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Astral Reincarnation

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Everyone knows the story of how Voltron saved the planet from invasion. Over a few centuries later, the Garrison Corporation build itself into an entirely new legacy from the discovery of alien life outside the Earth's galaxy. Officer's Coran and Takashi Shirogane commit themselves to the training, drills, and fighter pilots.

Keith is full of action, natural skill, and instincts. There is no equal to his own level. Shiro behaves brotherly to Keith and that's due to his first arrival. He wasn't always obedient to begin with, there was always a smart ass attitude. In recent events, GC has found Voltron's mechanical corpse in the deep ocean.

———

Tonight, he is assigned to secure the perimeter where Voltron is kept under surveillance and testing. However, Shiro asked to sit with Keith for a bit.

"You're asking him to marry you?"

"Yeah, I don't see myself with anyone else other than Adam. He's never left me, even when I lost my, and gained the, prosthetic arm."

Shiro stared down at his arm, extending his hand before clasping it shut into a fist. Keith is surprised by Shiro's decision.

"That's really great news. I'm happy for you two." Keith had a genuine smile and playfully shoved his arm against Shiro's. "It's about time, if I'm being honest."

"About time? Huh, makes me wonder."

"What's that?"

"I'm starting to wonder if you'll ever find someone to match that personality of yours,"Shiro chuckles to himself.

Keith raised an eyebrow and Shiro lifts his hand to ruffle Keith's hair. "Can't be alone forever."

He scoffed and swats away Shiro's hand. "What? I don't need anything like that. I'm fine just the way I am," he chuckles him while looking away towards the sunset. Shiro watched the sunset as well.

Their relationship had always been one to admire. The two are a perfect match. Shiro is more soft in the heart while Adam tends to be stoic but always loved the special attention he received. Not one other partnership, so similar, could exist.

"I don't doubt it but I do hope there is someone out there you can call equal."

"Alright, I think this whole marriage proposal has you weak in the knees. I don't need love in my life, I've always been fine without it."

Keith attempted to drop the subject. Not that it was hitting a wrong button but just love and affection were never a concern to him. Shiro respected the boundaries and agreed to change the subject.

"Well anyway. So, security job tonight?".

"Yeah. GC isn't willing to risk anything when it comes to that thing." Keith yawned. "Beats doing nothing, that's for sure."

"I still can't believe we found it; the Voltron. Who would've thought?"

Shiro has always been fascinated by the history. Keith never thought too much on the tale but liked to hear him talk about it.

"I don't know, believing in some alien war machine? Sounds like trouble."

"Saved our planet so no complaints here. I better get back, see you around."

"Later, Shiro."

The Commanding Officer had patted on Keith's shoulder before he removed himself off the road railing.Keith smirked to himself before mounting his sport bike. After he slipped on his helmet and turned to look back at Shiro, somehow he figured that would be the last time he saw his image alone. Definitely a huge change for Keith. A deep sigh left the young man before he revved his bike and drove off.

———

Keith leaned back against the wall, all comfortable inside the security room. A disinterested expression laid on his face as he yawned. Guard duty is never exciting. His partner for the night shift is Rolo, an expert in engineering. These two felt very unlucky to be selected.

Rolo chuckles as he sat in a chair, observing the cameras."Geez, bored already?"

Keith stretched out the stiff feeling in his body."Can't be helped. Seeing as nothing is going to happen."

"Better knock on wood, man." Rolo warned.

Keith scoffed."Seriously?"

"Nothing good ever happens when anyone says that."

"Right. Well I'm off to my rounds then." Keith left the security room.

———

After exiting the elevator's, Keith brought himself to a secluded area which happened to be a blind spot for the cameras. By remembering Rolo's bathroom break routine, he took a glance at the upper level. Rolo had just stepped out of the room. Perfect timing. Reaching inside of his black leather jacket, he pulled out an ear piece.

He spoke in a low voice."I'm here."

A static voice had replied to Keith through the ear piece."Alright. There should be a mainframe system nearby." Upon sight, he found a set of computers linked with much larger machines which are analyzing Voltron's stats.

Keith Kogane is an undercover soldier within the Garrison Corporation for intel. Over the years, he managed to gain enough trust from Officer's Coran and Shiro. The objective was always to obtain information for a secret society Keith had grown up with. He is instructed to insert a tiny chip into the mainframe, Keith is completely focused and relaxed. Then a sound of rattling brought him to an alert. He cursed while turning off the monitor and hid behind a large portion of the computers.

The voice spoke in the ear piece."What is it?"

"An intruder." He whispered while looking over his shoulder from the corner.

"Execute and abort." They replied.

"Copy that." Keith removed his ear piece.

A shape of a young man had been trying to sneak around and seemed to be searching for an opening to Voltron.Light on his feet, Keith ducked and snuck closer. Once hidden behind a portion of what may have been the robots arm, he searched for the intruder but he was nowhere to be seen. Keith swore he just seen the guy but they disappeared out of plain sight.

"What the-"

In the blink of an eye, he heard footsteps that leaped, and in his peripheral vision, caught glimpse of a fist coming toward his face. Swiftly avoiding the impact with a lean, he managed to grab hold of the strangers wrist to pull into an arm lock from behind their back. Shockingly, the stranger head butted into Keith's face that allowed him to break from the arm lock. Then the guy kicked himself back into Keith off the computers and landed right on top of him with pressuring weight. Winded and impaired of the current rotation, the intruder had already rolled over Keith backwards in a rise to his feet and stepped away.

Keith immediately brought himself up to a self defense stance, "Who are you?!".

"Back off, Mullet. I'm not here for you." The guy responded.

Keith ignored the dis of his hair length while locking the appearance into memory. His skin is of a tan color, dressed in casual attire that included a forest green jacket, black gloves, and a blue bandanna covering half of his lower facial features. He seemed to be about the same age.

"Anyone would be an idiot to sneak in here."

"Well with hair like yours, I don't blame them.. for.. trying!"

"Shit!"

The stranger reached into his pocket, striking a smoke bomb at Keith's feet.His eyes widen as he covered his face. While the smoke filled the area, the guy ran by and practically pulled parkour skills to climb on top of Voltron.

Keith yelled into his radio."Ugh, Rolo! There's been a breach!"

In spite of events, the young soldier had to admit, he was impressed. Not impressed enough to let the asshole go free however. He never had anyone able to break free of his partial combat skills before. The only thought that wouldn't leave Keith is the fact he was bewildered by the sight of ocean blue eyes. He grabbed the chip from the mainframe and ran after the intruder.

"Get back here!"

---

With a slide, the intruder easily slipped inside a wide opened entrance of the war machine. Keith caught up in a few seconds but hesitated to go forth, he had his orders to execute by any means necessary. Something literally felt off about this guy. No more wasting time. He jumped inside.

Inside the cockpit of Voltron, the stranger was searching for what was known as a "Bayard port". Just then, he felt the impact of Keith's fist and fell forward with to only be straddled in between the two pillars of the cockpit. Both groaning in pain, the sound of the alarm system filled the air outside of the robot announcing the security breach. In that exact moment, both had pulled out their own choice of weapon: a blade for Keith and a hand gun for the stranger. They aimed at each other's throat. The gun required two sets of hands while Keith's free hand was holding onto one of the pillars.

"Stand down. Unless you don't mind being caught." Keith muttered out as he gave a piercing glare.

"Oh, that's convenient." The young man used one hand to removed the bandanna from his lower face, "Seeing as you were stealing information back there. Exactly what do you think they'll do when they find out you have a chip of their data?"

Neither willing to let go of their weapons and still ready to attack, the intruder began to notice an odd glow revealing marks on both sides of Keith's face. Just by shape alone anyone could see it'd be forming a "V" like shape connecting at the back of his neck.

"No way...", the intruder breathed out.

This caught Keith's attention as he felt the gun point slowly remove itself. He continued to hold onto the blade tighter against their neck, not willing to give a chance to get the better of him.

"You're one of them!"

"What are you-"

Before he could even react, Keith felt a majority of his hair grasped and pulled downward...

...into a pair of lips?!

———

"Keith! Where are ya?!"

Rolo arrived on scene trying to search for Keith. Out of nowhere, the eyes of Voltron had lit up and it's mechanical body began to radiate some glow. Rolo moves away in fear that the machine may begin to move on its own. A group of units arrived, followed by Commanding Officer's Coran and Shiro.

"Where's the intruder?" Shiro asked.

"I'm not sure but that's not the only issue..!", Rolo pointed towards Voltron. Shiro and Coran stared in shock. The dead giant robot was alive!

———

The sensation from contact is unexplained. Keith was filled with more than one emotion by the sudden kiss. His body felt heavy and drained. Their surroundings were covered in a mixture of blue and red quintessence. It never made anything more bearable by the fact that the intruder has been watching his reaction the entire time. Finally removing his lips from Keith, they both stared at each other for a moment. Keith is dazed and flustered but couldn't figure out the exact cause. It could have been from this strange energy, or the fact his first kiss came from a stranger. His hand finally let go of the pillar. All the quintessence disappeared and Keith is able to realize what just happened.

"So your not fully human."

"Fucker... what was all that?!" Keith yelled. "And who are you?"

"You can call me Lance, Mullet." He spoke and held a hand to his throat, massaging the stinging sensation from the blade.

"Fuck off. I meant, who sent you after this war machine?" Keith's tone was stern and full of warning.

"Is this really a good time right now?"

Lance is right to ask. The alarm has caused an uproar. Not sure if he should remove himself, he tries to think fast.

"Shit. . ."

Keith sat up and glared down at this Lance, who had a smirk on his face. Lifting himself off, Lance if relieved to finally have some breathing room. He arose from the floor and resumed his search for a Bayard port inside the cockpit. Only to be blocked by the soldier in front of him.

"Why are you here?"

Lance raised an eyebrow. "Came to get Voltron. Now if you would excuse me," He shoved himself passed Keith.

"Like I'm gonna let that happen."

Keith yanked on the collar of Lance's jacket, causing him to look back. Obviously, he still meant to take him back to the GC prison.

"Whatever, Mullet. All it'll take is to say I placed a chip inside your glove, which I imagine, you've managed to steal for quite some time."

The one time he thought that slacking off wouldn't do harm caused him to slip and his tactics to be recognized by some amateur. Frustrated and angry with himself, he stepped aside to let Lance search for whatever he was looking for. Keith kicked himself on the inside. His threat was way to risky to blow his cover. Lance moved passed Keith and mounted himself among the pilots seat. From his strange wristband, formed a blue bayard out of thin air. Keith found his technology familiar.

"What is-"

"No time. I need you to hold onto those pillars!" Lance found the port for his bayard but awaited Keith to grab onto the pillars.

"As if I'll do what you want me to?"

"Your just going to have to trust me on this, Mullet. Otherwise we'll both be in jail." Lance felt anxious as he hoped that this guy with mullet hair would comply to his sudden request. Jail needed to be avoided for his mission. Reluctantly in this dire situation, he might as well compromise. He set down his hands against the top of the pillars.

"This thing isn't going to move you kn-!"

Both young men yelled in shock as their surroundings were filled of a white flash.

Chapter Text

A white flashed filled the entire facility to a momentary blinding light. All the units and officers covered their eyes in response. Shiro was the first to risk opening his eyes after few minutes passed. Before his very eyes revealed a newly altered image of Voltron. It had been revived and standing tall before everyone.

"Wow..." Shiro had a shaky voice.

"Wha- I can't believe it!" Said Commanding Officer Coran.

"If that thing is up and running... maybe Keith activated it?!" Rolo spoke out loud as he stared in awe.

"What do you mean Keith, he's in there?!" Coran yelled.

"Well, I think it might be him? He's the one who told me about the intruder in the area." Rolo responded. Shiro realized the units were ready, their fingers nearly pulling the triggers.

"Hold your fire!"

———

"Holy shit!" Lance yelled with intense enthusiasm.

Keith's eyes opened and is in shock to reveal that himself and Lance are now settled inside an entirely new cockpit fit for two pilots. What was more surprising is that Keith now wielded a red bayard of his own.

"Holy shit..." he whispered to himself.

Lance noticed the pillars were gone and an added pilot seat below his own, where Keith is mounted. "Guess this is how we activate it?", Lance raised up his bayard to motion in following his lead.

Again, reluctantly, Keith raised the object. Both young men struck the ports, inserted the bayards with a twist and Voltron's cockpit lit up its technology. A transparent screen window appeared in front of Keith and Lance, revealing they were still inside the facility but now with company below.

"Who the heck is that?" Lance asked.

"Shiro?"

"Right..." Lance could see the worry on Keith's face. His eyes looked downward and noticed the two officers on the ground. Just then, the units began to shoot at the body of Voltron.

Keith flinched as the ammo ricochet off the amor. "Can it even block against their firepower?!" He asked.

"Let's find out!" Lance reached for two controls and thrusted them forward.

Unfortunately the result caused Voltron to step forward but crash landed against the wall of the facility. The units below panicked and ran away from the rubble of the impact.

Keith growled in frustration, "Thought you knew how to pilot this thing?"

"Work in progress, obviously." Lance retorted while adjusting the controls. "How about helping out?"

Keith scoffed. He could definitely pilot this pile of junk way better... if he knew how? He grabs both controls and pulled them backward, a rough start to eventually adapt to Voltron's way of movement. Before Lance suggest they both bust out from the cargo entrance, Keith stared down in Shiro's direction. He assumed that one day he may have to come clean about his purpose at GC. It never crossed his mind that he would feel regret over it.

"Wasting time, Mullet!" Lance yelled while tapping against his holographic screen and growled in his throat.

Switching their attention to piloting Voltron, Keith and Lance needed to mobilize it through the entrance. Miraculously with the right sequence it had brung out the shoulder canon and shot an opening. What a fluke!

"Damn..." Regardless of the amazing shot, Lance felt a drain in his energy. Keith felt something odd. Like a pull that tugged it's line from behind himself. It didn't come from this guy did it?

"Did I just-?"

"C,mon!" Lance moved Voltron forward.

The unstable rhythm caused an unsettling nausea in Keith's gut which made him follow after Lance with the controls. Anyone witnessing this escape could tell these two men didn't know how to properly pilot the robot. "It's right then left, idiot!"

"Quit shoving those controls like you know what your doing!" Lance was also feeling frustrated.

"I suppose your the one who does?"

"Let's just say I've studied way more than you, at this point."

———

Voltron had made it outside the building. The boys sighed in relief and took notice of jets taking flight in the distance. Voltron's core engine sounded as if it was close to shutting down.

"Aw c'mon!" Keith slammed his fist against his panel.

Lance checked the power status and realized he used more energy than he should have using the cannon. Meanwhile, his unfortunate partner stayed worried about being caught by the GC.

"We don't have enough power to get out of here." He glanced over to Keith's back.

Keith slightly turned to look back at Lance, "So what?"

"Well... I do have one crazy idea. You just won't like it," Lance took a deep breath. "We're going to need quintessence." Suddenly, Lance climbed over his panel and slipped down beside Keith.

Wondering exactly what he was planning to do next had kept him quiet and observant but maybe that was a mistake. Lance brought himself to straddle Keith. This caused a hitch his breathing. Not again! Keith thought to himself.

"What are you doing??"

He couldn't take another moment of this stranger sexually harassing him. Lance felt amused watching his reaction. Keith began to use his hands to try push him off his lap but there was that pull again. It's faint but the tingling sensation of which feels like puzzle pieces finding their perfect fit has him questioning his own motives. He couldn't look away.

"First time like this?" Lance referred to the position. Lance unfortunately had more advantage in his position, leaning in closer by the minute. Keith was flustered all over again. "Relax, Mullet. It's like ripping off a bandaid." Lance smirked as his face was now closer to his.

"Serious-!"

Lance immediately took the opportunity as soon as Keith parted his lips to speak, inserted his tongue and brushed against the other immediately. Keith had froze but let out a huff through his nose. He is infuriated but astonished, eventually felt defeated as his energy started to drained. Despite so, their tongues are coaxed in each other's saliva. The wet warmth had sparked an electric feel of excitement. Keith couldn't deny it anymore, something about the way he is approached by this guy had made him realize he may be actually enjoying this?

The adrenaline rush of intimacy caused quintessence to surge from both Lance and Keith at once, now replenishing Voltron of new energy. A moment too late, one of the jets fired their missile into the machine. The impact had practically leaned Voltron over. Keith quickly reacted by lowering his arms and forced to push his upper body against Lance. Just enough to reach and use his handles to catch Voltron on its robotic knees.

With this encounter, his cheeks flushed a bright red colour as their tongues continued to graze alongside together. Was this really the time to make out? Lance removed his mouth from Keith. Their eyes are half lidded and lost in the moment, even if only for a second. This has never happened before for either of them.

Now able to turn away, if this wasn't humiliating enough, Lance continued to watch the reaction off of him. He finally moved away from Keith's lap but kept an eye level in between them. He refused to break eye contact, not even paying attention to the fact their bodies were glowing of red and blue quintessence.

"Thanks for a great time." Lance had winked before he finally reached and climbed back into his cockpit.

Keith is turned away. Embarrassed and flustered. Once again, allowing this guy to make a move on him. Although, he can't exactly say he hated it.

———

Shiro appeared outside of the GC's building and took in the sight of all the damage by Voltron. To make matters even more confusing there was the fact that he couldn't believe Keith may have been piloting the robot. All those years of getting to know him better felt like they exploded away instantly but he refused to give up on him. There had to have been a perfectly good reason for him to take off like this.

"Over there!" A fellow soldier pointed to the kneeling Voltron in the distance.

Worry overcame his expression as more missiles had fired and made contact with Voltron. The Commanding Officer was about to seize fire until he realized the war machine began to rise once more. A large pair of red jet wings appeared on its back.

"Damn it— Keith!"

Voltron jet fired itself in the blink of an eye, high above towards space. The jet aircrafts maneuvered towards the direction but the sensors or satellite couldn't spot it since it disappeared like a shooting star, leaving only a tail of fuel behind.

Officer Coran came running. He stood beside Shiro and looked up to the night sky. If it weren't for the damages, this all could've seemed like a bad dream but it felt like a nightmare.

 

Chapter Text

Admiral Iverson held a meeting with the two officers about the Voltron incident. Coran and Shiro explained and how it miraculously changed by itself. After Voltron disappeared, Rolo was instructed to retrieve the recordings of that night but the footage was nowhere to be found. A huge speculation about Keith gone rogue hovered in the air. Rolo's last description of the security breach including an intruder had found its way in the GC, so no one knew for certain.

A few hours after the meeting, Shiro is complexed on the inside and often lost at thought through out the rest of the day. Adam showed up, noticing Shiro had been bothered ever since the incident. "You alright?" He asked while placing a hand on Shiro's shoulder.

"Frustrated. Exhausted. Worried. Take your pick," Shiro sighed and shrugged. He didn't know how to feel about everything but Keith always came to mind. Adam stood beside Shiro, crossing his arms over his chest.

"No leads?"

Shiro focused for a minute. "I can't get one thing out of my head. Rolo mentioned that Keith pursued an intruder but without any evidence or video footage, we have no proof of Keith going rogue with Voltron."

Adam stared at Shiro with concern, "You don't actually think Keith stole it, do you?"

"That's just it. I feel like I'm one of the few who still believe in him. Keith can outmatch anyone so it doesn't make sense if there actually was someone who managed to kick his ass." Another frustrated sigh escaped from Shiro as he pinched the bridge of his nose.

"It's only been a few days, Shiro. Let's say someone did manage to beat down Keith. We won't know for sure unless there is some sort of contact from him. He's capable of fighting his own battles, have some faith for now..." Adam wanted to reassure his partner but there was no lying in the fact they had no hard evidence to lead away from speculation. It was a difficult time for him.

"... you're right." Shiro smiled to himself. "I'm glad you're here, Adam. Don't know what I'll do without you."

"I'm glad too." He smirked and began to walk away, "Besides, no one else can teach me how to make such striking eyeliner like you can."

"Wha- I have long eyelashes. Long eyelashes!"
Feeling embarrassed, Shiro followed after Adam. Their relationship really was one of a kind.

———

A group of men in odd black attire gathered in the desert mountains around midnight. They each had a mask covering their faces and carried strange blades with crystallized markings near their handles. The sound of footsteps of another kin brought attention, this member had a feminine shape.

"Elaborate." The tallest had spoke, revealing a deep voice and stood as leader of the group.

"Footage is erased." The unknown woman responded.

"As for Yorak?", the Leader asked again.

"GC knows nothing but Voltron remains undetected." The woman turned away, "What now?".

A chip is tossed towards the woman, which she caught with ease. "Insert the information. We can't risk your position in the GC so you are to be included on the upcoming mission to track down Voltron."

"But why?" She asked.

"Seek out Yorak and bring him back to the Blade of Marmora. Understood?" She nods in response and the group dispersed.

"What about Voltron?" One of the members asked while running.

"Voltron needs quintessence to be piloted. Whoever the intruder was, knew this all too well so it's mandatory we capture this pilot."

———

Did everything happen in a dream?

Keith felt at peace while leaning against his sport bike, feeling the cold wind chill on the back of his neck. The sunset brought many nostalgic memories. The first day he showed up at the GC, his first meeting with Shiro, getting to know Rolo, and then his childhood came to mind. He could remember standing alone in the bathroom. There was a particular reason for that. Maybe it could have been a bad day. Then the image of his eye color triggered his trauma. Keith snaps his eyes open to realize he's no longer standing by his bike. There was nothing there. Everything is dark.

The back of his neck felt inflamed and itchy. Just one itch should help take his mind off it. A stinging sensation crept from his neck, up to the cheeks but the combination of itching and scratching never stopped. More pain came after another scratch. Then another. Another, until tears formed in the corner of his eyes.

"Keith?"

He doesn't recognize that voice. Keith is about to respond until his self image drowns him in a pit of fear and shame. His iris colors are still violet but the sclera now reveals a yellow discoloration. It doesn't look human. Even his teeth are showing a slight fang growth. Immediately, the first reaction is to run away. Instead anger builds up. This image needs to disappear. It needs to go away. Keith doesn't want to keep staring at this part of himself anymore. That's enough. . . and his fist collides into the mirror with rage.

Lance is caught off guard by hearing the impact of Keith's hand against the mechanic wall beside his mat. Keith is breathing heavily and covered in cold sweat. "Fuck, seriously?"

"Where am I...?"

Lance shakes his head and stands up from across. "We've been constantly on the move."

Keith growled in his throat. It's like a warning flashed inside his head to recall Lance is a thief. Very quickly, he rises from the bed and yanks Lance by the jacket. Lance's eyes widened not expecting Keith to be so aggressive and finds himself against the mechanic wall. There is a forearm at his neck, no choke hold but this type of grip gave the intention it could happen at any moment. Lance had to admit Keith's strength is surprising.

"You—"

—"Well. Didn't think you'd come for seconds so soon," he laughed to himself.

Keith had no idea what he was talking about. Then, images of their unfortunate kiss flashed in his mind. Lance took the advantage to break out of his hold and swiftly flip Keith over himself. His back arched from the uncomfortable impact.

With an amused chuckle, Lance kneeled himself over Keith, "You make this way to easy."

Keith is feeling some odd attachment to this stranger. For the moment, he never replied and decided to keep quiet. At least until his thoughts are clear.

Lance removed himself and backed away. "You should thank me though,"

Keith grunted and stood up from the ground. "For throwing me over?"

Lance crossed arms over his chest. "I take pride in my combat tactics. No, I mean for nursing you over the last few nights."

For about a few nights now, Lance has been looking after him. Voltron immersed itself with a massive amount of quintessence from both of the young men. An unknown reason, Lance could handle recuperating himself but as for Keith the extraction caused a miniature coma.

"That's a load of bullsh—"

—"It is not." Lance is prepared to lay down some facts about his skills until he notices that the Mullet's attention is elsewhere. It takes a few seconds to realize what caught his tongue. With a smile, he turned around to look up and also stare up at the two giant mechanical lions.

"Oh yeah. This is Blue and Red. Aka, Voltron."

Keith looked at Lance then turned his attention back to the two lions, "How did he split in two?"

"Must be from that weird flash. Like some kind of upgrade but I gave them both names." He shrugged and stepped his way towards Blue.

Lance reached his hand outward as the lion tilted its giant head down, to only give a small contact of its chin against his hand. This whole scenery is just odd. From intruder to sexual harassment, then unexpected partner, and now a lion tamer, Keith wasn't sure what to think of this Lance. Talented he is but the cocky attitude could use some adjustment.

However, due to his own mission objective Keith couldn't afford to let his guard down. "You're quite the enigma."

"Did you say something, Mullet?"

Keith stared up at the red coloured mechanical lion. Red stared its transparent hues down at the young man, observing his every move. He could tell this lion had its own pessimistic attitude.

Lance sat himself amongst the paw of his blue lion. "So are you going to explain why an alien like yourself is in a place like Earth?"

The question was sudden, Keith is more concerned and wondering about the hidden information Lance held to himself. There's no way he's going to let that go. Then Lance pointed to the back of Keith's neck.

"That is not a human feature."

"What do you know about anything?"

"Ever since the arrival of Voltron, alien life was a huge eye opener to the world. Since it's still around, it's no surprise that aliens are here on Earth." Lance quirked an eyebrow.

"I'm not an alien. Plus, Voltron is the only reason alien life found its way onto this planet." The tone in Keith's voice turned stern. "Where I come from, the mission is to get rid of it."

"Well that's stupid."

"Whatever makes you feel better." Keith shrugged and looked away. He continued, —"Voltron's technology has been sought after for centuries and unknowingly has been bringing alien life to Earth. Which, eventually caused disappearing acts in civilization and resulted in multiple violence just to obtain it."

Lance never expected a history lesson. "Centuries huh?" He mumbled while lost in thought.

"Regardless of what I know about this alien war tech, I can't figure out why you know so much on how to pilot this thing?" Keith finally brought up the avoided subject.

"GC's old files, Mullet." Lance hopped off of Blue's paw and walked up to Keith, pointing a finger at his chest.

The contact made Keith feel uncomfortable which caused him to grab hold of Lance's wrist. "Would you stop acting so casual with me? And my name is not Mullet. It's Keith."

"Okay, Keith." Lance pulled back his wrist, "I have some hacking skills of my own and unfortunately, your so called tight security was terrible at hiding anything from the public. Learning about Voltron's way to function didn't take long to catch onto."

"Somehow, I don't believe that." He sighed in frustration.

"You don't have to." An awkward silence filled the air around the two while both are lost in their own thoughts. 

Meanwhile, the mechanical lions occasionally gave a rumble of a growl. The young men suppose all of this sudden misadventure was, in fact, a lot to take in. Keith is MIA from the GC and Lance is practically a wanted criminal along side Keith for stealing Voltron.

Lance broke the ice again. "I have to ask."

"What?"

"Are you into men?" The expression on Lance's face is serious but eager to learn about him.

Frozen in disbelief to a point that Keith can't even take his eyes off him. Even his eyebrow twitched from annoyance. "What era do you come from?"

"What, it's an honest question!"

"Ugh, never mind sexual preferences.. But that brings up a perfect topic. Exactly what kind of sexual harassment play do you got going on? I'm not to toy with." Keith glares at Lance.

"So your possibly a bi-sexual?" He can't help but smile at Keith.

"None of that matters, Lance. What matters is the fact I don't appreciate you throwing yourself at me when you damn well please." Keith is infuriated.

Lance smirked and is liking all the kinds of reactions. That same tingling sensation came back which made Keith stop himself from continuing the conversation. Not realizing he may have given away more personal details than he should have. Plus, it was never his business to know.

"Wow, not only do you got self respect but morals too?" Lance snickered a little.

"Shut the fuck up."

 

Chapter Text

Keith and Lance called a truce. Afterwards, they boarded the mechanical lions, the controls didn't seem so different from piloting Voltron. However, the bayards were unusable. The two needed to move on in case of GC air droids lurking nearby.

Keith sat before his panel in the mouth of the red lion. "Wonder if we can fly these things?"

—"The last time, Voltron was on autopilot and camouflaged us from place to place."

Keith twitched from the sudden screen pop up of Lance. "Geez. So when did it transform into the two lions?"

"I'm going to be honest here. I have absolutely no idea." Lance shrugged.

"Unbelievable." Keith shakes his head and continues to look around the panel.

"What? They were already waiting outside by the time I walked out! Anyways, it shouldn't be that different from piloting the big guy, so try entering the same sequence."

Keith sighed as he and Lance pulled the controls after typing a command to their panels. It's odd how Lance knows how to read alien symbols where as Keith learned as he grew up. Blue mobilized from its posture to stand on all four legs. Soon they were both levitating and had brought the lions to fly away. They had a mind of their own and camouflaged appearance to blend with the sky. Keith figured there's more to Lance than meets the eye, piloting these lion's were too easy to manipulate.

"We need a secure place to hang low." Lance mentioned over the video screen.

"I could always turn you in at the GC." Keith spoke as he kept his eyes on the pathway.

"Ha ha. Don't forget I hold collateral on you too."

"How could I forget?", just then Keith looked down at the set of tags hanging from his neck. "There is one place."

———

In late evening, Keith and Lance hid the lions on the outskirts of the city. His apartment was not too far away. Sticking to the shadows turned out to be tedious and essential to avoid any cameras.

"Hey, I just remembered something?" Lance whispered.

Keith quirked an eyebrow, "Yeah?"

"You had an ear piece, whatever happened to that?"

"Nothing. Just be quiet," Turns out Keith lost the ear piece before Voltron escaped GC.

The fire escape turned out to be the quickest and subtle solution to enter the building. About ten stories high, they climbed up and reached a window. Lance wanted to question until Keith climbed onto the railing and leaped across to the ledge. "What are you, some kind of ninja?"

Keith rolled his eyes as he used one of his hands push upward to open the window. He climbed through before he popped his head back out of the window, "Coming or what?"

"Sure. Right behind you." Lance felt he was challenged on purpose to follow after Keith.

How hard could it be?

Meanwhile, Keith clicked open a hidden compartment underneath the kitchen sink. A black bag is pulled out before he unzips to reveal clothing and a new ear piece inside.

Just then, Lance tumbled through the windowsill and landed on his back. "Ah shit...!"

"Smooth."

———

"I don't believe this!" A team leader named Matt Holt said out loud, staring through binoculars.

The leader and his group of four were sent by the GC to investigate Keith's apartment. They never expected to actually see him there. He and Keith go way back since joining the GC recruit few years ago. It was very surprising to see him alive and well after the big escalation.

A woman named Nyma spoke, reaching for the binoculars. "Let me see.", As she zoomed inside the apartment, another person besides Keith had walked around inside. "Keith is confirmed. I can't tell who the other is?"

"Could be the intruder Rolo mentioned?" Matt held the tip of his chin, lost in thought.

"If it is, where is Voltron?" Another woman with purple hair responded.

"Hidden most likely." Matt stood up, "Let's take them both and go."

They left the roof top few blocks away from the apartment. The young woman with purple hair stayed behind to keep watch. She wanted to confirm Keith's identity. A moment passed while she stared through the binoculars and she finally recognized the shape of his hair. Cursing to herself, the woman quickly acted to reach the rest of the team in time.

———

Keith changed from his uniform into casual clothing, all black coloured except for the red shirt. Lance peeked out of curiosity, catching a small glimpse of his toned stomach as the shirt was pulled down in the hallway. Wow. He had to brush away the thought of course, no time for jealousy.

Before leaving, Keith pulled out the ear piece from the case and slipped it inside his ear. "I have to contact the B.O.M."

"What— your rebel ninja group?"

He ignored Lance. His finger swiped over the strange symbol along the mic. "Antok."

For a moment, there was nothing but bits of static roaming in his right ear. "Keith?" A familiar voice spoke. "Where are you?"

Relief filled his entire body from tension. "XX Avenue."

"GC is nearby."

"What??" Tension returned as he immediately shut off the lights and hid beside one of the windows.

Lance used the actions as a cue to stay hidden behind the sofa. He reached for the hilt of his handgun while Keith nearly unsheathed his blade. Ready to peek from the windows until an object came smashing through the glass and landed among the floor.

The eyes of Keith and Lance had widened in shock, realizing what it was. "Fuck-!!"

There was a loud bang and white flash inside. Nyma kicked in the entrance door. Matt and another member entered from the fire escape window. Keith's vision and hearing are disoriented. His instincts rely on the physical contact that grabs a hold of his collar. He begins to fight against the unknown force trying to yield him to an arrested posture from behind. The ringing in his ears aren't helping one bit. Then the murmurs slowly come back. Opening his eyelids, there is still doubles forming but he can make out the images enough to see Lance laid out on the floor.

Matt stands face to face with him. "Never thought I'd have to arrest you some day." He spoke with a grain of salt.

Keith knew exactly who he was but said nothing. Matt wanted to press further for questions until he heard Nyma grunt in pain. Not given the chance to turn around, Matt is hit at the side of his head before pulled and thrown outside of the window. Luckily, Matt managed to hang on for dear life at the ledge of the window.

"Damn, that's what I'm talking about!" Lance yelling in excitement.

Keith used this opportunity and head butted against the man behind him, causing the grip to be loosened only to throw him over his shoulders across the living room area. Interesting how that all worked out. They felt like they could make a great team themselves if it weren't for the situation. Keith suddenly shoved Lance away and held his forearms upward to block an incoming punch by Nyma.

Unfortunately, Lance had tripped toward the window and didn't expect Matt to pull him out.

"Lance!" Keith is way too occupied to help while trying to avoid punches and knee kicks coming his way. The last thing he wanted to do was give Nyma an opportunity to grab hold of him.

Matt grunted and glared down at his legs, "Ugh, get off me!" He used his knees to move and try kick Lance off of him.

A very annoying attempt and begun to piss off Lance then he has a bright idea. Stupid but wise if he didn't want to be arrested. Struggling his grip from Matt's wiggle, he swung himself off the concrete wall for the chance he can leap towards the railing of the stairs. His hand slipped from the first railing but managing to land himself onto the level below in a tumble. Matt followed after him. Just as Matt landed, he stopped in his tracks. This intruder was glowing a blue essence from his body.

"What is that?" Matt stammered as he froze where he stood.

Lance had seen the opportunity to pull out his hand gun and took clean shot at Matt's arm. Matt snapped out of his trance and grabbed his arm in pain. Lance was a good shot. He never realized Lance made it to his feet. "Shit.."

"Try me." Lance warned with a smirk.

Who is this guy and where did he come from?

———

The gun shots echoed in the neighbor hood and entire apartment, awaking everybody. Meanwhile, Keith managed to ram his knee into Nyma's stomach which winded her. He hooked his foot against her ankles to trip her and had finally knocked out Nyma by impact to her head.

"Fuck— she's crazy.." Suddenly, Keith heard his name called out from the hallway. His expression was full of surprise, "Acxa?"

It was the purple haired woman. "C'mon, we'll be found out if we stay any longer." 

Acxa was another undercover member, just like Keith. She picked up Nyma over her shoulder and carried her. Acxa had detonated and activated a c4 explosive. A rumble from the buildings roof caused a ruckus and screams from the tenants. Most likely meant to cause a scene on purpose.

Keith grabbed a hold of his black bag and followed behind through the apartment hallways and through the panic of people. "What are you doing here?"

"Kolivan asked me to intercept the mission in finding you." Acxa struggles to keep Nyma on top of her shoulders. She decides to lay her against the bottom of the stairs while tenants run pass them both.

"Kolivan sent you after me?"

Acxa turned to look at Keith, "Yes but understand that this wasn't the plan." She explained and began to run out of the building.

———

Lance escaped quite a while ago. There was a driver waiting and he managed to headlock them into sleep at the wheel. By stealing the vehicle, he was now blocks away from Keith's apartment building. Even though the two young men are a part from each other, Lance swore he could feel Keith.

It wasn't a matter of seeing where he went. More like, he could feel remnants of what he believes to be thoughts. There was no time to be freaked out by this. However, there was only one place to run back to after all.

Moments later, Acxa followed Keith back to the red lion. Each are out of breath and stood still to rest. They both turned from the sound of a click, to see Lance aiming his handgun in Acxa's direction.

"Why did you bring her here?"

"Back off. She's with me." Keith warned as he stepped in front of her.

"And She is?"—

—"My name is Acxa. I'm a member from the Blade of Marmora." She replied to his question.

"That doesn't mean I trust you around our lions." His finger itches to pull the trigger. Why take chances?

"Lance, I'm returning to the BOM headquarters. With, or without you." Keith was serious.

Lance was quiet. He breathed out in defeat before putting the safety back on his handgun and stored it away from sight. There is something strange about his behavior, Acxa could feel the weird atmosphere between them.

"Fine."  Lance whistles out to his blue lion, causing the beast to extend its mouth open for him to board inside.

Keith just called out to Red. Acxa followed behind, and quietly observed, as Keith found his way into the red lion and towards the cockpit seat. He began typing the coordinates. A small trick he figured out on the way to the city.

"Lance. You'll have to follow me there. Kolivan won't take kind to an intruder." He spoke through the intercom.

"Whatever. Lead the way." Is all that is replied through the coms.

———

Shiro arrived on scene. It was an anxious feeling to find out if Keith was there. Finding Matt and his group didn't help the anxiety. Clear evidence has shown that they struggled inside the apartment. All that's needed is an explanation.

"Matt, what happened here?" Shiro asked while approaching.

"Keith was here..." he quickly spoke, "... but he wasn't alone. Rolo was right about another accomplice... One of our members disappeared too."

Hearing about Keith added even more stress for Shiro. His hands balled into fists, taking a deep breath. Shiro informed the medics to make sure they take care of Matt.

Suddenly Coran showed up, "The people are shook but they're on their way to some shelter for the time being."

"Well that's one problem solved..." Shiro looked up at the apartment.

Coran mentioned the fire managed to damage all evidence of Keith's belongings. Everything had burned into embers or ash. It's hard to believe or even think that Keith covered his tracks. Shiro never wanted to believe it. The one person he came to trust and build a relationship with. Then the idea hit him.

What did all of this had to do with Voltron?

———

What felt like forever to Lance, the two lions arrived at the BOM headquarters. Just as Keith said, Kolivan was not kind to intruders and imprisoned Lance. Their leader began to interrogate Keith, otherwise known as Yorak. Acxa and other members gathered to decript Keith's data in the mean time.

"You broke protocol. We do not bring outsiders to the BOM." Kolivan spoke.

The young man stood firm, not very intimidated by his leader. "I had to. The data was at risk."

Kolivan continued. "What happened to Voltron?".

"The two lions are Voltron. The intruder: Lance, knows a lot about piloting them. Says it has to use quintessence in order to activate." Keith remained calm.

"I see..." Kolivan waved his hand, signalling his kin to bring in the prisoner.

He could hear the struggle noise from Lance. Despite his curiosity, Keith would not budge from his posture to show any concern of how the members handled Lance. Was never his call to begin with.

"You." Kolivan began to speak, "How do you know about quintessence?".

The young man growled in frustration, glaring at Kolivan. "Like I mentioned to Keith, I only came across old information about Voltron."

"Does anyone at the GC know about piloting Voltron?"

"Judging by the half-ass security, I'd say they don't know anything." Lance wouldn't abandon eye contact with Kolivan.

"Is that truly all?"

"Look, all I know is there was this particular information I came across and told me about quintessence. How to activate it and how it relates to piloting the damn thing. I'm a thief alright? Nothing more to it."

Having a human know how to function an alien machine was unheard of. At least in these modern times compared to the past, there was a human who piloted Voltron. That fact alone was a few centuries ago and the war machine went missing. The BOM have been searching all this time for it but once GC came upon its lifeless corpse, there was a new mission to obtain it.

Kolivan decided to test the young man. "Simple knowledge would not have the strength to match our top rank, Yorak."

Lance quirked an eyebrow, "Exactly what is a Yorak—"

—"Kolivan. We're wasting time on him. What about the data?" Keith crossed his arms.

———

Meanwhile, another group had just arrived at headquarters. One removed its mask and revealed to be a female Galra. Her skin is a purple tone and her eyes are of strange colour, also the ears are strangely large. She even had minimal fangs and claws, all similar feline features.

"Antok. Where is Yorak?"

"He just returned." Antok stared down at the woman who turned away from him and began to walk into the briefing room. "Krolia, wait—"

No patience to wait any longer, Krolia was eager to see her son. In moments, Krolia threw open the doors of the briefing room not caring that she was interrupting anything.

"Yorak!" She yelled out.

Keith blinked in confusion. He recognized that caring voice. He is turned by the shoulder and yanked into an embrace from Krolia. "M-mom?!"

Lance is stunned at the sight of this woman. In his mind he figured out that she is the reason he ain't fully human.

"I haven't seen you for years." Keith could've sworn he heard a teary voice from his mother but the embrace was very welcoming. He hugged her back and held just as tight. Years spent at the GC made him lonely for his mother.

Kolivan shook his head and crossed his arms. "Yorak broke protocol."

Krolia finally let go of embracing her son and turned her attention to Kolivan. "I'm sure there's a good reason for this."

"Actually... it's a long story..." Keith felt flushed at the face and he quickly looked down at Lance.

That face said it all. Lance blushed and turned away from his stare. It was unclear of what could happen if his well toned mother found out that he practically sexually harassed Keith. He wasn't ready to die just yet but it's not like he regretted the decision to lock lips with him. In fact, it was necessary.

"Yes, well... please explain everything to us." Krolia ordered the guards to take Lance back to his prison room. Krolia could sense a rush of embarrassment from her son and saw that he had stared at Lance.

———

Hours turned into a whole evening for Keith. Of all things, he had to explain how he and Lance managed to gather quintessence to activate Voltron. Krolia and Kolivan were not surprised by this fact, that quintessence can easily build up the quickest by emotions. What had been surprising is that Keith allowed the intruder to continue to live. The only excuse he could provide is that he needed Lance to bring Voltron to the BOM. If he is being completely honest, he couldn't find himself to turn away from Lance. It's as if something had pulled him to stick close by him at all times.

Keith is dismissed by his mother and Kolivan. Since Voltron is now in the hands of the BOM, new plans are to be made. Seeing as there was nowhere to go at the moment, Keith found himself in front of the prison room.

With a deep breath, he walked inside to find Lance laying on the cot beside the wall. "Comfortable?"

There was a pausing moment. They both stared at each other before Lance looked away, "So you're part Galra, huh?"

Keith's eyes widened a bit but stayed calm. "Alright, spill it. How the fuck do you know what Galra are?"

Lance sat up straight, "Your mother gave it away."

"How do you know?" Keith leaned against the wall, beside the entrance.

With a deep sigh, Lance stands up and faces Keith. "I use to pilot Voltron."

 

Chapter Text

Acxa dressed herself into the traditional BOM attire. She is also a half breed of the Galra race. Unlike Keith, Acxa is not so emotionally driven. His mother, Krolia, is the one who trained her personally. In rank, she was surpassed by Keith. There was something special about that half human trait within him. She eventually recognized him as her equal in childhood and they gained each other's warrior respect.

"Acxa." A fellow member spoke from the entrance of the training grounds.

She nodded in response. "Coming."

———

An uncomfortable silence. In the beginning, it's annoying to know someone can match your strength. Let alone the fact of being dragged along to pilot Voltron. No screw that. Keith was forced to bring out his quintessence. Lance has been looking after his own interests since the beginning.

"What do you mean, use to?" Keith stared Lance, who never left his gaze.

"Voltron, piloted by one of Earth's citizens? That was me."

"How- That was like, centuries ago!"

"Better believe it." Lance sighed and held a hand to the back of his neck.

There is no reasonable explanation. Keith is quiet, trying to intake all the information. Piece by piece he began to make sense of it all. Lance knew how to use the bayards, the panel and controls, even how to use quintessence in a quick matter. 

"I don't know how I got here... I've been around for three years now, in this time." Lance stared at Keith from his peripherals.

"Like, time travel?" Keith quirked a brow. That is the most ridiculous thing he ever heard of.

"Bingo."

"Seems highly unlikely."

Lance moved his feet towards Keith, placing a hand against the wall behind his head. He stepped up close, invading personal space. Keith never flinched or budged an inch. "Like it or not, you're going to help me."

"Pardon?"

Time travel is not just a complicated conjunction of theories. It's too far fetched to believe its real. For all Keith knows, Lance is just some crazed up weirdo that is an adrenaline junkie. Who found Voltron for a high ransom. THAT sounds more realistic but this is a world where aliens exist and a magical mecha robot is of high value. Lance just might not be crazy after all.

"I don't know if your familiar about how quintessence works between two individuals but... I've made you my permanent kindred spirit." Lance wanders his eyes before they land on Keith.

He's completely still but shocked from the look of his wide eyes. Lance smirked as he removed himself from the cot. What an interesting reaction and it made him even more amused as he continued to explain himself. "Oh c'mon, you telling me you can't feel that spark between us?"

Keith still couldn't say anything. It had happened the moment Lance crawled over his panel and locked lips. Keith never gave deep thought about that moment but. . . he may have just unknowingly bonded with Lance through quintessence.

bond through quintessence can be compared to a marriage. The pair of ocean blue eyes had been studying the lost gaze of realization. Keith clenched onto Lance's jacket and narrowed his eyes but still didn't say much. He wanted to yell and punch him in the face. All these mystery feelings made sense now.

Damn his body! He never meant to consent into it, had he known what was happening. Again, he stared at Lance and could feel more than a connection. There was a hint of calm and fear radiating off of Lance.

"You can let go now." Lance whispered.

Feeling enraged it would be wise to let go of Lance. There was nothing more to talk about at least for now. Keith removed himself and turned away from Lance to leave the prison room but compeltely unaware by those pair of eyes that watched him disappear.

———

Acxa had been listening to the discussion at the back of the room. Earth was in for some surprise visitors if nothing is going to be done soon. From the corner of her eyes, she noticed Keith pacing towards the training area. Something felt off so she decided to check him out.

As she came close to the training room, she heard loud grunts and impacts of a blade. A training sequence with a battle android began. It didn't look like a regular spar. The techniques used had shown hostile aggression as if he was out for blood. She could have left him alone but instead unsheathed her own blade.

Keith panted while slicing down the middle of the android. Usually, he is focused but everything is pouring out by each swing. Images flashed about his time at GC, his mother, long life enduring his Galran identity, and Lance.

Lance.

The thought of him boils his blood. He lunged his blade forward, hoping to penetrate a fatal blow through the android until he was parried from Acxa. "Are you crazy?!"

Acxa spun around to Keith's side, which unbalanced him forward. "You're distracted."

She readied her blade before Keith swung his blade, once again parrying with her weapon. The swordplay could continue but close combat was more of her specialty. Acxa allowed Keith to follow her blade, only to let go of the hilt causing her blade to fall among the floor but she had the upper hand. Acxa swiftly yanked his wrist connected to the blade, she head butted him with full force... and damn did that ever hurt!

"Agh!" Keith grunted as he held his forehead.

Acxa rubbed her forehead as well. She may have over did it. "You back in the game?" she asked while prepared to a ready stance.

Keith quirked an eyebrow. "You serious?"

"Or you can tell me what's wrong?" She smirked.

Keith darted his blade towards the nearest wall and held his posture in a fighting stance. "No thanks."

———

We need a new plan." Krolia spoke.

Kolivan turned his attention to Krolia, "Do you really believe we can't destroy it anymore?"

"I think we may have an advantage to protect this planet. Yorak is able to pilot that thing."

"Yes but not alone. This Lance seems to know a whole lot." Kolivan stared at Krolia.

Kolivan remembers well enough from old tales about how Voltron fought off Galra invasions centuries ago. Out there in the universe, Galran's and Altean's declare war to either overrule or protect by any means necessary. It was never ending. Things seemed to have escalated even worse now that the machine returned.

Krolia huffs and smiles a bit toward Kolivan. "We don't have a choice."

———

"It's all bullshit!"

They were both panting and covered in sweat.Keith is still frustrated and winced from the ice pack Acxa smacked against his forehead. She sat beside him against the wall. "Which part?"

"Suppose to gain military access. I took nothing serious and all for the sake of the mission." Keith winced as he adjusted the ice pack. "I got careless and it cost me almost everything..."

Acxa stared up at the ceiling. Had nothing to say but listened to everything he needed to vent out. "You never had to put yourself through that."

Keith thought about it for a moment. "I almost believed I was meant to be somewhere..."

"You mean Shiro?" She took a wild guess. Sort of.

He was surprised. Keith looked over at Acxa, "How do you know him?"

"I've been your shadow for a year. I observed a thing, or two, while you were there." She sipped from her container. "Doesn't take much to see you grew fond of this Shiro but to my own knowledge, he has a lover."

That word lover caused Keith to cringe and he gave a big sigh, removing the ice pack. "Let's not get into that..."

"Alright..." Acxa hummed a little to herself while looking around. "What about this Lance?"

The mention of his name brought back the frustration. Keith rises from the floor. "What about him."

"Why is he getting on your nerves?"

"Because he's a cocky asshole! Doesn't know the meaning of boundaries and thinks he can take advantage of me when he pleases!" Keith slammed his fist to the wall. It was a touchy subject.

"That's a first. No ones been able to get on your nerves before."

Keith had an annoyed expression but a faded shade of pink covered his cheeks. "That's because he's sneaky Acxa... The guy managed... to bond with me."

Acxa spurt out water from her mouth, trying to take a another sip. She coughed roughly and held a hand against her throat, "What—but how?!"

"Well I uh... may have... allowed it by... instinct?" Keith muttered again. His face is completely flushed. She didn't even know how to respond and tried to be serious for him but busted out in laughter. Definitely not helping Keith one bit. "Would you shut up?" He growled from embarrassment.

Unfortunately, Acxa found it all too funny. A screeching alarm filled inside the entire underground base. Keith and Acxa looked at each other before rise and quickly run towards the briefing room.Keith had a bad feeling.

———

Krolia and Kolivan were distressed as they stood in front of the crowd, witnessing the escape of Lance. The huge monitor produced a live footage of the young prisoner, managing to sneak and attack the members on guard duty from behind. His approach and timing proved to be unbelievable. No outsiders knew the BOM tactics.

"Look at this guy..."

Keith ran into the briefing room but halted to a skid. A shocked expression spread across his face as he seen Lance boarding his blue lion. Kolivan seemed oddly calm about this whole situation, causing all Galran members to look at him with worry.

Krolia stared in the direction of her son. A smirk placed across her lips. "Yorak."

Keith flinched. "Yeah?"

"You're the only one who can keep up with him. Make sure you two make it back here." Keith stared at his mom in disbelief then looked up at the screen.

Lance activated the blue lion and he watched as it stomped out of the hangar. Acxa mumbled a 'good luck' as she turned around to follow after Krolia, who made it passed her son. Left alone to stare at the screen, he gritted his teeth.

"Tch, I'm going to kill him. . ."

 

Chapter Text

The desert within the eastern continental landmass is dead quiet. That is until a rumble echoes, causing bits of sand to tumble trails down the Sand hills. Suddenly, a giant blue lion had leaped over and slid further down until reaching flat land. It began to run forward on all four mechanical paws. Then another lion leaped over the sand hills and onto common ground of the blue lion.

"Can't lose me that easily." Keith grunted as he throttled the controls forward.

Meanwhile, Lance is glancing at the footage of Keith's lion. Despite knowing how to pilot Voltron, he never had to pilot a mechanical lion before. After a configuration is entered, Lance pulls Blue into the air and the jet boosters launched them up high.

Keith could mimic anything Lance performed. The configurations of the lions are not difficult for Keith understand and get well adjusted to. Even though they currently are on a personal chase, these two have been eye to eye on almost everything. It's beginning to piss of Lance.

"Would you get off my back, Mullet?!" Lance yelled through the screen footage.

Keith glared down at the screen, "Don't think so."

"I'm not wasting my time at some ninja hideout!" Lance yelled as he nose dived with his lion.

"Well, now we can't afford to lose someone so valuable," Keith argued back through the live feed.

"Work along side with the Galra? Don't got time for that!"

Before all this, Krolia explained about the new plan to her son. The BOM decided to call for a ship to come down to Earth. It was time to return to their main base in space. However, Voltron is now part of the plan and they needed Lance to partake. She left that task to Keith since they both pilot the machine.

Blue had flown from the desert towards rocky desert mountains. In seconds, there are green land, rivers and lakes, far northern than the south at this point. Even though they had traveled quite a distance, Keith has had enough of chasing Lance. He maneuvers Red to boost itself at a ridiculous speed and flies above the blue lion. It's not like there was a better option at this point. Red pounces down onto Blue, causing both machines to roar and crash into forestry land.

Not the smartest idea. Both lions had skid massively deep into the meadows beneath, engraving a scar on the earth. Both young man had cursed over the screens and switched off as soon as they hit an impact. Once the lions came to a stop, Lance was holding his left shoulder. Same goes for Keith but he brushed it off.

"Ugh... just can't catch a break," Lance mumbled to himself as he left Blue's cockpit.

Keith immediately jumped out of his own cockpit to run towards Blue. In that exact moment, Lance stepped out with his handgun aimed, ready to pull the trigger as Keith came prepared with his blade. Both weapons had pinned against the neck at the same time. They had froze in their stances but refused to move either.

"Hah. We've got to stop meeting like this." Lance mumbled with sarcasm.

"You..." Keith seethed through his teeth.

"Listen. I don't have time to wait around and be someone's prisoner right now." Lance's tone had changed into a more serious one.

"How the fuck do you expect to go back, idiot?!"

"Just back off..."

The ground vibrates from the Blue lion picking itself up on all four legs. The two don't move from their position but stare up in shock. An odd growl comes from Blue as it lowers its own head to push Lance and Keith aside into the ground. They yell in surprise, only to realize Red and Blue roared at them both up close.

"Whoa, shit— Okay, okay, okay!" Lance surrenders as he raises both hands above himself.

Keith does the same. Red moves its head to the side. "I think... they want us to toss the weapons.."

Lance looks at Keith from the side of his peripherals and then stares up at Blue. It feels like it had communicated with him. He sighs in defeat before dropping his handgun. Keith tossed aside the blade. Red and Blue moved to a sitting position while Keith and Lance sat up from the ground.

"Well. Didn't expect that." Lance spoke.

Keith looked over at Lance confused, "Has anything like this happened before?"

If he was being completely honest? "Nope."

They stared in wonder for a bit and finally relaxed under their mechanical gaze. Lance wanted to come out with a straight answer but he hesitated. A look of distress captured Keith's attention. "I'm just speaking from experience but.. it's possible they are preventing us from killing each other."

Keith rolled his eyes and groaned, "Obviously. Why else would they do that—"

—"It's because of the bond... when there's a bond of quintessence, Voltron tends to be activated in a unique way depending on the pilots..." The subject looked as if it were hitting a sour point within Lance. He did not want to talk about it any further or bring up why he looks so angry... and sad?

Keith is uncomfortable too but not the same reason as Lance. He sighed deeply, "Right. The bond..."

The air is thick and nature plays its song of wilderness. Purrs are even radiating off the lions as the two young men were lost in thought until Keith stood up. Keith's hand is extended down to Lance which surprises him. He stared up at him with suspicion, "What are you doing?"

"As long as you return the favor, I'll get you back home." His tone is sincere and gentle.

There was not even a hint of a joke in those navy and violet mixture hues. It's so unexpected. Of the first time he met Keith, he was full of anger. Wasn't Lance untrustworthy? Sincere or not, Lance did need Keith in order to pilot Voltron again.

He grabbed hold of his hand and pulled himself up. "Well you are the only person on this entire planet that knows how to pilot Voltron. Now that it's back, there is a 100% chance they will come back for it." Keith mentions as he quickly pulls his hand away, causing Lance to quirk an eyebrow.

"Who, exactly, are you talking about?"

Keith explains the history of the Blade of Marmora, whom are obviously a secret society hidden on Earth, trying to obtain and destroy Voltron. Due to Keith and Lance reviving the war machine, it was bound to send a surge of energy through out the universe. Other alien races have proved to sense Voltron's pure energy. It's surprising to learn the Galra are protecting the human race.

"They're called Altean's."

His eyes widen as he turns to look at Keith, "But they... were in war with the Galra, for thousands of years."

Keith is surprised to see his reaction. "They still are. I don't know what you know about the Galra but just know BOM is not in alliance with Zarkon's empire. If we could destroy Voltron, we could save this planet from invasions and leave it out of their undying war. There would be no reason to come here. Guess that's our fault now.."

Lance was lost in thought until he noticed Keith had been eyeing him, "What?"

"You know that bonds are a one time thing, right?" The question is embarrassing to even bring up for conversation.

"What's your point?" Lance pocketed his hands inside his jacket.

"Wha— You can't be serious? How did you manage to pilot Voltron in the past? Someone have a bond in order to do so?" Keith shook his head.

It wasn't a question one he felt like answering but there really wasn't any reason to hide anything either. Lance looked up at Blue, "Back then... I wasn't the only paladin. I had some help."

"Paladin... Did you have a bond with them?"

"We never formed a bond... actually, we couldn't. Instead, using emotions to bring out quintessence only helped to pilot Voltron to fight back the Galra..." Blue began to purr and lured its head down towards Lance, allowing a quick pat from his hands.

So that's why he knows how, Keith thought to himself. "So what, are bonds a stronger form of quintessence?"

"You could say that..."

Still so much mystery between them. Keith likes to have everything out on the table when it comes to partnership. Prevents future struggles and that unwanted feeling of not knowing anything but Keith is still furious.

"You motherfucker."

Lance flinched and looked at Keith, "Kiss your mom with that mouth?"

"What the hell were you thinking?! I'm not built for relationships, let alone ever wanted one. Like ever!"

Keith is growling out of frustration and turning away. Lance purses his lips in realizing that his decision may have been overdoing it. Like way over his head type of overdoing it. Oops.

 

Chapter Text

"Officer Coran, I believe you've prepared us with a presentation?" Iverson spoke while sitting at the table.

Coran pulled up images of Red and Blue upon the screen. GC has prepared a meeting to discuss about Voltron's absence and come up with a plan to retrieve it. There were far distant captures of their mechanical lions soaring across the skies of the eastern continent. "These are the last sightings of the alien war machines. No sign of Voltron has been seen but as we observed the images close up, we find similar designs."

"Are you suggesting that Voltron split into two?" Adam asked Coran.

"That's exactly what I believe. It's design has been completely altered."A copy of the files are sent to the pad's for each officer and the Admiral had taken a look at the comparison. They seemed more bulky and heavily loaded.

Shiro places his tablet upon the table and sighed to himself. "Not a lot to go on."

"There is one more thing." Coran clicks one of the buttons from his handheld remote to play a message:

"Blade of Marmora, surrender to the Altean Empire and return Voltron. Refuse and all shall be coded in alliance with the Galra empire."

Coran looks toward Iverson, "This Blade of Marmora has never been heard of until now. Coincidently, Voltron is reactive and thriving once more."

Officer Coran was an Altean himself but had been on Earth ever since Voltron's victory centuries ago. His age is unknown but his chameleon ability to blend his features helped a lot. No one could tell he was an alien.

Iverson was quiet and in deep thought while Shiro is lost in his own thoughts. The room has an awkward silence in waiting for some sort of reply. Adam speaks up, "Coran... the Holt Industry, did they ever finish their design?"

"Oh, you mean the Atlas project?"

"What's the Atlas project?" Shiro turned to Adam with a confused expression.

"The founder of the Holt Industry has designs to build an alien-like warship. It was under plans during the time of Voltron. Up until a decade ago, it was decided to build the ship for such an occasion." Adam explains while over looking old files.

Coran clicks for another image reveal. Everyone is at loss for words. Before their eyes behold a massive white ship that may just be bigger than Voltron itself.

"Is this ready for takeoff?" Admiral Iverson asked.

"So far elevation is successful. It was built to endure the space and travel, even battle tactics with the case of running into hostile ships."

Shiro stands up and looks to his fellow officers and commanders. "We should have the necessary information to activate the Atlas properly. Although, we can't make this attempt alone now."

Adam gave Shiro a knowing look in his eyes, "So what your saying is that—"

"—Were going to need Voltron's weaponry to assist the Atlas. It's time Earth protects itself."

———

Lance is standing in front of Voltron. There are familiar voices calling out to him. He smiled to himself knowing it was family but there was also pain hidden deep inside those ocean blue eyes. It looked as if he was going to regret his choice of words.

"Please... leave me alone..." The volume of the voices crept closer to Lance and all he could hear was his name. He bit his bottom lip while fighting the temptation to turn around and make the voices disappear.

Only a little bit longer. Just few more seconds. Lance always had the power to turn off the voices with a single stare but sometimes just hearing what he loved most would give him the motivation to keep going. The vibration of tones reaching his heart could almost feel so real if it weren't for this next part. Lance opened his eyes as he turned around to face the faded images of his family. There use to be clear pictures of their faces. As the years had passed, he couldn't remember them anymore. Except for one.

"You're dreaming again." an angelic voice spoke.

Lance expected this voice. In fact, he hears it all the time he dreams. He is haunted by it.

"Lance..."

There was no physical form that belonged to this voice but he knew exactly who it was. The look in his eyes are dull with no shine or spark of life. It's as if he lost hope. A red glow emerged from behind. Lance turned to face the color. His blue quintessence began to flow in response.

"Whose that?" He asked out loud. The flow of red quintessence intertwined with the blue, creating a vivid violet color. It was strange. He felt like he could embrace this surrounding form of quintessence.

"Looks like someone found you."

Lance almost couldn't recall the voice speaking to him, a subtle smile appeared among his lips. "Did you say something?"

There's no response again. This time, he snaps out of it. All the colors disappears in a quick flicker. Lance turns back to see a small form of pink quintessence float nearby. His eyes widen before he runs over and cradles this ball of light within his palms.

"H-hey... please don't go?" The pink quintessence resonates against his palms. It seemed to be a communicative cue to show Lance comfort. "Please don't leave me... I still need you here...", he closed his eyes. 

Lance shows distress on his facial expression as he now holds the ball of light close to heart. The feel of awakening crept into his conscious. If only a little longer. He just needed more time.

"Don't go Allura.."

———

At some point, Keith and Lance had returned to the BOM hideout few hours later. He provided Lance a place to rest in one of the sleeping quarters. It was better than a prison cell. While Lance fell asleep, Keith hanged outside of the room in the hall. There were no windows but the corner is a well secluded and quiet area for him to think through his thoughts.

A scenario plays in his thoughts, Shiro is confused and upset but most of all worried about Keith's safety. It was always pleasing to hear how much he cared about him. Not that his mothers love wasn't enough or considered bad parenting. The past had always been difficult for Keith to discuss with anyone.

He sighs and hangs his head low. "I'm sorry, Shiro..."

A dimmed glow of blue seeping at the creases of the door shines nearby. It was the strange pull again. Tugging away at his heart and tingling at his muscles for cue to move. Keith quickly stood from the ground and ran inside the room. It's not what he expected.

Lance is panting and leaning over while sitting up on the bed. The faint blue essence lingered around his frame before completely fading away. He gasped and turned to look at Keith with wide eyes. "W-what are you doing here?" His voice is trembling.

"Are you alright?" Keith makes his way towards the bed and sits down beside Lance. He can see him shake a little which brings Keith to place a hand on his shoulder.

The contact caused a brief moment between the two. Both eyes were focused on each other that their pupils had enlarged slowly. Few blinks, here and there. Keith's heart is beginning to race. As for Lance, all that fatigue crept its way back into his conscious.

"Pretty..." Lance sighed as he leaned in for support.

Keith is shocked. "Okay uh.. I think it's time you head back to sleep."

This is so awkward. He could feel the warmth of his breath tickling at his collarbone. The bond is to blame for his flustered feels but there is something ominous tugging at his heart. It's heavyweight is eating away at him and he can feel it in his shoulders. As for Lance, the dream hangs heavy on his heart, battling for its placement. Against what exactly?

"Never mind me. Are you alright?" Lance asks Keith in a serious tone. He didn't expect that.

"What, worried about me now? Should be focused on yourself." Keith scoffs and tries to brush off the feeling inside his chest.

Lance removes himself from Keith. He slides himself backwards to lean against the wall. "It's just one of the many benefits that come with bonding idiot."

"I know what comes with bonding, Lance." Actually, he forgot.

When two individuals bond their quintessence, the connection is not just inseparable but the empathy is highly contagious. That means Lance is currently feeling whatever emotions ran through Keith before he entered the room.

"I take it, you left behind some kind of crush or lover?" Lance asks, remembering the rejection from Keith earlier on in the day.

Keith's face is brightly red and his eyes are widened. "Wha- my lover? I don't have one!" He crossed his arms and avoided eye contact.

Lance simply put out his emotions in the wide open. He found out that he enjoys watching the reactions from Keith, as stoic as he tends to be he is surprisingly honest with emotions. "Oh really? Care to explain why you feel so lonely?"

Keith growled to himself and tried fighting back the emotions in his chest. "Speak for yourself. I practically see the loneliness come off you."

"Shut up." He avoids Keith staring at him. Lance is flustered now and at a loss for words. Both can't help but feel bothered by the fact of each other having someone linger in their hearts. However, is their bond something not to be taken lightly?

"So... who do you miss?" Keith asked while deciding to lean against the wall too. He was curious but maybe the conversation will take off some anxiety.

The question hit Lance pretty hard and his body tenses up. Keith notices the fidgeting of his fingers from the corner of his eyes as well. "Her name was Allura..."

Keith was surprised to hear there was a girlfriend back home. "You said 'was'... did she—"

—"I don't know. I just— I miss her every day." Lance raises both his knees to wrap his arms around. "Ever since I came to this place, she is all I keep thinking about. . . She's on my mind constantly. Even in my dreams, along with my family."

Whoever this Allura was, she must of been dear to Lance enough for him to act vulnerable around Keith. He couldn't stare at Lance in his current condition. Just wasn't the same compared to the behavior he's use to at this point. Felt strange.

Lance gave a huge sigh, "I just want to go home." Keith couldn't respond to any of that. He kept quiet instead and stared down at his lap, lost in thought about his own emotions. Lance shook his head and turned to look at Keith, "Anyways.  I've been wondering about something else."

"What's that?" Keith didn't move his gaze but responded to Lance.

"Is your father human?"

Right. Lance must have been wondering since his mother is Galra. "The BOM decided to stay on earth after Voltron supposedly saved it. Little did humanity know, the result of that battle caused a distortion somewhere in the universe."

Keith gave a long explanation of how Voltron disappeared and the chain reaction was the uproar of the Altean Empire. However, the BOM discovered Altean soldiers were among the planets civilization except they weren't in hiding or peaceful. They were hostile. Whoever was leader of the BOM at the time, decided to put an end to the unnecessary bloodshed. All the insane behavior over Voltron proved to be dangerous. They disposed of the Altean soldiers.

"Wow..." Lance is in shock.

"My mother met my dad during a mission. They were inseparable and after I was born, I adored their relationship. I've never seen such a dynamic between two individuals who loved each other unconditionally." Keith adjusted himself to lean forward from the wall.

"What happened?"

Keith fidgets uncomfortably, "There was an accident caused by me and some kids. Typical rebel behavior but it burnt down someone's home." Lance looked at Keith and began to see the anger rise in his eyes. "When my dad showed up, my Galra instincts came through out of anger. I attacked a kid who bullied me and the ones who hung around me. My dad saved those kids and myself from the fire but at the cost of his life."

The hurt and self blame is clear as day. All this anger caused a mark to reveal itself through his skin and it reached from his cheek towards the back of his neck, like a V-shape. Through the gritting of his teeth, even fangs began to grow. Lance could feel all of that. He didn't even have to ask to figure out that Keith disliked the Galra side of himself.

The air was quiet and could be cut with a knife. Lance bit back his pride and brought himself to wrap an arm around the emotional half breed. Despite of all these emotions and self hate, Lance has not once thought any of it was horrible.

"What are you—"

—"Stop that."

Keith turns to look at Lance. Also, hoping this wasn't another type of sexual harassment. He's brought into a hug. The strength of Lance's embrace is gentle but firm to give comfort.

"You're not at fault for what happened to your dad. I'm sure he loved you so much that your safety was all that mattered in that moment... don't ever blame yourself for him loving you." His embrace tightened a little around Keith.

No one has ever done this before. Not even Shiro. The statement caused Keith to gulp and bite his bottom lip. He held back the need to let tears fall and instead, let one of his arms wrap around Lance to return the embrace. It felt right and Lance only welcomed it more, knowing that Keith appreciate what he said. He wasn't aware that was what he needed to hear. That nothing was his fault.

Lance could finally feel relief and smirked, removing himself from the hug. "Parents can't help but love their kids unconditionally." Keith chuckled at this scenario, which caused Lance to raise a brow. "What's so funny?"

"Nothing, Lance. I just never expected someone like you to be so soft."

"Alright, Mullet. I see how it is!" Lance lifted his hands in defeat and stood up from the bed. "I just won't show you any support from now on."

"Oh c'mon man. It's just so unexpected of you to act this way," Keith felt bad for saying anything in the first place but he couldn't help it. Seeing Lance this way at first was strange but now he finds it very amusing to see this soft side of him.

Lance grinned to himself and turned to look down at Keith, "I know."

The interactions caused their quintessence to show, their rightful colors of red and blue. A mixture purple quintessence reveals. With wide eyes and lips pursed, there is always that bond to remember.

"Ah well, we should get going." Keith immediately spoke as he stood up from the bed and walked towards the door. The disconnection from Keith caused the quintessence to disappear.

Not that Lance minded but he couldn't help but feel ignored. It annoyed him but he watched Keith from behind. ". . . Well, what now?"

Keith is averting Lance's gaze. "I'll go find out." With that, he exits the room and leaves behind a confused Lance.

As Keith walked away, he didn't notice he was pacing forward in a hurry. All that mattered is he should be focusing on his missions. Voltron is now in their hands but what does that mean for the rest of the group, the people on earth, Garrison Corporation, and Shiro?

Shiro.

Keith has avoided the connection between Lance and himself because he isn't ready to accept he has feelings. Feelings for Shiro.

 

Chapter Text

A month passed. An Altean ship entered the Earth's solar system and an attack is inevitable at this point. Krolia knew their old technology may have been outdated but it's all they had. For the entire month, Lance has learned more about Galra tactics and needed to build more stamina to keep up with the BOM. Keith enjoyed the teasing every now and then but he also admired Lance for his courage to keep up.

They were in the hangar, dressed in the BOM attire. Krolia ordered all members to check out the Altean ship. After boarding and exiting the base, Red and Blue had blasted out of Earth's atmosphere. The most fascinating thing about these mechanic lions is they proved to have a conscious of their own and the boys loved it. Each had its own connection and way of communicating.

"I'm locating Kolivan and the others now, we should be there soon." Keith announced through the intercom of his suit.

As they appeared in space, Lance is captivated by the beautiful scene of stars and planets. "Man... never thought I'd be out here again."

"We have a mission to do."

"Lighten up, Mullet! Besides, how many times have you even come to space yourself?" Lance is annoyed. He can't even enjoy one moment to himself.

Keith was practically a killjoy in every situation, not to mention between them both. Keith began to dislike the effects of the bond. Any time he or Lance felt emotions, they could feel the remains of it. It has been an exhausting month of avoiding each other and having anything to do with training in Voltron. Of course, Krolia would never take no for an answer.

"Why not learn from me and actually enjoy something for a change?"

"I'll stick to my own lifestyle choices." Keith grunted as he engaged the thrusters again, hoping to fly ahead of Lance.

———

The Altean ship had discovered the BOM members and began an attack. Unfortunately they have a disadvantage in numbers. Krolia and Kolivan were inside the ship with Acxa and few members.

"We're going to need the intel of this ship." Krolia whispered while pulling up a holographic image, revealing the corridors and hallways.

"Altea and Daibazaal could come for Voltron." Kolivan spoke through his mask.

"Let's make sure it's only us they've discovered so far. Move out." Krolia isn't about to hand in the towel just yet.

———

Red arrives into the midst of a shootout between ships. Keith freezes up. It's like time stopped itself as he could hear the echo of a purr vibrate through his entire body. There was no voice but he could hear Red communicate with him. Keith's eyes darted to his panel, where he entered a code.

As Keith witnessed his lion literally form a weapon within its jaws, he hears Lance in the background. "Hah, it worked this time! How'd you do that?"

A growl envelopes the lions mechanical body and Keith is grinning widely with excitement, "Red helped me out." The Red lion suddenly uses its boosters to gain speed.

Lance finally arrives on scene but he isn't surprised at the battle. The swift flash of the color red caught his eye. There is a tail of explosion along the Altean ships that quickly erode afterwards. The moment Red reveals itself in such a majestic pose, Lance is speechless.

"What the- I want that!" He literally whines.

Red turns to look in Blue's direction. Keith is heard over the intercom, "Focus!"

"R-right..." Lance snaps back into reality and is needed to maneuver Blue out of laser point. He recognizes the Altean cruiser and the fighter pilot's battle ships.

They are not what he remembers them to be. . .

Something dropped heavily inside his heart. It's like a montage of flashing images poured into his mind. A puzzle piece finding it's fitting match. They use to be a peaceful race. No war or battle without cause. To see them in action was a bit heart breaking. What could have brought them to this point?

"Lance. Move!"

In the blink of an eye, Lance realizes he stopped moving exactly in front of the cannon. As the machine warmed up for a clear shot, he quickly used the controls to blast Blue's mega thrusters out of the way. "That was close. . ."

Keith could hear the exaggeration in his tone over the mic. He didn't understand what was going on at the moment but the very guy was losing his touch. Keith's face popped up on the screen in front of Lance. "What the heck was that??"

Lance jumped in surprise, "Wha- what are you talking about? I knew what I was doing, Mullet!"

"Get it together. We can prevent the Altean's from reaching Earth—"Red is prepared to fire from its mouth until a shot impacted from the rear.

Lance's brows furrowed as he bit his lip. Then he growls in frustration and quickly shifts Blue to turn around and face the oncoming fighter pilots. Everything about Lance's behavior is straight out of the ordinary. Blue extended its jaws to immediately release a blast.

———

Krolia and Acxa currently disarm the crew members of the main engine room. Kolivan on the other hand, has taken some Blades with him to the ship's hangar. Krolia gives a nod to Acxa as she stands by the door as a lookout. "Alright. Now let's get that intel."

Acxa begins to hack into the system. "I'm on it."

Krolia takes this moment to check in with her son. "Yorak, where are you?"

At the moment of her communication, Acxa and Krolia stumble inside the engine room from the battle outside. Alarms had been going off like crazy but these ships are apparently built with a self repair system.

"We're in the midst of fire, what's happening??"

Relieved to hear that Keith is just outside of the ship, she smirks a little. "We just entered the main engine room and Kolivan is working on disabling the fighters. Please tell me your partner is there?"

"Exactly, what do you mean by partner?" Lance's voice suddenly interrupts the communication.

Krolia shows a confused expression. Acxa raises an eyebrow as well, she never seen one of the leaders so confused.

———

Lance and Keith are busy maneuvering. Actually, Lance is trying to avoid firing while Keith attacks without question. "Shit." Lance had mumbled as he barely avoids another shot.

Thing is, Krolia and Kolivan had to work with whatever opportunity they had control of. The Blade of Marmora had the skills and means to move in secret but an occasion like protecting Earth was a whole new concept to their secret society. There had to be a way they could lead the Altean's into a retreat. No matter what, BOM is not big enough to face this alone. Neither would it be wise to go against Zarkon's fleet in the same matter.

Keith's eyes widen as he realizes the obvious. Quickly, he brings up the screen. "Lance! We need to form Voltron,"

Lance grunts from the impact of grazing against one of the fighter ships. "Come again?"

"Form Voltron. We did it before during training, can't we do that now?!" Keith adjusts Red to fire it's blaster.

"Uh hello? Last time we were focusing quintessence without a battle!"

"We'll find a way!"

Well, that does leave some confusion. He needed to think more but the close calls of entering fired beams are beginning to be very difficult. "We have to try something..." Keith muttered.

Lance felt a tug on his heart which caused him to tense up. He even felt it through his fingers while gripping the handlebars. These emotions rising within him are the connection he has with Keith. Damn that bond. The last thing Lance needs is an undeniable bridge of linkage towards the Mullet. As if he already isn't feeling conflicted enough.

"And just when I thought agreeing to work with you would be enough." Lance had a low chuckle.

Hearing the chuckle over the screen, Keith looks from the side of his peripherals to catch a glimpse of Lance. He looked of both pain and distraught. Lance pulled the controls forward, allowing Blue to locate Red around the ship's rear end. Keith didn't know what to do but he hoped there was some sort of plan happening here.

———

"That's everything." Acxa disconnected herself with the engines system.

Krolia nodded in response as she opened the doorway and began running towards the hangar. "Kolivan, what's your status?"

Kolivan and his group are currently occupied in close combat of soldiers and fighter pilots. Once their firing weapons are laid out, they hid in cover. "We've been discovered."

"That's not good news..." Her expression is full of worry but changes to a focus. Overall, they needed to prevent this ship from finding Earth.

———

As Red blasted another ship out of its way, Blue arrived right afterward. Keith kept himself on the move with Lance following after him.

"I have an idea." Lance begins to speak.

"Im listening—!"

"Quintessence... we're going to need a lot of it."

The mention of quintessence caused Keith to freeze out of concentration. Not this again. "This isn't the time for sexual harassment, Lance!"

During the month, Lance has been persistent to figure out exactly how a bond works between two people. Since he only knew of one particular way, Keith couldn't handle it. He avoided the subject and tried to approach different methods to gather quintessence and they did but of course Lance found his way to be a lot faster.

"Shut up and listen to me. Our lions can't gather enough on their own from us individually. We need to combine them!" Combining quintessence. Sounds simple enough but not to Keith.

"Exactly how do we do that? We can't leave Red or Blue, we'll be vulnerable to fire range out there..."

"You said it yourself. We have to do something... or Krolia and the rest wont have a chance to escape the ship..." That's a start for Lance. He had an idea of how to lure Keith into some security.

The thought of his mother brings on frustration. He couldn't lose another parent from not having control of the situation. Keith decides to put his trust in Lance. For now. "Alright. Tell me what to do."

———

Meanwhile, Acxa and Krolia made it to the hangar but hid from the open fire range. Kolivan's group had suffered injuries but they were able to resist and take advantage of a few soldiers in retrieving their gunfire. They needed to somehow provide cover and that gave Acxa an opportunity. "I'll take out the far range shooters. The moment they seize fire, you'll be able to reach Kolivan and the others."

Krolia is weary but trusted in Acxa to make the move. She began to rush out and make her trail upward of the hangar room. There is at least five long range shooters providing cover from above and needed to be taken out. One of the solders caught eye, Krolia quickly held the trigger to disarm him. The BOM only needed to disable and if needed, some close combat. The intent for execution was always a last minute resource.

Kolivan caught onto her idea. He ordered the members to be ready for an offence once the last sniper is put out of commission. Seems like they are closer to finding a way out of this complicated situation.

———

At the moment, Keith and Lance had to balance this moment of communication and evasive maneuvering. Lance decided to let Keith follow after him, even though Red is a lot faster, he needed Keith to focus. "Hope this plan of your's works..." Keith muttered.

"Please trust me on this and don't lose concentration of my voice!"

Not only did he follow him blindly but left the BOM behind in mid battle. The whole idea of quintessence is annoying and he wishes he never had to deal with it. Since Lance came from nowhere, it has been one hell of an enigma and pain in the ass. Keith bit his tongue and listened to Lance over the live footage on screen.

"Listen, Keith. I know I've created this bond with you and out of intention to use Voltron... But I just want you to know that I'm not going to leave your side."

"Until, you get home. Isn't that the deal?"

"Deal or not. From now on, I got your back and I hope you have mine. So get use to it, Mullet!" Lance gives a serious look through the screen.

Those choice of words struck a nerve. It's faint at the moment but both of the young men can see the glow of their quintessence begin to rise. This time, they each feel that bonded connection like clear water. No walls of security or avoidance. Just the two of them in making a promise to each other. To have each other's back from this moment on.

———

The Altean ship just received a huge damage of impact from a blast. Kolivan and the others felt the impact as they tend to their wounded. Krolia hears a static from her coms.

"You need to get out of there!" Keith mentions over the intercoms.

Lance is once again settled within his shared cockpit seat behind Keith, inside of Voltron's armoured face. "We got company."

"Then let's clear a path." Keith inserts his bayard to the portal, just as he did once before.

Voltron's weaponry is activated and physically developed a sword out of the right hand. Lance took control of the movement and used thrusters to fly faster towards the giant ship. Keith swung the sword as they flew along the range of ships nearby. He made it his top objective to clear a pathway. Once cleared, they now bring themselves to fight off anymore incoming fighters.

"Make it count, guys!" Keith speaks to Kolivan and Krolia.

Lance and Keith succeeded in combining their quintessence while in formation and the result caused the lions to form Voltron. Even so, the process now requires the quintessence of their bond since it's a main source. A flaw in the plan but they could figure it out as they go along.

Even though Voltron has an advantage in fire power, Lance figured it wouldn't be enough and used his bayard. Keith raised an eyebrow. A shoulder cannon appeared on Voltron. Both had felt a raw surge of consuming energy leaving their bodies.

"C'mon, not now..." Keith was afraid of this but persisted his urge to fight.

"Let's see if we can fire through that cannon." Lance pulled one side of his controls. He wasn't about to give up on their close encounter.

Voltron stabled its position and aimed towards the opposing canon, releasing a clear shot straight through. BOM ships had the advantage to give a full scale of attack to the engines power functions before it could begin its repair system. A retreat seemed to be happening.

Lance and Keith are weak while they observe the play out of their actions. One decision remained though. The conflict of wanting to believe the Altean's has a reason and supporting Keith clashed constantly. This unsure build of guilt wouldn't leave Lance.

"We can't let them retreat!" Keith speaks out of breath.

Lance's eyes widen as he stared at the back of Keith's head, "What are you talking about? They'd be leaving Earth's solar system!"

"They may have Earth's coordinates. If they leave, they'll come back for sure... but with more of them." Keith doesn't feel his strength come back but he tries to sound serious.

Lance knows what he means all too well. Keith wants to completely destroy the ship and its entire crew. "You can't be serious? We have them on the run, even now that we have Voltron—"

—"I don't get why your so caught up in protecting these Altean's!" Keith cut him off, a growl lingering inside his throat.

Lance is actually quiet. Keith turned around to search his expression but found himself surprised. Lance is avoiding his gaze and there is a clear mixture of pain and anger. To make matters more difficult, Voltron's power shuts down completely.

"Shit." Keith turns around and tries to tap against his panel.

Kolivan's voice appears over their communications, giving a warning about an incoming threat. As Lance lifts his gaze to check out the screen, anxiety pulls and tightens at his stomach. A bright circle of Galra symbols fills a void in space. Coming out from within the circle reveals a Galra cruiser. "Oh no..."

Keith is frozen in place. Now that the Galra have shown up, the fate of the BOM is at full risk. Fighting against the Altean ship was exhausting. It's like all sounds have faded into an uncomfortable silence, leaving nothing but a ring. What could he do? It should have been a trigger to move but they didn't have the energy to fight.

"Maybe we've tried all we could." Lance finally speaks.

Keith quickly turns around to look at Lance, "What?"

"Keith. This has always been a suicide mission the moment the Blades came out here." Lance scanned the battle engaging outside of Voltron. "We could go down fighting and lose everything you've worked hard for or we can give up Voltron."

Keith is down right confused and appalled by Lance's suggestion. "Screw that!"

Feeling annoyed by his stubbornness, Lance sighs. "C'mon don't be an idiot, your mother is out there!"

"Lance, I won't quit." Keith begins as he suddenly stands from the seat and turns around to face him.

Confused by the body language, Lance is nervous all of a sudden. He's never seen Keith so assertive towards him with confidence. "Keith, we can't keep going—"

—"There's more to it than all of us here, Lance." He climbs over his partners panel and slides downward to settle his legs on the floor, straddling above Lance. What is happening here?

There is an unsettling set of emotions rising in Lance's chest. Coming into a closeup of a Keith's violet colored hues, his heart feels like it beats faster than ever. His breath is hitched and closes his mouth tight shut, eager to know exactly what Keith is trying to do.

"We have a chance to protect our people. Maybe even more. We can't just give up now." Keith reaches to hold Lance's face within his palms, "Don't give up on this now. You promised to be at my side on this. So don't give up on me."

     

Did he just assume that Lance is going back on his word?

The moment Lance opens his mouth to retaliate, he is caught off guard. Keith engaged himself against Lance with a firm kiss.

———

Moments away from the edge of Earth's solar system, the Atlas is currently on course towards the alien distress signal. Shiro was voted Captain and Coran worked as engineer team leader while Adam leads the fighter pilots. Upon their screening images and captures of radio static, the crew is shocked to see Voltron floating space nearby two hostile alien ships.

"Unbelievable." Shiro is astonished by the sight. He's never seen anything like it.

"We are entering the battle in few minutes, Sir." One of the crew members announced.

Shiro takes a deep breath to keep calm. "Fire at that cruiser.

—"Voltron is on the move!" Another crew member announced.

Voltron is rising out of its momentary coma. Everyone on the Atlas is surprised to see it function. The damaged ship was still engaged in battle and is currently fleeing the scene. Shiro couldn't pick up on the situation so instead he remained focused on the objective. "Assist Voltron against that cruiser and allow the other ship to evacuate. We cannot lose this chance to obtain Voltron."

Coran yelled from the engine room below, "Are you sure we should allow that?"

"Once we send those cruiser's into retreat, Voltron is open for capture." Shiro responded. His fellow crew members configured the ship's coordinates while someone had mentioned the canon was ready for fire.

"Open fire!"

———

Voltron reactivates the shoulder cannon but fires a massive amount of missiles to assist the BOM and blow off Galra fighter pilots. Accuracy needed to be the key. The cruisers biggest asset could be disabled and force the Galra soldiers to retreat.

Lance is perplexed. Quiet and focused but embarrassed. While Keith on the other hand, is completely rejuvenated to try defending the BOM one more time. "Lance, let's head for the canon!"

No argument here. Lance does exactly as Keith commands him to do. The only thing that blocks them from completing their objective is the sudden giant blast appearing in front of them. They almost couldn't avoid it if it weren't for Keith's quick thinking of moving the thrusters.

"What in the actual ass?!" Lance yells with widened eyes.

Keith is just as taken back from this blow. He wondered if it were another cruiser ship but to his surprise, he notices the blast coming from an entire different ship. It looked nothing similar to the Altean or Galra cruisers. Talk about a turn of events. Keith and Lance were silenced as they heard a transmission pull through their communication system:

"Attention Voltron. This is the Atlas, Garrison Corporation of the planet Earth."

"Shiro?" Keith's eyes widened and just like that, Voltron lost power once again.

 

Chapter Text

The battle was won and both cruisers retreated with the utmost damage. Aboard the Atlas, Shiro is currently in a meeting with Iverson, Coran, Adam and the bridge crew. The discussion's topic: Voltron and the Blade of Marmora. They just never expected Keith to be piloting and be part of a secret alien society.

"So... the Blade Of Marmora has been hiding away in Earth's society this entire time?" Adam asked while concentrating.

"Since Coran has managed all these years, it doesn't surprise me. However, it does not change the fact about stealing Voltron." Iverson's brows furrowed while lost in thought.

During this whole conversation, Shiro is quiet and Adam catches onto it. "The leader mentioned they gained some data of the hostile Altean's? I think we should start from there." Adam spoke again as he stood from his seat. Coran agreed with this decision. In the interrogation with Kolivan, he gave an explanation to their secret society history and why protecting Earth was top priority.

As minutes pass by and the crew leaves the briefing room, Adam stays behind with Shiro. He looks over to see him slumped and head hidden behind his hands. "Takashi?"

Shiro lifts his head to look at Adam, "Yeah?"

"Are you worried about Keith?" Adam doesn't like the look of this, he notices all the signs of distress and depression. He even knew the exact reason he was so distraught.

"Where to start about Keith..." Shiro sighs and leans back against his chair. "I thought I knew him... guess I was just fooling myself."

Adam leaned on the table with his forearms, "Maybe there's more to it you know? I can't see him being the bad guy in all this." He gives an uneasy smile because he's not so sure how to feel either.

"It's not that," Shiro joined Adam in leaning against the table. "I use to believe we were close, like brothers. We could always count on one another and have each other's back."

"I get what you mean," Adam smiles and reaches out to grab ahold of Shiro's hand. "You two were always so inseparable."

Shiro chuckled at a particular memory. He remembered the day where Keith walked in on him and Adam in the middle of an intimate moment. Just a harmless make out session. The look on his face was priceless and completely flustered, all Shiro could do was feel sheepish. It was surprising but Keith supported their relationship from the start.

"I don't know how to approach him," Shiro began as he held onto Adam's hand a bit tighter than usual.

"I don't blame you for not knowing how. I mean we did throw him in the prison cells." Adam cringed at his statement.

"Right..."

———

Keith and Lance were thrown into one of the Atlas cells together. Ironically, GC managed to retrieve Voltron from its very pair of thieves but unfortunate for the crew members it caused the mecha to split into two lion's again. They didn't expect it and actually thought for a moment it was broken by their fault. Of course, Lance found it hilarious and had a good laugh. The room felt a bit spacious and it was so quiet that it pissed off Lance. His foot was shaking.

"What the hell is your problem, Lance?" Keith asked as he raised a brow.

"What do you think?"

"Whatever." Keith sighed, feeling annoyed already.

"How you can be so calm about this?" Lance had to ask.

"It's just not worth getting all worked up over." Keith threw up one of his hands as a gesture to not giving a shit.

While they were busy talking, the doors slide open to reveal Shiro standing there. Lance raised an eyebrow at the sight of this guy. So macho and top notch, he was definitely the Captain of this big ship. However, he couldn't help but notice the look on Keith's face, who immediately stood up from the bed cot opposite of Lance.

"Shiro." Keith spoke as he stared at the Captain of the Atlas.

"Keith... can we talk?" The expression on Shiro is hard to read for Lance. This whole scenario felt like something he shouldn't be watching. Except he couldn't look away.

Exactly what is the connection between the two?

"Well... I can't exactly say no..." Keith couldn't help but smirk a little in trying to lift the heavy atmosphere.

"You could say that..." Shiro crosses his arms across his chest. "The Blade of Marmora has been in meetings with Officer Coran."

"I see..." This is unreal for Keith. His reuniting with Shiro is hard to believe. So many questions filled his head. Reality kicked in once Lance spoke.

"I hate to break this bromance you two are having," he stepped in front of Keith and faced Shiro, "But I really need to take a piss so.. can you point me in the right direction?"

Shiro is unamused by the attitude while Keith is annoyed and slaps a hand to his face. "God— Shiro, this is Lance."

"Hi." Lance acts innocent, not even sure why he's behaving this way.

"Uh.. yeah, great to meet you too." Shiro shifted his stance. "You guys are no longer prisoners. So I've come to bring the news."

"Awesome!" Lance takes the chance to leave the cell.

Keith had a huge sigh after Lance left the room. "Sorry about that. He's... difficult."

"Who is he, exactly?"

"That's a long story." Keith pulled at the back of his neck and looked away from Shiro. "I know there's a lot you want to hear about—" He never expected this. Shiro pulled him into a tight embrace. Wasn't he suppose to be angry with him, completely betrayed at heart?

"I'm glad you're okay, Keith." His voice sounded like it could break at any second. Not wanting to ruin the moment or lose this opportunity, Keith returned the embrace. At least the one he valued most wasn't entirely angry with him. He did wonder though, if all his reason could be forgiven from Shiro.

———

For an hour, Lance had the most difficult time in removing the BOM attire. Not having anyone to help out had given him a strange thought. Like, what if the BOM is just one huge buddy system compared to young ladies pajama party? Instead of painting each other's nails they would zip up the suits and exchange warrior skill tactics like gossip. He couldn't help but laugh at the thought. 

This silly side of Lance came from remembering his sisters, Veronica and Rachel. When it comes to remembering his family, Lance would always find himself quiet and out of reality. The state of meditation where nothing matters and imagery is a source of sanity. After using one of the ship's lavatory, he managed to reassemble his BOM suit. Some pride grew from the accomplishment. His eyes wandered up to see the reflection in the mirror. The pupils shrank in realizing the bags under his eyes. They use to be in worse condition but now the purple discoloration is beginning to disappear. So he has been sleeping better than before. He crossed his arms and thought hard about when this all began to happen.

The last decent sleep he could think of was during his personal time with Allura. Lance thought of her beautiful smile and how it shined with the curves of her lips. The sparkle within her eyes would glint off any lighting in a room. Those lovely white strand of hairs. Then an image of Keith pops up into his head.

Back on Voltron, Keith straddled Lance with full on confidence. Staring him eye to eye and then plants a kiss on him. With tongue and even closed his eyes.

"Whoa!" Lance's eye's widened and he actually lost his balance over that memory.

The embarrassment filled his body completely with heat and red shades. When it came to Lance giving out the kisses before, he could do it with a straight face on a major platonic level. Actually, that's all he did when it came to Keith but when he does it in return? The meaning is questionable.

"No way..." Lance whispered to himself, covering his mouth with his hand.

———

Shiro and Keith had sat in the empty cafeteria. There are so many questions from Shiro alone, he wanted to know everything. Keith first explained his true identity and then moved onto the topic of his Dad and Mom, BOM, entering the GC, and now the whole situation over Voltron.

"The whole purpose of entering GC was to just gain information for the Blade of Marmora and nothing more. The night that Voltron disappeared was because of myself and Lance." Keith leaned over with his elbows balanced on his thighs.

"Wait, the bathroom guy managed to steal Voltron from under you?" Shiro raised a brow.

"No." Keith retorted with a blush. "Actually... Lance saw me stealing information from GC... Used it against my morality to help him take Voltron."

"Well that's a dick move." Shiro sighed as he sat beside Keith with his arms crossed. Deep in thought to process everything he's hearing.

"Even so... I took the opportunity for my mission. Lance has his own reasons for what happened." There was no way Keith is going to spill any more than he should about Lance.

"So you became good friends with a criminal? That's kinda hard to believe."

"I can't explain about Lance and who he is. I don't even know where he comes from but... he's had my back this entire time, even when it came to piloting the lion's."

Shiro gave a puzzled look as he turned to face Keith. "You talk like they are alive."

"Oh, right. So get this,"—Keith's mood suddenly shifted from guilt— "Voltron had this weird upgrade once Lance and I stepped inside. All of a sudden we are both piloting the big robot, then at some point Voltron had split into these cool mechanical lions with their own consciousness!"

Shiro's never seen Keith so passionate about anything. It was always a serious attitude towards tasks and basic essentials of life. He didn't have too much hobbies either, except for the bike Shiro gave him. It's refreshing to experience but also felt a little bitter sweet. That just meant Keith was never completely open the entire time but compared to now, he could overlook it.

"I've never seen such majestic creatures before and flying Red? She's beautiful! She's like an extension of my being and I felt like I could do anything out there."

"Wow..." Shiro felt speechless. "That sounds amazing."

Out of the blue, Keith had a wide grin for a quick moment as he laughed at the thought. "Yeah, it is..." then he relaxed to a genuine smile. "I really am sorry about everything. You're the one person I've never wanted to lie to." His expression is serious and catches the captain off guard.

Despite all the crime that took place, Shiro is glad that Keith's intentions were toward a good cause. Even if it dealt with his job. "Thank you, Keith."

As they are both caught up in the moment of reconciliation, Lance finds himself hidden near the entrance. He's out of sight and more curious to overhear the conversation. Shiro's atmosphere felt like a threat for no particular reason. Lance assumes he might hear more about their chemistry.

"I wish I could hear more but it's time for me to head back now. Adam is waiting for me too." Shiro stood from the table.

"Adam is here?" Lance could feel the complex emotions coming from Keith.

"Yeah, he wouldn't let me come to space without him. He is an Officer at GC, his own skills are a huge asset to the Atlas." Shiro chuckled to himself.

Keith recognized that smile. Every time Adam is mentioned or comes up in their conversations, Shiro always has a smile. He pushed aside what he felt and cleared his throat, "Well that's good. Glad he came along," Keith a small smirk.

Shiro nodded in agreement. In that small minute of silence, he sighed and looked at Keith with a serious expression. "I'm not sure how else to say this but... We can't let Voltron go. We need it to protect Earth."

Lance is surprised and he glances over from the edge of the doorway, while Keith stares up at Shiro from the bench inside the cafeteria.

"Look, I know you and this BOM have other plans to get rid of Voltron in order to prevent some kind of war but the war machine is our only best option." Keith nods his head in understanding what he means. Shiro sighs and tilts his head at the thought. "It's a lot to process but... we'll get through this. So, I'll see you around?" Keith smiles while nodding his head. Shiro feels relieved and waves before walking out of the cafeteria.

Lance disappeared in the hallway but there was no way these two would know about that. There is this feeling like a tug inside his chest. His entire body is aching into a pulsing fatigue that threatens to immobilize him. The only thought running in his head is to get out of this suit. All he needs to do now is make it back to his lion.

At the same time, Keith left the cafeteria but he wasn't feeling what Lance had felt. Instead his thoughts swirl about Shiro, mainly relieved that his outlook on Keith never shifted. Confused and surprised but still the same as ever. The realism hits pretty hard. This childish part of himself is what he hates the most. Jealousy and possessive angst. Caring so much about someone who already belongs to another. If Keith knew what he feels now, he would have bonded with Shiro.

An image of Lance flashed in his mind. Those piercing blue eyes that would look at Keith with the utmost confidence and assurance. The tone of his voice lingering like an echo, repeating his stupid given nickname. All the arguing and physical threats they gave each other, sparked a reminder that Keith returned the same affirmation of their bond.

Keith feels a tight pull in his chest and a wild twist inside the stomach. It can be called butterflies but he wasn't sure what to call this at all. It was new and frightening. Quickly though, Keith is beginning to realize that Lance is another person he values but to what extent?

Emotional pain lingered. It came like a pulse. His eyes widened as he recognized the emotions didn't belong to him. It even freaked out Keith to a point he wondered if Lance was alright.

"What the hell..." he whispered and started to run down the halls of the Atlas.

Within minutes of following the instincts of his gut, Keith caught a glimpse of Lance peeking from the corner of the entrance to the hangar where the lions are kept. It's déjà vu all over again. Remembering back to the day Lance appeared in his life and tried to escape the BOM. Not again?!

"Lance!" Keith called out as he jogged over towards him. Lance's body twitched in surprise that Keith found him. He raised a brow in question as why Keith seemed so very concerned. "Geez, you can't just—"

Keith had no time for an explanation. He grabbed hold of Lance and lead him further down the hall, jumping into the next empty room available. What they found seemed to be the changing rooms for fighter pilots.

"What do you think you're doing, Lance?" Keith asked with a hint of anger.

This is confusing to watch. If he didn't feel so weak at the moment, Lance would retaliate if he could. "What the hell are you talking about, Mullet?"

"The hangar room." Keith's volume rises. "God, no matter where we are or end up, you always have to find a way out. Don't you?"

He thought I was going to leave?

Lance yanked his hand back, "No. The hell is your problem? I just wanted to grab my clothes."

Keith didn't want to let this go. "What kind of idiot stands by the entrance like some sneaky criminal?"

The size of Lance's pupils shrink as he stares at Keith. "Say what?"

"You heard me."

"Oh, I heard you. Just be man enough to repeat yourself to my face."

The two are feeling riled up and tense. Lance hated to be called a 'criminal' for various reasons but coming from Keith it had hurt a lot more than it should.

"A fucking criminal, Lance. You can't blame me for assuming you're about to run off like usual. Even after all we've been through at this point, taking off always seems to be your best option so far." Keith ignores what he feels through the bond.

"To grab clothes, you moron!" Lance steps back and throws his hands up in the air. He realizes now he can't communicate with an angry Mullet. "Of course I wouldn't leave after that! What kinda guy do you take me for?!"

Wait— where was this conversation going again?

Keith literally coughs and turns away, completely flustered. "I don't know what you're talking about."

"That fucking kiss, Mullet. You literally came onto me with a pleading." Lance turned his face away and crossed his arms, leaning against a nearby locker. "You must really think lowly of me after all we've been through."

Oh. Ohh. Keith felt the blood rush to his face again and covered his mouth. It's not that he forgot about it. Nope. He just didn't think Lance would call him out about it. "I-I don't! Ugh..."

The air is thick and dead silent. Lance glanced from the corner of his eyes to study the strange expression on Keith's face. He indeed looked embarrassed but it felt innocent, like he'd been caught holding out his heart to someone valuable. This made Lance blush a little. It could all be his imagination but if he knew one for sure thing about Keith is that he's always honest about everything.

"Sorry..."

"For being such an asshole?"

". . . Yeah. For everything I said."

"Apology accepted." Lance now turns to face Keith, "Why did you think I was going to leave?"

Keith gave a huge sigh and leaned against the locker across from Lance. Doesn't turn to face Lance. He feels too ashamed to look him in the eye. "I don't know what's the reason for any of this. I want to blame the bond but it feels so much simpler than that. One minute, I'm worried about you and then. . ."

"Then?"

"Like... it was going to hurt if you actually left." Keith turns to face Lance now.

The look in his eyes catch him off guard. They loudly speak of abandonment. He continue to study Keith. Judging from his posture, he is vulnerable again. "Oh..."

After creating the bond with Keith, it never occurred to him about his actions. He should have known from the start. All the times he tried to leave Keith behind. The time at his apartment and then from the BOM hideout, and probably as of recent. This is the first time in a long while where Lance felt like a dick.

Lance doesn't know what to say or how to reply. He forgot that the bonding of quintessence is permanent. Without realizing it, he's been using the bond to move Keith by force.

"Look, you don't need to apologize for it. This might just be some weird effect. I understand that your reason for any of this is for the sake of trying to get back home." Keith stared at Lance from across. He feels like he stepped over the line.

"No. I should." Lance finally speaks as he straightens his stance. "I wasn't aware of what I was doing to you and that's not fair." Their eyes meet and Keith can't help but wonder what is going to happen.

With an exhale, and a moment of gathering himself, Lance stares at Keith with a serious look. "I'm sorry. For everything. The bond, Voltron, your mission, and allowing myself to change your life completely. I was never considerate of you, up until recently."

He stared blankly at Lance. Not sure how to respond to any of that. It's like the embrace all over again. Lance is being sincere and considerate. Also, very honest. Like a whole other layer just revealed itself before Keith.

Lance began, "I've never lied about leaving your side. I never go back on my promises and I don't plan to."

Neither knows how they managed to pull themselves close to each other. Both moved from the lockers and stood in front of the other. The fatigue in Lance's heart has faded away. Keith no longer feels agitated. Overall, they just felt like they needed to be closer.

This pulling of the bond between them is surreal and intoxicating. The pool of waters within the hues of Lance seemed to dance behind his half lidded eyes. Flame mixtures of orchid and violet flickered in comfort of Keith's eyes as they watched the blue colors dance. There is so much mystery inside both colors. Both young men suddenly feeling eager to know more about it.

"I've made up my mind."

"Huh?" Lance blinks in confusion and stares at Keith.

"I'm not leaving your side either." He smiles a little bit. Before he takes notice of how up close they've become. Krolia came through the entrance of the locker room.

"There you are— oh."

Realizing they were practically inches away, they both jumped and turned away from each other.

"Did I interrupt?" Krolia asked with a smirk on her face.

Oh man. Keith felt so embarrassed that his mother has a whole different impression on the situation. "Just arguing. . . again." He deadpanned his face and shook his head.

As for Lance, his face is completely red but more worried if he over stepped some boundaries with a mother and her child. "Nothing happened." He muttered under his breath and shook his head as well.

Krolia raises a brow in disbelief, "Right."

"Anyway. Did you need something?" Keith turns to his mother.

Krolia did have a purpose in finding her son. Lance is also curious to know what she came to say. "You two need to come down and meet. There's a discussion happening and it involves the Blades."

"Sounds like the usual." Lance shrugs.

Krolia begins to lead the way, "Perhaps but things are about to change drastically."

Keith and Lance exchange a confused look to each other. "Like what?" He asked his mother.

"Kolivan wants to assist the Atlas."

 

Chapter Text

"Lord Zarkon, we've achieved another full harvest of quintessence." A Galra soldier announces on the main bridge of the Emperor's ship.

"Send it to Honerva. She and the droids have plans to extract a huge amount. We'll need all that we can harvest." Zarkon speaks as he waves his hand.

The soldier nods and bows before leaving, "Vrepit Sa."

Zarkon's main fleet of soldiers are in the midst of gathering resources. His right hand man, Sendak stands at his side of the throne room. "Lord Zarkon, what does Honerva intend to do with all this quintessence?"

"Do you doubt my Queen?" Zarkon asks with concern but due to his Galra nature, it seemed he was offended.

"No, only curious." Sendak replies.

"Honerva is experimenting with the quintessence and trying to find a way to boost our troop's weaponry. It is essential against Altean magic." Zarkon stands from his seat.

"Is Alfor a force to be feared?"

"He was once my partner Sendak. I know all too well what that man is capable of. It's better we be prepared to come against any diabolical weapons he created." Zarkon and Sendak talk a stroll down the throne room and approach a bridge with an edge of a vast window scenery. Near the edge, they stop and stare at the flaming star before the ship.

"Tell me, has Honerva's armour upgrades improve your fleet?" Zarkon asks.

Sendak nods as a response. "Exceeds our expectations, Lord. She truly is a genius. There is a matter that has been reported."

"What's that?"

Sendak faces towards the Emperor, "Commander Prorok's ship has been greatly damaged by an unknown cruiser that is neither Galra or Altean. Voltron destroyed the Altean cruiser, it seems."

Zarkon shows interest of the topic, "And Commander Prorok's ship? Why did Voltron attack both Altean and the Galra?"

"It seems the planet, where it first disappeared, has begun to use Voltron to protect itself and even manipulated Altean technology."

"Impossible. The Altean's have no conscious of their own and follow under the influence of King Alfor's corrupted alchemy. Not to mention that they've all been wiped out on Earth, last I remember."

Sendak nods in agreement. "This is based off the information from the droids interrogation methods. They've captured a member from the Blade Of Marmora during the attack."

Zarkon growls at the name. "Blade Of Marmora? Those traitors."

"What shall we do with the BOM member?" Sendak asks as he observes his Emperor turn away and glare at the flaming star.

Zarkon takes a moment to process an idea. He turns around to face Sendak, "Have the droids continue their methods. I want all information of the BOM and what their plans are."

Sendak bows his head, "Vrepit Sa."

"One more thing."

Before Sendak can walk off, he turns to look back at Zarkon. "Yes, Lord?"

"Send a message to all fleets. I want Voltron captured."

 

Chapter Text

A lot has happened in the few months that passed on the Atlas. There has been countless attempts of Zarkon's fleet in search of the ship and Voltron. Kolivan and Krolia assisted in piloting to defend against the fighter ships. Adam's team is coded as the MFE and would often partake in battle, along side of Voltron. As for Keith and Lance, the amount of using their bond's quintessence has began to take a toll on their stamina.

They had come across one of the BOM's old hideouts. However, Zarkon's reach of resources had infiltrated by the hideout and Shiro ordered Adam's team to investigate with Acxa' s team from the BOM. To Keith's surprise from their first boarding on the Atlas, he saw that Matt is part of the crew but that's not all. Matt was just as surprised as Keith to find out that Acxa was actually an alien this whole time. Even part Galra.

Currently, Voltron is covering the teams outside of the base. "We have them on the run." Keith announced after they destroyed the shields of the cruisers.

Lance activated his bayard to engage rapid fire, which came from the shoulders, legs, and forearm armor of Voltron's mechanic body. More of the Galra ships are ruined and exploded by impact. From the corner of their eyes, they notice one of the ship's perform a wormhole and begin to leave the scene.

"They just don't bring the element of surprise anymore." Lance mentions as he watches the wormhole disappear.

Victories yelled over the intercoms and Shiro congratulated everyone for a job well done. Keith finds himself feeling tired. "Let's head back."

Lance can see the fatigue increasing on Keith, even on himself. These constant attack are ridiculous. He wishes that their crew were more expanded than it is now. "Keith, we cant leave until—"

Out of nowhere, Lance collapses against his panel. Keith calls out for him but as he stands, immediately he collapses as well. Then Voltron shuts down. Shiro can be heard in the background but the sound distorts eventually as the images turn to black. They've officially reached their limit.

———

Keith is dreaming of looking at himself in the mirror. He sees the Galra blood in him as clear as day. Legit purple skin and fur all over his body. His eyes are animal-like, just as much as the fangs and claws he bared. Then it disappears in the blink of an eye. Keith panicked and tried to reach out towards the mirror until the image of Lance appeared.

With widened eyes, Keith stood frozen. Worried about why he saw Lance staring right back at him. "Lance, what are you doing in there?"

There's no explanation to why Keith fears for his disappearance until movement from the shadows reveal a feminine figure behind Lance. He turns to stare and admire the figure. Two hands slipped out from behind and reached around to embrace his midsection. The contact gave Keith an uncomfortable twitch. Lance fades away but he can't recognize the woman left behind. She looks Altean. Why is there an Altean with Lance?

Keith flinched again and stepped away from the whole thing. The Altean is fully out of the mirror physically and paces herself towards Keith. His eyes refuse to look away. She becomes closer and even more close by each step she takes. So many thoughts filled his mind but quickly clouded with the anxious fear of an unknown woman. He doesn't have control over his body and has no choice but to watch this Altean touch each sides of his face with her hands.

Despite the alarming appearance, her touch was soft and felt safe. There is no more anxiety filling his body. He's not even sure if he's dreaming at all. The Altean suddenly embraces Keith and he can't understand why he's hugging back? No. These feelings of security aren't his. As soon as Keith looks up, he doesn't see his reflection in that mirror. He see's Lance.

———

Keith awoke from his nightmare. Such a dream state experience. He's never seen that woman before and she had been holding Lance. Part of him had felt a ridiculous amount of anxiety and another part is just exhausted in general. Then, he realized that he wasn't in his given room on the Atlas. Seemed to be the medical room? He suddenly ripped off the wires of the heart monitor's and rushed off the bed. Just to be safe and make sure Lance is safe, Keith went to find him.

From door to door of the Medical area, Keith found the room where Lance laid unconscious. He seemed really calm during his sleep. With a sigh of relief, Keith settled himself by the bedside. Lance's heart rate is normal as well.

Over these months, Keith and Lance trained together in the training room by BOM traditional tactics. Lance had his own skills to share about accuracy and timing when it came to targets. He had this bright smile in each session when it came to teaching Keith about it. As for close combat, Keith could see that Lance had no difficulty in defending himself but needed the boost for an offensive approach.

Sometimes, these up close and personal interactions caused them both to grow aware of how far they've become comfortable around each other. Keith never minded until he could catch a hint of Lance's embarrassment through the bond. Only then, Keith would start to notice all the little things between them. The feeling of physical contact and even the light breeze of their breathing. It was very embarrassing. The sound of the sliding door caused Keith to break from his thoughts and turned to see his mother at the entrance.

"Mom?"

"I'm glad you're awake." Krolia smiled as she quickly rushed over to hug him.

"What happened?" He asked as she released him.

"Voltron was unresponsive, so the MFE pilots were ordered to haul it back to the hangar. We found you two passed out in the cockpit." Krolia turned to look at Lance for a moment. Keith sat himself back down beside the bed.

Krolia pulled one of the chairs from the wall to slide over, beside Keith. "I need to ask you something."

"Yeah?" Krolia took a deep breath. Keith didn't like the whole preparation of speech.

"I never questioned this at first but is Lance not your lover?"

"Wait, Wait, Wait—No, he's not!" Keith blushed at the thought.

Krolia's brows had pinched together in confusion. Then they slanted into an expression of empathy. "Keith... how long has this bond been going on for you two?"

"About half a year... why?" It was strange to hear his mother so concerned.

"Only six months?" Her eyes widened and then she turned away. Not saying anything for a moment. Krolia looked lost in thought before talking again. "That's dangerous."

Keith arched a brow in concern, "What do you mean?"

"I probably should of taught you about the possibilities when it comes to bonding through quintessence. To be completely honest, I assumed a mate like Acxa would have been your choice." Keith literally choked on air from surprise. Krolia patted her son's back and both noticed that Lance twitched from the sound.

"Why Acxa?!" Keith whispered in high tone.

Krolia only shrugged. "She did follow you often when she first arrived. Anyway, if you and Lance don't share a mutual connection, that could eventually drain your life source."

"I thought the bond was more of a permanent connection by emotions?"

"Emotions are only part of it. It's like finding your soul mate and all aspects of the body's needs are involved. Mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual. That would mean you two connect in all of these to thrive on a bond between each other." Krolia is now staring into Keith's eyes with a serious face.

That was a piece of information Keith never knew about. His knowledge of quintessence explains it is like a soul and life force within every individual. He's known members of the BOM who would use their own quintessence to gain more energy in a fight or two. Bonding, to be honest, has only been mentioned once or twice in simple explanation that it connects two people.

A thought flashed into Keith's head. What did that mean for him and Lance, two people who don't have that sort of connection other than a promise to each other?

"What could happen?" He asked.

Krolia crosses her arms, "I can't say for sure but if you two haven't fully connected through the quintessence then that could be the reason you are completely drained of energy. Not to mention that Voltron needs a huge amount to thrive on."

A stirring groan from Lance caused them both to look in his direction. He was on the verge of waking and Krolia stood from her seat, "I think you two need to have this discussion at some point about where this bond will take you both."

"Right..." Keith mumbled.

Keith wasn't exactly sure how he could talk about this. This new discovery as a topic might change things for the worse. However, that may also have meant that Lance's plans of trying to return home would be over. He isn't sure returning to the past is even possible and that Lance might be a little insane but his intentions have always been that he wants to go home eventually.

From hearing another groan from Lance, he looked over to see if he was awake yet. Maybe not this second but he was reacting to something. Could be an interesting dream or nightmare. Then he suddenly mumbled a name that caught Keith's attention.

"Allura..."

 

Chapter Text

Kolivan and Shiro came to a decision. The Altean and Galran stations are to be infiltrated. This would give Lance and Keith some time to recuperate. Except Keith is fighting to go along on the mission.
Krolia intervenes and convinces him to stay. She implied about the "bond talk". Keith is reluctant. Krolia didn't ask him as a mother, she told him to obey her command as leader.

In the meantime, Lance lingered in the secluded lounge area, sitting on the edge of a rectangular bench. There were windows that revealed the galaxy scenery outside. At the moment there are some grungy colors roaming about but he didn't mind one bit. It felt therapeutic regardless. For all the anxiety he's been feeling lately, it was better to be alone and not burden anyone with that type of mess.

He had a dream of her again. Memories of their time together and the support they showed each other. The dream revealed a conflicting issue that began to grow after creating the bond with Keith. If he's being completely honest, the first time he ran away at the BOM was Keith's fault. Remembering back to the moment of Keith confronting Lance. That's when it all started. Keith wasn't just attractive he is addictive.

Those remarks and blunt honesty were always values that Lance admired in life. Not to mention the unfortunate near arousal stirring Keith could bring out of him being so up close and personal. He always wanted an equal but never thought it would come with an unlikely attraction. The problem is trying to figure out if it's romantic. He's just not sure if he can easily move on from Allura. They had more of a deeper connection compared to this fast paced partnership. It was made on a whim but Lance sought out any sort of resource for quintessence. His conscious barely remembers the whole beginning.

"There you are." Lance flinched at the voice and turns to see Keith at the door. He seemed to be annoyed while sighing and making his way towards him. Some butterflies may have flickered in his stomach.

"Yeah. Here I am..." he mentally kicked himself for giving a blank response.

"Avoiding me or something?" Keith sat beside Lance and rested his elbows on his knees, leaning over.

"Pfft. What made you think that?" Lance looked away and out the window.

Keith rolled his eyes, "You are so ridiculous."

They both fell silent. The atmosphere was thick and suffocating just from being full aware of each other's presence. Even so, Lance couldn't keep his leg still. Keith couldn't even think properly with all that moving.

"What the hell is your problem?"

Suddenly his leg stops, "Had a weird dream." He groans while turning his whole body in Keith's direction, knowing he won't drop the subject any time soon.

"Have a wet dream or something?" Lance blushed which caused Keith's eyes to widen. No way. "Wait, seriously??"

"Fuck off!" Lance grunted and turned away with a glare, still trying to hold a strong upfront. "Of course not."

He had a good idea of what it was. "Alright. Was it this Allura?" Lance looked at him surprised. Keith felt like he was caught telling a lie. Lance's stare was intense. "... you mumbled in your sleep."

Lance sighed of relief, turning away to lift his right knee and hold it against his chest. Keith observed. If he wasn't much of a talker than maybe it's all in his body language. The thing he does with his leg shaking is happening again. Fingers are gripping his jacket tight.

Keith decided to turn away and leaned himself back against the wall. Lance looked back at Keith and mirrored his movements to lean back as well. "Listen, Lance... have you ever considered that going back.. might be impossible? I don't think Voltron can travel back in time..."

"Oh, so you really believed me huh?" Lance snorted and turned his head away from Keith.

It was a lie? Keith huffed, "I may have had the feeling you were lying. Guess we can blame that on the bond."

Okay. Lance has had enough of that repetitive line. He turns back to Keith, "You really hate the bond, don't you?"

"Sorry but I'm still not use to being bound to a complete stranger for all eternity yet." Keith shrugs.

"Stranger? We've got to know each other for like half a year now. I'd say we're pretty damn close now compared to that first day I met you."

"You were only there for Voltron, coincidently I happened to be there too."

The nerve of this guy. After all they've been through, Keith is still distant as ever. Lance sighs and leans back against the wall again. "Fine. Strangers until the end, asshole."

There's a clench of frustration coming from Keith. This isn't what he wanted to do by coming to Lance like this. He needed to clear things up. What matters is what is going to happen or what the plan is. That's always been a comfortable fact for Keith, knowing what he's in for.

"I'm not trying to be an asshole— look, I just came because I have something to say." Keith stammered.

"If you're worried about me, I am okay."

"No, that's not why I came."

They finally stare at each other. Lance is curious to find out why Keith showed up, since he can feel what he feels it had been the reason he assumed that Keith coming here was out of worry. It was hard to ignore him though. Not like he could but Lance felt like there's more to Keith than meets the eye. He is just way too mysterious.

"Well. Spit it out." Lance motions his hand to gesture for Keith to continue.

He sighs. "I know you talked about sticking around for a while but it just seems highly unlikely at this point. You always talk about going home."

There's no answer from Lance. Instead he frowns and stares with a questionable look. His dream of Allura must of bothered Keith in some way. "I already thought I made it clear that I'm not leaving. Not any time soon but we made a promise, yeah?"

It's not that Keith wants to be rid of Lance as soon as possible. Krolia's information just couldn't leave his head and it sounds like pushing boundaries beyond him. Could they even separate from this bond?

"Hey." Lance playfully bumped his shoulder against Keith. "Don't worry so much. I made a promise and I'm going to keep it."

Keith cocked an eyebrow, "Worried? I'm exhausted and it's not like a promise will actually keep you around—", he stopped talking as he realized where he almost finished with that sentence.

Lance seems to have caught on though. There's a slight blush forming across his cheeks. "Finish that sentence for me?"

"No." Keith face palmed himself and shook his head. He almost said, 'Keep you around here with me'.

This was a bad idea. He keeps catching himself talking with Lance like they've known each other all their lives. Since when have they become this close? Everything has felt so damn natural. Just then, he felt Lance's hand over his own and his breath hitches at the contact. "I can feel everything Keith. Why did you really come here?"

Keith couldn't move his hand away. He is relaxed by the hand and the warmth of his tough just happens to feel soothing. His eyes look up at Lance, who only smiles before removing his hand. No, he didn't want him to stop holding his hand. So, he reached and held onto his wrist, practically word vomiting. "My mother is worried about our bond."

"Sounds like there's more to it?" Lance looked at his wrist before moving his sight to Keith.

He just let go and tilted his head back against the wall. Letting his eyes wander the dark shadows of the lounge room. If it wasn't so dark in this room, Lance could swear that Keith is blushing. He feels a strange surge of anxiety from him that makes Lance feel some bit of excitement.

"She told me the reason behind the shortage of quintessence. Voltron needs a lot but can't, due to me and you. We don't bond enough."

"You need to be a lot more clearer than that, Mullet." He smirked as Keith rolled his eyes again.

"Connecting, Lance. The bindings of quintessence are meant for two individuals to thrive and connect off of each other. Spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical? That's why we collapsed." Keith is starting to show he's frustrated as his hands clench into fists.

Lance takes the hint and averts his gaze. With all these changes, Lance really gave it a serious thought for the moment. It's itched in the back of his thoughts, where he blocks out all the useless things. Where the reality of never meeting his family or knowing what happened to Allura may come to past. Even the chance that Allura is no longer alive. These feelings are conflicted.

The bond may have been a straight forward connection but Lance has noticed his new admiration with Keith. His natural talent and skills, that smug attitude and blunt behavior. Those violet hues of swirling space void and well toned physique. . .

Well shit.

"Is that so bad?" Lance realizes a little too late that he asked a question while lost in thought.

Keith snapped out of his gaze and turned to look at Lance. "It is if you want to go home, right? I mean I made a promise of my own to make sure that happens."

"Would it really be terrible to have me as your soul mate?" Lance leaned away from the wall.

Where did that come from? Soul mates are the last thing on Keith's mind and far from the topic of this conversation. He didn't know what to say. He follows Lance and stares at the floor. "Would you get serious? I just don't want you to miss the opportunity of going back to your special someone." Now why did he say it like that? Lance can hear a little bit of a bitter tone and Keith just continues to feel agitated.

"Yeah, I get it... except that you missed one minor detail." Lance mentions.

"Which is?" Keith turns to look at Lance, not realizing he is staring straight back at him.

"You're special too."

Out of embarrassment, Keith could have looked away. He could have brushed it off. Ignored the intimate statement. Treat it like nothing. Thing is, there is something behind it. He can feel that spark of endearment coming from Lance.

"C'mon. Stop joking around..." Keith had to turn away. He needed to avoid that lingering stare of blue eyes.

That didn't sound or feel like a closed off line. It was minor but he swore that he felt it. Lance felt a hint of eagerness and flattery. It was so highly intoxicate, he couldn't ignore it. Lance shifted from his position to suddenly sit closer. Keith gasped to turn around and eyes widen by the appearance of Lance inches away from his own. "Why would I make a joke about that?"

This had taken them back down memory lane. Lance never left Keith's stare. Keith couldn't look away, at all. They both happen to think about the same memory. The moment they had kissed on their first encounter and yet again, when Keith had brought Lance out of his momentary depression.

Whoa. A dangerous thought. Still. . . Nothing can compare to what they feel now.

"Lance..." Keith managed to whisper out. His eyes were too busy and focused.

"Hm?" Lance is entranced as he raises his hand to tilt Keith's chin upward. His eyes slowly moving downward to look at his lips.

Keith's breath hitched. Not realizing that he had done the exact same to Lance. His fingers had also tilted Lance's chin upward to level with. "This is..." his voice is low and sounds like it is highly intoxicated, "Pretty dangerous..."

It was dangerous.

"Tell me to stop."

And he never did, thanks to the anticipation riled up between them both. Inches became centimeters. The hot air of pants tickling their mouths while the thick air of pheromones filled their senses. Lance licked his lips to part way for him to deepen a kiss so quickly. Keith welcomed and furthered the intimacy. Each hands had slid their way towards the back of their heads. Clenching a fist full of hair. A rough and eager lip locking, tongue coaxing and twisted play of excitement pooling inside the pit of their stomach.

So dangerous.

The physical contact had filled them with a newly intensified rise of quintessence. There's no individual color this time. Instead, a violet glow emits from their bodies. Lance and Keith can feel the energy surge through the veins. An entirely new wave of connection brings them to open their eyes and see each other in the moment of realization.

Oh fuck.

They slowly pulled away from each other. Both regretting to let go and slide a part, away on the bench. With flustered expressions, they both faced away. Panting from the panic and anxiety. That settled it. The one thing they never wanted to admit to themselves. Lance and Keith definitely liked each other. In more ways than they realized.

 

Chapter Text

Keith is completely lost in thought and it doesn't help that he has adrenaline soaring through him at the moment. Training with Acxa never helped. All because he can't figure out about how he truly feels towards Lance. He likes him, that's for sure but was it ever more than that? There was never any concrete evidence of official feelings between the two. Keith may be the type of solider and warrior that focuses on his objectives but he could never take anything of "love" or "like" so lightly. His parents taught him about patience and development over time. That there is so much more than the love at first sight, its highly unlikely.

Keith is beginning to have these intense chest pains. He actually admits defeat and leaves back to his room. Acxa has never seen him this way before and thanks to Krolia, she's aware of the situation. It's better not to pry anyone like Keith. His chest pains began since he literally tried to prevent his emotions from building up. He just hoped that Lance wouldn't ask about it.

The Atlas is currently in preparation for two missions about to take place. One will sneak and retrieve further data on Voltron inside the Altean bases. The other will cause impact on one of Zarkon's resources, in hopes that will slow down the fleets. Until further notice, Voltron has no purpose.

———

Coran brought out his grandfathers famous aged wine. An Altean specialty. Decided to share with anyone who was interested and it is the first time, in a very long time, that Keith sees Galra's and humans interact with one Altean. Of course he felt cautious towards Coran but if Kolivan and Krolia can put their differences aside, so can he. Eventually. It did have its benefits though, the crew had been feeling tense since their departure from Earth. It was one way they could relax their state of minds before causing another alert in space.

Lance stood by on the sidelines, he hadn't been feeling too well to be drinking any alcohol. Surprisingly, Keith stuck around him. "You actually going to drink that stuff?"

Keith shrugs and takes a sip, "Can't be too bad?"

—"Hello, boys!" Coran showed up and patted his hand among each of their shoulders. "Partaking in some of my old man's special? It has some nunvil in the mixture but the taste is from the recipe."

Lance smiles at Coran, having him around feels nostalgic. "None for me, thanks."

"Oh, well more for the rest of the group. How about you, Keith?" Coran turns and points.

"Uhh— yeah." There is an uncomfortable shift in Keith's stance, to which Lance happened to notice.

Coran can see that Keith is not much of a socialist and shrugs before bidding them farewell. Also with a quick good luck on the upcoming missions. They watched him walk away until Lance glanced at Keith. He could see the intense look of doubt in his eyes.

"He's just being a good guy, ya know? Checking on everyone and making conversation, he's even sharing something valuable to him." Lance speaks while eyeing Keith.

"Probably. I can't trust him just yet." Keith stares down into his cup.

"Unbelievable. You're really something." Lance shakes his head and removes himself from the room.

Keith furrows his brows in concern and follows after Lance, "Where you going?" He tries to reach out and grab his arm, until Lance shoves him off. Obviously, he is upset at Keith.

"I'm leaving okay? I can't take this judgemental attitude of yours, especially towards an innocent guy like Coran. He's part of the crew!" Lance keeps a distance between them.

"I know that! I'm just saying it doesn't hurt to be careful." Keith narrows his eyes. "You don't know what these Altean's are capable of—"

—"Coran is a nice guy and he's on our side. You can't expect them all to be just like the hostile Altean's coming after you. That would be racist." Lance crosses his arms.

"Wha— I'm not trying to be racist! I'm just—" Keith stammers a bit, maybe the wine is stronger than he thought. "Look, I'm just being cautious because I don't know him that well."

"Then get to know him, Keith. It's not that hard." Lance peeks over toward the crowd and see's some of the BOM members talking with Coran. "You're buddies seem to be doing just fine."

Keith peeked over his shoulder and sighed, "I'm not good with crowds. Anyway, I'm sorry for the way it sounded but I just can't figure out why they're so important to you?" Keith cocks an eyebrow as he takes another sip.

There is a reason. Lance just isn't comfortable to talk about it. "Never mind, okay? I'm heading out now." He began to walk out of the room, Keith wanted to follow but began to feel a bit tipsy. Damn wine! Everything feels so messed up at the moment and he didn't come to realize that he finished the whole cup either.

Matt walked over to Keith, "Hey."

Over the months, they would try create small conversation but they haven't been able to touch on the topic of everything. Thing is, Matt still doesn't forgive Lance for shooting him and upon sight he would immediately turn around. It's been difficult to be around Keith because of that. It's understandable. If it were Keith, he wouldn't step anywhere near Lance either. Not even give him the time of day.

"Matt, what's up?"

They both leaned against the cafeteria wall. Matt shows concern by the empty cup in Keith's hand. "Think you had enough?"

"Pfft. Nope." Keith felt he needed to keep his composure.

For what, exactly?

He can't even remember now.

"Uhuh. Where's your buddy Lance?" Matt bumped Keith at the elbow with his own.

"Don't know. Don't care."

"Wow. You guys having some kind of beef?"

What was it again?

Keith can't remember.

His eyes wonder down to his empty cup. An uncomfortable reminder that he doesn't have anymore. Holy shit this wine of Coran's is very strong. This is nothing compared to beer on Earth or the Nunvil beverage.

Matt is currently trying to wave for his attention but nothing works. "Earth to Keith?"

"Hm?"

Keith finally hears Matt calling his name, turns to see that concerned look in his eyes, staring at him. "Damn, I think you should go lay down or something."

"What for— I'm fine, Matt. . . just—"

—"Hey, guys. Enjoying the beverage?" Shiro appears before the two, not realizing what he walked into.

———

Lance feels restless. At the shooting range of the Atlas, he exercises on target practice. His shots weren't based on hitting the mark each time. It is based by accurate angles. For him, hitting right on the mark wasn't always a best shot, nope, it was more of manipulating your aim. To test the bullets accuracy and capability.

A flash of Allura's smile popped up into his head, his bullet misses the target. Lance bites his lip in frustration. Something is off. One more time, he takes a deep breath. Concentrated on his mark. An image of Keith's eyes up close flash from memory. He shot hits the mark this time.

While letting the gun rest against his thigh, hand still gripping the handle, he stares at the two different marks of his recent target. Lance can't figure out the state of his mind. It's clear as day when it comes to Keith but the moment he thinks of Allura? It's starting to fade.

"Damn it..." he curses to himself while reloading his gun. Nothing is making sense. All the frustration is aching on the trigger.

With a deep breath, a spike in the moment of concentration intensifies. His eyes can practically burn a hole as he stares at the full embodiment of the silhouette. Lance doesn't even realize his quintessence begins to seep out.

Lance can't understand himself at all. At first, he was so sure about finding his way back home and to Allura. He was so sure about it but now all the thoughts are beginning to seem like a dream. A dream of bitter sweet reality. Maybe that's all it ever was?

The quintessence surrounds his body. Lance is focused and his trigger finger, ready to pull. He tries to think about Allura again. Wondering why the image of her is beginning to fade away. Then the mixture of remembering Keith's look of confidence and those eyes of lust while kissing him come to life. No, that's not what he needs to think about. Right?

———

"Maybe you should've laid off the wine." Shiro mentions as he is currently escorting the poor drunken Keith back to his room.

Obviously, he can't handle his alcohol too well. His sentences made no sense and his topics jumped from one to another, about hippopotamuses and moth man? Matt didn't seem to mind. The whole scenario reminded him of their time back at GC. Then again, learning that Keith was not entirely human had made Matt feel like an ass for not knowing. He should have known and even beat himself up about it. Keith didn't want him to feel that way at all, he just wanted his relationships with people back to normal. How can anything be normal now?

As for Shiro, he had seen a thing or two from an intoxicated Keith. They were messy and foolish. Sometimes, Adam assisted in taking care of him. Sometimes, Shiro never left his side. This didn't feel so different and decided to put him to bed ahead of time.

"I don't know— what you're— Wha— where are we going?" Keith had slurred his words a bit.

"Taking you back to your room."

There is nothing but blurs in Keith's vision. Everything is either spinning or out of focus. He had to admit to himself though, it's been a very long time since Shiro has taken care of him like this. An image of Lance appears in his head. Those piercing blue eyes and the feel of his breath, lightly warming against his skin. It's bitter sweet to remember.

"— should've stopped. Idiot. . ." Keith mumbled.

Did Shiro hear that right? He raised a brow while looking at Keith, "Pardon?"

———

Lance is currently on his way back to the room next to Keith's. The thought of Allura and Keith made him feel so damn conflicted. Allura wasn't here but Keith is here. In the flesh. Does that make him a bad person, for not choosing one over the other? His heart is strong enough to know he can't just pretend that these feelings for either don't exist.

Up ahead, Lance hears murmurs. That's right, everyone is partaking in Coran's miniature get-together. Hopefully no one decided to have a drunk make out session or drunk space sex in the halls of the Atlas. Like, it's most likely a common bucket list item that has to be met but not if it's near his room. Turns out, that is exactly what stops him in his tracks.

Keith is kissing Shiro?!

There. Right in front of him. Keith is clenching Shiro's collar. His stomach turns at the sight. Even worse, his chest pulses with an ache. The bond may have felt a tinge of separation, so fast and out of sight, Lance hides from view. Negative thoughts are piling on top of one another. He can't hear anything happening. He needs to get out but it's almost hard to look away. Then, he see's Keith remove himself and Shiro's surprised expression. . .

Leave!

Lance holds his breath and quickly runs off from the scene. Hoping he wasn't noticed. Why was Keith even with that guy?!

Somewhere further down, in another corner of the Atlas, Lance stops running. Catching his breath and leaned against the wall of the hallway, sinking down to the floor. Why didn't he notice it before? Those strange feelings of loneliness and flattery towards Shiro, made complete sense now. Keith had been in love with Shiro and he knows it. He's always felt it through the bond. It's just hard to actually see it all come to past.

———

"Keith— You're completely drunk!" Shiro is baffled.

Definitely had way too much wine. Keith may have made the move but soon after he realized the mistake he made and pushed Shiro away. He immediately taken off into his room as the vomit came pretty quick. With a sigh, Shiro walks into the room and waits for Keith to finish.

"Ugh. . ." Keith rids of the remains. Using the bathroom's dispensary and water to clean himself up.

Everything was in a spinning blur but now, he had bit of his sober conscious returned. Keith leaned against the doorway, avoiding eye contact with Shiro. "I... am really sorry... about that..."

"Have you always felt that way?" The question is blunt and straight to the point. The tone was hard to decipher.

Keith is still drunk to function over this type of conversation. "Maybe. . . I don't know. I can't talk about this now."

Shiro looked with an empathetic concern. Even intoxicated, Keith could tell it was the face of rejection. There's no way he can take back what happened but strangely, it felt wrong. "Can we just pretend that never happened?"

". . . We'll talk about it some time. Hope you feel better soon." Shiro pats the side of Keith's arm before leaving.

Keith stands for a few more minutes. Then he makes the wobble trail to his bed. After he lands onto the small mattress, he turns around to stare up at the ceiling. Soon covering his eyes with his forearm. . . Everything is so messed up.

Suddenly, Keith felt a quick pinch in his chest that robbed him of air. He coughed and felt like he needed to make another trip to the bathroom. As he rises from the bed, his whole body loses momentum and actually collapses near the entrance of the bathroom. It's shocking to feel his energy completely drain out of nowhere.

Keith pants and reaches for the communicator in his pocket, "K-Krolia—" The pulsing pain in his chest grew and breathing is difficult. Hopefully his cry came through. 

———

The following day seems to be even more of a mess. First, the Atlas crew is prepared to partake in the mission following after two teams: One to infiltrate Altea and the other to take down resources of the Galra empire. Keith seriously feels like shit. During the briefing, he avoided Shiro's gaze the whole time. And then there is Lance. He won't even look or say anything to Keith. The hangover doesn't feel so worse compared to those two combined.

The teams are ready to leave the hangar but await orders from the Captain and Kolivan. As for the lions, they currently sit and are surrounded by a force field. Acxa is waiting outside of a room, while Krolia examines her son about an ongoing issue.

"You can't keep doing this. Neither should Lance." Krolia is rubbing the bridge of nose, practically growling with frustration.

"It's just a hangover."

"You know what I mean, Yorak."

Every time his mother says his Galra name, he knows her reason is quite serious or in need of his entire attention. Krolia didn't like the look of his condition, Keith has been showing symptoms of separation anxiety thanks to the bond. So has Lance. Krolia can see that the symptoms were worsening over the hour. Extreme fatigue and an increase of chronic muscle tension. Seems little but one of many effects should the bond be at risk of separating.

"I never asked for this..." Keith is adjusting his suit.

"No. The reality is that this bond exists. Avoiding each other is the wrong approach."

"Can we not do this? Things are complicated enough as it is." Keith sighed deeply and turned to look at his mother. "Look, I'll properly do something about this when I return... Is that okay?"

"I don't expect you to do anything for my sake, Keith." Krolia approaches her son with open arms and pulls him into a hug. "I just don't want to see you suffer for the sake of someone you're not in love with."

Hearing the word "love" has a sour tone to it. Keith recently made an idiot of himself to Shiro and Lance is angry for some reason. He has been feeling detachment and the hint of turmoil. So many questions are filling his head at the moment but with the missions about to start, he can't help but push these things aside.

Keith returns the embrace of his mother, allowing himself to actually be vulnerable for a second. "I know..." is the only response he could say.

On the opposite side of the hangar, Lance is already suited up. He had so much to think about. There's no explanation but he and Keith had a night of discomfort in their own rooms. Once Krolia compared the symptoms, relieved it had no connection to Coran's insane nunvil wine, she assured the medical team that it was a minor effect by the bond. Of course, no one knew what she talked about. Earth still has more to learn about quintessence bonding. Shiro was just glad they'll be fine.

After a long night of dealing with the effects of the bond, he realized that he is really pissed off. Pissed off about Keith drinking the stupid wine. Then maybe he wouldn't of had to endure what he witnessed, it actually felt taboo to even mention or think about it out loud. Maybe that's what started off those weird symptoms?

Lance's odd jealousy and realization of his developing feelings for Keith. Was it more than a crush? Lance likes Keith. Lance still loves Allura, even though his memories are beginning to fade of her. So now, he has feelings towards two people in his life. The only issue lingering is how much he likes Keith and to what extent?

"Hey!"

He's startled by the sudden yell and turns around to see Matt, staring at him. "Can I help you?"

"What's up with Keith?" Matt asks, crossing his arms.

"How should I know?" Lance rolls his eyes while turning back.

Matt is observant and just so happened to overhear some strange things. Like Shiro and Adam's conversation about Keith's drunk attempt. People should really keep these things private. Adam wasn't mad but anyone could hear the little irritated tone. He may have guessed about a small crush between Keith and Shiro but never knew the guy had it in him. Putting two and two together, a whole new perspective is seen.

"What, you guys having a lovers quarrel?"

The question made Lance flinch and shake his head, "What— No. Obviously not. I mean— urgh!"

Matt found Lance's reaction amusing. "I didn't know you two were—"

"—We're not." The two starred at each other until they heard everyone murmur their attention towards the hangar's entrance.

The Captain and Kolivan appeared, ready to recap the major plans. It just so happens that Lance catches a glance of Keith and his heart skips a beat. Keith must feel it because he quickly looks up and searches for Lance. He looks away before their eyes could meet.

Keith didn't stare for long. Now wasn't the time for any of this. He brings his focus to the situation at hand as they are being sent off from the Captain and crew. It seems for the duration of the missions coming to past are going to be long and full of unnecessary setbacks.

 

Chapter Text

The BOM successfully bombed down the resources but leaving the area was a problem. One of Emperor Zarkon's generals had shown up. His sharp intuition managed to catch Keith's team within the resource base. Now that they are pinned down, Zarkon was notified about the BOM's intentions galaxy wide.

"Is there any response from the Atlas?!" Keith yells as he and Acxa duck down for cover.

"On their way, but we'll have to hold out until then!" Acxa readies her blade, waiting for an opening.

Sendak is the general of the Galra cruiser, which escorted a female shrouded with a cloak as she stands on the main bridge of the ship. Hagar is her name but remains faceless to the crew. No one is clear of her involvement in the war except for Sendak. Hagar is Zarkon's witch.

"Do we have insight to these intruders yet?" She speaks while turning to one of the androids. "Bring up the recording."

On the screen shows a recording, one of their androids was in pursuit of the Blades. Hagar is very interested and studies their movements. 
As she watches a member take down the android, she growls. "Send a message to the Emperor. Tell him, the Blade of Marmora are responsible for the damage."

"Shall we align them with the Altean's?" Sendak asks Hagar from behind.

"We have no proof but they can't be trusted either. We can no longer have these interruptions prevent us from bringing down Altea." Sendak merely nods and returns to partial of the ships controls while Hagar studies the footage.

———

Meanwhile, Lance is waiting for a drop off with Krolia. They've arrived to the nearest base closest to the planet Altea. The plan is to sneak onto the planet through one of the Emperor's ships and retrieve as much data as possible about Voltron. Also, an update of war plans.

"We're arriving shortly. Ready?" Krolia asks as she walks up to Lance.

He nods and lines up with the members, waiting for the hatch to open. In sync, they all activate the suits mask and lift the hoods over their heads. Krolia stands at the end and in the mid of her group, staring down as the hatch finally opens. "Let's go!"

One by one, the members leap downward onto the landing of the bases hangar. Each had hidden away once landed, creeping their way inside. Lance is trailing after Krolia by order. For the sake of her motherly conscious, and Keith's assumed lover, Krolia wants to keep a close eye on him. Worried if his quintessence would drain again and deprive him of natural energy.

Lance didn't mind it one bit. His mind is more focused about the fact they are heading into Altea. It's not quite clear of what to expect once they arrive but he feels anxious about it. Something cringes along his spine as the group becomes near each minute. There has to be a reason of why the Altean's are presumed to be hostile. He just can't believe it. Although, he can admit that these members really are like ninjas. Krolia signals and moves the group.

———

Keith became impatient and forced his way through the androids. Acxa thought it was stupid but there is no chance she'll leave a member alone to deal with the enemy. They are actually going to board the cruiser. Which is a risk that could create more problems for the Atlas. It's worth it, however. A cruiser would definitely have the type of data they're looking for.

On the inside, Keith struggles to keep back some emotions. He can't balance with the importance of the mission. It had to be one or the other. For now, this is the closest the BOM can get and obtain a large amount of information but Lance has been on his mind the entire time. Why was he so upset?

"What are you looking for?" Acxa whispered, following behind Keith in the ventilation tunnels.

Keith flinched a little but didn't look back, "There's bound to be something here. It's a fucking ship of their generals, what exactly can't be found here?" He whispered back.

Acxa smacks the back of Keith's head for his rude tone. "Ass. Don't you snap on me because of your boyfriend!"

"Wha— Lance is not my boyfriend!" Keith rubs the spot where he was smacked.

Acxa raised a brow, practically not amused by his denial. "You both always stand close to each other and I've never seen the tanned man so upset." She crawls past Keith as he stammers.

"Ugh. Just focus, will you? I'm not talking about Lance right now." He rolled his eyes and followed after Acxa.

Moments passed and they find themselves at the main bridge of the ship. This is the closest they've ever been and Acxa prepares to record any sort of information exchanged. A figure catches the eyes of Keith in the middle of the room.

"Hagar, there is an incoming live footage from the Emperor." The figure known as Hagar lifts their hand in the air as a screen pops up and reveals a face of an intimidating Galra leader. Keith and Acxa tense up as they realize it is Zarkon on the screen. Maybe this was a lucky idea after all?

"What is happening out there?" Zarkon speaks.

"The BOM are damaging resources and refuse to surrender. They've called out a signal for assistance." She explains.

Zarkon travels his attention to Hagar. "Should I be concerned about this matter?"

"This area of resource will diminish our cause of this sector. The real threat is Altea." Hagar mentions.

Zarkon merely nods but growls. "We are running out of time. Dispose of the traitors and return to base."

The screen disappears and Hagar looks to the commander, "Commander Sendak. You may destroy this base and everything near. Our Emperor no longer requires it."

Keith curses to himself and looks at Acxa, "Send a message to the others. Tell them they all need to evacuate now!" He whispers before looking back down to the bridge and sees this Hagar leave the room. He really shouldn't right now but his instincts are telling him to follow.

———

Krolia's group made it to the planet of Altea. Lance was expecting something familiar but it was all different and distorted. Altea is heavily boarded with weaponry and defence systems but nothing that Krolia can't decipher. Something ominous is happening here. After some disposals and knockouts of a few guardsmen, they sneak into the headquarters.

Aside from the mission, Lance is dealing with a growing headache. It's clearly shown upon his face with cold sweat that he is feeling some sort of physical pain. Krolia believes it to be some after effect from the sickness before the mission but kept a close eye on Lance. She quietly makes her way towards the young man, "You alright?"

Lance can't describe what he's feeling but he knows that it's painful to endure. "I-I'm fine... Just this place isn't what I remember it to be."

Krolia stares at him in disbelief. There is a chilling atmosphere rising from Lance and she's not liking it one bit. "Once we get the intel, we leave. Understood?" He only nods in response.

Krolia keeps her eye on Lance before turning to Antok, "Keep an eye on this one."

The group begins to move further into the headquarters and Lance does well to keep up, even with Antok behind him. In minutes, the group comes to a hangar. Except they didn't expect to see a row of war machines. There are at least five mecha's standing in a row. Everyone is shocked to see that the Altean's have been improving their weaponry.

"I think it's clear of what they've been doing with Voltron's data.." Lance manages to speak but cringes from sharp pains shooting in his head. The particular machine in the middle had triggered a flash. Has he seen this before?

Krolia huffs, "Retrieve the data."

"Shouldn't we gather battle plans?" Antok asks.

"I've got it." Krolia stares up at the machines while her brows are furrowed. She takes a moment to think about her assumptions then turns to Antok, "Let's go."

———

Keith and Acxa had managed to follow Hagar into this strange room, filled with artifacts. She seems to be in the practice of Altean alchemy and magic. It's unheard of that a Galra practices the very traditional activity among Altean's. They can't help but wonder how she managed to obtain this knowledge. Hagar suddenly brings up a live footage, believing to be the only one in the room. Zarkon appears on screen which confuses the heck out of the two, hidden in the ventilations.

"Hagar." Zarkon speaks.

"No one is around." She replies as she removes her hood. Keith and Acxa are shocked to see this woman's skin transform into the physique of an Altean. "I called about a more complicated matter."

Zarkon's stoic expression actually softens. "What is it?"

"My personal spies, Ezor and Narti infiltrated into Alfor's headquarters. My long years of research has been corrupted with the very quintessence that shadows Alfor." The woman crosses her arms and sighs.

Zarkon shows an expression of worry. "No. Then he's succeeded in harnessing the dark Essence?"

"Manipulated it's nature is more like it. Corrupted quintessence. That's not all..."

"What else?"

Hagar's expression shows a mixture of frustration and anger. "Alfor used it to create replica's of Voltron."

The news is surprising to everyone present of this discussion. Keith always assumed there was only one Voltron but never thought there could be more? Let alone to learn that there is an opposite of quintessence that actually exists. They need to listen a bit longer, with the background noise of their fellow members and Atlas responding, it seems crucial to gain this bit of news.

Zarkon takes a moment to take in everything he's heard from Hagar. He opens his eyes, "And what about Lotor?"

There's distress on Hagar's face, "Narti was killed by Lotor and Ezor escaped. Alfor used corrupted quintessence to gain control of our son. . ."

The Galra Emperor is silent for a moment. He looks up at Hagar but doesn't call her by the familiar name anymore. "Honerva. I promise, we will return our son. Even if I shall die trying."

"I know my love. . ."

Acxa can't believe what she's hearing. Neither can Keith. "Holy shit. . ." He whispers.

The transmission ends and Honerva has transformed herself back to her Galra persona. A knock echoes as she quickly slips her hood on top of her head. Hagar growls and turns her full attention to the Galra soldier, "Speak."

"Hagar, the ion cannon is almost ready to fire. Commander Sendak awaits your approval."

"The sooner, the better." She replies as she leaves the room, followed by the soldier.

They have to move quick. Acxa calls for the Atlas once more and receives a reply, finally. They quickly retrace their steps through the ventilations as she explains an emergency evacuation. The Atlas is about to enter the sector from her coordinates and Keith flinches as they are running back. He stops in his tracks, holding a hand to his chest. Something doesn't feel right, aside from the pinch.

Acxa doesn't see a reason to stay any longer. "We need to leave. Now."

He agrees before following after her. "Let's find one of their ships."

———

While the team waits for a ship to arrive, Krolia continues to feel restless. "I don't like this silence." Suddenly, Antok pulls her back from a near impact of a head shot. Lance is freaked out as he turns to see where it came from but barely dodged another shot. One after another like rain, the group had ducked and hid behind cover.

"Where's the team, with the ship, Krolia?!" Lance yells. He tries to shoot down the guards until another flicker of imagery haunts his mind.

For a brief moment, Lance has wiped his eyes but only to see Altean citizens before him. It's shocking to see, so he shakes his head and peeks out from cover again. It's just soldier's. An illusion? A heavy drop of guilt forms in his chest. He shouldn't be trying to hurt these Altean's. Except, the hostile attempt in shooting down the Blades has shown a whole new disturbing perspective.

Krolia continues to call for an urgent pickup as she unsheathes her blade. Followed by the members, she yells that they will have to fight their way out of the area. Lance didn't mind covering everyone but the guilt created some minor issues of mobility.

Odd memories of the Altea, he knew long ago were conflicting against this modern Altea. Why is it so different? His mindset is in a struggle and flooding of different images. Images he's never seen before but feels familiar. People he might have known or places he may have visited. No, this doesn't make any sense!

As the BOM encounter blade to gun or blade to blade, Lance lowers himself from view. He needs to get a grip. Altea seems to be triggering his lost memories but why? This isn't how he remembers this place or the Altean people. They use to be kind and naturally curious of the universes endless possibilities.

"The ship is here!", a BOM member yells out.

Lance quickly peeks over to and is ready to run himself towards the group. However, his chest pulsed with pain again and dropped to his knees. It's as if the quintessence within him had reacted to a faulty connection? It wasn't Keith he was feeling. This could only mean one thing, whoever the connection lead to had to be somewhere near by.

So many questions flooded his mind: Who the individual was, where were they, why was there a connection he never knew about or could feel at all? Then the image of Allura flashes. His heart felt like it stopped. No. Everything felt like it stopped in time. Just a quick second that felt like forever, Lance remembered Allura and Altea in the past.

Everything was different and peaceful. Allura was a princess and to become Queen. Lance was her love interest. They almost created a bond to one another but everything has been held off when there was an attack on Earth. They both gained permission to assist the planet from King Alfor himself.

The battle among Earth caused Allura to try finish creating the bond between her and Lance but she was too late to finish the process. Hostile Galra had shown up and massacred everyone in their surroundings. Apparently, Lance made a hero of himself in this moment. Defeating the Galra but losing the Princess in the matter. He also, had vowed to kill every Galra in sight for killing the Princess.

Wait. . . Since when did—

None of it made sense? But then that would make Keith a liar, right?

Then the memory of Keith explaining the history of the Altean's attacking Earth, in search for Voltron. They've come against the Galra in every way and even against people of Earth, just to retrieve Voltron.  Lance doesn't recall feeling vindictive towards anyone. He was lonely for family and Allura but now he questions it. Why do these memories not click together, why don't they match?

Lance flinches from a shocking pain in his head. Damn that hurt, it felt like a quick migraine. It worsened even more as he tried to connect everything in that moment. He didn't even pay attention to his surroundings or that he was yelling in pain, covering his head. It's only natural that the BOM's second in command leader notices this dilemma; Krolia kept her eye on the young man while she fought her way through the group of Altean soldiers.

The Altean soldiers are hit from above as their pickup landed but retrieving Lance was an added struggle. Krolia doesn't recall any issues about the young man but she actually feels worried for his condition. The members quickly maneuver through out the soldiers but Lance is still crouching on the ground. He's never felt a pain like this before and it seems to be getting worse by the second. It has to be this place!

Krolia is about to run and board the ship. Quickly turning back and orders Antok to retrieve Lance. Antok is quite large enough to withstand incoming impacts of physical strength. It doesn't take him long to gather Lance over his shoulder.

"Let's go! Everybody head into the ship!" Antok yells and runs to the opening hatch of their ship.

From the unfortunate incident, only three made it from their group. The rest are either captured or were struck down during the leave from the hangar. The situation is bad and Lance seemed to get worse by the second. Krolia and Antok are holding him down from his hysterical state. He began to lash out, cry out, and attempt to leave the ship. They had no choice to but to render him unconscious. It was for the best but Krolia feared for the future of her son and this young man. His behaviour can't be good.

———

The resource base had been demolished and Hagar concluded her plan to destroy the entire area. A transmission came through from Shiro about the arrival of Atlas and just in time before all had been caught up in the destruction. The mission was practically done for them but all was not lost. Thanks to the data and information Keith and Acxa found, they have more input of Zarkon's personal plans.

In the meantime, Keith had physically reacted from the connection of the bond. It isn't normal that he can feel physical pain by Lance's experience. It caused himself and Acxa a struggling journey back to the Atlas. His breathing was short and his muscles would tense tremendously for a few seconds.

Once they returned to the Atlas hangar, Keith is currently leaning himself over as he occasionally grunts from the pain. Adam orders for the crew members to immediately bring him to the medical unit. He tries to resist but Adam won't take no for answer and forces him to leave for the sake of his health. If he wasn't so sure that it was the bond connection, Keith wouldn't care and probably tough it out. All he cares about right now is what could possibly be happening with Lance?

 

Chapter Text

Felt like forever until the Atlas had finally located the coordinates from Krolia. Keith stayed on the ship's main bridge the entire time. Shiro and Adam urged him to stay back in the room but he refused. They are quite familiar with that stubbornness so they chose to merely keep an eye on his condition. Krolia had mentioned Lance needed immediate medical attention once they board the ship.

"Keith, Lance is going to be fine." Shiro talks while appearing at his side.

"I have to be sure." Keith doesn't give any sort of eye contact towards Shiro, it's still too awkward.

Shiro seems helpless and glances over to Adam for any clue of what to do next. All he could do was shrug and stare at Keith with sympathy. It's unclear of what Lance is to him but it has to be important if he's actually worried about him. A crew member announces Krolia's boarding in the hangar and Keith quickly turns to run out.

What happened to him? The only emotions he could feel was anger and hurt. Once arrived, he anxiously awaited the swoosh of the door opening before rushing inside. When Krolia and her team landed, Keith's pain had increased a tad bit as soon as he heard Lance. It was an unreal experience. With the medical team rushing towards the ship, Lance had been hyperventilating and would attempt self harm by trying to bash his head against anything solid.

No one knows why but they did the best they could to keep him secured. This actually frightened Keith. He found himself in a helpless position and it is exactly where Keith hates to be. He can feel all this pain but there is no physical sign of injuries. He tries to ask Krolia about the mission but she explained that he never came into contact with any magic or such, it just happened as they left Altea.

———

Hours and hours passed. Still felt like forever. Keith no longer felt anything and is currently at the briefing to hear results of the missions. Krolia practically commanded her son to participate since he and Acxa had some valued news to share. He hoped it would go by quicker than usual but seems both teams came across valuable information.

"So Zarkon has a personal vendetta against this King Alfor?" Iverson asks at the table.

Acxa nods after dismissing her live recording of Honerva and Zarkon. "It seems to be the core reason for pursuing the Altean King."

"Then why didn't they attack us? They should be aware by now that Voltron is with the Atlas and it would've increased their power, right?" Adam asked.

Shiro looks at Keith's mother for her input. "On Altea, we came across these five Robeast's which have exact detail of Voltron. They could be more powerful." Krolia then plugs in her device into one of the tables ports, revealing a massive imagery of the robeasts and Altea's current military environment.
"It's a miracle we made it through."

"What does that mean?" Adam asks.

"With all that fire power, they could've killed us or attacked us straight on but Alfor was nowhere near. Just some soldiers. It's not certain if the Altean's really are trying to retrieve Voltron. Just doesn't make sense." Krolia explains as she crossed her arms.

Shiro ponders for a moment, "So it's possible they don't need it?" The room filled of murmurs and everyone looking to each other in confusion.

"This Hagar focused her attention to the Robeast's in Altea. Turns out there is an undercover team." Acxa suddenly speaks while standing at the back of the room with Keith. "I don't think there will be any focus on the Atlas from them any time soon."

The people in the room tend to agree with her statement. Shiro stands from his seat, "Still. All this is bound to connect and we could eventually have both empires come our way. So we keep our eyes out for the Altean and Galra ships."

"Until then?" Coran asks.

"We expand on project Voltron Coalition. Keeping Voltron safe is top priority until we figure out a new plan."

———

"Keith!"

The young man stops in his tracks and turns around to see Shiro standing in the hall. "Yeah?"

"Not in uniform?" He asks. It's been a while since he had seen Keith in normal clothes.

"I uh, just felt like a change for a while." Keith felt awkward and avoided eye contact with Shiro. "Need something?"

"Can we talk?"

Inevitable, ain't it? Keith had hoped to check on Lance but guess this is something he needs to discuss with Shiro. He just hopes the air can be finally cleared.

They bring themselves to a quiet room and aren't exactly sure where to start the conversation. Keith huffs and crosses his arms. "I'm sorry about that night..."

Shiro takes a glance at Keith and nods his head, "Have to admit, that was seriously out of nowhere." He also mimics Keith, "How long have you felt that way?"

Perhaps a little too long. Keith tries to figure out a way to put it into words and tilts his head back, "Maybe a year after meeting you.."

"That long, huh." Shiro has a nervous chuckle.

Another long pause between them. No time like the present. Keith takes a deep breath, "It was never meant to last for so long. Once Adam came into the picture, I respect you enough to back off. Especially since it was obvious he made you happy."

Shiro continues to let Keith elaborate.

"Don't get me wrong, I like and respect Adam too. I seriously believe you two are meant for each other." Keith has a nervous chuckle too and a saddened smirk. "I just don't think I've ever took the time to deal with those feelings, you know?"

"Keith. You could always talk to me and I'll always be there for you. Nothing will change that." Shiro tries to affirm their connection to each other. He knows it can't be romantic or answer to his feelings but Keith means a lot to him.

"I know.. again, I'm sorry for making shit awkward with you and Adam."

"Yeah well, he wasn't too ecstatic to hear about it." Shiro kinda laughs. "He's not mad though. Just worried about where that leaves the relationship between us."

Keith smiles to himself. "He's got nothing to worry about."

"Speaking of which," Shiro starts as he turns to look at Keith. "What's the deal between you and Lance?"

Keith doesn't reply right away. He looks down at the floor, lost in thought. "Guess that's something else I should come clean about."

———

Allura has shown up again. She stands in front of Lance with a pained expression and holds his hands within her grasp. He wants to know why she won't look directly at him and he's been asking so many questions, she won't answer. It's that deep gut wrenching he's been trying to avoid. Allura is rejecting him and he can't bring her back as she turns away. Further distance as he tries to reach out for her hands again once she lets go.

"No, no, no! I promised I would come back to you!" Lance yells out but it's no use. He can't even bring his legs to move.

"What if you can't go back?"

Lance is surprised to hear another voice in this nightmare. He turns to see Keith behind him but he doesn't look like himself. His Galra features are fading through the longer he stares.

"Keith? What are you—"

—"She's not real, you know."

"Of course she's real! Just look—!" Lance turns around to see that Allura has vanished. When he turns to look back at Keith, his eyes widen to see Allura stand beside him.

"Lance?" They both spoke in union.

None of this is making sense. How do they know each other? Why are they beside each other like this? The Galra and Altean's can't be at peace, could they? He's not even sure why he thinks that thought. As he is prepared to respond, both Keith and Allura reach forward to push against Lance. The contact felt so real and he literally fell backward but into a pit of everlasting nothing. His stomach sank with anxiety and everything is almost pitched black. Why would they do that to him?

Why would Keith push him away?

———

Keith explained the whole bonding experience up until recently. The true reason as to why he hasn't left Lance. Shiro never knew something like that could exist. It sounds impossible actually.

"So you two are literally tied together?" Shiro asks.

Keith nods and sighs deeply, "Shit is just complicated. Kinda like put into a relationship I've never asked to be part of but here I am."

"Man, that is intense..."

"At first, it was such a pain in my ass but then I realized it's a way to use Voltron for good use. As long as Lance and I can stand together in this war, there shouldn't be a problem to protect Earth and the universe.."

Shiro can hear the uncertainty in his voice, "But?" Keith stopped himself from saying anything. Good thing Shiro has instincts for this type of stuff. He smiled and elbowed Keith on the arm, "So you like him, huh?"

Keith immediately blushed and turns to look at Shiro, "Why would you think that?"

Shiro laughs and shakes his head, "You aren't subtle with emotions. It's so obvious."

"It's not— I mean I'm not in love with the guy." Keith tilts his head at his own words. He didn't love Lance but liked him? He's terrible with feelings.

"Well, you can't leave him alone. That's for sure."

"Yeah well... that's not the only problem.." Keith thinks out loud. Liking Lance might not be enough for this bond between them. It's been an edgy thought but Keith has assumed their struggle starts from old flames. The unsure way to respond to his feelings of Shiro and then this Allura person. Something has to be done but what?

"Well, you should go check on him. Yeah?" Shiro starts.

Keith looks at him and is about to respond until the same pain from before takes over his body. He falls to his knees and covers his head. Shiro quickly kneels beside Keith and asks what is wrong. Not even Keith knows but he can think about who it's coming from.

"Shit— I gotta get to Lance!" He grunts and stands himself up with the help of Shiro.

———

Lance had woken up from his nightmare, he was lost about where he was. Then it all came flooding to him. Scene by scene, memory by memory. His mentality was at risk and his body violently reacted and blood had leaked from his nose. Lance finally remembers everything.

By the time Keith and Shiro ran to the medical observation window, they came across some of the crew members knocked out on the floor. He's on the run! Shiro tended to the crew while Keith checked out the room and saw that there was a struggle that happened.

Lance had most likely went mad and ran off. The thought crept up his spine and if he's fast enough he could catch up to him before he leaves the Atlas. There's only one place he would go to run away from.

———

Lance threw on his clothes and ran for Blue. The lion would only respond when physically approached by him ever since the last time Voltron was needed. Blue's roar filled the hangar and caused a ruckus of the crew members. Not knowing what exactly is happening, the crew doesn't prevent Lance from entering the lion or leaving the Atlas. Matt tried to yell after him but figured it was part of his asshole ego.

"Lance!" Keith came running into the hangar but was too late as he saw Blue take off. He didn't hesitate to bring himself towards Red.

"Keith, where ya going?!" Matt yelled.

"Just tell the Captain, I'll be back!" Red activated and roared before lowering its head downward , opening its jaw for Keith to enter. Matt shook his head, not really aware of what's going on. He watched the Red lion take off into space.

There were no words but Blue knew exactly where to roam off to. Cold sweat trickled off Lance's forehead. He had to leave, gather all thoughts and memories into one giant piece. From the corner of his eye, he can see an incoming message and Keith's face pops up on the screen.

"What the hell is going on Lance?!" He yells.

"I just— I needed to leave okay?"

"You knocked out those guys in the ICU and just needed to leave?!" Keith is furious and making damn sure that he's on his tail. Thrusting the controls through a sequence, Red immediately uses its boosters to catch up to Blue from behind.

"I can explain but—"

—"but what, Lance?"

Lance growls in frustration. Keith isn't making this any easier. "Nothing, just back off!"

The live footage was cut off and Blue continued onward. So damn frustrating! Why is Lance so caught up in running away from those who can help him? Why run away from Keith, most of all? Keith cursed and didn't bother to contact him again. There is no way he's going to leave him alone by himself in this state.

———

"Where did Lance and Keith disappear to?" Shiro asked Matt as he entered the hangar.

Matt shrugged his shoulders, "Beats me. They both left in a hurry."

"Damn it. Send a message to be on their guard. We can't be running around freely with the Altean's and Galra possibly looking for Voltron." Shiro sighed to himself.

"He did say that he'll be back.." Matt muttered.

Shiro turns away, "Notify me the moment Keith contacts the Atlas. We'll just have to be on our toes." Matt nods in response and returns to his engineering duties.

———

Blue brought them to a planet inhabited by creatures. If it weren't for the strange alien colours, it could almost be a twin of Earth. Keith never let his eyes off Blue though, he didn't want to risk loosing sight of Lance. The blue lion landed among a beach. Very similar to an Earth ocean. Red landed not too far.

Once outside, Lance stares at the two suns in sunset, allowing himself to calm down a little. Until he can clearly hear the steps of Keith coming along, he pulls out his handgun and points toward him. Keith stops in his tracks, surprised by the sudden hostility.

"Lance, what the hell is wrong with you?"

"Please stay back, okay? I don't want to hurt you."

With a huff, Keith stood still "Okay. I won't come anywhere near you. I'm not sure what's going on with you.. but don't think you're alone in this. I'm here."

"I know." Lance slowly lets down the handgun but his finger doesn't leave the trigger. His expression shows a strange grievance and Keith is worried about the exact reason.

The water stands completely still. Keith is surprised at himself. He never once tried to pry for an answer the entire time. There is still much he wants to ask but it felt like his presence was triggering enough. It was best to leave Lance alone to figure out his thoughts, so he eventually watched the sunset himself.

"I can remember everything." Lance finally spoke, which caught Keith off guard.

"You mean, about where you came from?"

Lance nods and tilts his head upward, "More than that. So much doesn't make sense to me but I'm pretty sure about one in particular that's real... at least, I hope it isn't." There is a mixture of sadness and anger. He's biting his lower lip and even tears are threatening to fall in the corners of his eyes. "Allura couldn't bond with me and her father, Alfor, convinced her to bond with some Prince."

Allura was Altean? Keith doesn't know what to say. It's all new to him, to hear anything about his past. There's not much to respond to but he listens. It's the least he can do. "

"I remember the bond conflicted inside Allura because her heart wasn't in it, I suppose. There's no real explanation for it. So thanks to the detachment and choosing to stay with me, it's cost her life source to fade..."

Keith knows the feeling of losing someone you love so much. All too well. He doesn't respond or give off any verbal comfort. He just continues to listen.

"Allura used the last of her Altean alchemy to send Voltron through some strange wormhole. I assume my planet, since that's where it ended up anyway. This is where a lot doesn't make sense." Lance grips the handle of his gun again. "That's why it was difficult to fight against them before but something else showed up in my head. I can't tell the difference anymore. About what's real or not." Lance brings himself to his feet and huffs out a broken sigh. His eyes continue to stare forward and focus on the still waters. It's peaceful out here. It also pisses off Lance. Some pieces of the puzzle to Lance's past have come together at least and Keith is happy for that. However, there still lies a devastating turmoil within Lance.

"There a memories that don't feel familiar to me at all. My family? Apparently, never died? Allura never dies, she's gone to live side by side with that prince. . . The freshest memory before I met you is finding Voltron to serve under the Altean empire, I was returning it to Allura."

Lance is trembling, worried these memories may be true but also conflicted that his family really is alive. That's the only thing that struggles to keep him sane. Which part was true? All Keith can do is stay quiet. He is worried he'll trigger Lance in the wrong way if he says anything after that. The bond is expanding his turmoil though. He can feel the confusion riling up in Lance. It's unbearable. Even brings back some old feelings of the time he lost his father.

"Keith. I— I don't know what's real anymore! Allura might be alive— my family might be alive? I— I was so sure they were dead because afterwards— Allura. That's how I met her— what do I do?!" Lance choked out a sob and chucked his handgun into the waters. He fell to his knees, trying his best to hold back the tears but failed as they trickled down one after another. Then he began to punch at the sand beneath him. Scraping his knuckles against rough areas that unfortunately caused him to bleed.

Keith flinched at the sight of blood and quickly brought himself to kneel beside Lance, grabbing onto his wrists and trying to prevent him from throwing fists anymore. Lance then yelled at the top of his lungs. His voice had risen with an ultimate cry of pain and anguish. His quintessence began to rise from his body as he reacted in a violent manner.

"Lance, that's enough!" Keith yelled as he used his strength to pin and straddle him down. The look on Keith's face is angry and confused but most of all hurt. Hurt to see that Lance is withering before his eyes. Succumbing to the pain and allowing himself to fall even deeper. "You can't do this to yourself!"

Lance's tears continue to pour but his anger starts to focus on Keith. "Why not? Because of some promise? You really think this war won't kill you, or me along with it? Who the fuck do we think we are, Keith?!"

It's difficult to keep them in one spot. Keith relies on his weight to hold Lance down as best as he can. "Cut it out, man!"

Lance growls and manages to unbalance Keith enough to fall on his side. "Everything would be better if Voltron never existed. Allura. My family?"

They both bring themselves to their knees and stare at each other, few feet a part. Keith is growling, "Stop this shit, Lance. You're going to hurt yourself!"

"So what? If I disappear, then you won't have anything to hold you back anymore. Not even from Shiro!"

Those words struck Keith deep enough to be gut wrenching. "What are you talking about?"

Lance just smirks and scoffs. "Please. Before the mission, I came to find you but instead I found you throwing yourself at the Captain of your dreams. I knew there was a reason you acted so soft around him."

It's confusing at first but then Keith starts to realize that Lance must of came across his unfortunate moment with Shiro. Well, saw and then left. "Lance... it's not what you think."

"Pfft— Please. I ain't blind." Lance looks away, "If I'm gone, at least Shiro can take my place. I won't be such a damn burden anymore."

That's not true.

Keith is on the brink of breaking. He can't sit by and watch any more. He sighs in defeat. Lance hears him begin to speak and turns to meet his gaze. "You piss me off so much, Lance. It's true. I wish I never met you..."

The words struck Lance harder than he thought it would and wants to just leave at this point but Keith keeps talking.

"I do wish someone else had to bare the burden of Voltron but"— It's subtle but Lance gasps at the touch of Keith's hand against his own on the sand—"You have no idea, about the impact you have on me. I can't do any of this without you." Lance's hand is lifted and placed against the side of Keith's face. His stare is serious, "Not ever." then rests his lips to Lance's palm.

Lance freezes up       

Lance freezes up. Not sure how to react but he's definitely shocked. His hand pulls back out of fear and realizes that he's nervous from all this. He laughs a little to himself and turns away, "What are you rambling on about, Mullet? I don't belong here, or anywhere."

"Well for starters, you can belong with me."

The choice of words catch Lance off guard and he turns to see Keith staring at him. For the time being, Lance can't recall his anger anymore. It's like all troubles began to fade the moment he laid eyes on Keith.

———

Keith takes this time to clean and bandage the scrapes on Lance's knuckles. It's quiet but in a time like this? Lance is extremely grateful that Keith stuck by his side. There's never any sort of uncomfortable atmosphere between them and he's always enjoyed it. Sometimes it would've been helpful if Keith would just enjoy it too.

"There." Keith wrapped the last of the bandages.

"Thanks..." An impressive bandage. Lance admires the effort and care Keith put into his wrapping.

The tiny bits of affection causes Keith to blush however, he can feel the emotions in such raw manner. Everything felt like there was a rift of change in the air. As much as he'd like to keep up a strong front for Lance, his eyes are wandering the structures of his facial features. Handsome and cunning every time he smiles. It's a wonderful feature for Lance and sometimes he can't believe he ever met someone like him. First kiss at first sight, right?

Speaking of kisses, Keith starts to stare more than he should while Lance is busy yammering about how impressed he is. He gulps back an interesting thirst. His eyes won't stop staring from jawline, down the neck line, broad shoulders, and further down— nope! Nope. He shakes his head and avoids eye contact, hearing Lance ask what's wrong.

"Nothing. Just you seemed to have bulked up over the last months." Keith crosses his arms over his chest and smiles. Not realizing how he affected Lance.

"O-oh yeah. Well, you too." Lance feels a bit bashful and turns away.

An innocent confused look plants on Keith's face as he tilts his head. Was Lance feeling shy? It's as if the bond had answered him right away. A quick spark of excitement channels through into Keith's chest. He actually flinches. Yeah, those feelings are not his.

"What. Embarrassed? I think you'd be use to it by now" Keith muttered, putting away the first aid kit. They had moved into Blue's cockpit for a bit.

Lance blinks in confusion and stutters. "Wha—its your fault!"

Alright. This is starting to feel awkward. Keith turns around to face Lance but leans against the inner wall of the Blue lion and crosses his arms. "All I did was bandage you. How is that my fault?"

Lance scoffs and looks away with a blush. "Whatever. I just like the way you did it. Okay?"

Keith can't help but laugh a little. Lance is amusing in his own way. Despite his tough act and attitude, he is very honest when it comes to his heart. Definitely a type of characteristic that Keith has always wanted for himself. His life was built on war and still is. In a way, it's like Lance was meant to be here. To come into his life the way he did.

"What could possibly be funny." Lance rolls his eyes and practically pouts.

"Sorry, it's just that.. You really are something." Lance stares at Keith from the side of his peripherals. Wondering if he meant what he said, he starts to reflect on his actions earlier.

How he was near the edge of insanity and bringing out his insecurities. It's not something he's proud of but overall the behaviour, Keith never left or judged him. Even believes him to be something after all that. "Hey Keith?" Lance clenches his fist and fidgets with his free hand. Keith notices the build of anxiety but turns all attention to Lance, waiting to hear what he has to say. ". . . Thanks. For everything."

Keith stares at Lance while he moves away from the wall. It's clear as daylight now, that he feels for him. There isn't anymore doubt left in him to not pursue and explore this new territory of his own heart. This time, it definitely has nothing to do with their bond.

"No problem. Let's get some air."

———

The nights on this planet are long. No sign of the two suns any time soon. Lance and Keith decided to stay a little longer. They travelled quite a long way and Lance wanted to clear his mind before returning. Nothing still makes sense but if that's the reality, he's willing to deal with it. Accept everything for what it is.

They both sit on top of Blue's giant mechanical head and stare up at those mesmerizing stars. Nothing else to do but admire the scenery. Possibly, the sight of each other? Lance and Keith are beginning to feel fidgety. The moonlight brings out an undeniable attraction to Lance's face. Lance is trying to ignore the physique of Keith's upper body in that shirt.

During the bandaging, he was up close to see and almost feel the warmth of him. He couldn't stop thinking about it, he has this immense urge to touch him but shoved it away by rambling. Craving for that physical contact. Now that has to be from the bond itself. He's not the only one though. Even Keith is trying his best to resist the urge to grab hold of Lance and just make some type of contact. Bit by bit, their fingers would accidentally touch and they would apologize. Geez. What happened on the Atlas was obviously still fresh. That just reminded Keith about what Lance brought up earlier, the kiss with Shiro.

"I got a question." Keith finally speaks.

Lance can hear the nervous tone, "Shoot." Still trying to avoid eye contact.

"Were you mad at me?" It's a vague question really but he needed to be sure. Lance wouldn't be upset for nothing.

Lance tries to think about the question. If he had to admit, there was some moments he had been pissed off by Keith. Although, the recent came from the kiss he walked in on. The bond had shared the feeling of hurt from Lance.

"I don't know what to call it but... to be very honest with you, I never liked what I saw." Lance can only smile but be saddened at his jealousy. "I don't have say over the matter. You're free to be and love anyone, not like you need permission from me."

It hurts to see Lance sell himself short. He doesn't even realize that he has a right to be jealous. At least, if he happens to like Keith, that is. "Okay but— why did it bother you?"

—"Why does it matter what I think?" Lance felt a tad bit annoyed. There's no way he's going to be the only focus of this conversation.

"Well. I just— I never thought that you might actually like me. . ."

Lance cocks an eyebrow, "After the amounts of times I have sexually harassed you, you thought I've been just a perve this whole time?"

"Well, yeah! Your not vocal on a lot of things about you." Keith merely shrugs and avoids looking at him. Instead he stares down at his boots.

"No, no, no, no! No. I just don't kiss people for fun, Keith." Lance waves a finger before pointing at his face. "I've always been attracted to your pretty face."

Keith's face is intensifying with blush. "What?!"

Now Lance can't help but blush too but he tries to keep it cool. "Yeah! I've always found you attractive."

They finally look at each other, both embarrassed and occasionally looking away but would come back to stare in each other's eyes. Keith never had anyone thought of him as attractive before. It's exciting and he wants to know more. Then he starts to think about himself and if he ever thought Lance to be attractive since then.

With a quick visit to the past, nope. There was nothing. Keith didn't know him that well back then. It wasn't until he got to know him more. Explore sides of him during the battles and coming together as a team. Lance gave one hell of a first impression though. It wasn't until the comfort he received from Lance about his father, that he started to notice more of who he was.

When Lance immediately embraced him, Keith felt at peace. The warmth and feel of Lance's voice echoing against his chest. It felt lovingly. Something he thought wouldn't occur as much since he'd grown up. It felt nice.

The more Keith began to think about Lance's gentle strength, his mind started to wonder. About certain areas he hasn't seen yet. If his imagination would confirm suspicion because Lance had a well toned body. . . Crap!

For a second there, Keith forgot that Lance could feel off the bond. His mother had mentioned the bond can connect through other ways as well. If Keith is feeling some physical attraction then no doubt Lance can tell, right? Keith comes out of his thoughts to realize that Lance's eyes are widened and still blushing. A weird grunt escapes them as they turned away again.

Shit. So he can feel it.

It's too quiet and uncomfortable but Keith is way too curious to leave things alone. He's very curious. He lifts up his arm to rest on his knee, "Do you— I mean— can you feel that?"

There's no need to explain what he's even asking about. Lance knows. "Talking 'bout that sudden urge?" His nervous smile nearly crumbles to an embarrassing pout. It's hard to keep a composure so up close.

Keith nods. This is embarrassing. He even wonders if it's a good idea? Then the flow of blue and red quintessence are blending into a mixture of purple but not brightly as usual. Very dark and faded along the outlines of their bodies. It isn't the same as powering up Voltron, no. It's different this time.

He's not sure when it happened but Lance scooted himself a lot closer to Keith and pecked his cheek. His eyes widen and faces Lance as he turns red on the face. The quintessence faded as soon as they made physical contact.

"What are you—"

"—Sorry! That was uncalled for..."

"Yeah well, just... w-warn me next time." Keith's brows furrowed and turns away.

Lance is baffled that he didn't get so furious with him. He knows that all those kisses from before were definitely called 'sexual harassment' and expected to hear it. Although, if he's not mistaken, Keith is accepting the gesture. Actually. . . He turned around and pulled Lance by his jackets collar, into a rough lip locking where the teeth had lightly gazed each other and the tongues are coated in saliva.

It takes them a moment to relax and move on from the awkward lip locking. Soon they pull a part to catch their breath. Keith's eyelids are lowered but can still see the full view of Lance before him, who is also flustered but shows signs of satisfaction. The kiss leaves the two feeling restored in thriving energy.

"What was that?" Lance chuckled.

Keith scoffs and avoids eye contact, "Shut up. I don't do this often so bare with it."

It's admiring to see this vulnerable side of Keith. He wants to see more of it. Lance suddenly scoots himself closer to sit behind Keith, just a tad bit higher than him, and wrap his arms around his shoulders. Not really what Keith expected but let's the moment happen and leans himself back against his chest.

In all honesty, it's been way to long since Lance has felt this relaxing comfort of another person within his grasp. He adjust his legs to lay properly at each side of Keith's body. Nuzzles his nose just below his ear on the right side, inhaling the faded scent of his sweat. "You smell good..." Lance mumbles.

"Heh, think so?" Keith mutters, still flustered but fascinated by the endorphins released as he feels the contact of his mouth along his skin.

Lance embraces Keith as he begins to lose himself. "Mhm." His arms unlink from each other, while one hand caresses along the chest downward and the other slides upward to cup Keith's chin. Keith let's one hand lay on top of Lance's hand that explores his torso while Lance continues to nuzzle against his neck.

Lance breathes through his nose as he can feel Keith's pulse pump underneath his lips. Both of their hearts are beating pretty damn fast. With this, he can understand that Keith is just as excited as he is. More than excited. Relieved to know that they are completely mutual and in sync. Lance opens his mouth to lick along his neck which causes Keith to hitch his breathing and twitch. Mainly because both of their hands had found their way passed the hem of Keith's shirt and extended fingers to further the touch. To engrave every dip and tone of muscle felt. His rhythmic breathing turning to pants.

Keith anticipates where his hand is bound to find itself. No longer caressing that lovely sensitive spot on his hips, Lance moves his hand to undo the pants at his waist before sliding down further. Further enough to fondle Keith through his boxers. At the same time, Lance brings himself to suck his sensitive spot below his ear. He can't help but moan. Lance is feeling all the right places surprisingly. Next, Lance moves his hand beneath the fabric and starts to stroke Keith's erection.

Holy shit.

He's really doing this. Keith is writhing within his hold. The euphoria is unexplainable. "Hah, wow.." Lance mumbles unknowingly.

Keith closes his eyes, biting his lip. "Wha— what now?" He practically growls out, leaning his head backward and thrusts himself into Lance's hand.

"So sensitive..."

Nope. He won't allow Lance to have all the experience. Keith removes himself from Lance and turns around, pushing him until he's now laid onto his back. Lance stares up at Keith, wondering what's about to happen until he leans down and nips at the collarbone before licking up the taste of salt. It is indeed getting pretty hot around here. Keith doesn't waste time to undo the buttons and reaching past Lance's underwear. Rather than work Lance until he's hard, Keith already begins to stroke him with his hand since he doesn't need that kind of help. Keith is smirking at the fact he has this sort of effect on Lance, which causes him in tilting his head back. Losing his senses in between the combination of given a hand job and bruises along his neck. Thankfully, Lance is just as competitive and returns his hand to reach up to continue where he left off. The surprised groan from Keith against his ears drives him mad.

As much as they enjoy their current state, Keith and Lance eventually feel that it's not enough. So close and nearly there. Keith grunts before lowering his hip down to Lance's hip and quickly starts to rub their cocks against each other. Not exactly something he's very experienced in performing but all that matters at this point is to feel more of Lance as much as possible he can. The contact spikes their adrenaline and Lance takes the initiative to guide Keith by stroking each other together in another rhythmic pace.

Despite the pleasure building and pooling at their stomachs, Keith is starting to lose balance in holding himself up. "Ah shit..." he mutters, trying not to focus on the matter.

Lance is feeling the coming peak of his climax and reaches up with his free arm to tangle his fingers in that mullet hair of Keith's. Yanking him downward to catch him in another wet heated kiss. Holy fuck this is intoxicating. Keith may have lost his balance and leaned in a lot closer than before but it had boosted the pressure within their hands. That combined feeling of slippery precum and grip of hands are vigorous enough to bring them both off the edge.

Lance removes his mouth from Keith's, "Whoa, shit..!", and bites his bottom lip. Keith just leans his face into the curve of Lance's neck while the both hit orgasm.

Their bodies shudder and eventually relax the muscles. The leftover euphoria is pleasing and a satisfactory. Keith adjusts himself to lay on his back beside Lance. They start to catch their breaths and stare up at the night sky.

Holy. Shit.

 

Chapter Text

In a dark room of the Empire's kingdom, on planet Altea, a footage is being overlooked and repeatedly looped to emphasize the picture. There is an up close image of Lance's face, the computer stays locked on his features as the footage starts again, revealing the BOM's colours and symbols of their blades in the background. This was the time of Lance's reoccurring memories.

"Well, well. I thought he had perished after all this time." Emperor Alfor stands before the screen. His skin is discoloured and his eyes are filled with a strange corruption of his own quintessence. It's as if the life source within him is completely gone.

"Emperor Alfor. We've located the spies connected to this Narti." An Altean soldier speaks as they stand at the entrance of this room.

Alfor's expression of amusement drops into annoyance, as he turns around to face the soldier. "Find and kill on sight. I also have another task to be done."

"My Lord?"

"It has been way too long and our special task force may need an update of our new enemies afoot. Make sure they use the wormhole to find this paladin." Emperor Alfor notions to Lance on the screen. The soldier nods and turns to leave the room. The Emperor continues to observe the image on the screen.

"It seems there is a chance to redeem yourself after all these years, Lotor. See if the Lion Goddess is ready to depart." Alfor smiles deviously while staring at the footage of Lance.

A young Altean man named Lotor, who looked more of a halfbreed, has been standing quietly in the back of the room. He didn't verbally respond to his Emperor but agreed to the current task in silence. His quintessence looked identical to the Emperors. With the understanding of the new task at hand, Lotor obeyed his Emperor and left the room.

———

Acxa has offered a sparring match so Matt could join her to blow off some frustration on the nerves. Of course, she never held back but that didn't mean Matt couldn't keep up with her. Alas, having Galra blood has proved some deadly advantages. Bruises, to be exact.

Matt grunts while landing on the floor and Acxa panting above him. "You're pretty good."

"Tell that to my back," Matt responds with a groan as Acxa holds out her hand to help him stand.

"Well I did warn you. BOM tactics can be more ruthless." Acxa crosses her arms.

Matt frowned a little of embarrassment but shrugged it off, "So how long has Keith been a part of this BOM?"

"From what I gather, it's been all his life. I didn't meet Keith until I was recruited in the beginning of my adolescence. He's always been the top rank of the BOM."

His expression softens as he hears the explanation. From what Matt can recall, Keith had always one-up the ranks back at the Garrison as well. Pissed off a lot of people but he respected Keith's values as a soldier and pilot. He just never expected so much to change since then. Now he was half alien and human. The BOM were a secret among humanity on Earth. There was a war going on and his family, were literally part of all this secretive lifestyle. It's still a lot to process.

"Damn. Even kicked ass back then too, huh?" Matt laughed to himself and Acxa admired the statement.

"You two are close?" She asked and began to walk out of the training deck.

Matt follows after her, "Not exactly. We were more compatible in drills and exercises once it came to partnering up for groups. One hell of a duo though." He snickered at the thought.

Acxa may have known Keith for a longer and partial period of his life time but hearing about his life on Earth was just as interesting. She only came to the Garrison undercover at least a year before Keith had left with Voltron. Even then, she never took any personal time to try become part of the community.

"Has Keith contacted the Atlas at all?"

Matt scrunched up his face a little and shook his head. "Nope. Him and that fucker, who shot me by the way, ran off somewhere into deep space. I swear they seem more like a couple."

"Oh, you have no idea." Acxa shakes her head as well, sort of laughing by the mention of Keith's weird relationship with Lance. Matt is confused and missed the joke behind it. That is, until the system alarms began to flash and call for all crew members to report to the main bridge and pilots on the sideline to be ready for takeoff if needed.

"Well I hope those two make it back."  Matt mutters as he starts to run ahead. Acxa can only hope so as well and makes her way towards Kolivan and Krolia.

———

Keith stands on the same beach, waiting for Lance to wake up from his nap. In some ways he is letting all sink in from their time together. In other ways, he is coping with the what if's and why's. His mind has never stopped flipping through his thoughts and one that sticks out the most is Lance's depression. He could fool anyone else with the happy expressions but not Keith. Keith can see through the fake smiles and wishes he could do something to help.

From behind, Keith can hear footsteps coming closer but he doesn't bother to look. He knows who it is.

"What'ya thinking about?" Lance appears with his hands in his pockets and stands beside Keith. Staring ahead at the dark ocean's reflection of the stars above.

Keith couldn't say for sure and didn't know how to. He clears his throat and crosses his arms, "Some stuff.. a lot of things, actually."

If it weren't for the glowing reflection, Lance couldn't see that Keith looks distressed. He needs to be sure of where he's at. "Do you regret it?"

"Wha— no, no, no! That was— I really enjoyed it, okay?" Keith panics and stares at Lance with widened eyes, clearly embarrassed but worried most of all. Did he look unsatisfied? Lance can't help but laugh which causes Keith to frown and furrow his brows. "Something funny?"

"No, Keith. No." Lance gives another chuckle and tilts his head back to stare up at the sky. "Your actions always speak louder than your words. For the record though, I loved it too." He blushes just from mentioning their time on the Lion's head, which was a weird location to do anything but they were more concerned about the moment.

It's good reassurance for Keith and he sighs before looking away. "Still an asshole." He grumbled.

They don't discuss anything further about the topic. Instead they stand side by side along the beach shore. Lance wishes it was just like Cuba back on Earth but wishing can only take the mind so far and possibly into a toxic state of mind. He only wishes that the status of his family would come to surface just so he knows the truth. If they are still alive or not.

"Hey." Keith starts to talk.

"Yeah?" Lance turns to look at him with concern.

"You said Allura was Altean, right?"

The question caught Lance off guard. It also may have been something he'd forgotten to elaborate about. "Yeah. She was."

They stare at each other in a mixture of confusion and cautious expression. "We're at war with the Altean's and the Galra empire's. . . Are okay, knowing all of this? We'll eventually come across someone you know. . ."

One thought Lance knew he would have to process sooner or later. How did he feel about it? Aside from his profession as a pilot and participating in war antics, he never gave a thought about his position. He did hesitate before and triggered the last encounters. Could he even do anything if they showed up again? "Things are different now." Lance looks away from Keith.

Keith doesn't turn his eyes away from Lance. He's concerned and wants to see what he can do to help, if there is anything he can help with. "I just- want to make sure that your doing everything you want to do." Lance shakes his head with a laugh and completely turns to face Keith up close, eye to eye, inches a part. He groans, frustrated by his own nervous behaviour around him. It was cute to watch. In all serious matter, Keith takes a deep breath and brushes off the nerves. Lance gives a genuine smile as he continues to observe him.

"I just don't think you consider yourself enough, that's all." Keith crosses his arms over his chest.

Lance tilts his head with a hum. Having to see Keith in this new caring perspective is rare and its a major change of pace. He is putting more care into how he approaches Lance. There's no bicker or complaint. Just straight forward care. He slips his hands into the pockets of his jacket, "I am. I'm right where I want to be."

A vague answer for a blunt person like Keith. He scoffs, "I'm being serious."

"So am I."

"No. You're not elaborating about anything," another deep sigh from Keith as he rubs the bridge of his nose.

Lance leans his face closer to Keith's again. "I am serious. You are where I want to be. I'm needed at your side, whether you like it or not."

Keith bites the inner wall of his cheek and looks away. Lance rolls his eyes and breathes out an exhausted sigh. He's obviously not going to figure this out. Before Keith can even react he immediately noticed the dramatic change in Lance's eyes as something captures his attention. He turns around to see a bright light enter the atmosphere of the planet. Looks to be like a meteor and there's not enough time to react about it either, the impact lands in the near distance from the lions. Keith and Lance had fell to their knees from the vibration.

"What the hell is that?!" Lance yells.

Keith stares off into the cloud of dirt, waiting to see if it was anything they need to worry about. Which quickly changes to survival of instinct as a light quickly flickers and a beam is shot out towards them. Just as Lance grabs a hold of Keith by the sleeve, Blue suddenly jumps in front of the two and angles it's mechanic body to shield them from the blast. They stand still until they see the beam disappear.

"Blue!" Lance quickly rises to his feet as Blue roars to assure her pilot that everything is okay.

"Get to your lion, Lance!" Keith yells as he finally stands to run off towards Red.

A sword has been lunged and lands in front of Keith that causes him to skid to a stop. He grits his teeth and quickly turns to see a figure leap in the air, from the jet pack on their back, towards Keith. He tries to reach for the sword but is met with an impressive force, landing punch after punch against Keith's forearms, now covering his face. He's constantly pushed back in quick seconds, he is helpless to keep up and yells out a grunt as he's wounded at the chest. A landed kick to the side of his head causes him to collapse.

"Keith!" 

Lance yells from the sidelines as he is about to run over and help until he can hear running footsteps from above on Blue's body. He barely managed to evade the drop kick by rolling to the side. His hand was about to reach for his gun until he quickly remembers that he tossed it into the ocean out of anger. The distraction causes Lance to be uppercutted by the end of a staff followed by a whack at the right side of his face. Holy shit that hurt!

From the other end, the unknown figure of a man had pulled out the sword from the beach sand. Keith's vision is blurry but he can see the outline and familiar design. It's an Altean broadswordSo these two must be Altean! 

Lance can be heard grunting in the background. "Shit hurts.. ugh..!" He brings himself on one knee and foot before he glares up at the feminine figure. He can recognize the design of their suits. That isn't all that he can see. By the time his mind can remember the outline of the Altean woman's face behind the helmet, his eyes are widened with shock. This all has to be some nightmare. Maybe he didn't wake up yet from his nap? No this was for real. Time feels like it slowed down just for Lance so he can analyze the facial features of this Altean woman. Suddenly, he can recall all the memories of intimacy and loving embraces of his dead girlfriend. Except she isn't dead. 

She's right here!

Times are often dangerous and unpredictable when emotions are involved. Keith feels like his life is highly at risk. He needs to move. He needs to fight. He needs to protect. He can hear Lance react to pain without actually able to see him. His heart starts to beat rapidly fast. He's growling in his chest. He can't have heard right, did he?

"Allura?"

Keith's Heart skips a beat and his eyes widen. As he rises to his feet, he can see that Lance is completely frozen in shock like he's just seen someone back from the dead. Perhaps he did. No. He needs Lance to stay focus and the lions are at risk!

"Lance!" Keith manages to yell.

The Altean man removes his helmet to reveal a face of Galra culture and Altean marks. His tainted eyes of quintessence leer at Keith, "You will surrender the lions or be killed on the spot, halfbreed." Keith glares at the man, who is threatening Keith from the tip point of his blade at the throat. Lance is also at point by the blade end of the woman's staff. If it weren't for the circumstances, he could swear that Lance won't look away from her at all. "Surrender or die. I won't ask again." The man speaks as he readies his sword.

Keith can feel so much all at once and it's pissing him off on the inside. "Lance- It could be anyone under that helmet." The man gives the okay for the woman to initiate and capture the pilot. Keith is immediately enraged. He's not aware of it but his eyes are changing into something full of animal instinct and his Galra marks reveal themselves at the neck and onto his cheeks. He uses this second to dash an uppercut at the man's jaw and dive past him towards Lance. The woman quickly reacts to use her staff, leaving Lance behind. Keith isn't taking any chances as he quickly dashes towards the woman, grabbing hold of his Marmora Blade and blocks her lunged attack. His tactics aren't about matching strength with strength, it reacts off instinct to his advantages. He can hear the man behind him come closer. So, Keith grabs hold of the staff to pull the woman forward and off balance. Then he wounds her in the chest by the end of the staff.

While she falls to her knees, he quickly turns back to launch her weapon towards the man. Who manages to evade but sand does no justice to balance and causes him to trip over his own feet. Once again, Keith is rushing to Lance and yells out to his lion. Red's eyes are lit up and brings itself to stand on all fours, tilting its head down to see the Altean's. The man finally reaches for his partnertries to lift her up from the ground. Red roars as it swifts their tail at them and throws them further along the beach and into the wilderness.

"Lance, get up!" Keith has been yanking on Lance's arm but that trance is still there. "Snap out of it!" Keith slapped Lance across the face and another one for good measure.

Lance shakes his head and grabs hold of his face, "What the fuck man?!" But is more surprised by the strange colors of his eyes and marks that appeared.

It's a relief to see Lance back to his senses, which gives an immediate calming effect that lets the Galra marks disappear and his eye color return to normal. "Finally! Let's get out of here!" Keith doesn't waste time to make way back to his lion. By the time Keith is out of range, Lance realizes about the slap since the sting lingered. 

"THAT is no way to treat your boyfriend!" Lance yells after him as he stands to run back to Blue.

Keith blushes from hearing the word 'boyfriend' and pushes away the thought. Now is not the time. "I'll make it up to you, promise!"

After they enter their lions and inject the bayards, their quintessence begins to connect with the power core of the lions. It's not as if they aren't use to this by now but the wave is highly energetic. Keith sends out a distress signal for the Atlas. A rumble causes Lance to look up first. 

"Oh shit- Keith!"

"I see it." He responds.

In the distance, they see another mecha landed. It's currently bent down to one knee but slowly rises and reveals a tail behind its body. Lance swears he can recognize it and it didn't seem like Galra tech to Keith.

"What the hell— they have their own fricken Voltron!" Lance yelled.

"Speaking of which. We're going to have—"

"—to form Voltron, got it!" Lance cuts off Keith in mid sentence while they both pilot the lions to the outer atmosphere and sequence into Voltron's form.

The mecha follows not too long after Voltron appears in space, releasing its own pair of blades in preparation to attack. Keith is already in pursuit of using his bayard to release the sword. Voltron turns around and clashes blade against blade with the other mecha but its agility is quicker as it uses its tail to whip at Voltron's head. The young men grunt in frustration until Lance uses his own bayard to bring out the shoulder canon to blast away the enemy. Unfortunately they evade the blast but ready themselves quite a distance away but in full view.

"That cant be one of those replica's, can it?" Keith asked out loud as he enters a sequence to document the whole event and bring an up close image of the mecha.

"Maybe but I thought they needed Voltron to duplicate the power?" Lance positions his handles to prepare for attack.

"Not if they had something more powerful. Any ideas?"

"I— I'm thinking. Give me a minute!" Lance tries to shoot another blast from the canon towards the mecha but it evades the shot once more, which Lance decides to follow after with the beam until it dissipates. "Shit."

The mecha has flown its way towards Voltron and swipes the two blades in a cross motion. All the young men could do was bring up the sword to deflect and deflect, deflect again and once more. Something needed to happen differently this time. It wasn't blasting other ships or aiding the Atlas. This was an actual combat with space robots.

Keith is nearly about to speak until they both tense up from an inner roar. An odd cosmic experience but Lance and Keith can swear they hear their very war machine communicate with them. The bond affirms they hear the same contact and instead of checking in with each other, Lance quickly moves to sequence his bayard in the port.

"Alright, I got it!"

Voltron's sword doesn't disappear but activates the multiple torpedo shots aimed directly at the enemy. Lance eagerly observes as the multiple shots chase down the mecha, which fails to evade the shots and currently floats stunned. Keith doesn't wait to see if they'll get back up. Those Altean soldiers need to go down while they have the chance. Without warning, Keith uses the mega thrusters to bring Voltron in for the kill.

Lance isn't moving on his part but looks back at Keith confused, "What are you doing?!" He had to be fast and quick enough to sequence Voltron to a halt. 

Keith realizes that they no longer budge and stares down at Lance, "What the hell, Lance! They need to be taken down!"

"We need to do the right thing and bring them in for questioning, Keith. They can't event move right now!" Lance is giving a serious expression while turned to stare back at Keith.

"We don't know that for sure, better to be safe than sorry—"

"— Keith. Think about what you're doing. Those Altean soldiers have a clue of where this war stands with their Emperor and we need that. The Atlas needs that advantage!"

Keith is growling under his breath and he glares down at Lance. Normally he would just agree with him about any decisions he made but ever since they came across the Altean's, he would always hesitate. The very thought brings Keith to a painful realization.

"Lance. I don't think that woman is your Allura. We can't jeopardize our safety based on some assumption."

His eyes widen from hearing it loud and clear. Her name practically feels like taboo now. "I am not protecting her." Lance avoids eye contact with Keith. Is he panicking?

"You don't even know what she looks like. You didn't get a clear visual on her!" Keith is starting to lose patience.

"No— that's not why—"

"— why does it even matter? You said she was gone, Lance. What if, that person is just some look-a-like—"

"—because I know her face anywhere! I've seen it enough to remember everything about her!"

The argument causes a disturbance in their quintessence. As Keith sits completely still by Lance's outburst, they don't even realize until too late that Voltron disbands itself and they are once again inside their own individual lion. The contact from the blast must have been a lucky one because the mecha was still immobilized and floating in space. Lance observes the floating machine with caution and turns his attention to a sudden appearance of the Atlas.

———

"Keith. Lance. Do you copy?" Shiro is yelling through the coms as his crew takes the moment to observe the surrounding area.

Krolia and Kolivan are surprised to see an Altean machine floating nearby the lions. "What happened out here?" She asked out loud.

"I'm not getting any response." Coran speaks while observing his screen. "It's a good thing we caught onto the distress signal."

"Keith. Lance. Are you there?!" Shiro attempts another yell. It takes a moment but Lance responds through the coms and everyone finally relaxes. Shiro continues, "What about Keith?"

Keith is silent after his response. He listens to Lance explaining the situation with the mecha and Altean soldiers over the coms. It sounds like an eager plea to retrieve the machine and bring in the soldiers to their prisoner cells. So many questions keep popping into Keith's head but who was he to question Lance's curiosity? All he could do was push aside these complicated emotions and bring his focus back on track.

Shiro has ordered Lance and Keith to bring in the mecha onto the hangar. The crew and BOM will take things from there afterwards. If he could, Keith would stay completely still of where he's at. He only hopes that Lance isn't feeling anything going on in his heart.

 

Chapter Text

"So this must be the replica of Voltron?" Adam spoke as he observed data about the Altean mecha.

Kolivan crosses his arms, "The structure is highly similar to Voltron. I don't think these miniature mecha's labeled as Robeast's are the same."

"Can anyone else pilot it?" Shiro turns his head towards Matt in the room.

Matt takes a deep breath as he scratches the back of his head. "It's just like Voltron in every way. So whoever these pilot's are, they're the only ones who can, except. . . You should really take a look at the cockpit. So inhumane." He shivers at the thought.

"Fascinating." Adam stared at the two large images of Voltron and the Altean's mecha, together on screen.

"Voltron was crafted by Emperor Alfor himself before the war and this particular one is named the Sincline project. This is what we've gathered from the mission after decryption." Kolivan gave Coran a device.

For the entire meeting, the crew discusses about a connection of these Robeasts that Zarkon is after. Coran and Kolivan come to an agreement that he is looking to build power to come against Emperor Alfor straight on. Krolia and Shiro worry about their time with Voltron. Each are eager to begin the coalition plan.

"So what exactly is the history between these two?" Shiro asks.

"Many say that a dispute has grown exponentially over the centuries and caused a massive havoc in the universe. Acxa believes an heir might be involved." Krolia mentions.

"Like someone murdered the other persons son?" Matt asked out loud.

"Well that would make perfect sense. Thing is, we still can't confirm what Alfor's goals are." Adam adds.

Kolivan turns to Shiro, "The Alteans in custody must be interrogated as soon as possible."

The captain only nods before he stares up at the images. "That's a good start. Krolia, were going to need a team to reach out and gather as many allies as possible."

"I'll do what I can." Krolia nods. Everyone had left the briefing room after that.

———

Three Days Earlier...

Lance was the first to rush out from his lion in the hangar. Matt is relieved to see the lions back in one peace but also found it completely strange of the immediate rush by Lance as he whipped by. Krolia and Kolivan took it upon themselves to dispatch the cockpit and removed the soldiers. Fellow crew members assisted the BOM leaders in bringing the soldiers to a secluded medical room. They couldn't take any chances if they would soon be awake and attack. Lance made sure to push past the crew and have an up close look for himself. One or two had urged Lance to stay back but nothing had stopped him from staring into the helmet on the Altean woman. He just stares until he's pulled back.

"H-hold on, can't we just— I mean, are they fine?" Lance's concern for the Altean's had caught everyone's attention.

Krolia stepped in to grasp a hold of Lance, "They are unconscious but we will need to make sure of that. Also, it's a safety protocol to confine them within our cells since we aren't entirely sure of what we're dealing with." They stare at each other before watching the medical cot be taken away. Without hesitation, Lance follows after them. He needs to know everything that will happen.

Keith hasn't moved out from his lion. Actually, he had been watching this entire time from the eyes of Red. Staring down at Lance while he desperately brought full attention to the woman, who he believed to be Allura for sure. He dreamt of her so often that he never doubted the moment he could recognize her facial features. She really is beautiful.

As much as that is a fact now, Keith can't help but feel disconnected in some way. Like he has no part in this forbidden territory, a part of Lance he never knew much of or at least known long enough to build a strong connection. Keith is envious of Allura. The young man is not even aware he's been biting his bottom lip this entire time which caused an unfortunate bruise.

———

Present...

Krolia has been worried about her son. He will barely eat or sleep and will drive himself into hard training sequences. Keith won't tell her what is wrong or even elaborate about their time away. The short response is always the same.

"It's nothing to worry about."

Kolivan suggested that they let him be. What is more concerning is the odd connection between Lance and this Altean woman. Krolia remembers hearing about an old flame of his but felt for her sons well being. Since their return, it's obvious that Lance's state is greatly bothering Keith. So, she takes it upon herself to figure it out on her own.

Lance stands in front of a particular prison cell and stares at the Altean man, sitting against the wall. He recognizes him but the appearance is dissimilar and very haunting. He doesn't hear Krolia come into the area.

"Lance, I need to speak with you."

The voice causes him to twitch out of his thoughts and turns to see Krolia, very up close. "K-Krolia?!"

She doesn't find his outburst amusing and even arched a brow. "Did you not hear me?"

Obviously not. As always, she's one terrifying Galra woman. "Sorry, I was just—" he turns to look back at the prisoner, who is now observing them from where he sits. It's a bit creepy at first but it is also the first time he opened his eyes to reveal they are consumed by quintessence.

Krolia sighs and lays a hand against his shoulder, "I need your help, Lance."

The call for help brings Lance back to focus as he turns to look at her, confused. "What's wrong?"

"It's Keith."

"Something wrong with him? I didn't feel anything.."

Considering that it wasn't so long ago where things are so unsure between them; It's suspicious to see Lance so calm. Krolia arched a brow, "Keith hasn't been himself since he returned. I was actually hoping you would tell me." Krolia folded her arms across her chest.

Ah, yes. The runaway incident. Where Lance vented his heart out. Threw away his gun. Keith consoled with him. They touched each other—

Fuck!

Lance had flinched and nervously laughed. His "boyfriend's" mother is interrogating him and he doesn't know how to explain that he defiled her son. Well basically crossed swords; so to speak. Not that Keith had an insecure mother, she was just scary and look like she could kill for him over anything. She calls him Yorak for crying out loud! Any mom with a nickname is bound to be close with their child.

"Oh yeah, yeah! We uh— I just needed some time away. That's all." Lance waved his hands in front of him. "Keith was very helpful in my time away." He was hoping that this would assure Krolia but she has other interests.

"Alright but that doesn't explain his behaviour, Lance. He won't eat or sleep, ever since you two came back with the Altean soldiers." Krolia sighs and touches the bridge of her nose.

Keith. The realization hits Lance pretty hard. He stands completely still while staring into nothing really. A huge amount of guilt fills his chest and he grunts, feeling very frustrated with himself. They just became an item and Lance forgot about him!

Stupid, stupid, stupid!

"Shit." Lance banged his head against the nearby wall, followed with a fist. He quickly removes himself to roll his eyes and look to Krolia, "Where is he now?"

"I'm not sure. He's been keeping quite a distance from everyone." Krolia's expression showed worry, which is disturbing for Lance because his mother is one not to often show emotional expressions. Krolia takes another deep breath and stares him in the eyes. "Lance. I need you to fix this. So much is at risk for the BOM and Atlas. We need you both to be on your top game for this war."

All he could do was nod his head. Words won't mean nothing unless action has been taken for this scary woman. Lance quickly brings himself out of the prison area, leaving her behind to finally take a good look at the Altean man. Whom, continued to watch the whole thing with amusement. It pissed her off to be honest. With that, she left as well.

The prisoner merely smirks and turns away. Even though he is confined, everything about his behaviour screams danger. He didn't seem like he was bored. He seemed to be waiting.

———

Keith came to the medical observation room that held the Altean woman. His stomach feels tight and the hairs on his neck have raised while staring at her. She looks exactly the way she did in his dream, not that he's a hundred percent certain it was her but with this type of proof before him, it had to be her. Why would he dream of someone he never met before?

This wasn't suppose to happen. Keith never thought he would become concerned about a past lover. He never knew that he would meet someone like Lance past Shiro. Didn't know that he would actually pilot Voltron himself. If it weren't for the laws of the universe where quintessence plays a big role, Keith would have successfully obtained Voltron  and destroyed it. Then Earth would be out of the picture. Blade of Marmora could return to outer space and join the other members. He would leave with them too, there's no place for him on Earth anyway. There use to be Shiro but he could have gone without admitting anything and leave without a trace. Who knows.

Aside from what could have been. Keith feels conflicted because he doesn't regret meeting Lance. Sure, he is a pain in the ass and caused quite a disturbance in the rhythm of things but that alone came with memories he'll never forget. Its never a dull moment with him. They always met at every equal level possible. Showing compassion when he didn't have to. Willingly partnered and vowed to follow after Keith, no matter where. Gained affection for each other. . . Or maybe not so much as Keith would like to believe.

As she lays quietly before beyond the glass, he can't help but feel agitated. There's no telling what could happen from here on out since these soldiers proved to be the enemy. Keith sighs out of frustration and leaves the hallway.

After walking pass the door, Keith is met with those familiar blue ocean eyes. "Keith. There you are!" Lance spoke as stands in front of him, panting away.

Keith avoids his gaze by looking away, "Need something?"

Lance can see that he came from the medical viewing room. He stares at Keith, "Krolia mentioned you haven't been feeling good. So, wanna tell me what's up?"

Not that Keith doesn't appreciate his mother's love and worry for his well being but he'd wish that everyone would leave him be. "I'm fine, Lance. She's just being a mom." He continues to avoid his gaze and attempts to walk past him.

Lance grabbed onto his forearm, "Bullshit. Your mom is like one scary lady and I've never seen anything worry her like that." Keith didn't turn around. "Spill it, Mullet."

Bad choice of names. Keith widened his eyes and yanked his arm away from Lance, finally turning around to face him. "I said I'm fine!"

Lance isn't bothered by the response and expected it. Instead he stared at Keith with a serious but genuine expression. "No, you're not. We're going to talk about this." He grabbed hold of his hand, leading him down the hallway. Keith wanted to retaliate but his body wouldn't allow it. Seemed so natural to follow after Lance, to be at his side and anywhere near him in general.

Entering Lance's room was swift and fast. As soon as his door closed, Lance released Keith's hand and turned face to face. Keith let out a heavy sigh and crossed his arms, avoiding his gaze once again.

"What's going on with you, Keith?"

"It's really not the time for any of this, Lance." Keith made sure it's obvious that he's currently annoyed. "Bringing me here for some pep talk is a waste of time."

Lance practically growled in his throat, frustrated. "God, you're fucking stubborn. You know that! Ever since we got back from that planet, you've been strange, apparently, to everyone but me!"

Keith merely scoffed at the statement. "Anyone but you, knows I've been a little different."

"What the hell does that mean?"

Keith faces Lance head on, unfolding his arms. "I'm not sure exactly who you think the Altean woman is but we've got a job to do overall."

Lance is deeply confused by all this pent up anger coming from Keith. He's never seen him so frustrated this way and not even their bond is giving away any clear indication. "There's a reason for that—"

—"You mean because she looks exactly like this Allura of yours?"

There is a pause of silence. Lance can't say anything because he's surprised that Keith had seen what he's unable to accept. "Keith. How would you know that? You've never met her."

For the moment, he stares into Keith's eyes. It's clear as day that he's frustrated and looks hurt. Keith's Galra mark had extended with a tinge of glow onto his chin and cheeks. He didn't want to elaborate about his strange dreams of Allura. His throat feels tight and the tension along his shoulders are heavy. Breathing is short and hitched. His eyes are glistening and Lance widens his own by this.

"Keith. Tell me what's wrong and why this is all bothering the crap out of you?" Lance tries to reach for his hand but Keith takes a step back.

"Lance, leave it alone. Alright?" Keith blinks away the facial expression of hurt and anxiety. He tries to come off as annoyed and most definitely, buried the feeling he just felt.

"I can't, okay?! Not when it's clear that you're upset and it has to do with me, obviously." Lance is near losing his composure. "Ever since Allura has been here, you—"

—"So, you agree that you believe it's Allura in there?" Keith glares at Lance, which feels uncalled for.

"See! There it is again, what the hell is your problem Keith?!" A light bulb clicks in his head. The bits and pieces have come together all at once. Then he finally realizes the cause of Keith's anger. The silence freaks out Keith of course, like he'd been caught red handed and is about to be in trouble. Lance relaxes his posture, staring at Keith with worry.

"Keith. Are you jealous?"

Keith is about to respond but nothing comes out. Lance stares with wide eyes as Keith turns away and scoffs. "That's ridiculous."

Lance hasn't mentioned one word to anyone about his assumptions with the Altean woman. Keith is openly upset about her for sure. Not a situation you want to see someone you care about in. Lance's brows lower a bit, "Am I right? You said it yourself, you think that she's Allura too."

"I never said anything!" Keith spat. Trying to avoid the subject. It's way too late to turn back now.

"Ive never discussed how she looks to you. So how would you know?" Lance brings back the question. For the past couple of days, he's been analyzing Allura or at least, he thinks it is her. Now, he can't even be sure unless she wakes up. That's what he was waiting for. So why does Keith recognize her?

"What's your point, am I wrong?" Keith glares from the corner of his eyes. Trying his best to control his anger in this moment. Being told that he might be jealous may have triggered him but he didn't want to feed into it.

"You can't just answer a question with another one."

"Tell me that I'm wrong."

Lance sighs. "Keith—"

"—just answer the question!"

They stare at each other for a moment and Lance starts to return to the glare. Keith can see that he's beginning to upset Lance with this behaviour and starts to snap out of it. With a big exhale and a stare to the floor, Keith now feels ashamed.

"You'd never believe me anyway. . ."

"You know, I really don't need this from you. Especially since I've grown to care about you a lot. I should just walk away and let you be your angry little self."

Keith winces from the serious tone in his voice. He may have crossed the line and treated him like shit in this moment. It's not that he was trying to but for someone like Keith, it's always been a struggle to control his temper.

"I know... I don't blame you—"

"—But I'm not going to do that."

Keith is a little surprised by his interruption and looks up to see Lance come forward, gripping and pulling along the collar of Keith's jacket. He's pushed back against the nearest wall and surprised with a yearning kiss. That familiar blue quintessence rises up from Lance. Keith remembers how his color compliments the outline of his figure in dimmed or dark areas.

He doesn't return the kiss and Lance pulls back to stare at him. "I'm sorry for neglecting this." Lance talks about their relationship and Keith blushes a little bit.

"You're always apologizing. Even when you're not the one who fucked up."

Lance really does but he doesn't mind either. "Someone has to." He smiles at Keith.

Keith's quintessence of red color begins to rise as well. He stares at Lance before reaching for the collar of his jacket with both hands, yanking Lance into his lips. Doesn't take Lance long to start the genuine lip locking routine with Keith. Neither wants to be submissive at the moment and just do the best affectionate way they know how, to show they still care about each other. Obviously, they're not at the verbal mushy part of the relationship just yet. This was enough for now.

Lance had tried to suck on his bottom lip until he felt Keith flinch. He pulled back to see if he made any damage but noticed the small bruising. "Sorry— what happened here?"

Keith felt Lance's finger gently caress along his lip, feeling guilty as he watched Lance show his concern for him. "I've been biting it a lot lately.."

"What— Keith, no. Don't do this to yourself." Lance scolds him for the self harm as he leans in to gently kiss the bruise.

Despite feeling like he's in trouble, Keith is really appreciating that Lance knows how to give affection. Must be thanks to Allura? Thinking about her is still a fragile area but he can't help but feel so damn lucky to have Lance in his life. Even if it might have been life's error or mistake to meet each other.

———

"Did I ever mention I love you?"

Shiro has a wide grin on his face while dressing into the jacket of his uniform, turning to see Adam admiring from their bedside. "I may have heard once or twice."

Adam laughs a little and steps closer to Shiro. He reaches for his hand to lift and kiss the top, not averting his eyes. "Well, I love you. Just thought you should know."

It isn't often the two can manage to spend time together. With the project of a Voltron Coalition, their time is bound to be hectic once more ever since the finding of Keith and Lance in the beginning.

"I'm about to head down to the medical room and check on our Altean guest. Meanwhile, the other is still refusing to talk inside his cell." Adam begins to explain as he moves his way over to their desk and picks up his portable device.

"His behaviour seems suspicious." Shiro thinks out loud after making his way to stand beside Adam.

"I think everyone we ever come across will seem that way regardless. Although, we have major eyesight on the guy so we'll know if he tries anything."

"I don't doubt it but when have you ever known a prisoner to sit back so calmly without a devious plan?" Shiro folds his arms.

It's a fair question. Adam takes a moment to consider an approach. "Alright. I'll have a chat with Kolivan and see what appropriate decision needs to be considered."

———

The tension was awkward for a moment. They weren't meeting eyes until they could gather up the composure to really talk about everything. It needed to happen.

"If she can remember you Lance, what will you do?"

Lance brings himself to look up and can see that Keith continues to be conflicted. With a deep sigh, his hands come together and fold. "Honestly? I need to know what happened. She most likely knows the complete truth."

Keith tries to refrain from biting his bottom lip. "Say, she explains it all and you get all the answers your looking for, would you leave with her?" He wasn't the type to hold back an honest question but which he also deserves an answer to.

Their relationship is new and absolute but Keith doubts that his bonding with Lance is enough to hold them together. The long term thoughts were never considered since war is current. Lance is in deep thought until he meets his gaze again. "Yes, if I had to, I would. If she really is Allura then I need to know what the hell happened to my family, they are the most I'm constantly thinking of."

Keith won't leave his eye sight while he continues to discuss the matter. "I can't even begin to think about what Allura's been up to either. Seeing her in this solider position, it's so out of character for her. I can't just let that opportunity slide." Lance explains.

"So, you would still leave. Even after those promises you made about sticking around."

Lance can feel the turmoil begin to build within Keith. As he extends a few fingers to budge an inch, Keith begins to talk again, "I can't hold you back from the one thing that makes sense either." Keith balls his hands into fists before crossing both arms across his chest.

"That doesn't mean I don't care about my life here. With you." Lance refrains from touching Keith. He wants to make sure they meet equal grounds on the matter. "I don't regret meeting you. I don't regret building my affection towards you either. Please don't forget that." Again, they don't meet each other's gazes.

Keith inhales and exhales like a coping mechanism. "I know. Me too. But— I think we need to focus on more important priorities."

"Please don't say we should pretend like none of this happened." Lance pouts a little, worried Keith might push their relationship away.

"Of course not." Keith uncrosses his arms and takes a few steps forward to come up close face to face. He leans forward to kiss Lance but doesn't linger long enough for a response. "We just shouldn't process us any further until you know for sure about what you want."

Lance quickly grabs hold of Keith's hands. "There's no need for any of that."

"We can't be with each other like this. Not while all this war continues. It's unrealistic." It takes a moment for it all to sink in.

Lance furrows his brows. "Why are you always running away from this?"

Keith removes his hands from Lance and takes a step back. "Will you look at this situation properly? I'm trying to think for the both of us."

"Why do you keep on ignoring that I have a say in all of this? Stop trying to push me away—"

"—leaving is what you've always planned since the beginning. She is the whole reason you fought and moved forward. Meeting me was only an obstacle to bring you this far and I have!"

Lance is frustrated with Keith so much that he turns away to pace in the room. "Unbelievable. You are so difficult. What are you really trying to run from— Me? Do I terrify you so much that you can't even trust or have faith in me?"

"The hell does that mean?!"

"It means, Keith, that you're scared shitless of yourself. Scared to give into those lingering feelings building up inside you." Lance stops to point at his chest, implying his heart. "The only one whose so damn sure of himself is me!"

The argument intensifies as they both stand up close and face to face again. This time only in a heated discussion. Raw on emotions. A clash of fire and ice.

"Not when your ex girlfriend is literally alive and on the same ship as you! And I'm not scared of anything, I know what I want!"

"Then why don't you want me—"

"— because you belong to her, you always have! You love her and not me!"

There it is: The unsaid confession. 

Keith feels entirely vulnerable. Lance is speechless. They no longer have anything to say about it. It's all laid out and presented. They don't move away. All Lance can think about is that Keith had confessed he wants love from him. It's vague because love is so many things and it's a topic that can't be explained at the moment. Keith is relieved to let out these thoughts. He surprised himself that he's unaware of how terrified he looks. Relationships aren't his thing but Lance seems to be the solution for his feelings.

Lance takes the first step forward. He can't explain it but there is a pull coming from Keith. In fact, the magnetic pull between them comes to a heated, partially rough, lip lock session. Keith just pulls Lance a lot closer against his body by the arms and they turn around, slammed back against the wall. However, he takes the initiative to pin Lance against it by the shoulders. They remove themselves for air. Panting as they stare into each other's eyes. The look is lustful but their eyes communicate a mutual understanding and longing for each other. That much is certain.

With no more seconds to spare, Lance is beginning to wander his hands up and beneath the hems of Keith's shirt. Creeping his thumbs and fingers along Keith's hip line, circling with suggestive pressure as one hand slips around and behind towards the tailbone dip of his back. Keith's hands are beginning to roam as well. One hand slips behind Lance's neck to help better a proper angle as he leans in close to nip and graze his teeth along the skin teasingly. The other hand follows down his arm to meet the hand that caresses on his lower back. Lance is voicing out some rhythmic moans while tilting his head back. He tries to even out the intentions of giving pleasure by grasping the edge of Keith's pants and pulling him even more up close. So close, that it felt like a grind. Keith groans with excitement and pulls his head back to peek at Lance with leveled eye sight.

The seduction hangs heavy upon them both. Just as things could flow further while Keith and Lance lean in close to have another kiss, the speaker roars with a calling for Lance. The interruption causes both young men to realize their heated situation and reluctantly pulled away from each other. Hands releasing away and no longer in contact. Their faces looking in opposite direction.

What the hell was I thinking?

Lance takes this pause to bring himself back to focus. Fixes the mess of his jackets sleeve and hair. Keith in the mean time, is not just flustered but feeling complex. It's not fully clear right now but he may have spilled out something important with no full understanding of it all. Does he even know what love is?

Aside from the interruption, they quickly take a look at each other and literally blush before looking away.

"I uh— I better go see what they want." Lance clears his throat and inhales deeply before letting out a sigh.

Keith can only nod his head. Lance felt he was leaving at a bad time. He didn't want to leave. No, Lance wanted to prove Keith wrong about his assumptions. He almost could have. Another announcement fills the air and causes Lance to flinch by the tone.

"Lance?"

Just as he heads for the door, he turned around to answer Keith but instead faced an incoming embrace. No haste this time, Lance quickly wraps his arms around Keith.

For another minute, they don't loosen their hold as if neither would see each other again. Their heads laid against one another. Remembering every detail of warmth, strength, breathing, smell, and just the feel of affection through this. Lance can't help but feel at peace since it's a rare occurrence. Keith never makes the first move to be affectionate.

Keith didn't want to leave this alone. They need to mend properly, no pun intended. Although, Lance couldn't help but take Keith's words into heart. A relationship may not be the best time right now but Lance isn't one to ignore his feelings. From the past he has made sure never to prolong what he feels about anything or anyone. He hopes that Keith will come to learn this about him soon.

Meanwhile, Adam stands with Shiro and Coran at the observation window waiting for Lance to arrive. They all seem eager and worried about the current situation. The Altean woman woke up.

 

Chapter Text

 

Allura's father, Emperor Alfor created the war machine with the help of Zarkon once upon a time. They discovered quintessence can be utilized with the comet. However, the comet material came with an unfortunate twin, melded on the inside, and held the opposite effect of pure quintessence. It was a natural corruption and contained magnetic behaviour. Separating the two was a difficult task but came with a price. 

 

The dark quintessence corrupted Emperor Alfor. At a point, many thought him to be deceased and prepared for a funeral until he'd suddenly awaken. He was no longer the Alfor they knew. He was like stone and seemed lost. No memory of his life or family. Nothing came to mind until Emperor Zarkon and his Queen, Honerva and newborn son, came to see his old friend in person.

 

However, the sight of Zarkon reacted the corruption inside Alfor. Part of Voltron's essence looked and surrounded him. A violent reaction caused a horrible accident that day. Their newborn, Lotor, has been struck with corrupted quintessence and it eventually over came his life source. A tragedy for the couple and one that Emperor Alfor's wife desperately attempted to save him. Zarkon and Honerva were hysterical. 

 

Sadly, the Altean Queen's attempt with Lotor was not enough to win over their favour despite her husband. So with the history of Altean alchemy or magic, she'd given her own quintessence to level out the corruption. Through the bonding of quintessence, Alfor did not physically react to his wife's death but took it upon himself to steal the child from Zarkon and Honerva. Everyone was on high alert. At first they searched countlessly in the galaxy. Nothing had shown signs of Lotor. Then, they came into contact with their son a few years later on the planet Altea. Just as they assumed, he had no recollection of his biological parents. Alfor raised the child as his own.

 

Since that tragedy, Emperor Zarkon and the Witch Hagar, otherwise known as Honerva, declared war upon Altea. Vowing they will retrieve their son. Through victory or through death.

 

Allura was too young to understand her surroundings. Alfor kept her like a prisoner but with benefits. She was always at his side to observe his conquering and the historic change of Altea. Her lovely home is forever changed so long as her father lives. What is even more strange, was the boy he would often visit through out the years. She befriended him and grown to love him dearly. 

 

———

 

The Princess had become a young adult, she used the relationship with her father to take advantage of an opportunity to leave with Voltron. Even her royal servant Romelle had fled along her side. She wasn't sure why but she had the instinct to run towards the Galra empire for help. A huge mistake. 

 

In desperation, Allura wormholed their way into Earths solar system. Since Earth was the only planet with life, she'd taken refuge within the military bases she came across. With a bit of luck and an unfortunate turn of events, she agreed to help them defend Earth from the group of Galra which located her. Romelle didn't have the strength to copilot anymore and needed huge amounts of rest. Lance intervened and volunteered to help the Princess. 

 

Lance was the Garrison's top pilot. Once she was alone with Lance, she had a completely different approach in reviving Voltron's power core. She would kiss him to awaken his emotional source of quintessence with the help of her Altean magic. There, began their relationship but over the following year. Even his family grew close with her.

 

The consistency to defend Earth seemed never ending. Eventually, Romelle had used her engineering skills to assist the Garrison and a fellow member known as Pidge Holt. Together they managed to advance Earth's technology in a miraculous way thanks to the fast travelling of Voltron for materials. 

 

Earth was on its way to prospering with alien technology enough to slowly begin and create their own ships but nothing could ever make it past the blue prints. The Galra were relentless to obtain the war machine.

 

One fateful day, someone other than the Galra approached Earth. It was the prince, Lotor and Allura couldn't bring herself to attack the ship he came with. The Galra retreated and the hostile Altean soldier's aided the prince into finding Voltron. However, that came with the cost of hurting citizens of Earth and eventually killing.

 

Lance was furious that Allura couldn't do anything or move at the sight of him. He didn't understand why either and the disruption of their partnership caused Voltron to miraculously split into two lions. The Princess was so shocked to know Voltron had this capability but decided to use the opportunity and lure Lotor away from Earth. It worked but even Lance had chased after Allura into space. 

 

 

———

 

"Allura, why are you doing this? We have to go back!" Lance exclaims as he stands before Allura. They've managed to evade the prince long enough to find shelter on another planet.

 

"Do you not understand the circumstances? This Lotor we are talking about. He is capable of way more than the Galra have done." Allura is frustrated with herself but more so, frustrated of the situation she forced Lance to be part of.

 

"I don't. I do know that we've made a great team so far enough to fight back against these guys. Even if he's dangerous, we can't risk leaving Earth defenceless." Lance tried to approach her with sliding his hand along her forearm.

 

She suddenly chocked out a sob and covered her face, "I— I can't do it, Lance! I— Lotor and I, we have a bond!"

 

He couldn't remember when she explained the origin of utilizing quintessence began but knew exactly what she meant. It hurt him to hear the truth in why she couldn't bond with him before. Lance quickly wraps his arms around her, holding her close and gentle. Letting her cry until she no longer needed to. Bond or no bond, he wouldn't allow her to feel alone no matter what.

 

"It's okay. . . I understand now." Lance isn't sure how it works with Altean people in the belief of bonds but he also knew that they weren't taken lightly.

 

Allura eventually stopped crying and held onto Lance for comfort. "I'm so sorry. . . You mean everything to me."

 

A painful smile curves Lance lips. "You mean so much to me too, Allura." He pulls back to look at her with assurance that he's fine on his face. "I'll always love you."

 

Those sweet words struck her deep in the heart. Knowing she couldn't return the love fully and how she wished that she created a bond with Lance instead. However, this is her life and she has accepted it. She would enjoy the remaining days of her time with Lance in anyway she could.

 

 

———

 

Allura has chosen to move forward in leaving Earth before anyone else could find her with Lance by her side. He sent out a heartfelt message to his family, hoping they would understand his choice to follow Allura. It was bittersweet but he made a promise to see things through and that's exactly what he was going to do. Romelle felt she would prosper in her assistance in Earths latest technology. So she stayed behind. In any case, the mission was to prolong the evasive journey against Lotor began and last for a few months. 

 

The Prince Lotor had finally caught onto their location, coming in with a surprise attack near the quantum abyss. He had fought against Lance's bayard sword in head to head combat. The princess tried to utilize her red lion and fight against his fleet of ships. It was a close battle of wits and skills. 

 

Unfortunately, Lotor used the corrupted quintessence within him and began to drain Lance of his own. Allura witnessed the event and intervened to attack with her lion but a reaction occurred. Lotor was flown backward and the lion's had nearly lost power. 

 

Allura was desperate to get Lance out of the area. She jumped out of the cockpit and ran to his side. He wasn't unconscious just barely hanging in there. As she helped him off the ground and made their way to the lion's, Lotor grew with anger at the sight. He announced that his ship prepare their canon for a full blown attack. 

 

In those last moments, Allura had reenacted the same idea her mother used to save Lotor as a baby. She'd only been able to revive his source of energy to rebuild his own quintessence not realizing that her life source was diminishing because of it. 

 

"Allura!" Lance yelled out, realizing that she was near losing the last bit of her life source. He had quickly switched their places, holding her close in an embrace. "Why— you didn't have to do that, why?" 

 

She smiled weakly and reached to touch part of his face, "I had to. I love you." Lance had leaned in to kiss her with affection and then held onto her tight. 

 

Before Prince Lotor could attack Voltron with the canon, he had seen the effects of lingering too close to the quantum abyss. He had to make a choice. Leave and save his ship or, attack Voltron and be lost in the abyss. There is no way he would allow them to escape and leave him with nothing.

 

"Lance, take Voltron back to Earth." Allura speaks as she pulls back to look up at him.

 

"I can't just leave you here."

 

"If the lions stay any longer, they'll be lost." 

 

"Not without you!"

 

She'd always known Lance to be a little stubborn and finally agreed to leaving with him. Except she'd done the unforgivable. She used her magic to render Lance unconscious and laid him inside the cockpit of the blue lion. All with whatever strength she could gather. Quickly enough, she created a wormhole for the lions to escape in. As she exited the lions cockpit, she turned around to give her thanks for the lions in assisting her journey. 

 

With a purr, the lions had started their boosters to lift off the ground. Allura fell to her knees, feeling like she did everything she could but. . . Lotor had launched his canon towards the Lion's. The quantum abyss just so happened to release one of its reoccurring flashes of warped time. Allura screamed out in fear. The damaged Lion's fell into the wormhole. 

 

All had turned white and then black. All was forgotten.