“Why the fuck do you have that?”
Lance always prided himself on keeping his belongings safe. Ever since he was a little boy he would take special care of his toys, stuffed animals, basically everything precious to him. Always made sure they never got lost, never went missing or anything. Until right now, apparently.
“Keith why the fuck do you have that?”
After years and years of taking care of his letters, his love letters , they suddenly go out in public. Suddenly go missing from his special blue box buried deep in the drawers of his room at the Garrison. Even after taking care of his box out in space, just when the go back to Earth is when the letters are sent. Why?
“Lance, I-I don’t know!” Keith answers, a red envelope addressed to him waving in the air. It’s taunting him right in the face. Why did Keith have that love letter? He never told anyone in the team about them! Hell not he’s not even sure his family know of their existence. So why?
“Did you go through my stuff?” He yells, but he knows that’s not even true. The Black Paladin would never do something that low without his permission.
“No, no I swear to God I didn’t!” Keith’s eyes are frantic, searching for something in his own “It was outside my door this morning! I don’t know who left it there and well it was addressed to me...”
“You read it?!” He screeches. A couple of Garrison officials and teachers are already sending them odd looks, some whispering among themselves. Lance doesn’t care, his eyes zooming in on the letter.
He knows what he wrote in there. He remembers writing it in the confines of his room back at the Castle of Lions, during Shiro’s absence. How his heart hammered in his chest at the thought of Keith reading the letter; How hopeful he felt at their relationship improving; How terrified he was at the prospect of his feelings deepening for his friend; How he decided to just ignore them all together. And then, just like that...
But, now he’s back. Back to the team, back to him. It was all too much for his heart to bare, seeing him after all those torturous months. Lance believed he had already moved on from all of the feelings he had for Keith long after he wrote the letter. He thought that with distance his heart would start beating for another.
And for a brief moment, it did.
But never with the same fervor as before.
“Yes” Keith says, eyes never straying from his face “I read it”
Lance really wishes Honerva would just pop out of nowhere and erase him from existence. He feels a blush rushing to his cheeks and reaches out for the letter. The Black Paladin steps away, hands clutching the paper to his chest. He tries once again, only for it to end with the same result.
“Is it true? Is it true what you wrote here Lance?”
He gulps, eyes wide and he wishes he could refuse. Wishes he could lie and just get out of here. But the words die on his mouth at the thought. He can’t do it, not with Keith looking at him like that.
“Do you really feel like this?”
“Do you mean it?”
“Lance?” Allura’s voice snaps them both out of their conversation. Lance freezes and really wishes someone, something, anything would just zap him out here. He turns to her and his mind is blank.
Allura stands there at the end of the hall, a pink letter and an envelope clutched in her hands. Beside her there’s Shiro, a confused look on his face and a purple post-it note held up by his fingers, and then there’s Ryan Kinkade, holding a green napkin.
Fuck, fuck, fuck.
“I-I-” Lance blinks, and he can’t think, can’t breathe. Keith turns to the three of them before turning back to him. Hope, hurt, anger is etched on his face and Lance can’t take it.
Keith calls out to him, but he doesn’t stop.
He continues to run.
“Just kill me!” Lance moans on the floor “Bury me so no one can find me anymore! I don’t want to live!”
“I’m sure it isn’t that bad” Pidge winces, taking a small peek outside of her laboratory “I mean it’s just a letter?”
“Just a letter!” The audacity, how dare she treat him like this “They’re love letters Pidge! Love letters! I wrote my feelings down on them! I-”
“Okay, okay, geez I didn’t know you were this affected” She moves away from the window, turning to him “I mean you flirt with everything on two legs, I thought this was something similar”
“I don’t flirt that much!” Pidge gives him a dry look and gosh “That’s besides the point! This is serious!”
After that horrible ambush Lance practically fled the scene. He would’ve taken Red out of the fucking atmosphere but they would be able to track him down easily after that. So he was forced to hide out inside the Garrison. Of course, he couldn’t go to his room he would’ve been found out immediately.
He opted to hide in one of the laboratories, no one would expect him to hide out there. Soon enough he found himself stuffed in one of the rooms, with Pidge as his company.
“They were never supposed to go out” He mutters to himself, head hanging low. He tried to find some sort of explanation, significance, anything, for his letters going missing. But nothing came to mind.
How did they get out? And more importantly, who knew about them?
“If they were never meant to go out, why did you write them?” He looks up to Pidge, who in turn kneels right in front of him. Her hands are tugging the hem of her shirt, eyes darting around the room.
“I supposed they were a way for me to express my feelings without saying them” Lance sadly smiles “I-I’m not that confident and well I’ve always felt too much. Sometimes I thought I was overflowing with feelings. The letters helped me”
“You always looked at ease regarding love and romance” Pidge gulps, taking her glasses in hand and wiping them clean. Over and over again “I never would’ve thought-”
“-That I am this insecure?” The girl only nods, not daring to look up at him. Lance sighs, deciding to not explain any further such a miserable topic.
There’s a beat of silence before the door is slammed open.
“Lance!” Hunk yells as he closes the door once more, before rushing to them “What happened?! Everyone’s looking for you!”
“Everyone?” No he can’t deal with this right now.
It’s selfish, leaving all of his past crushes; leaving Keith hanging like that, but he can’t bring himself to say anything at the moment. Much less when he hasn’t had a moment to think about what Keith said to him before fleeing.
Do you mean it?
It’s been twisting and twisting in his mind. Did he meant it? Did he meant everything he wrote on that letter? Does he feel the same after all this time?
Lance doesn’t have an answer for that. Not yet anyway.
“The whole cafeteria was going on about some love letters” The Yellow Paladin explains “Apparently they were from someone in Voltron and they got out! I didn’t know who they were talking about until they mentioned you. Kinkade and Allura were asking everywhere for you!-”
“Wait, wait, wait there’s multiple people involved?!” Pidge screeches, eyes wide looking back at him.
“Keith looked like he wanted to murder someone! And Shiro-”
There’s a loud bang at the door, making the three of them jump.
Puta madre, puta madre, puta madre
“I know you’re in there!” Keith’s screaming from the other side of the door, and Lance knows he’s in deep shit. The pounding continues, making him scramble off his feet. Hide, hide, hide! his mind echoes as he goes from one side of the room to the other.
“Hide me!” He whispers to his friends, eyes shifting from place to place. There’s countless of boxes and cabinets he could fit into, but Keith’s not that dumb. He could always jump off the window, if they weren’t on the fifth fucking floor.
“Lance!” Keith continues to yell, the door rattling.
It’s honestly terrifying.
Lance could do the easiest thing and just confront the Black Paladin head on. But nope, he’s a fucking coward and he wants to keep his head attached to his body. Where, where, where his mind screams at him.
“The vents!” Pidge whispers, appearing right at his side. Hunk is there as well and before any of them react, he is already prying the lid open. Lance quickly holds on to the edge of the opening and props himself up, settling on the metal as quietly as possible.
Pidge goes to the entrance and just as Hunk is closing the lid off, the door opens.
Lance doesn’t dare to even peak through the ridges of the vent, too afraid Keith would see him with those Galra eyes of his. He just hopes the Black Paladin can’t smell him too.
“Where is he?”
Fuck, Keith’s furious.
“Who?” Pidge tries asking calmly as possible, but even from here Lance knows she’s lying. He knows he was doomed right before Keith entered the room, but Hunk and Pidge can lie for shit in these situations.
“Where is Lance?” Keith barks, his feet vibrating through the room. Every step he takes it’s like a dagger piercing right through him. He carefully tries shifting further away from the ridges, hoping he’s not making too much noise.
“We haven’t seen him!” Hunk giggles nervously and honestly his friends are the best but they can’t lie to anyone! “We’ve been working non-stop on this thingy-”
“I heard you talking from outside!” The Black Paladin yells and it’s honestly scaring him a little bit. Lance stops moving and slowly pushes towards the edge of the vent. If he confronted Keith right now, what would he tell him?
His heart doesn’t have an answer.
“Lance?” Keith’s voice lost his edge, sounding almost lost. He blinks and nudges closer to the ridges. Lance only sees Hunk standing on the other side of the room, Pidge still next to the entrance and Keith right underneath the vent.
“I just want to talk” The Black Paladin sighs, brushing the hair away from his face. Lance gulps, hand hovering over the lid, debating on his next action. He could open the lid and just talk thing out with his the Black Paladin.
But what are you going to say to him?
He takes his hand back.
“Please?” It’s really breaking his heart, hearing his friend plead. But Keith deserves an honest answer, the truth regarding how Lance feels. Not some half-assed lie.
“Give me-e” He stutters out, voice cracking around the edges. Keith turns instantly in his direction and Lance ducks down, praying he didn’t see him “I need time”
“I know” He sighs, eyes closing, not daring to look back down “We’ll talk, I promise. But I-I need to think”
There’s a beat of silence before the raven haired boy speaks.
“Okay” Lance’s heart stutters “I’ll wait for you”
And with that Keith walks away from him and exits the room.
He can still feel his heart doing summersaults, fireworks going off inside of him. There’s a sense of relief and dread washing over him. He has time to talk to Keith. The question now was, what will he say to him?
“You okay buddy?” Hunk asks and he can’t bring himself to answer.
He waits until dinner time to get out of the vents, ignoring Pidge’s insistence that no one was out on the hallway. Both her and Hunk had already left long ago, leaving him alone to wallow in his thoughts. Laying down on a vent for around four hours was not a good idea for his back or hygiene.
“Never again” He moans, massaging his forehead with both hands and exiting the room. Hunger is clawing at his stomach, but he refuses to drop in on a cafeteria. Who knows who’s in there waiting for him.
He sighs and heads towards the end of the hallway, until a noise coming from the other end stops him. Don’t overthink it, it’s probably nothing he thinks and turns around. There’s not a single soul at the other end of the hallway, the windows completely shut. Okay so maybe you’re imagining things, he replies to himself. Maybe he should really turn on some lights-
“Finally found you”
Lance shrieks, knocking himself to the floor. A pair of hands already on him and he screams even louder.
“N-No me toques! Ay Dios bendito!”
“Lance, calm down!”
He slaps the hands away, already crawling away from whoever this is, until there’s a small light illuminating his face. Shiro is kneeling right in front of him, cell-phone lighting up his face in a soft blue hue. Lance deflates.
“Oh my god Shiro! Do you want to give me a heart attack!”
“I’m sorry the lights go out in this hallway around dinner, Hunk told me where to find you but I didn’t think you were still here”
“All right then...” He pouts and ducks his head down, already dreading the conversation that it’s about to go down. After all he did leave a letter for the man as well.
More like a memo, but still “I suppose you want to talk about the letter?”
“It’s more like a post-it, isn’t it?” Shiro holds up the purple note in his hands and Lance wants to really get out of here. Maybe he’ll go hide in the vents again “I was just surprised when it appeared at my door”
“Sorry about that. I seriously don’t know how they got out” Trying to figure out who might’ve sent all of those letters was practically impossible. He tries thinking and thinking of a culprit, but no one came to mind. He was the only one that knew about them; no one from his family nor the team. Only him.
But obviously Lance wasn’t going to send them himself, he’s not that dumb.
“It’s all right, don’t worry” Shiro smiles and it eases some of his worries “Actually I’m quite flattered at what you wrote. Though I have a hunch that you wrote this before we met”
“Y-Yeah” He flushes in embarrassment “I wrote it back when I first got into the Garrison”
“Seems about right” The man laughs and hands him the post-it “Here. I’m giving it back, you look a bit restless without them”
Lance nods, taking the small paper in his hands, not sure on what to say or do. Instead his eyes focus back on his scrawny writing from all of those years before and reads.
You’re so cool.
Nothing gets past you, putting up yourself in front of others and never wavering in your convictions. I really admire you. You’re my hero and my inspiration for getting here.
Though you’ll never look my way, it’s fine. Just by watching you from afar is more than enough to encourage me and my dreams.
That was so cheesy.
“Ugh I can’t believe I wrote this” Lance covers up his flaming face, lying down on the floor and tempted to just rip apart the purple note. .
“I thought it was cute” Shiro chuckles at his hurt expression “I kinda liked it if I’m being honest”
“Oh my god! Please stop it Shiro” He moans in defeat, folding over the small note and quickly hiding it inside his uniform. The Captain of the Atlas laughs again and it sends another fresh wave of embarrassment.
“I’m flattered you think that highly of me” Lance turns his head towards him “It really helped me”
Shiro gives him a fond smile and he can’t help but to return it back.
“Well I’m glad it cheered you up” He sits up “I just hope it didn’t bring any sort of problems between you and Adam”
“Don’t worry about it” Shiro laughs, really laughs , his face lighting up in mere seconds at the mention of his boyfriend “He wanted me to tell you that he agrees with you 100% on that description of me”
Lance chuckles, his worries easing.
Well at least someone was happy about this mishap of things. The reminder of the other letters lingers, taunting and eating him from the inside. If he’s lucky he won’t run into anyone for the rest of the night. Tomorrow though, it’s another different story.
“Keith was really worried you know” Shiro pipes up, offering his hand to help him stand. Lance grimaces and takes it without question “After you ran off, no one knew where to look for you”
“Yeah well, he still managed to find me” He stands, Keith’s face appearing in his mind.
“Did you not want him to?”
The words die on his mouth, and he’s forced to avert his eyes from Shiro’s. The thought of confronting Keith again sends his heart into override.
The conversation he had with the Black Paladin replayed over and over again in his memory those four hours in the vents. Can he really face Keith? Hell he’s not even sure of what he feels, much less what he’s going to say to him once they talk things throgh.
“Have you eaten dinner?” Shiro asks out of the blue. Lance looks back at him, surprised at the change. The man offers him a warm smile before adding “The cafeteria is surely packed and you probably don’t want to talk to anyone at the moment. Want to come eat dinner with me?”
“Uh, are you sure?” Not that he doesn’t mind eating with Shiro or anything, and Lance certainly doesn’t want to go and meet whoever’s in the cafeteria, but eating dinner? Shiro and him?
“Of course” Shiro starts walking and Lance follows after him “After all Adam really wants to indulge in your ‘great taste in men’ as he called it”
“Oh my god , stop it!”
“That’s how you talk to your hero and inspiration huh Lance?”
“Just kill me seriously”
After such a bizarre dinner with Shiro and his boyfriend, Lance decided he had enough weirdness for the night and walked back to his own room.
And what he meant by walking back was practically sneaking in every crevice, corner, and hallway hoping no one would see him. Thank God it was basically deserted once he left Shiro’s apartment, not running into a single living soul at the Garrison.
Soon enough he’s standing outside the room and waits.
Groaning he slaps a hand to his forehead and just closes his eyes. This was ridiculous, he was being ridiculous with this whole thing. Just go in and that’s it . Nothing more, nothing less. As simple as breathing. He shakes his head and places his hand above the sensor. Once again he can’t bring himself to open the door.
“Just fucking open it” He mumbles to himself, getting fed up by his attitude with the minute “There’s no one waiting, everyone probably went off to sleep by now” That does nothing to simmer down his anxieties.
They just had to get a fucking dorm together as a team didn’t they? Why couldn’t they just opt for everyone to have their own dorms and just live in peace like normal freaking people. Noooo, they had to have a dorm together, five rooms for each of the paladins while Shiro lived with his boyfriend across the campus.
Everything’s done now, there’s nothing you can do about it he reasons with himself, gaze snapping back onto the sensor. If someone’s awake (Keith or Allura) they would crowd him instantly and pester him with questions; questions he’s not even sure of their answers.
“Take me universe” Lance groans out in the open “You just want me to suffer” He says into nothingness.
He just hopes Keith didn’t camp outside his door or anything.
Fuck it and with that he presses his hand down to the panel.
It opens with a soft hiss and Lance immediately ducks down, crawling on all fours inside the room. There’s the soft light coming from the living room, surely the small lamp from the coffee table lit. The door closes behind him and he waits.
Everything looks and feels normal, nothing discarded or thrown around.
A pretty normal dorm.
If anything it also looked pretty deserted. Lance breathes and carefully crawls over to the kitchen counter. Nothing stirs as he moves, relaxing him by the second. He reaches the counter and counts down in his head to any sort of reaction. When nothing happens, Lance carefully stands and peeks from the ridge of the counter.
True to his deduction, the small lamp was the only source of lighting, the living room deserted and the doors to his friends rooms shut. He breathes out in relief, finally straightening up and walking towards his own room, the one in the far end of the right wall.
Their dorm room was a pretty simple one; a nice white living room with a couch big enough for 10 people along with a coffee table and their precious lamp, a simple kitchen with it’s own set of stove, dishwasher and a refrigerator, and five doors leading to the respective team member’s room.
It looked like either no one was home or they were still busy doing who knows what. Lance relaxes and swiftly passes by the living room only to stop dead on his tracks. Turning around he sees Keith’s body slumped down on the couch.
With a shriek, Lance crashes into the wall, losing his footing and smacking into the cold hard floor. He hears movement and just curls into a ball, closing eyes and waiting for the worst. Nothing happens and he can’t breathe from the nerves. Minutes tick by and he peels his eyes open. Everything is still normal.
Lance gulps and carefully, oh so carefully, crawls towards the edge of the couch. Slowly, he peers down to the couch and sure enough there’s Keith Kogane sprawled on the surface.
He pushes down the urge to hide once again and continues to stare at the boy. The Black Paladin looks calm, almost peaceful as his chest rises and falls, completely unaware of Lance staring at him. If Keith were awake at the moment he would surely strangle the living daylights out of him.
Lance chuckles to himself and keeps watching his friend. Keith doesn’t even stir, eyes closed and lips slightly parted. His hair is a lion’s mane though, sticking in every way and direction possible. He knows it’s going to be a bitch to comb once Keith wakes up.
There’s this strand that keeps moving up and down along with the Black Paladin’s breath and he can’t help but to look at it. Before he knows it, he brushing the strand away from Keith’s face.
“You should’ve gone to your bed” Lance whispers, his hand slowly combing the raven locks “Your back is going to kill you tomorrow” There’s no response as he continues his small ministrations.
Suddenly Keith shifts and his heart stops. The boy continues to sleep and furrows deeper into Lance’s touch.
A rush of heat fills him up, but he’s unable to move away. He continues to comb Keith’s hair, relishing in the softness of it as the boy leans deeper and deeper into his hand.
“Who knew you were this affectionate” He laughs, hand messing up his friend’s hair without a care. Looking down he sees something pressed against Keith’s chest, his hands tightly gripping the edges. It’s a familiar red envelope with the name of the boy scribbled over the back.
It’s his letter.
It’s the letter he wrote to Keith.
Grimacing, Lance tries to pull away, reminded of the situation they’re in, but just as he’s leaning away Keith whines at the loss. The Black Paladin moves his head and Lance knows that if he pulls away it’ll be seconds before Keith actually wakes up. Quickly he reaches once more for the raven locks, softly combing them as their leader settles back into the couch, a peaceful smile breaking over his lips.
“Jesús ” He breathes a sigh of relief, eyes drawn back to the red envelope. If luck is on his side, he might be able to retrieve the letter from Keith’s hands, and tuck it away in his special box along with Shiro’s post-it.
But he can’t do that to Keith. Not after seeing how much that letter affected him.
He sighs and goes back to admiring the boy’s sleeping face. The dimly lit lamp in the lounge gives a soft amber glow to Keith’s pearl white skin, lips rosy as they draw his breath in and out.
If things were different, Lance would stay awake for hours until no end, just to watch Keith. He can’t keep his eyes off of the sleeping boy and slowly he leans in closer and closer into the couch.
Their faces are a breath away from each other, noses almost brushing together but not quite. Lance shouldn’t be this close, he should pull away go back to his room and forget this ever happened. But something grounds him into the moment, and he can’t seem to look away from Keith.
Softly he presses his lips over the crown of the Black Paladin’s head, and stays there before leaning away. Keith doesn’t stir from his slumber, eyes still closed, unaware of what just happened.
“I’m sorry” He whispers into the night, so softly for only the two of them to hear “For everything Keith”
There’s a beat of silence where nothing happens. Lance looks back at the boy and is leaning in once more to drop a kiss-
Allura is standing right at the entrance of their dorm room, eyes wide and mouth agape. Lance instantly jumps away from Keith, cheeks flushing in an instant. What the fuck was he going to do? What the fuck, what the fuck, what the f-
“It’s not what it looks like!” He yells, voice going high with embarrassment. He waves his hands around, mind searching for an explanation, any sort of excuse that he might up with “I-I swear it wasn’t Allura!”
“Lance, calm down it’s-”
“It’s not! It’s not fine!” His voice breaks. Lance takes a couple of steps back, his feet already tripping with air “I’m not- I wasn’t-” He’s not even making sense anymore, words mushing themselves together without preamble.
Allura takes hesitant steps towards him, eyes searching for something in his face and he wants to bolt out of there. Lance feels out of breath, as if he’s run a marathon; lugs searching for air and heart pounding right out of his chest. Not now , he’s screams in his mind as his eyes look around the room, until they land on Keith once again.
Keith who was sleeping just mere minutes ago.
Keith who’s now sitting up, indigo eyes looking right back at him.
“Lance” He doesn’t know what to do with himself. Keith calling him out with that soft voice makes his heart tumble all over again. He sees the red envelope again and that snaps him back.
It’s the only thing he manages to utter before dashing towards his own room, practically throwing himself in. He can hear rapid footsteps behind him, but he doesn’t want to- can’t see them. Quickly he swipes the door closed, locking it shortly after. Lance blinks, tears already springing up on his eyes. He slumps back on the wall, knees buckling as he falls down to the floor.
He can hear Allura’s and Keith’s voice behind his door, whispering among themselves. Surely something involving those damn letters. If only he hadn’t written them. If only he had gotten rid of them back in space.
A sob rips out from his throat, and it’s so confusing. Why is he sad anyways? He doesn’t understand a single thing but the guilt keeps eating him away.
I should’ve burned them, throw them out into space, rip them apart, anything! He thinks, his mind going to those damn pieces of paper once more. Keith and Allura, the two people who he really fell for. The two who got a real and genuine love letter.
Lance tears himself away from the wall and crashes into his bed, hugging his pillows close to his chest and hogging the blankets above his head. The sight and memory of those letters makes him turn and turn, begging for some kind of peace of mind. Shuddering, Lance shuts his eyes as tightly as he can, seeing stars and swirls behind them. He starts counting, chanting, anything to get him to sleep.
He falls after counting 1,567 sheep in his head.
Lance doesn’t come out of his room the next day.
After waking up with a horrible headache and tearful eyes, he promptly took a shower to only shuffle back inside his bed. Thankfully no one bothered him. Both Hunk and Pidge texted him, asking for his well being and Shiro dropped in to knock on his door. Other than that, no one forced him to exit and he was grateful for the silence.
Not only that but it gave him enough time to check out his special box.
Taking Shiro’s post-it in hand, Lance quickly made way through his stuff. He moved aside clothes and beauty products, tossing aside everything from his bottom left drawer, before looking for a small blue shining box.
His grandmother had given it to him as a gift in one of his many birthdays. He doesn’t remember what was inside as a present, but he kept the box around since that day. Always carrying it with him everywhere, a constant reminder of his abuelita. So when the time came to fly all the way to the United States to study at the Garrison, obviously he took it with him.
No one knew about the box.
His friends didn’t know of it’s existence and his family never knew he had kept the box around for so long.
It was never it’s purpose to store love letters or anything similar, but it was the least likely place someone would store them. Or so he thought back when he was twelve.
After writing that first love letter to Jenny in their first year at the Garrison, he had been so embarrassed and promptly hid it away from the world’s view. Stashing the box with thousands of papers and then shoving it far into his drawers. Thank God no one found it.
And the tradition continued on like that. He stored his letters in his box and then hid them away from the world. There were times, when he carried the box with him, bringing a distinct kind of comfort and stability. And thus was the day when they left inside the Blue Lion, Lance carrying the box with him.
It brought him comfort in all of those endless nights back at the Castle of Lions, reminding him of everything back on Earth. And more often than not he found himself re-reading his old love letters. That’s where he stored Nyma, Keith and Allura’s love letters too.
Though Nyma’s was a simple napkin, a message showing nothing more than teenage infatuation and heartbreak from his part. The same couldn’t be said for Keith and Allura’s letter.
While he had wrote them in different periods in time, they both held his true feelings and confessions. Lance expressed them wholeheartedly, obviously believing no one would ever find them in the near future.
He had written Keith’s first and after he left, he had written Allura’s.
And now, after everything they all went through in space, he’s not even sure about the feelings he expressed on those letters. They were all true at some point in his life, that much he knows. But right now, waiting for Honerva’s attack, he’s not even sure of what he feels anymore. Regarding the letters. Regarding Allura.
Frustrated Lance takes out the box and turns it over. Surely enough the small locket he had attached to the lid long gone and nowhere in sight. The box looks the same as it always did, not a scratch or a single dent in it. He turns it around to inspect it more and once he makes sure everything is in order, he opens up the small lid.
Before everything, it would be filled with his love letters along with other scribbles and drawings he made. Now there’s only two letters left behind and some strewn papers.
He groans and empties out the box, snatching the blank papers and not a single clue of who could’ve opened his box. The only people who might’ve known he had this box were either his family or Hunk, and while the yellow paladin did like the gossip, his best friend would never do something like this. That only left his family.
“I hope it’s not them” He groans once again, already dreading the worst. If his family was indeed the one behind this, the ones most likely to mess his life around would be either Rachel or Veronica. Que se jodan, que se jodan, que se jodan his mind chants over and over again as he picks up the discarded love letters.
They were Jenny’s and Nyma’s, the two of them thrown open, most likely already read. Lance sighs and without having anything better to do, goes ahead and read them again. He takes Jenny’s first, already regretting his choice by just looking at the opening line.
Do you have a band-aid?
Because I just scraped my knee falling for you.
Every time I look at you my heart beats a mile a minute. You’re everything I think about day and night. I can’t seem to concentrate in class because my eyes always drift to you and I can’t look away. You’re beautiful and I’m handsome, we could be the perfect couple. Give me a chance and I’ll make you the happiest there is. I know I’m still in Cargo class, but I’ll soon move up to Pilot (I’m gonna crush Kogane so hard in these exams just wait!) and maybe we could see each other more often.
Always thinking about you,
“Oh my god that was horrible” Lance shudders, eternally grateful he never found the courage to deliver that letter. Slowly he folds the letter close and places it back inside the box along with Shiro’s post-it not and the broken lock.
He takes Nyma’s letter into his hands and reads it as well.
Was you father an alien? Was your father a thief?
‘Cause someone stole the stars and put them in your eyes.
Even after you chained me to a tree, even after you almost stole Blue from me (I’m still mad!) and even after you stole my heart, I can’t seem to get over you. It’s highly unlikely we’ll see each other again, so fuck it.
I really trusted you back there. I wasn’t thinking with my head (obviously) and well you swooped in just when I was
doubting distracted. You seemed like a nice, cool girl? Girl alien? Point is, I was really interested in getting to know you.
And then, well you know how that ended.
I doesn’t matter if what I feel for you is fleeting or not, I still felt my heart skip a beat when you laughed at my jokes. Maybe I am that pathetic, I mean I’m writing you a letter even after everything that happened. You don’t
Keith told me Keith unchained me after getting my lion back. Sure, he had this smug grin on his face while taunting me, asking me to do all kinds of chores for him back at the castle ( he’s so he gets on my nerves!) but even then he helped me. Even after I denied Whatever, hope you find help with the ship.
With a broken heart,
“I wasn’t any better in here” Lance grimaces, slightly rumpling the piece of paper in his hands.
He remembers the hopelessness of that time. The thought of losing Blue to Nyma (to anyone) was unbearable. So when Keith announced that he had gotten Blue, the relief washing over his body was overwhelming. He could care less about the embarrassment.
His eyes glue themselves to Keith’s name.
Even here, even in Nyma’s letter, he’s talking about Keith. The Black Paladin had nothing to do in that letter, but for some reason Lance had mentioned him. He doesn’t even remember exactly why he had written that letter, he just knew he had to vent his frustrations in some way without the others knowing.
His feelings for Nyma weren’t even that strong. He had already faced rejection countless of times back as a cadet in the Garrison, it was bound to happen in space as well. And surely he didn’t write all of those girls (and guys) a letter after breaking his heart.
Why Nyma though?
Sure the alien was pretty, but she was the worst of them in terms of his feelings. He’s pretty sure no one before had left him chained in the middle of nowhere. Still, why the need to write her (the worst of the bunch) a letter?
Maybe because Keith rescued you his mind barks out.
Lance groans and stores the letter inside the box once again. I don’t have time for this , he crawls over to his drawer and quickly stores the box at the far end before stuffing all of his other items inside. Everyone knows already about his letters, but that didn’t mean he shouldn’t be cautious.
He stands, dusting himself off before changing out of his pajamas and into his Garrison uniform. Honerva won’t be waiting around for him and his heart to be alright. Just ignore it and continue as if nothing happened and with that thought in mind, Lance adjusts his uniform jacket and walks out of his room.
So ignoring the problem definitely won’t help.
“McClain” Kinkade calls out to him outside the broom closet.
Yeah, ignoring leads to nothing at all.
“Just kill me” Lance whispers to himself, the smell of detergent and chlorine stuffing up his nose.
Stepping out of the team dorm was probably where he went wrong.
After successfully avoiding both Allura and Keith for the morning, he came face to face with Ryan Kinkade who was patiently sitting right in front of the door. The MFE pilot had barely said anything before Lance dashed down the hall without looking back. Ryan of course ran after him, not even breaking a sweat at their little game.
Just one look at the green napkin made him flush over and over again.
Why did he even wrote that one?! And thus Lance didn’t hesitate and threw himself in the nearest room. That one being a broom closet.
“I’m such a fucking idiot” He moaned in frustration, waving his hands around and in turn getting smacked in the face by multiple cleaning utensils. Lance yells, annoyance flaring up and swats everything away.
“Are you alright?” Kinkade asks from outside. Lance yelps and covers his mouth immediately, trying not to make any sound. A few seconds tick by.
“I know you’re in there” The MFE dryly comments. Maybe if I stay silent enough he’ll leave, Lance thinks, but that is already a lie. If Kinkade waited for him around two hours outside the dorms, he would surely wait for him outside a fucking closet.
“Um-m, no no! You’re mistaken!” Rachel is going to kill him after this “This is Lance’s sister Rachel”
“Rachel isn’t even in this side of the Garrison”
“I’m here aren’t I?” This was so embarrassing, but his mouth keeps on babbling nonsense “Now run along I have important things to do”
“It’s Rachel guapo ”
“You’re leaving me no choice then”
Lance frowns, and before he can ask a resounding beep travels across the room. A few seconds tick by and suddenly the door to the closet glides open. Kinkade gives him a flat stare and wordlessly holds up an officer’s card.
So rude and uncalled for.
“Oh hey Kinkade!” Lance steps away from the closet, brooms and mops cluttering to the ground after him. He quickly grabs them and throws them back inside the room, only for them to bounce back in his arms “I didn’t see you there!”
Ryan doesn’t speak, his green eyes only trailing after his.
Having him up close again really reminds him of why he even wrote that letter. Those eyes, god damn he swears he could look at them endlessly. A flash of indigo and purple falters in his mind and now he’s thinking about Kei- Nope we’re not going there!
“So uh how’s the weather today?” Great small talk. Lance throws the cleaning utensils back into the broom closet and pushes the door closed “Veronica said it’ll be sunny in a couple of-!”
That startles Lance away from his rambling. He closes his mouth, waiting for Kinkade to continue, but he doesn’t.
“Why did you write this?” At that Kinkade lifts up the folded green napkin with his hand and Lance knew he shouldn’t have left his bed.
“I-I uh” The words die on his mouth at the sight once again. Embarrassment floods his face, and he can’t keep his eyes trained on the napkin.
Lance hasn’t know Kinkade that long, only sharing a few moments with him since coming to the Garrison. Sure the man is a candy for the eyes, from his stature and good physique to those vibrant green eyes. But outside of that, he only knows that the MFE pilot can handle guns and he’s really quiet.
This is the first time Lance has heard him speak more than two sentences.
He had written Kinkade’s letter on a pure whim. While it was true that his letter was the last one Lance wrote before the mess, it was purely out of infatuation.
A mere simple crush.
“I-I” Lance can’t find the words and the MFE pilot refuses to speak up again “I don’t know”
“You don’t know?” Ryan frowns, crossing his arms over his chest. He looks troubled and the guilt is eating Lance alive.
“I don’t, I’m sorry” He rubs at his eyes, meeting Kinkade’s gaze. Come on you have to be clear about this, his mind echoes back and with that Lance takes in a deep breath “I wrote it on a whim. I mean not that I don’t think you’re not handsome or anything, you are! I mean just look at you!”
Ryan chuckles at his rant and it eases him just a bit.
“You are really handsome don’t get me wrong, it’s just that...” Lance breathes in and out. The MFE pilot holds his gaze, already understanding where he is going with this. He apologizes to Kinkade once more in his head before speaking “I don’t really know”
Ryan sighs and honestly it’s breaking Lance’s heart little by little. He never intended for any of this to get out of hand, never thought they would get out.
But now, here they stand.
Lance doesn’t know if Kinkade even feels attracted to him or any extent of his feelings, but he does know that rejection in any form stings.
“I had a feeling this would happen” The pilot says, and then hands the letter back to Lance “This is yours”
Lance takes it wordlessly, fingers brushing through the fabric of the green napkin. He was in a rush the morning he wrote the note, shoving his breakfast at light speed to scurry off to his room and write out his feelings. Kinkade had smiled at him that morning and butterflies erupted instantly in his chest after that.
He carefully spreads out the napkin in his hands and skims through his messy writing.
I’m not even sure why I’m writing this.
You were the last thing I was expecting after my journey into space. After coming back from a most likely trauma and
two a broken heart, it was a surprise for me. You smiled at me and everything erupted into butterflies and mush, I’m not even sure why. My heart is still racing, pounding in my chest over and over. It reassures me that this is real.
That I really do feel something.
I don’t really know you and between the war I don’t think I will get to do it. Everything is still too complicated. The Galra, the Garrison, Voltron, Allura,
Keith, I don’t think it’ll work. I don’t want to burden you with any more problems.
Thank you for reminding me that this is real. That this was real. That whatever I felt for you, no matter how fleeting, was there.
Thank you and I’m sorry,
The tears spill past his cheeks, a choked laugh stuck in his throat.
“Lance” Kinkade pulls his hands away from his face, forcing him to look up. The MFE pilot holds a steady and warm smile, and it breaks Lance’s heart even further. A sob pulls out from his throat and god he never should’ve written those letters.
“I’m sorry” He apologizes over and over like a broken record “I’m so sorry Kinkade”
“Hey, it’s alright” Ryan continues to smile, a tinge of sadness lingering in his eyes. He wants to say something but he’s clearly holding back “It’s alright Lance, calm down”
“It’s not” He shakes his head, emotions running high inside him. He can feel Red’s calming waves despite the distance between them, but he can’t calm down “I hurt you, I hurt everyone with this fucking letters”
Keith and Allura appear on his mind and more tears fall.
“It wasn’t your fault that they got out was it?” Lance shakes his head instantly. Kinkade breathes in relief and inches even closer to him.
Carefully the pilot wipes away the oncoming tears falling from his eyes. There’s a steady beat pounding at his heart; it’s not uncomfortable but it still makes him stutter “Then you didn’t plan this. If anything, we’re at fault for reading something that was personal”
“There’s no way you could’ve known that” Lance sniffs, his eyes already stinging from the tears. He was honestly done with all of this. Whoever thought sending out his letters was a good idea, they clearly didn’t know the mess they were making. He looks up at Kinkade again “I’m still sorry. For everything”
“It’s okay Lance” Ryan reassures him, smile still present over his lips. There’s a beat of silence and then the pilot sighs “To think that I really did have a chance”
That makes his heart stop.
“What?” Lance is plunged back into guilt as he continues to look at Kinkade. The pilot is still smiling at him, not a single trace of worry in his features. There’s no way Ryan felt something for him, or did he?
Did he really?
“I like you” Kinkade says as if it’s the most natural thing in the world “It’s my last chance to say it before we go on as friends.”
“No Kinkade” Lance shakes his head, clutching the napkin closer to his chest. What does he say? What can he respond to that? His hands are shaking, and there’s a terrible feeling brewing inside him. He already knows his answer, and he suspects that Kinkade knows it too “I don’t-”
“I know” The MFE pilot nods, smile still present and shrugs “I’ve known before I even read the letter.”
“I’m sorry” He knows first hand how much rejection hurts and even though Kinkade is trying to reassure him, there’s always a sadness and emptiness that follows “I’m so sorry I-”
“Don’t apologize Lance” Ryan smiles and there’s a logical part inside his mind that scolds him for doing this. Why do I don’t like you? Why doesn’t my heart race when I see you anymore? Why? And he can’t understand it. Everything would be easier if he liked Kinkade.
But these things are never easy.
“Won’t you...” Kinkade speaks up, hesitation high in his voice “Won’t you give me a chance?”
He stills as the words rush over in his head.
Give him a chance?
The question bounces over and over again, sending shivers down his spine as it goes. He could give Kinkade a chance. Try to see if things work out with him. Maybe even falling in love-
Keith briefly appears in his mind and shatters everything else.
Keith with his stupid mullet; Keith flying the Red Lion; Keith leading the Team; Keith smiling at the antics between Hunk and Pidge; Keith comforting Shiro after a rough night; Keith comforting Allura; Keith just looking at him; Keith smiling at him.
Keith just being Keith.
The revelation should leave him gasping for air, knees shaking, but it crashes over him like a gentle breeze in the desert. Oh he thinks, and it’s the most natural thing at the moment in his life.
Lance wipes his tears once more, taking in a deep breath.
Kinkade deserves someone who’s head over heels for him. Someone who’s thinking about him every day of the week. Someone who loves him just as he is. And someone who Kinkade loves back.
“You deserve someone who loves you” He breathes out, steady and firm “And I can’t be that person. I’m sorry”
Kinkade sadly smiles and nods, head dropping just a bit. He knows first hand what it feels like and he really wishes he could spare Ryan from hurting. He could utter words of comfort, but he knows they would fall on deaf ears.
“Thank you for being honest with me” The MFE pilot sighs, shoulders dropping but still smiling right back at him. Lance offers one in return, heart still clenching in his chest.
“I’m sorry it happened this way”
“I wouldn’t have admitted my feelings for you otherwise” Kinkade shrugs, and continues “So there’s that”
“Still” Lance sighs and steps closer to Ryan, hands almost brushing with one another “I’m sorry”
“How many times do I have to tell you McClain, that there’s no need to apologize?” The MFE pilot gives him a much more relaxed smile and finally Lance feels at ease. The words die on his throat just as he hears a dull crash resounding from the end of the hall.
Both of them turn their heads towards the noise. At the end of the hall there’s Pidge carrying a box filled with different trinkets and whatnot, mouth agape as she looks at him. Hunk stands beside her, eyes as big as plates.
And then the cherry on top.
Keith stands between the two, a box of utensils dropped on the floor, gaze stuck on him.
Lance shuts his mouth and notices the proximity between him and Kinkade.
Just as he’s about to take a step back, the MFE pilot swoops in and gives him a quick kiss on the cheek. He yelps in surprise, immediately covering his right cheek as Kinkade gives him a wide smile.
“Kinkade! What was that-”
There’s another crash and before he can even blink, Keith is right in front of him. Lance eyes widen just as he sees the Black Paladin raising his fist towards Kinkade.
Lance grabs onto Keith’s arm and trying to put himself between him and Ryan. The Black Paladin grunts in protest and tries pushing Lance behind him. He continues to hold on. He can hear Pidge and Hunk yelling at them, but Lance is stuck on Keith.
His eyes are a storm, a rage so foreign flashing before them as he tries to pry his arm away from Lance’s hold. It’s so different from what he’s seen so far. Keith, rash and impatient sure, but never this angry.
“Keith-Keith please calm down” Lance pleads, struggling to hold his friend down. Indigo eyes turn back to him and it sends a chill down his body, all the way from his fingertips to his toes.
“I am calm. I’m so calm Lance” Keith seethes, who is totally not calm at all. Then he turns back his murderous glare to the MFE pilot “What the fuck was that about?!”
“Just a little push” Kinkade calmly states, eyes shifting between Keith and Lance “See you around McClain” And just like that the boy gives him another look, turns around and walks away.
Lance watches him go, confusion written all over his face as he feels Keith deflate right next to him. He turns to the Black Paladin who is instantly looking back at him. So many questions are flying through Keith’s eyes and he can’t seem to focus on either one of them.
“Why did he kiss you?” Keith was never a person to beat around the bush, always going straight to the point. Lance stammers, mouth opening and closing in mere seconds.
“I-I don’t know” He replies, cheeks burning in embarrassment. Lance doesn’t know why Kinkade dropped a kiss on him as well. So if there was anything to go by, he was just as confused as Keith.
“I thought you rejected him” The Black Paladin lowly comments, his deep indigo eyes never straying from him. Lance gulps and nods along.
“I-I did I-” He stops, eyes widening by the second “I-You heard us?!”
“Anyone could hear you a mile away!” Pidge interjects, right by Keith’s side with a smirk plastered on her face, just as Hunk catches up to them, “It’s like you cry and something goes off in Keith’s radar!”
“He wanted to rush in the conversation since he heard you sniffing, but we were able to stop him” Hunk proudly says and it sends Lance’s heart into an erratic heartbeat. Wait, wait, hold up! He screams internally, eyes shifting between his friends. He breaks once he notices a faint pink blush settling on Keith’s face.
“We have a meeting in five” The Black Paladin dryly comments. He turns to Lance, mouth opening to say something but promptly shutting up.
Do you mean it?
The question appears in his mind. Lance knows he and Keith should talk. Maybe after the meeting and then they could resolve all of this mess together. But something stops him, mind still unsure about his decision. Keith gives him another look, but doesn’t push.
“Let’s go” The Black Paladin turns away, walking down the path he had come through. Lance watches as Keith swiftly picks up the discarded box with utensils and continues on his way.
He turns to his other two best friends, who are already looking back at him. Big grins and eyes full of mirth.
“Stop that” He threatens, voice dangerously close to breaking “You stop that! ”
The meeting went on quite smoothly.
Until it didn’t.
The Garrison announced their development on improving their weaponry against in case Honerva presented herself sooner than expected. Their fusion with Olkarion tech, while it was still a bit slow was proving to be the most useful out of all of the experiments.
Not only that but the MFE jets were in their top condition, bound to provide them air assistance if the situation grew dire. Knowing the Galra, they will surely send in the best of the best, thousand ships raining down against the Earth’s surface once again if they didn’t go looking for Honerva first. Just the thought of it makes Lance shudder.
There’s a soft rumble echoing through his head as he instantly recognizes Red. It eases him in a second, his tense muscles already relaxing at the soothing sound.
“Lance are you okay?”
He blinks and looks up, noticing Veronica right next to him a concerned look on her face. Turning he notices that most of the Garrison admirals had already left the room, leaving a few cadets and officers to continue developing their strategy. The rest of team Voltron is sprawled around the room; Shiro and Allura are coming up with defense mechanisms against the Galra, while Hunk and Pidge are already working with blueprints with the help of some engineers. Keith is debriefing every leader of a station, eyes constantly turning between them and him.
Lance flushes and looks away, focusing on Veronica.
“Have you been sleeping?” His sister asks, scanning every inch of his face to find some sort of answer. He bats her hands away, groaning in protest “You look like you’ve been hit by a truck”
“That’s because theoretically speaking, I was” He stands up from his chair, combing a hand through his hair. Between the threat of Honerva and his own life going down the drain, well it was to be expected. Veronica gives him an odd look, crossing her arms over her chest and keeps her gaze onto him “So much has happened in these past days”
“Are you talking about the Galra or the letters?” He gives her a look and she shrinks a tiny bit into herself. Now that is new. He frowns, but doesn’t comment, letting Veronica continue “Right, the letters...”
“Yep those damn letters” Lance groans, avoiding looking back at either Keith or Allura “I just wished I never wrote them at all”
“No, why would you think that?” She says and there’s something in her eyes that he doesn’t like. Not one bit.
“Because if I never wrote them then they would have never gotten out” He exclaims, hands clenched by his side. Before all of this he never thought of the possibility of his letters getting out. He never thought of a scenario were everyone he wrote to, came in contact with the feelings he expressed on those letters. And now that he had, well he just wished he never wrote anything at all. Just bottle up any emotion and feeling close to love.
It would’ve been easier, he thinks.
“But there was no way you could’ve known that” Veronica insists, her eyes shifting back and forth from his. There’s something bothering her , he realizes but doesn’t press on “Why don’t you face the problem head on and I don’t know, get something out of it?”
“Oh that’s so easy for you to say” He bites back, irritation flaring up instantly. His sister frowns, attitude changing from concerned to angry in a second “Since it’s not your love life that’s being used as an entertainment by everyone! I can’t just go and barge into someone’s life like that!”
“That’s because you don’t take the chance!” She snaps, raising her voice and some soldiers turn their way.
“You think this is a chance?!” Lance yells back, the frustration of the situation finally boiling down inside of him “We don’t have time for this! We’re at war and-”
“So what you’re just going to run away?!” Veronica steps closer to him, a furious snarl over her face. More and more people are looking their way, whispering among themselves at the scene. He could see Hunk and Pidge getting closer to them, Shiro back on their tow, wanting to step in the discussion.
“I’m not running away!” But he finds that statement hard to believe. Was he really not running away? These feelings he’s been bottling up are now out on the open and instead of doing something, he’s just fleeing. Keith’s face comes to mind instantly. The Black Paladin wanted to talk to him, sort things out and what did Lance do? He simply ran. Not once, but a total of three times.
God, I’m so pathetic .
“You are!” Veronica snaps him out of his thoughts. His sister is drawing closer and closer to him and he can only step back each time “You’re just going to go back and lock yourself in your room-”
“Veronica, calm down” Shiro says, pushing the two of them away from each other. But she completely ignores him.
“-And do nothing about it!” Lance bites down on his lip, averting his eyes back to the floor. Please, please, stop he pleads in his mind, hands trembling by his side. They’re drawing in a crowd and he just wants to get out of here “And then what, what will you do if you fall in love with someone else?!”
Falling in love , the word rings through his mind over and over again. He doesn’t dare to look back up, afraid of what he’ll see. Afraid of who might be looking right back at him. He feels Hunk’s hands over his shoulder, reeling him back again into reality.
“You’re going to write another letter and then stuff it into grandma’s blue box, aren’t you?!” She huffs out, the tension in the air snapping instantly. No one speaks, the whispering ceasing in that single moment and Lance can’t concentrate on anything. He slowly snaps his eyes back to Veronica, a retort already on his tongue but he stops.
He stops, because Veronica knows about his box.
He stops, because why does she know about it?
He stops, because what?
“How-How do y-you know?” He asks, voice hoarse and trembling. His sister breathes, frowning in confusion, but Lance takes a step towards her “How do you know about the box?”
Veronica stays silent, her eyes slightly widening at the question. That’s all the response Lance needs.
He blinks, once, twice, as the tears start gathering in his eyes. His nerves skyrocket, palms sweating and heart pounding over his chest, the feeling vibrating over and over in his head. A dry laugh escapes his mouth and honestly he feels like he finally lost it.
“It was you” He says between laughs “You sent the letters”
Hunk gasps behind him and Pidge only straightens up. Shiro turns to him, mouth opening and closing before turning to Veronica once again. Lance doesn’t need to see anything else, his eyes focusing solely on the blurry form of his sister.
“Mierda ” Veronica curses to herself, passing a hand through her hair. She hunches a bit on herself, her anger deflating and leaving behind nothing but guilt.
Lance waits and waits but she refuses to speak up. The pain and anger mix together and he wants answers. He needs answers.
Why did Veronica do that? Why would she do it?
“Contéstame ” He says, fury taking over his emotions and body. He moves forwards, shaking all over and that’s when Hunk pulls him back. Lance pushes his hands away but his best friend doesn’t budge, keeping a tight hold over him. He turns to Veronica and he’s never felt angrier in his life “Contéstame carajo! ”
“No me hables así! ” Veronica reprimands him and that’s fucking it.
“Oh I’m sorry I wasn’t the one who threw their own brother under the fucking bus! ” He yells and now Hunk has to physically restrain him. Both of his arms are now around his chest, pushing him back but Lance isn’t done. No señor , Veronica was going to regret it “What the fuck Veronica?!”
“I didn’t think it would affect you this much!” She yells back, torn between anger and guilt. This is not happening “I thought-”
“You thought what exactly?!” Hunk tightens his hold on him, leaving him a bit breathless but Lance couldn’t care less. He can feel the tears streaming down his face as he keeps twisting and trashing in his friend’s hold “You thought I would thank you for this?! For betraying my trust and backstabbing me?!”
“That’s not what I wanted!”
“Oh then what did you want Veronica?! Because this is obviously about you!” He screams, voice growing hoarse with each word. His blood is pumping, heart thumping at an incredible speed and he can’t think “The feelings I’ve kept secret are now in the open, because someone thought it would be a perfect opportunity for me to get, what, a significant other ?! To be the butt of the joke?!” He screams, voice breaking with each syllable “Is that what you wanted Veronica?!”
“No!” His sister starts crying as well, her eyes blurry and guilt crashing over her frame “I wanted to help!”
“Help? What a great fucking help that was!” He hollers. Help? She wanted to help? This had to be a sick fucking joke. The only thing that Veronica brought was more problems into his life. Help? How would releasing his letters for everyone to see, help him? “How would sending my love letters help me Veronica?!”
“I just thought-”
“If they were hidden and secured with a fucking lock it was because of something!” The box had a fucking lock on it, that was message enough that whatever was inside it, shouldn’t go out. But no, Veronica thought the opposite. Even going as far as to tear open the lock without thinking twice about it.
“Lance you have to calm down” Shiro is still between the two, his concerned gaze shifting between the two of them.
“No! No, a la chingada! ” Lance yells at Shiro, trying and pushing himself out of Hunk’s grip, but nothing is working. Murmurs and whispers reach from everywhere and he’s so done with everything.
He never should’ve written those letters.
He points at Veronica who’s trying very hard to keep her tears at bay “Did you have fun reading my letters?! Did you enjoy reading my feelings out in the open without my permission?! I can’t believe you!”
“I’m sorry” She apologizes, trying to get to him. Lance instantly recoils back into Hunk’s hold, he doesn’t want anything that’s from her. No, he’s still mad, he’s not going to forgive her just like that. Shiro is immediately between the two again, slowly pushing his sister away “I’m sorry!”
“No!” He shakes his head and finally he’s able to free himself from Hunk’s hold. He goes toppling down into the floor and Veronica tries reaching out to him. Lance quickly moves away, tears spilling down his eyes. Everything is closing in on him and it’s too much. He needs to get out of here. Without looking back he runs out into the hallway, practically banging the doors open.
He hears his name being called but he doesn’t want to see anyone. Leave me alone, just leave me alone , his mind screams as he bolts down the hallway and keeps running. His legs burn and lungs ache with each step he takes, but he can’t stop. He’s angry, he’s furious and he doesn’t want to forgive Veronica.
Lance keeps running and running, not even knowing the path he’s taking as he keeps making sharp turns and changing hallways. Soon enough he finds himself out in the Garrison hangar. He can hear a series of running footsteps distantly following after him and he doesn’t want to confront anyone.
I just want to be alone.
He sees the lions and instantly thinks of going to find solace on Red’s cockpit. But if the team is after him, that’s the first place they’ll look for him. Lance gives his lion another look, his mind already rushing in with another option. Though if she doesn’t open up I’m dead , he thinks and with that, he runs towards Blue’s hangar.
He reaches out to her, pleading with every fiber in his bones to just let him in for a few moments. I really don’t want to see anyone, please he thinks and thinks as his legs drag him closer to Blue. His former lion is silent but the moment she lowers her head, opening up her jaw for him to enter, a wobbly smile appears on his lips.
Without thinking he quickly launches himself inside and scrambles up towards the cockpit as the Blue lion goes back to her original position. There’s a soft hum vibrating through the lion, a soft blue light illuminating the panels and flooring. He reaches the pilot seat and hovers beside it, still unsure if he should stay or simply leave.
The doors of the hangar burst open and Lance quickly crashes to the floor. He scurries down under the console and waits. He hears voices outside but thankfully no one goes to check inside the lion. Soon enough the voices and footsteps drift away and he truly feels alone. A second ticks by and that’s all it takes for him to crumble down.
Tears fall down mercilessly and he doesn’t bother in stopping them. Sob after sob tears away from his throat and it’s just not fair. Lance hugs himself tighter, craving the comfort his old green jacket usually gave him. The stark orange of the Garrison uniform makes him dizzy and out of place.
Everything feels wrong and in shambles.
He can’t seem to catch his breath, his sobs coming one after the other without stopping. Sadness, guilt, betrayal and anger all mix together and Lance doesn’t even understand why he’s crying. Was it because of Veronica? Because of the way he acted? Because he, in fact, did run away once again? Is he crying because of what he did to Kinkade? Of what happened with Allura? What he’s doing to Keith?
It doesn’t matter.
Not when everything he’s been bottling up finally shatters.
Lance wakes to the sound of the door hissing open, the soft blue light intensifying as Blue rumbles with happiness.
He blinks his eyes open, with difficulty. He can still feel the tear tracks down his face and he’s sure that his eyes are no better. Groaning he sits up from the cold hard floor of the Blue lion, wondering when exactly had he dozed off to sleep.
Allura’s voice snaps him out of his trance, his eyes immediately drawn to the opening of the lion’s cockpit. There standing in all of her glory is the princess, hair cascading down her back and glistening in the moonlight. She looks ethereal like this.
Allura gives him a soft smile and then without asking steps inside Blue, the door swiftly closing after her. Lance avoids her gaze, wiping his eyes clean and trying to brush his messed up hair. How long did he sleep in here?
Even with all of that sleep, he’s never felt more tired. Each of his movements is filled with exhaustion and the need of a good sleep. He barely manages to keep his eyes open as he turns back to Allura. The princess walks over and seats a few inches away from him, enough space for the two of them to stretch their legs.
“Hey Allura” He greets her, voice barely coming out. He coughs instantly, throat burning even with that minimum effort. Well with all that screaming and crying it was bound to happen , he thinks bitterly.
“Are you alright Lance?” The princess asks, hands clasped at her front. She’s holding something back, maybe a talk that was bound to happen sooner or later.
“Depends on what you mean by alright” Chuckling he crosses his arms over his chest, forcing down the urge to bolt away from the lion. He’s still not ready to face anyone yet, let alone speak to someone else about what happened. It’s too much.
“I’m sorry that was careless of me” Her lips turn up in an apologetic smile. That lasts only a moment before taking in a deep breath “I know you would prefer prolonging this talk even longer, but I feel that it could take another load off from you” And with that, one of her hands sneak into her jean’s pocket and draws out a familiar pink envelope.
The sight of the letter leaves him with goosebumps.
Lance adverts his eyes once again.
“Sorry” Allura winces, placing the letter over her lap “After everything that happened today I think the last thing you want is another reminder”
“It’s okay princess” He coughs, already dreading what’ll happen after this. Lance looks up to the princess and takes a steady breath. In and out, in and out. Allura gives him a small smile and that encourages him a bit “Just go easy on me okay?”
The princess offers him another smile, a bit more strained but nonetheless true. They stay silent a few more moments, before Allura moves closer to him and carefully extends the pink letter over to him.
Out of everyone that got his letters, Allura is the one who he regrets the most. Not because of his feelings, but rather what she’s still facing to this day. The princess might deny it countless times, no matter who asked, but, deep down, she still cares for Prince Lotor.
Lotor who was part Altean and part Galra. Lotor who she trusted with her feelings and her family history. Lotor who betrayed them and even then still loved Allura. Lotor who died back in the Quintessence field. Lotor who even after everything Allura still loved him.
Back in the Castle of Lions, Lance burned with jealousy. Every gaze or touch they shared with each other, fueled him up countless of times. He was stressed, ansty and jumpy every time they were close to the other. So, when the news broke that Lotor was using the Altean colony to harness massive amounts of quintessence, he was shocked.
The Galran Prince was already warming up to him, and even when he had his doubts, Lotor truly seemed genuine about his desire to help. Lance couldn’t believe it at first and then his thoughts drifted to Allura. He really dreaded the moment when she and Lotor both entered the Castle of Lions.
He’s never seen Allura happier like when she was with Lotor.
“Your letter was a pleasant surprise believe me” Allura says, pushing a strand of white hair behind her ear. A nervous tick she probably picked up from Pidge “After Sendak everything we’ve been thinking was to track down Honerva and this was a distraction”
Lance doesn’t really know how to take that , and just nods in response. He carefully picks up the discarded pink envelope, wishing his hands would stop shaking so damn much. The sound of the envelope tearing open reaches his ears and carefully he takes the letter inside of it.
The letter is still neatly folded and he recognizes Allura’s name scribbled over by the center, a small drawing of a juniberry at the bottom right corner. He takes another breath and waits. He’s still not ready to read it.
“As I was reading it I realized,” The princess places her right hand over his arm, forcing him to drag his eyes away from the letter and over to her. There’s a pink blush dusting her cheeks and wow past Lance would’ve been over the moon with that look. But right now, he just feels uncertain about what’s to come “You wrote that letter before the Castle of Lions...?”
She doesn’t need to finish the question and Lance only nods once more. There’s a flash of hurt in Allura’s eyes and he knows she’s remembering the Galran prince He gives her a moment before she speaks up again.
“The mice told me you know” She starts and Wait, what are the mice doing in this conversation? He’s about to ask away when the memory appears in his mind. The moment of him moping around the castle, looking for comfort and only finding the mice in exchange. Him venting about his feelings and then he-
“I knew I shouldn’t have given them a bath” He grumbles, sliding further down the floor. Allura gives him an odd smile before catching his attention once more.
“I didn’t realize how deeply you felt for me” The princess stammers, eyes darting around Blue’s cockpit. She really is nervous and it’s honestly freaking him out a little bit “And when the mice told me I really didn’t act upon it. And then-” Her voice cuts short, breaking just on the last word. Lance looks at her, and he can see the tiniest bit of hesitance in her eyes “Then I-I with-Lotor I-”
She’s unable to finish that sentence and Lance doesn’t blame her.
He carefully takes one of her hands in his, squeezing just a tad bit, hoping to ease her worries for him. Allura lets out a wet laugh and squeezes back. Lance gives her another smile and then opens up the letter with his free hand.
His eyes are drawn to the words in an instant.
Hey there, are you
It seems I have
love loved you.
I really did.
But I guess my feelings for you were not enough.
At first it was a simple crush. You were a star shining in an endless blank night’s sky. I was drawn to you from the first moment we met and I couldn’t keep my eyes away even if I tried. You were like a magnet and I was just drawn to you.
When Blue chose you as the next Blue Paladin I couldn’t be happier. I really meant what I said back in her hangar, there was no one more fit to fly her than you. Even I could feel Blue’s excitement at the start of your journey together. We were all a mess at the beginning, but we handled it the best we could, or so I think. I think it was around this time were I laid off with the flirting and just focused.
My feelings dulled and then I wasn’t looking at you anymore.
After Keith left
We got Shiro back, and my feelings were brought alive once again. But then, Lotor came around.
I still don’t trust the guy but I understand why you would feel the way you do around him. He’s charming when he wants to be and his features really help him a lot (I’m not saying he’s hot though!) Maybe if the situation was different, it would make more sense to me.
It just hurts.
I’ve been jealous in my life before. And I’ve never felt quite like it. This is a new ache, pounding right over my head, my heart a stuttering mess and my eyes darting away from the two of you. It’s horrible to feel like this. It eats me up every time and I don’t want to feel it. I would trade everything for you to look at me like that. For me to be the one to make you laugh, relax, everything. But I can’t.
I can’t do that.
Not when you look so happy.
Allura I’ve never seen you happier. There’s this glow at the way your eyes crinkle, how your nose scrunches up just a tiny bit and your marks glow a bright pink. It lights up the entire room in just seconds. It’s no wonder Lotor fell for you too.
You look the happiest when you’re with him.
And that’s enough for me.
There’s a sudden knot at his throat, preventing him from speaking up. The acceptance of it all is what makes him falter. The acceptance of Allura being happy even if it was with someone else above his own comfort. He gives the princess’ hand another light squeeze and it’s returned almost instantly.
“Before Lotor...” Allura stutters his name all the way and something in heart clenches at the sound “I never thought you were genuine. You flirted with a lot of aliens, and it always looked like you were trying to fill something. To compensate for something. And then Keith...”
The silence stretches on and Lance turns to the letter once more. There was a part he omitted all though the letter. The reason why his feelings for Allura dulled for a brief time and then flared to life in a matter of seconds.
“You liked him, didn’t you?”
It all led back to Keith.
Lance had always been infatuated by Keith. Ever since the first moment they laid eyes on each other back at the Garrison. Keith was everything he wanted to beat, wanted to reach and wanted to be. He imprinted himself on a self-made rivalry and in the midst of that he refused to acknowledge his real feelings. That obviously backfired the moment they were all launched into space.
And so Lance liked Keith, maybe even more if he dared to say it. But then Keith left. Took everything with him and just disappeared from their sight.
Lance’s heart along with him.
Not long after, Allura stepped in. The moment his heart skipped at her sight, he dived head first into the crush, pushing himself to forget about the Black Paladin. Things were going good, and maybe if they stayed like that they could’ve become something, but Lotor came around.
Then Keith came back.
“Yeah” He can’t bring himself to deny or accept it. Allura gives him another brief smile, the silence stretching between the two. Lance carefully folds the letter and stuffs it into the crumpled envelope.
“Do you mean it?”
Lance whips around, almost expecting to see Keith right next to him uttering that question again. But Allura is still there, her eyes pensive and focused on their intertwined hands. There’s a thrum between the two as the question stretches on.
“Do you meant what you wrote in that letter?”
“I did” He confesses, breath stuttering on his mouth.
“Do you still feel that way?”
He fully turns towards her and then Allura’s eyes are on him. Something stirs in his mind, but no one moves away. What’s going on? His mind asks but he keeps his eyes on the princess. There’s this look on Allura’s face and something akin to dread settles into his chest.
The word cuts through the atmosphere like a knife. It tears open anything they had as Allura backs away from him in an instant. Lance doesn’t stop her, shock evident on his face as the princess looks away. Seconds pass by and then:
“Allura you don’t-”
“I do” She answers, hands clenching by her sides and it’s so bizarre seeing her like this. Past Lance would’ve been screaming and jumping from joy but Present Lance can only stare back at her, unmoving and unable to come up with another response.
“You don’t” He insists and Allura is furious.
“You can’t tell me what to feel or not!”
“Allura that’s not it” Lance can’t believe this is happening and he has the sudden urge to just bolt out of the Blue lion. But that wouldn’t solve anything “You don’t feel that way about me”
“I do!” He flinches at her tone, back colliding with the wall behind him. The princess gasps, concern flashing in her eyes before fury takes over again.
“You’re just projecting your feelings onto me” Lance knows this situation way too many times. With his siblings, friends and even himself. Hell he even used Allura to try and get over Keith and that’s the best example “You and Lotor-”
“Don’t” Her voice wobbles as she stands from the floor, shoulders visibly shaking “Don’t say his name”
He sighs and stands up as well. The princess keeps her teary eyes glued to the floor, biting down on her lips to keep the crying at bay. Lance has never seen her like this. It’s so foreign to everything he knows about the princess. But then again, Allura never showed her true feelings to any of them, carrying all of her burdens on her own.
“Allura” She turns away, still avoiding his gaze “I know how you feel”
“You don’t” Allura snaps, caging in on herself even more.
“I do, I really do” Lance sighs, hoping he can alleviate that pain she carries. He takes in a deep breath “When Keith left, I...I pushed myself to forget about him, to forget-” all of these feelings , the words get caught in his throat, but he pushes on “-to forget everything and I-I found you”
He clasps his hands together and then blinks away the remaining tears. He will not cry, this is not about him. Squaring up his shoulders he looks up at the princess again, who is slowly turning his way.
“I loved you” Lance feels something release inside of him. Fleeting and barely there but oh so relieving “I really did.”
He hesitates, heart stuttering at the words he’s about to say. Don’t run away, not anymore , his mind chants over and over again like a mantra. He’s never been this close to voice out his feelings out in the open like this but he wants to. Lance needs to do it.
“But I still had- have feelings for him”
Allura now fully turns to him, tears streaming down her cheeks. Her Altean marks are softly glowing in the dimly lit, framing her round face. She looks beautiful in every sense of the word and Lance’s heart doesn’t even skip a beat.
“Even after everything I still think about him” He confesses “And I know you think the same of Lotor”
That’s all it takes for Allura to finally break down.
One moment she’s standing there and the next she’s buried deep into Lance’s chest, arms around his waist and crying. He doesn’t hesitate, gently hugging her back, rocking the two of them back and forth, back and forth. She cries and cries, and his heart breaks for her. How much has she been holding back? And how long has she gone like this?
Too much and too long, he thinks as they continue to hold each other.
Time passes by, the two of them huddled close in Blue’s cockpit, as Allura lets every frustration and worry behind for the moment. They end up both in the floor, Lance supporting his back against the wall and Allura hugging his front. He can feel his uniform wet with tears but he could care less.
The princess stopped crying some time ago, a couple of sniffles here and there as she pressed herself closer to Lance. Slowly she dragged herself away from him, wiping away the remainder of her tears. She looks every bit of a child just like them.
“Sorry” Her voice comes out raspy, and he’s about to snatch a water pouch but she stops him, clutching his jacket in her hands. Lance stills and Allura slowly lets go of him “I’m sorry I don’t know what-”
“Don’t apologize” He interrupts her. She looks at him with wide eyes, still wet with tears “It’s okay Allura. You had a lot on your plate”
“Regardless” She sniffs once more, her silver hair cascading down her back like a waterfall “I wasn’t listening and tried to push my own problems to you” Allura draws in a shaky breath, her hands coming down to brush away her hair “You were right”
He shifts his eyes back to her.
“I still love him” She takes in a shuddering breath “Despite everything”
Allura gives him a watery smile and Lance is about to hug her once more but a blaring noise interrupts them.
The hanger bathes in a bright red light, sirens wailing and vibrating all throughout the room. It’s deafening as the two of them scramble to stand, Blue quickly lowering her head for the two of them to exit. Lance can feel the alarm pounding through his skull as a comm over the speakers goes off.
“Attention to all personnel! There has been a breach!”
“A breach?” Allura asks beside him as the two of them exit Blue and run to the elevators. The sirens continue to go off and Lance can’t concentrate on the message.
“Galra officers have infiltrated the base! Cadets do not engage! I repeat, Galra officers have infiltrate de base! Do not engage!”
What? his mind races with that question as the transmission is cut off by a familiar plasma shot. Lance’s blood turns cold and then he turns to Allura. He sees the shift in her face. Going from a girl dealing with a heartbreak to a war princess in just five seconds. She steels him with a look and that’s all they need before going towards the lower levels.
Please be safe , he sees Keith’s face before running.
Everything is a chaos once they reach the lower level.
Cadets, generals and pilots alike were running from one side of the other, everyone shouting orders from one end of the hallway to the next one. It was a mess as the two of them made their way to the main base.
How in the world did some Galra manage to sneak inside the Garrison? It didn’t make sense! If the base had sustained Sendak’s attack, it was impossible for some random squadron to make it past the barrier.
“We have to hurry” Allura calls to him and Lance only nods in response, the two of them fastening their pace. The cry of people was suddenly interrupted as a series of blasts detonated throughout the hallway.
Lance wiped his head around, recognizing the blasters from a mile away as the people screamed and moved from one side to the other. Allura was instantly next to him, shouting orders and moving cadets and generals alike behind them. In just a moment he sees the flash of purple and the holster of the gun ready.
He collides with the princess as the shot rings off and collides on the wall behind them. The screaming increases as people shove each other out of the way, trying to leave the fastest way possible. More shots ring through the air and Lance hears people dropping down to the floor one after the other.
“We have to get these people out of here!” Allura shouts over the noise. Lance nods and looks ahead. There’s two Galra soldiers with blasters on hand, their faces covered with a dark shawl around their neck. From the distance they’re in, he could’ve easily shot them down if he had been carrying around hi bayard.
Where is everyone?
He wonders just how many Galra had infiltrated the Garrison before anyone noticed. Lance ducks another shot, and makes a rash decision. He sprints down the hall and tackles down one of the Galra. The alien tries getting out of his grip, Lance quickly pinning him down and trying to rip off the blaster from his hands.
The Galra seethes and trashes around, the blaster in his hands pointing in all directions. Lance feels the nerves build up and for a moment he sees the other alien direct the gun right at his face. His blood runs cold as he quickly ducks away the shot aimed at his head.
The shot goes off and makes contact with the wall beside him. His heart hammers in his chest, hands shaking as he tears off the blaster from the Galra underneath him. Without even checking pulls the trigger to his partner. The other one goes down without a sound.
The alien underneath him is furious and suddenly pain explodes all over his chest. He’s shoved back onto the floor, head crashing right onto the tiles. His vision blacks out for a moment and all he can see is the Galra looming above him, knife in hand. Lance swears, his hand being crushed under the guy’s foot.
Before anything happens, Allura is suddenly there and the alien goes flying down the hallway. She doesn’t spare him a glance and quickly kneels down to help Lance. The hallway is mostly empty now but the sounds of shots is still audible.
“They must’ve advanced to the next rooms” The princess says as the two of them manage to stand. Lance winces, as he tries to close his palm and open it, a bit of purple bruising dusting his knuckles.
“Then let’s go” He comments and they take off.
Cadets and generals alike are running from one side to the other as they run through the hallways. Galra officials much like before are just shooting in every direction, plasma beams colliding against everything in their wake.
Lance doesn’t hesitate in shooting them down, one by one as Allura quickly runs past and knocks the rest of them out. Screams and screeches bounce off the walls, the sound of the alarm still ringing high and mighty overhead.
“We need to get to the control room!” Allura yells above the crowd “It’ll be faster to contact the rest of the team from there!”
Just as he’s about to answer everything blacks out. More screams fill his ears and suddenly his body slams against the walls, people pushing and pushing away. He tries pushing the crowd away but it’s useless as he’s being dragged down and down.
“W-Wait!” He calls out to no one, and just like that the hallway is engulfed in a red light. Lance finds himself sprawled on the floor, people still scrambling away as the doors from the other side hiss open. He can hear more blasters and shouts from the other side but his eyes can barely distinguish the figures moving.
“Lance!” Allura calls out to him. A beam goes off and collides right next to her. He quickly scrambles up in his knees, the Galra soldiers coming through with everything they’ve got. Lance doesn’t even wait as he rings the first shot. And then the next and the next.
The Galra don’t even flinch as the shots ricochet off from their suits.
“What the f-” He doesn’t even have time to curse as a big explosion goes off above them. He quickly ducks as the floor shakes with the force of the attack. Debri and massive pieces of concrete fall around him, a cloud of dust covering every surface of the hall.
Coughs rack through his body, smoke and dust filling up his lungs with every intake of breath. Lance blinks and instantly regrets it, his eyes stinging at the debri falling around them. He quickly tries brushing it away, plasma beams sounding off all around him.
“Allura?!” He calls out to the princess, high on adrenaline at her lack of response. Blindly he gets on his knees and tries blinking away the dust. He can barely see a thing, the red lighting making everything ten times more difficult.
Pain shoots down his side as someone knocks him down to the ground. He coughs and quickly tries moving away, but a firm boot plants itself over his chest. Lance gasps out and it’s getting harder and harder to get air in his lungs.
“Aw the Blue Paladin” A soldier mocks, and there’s more pressure coming from his foot. Lance points the blaster at his face but that’s blown out of the window when the soldier shoots him right on the shoulder. He cries out in pain, skin burning up at the contact of the plasma. God he really wishes he had his armor on.
“Not so tough now are you?” The Galra mocks, and then turns to bark out more orders at the rest of his crew. Lance can barely register it, his mind numb with the pain shooting up from his arm. He tries once more to push the alien away, but the pressure on his chest only increases. Breathing has become ten times more difficult.
Lance turns his head, eyes darting from one spot to the other to look for Allura. The princess is nowhere in sight and he can only pray that she found safe refuge. He can hear several other soldiers trudging by, the flick of the doors opening and closing behind them.
“What do you want with us?” He struggles with the words, voice raspy and coughs immediately rack through his body. The Galra above him laughs and then proceeds to apply more pressure to his stomach. He cries out, one or two ribs already broken.
“Let’s just say we came here to finish what Sendak started” The alien taunts and charges the gun on his hands once more. Fear prickled at his skin, as he tries to squirm away from the next shot. The only difference now is that while it was charging up, the Galra simply did not shoot.
Lance gulps, eyes shifting back towards the soldier and at his wicked smile something drops in his stomach.
“Let’s see how cooperative you are” The alien says and without any warning inches the gun closer and closer to his chest. The contact between the plasma and his uniform is the absolute worst . The fabric sizzled into nothingness, the skin underneath burning up. An agonized scream leaves his lips the moment the holster touches his bare chest.
He screams and screams, trying to get away but the pressure is too much, nothing working. Make it stop, please, please he pleads in his mind, struggling with every fiber of his being against the hold against him. Tears were threatening to fall down, but no, he wasn’t going to fucking cry in front of the bastard.
After what feels like years, the gun parts ways with his body. He sags down onto the floor, panting as he tries to regain his breathing. His heart is throbbing, painfully thumping against his chest as time ticks by.
“Don’t pass out on me Blue Paladin” The Galra kneels down to look at him square in the eyes. He chokes on a gasp, head lolling to the side, everything going blurry for a second. Once again, his hands push, claw and scrape away the boot holding him down but nothing works in his favor. The alien gives him another wicked smile “Tell me what I need to know and I’ll let you live”
“As if purple freak” His words slur together, mind teetering between the living and nothingness. Nothing happens for a few moments and in a mere instant the burning returns tenfold, expanding all the way towards his legs.
His screams echo all across the walls, tears falling freely from his eyes now. His body shakes, trembling as he tries to hold onto anything within reach. Please, please let this end , he yells in his mind, eyes closed shut.
“Talk or this will only get worse!” The alien threatens above his screams. No, no, no, no he chants over and over in his mind. Everyone he cared about was taking refuge in the Garrison. Generals, cadets, professors, his family, the lions, his team; everyone dear to him was in that building and he wasn’t letting anything out from him.
“No!” His voice tears in a strangled cry, chest spasming against the concrete. He’s being torn open, burned up from the inside, a flame engulfing every single cell and organ in his body. Lance just wishes it could just end. Faces appear behind his eyes; Sylvio and Nadia little as ever, running over to meet him; his parents, both of them crying the moment they saw each other on Earth; his siblings, everyone teasing him over every small thing but at the end of the day happy for his return; Voltron, both Red and Blue standing tall and proud; his teammates, Coran away making weird alien food, Allura chatting excitedly with the mice over new gossip, Shiro watching over them like a proud parent, Pidge tinkering away at her computer, Hunk baking every single dish he knew and Keith...
Keith just standing there.
Right next to him.
Fear grips at his heart and before he knows it, he’s screaming for him.
The Galra above him laughs, pressing the gun even further down his body “Nobody’s coming to get you! Don’t you get that?! No one’s-”
And just like that the alien goes flying to the other side of the room.
He faintly hears the crash of the soldier against the dirt, breathing in relief as his body slumps back to the floor. There’s a series of hurried steps entering the hall, shouts mingling with each other and he can’t understand any of it, his eyes closed and head lolling to the side.
“Get him to the infirmary!”
“Lance?! Lance, can you hear me?!”
“We have to get him out of here!”
Voices muddle together one over the other and Lance can’t even make the beginning or the end of it. His chest is throbbing, burning all over and his legs are not even responding to him. He softly groans furrowing deeper and deeper into sleepiness.
A soft touch to his cheek startles him, eyes opening at the contact. He can hardly make out the shapes around him, frantically moving and running from one side to the other. The only constant is the person sitting beside him. Slowly he feels being lifted, arms carefully wrapping around him. Lance doesn’t fight it, immediately falling deeper into the warm embrace.
“Please, please I just got you back”
Whispered words reach his ears and there’s a moment of recognition going through his mind. He peeks his eyes and sure enough Keith is looking right back at him. Lance finally feels the last of his worries wash away, lips curving into a smile.
“Keith” Finally, finally he can breathe in relief “You’re here”
The Black Paladin in turn chokes on a wet chuckle, settling Lance over his lap. He looks worse than before. Sweat and dried blood cling to his face like a second skin, a deep cut shining above his jaw. Lance winces and tries reaching out to it but the raven haired boy quickly clasps their hands together.
“Don’t move Lance” Keith presses his lips to their joined hands “Just rest, help is on the way”
“You’re bleeding” He protests, but doesn’t move again. At that his friend laughs once again and then sniffles. Lance’s breath stops at the sight of tears dampening the boy’s eyes. Urgency and worry flare inside of him. Keith must’ve sensed it because instantly he’s shushing him, pressing another kiss to his hands.
“Calm down Lance” He pleads “I’m fine, it’s just a scratch”
“It’s not” Lance insists, pressing himself closer to the boy’s body “You’re not okay” He shifts and blaring hot pain shoots up through his chest, making him scream out in response.
“Don’t move, don’t move” Keith whispers, easing both of them into the floor. Lance whimpers, biting down on his lip at the pain of the injury, and tries to get a look at it. Instantly Keith enters his field of vision, eyes pulling him in “Help is coming, just look at me. Look at me Lance”
He doesn’t fight it and without question focuses back on the Black Paladin. Their eyes connect and just like that butterflies erupt deep within him. Not the time , his mind echoes back at him but he goes ahead ignoring it. It’s a push and pull between the two. An endless vast purple sky looking right back at him, a storm of emotions blurring behind them.
The words flow out of his mouth without permission.
But once they start, he doesn’t want to stop.
“I’m so sorry for everything Keith”
Memories of the past days have been haunting him endlessly, taunting him from the inside out. He should’ve talked with Keith straight away. He should’ve talked to him about the letter. Confessed that everything was true. That it’s still true. Maybe things would’ve played out differently for them.
He’s not even sure he’ll make it.
“Don’t apologize” Keith starts, shaking his head and a watery smile stretching over his lips “ Don’t. We’ll talk okay? We’ll talk like you promised”
“I don’t think-” His throat constricts and he finds himself coughing up against Keith. A half a minute later he sees dark blotchy spots over his hands. No good. Lance looks up at his friend again and his terrified look confirms it.
“You’re going to be fine okay?” Keith repeats it and Lance has to wonder if those words are for him or himself “The doctors are coming, they’ll be here any minute now!”
“I’m sleepy” Lance groans, eyes dropping constantly and everything is coming in and out of focus every minute.
“Lance just stay with me! Fuck! Shiro, where are the doctors?!” Keith’s agitated and he can feel his heart thumping like a hummingbird. Lance furrows deeper into him, eyes finally dropping closed, the last sip of strength finally leaving him.
“I meant it”
Keith goes stiff as a board right next to him but Lance keeps going. No regrets.
“I meant every word on the letter”
“Stay with me!” It’s heartbreaking to hear Keith begging and pleading with everything he has “Please stay with me! Lance! Lance, please!”
Just like that he lags in Keith’s arms, head lolling to the side and his mind drifting off to sleep. Chants of his name continue over and over again, but he can’t even open his eyes.
Lance lets go.
A constant beep wakes him up.
Lance groans into soft silk sheets, furrowing deeper into a soft pillow underneath his head and pulling the covers over his shoulders. It’s just like those morning back in Cuba. The morning sun filtering through the windows, the smell of the ocean reaching his room and a fresh breeze lulling him over and over again.
But he wasn’t in Cuba.
The beeping continues and finally he feels the IV injected in his arm.
Lance slowly peels his eyes open, locking right onto the heart monitor next to his bed. The green line keeps going and going, the beeping going along with it. White is a constant inside the infirmary rooms in the Garrison, the beds and pillows no exception to this rule, but it always ends up suffocating him.
He tries sitting up, a jolt of pain and fire shooting right over his chest, making him yelp in response. Lance grimaces and carefully pushes the covers back, the cold air of the room freezing him up. Sure enough he has a blue hospital robe on, his left arm wrapped in bandages along with the IV tube. He winces at the sight of it and then goes back to his chest.
There’s no need to even touch it, he can already feel the hot pain traveling all the way up. Even through the robe he can see the dark and purple bruises littering his body along with the neat white bandages around his torso. It hurts like a bitch , Lance exhales and then looks around his room and stops at the people crowding his bed.
Keith is sprawled over the bed, breaths coming out in small puffs and eyes completely shut to the world. He’s slumped on a chair right next to the bed, arms cradling his face as he continues to peacefully sleep. Veronica is by his left side, leaning onto the small couch, head resting between her arms and pillows.
Lance gulps, slowly manages to sit up on the bed. Carefully he inches towards Keith, hand reaching out for the boy next to him. Without thinking twice, he laces their hands together, and relishes in the warmth between the two. The Black Paladin continues to sleep, not disturbed in the slightest at the contact between their two hands. He smiles and before he could continue, he hears a soft gasp beside him. He turns and looking right back at him is Veronica.
The two of them continue to stare at each other, unmoving and holding their breaths. Lance blinks and adverts his eyes, focusing on Keith’s sleeping form.
“Lance” Veronica whispers his name and in an instant she’s right beside him. He flinches back, recoiling immediately from the pain “Ah easy, easy” She rearranges the bed’s pillows and finally he can lean back down onto them.
“Thanks” He quietly says, Keith’s hand still clasped between his. Veronica doesn’t move away, sitting on the edge of the bed. They both stay silent and Lance doesn’t even know what to say to that.
“How do you feel?” His sister break the silence
“Like a train ran over me” He chuckles “What happened?”
“A group of Galra rebels managed to infiltrate the Garrison through duct tunnels. Apparently they found the route we used to bring in survivors back when Sendak invaded Earth. They flooded the base and we’re aiming to get to the Atlas but we managed to stop them” Veronica answers with utmost precision “In the midst of the fight we got an incoming call from Allura, alerting us of the Galra occupying the lower floors. We could’ve gotten sooner if it weren’t for the explosion”
Lance nods once again, the information filling him in. Another jolt of pain shoots up from his chest and he can’t help the wince. Veronica stops but he just motions for her to continue once more.
“The explosion happened and it was chaos after that” She sighs and settles back on the chair, pulling off her glasses from her face. His sister begins cleaning the lenses, her usual tick for when she’s nervous “Debri was everywhere and cadets were running from one side to the other. We managed past them and that’s when-”
She abruptly stops and Lance frowns, worry already taking over him. Veronica sucks in a deep breath and adverts her eyes from the ceiling to the floor.
“We heard you scream” Sniffles and sobs start pouring out of her mouth, her whole frame shaking from the intensity of it. He grimaces, still holding on to Keith’s hand and trying very hard not to cry as well “It was horrible. Gut-wrenching. I knew right away it was you and we ran in that direction. I can’t-I-”
The words die on her mouth, sobbing immediately after. His heart clenches in his chest, aching and aching for his sister as she continued to cry herself out. Slowly he reaches out for Veronica with his right hand and she doesn’t waste on grasping it along with hers.
“Calm down, just breathe” He tries soothing her, tears threatening to spill over his eyes as well as the sniffles continue.
“You were being tortured Lance” She cries “Your screams, it was horrible. Then when got close enough you yelled Keith’s name and he just lost it”
Lance gulps and then turns to look at the sleeping boy beside him. Something seizes inside of him at the sight of red rimmed cheeks along with the traces of tears down in his face. He feels the urge to ease away all of his worries.
“Keith charged in before any of us, he knocked the Galra soldier to the opposite wall in a matter of seconds” Between sniffles Veronica laughs, wiping away her remaining tears “The alien looked like a mosquito stuck on a wall. Then we found you and it was just horrible. The doctors arrived just when you passed out. They managed to stabilize you and then we carried you here to the infirmary.”
“How long was I out?”
“About three days”
“What?” Disbelief seeped through his voice, eyes wide as he settled back onto the bed. Veronica only nodded in response, and inched closer to him. Three days since he passed out? What the hell?
“The operation took a long time and after that you wouldn’t wake up” His sister explains “The doctors told us you would eventually wake but to let you rest. We managed to stop the Galran soldiers but god Lance-you had me so worried”
Lance sees the expression on his sister’s face and all of his anger washes away in that instant. Carefully he slips his hand out of Keith’s and extends both of his arms towards her, inviting her in. Veronica doesn’t hesitate to wrap him up in a deep hug, clutching at the blue robe with her hands.
He softly chuckles and rocks them just a little bit, back and forth in the bed. His sister smiles against the embrace, slowly threading her fingers into his hair. The memory of them back in Cuba, hugging the night away seemed so far away, the two of them separated by distance and age. But now he just wants to be in peace with her sister.
“I’m sorry for what I did” Veronica pulls away, looking at him straight in the eyes “You were right, I shouldn’t have invaded your privacy like that. It was out of line for me to send those letters”
“Veronica” Lance doesn’t want to keep fighting anymore, he just wants a bit of peace “It’s okay Veronica, don’t worry”
“It’s not okay” His sister sniffs and a few more tears slip past her eyes. Lance feels his heart breaking at the sight, reaching out once again for her. Veronica takes his hand wordlessly and holds on “It was never okay to do that. I’m sorry for what I did, I truly am. And I understand if you don’t want to forgive me or if you don’t trust me anymore”
“I could never do that” He interrupts, the thought of them drifting apart because of the incident didn’t sit well with him. While it was true that he won’t trust her right away, he can’t just shut her out of his life. He couldn’t even picture it “Veronica, I forgive you, it’s okay”
“Thank you” Veronica sobs once again, constantly wiping her tears away “I’ll work on regaining your trust Lance. I’ll make it up to you”
Lance smiles and the two of them melt into a deep hug once more.
He feels another weight lifted off from his shoulders, already sagging from relief. It’s a sense of relief and satisfaction like no other as the two of them continue to share their embrace. They part from each other, his lips already pulling into a small smile.
“He’s been sleeping here the three whole days you know” Veronica nods her head in Keith’s direction, her usual smirk being replaced by a fond smile.
Lance turns to the Black Paladin and carefully laces their fingers again. The boy sleeping stirs for just a moment, his head furrowing deeper into the mattress. The hold on his hands tightens and Lance wants to wake him up oh so badly. He wants those beautiful indigo eyes right back on him.
“Are you going to talk to him?”
He turns to Veronica and only manages to nod in response, his eyes drifting over to Keith once more.
“I’ll leave you to it” Veronica smiles and just like that exits the room.
Lance blushes and feels the urge to throw a pillow after her but contains himself. He faintly hears his sisters footsteps disappearing down the halls and soon enough the monitor is the only sound vibrating through the room. It’s steady and even, one going after the other, and even then he feels every nerve like hot wire.
His eyes instantly land on Keith’s sleeping form once again. He smiles once again, softly rubbing circles over the back of his hand. And just like that, he slowly inches even closer and softly brushes his raven locks with the pads of his fingers.
A surge of courage fills him up and Lance threads a hand over Keith’s hair. He relishes in the soft texture, massaging the boy’s scalp over and over again. A quiet purr echoes through the room and Lance stops. His eyes drift over to Keith’s face and is surprised to see a soft smile plastered over his lips. Slowly the Black Paladin furrows deeper in his arms and then his eyes are blinking open.
Lance holds his breath for a beat, his mind cooing at the adorable pout Keith wears.
His raven hair is sticking up in all paces, similar to a lion’s mane, eyes slowly blinking in and out of focus. Keith was definitely not a morning person at all. Slowly he turns his head and meets Lance’s gaze.
“Lance” It sends a shiver down his spine just hearing his name being uttered by Keith, a soft and tender affection laced through the words. He flashes him a smile and then it’s like something snaps inside of his friend. The Black Paladin jerks away, sitting up straight on the chair in an instant.
“Lance” Keith is wide awake now, eyes shot open and never straying from his face. Lance is stripped from everything he knows and feels just by that look, everything inside him warm and fuzzy. They continue to look at each endlessly and honestly he doesn’t want to stop. He gives Keith’s hands a small squeeze and that snaps him out of it.
The other boy glances down to their hands and lets out a soft groan. His mouth is opening to ask about it but Keith is already intertwining their hands together, pressing them even closer than before. The stark contrast between the two of them makes his heart soar, mind numbing to everything but this moment shared between them.
“You came” The words tumble out of his mouth before he can stop them. Coughs rack his body immediately after, throat aching. A glass of water is already in front of him and he takes it wordlessly, gulping every drop and surge of liquid. Once he’s done he hands the glass back to Keith, the soreness from his voice now gone.
“You really came” He tries once again “After I called you”
“Always” Keith answers, already taking his hands in his “I will always come for you Lance” Butterflies explode from that single touch all around his body. Lance smiles, dazzled and already a bit exhilarated by everything going on.The Black Paladin softly chuckles and then a quiet sniff reaches his ears.
His eyes turn to Keith, who’s hunched over their joined hands, eyes downcast. Lance sees his shoulders shaking as the sniffing intensifies with each beat. Carefully he scoots closer to his friend, ignoring the sharp pain exploding behind his eyes. And just when he’s close enough, Keith snaps his eyes at him.
Tears cascade down Keith’s face, eyes red and blotchy meet his. It steals his breath away and honestly he doesn’t know what to do. A crying Keith wasn’t something he was used to, in fact he wasn’t sure if the boy cried or not. Lance gulps and carefully extends his free arm towards him.
He doesn’t even have to speak as Keith instantly wraps him in a hug. His hand carefully rest around his waist, gripping the back of his robe. Lance shudders for a moment, wrapping his arms around the boy’s neck, head resting right over his shoulder. Slowly he continues his small ministrations with Keith’s hair, tangling his fingers over the raven locks.
Keith grips him tighter, face hidden in his neck and oh so softly Lance finally hears small sobs. He draws in a shuddering breath, pressing himself closer against the Black Paladin, heart breaking at every sob that tumbles out of his mouth.
“I thought I lost you” Keith says between cries, furrowing himself deeper into the embrace, almost afraid at what could happen if he let go. Lance lets him take it, drawing small circles across his back, trying to soothe him the best he could. His heart breaks at every shudder and sob that comes out of Keith’s mouth over and over again.
“I’m here” He never wants to part from Keith “I’m here Keith, I’m not going anywhere”
The raven haired boy lets out a wet chuckle and leans back to look at him. Their eyes find each other’s instantly and neither breaks away. Everything comes flooding back inside; the incident with the Galra, the confession from Allura, the fight with Veronica, the whole ordeal with the letters. It feels so far away now, with Keith pressed against him.
“You’re a fucking idiot” Keith pulls away just enough to lock their eyes together “What were you thinking of going into battle without your armor” Lance grimaces, the bandages around his torso a reminder of that.
“I didn’t really have time for that” He comments, glancing away from his friend’s upcoming glare “I was with Blue when the alarm went off. Didn’t really have a moment to go grab my armor”
“I swear I’m not letting you out of my sight after this” The Black Paladin sniffles once more, brushing away his stray tears. Lance wants to pull him into an embrace once again, body aching to be close to Keith once again. The raven haired boy gives him another look and then sighs. Carefully he connects their foreheads together, a breath away from each other.
“You scared me” Keith shudders, tone heavy and full with worry. Lance sniffs once, already feeling the tears gathering at the corner of his eyes. Slowly he reaches his hands out to Keith, nestling them around his shoulders and cradling his head between them.
Keith doesn’t hesitate to plant a small kiss to his palms, relishing in the contact shared between the two. If he wasn’t blushing before, he sure was now. His fingers tremble against the boy’s skin, emotion too high and intense. Feelings he couldn’t place before finally blossom once more right before his eyes.
“I’m sorry” He apologizes, pushing himself even closer to Keith “I never meant to hurt you Keith. I’m sorry” The Black Paladin gives him another look and then he carefully sits down on the bed, right next to him. Lance doesn’t wait and wraps his arms around him, their legs tangling together as they tumble back into the mattress.
Keith smiles against his neck, arms securely wrapping themselves around his waist. Lance furrows deeper into the boy’s warmth, head nestling against his neck and just breathing. All embarrassment or hesitation is thrown out the window in that single moment. He almost died (again) and he’s not going to waste his opportunity now.
With a renewed vigor, Lance peers up at Keith, who is already looking back at him. Heat floods his cheeks, surely spreading all the way down to his toes, but he continues.
“I-I promise-d-” He starts, voice shaking all over the place. Lance clears his throat, eyes avoiding Keith’s gaze once more “I promised you we would talk. After, well, after you know...”
A heavy silence lingers between the two of them and Lance just wants to hide himself inside the covers. Stupid, stupid, estúpido I shouldn’t have said that his mind screams back and forth, regret taking hold of his body. Keith continues to stay silent, eyes still stuck on him. Nope, maybe another day and as he tries to pull away from their embrace, the Black Paladin only holds him back down.
There’s a small spark of pain shooting across his chest, but he ignores it at the hopeful look etched on his friend’s face. There’s an unspeakable fondness shining in his eyes, that strikes him speechless. Lance can feel his heart drumming the moment away.
“It doesn’t have to be now” Keith murmurs, the fondness still there, not dimming in the slightest. Something grips at his heart. No, he needs to have this talk now, it’s can’t wait another day, hour, second “We can wait until you’re healed. I don’t want to push you”
“You’re not” The Black Paladin’s eyes widen just a fraction “You’re not pushing me into anything Keith. I want to talk”
“Okay” Keith accepts, lips forming a small smile. Cute bastard you’re killing me here , he thinks as he slowly nestles closer to the boy’s chest “Okay, we can talk”
“Right” Lance sighs, and fuck where does he even start? This mess was too tangled to even make out the beginning of it. So maybe start slow “So you got my letter?”
Not that slow.
“Yes” Keith breathes out a laugh, eyes full of mirth. Lance pouts, already feeling his friend’s harassment in future conversations about this “Yes Lance I got your letter a few days ago” And just like that Keith is slightly pushing back and presenting him with an all too familiar red envelope.
Lance’s words die on his mouth as he just stares at the letter. Slowly he inches forward and grabs the red paper into his hands, cradling it with the utmost care.
“Well as you noticed you were never supposed to read it” He whispers, eyes stuck on the red envelope. His friend only nods in response, unable to say anything else on the matter “No one was supposed to know of their existence until they were delivered”
“How many?” Lance turns to Keith, a small frown already appearing on his face as he looks up at him. His friend grumbles, a pink blush dusting his cheeks, but something else entirely brewing down in his eyes. The moment their eyes make contact a shiver goes down his spine, freezing him up “How many letters were delivered?”
“Uh, I-I think like four or something? Two were left in my blue box after the whole mess” His friend grumbles something under his breath and Lance wasn’t sure of what was going on. Before he can even ask about it, Keith tightly hugs him, softly shifting them into the bed. They’re both lying down on the mattress, face to face, eyes locking on each other.
“That’s...a lot of letters” The Black Paladin mumbles and Lance grins, his mind already clicking everything into place.
“Are you jealous Keith Kogane?” He jokes, surely the purely, stoic and brave Keith wouldn’t feel jealous over some letters. Lance jokingly sways the letter over his (toned) chest before stopping and laughter dimming. The raven haired boy frowns even deeper. There’s no way in hell “Wait, are you?”
Keith groans out loud, averting his eyes to the ceiling. He tightens his hold on Lance and presses them closer. A rush of happiness and joy eats him up from the inside, a chuckle already slipping past his lips. Then another and another.
“Ay dios ” He laughs “You are jealous!”
If Lance though Keith was embarrassed before, that was nothing. The Black Paladin’s face erupted in a red blush, spreading all the way from his cheeks to the top of his ears. It was honestly so endearing and something he would be doing more often from now on.
“Of course I am”
He stops laughing, gaze stuck on Keith’s eyes.
“How did you expect me not to be?”
Fuck now he’s the one blushing.
Lance whimpers, hunching his shoulders and hiding from the other’s view, hugging the letter even closer to his chest.
That was completely and utterly unexpected. Whereas younger Keith would deny his feelings, going as far as to avoid talking about it and beat the shit out of the simulator, older Keith doesn’t back down for a second in terms of emotions. He’s going to kill me , he thinks, for real this time .
“No fair” He protests and the raven haired boy only chuckles in response, pulling them together. They are chest to chest and nose to nose. The constant beep of his heart monitor echoes in the room, a total contrast to the explosions of color going off inside his chest. Lance slowly looks up, eyes immediately drifting down to Keith’s lips.
It’s a miracle he hasn’t kissed them yet.
“You didn’t have to”
“What?” Keith asks, their eyes finally finding each other once again.
After everything that happened, Lance was past leaving a matter un-said. If Keith was going to be upfront then so was he.
“You didn’t have to be jealous” Surprisingly his voice doesn’t waver, soft and smooth words said out loud “The feelings I conveyed inside my letters had been true at some point. And now, my heart isn’t in the same place”
He blinks and completely focuses on Keith.
“With the exception of yours”
The look Keith gives him, melts away all of his insecurities and worries in an instant. Hope flashes right before his eyes, a look so tender reflected right back at him. He never knew, never thought someone would look at him this way. It’s much more than he ever dreamed of. More than whatever he’d been hoping for.
“Then...” Keith whispers the words just for the two of them “Then why’d you run away?”
“I...” He trails off, not even sure himself of the answer. If he had been honest with his feelings from the start, maybe they wouldn’t have ended up in this situation, or maybe they would’ve ended up in a worse situation. But, nonetheless, Lance had run away. He had run away from Keith, when the boy was waiting for him with open arms.
Lance looks down at the red paper once again, the edges a bit rumpled and wrinkled all around. The memory of him writing the letter once again flashes in his mind; all of the insecurity and nerves taunting him as he wrote it.
“I wasn’t sure” His voice trembles, fear now gripping his heart like a vine “At the time everything was going too fast and my mind couldn’t catch up. I should’ve talked to you since the beginning but I didn’t know if I still felt that way or even if you...”
“If I had feelings for you?”
He shouldn’t be surprised at Keith’s bluntness at this point, but this didn’t even stop the blush dusting his cheeks. He stammered around his words, eyes darting and blinking from one side to the other, fingers shaking as he continues to hold onto the letter.
“Y-Yeah” Lance’s blush deepens at the small squeak from his voice.
His heart stops for a moment, only to pound even harder against his cage. Lance exhales, mind still stuck on those words, before looking up at the boy right next to him. There’s no joke, no sign of a prank or anything in between. It’s just Keith looking right back at him, adoration radiating from his face.
“You do?” He whispers, trembling all the way as the question leaves his lips. Keith continues to smile and carefully tightens the hold on his waist, bringing them together against each other. Lance can see every single lash over Keith’s beautiful indigo eyes.
“I’ve been in love with you for a long time”
Keith was in love with him?
“You love me?”
Never in a million years did he dare to think that Keith Kogane might return his feelings.
The thought seemed so bizarre, so out of reach, that he never gave it much thought. But now, now with Keith lying right next to him, it was there.
Lance wrote his letters as a way to cope with his feelings. A way to just stop thinking about the war and just let himself be a boy again. A boy with crushes and lost loves, just like everyone else. Those letters conveyed every single feeling and hope etched onto them. And to think, after all of this mess, they led him back to hope; led him all the way back to have the courage to love someone else; led him back to Keith.
It seems surreal.
“I do Lance” Keith’s voice rings against his ears, hearing the love pouring out of it “I love you with everything I have and more”
His breath hitches, emotions coiling up against him and engulfing him from the inside. A rush of affection stabs him right in the heart and faintly he hears the heart monitor speeding up just a bit. He lets out a breathy laugh, tears pooling at the tip of his eyes as he carefully moves his hands to cradle Keith’s against him.
“I love you too” He whispers and then presses in a soft kiss against his palms. Lance turns back to look at Keith, stunned at his confession. He can’t help the laugh bubbling out of him “I meant every single thing on that letter Keith. I’ve meant it this whole time”
Keith continues to look at him, blinks and then he’s surging forward, their lips meeting into a kiss.
We’re kissing, we’re kissing, I am kissing Keith Kogane.
It’s so much more than he imagined. Fireworks are exploding inside of him, overtaking every single worry and preoccupation he previously had. Keith is the only thing in his mind; to his beautiful eyes, perfect eyebrows, rough hands and sweet, sweet lips.
Lance throws his arms around his shoulders, the letter slipping past his hands as he starts roaming and pulling the end of Keith’s hair, the kiss deepening even further. Keith presses them even closer, his arms fitting around his waist like a puzzle piece, drawing slow circles around his back. It makes him shiver all over, pleasure rising with each passing moment.
He never wants to stop.
He wants to stay in Keith’s arms for all of eternity, kissing the living daylights out of him, enjoying the soft push and pull from their lips. God he’s so far gone for this boy. Lance snakes one of his arms underneath Keith’s shirt, the urge to touch his skin all too great for him.
The Black Paladin shudders at the first touch, slightly pushing back. They part and Lance is left trailing after him, eyes slowly opening to look up at him. He feels the blush darkening his cheeks, but he’s too far gone to care.
He wants Keith’s lips back on him.
“Kiss me” He pleads, voice hoarse and rough “Please kiss me Keith”
He doesn’t have to ask twice, as Keith surges down to fulfill the request.
Their mouths move together in synchrony, pushing and pulling, neither one straying away from the other. Lance doesn’t hesitate and fully touches Keith’s exposed back, relishing in the shivers left behind. Feeling him skin against skin is doing something to him, mind a muddled mess. He moans deep into their kiss and that just seems to encourage Keith even further.
He feels the Black Paladin’s hand trailing down and down over his hospital robe, stopping right above his bare legs. Carefully he places his rough, calloused hand over his thigh and begins to slowly stroke his skin up and down. Lance trembles all over, parting away from their kiss to whine.
Keith doesn’t wait and kisses him down his jaw, trailing down and down, peppering his neck with deep kisses. Lance moans once again. It’s too much, too soon. His insides are burning and he never wants to stop. His hands continue to roam around Keith’s back, feeling every muscle and shiver coming from the boy. Hesitantly he trails his hands over his chest.
God he’s ripped.
Lance softly touches every patch of skin he can get his hands on, relishing in the shiver wrecking over the Black Paladins body. He pants just as Keith latches onto his collarbone, kissing it over and over again before softly biting into it. A whimper escapes his mouth, hands shaking from the pleasure.
“I love you” Keith pants, the words making him whine once again “So much”
“Keith” His mind can’t process a single thing “I love you too, I love you with all of my heart”
He moans once again just as Keith leaves a mark over his neck and dives back in for a kiss on his lips. Lance trails his hands over the Black Paladin’s back, nails slightly scraping against his skin, the pleasure building and building. God he hopes no one comes to check on his heart monitor.
Keith growls into the kiss and it drives Lance to the wall, wanting, needing to hear that over and over again.
They continue kissing as fervently as before for who knows how long. It could’ve been seconds, minutes, years, Lance doesn’t know and certainly doesn’t care. Their lips slow down, leaving behind soft touches and small moans shared between them. His fingers tremble as they tangle over Keith’s hair, massaging his locks over and over again.
Keith gives him one last chaste kiss before they part. Lance shivers all around, trying to catch his breath and slowly peels his eyes open. He can still feel Keith’s breath against his own lips and he’s tempted to kiss him all over again. Their eyes find each other and the intensity over the Black Paladin’s eyes leaves him breathless once more.
“Wow” He giggles against the mattress, everything clearing inside his mind. He peeks his eyes to look at Keith once again, only to see a smug smile taking over his lips. Lance giggles once again, his cheeks heating up instantly “Really smug about this huh Kogane”
“Obviously” The Black Paladin leaves another kiss over his jaw “I just had one of the best kisses of my life and my boyfriend was making such beautiful sounds. Anyone would be happy”
“Oy” Embarrassment floods him once again, and he prays no one was near their room to hear all of that spectacle. He shuffles closer to Keith and swiftly drops a small kiss over his cheek and then another to his nose “Boyfriend huh? We’re official then?”
“You’re crazy if you think I’m letting you go after all this” The Black Paladin grumbles, a pout and a frown framing his face. Lance giggles in response, burying his face deep into Keith’s hold, furrowing against his raven black hair “But if you don’t want that I-”
“I do!” He pulls back, a joyous laugh already past his lips “I do want to be your boyfriend Keith. I want to go on silly dates with you. I want to be there for you in the good and the bad. I want to support you in everything. I want to keep kissing you, I-” He can’t keep the love pouring out from him, his eyes watering at all of the scenarios “I just want to be with you”
Keith looks stunned, eyes wide and mouth agape. His lips stretch into a fond smile, before he drops another sweet chaste kiss to Lance’s lips. They melt together all over again before parting once more.
Carefully they settle further into the bed, each of them with a pillow below their heads as Keith drapes the discarded covers over their bodies. He hears the soft sound of the discarded letter meeting the floor and before he can reach out for it, Keith is already picking it up. The boy gives the red paper a fond look before giving it back to him.
“Keep it” Lance finds himself saying those words, not regretting them for even a second. Keith smiles in response and drops a kiss over his forehead. The boy carefully folds the letter once more, before tucking it inside his uniform’s jacket.
The moment the Black Paladin settles back into the bed, Lance immediately presses himself against him, hugging his waist and settling his head over the boy’s chest. Keith softly chuckles and presses a soft kiss over the crown of his head.
“Hey” Lance peeks up to look at his boyfriend (god what a wonderful word).
“I still want to apologize.” He sighs and squeezes Keith’s sides a bit tighter than before, “I’m sorry I made you wait this long to properly talk. That was unfair from my part and well you hardly knew what was going on with the letters. I’m sorry I tangled you up in this mess. I’m sorry about that night back in the dorm-”
“Hey slow down” Keith starts to rub small circles into his back and it’s so addicting. The Black Paladin presses another kiss to his temple before continuing, “You don’t have to apologize, I forgave you a long time ago”
Lance smiles and reaches out to cup his boyfriend’s face into his hands. Keith goes in wordlessly before they kiss again. Then again and again.
“Besides,” The Black Paladin says between breathy laughs “That night on the dorm I was hoping you would kiss me. You don’t know how much I cursed Allura up and down in my head”
“I didn’t know what I was do- wait ” He stills and looks up with suspicion at the man lying before him “Yo-You were awake the whole time?!”
“I could hear you muttering to yourself outside the door Lance” Keith says, eyes full with amusement as he dies from embarrassment “You’re not exactly subtle”
“You asshole” Lance groans, trying to push himself away from Keith’s embrace but at the same time not really wanting to part with his boyfriend. The Black Paladin only laughs harder and presses himself closer. Lance pouts, looking up at the raven hair and that only earns him another kiss on the lips “You’re the worst”
“And yet you love me”
Butterflies continue to swim around his chest at the charming look Keith is giving him. Lance can’t help the smile that breaks out of his lips as he leans into his boyfriend’s embrace and furrows deeper into the covers.
“And yet I love you” Lance smiles a few stray tears slipping past him “I love you Keith”
His boyfriend doesn’t hesitate to kiss him again.
I’m not really sure what I’m writing down here. This is extremely confusing for me and I’ve never thought I would find myself in this situation. But well, so far this method has worked before, so why not give it a shot.
It’s not like you’re ever going to find this letter.
Or know about my feelings
I’m just going to write it down here and hope this doesn’t develop any further than a simple and stupid crush.
I like you Keith Kogane.
I think I’ve fallen in love with you.
I say I’m surprised but that’s a lie from my part. I’ve had feelings for you ever since the Garrison, it’s no wonder that now back in space those feelings are coming back to haunt me. I’ve tried and tried to ignore them. I tried forgetting I ever felt butterflies swimming in my chest every time I saw you.
But I couldn’t.
I tried to gain your attention countless of times. I started this rivalry with you just so you could notice me. And it worked (it kinda did at least). But then one day you were at school and the next you were gone.
I thought of you every day, wondering and hoping you were all right, that you had taken refuge somewhere in the Arizona desert. But I constantly worried about you, always wondering where you had run off to.
What’s worse is that after a year, I find you again and you don’t even know who I am.
You broke my heart with a single question.
But then you put it back together all over again.
Call me cheesy and overdramatic, but one of the best things that happened to me in space it’s been getting to know you. Before I only knew what you showed people; you were closed off, snarky and very temperamental (I even remember the time you beat Griffin to a pulp). But right now; you’re still temperamental, but you’re passionate, determined, honest and you care. You care so much about us in your own way.
Really it’s no wonder I fell for you even harder.
I don’t even know what to do anymore. I’ve tried to ignore it. I really tried, but nothing’s working.
I don’t want to mess the small friendship we have. I’ve already messed up enough in the past and this is the closest we’ve been since forever. I’m not screwing this up. I don’t want to mess up with the team dynamic and I don’t want things to get tense between us. I don’t want any of that, and I’m sure you don’t want this either with everything that’s been going on.
I’ll ignore my feelings.
I’ll ignore my heart and just continue like we have been.
Nothing would come out of this anyway.
But on here, on this paper, I’ll let myself say it.
Just once will be enough.
I love you.
I love you Keith.