Keith had a nasty headache ever since they got back from that planet, but he did his best to just ignore it. Everyone else seemed fine, besides, it was only a migraine. He didn't want to cause a fuss over something so small. He was just going to power through it and hope it passed quickly.
That was until everything started growing.
The world around him shot up with disorientating velocity, causing him to drop his helmet. He squeezed his eyes shut, reaching out for the wall so he could regain his balance. He couldn't seem to reach it and toppled backwards. It felt like a far fall to the ground. He grunted when he finally did hit the floor. He sat up and slowly opened his eyes. The walls had stopped moving. His headache was gone.
And he was three inches tall.
His clothes had shrunk with him, thankfully, but his helmet remained huge and several feet away from him where he dropped it. He hurried over to it, knowing he'd need to contact the rest of the team. "Am I the only one this happened to?" Keith mumbled to himself. It was bizarre to walk in his helmet like a tunnel. The whole experience was disorientating and he wanted to have it over as soon as possible. He cupped a hand over his mouth. "Uh, guys?"
"Keith? What's happening?" Shiro was the first to respond, naturally.
"I've got a bit a of situation over here."
"Are you in immediate danger?" He could hear Shiro getting up, ready to rush to his rescue. His face got a little hot thinking about it.
"No, it's not like that. It's just...it's weird. I need someone."
A map of the castle with their locations appeared on the inside of the helmet. "Alright, is anyone near Keith?"
"I am!" Lance piped up. Keith let out a long sigh. Of course, out of everyone, it had to be Lance. "I'll head over right away."
"Thank you Lance. Let me know if you need more help, over." The comms shut off. Keith sat down, not knowing how long he was going to have to wait. He was grateful for the help, but he really really wished it wasn't Lance. He knew he was going to tease him mercilessly for his new (hopefully temporary) height.
He was not kept waiting long, as Lance came clambering down the hall. He skidded to a stop. "Keith?" His voice was booming. Keith took a subconscious step back. Then, as if it weighed nothing, the enormous helmet was lifted into the air. He followed it with his eyes to see Lance turning it over, looking for clues. Tears welled in his eyes as he gasped, "This is all that's left of him!" He hugged it to his chest. "I was too late!"
Keith frowned. "I'm right here!" He yelled and waved his arms, hoping to get his attention. Lance blinked. He looked up from the helmet. Then side to side. "Look down!" Lance instantly lifted up his foot, afraid he stepped on him. He caught Keith's frantic movements in his peripheral vision. Lance crouched down, his mouth agape. Keith tried not to think about how easily he would fit in that mouth in his current state. Despite trying to appear unbothered the thought, his voice was quiet, "I-I'm right here."
Lance set down the helmet, still just silently staring at him. Then, using his forefinger and thumb, pinched the back of his jacket and lifted him into the air. Keith instinctively started kicking and squirming in his hold. "Woah, hey, hey!" Lance had his other hand underneath him just in time as Keith slipped out of the sleeves and fell onto it. "What was that?"
"What was that?" Keith repeated furiously as he stood up, trying to balance on the squishy surface of his palm. "What do you think that was? You don't just pick someone up by their jacket!"
"Sorry. But you're like, smaller than my middle finger, dude. I was freaking out a bit." He watched him curiously. "How did this happen anyway?"
Keith shrugged. "I think it had something to do with that planet we were on. I got a headache when we stepped onto it, and it kept worsening until I shrunk."
"Does that mean we're all going to shrink too? What if the others are already shrunk?" He gasped. "We have to go find them." He shoved Keith's discarded jacket into his pocket.
"Now wait a minute-" Lance cupped his other hand over him."Sorry, there's no time for that now, mini-Keith." As he started to run, Keith lost his balance again. He groaned in annoyance. He didn't try to stand back up, instead just focusing on not getting jostled around. Lance had no consideration for him. But as he thought about it, Lance hadn't made fun of him much yet. That counted for something, he supposed.
"Coran you need to call an emergency meeting right now!" Lance cried as they entered the flight deck. Keith still could not see anything since Lance had his hands firmly clasped.
"What's wrong?" Pidge piped up.
"Oh thank god, you're okay. Have you seen Hunk? What about Allura?"
Keith started to grow restless so he pushed against his fingers. "Let me out!" Lance either didn't hear him or ignore him.
"Hunk just came in a tick ago looking for a spare part, and the princess is getting some rest. What's the emergency?" Worry laced Coran's voice.
"This!" Keith had been pushing with his whole body when Lance suddenly removed his hand, causing Keith to topple forward. When he got back up, Pidge and Coran's faces were frighteningly close.
"How did this happen?" Pidge poked him in the chest, pushing him back a step.
"I..I believe I know why." Coran was surprisingly serious. He stared intently at Keith, as if he was waiting for something. Keith raised an eyebrow. His seriousness quickly passed as he smiled brightly at them. "The good news is it isn't permanent! And there's no need to worry about the others, they'll be fine."
"So what is it?" Pidge furrowed their eyebrows. "And why did it affect only Keith?"
"That planet that Voltron saved earlier? It's atmosphere has a strange affect on certain non-huma..." He glanced at Keith. "Erhm, certain individuals. I thought it wouldn't affect any of you, that was just foolishness on my part. I accept full responsibility for its effects."
"It's okay Coran, you didn't know," Lance offered him a smile and Keith nodded in agreement. "So...how do we fix it?"
"That's more good news. It's quite simple! Keith just has to admit something to himself. It must've been something weighing on his mind when he arrived there. There's a chemical in the air that manifests the thoughts of some in peculiar ways. I've heard stories and Keith isn't the first to shrink. It just means he was feeling...well, small about something."
They all looked expectantly at Keith. He thought long and hard. He shrugged. "I...I don't know. I can't remember what I was thinking about."
Shiro walked into the room, followed by Hunk. "The Princess told us that she just received a message from a nearby planet that wants to form an alliance with Voltron. It should be quick. Is Keith's situation figured out yet?" Lance held him out so Shiro could see. Keith looked away in embarrassment. "...huh."
"The Princess should not be up and about!" Coran frowned. "I must have a word with her!" He headed out of the room.
"A solution is on the way," Pidge spoke up. "We could just go without him, since it's a peace mission."
"I'm not staying behind!" He objected but Shiro shook his head.
"Just until you're back to normal." Keith opened his mouth to retort, but closed it again. He knew that he was a liability like this. The silence was palpable as they stared each other down.
The tension was cut by Hunk letting out an "Awwww." They all glanced at him in confusion. "What? He's really cute. He's teensy-weensy." They continued to stare at him. "Don't act like you weren't all thinking it. No? Just me?"
Pidge smiled a little. "No, he is kind of cute." Keith glared daggers at them but they just shrugged helplessly. "Sorry, it's true."
"Stop tormenting Keith," Shiro spoke like an exasperated father. "Let's just get going. Lance, will you stay and watch him?" Lance nodded. "Let us know if anything happens." He gave Keith an awkward thumbs-up before leaving with Hunk and Pidge.
Lance whistled. "So, I guess it's just you and me-"
"You can put me down, you know." Keith interrupted. His patience was running thin. Lance laid his hand on the control panel. Keith climbed off him and walked to the edge. He sat down, facing away from Lance and folding his arms across his chest.
Lance pouted. "Are you angry with me?" He poked him gently, but his carefulness to not push Keith over just made Keith more irritated. "Was it something I said?"
Keith huffed. "I've got to focus, Lance. Otherwise I won't be able to fix this."
Lance sat down. "Alright, I'll be quiet."
"Thank you." The quiet didn't last long. Lance began fiddling with the controls. Then he started comming Hunk, having a pointless conversation until someone (Shiro presumably) made them stop. After that, he started humming and doodling on his arm with a pen.
"Hey. Hey mini-Keith."
Keith closed his eyes and took a deep breath before turning around. "What?"
"It's you." Lance held up his pointer finger, with Keith's jacket draped over it. He had drawn a little smiley face on it with angry eyebrows. Keith made strikingly similar angry eyebrows at him. "What? It looks just like you." Keith snatched back his jacket, putting it on and only half listening to Lance as began talking with a gruff voice, "I'm Keith, and I like to dance." He wiggled his finger around. Keith rolled his eyes. "And sometimes..." He lifted up his other pointer finger, a smiley surrounded in sparkles drawn on it. He pressed his two fingers together.
"I like kissing Lance."
Keith blinked in surprise. He glanced up at Lance, who was sweating nervously and his face was bright red. Keith motioned silently for him to come closer. Lance lowered his hands and moved so his face was only inches away from Keith. He laughed nervously. "I-I was just kidding around-" Keith gave him a look that silenced him instantly.
Keith took a step closer, placing a tiny hand next to Lance's lips. He could feel Lance's shaky breathing on him. "I'm Keith," he murmured softly, cracking a smile. "And I'm not much of a dancer. And sometimes..." Lance held his breath. "I like kissing Lance."
He pressed his lips against Lance's lower lips, giving him a little kiss. He pulled away and Lance brushed his finger against where he had kissed, clearly delighted.
His smile faded, however, as Keith's world began to shrink. Soon, Keith was eye-to-eye with him again. They sat there, staring at each other. "I was the thing you had to admit to yourself?" A dirt eating grin grew on Lance's face as he snickered. "You were shrinking away from confessing to me!"
A ghost of a smile found its way onto Keith's face. "I think the important thing here is I learned how to shut you up," he said as he pulled him in for another kiss.
Afterwards, everyone was relieved that Keith was back to normal, but Coran had to give them a stern lecture on the dangers of making out on the control panel.