Everything was moving at a blur. Keith barley had a chance to say goodbye to his parents before the alarms sounded, alerting any non essential personnel to leave the building before take off.
Looking around Keith spotted kids of multiple ages boarding the ship, many of them appeared to be close to his age. Then again this was a program for the Gifted.
Keith looked down to his wrist, wincing as he brushed his thumb over top of the new scar which a small metallic disk had just been placed underneath. They told him it was a tracker of sorts, one that alerted the ship of his movement and allowed him access to the rooms with scanners.
He rubbed it once more as he handed his arm over to the attendant at the entrance to the ship. She had light brown hair and pale skin, her lips pressed together in concentration. With a hum from the small machine the woman waved him through, giving him a small but comforting smile.
Keith’s parents were never really there for him. His entire had been focused around this moment, and because of that his parents had always been strict with him, almost as if they forgot that he was their child and not a project.
Keith pushed the unwelcome feelings away, stepping into the ship which was meant to take them to the actual academy which is in orbit around Earth.
He took note of the colours, all two of them. The ships interior was white with grey accents along the walls. A large sign ahead of Keith told the room numbers belonging to each program, Keith was program 8.
The ship was pretty straight forward, almost a rectangle with rooms on the interior side. It didn’t take long for Keith to find his programs section. Taking the first room he saw he held his wrist to the scanner before it beeped and the white doors slide open.
A pair of grey pants placed upon a matching shirt were strewn upon a chair. The room was quite small, a small bed along the side with the one chair and a desk allowed just enough room for it to be comfortable. The glowing screen on the wall across from him alerted that the ship was about to take off. Keith picked up what he assumed was his uniform, slipping his regular clothes off and quickly changing into the soft uniform before sitting down and beginning to strap himself in.
Another announcement alerted everyone on board they would be docking in ten minutes.
Keith was rounding the corner towards his room for what seemed like the millionth time when some slight turbulence sent him falling straight to the floor. Shutting his eyes keith waited to collide with the metallic floor, but instead collided with another body as they both fell to the floor.
“I’m so sorry i didn’t see you coming around the corner and then the turbulence hit-“ Keith rambled on as he attempted to collect himself before the boy in front of him cut him off.
“Woah we’ve barely met and you’re already falling for me” the boy smirked.
Keith rolled his eyes and began to push himself off the floor, offering his hand to the boy who accepted with another smile.
“The names lance, what’s yours?” Lance spoke with confidence, taking his hand back from Keith as he folded his arms across his chest.
“Keith, i’m in program 8” Keith shrugged slightly, examining the boy who stood before him, his brown hair and skin and eyes that could light up a room. Feeling his cheeks begin to flush Keith tried to ignore the thoughts that infiltrated his head.
“No way man me too!” Lance smiled, “looks like we’ll be seeing a lot of eachother.”
“Yeah” Keith smiled, his pale cheeks flushing lightly.
Just as Lance was about to speak another announcement blared over the speakers telling everyone to get back to their rooms and prepare for landing.
“See you later Keith.”
The academy was beautiful. Keith stepped off the transport ship and into the lobby of Garrison Space Academy, he walked steadily with the stream of kids walking to the orientation room.
This was officially the farthest Keith had ever been from home.
As he entered the large room he once again spotted the familiar mop of hair running towards him.
“Looking for me?” Lance smirked, running his hand through his hair.
“In your dreams lover boy” Keith taunted. Lance clearly surprised by Keith's comeback attempted to change the subject.
“So do you know anyone else here?” Lance spoke quickly as they walked beside each other to the middle of the room.
“No, just you.” Keith shrugged.
“Me too” Lance replied.
Keith glanced over to the boy beside him. Lance was looking straight ahead, but his brown eyes were looking all over the room. Soon enough a man with an orange moustache appeared on stage in a tight blue suit.
“Attention everyone” the man spoke into the mic grabbing everyone’s attention, “I will be your program leader, my name is Coran.”
Coran went on to explain what they would be doing, but Keith already knew what they would be doing as he sunk deeper into his thoughts.
Garrison Space Academy is a highly gifted program for only the highest level of students, multiple tests must be taken before you’re even considered as a candidate. The school prepares students for high level jobs, such as working for NASA, working for the academy, or becoming involved in military strategy. Most kids attending end up working for the academy, only a handful ever branch off. But then there’s the Battle Program, only a handful of kids ever get selected to participate, Keith being one of them. Battle school prepares students for combat, majorly combat in space. Since it’s such a prestigious program, the identities of those attending are hidden for their protection in case someone decides to hurt one of the participants in an attempt to take their spot.
“Now let me direct your attention to the screens on the walls beside you, find your name and your room number and head their immediately” Coran stepped down from the mic and exited through a door behind him.
Voices erupted throughout the room as students began to run to the screens to find their room numbers.
Lance took Keith’s wrist and shoved his way to the front of the crowd in front of one of the many screens. It took only took Keith a moment before he spotted his name under one of the screens.
“Found my name” Keith tapped Lances shoulder in an attempt to regain his attention.
“Me too, looks like we’re in the same room together” Lance sighed with relief, “I feel so much better knowing I actually know someone in my room, I was really anxious about it.”
“Don’t worry lance” Keith smiled, his hand on his shoulder, “now let’s find our room before all the bunks are taken.”
Luckily they were the first ones there, the bunks were in either side of the room leaving a small aisle between them. Keith chose the last bunk at the end of the row on the right side of the room, Lance took the bunk beside him, both of them taking the top bunk.
Eventually people begin to fill up the room, both girls and boys. Keith and Lance watched in silence, no one really talked as they entered the room, but soon enough all the bunks were taken.
In an attempt to alleviate some of the awkward tension, Keith introduces himself to the girl beside him on the top bunk.
“Hey i’m Keith, do you know anyone else here?” he asks holding out his hand. The girl hesitated for a moment before taking his hand.
“I’m Katie, but you can call me Pidge” she smiles, “and no I don’t know anyone else here.
“Yeah me too” Keith replies as they both release their hands, “I met Lance on the transport ship.” Keith leans back and points to Lance, who sheepishly smiles before introducing himself as well.
“Oh how did you two meet” Pidge asked, placing her chin upon her knees which were pulled up against her chest.
“I was walking through the halls when turbulence hit and I fell into him.”
“I guess you could say he fell for me at first sight” Lance puffed his chest out, smiling for a moment before laughing at his own joke.
“How cliche” Pidge laughed, rolling her eyes.
Keith laughed along with them, trying once again to put out the burning sensation that was running throughout his chest. Not yet knowing what was causing this feeling.
The day blew by pretty fast. Keith had his black t-shirt on along with his black sweatpants as he walked back from the showers alone. He entered the bunks and made his way over to his bunk, lance was already in bed.
Keith pulled himself onto his bunk and crawled under the sheets. With his body turned towards Lance he opened his eyes. The dark made it hard to see but Keith could faintly see the outline of his hand gripped around the blanket.
Closing his eyes Keith tried to fall asleep, but something wasn’t letting him. As time passed the sounds of rhythmic breathing filled the silence, but the feeling that something wasn’t right only grew larger.
Keith waited in silence, listening to see if anything clicked to what was making him feel this way, and then it hit him. Sitting up in his bed Keith looked over to Lance. His blanket was pulled over his face as if he was sleeping, but his body was shaking ever so slightly.
“Lance” Keith whispered, “Lance” He said again, this time reaching over and tapping his bed.
Lance pulled back his covers instinctively. Although Keith couldn’t see his face he knew that Lance was crying.
Lance didn’t hesitate to follow Keith out of the room. Surprisingly no monitors went off and there was no one patrolling the hallways, if Keith wasn’t so focused on Lance he would’ve tried to come up with a reason as to why there was no security.
“We’re almost there” Keith placed his hands on the edge of the wall, glancing around to make sure no one was there before turning the corner.
Just ahead of them there was a window that took up almost all of the wall, the glass created a view straight onto Earth.
“I found it when I was walking back from the showers” Keith scratched the back of his neck nervously, “I thought it might make you feel better.”
“Thank you” Lance spoke softly as he drifted towards the glass, “It looks different than the photos, doesn't it.”
“Yeah it does” Keith agreed, walking towards lance they both stood side by side staring into the unknown.
“If you ever get homesick again just tell me, or wake me up and we can come here” Keith smiled, shifting his gaze from the window to Lance.
Lances cheeks glistened in the light, he had stopped crying but the tears on his cheeks had just begun to dry. Being this close to someone allowed Keith to notice all the different things about Lance, like the freckles that laid over his cheeks and the bridge of his nose, almost like the stars.
After a few moments they both left the window and made their way back to the bunks, slipping silently back into their beds.
If Keith had spent one more minute at the window with Lance, maybe he would’ve connected the burning sensation in his heart to the boy standing next to him.