"WOOOOHOOOO YEAH TAKE THAT! RUN AWAY! VOLTRON JUST KICKED YOUR COLLECTIVE ASS!"
Hunk laughed at Lance's cheering in the comms. Allura squealed happily and Pidge chuckled. Keith smiled amused. "Great work Paladins! Now regroup and let's debrief in the Castle Control room in five!" Said Coran through the comms. "Will do Coran. Thank you." Chuckled Keith.
The team unformed and flew into the Castle in their respective lions. Keith walked out of the Black Lion and patted the Lion.
"Thanks Black. You did great today." Said Keith fondly. He had been beginning to get used to piloting the Black Lion despite how much he missed Red and Shiro. Even despite how much leadership just didn't sit right with him. Just so much pressure and he was so impulsive. He felt Black purr comfortingly in the back of his head.
A whistle rang through the hanger and he turned to see a tall armoured paladin leaning against the entrance and arms crossed with a smile. He felt himself smile as he saw the new Red Paladin who's helmet had been removed.
"Hey Team Leader! Nice work out there today. I know Coran already said it but I wanted to say it to you. We really handed them their asses today." Said Lance. Keith grinned and took his helmet off, shaking his hair into place. "Thanks Lance. I couldn't of done it without you." He said, meaning every word. Keith really liked how close Lance and him had gotten. Gone away with that fake rivalry and in came their strong friendship. Even if Keith secretly wanted to be more with Lance. Lance chuckled, looking away as his cheeks flushed a little.
"Yeah right. You're amazing in Black. I'd be jealous if we weren't friends. You'd do great without me." Said Lance, looking at anywhere but Keith. Lance didn't know how to handle the compliment. Keith rolled his eyes. He smiled softly as he walked over, helmet under one arm. Keith placed a hand on Lance's arm, the taller boy turning to finally look at him.
"You kidding? I'd be lost without my right hand man." Said Keith softly, winking and squeezing his arm before leaving the hanger. "Don't forget the debrief in five!" Called Keith as he walked away and headed to his room. Lance stayed frozen in the hanger as he processed the words, his face flushing bright red. Red lowly purred amused in the back of his head while Blue purred fast excitedly and he squealed.
"Red! Blue! Shut uuup!" He whined embarrassed.
Keith froze as he felt Red and Black amused in the back of his head, reminding him of what he said. He coughed and smiled flustered as he quickly stopped off at his room to take off his armour.
"So we just need restock? That seems easy enough. So we split up. Quickest way." Said Keith, resting a hand on his hip. Coran nodded.
"Yes. However I will have to stay here to be able to wormhole everyone. So we're splitting into three groups." Said Allura. The team nodded.
"Pidge. You will be going to Olkarion. They have materials and plans for upgrades to the Castle that we requested for. Hunk and I will be going to the Balmera. The rebels are in need of a Balmera crystal for one of their ships. Keith and Lance will be going to the planet Terridium for a certain herb for the medical bay. I recently came across a shortage in it that I hadn't noticed before. After all of that, we will regroup in Four Vargas when Allura will open the wormholes again." Explained Coran, laying out the plan. Pidge grinned excitedly at the idea of going to Olkarion while Hunk did the same for the Balmera. Lance and Keith smiled between them and Pidge nudged Hunk to look at them. Hunk grinned with Pidge.
"I call dibs on flying. We're taking my lion. Black flies to smoothest." Said Keith. Lance rolled his eyes and dropped his right arm over Keith's shoulders. "Whatever you say Team Leader." Hummed Lance, tipping his left hand into a finger gun and winked. Keith puffed his cheeks, ignoring how he felt them grow warm. He waved him off casually. "Yeah yeah whatever Lance." He chuckled. Pidge giggled and Hunk snickered. Lance glared at them flustered though Keith didn't notice as he focused on the plan. Allura smiled amused, obvious to the growing chemistry between the two paladins.
"What's the herb we're getting Coran?" Asked Keith, crossing his arms and leaning into Lance. Lance turned bright red and stared at Hunk and Pidge flustered. Hunk grinned as Pidge huffed, handing him bet money. "The herb, Aketamino, is a round purple blossum plant with dark red leaves. It's an effective herb in painkillers and what you humans call antibiotics and antihistamines. It can be found growing near sources of water." Said Coran, pulling up an image of the herb. Keith nodded, taking in the infomation.
"Is there anything we need to know about it or the planet in fact?" Asked Keith. Coran shook his head. "Not that I know of. There is no intelligent life on Terridium and the Galra have no interest in it. I'll have a container for you two to store the herbs. It'll be safe to handle with your suits." Said Coran. Keith and Lance nodded "Well that settles everything. We should get ready. Everyone be at your respective places in twenty doboshes. That's all. Debrief finished." Said Keith. Everyone nodded and began to break away from the table. Lance chuckled and leaned into Keith.
"See you at the Black Lion in 20 doboshes Team Leader." Hummed Lance lowly before pulled back and leaving with Hunk. Keith found himself smiling as he left. He felt lucky he had Lance by his side.
"The Black Lion is honestly so cool. Definitely the smoothest lion. In flight and other things." Said Lance, winking and pointing his right hand in a finger gun gesture. Keith chuckled. "Yeah." He hummed. The two were trudging through forest towards a river bank. Lance eyed Keith and noted the tense but deflated posture in Keith's shoulders.
"Keith, buddy, you okay? What's wrong?" Asked Lance worriedly. Keith shrugged. "I'm fine Lance." Sighed Keith, shrugging. Lance rolled his eyes. "You're a shit liar. I can see right through that. What's wrong?" Said Lance. Keith huffed and looked away. "Don't really wanna talk about it. Don't wanna bother anyone." Muttered Keith. Lance sighed and stopped, grabbing Keith's arm to stop him in his tracks. Keith looked up to lock eyes with Lance's soft comforting expression.
"Keith. Please tell me what's wrong. I'm your right hand man. I'm supposed to be the one you can bother." Said Lance comfortingly. Keith dropped his head and sighed.
"That's the thing Lance. I don't want to be the leader. It doesn't come natural to me. I'm impulsive, instinctual and too emotional. Shiro was a natural at it. So is Allura and Coran. So are you. You're a much better fit as the leader. You're strategic, thoughtful, charismatic, and you always know how to communicate with everyone. I've tried and sure I'm getting better but it- it's just not me? I mean I can get it and part of me is comfortable but another isn't. It's like something is missing. I... I just want to go back to when Shiro was here and was leading us. It was so much more easier. Sure I didn't always listen but I didn't have the responsibilities of being the Black paladin." Rambled Keith, everything tumbling out at once. Lance blinked in surprise.
"You... you think I'm a better leader? Keith you're a great leader. Black chose you. Not me. I understand what you mean though... I love being your right hand man but I guess something... something isnt there?" He said surprised. Keith looked up at Lance and relaxed, smiling a little. "You feel it too... And of course Lance. Despite all your playfulness, you really know how to command and lead when it comes down to it." Said Keith. Lance blushed and smiled. "That means a lot. Especially from you." Said Lance, letting Keith go and rubbing the back of his neck sheepishly. Keith chuckled.
"It's just me. Nothing special. Now let's get this herb." Said Keith, turning away and beginning to continue their route. Lance smiled softly at him.
"You're more special than you realise Keith..." Murmured Lance softly before he followed. They continued to trudge through the forest and Lance huffed.
"Jeez how much longer? This is a bit boring but at least this planet is pretty." Asked Lance. "Shouldn't be too long. And yeah, this planet is beautiful..." Said Keith, smiling. Lance smiled and blushed lightly. "Yeah just like you..." Sighed Lance sweetly, thinking out loud. Keith blushed.
"What?" Squeaked Keith. Lance froze and blushed. "Did... Did I say that out loud?" Stuttered Lance. Keith nodded and Lance flushed bright red. "Well I- uh I-" Lance fidgeted nervously with his hands. Keith bit his lip. "Lance-"
Keith was cut off with a sudden roar and the two turned to see a charging monster that sorta looked like a lion.
"QUIZNAK-" Yelled Keith as he grabbed his Bayard. It turned into a sword and charged after it. Lance shrieked and quickly pulled out his Bayard, it quickly forming into a rifle.
"I've got your back!" Called Lance as he shot the monster's side. Keith swung his blade while it was distracted and the monster howl as it cut into it's fur. It swiped it's claws and Keith yelled out, quickly gripping his arm with his free hand. Keith growled and swung his blade again only for the monster to dodge and swipe at his leg. Keith yelled out in pain and tumbled down onto his good leg at the side.
Lance's eyes widened and he charged at it, shooting rapid fire at it before he spun, Bayard suddenly forming into a blade as he instinctively sliced through the monster's throat. The monster fell to it's side, dead. Lance panted and the two stared at his Bayard.
"Uh... didn't know I could do that..." He muttered. Keith winced and grinned. "That's pretty cool." He groaned out. Lance gasped and quickly put his Bayard away and knelt down. "Shit! Keith! Are you okay?! How bad is it?!" Exclaimed Lance worriedly. Keith winced and gave him a comforting smile. "I should be okay. It's not super deep that it's life threatening and it isn't bleeding too bad." Groaned Keith. Lance sighed before his eyes caught sight of the rushing water beside them and the bundles of growing Aketamino. Lance cracked a smile and chuckled a little.
"Would you look at that... You stay here and I'll grab some Aketamino." Said Lance. Keith nodded, putting away his bayard. Lance was quick and as efficient as possible as he grabbed bunches of Aketamino before putting them in the carrier that Coran had given them. He filled it, closed the lock and then clipped it to his belt. Lance turned back to Keith and knelt down.
"Shit. Do you think you can walk or do you need some help?" Asked Lance. Keith grunted as he tried to get up, only for his leg to give in due to the pain. He yelped and Lance caught his good arm, making he sure he didn't fall back down. "I think that's a no for walking..." Huffed Keith. Lance hummed in agreement.
"Looks like it. Here, put your good arm over my shoulders. I'm going to put my arm around you waist okay? This is so I can support you. Unless you wanna be carried." Said Lance, sending him a wink. Keith felt himself finally relax despite the pain and chuckled.
"I'm not completely incapable of walking. But the offer is appreciated. My hero." Teased Keith, looking up to Lance. Lance blushed and grinned. Keith draped his arm over Lance's shoulders while Lance's arm went around Keith's waist. Lance lifted Keith back on to his feet, using his his free hand to hold Keith's that hanged over his shoulder for balance. Keith blushed, squeezing Lance's hand. Lance smiled and squeezed back. The two trudged back through the forest, Lance making up most of the conversation between them.
"Wait. Keith are you going to be able to fly us back?" Asked Lance as they got nearer to the Black Lion. Keith cursed under his breath. "Fuck. I don't think so. My arm feels kinda numb from the pain. Hurts to move it." Cursed Keith. Lance swallowed nervously.
"Maybe we can make contact with Allura?" Suggested Lance. "I don't think so. We're a wormhole away from the Castle. Who knows how far that is. That's why Coran gave us all time limits." Sighed Keith. Lance bit his lip. "Maybe we can wait out the... 2 Vargas we have left and see if they notice us being gone? I mean it'll be more like one varga because it'll take us one to get to Black." Suggested Lance. Keith groaned. "Not to be a downer but despite the cuts not bleeding anymore, I might pass out from the pain. I don't know if I could handle that long without properly treating them. Y'know to avoid infections and all..." Mumbled Keith. Lance cursed quietly and they turned silent. Keith looked away and bit his lip.
"Maybe you can fly Black."
Lance choked on air and and almost dropped Keith. He tightened his grip as they continued walking. "What are you saying Keith... maybe you got knocked a little too hard. I'm not worthy to pilot the Black Lion..." Said Lance, making sure his grip was secure. Keith stopped and winced as he lifted his free but injured arm to turn Lance's face.
"Lance. You're more than worthy. I mean it. Just try at least. Please?" Said Keith softly. Lance swallowed and couldn't say no. "Alright... I doubt I can but I'll try. For you." He murmured softly. Keith gave him a kind smile. The two continued to trudge through the forest and sighed in relief as they saw the Black Lion. "There should be some medical supplies in the Lion. There is in all of them. We should clean up those scratches and I can bandage you up just till we get you to a pod." Said Lance. Keith nodded, smiling fondly.
The Black Lion opened up and they got into the lion's cockpit and to the pilot chair. Lance set Keith down gently into the seat. "Right. Where's the first aid kit?" Asked Lance. "Um uh I think in the back? Near the rations?" Said Keith, thinking hard. Lance nodded and quickly left to go look for it. Keith sighed and leaned back into seat, wincing a little.
He carefully pulled the armour off where he had been injured, leaving just the black suit that he wore under. It had torn where the slashes had been. He huffed and pulled his helmet off, letting it drop with the rest of the armour pile. He really hoped Black would see what he saw in Lance. Keith didn't care if Shiro wanted him to lead. Lance was a better leader. Keith didn't feel worthy to pilot Black. He felt Black purr in the back of his head, telling him he was worthy as the Black paladin.
But Keith still had doubts. He still felt something wasn't right. He didn't feel confident leading. It was isolating in the worst way. He could handle being isolated with dislike and disgust. He couldn't handle being looked up to for answers he didn't know to everyone's questions.
"Found it. How you holding up Keith?" Asked Lance walking back in as he opened up the first aid kit, getting what he needed. He took his helmet off and placed it with Keith before preparing to treat Keith's wounds. "I'm alright despite the obvious. Just trying not to move too much." Sighed Keith. Lance hummed and carefully cleaned the slashes on his thigh, the black suit getting a little damp around the edges of the cut fabric. Keith hissed and Lance winced before quickly bandaging his leg, lifting it gently.
"Sorry Keith. I gotta do this. Time for you arm." He sighed. Lance leaned his knee on the edge of the pilot seat carefully as he leaned over, gently cleaning the wound on Keith's arm. Keith flinched and gritted his teeth, a whimper slipping out that he tried to stop. Lance finished after wrapping his arm in a bandage and put the medical supplies back in the kit before he carefully hugged Keith.
"I'm sorry about that. I know it probably wasn't fun. But you're strong. So strong." Murmured Lance softly, head resting on top of Keith's. Keith slowly relaxed in Lance's arms and hugged back with his good arm. "I'm just lucky that you're so caring... You give me strength..." Murmured Keith. The two blushed but stayed hugging. Lance hummed contently and thoughtlessly kissed the top of Keith's head. Their blushes darkened and Keith looked up. They stayed silent, eyes gazing over each other's face.
Hearts raced in both their chests. Keith took in a quiet breath as he slowly took Lance's hand into his own and leaned closer. Lance sucked in air, eyes fluttering as he leaned down and getting closer. Lance swallowed nervously and Keith bit his lip. Lance leaned as close as possible but froze, unable to move closer. He didn't know what to think. Did Keith want this? What even was this? God Lance wanted to kiss him but he was so scared. His thoughts were going as crazy as his heart was. Keith glanced down at Lance's lips and squeezed Lance's hand.
Keith squeezed his eyes shut and impulsively moved the extra inch, taking Lance's lips into a kiss with his own. Lance gasped against Keith's lips before kissing back in earnest, eyes closing. They leaned closer as they kissed. Lance's free hand lifted as he cupped Keith's face gently. Lance pulled back a little as he sucked in a gasp of air. Keith stared softly up at Lance, biting his own lip.
"Was that okay?" Murmured Keith, his pitch low and quiet. Lance blushed and smiled. "Best thing that's happened today." Replied Lance quietly. Keith suddenly found himself smiling. "God Lance you're amazing." Whispered Keith, letting go of Lance's hand and pulling him back down to kiss him. "Mmph! Mhmm..." Lance leaned his knee against the pilot's chair, free hand catching his weight with grabbing the back beside Keith's shoulder. His other hand moved to the back of Keith's neck. They savoured the kiss, pushing eagerly against each other and breaking off in giggles.
"I've been imagining this moment for way too long..." Sighed Lance happily. Keith chuckled. "Same here Lance. You have no idea how long I've wanted this..." Hummed Keith. Lance kissed along Keith's jaw softly. "Since the Garrison for me..." Mumbled Lance. Keith blushed and gasped. "The Garrison...? Lance-"
Keith was cut off when the pilot console pinged, alerting them of their time limit. Lance pulled back and swallowed hard, nerves kicking in for a completely different reason. Keith gave him a comforting look. "We should swap places. You can't fly if I'm sitting the pilot's chair." Said Keith. Lance nodded.
"But y'know.. Y'know there's always... always the pilot's lap... heard it... it's a good seat..." Stuttered Lance, nerves kicking in as he tried to flirt them away. Keith chuckled and held Lance's hand gently. "Well I gotta make sure you treat Black right." Hummed Keith. Lance cracked a smile.
The two shifted so that Lance was sitting in the pilot's chair and Keith in his lap. They had their helmets back on for the hoped flight. Lance sucked in a breath as his arms hovered in the air, hesitating in grabbing the controls. His body was shaking. Keith placed a hand on his chest.
"Keith... Keith I don't know if I can-" "Lance... breath..." Lance stared at Keith, eyebrows furrowed in worry. "Keith I'm... I... I want to make sure we get back safely but I.. I don't think.. I don't think Black would let me... I'm not... I'm not worthy." Croaked Lance. Keith leaned into him. "You're more worthy than you realise Lance... You never know if you don't try..." Murmured Keith softly. The console pinged again, telling them of the time limit closing in. Lance took a sharp breath.
"In my eyes... You are worthy Lance. Always." Whispered Keith. Lance closed his eyes tightly and dropped his hands onto the controls. He gripped them and waited for the silence and rejection.
A sudden roar filled the air and his mind. Lance tensed up, breathing stopping for a whole 3 seconds. Slowly, he opened his eyes. He was greeted with Keith's smile and the console active. He stared at Keith, breathing hitching as he felt Black in his mind purr. Keith smiled wider, feeling Black's purr. Keith's eyes widened and Lance's mouth dropped open as Black purred louder. Keith wasn't meant to lead alone.
"This is what was missing. Our roles were intertwined." Whispered Keith. "It suddenly all makes sense. We're meant to both be the leader." Lance stared and swallowed hard. "You mean... this isn't a dream?" Choked out Lance. Keith smiled wider. "No. It's not a dream. It's real. Black chose you as well." Said Keith softly. Lance felt himself smile and gasp, moving his arms.
Keith cried out in surprise, gripping Lance as they soared up to the sky. Lance howled with a cheer, eyes bright like the first time he ever flew the Blue Lion.
"Holy quiznak! I'm flying the Black Lion!" Cheered Lance. Keith laughed loudly, holding on to Lance as they soared into Space. "Yes you are!" Cheered Keith. They felt Black roar happily. They saw Allura's wormhole open up and Lance grinned.
"Alright! Perfect timing Allura!" Cheered Lance as they zoomed into the wormhole. They quickly came out the other side, the others hearing their cheers in the comms. They saw the Green and Yellow Lions also come out of wormholes. All three wormholes closed behind them.
"Woah! What're you both cheering about!?" Exclaimed Hunk. "You've already given me a headache." Chuckled Pidge. Keith jumped in before Lance could even open his mouth. "Lance is flying the Black Lion!" Cheered Keith. Everyone went silent before Allura broke it. "How- why- Lance oh my goodness-" Stuttered Allura surprised.
"Its a shock to me too. I... I... Keith got injured by some lion like monster. Thats why I'm flying... So please get a pod ready for him. I... I never thought Black would accept me..." Said Lance. "I will!" Said Allura. Keith smiled and leaned gently into Lance. "I did... You're worthy of so much Lance... I'm certain... I always was." Said Keith softly. The comms went quiet again.
"Please tell me they finally fucked."
Hunk was cut off by Lance laughing loudly. Keith blushed and chuckled. "Bit far fetched Pidge. C'mon let's just get back to the Castle." Hummed Lance. Keith gave a noise of agreement and they flew back into the Castle.
"... Hunk. Did that just happen?"
"... It did. Lance and Keith..."
"... Yeah... That..."
Lance sat in front of the Black Lion, back into his casual clothes. He stared in awe up at Black, chuckling and speaking softly to the lion. Keith stretched his arm, smiling as he watched unknown to Lance.
"I'm honoured you let me pilot you Black." Said Lance. He chuckled and blushed as Black responded to him. "You're too kind... I'm confused though. Who will be piloting you and Red? I still feel my connection to Red and Blue. But now I have you too. It's a little confusing." Asked Lance. Black purred and Keith blinked, getting linked into the conversation. "Either of us? So Keith can go back to Red if he wants? But even then we're both your paladin.... Woah Black..." Said Lance.
"I can? I can pilot Red again? But Lance is also the Red paladin." Said Keith surprised. Lance jumped and turned to Keith.
"You're out of the pod... How're you feeling?" Asked Lance, patting the ground beside him. Keith walked over and sat beside him. "I'm better. Just caught onto this conversation... I guess we're both the leaders of Voltron now..." Said Keith. "It's crazy..." Murmured Lance, taking Keith's hand. Keith leaned his head on Lance's shoulder. Black purred and the two blushed.
"We're... what?" Muttered Keith surprised. "... We're the Wings of Voltron... Black, You mean when we grow a close enough bond with Red and you... That's something we'll be able to do?" Said Lance. Black purred and their blushes darkened. "... and with each other..." Whispered Keith. They turned to each other shyly. Lance's face went bright red.
"Blue and Red are going crazy in the back of my head..." Admitted Lance. Keith chuckled bashfully. "You're fucked. Red is the worse in teasing." Murmured Keith. "You haven't heard Blue... All I'm being told is that I have to woo you and make you swoon and all the cheesiest things you can think of..." Explained Lance softly. Keith blushed a bright red. " I can think of a lot... But It all depends on one condition..." Hummed Keith. Lance raised an eyebrow in question. "And that is?"
"Be my boyfriend?"
Lance choked out a gasp at Keith's smooth words. "How- How the fuck are you so smooth?! I-" Stuttered Lance and Keith blushed, chuckling. "Haven't seen the worst of it Lance... So what do you say?" Asked Keith, suddenly nervous. Lance cracked a smile and squeezed his hand. "Of course... We do make a good team. We'd make even better boyfriends." Said Lance, winking but smiling softly. Keith smiled before freezing.
We really do make a good team.
"You... You..." Lance's smile dropped into a sheepish look. "Oh fuck. I uh... so I might have some explaining to do..." Admitted Lance nervously. Keith shrieked and tackled Lance to the ground, hands on Lance's wrists and knees on either side of Lance's hips. "YOU REMEMBERED?! LANCE?!" Lance winced.
"Okay I was dumb and at first I really did forget when I said. I had like a concussion dude. Also I kinda wanted to joke with you. I had totally believed you but then like later that day it came back to me. The whole situation was like super deep and emotional so I kinda just hid from it. Y'know with the whole pining after you..." Explained Lance quickly. Keith stared in shock, loosening his grip. "Lance..." Whispered Keith. He swallowed hard and looked away.
"Lance. That... That moment... For you it started at the Garrison but for me it was that moment...." Whispered Keith. Lance's eyes soften their gaze on him and he leaned up, still somewhat pinned, and kissed him. Keith kissed back, moving to hold Lance's hands instead of his wrists. He tilted his neck and deepened the kiss, a low noise of agreement rumbled in Lance's chest at the action.
A low whistle rang out and Keith pulled off quickly, their eyes wide as the two spotted Pidge smirking at the entrance. Holding what suspiciously looked like a phone from their distance.
"I fucking knew it!" Cheered Pidge. "Hunk pay up buddy!" Pidge ran off and the two boys blushed. Keith looked back down at Lance who looked back up. "At least we don't need to go through the hassle of telling them." Chuckled Lance. "That's true." Hummed Keith, leaning back down to kiss him. Lance sighed happily, kissing back.
"Interesting position to have me in..." Teased Lance. Keith shrieked and shoved himself off Lance who howled out laughter. Lance laughed loudly, sitting up with his head tipped back. His face was bright and happy. Keith could see almost invisible laugh lines that made him smile. "Haha hmm... Whatcha looking at?" Teased Lance as he calmed down, knowing Keith had been staring at him. Keith smiled and pulled him close. "God I'm so lucky... So Happy..." Whispered Keith simply before kissing Lance. Lance smiled and kissed back.