Kolivan had no idea what exactly had happened. In all honesty, he wasn’t entirely sure he wanted to know exactly what had happened.
All he knew was that the Galra empire, led by Sendak, had taken control of Earth. He understood that the paladins had defended Earth and ultimately defeated Sendak’s army and saved Earth, but he didn’t know all of the details. He and Krolia had gone to Earth with the blades they had gathered to meet Keith on Earth, only to find the planet in near-ruins, the survivors being treated for injuries and being given supplies. They also found a large group of rebels, led by the green paladin’s older brother, on Earth when they arrived.
Krolia had gone up to the first person she had seen and grabbed their shoulder urgently.
“What happened to the paladins of Voltron?” She asked, worried for the teenagers and, most importantly to her, her son. The humans she had grabbed looked panicked for a moment before smiling when they saw Krolia’s blade of Marmora blade.
“Voltron saved us, but the paladins are in pretty bad shape from what I’ve heard. They crash-landed back on Earth after the final battle. You’ll have to ask an official for more information.” They said. Krolia nodded and thanked them for the information, stalking off to find the first Garrison official she saw.
“I’m looking for my son. He flies the black lion of Voltron.” She said. The official turned to her and smiled politely.
“Keith? He’s recovering from his injuries right now, but I’m afraid you’ll have to provide evidence of being his mom if you want to see him.” They said. Krolia nodded and thought for a moment. She didn’t have any official documents like a birth certificate that she could show them.
“Why would I need to do that?” Krolia asked in confusion.
“Well, as I’m sure you understand, we can’t have random people going to visit them. As I’m sure you also understand, we’re a little skeptical when an alien says they’re the mother of a human.” The official explained. Krolia nodded, since she supposed that made complete sense now that it was explained to her.
“Would there be any possibility of a blood test?” She asked. The official nodded and smiled, leading the two to the infirmary section of the Garrison. They retrieved one of the doctors that were milling around, leading them to Krolia and Kolivan. The doctor smiled up at them and quickly but carefully took a small sample of blood from Krolia.
“Stay here while I go take a sample from Keith and run the tests. Our technology has come a long way, so it shouldn’t take more than ten minutes.” The doctor said, walking down the hallway and turning a corner before disappearing from Krolia’s sight. Kolivan sighed softly and worriedly, shaking his head.
“You know, your son takes after you quite a bit.” Kolivan said. Krolia looked over, her ears twitching in confusion.
“In what ways?” She asked.
“He inherited your natural ability to attract trouble.” Kolivan said. Krolia chuckled and nodded in agreement.
“Yes, I’ve noticed that.” Krolia said, just as the doctor rounded the corner again. She looked up expectantly and frowned when she saw a slightly shocked look on their face.
“Amazing. A human with alien blood. That’s unprecedented.” The doctor said, leading Krolia and Kolivan to Keith’s hospital room. Krolia entered and frowned when she saw Keith. Her son was sleeping deeply, bandages wrapped around his head, his led wrapped in a cast and propper up, wearing the standard loose hospital uniforms.
“We put him under some pretty strong anesthetics while we stitched up his injuries, so he’ll probably be asleep for a little while longer.” The doctor said, leaving the room. Kolivan reached over and sighed softly, reaching out and swiping a lock of hair from Keith’s forehead.
“He is so young, yet he has been through so much.” Kolivan said. Krolia nodded sadly and sat at the foot of Keith’s bed, looking at her some with warmth in her eyes and expression.
“Yes. When this is all over, I intend to give him as normal a life as he can have. Time to explore his kit needs and instincts in an environment where he will not be judged.” Krolia said. Kolivan frowned, his ears pinning back.
“Kit? Exactly how old is Keith, Krolia?” He asked urgently.
“Let’s see… He was eighteen when we went on our mission to the quantum abyss, we spent about two years there… It’s been about three years since then… twenty-three, roughly.” Krolia said. Kolivan let out a choked, horrified noise.
“Only 23?! Quiznak, I let a child go through the trials, much less go on such brutal missions!” Kolivan said. Krolia put a hand on Kolivan’s shoulder in as soothing a manner as she could.
“You didn’t know. Keith never would have told you. On Earth, eighteen in the general age of maturity in humans, so he did consider himself an adult.” Krolia said. Kolivan nodded and glanced back at Keith. He looked up when he saw one of the nurse enter the room to change the bandages on Keith’s head and check the stitches.
“What is that beeping? Is something wrong with the machinery?” Kolivan asked in confusion when he registered the heart rate monitor. The nurse shook her head and looked over with a smile.
“No, that’s just the heart rate monitor, It beeps to let us know that his heart is still beating, and it becomes one long sound if it stops.” The nurse explained. “But that’s unlikely. He’s pretty banged up, but he’ll make a full recovery.” She said, leaving the room. Kolivan took a seat by the window, throwing one of his legs up onto the ledge and resting his arms on the knee as he regarded Keith. Krolia sighed softly and perked up when she saw Keith shifting, smiling gently. Out of the corner of her eye, she could see a smile forming on Kolivan’s face as Keith turned his head towards them and cracked his eyes open.
When Keith awoke, the first thing he registered were two darker blobs of color in the room. He blinked a few times to straighten out his vision, smiling lightly when he saw Krolia and, to his disbelief, Kolivan in the room.
“How are you feeling, Keith?” Krolia asked softly, reaching out and running a hand lightly through Keith’s hair, cautious of the injuries.
“I feel okay. I’ve definitely felt better, though.” Keith said. “What are you guys doing in here?” He asked curiously, trying to push himself up. Kroli gently eased him back onto the bed.
“Settle down, kit. There is no rush.” Krolia said gently. “And did you think we would just let you wake up alone?” she asked. Keith shrugged and looked away.
“I mean, I guess I’ve never really had anyone who would make sure I didn’t wake up alone.” Keith said, as though it were the most obvious thing in the world.
“Well, rest assured that that will never happen again.” Krolia said determinedly, helping Keith sit up slowly and giving him a styrofoam cup of water. It had taken several attempts with the combined effort of the two Galra to fill the cup, since their claws repeatedly punctured holes in the cup. Krolia tilted the cup enough for small sips, pulling away when it semed that Keith was going too fast.
“There is the idea of housing, Keith. The Garrison is willing to give each family unit of the paladins an apartment in the Garrison. But, there is the issue of packs. Kolivan and I have always considered each other pack, so he will be living with us.” Krolia explained. Keith nodded a bit. He was fine with Kolivan living with them.
“What’s a pack?” Keith asked. Kolivan glanced at Krolia in alarm.
“How does he not know about packs?” Kolivan asked incredulously.
“Well, Kolivan, humans don’t participate in packs. So, he wouldn’t know about it.” Krolia explained. She turned to Keith. “A pack is a bit like a found family, Keith. A group of close friends live together and take care of each other, and work together to care for kits that live with them.” Krolia explained. Keith nodded and looked around.
“Can I leave yet?” He asked.
“I don’t think so, Keith. I am fairly sure that the doctors here wish to keep you for a few more days to ensure there will be no lasting damage from your head injury, as well as making sure you are healing well.” Kolivan said. He got up and moved to Keith’s side, a hand settling on Keith’s shoulder. Keith nodded and sighed impatiently.
“I hate hospitals.” He admitted, leaning his head on Kolivan’s arm.
As Kolivan had predicted, Keith had been held in the hospital for a few more days before he was allowed to leave and go to his, Krolia’s, and Kolivan’s apartment.
He had spent a solid fifteen minutes arguing about a wheelchair with the nurse that was helping him check out, insisting that it wasn’t necessary. However, the argument was futile, and he soon found himself in a wheelchair, his head leaning against Krolia’s stomach as the woman pushed him to their apartment. Kolivan was walking next to them, a small smile on his face.
“The apartment is fully stocked with supplies, as well as as many blankets and pillow as I could bargain for for the purpose of nesting.” Kolivan said. Keith perked up and looked over at Kolivan.
“Nest?” He asked. Kolivan looked even more bewildered, looking at Krolia for an explanation.
“Again, it is not a human practice, Kolivan.” Krolia explained to him. “A nest is a structure of pillows and blankets, constructed with the intention of a pack sleeping in it. Of course, if you are uncomfortable with that, there are bedrooms with beds in it if you would rather sleep there.” Krolia said. Keith nodded and smiled lightly, closing his eyes. He was still dressed in the hospital clothes, since his only other clothes were the skinny jeans that wouldn’t fit over the cast on his leg, blade of marmora armor, paladin armor, and his cadet uniform. Since Keith had agreed that he’d rather be comfortable, he had snatched a few sets of the clothes for himself before they had left.
“I must say, though, human food is rather weird. I tried a small red sphere and it was very sweet.” Kolivan said.
“Do you mean a grape?” Keith asked, laughing a bit. Kolivan looked over.
“Is that what it’s called?” Kolivan asked as they came across the door to their apartment. He scanned a key card and watched as the door slid open, stepping inside. Krolia pushed Keith inside and smiled, as the door slid shut behind them. She helped Keith up and handed him a set of crutches.
“Why don’t you go pick your bedroom and unpack your things? All of the boxes that have your things are marked with your name.” Krolia said. Keith nodded and looked around, relaxing when he saw Cosmo laying in the dining room, asleep. Satisfied that his pet was okay, he disappeared into the hallway. He chose a bedroom at random, going to search for his belongings before realizing that all of the boxes were marked in Galran.
“Uh… I can’t read Galran.” Keith said, attracting the other two residents’ attention. Krolia went to Keith and grabbed the boxes of his things, putting them into the bedroom that Keith had chosen. Overall, the bedroom was standard-looking; a bed sat in one corner, with a nightstand, a desk sat against the opposite wall, and there was a closet on the other wall. The bed was covered in standard white sheets, with two pillows at the top of the bed.
When Keith looked into his boxes, he wasn’t surprised to find that he really didn’t own that much. His clothes, mostly consisting of various armors, took up the most room. He also had a small collection of colored pens that he hadn’t even been aware had been taken from the castle of lions. He loved to doodle, and it warmed his heart in a way that someone had thought to saved the items that seemed so insignificant. He had his various knives, and he was surprised to find that someone had thought to also pack his red paladin pajamas and lion slippers.
It didn’t take long to find a place to put all of his belongings, but by the time he did, he was hungry. He supposed it was because he didn’t eat much of his breakfast, sick of the bland, weirdly-textured hospital food that he had been given over the last few days. He went out into the main living area, pausing when he saw that must have been the most bizarre sight he had ever come across.
Kolivan and Krolia were working together to build what Keith could only assume was a nest. Layers of blankets covered the entire living room floor, and more blankets formed cave-like burrows or small, covered areas. Looser blankets, clearly intended for burrowing under, covered the top of the nest, and the two were placing pillows in what seemed like planned places.
“Hello, Keith. Are you finished unpacking your things?” Kolivan asked. Keith nodded and smiled when Cosmo teleported over, nuzzling Keith with a soft, excited whine. Keith laughed and sat down, burying his face in Cosmo’s thick fur. He froze when his stomach growled audibly, the two Galra watching in amusement as Keith blushed up to his ears.
“Are you hungry, Keith?” Krolia asked gently. Keith, finding it useless to argue, nodded, letting Krolia lead him into the kitchen. He hopped up onto the stools at the breakfast bar as Krolia rifled through the ingredients in the cupboards. Krolia eventually set a plate of meat cubes and crackers in front of Keith.
“Thank you.” Keith said, digging into his snack with a smile. When he was finished, he got up and went into the living room, Cosmo not far away, hesitantly settling down in the nest. A small part of him trilled in delight, settling down for the first time in his life.
Keith had to admit, the nest was very comfortable. Cushioned just enough, blankets soft against his skin.
Krolia and Kolivan walked into the nest to find Keith rolling around in the nest, making amused ‘merp’ sounds as he settled down with a laugh. Krolia pulled out her phone and snapped a few pictures, intent on starting to capture memories in pictures.
Looking over at Kolivan, Krolia grinned, knowing that the two of them would protect and nurture Keith at all costs.