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Abduction

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Lance had always been that kid that was just a little bit too interested in space. Meeting Aliens and flying in the coolest space ships was his dream ever since he’d looked up into the night sky, so becoming a Paladin of Voltron was a literal dream come true. It was something that seemed like it would only ever happen to people in comic books and movies, but somehow it happened to him. And everyone else too.

His first experience meeting aliens hadn’t gone so badly either, maybe he was a little offended that Allura called his ears hideous, but apart from that it was definitely leagues above meeting the Galra. Every other alien species they’d encountered so far had been weird, but never like what the horror stories back home made them out to be. Mostly it was just boring diplomatic discussions and planning to stop the Galra, which wasn’t as interesting to Lance.

They’d also never managed to fulfil any of Earth’s preconceived ideas on what an alien would look like. So, when Lance woke up surrounded by small green men with big heads and dark, round eyes, he was shocked to say the least. Especially shocked because he was no longer in his room in the Castle of Lions, but instead lying on what felt like a cold, metal table.

The little green aliens shuffled around him, so focused on their tasks that none of them even stopped to look at Lance as he squirmed around on the table. Lance pulled at his wrists only to find them bound to the table, which only added to his growing panic.

“Uh...hey? Someone wanna tell me what’s going on right now?” Lance said, still pulling at his wrists and trying to force himself off the table.

The alien closest to him quickly glanced at him and then back down at the tablet it was quickly typing commands into without a pause. Suddenly a bright light was being shone directly into Lance’s face, making him yelp and shut his eyes at the brightness. He could see the light spots floating across his eyelids and he tried to shrink back from the hot light on his face.

Suddenly, the light was gone again. He blinked open his eyes and glanced around only to see the familiar walls of his own room again. He sat up to find he was still lying in his bed just like he had been before, and there wasn’t a little green alien anywhere in sight. His hands came up to scrub at his eyes and rub his temple. Just a dream? It felt too real to be just a dream, but he was still in bed so what proof did he have to say otherwise.

He thought of all the crazy stories he’d heard back home, people being abducted and coming home with weird markings or strange scars but that had to be fake, right? He pulled up his sleeves, no marks here, rolled up his pants, same as always, lifted his shirt, nothing new here. Except for that faint scar. Wait.

“What the hell?” Lane muttered, pulling his shirt up more and curling into himself to take a closer look at the faint line that was not there last night. It sat just above the waist of his pants and was only around 3 inches in length. The line was so thin and faded that it looked like an old scar that had already healed years ago, yet he had no memory of it being there before.

Oh my god I was abducted by aliens, is the first thing he can think of before throwing himself out of bed and onto his feet. He’s a little wobbly, but that might’ve just been because he jumped out of bed too fast, or maybe it’s because he was abducted by freaking aliens! Little green men!

He doesn’t even put his slippers or his robe on before running out the door to find the first person that will listen to him. He’s not even sure what time it is, everyone might still be asleep. Except for the one person who never slept. Pidge.

He makes a beeline straight to her room, he knows she’ll be there sitting in bed with her laptop open, probably running some kind of scanner. As soon as he reaches her room he doesn’t even bother knocking, just presses the buttons on the control panel to open the door up.

“Pidge! Pidge!” Lance yells, stumbling through the door while it’s still opening.

“Ahh! Lance, what the hell are you doing in my room?!” Pidge jerks at the loud intrusion, “it’s like 5am Lance!”

That solves the mystery of what it was time was then.

“I think I was abducted by aliens!” he sputters out frantically.

It’s quiet for a second, he’s waiting for her to say something when he sees her eyebrows crease and her mouth pull into a tight line.

“Don’t you usually bother Hunk when you have bad dreams?” She asks, sounding more annoyed than concerned like Lance was hoping.

“But it wasn’t a dream! It felt real and there were tiny green men and bright lights and-”

“Oh my god, are you sure you didn’t just fall asleep watching an old sci-fi movie or something?”

“Yes, Pidge, I know what happened, okay!?” Lance crosses his arms at her dismissal “I know the difference between what’s real and what’s fake, okay? And this totally happened!”

“Lance…” Pidge just groans, sliding further under her sheets.

“I’ve even got a scar to prove it!” He says triumphantly.
“Oh yeah?” Pidge says, uninterested now and looking at her laptop again.

“Yeah!” He says stepping over the piles of junk to stand near her bed. “Look!” he says as he yanks up the hem of his shirt to show off the thin line he found before.

Pidge slowly turns towards him giving him an annoyed stare before looking at the scar he was pointing at.

“That looks way too old, didn’t you say this just happened?”

“Yeah, but I’ve never seen that scar before. It’s new! Maybe they just used their alien technology to heal it?”

“You sure you didn’t get, like, your appendix removed when you were a kid or something?” she shrugs.

“I would remember something like that!”

She’s got that smug look on her face, the one she makes when she knows she’s pissing you off, but you have nothing to throw back at her.

“You didn’t eat too many of Hunk’s desserts before bed last night, did you? You know too many sweets can give you bad dreams” She laughs.

“Ugh, fine forget it. But when you get abducted by aliens don’t say I didn’t warn you!” Lance grumbles before marching out of her room. The door shuts behind him with a mechanic slide, and he’s left in the quiet corridor. Just a dream, He knows what dreams are like and that wasn’t a dream. Was it?

Lance sighs to himself, going to Pidge might not have been the best idea. There are other people that would have taken him more seriously. He starts to walk back to his room, it’s too early to get up just yet but he doesn’t think he could get back to sleep if he tried. He decides to have a shower instead.

He walks straight past his bed even though half the sheets are on the floor and goes into the bathroom that joins his room. He turns the shower on nice and hot, so the steam fills the room. He would prefer a bath when he’s this stressed, but unfortunately Altean’s don’t seem to take baths so he’s stuck with a shower instead.

The hot water feels good against his skin and helps relieve some of the tension in his muscles, but now that he’s completely naked he can’t help but staring at the new scar. He traces the length of it up and back with his fingers. He pinches the skin between his fingers and winces at the sharp pain that he feels, like the inside of the scar is still tender and healing.
He tries to ignore it and focus on washing his hair and face, but his mind keeps wandering back to what he saw. It sounds completely crazy, he knows it does, but he has to believe it’s real because it’s the only way he can explain everything at once. He finishes up in the shower, only taking a little longer than usual thanks to the amount of time he spent standing under the spray inspecting his body and the scar.

Lance decides to spend a little more time on his skin care routine today to try take his mind off the night. He pulls out one of his nice sheet masks and decides now is a great time to indulge himself with a little pampering, he deserves it. He spends the next few hours distracting himself by taking care of his skin, doing a thorough teeth brushing, and doing his hair.

Lance developed a detailed skin care and personal hygiene routine thanks to his sisters who liked to invite him to join them when they did face masks together. At first it was a joke to both sides involved, but eventually turned into a weekend ritual they did together to complain about the week and chat together. It’s something he misses doing a lot, so every time he goes through his routine he thinks of home. He hopes they think of him too.

He finally checks the clock and finds he’s somehow 15 minutes late to breakfast. When he walks into the dining room where they usually meet for breakfast everyone is already sitting at the table eating a serving of food goo. Lance walks straight to his seat where a bowl is already waiting for him, probably Hunk or Coran making him one when they realised he was late.

“Hey Lance” Hunk greets with a smile between bites of his goo.

“Morning” Lance says as a general greeting to everyone before sitting down.

“So, Lance…” Pidge starts and already Lance is on edge. “No more unexpected guests last night?”

Lance sighs as everyone turns their heads towards their conversation curiously.

“Forget it, Pidge, I’m sorry I ever bothered you” Lance says, hoping to kill the conversation before it can begin.

“What’s this about?” Shiro asks, quirking his eyebrow towards the two of them. Of course, Shiro would ask, reliable leader of team Voltron as he is.

“Oh, Lance didn’t tell you?” Pidge’s smirk is reaching villainous levels, she knows what she’s doing. “Lance was abducted by little green aliens last night.”

It’s quiet again, just like when Lance had told Pidge that night.

“Like for real?” Hunk says turning to look at Lance.
“Yeah, apparently there were bright lights and everything, probably a crop circle as well. Has anyone checked with Kaltenecker today?” Pidge interrupts.

“Shut up Pidge” Lance grumbles, sinking into his chair.

“Did you have a nightmare, Lance?” Shiro asks in his most concerned-leader voice.

“Ugh, no. I mean- I don’t know.” Lance is hiding behind his hands now. “Look I woke up last night and I was stuck to a table surrounded by all these little aliens that were running around doing stuff and then a super bright light was shone in my face when I asked what was going on and then I woke up in bed, okay? It felt real to me.”

“Well, sometimes dreams can seem very real, but you don’t have to be afraid of them.” Shiro says, leaning around Hunk to look at Lance reassuringly. “We’re always here if you need to talk.”

“It’s fine, I’m not afraid.”

“Could have fooled me with the way you barged into my room at 5 in the morning.” Pidge interrupts, again.

“You were the only person I knew wouldn’t be asleep that early, maybe if you weren’t so nocturnal I would have left you alone” Lance says, scrunching his face up at her.

“And the next time the aliens visit I’ll let you know they’re coming” Pidge teases.

“Oh, cause you’re on such good terms because you’re both green and short, right?” Lance spits back.

“At least I don’t come crying to the next person when I have bad dreams!” Pidge yells, face falling from teasing into real anger.

“Alright, enough you two!” Shiro says sternly, cutting Lance off before he can argue back at Pidge. He crosses his arms and turns away from them.

“I expect everyone to be able to work as a team and respect each other’s feelings. I need you two to put this behind you and move on, alright? We have more important things to worry about than petty arguments.” Shiro says, looking between Pidge and Lance who are now staring into their food goo.

“And, Pidge, go to bed earlier.”

--
“Lance, can I come in?”

“What do you want, Pidge?”

Lance had spent the morning in his room after breakfast, they had training later, but he’d planned on just avoiding everyone until then. Pidge was now standing in his doorway looking just a little regretful.

“I just- I’m sorry. For this morning I mean. And last night, I guess. I shouldn’t have teased you like I did.”

“Did Shiro ask you to do this?” Lance asks, rolling over in his bed to look at her properly.

“No?” Pidge says with a shrug, which means he firmly suggested that she and Lance have a talk before training. Lance sighs.

“Okay maybe, but I was being mean this morning and I’m sorry. I knew I was annoying you, but I didn’t stop to think about how upset you were.”

He knows she’s sorry, Pidge has never been a mean-spirited person, annoying sure, but only ever in a little sister kind of way. No matter what Lance knows she cares about him, and he cares about her too.

“It’s alright, I’m sorry for bothering you last night” Lance says, sitting on the edge of his bed now.

“But you weren’t there just to annoy me, you came to me because you were worried and all I did was make you angry. I shouldn’t have done that.”

Pidge walks into the room and sits next to Lance on the bed.

“You didn’t mention the scar this morning” She says gently.

“Neither did you.”

“Yeah, well I didn’t need to relive the memory of you lifting your shirt up” she says, making some fake gagging noises for emphasis.

“Hey, don’t make me tell Shiro you came all this way just to bully me some more. Do you really want the disappointed look?” Lance says waggling his eyebrows at her.

“Ugh, don’t even joke about that, I can already feel the guilt” She says while scrunching her face.

“He does have a talent for using his looks to persuade people” Lance agrees with a nod, “I’m sure we can see firsthand at training later.”

“Yeah, that’s true. If only he could use his disappointed face on the Galra to make them stop too.”

Lance laughs and agrees with Pidge again before watching her get up and leave. His room feels very quiet once she’s gone.

Chapter Text

It was early in the morning, just before Lance’s alarm would usually go off but instead he was woken up by a sharp pain in his stomach. He tossed and turned trying to sleep through it or wait it out since it wasn’t that bad. He didn’t think he was dying or anything, just like he’d eaten something weird the night before and knowing, or more like not knowing, the kinds of food they eat on the ship he’s not really that surprised.

Lance rolled over in bed and curled up tighter on himself, whining quietly at the throbbing in his stomach. It had been a largely uneventful few days, training had continued as normal and Pidge hadn’t tried to tease him about the events again. Lance had stopped thinking about that night after that.

At the sound of his alarm he rolled over to hit the button but made no effort to get up. He lay limply across the bed grumbling to himself about his sore stomach and it being too early for this. After a good 10 minutes of lying around in bed, Lance finally rolls himself out and onto his feet. Getting up hasn’t helped make him feel better but at least he’s up now. He pulls his pyjamas off and gets dressed before heading out to the dining area for breakfast.

Usually he’d take a little longer to brush his hair and wash his face, but he doesn’t feel like it when he’s all sore and tired. Instead he walks sluggishly into the dining room and plops down in his chair right next to Hunk and leans heavily against him, letting out a long sigh.

“What’s up, buddy? Bad night?” Hunk asks between bites of his breakfast.

“More like bad morning, woke up with a stupid stomach ache and I feel like crap” Lance sighs.

“Dude that sucks, want me to try cook you up something a bit nicer?”

“Nah, I don’t really feel like eating right now.”

“You sure? Sometimes some good food can help settle your stomach” Hunk smiles, and Lance can never resist when Hunk smiles at him like that.

“Alright, sure buddy. As long as it’s just something small, okay?”

Hunk gets up and heads to the kitchen, Lance isn’t worried about what he might cook because for as long as he’s known Hunk he’s known about Hunk’s love for food. He would never serve anything he didn’t find delicious himself. What Lance is worried about is how his stomach will handle eating right now. He still feels the sharp stabs of pain every so often and they feel a little worse than he remembers them feeling when he woke up. Maybe he should’ve stayed in bed today.

Not long after Hunk returns with a bowl of something, it looks smooth and creamy and is putting off a wonderful aroma that has Keith and Pidge staring in jealousy. That almost makes his suffering worth it, seeing them frowning at their food goo while Lance gets freshly cooked food from the best cook in the castle. He flashes them a bright smile before Hunk places the food in front of him.

“Here you go, Lance. I made it with some of those grains we picked up on that planet we did a rescue mission on a few weeks ago. It’s kind of like a rice pudding? But a little smoother. Hopefully it’ll help you feel better.”

“Thanks Hunk, you’re the best.”

Lance digs into his food and finds it to be as delicious as expected. He also finds himself to be hungrier than he thought he would be with an upset stomach, he somehow manages to eat the whole bowl which makes Hunk beam with pride. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have seemed to have helped his stomach ache, but at least he had a better breakfast than everyone else.

--

It had been a week since Lance first started experiencing cramps, as Pidge had suggested he call them, and there wasn’t a day that went by where he didn’t feel them. Everyday his stomach would clench and ache at random, sometimes it was early in the morning, sometimes it was in the middle of training, and sometimes it during important missions.

Lance had given up on mentioning it to anyone every time because he felt them so often he thought it would be annoying for them to have to listen to him constantly complaining. Instead he just grits his teeth and worked through the pain, hoping no one would pick up on his pained expression. He was pretty sure they did though, Hunk was always asking him if he felt alright and if Shiro saw Lance sweating harder than normal during training he would usually suggest a quick break for everyone. He appreciated that they didn’t force him to say anything, Lance didn’t want to let them down as a team.

Today was one of the lucky days where he didn’t wake up to cramps, and he was so thankful he would’ve jumped out of bed if he had the energy, but he’d been so drained these days. Getting tired faster and even letting himself take naps every now and then when he got too tired. He climbed out of bed and pulled his pyjama top over his head and tossed it on his bed, then he went to grab the waist of his pants but paused when he looked down at himself.

There was a bump. Small, almost unnoticeable, but to Lance it stood out like a fire in the night. Lance was always skinny and lean, and puberty had only ever added some slight muscle definition to his frame. He wasn’t great at putting on weight either, his sisters had always teased and complained that it wasn’t fair that he could eat so much yet remain such a twig, so any change to his weight was easy to notice.

Yet there it was right in front of his eyes, his stomach curved out into a small bump, distorting his once flat belly. He runs his hand across it, presses into it and pokes it. It’s firm and hard, unyielding against his hand which is strange. Lance wants to blame this on overeating, but he knows for a fact he only had half his dinner last night before calling it early to curl up in his shower to drown out the sound of him groaning through the cramps.

He quickly pulls a shirt on so that he doesn’t have to look at it anymore, unsure of what it is or why it’s happening. He dresses himself fast and leaves his room, once again forgetting his usual skin care routine. He’s left his room so quickly in the past two weeks that he almost never remembers to clean up properly when he leaves for the day. Hunk has definitely picked up on this the most, immediately noticing that Lance’s usually well-kept appearance has slowly become more tired and unkempt looking.

Lance smiles at everyone that day and reassures them that he’s fine today, don’t worry about it. Inside his chest his heart pounds every time his hand brushes past his stomach, afraid of what’s happening to him.

--

Every day when Lance wakes up in the morning he checks his stomach, and every day it seems to grow a little more. It remains hard and round, he only ever touches it to inspect it since it started growing. It starts to become more obvious every day and he can’t ignore it like he used to. Within two weeks he can already see the curve of it through his shirts and he’s afraid of the others noticing it too. He knows he’s too skinny to hide putting on extra weight, and the hard lump that his stomach has grown into is clearly unnatural on his slight form.

He wears his largest shirts and starts zipping up his jacket or walking around with his hands in his pockets to hide the bump, but it feels so large and foreign to him he can’t see how no one else has noticed it yet, but usually all he gets is someone asking him if he’s cold.

Lance was sitting on the couch playing a very confusing Altean puzzle game on the tablet device Coran had given him. There were a lot of lines that he wasn’t really sure meant anything other than to be even more confusing, sometimes there would be a flashing light too. He was about to move one of the lines into a different position when a sharp pain made him hiss loudly and curl his knees into his chest slightly.

The pain of the cramps hadn’t gotten better or easier with time and he still felt it a few times every day. Lance was starting to think maybe the pain had something to do with whatever was making his stomach grow. Maybe some kind of tumour that was slowly killing him. He wasn’t sure, and he was almost too afraid to ask at this stage, so he opted for ignoring it for as long as possible. Lance groaned again, squeezing his eyes shut as the pain throbbed in his stomach and shot through his spine. He didn’t hear the other person enter the room through his forced breaths.

“Are you alright, Lance?” Hunk asked quickly sitting next to his friend.

Lance jumped slightly at Hunk’s sudden appearance right next to him with what seemed like no entrance. He’d been avoiding spending too much time alone in Hunk’s company over the past weeks to prevent accidentally spilling all his feelings and fears onto his best friend like he usually did. He didn’t want Hunk to worry about him.

“Y-yeah, just a little tired is all” Lance smiled at him.

“Okay, seriously dude you have got to stop lying to me” Hunk says, face growing sad, “I can see you’re in pain again and I know you keep dodging everyone’s questions, but it’s time we talk. And I mean really talk, so I’m gunna need you to be honest with me.”

Lance is frozen in shock, he was hoping he would get a few more weeks or days of hiding before it became too obvious and people started questioning him, or y’know it got so bad that he collapsed or something, but now Hunk was asking him right now. His mouth was dry, and he still felt the ache in his stomach growing.

“I’m going to ask you again, Lance, are you alright?”

Hunk pulled in closer to Lance as he spoke, placing one of his large, warm hands on top of Lance’s clammy one. He sounded so concerned and caring that Lance couldn’t help the lump that caught in his throat and the prickle of tears in his eyes. He drew in a quivering breath that ended with a quiet sob.

“No. No, I-I’m not okay…” Lance mumbling quietly, “Things have been weird and bad for the past few weeks and everyday I’m in pain, and I’m so tired all the time, food doesn’t taste normal anymore, everything hurts and…”

Lance pauses, he doesn’t know if he’s even capable of explaining his growing stomach to his friend, that he’s getting fat? The he might have a giant tumour? He doesn’t understand what it is himself, let alone how to explain it someone else.

“And?” Hunk encourages Lance with a gentle squeeze of his hand.

“And...my stomach...there’s s-something...” Lance sucks in a breath, “Something wrong with me.”

“You mean because of the stomach aches you’ve been having?” Hunk’s head turns to the side curiously.

“Maybe? I mean those aren’t good either, and I think the problems related but there’s something else, something more.”

“What is it?”

Lance hesitates. He’s the only person to have seen his distended stomach, and he doesn’t know how Hunk is going to react to it. Whether he’ll be disgusted with Lance and leave him or think he’s going to die, Lance isn’t sure he’s ready to find out, but he knows he can’t avoid it now with the way Hunk is holding his hand and looking at him with such worry. He’s always had a soft spot for the big guy.

“...Promise you won’t think I’m gross, right?”

“Wha-? Of course, I won’t! I want to help you, Lance, no matter what it is.”

Hunk was the bestest friend a guy could have, Lance hoped he’d still have him after this. He reached for his jacket zipper and pulled it down, already the mound of his stomach becoming clearer under his shirt. He could feel Hunk’s eyes staring at him and it made his hands shake as he reached for the hem of his shirt and pulled it up.

Suddenly, his bare stomach was exposed, and he could see the round growth of his belly, how it stuck out on his thin frame like he’d swallowed a grapefruit whole. If you inspected the tight skin under his belly button you could see the thin stretch marks that were beginning to spread across his stomach.

Lance looked at Hunk, unsure of what reaction he would find on the boy’s face. Hunk’s eyes were wide while his eyebrows drew in closer together in confusion. His mouth opened and shut a few times, before hanging slack jawed staring at Lance. He pulled his shirt down again and folded his arms over his stomach.

“See? I knew you’d think I was gross” Lance sighed, turning away from Hunk.

Hunk blinked, looking up at Lance’s face again. “What? I don’t think that, Lance! I just don’t know what this means... how did this happen?”

“I don’t know?! It was just a few days after I started getting the cramps that I noticed my stomach was getting bigger too, it hasn’t stopped since.”

“And you haven’t told Allura? Or gone to the healing pods?”

“N-no... I don’t know what’s happening and I’m scared that...I mean...what if it’s something bad?”

“Then you need to find out sooner, so we can help!” Hunk is squeezing his hands so tightly Lance feels like they’ll go numb, “Lance, hiding from things isn’t how you fix them!”

“I’m sorry!” Lance’s eyes are watering and clouding his vision, “I’m sorry, okay? I was scared…”

Then strong, warm arms are surrounding him, and Hunk is pulling him closer to his body so that his face is resting on his shoulder. Hunk gives the best hugs.

“I’m so sorry, Lance. I should’ve known something was wrong and talked to you sooner. I was worried about you this whole time, but I never stopped to find out why you were in pain. Please, let me help you now.”

Lance’s throat is tight, and the tears start to spill over, wetting Hunk’s shirt. He can’t find the courage to say anything right now, so he just nods his head against his best friend’s shoulder and wraps his arms around him to hold him tightly. They hold each other for a good five minutes while Lance’s breathing evens out and his shoulders stop shaking.

“I think we should find Allura or Coran, they can help us figure this out, okay?”

Lance takes a deep breath before pulling away from Hunk and looking down at his hands.

“Yeah, okay.”

“Alright” Hunk says as he stands from the couch and takes Lance’s hand, pulling him up to his feet.

They walk out of the lounge room and down the many hallways until they come to the control room were Allura usually spends time navigating the ship and talking with Shiro and Coran, which is what they must have been doing when Hunk and Lance walk in because the three of them are standing around a large holographic map taking turns saying things and pointing to various planets. They stop suddenly and turn towards the two boys who are currently standing near the door holding hands. Hunk can feel Lance squeeze his hand tighter and step back slightly, so he grips back and starts walking over to the table.

“Hunk, Lance, is there something you needed?” Allura asks, turning her body towards them.

“Yeah, there is, we need your help with something” Hunk says stopping just before the table.

Everyone has turned towards the two boys, giving them their full attention and Hunk knows Lance is staring at the floor now. He doesn’t think he’ll say it to them, so he rubs his thumb over the back of Lance’s hand.

“I’m gunna tell them, okay Lance?” Hunk says to him quickly only getting a nod from Lance, who is trying to disappear from the room, before continuing.

“There’s something wrong with Lance, his stomach I mean. We think it’s related to the pain he’s been having over the past few weeks and there’s also some weird kind of growth we don’t understand. So, uh, can you help us?”

Lance doesn’t say anything, just holds onto Hunk. His cheeks warm at Hunk’s casual use of ‘we’ and ‘us’, like he’s already decided that this is his problem too. Lance appreciates it more than he could ever admit.

Everyone’s faces become scrunched with confusion and the three leaders look at each other before looking back at the boys with concerned faces.

“Would you be able to elaborate more? I’m sorry we don’t really understa-”

Allura is cut off by her own gasp when Lance suddenly yanks up his top, revealing his round stomach for the second time that day. He holds it only for the few seconds he can bare before pulling it back down. He doesn’t look to see what their expressions are, he can already gather it’s a lot of shock and some disgust and he’d rather save himself the suffering.

“We should go to the healing room.”

Chapter Text

Lance wasn’t a fan of the healing pods, sure they were great when it came to saving lives and fixing injuries, but the sterile glass and statuesque layout always put him on edge. Also, that time he got stuck in one wasn’t a fun memory either. He also wasn’t a fan of the white, skin tight bodysuits you had to wear inside them as well. Coran reassured him it was how they could monitor vitals and get direct readouts while the pod did its work, but he still didn’t like them, especially now that it meant he had no way of hiding his stomach.

The bodysuit felt tight and suffocating on his skin, as soon as Lance put it on the roundness of his stomach only became more pronounced through the suit. He felt practically naked, so he put his jacket on overtop before stepping back into the main room. Sympathetic eyes fell upon him as he approached the four standing around the open pod. He walked up to them and stopped just before the pod, Hunk’s hand came to rest on his shoulder.

“It’s gunna be okay, Lance, we’re here for you.”

“We are, Lance, and we’re going to help you, but first you will need to take your jacket off before stepping into the pod” Allura said apologetically.

Lance looked at her with scared eyes before pulling the jacket off and handing it to Hunk, then he stepped into the pod and lay back against its plush wall, watching as the glass closed him in again. Lance’s eyes shut seconds after the door closed and the screen on the control panel lit up and started flashing with information.

The four of them stood around the screen and watched as each measurement and piece of information appeared on the screen. Nothing was coming up strange or abnormal on the screen. They gave the pod a few minutes to accurately document all of Lance’s vitals and functions. Coran was scrolling through them noting that none of them seemed abnormal or strange.

“How about we check the body scan first to see if it’s something foreign rather than chemical” Coran suggests, pressing a few buttons on the screen.

A 3D model of Lance’s body appears on the panel and they scan it thoroughly. Hunk feels a little weird that he’s looking at his best friends guts right now, but he knows they’re doing this to help him figure out what’s going on with his body. Again, the pod hasn’t sounded off on any abnormalities like it usually would.

“Still nothing that could have caused this?” Shiro asks, resting one hand on the corner of the control panel and leaning closer towards it.

“Nothing that the pod has picked up. At least we know that the problem seems to be within his stomach, so let’s inspect the area more” Coran says, expanding the screen so that they have a clear view of the inside of Lance’s torso on the screen.

“None of the organs look damaged or infected with anything, they all seem rather healthy and there doesn’t appear to be anything foreign” Coran continues.

“Hmm… wait, what about that?” Shiro says, pointing to a large mass in the lower half on Lance’s torso.

“Hm? Oh, that would be the uterus would it not? It also seems to be rather healthy, however, quite large for a young human…” Coran says calmly.

“Right...except that typically most human males don’t have a uterus, unless Lance is, uhh...Hunk?” Shiro turns to Hunk hoping he can fill in any missing pieces here.

Hunk shakes his head, eyes wide. “Lance doesn’t have a uterus, or at least he never did when we were sharing a dorm together at the Garrison, so…”

Hunk has seen Lance naked before, they both had. It’s hard to share a small room with someone for more than a year without accidentally walking in on them once or twice. And after a while the two of them just got used to changing clothes in each other’s presence. He would have definitely noticed if he was sporting a different set of genitalia.

“Oh, dear, uhm. We better run some tests on the organ then if it’s one he’s not supposed to have” Coran says as he quickly presses commands into the control panel.

The healing pod begins scanning Lance again, this time focusing just on the mysterious organ inside him. New pieces of information pop up on the screen and Coran reads them over thoroughly before continuing to type commands in. His eyebrows are furrowed, and he starts mumbling things to himself.

“Coran, what is it?” Allura says, sounding very concerned, it’s the first thing she’s said since Lance entered the pod.

“Something that doesn’t make sense given the information we have about Lance and humans.”

“What does that mean?” Shiro asks with a little more force than he meant, clearly the stress is getting to him.

“Well, according to the healing pod, Lance is what you would call pregnant.”

There’s long seconds of silence before Hunk finally says something.

“What the fuck do you mean he’s pregnant?”

It’s not often Hunk swears, he reserves them for when they are absolutely necessary. He felt that in this moment, it was absolutely necessary.

“I mean that the healing pod has detected growing life within Lance’s uterus-”

“You mean the uterus he doesn’t have?” Hunks snaps.

“Well, more like the uterus he’s not supposed to have. The pod hasn’t detected it as a foreign object which is strange for something that shouldn’t be there. It seems that however he acquired it, it has now integrated with his own body in such a way that the pod can’t detect it as being something wrong.”

“So, what the hell are we going to do now?”

“All we can do is wake up Lance and discuss this with him. I believe it is important that we don’t make decisions without him, considering this is his body we’re talking about.”

“Right, of course. Go ahead.” Shiro interjects, gesturing towards Lance’s still form. Only the slow rise and fall of his chest can be seen from outside the pod. Hunk feels a horrible sense of dread for what’s about to happen, and looking at Lance now and seeing how tight and full his stomach is and knowing the reason before he does only makes his own stomach sink with fear.

With a few final commands Coran opens the pod, Lance is still for a few moments before his eyelids flutter open and he looks around the room groggily.

“Ugh, what happened?” Lance mumbles taking a wobbly step forward. The healing pod always makes it hard to remember what was happening before you got into it.

Hunk is the first person standing in front of the pod when it opens and as soon as Lance is standing on the ground he pulls his jacket onto his arms for him. Lance blinks a few more times, slowly remembering what was happening and why.

“Thanks” He mumbles, pulling the jacket around him tighter, “So, did you figure out what’s wrong with me?”

It’s quiet, Lance is really starting to hate the silence that keeps surrounding him. The others are all looking back and forth at each other, like they’re all waiting for someone else to start the conversation. Hunk’s fists are curled tight against his sides and he’s frowning at the ground like it has personally offended him.

“Great. So, I’m dying, aren’t I?” Lance fills in the silence, it must be bad if they won’t tell him outright.

“No, you’re not dying. But we need to talk, Lance” Shiro steps forward to put his hand on Lance’s shoulder, “I think we should sit down first, it might be easier then.”

Those words chill Lance to the bone, how bad can it be that Shiro is suggesting they sit down before telling him. He’s apparently not dying, which is a relief, but then what the hell is going on with him then. All Lance can do is nod and let himself be lead into another room where everyone sits down around a table. Hunk immediately takes the seat next to Lance, placing his hand on his reassuringly.

“Lance, we need to ask you some questions in order to more fully understand what is happening to you, but before that you obviously need to be aware of what we found during your time in the pod” Coran sounds so clinical and unlike his usual friendly self that it sets Lance on edge, he feels like a little kid in a doctor’s office. “According to the information we discovered, you have somehow acquired a new organ, very similar to a uterus to be more specific, which appears to be developing offspring.”

Lance’s face scrunches in confusion, “Wait, what?”

Uterus? New organ? Offspring? What the heck is he talking about?

“You’re pregnant, Lance” Hunk simplifies.

“Hah...hahaha, that’s funny I thought you just said-”

“We’re serious” Shiro admits, looking directly at Lance.

Lance’s eyes are wide with fear, when he feels them start to water he blinks rapidly twisting his gaze away from the others.

“What? What do you mean? How can I be- that’s not even possible!”

“Alas, it now is thanks to some modifications we believe were made to your body at some point. It appears than you have somehow acquired a womb of sorts that was not there previously” Coran’s clinical words cut deep into Lance.

“Wait, what? I- I don’t have a womb?! How the hell would I have one?!”

“Like I said, we believe modifications were made to your body-”

“Modifications? You mean, like, surgery? You think someone cut me open just to put a womb inside me? Why the fuck would anyone do that!?” Lance’s face in scrunched in horror, the thought of someone digging around in his insides without him knowing makes his skin crawl and a shiver run down his spine. He kind of feels like throwing up.

“We don’t know, but we’re trying to understand why, which is why we want to discuss this more to see if we can discover how this has happened.”

“How the hell would I know!?” Lance yells, voice breaking with threat of tears.

“I know this is difficult Lance, but we’re trying to help understand this just as much as you are. Can you tell us more about when this first started and what you were feeling?”

Lance feels dizzy, he’s glad they suggested he sit down for this because he’s sure his knees would’ve buckled long ago if he’d been standing. He takes a deep breath to calm himself before he starts reciting off the same information he told Hunk before, but in more detail.

“The cramps started first, it was only a few days, maybe a week, later that I noticed my body was changing too.”

“Do you remember anything that might’ve been the cause of this pain, something strange you did or saw, something you ate?”

“No? I don’t know, I mean you’d think I would remember getting knocked up by something!” he stops suddenly as the last word leaves his mouth, eyes wide as he remembers something he shouldn’t have forgotten.

“It was right after that night...the one with Pidge, were I dreamt I was abducted by aliens…”

Everyone takes a few seconds to process the information before Hunk speaks.

“It wasn’t a dream...”

“What happened that night, do you remember any of it?”

“Only what I told you, that I woke up strapped to some table surrounded by aliens, and then I woke up in bed. I’m not even sure how long I was asleep for.”

“And you didn’t feel any different when you woke up?”

“Not that I remember, I was confused about what happened and worried if it was real or not, so I was checking to see if I had any weird marks or scars ‘cause I’d heard that that was a sign of abduction back on earth.”

“But you didn’t find anything?”

“Actually...there was one, it was small and faded but it was right here” Lance poke at the scar that’s hidden under his suit, it’s just on the underside of his curved stomach now.

“...Lance, why didn’t you say something?”

“When I told Pidge all she could do was tease me and tell me it was just a dream, you even believed her over me at breakfast the next day! How could I say anything without all of you thinking I was crazy?”

“...It is rare, but there are occasions when some species depend on surrogates for the continuation of their race, but usually there is a long process of discussing the terms and agreements before starting. I am unaware of any instances where it has been forced upon a person” Allura adds, finally speaking again.

“Well I guess I’m lucky number one then…” Lance sighs, slumping forward to rest his head in his hands.

“So, what do we do now? Can I get rid of it?” Lance asks while peering through his fingers.

“...I wish I could tell you yes and rid you of this burden, but…”

“But? But what, how can there possibly be a ‘but’ to this question?!”

“The healing pod is only designed to mend grievous injury and resolve life-threatening problems. Right now, the pod doesn’t detect the organ or the developing foetus inside it as life threatening or dangerous to your health, so it will not operate on you. To the healing pod it would be like asking it to remove a perfectly healthy organ for doing its natural function, and it wouldn’t allow you” Coran explained solemnly.

“What about someone else? Can’t you just cut it out Coran?” Lance sounds desperate, he feels desperate, his throat is tight, and his eyes are watering. He can feel his hands shaking.

“Unfortunately, no. No one on the ship is qualified as a doctor or surgeon, so we cannot simply just ‘cut it out’. For anyone on this ship to attempt to remove it would be at great risk to your own health, Lance.”

“How is this not already a risk to my health? What if this thing kills me?!”

“Lance, we won’t let that happen, we promise-”

“But you won’t take it out either? How can you say you’re going to help me when all you can tell me is that I’m fucking pregnant because of aliens that don’t understand consent, and now I just have to live with it?!”

“Lance-” Hunk tries.

“No! I don’t want this! There has to be something you can do! I’d rather risk my life getting rid of this- this thing than die while it grows inside me!”

“Lance, please calm down” Shiro says, “we know this is difficult-”

“How could you possibly know?!”

Lance stands up suddenly, the chair behind him scrapes back along the floor.

“I’m tired, I’m going back to my room. I’ll see you at dinner tonight” and with that Lance marches out of the room. No one says anything to stop him.

“Maybe we could have handled that better…” Coran sighs.

“I really don’t think there was any way we could have made that information easier to take in. It’s not something anyone expects to hear” Shiro says, folding his arms over his chest and leaning back in his chair.

“I’m gunna go see if he’s okay” Hunk says standing up and leaving to track down Lance. He had no intention of letting Lance go through this alone.

The three nodded their acknowledgement to Hunk’s departure, but he didn’t look at them for any in the first place. There was a heavy silence that filled the room, and now the three of them had a new topic that they would need to discuss.

--

Hunk hurried from the room into the hallway and started walking straight to Lance’s room. He was worried about him; this discovery was not the kind of information that they wanted. Honestly, Hunk was now wishing that it had been a tumour because that would’ve been so much easier for Lance. Now they had to figure out this strange situation, he was still incapable of fully believing that Lance was pregnant, but he’d seen the scans and Lance’s growing stomach. He knew the pod wouldn’t lie.

Hunk didn’t get very far before he saw a Lance shaped huddle on the ground leaning against the wall shaking while a confused Pidge and Keith stood around him. Pidge was kneeling next to him rubbing his shoulders and back, saying comforting things, while Keith stood awkwardly to the side looking panicked.

“Lance!” Hunk cried as he rushed down to his best friend. As soon as Lance heard his name he turned around to look at Hunk, his face was distraught and covered in wet tears that streamed down his face. The only sound he made was a wet sob as he reached one arm out to Hunk while the other stayed firmly wrapped around his middle, using his jacket as a shield for the bump Hunk knew was hiding beneath it. Hunk immediately sat next to Lance and pulled him into his lap wrapping both arms around him letting Lance curl up against him and bury his face into his chest.

“What happened?” Hunk asked quietly.

“I don’t know, we were just walking down the hall and saw Lance coming the opposite direction, but as soon as I said his name it was like he jumped out of his own skin, then he just sort of fell over and curled up on himself...” Pidge explains sadly, still petting at Lance’s arm.

“He’s wearing a healing suit, is he okay?” Keith asks, sounding concerned and a little afraid.

“It’s a long story, I need to get him to his room, so you guys can head off now,” Hunk says, lifting Lance up in his arms bridal style, “Thanks for taking care of him.”

Hunk walks away, leaving behind a very confused and worried Keith and Pidge. He knows they’ll have to tell them sooner rather than later, but he’ll wait until Lance is ready. They make it to Lance’s room pretty fast, and Hunk is grateful that Lance didn’t lock his door before he left so it automatically slides open when he stands in front of it. He steps into the room and places Lance down on the bed. He quickly notices how messy his room has become compared to his usual set up. Lance wasn’t the neatest person ever, but he liked to have a place for everything in his room, and the way it looked now it seemed like the most common place for things was the floor. Hunk sat down next to Lance on the bed.

“...I didn’t want them to see” Lance mumbles quietly.

“What?”

“I didn’t want them to see me...like this” Lance gestures loosely towards his stomach, he’s still wearing the bodysuit from the healing pod, which really does nothing to cover his tight stomach.

Hunk gets up and goes to Lance’s cupboard to find him some proper clothes to wear. He knows it’ll help make him feel more normal, and those healing suits aren’t the most comfortable things to be wearing. He returns with a large shirt and a pair trackies and hands them to Lance, who takes them gratefully before he starts to shuck off his jacket and bodysuit.

“I can leave if you want me to” Hunk says before Lance gets fully undressed.

“Why, we used to always change in front of each other?” Lance says looking up at him, “unless it’s because-”

“It’s not because I think you’re gross, because I know you’re about to say that, it’s because you just told me you didn’t want anyone to see you like this. I just wanted to make sure you were comfortable” Hunk sighs sitting back down on the bed.

“You’re different though, so you’re allowed to see me like this” Lance says as he struggles his way out of the bodysuit, he climbs his way off the bed, so he can stand and pull the rest of it off his legs before turning around to pick up the clothes on the bed.

Now that Lance is standing there in only his underwear Hunk can really see how big he’s gotten. He can’t believe he’d grown so much in such a short amount of time and no one even noticed. Lance was always the type to hide things from people if he didn’t want them to know, but the fact that he’d been hiding this for over two weeks was impressive, if not very upsetting.

The quick growth of his stomach is especially concerning now that they know why. Hunk doesn’t know a lot about pregnancy, but he knows that it takes a lot longer than a few weeks for someone to start looking this pregnant. He’ll have to remember to ask Coran about it later.

Lance pulls the last of the clothes on before sitting down on the bed again next to Hunk and rests his head on his shoulder.

“This really fucking sucks” Lance sighs.

“Yeah, it does” Hunk nods, “I’m sorry there wasn’t more we could do, but I’m not gunna let you go through this alone, okay?”

“Hunk…”

“No, Lance, I’m serious. Don’t think for a second that you can’t ask me or anyone else here for help about this okay? I know it won’t be easy, but you have to let us help you no matter- Lance?”

Hunk stops to look at Lance’s face after feeling his grip tighten over his hand and his shoulders shake against him.

“Hunk, I’m scared…” Lance says so softly it sounds like a whisper, tears are sliding over his cheeks as he speaks, “How the fuck did this happen? I’m supposed to just believe that aliens got me pregnant? That they opened me up and messed around with my insides just for fun? What the fuck…”

“Lance…”

Hunk pulls him in for another hug, it feels like they’ve spent the better part of today in each other’s arms, but Hunk knows he needs it. They all get a little touch starved sometimes in space, and Hunk does give the best hugs.

“W-what do I do, Hunk? What c-can I do?” his breath is hitching so much Hunk fears he might start hyperventilating. Hunk rubs his back slowly, shushing him softly.

“I’m not sure, but we’re going to figure it out together, okay? You won’t do this alone” Hunk leans them back so that they’re lying down on Lance’s bed and he pulls Lance into his chest more, wrapping his arms around him, “and I’m really sorry you got abducted by aliens.”

There’s a hiccup in Lance’s crying the almost sounded like a laugh, but Hunk isn’t so sure Lance could laugh right now even if he tried. They hold each other until they fall asleep.

Chapter Text

Lance and Hunk never made it to dinner that night. When Lance’s alarm went off the next morning he tried to roll over to turn it off only to find himself trapped under the warm arm of the body sleeping next to him. He looked up to see Hunk lying next to him, wrapping Lance up in his strong arms. Hunk’s face looked so peaceful sleeping and for a second Lance could forget and pretend that everything was okay. Lance’s face flushed at the thought of them spending the night cuddled up together in his bed, if only it wasn’t ruined by the memory of him crying for hours last night.

Hunk stirred a bit before his arms came up to stretch over his head and he opened one eye to look at Lance, a warm smile crossed his face as he pulled his body closer again and wrapped his arms around Lance to pet at his back gently.

“Hey” He said softly, “How are you feeling?”

“A-alright” Lance wheezed, he didn’t realise how dry his throat felt until he tried to speak.

“You’re probably dehydrated” Hunk frowned, “wait here, I’ll get you some water.”

Hunk climbs out of bed and hits the alarm before heading into Lance’s bathroom to get a glass of water. Lance groans at the loss of the warm body next to him and rolls over to pull the covers tighter over him. He forgets just for a moment before he tries to roll onto his stomach and he feels the weight of it pressing up against the rest of his organs, groaning again as he quickly rolls onto his side. He misses lying on his stomach.

“Here” Hunk says, he’s standing next to the bed holding a glass of water up to Lance. Lance sits up enough so that he can take the glass and take a few quick gulps of it. He was much thirstier than he realised. Hunk sits down on the bed next to him, he looks more nervous than he should for someone having just woken up.

“What?” Lance asks.

“Just...What are we going to tell the others? We should probably do it soon, since I’m sure they’ve been asking questions since yesterday.”

Lance pulls his knees towards his chest as best he can. He only just found out himself, he hasn’t even thought about telling anyone else, though almost everyone on the ship already knows anyway.

“...Give me a little longer, I’m still trying to process this myself” Lance sighs, Hunk nods at him giving his knee a quick pat before standing up.

“Of course, I’m gunna go grab a change of clothes, want me to come back here before breakfast?”

“Uh, yeah, that’d be nice” Lance smiles, pulling himself up to the edge of the mattress and putting his feet down.

“Cool, I’ll be back in five!” Hunk beams before walking out of the room.

Lance smiles to himself, Hunk really is a great friend. He pushes himself off the bed ready to get dressed, but as soon as his weight is off the bed he can feel a sharp pain in his back that makes him shout. He grabs the aching spot on his back and rubs it gently, it feels like he’s thrown his back out and it is definitely not the same pain he’s been feeling from his stomach recently.

He stumbles his way over to his cupboard and pulls his shirt over his head with a lot of hissing and groaning from the pain. He uses his mirror to inspect his back, but as expected there isn’t anything there. The pain throbs continuously, and Lance struggles to pulls some clothes out of his cupboard before he ends up stumbling his way back to his bed to sit down. His breathing is rough and uneven when the door slides open again. Lance jumps to cover himself before he sees the familiar shape of Hunk walking into his room.

“Lance? What’s wrong? What happened?” Hunk sounds frantic as he rushes over to Lance’s side.

“Agh, my back, it started hurting when I tried to get out of bed” Lance says through heavy breaths and groans, “still hurts.”

Hunk can see the sweat on his forehead, and the hand clutching at Lance’s back shows him were the pain must be coming from. Lance is sitting there shirtless again, and Hunk can’t help but notice the way Lance’s stomach heaves with his breathing. Every time he breathes in his stomach expands slightly more and reveals the underside of it a little, and every time it does Hunk gets a small glance at the scar Lance mentioned yesterday.

“It might be the extra weight putting pressure on your spine, hold on” Hunk says, pulling his eyes away from Lance’s stomach quickly to sit behind him on the bed.

“What are yo- Ah!!” Lance cries as he feels Hunks large hands against his back.

“Sorry! Let me know where it hurts, okay?”

Lance just nods, squeezing his eyes shut as Hunk’s hands smooth over his back. He moves his hand away from his aching body to grip at the edge of the mattress. For the first few touches Lance can only groan at the feeling of sore muscles being prodded at, but soon Hunk’s touches start to ease the pain away. Hunk’s fingers dig into the tight knots in Lance’s back and relieve the pressure against it, he sighs as he feels his body relaxing and the pain disappearing. Soon, Lance’s body is starting to flop limply against Hunk’s touch, which is a sign to him that the pain is gone.

“Better?” He aks.

“Much better, thanks Hunk” Lance sighs.

“Anytime,” he smiles, “now let’s get you dressed so we can go eat breakfast.”

--

They walk into the dining hall only a little bit later than they thought they would, but they are still the last to arrive. This time there are two bowls of food goo in their usual spots and Lance knows it was thanks to Coran. They take their seats, quietly greeting everyone. Lance sits down and adjusts his clothes, making sure that his zipped-up jacket still covers him well enough that you can’t see the pronounced bump through it.

“Excellent, now that everyone’s here I would like to announce we will be having a team meeting after breakfast, so we’ll be heading straight to the control room after you’ve all finished eating” Allura says from the end of the table.

Lance freezes in his seat, he can already guess that the meeting is going to be about him. He hasn’t spoken to Allura, Coran or Shiro since yesterday, but he’d hoped they’d let him have at least a day to prepare himself. Apparently not.

The tension is heavy in the room and everyone eats their breakfast in silence. Lance doesn’t even groan when he feels the familiar ache in his stomach, he guesses that it’s probably caused by the thing growing bigger inside him trying to make room in his cramped guts, but he’s only guessing. Lance is the last to finish eating, taking his time breathing through cramps quietly and trying to stall for time so he can mentally prepare himself for what’s to come. As soon as he puts his spoon down Allura stands.

“Well then, let’s continue to the control room, shall we?”

No one says anything as they stand and follow the princess out of the room. Lance falls to the back of the group and Hunk walks with him by his side.

“You okay?” he whispers on their way to the control room.

“About as okay as I can be right now, what do you think she’ll say?” Lance whispers back, he’s not sure what would be worse, Allura just flat out telling everyone that he’s pregnant, or Allura asking that he tell everyone he’s pregnant. He shivers at the thought of it.

“I don’t know, I’m guessing she wants to talk about yesterday, but I don’t know what she’ll say.”

“Guess we’re about to find out” Lance says as they step through the control rooms large doors.

Everyone takes their usual place in the control room, standing around the main control panel that Allura stands on. She turns to everyone and smiles what can only be described as her best diplomat smile before she begins.

“Thank you, Paladins, for coming. I know this is not like our usual scheduled meeting, but in light of recent events I felt it was necessary to discuss some changes that may be happening over the next few phoebs.”

Lance swallows hard, he’s shuffling on his feet and his hands keep clenching and unclenching at his sides, unsure of what to do with them. Hunk notices his nervous movements and gently takes Lance’s hand in his own without moving, he can feel Lance jump at first contact, but in seconds he can feel him relax slightly and hold his hand firmly in return.

“As it was brought to my attention yesterday, Lance has been, uh… unwell...recently. Due to this he may be exempt from various tasks and Paladin duties.”

“What?” Lance squawks from where he stands, everyone stops to turn towards him, “You can’t just kick me off the team?!”

“Lance, we aren’t trying to, it was decided between Shiro and I that until you are back to your normal self it would be easier for everyone, especially yourself, if you did not have to do some things around the castle.”

“Well no one asked me how I felt about this, and I don’t want you to treat me differently just because of this thing!” Lance’s blood is boiling again, he never thought they would try and remove him as a paladin because of something that wasn’t his fault.

Keith and Pidge are looking around like everyone is speaking a different language, “Okay, we’ve definitely missed a part of this conversation somewhere. What’s going on?” Pidge say’s trying to get some kind of explanation.

“...I believe it would be best if Lance were the one to-”

“I’m pregnant. Aliens abducted me and now I’m pregnant and there isn’t a goddamn thing anyone can do to help me!” Lance spits angrily at the room.

“Lance-” Shiro attempts.

“Oh, save it, Shiro!” Lance growls.

“...What?” is all Pidge can say, staring at Lance with wide eyes.

Lance turns to look at her, face red and angry, a tiny voice in his head is telling him that this isn’t their fault and he shouldn’t be taking this out on his friends, but he can’t seem to listen to it over the angry screaming telling him that this is somehow their fault.

“Yeah, Pidge, remember that night when I told you I was abducted by aliens and you laughed and said I was dreaming? Remember how you told me that scar wasn’t real, and I’d just forgotten that I had it? Well guess what, not a dream! And that scar was from a bunch of fucking aliens cutting me open, so they could shove a new organ inside me! So, thanks for your concern!” Lance is screaming now, Hunk has let go of his hand to step in front of him and remove him from Pidge’s sight.

Pidge’s face has gone as white as a sheet and she looks about two seconds from crying. Shiro is immediately by her side holding her and telling her that it’s not her fault, Lance is just upset.

“Lance! Stop! You know this isn’t her fault! Even if we had found out sooner there still wouldn’t have been anything we could have done to stop this, none of us knew this was even possible!” Hunk is holding Lance’s face and forcing him to look at him. He can see the tears forming in his eyes as he weakly tries to pull out of his grasp.

“But why did it have to be me!?” Lance sobs, crumpling in on himself. The only reason he stays upright is because Hunk is holding him there. He pulls him into his arms again, frown settling on his features. The only sounds to be heard are Lance’s breathy sobs and Shiro quietly calming Pidge.

“...There is still much we don’t understand about Lance’s condition. We hope to learn more with monitoring and some testing, assuming that Lance is alright with it. I still stand that for his safety he will be exempt from completing certain tasks” Allura states with finality.

“I-I’m s-sorry, Lance” Pidge softly cries from under Shiro’s arms, “I d-didn’t know...and I h-hurt you…”

She sniffles, and immediately Lance regrets yelling at her when all he can see is his little sister’s crying face. He pulls away from Hunk and walks over to her, pulling her into his arms and holding her, her face is all red and blotchy from crying and Lance knows his is the same, he’s honestly surprised with himself. He didn’t know he could cry this much.

He feels and hears her small gasp when he pulls her to his chest and his stomach presses against her. He almost pulls away at that feeling, but her small arms snake around his back and hold him still. She starts crying harder, still apologizing to him. He doesn’t really blame her for this, how could he, but he feels bad for upsetting her so much.

“It’s not your fault, Pidge. I only yelled because I’m upset and...and I’m scared. So please don’t cry, okay?”

Pidge nods, but the tender movement is ruined by the angry scoff from the corner of the room. Lance looks up to see Keith glaring angrily at everyone. What the hell is this guy’s problem?

“You all seriously expect me just to believe this? This sounds ridiculous!” Keith is upset, he sounds like Lance did yesterday when they told him.

“Keith, it’s the truth. The healing pods confirmed it yesterday, Lance is pregnant.”

“Why though? How is any of this even happening?! What proof even is there!”

Lance sighs to himself, he knows how he can prove it quickly and calm Keith down, but he also doesn’t want to. He’s really sick of having to take his shirt off for people to believe him.

“Keith, trust me, if this was a joke I would be a lot cooler with it but it’s not” Lance says as he pulls away from Pidge and unzips his jacket. Keith is staring at him hard in confusion as he watches lance open his jacket and then gently raise the hem of his shirt. He only does so a small amount, he knows he’s big enough that he probably doesn’t even need to lift his shirt up, but for some reason people only believe you when they can see skin.

However, Lance does not expect Keith to stride over to him and grab his wrist to yank his shirt all the way up. Lance tries to step back from Keith, but he’s holding his wrist and glaring at his stomach in a frightening way.

“Hey! Keith, what the hell! Let go!”

“Keith!” Hunk warns, stepping towards them quickly.

Keith is ignoring them; his eyes are scrunching in confusion as he lifts one hand to touch Lance’s stomach and Lance is squirming in his grip to get away.

“Keith, fucking stop!” Lance yells.

Pidge is standing there wide eyed, unable to move, while Hunk and Shiro approach the two from either side. Keith’s hand makes contact and Lance winces at the sensation, he doesn’t even touch it himself half the time, so having someone else touch it is a feeling Lance is not okay with. He almost feels like something moves under his skin for a second before the hand is removed and Keith is pulled off him.

Shiro is holding Keith, and Hunk has pulled Lance into his hold. Lance is breathing hard and holding onto Hunk like his life depends on it.

“What the hell is that!” Keith yells, “It fucking moved!”

Lance freezes, so he wasn’t imagining it. Something did move inside him. Lance feels disgusting, he pulls his hand up to cover his mouth to try cover the fact that he’s coughing and dry-retching. He definitely feels like throwing up.

“Keith! We’re still a team, if you cannot respect other people’s privacy and space you can sit out of missions until you know better. You can’t treat Lance like that just because you’re confused” Shiro says using his disappointed tone.

Keith breathes heavily for a few seconds before he says, “...Sorry, I don’t know why I did that. It just...it didn’t seem possible.”

Lance doesn’t say anything, he can’t say anything. He’s more afraid of himself than anyone else right now. How could it fucking move?

“...I believe that we are done for today, please feel free to use the remainder of the day for whatever you need. Training has been cancelled. And, Lance, when you feel ready please come find me or Coran so that we may attempt more tests. Thank you” Allura says softly before taking her leave.

Everyone stands around for a few moments before Lance groans and grips at Hunk’s hand trying to make him leave the room with him. They only make it a few steps before Lance keels over and starts to gag and cough, throwing up half digested food goo on the floor.

“Lance!” someone shouts, he can’t tell through the ringing in his ears.

“S-sorry...so- s-” Lance tries to apologize through heaves until he’s just coughing up spit. There’s a warm hand on his back, rubbing circles.

“It’s alright, Lance, shhhh” Hunk says as he continues to pet at his back gently. Coran is kneeling on the opposite side of Lance looking worriedly between Hunk and the curled-up body on the floor, shaking with uneven breathes.

Shiro, Pidge and Keith are standing somewhere behind them looking worried, but frozen and unsure of how to react. Hunk picks Lance up from the ground onto his feet and pulls his arm over his shoulder while reaching another around his back to support him.

“Coran, do you mind if I-”

“Go ahead, my boy, I’ll worry about clean up. Just make sure that Lance is alright” Coran insists, looking at Lance’s slumped form with the greatest concern.

“Thanks” Hunk says before starting his slow walk with Lance back to his room.

By the time they make it back to Lance’s room, Hunk is pretty much carrying Lance. They stumble into the room and Hunk sits him down on the bed before getting him a glass of water. He hands it to Lance who can only just hold it in his shaking grip and take small sips from it.

“Well, that could’ve gone better” Hunk sighs, sitting next to Lance.

“...It moved…” Lance says so quietly Hunk doesn’t hear him.

“I mean seriously, what the hell was Keith thinking, grabbing you like that? I swear if he ever-”

“Hunk...it moved…” Lance says again, a little louder this time. Hunk looks at him, shocked expression crossing his face.

“There’s really something inside me, I mean it fucking moved. God, when Keith touched me I thought I was imagining it but then he said he felt it to and then again just before we left I felt something move. It’s growing, Hunk, faster than it should be…” Lance is mumbling quietly and frantically.

“Shit…” is all Hunk can say.

“Yeah…”

The two jumped when suddenly loud blaring sirens sounded through the Castle’s PA system.

“Oh, you have got to be kidding me…” Hunk groans.

Chapter Text

The sirens kept wailing through the Castle halls, alerting everyone to the presence of danger. Hunk and Lance jumped off the bed frantically, scrambling to get what they needed.

“My armours in my room, will you be okay getting there by yourself?” Hunk asked hurriedly.

“Yes! I’m fine, hurry up and get ready!” Lance yells, pulling out his own armour and bodysuit.

Hunk just nods before running out the door towards his room. It’s been a while since Lance has had to put his Paladin armour on and his hands are still shaking from before, but the muscle memory is still there even if the suit has to stretch to accommodate his new shape. He’s both thankful and frustrated that their chest plates don’t cover their stomachs, but he can’t worry about that now when there are more important things to do. Like making sure no one dies right now.

Lance runs straight for the control room as fast as he can, the doors slide open when he runs in and just moments later Hunk runs in behind him. Everyone is standing ready and Allura is furiously swiping at the control panel.

“We’ve received a distress beacon from a transport ship nearby that’s being attacked by a Galra cruiser, they need immediate assistance. Paladins to your lions!” Allura shouts without looking back at them.

Everyone rushes to their stations prepared to slide down to their Lions, Lance is just about to climb in when Allura calls his name.

“Lance, are you sure you can do this?” She’s looking at him with worry in her eyes, it tugs at Lance’s heart, but he’s already made his mind up.

“Of course I can, you can’t form Voltron with only four lions!” He smiles before sliding down the chamber towards Blue.

Blue starts up as soon as he sits in the pilot seat and he soars out of the hangar into space to catch up with the rest of the lions. He can feel Blue’s fears rushing through him as he sits in the cockpit, but he reassures her everything is fine, she always protects him. He feels her rumble in pride before they shoot off towards the distress beacon.

It’s chaos when team Voltron arrives at the transport ship, Galra fighter ships are flying around shooting at the large transport ship and preventing the escape pods from leaving. The Lions quickly dive into action taking out the smaller scout ships as fast as they can. Keith and Pidge are zipping around shooting the smaller ships and chasing them away from the escape pods that are trapped, while Shiro is taking out hordes of Galra fighters.

“We gotta get the transport clear from the Galra so that they can leave! Then we’ll be able to do some damage to the cruiser!” Shiro shouts through their headsets.

“On it!” Hunk shouts as his Lion rears up behind the transport ship to help push it further away from the Galra, “You guys watch my back while I get these guys clear!”

Lance can already see the Galra flying in to attack Hunk’s lion and he flies off shooting down as many as he can to help protect the ship. Keith zips around behind him clearing out the last few stragglers. More fighters are coming from the cruiser, this fight won’t end anytime soon until they can take down that ship.

“Hunk, how we doing? Almost clear?” Shiro yells again, flying through another fighter.

“Getting there, they’re trying to jumpstart their boosters, I think they took some damage before we arrived!” Hunk sounds strained through the helmet’s speaker, “Give me a few more ticks!”

The waves of Galra keep coming, and everyone is rushing around taking out fighters left and right trying to prevent them from tracking the transport ship. It’s starting to get overwhelming when finally, Hunk responds.

“Ships clear! Let’s do this!”

“Alright! Form Voltron!” Shiro shouts and everyone flies into formation.

Forming Voltron was always an experience that could not be described accurately. You’d think having your Lion turn upside down and inside out to shift into part of a giant robot would be disorienting, but somehow the transformation was always smooth and quick. Before they knew it they were standing as the Defender of the Universe.

“Alright, let’s take this cruiser out!” Shiro commands.

“Yeah!” everyone shouts in unison.

Flying Voltron was an effort not just physically for the team, but emotionally too, the connection between their lions and each other ran deeper than they could ever imagine and in order to control the robot they had to be in perfect synchronization. Lance could feel the emotions of his teammates as strongly as he could his own during the fight, and he knew they could feel the same.

Voltron flew towards the cruiser blasting at the sides of it with Hunk’s laser cannon. Luckily, the cruiser was alone and not heavily armoured like some of the other Galra ships they’ve fought, so this fight should be over quickly now that they had the upper hand.

“Keith, form sword!”

“You got it!” Keith says, pushing his Bayard into his Lion’s display panel and twisting it.

The sword formed in Voltron’s hand and they quickly surged forth plunging the sword into the roof of the cruiser and dragging it all the way back. Everyone’s yells could be heard through their speakers as the charged forth through the ripping sound of metal and debris. Just before they hit the end Lance felt his stomach lurch in pain, this time accompanied with the small sensation of movement inside him that made him yelp before curling up slightly.

The sword tore through the end of the ship, but Voltron did not hit its signature pose at the end like they usually would have. Instead they tumbled off the end and reformed back into Lions.

“What the heck was that?” Pidge squawked as her lion tumbled through space.

“I don’t know, I felt a sharp pain just at the end before we unformed!” Keith shouts back.

Lance is breathing heavily now, he doesn’t say anything into his speaker, but he can hear the voices of his teammates questioning what happened.

“Lance, what happened?” Hunk’s voice is clear through his headset, “are you okay?”

“I’m fine!” he says a little too fast, “it’s nothing, is everyone else okay?”

“No one got hurt and the cruisers done for, let’s head back to the castle” Shiro says, and everyone agrees.

They make it back to the Castle in no time, after flying the lions back to their hangers they travel back up to the control room for a debriefing with Allura.

“Good work, Paladins. The ship successfully made it through the Galra attack” she beams at them, suddenly her face falls, “However, I noticed you were unable to maintain Voltron at the end of the fight, what happened?”

“Uh, we’re not so sure, everyone says they felt a sharp pain just before we unformed. Maybe Voltron sustained some damage without us noticing what caused it?” Shiro queries
.
“It wasn’t Voltron…” Lance sighs, “it was me.”

“...What do you mean it was you?” Keith asks, looking at him with a frown.

“I mean it was me because that was my pain you felt, everyone must have felt it because we were connected through Voltron.”

“Wait, you mean we all just felt your pain?” Shiro asks, looking from Allura to Lance.

“I mean, I think that was what happened at least? It was the same kind of pain I usually get with cramps, that’s why…”

“Allura, is that possible?”

“It is, but only between very strong bonds. Maybe because of today’s events you were all trying your hardest to connect again through your lions, which resulted in a shared feeling of Lance’s pain. It works similarly to how you can all feel each other’s thoughts and emotions through Voltron, but on a more physical level.”

“Well, what do we do if it happens again? We can’t just break formation anytime someone gets hurt” Pidge sighs.

“I believe you only disbanded this time due to the sudden and unexplained nature of the pain, I’m sure you will not be so surprised if it happens again” Allura explains, “You’ve done some good work today Paladins, I know it has not been easy for everyone but please try to use the rest of the day to relax.”

Lance feels a slight twinge of guilt as he turns to leave, he hopes this doesn’t become a problem.

--

Hunk had returned to his own room to get changed after the fight. He’d asked Lance if he was feeling better before he left, and he’d responded with a smile, but Hunk could see that he was still hurting inside. He’d probably go see him again after he was finished in his room, just to make sure he was okay. Especially since they were interrupted before by the alarm.

Hunk took a quick shower to rinse off the sweat before stepping back into his bedroom, towel around his hips. He didn’t expect Lance to be sitting cross legged on his bed in his pyjamas.

“Oh, hey, I was gunna swing by your room after I got dressed” Hunk says standing by his dresser.

“Sorry, I just- it felt weird being alone in my room, so I thought I would come here” Lance says rubbing the back of his neck nervously.

“Hey, no sweat, just saves me the walk to your room” Hunk beams pulling out some clothes to wear.

Lance tries not to stare too hard when Hunk pulls on his underwear and drops his towel, tossing it back into the bathroom. It's not the first time Lance has appreciated his best friend’s appearance, Hunk was attractive, Lance could admit that much. His broad shoulders and strong arms were definitely worth the appreciation. Especially when he knew how gentle those strong limbs could be wrapped around his body.

Hunk finishes dressing before sitting down on the bed opposite Lance. He smiles at Lance and Lance smiles back before his face pulls a disgusted expression and his fists clench beside him.

“What?” Hunk asks.

“Ugh...it’s been moving ever since we got back to the castle” Lance groans closing his eyes for a second, “it feels so weird, dude.”

“What’s it feel like?”

“It feels like, squirming? poking? Like I’ve got some weird alien moving around inside me? Oh wait, I do…” Lance groans, flopping back onto the bed. Lance’s shirt rides up slightly when he lies back, and Hunk can see his tummy poking out from under it, scar faint, but visible.

“...Can I touch it?” Hunk asks gently. He doesn’t expect him to say yes, he knows how uncomfortable Lance was when Keith touched him before, he's never even seen Lance touch it except to pull his shirt over it. Lance is quiet for a second.

“Alright.”

“Wait, really? Are you sure?” Hunk asks, he doesn’t want to hurt him.

“I mean, yeah, if you want? I guess I’m gunna have to get used to touching it eventually…” Lance sighs. He leans his head forward to pull his shirt up a little more, exposing his round belly.

“Just be gentle okay? It’s really sore.”

“Yeah, of course” Hunk says.

Hunk reaches out and gently places his hand on top of Lance’s stomach, at first Lance flinches at the contact but he stills again and nods at Hunk letting him know it's okay. Slowly Hunk slides his hand over the round bump, it’s harder than he expected. Nothing about it is soft or squishy like his own tummy, but instead its hard and firm to the touch. His skin is also really hot, Hunk can feel the warmth heating his own skin just from the touch. He continues to rub at Lance’s belly gently, massaging the skin softly and feeling around for something inside.

He runs his fingers along the faint scar that he can see clearly now. The line is so straight and clean that it could have only been done surgically, a silent confirmation of their suspicions. He rubs his hand back up over Lance’s belly button, he can hear Lance’s breathing pick up beneath his touch, before adding his other hand. He starts rubbing them up and down Lance’s sides.

“Still sore?” Hunk asks quietly.

Lance has folded his arms over his eyes to cover his face, but Hunk can see the little nod he does. He smirks to himself about how cute Lance looks right now, laid out in front of him. He has to stop his train of thought there, reminding himself that this is his best friend he’s thinking about right now.

Finally, he feels something move under his hand. He stops his rubbing to let it wriggle underneath his palm again, feeling a small thump under it.

“Wow…” he breathes out.

“Gross, right?”

“I mean, like, in a wow-nature-is-really-amazing-and-gross kinda way. Then yeah.”

“Well, nature didn’t do this. Science did” Lance mumbles.

Hunk returns to his gentle massage after he stops feeling the movement under Lance’s skin. Lance squirms a little under his touch, which makes Hunk chuckle and rub the spot again, making Lance’s back arch slightly.

“Ticklish?” Hunk giggles.

“No? It...it feels...nice. Like, too nice” Lance says breathily, if Hunk wasn’t also feeling a little hot under the collar he would’ve thought he imagined the little moan that escaped Lance’s lips.

“I think you should stop...” Lance says, pushing himself up as much as he can.

“Yeah. Right. Of course,” Hunk fumbles pulling his hands away from Lance and sitting back while he watches him adjust his shirt. He clears his throat awkwardly just to fill the silence.

“Sorry, if I made you uncomfortable, I didn’t mean-”

“Hunk, it’s fine, okay? Don’t worry” Lance smiles, and god if Hunk could figure out how that boy could smile so bright he was sure he’d be able to generate enough power for an entire city.

“C’mere” Lance says, patting the spot next to him from the top of the bed. Hunk climbs up tp sit next to Lance, they lean against each other’s shoulders and rest their heads together.

“Our lives have become really weird ever since we left Earth…”

Hunk laughs, nodding his head. “Yep, they certainly have.”

They snuggle together and talk about the Garrison, Earth, home, and all the weird things they’ve done so far. For tonight they’ll pretend like nothing ever changed, like they still share a dorm together on earth and their biggest worries are doing homework and trying to figure out how to spend their weekends. Like the weight of the universe isn’t on their shoulders.

Chapter Text

Lance finds himself back in his least favourite place in the Castle, the healing room. After breakfast that morning Coran had asked him if he wouldn’t mind meeting him there so that they might try running some more tests and doing a proper check up on Lance and the “baby” as Coran had referred to it. Lance had kindly asked him to never use that word again.

He once again had to wiggle his way back into the healing pod’s bodysuit and he seriously cursed Altean’s apparent love for skin tight clothing. Honestly, who thinks of this stuff. He’s wearing his jacket on top even though he knows he has to take it off and that everyone has already seen him without it, but it just makes him feel better. Like this could be almost okay.

“Alright then, before we get started I thought I might let you know what we plan on looking for today” Coran says more cheerfully than one should be this early, “So first off we’ll start by checking all your vitals and comparing them to the ones from your last scan to see if there are any changes. Then we’ll be scanning your womb to check the growth of the ba- uh foetus, to try and estimate its gestation period. It’s clear that this isn’t a standard human length gestation, as it appears to be progressing very quickly. Do you remember how many quintants it has been since that night?”

“Uhh, let’s see…” Lance hums, thinking out loud and counting on his fingers, “twenty-six? I think?”

“Well, that certainly is some impressive growth then” Coran says, there’s a slight crease between his eyebrows that shows how ‘not good’ that length of time is to the man. “So, what are some of the symptoms you’ve experienced so far then?”

“Uhh well there’s the cramps, I’ve been feeling them from the start a few times every day at least, then there’s the sore back, but that one’s more recent. The nausea, but that comes and goes, and I don’t actually throw up most of the time I just feel sick. I get tired really fast these days, some foods taste really weird, obviously, my stomach is growing...oh, and yesterday it started moving. I think that’s everything?”

“Alright then, at least that’s nothing too abnormal” Coran says, even though Lance feels like everything he just said was very abnormal and not something he should be experiencing. Coran finishes typing out the last of Lance’s words into the screen before looking up at him with a gentle smile.

“Shall we get started then?”

“Yeah, let’s do it” Lance says pulling his coat off, he hands it to Hunk who’s been quietly leaning against one of the empty pods, trying to give Lance some privacy. He’s here because he promised Lance that he was going to help support him through this, and Lance said he wanted him here so here he was.

When the pod closes Lance in Hunk walks over to stand with Coran at the control panel. Allura and Shiro felt their presence would not be necessary for future check-ups, they’d be happy just to get summaries of what happened afterwards. After a moment the control panel lights up again, flickering with information.

Coran starts reading through the information, comparing it back to the scan from a few days ago. All his vitals seem to be normal, which is a relief, so they continue with the body scan. The 3D model of Lance’s body appears on the screen, but this time Coran wastes no time on focusing it onto the womb inside Lance.

“Now that we know that he’s pregnant we can do a few check-ups we didn’t do last time that should help us understand just how far along he is and what we’re expecting. With the healing pod we should be able to scan the foetus inside of his womb to find out some information about it, although obviously not as much as we could discover if we did a more invasive scan, but I won’t subject Lance to that.”

“So, like an ultrasound?” Hunk asks, leaning closer to the screen.

“What’s that?”

“On Earth we use them to look at the inside of a uterus to see the baby while it’s still developing” Hunk explains.

“Well, yes, then it’s like your Earth ultrasound then.”

There was a small beep from the screen and Coran looked down to check it.

“Ah, here we go, let’s have a look then. We should be able to monitor the foetus’ life signs as well from here.”

The screen changed as Coran pulled up the scan, it looked very similar to the 3D ultrasounds back on earth, but the lines are clearer and smoother. For the first time he can actually see the forms of whatever is growing inside of his friend, and he’s surprised that they’re not as horrifying as he thought they might be. With all the terror and pain they’d caused Lance it was surprising to see that it had a fairly human looking body. Hunk could make out small arms and legs and its large round head. The face was squishy looking and probably the most alien thing about it that Hunk could see. Though even human babies looked alien at this stage.

“Somehow, I expected it to look, I dunno, more alien?” Hunk states casually.

“Well, hopefully this means it’ll be a little easier on Lance if it doesn’t look like a terrible monster.”

Coran starts to rotate the scan, getting a look at the foetus from different angles when he suddenly stops. His finger comes up slowly to point at the new form on the screen, shaking slightly as he turns to Hunk. Hunk’s jaw drops when he sees what Coran is pointing at.

“Is that...what I believe it is?” Coran says quietly.

“Holy crap, there’s two of them…”

“Oh dear…”

There it is, as clear as the first one, the squirming form of the second baby hidden behind it's sibling. They might’ve missed it completely if the pod didn’t scan a full 3D model of the womb, but now that they’ve seen it they can’t unsee it. He’s having twins.

“...At least that gives us one reason why he’s getting so big so soon” Coran sighs.

“How the hell are we going to tell him!? He could barely handle one foetus and now there are two!” Hunk shrieks, practically pulling his hair out in worry.

“You may need to prepare for another afternoon of crying if this goes the same way as the previous few days. Let’s hope he can take this news a little better…”

“Yeah, let’s hope…”

Coran quietly continues his work, taking measurements of the foetuses and checking heart rates and other vitals, documenting all of them to share with both Lance, Allura and Shiro later. He had charts open with lists of information about various gestation periods for different species and was comparing them back and forth with the current inhabitants of Lance’s body. After a long while of back and forthing he stood upright and sighed triumphantly.

“Well, it’s not the most accurate, but I think I’ve narrowed down the gestation period as much as I can. Comparing this pregnancy to a human one as well as several other species I can guess that Lance will probably continue to gestate the foetuses for anywhere between 2 to 4 more phoebs. It’s more of an art than a science really…”

“Great, so that’s a very unspecific measurement of time then…” Hunk sighs.

“Well, without knowing what species or anything about the actual aliens he’s developing all I can do is guess work. However, it’s the best information we’ve got to work with” Coran sighs, “I guess we should wake him up then and tell him the news.”

“This can’t go well…” Hunk already feels terrible, Lance can’t catch a break these days it seems. Every day he just gets something terrible thrown at him and it feels like Hunk can do very little to help him.

The pod hisses open and a sleepy Lance blinks his eyes open before carefully stepping out of the pod. He looks around, a little confused, before his eyes meet Hunk and Coran and he relaxes as his memories return. He stretches his shoulder and arms a little before reaching out to take his jacket from Hunk’s open hand.

“So, who’s the father?” Lance jokes, and boy Hunk wishes he could joke back with him to make this easier. He really does.

“I would assume it was the aliens that abducted you- you’re joking. Right.” Coran stops himself, remembering that he doesn’t need to analyse everything Lance does, especially not his jokes.

Lance actually laughs a little, which makes Hunk’s heart thump in his chest. He doesn’t want to ruin the chance of today being the start of a good day for Lance, but he also knows he can’t hide him from the truth.

“Wanna sit down? I think we should sit down first” Hunk says trying his best to smile calmly.

It doesn’t work, Lance sees straight through him and his smiles drops immediately.

“You’re kidding, what could possibly go wrong now? Has it got like, razor sharp claws or something? Six arms?” Lance grumbles, but he still follows them through to the connecting room they sat in last time. They sit at the table and Coran places his tablet with a document of notes open on the table in front of Lance.

“These are the notes I took about today’s check-up, they contain all the information you told me yourself, as well as the information we gained from the healing pod. If you’re alright with it I will be sharing some of this information with Allura and Shiro so that they remain informed about your health, so please tell me if there’s anything you’d like me to keep private” Coran says, and already Lance doesn’t like the serious tone he’s taken.

“Yeah, of course. But first, Coran, please can you talk to me like a normal person? I know you’re trying to be sensitive but you’re mostly just creeping me out with how dead inside you sound” Lance says, flipping through the notes in front of him.

“Wha- Do I really sound that bad?” Coran questions, looking between the two boys.

“I mean, you don’t really sound like yourself” Hunk agrees, Lance nods beside him.

“Fine! I’ll do my best to sound more young and cool then, shall I?” Coran says putting way too much emphasis on the words young and cool.

Lance snickers, “Yeah, much better.”

“Right, well then onto the topic at hand. Your scan today, as you’ll be pleased to hear, was not very different from the first one which means none of your organs are sustaining damage. Hooray!” Coran waves a fist triumphantly with his joyous exclamation.

“Yippee” Lance agrees.

“You have grown larger in the past few days, but I’m sure you’re aware of that yourself. It is an alarmingly fast rate of growth compared to a human pregnancy or even an Altean one. Though, I’m sure you’ve probably noticed that one yourself as well. We can assume the cramps you feel are related to the speed of the growth you are experiencing, which is putting more stress than normal on the surrounding organs and soft tissue that the womb has settled in. This probably won’t go away for the duration of the pregnancy, and might actually get worse the more you grow.”

“Great…” Lance groans, “more pain.”

“Yes, yippee,” Coran says flatly, “We’ve also ascertained from a 3D scan of your womb that you are in fact carrying two foetuses, as opposed to just one like we originally suspected. This may also be adding to your rapid growth.”

“What.”

“Yeah” Hunk sighs.

“Oh, fucking hell” Lance says dropping his head into his hands, “could this get any goddamn worse?!”

“I mean, at least it’s not triplets?” Hunk suggests.

Lance’s head whips up to look at him pointedly, “Don’t you dare, don’t even fucking say it!” he shrieks.

“Sorry!” Hunk says, putting his hands up defensively.

“Ughhhhh, seriously? Twins?” Lance groans, he flops back in his chair staring up at the ceiling, “It’s like the universe hates me.”

At least he’s taking this better than the first time, Hunk sighs. Lance recovers himself into a more upright position in his seat before looking back at Coran. He takes a deep breath.

“Alright, what else is there. C’mon, lay it on me.”

“Well, the best estimate we have on gestation period is anywhere between 2 and 4 more phoebs. It’s not the most accurate, but at least it gives us a time frame to work with.”

“Alright, well I guess it could be worse then. Is there anything else?”

“Nothing else, unless you would like to see some images of the foetuses?” Coran asks carefully, unsure if this will set Lance off or not.

“Ew, no thanks. I already have to live with them inside me, I don’t need a mental image to go along with that” Lance grimaces.

“Fair enough, then we’re all done for today. I’ll let you know the next time I need you for another check-up, until then I’ll be sharing today’s information with Allura and Shiro” Coran says, standing from the table to walk out with Hunk and Lance.

“Sure thing, Coran” Lance says before they part their separate ways, Coran no doubt going straight to the control room to find their princess and leader.

Hunk and Lance start walking back towards their rooms slowly. Hunk looks over at Lance inspecting his expression, nothing on his face leads him to believe he’s in pain or very upset right now, which surprises him. Hunk thought Lance would take the news a little worse.

“You’re taking this surprisingly well” Hunk comments.

“Well, I’ve had a bit more time to think about this, and I’ve decided if I want everyone to treat me normally despite what’s happening then I can’t spend forever crying and getting angry at everyone for something they didn’t do. It sucks, this whole situation sucks, but I can’t let it ruin my whole life, y’know?”

Hunk is surprised at Lance’s response, he’d apparently recovered a lot faster than Hunk thought he could. He was proud of him for deciding that he wasn’t going to let this stop him from being himself though, it meant things might start to feel like normal a lot faster now. He hoped this was a good step for Lance. Before they knew it, they were standing outside of Lance’s door.

“Want me to hang out for a while?” Hunk asks.

“Nah, I think I want to spend some time alone, y’know? I haven’t really had a chance to just be by myself and think about this yet” Lance says.

“Of course, buddy, you know where to find me if you need me” Hunk says with a wave as he wanders off down the hall while Lance waves back from the inside of his doorway.

As soon as the door shuts behind Lance he rushes into his bathroom and collapses in front of the toilet, coughing and throwing up his breakfast into the bowl. Tears prickle at his eyes and spill down his cheeks as he coughs and spits for a few long minutes. He finally stops to rest his sweaty face against the cool tiles on the wall, taking deep, shaking breaths. He pulls his arms around his middle and hiccups out a sob. Why him? He curls into himself and shakes as his stomach churns and tears run down his face.

He put up a good front today, Lance knows he did otherwise Hunk wouldn’t have let him go so easily. He’d been in such a bad shape for the past two days that he knew it would be draining for Hunk to have to spend another night holding Lance while he cried. He couldn’t make his best friend do that, he had to learn to get through this alone. Even if that meant sitting in his bathroom and crying hysterically. God, his life sucks.

Twins? Two of them growing inside him? Jesus, he could barely handle the thought of one alien taking over his body, and now there were two. He was outnumbered, there wasn’t a chance in hell he would survive this now. He felt a thump under his flesh, and scowled down at his own stomach in disgust.

“I wish you would just die! I don’t want you inside me, so just fucking stop!” he growls down at his round bump. The thumps continue, stronger against his skin, and he moans in pain at the feeling.

“Why me? Why do I have to do this?” He sobs burying his face in his arms.

“Someone’s not going to make it through this, and it's gunna be either you or me” Lance says to the alien freeloaders taking residence in his guts, “I really hope it’s you though.”

The door to Lance’s room slides open and shuts, he can hear the click of the mechanical doors from his spot on the bathroom floor. He holds his breath for a moment, did Hunk come back to check on him? He thought he put on a pretty convincing face before they parted ways.

“Lance?” calls a voice from his bedroom that definitely isn’t Hunk’s.

Keith? What’s that mullet head doing in Lance’s room? Lance tries to stay quiet, hoping Keith will just leave but a sharp kick inside him makes him whimper before he can clap a hand over his mouth to stifle it.

“Lance?” Keith calls again, closer to the bathroom door now, “Are you in there?”

“Y-yeah, I’m… I’m having a shower, go away!” Lance calls out, but he can hear the strain in his own voice and he knows Keith’s not that stupid.

“You don’t even have the water running, Lance. I’m coming in, alright?” Keith says as the door slides open.

Lance tries to force himself into a more dignified position, but it’s difficult when he’s in a crumpled-up ball on the floor and he has about one second before Keith is standing in his bathroom staring down at him. Keith’s eyes quickly widen when he sees the state Lance is in.

“Shit, Lance, are you okay?” Keith says kneeling down in front of him, reaching a hand out to touch Lance’s forehead.

“I’m fine” Lance lies, “Just felt a bit nauseous, that’s all.”

Keith’s gives him a disapproving look, letting Lance know that he doesn’t buy his bullshit excuses. He stands up and grabs a hand towel from the sink, wetting it with cool water before sitting down in front of Lance again to gently dab at his forehead and face.

“You don’t have to do that” Lance says, gently trying to push Keith’s hand away.

“Just, shut up and let me help, okay?” Keith frowns.

Lance huffs, but remains quiet while Keith helps clean him up and get him on his feet. He flushes the toilet as well in passing when he sees the contents of it, but ignores Lance’s attempt at apologizing in favour of getting him out of the bathroom and sitting on the edge of his bed.

“Geez, why didn’t you call for help if you were feeling that sick? You know any of us would’ve come straight away…” Keith says sitting next to him.

“Yeah, well I don’t need someone to take care of me 24/7 okay? I can take care of myself.”

“Well from what I saw, you’re not doing that good of a job.”

“Says the reckless pilot…” Lance jabs.

“Hey, it’s called tactics, maybe you could learn a thing or two.”

“Yeah, I’ll be sure to take plenty of notes the next time you crash your Lion into something. Why are you even in my room?”

“Well…I wanted to say sorry for what I did yesterday. I don’t really know why I grabbed you like that, and... I’m sorry. It was weird, everything you were saying and what was happening sounded so terrible, and you everyone was just acting like it was a normal thing that you’d been abducted? I think part of me didn’t want to believe someone was capable of doing something that cruel. I didn’t want to think you’d have to experience something like that, but instead I just made it worse.”

“Keith, you’re such a weirdo. I know you’re sorry, but seriously don’t creep me out like that again” Lance says, punching Keith’s arm playfully, “Next time Hunk won’t be there to hold me back.”

“Yeah, of course” Keith laughs quietly, “So, how did this morning with Coran go? If you don’t mind me asking.”

“Ughhh…” Lance groans sadly.

“Wow, so not well I’m guessing?”

“The complete opposite. I guess you may as well know, since I’m sure Allura will tell everyone anyway, but guess who’s got not one but two alien lifeforms growing inside them, yayyy” Lance sighs as he waves his hands around for dramatic effect.

“Holy shit…”

“Yeah, I’m a lucky gal” he laughs dryly.

“’I’m sorry, Lance, you don’t deserve this…”

“Yeah, well tell that to the people that did this to me.”

Chapter Text

Lance wakes up alone in bed for the first time in what feels like forever, and he can’t deny the emptiness that he feels when the familiar weight and warmth of another body isn’t draped over him. He can feel the fading ache within his stomach, like he’d woken up just after a series of cramps, which he hopes is the case. It’d be great if he could start sleeping through them. He rolls out of bed and over to his cupboard like he does every day.

However, today something is different. He’s used to inspecting the growth of his stomach every day now, it’s practically a habit at this stage, but today is the first day that when he goes to pull his pants shut they don’t even come close to closing. Wow.

Lance knew his belly was growing fast, but he didn’t expect to need a wardrobe adjustment so soon. He groans as he balls the pants up and shoves them to the back of the closet before digging through to find a pair of lounge pants with an elastic waistband. He steps into them and is thankful that they still fit, even if it’s just by sitting below his swollen tummy. He pulls on his largest shirt, and notices that it too is not a large as it once seemed to be.

“Stupid, fat, freeloaders” Lance grumbles as he leaves his room and heads to breakfast.

For once it seems Lance is not the last to arrive as Hunk’s seat is empty when he walks in. He’s almost about to ask for his whereabouts when he hears some cluttering noises from the kitchen. He walks past his seat at the table and straight to the kitchen to peak in. Hunk is standing over the stove cooking up something that smells delicious and looks kind of purple.

“Oh, morning, Lance!” Hunk says when he sees him peeking through the doorway.

“…Whatcha doing, buddy?” Lance queries as he steps into the kitchen and inspects the simmering pots.

“Well, I thought you might like to eat something other than food goo, y’know? So, I decided to cook breakfast.”

Oh god, how did Lance ever find a friend this sweet, his cheeks warm at the thought of Hunk waking up with a plan to cook him something nice for breakfast. He smiles at Hunk while watching him work.

“I thought I’d be finished before you got here, but I guess you woke up a little faster than usual so just wait a few minutes and I’ll bring it out” Hunk laughs nervously.

“Well, I’m sure we’ll be done faster if we work together” Lance said coming over to stand next to Hunk, “So, what should I do?”

The expression on Hunk’s face somehow becomes even happier, Hunk loves when he can cook together with people. He thinks it’s one of the best ways to get to know a person, you can tell when you really connect with a person based on how well you get along while cooking. If you can still smile and laugh with each other even if you burn the food or ruin the taste, then you know it was meant to be. Even more so if you can manage to enjoy yourselves and cook something edible.

Hunk guides Lance in helping him finish the meal, most of the hard work was already finished by that stage so Lance was mostly just making sure nothing got burnt while Hunk put together the final parts of the meal. When it was finally done they had something delicious that kind of resembled an omelette, but purple with a leafy looking salad on the side.

Hunk and Lance carried their plates out into the dining room to eat. Once again, they were met with the hungry eyes of everyone else in the room, apart from Coran and Allura, who seemed perfectly happy to eat their nutritious food goo.

“You know you guys can use the kitchen whenever you want right? It’s not restricted or anything” Hunk laughs when Pidge’s fork sneaks under his arm to steal a bite from his plate.

“Yeah, but no one can cook with these weird ingredients like you can, so why would we bother” Pidge says, eyeing off his plate like she’s trying to plan the best way to steal it when he’s not looking.

“Maybe tomorrow we could try cooking breakfast for everyone?” Lance suggests, savouring the bites of his freshly made breakfast. Oh yeah, that tasted so much better than food goo.

“Yeah, we can do that. I want to make sure you’re eating enough as well, and I don’t think food goo is gunna cut it” Hunk says between mouthfuls.

“As long as you aren’t trying to make me put weight on or something, I think I’ve got something taking care of that for me already” Lance groans.

“Well, pregnant people do have to put on a lot of weight to stay healthy, and I don’t think the weight you’ve put on so far could really be considered healthy weight gain…”

“Urgh, please don’t lecture me about this right now, you just did something nice that put me in a good mood today, don’t ruin it by talking about healthy weight gain and shit, alright?”

Lance is now frowning at his once very happy looking breakfast, feeling not as excited about a day starting off mostly okay. He looks up when he hears Pidge snickering from her seat across from them.

“What?” Lance scowls, looking at Pidge questioningly.

“Heh, nothing, it’s just funny how married you two sound when you argue like that” she giggles.

Lance stiffens in his seat and looks back down at his plate, his face heats at the suggestion and he knows she’s teasing him but somewhere in his heart it sounds kind of nice. Lance thinks he would be a thousand times more okay with being pregnant if it was with Hunk and- oh my god, did he really just think that?!

“Pidge, c’mon. That’s not even funny” Hunk sighs beside him.

Right, Lance forgot. Hunk was his best friend and he cared about him, but that didn’t mean he had to love him. Especially not when he was disgustingly infested with aliens that distorted his body and made him sore and weak. No one wanted to date someone that was slowly dying.

Lance sat and ate the remainder of his breakfast quietly, and Hunk took nervous glances between him and his own meal. Geez, Hunk felt like he messed up big time, the day had barely started yet somehow Hunk had managed to turn his own kind gesture into a lecture for Lance and put him back into a bad mood. He felt like such a crappy friend. What kind best friend ruins the one nice thing that’s happened all week? A bad one, that’s who. Dammit.

“Thanks for breakfast” Lance says as he gets up to put his plate away. When he returns from the kitchen he continues straight out the door and leaves.

“Ugh” Hunk groans hitting his head with his fist, “why did I have to say that?”

“What?” Pidge asks.

“Everything! I made him uncomfortable, and made him sad when I was trying so hard to make him happy. He’s probably had the worst week in the history of the universe, and I can’t even make him breakfast without screwing something up…” Hunk laments openly.

“Dude…” Pidge sighs, she knows that is not why Lance was upset. Not even close. These boys were as dumb as they were blind to each other’s feelings. She sighs, “Maybe he’s not as upset as you think, you should go talk to him later.”

“Yeah, of course I will.”

Stupid old married couple, Pidge sighs.

--

Lance stopped by his room only to grab his tablet before heading to the lounge room to relax. He didn’t want to spend even more time stuck in his cramped room anymore, so he opted for the more spacious couch instead. He considered heading over to the training deck to do some exercise, but everyday something new had to happen that put him in the wrong mood to be productive.

Lance had been working on that Altean puzzle game a little more, and he thinks he’s finally starting to understand it. He slides the lines around on the screen until they all connect to the glowing light, which moves to a different position after they meet. The current puzzle has so many lines to connect that Lance is deep in thought looking at the blinking light he’s trying to reach. He doesn’t even realise that one hand has come to rest on the top of his stomach to tap at it lightly while he thinks.

His fingers keep swiping at the screen, and he makes it through another few levels, even ignoring the dull cramps he felt while playing. He checks the time on the tablet to see that it has been a lot longer than he’d realised and he should probably try being a little more productive today, since he’s actually feeling good for once. He goes to stand up but stops when the pressure of his stomach makes his back click again and he jolts before falling back down onto the couch. Okay, ow.

There’s the same sharp pain he felt last time he tried to stand up too fast and hurt his back now coursing through him. He can barely move from his seated position without hissing in pain, so he knows that the chances of him making it back to his room alone are very unlikely. Keith had reminded him that anyone on the team was willing to help him if he needed it, but how was Lance supposed to ask for help when he couldn’t move? Stupid.

Well, so much for productivity. At least Lance knows he can keep himself preoccupied by this puzzle game for a little while longer before he starts to panic. He’s happy to find that his large stomach is now the perfect place to rest his tablet so that he can keep one hand on his back, gently massaging and applying pressure, while the other works through the puzzle. Finally, something good to come from this pregnancy.

Lance has no idea what kind of magic Hunk worked last time to make it stop. His fingers try to knead the pain away like Hunk had, but no matter how he presses or rolls his fingers against his back he can’t make it go away. Luckily, he only makes it through a few more puzzles before Shiro walks through the door.

“There you are, Lance. Hunk said you weren’t in your room before when he went by, he thought you might’ve been upset with him because of this morning” Shiro says walking around the couch to sit a few feet away from Lance.

“Upset with him? Why would I be upset with Hunk, he didn’t do anything wrong?” Lance questions.

“Well you can tell him that, he was complaining to Pidge that he’d ruined the first good day you’d had all week because he didn’t let you enjoy your breakfast or because he was lecturing you unnecessarily. Either way, you’ll probably want to have a chat with him soon” Shiro firmly suggests, meaning Lance has to or he’ll leave them in a room together until they sort this out. Shiro doesn’t mess around when it comes to the team.

“Yeah, I’ll go as soon as I can” Lance says, returning to his current puzzle.

“Why don’t you go now? You’re not busy at the moment, are you?” Shiro pushes.

“Well, no I’m not. And I would go now but I can’t” Lance says calmly, “I can’t stand up right now.”

“What? Why not? Are you alright?” Shiro frantically questions him, eyebrows raising.

“I’m fine, it’s just my back sometimes gets thrown out. It’s not too bad, I just can’t walk to my room like this.”

“Lance, that doesn’t sound fine. You just told me you can’t stand or walk by yourself right now!” Shiro sounds more panicked by the second.

“Well, last time it wasn’t so bad because Hunk made the pain stop, if I can find him again I should be fine.”

“I’m pretty sure he went back to his room when he didn’t find you before, I can help you get there if you want?” Shiro asks kindly.

“Yeah, that’d be great. I mean I can’t really say no anyway, but yes please.”

Shiro moves over next to Lance and carefully places his arm around him, holding him under his shoulders and gripping under his armpit. He counts down slowly before he lifts Lance to his feet and the whine Lance lets out when they’re standing is enough to make Shiro panic thinking he hurt him worse somehow.

“I-it’s fine, let’s keep moving” Lance breathes.

Shiro nods and they start taking slow, careful steps towards Hunk’s room. They both know it’s going to take a long time with the pace they’re going, and that Shiro is easily strong enough just to carry Lance there, but he’s not going to ask his leader to pick him up and carry him when he can still walk. He has to have some dignity left.

They keep walking down the long, clear hallways, taking breaks every so often for Lance to catch his breath or groan in pain. They’re just a few metres from Hunk’s room when Shiro decides they’ve gone far enough alone.

“Hunk!” he yells, loud enough that Lance flinches against him and they know Hunk won’t miss it.

The door slides open and Hunk’s confused face pops out looking from one side of the hall to the other before he spots Shiro supporting a tired looking Lance just a few steps from his door.

“Lance?! What happened?” Hunk yells quickly stepping over to support Lance’s other side and help Shiro walk him into his room.

“It’s nothing, just my back again. It went when I was sitting on the couch and I couldn’t walk back to my room alone, so Shiro’s helping me” Lance is smiling. How the hell can Lance be smiling right now, Hunk thinks, pulling him over to his bed.

“Ow ow ow ow” Lance hisses as he’s helped to sit down on the bed.

Hunk climbs behind Lance and starts to knead at the sore muscles, pressing into Lance’s spine deftly. Lance grits his teeth through the painful feeling of sore muscles being prodded at, he knows soon it will feel better soon he just has to wait for the tension in his back to be eased by Hunk’s skilled hands.

“...I’ll just go then” Shiro says awkwardly from where he’s standing before shuffling his way out the door, “hope you feel better, Lance.”

Lance just nods because he heard his name, he’s not entirely sure what Shiro said but he could tell that it wasn’t all that important since he left without waiting for a response. The pain is starting to ebb as Hunk works his hands on Lance’s back, and he’s starting to gain some more feelings in it that aren’t just ‘pain’.

“Honestly...I don’t know how you’re so good at this…” Lance groans.

“Heh, it’s only ‘cause my dad’s job was really stressful so my mum would give him massages sometimes. She was really good at it” Hunk chuckles.

“Well, thank god for that. You’re a lifesaver…” Lance sighs, he can roll his shoulders now freely without suffering any pain. He relaxes into Hunk’s touch.

Hunk laughs and continues to rub Lance’s back, even though he’s sure the pain has passed and that he could stop, but he doesn’t want to. He’s happy that he can make Lance feel good.

“...Hunk”

“Yeah?”

“...Do you think I’m disgusting?”

“Wh- of course not! Lance, you aren’t disgusting. Not even close” Hunk says, his hands stop moving and rest gently against Lance’s back.

“Even when I look like this? All bloated and stretched?” Lance mumbles, “and I’m always sick or in pain, I can’t do things like I used to. I can’t even take care of myself anymore...”

“Lance, don’t let what’s happening change how you see yourself. You’re still my stupidly attractive best friend who has something to say about everything. Nothing that’s happened is going to change how I see you.”

“Then why do I feel like it’s changing me so much? I don’t feel like I’m the same person I was a few months ago…” Lance sighs, “how am I supposed to make it through this without losing a part of me?”

“Lance, I…” Hunk hesitates. I can help? Even if he doesn’t know how. I won’t let you? He can’t make promises he can’t keep. I love you? Maybe he could say it, but he doesn’t think he’s ready yet. “I’m sorry.”

“...Yeah, I hear that a lot these days.”

Hunk wraps his arms around Lance’s torso, burying his face into his shoulder. He doesn’t know how to stop his friend from disappearing in front of his very eyes, so he just holds him and hopes that it’s enough to keep him there. That he can somehow save him from his own body.

Chapter Text

It became routine for Hunk and Lance to start their day by cooking breakfast together in the morning. After Lance had suggested the idea to Hunk they’d managed to commit to making something new every day. Everyone in the castle appreciated the change, it was so much more exciting to start the day off with a delicious and strange meal. Lance also felt more accomplished in his daily routine now, cooking gave him a task that he could complete every day that no one could complain about being too difficult or dangerous for him.

Lance’s stomach had also continued to grow at an alarming rate, by the end of the week he looked about as pregnant as someone 5 months along. With twins. He’d just about outgrown all of his regular clothes and has resorted to wearing loungewear and pyjamas around the castle, since they’re the only clothes stretchy enough to still fit even if it’s just barely. Even in his largest shirt his belly still peeks out from underneath it, and he hates the way it feels.

Everyone is sitting at the dining table enjoying their freshly cooked meal, Hunk had really taken to his role as cook and had made breakfast the most exciting meal of the day for the paladins. However, despite the delicious food in front of him, Lance was struggling to keep down bites this morning. He’d only eaten half the food on his plate before he felt sick and full. He had barely eaten half as much as he normally would, but every mouthful made his stomach clench.

“Ugh, I feel so full…” Lance moaned. He put his fork down on the table and leaned back in his chair to gently rub at the top of his round stomach.

“Really? You haven’t eaten very much today, feeling alright?” Hunk says looking between Lance and his plate.

“Just a bit sick, it’ll probably pass though” He sighs, closing his eyes.

He can feel the small thumps of kicking and moving inside him, and he grimaces at the sensation. The two aliens really enjoyed making a jumping castle of Lance’s insides these days, constantly moving and pressing up against the skin of his stomach, making his tight skin feel even more sore and stretched. He even has a full set of stretch marks to prove it.

A well-placed kick to Lance’s stomach has him clapping his hands over his mouth to hold back the gag that comes up.

“Oh dear!” Coran exclaims from the other side of the table.

Lance can still feel the kicks pushing against him, every so often hitting dangerously close to his stomach. He quickly stands to rush to the kitchen sink so that he doesn’t ruin everyone’s breakfast by throwing up on the table. He manages to make it just in time, quickly folding over to throw up violently in the sink. He didn’t realise Hunk had followed him in until that warm hand was on his back again rubbing gentle circles.

“Ugh, can’t even... enjoy breakfast anymore…” Lance breathes between coughs. He has spit on his face and his eyes are watering.

Hunk doesn’t say anything, but he continues to rub his back until Lance can stand upright again. He turns on the sink to rinse his mouth out and clean up the sink before turning to walk back to the dining room.

“Feel a bit better?” Hunk asks, sounding concerned.

“Yeah, it just kicked me right in the stomach that time, couldn’t help it” Lance complains, rubbing his hip with one hand.

“Oh, geez, that must hurt” Hunk says with a look on his face that shows he’s trying to imagine what being kicked in the stomach from the inside must feel like. Not great, he imagines.

“It certainly does” He says as he walks over to his seat again.

“You alright, Lance?” Shiro asks from his seat at the table.

“Yeah, talk about close call. You almost threw up all ov- ow!” Pidge squeaks and there's a thump under the table that could only be someone giving Pidge a warning kick. “I mean, I hope you’re feeling okay” she tries again, smile plastered to her face with her most ‘please-don’t-kick-me-again’ expression.

“I’m fine, guys” Lance rolls his eyes, he pretends he doesn’t see everyone glancing at each other, like it’s some secret ‘he’s not fine’ code. “But, if anyone wants the rest of my breakfast, go for it. I think I’m good for now” Lance says with a grimace.

His leftovers end up in the Altean equivalent of a fridge, in case he changes his mind later.

--

Lance had convinced Hunk to come with him to the training deck today to do some exercise despite his little scene that morning. Lance has been trying to go more regularly these days so that he feels like he’s at least somewhat in control of his body. He’d of course been barricaded off from entering by the three-man trio of Coran, Shiro and Keith, who only agreed Lance could use the training deck if he was accompanied by someone else, was under no circumstances allowed to use the spar drones, only handled long range weapons, and kept to the list of exercises that Coran made for him.

It was a total buzzkill at first, until Lance realised how much harder everything was when he was carrying an extra 10 kilos in his stomach. Then it was more like a reasonable workout plan that he could happily follow. Lance enjoyed the long list of stretches and yoga poses he was given to try, he’d always been pretty flexible, and he definitely felt the stretches helping ease the pressure in his joints and muscles.

Hunk and Lance were sitting on the soft floor mats together working through some different stretches. Hunk was nowhere near as flexible as Lance was, but he still surprised people when he could confidently touch his toes and do some impressive yoga stands. His muscle strength definitely helped him pull off the more complex and impressive looking poses. Lance was stretching out his sides when he felt the all too familiar thump inside him.

“Ughhhhhhh” He whines.

“What?” Hunk says from his sideways position.

“They’ve been moving so much today and it’s seriously killing me. And they’re like kicking me right in the ribs. Ow.”

“Ouch” Hunk sympathises.

Lance sighs while he rights himself from his stretch back into a seated position, he leans back on his hands to take a few deep breaths.

“Ow” he says again, face scrunching up.

Hunk stares at his heaving stomach again curiously, he swore he just saw…? No way. He keeps watching until he sees it again, then he worries.

“Wait dude,” He shuffles closer, “What the heck was that? Lift your shirt up a little.”

“What? What was what, and why do I need to lift my shirt up?” Lance says giving Hunk an extremely questioning look.

“Because I thought I saw it move, like, from the outside.”

“What?!” Lance shouts, yanking his own shirt up to look.

Within seconds a clear bump can be seen pressing out from Lance’s stomach, followed by another fainter one on the opposite side. Lance watches for a few second, both horrified and mesmerised by the life moving within him. Hunk seems to be just as enthralled in the movement too.

“Ew” Lance grimaces, pulling his shirt back over to cover the mound.

“Wow, they really are growing fast…” Hunk mutters.

“Yeah, and the more they grow the more room they take up and I’m already running out of space here” Lance groans, rubbing at his back.

“They’d have plenty of room if they’d picked me” Hunk laughs, patting his own stomach for emphasis.

“Well, be glad they didn’t, otherwise you’d be the one throwing up and living with some aliens kicking your guts around” he says with a wince as one of the said aliens kicks at his guts.

“But then at least I wouldn’t have to see someone I care about suffer everyday…” Hunk sighs, shuffling closer to sit by Lance’s side.

“Yeah, stupid, ‘cause I’d have to watch you suffer instead…”

Hunk just sighs again resting his head atop Lance’s.

“And don’t mention the whole moving thing to Pidge. The first time she heard that she could feel them move she came snooping around my room and wouldn’t leave until I let her feel” Lance grumbles.

“Sure thing, buddy” Hunk laughs, they sit together quietly for a few moments, “alright, c’mon. Get up, we haven’t finished our stretches yet.”

“Ughh, slave driver. Remind me why I wanted to bring you to help me exercise?” Lance whines playfully while Hunk helps him to his feet. It’s quite the effort to get off the ground when you’re this heavy.

“Because Keith wouldn’t know how to do anything that wasn’t related to fighting, Shiro would probably just sit there and do breathing exercises with you so that you don’t get hurt, Pidge would probably just ask you questions the whole time and not help at all and I don’t think Allura or Coran would be much better. Also, you love spending time with me” Hunk grins.

“Ugh, I hate when you’re right…”

--

Lance picked at his dinner slowly, again despite only eating half his food his stomach gurgles in protest at the thought of eating more food. So, he decides that slowly twisting his fork through his food is more useful than trying to eat any of it, especially after this morning.

“Feel sick again?” Hunk asks.

“No, I’m just not hungry, like I’m already full” Lance says curiously.

“Really? You’ve barely eaten today…” Hunk says with a frown.

“I know, but I can’t eat anymore. I don’t want to make myself sick again.”

“Maybe just have something to drink” Shiro suggests.

“Yeah, I guess.”

“I think we should do another scan tomorrow, if you’re up for it, Lance” Coran says, “It’ll be good to check your growth and see if any of your organs are being affected.”

“Yeah, can do” Lance sighs again.

“Want me to come?” Hunk asks, Lance can feel his hand resting close to his own on the table and their fingers touch for a moment.

“If you don’t mind, please” Lance smiles, but there’s a sad look in his eyes, like he expects some bad news soon.

“Of course, anything you need.”

“We should also start figuring out how the foetuses are going to get out of you and what we should do during labor” Coran says way too casually for the kind of topic this is.

Keith chokes on a mouthful of food, Shiro clears his throat loudly, and Pidge becomes far more interested in the conversation than she was before.

“Oh my god, Coran! We are not talking about this right now!” Lance shrieks.

“Well we have to talk about this eventually, unless you just expect them to magically drop out of you?”

“Coran!” Lance yells, his face is red.

“Coran, I think this conversation is probably best to be had between you and Lance, privately” Shiro says firmly.

“Why, the birth of a child is always a joyous occasion in Altean culture, it brings everyone together and a large gathering is always planned to greet the child after-”

“This is not a ‘joyous occasion’!” Lance yells angrily, “there is nothing happy about this! No one is excitedly waiting for me to give birth, everyone is nervously ignoring the fact because it doesn’t make sense! And there aren’t any children to greet afterwards, just monsters-”

“Lance-”

“No! They’re monsters! You don’t have to live with an infestation of them in your body, so don’t even try to pretend like you know how hard this is! And don’t even try telling me that this will be okay or that we’re going to figure this out!” Lance yells again, glaring at everyone who dares to make eye contact.

“We’re sorry-”

“Don’t say that either! God, I’m sick of everyone telling me they’re sorry! We’re all sorry this happened, but reminding me constantly doesn’t fucking help!”

No one can say anything now, Lance has just shut down their go to phrase for problems related to this. Silence eats into the room and no one can look Lance in the eyes. He groans as he pushes himself off the chair, using his hand to help balance his lopsided weight, before walking out of the room.

“I’ll see you in the morning” He says as the doors shut behind him.

Chapter Text

“Lance, can I come in?” was said through the door with a few gentle knocks on the metal.

“Yeah, go ahead.”

The doors slid open as Hunk stepped in the room and walked over to Lance. He sat down on the edge of the bed and they remained there silently for what felt like forever. Hunk knew what he wanted to say, what he felt was necessary to say, but he didn’t know if he was brave enough to do it. How Lance would take it.

“So…” Hunk starts, “that was an interesting dinner?”

Dammit! Why did he start with that? he’d probably just upset Lance more bringing up the terrible argument that just happened.

“I guess you could say that…” He sighs.

“...Coran didn’t mean to embarrass you like that, y’know? He’s just as worried as everyone else is and is trying to help in the best way he knows how. It just so happens that means talking openly about subjects to make plans, which isn’t what you want when it comes to private stuff.”

“Yeah, well you’d think he’d remember to treat me with a little more care, I already told him not to call them anything other than foetuses, but then he was talking about celebrations and greeting children into the world? Like, did you forget that these aren’t my kids and that I’m not doing this because I want to? Ugh” Lance groans, flopping himself over on the bed.

“Yeah, that wasn’t the smartest move…” Hunk agrees. He takes a deep breath and pauses just for a moment, “uhm, Lance?”

“Hm?” Lance hums.

“I, uh, I wanted to tell you something” Hunk stutters, his nerves are on edge and he’s not sure if this is a good or a bad idea yet, but what the hell.

“What is it, buddy?” Lance sounds like he’s nervous too.

“Um, well, I… We’re best friends, right?” Hunk derails. Maybe he can work up to this.

“Uh, yeah of course we are. Why, did you forget or something?” Lance snickers.

“Hah...no I didn’t forget, it’s just...have you ever thought about if we were, I dunno, more than friends?” Hunk is rushing, the last few words tumble out of his mouth nervously.

“Huh?” Lance questions.

“Like, if we were dating or something, what would you think about that?” Hunk’s looking at the wall away from Lance, his face is red, and he rubs the back of his neck nervously.

“Oh… why are you asking me that?” Lance mutters quietly.

“Because...I- I like you. A lot. I mean- I love you. Like in the romance kind of way, not just the best friend way” Hunk mumbles, “but I also love you in the best friend way too! I- I just...yeah...love you.”

Hunk looks at Lance’s face for the first time since he started talking. He was hoping for maybe excitement, happiness, even just passive acknowledgement would’ve been fine. He didn’t expect tears. Crap.

“Why did you tell me that…” Lance whispers, his voice is strained like he’s trying not to cry.

“I- I’m sorry! You can just forget I ever said anything. You don’t have to feel the same way, I’m not gunna pressure you or anything. I just- I wanted you to know how I felt. I’m...yeah” Hunk rushes again trying to take back what he said. He should’ve guessed that Lance didn’t want this, that he might be sick of friends falling in love with him and ruining a good thing.

“I just...don’t understand...how can you love me...when I’m like this?” Lance is hiccuping his words, still trying to not let his tears become sobs.

“Lance…” Hunk’s eyes widen at the confession, “of course I can, you’re still you! You’re still everything I love about you!”

“I’m not though! I’m a tired, disgusting, sick version of who you used to know!” Lance cries, “you don’t want to love me…”

“Well, I do Lance. I love you so much and I want to be here with you, always” Hunk says.

“Well, you shouldn’t. I mean I’m fucking pregnant, Hunk. You could do so much better.”

Hunk takes one of Lance’s hands in his own, “The only way you’re getting rid of me is to tell me you don’t love me and that you don’t want me here. Then I’ll leave, but otherwise I’m staying to help you”

“Idiot...of course I love you. How could anyone possibly know you for this long and not love you? You’re perfect...which is why you shouldn’t love me!”

Hunk’s heart skips a beat, holy crap. Lance loves him too. Hunk’s arms circle around Lance’s body and pull him close to his chest.

“Lance, do you really love me?”

“I do, but it doesn’t matter how I feel! You should find someone else…” Lance is sobbing into Hunk’s shoulder now, the frustration of his feelings finally pushing him over the edge.

Lance does love Hunk, he has for months, almost years at this stage. Maybe before all this happened he might’ve seen them actually going somewhere together, but right now he can only see himself pulling Hunk down and making him suffer for no good reason. He could do so much better, so why does he want Lance?

“Then why does it matter? I love you too, Lance. I want to be with you, no one else. Will you let me try being there for you?”

“I can’t do that to you, Hunk…”

“Lance, I’m going to be here regardless of whether or not we’re dating. So, will you give me a chance?”

“Hunk…”

“Please.”

“...you’re too good for me, I don’t deserve you.”

“I know, because you deserve a thousand times better, but I still hope you’ll have me.”

Lance manages a small laugh, “...I always wanted you to love me.”

“Is that a yes?”

“Yeah, it’s a yes.”

“Yes!” Hunk cries as he somehow pulls Lance into an even bigger hug.

They fall together on the bed, tangled in each other’s arms. Hunk gently wipes the tears from Lance’s face as he smiles at him. Lance smiles back too.

“...How do people that date act again?” Hunk laughs.

“Y’know, for some reason I feel like we’ve been doing a pretty good job at that ourselves recently” Lance admits.

“Hahaha, so that’s what Pidge meant.”

They laugh together for a few moments before staring into each other’s eyes for what feels like the first time. They were always such close friends that touching and being around each other never seemed like the wrong thing to do, but somehow it felt even more natural now.

“You’re really pretty” Hunk says.

“So are you” Lance smiles.

“...um, can I kiss you?” Hunk asks.

“Yeah, I’d like that” Lance smiles that stupidly beautiful smile he has, and Hunk can’t help himself from wanting to claim those lips for himself.

Hunk presses their lips together. It’s a bit awkward at first, they’re still trying to figure this out and trying to kiss while lying down and trapped in each other’s arms is also not the easiest. But, they soon get the hang of it. It feels right, you’d think kissing your best friend would feel weird at first, but it just feels so right they can’t help but deepen the kiss. When they finally pull apart they’re both glassy eyed and red faced, heavy breaths between them.

“You know, I think we’re gunna be okay” Hunk smiles.

Lance just laughs and presses his head into Hunk’s chest.

--

Hunk and Lance walk into breakfast that morning holding hands, it didn’t seem like a bold choice to them. Honestly, they didn’t expect anyone to even notice the change, but as soon as Pidge lays eyes on them she starts bouncing in her chair and yelling.

“Ahh! You finally did it!” She shrieks happily, “Who said it first?! Oh my god I was seriously starting to think you’d never confess!”

Lance is shocked and looks around frantically, no one seems to be as enthusiastic as Pidge, and only Keith is looking between Pidge and Lance confusedly.

“Uh, it was me, I guess?” Hunk says shyly, rubbing the back of his head with a smile.

“Yes! I win! Pay up, Shiro!” Pidge cries triumphantly. Shiro doesn’t look as excited.

“Wait, did you bet on which of us would confess first?” Lance asks.

“Obviously, and I won!” She laughs, poking her tongue out at Shiro, “But seriously, congratulations! Took you idiots long enough, but I’m glad you finally did.”

Hunk and Lance can’t really say anything to that, it’s a little embarrassing that all of their friends were just waiting for them to start dating. Keith still looks confused.

“Yes, I mean it was rather obvious” Allura smiles from her end of the table, “and of course the mice do like to gossip” Lance swears he sees her wink.

“Couldn’t be happier for you two!’ Coran beams like a proud parent, wiping a tear from his eye.

“Wow, uhh thanks guys” Hunk says, a little shell shocked, “um, I guess we’re gunna go cook breakfast now?” He looks at Lance for approval.

“Yeah” Lance is kinda speechless.

They walk into the kitchen, only stopping to glance back once before hiding behind the doors. They can just hear the faint voice of Keith ask when they started dating followed with a deep sigh that could only be Pidge’s. They silently start preparing for breakfast, pulling out cooking utensils and ingredients to line up on the table.

“Did that really just happen?” Lance asks.

“Yeah, I think it did…” Hunk stops to stare off into the room.

“I mean, wow, I can’t believe they all knew, and we didn’t even notice?”

“Well, except for Keith” Hunk corrects.

“That guy wouldn’t know a feeling if it came up and introduced itself to him!” Lance laughs.

“I mean, if feelings could introduce themselves then, yeah, sure.”

They continue to work around each other preparing breakfast. Hunk is making a kind of savoury pastry for breakfast today with a side of sizzling meats that are the closest thing to bacon they’ve found in space. It doesn’t take too long for them to plate everything up and start bringing the food out. Hunk is balancing five plates with practiced ease while Lance just carries his and Hunk’s plates out. They lay them all out on the table and soon everyone is digging into their meal.

“After we’re finished eating shall we go straight to the healing room, Lance?” Coran asks during the meal.

Lance had forgotten he’d agreed to another session with the healing pod, but he knows there’s really no avoiding it at this stage.

“Yeah, sure thing.”

“Excellent, I’m sure we’ll have lots to discuss today” Coran sounds more enthusiastic than Lance would’ve liked.

“Yay…” He sighs.

--

Lance had only managed to eat half his breakfast today, he tried to cover it by saying that the meat was a little too greasy for him and that it made him nauseous, which wasn’t a complete lie. Hunk and Lance are now standing with Coran in the healing room, Lance is wearing the same uncomfortably tight pod suit as always, but he isn’t wearing his jacket today. He’d kind of given up on wearing his jacket most days since he could only wear his pyjamas.

He can see Coran and Hunk trying not to stare at his stomach, and he’s thankful that they’re at least trying. Honestly, he’s so large he can’t even keep his own eyes off his belly. This is the only time when he has to really see how much his body had changed apart from when he showers and dresses, which he usually does as quickly as possible to avoid it. But there’s not much he can do now to avoid his growing belly.

“Well then, shall l start with a rundown of what we’re doing today?” Coran asks.

“Go ahead” Lance replies.

“First, we’ll be using the healing pod to double check all the same things we’ve checked for the past visits such as how your body is coping and the development of the foetuses. Today, we’ll also be looking into your pelvic region to see what the likelihood of a natural birth is” Coran recites neatly.

“Wait, natural birth? Like, not cutting it out? Like, I have to push it out?” Lance says sounding horrified.

“Well, yes. Like I said the healing pod isn’t equipped to complete these kinds of detailed surgeries, it’s not like a replacement for medical professionals, its purpose was to prevent the loss of life through accidental injury or illness.”

“Okay, but what about the pushing part? Where is it supposed to come from? Pretty sure I don’t have a vagina!” Lance says in a panic.

“Well you do, and you don’t, the aliens that modified your body did not seem to think you’d need the full cosmetic appearance, but they did not lax on any necessary part of the organ. You are likely to not have noticed but you do actually have a birth canal. It’s fairly noticeable on the scans we’ve taken, though I doubt Hunk will have much understanding on how the organ appears internally.”

“I’ve seen pictures of it during biology, does that count?” Hunk queries.

“Anyway, it is difficult to tell how your body, or the organ will react when you go into labour, so we must hope that when the time comes it all works together nicely” Coran continues without pause, “There are some more invasive scans I could complete to help us learn more about the birth canal, but I’m sure you don’t want to do any of them unless they are necessary, which they aren’t. The information we can gather from the healing pod provides ample information.”

Lance looks a little stricken by the news, his face is pale, and his breathing is coming in heavy. Hunk is gently rubbing at his back hoping to keep him calm, but it doesn’t seem to be helping as Coran continues to talk.

“The most important information we need right now is whether or not your hips are wide enough for the head, or heads I guess, to pass through, which considering you’re male they probably won’t be. Some of the exercises I gave you to do will help open your hips up more, if you need a more precise list I can make you one. You should probably spend at least half an hour a day doing them, if not as often as you can to loosen up the muscles.”

Lance nods blankly, his breathing is starting to come in alarmingly fast and Hunk fears he might be panicking. He gently turns Lance’s face towards him, so he can see him clearly, immediately he can tell he’s not okay. His eyes are glassy, and his face is pale and sweaty. He sounds like he’s about to hyperventilate.

“Lance, you’re okay. We’re here for you, what do you need?” Hunk says calmly.

“I- I can’t… I can’t do this...I’m- No, I don’t want to-” Lance says. He’s staring up at Hunk wildly and stuttering over his own words between too fast breaths.

“It’s alright, you’re alright. Take deep breaths, Lance. Nice deep ones, okay?” Hunk instructs Lance to take slow deep breaths while petting his back. Hunk breathes with him at first, deep breath in hold deep breath out. His breathing starts to get a little better.

“Hunk...Hunk, I don’t want to give birth… I can’t do it...I can’t-” Lance says, gripping onto Hunk for dear life.

“I know, I know you don’t want to. We’ll worry about that later, okay? Don’t think about that now.”

“That’s right Lance, you’ve still got a while to go. Try not to think about it for the moment, we can continue on with the scan when you’re ready so please take your time” Coran says, looking worried.

Lance nods, resting his head on Hunk’s shoulder and taking deep breaths for a few minutes. Hunk holds him and continues rubbing his back with one arm, waiting for him to feel ready enough to continue. Soon Lance re-emerges looking less pale and frightened, if not slightly wary. Hunk smiles at him reassuringly.

“Alright, I’m ready now” He says.

“Wonderful, the pod is ready whenever you are, Lance” Coran smiles.

“I’m right here waiting for you” Hunk says, pressing a quick kiss to Lance’s cheekbone.

“Thanks” he says before stepping into the pod and laying down.

His eyes shut in moments and the control panel lights up.

Chapter Text

The machine lights up and starts flashing with information, Coran wastes no time in getting to work reading through the scans and comparing. Hunk takes a moment longer to look at Lance’s sleeping form. He feels so terrible for Lance, having just witnessed the panic attack he just had. He wants to be able to help Lance, but he can’t fix these problems. He wishes he could.

“Coran, is there anything I can do to help Lance get ready?” Hunk asks.

“Well the most important thing would be to continue assisting him with the stretches, that’s the easiest way to help him prepare for labor” Coran says, eyes still attached to the screen, “You could also help encourage him to explore his new body parts more, as I’m sure he hasn’t done that yet. That would also help him stretch a little before birth, and hopefully help him get more comfortable with it.”

“Right...I’ll try my best.”

“That’s all I can ask you to do” Coran smiles, “both of you.”

“How do you know all this stuff anyway? I mean you said you weren’t a doctor” Hunk asks casually.

“Well, I’m the Princess’s Advisor, so when we discovered that Lance was pregnant she asked me to research as much as I could so that I would be able to provide the support he would need” Coran explains, “I can only hope that I’m truly able to provide that support adequately, as I’m sure you are as well.”

Coran gives Hunk a sympathetic smile. It’s easy to forget that Hunk isn’t the only person worried about Lance right now when he spends so much time alone with him. Everyone in the castle is worried about him, every day they all see the changes happening to him and they feel helpless knowing there is little they can do to help him. All they can do is be there for him and help him through this.

“Hang on a minute…” Coran says, frowning at the monitor, “This is definitely new…”

“What? What is it?” Hunk is already fearing the worst, “Do NOT say it’s another foetus.”

“Of course it’s not, Hunk. We aren’t even looking at the body scan yet. I’m looking at his hormone and chemical levels, and somehow the healing pod is scanning sizeable amounts of quintessence inside of Lance…”

“You mean the same stuff the Galra are mining?” Hunk says, confusion and worry are evident on his face.

“Yes, in a way. The Galra are mining quintessence, but it is essentially the energy of life. It is likely being generated by the growing foetuses inside Lance, but that the healing pod is specifically able to monitor its level it is something we may need to be concerned about” Coran’s frown deepens slightly.

“What does that mean? Is it hurting Lance?” Hunk asks carefully.

“It’s difficult to say… Quintessence can be both helpful and hurtful in situations, so right now the quintessence is likely there to support the growth of the foetuses. It may even be a cause of the implanted organ. As long as the levels do not become too high I don’t think there will be any negative side effects, but we should be cautious.”

Hunk nods while Coran approves the rest of the list. Once he’s checked that there are only some slight raises in his hormones, which is expected, then they continue with the body scan. It’s always surprising to Hunk how the healing pod can gain so much information about a person’s body so quickly.

“Oh wow, that’s uh- that’s really big isn’t it” Hunk says as soon as the scan comes up. He can see exactly how much room the womb takes up in Lance’s torso, and it’s a lot.

“Yes, it is. Significantly bigger than last time, so the foetuses are continuing to grow at a fast rate. It also appears that the womb is pushing his other organs out of the way so that it has more room to grow. You can see here how much it’s squishing his stomach and several other organs like his bladder, intestines, even his lungs are at risk like this” Coran says pointing each organ out on the scan.

“Could that be the reason why Lance isn’t able to eat as much these days?”

“Is he eating less?” Coran questions, looking at Hunk.

“Yeah, he only eats like half as much as normal these days, if he eats more than that he complains about feeling nauseous, full, and getting worse cramps.”

“Well, that’s certainly not good. He needs to eat properly otherwise he’ll become fatigued and make himself sicker. We may have to consider dietary supplements or vitamins to help if he is struggling to keep down solids” Coran ponders.

“Alright, I can help with that. What about his hips?”

Coran zooms in to inspect the bones and foetuses closer. Hunk swallows hard when he sees the narrow width of Lance’s hips compared to the size of the foetuses. How the hell was anyone supposed to get something so big out of their body through somewhere so small?! And they weren’t even fully developed yet, Lance still had a while to go before he was even close to Coran’s estimated due date.

“As I suspected, his hips are rather narrow. It’s going to be a lot of work from here on out to make sure he can stretch them as wide as possible before labor, but it won’t be impossible” Coran sighs.

He repositions the screen so that the focus is on the foetuses and not Lance’s pelvis. The foetuses have grown so much since the last scan. Hunk can already see their limbs filling out more and their head doesn’t look as oversized on their little bodies now as their proportions even out. They’re starting to look like proper babies instead of strange bony aliens. Their faces are still squished and difficult to see, Hunk can tell that their eyes are closed and that they seem to have a mouth and a nose, but not much else.

The two foetuses wriggle against each other, Hunk imagines it must be cramped in there. It’s so strange to see two people that don’t actually exist yet moving around. He’s kind of grateful that he gets to witness this even if it’s not what Lance would want. Lance doesn’t have to see what’s growing inside him, doesn’t want to, but Hunk is glad that at least one of them gets to see this.

“Well, they certainly are getting big aren’t they. They’re both weighing just over 2 pounds each.”

“Is that a good or a bad thing?” Hunk looks at him hoping for no bad news.

“Only bad in the sense that Lance has to carry that weight around, but in terms of their development it’s good. It means they’re growing well and still putting on weight despite the recent changes to Lance’s diet.”

“Well, I guess that’s something…” Hunk sighs.

“Yes, it is. Now, I believe we’re done here, so let’s get Lance up, shall we?”

“Yeah, let’s” Hunk says with a nod, already moving over to the pod.

The chamber opens and Lance stumbles out straight into Hunk’s arms. He blinks a few times looking at Hunk before a soft smile takes over his face.

“Hey, buddy” He mumbles sleepily, resting his head against Hunk’s chest.

“Hey, Lance” Hunk smiles, “How’re you feeling?”

“Hm?” Lance looks at him confused for a second before his face washes over with realisation, “Healing pod.”

“Yeah” Hunk nods.

“Bad news?” Lance says with a quirked eyebrow.

“Well, it’s not triplets so-”

“Stop it! That’s so not funny!” Lance says punching hunk softly, he pouts up at Hunk in disapproval.

“Heh, sorry. But you’re all good, we’ll take more once you’re dressed though” Hunk says letting go of Lance.

He nods before walking off to grab his change of clothes he left in the other room. When the door shuts behind him he starts to pull the tight suit off him, dropping it on the floor when he’s done. It takes a little more effort than Lance would admit getting his pants on these days, struggling to bend all the way over to pull them up his legs. Eventually he succeeds and pulls his shirt on before making his way back to the main room.

“So, do I need to be sitting down first or are we good to go?” Lance says walking over to the two waiting.

“No need to sit, today was rather routine in terms of a check-up” Coran smiles, but he carefully tries to word his next sentence, “As we suspected...your pelvis is narrow, but we’re confident that we can help widen it in time. We’ve also cleared the foetuses for a seemingly normal development, albeit fast.”

Coran tries to continue before Lance can dwell on the thought of labor for too long, “In terms of your own health however, we have noticed that there isn’t a lot of room in your abdominal cavity right now and as a result the foetuses are pressing up against your stomach and other organs which may be the reason you are struggling to eat as much. Hunk and I discussed this briefly, but you might want to consider supplements or vitamins to help. You might also experience difficulties with other bodily functions as well.”

“Alright, well that’s great, I mean who needs full use of their internal organs anyway” Lance says sarcastically.

“The last thing we found was that you appear to be creating or at least retaining some elements of quintessence” Coran finishes.

“Wait, huh? Quintessence? How does that even work?” Lance asks, his head tilts to the side in confusion.

“We believe it’s either being produced by the foetuses or the organ itself, but we won’t be able to determine which. Either way, its purpose is likely just to help the development of the foetuses and as long as the levels of quintessence don’t get too high there should be no adverse effects to your own health” Coran reassures him.

“Weird, but I guess as long as it’s not bad, then that means we’re all good?” Lance says optimistically.

“Yes, we’re all done for today! I’ll send the new list of exercises to your tablet, and if you ever have any concerns please let me know” Coran says with a clap to Lance’s shoulder.

“Yeah, will do, Coran. Thanks” Lance says with a smile before walking towards the exit with Hunk in tow.

They walk down the hall towards their rooms out of habit, continuing down the winding halls until they reach Lance’s room. Lance immediately flops down on the bed as best he can, lying down as spread out as he can get. He sighs loudly.

“Well at least that was less traumatic than the previous sessions” Lance jokes.

“Yeah, maybe we’ve got all the surprises out of the way now and it’ll be just boring medical stuff from now on” Hunk sits down on the middle of the bed and crosses his legs, Lance shuffles over to rest one leg over Hunk’s thigh.

“Hopefully, I don’t want any more surprises, I want this to be over as quickly as possible. These guys are already taking up too much room” Lance sighs and rubs a hand over his stomach, he’s slowly getting more used to touching it without feeling repulsed. He still isn’t a fan of feeling them move under his skin, but he’s learning to tolerate it.

“Yeah...uhm, what are you gunna do after they’re born, Lance?” Hunk questions gently.

“Celebrate my freedom? Do some laps in blue? Wear real pants again? Lots of things I imagine” Lance says, he can’t wait to be back to his old self again.

“No, I mean the babies-”

“Hunk. They’re not babies” Lance says firmly, frowning at the ceiling.

“They will be when they’re born, Lance. What are you going to do with them after that, huh?” Hunk frowns back at Lance, he knows this isn’t something he wants to think about, but he has to face it eventually.

The things Lance thinks are horrible monsters only look like little babies in the scans Hunk has seen. He feels bad for them in a way, they didn’t ask for this just like Lance didn’t ask for this, so they shouldn’t have to suffer the consequences because of the aliens that did this.

“I don’t know, maybe the aliens will just come back to get them, then I never have to see any of them again and everything can be normal” Lance huffs, taking the effort it takes to roll onto his side.

“But what if they don’t come back? Then there’ll be two newborns on the ship with nowhere to go, we can’t just abandon them…” Hunk pleads with Lance.

“Hunk, even if these things did come out as actual babies I can’t take care of them.”

“But, Lance-”

“I’m not ready for that, Hunk! I’m not ready to be a father, especially not to the products of an alien abduction…”

Lance groans as he feels the ache of cramps inside him, which makes the foetuses start wriggling around more. He’s gotten better at ignoring the cramps, but these days cramps go hand in hand with kicking and movement, which makes it a lot harder to pretend it’s not happening.

“I’m sorry...it’s just that every time I see them on the scans, even when I know the pain they cause you, they just look so small and helpless. I don’t want them to suffer if they don’t have to” Hunk sighs, rubbing Lance’s legs softly.

“Yeah, cause I’m the one suffering for them…” Lance grumbles into his pillows.

“Hey, let me make it up to you” Hunk says shuffling up the bed. He pulls Lance’s legs over his thighs and helps him lie down on his back again.

“Hunk?” Lance squeaks when he’s rolled over on the bed. Suddenly he’s looking up at Hunk’s warm face, their bellies are pressed against each other and his cheeks become red.

“Can I touch you?” Hunk whispers softly next to Lance’s ear and he can feel the shiver run down his spine. He can only nod his head while he bites his lips, he’s not sure what Hunk has in mind, but he’s excited to find out.

Hunk’s large hands sneak under Lance’s shirt to caress his stomach on either side, he starts to rub gentle circles into the skin making Lance sigh. It does feel really nice against his sore skin. Hunk leans up closer so that he can press his lips to Lance’s, they move together like water, lips parting way to deepen the kiss more. Lance can’t help the little whimpers and moans that escape him when Hunk pushes his tongue into his mouth.

Lance feels red up to his ears, who would’ve thought Hunk could be so… so damn sexy? He moulds perfectly into Lance, kissing him more and more while his hands rub and knead into the sensitive skin of his belly. When they break apart to gasp in breathes, Lance moans loudly and Hunk can only smile and kiss him all over his face. How the hell is this boy so pretty.

“H-hunk…” Lance moans breathily, and oh how Hunk would love to hear that again.

Lance feels like he’s melting, or maybe drowning, every touch feels so nice and every kiss makes him hotter. He’s pretty sure feeling this good shouldn’t even be possible, but somehow Hunk is able to make him feel like this. He can still feel the movement inside him along with Hunk’s hands rubbing up and down his torso, and it’s so strange but for the first time he isn’t disgusted by the sensation. It feels, different? Almost normal somehow.

The way Hunk has Lance’s legs spread over his thighs is doing things to the both of them that they won’t admit. Lance can feel the weight of Hunk press against his crotch every time he leans over to kiss him again, and god it does things to him. And Hunk gets the full view of a spread-out Lance moaning for him right on top of his lap, and he’s going to remember that image until he dies.

Lance can feel the heat of arousal growing inside him, it makes him desperate and foggy, god it’s been so long since he’s been able to feel this good. He couldn’t work up the courage to touch himself while pregnant, everything about it just seemed so wrong, but with Hunk here touching him it feels right.

The part of his brain that still makes sense and hasn’t become drunk on pleasure is telling him they need to stop soon, before they go so far, they can’t stop. The rest of Lance’s brain is screaming for him to pull his pants down and sit in Hunk’s lap, which doesn’t sound so bad, apart from the fact that Lance isn’t sure he’d be able to get his pants off alone right now.

“Hu- uunk” Lance cries out, “You gotta- gotta s-stop. Too much.”

The kisses and hands disappear faster than Lance would’ve liked, and part of his brain is screaming that he’s made the wrong decision, but he’s glad that Hunk listened to him straight away.

“Sorry, got a bit carried away” Hunk laughs breathily with a smile so bright it could blind. He’s just as sweaty and out of breath as Lance is and oh god that’s a sight he doesn’t want to forget.

“Man... if you do that again I’m going to struggle to say no next time” Lance laughs.

“Who says you have to say no?” Hunk says with a devious smile and a quick kiss to Lance’s cheek.

“Hunk, stop it!” Lance laughs, pushing his head to the side and scrunching his face up while Hunk peppers him with kisses.

“God, I love you” Hunk sighs, leaning back to take in the image of Lance one last time.

“I love you too” and there’s that beautiful smile again.

Hunk can’t help but kiss him one more time.

Chapter Text

Lance turns on the hot water in his shower and runs his hand under it, waiting for it to heat up enough to step in. He’d woken up before his alarm with the desperate need to pee, which he noticed he was doing a lot more frequently these days. Once he was up he decided that he might as well start getting ready, so he turns on the shower. He steps under the hot spray and lets the water run over his body, rubbing at his face and hair.

It’s the first time in a while Lance actually feels awake in the morning and almost like himself again. He doesn’t know if that’s related to yesterday or not, but he feels good today. Hunk is still asleep in his bed as Lance lathers shampoo into his hair. He washes his hair thoroughly, rinsing out the suds and then rubbing conditioner through his short hair.

When he starts to scrub down his body he remembers what Coran said yesterday. He really hasn’t tried inspecting that area at all, maybe it was because he was afraid there would be something there, something different about him. He decides to try, so he reaches down between his legs past his genitals. It’s awkward at first, reaching down there and he doesn’t feel anything different. Then his finger brushes over something that makes him jump.

He runs his finger over it and is horrified to find that he can feel a definite opening there, even more terrifying is the fact that he can feel the nerves inside it as well. It’s sensitive, he’s not even sure if he should be touching it, but he guesses it’s a part of him now so what the hell. He slips a finger inside gently and makes a face at the sensation, oh that’s so weird.

The skin inside is soft and warm, and there’s an uncomfortable stretch that Lance doesn’t appreciate. It doesn’t hurt like he thought it might, but it’s definitely not a comfortable feeling. Is this how girls feel? He hopes not, because it’s not great. He quickly pulls his finger out when he decides that he doesn’t like how it feels, and would rather forget that it’s there.

He rinses his hand off and continues to scrub at his skin. When he’s finished washing the last of the soap off he turns off the shower. He’s careful when stepping out of the shower not to lose his footing, he has one hand holding the wall and the other on the underside of his stomach while he gets both feet on the dry floor.

Hunk is still snoring softly in bed when he walks back into the bedroom, he quickly towels himself dry before getting dressed. When he pulls his top on he sighs at how much smaller his largest shirt has become, it barely fits him anymore. He digs through to see if he has anything better to wear but instead finds one of the shirts Hunk had left in his room when they started sharing a bed together.

He considers it for a moment before conceding, it’ll fit him much better than his current clothes, and he’s sure Hunk won’t mind losing one or two shirts every so often. He pulls it over his head and smiles happily when the large garment adequately covers his stomach, as well as his hips. Yep, this’ll do just fine.

He hears the sound of bare feet on the floor before he feels Hunks arms wrap around him and his head rest on his shoulder. Lance smiles at the feeling of being wrapped up in Hunks strong arms, he could easily lift Lance off the ground if he wanted to.

“Mornin’” Hunk yawns sleepily against Lance’s shoulder, “are you wearing my shirt?”

“Uh, yeah. Is that alright? It fits better than any of mine do right now…” Lance leans his head against Hunk’s.

“Yeah, no problem. It’s cute” Hunk mumbles, nuzzling against Lance’s shoulder before unwinding his arms so that he can get ready himself.

Lance blushes red.

--

After breakfast that morning Coran had asked Hunk if he wouldn’t mind helping him do some repair work on one of the Castle’s engines. Even if Hunk had spent most of his time with Lance over the past few weeks, he was still their main engineer on the ship, apart from Coran, and he still had to help work to maintain the 10,600-year-old ship.

In the meantime, Lance had decided to hang out in the lounge room again, he enjoyed the spacious room and long couch because of how he could stretch out on it comfortably. He’d just finished some of the stretches Coran had sent him and was taking a well-earned break on the couch with his tablet. The foetuses- babies? - were kicking again and it took all of Lance’s effort to not look outwardly disgusted by the sensation. But that didn’t mean it wasn’t annoying.

“Whatcha doing?” Pidge asked plopping herself down right next to Lance on the couch.

He jumped out of his skin at her sudden appearance, how did she always manage to sneak around so quietly? Must be because of how small she is, Lance concludes.

“Ah, nothing really? Just this Altean puzzle game Coran showed me” He tilts the screen towards her, so she can see, he’s made some decent progress on the puzzles recently.

“Oh, I finished that forever ago. Wanna see something way cooler?” Pidge says with a grin and a raised eyebrow.

“...What is it?” Lance asks sceptically.

“It’s this old Altean TV show I found on the Castle’s backup storage!” she says snatching the tablet from Lance’s hand and doing the type of code breaking only Pidge could do, “I’ve only seen a bit of the first episode, but it looks ridiculously funny!”

She pulls up a video on the screen before handing it back to Lance and leaning over his shoulder to watch it with him. The show that starts playing looks old and poorly made in terms of effects. It’s almost comical how poorly fazed in the backgrounds and characters look in some scenes, and the acting isn’t much better. Coran’s bad acting is almost better than this, or maybe this is where he learnt it from. Either way it’s almost impossible not to laugh at the quality of the show.

They sit together laughing at the cheap jokes and bad acting for a while before Pidge’s hand somehow finds its way onto Lance’s stomach.

“Uhh, Pidge? What’re you doing?”

“Hm?” She mumbles inquisitively, “oh, sorry” she laughs nervously as she removes her hand.

“Geez, I don’t get your weird obsession with it” Lance sighs.

“Wha- I’m not obsessed! ...I just think it's fascinating” Pidge pouts and crosses her arms, “I mean, c’mon, the technology they would’ve needed to do this would have to be even more advanced than Altean tech-”

The look on Lance’s face makes Pidge stop immediately. His expression is bitter and upset, and Pidge quickly regrets her words of praise to the monsters that forced this on Lance.

“In like, a totally evil way though! Like how the Galra took Shiro’s arm, it’s fascinating to see how well it works and the impressive amount of tech that would’ve gone into constructing it is amazing, even though the Galra who made it aren’t. Shiro has even been able to use it against the Galra!” Pidge enthuses, trying to save herself somehow.

“Yeah, well I don’t see Shiro and me being in the same boat of ‘Alien Abduction’ y’know? Can’t see how I’m gunna reap any benefits from being weak and pregnant, at least Shiro got a cool robot arm…” Lance laments.

“Uhh…” Pidge tries to think of something to say, something positive that could help Lance see the light at the end of the tunnel. She’s got nothing.

“Could be worse, though…” Lance starts, Pidge turns to him with a confused hum, “I could be a tiny dork that obsesses over alien technology” he snickers as her mouth drops with shock.

“Heyyy! Not fair!” She says, lightly shoving him. He laughs as she pretends to try push him off the couch.

“Ah!” He hisses, and she stops immediately.

“What? What’s wrong? What happened? Did I hurt you?” She panics.

“No, it wasn't you, it was them. Stupid things have good aim, I’ll give them that much…” Lance grumbles as he rubs his side where he was just violently kicked.

“Oh...right” Pidge says quietly. She’s twiddling her thumbs and avoiding staring at where his hand rubs across the bump. He sighs, man he has got to get used to this.

“Fine, but gentle touches and no poking!” Lance surrenders, moving his own hand away to allow Pidge to take over.

“You don’t mind?” She asks cautiously, her hand hovers next to where his hand just was.

“Nah, it’s fine. I let Hunk touch it, so may as well let you” Lance says shuffling on the couch to get comfortable again. The show still continues to play, though they’ve not been paying attention.

Pidge’s hand rests on his stomach and she’s surprisingly gentle. She doesn’t knead or rub circles like Hunk does, just gently rests her much smaller hands on the round of his stomach, occasionally moving to feel a kick. The motions are soothing and have Lance’s eyes drooping shut.

“What’s going on?” Keith says, stepping over the back of the couch to sit down on the other side of Lance. He looks between the two with a quirked brow.

“We’re watching an old Altean show I found in the Castle” Pidge says, she sounds sleepy too.

“And rubbing Lance’s stomach fits in... how?” Keith questions.

“Oh, they were kicking so Lance was letting me feel, but I think they’ve stopped now” she mumbles, her head snuggles up against Lance’s shoulder again and he blinks sleepily.

“...c-could I feel?” Keith asks cautiously. Lance is too tired right now to really care anymore, so he just nods sluggishly.

“Go ahead, just gently, mmk?”

“Yeah…” Keith says, his brow is furrowed as he moves his hand over Lance’s belly and gently touches it. There’s a definite thump under Keith’s hand when it makes contact that has Lance wincing.

“Geez, you really bring out the worst in them, don’t you Keith…” Lance mumbles in annoyance.

“W-what do you mean?” he asks, he moves his hand slightly lower and receives another kick and another hiss from Lance.

“They always move more when you touch me, I mean the first time they moved at all was when you grabbed me” Lance says through a yawn.

“Weird…” Keith breathes, but he removes his hand.

Lance hums in agreeance before grabbing Keith’s sleeve and pulling him down closer to cuddle with him and Pidge. Keith’s head rests on Lance’s other shoulder and he’s pretty sure he can already hear Pidge taking deep, soft breathes, already having fallen asleep.

“Just shut up and cuddle” Lance mumbles with closed eyes and Keith doesn’t really get a choice now, so he just rests against Lance’s warm body and watches the tablet that Lance is barely managing to hold onto as they fall asleep together on the couch.

--

Hunk had finally finished helping Coran do some maintenance on the Castle’s engines. He’d stopped by the kitchen to mix up a smoothie for him and Lance, thinking that he might need something to eat if he hadn’t yet. Before he left Lance had said he’d probably just wait around in the lounge for Hunk to finish, so that’s where Hunk headed, smoothies in hand.

He could hear the faint noise of talking but it sounded staged, like from a movie or something. When the doors opened he was surprised to see not just Lance, but Pidge and Keith sitting on the couch together. He hoped they weren’t expecting smoothies, because he’d only made two. He was just about to speak when he walked around the couch only to find that all three of them were snuggled together, fast asleep. The noise was coming from Lance’s tablet that was now lying in Keith’s lap.

Hunk couldn’t help but find the whole scene rather adorable. Incredibly adorable. Pidge and Keith were resting their heads against Lance’s shoulder, and Lance was resting his head against the top of Pidge’s. He also noticed that Pidge’s hand was resting on Lance’s slowly rising and falling stomach. They all seemed so peaceful right now, Hunk wasn’t sure he had the heart to wake them.

He knelt down on the ground in front of Lance and put the smoothies to the side. Gently he started to shake Lance’s knee and whisper his name. After a few gentle nudges Lance’s eyes squinted open and he looked around before spotting Hunk.

“Hey” Hunk smiled.

Lance scrunched his eyes up and stretched his arms out in front of him as best he could. He yawned and shuffled as much as possible with Pidge and Keith still fast asleep on him.

“Awww, look how sleepy they are...” He whispers with a smile looking between the two, “what time is it?”

“About 3 o’clock, I made you a smoothie if you want one” Hunk says, holding it out in front of him.

“Thanks” Lance takes it and sips from the glass, humming in approval of the taste.

They sit quietly drinking and listening to the sleeping breathes of their friends. Lance can still feel Pidge’s small hand resting on his belly and he thinks back to what Hunk said yesterday. This whole situation is still really fucked up and not like anything Lance would’ve ever wanted for himself, but that isn’t stopping it from happening, and it definitely isn’t stopping the fact that he will eventually have to give birth. And that there will be living things that come out of him. He shudders at the thought.

The whole process just sounds unnatural and terrifying, and the more Lance thinks about it the more he wants to run away from everything. Not that running away would actually help. He’s been slowly trying to process what Hunk said to him yesterday about the foetuses not being responsible for this, and part of him knows it’s the truth, the other part remembers that they are the direct cause of his suffering.

“I think...I think I want to see them…” Lance whispers, Hunk turns to look at him with a confused tilt to his head.

“The...the b-babies...I think I’d rather know what they look like, y’know, before they exist…” Lance isn’t sure if he’s actually ready to see what’s been growing inside him, but he knows that he’ll be even less ready if the first time he sees them is after they rip their way out of his body. He definitely won’t be a fan of them then.

“R-really?” Hunk says, a little shocked, “you sure?”

“Yeah, I mean...I’ll have to face them eventually, might as well get the upper hand” Lance tries to smile, but it feels forced, he hopes Hunk believes it.

“Okay, yeah. We can go ask Coran, I’m sure he’s still got pictures saved from the scan” Hunk nods. Lance nods back and they finish their drinks off.

“Uh...guess we’ll have to wake them up now” Lance laughs as he tries to figure out how to get off the couch while two people are resting on him.

They shake the two sleepy heads awake, Keith blinks sleepily around looking confused at first and then a little embarrassed that he’d been fast asleep on Lance and Pidge just grumbles about being woken up too early even though it’s the middle of the afternoon. Lance laughs at the two of them and how tired and disgruntled they both look.

When they’ve both shifted off him enough that he has full mobility again he reaches both arms out to Hunk in a silent gesture. Hunk takes them and gently helps Lance get to his feet, careful not to hurt him in the process. When his upright Lance takes a moment to stretch out his back and shoulders before they continue out of the room.

“Where ya goin’?” Pidge asks, rubbing her eyes and leaning over the side of the couch to watch them leave.

Lance grins at her, “gunna go look at some aliens” He laughs.

“Cool” she sighs jealousy with a tired grin.

Lance lets Hunk lead the way, since he had just finished working with Coran he probably has a good idea of where he is right now. It doesn’t take long for them to find him, head stuck in some compartment pulling at wires and mumbling strange things to himself. Something about his grandfather?

“Hey, Coran” Hunk calls, watching as the man jumps slightly before turning around to look at the two boys.

“Hello Paladins!” He exclaims cheerfully, “what can I do for you?”

“Uhh, I was wondering if you might still have some of the scans from the healing pod?” Lance asks nervously.

“Is there something wrong? Do you want me to do another scan?” Coran asks more seriously.

“No, nothing’s wrong. Lance just changed his mind about seeing them, we were hoping you might still have some pictures saved?” Hunk explains.

“Oh! Yes, of course. We’ll just have to go to the healing room, that’s where they’re saved” Coran stands upright and dusts himself off before marching out of the room with a grin on his face.

“If I might be so bold to ask, what made you change your mind, Lance?” Coran asks on their way to the healing room.

“Oh, well...Hunk and I were talking, um, about what would happen after they were born and I dunno I guess it just seemed strange to not know what I was even carrying before then, so yeah...” Lance says nervously, he grips at Hunks hand on the walk there and Hunk squeezes back reassuringly.

When they walk into the spacious room Coran walks straight over to the control panel and starts to search for the records of Lance’s last scan. Lance is shifting his weight on his feet nervously.

“It’s gunna be okay, Lance. Trust me, they aren’t as scary as you think” Hunk tries to reassure him.

“Are you sure? What if they look like monsters? Or weird animals? What if they’ve mutated or have like razor sharp teeth?” Lance sounds like he’s panicking, and Hunk wants to calm him down, but he’s pretty sure Lance isn’t going to listen to reason right now. He’s sure he’ll calm down when he sees them though.

“Alright, are we ready then?” Coran turns towards them, he hasn’t put the image up yet but his hand hover next to the screen waiting for Lance to confirm.

“Yeah, go ahead” Lance says biting his lip.

The image pulls up, it’s only a still image from the last scan, not a live feed like Hunk is used to. Everything is still there though, just like always. The two still forms of the foetuses are curled up against each other, tiny hands balled into fists, squishy faces looking peacefully asleep. Hunk hears the gasp Lance takes when the image comes up, his grip tightens on his hand.

“See, not so scary, are they?” Hunk says with a gentle smile.

Lance’s eyes are blown wide and his mouth hangs open slightly taking small gasping breaths. He’s very sure now that he wasn’t ready to see this, but it’s too late now he’s already looking, and he can’t tear his eyes away from the image. They look so small and- and just like babies. Both of them, real twins. Hunk was right, they look almost normal.

Lance can feel the tightness in his chest gripping at him and he’s pretty sure he’s eyes are watering. Oh my god, he panics, I’m really fucking pregnant. He sways a little where he’s standing, and Hunk quickly grabs a hold of his arm, his face is furrowed with worry.

“Lance? Lance, you okay?” Hunk is saying, but the words sound distant to Lance, like his ears are full of cotton.

“They’re really there...actual babies…” Lance mumbles almost inaudibly, his tongue feels heavy in his mouth and his head feels dizzy.

“Coran, get a chair or some water, he looks like he’s about to pass out” Hunk says, panic tight in his throat and Coran rushes away behind him.

“Lance, it’s okay. You’re okay, take some deep breathes with me, Coran is coming back soon” Hunk is trying to be reassuring but Lance can barely focus on him, his vision is darkening around the edges before a darkness falls over him.

Lance goes limp in Hunk’s arms just as Coran returns from the room next door. Hunk was already holding onto him when he started to go pale and unfocused, so he doesn’t drop far at all. Just falls like a ragdoll against Hunk’s body. Hunk slowly lowers himself closer to the floor and Coran comes over to help make sure Lance is alright.

“Just unconscious, he should wake shortly” Coran says with a sigh, but he still sounds on edge.

“I didn’t think he’d react so badly…” Hunk sounds guilty, like Lance fainting was somehow his fault.

“We couldn’t have known how he was going to react. I mean it would be quite shocking I imagine…” Coran sighs.

Lance’s eyelids move slightly before they blink open. Lance squeezes them shut again at the bright lights in the room before opening them again to look between Coran and Hunk’s faces. Everything is still fuzzy, is he on the floor? How did he end up here? What was he doing before?

“Lance, are you okay?” Hunk says, he looks like he might start crying any second now and sounds just as worried as he looks.

“Ngh, yeah?” he says slowly trying to sit up, he feels two sets of hands on him to help keep him steady, he looks around and quickly remembers why he’s in the healing room. Oh.

It’s still on the screen as well, the image of the babies. Lance can’t stop the tears this time as they spill down his cheeks. Hunk’s arm wraps around his shoulder and pulls him against his chest and Lance hiccups out a sob.

“I- I thought I c-could handle it…” Lance cries, “I’m s- s- sorry.”

“Don’t apologize, Lance. I’m sorry I ever pushed you...I shouldn’t have done that” Hunk sniffles quietly, tears sliding down his own face.

“They’re r-real now...I can’t pretend like they aren’t n-now that I’ve seen them…” Lance sobs. If Lance could be completely honest, he wasn’t ready for a damn thing regarding this. Not even close.

Chapter Text

Lance had spent the whole next day lying in bed. He wasn’t ready to face any of what was happening at the moment, so he didn’t try to. Even with his quickly growing stomach, the movement inside it, the sickness, the pain, all the feelings that came with everything that was happening, and even the medical changes to his body, none of it could prepare him for actually seeing what was inside him.

Part of him wishes they looked more alien so that he could be logically afraid of them, a real tangible thing to be afraid of because it was scary and different. To be able to reject them because they were monsters, unintelligent and dangerous. But they looked harmless, just soft fleshy beings resting inside him, and that somehow scared him more. Made him cry and beg that this wasn’t real, that it was just a sick twisted dream. But he still woke up the next day, round belly, soft kicks. Not a dream.

Hunk came and went throughout the day, letting Lance sleep and have time to process everything. No one else came to see him, which was fine because he didn’t want to see anyone else anyway. He lay in bed and tried to let the day slip away from him through sleep.

He was prepared to spend the next day doing the same, but Hunk urged him to at least get out of bed and go for a walk through the halls. He needed to keep moving otherwise his muscles would become even more strained and sore. Lance was starting to feel the pressure in his hips as well as the babies grew larger. His lower back and hips hurt a lot these days, and there was only so much that the stretches could do to help.

Hunk and he were walking laps around the dorm room hallways, Hunk tried for small talk, but Lance was quiet and only responded with few words. Hunk had tried to apologize again, feeling like this was his fault, that he’d urged Lance to face this without fully understanding the consequences. Lance had just turned away from him and mumbled how he hates hearing those words.

Lance had also barely eaten in his two-day solitude, and today as well. Only eating small amounts of food goo and drinking water and whatever else Hunk brought him, yet he still complained about being full and feeling nauseous. Hunk worried excessively, knowing that Lance had to eat but not wanting to force him and make him sick. He was stuck for ideas.

Hunk had also had to prevent the rest of the team from barging into Lance’s room half the time. He knew that it probably wouldn’t help anyone right now to be crowding Lance and not give him the space he needed to figure things out, but the team was worried. As they should be.

Shiro was surprisingly the pushiest about Lance’s wellbeing, followed very close by Pidge and then Coran. Allura and Keith were more silently worried, keenly listening to Hunk debriefing everyone on how Lance was doing and asking Hunk to call them immediately if he needed their help.

Shiro asked constantly if he was feeling alright or if it’d be okay to see him now, Pidge asking the same questions only slightly less frequently. Shiro must have felt some kind of guilt, like as a leader he hadn’t been there for his team mate and had let him shut down like this, but Hunk reassured him that this was no one’s fault, Lance was just having a hard time coping.

They finally looped back around and were standing in front of Lance’s room again, Hunk sucked in a breath and held Lance’s arm before he could retreat back into his room.

“Lance, are...are you sure you don’t want to go do something?” Hunk asks shakily, he doesn’t want to push Lance again, but he also doesn’t want to see his boyfriend retreat away from the people who love him again. “We could go get something to eat? See what Pidge is up to? Maybe go exercise or something?”

Lance sighs heavily, shoulders drooped. “I- I don’t know, Hunk...I just want to be alone right now…”

“You’ve been alone for days, Lance. Everyone is worried about you. They want to see you again” Hunk urges, “please, Lance. We can take it slowly, but please.”

“...alright” Lance gives in, a small part of him is relieved to hear that he’s still wanted. That he hasn’t been forgotten about.

“Thank you” Hunk smiles, but it doesn’t reach the same warmth it usually brings.

Surprisingly everyone is in the control room today. Pidge is sitting in her chair typing away at lines of code faster than her eyes should be able to follow, Keith is kinda blindly watching over her shoulder. Impressed by the motions more than the work she’s actually doing, because he’s not really sure what she’s doing.

Allura stands at the helm plotting coordinates, while Coran and Shiro are down talking over some star maps with great focus. Hunk tries to make their entrance as casual as possible, trying not to bring too much attention to Lance’s presence so that they don’t frighten him off. Allura is the first to notice and she turns to them, bright smile crossing her face when she sees Lance and Hunk is so grateful that she doesn’t let the sad look he sees in her eyes whenever he brings up Lance show.

“Wonderful of you to join us” She beams, giving them a nod of approval.

“Yeah…” Lance says, but he sounds empty. Like he doesn’t have the energy left for anything.

Hunk knows that everyone can see just how tired Lance looks. His hair is the messiest they’ve ever seen it and the bags under his eyes are dark and puffy from a combination of crying and bad sleep. His stomach has somehow continued to grow even larger in his short disappearance, standing out obscenely on his skinny form. Not even Hunk’s shirts can disguise it.

His face is also starting to thin out more thanks to his now halved eating habits. Hunk has tried to make up for it through protein shakes and smoothies, but there is only so much he can do to urge Lance to eat. He just hopes none of them are foolish enough to comment on how he looks.

“Lance, come over here for a moment” Shiro calls from the table he’s standing at with Coran.

Lance looks at them with a creased brow before looking at Hunk questioningly. Hunk shrugs his own shoulders in confusion back at Lance and they make their way over.

“What is it?” Lance sounds cautious, like he’s been told to come up to the principal’s desk.

“Coran and I are trying to work out these star charts to help us locate more potential outposts for rebel bases to be located. We have a few remote planets that seem to be out of the Galra’s reach, would you mind helping us read through the planet descriptions to narrow it down?” Shiro asks, pulling up holographic images of planets on the map in front of them.

“You...want me to help?” Lance asks slowly, looking at Shiro for approval.

“If you don’t mind, the work will go faster if there are more of us reading through the potential planets, and I know you’ve got a keen eye. It’d really help us out, we need to have as many locations as possible, so we can keep the rebels and the blade out of the Galra’s watch” Shiro explains.

“Uh...yeah, okay, sure I can do that” Lance says, a small smile crosses his face for a second before he steps up to the table and starts scanning through the planets. It’s the first time in a while Lance has felt useful to the team.

Relief washes over Hunk when he sees that tiny smile cross Lance’s face. This might be the start to Lance feeling like himself again, and Hunk couldn’t be prouder.

--

Over the next few day’s Lance starts to leave his room at regular times again. He starts coming to breakfast, even though he only eats half serves and large nutrient filled drinks that Coran and Hunk urge him to finish, even if they taste like dirt and make him sick. He starts exercising with Hunk again, still committing enough time every day to complete his list of stretches, even when he can feel his hips starting to creak in protest.

Most importantly, Lance starts going to the control room every day to work with Shiro and Allura. Hunk doesn’t know when they decided to ask Lance to work in the control room with them, but it was the best decision they’d made in weeks.

After Lance had been removed from most of his paladin duties, and essentially banned from all rigorous forms of training, he’d ended up having nothing to dedicate his time to like the rest of the paladins did. But now that he had work to do with Shiro and Allura it gave Lance a sense of purpose in the team again, and it meant he had something to look forward to in the day. Something to distract him from his own pain.

It even allowed Hunk to spend more time working repairs and tinkering back into his daily routine. The whole team benefited from it, and Lance’s mood had picked up exceptionally as well. To both Shiro and Allura’s surprise, Lance was actually a great help in the control room.

He notices things that they don’t pick up on, he comes up with unique and half-crazy half-brilliant plans, and best of all his quick-thinking and charismatic personality actually makes him a rather good diplomat, which is a great help to Allura.

The day has been good so far, Allura and Lance had been discussing ways to convince a stubborn leader of agreeing to the Voltron alliance without having to give into his demands of having a lion stationed on their planet permanently. They’d obviously explained to him that clearly all of the lions were necessary to form Voltron, so leaving one on the planet would greatly weaken their ability to fight the Galra.

Lance was about to suggest telling the old guy to build his own damn lion if he wanted one so badly when the Castle’s sirens went blaring off through the speakers. Everyone jumped to attention immediately, Allura grabbing the helm to see what had caused the alarm to sound off.

“A Galra fleet has just arrived, they’re preparing to attack the Castleship!” Allura yells, the doors slide open behind her as Keith runs in, dressed and ready.

Shiro had quickly left to put his own uniform on and by the time he returns Pidge and Hunk are standing ready too. Everyone is in uniform climbing into their respective entrances to their Lion’s hangar. Everyone but Lance of course, who stands with Allura on the helm and watches as his team leaves. He itches to be out there, to be riding with Blue and his team, but he knows he’s not allowed to. They’ve already told him that.

Lance watches nervously as they fly out in formation and start the attack, he trusts his team to be safe and come back victorious, but the odds aren’t looking so good, and with only four lions they have to try do this without Voltron. Allura and Coran look just as concerned as Lance does as they watch from the ship, but at least Allura can use the Castle’s defences to help. Lance has nothing.

Coran puts up the Castles defences and they start launching heavy fire onto the Galra fleet, providing back-up for the paladins. The Galra are strong though, and their ships keep firing despite the best efforts of the team. The fight seems to drag on forever, commands are being yelled back and forth through the comms in their helmets, everyone calling out for help but being denied due to the heavy fire they were all experiencing. Lance could only take so much more of watching his friends struggle.

He walked over to the Blue lion’s hangar door and prepares to slide in, not bothering to get his uniform on, when Allura spots his movement.

“Lance, what are you doing!?” She asks frantically, looking between the fight and him.

“I’m going out there to help them, they need me. Need Voltron” Lance says fiercely, sliding into the tunnel.

“Lance! Don’t you dare!” She yells, but it fades as Lance slides further away from her down the exceptionally long and unnecessary ride to his Lion. He almost regrets the decision when he feels the churning of his stomach just from the ride down to his lion, but as soon as he sees Blue he feels a burst of adrenaline that keeps him moving.

Blue feels anxious at the sight of Lance, but equally as excited. It’s been a while since he’s seen her, and longer since they’ve flown together, and he reassures her that the most important thing right now is saving his friends. She growls in approval.

As soon as she starts up and they’re ready to fly Lance can hear the frantic shouting of his team through the speakers in Blue. Everyone is yelling in confusion asking what’s going on, what do you mean Lance left, what are we going to do.

Lance barrels his way into the fight, taking out fighter ships as soon as he can. He soars around quickly providing as much cover as he can to get his team out of danger.

“Lance, what are you doing!?” he hears Keith yelling at him.

“Saving your sorry ass!” He shouts back, “geez, you guys don’t give me any rest at all do you?” he teases, looping around in Blue to take out some fighters that were tailing Pidge.

“Lance, it’s too dangerous, get back to the ship!” Shiro says firmly.

“And let you guys become Galra bait? No way, we’re forming Voltron and finishing this!” Lance yells.

There’s a silence, no doubt everyone weighing their options. They need Voltron right now, there’s no denying that, but are they willing to risk it? Lance feels a deep worry that he might mess it up again, that it could be his fault they lose this fight, but he’s not going to sit back and do nothing either.

“...Alright. Let’s make this quick. Form Voltron!” Shiro yells.

The team flies into formation, transforming into Voltron in flashes of light.

“Let’s do this!” Shiro shouts.

“Yeah!”

The long fight ends much faster than it ever dragged on. Voltron was quickly able to wipe out fleets of fighter ships in seconds and with some heavy blasts from Hunk’s shoulder cannon the larger ships were done for. They reformed into lions and flew back to the ship, ultimately silent apart from everyone's happy shouts of success when the last ship was destroyed.

Lance knew he was probably in for a harsh scolding now, but he knew he’d made the right choice. He didn’t care that he’d risked his own wellbeing in the process, he was just glad he could get everyone home safely. He climbed out of blue and made his way back to the control room where he knew everyone would be waiting for him.

“Lance! What were you thinking!?” Is Allura’s loud shout when Lance shuffles back into the room.

“I was thinking about saving my friends, and doing my job as the Blue Paladin” He says firmly, trying to stand his ground.

“And what if you’d been hurt? Or gotten someone else hurt? Your condition is too risky to be piloting a lion right now!” She argues, face stern.

“Then it would’ve been my fault, but I didn’t, and everyone is fine!” He shouts, he doesn’t appreciate being scolded for saving lives.

“This time, but I won’t allow you to make reckless decisions like this again…” She sighs, frown slowly softening, “I’m glad you’re alright. All of you.”

“What you did was incredibly risky Lance, and it had the potential to put everyone in danger,” Shiro says, and Lance doesn’t want to hear it, doesn’t want to get slapped with Shiro’s disappointed tone after being yelled at by Allura, “but you made a brave decision, and helped us get the job done. So, thank you.”

Lance’s eyebrows just about shoot off his face they jump so high. Did Shiro just thank him? For disobeying?

“Uh, y-yeah” is all Lance can manage in his dumbfounded state.

“I guess we really do need some more practice if we couldn’t even take out one fleet without Voltron” Shiro sighs with a lopsided smile.

“Heh, yeah… couldn’t even make it through one fight without me” Lance grins, crossing his arms proudly over his chest. “You should take notes, Keith” he says with a waggle of his eyebrows.

Keith just scoffs and rolls his eyes, but there’s no denying the small smile that sneaks onto his face. Hunk’s arms wrap Lance up and lift him off the ground in a big bear hug, pressing his lips to Lance’s. Lance’s eyes slip shut and he kisses back, forgetting that they’re still in the middle of the control room for a moment.

“I’m so glad you’re okay” Hunk sighs, relief washing over his face.

“Me too, babe” Lance grins, his heart flutters in his chest with Hunk’s arms still lifting him off the ground.

When his feet touch the ground again he can hear Pidge whistling out loud and long.

“Wow” She laughs, “Do you guys need a room, ‘cause I’m pretty sure you have one already.”

Lance just pokes his tongue out at her teasingly, even though his face is turning red. He’s generally a pretty touchy guy anyway, but he’s never done that in front of everyone. So that’s a first. That doesn’t stop him from leaning up to give Hunk another kiss.

Chapter Text

“What a day, huh?” Hunk says as the door to Lance’s room closes behind him, “I mean, what you did with your lion was craz- mh!”

Lance suddenly presses his lips into Hunk’s, cutting him off mid-sentence. He wraps his arms around Hunk’s neck and kisses him long and hard. He can feel Hunk’s hand sliding over his back and pulling them closer, bellies pressed together. There’s a small thump that presses against Hunk and it makes him laugh into the kiss. Lance sighs dramatically while Hunk giggles.

“Ignore that…” he groans, looking annoyed.

“Of course,” Hunk says with a smile and another kiss.

They kiss for a little longer before Hunk decides that standing in front of the door kissing isn’t going to cut it. He scoops Lance up in his arms, one arm against his thighs and the other holding his back close to Hunk. He yelps in surprise when his feet are swept from under him, but a smile takes over his face when he realizes what Hunk’s doing.

“Oh Hunk, my hero!” Lance giggles dreamily as he’s carried into the room.

“More like, Lance, my hero” Hunk smiles, “seriously, what you did today was incredible!”

“Heh, what can I say? I’m just a Defender of the Universe, saving lives and dating cute guys” Lance says with a wink that makes Hunk chuckle.

“Cute guys? Don’t tell me you’ve got a secret stash somewhere, I won’t be happy if you’ve side-chicked me” Hunk teases, gently laying Lance down on the bed before climbing over him to sit between his legs.

“Side-chick? You? Never!” Lance says in mock-offense, “do aliens count?” he laughs.

“I dunno, maybe ask Allura” Hunk says with a smug look on his face.

“What? Can’t a guy have a crush on a beautiful alien princess without being judged for it!” Lance says, throwing his hands up, “and c’mon! Like, everyone has a crush on Allura!”

Hunk raises his eyebrows and shrugs in agreeance, it’s no lie that everyone is a little bit in love with Allura. It’s kind of hard not to be. He rubs his hands up and down Lance sides, making him sigh. He kisses him on the cheek, then his jaw and he keeps lowering his lips until he’s kissing his way down Lance’s throat and along his collar bone.

“Hunk…” He sighs.

He leans his head back to look at Lance. Lance’s hands come up to caress his face before pulling him back into a kiss, lips mashing together. They continue for what feels like forever, mouths only parting for gentle gasps before pressing together again, Hunk’s hands hold Lance’s waist, rubbing his thumbs into the skin.

Hunk rolls his hips against Lance experimentally, unsure whether or not the action will be accepted. He’s surprised when he feels Lance’s own hips grind back against his. The feeling makes shivers run down his spine. He rocks his hips up again, this time sliding his hands down to rest on his hips. Lance pulls away to gasp, lips red and wet from kissing. With another roll Hunk hooks his thumbs into the waist of Lance’s pants.

“Can I?” He asks breathily.

Lance whines and bites his lips, nodding as he feels Hunk pressing so hard against him. He can definitely feel Hunk’s length against his own, and oh my god, he doesn’t even feel fully erect but there’s a sizeable bulge in his pants. Lance moans at the thought.

“You too” He moans, “pants off.”

Hunk smirks at that, shuffling back so that he can undo the zipper on his pants before pulling them down his thick thighs. He wriggles around a little clumsily to get his pants all the way off, making sure his shoes are gone too, before throwing them to the side. Now clad in just his boxer briefs he shuffles back up to Lance to slide his pants down his legs before throwing them next to the pair on the floor. Lance squeaks when the first thing he does is push his head down between his bare legs to kiss at his inner thighs.

“H-Hunk!” he squeaks.

“Heh...sorry, I just really wanted to do that” he says with a wink before sliding back up to kiss Lance again.

His hands slide under Lance’s shirt while Lance’s hands grip at Hunk’s back. Hunk continues to rut against Lance while he grinds back against him, dick’s getting harder with the sweet friction and soft cotton between them. Lance is gasping and moaning with every motion now, and Hunk is very much feeling a deep need to pull all of Lance’s clothes off.

“T-touch me” Lance moans, “please”

Hunk groans, oh god that was sexy. His hands slide down touching every part of Lance before one grips at his hip and the other moves to palm at Lance’s erection. Hunk rubs his thumb against the head earning a deep moan from the writhing boy below him. He takes that as a sign to continue, so he does.

Lance’s own hands are moving too, one grips playfully on Hunk’s butt before sliding around to grip at his hard length. Lance’s face is bright red, his eyebrows rise up and his mouth quirks into a grin as his hand moves up and down Hunk’s cock.

“Is that a massive dick in your pants or are you just happy to see me?” Lance smiles up at Hunk, looking prouder of himself than he should for the terrible joke.

“Oh my god” Hunk laughs, “that was terrible. The worst” he says as his shoulders shake with laughter.

“Stupid” he smiles before kissing Lance.

“You’re stupid” Lance says poking his tongue out, “I’m actually hilarious if you haven’t notic-eeahh!!”

His voice curls into a moan as Hunk’s hand tugs at his dick again, making him focus on the task at hand. Lance grits his teeth at the feeling, it feels so good to be touched, but he still wants more. Needs more. Needs to feel skin. He tugs at the elastic of Hunk’s underwear and whines pitifully.

“Off” he demands.

Hunk grins as he complies with the order, sliding his underwear off and letting his hard dick spring free. The sound Lance makes when he sees Hunk’s full length is downright sinful. Lance had only ever seen Hunk completely naked a few times and all of them had been rather brief, and obviously he wasn’t going to stare. He could only tell that he seemed somewhat larger than average, but this was downright impressive.

“Holy fuck” Lance breathes.

Hunk laughs before hooking his fingers into Lance’s own underwear, “you’re turn” he grins, before sliding it down his legs.

The underwear is quickly discarded, tossed across the room in a pile of clothes. Lance’s own cock springs up as well, hitting the underside of his belly, which feels kind of absolutely terrible. It makes him wince at the reminder.

While Hunk is up he removes his shirt as well, and the sight is greatly appreciated by Lance who wolf whistles at the sight of strong arms flexing above Hunk’s head as he pulls the garment off. Hunk pushes his arms under Lance’s back and pulls him up closer to his body. Lance is smiling until he feels fingers digging into the fabric of his shirt and he panics for second.

“Don’t” he says quickly.

“Huh?” Hunk says, arms quickly releasing Lance as he leans back to look at him, “What’s wrong? Do you want to stop?”

He sounds panicked, like he might’ve hurt Lance somehow, his face is scrunched with concern, waiting for Lance to say something.

“N-no, sorry, it’s stupid. Just forget it” Lance mumbles dropping his head onto Hunk’s shoulder.

“It’s not stupid, Lance. I want you to feel good, so you gotta tell me when you don’t. I don’t want to hurt you.”

“I… I just...don’t want you to take my shirt off” Lance frowns, he feels like a stupid kid. Too insecure to even take his shirt off.

Hunk immediately realises his mistake. He hadn’t even been thinking about whether or not Lance would be comfortable completely naked in front of him. Just because he sees him when he gets dressed in the morning doesn’t mean he wants that now. Especially when Hunk knows how much he hates seeing his stomach these days.

“I’m sorry” Hunk says softly, kissing his neck, “I should’ve asked first.”

“It’s okay…” Lance sighs, “not your fault.”

“Do... you wanna keep going?” Hunk asks.

“...Well my dick’s still rock hard, so…” Lance says with a growing smile.

Hunk smiles before his hands comes down and covers both his and Lance’s dicks. He starts stroking them slowly together, listening to Lance’s breath hitch and gasp. He rubs up and down the length squeezing every so often and sliding up to rub the palm of his hand over the head. Lance’s hips rock slowly into the strokes, rubbing their dicks together more and more.

Hunk keeps picking up the pace until he’s making fast strokes and both of them are panting hard. Lance is gripping Hunk’s shoulders and his face is buried in the crook of his neck. Lance’s warm breath brushes against his skin as he strokes him harder. Hunk can feel the heat and tightness in his stomach building, he’s getting close and by the look of it so is Lance.

It only takes a few more strokes and a few rubs of the head before Lance is biting down on Hunk’s shoulder, moaning loudly as he comes. Hunk follows shortly after, hips jerking at the feeling. They sit there breathlessly for a moment before Lance lets a soft laugh.

“I think that’s the best I’ve felt in months” he says snuggling against Hunk’s shoulder.

“Hah, me too” Hunk breathes.

Lance pulls himself away from Hunk’s warm body to lie down on the bed, when he puts his legs together he feels a stickiness between his thighs that makes him groan. Geez, how hard did he come?

“Ughh, need a shower” he groans, feeling his shirt stick to his sweaty back.

“Same” Hunk agrees lying down next to him.

Lance squirms in the bed, trying to get more comfortable with the weight of his belly pressing on his hips. He shifts, and his thighs rub together again, he feels the slickness between them and okay, that’s definitely not how he usually feels after an orgasm. His eyebrows furrow as he rubs them again experimentally, then his brain suggests something before he can stop the thought. He feels wet.

Lance quickly slides a hand between his legs, which takes a bit of manoeuvring in this position. Hunk raises an eyebrow at the sight. He uses his fingers to try feel for the same spot he found last time.

“Uh, Lance?” Hunk says confusedly.

He finds it and he can’t even try to contain the moan that slips out when his finger runs across the wet opening. What the fuck. It’s so wet and sensitive, like the head of his dick times a thousand. Just touching it has his whole-body shivering. He quickly pulls his hand away and is shocked to see the sticky strings that follow. He stares wide-eyed at his hand, panting softly.

“Um, what just happened?” Hunk says looking shocked.

“Nothing” he tries to say quickly, averting his eyes.

“Didn’t look like nothing…” Hunk says, “was that...your…”

“Don’t say it. Please, don’t.”

“...Got it. Not a word. Didn’t happen” Hunk nods, hand gently resting on top of Lance’s.

“Shower?” Lance says, looking up at Hunk.

“Shower” he nods.

--

Hunk jumped awake up when he heard some loud thumps and a terrible retching noise. The room was still dark, and his eyes were still bleary with sleep, but he squinted around the room trying to figure out what happened. He could see the light from the alarm clock next to the bed, 4 o’clock it said. He could also see the bathroom light was on, and that Lance was no longer in bed with him. He also heard more retching and coughing from the bathroom.

He climbed out of bed and stepped into the bathroom to see Lance kneeling on the floor, clinging to the toilet while his whole body shook with each hard cough. Hunk quickly kneels next to him, trying to comfort him by rubbing his back and saying encouraging words. Lance looks pretty rough, eyes watering hard enough that his tears are pooled in the corners of his eyes and sweat is beading on his forehead.

Lance moans pitifully, somehow still managing to spit up bile despite having already emptied his stomach into the toilet. He can still feel his stomach cramping, making him even more nauseous and unable to do anything to stop it. When he finally feels like he isn’t about to spit out his stomach he rests back on his heels, taking raspy breaths.

Hunk quickly fills up a glass of water and returns next to Lance to hand it to him, sitting close enough to let him lean against Hunk’s chest. Lance takes a mouthful, only to rinse out the taste of stomach acid and spit it back into the bowl.

“How are you feeling?” Hunk asks carefully, unsure whether or not it’s a dumb question to ask.

“Like my internal organs are trying to escape through my throat…urgh!” Lance groans wearily, curling into his stomach as it lurches again. They sit for a few moments while he pants and whines, before he stops to breathe deeply.

“Do you wanna try get back in bed so you can lie down somewhere more comfortable?” Hunk asks gently, he’s pretty sure the bathroom floor isn’t the best place to sit.

“Ugh… if I can make it there, sure” his eyes are squeezed shut as he wraps his arms around himself tightly, trying to even out his ragged breathing.

Hunk holds his hands and tries to help him to his feet, but halfway up Lance yells and his knees buckle from under him. Hunk is only just fast enough to get an arm under Lance to stop him from hitting the ground. Lance has one arm gripping Hunk and the other clutching at his stomach as he pants heavily.

“Lance!?” Hunk yelps.

“Ah! C-can’t… move…” He groans, grip tightening around Hunk’s arm.

He’s hunched over and shaking, barely able to keep both feet on the ground in an attempt to stay standing when clearly his body won’t let him. Hunk makes the decision to slide his arm around Lance’s back and his other under his knees before lifting him up and carrying him back to bed. Lance whimpers in his grip, muscles tense in pain under Hunk’s hands.

He gently lies Lance down on his side, quickly leaving to grab some towels, water and an empty trash can, bringing them back to the bed for Lance. He lay the towels out around him and puts the bin right next to the bed, so he can reach it.

“What still hurts?” Hunk asks fearfully, sitting on the edge of the bed to run his fingers through Lance’s sweaty hair.

“Everything” Lance bites out, “my stomach... my b-back… my hips... urgh!”

“Should I get Coran? Is it just, like, feeling sick or do you think it’s… worse?” Hunk tries carefully.

“Si- ck” Lance moans before he brings a hand to his mouth and starts heaving, “t-think...I’m... mm gun’ be... s- sic-”

He doesn’t finish his sentence before he starts gagging again and Hunk quickly pulls the bin closer to Lance to let him grab the edges of it before retching up what small amount of vomit, bile and spit he can manage. He stays there quivering for a moment, trying to breath as evenly as possible before he flops back against the bed.

“Try drink some water when you can,” Hunk says picking the glass off the table in case Lance wants some, “otherwise you’ll end up dehydrated.”

Lance just moans again, pushing his face into the pillow. The cramps had been bad enough that they actually woke him up again that night, which then made the babies start kicking, which then put a combined pressure on Lance’s stomach which soon had him writhing around in pain before jumping from the bed to be violently ill in the bathroom. Which was when Hunk found him. Not a great way to start the day, and it was apparently only 4:27AM on the clock. Wonderful.

“Try to rest, I’ll be right here with you if you need me” Hunk says as he climbs onto the bed properly to lie behind Lance, resting one hand on his arm to rub gently.

They both try to doze off as best they can, but with Lance waking up every half hour to an hour to dry heave into the bucket or cling to Hunk and cry through some painful cramps and Hunk waking up just as frequently to bring him water, hold the bucket under him, replace towels, bring damp washcloths, and to hold Lance when he cries, neither of them get much sleep. The alarm comes and goes and neither of them move. It’s been hours since they first woke up, and Lance finally seems to have made it through the pain, finally sleeping soundly.

Hunk wants to join him and probably will, but first he wants to get some more drinks and food from the kitchen so that when Lance wakes up he can try regaining some strength. He slips out of bed as gently as he can, trying not to wake Lance, and sneaks out of the room. Once out he walks as quickly as he can to the kitchen, so he can get back before anything happens.

He didn’t expect there to be anyone still hanging out in the dining room, since it was well after breakfast, but Keith and Shiro were still sitting at the table, talking about something. Shiro turned to smile at Hunk when he walked in, but his expression quickly became one of concern when he saw that Hunk was still in his pyjamas, and was looking like he hadn’t slept all night.

“Hunk, what’s going on?” Shiro worries, “you and Lance weren’t at breakfast this morning, is everything alright?”

“Oh, y-yeah. It was just, Lance woke up at like four in the morning really sick, and he’s been in pain and throwing up for the past few hours. He finally fell asleep though, so I thought I’d just come grab some food and stuff in case he feels better when he wakes up. So, uh, we’re probably just gunna be in bed for today, unless Lance starts feeling better” Hunk mumbles in a tired stupor.

There’s a sharp inhale from Shiro, like he’s imaging how terrible their morning must have been. He tries to give Hunk a small, reassuring smile, but his eyes are still full of sadness.

“I’ll let everyone know Lance isn’t feeling well,” Shiro says curtly, “make sure you both get some rest, okay?”

“Will do” Hunk says with a lazy salute as he makes his way into the kitchen.

He rummages around grabbing whatever he thinks will help, a large water bottle, some dry crackers, leftovers from dinner the other night, a protein shake and whatever else he can hold. He walks back past Shiro and Keith and only slightly nods back at them in acknowledgment as he makes his way back to Lance.

Thankfully when he returns Lance is still asleep, curled up on his side breathing quietly. Hunk puts down all the stuff he brought on the desk next to the bed before double checking that there were still enough towels and that the bin was still empty. Once everything was back in order he climbs into bed behind Lance and lies down gently, snuggling into the pillow and gently putting a hand on Lance’s hip as he shuffles closer.

As soon as his eyes shut he falls asleep.

Chapter Text

When Lance wakes up all he can feel is how heavy and sluggish his body is. It feels like he got smacked around by a robeast recently. He shifts uncomfortably in the bed trying to fall back asleep, not because he’s tired, but because it’s too much effort to be awake and be this uncomfortable. When he realises that he’s probably not getting back to sleep anytime soon he sighs before opening his eyes to look for the clock.

5:36PM. Wow. Apparently, he’d been asleep for a lot longer than he realised. He remembered the hellish morning he had, not that it’s something one would forget easily, and is immediately grateful that he has someone as wonderful as Hunk taking care of him. He honestly doesn’t know how he would’ve gotten through this without him. Hunk was so good and caring towards him even when he feels this disgusting. Lance would have preferred not to have spent the night throwing up and crying on his boyfriend, but apparently the universe had different plans for him.

“Oh, you’re awake” Hunk says softly beside him, making Lance turn his head to look at him.

Hunk still looks tired, bags under his eyes and the most impressive bed hair ever, second only to Pidge’s. He has a tired half-smile, but somehow, he still looks incredible. Lance rolls over so that he can face Hunk.

“Y-yeah...just woke up” Lance whispers, not because he’s trying to stay quiet, but his throat is sore and raspy. It’s as loud as he can get it at the moment.

“How are you feeling?” he asks gently, hand coming up to caress Lance’s cheek.

“Exactly as terrible as you can imagine” Lance says with a wheeze, “like training with Allura times a thousand.”

“Yikes” Hunk hisses in sympathy, everyone knows that the princess gets pretty serious when it comes to training and she isn’t afraid to remind you how much stronger she is.

“Yeah” he sighs.

“Do you feel like eating something? Want some water?” Hunk says sitting upright in bed to get him anything he needs.

“Food is the last thing on my mind right now” he groans, “maybe just some water.”

“Got it” Hunk reaches over Lance to grab the water bottle off the bedside table, handing it to Lance.

Lance wriggles up against the pillow to be more upright before taking the bottle and chugging down almost half of it in one go. He cringes at the aftertaste of acid on his tongue, but the cool water over his sore throat is making up for it, only slightly stinging as he swallows. He stops to breathe before drinking the remainder of the bottle.

“There are some dry crackers there as well if you wanna try eating a bit later, I know you probably don’t want to, but it’s been a long time since you’ve eaten anything” Hunk says.

“Maybe later…” Lance says softly.

Hunk nods, and a knock on the door has them both turning to look at it. Hunk slides off the end of the bed to go open it. Coran is standing there, hands behind his back when it opens.

“Sorry to intrude, I hope I didn’t disturb you” Coran worries, “I just wanted to make sure Lance was feeling alright. Shiro told me he was very ill this morning, and he urged me to let you rest for the day, but I just couldn’t wait until tomorrow to see how you two were doing.”

“Not a problem, Coran” Hunk smiles, stepping aside so he can walk into the room.

Coran walks towards the bed, smiling sympathetically at Lance.

“Are you still feeling ill, Lance? If so I can try bringing you some of my homemade recipes, a guaranteed cure for an upset stomach.”

Lance winces at the thought of Coran’s cooking, slimy lumps that feel like sponge and taste about as appetizing as dog food. Even if the sound of good food didn’t repulse him at the moment, Coran’s food definitely would.

“No, thank you, Coran. Kinda passing on food right now” Lance says with a queasy smile.

“Of course. What about your body, do you feel any pain or discomfort anywhere?” He asks kindly.

“Ugh, only everywhere. Pretty sure everything from my neck down hurts to some degree, definitely feeling it the worst in my back and my hips though” Lance groans.

“As expected, that is where the foetuses will be putting the most pressure on now. Even if it is difficult, do try to get up and move around every so often, it should help move them around, so they don’t rest in one area too long and it will also keep your muscles from becoming weaker.”

“Alright, I’ll try” Lance sighs, dreading the thought of having to move right now.

“If you need anything at all or the pain gets worse, please do not hesitate to ask me. I’m more than happy to help you” Coran smiles at the two of them.

“Thanks, Coran” Hunk says.

“Anytime. Now I’m sure you two are probably still exhausted, please take care of yourselves. Hunk, there’ll be some dinner aside for both of you if you feel up to it you’re welcome to join us, otherwise, good night” Coran says with a curt nod before leaving the room.

“Ahh, fine. Help me up, Hunk” Lance sighs dramatically, pulling himself upright to hang his legs over the edge of the bed before reaching a hand out towards Hunk.

“What are we doing?” Hunk asks, helping Lance to his feet and holding him steady.

“Let’s go for a walk then, since we’ve done nothing all day and I’m awake now” Lance says, only a little out of breath from standing up.

“Alrighty, let’s go” Hunk smiles, taking Lance’s hand.

Lance returns the smile before walking out of the room, letting Hunk lead the way.

--

“Urgh! I feel like I’m trying to walk around with a freaking bowling bowl stuck in my pelvis!” Lance shrieks leaning bodily over the kitchen bench.

Pidge snickers before trying to stifle her laughter at the angry glare Lance shoots her direction. She’s sitting on the bench next to him, only here to steal leftovers from what Hunk is cooking right now. Hunk gives Lance a sympathetic look over his shoulder as he mixes a pot on the stove.

“Sorry, Lance, but you gotta admit, that image is kinda hilarious” Pidge giggles.

“Is not! It’s uncomfortable and painful and stupid and- and I freaking waddle now!” He shouts, mouth turned up in an angry pout, “Seriously, like I didn’t have enough problems in my life and now I can’t even walk properly!”

“That’s rough, buddy” Pidge sighs, but her mouth is still turned up in a devilish smile.

“Ugh, fuck off, Pidge. You’re just here to steal food anyway” Lance complains, turning around to lean back against the bench.

“Duh, Hunk is the only person on this Castleship that can actually cook, so obviously that’s why I’m here” she says with a smug grin.

“Well, it’s probably a good thing anyway, since I won’t be able to eat half of what Hunk gives me thanks to my near constant nausea…”

“You gotta eat something, Lance” Hunk says without looking up from the bench.

“Why, so I can throw it up again in half an hour? Yeah, sounds like fun…” he scowls at the floor.

“I know, your nausea-”

“Morning sickness” Pidge interrupts, making Lance frown at her again.

“Nausea” Hunk continues, “is getting worse these days, but you can’t just live off smoothies and the vitamins Coran gives you. You need real food.”

“Well, tell that to freeloaders who decide to take their frustrations out on my stomach” Lance grumbles, crossing his arms over his chest.

“Okay. Hey, freeloaders!” Pidge teases, pushing her face right up to Lance’s stomach to talk to it. He shoves her face away.

“Knock it off, Pidge!”

She laughs as she’s shoved back, Lance’s hand covering most of her face. He lets go of her to continue pouting angrily at the wall.

“So, what are you even making?” Pidge says, hopping off the bench to peer curiously around Hunk’s arms.

“Just some soup, I thought it would be easiest to keep down” Hunk says, putting a few ingredients into the pot.

“Smells good, how long ‘till it’s finished?” Pidge asks.

“Um, not too long, five minutes?” Hunk shrugs.

“Good, I’m hungry!” She beams up at Hunk.

“Lance, if you wanna sit down at the table I can bring it out when it’s done” Hunk says turning to look at Lance leaning uncomfortably against the bench. Lance sighs in relief.

“Thanks, Hunk. You’re the best” He pushes himself forward of the bench and takes a step forward to give Hunk a quick kiss on the cheek before making his way slowly into the dining room, waddling awkwardly as he goes.

“Yeah, thanks Hunk!” Pidge shouts with a grin following after Lance. Hunk just sighs and shakes his head at the two of them.

Lance sighs again as he lowers himself into a chair, after being on his feet and walking around for most of the morning with Hunk and then spending a while working with Allura, Lance was grateful to be off his feet. Ever since that day they spent in bed Hunk has insisted on starting their morning with a short walk around the Castle and while this doesn’t sound like it would be any effort at all, Lance is feeling the pain.

The extra weight of his somehow still growing stomach presses heavily against his hips and back and makes walking so very uncomfortable, it even makes his thighs ache and his ankles sore. All the extra weight also makes simple tasks very tiring, even just a five-minute walk in the morning makes Lance tired like he just ran laps around the training deck with Keith.

Pidge hops into the seat next to him with the ease and speed that Lance hasn’t had in what feels like months. He’s quietly jealous of her for that.

“So, got any baby names yet?” Pidge asks innocently.

“Pidge, I’m not keeping them” Lance growls more angrily than she deserves, he’s not really upset with her asking. He’s upset that everyone seems to expect him to keep them.

“Oh…” she says looking down at her hands, “what are you doing with them then?”

“I don’t know, giving them away to some alien adoption agency? Dropping them off on a planet? Who cares, as long as they’re gone” He huffs.

“That’s...kinda sad, don’t you think?” she says softly.

“In what world would I be sad of getting rid of aliens that were surgically dumped inside of me?” Lance questions with a scowl, “Pidge, you didn’t seriously think that I’d want these things, right?”

“Oh, um… I guess not…” she frowns, “I don’t know, I just sorta thought we’d take care of them? Since they’ll be born here…”

“Pidge, not only is that a terrible idea, but we’re also Paladins. How the hell would any of us manage to fight this war against the Galra while also having two alien babies we know nothing about running around?”

“Uh…” she tries to think, but is quickly interrupted.

“Exactly! We wouldn’t. So, there’s no reason for them to stay here, or for me to ever have to see them. As soon as they’re out of me, they’re out of here” He says sinking into his chair more.

“Got it…” Pidge says.

“Who’s hungry!” Hunk says, walking into the room with a tray of three hot bowls of soup.

“Oh, me!” Pidge turns around excitedly to watch Hunk place their bowls down in front of them.

“Careful, it’s still hot” He warns before Pidge can shove a spoonful into her mouth.

“Oh, I almost forgot. Lance, Coran wanted me to tell you that if you’re not busy tomorrow he wants to do another healing pod session” Hunk says blowing at a spoonful of soup.

“Ughh, how many times do I have to get into that stupid pod” Lance sighs.

“It’s just so we can keep an eye on your health to make sure nothing's going wrong” Hunk says, and Lance is starting to think he sounds like his mum.

“Yeah, well, I still don’t appreciate having to climb into that horrible suit and hang around while Coran tells me all the new ways my insides have been messed up. But fine, we’ll go tomorrow.”

“Alright, next time we see Coran we can tell him then” Hunk nods, “You haven’t done your stretches today, have you?”

“...No” Lance mumbles quietly into his soup, “they hurt too much…”

“Okay, we’ll try again later, yeah?” Hunk looks at Lance to see if he agrees.

“Fine, but you have to deal with me complaining about how much it hurts” Lance says defensively.

“What if I gave you a massage afterwards?” Hunk says like he knows exactly how much Lance wants that.

“Oh my god. Please. That would make everything so much better” Lance sounds happier just talking about it.

“Do you two really have to talk about your love life in front of my soup like this?” Pidge exclaims in mock disgust.
“I’ll say whatever I want in front of your damn soup, Pidge!” Lance teases, “and you haven’t even heard the worst of it, I mean you should see Hunk when he-”

“Ahhhh! Stop it, I don’t want to hear any of it!” Pidge screeches, slapping her hands over her ears. Hunk is blushing under his laughter.

“Maybe some other time then” Lance smiles at her smugly.

Chapter Text

Hunk and Lance walked down the hallway holding hands. They’d just left their room to start their morning walk before breakfast which was supposed to help Lance get some exercise and keep his muscles active while he got heavier. Lance did not feel like the walks were helping him today, in fact they were hurting him a lot. Too much. He’d been all too aware of how quickly his pregnant belly was hindering his movement, and every day it seemed to hurt more.

“H-Hunk” Lance whined, pulling down on Hunk’s arm to stop him from walking any further, “I can’t keep going, not today. It hurts too much...”

They’d barely made it around the corner from their room before Lance was sweating and leaning heavily against Hunk. Hunk could see in his face that it hurt worse than the usual pain Lance complained about when they did their walks.

“Please, Hunk, it seriously hurts just to walk. Can’t we just go straight to breakfast?” Lance sounds desperate, like if Hunk said no he’d start to cry.

“Yeah, okay. No walk today” Hunk says, wrapping his arm around Lance’s waist to help support him as they turn towards the dining room.

Lance sighs in relief and Hunk helps him walk. It only takes a tiny bit of the pressure off, but it’s still greatly appreciated. Lance feels ridiculously huge these days; his stomach has grown so much that now even Hunk’s shirts are starting to fit him around the middle. All the growth just keeps adding to the pain on his overtaxed body, he’s in almost near constant pain these days, from cramps, kicking, back pain and the pressure his belly puts on his legs.

“I hope this is as big as I’m gunna get” Lance pants as they walk slowly down the hall, one hand on the underside of his belly for support, “because I swear if I get any bigger I think my back is going to break…”

“Well, maybe today Coran can try narrow down a better due date, since according to his old one you still have anywhere from one to three months left. I think?” Hunk says questioningly.

“Oh god, I’m not gunna make it that long, no way” he breathes, clinging to Hunk as they walk.

“Well, I mean by the looks of it I’d say you weren’t far off, but that’s just going off my knowledge of human pregnancies, so who really knows.”

“Wow, that really boosts my confidence. Don’t worry, Lance! you could give birth at any moment, or be pregnant for another 3 months. No problem at all” Lance groans in a mocking tone.

He’s been pushing the thought to the back of his head recently, but he’s worried that he might actually be close to giving birth. He knows he’s not ready, doesn’t think he’ll ever be ready, and as much as he wants this whole situation to be over he doesn’t want to just go into labor randomly. That scares him more than having to stay pregnant for another month.

Finally, they make it to the dining hall, and Lance immediately makes his way to his chair. Hunk helps him to sit down before going to get them both breakfast. Lance sighs in relief when he can finally rest his legs, it doesn’t stop the pain completely, but it’s way better than having all the weight of his stomach pushing on his hips and spine like they do when he stands. He’s embarrassed that he’s so tired just from walking from his room to the dining room, but there’s little he can do to help that.

“How are you feeling, Lance?” Allura says from her seat at the end of the table.

“Terrible” He groans. Hunk sits down next to him and puts a protein shake in front of Lance.

“Is it making it difficult to walk again?” Coran asks.

“Yeah, I can barely get anywhere these days without Hunk. They’re so heavy it hurts to walk more than a few metres at a time. I know you said I should keep moving, but it’s so hard these days” Lance is tired and stressed, and it shows in the strain in his voice.

“What if you used a walking stick or something?” Keith suggests.

“What?” Lance says, a little offended.

“Well, I mean it would help wouldn’t it?” Keith says with a shrug.

“I’m not some old person! I don’t need a walking stick!” Lance says, looking at Keith angrily.

“Actually, Keith has a point. Using an aid might help you stay mobile for longer. I’m sure we’ll have plenty of choice down in medical” Coran says cheerfully.

“No way! Nope, nuh-uh. I don’t want one, I’m fine on my own” Lance grumbles.

“...It would help a lot though, Lance” Hunk says. Lance looks at him with wide eyes. Betrayal.

“No one is going to judge you for needing help, Lance, we all can see what a toll this is on your body. If you need assistance you should use it” Shiro says diplomatically.

Lance just looks down at his breakfast in frustration. He already feels like he’s incapable of doing anything without help, he doesn’t want to look like he is as well. The thought of needing a walker or a wheelchair to get around scares him, like he’s lost the battle on being in control of his body. Like it’s finally started to fail him for real. Like this is the beginning of the end.

“We can have a look after your session today, hm?” Coran suggests.

“...Okay” is the only reply Lance can manage.

--

“Alright, let’s make this quick, okay?” Lance says entering the healing room, already dressed in the white bodysuit.

“I understand you’d like to hurry along and be done with this, but I still believe it’s important that we discuss what happens before and after you enter the pod” Coran says apologetically.

“Ugh, fine…” Lance sighs, trying to ignore the immense discomfort he feels.

“Alright, well first, I’m unsure if you’ve been counting or not, but it’s been forty-five quintants since the night you were abducted. Your symptoms have been reasonably consistent, if not only progressing more the further along you get. Are there any additional symptoms you’ve discovered recently that I might be unaware of?” Coran asks.

“Um, let’s see… lack of sleep, constant need to pee, aching hips, nausea, cramps, sore itchy skin on my stomach, getting kicked in the guts, sore legs, sore back, sore everything, shortness of breath, fatigue, loss of appetite, lack of motivation, constant and intense suffering? Nope, I think you’ve got it all” Lance says counting each one off his fingers as he goes.

“...Right. Well please do let me know if anything different happens” Coran says warily, “I also believe, considering your current size and growth rate, that we should be reassessing your due date and making a more concrete labor plan. We’ll check your pelvis again to see how the stretches have helped.”

“Is that everything then?” Lance complains.

“Oh, well I did have a few more questions, but if you’d rather get the exam over with we can continue talking afterwards” Coran says carefully.

“Yep, let’s do that” Lance says walking over to the pod and climbing in.

“He seems to be more irritable these days” Coran says watching the healing pod begin its work.

“Well, who wouldn’t be when you’re in that much pain all the time. He’s going through a lot right now…” Hunk sighs.

“Yes, I suppose that’s true.”

The machine hums quietly, and the familiar read outs are displayed on the screen. Hunk looks at them and even though he’s seen them numerous times by now, he still doesn’t know what a single one means. They all just blend together in a jumble of bright lights and Altean symbols.

“At this stage I wouldn’t really bother to continue monitoring his hormone levels, since they seem to be pretty standard for what his body is doing, the only concerning aspect is the quintessence we found last time. It appears like there has been an increase in quantity, not much, but still” Coran explains.

“It’s not enough to hurt him though, right?” Hunk worries.

“No, not nearly at a dangerous level, which is relieving. So, it isn’t something I would be too concerned about. By the looks of the scan, I’d say it’s localised around the foetuses and is providing them with some kind of sustenance” Coran says, continuing on with the examination with practised ease.

“Has he been doing the stretches every day?”

“Yeah, I’ve been helping, since it’s kinda hard for him to get up and down by himself, and some of those poses aren’t easy to hold. But he’s been keeping to them, hopefully they’ve helped…” Hunk says nervously.

“Well it appears they have, his hips are looking in much better shape, still narrow of course, but better than before. He may yet be able to do this without intervention” Coran gives a small smile, it’s a tiny victory in the grand scheme of things, but he’s still glad. “Of course, if he continues to do the stretches all the way up to the birth, they will help a great deal more.”

“Got it” Hunk nods.

“And as expected, his internal organs are just getting more cramped in there… he’s already been struggling to eat simple foods, but if this continues for much longer he may not be able to eat much of anything without becoming ill.”

“Seriously?! He eats like barely a whole meal a day! That cannot be healthy for him…” Hunk panics.

“No, it won’t be. If it gets to a point where he is unable to keep food down, we might have to put him on a drip every so often to prevent him from becoming malnourished…” Coran’s eyebrows are furrowed with worry at the prospect of having to do that to Lance. To lose one of life’s basic functions would be very distressing.

Hunk feels like crying; how can Lance go through this much suffering. How is it fair that any one person should have to experience all of this pain? It’s not right.

“Well, let’s finally check on the little ones then, hm?” Coran says, trying to sound chipper.

“Sure…”

Once again, Hunk gets a close look at the two alien babies growing inside of Lance and he can’t help but remember how Lance had reacted when he first saw them. The guilt tugs at his heart and almost makes him avoid looking at them completely. When he finally does look a weird mix of emotion struggles inside his chest. He kind of despises them for what they’re doing to Lance, but at the same time he knows that these two small things aren’t responsible for their actions, they’re barely conscious beings yet. They need to be cared for.

They still look like babies too, though much larger now. They haven’t even started to grow weird alien features like tails or claws or something. Their ears do seem to be growing in differently than what Hunk is used to, more pointed and long, but that’s really it. They aren’t horrifying, and Hunk can’t be afraid of them no matter how hard he tries, the only thing that scares him is what they might do to Lance on the way out. That thought causes him to shudder.

“Well, they just keep on getting bigger don’t they, despite how little room they have left. Almost three and a half pounds each now, certainly a lot to be carrying around. I can definitely see why Lance has been experiencing so much pain. Really this pregnancy has progressed much too quickly to allow his body the amount of time it would’ve needed to adjust.”

Coran starts to take down measurements and compare the scans to the same information he did during the first session. It doesn’t take him nearly as long this time. He’s soon standing back up again.

“Well, it is very difficult to pinpoint exactly, since this pregnancy is accelerating faster than any that match the physical appearance of the foetuses, but I would say this should be over in no more than a phoeb. Less hopefully, but the likelihood of it continuing for longer is very low since the development of the foetuses is pretty far along.”

“Well, at least that means this will be over soon and Lance can start being himself again” Hunk tries to be optimistic, but he knows the path to that isn’t so simple. There’s still more pain in sight.

“Yes, and even after the birth I fear he will still be recovering from all of this…” Coran sighs.

“So, is that all you needed to check? Can we wake him up now?” Hunk asks eagerly.

“Of course” Coran says already pressing the appropriate buttons.

When the pod door opens Lance struggles for a moment trying to push himself up from the soft backing of the pod. Hunk lends him a hand, helping to pull him forward to step onto the floor shakily. He groans when his feet hit the floor, feeling the pain surge through his legs.

“Whatever it is you have to tell me it can wait until I’m changed and sitting down, okay?” Lance says sternly.

“Of course, take your time” Coran nods courteously.

Lance walks off to get changed, hands on his back to support himself on the way there, alone. He almost wanted to ask Hunk to come with him to help, but his pride told him otherwise. Told him that he had to do this alone to show them that he was stronger than they thought he was. Even if he was actually struggling.

He returns dressed and a little out of breath several minutes later, Hunk and Coran have been patiently waiting for him.

“Shall we take a seat then?” Coran suggests.

“Please” Lance breathes, walking to joining room.

Hunk takes his arm as they’re walking, and Lance is grateful for the assistance as he leans some of his weight on Hunk. He’s also grateful for when he finally gets to sit down again.

“Well, you’ll be glad to hear that your hard work and dedication to doing the stretches has paid off, your hips are widening somewhat. The more you continue to work the muscles in the area, the easier it should be for you to give birth, so please continue them daily” Coran says with a smile, Lance just nods.

“We also have concerns about how much room your uterus is taking up, since it is continuing to put pressure on your stomach. We fear this may further inhibit your ability to eat, if it gets to a point where you are struggling to keep any food down we may have to give you nutrients through other methods such as an IV. Hopefully it won’t come to this.”

Lance sighs to himself, nodding again. Hunk squeezes his hand, trying to comfort him in some way.

“And after reassessing the foetuses, I believe their due date is only about a phoeb away. They haven’t quite moved into a position suitable for labor, but there is still time left for them to move, so we’ll check again soon. Also, knowing that we only have a phoeb to prepare, I believe we should have another meeting much sooner than usual to check their position and development.”

Lance nods.

“Now, I know you don’t want to think about giving birth right now, but have you given any consideration as to where you would be most comfortable? We of course have the medical bay which is equipped and ready whenever, or I thought you may prefer somewhere more familiar or comforting. It’s up to you, of course.”

“Where ever” Lance says numbly.

“...Right, I’ll prepare arrangements then. Now, in the event that something goes wrong, I believe it may be necessary to use the pods, they cannot assist in the birth, but should you be in a situation where we cannot get them out we may have to trial the pods ability to perform a cesarean. I’ve never attempted one through the pod, but if the life of Lance or one of the foetuses becomes endangered, the pod should be able to perform one.”

Nod.

“Also, do you have any preferences on who will be present at the time? It’s entirely up to you who is allowed to be there or not.”

“Just you two” he says, barely louder than a whisper.

“Of course. If you would like I can also bring down some mobility aids from medical to help you get around the castle, do you have a preference in type?”

Lance shakes his head.

“Lance, you okay?” Hunk interrupts, looking at his still face.

“I’m fine” he mumbles.

“You’ve barely said a word, you’re not fine. Talk to us. Please” Hunks pleads.

“I just… I don’t want anyone to think I’m weak. I want to be able to handle this myself.”

“Lance, no one thinks you’re weak, in fact we all think the complete opposite. We’ve all been watching you go through hell recently, yet somehow you can still find the time to laugh and spend time with everyone” Hunk says.

“We all know how much of a burden this is for you, all we want is for you to feel better. We cannot force you to accept the help we offer you, but it would be for your own benefit if you did. So, please, let us help you” Coran adds.

Lance nods again, face turned down and away from Hunk and Coran, he pulls his hands in towards himself to curl up as small as possible.

“...I-is that all, Coran?” Lance tries to say calmly, but his voice cracks with emotion.

“Lance…” Hunk says, tearing up himself.

“I’m f-fine. Just tired… I wanna go back to my room…” Lance mumbles wetly, face still turned away.

Chapter Text

Lance has been trying to use the walker Coran gave him as little as possible these days, even if it does actually help quite a lot. He’ll never admit that he actually needs it and that he finds it a great relief for when he needs to move around. Especially not to Keith.

He also tries not to use it when anyone other than Hunk is around, always trying to pretend like he’s doing better than he is. He almost fell on top of Pidge once when he decided he didn’t need to use it in front of her to get to the other side of the kitchen bench when his leg gave out. She was more worried that Lance might have hurt himself rather than him almost crushing her small self under his large stomach. He might have cried about it later on Hunk.

Today he was pretending he didn’t need the walker by sitting in his seat in the control room scanning through some Galra documents that Pidge had decrypted recently. It was pretty boring really, mostly just documents about where ships were going, what cargo they were carrying, when laundry day was, and angry messages between officers who thought they were more important than the others. Nothing that would destroy the Galra Empire.

Shiro had left before, saying he’d promised Keith that they could train together today, so it was just Lance and Allura. Allura had been standing at the helm of the Castleship, looking over star maps with an intense concentration. Lance didn’t feel like she needed his help with whatever it was she was doing, so he left her alone and continued his work. There had been a long stretching silence ever since Shiro left, until now.

“Lance, I must apologize…” Allura says out of the blue.

“Huh? For what?” Lance jumps at the sound of her voice, surprised that she’d said anything.

“I fear that I have been trying to distance myself from you ever since we discovered that you had been… impregnated” she says with a strained look.

Lance gives her a confused look, unsure of what she’s trying to tell him.

“...As soon as we found out, I asked Coran to take over your care and decided without even discussing it with you that you would be excluded from Paladin missions. I haven’t attended or even inquired about how your sessions with the healing pods have been going, only ever reading the summaries that Coran gives me. I have been a terrible Princess, and an even worse friend” she says sadly, clasping her hands together as the star maps disappears.

“What?” is all Lance can manage.

“I know that it’s being far too forward for me to ask you to forgive me for the way I’ve treated you. I should’ve been able to overcome my fears to help you in a time of need, especially when you are more afraid of this than any of us could be for you. I sincerely hope you can forgive me, and allow me to make an effort to help you more in the coming phoebs” she steps down from the helm and walks over to Lance’s seat to say these words directly to him.

“W-what?” He stumbles, confused about what Allura is saying. Lance feels like she’s having a whole conversation without him.

Allura, the Princess of Altea is apologizing to Lance for not being more involved in his alien pregnancy? What?

“Allura, you don’t need to apologize for that stuff, I don’t expect everyone to give me extra attention just because of some aliens living inside of me” Lance sighs, “Honestly, I’m kind of glad to have someone that doesn’t remind me that this is happening every five minutes…”

“I’m glad you see it that way, but I simply can’t allow myself to continue on letting you believe that it was not a responsibility of mine to ensure the safety and well-being of everyone on this ship. Especially the Paladins. You’re an important part of the team, we cannot function without you. So, I simply cannot ignore what is happening for my own benefit. It isn’t right” She sighs, sitting on the arm of his chair with more grace than anyone should have.

“No way, you haven’t been-”

“Lance. I’m telling you this not because I want you to try reconciling me for this behaviour, but because I want you to understand my actions over the past phoebs and hopefully give me the opportunity to make it up to you. My fear of what was happening was selfish in the way that I was trying to run from something that you could not escape, I won’t do that again.”

“Allura, I’m not upset with you and I definitely don’t blame you for wanting to avoid all of this” Lance says gesturing down at himself, “I mean it’s not like I’m that fun to hang out with these days.”

Lance smiles in a sad kind of way, and it makes Allura even more determined to make sure he knows that she’s here for him and that she’ll always be there to support him no matter what the situation is. She reaches for his hand and holds it in both of hers.

“Lance, you’re a wonderful person. What happened doesn’t change that, if anything I believe this may make you the strongest out of all of us. You’ve had to endure so much” She looks at him with sadness and admiration.

“Well, it only counts if I actually survive…” he tries to laugh, but it comes out tired and slow.

“You will. We will make sure that you survive this. You’re our top priority right now, I’ve been constantly moving the Castleship to avoid the Galra cruisers for weeks now to try and minimize the risk of an attack” She says looking over at the helm for a moment, “Hopefully I will be able to keep us safe until they are born.”

“Really? I had no idea…” Lance says looking at her with raised eyebrows.

“Yes, I’ve been charting a course with Pidge’s help to avoid the Galra while still putting us in positions where we can send the Lions out for missions when necessary. Though, we haven’t been attempting many missions these days either.”

“That’s my fault, sorry...” he sighs.

“It is not your fault, Lance, it’s to protect you. Who knows what the Galra might do if they knew one of our Paladins was- is, um…in this situation-”

“Pregnant?” Lance fills in.

“...Yes. If they found that out, who knows what might happen. We cannot risk them knowing” She says sternly.

“Well, we can only hope it won’t be for much longer…” he squeezes her hand gently.

“...Have you figured out what will happen during the birth?” Allura asks carefully.

“Kind of? I think I’ve got the basics, but since we really don’t know how this is going to go down I’m just hoping we can figure it out as we go” Lance shrugs.

“Right, of course. The Castle is equipped with the best Altean medical equipment, I’m sure we will be able to manage” She smiles at him.

“But there isn’t a doctor…” he frowns at the floor, “Shame Alteans didn’t build like a robot doctor, that might’ve made this a lot easier.”

“...Yes, I suppose it would have. I will remember that in the future.”

“Do… do you think I can do this?” Lance asks hesitantly.

“Lance…” Allura starts.

“Like, what if I can’t push them out? Or they get stuck? Or I’m not strong enough? What if they have to get cut out? Am I gunna bleed to death? Will I even make it that far? What if I do die? What if they die? What if it hurts so bad I pass out?” Lance starts to panic, spitting words out of his mouth almost too fast to hear and grip tightening on Allura’s hand painfully.

“...I know you’re worried, that’s completely understandable. We’re trying our best to be prepared for every possible outcome and we’ll all be here for you if you need us. Coran has been preparing as much medical equipment as possible in the event that intervention is needed, but he seems confident that you can do this, and I believe him” Allura squeezes his hand back and gives him a determined look.

Lance breathes deeply, hand resting on his round stomach. He closes his eyes for a second before looking back at Allura.

“I hope you’re right…”

Allura nods, “I know you can do this” she says placing her hand to cover the hand Lance is resting on his belly.

A sharp kick under their palms jostles them and makes them both stare at the beach ball sized bump. It makes Lance hiss and Allura jump at the feeling. Allura isn’t sure if she should remove her hand or not, but Lance makes no move.

“Huh, haven’t had that kind of reaction in a while…” he ponders.

“Do they not move often?” Allura asks curiously.

“They move a lot, not as much these days because I think they’re kinda cramped in there, but they certainly do pack a punch now…” he sighs, giving the bump a small rub.

“Fascinating…” Allura says quietly.

“The funny thing is they don’t usually react to hands like that, like it never happens when Hunk or I touch it. The only other time I remember it happening is when Keith wanted to feel” Lance thinks out loud.

“Do you think they have preferences?” She asks looking away from his stomach for the first time since she felt the kick.

“Uh, maybe? I don’t know, never really tested the theory or anything” he shrugs a shoulder.

“How interesting, maybe we should try” She smiles at him.

“Wha-? With Keith? Why, what would even be the point?” Lance questions with a pout. He doesn’t like the idea of having some weird contest to see which of them can make the babies kick harder. He gets kicked plenty without their help.

“Maybe it could help us learn something about them?” Allura ponders.

“Yeah, like how strong their kicks are, which I already know. The answer is ‘very’” he grumbles.

“...It must hurt a lot” she says sadly, rubbing her hand gently across his skin.

“What, being pregnant? I mean, yeah, it’s alright if you love being in agonizing pain and also having all of your bodily functions out of your own control... Yeah. It sucks.”

She quietly gives him a look of sympathy. He knows she’s trying to understand, but Lance doesn’t think that anyone here would be able to truly empathize with exactly how terrible he feels without experiencing it firsthand. Which is not something he wishes on any of his friends.

“It especially sucks these days because I feel like I’m putting on more weight every day, and I’m pretty sure I’m all out of room in there. Yet somehow, everyday it still gets bigger” Lance complains.

“Yes, I do believe Coran said they weighed about three and a half pounds during your last visit. He said that if it keeps true to the charts he’s been comparing the foetuses to then you still have another three or four pounds to put on for each child. You’re probably already weighing more now than when you were just a few quintants ago when they were measured.”

“Three to four pounds?! Each?!” Lance practically screeches, “That’s like double what they weigh now!”

“Well, yes. The last few phoebs of a pregnancy is always the time for the most rapid growth as the foetuses prepare for birth. They have to put on enough weight to be healthy and survive childbirth...” Allura tries to explain.

“I don’t have a few phoebs though! I barely even have weeks! I can hardly walk as it is, how the hell am I supposed to put on that much more weight!?” Lance voice pitches high and panicked, his fists are clenched in his hair and his body is pulling away from Allura.

“I- I could be wrong! It might not be that much!” she tries to remedy the problem, but the words are already spiralling through Lance’s head.

“I can’t- I can’t do this! No!” Lance cries out, breath coming in gasps.

“It’s alright, Lance! Stay calm. It’s going to be okay” Allura says putting her hands on his back and trying to reassure him, but Lance flinches at the touch and starts to breathe harder.

“Nooo” He cries in a low moan, gasping, “It- it’s not o- kay! I- I can’t br- breathe!”

“Lance!” Allura calls, trying to get lower to see Lance’s face as he curls in on himself more, “Lance, listen to me!”

Lance can’t respond though, he feels the panic burying itself deep in his chest. It’s constricting his lungs and making his heart pump so fast he feels like it might burst. His vision is blurry, and he can’t tell if it’s from the tears or the lack of oxygen, but it makes listening to Allura difficult. He thinks she’s trying to help, but all he can think about is a growing weight, a pressure too strong that it breaks him in half. Something unbearable that chokes him inside. He can’t do this.

“Allura? Lance? What’s going on?” Shiro’s voice calls from the other side of the room. Allura turns when she hears him, a sigh of relief leaving her body.

“I think Lance is having a panic attack!” She calls to him.

Shiro wastes no time in rushing over to them and kneeling before Lance. He can see Lance’s eyes open wide and unseeing, staring at the floor as his body heaves with his laboured breathing. His knuckles are white as he clings desperately to himself, like he’s trying to physically hold himself together.

“Lance, can you hear me?” Shiro says gently. He only receives the smallest of nods, but that’s enough. “I need you to take a really deep breath with me, the biggest you can manage, okay?”

His head moves up and down just enough for Shiro to see, he nods to himself in acknowledgement.

“Okay, good. Deep breath now, ready?” Shiro takes a deep breath, over-exaggerating it to help Lance get the timing. Lance draws in a quivering breath, it’s not the deepest, but in his panicked state it's all he can manage.

“And out” Shiro says again, breathing out loudly. Lance exhales roughly. “Good, again. In.” Deep breath. “Out.” Exhale. “In.” Deep breath. “Out.” Exhale.

“There we go, keep breathing, Lance. You’re alright. It was just a panic attack, it’s over now. You’re okay” Shiro reassures him, prying his hands away from his face.

Lance takes another deep breath and nods again, more controlled this time, like he’s regained control over his limbs. He still looks pale and tired, but Shiro can’t tell if it’s because of the attack or that’s just how Lance looks these days.

“Good. Good work, Lance” Shiro says, hand resting on the crook of Lance’s neck, “you’re alright, yeah?”

“Yeah…” He breathes, “alright.”

“Do you want me to go find Hunk or Coran?” Shiro asks calmly.

“No… maybe I’ll just go back to my room” Lance says softly.

“Sure, I’ll help you” Shiro says, standing up to hold his arms out for Lance to hold onto.

Lance takes them and Shiro helps pull him to his feet, making sure he’s properly balanced. Lance holds in the groan he feels when gravity takes its toll on him.

“Allura, could you grab his walker please” Shiro says, helping Lance to walk towards the door.

“Of course,” She says as she hurries to bring it to him and Lance feels a rush of embarrassment inside him, telling him that he’s pathetic for not even being able to make it to his room alone.

She places the walker in front of him with a sad smile, Lance whispers a soft ‘thank you’ before taking the handles. Even with the aid Shiro doesn’t leave his side. Allura remains in the control room watching them leave, and somehow Lance feels like he might’ve made her feel worse for trying to talk with him than better. Shiro walks with Lance all the way to his room and then insists on making sure he gets in alright as well. In better spirits Lance might’ve made a joke about being too pushy on a first date.

“Are you sure you don’t want me to get Hunk?” Shiro asks again.

“Yes, I’ll be fine. It’s not the first panic attack I’ve had, I’ll manage” Lance shrugs, moving over to drop himself heavily onto the bed.

“...Just because it’s not the first, doesn’t mean it’s not hard. I know our experiences are completely different, but I do understand what it’s like to feel violated...to have a part of you irreversibly changed without your permission…” Shiro says, staring at his Galra tech hand, clenching the fingers tightly.

“I want you to know that I’m here for you, that I can- that we can help each other through that fear of not knowing your own body. That we can learn to accept who we are, even with these differences. You don’t have to feel this way alone, and it won’t be forever” Shiro tries to smile at Lance warmly.

“Thanks, Shiro… it means a lot that you’re telling me this. I know it’s not easy, but it helps” Lance actually does smile this time, “and I’m here too if you need someone to talk to. I might not be as wise or as durable, but I’m always happy to talk.”

“...Thank you” Shiro’s smile grows warmer, sincerer. “We’ll have to stick together, us abductees.”

“And we will” Lance grins up at him.

Chapter Text

“Ahh! Ow ow ow ow!” Lance cries out from his spot on the floor, trying his best to hold a seated straddle, “Okay! Okay, That’s enough stretching! Hunk, help me up.”

It takes a solid effort to get Lance off the ground with how much his belly weighs him down now, but they manage. Lance rights himself, letting out a big puff of air and having no choice but to use his hands to support his pregnant belly. Hunk helps him to walk over to the side of the training deck where he left his walker.

“I don’t think I’m gunna be able to do those everyday now, I can barely hold the stretches anymore” Lance sighs, using the walker to help support his weight.

“I think you’ve probably done as much as you can at this stage, I mean you’ve been pregnant for… fifty-five days?” Hunk says in an unsure tone.

“Fifty-six” Lance corrects.

“Right. So, really you probably don’t need to stretch every day, if anything I think you should be resting more. Walking around all day is putting a lot of stress on your body right now” Hunk worries.

“I’m not gunna lie in bed all day, I’m not dead just yet. As long as I can move, then I’m going to move” Lance says determinately.

“...If you insist, but I really think you should be taking it easy right now, I mean who knows when you’ll go into labor, it could happen at any moment!” Hunk exclaims.

“Like I need the reminder…” Lance groans, rubbing at his sore back as they walk out of the training deck into the Castle’s clear hallways.

“Well, Coran did say they had both already put on more than two pounds each, so they’re getting close now…” Hunk says warily.

“I know, Hunk, I was there too” Lance sighs, he’s already heard this once this week, he doesn’t need to hear it again. Especially when he can’t get the thought out of his head.

“Sorry, I know, it’s just… hard to believe” Hunk says, “I mean it’s crazy, right? To think that soon you might have a baby. Two babies!”

“I know. Stop reminding me.”

“Sorry, I’m nervous. You know I always ramble when I’m nervous” Hunks sighs.

“Well, you’re not the one that’s gunna be squeezing two aliens out of you after carrying around an extra forty pounds of baby weight for months…” Lance says bitterly.

“Yeah, no. You’re right. I’ll stop” Hunk says making a tight line of his lips.

“Good.”

“...You sure you’re gunna be okay without me for a while? I mean I can wait to run maintenance on Yellow, I don’t have to do it today. Or you could come with me? But then you’d have to sit around in the hangar for ages…”

“I’ll be fine, Hunk. I’m literally just going to lie down on the couch for a while and do nothing. How could that possibly go wrong?” Lance gives him a unimpressed look.

“We’ll, I mean I could list off the reasons, but you said I should stop talking about giving birth”

“Hunk! I’ll be fine! Go fix your Lion.”

“Okay! But if anything happens, call me immediately.”

“Fine, but I promise you nothing is going to happen. The most exciting thing would be taking a peaceful nap or not being harassed by my live-in-guests, which I will keep you posted on” Lance says, rolling his eyes.

They’re already standing in front of the doorway to the lounge room, Lance leaves his walker by the door like he usually does despite the disapproving look from Hunk and hobbles his way over to the couch. He carefully lowers himself onto the seat, using a hand to brace himself on the couch and the other hold his belly. Hunk is still standing next to him with a small frown.

“Are you sure you don’t want me to stay?” he asks again.

“Hunk, oh my god, just go already!” Lance whines, “I swear, if you don’t go now I’m going to get up and do the maintenance on Yellow for you!”

“Okay! I’m going. Just... take it easy, and call me if something happens straight away!” Hunk says walking towards the door.

“Fine, fine. Now leave me, so I can relax in peace!” Lance calls to Hunk as he walks out of the room.

When the doors finally close the room is silent and Lance shifts uncomfortably on the couch. He’s not super excited about sitting here alone for the next hour or so it’ll take Hunk to finish working, but Lance wanted to give Hunk the opportunity to relax and not have to take care of him for a while. Hunk had been doing so much to help him recently, he needed to be away from Lance so that he wouldn’t be restlessly running around to make sure that Lance was as comfortable and healthy as possible.

He can feel the two inside him shifting around as well, probably trying to get comfortable in their cramped space. They aren’t kicking, all Lance can feel is the wriggle of movement, like they’re trying to move around inside him. He thinks he hates this feeling more than being kicked, at least that just hurts. This feels way too invasive, like he’s feeling parts of his body move that he should never have to feel move.

He tries to lie back on the couch to rest, but it’s near impossible. Sleeping has become more of a privilege these days rather than a daily routine. The twins sure know how to keep him awake and restless all-night long. His eyes are still shut, but he hears the doors slide open only a short while after he’d sat down. He sighs loudly.

“Hunk, I told you already, I’m fine. Go tinker.”

“What?” Keith says, confused.

“Keith?” Lance says opening his eyes to peer at the dark-haired boy standing near the couch, “What are you doing here?”

“I was just coming to sit down, clean my Bayard” he says holding it up for Lance to see.

“Huh, okay. We’ll go ahead then, don’t let me stop you” Lance says, leaning his head back against the couch.

Keith sits down on the couch, just down a seat or two from Lance. He picks up his Bayard and starts to inspect it, scrubbing at the dirt and scratches along its sides.

“...Hunk being too clingy or something?” Keith asks as casually as he can.

“No, it’s not that. He just worries about me so much that he panics anytime he isn’t in the same room as me” Lance sighs,” Thinks that the second he leaves I’m gunna go into labor or something. I just want him to rest a bit, I know how tired he is...”

“He just cares about you, that’s why he’s worried” Keith says.

“I know, but I don’t want him to run himself into the ground for me, one of us suffering is enough” Lance frowns, shifting again in his spot.

“Mm… not long now, huh?” Keith says, nodding towards Lance’s very pregnant stomach.

“Really? Hadn’t noticed” Lance says sarcastically.

“Right, you’ve probably heard that a lot recently…”

“Only from, um, everyone? Yeah, now that you’ve said it, that’s everyone” Lance says with a satisfied nod, like he’s won a small prize.

“Well, we’re all kind of on edge waiting for this to be over, y’know?”

“Oh, trust me. I know.”

“Yeah… Plus, it’ll be good to finally have the team back together, we’ll be able to form Voltron again” Keith says with a smile.

“Yeah, get back to defending the universe, fighting a war, liberating planets... can’t wait” Lance says dreamily, “I wonder if Blue misses me right now.”

“Probably, it’s been hard on everyone trying to do missions without you, y’know?” Keith says, “I mean, we’ve only been doing smaller missions anyway, but even then, it’s still hard when we don’t have you or Voltron as back-up.”

“Aww, do you miss me, Keith?” Lance teases, poking a finger at him.

“N-no, I’m just saying that we need Voltron” Keith says bashfully, “...and you aren’t a bad pilot either.”

“What? Did you just say I was a good pilot?” Lance says, eyes wide with shock.

“No! I said you weren’t a bad one!” Keith grumbles.

“Which means you think I’m a good pilot! Aww, Keith!” Lance laughs, jabbing at Keith’s arm.

“Whatever” Keith huffs, but Lance can see the small smile he’s trying to conceal.

“...I miss being part of the team too” Lance says sadly, pulling back from Keith, “It sucks to be that person who has to stay behind and do nothing, I feel like some useless sidekick or something.”

“Don’t worry, I’m sure no one will be able to stop you from flying out with Blue the second you can. I know I won’t” Keith smiles.

“Heh, thanks” Lance smiles back.

They sit for a while, chatting idly about different things. Keith tells Lance about some of the weird stuff they’ve gotten up to during missions these days and Lance listens with interest, often interrupting for his own commentary. Lance also complains about his new aches and pains for the day, and all the things he misses being able to do. Keith’s Bayard lies half cleaned and forgotten on the seat beside him. The time continues on without them realizing.

“I’m mostly excited to not be so freaking huge when this is over as well” Lance sighs, finishing off his list of things he can’t wait to do when he’s no longer pregnant.

“Yeah, it looks really uncomfortable…” Keith winces, looking down at the massive curve of Lance’s stomach, how it painfully stretches his skin and forces his back to bow.

“Yep, it is. So, as soon as these things are out and shipped back to where ever they came from, I’m gunna start living my best life again” Lance says with a determined smile.

“Do you know where to send them back to?” Keith asks with a curious tilt of his head.

“Wha- no? I didn’t exactly get an address or something when I was abducted, but I’m sure we’ll find somewhere to leave them”

“...As long as you make sure they’ve actually got someone to take care of them, then yeah” Keith mumbles.

“Keith, please don’t get all ‘you should raise them!’ on me, okay? I don’t want them, and I don’t need to hear it for the millionth time…” he sighs.

“Right… Oh, hey are you hungry? Wanna go get something to eat?” Keith suggests suddenly.

“Keith, look at me. Do I look hungry to you?” Lance says with a raised eyebrow.

Keith isn’t sure if he should answer that, because by the look of Lance’s tired face and his thinning cheekbones, he’s starving. But, Keith also knows that the babies don’t make it the easiest for him to eat these days.

“C’mon, I don’t think I’ve seen you eat a full meal in days. Just a little bit?” Keith urges.

Lance sighs, “Fine, but only because it’ll stop Hunk from worrying all night that I’m starving to death. Also, if I throw up it’s your fault.”

“Fair enough” Keith smiles and stands from the couch, earning a grumble from Lance about how easy he makes it look.

“C’mon” Keith sighs holding his hands out for Lance, who holds them tightly. Keith helps to lift Lance’s weight while he pulls on Keith’s arms to leverage himself off the couch. As soon as his legs lift off the couch he feels a sudden drop in his hips, like something hard slamming into his pelvis that rips the breath from his lungs. His grip on Keith’s arms becomes so tight that his nails dig into his skin as he yells at the pain shooting through his hips.

“Lance!? Wha- What’s wrong?!” Keith shouts.

“S-something just- just dropped! In my h-hips!” Lance grits out between ragged breaths, “ahhh! It hurts!”

“...Are you- is this- are you in labor!?” Keith yells in a panicked rush of words.

“I- I don’t know! I’ve never been in labor before, Keith! Ahh!” Lance yells before dropping back on the couch again, gripping his stomach.

“W-what do I do?” Keith’s face is pale and frantic, unsure of how to help Lance right now.

“Go get help! Find Hunk or Coran!” Lance hisses.

“But you’ll be alone! What if something-”

“Just go already!!” Lance shouts, panic rising in his own voice.

Keith says nothing, just nods quickly before sprinting out of the room as fast as possible. Lance sits on the couch trying to breathe through the pain that’s throbbing in his hips. It was so sudden and sharp that it had caught him off guard. He was pretty sure he could feel something pressing deep into his hips right now, deeper than he’s ever felt before. His eyes are watering at the thought that this might be it. He can’t be in labor, not yet.

“Please, please don’t come out” he pleads to his own belly, hands gripping the sides of it, “Not now, please!”

It only took a few minutes for Keith to return with Coran and Hunk, but it felt like a lot longer to Lance. He lets out a relieved sob when he sees their worried faces rushing over to him.

“Lance, what happened?” Coran asks first, kneeling beside him.

“I-I’m not sure, I was trying to stand up when I felt this huge pressure, like something hit me really hard in the pelvis” Lance says with a wobbly voice, trying not to cry, “It hurt, really, really hurt.”

“Have you been feeling any frequent cramps or sharp pains?” Coran asks seriously.

“No? I don’t think so, everything hurts, but it’s more of an aching pain now than sharp pain” Lance breathes out.

“And your waters didn’t break? You didn’t feel any wetness or sensation like a burst inside?” Coran is giving him an intense stare while he questions him.

Lance shakes his head, “No, just the pain in my hips.”

“Okay, you might not be in labor then” Coran says, relaxing the smallest amount, “I’d like you to come to medical though, just so we can check, but since you aren’t experiencing any contractions and your water hasn’t broken then it isn’t likely that you’re in labor.”

“Oh” Lance says, face scrunching in confusion, “Then what the hell hurt so bad?”

“We can check when we get to medical, but I suspect it was the foetuses moving around preparing for birth” Coran says, like that explains everything to Lance.

“How are you feeling?” Hunk asks from beside Lance, rubbing his hand through his hair.

“Pretty shit” Lance groans, “and please don’t try to rub it in about something happening while you were gone, okay?”

“Of course not” Hunk tries to give him a gentle smile.

“Shall we move to medical now?” Coran asks.

Lance nods, and they both move silently to either side of him to help him stand. Lance puts his arms over their shoulders while they cross their arms across his back. They lift as gently as they can, but Lance still cries out when he stands, almost falling right back onto the couch.

“No! I can’t! Hurts!” Lance cries, gripping tightly to the two holding him, “Can’t walk!”

Everyone but Lance pauses for a moment staring at his visibly larger stomach. Holy shit. His belly now hung lower than it did before, weighing heavily on the underside of Lance’s stomach. Hunk’s oversized shirt wasn’t even enough to completely hide the curve of his stomach from peeking out from under it. He stood suspended between Hunk and Coran breathing heavily and moaning in pain while all they could do was stare in shock.

Coran was first to snap out of it and remember the urgency of helping Lance move, so that’s what he urged Hunk to do as well. They supported his sides and helped him take a few small steps forward, each movement making him cry out in pain. Lance could barely make it to the end of the couch.

“Feels like something is grinding against my pelvis!” Lance groans, eyes squeezed shut against the pain.

“Keith, there’s a wheelchair near the bedrooms, please go get it” Coran asks politely.

Keith rushes out of the room again and returns quickly, this time holding a folded-up wheelchair that he opens up in front of them. Lance grimaces at the sight, but the painful grind against his bones makes him take the seat.

Now with the aid of mobility they arrive at the medical room much faster. It’s not the same as the healing pod room. The walls are clean and sterile looking and there are lots of tabletops lining the room with various medical tools laid out on them. There are a few flat beds lined up against the wall as well, the whole vibe of the room gives Lance chills at the hospital-like set up.

“I don’t think we’ll require the healing pod to check this, instead we can use this smaller handheld scanner” Coran says holding up a small wand-like device with a screen attached.

“You don’t need to stand, but I will need you to lift your shirt” Coran says apologetically to Lance, who bites his lip before reaching for the hem of his shirt.

He pulls at the fabric, rolling it up over his gravid belly. His hand shakes slightly as the stretch-marked skin is revealed. Keith takes notice of Lance’s discomfort and quickly turns away to give him some privacy. Hunk keeps rubbing Lance’s neck and shoulders gently, sitting beside him.

“Thank you” Coran nods gently before placing the wand against his skin, the cold metal makes him flinch.

Coran slides the wand back and forth, then up and down as well, sliding it down as far as he can reach in Lance’s seated position. He’s staring at the handheld screen as he moves the device around, finally stopping after a few minutes of searching.

“As I expected, nothing to indicate that labor has begun, but I can see that one of the foetus’ head has dropped into your pelvis, which was likely the cause of your discomfort. It’s nothing to be concerned about, just them getting ready for birth, but it certainly won’t feel good. In this position their head will be pushing right against your bones and probably cause you more pain and make walking very difficult” Coran explains calmly.

“...I can’t even tell if that was supposed to be good news or not” Lance says tiredly, pulling his shirt back down.

“Well, that depends. You aren’t in labor so, hooray, you don’t have to give birth right now, but this also means you are still waiting to give birth which could be days away. One of the foetuses is in position, which, hooray, means that you’re close to giving birth and that labor should be a little easier now that they’re in the right position, but it also means you are going to be in considerable amounts of pain until that happens.”

“...Bad news. All bad news” Lance groans, resting a hand over his eyes as he leans back.

“Yes, I suppose it is, isn’t it” Coran sighs, “At any rate, I suggest you spend as much time resting from now until you do go into labor. I’m not going to force you, but I highly suggest you remain on bed rest until you give birth.”

“You want me to do nothing but lie in bed for days?” Lance says disbelievingly.

“Well, I can’t imagine you’ll be wanting to walk around right now anyway, but yes I think that would be the best choice” Coran says with a nod.

“...Fine” Lance sighs, knowing there isn’t a point in arguing.

“Oh, also I believe I should’ve told you this sooner to save everyone the effort of running around looking for others” Coran says walking over to the panel that controls the door, “There is actually a communicator in our door panels that allows you to make announcements through the Castle’s speakers. Obviously, we don’t use it often, but if something happens please use it to communicate faster.”

“Got it” Hunk says, and Keith agrees with a nod.

“Wonderful. Now I suggest you and Hunk go rest up for the day” Coran says to Lance, “Keith, thank you for your help.”

“No problem” Keith says, still sounding a little shell shocked.

“...Thanks, Keith” Lance mumbles as well, eyes turned away.

“...Yeah, take it easy, Lance” he says with a nod before turning to leave.

“It’s alright, this’ll all be over soon” Coran smiles gently to Lance.

“Ughh, stop telling me that!” Lance groans rubbing his hands over his face. He really doesn’t need the reminder.

Chapter Text

The door slides shut behind Hunk as he walks the armful of snacks and drinks over to the bedside table. When he drops them down and turns around he finds the room empty.

“Lance?” he calls, concern sneaking its way into his mind, “Lance, where are you?”

“Bathroom” is the faint response he gets back before he hears the sound of rushing water and the door sliding open.

Lance walks, or more like waddles, his way back into the room before sitting on the bed. Hunk is relieved that he’s okay, but he really wishes he would be more careful.

“You could’ve told me you needed to go, I would’ve helped you” Hunk says.

“Am I not allowed to pee by myself?” Lance asks, annoyance evident in his tone.

“It’s not that you aren’t allowed, it’s just… what if-”

“Something happened. Yeah, yeah, I get it” Lance groans, sick of repeating phrases. “I’ll be sure to let you watch me pee every time I need to go then, for safety” he says sarcastically.

“I know, I’m sorry. You hate it when I worry too much…” Hunk sighs sitting next to him.

“Well, yeah because when you worry you think I stop being able to do literally anything without help. I need to have some autonomy left” he says gently.

“You do, I know that. It’s just hard for me to watch you struggle when I know I can help you, even if you don’t want my help.”

“I love you, and I love that you care about me so much you literally can’t shut up about it, but I need to feel independent too. I’m already stuck in bed all day, the least you can give me is the freedom to pee unassisted” Lance leans against Hunks side, resting his head on his shoulder.

“I know, I’ll try to not be so pushy and worried all the time” Hunk says turning to kiss the top of Lance’s head, “I love you too.”

Hunks hand slides across Lances back and starts to knead his thumb into the curve of his lower back. Lance hums at the feeling of sore joints being forced to relax, soft pads pressing against his skin.

“Now, I know you’re going to tell me you aren’t hungry” Lance is already groaning at what Hunk is about to say, “but you have to have something. I brought fruit and one of Coran’s nutrient drinks. You can have one or the other, or both if you really want, but I’m not rubbing your back until you have something.”

“Ughh, Hunk, that’s so mean” Lance whines.

“No, letting you starve to death is mean. C’mon, Lance, you haven’t eaten today, please just try” Hunk says, slowing down his kneading against Lance’s back.

“Fine” Lance sighs deeply, and Hunk shuffles them closer to the array of food he placed on the bedside table.

“What do you want to try?” he asks eagerly.

“Nothing?” Lance tries, but the disapproving look tells him to try again, “...give me the stupid nutrient drink, and like two not-grapes.”

Hunk nods handing him the tall glass filled with the strange concoction the is Coran’s nutrient drink. It’s almost as bad as nunvil, but thicker in texture with a grainy kind of aftertaste. It’s horrible and Lance hates drinking it, but Coran guarantees that it will provide him with all the sustenance he needs in a day. That of course only applies if he can actually stomach it long enough to gain anything from it.

Lance sucks down the drink with a disgusted face, scrunching his eyes shut and taking big gulps until it's gone. He coughs roughly a few times after the last gulp, trying his best to keep it down until he’s able to breathe normally again. He sighs at the grumbly feeling of his stomach trying to process whatever he just drank combined with the feeling of eating a very large meal. He pops the two alien grapes into his mouth and chews them, thankful that their flavour is at least pleasant and sweet on his tongue.

After he’s finished his ‘meal’ he pokes his tongue out at Hunk, before flopping against him.

“There. Happy now? I’m not going to starve” Lance sighs.

“Very happy” Hunk says with a smile that almost makes drinking nasty tasting mush worth it. Almost.

Hunk is already climbing onto the bed to sit behind Lance, hands sliding down from his shoulders to his hips with a feather light touch. Lance’s eyes flutter closed at the feeling. Hands start to press into the tight muscles and work away some of the pain and tension in them.

“Now this is the kind of care that I can get behind” Lance hums happily, leaning into Hunk’s touch.

Hunk chuckles as he continues to move his hands over Lance’s skin, moving up higher to rub at his shoulders and make him melt into the touch. With each added touch Hunk can feel Lance leaning more and more against him, body starting to droop as his breathing becomes calmer and slower.

“You falling asleep there?” Hunk giggles over Lance’s shoulder to peer at his half-lidded eyes.

“...No” is the tired mumble he gets as a response.

Hunk just smiles and keeps rubbing until he feels Lance’s head start to sway back and forth sleepily. He moves his hands to gently wrap around Lance’s body before pulling him further onto the bed and lifting his legs up off the floor. He helps lie him down on his side before lying behind him to drape an arm over his round belly.

“Time for a nap” Hunk says quietly.

“...Mmk, but I’m not tired” Lance yawns with a sleepy smile, eyes already shut as he snuggles into the pillow.

Hunk smiles before pulling the blankets over them. Sometimes it’s nice to take it easy.

--

“Hunk” Lance whines, dragging his name out long.

“Hm?” Hunk says turning to look at Lance who’s been lying on the bed playing games all day.

“I wanna take a shower...” Lance says, and Hunk knows why he’s asking.

“Sure thing” he says, standing up from his seat and leaving the book he was reading open on the table before standing to help Lance out of bed.

“Thanks” he mumbles, shakily getting on his feet.

They walk the few steps to their joined bathroom and Lance leans against the sink while Hunk turns on the shower on to the right temperature. When he turns around Lance is already pulling his shirt over his head and dropping it into the basket nearby. He’s struggling to pull at the waist of his pants now, unable to bend over far enough to pull them all the way off his legs, so Hunk helps him pull them down and step out of them, and then the same with his boxers.

It’s almost frightening seeing Lance completely naked these days, his belly hangs so low and heavy on his slight frame that you can see the strain it puts on his skin. Stretch marks and bruises mark up his once smooth skin and Hunk knows how much that hurts Lance’s confidence. How he can barely stand to look at himself sometimes.

Hunk turns to check the water is the right temperature before sliding the chair they moved into the bathroom under the water for Lance. They had to put one in for him when he started to have trouble walking. Having to stand for so long under the hot spray of the shower did more damage than good to Lance, so the chair helped him a lot. Hunk holds his hand while Lance steps into the shower and sits down, rinsing through his hair before grabbing the shampoo.

Hunk doesn’t need to help him wash everything, so he lets Lance do what he needs to do and only helps when it's necessary.

“How are you feeling today?” Hunk asks, trying to give himself something to focus on.

“Not as terrible, they haven’t moved much today. Not sure if they even can anymore” Lance says lathering the shampoo from his hair.

“Hm, I guess it must be pretty cramped in there” Hunk nods to himself.

“Yep. It’s the worst.”

Lance is smoothing back his wet hair, rubbing conditioner through the strands and rinsing it under the water. When he’s finished he grabs up the loofah he keeps and squirts some body wash onto it and starts to rub it down his arms and across his chest and back. When he’s scrubbed everywhere he can reach by himself he quietly hands it to Hunk who takes it before helping Lance to stand.

Hunk continues to rub down the rest of Lance, he tries to be quick and gentle to avoid him any more embarrassment than he already feels. It’s not exactly a dream come true to have to ask your boyfriend to help you to shower because you can’t bend over far enough to clean yourself properly. Once Hunk is finished helping Lance rinse off he sits back down in the chair while Hunk grabs him a towel.

Lance steps out of the shower and lets Hunk wrap him up in the towel, rubbing the water from his face and hair before letting him take the towel while he turns of the shower and move the chair back. Lance dries himself off as best he can before moving back to the bedroom. He grabs a change of clothes when he walks past the cupboard and drops them onto the bed. He abandons the towel on the floor to grab the shirt, one of Hunk’s again, to pull on over his head. Hunk has already come to sit on the bed beside him to help him step into his underwear and then pants, pulling them up his legs to sit low under his stomach. When he’s dry and dressed again Lance lies down on the bed sighing at the effort it takes to manage bare minimum in hygiene these days. Hunk throws the towel into the hamper as well before returning to his seat.

“Thanks…” Lance says again, looking at Hunk from his reclined position.

“No problem” He smiles back, and Lance is suddenly very overwhelmed with emotion about how good Hunk is to him. How he does so much to help Lance even though he doesn’t have to. He can’t really stop the tears from spilling over.

“Wh- Lance!? What’s wrong?” Hunk worries, quickly moving closer to put his hand over Lance’s.

“I c-can’t help it... yo-you’re t-too nice” Lance says through hiccupping breaths, “too n-nice to m-e. S-stupid.”

“Lance…” Hunk doesn’t know what to say, should he apologize for helping? Tell him it’s okay, that he’s happy to help? He doesn’t know what’s set Lance off in the first place to even begin thinking of ways to make it better.

“I-I’m so-rry, I do- don’t even know why I’m c-crying” Lance sobs, big tears rolling down his face, “You’re s-so nice. I love y-you.”

“I love you too, Lance. That’s why I’ll always be here to help you” Hunk says, sitting up on the bed to wrap Lance up in his arms.

“You- you’re the best” Lance cries into his shoulder, even through the tears Hunk can feel the small smile.

--

Lance groans into the soft pillow, pressing his face into it and squeezing the one between his thighs together like it’ll make the pain go away faster. When the pain finally eases up a little he turns his head up to take deep breaths and sees Hunk’s concerned face watching him. Hunk is sitting on the edge of the bed rubbing Lance’s hip quietly.

“You sure you’re okay? I can get Coran if you want?” Hunk says, fear evident on his face.

“It’s fine” Lance pants, “just some bad cramps…”

He squeezes his eyes shut as he feels the pain surge through him again, constricting through his stomach and making it feel as though his hips are in a vice grip. It’s been a few hours now, so Lance keeps waiting for them to disappear or get less painful like they usually do, but somehow, they keep getting worse.

“Lance, it’s been nearly 4 hours and you keep telling me that. I think we need to tell someone” Hunk says with more confidence this time.

“Argh… it’s fine, I’m not throwing up or anything so it’s not the worst” Lance says, finishing it off with another groan of pain.

“Lance, that is literally the worst way of judging your health…” Hunk sighs, “I’m gunna call Coran.”

Hunk stands and turns towards the door when he feels Lance’s hand grip the back of his shirt. He turns to give him a disapproving look, even more so when he sees that Lance has swung his legs off the bed and is trying to stand. He quickly turns to support him, knowing full well that Lance has terrible balance these days.

“Sit down, Lance, I just want Coran to make sure nothing bad is happening, okay?” Hunk tries to reassure him.

“Do we have to bother him? I’m sure he’s busy now so it’s fine, He can come by later and check on me” Lance is trying to persuade Hunk, but he’s not buying it.

“Lance…” Hunk whines.

“Hunk” Lance whines back, “I just don’t wa- hahh!?”

Lance stops mid-sentence to grip at Hunk’s arms and yell. There’s a sudden gush of water rushing down his thighs and soaking his pants. It puddles on the floor beneath him and Lance stares at it wide-eyed before looking up at Hunk who is equally as shocked.

“Get Coran” Lance says.

“Yep” Hunk nods looking completely in shock, “wait here” he says making sure Lance will be okay to stand by himself before rushing over the control panel by the door.

Coran had showed him how to use it quickly, so he wasn’t really sure how it was supposed to contact Coran directly, but he said it was linked to the Castle’s PA. Hunk presses a few buttons quickly before speaking into the small grated section on the panel.

“Uhh, Coran, can you please come to Lance’s room immediately. I think his water just broke.”

Hunk’s voice rings through the Castle’s speakers, as promised, and Lance wants to scream at the thought of Hunk having just told everyone in the Castle that information.

“Did you just announce that to the entire Castle!?” Lance shouts.

“It was the fastest way for Coran to find out!” Hunk says, turning to face him.

“Ugh, like I needed more trauma in my life…” Lance groans.

“Well, they were going to find out either way” Hunk says, he walks by the cupboard and grabs some new boxes and pants to bring to Lance. “Do you want to change?”

“Obviously, I don’t want to stand around in amni-ahhh!!” He cries out again, almost falling over with how quickly he curls into his stomach with the pain. “Mph! Jesus Christ that hurts!”

“Well, I mean you are having contractions, right?” Hunk says as he reaches to support him.

“...Fuck, I’m having contractions…” Lance says like he’s just realised for the first time what’s happening.

“Your water just broke! Lance!” Hunk cries.

“I’ve never been in labor before, Hunk! Why would I know how a contraction feels!?” Lance shrieks as the door slides open and Coran rushes in.

He’s clearly trying to usher away a few nosey tagalongs, but he makes it into the room alone. He quickly turns to look at the two already in the room, Lance still standing there leaning mostly against the bedside table, wet patch very evident on his pants and Hunk standing next to him. Both look about as terrified as someone facing Zarkon himself, alone and unarmed.

“So… this is happening” is all Coran says.

“Not helpful!” Lance yells, trying to stand up more to yell but failing as his legs wobble beneath him. Hunk is quickly there to help right him again.

“Sorry! Nervous, never done this before” Coran says with worried eyebrows.

“Great. Me too. So, now what?” Lance says, breathing heavily.

“Have you been having contractions?”

“Apparently, didn’t realise until Niagara Falls came gushing out between my legs” Lance winces at the wet feeling of his clothes on his skin.

“For how long? Were you timing them at all?”

“It’s been about 4 hours since he started having them, but we didn’t know they were contractions, so we weren’t timing them” Hunk fills in.

“Alright, well get changed first, then we can start to time out your contractions to see how close you are. I’ll grab some towels” Coran says, turning away to give Lance some privacy.

Hunk moves to help Lance out of his wet clothes, he wipes as much of the wetness off as he can with the still dry parts of his pants before tossing them to the side to help him into the new pair. Once he’s dressed in clean clothes he sits back down in bed, leaning back against the pillows.

Coran returns with an armful of towels, dropping one onto the puddle on the ground and handing another to Lance while leaving the rest on the table.

“Put that one under your hips, you might be leaking amniotic fluid for a little longer” Coran says, nodding his head towards the towel.

“Gross” Lance grimaces, shifting his hips enough to slide the towel under him before stopping to grit his teeth at the contraction that rocks through him. “Ahh! Coran!”

“Oh!” Coran stops, quickly focusing on timing the contraction.

Lance deflates when the pain goes, body relaxing slightly as he breathes again. Lance looks at Coran expectantly, waiting for him to say something.

“Well, it’ll be a better judge when I know how far apart they are as well, but they don’t last very long at the moment so you’re still in the early stages of labor. It will still be a few more hours until there is work to do. Please take it easy for now, you’re going to need a lot of energy later and there’s a lot more pain ahead” Coran says in an apologetic way.

“Oh great, so I’ll just keep doing what I was doing before then” Lance sighs.

“And what was that?” Coran asks curiously.

“Writhing in pain” Lance deadpans.

“Ah. Right. Well, at the moment you should be fine to continue resting, I’ll go ahead and prepare some final things, but for now you can remain here and rest. Please call me straight away if you need anything.”

“Will do” Hunk nods.

“Excellent, I’ll return as quickly as I can, please continue to time the contractions, if they start to get closer or longer call me” Coran says walking to the door, “You also have some worried guests outside, but it’s up to you if you want to see them.”

“Ugh, not at the moment" Lance grumbles shifting in bed uncomfortably.

“As expected, I’ll let them know.”

Coran leaves the room quickly, making sure the door closes before anyone can try stick their heads in behind him. Lance is thankful for that, he knows they’re just worried, but he’s not exactly excited at the idea of having his friends see him do this. That sounds like the worst bonding experience ever.

“...I’m having a baby” Lance breathes softly.

“...Yeah, you are. I mean, technically two, but yeah. This is it” Hunk just nods, sounding as equally frightened.

“Fuck.”

Chapter Text

Lance is biting his lip at another contraction when Coran walks back in, it’s only been about fifteen minutes since he left, but that was still more than enough time for Lance to return to his curled-up position on the bed, pillow between his legs. He only sees that Coran has entered the room when the pain stops, and he can open his eyes again to blink up at him.

“Any progress?” Coran asks.

“No, still the same time” Hunk says softly, sitting by Lance’s side worrying.

“Well it’s only been a few hours, still a long way to go. Why my grandmother herself was in labour for nearly three whole quintants!” Coran says cheerfully.

“Coran, I don’t want to hear about it” Lance grits out angrily.

“Right, sorry” Coran corrects as he puts a small bag of equipment up on the table, “I’ve brought a few things that will help us monitor the progression of the labor until you’re ready to go to medical.”

Lance stares curiously at the strange tools Coran puts on the table. He nearly screams when he sees something resembling a pair of very long, round pair of tongs get placed on the table.

“What the hell is that!?” he shrieks, fearful of what its purpose was.

“They are forceps, merely a precaution of course, but they are used to assist during a difficult birth” Coran tries to explain in a way that makes it seem less like a torture device.

“No way are you putting that anywhere near me!” Lance shakes his head furiously.

“I hope I don’t have to” Coran says pulling out the last of the equipment, “This will be the most helpful tool at the moment, and it’s the least invasive.”

Coran is holding what looks like a stretchy belt, on a few inches wide with a small circle attached to it.

“What is it?” Lance asks sceptically.

“A tocodynamometer” Coran says far too easily.

“A to-ko-die-a-what?” Lance tries to pronounce the word.

“It’s a device that will measure the frequency and duration of your contractions” he smiles.

“Oh. Neat?” Lance says curiously.

“It will be helpful in keeping track of what stage of labor you’re in, as I would rather find out how many contractions you’re having before doing a physical exam” Coran says sombrely.

“There are stages?” Lance questions. His mind quickly avoiding the topic of a physical exam, he doesn’t want to think about Coran getting up close and personal with his crotch.

“Yes, typically three stages. If you don’t mind sitting up a bit I can put the belt on” Coran says, holding the open belt in his hands.

“Sure” Lance says, using his arms to push himself from his lying down position until his belly was off the bed, finishing up sitting cross legged on the bed. It really shouldn’t be that difficult to sit up, but apparently it is for Lance. He huffs out a breath before sucking it in too fast when he feels the throb of a contraction pull through his guts.

“Easy, Lance. Keep breathing through it” Coran says calmly, hand on his shoulder.

Lance nods and takes a deep breath in and then out at the pain slowly fades. When it does stop his shoulders relax slightly and he nods to Coran again to let him know he’s fine. He lifts his shirt up slightly and raises his elbows so that Coran can pull the belt around his stomach. He can feel the cold plastic against his skin, held there tightly by the belt around him, and pulls his shirt back down to cover it.

Coran pulls out a small tablet and sets it up to stand on the bedside table. A small flat line appears centred on the screen with some surrounding Altean symbols. Lance can only guess that the display is empty because there aren’t any contractions to monitor at the moment.

“This line will move to measure the intensity of your next contraction” Coran says pointing at the screen.

Lance nods again, and it takes a few minutes of waiting until the line starts moving up. Lance’s fists curl up against his thighs and his lips are pulled in a thin line as the pain increases. He can watch the line on the screen raise up slightly and hold it for a few seconds before finally returning to a flat position.

“After a varga or so we should have a pretty good idea of what to do next” Coran nods at the screen, “and try not to spend a lot of time lying on your back, it’ll just put more pressure on your spine.”

“Got it.”

--

“Ahhh” Lance breathes, face scrunched as he leans back against Hunk’s chest, hands gently rubbing down his thighs.

“That’s it, good breathing” Hunk encourages, giving one of his thighs a light squeeze.

It feels like forever that he’s been sitting there waiting out contractions, but nothing has changed. He keeps thinking he should be having the babies at any moment now, but he still sits here and waits it out, not feeling any urge to push. Hunk has been quietly rubbing his thighs and back while Lance leans against him and squeezes his arms and hands when the pain picks up.

“Hm, you’ve still not progressed much even though it’s been over a varga. I think it’s time we check how much you’ve dilated” Coran says, frowning at the line as it returns back to its resting position.

“Do we have to?” Lance whines, sounding breathless and tired.

“I’m afraid so, I would’ve hoped for your contractions to be much closer after almost 8 vargas, but they are still relatively calm.”

“So, it’s not almost over?” Lance breathes, frowning at his heaving stomach.

“I’d say we’ve barely just begun, the types of contractions you’re experiencing are still that of early labor. So, unless you’re more dilated than what I think you are, then we are still some ways away.”

“Ughhhh” Lance groans.

“If it would make you more comfortable you can perform the examination yourself” Coran suggests.

“...How do I do that? Do I need, like, tongs or something?” Lance makes a face at the thought.

“No, it’s rather simple actually. You just have to feel for your cervix and see how wide the opening is.”

“Right, Easy. Where’s my cervix?” Lance says turning to Coran expectantly, there’s a slight huff of air from Hunk behind him, like he’s trying to not laugh.

“Right at the back of the vagina, usually it would be hard and closed, but during labor it should be softer, and you should feel a hole in the middle.”

“So... finger myself?” Lance quirks an eyebrow and this time definitely feels Hunk stifle a laugh behind him.

“Um, almost, but with a different intention. And obviously you are under no obligation to do so in front of us, we can either leave or you can use the bathroom if you like.”

“Don’t leave, just...um, turn around. Please.”

“Of course” Coran says turning to face the opposite wall.

“Want me to turn around?” Hunk asks.

“No, stay there” Lance says still pressed against Hunk’s chest.

“Got it” he nods.

Lance slides his hand into his pants, only shifting slightly to get underneath his belly and slide down a bit further to have better reach. His fingers rub over the opening which is still leaking slightly. Ugh. He pushes a finger inside and presses in as deep as he can, scrunching his face at the feeling. It takes a little wiggling and searching but finally his finger presses against what he can only guess is the end of his vagina. He rubs against it and can feel his finger dipping into a hole in the centre.

“Found it, I think” Lance says hesitantly.

“Good, how wide would you say the hole is?” Coran asks, still facing the wall.

“Uh, not very. Maybe one or two centimetres?”

“Hm, I was hoping for it to be more than that…”

“Why? Is that bad?”

“Not necessarily. It means you’re progressing very slowly though, but you are progressing at least.”

“So, this is gunna take a while?”

“Pretty much.”

“Ugh. Great.”

--

“Oww!!” Lance whines out gripping at the table, “Okay, that one... definitely...hurt more.”

Lance is breathing hard, face sweaty with strain. Hunk is standing behind him, gently supporting his weight. Lance rocks his hips back and forth trying to ease away some the pain that’s settled in his joints. It’s been so long now since he started having contractions that he’s not really sure how he’s still moving. Coran had left a while ago to go grab himself, Hunk and Lance some dinner because apparently it was already past dinner time.

“Hey, how about we try a short walk? It might help move the babies down more, speed things up a bit” Hunk suggests gently.

“You want me to walk...like this?”

“Coran did say moving would help…” Hunk tries a worried smile towards Lance.

“Fine. If it gets them out faster” Lance huffs.

“That’s the plan.”

Hunk supports Lance as they walk out of the room and into the hall, they only get a few steps before Lance stops to groan through a contraction, but soon they start to walk again. They continue to walk slowly up and down the hallway, stopping every ten minutes or so for Lance to grip Hunk’s arm until the contraction passes.

“Lance?” Pidge’s voice calls from behind them as Lance tries to straighten up from his last contraction.

“Well, hey there, Pidgeon”

“What are you doing? Aren’t you in labor?” she asks, equal parts confused and worried.

“I am taking a walk, and yes, I am. It’s terrible, thanks for asking” Lance breathes.

“Geez, taking their time, aren’t they?”

“Pretty mu-aahh! ngh!” Lance groans leaning into Hunk again.

“I gotcha, you’re alright” Hunk soothes, holding Lance upright.

“Mm… hurts” he moans waiting it out for a while longer.

“Gone?”

“Gone” Lance sighs.

Hunk nods and they keep walking their slow pace up and down the halls now with Pidge in tow. She sneaks up on the other side of Lance and takes his hand and he can’t help but smile at her attempt to comfort him. She doesn’t complain or push Lance to talk, just quietly walks beside them occasionally chatting about everyday things to distract them or make Lance smile.

When another contraction hits sooner than Lance expected it too he squeezes Pidge’s hand and folds into Hunk to yell quietly into his shoulder. The pain drags on and on and feels like it’s never going to end for Lance, like this whole day will never end. The pain drags on for long enough for Lance to start panting against Hunk, trying to keep breathing.

“They’re getting longer aren’t they?” Hunk asks softly.

Lance nods, but rights himself anyway and continues to walk pulling Hunk and Pidge along with him. If walking is going to get these things out of Lance faster, then Lance is going to walk.

They spot Coran walking back down the hallway holding a tray of food and drinks, he smiles at the trio before approaching them.

“How are we doing? Any changes?” Coran asks.

“Getting stronger, and closer. Might need to check how dilated I am soon” Lance says in a strained voice.

“Well how about we eat first, then we can do that, hm?” he says lifting the tray slightly to present to them, “Come on, let’s sit down.”

They follow Coran back into Lance rooms, only stopping when Pidge waits by the door to give Lance a look that asks if it’s okay to come in. Lance just tugs at her hand pulling her into the room behind him, too tired to try keep anyone out anymore. Coran hands Hunk and Lance a plate each, Hunk taking it gratefully before digging in while Lance stares at it questioningly.

“Coran, I can barely eat food on a good day, how do you expect me to eat anything right now?”

“You’re going to need the energy, Lance. Try to eat something, it doesn’t have to be much, as long as you’ve got something to give you strength. I have a nutrient drink if you’d like some as well” Coran says, raising the cup in front of him.

“Ugh…” Lance grumbles, but starts to pick at the plate anyway eating as much as he can stomach, which isn’t very much.

He’s barely eaten a quarter of the meal when a strong contraction nearly brings it all back up, and Coran was quick to grab the plate before Lance could drop it. Lance’s groans are muffled by his hand covering his mouth, desperately trying to keep himself from vomiting. When the pain passes he takes gasping breaths, letting his mouth hang open as the nausea passes too.

“Good work, Lance” Coran says proudly, “If you are ready, now would also be a good time to check how dilated you are.”

“Yeah, can do. I’ll go to the bathroom this time” Lance says carefully standing up.

“You’ll be alright?”

“Yep, I know how to do it.”

Lance walks to the bathroom, Hunk standing close beside him and then waiting by the door as he goes in. The door slides shut behind him and Lance leans against the sink to feel between his legs, pushing into himself. The holes bigger now, which is a good thing. Not extremely huge, only another centimetre or two wider than last time, but it’s progress.

“How are you doing in there?” is spoken, muffled by the door.

“About two centimetres bigger I think” Lance calls back.

“That’s good, we’re getting somewhere then.”

Lance pulls his fingers out too fast when he feels another contraction hit, he doubles over only managing to keep himself off the ground by gripping onto the sink. He lets out a breathy shout and tenses at the feeling. Really starting to get sick of this.

“Lance? What’s happening?” is said through the door again.

“Ngh… just a contraction, I’m fine” he says as calmly as he can mask his voice.

The door is sliding open seconds later and Hunk is standing in front of him with a worried look on his face. Lance tries for a smile, but he can feel it warped by the frown he’s making at the pain. Hunk quietly helps Lance to his feet, so they can walk back to the bed. The contraction ends just as Lance sits down and he sighs in relief.

“That certainly was much more intense than the previous ones” Coran says inquisitively, staring at the readings on the tablet.

“You’re telling me. This shit hurts.” Lance sighs, stretching his legs in front of him.

“Well you’re only in the early stages of active labor at the moment, the pain is going to start to pick up a lot more now. You still have to get to ten centimetres before those babies go anywhere though” Coran says with a tight lip.

“It's taken all day just to get to like four centimetres… ughhh I’m gunna die…” Lance sighs before rolling onto his side to lay a hand over his forehead, “Pidge, when I die...you can’t touch any of my stuff, it’s all going to Blue.”

“What? No fair!” Pidge frowns.

“You aren’t going to die…” Hunk says, “and what about me, do I get your stuff?”

“Hunk you get first dibs, everything else will be laid out in a beautiful shrine with many candles and flowers and photos of me being heroic and handsome” Lance says with a goofy smile.

“Understood. Make a Lance shrine. Should we have a Memorial Day as well?”

“Obviously, you can’t mourn my death if it isn’t a public holiday. For all of space!”

--

If the Castle had a sun it would have set many hours ago, and yet Lance was still sitting awake in bed with Pidge snoring softly against his shoulder while Hunk lay flat on his back along the end of the bed. Coran is sitting by the bed trying to keep his eyes open to watch the readings on the tablet. Lance tries to be very still when he feels contractions, not wanting to wake Pidge up, but they’re getting stronger now and it’s harder to keep himself from crying out every time.

Lance whimpers softly, biting down on his lip and pressing his hands into his belly, trying to stop himself from waking everyone up. Coran’s posture straightens when he sees the line raising up, higher than it was going before and holding there for much longer. Lance lets out a choked noise when the pain gets too strong to stay quiet.

There’s a knock against the door that makes Coran and Lance turn to look at it, even Hunk lifts his head to stare. Coran gets up to open it and finds Shiro standing there looking concerned.

“Can I help you, Shiro?” Coran says, announcing his arrival to the others in the room.

“How’s Lance doing? It’s been a long time since I’ve heard anything” Shiro asks softly, trying not to push past Coran to look into the room.

“He’s...alright? It’s taking a lot longer than I thought it would, we’re probably going to be here all night” Coran says, exhaustion evident in his voice and on his face.

“That’s terrible” Shiro hisses, eyebrows knitting together, “...you should rest. I can help watch over Lance for a few hours while you sleep, I can even have Keith and Allura come down to help, that way we could take shifts if you really think this will be an all-night thing.”

“No, I couldn’t do that. What if something were to happen” Coran sighs.

“We’d call you straight away. We’re all here to help, you three don’t have to do this alone” Shiro says.

“Let him in” Lance calls, making the two of them turn to look at him.

Coran steps aside and lets Shiro into the room. Shiro smiles at Lance and then quirks an eyebrow at the sight of a sleeping Pidge.

“How long has Pidge been in here?” he asks with a smile.

“A bit after dinner, though she conked out like an hour ago” Lance says quietly, which makes Shiro laugh softly.

“What do you think, Lance? Would you mind us working in shifts to help you get through the night?” Shiro asks him directly.

“I’m fine with it, as long as there’s someone here then I’ll be alright” Lance nods.

“Are you sure?” Coran hesitates.

“Coran, you’re exhausted. Go sleep” Lance urges.

“So are you, Lance, probably more than any of us” says Hunk who’s lifting himself into a sitting position.

“Which is exactly why you guys should get some rest now, before things get too serious.”

“...Alright, but anything that happens, even something small, call me straight away” Coran states.

“Of course” Lance agrees.

“Okay, let me get Pidge back to her room, then I’ll come back with Keith while Hunk and Coran get some rest” Shiro says.

“Me? I’m not leaving him” Hunk says firmly, frowning at Shiro.

“Hunk, you’re tired, you can’t help Lance if you can barely keep your eyes open” Shiro says.

“He’s right, and you’re not going far, just take a quick nap and you’ll be back in no time” Lance nods.

“Lance, you can’t promise me that nothing will happen when I’m gone, I want to be there for you” Hunk sighs.

“And you have been, which is why I need you to rest now so you can keep being there for me when this gets harder. I’m not going to promise nothing will happen, but I promise the second something does someone will get you straight away. I’m not doing this without you” Lance says placing his hand over Hunk’s.

“...Fine. But you have to rest too, okay? Try get some sleep while I’m gone” Hunk says to Lance.

“Well, that’s up to them” Lance says, hand rubbing over his belly, “but I’ll try.”

Chapter Text

Shiro carried Pidge’s sleeping body out of the room, freeing Lance of his uncomfortable seated position he was stuck in while she slept. He finally laid back down on his side feeling some of the pressure on his spine relax now. His body was so exhausted he could already feel himself sagging limply against the mattress, ready to pass out.

His regained freedom also allowed him to appropriately react when the next contraction hits, pulling his knees together and arching his back against the pain. He groans loudly, still trying not to yell out even though he wants to so badly. Shiro walks back in with a sleepy Keith in tow while Lance is still shaking in pain.

The look on Keith’s face is kind of priceless when he sees Lance, except that Lance has paid for it plenty with the amount of suffering he’s been through. Keith looks like he isn’t sure if he wants to run or help, and if Lance wasn’t currently yelling muffled swears into his pillow he might’ve said something witty. The pain finally leaves, and Lance starts to breathe heavily, feeling Hunk’s hand rub against his back.

“Coran, Hunk, you should go get some rest now, we’ll make sure he’s okay” Shiro says in his concerned leader tone.

“Yeah, don’t worry. I won’t be mean to the baby sitters. Oh! Hey get it? Baby sitters” Lance laughs breathily to himself. Hunk sighs behind him, giving him a gentle pat and a smile.

“His contractions are about six to seven minutes apart at the moment, if they start coming every five minutes or less get me straight away. You can see when he’s having a contraction on the tablet here with this line, or just ask Lance. He knows when he’s having one” Coran explains.

“Kind of hard to miss” Lance grumbles.

“Yes, that’s true. Also, Lance, make sure you check how dilated you are again soon, if it’s around seven centimetres call me. If you start to feel it opening much wider or if you can touch the baby’s head, call me. Any of those means you’re in the final stage, okay?” Coran says firmly.

“I’ll keep you posted” Lance nods, and if Keith didn’t look out of his element before, he certainly did now.

“And most importantly, try to rest and make sure you drink something, even a bit of food if you can manage. Shiro make sure he has everything he needs.”

“I will, now go rest. You too Hunk, off you go” Shiro says, nodding his head towards the door.

Hunk groans before sitting up to give Lance a quick kiss before climbing out of the bed. Coran and Hunk walk to the door, but Hunk stops and turns on last time before the door shuts.

“I’m just next door if you need me, okay?”

“I know” Lance smiles at him, watching the door close.

The room is quiet for a moment after they leave and for a second Lance wants to run after them, ask them to stay with him all night if they have to, but he knows he can’t. He shouldn’t. It’s not even that he doesn’t trust Shiro and Keith to take care of him, it’s just that he’s been through this whole thing with Hunk and Coran at his side and knowing they aren’t here at the moment makes him afraid. More afraid than he already was. So, he hides it the only way he knows how.

“Hah, you look scared Keith, never seen someone in labor before?” Lance teases, but it’s tired and weaker than his usual jabs.

“Obviously not” Keith frowns back, “have you?”

“Yeah, my eldest sister when she had her first kid, but not for very long. Didn’t seem as hard back then, guess I’ll have to remind her how brave she is when I see her again, tell my nephews off while I’m at it” Lance laughs.

“Oh, I didn’t know you had a nephew, or a sister actually” Keith says sitting down on the corner of the bed.

“Dude, I have like 5 siblings and like 4 niblings, my family is not a small one” Lance smiles.

“Huh, wait, what’s a nibling?” Keith raises an eyebrow at him, which makes Lance laugh again.

“Dude, it’s like the collective term for nieces and nephews hahaha” Lance laughs, “like how sibling is for brothers and sisters.”

“Oh. It kind of sounds like a kind of food” Keith smiles which only makes Lance laugh harder.

“Oh my god, I’m so telling Hunk you said that, pfft hahaha- oh! Ahh oww!” Lance stops smiling to grip at the blankets and cry out in pain.

“The lines moving” Shiro says, intently watching the tablet.

“Yeah, contraction” Lance says through gritted teeth, “Could’ve told you that myself.”

“Is there anything we can do to help?” Keith asks, worry evident in his voice.

“M-make sure I don’t die!!” Lance bites out, before wrapping his arms around his middle and yelling into the pillow until the pain stops.

“It’s over” Shiro says watching the line go flat again.

“Thanks, I hadn’t realised” Lance pants out, sounding remarkably unimpressed.

“You look terrible…” Keith says quietly, but still loud enough that Lance hears and gives him a warning look.

“Yeah, thanks” he growls, “You try doing that for thirteen hours and see how you look.”

“No, I didn’t mean it like that! I meant that you should try to sleep because you look so exhausted” Keith fumbles quickly.

“You don’t even know how badly I want to sleep right now, but it’s kind of hard when you can feel your entire stomach contracting every 5 fucking minutes” Lance groans, “Also Shiro stop standing there, you’re making me feel weird.”

“Oh, sorry” Shiro says gently, taking a seat on the chair which makes Lance nod in approval.

They sit there for several long minutes in silence, not moving or saying much and it’s slowly driving Lance crazy. He can feel both of them watching him intently, unsure of how to act in a way that he never had to worry about with Hunk, and that makes him frustrated. He finally sighs loudly into the quiet room.

“Alright, enough. Keith, lie down behind me, Shiro, take my hand” Lance demands with a pout.

Keith silently climbs up the bed and lies down behind Lance with a curious look on his face, and Shiro scoots the chair closer to the bed to lay one hand on top of Lance’s.

“Good. Keith, if I’m having a contraction I want you to either press on my lower back or just rub circles, anything to help the pain okay? And Shiro, keep holding my hand unless I let go...and maybe pet my hair a bit too.”

Shiro nods at him, artificial hand closing around Lance’s while his other runs long fingers through his hair, making Lance sigh at the calming motion. He closes his eyes and tries to relax, only thinking about the gentle touch of fingers and the warmth of a body next to him. His eyes squeeze tighter at the next contraction and he grips at Shiro’s hand tightly, thankfully not at risk of hurting him due to the robotic limb. Lance can also feel Keith’s thin fingers press into his back, they aren’t as soft or skilled as Hunk’s, but they help anyway.

Lance’s breathing comes in fast, short breaths with small whimpers in between as he tries to block out the pain. Shiro’s thumb runs over his forehead pushing back his sweaty hair and continues to rub against his scalp. The pain fades and Keith’s hands slow their touch against his skin.

He keeps his eyes shut and takes deep even breaths, trying to make his body to rest for once. He focuses on the comforting touches against his skin and finally starts to doze off. Shiro can see when Lance’s exhausted body finally falls asleep, going limp against the pillow and his grip loosening on his hand. It’s a great relief to see him finally peaceful.

It’s even more relieving when Shiro watches the next contraction come on the tablet and Lance remains asleep. The only indicators that Lance was having a contraction was the slight hitch in his breath and visible tightening of his stomach. Keith notices as well as and presses a hand to Lance’s back, rubbing gently while Shiro pets his hair.

“Might actually get some rest tonight after all” Shiro whispers, and Keith nods in return, eyes watching Lance intently.

The calm only lasts barely an hour until Shiro watches another contraction rise up on the scale, this time going higher than he’d seen any of the previous ones go. At that he felt Lance’s hand squeeze at him and his body jerk in response to the pain. His eyes open slightly to take confused looks around the room.

“...Well that’s a bad wakeup call” Lance says in a pained mumble, face contorted in pain, “How long was I asleep?”

“Only about an hour” Shiro says.

“Ughh, that sucks- argh!” Lance pulls into himself more, breath coming in faster now.

“This contraction is a lot stronger than the others, which is probably why it woke you up” Shiro states softly.

“Yeah- AHhh!! Oh fuck!” Lance yells, gripping Shiro’s hand so tightly he pulls him forward in his seat. Lance sounds like he’s trying to hold back a sob, but he’s still crying out when the contraction ends on the screen.

“You alright?” Keith asks from behind him.

“N-no, that one hurt… a lot” Lance wheezes out, which prompts Keith to keep his hands on his back moving gently.

“Think you’ll get back to sleep?” Shiro asks.

“Not if they keep being that strong…” Lance sighs tiredly, the bags under his eyes haven’t changed at all.

Shiro nods and pushes his hair back again, “You thirsty?” he asks.

“Yeah” Lance pants.

“Keith, help him sit up so he can drink” Shiro says grabbing on of the many bottles of water Coran has already laid out along the table.

Keith nods, sitting up before helping Lance to shuffle up the bed and lean against the pillows. He takes the bottle and chugs half of it in one breath before finishing off the rest. He sighs happily when Shiro hands him a second one, which he drinks from slower this time.

“Did I mention how much this sucks?” Lance says.

“I think you did, yeah” Shiro says, and Keith nods.

“Good, because this fucking sucks.”

--

It’s nearing two in the morning by the time Allura knocks on the door. Shiro let’s her in, with Lance’s permission, before sending Keith to bed. Shiro reassured Lance he would be okay for a few more hours until Coran and Hunk were rested enough. Allura came still dressed in her night gown, which was a very fancy garment to sleep in, but that’s what you get from by being a Princess.

Lance almost feels worse with Allura here, looking as pretty as she does while he feels like he’s being slowly beaten to death, but her touch is soft and cool, and she is surprisingly quick to sit beside him on the middle of the bed and let him rest his head on her lap while she strokes his hair.

“You’re doing great Lance, good work” she encourages as he tries to actually breathe through a contraction instead of just yelling, it’s not working out so great though.

She keeps comforting him softly, saying encouraging things while Shiro watches the tablet, unsure of what else to do. When Lance has a chance to rest again after the contraction ends Shiro turns to face him.

“When was the last time you checked how dilated you were?” he asks brashly.

“Uh, before Hunk and Coran left?” Lance says questioningly.

“So, a few hours ago?” Shiro confirms.

“Yeah, must be.”

“Maybe it’s time to check again” Shiro says gently, turning his body towards Lance and resting his elbows on his knees.

“Ugh… Do I have to?” Lance frowns.

“You should, what if you’re close and haven’t even noticed?”

“Contractions aren’t that close yet, still time” Lance huffs.

“But they’re still getting closer, and stronger.”

“Yep, they’ve been doing that for a while” Lance nods.

“Lance.”

“...Fine. Help me up” Lance says with a scowl.

Shiro complies, giving him his arms and helping him to slide onto his feet before walking him to the bathroom.

“Y’know this would be a lot easier if Hunk was here, then he could make sure I don’t fall over in the bathroom” Lance sighs.

“I could go with you if you wanted?” Shiro says like he’s not really sure if what he’s offering is a good idea.

“What, and watch me feel up myself? No thanks.”

“Fair enough” Shiro nods, not pressing the topic anymore.

Lance steps into the bathroom and tries to get himself somewhat comfortable against the sink before quickly sliding into himself to feel. He knows what he’s looking for this time, so he’s quick about pushing to the back and guessing the change in size. Once he’s checked he’s quick to wash his hands and shuffle back to the bedroom, grabbing for Shiro when the door opens.

“That was fast. How dilated are you?” Shiro asks, eyebrow quirked.

“I think maybe five or six? I don’t really know, hard to tell without a ruler” Lance jokes, but it falls flat.

“Almost there then” Shiro nods.

“Almost at the final stage” Lance corrects.

“...Right.”

“Are you tired, Lance?” Allura asks.

“Exhausted, why?”

“Well, I was going to suggest trying to remain upright for a while to help move things along, lying down so much might actually be slowing your progress. So, unless you intend on sleeping, I think we should try moving a bit more.”

“Ugh, alright, but only because I’m already standing” Lance grumbles, dreading the idea of having to move around at the moment.

“Let’s start with something easy, yes? A short walk maybe” Allura suggests standing up from the bed.

“Yeah, easy. Easy for someone that doesn’t have a small head lodged in their pelvis” Lance groans out, but still takes Allura’s arm when she approaches him.

“Well, we’re trying to get that head out, aren’t we?” She says with a soft smile.

Lance just sighs as they start to pace up and down the length of his room. Lance tries his hardest to keep standing when he feels a contraction, but they’re so strong now almost all the willpower is drained out of him the second he feels the sharp pains. Thankfully Allura is a lot stronger than she looks, and she manages to support his weight when he can no longer do it alone. They keep walking for fifteen minutes until Lance has to stop.

“Okay, that’s enough walking… I’m tired enough already” Lance sighs, sitting on the edge of his bed and tilting his head back to look at the roof.

“I know you are, but the more you move the more the baby will move down as well. It helps” Allura says, sitting beside him.

Lance is about to speak when he suddenly screams out loudly, grabbing at his stomach as the strong pain rocks through him.

He leans forward, fingertips digging into skin as he continues to yell, only stopping to take short, fast breaths. Allura quickly has her arm around his back and a hand on his thigh, comforting him. The door slides open and Hunk quickly walks into the room and straight to Lance.

“H-Hunk?” Lance cries through ragged breaths, “You’re... supposed to be resting.”

“I did, and now I’m back. For good.”

Lance smiles happily even though he can still feel the pain in his hips and the sweat drip down his face. Hunk presses their foreheads together and squeezes Lance’s hand.

“You’re alright, we’re gunna make it through this” Hunk says, and it gives Lance some hope that this pain isn’t forever.

“Y-yeah” he breathes.

--

Lance’s screams ring through the Castle halls. If there was a sun, it would be just starting to rise now, and Lance is clinging to Hunk’s shoulder screaming through an almost unending contraction. Coran had returned several hours ago, and everyone else was coming and going as necessary. At some point Lance’s pants had come off and he was now hanging out in a shirt, trying to make it through the final stage.

The contractions were so close now Lance barely gets a minute’s rest before another was pulling his organs tightly in his body, wringing them out in torment. He’d long given up on trying to retain any of his dignity now and was openly sobbing through each contraction, crying loudly at how much they hurt.

“If we are going to move to medical, I suggest we do it now before it becomes too late” Coran says.

“N-no” Lance sobs, “I- don’t wha- wanna!”

“Are you sure? There’s more equipment there, it may be easier” Coran says calmly, looking for Lance’s expression.

“I-it’s scar- ryy… No!” Lance whines, burying his head into Hunk, body still shaking in effort. He remembers the white, clinical looking walls of the med room, and winces at the thought of having to spend potentially hours there waiting. He’d rather stay in his room where it’s familiar.

“Of course, I’ll just ask Shiro to grab some extra supplies then” Coran says with a nod, turning to open the door to no doubt find Shiro loitering around one of the nearby halls.

“Hunk” Lance says, trying to keep his voice from shaking.

“Yeah, what is it, Lance?” Hunk says gently, looking down at Lance’s exhausted form. He rubs his thumb over his cheek lightly.

“If… if I do die” Lance pauses a moment just to put his finger up to Hunk, killing any of his protests before they can leave his lips, “if I do die, please, let my family know that I’m sorry and that I love them. Tell them I didn’t mean to leave, and I’m sorry I never said goodbye, but make sure they know I loved them and missed them every day.”

Lance is still crying, holding back the strain in his voice as tears roll down his cheeks. Hunk can’t help the tears he feels leaking from his own eyes as he watches Lance.

“And please, don’t tell them I died like this… tell them anything, tell them I went missing or died in battle, or that I died protecting something I cared about. Don’t tell them about this, please.”

“Lance…” Hunk says, trying to hold back his own sobs.

“Please, Hunk! I need them to know that I cared, and that I’m sorry. I don’t want to die like without that.”

“...Okay” is all Hunk can say, pulling Lance into his chest again and rubbing his hand down his spine.

“Thank you” Lance says, giving a small smile through the tears.

--

Lance is barely conscious where he lays against Hunk’s chest, it’s been well over 24 hours since he went into labour and Lance is almost convinced he’s already dead. He’s in almost near constant pain at the moment, it feels like another contraction starts before the other is even finished and all he can do is scream and wheeze against Hunk who’s clinging to him like it’s the only thing keeping Lance alive.

“I can’t- I can’t do this” he says, barely louder than a whisper.

“Yes, you can, Lance. Almost there, okay?” Hunk tries to convince him, but he doesn’t sound very convinced himself.

“I ca- AHH!” Lance shrieks, high and surprised at the sudden pressure he feels in his hips. It’s different to contractions, nothing like the pain he’s been having. It feels stronger, more physical, pressing down lower into his body.

“Somethings wrong!” He shouts, grabbing for Hunk.

“What? What happened?!” Hunk is immediately more alert, panic settling into his chest.

“In my hips! Hurts!” Lance cries out, eyes squeezed shut.

“...I do think that would be the head” Coran says, kneeling on the ground behind Lance to check between his legs.

“Wha-? Ahh!!” Lance cries out, “The head?!”

“Just barely, but it would seem you’ve become fully dilated, and you are also actively having a baby. Oh my! You’re having a baby!” Coran yelps, only just realizing what he was saying.

“W-what do I do?!” Lance squeaks, fear digging its way into his chest.

“When you feel the next contraction, I want you to push as hard as you can” Coran says firmly.

“O-okay” Lance nods, eyebrows knitted in worry.

Just as Coran said, as soon as the next contraction hits Lance bears down will all his strength, yelling out in pain as he can feel the baby’s head descend lower. He stops after a few seconds to pant heavily, trying to catch his breath.

“That’s good, Lance, keep going!” Coran encourages from behind him.

Lance digs his fingers into Hunk’s shoulder, which probably hurts a hell of a lot, as he pushes again. It feels like the head is only moving millimetres at a time, but Lance grits his teeth and keeps going. He can feel the head stretching him open and god does it hurt. The skin there is tender and sore, and it was uncomfortable stretching it with just his fingers, now a whole kid was trying to squeeze through it.

Lance’s body shivers in strain when he stops pushing, shaking against Hunk who is holding him upright on the bed.

“It hurts!” Lance whines, “I c-can’t! It hurts too mu-much!”

“You’re almost there, Lance, just a few more pushes, okay?” Coran encourages.

“That’s it, Lance, It’s almost over. One more, keep going!” Hunk says, clinging to him.

Lance says nothing, but pushes again along with the next contraction and the next one. He keeps up the effort of pushing then breathing until the stretch is almost too much to bare.

“I have to stop! S-something’s wrong! Please, let me stop!” Lance sobs out, voice tight with strain.

“What’s wrong?” Hunk asks nervously.

“It’s- t-too much, not gunna fit” Lance cries, feeling like he’ll be ripped apart if he keeps pushing.

“Okay, that’s okay. Take your time. When you feel ready you can start to push again” Coran nods reassuringly.

Lance nods a little frantically, holding onto Hunk. He shuffles his legs up the bed a little more to try move his body into a more squatted position. He still feels the tight burning sensation where the baby’s head rests, but he can’t put it off for much longer. He groans loudly as he bares down again.

“That’s it! Almost there, head’s almost out” Coran reports excitedly.

Lance pushes harder and faster than he feels he should be at the news that he’s close to almost being done. His voice screams out at the top of his lungs, tired and hoarse as he feels the head slide out of him, shortly followed by the rest of the body and some gushing fluids. He just about passes out after that, falling limply into Hunk’s arms, eyes fluttering shut as his ears ring in dizziness.

“They’re out!” Coran says cheerfully, “It’s a- She’s- Quiznak.”

“What? Wait, it’s a girl?” Hunk asks frantically.

“Yes, yes, she’s a girl, but more importantly… I don’t even know how to explain this…” Coran says, it almost sounds like he’s choking up. “She’s Altean.”

“What?!” Hunk shouts, and at that Lance opens his eyes blearily to turn as much as he can to look behind him.

Coran is kneeling on the ground, his usually clean blue suit stained with blood and bodily fluids, and wrapped in a small towel in his arms is a squishy, wet looking infant, smeared in the same blood and fluids. Lance’s breath hitches when he sees her, when he hears her shrill cries, strong lungs already working. Her small hands wave around in tight fists as Coran stares at her in shock and true adoration.

“How the hell does that even happen?” Hunk breathes out, completely shocked.

“...I don’t know” Coran says, still staring at the small baby. She hiccups in his hold, crying out loud.

“...Take her away” Lance mumbles in a whisper.

“Pardon?” Coran asks, unsure of what Lance just muttered.

“Get her out of here!” He yells, voice breaking as Hunk pulls him closer.

“Right!” Coran says quickly, standing slowly and holding her tight to his chest as he walks to the door. He wipes at her body gently as the door slides shut behind him and as soon as he steps into the hallway he finds that Keith and Pidge have made a small camp on the floor, while Allura and Shiro are standing around staring at him nervously. Everyone looks stark white in panic.

“Allura, if you wouldn’t mind holding her” Coran says gently, he knows Allura will be gentle with her, even more so when she finds out she’s Altean.

“A girl, huh?” Shiro says, taking a step closer to them, Pidge and Keith also scramble off the ground to peer at her, “How’s Lance doing?”

“He’s exhausted, and in considerable amounts of pain. Hopefully he can make it through one more time” Coran says solemnly.

“Yeah, we could hear the screaming from out here...” Keith mutters staring at the floor angrily, which makes the room bitterly quiet.

“She’s… How can she be…” Allura says, eyes wide when the baby is placed into her arms.

“That is something we don’t know…” Coran says softly.

“What? What is she?” Pidge says, rising on her tippy toes to see the triangle markings under her eyes and the rounded points of her ears.

“She’s Altean…” Allura breathes.

Everyone is silent for a moment, staring at the squirming newborn who starts to cry again against Allura’s chest. She starts to rock her slowly, shushing her quietly.

“Coran! Some help please!” is called through the door, which makes him jump before quickly excusing himself to return to Lance’s room.

Everyone else remains still, and quiet.

Chapter Text

The door slides shut and the babies crying becomes distant through the walls, but Lance’s chest is still heaving trying to comprehend what just happened. A baby. An Altean baby. That just came out of him. Now it was a living, breathing, screaming thing that actually exists.

Beyond the existential crisis he’s having, he also feels the horrible ache inside him still, he can still feel the stab of contractions now coupled with the raw throbbing between his legs. It feels like someone took a knife to his crotch and decided just to give him a new hole. It hurts so badly Lance isn’t sure it will ever stop hurting.

“Shh, it’s okay, she’s gone now. You’re okay” Hunk says, hand petting the back of Lance’s head.

“N-no” Lance sobs, shaking his head weakly, “Hurts.”

“I know- I know, I’m so sorry, Lance” Hunk chokes out, arm squeezing him tighter to his chest. “You’re so close, you’ve done so well and it’s almost over, okay?”

Lance justs lets out a long whine that pulls tight through his chest and makes Hunk’s heart ache in sympathy. Hunk desperately wishes he could make this stop, that somehow, he could remove Lance from this situation so that he never had to suffer any of this.

Hunk tries to shuffle Lance’s limp body further up the bed so that they can rest against the wall. Lance whimpers and cries out with every movement and Hunk apologizes the whole way up until Lance is resting against his chest again.

“Hunk” Lance whimpers again, hand shaking in front him.

“I know, it’s okay, I’m here just hold onto me” Hunk tries to reassure him.

“No... Hunk” Lance says, voice thick with tears, he chokes on Hunk’s name again finishing it with a sob. He’s lifting his hand up again, still shaking weakly.

Then Hunk sees it. The red smears across his fingers and hand. Blood, red and wet drips down his fingers. “Oh” Hunk gasps, looking down onto the bed to see the streak of blood they left behind, ending between Lance’s legs. Lance chokes again, chest heaving.

“Coran! Some help please!” Hunk shouts towards the door as he tries to calm the now panicking Lance.

Coran stumbles back into the room hastily, “I’m here! Sorry!” He says.

“Coran, he’s bleeding!” Hunk says, voice strung tight with fear.

Coran’s eyes immediately catch the sight of blood staining sheets and on Lance’s thighs, which was not there when he left. Hunk is cradling Lance against his chest trying his hardest to keep both of them calm. Coran immediately climbs onto the bed to sit before Lance.

“Lance, can you move your legs out a little” Coran leads him to widen them slightly, “That’s enough, good.”

Coran immediately can tell that something has gone wrong. There’s a lot of blood coming out of Lance, and he can see that the edge of his vaginal opening is bleeding out of a tear in the skin, and oh god he can’t even begin to imagine how much that hurts.

He grabs some gauze from his supply bag and dabs it gently against the wound to try stop some of the blood flow. Lance hisses in response, trying to pull away from the touch. Coran apologizes softly.

“He’s got a tear in his opening, and some potential haemorrhaging, I won’t be able to do anything about it until the second baby is out though” Coran says sympathetically, knowing that any repairs he does to Lance’s ruined body will only hinder the second birth more, and likely cause more him more pain

“And when is that supposed to happen?” Hunk asks on Lance’s behalf, who seems to barely be able to contain the information that’s passing over him right now.

“Whenever the baby’s head drops into Lance’s hips, it could be a few minutes or another hour or so. It depends on the child” Coran sighs, sitting back on the bed and allowing Lance’s legs to close slightly.

“I… still have to wait?” Lance breathes out, lifting his head slightly to look at Coran.

“I’m afraid so…” He sighs, “As the second baby was sitting up higher than the first it might not be in the right position just yet, so it could take a little longer for it to move down far enough to start pushing again.”

Lance’s breath hitches and he curls back into Hunk, hand fisted in the front of his shirt.

“AHH! Oh f- fuck!” He cries, “I th-think it’s moving!”

Lance grits his teeth and holds his sore stomach as he feels something drop suddenly into his hips and slide forward. The second baby is quick to start pushing deep inside him, much faster than the first did.

“I- ahh! Fuck! I can feel the head!” He shouts through a clenched jaw, writhing in Hunk’s hold.

Coran quickly leans forward again to check, and yep that’s a head. This is it, last one.

“Okay, that’s good. When you’re ready you can start to push, you know what to do, Lance. You can do this” Coran encourages, giving his knee a gentle pat.

“I can’t!” Lance yells loudly, throwing his head back against Hunk as he feels a sharp pain rush through him, “I c-can’t do it! No more! Please” he begs with all his might, praying that someone will take sympathy on him and end his suffering.

“Yes, you can, Lance! You have to, you’re almost there!” Coran says firmly, “Now you have to push, okay?”

“No!” Lance cries out shakily, body being wracked with sobs.

“Yes! Now push!” Coran yells back.

“AGHHHhh!!” Lance screams as hard as he can as he starts to push down again. Immediately he feels the burning sensation grow worse as he pushes.

He tries to push as hard as he can, but it feels like he’s making no progress. He’s too weak and doesn’t have the energy left to keep going much longer. He feels himself breaking down and is helpless to stop it as his body falls limply against Hunk.

Lance stops being able to respond to words or questions, his tired body only moves to tense involuntarily with contractions and to shake with every gasped breath he takes. Coran and Hunk are both speaking to him without pause trying to get a response out of him, but they get nothing but the sound of him crying.

“Coran, what do we do?” Hunk says, voice strained with his own tears and panic.

“...I need you to grab his thighs, just under his knees, and pull them up towards his chest. Try get his feet under him as well so he can balance” Coran says, moving Hunk’s hands into position.

He does as Coran shows him and pulls Lance’s legs up higher, gaining a sharp yelp from him, which Hunk apologizes for immediately. Coran tries to draw Lance’s gaze one more time.

“Lance, I don’t want to have to intervene if I don’t have to, so I need you to keep pushing. I promise you this is almost over, just a few more big pushes are you’re done. Can you do that, Lance?”

His head moves slightly, maybe it was the closest he could get to a nod at the moment, but in seconds Lance is groaning hard as he tries pushing again. With Hunk holding his legs into a squat the baby’s head is quick to slide forward and push out of Lance. Coran can see the tear along Lance’s opening stretch as the baby slides further out and he hears the pain echo in Lance’s screams as he keeps pushing.

“That’s it, Lance! Keep going!”

With only a few more pushes the head is sliding out into Coran’s waiting hands and soon he is quickly guiding the rest of the body out as well, bundling the infant up in a towel. The cries wring loud in the room and Coran and Hunk sigh in relief when they hear that noise, knowing it means Lance has done it. He really fucking did it.

“Look at that, another girl” Coran smiles, wiping at the baby’s squished, crying face.

Upon looking up to see Lance’s face Coran’s stomach drops heavily. His breaths are barely a wheeze and his eyes are flickering open and closed as his head droops to the side. Coran can see the flood of blood continuing to flow between his legs, and the tear has definitely gotten worse.

“Coran” Hunk whines as he drops Lance’s legs to support his head as he falls sideways, “Coran!”

“One moment!” Coran says, quickly jumping off the bed, making the baby cry harder, before running out the door.

“Hold her!” he says quickly, pushing the baby into Shiro’s arms, since he was the closest, and most trustworthy, to the door.

“Wh- What’s happening?” Shiro asks frantically, looking between an even more blood and fluid covered Coran and the tiny screaming infant that was just dumped in his arms.

“I need to stop the bleeding!” Coran shouts turning around without a pause to run back to Lance.

If Coran had stopped a moment longer he would have seen the frantic looks shared amongst the four standing outside the door waiting. He doesn’t though in favour of quickly returning to Lance’s side.

“He’s not moving! Coran!” Hunk shouts through tears.

“I know! I need to try stop the bleeding, so we can get him to the healing pods quickly!” Coran shouts, moving to grab the necessary equipment from the table.

He climbs onto the bed again and makes quick work of wiping away as much blood as he can before pressing gauze to the wound while he prepares the suture needle. He takes a deep breath to calm himself, so he can get his shaking hands to thread it properly before giving Hunk a determined look.

“Make sure he doesn’t move while I do this” He says firmly before ducking down again.

Lance’s body jerks as the needle pushes through the skin on the first pass, but Hunk keeps him as still as he can while Coran works it back and forth trying to close the long tear as best he can. He knows the healing pod will repair this work afterwards, even the stitches will dissolve after a few hours, but if he can’t stop the bleeding now he fears Lance might not make it to the healing pods.

He presses a new gauze over the stitches quickly to catch any remaining blood. He desperately hopes there aren’t any serious ruptures on the inside, because he can’t do anything to fix them without surgery. All he can do now is get Lance to the healing pods and hope for the best.

“Okay, quickly, we need to get him to the pods right now” Coran says standing up.

Coran supports Lance’s body while Hunk climbs off the bed before turning to pick up his limp body. He cradles him gently against his chest and quickly follows Coran out of the room. Everyone’s eyes are on them when the doors open, but they don’t have the time to waste explaining anything to them, so they rush past wordlessly, hearing Lance’s name get called from behind them.

As soon as they enter the healing room Coran is scrambling to pull the suit onto Lance, Hunk helps by pulling his top off quickly. They can both see how round his stomach still is, but neither have the time to worry about that as they pull the garment all the way up before quickly getting him into a pod.

The pod starts to work immediately, they can see the quintessence glowing in it strongly and the control panel lights up furiously blaring information at them, like it’s trying to scold them for how badly Lance is hurt. But his vitals are stable, and the pod is doing its job. Lance will live, and that’s what matters most.

Hunk and Coran both stand there breathlessly watching Lance’s unconscious body lying in the pod. The sound of footsteps behind them makes them turn to see everyone else walking in cautiously. Shiro and Allura are holding the babies, who are still swaddled in bloody towels.

“What happened?” Shiro is the first to talk, looking terribly frightened by everything that’s just occurred and the small baby that wriggles in his arms. He looks like he’s trying to be so gentle with the baby, like he’s afraid that he’ll somehow hurt her if he moves in even the slightest wrong way.

“Lance tore giving birth… He’s lost a lot of blood, but hopefully he will recover quickly with the pods help” Coran says sombrely.

“Tore? What do you mean?” Keith asks, nose wrinkled in confusion.

“Like, his skin tore. Like being ripped apart…” Hunk says sadly, eyes not leaving Lance.

Keith visibly flinches when he realises what they meant. He remembers hearing Lance’s agonized screams from the hall, watching Pidge press her hands against her ears and shut her eyes, trying to block it out. Shiro’s hand had glowed a furious purple, and it seemed like it was taking all of his willpower to not punch a wall. Allura had looked like she was trying to meditate or maybe pray, Keith wasn’t sure, but she’d stay impossibly still for what must have been hours.

The room feels deathly quiet, and for once Lance isn’t there to make a joke or say something to brighten the mood, so everyone just remains quiet. That is until one of the babies starts to cry, which leads to both of them screaming loudly while Allura and Shiro try to rock them gently.

“Probably hungry, the poor dears” Coran says, turning and walking over to them, “We should probably get them cleaned up now, hm?”

“Yes, I believe I can find them something to wear from the Castle’s wardrobe” Allura says, carefully watching the baby.

“I’ll get them” Coran nods, “and maybe a change for myself as well” he tries for a weak smile, but Allura just gives him a nod.

“I’m staying here” Hunk says firmly, eyes still trapped on Lance.

“Hunk… I know you’re worried, but there is nothing we can do but wait now. The pod will do what it needs to, until then you need to rest. You’ve been awake for hours” Coran says gently.

“I said I wasn’t going to leave him” Hunk says in a choked-up voice, “and I’m not going to.”

Coran can only nod softly, “I’ll bring you a change of clothes and something to sleep on then” he says before walking out of the room.

Everyone stops for a moment looking between the two before Shiro and Allura walk out to follow Coran. Keith and Pidge remain. They walk over to stand beside Hunk, and Pidge puts her hand on his arm to comfort him.

Hunk can’t take it anymore, he’s been the rock for too long, for too many hours he’s been strong and supportive. But not now. He crumbles to the floor, hand clasping over his mouth as he sobs loud and hard, tears rolling down his face and breath hitching. He’s full body crying, and Pidge and Keith can do nothing but kneel beside him and hold him, letting their own tears slide down their faces.

--

Coran walks down the quiet halls with Allura and Shiro in tow. They make it to his room first, where he slips inside to quickly rinse off and change into a fresh pair of clothes before stepping back out into the hall. They continue on until they reach the King’s old room, King Alfor was a sentimental man, and there was no doubt he would have kept many of Allura’s clothes from when she was an infant.

As expected, there’s a large box full of them, varying from small royal looking garments to cute onesies. Coran picks out two of the onesies and is incredibly thankful that there were some cloth diapers in the box as well. He turns back to Allura and Shiro and it’s almost funny how much they look like two nervous new parents holding the infants. In better circumstances Coran might’ve teased them for this, but not tonight.

“I’ll get a damp cloth, so we can wash them before dressing them” he says coolly, walking into the joint bathroom.

He goes to Allura first, knowing the infant has had to exist covered in filth for too long. He guides Allura to lay her gently on the bed and opens the towel to wash her body, showing Allura how to as well and letting her help. He quickly shows her how to dress the bub before moving to help Shiro do the same. Soon both small infants are clean, dry and dressed in some very cute clothes.

“I guess they’ll need some names eventually” Coran smiles, wiggling his finger at one of the babies.

“I feel like that is something we should let Lance decide…” Allura says softly.

“...Yes, that is true, but I don’t expect him to be the most willing” Coran sighs.

“It’s up to him what he wants to do” Shiro nods in confirmation. No one will push him to do anything he doesn’t want at the moment. Maybe not ever again.

“This… is certainly not what I expected to come from this turn of events” Allura says, shifting the baby in her hold, “Who would have thought he’d be carrying Altean children…”

“It was certainly not something we expected… I never thought to consider it because I knew the gestation times weren’t right, but I guess that didn’t change much.”

“There is much we’ll need to discuss now. This changes many things” Allura says.

“Yes, but for now I believe we all need a good night's rest. It’s been a long day for everyone. I’ll set up a crib for the infants in my room if you like” Coran says, standing from the bed.

“No, I’ll set it up in my room. You need more rest Coran, and the twins will probably continue to cry during the night. I’ll watch them” Allura says firmly.

“I’ll help you, Princess” Shiro nods, standing with her.

Coran smiles at the two of them. Like new parents they are.

“Of course.”

Chapter Text

The healing pod door releases and Lance’s body slumps forward, fortunately falling into Hunk’s waiting arms. He groans weakly as he tries to regain control over his limbs and figure out what’s happening. He feels his limbs, heavy with misuse, yet somehow, he feels almost weightless. It takes a moment for his brain to finish connecting the dots between Lance and his surroundings.

“Easy, Lance. I’ve got you” Hunk says warmly, hugging Lance gently to his chest.

Lance blinks as he looks up and around the room, he notices that almost everyone is here but Allura and Pidge. They all stand around him cautiously, watching with concerned, but relieved eyes.

“Did I die?” Lance groans weakly against the soft chest his face is pressed to.

“No, no you’re fine. You’re alive, the twins are alive, you did it. You’re incredible” Hunk says warmly, squeezing Lance a little tighter.

“Well that’s a relief then” Lance says, muffled as his face is squished against Hunk. Hunk loosens his grip on Lance, letting him breathe, but doesn’t let go. “How long has it been?”

“You were in the pod for two days, it’s just past ten o’clock now” Hunk reports.

“How are you feeling? Anything hurt?” Coran says as he steps towards him. His eyebrows are curved in worry.

“I feel really tired? Nothing hurts though” Lance says, removing his head from Hunk’s chest.

“Thank goodness, the healing pod fixed everything then” Coran sighs in relief.

“What even happened? I don’t actually remember much after the second baby…” Lance mumbles.

“...You lost a lot of blood. The tear in your opening was worsened when the second child was born, it caused you to haemorrhage and you lost consciousness. We were able to close the wound and get you to a healing pod in time though, so all your injuries should be healed, but I wouldn’t be surprised if you were still sore for a few days.”

“Wow, um. Alright then” Lance nods, all he can really remember is being in excruciating pain, everything else sort of blurs together in a flurry of panic and screaming, but being told that he was essentially bleeding out is kind of horrifying. He’s glad he doesn’t remember that part.

Lance is finally standing unsupported now, and holy crap does it feel amazing to do that without an intense pressure on his back and hips. He feels physically lighter, probably thanks to no longer carrying around two heavy infants, but he can also tell he isn’t quite back to his normal self. Looking down he can still see a slight bump to his stomach, smaller than it was before, but still noticeable. He knew he wouldn’t get his body back straight away, but he also was secretly hoping that his stomach would just shrink back after the birth. He isn’t that lucky.

“I’m sure you probably want to get changed, and maybe even have something to eat. If you feel up to it” Coran says optimistically, and for once the sound of food doesn’t make Lance’s stomach turn.

“Oh my god, food. That sounds really fucking good right now” He practically moans.

“I’ll make you something, anything you want. What are you hungry for?” Hunk says, smile growing wide.

“Anything, everything, honestly as long as it tastes good and isn’t full of protein then I want it. Maybe some garlic knots?” Lance gives a small lopsided smile to Hunk’s beaming one.

“Can do! I’ll help you get changed and then we can go eat!”

“Actually, I think I’d like to do this by myself” Lance smiles, finding his freedom again.

“...Yeah, yeah! Even better! I’ll head to the kitchen then!” Hunk says nodding enthusiastically before heading out of the room.

“It’s great to have you back” Shiro says, coming up to pull Lance in for a quick hug, “even better to see you in good health again.”

“Yeah, don’t forget, Blue’s ready whenever you are” Keith smiles from beside Shiro, “and when you’re up for it I can kick your butt on the training deck.”

“Oh, you’re on” Lance grins smugly.

“Wow, don’t get too ahead of yourselves there. Give Lance a few days before you start fighting again, alright?” Shiro says warningly.

“I said when he was up for it” Keith shrugs, “didn’t say right now.”

Shiro just sighs as the two boys grin at each other again. Lance heads off to his room after that, excited to be walking the halls of the Castle both unassisted and with great ease. Nothing hurts, he isn’t tired, and he doesn’t need any help walking. It’s the most amazing feeling. He stops when he reaches his room and stands outside the door frowning for a moment. He hadn’t thought to ask what the state of his room was now, since the last time he was here it was definitely not the cleanest. Thankfully, when the door slides open he can see that the sheets have been changed and all the equipment removed. Even the normal messy things in his room had been tidied up.

He walks over to his cupboard and pulls out one of his own shirts, still slightly looser fitting than his normal ones, and a pair of pants. When he peels the bodysuit off him he notices that he wasn’t wearing any underwear, which he guesses isn’t surprising given the circumstances, but it does leave him completely naked. He can see everything. The rows of stretch marks that cover his entire stomach, as well how the skin sits looser against his once toned, now bloated, stomach.

He doesn’t even want to know what it looks like between his legs right now, he can’t imagine it's any good though. Sadly, he pulls his clothes on quickly again to avoid looking at himself for too long, he’d hoped to be past that when he was no longer pregnant, but the scars are still there. Might always be there.

At least the promise of food has him excited, he makes his way to the dining room, walking much faster than he has in months. He walks into the kitchen to see Hunk scurrying around cooking something that smells wonderful.

“Hey! Everything go alright?” Hunk smiles when he sees Lance walk over to him.

“Yep, feels good to be independent again” Lance grins, hopping up to sit on one of the empty benches. Haven’t done that in a while either.

“That’s so great, buddy! You’re looking better already” Hunk beams at him, “give it a few weeks and I’m sure you’ll be running laps around everyone!”

“Heh, hopefully” Lance says, trying to push all the negative thoughts telling him he’ll never be the same person he once was to the back of his mind.

“I know you will, Lance. Just don’t try to rush it, okay? The healing pod has done amazing things to help you recover, so you might not be feeling it, but you did just give birth to twins. Your body is tired and it needs time to get back together” Hunk says more seriously, still smiling encouragingly at Lance.

“Yeah, I’ll try. It’s just… I’m finally free to do whatever I want again. It’s kind of hard to say ‘no’ to something when I can finally say ‘yes’, y’know?” Lance sighs.

“I know, but don’t worry. No one’s going to stop you, I just want you to take things one step at a time until you feel one hundred percent again” Hunk says, mixing up ingredients as he goes.

Lance hums in acknowledgement, “Oh, hey. Where were Allura and Pidge before? They weren’t with us when I woke up.”

“They’re with the twins. They wanted to come and see you, but someone had to watch the babies, and we weren’t sure if you’d want to see them as soon as you woke up, so we didn’t bring them” Hunk says calmly, “Do... you want to see them?”

Lance has to stop and think for a minute. He knows he can’t avoid them, they live on the same ship now, and even if it is a big ship there are only so many people living on it. He also thinks he should probably actually see what they look like, since he only briefly remembers seeing the first infant, smeared in blood and screaming, before demanding Coran take her away. He doesn’t remember the second baby at all.

“...Not right now, I still need time to think. But I promise, I’ll go see them soon.”

“That’s fine, take your time” Hunk nods, “y’know, Allura’s taken quite the liking to them.”

“Huh, guess that isn’t surprising though, if they are actually Altean” Lance hums.

“Yeah, which is still an unexplained mystery too. No one knows how that happened” Hunk frowns.

“I think that’s supposed to be part of the whole ‘abducted-by-aliens’ schtick, not knowing how it happened?”

“But the Alteans were supposed to have been wiped out by Zarkon… there should be no way for an Altean baby to be born.”

“Well, whoever it was that abducted me clearly had a way… no clue what their plan was though…” Lance sighs.

“...It doesn’t matter now. Everyone made it out alive, and now Allura and Coran aren’t the only Alteans left. Even if you didn’t mean to, you’ve really given them hope, y’know?”

“At least that’s something good to come from my suffering then…”

--

It takes Lance a while to work up the courage to actually decide to go see the babies, and Allura as well who was with them. He’d wondered the Castle for a while and ended up sitting with Blue to try to relax and think. Her gentle rumbles eased his mind, and eventually he’d made the decision to see them. In person this time.

He very gently taps at the door, earning a gentle ‘shhh’ as the door slides open, suddenly exposing him when he thought he had a second to prepare himself. Allura is sitting on the edge of the bed, feeding one of the babies a bottle, while Pidge is sprawled out next to her wiggling her finger at the other baby still resting in the cot.

“Lance, you’re here” Allura smiles warmly, watching him stand nervously in the doorway. Pidge lifts her head up to see him and smiles brightly too.

“Welcome back to the world of the living” Pidge giggles, making Lance rolls his eyes.

“You don’t have to just stand there, come in” Allura says, and he starts to slowly walk towards them.

When he’s standing next to them he can clearly see the two children. They both have tan skin, just a few shades darker than his own and what little hair they have on their heads seems soft and pale, almost colourless. It means there is nothing there to conceal their pointed Altean ears, and the little pink triangle marks under their eyes. Lance lets out a shaky breath. They look so much smaller when they aren’t ripping him apart.

“Please sit” Allura encourages and Lance sits almost automatically.

“...They’re kinda cute, aren’t they?” Lance finally admits, leaning closer to watch the small baby Allura is holding drink down warm formula.

“Yes, they are quite adorable. I think everyone has become very fond of them, you should be proud” Allura smiles at the small child.

“I don’t think I’m really at the stage to say I’m ‘proud’ of what happened, maybe horrified, or traumatised…”

“That is understandable, the birth was quite the traumatic one. I’m so glad you’re back in good health” she smiles.

“Yeah, me too” he nods.

“Here” Allura says, pulling the now empty bottle away from the baby making her gurgle in an upset way before handing her to Lance.

“Wow! Uh, I don’t- I’m not really- are you-” Lance stumbles trying to pull away but having no choice but to put his arms out to support the baby’s weight as Allura places her in his arms, “Okay, alright. Um, hi?”

The baby stops to blink up at Lance, tiny hands squirming against her chest and face. She feels warm and he almost wants to say familiar, like holding her weight again reminds him of being pregnant somehow. He’s not really sure what to do with her beyond staring.

“That’s good, Lance. You’re supporting her well” Allura commends as she picks up the second baby, a girl Lance notices, almost identical to the first, and starts feeding her a new bottle.

“Y’know, you’re not so bad when you aren’t kicking me in the guts” Lance says with a laugh to the baby in his arms, who mouths at her hand, staring at him with wide, curious eyes. She makes small, high pitched noises as her limbs flail about uncoordinated.

“Just wait until you hear them cry” Pidge grins from the other side of Allura where she’s still lying.

“...How do you tell them apart?” He says looking between the two identical babies in confusion.

“You’re holding the first born, I am holding the second. They have some differences, the eldest has more hair and is a little bigger in weight. Their markings are also slightly different shades of pink” Allura explains, and Lance has to look extra hard to be able to pick up the differences.

“...I mean I guess? If you say so” he shrugs.

“We’ve also been dressing them differently, that helps” she laughs gently.

“Ahh, yep, see that I can tell” Lance nods, “Have they got names yet?”

“No, not yet. We thought it would be best to wait for you to wake up, in case you had any names you wanted to give them. They are your daughters” Allura says carefully.

“...They don’t feel like my daughters. I know they literally just came out of me, but I can’t help but feel like they don’t belong to me. Like they’ve been stolen or something… Maybe it’s stupid, but they aren’t mine, I mean we aren’t even the same species” Lance sighs.

“I see…” Allura nods sadly, she half expected this, but she was trying to be optimistic, hoping that Lance would be more open to caring for them when he saw them again.

“You should raise them” he says suddenly, looking directly at Allura.

“Wh- Lance, what?” Allura blinks in surprise.

“I know you already love them, Allura, I can see it. Plus, there’s no way they could come back to earth with me after all this, how would I explain two twin alien girls to my family, to anyone? And they’re Altean, they deserve to be raised as such, and to help you preserve your culture. You should raise them. I want you to have them” Lance says more firmly than he’s been able to decide on anything in months.

“Lance… I don’t know what to say” Allura says slowly.

“Do you love them?” Lance asks.

“...Yes, I do” she nods.

“Then say yes, Allura. This is your home, and it will be theirs as well.”

“...Yes. Yes, of course I will raise them. Thank you, Lance, you don’t know how much this means to me” Allura gives Lance the most warm and genuine smile he’s seen on her face in a long time before she shuffles closer to him so that their shoulders are touching. She bumps their foreheads together and closes her eyes for a moment before sitting back.

“Y-yeah, I mean… really I should be thanking you” Lance smiles.

“I am not the one who suffered greatly to bring life into the world, to give Altea another chance. I will be forever in your debt, Lance.”

“Heh, n-no problem” Lance smiles sheepishly, even though he still feels like Allura is the one doing him a favour.

Chapter Text

Allura had made it very clear, despite Lance’s original feelings towards the children and his decision in not wanting to be involved in raising them, that he was always welcome to see them whenever he wanted. Allura wasn’t going to try and take them away from him unless it was at his request, and they slowly became more used to being in each other’s presence.

The twins were very popular amongst the Paladins too, Coran had quickly fallen in love with them and would dote on them like the most caring grandfather. Always willing and ready to scoop them up and give them cuddles, change them, or let them pull at his moustache. Pidge was always there to pull faces at them and tickle their tummies to get them to smile, but she was always the first to disappear when diapers needed changing.

Even Keith had his turn at holding them, looking fairly terrified as he did, but eventually being coached through it by Shiro and Allura until he was confident holding them both. Shiro had seemingly taken to the role as co-parent to the twins, almost always being around Allura and taking care of the girls. There was rarely a moment where the four of them weren’t together.

Lance finds himself becoming more and more attached to the twins as well. The more he recovers and has time to get back to his old routine the easier it is to put the whole pregnancy behind him. The less he thinks about it the better.

He doesn’t regret giving them up either, not when he sees them everyday and he can watch how happy Allura is when she’s holding them, when she speaks to them and hums lullabies to them when she thinks no one is listening. He knows they both mean the world to Allura, and it makes him happy to know that despite everything, there was a home for the twins after all.

Lance had also taken steps towards getting back to his old self again. He’d spent the last few weeks working out and training to try and get his body back in shape. He’d been slowly noticing the changes too, his belly starting to shrink as the days went by, and despite how easy it was to move around now without the baby bump of inconvenience, his stamina and Paladin training had definitely taken some hard blows from his absence.

Keith was surprisingly helpful as well, always offering to spar or train with Lance to keep him on track. Lance had sort of expected him to just wipe the floor with him and gloat about it the first time they sparred, but instead Keith gave him advice on where he went wrong and what he was doing right. He helped to slowly show Lance the correct way to fight, but Keith never rushed him or made fun of him when he was tired or made mistakes, only ever helping him to improve.

Lance also started going on missions again, small ones at first, but he was never left behind anymore. If it was a team mission, then Lance was going. It was the weirdest sensation putting on his armour again after so long, but the Blue lion was comforting and safe. She made him feel strong again, always reminding him that he was meant to be here as part of the team.

Allura had also started to casually mention potential baby names to Lance, despite his indifference to the discussion. If Allura was going to raise them, she could name them. He’d been pretty unhelpful when she came to him with most suggestions, trying to distance himself from the topic as much as possible, but Allura had a glimmer in her eye today that he hadn’t seen before.

“Lance, I do believe I’ve finally decided what to call them!” she proclaimed happily.

“Oh yeah?” Lance says, giving her a quick nod, “Let’s hear it then.”

“I would like to name the eldest child Cora, and the second child Fala” Allura has a proud smile on her face, but she still anxiously awaits Lance’s approval despite what he’s said.

“Cora and Fala huh? Not bad, I can definitely see Altean princess for those names” Lance nods in approval.

“Really? I’m glad, I had thought about this for a while when I realized I could name them after two very important people” Allura says a little sheepishly.

“Who?” Lance says with a quirk of his brow.

“Coran and my mother, Queen Fala. I thought it would be important to honour the memory of my family, and Coran is the only family I have left now. Apart from everyone else of course” She says with a bright smile.

“That’s beautiful, Allura… I’m sure your mother would’ve been very proud of the woman you’ve become” Lance says, placing a hand on hers.

“Thank you, Lance” she smiles back to him, placing her other hand on top of his.

“Also, Coran is going to cry so hard when you tell him” Lance grins devilishly.

“Oh, I’m counting on it” she grins back.

--

“How’re you feeling today?” Hunk asks resting his head against Lance’s back while he scrolls through his tablet.

“You don’t have to ask me every day, Hunk” Lance says, but his mouth still curves into a small smile.

“But I want to know” Hunk says back, arms wrapped around Lance’s waist, which is something Lance is quietly proud that he can do that now. It reminds him of how much he’s managed to change recently.

“I’m fine, good actually. Coran says everything is healed up the way it should be, I’m making great steps to losing the baby weight, my overall health and stamina is improving, my diet is normal, and the uterus is starting to shrink back into its normal size” Lance reports with a nod. In the three short weeks after giving birth he’d had a few small check-ups with Coran to make sure that everything was back on track.

“That’s excellent, now what about you” Hunk says, emphasising the word ‘you’ with a poke to Lance’s back, “I want to know you’re okay emotionally too.”

“...I feel different? But like not in a forever way, I thought I would never be the same after this, but I think I might actually be able to feel like myself again after a while. Well, except for the scars… but, yeah, I feel good. Really good.”

“I’m so proud of you, Lance. You’re such an amazing person. I love you” Hunk says, peppering the side of Lance’s face and neck with kisses that make him giggle.

“Pfft, Hunk! Stop, that tickles!” Lance giggles as Hunk continues to squish his face into his neck, blowing a few raspberries for good measure.

There’s a sudden knock on the door that distracts them momentarily.

“It’s open!” Lance calls, watching the door slide open seconds later.

Allura and Shiro are standing there, each holding one of the twins. Shiro has a duffel bag slung over his shoulder. Allura’s brows are furrowed slightly as she walks into the room.

“I’m so sorry to ask you to do this so last minute. Shiro and I are required at a meeting for the Voltron Alliance in a few minutes and we need someone to watch the girls. Usually we’d ask Coran, but he’s coming with us today. I’m so sorry, do you think you could watch them? It’d only be for an hour or so” Allura pleads, she sounds nervous, maybe a touch stressed.

“Y-yeah, of course. No problem” Lance nods putting his tablet to the side, he feels Hunk sitting up behind him to focus.

“Oh, thank you! We will be fast I promise, the bag has everything they should need, diapers, formula, change of clothes. They just had a bottle recently, so they shouldn’t be hungry. If you could try to put them down for a nap, that would be perfect” Allura explains as she gently places Fala into Lance’s arms, and Shiro walks over to put Cora in Hunk’s arms before placing the bag onto the bed.

“We’ll try to be as fast as we can, but it shouldn’t be too long. You guys will be fine, right?” Shiro asks, rubbing the back of his finger over Cora’s cheek before standing up straight again.

“Of course, we will, not the first time I’ve had to babysit” Lance says confidently.

“Yeah, not a problem” Hunk nods.

“Oh, thank you so much! We’ll be back soon, good luck!” Allura says breathlessly before practically running out of the room with Shiro in tow.

“Well there go out plans for the afternoon” Lance jokes with a grin.

“We didn’t have any plans” Hunk smiles back, he shifts Cora in his arms to bring her closer to his face, “but now we get to hang out with you guys, yes we do! Yes, we do!”

“You enjoy this way too much” Lance smiles at Hunk’s babble to Cora, who excitedly brings her hands up to explore Hunk’s face.

“Because they’re so cute with their widdle toes! And tiny hands! Aren’t you!” Hunk coos back to the baby as she clumsily pats at his face and grabs his lips.

“Oh my god, I’m so glad we don’t have kids” Lance says, hoping that Hunk doesn’t make the obvious comment about where the twins came from.

“...Would you want to?” Hunk says carefully, avoiding Lance’s face.

“What?”

“...Would you want to… have kids one day? Like, is that something you want in the future?” Hunk asks, slowly lifting his head to look as Lance, who in turn looks away.

“Hunk…”

“I’m sorry, we don’t have to-”

“I’m not sure…” Lance says softly, staring at the Fala, “I always wanted a family, thought I would have one. It seemed pretty normal back in the day, and y’know my family isn’t a small one, so I always just assumed, but now… I’m not so sure… I still like kids, and wouldn’t mind having my own, but what happened… it changes things. I mean, we still don’t even know how this thing works really, could I even get pregnant again? Would I want to? Would they even be human? Even be mine? I just… there’s a lot of unanswered questions… and I don’t know if I’m ready for answers just yet.”

“No, that’s fine. It’s too soon to be asking that anyway… I’m sorry” Hunk says apologetically.

“It’s okay. I mean who knows, we still have to win this war before we can even go back home. I’m not ready to start thinking that far ahead yet.” Lance smiles, trying to lift the mood a little.

Fala writhes in Lance’s hold as her face scrunches and she starts to whine. Before long she’s crying loud and hard, tiny fists flailing. Lance rocks her gently, trying to shush her, but she continues to cry harder.

“What’s wrong, baby? Come on, don’t cry! Uncle Lance is here” he coos, swaying her gently. She hiccups before crying louder.

Cora is starting to frown at the sound of her sister’s crying, and Hunk looks between the two with worried eyes.

“No, no, please don’t cry. One of you crying is plenty” Hunk begs, bouncing her gently in his arms, “Time to be happy, let’s be happy!”

Fala continues to cry, so Lance lifts her to place her head upon his chest, just so she’s nestled under his chin, and wraps his arms around her, one hand supporting her head. He stands and starts to walk up and back in the room, bouncing as he walks and mumbling quietly to Fala.

“C’mon, sweetie. What’s wrong? You can’t be hungry, you just ate. Did Allura say she burped them?” Lance asks as he turns around and walks past Hunk again.

“I don’t know, she didn’t say. I would hope so?” Hunk says, supporting Cora in his own arms, trying to keep her from crying as well.

“Maybe they’re just tired?” Lance says with a confused face as he rubs the screaming baby’s back.

“Maybe? Allura did ask if we could put them to sleep” Hunk shrugs, looking just as confused.

“Shhh, it’s okay, Fala. You’re okay” Lance whispers close to her ear to try and calm her.

She continues to fuss, pushing her hands against his body and into her own face as she squirms. Lance keeps walking up and back, rubbing her back and whispering words to her. He whispers softly next to her, slowly getting her to quiet her cries until she’s just making the occasional whine and pushing her head against his chest.

“That’s it, time to sleep. Shhhh” he mumbles close to her, looking at her sad little face as her head droops against him and her eyelids close.

Cora is already fast asleep where she’s held to Hunk’s chest, small body rising and falling with his breathes. He’d leaned back against the headboard while Lance was pacing so he could rest her against his chest and try to get her to sleep.

“Finally” Lance sighs quietly, not daring to sit down yet as he continues to walk.

“Good work, you calmed the beast” Hunk smiles.

“Yeah, got quite the lion’s roar on her, hasn’t she?” Lance smiles back.

“Certainly does, I’m sure she’ll make a fine Paladin one day”

“Or a fine Princess” Lance says, which makes Hunk snort a laugh, “oh my god, do not tell Allura I said that, she’d kill me!”

“No, no, I’m sure screaming is definitely part of being a Princess. Especially crying” Hunk continues to snicker.

“Ugh, stop it. She only likes me ‘cause I accidentally saved her species, don’t give her reasons to be mean to me again” Lance groans, making a face.

“She doesn’t hate you, Lance. You’re like her favourite Paladin, apart from Shiro of course” Hunk says with a suggestive eyebrow wiggle.

“Right?! I can’t believe no one has said anything about those two totally becoming an item, I mean Shiro has pretty much moved into her room now” Lance says, excited to be discussing some Castle gossip.

“Oh, they’re totally dating, I mean at this stage the question is really how long have they been dating without us noticing.”

“Wait, you think they were dating before this happened?” Lance practically gasps.

“Well, I’m just saying you don’t decide to raise some kids with someone without knowing what you’re getting into beforehand, right?”

“Oh my god, they’ve totally been dating this whole time haven’t they…” Lance does gasp this time. “Should we ask them? Like to confirm it?”

“I don’t know… that’s not invasive is it? To their personal life?”

“Well, I mean Pidge literally yelled about us getting together when it happened, so I’m sure we can do better than that, right? One couple to another. Oh! We could go on double dates now!” Lance has to stop to shush Fala again as she squirms against his louder voice.

“Don’t wake her again, you’ll wake Cora too. And we are not going on double dates, that is a terrible idea” Hunk deadpans.

“Or a great one, think about it, fancy night out, go eat some weird alien cuisine, look at the stars” Lance says dreamily.

“That sounds lovely, but we haven’t even gone on a real date ourselves yet, why would we go with another couple?” Hunk frowns.

“...Holy shit-”

“-Language.”

“I can’t believe I didn’t realise we’ve never been on a real date. Hunk, date me!”

“I am dating you.”

“No, we need to go on a date! How have we not been on a date?” Lance says, looking utterly offended at the concept of not going on a date.

“Well, I mean a lot was going on when we started dating, also where would we even go? We’re in space.”

“I don’t know, fly the lions out to a nearby planet, have a romantic dinner and go lie under the star charts, get Pidge to rig up a projector and have alien movie night? I’m sure we could think of something” Lance nods confidently.

“Alright, we can go on a romantic space date then” Hunk smiles, which makes Lance bounce lightly where he stands.

“Yes! Oh, this is gunna be so much fun!” he says just as Fala grumbles against him, “Oh sorry, baby, go back to sleep.”

Finally, when she’s settled enough, and Lance can feel his legs tiring from walking he comes to sit down next to Hunk on the bed. He rests his head on Hunk’s shoulder, Fala still snuggled against his chest sleeping quietly while Cora naps against Hunk. It doesn’t take long for Lance’s eyes to start to close as well, but when the door to their room slides open again he blinks himself awake.

“Is everything okay? I hope we didn’t take too long” Allura says as she quickly steps into the room, stopping when she sees the four of them snuggled together in bed and smiles at them warmly.

“Yeah, everything went fine. Fala fussed for a little, but they both mostly just slept. Easy peasy” Lance’s yawns, standing up again to hand her to Allura.

“Thank goodness. Thank you so much for minding them on such short notice” Allura fusses.

“Really, don’t worry about it. I mean we all live in the Castle together, it’s the least we can do to help out” Hunk smiles, standing to hand Cora back to Shiro as well.

“And we appreciate everything you do to help” Allura smiles, rubbing Fala’s back as she pulls the still sleeping baby against her chest, “really, thank you.”

“Anytime” Lance smiles with a nod.

Allura and Shiro nod as they carry the twins out of the room and the door closes behind them. Lance and Hunk deflate a little bit, sitting back on the bed with a sigh.

“...They’re totally dating” Lance says, and they both laugh falling back onto the bed.

Chapter Text

“Well, until the citizens of Uavvolt can come to an agreement, there’s little that we can do to persuade them. They’ve seen what Voltron is capable of, it’s up to them now to decide if they will help us or not” Allura says sternly from the helm of the Castleship.

“So, what are we gunna just wait around here and do nothing until they decide?” Keith frowns, arms folded over his chest.

“They have a varga to come to an agreement before we leave. I do not want to remain here if it is not necessary” Allura says with a nod. They had already spent far too long orbiting this planet trying to persuade the timid people of the planet to join the Voltron alliance. Negotiations had been tiring for everyone, you’d think most planets would be more willing to help end this war.

“Alright, until then there isn’t much we can do, so I guess everyone can relax. We’ll let you know when the Uavvolts give us an answer” Shiro says as well, Cora resting gently against his chest.

“Cool, time to chillax for a bit” Lance grins, flicking a gun-finger at Hunk and Pidge who grin back. Pidge had been so close to defeating the next boss on Killbot Phantasm One last time, and they were eager to try again.

“Actually, I don’t think we’ll have time for that” Coran says nervously, drawing everyone’s attention.

“What is it?” Allura asks.

“There are… intruders? At least the Castle is informing me of lifeforms in the ships hangar, and since everyone is present at the moment…” Coran says slowly.

“Paladins, prepare yourselves” Allura says sternly, rushing for the doors to head towards the hangar.

“Wait, Allura, we don’t know who’s even down there!” Shiro panics, stepping after her.

“And we never will if we don’t go find out” she says back firmly.

“We can’t bring the twins” he says, shifting Cora in his arms looking worried.

“And we won’t. Coran, I trust you’ll be fine with them for a moment” Allura looks at him for confirmation, still poised at the door ready to leave.

“Yes, of course. We’ll be fine up here, and I can still monitor what’s happening as well.”

“Then let’s go” Allura says, not checking to see if anyone is following her, “I won’t let anyone threaten this family.”

Shiro walks over to Coran and nestles Cora into one of the baby bouncers they’d moved into the Castle’s control room so that Allura and Shiro could still work while watching the twins. Fala was resting in a second one next to Cora already, napping peacefully. Shiro sighs gently before following after everyone else.

They all make down the hallways in silence, the only noise being the echoing of their footsteps through the spacious halls. They’re all tense with fear and a need to defend their friends, their family from any potential threat.

“How did they even get in without setting off the alarm?” Keith says nervously, stepping in sync behind Shiro.

“I don’t know, but if they didn’t set off the alarms then there was a reason why and I don’t like unannounced guests” Allura has a mean look on her face, like she’s ready to take down whoever is waiting in the bunker.

“They’d have to have some pretty good tech to get around the Castle’s security” Pidge thinks out loud, “the last time someone broke onto the ship it was Ulaz…”

They continue walking hastily down the halls until they arrive at the large doorway. Nothing seems immediately awry when they arrive at the hangar, but Allura stills slows her steps to near silence, walking carefully towards the door. It slides open when Allura presses against the control panel and they all prepare themselves for an attack.

The room is silent though. No Galra soldiers come bursting through the door, no blasts fire off. It’s just quiet. They step forward to peer into the room to find three small green aliens standing patiently at the back of the room.

“We had hoped you were coming” one of them announces in a tone deeper than expected from their small stature.

“You…” Lance seethes at the sight of them, “what the FUCK are you doing here!?”

Everyone turns to Lance in a combination of surprise and confusion.

“Do you know these creatures?” Allura asks curiously.

“These are the fuckers who abducted me!” Lance yells furiously, hand reaching for his Bayard, “and they better have a good fucking excuse for being here again if they don’t want to get blasted into space!”

At the knowledge of who the aliens were reaches everyone they all take on angrier, more defensive stances, ready to fight if necessary.

“Please, we did not come here to create conflict” another alien says, voice lighter this time. They put their long three-fingered hand up in a sign of peace.

“Why the hell should I listen to anything you have to say! Clearly you never listened to what I wanted!” Lance shrieks at them, taking a few brave steps forward.

“We never meant you any offense, we merely hoped to be able to provide a gift to-”

“A gift!? You think what you did to me was a gift!? I nearly died!” Lance is furious, he’d been working so hard over the past month to bury this whole situation. To forget he was ever abducted and live his life as normally as possible. Now these monsters have showed up again.

“We had no intention of harming you either, it was merely a side effect of the accelerated pregnancy-”

“That you forced upon me! How can you say you had no intention of harming me if you knew there was a chance it would!”

“Please let us explain. We promise we never meant you harm” one of the aliens pleads.

“Why should I-” Lance just about screams before Allura steps in.

“Wait, this may be an opportunity to finally find some answers. I know you do not want to have this discussion with them, I’m not particularly fond of the idea either, but this may be our only chance” she says to him quietly, hand on his shoulder.

Lance huffs angrily for a second, face utterly contorted with rage before yielding. “Fine, I’ll give you the courtesy you never let me have. Explain yourselves.”

“...Thank you. When we had learned that the Princess of Altea was still alive and was starting a fight against the Galra, we knew that we had to assist her. Our species is not one for weapons or war, but we have made great advancements in studying biology and genetics. We have a vast library of documented specimens from species all over the universe. Many deca-phoebs ago, before the Princess was born, our species met with King Alfor-”

“My father, why?” Allura interrupts disbelievingly.

“It was a purely political meeting, but through explaining our research we were able to obtain a specimen of his DNA which we’ve stored for many deca-phoebs. When we heard the news of Altea being destroyed, we were devastated. We knew we could not waste the DNA we had secured of his, in case there was ever a way we could somehow restore the Altean lineage. Then when we heard the Princess had survived we knew we could give her a gift!”

“...a gift” she breathes, shock taking over.

“Yes. We of course did not want to inconvenience the Princess herself, and we knew there would be complications since the DNA is that of your fathers, but we had heard that the princess’s concubine was quite a familiar person who was seemingly open to even strangers. We had thought that he would happily agree to carry the future generation of Alteans for his Princess.”

“The Princess’s what?! Y-you thought I was what? Her whore!?” Lance screams again, physically being held back by Hunk, whose own face is darkened with rage, “You fucking kidnapped me and knocked me up because you thought I was a slut!?”

“We meant no disrespect-”

“Oh! There’s plenty of disrespect right now!”

“...you’re telling me that you used the DNA of my father to create Altean children…” Allura says, eyes full of sadness and confusion.

“Yes, genetically speaking the child born of the pregnancy would be your sibling. We tried our best to preserve the sample we had collected so that little modification would be necessary to make it viable.”

“Oh, my fucking god” Lance says eyes wide with disbelief, he can’t fucking handle this right now. He didn’t need to know that information ever. He feels more violated than he ever has.

“...Your actions are a disgusting reflection on who you are as a species” Allura spits at them angrily, her head tilts back so she’s looking down her nose at them with as much respect as she feels they deserve.

“Princess?” the alien says showing their first small sign of regret since they started spouting off their story.

“Not only have you hurt my friend, withheld information, ignored the basic rights of everyone involved, and disrespected my family, but you have also put one of the Paladins and Voltron itself at great risk. Forcefully bringing the lives of two innocent children into the forefront of a war is both neglectful and selfish of you. You should be disgusted with yourselves.”

“We humbly apologize, Princess… Did you happen to say two lives?” the alien picks up curiously, no longer sounding regretful at all.

“You will not see the children under any circumstances, I’ll stop you with force if you even try” Shiro says darkly, not moving from his spot behind Allura were he’s glaring angrily at the aliens.

“We do not wish to see them, we merely want to know how successful we were. We had implanted several fertilized eggs within the womb, but we were not sure how many would take. It is valuable information to know that two took.”

“Y-you what?! You mean there could have been more!?” Lance shrieks as his face pales.

“We were unsure of how well a human womb would handle an Altean pregnancy, especially an accelerated one. We had to ensure that this was not a wasted effort. Even developing the organ from your own DNA was an effort we did not want to waste. We hope that you find use of it from now on” the alien bows its head slightly towards him.

“What use!? Why would I need a- a fucking womb! Jesus Christ, what’s wrong with you!”

“We imagined that if you wanted to continue to carry children in the future, there would be little use for you to have a temporary womb, one that was constructed from your DNA would not only be more stable, but also valuable for future uses as well.”

“You aren’t ever fucking touching me again! Don’t even try!” He hisses, brandishing his Bayard in front of him threateningly.

“No, not for our own purposes. The womb is the gift for yourself, it is yours to do as you wish with.”

“I didn’t ask for one in the first place!”

“As we’ve come to understand. We apologize for the inconvenience” the alien says coldly.

“Fucking hell! Allura, are we done with these monsters! I never want to see their disgusting faces again...” Lance growls at them, hand clenching around his Bayard again.

“Yes, I believe we’re done here. Now if you’d please kindly get the fuck off my ship and never come anywhere near us again, we may give you the honour of not leaving you stranded in the middle of space with no ship” Allura threatens coolly.

The aliens tilt their heads curiously, but when Keith’s Bayard transforms they step back cautiously, exiting the hangar into their own craft. The Paladins all quietly watch the ship depart with furious looks on their faces. Finally, when the ship is well gone from view everyone’s shoulders relax a little.

Lance lets out a frustrated scream as he drops his head hard against Hunk’s shoulder.

“What the FUCK!” he screams again, throat tight with emotion.

“Lance, I- I’m so sorry. This is my fault. I can’t believe someone would do this to you because of me, I’m so sorry, I can’t- I’m-” Allura’s hand comes to cover her mouth as her eyes wet with tears.

The room stays quiet, only the sound of laboured breathing and quiet sobs can be heard in the emptiness. Everyone’s faces are dark with emotion, staring at anything but each other. No one wants to believe what just happened actually happened. Things had been going so well recently and now it felt like everything has just crumbled around them.

“...I- I think we all need some time to process this… If you need to talk to someone, I’m always here” Shiro says slowly, trying to figure out what the right step is as leader.

Everyone just nods silently, except for Lance. Lance turns on his heel and walks out of the room without saying a word. Hunk looks worriedly after him before following behind him. No one makes an attempt to stop him.

“This is my fault…” Allura says quietly, tears sliding down her cheeks.

“Allura, no. You can’t blame yourself for something you had no control over. Those- those monsters made their decision alone, you aren’t responsible for their actions” Shiro says, turning to face Allura.

“How else am I meant to feel?! It shouldn’t have been him! It should have never been his burden to bare…” she sobs, hand coming back up to cover her face.

“I know, it shouldn’t have been, but you're not the one that forced this on him. We were all too late to stop this from happening… We failed him, as a team. We couldn’t protect him from outside threats and it's caused him tremendous amounts of pain, but dwelling on our regrets doesn’t help him now. We have to be there for him when he needs us, we have to do whatever it takes to make him feel normal again” Shiro says firmly, hand squeezing Allura’s shoulder.

She nods weakly, breath still coming in hitches. Keith and Pidge have remained silent behind them, unable to do anything in the moment.

“We also have to be here for Cora and Fala, we can’t let what’s happened change our opinion of them. We decided we were going to take care of them, and we will.”

“...Alright” Allura says softly, “We have to find a way to move on from this. To find peace again.”

“Exactly. We have to stick together now.”

Chapter Text

The walk back to the control room is a hard and silent one. Keith had left in a huff to go presumably break some things in the training deck. Shiro almost wanted to join him, but he knew that his team needed him more now than he needed to vent his own frustrations. That could wait.

Pidge had followed them only because she didn’t know where else to go. She trailed behind them quietly, head turned down to the floor looking just as sad and confused as everyone else. Allura sniffled beside Shiro as he walked, trying to stifle her own tears to appear more put together. No one expected her to be though, after what happened.

Coran is sitting with his head in his hands when they walk in. He jerks at the sound of the doors sliding open and his eyes quickly move to scan everyone's faces, his own dropping when he notices how few have returned. He turns again to stare at the floor again.

“...I heard everything” he sighs, sounding on the edge of tears himself.

“At least we do not have to explain it to you then…” Allura nods solemnly, “I do not know if I would even have the strength to.”

“They were crying… after you left they started crying…” Coran says with a shaking sigh, “Maybe they understood the situation more than we did…”

Allura can say nothing to that. She simply walks over to where the twins are still resting in their bouncers. They’re awake and alert, but neither of them look happy. Allura kneels before them, running her fingers gently across their cheeks before sighing deeply.

“Suddenly, I do not know how to feel about them…” She says sadly, “I still love them, but knowing that they are what remained of my father… knowing that this is some cruel gift from those creatures… I cannot help but regret this…”

“Regret what, Allura? Letting them live? Giving your family the chance to continue, your species?” Shiro says, emotion winding through his chest and gripping his lungs.

“...I don’t know” she whimpers, unsure of how to fully understand her own feelings at the moment.

“This is not the time to regret, we have to stick to our values. The girls are a product of something horrible, but they are not responsible for it and neither are you! You cannot try to force the blame on yourself or on them just to make this easier to grasp!” Shiro continues, genuine anger starting to seep through the cracks. Allura turns towards him in shock at his tone.

“...I am not so sure that I can” her voice is tight as well, threatening to let out the sadness she’s holding back.

“You made a promise! Not just to Cora and Fala, but to Lance! You took that responsibility to raise them, are you really going to let those aliens- your own father- stop you from that?” Shiro says sternly, tone becoming harsh.

“I cannot so simply forget the wrongdoings that have happened to let them exist!” she shouts back, tears spilling down her cheeks again, “...I will not abandon them, but I can’t help but regret all that has happened in order for them to exist. It is my fault that Lance was taken. It is my fault that he was violated. I cannot forget that he has suffered on my behalf…”

“Allura…” Shiro says, face pulled into a sad scowl, “I-I’m sorry, take the time you need to make your peace.”

She says nothing, just turns back towards the twins and bows her head quietly. Shiro can see how her shoulders shake. Shiro can’t force her to forget this way of thinking, even if he wants to. He knows he has to leave to cool down himself before he tries to yell at her again for something she cannot help.

“...I’m going to check on Lance” Shiro says, turning to leave without listening to any protests that may come his way. He receives none.

--

“Lance, please let me in” Hunk begs, fists pressed against the locked door to their room, “I want to help you.”

“Then leave!” is the strained response shouted through the metal walls.

Lance had walked in silence, not making eye contact the whole way to his room before shutting and locking the door on Hunk who was just a few steps behind him. Hunk had been pressed to the door ever since pleading with Lance to open up.

“Please, Lance. I know you’re hurting right now, we all are. Just let me in and we can talk about this” he tries again. No response this time but a muffled sounding sob that nearly breaks his heart.

“I don’t want to see you” Lance says after a few minutes, and that does hit Hunk right in the chest. He almost stumbles away from the door at the words.

“W-why not? Lance, please!” Hunk worries harder, fists clenched tight against the door.

“Go away!” Lance’s voice shouts through the door, punctuated with a strained wail.

Hunk chokes out a strained noise of his own, forehead hitting the flat metal door with a thunk. He wants so desperately to help Lance and he doesn’t understand why he’s shutting him out like this. He doesn’t want to leave him alone, fearing how much worse Lance might get without someone nearby. He just has to be there for him.

“Hunk, what’s going on?” Shiro asks, startling Hunk as he approaches him.

“Oh, uh...” Hunk frowns, leaning away from the door to face him, “Lance… he won’t let me in, says he doesn’t want to see me…”

Shiro looks between Hunk and the door, why would Lance lock Hunk out? Shiro knows he must be taking this worse than everyone else, obviously, but he didn’t expect him to shut out Hunk. There has to be a reason.

“...How about you go talk to Pidge, she’s probably feeling pretty lost right now. I’ll try talking to Lance” Shiro says, giving Hunk’s shoulder a squeeze.

“B-but- I can’t just leave him!” Hunk protests, fear evident in his eyes.

“I know, and you aren’t. He just needs some time first” Shiro says firmly, “Let me try talk to him, you’ve done all you can for now. Take some time for yourself, I know this is hurting you too.”

Hunk looks at the floor, face scrunched in anguish, he looks so desperately like he wants to cry and scream all at once. He’s holding himself back to be there for Lance, and as much as he has been an incredible support for him, he has his own limits. Shiro squeezes his shoulder again, encouraging him to lift his head.

“Go, take the time you need for yourself. I’ll make sure Lance is okay, and when he’s ready you can come back to him.”

Hunk nods, slowly, but he finally concedes. He gives the door a final sad glance before walking away from the dorms, feet dragging sluggishly. Shiro steps up to the door when he knows Hunk has actually left and isn’t just waiting around the corner for Lance to change his mind. He knocks against the metal a few times.

“Lance, it’s me, can I come in?” Shiro says gently.

“...What do you want, Shiro?” Lance’s muffled voice says through the wall.

“I just want to make sure you’re okay, maybe talk a little if you’re up for it” Shiro says in a calm voice, “You don’t have to, but I’d like it if you would let me come in.”

There’s a long silence that makes Shiro think Lance is ignoring him, refusing to talk just like he was doing to Hunk. Then the door slides open and Lance is standing at the door with his head bowed. He slowly raises his head to look at Shiro, looking around to check that no one else is behind him. Shiro’s eyebrows curve up at the sight of Lance’s face.

He looks like a terrified child, face wrinkled in distraught and streaked in tears. His shoulders are slumped, and he has one arm wrapped around his cowering figure. His chest is visibly rising and falling with his breathes and it upsets Shiro to see him so beaten down. He wants desperately to hold him and to tell him it will be alright, but he’s not sure he’d believe him right now.

“Lance…” is all he can say, sighing sadly at the sight of him.

Lance just turns again to walk further into the room, silently allowing Shiro to follow him, which he does. Lance climbs into his bed and pulls the covers around him, Shiro guesses that’s probably how he was before he came into the room.

“...If you have to say something then say it already” Lance mumbles from under the covers.

“I- I’m worried about you. What just happened… I mean even I’m struggling to deal with that information myself, I can’t imagine how hard it was for you to hear…” Shiro says, sitting down on the edge of the bed.

Lance doesn’t say anything; the blankets barely shift where Lance hides under them.

“Talk to me, Lance. Why did you lock Hunk out?” Shiro tries to start a little easier, hoping that he isn’t prying too hard.

“...How the hell can I face him now?” Lance mumbles.

“What do you mean?” Shiro says, eyebrows furrowing in confusion.

“H-how can I face him… when this is my fault…” his voice is quieter that time, and Shiro can hear the tears in his voice, knows they’re running down his face now.

“Oh, Lance, no. No, none of this is your fault. Not even close!” Shiro says, hand quickly moving to rest on the mound of blankets that flinches at the touch. Shiro is angry down to his very soul that Lance is thinking this way, but he knows it’s not Lance’s fault.

“It- it must be!” he sniffles, “I mean it’s ‘cause I flirt with people that they picked me, r-right!? So, it’s my fault!”

“Lance, don’t you ever think that way! Regardless of how you act around others, it was those monsters that did this and it was something they never should have done based on information they’d heard from second-hand rumours! You’re so much more than that, Lance, and this was not your fault.”

“B-but what if it was! How can I be taken seriously as a Paladin if this is what people think of me! That I’m- I’m some kind of w-whore! That I wanted to get pregnant! Would be happy to! That’s what they said!!” Lance cries hard, flipping the covers off him to look at Shiro. His face is a mess of harsh sobs and frustration.

“L-Lance…” is all Shiro can say to his outburst.

“How can I face Hunk like that… knowing what they think of me…” Lance says, quieter now as his head folds down towards his chest, shoulders shaking.

“He loves you Lance, Hunk loves you so much. We all do. He would never leave you over something like that, in fact he wants to be here for you even more. You know him, Lance, better than any of us. Do you really think he would leave you because of something some alien said about you?” Shiro says, gripping Lance’s hand in his own.

“...N-no…” Lance whimpers.

“Exactly. No one thinks of you like that, and we’ll make sure no one ever does again. Voltron is powerful, you are powerful, Lance. You’ll be remembered for your bravery and strength, your kindness to others will not be misconstrued by anyone as anything less than a show of what a good person you are” Shiro comforts him, turning to sit on the bed and face him, taking both of his hands.

Lance just sniffles and hiccups a breath, still staring down into his lap. Shiro waits for Lance to say something, to either confirm that he’s willing to believe Shiro, or to admit that he’s not okay and needs help. It takes several long minutes for Lance to speak again.

“It hurts… so much now…” Lance says, barely louder than a whisper.

“What does? Are you in pain?” Shiro worries, looking to see if Lance is physically injured anywhere, but there is obviously nothing to see.

“No- It hurts… to know that they were never meant to be mine” He says, and Shiro’s eyes widen at the confession. He’d never expected to hear that from Lance.

“W-what do you mean?” Shiro asks cautiously.

“I mean, it was so horrible being pregnant, not having the choice to get rid of it, it just made everything harder… but then I got to choose, I got to choose who raised them and it felt like I was in control again. After s-so long of having no control over my own god damn body, I finally got to make the decision to not raise them, but…”

He stops to take a few shaking breaths, fingers tightening around Shiro’s.

“But now it feels like that was all a lie… They were never mine in the first place, they were always meant to be Allura’s. A-and I just gave them to her, just like they wanted me to? Did I ever even have a choice? Was it all some kind of set up? Was I ever in control of my own decisions?!” Lance sobs out, biting his lip when he stops. “...Is that why I couldn’t love them?”

Shiro can’t help the tears that slide down his face now, watching Lance open up his feelings to Shiro in such a raw way has just floored him completely.

“I-is it alright if I hug you?” Shiro asks, not wanting to overwhelm Lance if he’s not ready for physical contact, but there’s a nod there that gives Shiro the go ahead.

Shiro pulls Lance to his chest and holds him there tightly, both of them wheeze out a breath at the contact. Lance’s hands cling to the fabric of Shiro’s vest, fingers digging in hard as his shoulders shake and he sobs against Shiro. Shiro quietly holds him, arms wrapped around him as he whispers quiet apologies and comforting words.

“That decision was yours, Lance. You could have made any choice you wanted, but you made the choice you thought was best for everyone. I hope you don’t regret your choice, but it was yours. No one else could make that decision for you, not even those creatures” Shiro says, trying to sound confident through his own tears.

“H-how do you do it, Shiro?” Lance cries against his shoulder.

“Do what?” Shiro asks quietly, hand petting down Lance’s back.

“Act like everything is okay even though the Galra did terrible things to you… how do you pretend like everything is normal?” Lance’s voice is shaky through the tears.

“...Some days are better than others. Sometimes I wake up screaming, thinking I’m still there, and sometimes I wake up remembering the days at the Garrison, like before it ever happened” Shiro admits, “I’m not sure if it will ever go away, but I always rely on my friends to be there for me when I need them. They help remind me that I’m more than what happened to me, that I’m not just the Galra prisoner I once was.”

“...That sounds like an oversimplification” Lance mumbles.

“Heh, yeah. It is, but it’s still the truth that I rely on the people that love me to help me through those bad days. We’ll always be there for you to help you through yours as well, don’t forget that” Shiro says, giving Lance another squeeze.

“...It’s so hard pretending you’re okay when you aren’t” Lance sighs.

“Then don’t pretend, it’s okay to not be okay. We’re here for you” Shiro says, hoping that Lance doesn’t try to shut anyone out again.

Chapter Text

Hunk’s heart felt heavy in his chest, so heavy that he could feel the weight of it dipping down into his stomach, making his whole body lethargic and slow. Tears overflowed from his eyes, and he didn’t bother to try and wipe them away as he walked the halls. He’s angry, he knows the feeling and it buries its way deep into his chest, but the overwhelming sadness he feels takes any of the energy he could fuel into his anger and turns it into frustrated tears that spill from his eyes.

He drags his feet as he walks, not looking where he’s going just staring at the floor aimlessly. He knows Shiro gave him a task, find Pidge, make sure she’s okay, but he still feels lost. He feels like he’s lost something, maybe it feels like he’s lost Lance, but he knows there’s something that was ripped out of him just recently. How are you supposed to find someone when you’re already lost?

Hunk doesn’t notice when he walks past Pidge’s small form sitting with her arms wrapped around her knees against the wall. He only stops when she raises her head and calls to him questioningly.

“Hunk? What are you doing?”

He turns slowly to find her on the ground before turning and taking the few small steps it takes for him to be beside her before sliding down the wall onto the floor.

“Shiro asked me to find you…” He sighs, he tries to smile at her a little, but it doesn’t work, “found you.”

“...Why aren’t you with Lance?” she asks carefully, sensing that this is probably related to why Hunk is wandering the halls like a lost child.

“H-he’s really upset right now… and he doesn’t want to talk to me” Hunk says bravely, trying to keep his voice even, “Shiro’s with him now.”

“Oh…” Pidge says, not really sure of what else to say, “sorry.”

Hunk gives a single nod. The two remain there as still as statues, unsure of what to say or how to act given the circumstances. Pidge’s mind is running through all the facts of the situation, trying to understand as much of it as she can. The more she pieces information together, the more upset she becomes, leaving her in a huddle on the ground wishing she’d never known any of this.

“...We really don’t know anything about space, do we?” she says quietly, head tilted up to the ceiling as if she could see the stars through it.

“What?” Hunk sniffles, giving her a confused look.

“Like, we’ve spent years studying space on earth and we hadn’t even proved that aliens existed. Then all of a sudden, we’re in an alien spaceship, flying robot lions, travelling to thousands of different populated planets every day! We knew nothing! We know nothing! Even living here for so many months we still don’t know enough, and now it’s even more dangerous for us to be!” Pidge sounds panicked, like this has been spinning circles in her brain for hours and is finally all tumbling out in a very paranoid fashion.

“Pidge, what-”

“Lance was kidnapped and experimented on just because some aliens misinterpreted the way humans interact with others. It wasn’t his fault and he never meant anything bad of his actions, but just because of how he acts around others someone did something horrible to him. Think of all the times you’ve spent with different species since we came here, now think about how any one of those scenarios could have been misinterpreted because we don’t know enough about space!”

Pidge’s eyes are wide as she rambles, fingers digging into the fabric of her sleeves and into her skin, pinching painfully. Hunk can tell she’s been thinking about this for a while.

“It literally could have been any one of us. At any moment one of us could have said something or done something and that would have been all it took for someone to justify doing something horrible to us! We didn’t even know! How could we have known! How are we supposed to defend the universe if we can’t even defend ourselves!”

Hunk is shocked, he can’t think of any piece of information he could offer to Pidge right now that would either calm her or imply that they’ll be okay in the future. She’s right, everything she’s said is right. They know nothing about where they are of the people they meet every day, and it’s finally proven itself life-threatening to them.

Hunk knows that Lance will probably never act like his old goofy self to new people now, he will never playfully flirt or joke with strangers because the fear of what happened will be buried deep inside him. This is why he was chosen, this is why he was violated, because he wanted to make people smile. That was his crime that received him this supposed ‘gift’. This violation of his body and soul.

Pidge buries her head in her arms that are folded over her knees. Her shoulders droop with the massive sigh she lets out.

“How did everything get so fucked up?” she mumbles.

Hunk knows Shiro would want to reprimand her for swearing, but really, he can’t blame her at the moment. Everything is very fucked up.

Hunk’s arm winds around Pidge’s shoulder and pulls her against his chest, hugging her tight. Pidge almost tells Hunk that she’s fine, she doesn’t need a hug until she hears his gasping breaths and feels his body shaking. She might not need a hug, but he does. Pidge wriggles her arms free, so she can wrap them around Hunk as well, hugging him back.

--

“It’s alright, sweetie, there there” Allura tries to comfort the crying infant pressed to her chest, “It’s okay, shh.”

Allura is rocking Fala as she steps, trying to calm the poor child while Coran walks the opposite way trying to calm Cora, who is also crying. It hadn’t taken them long to get restless and start fussing, and when one cried they both cried.

“Yes, I know. You aren’t the only who wants to cry right now” Coran says, bouncing Cora as he walks.

“I don’t know what they need, they’ve been crying for ages and nothing is wrong” Allura says, her voice strains in the frustration and sadness of one who has strung their emotions out for too long under stress.

“They’re probably just upset, Allura. Even if they are young, infants are still very perceptive when it comes to emotions. They understand that other people are upset, so now they are upset too” Coran explains.

As much as it makes sense that the strong emotions everyone is feeling right now would have an effect on two smallest members of the team, Allura so wished that they would not cry right now. She was still trying her hardest to come to terms with everything that had just happened and now she had to push all those worries aside to tend to Fala’s crying.

Allura knew she had her responsibility, as both leader and as one of the last Alteans left alive, to take care of her team and her children. But that didn’t change the fact that there was a confusing feeling of loss that had buried its way into her chest. It was never acknowledged, but now that she looks at the two girls she can see the similarities not only to her own image, but her father’s.

It was easy to attribute their skin tone to Lance’s before, but it seemed to make so much more sense now comparing the shade to her own. Their soft colourless hair that seemed to grow longer everyday never got darker like Shiro guessed it might, always remaining the same pale colour. Their round eyes always shone the brightest shades of blue whenever they looked around curiously. It made her heartache to see them in the image of her father, to know that they are her sisters when she feels like a mother to them. Allura gently smoothed her fingers over the soft locks as she held Fala’s head to her body, hoping that she could will her heart to overcome this strange feeling.

She wouldn’t have noticed the sound of footsteps by the door if she hadn’t turned at the same moment to pace that direction while bouncing Fala. She paused her walking, but still continued to sway, when her eyes made contact with Keith who was standing in the doorway looking around in confusion.

“Keith, is there something you need?” Allura asks, voice raised slightly over the sound of wailing. Coran turns as well to see him there.

Keith jerks a little, as if he wasn’t expecting to be noticed standing in the middle of the doorway.

“No- uh, I just- I thought Shiro was in here” he explains quickly, trying to stand taller in the eyes of Allura.

“He left a while ago to go see how Lance was doing. I don’t know if they would want to be disturbed if they are still talking…” Allura sighs gently.

“Right…” Keith nods, his plans clearly ruined by the missing presence of Shiro who had always been Keith’s go to when his emotions ran wild.

“You are not obliged to stay here of course, Cora and Fala are quite upset at the moment and I understand if there are other places you’d rather be” Allura says again, she isn’t going to try force Keith to stay if he has no need or want to be here.

“...You look like you could use the extra set of hands” Keith offers, walking into the room to relieve Allura of Fala’s small body, pulling her into his own hold.

Allura is surprised at Keith’s actions, he’d become more confident around the girls and would even offer to help hold them and take care of them every so often. Keith had never grown up around siblings or younger cousins, so he had very little experience with children, but surprisingly he seemed interested in the girls and would often quietly watch them. It was like he had never seen an infant interact with others and their behaviour intrigued him, which made sense since he really hadn’t spent much time with kids before now.

He was still nervous and unsure, but he didn’t panic now holding Fala as she cried like he did the first time one of the twins started crying in his hold. He’d looked to Shiro and Allura with such fear in his eyes, like he believed it was his fault she was crying. Now he held her close to him and gently mimicked Allura’s swaying motion as he gently rubbed her back. It made Allura proud to see him act so calm and caring towards the twins, like maybe they helped bring him some peace as well.

“...I never knew my mother, and my father… he wasn’t around much when I was younger” Keith admits quietly, face turned down to look at Fala, “It seems like a happy family is hard to come by during this war...and I don’t know how you’re feeling right now, not sure how anyone else is feeling either apart from terrible, but I know that having a family, being loved unconditionally by a group of people… it’s more important than feeling angry for what happened. Which probably sounds weird coming from me.”

There’s the slightest chance of a smile on Keith’s face when he looks up to Allura again. Allura can’t help the surprise on her face when he speaks.

“...When I learnt I was part Galra, I didn’t know what to do with myself. Suddenly I felt like I was the enemy, like it was my fault for being part Galra. I was angry at myself, at my parents, at the entire Galra empire for cursing me to be Galra, but eventually I had to accept that I knew myself better than that. That I knew I was so much more than just the combined genetics of my parents. I wasn’t just part Galra. And maybe it’s not the same as what you’re feeling right now, but I know what it feels like to blame yourself for being born who you were… and it’s not a good feeling.”

Both Allura and Coran can do nothing but quietly listen to Keith talk, even the twins crying is slowly becoming softer as he speaks.

“You’re probably just as angry as I am for what they did to Lance, they even brought your father into this… but isn’t it better for everyone if we don’t let what they said get in the way of what we’d already made together? we were actually happy before then, even Lance was happy with the twins. Are we really going to let some creeps ruin that for us? I mean, even you eventually accepted me as part Galra…”

“Keith…” Allura starts, but she doesn’t know what to say.

It makes sense when he says it like that, why should she let some strangers come in here and try to ruin the family she’d managed to find for herself, why should she let her emotions get in the way of what matters most. She had a better sense of duty than to just blindly hate, yet somehow, she’d forgotten that in the emotional whirlwind of today. Keith was right as well, she should have learned better by now that mistreating him for being Galra was a gross betrayal of friendship and that it had been much easier for her to put those feelings of hate for the Galra aside, so she could remember why Keith was important to her first, rather than mistreat him for something he could not change.

Why could she not simply do that for Cora and Fala. Why did her heart have to tug at her chest like someone was trying to pull it out? Regardless, she knew that Keith was right, there was no way she could so easily let those creatures try and rip apart the family she’d worked so hard to bring together after they’d already put so much hurt in their hearts.

“...You’re right. I have allowed myself to become fixated on the facts of the events rather than the outcomes. My concerns should not be so focused on the genetics of my daughters, but rather on ensuring that this team remains functional and supportive of each other. I must also ensure that Lance is not bearing the weight of this alone” Allura says firmly, lips pulled into a tight line that shows her determination, “Thank you, Keith. I’m sorry that I ever let my doubts get in the way of my ability to think rationally.”

“Don’t worry, we all succumb to our emotions every now and then. Even I had to go let out a good deal of anger before I could even start to sort my emotions out. I can’t imagine anyone else is taking this any better” Keith nods, Fala and Cora had finally calmed down while the conversation had dragged on, loud screams quieting into small whimpers and hiccups.

“I hate to interrupt, but I do believe the Uavvolt have made their decision. They are calling the Castle now, are we ready to receive their answer?” Coran says hesitantly, looking at the two standing there.

Allura nods, “Yes, I’m ready to speak with them. Patch them through, Coran.”

Allura straightens out her gown, wipes he cheeks gently in hopes of removing any evidence of her tears before she straightens her back and lifts her head to acknowledge the Uavvolt’s leader who appears on screen.

“Princess Allura, we’ve come to the decision to join the Voltron Alliance” the alien announces.

“Your support is most welcome, and Voltron will be at the service of your people whenever necessary” Allura says with a gracious tilt to her head. The Uavvolt leader’s none the wiser to the emotional turmoil that happened during their absence.

Chapter Text

Shiro’s arms had remained wrapped around Lance’s body, one hand slowly combing through his hair. They hadn’t moved since Shiro prompted the hug and Lance still clung to his shoulders and Shiro didn’t want to deny him the comfort he so clearly needed right now, so he held him still and didn’t let go.

Lance was honestly feeling very drained as well and would’ve probably fallen asleep right then and there, but he couldn’t help but want to stay with Shiro for a while longer. It wasn’t often Lance got to spend time with just Shiro, and the man was his hero. Any kind word, praise or piece of advice Shiro had ever given him had stuck with Lance, and he wanted to keep that feeling going for just a little longer.

“How you feeling there, Lance?” Shiro asks after a long stretch of silence. Lance hums at the question, trying to figure out where his emotions are so he can string together an answer.

“Better, I think?” he says quizzically, “I mean definitely not 100%, but I feel better after talking about it. Takes some of the weight off, y’know?”

“See, didn’t I tell you talking would help?” Shiro says with a smile, “It’s good to get those ideas out of your head and into the open, makes it easier to understand them and work through them with support.”

“Mm, I guess you’re right” Lance nods against Shiro’s shoulder.

“I also understand if you need to take a few days off, if you want more time to think about things” Shiro offers gently.

“...I don’t think I want to lie around and do nothing. I’m pretty sure I’ve had enough of that for a long time, I’d rather keep busy.”

“If that’s what you need, then that’s fine with me. Just don’t try burying your feelings with work, it won’t help.”

“I’ll make sure I vent all of my problems to everyone then” Lance says with a small smile, which seems like the first in today’s many long hours.

“That’s good, we’re always here to listen if you need us” Shiro says with his own smile warming his face.

Lance let’s his grip loosen and starts to unwind them from Shiro’s body, and Shiro mimics the movement pulling his own arms away from Lance. They sit across from each other again and smile. Lance rubs at his face with his sleeve, trying to wipe away the tears he feels have stuck on his cheeks. They both startle slightly when they hear Allura’s voice over the PA system.

“My apologies Paladins, but I feel it is necessary that we all have a meeting now to discuss recent events. If everyone could return to the control room as soon as possible that would be greatly appreciated.”

The voice ends curtly and Shiro turns his head back from where he was looking off at the wall to Lance’s face.

“If you’re not ready yet I can let them know, you can wait here if you want” Shiro says with a gentle touch to Lance’s arm.

“No, it’s okay. I want to be there” Lance says, head nodding like he’s already decided.

“You sure? You don’t have to force yourself if you aren’t ready” Shiro asks again, a little more questioningly this time. He doesn’t want Lance to have a breakdown in front of everyone if he’s trying to make himself ready before he is.

“Yeah, I’ll be okay… and I want to see Hunk...to apologize” Lance’s face winces when he thinks about how he’d treated Hunk before.

Hunk had never been anything but kind and caring to Lance all these years that they’ve known each other. He’s seen him at his worst and his best, and even if Lance knows that Hunk will forgive him for how he acted he still feels terrible for ever hurting him. He’ll never be able to live with himself if he can’t apologize to him.

“Of course. Let’s go then, don’t want to keep a Princess waiting” Shiro stands with a smile. He almost offers a hand to help Lance stand, but stops himself when he remembers how much Lance hates the gesture these days, even if it’s good willed.

Lance rises on his own and the two leave the room, heading back in the direction of the control room. Neither say much on the walk there. They’ve both said enough recently, and they know that Allura will definitely be prompting everyone to speak more about today’s events. There’s not much else to say apart from that.

Lance spots Hunk as they walk around the corner. He’s walking with Pidge close to his side with their arms wrapped around each other. Lance has to stop himself from yelling out to him in the hall, instead picking up his pace to walk towards him, Shiro just a few steps behind him. When he’s only a few metres away he does call out to him.

“Hunk” Lance says, voice tight again with the threat of tears. He continues walking as Hunk turns around wide eyed to look at him. Lance doesn’t give him the chance to say anything before his arms are wrapped around his neck and he’s burying his face into his shoulder.

“I’m so sorry, Hunk. I shouldn’t have locked you out before, I was just so scared. Please, I’m so sorry” Lance whimpers into Hunk’s soft body.

“Lance, you don’t need to apologize-” Hunk tries to say, but is quickly cut off.

“I do! Hunk, you’ve been there for me this whole time, and I just tried to shove you away without even thinking about how hurt you were as well. I’m sorry, I don’t want you to think I did that because I was upset with you” Lance says, arms tight around Hunk.

Shiro and Pidge have quietly continued walking down the hall to give the two some privacy, but they barely notice.

“I know, Lance. I don’t blame you, or myself, for how you reacted. I’m just sad I couldn’t be there to help you” Hunk says quietly.

“No, see that’s wrong! You are helping me, you’re always helping me! God, I must be the worst boyfriend in the world- in all of space! Because it feels like I’m always making you take care of me! You’re the only reason I’m still standing here after everything that’s happened, I wouldn’t have made it through any of this without you!”

“Lance, don’t be ridiculous-”

“I’m not! If it wasn’t for you I don’t think I would be able to even look at the twins! I know you’ll probably just say something flippant like you were just doing what you thought was best for me or whatever, but you seriously mean so much to me. I love you, Hunk. I love you so much, and I’m so sorry that I ever tried to push you away” Lance finally pulls his face away from the crook of Hunk’s neck to look him in the eyes.

“I love you, Lance. Nothing you do could ever make me stop loving you, you know that. I’ll always be there for you no matter what” Hunk says, face softening into a gentle smile.

Lance pulls himself up the extra few inches it takes him to press his lips to Hunk’s. Hunk jumps slightly at the sudden push of Lance’s lips against his own, but quickly melts into the kiss, hands on Lance’s waist pulling him closer.

“You’re literally the best person in the whole universe and I freaking love you. Seriously, you take such good care of me I’m never going to be able to repay you” Lance smiles warmly.

“No need to repay me, I mean what kind of boyfriend would I be if I didn’t help you through your pregnancy and emotional breakdowns” Hunk smiles sheepishly, hoping the teasing doesn’t poke any sore spots in Lance’s ego, but the smile he cracks is reassuring enough.

“Even when it’s aliens?” Lance laughs.

“Even when it’s aliens” Hunk nods in return, face beaming in a smile, “C’mon, shouldn’t keep everyone waiting on us.”

Lance nods his agreement and takes Hunk’s hand before walking the short distance down the hallway to the large metal doors everyone was waiting behind. It seemed like everyone had spread out into smaller groups to talk while they waited for the last members of the team to arrive.

Pidge and Shiro were leaning against the edge of one of the control tables speaking to each other softly, while Keith, Allura, Coran, and the twins were all standing not too far from them sharing small talk. Lance was only a little surprised to see one of the girls, Fala he was pretty sure judging by the green onesie she was sporting, nestled against Keith’s chest as he gently bounced her where he stood. Allura was holding Cora in her purple onesie, rubbing her back in small circles. The twins seemed to be pretty tired in their hold.

“Sorry we took so long” Hunk apologises, drawing the attention away from the small groups and towards the two of them as they approached.

“No problem, I’m glad you could join us” Allura smiles warmly at them when the step towards them.

Everyone settles in, more focused this time and leaving their previous conversations unfinished. Everyone looks eagerly towards Allura, knowing her to be both the reason for them meeting again today, as well as the predominant leader of the group. She clears her throat softly before speaking.

“I know today has been… rough for everyone. I know that we’ve all needed our time to process the information and deal with it in our own personal ways, but now I believe it is important that we acknowledge today’s events as a team so that we can all understand each other’s feelings and help one another move on from today so we may continue to work effectively as a group” Allura says in a voice that makes it impossible to believe that she was having a near emotional breakdown only half a varga ago.

“Is everyone comfortable sharing their thoughts on today?” Shiro asks, only quickly glancing at Lance and then away, which makes him feel like it’s directed just at him. He puffs up his chest a little in response.

“I can do it” he says firmly, everyone looks at him for a moment before they nod their own agreeance to the question.

“Alright, good. Lance, would you like to tell us how you’re feeling?” Allura says hesitantly, and Lance isn’t surprised she asked him first.

Lance sighs deeply before speaking, “Well… I guess I’m alright? I mean, I’m alright now at least, before… not so much.”

“Might I ask what you were thinking about when the strange aliens spoke with us?” Allura asks, still speaking softly and carefully like it will somehow make the topic less hurtful.

“I was- I was furious, how could I be anything but furious? They spoke about everything like it was fucking normal, like they were telling us a list of chores they’d completed rather than confessing to having kidnapped and forcefully impregnating me. They were a bunch of emotionless bastards that didn’t even have the conscience to apologize for nearly killing me! For nearly ruining my whole life!” Lance’s voice picks up in volume as he speaks, the anger he’d forgotten building in his chest again. Part of him is cursing Allura for making him relive this feeling again, but he thinks she must have a point.

“And… and then I was sad… like really fucking sad, because now I knew why this happened and it felt like it was my fault. Like it was my fault for getting abducted and my fault for getting pregnant and my fault for- for not being able to raise the twins. I know it’s not now, but everything they said… it just made it seem like they wouldn’t have done it if I’d just acted differently…”

“This was never your fault” Keith says abruptly, drawing everyone’s attention to him.

“...I know, but it doesn’t change the fact that it happened” Lance nods solemnly, he understands that there wasn’t anything he could have done to prevent this, but it still hurts to think that something so small and unimportant ended up changing his entire life. If Slav was here he might throw out some crazy statistic about how many alternate realities have different outcomes. He still can’t change this reality though.

“Lance, I hope you know that no one here blames you for any of this, quite the opposite. We have seen what you have been through, we know this is nothing that you would have asked to experience if you’d had the choice. I know I have expressed my gratitude before, but I feel it is important again to remind you how grateful I am for what you have given us. You should never have suffered on anyone’s behalf, but I hope that Cora and Fala can help remind you of the good that can come from the bad, just like they do for me” Allura says, closing the distance between them slowly so she can stand in front of him. Again, she brings their foreheads together in a light touch that calms Lance for a moment and makes him shut his eyes at the feeling.

Allura turns with a gentle swoosh of her hair as she takes a calming breath. Lance can see Cora’s sleeping face resting quietly against her, and he can’t help the smile he feels when he sees her small body.

“Well, who’s next?” Allura says, searching the room with a soft smile.

--

“Guess who?” Lance sings out sweetly with his hands sliding over Hunk’s eyes.

Hunk lifts his head slightly as the smile grows on his face. He was sitting at his desk with a jumble of wires and tools strewn about in front of him.

“Um Jar Jar Binks?” Hunk teases with a laugh.

“Okay, first of all how dare you” Lance says pulling his hands away from Hunk’s face and using them to spin his chair around to face him, “and second of all, no.”

“Oh, Lance! What a surprise” Hunk grins again, mock surprise evident in his voice.

“A surprise indeed” Lance says with a wiggle of his eyebrow before putting on a terrible attempt at a posh accent, “Why, I believe your presence is required in the dining room now, good sir.”

“Is it now?” Hunk says back, mimicking the same terrible accent Lance is putting on, flourishing his hand accordingly, “My, whatever could it be?”

“Only one way to find out” Lance winks, taking Hunk’s hand before pulling him out of the room and leading him to the dining room.

“Okay, no seriously, what are you doing?” Hunk asks curiously while Lance walks down the hall with a determination Hunk hasn’t seen in a long while.

“That would defeat the whole purpose of a surprise, Hunk” Lance sighs as they continue, only a short distance from the dining room entrance.

Hunk is quiet for a little longer, lips pursed in thought about what Lance had been up to today that could warrant this supposed surprise. It wasn’t anyone’s birthday, Hunk had spent far too long working out space calendar differences with Pidge to forget anyone’s birthday. It wasn’t an anniversary yet, he’d been sure to add that one to the calendar too, since he knew it was important to Lance even if he would pretend it wasn’t. So, what was he doing?

“Ready?” Lance grins again when the stop in front of the doorway, he looks terribly excited with just a hint of nervousness.

“Well, as ready as I’ll ever be for something I know nothing about” Hunk shrugs in agreeance.

“Works for me!” Lance says before walking them through the door.

And wow. Hunk didn’t think the dining room could look so… not like the rest of the castle? The usual clean white everything was toned down by the lowered lights and the dark lengths of cloth that had been draped over the dining table. There’s even candles flickering in the centre of the table along with two places set with the nicest silverware in the Castle. Somehow Lance had managed to rearrange the large, simple dining hall into a seemingly intimate and romantic dinner.

“Lance, what is this?” Hunk asks, a little speechless and a whole lot surprised at the reveal, “and where did you find candles?”

“Remember how we talked about never having been on a date before? I thought now would be a good time to start. Also, Coran had the candles. I don’t know why...”

“You’re incredible” Hunk says in awe, taking in the room again.

“Yeah, I know, but let’s just hope my cooking is at least subpar, since I didn’t have your expertise this time to help” Lance says with a sheepish laugh.

He ushers Hunk into a chair while Hunk is trying to reassure Lance of his own cooking ability, he’d always been a great help in the kitchen. More so than anyone else in the Castle, so Hunk is pretty sure it’ll be fine.

Lance hurries off into the kitchen and there’s a few sounds of plates clinking and shuffling around before he’s walking back in with two plates in his hands.

“I didn’t make an entree because, well, we’re not that fancy. But there is dessert!” Lance says proudly placing the two plates down on the table.

The plate is a surprisingly warm coloured array of vegetables, rice and meat. Or at least as close as they can get to all of those things in space. It still smells really good though.

“I tried to make one of my mum’s old recipes, but y’know… with space food” Lance shrugs as he sits, “hopefully it still tastes alright.”

Hunk takes a deep breath in, enjoying the warm, spicy smell he can pick up from the plate. It’s definitely a comfort food, Hunk can tell. Something warm and filling, not overly complicated, but still delicious. He places a spoonful of it into his mouth and hums at the taste.

“Is it good?” Lance asks, biting his lip the tiniest bit as he waits for Hunk’s opinion.

“It’s delicious! I think this would even go really well with those weird brown nut things we found on that planet a while back. You’ll have to share the recipe with me!” Hunk says enthusiastically.

“Phew, that’s a relief” Lance sighs happily, digging into his own plate as well, “I’ll have to get my mum to cook it for us one day when we get home, hers is way, way, way better than mine. It also has real earth ingredients too.”

“That’d be awesome, maybe it should be her I ask to share recipes with, hm?”

“Hah, probably! She’d probably love it too, she always complains that she has so many children but none of us would cook meals, even though anytime someone tried to cook dinner she would always show up and start helping even when we told her to stop!” Lance laughs at the fond memory or his sister trying to cook dinner while his mother hovered around behind her watching her cut vegetables with a critical eye before his sister just sighed and moved over so she could take over. He wishes he could see her again.

“Well, she’s never had my amazing culinary skills at her disposal! I’m sure she’d be very impressed” Hunk says, wiggling his eyebrows and making faces at Lance who laughs at the expressions.

“Pft, I’m sure she would be! She’d probably think you’re the best son-in-law ever, better than her real sons even!”

“Oh, was that a proposal I heard?” Hunk teases.

“Wha- oh! Hah, I dunno, dude. Just seemed like the right thing to say I guess?” Lance shrugs.

“Well, you aren’t wrong…” Hunk smiles, and Lance may or may not be blushing slightly at the thought of introducing Hunk to his family proudly as his partner, maybe even husband one day. “I definitely will be a better son-in-law than her real sons” Hunk finishes off with a devilish smile.

“Ah! Hey, so rude!” Lance exclaims, but his face gives away his mock upset as nothing but teasing.

They talk and eat for ages, and once all the food is gone they still continue to talk. They talk about home and their families, the future, the past, everything and anything that comes up.

“Oh, I almost forgot!” Lance interrupts their current conversation finally, “There’s still more to the surprise!”

“Oh? It’s not like, another dessert, is it?” Hunk says curiously.

“Nope, completely different. C’mon” Lance says, pushing himself up from his chair and walking around the table.

Hunk is once again lead through the halls of the Castle with no clue what Lance is planning, but with more optimism this time.

Chapter Text

Hunk’s face tilts in confusion again when they arrive outside of their shared bedroom, what, are they going to take a nap together? Did Lance redecorate? He doesn’t get a chance to ask before Lance is walking through the door as it opens. Once again Hunk’s eyebrows raise up at the sight of the room, but for different reasons this time.

All the pillows and blankets usually placed on their bed in a semi-neat arrangement have now been dragged onto the floor and arranged into a pillow fort. It looks like Lance must have gone and raided some other rooms as well because there is a ludicrous number of pillows and blankets in their room right now, but it looks well-constructed. A castle among pillow forts.

“You made a pillow fort!?” Hunk says excitedly, turning to look at Lance face with a huge grin.

“Uh, duh! Just wait ‘til you see the inside of it!” Lance says, letting go of Hunk’s hand so he can crawl inside the fort.

Hunk crawls in just behind him and the inside is just as plush and comfortable as Hunk had expected it to be. It was also kinda dark in here, which made sense because it was a pillow fort, not a well-lit room, but oh well.

“Dude, nice! I haven’t been in a pillow fort since I was like eleven!” Hunk smiles, snuggling down into the pile of pillows.

“I know, me too!” Lance laughs, he turns around slightly as starts shuffling around for something, “and just to take this pillow fort to the next level… I borrowed something from Allura.”

He finds whatever it he was looking for with a warm smile on his face before turning and presenting the small dome shaped object to Hunk. He stares at it curiously, unsure of what it might be or what it might do, but Lance seems excited about it.

“What is it” Hunk is about to ask when light glows from the top of it and the inside of the pillow fort is suddenly full of stars. Hunk can’t hide his gasp of surprise when the little lights shine onto every surface and reflect constellations around them. Lance’s face is lit up by the object and Hunk thinks that he looks so beautiful right now.

“Allura said it was like a portable star chart, but it kinda seems more like one of those night lights to me” Lance chuckles softly.

“Wow… It’s really beautiful” Hunk sighs, looking all around him at the stars before returning to Lance’s face and seeing the tiny stars shine across his skin. “You’re really beautiful.”

Lance giggles nervously, “Dude stop, haha” but Hunk shuffles closer to him and lowers the star box from his hands to place it by them on the floor.

“You’re beautiful” Hunk says again, hand coming up to cup Lance’s cheek and rub his thumb against his skin, “So beautiful and wonderful and kind and perfect and amazing.”

Hunk is peppering Lance with little kisses to punctuate each word and Lance’s face is scrunched up in a smile as he reacts to the soft flutter of lips against skin.

“Oh my god, that is so gay of you” he laughs, and Hunk lets out a burst of laughter too.

“Oh shit, should I have said no homo?” Hunk laughs again.

“Nah, I like me some homo” Lance smiles, leaning forward to kiss Hunk properly this time.

“Queers!? In space! How dare you!” Hunk gasps overdramatically, making Lance’s shoulders shake with laughter, again.

“So stupid…” he chuckles, but he pulls himself so close to Hunk he’s practically sitting in his lap with his arms around his shoulders.

Hunk leans in and kisses Lance again, he can still taste the faint sweetness of their dessert on his lips. He pushes harder against Lance, opening his mouth against his and feeling their tongues press together. They move their lips against each other, only stopping every so often to gasp a small breath before pressing their lips together again. Lance’s hand grip tightly in the fabric of Hunk’s shirt.

“Hunk…” Lance gasps out when they’ve parted for a moment, “I want you- Let’s have sex.”

Hunk blinks for a moment, mostly surprised that Lance would be so very forward with his needs, but it is Lance. He can be pretty blunt.

“Y-you sure? I mean, like, are you comfortable with that?” Hunk asks with the smallest amount of nerves climbing into his chest, he doesn’t want to hurt Lance or freak him out, “L-like you’re all healed and stuff right, I’m not gunna hurt you?”

“Hunk, it’s been well over three months since I gave birth. Everything is fine, and I want this. I’ve been thinking about this for a while, and I want you, Hunk” Lance says, this time taking his hands to caress Hunk’s face.

“...I want you too, Lance” Hunk’s smile creeps back onto his face. He knows he wants Lance, always has, but he still remembers the blood and the screaming. He’s not entirely sure what to expect really, but he’s hoping for none of that.

“Then you should kiss me some more, I liked that.”

Hunk complies, pushing down against Lance. His hands are press against Lance’s back to support him as he leans forward to rest Lance against a pile of pillows on the floor. It’s been a while since Hunk got to see Lance laid out in front of him with his thighs open and resting on top of his own, but the image is still just as satisfying.

Their mouths lock again, even while hands clumsily fumble with zippers and buttons, trying to remove unnecessary clothing that’s in the way. They only break apart to breath and to shuffle out of the pants that are halfway down their legs. Hunk pulls his own shirt off, but stops before reaching for Lance’s.

“Is it… do you want to take your shirt off?” Hunk asks gently, pulling back closer to Lance to smooth his fingers through his hair. He can see Lance’s eyes turn down as he bites his lip in thought.

“...I don’t think you’d want me to take it off” Lance says, trying to brush it off as a joke, but Hunk can see the worry in his eyes.

“I won’t force you too, but if you’re comfortable, then I’d like to see you, all of you. I love everything about you” Hunk smiles, fingers still carding through Lance’s hair.

“Ugh, but I’m gross and have stretch marks and a flabby stomach, trust me it’s not great…” Lance groans.

“Dude, I have stretch marks and a flabby stomach too, y’know. I’m definitely not the one to lay judgement on you for that, and I mean at least you have a legitimate excuse for your stretch marks!” Hunk laughs.

Lance doesn’t say anything, just looks down again and worries his bottom lip between his teeth.

“It’s okay, you don’t have to” Hunk says softly, kissing at Lance’s face again.

“W-wait…” Lance says finally, he shuffles a little bit before pulling at the hem of his shirt and wriggling to pull it over his head.

“You sure?” Hunk asks, nervous that he might’ve pressured Lance into taking it off, but hopeful that he’s comfortable enough to be naked in front of him again.

“Yeah, I- I mean, I want to be okay with it. I don’t want to be scared of my own body forever…” Lance sighs again, shirt halfway up his body.

Hunk can feel a mix of emotions swirl in his chest, he’s proud that Lance wants to take those difficult steps forward to accept himself again, but he also feels a clench of frustration that his confidence was stripped back so far. He takes the hem of the shirt and helps to pull it up over Lance’s head and toss it to the side. He tries not to let his gaze linger, but he can’t help but take all of Lance in before burying his face against his neck, peppering kisses and nuzzling into the skin, making Lance giggle.

He doesn’t need to say anything, doesn’t know if anything he could say would even help. The scars Lance bares now will be there forever. He just wants to help Lance be okay with it, to love himself again.

Lance draws Hunk’s attention back with a warm palm sliding down his side to come and grope at his ass. Hunk startles slightly at the sudden pinch but laughs when he sees the playful grin on Lance’s face. His hand keeps exploring further until it ends up palming against Hunk’s crotch, rubbing against his hardening dick.

“Impatient, are we?” Hunk grins.

“I’ve had to wait over half a year to fuck you, so yeah. I’m a little impatient” Lance hums, hand still working against Hunk’s skin.

“Hopefully it’s worth the wait” Hunk says as his hands slide down Lance’s hips before lifting them up slightly to pull his body closer to his. The noise Lance makes at being manhandled is undoubtedly one of surprise and arousal.

Hunk starts to stroke Lance’s cock as well, slow movements and light touches only providing him with the faintest of stimulation. Lance keens in Hunk’s grip at the soft, feather light touches, squirming at the sensation of being touched but with not nearly enough pressure to be satisfying. He whines as his body shivers against a slow stroke to the tip of his penis.

Hands keep grabbing and stroking at each other’s bodies, speed and grip increasing with every breath between them until they’re both red in the face and panting at the touch. Lance feels Hunk’s other hand shift from where he was holding his thigh until it’s pushing below his penis and slide down to just touch at his opening. He’s hesitant to call it his vagina, the words don’t seem to click in his head even if he knows that’s what it is.

“I-is this okay?” Hunk asks, finger ever so lightly circling his entrance, they can both feel the slick, wet feeling against the skin. Hunk doesn’t say anything, but he can also feel the slight raise in the skin where his stitches once were. He tries not to press on it much, but Lance’s breath hitches when Hunk’s fingers slide right over the sensitive skin.

“Y-yeah” Lance says breathily, holding back a moan, “Want you to t-touch me…”

Hunk gives his dick another squeeze when he pushes his finger inside, Lance’s chest rising off the pillows slightly as he feels himself opening up. Oh fuck. He’s never felt something like that before. It doesn’t feel invasive like the first time he explored the opening, and it doesn’t hurt like when he was being forced open during labor. Surprisingly, it feels good, comforting even.

Hunk’s finger slides in and out experimentally, rubbing against the outside lips of the entrance before pushing back in again. He curls the finger forward, pushing it up against his walls while giving his cock another stroke. Lance lets out a shaking breath at the feeling, one of his hands is only barely managing to keep a clumsy rhythm around Hunk’s dick while the other is gripping at Hunk’s back desperately.

Hunk slides out again only to push two fingers in this time, thrusting them up again inside him with a rapid curve of his fingers. Lance had suddenly remembered how much larger Hunk’s hands were compared to his own, and he could definitely feel the difference now that two of his thick fingers were thrusting against something he didn’t even know could feel like that. A few good thrusts to the same spot and a thumb against the head of his dick had Lance’s back arching of the ground as he whined out long and hard.

“O-ohh, fuck- fu-ck” Lance chokes out as Hunk pushes his thumb and forefinger against the head of his dick, rubbing against the slit as his fingers move inside him. “H-Hunk, more. Please- w-want more” Lance whines with a few desperate thrusts of his hips that make Hunk smile. He loves seeing Lance like this.

Without saying anything Hunk pushes a third finger into Lance and this time he does shout out a moan when those three fingers push hard against his walls and the other hand gives his cock a few quick pumps.

“You’re so wet, Lance... Holy shit” Hunk breathes out, just appreciating the view. Lance looks so very good in front of him right now, thighs still spread wide open, hips stuttering with the need for more friction, more pleasure. Hunk can feel his own arousal pooling in his stomach, and his own dick is dripping already just waiting for a chance to press into Lance’s hot insides.

“F-fuck me already, I want it” Lance moans, turning his head back again to gaze up into Hunk’s eyes. Hunk feels the electricity run up and down his spine with those words, but first his nervous and fearful brain clicks in again, providing him the moment he needed to remember being responsible and safe.

“Wait, wait. Condom, we need-” and it was as though Lance had planned this whole evening out better than Hunk ever could. With a quick reach up behind him under some pillow his hand returns clasped around a bottle of lube and some condoms. All he does is wink before dropping them on the ground beside him.

Lance wriggles upright as much as he can, picking up a condom from the floor and tearing it open. “Let me” he says with a devilish curve of his smile as he slides it down Hunk’s erect cock, taking his time in smoothing it down before giving him a few thrusts. He squirts some lube on his hand before rubbing it up and down the cock, then smears whatever’s left over the fingers still stretching inside him.

“Fucking amazing” Hunk sighs breathily, quickly stealing Lance’s lips in a kiss.

He pulls his fingers out, which makes Lance gasp at the feeling of being empty, but he’s quickly lining his dick against his entrance.

“Can I?” he asks again, even though he knows what they both want.

“God, yes” Lance moans, “Please, Hunk. Need you.”

He doesn’t need any more than that to start pushing into Lance. Lance’s breath comes in fast hard breathes as he pushes in, suddenly feeling so tight and full. He really didn’t expect to feel that way considering he’s pushed two kids out, but still he can feel the tight stretch of his skin and the faint burn of something new inside him. He takes a deep shuddering breath when he feels Hunk bottoming out.

“W-wait, don’t- don’t move yet” he pants out.

“You okay?” Hunk asks, even though his breathing is laboured, and his cheeks are flushed too, “Do you want to stop?”

“N-no, you’re just- really big… gimme a second” Lance huffs, hips wiggling against him which only makes the blush grow hotter on Hunk’s face. Hunk can feel Lance’s walls clench around him a few times and his hips shift as he tries to become accustomed to the feeling of something inside him. The feeling alone has Hunk biting his lips.

It’s a few minutes before Lance’s face relaxes again and he gives a little nod, “O-okay, ready.”

Hunk starts slow, pulling out just enough before pushing back in. Lance is so tight and warm, he never imagined how good it would feel inside him. He sets up a rhythm of short thrusts, picking up speed as he goes. He tries to keep a good rhythm going, but with Lance’s fingers digging into his back and the stream of gasps and moans just flowing from his lips driving him mad he starts to jerk his hips faster against him.

Lance felt like he was going crazy, he’s drowning in thoughts like ‘how is it possible to feel this good’ and ‘oh god what has my body become’, but the majority of his thoughts are just a continuous stream of ‘oh fuck oh fuck oh fuck ohhh fuck!!’ which sums up his feelings pretty well. Lance doesn’t consider himself a virgin, especially after having had a few girlfriends and boyfriends through his teenage years, but this was definitely the first time he’d ever done this before and, holy shit, kinda understood why people talked this up so much now.

With the overwhelming feeling of pressure inside him being thrust into again and again with the rough, jerky pumps of his cock that only just matched the timing of Hunk’s thrust, Lance’s mind was slowly turning to mush. Hunk shifts Lance’s hips up higher again and this time when he pushes in he pushes right up into something that makes Lance gasp suddenly, it’s not a sudden overwhelming feeling of arousal, but it provides just the right amount of pressure inside him to make every other touch seem infinitely better.

“Ahhh! F-fuck, do that again” Lance breathes out, clawing at Hunk like he’s trying to pull him back into that spot again.

Hunk looks at him, mouth agape with heavy breathing and his own grunts and moans of pleasure. His lips curve just slightly into a lopsided smile before he angles his hips and thrusts in again, harder this time and pressing right into that spot again.

“O-ohhhhh!” Lance whines, eyebrows creasing and head dropping back against a pillow. Hunk keeps pushing into that spot again and again, hand squeezing the base of his dick at the same time. Lance’s is writhing and clenching underneath him, his eyelids are fluttering open and shut and his head is thrown back so hard against one of the pillows part of Hunk is worried he might hurt himself. Hunk doesn’t stop, he keeps pumping at Lance and thrusting into him, and with the way Lance keeps tightening around his dick he doesn’t think he’ll be able to last much longer.

But he doesn’t think Lance will either with the way he’s moaning so loud he’s sure someone must have heard them by now. Hunk must’ve hit a good rhythm with his thrusts because suddenly Lance is almost shouting out a moan, muscles tight around him. His toes clench and his nails dig into Hunk’s back. He feels so fucking good, so mind numbingly good he thinks he might die, like the second he cums his head it just going to short circuit itself and he’ll drop dead, but Hunk’s hips keep moving and his hand keeps rubbing him until Lance feels like the air is getting sucked out of his lungs and he’s sure he’s screaming when he orgasms.

Hunk is right behind him, and as soon as Lance’s head throws back and voice rings out in a scream he can feel how hard he clenches around him and how hot and wet he is. He couldn’t stop himself from cumming even if he wanted to. Lance’s arms finally drop from his back to lay limply beside his head as his whole-body heaves trying to take in the air it so desperately needs. Hunk feels the same, body losing all the adrenaline it just had with a wave of exhaustion and bliss washing over him.

“H-ho- holy shit-” Lance gasps out in between ragged breaths, “Th-that was- by far- the best orgasm- I’ve ever h-had.”

“Y-yep” Hunk nods, slowly pulling out of Lance. They both make a face when he’s out, then Hunk flops beside Lance tiredly. He only has the energy to turn his head to look at Lance, who does the same.

“Y’know… I think- that’s a change I can welcome” Lance says, face flushed and sweaty, but still somehow looking absolutely beautiful with his warm smile. Hunk returns the grin with his own breathy laughs as well.

After taking a moment to clean themselves up they return to the pillow fort and snuggle up into each other’s arms, listening to the slow rise and fall of each other’s breaths while they fall asleep, surrounding by the twinkling of constellations.

Chapter Text

“Each of the Gladiators will be targeting a member of the team. You won’t know which member is assigned to the gladiator you’re facing, but it is your duty to prevent them from getting past your defences and reaching their target. If they so much as touch their target, the paladin will immediately be removed from the fight, lowering your numbers. So, it is very important to work as a team and watch each other’s back. This may be a one on one fight scenario, but the emphasis is on protecting others and helping each other.”

Coran nods finally as he finishes his explanation for today’s training exercise. He’s currently standing in the command room above the hall, watching the Paladins as they stand together in their armour.

“Alright team, you heard the drill. Keep an eye on what’s happening around you, but don’t let the gladiator slip through your guard. You won’t know who their target is until it’s too late so act with caution” Shiro restates the information, ensuring that no one has an excuse for failing two seconds into the start of the exercise.

“Are we ready?” Coran’s voice calls out again.

“You alright, Lance?” Hunk whispers under his breath from where he’s standing next to him.

“I’m fine, stop asking” Lance mutters back quickly, trying to ignore Hunk’s concern and the low ache in his stomach. It had been bothering him all day, and he only mentioned it offhandedly to Hunk after breakfast, but now Hunk won’t leave him alone. Lance keeps catching him giving him concerned looks and it feels like every two minutes he asks him how he is. He’d find it very sweet if it wasn’t so annoying.

“Start training sequence” Shiro says firmly, turning his back and taking his stance as everyone does the same. Lance and Hunk snap back into focus, preparing for a fight. They stand back to back in a circle, waiting for the Gladiators arrival.

The gladiators drop from the roof suddenly, each one landing directly in front of the paladins. Their heads snap up and the single orb on their face lights up as the sequence starts. Lance is watching his gladiator steadily, Bayard already transformed in his hand to his rifle. He takes aim at the gladiator and decides that he may as well make the first move, but just as his finger squeezes the trigger the gladiator whips to the side in a disturbingly smooth fashion before swinging its head back towards him and dashing forward.

It startles Lance for a second before he starts shooting at the Gladiator again, just managing to nick it on the shoulder and thigh as it dodges his shots with eerie precision. Lance is a much better with a gun than he is at hand to hand, but at the Gladiator gains on him he has little choice but to intervene before it can attack anyone else, since he already knows it’s not aiming for him as it dashes forward.

When the gladiator is in reach Lance swings out with his Bayard hitting its head and knocking it onto the floor. It recovers all too quickly, pushing itself off the ground and ready to push past Lance before he quickly pulls his rifle up and shoots it clear in the chest knocking it back a few feet. He grins at the smoking dent he’s left in its chest and aims again to shoot before it can start moving again. His finger is just about to squeeze the trigger when he hears his name called behind him.

“Lance, duck!”

He turns in time to see another gladiator behind him, swinging right for his head. He just manages to avoid getting completely clobbered with a quiet ‘wow!’ as he ducks out the way. He feels the gladiator’s staff whoosh past his head as he moves. Once he’s done on the floor he rolls back and lifts his rifle to aim at the new gladiator that had snuck up on him, but he can see his gladiator is on the move again, heading straight for Pidge who’s trying to wrestle with her gladiator wrapped up in her Bayard.

He shifts his aim at his own gladiator as it gains on Pidge menacingly, taking the shot and hitting it right in the head before it can reach her. It’s body slumps to the floor before fading away in a mass of pixels. He blinks again, and suddenly the new gladiator is in front of him, arm stretched out ready to take his head off with how intensely it swings at him. All he can do is squeeze his eyes shut and pray that this doesn’t hurt too badly.

Nothing happens though, there is however the sound of a crash in front of him. He opens one eye to squint out in front of him, only finding Shiro standing in front of him, artificial hand glowing purple. The gladiator is on the floor for only a second before it too fades into pixels.

“Sorry, my bad” Shiro says with an apologetic grin before turning around to help the others fight their own gladiators.

Hunk is carefully trying to aim his Bayard, but with how closely Keith is fighting his gladiator, and how Pidge’s keeps moving around erratically trying to escape her Bayard’s wire, he isn’t able to provide much assistance. Shiro dashes over to Pidge to grab her gladiator and help take it down. Lance takes the opportunity to aim for Keith’s gladiator. He shoots it in the back, making it drop to its knees so that Keith can run his sword through it.

“You’re welcome” Lance grins when Keith looks over at him.

With all the gladiators taken care of they stand up and gather together again.

“Nice work team, everyone managed to handle themselves well there. Also, I’m sorry, Lance. That was my fault, the gladiator slipper past me. Nice job evading the attack on such short notice” Shiro says, he gives Lance’s shoulder a quick pat.

“No problem, I’m pretty fast anyway” Lance smiles with a wink.

Coran’s voice interrupts the conversation in a nagging tone, “I hope you weren’t planning on spending the rest of training talking like a herd of Krellians! The exercise isn’t complete yet, there are still several more rounds to go of increasing difficulties!”

“We were just discussing strategies!” Shiro calls back to Coran before turning back to the others, “Alright, you heard the man. Let’s do this!”

--

“Ughhh I’m so tired my arms feel like they’re gunna fall off” Lance sighs flopping onto the bed and sprawling his limbs out.

“Agreed” Hunk sighs as well, flopping down beside Lance and resting his head on his back.

Like Coran said, there had been several more rounds, each increasing in difficulty and by the end they were struggling to stay on their feet against the gladiators. At least now that training was over they could spend the rest of the day being lazy and doing nothing.

Lance let’s out a small annoyed groan when he feels the dull ache in his abdomen increase a little. They’d been annoying all through training, but at least they were easy to forget when he was so focused on not getting his ass kicked by a simulation. Now that his body was already tired and sore, it only made the pain more obvious.

“You okay? Stomach still hurting?” Hunk asks gently.

“Just a little. It’s nothing bad so don’t worry” Lance sighs again.

“Well, I am worried. I don’t think I need to remind you what happened last time you tried to tell me your cramps we’re nothing…” Hunk says, face pulling into a concerned frown.

Lance isn’t even sure if he’s referring to when they’d first found out Lance was pregnant or when he went into labor, but he doesn’t ask to clarify. It would only make Hunk more right.

“I’m not pregnant if that’s what you’re implying” Lance grumbles, “I’m still not entirely sure how functional this uterus even is.”

“I wasn’t implying that, I’m just saying that you have a tendency to under exaggerate things, so you don’t inconvenience others and it’s ended you up in some pretty shitty situations. I just want you to be honest with me” Hunk says, he rolls over slightly so he can look up at Lance’s face.

“I am, it doesn’t hurt that bad, and if it’s seriously concerning you that bad I’ll go to Coran later and ask him, better?” Lance says, lifting his head to stare down at Hunk too.

“Better” Hunk nods with a smile.

“Good. Now get off me, I’m sweaty and I wanna take a shower first” Lance groans as he pushes himself upright, taking Hunk with him. Hunk sits up and shuffles over so Lance can slide off the edge of the bed and walk to the bathroom.

“Don’t use up all the hot water!” Hunk calls to him as the door shuts.

“We’re in a Castle, I’m not even sure if that’s possible!” Lance shouts back.

Lance chuckles to himself with the door shut behind him. He walks over and turns on the shower before stripping out of his paladin uniform and carefully leaving it on the ground. He’s sure Allura would be incredibly upset with him if she saw that. He steps under the waters warm spray and rubs his face and smoothes back his hair. His muscles are so exhausted from training that the warmth is making him ready to take a nap.

He rubs down his body with the water to help wash away the sticky gross feeling of sweat against his skin. He stops and blinks once and then twice when he looks down and sees a faint stream of red running down his leg and into the drain. He hadn’t cut himself during training had he?

He rubs his hand against his thigh where the blood is flowing down, but he can’t see any cuts or injuries that would be bleeding, especially not this much. For a heart stopping moment he thinks he’s dying, or that he’s somehow haemorrhaging again, but then his mind clicks back to logic again. He’d had sister’s, plenty of them, older and younger. He knew what this was even if he winced to admit it to himself.

A period. He was having his first period. At least that explains the cramps then, and also that the uterus still freaking works. He stands their mindlessly for a few moments, unsure of what the right thing to do is. His sisters had always had their mother and each other to help explain and ease them through this while Lance had remained an outside observer, witnessing the events but never fully understanding or participating. Kind of wishing he’d paid more attention now.

He quickly scrubs down his body before jumping out of the shower and towelling himself down. He walks into the bedroom, towel wrapped around his waist, as he grabs the first change of clothes he can find.

“That was surprisingly fast for you” Hunk says curiously, watching as Lance frantically pulls his clothes on, “What’s wrong? Did something happen?”

“I need to ask Pidge something, I’ll be back soon!” Lance says, stumbling towards the door as he fastens his pants.

“Pidge? Why do you need to see Pidge?” Hunk asks watching him command the door open and stumble out.

“I’ll explain later!” Lance calls as he hurries down the hallway, leaving a very confused, very concerned Hunk in their room.

He’s decided Pidge is probably the most helpful for this situation, since he can’t imagine Keith or Shiro being any help, and he’s not even entirely sure what the genital situation is for Allura and Coran, so he’s sure they won’t understand either and it will probably just land him back in the pod again. Pidge will know what to do, she’s smart. She’ll know what to do.

He actually stops outside her door and knocks politely, even if his foot is tapping nervously against the floor. He knocks again, a little more impatiently, when there isn’t an immediate response. There’s some scuffling before a muffled, “it’s open!” is spoken.

Lance presses the command to open the door and walks in. Pidge is stepping over piles of junk to get back to her bed from her own bathroom.

“What’s up, Lance?” she asks with a grin as she hops right in front of him.

Lance’s nerves dig into his chest a little and he realizes he’s not entirely sure how to approach this problem, so he starts with the dumbest solution.

“You’re a girl, right?”

Pidge’s face drops into an unimpressed frown.

“Christ, Lance. What are you still confused about the Garrison or something?” she half grumbles, half teases.

“No! I just- I mean- ugh!” he squeezes his eyes shut in a frown before regathering his thoughts. “I think I’m having a period?”

“Oh” Pidge says, face softening into understanding.

“...and I don’t know what to do?” Lance says with a worried shrug.

“Right. I can help with that.”

Pidge takes a few shuffling steps back before she starts digging through piles of junk. She’s tossing things out the way haphazardly as Lance watches.

“I don’t know why it just started today though…” he sighs.

“Well, I mean you didn’t have a vagina before you got pregnant, and then you were pregnant so that’d be why you haven’t had one” Pidge says, face buried in junk, “and it usually takes a few weeks to months after giving birth for your period to start again, so you’re probably just late I guess? Nothing to be worried about.”

“Oh, okay.”

“Are you just bleeding, or are you having cramps as well?” she asks over her shoulder as she continues looking.

“Cramps and bleeding, noticed the cramps before I noticed the bleeding” Lance says softly, trying to not feel weird about this.

“Mm, sounds about right. Ah, here we go” Pidge says, standing back up to face Lance with some plastic wrapped things in her hands.

“You got a preference for tampons or pads?” she asks with a quizzical look on her face.

“Tampons are the ones that go inside, aren’t they?” Lance asks warily.

“Yeah” she nods.

“The other ones” Lance says with a quick nod.

“Got it” Pidge laughs, handing him the packet, “and don’t worry, everyone’s scared of tampons at first. They’re not so bad, apart from the risk of TSS, but you’ll be fine.”

“What?” Lance face scrunches in confusion as he looks at her.

“Toxic Shock Syndrome, it’s a type of bacterial infection. As long as you stay clean and never leave tampons in for too long you should be fine” Pidge nods reassuringly.

“Is it bad?”

“I mean, it can be fatal, but it’s super rare. I’m not even entirely sure how well they’ve managed to find the link between tampons and TSS, but it’s easier to just not risk it, y’know. Also, they get pretty unpleasant after a few hours, so it makes more sense just to change them” Pidge shrugs a little too casually Lance feels. His shoulders are tight with nervousness.

“Right… um, so what do I do with these?” He says, lifting the packet slightly.

“Oh, right. Complete beginner here” Pidge says, rolling her eyes a small bit, “Here” she says taking the packet and pulling out one of the pads.

“This is a pad, they come in this terrible loud plastic wrapper that makes it, so you can never ever be discreet while putting one on it public. You open it up, and then take out the pad, then peel this off the back to see the sticky side, which is the side you put into your underwear. Don’t put the sticky side up, that’s stupid. Sometimes they have wings, and you do the same, but you wrap them around the edge of your undies. Then you pull your pants up and you’re good to go, just make sure you change it every few hours” Pidge says, showing him with the pad in her hand.

Lance’s face is nervously red. He’s trying to will himself into accepting this as a normal thing, this is fine, it happens to people, but at the same time he’s freaking out. This isn’t something he thought he would have to experience and he’s not really sure how to process this new change.

“You alright?” Pidge asks, looking up at his face. Her eyebrows are creased with worry.

“Y-yeah? I mean, this is all really weird…” he sighs.

“I mean, a little? It’s a lot less weird than you having a baby at least” She says with a gentle smile, “It definitely sucks at first, don’t worry. It’s that childhood ruining moment that you go through in life, but you’ll get used to it. It sort of just becomes part of everyday life” she shrugs again.

“Okay…” he says, looking at the floor.

“Hey, you can always talk to me if you need help or pads or just feel like venting” she smiles again, giving him a pat on the arm, “Also, heat packs are a godsend and if you need to cry or yell, go for it. Sometimes having the lining of your uterus shed and make a mess of things really sucks, so it’s fine to get upset. Just don’t let it go to your head!”

“Got it” he nods, “thanks, Pidge.”

“Anytime! Take it easy, Lance” she says as he walks out of her room.

He stares at the pads in his hands curiously before a dampness in his underwear spurs him to keep moving. He hurries back to his room, quickly closing the door behind him.

“Lance?” Hunk says from where he’s standing in the middle of the room. He’s only wearing some track pants while he towels his wet hair off. “What’s going on?”

“Gimme a second” he says, grabbing a new pair of underwear from the cupboard before going into the bathroom.

He pulls his pants down and sits on the toilet. It takes him a moment to will the strength to look at his underwear, but there is a very clear dark red stain against it. He grumbles before pulling them off and tugging the new pair on, then he looks at the pad. Pidge had made it seem pretty straightforward, so he’s hoping it’ll be easy.

She was definitely right about the noise, loud plastic tearing only seems to echo more in the tiled bathroom and he’s not sure what to do with all the bits he pulls off the pad, but he places it in his underwear in the same spot the blood had been. When he pulls his pants up he is all too aware of how it feels pressed against him. How does anyone do anything with this on?

After he finishes up in the bathroom, and decides to leave the pads near the toilet, he walks back into the bedroom to find Hunk sitting on the bed with his arms crossed looking at him.

“What?” Lance asks with a confused shrug.

“What? You’ve been running around ever since you had a shower and avoiding all my questions! What’s going on?” Hunk says firmly now, giving Lance an annoyed look.

“Oh, right…” Lance sighs. He sits down on the bed near Hunk’s feet, and he can feel the pad uncomfortably close. Hunk watches him silently.

“Sorry I was running around so much, but I was having a bit of a crisis?” Lance says scratching his head a little.

“That you needed Pidge to help you with?”

“Yeah, because she’s the only other person on this ship who I know has a vagina” Lance says forcefully, giving Hunk a disgruntled look.

“Oh.”

“Yeah… I got my period, so…” Lance says awkwardly, glancing away from Hunk to stare at the wall.

“Oh” Hunk says again, eyes wider now.

“Yeah” Lance nods.

They’re silent for a second, Lance is thinking just as hard as Hunk probably is at the moment, still trying to process this new change to his body. He knows Hunk would never be cruel to him because of it, but that doesn’t make him any less nervous.

“Do… you want chocolate?” Hunk asks carefully.

“What? Why?”

“I don’t know, isn’t that a thing, people want chocolate when they’re on their period?” Hunk shrugs.

“Uh, I don’t know? I don’t feel like chocolate right now?” Lance shrugs.

“Okay, well if you change your mind let me know. I’m thinking a chocolate pudding would be nice” Hunk says, small smile creeping onto his face.

“Okay, now that I can get behind” Lance grins.

“I think it’s early enough for dessert, right?”

“Oh, definitely!” Lance smiles, climbing off the bed, Hunk following just a step behind him.

They walk to the door and just before the step through Lance grins cheekily.

“Well, at least we’ve been using a condom” he says, walking off with a little sway in his step while Hunk freezes with flushed cheeks.

“Lance!!”

Chapter Text

“That’s it! Look at you, you’re so big now!” Allura coos as she sits in front of Cora, hands ready to catch her if she falls from her standing position. Shiro is doing the same with Fala next to them. They’re trying to encourage the twins to stand and start to walk independently, but they’re still wobbly when unsupported. Allura shuffles back a little, arms still stretched out to Cora.

“Come on, walk to mummy! You can do it!” she encourages watch her try to take a wobbly step forward. She manages two and a half good steps before she loses her balance and falls, Allura quickly sweeping her up to blow kisses against her cheek. “Amazing!” she praises as Cora squeals happily.

“Come on, Shiro, you can’t be so overprotective. She’s gunna learn to walk at some point” Pidge sighs with a grin from where she’s sitting on the floor leaning against the couch.

“I know, I just don’t want her to fall and hurt herself” he says without even looking away from Fala.

“Well, with the way you’re practically holding her up with your hands, I don’t think you’ll have to worry about that” Pidge snickers.

“Shiro, she’s like two feet tall, she’s not going to get hurt by falling on her bottom” Keith sighs from his seat on the couch. Pidge laughs and agrees.

Even Allura is nodding, she’s already let Cora go and is handing her a variety of toys that are sprawled around the floor for her to hold and play with. “She does need to practice more independence.”

“Fine” Shiro yields, lowering his hands and shuffling back to where Allura is, “Go on Fala, you can do it!”

She whines sadly, hands reaching out for Shiro. “That’s it, good girl! Big step forward!” he continues to encourage, watching her unsteady footing. She manages a big step forward before Shiro’s hands pre-emptively come up to support her. Keith and Pidge groan.

“Ughhh, Shiro come on!” Pidge sighs.

“She was wobbly!” he tries to defend, but as soon as she starts to whine and reach for him again his attention is gone. He’s pulling her in for a cuddle, cooing at her softly.

“You’re such a dad” Pidge says, Keith nodding in agreeance behind her.

“Is that supposed to be a bad thing?” he says, eyebrow quirked.

“Well, Fala is a daddy’s girl. She’s always crying for you” Allura says with a smile.

“That’s because I’m supportive of her needs and attentive to her emotions, aren’t I, princess?” he says nuzzling his face gently by her head as her small hands hold him.

“If they weren’t actually princesses I would be so disappointed in you for calling them that so often” Pidge says, shaking her head slightly, “Plus, I think it’s auntie Pidge time, Shiro’s had enough fun ruining their education for one day.”

Shiro just gasps at the accusation as Pidge slides over to them and starts to pick up toys to wave at the twins, winning over their attention quickly. Cora crawls over to her to reach for the toy she’s offering while Fala just wriggles in Shiro’s arms, trying to reach.

“Come on, you know she loves her auntie Pidge” she goads, waving the toy just out of Fala’s reach making her fuss.

Shiro sighs as he puts her down and watches her crawl her way to Pidge as well, sitting down on the floor in front of her. It’s at that moment that Coran, Lance and Hunk all return to the room carrying way too much food for the nine of them.

“Cake’s ready! Let’s get this party started!” Hunk says loudly, walking over to the middle of the room to put the cake in the middle of the table while Lance and Coran put down the rest of the food.

They’d gathered in the lounge room today not just to have a group playtime, but also to celebrate the twins first birthday. It seemed like the time just flew by and the little girls had grown so much already, it was almost hard to believe. Already they were crawling and moving independently, recognizing everyone and expressing their emotions, even slowly starting to speak.

“Ready? We gotta sing happy birthday!” Lance smiles, sitting down on the couch with Hunk and Coran. All the humans in the room nod enthusiastically while Coran and Allura look at them in confusion.

“Sing happy birthday?” Allura asks curiously.

“Yeah, like the happy birthday song, you sing it before you blow out the candles on the cake, even though we don’t have candles right now” Lance nods.

“It’s an Earth tradition” Pidge fills in quickly.

“Oh, alright. You will have to teach us how to do it” Allura smiles warmly.

“It’s really easy, you just sing happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, then happy birthday and their names and then happy birthday to you again. It’s more of a chant than a song” Pidge says, shrugging her shoulders and pursing her lips together.

“Yeah, so we ready now?” Lance says again, waiting on the edge of his seat, “Hunk didn’t slave away making this cake for nothing!”

“Oh, I hardly slaved, it was a labour of love” Hunk laughs.

“Yes, we are ready, aren’t we girls?” Allura says picking up Fala while Pidge picks up Cora.

They walk over to the couch to sit down with everyone, girls in the centre. Shiro comes to sit by Allura’s side, looking over at Pidge hopefully, but she simply shakes her head and holds Cora closer. “Oh no, you’ve had plenty of overprotective parenting for one day, let someone else have a hold.”

“Look, Fala, what’s on the table?” Allura says, engaging the small child. Fala looks at the food and babbles happily, arms waving by her sides. She makes a noise that sounds like she’s trying to say a word, but instead it comes out as more of an excited squeal. “That’s cake, for you and Cora.”

“I hope they plan on sharing” Lance laughs, nudging Hunk with his elbow. “Ready?”

They all sing happy birthday together, Allura and Coran only slightly behind on the tune, but they manage to keep it sounding reasonably harmonious. The twins seem a little confused by the sudden singing, making confused faces and mouthing on their hands. Cora seems pretty excited with the way Pidge is bouncing and tickling her as she sings, and Fala seems very interested in watching Allura’s face as she sings to her as well, holding one of her small hands and waving it back and forth.

“Yay! Time for cake!” Hunk says excitedly, moving forward to cut the cake into even slices. He takes two and puts them onto some plates to hand to Allura and Pidge, “Here we go, some birthday cake for our cute little birthday girls” he coos in baby babble.

“Try some, Cora! Look it’s so yummy!” Pidge says holding the plate in front of her, sitting back against the couch more and letting her sit in her lap to wave her hands at the pink and blue frosted cake. It takes only a few seconds for her to start squishing her fingers into the slice, getting frosting all over her hands. Everyone laughs as they watch her open and close her hands around the cake experimentally, and after Fala sees her do it she’s got her hands in her own slice as well.

Then they both realize that they can eat it and they happily start pulling chunks of cake up to press into their mouths somewhat successfully. Most of it ends up on their cheeks and chin, but with the determined looks on their face, they seem to be enjoying themselves. Pidge is almost in hysterics watching them smash the cake with the determination only a one year old could have.

“I think they like the cake” Shiro laughs as Fala babbles and lifts a cake covered hand up to him, “oh, for me? Thank you, you’re so kind” he smiles as he holds his hand to hers and she smears frosting over it.

“Well, would anyone else like some cake, or are we letting the girls eat all of it? Or wear it, I guess” Hunk laughs while plating up some more slices.

He hands out the slices to everyone but Allura and Pidge, leaving theirs on the table for when the twins are finished with their own mess of frosting and half eaten cake. Everyone digs in, appreciating the sweetness and the effort Hunk went into preparing the cake. It’s not easy to find an alien substitute for eggs or milk, even the frosting had been a challenge. Seeing everyone smiling and chatting over it is enough reward for Hunk though, even if he does still receive the thanks for making it.

“Oh, messy darlings, you’ve got cake all over you now” Coran says in light-hearted disapproval as he pulls out an excessively large napkin to wipe at their sticky hands and faces. Cora grins happily, waving her arms around and showing off the few small teeth she has with her huge smile. Fala on the other hand frowns when Coran starts to wipe at her face, trying to pull away from his touch.

“Ah, we’ll probably have to change them out of their clothes now too” Shiro sighs, looking at their ruined clothes, “and we’d dressed them so nicely as well…”

“Well, you can go get them something to wear, in the meantime we’ve got some more playing to do!” Pidge says excitedly, tickling at Cora’s tummy again before carrying her back over to the floor where an assortment of toys lay scattered. As soon as she puts her down, Cora is off crawling towards an Altean toy that makes animal noises when you press the buttons.

“If you wouldn’t mind, Shiro” Allura says with an expectant grin towards him.

He sighs, “Alright, it was my suggestion. I’ll be back soon. Don’t miss me too much, princesses.”

After he gets up to leave, the rest of the party makes their way onto the floor, watching the girls play with toys, and eventually encouraging them to try stand and walk again by themselves. Fala is making good progress holding onto the couch and walking around the edge of it while Hunk moves a toy across the edge, getting her to chase after it. Cora is babbling loudly, telling Keith all about ‘baba’ and ‘yahs’ as he nods in mock understanding.

Finally, Shiro returns and immediately you can tell that he spent a long time picking out their outfits because there is an assortment of very fancy looking clothes in his arms, he even has some small clips and ribbons for their hair. Pidge groans at the sight of him.

“You’re such an embarrassing dad” she sighs.

“What? I can’t help it if they’re cute!”

--

“Man, it just seems like those two get bigger everyday” Lance sighs, putting his clothes away in the cupboard before turning around to climb into bed.

“I know, right? I can’t believe they’re already one…” Hunk says, he’s lying on his back staring up at the ceiling like it will help him process this information.

“It seriously doesn’t feel like it’s been that long, honestly it’s been a busy year” Lance sighs.

“...how’re you feeling?” Hunk asks.

“Hm? Why?”

“Well, I mean today’s their first birthday, so this time last year you were…”

“Experiencing the worst pain of my life?”

“Yeah, that” Hunk nods, “so, you alright?”

“I mean, yeah. It’s not like the event of their birth is so traumatic that I’m gunna forget that I love them and that they’re the cutest kids on the ship. If anything, it makes me feel good, like I never needed to worry back then if things would be normal or not again. I mean things are completely different to how they were before Cora and Fala were born, but it’s a new kind of normal, a different kind. And I think I’m okay with that.”

“I’m glad. I mean, I could see that you didn’t look upset or anything today, but I just needed to be sure that you weren’t having a secret breakdown and trying to cover it up” Hunk says, turning to look at Lance this time.

“Well, I’m not, so don’t worry” Lance smiles softly.

“Good, you’re not allowed to have breakdowns without me you know” Hunk smiles back at him.

“Is this a new rule? I was unaware there were any changes to the rule book” Lance teases.

“Yeah, it’s just after the mandatory cuddles at bedtime rule” Hunk grins, wriggling closer to Lance to pull him by the waist closer to him.

“Ah, yes. The cuddle rule. The most important of them all” he laughs, wrapping his own arms around Hunk.

“The most” Hunk agrees, kissing Lance hard on the lips. Lance kisses him back, opening his mouth against Hunk to deepen the kiss.

“You know, I don’t think I’m as opposed to the idea of maybe having a baby in the future” Lance admits quietly.

“Wow… Really?” Hunk says, surprised at the sudden statement.

“I mean, I’ve always wanted to have a family… so, yeah. Really” he nods, “But not right now! Like, in a few years’ time maybe.”

“Dude, no rush. We’ve got all the time in the universe, and I’d never force you to do it anyway. It’s a tough decision, but you know I’ll always support you” Hunk smiles.

“I know, you’re the best, Hunk.”

“Yeah, but so are you.”