I’m sure you, dear reader, are very familiar with faeries. You must certainly know, at the very least, that faeries are quite mischievous, but overall kind creatures; ones that fly by way of delicate wings and pixie dust, and that are hardly ever understood, as their voices often sound like bells to the human ear. You must know, by now, the first time that a baby laughs, a faerie’s life takes flight. However, what you may not know—for the faeries often keep this fact to themselves, proud as they can be—is that a faerie is forever linked with the child whose laugh awoke their spirit and sent it to Never Never Land. Their souls will always be strung together with an invisible thread, naked to the eye and utterly intangible, but ever present. Though, not many faeries ever meet their Child. You see, children are ever elusive in their early years, as they are hardly ever where you expect they will be, and faeries are awfully frightened of parents and other adult things that would squash them without a second thought. So, the faeries are discouraged from seeking out their Child, because, as tales often tell, the magical creatures may never return.
Now, I am sure you’re wondering why I am telling you this now. Well, you see, dear reader, this is the story of a faerie who did meet his Child.
Our tale begins on the twenty-third of October, 1898. That was the day Keith Kogane was born.
The next important date to mention would have to be the second of March, 1899, as this was the day Lance was born of Keith's first laugh.
It is a wonderment, however, that Keith did laugh so often as a babe, as his childhood was much less than enjoyable. He lost his mother before he was even aware of this, as she had not survived childbirth. Keith's father loved him very much, but struggled to pay for nurses to watch Keith while he was working. he often went many nights without more than a slice of bread, but baby Keith was able to eat somewhat well for the first few years of his life, so Mr. Kogane felt he could not complain. Though, this good fortune did not last long, as a couple of men Mr. Kogane was indebted to had decided on collecting the money from the man in his home one night. Mr. Kogane hadn't the funds yet to pay off his debts, and the men attacked him for it. He had passed on Keith's fifth birthday, leaving Keith an orphan from then on.
Keith had not made many friends in the orphanage, many deciding to treat him horribly and call him ugly names for how he looked and for his inability to speak. He had been entirely mute for 7 years after his father's passing, as he had been so unfortunate as to have seen the attack clearly and had been unable to help his father, as he had been ordered to hide until the intruders left. By that point, it was too late to run for help, and Keith's father died in his arms.
As children can often be nosy and, sometimes, truly wicked, the boys with which Keith shared lodgings decided on playing cruel tricks on him whenever possible, many of which having to do with his inability to speak and the way he had become an orphan. Needless to say, Keith quickly grew to believe that trust was reserved for very few people in his life, and that most humans are corrupt and inhumane to the very core. He would have come to the conclusion that every man, woman, and child was this way, if not for Shiro.
Takashi Shirogane was an older boy of respect in the orphanage before Keith had arrived, having established his level of maturity and his reassuring presence earlier than most young men do. As soon as he saw the other boys teasing and tormenting Keith, he jumped right in to defend Keith, and to teach him how to defend himself. Shiro was the first person to hear Keith speak again, and the only one to help him grow accustomed to using his voice again.
Meanwhile, Neverland was growing restless.
It had been nearly two centuries since any humans had been present in the land, and the health of the island in the sky was starting to diminish greatly for it. See, Neverland is not entirely self-sufficient. The forces of nature require a certain level of magic to perform at an optimal level where they can maintain the amount of life force needed to power the whole island. However, the land cannot rely only on its inhabitants for this magical capacity. Neverland needs outsiders, as these outsiders are often more magical than the natives even and, though humans are not aware of their full potential when it comes to magic, this magic still radiates from them and into the soil of Never Never Land regardless, feeding the land.
The faeries were some of those most aware of this lack of life force, as their pixie dust supply rather depended on it.
"Lance, you need to stop fluttering about so much!" Pidge cried from her seat at her tinkering station, brushing her bangs back from her forehead as she worked on banging a broken piece of Hunk's favorite acorn pot back in place. "You'll use up all of your dust rations in 7 ticks if you keep it up, and I'm not letting you borrow any of mine!"
Lance, the faerie in question, stopped pacing with his feet just above the ground and stepped down, kicking some dirt up as he went before quickly slumping back into his seat across from Pidge with a loud sigh of defeat.
"UGH! Honestly, I don't understand why we don't just have a search team take a trip to the Main Land and bring back a few children like they did last time." Lance shot back as he played with one of Pidge's wrenches, attempting to make the tool stand up on its own. Lance simply not used to having to limit his energy to playing with wrenches and walking unless completely necessary. It made his feet and his legs hurt. Faeries weren't meant for that amount of walking, anyway! And, besides, being a water faerie made the whole thing ten times harder. Walking everywhere put the risk of drowning SO much higher than if he was able to hover over the water like he had before. "I mean, it can't be THAT dangerous, can it?! Faeries used to go back all the time to-"
"To find their Children. We know, Lance," Hunk intervened, having finally stepped in from his work in the garden just outside. He didn't want to lose his touch as a gardening faerie, after all, though he was technically of the baking talent as of late, considering his job in the bakery. "Lance, you bring this up to Allura so often that we don't need to hear it any longer. You should also know that she will send a party when it's the right time. Okay?"
Lance pouted his bottom lip out and let the wrench slip from his fingertips, fighting the urge to laugh when it made Pidge flinch and shoot him a glare for interrupting her concentration. "I mean, I guess..."
"And besides," Hunk continued, walking up and handing Lance a snowdrop seed, knowing it would cheer the young faerie up. It was one of Lance's favorite flowers, after all, as he loved the way the petals looked on his sim frame. Lance, true to form, couldn't hold back a smile, especially when Hunk ruffled his hair playfully. "If you stay in Allura's good graces, you may be lucky enough to be sent along with them for offering up the idea, so you could find your own Child."
Lance's smile grew at that, though it was probably on a subconscious level. He didn't like admitting that he was a hopeless romantic, but Lance truly was.
There were many legends surrounding faeries and their Children, how the two met and fell in love within a moment. How the faeries were worried until they heard the human laugh, and they felt a tug on their Soul Strings that linked Faerie and Child together. Then, they knew. The faeries would bring their Children to the Faerie Queen and ask for the Queen to either grant the human to become a faerie or the faerie to become a human, and off they would fly (or ride) into the sunset. Lance had always been fond for those stories, and had asked his mama to sing them to him again and again before he went to bed. Though he knew now, as a grown man, that the possibility of that was slim to none, he still dreamed for it to be the case.
And Hunk knew this.
"I hope so," Lance sighed happily, lightly drawing designs along the seed with his fingertips as he imagined what his Child looked like. Was he male? Was she a female? Somewhere inbetween or not at all? Would they have hair white as the first snow, or dark as the blackest night in a New Moon? Would their eyes be grey, green, hazel, brown, or blue? Or something even more interesting, like red or purple? Oh, Lance wanted to go now! He wanted to see!
"Hunk?" Lance called out as he noticed Hunk was leaving. When the other man stopped in the doorway and turned back around, Lance continued. "Do you think... maybe... do you think I could go anyway? Alone?"
Hunk blinked not once, but twice, as he processed Lance's question. Pidge, however, was not so kind.
"No," she replied immediately, without even looking up from her work as she sanded down the pot.
"BUT-!" Lance tried to cut in, but she cut him off.
"Lance, you know how dangerous that is!! Humans are vicious creatures! How do you know your Child is even out there, huh?! What if its parents are bug-killers?! What if its a bug-killer itself! You'd be dead before you even heard the thing so much as giggle. That is, if you even find the right one." She replied, slamming her fist on the work table to emphasize her point as she went off at him.
"Yeah?! YEAH??!?! Well, what if I just leave right now, hm?! I asked Coran about how to find your Child a while back anyway, so I know what to do!! Even if Allura is too chicken to send some lousy search party out, I can save Pixie Hollow myself, and I can find my Child along the way!!" Lance shot back, standing up in a huff and quickly swiping Pidge's supply of pixie dust on his way out the door. He would need it if he was to be going to the Main Land, finding a Child, and escorting it back.
"FINE!! GOOOOOD RIDDANCE!!!!" Pidge shouted after him, slamming the door behind Lance as he went on his way back to his own home to pack for his journey.
Hunk stood frozen where he was, shocked by the sudden turn of events and the realization that he was almost certain this would not end up like how either of the two faeries thought. It never did, anyway.