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The Boogeyman and the Detective

Chapter Text

Keith hated it.

 

It was all wrong.

 

“There was no way that they could pull off that large of a heist,” Shiro ran a hand through his hair, pulling the white back and entangling it with the darker parts.

 

“Technically it wasn’t a heist,” Allura pointed out, walking up to the evidence board. Keith leaned back in his chair, idly chewing on the end of a toothpick.

 

“Hey there cowboy, got any ideas?” Shiro asked as Allura marked off the latest ‘loss’ for the Altea City Police Department, a cargo ship, carrying a huge shipment of what the detectives in the room thought was a shipment of arms to sell off to the Galran warfront. If the gang they were currently tracking kept with, then the gang was bound to find a different dock for their next shipment.

 

Keith mulled over what the detectives knew so far. The Blade of Marmora, supposedly Galran born, though adamantly against the Galrans. They used less than ethical means to ‘help’ behind the scenes, selling weapons to both sides and then sabotage the Galrans. Outside of the war, they unlawfully killed Galran supporters, ransacked shops, and other less civilized actions. Even though The Blade was usually based in the west side, under the ‘watchful eye’ of the Galra City Police Department, recently they had become a city-wide crisis, attacking prominent figures in the east side, New Altea.

 

So here Keith was, a Galran detective and a couple New Alteans in the ACPD’s newest task force, Team Voltron. He wasn’t gonna lie, the big shots had some pretty sweet tech. Probably what the NAPD saw on a daily basis, but it was way out of the GCPD’s league.

 

See, here was where these New Altean twats had it wrong. Galra City is what one would call the ghetto of Altea City. New Altea may have had its sleek buildings and fancy cars, but Galra City was hard ghetto. Poverty and crime were constantly at an all time high, the police did literally nothing, and gangs practically ruled the city. Two gangs in particular. So when the centre city hotshots, where the government and the city’s main police force lived in blissful ignorance, called Keith saying they needed help taking down The Blade of Marmora, Keith nearly choked on his drink.

 

The Blade are the good guys.

 

And Keith was one of them.

 

Another thing about the Galra half of Altea City. The reason the police did nothing was because all of them were aligned with one gang or another. Sergeant Thace and Keith were one of the few with the Blade. The rest were with the Empire, supposedly under Commissioner Zarkon’s iron fist.

But there was also talk of another powerful gang, the name unknown, that very few, fewer than the Blade, were a part of. Supposedly ruled by Zarkon’s bastard son Lotor. Basically, all Galra cops were dirty, no matter which gang they aligned with.

 

So yeah.

 

Keith may be a bit of a dirty cop by keeping a lot of information from these New Altean idiots, but as long as it got the cases solved and got food on his table, he was fine with it.

 

“I still think we’re looking at it wrong,” he replied, delicately twirling the toothpick. “We should look for a new angle, get some new leads.” Allura slammed the table.

 

“We’ve been trying at this for forever, Keith. Hell, you’re part of the GCPD, you’ve probably had more trouble with this than any of us here! Are you Galra shmucks just that bad at your jobs? Could you at least give us a lead from one of your undoubtedly many cases that’ve come across your desk?!” Ugh. Keith had had it with these douches.

 

“I don’t see you offering any information on this. All the files the GCPD have were transferred here with me. If you wanna get somewhere with this, why don’t you just go through the old cases and see if we have any connections. Unless you guys in New Altea don’t look at old cases because there’s just a convenient database at the tips of your fingers with all the information you could ever need to use the least amount of brain cells to solve the so-called cases your prissy lil half of the city have.”

 

Keith was glaring at Allura while Shiro squirmed in his seat. Just as it was about to escalate into the third fight they’ve had since Keith transferred to the Voltron task force, Hunk, forensic scientist and heaven on Earth walked in.

 

“Guys! Guys, I just found a lead that might break this case wide open!” The three detectives turned, looking at Hunk with varying emotions. “Oh, uh, ok bad timing, but still! Pidge and I tracked a series of burner phones to a location and even compared some evidence with the location!” Since none of them really knew what that meant, they all shared a look. “It means we have a hit! We can scope out this place!” Everyone cheered.

 

Except Keith.

 

Shit.

 

“Where exactly is this place you found, Hunk?” Allura asked, previous murderous intent gone. Hunk pulled out his computer and hooked it up to the projector.

 

“Ok, so, the place is pretty deep in Galra City. There were a series of calls that kept mentioning some kind of code for this place, called it snake’s lair. A shoe from one of the Blade’s murders had the same dirt in it as the housing development happening at the most two blocks from there,” Hunk projected a few more images: a boot print (Ulaz’s probably, he usually did a lot of the dirty work), the case file from a couple months ago that Keith vaguely recognized, a Balmera apartment complex construction site, and call transcripts, the words snake’s lair highlighted and nonsensical directions underlined.

 

 “The club Pidge and I were thinking the transcripts are mentioning is Royal Sincline, an exclusive club near the heart of the city,” Keith grunted, knowing exactly which club he was referring to.

 

It was one of Lotor’s clubs.

 

Well fuck.

 

Voltron was screwed.

 

Keith had to stall them. The task force wasn’t ready to take on Lotor. His mafia may be small, but he has access to resources that the others haven’t exploited yet. The Blade had been working since Lotor resurfaced to find the source of his resources.

 

“I don’t think-”

 

“This is incredible Hunk! I say the three of us go in tomorrow night and scope the place out before we go on. Any objections?” Allura looked so damn proud. And Hunk, Keith couldn’t ruin this for Hunk. And he couldn’t out himself just yet.

 

Keith was going to kill Ulaz.

 

“Alright. It’s settled. But, how are we supposed to get into this club? Didn’t you say it was exclusive?” Shiro asked, pretty much instantly crushing everyone’s hope.

 

Keith sighed.

 

He couldn’t let these guys down no matter how idiotic they were.

 

“Leave that to me.”

 

~*~

 

The next day at work was kinda hectic for Keith. Matt and Pidge were rushing around, making sure their instruments and such worked. Hunk worked on fine tuning the comm sets so they all could communicate. Shiro, Allura, and Keith however, all went shopping.

 

“Kill me now,” Keith moaned as Allura leaned over Shiro and ruffled Keith’s hair.

 

“Don’t worry Keith. You’re in good hands right now! I’ve got Nyma already over at the first store. We’re going to a club, exclusive at that, and I doubt either of you have the clothes for it!” Allura’s vice-like grip on Shiro and Keith’s arms tightened impossibly more and Keith could swear that she cut off his arm’s circulation.

 

“Allura, trust me, I’ve got the clothes for it. Despite what you might think, us Galra’s go out pretty often,” Allura gave him a glare that could level all of Altea City. “Cut you a deal, if the clothes I come in aren’t enough for you, I’ll allow you to drag me off on a day-long shopping adventure,” Allura paused, then nodded, letting go of Keith’s arm.

 

Shiro sent him a pleading look, which Keith sent back an apologetic face before rushing off in the complete opposite direction.

 

After boarding several trains and crossing the boarder back into Galra City, Keith let his mind wander.

 

Tonight they were going straight for the jugular.

 

They weren’t even prepared.

 

What could start as a simple scouting mission could escalate into a full blown massacre if one of them took a wrong step. Whispers in the Blade’s innermost circles also told him that a certain assassin might be back, complicating Voltron’s plan even more.

 

Keith whipped out a flip phone, the one he used for Blade communications, not advanced enough to be traced. Flipping through the Blade contacts saved on his phone, Keith stopped at U.

 

Ulaz.

 

Damnit, Keith forgot he was going to kill him.

 

>>we set for 2nite?

 

cant believe ur task force is stupid enough to do this<<

 

>>give em a break U

 

fine<<

and yes<<

were ready for ‘2nite’<<

 

>>bugger off

 

u cant get rd of me m8<<

also watcg out<<

L might be there<<

 

>>how do u know?

 

its all rumor, K<<

but be careful<<

 

>>u 2

 

Keith closed the phone when the automated voice announced his station. Jumping off the train, he opted to stroll through his neighbourhood, instead of racing back home to see if he could beat last week’s time. Keith paused at a corner, a block away from his flat. He pulled out his phone, not the Blade phone, his ‘work’ phone, to check up on time.

 

The purpose of his ‘work’ phone was just to have a backup in case he ever got compromised. At least, that was the plan. In the end, he ended up getting everyone in his division’s number and they all updated each other on the juicy gossip happening in their respective gangs. As of now it was just unsure texts about the return of the mysterious L and what it would mean for the Galran warfront.

 

When Keith was transferred over to the Voltron task force, he was given each of their numbers, including the captain of the entire operation, Captain Coran. Alas, no one from the force had ever texted Keith, nor Keith them. Keith kinda expected to keep it that way.

 

The clock on his phone signaled that he had around an hour to get back to his flat before meeting up at the rendezvous point, an abandoned warehouse about half a mile off from the club. Keith sighed, hurrying back to his flat.

 

He slammed open his wardrobe, practically tearing out every single piece of clothing looking for something that wouldn’t make Allura drag him on a day long shopping trip. As he looked (shit he forgot he had that black crop, maybe he should wear it), Keith thought about all the ways tonight could go wrong (black skintight jeans, score).

 

One: Empire brats could find them, recognize the New Alteans, or Keith for that matter (oh nice, his old red motorcycle jacket).

 

Two: A gun fight could happen, which are surprisingly common (where did he put his eyeliner).

 

Three: The rumors were true and the mysterious L really was back and looking for vengeance (he supposed he would take his motorcycle out to the rendezvous point).

 

Not much was known about L. He was one of the most dangerous people to come across, that was for sure, an assassin for hire who used to work closely with Lotor’s bunch. Word going around was that one of the Empire junkies pissed him off real bad and now he’s outta retirement. There’s a betting pool in Keith’s division to see how fast L could probably singlehandedly take down the Empire.

 

The motorcycle rolled to a stop in front of a warehouse, gang logos graffitied on the walls and a sleek black van parked in front. The back of the van opened up, revealing the smiling faces of the rest of the Voltron task force.

 

“Lookin good Keith,” Pidge, the task force’s resident hacker-man said. Pidge barley said a sentence to Keith when he was first transferred over, just gave him a glare and went back to furiously typing on one of their multiple laptops.

 

“Wow Keith, I didn’t think you had it in you!” Allura exclaimed, climbing out from the passenger seat of the van. The sheer top reflected lights from neighbouring buildings, illuminating her face, makeup done to the nines. Shiro trailed behind her, white button down freshly pressed and denim jeans. Keith’s phone, the flip phone, buzzed in his pocket,

 

ready when u r, K<<

 

“Keith? Texting? More likely than you think,” the squad’s loveable nerd and head forensic scientist, Matt Holt said. Keith recognized the phrasing, something Ulaz had shown him one day, a meme? Keith didn’t really care anymore.

 

“We ready to go?” Keith asked, fingers itching over the buttons on the phone. The other two detective shared a nod, the rest of the crew nodding as well.

 

>>bang

 

~*~

 

They arrived at the Royal Sincline relatively quickly, Keith texting Ulaz when they arrived. The line, curling around the corner of the block, was blocked at the front by a large man in a suit. Keith immediately recognized him as Antok, someone who highly distrusted Keith. They nodded to each other, barely going unnoticed by the other two accompanying him.

 

Keith slipped Antok a piece of paper, given to him by Ulaz to relay their next rendezvous, before ushering in the other two detectives.

 

“Keith? What was that about? With the bouncer?” Allura asked once they were far away enough from the entrance.

 

“I told you I’d take care of it,” Keith growled, pushing his way through the throngs of people to get to the stairs. The upper level of the club was simply seating, a lavish bar at the south end.

 

Keith mowed a path straight to the bar.

 

He caught Ulaz’s eye, the fucker cleaning a glass like he was in some speakeasy.

 

Keith’s weird relationship with Ulaz was quite the story. It most likely involved a wrench, two motorcycles, and a monkey. Then again, it probably could’ve been something else, seeing as they all were drunk as fuck.

 

“Keith! My boy! So glad you could make-oh. Hello,” Ulaz spied the other two detectives trailing behind Keith, looking absolutely confused by the fact that Keith knew the bartender at a high end club. “And who might you be, my fair lady?” he asked, bowing in front of Allura the best he could, seeing as he was behind a bar.

 

“Keith who’s-”

 

“Ulaz?”

 

That was Shiro.

 

Interesting.

 

“Shiro, how do you know Ulaz?” Keith asked, his eyes never leaving Ulaz’s smirking form. The tan man smiled, before answering.

 

“I’ve saved Shiro’s ass more than a couple of times, Keithy boy. Don’t worry, I don’t have a new favorite detective,” Ulaz purred, leaning against the bar and blowing a kiss to Shiro. Shiro, the poor doofus, blushed like a maiden.

 

“I’m still confused on who Ulaz is?” Allura said, still wary about the charming barman Ulaz thinks he is. Keith turned, presenting Ulaz with the most bored voice he could muster, which wasn’t very hard when talking about Ulaz.

 

“Allura, this is Ulaz, trusted idiot and…” Keith tried to figure out something else to describe Ulaz as.

 

“Marmora intel, at your service,” Ulaz finished causing Allura to gasp.

 

“Marmora intel? Keith are you sure we can trust him?” She whispered, a worried look on her face. Keith waved her off.

 

“Ulaz is fine, he’s too much of an idiot to do anything,” he said, turning back to look at Ulaz. “You guys go on ahead; I’ll catch up to you.” Allura and Shiro trailed off, occasionally casting glances back at Ulaz and Keith, before finally going downstairs to scout out the joint.

 

“Alright Ulaz, enough with this fuckery,” Keith slammed his hands down on the bar. “You guys deliberately did this and did not tell me! What the fuck is going on?” Ulaz slid Keith a drink.

 

“Sit down, sit down. It’s not gonna get better if you’re too riled up,” Ulaz said, leaning on the bar again. Keith downed the first drink, the rum and coke hitting the back of his throat without much taste. “Alright, the reason you weren’t in on this is because you’re our… police intel. There’s a reason you,” Ulaz poked Keith’s cheek. “Are on the Voltron task force, not one of those Empire goons or one of Lotor’s snakes. Heck, there’s a reason why none of the other Blade members aren’t on this. You’re one of the best suited for these cover missions. And we need to know how close the po-po are to catching us,” he booped Keith’s nose. “We need you Keith and you can’t compromise this for us. Your task force may be after the wrong people. But they’re getting us closer and closer to finally crushing the Empire! Let us do what we’re doing and you keep doing you. You’re doing great, babe,” Ulaz finished off, attempting to kiss Keith’s cheek. Instead, his head was promptly slammed on the table.

 

“Alright! Alright! Here’s the real money. A certain assassin is coming here to wreak havoc. Apparently Sendak fucked up, killed his cat, and stole his car. The only reason we know he’s gonna be here tonight because Sendak is here tonight. That’s not good for your little task force now is it?” Keith stared into Ulaz’s eyes, seeing if they would betray the truth.

 

Shit.

 

“I know, right? You’re in deeeeep shit right now.”

“Fucking mental why did this have to happen today?”

 

“Because your task force needs to know what they’re up against, mafia or no.”

“Ulaz they’re gonna fucking die!”

 

“Not necessarily, I mean, L only kills people who’ve wronged him.”

I’m pretty fucking sure the police wronged him by trying to arrest him one time!

 

“Oh.”

 

Keith growled. He’s definitely going to kill Ulaz now. It was then that he noticed that something was going on; his comms were going insane. That got Keith interested. He turned on the comms set.

 

Requesting backup! I repeat, there are armed men here!

 

Keith where the FUCK are you?!

 

This is the van, hello, guys, engage subjects, I repeat, engage subjects.

 

Keith turned off the comms. This wasn’t going the way he wanted it to go. He looked to Ulaz for guidance, who merely shrugged.

 

“I say, we get outta here and leave your friends to fend for themselves. Seems like they’re handling the situation pretty well?” Keith glared at Ulaz. “Fine, fine! I’ll save Shiro’s ass again.” Keith turned on the comms again, ignoring all the screaming.

 

“OI! DO NOT ENGAGE SUBJECTS. I REPEAT, YOU FUCKWADS, DO NOT ENGAGE SUBJECTS!” He yelled into the comms. Ulaz grinned and gave him a thumbs up. “Tell me now,” he said in a much calmer voice. “What does the main subject look like?” He held the comm between him and Ulaz so they could both hear.

 

Allura here, main subject is around 5 feet 8 inches, looks to be of latinx heritage, brown hair and tan skin, wearing a black tailored suit and-

 

“-Armed as FUCK.” Shiro interrupted. Shit, if Shiro was cursing, they’re probably in the deepest shit possible. As Allura was saying this, both Keith’s and Ulaz’s faces grew paler and paler. They both had heard the legends of the assassin L. His latinx heritage, signature black suit, and the undeniable fact that he’d be armed to the teeth. Keith cursed.

 

“Ok guys, under no circumstance are you to engage this guy. Stay out of their way, they’re only here for one dude. If you don’t fuck with him, he won’t fuck wit you,” Keith said, hoping that they didn’t already fuck up.

 

If this is him being after one guy, well we’ve got to try and save the person he’s after!

 

“Allura, no! You don’t fuck with nature, just let it run it’s course. This guy, whoever he’s after, fucked up bad, and now our main subject is after him, gonna fuck him up equally as bad,” Keith said and left it at that. After a less than enthusiastic agreement, Keith turned off the comms set and looked back at Ulaz.

 

“You fucked up.”

 

“I’m beginning to realize that, yes.”

 

“Ulaz, we gotta get them outta here!”

 

Ulaz sighed. “I’ll be a diversion; you get them out.”

Keith whined. “Ulaz you’ll get killed!” He looked at Keith and smiled.

 

“It’s a sacrifice I was gonna have to make anyways. Now go, get your shitty friends outta here. I’ve heard Sendak’s crew doesn’t shy away from explosions.”

 

Ulaz walked around the side of the bar and gave Keith a hug, whispering directions into his ear. He pulled away and pushed Keith towards the stairs, waving sadly.

 

“Go. Save your stupid friends. See ya on the other side, Keithy Boy!” And with that, Ulaz disappeared, leaving Keith near the stairs wondering how the fuck this happened.

 

~*~

 

The second Keith yanked Shiro and Allura out of the club, it exploded.

 

 Just like that.

 

Bam.

 

The blast pushed them across the intersection, nearly hitting several scaffolding beams from the nearby Balmera apartment construction site.

 

Fuuuuuck,” Keith groaned out. He knew Sendak’s group never shied away from the use of explosives, but where the fuck did they get that kinda powerful shit? The other two groaned, Allura’s sheer dress ripped up, Shiro’s shirt nearly ripped in half after getting snagged on a beam.

 

“What the fuck just happened?” Shiro exclaimed, the ringing in Keith’s ear making it nearly impossible to make out.  Allura groaned an answer back.

 

“I think… the building just blew up…” She turned on the comms set. “Hunk, could you come to… the club, I guess. We’re at the construction site across the way…” Keith struggled to sit up, in an attempt to asses the damage.

 

The club was utterly wrecked. Pieces of the building, blasted all around, people flung about, smoke coming from the burning remains. Keith, Shiro, and Allura got the least of the damage, just scrapes and probably a couple fractures. They were just flung across the street like rag dolls.

 

The van pulled up near the construction site and Keith could hear Pidge swearing profusely from inside. He saw Hunk clamber out from the driver’s side, rushing over to where the three detectives were.

 

“Oh my god guys! Are you ok? What happened? I…” Hunk continued to babble on and Keith tuned him out. He must’ve hit his head pretty hard because things started to flicker in and out of his vision. One moment he was looking at Hunk, the next all he saw was black with hints of yellow.

 

He vaguely felt being lifted into the van as he fought for consciousness, because he could’ve sworn he saw a black silhouette dart between the scaffolding, the build resembling what Allura had said over the comms earlier.  

 

The rumbling of the van is what made him finally drift off, succumbing to the endless black void of sleep.

 

~*~

 

He awoke to shouting. Hushed shouting, but shouting nonetheless. When Keith opened his eyes, everything was blurry, but he could make out an orange blob standing at the end of the hospital bed next to him yelling at two other people. Keith decided he didn’t need to worry about what was going on at the moment, and let sleep take him once more.

 

~*~

 

He woke up again, this time to a stony silence, the atmosphere of the room cold and standoffish. In the chairs at the end, he saw Coran, the head of the Voltron task force. In the two beds to his right were Allura and Shiro, both clearly having been awake for awhile. The three of them were in some sort of staring contest, Allura and Coran both with angry faces while Shiro, the peacekeeper he is, remained neutral.

 

When Coran noticed he was awake, he clapped. “Ah, good. You’re awake! I didn’t want to start talking until all of us were here so,” he poked his head out of the room, presumably calling the rest of the task force. “I have some news for you all! So gather ‘round and listen up!” He said as Matt, Pidge, and Hunk came in and settled in the seats. “I am disbanding the Voltron task force!”

 

Several things happened. Allura started yelling at Coran, saying that he couldn’t do this, they were so close! Shiro tried to calm Allura down, sending a pleading look to the others. Matt and Hunk kinda just looked numbly at Coran, while Pidge started cursing as loud as Allura, adding to the noise. It really hurt Keith’s head at the moment, so he did the one thing that people would listen to.

 

“Everyone, shut the FUCK UP!” He roared, effectively shutting everyone up. “Now, I’m sure Coran has a good reason to be doing this, so let him explain before yelling about it.” He looked pointedly at Allura, who had the decency to look embarrassed.

 

“Ah, thank you Keith. And he’s right! I do have a reason. What happened yesterday was not at all what we expected to happen. And yes, I am aware that field work never usually ends up how we want it to go, but this was way out of the Blade’s league. We’re dealing with something else now, and we cannot afford to go risking our necks like that again.”

 

Keith’s Blade phone buzzed on the table next to him. He opened it up, seeing a new message from an unfamiliar number.

 

Thace.

 

One of the Blade’s heads, constantly using burner phones. He opened up the message, eyes scanning over it.

 

Pvu zpvstfkg<<

 

All it was was a simple cipher, the oldest trick in the book. The simplicity of the cipher, however, worried Keith, but he ran with it anyway.

 

Out yourself.

 

 Thace was giving him permission to compromise his position and tell the now disbanded team that he was, in fact, a Blade member. Keith sighed.

 

“I’m gonna have to agree with Coran on this one, guys,” all chatter abruptly stopped as everyone turned to face Keith. “Confession time, I guess. I’m… I’m a member of the Blade of Marmora,” Allura gasped. “I was sent to this task force to try and stop you guys from catching them, because the Blade is not the bad guy. There’s a worse gang, one who pins their murder’s on innocents and is basically the entire cause of the Galran warfront.  That’s the Empire, run by my very own, Commissioner Zarkon… supposedly. There’s also an equally powerful, but smaller gang run by Zarkon’s bastard son, Lotor. That club we went to last night? One of Lotor’s. The fact that Sendak’s goons decided to go and blow it up means that Lotor is gonna notice and it’s not gonna be pretty-”

 

Keith was about to continue hen Allura interrupted him.

 

“Coran, I say we arrest Keith.”

 

“What?!”

 

“Keith, you had this information the entire time, and only after Coran disbands the task force do you find it appropriate to contribute for once?! And you’re part of the Blade, which makes you accountable for conspiracy with the enemy!”

 

“Allura,” Shiro tried, not wanting for the two to fight.

“No, Shiro, not now. Keith, you never did anything to try and help us-” Allura started, but Keith cut her off.

 

“Ulaz died for your fucking ass Allura, so suck it up. The only reason you’re here right now is because a valuable Blade member sacrificed his life! So just shut up and take the gifts you’re given, Allura!” Keith was panting, things swimming in and out of his vision again because he worked himself up so much. “Now, if you’d all kindly fuck off, I’m going to sleep.”

 

And that was that.

 

~*~

 

After the incident at the hospital, Coran decided not to break up the task force, insisting that they listen to Keith and help take down the Empire. Allura made no move to apologize to Keith, nor did he, and they both avoided each other at all cost, even if it meant next to nothing got done. Because of this, Shiro often spent time in forensics, actually working and hanging out with Matt.

 

It was a hot summer day, when Allura finally caved and approached Keith.

 

“Keith, listen. It was an accident, when I tried to get you arrested. I should’ve trusted you on this, mainly because you’ve had more firsthand experience with this kind of… thing.”

Keith turned to her, Resting Bitch Face in full force, making her stammer.

 

“W-what I’m saying, Keith, is I’m sorry. Let this be water under the bridge and go actually help Shiro. I’m sure it must be devastating to stay in forensics all day,” she held out her hand. Keith grasped it firmly and shook.

 

“Alright then. Let’s go save Shiro.”

 

~*~

 

Turns out Shiro didn’t need much saving. When the duo entered the forensics lab, they saw Shiro pressing Matt against the wall, furiously making out with him. Matt had his legs around Shiro’s waist and both were moaning something out of a porno.

 

“Well then,” Keith said, making the two spring apart.

 

“Oh, uh, hello Keith, Allura,” Matt greeted sheepishly. Shiro’s face was in the process of turning into a tomato, stammering out I-I can explain. Matt removed himself from Shiro, moving the one of the multiple computer screens set up around the room.

 

“I investigated a group of the Empire’s murders and found something. Most of them were killed in amateur ways, but these in particular,” Matt pulled up several bodies, each gruesome in their own way. “These are all professional, the same person killed all of them. I matched the bodies to several others from different groups, and it looks like all of them were killed by the same person. Whoever killed them has an extremely high body count.”

 

Keith paled. He knew these bodies. Some of them were Blade killings, but they were before Keith’s time, when an assassin was contracted to them. The same one who was at the club the night before the Hospital Incident.

 

L,” Keith breathed out, almost too softly for the others to hear.

 

“What, that anime guy?” Matt asked.

 

“No, no. L is like, he’s like a legend. One of the superiors told me a story about him. Called him Baba Yaga,” Keith said.

 

“The boogeyman?” Allura questioned.

 

“No. He said L’s the guy you send to kill the boogeyman. Said even if you shoot him twenty times, he gets back up and returns it, tenfold. Said it was the most horrifyingly awe-inspiring thing he’d ever seen. He was the guy at the Royal Sincline,” Keith replied, voice breathy. Shiro gasped, remembering how much fear coursed through him when he saw that man.

 

Fuck,” he breathed out. Keith looked at him, nodding.

 

“Fuck is right, Shiro. We can’t go at it at this angle. Can’t mess with that madman.”

 

“Keith, we can’t. This is our first lead in months and now you want us to just start over?” Allura asked, pleading. Keith sighed, he’d been doing it a lot ever since he joined this task force.

 

“Fine. But don’t say I didn’t warn you.”

 

~*~

 

Keith walked into one of the various Blade hideouts, the one he knew Thace was in at the moment. He walked passed guards and rooms, asking for Thace. He was finally pointed in the direction of the Office, where all the big shots in the Blade usually stayed. Keith climbed the spiral staircase, dreading every step.

 

There’s no way Thace would agree to this.

 

They haven’t done this in years.

 

The double doors loomed above Keith.

 

Just a knock.

 

And then a question.

 

That’s it.

 

Keith took a deep breath, and knocked.

 

The doors swung inwards, revealing a spacious office, a large desk at the end overlooking Galra City. At the desk sat Thace, leaning forward on the desk, chin on his hands.

 

“Hey… dad.”

~*~

 

Keith cringed inwardly. He hadn’t called Thace 'dad' in eons, not since he officially joined the Blade of Marmora. The resemblance wasn’t lost on anyone, however. They had the same skin, the same hair, nearly the same body, but Keith wasn’t as buff as Thace. The eyes, however, they were his mothers, the mother Keith had never known. Ran away with a sister he’d never known when he was just a boy.

 

“Keith,” Thace answered back, eyes narrowing. Thace knew something was up, Keith never called him dad anymore, never in public, rarely in private. “Sit, son, sit.” He gestured to the chairs near his desk. Keith gingerly stepped towards them, attempting to get comfortable in his father’s prescense alone.

 

“I…I have a favour to ask…” Keith trailed off. Thace looked at him expectantly. “I need to make a contract with L.”

 

Thace exploded. “I will NOT allow it! I don’t need my son to make a deal with that devil. Hell, he might even already know!”

 

“Thace, I need this!”

 

“Keith I will not allow it! That is final!”

 

“It’s Voltron’s only lead you can’t-”

 

“I am your father! Keith I-”

 

“It’s a lead!

 

“Is it a lead or is it a blind grasp on some loose threads?!” At that, Keith sat down. He didn’t know when he stood, or when Thace stood, all he knew was that he needed Thace to cooperate with him or the task force won’t get anywhere. Thace sighed. “Keith, you’re my only son. I couldn’t bear to see you join the Blade, to join a-a gang to be like your dad and take down the Empire. And I can’t bear to see you die, if making a contract with L goes awry.  I already lost one child, I can’t lose another.” Thace sat down heavily in his seat.

 

“Dad, I promise I won’t let anything go wrong with this. It’s too important for taking down the Empire to fuck up. Plus, I have a police taskforce at my back. I don’t think he would dare to do anything with those kinds of stakes. So please, dad, just let me do this.”

 

Thace sighed. “You sure this is what you want to do?” Keith nodded, steely determination in his eyes. “Fine.”

 

Keith did something he hadn’t done since he was thirteen.

 

He hugged Thace.

 

~*~

 

Keith broke the news to Team Voltron once he was out of the compound, excited cheers and a load of feedback coming through his phone. He laughed with them, happy that for once, he had people he could trust to finally take down the Empire. He rode his motorcycle back to his shitty flat, not thinking much of the other motorcycle a little way behind him. It was not uncommon for people in Galra City to own motorcycles but it wasn’t terribly common either.

 

The only reason this motorcyclist even piqued Keith’s minute interest was the fact that they were completely covered in black, black helmet, jacket, pants, and boots. Because of the darkness that had crept over the city and lack of good streetlights, it looked as if no one was even riding the blue motorcycle. 

 

He didn’t think much of it either the next day, in fact he nearly forgot about the entire ordeal. It wasn’t until around a week later, a day before the official contract for L was sent out did Keith think about it.

 

He saw the same motorcycle trail behind him, the rider nearly invisible on it. He parked in the garage of his shitty flat complex, the black rider zooming by. Keith trudged up the stairs to the fourth flour of the complex, the top floor, where his flat was. He jiggled the handle before jamming in the key and twisting it, the stubborn door making him try again until he was in, slamming the door behind him.

 

Keith leaned back on the door and let out a sigh. Today was stressful because Allura and Pidge kept pestering him, asking when L would officially be in their service. Allura was itching for action and Pidge just wanted to know how he did all the cool shit they heard L could do so they could improve their robot side projects.

 

Keith saw that his singular window was open, hot summer air blowing in. He walked over to it, noticing how messy his floor was and making a mental note to clean it up. The messiness of his flat reminded him of something Ulaz had said.

 

You need a gal, or a guy if that’s what floats your boat, to help you ‘round the house Keith. You’re lonely, even I can see that. You can’t keep coming to Blade compounds just to be near people. You need to get laid, too. You’re too… uptight.

 

The last part he had mentioned off handedly, immediately dragging him off to a bar.

 

Ulaz.

 

It made him hurt, the fact that he sacrificed himself to draw off the fire coming towards Shiro and Allura. The death reports from the club’s explosion had come back, listing Ulaz as one of the many fatalities.

 

Lost in thought, Keith hadn’t noticed that someone else was in his flat, crouching on his sorry excuse of a couch.

 

“Man, this is a shitty couch. How do you even live like this?”

 

Startled, Keith slammed down the window, turning and drawing his gun. On his couch was a lanky man, tanned skin and brown hair, dark eyes glinting from the light of the shitty street lights. Keith cursed himself for getting lost in though and forgetting to turn on the lights.

 

“Hi! Heard you wanted to make a contract?”

 

“Wh-who are you?!” Keith asked, gun still pointed at the man. The other man stood up, bowing deeply and lifted his head up.

 

“Lance McClain, or L for short, at your service.”

 

The fucker even had the audacity to wink.