is only taking so long because my authority is being questioned.” Her large head made a slight movement towards Red, who sat tall with her tail swaying with intent. Coran set up and began to record the notes of what was going on, just in case it proved helpful.

“Your authority is being rightfully questioned,” Red’s voice was raspy and harsh, she was easy to anger and hard to calm…unless she was in the presence of her paladin. She stood up and her voice was low, “Keith is MY paladin, he proved himself to me, not to you!”

“That is where you are mistaken,” Black said as she turned her head to fully look at Red. “Keith has proven his worth and was chosen by MY paladin. This is until I find him.” She looked away, staring into the distance and the other four bowed their heads for her. “Once I find him, things will go back to the way they were.”

“Well…then who will pilot the Red Lion?” Coran asked going back into a comfortable position with his note taking.

“Keith will be piloting me! My perfect boy!” Red growled out and looked around at the others, daring them to even make any other suggestion as to who will be the pilot of who. She was low and defensive and turned her gaze back to Black, who gave the robot lion equivalent of a sigh. “Try and take him from me.”

“Why not sweet little Hunk,” Yellow offered up rather happily as she stood and looked between Red and Black, who were just staring at her. It didn’t damper her spirits though, she sat down and with her best posture. “In all fairness, he was the one that called to be the head next.”

“Then who will pilot you Yellow,” Green asked as she was still lying on the ground, probably not having the energy to do anything more with all the test, scans, and updating Pidge runs on the poor girl. Her voice was almost a higher alto than the other three, but Yellow had the bubbliest voice of the Lions, while Blue, who was almost frighteningly silent, had the most feminine alluring voice; or as Lance once put it, ‘she sounded hella sexy’ but most Paladins were biased to who had the most pleasing voice. Allura was partial to Yellow. Coran always picked favorites and it was Pidge’s ace in the whole on who had the best sounding Lion. No one had forgiven him for that one yet. “We continue the search for the Black Paladin, but until then, we follow Black. She is our leader; how could you question her?”

Red let out a deep growl, “Traitor! You would be devastated to find out if the small one was going to pilot another.”

“Her name is Pidge,” Green shot back, slowly sitting up. “And I am not like you. I know that she will come back to me, she is my Paladin.”

“I think we still have not discussed the idea of Hunk,” Yellow sang lightly with as she began to grow excited at the thought. “Can’t you picture my sweet boy as the leader!? Oh it sounds so wonderful.”

“No,” Black said, cutting off any excitement Yellow had previously had. She looked to Red, who was sitting there in seething anger. She turned her head to Blue. Blue was silent as she watched them, Black wondered how of all the Paladins, she had the first pick, the first look at the human world where their paladins lay. Earth…she remembered watching the fall of Altea and the rise of a Galra Empire that rose to destroy and conquer. As she was being pulled and stored away, she sent out one last command to her pride, to her companion in arms, to find a paladin outside of this war. A place untouched by the war, there they would find new pilots. She never expected Blue to be the one to find it. If anything, Red was the fastest and could get away easier, even Green would have been a second guess. Each flying off with no Paladin, all crying out for the loss of their first and only connection to something new. Black wallowed for what felt like lifetimes, what had happened to her brilliant leader, to her perfect pilot, to her Paladin? Blue had found the planet of their paladins and of them all, she chose someone so...bright. Blue called him the moon on the waters, how he controlled the current and the tide, always moving, always surviving time and any obstacle. She wanted him to become the water as she was, not a mere reflection of something so powerful. He was on his way; every day she would coo at how much better he was getting.

“Why are you so quiet?” Red finally asked with a hard voice as she wiped her head to look at Blue. Black knew that Red caught her staring at Blue.

Blue lightly turned her head to Red and then over to Black, “Allura will be my pilot.”

Several ‘what’s!?’ sounded off from everyone. Coran was so star struck that he didn’t notice that his hand had slipped over to the right so hard that it ripped paper. He put down his book and began to make his way over to the group. “Wait, wait, wait,” he looked between Black and Blue, “A-Allura must fly the castle! She is the Princess, not a Paladin.”

“Her father was a King and a Paladin,” Blue said softly as she looked directly at Coran, coming down low so that they were closer together. “You will handle the ship in her absence Coran; as you would for King Alfor.” Her voice was warm and sweet and Coran flushed at the look she was giving him. “You and Danio would do amazing things for the castle, I would hope you can do it again.” She bowed to him, “But we have little room to compromise…we all must rise to the occasion.” She sat straight and gave a pointed to Red, who was stunned silent. “The Galra Empire still stands with a new and unknown leader. We waste time arguing over who will pilot who.”

“You are a coward!” Red yelled back with a roar that Coran was still as he waited for someone to come running at the sound. But with how the Paldins were, they must have passed out by now, waiting for the alarm to signal a waking period. She was on all fours, ready to pounce and attack. “You stand for nothing! You hold no loyalty to your decision! Why do you run when we have a better chance to stand our ground, all of you!?” She looked at them all. “I have waited long enough for my Paladin, and now you want to rip him away from me!? What have I ever done to deserve this?”

“You think this is easy for me?” Blue stayed calm, cool, relaxed. A current doesn’t need to be strong, it just must keep moving to erode an obstacle. “You think I want to watch my pilot in another Lion, having to be another replacement again and again because that is what he thinks himself as? My pilot hurts everyday with his head filled with fear and worry, and now I must push him away, so that your paladin can stop running and take his place. A place he knew that he would take if anything happened.” Her stare was hard that Coran could fill the tension grow between the two. “Pidge is unable to handle that kind of power, Hunk is defensive, not offensive. Allura will lose control with power and you both have the same stubbornness and temper. I will teach a new pilot where you would just eject her out if one thing goes wrong.” Red took a step back, even though Blue made no step forward. “Lance will rise to the call of becoming right hand to Keith, as Keith was to Shiro. It will be different, Keith followed without question, but Lance will not, you trust instincts, so trust his. Your petty anger will solve nothing and prolong what must be done.”

“How can you be so sure…Keith is my Paladin…he understands me.” Red was soft, afraid, unsure of what to do when she must take into the consideration that things will and must be different. Alone she stood in fire and consumption, alone she was when the Galra found her and locked her away. Her and Keith alone against a fleet of robot sentries where she watched him work alone, risk his life alone, all for her sake.

“I will protect him for you,” Black said as Red looked to her. “Every instant that he is in trouble, I will go to him, be there for him as much as I can. I have never had to take care of a Paladin, but for you Red, I will be sure your paladin comes back better, stronger, ready to unlock potential you two yet dream of.”

“You must do the same for me Red,” Blue said as she sat by her.

“Of course.” Red nodded.

Black nodded and looked to Coran, “I know that this must be upsetting,” the man looked up at her with wide eyes. “You have stood by us since the beginning, but you must think we find not worth in you as a Paladin. But I find worth in you as who you are.” She said as Coran began to tear up. “You will rise up to your position; you may not be royalty, but you are just as important.”

“Thank you,” he nodded feeling elated and yet so tiny around all the lions. He went over to his notebook and when he picked it up, he looked back to them. “Should…should I tell the others?”

“I trust how you will handle the situation Coran,” Black nodded to him and all the looked to the other Lions. “Once I find my Paladin, things will go back to normal. I promise.”

“I still think we should at least give Hunk a chance,” Yellow chimed in again as the others sighed.

“I have made up my mind, but why not allow everyone a chance at it,” Black said with a soft laughter as Yellow was elated at the idea. “Who knows, maybe the will of the Yellow paladin will surprise me.”

Coran laughed as well, getting back into his spot and jotting down everything that had happened, keeping the words of validation tucked away in his book. It was so hard to think that the Black Lion even knew who he was, let alone remember him like that. He wasn’t sure when he fell asleep, but the last thing he had written was about what would happen with the clash of colors if everyone was going to be moved around. It was fun to look back on everything. He put away his items, walking off to go get some fresh clothes and rather calm that there was little to no yelling. By now, Lance or Keith would do something to egg on the other, itching to let out pent up emotions. The waking period was calm though. Almost too calm. He only saw Allura who was back at the control room, but he stopped and walked in to see that she was just staring at…something. He walked in and raised a brow when she looked back at him with a soft smile and put a finger to her pursed lips. He walked closer and smiled softly when he saw that Lance was still sleeping, his back against the console he had turned on to keep track of distress signals; his arms and legs crossed; the boy could sleep through an invasion if he wanted. Sleeping beside him was Hunk, who had a hand held on his lap that he must have been keeping log of when and where a signal came up and would be easy to transfer to the Lions locator system. Pidge was leaned against Hunk, her computer on her lap and glasses askew on her face. That there was Keith, clutching his glara blade and on the other side of Lance, sleeping next to him with his head against Lance’s shoulder.

Coran chuckled to himself as Allura quickly went for the communication device that Lance used to capture pictures and took a few before they woke up. He stared at the group, sure they were one short now, but he had no worries about them.

“Ah…this is one of those universes,” Slav said with a nod as he began to inspect the group. “Only had a twelve percent chance in being in that one. Hmmm,” he fixed Pidge’s glasses but then ruffled Lances hair, “There…now we have the chance to be in the one where I get closer to fixing this old ship,” he said before scurrying away as Lance began to show signs of waking up.

Coran decided that he best get back to the engine room, he had crystals to check and realign.       

Chapter Text

There was something inherently bad with going through some unknown worm hole that has things that are living on one side and then not on the other. Then going into it to find another reality where the Altean Empire rose, wiped out any threat, and zombified those they did not trust with free thought. All very bad and all very scary. It only gets way worse when another one pops up out in front of the castle of Lions that it causes everyone to panic. Did Lotor open a wormhole? What was about to come through and ready to get the biggest ass kicking from Voltron? Well…that was what the castle was trying to figure out as they watched the wormhole, shields at the ready and everyone watching in their gear and bayards in hand. They could hear the Lions also grow restless at the tension they felt from their paladins. Lance was the closest to the big window that overlooked almost all of space. He always loved space as a kid, but looking at it up close and personal like this, it was amazing. Everyday there was something new and worth his exploration. He pulled out his little camera that Pidge had made just for him as a little gift. Lance had taken a whole week to calculate the time away from earth and mapped out the days to everyone birthdays as best he could with the change of how time was told in space. He would be the first to present gifts to his fellow paladins and try hard to find dessert; which led to one long night of everyone getting sick when not all alien desserts were safe for earthling consumption. Lance was sure to taste test each dessert he bought from that point on. So, Pidge picked out Lance’s birthday on his makeshift counter, and made him something. It led to about a selfie a day with each paladin, more if Lance was in a special kind of mood.

“You really think this is the best time for one of your stupid selfies?” Keith asked with he glared and starred at the screen where Allura and Coran was trying to find out what was going on.

Lance scoffed and did just that, posing as to get most of the wormhole in the picture and posing with a wink. “Yeah, it was.” He shot back with a smirk as Keith scoffed and ignored him. Lance scoffed back and went back to staring out at the wormhole, feeling the excitement continue to burn in his gut. He put the device away when he took notice into something going on. “Hey, hey, hey!” He ran over to the glass, pressed against it while pointing at the bottom of the wormhole. “Something is coming through!”

“No way!” Pidge ran over to look and Hunk was scared straight up and went over to the other three that were trying to run every scan on the ship coming through. “No way…I thought only the metals from that meteor could make it through to another universe?” She gasped and looked to Lance, “Maybe they’re from another universe that stopped Lotor and are here to help us stop our version of Lotor.”

“Who could it be,” Lance smiled down at her, “maybe it’s a version of us that are all mermaids,” he sighed dreamily and looked back to the ship, “I would be a hot mermaid.”

“How are we gonna walk around with mermaid tails?” Pidge asked as she watched the ship.

“Ever heard of a wheel chair Pidge,” he looked down at her and smiled. “I bet you could even make something just in case something happens to one of us and we can’t use our legs.” He said and Pidge smiled big and began to work out the schematics that she would later end up giving to Hunk to build. “Any news on who looks to be heading towards our ship?” Lance looked back at the four, seeing that he was ignored. He went back to talk to Pidge, but she was consumed by her own designs and he was alone…again. He looked down at the ship that was heading towards them slowly, carefully in a way. He got an idea and it would probably be for the best that he asked Allura if what he wanted to do would be okay with her. He glanced back to her but she looked to be caught up with Hunk already trying to pull the console apart to try and amplify their signal. Even Keith was in mid argument with Allura over how to go about the call. Coran and Slav were also in discussion on what to do about the shielding and boarding. Lance felt a big smile creep up on his face as he began to back away from them all and quietly got into the pod that got him to Red’s hanger. It took Allura until he got into Red to know what he was doing.

“Lance,” her voice came over the communications, with her face popping up with anger and the other paladins crowding the screen. “I did not give you permission to leave this castle.”

“Look,” he said as he was preparing for launch. Red was just as excited with the idea of seeing something new with her temp paladin, both sharing an excitement that they didn’t know who started and who continued. “We don’t want the ship to get too close, right? So, I can just go out, give a greeting, maybe some threats, and Hot Mama and I will totally bring back the ship and those on it.” He cooed to the Lion, who purred loudly in his head and was cooing him back with encouraging words. “Babe, later, we got a job to do.” He said back and the two took off towards the ship.

Allura looked worried, “Be safe Lance, we have your back.”

“I’ve got lasers pointed on the ship just in case Lance,” Coran said not coming into view but Lance could hear the enthusiasm in his voice.

“And don’t talk to Red like that, she’s not just someone that you can pick up with those terrible lines,” Keith came into view, blocking everyone else.

“Yeah hear that my mamasita? Samurai is jealous that you like my pickup lines.” He smirked as Keith glared at the screen. “What’s that lovely,” Lance said dramatically and over acted, “you…love me? More than Keith? I mean, I always knew it was true, but maybe we should talk about this later babe.”

“Shut up Lance,” Keith scoffed and backed away with a glare.

“He’s brooding,” Pidge said with a snicker and Keith yelled back that he wasn’t but he was ignored. “Just focus on the ship and be sure to tell them that we come in peace.”

“I hope it’s us as mermaids,” Hunk said with a smile, “Or maybe us in different Lions…I could be the head! Lance,” Hunk grabbed the console, “report back if other me is the head or not.”

“On it buddy,” he laughed as Red shot through space and toward the ship that clearly noticed that he was coming towards them. He slowed down as he got close to the ship, clearly way bigger than it and he opened up communications to the ship. He moved the screen of Allura watching and listening to him. Lance waited for a bit and got excited when he got a request for transmission and he straightened himself before answering, with the most serious face he muster. That was until he saw who popped up on the screen. “Uhhh…” Lance’s mouth fell open as his cheeks burst red with color and embarrassment.

“What is it Lance,” Allura, asked, her concern coming through as she watched Lance stare at another screen. “Lance? Who is it?

“H-Hi…” he said shyly with a smile on his face and a dreamy look in his eyes at whoever he was staring at.

“Hello,” a strong voice came through and Lance’s face only grew redder. “We are with the Guns of Gamora, and we are doing a test run of a worm hole generator we have. Please, can you inform us of our location.”

“Hi,” Lance repeated.

Pidge groaned, “Lance, no time for goo-goo eyes,” that was enough to bring Keith back to the console to see what in the world was going on. “Tell them our coordinates.” Lance was pulled from his trance and he stumbled with a couple other screens, earning a laugh from the voice that didn’t help Lance. He rattled off some coordinates and then went back to looking at the screen with doe eyes.

“How strange,” the voice said, “that is the exact location we were in. Hiroshi,” the voice called out, “can you explain any of this?”

“It seems that we have not gone to a new location at all Akira,” the voice was not as warm or low toned, but it had a higher pitch than the other. “We have jumped to our exact location, but the universe we are in is totally different.” Lance jumped back a bit, confusing the crew but he was surprised as another face came on screen. “How amazing, this person looks just like you Isamu!”

“Out of the way short stuff,” a new face came into view and Lance gasped as he smiled big. “Whoa, who is this good-looking guy?” The voice laughed as Lance struck a pose.

“I was just about to ask you the same thing gorgeous.” He winked back and the group on the other ship and in the castle groaned. “Names Lance, pilot of the Red Lion.”

“Oh! Lance,” Lance smiled as a new face came into view with a very distinct accent. “Hello.”

“Sven!” Lance smiled big, “You’re okay!”

“Very good space hospital,” he smiled, “it seems that we jumped into your reality. Big oops on us, Slav wanted to make a teleduv.” He moved away and another person came into view, “Tsuyoshi, can you get in communication with Slav and the Guns; don’t want to get stuck here.” The bigger guy on screen continued to stare at Lance, and Lance only starred back. “Hm? What?”

“This guy is in the Red Lion…but Akira is the one that pilots the Red Lion,” he said.

“Uh…yeah…we have a bit of a situation, but no need to fear,” he smiled, “we’re working on getting everything back to normal.” He said and the group back at the castle shared a look and then back at Lance, who was back to being star-struck as he starred at the screen. “You can totally board my Lion if you want…” he stopped and seemed to be listening to someone else. It was Red, beginning to chide him. “Babe, we can’t leave them out here-”

“Excuse me,” the voice came through and Lance was quick to give them his full attention, the castle group could see the hearts in his eyes as he held his face. “I hope that you don’t mind, but I was the pilot of the Red Lion in my reality…before…” he trailed off but then smiled at the Lance again, “may I talk to her.”

“No,” Keith shot in, but Lance nodded excitedly. Keith glared as he listened to some stranger talk to his lion. The Black Lion voiced some light compliant and Keith apologized but still felt anger and jealousy building in his gut. First Lance and now Red too? He stood there seething as he listened to this person coo at his Lion and Lance figuratively melting at the sound of his voice. “Are we really going to let this group onto the ship?”

“I…trust Lance’s judgement,” Allura said as she looked to Coran, “but just in case, Coran, can we be sure when Lance boards, we lock off the doors to be sure they do not try to charge in.”

“Yes Princess,” he saluted to her and ran off to the control room for the Lion Hangers.

“Princess,” Lance said, his voice in a dream like state, “the ship is going to be boarding the Red Lion, we are headed back.” He with basically bouncing in his seat as he watched the ship begin to connect to the top of the ship. “Oh man,” he was suddenly alert and shifted a few controls that they knew put the Lion into auto-pilot. “I…I…” he fixed his helmet to close it off and connect to the oxygen tank in his suit. The group watched as he was still and then heard the airlock opened and then he jumped out of his seat to go greet the others.

“Lance,” Hunk called, “is the other me the Black Lion?”

“Hunk, you heard that guy who wanted to talk to Red said that he ‘was’ the Red pilot, something happened in that universe that kept them from continuing to be paladins.” Pidge said as she fixed her glasses and pulled up the readings on the Red Lion. She looked over to Allura, “Do you think it has something to do with the Empress you, Princess?”

“It must be,” she said as she looked to her with worry, “that must be concerning, if this other reality has Voltron, who knows what they could do if they came to this reality?”

“Where the hell is Lance,” Keith was still staring at the screen, growing concerned that he hadn’t come back yet. Then, they heard the airlocks lock up, pressure stabilized, and the sound of Oxygen filling back in to normal levels. He heard muffled voices and was embarrassed that he could pick out Lance’s without having to question himself. He was wide eyed when the group came into view. Lance was back in his seat and the communication screen between them and the Red Lion was centered again and they all looked at a very similar looking group. He was struck when he saw…himself…maybe a little older…but that was him! “Holy shit…” he whispered as he looked at the group.

Hunk gasped and the man that looked like him gasped back and they got in the screen. “Hello! I’m Hunk,” Hank waved.

“The names Tsuyoshi,” he waved, “I have to know…are you the Black Paladin?”

“No, are you?” Hunk asked with a big smile.

“No,” he sighed in defeat, “I can’t even say that I’m the Yellow Paladin anymore…” he smiled back at him, “but hey, they picked the best man for the job.” Hunk giggled happily and backed away, holding his red cheeks. “Oh,” Tsuyoshi then saw who maned the ship. “I hope your Empress is…uh…not evil.”

“I am Princess Allura,” she smiled as she introduced herself with a smile. “I think we have a lot to discuss until you are able to assure your safe return to your reality.”

“Hey there beautiful,” an older looking Lance leaned in over the Lance’s chair and winked. “Names Isamu, but you can call me whatever you want.”

“Oh, please,” a shorter male pushed him away and looked at the screen. “Interesting,” he began to type away on a screen that floated beside him. “Readings seem to be the same, but I’m picking up a lot more on the Galra in passing communications. Was this what you were talking about Sven, the universe with Voltron fighting the Glara?” He looked back at Sven, who nodded, only taking the moment to look at the smaller kid and then going back to looking at the screen.

Pidge was bouncing with excitement as she starred at the screen, “Holy quiznak guys…that’s meee~” she squeaked and looked to Hunk and Keith with bright eyes. “This is the thing that people wrote about as sci-fy, we are living the galactic nerds dream!” She looked back at the screen, “I’m Kaite Holt, but everyone calls me Pidge.”

“I am Hiroshi,” the male smiled back while fixing his glasses. “I will assume that you are also the smartest among the group.”

“Obviously,” she scoffed and the others looked to her with a frown, but Coran was nodding. “I think I should be able to help on that communications.”

Before he could say anything, Keith’s look alike came forward, which meant putting his hand on Lance’s shoulder and leaning in to be more in the center of the screen. Lance gasped and stared at him like he had been touched by something magically. His cheeks were bright red and his eyes were wide in shock. “That would be so kind, thank you Miss Holt,” he smiled and the others were taken back by seeing Keith’s face smile. Keith on the other hand scoffed and looked away, feeling something bubbling in his stomach. He couldn’t stand to watch Lance go all goo-goo eyed. “I am Akira, is it all right if we may board? This conversation may be better had face to face.”

“I have been blessed,” Lance whispered while staring at the hand on his shoulder.

“Lance will fly you back,” Allura assured and gave Lance a pointed look. She watched as Akira leaned back, but kept his hand on Lance’s shoulder. The boy in blue seemed to be struck in place, staring up at him. “Lance,” she said a little louder and he jumped and looked at her, hand caught in the cookie jar. “Please bring back the Guns as safely as possible.”

“Yeah,” Pidge butt in with a smirk, “you all may want to hold on to something with the way Lance flies.”

“Hey,” he shot back, “I am an amazing pilot.”

Akira chuckled, “I know the feeling,” he smiled happily as Lance looked up at him with a dreamy smile as Akira looked around the lion, “I remember flying Red…she’s the greatest and yet the worst to try and talk to.”

“She’s the easiest to talk to cause she’s amazing,” Keith shot back in, not going back to the console but being loud enough to be heard. “So is the Black Lion, a majesty of the sky!” He added as Black began to purr loudly and agree with what he said; Keith always knew when to give her a good ego stroke.

“Hey Lance,” Isamu smiled clapped his other shoulder and brought him bac. “If you are me, you’re the best damn pilot on this team.”

“Damn right I am,” he smirked and without warning, took off, causing Hiroshi and Tsuyoshi to fall back as the other three clutched the chair. Isamu was wide eyed with a big smile on his face and he and Lance both hollered in happiness with Lance adding some extra flare when heading back to the ship. Akira hung on tight with his body tense. Sven was laughing. “Open the hanger,” he called but Coran was way ahead of him. He was elated, the bubbling in his gut and his mind buzzing as he landed in the hanger. Red was all over the place, trying to get a read on them all and keeping her eyes on Akira, or maybe that was just Lance. He knew that Red was a little high strung, and eased up before getting close and was sure to try and land as gently as possible, not that he would be mad with doing a little extra touch ups on Red. He eased up on the controls as Red stood still in the hanger, all waiting on the airlock to close and stabilize. Once ready, Lance walked her into her usual spot. “Don’t be shy,” he looked to Isamu, “how was that?”

Isamu was smiling big as he looked at Lance, “Amazing! You are me!” he two laughed as two voices behind them groaned. “Whoa, Tsuyoshi, Hiroshi…what happened to you guys?” Lance got up, already missing the heavy hand that was on his shoulder. Isamu put his hands on his hips and looked at the two that were seated on the ground. “Red’s wicked from the outside, but inside…wild right?”

“Yeah,” Hiroshi glared at the two, “real wild.” He stood up, dusting off his clothes as Tsuyoshi’s eyes were still spinning. “I never got the chance to look at the Altean castle…hopefully I can gain something from the one in this universe.”

“I think I’m gonna hurl,” Tsuyoshi said as he was lying face down.

“Not in here big guy,” Lance went over to help him to his feet, “I just cleaned the floors from the last time I had Hunk in here.” He chuckled to himself, thinking back to the scavenger mission on Maric-9 for metals and food. Lance was piloting the fastest lion, so Allura that it best to send him with Hunk; if anything, they learned that Lance was getting better at ‘threading the needle’ with Red.

“Very big,” Sven said as he looked out of the front of Red down into the hanger, where the team was already waiting. He looked around and had a sad smile, “still no me…hm?”

Lance frowned a bit, “No…nothing new since the last time we met.” He then took off his helmet and smiled at the group, that was now staring, “But once we find him, I’ll be sure to send you guys a picture- oh wait!” He smiled brightly and pulled out his camera, “Can I get a picture of you guys?”

“I’ve been waiting since we met for you to ask,” Isamu smirked and leaned back against the chair and posed with running one hand through his hair. He winked at the camera, “How’s this?”

“He wants all of us,” Tsuyoshi jumped in, with the same pose and a more dramatic flair. Lance smiled and watched as the others got into view. Isamu and Tsuyoshi returned to a more toned down pose and he quickly took two pictures. “How do I look?”

Lance looked up at them and made eye contact with Akira first. He smiled and Lance felt something in his chest flutter and he blushed, “You wouldn’t believe me if I answered.” He then cleared his throat and turned away, “Come on Red, I bet the others are anxious to meet the Guns.” He listened as Red began to give a verbal warning on trusting another dimension so easily as he led the group down out of Red’s mouth. Then she began to comment on how much Akira and Keith are so similar and that they looked alike and thought alike; that Lance had to disagree with because Akira was so nice to him, and he smiled! If Keith smiled…

Lance nearly tripped and fell out of Red’s mouth but someone grabbed the back of his collar and pulled him back to his feet. “Th-Thanks,” he looked back to see that sure enough, Akira was the one to catch him. They stepped off and were quickly mobbed by the others. Lance stepped aside as he watched the others interact with their other reality counterparts. Keith stood by him, watching with a critical eye. Lance was a little unnerved by Keith’s stare. He leaned in and whispered, “What’s up samurai? You see something?”

Keith was almost sure that his heart was about to burst out of his chest. Lance was a little too close and whispering into his ear. Was he dreaming? He was sure that if he looked at Lance (if this was really happening) that he would break the illusion. Keith kept back the need to blush, Lance was always giving everyone nicknames and when Keith got his, he couldn’t sleep at night, Lance’s voice calling him ‘samurai’ (for the first time) blessed him for days. But now it was just a natural part of conversation and it still made him blush each time. He cleared his throat, “We don’t know them…sure we know Sven is against the Alteans of their reality, but we don’t know about the others.” He said as he looked at them all, stopping to look over the tall dark lithe man that was already all over the others with a big smile and posing. He saw a different Lance, one that was so…untamed in emotions. Keith looked to Akira and sneered; stealing his face and getting Lance to go all goo-goo eyed. “I bet it’s that so called red pilot.”

“Akira,” Lance sighed dreamily as he held his face. “No way, that guy can’t be a spy for the Empress.”

“Oh like you can make any unbiased decisions about him?” Keith shot back with some spite he wished he could hold back.

“Yeah,” he smiled and put his hands on his hips, “He’s you, and you would never do anything like that to us. Not the Keith I know,” he looked at Keith and winked as Keith was staring at him with wide eyes and a blush. “If anything, Isamu and I would make the best spies, being so good looking who wouldn’t want us?” He struck a pose and Keith scoffed but couldn’t help but laugh. Lance chuckled gave Keith a pat on the back, “Don’t worry samurai, I’ll keep on my toes with you. Everyone is guilty until proven innocent.” He winked and walked over to the group and Keith felt flush and thinking that his heart surely was beating loud enough for everyone to hear. He clutched his chest and turned away with the need to run away and scream into a pillow. His head screamed to just say something, say anything. But when he turned back, he glared as Lance was right up on Akira, talking non-stop and leading him out to the main control room. So much for keeping on his toes.

(Line Break)

Lance was sure that he spent most of the time in the castle, mostly blushing and laughing a little too loudly at anything Akira did. He was just so smiley, and calm, and was always just too…nice. He wondered what was going on underneath all that, but he wouldn’t let anyone know. Lance wanted to know exactly what was going on in his head. Akira was just like Keith, accept he smiled where Keith would frown and look away. He didn’t know which one he disliked more. At least Keith he could get through to, Akira…what a brick wall. But that smile…

“Hey good-looking,” Isamu smiled as he walked over and sat down by Lance. He was sitting in the control room, staring out into space, staring at the portal that still was staying in spot. Maybe something else would come through, Pidge and Hiroshi were looking at signals and trying to break through to the other side, while Hunk and Tsuyoshi were trying to re-wire a satellite to be able to connect. Akira had taken a liking to Keith, more intrigued by the other version of himself, and Keith begrudgingly accepted his company, using it to fight a good challenge, himself. Sven had taken to following Allura around with this puppy dog look and Lance and Isamu both joked that they could see his tail wagging and the drool coming out of his mouth. Isamu leaned back with his hands supporting him, “You look to be lost.”

“Nah,” Lance smiled at him before looking back out into the distant void of stars, planets, suns, and realities. “Just enjoying the view…looks better while sitting on the beach though.”

“By the pizza shack…mami and papi would be calling in everyone,” Isamu smiled as he stared off too. “They would have to drag me off the docks…’cause I looked up there and counted down the days until I could be up there too.”

“I gotta ask…” Lance looked at him, “how long have you been in space, fighting back against the Altean Empire?”

“Man,” Isamu sighed, “I don’t even want to think about it. Let’s see,” he laughed lightly sitting forward with his hands on his knees. “I graduated at nineteen…I was a cargo piolet for a year, and then, finally,” he smiled fondly, “I was accepted for the chance to fly with a team on an expedition for space exploration.” He sat back and looked up at the stars. “I was recruited as a strategist and weapons expert, which should have been my first clue that this trip wasn’t like all the others.” Lance was watching him with wonder bright eyed that another him, was a cargo piolet, but still made it to be a defender of the universe…made all his worrying look like a baby having a tantrum. “And from all of Hiroshi’s calculations on converting time…we’ve been at this thing for about almost three years now,” he sighed, “I’m about twenty-three…man, I feel like an old man when I look at you.”

“Yeah dude…I became defender of the universe at seventeen,” he laughed as Isamu blanched and touched his face. “But hey…we can do a face mask that will get rid of all those worry lines,” he chuckled as Isamu looked at him with a raised brow, “But hey, it makes you look wise…age looks good on you.”

“Obviously,” he smirked and gave a charming smile. Lance nudged him with a laugh. “But uh…” his smile faded into something that was hiding something else, “you do that…girly stuff?”

“Having good skin is not girly,” Lance scoffed as Isamu looked at him with shock. “Is that allowed where you come from?”

“The earth I came from would have me skinned for even thinking about stuff like that,” he laughed nervously, and Lance knew that laugh, the one that he used to hid that he was scared and confused. He didn’t know how to deal with it…how could he assure another him of the thing he was still having trouble with. “It was hard enough to tell mama that I was in love with another man…” he was bent forward, not looking at Lance. “At least out here…away from my family…for that world…I discovered a new one…one where I could get close to me…”

Lance sucked in a breath, “You…You want me to give you a face mask…it’s made with a really nice purple space fruit, makes my skin like…baby soft.” He offered with a nervous smile as Isamu looked at him. “While in space…right? We can be who we are…our friends would never judge us for it.”

“Yeah,” Isamu smiled as he stood up and pulled Lance to his feet, “yeah I have been meaning to try something new. And maybe I can regain that youthful glow I had before this all started.” He laughed as Lance pulled him to his room, feeling giddy of finally having someone to connect with. “I bet Akira would love this too, maybe I should get mi amor-” he was cut off when he ran into Lance and brought them both crashing to the floor. “Hey,” he rolled off him and sat up. Lance had turned to lie on his back, face a bright red. “You good?”

“You said…my love…you called Akira…that…?” Lance said like he was in a hazy dream.

“Yeah,” Isamu said with a nervous smile, “are you and your red paladin…I mean…I thought we were basically almost the same…”

“Keith could never like me…he’s too good for me…” Lance sat up and looked at him. “I’m glad you found love though.”

“No slow down there good looking,” Isamu sat to face him, legs crossed, “how are you not good enough. We are good enough for anything we want. I didn’t get to this point by thinking so low of myself.”

“That must be how we’re different,” Lance laughed bitterly, “you can actually get better…me? I’m just a seventh wheel…sixth now but by default ‘cause we lost a person.” He took in a deep breath and let it out after, “How did you two…get together?”

“Well let me tell you something,” he began, “the Kogane is a hard creature to crack through because there is this thick wall of defense and to keep everything out and in all at once.” He stood and held out his hand for Lance. He took it graciously and they continued to walk to his room. “Anything I did, just a smile, never could I actually found out how he felt, or thought, or if he was even okay. He never talked, he just did it.”

“Same here,” Lance began, “Keith is just so…instinctual and maybe he isn’t able to read emotions or what I’m trying to do, but we only recently stopped finding a reason to fight with one another. I want to be there for him you know, I’m his new right hand. I gotta be sure he’s okay and not lead us into an ambush…again,” he said as he rubbed his face. “It’s nice not fighting, but now it was like our fighting was an excuse to talk. He never openly tells me if anything is wrong, so I have to ask him and be sure not to push too hard or I get shut out completely.”

“It’s the same thing with Akira,” Isamu said with a smile, finally finding someone that got his plight. “How can I help if you won’t talk to me?”

“Right!?”

“But he was so closed off because of this one time that he told me that he…’held me in his arms’? Like I remember being almost killed by an explosion, but not being held…and I would remember being held by such a babe.” He laughed, “so I looked up some old tapes that Hiroshi got for me, and I watched the moment…I said something to him about how we would be a good pair.” He smiled at Lance, who was gapping at him, “Then he was more willing to let me in…which is when I found out that he had a little crush on me.” He giggled as Lance pulled out a chair for him and then grabbed a few bottles of different face masks. Isamu leaned back, “But that mullet head is about as emotional as the wall he built to keep me out…it was hard to break, and he still acts like we aren’t the cutest couple in the universe.” He chuckled, “You should see how red he gets when I ask him for a kiss.”

“It’s how you’ll pay me back for me using this good product,” he smiled at Isamu, who looked excited at the idea of getting a kiss. “And…thanks for talking to me.”

Isamu smiled warmly, “Thanks for listening…and hopefully taking my advice.”

(Same Time Different Place)

Hunk and Tsuyoshi were nearly in sync as a pair, being able to get double the amount the work done in half the time. They were pulling apart some old and broken equipment Coran said they could use to try and enhance the signal to get through to the portal. They wanted to ensure that if they sent the crew back, they would go back to their reality and not to another. Hunk was excited to talk to someone that lived the same life as him but slightly different. Age wise for sure, but Hunk that he was a pretty good looking dude, Lance made that clear enough back when they were fourteen and spent a whole valentine’s day praising Hunk’s look. And looking to Tsuyoshi, he hoped he looked just as good in the next few years. Maybe get an undercut like Shiro had…or let his hair grow long like his moms always wanted. They were still fiddling with the electronics, Hunk pulling old stuff apart while Tsuyoshi would fix them into place on the console that powered the satellite.

“How about back at the Garrison,” Hunk asked as he was looking up from his work. “What did you go in for?”

“I was in the engineering program, graduated to be placed in the hangers…fixing ships and building whatever new designer came up with.” He laughed lightly as he sat up and pulled up the protective mask. “I was going to live a nice steady life, fixing ships, weapons, any vehicle…hoping to get back to Hawaii on the base there.” He smiled fondly while grabbing another part Hunk had suggested in hopes to act as a breaker so that the console didn’t explode with the flood of power that needed to be pumped into it to get a signal through a portal. “I was recruited onto the expedition as to keep the ship flying and suits working.” He laughed, “You have no idea how easy it is for Akira to push a ship past its limits.”

“I think I can picture it,” he said with a smile, thinking at how, Keith had blown up an escape ship at the whim that it may go faster or explode…and thought the payoff was good enough for the risk. “All red paladins share a certain charm to them.”

“No kidding, but good thing that I was on the ship,” Tsuyoshi pointed to himself with a big smile, “Without me and Isamu, those three would be at each other’s throats two minutes into take off.” The two shared a laugh, “and thank goodness for Isamu…I was going to turn down the expedition.”

“You were,” Hunk looked at him with big eyes and shock. “Why? This is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Even if the original flight was only for exploration, going to space and discovering new things, new worlds, people, thinking, and then finding similarity in the things we all design,” Hunk was looking down at the parts in his lap, “Sure…it’s so scary and there is danger at every corner…but everything I learned…who I am…” he looked up at Tsuyoshi, who had stopped his working to stare at him. “I guess…you and I are really alike,” he smiled, “we were talked into adventure…by our best friends.”

“Isamu was not my best friend…to begin with,” Tsuyoshi admitted and Hunk gasped loudly and stood. “I met him about a handful of times at the Garrison, made awkward small talk when I filled out the paperwork for his ship…he just happened to hear me talking to a supervisor about me turning down the position.” He shrugged as Hunk was still wide eyed and appalled, “We…We’re best friends now though! Like, such good friends that he and I are basically brothers.”

“How…How did you get through middle school without a Lance…Isamu I mean.” Hunk asked, recalling his days as an even younger kid, in school that was filled with so many loud and bright people that he felt muted and dulled out. Just a face in the crowd if it wasn’t for Lance. Lance, the shining star that would stand behind Lance to give him all his light. Going as far to raise his hand for Hunk, say all the things Hunk wanted to say and giving him credit when he wanted it. Without Lance, Hunk wouldn’t have worked up the courage to ask his mom’s to send him to the Garrison, far away in the deserts to study engineering.

“You were lucky then Hunk,” Tsuyoshi smiled, “I’m glad one of us had someone there with us…helping us be us…accepting ourselves when no one else would. But the idea of Isamu at my house makes me think of how much my moms would have loved him.” They both chuckled. “When I go back home, with the rest of my crew, even if it’s only to visit, I’m going to introduce them to my best friend…and you hold on to that friendship Hunk,” he put his mask back on, “Now lets get a move on champ, can’t introduce him while in this reality.”

“On it!” Hunk smiled as he began to stock pile better parts and adjusting parts before handing them off. “Hey…Tsuyoshi…I think you make a great head of Voltron.”

Tsuyoshi laughed, “Thanks Hunk…but I think we both know that we come best to leading our friends out of internal conflict…we leave the team leading to someone else.”

Hunk chuckled, “Yeah…after this we should get something to eat.”

“Seconded.”

(Same Time Different Place)

Pidge and Hiroshi were bent over their respective consoles, trying hard to get communications through and Hiroshi going as far as to trying to pull out equipment from their ship as a way to see that maybe the technology they got from the Guns would be enough to help. Pidge was quick to tell him that if he did anything to that ship, he was never getting back in one piece. He laughed and Pidge only smiled, feeling something in her chest clench at just the sound of his voice. Pidge shouldn’t be surprised that her counterpart was male…but she had hoped that in another realty, she was born a woman, like how she saw herself now. She was wondering why he didn’t say anything when she introduced herself as Katie…did he even know that she identifies as female and not male like he did. Maybe he thought it was just something about this reality, where another him was born a woman…she hoped that’s what he thought. But fear was still settled in her, there was no estrogen in space for her to take. The stash that she carried around while in the Garrison was always in her bag, which she had luckily brought along when she was on the roof that faithful night. But even that was running low, she took smaller doses, but she can see that the effects were starting to revert. She glanced over to him and shuddered, she would look like him in a few years if she didn’t get more of the hormone to keep her transitioning on track. But how could she tell the team they needed to help her. The universe was at stake and she was worried about growing facial hair and her jaw line.

“Hello,”

She jumped and looked over to see Hiroshi looking at her with a pointed stare. “Sorry…what?”

“I asked you if you have been able to take anything from the readings on the ship while it passed through the portal…this stuff is ancient and I can’t even use my own tools to connect to it.” He asked again and went back to looking at his screen. “I’m so close to getting past the waves coming off the portals, but I’m missing something…”

Pidge was still looking at him…feeling her questions burning in her chest. “Who are you?” She blurted out and it was enough to stop him mid typing and slowly turn his head to look at her. “I mean,” she fixed her glasses, “I am so interested in what is similar about our lives, how they compare, the probability of finding us in comparison to every other possibility. Like, you could have landed in a reality were Voltron was just a popular cartoon character, or one where Earth had taken over the galaxy and Voltron was made by a species of dog people on a planet three solar systems away,” she laughed as he continued to stare at her. She faltered, “Wow…this is what Lance must feel like when I stare like that.”

“I don’t think it really matters,” he raised a brow, fixing his own glasses, “the number of all possibilities would be too hard to calculate and really not serve a purpose to me.” He turned away.

“You can’t tell me that you’re not curious,” she scoffed and turned away. “Like, I have an older brother, Matt. He and my father were taken while on a trip to Kerberos,” she recounted the tale. “So, I snuck into the Garrison to get information, and in turn, I was reading signals from space talking about Voltron.”

He was silent.

Pidge continued, suddenly understanding how Hunk and Lance felt when they were trying to be friendly. “I only got pulled into space because of Lance and Hunk, really just Lance because he wanted me to come with him and Hunk to explore a ship crash that the Garrison was quick to respond to it. That’s where we found out Keith, a genius pilot and drop out, and Shiro, who was a famous pilot and had been missing for a year.” She glanced back at him, “Then we followed Keith back to his loner shack and Hunk helped us find this weird energy of the Blue Lion, who took a liking to Lance, and I can see why, guy can make an entrance.”

“My crew came upon the Altean Castle,” Hiroshi began and Pidge was so excited that she got through to him. “They welcomed us with open arms and said that they wanted to know more about us, contact the people of Earth. Isamu had been the one that was searching through the castle and came across the Blue Lion…like a museum display. They told us that Voltron was a thing of the past, a memory to those noble in their quest to bring peace to the universe.” His voice was solemn and an even tone. “The Blue Lion opened up to Isamu, and the others followed to their respective paladin…we through we were chosen to do something amazing…” he was growing angry and he slammed his fist down on the console. “The Empire wanted to use us, a weapon to keep the universe in line…to strike fear into all that wanted to rebel.” He stood up straight, “So, we joined the other side…a group of rebelling Galra and the Guns of Gamora, an Altean rebel group.”

“Wow…” Pidge blushed, staring at her screen, “sorry…I shouldn’t have asked…”

He was quiet, and then spoke again. “I…I have an older brother too, he and my dad never were kidnapped by anyone,” he said lightly. “They are back on Earth…probably already moved on because they most have reported us dead by now.” He glanced back at her, “I hope you find them Katie,” he said with a smile.

“I will Hiroshi,” she smiled back at him, “and I’ll be sure to find a way so that you can meet them.”

“I would love to ask this Matt what it was like to have a little sister,” he said with a laugh, “my brother would probably be so happy for a sister, boys are too much sometimes, and my mother would have loved to have someone around to dress up and make tea with.” He said as he leaned back against the console and looked at her, noticing that she was stiff. “It’s funny how much of a big difference there is between us in comparison to everyone else. Different sexes, but everyone else is the same-”

“We…We aren’t different sexes,” she said quickly, while holding herself. “We…we were born the same sex…we’re different genders.”

“Wh…What?”

Pidge couldn’t look back at him, thinking about how he must be looking at her, for being so different…for being wrong. She felt the shiver run through her, she hated that look, the one some of her distant family would still give her when she went over for holidays and parties. “I was born male…but I am a woman, mind and soul…just not body…” She took in a deep breath and turned around to face him. She opened her eyes and was shocked to see that he had tears in his eyes, and he looked so small and…confused. “S-Say something…?”

“You…” he clutched the clothe over his chest. “That’s a real way you can feel…? And people…understand that feeling?”

“Yeah,” she smiled lightly as he wiped his eyes, looking like a wait had been lifted off his shoulders. “And…in space…it’s not like they understand that there is anything wrong with feeling like that.” She smiled as Hiroshi looked to grow happier as she spoke. “And…you can be whoever you want here…no human limitations…or standards.”

“Yeah…” he smiled and turned away. She could see his shoulders shaking and listening to his ragged breathing. “Yeah…you got a point.”

Pidge smiled and turned away, “You wanna…go play a video game for a bit.”

“We have work to do,” he said, still struggling to breath a bit and hiccupping. “It would be better if I focused.”

“Just for a bit,” she prompted again, “not like these readings are gonna get in clearer with us just staring at the screen.” She said lightly as she looked back at him, “How about just two rounds…at most.”

Hiroshi stopped for a bit, took a deep breath, and then nodded, “Best two out of three and then straight back to work.” He smiled back at her, his eyes still red from tears and they walked out to the lounge, where Pidge was excited to show him her set up of Earth tech into Altean electronics.

(Same Time Different Place)

Akira was at least quiet as they were walking around the castle, Keith felt like he was giving a bad tour of the place, he was just trying to get to the training grounds and made a stop at his room to grab his blade that he must have gotten from his mother. Akira was quick to latch on to him, which was good because that meant Keith could keep an eye on him; it also meant that he wouldn’t be around Lance. Which was still causing him to grind his teeth at the thought of the two of them. Lance had been laughing and talking nonstop talking to Akira, who was an amazing listener and an active one too. Keith could listen to Lance’s voice for hours, but then he would get lost in Lance’s looks and then not listen and Lance would catch him not listening, which made them both nervous. Lance would then make an excuse to leave him alone, something about how he must be boring him, and Keith didn’t have the balls to stop him and tell him straight to his face that he was in love with him and wanted to spend their lives together. But that never happened and Keith would just nod and the two would go their separate ways.

But then Mister perfect next to him just had to come in and be everything Lance ever wanted and he did it with his face!

“So…how did you become the Black Paladin,” Akira asked as they got close to the training area. They entered through the large doors and Keith summoned his Marmora Blade and then brought up a weapons platform for Akira.

“A member is missing…he asked me to lead until we got him back,” Keith said as he was typing in a training sequence and then took position as Akira grabbed a staffed like weapon and gave it a few spins, smiling when he found that the ends were conductive. “If you ever feel in danger, just call to end the sequence.”

“What if I feel that you are in danger?” Akira asked but Keith snapped his head over to see that Akira was smirking and chuckling to himself. He felt the anger boil in his veins, he was going to destroy the other him and feel no regret! “Oh don’t pout Keith, I heard that it ages you.”

Now that was a Lance line! Lance must have said that to Akira and it fueled him further. Keith started the sequence and as gladiators dropped, he and Akira quickly went into the combat scenario.

“I have to asked Keith…how did you become a paladin of Voltron?” Akira asked almost too casually. It made Keith angrier.

“I found the Blue Lion while out in the desert, Hunk had helped locate her,” he said trying to be just as casual and was sure to make his swings harder and trying hard not to go for Akira at the first chance he got. “Then Lance flew her to the castle, woke it up with Allura and Coran inside, and they sent us out after the other Lions.” He said and impaled another gladiator before kicking it off his sword and turning just in time to avoid a swing from another.

“How interesting,” Akira laughed lightly, “Lance was the first to activate his Lion, like Isamu did for us,” his voice softened. “Lance is fairly amazing, I can see why the Blue Lion would open up to him.” He said with a laugh and Keith was starting to feel something kicking his gut. Why was this guy all over Lance!? “The Blue Paladin…always something special…easy to be with them.”

“End sequence!” Keith yelled and the gladiators stopped and disappeared into the floor.

Akira stood still, too relaxed, “What’s wrong Keith? I was okay-” he was cut off when he felt something behind him and Keith spun him around and pushed him back a bit. Before Akira could ask what was going on, Keith stood in an offensive position and Akira only took a moment to nod and got into a position. “Okay…I have always wanted to fight myself.” He smiled and Keith lunged at him with a glare as Akira was quick to block and didn’t make much move to attack. It made Keith angrier because Akira was neutral in expression. “You sure are more of a doer than a talker, kinda like me.”

“You sure do talk a lot in battle,” Keith shot back.

“We’re sparring Keith, not battling.” He smiled but it was wiped off his face when Keith delivered a hard kick to his gut that knocked him to the ground. Akira didn’t make a protest or quip, but he stood back up and was quick to start striking, which was driving Keith backwards with little room to push forward. It was hard hits back and forth, the sparks of metal coming from the staff and blade and there was little to no talking and hard stares looking back at an expressionless one. Step for step, move for move, they were almost equally matched, even if Akira did have some height and weight on him. But Keith hated that this Akira…he was a leader, did all the talking, smiled, could be happy…got Lance’s attention just by smiling. He was better than him, in every way, even being a leader when they had their Shiro.

“Argh!” Keith nearly swiped at Akira’s head. “Even your stupid mullet looks better!”

“What,” Akira was confused enough for Keith to shoulder him hard and knock him onto the ground. Keith stood over him with his sword pointed at his neck. “Its…It’s not a mullet.”

“Shut up,” Keith glared as he felt something welling in his chest. “Why did you have to come to this reality!? You could have gone anywhere and you came here. With your stupid smile and that dumb look, you have! Just figured you had to make me look even worse than I already do. You don’t need Shiro like I do! You can just always be perfect in every way without anyone’s help! All you did was prove that I can’t do anything…that I’m the worst version…” his voice cracked lightly and he felt his eyes sting…he wanted to cry.

“Keith…” Akira said with a soft sigh that only made Keith angrier. “you are not a ‘worst version’ of anyone, just Keith, the only Keith there is.” He lightly pushed his sword to the side, and Keith did not fight it. Akira sat up, “Look…I…I’m not good with this kind of stuff, not even my own internal stuff,” he said with a laugh, but it had no emotion to it. “I just talk to Isamu or something,” he blushed and looked down at the ground. “So maybe you should talk to Lance…”

“Why would I…he’s too busy ogling at you,” Keith shot back as he put his bayard back on his belt and sat down by him.

Akira chuckled, “I mean, I know how he feels, to see your partner as someone else,” he said with a sigh and caught a bug-eyed Keith staring at him with his face bright red. Akira’s smile faltered, “Did…Did I say something?”

“Y-You said partner…” Keith whispered. “Are…you…Isamu…?”

“I’m getting the feeling that you and Lance are not a couple in any sense of the word…but you do like him…like I liked Isamu since the Garrison?”

“Jeez,” Keith flopped down onto the ground. “You are the better version…you actually talked to him! I hate this!”

“I didn’t talk to him first,” Akira lied next to him, “Isamu figured it out…Hiroshi said I was being obvious.” Akira rolled his eyes and placed his hands on his chest, “It’s good that he did…because I wasn’t going to say anything about it and forever live in a weird crushing purgatory.” He looked to Keith, who was staring up at the ceiling. “Do you feel a little better?”

“Saying it helped,” he nodded and glanced at him. “If you have anything to yell…I would recommend getting it out now.”

“My team is on the weak side of this war,” Akira said bluntly. “We had Voltron, the one thing that could have stopped them, but when they found out that we were no longer agreeing with them, they took Voltron from us. We were defenders who had a chance to stop Altea…and I blew it.” He covered his face. “I should have gotten us out with the Lions, I should have lead them to fight back to get Voltron back. But I was so scared that someone would get hurt, so when they let us leave without a fight I took it…but everyone wanted to fight and I said no!? I said no Keith! I was afraid and we ran.” He slammed his fists on the floor. “Some leader I am.”

“Please,” Keith scoffed, “I would have rushed in, putting everyone at risk for my own feelings. I can’t abandon the Lions…never…”

“I’m gonna get them back Keith,” Akira said as he sat up, “I’m going to work with everyone, plan to infiltrate, and get Voltron. I have to…the Universe needs us.”

“I believe in you Akira.” Keith sat up with him, “Because you’re me…and we have a team beside us.”

“And Isamu,” Akira said with a soft smile and blush.

Keith coughed and blushed, “Sure…yeah…lets continue sparring.” Akira laughed as he stood up and helped Keith up to his feet. “And don’t say anything…no one will believe in you.”

“Isamu will,” Akira said happily as he picked the staff back up and Keith scoffed. He hoped that he wasn’t this terribly sappy if he ever got to tell Lance how he felt and then also have Lance return those feelings and pulled him into a sweeping dip and just fucking kissed him. Then they would live the rest of their lives fighting side by side and once the universe was saved, they would take Red and Blue back to Earth and live out the rest of their days beach side…maybe kids…some alien kids that needed families. Get a place where they all could live…another house for visitors from other planets…maybe a place so Lance’s family could be close. Keith flushed when he caught that Akira was staring at him with a knowing smile and raised brow. Keith turned away, his face hot and embarrassment in his throat; he would plan the rest of their lives later. “Ready?”

Keith nodded while activating his bayard and typing in the sequence code. Five gladiators entered with firearms. Five against two…almost too easy.

(Line Break)

Allura was still unsure on how to act around Sven, because all she saw was Shiro and he was not Shiro…but she wished he was. She smiled softly as he was pouring himself of a map with Slav, who was matching him word for word and asking about the other Slav that must be trying to get in contact with him, if this was the universe that was part of the 3% that could. She was glad that she stayed in her armor, not her paladin armor, but her usual battling clothes with the bayard on her side. Allura was back at the main controls trying to help move the newly finished satellite towards the portal. She had spent her time trying to find some normalcy back, being the Princess and giving a tour of her castle to the only person who…openly walked up to her. She saw how the other paladins looked at her, all they saw was the Empress from long ago that ruled with the muster that Allura wished she had…until she saw what it did. That kind of mindset avenged her father, destroyed the Galra uprising, and then deemed the rest of the universe too stupid to know good from bad and forced alliances and enslaved all others that disagreed. They had a right to feel afraid, she was the face of an Empire.

Sven though, he walked right up to her and introduced himself again, hoping to learn more about Altea, whatever could help them back in their reality. She was happy to help, and to get the chance to ask what else was different about that universe…how they got to the castle of Lions. He was happy to answer all her questions, compliment her, and had these weird looks that he gave her, made her stomach twist with excitement and warmth, until she remembered that it wasn’t Shiro.

“Princess,” Sven walked up to her with a water pouch and a smile. “You must be thirsty,” he held it up to her, making no move to get up on the console with her. She wished he did.

“Thank you, Sven,” she smiled and took it, happy that no matter the reality, her paladins were kind and good of heart. Allura took a drink and then noticed that he was still looking at her, with that look. “What is it Sven…you look like you want to say something.” She smiled, feeling her heart thud faster when he saw that his cheeks dusted pink and he looked surprised.

“Its…” he glanced over to Slav, who had cast them a look and then seemed to figure it out and hurried over to the front console where Coran was trying to divert power from upper unused rooms to power the main satellite. He took a small step up, “she was…just as kind as you…everything same…but…why is it so different?” He asked lightly as Allura was now facing him and even as she stood above him, she felt so small. His eyes were soft, brows cast down with worry and concern.

“You…you act like you got the chance to meet her,” she laughed lightly.

“I did.” He nodded and Allura felt a stab at her chest…Sven had met the other her…blushed at the thought of the Empress. “A…A program held her…quintessence?” He asked and Allura confirmed. The Empress had been put into the memory system of the castle. “We got orders from her…she talked to us…to me some days.” He smiled lightly, recalling back to those memories. “And she was nice…like you.” He looked back at her and took another step up and Allura kept from also taking one forward. She wanted to put her hands through his hair, he didn’t cut it like Shiro did. “What is different?”

“You said that the Empress avenged her father,” Allura asked and he nodded. “My father put me in the cryo pod before he went out to face Zarkon…I didn’t have the chance to do anything.” She confessed with sadness and he empathized with her. “She had done everything I wanted to do, to fight back…but look what that did,” she smiled bitterly, “Altea took over a universe like the Galra.”

“I’m sorry,” he said lightly and bowed his head, “rude of me to bring this up.”

“No,” she shook her head and smiled as he looked at her again, “I can learn from this, I can be better now. Knowing what happens when someone grows too powerful without guidance, an opposing force,” she walked up to him and put her hand on his shoulders, resisting the urge to squeeze. “And I believe that you five will also learn and stop the Empire, and give real peace.”

He smiled up at her and they both were stuck in their spot. A little too close and a little too comfortable. She gripped his shoulder and he was ready to squeeze the water pouch empty with the tension building in his chest. She took another small step closer and began to lean down. Sven was stock still with shock, unsure what to do. Allura was getting closer, he felt the rush heat from her body affecting him. His lids lowered slowly with hers, not daring to touch when not given permission.

“Yooo!” Lance and Isamu said as the doors opened.

“Ah!” Sven was pushed away and stumbled backwards to keep from falling, his face red as Allura spun around and stood with a military like stance, face burning red. She smiled a bit too much as the two walked in, Isamu’s arm draped over Lance’s shoulders as they were talking and laughing with one another, along with touching theirs and each other’s faces with ooos and aaahs. Sven cleared his throat and walked back to the map, noticing that Coran and Slav where looking at him with that knowing look. He turned away from them all and tried to rub the red out of his face.

“That last match was a cheat and you know it Katie,” Hiroshi said as he walked in with her, both pushing in the newly built communicators they had developed and talked Hunk and Tsuyoshi into helping them build. He smirked at her, “I don’t know what you programmed into that game, but there is no such thing as a hyper skip in Lario Racing.”

“It is in my reality,” she said with a smug smile as they began to set up at Pidge’s console. “Maybe you just need to get good Hana,” she smiled at him as he looked to brighten at the name even a blushing at it. “If you ever…need help to transition…” she began to offer as she was hooking up wires.

“Just knowing that…how I feel is valid, that’s enough for now. I have a universe to liberate…being in this body for a little longer isn’t too bad.” He smiled back at her when he finished. “Maybe I’ll talk to my team about it…” He shrugged as Pidge sat at her console and began to power it up. “May we please get power diversion to just the main console and this console?”

“On it Number 5.2,” Coran said with a smile.

Lance and Isamu had taken a stand at the window and had eyes on the portal. “We should get the ship ready,” Isamu said as he glanced to Lance, “You going to miss me Lance?”

“Hey,” Lance smiled at him, “you’ll always be right here,” he patted his chest, the spot over his heart. “And I’ll be right here,” he poked Isamu’s chest, “plus,” he pulled out a container of green cream and held it out for Isamu. “you gotta do this at least once a week. You can get more at the weird space mall-”

“The trade moons?”

“Yes,” Lance smiled, “not sure who sells what in your reality but just look for something with the luli berry, ghenta oil, and pure water. I like the green colored ones, because they have no smell.” He explained as Isamu nodded and was sure to write down the list on the jar. “Or, bring the jar and they can scan it,” Lance tapped the jar and smiled, “And always do the refill it’s cheaper, like, three gac.”

“I’ll be sure to,” he ruffled his hair and then turned Lance’s head up to look at him. “Remember Lance, we’re the Blue Paladins…and nobody can resist us. Not for long,” he winked and Lance blushed and nodded. “You got anything for us small fry?”

“Keep your panties on,” Hiroshi shot back as he was typing away on his pad.

“You know I don’t wear underwear,” Isamu scoffed as the doors opened again.

“You go commando?” Lance smiled, “Me too!”

“It’s just so freeing. Why would I ever wear underwear again!?”

“Right!?”

“Lance,” Hunk shot in as he and Tsuyoshi carried in tools and went to his console that was unlit, “That’s unsanitary.”

“It’s not like I sleep naked,” Lance scoffed.

“Isamu does,” Tsuyoshi said with a frown and a pointed look as Isamu flushed. “And we all know how we feel about that.” Sven and Hiroshi visibly shuddered.

“You sleep walk one time and suddenly, I have to wear clothes to bed. I hate this house.” He crossed his arms over his chest and pouted as Lance also blushed…he did it some nights too. But only when they were too close to a star or sun, the castle’s airflow got wonky and he can’t sleep in heat. He coughed and made a mental note to at least where underwear from now on. “And where is mi amor,” Isamu’s tongue rolled on the ‘r’ and he looked around happily, totally over being called out.

“My best friend…” Tsuyoshi sighed with a smile as he caught Hunk’s smile. “How’s it going Hiroshi?”

“I’ll be sure I let you all know when we get through,” he sighed as he went to the main console and hooked into without even noticing the look from Allura. “Is anyone getting the ship ready?”

The doors opened and Akira and Keith came back in, visibly bandaged in a few places. Akira smiled, wincing lightly because of the bruise on his jaw, “Ships, good, Red was a little reluctant to let go of the ship though. Sorry if I upset her.” He said as they walked over to be by Allura, watching the screen that waited for a signal to collect to.

“Was that you,” Lance laughed lightly, bounding up to Akira with a big smile, and walking right past a disgruntled Keith, “nah, Red was all a flutter to have her Red Paladins with her,” he looked back at Keith and gave him a thumb up, “I bet it was samurai over here that convinced her, huh?” He smiled back at Akira and missed Keith’s red cheeks.

“Sure was,” Akira said back, Keith glancing at him and him making eye contact. They were both very aware that Red only opened after Akira said if they brought Lance to help, he would be so disappointed that she was being so stubborn, she opened right after and tried to get through to them both that she was a perfect Lion, all sweet like her paladins. Keith remembered listening to Black laugh lightly under her breath, which was rare and nice to hear. “It’ll be good to get back with new information.”

“Akira,” Isamu came up to him and stood close to hold his face in his hands, Akira flushed in embarrassment, “sweet boy, you’re hurt,” Isamu pouted lightly, stroking Akira’s cheek lightly. “Now I have to kiss it better,” he sighed dramatically and smiled, “You did it on purpose huh? You can ask me for kisses Akira. I’ll always say yes.”

“This is not the time,” Akira said weekly as Lance and Keith suddenly felt very aware that they were next to one another. “Stop…Stop it.” He was so red that Lance couldn’t help but laugh a bit.

“Always a good time for kisses,” he sang lightly and placed a soft kiss on the bruise on his jawline, then to the light cut on his cheek, and then to red mark on his hairline and forehead. “See,” he smiled softly, “all better.”

“Yeah,” Akira smiled back, “except…my lip hurts too.”

Isamu smirked, “Oh does it?” Akira nodded, his cheeks still a dark red. Lance muttered ‘smooth’ under his breath, making a mental note of it.

“Can you two stop?” Pidge and Hiroshi both said with looks of disgust, and then fist pounded one another without having to make eye contact.

“I think it’s cute,” Hunk smiled brightly.

“You don’t have to see it every day at every hour,” Tsuyoshi said back as he was watching Hiroshi work. “Sven, pull them apart until they can be all cute in their quarters, and away from the rest of us.”

“Isamu,” Sven said with a scolding tone.

“Fine,” He let go of Akira’s face, but stood close to his side. “Jealous babies, can’t handle our love. How sad.”

Akira chuckled lightly, sparing a quick glance to a nervous Keith, “How sad indeed.” He winked and turned back to face forward. Keith was sure to take a step away from Lance, who was staring out at the portal. He ignored how the colors bounced in his blue eyes.

Getting the Guns back took a few tries, but with conflicting instructions from each version of Slav and Sven needing to take a breather away from the screens, they were back on their ship and moving through the portal. It was a sad goodbye, all of them watching from the main deck and Allura watching the screen since she was linked to their communications on the ship. Another screen had the other Slav. Once they were in the portal, one screen went out. Allura and the others waited for confirmation from the other Slav, who was still going nonstop about the small probability of them making it to him. He was quick to bounce around when a ship came through his side of the portal. The others ran over to the screen and watched the anticipation in hopes it was the right ones coming through. The other Slav was away from the screen to see who was boarding. Lance was so nervous that he and Hunk were holding one another. Pidge was intent on the screen and Keith was staring and hoping it was them.

Isamu and Tsuyoshi rushed into view of the screen and struck a pose. They sighed in relief. One last goodbye, a promise to try and contact again, and then the quietness of the castle and power coming back to the other consoles. Pidge began to disconnect everything and Hunk decided that the satellite would stay, he could make repairs as need be. Allura still was staring at the screen, no one could read what she was looking for, but Keith knew Morse code, Shiro taught him…and it looked like he taught her too. She was tapping out ‘Shiro’. He didn’t say anything. Keith decided to go and eat something, some water, and the back to training. He was in the doorway, walking through.

“Keith,” Lance said as Keith stopped on the other side, Lance looked back and smiled at him, “I remember our bonding moment, being cradled in your arms.”

The doors closed as Keith’s face burst red.  

Chapter Text

The group was used to dangerous mission, doing things and saving people that could and may lead to serious injury or even death if handled wrong. They all had a sit down talk about how scared they were about it, mainly because Lance and Hunk were standing in one of halls in front of the entrance to the barracks they were stations in. They were both still recovering from an infiltration mission on a Galra base that acted as a ship stop and repair place. For commanders to gather supplies, share information, and where there were technicians to repair broken sentries. Hunk had taken a lot of damage, falling off a ship that was taking off can do that. Then there was Lance, who was ambushed by close combat sentries while avoiding the security system lasers; they had made it out with the help of Yellow crashing in. They were distracting enough of them, so dismantling ships with Keith and Shiro protected Pidge as she was gaining information on the other side of the base was smooth sailing. Hunk and Lance were staring at one another, and Lance was the first to start crying and ran over to him and held Hunk. Hunk was quick to cry with him and lifted Lance off his feet while holding him. They were so happy the other was okay, but they cried on and on about what would have happened to them if the other had died. Lance admitted he rather die than even think about anything happening to Hunk, Hunk added that he would die with him then. Shiro had only been walking back to his room to grab some reports he had been looking over, finding a sense of ‘normal’ with writing mission reports like he would back at the Garrison, handing them in to Coran and filing his own copies. He was quick to find out what was going on. Lance and Hunk let go of one another, sniffling and rubbing their eyes.

Lance was the one to admit that he was afraid of dying, of losing one of them.

Shiro pulled Lance into an embrace and the boy began to sob again and clutched onto him, spouting how he doesn’t want to see anyone die because of this. 10,000 years of an empire ruling with an iron fist…enough beings have died for it, why add to the count? Hunk was having trouble breathing, trying to make himself as small as possible. Shiro opened one arm and Hunk slowly walked over, his hands clutched in front of himself and just lied his forehead on Shiro’s shoulder to cry.

Keith and Pidge have yet to cry, and Hunk figured sooner or later, the two were going to either explode or implode because of it. He was ready to be there. Lance was still trying to have the two trust them enough with their feelings, being the ones, most affected by the Galra war and the Galra in general. With Keith’s mother and Pidges family, them not saying anything was loud enough sometimes.

But back to the mission, back at the hands of danger and careful planning. Pidge was patrolling the air, in everyone’s ear about what she saw, scanned, and anything about the building schematics. Shiro and Hunk were down in the holding cells, war prisoners, both other species and Glara alike. Those who were high risk. Keith was patrolling one side of the building, taking out sentries. Lance was stationed at the hanger using a guide to dismantle the ships while he kept watch over Black. Keith had flown in with Pidge in Green while Hunk and Lance were with Shiro. Black was the biggest Lion and was equipped with more rooms that Blue and Yellow, so she won out. Shiro would chuckle occasionally, telling the two that Black was boasting and beaming because of how Lance and Hunk were in awe of being inside the Black Lion and just complimenting her; Shiro just liked to hear that she’s happy.

Lance was working on another ship; already angry and how complex ships were and how it was hard to sabotage one. “Your Majesty,” Lance sighed as he was crouched under the ship, using a small tool that pidge had borrowed him and was all naggy about the ‘borrowing’ aspect of it. “Do you have a radio on you? I’m so bored!” 

‘Lance,’ Shiro’s voice came over the communicators, ‘Black is not there to entertain you.’

“Did you rat on me your Majesty,” Lance looked back at her with a gapping mouth. “I see how it is…” he smirked at her as Shiro sighed over the coms. Just as he was pulling out the cords, he heard the bay doors open. “Uh…code blue…mad code blue,” he said over the coms as he scrambled out from under the ship and took a hiding spot behind some. Black instantly looked to tense as her eyes were cast on the group that walked in. “Uh, Keith…way to go patrolling, I’ve got four Galra on me.” He said as he slowly tried to back away and get on top of a ship; he’d have a much better shot from higher ground. Thing was that Lance was a bit on the tall side and hiding was never fun. Scurrying up the side, he was wide eyed as the group was slowly walking towards the Black Lion. “Anyone gonna talk to me, or am I just chopped liver?”

‘Shut up,’ Pidge seethed back, the echoing telling him that she was moving around her Lion that was probably getting a feeling from Black, ‘I’m trying to take another scan, they have to be the only ones.’

“Should we call the Commander?” One of the Galra asked, all dressed in that grey armor, showing that they were just foot soldiers, not anyone with any power. Lance was trying to slide off the other end in hopes that he could get to Black and take point on her. In best case scenario, she shielded them both. Worst case, he had to make a run for it with Galra on his tail.

“No,” another said, still staring up at the Lion. “One Lion, maybe only one paladin,” they offered up with a smirk, “if we got them, we get out of this place and on a better ship…closer to home…” they said as they began to pull up communication on their arm band and began to walk away. “Find the Black Paladin!” They called back to the others, and that set off Black.

“Oh no,” Lance breathed out as he looked up to see Black’s eyes light up and begin to make a growling sound. He watched as she reeled back her paw, the group noticing as she did but they were stuck in place. It wasn’t every day that someone faced a giant sentient robot lion. Lance, pulling a Keith, scrambled to his feet and took a running start. Black went to swipe her paw as two got out of the way but one was still stuck, almost in awe. He jumped off and ran for them, and tackled them to the ground just missed getting hit by a giant paw that would have killed them both.

“B-Blue?” The Galra under Lance said with a breathless voice.

Not that Lance noticed, he was back to his feet and standing in front of the Black Lion, “Whoa, whoa there your majesty!” He put his arms up as Black was on all fours and he was sure that if she was a real cat, all her fur would be standing on end with a tail flaired up in anger. “Nobody is going to do anything to Shiro,” he turned around quick and aimed his shot gun like bayard at the other Galra that in the door way, “right?” He motioned for him to step aside.

The Galra followed his order, surprisingly enough. He and Black watched as the group stayed close to one another. He remembered Kolivan talking about the Blades of Marmora were all Galra breeds, and then he thinks he remembered something about ‘pack’ animals (Lance was bored of the lecture and thinking about taking a bath). It was common to never see a lot of Galra at once so the ones that were together were close either by choice or default. Lance was back on Black, his bayard going back to its normal form and he put it back on his hip, with his hands up, he could feel that she was angry. “See, I’ve got you covered. These guys are the only ones here, and it you and me against them. We have this, hell, you can keep them at bay with just a look your majesty,” he smiled up at her and she instantly began to back down a bit.

That was until they all heard a loud explosion.

‘Sorry,’ Hunk’s voice was in his ear, he could hear firing and more robotic sounds. ‘One of those sentries got a little too close, I panicked.’ He was frantic and Lance looked up in horror to see that Black was angry again, because they both knew that something was wrong. ‘Shiro! Shiro, you okay?’

‘Just a flesh wound,’ he said in a low voice, and from with way Black was reacting, Lance could tell that she didn’t think it was a flesh wound. ‘I’m okay girl…no need to worry,’ he was talking out loud, which wasn’t a Shiro thing…not a usual Shiro thing. Lance was stuck in place as Black reared back a bit, looking ready to take off into the building…giving Lance a look, daring him to stop her.

“You are here to bring the prisoners out, and you go charging in there…you could hurt someone.” He took a wide stance and didn’t even spare a glance to the four Galra that were still staring, in awe of him. Black gave him one more chance. “Shiro wouldn’t want that.” She was ready to pounce on him, just as a point to get through him. Lance was ready…he’s been ejected out of a ship once, he could take being stepped on by a beautiful Lion. Just as Black was going too close, she stopped with her large front right leg was right in front of him, one inch further and she would have stepped on him. But Lance wasn’t amazed that she didn’t step on him, but at the metal wire rope and grapple that were around his waist. He looked over wide eyed as he saw that one of the Galra, the one that had been barking orders to get the Black Paladin, was the one that was holding the other end of the grapple. They were looking at him with wide eyes, looking to shake with worry and they looked flushed. The three behind them were in shock as well. The one Lance had saved also had a hold of the metal rope and was ready to pull.

Lance looked to the hold around his waist. They were going to pull him out of the way, he could feel the light pull. The Galra soldiers of Zarkon’s Empire were going to save a Paladin of Voltron. Lance was so struck that when the bay doors open, he calmly turned his head to see that Keith was standing there, wide eyed and bayard blade out. “Oh…” he felt the rope go slack when Keith did what Keith did best, act first, ask questions later. Lance was quick to cut Keith off before he went charging at the group of four. “Alright Samurai,”

“Are you stupid!?” Keith yelled at him, pushing Lane behind him, “Is this what you do? Just get caught in the shittiest situations because you can?” He kept his eyes locked on the group, the head of the group had dropped their hold of the grapple and they were all just more confused than anything.

“Just calm down samurai,” Lance move again to get in front of him, putting his hands-on Keith’s shoulders and lightly pushed him back a bit, much to Keith’s distaste. “Where are the others, her majesty is worried about Shiro.”

“I…I didn’t see…” Keith was flushed as he turned away from Lance. He had heard the explosion and talking, but he had been so hyper focused on getting to Lance when he heard him called ‘Code Blue’. But he couldn’t tell Lance that, that he came running to the sound of his distressed voice. He was flushed red and cleared his throat. “Just get them tied up. I’m going back in.”

“Can you just wait for me then,” Lance said as he picked up the cable from the grapple and walked over to the group of Galra that were still standing in a group. He was rolling up the cable when they all jumped as the bay doors opened to show Hunk with Shiro leaning against him and a group of prisoners. Lance smiled and before he could blink, a net shot passed him and covered the four Galra behind him. He looked back wide eyed and then back over to one of the taller Galra that had fired the net gun. A few others came over, one talking the cable from him and the other wrangling the four. “Whoa!” Lance smiled brightly as the one that shot walked up to him, puffing their chest out a bit and had a very sly smirk. Not that Lance even gave it a second look, but Hunk and Keith were watching with confusion as Black was bent down to let the prisoners in and seemed to be whining for Shiro. “That was awesome…I nearly thought you would get me in that shot too.”

“Never Blue,” the Galra said and, to Keith and Hunk, looked to be standing in more of a show off pose than casually. Taking great effort to look taller and larger, “I can assure you that you will never be harmed in my presence.”

“Once we get you some place safe, we’ll be hitting a shooting range for sure,” Lance looked up at them with his hands on his hips, “We’ll see who is the better protector, won’t we?”

The Galra smirk got bigger and before they could say anything, another came over, even with their smaller size acting as if they were ten feet taller. “There will be no time for that Senick,” their voice was low and scratchy. “We will be heading straight for the closest Marmora base,” they looked back at Lance, flushed at the smile he gave. They coughed and faced Lance, “Surely…we can meet at another-”

“Are you alright Blue,” the other one came over, and began to fuss over Lance. Keith and Hunk, and now Shiro, were all standing at the mouth of Black. Shiro was holding his chest and took a few steps forwards the group, before stopping to look at Black, nodding, and then walking over to Lance. He lightly pulled Lance back away from the three, feeling a bubbling in his chest; it was either the wound or some feeling, he wasn’t sure yet. “Oh…are you also alright Black Paladin?”

“Oh yeah, real nice Tetra,” Senick said with a scoff as they growled.

“Best we all get into the ship…set course before reinforcements came in.” He said and motioned with his head over to the to ship, still having his hand on Lance’s shoulder to keep him from walking forward. “Now would be great…please.” He forced a smile and three looked between one another before walking off towards the mouth of the ship. “Pidge, how long till you can get to the hanger?”

‘Not long, why?’

“You can come and pick up Lance, I’ll take Hunk and Keith,” he said as Lance gapped and looked back at him. “Just…humor me Lance… fly back with Pidge.”

“Fine,” Lance scoffed as he crossed his arms over his chest and looked away. “First Keith and now you…nobody wants me around.” He pouted.

“That’s not true Lance,” Shiro said softly as Lance took a step away from him and continued to pout. “Just…I’ll explain later.”

“You’re the leader…I’ll just wait here.” He sat on the ground with a huff as Black and Shiro both sighed. Hunk was about to take a step to Lance, but Keith put a hand on his shoulder. Lance just sat there and watched as Shiro got into Black. He looked over to the group that was tied up and under a net. He sighed and walked over to them; they stared at him with wide eyes. He took the net off them, but kept them tied up. “Sorry guys,” he smiled lightly. “Uh…I think that you had tried to save me, so I want to say thanks.” They were still staring up at him and Lance stood up straight. “But hey, maybe once Voltron Liberates the Universe, we can grab a bite to eat.” He crossed his arms on his chest with his hands balled into fists in the sign language form for ‘hug’. He laughed lightly and began to walk through the airlock in the hanger. The doors closed behind them and he watched as they took off and Green flew in with her pilot. Lance turned on his coms to only Pidge. ‘You want me around…right Pidge?’

‘Lance, without you around, we would all go insane from the silence.’ She said with a laugh as she waited for the air lock to close and the next set of doors opened. Lance stood up and walked to Green, who didn’t look to be leaning down to let him in through the mouth. ‘So yes, I love having you around. Since it’s just us, we can take a stop at the Trade Moon before heading back to the castle. I’ve got about ten gac to spare on something.’

“I think I’ve got another fifteen on me…we could see if we can find shops with more games,” he smiled as he walked up to Green. “Come on Little Lady,” he waved his arms around. Pidge laughed as Green leaned down just enough so that Lance could reach if he jumped. “Little Lady Green…are you really going to do this to me? Every time?”

‘Come on Lance, if we take too long Coran comes and gets us in that stupid get up.’ She was giggling as she watched Lance take a running start, and jumped to grab a hold of the bottom jaw and climbed in. Pidge went back to an open communication as Lance walked up to her seat and leaned on it. “I’ve gotta do a couple more scans before heading back.”

‘Pidge.’ Shiro said in that voice that the group had dubbed the ‘dad voice’. Pidge and Lance looked to one another as she was already flying off towards the Trade Moon. ‘You did enough scanning while there, what more could you need?’

“Hey, do you make the print out schematics of bases for us?” Lance questioned with a smirk as the two laughed at the silence. “That’s what I thought. No need to worry, she’s got me for company and extra cover.” He heard a scoff, and quickly pinpointed who it came from. “Cram it Samurai, I don’t see Pidge bringing you along.”

‘She didn’t have the option to,’ he shot back and Lance gasped while Hunk and Pidge snorted and chuckled. ‘Pidge would have much rather taken me, right?’

“Hunk, clean the filthy lies out of his lying mouth!” Lance yelled and looked at Pidge with big eyes. “You love me, right?”

“That has nothing to do with the situation at hand, but I do love you all equally…Coran a little bit more though,” she said lightly as they all awed. Hunk and Lance mumbled a ‘same’. She was headed off into the trade moon, trying to find a spot to leave Green where she wouldn’t be right spotted. “I would have loved to have taken either of you.”

‘That’s a nice way of her saying she’s okay with having you,’ Keith shot back in and Lance just gave a huff and pouted. ‘Just keep her safe sharpshooter,’ he said lightly, with a soft smile and a blush. He heard Lance smile big at the nickname while chuckling. Their “rivalry” has calmed down and nothing more than just teasing with the occasional challenge gone a little too far. Keith chuckled lightly until he looked over and saw that Hunk and Shiro were smiling at him, Shiro with more teasing and Hunk with more adoration. He flushed red and tore of his helmet with a glare. “Shut up.”

“I didn’t say anything,” Hunk said in a sing song voice and giggled as Shiro chuckled and continued towards the castle. “I’ll just…go see to the others…I brought on some food and water, so hopefully it helps.” He walked off down to the lower levels of Black; Keith calling after him that he saw nothing and there was nothing.

Keith huffed and looked to Shiro, who was focused on piloting but had this silly smile on his face. He stood straight, “What?”

“Nothing Keith…do you have something you want to talk about?” He asked, a usual question he asked Keith because the boy needed room to express himself. Shiro wanted to create a safe environment for Keith, seeing that through most of their childhood, he wasn’t really around. So, time to make up for that and the dead of space with only so many other humans made it a little easier. Keith tensed up, looking to get ready to brush off whatever that was and go the rest of the way there in silence. Shiro never pushed Keith, when he wanted to talk, he would. He watched the boy either look for a way out of the conversation or for something to say. He opened his mouth, a hard frown on his face, but then he stopped and closed it again before softening his expression.

“There…there is something that may be nothing.” He said lightly.

“What?” Shiro asked, now thinking that they were not going to talk about what he thought they would talk about.

“Have you ever noticed how Galra act around Lance?”

(Line Break)

Pidge walked out of the spare room off the control room, pulling her shirt down a bit more and fixing her glasses on her nose. She looked up and paled when she saw that Lance was digging through the bag of clothes. “Hey!” She ran over and pulled the bag out of his hands and held it to her chest. “Just what the heck do you think you’re doing?”

“I can’t go walking around like this,” he answered as he went to grab the bag back, “why don’t I just run in yelling, ‘hey, I am a part of Voltron without a lion and separated from my group!’ How would that go Pidge?” He frowned when she took a step back with her bag and turned away more. “Are you serious…so what if I saw your frilly panties, I just need clothes.”

Pidge flushed red, “Don’t say it! Look,” she looked away to think. “Just…keep out of my bag, alright? It’s not like any of my clothes would fit you anyway,” she shot back at him. “I think I have one of the old pirate cloak things…just take off the armor and wear that.”

“Fine,” he rolled his eyes and stood up to begin pulling off his armor, bit by bit. Pidge went back into the room and grabbed the long beige hooded cloak. She dusted it off and then walked back out to find Lance only in the black suit and the boots that went up to his knees. “These are the only shoes I have and they make my legs look amazing.”

“Lance, you’re all legs,” she pointed out while holding out the cloak to him. He wrapped it around his shoulders, and it only came down to about mid-calf, but she was sure that no one was going to recognize him by his shoes. He grabbed the sac of coins that he always kept on him just in case of a situation. Lance was a little too paranoid that he may find something amazing to give to one of his wonderful friends.

He brought up his leg, putting it against the wall to examine it. “Yeah…I got them from my mom…and my perfect skin complexion.” He smiled at her as she laughed and shook her head. They began to walk off the Lion. “You be good Little Lady,” Lance smiled as he patted Green’s bottom jaw, “I’ll be sure to take care of Pidge for you.”

“Come on Lance,” she grabbed his arm and began to pull him around, “my scanners are picking up on a parts place that would be perfect for Green,” she was all excited and didn’t want to get in the way of that. Once they got into the area of the market place. Pidge was now at a casual walk and wasn’t pulling him along anymore, and took most of the time to answer Lance’s questions about what she had in mind. Sure, Lance didn’t pass his engineering and computer classes with flying colors, but he liked to learn about it from Pidge and Hunk, because they talked about it like he talked about things he liked. It made it all the more interesting and Pidge, despite her composed self, she loved to talk about this kind of stuff. Lance also got to make some stops at little trinket shops, smiling when he found some crystals in the shapes of stars, he could make something for Allura…maybe even Coran.

Pidge was never so talkative, but she was more surprised that it was Lance who would listen to her. He toned out speeches from Allura and Shiro, even at one point walked away from a speech from a King of the planet they saved because he was bored of being praised. She wondered what about Lance was so special; sure, being the pilot of the Blue Lion and a member of Voltron but…what about him was so…amazing. She had pondered the thought before, there was something about Lance that made him noticeable and it wasn’t just his big mouth. He was a talkative and flirty boy, nothing she hasn’t seen, but there was something else, all hidden underneath. Maybe that was it, she knew there was something in there that wasn’t the Lance that got to be seen…she had described the feeling as ‘big brother’ Lance.

Hunk and Keith had their moments, they treated her a little too much like they were “in charge of her.” Hunk once told her she wouldn’t get dessert if she didn’t finish her food goo. And Keith, awkward Keith, had taken time out of his strict training schedule to give her a formal lesson in hand to hand combat. And he was very weird about it, always worried that he might hurt her, and made extra sure to remind her that all she needed to do was call for him and he would come to her help. She remembered that one time she wanted to try it out, and in the common room, she took a deep breath and yelled out for Keith when Lance was trying to get her pad out of her hands. Not a second later Keith had tackled Lance to the ground and then scrambled up to her and began to look her over for injury.

Then it spread to Lance and Hunk. Hunk was always on Pidge about eating and sleeping, while Keith stuck to being a very physical protector. And Lance…Lance was someone who listened. No matter the subject, no matter the context, no matter the time. She was situated in the room to the left of Lance’s and she recalled waking up from a bad dream. She knocked on the wall and called for him as to get his attention but not wake anyone else up. It took a few ticks and her doors opened to Lance, looking half asleep and motioning her to come out. They would go back to his room and sit on the floor. Pidge was given the choice to talk or to try and go back to sleep. She always forgets which one she chose and would wake up the next period back in her bed. Lance never brought it up either. It was nice to her though. To have a big brother again.

She looked over and slightly up too see that Lance was admiring some shiny stones. They had stopped at a booth just because of the rocks, looked like a kiddie shop but Lance wasn’t deterred away from it. She was happy to see Lance all excited over little things like that, like they weren’t lightyears away from their normal lives. He held up a seashell looking necklace with a big smile, but Pidge caught something past him. Something very blue…with long legs…and…holy shit…

“Lance?” Pidge asked as she was staring past him.

“Yes, my little Pidgey?” Lance asked as he was admiring the different colored shells, he could get one for everyone.

“It’s Lance…” she said in disbelief.

“It is totally me, but I think this one would like good on Shiro,” he said as he held up a purple shelled necklace with black crystals.

“No… it’s you,” she said again, tugging on the cloak.

“You’re totally right,” he laughed, “This would look amazing on me. My mother always said any color was my color.” He sighed dreamily. He felt that Pidge was tugging harder than before. “Pidgey, if you want to go to another stand with me, help me pick some out.”

“I mean it’s literally you!” She pulled his head down to her level and made it look in the direction she was looking. It was him alright, he was on a long clothe posing with his rifle leaning against his shoulder, helmet off, and he looked fucking hot! He dropped the necklaces and walked over to the booth. Lance and Pidge were on that stand in a second, because it was covered with Lance. “How…why?”

“Did I actually die and go to heaven?” Lance asked as he picked up a stuffed plush of him that was winking. Everything was Lance in his paladin armor and different poses. Some of the photos looked like video footage from Galra ships. Pidge was gapping and looking through a photo book, which all looked to be pictures taken of Lance when he clearly wasn’t aware of it. “This is so cool.”

“You mean creepy,” Pidge corrected as she looked up at him. “This is not okay…something is taking pictures of you and selling them- Hey!” She looked to the vendor, a short green creature with eight arms and long elegant fins on their head and arms. “How do you get this stuff?”

“I only have authentic and legitimate Blue merchandise,” they shot back with a glare and held up a framed certificate to her face. “Straight from the source based on Zarkon’s ship.” They smiled big and used all their arms to show all the products. “Anything you could want to surprise any Galra with a season celebration coming up.” They pulled out a large poster and unrolled it to show a picture of Lance looking dramatically serious with his bayard pointed forward. Lance didn’t remember that moment, wish he did because he looked amazing with his eyes set in a hard glare, blood looked to be running down his side his armor was all ruffed up and scoffed. He awed at the picture of himself. “This is brand new and will be the envy of all your Galra friends.”

“Why do you keep saying Galra?” Lance asked, it was enough to pull him out of his daze.

“Galra are my best customers and the most loyal,” they said and looked to them both with a frown. “They come here to buy, not to look. Blue here is for a finer brand of buyers,” they said smugly and Lance was giggling as Pidge scoffed.

“Blue?” Lance asked as he was flipping through a photo book. Pidge was right that everything was security and what looked to be pictures of him helping on other planets.

“That is his name, obviously,” the vendor said with a scoff. “I think that this high quality of merchandise may not be for your taste-”

“No, no, no,” Lance said quickly with a big smile. “How much for this art book?” He held up the thick book with a hard cover that was very shiny with a picture of Blue and Lance.

“That is a collector item and worth 1,000 gac,” they said while crossing four of their arms.

“Wow, can you believe that Pidge,” Lance looked at her with big stars in his eyes. “1,000 gac for photos of me,” he sighed dreamily and was blushing pink. He looked back at the vendor and pulled down his hood. “What do I have to do for some merch?”

“I don’t take labor for product.”

“But I’m Lance, Paladin of the Blue Lion?” He smiled and Pidge gapped at him.

“Lance!? You were the one all worried about being spotted.”

“That was until I found out I’m an idol,” he said back and Pidge blushed from the smile he had. It was big and full of excitement. How could she ‘no’ to a face like that? He looked like a kid on Christmas. “We’ll for sure talk about this with everyone else, but are you telling me you don’t want a wall poster of me?”

“Or our ever popular, Blue for the Bedroom,” the vender smirked as they held up a body pillow that had what looked like Lance lying down almost seductively, but the picture had to be taken from when he was knocked back from a fight. The Vendor looked to the pillow and then to Lance, with a new critical eye, “Hmmm…you do look something like Blue…”

“Because I am,” he smiled and lifted his leg to show the bottoms of his uniform. “Would just anyone have these?” He said with a raised brow and flirty smile.

Then Vendor gapped and looked between his leg and his face. “You give me two exclusive pictures, and you can have whatever you want from this stand.”

Lance nodded and threw of his cloak and went over to some stock creates with his arms out. “What would you like?”

The Vendor whipped out two cameras. “Give me that pose that you do, the Galra seem to eat it up.”

“What?” Pidge was more shocked that Galra were the biggest buyers in all this Lance merchandise. What did they see in Lance that she didn’t? “What pose?”

“Maybe this,” He struck his finger guns and winked.

“No,” the Vendor said as one hand scratched around the fin on their hand. “It was something to do with crossed arms.”

“Oh,” Lance stood normally and with a confused face, made the sign for ‘hug’. The Vendor smiled big and nodded. Lance couldn’t help but smile softly; the glara just wanted to be hug, that’s so cute to him. Once that was done he put his hand on his hip, “What’s next?”

“I don’t have anything of you not in battle or in uniform…so this half uniform is going great, but…I need something…soft…like the elmora on Betani. Like…Like you aren’t trying to fight off Zarkon,” they suggested and waited for Lance to do something. Lance looked to Pidge, who shrugged. He looked back and sat down cross legged and put his hands on his knees before smiling big. The Vendor took another picture. “Perfect Blue, I’ll be sleeping in Gac with these.” They smiled and motioned to the booth, “take whatever you like.”

Lance bounced over, Pidge trying to get him back in the cloak. She then picked up a few key chains, “Can I get these?” She asked, unsure if Lance would be comfortable with her wanting things that had his face on it.

“You can get whatever you want,” he said while patting her head. “You sure you don’t want that body pillow? I know you’ve always wanted to cuddle with me at night.” He snickered as she gagged lightly. “Fine, your loss.” He scoffed and filled up a bag with the Blue Lion and him on it with photo books, poster, key chains, two action figures, posters, a few different plushies, and then what looked like a photo book that the vendor was sure to tell Lance that ‘it was not for young ones to gaze upon.’ It only made Lance more excited to see what was inside. The Vendor was also sure to tell him that, obviously, all the photos were generated in software programming and if Lance ever wanted to give him real photos...Pidge had pulled Lance away while yelling no and Lance nodding that he would totally do it.

Lance was bouncing around the Green Lion while putting his armor back on, “I’m an icon Pidge, people buy stuff with me on because they idolize me!”

“Lance, aren’t you even a little bit concerned that Galra are…obsessed with you? Like, in the unhealthy way they teach you is bad in school?” She was sitting in the cockpit and Green sprung to life before taking off. Lance stumbled a bit, but nothing would take away from his great mood. “I mean...that has to be scary, right?”

“I think you mean finally! How could the universe ignore my good-looks for so long!?” He was holding the back of her chair and watching them blaze through space, coordinates locked onto the location of the castle. “It’s about time a race dedicated their hard-earned coin towards getting close to owning all this perfection.” He said and smiled at her. “Do you think other races have picked a favorite paladin. I hope the merpeople still love me, or Hunk. I bet they don’t see a lot of strong dudes like him, and so soft.”

“No, I hope not because that’s weird, Lance. I need you to focus. I took some extra photos, took some scans, luckily that guy have zero security so I think I can track the transactions too.” She said with a smirk as Lance began to praise her genius and told her that she was amazing. “But besides the obvious, I’ll tell Shiro and Allura. We can’t really let them we only found this stuff because we were shopping.

“Yeah, good call,” Lance nodded. “I have to look through all my stuff.”

“Hey, one of the key chains is mine. I want the one with you with your bayard out.” She said while glancing back at him. “And…And I get a plush too…the one where your eyes are just stars.” Lance chuckled lightly but didn’t say anything, and she was grateful for that because it was already weird and she didn’t want to think that she was like the Galra. Lance was cute, obviously, but the second she said anything he would be riding that wave for the rest of their lives together and she couldn’t live like that.

Once they got into range, the two cringed when they were getting a message to connect with the castle. “Oooo,” Lance groaned, “did they track us?”

“They don’t know anything so play it cool,” she said as they put on neutral faces that read ‘we did what we said we would do’. “And get your stuff out of camera shot.” She said as she went to accept the call and Lance pushed his stuff into an empty compartment in Green. “Okay Green, time to test our coordinate scramble,” she smirked as the video feed came in and sure enough, Allura and Shiro were standing at the main console that was usually only meant for Allura, but she pulled ‘disappointed dad’ to help. Lance came up and casually leaned against the chair and smiled. “What’s up guys? We clear to enter?”

“Where were you?” Allura asked and Shiro crossed his arms, looking more buff and imposing. He wasn’t there to talk, just to look tough because they all knew Shiro was soft.

“Taking scans of the base with the only Galra tied up in the ship hanger. We had free range.” She smiled while being impressed with herself. Pidge was good at a lot of things, and surprisingly it was getting adults to believe in what she said. “Did you guys want them now?”

“Do not think you can fool me Pidge,” Allura said as she began typing away on the screen and her and Lance glanced at one another. “Thanks to you, I am now able to track the Lion’s locations at all times from the castle and you two were not at the base.” She looked at a screen next to theirs. Her eyes hard on whatever she was reading. Pidge tried not to smirk when she saw Allura frown and looking confused. Shiro took a glance at the screen and gave away what she knew. They had nothing. “Get back to the castle and come to the main hall-”

“Sorry to interrupt Princess,” Pidge said as she pulled up other information she had gotten from the scans she ran. “While at the base, Lance and I were lead on a very…weird tangent.”

“And that is?”

“Have…Have you ever heard of species becoming infatuated with a singular being? Like…an idol to them?” She asked as she frowned when Lance was bouncing around with a big smile.

Shiro quickly took a step forward to stand next to Allura; she looked to him with confusion and worry because of the look of worry on Shiro’s face. “What did you find Pidge?” He didn’t even seem to not believe her. Something was going on. She looked to Lance, who now seemed to have deflated because she could tell that Lance was excited to tell someone about it.

“It led us to a shop stand that sells stuff with…Lance on it.”

Shiro’s eyes went wide before going stern. “Meeting, thirty ticks.” The transmission ended and Pidge looked to Lance with surprise and Lance was taken back.

“You think that wall poster of me would help?”

(Line Break)

It didn’t.

Shiro seemed to grow more worried when Lance came in with all his stuff and was not amused with having to look at a poster of Lance firing at some unseen threat in the distance. Lance was actually worried that he was going to take the poster and rip it up, so he put it away with the other stuff that quickly got the attention of Hunk and Coran. Shiro and Allura were going through the files that Pidge uploaded and Keith was staring at the screen with a glare and frown. He had yet to say anything about the matter and it made Pidge a little worried. Keith spoke his mind and acted without hesitation. He wasn’t someone that would be thinking for this long unless it was something that really freaked him out. She arranged everything on screen in the best order she could. “So,” she fixed her glasses and blew up photos of the shop, “We got to the living quarters and found some leads on them heading out on a supply run, but the empire usually keeps a prison well stocked without having to send out it’s small amount of Galra away.” She pointed to a few other stands, “I was trying to track its location at part sites, but this was the location…of a…Lance stand…”

“Princess!” Coran gasped and spun around and unfurled a poster that had caught Lance at the top of a hill overlooking the valley where the Castle of Lions still looked massive. “Look at how the castle shines with Lance? He pairs so well with it.” He had big sparkle eyes. “May I put this in the lounge?”

“Coran,” Allura scolded, “this is a serious matter. Someone or a group of someone’s have been taking pictures of Lance and selling them to the enemy.”

“I mean…” Lance said with a nervous smile that didn’t sit on his face right, “they’re not all the enemy…”

“The Galra empire, as in all Galra,” Keith said with a glare as he watched Hunk and Lance looking through all the stuff like it wasn’t the creepiest thing in the world. “Can you grow up long enough to take anything seriously?”

“Jealous samurai,” Lance smirked as Keith flushed red and Lance laughed. “Just because all the Galra has finally classed up, little samurai here is all mad that the Empire picked the best Paladin…next to Hunk of course.” Hunk blushed and nudged him with a smile and pulled up another set of key chains. “You want a key chain samurai? I bet it’s look really cute in Red.” He sang lightly and he laughed as Keith growled at him and looked away with a glare. Lance scoffed as he went back to flipping through a photo book. “And we know a lot of Galra are not part of the empire, the Blades for instance.” He shrugged, not looking up when he knew that Allura and Keith were looking at him. “An empire…it’s all they know…maybe some of them want something else.” He looked up at Hunk and smiled a bit, both of them knowing very well what it was like to not have a choice…a real choice anyway.

The Garrison had promoted itself to be the next line of defense for Earth, building a new age of galactic personal. Lance and Hunk were brainwashed as kits, thinking that the only way up was through the Garrison. It wasn’t until they were actually in the process of recruiting did they find out, the US and its Garrison wanted cannon fodder, they wanted grunts more than anything. Every person from their hometowns warned them, they would have to work harder and more because their recruiting was to fill a diversity quota. It’s why Lance refused to be a cargo pilot. It’s why Hunk stayed up for days to prove he was a better engineer than anyone in advanced placements where he had gotten into the regular placements. But the Garrison offered a free ride with their grades and how could Lance tell his mother he didn’t want to be a part of the system when back at Varadero everyone would chip in to send him care packets. Hunk would almost work up the nerve to go to a regular schooling if it wasn’t for the letters he got from his moms about how proud they were and couldn’t wait to hear all about his time there.

“Not that I disagree,” Hunk said as he was examining a plush toy. “But I wonder why the Galra took such a liking to you Lance? What did you do?”

“I think my presence was enough to arouse the hidden desire in the Galra,” he said with a smirk as he stood up and tried to look casually posed. “I mean, how could anyone keep from getting a hard on when I’m in the room?”

“Lance,” Shiro scolded as Pidge looked at him with a frown and blush. “Language.”

“Didn’t say it’s not true though,” he said back with a laugh as Shiro sent another pointed look. “Fine,” he put his hands up and went back to his bag, “Shiro, did you want anything? I still got some nice stuff.”

“Can I have the star eyed you?” Hunk asked as he held up the plush.

“I already called dibs Hunk,” Pidge shot back as she continued to file photos and scans. “There is a key chain with the same design though.”

“Coran already has it,” Hunk groaned as Coran posed with the little plastic Lance dangling from his shirt collar. “How about this one?” Hunk held up the plushy toy of Lance in full armor with his hands on his hips and a wink.

Shiro sighed as he shook his head. “Just save me the small picture of Lance in front of the Blue Lion.”

“Desert or grass land?”

“Grass land.”

“Really?” Keith looked at them all with a glare, “Are we just going to ignore the fact that Galra are buying that crap and selling it?! This could be fatal to Votron if one of our team members is being leered over.”

“If you want something just say it Keith,” Pidge looked at him with a too nice of a smile and Keith felt his cheeks go pink. She knew too much…probably more than what he thought she might have known. “They were also selling body pillows if you want one?”

“I should have grabbed one!” Lance whined as he lied on the ground. “Damnit Pidge why didn’t you remind me!?”

“I don’t sleep,” Keith shot back.

“Keith, we will talk about your poor sleeping habits sooner rather than later,” Allura said as she was looking over the transaction files and seemed to be fixated on something. “I think I know how we can find out a little more about our current situation at hand.” She blew up the file and Shiro looked at it and paled lightly as he pinched the bridge of his nose. She smiled lightly, “Seems like someone on the location base of the Blades of Marmora has frequented this shop a few times.” Lance’s face light up in a big smile as he looked over to the group. “Hopefully Kolivan will be able to give us the contact information of this base.”

“Should we prepare for guests Princess?” Coran said as he hung up another Lance poster on the wall.

“Yes,” she looked over at him and frowned as she saw five posters on the wall, “I think it best we save any…artwork being put up until after we get a better grasp on the situation.” She smiled lightly as Coran sighed and dropped forward a bit before sadly taking the posters back down. “Hunk,” she said as she took a step down as Shiro was still going through files and trying to contact Kolivan, “I hope that it is not too short of a notice to have you prepare something for our guest? Nothing too extravagant,” she said as Hunk looked to light up with excitement, “If I know the Blades, they won’t stay long after explanation.”

“No way,” Lance jumped up with his fists held up in determination, “We gotta give them a reason to stay,” he looked to Hunk with a smile, “I’ll help you Hunk, we are gonna blow the blades right off their belts.” He laughed and just about as Hunk and he were going to go to the kitchen, Lance stopped, “Oh yeah,” he smiled and went back to the bag, “I totally forgot about this,” he reached in and pulled out a pretty basic looking dagger with a white and blue handle, meant to look like his uniform. He jogged over to Keith, took his hand and placed the handle on his palm. “I know it’s not a nice blade like your used to, but hey, it’s a collectable,” he laughed and patted his shoulder. “Later fives, I gotta help with making sure our guest are welcome,” he waved before going too back to the kitchen, “I’ll start with a list Hunk, we may have to make a trip,” he said while passing Hunk.

Everyone had eyes on Keith, who was staring down at the dagger with wide eyes as his face slowly turned red.

“Aww,” Pidge said with a tease, “he got something just for you.”

“Oh, how romantic,” Allura said with that same teasing tone but not getting the idea of it, “he must really care and cherish you Keith.”

“Princess, we have to work on your teasing abilities,” Pidge said with a laugh as Allura looked at her with confusion.

“Am I not doing it right? I was practicing my tone and pitch all last week.”

Keith glared at them both before quickly walking away.

“At least hang it up somewhere nice Keith,” Hunk called after him and was responded with a quick, ‘shut up’ before Keith disappeared around a corner. “I don’t know who’s worse, Lance or Keith?”

“Lance,” they all answered. “Okay,” Shiro said lightly as he punched in the communications for Kolivan’s base and waited for the transmission to be accepted. Hunk shrugged and followed after Lance. Shiro stood tall as Kolivan came on screen, “Kolivan.”

“Paladins of Voltron, Princess, Coran,” he nodded to them and then looked back to Shiro, “Must be urgent for you to contact me like this? Is something wrong?”

“We need explanation and since you have eyes and ears on bases, we need the information to contact a base in the Enrio Quadrant by sector eight.” Shiro said lightly as Kolivan seemed to frown. “A member of that base has visited a shop that is dedicated to our Blue Paladin and we would like to know what is going on.”

“Oh…the Blue Infatuation,” he nodded and Allura came into view, “surely I can explain it to you without having you distract other bases from their work.”

“You knew about this?” Allura asked with shock.

“I am getting the idea that none of you had any inclination of it.” He said without having to shake his head that he was a little embarrassed by the group. He looked to Shiro and Allura, “I would be able to send you the evidence we have collected by accident. The video reordering’s we tracked down is something we thought was orders being handed out from with the empire that contained secrete information, but we were clearly mistaken.” He began to type out something on another console board, “these are the initial videos that spurred the Galra within the Empire to gain an affection toward the paladin of the Blue Lion.”

“It’s clearly not just the Galra of the Empire,” Pidge shot back with smirk as Kolivan gave her a glance. “Because I tracked multiple transactions back to the Marmora bases,” she quirked a brow as Kolivan seemed to tense up and look between her and the other two adults. “And you know what…from the readings I have…I can track three purchases back to your location. Whacha gotta say about that?”

“Pidge,” Shiro stressed as he sent her ‘the look’. She put her hands up and walked away. She decided that her time would be better spent in the kitchen with her friends, hoping that Keith has also slid his way into the kitchen in the most, ‘I just happen to be passing by and not because I want to be in the same room as Lance’ kind of way. She grabbed her computer and hoped that if they plan on going shopping that she got to go with them. Shiro looked back at Kolivan, “Please if we can just get in contact with the base; with them being the closest to our location, we will offer any help we can provide for exchange for intel and explanation as to why this occurred. Sure, Lance is an…openly affectionate, but why would the Galra react so well to it.”

“Fair enough Black Paladin Shiro,” he said as he finished on the other screen. “That is the base under Ulazs’ and Thaces’ command, they will be willing to come over with strategic plans that would require more aid than the Blades could provide and I will…advise them of the situation at hand.” He said as the files sent through and Allura opened them up to find mainly video filed with progressively more intimate names all surrounded the name ‘Blue’. Just as they were about to end communications, Coran came over to set up the main console to watch these videos once the Blades got there, they all heard whispering. Allura thought it her Paladins, but saw only the three in there, but when she looked to see Kolivan frowning and looking to something off to the left. “I am busy, is someone dying or dead?”

“No sir…but…are you…” one brave voice came up and they heard the others whispering. “Sorry Kolivan…we were being foolish…” they said.

“Indeed, you were-”

“I am sorry Kolivan,” Allura began, “but who are you talking to?”

“Young recruits who should be training or report writing,” he said with a pointed look back to his left. Shiro felt pity for the little whines and sighed he heard. “They are curious at that age and have yet to learn that I am a commander not a pack caregiver.” He shook his head as they heard the group walk away and then he focused back on them, “I am sending you the coordinate now and the communication sequence for the base.”

“Kolivan,” Coran said as his nose was almost pressed up against the holographic screen, “You have sent us copied files…how do we know that these are not docked from the original.”

“I am not going to be sending the Castle my only copies of evidence,” he said far too quickly and harshly to not be noticed that it was not the usual Kolivan way of speaking. Allura and Shiro looked at him, Coran also but with a more innocent nod of agreement while Allura and Shiro were a bit more judging about the issue. “Are we done here?”

“Yes,” Shiro said and Kolivan quickly cut out. The large Galra took a breath and turned away from the screen, seeing that the three were waiting down the hall with innocent looks on their faces. He sighed and motioned them in. They ran in, all of them knowing damn well what videos he had pulled up and wanting to get the chance to see them again. He sighed, the last thing he would ever want to deal with was what would happen to his recruits if he gave away the one little speck of selfishness that they got from the videos of Blue. Not to mention the crying he would have to deal with. It was bad enough when one of his young recruits got teary eyed when they failed a simple rescue scenario because he would have failed Blue. Kolivan learned very quickly that Blue, was a great teaching tool and his recruits. Not to mention…the human paladin was just adorable sometimes.

(Line Break)

Lance sighed dreamily as he looked at all the new items in his room, he hoped that when he found Earth again, he was so going to use some of this stuff as Christmas gifts for his family. Lance went over to a storage spots in the wall where he had put away different stuff he got from planets and moons. Allura had told him he had to ask before he took anything. Most of the time, he got to take some shiny rocks and plants with big smiles from the beings of that planet. Except for the Balmora, obviously they had gone around helping liberate other Balmoras under the Galra control, and the balmorians always said no when he wanted to take a tiny crystal shard. He even offered to do the whole exchange thing with quintessence, but when he tried the Balmora would not give up a crystal. He tried asking Coran to get him one, but he knew that Coran would go too much out of his way to do it. One of these days though, he was going to get one on his own.

“Hey Lance,” he looked over his shoulder to see Hunk, “the Marmora guys are almost here, they’re going to land in the hanger soon.”

Lance smiled brightly as he walked over to him, “Do you think I should be there to greet them? Tell the warriors I’m proud of them for keeping the universe safe.” He winked and struck his signature pose. “Model a few new moves for them.”

Hunk smiled and laughed as they walked towards the hanger. “I still agree with Pidge about this whole thing man.” He said nervously as Lance looked over at him. He smiled nervously. “Don’t you think it’s kinda scary…to be objectified like that?”

“You think I’m being objectified?” Lance asked with a raised brow. He remembered his sisters talking a lot about that. Lance always figured he was too narcissistic to not want his face plastered everywhere.

“You’re the one that flipped through a collection of erotically computer-generated pictures of yourself.” Hunk said and he had a point. Lance was a little too full of himself to realize that his enemies were probably getting off to pictures like that more often than he liked to think about. Or, he could think of it as beautifully created fanart of himself by original artist that really liked to see him in that position…? Lance shook his head. “I’m not saying you can’t like it…but maybe we need to be a little more careful about leaving you alone.”

“Fine,” Lance sighed as he put his hands behind his head, “if it will make you all more comfortable. But I can’t help it if they naturally just try and get with me.”

Hunk laughed lightly, “Fair enough.” They had walked up to the hanger doors and when they parted they heard an audible gasp from inside. Lance looked over to see that there was Ulaz and Thace, without any mask but behind them were three Blades that were hidden by the masks of their uniform. He and Hunk glanced at one another and Hunk sighed fondly as Lance’s eyes lit up with stars and a smile burst onto his face. “Just play it cool dude.” Lance nodded and went back to a neutral expression as they walked in to stand by the rest of the group.

“Glad you two could make it,” Allura smiled as they stood behind Pidge and Keith. “Commanders,” she curtsied to Thace and Ulaz, while Coran and Shiro bowed. The four other paladins looked at one another and shrugged. “Thank you again, let us get you and your crew settled and please allow us to invite you to dinner.”

“There is no need Princess,” Thace said as he gave a bow back. Ulaz had only taken a glance at each member, and then to his crew behind him. “We will answer your questions and then be on our way.”

“But Hunk made dinner,” Pidge piped in. She fixed her glasses, “And thanks to my genius, we cooked it in under a mere varga.” She smirked. Coran felt his shoulder fall, when it came to Pidge ‘enhancing’ some of their daily equipment, it meant that something illegal was now on the ship and he would have to make sure it didn’t have trackers in them.

“And we have a lot of questions that need explanations,” Keith said with his arms crossed over his chest as he eyed the two. Ulaz raised a brow as he looked to Thace, who only seemed to look fondly on the young half cub. Half or not, Ulaz knew Galra instincts and blood, and by what he was getting from the kitt, he was burning with Galra blood. “Best you get comfortable here.” He glared as Thace continued to smile.

“We apologies, but we do not have the luxury to stick around for too long-” Thace began but was cut off by when the Paladin of Blue took a step forward.

“Just dinner then,” Lance smiled as he gave a flourishing bow, causing the three masked Blades behind him to take a steps closer to watch his every movement. “It would be an honor to at least treat the ever-vigilant Blades of Marmora for being able to clear up on how this…situation came about.” He stood back up straight and put a hand on his hip and winked, “Let us take care of you this time.”

“Yes!” One of the Blades from behind Thace said quickly and then noticed what they had done. “Forgive me…Commander…” they took a few steps back and bowed their head, looking to try and grow smaller. Before Thace could open his mouth, their ship opened and another giant Galra came out, holding a communicator and masked.

“Commander,” their voice was deep echoing around the hanger. “I think it best we enjoy the rest while we can. We have intel on a cruiser getting close to one of our bases in sector 2. It’ll be Quintents before a moment to even get proper rest.” They said as they walked to stand by Thace. “Just my suggestion though.”

Ulaz sighed, “We will leave before the castle’s designated hibernation status.”

“Very well,” Thace nodded and looked to Allura, “Princess, you have a very convincing diplomate.”

“I know right,” Lance smiled and looked at his fingernails. “she’s lucky to have me.”

“Indeed, we are…” she said lightly as she caught the look that the younger Galra were giving Lance and even the larger one with the deeper voice. “Come now,” she pulled herself from her thoughts. “We shall eat first, then to the main control room to go through files we have gotten from Kolivan.” She led the group out and as her and Coran took the lead, the Blades followed with the Paladins behind them. As the doors opened she looked back to see that the younger blades kept glancing behind them. “Lance,” she called as they walked, “could you come up by me, please.”

Lance looked to Hunk and Pidge, who both shrugged before he looked to Shiro. Shiro motioned for him to go and mouthed the words ‘behave’ at him like the space father he was. Lance gave a silent groan as he jogged to catch up with Allura, immediately standing straighter with his hands clasped behind his back. “Did I do something?” He whispered as he leaned in to be a little closer to her. She shook her head and smiled as they mostly continued in silence and without his knowing, Allura was playing on the fact that he would break that silence. She had some things to test. Lance was growing antsy, so he spun around and walked backwards. Coran and Lance would walk these halls all the time while on maintenance duty. “So…you guys got some big leads coming up?”

“Indeed, Blue,” the elder masked one said as Thace and Ulaze glanced to one another. “The Blades of Marmora are more set on information gathering within Zarkon forces.”

“And each base is just…doing that? Nothing else?”

“The Blades are one force, just spread very thin,” one of the younger ones chimed in, taking a step forward, past their obvious commanders and elder without much thought. “If ever captured, it’s just one base from the many strewn across the galaxy.” They steeled up, “We would lay down our lives for the sake of protecting the work and the work of others.”

“Not that we would ever need to,” another stepped forward, pushing the first one back a little bit. They had a more feminine voice and cockiness, “No one in the Empire could ever take us down, the Blades are one of the Universe’s greatest protectors…perfect partners to have.”

Lance smirked, “The Universe’s greatest protectors do have to stick together.”

They got a little closer, “You are very correct, Blue.”

“Not that Ronari is one to talk,” the third pulled the second (Ronari) back by the collar behind them. A lower pitch, and holding a roughness in the throat area. “She can’t even complete level 7 of out training sequence back at the head base.”

“Like you are any better,” the first jumped back in, with clear annoyance in their voice, “Gact has the worse wielding abilities with his blade; a kurian babe would be a better protector.”

“More like keep out of the way when Qonik pulls out his blade,” Ronari came between the other two as Lance was smiling and giggling at the antics. “He makes Gact’s wielding look passible.” She laughed as the other two looked about ready to jump the third. Lance busted out laughing as Ulaz groaned while Thace smiled. The fourth of the Blades gave a light chuckle. Ronari looked to him, “Why are you laughing?” She didn’t sound to happy, almost worried.

“You guys are so funny,” Lance spun back around and looked back at them with a soft smile, still giggling, “Dinner might get a little more interesting with you guys. And then I have to get you three into the training room,” he smirked as the three were staring at him, “let’s put that teamwork to the test, hm?”

“Yes Blue,” the three said and Lance had to laugh again as they walked into the dining area.

Keith scoffed as they walked in, watching Lance pull out chairs for the four, while Coran did the same for Allura and the commanders. He stood at the doors with his arms crossed over his chest, that was the longest and worst walk to the kitchen ever. It was torture to watch Lance just openly being flirted at without even the slightest change of look on his face. It was bad enough watching Lance flirt with anyone that caught his attention (which was almost, more than not, anyone) but now having to watch him being flirted with was agony. Shiro gave a chuckle and Keith looked at him with a raised brow. Shiro leaned down a bit, “You’re jealous.”

“Of what,” he shrugged like it was no big deal. “That I didn’t get to walk next to Allura? As if.”

“That is exactly what I meant,” Shiro laughed lightly as they walked to the table, both sitting further away from the group because the seats had filled. Keith sat down with a huff and ignored when Pidge sent him a side eyed look. “You can just talk to him too.”

“Why is everyone so concerned about how go about my own feelings,” he shot back in a whisper, the blush burning on his cheeks.

“Cause you go about them so piss poorly,” Pidge answered as Hunk and Coran began to set out dinner and Pidge was beyond excited. “And now, looks like you have competition from an entire species.”

“No, I don’t,” he said back as he eyed the Blades that had all tried to sit across Lance. “I don’t have any competition.” He picked up his fork and began eating before anyone else could start talking to him. Pidge and Shiro shared a look and before both deciding to eat as well. Everything was going rather smoothly, that was really until Allura began to bring up why they were there again, and that made Keith ate with a lot more anger than before. He was very pointedly stabbing food and glaring at whatever was in front of him. And it only got worse when he learned that there were recordings of why the Galra species began its infatuation with Lance. Why hadn’t they all been informed before the Blades came? Why hadn’t they seen these recordings first? Why did they even need the Blades to explain why it happened, they needed someone to tell them how to stop it before the situation got any worse.

“The Blue Infatuation does indeed come from many actions, but also through subtle courting techniques he has been using.” Thace explained with a nod from Ulaz.

“Courting techniques?” Lance asked with his mouth half full. Allura sent him a pointed look and he quickly swallowed and wiped his mouth. “Sorry…but I have no idea how to do “subtle courting” to anyone.” He smiled lightly but the nervousness was in his voice and eyes.

“Yeah, Lance does not do subtle,” Pidge laughed as Hunk nodded. “If he wanted to court a galra, he would just come out and say it.”

“How forward,” Qonik said with a smirk.

“It’s how I work,” Lance sat back with a smug smile. He received another look from Allura. He sat up straight and cleared his throat. “Sorry…I just…how have I been courting?”

Ulaz looked at him with confusion, “You do not know Galra courting rituals?” Lance shook his head and the three younger Galra looked to deflate with a saddened expression. He looked to Thace, who looked back at him. They were thinking the same thing. It made sense that the Paladin had no idea how to court, but then how did he do it so well? It was almost comical that someone outside the Galra species had unconsciously displayed some very specific courting rituals with various Galra. He looked back to the Princess, “Are you aware Princess Allura? Surely you have let a few points slip through.”

“Anything I know of the Galra is very dated,” she admitted. “I do recall a few times I had seen Galra courting one another, but that was only for show. I have no idea what Galra do in private to express affection.” She looked to Coran, “Do you know anything Coran? Maybe when you and Lance are working together, you have told stories of the past.”

“I’m sorry Princess,” Coran shook his head, “but I have told Lance plenty of stories, but nothing really with Galra courting. Though I have mentioned Altean courting and Lance had been showing great promise on the Luganiro Harp.” He mentioned and Lance jumped up.

“Yeah! Can I show you guys?” He was bouncing with excitement as he looked around the table and then to Allura. “Please,” he said with a higher pitch. “I think I nearly have something.” She sighed lightly and nodded and Lance laughed as he ran off out the doors. It was an awkward silence until he came back, still with the same big smile and, now, with what looked like two small harps stacked atop the other. He used a strap to hold the harp against him and he quickly began to pluck through a few strings. “Alright…so, don’t laugh, but I have been working on this for a while.” His left hand worked the bottom harp, all lower pitch, as his right hand moved quickly across the top with strings that were higher up. It sounded good…and almost like something else. It took about thirty seconds for Hunk to have a tiny gasp and began to hum along.

And then Pidge began to giggle, “Did you seriously learn Lucky by Jason Mraz on an alien harp?” Lance smile only got bigger as he continued. It was going really well, until Lance started singing along to the song, and it was very clear that they had learned another Galra mating technique. Pidge slapped her hand over her mouth when she heard a very loud purring coming from the seat next to her. Keith quickly noticed it to and held on to his throat and refused to look back at Lance, who continued going until Thace walked over and placed his hand over Lance’s mouth. The song abruptly stopped and the younger Galra all sat up but said nothing when the eldest and biggest of the group held up his hand.

“Best I stop you while you are ahead of the game, Paladin of the Blue Lion,” Thace said as he moved his hand and Lance frowned, letting the instrument fall limp against him. “This is one of the many courting techniques. Before the destruction of our home planet, it was prevalent that many Galra would use forms of poetry, art, and music to show potential mates that they were more than warriors. Galra are naturally aggressive, so being able to show a different side was attractive to mates.” He explained and Lance suddenly grew pale. “I assume you do this sort of thing a lot.”

“Lance tends to sing while we wait for Pidge to finish her hacking,” Hunk said.

“And while we are patrolling,” Shiro added.

“Not to mention when we are idle helping prisoners onto ships.” Pidge nodded.

“He gets it,” he shot back at the three. “Keith, buddy, help me out here. I don’t do this stuff on purpose.” He was staring at Keith, but couldn’t see that Keith was turning redder by the second because he can clearly remember that Lance would sing over the coms when they were flying the Lions and Keith would clearly tune everyone else out just to listen to Lance’s voice. “Fine…all of you would sell me out in an instant.” He shot back before sitting down back in his seat and putting the harp on his lap. “But beside the fact, how was I?” He asked with a smile.

“You’re getting better everyday Lance,” Coran gave him a thumbs up. “Next I will have to introduce you to some old Altean ceremony songs.”

“Yes Lance,” Allura smiled at him, “you truly have a gift.”

“I’m more impressed than usual Lance,” Shiro smiled and Lance felt his cheeks go red. His hero was more impressed with him? As in he was impressive before? To Shiro? The greatest piolet to ever exist was ever more impressed by little ‘ol Lance? “Did you play at the Garrison?”

“I practiced at a piano in one of the main rooms,” Lance said as he poked at the food on his plate. “I wasn’t allowed to bring my guitar…not worth my time when I was training to be a cargo pilot.” He pouted as Hunk patted his shoulder. “I’m fine,” he smiled, “got plenty of stuff here to keep my hands occupied.”

“I could think of better use for those hands,” Gact muttered under his breath as he pushed around his food. His head shot up when he heard the low growl from Ronari next to him. He smirked as her ears went lower and her brow furrowed in anger. Then the two heard someone clear their throat and they turned away from one another. Ulaz crossed his arms over his chest, half of the food on his plate gone and glanced over to Thace, who had sat back down.

“Yes?”

“I think it best we get to the heart of the issue,” Ulaz said lightly and looked to Princess Allura, “Kolivan had already sent you the footage?”

“Footage?” Hunk asked as he looked between the two, “What footage…a video started this?”

“We have accounts of the footage that began to circle around the Galra Empire that we believe started the Blue Infatuation. A Galra on Zarkon’s own ship had presented the original footage, we were told because of trying to find meaning in your actions, these video files were stored and copied videos were left on a ship’s chip. The Galra officer had left them for a companion, who had also bore witness to these videos and they, we believe, were the ones to spread it among other ships and bases.” Thace said as he glanced over to Lance, who was turned a little red at the thought. “I will assume that you have no idea what could be on that fi-”

“Not a clue,” Lance smiled widely as he stood up. “Tell me how it goes, I have to go put this back and get some serious training in…you know…Zarkon is still after us and wants us dead.” He laughed nervously and sped out of the room before anyone could stop him.

Shiro didn’t have to be a parent to know when he caught a kid in a lie. There was something on those files he didn’t want them to see and that meant that Lance may have been doing something against his and Allura’s orders. He looked to Allura, who was most likely having the same thoughts. “Let me lead you to the control room.”

“Can I come?” Pidge shot up, pushing her plate away. “Please, I have to see this? If we can use this information I have to log it.”

“Me too,” Hunk added. “I gotta see what is going on.” Keith stood up as well, only sending Shiro a look that he was coming. “I can clean up later, promise.”

“You all go on,” Coran offered with a smile, “I can clean up and then join you in the control room. Everything is still set up for you Princess.”

“Thank you, Coran,” She smiled and nodded as she stood. “Please Shiro, lead the way, I will join you shortly.” She smiled as Shiro bowed and walked off with the Paladins and Blades following to the control room. She waited until the doors closed to sigh. “Coran,” she looked at him as he was picking up the large plates of food still left over, “I am worried about Lance.”

“I understand Princess,” Coran said softly with a small smile. “The boy may have gotten himself into a bit of a pickle here…and it looks like he knows that he has.” He looked at her, “But nothing to fear. Lance is a good paladin, I think he’s ready for the challenge at hand.”

“But I don’t think I am,” she said lightly, taking a plate and following him into another room, a more casual place to eat. “Lance is…so small and young…he’s been living for only seventeen Earth years. He’s practically a baby.” She said with worry as Coran laughed. “What if something happens, what if this whole ordeal does something to all of the baby paladins?”

“I do not think they would enjoy being called babies Princess,” Coran said lightly. They set down the plates. “They can’t start the files without you Princess.”

“Okay. Thank you again,” she smiled and walked out to get to the control room. She walked in to find Shiro, Ulaz, Thace, Keith, and the largest Blade member by the main panel in front of her station. She then saw that the other three Blades were with Hunk and Pidge, marveling at the ‘Blue memorabilia’ left out or on the two paladins. She smiled lightly as Pidge was picked up by Qonik to look at the key chain on her suits belt. Pidge was laughing as the three were staring in awe at it. Hunk was trying to get Pidge out of their hold. She walked up to her main area and began to open the files. She pulled up the first video file, marked: ‘Initial Contact’.

“Anything I need to be worried about Commanders?” Shiro asked, thinking to what must be on those videos that Lance knew was going to get him in trouble.

Thace looked to Shiro, and then motioned to Keith, “Your kit? Is he well versed in the acts of courting?” He asked and Keith flushed red and looked at them both with a glare. Shiro shook his head, ignoring the protest that Keith wanted to start about his knowledge of the Galra. Sure, ever since his trials, Keith had done nothing but researching, but he was sure that it had nothing to do with courting; Keith’s only interest was on how a Blade member found Earth to begin with. “Then there is nothing to fear, he will not fall under the same spell that has befallen the others of our charge.”

“I have not befallen anything,” Gact said as the others came up to watch, the Galra not being as eager as the two paladins.

“I wonder what Lance did,” Hunk asked as he looked at the file loading up a first still of Lance looking to be rounding a corner. “It had to be the singing.”

“Maybe the Galra find Lance’s show boating attractive,” Pidge laughed.

“I think,” Coran slid into the conversation, “it is his smile. Lance could smile the great Drugnor beast back into its mountain cave.”

Before anyone else could comment, the video loaded and began to play, the sounds of explosions were persistent as Lance seemed to be headed in a specific direction.

“Come on Lance! You left them around here somewhere.” He said to himself as he rounded another corner, and then skidded back to a door. “Found ya.” The camera couldn’t follow, but he entered and then came back out by dragging a large Galra from the room and into the hall. He went back in and the camera switched to one that was in the room. Lance threw off his helmet, sweat catching the light as he ran his hand back through his hair and began to type away on the board.

The group didn’t acknowledge the obvious dreamy sigh that had come from Ronari.

Lance groaned, “Come on Inner Pidge…what would she do?” He slammed his fists on the board and another screen popped up. A communication’s screen. “Oh,” he smiled, “thanks Pidgey.” He laughed as he waited for the signal to go through. Voices came over his helmet and he picked it up and put it back on. “Sorry, got caught up with something.” More yelling and he rolled his eyes. “Don’t worry Shiro, I’ve got Blue on the ground, but I think I may have found something interesting, just…” he trailed off and pulled his helmet off as the signal went through.

“Come in Omega base three.”

“I’ve got about eight officers in escape pods,” Lance said as he kept still as possible when the Galra at the other end began to yell and threaten him. “Give me your location and I’ll send them to you-

“What is your game Paladin? Holding members hostage?”

“I said that I’m sending them to you, give me your location before this building blows out from under me.”

“Maybe I won’t,”

“Then Zarkon loses eight officers and a base. The only one on this planet, it falls to the Alliance then and we get one more stronger to kicking Zarkon’s ass.” He shot back with a smirk.

“I would do it just to see you dead.”

“And I would die happy knowing that it gets Voltron closer to dismantling Zarkon’s empire.” His voice was dead serious and the line was quiet. “Your location.” The Galra listed off a set of numbers, Lance repeating them under his breath before nodding and about to end the communications. “Zarkon isn’t worth one solider…how dare you deem their lives so lowly.”

“We have cameras on you Paladin,” the Galra said, other muttering behind them. “We will track you down and destroy you in the name of Zarkon.” Lance shut off the transmission.

“Oh yeah,” he laughed and looked around the room, until he found the camera pointed at him. He smiles into it, “Come and get me,” he does the sign for ‘hug’ and then shot the camera. The video switches to the hall camera and Lance is out with his helmet back on and hoisting up the Galra he had left. “No worries,” he said as he carried them down the hall. The video kept on him, switching from camera to camera until he came up on the pods and opened the last one to put him in. “Alright guys, when you get back to base, I want you to think about what you guys did to this planet.” He smiled as he typed in the location in the first pod. “Maybe next time we meet, we’ll be on better terms.”

“You…” the Galra began, “you are an idiotic paladin.”

“I get that a lot,” he shot back as he began to walk out. “Dumb enough to let you go, so I would be a little more grateful.”

“Why?” He asked as he watched him walk out and prepare to close the pod. The camera was on Lance’s back.

“Cause being born in a war doesn’t mean you want to be in war.” He said lightly. “Sometimes we have no real choice in who we are…or maybe I just don’t have the guts to kill you.” He closed the pod and launched it. Then he went to the next two. The building was falling apart as Lance was running out. “False leads, useless.” He said into the coms. “Headed back to Blue, see you guys at the castle.”

End video

“That mission was a long time ago,” Shiro said, thinking back to the filed reports. “Omega base three…Sector three of the Naric System,” he said as Thace nodded.

“Lance is going around saving Galra…is that it?” Pidge asked as she looked to Thace and Ulaz. “They got a hero complex.”

“Not exactly,” Ulaz said as the next video was ready. There was a still of Lance sitting across from a few bound Galra.

“So…what do you guys do for fun?” Lance asked as he was sitting with his legs spread out and tinkering with his bayard gun. The three Galra kept silent, refusing to even look at him. He sighed and looked up at the ceiling, the angle was a wide shot of the whole room; they looked to be in an observation area. “Hey, we can make the time fly a little faster with some effort.” He said with a scolding tone. “Pidge thinks I’m locking you guys up but be lucky I took you to a room with a sweet view of this place. Have you seen the planet you took over?” He got up and walked over to the large window, not noticing that all three of the Galra’s head turned to look at him.

They heard someone growling at the video, but Shiro thought it best not to call out Keith like that. Not in front of the Blades anyway.

“This place is beautiful…you guys even go into that ocean? Man, I’ve never seen water so clean…not since being back in Cuba,” his accent came through that one of the Galra gulped rather loudly. They received a look from the other two. “Back home…you could see through the water like it was glass.” He laughed and turned around, not fast enough to see the three looked away. “Hopefully, once we’re all long gone, you three take a dip in that water, just for me, okay?” He smiled and then put his hand on his stomach. “Ugh, what is taking Pidge so long? Hunk must have dinner all done and waiting and I’m here.” He groaned and then walked out of the room. The camera stuck on the three.

“The Blue Paladin is as talkative as the Commander said,” one spoke up only loud enough for the mic to pick it up. “Surely this is a ploy.”

“The Paladin cannot be this trusting…his gesture may have looked genuine, but it clearly a trap. Or a misunderstanding.”

“How do you accidently proclaim-” the last one was cut off when the doors opened back up and Lance walked back in with a bowl of what looked like purple jelly.

“So, your sentries are stingy on the food delivery,” Lance said and then shoved a spoonful in his mouth and crouched in front of one of the Galra, “What is this? Mind if I take some back on my ship?” The Galra was silent, looking to be straining to lean far away from him. “Oh…I get it,” Lance swallowed and smirked, “You guys are hungry too but don’t want to look weak in front of me.” He put a hand up, the one holding the spoon. “Guys, no one is watching and I promise not to tell a soul about this.” He picked up a spoonful and held it out to the Galra, “eat.”

The Galra looked to be sweating and shaking.

“Come on,” Lance cooed teasingly, “don’t make me beg.”

“I’ll eat,” the one to the left said.

“Hekton,” the one on the right seethed.

Lance already moved over to them and held out the spoon. The Galra leaned forward to take the spoon into their mouth and then back once putting the food in their mouth. They swallowed, “They’re called Ect berries, the best grow on this planet.”

“Good thing we’re kicking you out then,” Lance laughed, “now I can have all these berries to myself.”

“You truly are a threat to the Empire,” Hekton said with a clear smirk and playfulness to their voice. “No wonder why Zarkon wants you destroyed, you would rob us of our Ect berries.” He smiled bigger when Lance laughed so hard he fell back on his bottom. He laughed lightly and looked to the other two, who pointedly looked away with blushes and frowns. “Paladin of the Blue Lion-”

“Way too long of a name,” Lance said as he sat up and held out another spoonful to Hekton, “You can call me Blue.”

“Blue,” Hekton said with a blush, “is that not too informal.”

“Dude,” Lance looked at them, “we’re enemies at the moment, why would you want to be formal with me?”

“Blue,” the one on the far right said, “I would also like some.”

“Way to go Hekton,” Lance nudged him and winked, “you got the others out of their shells to eat.” He went over and really began to feed all of them. The bowl was almost empty until Lance stopped and stood up, listening to the voice of Pidge come through. “Sorry guys,” Lance saluted them, “but I gotta get back to Voltron Business.” He opened the communicator. “Now you only let them know to come get you once I’m gone, cool? Little trade for the food.”

“Fair enough,” one said with a nod.

Lance smiled and set the bowl down to give them the sign for hug, “Later guys…and I’m keeping this bowl,” He said as he left the room, missing the look on their faces.

“The Commander was right,” one said with shock in their voice. “He…he…”

“I will mate him.” Hekton said and the video cut out.

Hunk was a very dark red. “uhhh…did that guy….”

“What the fuck!?” Keith shot in.

“Keith!” Shiro looked at him with that look mother gave kids when they yelled in public.

“What is he doing?” Keith motioned to the screen, “Why is he treating them like they don’t try to kill us every day? Why is he being so nice to them!?” He looked around the room, really hoping that someone was going to clear this up for him.

“Blue is a natural caring being Keith,” Gact spat out as he faced the halfling.

“Lance,” Pidge said with shock, “Lance is a caring person. What? The guy that stops to look at his reflection at any turn? That Lance?”

“Pidge,” Hunk said lightly, “Lance is the only one that can actually ever get you to eat.”

“I mean…so?” she shot back with a blush.

“Lance is always my first choice when it comes to regular Castle duties. He even starts them before I ask,” Coran said with a smile as he twisted his mustache. “I don’t see the oddities of this knowledge.”

“Okay,” Shiro said, more trying to calm Keith down, “we all agree Lance is caring, but why is it working on the Galra?”

“They were born into war, knowledge or death, the empire or death,” Thace said lightly. “Being taking care of is something that doesn’t happen between the Galra. Even when the kits are being trained there is no room to be cared for and coddled by someone else. If you do not make it…you do not make it.” Ulaz grabbed his free hand and held it. “The Empire raises soldiers to die…and the Blue Paladin has treated soldiers in a way that hasn’t been seen for over ten thousand years.” He looked to the next video. The next two were pulled up and looked to be edited more than the other two. “These are just more video logs of the Blue Paladin that has caught the eyes of the Galra.”

They all were close and watched as Lance was the focus of each video. He would go about from pulling soldiers from fires, getting them food and water, freeing prisoners that were being interrogated, singing to groups, always saying goodbye to cameras with his sign for hug, and at one point building forts around injured Galra. Going out of his way to heal up the injured. There were even video of Lance fighting alongside a few of the Blades and how he was being complimented by a Galra’s from each side.    

Then came up to the final video just titled ‘Beloved Blue’.

 Thace pointed up, “This…This video is the reason that we get recruits, born from the blood line of the Blades or not, people want to fight because of him.” He laughed lightly, “The Commanders of each division were on the fence about letting in Galra that were not of the line…but they stopped at nothing to get in.”

“I recall one of the first non-blood recruits,” Ulaz said with a glance to the Galra beside him, who had taken off his mask to stare at the screen, “said he would stop at nothing to aid Voltron, in the Blades or not.”

The video pulled up on a still of Lance with a Galra child on his back and about six in a hover cart. Pidge was instantly up by the screen, moving between Shiro and Keith. “I remember that building…that was…we were told that building was a docking area.” She looked back to Allura who was staring wide eyed at the screen. “Why are there kids there?”

“It’s common for those under Zarkon’s command to ensure to never reveal that a location is based for schooling…easy targets for rebellions…seemed you all stumbled upon it with other intentions.” Ulaz said, already knowing the details behind the building and what had happened. “Not many children are born to begin with at a time, and the Empire is so vast that they can be spread out in small group and in places that double in purpose.”

“We got valuable trade routes out of that building,” Hunk said as he handed his hand held to Pidge, who pulled up the maps and documents in seconds. “How come we didn’t even see them?”

“Like I said before,” Thace said with some strain in his voice, “the empire before anyone.” Everyone felt the clear discomfort in the room that it was so easy to destroy a base and never know who was really in there. The paladins glanced to one another and then Allura pushed to start the video. It was at one hundred to begin with.

Sentries firing at Lance as he weaved to avoid danger and taking out other sentries that stood in his way. Lance was pushing the cart with all his might and was laughing loudly, causing all the other kits to laugh and cheer as they were being led out. “Okay Little bro up front, get ready to lean left!”

“You can count on me Blue!” The kit up front called back as Lance had taken aim with one hand and his bayard as a pistol aimed at the main doors. “Mimon,” the boy called, “what’s to the left?”

“We’re clear,” she called as all the kits on the cart were at the ready.

Lance fired at the panel and the doors flew open and the kits called together to lean as Lance pushed them through. They all cheered at another job well done and Lance hollered as he aimed back and took out the remaining sentries that were firing. There was a long crack in the glass of his helmet as he turned back and fired at the next door which lead to the deep purple light of the outside. The camera outside kept watch as Lance slowed the cart to a stop and all the kits jumped off while jumping and cheering. Lance set down the smallest kit in the arms in one of the older kits, just in time because he collapsed on the ground, clutching his side.

The camera zoomed in to see that Lance’s left side was stained red and there was a big gash in his side. The kits quickly noticed and ran to his side, trying to get him to stand back up. “Whoa kiddos,” Lance smiled as he tried to stand, barely, but on his feet. One kit trying to stabilize him as he stood. “We were just celebrating,” he smiled as they led him over to some place to sit up against a tree. “Once we get to my babe Blue, I’ll throw you guys the biggest party.”

“No Blue,” one of the kits crawled into his lap and held his face, “you’re hurt. We have to get you better.”

“This old thing,” he laughed as he moved his hand a bit to look at the wound. “Nah…I got worse wounds from my training.” He ruffled the kit’s hair and then cringed as he almost doubled over. The youngest started crying and reaching out to Lance. “Don’t cry doll.” He held out one arm, still clutching his side and the youngest clung to him. “Lancy-Lance is gonna get better in no time-” He was cut off when he heard something coming from the forest behind them. The camera couldn’t’ even catch how fast Lance got to his feet, let go of his side and aimed his shotgun Bayard out to the noise. “Come out slowly with hands up or weapons where I can see them.” He took a step back towards the cart. “Everyone on,” he said to the kits, handing off the youngest to one of the other ones. They were all hushed and the eldest held up a sentry’s weapon. “Jowna,” he said to them, “take the cart.”

“I will not leave you Blue,” Jowna said as they pulled back on the rifle to charge the pulse gun. Lance did the same. “We stand together.”

“Jowna?” A voice called as a woman Galra came out quickly that it startled the two. She was dressed in uniform, but nothing that would be considered battle ready. Meaning she was never put in a battle situation. 

“Guide Tynla?” Jowna asked as they lowered the rifle. “Guide Tynla what happened?” Jowna ask, close to tears but refusing to cry. Lance lowered his Bayard, but then three more Galra came out with weapons raised and Lance put his hands up. Just as they took aim at Lance, Jowna stepped in front of them with the rifle back up and their finger on the trigger. Lance looked down at them in confusion and then back up at the other three that were confused. “Drop em nerds!” He said and Lance snorted so loudly and hunched over in laughter. The other kits ran up when Lance fell to the ground when his laughing turned to pained groans as his side was bleeding again.

“How did you get out?” One in commanding uniform dress stepped forward, taking a quick glance. They signaled a nod to another who looked relieved. Tynal quickly went over to the group and began to hush and soothe the others as she herself was crying.

“Blue got us out!” Mimon yelled back at him. “Not like any of you did anything!”

“Yeah you scrub!” Another kit yelled, Lance snorted again.

“I am so sorry,” Tynal cried as she held the youngest close to her chest. “It was my fault, I am to care for you and I wasn’t strong enough to get you all out. I am a failure.”

“No,” Lance said as some kits helped him back to sitting up, supporting him. “No…we didn’t make it any easier…and all those sentries are such a pain.”

“Big ol bucket of bolts!” three kits yelled in unison and Lance chuckled again, clutching his side.

“Come now Blue,” one of the others came up, kneeling with a med kit. “You are a fool…a downright fool.”

“I get that a lot,” he said as the kit was put on his lap. The Galra began to open it, but Lance stopped them. “No, you all have to get out of here,” he looked around at the group. The camera moved up to see the Yellow Lion flying towards the building. “I think a passenger ship is still in the hanger, left it alone since I saw the nursery room.” He smiled as he sat up on his own.

“Thank you,” Tynal turned his head to look at her. “I will repay you some day.” She stood up and nodded to him. “Come Kits, quickly to the hangers.”

“We wanna stay with Blue,” Jowna said.

“Hey,” Lance looked at them with a smile. “You gotta help them take care of the rest of them okay…you’re a leader now too.”

Jowna sniffled and rubbed their yellow eyes, “Okay Blue…I won’t let you down.”

“Move out,” The commanding officer said as he picked up the next two youngest kit, the other two stood, one taking another two. As they began to walk away, the last Galra taking the rear, stopped and looked back at Lance. He ran back over and kneeled as he pulled out a notebook.

“This has coordinates to other bases in this system, some observations I have made about each one,” he said lightly as Lance took off his helmet to get to the wounds on his head. He had a cut on his forehead. He looked to hesitate before leaning in a little close. The camera didn’t pick up what he said, but he licked Lance’s forehead before getting up and running off to catch up with the group that was headed to the hangers. The camera focused on Lance a bit more, and saw him touch his forehead and watch in confusion. Just as Lance looked down at the book, the wind burst towards him and he looked over and smiled.

“Hey Hunk!”

The video file ended with a still of Lance waving to Hunk, who was off screen.

“I punished Lance for risking his life for some journal,” Shiro crossed his arms over his chest and looked down at the ground. “I grounded him to his room and the training room for nearly three Quintents.”

“It’s alright Shiro,” Coran put his hand on Shiro’s shoulder. “You didn’t know.” He gave his shoulder a pat, “And besides, I nearly got half way through burring him on the Aurosian planet if it wasn’t for your quick correction.”

“I can’t believe Lance let you get half way through.”

Coran smiled, “It’s hard to fight back with my export knot work.”

“He changed my life that day,” the biggest Blade member said as he continued to stare at the screen. “I was unable to get to the kits…the kits under my charge…but your Paladin did, Princess Allura.” He looked back at her with a soft smile and Allura couldn’t help but smile back. “You should be proud of your champions.”

“I always am,” she said lightly and looked to the four, who either blushed or looked away in embarrassment. “So…it seems that my Blue Paladin has wooed an empire through accidental acts of courting. What are we to do now?”

“What do you mean what are we going to do?” Keith asked. “We stop it, that’s what. Lance can’t be going around, now, unknowingly flirting with half the universe when he openly flirts with the other half.”

“Maybe the Princess is on to something,” Shiro said as he faced Allura, who nodded back at him. He knew exactly what she was thinking. The two were built and trained to win, and that meant using everything they had at their disposal. “We have an ace up our sleeves now.”

“Are we gonna pimp out Lance!?” Pidge asked with wide eyes.

“No!” Shiro shot back, his voice going up in pitch a bit because of such a question. He was Lance’s care taker and there was no way that he would let alone hurt his boys (and girl)!

“Oh, my Quiznak,” Hunk pointed an accusing finger, “you want us to bait the Galra with Lance! We’re going to exploit Lance’s legs!”

“That is not what I’m saying.” Shiro added in.

“So, you want us to just throw Lance into a sea of horny Galra?! For the sake of Voltron!?” Keith shot back with a glare.

“Enough!” Allura said as she walked down to the group. The Blades were watching with interest and the three youngest were trying very hard not to laugh and giggle at the dynamic of the group. It was very different from their time in meetings. Not as fun and loud. “I know what you are getting at Shiro,” she nodded to him. “Lance can get information out of Galra, work his way into their trust. He could get us into bases without even having to sneak up on them. All the secretes, their knowledge, their own selves are now at the whim of our Blue Paladin.”

“Sir,” the tall Blade member put his mask back on and pulled out his reports, “Our next mission may go by a little faster with the aid of Blue.” He added as he looked back to Allura, “A cruiser looking for Blade secretes just to find Blue…maybe he can get something out of the crew?”

“Lance is not ready for confrontation with Galra alone,” Shiro jumped in walking over to them. He looked to Allura, “Princess, I know it sounds easy, but what if something goes wrong. I will not leave Lance without protection.”

“I will walk alongside Blue,” Gact stepped forward. “I would ensure no harm comes to him.”

“Having you there makes its obvious,” Keith cut in and glared at the Galra male. “I’ll go since I already know how to fight alongside Lance,” Keith stressed as he stared up at Gact who openly growled at him. Keith growled back.

“Step aside fuckboys,” Pidge stood between the two and put her hands on her hips. “I can go in with Lance if we’re so worried about his safety-”

“I call dibs on going with Lance!” Hunk raised his hand and Keith and Pidge looked back at him with wide eyes. “Called dibs, it’s the rules. I go.”

“Well I can’t argue with that strong logic,” Coran nodded. “We send Hunk and Lance with the Blades of Marmora; the Blades evacuate the other Blades and leave Hunk and Lance to ‘investigate’ a hidden base.” He added with a wink and looked to Allura and Shiro. “Lance is safe, we find out who it is, and the Blades may be able to get some well needed rest.”

“Hunk called dibs last time,” Keith said with an accusing point at Hunk. “We made a rule that no more than three dibs in a row. This is his fourth.”

“Not that Keith has any room to enforce that rule,” Hunk shot back as he crossed his arms over his chest. “Mister ‘eight in a row dib caller on exploration’. Some of us want to see what’s in trees Keith.”

“So, I should get to go,” Pidge pointed to herself. “Lance likes me better anyway.” Hunk and Keith both gasped. “Yeah, I said it. Me and Lance are two peas in a pod, the strongest bond a Holt could make.”

“I believe Blue and I could be these podded peas!” Ronari raised her hand and looked to Thace and Ulaz, who, along with the other older member, seemed to be very amused by the arguing. “Send me Commanders. I will prove worthy in this mission. The bases are mazes and Blue should have usefulness at his side.”

“Did this bitch call me useless?” Pidge gapped as she slowly turned to look at her.

“What did I say about the swearing?” Shiro said as Ronari had bent down to be eye to eye with Pidge, only having the human girl grow angrier.

Qonik raised their hand, “Ronari is about as useful as a broken rifle.”

“Hey guys.”

They all looked over to see Lance, still in full Paladin armor with his helmet under his arm. “I know that I had not followed orders as well as I should have, and that I may have put the mission at risk because of my actions, but I would like the chance to defend myself.” He took a deep breath and trying to not really make eye contact with anyone because he was sure that he would choke. “I tried to run away, but Beautiful stopped me and she was right, per usual, and here I am. I will be punished as you all deem fit.” He nodded and finally looked up to see himself on the giant screen. The med kit and journal on his lap was a quick reminder of what had happened and he couldn’t help but smile softly.

That did not help with Keith’s initial raging jealousy. “What!?” It made all of them jump and Lance stopped looking at the screen and looked at him.

“I…I know what I did was against orders…and I’m sorry, did I say that yet?” He looked around a bit panicked. “I am totally and super sorry that I would do stuff and then tell you I did other stuff.” He laughed nervously, “But hey, Lance is just a natural protector.” He gave an attempt at his signature smirk, but it looked like a very weak smile, which caused Qonik to whimper and clench his fist so tight that it looked painful. It looked like he was trying very hard to keep still. Lance rubbed the back of his neck. “Again…I’m sorry and I will try not to do it ever again.”

“I thank you for coming out here to face us Lance,” Allura smiled at him and Lance was standing back at attention. “But you have nothing to apologies for,” she said sweetly as Lance flushed with embarrassment and nervousness, “you treated our enemies with a kindness that I never even thought of giving them. Your compassion is something I envy.”

“So… I’m not in trouble?” He asked

“No Lance,” Shiro smiled and chuckled lightly. It was hard to remember that the other paladins were indeed, still children. “You aren’t in trouble.”

“Awesome,” he hoped up and punched the air, “so what was it that made the Galra fall in love with me. Other than my obvious good looks and amazing personality,” he smirked as he sauntered up to the screen with a smug expression. Hunk laughed and Pidge scoffed, a moment never lasted long with Lance. He was back to his usual tendencies. Pidge glanced over and noticed that the three seemed to stand closer together but got closer to the group and in turn, to Lance. “Or was it my amazing heroics? I bet the Galra love the hero types.”

Ulaz raised a brow, “You have no knowledge of courting techniques of the Galra kind?”

“Nope,” Lance said, popping the ‘p’ rather hard as he was looking at the screen again.

“But…” the elder Galra began, “you initiated the courting.”

“I did what now?” Lance looked at him with wide eyes and a blush. “I initiated it? Like…did I ask to be married?”

“Not…exactly.” Thace said as he looked to Allura and Shiro, “I do not mean to be Vulgar, but your Blue Paladin has…propositioned a few of the Galra.”

“Lance gave the whole Galra army a booty call!?” Pidge gasped as every human flushed red.

“I did not!” He looked to Allura and Shiro, one was confused while the other had their head in their hands. “I swear, I’m still an alien virgin!”

“What is this booty call?” Coran asked with his hand raised. “I know Earthlings have odd abilities, but being able to speak from the behind is astounding.”

“It’s not that Coran,” Shiro said as Coran and Allura were now looking at him. “But that isn’t the point.” He looked back to Thace and Ulaz, “What did Lance do exactly to initiate the courting and that…other thing.” He asked trying to remind himself that he is the adult and he was going to act like one. Not to mention that he had basically taken all these kids under his wings and that he was going to protect all of them and get them home, even if it was the last thing he did. But it wouldn’t be the last thing he did because he was going to be there for his children, whether they liked it or not.

“The Blue Paladin had given the sign that roughly translates to ‘wanting to be whole’. This sign of desire of companionship and in Galra culture, this sign is only given to one’s mate or who someone wanted to partner with. Your paladin presented to the Galra Empire.” Ulaz explained.

“What sign?” Coran asked. “From what I do recall of my time with the Galra, I only saw one courting publicly, but only because it was a dual over a shared interest.” He stroked his mustache. “Surely, the Galra must be drawn to Lance’s shooting skills.”

“Galra more adhere to physical contact fighting, something close to blade work or hand to hand combat.” The elder member said.

Lance scoffed, “Overrated,” he shrugged and Hunk nodded. The two, being the only long ranged fighters, didn’t see all the appeal of up close fighting. Not to mention Lance was more of a dodger while Hunk was more of a runner; and it worked rather well for them both.

“I will just show you the sign,” he said lightly as he moved so that everyone could see. He faced Ulaz, who just looked at him with his usual blank expression. Thace nodded to him, clenched his hands into fist, brought his arms up to cross each one over his chest. Ulaz didn’t change his expression but the group was in awe when his cheeks flushed. Thace smiled lightly and put his arms back at his side and turned back to the group. Hunk, Pidge, and Lance were gap mouthed and wide eyed.

“That’s it?” Keith asked with his arms crossed over his chest and a glare, “Lance does that stupid thing all the time. Last week he did it to the mice.”

“I can’t hug the mice so I just sign it.” He said in his defense. “How was I supposed to know that the sign for hug was ‘come get some’ in Galra.”

“It doesn’t stand for ‘come get some’ number one,” Pidge said as she walked over to the video screen. “Princess, go back to the first recording of Lance, right at the end before he pulls off one of the commanders to the pod.” She asked as she watched the screen rewind. “There” she called and Allura stilled the visual to show Lance facing a camera with a smirk and the sign. “What feed is this?”

“It’s central command,” Ulaz said, “Zarkon’s ship can get accesses to any bases main hub through those cameras.” He pointed to the screen, “Someone on Zarkon’s ship saw that and along with the phrase ‘Come and get me’ means that most Galra take it as an…open invitation to be courted.”

“I would like to go back to the idea of having Lance aid you in an intel mission.” Allura brought all attention back on her. “We evacuate the base, and send out the Paladins instead, thinking it is some empty ship. Maybe we can both gain from finding out what the empire wants on your ship.”

“I should still be there,” Keith said, “Lance and Hunk are long ranged, what happens if they can’t make distance.”

“I can handle myself samurai,” Lance scoffed as he crossed his arms over his chest. “Just give me the lo-cal and I’m on it!”

“Don’t sound so excited,” Keith huffed as he crossed his arms over his chest and pouted. But he was muttering under his breath that only Hunk heard him and offered a light pat on his shoulder as a condolence. Pidge snorted as she shot a quick glance to the youngest three blade members, who were all eyeing up Lance. She took a step forward and made perfect eye contact with all of them that she was indeed, standing between them and Lance.

“We all will be going along,” Shiro piped in as he walked over to Lance and put a hand on his shoulder. “We are going to ensure that our allies are safe and seeing what is going on. Seeing as this is the first time someone has come across a ship.”

“Indeed,” Thace nodded as he pulled up his own report plans, “I will contact the base and we will head out shortly. Best we not waste time.”

“Come on Lance,” Hunk called as he walked over to Lance with a big smile, “last one to their Lion is Iverson’s lacky!” Lance laughed as the two raced to their pods, Keith quickly following.

“I just want to make something clear,” Pidge said as she walked over to her pod that lead to her Lion. She looked back at them all. “Lance is a Paladin of Voltron, part of humanity, and one of my closet friends. I will never let anyone take him away from us. Especially not some horny Galra that are in over their heads.”

“Who said anything about taking Blue,” Gact stepped forward, pulling off his mask to show a smug expression of a smirk and gleaming yellow eyes. “Blue’s gonna follow me right out the door.”

“Like you have the guts to even talk to him,” she shot back with a glare before getting into her pod.

Shiro let out a deep breath. “Let’s just be sure that this infatuation stays as that.” Shiro looked to Allura. “We can only do so much with Zarkon after us, but now ever Galra too?”

“We will discuss more about this later,” she nodded as Shiro went to his pod and jumped in. Leaving Allura and Coran with the Blades. “The Castle will be too suspicious for us, but I should be able to wormhole us closer and then keep us at a far distance, is anything, we may offer up the diversion in the worst-case scenario.”

“Understood.” Ulaz nodded.

(Line Break)  

“Hey Hunk?” Lance asked as the two were walking side by side through the ship base that was way too quiet, and way too dark.

“Yeah?”

“Do you think the Galra would have me bottom because I’m so much smaller, or top out of courtesy to me?”

‘What the fuck kind of question is that!?’ Keith yelled over their coms. The two openly cringed and Hunk took off his helmet to make sure his ears weren’t bleeding. Keith was fuming on the other end as he was forced to hide underneath the ship while Yellow and Blue were hidden on a nearby moon that was locked in position from the gravitational pull. Pidge was around patrolling in stealth mode while Shiro had decided to stay close to the Castle, because, with their luck, the worst-case scenario would come up.

“Why are you asking me?” Hunk asked as he put his helmet back on, blushing at the idea of it all.

“You’ll be honest with me,” Lance said as he opened another side door and looked around. He found a storage unit. “Like, I know I’m short compared to these guys, but that doesn’t me I don’t deserve a chance on top. Like, I would give it my all.”

‘Lance, can we not talk about this now?’ Pidge said as she was finishing up a thermal scan. ‘Also, the base is cleared except for you too.’

“Thanks, Pidgey,” Lance said, “but how can I not be curious? First, I get to buy all this cool gear with me on it, then I find out the Galra made videos about how amazing I am. Wouldn’t you be curious as to how they see you in bed?”

‘I’m fifteen years old Lance, I still worry about my grades back at the Garrison because we have missed so much class.’

“Oh, and I had a giant report due before we left.” Hunk wheezed, thinking back to the nights he spent working on that report and paper that had to go with it.

Lance cringed again, “I had another simulation test and a test on the different distress protocols.” He groaned as he banged his head against a wall. “There go my perfect scores.” He sighed and opened another door to see that this one was a personalized room. “You don’t think anyone would mind if I just…peek?”

‘Peek at what?’ Keith asked as he was watching for the ship that was supposed to be headed for them.

“Lance found someone’s room and he is already going through their stuff.” Hunk said as he stood at the door and was getting nervous. “Come on Lance, we gotta keep moving.”

“Hunk,” Lance was sitting on the floor and turned to smile big at him as he held up a journal, opened to the first page, “Someone wrote about me.”

“How can you tell?” Hunk walked over to him and looked at the note book. “This is all written in Galran.” He then looked down at Lance, who suddenly got quiet and looking at the floor. “Do you know Galran?”

“…No…”

‘When did you learn another language? You still get lost in the castle.’ Pidge questioned as she was ignoring her readings of something entering the air space. ‘And the castle doesn’t teach Galran anyway.’

‘Lance’, Keith was using his angry voice. ‘How did you learn Galran?’ He didn’t know what he was upset by more: the fact Lance probably had a sit-down lesson with a tied up Galra, or that he (being a half Galran) knew less about his own kind but Lance was fluent in reading and probably speaking the language of his mother. The line was quiet and Keith was trying so hard not to blow up. ‘Lance.’ He seethed. Just about when he was going to enter the ship he was cut off.

‘Shit…the ship is here!’ Pidge called as she watched the small explorer ship easing it’s way close to the base and she did a scan, trying to make the scan go faster than she programmed. ‘They didn’t even hesitate to board.’ She got a better look at the ship and began to sense something rather off about it. ‘What the…?’

“Come on Lance,” Hunk tossed the journal back on the bed and he and Lance dashed out of the room to find a good place to hide. They couldn’t leave just yet, they were sent to find out what this ship wanted and how did they find the base. “You’re not going to tell me…are you.”

Lance ripped off his helmet as they turned a corner and hid there. He sighed, “Look, I took a few books from some bases, and then I searched the old library in the Castle, and I found some translation books. I was bored and some of the Galra we met couldn’t understand me and I just want to be ready next time. Okay?” He nodded, as though he was trying to convince himself. “And I don’t want those two to know because they’ll tell Shiro, Shiro will tell Allura, and then they found out that I accidently learned another courting whatever.” He flushed lightly as Hunk was looking at him with wide eyes. “I just didn’t want to get yelled at okay.”

“I’m a little mad you kept this secrete from me, your best friend, but I’m also too busy being impressed with you right now.” He whispered as Lance put his helmet back on as they watched the scan photos that Pidge was sending them to watch the movement that came in. Lance peeked around the corner and Hunk pulled him back in about three seconds. “They boarded and you gotta see this.” Lance and Hunk stared at the stills from the ships own cameras on who was going through the bases

‘What’s going on?’ Keith asked as he was trying very hard to not jump into the ship and fight. Red was trying very hard about keeping him calm, but even she was going mad from listening to Blue calling to her Paladin in her worried motherly tone. He stopped when he heard Lance and Hunk gasp. ‘What is it?!’

“These are not Empire soldiers,” Hunk said with as he looked to Lance who was staring at the screen with wide eyes as four different figures were searching the ship. Their uniforms were all wrong and they would go into a room and pull out some of the Lance merchandise. “They seem to be collecting all the Lance themed stuff though…but why?”

Pidge groaned as she pulled up communications to the ship and the Blade ship, “Good news, we don’t think they are under the empire. They are collecting all the Lance crap and look to be heading to the main control room.”

“The what?” Thace asked as he looked at the irritated human on the other side of the screen. He looked to Ulaz, who shrugged.

 “My paladin trading cards,” one young recruit gasped. “We have to go back! We have to go back!”

“They tracked my ship from the items they could get from a shop,” the Blade commander sighed as she took off her mask and glared at her recruits. “I said no contraband on my ship! We are an honorable force, and you just compromised our location and work for cheap toys?”

“Commander,” one of the cadets took a step forward. “We…We didn’t think…”

“No,” she shot back with a sneer, “no you weren’t thinking. I have unknown threats raiding my ship, all our hard work right in their hands.”

“Don’t worry,” Pidge tried to ease off the tension off the other cadets that looked about ready to burst into tears from being yelled at. “We’re going to get those guys off your ship and shoot them as far away as possible.” She smiled and moved to her communicator. ‘Lance, Hunk, get those guys back on their ship. I’ll send the Princess our location and Keith can knock these losers into a wormhole.’

“Roger that,” Lance said as he was still eyeing the group. He smirked as he looked to Hunk. “You got a plan?”

“That we get in our Lions and then the others think that they need to get into their ship and fight us?” Hunk asked.

“That might work,” he watched the screens as the largest was lugging around all the items as two would collect, the fourth, acting very much like the leader was in the main room, trying to rewire parts of the console. “We need to get them back on their ship…they want Lance stuff…let’s give them the real deal.”  

“And what happened when you’re stuck on the ship?” Hunk asked with a worried look.

“You won’t have to worry about that,” Lance winked and stood up as he fixed up his gear. “Worst case scenario…someone has to fly Blue back to the castle and wax her for me.” Lance didn’t give Hunk the chance to object again because he took off down a back hall. ‘Open all communications,’ he said and the static opened in his helmet. ‘Hunk, you have to get the one in the command center, she’s the only one that can do any real damage to the Blades.’

‘Okay,’ Hunk said nervously as he snuck past and began to head for the main room. ‘Pidge, is anyone left on that ship?’

‘No’ she reported back and was doing a closer scan. ‘But this ship is meant to go fast and stay under the radar, it must belong to a larger one. Probably where ever it goes, we find out who’s behind this.’ She pulled up a screen to the castle. “Princess, can you track us right now?”

“The Lions are connected to me and this ship, I have your exact location.”

‘We have to get the group out of here,’ Keith said. ‘I can follow it.’

Lance began to tone out communications, everyone going back and forth on what to do about this rouge group that new enough about the Blades to find them and get to their base. He patted his bayard that was back at his waist and saw that the three were standing in the hall. The tallest had big colorful hair and ears, looking to be the strongest of the group. They were all talking among themselves, sounding very feminine. He couldn’t face the biggest, that was for sure, but the other two looked just as dangerous. One member had a long tail and had a cat resting on her shoulder. Her hood pulled up to hide her face and he watched enough Steve Irwin to know that tails like that could break bone. Next was a woman with orange skin and a what looked like a long ponytail. She was the thinnest and second tallest of the group. She was the most talkative of them too.

“Oooo this one had a couple posters!”

“Look at how cute Blue is in this pose!”

“Do you think I can get one of these little dolls?”

“Maybe it is true that he smells like the waters of Norka Three.”

“What if Blue is captured like the theorist are saying about season four Galra Elites? Do you think he’ll say his best line? I found a fan made rendition of what it would be like if Blue were to actually surrender to the Empire because Blue doesn’t want to hurt his true love-”

“Ezor,” the tallest one shot back at her, “Please shut up. We are on a mission.” She opened up the bag and the woman pouted as she dropped the stuff in, “And do not spoil Elites. I just finished season two.”

“You’re too behind now Zethrid,” Ezor said with worry. “Season three finale is just a few quintents and the Elites leader, Mekin, she’s about to face-”   

“I said don’t spoil it,” Zethrid warned again. Lance had to figure out what in the world they were watching, and then find a way to stream it because it sounded good. He peeked around again, the two had their back to him as the other walked out, being the one that didn’t talk. She held out a plastic doll and Ezor squealed as she snatched it up. She pulled a string on the back and a voice clearly not his came out: ‘Come and get me’.

“Oh, it sounds just like Blue on Galra Elites.” Ezor smiled and pulled the string again. ‘Quiznak!’ She giggled and looked to the hooded figure, built just as strong but not as big as Zethrid. “This is such a good find Narti.” The woman ‘Narti’ bowed lightly and Lance was so caught up in watching the three go through what they had collected, that he just caught that the cat that was with Narti, was now staring at him. He flushed and ducked back around. “What is it Narti?” Ezor asked. Lance quietly began to put some distance between them.

Hunk was back in the main hub, baffled that just a bit ago, he had visuals locked on whoever was rewiring, but when he got there, the place was empty and half hacked. Pidge was spouting off what she could see from Hunk’s still of the console while Hunk went through the screens that had been pulled up. ‘Guys…I don’t think they came here for the Blades.’

What do you mean Hunk?’ Keith asked as he was preparing to board. Not only was Hunk worrying him, but the lack of Lance’s voice was putting him on edge. Red had already located the spot for him to enter through, a trash chute that he could force open.

‘They’re looking for information on the castle and the liberated planets,’ he explained as he swiped through screens of information about mission reports and communications logs between bases, noticing that the ones that had been pulled up were linked to the castle, Voltron, or the word Paladin.

‘Maybe they want to attack us head on. Only one castle, but enough Blade bases to get information on us.’ Pidge reasoned out as she went back to the screens with the Blades, Castle, and Shiro’s screen came up. “They don’t want your secrets, they want the information you have on us.”

“Makes sense,” the commander nodded, “this group isn’t even suspicious that the base is empty and unprotected. They must have known we knew they were coming. I should have stayed to protect my ship,” she growled out.

“We are not used to being protected Commander,” one of the recruits came forward, “but even if we were still on that ship, this group didn’t even bother to check, they were ready to kill us.”

‘Uhhhh’ Hunk’s voice came through the helmets and Pidge, Keith, and Lance stopped to listen. Hunk on the other hand was arms up facing down the barrel of a pistol as a purple skinned and haired woman was glaring at him. ‘Code Yellow’.

‘I’ve got no visuals on Hunk; my cameras are going out.’ Pidge called as she was going through screens of static and losing those that were running. ‘Lance, get to Hunk quick, numbers are better than nothing.’ She glanced back

‘Code Blue.’

‘I’m headed in!’ Keith called, not caring that Pidge told him to stay because he had to follow.

Lance was still as the cat was at the other end of the hall, and Narti was walking towards him. He had no idea where the other two were. He was trying to get to Hunk, but he ran into the cat, and then into the woman. He figured out why she needed the cat, the woman had no eyes and didn’t open her mouth once. She clearly wasn’t afraid of him because he had his bayard up and primed. She got way to close that he could already hear Shiro and Allura calling out defensive maneuvers or scolding him. He dropped his bayard the second she got her hands on his helmet. He heard humming, like it was coming from in his own head. She pulled off his helmet and dropped it on the ground, the noises drowning out and he could only hear humming. She was holding his face as her thumbs stroked his cheeks, lips, and nose. The Cat was back on her shoulder and Narti pulled him so quick against her chest that the humming stopped. His cheek was pressed against her armor as she slowly stroked his hair.

“Have you actually killed me and this is some weird purgatory?” He asked as his eyes looked up to the woman, who’s head was tilted like she was looking at him. She pulled him back up to look at him, which was weirdly amazing for Lance because he never got to be the little spoon and with Narti, Lance could be the best little spoon in the galaxy. “Hi?”

“Greetings Blue…” that voice was back in his head and it was as low and melodic as before. “Just a little longer.” She pulled him back against her chest and Lance tried very hard to slowly reach for his helmet as a way to get to the others. He needed to be sure that Hunk was okay. “Your friend is in no harm if he does as he is told.” She said while she continued to stroke his hair. “Acxa does not like to deviate from the mission.”

“Look…miss,” Lance began, “I really have no clue what is going on and I just want to let you know that I’m really sorry for what I gotta do.” Lance put his fist against her abdomen and activated his shield, which ripped them both apart. Lance was quick to grab his bayard and took aim only to be in a hall alone. He scrambled to his feet and went for his helmet. ‘I’m back! I’m okay but we need to leave now.’

‘Where are you Lance? Are you hurt? Why did you call Code?’ Keith asked as he was running through the hanger he got into and making his way towards the main deck. Pidge was still trying to unscramble her frequencies and reporting that Shiro was headed to them. The second they got wind of the Black Lion, they would bolt and they would lose their lead. Pidge was trying hard to get anything on the group. He was in a dead sprint, hoping that Lance and Hunk were close to one another. No favorites, whoever he saw first was who he helped…he just really hoped it was Lance.

‘I…I had an interaction,’ Lance said as he began to head to Hunk, hoping not to run into the other or that Natri again.

‘Hunk, I need you to make a noise to know that you’re okay.’ Keith explained as Pidge was coming back online and started to spot empty halls.

‘Hey…Lance…’ Hunk began, his voice seemed to be a little stressed. ‘I think they’d let you top.’

Lance came up to the main area and looked with wide eyes to see Hunk, tied up on his stomach, head face down to the ground. “You had a while to think about that?” Lance asked with a smile as he went over and began to untie him. “What happened?”

“She was actually kind of nice. Told me to drop my bayard and put my hands behind my back.” He explained as the rope loosened and he was able to move and get back to his feet. Hunk stood with a groan. “You’ll never believe what she said.” Hunk looked at Lance with a smile. Lance raised a brow in question. Hunk chuckled, “She said: ‘It’s what Blue would have done.’”

Lance laughed lightly, “Dude, I’m just glad you’re okay…because if anything happened to you and…and….” Lance began to tear up.

Hunk began to laugh and it slowly also turned to tears, “No…Lance I was so worried, and all I did was get tied up…I…I should have stuck by you.”

“No, my idea was stupid and I chickened out because these three hot aliens were scary and hot, and I mean really hot Hunk. One of them was taller and bigger than you and I really thought she could fucking destroy me and it was kinda awesome.” His tears rolled down his cheeks and Hunk laughed and cried still.

“I get it. Have you seen Shay? She could destroy me.”

“I know I just want someone who can hold me and throw me.”

“It’s not a lot to ask for,” Hunk agreed and the two held one another.

‘We are still live.’ Pidge said dully as she listened to them both try to dry up their tears and straighten back up. ‘I swear…can we have one normal day?’ She had visuals back on the ship but what ever happened, happened. She watched as the ship pulled away from the hold just as Shiro came flying in. He looked to be dead set on the ship, but it was an exploration ship for a reason, it moved faster with no weapons holding it down. Pidge watched as the ship shot off and the Black Lion was quick to come to the same conclusion too. ‘Shiro, we have the ship under our control again…best the Blades move locations and I can rewire security.’

‘Alright Pidge, it seems that’s the best option we have,’ Shiro said as he docked near the ship and boarded. ‘Keith, Hunk, Lance, meet me in the hangers.’ He ordered as he decided to walk around the hangers and look at the different ships at the ready. Maybe he could have Pidge take a scan…the Castle’s extra ships needed an update. He wasn’t surprised that Keith was the first one to enter the hanger and looking angry. “Keith?”

“I could throw Lance!” Keith yelled back at him with a glare as he began to pace the hanger and muttering under his breath. Shiro sighed and decided that it would be best to not ask until Keith has had time to calm down and think about his emotions. “I could throw him as far as he wanted to go!”

Lance and Hunk were next, both with an arm around the other. That wasn’t a surprise either. “Are you both alright? Pidge told me that you both called code.”

“I was tied up.”

“One of them tenderly held me to her chest and stroked my face.”

Shiro faltered a bit, “Oh…are you both okay?”

“Physically yes, mentally…I’m still on the fence.” Hunk said with a nod.

Lance nodded, “I feel weird emotionally…because that was kind of scary, yet I liked being held…almost cradled.” Lance began and Hunk quickly hit his side and gave a warning cough. “What?” Lance looked at him with confusion as Shiro was also clearing his throat and making the motion for him to stop talking. “Fine okay…sorry?”

“I’m going back to the castle!” Keith called as he made his way to the garbage chute he came through, to get to Lance he wanted to add, and then crawled back to get to Red, who would listen! “Nobody bother me.” He called again and Lance was still confused as Shiro, Hunk, and Pidge seemed to sigh in defeat.

‘You can board Pidge, we can wait with you until the security is rearmed.’ Shiro said as the Green Lion docked and Pidge boarded as the Red Lion flew away back to the castle. Shiro pulled up communications with the castle when they got to the main hub of the base. “Princess, Keith is head back ahead of us.” Hunk pulled up communications with the Blades, “The base is secure is ready for you to re-board. Pidge is running some scans and working on your security systems. She offered that it would be best for a relocation.”

“Thank you, Black Paladin,” the commander said lightly. “We are headed back now.”

“Sorry about them stealing all your stuff,” Lance came into view with an apologetic smile, “and that I also really didn’t try to stop them either…sorry.”

“That is the least of my concern Blue Paladin…but my recruits appreciate your sympathy towards their plight.” She explained as she motioned to those behind her. The youngest members avoided looking straight at the screen. They bowed and they walked out of view as Thace came back.

“Until another time Paladins,” he smiled and nodded to them. “We have other recon mission and intel to gain.”

“Won’t we ever see you again?” Hunk asked. “I’m always happy to make dinner for you guys…or like…a light brunch works too.”

“We are pleased that you enjoyed our company, but the Blades have work to do, as so the Paladins.” He said with a nod. The other said goodbyes and the transmission ended as the scanners spotted the ship entering range.

“So…” Lance began. “You guys ever heard of Galra Elites?”

(Line Break)

“Run-away Mekin!” Hunk was standing on the couch, clutching a pillow to his chest as Pidge was piling food goo chips into her mouth. “Gorin is a double agent for the Blades…you can’t trust him!”

“Gorin is the most loyal Elite!” Lance was on the edge of his seat staring at the screen as the Elites were left stranded on a planet and it was the season one finale. “Gorin is just trying to do right by his family Hunk, how could you think that!?” Lance reached over and grabbed a handful of chips to stuff in his mouth.

“Who gives a shit, where are Leto, Weshla, and Dwalo?” Pidge said as she was watching the holograph screen. “How could Mekin not go looking for them first?!”

Shiro, Allura, and Coran were watching from the doorway with mild interest in the show and more in what the show meant. It was the Empire’s way of promoting the Galra Empire to not only the other Galra, but to the rest of the Galaxy. Allura could already tell. Her Paladins were so engrossed in the show and cared about the characters on it. She could see the appeal of the show, the heroics, saving planets from other high regimes of dictators, Kings, and councils who were corrupted and maybe they were better off with being ruled by a very hands-off ruler. She remembered liberating planets and meeting with a few that aided in the rebellion and saw that there was no leadership ready to take over. She and Coran would insist on helping set up a small group of leaders to take over for a while until they got used to leadership. Those were the harder missions. The premise of the show was smart. Very smart.

She glanced over to Shiro. “How is the Red Paladin?”

“Still sulking it seems,” Shiro said lightly as he crossed his arms over his chest. “I tried to get him to come out and relax…but he’s still working through his feelings.”

“He also worked through two gladiators,” Coran added. “Which is rather impressive for them and a relief for me. I remember warriors working through three a session…each…” he nodded as Allura laughed lightly, thinking back to the days of watching Coran and another tech hauling broken gladiators away. He looked between the two, “I also may have been able to find something on our pirates,” he said as he held up a tablet to show the two. It was stills of the same ship that they had seen at the Blade base about seven quintents ago. Allura took the screen and began to read over Coran’s notes, “Looks like they have been scouting not only Blade bases, but other Galra bases that we’ve also interacted with.”

“Do we have any idea what their intentions are?” Shiro asked as Allura was marking up the tablet, adding in her own notes what she sees and thinks of the situation. “Why go looking for us when we were right there.”

“I think we are over thinking this,” Coran explained as he motioned for the two to follow him. Coran led them back to the main control room, hoping that the others did not hear. “They are scouting our locations, who we have been in contact with, and while there they take all the Lance merchandise.” He said as he glanced back at them. “This group isn’t after Voltron.”

“They want Lance.”

The three spun around to see Keith standing in the doorway of the training room, a towel around his shoulders as he carried his jacket and bayard in his hands. He was panting lightly and looked at them with a hard stare. “That group is getting leads on Lance…they are trying to get to him…why?”

“Lance is an icon among the Galra…maybe merchandise isn’t enough for some of them anymore.” Allura said as she looked to Shiro with worry. “The base on Xilid…” she went back to Coran and handed him the tablet, “map out their course for me, please.” She asked and Coran nodded as they continued to the main room, this time with Keith following. She pulled up the map of their location and watched as Coran punched in coordinates and then connecting them with their path, and then the path of the pirates. She wasn’t surprised to see that they were being followed…and they looked to both be headed to Xilid. “They found out we have been scoping the base…they either plan to get more information, or they know we’ll be there.”

“Lance can’t go then,” Keith said.

“Without Lance, there is no Voltron.” Allura countered. “Pirates or not, we have a planet to save and we should be ready with Voltron.”

“We’ve liberated planets with just a few lions,” Keith shot back and looked to Shiro. “Shiro, we have a shot to find out who they are and what they know. If we bring Lance, we might as well just hand him over while we’re at it. They weren’t afraid to walk into a base filled with Blade members on a ship with no weapons, what happens when if they come prepared for a fight this time?”

“We keep the Castle close and Lance on call, at the ready if we need him,” Shiro said.

“Then who tells Lance he’s been cut from a mission?” Allura asked with a hard look. She was against this, Voltron worked better together. Even if Lance is a tick away, that could be all it takes for more people to get hurt and losing an upper hand.

Before anyone could answer, the doors opened and the three were walking in. “Whoa,” Lance looked at the four, “why weren’t we called for a team meeting?”

“I thought you three were watching your show?” Allura asked with a smile.

“Hunk said that we’re going to ruin ourselves by trying to binge the whole thing at once, so we have to wait.” Pidge said with a scoff as she fixed her glasses. “Rules that after the mission, recovery, and training, we get to go back to watching.”

“It’s for the best and worth the wait when we all find out that Gorin is a Blade spy-”

“How dare you speak such slander, in my house?” Lance said as he waved Hunk off and shook his head.

“Back to the real problem,” Pidge said as she put her hands on her hips. “Why is there a meeting going on with the other half of Voltron included?”

“Well five, it seems that we have some new intel-”

“Lance isn’t going on the mission to Liberate Xilid. That’s what.” Keith shot in and Shiro held back the need to groan. Keith did like to always get to the point as fast as possible. Not to mention that Keith was going to try and be the adult when he knew it would lead to a long talk in his room about how Keith needs to think before talking.

Lance laughed with a glare, “Very funny samurai. You should leave the jokes to Hunk and myself because that almost sounded like an order.”

“It was.” He shot back with his arms crossed.

“Who suddenly made you my leader. I take orders from Shiro, Allura, Coran, and beauty guru Melina Gonzales.” He shot back as he was currently being held back by Hunk. “So, I dare you to s-"

“You are not going on the mission.” Keith glared harder as his fist were clenched.

“Let me go Hunk,” Lance tried to wriggle out of grip. “Keith can’t stop me if he’s in a cryopod.”

“Lance.” Shiro said and Lance looked at him with wide eyes and shock. He felt his chest clench when Lance gave a small shake of his head, begging him not to say which they both knew what he was going to say. “We’ll call you the second we need you-” 

“Why am I being pushed out? Did I do something?” He finally pulled himself out of Hunk’s hold. He smiled nervously, “I keep up with my training a-and I’ve gotten so much better with communications and infiltrations.”

“Right, flirting with the enemy is great infiltration.” Keith scoffed as he turned away.

“I didn’t know I was flirting, I was just being nice.” He shot back.

“And that’s why you can’t go.” Keith said again as he looked to Lance. “Shiro already said so.”

“Shiro?” Lance looked to him.

“We think it would be for the best.” Shiro said with a small smile, but it dropped when Lance only frowned at them. “Lance…”

“So, you all think I’ll get in the way?” Lance looked to Allura and Coran.

“We think they’re after you Lance,” Allura walked down and put her hands on his shoulders.

“Then I should be there…what if someone gets hurt. I provide cover.”

“Hunk can do that.” Keith added.

“Keith,” Shiro looked back at him with a hard stare. Keith was wide eyed. “You’ve said enough.” He turned back around and Keith turned away and pouted. Shiro went to Lance, “You stay on the ship with Coran and the Princess, I will inform you if we need your help but this is for your safety Lance.” Shiro said as Lance looked away with a frown. “I know you hate this-”

“You don’t know how much I hate being left out.” Lance seethed as he turned away. “I can take care of myself you know, but whatever…” he pulled up his hood and shoved his hands into his pockets as he turned and walked off. “I should clean the pods anyway…only thing I’m good for sometimes.” He walked out before anyone could say anything.

“Nice going Keith,” Pidge said and Keith’s head snapped over to her with a look of shock. “You are not going on this mission,” she mocked. “You couldn’t have led with, I’m worried about you Lance, what if they take you? Please stay behind.”

“He knew why he can’t go. Lance has been raving about being all the Galra can think about.” Keith defended himself and looked to Hunk. “Right, Hunk?”

Hunk rubbed the back of his neck, “I mean…you could have been a little nicer?” Keith tenses up and knows that Hunk was most likely right while he was wrong. “I’ll talk to him.”

“I will.” Keith said as he pulled off the towel and walked after Lance.

“Maybe I would give three the chance to cool off number four,” Coran began but Keith was already out the doors and he sighed. “Alright,” he straightened up with a smile. “Maybe we should contact Xilid to ensure that our plan is ready to go?”

Keith already knew where Lance had headed. Lance had once place on the castle that whenever he wanted to be alone it was the first place he went. Lance went to his room. It was one of the few things that Keith was envious of. Pidge and Lance had really taken the time to make their rooms, their rooms. Filled with personal items and collections from other planet, shops, and bases. He went up to the door and gave a hard knock, knowing that Lance was inside.

“I’m fine Hunk,” Lance called through the door. “Just…let me sulk for a bit.”

“Open up Lance.” Keith said and took a step back when he heard movement and the doors slid open to reveal Lance with a green mask on his face and a hard stare and frown. “I didn’t mean it like that.”

“Oh really?” Lance leaned against the door frame and crossed his arms over his chest. “Then what did you mean by it samurai?”

Keith took a deep breath. “That you will be in danger and it would be safer for you to stay back.”

“I can take care of myself. Why does no one seem to get that?”

“Because,” Keith began to grow angrier because Lance wasn’t getting him and he was trying very hard to show his concern. “You can’t hurt them. We’ve seen the footage Lance, you can’t hurt our enemies and you seem to have this complex that you can just talk your way out. You can’t. They are after you and you can’t fight back.”

“I can fight back, you think I would let myself be kidnapped?”

“That’s what happened Nyma.” Keith shot back and Lance pouted as he looked away, knowing that he was technically right. “You already admitted having a crush on the pirates and you let one get close enough to grab you. So yeah, it would be safer for you to stay back.”

“Look, Keith,” Lance looked at him with a sigh, “yeah okay. Fine. You’re right. I feel bad for the Galra because I don’t think they deserved to be punished for being born into war.” He dropped his hands to his side and stood up straight. “But that doesn’t mean I can’t hold my own. You just think that I’m not good enough-”

“You are good enough, that’s what got you into this stupid mess!” Keith yelled back that it startled Lance straight up and wide eyed. Keith flushed red. “You’re a great pilot and paladin and, now, the whole galaxy knows it and that’s why they’re after you. So just…stay put alright.” He turned and walked away with a blush and feeling slightly accomplished and also very embarrassed. Lance was still in the door way, his face turning red because he’s been complimented before by Keith, but this was probably the best one yet. He went back to his room as to continue his routine as a way to calm down before going to clean the pods, cause he for sure needed to think about what just happened.

(Line Break)

Pidge and Keith were on the group running through the base to head to the main area where they should be meeting with two other Xilidian rebellion members that were taking out the commanding officer in charge of monitoring the planet. Hunk and Shiro were in the skies keeping the fighter pilots busy and ensuring that they didn’t strike the villages. The base was shut down for a matter of ticks and it was up to the rebel group, Pidge, and Keith to make sure that the soldiers inside couldn’t get word out for reinforcements. And when they hacked communication signals between soldiers, they were aware that the base was expecting a visit from someone, but they have yet to arrive. Shiro oversaw reporting any siting of the explorer ship. Allura was manning the castle and offering cover when air traffic got to high, and also offered another target for ships to focus on instead of the villages below. Lance was in armor at the ready in the main hall keeping constant watch over the screens and reports Pidge was sending back to the castle. He had not send the group off because he was still a little upset at being left behind, but he would be sure to greet them all once they got back.

Pidge shocked a control pad to open and they walked in to see the two rebels already hauling away three Galra, only one of them still conscious. “Did they contact anyone?”

“No Green Paladin,” the tallest Xilidian said as she walked over to the console and began typing away and pulling up multiple screens. “But they looked to be ready to send out a message to some address I cannot identify.” She blinked her big black eyes and looked to Pidge, who came up and attached her computer to the console. “But I am more concerned about getting these vermin off this planet.” She said as she began to move to dismantle the bases connections as Pidge began to get any useful information she could.

Keith was looking at the group of Galra the commander keeping his eyes locked on Pidge. Keith took a step forward to stand in his eye line. “What?” He glared back as the Galra growled and looked away.

‘Explorer Cruiser has been spotted,’ Shiro called over the coms as he and Black shot over to the ship that looked to be heading to the base. Shiro never spoke out loud to Black, being as their connection was so strong and they had a very private relationship unlike most of the other Paladins. But they were synced together while in the skies and they both had the same idea when it came to spotting the ship. Black immediately began pulling out each strategic flight procedure that Shiro had memorized from his time at the Garrison. Flying in a giant Lioness was a little different though. Shiro then began to counter with new procedures that he learned from Allura and the castle simulator. Shiro got close enough to lock onto them and the ship was quick to maneuver away and tried to dock at the base. Which didn’t make sense because they knew that Voltron was there. ‘Ship is making an effort to get in that base.’

‘Why?’ Hunk asked as he rammed into another ship, sending it into another. ‘Maybe I can just have Yellow eat the ship.’

‘Then they’ll be trapped inside with you.’ Pidge explained as she pulled up the cameras on the base and tracked the ship that was trying to evade Shiro. ‘They must think Lance in on base.’

‘Let them land,’ Keith said into the coms and then turned to Pidge. “How much longer until you’re finished?”

“I would give it about fifteen dobashes?” She said as she got up with her bayard drawn, “You can’t go alone.”

“I’ll be fine,” he says as he begins to walk out of the room. “Make sure you get the Galra on a pod and shoot them out. I’ll deal with the cruisers.”

‘This isn’t the time Keith,’ Shiro said as he was right on the ships tail. ‘We can keep them in the skies and get a tracker on them and be led back to who they’re working for.’ Black pulled up another screen to show Shiro that he was being tailed by two other fighter ships. He kept on the ship though, but it seemed the ships behind him where trying to take him down more than the other ships. “Princess,” Shiro pulled up a screen to the castle. “Can you read me?”

“What is it Shiro?” Allura asked as Lance was on his feet looking at the screen.

“We can either take those on the ship prisoner, or place a tracker on the ship.” He said as he didn’t bother looking at the screen. “It’s your castle and your call.”

“We track them,” Allura said, “we do not make a contact with an enemy we do not know.”

‘I can do this,’ Keith’s voice came over the coms.

“No, you can’t,” Allura said as she had visuals on Hunk, he was dealing with the most fighter ships. “There will be no contact with these pirates.”

 ‘They will land and then what do you want us to do? Run?’

“Yes Keith,” Lance said over the communicator. Allura glanced over to him as Coran was prepping the beam that would take out three other bases that were meant for holding the resources from the planet. They couldn’t fire until the others of the rebellion emptied out the hangers as to give back to the citizens of the planet. “You have to make sure Pidgey and the rebels get out of their safe. They need you to protect them.” Keith was oddly silent. “Come on Keith…just this once you don’t have to be a hero.”

After a few ticks, a soft ‘fine’ came from Keith and his line went quiet.

Pidge snorted as she looked back to see Keith staring at the ground with a giant smile on his face as his cheeks were turning a bright pink. “You going to be okay there?” Keith just looked away with his arms crossed, his face a bright red and was smiling more than usual Keith. Pidge went back to the screens, and her eyes lit up when she saw that her computer had pulled up files that were to be deleted. “Keith…” Pidge began as her systems went to decoding the communication logs. “Keith…why would this base get rid of the communication logs if they didn’t know of our ambush?”

“What do you mean?” Keith’s smile and good mood fell when he went up to Pidge and looked at her screen.

“I’ve only gotten a couple of lines, but this base tried to get rid of documentation they had with…someone.” She touched the side of her helmet. ‘Princess. I need to send you something and run it through that decoder I’ve been working on at my console.’

“Alright,” Allura nodded as Lance went over to Pidge’s console and activated it. Lance watched as the screens filled with Galra text filled the screen and then it began to decode, but Lance’s eyes were already running through the text quicker. “What is it Lance?”

Lance looked at her, a blush on his cheeks. He was about to talk but then he took off his helmet. “It’s about me.” He looked back at the text, watching it go to Altean and then to a Human language. Allura was stuck at the helm, ensuring that the barrier kept up and being at the reach to land the ship to board civilians if anything went wrong. “The base was talking to…to someone about trades…like all the stuff I got…but whoever they were trading with keeps denying them-” He was cut off midway as his eyes went wide, the translator passed him and the rest of the dialogue came through. “The trader told them we were coming.” He looked to Allura in worry and she gasped lightly. “Shiro! Shiro they knew we were coming!”

Shiro was still tailing the ship. ‘But they didn’t stop us…we’ve captured the base and Coran is taking out each defensive cannon.’

‘Guys, I’m getting a little overwhelmed here.’ Hunk said as he took another few hits. Yellow continued to push forward, leading them away from the villages and encouraging Hunk to continue, she could take more. ‘I need help please!’

‘Take Keith.’ Pidge called over the coms and then nodded to Keith, who nodded back and ran out the doors to get to Red. Red was at the ready when he jumped out the side of the hole he had made in the base to begin with. Some of the metal was still melting. Red caught him, used to this routine of Keith jumping and/or falling. She was primed and ready when Keith got into the cockpit and shot off into the sky both reluctant not to aid in the capture of the ship that Black was at this point ready to take a bite into. But Keith and Red pushed forward to Hunk, blasting the first fighter ship he saw.

‘Thanks Keith.’ Hunk said with a sigh in relief. ‘That was a close one.’

‘I gotcha buddy.’ Keith smiled and him and Red flew ahead of Hunk as to confront the next three ships that were headed for Yellow.

Lance watched from the castle, but something felt off. Why did the pirates want to land if they told them the ambush was coming? He went through the whole dialogue, and they didn’t say for the base to let themselves get captured. The pirates didn’t care much about the planet being under Galra control or not, but the base did. So, what was on that base that they wanted? He watched the skies and found visual on the Black Lion and the main ship. Shiro was a man of hand to hand combat, so trying to take aim at the speeding ship was tough.

‘I’ve got the information, we’re heading out.’ Pidge’s voice came through.

“Excellent,” Allura smiled as she tracked the escape pods being launched.

Lance was smiling and about to say something, but then he heard Blue. “Babe?” Lance whispered to himself as he turned around and looked at the pod to get to his Lion.

“My Paladin,” her voice was strong with worry, “Someone has bored the ship.”

Lance put on his helmet and ran off to his pod and jumped in before either Altean could question him. Lance planned to go straight to Blue, but when he came close to the landing point, he saw that Blue hadn’t opened so he landed on top of her head. His bayard was drawn and it was a long sniper rifle. Lance scoped out the room but didn’t find anything. Using his jetpack, he jumped down and took a slow landing. Once his feet were on the ground he walked with his rifle up and checking the room. Blue moved to stand on all fours, her head forward but he knew she was looking as well. “Babe…where’s the ship-?”

“Blue!”

Lance spun around and had his rifle pointed right at the chest of Ezor, who was smiling widely and blushing. He was surprised by how happy she looked. “How did you get in?”

“Awe,” she cooed at him, “you sound so much better than Blue toys…and you are so much cuter!” She pushed his rifle aside with a strength he couldn’t see. She then grabbed his head and pulled him close. “And you’re so small!” She laughed. “Come on Blue, I have so much to asked you.”

Blue, seeming to have had enough of the show, growled loudly and Ezor looked back with wide eyes. Blue took careful steps as she looked ready to charge at the two. She gasped as she craned her head back to look up at the Blue Lion.

“Wow, imagine what would happen if Zarkon got his hands on one of these things,” she looked back at Lance with a smirk. “But you wouldn’t let him, right Blue? You would do anything to keep the universe safe, right?”

Lance knew that he had to get away from her. He glanced to Blue. “Freeze.” He said with a strong voice and Blue activated with an open mouth and shooting the freeze beam down at the two. Lance and Ezor separated and his bayard was back to a shotgun form and he began to take fire at the quick moving woman.

“This is just like one of my favorite fan made comic Forever Skies,” Ezor said with a smile and laugh as she easily dodged and brought up her two daggers. “Can you say the line?”

“Come and get me,” he said with a smirk and Ezor squealed and laughed as they continued this dodging game. Lance had to keep her far from him. She was a knife user, like Keith, and he had never won a combat match. Lance tried to lead shots, but the material of the blades acted as shields as well. He kept his back to Blue, knowing that she was on a constant watch; he could hear her re charging a blast of the ice beam. Lance changed his beam shots, something that would hit harder but meant that he needed more time between each shot. “Sorry,” he said to himself as the world seemed to slow down as he watched dodged his last shot and led his shot to hit her right in the chest. Ezor was knocked back, rolling to a stop and both her blades abandoned on the ground. Lance tried to take a step forward, but he felt a light touch on his lower back and a familiar humming came back to his head. Blue roared loudly as she took aim.

Narti grabbed Lance and spun them both around so that he stood in front of her, both in range of the shot Blue wanted to give. The Lion’s beam went back to a passive state as they both understood the situation in the room. Where Blue and Lance connected to so well on, the refusal to do what was best for the mission, for the greater good. She should have frozen the two, ensuring their capture, but the look on her Paladins face, staring up at her with dull and lifeless eyes. She couldn’t stand to freeze him like that; his earth form would perish from the cold. Blue lowered into a submissive position, whining and trying to get through to her Paladin the best she could.

Lance’s head was too loud, but he couldn’t do anything to stop it with the unrelenting humming. The low voice of a woman so worried and almost sounded to be in tears was trying to tell him something, but there was nothing she could do to talk over the hum. Lance’s body was unreactive as the woman removed his helmet and put her arms around his shoulders and caressed his face. She slowly led him backwards, but still facing the Blue Lion. Kova, her feline companion came into view as she was perched on a couple crates of extra supplies. Ezor walked over to the two.

“You really are amazing Narti,” Ezor smiled as they stood in the hanger, both eager at the possession of the Blue Paladin. “Oh, look at him,” she cooed and lightly touched his face with her fingertips, “Can you ask what he thinks of us? I remember how Commander Loudmouth from the Sigma Base was still in a daze from being praised by Blue mid battle.”

Narti nodded, and focused on Lance.

“You’re beautiful.”

Ezor and Narti were taken back by the very truthful answer they had gotten from the Blue Paladin. It was almost enough to make Narti let go of him. “Oh,” Ezor blushed and held her cheeks as she looked to Narti, who was looking back at her.

“And dangerous.” Lance continued. His voice was soft with a monotone that neither of the two were much of a fan of. He was trying very hard to lift his arm, it shook with strain and Ezor watched with fascination as he loosely grabbed her forearm. She allowed him to try and tighten his hold. “Don’t…hurt…them…” his voice shook, trying to break out of the Narti’s hold.

“You come with us Blue…and trust me, your friends will lose a very powerful enemy.” She said, trying to sound like Axca, who was the most comforting on the team.

“I can’t allow that.” The two women looked up and over to the entrance where Coran stood, holding a Altean battle staff and watching the two with a hard stare and frown. “And if you think I’m not much of a match, imagine what it will be to have all the Paladins back here with your other team members already captured.”

Ezor scoffed. “I don’t believe you.”

“How confident are you really?” He spun around the staff and took an offensive stance.

Ezor and Narti looked at one another, before Narti lightly placed her hand on the top of his head. Ezor took a step back and disappeared as Narti began to push through the ideas in his head. Lance listened as the worried voice was taken over by such a calm and soothing voice. The enemy was ahead, sent his team, his friends, into a losing battle. Told him that the only way to save them was to take him out, and then go for the commander. Narti told him that if he wanted his friends to be safe, he had to aim to kill.

Lance could still see though, he didn’t see an enemy, he saw Coran. Coran who would listen to him for as long as Lance wanted to talk. The same Coran that taught him all about the castle and what Altea was like. Lance felt something in him breaking, something in him that hurt because the voice was so convincing, but his gun began to raise without his full consent. He couldn’t see it, but his nose began to drip blood as the pressure in his head was growing and growing because one voice was telling him one thing but his own conscious was telling him another thing. His gun was aimed but everything about him was shaking. Not that Narti has never seen the behavior before, people tried to fight her influence. This was Blue though, kind Blue that called her beautiful and let her hold him and couldn’t hurt her. It didn’t take her long to let go of her influence and took off to the ship with Ezor starting it up and Lance collapsing on the ground. Coran instantly went to his side, dropping the staff and picking up Lance. His bluff was never going to work, they were going to send Lance to fight him.

Coran picked up Lance, hoisting him over his shoulder and taking him to the healing pods. He turned on the communicator on his arm. “We were infiltrated by two of the pirates.” He listened as Allura gasped told the rest of the team. Coran turned off the communicator once they got into the medic room and went to work on prepping Lance for the pod.

(Line Break)

The group had made a hasty retreat, wanting nothing more than to be out of range of the Altean Castle and the four Lions at the call with pilots that were a force to be reckon with. Each stop they had made before reaching Xilid had flooded them with information on how the Paladins of Voltron worked, in real combat, and it was nothing like the reports they had gotten from commanders or even reports straight from Zarkon’s ship. No, what they learned was far more beneficial to their mission because it was a full report on team dynamics. Especially the roles played by the beloved Blue. From every clip of security footage, the Galra empire fell more and more for the Blue Paladin that had not only brought up old instincts some Galra’s had thought had died off decaphobes ago, because of the loss of their home planet and their relocation to a new one with new intent: to avengae their leader, Zarkon who shown his worth by coming back from death to rid of the horrid suppression brought by the Altean kind. But Blue did more than remind the Galra of who they were before the war, but of something new, something odd among the Galra. Compassion towards an Enemy.

Some of the Empire thought it was a ploy stirred by the Princess and the leaders of the Resistance and Blades to lure the Empire into a trap. The Blue Paladin being the bait. That if they showed weakness, someone would slip, allow the Paladin to get too close to them and then be destroyed from within. Others thought that the Blue Paladin was playing with them, trying to hurt them in a way worse than physical, but to tear at the last of their hearts. And others…others were woed so much that they saw no evil in the Blue Paladin. These were the Galra that betrayed the empire, running off with whatever supplies and information they could to rebel bases or Blade bases in hopes to join the coalition. Blue was an icon among the Galra, going as far to ensure his and the other’s Paladin’s appearances in the hit of Galra Elites, growing ever popular with the introduction of the Paladins of Voltron.

Ezor remembered when she had stumbled on a few episodes. She had taken a solo mission of infiltrating a trading base to see if she could find out what the newest orders Zarkon were sending out, where the Castle was, and then on a few rumors on where the quintessence mines were. She had snuck into the Commander’s room and had taken a flash drive that was important enough to hide. It turned out that the Commander was just a fan of the show and since ships were non-civilian locations, they didn’t get to partake in the media of the galaxy, so he was being sent episodes from a colleague on based on the new planet of the Galra who were given more basic and non-war related needs. The show was started on the planet and sent around to other planets under Galra control and with Galra influence. Clear propaganda, but coming to terms that the culture wasn’t perfect.

Ezor only got a few episodes, and was hooked. She had been able to talk obtain some steaming technology as to always be sure that she could be on track as new episodes came out. She was not only intrigued by getting a look at Galra culture she never got to be a part of, but she saw something very new, two of the members of the main cast were half-breeds. She knew that the Empire looked down on half-breeds, but Galra were Galra and there was a sense of respect, but there was growth. It was probably one of the other reasons why the Galra of the Empire were so open to the idea of the Blue Paladin, a species of Alien known as ‘Earthling’ as being a potential mate. The fear of losing the pure bloodline of the Galra was new and was seeing a fade. Ezor new her Galra mother sometimes wished she looked more like her, but there was a sense of affection. Ezor used to watch her mother and father coo at one another, her father trying to act like a presenting Galra for her, allowing Ezor to be raised like a pure blooded Galra.

But never, never in her life, had someone called her beautiful.

She flushed again while at her position at communications. Clearly unaware that Zethrid was trying to get her attention, until the woman finally yelled her name with aggression. “What?” Her head shot up and she looked over to Zethrid, who was staring at her with that knowing look. Axca was piloting while Narti was navigating back to the main ship.

“Contact that we are headed in, and ready clearance.”

“Right…” she nodded and began to type away, as her mind drifted back to how Blue had looked up at her, even with his eyes so dull from Narti, she felt true affection as through full lips came such a soft voice. Something so sweet that it filled her gut with stones and her chest a flame. She was pulled back when Axca gave a hard clearing of her throat. Ezor looked up to her screen and saw that she had written out: ‘Blue.’ Over and over again. She flushed as the three chuckled and she got rid of it and started over.

“I assume that the mission might have not been a total failure?” Axca said with a laugh.

“It was.” Ezor shot back. “He…He should be on the ship with us…it would have been perfect.” She sighed.

“Blue is too powerful.” Zethrid began as she stood at the helm. “Even without him in the fight, with his team preoccupied, he out smarted us.”

“Narti said that he broke through her control. Which, should not be a surprise to any of us. The Paladin is strong willed and is steely in his beliefs that are hard to be turned.” Axca said with a slight dreamy sigh quality in her voice. She cleared her throat and sat up straight. “We are entering the ships sensors.”

“We have clearance…and orders to appear in the control room.” Ezor said with a smile as she thought to who was waiting for them. “Oh…I can’t wait to see the look on his face.”

Zethrid scoffed, “He is going to be angry with us, he hates celebrations.”

“He’ll be thrilled,” Ezor assured with a smile as she got up from her station as Axca pulled into the hanger. Narti got up with Nova in her arms and began to prepare to exit. Ezor grabbed a small bag from beside her console that she had gotten from one of the Trade moons. Zethrid picked up a large sac that they had been toting around with them and hiding on the main ship when they were there. They were quick to exit once Axca landed and went straight for the main control room where another half-breed was sitting at the main console of the ship. Hi legs were crossed and he was leaning on his fist with a playful smirk on his face when he saw the four walked in, clearly aware of what was about to happen. “Hello Prince Lotor,” Ezor said as she bowed with the other three.

“I told you I didn’t want a celebration.”

“Told you.” Zethrid cut in with a smirk when Ezor huffed and continued forward.

Lotor sighed as he got up and met them at a table that was cleared of all his maps and documents he had gotten from his father’s ship. He was in uniform and from a long day of having to entertain his father with his company while listening to his father ramble on about how close he was to getting his hands on the Black Lion, that once he had one he could get the others. Then about how the Galra Empire would be unstoppable with Voltron, and that, if he proved himself worthy, he could take the Red Lion and be his right hand. Lotor would humor his father that he would want nothing more to ensure his father’s position as the Black Paladin. He had pulled up his long white hair into a hasty bun, wanting it out of his way before his nightly routine, but then he was faced that his team had taken a ship out and were headed back to the ship when they knew he wouldn’t be leaving. It was the celebration of another season for him. A growth measured in time, which was the worst way to measure growth in his opinion, but none the less it was some form of growth. He had known that the group was close, but he never thought they would willingly celebrate his season’s passing without being prompted to. And he was only reminded of the day with his trip to his father’s ship and getting presents from the druids. Even getting a new sword from Haggar, who said that it was a gift from his father, but they both knew that it wasn’t.

Axca placed her hands on the table, “We do not mean to offend you Prince Lotor-”

“Think nothing of it Axca,” Lotor smirked as the four seemed to relax from his response. “I am flattered that you all remembered and seem to go out of your way to do something for me.”

Ezor was smiling brightly as she put her bag on the table and pulled out a blue cake. “I got Ect berry desserts.” She sang as she placed the cake in the center of the table, the top saying ‘Another Season’s Passing’ on the top in purple colored frosting. Lotor chuckled lightly when he saw that he was given a dessert for a kit, because the top was covered in Galra Elites figurines. He thought it cute. It seemed that his own team of the most loyal and greatest fighters/thinkers were all into the show. Lotor admitted to also taking part in viewings, but he would usually have to catch up some nights after long days of information gathering and ensuring that the few planets under his control were still showing to have complete loyalty to him. “I…I was a bit on the rush.” She smiled and laughed nervously as she looked at him. Lotor took a swipe of frosting and gave it a taste. He wasn’t too big on sweets, but for his team, he would humor them.

“Delicious.”

“And we got you something!” Zethrid, getting into the mood. She dropped down the sack at his feet and the four quickly moved so they could get a look at his face when he looked in.

Lotor sighed lightly with a smile as he tried to ready himself for more gifts that meant nothing to him. The druids had given him all these weapons, spells, potions of quintessence, but they were Altean things. He didn’t want Altean things. His Galra blade from Haggar seemed the most useful but it was again, something out of tradition and not something that he wanted. His team knew him rather well, surely it was Axca that had taken them to deliver him items of use, information from bases and new planets that were ready for the taking. Maybe surveillance footage of the parts of his father ship that he wasn’t allowed to go into. Or even better, getting him close and closer to the Castle of Lions.

Lotor opened the sack and when the mouth opened wide, his eyes went wide and he was struck still as he starred into the bag.

The four grew very nervous as his expression stayed in a phase between neutrality and shock. Zethrid quickly took a step back, not wanting to be the closest one to the Prince. Axca looked to the others, who all looked back and shrugged. She took a step closer, clutching the drive in her hand. “Apologies Prince Lotor,” she then held out the drive to him, “I had a backup of all the information I scouted off of bases we infiltrated with information on the Castle of Lions. This should be a better season’s gifting to you.”

“Yes,” he nodded and looked to her hand, finally regaining his composure. He took the drive, but then placed it on the table as he went back to the sack, and pulled out the one thing sitting right at the top.

It was a plush version of Blue, with stars as his eyes as he pointed his bayard weapon. He lightly ran his fingertips over the top of the head of brown hair. They even made the stars blue, to match his eyes.

“Do…” Ezor asked lightly. “Do you like it?”

“Yes.” He said and went back to the bag, pulling out another plush of Blue, this time without his bayard drawn and no stars in his eyes, but just a wink and his arms crossed over his chest. He smiled lightly and the four looked to each other with smiles and relief that they were not about to be killed for offending their Prince.

“I knew you would love them.” Ezor clapped her hands together and went over to stand by him. “I just wish we would have gotten you the real one.” Lotor looked at her with a raised brow. Ezor smiled sadly, “we made one more stop before coming back…but the mission didn’t go as planned.”

“But we did not leave empty handed.” Axca jumped in. “We were able to successfully get into the Castle of Lions.”

“And we got readings on four of the five Lions on their abilities and weaknesses.” Zethrid said as she pulled out her data pack to put on the table.

“You went to the Castle of Lions, for Blue?” Lotor asked, something growing warmer in his chest as he clutched the dolls in his hands.

Narti took a step forward, Nova jumping onto the table so that the woman could lift her arms and held her hands out to him. Lotor leaned his head forward as she lightly took hold of it. “Congratulations on another season passing.” She said as images flashed through his head of Blue. They were through the filter of Narti’s mind, but they were the closets that Lotor had ever been to see the Blue Paladin. How he was stuck still in the hall. His face was so close, like Lotor has been the one with his hands holding Blue’s face. He watched as Blue fought off Ezor, nearly defeating her. He sucked in a deep breath when he heard his voice: “You’re beautiful.” Lotor quickly moved out of her grip, breaking the connection. His cheeks were flushed and he turned away.

“Thank you. Please, enjoy yourselves.” He said as he began to walk away, holding the dolls close to his chest.

“We’ll save you a piece of cake!” Ezor called after him.

Lotor didn’t return that he had heard as the doors slid closed behind him. He let out a deep breath and slouched a bit, overwhelmed by everything that has happened. He continued towards his private quarters and went straight to his bed once he was in. Lotor knew that he couldn’t bring himself to do his routine, check over reports, or even change out of his uniform. He quickly curled up on his bed, holding the dolls to his chest. Lotor always figured himself to be above the influence of basic instinct. He really thought the craze around Blue was a passing phase among galra, but then it seeped into his own ship. He saw the security footage, and there was a part of him that could not deny wanting to experience what it was that Blue did to those he met. Surly, the reports around him were blown out of proportion. But what Narti had shown him…he saw it. He pulled the winking doll to his face. He leaned his forehead against the doll’s and sighed lightly. He smiled lightly, “Would you really ever say that to me Blue? A half-breed?”

His season celebration wasn’t great; ultimately, he never enjoyed the celebration. But maybe the next season….

He wouldn’t have to wonder what Blue would say.

He would just ask him.       

Chapter Text

Lance was used to having days being stuck on the castle; it was big enough to keep him from going crazy, but all the things to do on the ship were things that Lance…well, Lance thought they were boring as hell. Pidge had a nerd-gasam over all the tech and kept to her computer and coming up with more schematics of new programs, ship enhancement, Lion enhancements, and just trying to build some of the similar tools that were on earth. She was all over working on the castle to the point that Coran had to follow her around to ensure that she wasn’t working in illegal equipment that Pidge happened to get from some place she wouldn’t tell them she was getting this stuff from. It was fun to watch the two go back and forth over schematics, sometimes Hunk would fill him in on all the stuff that was clearly going over his head at times.

And Hunk. Hunk was either all over the kitchens trying to make something of all the foods they happened upon when on other planets. Or, he was the one behind building and doing the work behind the enhancements. Pidge, Hunk, and Coran would be coming up and building new things, Coran acting as a guide when it came to equipment that was from different planets. Lance liked to listen and learn some new things, like how to align crystals because the way he sometimes flew Blue, she would have crystals knocked around and scold him for it. He began to take notes when he would listen, and Hunk would give him quizzes when Lance was helping in the kitchen. Pidge would walk through each part of her coding with Lance some nights; he liked to see how she excited she got about it. Lance was also the one to remind them that it was getting late and that he promised to wake them first thing in the morning, so they can back to their projects.

Then there was Keith, who spent most of his time in the training arena, going through different codes and simulations as to see where he needed work and improvement. Lance knew from their days at the Garrison, Keith was one of the top hand to hand fighters, where Lance ranked average. Which, wasn’t too painful to admit because Lance still held the record for the fastest clear times in shooting ranges. He also had the best aim, not matter what the weapon was. Lance would take a spot in the viewing area and talk over the speakers to ask Keith why he did what he did. At first, Keith would just ignore him and continue with his training, but Lance was not one to deter too fast from Keith’s attitude. He just changed tactics. He wouldn’t ask anything until right when the simulations ended, and Keith was taking a break for water of the quick meal Hunk would leave at the door for him. Lance would ask, and Keith slowly give short answers, something sarcastic at first. But Lance would ask him to explain more. Keith opened to the idea and for a couple quintents, it worked rather well. Lance would again be taking notes, seeing if maybe he could try a few of the moves. Then, one day, after Keith had answered a question on how he chooses what blade to use in battle, Keith had told him that Lance can go back to asking him in midbattle. Lance smiled, but Keith smirked and just said that he needed to learn to battle even with an annoyance. Lance huffed but was keen to the idea none the less.

Shiro, he walked around like a Commander, trying to take reports of each day and mission. Lance had gotten a peek into his room and saw that Shiro even set up his own desk to work at. Shiro was either reporting and going over plans with Allura, or in the arena. Shiro, being the only one without a bayard, relied on the Galra tech in his arm and he wanted a lot of practice with it. He could be found with anyone in the arena, but it seemed that Allura was really the only one that was able to put up a good match with Shiro. He also acted like a trainer and would be running drills with all of them or mock simulations. And thanks to Pidge and Hunk, the room was able to call up different terrain locations to help in mock battles. Sometimes, Shiro would come up with fun competitions that played to each Paladin’s strength and weakness. Pidge was all stealth and using the environment, but she would try to do everything with a misdirection, she never went head on. Hunk was a brought force, using all his strength against enemies, and that meant he always got caught when trying to sneak up on an enemy. Keith was just like Hunk, accept he never thought anything through. Shiro had to set up complicated situations and Keith would brute force his way in. Lance, Lance was a crack shot, but put him in front of an enemy, the best he could do was dodge and try to get some distance. So that was why Lance took notes on Keith.

Even Allura was always at the control center of the Castle and working a political ambassador and then be found in the same arena. She was one hell of a fighter and then spun around and treated her guest like they owned the Universe. Doing everything in her power to ensure their protection and comfort along with it.

Lance had hoped that maybe Allura would have become more of his companion with their love of clothing, fashion, and maybe even health care.

That was until Lance found out that Allura just woke up with flawless skin and perfect hair. He asked her what she used to wash her hair, and all she did was pull out a single bottle of soap. Lance had scoured every Space Mall to find products that acted like his own back home, and she just picked up the cheapest thing on the shelves. He remembered walking out onto the planet they have based on and just screamed before crumpling to the ground in the fetal position. Shiro had to carry him back inside as he cried out “She’s too perfect!”

So, where everyone had someone to talk about their interest with and do them with, and then there was Lance, with his skin care routine, love of clothes, accessories, and make-up alone in his room where his interest stayed. Sometimes, he would just spend days in front of the mirror trying out new things he had gotten from different planets. He tried getting the other four into it, but they all declined. Though, some days Shiro would humor him and allowed Lance to paint up his face, but Lance knew it was more for Lance. Shiro did take away on all Lance’s tricks on winged liner and thanked him, but that was about it.

Lance enjoyed his alone time, but he would remember all the fun he would have with his sister, doing their faces and hair, picking out clothes, and then all of them going out for a beach party.

Lance was in the control room, watching Allura scrolling through screens and just thinking of going back to his room and testing out the little color pallets he had gotten from the Hemnats from their last mission. He stood up just in time to see a similar symbol pop up on the maps. “A Mall!” Lance ran up to the map, Allura stopping her movements as she watched Lance map the location and coordinates. “Oh Princess, can we go please?” He looked back at her with big blue eyes. “I just need a few things, and then we can move on.”

“Lance,” she said with a sad smile, “that is too off course for us. We are headed towards a possible distress call.”

“But it will be quintents and we don’t know for sure,” he whined as Shiro came in with his reports and readings from the signals the Castle had been picking up. “I have been saving up from all the extra we’ve done for a few of the planets and I have enough for refills and maybe even some new brushes.” He sighed dreamily. He got down on his knees and looked at Allura, “Just a few Vargas…please?”

“Well…” she looked to Shiro, who had looked back at her with a raised brow. “We can’t go off course,” she said again and Lance slumped forward in defeat. “But if you are only going to be a few Vargas, maybe you can take one of the transport ships.” Lance jumped back to his feet with a big smile and his hands clasped in front of his chest. “The territory seems safe enough for you to go, maybe the others will like a little time off the castle.” She smiled as Lance’s smile fell a bit.

“Oh…I…I already asked if they wanted to do something else…but they all seem really caught up in their own projects.” Lance said with a light laugh that wasn’t very convincing. Allura could tell that he was hurt that no one wanted to do what he enjoyed, but she was sure that she could talk the other Paladins in taking part in learning what Lance knows and wants to share with them. “It’s okay if I go alone, right? It’ll keep things quick since I want have to wrangle everyone to get back to the castle.” His smile was convincing this time as he began to make his way out of the control room. “I’ll check in with your right before I leave the ship.” He said as he was about to exit, but Shiro grabbed his arm and pulled him back over.

“I want either a felt pen or liquid,” he said as he used his other hand to mime putting on liner. Lance smiled and nodded as Shiro took a little coin purse out of his pocket and handed it to Lance. “No pencil.”

“Yes Captain,” Lance teased with a salute before continuing his way to his room to grab all the money he’s saved up for a splurge and then that little extra that he had put aside to get something for everyone since he may not be able to get birthday gifts again. He grabbed a burlap like bag that he had gotten while they were on a Galra base to gain information. Shiro told him that they were not allowed to steal, but he promised to not ever do it again. Lance zipped up his coat and went down to the hangers, already hearing Blue calling to him. “Sorry Beautiful,” Lance said to the empty hallway, knowing that Blue could hear him. “But I can’t raise suspicion while making a quick run for some supplies.” He got into the different hanger also able to listen to the hanger over that had Blue in it. She was walking around her hanger and gave light mewls and roars to him. “I’ll be carefully Beautiful, no need to worry about me.” He got into one of the ships that was designated for supply runs, kinda like the ones back on earth, but way more advanced. Lance threw his bag into one of the back seats as he jumped into the pilot seat. He turned on the ship and pulled up the communications to connect back to the Castle of Lions. “Can you link me the coordinates Princess?” Lance asked as he started up his systems and prepped by getting into the airlock. His monitor filled with the location of the Mall as the doors closed behind him. Lance strapped in, having that being drilled into his head by Iverson and Shiro. “Don’t wait up losers,” Lance laughed as Allura and Shiro sighed. He shot off into the space and followed the path that had been set by his ships navigations systems. Lance pulled up visuals on the Castle, being sure that its location was marked in his ship, and the path way being taken. He didn’t want to get lost while heading back to the Castle, then Shiro would have to come get him and the others would never let him live it down.  

Lance hummed as he placed the ship in autopilot so he could unstrap and go back to his bag. Lance pulled out a few empty jars that had labels on them. Lance was a no waste kind of guy, and if he could save some coin, that would be good too. It also took a long time to find what worked with his skin and having finally found something that was good and didn’t turn him a different color, though, being pink for a few days left his skin baby soft. He then took a quick gac count and was sure to keep Shiro’s separate. Lance was so excited to not only get to get himself something, but when he came back, he could show Shiro what he got him. Not that it was much of a conversation, but Lance would take any interaction at this point. He was starved for beauty and health talk with anyone. He once pretended to do his own tutorial in front of a mirror to talk about his favorite new space brands with weird ingredients Coran had helped him document on his new handheld device he used mostly for photos and vlogs.

Lance glanced down at all his jars of his new Space routine, which he dubbed, the star-struck routine, and thought back to the first time he got into skin care.

Lance ran up to his older sister’s, Alyssa’s, room. It went Daniel, Alyssa, Maria, Benny, Lance, and Emily. Lance had learned a lot from Daniel, being the only boys born in the McClain family. Lance and Daniel would be out on the beach, surfing and motorbiking. But when Daniel went to school, Lance missed his brother, but it gave him time to really connect with his sisters. And that’s why Lance was running to Alyssa’s room; it was movie night and he wanted to start the movie.

Lance burst into the room to find Alyssa painting something green on her face. Her hair was tied up in a towel and her dresser was covered in stuff. Stuff that he wasn’t allowed to touch without her being there.

“I’m sorry Lance,” she smiled as she continued painting on her face. “I totally blanked and started my ‘me night’ routine.”

“What do you do?”

“I’m so glad you asked,” she smiled brightly as she puffed up her chest. “Your beautiful sister doesn’t just wake up this beautiful- I mean, I do but I like to treat my skin for being so perfect.” She preened at herself as she laughed and Lance pulled up an ottoman to sit on so he could be the same height as her. She finished covering her face. “And I do that with this face mask,” she posed.

“Ooooo.”

“Then, while it dries, I do my nails.” She opened a drawer filled with nail polish, acrylics, and manicure tools. She pulled out long acrylics sets where they were sorted by size. “I was thinking of doing some simple French nails with designs on the ring finger.”

“But what if you have to pick your nose?” He asked with a smile as she leaned in with a big smile.

“Lance, these nails were made for nose picking,” she said and smiled as Lance busted out laughing. “You wanna watch?” She asked and was surprised when Lance nodded. Alyssa began to walk through step by step of how she did her French nails, making them to perfect length and then pulling out some art tools to do designs. Alyssa even let Lance try on his own hand, but after a hand, he disliked them and asked to have them off. As she way waiting for the nails to set, Lance was lightly touching the brushes.

“Can you put this stuff on?” Lance asked as he was trying not to grab one of her eye shadow pallets. “Like…when you go out dancing?”

“You like it when I put on eyeshadow?”

“I like all of it.” He smiled at her. “I like all the beautiful colors and how you mix everything to look like a tv star.” He gushed as Alyssa blushed as she lightly held her cheek. “You’re amazing sis! I wanna do it just like you.”

“Really?” She leaned down a bit so they were eye to eye. “I can teach you everything I know Lance.” Lance gapped as his smile dropped to a look of awe. “How about it?” Lanced nodded excitedly. “Well, first things first Lancey,” she smiled brightly. “First, I need to teach you all about proper skin prepping, because painting needs a good foundation.” She said as she picked up her brush and container of green goop. “And that means starting with learning what is good, and what can hurt your skin, and then how you can make your skin all better again.” Alyssa opened the bottle and dipped in her brush and painted on Lance’s skin. “Masks are the easiest way to hit your whole face, but it means it only covers a few problem areas, not all of them.”

Lance spent the whole night with his sister, and every other night learning and watching her work.

Lance laughed to himself, “Too bad I’m all the way in space sis. I finally have something to fix your massive pores.” He put the jars back and went back to sit in the pilot seat as he got closer to the planet that held the Space Mall. He picked up readings from the planet and was quick to also find a good parking spot because, even the beings of space were weak to the idea of the mall. Thanks to Pidge and her modification to the ships, it did a scan of the oxygen levels on the planet and it gave the okay that Lance didn’t need a tank or a suit. He grabbed his bag and exited off the ship, being sure to lock up.

Lance would admit being a little nervous on being on a whole other planet, alone, without even Hunk over the coms to keep him company, but then he was excited too. He could use this aloneness to take a chance to try and befriend someone that liked all the stuff he did. Like, meeting a rep at the space Sephora. He could make it a thing, coming back to talk to them about all the new products and give each other facials. He was giddy as he nearly skipped into the mall and went straight to the directory. He made sure to note where a human store was, because Pidge had been dying to play something new and they were for sure some alien should have picked up a Lario Racing at some point. He then had to use his hand-held for some quick translations on what each store meant and he found the cosmetics place and took off in a light jog.

He skidded to stop in front of the place with eyes wide and sparkling.

It was like heaven in space.

Lance made a bee line for skin products, finding the usual refill stations that he wished existed back on earth. The waste that would just be eliminated. While he had taken a jar to a dispenser area, he noticed that there were not a lot of people in with him, but someone was standing two away and filling up on something that smelled amazing. He looked over once his finished and then frowned when whatever was going into the being’s jar was like melted ice-cream. “Uh,” he said as he took a step over to something else that he liked, which just happened to be next to the other being’s. “Is it supposed to be that…watery?”

The figure looked to the dark-skinned male that was just staring at his jar with scrutiny. “Yes, this mixture contains the waters from the Denalo Oceans on Sector Seven,” his voice was low and velvety, and Lance would usually be all over it, but he was in a moment, a skin care moment.

“But it must absorb way too fast on your skin, right? What’s the point of a mask if it’s over in twenty seconds. At that point, probably none of the other vitamins and nutrients can get in your skin because got nothing to move through. It’s just a hydrator,” he looked at the dispenser with a frown when he saw they high price tag. “I can get that same hydrating from a dispenser at the front of the line for about forty less gact.”

“That does explain a lot,” the figure said, touching his skin on his cheek lightly. He had experienced amazing hydration, but it wasn’t helping his skin over time. He glared at the dispenser. He had been recommended this by a trusted employee and for everything it said it was supposed to do, it didn’t do any of it. He was told that he had to just keep using, but listening to this male explain what it was doing was enough. “You are quite knowledgeable,” he said with a smile. “Tell me, how long have you worked here?”

“Oh,” Lance smiled as he looked up at him, “I don’t-” Lance was stopped cold in his tracks when he was staring up at a tall, handsome, purple-skinned man with brilliant yellow eyes. Lance was wide eyed at the being that stood before him. “Whoa…”

The male chuckled lightly, used to the treatment but much more intrigued in this situation than any of the others. He looked like a weird half breed of Altean and something. The male was tall, not as tall as him, but it made the male look cuter. The way his cheeks were tinted red as he looked at him and the softness of the tuffs of hair on his head. “Do you work here?” He asked, more slowly as the male straightened up and looked to be trying to pull himself from his daze.

Lance, not hearing a word of what the male said (which was slightly irritating because he very much wanted Lance’s attention on him alone), was still staring. “Your skin is amazing!” Lance proclaimed with a big smile and was enough to surprise the male. “Do you even have pores? If you wake up like that I’m going to scream.”

The male smirked, flushed at the attention he was getting on something that he should be rightfully complimented on. “I wake up like this thanks to good products, routine, and genetics.” He said rather smugly as Lance looked at him with astonishment. “Someone of your standing must also be knowledgeable in this area of self-care.” He felt a giddy-ness in his chest he had not felt in a long time when the male smiled up at him, his blue eyes lighting up so much that he is sure that he had never seen a more beautiful shade of blue. “I’m terribly sorry,” he said with a low chuckle, “I never introduced myself.” He crossed his right arm over to his left shoulder and bowed. “I am Lotor.”

“The name’s Lance,” he smiled and then awkwardly did the same gesture back, making Lotor’s heart flutter ever so slightly. “Uh, sorry that I just cut into your shopping, but thanks for listening to me.” He smiled, and Lotor saw the relief leave his shoulders at getting that off his chest. “I don’t get to talk about this stuff a lot, so…thanks again.” He smiled sheepishly, his dark skin catching the lightest hints of red that Lotor found it almost enduring how Lance’s skin could almost change color. He wondered where he was from. “I gotta grab a few more things, so, later dude.” He shot him finger guns before turning to walk away.

Lotor tensed. He couldn’t lose him now! He can’t go back to the ship now because the second he mentioned Lance, and he would to his team because they would sense his good mood, Ezor, Acxa, Zethrid, and Narti would be all over him and try to track down Lance so they could talk again. And the last thing he needed was to be embarrassed like a kit with prying parents. He quickly got back in front of Lance and cleared his throat. “Actually,” he began as Lance looked up at him with a raised brow. “We should talk more…about our likes…and dislikes.” He was losing confidence and scrambled to think of something. “What’s your routine?” He blurted out as Lance flinched back. Lotor noticed he was leaning down and closer to him. He coughed and leaned back, being sure to give the male his space. Lotor could face hordes of enemies, but in the face of one attractive male and he was reduced to basic instinct. “You…You clearly have an eye for good product. Have any recommendations?”

“Not for anything with what your budget might be.” Lance smiled. “You were gonna spend sixty gact on a moisturizer,” he joked with a laugh, and Lotor only laughed because he was nervous and didn’t want to give Lance the chance to walk away again. “I only by cheap stuff. Like, the qualities a little low, but for what I’m getting back, and on my budget,” he rubbed the back of his neck. “Honestly, makes me wonder why I put so much coin back home.” He said, thinking back and blushing at the probably hundreds he spent on skin care products. Make-up, he got a lot of his sisters’ old stuff they got bored with or gifted and did not want. Though, he mentally cringed at the bank he dropped on a few highlighter and eye shadow pallets. “Gosh I miss some of those pallets though.”

“Pallets?” Lotor asked, wanting to keep the conversation going, and also intrigued.

“Oh,” Lance smiled and motioned him to follow as he went to the make-up side of the store. He picked up a sturdy glass case with divided up sets of pressed powdered colors. “I call these pallets, like for your eyes.”

“How interesting,” he said as he picked up the display pallet. Lotor remembered he used to watch his mother play around with shimmery colors when she was finally pulled away from her work. She would show off each color and then use all the colors to make galaxies on her eyelids. “I have never tried my hand at this…not in a long time anyway.”

Lance seemed to shift and glanced over to the little station by the displays. “You…You wanna try it?” He was almost shaking at the idea of a new canvas. Colors were running through his head as he was looking around at other pallets. With Lotor’s skin color, it was a whole new ball game, the things he could do, try, the colors! Lance was already picking out other pallets, combinations running through his head.

Lotor was still staring at the pallet in his hands, he had dipped his finger tip into one of the dark blues, something his mother would have been drawn too. He smeared it on the back of his hand like his mother would and watched light catch the tiny crystals mixed with the pigment color. “I would Lance,” he said and turned back to see that he was already at the little station with a mess of products and brushes. Lance looked at him, remembering that Lotor never officially answered when he asked. He pulled out the seat and had set his bag under the table. Lotor calmly walked over, setting his bag on the ground by the chair. He shot a glance over to the two employees, that seemed to take a mild interest in what was going on, but holding back because he was there.

Lotor didn’t want Lance to know that he was the Prince. That’s what always made them run. He had been to this shop may times before, already having most of the staff trained to never refer to him as ‘Prince’ or ‘highness’ anything. Also, never making a reference to his father. He got enough of that everywhere else; this shop was to be his vacation from reality, if only for a short while.

“Can you use this one,” he held up the shimmery glass pallet to Lance, who deflated a bit when he took it.

“I guess as the volunteer model,” he smirked as Lotor chuckled, “I’ll do what you ask.”

“You seemed to have quiet the horde going,” he smiled as he looked to all the pallets. “How long did you plan on keeping me here?” He said with a teasing smile, hopefully to get under his skin as he did to Lotor.

“As long as you were willing to stay,” he seemed to reply without hesitation and it made Lotor flutter again as Lance pulled out a primer. “I think you’re a big and bold, so I’m gonna do big and bold.”

“I trust your decision,” Lotor said, trying not to buzz from excitement at the idea that Lance not only was ready to put all this effort into him, but also that he was thinking about him, and ready to spend the whole day with him in his favorite place, only after spending such short time with him. Lotor couldn’t wait to tell the others. He would have to set up a day for them all to meet. He’s sure that Lance would be so kind and warm with them, but then give all his attention to Lotor, because that is where he wanted Lance’s attention.

He closed his eyes and nearly leaned into the male’s touch. Lance used one hand to hold the side of his and Lotor kept back the need to purr, but it was stirring deep in his chest. He could feel his base instincts in courting rise in his gut. He sat up as tall as he could and there were a million ideas running through his head of what to do to show that he could not only provide for his partner, but also be just as soft and willing to be protected. Sitting in the chair and allowing Lance to do what he wished to him was enough to show that aspect, but Lotor was indeed ‘big and bold’ but this would have to do. Surely, Lotor thought to himself, Lance was familiar with being courted, the male was beautiful and very eligible. He would have to try and one up all the others that had tried or were trying to court the male. Lotor thought it was obvious that the male must have suitors fighting for his attention. Lotor smirked as he listened to Lance talking him through the process, committing the voice and instructions to memory, and figured, with their shared interest he already had the upper hand.

“The colors blend like a dream,” Lance sighed dreamily. “It’s orgasmic.”

Lotor coughed nervously only tensing slightly. “This is something very close to you Lance. I am honored to bring you some joy.” He said with a light smile, not daring to open his eyes just yet. “May I ask about how you grew into this passion? A study perhaps?”

“I got into it through my older sisters.” His voice was soft and warm, making Lotor almost wish he had a sibling, an elder one at least. “She was an accountant, meaning she handled all the taxes for big businesses back on my planet. She was the one that was more into skin care, all the different masks, strips, oils, serums, even the best sun screens. My other older sisters mastered other techniques. Maria was all about hair and nails and then Benny,” he sighed lightly, “that woman went from a foul-mouthed mechanic, to a runway model the way she did her make-up.” He laughed as Lotor chuckled and felt the light touch of Lance’s fingers under his chin to lift his chin up. Which was humorous because even seated, Lance was still shorter than Lotor. He felt his head being moved from side to side. “The three of them taught me everything I know, and then I taught my little sister Emily.”

“This seems to be a special past-time between you and the others of your litter.” Lotor said with a bit of smugness at the idea that, now, he was being included in something that was so dear to Lance and his family. He was being let into Lance’s family, a good sign for courtship. It was also a plus that it made his heart pick up and he felt almost giggly. “I would be happy to add to your knowledge…seeing that you could learn more about things outside of where your planet resides.” This was his chance. Lotor would dazzle Lance with his know-how, make this their thing, and then obviously tie themselves together for all eternity. All the cosmos will envy and celebrate the deep connection they share.

“Nah, that’s okay dude,” Lance said happily as Lotor felt his smile and heart drop. “You don’t have to do that for me. I’m a quick learner and a natural. And like, I don’t want to be a bother.”

“You could never be a bother to me Lance.” Lotor said lightly as he felt Lance swiping something right above his lashes.

“That’s like, the sweetest thing ever,” Lance laughed with a smile. He looked at the liner in his hands. “I bet Shiro would love this stuff. So smooth.”

“Sh-Shiro?” Lotor asked nervously. Was he already too late? Did Lance already have a suitor in mind. Lotor had to think quick, be subtle, and show that he would be much better than this Shiro. “Is he your partner? I could destroy him in combat.”

Lotor flushed. That was the least bit subtle and he felt like a moron.

“Shiro’s like…my dad,” Lance said, not catching the sigh in relief from Lotor. “But’s he’s an amazing fighter and has like, protected me countless times. Maybe I should buy him another kind of liner too, just as a thank you gift. Old man deserves it.” He laughed at the thought of Shiro most likely getting teary-eyed at getting a gift without context.

Lotor hummed in understanding. Yes, it was common for the alphas to be protective over their kits…even adopted kits. He would have to either prove his worthiness in combat or assure that Lance could convince his alpha figure of their match being perfect and beneficial. He had remembered seeing courters standing behind their potential partners while they spoke to their alpha guardian, it was a good plan in some cases, but it was an admittance that one could not prove themselves on their own, which was a pride thing among the Galra kind that was problematic.

“And that should do it.” Lance smiled at his accomplishment, picking up the mirror to hold up to Lotor’s face. “Now tell me if you love it, or extremely love it.” He laughed as Lotor’s eyes fluttered upon and he looked star struck at the colors on his eyes. “It’s an exploding star!” He stood next to Lotor, looking at his reflection. “I saw that you were looking at the blue, and blue already pops your eyes, so I just went with it.” He motioned to the blue that was lining the tip of his brow bone, then melting into a dark green, His lids were taken up by the green that blended into a very dark gold colors with red mixed into it. His lower lid, right under his lashes, had more of the gold color and a sleek black liner over his upper lashes that came to a dangerous point.

“This is…” Lotor trailed off as he turned his head from side to side again. He felt his chest clench because this was a touching moment, not only because Lance had gifted him something, but it was something that he had been close to at one point, but then he drifted away from. “This is lovely,” his voice was soft he glanced over at Lance, who was smiling at his reflection.

“Can I get a picture of you?” Lance asked as he put the mirror down and went to take a stance away from him. He pulled out his orange tablet. “This is going to look great on my inspiration wall,” he smiled as Lotor flushed lightly. Lotor nodded and closed his eyes. He had to keep from smiling when Lance took a second picture. “Awesome, let me get you something to take that off.”

“Let me treat you.” Lotor stood up and stood by Lance at the station. He picked up the remover because Lance was staring between two bottles that were not remover. Lance flushed and put his bottles down. Lotor carefully wiped the eye make up on, and looked at the area of colors that decorated the clothe he had used. He almost felt bad. But while he cleaned it off, he went over and grabbed a box pallet off the counter and went up to the counter. “Please hold this for me, and I would like the special for myself and Lance,” he said as he motioned over to the smiling human, who was bouncing on the balls of his feet. He smiled as Lance tried to avoid eye contact, but he watched as Lance was looking through different products. “I also have another request.”

(Line Break)

Lance and Lotor were both dressed in white bathe robes, Lotor’s hair pulled up in a messy bun. They both were waiting as one of the baths was filled with this mixture of blue and pink waters and different mineral rocks sitting at the bottom. Lance was always wary of what he was putting on his skin, because space was filled with new things and that meant that his body could be damaged or changed by it. The shop was helpful by doing a biotech scan of his body and seeing if it could or would be negatively affected by some of their products, but it said he was in the clear. Lotor on the other hand was in a panic because he was about to be alone with a handsome male and if he screwed up, neither had anywhere to run off too until the spa events were over. He swallowed lightly as the woman finished and wished them a peaceful spa time. He took a deep breath, turning as to not make Lance uncomfortable.

That was until he heard that Lance already entered.

“This is a dream,” Lance sighed dreamily as he sunk into the waters, all the way so that only his head was above the water. Lotor set his robe on one of the hangers, and stepped in with a sigh. It had been awhile since he had spent so much time away from his ship. It was only better with company. His companions were not as easy to get them to relax, but it was lucky that none of them wanted to join him.

“Take one of the smaller rocks and use them to scrub off any dead skin cells.” Lotor said, picking up a dark green mineral rock and starting with his legs. Lance dunked his head under the water, and Lotor watched with interest as Lance ran his hands over a few of the rocks before picking up a dark pink rock. Lotor’s vision was keen, and he felt flush as his eyes roamed over the dark skin of Lance, and tracing the curves and dips of very defined muscle. He reasoned that his kind must have been a culture that trained their young in combat, meaning that maybe his courting styles would transfer over easily. Not to mention that it made the male all the more attractive to Lotor. He took interest in those that were also fighters. 

“Can I lick it?” Lance asked as he was sitting right next to Lotor, looking at the rock.

“What?” The Galra asked as he was struck by the question and they were nearly naked and next to one another.

“Can I lick this rock?” Lance asked again, holding it up close between them. “It looks tasty.”

“Well…I would assume it would be safe, everything here is organic and nothing has been added to it.” He said as he focused on scrubbing his arms in hopes not thinking about the male’s ridiculously long legs. “I can’t imagine it being appetizing.”

“It’s not,” Lance groaned as his tongue was still hanging out. “Oh, jeez this was a terrible idea.” He tried to clean off his tongue as he laughed. “It’s only getting worse,” he groaned and Lotor snorted and began to laugh. “Try it.” He held it to Lotor.

“And have the same experience as you?” He chuckled as he continued rubbing his chest and neck. “No thank you.”

“Wuss.” Lance shot back as he started on his legs.

“Excuse me?” Lotor stopped his actions and looked to Lance. Lance was casually rubbing the rock against his skin. “What did you call me?”

“Wuss?” Lance said like it was a boring topic. “Oh, it just means, on my planet, that you’re obviously too scared and lame to do it.”

“Lame?”

“Like the opposite of fun and awesome.”

“And me not licking a bath mineral makes me a wuss.”

“Yeah,” Lance looked at him and then glanced to the rock that Lotor held. “Unless you do it.”

Lotor held up the green mineral. He looked at Lance, who was watching him with a smile that was mischievous and almost feral. This ‘wuss’ is unappealing and it meant that he would not be viewed properly in Lance’s eyes. A ‘wuss’ wasn’t good enough for Lance.

Lotor looked back at the rock and closed his eyes.

(Line Break)

“AH-HA!” Pidge yelled as she jumped up from her spot at her computer. “Guess who just made the most amazing cloaking device for Her Majesty?” She said smugly as she fixed her glasses and looked over to the empty seat. She deflated. Pidge had just assumed that Lance would have joined her by now. It was nearly lunch time, by the way her stomach was growling. Lance was always around right before lunch. No wonder it was so weirdly quiet in her work station, Lance never showed up.

“Humph,” she pouted as she disconnected her computer from the main hub she had set up thanks to Hunk. She grabbed her computer and stomped out. “Lance!” She called as she made her ways to the rooms and went straight for his door. “Lance, you’re missing technological advances nerds back on earth have wet dreams about!” She pounded on his door. “Open up and ask me to talk about it!”

The doors finally opened and Pidge was struck by the dark and empty room. She slumped forward. “Now this is just homophobic.” She turned away as the doors closed and she made her way to the kitchen, feeling jealousy rage in her. Lance had ditched her to eat Hunk’s cooking. First Lance doesn’t hang out with her, and then he goes and eat good food without her! She went into the kitchen, “This is homophobic!”

Hunk looked up from his bowl of green and purple dough. He looked around, “What is?”

“I’m gay and don’t like being ignored.” She answered as she looked around the kitchen. “Where’s Lance? He’s supposed to be watching me make stuff that the Garrison dreamed of doing.” She said as she put her computer on the counter, getting into Hunk’s space.

“Huh?” Hunk said as he looked over to the table, where he would usually be sitting and waiting to test try his stuff. “I haven’t seen Lance either.” He looked back at Pidge, “And Lance usually hangs out with me, then he goes off for a bit, and then comes back with you.” Hunk smiled, “I think I found out how to make those little cakes we all like.”

Pidge gasped, “Lance always gets them and then Shiro eats like, all of them if we’re not careful.” She said as she watched Hunk pour the batter into a big tray to put in a heater while he pulled out another with smaller versions. “I have no idea where it goes because Shiro looks like what little girls expect their frogs to turn into after a kiss.” Hunk only nodded and Pidge sighed, “That would have made Lance laugh.”

“Where is he?” Hunk said as he put all the little cakes on a tray. “Lance usually keeps to a pretty tight schedule.”

Pidge frowned and crossed her arms over her chest. “I bet that loser Keith has pulled Lance away to talk about his loser fighting.” She rolled her eyes, “he gets to level three and he’s suddenly the master of the deck. Allura could get to level six in her fuckin sleep.” She picked up her computer. “I’m gonna go get Lance back and show him the cool thing I programmed.”

“And I need Lance to taste these.” Hunk followed as he quickly grabbed the lunch plate that he made for Keith and two water pouches. “Then we might need to try another batch.”

“Well you two can do that tomorrow, right now, Lance needs to see this.”

“It’s just some numbers on a screen,” Hunk waved off as Pidge gapped at him. “Not like you actually built anything yet. I bet Lance and I can get it running before you could code it a second time.”

“Oh, ‘cause he loves listening to you ramble about the blue wiring connecting to the green wire?” She scoffed as he gasped as they got to the training deck. “You engineers are so snooty with your tools and…whatever.”

“Right and programmers are so humble with all their silly numbers and…stuff.”

“Ooo that one really hurt Hunk.” She smirked as he pouted as the doors opened. The two looked to see that Keith was looking up at the viewing area, seeming to be scanning the area. “He’s finally lost it.” Pidge whispered to Hunk, who nodded.

“Hey, Keith?” Hunk called and waved his arm when Keith looked back at them, his bayard going back to its original form. “I got lunch.”

“Thanks,” Keith nodded. “Can you tell Lance that if he wants to take his notes, that he better get in here before I change my mind.”

“He’s not here either?” Pidge asked in a higher pitch of annoyance. “I thought he was with you.”

“Lance hasn’t been here when he usually is,” Keith said putting his bayard on his belt. “I assumed he was with you two or helping Coran.”

“Coran,” Hunk seethed. “He’s taken my taste tester.”

“You mean my audience.”

“Lance would have been in here asking me question.”

“Oh, you would like to think that wouldn’t you?” Pidge shot back with a smirk when Keith frowned and blushed. “Oh, I bet you have been planning to make a move on poor Lance, with your sword skills. Try to get him to ask you for lessons. You are such a show off.”

“Me?” Keith shot back, “you just called Lance your audience. I’m not the one who hogs all of Lance’s time to talk at him and ask for validation.”

“Ha!” Pidge poked his chest. Keith flinched back and rubbed the spot. “Lance loves listening to me, and he’s learning with me. What is he doing with you? Learning? Ha! What could he learn from you trying to get your pervert hands on him. And, you teach like Iverson, terribly.”

“Take it back.” He seethed his face bright red. 

“Make me.” She shot back and then was instantly having her temples abused by Keith’s knuckles. “Ah! Stop it!”

Hunk watched with worry, usually, Lance would have cut in by now. “G-Guys?”

“I said take it back!”

“Never!”

Keith picked up her up and put her over his shoulder. “I’ll dunk you, then!”

“If you put me in the tub again I’m gonna tell Allura and she’ll kick your ass.”

“How much you wanna bet?” Keith said as he began to carry her out.

“No, Keith, Pidge was dripping all day last time.” Hunk followed out, leaving the food on the deck. “You guys are both kind of right?”

“How is this gremlin right?”

“You’ve never even seen that movie you hermit!” Pidge yelled as she was trying to shake from his hold. “I’ll…I’ll tell Shiro if you do it.” She threatened as they got closer to the bathing area. “A-And then…then you have to sit with him and have a long and winded conversation about manners! And-And-And then he’ll ground you!”

“I think I’m gonna fill the tub with cold water.” Keith mused aloud and smirked when Pidge began screaming. “Maybe ice cold. We have a setting for that, right Hunk?”

“Please don’t drag me with you.” He said, knowing that one of them had to give.

“And I am right because you show off.”

“Hunk said we were both right, you show off too! Iverson!”

“Now…Now I won’t even warn you when I dump you in.” Keith said as he used his foot to open the door. “I’m not a show off.”

“You are,” Hunk and Pidge said together. Keith stopped and looked to Hunk. Hunk gulped when Keith was looking him over.

Keith scoffed. “Like that means anything from you.” Hunk was taken back. “You basically just force Lance to watch your cooking show while telling him that the blue wire attaches to the green wire.”

“Told you,” Pidge said with a laugh as she held up her glasses as she looked at him. “He’s a big show off.”

“Yeah,” Keith agreed, turning so that Pidge and he could give Hunk a look.

“Hey,” Hunk crossed his arms, “At least I can admit that I like to have Lance around to validate me.”

“You don’t have the moral high ground here.” Keith said.

“You have Pidge of your shoulder and filling a tub with cold water.” Hunk pointed out and looked to the tub that just finished filling. “And you,” he looked to Pidge, “called Keith a mean name and threatened him with punishment.” The two looked away. “Let’s all agree that we all like to have Lance validate us, okay?”

“Only if Keith says it first.” Pidge said.

“I’m not saying it because it’s not true.” He shot back. “And Pidge can say it if she wants too.”

“Butt head.”

“Four eyes.”

“Real original.”

“Shut up.”

“What are you three doing?” The three turned to see Shiro standing in the door way with a towel, change of clothes, and a bar of soap. He was instantly assaulted with talking and yelling from the three who were motioning to the others. He took a deep breath and set his stuff on a table. He stood in front of them and crossed his arms. The talking stopped and they all knew that look. Keith put Pidge back on her feet for the three to stand in a line with their averted gaze. Keith glanced to his left to see the empty spot where Lance would be standing and looking down at his feet with his hands shoved into his pockets. “Okay,” he nodded, “now that we took care of that,” he looked to Hunk, “What is going on Hunk?”

“You always ask him first,” Keith said with a pout as Shiro shot him a side eye.

“Keith and Pidge were fighting.”

“And then?”

“Pidge called Keith a mean name and then Keith was getting ready to dunk her in the tub.”

“Have they apologized?”

“No.”

“Nark.” The two said as they were looking at anything but Shiro or each other.

Shiro sighed, “Well?” He watched as the two were trying their best to defy him. “Fine, then we can do this with the Princess.” He said and the two went rigid. Allura was still stuck in the world of Altea, and must of her solutions involved long discussions or a nearly-to-the-death battle, because when Lance and Keith had their first dispute, Allura was assured that dumping them alone on a hostile planet would fix it. Shiro convinced her to try another way with less of a chance at death. She agreed but always voiced that it would be solved faster with death battles. Keith and Pidge muttered apologies and Shiro was going to take it for now because he just wanted to get clean before he had to start a battle and plan on what would happen once they reached the planet that might have signaled the distress call. “Good, now please behave.”

“Have you seen Lance?” Hunk asked as they began to walk out.

“Lance isn’t here.” He said calmly but was cut off when the three ran in front of him, all yelling what and spouting out questions. “Alright, Alright.” He put his hands up and the three backed off. “Lance left about two vargas ago to gather some personal supplies.”

“He went to the space mall without us?” Pidge asked.

“Lance said he asked you all if you wanted to do something earlier, but you all were busy.” He said.

“I was,” Pidge said.

“Same,” Hunk raised his hand. Keith just nodded.

Shiro sighed, “Well, there you go,” he said. “Lance didn’t want to bother you three, so he went by himself.”

“But they have weapon shops,” Keith said as he crossed his arms. “I could have shown Lance how to tell swords and daggers from one another and how they can be used appropriately.”

“Or,” Pidge cut in, “Lance and I would be getting new games and I could show him how to hack systems to get all the sick customs.”

“Lance and I could go sampling!” Hunk smiled, “And all the tea shops. The hidden herbs they use for some hot water.” He waved it off with a scoff.

“Guys,” Shiro stressed, pulling their attention back on him, “Lance wanted to do something he liked. Getting moisturizers and make-up, he spends all day with you three doing what you all like. Maybe,” he leaned back a bit with his hands on his hips, “Lance wanted to get away from your demanding egos.”

“Like you’re so great.” Pidge huffed out.

Shiro raised a brow before walking over to one of the cupboards and pulling out a pretty full pink jar of cream. “This, this is the stuff that turned Lance pink a while back,” he said as the other three smirked or giggled to themselves. “I spent time with Lance, seeing if there was a way to mix this stuff with some other creams to get rid of that.” He explained as he came back over with the jar and then grabbed a brush from another drawer. “Lance helped me customize this cream because it doesn’t turn me pink and added some extra oils to help my skin keep firm.” He stood in front of them. “I have no idea what Lance is talking about half the time, but he knows a lot about this stuff,” he pointed to his eyes, “Lance showed me how to do this in one swipe, one.” He emphasized. “It makes him happy and I make sure to make one day for Lance, because it seems like I’m the only one.” He says as the three look away with shame. “Allura and Coran run this ship and keep us alive, and they make time for the rest of us too.”

“You are that great.” Pidge sighed in defeat.

“When Lance comes back,” Hunk said with tears in his eyes, “I’ll ask him about everything he got.” He sniffled.

“Not before I ask him to give me a face mask.” Pidge shot in as she made a run for it. “I’m a better friend!” Hunk and Keith ran out after her, shouting other promises to Lance, who wasn’t there. Shiro sighed and closed the door, being sure to punch in the lock code. He drained the tub and filled it back with hot water. He set his jar and brush on a counter and opened the jar.

Lance give him a strict schedule.

(Line Break)  

“So, your planet is still very primitive in their explorations on space and traveling through.” Lotor nodded lightly as the two were lounging on some long-padded chairs under lights that simulate sunlight. They were back in white robes, Lotor with a dark grey mask on and his hair tied up in a towel.

“We aren’t that primitive,” Lance defended from his spot next to him. His mask was a dark purple. “I am trained as a fighter pilot, so we had defensives going as a top priority.”

“It is a good strategy to ensure defensives are at the ready and trained, always best to be prepared for a battle.” He said in understanding. It seemed that more and more were in Lotor’s favor because it sounded like Lance’s culture was almost the same as that of the Galra. Meaning, there should be an easier time in trying to pursue the male. “Are you a seasoned pilot?”

“I guess you could say that,” Lance said with a light laugh, thinking back on the joy rides he and Blue would go on when Allura gave them a free day on visiting planets. “But space exploration is so much more interesting then combat,” he said with a dreamy smile. “Visiting new planets, meeting new beings, discovering who they are and why they are,” he said as Lotor turned his head to look at Lance, who was smiling up at nothing with his eyes still closed. “And then all the things that they have created and learned.” He placed his arms up and made a grand gesture, “It would be a dream to just…be able to learn and fly through the galaxy. No worries, no constant threat of an attack….no more fighting,” he said as he slowly put his hands back on his stomach.

“That is a wonderful goal for you Lance.” Lotor said softly, wondering how someone could look like a warrior and still be so soft. He worried for a moment, the universe was a harsh reality and it seemed that Lance, just like himself, had barred witness to it first-hand.

“More like a dream,” he laughed lightly, turning his head slightly to look at Lotor. “I have to help my friends first, we have a lot to do…and I wouldn’t abandon them for the world.” He sighed and faced the lights again. Lance let out a deep breath as Lotor was still looking at him. It was a funny feeling for them both, to be so open to someone they have barely known; but it felt oddly comforting, the idea that they could get all their worries off their chest, and then have the choice to never face them again.

“I’ve always wanted to see the world that my mother grew up in.” Lotor said without much push to open, but it seemed unfair to let Lance be so vulnerable alone. Part of Lotor would have been proud of his initiative to court the male beside him, but there was also the growing pit in his stomach that he had just let a deep secrete. They were quiet, too much so that Lotor was getting nervous that he was going to be left so open and have no way to close back up.

“Why couldn’t you?”

Lotor sucked in a sharp breath, crossing his arms as he felt those deep blue eyes looking at him. He was too open. “I…” he didn’t know where to go, what to say. His Altean lineage had always been a terrible secrete and he never spoke about it with anyone. It was just a fact that everyone knew about him and all of Galra kind, half or full, knew of the shame upon on their Emperors family. The Altean kind was viewed as a menace, a stain in Galra history, and he seemed to be a constant remind of the race. Him and the last pure survivors.

“Lotor.” Lance said lightly that it was enough to have Lotor glance at him. His face felt warm and his heart thudded against his ribs as he saw the softest look of compassion from Lance. Not pity, not sorrow, and not royal courtesy. “You don’t have to say another word.” His smile was sweet and Lotor swallowed the lump in his throat. “But thank you for starting.” He nodded and Lance turned his head to face the lights again, not seeing that Lotor continued to stare. “My mama is Cuban-American, she was born of one culture and raised within another.” He began with a smile. “My papi is pure Cuban though, really proud and loved to make sure that whole world knows.” He laughed lightly. “They met while my mama was in Cuba visiting family. She says that my papi was throwing rocks at her window and took every moment to sing to her while playing guitar. My papi says that she was the one who was fainting whenever he tried so that’s why he kept coming back.” He laughed, “A-And this one time, my mama told me that the first time she had agreed to go on a date with him, my papi was on his bike and crashed into a fruit stand from the shock.”

Lotor felt the chuckle bubble in him and he didn’t dare keep it in. Lance was in full laughter as he continued to tell stories of his family that were back on his home planet. Lotor seemed to understand that Lance may be in space because of outside forces, leading him to be under the care of a new alpha guardian -this Shiro- but he didn’t dare ask why, because they were both in a better mood and he didn’t want to get away from them. Lance had thought Lance was all looks and personality, but deep past that initial layer…

Lay the sweetest and kindest being that Lotor had ever met.

He could not let him get away.

Their spa relaxation finally came to a nice conclusion and Lance and Lotor were back in the main store front with a healthy glow. Lance let out a dreamy sigh as he rubbed the skin on his face, “Those minerals in the tub work amazing, I have never felt so smooth before.” He ran his fingers through his hair and let out a sigh. “Thank Lotor, I never knew how much a I needed a real spa day until now.”

“My pleasure Lance.” He smiled as they walked to the counter with their respective items they had been shopping for earlier. Lance walking up with his bag filled with his filled jars and two different liners. He cleared his throat lightly as they were both waiting while being rung up. “We…We should do this again sometime.” He said as the women behind the counter had knowing smiles, because another coworker was finishing up another project from him. “I…I could give you my communication code.”

“What?” Lance asked as he turned to face Lotor.

“I could put my commuter code in yours,” he offered again, feeling nervous. It had been a while since he tried courting. “And we could plan another day…or maybe do…something else?”

“I have a commuter?” Lance asked with his head tilted to the side.

“The device you took pictures with,” he said with a soft laugh. He would protect this naive being with his life. Lance took it out and handed it to Lotor, who promptly put in his code before he talked himself out of it. He handed it back to Lance with a smile as the male looked at it with a newfound interest.

“Do I need to put my code in yours?” Lance asked.

“I will get it because I put my code in yours.” He said with a smile as Lance was wide eyed in awe. He turned and paid the woman as Lance did the same, then the other coworker came up with a decorated basket filled with make-up and skin care products. “Ah, thank you so much,” he said with a smile to the woman, who smiled at him with a knowing looking in her eyes.

“Whoa,” Lance smiled as he eyed the basket, “what a haul.” He whistled.

“I’m so glad you like it Lance,” Lotor said with a smirk, his courage rising and confidence finally making a comeback. “I hope that you enjoy.”

“Is…this…” Lance flushed as he looked between Lotor and the basket, “this is for me?” Lotor felt smug as Lance’s eyes were wide and smile being o appear on his face, along with a pretty blush. He couldn’t help but feeling the need to pose a bit as the three women behind the counter were just as impressed with the results. “Dude…thank you!” Lance smiled at him. “First I get to hang out and talk product, then the spa, I couldn’t think this day could get any better.” He grabbed the basket after slinging his filled bag over his shoulder. “Can…Can I buy you dinner?” Lance offered with a laugh, “Anything you like, on me.”

Lotor tilted his head lightly as he imaged what he would like to eat off Lance. He smirked as he was riding the wave of confidence. “How about dinner on my ship…we could test out a few of those products-” He was cut off when an alarm began to go off. Lance pulled his communicator back out.

“Sorry buddy,” Lance said with a smile, “I have to get back before the ship is out of my range to track.” He looked up at him with a sorry smile. “The dinner offer is still on the table, hit me up later,” he said as he began to walk backward out of the shop. “Thanks again. Next time I get to try my pallet of choice, and then you can do me!” He waved before jogging away, leaving a deflated Lotor leaning back against the counter. Just as Lotor was about to slump to the floor, Lance came back in. Lotor flushed when Lance got right up next to him, put his arms around his shoulders- meaning that he pulled Lotor closer to Lance’s height- and were nearly cheek to cheek, and snapped a photo of the two. Lance was smiling big as Lotor was sure he had the most confused look on his face. “Ha!” Lance showed him that he was correct, “Look at your stupid face.”

Lotor quickly grabbed his communicator and put his arm around Lance’s waist, pulling him close to his side. Lotor had some height, so it was a downward pointed shot. And quick enough to catch Lance’s look of surprise. He smirked, “Who looked stupid again?”

“Fine, I deserved that,” he smiled. “Okay, now I have to go. Bye…again.” He said with a laugh and ran back out.

Lotor looked down at the photo and smiled softly. He grabbed his purchases and walked out of the store with his usual confidence, but there was an ever-present smile on his face.

(Line Break) 

Lance couldn’t wait to try out his new stuff, maybe he’ll do one of the scrubs, try on some of the make-up, use a new face wash, and then do a mask with that soft looking purple goop in the textured jar. The flight back was difficult because Lance wanted to keep bouncing and driving as carefully as he could as to not jostle and knock around one of the greatest gifts he’d gotten. And it was right up there with the crystals Hunk had gotten from Shay on another trip to the balmara for new equipment. He couldn’t wait to tell everyone about the cool new friend he made and then they could all meet him and maybe really learn the benefits of conditioning because Lance knew that Lotor was either blessed like Allura, or he conditioned. Lance hoped it was conditioning.

Once he got up close to the castle sensors, he pulled up communications since the castle didn’t automatically recognize anything that wasn’t a giant fighting Lion. He tried to at least get close so that the castle’s pull so that he could at least stay in one position.

“Lance,” Allura smiled as her face popped up on one of the screens, “we were getting worried.” Lance was about to ask who was ‘we’ put then Pidge’s face appeared and she had the most serious look on her face.

“You aren’t allowed to leave without me anymore,” she said as Lance smiled at her. “I was stuck here with the Iron Chef and the Karate Kid.”

“I do not practice Karate,” Keith yelled from off camera.

Pidge rolled her eyes and smirked, “Come on, the Blades dug up some top security profiles on someone who could be the Zarkon 2.0.”

“And I made cake!” Hunk yelled as he tried to squeeze into frame.

“Lance,” Allura pushed the two away and smiled softly, but he saw the worry in her eyes. “Please, once the ship is stationed, come up to the main control room…quickly.”

“I’m on it Princess,” he nodded and the two signed off before Lance got into the hanger as quickly as he could. He really wanted to drop off his stuff, but it seemed like Allura really wanted to talk about this information, and if she was frazzled, Shiro was probably a walking mess. He grabbed his bag and picked up his basket, before jogging off to the control room. The doors parted and Lance came in with all of them either glancing or turning to watch him. “What’s up?” He asked as he set his stuff down.

“Ooo Lance,” Hunk came over, “what did you get?”

“Hunk,” Shiro said from his spot next to Allura’s, “focus please.”

“Sorry.” He slumped forward as he walked up with Lance. He leaned up to him, “How was it?” He whispered.

“It was awesome,” Lance said with a big smile and Hunk knew that it was the truth. Lance had a lot of tells and Hunk had grown to get to know them all. Allura and Shiro must either read each other’s mind or had practiced before-hand, because the two were already going back and forth with information that they had obtained from Kolivan and information was pulled up on the holo screen that Allura controlled. Lance and Hunk were leaned into each other and whispering. “I met the coolest guy, in the shop with me. We were, like, beauty guru’ing each other and I learned so much about all this new space stuff.” He said with a dreamy sigh and Hunk was happy to see Lance so happy. “And he got me all this stuff, he was so nice to me, and even spent the whole time with me in a spa, that he paid for.” Now, Hunk was starting to grow anxious because it looks like it happened again.

Someone was hitting on Lance and Lance was oblivious to everything about it. Back on earth, this lead to random stranger coming up to him almost in tears because of sadness or frustration that nothing they do is working. First, they assume Lance is dating him, which is a no, then they assume he is dating someone they have never seen, the next no. After that they assume Lance just didn’t like them, which is usually a no. Hunk had to let all these heartbroken people in that Lance, his wonderful boy, is fucking dumb. He doesn’t know flirting directed at him, he just knows how to do it. He tells them it’s best they just hit him with a giant sign that says, ‘I like you, wanna date?’ They never do though, and Lance tells him about his good friend so and so doesn’t want to hang out as much as they used to, but assumes that it must be school work or something must be getting to them. Hunk just agrees because in some cases, it the most drama he gets to be a part of, and all of Lance’s suitors usually talk to him while he’s cooking and become taste testers.

“Oh yeah?” Is all Hunk asks as Lance continues raving about his new guy friend that took him to the spa, getting to know one another, and putting make-up on him.

“And he’s got a cool space name, it’s-”

“Prince Lotor, son to Zarkon and the most likely candidate to take over if anything ever happened to him.” Allura said as the security footage came on screen of the purple skinned man with long flowing white hair was standing in the main control room of a Galra base.

“aaaaaAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!” Lance started screaming, gaining everyone’s attention and worry. Lance had dropped his basket of items and began to strip out of his clothes. “That’s why he was so nice to me! He knows I’m a paladin! He put a bug on me! Pidge,” he called with worry and pulling off his pants. Pidge had her eyes covered by Shiro. “Scan my clothes! And this basket- and the ship!” Lance was down to his blue briefs and pulling off his shoes and socks. “He’s gotta be tracking us!”

“Lance!” Allura yelled, “What is going on?! Put your clothes back on!” She was covering her eyes and turned away from him.

“No, I need them scanned!” He said as Hunk was picking up his clothes.

“Lance, you need to calm down,” Shiro said as he glanced over and sighed when Keith was straight up staring at Lance’s legs. He covered his eyes much to the boy’s distaste. “Why do you need your clothes scanned?”

“I just spent the whole day with that guy!” Lance pointed at the screen, which was paused on Lotor’s figure.

“Oh quiznak,” Coran sighed as he draped a blanket over Lance, who covered up but kept his arms free. “We are all clear.” He said as Pidge and Keith ripped Shiro’s hands off their eyes. Pidge grabbed her tablet and went over to Lance’s stuff and clothes that Hunk was holding. “First contact with an unknown enemy, that is impressive number three.”

“I’m not finding any tracking device,” Pidge said as she finished her scans. “Can we get a scan of the ship?”

“If anything was tampered on the ship, we would have known by know.” Allura said as she pulled visual of the docking bay. “Altean technology is so old at this point, anything modern would never work with our equipment.”

“Scan me, maybe he put something on me.” Lance said as he stood right next to Pidge.

“How would he get anything on you if your clothes are clean?” Keith asked.

“I said we were in a spa together Samurai, duh.” He said with an eye roll as Pidge began her scan.

“Is that supposed to mean something?” Keith asked with a glare, not liking being talked down to.

“You don’t stay fully dressed.” Lance answered.

“You got naked with a guy you don’t even know?” Pidge said accusingly. “You hussy.”

“I wasn’t naked, number one, and number two, I can get naked with whoever I want with their consent.” He shot back. “If you were all okay with it, I would drop my briefs and this blanket without hesitation.”

Keith opened his mouth but Shiro covered it with a side eye. Keith was sometimes too gay and thirsty for his own good. He looked back to Lance with a more concerned look. “Did he say anything to you Lance? If your instincts are right, maybe the Prince was a little to prying.”

“Yes,” Lance smiled, “he was really interested about my interest and family, and said that we should meet up some time, to ‘get to know each other better’.” He nodded as Pidge and Hunk looked at one another with knowing looks. “He wants to get me alone to learn more about Voltron.”

“You,” Pidge stood up and put her hands on her hips, “are the biggest flirt in the universe and you can’t tell when someone is flirting with you?”

“I think I know if someone is flirting with me.” Lance scoffed as Shiro raised his brow and glanced at Keith, who had flushed cheeks and a slight frown. “And this guy was totally just trying to get on my good side, he thinks that being nice to me and buying me some…amazing gifts will be enough to get me to blab about Voltron,” he laughed evilly. “He’s got another thing coming!”

“Maybe this poor Prince will become so depressed from Lance oblivion that he’ll take a break from it.” Pidge sighed as she began to put her stuff away and as Allura was going to hand back Lance clothes, his communicator began to go off. Everyone was stiff and worried as Lance was staring at his phone with shock and fear, looking to the others.

“Answer,” Allura encouraged as she led him over to a console, connecting the communicator to the large screen. “He will only see you but we will all see him.”

“What if I fuck it up?” Lance whispered as the others gathered at the screen, trying to keep out of view and Pidge setting up to be sure to scan to be sure they were not being tracked.

“I have total and unwavering faith in you.” Allura said with all seriousness and staring into Lance’s eyes.

“Not to mention we can portal to a new location and figure it out from there.” Coran added with a smile as Lance took a deep breath and looked at his communicator and nodded. The group looked up at the screen Allura had pulled up. Lance took a deep breath and smoothed back his hair before answering. He smiled when he saw that Lotor face wasn’t on screen, but some chest armor that looked very Galra.

“I can do this,” Lotor’s voice came through and Lance laughed when he caught a glimpse of whoever was trying to also get on screen. Lotor came on screen and smiled and Allura and Hunk gasped lightly and held each other’s hands, fingers intertwined. “Hello Lance.”

“Hi.” Lance smiled and waved lightly and Lotor chuckled and mimicked his movements. “Did you get back alright?”

“Oh…Uh yes I have.” He cleared his throat and blushed lightly. “I just…I was going to ask you the same thing to be honest.”

“Thanks,” Lance flushed lightly, “that’s really…nice.”

“I…” Lotor began, and ran his hands through his long white hair. “I was wondering…if…”

“Yes?” Lance asked, raising a brow because for the evil prince to an emperor, Lotor seemed to lack the confidence he had before. Lance caught Pidge holding up a large pad of paper, and in black marker she had written: ‘He’s gonna ask you out!?’ Lance shrugged and then looked back to the screen to see Lotor just looking at him. “What?”

“You…You’re very nice to look at is all.”

“Really?” Lance asked as Hunk tore the pad away from Pidge and quickly wrote out: ‘He’s hitting on you!’

“Lotor!” Everyone looked to the screen, Lance focused on his communicator when he saw a flash of orange pass the screen. Lotor easily dodged the attack, but had suddenly become very worried. “Lotor you have to trust us!”

“Declare the courting, verbally!” A louder feminine came through, being in low pitch and almost gravely. Lotor looked to try to be getting away from a group know. Lance snorted when he whipped around a corner and he was suddenly seeing down a hall of an obvious looking Galra cruise ship. “You must attack! No mate wants a submissive suitor.”

Shiro took the pad and held up: ‘Suitor! Mate!?’ Lance glanced over and blushed when Allura took the pad and held up it with the same worried mother look that Shiro had.

“Prince Lotor,” Another voice said and the phone jumped, “I can find us any romantic setting in this system and the next, just say the word.”

“Axca,” Lotor whispered as the phone was held to his chest.

“Uh…Lotor…” Lance said and the view came back to Lotor, who smiled nervously. “What’s this about…mates and suitors?’

Pidge took the pad: ‘He likes you stupid!’

Hunk took it next: ‘He thinks your beautiful.’

Coran took the pad: ‘Suggest a binding ceremony on Ren’s tenth moon!’

“Coran,” Allura and Shiro scolded him, and Cora slumpt forward so Keith could take the pad.

Keith quickly scribbled out: ‘Kill Lotor!’ He glared and Pidge rolled her eyes before taking back the pad.

“Nothing!” Lotor said quickly and he began to walk away, leaving behind a purple woman and a cloaked woman with her hood pulled up and tail swaying back and forth. A small cat was quick to follow. Lance glanced at the figures behind Lotor as he was walking away. “Do not mind my comrades, they do not know when to keep to themselves.”

“I get that,” Lance said, glancing up at the group.

Hunk held up the pad: ‘Rude.’ With Pidge and Keith nodding.

“Well, we don’t need to worry about the-” Lotor was cut off and Lance was suddenly looking at someone else. “Ezor!”

“Oh, he’s so cute!” Ezor smiled as she was running away with the phone. “Zethrid! Zethrid look at him,” she turned a corner and everyone was wide eyed at the site of the other Galra woman. They starred at Lance with big smiles. “I can see why he’s so crushing on you.” Ezor sang lightly and Zethrid laughed when Lance flushed red. “So, we have to do this fast-”

“Ezor!” Lotor’s voice yelled at them.

The woman laughed as she began running and the other larger woman following. She looked at the screen and winked, “Lotor mentioned your butt at least three times while telling us about you!”

Keith holds up the sign as high as he could: ‘KILL LOTOR!!!”’

Zethrid takes the communicator while she skids a corner; they vaguely see Ezor continue out of frame and Lotor behind her. “I can assure you, Lance from the Mall, Lotor is the most viable suitor and will defeat all others that get in his way!” She smiled and laughed when Axca snatched the communicator from her.

“I am sorry for this,” she said as Lance nodded. She smiled softly, “This must be strange, but…Prince Lotor is loyal, just, and kind when he needs to. He will never let you down, you will never have to fear to face another day without someone.” She said and Lance felt his face grow redder. Axca stood still, everything quiet. “He will stand by you, not matter what.”

“I don’t think I can agree with that,” Lance said softly. “He doesn’t even know me.”

“And yet here we all are,” she smiled and Lance couldn’t look at her, “He’s running around mad in search of you and you are on a communicator. He’s a mess, and I have never seen him so nervous.”

“Maybe it’s misplaced,” Lance suggested, not looking at them and not even his own team. “I’m nothing special…just…an average guy lost in space.”

“I think his interest is correct,” Axca smiled, looking over at a commotion coming up on her left. “I know Prince Lotor…there is nothing average about you Lance…and I have only spoken with you for ticks.”

Lance smiled shyly before the communicator was ripped away from her and Lotor came back on screen, flushed and his hair a mess before he ran his hands through. He smiled and Lance, Hunk, Allura, and even Shiro all blushed. “Sorry about them…they do not seem to know when to leave me in peace,” he said glaring at a group off screen.

Lance laughed and everyone else saw that Lotor made the softest look on his face in awe of the male’s laugh. Lance looked back at Lotor, who removed the look on his face and smiled, “I can’t wait to meet them…I bet we’d be fast friends, just to see that look on your face.”

Lotor chuckled, “I would enjoy seeing your little attempts.”

“Are you challenging me?” Lance teased as he stood up and smirked, ignorant of the group watching him. “You just wait pretty boy,” Lance smiled, “I’m gonna make you eat those words.”

“I await our next meeting then,” he said smoothly. Just as he finished an alarm went off on Lotor’s ship. “I will contact you again.” He smiled at him, “Be safe until then Lance.”

“You too.” He said with a wave as Lotor smiled and then the communications cut off. Lance continued to stare at the screen, his smile falling as he looked up to the others. “What?”

“Holy. Quiznak.” Pidge said, her glasses falling down her nose. “You woe’d your way into the heart of the Prince of Zarkon’s empire.”

“I feel like I’m going to throw up.” Lance said as he collapsed to the ground and curled up into the fetal position. “I think I like the Prince!?”

“What!?” Keith yelled with a glare.

“Yeah, what!?” Pidge second with the same look of disbelief. “This is literally the prince of Evil! How can you even like the prince of evil!?”

“He isn’t just evil…he’s…he’s kinda cool…and he we have so many similarities…and maybe we could-”

“If you say anything about turning him to the good side or changing him I’m gonna throw up!” Pidge yelled.

Lance glared at her, “Oh so we suddenly decide who is redeemable or not?”

“Yes!” Keith yelled.

“Well it’s not like it matters!” Lance said as he stood up and held his communicator to his chest. His face was red and his eyes were glossy eyed, “I’m a Paladin and I stand with you guys first. So, who cares if I like him?” He grabbed his basket of gifts and left the room with a sniffle.

“Lance,” Allura said sadly as she turned off the screen.

“You guys are mean.” Hunk said as Coran nodded as he slid over to stand behind Hunk.

“Us?” Keith asked with a glare.

“Yes.” Shiro added in. Pidge and Keith looked dumbfounded as Shiro crossed his arms over his chest. “We just…talked about this,” he sighed and clutched the bridge of his nose. Keith looked away, knowing that it was Shiro’s ‘I’m tired’ face. “Lance is looking for connection. He comes from a big family…a family that shared interests with one another,” he looked at the two, who still looked confused. “Okay…” Shiro said with a sigh and gave a soft smile, “All of us are very different from Lance,” he looks at everyone in the room. “We are used to working and enjoying time alone. We revel in just time with no one with us. Right?”

“How would I get anything done with everyone talking my ear off?” Pidge asked with her hands on her hips.

“And that is fair Pidge,” Shiro nodded.

“I like company,” Hunk raised his hand slightly. “But yeah…I just like being alone too…cooking and stuff.”

“I don’t mind company, I just don’t want them to bother me.” Keith said.

“There is nothing more calming then aligning the crystals for me…” Coran said with a smile.

 “I see your point Shiro,” Allura smiled as she nodded. “I can see that where we are more solitary where Lance is more of a pack creature, wanting constant reassurance of someone else, even if only in presence.” She said and Shiro was a little confused, but still getting that Allura understood him. “So, we must all rally together and spend every waking moment with Lance.”

“That is not what I am saying.” Shiro said lightly as Allura sighed lightly with a frown. “But you were on the right track,” he smiled and Allura smiled back with a new light in her eyes. “Maybe we should all put in some effort to spend more time with Lance.” He saw the three ready to defend themselves, “And I mean by that is doing the things Lance enjoys.” The three sighed and nodded at him. “Okay? Okay.”

“So…” Keith looked down at his feet, kicking up dust. “Does…. does he really like…like that Prince?”

“Is somebody jealous?” Pidge teased as she smirked at him.

“Ooooo,” Hunk jumped in with a big cat smile, “how could Keith compare to a Prince?”

“He’s the enemy!” Keith cut in with a sneer.

“Uh, did you see that guy?” Pidge pointed over her shoulder to where the screen once was. “Like did you look at his face? How could anyone not fall for that guy?”

Keith flushed red and looked away. Hunk thought for a second, “Huh…Lance sure has a thing for white haired aliens.”

“Please stop harassing Keith,” Allura said as she stood by Shiro. “Lance’s crushes are fair,” she smiled and threw her hair over her shoulder with a smug smile. “But, Lance knows that I will always be his care giver and motherly figure until someone rips him from my cold and dead hands.” She smiled brightly as everyone else in the room felt a sudden shift in the air. She clapped her hands together and leaned into Shiro, who was still stiff with slight fear. “I am glad that we are all going to put in some more effort into Lance.”

“Yeah…” Hunk nodded and he looked to Pidge and Keith, who glanced back at him. “I’m…I’m going to go…away…from here.”

“Same.” Pidge added

“Yes.” Keith nodded and the three quickly walked out.

“What I say?” Allura asked and looked to Shiro. He flushed and looked away, hoping that if they didn’t make eye contact he would get out of this question.

(Line Break)

Lance felt like his time at the space mall was like a weird lucid dream. His only real evidence of his travels were the various items now strewn about his room. Things that worked were placed into his collections of routines, where things that didn’t work were placed on shelves in hopes that maybe something for Shiro or Allura, who had been taking more time out of their lives as usual. It was nice, not to mention that he was able to see that one of the moisturizers made Allura’s skin all glittery and he had to give it to her. It made her smile for days. Not to mention that Shiro had been raving about the liner and had to show multiple times how effortless it was.

Lance was sitting on his bed, putting his shoes to get ready and make his usual rounds. Things had been tense since the discovery of the Prince of the Empire and new distress calls picked up about Galra efforts to invade alliance planets and then rumors of spotting a Galra like ship but never any ties to other Galra fleets. Lance knew it was Lotor, it had to be him. Lance didn’t try to think about what he was doing, who he was with…what he must be thinking? Lance felt himself flush as he looked down at his feet giving his toes a wiggle in his socks. It wasn’t safe to linger on his thoughts about the glara he had met in a salon. Lance felt his face flush when he got the image of Lotor in his face mask looking up at the ceiling, almost getting ready to open up to him.

Lance liked to think that the connection they had was so strong, that Lotor wanted to tell him everything because he knew that Lance would understand.

A part of Lance wanted the chance to understand.

And another part of him feared that maybe it was all fake…all in his imagination because he was so desperate to connect with someone.

It’s not like Lotor had called since.

Just as Lance was going to put his shoes on, his door slid open and Pidge was standing in the doorway. Lance smiled as he put his shoe on, “You heard of knocking? I could have been naked in here.”

“What is with you and not wearing clothes so openly?” Pidge asked with a look of disgust as she held her laptop in her hands.

“I can be naked in my room.” Lance shot back as he stood up and tapped his toes on the ground to fit into his shoes better. “I was just about to head over and see what you were up too Pidge.” He smiled as he put one hand on his hip and gave a small salute. “Heard that you have some amazing upgrades for her Majesty, and her royal-ness loves to be preened.” He laughed.

 Pidge smiled brightly, “I am so glad that you were ready to see the amazing new programs I have mapped out…” she began while fixing her glasses but then she looked over to behind Lance where she all his stuff. She looked back at Lance, who caught her looking past him. “Actually…” she looked at her laptop, “I have everything on here, so we can go through them here.” She walked into the room, slipping off her shoes before walking over to a spot to sit on the ground near all his supplies. Lance was surprised as the door closed and he slipped off his shoes. He walked over to Pidge and sat down by her. “So…I mean, it doesn’t mean that it’s the only thing we have to focus on…”

“Okay…” Lance crossed his legs and put his hands on his knees. “So…what are the upgrades? Usually,” he smiled, “you walk me through it while Hunk is helping you build in the code…and then us running when Shiro finds out.” He laughed as Pidge laughed too. “But you running through the coding with me will be cool too.”

Pidge smiled and then looked over to counter top covered in selection of items. “Yeah…hey…I…uh…” she looked down at her laptop and then began to tap on the keys but not pushing down. “I don’t know make-up…” she started with her cheeks burning a bright red as she felt sharp blue eyes looking at her. “And it’s not like I avoided it…I just never…had the time with my searching…and then Voltron…” she put her laptop on the ground and then clamped her hands on her ankles. “Can…you help me?”

Lance continued to stare at her with wide eyes and she glanced up at him and felt even more embarrassed when she saw the smile pull at his lips. “This is good,” he said and Pidge perked up, “I can finally do something about your dry skin.”

“Okay, alright, I tried!” She turned red and was ready to stand up with Lance laughing and grabbing onto her. “No, this was stupid.”

“I’m sorry.” Lance kept saying over and over with laughter and Pidge sat back down with a huff. “I’m sorry that was a cheap shot.” He smiled and gently grabbed her chin and lifted her head up. He gave it a few soft turns as to inspect her face. “Okay…how often do you wash your face?”

“Every night!” She said excitedly.

“And what do you use?” He smiled brightly with new found hope that his friends weren’t messes.

“Soap.” She piped in with a smile.

“Yeah, I know that, what kind?” He asked.

“Uh…it’s a bar…smells like…soap.” She answered, her smile falling lightly when Lance looked at her with confusion.

“You…you just use regular bars of soap…like the one that you shower with?”

“Not the same bar…two different bars.” Pidge defended as she leaned forward. “So…how bad is it?” She said jokingly.

“Just a little dry,” he said with seriousness, running his thumbs over her cheeks and then forehead. Pidge fixed her glasses when Lance got up and walked over to a different shelf, one that was across from his bed. He grabbed a long thin bottle filled with orange liquid. He gave the bottle a swirl and then he put it back and grabbed a stout bottle with yellow cream. He smiled and came back over, sliding onto his knees holding out the bottle. “Check it,” he opened the bottle and showed her the thick cream of the bottle. “I want you to use this every other night if you can. Just at night, before bed, and it’ll make sure to re hydrate. But not too much,” he warned while closing the jar, “it gives you crazy oily skin, trust me that will be hard to reverse.” He said while touching his forehead in horrid memory of the first night he tried the cream himself. And he was already an oily mess so it was the worst. Pidge took the jar and held it in her hands. “Now…” he smiled evilly, “what will I teach my young Padawan.”

“Just the basics…the most basic basics.” She said with a nervous smile. “Like…what each thing does or supposed to do.”

“Oh gosh this is gonna be a great day.” He clapped his hands together and Pidge smiled while watching Lance grabbing product and already talking a mile an hour.

She felt a warmth in her stomach.

And for a whole afternoon Lance wasn’t thinking about Lotor, or trying not to think about him, but lost in a craft that he had learned from his family. Lance didn’t want to ruin the learning moment because when he watched Pidge sniffing some face powder, he saw Emily, who was always more concerned about wearing good smelling make up then good quality. He smiled softly when Pidge dipped her fingers in the setting powder. It made him smile as he watched Pidge then went to smelling the primer.

Hunk came into the room holding onto a tray of cookies and Lance yelling when Pidge turned her head and caused him to smudge some cream contour on her chin. He smiled when Pidge was on him, her face still pre-blended while she was picking up cookies. Hunk laughed as he walked over to lead Pidge back to Lance, who was holding a blender and a contour stick. “Did I make it for the make-up revolution?”

“I’m just enhancing Pidge’s beauty.” Lance said with a smile as he went to blend out the lines.

“Yeah, so buzz off Hunk,” Pidge said with her nose in the air and a smug smile. “This is Lidge time.”

“Excuse me?” Hunk asked with offence. “I come in here with cookies that you nearly maul me for.” He pointed to the sheet that he set down. “So, I think Hance deserves a chance.” He smiled and in perfect sync him and Lance hi-five for the rhyme.

“You want a make-over?” Lance asked with a raised brow, but never taking his eyes off of Pidge as he began to add in concealer and setting powder.

“I could actually could go for a haircut?” Hunk asked with a small smile as Lance huffed in laughter. “It’s been forever and its getting a little long for me.”

“Of course,” Lance smiled as he finished up all the countering and then held up a mirror to Pidge. He smiled when he saw her shocked face and her defined features. “And this is when the mirror says. ‘You’re the fairest maiden in all the lands.’” He recited as Pidge blushed under a layer of foundation and put the mirror down. “How was that for lesson one, the base?”

“Thanks Lance,” Pidge said, getting ready to touch her face but then put her face back down on her lap. “This is…this has been really fun…to listen to you.” She smiled and Lance smiled back so softly that it made her blush hotter. “I mean…my face feels heavy…but I really want to get into all those colors you have.”

“Oooo Pidge,” he wiggled a bit and looked to be vibrating in excitement. “Me too.”

“Okay, Hunk hair time!” Hunk declared as he sprawled out on Lance’s lap and the three laughed.

Until they heard Lance’s communicator go off.

Without warning, Lance sprung out from under Hunk to grab the communicator off the countertop. He stood there, staring at the device in his hands and knowing the transmission code by heart. Lance could recite the code in his sleep. Hunk and Pidge watched with wide eyes, wondering what Lance was doing. Lance began to shake and placed the communicator away from him and had his hands on the countertop. “Sorry,” he spun back around with a big smile, the device still going off. “Wrong number-”

“It’s him, isn’t it.” Pidge glared. “Can’t you block codes on that thing? He could be trying to track us.”

“Pidge…” Hunk began.

“It’s nobody…” Lance said as he rubbed his shoulder and looked at the ground. “Come on,” he smiled up at them, “I gotta give Hunk his hair cut before he ends up looking like Keith…and then I can teach you how to wash all that stuff off-”

“If you want to talk to your stupid traitor boyfriend then just do it!” Pidge stood up with a glare and her eyes getting watery. “It’s not like you even like being around us since you met him! Always just hanging out in your room looking at all his stupid gifts! You’ve dieing for him to call you anyway.” She grabbed her laptop and stormed off while using her sleeve to wipe her eyes and in turn smudging everything. They both heard her yell and curse before the door closed.

Hunk looked over to Lance, who looked at the wall with guilt and shame. He crossed his arms over his chest. The communicator finally gave two last rings before going silent. “Lance?”

“She’s right…” Lance said as he looked at the bottles lining the shelves. “He’s trying to track us…it wouldn’t take the Prince of the Galra to figure out who I was. The first earthling in space, and in giant robot cats…it’s not that hard to figure it out.” He looked to Hunk. “I’ll have Coran wipe the device. But first,” he smiled and put his hands on his hips, “You asked for a haircut, so a haircut you will get.” Hunk was about to say something, but the way Lance rushed to a kit he got from a planet they had liberated as a gift from the people, he could guess that Lance didn’t want to talk about what had happened. Nor did he want to be comforted by him now. Hunk followed him to the communal bathroom where they all got ready and spent ruff after missions all taking up the hot water and groaning in relief from sore muscles. Lance was talking but it seemed that he was trying very hard to avoid anything that had to do with the salon and what had just happened.

So. Hunk let it be.

After the haircut, Lance and Hunk parted ways, both knowing that Lance was going to go back into his room and Hunk was going to get some training done, neither speaking when Hunk knew Lance needed to let something out. Lance let out a deep breath as the door closed behind him and leaned back against the door. His eyes were locked on the communicator on the dresser and with only a few seconds, he charged forward to it and saw that there was a video message left for him. Lance pushed play.

“Hello Lance,” Lotor waved as he looked to be seated in a ship pilot sheet and smiled. “It has been a while…I apologies for the wait but I have been so busy.” He laughed as he looked to ahead. “I was hoping…I would think it would be nice to see one another again…in person…or call because you must be busy…because you missed this call…obviously.” He said with a nervous smile and then cleared his throat. “Please call me when you can and maybe…we can meet again.” He flushed lightly, not looking at the camera that set to the side. “I’ve missed you Lance…I’d like to speak with you again.” He smiled softly. He reached out and hit the button on the communicator.

The call ended and Lance was red as he felt tears pool in his eyes.

“It’s not real.” He whispered to himself and put the communicator back down. He looked over to the mirror on his wall and glared. “It’s not fucking real.” He nodded and wiped his eyes. He snatched it back up with a glare, ready to make his way to Coran, but when he opened the door, he was surprised to see Keith standing there with his fist raised up ready to knock on the door. Lance quickly wiped his eyes, “What’s up Samurai,” he smirked as he leaned against the door way, ignoring that his eyes must still be red, “You lookin’ for some competition in the ring?”  

Keith wasn’t very good with reading casual situations. Shiro was usually in charge of keeping him in line. He shifted on his feet and squares his shoulders. “I want to be sure you are happy. Are you?”

Lance straightened his posture as he looked at Keith, his expression a mix between sadness and confusion. It looked like he was trying to keep in something that was trying to burst past his lips. “No…No I’m not.” He began with his voice cracking and he crossed his arms tighter across his chest, trying very much to keep a distance between the two. “I’m…likable…right?” He asked lightly as he looked down at his feet, sniffling and wiping his nose.

“I’m pretty sure that people like you. Hunk and Coran always say nice things about you. Shiro and Allura like you. Pidge is hard to read, but I assume because she talks about you and misses you.”

“I mean like-likeable Keith.” Lance said as he looked at him. Keith staring into deep blue eyes was almost enough to make him turn ash white. “I must not be right…” he laughed as he turned and walked into his room. Keith followed before the door closed on him. “There is no way that I am. I was just tricked because Lotor is after Voltron. It was all a trick.”

“I think you are,” Keith said as Lance slumped down and sat on the floor with his back against his bed. Keith slowly sat down by him, keeping distance as to not make Lance uncomfortable. “You’re tall, an okay shot,” he smiled when Lance snorted. “You have nice hair. Your eyes are blue. You make almost everyone on the ship laugh. You take a bunch of time out of our day to hang out with all of us even though you don’t have to.”

“I’m also just so fuckin beautiful,” he laughed and rubbed his eyes. Keith chuckled and smiled at him, Lance looking at him with a soft smile.

“You are.”

Lance blushed and looked down at his crossed legs. He looked back at Keith, and just looked at him with a gaze that Keith couldn’t understand. It made his neck and ears grow hot because Lance has never looked at Keith like that and it gave his goosebumps. Lance opened his mouth slightly. Keith swallowed that lump in his throat. “Your skin his greasy.”

Keith deflated as Lance laughed. “Thanks?”

“I’m going to fix that,” Lance said as he stood up and went over to one of the shelves of product. “I can’t stand it now that I noticed and, trust me, I’m doing you a favor too.” He said as he looked through each bottle. Keith was about to shoot back that he didn’t come here to be catered to, but the way Lance was talking about all his products, he figured it was for the best that Lance be able to not think about it for a bit. He took a deep breath and sat straight as Lance came back over with a jar of pink stuff. Lance sat down in front of him. “I gotta use my hands to be precise cause this stuff can be really drying and I only a few real problem areas.”

“That’s cool.” Keith said and was relatively fine, until Lance fingers were on her face, spreading a thick clay on his face. It was weird to have to stare at Lance, who was staring at him but not focused on him. Keith knew Lance was passionate about certain things and he thought that all this stuff would fall under that category, but Lance looked like it was second nature. When he was in the training room, it was a different Lance, one that pushed and pushed to be better and better. This Lance was just…enjoying the procedure of it all. “I think you’re amazing Lance.”

“What?” Lance looked at him with confusion.

Keith flushed. “Just that…you’re super likeable and stuff.”

“Oh…thanks man,” Lance smiled and finished up putting the clay on his face. “Now you let that dry on your face.” He said as he lightly touched his neck were Lance had not put the clay on his face. Lance quickly decided to do his own using the same jar but putting the clay on, but only on specific parts of his face. Lance let out a sigh in relief, leaning back against the bed and slouching down so that he could lie his head back on the mattress. Keith followed suit and closed his eyes.

“This is…kind of nice.” Keith said, peeking one eye open and turning his head slightly to see Lance.

“I used to do this with my sister,” Lance said with a blissful smile, his eyes still closed. Keith closed his eyes and tried to feel what Lance was feeling. “She would tell me all about her day, she oversaw accounting in the Garrison recruiting/training grounds.” He laughed, “She…she’s actually the only reason I think I got in… even helped buy my ticket into the US.”

“She sounds amazing.”

“I can’t wait to introduce to you guys to my family,” Lance smiled bigger. Keith opened his eyes and sat up to look at him. Lance had big smiles, whenever he mad dumb jokes, hit on girls, or just being full of himself, the one that Keith saw…it was different. It was a face he’d never see Lance make…not even in the Castle. “I can take you guys on a tour of the beach, we can visit the pizza shack, catch some surfing. Then, we’ll have the biggest family dinner ever.”

“I wouldn’t think you want us to get in the way of your family and reunion.”

“Keith,” Lance said softly as he opened his eyes and looked to him with that big new smile, “It wouldn’t be a family dinner without you guys.”

Keith was stuck still and his eyes softened, “We’re your family?”

“Duh,” Lance laughed, his clay masking cracking. “You’re running your mask with your stupid smile.”

“My stupid smile.” Keith scoffed, now aware of the smile on his face. He sat up and glared playfully, not able to get of the smile on his face. “Have you seen your face?”

“Every morning and on any reflective surface I can find samurai,” Lance shot back, sitting up and leaning forward. “You think anyone can keep their eyes off this perfection?”

“It is pretty hard, sharpshooter.” Keith smirked.

“You’re not too bad yourself samurai,” Lance smirked and leaned in closer. Keith followed. “Maybe if you took better care of your hair and complexion, you might be as good looking as me.”

Keith leaned in, both of them getting far too close to one another, “Then I guess I have to follow your command then.”

“Me? Commanding you?” Lance laughed. “You shouldn’t give me that kind of power Keith.”

“Lance.”

“Stop it!” The two jumped and then were pinned to the ground with Pidge on top of them. “You two were being gross and I don’t like it.”

“Pidge,” Lance began, trying to keep his face off the ground. “Did you wash your face?”

“I’m sorry Lance.” Pidge got back up and he propped himself up and looked at her with a raised brow. “I was mean to you because I don’t want the Prince of evil to steal you away with his awesome face and hair.” She smiled. “And I did wash my face.”

“I’m proud of you Pidge.” He sat back up.

“You aren’t mad at me?” She asked with wide eyes. Keith also watching. Lance was always mad at him, why not Pidge?

“I’m still kind of hurt, but we’re a team…and you’re my family too.” He smiled and Keith and Pidge both blushed.

“And that means that Pidge reclaims her time and Keith has to go!” She shouted and began to drag Keith out. He was quick to try and get out of her grip “This was a Pidge day so Keith can fuck off!”

“Hunk runs in for the steal!” Hunk slid into the room and posed. “Lance, let’s go to the kitchen and make cakes until we make Shiro cracks!”

“No!” Keith was clawing at the ground. “Lance was going to kiss me! We should do that Lance! Lets do that!”

“Lance was going to spend time with his favorite Paladin! We were bounding! I bet I could cradle him in my arms and he would remember!” Pidge cackled

“I’m going to throw you into that Altean Pool!” Keith yelled and was now trying to grab Pidge, who was still man-handling Keith by his leg. Hunk quickly tried to pull Pidge off, by she held on tight and in turned, Hunk pulled Pidge to drag Keith around. Lance burst out into a fit of laughter.

Missing the next call and message left by his spa day companion.