“So.” Iverson mumbles out to Keith, “Aliens are real?”
Keith, who is sitting cross legged in the middle of the main deck, hums in response.
Keith has his eyes closed, back straight and shoulders relaxed, just simply happy to be sitting around in the deck of the castleship. Iverson is watching the two aliens he just met go over the bits and fragments of what they apparently remembered of Iverson’s cadets.
“Really real? Not just Commander Holt’s daydreams?”
Keith snorts, “Real enough that I’m half of one.”
Iverson stiffens and yanks back, nearly twisting out of the chair they pulled up for him. “What!?”
“Oh. Oh yeah, forgot you didn’t know that.”
“You are what?! How!? Where!?” Iverson is looking over Keith, panicked at the prospect of genes misaligning, or worse, Keith being a danger to the team that was currently out at the moment getting the other lions.
“Half Galra, literally everyone already knows, I’ve already gone through it once and it's not happening again.” Keith finally looks a touch uncomfortable, shoulders stiffening.
Iverson realises he’s picked a sore spot, found the thing that Keith doesn't like to talk about. He curses himself, having actual training in recognizing people’s tells and such to keep the classroom as comfortable as possible, to pick out the signs of abuse in children and help them be referred to the counselors. Sure, Iverson knew about the sore spots, knew how to confront them and when to push and when not to, but he was no counselor by any stretch of the imagination. In the training it very specifically told the group of teachers that they shouldn't try and be the child’s psychologist, because teachers were not in the place to be psychologists.
“Any benefits?” Iverson asks, trying to look on the bright side.
Keith actually laughs, a snort in his throat. “I’m able to open doors.” Keith flashes his palm to Iverson, showing a regular looking human hand.
“A skeleton key huh? A nifty skill.” Iverson nods at the student, voice fake serious and back straight. “Able to open any door they come across, have you considered your superhero name to be ‘Open Sesame’?”
Keith is a giggling machine now, knees pulled up to his chest and wiggling as Iverson goes onto explain silly little exploits and spinning wild tales about Keith’s “superpower.”
Pidge and Shiro board the ship to find Allura, Coran and Keith all laughing in the main living area as Iverson is telling a tale about himself moving from Scotland to America and having to deal with people ragging on his accent.
Allura talks about her own accent mixups, how sometimes words on one planet mean a totally different thing or don't translate well. This gets Coran started on once he was exploring a planet full of Glarnazes and the translator didn't work at all and he actually had to attempt to speak with only gurgling.
Shiro sits down at the circle now, leans into the back of the couch and pulls a blanket over himself, and launches into his first week in America.
“Oh I know this story.” Iverson laughs, “An interesting day in the breakroom after that incident that's for sure.”
“I want to hear this!” Allura claps her hands and pulls her own blanket tighter across her shoulders. “We never get to hear embarrassing Shiro moments!”
“Because Shiro’s the most adult of all of us. He’s very good at covering his tracks.” Pidge smirks as they steal some of Keith’s blankets and pillows and shove themselves against Keith’s very warm side. Keith allows them, because Pidge is a sneaky son of a bitch and always has a way to get what they want. (Keith will never admit aloud he loves to cuddle, but he has a sneaking suspicion that everyone already knows this and adjusts for his lack of communication skills.)
“It was my third day at the Garrison, and I was still adjusting to english all the time, it was two years before I met Keith and everyone didn’t really know what was going on and who was who and where we fit.”
“Well, I had an old sleep shirt from my father, a comfortable one that was well worn and smelt like home. I was wearing it to bed and the fire alarm went off.”
“So all the students are all being led out the dorms and onto the front yard, and everyone is staring at me. I’m not actually really mindful of them, they stared at me a lot because I was the full ride student and all. It was only until I caught the whispering that I knew something was wrong.”
“Then Mitch, working as a TA at the time, came over and kindly informed me that my old sleepshirt had the words ‘Titty Milk Bitch’ written across my chest in faded purple cursive glitter.”
The whole room is laughing, Shiro’s ears are red but otherwise he’s laughing as well. It's a story he’s long since grown to enjoy as well, a simple oversight that was actually pretty funny in hindsight.
Keith was actually having trouble breathing he was laughing so hard. Pidge was giggle snorting into Keith’s side. Allura and Coran were trying not to actually show how hard they were actually laughing, but failing miserably.
Lance and Hunk pull in, both in their Lions and both groaning against minor bumps and bangs that occurred in the retrieval of the yellow lion.
“Coran! Do you not remember what we told you ‘peaceful’ meant? Jesus.” Lance groans as he throws himself in Shiro’s lap, torso wiggling perfectly in the space Shiro’s legs made and legs flinging out to be in Hunk’s lap.
“Well number three, I only remember about a quarter of our time together previously so it might have honestly slipped my mind!”
“Ugh.” Lance groans loudly. “Yeah Yeah I get it, you only remember because Voltron was in front of you at the time and all this science stuff we don’t need to go over again. What was everyone giggling at when we walked in?”
“The time Pidge got swindled by that one planet because they had ‘peanut butter’.” Keith says quickly before the little gremlin can silence him.
“How was I meant to know that they had a creature named peanut!” Pidge says in their own defense. “It was a honest mistake!”
“The things were thirty feet tall Pidge!” Hunk uses a throw pillow to cover Lance’s legs so he can rest his elbows on them.
“None of us knew that at the time!” Pidge is using Keith as a pillar now, “The things were fucking forty feet tall!”
“You were gonna be eaten by them!” Lance remembers, “Sacrificed by being submerged in oils!”
Pidge looks furious for a moment, before smiling. A grin across their features like a cat getting the canary.
“Lance.” The name was said in a tone colder than a black hole. “Do you want to bring up one of your misunderstandings.”
Lance turns pale under his tan. The paladins all are gigging under their breath, they know what Pidge is talking about. Allura looks lost, and Coran looks interested. Iverson does actually want to hear all about it, so Iverson tells Pidge that he wants to hear it.
Lance begs, but Pidge just smiles and begins to tell the tale.
Lance is curled into Shiro’s lap so tightly that Shiro was using his back as a rest for his elbows. Lance is also admitting a high pitched frequency that was only audible to dogs.
Hunk and Pidge were acting out the final parts, where the heir to a planet was hanging by a rope bridge over a vat of Acid along with the heir’s precious jewelry set that they had thought Lance had stolen.
Keith is laughing so hard he’s rolled onto Coran and the two of them were using each other as support. Allura already was crying she was laughing so hard.
Iverson had already given up trying to have composure when Pidge had begun to impersonate Lance’s flirting. Iverson was holding a pillow to his face, trying to curb in the laughter.
“No! My unborn children!” Hunk was saying in a falsetto as he was pretending to hang off the couch. “The gemstones hosts their eggs!”
“Then why did you demand us to eat them!” Pidge called back.
“You wanted a union!” Hunk cried, batting his eyelashes. “It's the highest honor!”
“You wanted me to have your children!?” Pidge is using their ‘Lance Voice’ they had pulled out in the beginning.
Lance whines higher, remembering how he had to deal with keeping his coms on as the entire thing played out so his teammates could rescue him. Shiro was petting the back of Lance’s head, laughing as Lance just curls tighter into himself.
The story goes on, and Lance gets into parts he thinks Pidge and Hunk don’t do justice, even Keith adds a few lines here and there. Shiro for the most part stays out of it, allowing the younger team members to get into memory lane.
It's a good bonding moment between them all, and Iverson can really see how his cadets have grown before his very eyes, sees the confidence and the experience they have.
Iverson is proud of his cadets, and for a moment it catches him. To see that this is the result of his teachings and this is what his students can accomplish. It's the greatest sense a teacher could get from it all, and Iverson watches as Lance and Keith begin to play fight, wrestling amongst blankets to Pidge and Hunk chanting in the background. Iverson see’s the relaxed ease in which this team comes together and relaxes into itself. Allura is holding onto Coran, who is helping to make the motions of the acid oceans with Shiro.
Iverson watches them move seamlessly with each other and that's something he’s proud of.
And then the castle beeps to inform them that the red lion’s within reach, and the team shows its connection by moving as one, each of them knowing the others movement already, a voiceless kind of communication that can be conveyed by glances and taps.
Iverson and Coran head to the bridge, both of them walk side by side.
Iverson is reminded of the Alien conversation now the conversation with Keith that started the impromptu story hour with everyone. Iverson looks at the markings on Coran that glow ever so slightly in the darkened hallways to the bridge.
Coran notices Iverson looking, and a smile crinkles the markings up. “You were looking very fondly at the team there.” He remarks, the lilt in his voice knowing.
“I still see them as my students, most of them, so seeing them succeed makes me happy.”
“I don’t remember a lot about them.” Coran admits, scratching his head. “The wave hit Voltron, and everything behind it was semi protected for an instant. I happened to be lucky. Allura was more protected by Voltron’s energy than I was. I remember them most as children, young and scared and unknowing of their place. Seeing them act like this, It makes me just as happy.”
Iverson takes a moment, to appreciate Coran on this ship, about the same age and about the same role. About the same memories of the children and about the same feeling towards them.
Iverson understands the alien in this instance, and follows Coran easily.
They reach the bridge, Allura already standing tall with her hands up and manipulating the computers.
Coran moves forward, towards the nose of the ship, and brings Iverson with him.
“I’ll tell you the plan.” Coran reaches to the console, bringing up his own computer screens.
Iverson nods, and leans in closer to help as best he can.