Actions

Work Header

Running with the wolves tonight

Chapter Text

Keith looked up at the full moon, a grin plastered on his face. With a glint in his eye, he started to sprint towards the forest in front of him. As he ran, his features slowly changed and became more wolf-like. His teeth became pointed as his nose grew into a snout. Raven black fur started to curl from his skin and two huge fluffy ears sprouted from his head. With a grunt, Keith fell to the floor in the form of a great black wolf. He threw back his head and howled, then raced into the forest.

 

***

“Last night was awesome!” Keith exclaimed as he beamed at Shiro.

 

His brother smiled and shook his head.

 

“You say that every full moon.”

 

“I know, but you just get such a thrill!”

 

Shiro laughed.

 

“You don’t have to rely on the moon to become a wolf. I never understand why you get so excited.”

 

Keith rolled his eyes as he kicked a stick with his boot.

 

“You’re too old to get the thrill anymore.”

 

Keith’s brother growled in good humour. Laughing, Keith looked up and saw that they’d already made it back to the city. Shiro suddenly became more serious.

 

“Ok, let’s be careful. I don’t want you accidently talking about werewolves inside the city walls again.”

 

Keith snarled.

 

“I’m 18, don’t baby me.”

 

Shiro gave him a hard stare.

 

“Don’t tell me that when you almost got figured out last time.”

 

Snorting, Keith stomped off in the direction of their apartment block. Shiro followed after him rolling his eyes. As they came up to the apartment complex, a neighbour of theirs came up to greet them.

“Hello there boys! Where did you go last night? I tried to drop off a parcel but you weren’t there.”

 

“I’ll do the talking,” Shiro hissed in Keith’s ear.

 

Keith growled quietly at him but nodded.

 

“Oh, we went off to our friend’s party. We ended up staying the night, Keith got a little drunk.”

 

Keith elbowed Shiro hard in the side and looked at his feet angrily.

 

“Haha! Oh to be young, it was such a thrill. Anyway your package is just outside your door. Have a good day!” their neighbour laughed.

 

As their neighbour walked away, Keith shoved Shiro and growled.

 

“You didn’t have to embarass me like that you little shit!”

 

Shiro chuckled and put Keith into a headlock, giving him a noogie. Keith snarled and tried to wiggle his way out. With a sigh, Shiro released him and Keith punched him light-heartedly on the arm. He cried out in mock pain and bared his teeth in a grin. He chased his little brother up the stairs of the apartment complex with Keith leaping up the stairs lightly. Keith picked up the package his neighbour had mentioned then unlocked the door to their apartment. They both crashed down on the sofa and let out huge sighs. 

 

“Uhhhhhggg that was a long night. I’m tired out Shiro, I don’t think I should go to college today.”

 

Shiro laughed and shook his head. He gestured to the clock on the wall then panicked as he realised that he was going to be late for work. He was a commanding officer at The Altea Galactic University, the youngest ever to reach that rank. He was an experienced pilot, and had completed several missions in space in the past two years which made his reputation soar.

 

“Nice try. I’m already running late so you better leave in half an hour cause I can’t drive you.”

 

Keith groaned and unwrapped his package as he headed over to his room to change. He grinned as he realised what is was; the new pens he had ordered for art class. They were perfect, he needed them for his finals coming up. As he changed into new clothes, he checked for messages on his phone.

 

Pidge 23:45

Hey, where are you? I thought we were going to play Halo tonight?



Pidge 23:51

Helloooooooo?

 

Pidge 23:56

Keith keith keeeeiiittthhh

 

Pidge 00:04

Fine fuck you it’s not like I’m your best (and only) friend

 

Pidge 00:57

You forgot your art folder at school by the way you’re lucky Matt picked it up for you although you deserve to have lost it you ballsack.

 

Keith breathed out a sigh of relief. He had forgotten all about his art folder since he was so excited for his full moon run with Shiro. He’d also forgotten about the halo session he’d planned with Pidge.

 

Keith 7:38

Aw Pidge thank Matt for me.

 

Keith 7:38

I’m so sorry about yesterday, me and Shiro went to his friend’s party.

 

Pidge 7:38

I call bullshit, you hate parties, and Matt says he won’t do it next time (unless you can hook him up with Shiro)

 

Pidge 7:39

I DID NTO SAY THAT PIDGE DDI SHES A LITTLE SHIT ERHFB

 

Keith 7:40

Lol matt i dont believe you

 

Pidge 7:40

Hes crying in the bathroom now lol

 

Keith 7:41

Lol...anyway pidge i am really sorry about yesterday, i’ll buy you a muffin and we can play tonight?

 

Pidge 7:42

Make it two donuts and you have a deal. See you in astrophysics. Try to remember the homework this time, I’m not covering for you today cause im still mad. Matt’s bringing in your folder in art apparently.

 

Keith 7:43

Ok, see you later and ill try to remember

Keith tossed his phone on his bed and went into the kitchen to make breakfast.

 

“Shiro what do you want?” he yelled to the bathroom.

 

“Just toast Keith, I’m running a bit late!” he shouted back from the shower.

 

Keith put the toast in the toaster and laughed as he heard Shiro trip in the shower and curse as he fell over. Keith made himself a bowl of cereal (shreddies cause he had simple tastes) and started packing his school bag. Shiro burst from the bathroom, pulling on his socks, and tying his tie. He snatched the toast from the toaster and ran from the flat yelling:

 

“Bye Keith, have a good day!”

 

Keith jumped up from his seat and ran to the front door, snatching Shiro’s keys on the way.

 

“You forgot your keys dumbass!” he snickered as he tossed them to Shiro, who was half way down the stairs.

 

Shiro thanked him, caught the keys and pelted off to his car. Keith rolled his eyes and went back inside. He grabbed his Astrophysics homework, new pens, school books, pencil case and phone and shoved it into his school bag. He finished off his cereal, grabbed his keys then locked the door. He yawned as he left the apartment - he was too tired to deal with any shit at school today.

 

Chapter Text

“Hey asshole!”

 

Keith turned around to see Pidge running towards him, looking annoyed. Keith grinned sheepishly and rubbed the back of his head.

 

“Hi Pidge...I-”

 

Pidge shook her head and held a finger to Keith’s lips.

 

“I don’t want to hear it. I don’t believe you were at a party but if you don’t want to tell me that’s fine. Not like I care.”

 

Pidge crossed her arms and pouted. Sighing, Keith handed her a bag with two nutella filled donuts in.

 

“Won’t happen again, gremlin.”

 

His friend snatched the bag, but smiled at him and took a huge bite.

 

“Come on, we better head to Astrophysics or Professor Coran will have our heads.”

 

***

 

“Alright everybody take your seats, take your seats,” a man with a gorgeous ginger moustache bellowed.

 

Pidge and Keith headed to the back of the class together and sat down at their desk. The desk next to theirs was occupied by Pidge’s friend Hunk (who was in her engineering class) and his flirtatious friend Lance. This was the only class Keith shared with Lance and he hated every second of it. Lance thought of Keith as his “rival” and would always start pointless arguments with Keith, which often led to Keith almost changing into his wolf form because of his anger. He managed to suffer through each class, because he knew how important his course was to be able to go to the top university Shiro taught at. He greeted Hunk as he sat down, and he beamed at Keith.

 

“Hey man, how was the weekend?”

 

He glanced at Pidge who was scowling at him.

 

“It was great thanks Hunk, although Pidge hates me cause I forgot we planned a gaming session last night.”

 

Hunk laughed and sympathetically smiled at him.

 

“Ouch. I did that once with her and I never heard the end of it (even though she does it all the time to me),” he added slyly.

 

“I heard that Hunk,” Pidge retorted without looking in his direction.

 

He chuckled and sat down whilst Keith got out his stuff. He got out his books and homework (Pidge grinned at him when she realised he actually remembered it). Lance came into the room and ran up to Hunk, near tears.

 

“Hunk, Nyma broke up with me! Not even in person, over text! What kind of dirtbag does that?!”

 

He slumped into his chair and rested his head on the desk, well, more like thunked it on the desk. Hunk rubbed his back soothingly.

 

“Maybe it’s for the best Lance. She has stood you up for dates a few times. I think you need to take a break from love and heal before you plunge headfirst into another rushed relationship.”

 

Lance looked up and gave Hunk a massive hug.

 

“Aww Hunk, you’re probably right. I should have listened to you sooner, man.”

 

Keith rolled his eyes. This type of scene had happened more than once before. As Lance started getting out his stuff, Coran started the lesson.

 

“Okay everyone! As you’ve all been studying very hard for your finals, I’ve decided to do a fun lesson!”

 

Everybody groaned: whenever Coran said that, the lessons were often weird and boring with him teaching students about the weird places he had been to around the world. All of the students were in agreement that it was all made up, especially when he described a weird creature called a weblum he had found in a cave that apparently swallowed his best shoes whole.

 

“Don’t groan you ungrateful quiznacks! I’ve got a special guest from The Altea Galactic University here to see you! She’s one of the youngest pilots to complete a successful mission in space at only 19! You could be like her one day if you study hard enough. Introducing Allura Princess!”

 

A beautiful young woman entered the classroom, wearing her pilot’s outfit. It was a white bodysuit with pink and lilac markings. Her hair was long and dyed white, and it looked stunning. But that wasn’t the most remarkable thing about her. Keith’s eyes widened as he noticed it. The shaped of her canines as she smiled at the class, the size of her shoulders, the scent she emitted. Allura was a werewolf! Keith was shocked. There weren’t many werewolves he knew in the city, as most of them had moved away to join packs. But a werewolf who had been to space, where anything could trigger her transformation was incredibly impressive. It looked like she had noticed Keith’s scent too, because her eyes immediately flicked over to him and she beamed knowingly. Lance looked at Keith in annoyance as she did this, which Keith noticed and enjoyed.

 

“Hello everybody! It’s wonderful to meet possible future paladins of Altea University!”

 

Everybody clapped as she introduced herself, Lance particularly hard. It was clear he had spotted another target to flirt with. This made Keith uncomfortable for some reason, but he didn't know why. As Allura’s lecture began about her times and training for space, Keith started taking notes. There was a point where she started to take questions, and Keith tuned out at this part. He’d heard enough from Shiro about the university to last a lifetime. The lesson eventually came to an end and the students all said their goodbyes to her as they left the room. As Keith packed up his things extra slowly (he hoped to talk to her in private about their similarity), he heard Lance talking to her.

 

“Are you from Tennessee? Cause you’re the only ten I see,” he said pointing finger guns at her.

 

Allura laughed uncertainly.

 

“No...I’m from England actually. Can’t you tell by my accent?”

 

Lance just blushed and walked quickly from the room, with Hunk wetting himself running after him. Keith heard Lance say “That was my best pick up line and it went right over her head! Urgh!” as he left. Pidge was waiting for Keith at the exit, but he waved her away.

 

“I want to talk to Coran about my homework. I’ll see you in the canteen.”

 

Pidge shrugged and took a bite of her remaining nutella donut as she left. Keith approached Allura, not making direct contact with her eyes at first, which was polite in wolf talk. Allura dipped her head to show she was comfortable with talking to him. Coran had left the room to get Allura a coffee, so they politely sniffed each others necks. They both pulled back at the same time and Allura stuck out her hand for Keith to shake.

 

“Hey, I’m Keith. It’s amazing to meet somebody else like me, I haven’t found another werewolf for months now,” Keith greeted as he shook her hand.

 

“It’s nice to meet you! Same with me. My pack seems to be the only werewolves I see these days.”

 

Keith nodded.

 

“Yeah, me and my brother are the only werewolves I know of.”

 

Allura sighed.

 

“There used to be so many more of us, until the Galra...well...you know.”

 

Keith nodded. The Galra had ripped his pack apart and killed his parents. They were the strongest and largest pack in all of America, with a total of 145 members spread across the states in smaller groups.

 

Allura smiled sadly.

 

“They killed my entire pack. I was the only one left because my father managed to take me to safety in time. I’m part of a new pack now, the Oriande pack.”

 

“The Galra killed my parents. We refused to join them, so they tried to kill us. My brother managed to get us out but my parents didn’t make it. We’ve been lone wolves for twelve years now.”

 

Allura gasped.

 

“But that’s awful! You can’t stay alone like that. A lone wolf struggles outside of pack life, it bonds werewolves together!”

 

Keith shook his head.

 

“We prefer to be on our own. At least we have each other, you know?”

 

Allura nodded in understanding.

 

“Well, I have to go back to my friend, but it's been great to meet you. Do you mind if I get your number so we can meet up and talk sometime? I’m sure my brother would love to meet another werewolf.”

 

The other werewolf nodded happily and got out her phone. Keith typed his number in and Allura saved it.

 

“I hope I’ll see you around!” Allura said as she bid Keith farewell.

 

Happily, Keith left the room, only to see Lance marching up to him.

 

“How DARE you steal my date!” he yelled.

 

Keith laughed.

 

“What? Your date? I swear you tried to flirt with her and it went right over her head. Anyway, why were you watching anyway?”

 

Hunk sighed.

 

“He was waiting till she was alone to try and get her to go out with him, despite what just happened with Nyma.”

 

Keith chuckled, then panicked.

 

“What did you hear?”

 

“Nothing,” Keith let out a sigh of relief “But I saw you exchange numbers! How could she like you, with that horrid mullet and emo fashion sense.”

 

Keith was losing his patience.

 

“She was just talking to me cause she knows my brother,” he made up “I’m not interested in her, I promise. She’s all yours.”

 

“That’s what someone who was interested in her would say.”

 

Keith just slapped his forehead and left to find Pidge, but Lance decided to follow him. Hunk groaned and followed behind Lance.

 

“Look, Lance, I’m really not.”

 

“How should I know?”

 

“Cause I’m NOT.”

 

Keith went to his locker, where Pidge was waiting, and opened it to get his sketchbooks and paint brushes out for art.

 

“You totally are.”

 

“Am not!” Keith snarled, temper rising.

 

“Are too!”

 

Pidge and Hunk just rolled their eyes at each other - they were used to their petty squabbles.

 

“Lance can you shut up! I’m not!” Keith slammed his locker shut.

 

“Are too!”

 

“LANCE I’M NOT INTERESTED IN HER CAUSE I’M GAY!”

 

There was complete silence among his friends. Keith felt the world collapsing around him. He hadn’t ever told anyone except Shiro, cause he was too afraid at what the reaction would be. With tears in his eyes, he left his stunned friends and ran to his art room, not saying a word as he sat down at his table.

Chapter Text

“Hey, you okay Keith?”

 

He only realised he had started subconsciously changing when he noticed his teeth sharpening. He quickly looked inside his bag and took out his emergency spray. Opening his mouth wide, he sprayed the pink liquid inside and immediately felt himself going back to normal. He got out his art supplies and rubbed the water from his eyes. He needed to calm down.

 

Matt handed Keith’s folder to him as he sat down next to him.

 

“Huh, oh yeah I’m fine. Just really tired you know?”

 

Matt laughed as he got out his stuff.

 

“Yeah, Pidge said you went to a party. I’m glad you’re being more social.”

 

Keith smiled at him.

 

“You-uh-you didn’t tell Shiro what Pidge said right?”

 

“No, of course not...but it’s true! Everyone knows you loooooove hiiiiim."

 

Matt slapped Keith with his sketchbook and Keith laughed heartily. Matt always made him feel better. Keith opened his folder, he remembered he had to thank Matt with a coffee later, and got out his A3 portfolio book. His chosen topic was portraits, and he was currently doing a double page spread all about eyes. He opened his sketchbook and ripped out the page he had been doing at home, with various blue biro sketches of eyes. Borrowing some scissors from Matt, he cut around his two favourites and added them onto the page in his portfolio book. Matt glanced over at Keith’s work and smiled.

 

“Hey, those are amazing! Are those meant to be Shiro’s eyes?”

 

Matt pointed to the pair of dark brown eyes Keith had done a while back, with subtle eyeliner wings. Keith nodded.

 

“I’ve almost finished this page actually. I’ve used four kinds of media - biro, charcoal, pencil and watercolour. I think I’ll finish it today with acrylic and turn it in to Professor Ulaz.”

 

Matt agreed.

 

“Yeah, you haven’t turned it in for a while. I think he’ll love the page you did on hands, the one you did with the red flowers and the blood dripping down them was incredible.”

 

Keith embarrassedly thanked him, and got his paints and brushes out. As he started a new pair of eyes, based off Matt’s bright green ones cause he was right next to him, he noticed he had almost finished his portfolio book. It only had roughly ten pages left. When he had finished, he could turn it in for half of his finals grade. He started to blend some greens and blacks together to get Matt’s eye shade correct. He knew his final piece was coming up in two months, and he had no idea what to do yet. Almost the entire class knew exactly what they were going to do for it, even Matt, who usually left things till the last minute. Keith knew he would do a person, but he didn’t know what else to add to make it interesting. Sighing, he started to apply the green shade to the irises he had sketched out.

 

“Are those mine?” Matt beamed.

 

Keith nodded, and could almost see the anime twinkles radiating off Matt.

 

“Woah, you’ve barely even added colour and they look exactly like mine. Might as well just stick a mirror there.”

 

The werewolf snickered.

 

“Stay still and they’ll turn out better.”

 

***

 

Once Keith had finished the eyes, which had turned out better than he expected, he flicked through the pages he hadn’t submitted yet and touched them up. He then gave his portfolio book to Professor Ulaz and pointed out the pages which he hadn’t marked yet. He then grabbed his bag, got his folder and left the art room with Matt.

 

“Ah I’ve almost finished my page pointillism, but all those dots are killing me man.”

 

Keith rolled his eyes.

 

“I told you you’d regret doing a page on it.”

 

“But the landscape looks so good...well if I could finish it by tomorrow it will.”

 

Keith chuckled. He suddenly realised they were heading towards Pidge, Hunk and Lance, so Keith quickly said goodbye to Matt and left college in a different direction.

 

He managed to get home without them catching up to him and he opened the door with a sigh of relief. He flumped down on the sofa and growled angrily. Shiro came over from the kitchen, smelling like burnt..something.

 

“What’s wrong buddy?” Shiro asked as he swung himself over the sofa and plunked down next to Keith.

 

“Did you try to cook Shiro? Honestly, I always tell you to leave it to me cause you end up-”

 

Keith watched as he saw black smoke drifting from the kitchen and the smoke detectors started blaring immediately afterwards. Because their hearing was so sensitive, they both doubled over pressing their hands against their heads.

 

“Ahhrggg! Not again!” Shiro snarled as he stumbled over to the alarm and wacked it till it stopped.

 

Water was streaming from Keith’s eyes as Shiro rushed off to the kitchen to turn off the oven. He rejoined Keith a minute later, rubbing the back off his head.

 

“So what’s for dinner Keith?”

 

Keith laughed and nudged him in the side.

 

“Hey, you never answered my question. What’s up?”

 

“Well, I met another werewolf today. Her name is Allura and she works at Altea Galactic University, like you!”

 

Shiro beamed.

 

“Really Keith? That’s amazing!”

 

“I got her number if you want to chat to her.”

 

Shiro copied it down from Keith’s phone and was about to head back to the kitchen when he noticed Keith had 27 missed calls and 102 unread texts.

 

“Keith...what else happened?”

 

Keith frowned.

 

“I...don’t want to talk about it Shiro. Just let me make dinner, is spaghetti bolognese ok?”

 

Shiro nodded slowly. As he watched Keith leave, he got out his phone and texted Matt.

 

Shiro 16:08

Hey Matt, did you notice anything weird about Keith today?

 

Matt 16:08

I mean he looked really upset after lunch, but he told me he was just tired and he didn’t walk home with Pidge today. Why? Is he ok?

 

Shiro 16:09

He just looked like something was bothering him...do you think I could talk to Pidge quick?

 

Matt 16:10

Yeah, here’s her number: XXXX XXXX XXXX

 

Shiro 16:10

Thanks Matt

 

Shiro put the number in and started a chat with Pidge

 

Pidge 16:12

Who is this?

 

Shiro 16:12

Hi, it’s Keith’s brother Shiro. I’m guessing Matt’s mentioned me before...we used to work at the same coffee bar.



Pidge 16:12

Yeah, he mentions you a lot...Is Keith okay?

 

Shiro 16:13

That’s actually why I wanted to talk to you. Did something happen at school?

 

Pidge 16:14

Well...my friend Lance was winding him up a bit, but they always bicker so I didn’t think anything of it. He was saying that Keith had a crush on this girl Allura, and Keith must have gotten really annoyed cause he just yelled that he was gay and left. I think he wasn’t really ready to tell us yet.

 

Shiro processed the message for a good three minutes.

 

Shiro 16:17

Oh…

 

Pidge 16:17

Can you tell him to call me? I really need to talk to him and he’s been ignoring us all day. If I can’t get a hold of him tell him we love him and that I still want that game of Halo tonight.

 

Shiro 16:19

Okay sure. Thanks for telling me Pidge.

 

Shiro closed his eyes and sighed. He knew Keith would be feeling scared that his friends would hate him. In high school, Keith had come out to his friends, and they all turned on him and bullied him. Shiro had been forced to pull Keith out of school and homeschool him. He knew Keith would be thinking his friends now would do the same.

 

“Keith, I know what happened. Come here.”

 

Keith slunked into the living room, wearing an apron and looking angry.

 

“It isn’t any of your business! You shouldn’t be investigating my life like this!”

 

Shiro just looked at him and opened his arms wide. Without thinking what he was doing, Keith ran into his brother’s arms and started sobbing.

 

“I don’t know why I said it!” he cried “I don’t want them to hate me!”

 

Shiro rubbed the back of Keith’s head and hugged him tighter. He sat down on the sofa with Keith still clinging to his torso.

 

“Listen, I talked to Pidge, and she said they were all really worried about you, and that they love you. She also says you better be playing Halo with her tonight.”

 

Keith looked up at Shiro and sniffed.

 

“Really?”

 

Shiro nodded. Keith smiled weakly.

 

“Trust Pidge to hold a Halo grudge.”

 

Shiro laughed and pulled Keith up off the sofa.

 

“Come on, I’ll help you make dinner. I promise I won’t do anything you don’t tell me to.”

 

Keith laughed through his tears and wiped them away.

 

“Fine.”

Chapter Text

After they had eaten dinner, Keith went to his room and switched on his phone. His eyes widened at the amount of missed calls and texts he had. As he was flicking through them, he noticed that Lance had texted, which was really odd. He unlocked his phone and looked at the message.

 

Lance 16:10

Hey man, I’m so sorry about today, I was just joking around and I know you probably hate me right now. I’m still pretty annoyed at Nyma so I just kind of vented out my frustration that it's impossible for me to find anyone good. So, you’re gay huh? That’s new. But I support you 100% don’t worry! In fact...well nobody knows this yet, not even my family so don’t say anything, but I’m actually bi. So what I’m trying to say is that you’re not alone...and I like dicks too lmao. I think me and you should turn over a new leaf, cause you’re a great guy and I’d like to know you as a friend and not a “rival”. So, I get it if you never want to talk to me again, but what I’m trying to say is please do? I friggin hope you can forgive me man. Lance

 

Keith choked up with emotion as he read the text, tears forming in his eyes. He blinked them away determinedly and smiled. He was amazed that Lance would open up to him at all, let alone that much. He texted back immediately.

 

Keith 17:20

Hi Lance...thanks for opening up to me like that. I’d love to turn over a new leaf and for the record, I don’t hate you. I might consider talking to you again if you buy me breakfast and a coffee tomorrow at Balmera Coffee house at 7:00?

 

Lance 17:20

Omfg you actually answered! I was so afraid you’d never talk to me again. I’m down for Balmera tomorrow yeah. I’m glad you don’t hate me...but you really should. See you tomorrow Mullet.

Keith laughed and threw his phone to the side. He logged onto Halo and Pidge’s voice immediately blurted from his headphones as soon as he connected to the voice channel.

 

“Keith are you ok? Shiro texted me and we are all so worried but Lance said he’s gonna talk to you and-”

 

“It’s fine Pidge don’t worry. I’m okay now. I just freaked out cause people didn’t really accept me when I came out in highschool.”

 

“Aw man I’m sorry. We all love you, and Hunk said he’s gonna make his famous cookies for you.”

 

Keith smiled.

 

“I’ll be upset everyday if he’ll bring in a batch of those cookies for me! Wait, they aren’t chocolate chip right?”

 

Pidge snickered.

 

“Of course not, since you seem to have a weird phobia of it. They’re peanut butter and banana or something.”

 

Keith squealed excitedly.

 

“Can’t wait!”

 

Pidge laughed.

 

“Ready for me to smash you?”

 

Keith grinned.

 

“In your dreams gremlin.”

 

***

 

Keith breathed in the crisp winter air as he walked towards Balmera Coffee House. He wore a coat to blend in, but werewolves were perfectly happy in T-Shirts in winter. As he got closer, he saw Lance waiting for him outside, wrapped up in what looked like everything from his wardrobe. Keith laughed as he approached him.

 

“You cold?” he joked.

 

“You aren’t?” Lance retorted, shocked that Keith was only wearing a thin coat.

 

Lance was wearing a hoodie with a thick coat on top, a beanie, two scarfs and some thick wooly gloves. Keith took in this strange appearance and snorted.

 

“What? I’m from Cuba, you can’t expect me to be able to cope with this.”

 

Keith raised his eyebrows.

 

“I-did not know that.”

 

Lance gestured to go inside and he then followed Keith indoors. It was relatively quiet as it was early and still dark outside but there were several students and working adults there. Keith went up to the counter and ordered a black coffee and a bacon bap. He was about to tap his credit card when Lance’s hand stopped him.

 

“I’m paying, remember?”

 

Keith shook his head.

 

“Lance I was joking you know.”

 

Lance took Keith’s credit card off him.

 

“Nope nope nope, I’m paying.”

 

Lance ordered a mocha with extra cream and chocolate curls and a pain au chocolat. Keith rolled his eyes, of course Lance would get the sweetest thing possible. They found a little booth at the back and waited for their orders.

 

“So, you’re gay.”

 

“And you’re bi…”

 

They both stared at each other for a few seconds then burst out into laughter.

 

“Wow, we really don’t know how to start a conversation do we?” Keith snorted.

 

Lance shook his head in exasperation.

 

“We haven’t really made an effort to get to know each other over the last two years have we?”

 

Keith agreed. They both leaned back as their breakfast was delivered.

 

“Mmm, smell that bacon!” Keith sighed.

 

“Mmmm smell the chocolate!” Lance laughed as he shoved the pain au chocolat in Keith’s face.

 

Keith physically cringed back and gagged and Lance widened his eyes, trying to hold in his laughter.

 

“Don’t tell me you don’t like chocolate! I don’t think we can be friends if thats the case.”

 

Keith admitted he was 'allergic'. Lance looked grief-stricken.

 

“You’ll never know the joys of nutella, or Hershey’s or Toblerone or…man that’s rough.”

 

Keith shrugged and took a sip of his coffee.

 

“I got other things.”

 

He pictured himself and Shiro hunting rabbits together at night in the forest and smiled. Lance told Keith he couldn’t imagine living without chocolate as he took a huge sip of his mocha. Keith just sighed and opened his school bag.

 

“What you doing?”

 

“Getting out my sketchbook. I’ve got to finish up part of my next project or I won’t finish this part in class today. My professor took in my portfolio book so I’ve had to do some at home.”

 

Lance’s eyes brightened up.

 

“Oooooooh. What are you focusing on now?”

 

“I’m doing a double page spread all about colour...I’m focusing on red at the moment, but I’m gonna do all the colours. My chosen topic is portraits so I’ve got to do something with part of a human related to that colour. I thought I’d do red flowers coming out of a mouth to start, but I need at least three other red things to add to that part of the page.”

 

Lance looked impressed.

 

“That’s a lot of work on top of Coran’s astrophysics homework. You know, your face lights up when you talk about art. It’s cool.”

 

Keith blushed as he started to sketch out the flowers. Lance watched him while sipping his mocha, smiling softly.

 

“Can I look through your portfolio book at school?”

 

Keith looked up in surprise.

 

“Why? Nobody’s ever asked that before.”

 

“Well, you’re really good so I wanna say everything else you’ve done.”

 

Keith nodded shyly and took another sip of his coffee.

 

“Okay, sure. It’ll have to be after college though.”

 

Lance beamed and thanked him vigorously.

 

When Keith and Lance had finished their meals, they packed up an left. They shared small talk on the way to school, Lance shivering in cold the whole way. When they arrived, Pidge rushed up to Keith and hugged him tightly, followed by Hunk carrying a box of peanut butter and banana cookies.

 

“WE LOVE YOU!” they cried.

 

Keith smiled and hugged them back. Hunk handed Keith the cookies and grinned.

 

“I wish we had astrophysics today, we don’t have any classes together till tomorrow,” Hunk groaned.

 

Keith frowned.

 

“Aw I forgot! Well, your cookies will remind me of you in Art and History.”

 

Hunk laughed and patted Keith on the back.

 

“See you at lunch!” he said as him and Pidge went off to Engineering together.

 

“What have you got today?” Keith asked Lance as they walked towards his Art classroom.

 

“Music and Spanish.”

 

“What? How do I not know you did Music? What instrument do you play?”

 

“Guitar, my Abuela taught me when I was young and I’ve been learning ever since. I have to write a song for my final and I haven’t got a clue what to base it on.”

 

“That’s the same with me for my art final.”

 

When they got to Keith’s classroom, Lance said goodbye and waved as he headed onwards to his music room. Keith went in and sat down next to Matt, getting ready for his art lesson.

Chapter Text

“Fuuuuuuuuuuck!” sighed Lance as he joined the lunch table, where Pidge, Keith and Hunk were already sitting.

 

“What’s up?” Hunk asked while helping himself to one of the cookies he had made for Keith.

 

“Well, we are meant to hand in the first draft of our finals song next week, and I still don’t have a fucking idea! I’m gonna be so dead this weekend.”

 

“I can help you if you want?” Hunk offered.

 

“Uh uh uh!” Pidge said wagging her finger “We have to work on our finals too. We’ve got to start the basic sketches and programming for our final.”

 

Hunk slapped his forehead.

 

“Aww man, I forgot. Sorry Lance.”

 

Pidge smiled a gremlin smile and elbowed Keith.

 

“Why don’t you help Lance?”

 

Keith stared at her blankly.

 

“Me? I’ve got a lot of art to catch up on. Professor Ulaz marked my stuff and I’ve got to make corrections and improvements.”

 

“Yeah, but Lance could still come over and work while you do your art. I’m sure you can help him while you doodle.”

 

Keith sighed. Pidge did have a point...and Keith kinda wanted to hear him play the guitar.

 

“Fine. You up for it Lance?”

 

Lance nodded unsurely.

 

“Okay then, come over on Saturday at 12:00.”

 

Pidge shared a glance with Hunk.

 

“I told you I could get them to get along,” she whispered.

 

Keith, with his werewolf hearing, heard this, but stopped himself from making a snarky comment. Maybe it would be for the best to spend time getting to know Lance. Lance rolled his eyes at Keith, but smiled and dug into his pizza slice.

 

***

At the weekend

 

 

Keith shot upright when he heard a knock at the door. Shiro looked at him questioningly, but shrugged and continued to work on his laptop. Keith quickly finished getting dressed (he just put on his favourite red hoodie) and ran to the door.

 

“Hey man! I brought some tacos cause I walked past tacobell…” Lance said, smiling. He was wrapped up in his many layers once again, and he was wearing earmuffs with his beanie today. They had blue lions on them.

 

“Oh, thanks! I haven’t had tacos in ages.”

 

Keith let Lance inside and offered to take his coat, beanie, earmuffs, two scarfs, gloves and shoes. Once Lance had rid himself of them, he put down his guitar case and sighed.

 

“Nice place.”

 

Keith snorted.

 

“It’s okay I guess. It’s a little small.”

 

Lance widened his eyes.

 

“It’s huge compared to me and Hunk’s place.”

 

As the two had their conversation, they didn’t notice Shiro stealthily sneaking up on them.

 

“So Keith,” he exclaimed suddenly making Keith and Lance yelp in surprise “Who’s your friend?”

 

“Fuck you Shiro, that’s not funny,” Keith gasped, holding onto the wall for support.

 

“I’m Lance, Keith offered to help me draft a song for my music final while he does his portfolio.”

 

Shiro raised an eyebrow.

 

“Huh, you didn’t tell me this charming young man was coming over, Keith.”

 

Keith rolled his eyes.

 

“Leave me alone Shiro.”

 

His older brother held up his hands in mock defeat.

 

“Okay, okay. Have fun you two. If you want any snacks, Keith has a hidden stash in his room.”

 

“You know about that?” Keith snapped at Shiro.

 

His brother just slowly backed away to his laptop and didn’t answer. Keith slapped his forehead and headed towards his room, Lance snickering behind him.

 

“You’re brother is awesome.”

 

Keith grinned.

 

“Sometimes.”

 

He gestured for Lance to sit down as he got out his art stuff. Lance opened his guitar cause and carefully took out his prized possession - his blue acoustic guitar. He strummed it once and twisted the top to tune it. Keith smiled to himself as he started his corrections to his work.

 

“So, what have you got so far?” he asked as he mixed his watercolours.

 

Lance bit his lip.

 

“Not much. I usually just play and see what Blue comes up with, but she’s not being very helpful at the moment.”

 

“Blue?”

 

“My guitar. She’s not giving me a lot of inspiration.”

 

“You named your guitar?”

 

Lance gave Keith a death stare.

 

“A good musician always names his instruments. My abuela taught me that and Blue hasn’t failed me once...well until now.”

 

Keith snorted but didn’t say anything. He started to repaint the shading on his page about facial expressions.

 

“Okay, what things do you like?”

 

“Hmm, my family I guess....and the ocean. I also love my Tio’s cooking. My friends...music...yeah.”

 

Keith sighed.

 

“I mean you could write a song about you playing your guitar by the ocean?”

 

Lance shook his head.

 

“I tried that already. I need to base my song on someone else...it never works when I focus on myself. What things do you like?”

 

Keith stopped painting for a second.

 

“M-me? Well...uh...I don’t know. Maybe...peanut butter?”

 

Lance laughed.

 

“I can’t write a song about peanut butter man.”

 

Keith rolled his eyes.

 

“Okay fine. I know it sounds corny but I love the moon...and just night in general. You can be whatever you want and nobody is watching.”

 

Lance grinned. He got out his pen and paper and started jotting notes.

 

“What else?”

 

Keith turned over to his newest page on colours. He smiled at the drawing he had been sketching when he had had breakfast with Lance.

 

“Red...and maybe blue. And ink and paints...I don’t know, art stuff?”

 

Lance kept writing stuff down. He suddenly raised his hand to find lots of black fur on it.

 

“Do you have a dog?”

 

Keith froze. He had a minor anxiety attack and searched for possible options in his brain.

 

“Um...yes. He’s at the vet at the moment...he ate something dodgy.”

 

“Aw I hope he gets better.”

 

Keith nodded and breathed out a sigh of relief.

 

“Okay, I think I’ve got enough here.”

 

Lance started to strum some chords and wrote the notes down, humming to himself. The werewolf grinned and continued his work. After around half an hour, they both dug into their taco’s. Lance got Keith the meat feast one, which he greatly approved of.

 

“What have you got so far?” Keith asked around a mouthful of beef mince.

 

Lance put his taco down and picked up Blue.

 

“There aren’t any words yet...I need to get the right tune first....but here’s what I have.”

 

Lance strummed a few chords to get himself ready, then played what he already had for Keith.

 

It was beautiful. Lance had his eyes closed and was playing so smoothly, without any places where he faltered or stopped. It was quite a delicate and slow song, but Lance filled it with meaning. His fingers brushed the strings with skill and love, it was obvious how much the guitar meant to him. Keith was completely taken by the song, and hummed along with Lance as he played. When he finished, Keith was utterly speechless.

 

“I-that...that was amazing Lance.”

 

Lance blushed.

 

“I mean...that’s not the final result...and that’s not the whole song...and I’ve got to do all the lyrics still-”

 

“Lance, I loved it!”

 

Lance grinned at him.

 

“Thanks.”

 

They finished off their tacos and got back to work. Keith kept getting distracted as he listened to Lance strumming and working out his song. He had finished off all his corrections and was now adding to his page on colours. He had already done red, orange, yellow and green, so he decided to do Lance strumming his guitar for blue. He got out his pencils and started to sketch out Lance’s shape, spinning around on his chair to face him. He was just starting to sketch in his guitar, when Lance decided to peak at what Keith was doing.

 

“What ya sketching there?” he asked, stretching his head round the side of the book.

 

Keith immediately clutched it tight against his chest and shook his head.

 

“Nope! You can’t see till its done!”

 

Lance pouted and showed Keith his puppy eyes.

 

“I played you my song and it wasn’t done.”

 

Keith was adamant.

 

“Art is different.”

 

Lance gave up and went back to his guitar. He guessed that Keith was sketching him because he kept pulling stupid faces and poses which made Keith grin and hold in his laughter.

 

“Stop or I’ll mess up!” he snorted.

 

Lance said he’d stop, but he continued to pull faces while he plucked the strings on Blue. Keith was eventually happy with the outline and got his watercolours out. He carefully mixed the colours together to get the perfect shade of blue for Blue, or Lance would probably never forgive him. As he was painting, Lance looked for Keith’s “secret snack stash” which was just the second drawer of his desk. He bit into a twinkie and winked at Keith when he noticed he had found it. Keith snarled at him and continued painting.

 

“Ha! You just snarled! Going back to your primitive caveman days.”

 

Keith started to sweat nervously and he fake laughed.

 

“Yes, I-uh-sure am ahahah.”

 

Lance looked at him a little suspiciously, but shrugged it off.

 

After an hour, Keith finished his painting and Lance was at a music block.

 

“Okay man, I think I’d better go for now. I can’t get any further right now.”

 

“Okay, I’ve finished what I was working on if you want to see?”

 

Lance lit up and scrambled over the bed to get to where Keith was sitting. Keith turned round his book to show Lance the portrait of him. Lance’s jaw dropped.

 

“That’s so life-like! And Blue looks perfect! Wow Keith! I mean I knew I was perfect and beautiful, but you’ve like tripled that! Thanks!”

 

Keith smiled and blushed.

 

“No problem. It would’ve been done much faster if you hadn’t done those stupid poses though.”

 

“Whatever mullet. I think they improved the painting.”

 

They laughed together as Keith got Lance’s things for him. Lance wrapped up in all his stuff and Keith handed him Blue, safely in her case.

 

“I’ll see you on Monday then,” Lance said at the door.

 

“See you Monday, thanks for everything today. I owe you tacos.”

 

Lance snorted as he left the apartment, and Keith slid down to the floor when he shut the door.

 

“Fuck,” he thought.

Chapter Text

At College on Tuesday

 

Keith thanked Shiro for dropping him off and ran over to his friends, swinging his art folder back and forth. Pidge waved at him as she saw him coming, but Keith suddenly stopped in his tracks: he smelt Allura. He looked to his left and saw her crouching behind a tree, looking panicked. Keith grinned at his friends and gestured for them to go on without him. Lance frowned at this, but he continued on with Hunk and Pidge.

 

“What’s up? What are you doing here?” Keith said when he got to her.

 

Allura pulled him down and pressed a finger to his lips.

 

“Shh! Be quiet or they could hear us!”

 

Keith stared at her.

 

“Who?” he whispered.

 

Allura looked him in the eye.

 

“We’ve smelt the Galra on our territory, and there are quite a lot of them. There are at least six of them. And...Lotor’s with them.”

 

Keith felt weighed down and clutched the tree for support.

 

“L-Lotor? Zarkon’s son? He’s the heir to the Galran throne! What’s he doing all the way out here? I swear the main pack is based in New York.”

 

Allura shrugged.

 

“We don’t know. We’ve been tracking them for a few days and they are staying just outside of the city. My Alpha wanted all known werewolves in the area to know that they are here. Please look out for yourself, okay? And look out for your friends too. They take advantage of humans to get to werewolves.”

 

Keith nodded and pressed his hand to Allura’s shoulder.

 

“Thanks for letting me know. If you need me or Shiro to help patrol just call us.”

 

Allura smiled and stood up. Without another word, she transformed into her wolf form and pelted off through the trees. Keith turned around and walked back towards the school, frowning. Lotor was worse than bad news.

 

Keith was incredibly distracted in Astrophysics. Coran called on him multiple times and he didn’t notice, let alone answer. Pidge, Hunk and Lance kept giving each other concerned looks and whispered to each other the whole lesson. After the lesson, Lance followed Keith to his locker.

 

“Hey mullet, are you okay?”

 

Keith ignored him and put his astrophysics books away.

 

“Come on, you can tell me. You look really distracted, and I haven’t seen you smile once today.”

 

Lance pulled up the corners of his mouth into a goofy grin which made Keith laugh.

 

“I’m just a little stressed out, and I’ve got a lot on my mind. Don’t worry about it ok?”

 

“Ok…”

 

Lance didn’t believe him for a second. They went to lunch together, where Keith was a little more lively and talkative, but it was obvious that there was something bothering him. Pidge and Hunk also asked if he was fine, but he just said the same thing he said to Lance. Eventually, class resumed, and Keith grabbed his art folder and headed off. But he just couldn’t do anything in art. He tried to finish off his colour page with some black things, but he just kept messing up and rubbing out everything. He gave up and left class, Matt worriedly watching him go. As Keith was getting ready to leave, he remembered something Allura had said.

 

“And look out for your friends too….”

 

Keith glanced over at them, all chatting by Hunk’s locker.

 

“Hey guys, want to go to Balmera coffee? My treat.”

 

They all looked at each other, looked back at him, then nodded in unison.

 

“Great, let’s go then.”

 

They all left (well Lance ran back to grab his blue lion earmuffs cause his ears were too cold) and Keith made an effort to appear untroubled and social. When they arrived, they got a booth at the side and Keith took all their orders. Lance ordered a frappe-balmera (the sweetest thing on the menu), Hunk wanted a hot chocolate and Pidge asked for a green tea. Keith got his usual black coffee and he brought all the drinks back with a forced smile.

 

“Enjoy everyone!”

 

Keith was just taking the first sip when the door opened letting in a blast of winter air. The wind carried over to where they were and Keith inhaled deeply. His eyes opened wide and he slammed his coffee cup onto the saucer. A tall, tanned man strutted into the store, with two other men following him. He was dressed in a thin white shirt and jeans, making it obvious he didn’t feel the cold. His long, pristine white hair tumbled down his back and reaching his hips. The man smiled, flashing his long canines.

 

“Lotor!” Keith cried as he spun around.

 

Lotor sniffed the air and his eyes rolled back into his head. A wide grin spread on his face as he skipped over to Keith, with his cronies following after him. Hunk, Pidge and Lance gave each other anxious looks as Keith stood up to face Lotor.

 

“Hello there Keith,” he laughed, cupping Keith’s face with his hand.

 

His fingers brushed Keith lip and he smirked.

 

“How are your parents?” Lotor said innocently.

 

Keith growled at him.

 

“What are you doing here?”

 

Lotor looked at his followers, who came closer to Keith, cracking their knuckles.

 

“Just scoping out the place. Who knows, I might want to stay here for a while.”

 

Lotor wrapped his hand around Keith’s waist and pulled him close.

 

“Your human friends are nice,” he whispered “It would be shame if something awful happened to them.”

 

Keith knew Lotor could smell his fear scent as he widened his eyes.

 

“What do you want from me?” he growled.

 

Lotor chuckled and brushed his fingers through Keith’s hair, pulling him ever closer.

 

“I know your heritage. Your mother used to be part of our pack. We have suffered in numbers recently, some of our members have joined the rebellious Marmora pack. I’m asking you and your brother to join us.”

 

Keith laughed dryly.

 

“Never.”

 

Lotor raised his eyebrow and pointed a sharp fingernail at Keith’s neck as his cronies loomed ever closer.

 

“You lucky to be extended an invite. We usually only invite werewolves with pure galran blood, while you two are only half blood. Still, some is better than nothing.”

 

“My mother left after she saw what you were doing! How dare you call me Galran! I am Marmoran.”

 

Lotor laughed and licked his lips.

 

“You’re stubborn. I like it.”

 

Keith slapped Lotor’s hand away from his face and pulled away from him.

 

“Get away from here.”

 

Lotor grinned and bared his canines.

 

“I’m doing no harm. All I’m saying is to consider...or your cute little tanned friend can answer for you.”

 

Keith looked back at Lance in panic. When he looked back, Lotor was saluting him from the door and it shut with a slam. Keith sat down and stayed completely still, tears forming in his eyes. Lance got up and ran over to him, taking Keith’s hands in his.

 

“Hey, who was that jerk? What did he say to you?”

 

Keith just scrunched up his eyes and burst into tears as all his memories of Lotor came flooding back. Lotor had murdered his parents right in front of him, and now he was back, threatening to kill his friends. Lance watched Keith cry in shock, he wasn’t the kind of person to cry. Without hesitation, he wrapped his arms around Keith and pulled him close.

 

“Hey, it’s gonna be okay.”

 

Pidge typed a number into her phone and Hunk quickly tidied up all their stuff. Keith just continued to cry all over Lance, who was rubbing soothing circles into Keith’s back. They were creating quite a scene, but the staff at the coffee house were doing a good job of diverting the customers’ attention because there was an angry person yelling at the cashier. The number Pidge called answered after two attempts.

 

“Hello, this is Commanding Officer Takashi Shirogane. What can-”

 

“Shiro, it’s Keith he’s-”

 

“I’m on my way, where are you?”

Chapter Text

The gang had managed to get Keith outside in the parking lot and were waiting for Shiro to arrive. Hunk was feeding Keith his emergency stash of cookies, which seemed to be doing the trick. Lance was biting his nails anxiously, looking around the corners in case Lotor came back. Pidge was sitting on the floor, fiddling with Keith’s shoelaces. Finally, a car pulled up and Shiro shot out, running towards them.

 

“Shiro?” Keith croaked as he was embraced tightly.

 

“Hey buddy. What happened?”

 

Keith gave Shiro a look, and he froze.

 

“What? He’s here? And you- he talked to you?”

 

Shiro rubbed his hand over the scar on his face nervously as Keith nodded.

 

“Shiro, he said...he said he wants us to join them. And if we didn’t, he’d hurt them.”

 

Keith gestured towards his friends waiting anxiously behind him. Shiro pulled his hair in frustration.

 

“Fuck. Fuuuuuuck. Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck.”

 

He punched his fist into the wall, then recoiled muffling his pain with his other fist. Lance ran up to them.

 

“Hey is everything ok? What’s up with that jerk?” Lance asked anxiously.

 

Keith smiled faintly at the tanned boy.

 

“Don’t worry Lance. I just got a shock after seeing him. He’s...not a nice person.”

 

Shiro nodded.

 

“Look, me and Keith need to go. I’ve got to sort this out. See you around.”

 

As Shiro headed towards the car, Keith halted.

 

“Shiro, they’re not safe unprotected!” he hissed so quietly that only his brother could hear.

 

“That’s why we’re gonna find him first,” he hissed back as he got into the car.

 

Keith’s snarled in satisfaction, then turned around to face a worried Lance.

 

“Look, thanks for everything. I’ll be fine. Promise me you’ll look out for that jerk ok? Don’t engage or do anything cause he’s dangerous. Tell Pidge and Hunk too.”

 

Lance frowned.

 

“Why does it sound like you’re not going to be around?”

 

Keith laughed awkwardly.

 

“I’m not going anywhere, okay sharpshooter? I’ve got to help you finish your song, I’m not just gonna disappear. I’m just going home to cool off a bit.”

 

Lance smiled softly.

 

“I’ll see you tomorrow then.”

 

Keith clasped Lance’s hand.

 

“See you.”

 

As Keith headed towards the car, he prayed he would see Lance again. Lotor was capable of killing, but he wasn’t going to kill Lance. Keith would put himself between them a million times over.

 

***

 

Keith strapped in and growled.

 

“Let’s go find him!”

 

Shiro looked at him sternly.

 

“No. I’m going to find him. I’m dropping you with Allura so she can protect you.”

 

Keith snarled in anger.

 

“I’m not a pup! I’m coming with you! I need to protect my friends, and avenge our parents. I’m a Marmoran, let me have this!”

 

Shiro stopped at the traffic lights and growled.

 

“I’m not losing another family member because of Lotor’s actions.”

 

“You don’t think I feel the same way?” Keith snapped.

 

Shiro gave him a soft look.

 

“Better me than you. And I’m much stronger than I was when I was twelve Keith. Lotor was an adult then, and I’m an adult now. I’ll be leaving him with more than a few lost teeth this time.”

 

Keith bared his teeth at Shiro.

 

“I’m coming and you can’t stop me! I want to protect them!”

 

“And I said no!”

 

Shiro slammed on the breaks when they got to Altea University. He locked Keith in the car and ran inside to find Allura. Keith furrowed his eyebrows and snarled under his breath. He couldn’t let Shiro die. He’d have nobody left. No-one. He had given up on trying to get out when he heard a noise. He tuned his hearing onto it and his face fell. It was a victory howl, the kind one makes when they’ve caught prey. It was a chorus of three werewolves, all of which he had met earlier.

 

Lotor hadn’t hesitated for a second. He knew they’d refuse. He knew he needed a bargaining chip. Keith panicked and struggled to get out while thoughts of despair clanged around his head.

 

“It can’t be...he can’t have caught...it won’t be him...I need to get out...what if they’re dead...if I’m already too late...I need to get out...where are they...don’t be dead...I need to get out...Shiro let me out please...you don’t understand...I have to help them…no...no...I need to get out!”

 

With a huge surge of energy he managed to kick open the door. He fell onto the pavement with a crack and scrambled to his feet. Without second thought he ran as fast as he could towards the direction the noise had sounded. The world was a blur as he crashed through pedestrians and leapt over benches and bins. He almost got run over twice as he raced over roads and swerved away from bikes. The howl sounded again, and it was much closer. He knew he was the only one who could recognise its tones, but a few people were looking around in confusion at the odd sound. As he kept speeding towards the noise, an old warehouse suddenly came into view behind a few buildings. Keith instantly knew he was there. He could feel it. He came to a halt in front of a large barbed wire fence which was blocking the way into the warehouse. Keith heard the howl once more, echoing off the rusty panels of the warehouse. He caught his breath, and hooked his fingers into the wire mesh. Grunting, he managed to slowly climb his way up to the top, where the barbed wire was.

 

Shit.

 

Trying not to think about it, he just about cleared the barbed wire when he jumped, but his jeans snagged in a part of it.

 

“Fuck!” he snarled as he smashed to the ground with a part of his trousers missing. He got up shakily and wiped the blood from his nose. Keith cursed again and pinched his nose as he made his way towards the warehouse.

Chapter Text

Shiro knocked on the door of Allura’s office rapidly. She opened the door looking worried - she could smell his fear scent from a mile away.

 

“What happened?”

 

Shiro growled.

 

“It’s Lotor, he’s come to recruit me and Keith into the Galran pack. He’s threatening to hurt those around us if we refuse, so I’ve decided to go and face him.”

 

Allura put her hand to her mouth.

 

“Shiro you can’t! He’ll kill you!”

 

“Better me than Keith.”

 

Allura gave him a hard stare.

 

“Don’t you dare throw away your life like this! What do you think will happen if you die? He’ll come for Keith, and he’ll be completely unprotected. You have to stay with him.”

 

Shiro jaw dropped.

 

“God I wasn’t thinking straight...I guess you’re right Allura. I need to think this out first-”

 

They both froze when they heard a very quiet sound coming from the window in Allura’s office. Running inside, they strained their hearing. It was a howl.

 

“No-it...it can’t be!” Allura yelped covering her ears.

“Lotor’s got someone!” Shiro growled.

 

They glanced at each other and nodded then jumped from the window in unison, landing squarely on the ground. Shiro dashed towards his car with Allura close behind him. He came to a halt when he saw the door wide open, and Keith missing.

 

“What? No! Where’s Keith?”

 

He scented the air and found Keith’s trail. He smelt his overpowering anger and fear.

 

“I’ve got to go after him.”

 

“I’ll be close behind with backup, I’ve got to find my Alpha, Romelle.”

 

They dipped their heads at each other then parted ways.

 

“I’m coming Keith!” Shiro said through gritted teeth, hoping he wasn’t too late as he raced after his brother’s scent trail.

 

***

 

Keith snuck into the warehouse, and slunk into the shadows behind some huge metal canisters. As silently as possible, he made his way around them, trying to get sight of Lotor.

 

Footsteps.

 

The werewolf crouched low and tucked in his limbs. The figure’s shadow touched the tips of his shoes as he strided past.

 

“Do you think he’s here yet, master?”

 

Keith heard an ominous laugh.

 

“Time will tell Ezor, time will tell.”

 

It was definitely Lotor. Keith held back a snarl as he heard the older werewolf talking to his followers. On all fours, he crept further into the shadows and stood up behind a large metal crate. He pulled himself on top of it and kept low. He scanned the room for Lotor, and spotted him right in the centre. He was accompanied by six others, two of which were slowly patrolling around the warehouse with machetes. Keith gulped. Lotor was fiddling with his nails and was rocking a chair back and forth with his foot.

 

“Hey there,” a voice behind Keith whispered in his ear.

 

Fuck. Seven others.

 

Keith spun around and kicked the person hard in the stomach, and they fell off the crate with a thud. All of Lotor’s followers suddenly turned towards him, and grinned when they spotted him crouching on the crate. Keith leapt off and scrambled away from the person he’d kicked onto the floor. Everything was a blur as he tried to find somewhere to hide, but he knew it would be useless, they would scent him out with ease. He aimed for a box and was about to crawl into it when Lotor himself blocked the way. Keith turned around and saw the two guards with their machetes at the ready. Growling, Keith held a defensive stance.

 

“Where are they?” he snarled.

 

“Where are who?” Lotor replied innocently as he slowly inched towards Keith.

 

“You know who! Nobody would howl about catching prey this far into the city! Who have you caught?”

 

Lotor cackled.

 

“Young werewolves are so easily fooled. I have nobody, it’s far too much effort to catch them, so I decided to lure you in here with a “victory howl”.”

 

Keith’s face fell.

 

“You’re lying.”

 

Lotor walked up to him and traced Keith’s chin with his finger.

 

“The truth hurts, Keith.”

 

Lotor laughed and bared his teeth.

 

“So, have you changed your mind yet? Will you join the Galra, or not?”

 

“Never,” Keith responded with tears in his eyes “Just kill me and get it over with.”

 

Lotor laughed and pulled Keith close, licking his lips.

 

“What fighting talk! No, I don’t think I’ll kill you yet. It was very brave of you to come here after all.”

 

He winked at his guards behind Keith and they snickered. One of them came up and handed a machete to Lotor.

 

“Thank you Zethrid.”

 

He put the machete to Keith’s neck and walked him over to the centre of the room, his followers surrounding him in a circle. He released Keith and kicked him over with his foot.

“I don’t think it’s fair for me to kill you without you having a chance first,” Lotor said, grinning.

 

Keith growled at him.

 

“So, give it your all. I promise none of my friends will interfere.”

 

Keith glanced at Lotor’s cronies venomously. He watched as Lotor crouched down and turned into his wolf form. He was a colossal white wolf, with yellow eyes, and his fur was sleek and shining. Keith got down on his knees and turned into his own form - a black wolf with purple eyes. Growling, he began to circle Lotor, who looked relaxed and even slightly amused. He launched himself forwards, trying to aim a vicious swipe at Lotor’s neck, but the other werewolf stopped Keith’s paw with his own and slammed it to the floor. Keith jumped back and snarled, saliva frothing at his lips.

 

“Is that all you’ve got?”

 

Keith launched forwards again, this time trying to jump on top of Lotor to pin him down. The white wolf spun around on his back and dug his claws into Keith’s belly as he attempted this, ripping out chunks of fur and flesh. Keith screamed in pain and lunged forwards to bite Lotor’s paw, but again, he missed. Lotor flipped Keith onto the floor and pinned him down, claws digging into his shoulders. Keith wriggled and squirmed, panting with effort and his eyes glazed with pain.

 

“You’re pathetic! There was no point in you even trying.”

 

Keith growled in frustration and pushed upwards with all his might, sending Lotor flying. He landed on his side with a grunt, and got up looking villanous. Keith shook his head to clear his vision and ran up to pounce on Lotor. The other werewolf slid under Keith and tripped him with a paw, causing him to slide on the floor.

 

Lotor was humiliating him while killing him.

 

He tried to push himself up, but his paws failed him and he wobbled onto his side. His breathing got heavier as the pain became unbearable. Lotor approached him, laughing. He placed a claw to his throat and brushed Keith’s nose with his tail.

 

“This reminds me of when I killed your parents,” he sighed.

“They were helpless, just like you. Say hello from me when you see them.”

 

Keith bared his teeth and growled as he felt Lotor’s claws start to dig into his neck. He regretted ever coming to the stupid warehouse. He regretted the argument he’d had with Shiro. He regretted not knowing Lance properly for longer. He regretted letting his parents down. He shut his eyes, ready for the blow that would end it all.

 

***

 

BANG.

 

Shiro crashed through the window of the warehouse, already in wolf form. Everyone turned around to face him, shocked. Lotor didn’t move, still holding his claw to Keith’s throat.

 

“Don’t move!” he snarled.

 

Shiro stopped and widened his eyes when he saw Keith slumped on his side, bleeding from his chest and shoulders. His black fur was clotted with blood and he was barely breathing. He then saw Lotor’s claw against his brother’s throat.

 

“Don’t move! Or he dies.”

 

Shiro sheathed his claws and looked away in defeat. Lotor grinned and flicked his tail at his followers. Three of them slunk into their wolf forms and raced towards him, teeth bared. Shiro held a defensive position and looked for somewhere to escape as they surrounded him. He had no time to react when one of them leapt on top of him and pinned him down, and the others held down his arms and muzzle. The one holding his muzzle traced his scar with their claw and smiled.

 

“I remember you! I gave you that scar long ago. I’ll leave you with worse this time.”

 

Shiro widened his eyes. Sendak, Lotor’s right hand man. Sendak dug his claws into Shiro’s muzzle and snarled as he turned his focus to Lotor, seeing what he would do. The white wolf was watching Keith with interest as he tried to push himself up once more. Keith managed it this time, and looked towards Shiro in shock.

 

“Shiro! Leave him alone! Don’t hurt him, kill me not him!”

 

Lotor laughed. He pounced on top of Keith and pushed him down again.

 

“Don’t speak out of place Keith,” he whispered into Keith’s ear.

 

Ignoring the bigger wolf, Keith wriggled free and turned around to swipe at Lotor’s face. He caught the white wolf’s cheek and ripped out a chunk of it with a look of satisfaction. Lotor jumped back and snarled in pain.

 

“How dare you! Kill his brother!”

 

Keith cried out in horror as the wolves on top of Shiro started to attack him. Overwhelmed, all Shiro could do was try to escape. Sendak bit hold of his front leg and dug his teeth in hard, grinning. He pulled on it harder and harder, making Shiro shriek in pain. The other two wolves stopped clawing his flank and stepped back, watching the scene. Shiro’s front leg had been completely mauled to bits by Sendak and still he kept going. They eventually stopped and looked over to Lotor and Keith. Lotor smirked as he heard Shiro wheezing in pain.

 

“Look what you did Keith. It’s all your fault. His death will be painful and drawn out.”

 

Keith growled at Lotor and pounced on him, knocking him to the floor. Lotor snarled and hooked his claws into Keith’s face, making a long deep cut stretching right down from his cheek to his chest. The black wolf fell back, dazed, and Lotor placed a paw on his back holding him down firmly.

 

“Well, it’s been fun, but this has been drawn out far too long-”

 

Lotor paused as he watched one of his cronies running in from outside.

 

“Oriande is here! We have to go.”

 

Lotor growled in frustration and slammed his paw onto Keith’s head, hoping the blow killed him. He glanced at his followers and they all turned into their wolf forms and fled together.

Shiro just saw Allura running in with at least ten others when he passed out from pain.

Chapter Text

Shiro woke up with his head throbbing like mad. He groaned as he opened his eyes, only to see black.

 

“Keith?” he groaned.

 

He heard a gasp and then footsteps running towards him and suddenly bright lights hit his face. As he vision began to focus, he saw Allura with happy tears streaming down her face. She hugged him tightly while sobbing, and Shiro smiled softly.

 

“We thought you weren’t going to make it!” she cried.

 

She pulled back and wiped her eyes.

 

“What happened? Where am I? Where’s Keith?”

 

Allura sat down on the edge of his bed.

 

“Well, I managed to find the pack and we arrived at the warehouse. Lotor must have known we were coming because he was just fleeing as we got there. And you and Keith were just...lying there in your own blood. You had turned back into your human forms so we took you to hospital saying a gang had attacked you. That’s where you are now.”

 

Shiro looked around. He was in his own private room and lots of flowers had been left for him at the end of the bed. He looked down at himself and saw a bandage lying on his chest, which he assumed had been covering his eyes before Allura took it off. Then he froze. His right arm was missing, only a stump wrapped in bandages remained. Trying to appear unfazed, he looked back at Allura.

 

“They couldn’t save it...they had to-”

 

“It doesn’t matter. Where’s Keith?”

 

Allura hesitated.

 

“He’s in a different ward...he’s unstable at the moment.”

 

“Unstable? I have to see him...let me-”

 

He tried to get up but his body was too fatigued. Allura patted his remaining arm.

 

“Hey, it’s okay. I’ll take you there in a minute. Romelle is with him now and will text me if there are any updates, okay?”

 

Shiro nodded, but he wasn’t reassured.

 

“How long have we been here for?”

 

“A while. You’ve been unconscious for five days now. I called into your work and Keith’s school. Matt’s been to visit you everyday. Most of the flowers are from him.”

 

Shiro looked at his flowers again. He realised about three quarters of them were lilies, his favourite. Only Matt would remember something stupid like that.

 

“Can you take me to see Keith?”

 

Allura bit her lip.

 

“Let me ask the doctor.”

 

She left the room and Shiro massaged his throbbing head. When she re-entered, a handsome doctor with glasses was following her.

 

“Hello Mr Shirogane, I’m glad to see that you’re awake. I’m Dr Adam White.”

 

“I’d like to see my brother.”

 

The doctor nodded.

 

“Well, usually I wouldn’t let somebody in your condition leave this room for another few days...but you’re a special case. As long as you go in the wheelchair I’ll let you, but don’t go for longer than half an hour. And you can only go on the condition that I give you a full checkup and your medication when you return.”

 

Shiro nodded and thanked him, and Adam helped him into a wheelchair. Allura took the handles and pushed Shiro towards Keith’s room.

 

***

 

Keith was drowning, well he thought he was. He was surrounded by black and was constantly falling slowly, with red flowers floating up above him. Echoes of the world swirled around him and muddled his brain, and invisible hands were touching him. Is this what death felt like? The atmosphere around him suddenly changed to a happy one. He heard a joyful cry from the voice that never left, and a deeper voice he recognised came into his hearing range. He kept slowly falling through the dark, and he looked over to the left when he felt a hand clasp his own. There was nothing there. Maybe there were other dead spirits reaching out to him. Death was weird.

 

“Keith,” the word echoed around his head.

 

Keith, that was him right? That was his name. Keith, Keith, Keith. He smiled in the black expanse. Keith was a nice name.

 

“Keith, you’re going to be fine, you’ll fight through it. Don’t give in.”

 

The familiar voice was confusing. He didn’t need to fight anyone. He was just falling with the flowers in the darkness. Death wasn’t so bad.

 

***

 

Shiro was greeted by a joyous Romelle, and he greeted her politely, but his attention was quickly diverted to his brother. He looked...dead. His skin was pastey and deathly white, his head was wrapped with thick bandages and a long scar stretched down his cheek. It looked like it continued under his hospital gown. He looked clean at least, but there were so many wires attached to his body, that that was the last thing you’d notice. Allura brought him over to Keith’s side and he clasped his brother’s hand.

 

“Keith,” he croaked.

 

“Lotor dealt him a death blow, but he must have been sloppy in his rush to get away from us. His brain was swelling and he went into a coma. They’ve done some operations and he’s recovered...but he’s still in a coma. They don’t know when he’s going to wake up.”

 

Shiro squeezed Keith’s hand harder.

 

“Keith, you’re going to be fine, you’ll fight through it. Don’t give in.”

 

He used his hand to spin the wheelchair around so he could see all the gifts and flowers people had left him.

 

“Who’s been visiting?”

 

Allura smiled.

 

“A lot of people from Altea University. Romelle told me two of his friends keep coming, Pidge and Hunk. The cookies are from him.”

 

There were several huge tubs of cookies piled next to the flowers.

 

“Has anybody called Lance come?”

 

Allura checked the visitor’s book.

 

“Let me see...Lance did you say? No-no his name isn’t mentioned.”

 

Shiro quirked his eyebrow at this but didn’t say anything. He turned back around to face Keith and smiled weakly.

 

“He was so brave Allura…so brave.”

 

Allura rubbed his back and smiled.

 

"I'm sure he'll make it, he's strong."

Chapter Text

Lance knew he should have gone to see Keith. He knew Pidge and Hunk had already been three times. But he was scared.

 

Terrified.

 

He was scared that Keith would leave him. He was scared that the last time he would see him would be in a hospital bed. He didn’t want that to be the last memory of Keith.

 

The Keith who had helped him write his song, and laughed at his jokes. The Keith who looked tough on the outside but really was a huge softie. The Keith that hated chocolate and loved black coffee. Lance wanted that Keith back.

 

And Keith had promised him he’d come back. He promised he wouldn’t go anywhere. Lance had been waiting for him in the morning when Pidge had run up to him in tears telling him what happened. They had cried together with Hunk, and Lance had punched the wall until his knuckles bled. Keith had promised. All the days since had been a blur for Lance, but he tried to pay attention, cause he knew Keith wouldn’t want him to be upset over it. Even though he was devastated. Even though he’d rather be in that hospital bed than Keith.

 

It had now been a week since Keith was in hospital, and Lance was desperately worried for him. After a long period of conflict in his mind, he decided he should go and see him. He wanted to go by himself, so he waved goodbye to Pidge and Hunk as he made his way to the bus stop. He boarded the bus and took deep breaths. When he arrived at St Olkarion hospital, he nervously approached the receptionist.

 

“Hello there, sir. How can I help you today?”

 

Lance gulped.

 

“I’m here to see a patient, his name is Keith Kogane.”

 

The receptionist fake smiled.

 

“I’m sorry, the patient in question’s condition has worsened recently, and no visitors are being accepted right now. Maybe come back in a few days.”

 

“W-what? You can’t be serious! He might not be here in a few days! I have to see him! He promised me he wouldn’t leave! Please...please, I have to apologize...I don’t want him to die.”

 

The receptionist seemed taken aback by Lance’s outburst and spun around to face his co-worker. They had a hushed conversation with glances thrown at Lance in between their words. Finally, the receptionist chair glided back over to Lance and sighed.

 

“Okay, I’ll let you see him. Please bare in mind that...well they don’t know if he’s going to make the night or not.”

 

Lance gasped.

 

“Really?”

 

The receptionist didn’t answer as he got up and lead Lance through the hospital to Keith’s private ward. Lance didn’t prepare himself for what he saw.

 

“Keith!” he cried as he ran forwards.

 

His friend was covered in wires and looked like he was dead, his chest was hardly rising. Bandages were wrapped around his neck, head and chest and Lance heard the beeping of the monitor echoing around his head. The beeps seemed drawn out, as if at any moment they would just stop. He glanced over at Shiro, who was sitting next to Keith on a wheelchair, looking exhausted. His hair had almost gone completely white with stress.

 

“Lance?” Shiro said softly.

 

Lance walked over to him, tears welling up in his eyes.

 

“I’m sorry I didn’t come sooner,” he sobbed.

Shiro shook his head slowly.

 

“Hey, don’t worry about it.”

 

Shiro pulled Lance in for a dadly one armed hug.

 

“Can I talk to him?”

 

Keith’s older brother nodded and gave Lance some room. Lance took Keith’s hand in his. It was freezing cold. He squeezed it and closed his eyes.



***

 

Keith watched as the red flowers began to wilt above him, and he fell a little faster than before. He didn’t understand what was happening. The voices he kept hearing were getting more distant and the touches felt lighter and lighter. He was scared. Death wasn’t like this before. One of the flowers started falling towards him, and he caught it. He fearfully watched as it crumpled in his hands and blew away like dust. Keith looked around him for anything, anyone, yelling for the voices to come back. That’s when he heard it.

 

“Hey man.”

 

It was faint, but he recognised it, and it wasn’t the other voice he recognised. Something squeezed his hand as well.

 

“Keith, I don’t know if you can hear me.”

 

Keith, was that him? He wasn’t sure anymore.

 

“But if you can, I’m sorry.”

 

Sorry? What for? Why was the voice sorry?

 

“I’m sorry I couldn’t protect you...I’m sorry I didn’t come here sooner. I guess I was just afraid to see you like this.”

 

Keith tilted his head. Why would he need protecting? He was alone.

 

“But...you made a promise to me, remember? You promised you’d come back and help me with my song...so please...please do that okay? I can’t think of the lyrics anymore cause Blue’s not helping me...well...you aren’t helping me.”

 

Blue. Keith suddenly saw something appear above him, but it was too far away to make out. He struggled break free of the constant falling, but something seemed to keep dragging him down.

 

“I need you okay? I need your stupid mullet, and for you to laugh at my jokes. It can’t end like this.”

 

Mullet? He did not have a mullet! His hair was just long! Something seemed to break free as he thought this, and he started to climb his way upwards to the figure in the distance.

 

“And I you owe me tacos, remember?”

 

Yeah, he remembered. He liked tacos. He managed to get a little further, and he noticed that the flowers had stopped wilting.

 

“You have to see what Pidge and Hunk are making too. They’re making a new bionic arm for Shiro as their Engineering project. It’ll be awesome.”

 

Shiro. Shiro! His brother Shiro. He lost an arm? Keith scrambled upwards faster, feeling desperate but he wasn’t sure why.

 

“And Hunk’s made so many peanut butter cookies for you, like, an overload.”

 

Keith smiled. He loved peanut butter. He finally got to the figure, and he reached out his hands to touch it.

 

“I just want to see you smile again...cause I really like you Keith.”

 

Once he touched the figure, the black melted away and a white light replaced it, shaping into the form of a tall boy. The boy took Keith’s hand and pulled him upwards, and all the flowers around him turned blue. The boy blinked and his blue eyes seemed to smile at him.

 

Blue eyes. Keith gasped. Lance?

 

Keith’s eyes flung open and he sucked in air.

 

“Lance?” he cried out.

Chapter Text

Before Lance and Shiro could react, several doctors ushered them from the room and slammed the door.

 

“Keith!” Lance yelled as he banged on the bolted door.

 

Shiro sighed.

 

“It’s only to be expected Lance, and it’s the best thing for Keith right now. They have to do certain things to ensure he doesn’t fall back into a coma.”

 

Lance crossed his arms and slumped onto the chair opposite the room. Shiro pushed his wheelchair over and smiled at Lance.

 

“Hey, we’ll be allowed in soon. And Lance, thank you so much.”

 

Shiro had tears in his eyes as he beamed at Lance. Lance could see Shiro’s fierce love for Keith shining in his eyes. Lance waved his hands.

 

“I didn’t do anything Shiro, don’t thank me.”

 

“You probably did more than you know. Thank you.”

 

Lance blushed and rubbed the back of his head.

 

They had been waiting for an hour and a half by now, and the whole time they had their eyes trained on the door. They were chatting nervously when Dr Adam White opened the door, grinning. Lance stood up in a heartbeat.

 

“Hey you two, you can come in now.”

 

They both bolted forwards, only to be stopped by Adam’s arm.

 

“Woah calm down there. Take it slow, ok? He’s still very confused and is in quite a lot of pain so we’ve given him some morphine. You’ve only got half an hour though, we’ve got to do some more tests later. And you, Mr Shirogane, need to get some rest and do your physiotherapy afterwards.”

 

Shiro nodded and smiled up Adam. His arm moved and he let them in. They both rushed over to Keith’s bedside as doctors left the room to give them some privacy. Only Adam stayed in the corner to monitor Keith’s condition.

 

“Shiro, Lance!” Keith sobbed as they wrapped their arms around him.

 

Lance smiled as Keith hugged them tight and they pulled away tearily.

 

“The doctors said I’ve been in a coma for a week…”

 

Keith cut off when he saw Shiro’s missing arm. He reached out a hand and touched the bandaged stump. His hand went to his mouth as he muffled a sob.

 

“Shiro I’m so sorry! It’s all my fault...I couldn’t-”

 

“-hey shh. It’s okay. You didn’t do anything wrong.”

 

“But I-”

 

Shiro shook his head firmly and glanced over at Lance.

 

“You are probably wondering what happened.”

 

Lance nodded in honesty.

 

“Yeah...but I don’t want you to feel like you have to. I don’t have to know right away.”

 

Keith grinned weakly at Lance.

 

“I want to tell you, it’ll make me seem more bad-ass than I look right now.”

 

Lance laughed with Keith and nodded.

 

“Okay then, I’m all ears.”

 

Shiro gave Keith a hard look and muttered something under his breath. Keith rolled his eyes but nodded.

 

“I mean, it’s still a little fuzzy, but I’ll tell you what I remember. We were driving home and Lotor was waiting for us with his gang. They held Shiro down while we fought one on one, and as you can see he had a...sharp object.”

 

He gestured to the huge scar on his face.

 

“They...mutilated Shiro’s...Shiro’s arm...and then-”

 

Shiro cut in.

 

“-then they knocked out Keith. Luckily, some of our friends managed to chase them off and take us to hospital.”

 

Lance was silent with shock. He could hardly imagine all they’d been through.

 

“Why would that bastard do something like that? You did nothing.”

 

Shiro and Keith gave each other a look and they shrugged.

 

“He’s a bad guy Lance. If you ever see him again don’t go near him.”

 

Lance nodded.

 

“I’m just glad you guys are both fine. I was so worried Keith…”

 

He went over to hug him again, just to confirm he was real and he wasn’t having a dream. Keith blushed like a tomato when he did this, but hugged him back. Shiro observed the blushing, and evilly grinned in his mind.

 

After roughly half an hour of chatting and laughing, Adam approached them from his little corner in the room.

 

“I’m really sorry Mr Mcclain and Mr Shirogane, but we have to do our next tests.”

 

Lance and Shiro sighed and nodded. Before Lance left, Keith asked him to bring his school stuff tomorrow.

 

“I may be stuck here for a while, but I’m not gonna fuck up my finals cause of Lotor.”

 

Lance laughed at this and agreed. They said their goodbye’s (Shiro promised he would come back after his physiotherapy) and Lance turned to leave when Keith grabbed his hand.

 

“Hey, bring your guitar so we can do your song. I promised, remember?”

 

Lance turned bright pink and nodded quickly, then left the room, squealing quietly to himself. Shiro glanced back at Keith’s blushing face as he left the room, and raised an eyebrow.

 

“So...it mutual huh?” he thought to himself as he pushed himself out of the room.

 

***

 

Three days later

 

Shiro walked into Keith’s room - yes walked he’s big and strong now - and anxiously went over to Keith. His brother was drawing in his art portfolio book which Lance had brought along with his other books two days ago. He looked up and smiled as he noticed Shiro. Keith was already looking much better. Colour was flowing back into his cheeks and the bandages had been removed from around his head. The scar stretching down from his cheek stuck out on his face, but it did look pretty cool.

 

“What’s up Shiro?”

 

Shiro quickly checked the room to make sure nobody else was in there.

 

“So..uh..this isn’t ideal...but it’s a full moon tonight.”

 

Keith’s pencil lead snapped as he took in the news.

 

“Fuck.”

 

He closed his book and leaned back against his pillows, groaning.

 

“What the hell are we meant to do? We’ve got to try and escape and get back before anyone notices we’re missing.”

 

“I know...I don’t know what to do.”

 

They both sat in silence for a while, snacking on Hunk’s peanut butter cookies (he had brought even more yesterday, despite them already having three boxes left). Their noses suddenly twitched in unison and they looked towards the door as Allura and Romelle entered the room.

 

“Hey guys, how are you both doing?” Romelle greeted as she pulled a chair over with Allura.

 

“Great thanks, although-”

 

“-you’re worried about the full moon tonight, right?”

 

Keith and Shiro nodded. Allura rubbed her head and sighed.

 

“We’ve been thinking of a few solutions...but we aren’t quite sure what you should do yet. That’s why we came.”

 

Romelle nodded, although she did seem more interested in the cookies than the conversation. Keith snorted and tossed her a box and she digged in to them hungrily.

 

“So, any ideas yet?”

 

Keith sighed.

 

“Well, I considered jumping out the window...but there isn’t a window in this room…”

 

The stark white walls stared them in the face. Suddenly, Romelle lit up.

 

“Hemmf fmoulrd mforv rommfs!” she exclaimed, but nobody could understand her as her mouth was crammed with cookies.

 

She swallowed and laughed.

 

“Sorry, I was saying he could move rooms. Say the atmosphere is making you feel claustrophobic and you’d like a room with a window that you can share with Shiro. Ask Dr Adam, cause he’s a big pushover with a soft spot for you two.”

 

Keith and Shiro listened to her thoughtfully. It seemed really obvious now.

 

“That sounds like a good idea. Okay, we’ll start with that. What should we do if we can and can’t get the room transfer?”

 

“If I can’t, I’ll lock the room from the inside and transform inside, it’s too risky to wonder the halls at night, there are too many nurses about,” Keith decided.

 

Shiro nodded.

 

“Fine. I’ll have to do the same I suppose. I don’t want to be too far from you tonight or we could both be in trouble.”

 

“And what if you do get the transfer?” Allura asked, taking a cookie from Romelle’s box.

 

“We’ll leave via the window and you two can meet us outside. We shouldn’t go all the way to the forest though or we won’t get back in time. Looks like we have some alley hiding to do.”

 

They all muttered in agreement, but weren’t thrilled with the circumstances. They all decided on a time (eight o’clock sharp) and Allura and Romelle left, still munching on cookies, feeling confident everything would go well.

 

Now all they needed to do was wait for Adam.

 

...And wait…

 

...aaaaaaaaand wait.

 

It was four hours since their fellow werewolves left, and still there was no sign of Adam. It was four, and they were getting desperate.

 

“Okay, if he doesn’t come in half an hour we need to ask somebody else,” Keith hissed to Shiro as a doctor injected him with medication.

 

Shiro gave a small nod. He was looking over Keith’s portfolio book, and got to the most recent page. There were only two pages left.

 

“What are you going to do there?”

 

Keith smiled.

 

“Something special.”

 

He didn’t elaborate, so Shiro shut the book and stacked it with the others.

 

“You got any idea what to do for your final piece yet?”

 

“Yes, I can feel that,” Keith answered the doctor who was pinching his toes.

“I was thinking of doing a personal experience...but I haven’t decided what one yet. I’ve got a while to think I guess.”

 

Shiro sighed as the doctor who had been testing Keith walked out.

 

“Okay...I’m starting to think Adam isn’t here today...but he should be. He’s always in.

 

Keith nodded, starting to feel anxious.

 

“Yeah, he’s been in every single day...and he always gives me my medication in the morning, and it was somebody else today.”

 

Shiro tapped his foot on the ground and checked his watch. 4:15. Keith was about to take some astrophysics notes, when the door opened and they scented Adam’s familiar coffee smell. They both lit up as he walked in...but something was wrong.

 

“Hey guys, you both feeling ok today?”

 

They didn’t answer. Adam had a black eye and there was a bright red mark on his face. His glasses were cracked and his eyes were bloodshot.

 

“Adam, what happened?”

 

The doctor laughed awkwardly and waved his hand in the air.

 

“Oh..haha...I just had a little argument with my husband, Rolo. Don’t worry, we argue all the time,” he answered as he fiddled nervously with his wedding ring.

 

Shiro and Keith shared concerned glances but didn’t push it.

 

“Hey, Adam, we were wondering if we could have a room transfer so we can share a room...maybe with a window? Keith would like some inspiration for his art.”

 

They both gave their prettiest and most innocent smiles, fluttering their eyelashes. Adam laughed then sighed.

 

“I don’t know guys...technically Keith shouldn’t leave this ward for a while…”

 

“Please Adam. This room is so boring.”

 

Adam looked around the room and rolled his eyes.

 

“Ok, I’ll see what I can do for you.”

 

Shiro and Keith thanked him heartily, but when he left they shared anxious glances.

 

“I want to kill whoever hurt him!” Shiro snarled, flexing his fist.

 

Keith agreed, his teeth bared. They waited for their favourite doctor patiently and Adam peered round the door twenty minutes later, smiling, although he still looked upset behind his grin.

 

“This way to your room gentlemen.”

 

***

 

Fuck. Double fuck fuck fuuuuuck. The room had two beds, and a window. But the window didn’t open. At all. Shiro had tried to kick it open, prize it open, break it open and politely pray to the gods for it to open, but nothing worked. Keith was having a minor panic attack on his bed, the pulse monitor beeping faster than it should be.

 

“Okay...okay let’s calm down Keith.”

 

Keith groaned.

 

“Shiro we might have well have stayed in our original rooms! Now they can see us when we transform tonight. Shit!”

 

“Don’t curse Keith,” Shiro hissed at him as he collapsed on his bed.

 

“We have to try and escape our rooms tonight...lock the door somehow...ahrghhhh I don’t know Keith.”

 

Keith pulled his hair and squeezed his eyes, trying to think of an idea. He rocked back and forth as Shiro paced the room. The younger brother lay back on his bed and stared at the ceiling. He glanced at the end of his bed as Shiro sat down there.

 

“Sometimes I hate being a werewolf.”

 

Keith would have disagreed a few months ago, but he sighed and agreed with him.

 

“Not...fair,” he mumbled.

 

Shiro clapped his hand on Keith’s leg and smiled at him.

 

“Hey, if we can survive an attack from the Galra, we can do anything, right?”

 

Keith snorted.

 

“Barely.”

 

“True...but we did. Maybe we’re just over complicating it,” Shiro huffed.

 

Keith looked over at his brother fondly, and then suddenly shot upright.

“BITCH I HAVE AN IDEA!”


***

Shiro gulped, his eyes flickering around the hospital hall nervously. He had sunglasses on, and Keith was transformed beside him. They had created a make-shift harness from Shiro’s bag (very grudgingly) and some scissors for cutting bandages. Keith glanced up at Shiro and wagged his tail.

 

“Keith this is the shittest idea you’ve ever come up with, and you’ve had some really shitty ones.”

 

“No cursing Shiro,” Keith grunt whined as he looked ahead.

 

In their “blind man and guide dog disguise” they had managed to find a key to lock their room. Shiro was terrified that someone would try and open the door, so he had crafted a “Do not disturb” sign and hung it on the door. Keith had scoffed when he did this, and made the point that the hospital wasn’t a hotel, but Shiro just growled quietly and continued. Luckily, Adam got sent home early, so he wouldn’t be a problem.

 

“Okay, you ready?”

 

The black wolf nodded and began padding forwards. Shiro tried to look like he was blind...which is quite hard to do when you aren’t. He had changed his clothes and slicked his floof back to try and hide his true appearance, but if they bumped into a nurse they knew close up, they were utterly fucked. They were relatively close to the exit, when a little girl ran up to them.

 

“Doggy!” she squealed reaching out a hand.

 

Keith looked up at Shiro, panicking, and Shiro snorted.

 

“She won’t kill you,” he hissed under his breath.

 

Keith stayed completely immobile as the girl pet him clumsily, but he relaxed after a few seconds, even whining happily as she scratched his ears. His older brother was stifling his laughter with his fist. The girl’s mother ran up to them, apologising profusely to Shiro.

 

“Oh don’t worry about it m’am.”

 

Keith wagged his tail as the mother grabbed the little girl’s hand and sat back down in reception.

 

“Was that nice, Keith?” Shiro teased as they left the hospital.

 

“Shut up.”

They gave each other an excited glance. It was 8:15, dark, and the moon was glowing brilliantly in the sky. They saw two pairs of glowing eyes peering from behind a large bush, and they laughed. Shiro released Keith from his make-shift harness and threw his sunglasses aside. His eyes shone as he relished in being outside, the wind floofing his floof back into floofiness. As he walked towards the bush, he the moon slowly transformed him. As he finished transforming, he immediately fell over with a yelp. Keith turned around to push him up with his nose.

 

“Stupid missing leg…” Shiro groaned as he got up.

 

His first steps were awkward and wobbly, since he had to balance on only one front leg. Keith wasn’t much better, he was still incredibly weak from being in a coma, but he managed to support him until they reached the bush, where they both collapsed with the effort. Romelle and Allura sniffed them anxiously.

 

“We’re fine, just tired and weak.”

 

Allura wolf-grinned. She was a large white wolf with intelligent blue eyes. Romelle wagged her light brown tail.

 

“I can’t believe you managed to make it out! Come on, we’ll help you get to a safer place.”

 

***

 

Keith and Shiro managed to get back into their rooms, undetected, with help from Allura and Romelle who pretended to be blind women with guide dogs. They slunk back into their rooms and collapsed on their respected beds, exhausted.

 

“Told you it would work,” Keith said as he tucked himself in and reconnected all his wires.

 

He felt better almost immediately as the medicine entered back into his veins.

 

“Jeez, I thought I was gonna pass out all night. I may despise these wires, but damn they do their job well.”

 

His brother snorted and glanced at his watch. It was 7:37, perfect, just before the morning checks. They shared a few more words then went to sleep straight after.

Chapter Text

Four days later

 

Lance poked his head round the corner and beamed at Keith.

 

“Hey, Mullet.”

 

He entered along with Pidge and Hunk, and they sat on Shiro’s old bed.

 

“How’s Shiro doing?” Pidge asked as she unzipped her rucksack.

 

“Great, he says it’s weird being home without me to pester him. I hope I go back soon, I’m sick of these wires and bed.”

 

His friends laughed as Pidge handed Keith a notebook.

 

“We’ve updated the old blueprints of Shiro’s robot arm. Me and Hunk changed the coding and found an alternative power source to make it work more efficiently.”

 

Keith opened the notebook and took out a folded A3 sheet of blueprint paper. The design looked fantastic, and Keith raised an eyebrow, impressed. He ignored all the technical sciencey things on the side and smiled up at Hunk and Pidge.

 

“This is incredible guys...this means the world to him. Thank you.”

 

They blushed and awkwardly smiled.

 

“Actually, that reminds me, we have to go over and take some measurements of your brother. We’ll come back soon with the first prototype!” Hunk exclaimed.

 

Keith bid farewell to his friends and beckoned for Lance to come and sit on his bed. He jumped onto it and got out his guitar.

 

“Okay, where did we get to last?”

 

“Second last verse, I’ve almost got it perfected but it needs tweaking.”

 

Keith smiled and gestured for Lance to start playing as he got out his astrophysics notes. Lance tuned his guitar, and strummed out some practise chords. Keith leaned back to listen, but he noticed something different about Lance’s pick.

 

“What’s this?” he snorted, snatching the pick from Lance’s grasp.

 

The pick had a cute picture of Keith and Lance on it, their eyes crossed and their tongues lolling from their mouths. Lance went crimson.

 

“It’s a nice photo! And I can’t write this song without you, so I put the picture on so you could always help me.”

 

Keith laughed. They had taken the photo three days ago. Lance had run in with two whippy’s with flakes. He had told Keith to eat it quickly because apparently they weren’t allowed ice cream in the hospital and Adam was coming to yell at him. They had just finished when Adam had slammed open the door, his expression murderous. Lance had smiled innocently, but the ice cream smeared around their faces was a dead give away. Adam had snapped a photo of them pulling faces at him as he lectured them. Keith grinned at the memory as he handed the pick back to Lance.

 

“Come on then, play me the song.”

 

Lance began to play, Keith humming along to the now familiar tune. He played confidently, and glanced up at Keith as he strummed the notes, grinning softly. His fingers glided over the strings, and it was obvious that they had played the tune many times. He hesitated as he got to the bit he was working on.

 

“This is the bit I need to fix. It went like this…”

 

He strummed out some chords.

 

“But I want it to be more upbeat at this part.”

 

Keith massaged his temples.

 

“Try merging it with the last half of the second verse? Cause the second verse leads into the chorus, that part gets a bit quicker...so tone that bit down a little.”

 

Lance beamed and started to scribble down some ideas, testing out notes on Blue. Keith managed to finish up his astrophysics notes as Lance worked, although he continuously got distracted by Lance. He kept finding himself staring, and would have to shake his head to refocus on his work. Lance eventually settled on what he wanted and played it out to Keith, who approved greatly.

 

“Perfection,” Keith said, mocking Coran’s voice.

 

Lance laughed and packed up his guitar. He grabbed a cookie from one of Hunk’s many boxes and patted Keith on the shoulder.

 

“I’d better see you at school soon Samurai. It’s hard dealing with Hunk and Pidge’s sciencey stuff 24/7.”

 

“I’ll come in soon, whenever Adam stops babying me. Good luck with the rest of your song sharpshooter.”

 

Lance slung Blue over his back and shot finger guns at Keith, the cookie stuffed in his mouth. As he left, Keith squeezed his pillow and thunked his head against it.

 

“Not now gay thoughts!” he yelled in his head.

 

***

 

“Little shit,” the man growled as he ran a hand over the scar left on his cheek.

 

He looked up at the skyscraper towering over him, his mouth stretched into a pained frown. He really didn’t want to do this. Strutting into the skyscraper, he located the reception desk and gave the receptionist a glare.

 

“Hello, welcome to Galra enterprises, what can we-”

 

“Shut it peasant,” the man snarled “Where is my father?”

 

The receptionist sniffed Lotor suspiciously.

 

“You aren’t welcome here, you smell like a lone wolf.”

 

“How dare you talk to me like that, scum! Where is my father?”

 

The receptionist growled but typed a few things into her computer.

 

“He’s currently in a meeting with some Alpha’s of neighbouring packs, you’ll have to wait.”

 

The man scowled.

 

“What room is he?”

 

“Floor 34, Room 16...but I wouldn’t interrupt him if I were you.”

 

The man ignored her and flicked his long white hair over his shoulder. He headed for the elevator, shoving past the queue forming there. He tapped his foot as the elevator started to rise, but it juddered to a halt.

 

“Argh, broken! Just like everything else in my life.”

 

He hammered the control panel, and it surprisingly started to work again. He exited the lift and found the room his father was meant to be in. He prepared himself to make a dramatic entrance, but as he was about to burst into the room someone opened the door for him so he clumsily swung into the room.

 

“Hello, Lotor,” a deep voice bellowed.

 

Lotor looked up at his father, who was sitting at the end of a long table. The werewolves he was supposed to be having a meeting with were all splayed on the floor, dead. His father chuckled.

 

“What a successful meeting. Please, sit down.”

 

Lotor took a seat, trying to look composed and confident.

“So, what brings you here, outcast?”

 

Lotor’s father spat the last word out viciously.

 

“It’s lovely to see you too, father.”

 

Zarkon smiled and wheezed out a laugh.

 

“I’m here because I need some aid defeating a pack in the area where I am based...I hold a personal grudge against a specific werewolf in the region but he’s heavily protected.”

 

Zarkon bared his canines.

 

“Why should I help you. You aren’t in this pack anymore.”

 

Lotor stood up and growled at him.

 

“Because I’m your son! Although you’ve never treated me like one.”

 

“The weakest members of the pack don’t deserve to stay,” his father answered simply.

 

Lotor lunged for Zarkon, but two werewolves appeared from seemingly nowhere and grasped him from behind.

 

“Damn you!”

 

Zarkon stood up and slammed his hands on the table.

 

“From this point onwards you are no longer my son. I refuse your request, and if I see you again you will be disposed of.”

 

Lotor snarled and tried to wriggle free from the other werewolves’ grasp, but he was slowly dragged backwards from the room.

 

“Fuck you!” Lotor cried as the door was slammed on his face.

 

Chapter Text

Four days later (guess whos back back back…)

 

“Keith!” cried Hunk, Pidge and Lance in unison as they ran up to him.

 

They all squeezed him tightly, leaving him gasping for air.

 

“You didn’t tell us you were coming back today!” Pidge said, punching him lightly.

 

“I wanted it to be a surprise,” Keith laughed - Hunk still hadn’t let him go and his chin was wobbling dangerously.

 

Hunk let go reluctantly and sniffed.

 

“So, you ready for the last week running up to finals?” Lance teased Keith as the gang began to head inside.

 

“Pfft, no! I’m 100% gonna fail my history final, I couldn’t be arsed to study for it in hospital.”

 

Lance snickered.

 

“They’ll probably give you extra marks though.”

 

Keith grinned.

 

“Hope so.”

 

The four friends took their seats in Astrophysics, and Keith received a round of applause, orchestrated by Professor Coran. He smiled awkwardly and buried his head in his notes.

 

“I hate all this attention!” he hissed to Pidge.

 

Pidge snorted and passed him the work they had been doing last lesson. As he started to copy it down, Pidge glanced over at Lance, who was staring at Keith with a slightly dazed look in his eyes. Hunk caught her attention and they both gave each other a knowing look and stifled their laughter. Hunk made a kissy face and fluttered his eyelashes, and Pidge almost choked trying not to laugh. Keith looked at her, confused, but she reached for her water bottle innocently and smirked at Hunk.

 

***

 

“Hey, Keith!”

 

Matt was waving furiously at Keith from his seat. Keith ran over to him and gave him a huge hug.

 

“I’ve missed you so much! How’s Shiro doing?”

 

Keith explained that his brother was doing well, but he had to keep going into the hospital for physiotherapy so he could get used to only having one arm.

 

“Did he like my flowers?”

 

“Yes, all two hundred bunches of them.”

 

Matt rolled his eyes.

 

“It was two bunches Keith...maybe five at a push.”

 

He scratched his head awkwardly.

 

“Okay everybody! Settle down!”

 

Keith and Matt turned their attention over to Professor Ulaz.

 

“Today I want you to start a draft of your final piece. Your exam is next week on Friday, and you’ll have ten hours to complete it. I need your initial sketches and colour palette finished by tomorrow so I can go over them and suggest possible alterations so you can achieve the highest grades. I also need your portfolio’s completely done by next Wednesday. Get on with it.”

 

Matt whipped out his sketchbook and pencils and began to work on some sketches he had already started making.

 

“I started these a few days ago, I haven’t got much to do.”

 

Keith widened his eyes.

 

“I haven’t got an idea yet.”

 

“Keeeeeith! You’ve had two months to think about it!”

Keith got out his sketchbook and flicked through some old pages for inspiration. He came across some old sketches of flowers, and his mind immediately thought of the red and blue flowers he had seen when he was in a coma.

 

“Hey...I think I have something.”

 

He started to sketch out a faint shape of a body, making it look like it was suspended in water. He made the arm reach up, the hand twisting to grab another hand reaching out from the top of the sketch. Once he was happy with the initial body shape, he did some quick and messy flowers scattered around the page. Keith paused to look at it, and smiled.

 

“That’s a good start.”

 

He turned to a new page and started to properly sketch the drawing out, making the anatomy and shape more accurate and less feathery. Matt glanced over at Keith’s sketches and raised an eyebrow.

 

“That’s interesting, what’s your inspiration?”

 

Keith scrunched his eyebrows.

 

“It was something that happened when I was in a coma.”

 

Keith didn’t elaborate, but smiled softly as he continued to work. Matt noticed this and raised his eyebrow again, but continued with his work. They both stayed late to finish up their sketches in school, and it was near 18:30 when they were finally ready to leave. Keith put on his coat after handing Ulaz his work, and checked his messages.

 

Pidge 16:25

Hey where are you? We’re all waiting at the bus stop.

 

Pidge 16:30

Oh, Matt just texted. Have fun staying late lmaoooo

 

Pidge 16:31

Lance is sad you aren’t walking home ;))))

 

Keith raised an eyebrow. Was Lance really sad that he wouldn’t see him?

 

Pidge 16:48

Halo later?

 

Keith rolled his eyes as he texted back.

 

Keith 18:34

Pidge...you know we have to study for finals. I promise I will the second they are finished.

 

Pidge 18:35

Since when were you rational?

 

Keith 18:35

Since I wanted a good job

 

He put his phone away and left the college. It was dark already, and the moon was beginning to show from behind the clouds. As he wandered over to the bus stop, he thought he glimpsed something watching him from behind a tree. He froze and focused his sight on it. Nothing moved so he kept walking, although he was more wary than before.

 

Chapter Text

At the weekend

 

Shiro and Keith watched nervously as Pidge fitted the robotic arm to Shiro’s stump. She carefully slotted it on and attached some electromagnetic sensors onto the side of Shiro’s head.

 

“These aren’t permanent,” she explained as she stuck them on “We just need to interpret your brain signals so we can connect it to the the arm’s radio frequency.”

 

Shiro nodded and let out a shaky breath. Keith patted his shoulder reassuringly.

 

“Okay Hunk, fire it up.”

 

Hunk, who was perched on the arm of the sofa, typed a few things into his laptop then pressed the enter key. A light on the arm suddenly lit up and the fingers unraveled. Shiro’s eyes lit up.

 

“Holy shit, this is awesome.”

 

Keith chuckled and sat next to Hunk.

 

“Okay Shiro, Hunk’s going to turn on the electromagnetic sensors now. You might feel a weird tingling.”

 

Shiro’s head started to vibrate a little bit when Hunk turned them on. He looked a little surprised at the results he received.

 

“These results are...weird...Pidge, come and look...”

 

As Pidge came to the computer, Keith glanced at the screen. It was full of coding, but there was a small graph in the corner.

 

“That’s really strange...there must be an anomaly…” Pidge muttered when she saw the results.

 

“What is it?” Keith had no clue what they were on about.

 

“Well...Shiro’s brain signals are entirely different to me or Hunks. You see here-”

 

She pointed to a large curve in the graph.

 

“-that means that his brain didn’t emit a recognisable signal...which would mean he’s not technically a human.”

 

Pidge and Hunk laughed, but Keith and Shiro gave each other worried glances.

 

“We must have messed up the coding somewhere. No matter, it’ll still work fine. Let’s connect the arm.”

 

The brothers let out huge sighs of relief. The arm made a whirring noise as Hunk set up the connection.

 

“Right then Shiro, try twitching the fingers.”

 

Shiro focused all his energy on trying to do it, but he didn’t manage it.

 

“It’s not working.”

 

Pidge and Hunk smiled sympathetically.

 

“Don’t worry, it’s really hard to do first time. Try not to think about it too much.”

 

Shiro continued to try, but didn’t manage any movements. Keith rolled his eyes and stood up.

 

“What are you-”

 

Keith ran full speed at Shiro and leapt into the air, and Shiro’s arms automatically shot out to catch him. Keith dropped in front of him and smirked.

 

“Knew you could do it.”

 

Shiro beamed and slowly managed to make his robotic arm into a peace sign. Pidge and Hunk were practically radiating anime sparkles.

 

“IT WORKS!” they cried, high fiving each other.

 

Shiro was about to attempt to shake Keith’s hand, but the arm suddenly made some weird twitchy movements and powered down. Pidge cursed and ran over to detach it.

 

“We need to reverse the polarity again,” she sighed.

 

Hunk groaned.

 

“We’ve got to find some more of that crystal.”

 

“Crystal?” Keith asked as he helped remove the electromagnetic sensors from Shiro’s head.

 

“Yeah, I managed to find this really rare crystal which can help balance polarity in electronic substances...but it’s too expensive for me to get hold of any more. We’ll try and find a way around it before we take the video for our final.”

 

Pidge packed away the prothstetic in its special case and Hunk closed his laptop.

 

“Well, it’s a brilliant start, at least we know it works. If you happen to find any Olkarionite kicking around, let us know!” Hunk said cheerfully.

 

Shiro and Keith waved them off as they exited their flat. Keith immediately went to his phone and started texting furiously.

 

“Who you chatting to?”

 

“Lance, I want to tell him how it went.”

 

Shiro went over to the kitchen, grinning evilly.

 

“Lance, huh?”

 

Keith nodded. He was unknowingly smiling down at this phone.

 

“Soooo...do you like him?”

 

Keith’s head shot up and he growled at Shiro.

 

“Why do you say that?”

 

Shiro innocently looked back at him.

 

“Well, you seem to be hanging out a lot with him...and he visited you the most when you were in hospital.”

 

Keith rolled his eyes.

 

“And you’re smiling at your phone.”

 

Keith ignored him.

 

“And everytime he leaves the flat you say “Fuck I’m gay.””

 

The younger werewolf completely froze. He turned the shade of a tomato. Shiro snickered.

 

“How and when did you hear that?” Keith hissed.

 

“I’m a werewolf dimwit. I hear everything.”

 

Keith bashed his head. He was an idiot.

 

“So you admit it?”

 

Keith looked at his feet, but he nodded shyly.

 

“Yeah, I do.”

 

Shiro sat beside Keith, his eyes shining.

 

“Really!? I’ve been shipping you two for so long! Me and Adam have been talking about it-”

 

“Shiro!”

 

Keith got up and threw a pillow at his brothers face, snarling. He ran into his room and slammed the door.

 

“Don’t tell anyone!” he yelled.

 

Shiro smirked. He knew it.

 

Chapter Text

Monday (Finals week OoooOoh)

 

“Wake up!”

 

Keith opened his eyes wearily and yawned.

 

“Keith come on!”

 

Groaning, Keith got up at sulkily dragged himself out of bed. He stumbled into the living room and was about to head for a shower, when he noticed there was somebody other than Shiro occupying the house.

 

“Hey there Keith, how are you doing?”

 

Keith turned his head towards the kitchen, confused. Was that-

 

“Adam’s here!” Shiro cried, doing a jazz hand behind the doctor.

 

Widening his eyes, the younger werewolf broke into a sleepy smile.

 

“Oh, hi Adam. What are you doing here?”

 

“Shiro told me it was your finals week, and he wanted to make some pancakes for you...but his first attempt almost burnt the house down so I offered to help him.”

 

Keith excitedly looked over at the frying pan where some pancakes were cooking. They looked perfect. His eyes sparkling, Keith thanked him profusely. Shiro gave Adam a fond look and handed Keith his towel.

 

“Hurry up or the pancakes will get cold!”

 

Keith sprinted to the bathroom and showered at a speed he didn’t think was possible. He dried his hair quickly and shot out, still pulling his top on. The pancake’s gorgeous scent swirled into his nostrils, making him drool. Adam laid the plate down on the kitchen table, bowing low.

 

“Enjoy, monsieur,” he said with a crappy french accent.

 

Laughing, Keith tucked in. He drizzled maple syrup all over them and Shiro forced him to put some banana on (You still need your five a day, finals or not!). Keith ate them up, humming in satisfaction. Adam and Shiro were trying to make more pancakes in the kitchen, but Shiro had managed to burn the remaining mixture in the bowl. There was a plate of charred pancakes on the counter top, smoking slightly.

 

“My god, Shiro. Let’s make some more mixture.”

 

Keith observed that Adam was no longer wearing his wedding ring, only a faint red mark was left in its place. He decided to bring it up as he put his plate in the dishwasher.

 

“Sorry for asking Adam...but you aren’t wearing your wedding ring. Are you and Rolo…?”

 

Adam smiled sadly.

 

“I no longer associate with that man.”

 

Adam didn’t elaborate. Shiro rubbed his back soothingly.

 

“Oh Adam, I’m so sorry.”

 

Keith ran up to give him a hug. Adam hugged him back softly, and released him with a happy look on his face.

 

“Don’t worry about me Keith. You better get your things together, you need to leave soon.”

 

Keith checked his watch and cursed. He only had ten minutes. He brushed his teeth, packed his bag, tied his Doc Martins and grabbed a bottle of water from the fridge. Shiro teared up as he gave him a good luck hug, and Keith scowled when he tried to take a picture of him.

 

“I’m not five!” he protested.

 

Adam wished him good luck as he left, and Shiro burst into tears as Keith left the flat.

 

And so the stress began.

 

***

History Paper A - American History 1750-1850

 

Keith walked into the exam room, with hundreds of things he had to remember swirling around his head. He sat down at his required seat and picked up his pencil as the papers were handed out. A nervous sweat ran down his forehead. His special spray was waiting in his pocket just in case started to wolf out from stress.

 

“Ok everybody. You have one hour and thirty minutes on this paper. If you talk, cheat or look at somebody else’s paper, your mark will be void. You may begin….now.”

 

Keith flicked his paper open and began to answer the questions. A question came up about The Battle of Yorktown, and he was stumped.

 

What year did the Battle of Yorktown occur?

 

Keith pulled his hair and squeezed his eyes shut, trying to remember. Then, something came to mind that Lance had told him.

 

“You know the musical, Hamilton?” Lance had asked him when he was still in hospital.

 

“No, haven’t heard of it.”

 

Lance had gasped and looked genuinely concerned.

 

“It’s only the best musical ever. Jeez where have you been?”

 

Keith had scoffed.

 

“Anyway, you’re doing American History aren’t you? A lot of the songs have dates in them. It’ll be an easy way to remember all of them.”

 

Keith had turned his nose up to the idea, but when Lance had left he downloaded the playlist on spotify. He had been belting it out most days, and Lance had played his guitar to the songs as they rapped out of tune together.

 

“Ok...ok...Yorktown…” He thought.

 

He tapped his pencil lightly on the paper, trying to remember the rhythm.

 

“The word turned upside down….mmmm...ah! The Battle of Yorktown 1781!”

 

He scribbled down the date and smiled.

 

“Thanks Lance...and you Lin Manuel. Saving my ass in my final.”

 

Once he had finished (he thought he did ok considering he had missed all the revision lessons whilst being in hospital) he left the college to grab lunch with Pidge. They were the only two who had any exams today (in their group), so Hunk and Lance were at home revising. Keith had another History exam in the afternoon, and he pulled out his notes when he sat down at Balmera coffee house. Around ten minutes later, Pidge joined him looking stressed out.

 

“Hey, how did your Physics exam go?”

 

Pidge sighed.

 

“I think it went awful! I forgot the terminal velocity rate equation so I tried to make it out of three other equations and I don’t know what to do now cause I’m pretty sure I fucked up the essay cause the thing I wrote about didn’t match with the question-”

 

“-Woah Pidge calm down. You’ll have done fine. Stop stressing about what’s in the past, okay? It’s done now. Let’s just fit in some last minute revision for our next tests, okay?”

 

Pidge smiled weakly and nodded, and took out three massive notebooks to flick through. While she went over her work, Keith went up to order some drinks. As he reached the counter, he thought he caught a whiff of Galra scent. He scanned the cafe suspiciously, but he didn’t recognise anyone other than Pidge, so he dismissed it.

 

But in the corner, a werewolf grinned.

 

***

 

Keith had finished his last exam for the day (History of England...very dull, there were no hamilton songs to help him this time), and he was leaving the school with Pidge. She was much more relaxed than she was earlier as she believed she did well in her second Physics exam. They waited at the bus stop together, and Keith waved Pidge off as she got on the bus.

 

“Say hi to Matt for me!” he called as the doors shut.

 

Keith started heading in the direction towards his apartment block, a little smile on his face. He was happy with how today had gone. As he was walking, he felt eyes on him like before, and he whipped around. Nothing there. Instead of ignoring it, he decided to go and investigate. He inhaled, his mouth slightly parted. His eyes went dark. It was the same Galra he thought he smelt in the cafe. He squinted his eyes and looked around. There was a pair of feet hanging from a tree, which he was completely shocked that he didn’t notice before. Slapping his forehead, he approached the tree. The werewolf obviously noticed that their cover was blown, as they jumped from the tree and sprinted away. Keith followed on an impulse, chasing after them as fast as he could manage. Their hood was pulled up so he couldn’t see their face. Keith was beginning to lose them, so (checking to see if anybody else was around first) he grew into his wolf form and pelted after them. He started gaining on the run-away, his paws hammering against the ground. Suddenly, the werewolf leapt high into the air, causing Keith to skid underneath them and crash into a fence. He spun around, but he only caught a glimpse of the werewolf’s shoe as they climbed through an open window.

 

When he finally arrived home, Shiro was in such a good mood that he didn’t want to ruin it with troubling thoughts, so he kept the chase to himself. He regretted this later, as Shiro’s good mood had encouraged him to try cooking again. The whole apartment block had to be evacuated because of the amount of smoke he generated.

 

Chapter Text

Two days later (Wednesday)

 

Keith, Pidge, Hunk and Lance all left the Astrophysics exam groaning.

 

“My flight simulation went so bad! I almost crashed my ship at one point!” exclaimed Lance, throwing his hands out in frustration.”

 

Hunk snorted and clapped his back in good humour.

 

“That’s only cause you tried to get bonus marks by threading the needle through the simulated desert canyon.”

 

Keith burst out laughing.

 

“That’s our sharpshooter.”

 

Lance nudged him hard, but chuckled all the same.

 

“What exams do you have next guys?” Pidge asked as they headed to the library.

 

“I have my music one. I’m fucking terrified! I don’t know if they think the songs gonna be good enough and I only finished the lyrics completely at the weekend so they might seem a little rushed and last minute-”

 

“-it’ll be fine! You’ve practiced the song with me so many times. It’s great.”

 

“You haven’t heard the lyrics though, Keith.”

 

Keith huffed and crossed his arms.

 

“Only cause you won’t let me.”

 

He didn’t notice, but Lance blushed hard and covered his face with his scarf.

 

“The lyrics are too personal.”

 

Keith rolled his eyes.

 

“I don’t have a final this afternoon, so do you guys want me to pick you up anything from the shop or something?”

 

Pidge and Hunk gave each other a look.

 

“Actually Keith...yeah, we kinda need you to do something for us.”

 

Keith raised an eyebrow as they took their seats at a large table in the library. Lance went off to get the books they needed.

 

“Well, you know how we needed that crystal before to help improve Shiro’s robotic arm?”

 

Keith nodded slowly, but he didn’t like where the conversation was going.

 

“Well, we still need that crystal basically. We’ve tried literally every alternative and nothing works better. If you wouldn’t mind doing some looking around for us we’d be so grateful.”

 

“Only cause you made me so many peanut butter cookies when I was ill, Hunk. Fine, I’ll do it.”

 

Pidge and Hunk beamed at him. Keith stood up.

 

“I might as well go now. Good luck with your exams guys!”

 

***

 

 

As Keith left the school, he suddenly froze.

 

Why the fuck did he agree to this?

 

If Pidge and Hunk couldn’t find any, how could he?

 

He sighed and rubbed his eyes wearily. He was too old for this. After pondering over his options for a while, he decided to text Shiro. His brother knew a lot of nerdy scientists at Altea University - maybe one of them could help.

 

Keith 12:04

Hey big bro, do you know any crystal/rock nerds?

 

Shiro 12:04

Oddly specific but yeah, I do. You know they’re called Geologists, right?

 

Keith 12:05

Yeah whatever, do you think you could get me in touch with one of them, I need to try and help Hunk and Pidge find some of that weird crystal for your arm.

 

Shiro 12:05

Shouldn’t you be revising for your Astrophysics theory exam tomorrow?

 

Keith 12:07

Yes?

 

Shiro 12:07

Ffs, okay I might as well speed up the process then. There’s a lovely woman called Shay who specialises in them. You should go and see Allura, she’ll help you find her. I want you home by 3:30 sharp so I can help you with revision though, or you can’t go.

 

Keith 12:10

...fine

 

Keith snorted at the unreasonable curfew, but caught a bus to the university anyway. When he arrived, he managed to find Allura reasonably quickly - she was eating a burrito outside with some of her friends.

 

“Allura!” he greeted as he walked up to her.

 

She got up and hugged him tightly.

 

“It’s so good to see you well again,” she cried.

 

Keith beamed as they pulled apart.

 

“What can I do for you?”

 

Keith scratched the back of his head awkwardly.

 

“It’s kind of a weird request, but I need to find this weird crystal thing called Olkarionite for Hunk and Pidge’s project. Shiro said I should talk to somebody called Shay?”

 

Allura frowned.

 

“Olkarionite, huh? Never heard of the stuff. I can take you to find Shay though. Follow me.”

 

The other werewolf bid farewell to her friends and beckoned for Keith to follow her inside the university. After climbing what seemed like an infinite amount of stairs, they eventually arrived outside the Geology department. Allura knocked on the door twice, and smiled awkwardly at Keith as they waited for somebody to answer. The door clicked open, and a friendly-looking young woman was standing in the doorway. She was carrying an armful of strange and wondrous rocks and crystals in her arms.

 

“Hi there Allura! What can I do for you? And who’s your friend?”

 

“This is my friend, Keith. He’s looking for some Olkarionite, do you know of it?”

 

Keith grinned nervously and shook Shay’s hand, which she somehow maneuvered through the pile of rocks she was carrying. She laughed heartily.

 

“Know of it? Olkarionite is a very well known mineral, although it’s extremely rare. Unfortunately I have none in my possession, any scrap of it that is found is usually put into the ships we send off to space.”

 

Keith groaned.

 

“I’m really sorry.”

 

“It’s not your fault, don’t worry,” Keith reassured her.

 

“Thanks anyway, Shay. Um... do you want help bringing those inside?”

 

Allura gestured to all the rocks Shay was carrying.

 

“Oh, don’t worry! I’m fine with- WAIT!”

 

Allura and Keith froze as Shay hopped on the spot.

 

“You-your necklace! Your necklace! The crystal hanging from it is Olkarionite!”

 

Allura looked down at the large crystal swinging from the chain. Her eyes lit up as she looked at Keith.

 

“No...Allura I can’t take that, it’s yours.”

 

His friend ignored him and slipped the crystal off the chain and handed it to him.

 

“I would do anything to help Shiro. Don’t worry about it, it didn’t match my eyes properly anyway.”

 

Shay snorted.

 

“You never fail to amuse me Allura.”

 

Keith took the crystal and thanked her, then said goodbye to Shay as she went back inside her office. They both meandered down the winding staircases till they reached the ground floor once more.

 

“Thanks again, Allura,” Keith said as they emerged back outside again.

 

“My pleasure. Give Shiro my love.”

 

Keith said he would and was about to leave, when he suddenly remembered something.

 

“Oh, Allura!” he called after his friend.

 

She turned around to face him.

 

“I think some of the galra are back, I followed one the other day. Keep an eye out, okay?”

 

She frowned and her eyebrows scrunched up, but she nodded sharply.

 

“Don’t you dare get hurt again Keith Kogane.”

 

Keith promised he wouldn’t, and waved at her as he got on the bus, the crystal firmly clutched in his hand. As he found a seat, he put his head in his hands and thought hard. He had almost forgotten about the Galra since the finals began, and he groaned at his stupidity. They were probably waiting to strike him down any moment, and all he was worried about was his next exam. Keith sighed and tapped his foot on the ground. He really should’ve told Shiro.

Chapter Text

Keith unlocked the door of his apartment and sighed. He was just heading over to his room when he got knocked to the ground by someone large and bulky. He growled and writhed under the bigger person’s grasp, feeling himself begin to change.

 

“What time do you call this?” they exclaimed.

 

Keith immediately stopped struggling.

 

“Shiro? What the fuck? Let me up!”

 

His brother got off him and let him get to his feet, snarling quietly. Keith pushed himself off the ground and whipped round to face his brother.

 

“What’s wrong with you?”

 

Shiro snarled it him and pointed at the clock.

 

“It’s 16:45! That’s way beyond your curfew! Get to your room and start studying!”

 

Keith rolled his eyes.

 

“Calm down old man, I just needed to give the crystal to Hunk and Pidge.”

 

Shiro dropped all signs of hostility and beamed.

 

“You actually found it! Oh my god, I’m gonna have an arm!”

 

Keith’s brother punched the air in excitement and pulled Keith in for a one armed hug. He wriggled free from Shiro’s grasp, but couldn’t help grinning as his brother danced with joy. Keith was going to let Shiro enjoy the moment, but he remembered how he had felt on the bus, so he sat down on the sofa and gestured for Shiro to sit down. Shiro frowned at him, and sat down slowly.

 

“Shiro, I know I should’ve told you this when it happened, but you were in such a good mood that I didn’t want to ruin it so-”

 

“-Keith...I know already. The Galra are back, aren’t they?”

 

Keith eyes widened with shock.

 

“H-how do you know?”

 

Shiro massaged his temple and sighed.

 

“I was walking to the shops with Adam to get the stuff for making pancakes on Monday, and I felt like I was being watched. I told Adam to go on without me cause I ‘had to take a call’. There was a Galra following behind me, and I was surprised I hadn’t noticed them before. I knew it would be too risky to engage, but I’m pretty sure I managed to lose them while shopping.”

 

Keith growled.

 

“Why didn’t you tell me?”

 

Shiro gave him a long look.

 

“Why didn’t you tell me, Keith?”

 

They both looked at each other guiltily, but smiled at each other.

 

“At least we both know...I told Allura to look out for them.”

 

Shiro nodded. There was a knock at the door, and Shiro shot up, tomato red. He pushed Keith towards his room and slammed the door on him, then he ran to the front door. Keith stood there, confused, until he heard a familiar voice entering the flat.

 

“Hey Shiro, how are you doing?”

 

Keith raised an eyebrow. What was Adam doing here? He decided not to interrupt them, but as he started to revise for his astrophysics theory exam, he strained his hearing so he could eavesdrop on their conversations. Keith grinned as he listened. Shiro had totally fallen for Adam.

 

***

The Next Day

 

Keith and Lance both left the Astrophysics exam feeling dejected.

 

“That was so much harder than I thought it would be,” groaned Keith.

 

Lance sighed in agreement. Pidge and Hunk had left the exam looking so confident, and they had skipped off so they could adjust Shiro’s arm. Lance nudged Keith in the side.

 

“Hey, at least our last exams are tomorrow! You’ve got your big art one, right?”

 

Keith nodded, groaning.

 

“Yeah, I’m going to have permanent hand cramps afterwards.”

 

Lance laughed, his eyes shining. Keith blushed hard and looked the other way, pretending to admire the daffodils beginning to sprout from the grass.

 

“I’m allowed to bring stuff to eat while I work though, since I’ll be there for ten hours.”

 

Lance gasped.

 

“No fair! I’m going to be doing my Spanish writing for two hours with no food! Nothing to eat...not even garlic knots.”

 

Keith snorted.

 

“That’s nothing. Come on, I need to pick up some snacks from the shop, want to come along? I’ll buy you some Goldfish.”

 

Lance nodded vigorously. They headed over to the nearest newsagents, and Keith stocked up on as many things as he could afford.

 

“Ugh, how can you like liquorice?” spat Lance as Keith piled three packets into his basket.

 

“It’s black, like my emo soul.”

 

Lance snorted, and went into the corner to pick some goldfish. Naturally, he chose the cupcake flavour, and he skipped over to the basket and plopped them in. Keith gave him a death stare.

 

“Goldfish are meant to be savoury you weirdo. Get some cheese ones or something.”

 

Lance stuck out his tongue at him.

 

“Nope, these ones are my favourite.”

 

Keith sighed and smacked his forehead. He collected a few more bits and pieces (mainly doritos and cheetos) then went up to pay. Lance had somehow managed to sneak bubblegum into the basket, and Keith was tempted to put it back, but Lance was giving him the biggest puppy eyes he had ever seen. He gave in and bought it, even though he was repulsed by the idea of sweet gum like that.

 

“Peppermint is the only valid flavour for gum!” he had argued as he bought it.

 

They left the shop, Lance merrily chewing his bubblegum. He was blowing huge bubbles, which even Keith was impressed by.

 

“How do you do that?”

 

Lance laughed and unwrapped a piece of gum.

 

“Just try it and you’ll see.”

 

“Nope, no way,” Keith refused as he sprinted away.

 

Lance laughed and chased after Keith with the gum, wiggling it after him. He eventually caught up with Keith, and managed to force it into his mouth. Keith unwillingly began to chew it, and gagged at the sweet flavour which cursed his mouth.

 

“It’s really not that bad, Keith.”

 

Once they had walked for a bit longer, Keith began to try blowing a bubble. His face scrunched up with concentration and he blew as hard as he could. The gum just ended up shooting out of his mouth and splattered onto the pavement below. Lance burst out laughing, tears streaming down his face as he clutched his sides. Keith just stared down at the little piece of pink gum in astonishment, feeling confused and betrayed. He looked over at Lance, who was cackling now, and grinned. Lance unwrapped another piece and handed it to him, and Keith took it straight away this time - he wanted to show Lance he could actually do it. He tried incredibly hard the whole way to Lance’s apartment, losing three bits of gum in the process. He was on his fifth piece by the time they arrived, and he still hadn’t made even the smallest bubble.

 

“Hey, it took me ages to learn too,” Lance said as Keith furiously blew on the gum.

 

Keith gave him a long look, and Lance chuckled. Lance fitted the key into the lock of his door, and smiled at Keith.

 

“I’ll see you tomorrow, sharpshooter,” said Keith as Lance started going inside.

 

“See you.”

 

Lance closed the door on Keith, and the werewolf smiled. He sighed happily as he left the apartment block, still chewing the bubblegum.

 

When he arrived back at his apartment, Shiro recoiled from him.

 

“Are you chewing bubblegum? Who are you and what have you done with my little brother?”

 

Keith growled at him.

 

“I can’t blow a god damn bubble in this thing.”

 

Shiro ruffled his hair.

 

“Little baby Keith can’t even blow a-”

 

Keith swiped at him playfully and pushed him away.

 

“I’m not a baby! And...wait…”

 

He inhaled deeply and cocked an eyebrow.

 

“You’ve had Adam here again today, haven’t you?”

 

Shiro laughed awkwardly.

 

“What...no…”

 

Keith gave him a long look.

 

“Okay...okay fine. How did you know?”

 

“I can smell unburnt cooking, and Adam smells like coffee. You prefer tea.”

 

Shiro sighed.

 

“I’ve taught you too well. Yeah, we were making a cake.”

 

He gestured at a sponge cake resting on the kitchen counter. It had messy icing on it which said ‘Made by Shiro and Adam’. Keith smiled.

 

“You’re totally in love with him, aren’t you?”

 

Shiro blushed and opened his mouth as if he was about to say something, but he was silent.

 

“Just ask him out, I’m sure he’ll say yes.”

 

“Keith...you don’t understand. He’s going through a divorce right now, it would be rude and bad timing to ask him now.”

 

Keith shrugged.

 

“Whatever you say.”

 

He headed over to the kitchen so he could cut a slice from the cake, when he accidentally blew a bubble in the bubblegum. He squealed and got out his phone so he could take a picture, but it popped all over his face. He took a picture anyway and sent it to Lance.

 

Keith 16:49

Attachment 1 Photo

I swear I fucking blew a bubble, it just went everywhere.

 

Lance 16:50

You’re so cool samurai

 

Chapter Text

Friday (Last day of finals)

 

Keith entered his art classroom feeling confident, chewing a piece of bubblegum which Lance had given him when they met up in the morning. He still hadn’t been able to blow a bubble, but he secretly liked the flavour anyway. He unpacked his mountain of art supplies onto the table and got out his bag of snacks. Matt came in and high fived Keith.

 

“You ready for ten hours of hell?”

 

Keith snorted and helped Matt unload his things. He had also brought a huge bag of snacks, and they promised they’d share with each other. It was a very relaxed examination - they would be able to talk and eat, but there was still an examiner there to make sure there wasn’t any plagiarisation or messing around. Keith got out his A2 canvas from the back of the classroom and propped it up on his desk. The examiner got them to quiet down, then told them to begin.

 

Half-way through the exam, Keith had finished sketching out the piece properly and was getting ready to paint. He didn’t want the figure falling to look like himself (he was too embarrassed) so he made them look similar to Lance. Well, he basically just painted Lance with slightly longer hair, and more freckles. Keith stuck his hand into his bag of snacks to grab some liquorice, but inside his hands closed on a packet of bubblegum. He rolled his eyes. Lance must have bought him more. He offered some to Matt, who put three pieces in his mouth at once (I need a sugar high or I’m going to fall asleep) which made Keith a little concerned for him. His phone buzzed in his pocket, and he got it out (they were allowed to use them for reference). It was a picture of Lance, Hunk and Pidge with their thumbs up, Good Luck written underneath. Keith laughed as he showed Matt, and sent a smiley face back.

 

“So, Keith..” Matt began.

 

“Mm,” Keith replied as he started to apply paint to his piece.

 

“How’s Shiro doing? I know Pidge and Hunk are making him a bionic arm.”

 

“Oh he’s doing fine. He’s not back at work yet cause he’s still doing physiotherapy, but he’ll be back in a week or so. Why do you ask?”

 

“Well, since finals are almost done, we won't have school. I wanted to maybe do something with him, you know?”

 

Keith grinded his teeth.

 

“Ah...that...that sounds great. Really.”

 

Matt looked at him suspiciously.

 

“Why do you sound weird?”

 

“Just stressed out, don’t worry. I’m sure Shiro would enjoy spending some time with you.”

 

Matt grinned and continued with his work, but Keith frowned. He hoped Matt would direct his feelings toward someone else soon, or he was going to be crushed.

 

***

 

Keith stood back to admire his finished work. His ‘Lance but not Lance’ was falling through the darkness, with blue and red flowers drifting around him. A pale hand was reaching out for him at the side. He thought it looked pretty decent, and signed his name on the bottom with a flourish. He hoped he got a good mark, his hand was burning with the pain of satan. He waved goodbye to Matt as he left, feeling light and bouncy. No more finals. None. The next time he would be going to school would be at University. He walked along to his locker to get his things, and he was surprised to see Lance waiting there for him.

 

“Lance? What are you doing here? Your exam finished two hours ago.”

 

Lance smiled at him.

 

“I just hung around.”

 

Keith shut his locker and beamed.

 

“Well, thanks for waiting then. Do you want to do something, grab dinner or come round?”

 

“Uh- sure. Yeah that would be cool.”

 

“Do you like Chinese?”

 

“Of course, I’m not a complete weirdo.”

 

They left the college building and turned around to see it one last time. Lance got out his phone and took a selfie of them in front of it.

 

“You know there’s a weird Australian animal called a Quokka which takes selfies?” Keith said as he smiled into the camera.

 

Lance burst out laughing.

 

“Who the fuck knows that?”

 

“Me.”

 

They left the school grounds, holding up their middle fingers to the gates. Keith boarded the bus with Lance, and offered him some of his remaining snacks.

 

“Any bubblegum left?”

 

“Nah, Matt ate like twelve pieces of it. Thanks by the way. I think I’ve found a new love for bubblegum.”

 

“Wow...that’s a miracle.”

 

Keith nudged Lance hard.

 

“I can learn to love things.”

 

They got to the stop near Keith’s apartment, and Lance leaped off the bus with a twirl. Keith rolled his eyes and got off after him, pretending he wasn’t with him by walking fast ahead of him.

 

“Hey, wait up!”

 

Keith didn’t let Lance catch up as he ran at full speed towards his apartment block. He burst out laughing as he got to the door to the stairwell, and turned around to wait for Lance...but he wasn’t there.

 

“Lance? Where are you? I swear if you jump out and scare me…”

 

There was no answer. Keith nervously retraced his steps, scenting the air. He followed Lance’s scent into an alleyway. Anxiously, he peered around the corner.

 

“Hi there, Keith. Long time, no see.”

 

Keith felt the world collapsing around him. Lotor was standing in front of him, Lance held firmly in his grasp. Lance’s eyes were wide with fear, and a single tear was rolling down his cheek. Keith dropped his bag and growled.

 

“Let him go!”

Chapter Text

Lotor clutched Lance tighter, digging his nails into his throat. Lance whimpered and looked at Keith pleadingly.

 

“Let him go!”

 

Lotor bared his teeth and snarled. He dragged Lance further into the alley, and Keith ran after him.

 

“Keith, let’s be rational here. This little runt is going to die if you don’t place your words carefully.”

 

Lance wiggled in Lotor’s grasp desperately, but Lotor just cackled.

 

“Humans are pathetic, aren’t they? They are inferior to us.”

 

Keith froze...Lotor wouldn’t dare...he couldn’t….

 

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

 

Lotor laughed hysterically. He pushed Lance to the ground and held him down. Lance whimpered and struggled on the ground.

 

“Why don’t you show him what you really are, Keith? Why don’t you show him that he’s hanging around with a monster?”

 

Keith snarled at him, his canines gleaming with spit.

 

“Show him, or I’ll kill him.”

 

Lotor smiled at him innocently, flipping a knife out from his pocket and holding it to Lance’s throat.

 

“Don’t hurt him!” exclaimed Keith, growling.

 

“Then do as I say.”

 

Keith looked down at Lance, who was sobbing on the floor, flinching away from the knife at his throat. His eyes were glazed and snot was dribbling down his face. Keith knew Lotor would really do it - heck, he’d almost killed Keith himself. Keith warily crouched on the floor.

 

“That’s it Keith, go on.”

 

Instead of transforming, Keith leapt forwards and knocked Lotor off Lance, pinning him to the floor. Lotor snarled in frustration, violently stabbing the knife in all directions, trying to get Keith off him. He managed to wriggle free from Keith’s grasp, and spun around, kicking him in the face.

 

“Keith!” cried Lance, who was hunched on the floor, his back against the alley wall.

 

“Get away from here Lance! Go!”

 

Keith pushed himself off the floor and wiped the blood from his face. Lotor lunged for him with the knife, and Keith grabbed his hand and flung the knife away from them. Lotor grinned and chuckled in a low voice.

 

“Very clever. It’s a shame that you aren’t very observant.”

 

Two of Lotor’s cronies grabbed his arms from behind and dragged him off Lotor. Keith hissed in pain as they twisted his arms behind him and forced him to the floor. Lance was still frozen against the wall, shaking as Lotor approached him. One of Lance’s cronies chucked the knife towards him, and Lotor pointed it at Lance.

 

“You really aren’t very smart, are you Kogane? Prepare for your little human friend to die.”

 

Keith wriggled and squirmed, yelping in fury as Lotor slowly edged towards Lance. Lance looked at Keith, fear altering his features. Lotor was inches from Lance’s chest now, and Keith realised there was no alternative. Closing his eyes, he began to transform. As his muscles expanded, Lotor’s followers were forced to let go by the force on their hands. Thick black fur curled from his skin and his face grew into a snout. He surged towards Lotor, his paws thudding hard against the ground. Lotor grinned and turned to face him, transforming himself into his wolf form. Lance’s mouth dropped with shock as they crashed into each other, teeth bared and claws unsheathed. Keith fought Lotor to the ground viciously, claws tearing at every scrap of fur he could reach. Lotor snapped at his tail, growling. Keith recoiled just in time before Lotor could crunch down on his tail. Lotor bared his fangs and decided to aim for Lance instead. Lotor managed to score a claw down the side of Lance’s arm before Keith bit deep into his leg and dragged him off. Lance’s pained scream motivated Keith further, and he swung Lotor into the wall where he crashed with a sickening crunch. Lotor’s cronies crouched down to transform at this, but Lotor growled at them.

 

“He’s mine! Leave him to me!”

 

They gave each other concerned looks and stayed put. Keith watched as Lotor pushed himself up, wheezing. His pristine white coat was matted with blood and dust.

 

“I’ll fight you to the death! You’ll pay!”

 

Keith snarled.

 

“Lotor...why are you doing this? Why are you so desperate?”

 

Lotor lunged at Keith but missed, and crashed down hard on the floor.

 

“You aren’t doing this because you want to, you’re doing it cause you have to.”

 

Keith dodged another failed strike from Lotor.

 

“You wouldn’t understand, you’re a pathetic excuse for a werewolf,” Lotor snapped back.

 

Keith leapt onto Lotor and pinned him down, digging his claws into Lotor’s shoulders. Lotor furiously squirmed under his grasp, trying to snap at his paws. He waved his tail at his cronies, and they started to advance on Lance, who was clutching his arm, tears running down his face.

 

“No!” growled Keith as he hurled himself in front of them, ready to take any blows to protect Lance.

 

The cronies grinned as they slunk into their wolf forms, poised to pounce on him. Keith shut his eyes, preparing to be attacked. One of them suddenly flinched as they saw Lotor slump to the floor, breathing heavily. They gave each other worried glances, and looked back at Keith. The smaller wolf broke away from the other and ran over to Lotor’s side, sniffing him anxiously. With a vicious snarl at Keith, the other joined Lotor’s side. They both grew back into their human forms and picked Lotor up together.

 

“This isn’t over, asswipe!” the larger one yelled at him as they hurriedly carried Lotor from the alley.

 

Keith sighed in relief and turned around to face Lance. He had passed out from the pain. Keith quickly grew back into a human, and he picked up Lance bridal style. He ran towards his apartment, worry clouding his mind. He furiously bashed on the door, and Shiro opened it, grinning until he saw Lance.

 

“What happened, Keith?”

 

Bursting into tears, Keith shook his head and rushed inside, lying Lance onto the sofa. Adam was in the kitchen, stirring something in a pan in the kitchen. He turned around to greet Keith, but froze when he saw Lance lying on the sofa.

 

“Adam,” Keith sobbed “Adam please help him.”

 

The doctor ran out from the apartment to get supplies from his car, and Shiro pulled Keith in for a hug.

 

“What happened? Was it-”

 

Keith nodded.

 

“He-he took Lance and I had to...I had to Shiro. He saw me in my wolf form...and I fought Lotor. His packmates took him away cause he was too injured. But he hurt Lance. Please...please say he’ll be fine.”

 

“Hey...calm down okay? Adam’s getting stuff, just sit down and breathe.”

 

Keith squeezed Shiro tightly on the sofa and he let out everything he was feeling in the form of tears. Shiro growled softly. Would Lotor ever leave them alone?

Chapter Text

 

“He’s going to be fine. It was quite a deep wound, but I’ve dressed it and given him some pain killers. Make sure he takes the prescripted amount of antibiotics so it doesn’t get infected.”

 

“Thank you so much Adam. You are a literal life saver.”

 

Adam got up from the sofa where Lance was and smiled at Shiro.

 

“Call me if anything happens, okay?”

 

Shiro nodded and showed Adam to the door. He whispered something in Adam’s ear and he laughed, blushing a little. Keith didn’t see or hear any of this, his eyes were firmly stuck to Lance’s sleeping body. He had texted Hunk and Pidge about what had happened, and Hunk was coming over in an hour to take him home. He put his hand onto Lance’s head. It was warm, but not the kind of warm which was concerning. He put his head in his hands as Shiro rubbed his back.

 

“Shall I make us some tea?”

 

Keith nodded and got up to get a wet cloth. He carefully laid it on Lance’s head and got up to drink his tea. He sat down at the dining table with Shiro and awkwardly took a sip.

 

“Shiro…”

 

Shiro looked up from his cup.

 

“What’s going to happen when Lance wakes up?”

 

Shiro cocked his head.

 

“What do you mean?”

 

“Well...he saw me transform. My secret’s out...he’s not gonna think of me in the same way anymore. And what if he tells someone else? Shiro everything’s been ruined…”

 

Keith teared up and sniffed. He took a long sip of tea, even though scorched his throat and tongue. Shiro sighed and rubbed his head.

 

“Keith...you can’t assume he’ll think of you differently.”

 

“Imagine if you told Adam! What would you be thinking right now?”

 

Shiro let out another huge sigh.

 

“Hey, I understand. You do what you want to do, but let me remind you that Lance is still Lance. I don’t think he’s the kind of person to judge somebody.”

 

Keith didn’t answer and poured the rest of his tea down the sink. He took his place at Lance’s side, checking his temperature and pulse again. He stroked his head softly and sighed. He fucking hoped he’d be okay.

 

***

 

Hunk almost ran over to Lance’s side when Keith let him in. He was still sleeping soundly on the sofa. Keith picked Lance up bridal style and took him downstairs to Hunk’s car. He told Hunk about the antibiotics that Lance would need. Hunk wrote all the information down in the notes in his phone and gave Keith a massive hug before he left. Keith watched the yellow car speed down the road with worry, but headed back inside once it had disappeared around the corner. Shiro tried to give him another hug when he let Keith back in but Keith pushed past him and slammed the door of his room. He slumped onto his bed and growled angrily. Why did this have to happen? What if Lance never wanted to speak to him again?

 

***

 

Keith hadn’t left the house for three days, no, he hadn’t left his room for three days. Shiro was getting increasingly worried, and even Adam hadn’t been able to convince him to come outside. His phone had been buzzing the whole time, with texts from various people. There wasn’t a single message from Lance, and Keith was fearing the worst; Lance was scared of him. He was just so angry, his ripped pillow case and mattress was clear evidence of that. There was a knocking at his door, and Keith sulkily looked up from his pillow.

 

“Keith, I’m insisting that you come out. Now.”

 

Keith didn’t answer and flopped his head back down on his pillow.

 

“Keith...please come out. Your brother is really worried,” Keith realised Adam was speaking now.

 

He still refused to move. There were anxious whispers between the two of them and Adam seemed to be trying to sooth Shiro. Keith still didn’t move. He heard another knock, but this time it came from the front door. Shiro or Adam went to answer it and Keith heard them both gasp.

 

“Yes...yes of course you can. He hasn’t left his room since it happened,” Shiro said to the person.

 

There were footsteps, and Keith recoiled into the corner of his bed. He wasn’t in the mood for any social interaction.

 

“Hey, man.”

 

Keith froze. Lance?

 

“Can we talk?”

 

Keith felt tears forming and he shook his head at the door. No...he was going to say he didn’t want to see him again...he was going to say that Keith was a freak....that he didn’t want to be near a monster. He covered himself in his blanket to muffle the sounds on the other side of his door. He squeezed his eyes shut and hugged his legs to his chest. He didn’t want to face Lance, he liked him too much to let him go.

 

***

 

Keith woke up to a sharp rapping sound on his window. He shook his head to clear the fuzziness from his eyes. Another rapping sound. He stood up clumsily and looked outside. A figure stood there, clutching a blue guitar. They threw one more stone at the window, and Keith reluctantly opened it. He was about to shut it again when he saw who it was, but the figure strummed the guitar once and he froze. Then the figure began to sing:

 

Do you hear me?

I’m talking to you

Across the water

Across the deep blue ocean

Under the open sky

Oh My

Darlin’

I’m trying

 

Keith gasped...it was Lance’s song. Lance walked forwards so his was right under Keith’s window, and he smiled brightly up at him. He bandaged arm was somehow managing to strum the guitar as he grinned at him.

 

Boy

I hear you in my dreams

I feel your whisper across the sea

I keep you with me in my heart

You make it easier when life gets hard

 

Keith felt himself blushing hard as he listened to Lance playing. Lance winked at him and took a deep breath, blushing himself. Biting his lip, he began the chorus.

 

I’m lucky I’m in love with my best friend

Lucky to to have been where I have been

Lucky to be coming home again

 

What? Keith stared hard at Lance, his face somehow going even redder. Did he just say-

 

They don’t know how long it takes

Waiting for a love like this

Every time we say goodbye

I wish we could’ve kissed

I’ll wait for you

I promise

I will

 

Keith’s jaw dropped and he ran to his door, unlocking it quickly. Shiro and Adam looked up in confusion as he raced past them. He flung open the door and pelted down the stairs, not feeling the happy tears running down his face. He could still hear Lance playing as he went outside, his bare feet cold on the ground. Lance turned round to face him and smiled sweetly.

 

I’m lucky I’m in love with my best friend

Lucky to have been where I have been

Lucky to be going home again

 

Lucky I’m in love in every way

Lucky to have stayed where we have stayed

Lucky to be coming home someday

 

Lance finished the song with a chord, and Keith stood in front of him, breathless.

 

“I don’t give a shit what you are, I fucking love you samurai.”

 

Keith burst into happy tears and ran up to Lance who dropped his guitar on the floor. He hugged Keith tightly and cried with him. They broke apart and gave each other a look. Keith bit his lip and grinned.

 

“I think I love you too, sharpshooter.”

 

Lance beamed and leaned forwards, lips parted. Keith went red and had a mini heart attack. A million things rushed through his brain at once. He gave himself a silent pep talk and made up his mind. He closed his eyes and leaned forwards too. Their lips met awkwardly, and the kiss was short, but it was full of emotion and feeling. Keith giggled into it, and he felt Lance smiling into the kiss. They broke apart and hugged again.

 

“So...is your dog back from the vet yet?”

 

Keith snorted and nudged Lance softly.

 

“Sure he is.”

Chapter Text

Shiro and Adam smiled down at Keith and Lance from the balcony. Shiro had his phone out, secretly filming them hugging. Adam wolf-whistled, making Keith look up at them. He went crimson when he saw Shiro filming and covered his face with his hands. Lance laughed and waved up at them, then took Keith’s hand and led him inside. Shiro unlocked the door for them and grinned goofily at Keith.

 

“Told you he wouldn’t care.”

 

Keith punched him lightly, not able to contain his smile.

 

“I don’t think I would’ve had the nerve to sing it if it hadn’t been for Shiro...he told me everything you had told him and it gave me confidence.”

 

Keith snarled at Shiro.

 

“Shiro! You can’t just do that!”

 

His brother shrugged and slowly backed away, Adam following him snickering. Lance beamed at Keith and gestured for them to go to Keith’s room. Keith led him inside and they sat down on his bed together.

 

“Sooo...you’re a werewolf huh?”

 

Keith sheepishly nodded, glancing to the side.

 

“Don’t worry, Shiro told me everything. I’m not gonna tell anyone, not even Pidge and Hunk.”

 

“Why aren’t you scared of me? I’m...I’m dangerous.”

 

Lance took Keith’s hands in his and met his eyes.

 

“Keith, you’re still Keith. You’ve just got a little furry problem on the side.”

 

Keith snorted.

 

“And how could I be scared of somebody who saved my life? You’re dumb.”

 

“Did Shiro tell Adam?”

 

Lance shook his head.

 

“He said he didn’t want to yet. He wants to ask him out first.”

 

Keith’s eyes shone.

 

“He’s going to?”

 

Lance shared his excitement, and laughed.

 

“We kind of made a deal. He said if I asked you out, he’d ask out Adam. Naturally, I couldn’t refuse. There are no downsides.”

 

Keith blushed and squeezed Lance’s hands. He pulled him close and wrapped his arms around his chest.

 

“Do you want to play Mario Cart?”

 

“Only if I can be Waluigi.”

 

Keith gave him a weird look.

 

“Why the fuck would you want to be Waluigi?”

 

“He’s underrated and I like his moustache. It reminds me of Professor Coran.”

 

“That would put me off playing as him. I’d be afraid he’d start yelling ‘Quiznack’ at me.”

 

Lance giggled as Keith got his Nintendo Switch out and connected it to the TV. They started playing, and Adam and Shiro came to join them. Shiro refused to change his character every time they played, he stuck with Rosalina the entire time. Did he win once? No.

 

***

Four days later

 

“THE FUCK? WHY DIDN’T YOU TELL ME YOU’RE GOING OUT?!” screamed Pidge as Keith and Lance approached her, holding hands.

 

Lance scratched the back of his neck, grinning awkwardly.

 

“Cause we were afraid you’d react like this…”

 

Hunk’s mouth was wide open and he was making weird seagull noises. Pidge shut his jaw forcefully, and he shoved her. Matt caught her before she fell over, and rolled his eyes.

 

“I mean, it’s not like we didn’t expect it...but I thought Keith would be the one to ask,” Matt admitted.

 

“What? You didn’t think I was brave enough?” Lance gasped, offended.

 

“Exactly that, yeah.”

 

Keith laughed and patted his boyfriend’s back.

 

“There, there, babe.”

 

Pidge, Hunk and Matt squealed in unison.

 

“You’re using pet names alreadyyy. Awww you guysss!” Hunk said, his eyelashes fluttering.

 

Keith and Lance blushed and looked at the ground. Pidge sighed.

 

“As much as I love seeing you guys being all awkward and lovey dovey, we need to deliver Shiro’s arm. We already sent the video we took the other day to our examiner, so it’s his!”

 

Keith led them up to his apartment and unlocked the door. He went inside, but froze as his friends all gasped. Adam and Shiro were making out hard on the sofa, Shiro’s shirt half ridden up his body. They stopped as they realised that everyone had entered. Adam got off Shiro awkwardly, and grinned at Keith. Shiro wiped his mouth and sat up, blushing.

 

“Um...I asked him.”

 

“Oh my god Shiro! I’m so happy for you!” Keith exclaimed.

 

Pidge, Hunk and Lance all squealed with happiness and high-fived Shiro and Adam. Matt hung at the back awkwardly, obviously looking dejected. He went up to Shiro and patted him on the back.

 

“I’m really happy for you Shiro,” he said, forcing a smile.

 

“Thanks Matt, I’m glad you understand.”

 

“Yeah...look I need to go. I’ve got to meet up with somebody.”

 

He left the apartment without saying goodbye to anyone. Pidge and Keith watched him leave, sharing a concerned glance. Nobody else seemed to notice as they were so hyped up and happy.

 

“I’ll text him later,” Keith whispered to Pidge.

 

She nodded and set the case containing Shiro’s arm on the coffee table in front of the sofa. Hunk took it out and attached it to Shiro’s stump. He easily managed to get it working, as he had practiced a few times before. He took Adam’s hands, beaming. Keith rested his head on Lance’s shoulder, smiling.

 

“We really need to thank you properly Keith. Without that crystal we wouldn’t have been able to fix it. Where did you get it anyway?” asked Hunk.

 

“Do you remember Allura, the pilot who came in to talk to us? We went to a Geologist and she told us Allura’s necklace had the crystal on it. It was really lucky.”

 

“Wow, I need to treat them to dinner or something. They saved our asses.”

 

Keith gave Hunk Allura’s number, and waved goodbye to Pidge and Hunk as they left. Lance and Keith sat down on the sofa, and Keith got out his phone.

 

“I need to talk to Matt,” Keith explained.

 

Lance nodded sympathetically.

 

“Poor guy, he really likes Shiro,” he sighed.

 

He glanced over at Adam and Shiro laughing together in the kitchen, icing smeared on Shiro’s nose.

 

Keith 13:20

Matt, u ok?

 

Keith 13:25

Talk to me man

 

“He won’t answer.”

 

Lance shrugged.

 

“You should give him some time. He’ll answer when he feels like it, don’t pressure him.”

 

Keith agreed and threw his phone down. Lance suddenly shot upright, eyes sparkling.

 

“I brought some facemasks, want to try one?”

 

Keith snorted.

 

“You’re joking right?”

 

Lance didn’t answer as he ran over to his bag and opened it up. He got out two packets of face masks, one red, one blue.

 

“Red or blue?”

 

Keith rolled his eyes and took the red one. Lance dragged him into his bedroom and pushed him down onto the bed.

 

“Close your eyes and stay still.”

 

Keith huffed and closed his eyes. He jumped as he felt Lance applying the face mask onto his cheeks. Giggling, he pushed him away.

 

“It’s cold!”

 

Lance held Keith still and continued, carefully avoiding his eyebrows. Once Keith’s face was completely covered in the red stuff, Lance applied his own carefully. When he turned around to show Keith, he burst out laughing.

 

“We look so dumb!” Keith laughed, clutching his sides.

 

Lance smirked.

 

“Skin care is very important Keith. We leave these on for half an hour.”

 

Keith laid back onto his bed, and Lance cuddled up next to him, carefully moving his injured arm to the side. Keith took a picture of them with their face masks, sticking his tongue out. Lance snickered and pulled the corners of his mouth out with his fingers, crossing his eyes. Lance laid his head on Keith’s chest, and Keith fiddled with Lance’s hair.

 

“Keith, can I ask you something?”

 

“Mm?”

 

“Well, I have a very limited knowledge of werewolves, but are you like a Twilight werewolf or a Teen Wolf werewolf?”

 

Keith laughed hard, making Lance jump.

 

“I guess both? I can turn into a wolf at will, but I’m forced to when it’s a full moon. When I’m in my human form, I have enhanced senses and agility and stuff.”

 

“Enhanced senses?”

 

“Yeah...like smell and hearing. Shiro’s got really good hearing, he can probably hear our conversation now clearly.”

 

Lance raised his eyebrows.

 

“Hi Shiirrrooooo!” he said quietly.

 

“Hi Lance!” Shiro called back.

 

His jaw gaped, and Keith laughed, hugging him close. Lance snorted.

 

“I now realise why you can’t have chocolate.”

 

“Yeah...I tried it once you know, when I went through a rebellious teenager phase. I had to get my stomach pumped.”

 

“Eeesh. Nasty.”

 

Keith touched his face and groaned.

 

“How much longer? My face feels weird and tingly."

 

Lance spun around to face him.

 

“That means it’s working. Your skin is gonna be glowing.”

 

Keith shyly leaned up and kissed him quickly, then went over to his snack drawer leaving Lance feeling flustered.

 

“Bubblegum?”

 

Chapter Text

Keith knocked on the door of Lance and Hunk’s apartment, feeling excited already. Lance opened it and pulled him inside.

 

“Hi,” Lance laughed.

 

“Hi.”

 

Lance pecked Keith’s cheek, blushing. Keith grinned at him and took his hand. His injured arm had been rewrapped by Adam the other day, and he had told Keith it was looking good - there were no signs of infection. Lance looked down curiously at the bag Keith was carrying.

 

“What’s in there?”

 

Keith set it down on the countertop, and pulled out a large bar of chocolate. Lance’s eyes shone.

 

“I bought some death food for you.”

 

“Aww, thanks boo. I’ve got some doritos in the cupboard if you want some?”

 

Keith raced over to get some as Lance started to set up the movie they were going to watch on Netflix - The Breakfast Club. Keith jumped next to him on the couch and threw a blanket over both of them. Lance pressed play and snuggled into Keith’s side.

 

“You’re warm.”

 

“Thanks?” snorted Keith as he ripped open the packet of doritos.

 

Lance opened the chocolate Keith had bought him as he hummed along to the music in the movie. He took a big chomp and smiled at Keith.

 

“I fucking love Hershey’s.”

 

Keith rolled his eyes. He pulled the blanket closer around himself, feeling happy and content. Five minutes into the film, Lance suddenly sat upright, looking uncomfortable.

 

“I don’t feel that good Keith...can you pause the movie?”

 

Keith watched with worry as Lance ran to the bathroom, clutching his stomach. He paused the movie and stood up to follow after Lance. He cringed back as he heard Lance vomiting into the toilet.

 

“Lance? Lance are you okay?”

 

“Does it sound like I’m okay?” groaned Lance.

 

Keith went inside to see Lance hunched over the toilet bowl, pale and sweaty.

 

“Aw babe...have a shower and brush your teeth and I’ll get you some fresh clothes.”

 

Lance smiled up at him, but his eyes widened and he turned back around to vomit into the toilet again. Keith left to get Lance some new clothes (he picked the coziest ones he could find) and made some nettle tea to help with the stomach pain. He heard the shower turning on and he decided to get some extra blankets and pillows from Lance’s bedroom. He organised them neatly on the couch and grabbed a basin from under the sink to put next to the sofa. Keith knocked on the bathroom door.

 

“I’ve got your clothes, Lance.”

 

Lance opened the door just a crack to grab them from Keith and closed it again. Keith sat back down on the sofa, waiting for his boyfriend to re-emerge. Lance eventually came out with the blue hoodie and shark shorts on that Keith had chosen for him. He laid down on the sofa and Keith smothered him with blankets and pillows. Lance snickered and threw one of the pillows back at Keith.

 

“Sorry about this Keith...I must have caught a bug or something.”

 

“Hey, don’t worry about it! It’s not your fault. I made you some nettle tea if you want it?”

 

Lance nodded and Keith handed it to him from the coffee table. Lance took a long sip and sighed.

 

“Man this is good, what did you put in it?”

 

“It’s Shiro’s recipe. Three spoonfuls of honey, a dollop of milk and nettle and peppermint. Makes me feel better whenever I’m sick.”

 

Lance took another sip and smiled at Keith softly.

 

“Thanks, man.”

 

Keith leaned over and kissed his forehead.

 

“Are you still in the mood to finish the film? You can just sleep if you want.”

 

Lance shook his head.

 

“No I want to finish it. I want to get to the bit where they get high.”

 

Keith chuckled and clicked the play button. He rubbed soothing circles onto the soles of Lance’s feet as he sipped away on his tea. He loved his sharpshooter so damn much.

 

***

 

“How you feeling buddy?” Hunk said as he came in.

 

“I’m feeling much better now, thanks. Keith made me a special tea,” answered Lance, who was curled up snuggly on the sofa, flicking through his phone.

 

“You up for a Dominoes or something?”

 

“Sure. Hawaiian for me please.”

 

Hunk held back a sharp retort about pineapple not belonging on pizza just because Lance was ill.

 

“Ow! Fuck!” growled Lance.

 

Hunk looked over at his friend who was clutching his mouth, his eyes watering.

 

“What did you do?”

 

“I just cut my tongue on my canines, jeez. Ow ow owwwwwww.”

 

Hunk got him a bit of ice to hold on it as he ordered the pizza.

 

“Hi there, I’d like to order a half and half pizza. One half Hawaiian, one half pepperoni,” Hunk spoke into his phone.

 

“Would you like extra pineapple on the Hawaiian?” the operator asked.

 

“Yes please!” exclaimed Lance.

 

Hunk gave him an odd look.

 

“Dude, I didn’t even ask you yet.”

 

“I heard the operator asking.”

 

Hunk raised an eyebrow.

 

“Yes, extra pineapple would be great. Ok. Thanks.”

 

Hunk hung up and got another piece of ice for Lance. Lance held it to his tongue and sighed in relief.

 

“So...before you threw up obviously...did you and Keith...you know…”

 

Lance shot upright and he snarled at Hunk.

 

“Hunk! You can’t ask those kind of things!”

 

“Sorry! But...did you?”

 

Lance threw a pillow at Hunk, knocking him off the sofa.

 

“No! We! Didn’t!” he smacked Hunk with the pillow every syllable.

 

Hunk giggled on the floor blocking his face with his hands.

 

“Okay, okay! I was just curious.”

 

Lance growled quietly to himself, blushing hard and crossing his arms. Hunk apologised and Lance gave a small smile. He couldn’t stay mad at him.

 

***

 

Lance finished the last slice of pizza with a sigh. He licked the pineapple juice off his fingers and smiled happily. Hunk patted his leg and stood up.

 

“Okay, I’m gonna turn in for the night. You gonna stay there or go to your bed?”

 

“Stay here. It smells like Keith.”

 

Hunk sniffed the air suspiciously.

 

“It literally smells like normal, dude. Okay, I’ll see you in the morning.”

 

Lance wished Hunk goodnight and whipped out his phone.

 

Lance 21:59

Keeeeeiiittttthhh

 

Keith 22:00

Laaannnccceeeee

 

Lance 22:00

I miss you :(((

 

Keith 22:00

I miss you too...is that the only reason you texted me?

 

Lance 22:01

Ye

 

Keith 22:01

Why do I like such a dork?

 

Lance 22:02

;(

 

Keith 22:02

You feeling better boo?

 

Lance 22:04

Yeh, but I fucking cut my tongue on my teeth and Hunk gave me ice cubes to put on it

 

Keith 22:04

Lmao I do that all the time cause my canines are so long. That’s that shitty part about being a werewolf...your teeth hate you

 

Lance 22:05

Aww bab

 

Keith 22:06

Get some sleep okay? You’ll feel 100% in the morning

 

Lance 22:06

Oke, night <3

 

Keith 22:07

Night x

 

Lance yawned and cuddled deeper into the blankets. His shut his eyes and he fell asleep straight away.

Chapter Text

Keith looked outside of the window, grinning up at the full moon illuminating his face. Shiro came up behind him and clapped him on the shoulder.

 

“Ready to leave? Allura and Romelle are going to meet us the the forest.”

 

“Yup, I’m ready. Where does Adam think we’re going?”

 

“To visit an elderly relative.”

 

Keith shook his head, laughing.

 

“You really need to tell him.”

 

“I’m not ready yet, give me some time.”

 

Keith snorted and sent Lance a text.

 

Keith 19:43

See you in the morning boo, pick up some croissants and I’ll pay you back?

 

Lance 19:43

Kay, have fun doing whatever wolfy shit you guys do

 

Keith 19:44

Thanks Lance, you’re such a kind boyfriend

 

Lance 19:45

Ikr

 

“Hurry up Keith! We’re going to transform in fifteen minutes. If we aren’t out of town by then we’re screwed.”

 

Keith rolled his eyes and threw his phone onto the sofa. They locked up the apartment and got into Shiro’s car. As they drove along towards the forest on the outskirts of the city, Keith’s gaze drifted towards the moon. He felt like it had been forever since he went for a proper run as a wolf. Shiro pulled into the parking lot with one minute to spare. They ran into the cover of the forest as they felt the moon changing them, Allura and Romelle coming to greet them. Shiro toppled over as soon as he had completely changed, still not used to having to walk on three legs. Keith nosed him up from the ground and supported him till he found his balance.

 

“We’ll take it slow today, don’t worry Shiro.”

 

Shiro wolf-grinned and touched his muzzle to Keith’s flank in thanks. Romelle wagged her tail and jumped around in excitement.

 

“Shall we go hunting, or just run around for a bit?”

 

Keith gave Shiro a sidewards glance.

 

“Probably just walking...I don’t think Shiro can manage that much yet.”

 

Shiro flattened his ears, embarrassed.

 

“You guys can go if you want. Me and Keith can stick together.”

 

Romelle and Allura dipped their heads and left the brothers alone to wonder, Shiro leaning on Keith’s side. They came to a small stream, and Shiro nudged Keith into it. He toppled over with a yelp, splashing around in the water.

 

“Ahhhrg! Fuck you!” snarled Keith as he dragged himself out, fur sagging.

 

“Shhh!” hissed Shiro suddenly, his ears pricking up.

 

Keith pricked his ears up, confused. He could hear someone howling, but it was an unfamiliar voice.

 

“It’s probably one of Allura and Romelle’s pack mates,” dismissed Keith, shaking his fur to get the water out.

 

“Shut up! They’re saying something!”

 

Keith rolled his eyes and pricked his ears up again. He could hear the message faintly.

 

“K...th…”

 

“I can’t make it out, they’re too far away. Sounds like they’re in the city though. Maybe they didn’t leave in time?”

 

Shiro strained his hearing, his ears tilting towards the direction of the noise. Keith sat down and itched his ear as he waited for Shiro to finish.

 

“Can we go?”

 

Shiro gave him a sharp look.

 

“I want to get closer, they might be in trouble if they’re stuck in the city.”

 

Keith groaned, his tail drooping.

 

“Shiro, do we have to? We haven’t been able to come here for ages, I just want to relax.”

 

Ignoring him, Shiro started padding towards the noise, his ears still upright. He stumbled and tripped over, so Keith ran up to his side and propped him up against his shoulder.

 

“I can’t believe I’m doing this right now.”

 

Keith helped Shiro hobble along towards the direction where the howl kept coming from.

 

“Wait...stop here.”

 

Shiro’s ears twisted around to listen. His eyes were intensely focused in the distance. Keith raised his own ears to listen again.

 

“Keeeeiiitthh! Keeeiiiittthh!”

 

He froze and Shiro looked at him, confused.

 

“Why are they saying your name?”

 

“I’m just as confused as you are...I don’t recognise the tone of their voice. Shall I answer them?”

 

Shiro nodded warily. Keith tilted his head back and howled, conveying a message back to the original voice.

 

“This is Keith, who are you?”

 

The other’s howl cut short as they heard the reply. Keith waited for a response nervously.

 

“You don’t think it’s the Galra, do you?”

 

Shiro growled.

 

“I don’t know...I don’t recognise the voice so it definitely isn’t Lotor. We need to be cautious.”

 

Keith pricked his ears up as the other wolf responded.

 

“Keith it’s me! It’s Lance!”

 

***

 

Lance smiled as he texted Keith, wishing him good luck. He put his phone down and picked his guitar up, playing his song softly to himself. There was a knock at the door, and Hunk opened it.

 

“Hey buddy, I’m going out with my brother and his friends for a while. I’ll be back in a few hours.”

 

“Have fun!”

 

Lance continued to play Blue, strumming the chords gently. He looked outside at the moon. He wondered if Keith was having fun. He finished the song and packed Blue away then headed over to the kitchen to get some snacks. He was just reaching up for some biscuits, when his body convulsed.

 

“What the-”

It convulsed again and he clutched the side of the kitchen counter. His fingers dug into the stone countertop and he squeezed his eyes shut as he felt his muscles expanding.

 

“Ahhrrgg! What-”

 

He collapsed to the floor, holding his hands in front of his face. He watched in shock and confusion as his hands began to shrink and long black claws grew in place of his nails. He tried to stand back up, but he slumped back on the floor as soon as he tried. He screeched as he saw his nose slowly growing into a long snout. His teeth suddenly grew sharp and pointy and a long brown tail sprouted from his trousers. A ripping sound made his new fluffy ears prick up - his clothes had torn and fallen off him. Suddenly, his body stopped spasming and he glanced back at himself.

 

“Holy shit...I’m a fucking wolf.”

 

He waved his tail around slowly and looked down at his furry chest.

 

“I’m a fucking wolf?”

 

He padded around the kitchen anxiously, trying to figure out what had happened.

 

“Is this a dream? Cause it’s a really weird one if it is.”

 

He accidently stubbed his paw on the floor and he winced in pain.

 

“Okay, I felt that. Not a dream...then why the fuck am I like Keith?”

 

Lance looked up at the window and decided to jump from it - if Hunk found him like this he was screwed. He leapt lightly onto the window ledge and squeezed out from the open window. He slipped down the fire escape being as quiet as possible. When he reached the ground, he sat down and contemplated his options.

 

“Okayyy...fuck fuck fuck….I need to get out of here, where did Shiro and Keith say they were going? I should’ve listened better.”

 

He pricked up his ears - footsteps. He scampered away from the building and ran for cover. Lance spotted a bush and dived into it, concealing himself from view. He didn't move a muscle till the footsteps disappeared.

 

“What would Jacob do in Twilight? What do wolves even do?”

 

He scrunched up his face in concentration.

 

“Don’t they howl? Yeah, yeah they do...how do I do that?”

 

He stood up and tilted his head back.

 

“Awwwwoooooo!? No...fuck I just said that….I didn’t howl it. How do I howl?”

 

Lance growled and pawed at the ground.

 

“Fuck it, I’m just gonna scream.”

 

He sucked in a deep breath, and screamed.

 

“KEITH! KEEEEIITTHHH!”

 

Lance waited anxiously for a reply. No answer.

 

“KEEEIIITH? KEEEITH!”

 

His tail drooped. He was fucked.

 

“KEEEIITTHHH! KEEEEIIITTHHH!”

 

He was close to giving up, but he heard something faint in the distance.

 

“This is Keith, who are you?”

 

Lance almost cried with happiness. He stood up and yelled as loud as he could.

 

“Keith it’s me! It’s Lance!”

Chapter Text

“What the actual fuck? Lance?” yelped Keith.

 

Shiro growled.

 

“This has to be the Galra trying to trick us, Lance obviously isn’t a werewolf. Out of everyone, we would know.”

 

Keith nodded his head vigorously, but he paused.

 

“Although...this is an incredibly inexperienced werewolf. They weren’t really howling, more like shouting as loud as they can. It would be strange for the Galra to send a pup to do their dirty work...and why would they pretend to be somebody that we both know is a human...Shiro, what if it actually is Lance?”

 

“But that’s impossible, isn’t it?”

 

Keith pawed the ground anxiously and looked towards the city lights in the distance.

 

“Fuck it, I have to go. This is too weird to ignore.”

 

Shiro reluctantly agreed. He slumped onto the grassy floor and rested his head on the floor.

 

“I’ll wait for you here, I’ll only slow you down. But if there’s even a whiff of Galra, get out of there immediately and howl for me or Allura and Romelle.”

 

Keith nodded sharply and flexed his claws. He pelted away from Shiro’s side and disappeared into the forest. Shiro watched him go, his brows furrowed. He really had no clue what was happening.

 

Keith burst from the trees, tail streaming behind him. There was a long open stretch of grass ahead, and he slunk across it as stealthily as he could. He didn’t want any humans to see a wolf in suburban america. He was just about to head into more cover, when his ears twitched as he heard pawsteps. He stopped and raised his head, ears swivelling round to hear it better. It sounded like it was a large animal, and it was running clumsily through the undergrowth. If it was trying to hunt, all the prey would have disappeared in a five mile radius with the racket it was making. In fact...it kind of sounded like a-

 

“STOP FOLLOWING ME YOU CRAZY FUCKING RACOON!”

 

Keith froze as he watched a tan brown wolf flee from the cluster of trees ahead of him, a tiny animal chasing after him, hissing viciously. Keith couldn’t help laughing as he watched them run in terror, tail tucked between their legs. The other wolf heard him laughing and turned to look at him. With a yelp, he tripped over his own paws and crashed to the floor. The racoon spat and bared his fangs, and the wolf cowered in terror. Keith rolled his eyes and ran up to the wolf in peril. He growled as he approached the racoon, baring his fangs. It took one look at Keith and fled. The tan wolf huffed and pushed himself up.

 

“I am not having a good night...fuck.”

 

Keith widened his eyes and he took a step back.

 

“You-you’re the wolf that howled...but...you can’t be him…”

 

The tan wolf’s eyes lit up.

 

“Keith? Keith is that you?”

 

He padded up to Keith, tail wagging violently. He looked back at his tail in wonder.

 

“How the fuck am I doing that? Anyway, Keith, it’s me!”

 

Keith shook his head in disbelief.

 

“No...no it doesn’t make any sense…”

 

“Trust me, man, I don’t have a clue what’s happening to me either. I thought if I found you, you’d be able to help.”

 

Keith cautiously sniffed Lance, brushing his muzzle against the tan wolf’s.

 

“It really is you...how did this happen?”

 

Lance’s tail stopped wagging.

 

“I don’t know...I just went to get some snacks and my body started like...spasming. The next moment I was on the floor, and I had a tail...and fur...and...Keith, this won’t be permanent right?”

 

“I couldn’t say, Lance. We need to find Shiro, come on.”

 

Keith bolted off towards the forest where he came from, and Lance clumsily lolloped after him, his paws thudding noisily on the ground. He hadn’t quite gotten used to his paws yet, so he kept stumbling and tripping as he raced after Keith. Keith led him to the small clearing he had left Shiro in, and slowed to a halt. Lance, not expecting Keith to stop so suddenly, skidded across the ground and crashed to the floor.

 

“Ow...that hurt…”

 

Keith nosed Lance to his feet and licked behind his ears. Shiro pushed himself to his feet and wobbled over to Lance. He sniffed him suspiciously.

 

“What? It really is Lance.”

 

Keith sat down and curled his tail over his paws. Lance copied him awkwardly, trying to look like he knew what he was doing.

 

“Shiro, how could this happen to me? What’s going on?” wailed Lance.

 

“This must have something to do with the galra...what happened the day you got hurt Lance?”

 

Lance looked over at Keith.

 

“Well...Keith had hurt Lotor pretty bad, his fur was going all red with blood. He turned on me and clawed my arm, but I think I passed out cause I don’t remember anything afterwards.”

 

Shiro furrowed his brows.

 

“I don’t see how that could’ve affected you...a bite or a claw wound wouldn’t change you, it’s impossible. Unless…”

 

Keith’s took a step back.

 

“-unless my blood got into Lance’s...Lotor had been fighting me first, there must have been remnants on his claws…” Keith finished his brother’s sentence for him.

 

Shiro nodded at him gravely. Lance’s ears flattened against his head.

 

“B-but that makes no sense! How could that change me?”

 

Shiro brushed against Lance’s side comfortingly.

 

“Werewolf blood has special qualities. The wounds Keith gave Lotor would’ve killed a normal wolf almost instantly. But because of the way our blood is, he was fine. It’s because our blood replenishes itself at a rapid rate. If Keith’s blood got into yours, it would start to replenish itself inside you...it must have taken a few days...but it must have dominated your own blood supply and completely taken over your system. I-I’m sorry Lance, there’s nothing I can do.”

 

Lance’s pupils shrank. He felt the world spinning and he unsheathed his claws and dug them into the ground for support.

 

“N-no...no this can’t be happening.”

 

Keith ran up to his side and pressed into his flank.

 

“Shiro, there must be something we can do! This life has just been forced onto him! It’s all my fault...if I’d been quicker Lotor wouldn’t have had a chance to claw me...Lance wouldn’t be like this!”

 

Lance growled at Keith, hackles rising.

 

“Don’t you dare blame yourself! Without you I’d be dead, would you prefer that?”

 

“N-no, of course not but-”

 

“Zip it. It might be the weirdest thing that will ever happen to me...and I’m obviously not thrilled...but I’m going to have to learn to live with it.”

 

Keith dipped his head and nodded weakly. Shiro hobbled over to Lance and nudged him.

 

“Hey, at least you have two excellent mentors to teach you how to ‘wolf’.”

 

Lance snorted and glanced at Keith.

 

“Excellent may be pushing it.”

 

Keith snarled at him playfully and batted his nose.

 

“Well, lesson number one is to learn how to howl, you were pretty much just screaming before when you tried to get our attention.”

 

Lance chuckled.

 

“Yeah, I did try but I didn’t really know how. I kinda just said ‘awooo’.”

 

Shiro wolf-grinned.

 

“You have to let the wolf take over. You just let go of everything else and focus on your instincts.”

 

The brothers demonstrated, throwing their heads back in unison and howling together. Lance tilted his head back nervously and attempted to the the same. He ended up just blowing a puff of air from his mouth. Keith giggled.

 

“Okay, maybe that wasn’t the best way to do it. We’ll start and you join in, it’s easier that way. Let go of your human.”

 

They arched their necks and began another howl. Lance copied their movement and concentrated hard. He managed to produce a short, shaky, high-pitched howl, which earned him wagging tails of approval from Keith and Shiro.

 

“That was a great start!” Keith exclaimed, nuzzling his boyfriend’s side.

 

If Lance could have blushed, he would have gone completely crimson. He awkwardly bashed his nose against Keith’s muzzle in an attempt of returning affection.

 

“Okay, maybe we should show you around the forest...it’s kind of small, but it’s home for tonight,” Shiro said.

 

Lance agreed, and the three wolves departed, Keith and Lance on either side of Shiro to steady him.

 

***

 

Lance carefully made his way up the fire escape, trying to be as sneaky as possible. He climbed through the window of his apartment (thank god it was still open) and dropped to the floor silently. He was wearing Keith’s shirt and shorts (his were in pieces on the kitchen floor after his sudden transformation) as he had gone to Keith and Shiro's apartment before he came home. He was about to creep into his room when Hunk slowly turned round on a spinny chair, fingers crossed over his chest. Lance jumped in surprise.

 

“Well, well, well. If it isn’t Mr Mcclain. Nice night out?”

 

“Ha ha...oh hi Hunk. I didn’t see you there. I was just heading to my room-”

 

“-uh, no you aren’t. I come into this apartment to find you gone, your clothes in pieces all over the floor and you returning wearing Keith’s clothes...now I’m not saying that you and Keith can’t do it in here, but at least don’t be so obvious about it-”

 

“HUNK! We didn’t- you-I can’t believe you would-”

 

Lance ran into his room, blushing hard. He slammed the door and groaned into his hands. It did look kind of suspicious. He could hear Hunk cackling on the other side of the door.

 

“It’s not what it looks like I swear!” yelled Lance as he listened to Hunk's laughter.

 

He groaned again and crawled onto his bed. He was far too tired and confused to deal with Hunk.

Chapter Text


“Shiro, I’m sure it’ll be fine. Just relax,” Keith said, shouldering a rucksack.


Shiro drummed the coffee table with his robotic fingers, and smiled weakly at Keith. His brother said goodbye as he left the apartment, grabbing keys from the hook on the wall. Shiro nervously crossed his legs on the sofa and sighed. Adam would be here any minute. When he eventually heard a knock at the door, his heart started beating more rapidly than it had been before. He let Adam in, trying to hide the anxiety on his face. Adam kissed him quickly and set down some plastic bags on the floor, filled with groceries.


“How do you feel about stir fry? I’ve got noodles!”


Shiro picked up the bags and started to unpack them in the kitchen.


“That sounds great, Adam.”


He finished unloading the bags as Adam hung up his coat and put his keys away.


“Ready to start now? It takes a while to prepare.”


Shiro hesitated.


“Actually, do you mind if we talked?”


He sat down on the sofa and nervously ran his metal fingers through his floof. Adam perched next to him, looking slightly worried.


“What is it Takashi?”


“Well...I’ve got to tell you something, and it it’s kind of hard to explain.”


Adam gave Shiro a serious look.


“Shiro...are you gay?”


Shiro laughed and shoved Adam lightly.


“Yeah...I’m sorry I didn’t tell you sooner. But really...I have to show you something.”


Adam nodded. Shiro stood up and took off his bionic arm, placing it gently onto the table. He glanced at Adam nervously.


“Don’t freak out, okay?”


Adam nodded slowly, he wasn’t really sure what was happening. Shiro closed his eyes and started to change himself into his wolf form. Adam bolted upright and stumbled backwards as two fluffy ears sprouted from Shiro’s head and his face grew into a snout. Adam almost fell over when he fully turned into a wolf, but managed to hold his position, looking down at Shiro with shock. His eyes were wide open, and he was muttering to himself in astonishment.


“W-woahhh, what the heck?”


Shiro grew back into his human form and looked at the ground.


“Yeah...look, I know this will change stuff between us, and I completely understand if you don’t want to be with me anymore, but I didn’t want to keep lying to you.”


Adam was still processing what was happening. He pinched the bridge of his nose and clutched the sofa for support.


“Keith too?”


Shiro nodded, biting his nails.


“So...you’re a..wolf-person-thingy. That’s cool. Cool cool cool cool cool no doubt no doubt.”


“Wolf-person-thingy, very accurate terms,” laughed Shiro, feeling a little awkward.


Adam snorted and walked over to Shiro. He wrapped his arms around him and sighed.


“Ok...this is a little weird, but I love who I know. It won’t change anything.”


Shiro blushed red.


“You-you love me?”


Adam smiled and pulled him closer, hooking his thumbs into the belt loops on Shiro’s jeans.


“I guess I do.”


Shiro leaned in to kiss him, but Adam shoved him back, grinning evilly.


“Nope, dinner before making out. I’m hungry.”


Under his breath, Shiro whispered that he was hungry for Adam, which earned him a smack around the head. He laughed and grabbed an apron so he could start helping Adam with making dinner.


***


Keith walked into Balmera coffee house, with Lance holding his hand behind him. Pidge called him over from the booth she was sitting at with Matt. They sat down next to each other and greeted the siblings.


“Hey guys, been having fun holidays so far?”


Matt shrugged and Pidge patted his shoulder sympathetically.


“He’s still crushed. If he joined in on our Halo sessions he’d be feeling great.”


Keith laughed.


“Lance wanted to play when he was round at mine the other day, and he managed to kill himself with a grenade thirty seconds into playing.”


Matt laughed a little, but still looked grumpy. Lance shrugged at Keith and picked up a menu. Keith didn’t bother, he was inevitably going to order his usual no matter how long he looked at the menu for. Pidge and Matt already had drinks but Matt’s was pretty much untouched. Lance noticed this and rolled his eyes.


“Come on Matt, you need to cheer up. I know you really cared for Shiro, but you should move on and stop wasting your life being miserable. There are much better things to be doing, you know?”


Matt groaned and put his head on the table.


“Like what, Lance?”


“I don’t know, like having fun before you go to a university? Go to reckless parties or start travelling the world or something. Or, you could go see a play or a musical or something. I heard they’re going to release more tickets for Hamilton soon.”


Matt huffed and rolled his eyes. Pidge shook her head.


“Excuse his terrible manners.”


Keith suddenly noticed Hunk wasn’t around. He asked Pidge where he was. Pidge’s eyes lit up and she grinned.


“He met somebody, that’s where he went the other night...when you two-”


“WE DIDN’T!” they yelled.


Pidge cackled.


“He said he wanted to take Allura and Shay out for dinner to thank them for the crystal, but Allura couldn’t make it for some reason…”


Lance and Keith glanced at each other. Full moons would do that.


“...so he just took Shay. He ended up asking her out on a date. He’s taken her to some fancy restaurant he had vouchers for.”


Lance and Keith squealed.


“Oh my god! I can’t believe he didn’t tell me!” Lance grunted, crossing his arms.


“Wow, I’m really happy for him, it seems like forever since he went out with anybody. She must be really special for Hunk to take a fancy to her,” Keith admitted.


Matt nodded in agreement, finally raising his head from the table. He took a sip from his now cold coffee and smiled.


“If Hunk can find somebody, maybe I can.”


“That’s the spirit, bro.”


A waitress come to take their orders, and took Pidge’s empty cup from the table. On her way back to the kitchen, she stumbled and tripped, sending the dirty dishes all over the floor. They smashed to pieces, creating a loud crunching noise which made everybody’s heads turn towards her. Lance held his hands to his hears, trying not to scream. The loud noise was making his head ring; his ears were too sensitive to the sound. He could feel himself changing, and he started panicking which made him start to change quicker. Luckily, Keith (being the amazing boyfriend he was) noticed this and grabbed a small pink spray from his bag. He forced Lance’s clenched mouth open and sprayed a few drops onto his tongue. Lance immediately relaxed and felt himself stop changing. Pidge and Matt were helping the waitress, so thankfully they hadn’t noticed anything. Lance breathed shakily.


“That was fucking close. I hate this Keith, how do you deal with it?”


Keith kissed the tip of his boyfriend’s nose.


“You just get used to it. I know it’s awful at first, and sometimes things will just trigger it from out of the blue, but it gets easier, I promise.”


Lance took the spray from Keith’s hand.


“What is this?”


“Pomegranate juice, I don’t know why it works, but it’s damn useful. We can stop off an get some from the newsagents on the way back to your flat.”


Lance raised an eyebrow and nodded. Matt and Pidge rejoined them at the table.


“Poor thing, she’s gonna get shit from her boss,” Pidge said as she sat down.


Matt’s phone buzzed and his mouth dropped open.


“Guys! The results day has been announced, its next week; Tuesday 9th.”


Lance, Pidge and Keith all snatched for Matt’s phone so they could get a sneak of the email. He laughed and held it up high.


“Guys that’s literally all the information on the email. Calm yourselves.”


They sank back into their seats, groaning.


“What universities did you guys apply for anyway?” asked Matt, sinking back into his own seat.


“Altea, of course. That’s my main, but if I can’t get in I’ve gone for several art related ones. I’m not going to pursue astrophysics if I can’t get into Altea, it’s the best you can go to,” Keith said.


“I only signed up for two, Altea and Kinkade University. But if I don’t get into either I’m not going at all, I’ll start thinking about doing music professionally or something," Lance told them.


Pidge looked surprised at this.


“I applied for sixteen different ones, including Altea. If I don’t do some sort of physics in life there’s no point.”


Lance, Keith and Matt laughed.


“Classic Pidge.”

Chapter Text

“Keith! Wake up!”

 

Keith groaned and pulled his bed sheets over his head. Shiro slammed the door open, a camera held in his hands. Keith heard the snapping noise as Shiro took a photo of him.

 

“Shiro…? Why are you talking photos?” yawned Keith, pushing himself up slowly.

 

He rubbed his eyes as Shiro’s camera flashed in his face.

 

“It’s your results day! I’m commanded by tradition to take as many pictures as physically possible. I have three storage cards so we have about two thousand, nine hundred and ninety-eight photos left!”

 

Keith gave him a death stare.

 

“I really hope you’re joking right now.”

 

Shiro snapped another photo, smiling.

 

“Two thousand, nine hundred and ninety-seven.”

 

He ran out of the room cackling before Keith could attack him. Keith grumpily trudged to the shower, still not fully awake. He clumsily washed himself, accidentally knocking over several beauty products that Lance had left there. He rolled his eyes as he stacked them back on the side of the bath. After thoroughly scrubbing his hair with shampoo and conditioner, he dried himself off and got dressed. He chose to wear a dark red shirt with jeans - he wanted to look reasonably smart. When he stepped outside, Shiro almost burst into tears. He took at least fifteen pictures of Keith, instructing him to pose in certain ways. Keith did what Shiro told him to, he knew Shiro wouldn’t rest until he got the perfect photo. Eventually, his brother released him so Keith could eat. There was an unburnt bacon bap waiting for him on the table. Shiro was bursting with pride as he watched Keith eating it.

 

“Shiro, did you make this?”

 

Shiro nodded, beaming.

 

“Wow, it isn’t burnt! Thanks.”

 

Shiro looked like he was going to cry again.

 

“Adam taught me how to, I wanted your special day to be perfect little bro.”

 

Keith scoffed, but smiled into his bacon bap as he finished it off. Shiro took a few more sneaky photos, and then they started getting ready to leave. Keith shoved a whole carton of pomegranate juice in his rucksack.

 

“I’m not taking any chances, Shiro. Both of us are gonna set off if we get too excited or angry, and so will Lance.”

 

Shiro nodded, and thought for a second. He brought another carton from the fridge and put it into Keith’s bag.

 

“We need two.”

 

Keith agreed, and they finished getting ready. They were just about to leave, when Shiro ran into his bedroom and grabbed something for Keith. It was a simple black tie. Keith protested as Shiro tied it around his neck, but let his brother do it after he threatened to strangle Keith if he didn’t stay still.

 

“I wore this on my results day, it’ll bring you good luck, I hope.”

 

Keith shoved him playfully and opened the door. Shiro put his camera around his neck, took one more photo, and they both left the flat.

 

***

 

“Hey, handsome. You’re looking smart.”

 

Keith blushed as Lance greeted him. He was wearing a blue shirt with a dark blue tie and black jeans. He kissed him quickly and smiled.

 

“You look really good too, sharpshooter.”

 

Lance shot some finger guns at him, and they laughed. Keith heard a series of camera clicks behind them, but ignored them.

 

“Let’s go and find Pidge, Hunk and Matt. I’m so fucking nervous…”

 

Keith agreed, and they set off into the school gates, with Shiro snapping photos as they walked along. They managed to find Pidge, Matt and Hunk, who were also dressed in very formal attire. They found seats in the school hall, where all the other students in their year were gathered. Eventually, the headmaster stood up and greeted the students joyfully.

 

“Welcome, everybody!”

 

Shiro’s eyes were already starting to gloss over with water. He made a lunge for Keith’s bag and took a chug of pomegranate juice. Lance and Keith held in their laughter as the headmaster continued.

 

“Today, you will see whether all your hard work has paid off. I want to say, no matter what you all get, I’m incredibly proud of all of you and wish you well in your future endeavours. Now, if you go along to the side of the hall in orderly queues, we will begin to hand out the results papers.”

 

Shiro took another chug of pomegranate juice as everybody stood up. Keith couldn’t hold his laughter this time, but stopped when he heard the camera begin to click again. Lance took his hand and they followed Pidge, Hunk and Matt over to the side of the hall. Several teachers were sitting down behind tables. They had large boxes in front of them, with letters written on the front. Keith and Lance headed over to the one labelled “I-J-K-L-M” while Hunk, Matt and Pidge headed over to the one labelled “D-E-F-G-H”. They joined the queue, their hearts beating hard. Lance grabbed the pomegranate juice from Shiro’s hand, and took a long sip.

 

“Fuck, it’s almost finished and we haven’t even opened our papers yet.”

 

Keith laughed.

 

“Good thing we brought two cartons.”

 

The queue got shorter and shorter, and eventually Keith was standing at the front. Shiro’s tears were running freely by now, the camera non-stop flashing. The teacher in front of him was Coran, and he smiled up at him brightly.

 

“Ah, Kogane. Let’s see….”

 

Coran flicked through the many envelopes in the box till he found Keith’s and handed it to him.

 

“Good luck!”

 

Keith stepped back so Lance could get his, Shiro smothering him with photos. Once Lance, had his, they went over to find the others. Hunk’s face had gone red with nervousness, and Pidge was sweating profusely. Matt was trying to calm them down, but he looked like he was about to faint himself.

 

“Ok...fuck, I’m so nervous…” stammered Hunk, his hands shaking.

 

The five of them closed their eyes and ripped open the envelopes, Shiro sobbing audibley as they did this. Keith took out the paper at the same time as the others, his eyes still closed. They all looked up at each other.

 

“Fuck, I don’t want to do this…” groaned Matt.

 

“Okay, on three?” suggested Lance.

 

They all nodded.

 

“One...two...three!”

 

They all looked down at their papers in unison. Keith’s eyes widened in shock.

 

Keith Kogane

 

Art: A*

Astrophysics: A

History: B

 

He screamed in happiness and jumped on the spot, his eyes filling with tears. A fucking A* and an A? He knew he wouldn’t do as well in history, but he still passed! Everyone else was having similar reactions; Matt and Pidge were hugging each other tightly while Lance was squealing with delight and Hunk was rubbing his eyes to clear away his happy tears. Lance turned around and they kissed each other. All the emotions were overwhelming them, and Shiro handed them a carton of pomegranate juice after he had taken a long chug himself. As Keith took a sip, Shiro read over his paper. He almost fainted with delight, and he snatched the pomegranate juice off Keith as tears ran down his face.

 

“What did you get, Lance?”

 

Lance beamed at him.

 

“A in music, A in Spanish and an A in astrophysics! Staight A's baby!”

 

Keith hugged him tightly.

 

“I’m so proud of you!” he sobbed into his shoulder.

 

Pidge, Matt and Hunk walked up to them and they all hugged each other as a group. Shiro was taking photos in a frenzy as they cried all over each other.

 

***

A bit later

 

Keith cuddled up closer to Lance as he watched him pass Pidge in Mariocart.

 

“Fuck you Lance!” she yelled, sending a shell after him.

 

Matt and Hunk laughed as they overtook her as well. Shiro had replaced the storage card in his camera with a new one, and was taking more pictures of them. Adam had arrived at the apartment after work at the hospital had finished. He was making them all special cupcakes in the oven and had bought them all lots of snacks. Shiro’s face was still red from all the crying, which Adam found hilarious. Lance handed Keith his controller so he could play for a bit. He reached over Hunk’s head so he could grab a Hershey’s bar from Adam’s snack bag. Keith didn’t notice him unwrapping it, until the scent of it blasted him in the face. He threw his controller to the side and tossed the bar of Hershey’s away from Lance.

 

“What the fuck, Keith! That’s my Hershey’s!”

 

Hunk, Pidge and Matt were so focused on the game, they didn’t notice Keith pull Lance to the side of the room.

 

“Look, Lance. I have to tell you something…”

 

Lance’s face fell.

 

“Did somebody-”

 

“-you can’t have chocolate anymore…”

 

Lance froze.

 

“What...you have to be joking...please tell me you’re joking.”

 

Keith shook his head. Lance felt anger surging within him. He squeezed his hands into fists and felt himself beginning to change. He didn’t even care. Keith saw Lance’s teeth begin to sharpen and he panicked.

 

“Oh fuck...I knew he wouldn’t take this well. Shiro! Spray!”

 

Shiro looked over at Lance, who was being restrained by Keith’s arms as he thrashed about in anger. Shiro looked around for a pomegranate spray quickly, but couldn’t find one. He panicked and grabbed a pomegranate carton from the fridge and yeeted it at Keith. It thunked against his head, making Keith growl with pain. Shiro muttered a quick apology and ran over to help Keith. Shiro pushed Lance to the floor, his snout had already grown by this time, as Keith unscrewed the lid of the carton. Shiro forced open Lance’s mouth and Keith poured the pomegranate juice into it. It splashed all over his front, but it reversed the changes. Lance came back to his senses, spluttering and coughing. Keith pulled him upright and patted his back till he stopped coughing. Hunk, Matt and Pidge had  paused the game to watch at this point.

 

“Ha ha...silly Lance. Why would you try to drink pomegranate juice while lying down?” Keith made up, hoping it sounded believable.

 

Hunk laughed and shook his head, turning back to the game. Matt and Pidge continued too, but Adam came over to help Lance up.

 

“I’ll clean this up. You take Lance to get changed Keith.”

 

Keith led Lance to his room and sat him down on his bed. Lance growled to himself.

 

“You ok? I’m really sorry I almost drowned you with pomegranate juice.”

 

Lance laughed a little as Keith chose some clothes for him to wear.

 

“I’m just bummed that life’s so different now. Like, what cruel world forbids me from ever eating nutella again?”

 

Keith sighed as he helped Lance take off his shirt. He blushed as he saw Lance’s exposed chest, and looked away quickly. Once he had changed, they walked back out. Their noses twitched in unison as they smelt the sweet scent of cupcakes. Everyone was crowded around the kitchen counter, helping themselves to the warm treats. Shiro was taking more photos, a whole cupcake sticking out from his mouth. Lance and Keith ran over and took two each, thanking Adam as they chomped into them.

 

“Oh my god, these taste like actual heaven!” moaned Matt, taking a fourth.

 

Adam smiled.

 

“They’re lemon drizzle, Shiro did the icing.”

 

Keith smiled down at his cupcake; a shaky smiley face had been iced on top. He let Shiro take a few photos of him and Lance to show his gratitude, but forced him to stop after he’d used up all the storage in his second storage card. Adam nudged Keith lightly, a small smile on his face.

 

“I hid his last one to give you a break.”

 

Keith laughed and thanked him, but their jaws dropped in shock as he inserted a new storage card.

 

“I couldn’t find my third one, so I have to use my spare,” he groaned as he inserted it.

 

Keith smacked his forehead, groaning.

 

***

(One week ago)

 

“Ugh...where am I?”

 

The man looked around his small room. He was lying in a pristine white bed, and his leg was bandaged up. He tried to move it, but winced in pain.

 

“Lotor! Vrepit sa!”

 

One of Lotor’s followers bowed in front of him. Lotor growled.

 

“Don’t say that! Where am I, Ezor?”

 

She frowned and sat down at the side of his bed.

 

“That Keith guy knocked you up pretty bad. They were going to get him, but you kind of collapsed, so Thace and Throk brought you here; Daibazaal hospital.”

 

Lotor snarled quietly.

 

“Also, your father left a message for you. He said he’ll give you backup to defeat the Oriande pack if you meet him on the outskirts of Arus. He said to meet him next full moon.”

 

Lotor’s brows furrowed.

 

“Why would he want to help me? Ezor, I don’t even know why I attacked Keith...I think I just wanted to prove to my father that I was worth respecting...why would he offer help when I showed to be weak?”

 

Ezor shrugged.

 

“I’m not sure. It’s probably worth going though. We can capture the region easily with his help.”

 

Lotor didn’t reply.

 

“I’ll leave you here to rest. The doctor said not to try walking for at least four days.”

 

Ezor shut the door, leaving Lotor by himself. He covered his face with his hands and let out a long sigh.

 

“Fuck...I really don’t know why I’m doing this...I don’t want to do this anymore..."

Chapter Text

 

“Okay, Lance. Let me say this for the third time, you have to find your inner wolf-”

 

“I’M FUCKING TRYING ALLURA?!? MY WOLF ISN’T REALLY TALKING TO ME RIGHT NOW!” Lance yelled back at her.

 

Keith smacked his forehead with his palm as Allura apologised to his boyfriend. They had been trying to teach Lance how to transform into a wolf at will for about an hour and a half. Lance was crouched on the forest floor, his brows furrowed in concentration. A thin sheen of sweat was covering his face as he thought hard about what he wanted to achieve.

 

“Hey, don’t worry about it babe. We can always try again another time.”

 

Lance shook his head hard. Keith rolled his eyes, but a small smile spread across his face. So stubborn.

 

“Keith, show me how to do it again.”

 

Keith crouched down next to Lance and removed his T-Shirt, throwing it to the side. He quickly tossed off his trackie bottoms and (averting all eye contact with Lance) breathed out slowly. He felt himself connect with his wolf, his heart starting to beat differently. Lance watched as Keith slowly grew into his wolf form, trying to take in as much as possible. Keith finished changing and flicked Lance with his tail, trying to be encouraging. Allura smiled at Lance and held her thumbs up.

 

“Okay...come on inner wolf, where the fuck are you…”

 

He shut his eyes tightly and Allura and Keith watched on anxiously. Lance’s face screwed up and he dug his fingers into the earth.

 

“Come on….”

 

Lance suddenly tensed up and his muscles spasmed a few times. Keith’s tail began to wag slowly and Allura’s eyes lit up. Lance growled lowly as he started expanding in size, the effort making him shake. His nose started growing into a furry snout and a tail burst from his tail bone.

 

“Urgh!” he cried out suddenly.

 

He collapsed to the floor and the effects reversed, leaving him in his human form. Keith cursed under his breath and ran up to his boyfriend. Allura was already helping him up. Lance stumbled a bit as he was brought to his feet but he was smiling.

 

“I did it!” he exclaimed.

 

Keith snorted.

 

“Almost, you just strained to much. I think you popped a blood vessel or something...it’s progress to say the least. It’ll become natural and not take any effort soon enough,” Allura said, stifling her laughter.

 

Keith grew into his human form and hurriedly grabbed his clothes before Lance or Allura could see him. Once he had changed, he skipped over to Lance and hugged him from behind.

 

“You did awesome. Let’s stop for today, though, before you bust a lung trying too hard.”

 

Lance chuckled, agreeing. Allura grabbed her bag and followed them out of the forest clearing.

 

“Hey, I’ll see you guys soon. We have a pack meeting so-”

 

“-PACK MEETING?!” Keith and Lance gasped in unison, anime sparkles in their eyes.

 

Allura laughed awkwardly.

 

“Uh-yeah? Do you want to come?”

 

They nodded really quickly.

 

“Yeah, we’ve never met your pack before, only Romelle. We want to meet them all!” Lance said with enthusiasm.

 

Allura shrugged.

 

“Okay then. We meet at this abandoned school, it’s pretty cool.”

 

Lance’s smile faded but Keith’s widened.

 

“Abandoned? Sick.”

 

“Haha...yeah that’s really cool...it’s not haunted, right?” Lance asked nervously.

 

Allura glanced sideways at Keith, then smirked.

 

“Maybe…”

 

Keith laughed and wiggled his fingers in Lance’s (considerably paler) face. He smacked them away, chuckling half-heartedly. Allura led them to where she had parked her car at the side of the trees, and they all clambered into her small Mini-Cooper. Lance nervously drummed his legs with his fingers as they drove along. Keith took his hand and rubbed circles onto the back of it.

 

“Don’t be scared babe...I’ll protect you if the ghosts get mad.”

 

Lance laughed.

 

“I’m not scared...it’s only a building...that’s old and crumbly and is most likely the home of a small devil girl or something...I’m fine, I swear.”

 

Keith rolled his eyes and Allura smirked at him in the mirror. She eventually pulled up at the school, and Lance’s eyelid twitched. Keith got out excitedly.

 

“Aw, cool! This is great Allura. We can be like ghost hunters, like Shane and Ryan from Buzzfeed Unsolved.”

 

Allura snorted as she shut the door of her car.

 

“I think we both know who the Boogara is.”

 

They looked back at Lance who was yet to leave the car. Keith patted his legs and made a kissy noise.

 

“Come on Lancey, come on! Who’s a good boy?”

 

Lance reluctantly left the car and joined Keith and Allura. He instantly latched onto Keith’s arm as they made their way towards the school. It was certainly abandoned. The outside walls had gone grey and were crumbling in areas. The roof had actually fallen in at one point and Allura pointed at it.

 

“We have to jump down through there because all the doors have been boarded up.”

 

“Awesome,” sighed Keith as he followed her towards the side of the building, practically dragging Lance along behind him.

 

They arrived at the side of the school and Allura grabbed onto a crumbled part of the wall. She pulled herself up and managed to find a foothold in another ledge. Bit by bit, she climbed up until she reached the top. Swinging herself onto the remaining roof, they heard her shout for them to come up. Keith eagerly started to climb, but Lance went impossibly paler. When Keith joined Allura at the top, he smiled down at Lance.

 

“Come on, it’s easy to get up!”

 

Lance gulped and he said a silent prayer to himself. He really didn’t want a demon child to kill him. He wiped his sweaty hands on his shirt and took a hold of the wall. Lance gradually scaled it, his anxiousness steadily increasing. Suddenly -

 

“Agghr!”

 

Lance felt his hand slip and he was falling backwards. Everything seemed like it was going in slow motion, his arms drifting lazily through the air. He closed his eyes to brace for the impact of hitting the floor, when he felt a hand close around his wrist. He smashed into the school wall, grazing his face a little, but he was dangling in the air. He looked up sheepishly at his boyfriend, who was clinging onto him for dear life. Keith hoisted him up, gritting his teeth with the effort. He managed to pull Lance over the side with a grunt.

 

“You okay, your face is bleeding a little…” Allura asked as Keith and Lance dusted themselves off.

 

“Yeah, I’m fine...sorry Keith…”

 

Keith rolled his eyes at him, but laughed.

 

“You’re such a klutz, lucky you’ve got a prince charming to save you.”

 

Lance snorted. Allura led them to the hole in the roof and sat down so her legs were dangling over the edge. Lance and Keith copied her and looked to her for instructions.

 

“Just go straight over. Who wants to go first?” she asked, quirking an eyebrow.

 

Keith didn’t even answer before he slid over the side and plummeted into the blackness below. Lance gasped as he watched him disappear, terror filling his body. He heard a thump below and Keith whooped. Allura gestured for him to go. Lance took a deep breath and shuffled closer to the edge.

 

“It’s fine Lance, it’s just a haunted school….nothing’s going to happen when you go inside....just go…”

 

Shutting his eyes, Lance pushed himself off the ledge. He yelped as he fell; the feeling of nothing beneath him flooding shock through his body. The floor suddenly came into view and he cried out - but he landed a large stack of mattresses that had been piled there to cushion his fall. Lance laughed in relief and leapt off the mattresses. His joy was temporary however, as he noticed his surroundings. The abandoned school looked exactly how he had imagined - dark, old and creepy. He automatically shivered as he caught a glimpse of spiderweb glinting in the faint light. Allura landed behind him with a thump, making him jump in surprise.

 

“Let’s go! Hang on...where’s Keith?”

 

Lance nervously looked around him. She was right, Keith was nowhere to be seen. Lance’s heart started beating faster and his stomach seemed to twist.

 

“RAHHHH!”

 

Lance leapt out of his skin, screaming as Keith jumped out from the shadows. He clutched his poor heart as Allura and Keith cackled together.

 

“I-that...that wasn’t funny!” growled Lance.

 

He made an effort to look extra grumpy as Keith approached him.

 

“I’m sorry…” Keith wheezed, still laughing. “I’m sorry, I couldn’t help myself.”

 

Lance crossed his arms and avoided eye contact with his boyfriend. Keith pouted and gave Lance puppy eyes.

 

“I’ll give you a piggy back to the meeting place if you forgive me?”

 

***

 

“Okay, here we are! I’ll go in first,” Allura said as they arrived outside an old classroom.

 

Keith let Lance down from his back (he was positive there was nail marks in his shoulders from how hard Lance had been clutching them every time something made a noise) and they glanced at each other as Allura opened the door. A wave of noise greeted them, making Keith cringe back a little. Allura walked inside and cries of her name followed. Keith took Lance’s hand, and they followed after her. The classroom was reasonably big, and the pack had boarded up the windows with cardboard. Fairy lights were strung all around the room, so the light was dim but good enough. Instead of desks, there were about twenty multi coloured bean bags and several large quilts were littered around the room. Hundreds and hundreds of photos of the pack members were pinned to the walls and funny little comments were written underneath them with sharpie. It was a proper den. Allura’s packmates were looking at them curiously as they surveyed the room. Romelle jumped up from her giant blue bean bag and hugged Keith and Lance.

 

“It’s great to see you two! Welcome to the den...it’s not much, but it’s our little haven.”

 

Lance smiled.

 

“I think it’s amazing.”

 

Romelle beamed at him. She turned to address her pack.

 

“Okay everybody, this is Keith and Lance. They are good friends of mine, so I hope you can all get along. Meeting starts in fifteen so you should all get to know each other!”

 

Lance awkwardly smiled at the many faces staring at him. They all gasped in shock and several of them growled. Lance’s smile faltered and he glanced over at Keith who was staring straight down at the floor.

 

“Keith...what did I do?”

 

Keith looked at him quickly.

 

“You never make direct eye contact straight away with werewolves, it’s considered rude and threatening.”

 

“Ah...could’ve told me that before I made them all hate me.”

 

One of the werewolves approached Keith, sniffing him cautiously. Lance leaned forwards awkwardly and sniffed the werewolf. They recoiled in bared their teeth. Keith stood in front of Lance and laughed nervously.

 

“I’m really sorry, he’s a new werewolf...he doesn’t know the customs…”

 

All the werewolves suddenly crowded around Lance at this, overwhelming him with questions. Lance tried to answer some of them, but everytime he heard a question it would be replaced by a new one. He was being forced in all different directions as they all tried to get a good look at him. It was Allura who managed to break them up.

 

“Woah, can we calm down please, he’s not a chew toy. Leave him alone.”

 

They all guiltily dispersed, but a few remained to have a genuine conversation. Keith joined the little circle Lance had collected and was greeted by four werewolves. One of them reached forwards to shake Keith’s hand.

 

“Hi, I’m James Griffin, great to meet you.”

 

The werewolf’s gaze lingered on Keith, making him laugh awkwardly.

 

“Keith Kogane-”

 

“-and I’m his boyfriend, Lance Mcclain.”

 

James grudgingly shook Lance’s hand, Lance squeezing much harder than he would’ve done normally.

 

“I’m Hira, and this is Slav and Ryan,” another werewolf greeted Keith and Lance, gesturing to her other friends.

 

“It’s great to meet you all, I’ve never seen so many werewolves before,” Keith responded.

 

James, Hira, Slav and Ryan each slumped onto a bean bag and Lance and Keith pulled a large one over to share. They chatted for a while, the occasional other werewolf butting in to say hello. Romelle eventually stood up and coughed.

 

“Right, let’s start the meeting. Hira, what have the patrols told you?”

 

Hira stood up and bowed, making a sign with her fists over her heart.

 

“There has been no scent of the galra for a while now, Alpha. We find this suspicious, so with your permission I would like to increase patrols,” she reported.

 

“Permission granted.”

 

A few of the pack members groaned, whispering quietly to each other.

 

“Alpha, if I may speak?” one of the werewolves who had groaned stood up.

 

Romelle nodded, slumping against the wall. The werewolf did the same thing as Hira, bowing and making the symbol over his heart.

 

“We’ve done so many of these patrols for what? We personally haven’t had any problems with them, so why are we wasting so much time and energy doing all these extra patrols. The only problem seems to be them!”

 

They gestured at Keith and Lance snuggling on the beanbag. Keith wrapped his arms tighter around Lance. Lance could hear a low growl rumbling in his boyfriend’s chest.

 

“I think we shouldn’t allow them inside our territory! They are a threat to our pack!”

 

Keith shot up from the bean bag and bared his teeth menacingly. Allura was doing the same from where she was sitting whilst Romelle surveyed the scene calmly. Another one of the pack mates got up, curling his lip at Keith and standing next to the original speaker.

 

“I agree, they compromise our safety! Lone wolves shouldn’t be allowed in our region. Banish them Romelle!”

 

This got a few murmurs of support. Lance looked down at the floor in dismay. He didn’t realise how much he was affecting the pack’s lives.

 

“You can’t banish us from the city! We’ve lived here our whole lives!” growled Keith.

 

A few more werewolves stood up to stand beside the other two. Allura joined Keith’s side and so did Ryan, James, Hira and Slav. Lance nervously squirmed in the beanbag. Romelle sighed and tilted her head.

 

“Keith and Lance have done nothing wrong, the Galra are the threat here. Banishing them will be condemning them to death, if that’s what you really want then feel free to chase them from our territory.”

 

The werewolves cringed back a little, and most of them sat back down. The original stood standing, his brows furrowed.

 

“Alpha, by keeping them here, you are endangering our pack! You're condemning all of us to death. Your own pack! If you prefer them over us...you shouldn’t be leading us at all.”

 

Something snapped within Romelle and she surged forwards, growling. She stopped an inch away from the speaker’s face and snarled viciously.

 

“You dare to question my authority?”

 

The werewolf whimpered and looked at the floor.

 

“If I say we protect them, we protect them. Unless you fancy being cast out of my pack, I would recommend sticking to my policies. Sit down.”

 

The werewolf slumped to the floor, red with guilt and embarrassment. Romelle turned to Keith and Lance apologetically.

 

“I’m sorry you had to see that...maybe you should go while I sort out a few issues with my pack. I hope we can meet up soon.”

 

Lance stood up and took Keith’s hand anxiously. Keith gave the werewolf a death stare as he whipped around to follow Lance to the exit. As they navigated the dusty school hallways, Lance stopped and groaned.

 

“Hey, what’s up?” asked Keith when he noticed that Lance had fallen behind.

 

“It’s all my fault, Keith. If I’d made a better first impression, maybe they’d like us more.”

 

Keith snorted, shaking his head.

 

“No, it isn’t that Lance, I promise.”

 

“What is it then?”

 

Keith looked down at the floor, frowning.

 

“It’s a bit hard to explain...essentially, werewolves who aren’t part of a pack, or ‘lone’ wolves as they like to call it, face a lot of hate and prejudice. Some pack wolves believe we are threatening and aggressive because we haven’t grown up with a pack to bond with. It’s such a stupid thing really, but it means some werewolves think we aren’t worth their time...like we’re a lesser ‘class’ of werewolf.”

 

“Oh...I see. Why aren’t you and Shiro part of a pack then? Why don’t you join Romelle’s?”

 

Keith shrugged.

 

“Being lone is more free. You don’t have any obligations and you can go where you like, when you like. We enjoy our freedom, simple as.”

 

Lance nodded and took Keith’s hand again. He sighed and rested his head against Keith’s shoulder. Werewolves were more complicated than he thought.

Chapter Text

Lotor looked up at the full moon and growled quietly. He had finally arrived at Arus, the smell of the Oriande’s scent marker was overwhelming him. Nervously, he leapt over the border and padded into the treeline. He scented his father almost immediately and he picked up his pace as he followed the trail. Lotor came into a small clearing with a stream running through it and he froze. On the other side were four huge grey wolves, the biggest and most scarred being his father. Lotor sat down and dipped his head.

 

“I came as you asked, Father. What do you wish to discuss? Where are my reinforcements?”

 

Zarkon’s jaw stretched into a grin and he glanced sideways at the three wolves who had accompanied him.

 

“Oh, yes. About that…”

 

Zarkon chuckled, flexing his claws.

 

“They aren’t coming.”

 

Lotor widened his eyes, getting to his feet.

 

“But...but why not? This is an important region for you to capture, you must-”

 

“-I didn’t come here to help you, Lotor.”

 

Zarkon smiled sympathetically at his son.

 

“I came here to kill you.”

 

Without warning, one of the wolves that had been by Zarkon’s side burst from the trees behind Lotor. Lotor screeched with pain as they knocked him to the side, his body crashing hard to the ground. Lotor watched in fear as Zarkon began to advance with the other wolves. Scrambling to his feet, Lotor managed to dart between the wolves running towards him and race into the forest. Tears clouded his vision as he pelted ahead, stumbling and tripping as his pursuers followed. Lotor glanced over his shoulder and yelped: they were right behind him. He forced himself to run faster, adrenaline pounding through his veins. He could feel the hot breath of his father brushing his tail.

 

“Nice try, Lotor,” his father growled.

 

Lotor screamed as another of Zarkon’s accomplices crashed into him from the side. He tried to get up, but Zarkon pushed him down hard. Lotor whimpered and struggled under his Father’s grasp, but it was pointless: his father was more than twice his size. Cackling, Zarkon held a sharp claw to Lotor’s neck.

 

“Father…” Lotor squeaked.

 

Zarkon froze, staring him in the eye.

 

“You are no son of mine.”

 

Lotor closed his eyes, tears running down his face as he waited for the blow. He whimpered softly as he felt his father raising his paw.

 

“Argh!”

 

Lotor’s eyes shot open with shock has he felt his father’s weight being thrown off him. A large blonde wolf was holding his father down with the help of a large black wolf. His eyes widened with shock as he recognised the wolf to be Keith. Shiro and a large group of wolves were chasing the other three off. Lotor clumsily pushed himself to his feet and slunk into the foliage behind him. Without looking back, he raced off towards the border and crossed it in a heartbeat. Tears ran down his face as he pelted off into the night.

 

***

 

Keith heard Romelle growl ahead of them. He froze and sniffed the air suspiciously. Widening his eyes, he glanced sideways at Lance.

 

“Galra!” snarled Romelle.

 

She spun around to face the group. Shiro hobbled up to Keith’s side, giving him a worried look.

 

“I’m going to split us up into teams, okay? Ryan, James and Slav, you’re team one. Shiro you’re with Hira and Keith. Lance and Allura are with me. Let’s follow the trail and get them out. If we need backup from the rest of the pack, I’ll send one of you to fetch them.”

 

Keith anxiously watched Lance trot up to Romelle’s side as he went over to Hira and Shiro. Romelle began to advance, the rest of them following warily. Keith scented the air and suddenly growled.

 

“Romelle...Lotor’s here.”

 

She snarled viciously and increased the pace, they were all running now. Shiro was managing to keep up with help from Hira so Keith ran to the front of the group. They all stopped at the top of a hill which lead deeper into the forest. They raced down it, paws pummeling the earth. Romelle suddenly flicked her tail and they came to a halt. Keith saw the Galra ahead. One wolf was pinning down another, their paw raised for a death blow. Not waiting for Romelle to order the attack, Keith shot forwards. Romelle snarled at him to stop, but Keith ignored her. With a mighty thud, he crashed into the biggest wolf’s side, forcing him away from the wolf he was going to kill. He recognised the white lump on the floor as Lotor, but ignored him as he dug his claws into the larger wolf’s flank. He felt like he was about to be thrown off when Romelle leapt to his side and pushed down the wolf’s other side. Keith dipped his head in thanks but widened his eyes with shock as they were both thrown off easily. He shrieked in pain as he collided with a large tree, his ribs thudding hard against the bark. The colossal wolf didn’t look back as he raced after his cronies ahead. Keith groaned in pain and carefully got to his paws. Lance raced up to him, worried.

 

“Are you okay? Did he hurt you?”

 

Keith smiled weakly.

 

“Just bruised...that’s one overpowered wolf. Where’s Lotor, he was right over-”

 

But he had disappeared. Keith snarled in frustration and scored a mark in the ground with his claws. Romelle got to her feet and shook out her pelt.

 

“Split up into groups and scan our territory. There may be more of them.”

 

***

 

Keith groaned in pain as Shiro opened the door of their apartment. He limped over to the sofa and crashed down. Shiro sympathetically patted his shoulder.

 

“I’ll get Adam to have a look at the bruise, okay?”

 

Keith nodded and closed his eyes as Shiro sat down next to him.

 

“Jesus, that was one crazy night. I can’t believe Lotor escaped....”

 

Keith snarled quietly.

 

“Lotor isn’t the biggest problem...Zarkon seems to be interested in our territory now.”

 

"Zarkon? How do you-"

 

"-he was the biggest one, the one with all the scars. Romelle told me."

 

"Fuck...just...ughh fuck!"

 

Shiro sighed and grabbed his robotic arm. He slotted it into place and a faint whirring noise emitted as it started up. Keith had closed his eyes at this point and was snoring softly. Smiling down at his brother, Shiro went up to make himself some tea, when he spotted an envelope on the floor.

 

“KEITH!” he screamed.

 

Keith shot out of his seat, teeth bared and ready to attack. Realising there was no danger, he groaned in pain and clutched his side.

 

“Shiro, what the fuck-”

 

“-IT’S A LETTER FROM ALTEA! OPEN IT!”

 

Keith’s eyes widened and he picked up the letter from Shiro’s grasp. His hands shook as he tore it open. Pulling the letter out, he took a deep breath and began to read it.

 

Dear Mr Kogane,

 

We are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted into the Altea Galactic University. Because of your outstanding results, a scholarship for two terms has been arranged for you. After this, you must pay the full price to continue at our establishment. Please return this letter with a reply on the slip below.

 

We hope to see you soon,

 

Altea University

 

Keith tried to keep his face emotionless as he read the letter, but a smile broke through. He handed the letter to Shiro, who burst out crying.

 

“Keith, I’m so proud of you! Come here!”

 

Shiro pulled his little brother in for a hug, which Keith returned, sniffing quietly.

 

“I’ve got to make something nice for you....um….fuck I need Adam right now…”

 

Shiro lunged for his phone and dialled his boyfriend's number. Keith laughed and unlocked his own phone as he signed his name on the return slip. He had over one hundred texts from Lance, Hunk and Pidge. It was evident that they had got in too.

 

Keith 9:48

Guys, I got in too!

 

Pidge 9:48

AHHHHHH

 

Hunk 9:48

AHHHHHHHH

 

Lance 9:48

AHHHHHHHHHH

 

He chuckled to himself as he texted the gang, only looking up when he heard a knock at the door. Shiro hadn’t noticed as he was trying to cook while Adam directed him from the phone. Keith got up to answer it, but when he opened the door there was nobody there. He was about to shut it, when he noticed a small envelope on the floor. Suspecting it was another acceptance letter, he just picked it up, shut the door and threw it onto the coffee table. He smelt smoke and heard Shiro screaming when he re-entered, so he dashed to the kitchen to help.

 

He didn’t see person with long white hair staring up at the apartment’s window.

 

***

One hour later

 

Keith managed to rescue Shiro’s failed attempt of a Chicken Korma just before Adam arrived. He was serving the curry onto plates when Adam entered the flat. To Keith’s surprise, he was carrying two suitcases and a large rucksack. Shiro ran to help him with his things, kissing him quickly.

 

“Hi Keith!” called Adam as he set down his things.

 

“Hi...what’s with all the stuff? Going on holiday?”

 

Adam laughed heartily.

 

“Good one, Keith.”

 

Keith raised an eyebrow.

 

“I wasn’t joking?”

 

Adam froze and turned to face Shiro, who was rubbing the back of his neck awkwardly.

 

“Takashi...you didn’t tell him I was moving in?”

 

“YOU’RE WHAT?” Keith exclaimed.

 

Shiro laughed nervously as Adam advanced towards him, looking villanous.

 

“Haha...I forgot…”

 

“Takashi Shirogane, I swear to god you’re in so much fucking-”

 

“-don’t worry about it Adam! You practically live here anyway. At least we can have more unburnt meals now,” Keith quickly cut in before Adam could murder his brother.

 

Adam smiled sweetly at Keith.

 

“Thanks, do I smell Korma?”

 

Keith nodded as he set down the plates on the table and laid out the cutlery. He heard Shiro breathe out a sigh of relief as he sat down to eat.

 

“So, why did you ask Adam to move in?” Keith asked as he tucked into the meal.

 

“I just felt like it was the right time, you know? Although, it took a lot of convincing.”

 

Keith looked at Adam in surprise.

 

“Huh, really? I thought you’d love to move in.”

 

Adam waved his hands in front of his face.

 

“No no no! Of course I wanted to...it’s just cause of my ex-husband. I guess I was just nervous to fully commit to another relationship again...but I trust Takashi. I just needed to get over my stupid fear.”

 

Keith nodded in understanding.

 

“You know Shiro, maybe I should move out soon and give you two some space.”

 

Shiro laughed, clutching his sides.

 

“Yeah right. I’d like to see you try and earn enough money to afford an apartment in Arus.”

 

Keith growled softly at him.

 

“Bet I could.”

 

“No chance.”

 

“I could!”

 

Shiro crossed his arms and raised an eyebrow.

 

“Okay, you have four months to get enough money together to start renting out your own apartment. Remember you need to save up money for Altea as well.”

 

Keith smirked.

 

“Deal. I’ll talk to Lance about it and see what he wants to do.”

 

Adam fluttered his eye lashes.

 

“Oooooo, going to move in with your booooyfriend?”

 

Keith blushed and pushed Adam lightly.

 

“Shut up Adam, you’re such a hypocrite!”

 

He finished the last few bites of his meal and stood up.

 

“I’ll prove to you that I can get the money, and I’ll start by getting a job!”

 

***

 

“Ughhh, why is it so hard to get a job?” groaned Keith.

 

He sunk back into his boyfriend’s chest, crossing his arms moodily. Lance laughed and combed his fingers through Keith’s hair.

 

“Babe, you’ve only been looking for two hours. I haven’t found one either. If we’re serious about moving in together we have to be patient.”

 

Keith huffed.

 

“Patience yields focus, yeah I know.”

 

He re-adjusted his position on Lance’s sofa so he was facing his boyfriend. Lance was flicking through his phone for different job sites.

 

“Ok, how about a coffee barista at Starbucks? Ten dollars an hour, that’s pretty decent pay.”

 

Keith shook his head.

 

“Not Starbucks...it’s too crowded and popular. More things to trigger a transformation.”

 

Lance tilted his head and sighed.

 

“Ugh, I forgot about the whole werewolf aspect of it. Okay then, moving ooon…”

 

He flicked through a few more sites.

 

“Do you like horses?”

 

Keith laughed.

 

“Sure, why?”

 

“You can clean horse shit for six dollars an hour.”

 

Keith shook his head, giggling. He threw a pillow at Lance and opened his own phone.

 

“You’re so bad at this, honestly.”

 

Lance chuckled and kicked Keith’s leg.

 

“I’m trying! Okay, I’ll be serious.”

 

He made his face go slack, but the corners of his mouth turned up.

 

“Whaaaat?” asked Keith.

 

“I have an awesome one, twenty five dollars an hour.”

 

Keith bolted upright.

 

“Really, what is it? Even if it’s shovelling horse shit I’ll do it.”

 

Lance cocked his eyebrow.

 

“It’s an apprenticeship….”

 

“-Uh huh…”

 

“For a strip club!”

 

Keith burst out laughing and thwacked Lance with a pillow again. Lance tried to keep a serious face as Keith attacked him.

 

“What, I don’t see the problem?” he snorted.

 

Keith continued to pummel him with the pillows until Lance raised his hands in defeat, laughing.

 

“Okay, jeez, okay!” he wheezed.

 

Keith rolled his eyes and stopped, returning to flicking through his own phone. He suddenly smiled as he opened an application form. It was perfect.

 

“Lance, I think I have a good one!”

 

Lance crossed his legs on the sofa and grinned.

 

“Better than the strip club-”

 

“-Shhh! Yes it is!” giggled Keith. “Listen...Tattoo parlour internship, fifteen dollars an hour. We are looking for a fresh, creative mind to join our team here at the Lion Tattoo Parlour. They will need to bring an art portfolio to the interview...which is tomorrow at 18:30.”

 

“Keith, that’s perfect! You have to go for it. I’ll check where it is on Google Maps...you phone up Professor Ulaz so you can collect your portfolio from him later.”

 

Keith beamed and nodded, leaning forwards to kiss Lance on the cheek.

 

“Just need to find somewhere for you now, babe.”

 

Lance rolled his eyes as he typed in the address of the tattoo parlour.

 

“You might not get the job Keith, look for some backups!”

 

Keith snickered and gestured at his body.

 

“Who wouldn’t want to employ this flawless man?”

Chapter Text

Keith finally managed to tie his tie correctly and gulped in front of the mirror. Lance beamed and wrapped his arms around Keith’s chest.

 

“Hey, you’ll do great. Just be happy Shiro’s at work right now or you’d have a whole photo album full of you about to go to an interview.”

 

Keith snickered and picked up his portfolio from the side of the wall. He waved goodbye to Lance as he left his boyfriend’s apartment, and made his way down the long flight of stairs. He checked his watch nervously as he speed walked to the bus stop; he was already running late because of how long it had taken for him to work out how to tie his tie properly. Lance and him had searched up YouTube videos of how to do it in the end. Keith boarded the bus into town, his heart racing. The bus journey seemed to drag on, his nerves steadily building. Eventually, the bus stopped at his stop and he got off. Straightening his tie, Keith crossed the road to where the tattoo parlour was. A bell above the door jingled as he went inside. A tall woman greeted him warmly, her arms covered in an array of colourful tattoos.

 

“Hey, you’re Keith, right?”

 

“Yeah, it’s a pleasure to meet you...Christine?”

 

She beamed and nodded.

 

“If you’ll just follow me to the back room…”

 

Keith went after her, surveying the parlour as he went. It was quite different to how he’d imagined it; it was very neat and tidy and there was no heavy metal looking tattoo designs plastering the wall. In fact, there were no designs on the walls at all. Instead, there were hundreds of polaroid pictures of customers plastering the walls instead, each of them showing their newest tattoo. It reminded Keith of Romelle’s den a little, making him smile. He came to the room where his interview would take place and Christine pulled out a chair for him to sit down in. Keith took a deep breath, then smiled up at the woman.

 

“Well, I read your CV in advance...and I see that you don’t have much experience with work...in fact you don’t have any.”

 

Keith laughed awkwardly.

 

“Well, that doesn’t matter at present. What I’m really interested in is your portfolio book...you got an A* for it, I believe?”

 

Keith nodded as he handed it over. Christine opened it eagerly, her eyes shining.

 

“So-” she said as she flicked through the pages “-would you describe yourself as being creative?”

 

“Usually, unless I have an art block.”

 

Christine laughed.

 

“God, I relate to that on an emotional level. I’m asking because every tattoo that goes out to the customer is completely different because the tattoo artist will design it themselves according to the customer’s wishes. We have no ready-made designs or anything like that. Does that faze you, having to create an original design for each person?”

 

Keith shook his head, although he had a few doubts at the back of his mind.

 

“No, I’m pretty sure I can handle that.”

 

The woman snapped his portfolio book shut and smiled at him.

 

“Well, I can certainly see why you got such amazing art results. Who’s the boy with the blue guitar?”

 

Keith blushed and a small smile spread across his face.

 

“He’s my boyfriend, Lance.”

 

“That’s probably my favourite, I can see all the love you poured into it. Well, Keith, I’m going to have you do a few tests with a tattoo pen and then I’ll need you to do a few rough sketches for me. Is that okay?”

 

Keith smiled and nodded, getting up from his seat. As Christine set some things up, he quickly unlocked his phone to check a message from Lance. It was a picture of him with his thumbs up, smiling goofily. Keith snorted and sent a love heart back.

 

“Okay, I’m ready for you, Keith.”

 

***

 

Lance looked over at the door as Keith entered, sitting up immediately.

 

“Soooo, did you get it?” he asked excitedly.

 

His boyfriend dejectedly shut the door and avoided eye contact with Lance. He grumpily handed Lance a piece of paper from his pocket.

 

“Aw Keith, I’m sure you’ll get the next one-”

 

Lance froze as he read the paper and looked over the top of it at Keith.

 

“You fucking got it?!” he squeaked.

 

Keith burst out laughing and hugged Lance tightly.

 

“Sure did! I start in a week!”

 

“Keith, that’s amazing!”

 

Keith sat down on the sofa and grinned.

 

“Told you I would get it, as I said before, who could resist employing me: a god amongst men?”

 

Lance tilted his head and crossed his arms.

 

“More like a pain in the ass amongst men. Anyway, don’t get too comfortable; Hunk’s bringing Shay over with pizzas in half an hour, and Pidge is coming too. Get up and clean, it looks like a pigsty in here!”

 

Reluctantly, Keith got up and dumped his things in Lance’s room. His boyfriend was already hoovering like mad as he stepped out, a duster clutched in one hand. Keith grabbed it from him, tickled Lance’s nose with it and began to dust around the house. After they had finished, they crammed all the dirty dishes into the dishwasher and cleaned the kitchen surface with sponges. Once they had finally tidied to Lance’s high standard, they slumped onto the sofa breathing heavily. Almost instantly, Hunk unlocked the door and let Shay and Pidge in. Keith and Lance’s mouths watered hungrily as they smelt the pizza in Hunk’s arms.

 

“Hey guys!” Shay greeted them warmly as she removed her coat and shoes.

 

Keith awkwardly looked down at his feet, his converse still on. As Pidge, Hunk and Shay sat down, he quickly slipped his shoes off and placed them at the front of the door. Lance snickered as Keith sat back down, earning him a whack around the head.

 

“So, Keith,” Pidge spluttered through a mouthful of pepperoni “How did the interview go?”

 

“I got it! Start next week.”

 

Pidge beamed and her eyes sparkled.

 

“Free tattoos, awesome!”

 

Keith rolled his eyes, snorting.

 

“I don’t want to get fired straight away, Pidge.”

 

They each shared their news in turn, and munched their way through the pizzas. Lance tearfully declined the nutella donut he was offered, Keith rubbing his back sympathetically.

 

“Oooh! I almost forgot!” squeaked Shay, almost dropping her donut.

 

Everyone turned to face her with interest.

 

“My uncle recently bought this huge plot of land which has a huge forest in it. He said I could bring some people to go camping there at some point, so if you guys are all free do you want to come this weekend? He already has all the equipment we’d need, like tents and stuff.”

 

“That sounds great, Shay! I’d love to come, yeah,” responded Pidge enthusiastically.

 

Keith and Lance both agreed excitedly and Hunk said he’d bring stuff to barbeque. Shay clapped her hands together and smiled.

 

“Perfect, I’ll send you all the address and we can meet there Saturday morning.”

 

Lance beamed and grabbed Keith’s hands.

 

“Aw, I can’t wait! I haven’t been camping since I was little.”

 

“You should bring Blue so we can sing songs around a campfire or something.”

 

Lance nodded vigorously.

 

“Damn, this is going to be awesome!” Hunk exclaimed.

 

***

 

“Keith, why would you pack the morning we leave? I packed two days ago you numpty.”

 

Lance watched in amusement as Keith dashed around his apartment, searching for the items on his list.

 

“I don’t know...I thought it would be quick and easy!”

 

There was a knock at the door and Lance let Shiro and Adam in. In their hands were several cartons of pomegranate juice, and lots of packets of marshmallows.

 

“Okay, that’s five cartons of the good old P’juice and seven packets of marshmallows!” cried Shiro as he set them on the table.

 

Lance thanked them for the trouble and managed to split them between his bag and Keith’s. Keith quickly threw a sketchbook, spare underwear and a towel into his bag and zipped it up.

 

“Okay, I think that’s everything….wait fuck, where’s my phone?”

 

He went into another mad searching frenzy, and Adam rolled his eyes at Lance.

 

“He’s mental, honestly,” laughed Adam.

 

Keith eventually retrieved his phone and put it in his bag. Lance shouldered his guitar, picked up his rucksack and headed for the door. Shiro gave him a quick hug, wishing him well.

 

“Have fun and look out for Keith, he gets overly excited when he’s in the wild for too long.”

 

Lance promised that he would, waved goodbye to Adam, and practically dragged Keith out of the flat so they wouldn’t be even later than they already were. After packing Shiro’s car full of their stuff, Keith climbed into the driver's seat and started the engine. They waved to Adam and Shiro, who were waving from the balcony, as Keith reversed out of the parking spot.

 

“Camping here we come!” cried Lance, punching the air.

 

***

 

“Hey, Shiro?” Adam asked as Shiro came inside from the balcony.

 

“Yes, my beloved?”

 

Adam snorted and pushed Shiro’s chest.

 

“There’s a letter on the coffee table, is it yours?”

 

Shiro picked up the letter, raising an eyebrow. It wasn’t addressed to anyone. He sniffed it suspiciously and froze. Lotor?

 

“What the-”

 

He opened it anxiously and pulled the letter out. It was a short, scruffily written and the ink had been smudged everywhere. Shiro guessed Lotor had written it while walking. He read over it quickly, his eyes widening as he took in the information. When he finished it, he threw the letter down and gave Adam a worried look.

 

“I need to text Allura.”

 

Shiro snatched his phone from the table as Adam read over the letter himself. He gasped and glanced at Shiro.

 

“It can’t be true…”

 

***

 

“You certainly took your time!” Hunk remarked as he watched Keith and Lance walk towards the little campsite.

 

“Sorry, Keith decided to pack this morning and he couldn’t find anything.”

 

They set down their rucksacks inside their assigned tent (red and blue) and joined Shay, Pidge and Hunk where they were all sitting down at a picnic table. Shay leaned back and breathed deeply, grinning.

 

“I’m so happy all of you could come! So, what do you want to do first? We could go swimming in the lake or-”

 

“Swimming!” shrieked Pidge “Swimming in this weather? It’s like 10 degrees (celsius cause I’m a british bitch), it’ll be freezing!”

 

Keith gave Pidge a look.

 

“Is that a challenge? I bet I could stay in the lake for more than half an hour and feel fine.”

 

Pidge huffed and crossed her arms.

 

“Keith, you don’t fucking feel the cold, I’m not betting anything...Lance on the other hand is a weakling when it comes to any weather outside of Cuba.”

 

Lance smirked.

 

“My days of being cold are behind me, Pidge. I’m a changed man…”

 

He glanced at Keith, winking.

 

“Well, I’m down for a swim then,” Shay said.

 

Hunk reluctantly agreed, but he seemed to be more on Pidge’s side of the argument. Shay got up and beamed at her friends.

 

“Okay, follow me troops!”

 

Keith and Lance ran after her eagerly, but Pidge and Hunk grumpily trudged behind them. She lead them out of the forest, and almost instantly they were walking across a small pebble beach. Lance grinned as he saw the lake stretching out ahead of them, waves lightly lapping against the stones. It reminded him of the beaches back in Cuba. He was just sitting down to wait for the others to go in first, when he felt Keith pushing him back upwards.

 

“Nope, you’re coming in now!”

 

Lance laughed and protested as Keith lifted his shirt off him and swept him into his arms. Carrying him bridal style, Keith made his way down to the water with Lance wiggling in his arms.

 

“Nooo!” screamed Lance, wheezing with laughter “Keith no, please! Please don’t, it looks too cold!”

 

Keith grinned evily and started to swing Lance back and forth.

 

“Ooone…”

 

“KEITH I SWEAR TO GOD!”

 

“Twooooo….”

 

Lance struggled in his boyfriend’s arms desperately.

 

“Three!”

 

Lance yelped as he was sent flying into the water. He created an enormous splash as he entered the lake, droplets flying everywhere. To his surprise, it really wasn’t that cold. He silently thanked the werewolf gods for blessing him with warm blood. He broke the surface of the water with a gasp.

 

“You shithead!” snarled Lance, but he couldn’t contain his laughter.

 

He noticed Pidge filming from the side of the lake, cackling, while Hunk clutched his sides with laughter. Keith smirked at him from the shore, pulled his own shirt off and ran into the water. Lance squealed as Keith belly flopped in front of him, spraying him with water. He spluttered and giggled as Keith resurfaced, his mullet sopping wet. Shay shortly joined them, and eventually Hunk mustered the courage to follow after her. Pidge still adamantly stayed on the beach, not even daring to dip a toe in.

 

“Come on, Pidge, it’s fun!” yelled Lance.

 

She shook her head hard.

 

“I don’t want hypothermia!”

 

Keith glanced at Lance, grinning.

 

“Keith, what are you-”

 

Keith slunk beneath the water, disappearing from sight. Lance stayed where he was, treading water, trying to spot his boyfriend. Hunk paddled over to him, giggling as Shay splashed him with water.

 

“He’s there, look-”

 

Hunk pointed at Keith’s head cutting through the water. He was aiming for the shore, and Pidge’s back was turned. Shay, Hunk and Lance all held in their laughter as Keith slowly rose from the water, trying to make as little noise as possible.

 

“WHA-”

 

Pidge screeched as Keith picked her up by the armpits, her legs wiggling in the air.

 

“PUT ME DOWN KEITH I’LL FUCKING KILL YOU IF YOU-”

 

Keith snickered as he headed towards the water.

 

“KEITH NO! BAD KEITH!”

 

“Oooone….”

 

Pidge tried to bite Keith’s arm but he managed to avoid her fangs.

 

“Twoooo…”

 

“KEITH FUCKING STOP IT! I'M NOT LANCE!!!”

 

“Three!”

 

Pidge screeched with terror….but Keith only dipped her legs into the water gently. She opened her eyes and breathed out a sigh of relief.

 

But Hunk was behind her.

 

She turned around in slo-mo as Hunk leapt into the air, his arms and legs spread wide in a starfish shape. With a mighty splash, he met the water, sending a tidal wave over Pidge. Her shrieks couldn’t be heard over the roaring laughter of Shay, Lance and Keith as they observed her drenched body, clothes sagging with water.

 

“HUNK YOU’LL PAY FOR THIS!”

 

Hunk slid into the depths, avoiding her evil look. Lance, Keith and Shay did the same, leaving her alone in the shallows. With a groan, she sucked in a breath and tip-toed out from the shallows back onto dry land. She blew a raspberry at the four sunken heads and sat down on the pebbles, crossing her arms. As Pidge dried off slowly, the rest of the gang swam around in the water for another half an hour then got out after they were fed up with Pidge’s constant moaning. Lance tossed Keith’s shirt to him, going bright red as he watched droplets of water rolling off his boyfriend’s chest. To Lance’s delight, Keith gave his shirt to a shivering Pidge so she could warm up. His eyes didn’t stray from Keith’s toned abs the entire time they walked back to the tents.

 

***

 

“Your tongues gone black!” wheezed Shay as she pointed at Hunk’s mouth.

 

Hunk swallowed another fistful of blackberries and stuck out his tongue again.

 

“Jeez, Hunk. You’ve eaten like four baskets of them, maybe slow down buddy?” Lance remarked as he popped one into his mouth.

 

Hunk grinned, black juice staining his teeth.

 

“I picked them so I eat them! You should’ve picked more, there were plenty by the farmhouse.”

 

Lance rolled his eyes and opened his mouth so Keith could stick another blackberry in his mouth. Shay looked up at the sky and grinned.

 

“It’s starting to get dark, let’s make a fire and start the barbeque!”

 

Keith and Lance got up to help Shay collect firewood whilst Pidge and Hunk got out the variety of burgers and sausages that Hunk had brought. It was almost pitch black by the time they had gotten together a decent amount of firewood, and Pidge’s shivering had started up again.

 

“Okay, who’s got the matches?” Shay asked.

 

Pidge tossed her the packet and they all gathered around the pile of wood.

 

“Let there be light!” cried Shay, striking the match.

 

She dropped it onto the kindling at the top and it sparked into life. The flames gradually grew until they had set fire to the proper chunks of wood. Keith pulled everybody’s chairs up to the fire while Hunk stuck some sausages on spikes and started to cook them. Lance plonked onto the chair next to Keith with his guitar and strummed it gently. The fire lit his face up as he softly strummed Blue, not playing a particular song. Keith relaxed into his seat, watching Lance with metaphorical hearts in his eyes. Hunk handed out the sausages and burgers he had cooked, Pidge taking four at once. Shay cuddled up close to Hunk as she watched the embers drift into the night. Keith felt a tapping of his shoulder and he glanced at Lance fondly.

 

“What is it babe-”

 

“-did you hear that?”

 

Keith gazed into Lance’s worried eyes. He strained his hearing, just managing to pick up a faint rustling in the distance. Laughing, he dismissed it.

 

“Yeah...the raccoon must be after you!”

 

Lance growled at him playfully and continued to play Blue, his casual chords turning into the song he’d written for Keith. He sung it quietly so only Keith could hear it over the crackling of the fire.

 

I’m lucky to be in love with my best friend

 

He met Keith’s eyes as he sang, both of them smiling. Their moment was interrupted by a small gremlin rustling out from their tent carrying armfuls of marshmallows.

 

“How much fucking pomegranate juice did you guys take? Honestly you’ve got an addiction that needs to be sorted out.”

 

Keith and Lance snickered and grabbed a bag of marshmallows from Pidge’s arms. Hunk handed out skewers and they began to roast them on the fire.

 

RUSTLE

 

Keith and Lance whipped around in unison, straining their senses. Keith caught a strong whiff of something, but he didn’t recognise the scent.

 

“Whats up, guys?” Hunk asked, amused.

 

Lance turned around and smiled reassuringly.

 

“Keith thought he saw a badger, but I think he’s imagining things haha.”

 

Keith turned his attention back to the fire, but he kept his hearing trained on the bushes. Lance had stopped playing his guitar, focusing with his own senses.

 

RUSTLE

 

Keith stood up and whipped around.

 

“I’m sure there’s a badger!” he lied. “I’ll go look.”

 

Lance watched him go nervously. Keith slunk round the side of their tent and pushed his way through the bushes, scenting the air. The smell was overpowering so he held his nose as he shoved his way through. He spotted a large mark on the floor and crouched down to inspect it. It looked kind of like a-

 

Keith looked up slowly as a low growl sounded in front of him. Two small beady eyes glared at him from the shrubbery. The werewolf backed away carefully, keeping his eyes trained on the creature. It stepped forwards, making the entire bush shake. A large head emerged first, then its broad shoulders. Keith’s heart started to beat incredibly fast.

 

Bear.

 

“Lance!” Keith hissed under his breath as he looked into the eyes of the beast.

 

“What?”

 

“We have a huge fucking situation, I need you to get the guys out of here.”

 

“What the fuck? Keith what is it?”

 

Keith held his breath as the bear bared its teeth and completely revealed itself. It was three times the size of him, with claws the size of daggers.

 

“Bear.”

 

The beast suddenly let out a ferocious roar and charged forwards, ripping the foliage out of its way. All the blood drained from Keith’s face and he ran for his life, leaping through the dense leaves. He could hear his friends panicking: they had obviously heard the roar. He emerged from the bushes and dived for the floor as the bear lunged for him, missing him by a heartbeat. It swung into the centre of the camp, breathing heavily. Hunk, Shay and Pidge were frozen stiff with fear and Lance slowly set his guitar down. The bear seemed confused, not knowing who to aim for first. Shay suddenly let out a shriek, and the beast turned to face her, eyes darting around her face. It raced towards her, but Keith was a moment ahead. He shoved Shay out of the way, sending Hunk and Pidge flying in the process. The creature raised a paw to hit him, but Keith quickly dodged it and ducked to the side. Lance joined his side as the bear found its bearings.

 

“What the fuck do we do? We can’t transform here!” he hissed to Keith.

 

“I know! Try the fire maybe, it might scare it!”

 

They whipped around to grab a log each, but the fire was dwindling and there wasn’t enough time to bring it back to life. The bear found its focus again, centring on Pidge, the smallest. She yelped as she realised what it's target was, stumbling backwards. Hunk bravely stood in front of her, holding his arms out to protect her. Shay tried to go in front of him, but he forced her behind him and squeezed his eyes shut. The bear got ready to strike, pawing the ground angrily. Keith shot Lance a look of despair.

 

“We don’t have a choice!” whined Lance.

 

Keith didn’t reply, he just crouched down and started to transform. Lance got down to do the same, praying that his ‘inner wolf’ would answer him. He watched on in horror as the bear began to advance towards his helpless friends. He shut his eyes and breathed out. When he looked up again, he saw brown fur curling from his arms. Keith gave him a sideways look, and he nodded. They had to protect them, if it was the last thing they did.

Chapter Text

Lance and Keith flung themselves at the bear, barrelling it away from their friends. Hunk shrieked in fear as he watched Keith ripping his claws down the bear's flank. This created enough of a distraction for Lance to be able to scramble onto the back of the beast and dig his teeth into its neck. The bear swung around, trying to shake Lance off. While the bear was busy with Lance, Keith clamped his jaws around its leg and bit down hard. It roared with pain and grabbed Keith’s head in his jaws. Keith yelped in pain as he was sent flying into to undergrowth.

 

“Keith!” screeched Lance, losing his hold on the beast.

 

The bear shook Lance off and spun whirled around to snarl at him. Lance cowered low to the ground, tail between his legs. He squeezed his eyes shut as the bear raised a huge paw to hit him with.

 

“Lance, run!”

 

Lance looked back in surprise at Shay as she threw a chunk of wood at the bear. It grazed its head harmlessly, and it bared its teeth.

 

“Go!”

 

Lance shook his head hard and growled. What was he doing? He hurled himself under the bear’s stomach and clawed at its belly. Snarling in pain, the bear reared up on its back legs. Lance darted from underneath it and jumped headfirst into the bear’s chest. It fell backwards with a crash, straight into the smoldering fire. It howled in agony as the fire singed its fur. Lance ducked as it got to its feet and fled, flattening Pidge’s tent. Breathing heavily, Lance raced past his speechless friends and into the foliage where he’d seen Keith disappear. He nosed through the bushes anxiously, ignoring the scratching of thorns on his pelt. He pricked his ears up as he heard a wheezing noise. Lance clawed his way towards the sound until he suddenly came upon Keith. He was conscious, but there was a thick gash on his head.

 

“Lance,” he groaned “Is the bear gone? Are the guys okay?”

 

Lance nodded and nosed Keith to his feet. He pressed against his boyfriend as they made their way back towards the tents. Keith slumped on the floor next to the obliterated campfire. Ignoring Hunk’s cry of fear, he leapt over his friend to get to his tent. He quickly transformed, pulled on some jeans and grabbed the first aid kit that Shiro had packed. He dashed back to his boyfriend and sat down next to him. Keith grunt-whined and rested his head on Lance’s lap.

 

“Lance...water…” he whined.

 

Lance glanced at Shay as he opened the first aid kit.

 

“Can you get him some water?”

 

She didn’t answer, but grabbed a bottle from her bag, then a plastic bowl and handed them nervously to Lance. He filled it quickly and set it down next to Keith’s head. He stretched out his tongue and began to lap at the liquid as Lance carefully wiped the wound with an antiseptic dressing.

 

“For fuck sake, are you going to explain what just happened?” Pidge yelled, sticking her hands out.

 

Lance turned his back to her and continued to dab at Keith’s wound, pushing the thick black fur away from the blood. Keith clenched his teeth and growled lowly.

 

“I know, I’m sorry. Almost done.”

 

Lance finished cleaning the wound and headed back into his tent to get fresh clothes for Keith. He also snatched a carton of pomegranate juice from Keith’s bag. He replaced the water in the bowl with the juice.

 

“Keith, you need to drink the juice to transform back, I don’t think you have enough strength right now.”

 

Keith nodded and lapped up the juice, immediately causing his muscles to spasm. He groaned in pain as he shrunk back to normal. Lance dressed him quickly and bandaged up his wound.

 

“Lance, fucking answer me!”

 

Lance continued to ignore Pidge, and carefully lifted Keith to his feet. Hunk and Shay parted to let him through as he made his way to the picnic table. Keith sat down with a sigh, clutching his head. Lance turned around to face his silent friends.

 

“We need to get home so Adam can see to Keith’s wound. Let’s start packing up.”

 

Hunk and Shay obeyed him quietly, muttering a few words to each other as they gathered up their things. Pidge angrily shoved past Lance and snatched her bag. Without saying another word, she lit her phone torch and stomped off towards the cars. When Hunk and Shay had grabbed their things, they quickly rushed after her. Lance felt tears pricking his eyes.

 

“Keith...they hate us now, don’t they?”

 

Keith frowned.

 

“At least they’re alive. Come on, go get Blue and the bags.”

 

Lance shouldered Blue and the bags then helped Keith get up. They stumbled over to Shiro’s car. Lance felt himself welling up again as he realised that Hunk, Shay and Pidge had already driven off. He loaded the boot, slamming it shut harder than necessary, and opened the passenger door for Keith. He sent Shiro a quick message before turning the key and driving off into the night.

 

***

 

“Just set him down on the sofa here while I get my stuff,” Adam said, whisking off to get supplies.

 

Lance carefully helped Keith onto the sofa as Shiro frantically made some tea (he had wanted to help so Adam gave him a task which would give Keith some space). Keith smiled at Lance and took his hand in his. Lance sat down next to him and rubbed circles on Keith’s palms. Adam returned with a big box of equipment and crouched down next to Keith.

 

“Okay, I’m going to remove the dressing Lance applied, clean it again and then sew it up. You’re lucky that there’s no swelling, or we’d have to go to the hospital.”

 

Keith squeezed Lance’s hand tightly as Adam began his work, gently cleaning the gash. When he got out the needle, Keith squeaked and dug his nails into Lance’s wrist. His eyes watered, but he let Keith squeeze as hard as he needed to. Shiro ran over with four mugs balanced in his hands.

 

“I made the tea, Adam!”

 

Adam glanced over at the mugs briefly.

 

“You’ve made coffee, dear. Relax, Keith’s going to be fine. Lance, would you help this disaster of a man make some tea?”

 

Lance laughed and got up to follow Shiro to the kitchen. Keith whimpered and grabbed a pillow to squeeze as Lance left his side. Shiro poured the coffee down the sink and got out fresh mugs. Lance filled the kettle with water as Shiro dug out the teabags. The kettle started to boil the water and Shiro sighed, leaning against the counter. He looked over his shoulder at his brother. Lance felt himself filling with shame.

 

“Shiro...I’m so sorry.”

 

Shiro looked over at Lance in surprise.

 

“Why?”

 

“You told me to look out for Keith...and now he’s hurt, and our friends hate us...and-and…”

 

Lance gulped and tears started to run down his face.

 

“Oh, Lance!”

 

Shiro pulled him in and hugged him tightly, Lance sobbing all over his dressing gown. He gently stroked the back of the younger boy’s head.

 

“Hey, you did nothing wrong, okay? Nothing. In fact, if you hadn’t been there, Keith could’ve been hurt much more. You can’t blame yourself for a bear attack.”

 

Lance nodded, sniffing. He looked up at Shiro with red eyes, but he smiled.

 

“And, about your friends, I’m sure they’ll come around. You saved their lives after all. I doubt they seriously hate you, I think they’re just a bit confused and shocked at the moment.”

 

Lance pretended to agree, but in his mind he pictured his friends fleeing from the campsite after taking their things. He watched in his mind as Pidge shoved past him. He saw Hunk’s terrified face as he’d leapt over him. He frowned and wiped his eyes, walking past Shiro to pick up the kettle. They re-joined Adam and Keith with the tea. Adam had just finished and was bandaging the side of Keith’s head. Lance handed a mug to Keith, who smiled at him weakly. Adam quickly gave Keith an injection of penicillin to prevent infection, then stood up and packed away his equipment.

 

“Me and Adam are going to head back to bed, will you two be okay?”

 

Keith held up his thumb as he chugged down half of his tea at once. Shiro and Adam left them alone, shutting the door to their room quietly. Lance heard Keith sigh.

 

“Being a werewolf fucking sucks, you know.”

 

Lance laughed softly.

 

“I feel you.”

 

Keith rested his head against Lance’s shoulder and Lance kissed his forehead.

 

“Come on, finish your tea and go to bed. I’ll sleep on the couch.”

 

Keith moaned and shook his head.

 

“Nooo, want to cuddle.”

 

Lance snorted.

 

“Fine.”

 

They both finished their drinks and Lance gave Keith a piggy back into his room. Lance threw as many blankets as he could over Keith, then curled up next to him. Images of Pidge, Shay and Hunk seemed to swirl around the room as he got comfortable, and he shut his eyes tightly in an attempt to block them out. The covers rustled as Keith turned to face Lance.

 

“Hey, Lance?”

 

“Mmm?”

 

“I love you.”

 

Lance went red and pulled Keith closer to his chest. His boyfriend rested his head just above Lance's heart and Lance could feel him grinning against his skin.

 

“Love you too,” he murmured, wrapping his legs around Keith's.

 

***

Three days later

 

Keith 14:06

Hey, Pidge. Halo session? Lance is going to play, he’ll probably kill himself with another grenade though haha

 

Keith 17:18

Lance managed to find a job interview where he can play his guitar, isn’t that awesome? He gets to play the guitar at this coffee place for sixty bucks a gig. Decent right?

 

Keith 18:32

Lance got the job! He’s starting tomorrow, so I’m going to go and watch him. You should come with Hunk or something

 

Keith 20:00

It’s at the Blue Paladin cafe, it’s quite close to Balmera coffee house. He’s going to play Blue at the Blue paladin haha! Coincidence, I think not!

 

Keith 20:49

Lmao Lance already died, new record of 20.6 seconds!

 

Keith 00:00

Look, Lance plaited my hair, what do you think?

[Image]

 

Keith 00:01

I undid them and now he’s crying on the bed cause it took him so long haha

 

Pidge scowled and threw her phone aside. Why was he still texting her? Hunk looked at her anxiously.

 

“He’s still texting?”

 

She nodded sharply and bit a hang-nail. Hunk fiddled with his thumbs.

 

“I can’t believe he has the nerve to try and talk to us, after everything that happened!” she snapped as her phone buzzed with another message.

 

Hunk awkwardly shuffled away from his phone as Lance tried to call him for the fourth time that day.

 

“How could they? How, Hunk?”

 

He shrugged a checked his watch.

 

“Pidge, it’s past midnight. Maybe we should just get to sleep. I set up an air mattress in my room for you.”

 

Pidge silently left for Hunk’s room. He watched her go and jumped as his phone buzzed again. He picked it up slowly and unlocked it. There was a picture from Lance of Keith’s hair in perfect braids. He felt himself smiling, and was about to send a message back until he saw Pidge giving him an angry stare from the doorway.

 

“Don’t talk to them!”

 

Hunk reluctantly put his phone down.

 

“How could you even consider talking to them again?”

 

“Pidge...they’re still our friends.”

 

Pidge scowled and crossed her arms.

 

“If they were really our friends, they would’ve trusted us enough to tell us. Just accept it, Hunk. We’re not their friends.”

 

Hunk welled up as Pidge left him alone in the empty living room.

 

“They are our friends...they are...aren’t they?” he whimpered to himself.

 

***

 

Lance waved shyly to Keith from where he was sitting on a small stage at the corner of The Blue Paladin coffee house. Keith waved back, grinning widely. Lance took a few gulps of water and glanced over at the door. Pidge and Hunk were still nowhere to be seen. Disappointment swirled in his stomach, he knew that they weren’t going to come, but it still really hurt. Lance checked the time on his phone; twelve o’clock sharp. He rose from his stool and coughed politely into the microphone on stage.

 

“Um, hullo everybody! My name is Lance and I’m going to be playing for you today.”

 

There was a small round of applause as Lance sat back down and strummed the guitar. He started to sing softly into the microphone, repeating the lyrics that he’d been practising the previous night with Keith. He was quite quiet at first, but when he noticed how much attention he was gathering from the customers, he became more confident and sang louder. Keith beamed at him from his seat and mouthed ‘I love you.’ Lance smiled as he sang, Keith was saying it more and more frequently. He finished his first song and received an overwhelming amount of applause for such a small audience. He began his next song, casually glancing at the door once again. Still no Pidge or Hunk.

 

When Lance’s shift ended at four, he was surprised to receive several tips from some of the customers at the cafe. After packing up and thanking the audience, Lance went over to Keith and kissed his cheek. Keith wrapped his arm around Lance’s shoulder as they left the coffee house. As they went outside, Keith could’ve sworn he picked up the scent of Pidge and Hunk. He looked around suspiciously and managed to glimpse the sight of two people hurrying around the corner, one significantly smaller than the other. Keith glanced at Lance to see if he’d noticed, but his boyfriend seemed none the wiser. Keith smiled to himself and took Lance’s hand in his. Maybe they had come after all.

 

***

 

In the evening

 

“Thanks for letting me stay over for so long, Shiro. I’m just not ready to go back to Hunk and my place yet…”

 

“No problem, Lance. Take as long as you need...I’m sure Keith’s enjoying all your company.

 

Keith slammed down his dinner plate on the table.

 

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

 

Shiro giggled and winked at Adam, who was collecting the dirty dishes. Keith snarled at him playfully. Lance raised an eyebrow as Keith stretched and yawned.

 

“God, I’m so tired-”

 

“-Keith it’s seven thirty-” Lance butted in.

 

“-I think I’m going to head to bed, night!”

 

Keith was about to dart to his room, but Shiro grabbed him by the collar of his shirt.

 

“Not so fast, you sneaky little bitch.”

 

Keith growled at him.

 

“Let go! I’ve got a head injury so I need my sleep! Ask the doctor!”

 

Adam gave Shiro a weary look.

 

“He’s perfectly fine.”

 

Keith gasped at Adam.

 

“Betrayal,” he whispered.

 

Lance laughed as he watched his boyfriend struggle in Shiro’s grasp.

 

“What’s going on?” he asked as Keith tried to take a chunk out of Shiro's arm with his teeth.

 

Shiro smirked.

 

“Well, werewolves happen to get fleas very easily, so they have to keep their fur in perfect condition. Keith and I have never caught fleas because of my tradition - flea baths every three months!”

 

Lance burst out laughing.

 

“Aww is Keith afwaid of a wittle baff time?”

 

Keith growled at him, baring his teeth. Lance didn’t realise that Shiro had grabbed his shirt collar too.

 

“I don’t know why you’re laughing, Lance. You need to start doing it too.”

 

It was Keith’s turn to laugh as they were both dragged into the bathroom and dumped on the tiled floor.

 

“Transform and get into the tub, or there will be serious consequences.”

 

Shiro looked deadly serious making both of them shudder. Keith reluctantly started to strip, Lance quickly averting his eyes, blushing hard. He did the same, then crouched low to transform. He watched as wolf-Keith leapt into the bathtub and sat waiting patiently. Lance closed his eyes and searched for his inner wolf…

 

“Rrrrr!”

 

He opened his eyes, but nothing was happening. Keith was watching him in amusement.

 

“Don’t look! I’m naked!” he screeched.

 

Keith looked away, but Lance was certain that his gaze kept drifting towards him. He tried again, squeezing his eyes shut. It almost worked, he could feel his teeth beginning to sharpen...but that’s as far as he got.

 

“I’m coming in!” cried Shiro.

 

Lance yelped in panic and something seemed to click inside of him causing him to transform. He just managed to leap into the tub before Shiro entered.

 

“You took your time,” snorted Keith and Lance cuffed him around the ear.

 

Shiro turned on the tap of the bath and let the water run as he brought out two bottles of flea shampoo and a brush. Lance splashed Keith with water as they waited for tub to fill, growling playfully. Shiro gave him a warning look.

 

“If you splash me, you’ll regret it, my brother’s boyfriend or not.”

 

Lance instantly sat down in the water and wagged his tail, trying his best to look innocent. Shiro started with him, rubbing vast amounts of the shampoo into his fur. Keith cackled as the bubbles in Lance’s fur multiplied.

 

“You look like a snowman!”

 

“You’ll look like a snowman soon, Keith,” Shiro snapped at his brother.

 

That shut him up as he waited for his turn. Shiro rinsed the bubbles from Lance’s fur and carefully brushed through the knots till his fur was sleek and shiny. He then focused his attention on Keith, who was much more squirmy and impatient than Lance had been. Adam came in just as Shiro was finishing with Keith, and he snapped several photos on his phone. Keith growled at him, but Lance stuck out his tongue and raised his tail.

 

“Adam, could you get the hairdryer please?”

 

Adam returned with a large hairdryer after Shiro had drained the tub and helped Keith and Lance out. He turned it on and started to dry Lance’s fur, brushing through it again. Once he had finished, Lance couldn’t help admiring himself in the mirror, wagging his tail. Keith, on the other hand, outright refused to be brushed again, so he fled from the bathroom and cowered behind the couch.

 

“Little shit!” groaned Shiro.

 

He looked down at Lance.

 

“At least you were good. Go change and we can watch a movie or something.”

 

Lance padded into Keith’s room and transformed back into his human form. He took out some clothes from his bag, dressed himself and stepped back outside. Shiro was chasing Keith around the apartment with a hairbrush whilst Adam was reading the newspaper calmly on the couch.

 

“I sent you the photos, Lance,” he mentioned as Shiro dived over him to grab Keith’s scruff.

 

Keith somehow managed to dodge his brother and ran into his room, pushing the door shut with his nose. Shiro collapsed next to Adam, wheezing.

 

“Every fucking time.”

 

Lance snickered and opened his phone to look at the photos Adam had taken. They were actually really cute; Keith looked hilarious with his sagging fur and grumpy expression. Lance was about to close his phone, when he decided to take a risk. His heart thumping wildly, he sent the photo to the group chat with Hunk and Pidge. He quickly locked his phone as soon as it sent and let out a sigh.

 

He just wanted things to be normal again.

 

Chapter Text

 

Keith smirked as he heard Adam yelling at Shiro from the bathroom. His brother didn’t seem to be behaving while he had his flea bath. Lance was making them some coffee in the kitchen as Keith flicked through Netflix for a movie to watch. As he browsed, the corner of an envelope caught his attention. It was sitting on the side of the coffee table. He picked it up curiously, noticing that Shiro had already opened it. He pulled the letter out and flipped it open.

 

Keith and Shiro,

 

You may not have intended to do this, but you saved my life. You may never forgive me for what I’ve done to you in the past, but I owe you. A life for a life. What I’m trying to say is that you’re in more danger than you realise. I know that you have literally no reason to trust me, but if you want more information I’ll meet with you on the outskirts of Arus next half moon.

 

Lotor

 

Keith felt a cold sweat run down his back. What the actual fuck? He ran his fingers through his hair, his eyes wide. He glanced at the moon outside, by instinct he could tell it would be a half moon in two days. Lance suddenly hugged him from behind, carrying a cup of coffee. Keith quickly threw the letter onto the floor and shoved it under the sofa with his heel.

 

“I put no sugar in cause you’re a weirdo,” Lance said as he plopped next to Keith on the sofa.

 

“Thanks, babe.”

 

Keith took the mug from his boyfriend’s hand and took a long sip, trying to calm himself down. Lance gave him a worried look.

 

“You okay, you look a little stressed?”

 

Keith smiled. Of course Lance would notice something was off.

 

“Just sad about Hunk and Pidge.”

 

Well, he wasn’t lying - just covering the entire truth. Lance stretched out his arm to rub Keith’s back, but instead he quickly reached under the sofa. Keith grabbed his arm to try and stop him, but Lance’s hand had already closed around the paper. Lance quickly read it before Keith could snatch it off him, his face falling as he scanned over the rough handwriting. He growled and looked up at Keith.

 

“Why didn’t you show me the letter? You think I didn’t notice you sliding it under the sofa?”

 

Keith sheepishly rubbed the back of his neck.

 

“I didn’t want to worry you-”

 

“-I don’t care! We’re in this together, whether you like it or not! We need to decide what to do...I don’t trust this at all.”

 

Keith sat down next to Lance and sighed.

 

“You aren’t getting involved in this Lance. I don’t want to see you getting hurt...you don’t know what it’s like-”

 

Lance stood up and snarled at him, baring his teeth.

 

“I don’t know what it’s like?! Don’t you think I’ve seen you get hurt enough times? I’ve seen you almost die in a coma, I’ve seen you get attacked by a bear, I’ve seen all the shit you’ve been through! What do you think it’s been like for me?”

 

Keith was speechless, his mouth had gone dry. Tears began to spill from Lance’s eyes.

 

“Of course I understand, Keith! That’s why I have to help you! I’m not going to wait here like some obedient dog, wondering if you’re going to survive this time. I can’t do that!”

 

Lance angrily wiped the tears from his face, but they kept coming.

 

“Lance...that won’t happen, I promise. I just want to keep you safe-”

 

“-you don’t think I want the same thing? Keith, you think you’re indestructible, but you’re not! I love you so fucking much it hurts! Why don’t you understand that? It’s like I don’t have the right to care about you!”

 

Keith opened his mouth to answer, but Lance turned away from him. He grabbed his bag which was resting by the couch and slung it onto his back. Keith stood up, crying out as he watched Lance slam the door of the apartment. Collapsing to the floor, he pulled his legs to his chest. He didn’t realise he was crying until he felt wet patches of denim touching his skin. He felt himself changing as his emotions ran red inside him, his shirt making a ripping noise. Keith looked down at the fur curling from his skin, a blank expression on his face. Who cared?

 

***

 

GGGGrrrrr!

 

“Keith?!”

 

Shiro ran from the bathroom, his hair dripping wet and a towel hastily wrapped around his lower half. He stepped back in shock as he saw Keith growling at him from the floor, ears flattened against his head. Adam ran out after his boyfriend, but Shiro stuck out a hand to stop him.

 

“Don’t move! That’s not Keith right now, he’s gone feral. He doesn’t know what he’s doing.”

 

“What? Feral?”

 

They both took a large step back as Keith raised his hackles and snarled viciously.

 

“This used to happen to Keith all the time in the several months after our parents died. When a werewolf gets particularly upset or angry, sometimes the wolf just takes over. That’s not Keith right now...that’s just one hella angry wolf.”

 

Shiro quickly pulled Adam inside the bathroom and slammed the door as the wolf made a lunge for them.

 

“What are we supposed to do?” Adam hissed, looking at the door nervously as the wolf scrabbled furiously at it.

 

Shiro sighed.

 

“You usually have to wait it out until the werewolf has calmed down enough to regain their senses.”

 

“How long will that take?”

 

Shiro furrowed his brows.

 

“Well...Keith had his last feral episode when he was thirteen...it lasted for-”

 

Shiro suddenly groaned and sat on the side on the bathtub.

 

“It lasted six days. I have scars all over my back from that time...he was a little shit.”

 

Adam pinched the bridge of his nose.

 

“You’re telling me we’re gonna be stuck in the bathroom for a week?”

 

Shiro jumped as the wolf let out a mighty howl, making his ears ring. He widened his eyes.

 

“What’s he saying?” Adam asked.

 

“It’s very disjointed, like normal wolves speak. He’s saying ‘Sad, ‘Angry’, ‘Food’, ‘Alive’, ‘Rip’, ‘Shred’, ‘Lance’.”

 

Adam covered his ears as the wolf howled again.

 

“He just said the same...what the fuck happened? He was just looking for a film on Netflix!”

 

The wolf resumed its frantic scrabbling at the door. Adam and Shiro backed further away.

 

“What are we meant to do? The window’s too small for us to get through, and there’s a rabid wolf on the other side of the door,” Adam asked anxiously.

 

“I don’t know...maybe if we-”

 

Shiro froze as he heard another howl, this time further away. Keith paused his attempt to gouge out the door.

 

“It’s Lance!” gasped Shiro “But...the speech is disjointed again...and Lance doesn’t really know how to howl properly…”

 

Adam met his eyes.

 

“Lance has gone feral too, hasn’t he?”

 

***

 

Sad. Meat. Forest. Hunt. Keith.

 

The tan wolf finished its howl and sprinted towards the inviting smell of meat, mouth watering as it raced along the ground. The wind rustled its fur as it pelted along the dimly lit alley-way. It briefly raised its ears as it heard pawsteps close behind. He could hear the panting of breath similar to his own. The tan wolf growled and spun around just in time to watch a large black wolf soar over its head. The raven wolf landed lightly on the floor and bared its teeth menacingly.

 

“Meat, mine!” it growled.

 

The tan wolf held its ground.

 

“Leave! Mine!”

 

The black wolf snarled and lunged for the tan, claws unsheathed and shining in the moonlight. The tan wolf quickly dodged the other, unsheathing its own claws. It turned around and raised its hackles as the black wolf circled him.

 

“Hungry! Sad!” snarled the black wolf, swishing its tail angrily.

 

“Leave! Sad! Want!”

 

The tan wolf shot forwards and swung at the black wolf. His claws just grazed the others ebony pelt before he was shoved to the ground.

 

“Sad! Want!” cried the tan wolf as he was pinned down by the black.

 

“Need! Hurt! Sad!” answered the other, raising a paw to strike.

 

The tan wolf just managed to wriggle free from the black wolf’s grasp, raking his claws down the other’s belly. They didn’t really dig in properly, but the black yelped in pain.

 

“Hurt! Understand! Sad!” growled the tan wolf as they backed away from the black wolf.

 

The black wolf suddenly cocked its head.

 

“Understand...I...Lance…”

 

The tan wolf charged for the black, ready to sink its teeth into the black’s flesh.

 

“Sad, sad, sad!” it growled as the black wolf dodged its swipes.

 

The black wolf seemed to become groggy and slow, shaking its head as if trying to wake up from a dream. The tan wolf managed to thump the other hard on the side of the head, making them thud to the floor. The black wolf shook its head again, squeezing its eyes shut.

 

“Lance!” Keith suddenly gasped.

 

His eyes shot open and he quickly pushed himself to his feet. Where was he? The ground swirled a little beneath him and he stumbled into the side of another wolf. It growled angrily at him, making him leap back in shock. He scented the air briefly as the wolf snapped at his tail.

 

“No...Lance?”

 

Keith’s vision became less blurred and he got a good look at the wolf in front of him. It was definitely Lance, but his eyes had gone dull and unfocused. Keith dodged as the wolf lunged for him.

 

“Lance, what are you doing, it’s me!”

 

“Sad, love, sad, sad, understand!” the wolf yelped as it advanced towards Keith.

 

Keith cursed under his breath as he ducked under Lance’s paws.

 

“Fuck, he’s gone feral! Wait...that means I-”

 

He carefully looked over Lance and sighed with relief when he realised he hadn’t hurt his boyfriend. Keith flinched when he saw the look of hatred that Lance was giving him.

 

“Love...love! Hurt!” screeched the wolf, stamping its paw on the ground.

 

Keith backed away a little and sat down.

 

“Lance…”

 

“Love, understand!”

 

The tan wolf scraped its claws on the ground, snarling quietly.

 

“Fuck, Lance I’m so sorry...it’s all my fault...my fault…”

 

The tan wolf looked up as Keith spoke, twitching slightly.

 

“I just push people away so they don’t have to go through all the shit I’ve inflicted on myself...I just don’t want people to suffer because of me...and I understand that you care about me Lance, and I should’ve respected your feelings.”

 

Keith laughed softly to himself.

 

“I’ve never been good with emotions, Lance. I’m just a huge fuck up really.”

 

“You’re not a fuck up, just a major idiot.”

 

Keith looked up to see Lance right beside him, making him jump.

 

“Lance!” he beamed, feeling tears forming.

 

His boyfriend dizzily nosed Keith's muzzle and sat back on his haunches.

 

"What the fuck happened?"

 

Keith smiled, sniffing.

 

"Long story, I'll get Shiro to explain. I-I'm really fucking sorry Lance."

 

Lance rolled his eyes.

 

“Look, I get that ‘love’ and stuff is complicated, but you have to realise that I care about you just as much as you care about me. If you’re going to run off and do crazy shit, I’m coming with you. That's how it works, okay?”

 

Keith wiped his now wet fur on his boyfriend's side and nodded into the tan fur. Lance flicked him lightly with his tail and they slowly padded back towards Keith's apartment.

 

"What a night," snorted Lance as they left the alley.

 

***

 

Pidge threw her phone right across the room so it smacked against the wall.

 

“What the actual fuck!” she shrieked.

 

Hunk flinched as she slammed the door to her room. He awkwardly tapped his fingers together and smiled at Shay, who was sitting next to him on the sofa at Pidge’s house.

 

“What was that about?” she asked timidly.

 

“Haha...Lance sent a picture on our group chat of him and Keith...as...as wolves. I don’t think Pidge was expecting it, that’s all.”

 

Shay frowned and furrowed her brows. Suddenly, she slapped her hands on her legs and stood up.

 

“You know what, Hunk, this is bullshit! They’re our friends, aren’t they?”

 

“Well...yeah but-”

 

“-yeah but nothing! It isn’t their fault that they’re a little different to us, and now we’re making them feel like they’re at fault. We need to let them know that we still care about them and that we don’t care about what they are.”

 

Hunk gulped.

 

“I-I don’t know Shay. I mean, they might be dangerous…”

 

Shay gave him such an angry look that Hunk shut up immediately.

 

“Dangerous? Dangerous? They saved our lives! If they’re so dangerous, tell me, why aren’t we dead yet?”

 

Hunk didn’t answer, feeling himself going red with embarrassment.

 

“Keith found the crystal that got you an A* on your Engineering exam and brought us together. And Lance has been your friend since you were little, you grew up together. You’re acting like this changes everything, but it really doesn’t.”

 

Shay huffed and sat back down, crossing her arms. Hunk picked up his phone and looked at the picture that Lance had sent. Keith’s grumpy expression made him smile softly, and he ran a finger over Lance’s nose on the screen. He glanced over at Shay, something clicking in his mind. She was right, of course she was.

 

***

Two days later

 

“You sure you know what you’re doing?” Lance whimpered.

 

Keith grinned, winking at his boyfriend.

 

“I have a load of experience, trust me.”

 

Lance squealed as Keith turned on the tattoo pen, the buzzing noise making his ears ring.

 

“I really don’t trust you right now! You’ve only been doing this for a few days!”

 

Keith scoffed.

 

“Do you want the tattoo or not?”

 

Lance growled but nodded, lying his head back against the chair. Keith approached Lance’s upper arm with the pen and Lance squeezed his eyes shut.

 

“You’re such a baby, calm down.”

 

Keith pressed into the design with the pen, and Lance grinded his teeth together. It hurt, but not as bad as he had expected. He relaxed a little as his boyfriend began to ink on the design, using a cloth to wipe away the excess ink now and again. Lance eventually got used to the pain, focusing on Keith’s eyes.

 

“You know Hunk texted me this morning,”

 

Keith raised an eyebrow.

 

“Really?” he wiped Lance’s arm with the cloth “What did he say?”

 

“Just wanted to talk. He’s gonna come and see me playing at the Blue Paladin later with Shay.”

 

Keith beamed.

 

“That’s great! What about Pidge?”

 

Lance shook his head.

 

“Don’t think she’s coming.”

 

Keith’s smile turned into a frown, and he remained silent as he continued to tattoo Lance. After an hour or so, he turned off the pen and gave it a thorough clean.

 

"Okay, I'm finished."

 

Lance got off the chair and rushed over to the wall mirror, grinning. He squealed with joy as he observed his new tattoo. Keith joined him, pulling off his black tattooing gloves.

 

“Like it?”

 

Lance nodded and hugged his boyfriend tightly. The design was a band of music notes wrapped around his upper arm, in the melody of the song he had written for Keith. It was corny, yes, but he adored it. Keith kissed the back of his neck and spun him around.

 

“Go to Christine and she’ll wrap your arm up for you, then you can unwrap it tonight. I’ve got to finish my shift, but good luck with Hunk and Shay!”

 

Once Lance got his arm wrapped, he grabbed his guitar from the side of the tattoo parlour, kissed Keith quickly and skipped out of the shop. Keith waited till he was out of sight, tapping his fingers on the side of his leg. Once he could no longer see him, Keith headed to the back of the parlour to get changed. He folded up his uniform and hung it up in the designated spot then dressed himself in his normal clothes. Unlocking his phone, he scanned over the message Shiro had sent him.

 

Shiro 9:49

I’ll meet you in the car park at six. Make sure Lance goes to his gig, I don’t want him getting involved. Adam’s working late today so he won’t be a problem either.

 

Keith checked his watch - five past six. He walked back out into the main parlour and thanked Christine as she handed him the tips he had received that day.

 

“I’ll see you tomorrow Chrissy,” he called as he left.

 

The instant he had left, Keith started to run towards the end of the high street, where a large Target sat. He skirted round the side of the store and sprinted into the carpark. He spotted Shiro’s car straight away and bolted for it. His brother held open the door for him.

 

“You’re late,” he snarled in good humour.

 

“Lance’s tattoo took longer than expected. I feel like shit doing this, you know.”

 

Shiro sighed.

 

“Me too, but I don’t want the ones we love getting hurt because of Lotor. I wasn’t even going to bring you, but I figured it would be safer if you came with me.”

 

Keith strapped his seatbelt.

 

“Let’s go and see what he has to say for himself.”

 

Shiro turned the ignition, the car rumbling into life. Keith glanced into the wing mirror as they left the car park. He would protect Lance and Adam, no matter what.

 

***

 

As soon as Lance was out of the line of view of the tattoo parlour, he raced towards the Blue Paladin. A familiar face was waiting outside, and they smiled as Lance approached.

 

“Adam,” Lance called, waving.

 

Adam pushed up his glasses and smiled softly. He took Lance’s guitar for him and patted him on the shoulder.

 

“You ready to meet Lotor?”

 

Lance nodded, feeling nervous.

 

“Yeah, I know Shiro and Keith didn’t want to go, but I feel like we have to hear what he has to say. In fact, I’m glad they aren’t coming, they’ve been hurt enough by this man.”



Adam nodded as they headed towards where his car was parked.

 

“I managed to get away from Shiro in the end, said I had to work late with a critical patient. He’s planning on staying in all night anyway.”

 

They arrived at the car, and Lance piled his stuff into the back two seats.

 

“I told Keith I was playing at the Blue Paladin tonight because Hunk and Shay were coming...I kind of wish that was true, but this is far more important.”

 

He clambered into the passenger seat and Adam started the car up. He pulled out into the road and stepped on the accelerator. As they drove along, Lance looked up at the half moon just beginning to rise in the sky. It glinted calmly at him, and Lance settled back into his seat. His attention flickered to his new tattoo and he smiled to himself. He was going to protect Keith and Shiro, no matter what.

Chapter Text

Keith stepped out of the car and took a deep breath, scanning the trees ahead as Shiro got out himself. They gave each other a quick glance then headed off towards the treeline in front of them, the half moon shining above them.

 

Lance pointed at the place where Adam should park next to the trees. The doctor pulled into the small space and they both got out. Adam gave Lance a nervous look and stepped into the forest. Lance glanced up at the moon and frowned, then followed after Adam.

 

Keith pushed a low-hanging branch out of the way to clear a path to the clearing up ahead. The grass was blanketed in the silver light from the moon, and a figure was standing completely still in the middle. Keith’s gaze hardened as he watched the figure’s long hair drifting around them in the wind. Shiro used his robotic arm to push away another branch.

 

“That’s Lotor alright,” he whispered.

 

“I didn’t pick up the scent of any other werewolves except for Romelle’s pack. He’s alone.”

 

Shiro squinted into the silver light.

 

“You sure he’s alone? I swear I just saw someone over on the other side.”

 

Keith followed his brother’s gaze, straining his eyes.

 

“I don’t see anything, it was probably just the wind. We’ll be extra vigilant.”

 

Shiro nodded and they both stepped forwards out of the trees. Keith had barely left the trees when he saw two figures on the other side almost mirroring them.

 

“Look! I was right!” hissed Shiro.

 

The two figures seemed just as surprised to see anyone else, as one leapt back in shock. The brothers squinted to try and get a good look at the strangers, but it was too dark to make them out properly. Lotor suddenly moved from his spot, and the werewolves immediately focused their attention onto him. Still looking down at the ground, Lotor flicked his hair over his shoulder, making it glint in the moonlight. Keith and Shiro hastened towards him, the figures on the other side doing the same. As everyone got closer to each other, they began to slow down as they realised who each other was. Keith froze, his face falling.

 

“Lance?!”

 

The figures opposite them froze, and Lotor looked up slowly.

 

“Keith?! Shiro?!” Adam exclaimed.

 

Shiro gasped and his brows furrowed.

 

“What the hell are you doing here?!”

 

Lance crossed his arms.

 

“We could ask you the same question.”

 

“We came here to talk to this bastard,” growled Keith “I thought you had a gig at the Blue Paladin!”

 

“I thought you were working late!” snapped Lance back.

 

Lotor watched on awkwardly as the couples argued furiously, cursing at each other. He looked up at the moon and panicked when he realised it was almost at the centre of the sky.

 

“I..I don’t mean to interrupt your...riveting arguments...but I can’t stay here much longer.”

 

Keith stopped arguing and immediately grabbed the front of Lotor’s shirt and pulled him close, baring his teeth. Shiro pushed Lance and Adam away from Lotor and growled angrily, ignoring their protests.

 

“Give me one good reason why I shouldn’t kill you right here, right now!” snarled Keith.

 

Lotor smiled, but fear glazed over his eyes.

 

“L-look, I know I’ve done unforgivable things in my past, but hear me out-”

 

Keith grabbed Lotor’s throat and pushed him to the ground.

 

“You killed my parents! You forced Lance into being a werewolf, you almost killed me and my brother! The things you’ve done are more than unforgivable!”

 

Lotor gulped, sweat rolling down his back.

 

“Keith!” Lance yelled.

 

Keith ignored his boyfriend and tightened his hold on Lotor’s throat, constricting his breathing.

 

“Don’t you dare ignore me, Keith! This isn’t you, you’re being irrational with anger...and pain. Just, let’s hear what he has to say, and we can decide what to do with him afterwards.”

 

Keith looked back at Lance, who had pushed in front of Shiro and was staring him down.

 

“Fine…”

 

He loosened his grip on Lotor’s neck and the older werewolf sucked in air shakily. Keith pulled him to his feet but kept Lotor in his grip. Lance let out a sigh of relief.

 

“Thanks Lance-”

 

“-shut it. I said to listen to what you had to say. That doesn’t mean we won’t kill you.”

 

Lotor smiled, growling through his teeth.

 

“Well, Lotor. What do you want to discuss?” asked Adam, pushing Shiro aside.

 

“It’s...it’s about Zarkon. He’s planning an attack on your region soon. I wanted to warn you.”

 

Keith felt himself go pale and dizzy. What? Shiro, Adam and Lance seemed to be having similar reactions, Shiro even stumbled backwards.

 

“What?” whispered Shiro.

 

“He has been for a while...and I was going to help him but-”

 

“-was?” Adam cut in.

 

Lotor gave him an irritated glare.

 

“Zarkon tried to kill me - I’m not siding with him. But that doesn’t mean I’ll side with you either. The only reason I’m telling you is to repay the debt I owe for when you saved my life. He’s attacking on the full moon, when his pack’s at its strongest.”

 

Lotor struggled in Keith’s grasp till he got free.

 

“But remember, I’m on nobody’s side, so don’t do anything to provoke me, got it?” he snarled.

 

Before anyone could react, he transformed and ran off into the trees. Keith crouched down, ready to run after him, but Lance put a hand on his shoulder.

 

“It’s not worth it Keith. Let’s just go.”

 

Keith shrugged Lance’s hand off his shoulder and turned his back on him. Lance frowned, feeling hurt, and he didn’t attempt to respond.

 

“I can’t believe you came!” Keith growled as he headed off in the direction of Shiro’s car.

 

“Why are you hanging all the blame on me! I can’t believe you came!”

 

Keith spun around, teeth bared.

 

“What if I wasn’t here and Lotor had backup, what if you and Adam had got killed?!”

 

“I could say the same thing about you and Shiro!” yelled Lance, tears in his eyes.

 

Shiro and Adam looked on, glancing at each other feeling worried.

 

“Guys, it really doesn’t matter that much. We’re all fine and it’s late so-” Shiro began, reaching his hand out to Keith.

 

Keith slapped Shiro’s hand away, growling.

 

“I thought we talked about this before Keith! You’re acting as if I don’t care if you die! I thought we agreed to trust and support each other!”

 

“It’s not as simple as that!” Keith snapped.

 

“It is! Why can’t you just trust me?” Lance sniffed, his face wet with tears.

 

“I do trust you, I just-”

 

“-just what? If you really trusted me you would’ve told me you were going, you would’ve shown me that stupid letter in the first place!”

 

“I just want to protect you because I love you, Lance!”

 

Lance looked at his feet and wiped his nose.

 

“If you really loved me, you would consider my feelings as well as yours.”

 

“What do you mean-”

 

“I mean that my safety is just as important as yours! God, Keith, sometimes you just don’t fucking think! I’m not some ‘maiden’ in need of defending, I can stand up for myself and I can stand up for you too! Why will you never understand that!”

 

Keith grinded his teeth together.

 

“This is just like the argument we had before.”

 

Lance looked up at Keith.

 

“Yeah, it is. But this time I’m not going to forgive you so easily.”

 

Lance whipped around and stormed off towards Adam’s car, leaving Keith frozen on the spot. Adam and Shiro stood motionless, mouths gaping.

 

“Uh...I’ll just drive him home…” Adam mumbled.

 

Shiro nodded silently and squeezed his boyfriend’s hand lightly. He watched Adam run after Lance then turned to his brother, but he wasn’t there anymore.

 

“K-keith?”

 

He looked down at the floor to see some shreds of Keith’s clothes. Shiro groaned.

 

“Damn it, I bet he’s gone feral.”

 

Sighing, Shiro pinched the bridge of his nose as he headed back to his car. There wasn’t much he could do, so he decided to just drive home. He turned the ignition and drove back onto the main road.

 

“Fuck...Zarkon’s coming, what are we gonna do…”

 

***

 

As soon as Adam let Lance into the apartment, he raced to Keith’s room. He grabbed his bag and shoved all his clothes and beauty products into it. He then grabbed Blue and packed her into her case. He slung her over his back, picked up his bag and left Keith’s room. Shiro was just entering the flat when Lance pushed straight past him, slamming the door behind him.

 

***

 

Adam gave Shiro a tired look from the kitchen.

 

“Where’s Keith?”

 

“I don’t know, he disappeared after you left. He’s probably gone feral...we’ll just have to wait for him to return at this point.”

 

Adam sighed and walked up to Shiro. Shiro wrapped his arms around the doctor and pulled him close.

 

“Adam...what should we do? Zarkon’s coming at the full moon with the Galra. Who knows how big the pack’s going to be, and I doubt Romelle’s pack will be enough to fight them-”

 

“-hey, let’s worry about this tomorrow, ok? We’ll go visit Romelle’s pack and see what she wants to do about it. We need some tea and a good sleep, alright?”

 

Shiro nodded and kissed Adam’s forehead softly.

 

“Okay,” he sighed.”

 

***

 

“No, no!” Lance cried.

 

He ran as hard as he could for the bus, but it left the bus stop before the driver noticed him.

 

“Fuck!”

 

Lance slowed to a walk and bit his lip, trying to stop it from wobbling. He made it to the bus stop and looked at the times hopefully. His face fell.

 

Next bus: 03:30

 

Lance looked at his watch: 23:40.

 

“FUCK!”

 

He felt himself welling up so he bit his lip harder. He had been hoping to take the bus to his cousin’s house, but his chances had been dashed. Lance fished in his bag for his phone and unlocked it. He scrolled through his contacts for somebody to call, and he stopped at Hunk’s name. Taking a deep breath, he pressed the name and raised his phone to his ear.

 

Buzz buzz

 

Lance’s heart started beating quicker with every ring of the phone.

 

Buzz buzz

 

He felt his hope draining as the buzzes continued.

 

Hello, you’ve reached the voicemail of Hunk Garret. Please leave a message and I’ll get to it as soon as possible!

 

Lance cursed and pulled the phone away from his ear. He hung up and slumped against the side of the bus stop. The tears started to flow and he wiped them away angrily.

 

Buzz buzz

 

The werewolf looked down at his phone in shock, Hunk was calling him back. He quickly answered the call.

 

“Hunk! Hunk I-”

 

Lance couldn’t stop himself from sobbing into the phone, his words coming out like garbled nonsense.

 

“Me and Keith, we-we had…”

 

“Woah, buddy, calm down. Where are you, I’ll come and pick you up.”

 

Lance smiled through his tears.

 

“Really, you don’t mind? I thought you and Pidge didn’t want to talk to me anymore.”

 

Hunk sighed into the phone.

 

“Shay helped me open my eyes to how idiotic I was being...but I think Pidge still needs some time. Anyway, that’s unimportant, where are you?”

 

“Lion Drive Bus Stop,” sniffed Lance.

 

“I’ll be there in five minutes.”

 

Hunk hung up and Lance pocketed his phone. He rubbed his nose with his arm and blinked away his tears. He had to be strong.

 

 

***

 

“Okay Lance, you stay right there! I’m getting you blankets and ice cream!”

 

Lance was forcefully shoved onto the sofa in his and Hunk’s flat. Hunk rushed off into the kitchen, snatching a big fluffy blanket on the way. Lance smiled softly and set down his bags. He looked up in surprise as Shay came into the living room from Hunk’s room.

 

“Oh, hey Lance,” she yawned, rubbing her eyes.

 

Lance waved awkwardly.

 

“H-hi.”

 

Shay widened her eyes at the sight of Lance’s blotchy red face.

 

“Oh sweetie, what happened?”

 

Lance gulped and felt a fresh wave of tears coming. Shay quickly rushed over to his side and took him into her arms.

 

“I’ve got the ice cream!” screamed Hunk, dashing from the kitchen with the blanket draped over his shoulder and a huge tub of vanilla ice cream in his hands.

 

He threw the blanket over Lance, shoved the ice cream tub into his arms and produced a box of tissues from thin air. Lance popped open the tub and started to aggressively eat the ice cream. Hunk sat down on his other side and got a tissue to dab away his friend’s tears.

 

“So, Lance, I know you probably don’t want to talk about it, but what happened buddy?”

 

Lance swallowed the ice cream in his mouth and sighed. Shay rubbed his back soothingly.

 

“Me and Keith had a really bad fight...we had a similar fight before, and that’s why I think I’m so angry this time. He said he would change, and be more trusting, but he completely disregarded everything!”

 

Lance shovelled more ice cream into his mouth.

 

“I mean...I kind of broke his trust too, but it's the fact that he doesn’t care about my feelings! He doesn’t understand that he’s worth something to me, and he’s being reckless!”

 

Hunk and Shay raised their eyebrows and glanced at each other.

 

“I diagnose him with hopeless gay syndrome,” Shay laughed.

 

Lance gave her a look.

 

“It’s not funny!”

 

“Lance, have you ever considered that you might be Keith’s first relationship?” Hunk said carefully.

 

“No, but-”

 

“I think Keith is just over protective because he’s lost so much before, and he doesn’t want you to leave him, relationship-wise and life-wise. And come on, this is Keith we’re talking about, he’s not good with feelings.”

 

Lance folded his arms and snarled lowly.

 

“Doesn’t excuse him from being an arse.”

 

“No it doesn’t, so eat your ice cream and we can all watch a film on Netflix. By the morning I’m sure his small emo-brain will figure things up.”

 

Lance laughed softly.

 

“I guess you’re right…”

 

Shay grabbed the remote control.

 

“Who wants to watch some Disney?”

 

***

 

Keith just kept running. He knew it would take a while to get to the train station from the forest, but he knew he couldn’t stop. He saw the edge of the forest and started to pick up his pace a little. He broke through the bushes and was greeted with a wide river. He looked down at the ripped shirt hanging off his chest and pulled it off, leaving his chest bare. He ran a hand through his hair as he approached the water’s edge. The current appeared to be strong as the water was wild and furious, splashing against the bank viciously. Keith dipped a toe in the water and shivered as the cool liquid enveloped it. He withdrew it quickly and let out a shaky breath. Without thinking to hard about it, he dived into the water. The shock of the cold temporarily paralysed him, but he started kicking against the current. He breached the surface with a gasp, hair sticking to his face. His eyes widened as he realised how far he was being carried down the river. He tried to front crawl to the other side, but a surge of water sent him crashing to the bottom of the river. His head hit the mud on the bottom, and his body was barrelled around.

 

This was such a stupid idea!

 

He managed to get to the surface to take another breath, but almost immediately he was sent crashing back down. His sopping wet jeans were weighing him down, and he was getting weaker. His lungs were getting starved of air again, but he couldn’t get his head above the water. Keith’s vision was getting dark and his chest was screaming for air. He made a final desperate attempt to reach the top before he gave into the raging water.

 

***

 

What the fuck is he playing at?

 

Lotor widened his eyes as he watched Keith dive into the rapids. Like he predicted, Keith was quickly overpowered by the water and he was carried swiftly away. The white wolf slowly padded along the side of the river, waiting for Keith to emerge. He scanned the water’s surface, but he couldn’t pick up any sight of Keith. Suddenly, a hand broke through the water and disappeared again. Lotor cursed under his breath and leapt into the river, soaring over to where he saw the hand disappear. He kicked strongly against the surges of water and stuck his head under the water. His spotted Keith floating motionless just ahead. He let the water carry him there and he made a grab for Keith’s hair. He clamped some in his jaws and swam upwards as hard as he could. They both breached the surface, and they were luckily close to the other side. Lotor pulled Keith along and managed to haul him up onto the bank. He then collapsed, breathing heavily, fur drenched. Keith suddenly shot upwards, sucking in great amounts of air. Lotor scrambled backwards as the other werewolf hunched over and coughed up river water. There were scratches all over his arms and back, making him wince as he hacked up all the liquid. Lotor eventually padded up to him when he seemed to have stopped.

 

“What the fuck were you thinking?!”

 

Keith looked at him in confusion, eyes widening when he realised who spoke to him. He clumsily got to his feet and made a lunge for Lotor, but tripped over and slammed into the pebbles beneath him.

 

“Yes, try to kill the person who just saved your life,” Lotor growled sarcastically, shaking his fur.

 

Keith groggily sat up and held a hand to his head.

 

“Why did you save me?” he groaned.

 

Lotor looked at his paws in disinterest.

 

“That’s unimportant. Why were you being thick, jumping into rapids like that?”

 

Keith growled at him.

 

“I don’t need to answer to you, filth.”

 

Lotor’s fur bushed up and he snarled viciously.

 

“I will kill you if you get on my nerves, Kogane, so watch your tongue. You aren’t in a position to be difficult.”

 

Keith shot a death stare at Lotor, but he seemed to realise the truth in the white wolf’s words.

 

“I-I was trying to get to the train station, so I could sneak on and get a ride to New York. I was planning to kill Zarkon.”

 

Lotor did a double take.

 

“Is that a joke? You know you’d be killed the second you entered the premises?”

 

“I thought if I killed him, I could protect everyone.”

 

“By getting killed yourself? You’re insane.”

 

Keith growled and got up.

 

“I’m still going.”

 

Lotor’s jaw dropped. Keith shakily continued moving forwards, stumbling on the pebbles. He crouched down and attempted to transform, but the effort seemed to be too much for him. He let out a moan of pain and he crashed to the floor. Lotor scampered over to his side, but Keith venomously shoved him away. Lotor bared his teeth.

 

“Why do you even care what happens to me, you don’t care about anyone! You’ve killed hundreds of werewolves, including my parents.”

 

“Under Zarkon’s instructions, yes. If I didn’t listen to him, he said he would hurt my mother.”

 

Keith froze where he was.

 

“I know nobody will ever forgive me, and I’m still a bad person, but when Zarkon tried to kill me...I realised what it felt like to feel like prey. And it woke me up. I realised that I was going to turn out like my father, and I didn’t want that. I don’t want that.”

 

Keith turned around.

 

“How do you expect me to believe that you’ve changed.”

 

Lotor tilted his head.

 

“Would you be alive right now if I hadn’t changed?”

 

Keith didn’t answer and continued to trudge forwards. He crouched down again to transform, but he didn’t manage it again. He growled and toppled onto his side, clutching his side.

 

“Fuck.”

 

Lotor snickered as he watched Keith struggling ahead of him. The white wolf whipped around and sprinted off into the trees at the side of the river. He looked back at Keith, who was still crouched on the floor, whimpering in pain. He flattened his ears and scampered off.

 

If he’s still there tomorrow I’ll do something.

Chapter Text

 

Next morning

 

Lance rubbed his eyes and yawned, sitting up slowly. He looked around himself in confusion - he was sleeping on the sofa in his flat instead of in Keith’s bed. The events of last night suddenly came crashing back into his head making his stomach jolt. He needed to phone his boyfriend. Stepping over Hunk and Shay (they were sleeping together on the floor) he grabbed his phone from the coffee table and headed into the kitchen. He put the kettle on and leaned against the counter to stretch out his back.

 

Buzz buzz

 

Lance looked down at his phone, surprised to see that Shiro was calling him.

 

“Hey, Shiro. What’s up?”

 

“We’re going to meet with Romelle’s pack at their den in two hours to discuss what to do. We’d really appreciate it if you would come with us.”

 

“Oh, yeah of course I will.”

 

“Great, Adam will pick you up at 11. Also, have you had any word from my brother yet? I know you guys are kinda in the middle of an argument, but I’m a little worried that he’s not come home yet.”

 

Lance furrowed his brows.

 

“He’s not home? I’ll send him a text and see where he’s gone.”

 

“There’s no point, Adam just found his phone in the car...probably why he hasn’t been answering.”

 

Despite Lance’s more than pissed off feelings for Keith at the time, he did feel a sick sense of dread in his stomach.

 

“Shit. Okay...if he’s not home by tonight I’ll go and look for him.”

 

“Thanks, Lance. I’d also appreciate if you don’t mention anything about the possible Galra attack to your human friends...yet anyway.”

 

“Yeah...sure.”

 

“See you later then.”

 

Shiro hung up and Lance pinched the bridge of his nose.

 

“You okay there, buddy?”

 

Lance looked up at Hunk, who’s hair was tied back in a ponytail with his orange hair tie.

 

“Yeah...Shiro just told me to look out for Keith since he didn’t come home last night.”

 

Hunk went pale.

 

“Shit…”

 

Lance sighed and pulled Hunk in for a hug.

 

“Life’s fucked up bro,” Lance groaned.

 

Hunk rubbed Lance’s back and squeezed him tight.

 

“Sure is...you know what this situation calls for? Emergency waffles!”

 

Lance beamed and let go of his friend.

 

“Hell yeah, I’ll get the ingredients.”

 

***

 

Keith woke up to the sound of rustling beside him. He pushed himself up sluggishly, cursing as his how stiff his back was from lying on the ground.

 

“Morning, idiot.”

 

Keith looked next to him where Lotor was sitting with a loaf of bread.

 

“What happened?”

 

“You tried to swim across a river and almost drowned, then you tried to transform and passed out from the effort.”

 

Lotor smirked.

 

“I hoped that you’d be dead when I found you, but sadly you’re still here.”

 

Keith growled at him and clumsily got to his feet.

 

“Get away from me.”

 

He stumbled a few steps then collapsed onto all fours. Lotor cackled from where he was sitting.

 

“You’ve got bruises all over you from being tossed around the riverbed. You might think you’re invincible but you ain’t.”

 

Keith looked over his shoulder and shot a death stare at Lotor. He pushed himself up again and took several more steady steps forward. His sides hurt and he could feel his head throbbing with pain, but he clenched his teeth and kept going. Lotor rolled his eyes and followed him from behind.

 

“Leave me alone, you cold-hearted bitch.”

 

“Yeah, it was really cold hearted of me to rescue you from a river. Look, I can tell you’re going through some stuff right now cause you’re being angsty as fuck, but I really think you should reconsider your options.”

 

Keith snarled at him and kept walking.

 

“Considering you’re going the wrong way to the train station, I think you should listen to me.”

 

Keith froze.

 

“Shit.”

 

He slumped onto the floor and put his head in his hands. Lotor snickered and waltzed over to him.

 

“You’re one of the most irrational werewolves I’ve ever met.”

 

Keith continued to look at his feet.

 

“I just want to protect them. You of all people should understand that.”

 

Lotor thought back to his mother’s life being used as a threat against him and he sighed.

 

“I guess,” Lotor shrugged and cautiously sat down.

 

The other werewolf flinched away from him but didn’t say anything. Lotor snorted and tore a piece of bread off from the loaf he was carrying. He held it out to Keith, but Keith pulled his legs closer to his chest and looked away. Shrugging, Lotor tossed it into his own mouth and chewed slowly.

 

“Why are you still here?”

 

Lotor paused his chewing. He didn’t really know he was sticking around the younger emo boy.

 

“I’m just ensuring you don’t plunge headfirst into the river again.”

 

Keith bared his teeth at him.

 

“What way is it to the station?”

 

Lotor didn’t answer and tore off another piece of bread. Keith watched it hungrily, but he refused to accept anything from the man he viewed as a murderer.

 

“I asked you a question.”

 

“You’ll die if I tell you, so I’m waiting until you piss me off so I don’t feel guilty for your death.”

 

“Just tell me!”

 

Lotor remained silent and finished off the rest of the bread.

 

“You’re annoying.”

 

 

He stood up and transformed, leaving Keith by himself. Keith watched the white wolf dash off, snarling quietly to himself. He tried to push himself up again, but his bruises screamed at him so he decided to stay where he was for the time being. He looked up at the sky, squinting his eyes at the sun. Maybe he was being irrational. Keith shook his head. No, no he had to defeat Zarkon to protect Lance.

 

But Lance’s voice earlier echoed in his head:

 

“God, Keith, sometimes you just don’t fucking think! I’m not some ‘maiden’ in need of defending, I can stand up for myself and I can stand up for you too! Why will you never understand that!”

 

He felt tears pricking the corner of his eyes and he wiped them away hurriedly. Lotor was right...he didn’t ever want to admit it, but the murderer was right.

 

***

 

“Everyone shut up!” screeched Romelle as she entered the den.

 

Her pack fell silent immediately and those who were standing settled down on beanbags. Lance entered with Shiro after her (they’d left Adam behind since the pack wouldn’t welcome a human kindly) and they took up a position next to her. Lance got a few irritated glances, but he ignored it and looked over to Romelle.

 

“Right everyone, we’ve got some...pretty shocking news.”

 

Romelle’s pack stayed completely silent.

 

“Zarkon is planning an attack on our territory next full moon and-”

 

The pack flew into an uproar, yelling and screaming at each other and at Romelle.

 

“Silence!” she growled.

 

The majority shut up, but a few kept whispering urgently to each other.

 

“I’ve called you here today so we can discuss exactly how to deal with this threat. Any suggestions?”

 

Hira stood up and bowed.

 

“Alpha, if you don’t mind me saying...we stand no chance against Zarkon and his extensive forces - especially on a full moon. We number just over twenty and Zarkon will bring at least forty of the Galra with him. This is a fight we cannot win.”

 

“But we can’t just give in!” exclaimed Allura, leaping up from her seat “I refuse to leave here without giving them a fight.”

 

She received a few murmurs of agreement, but many pack members looked wary.

 

“Allura, I’d hate to give up our territory as much us you, but I won’t watch my entire pack die out. We cannot win this fight.”

 

Lance furrowed his brows.

 

“Wait...we might not be able to win the fight alone, but what if we got help?”

 

One of the werewolves at the back scoffed.

 

“Help? From who, humans?”

 

Lance snarled softly.

 

“Maybe! But there are other werewolves out there, in this city and in others. If we can somehow convince them to join our side, we can beat the galra.”

 

A few of the werewolves laughed at him, but Romelle looked at him with her eyes shining.

 

“That could work! Next full moon is in a week and four days. If we split off into teams to recruit werewolves in neighbouring towns and cities, we might be able to gather enough numbers to face the Galra.”

 

This was met with protests scattered around the room.

 

“We can’t just invite any old werewolf into our territory-”

 

“They aren’t trustworthy-”

 

“Nobody will want to help some random pack-”

 

Lance looked down at his feet in dismay. They were right.

 

“If I may speak, Romelle,” Shiro said quietly.

 

He was given permission and he stepped forward.

 

“Look, the Galra will move onto different locations if they defeat us. If we tell these other werewolves that they’ll be next, I’m sure they’ll be much more eager to join our ranks.”

 

“Shiro’s right,” Allura butted in “We need to scare them with the truth.”

 

The room fell silent again while everyone contemplated the options.

 

“Well,” Romelle said “I’ll put it up to a vote. All in favour of leaving, raise your hand.”

 

Ten werewolves raised their hands slowly.

 

“All in favour of recruiting other werewolves to help us fight the bastard off.”

 

Fourteen werewolves raised their hands.

 

“Ok, that’s what we’ll do then. Get in groups of two or three and starting tomorrow, we’ll start to recruit.”

 

Lance smiled and Shiro winked at him. They might stand a chance.

Chapter Text

“Just one more hour Shiro, please,” begged Lance.

 

Shiro pinched his brow and looked at his feet.

 

“I want to look for Keith as much as you do, but we need to find other werewolves to help us in the fight against Zarkon. If we don’t leave now, we won’t have enough time to look for anyone. I promise, the second we’re finished we’ll go and search for him.”

 

Lance bit his lip and nodded, standing up from the sofa slowly. Adam came in from the other room with two rucksacks and patted the younger boy on the back.

 

“Let’s go.”

 

***

 

“Hey, you’re still here?!”

 

Keith looked over his shoulder to see Lotor approaching.

 

“Can’t you just leave me be?”

 

Lotor smiled and tilted his head to the side.

 

“Why haven’t you gone, it’s been two hours since I was last here.”

 

Keith didn’t answer so Lotor dropped to the floor and crossed his legs.

 

“Well?”

 

“I’ve decided not to go…”

 

Lotor raised an eyebrow.

 

“Wow, looks like the angsty teen finally saw some sense in his dumb plan.”

 

“Shut it.”

 

Keith pushed himself to his feet and stretched out his back. His bruises from the river felt marginally better, so he didn’t wince as much as before when he moved. Without acknowledging Lotor, he crouched down and transformed into his wolf form. He was about to leave without turning around, but a question suddenly burned a hole in his mind.

 

“Who’s side are you on?” asked Keith.

 

Lotor looked taken aback, and looked down at Keith with a frown on his face.

 

“I don’t know.”

 

Neither of the werewolves seemed satisfied with the answer. Keith flicked his ear in annoyance and whipped around. 

 

“Wait, there’s some stepping stones across the river if you head east. I’m not in the mood to rescue you again.”

 

Keith was surprised at Lotor’s words, but gave a curt nod. He dug his paws into the ground and pushed off towards the direction of the river. Lotor remained where he was, watching him go with his brows still furrowed. He turned around to crouch down and transform himself, but froze when his gaze met the eyes of someone else.

 

“Hello, Lotor,” growled Sendak “My, my, is the pack unhappy with you.”

 

***

 

Lance was startled when the car suddenly came to a stop and Shiro announced that they had arrived. The younger werewolf peared outside the window with curiosity, they were parked next to an abandoned farmhouse in the middle of nowhere. The two hour drive had led them...here?

 

“Where are we?” he asked as Shiro opened the car door for him.

 

“This is the den of a pack that temporarily took me and Keith in once our parents died. They are called the Bibobi Pack.”

 

Adam snorted from beside Shiro.

 

“Bibobi? That’s...interesting.”

 

“The first alpha was a little...strange. But they kept the name. They’re lovely people, well, they were. I’m not completely sure if they still use this as a den, the last time I was here I was twelve.”

 

Lance scented the air cautiously.

 

“Ow! Fuck!” he exclaimed, clutching his nose “Why does it burn?”

 

“Ah, that’ll be the chilli pepper...they use that to disguise their scent from other werewolves,” explained Shiro.

 

Lance pinched his nose and growled quietly to himself.

 

“Right, Adam. I think it would be best if you would wait in the car.”

 

“Okay, be careful.”

 

Adam kissed him and Lance awkwardly averted his eyes. He heard the car door slam and looked up again.

 

“I’ll go in first.”

 

Shiro went up to the door and Lance followed behind nervously. The older werewolf used his bionic arm to twist the handle and push the door open. Before they could get a proper look inside, two figures grabbed both of them from the side of the door and pulled their hands behind them. Lance yelped in surprise as the figure who had grabbed him shoved him to the ground and pinned him there. He struggled underneath the person’s hold, snarling.

 

“So, what brings two intruding werewolves to our den?” growled a stranger's voice.

 

Lance struggled against his captors hold and looked up. A tall female werewolf was scowling down at them, teeth bared. Her pack members were gathered behind her, teeth also bared.

 

“Olia? Olia it’s me, Shiro!”

 

The werewolf looked shocked and her mouth shaped in to a little ‘O’. She crouched down in front of Shiro and looked at him hard.

 

“Takashi? Is that really you?”

 

Shiro smiled up at her, wincing slightly as the werewolf holding him down shifted their position. She scented the air and beamed, recognising his scent.

 

“Release them.”

 

Lance sighed out in relief as the grip on him went lax. He pushed himself up and dusted himself off.

 

“Well I never, Takashi Shirogane. Last time I saw you, you were barely the size of my leg,” grinned Olia.

 

Her gaze turned to Lance.

 

“And this must be...Keith? You look extremely different, I have to say...didn’t think you would be one to dye your hair and your eyes--”

 

“--oh no, I’m not Keith. I’m his boyfriend.”

 

Olia’s eyes sparkled.

 

“I knew he’d find his inner gay. You taught him well Shiro.”

 

Shiro smiled briefly, but a serious expression resumed on his face.

 

“As much as I’d love to catch up, that’s not why we’re here. We’ve come with a warning.”

 

Olia’s smile faded.

 

“Zarkon is coming to attack us in two days time, and we know he’ll be coming for this area next.”

 

Olia’s pack collectively gasped, with some screaming or wailing in fear. She looked at her feet and clenched her fists.

 

“I knew this would happen eventually...I just didn’t want to have to move territory so soon.”

 

Lance shook his head violently.

 

“You don’t have to leave! That’s why we’re here.”

 

Olia tilted her head.

 

“We’ve decided to stay and fight,” explained Shiro “And we came because we wanted to ask if you would help us.”

 

The alpha smiled sadly.

 

“Shiro, it’s a battle that we cannot win--”

 

“--maybe it is. But you can’t run forever Olia.”

 

She sighed and sat herself on top of a hay bale.

 

“You’re right….we can’t.”

 

She surveyed her packmates, who were talking quietly to one another, some even in tears. Lance glanced at Shiro, feeling like this was a lost cause.

 

“I can’t decide right away...would you mind if I confer with some of my more senior pack members?”

 

Shiro checked his watch anxiously, but nodded. Olia called over a few people and they gathered around her in a circle.

 

“As much as I want them to come,” whispered Shiro to Lance “I hate seeing more people I love endanger themselves.”

 

Lance followed Shiro’s gaze around the farmhouse. It was obvious that he really cared about this pack.

 

“They’re in danger regardless of the choice they make. Everyone is.”

 

***

 

Keith knocked one more time on the door, but there was still no answer. He cursed under his breath. Where was everybody. He had initially gone to the abandoned school to see if any of Romelle’s pack was hanging around, but it was completely empty. Without his phone, he couldn’t call anybody, so he groaned and sunk to the floor, banging his head on his flat’s door. Zarkon couldn’t have come early, right? His breath hitched as this thought entered his mind but he fought to push it away. Shakily getting to his feet, Keith considered his options as he made his way down the stairs. As he opened the front door, he could have sworn he caught a glimpse of a familiar face.

 

“Hunk!?” he yelled.

 

He didn’t turn around.

 

“Hunk!” Keith yelled again, cupping his hands around his mouth as he ran towards him.

 

This time he turned around, almost having a heart attack as Keith skidded to a halt in front of him.

 

“Keith? Jesus man, you scared the life out of me…”

 

Hunk’s innocent smile suddenly changed into a frown.

 

“Hang on, where have you been?! Do you know how worried Lance has been? Not only that, but he’s been crying over the argument you guys had for ages. You have a lot of explaining to do Mr.”

 

Keith hung his head in shame.

 

“Look, I’m an idiot, and I’ll explain everything I swear, but where is everyone? Lance, Shiro, Allura, everyone’s just...gone.”

 

“Actually, I was wondering about that too. I came round to bring Lance’s phone to him cause he left it at mine, but nobody answered.”

 

Keith scrunched up his eyebrows in confusion.

 

“That’s so weird.”

 

Hunk agreed.

 

“Dude, what have you been doing, you’re covered in mud and shit. Do you wanna come round and take a shower and call Shiro?”

 

Keith beamed and nodded.

 

“Thanks Hunk, what did I do to deserve you--”

 

“--on the condition that you stop being a jerk to Lance or I’ll forbid you from ever talking to him again.”

 

The look in Hunk’s eyes told Keith that he was deadly serious, and Keith felt himself sweating nervously under his glare.

 

“Uh...yeah of course.”

 

Hunk broke out into a smile once more.

 

“Good, my car is this way, let’s go.”

 

***

 

“And so Shay managed to bring me to my senses, and I realised that you guys are still our friends, no matter what.”

 

Keith smiled within his blanket burrito, clutching a cup of tea.

 

“Thanks Hunk, I’m glad you can accept us for who we are.”

 

“I’m sorry for ever doubting you guys in the first place.”

 

Keith set down his tea and glanced over at Hunk’s phone.

 

“I hope Shiro answers soon, I’m starting to get really worried.”

 

Hunk nodded, opening his mouth to answer when there was a knock at the door.

 

“Ah...that’ll be--”

 

He got up to answer the door, Keith watching him go. 

 

“Hi, Pidge, glad you could come.”

 

“I’m ready to play Halo, I brought some snacks and--”

 

Pidge froze as she noticed that Keith was there.

 

“You didn’t tell me that he would be here,” she snapped, spinning around on one foot to leave quickly.

 

Hunk grabbed her arm and pulled her away from the door, slamming it behind him.

 

“Hunk, let me go.”

 

“Nuh-uh. You are going to talk to Keith and sort out your differences.”

 

Keith didn’t meet Pidge’s eyes as Hunk forced her to sit down.

 

“I’ll leave you two be.”

 

He left the room, giving Pidge a hard stare. Left alone with each other, the two awkwardly sat in silence for a while.

 

“Pidge...you know there was no way I could have told you.”

 

She didn’t answer him, and folded her arms over her chest.

 

“Look, it’s not because we didn’t trust you, it’s because it could’ve put you in danger. I’m sorry.”

 

Pidge’s look softened a little.

 

“I understand,” she finally answered “but I’m still pissed.”

 

“Fair enough. I know it’ll take you a while to fully forgive us, but I would appreciate it if we could turn over a new leaf. I missed you, Pidge.”

 

Pidge smiled a little and unfolded her arms. She pushed herself off the sofa and punched Keith on the arm.

 

“Maybe.”

 

“Aw you guys!” squeaked Hunk, who had been watching the whole thing from the kitchen, tears in his eyes.

 

“Shut it, Hunk,” hissed Pidge, but she was still smiling.

 

Keith unwrapped himself from his blanket burrito and gave Pidge a noogie.

 

“You know I saw you watching Lance’s performance at the Blue Paladin. Thanks for going, even if he didn’t see you.”

 

Pidge rolled her eyes.

 

“Mm.”

 

Buzz buzz

 

***

 

Shiro and Lance stood up in unison as they saw Olia approaching them with her senior packmates.

 

“Okay, we’ve made our decision,” she announced.

 

She jumped onto the nearest haystack and called her pack gathered around her.

 

“Shiro and…”

 

“--Lance,” coughed Shiro.

 

“Shiro and Lance have brought news that I’m sure none of us were expecting. After much deliberation, I have made a decision. Those willing to fight against Zarkon and the Galra forces can fight in two days time. If you do not want to fight, I will not force you. But I'm warning you now, you may not have a home to return to if you do not.”

 

Her pack broke into frenzied hushed whispers, but she held out her hand for them to stop.

 

“Those do not wish to fight will be led away to a safer place by Norlox or are welcome to hide in their own houses or even here. Those who wish to fight will take the 1201 train with me tomorrow and we’ll camp out in the forest overnight before the battle. Please decide now. Fighters on the left and non fighters on the right.”

 

Shiro and Lance watched as the pack began to split themselves. Many immediately went to the right side, making Lance’s heart fill with dismay. After roughly two minutes, the pack had completely split. The number of fighters was significantly smaller, in fact, there were only ten werewolves who had opted for it. However, it was still something.

 

“Thank you. I will hold a meeting with those who want to fight later on. You are dismissed.”

 

Shiro glanced at Lance, looking worried, and Lance’s expression was exactly the same. Olia came up to them and dipped her head.

 

“Thank you both for coming. I’m sorry I couldn’t get more to join the battle, but I refuse to make a compulsory grave for some of my packmates.”

 

“I understand. We’ll see you soon then, Olia,” Shiro answered.

 

“Indeed. Give my best wishes to Keith.”

 

Lance smiled softly.

 

“We will.”

 

The two werewolves made their way back to the car, surprised to see it was getting dark already. Adam was fast asleep in the car, snoring softly. Shiro smiled at Lance and nudged his boyfriend softly to wake him up. As the older men got ready to leave, Lance noticed Shiro’s phone light up with a message.

 

“Shiro, your phone.”

 

He handed it to the older werewolf, who gasped as he unlocked his phone.

 

“Keith’s back!”

 

***

 

Buzz buzz

 

Keith looked over at the noise, which was Hunk’s phone ringing. He picked it up and beamed - it was Shiro.

 

“Keith! We’re so glad you’re back, we were worried half to death about you...that reminds me, you are also in serious trouble and--”

 

“--yeah I know, I know. Where are all of you? All of Oriande has disappeared including you three.”

 

Shiro sighed down the phone.

 

“Shit, I should have left a note. We told Oriande about the Galra and we collectively decided to go looking for more werewolves to help us fight. That’s where we are at the moment - Bibobi pack’s den. Olia and some of her pack have agreed to come.”

 

“That’s a really smart idea.”

 

“It was Lance’s brilliant thinking.”

 

“Lance! Is he there? I have to speak with him.”

 

“Yeah--one sec--”

 

Keith bit his lip as he heard a rustling noise.

 

“Keith?”

 

“Lance! Lance, fuck, I’m so sorry for everything and I completely understand if you want to break up with me and Hunk’s given me shit for everything I’ve done which I deserve and Pidge has kinda forgiven us and I’m just so fucking sorry--”

 

“--Woah, slow down there Samurai. I’m not gonna break up with you. I’m just really glad you’re okay.”

 

“Well, Hunk ran a bath for me and wrapped me up in a blanket burrito so I’m more than okay,” laughed Keith.

 

“Where did you even go?”

 

Keith laughed awkwardly.

 

“Um...that’s unimportant for now.”

 

Keith ,” Lance snarled down the phone.

 

“I swear I’ll tell you, just not right now.”

 

“Okay. Well, we’ve gotta get back on the road so I’ll see you tomorrow. I love you.”

 

“I love you too. Bye.”

 

Keith set the phone down and breathed out a sigh of relief. Hunk and Pidge were talking in the kitchen and he stood up to go and join them.

 

Knock knock

 

“Oh, that’ll be Matt!” exclaimed Pidge, running to the door.

 

“Matt’s coming?” Keith asked.

 

“Yeah, we planned to do a Halo session tonight. Anyway, where’s Shiro?”

 

“He’s--”

 

“YOU HAVE A GIRLFRIEND?!” screamed Pidge.

 

Hunk and Keith’s conversation terminated instantly and they both dashed to the door, scrambling over one another to get there first. Keith’s pace slowed however, when he caught scent of the air.

 

‘Oh no,’ he thought.

 

Matt walked into the room with his arm around his girlfriend, beaming. His girlfriend smiled politely at everyone, her canines shining in the light. Her gaze fell on Keith and her eyes widened a little.

 

“So this is what you’ve been doing, ” winked Pidge, elbowing her brother in the side.

 

Matt blushed hard.

 

“Shut it, Pidge. Everyone, this is Trigel. Trigel, this is Hunk, Pidge and Keith.”

 

She smiled sweetly.

 

“It’s a pleasure to meet you all.”

 

“Come and sit,” Hunk beamed “I’ll put out some snacks.”

 

Matt and Trigel took off their shoes and walked over to the sofa together, Pidge teasing Matt constantly as they did. Keith took the sofa opposite the couple and put his head in his hands.

 

‘Oh, I hope Matt isn’t like Pidge,’ he groaned in his head.

 

Hunk brought out some snacks and offered them around.

 

“Sooooo, how did you two meeeeeeet?” Hunk asked, fluttering his eyelashes.

 

Matt glanced at Keith and smiled.

 

“Actually, it’s kinda Keith’s fault.”

 

Keith perked up.

 

“Really?” Pidge snorted.

 

“Yeah, I was feeling...down,” Matt winked at Keith “So Keith suggested I go and see a musical or something. So, I went, and this cutie was performing that night. I asked her out when she was signing autographs at the end.”

 

“And she said yes?” laughed Pidge.

 

“I know right!” snorted Matt.

 

“Um, Hunk, do you have any juice?” asked Trigel.

 

“Yeah, it’s in the fridge. I’ll go and get some--”

 

“--oh no, that’s fine. I’ll go.”

 

Trigel stood up to go, but gestured for Keith to follow as she headed for the kitchen. He was surprised by this but got up and followed her anyway.

 

“Um, Keith...I need to tell you something.”

 

“Yeah, I know you’re a werewolf.”

 

“No, that’s obvious...it’s um, about Matt.”

 

Keith crossed his arms and raised an eyebrow.

 

“He knows...about me,” Trigel said, rubbing the back of her neck.

 

Keith’s mouth dropped.

 

“He what?!” he exclaimed, maybe a little too loudly.

 

“Shhhh! Don’t be mad!”

 

“I’m not mad! Pidge and Hunk know about me!”

 

“They what?!” she exclaimed, maybe a little too loudly too.

 

“Is everything okay over there?” Matt yelled.

 

“Fine, babe.”

 

“So, should we tell them we’re both werewolves or is that a bad idea?”

 

“YOU’RE WHAT?!” exclaimed Hunk, maybe way too loudly.

 

Keith and Trigel spun around to see Hunk carrying an empty bowl. Pidge and Matt ran into the room, looking confused.

 

“What’s going on?” Pidge said.

 

“Hunk!” growled Keith.

 

“Sorry, I just-- does Matt?”

 

Trigel nodded. Hunk couldn’t contain himself.

 

“THEY’RE BOTH WEREWOLVES!”

 

“He’s what?” Matt exclaimed, maybe a bit too loudly.

 

“She’s what?” Pidge exclaimed, maybe a bit too loudly.

Chapter Text

“It really is a small world,” said Hunk quietly as Pidge and Matt looked at each other in shock.

 

“You knew?” they yelled in unison.

 

Matt flipped round to face Keith.

 

“You...you didn’t tell me?”

 

Keith held up his hands in defence and waved them, looking anywhere but Matt’s face.

 

“Woah, it’s not like that. It was an accident that I told them in the first place, it’s not like I chose not to tell you.”

 

Matt still looked hurt and crossed his arms.

 

“Hey, I’m sorry.”

 

Keith went up and gave him a tight hug, making Matt loosen up.

 

“Ack, no. I was just being pathetic.”

 

They broke apart and Matt took Trigel’s hand, leading her to sit down on the sofa again.

 

“Maybe we should do some more explaining Keith -”

 

“-no!” 

 

Everyone turned to look at him, confused at his tone of voice.

 

“Sorry, that came out wrong. What I mean is I’d love to, but there’s no time. We have a situation on our hands, which is far more important at the moment. In fact, that’s why Shiro and Lance are gone.”

 

Trigel gave him a look.

 

“You can’t mean-”

 

“-Yes Trigel. Zarkon is coming with an army of his pack to attack this region on the full moon, which is in two days time.”

 

“Zarkon?” Matt, Hunk and Pidge said as Trigel cupped a hand to her mouth in shock.

 

“Long story short he wants to kill all the current werewolves inhabiting this area. If we don’t fight back we’ll be driven out or murdered and many humans could be killed too. He’s beyond evil at this point.”

 

Trigel shakily sat down on the sofa.

 

“What are we going to do?” Matt gasped.

 

“At the moment, members of the Olkarion pack are out recruiting werewolves to help us fight against him. Lance and Shiro are doing that at the moment--”

 

“--them too?!” Matt shrieked.

 

Pidge gave him a hard stare and his gaping mouth snapped shut.

 

“I’m planning on going out myself to try and recruit some others, but I don’t really know many werewolves.”

 

Trigel tilted her head.

 

“We could always try my pack instead? I mean, my Alpha was greatly impacted by all the damage the Galra inflicted on him. I’m sure he’d want to help out.”

 

Keith beamed.

 

“That would be great.”

 

Hunk glanced at Pidge briefly and coughed.

 

“Um, me and Pidge may not know any werewolves, but we’ve been working on a project which might be able to help out.”

 

The werewolves in the room glanced at each other.

 

“It’s really too dangerous for you guys to be anywhere near the battlefield--” Trigel began.

 

Pidge glared at them.

 

“You really think anything you say will stop me from trying to minimise the chances of you dying? Anyway, we can camp out in a tree if it’ll make you feel better.”

 

Trigel looked back at Keith, who just shrugged.

 

“Fine,” she sighed.

 

“I’ll help too...I mean, I can drive you guys to Trigel’s pack,” offered Matt.

 

Keith and Trigel agreed and started to get their stuff together to leave and Hunk ran to his room to urgently call Shay. Matt and Pidge had a small argument to the side of the scene about not telling each other about the respective werewolves. As soon as those werewolves were ready to go, they snatched Matt away before Pidge could attack him. She watched them go with a concerned frown and turned around to join Hunk in his room.

 

***

 

“Hello Lotor. My, my, is the pack unhappy with you,” growled Sendak.

 

Before Lotor could respond, Sendak grabbed his neck roughly and forced him to the floor. The younger werewolf’s face connected with the floor with a crack, and he was fairly certain his cheek had just been broken. He didn’t struggle as he watched his rouge pack members surround him. Many of them looked wary and uncomfortable or completely outraged at Sendak's actions.

 

“Packmates, gather round,” sneered Sendak “For our leader has gone...soft. You all saw how he let the small runt boy go, the very same boy he once sought to kill.”

 

Lotor growled from his position and Sendak responded by pushing him further into the ground.

 

"Sendak, this is insane! Get off him!" Ezor snapped.

 

Sendak scoffed, threw back his head and bellowed loudly.

 

“Oh, I’m sorry,” he snarled “Do you want to be in his place?”

 

Ezor didn’t reply but flexed her hands.

 

“So, Lotor. I challenge you to a fight. If I win, I take over the pack. If you win, I’ll leave.”

 

A large portion of the pack became outraged at this, bared their teeth and snarling softly.

 

“You can’t just take the leadership for yourself Sendak!” snapped Zethrid, with many voicing their agreement.

 

Sendak looked a little taken aback at his unpopularity, but he shook his head and all doubt was gone from his face. He got off of Lotor and pulled him roughly to his feet. 

 

“Fight!” he yelled at him.

 

Lotor looked down at Sendak, who was transforming on the floor. He ignored him and glanced around at his conflicted packmates.

 

“I’m not going to fight you, Sendak. I can’t really be arsed; I’ve got better things to do, and last time I checked, you can’t dictate how your Alpha spends his time.”

 

Lotor raised an eyebrow at some of his packmates in the circle around him and Sendak and they broke apart to give him a gap to leave. He started to walk towards it calmly, but Sendak jumped in his way, a wolf now, his hackles raised and jaw dripping with saliva. 

 

“Just move.”

 

Lotor flicked his slightly dirty and frizzy long white hair over his shoulder and stepped around him. He made it out of the circle, Sendak furiously snarling at him. 

 

“You’re not escaping that easily!” yelled Sendak.

 

Slowly turning around, Lotor watched as Sendak prepared to leap on top of him. Before he could do that however, at least six of Lotor’s packmates crashed down on top of Sendak, creating a writhing ball of fur and claws. Sendak’s screams were just about muffled as he was ripped to shreds. The wolves retreated, revealing a severely mangled Sendak corpse. Lotor was completely shocked at the loyalty from his packmates, and this was clearly visible on his face.

 

“I...you--”

 

One of the wolves tilted their heads.

 

“Lotor, you may have changed, but we didn’t follow you for your motives. We follow you for you, cause you’re a good Alpha.”

 

His packmates gathered closer around him, some wolves and some human. Lotor embarrassedly wiped away the water that had suddenly gathered in his eyes.

 

“But I’ve made all of you do such awful things--”

 

“Lotor, we knew that it was really fear and your father that was motivating you to do those things. It wasn’t really you, and regardless, you offered us protection when nobody else could," Ezor contributed.

 

Lotor smiled softly.

 

“Well, I think we all have to do something to sever our ties with the past.”

 

***

 

Trigel high fived Keith as they left her pack’s den, with Matt tailing behind them looking a little pale.

 

“I told you he’d agree!”

 

Keith smiled at her, trying to hide the underlying fear in his eyes.

 

“Hm, yeah. That should be a great help.”

 

He really didn’t know what to make of the new “recruits”. They seemed very enthusiastic, but they were all very inexperienced with fighting and most hadn’t heard of or had any experience with Zarkon before. He hoped they weren’t roping them into something more serious than they were thinking.

 

“Did you guys see the one...the big one? He was gonna eat me, I was certain. He was eyeing me up!” squeaked Matt, still looking pale.

 

Trigel snorted.

 

“Oh, Jackson wouldn’t hurt a fly. He was probably eyeing you up in a different way.”

 

Matt didn’t process this till they got into the car.

 

“WHAT?!”

 

***

 

Lance let out a large sigh as he crashed down onto the sofa at Shiro’s. Adam rushed off to make them some tea. Shiro sat down next to him, his robotic hand clenched into a fist. 

 

“You okay?”

 

Shiro looked up, his eyebrows raised.

 

“Hmm, yeah, yeah. Just stressed, you know?"

 

Lance nodded and pat him on the shoulder. Their heads suddenly turned when they heard the noise of someone coming up the stairs. Lance dashed to the door and flung it open before Keith had even gotten to the top of the stairwell. 

 

“Samurai!”

 

Keith looked up and smiled, but didn’t run forwards like Lance did, making him stop in his tracks.

 

“Hey, Keith...what’s wrong?”

 

His boyfriend looked down at his feet, and when he looked up again there were tears in his eyes.

 

“I don’t bloody deserve you Lance,” he sniffed “You’re too forgiving and nice and sweet and I’m a huge asshole who just ran off without saying anything and I’ve broken your trust so many times and I was going to do something so stupid, Lance and--”

 

Lance pulled him into a soft embrace and let Keith sob onto his shoulder.

 

“Hey, you are a pretty big asshole, that much is true. But you’re my asshole.”

 

Keith laughed into his shoulder.

 

“I’m so sorry, Lance.”

 

Lance didn’t answer, but just hugged him tighter. He pulled back when he noticed the bruises on his face and the mass of unfamiliar smells swirling off him.

 

“Keith…” Lance cupped his hands around Keith’s injured face.

 

“I almost drowned, and Matt has a werewolf girlfriend and we convinced her packmates to help fight Zarkon,” he admitted.

 

“I think you need to come inside and have a cup of tea,” said Adam from the apartment’s doorway before Lance could respond.

 

***

 

“You really are a fucking idiot,” Lance sighed as he curled up closer to Keith in the latter’s bed.

 

“I know. I’m too impulsive for my own good.”

 

“We can work on that,” snorted Lance.

 

Keith didn’t answer. That was exactly what he dreaded. What if they didn’t have enough time to work on anything. What if tomorrow was their last day? He pushed the thought deep into the back of his mind and focused on Lance’s tattoo instead, humming the tune softly to himself. He hummed it till Lance fell asleep in his arms, and he hummed it in his mind until he dropped off himself.