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this thing upon me, howls like a beast

Chapter Text

Keith was alone in his bathroom after asking to take a break from one of their many extensive group training sessions. The main reason why he was there is to deal with his sliced glove because Lance accidentally sliced his glove during their one-on-one sparring session. His glove was sliced enough for him to see the purple patch of skin hiding under his garments, but not deep enough to cut through his purple skin. Keith would not appreciate knowing how Galras bleed through a first-hand experience, thank you very much.

It was not the first time that his skin turned purple. The first time was when he touched the quintessence during one of their missions, and Keith thought that was the first and hopefully the last time when the purple skin appeared, but he was deeply mistaken when the purple skin appeared once again on the same spot, but it was wider. He didn’t know how to make it disappear permanently, but he knows that it appears and disappears whenever it pleases.

The training session was the only time when its appearance became one of the most inconvenient time for him. He regretted agreeing to the team that they’ll just wear clothes suitable for training instead of gearing up with their Paladin armors. If they wore their armors, then he would’ve been able to deflect Lance’s knife with his own armored hand.

“Of course you chose to appear at this hour.” Keith muttered indirectly to the purple mark as he tried to scrub it off, like it would disappear like a stain on his skin. The purple blotch could’ve appeared anytime today when he’s alone, but no, it chose to appear in the middle of a group training session where everybody was present. Just his luck.

Keith closed his eyes and mustered all his concentration on trying to control the blotch and make it go away. Most of his attempts of trying to control the skin didn’t work most of the time, but maybe he would be lucky if he would be able to control it this time.

Keith was too focused with dealing with the blotch that he didn’t hear someone enter the bathroom that he was occupying.

 

*     *     *

 

Without bothering to knock on the door, Lance quietly entered the bathroom, feeling terrible for emitting such a freaked out reaction from Keith after accidentally (playfully is the term he would use) slicing through his glove. From his perspective, it was just a small cut, but he could barely see how deep his cut was. One of the reasons why he went down to see Keith was to check if there were any blood, and another was to apologize (which was forced upon him by his friends. He would never voluntarily admit defeat to his friend-slash-opponent).

He walked inside the bathroom and saw Keith in front of the mirror, his head was faced downwards while his hands were holding on the edge of the rectangular-shaped sink. His body was angled in a way that Lance could perfectly see Keith’s gloved left hand, while he couldn’t properly see Keith’s right hand. So much for trying to check on Keith’s hand.

“Hey Keith,” Lance spoke, which spooked Keith enough to turn his back against the mirror and place his right hand behind him, shielding it from Lance’s view.

“What are you doing here?” Keith asked angrily as if he was in the middle of something important and was bothered by someone, yet his voice suggested that he was panicking.

“Chill, dude. You seemed pretty wary back in the training room after I accidentally cut you, so I came by to check up on you and to see if you’re not bleeding here to death.” Lance explained and eyed at Keith’s right hand, but he wasn’t able to properly see it since it was shielded by Keith’s back.

Unfortunately for Lance, the mirror was not long enough to reflect Keith’s hidden right hand. Now Lance is really worried with Keith’s hand. Lance probably sliced through Keith’s glove enough for him to bleed deeply.

“Okay, I’m alright, don’t worry ‘bout me, I’m not going to bleed to death just because of a little scratch. You actually thought that scratch would be enough to kill me. It would take more than that to even bring me down.” Keith tried to reassure Lance with a smirk, but he wasn’t moving his body or make any efforts to prove it.

Keith’s body language was enough for Lance to know that Keith was lying, and Keith lying would mean that something was definitely wrong.

“First of all, as a pro liar, you’re a terrible liar. Nearly as terrible as Hunk, but we both know you’ll never outmatch him with that. Second, that ‘tiny scratch’ did bring you down, Mr. High And Mighty, and that’s why you called for a break. Now, are you going to let me see your hopefully not bleeding hand so I’ll know whether or not you need some serious medical attention.” Lance said and watched Keith sigh in frustration.

“Look, I’m serious about not getting hurt. You don’t have to worry about me, I’m fine, I really am. Also, I called for a break because I needed to clear out my head for a moment and focus on training.” Keith said, starting to get agitated as he felt the blotch spreading instead of disappearing.

By all technicalities, he wasn’t lying. He wasn’t hurt at all and he really did need to focus on training since the only thing that he could think of was trying to tame his skin when he felt it appearing again in the middle of the combat.

Keith’s statement didn’t convince Lance, though. 

“Then show me your hand.” Lance demanded.

Keith scowled in response.

“Look, you and I are not leaving this bathroom anywhere until you showed me your hand. I just need to see that you’re really not hurt so the team can stop worrying about you, and believe me when I tell you that they’re worried even more than I am, which says a lot.” Lance said, his tone and facial expression were filled with finality and left no room for Keith to argue.

“Just leave my hand alone, Lance, I’m seriously fine.” Keith insisted, growing annoyed and at the same time agitated because of Lance’s long unexpected presence.

To his dismay, the purple blotch isn’t going away anytime soon. Rather, it’s slowly spreading even more, creeping all the way to his right whole body and it’s going to reach his neck in a few minutes, even with his mental efforts of trying to contain it. He was fully clothed from neck to toe with training clothes, but he knew that his clothes wouldn’t be able to conceal his full Galra transformation.

Now is definitely the worst time to deal with Lance and his Galra transformation. He only physically transformed into a full Galra state a couple of times, depending on how the speed of the blotch grows and how fast he could reduce and contain it. Right now, he was unable to control it properly since he’s trying to deal with the current matter that was hindering him from taming it.

Lance looked frustrated at first but just sighed dejectedly. “If nothing is truly wrong, then at least tell me what’s bothering you. Because clearly, something is really bothering you right now. I’m here for you, buddy, even if it sometimes seem that I’m not. You can tell me ir there’s anything wrong, but if you don’t want, then just tell me that you don’t want to say it then I’ll leave you with your business.” Lance said sincerely.

Keith was debating with himself on whether or not tell Lance the truth or lie to him and say that nothing’s bothering him. If he does the latter, he knows that Lance would be true to his word and leave him be, but he doesn’t know if the team would react the same way. Knowing them, telling them nothing’s bothering him would just raise questions, knowing that they were outside the bathroom waiting for the both of them. That would also mean that they would even be more worried and he would be the center of attention, and that’s not a risk he’s willing to take. If he tells Lance the truth, it would be a lesser damage, assuming that Lance would tell nobody about him. Both options are risky, but it seems that one of the options is less riskier than the other. 

Keith sighed in defeat and looked at Lance’s direction. He felt the purple spread through his chest, and soon it’ll reach his face and the tip of his fingers. “I have to show you something, but you must promise me that you wouldn’t tell a soul about it.”

Lance was confused, but replied with a solemn nod. “I promise that I won’t tell anyone about it.” Lance said with sincerity, and that’s enough for Keith to close his eyes and let the blotch loose.

Keith let the blotch spread through his fingers, feeling his nails sharpen into claws. The blotch eventually crept all the way up to his next, then to his face and he felt his canine teeth became sharper, as his ears grew longer and the edges pointed upwards. At the end of his spine, he felt his tailbone extend enough for a tail to protrude from his back. Slowly, he opened his now-yellow glowing pair of eyes to see Lance’s reaction.

To Keith’s surprise, Lance was still standing in front of him, his mouth is slightly agape. Keith felt his ear twitch from impatience from waiting for Lance’s reaction. “Well?”

Lance finally blinked, “Oh.” Was the only thing that he said and shrugged.

“That’s the only thing that you can think of? ‘Oh’?” Keith asked, bewildered. He was expecting a strong reaction from Lance. For someone who’s an overly dramatic guy, Lance barely gave off a reaction to Keith, if you’ll call ‘oh’ and a shrug as reactions.

“I don’t really know what to say and how to react,” Lance started, and Keith snorted. “To be honest... it wasn’t really surprising.” He shrugged.

Keith’s eyebrows shot up from Lance’s statement. An alleged human morphed into an alien whose race had been dubbed as an enemy in the whole galaxy, and Lance reacted to it as if it was just a butterfly coming out of its cocoon.

“It seems like you’re more shocked than I am.” Lance laughed. “I don’t know if it would help, but I already had a feeling that you weren’t human way before, no offense by the way.” He said, and that seemed to have caught Keith’s attention enough to snap him out of his trance.

Keith blinked his eyes and bit his lip carefully, especially with some of his elongated. “Was I that bad at hiding it?” He asked, and more questions started to pop inside his head. Do the others know about it already since he was actually obvious?

Lance shook his head. “No, I mean like, way before! Back in the garrison. That way before. Remember that time when the test results were released? It showed really high grades, and I was already convinced you weren’t human because no one of our age and training would be able to reach that high.” Lance said, making Keith snort.

“I can’t believe that you’ve already been theorizing that I’m not human even before Voltron.” Keith commented. 

“Turns out I was right.” Lance said and raised his hand unsurely and scratched his own head. “Uhm,” Lance started, “This is weird but... can I pet you? I-I mean, you look like a purple overly grown sized cat and my siblings have cats back home and I don’t know... you reminded me of them and I had the sudden urge to pet a cat.” Lance finally stopped rambling when Keith nodded.

“Okay, but under one condition.” Keith said.

“What’s that? I won’t tell a soul, I already told you that.” Lance defended.

“I know that, but that’s not the condition.”

“What is it, then?”

“Don’t use the word ‘pet’, it’s awkward.” Keith said, knowing that it’s the least that he can do for Lance for the promise of keeping a secret as big as his true lineage. There was always the possibility that Lance would rat him out, but for the span of time he’s gotten to know Lance, he knew that Lance wouldn’t do such a thing. He trusts Lance with a trust that goes beyond trusting a teammate.

Lance laughed. “Okay, then can I scratch your head?”

Keith nodded in agreement, which Lance took as the signal to step closer to Keith. Keith closed his eyes when Lance stepped close enough to reach the top of Keith’s head, faintly scratching the area between the two fluffy ears. Softly, Lance dragged his hand down under Keith’s chin and finally, to Keith’s cheeks, carefully scratching the purple skin.

Keith felt quite satisfied at the realization that the situation turned out to be better than what he was expecting. Being ‘petted’ by Lance at the revelation of his Galra form was something out of his imagination. He was warm and giddy with that realization, but mostly with the fact that Lance was ‘petting’ him. It quite felt right and not as weird as he thought it would be-

“Are you purring?” Lance asked in surprise, but didn’t stop nonetheless.

Keith opened his eyes and scowled at him. “Excuse me?” He felt his cheeks redden at the accusation, silently thanking his purple skin from hiding his flushed cheeks.

Lance laughed and retraced his hand from Keith’s face. Not that Keith would tell this to Lance in person, but damn he missed the feeling of Lance’s soft hands on his face.

“Nothing. Can you revert back to your human skin? I think the others are waiting for us for too long already. They might start to ask what’s taking us too long.” Lance reasoned.

“Yeah, I can.” Keith said and changed back to his human skin. It was easier for him to revert back to his human form than to stop his body from switching to a giant purple cat.

Once Keith felt his body was back to his human self, Lance had a smug look on his face. Keith raised an eyebrow in question, because a smug Lance was never a good sign.

“Your cheeks are red.” Lance pointed out, making Keith miss his purple skin again. “Before we get out there, I just want you to know that I’m going to stick to my word and not tell anyone about your Galra side and try to make sure nobody knows about it until you want them to. It’s your secret to keep or tell, not mine.” He said seriously, and Keith felt his cheeks become warmer and he could do nothing but smile gratefully.

“Thank you, Lance.” Keith said, his voice filled with sincerity.

As much as Keith hates to admit it, he found Lance one of the most respectable people he has ever encountered because Lance was a man of his word. Lance was bound to Keith by his promise of making sure that nobody would find out outside their duo. He knew Lance would stick to his word because he trusts Lance like that.

 

 

*        *        *

 

 

“What’s taking them so long?” Pidge asked, swaying her legs impatiently. Hunk shrugged as he sat down beside Pidge on one of the benches found on the edges of the training room.

It’s already been more than ten minutes, and Hunk was glad that Keith called for break from today’s training session. Although he wasn’t as glad when he watched Keith excuse himself to the bathroom while clutching his right hand. Hunk wasn’t able to watch what happened between Keith and Lance’s duel, since he was busy with his own duel against Pidge. That little cheater has a lot of tricks up her sleeve. Outside his and Pidge’s battle, even if he was too concentrated with trying to deflect Pidge’s tricks than trying to attack, he still heard a sharp ‘argh’ from Keith, which was followed by a call for a break.

Shiro, who was standing beside Allura while observing the four of them from the sidelines, agreed to it and asked if Keith was hurt during his sparring with Lance, but Keith didn’t reply and ended up running towards the bathroom. Shiro asked Lance to go check up on Keith in the bathroom, and Lance did so quite begrudgingly.

And after more than 10 minutes, the two of them still haven’t gone out of the bathroom.

“Maybe Keith was actually wounded from the sparring. Lance is probably making sure that Keith’s wound would be thoroughly clean and he’d probably be bandaging Keith as we speak.” Hunk gave out an educated guess, knowing that Lance can be a worried mother hen sometimes.

Pidge snorted at Hunk’s response. “Bullshit.” She said as she jumped off the bench and looked at Hunk. “You and I both know that no matter how big a wound can be, it can be cleaned in less than ten minutes. Unless they’re waiting for it to stop bleeding inside the bathroom, I can’t think of platonic reasons for them to stay in there that long.” She prompted, her eyes gleamed as she looked at them knowingly.

Oh no. Hunk felt like Pidge is brewing up another crazy theory here: a theory that involves two of their friends that suggest something more between them.

“No, we’re not going to that direction.” Hunk said before Pidge could even continue on where she was leading to.

“Oh? What do you have in mind?” Allura piped in, walking closer to them. Shiro was following beside her.

“Pidge, are you suggesting that Keith and Lance are doing something more than just cleaning Keith’s wound?” Shiro asked.

Allura and Shiro are looking at Pidge with sheer curiosity, while Hunk was vigorously shaking his head. This is going to be bad. After being Pidge’s friend and working with her closely for so long, Hunk knew that look on her face. It’s that look whenever she has a crazy scheme and/or theory that she wasn’t going to let die until it becomes a proven, heavily backed up fact.

“Shiro, to answer your question, yes, I am suggesting that. And princess, as for your question, I feel like the two of them are making out as we speak.” Pidge said bluntly with a smile on her face: a smile that had been the star of Hunk’s fears.

“This is bad.” Hunk told to nobody in particular, since Allura and Shiro are too preoccupied wondering what Pidge was thinking, and Pidge... well, nobody can rain on her parade at this point. 

“Why would you think that?” Shiro questioned, astounded with Pidge’s train of thoughts, while Hunk sits on the opposite spectrum of being astounded. 

“Well, I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but the two of them had been flirting in their own little ways through competitiveness, mostly. With this in mind, in theory, Lance and Keith’s sparring earlier brought out their inner competitiveness to reach its peak, which meant even more flirting. Keith probably got overwhelmed with the flirting and went to the bathroom to... fix his stuff, so he excused himself to the bathroom, pretending to be injured in a fight. Weirdly enough, Lance, who Keith had been flirting with, looked like he was more than willing to go check up on Keith. Fifteen minutes later after their departure, they still haven’t gone out. Do the math. They’re probably finally fixing the unresolved sexual tension as we speak, and for all we know, they could’ve been doing this kind of routine since before, they just don’t want us to know.” Pidge said, pretty satisfied with her theory.

Shiro was the first one to speak up, his facial expression suggests that he was considering everything that Pidge suggested. “You do have a point. I felt like there was something between their competitiveness for quite some time now, I just couldn’t name it.”

“Is fighting each other a courting ritual on Earth?” Allura asked, intrigued with Pidge’s explanation.

“Hold up!” Hunk said, gaining Allura, Shiro and Pidge’s attentions. “First of all, that’s not a theory, that’s a reach. Second, Keith and Lance are not courting with each other. And no, Allura, fighting each other is not a courting ritual. It’s a frenemy thing that the two of them had ever since they met. And competitiveness is a probable foundation of their frenemy thing. Lastly, have you ever thought that maybe Keith went to the bathroom because he was actually injured?” Hunk asked incredulously.

Pidge looked at him like he was not speaking in English. “Hunk, you’ve known Keith for as long as I do. The guy never backs off a fight until the opponent has given up. Given that Lance, with his enthusiasm for defeating Keith, was his opponent, then that increased Keith’s eagerness to slay an opponent. With that in mind, do you really think that Keith would excuse himself to the bathroom because he had a little tiny scratch and break up a sparring against Lance? And how long do you think can a scratch be cured? Twenty minutes?”

 “The wound might be deep enough for it to bleed longer than how usual wounds would bleed, which was more logical than your enemies to lovers trope that you’re trying to go for” Hunk reasoned.

Hunk was proud to be Lance’s best friend, and a part of that package was being Lance’s confidant, which meant that Lance trusts Hunk that much to confide to him his secrets, no matter its depths. Pidge’s theory of Lance and Keith being in a secret relationship would highly suggest that Lance doesn’t fully entrust Hunk with secret as big as a relationship with Keith as much as Hunk thought.

Pidge sighed in frustration. “How ‘bout this? Let’s make a wager. In two weeks, if it turns out that Keith and Lance are in a secret, non-platonic relationship, I win. But, if it turns out that they’re actually not and I’m wrong, which, let’s face it, is not possible in all its scientific essence, then you win.”

Hunk raised his eyebrow, “And what does the winner of this wager get?”

“A hundred dollars each from the losing side.” Pidge said and eyed at Shiro and Allura. “Pick your teams.”

Allura and Shiro looked at each other for a brief moment, and then looked at Pidge and Hunk. This kind of situation made Hunk feel like as if he and Pidge were siblings in a fight and are asking their parents to pick a side.

“I apologize for the disappointment, but I’m not joining whatever this ‘wager’ is. Personally, I think that whatever Keith and Lance’s relationship is right now is none of our business, unless they want it to be.” Allura said with a reassuring, ever-loving mom smile.

Shiro nodded his head. “I agree with Allura.”

Hunk wasn’t surprised that Shiro agreed with Allura. He’s always gotten that dad vibe who would agree with whatever his wife would decide. Although Hunk thought that Allura might be right with what she said, but something tells him that it’s not the entire reason why she’s backing out from this. Pidge and Hunk gave them a doubting look.

“Allura, I know that you don’t have a hundred dollars with you to give the winning team, and let’s face it, if you were with the winning team anyway you wouldn’t know what to do with the money.” Pidge deducted.

Allura looked up to the ceiling, “Well, and mostly because of that.”

Hunk looked at Shiro, “And you lost most of your money after you were presumed dead after Kerberos, so you really don’t have much to bet.”

Shiro scratched his head and nodded. “And then there’s that.”

Hunk and Pidge looked at each other.

“Looks like it’s just you and me, pal.” Pidge said, and Hunk agreed as he shook Pidge’s hand to seal off the deal.

Hunk is not going to let Pidge and her reach of a theory to doubt Lance’s trust to him, even if it meant putting his last hundred dollar bill in his wallet at stake.

Chapter Text

It was not unusual for Pidge to be found in the pantry in the middle of the night. This was the part of the day (or night) where her brain is relatively more productive than how it is during the morning. Which is exactly why Pidge is currently in the pantry in the middle of the night, preparing some coffee for herself so she can go back to her own room and continue on with working on a personal project.

Once the coffee was prepared, she was about to walk to her room with a mug at hand when she saw Lance in the middle of the big hallway, looking at his left and right. Clearly, Pidge would say that he was trying to be discreet and at the same time, failing at it. She, being a generous soul, hid for Lance to accomplish being a secretive shit. That, and because she was also curious as to why he’s outside his room in this hour when everybody’s supposed to be asleep. At first, she assumed that Lance was going to get a glass of water so he can go back to sleep, but she ruled it out when it was obvious that he was hiding something that he didn’t want anyone to see, hence, his paranoia with another’s unwanted presence. 

Pidge observed how Lance’s shoulders relaxed, as if being glad that nobody was there in the hallway with him. She heard him sigh in relief and watched him walk pass by the doors, straying farther away from his bedroom door.

Pidge raised an eyebrow when she saw Lance stop at the last door on the hallway, which was Keith’s bedroom door. 

He’s going to Keith’s bedroom, Pidge thought as she grinned.

It’s been four days since she and Hunk agreed to wager about Keith and Lance’s secret relationship. It’s been four days, yet there was nothing really significant that happened between Keith and Lance that would’ve been a solid indication that Pidge could use to tell everybody that they’re in an actual relationship and win the bet. She could always try to get a verbal confession from them, but she knew that they’d immediately act like it was out of the realm of possibilities and start throwing insults to each other and probably start bickering like an old married couple. Their bickering wouldn’t be a good proof of their relationship since it always occurs and had already been agreed by the others that it’s not a normal day if there’s no bickering from the two.

Although, right now, Pidge might have a good evidence of Keith and Lance being in a relationship. She set her mug carefully on the floor, trying not to make a sound, and tried to fish her phone from the pocket of her pyjamas.

Fuck my life, Pidge thought when she realized that her pocket was empty and left her phone in her bedroom. Now there’s nothing for her to use to record Lance enter Keith’s bedroom in this hour. It would’ve been a good evidence of them being in a relationship, because secretly going to another team member’s room without any occasion in the middle of the night wasn’t something that a good bro Paladin would do towards a fellow good bro Paladin.

She assumed that he was going to knock, but to her surprise, the door opened already. That’s not how it was supposed to go, since the bedroom doors in the castle automatically lock when it’s time for bedtime, and only open on the command of the owner of the bedroom.

This made Pidge even more curious than she already was. The only deduction that’s running in her head right now is that Keith was expecting for Lance to go to his room. In the middle of the night. When everybody was supposed to be asleep. Well, that, or Keith just forgot to lock is door.

Her personal project is waiting for her in her own bedroom, but it can wait for another time. Right now, her only mission is to at least try to read Lance and Keith’s situation at hand. Even though she doesn’t have a solid proof of Keith and Lance being in a relationship, she could still share this to the team and take her word for it. She’d like to think that she already had established a reputation as someone whose scientific brain wouldn’t easily lie to prove something.

She took her last sip from her coffee and put it on the floor. She’ll put it in the dishwasher later after invesitgating Lance. With light steps, she walked all the way to the end of the hallway. The door didn’t automatically open, making Pidge’s theory of Keith waiting for Lance and only Lance to enter his room was being proven to be true even more.

Curiosity got the best of her and all of her instincts went out of the window. Consequences be damned. Carefully, she put her ear to the door and tried to listen and get an inkling of idea with what’s happening in the room with Keith and Lance alone.

“Are you sure nobody followed you on the way here?” Pidge heard Keith say.

“Yes! Now, stop being too paranoid.”

“Paranoid? I was only making sure that nobody was watching or following you. You know that it would lead them to start raising questions, and we can’t risk that.”

They’re already bickering even though Lance just arrived. Pidge didn’t bother acting surprised about it.

“Don’t worry, if anyone followed me, I would know. And besides, it’s not like anyone of them will be awake in the middle of 3am.”

“You’re awake in the middle of 3am.”

“Because you’re the one who suggested that time!”

“I told you 3am, not a few minutes past it. You’re late.”

“Yeah, I’m sure you missed me. Now let’s finally do what I came here for. Strip your shirt off. Now.” Pidge heard Lance say as she stopped herself from screaming.

“You’re suddenly all so demanding. That’s my job. But since we’re in this topic, you could’ve at least ask me out to dinner first.” Keith said, making Pidge drop her jaw.

“I already did, remember? And you’re flirtier, and that’s my job. Now strip and let me see what you’re hiding underneath.”

“It’s bigger than what you imagined.”

“Sweetie, I’ve already seen it before and it’s not as big as what you’re implying.” When Pidge heard what Lance said, she silently choked on her own saliva and removed her ear away from the door, hoping that they didn’t hear her. After a few seconds, she placed her ear again on the door and tried to listen.

There was no sound of their voices inside the room, and Pidge assumed that Keith was indeed stripping his shirt off. But the two of them inside the room hadn’t spoken for a minute now, and Pidge can only think that Keith’s stripping more than just his shirt. She jerked her body away from the door as if the door was fire against her skin. She did not want to hear the rest, as she assumed that they’re going to do what she theorized them to do. Her eyes were wide and there was a pink shade on her cheeks. Her mouth was shaped into an ‘o’ as she tried to process and make a conclusion from the information that she had garnered.

The only conclusion that was crystal clear to her was that Keith and Lance are definitely, irrevocably, in a relationship. Or friends with benefits, at least. Or both. But holy shit, all of the evidence that she had gathered so far are leanings towards Keith and Lance being in a relationship in secret, further solidifying her chances of winning the bet. Besides, would explain why Lance was being paranoid of being caught going to Keith’s room earlier. It would also imply that this might be correlated to what occurred in the training room four days ago. And the dinner that the two of them had mentioned earlier also served as an indication of their relationship. And Lance asking, or rather, demanding Keith to take his shirt off. And how they were allegedly talking about Keith’s dick size. Nope. Nope. And another nope.

Pidge may be in an extremely cheery mood right now for being proven right with her theories, not that it’s unusual, but she’s traumatized enough to continue investigating for tonight. What she needs right now is to continue on the project that’s waiting for her in her room. But all she could think of is what’s happening right now with Keith and Lance in Keith’s bedroom, with Lance being demanding towards Keith in bed and Keith being submissi- Pidge is absolutely not going to continue on with that thought.

She shuddered at the picture and vigorously shook her head. Given her current mental state, she doubts that she would be able to continue on her project. Maybe she can try to distract herself from her unwanted thoughts by reading a book until she falls asleep. Pidge walked down the hallway all the way to her bedroom while chanting “nope, nope, nope” in her head.

 

 

*     *     *

 

When the door silently shut behind him, Lance was immediately approached by Keith.

“I’m glad that you were able to make it here.” Keith said to Lance sincerely.

“I did promise you earlier that I’m going to check on your skin condition. Are you sure that you still want me to do that? I’m not a dermatologist or a wizard like those scary magical Galras, so I can’t tell you anything much about it.”

“Yeah, but since we don’t have any idea why it’s there or how to get rid of it, the best thing that we could do right now is to try to conceal it first. You know, just in case the training room situation might happen again.” Keith said and paused for a moment. “I think I can sense another presence outside this room.”

Lance snorted and looked at Keith amazed. “Is this your Galra side kicking in or are you just being paranoid?” Lance joked, but Keith ignored him.

“Are you sure nobody followed you on the way here?” Keith asked Lance, eyeing suspiciously at the door behind Lance.

“Yes! Now, stop being too paranoid.” Lance said with a sigh.

“Paranoid? I was only making sure that nobody was watching or following you. You know that it would lead them to start raising questions, and we can’t risk that.” Keith said, his tone sounding like there was no room for any questions. Lance thought that the only way to get through this conversation is to stop arguing with the guy.

“Don’t worry, if anyone followed me, I would know. And besides, it’s not like anyone of them will be awake in the middle of 3am.” Lance reassured.

Keith crossed his arms against his chest and raised an eyebrow. “You’re awake in the middle of 3am.”

Lance tried not to roll his eyes. “Because you’re the one who suggested that time!”

He knew that 3am was relatively a convenient time for Lance to check up on Keith’s skin condition. Earlier before dinner, Keith told him to go to his room at that time to check the blotch since they couldn’t do it with the presence of the rest of the team. If they actually excused themselves before or after dinner to check up on Keith’s skin, then the rest of the team might start speculating about what Keith and Lance are trying to hide from the rest of them, and it wasn’t something that he and Keith would want to start.

The answer didn’t do anything to convince Keith. Rather, it just gave him another reason to question Lance, but with another matter. “I told you 3am, not a few minutes past it. You’re late.”

“Yeah, I’m sure you missed me.” Lance said, earning a snort from Keith. “Now let’s finally do what I came here for. Strip your shirt off. Now.” Lance continued, and when he thought that he finally broke Keith from wearing that stoic, questioning look with that answer, it just served as a way for him to tease Lance.

“You’re suddenly all so demanding. That’s my job. But since we’re in this topic, you could’ve at least ask me out to dinner first.” Keith joked, but Lance rolled with it.

“I already did, remember? And you’re flirtier, and that’s my job. Now strip and let me see what you’re hiding underneath that.” Lance said as he thought of that day when he asked Keith out to dinner for the sake of leaving the castle and to eat outside where none of their teammates would question their conversations. It was better to eat in a local restaurant in the planet they were currently staying on to hold private conversations wherein the only ones who would be able to hear them were unknowing locals. That, and for the sake of rescuing their taste buds from another meal of endless green goo.

Lance guessed that Keith also remembered that day, as Keith’s facial expression didn’t go unnoticed to Lance’s observation skills, which people tend to underestimate.

Keith snapped out from his reminiscing trance and eyed at Lance, as if warning him of the horrific thing that he will see under his shirt. Lance felt his heart crack at the idea of Keith being insecure about his body enough for him to warn Lance about it.

“It’s bigger than what you imagined.” Keith said with a playful tone as a way to deflect, making Lance give all his might to not splutter at that statement. Lance has a feeling that Keith is trying to lighten the mood through the use of humor, and Lance decided to play with his cards carefully.

“Sweetie, I’ve already seen it before and it’s not as big as what you’re implying.” Lance smirked, making Keith roll his eyes as he took his long-sleeved shirt off and-

Holy shit, Lance thought as he saw the supposedly small purple blotch on Keith’s skin. Keith was right, the blotch was bigger now. The blotch spread all the way from Keith’s right elbow all the way up to his right shoulder blades. It didn’t stop there, as the blotch also reached Keith’s right chest and stopped midway, aligning with the purple blotch on his right elbow. The purple stood out from the rest of his human skin and Lance was starting to question his usage of the word “blotch”, since it looks larger than what an average blotch looks like.

“I know, right?” Keith said without having to hear what Lance’s comment was. Lance’s surprised reaction was more than enough to describe what Lance was thinking. “It took me a while to prevent it from spreading even further than it already had.” He turned his back against Lance to show the state of the purple skin on his back, and it reflects the front part of Keith’s body. 

“You do know that we need to tell the whole team eventually. We can’t keep on hiding this forever, especially when it’s getting more noticeable and harder for you to manage.” Lance said.

Keith sighed as he nodded in agreement.

“Maybe we can go to the mall of this planet tomorrow and try to look for a foundation, or anything similar to it that we can use to cover up the blotch.” Lance offered. There weren’t anything in the castle that would be helpful for them to cover up the purple skin. They knew that already, especially after trying and failing to look for one.

Tomorrow, Allura has a meeting with the leader of the planet they were staying at, but the presence of the Paladins wasn’t mandatory since she will just be arranging things with the leader. Shiro was the only one who was needed there with Allura, because aside from being the acting parent of the whole team, he was more qualified than the rest of the team to handle diplomatic affairs with Allura.

Nothing was set to do for Lance and Keith tomorrow, except for their daily training sessions. But after that, their schedule was clear for the rest of the day, making it the perfect opportunity for them to look for something to conceal Keith’s blotch.

“That’s actually a great idea.” Keith said as he started pulling his shirt back on.

“Well, who would I be without my great ideas.” Lance grinned, “And as for my service, I require something in return.” He said as he followed Keith towards the bed.

Keith sat on the edge of the bed and looked towards Lance’s direction, “And what would that be?”

Lance paused before answering, “Can I sleep with you?”

Keith paused, trying to process what Lance just said, before saying “What,” with a deadpan facial expression.

“Can I sleep with you?” Lance repeated once he realized what he just said, “Like, sleep on the same bed beside you. Look, it’s been a while since I last had a good cuddle from my siblings, and I kind of… missed it. I do it sometimes with Hunk, since he’s my best friend and he couldn’t say no to me, but since that you do kind of owe me, I figured why not. I’m not asking you to cuddle, since you don’t seem like the type to do it, so I’m only asking for you to like sleep beside me.” He explained, hoping that it would clarify what he was trying to ask for.

Keith let out a breath that he’s been holding. “You could’ve just said that you wanted me to sleep beside you. I thought you were asking me to actually sleep with you.” He explained as he went on the right side of the bed, gathering the covers.

“If you want me to sleep with you in that way, then you could always hit me up,” Lance said with a wink. He laughed as Keith’s ears turned red from his answer.

“Well, you’ve already asked me out to dinner before.” Keith muttered, but Lance heard it well enough for him to laugh harder.

“Close the lights before joining me.” Keith demanded as pulled the blanket all the way up to his chest.

“Wait, so you’re okay with it?” Lance asked in surprise, making Keith look at him with a questioning look.

“Of course. When you learned about my secret, you never hesitatingly asked anything from me until now. You’re just asking me to accompany you to sleep, not have sex or anything grand like that. Sleeping beside you is a just small thing that I can do for you.” Keith explained.

Lance switched the lights off and jumped on the other side of Keith’s bed. When he laid down on the bed, he pulled the sheets to his chest and turned to face Keith.

“Thanks for letting me sleep here.” Lance said, “I kind of missed having someone beside me. I’m not the type to sleep all alone since I used to share a bedroom with my other siblings.” He continued.

Back on Earth, he had grown accustomed to having to share a bedroom with his other siblings, making it difficult for him to sleep alone without the usual noises he’d hear or having other presence in the room. During his first few nights in the castle, it was hard for Lance to sleep alone in his own room. During those nights, he would sometimes go to Hunk’s room and sleep beside him. It was also helpful that it made him feel like it was just another one of the sleepovers they’d planned back on Earth before their time in the garrison. Hunk had immensely helped him adjust his sleep to the foreign setting of the castle.

Tonight was one of the nights wherein Lance couldn’t sleep all by himself. Earlier, he did consider sleeping in Hunk’s room, but something inside him wanted another person for a change, and Keith was the first person he thought of for that.

Keith gave him a small smile, “I figured. I’m used to sleeping alone, but it’s nice to have someone to sleep beside with for a change.”

“I’ve been in the same bed with you for less than two minutes and you already concluded that it’s nice to be beside me? Well then, let’s make it a thing.” Lance grinned, earning a scoff from Keith.

“Nope, I don’t think so. Shut up and sleep.” Keith demanded as he shifted his body to face the opposite side.

“Are you actually shying on me? Already? We haven’t even had sex yet!” Lance joked.

“Are you begging to be strangled?” Keith replied, his voice sounding uninterested.

“I’m not fond of being choked during sex, but if it’s a kink of yours, then I don’t mind-” Before Lance had the opportunity to finish what he was saying, Keith slapped a pillow on his face.

“Nope. The only kink that I have is strangling you to death.” Keith joked once, earning a heartfelt laughter from Lance.

“Go to sleep.” Keith demanded while putting his pillow back where it was before he slapped Lance. 

“We’ll have to work on that,” Lance muttered to himself, “Goodnight, Keith.” He said, looking at the back of Keith’s hair before closing his eyes.

“Goodnight, Lance.” Keith said.

The two of them drifted to sleep and woke up with Lance’s arms on Keith’s waist.