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When Two Worlds Collide

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                Sometimes the complete entity of space amazes Lance. The idea of space, and how expansive it is; especially with how it just seems to go on and on forever, would always entrance Lance when he was a young child, as he used to spend all of his time stargazing at night with all of his siblings. To Lance space had always been a never ending thought for, like an unattainable dream that was always just slightly out of reach for him. Lance never thought that he could actually make it there, and that he would be stuck on Earth for the rest of his life. The day that he was excepted into the Garrison was one of the happiest days of his young life at the time. It was even better than when his Mami'  used to let him lick the spoon first whenever she would bake cookies or cakes before his Papi' could take the bowl away from her. So space had come to remind him of an old friend that's always there for you in your time of need, regardless of what's going on at the time. That thought always seemed to help calm and soothe him whenever he was partically lonely or homesick. Then there are the times that space has turned out to be the form of another super villain to him, just like the Zarkon and the Garla Empire. At the same time that space was a like a warm welcoming friend that, it also happened to be a cruel, cold, painful and powerful mistress. And she seemed to be very interested in all of the ways that she could make Lance's life a complete and utter living Hell to him.  Especially on those occasions where  he feels very lonely, homesick and very outta tune with the rest of the world and his team. Which seemed to be happening a lot more lately now, what with the pressure of the war and to defeat the Garla looming over his head constantly. During those times, space really seems like what in reality it is a vacuum, a vacuum that just sucks up everything in it's path and destroys it in a blink of an eye. In those rare time, that have been becoming more frequent lately It can feel like that space was beginning to suffocate him.  It's like he can't escape it's pull no matter how hard he tries, and that just makes Lance have a unsettling feeling of unease. Sometimes he worries that space will just suck him up like the rest of the universe and he'll be destroyed like everyone else.  In Lance's worst days Lance fears that he'll be lost and trapped in space for forever, and that he'll never get to see his family ever again. He constantly worries about how his family must be worried sick about him and how they probably think that he's dead now, and is gone forever. And worrying about how he must of "died." On those nights Lance cries himself to sleep at night.           

                 Which brings Lance to where he is now, wandering the halls of The Castle of Lions late at night. Lance had started getting into this habit not that long after the thrill of being a defender and savior of the universe had finally began to wear off. Walking through the halls at night when everybody else was asleep in their rooms, has always seemed to put his mind at ease. After those walks he'd always sleep like a baby. Walking the halls at night gave Lance's brain something to do, it was an activity to keep him occupied. Having a mixture of ADD and ADHD can sort of do that to a person. When he was little, his parents had him on meds to try and control it, but he didn't exactly remember to bring them with him when him, Hunk, and Pidge had snuck out of the Garrison the night that Shiro crashed landed in the desert. Though it was a good thing that he brought his Fidget Spinner with him in his pocket to help him when he gets overwhelmed in situations. Having his little stim toys with him, made being away from Earth just a little bit easier on him. And so far nobody had really paid that much attention to his spastic behavior, and has written off as him just being him. Deep down Lance knows that the team is like a second family to him and that they would never mock him for his condition, but it always made him anxious whenever Hunk would bring up telling the rest of them. It also helped that there would be a less likely chance of him getting caught doing it by anybody else. Though the only two people who he was worried abut figuring him out were Keith and Allura. He didn't want Allura to think any less of him for being different than the rest of them. And he always thought that Keith would just use it as a way to make fun of him, he knows that Keith probably wouldn't go that, but he could never be to careful since he didn't actually know that much about Keith. He knew that they all would worry about him, especially Hunk. And nobody needed to worry about him on top of everything else that's going on in their very chaotic lives. So walking around the Castle had become sort of a habit for Lance to do almost every night that he could before bed, for over a good month now at least. And it really helped Lance to calm down after a very tough mission, that really left him shaken. It didn't take him that long to realize that the cause of his stress induced insomniatic walking was the recent loss of their leader Shiro. The loss of their beloved Voltron Leader had hit everyone pretty hard. And it didn't take a genius to acknowledge that a certain Red Paladin was taking this certain loss even harder than the rest of Team Voltron. Even the space mice and Kattle Necker were upset that he was gone. The dynamics of Team Voltron hadn't been the same ever since their last face off with Zarkon.  Sometimes Lance wonders if things will ever go back to being like they used to.   

                  While on his rounds through the Castle, especially this late at night, Lance never in a million years would have ever thought that anything would happen to him during his little midnight outtings. So you could say that Lance was completely surprised and in shock that when he walked into the common room and saw that Keith was sitting there on the couch. Lance had decided to hang back at the door's threshold and observe the situation since Keith hadn't seem to notice his presence in the room yet. So he stood back and just watched his supposed rival, with and instense, curious stare, and yes he knew how creepy and stalker-ish it sounded. He just wanted to see what Keith was up too. At the moment Keith still seemed to be completely oblivious to the fact that he was no longer the sole person in the room anymore, or he just didn't seem to care one way or another who was there with him. Lance had noticed that Keith was sitting curled up into a ball in the middle of the couch, with his head resting on his knees. Even though Keith was dead silent Lance couldn't tell if he was crying or not but he could defiantly tell that his body was shaking. This was the first time that Lance could actually get a good look at Keith since Shiro had disappeared on him a couple of months ago. At least he thinks it was months, time works out differently in space than it does on Earth. 

             Upon getting a closer look at his rival, his self appointed arch nemesis in his opinion, Lance could tell that Keith wasn't acting like Keith. To Lance he seemed more closed off and yet more vulnerable than he could have ever thought possible. To be sitting curled up in a ball, and being made to look as small as possible wasn't normal or typical Keith behavior. Keith was the type of guy who was you typical bad-boy loner, that everyone wanted to be or swooned over him. (Not that Lance would ever admit to either one of those things, he just hated, he means hates the guy's guts ok!) He liked to lean up against the wall with his arms crossed. And he almost always gave off an air of superiority and that vibe of "I'm better than you." Well at least to Lance he gave of that type of impression to him ever since they were kids at the Garrison. And that's what always annoyed Lance about Keith. And with Keith being the team's hot head, and yes he is a hot head they even got him to admit it. Lance can remember when they got him to admit it in front of Shiro, the man almost died of laughter. It was so funny to watch their calm, cool and collect leader crumble into sheer and utter laughter at the expense of his pseudo baby brother. Everybody could tell that Keith was completely embarrassed about it but didn't say anything about it for his brother's sake. And later on Keith had confided in Lance that he didn't mind being made fun of if it meant that he got his older brother back to the way that he used to act before the Kerberos mission that changed his life. And Lance didn't fail to notice the fond look in Keith's eyes as he told him this. It reminded Lance of the love that him and all of his siblings share with each other, and how much he misses that bond they had. So seeing Keith so vulnerable and fragile looking especially when no body else was around kinda had Lance unnerved, just a little bit. That's when it hit him that maybe he should have listen more to Shiro's advice on being nicer to and befriending Keith. He always lectured them about how they had to work together as team and how that require as much team work as they could get. And he had always told Lance and reminded him repeatily on many occasions that him and Keith weren't that different after all. And had they just set their pride aside from the beginning then perhaps their relationship could have been different than it was now.     

                   Though there's no use dwelling on the past and what actually could have been between them when Shiro was still here with them. Now it has Lance thinking about things that he could do to change that. Maybe he could try and reach out to Keith now, extend the branch first, and that could possibly cause a blooming friendship between them. It got him thinking about how he should go and reach out to Keith now. It seemed like a good idea to Lance since Keith seemed like he needed somebody at the moment, what with his older brother vanishing and more than likely probably dead, not that long after he had just gotten Shiro back after thinking and believing that he was dead for over a year. And besides it's what Shiro wanted for them anyway, and it would be good for them in the long run of things. And who knows it might actually work out this time unlike all of the other attempts either made by one of them or the another member of Team Voltron. Normally when the two boys are left alone, it simulates the reactions of what happens when you mix electricity and water together. Those instances in turn normally portrayed what happened when you leave a curious child alone with a cup of water and an old T.V. The end results never turned out well for anyone and Lance can only assume that they gave up to keep from killing him and Keith while trying to get the two of them to play nice. Though maybe now being under different circumstances and being different people than they were when they first came to space maybe this could actually work out in the Team's favor. Now even though Lance has always been petty, spiteful, and hateful towards Keith and all that the two have done together, even he can admit that both of them along with the rest of the others have grown and changed in the amount of time that they have been in space. Lance himself could say that space has not only boosted his ego, but it has also considerably humbled him a lot. Believe it or not but actually being in space has made Lance more down to Earth. See that pun there! Anyway Lance had grown up a lot since they first came out here who knows how long ago. All that Lance can tell you is that it's been a long time since he's seen his family. He hadn't seen them in almost 4 months before he left, with the only exception being his sister Veronica who was working on becoming an analyst for the Garrison. Moving, on to his best friend, Lance can honestly say that Hunk Garret is a different Hunk than he was when they first arrived enough in space. Hunk has surprisingly gotten over most of his motion sickness issues. Hunk can now maneuver his Lion or any other type of space craft in any way shape or form and not end up hurling on anybody. Hunk has also grown a thick skin with a little bit of a back bone. He's no longer afraid to voice his opinions and plans that he has. He can also tell it to you like it is and now can stand up for himself, rather than just doing it for his friends. Next, was Pidge, boy has that little girl come a long way. Lance didn't think that anyone could be as assertive, mouthy, and bossy, yet kind gentle and as intelligent as Pidge. Lance sometimes forget that Pidge is younger than all of them, and that she's one of the only two girls on board of the Castle. She's still as determined as ever to find her brother and father as she was when they first got here if not more. And Lance can tell that she has grown increasingly attached to everyone here, especially Keith. He isn't quite sure what kind of connection that they have with each other but Lance knows that it runs deeper than people realize. Maybe it's the fact that neither one of them are that big of fan or being around people. Moving on to Shiro, Lance can honestly say that the man, the myth, the legend, that he had worshipped for years of his life was like nothing that he thought he would ever be. Getting to know Shiro made him seem more human to him, and helped get rid of the Idol worship that he had. Shiro was a giant nerd, he was a very intelligent man, with a heart at least 3 times the size it should be. Lance had watch the man crack up at the most random times, and it made him realize that Shiro is human and not that much older than them. A fact that most of the time Lance forgot about. Next, is the Princess, when Lance first met Allura he thought she was the most beautiful woman that he had ever seen since his mother. She was very regal and perfect in Lance's eyes, though over time that view changed in a multitude of ways. For example when Keith discovered his Garla background, and Allura threw a racist hissy fit. And how devastated Keith was after that when she wouldn't talk to him for a long time, and began to close up in on himself again. It warped his view of the woman that he thought would be the mother to his future children in a bad way. Lance can remember pulling her to the side not long after and giving it to her like it was, for how bad her treatment of Keith was. Even Coran was still treating Keith like normal and the Garla took everything away from him too. It was the first and only time that Lance could ever remember cussing Allura out like he did and he didn't regret it either. He didn't get in trouble for because Allura never bother to tell on him to Shiro, since he wasn't speaking to her either. Now, speaking of Coran, Lance can he hasn't changed as much as the rest of them have. Coran still tells story after story about his adventures as a youth on Altea and all of the trouble that he got into. One of the only big differences is that he treats everyone like they were his own children, Lance will tell anyone that Coran takes care of them like they're blood related. And that helps Lance's homesickness a little bit sometimes. And the last person on this list is their very own Red Paladin Keith. Keith has made some considerable changes in Lance's opinion. Keith had opened up to them a lot over their time in space. He'll actually laugh at people's jokes now! And he acts calmer and more subdued around Lance, it's become harder to rile him up about anything anymore. Don't get him wrong, Keith is still a hot head. but he's toned it done a little bit for the most part. Keith had made a lot of progress of being the loner type, and he was starting to come out of his shell. And the only big set backs were finding out that he's part Garla, and losing Shiro yet again. And since Lance was so lost in thought that he didn't realize that the Fidget Spinner that he always carried around with him had fallen out of his pajamas pants' pocket. That is until is landed on the floor with a very loud thump. It snapped him out of his trance, because the noise was so loud. It made him freeze, because he had realized to late that the noise had drawn Keith's attention away from his thoughts to where Lance was standing in the threshold of the doorway. He had caught Lance watching him, like a creepy stalker. He was busted. CRAP! 

                For what felt like hours to Lance, could have even been days he was so freaked out, Keith and him had been locked in this sort of starring contest. Dark, beautiful vibrant indigo eyes, were locked onto a pair equally beautiful scared crystal blue eyes. Even though this really wasn't related to the his current conflict or any matter at hand, but Lance loved the way that Keith's bangs had fallen into his eyes. It made them look mesmerizing, and breath taking, in such an adorable way that it made Lance's heart hurt. (But he would never admit that to anyone, EVER!) That look made him appear to be younger and more fragile than Lance has ever remember him being. It was times like these that reminded Lance that him and Keith were the same age, with Keith being older by a couple of months, and that he held the whole entire universe's weight on his shoulders. It also made Lance realize that maybe that weren't that different from each other after all. The two boys still continued to  look at each other, their eyes locked onto the other's with some sort of unbelievable intensity that Lance didn't know even exists. This lasted a little bit longer until Lance broke first because he couldn't take it anymore. (Real big shocker right?)            

                 "Uhh… Hey man fancy seeing you here..." Lance inwardly cringed at himself once those words left his mouth. He really needs to work on thinking before he speaks sometimes. Great, now Keith will probably think that Lance was an even bigger idiot than he probably already thought that he was.  Well, at least he was prepared for any type of ridicule or taunting or teasing that Keith could throw at him. With their normal speaking routine being filled with mainly insults to each other, and slightly harmful gibes about each other Lance was prepared for it all. After all Lance was a big boy ans could take it just as good as he could give it. Though he was surprised when Keith never answered him back after he had spoken to him. Lance waited, and waited, and he waited some more, but Keith's expected snarky remark to leave Keith's mouth never came. As a matter of fact nothing happened after he spoke to Keith. He just sat in his spot on the couch, in silence. He looked like a statue in his frozen state starring at him. It was beginning to creep Lance out with how eerily calm he was being at the moment, and how it was so unlike Keith to do that. He was completely stoic, even more so than usual, it was so unlike Keith. Normal Keith would have been and about ranting and raving made, yelling and cussing out Lance in every language that he knew for Lance invading his private moment. Pardon his French, but Hell, normal Keith wouldn't have taken this long to notice that Lance was in the room with him and was watching him. But this Keith was sitting there, starring at him like he was see through. He looked shell-shocked, and not all there at the moment. He was still trembling, but it had seemed to have gotten worse as time has gone on. And the look in his eyes, was what got to Lance the most. It made him scared, rather that was scared for or of Keith he didn't know. He just knew that he didn't like that look in Keith's eyes. His eyes seemed to be empty, and hallow, almost completely lifeless. It was like he was some sort of robot that was devoid of all and any human emotions. And that freaked Lance out a lot. 

             "Keith...Buddy, are you ok?" Lance asked softly. He was banking on the fact that maybe if he kept on talking, then maybe Keith would get fed up with his chattering and yell at him to shut up or something. Then he would be snapped out of whatever funk that he was in and they could move on with their respective lives. His plan backfired, because it didn't seem to be working in the slightest. "Mullet." Lance said this time a little bit harsher than before. His tone came off as harsher than Lance intended him to be but he was desperate here to get Keith to respond to him. Keith still didn't even flinch what so ever. Fine, if Keith didn't want to act like a normal person and talk things out, then Lance will do it for him. After marching over to the couch, Lance had furiously snapped his fingers in front of his face, trying to get his attention. Still Keith showed no signs of movement at all, not even the tiniest bit of a reaction. So Lance then figured that if that didn't work than maybe a more physical approach would do the trick. So, he grabbed Keith's shoulder to try and shake him out of his stupor. Though when Lance's hand made contact with Keith's shoulder was when Keith had begun to flip out on him. Lance didn't really believe his reaction at first to just a simple touch. Keith had flinched violently at the contact like he was being burned. And his eyes were scanning around the room like a wounded animal searching to see if it's predator was still out lurking around for it, and was looking for a way out to safety. In this flurry or movement, energy, and emotion Lance was to distracted to notice when Keith made a move to grab his arm and flip him over the couch.           

               Once Lance was on the ground, trying to recover all of the air that was knocked out of him, Keith had sprung up from the couch and had bolted from the room out into the hallway. It was like there was some sort of fire licking at Keith's heels. As Lance laid there on the floor all that he could see was the ceiling of the common room as he heard Keith flee from the room. So he had missed Keith's raven locks disappearing out of the door as he ran away in what Lance could only guess was fear. It took awhile until he was able to get up from the ground to go and try to investigate what had just happened. When Lance was finally able to get up all that he could think about was how weird that interaction was between him and Keith.  Like really weird, even for a Keith conversation to have happened. So you can only imagine how confused Lance was at what had just happened. And you better bet that Lance didn't sleep a wink that night because he was up all night worrying about Keith and what his little melt down was all about. Who knows. But Lance knew that he had to get to the bottom of this, whatever it took.

 

Chapter Text

                           The next morning Lance walked into the dinning room to have breakfast with the other Paladins, Allura, and Coran. He was dead tired and was lagging behind after the night he had last night. And on his way from his to breakfast, Lance began to look around the Castle for Keith on his way there. So far he had checked Keith's room, the bridge and training decks. And he has yet to find Keith in any of those locations. Giving up on his mission for the time being, Lance preceded to head to the dinning hall for breakfast. Upon entering the room Lance was shocked to see Keith sitting there in his usual chair for all of their meals. He was sitting in his seat across from Allura and Coran with no food and a vacant, haunted look in his eyes. It kinda creeped Lance out just a bit. So he decided to go to the kitchen where he knew that his best friend Hunk was, and maybe Pidge since she wasn't with the others.           

           "Morning Buddy." Lance greeted Hunk as he walked into the kitchen. "Hey Lance, you're up early." Hunk said as he looked up from his cooking. "How did you sleep last night man." Lance sighed at the question as he started to think about his very weird encounter that he had with Keith last night. " Well to be honest with you man I didn't." The look of worry on Hunk's face at Lance's confession was well deserved. Even before space and at the Garrison Lance suffered from homesickness induced insomnia. It wasn't that bad at first, at the Garrison Lance still had Veronica with him and the two McClain siblings called their family every night like clock work. Though in space with no Ronnie or any way to contact his family had taken a large noticeable toll on his best friend. He has spent more than one night in Hunk's room, venting and crying over it. So Lance was quick to reassure his friend and put his worried mind at ease about the situation. "No. Now, before you start on your freak out triade Hunk, it's not what you think it is." Lance told him calmly. "It wasn't my insomnia this time that kept me up all night." Lance told him. "The reason that I didn't sleep at all last night had nothing to do with me or any of my family." He took a deep breath in between his thoughts to let it sink in for Hunk that he was indeed ok. After a few minutes Hunk let out a long suffering sigh and turned back to his best friend. " OK, so if you're fine then why were you up all night last night?" Hunk questioned him. That's when it hit Lance that he would have to tell Hunk about what had occurred last night between him and Keith in the lounge room. Lance was so screwed, he just didn't know it yet.     

                     After the 25 minutes that it took for Lance to explain why he was up all night last night, Hunk went into this thinking mode. During their conversation Hunk's face took on his blank mask, that concealed his true emotions with a very neutral expression, in a true Hunk-like manner that only he could pull out. Lance had hoped that Hunk wouldn't get mad at Keith for his outburst last night. it wasn't Keith's fault that Lance was to stupid to remember that he wasn't supposed to sneak up on Keith after the first time that he tried to do that. Part of the only reason that Lance told Hunk any of this was because he wanted his help on how to handle the Keith situation. Lance was terrified that there was something wrong with Keith and he wanted to help him through it. It was what Shiro would have done if he were here. Lance just needed to know where he was supposed to start with it all. Lance wasn't Shiro, he was just Lance and he wasn't good at being Shiro so he needed Hunk to help guide him through this part. He just wanted to help his teammate.   

                   5 minutes later after Lance had explained everything to Lance he finally answered him. "Well Buddy, I don't know exactly what to tell you here Lance. " Hunk told him as he hugged Lance. Lance sighed to himself at that. He was afraid that Hunk would tell him that. He couldn't do anything to help Keith if he didn't know what to do first. "Well, what am I supposed to do then ?" Lance asked him. He couldn't just leave this issue alone! This was serious, what happened last night with Keith was something that you couldn't just forget about like it was nothing. All that Lance could think about now was the scared, and wounded look in Keith's violet eyes the night before when he tried to reach out to him. He had to do something to help him, even though the two of them hated each other and were rivals. The guy had just lost the only person in the world that was like family to him, and now he was all alone again. That stuff hurts. And Lance should know how that feels. He can emphasize with him, since he comes from a fairly large family, and he grew up being taught to be very family orientated. He knew how much it hurt to loose someone that you love and are close to. 

            "Maybe I could just talk to him about it?" Lance had suggested to Hunk. Though maybe that wasn't such a good idea. Keith is a very closed of person by nature. He's impulsive, hot headed and introverted. Lance seems to think that he suffers from some sort of anxiety disorder or other mental illness. His older cousin was diagnosed with one of those when they were children, and had to be put on medication for it so that he could function like a normal person. Lance isn't sure exactly what's wrong with Keith, or if there anything that Lance could do to help him through what ever he's going through, or if there's even a way for them to treat it in space. But talking to Keith is better than just sitting there on his hands and doing nothing to help him at all. "It's better than nothing I suppose." Hunk told him. "So you think that I should do it?" Lance asked him nervously. Even though he knows that it's the right thing for him to do, Lance was still scared to confront Keith about last night. He didn't want to set Keith off again and end up making matter worse than what they already are. But he had to do something about this, and he had to man up and fix this before it started to effect the team dynamics.   

             Once,

Once, he finished talking with Hunk, Lance went into the dinning room and sat down next to Keith in his usual place at the table.  He glanced at him out of the corner of his eye to watch him carefully as Hunk brought out the food that he had prepared that morning for breakfast. Lance also glanced around the table to see who all was there this morning. He was happy to report to himself that everyone was present, including Pidge, even though she was asleep at the table until Hunk sat down her plate in front of her and it startled her out of her sleep.   During breakfast, Hunk and Coran were the only people out of the whole group who were talking the whole time. To be even more specific, they were the only ones who talked at all during breakfast. Pidge fell asleep in her breakfast multilpe times, and had to be woken up repeatidly throughout the meal .After the second time that they had to wake her up, they just let her sleep, since they all knew that she probably wasn't sleeping at all at night. Allura, just sat there quietly and ate her food in silence. And when she was done with her meal, she spent the rest of the time on her table, fiddling around with something that Lance couldn't tell you about even if he knew what it was. While Lance sat there and watched the people around them to check and see if they were ok or not. And then there was Keith, who just sat there with a glazed look in his eyes the whole time. Lance wasn't a hundred percent sure rather or not that Keith even ate at all that morning. He's pretty sure that he just sat there until he wanted to leave and didn't touch any of his food at all.  Lance was about 79% sure that him, Hunk, and Coran were the only ones who actually ate their breakfast fully.    

       When breakfast was over, Hunk had carried Pidge back to her room to sleep, once they got everything cleaned up after breakfast. Nobody minded about that one bit. They knew that Pidge was staying up late at night, running every program that she has on her computer and all the ones that she had made up as they have gone through space trying to find her father, Matt, and Shiro. She was running herself into the ground by doing this, since she was burning the candle at both ends. She wasn't sleeping, barely eating, and 9 times out of 10 if you tried to talk to her she'd bite you head off. After the kitchen was cleaned and Pidge was back in her room, everyone else in the Castle had scattered throughout the ship for the whole afternoon.  Lance knew that Hunk went to Yellow's Hangar after he put Pidge to bed, so that he could do some upgrades on his lion. Coran was headed down to the engine room to check the boilers, or the turbines, maybe. Lance wasn't sure what it was that he was going down there to check on, but he knew that he was going to check on something in there. Allura had disappeared off to somewhere in the Castle that wasn't where Lance was at the time. And for once, he didn't really care to know where Allura was. And it didn't take a genius to figure out where Keith had gone off to after breakfast. Whenever Keith is conscience and able to move and sometimes when he isn't he goes to the training deck to blow off steam. For Lance this seemed like a good time to go and talk to Keith about the night before. So Lance had decided  then and there that he was going to confront him and figure out what was going on. At least he could keep on eye on him that way. 

     Lance was able to catch up with Keith on his way to the training deck. And the two of them had walked down to the training room in silence. Which was sort of out of the ordinary for Keith and Lance. Normally the two would be at each other's throats at this time. They would be arguing, bickering, or doing something to get on each other's nerves to start a fight with the other. Though this time, that wasn't the case at all, they just didn't talk to each other and kept to themselves. It felt slightly foregin to Lance, because by this time on any other occassion he would be in the middle of egging Keith on to the point that he would have blown up at him, and that would have ended in a fight by now. Though this time Lance us being the bigger person in this situation, or a bigger person than he normally was in these situations. He wants to help Keith even though they don't really get along that well at all. Lance guessed that they're sort of on a truce- an unspoken one at that- at the moment in time. Maybe this time though things will work out in everyone's favor at the end, Lance thought to himself.   

    Upon entering the training room, Keith went one way to train by himself, and Lance went the other way so that he could keep up his disguise that he was training also, but in reality he was watching Keith as he trained. Keith went strait to sparring with the gladiators and his blade like ususal. While Lance grabbed his bayard and went to the targets for shooting practice. For the longest time, neither one of them spoke to each other, never said anything at all. Keith was in his own little world while training, it was like no one else exisited. Lance would glance over from time to time to make sure that Keith hadn't lost a limb, or done any sort of damage to himself. In general speaking, they just trained, and trained, and then they trained some more. During this whole time period Lance had always managed to keep his eyes on Keith for at least 5 minutes at a time, then look away for a bit, as not to raise suspicion to Keith that he was watching him. Even if Keith had caught on to what he was doing, Lance was pretty sure that he was just ignoring him the whole time that they had been there. And it was starting to get to Lance, just a little bit. He hates it when he  is ignored, it drives him crazy! And he was never one to handle being in complete silence well.  

          "Hmm........Hey man,.....how's it going?" Lance asked as he cleared his throat. He had walked up to Keith, when it seemed like he was taking a break with his training, trying to get him to talk to him. At first Keith just flat out ignored him, Lance wasn't going to lie about any of that. It didn't piss Lance off as much as he thought that it would have. Regardless,  in that time Lance just stood there watchin Keith as he went back to his training. All that Lance could think about was how graceful and elegant Keith is when he trains. He's so majestic when he's ripping apart gladiator robots, if that's even possible. Lance knew that Keith is always in his element when he's training. Lance never realized how good looking Keith is when he's covered in sweat, and his chest is heaving, working overtime to supply his body with oxygen to keep him alive. He's hot, and fierce and... and.. Ok, that thought train ends there and should be derailed entirely and be shoved off the tracks and over a cliff right now. Keith is his friend, sort of and the thoughts that he is having right now are not ones that he should be thinking about him like that at all. 

        Lance was so caught up in his thoughts about Keith that he didn't realize that Keith had stopped training to look at him curiously. When Lance had finally came back to himself and the real world, he was face to face and chest to chest with an indifferent Keith. Well, technically face to face, more like face to chin, since Lance is about 6ft-6'1, and Keith is a solid 5'9. So, there's just a little bit of a height difference between the two boys. And lance knew for a fact that Keith hated every inch that he had over him. It probably didn't help that Lance likes to tease him about his height a lot. "What do you want?" Keith said horasely. Even though the bluntness was a total Keith thing to do, Lance could tell that he had been crying earlier from how gravely his voice sounded. It was fairly obvious that Keith was feeling down and was not acting like himself. And Lance felt sort of bad at how helpless Keith sounded in that moment. "Nothing?" Lance said. From the look he got, he could tell that Keith didn't believe him one bit. "You want something." Keith said to him. Lance could tell from the tone of his voice that Keith was loosing patience with him. "Ok." Lance admitted. "I just wanted to ask you if you wanted to hang out me or something." He told him. "It's not like I was standing here waiting for you to be caught off guard so that I can off you or something." Keith just stared blankly at him for a few minutes, his chest still heaving from his work out. "Fine." He mumbled at first. If Lance wasn't standing as close to him as he was he wouldn't have heard him. "What was that ?" He said to be annoying. Keith looked at him and then he shouted, "I said fine, I'll hang out with you !" Then stormed out of the room. Well, at least he got Keith to talk to him and give him a verbal response, instead of sucker punching him. 

 

Chapter Text

                                   

      Not that long after Keith had stormed out of the common room during his conversation with him and Lance had he realized what an idiot he had been. He was so stupid, he was so, so, so, stupid for letting Lance see him like that. He never should have let Lance see him in such a vulnerable state, once let alone twice! God he was such a moron, he never should have let his guard down like that. Now Lance has seen a part of him that he has never shown to anymore except his father and Shiro. And he had intended that no one would ever see him in such a state, never again, not what happened after the last time he thought that he could let somebody get close to him. He won’t go through that again, if he had to do that Keith really thinks that he would end up killing himself for it. And now to top it all off Lance was a witness to all of it. So now he had plenty of new materials that he could use to tease and taunt him mercilessly and hold over his head just to get a rise out of Keith and a laugh for himself. To make matters worse on himself was the fact that Lance never would have even found out about any of it if Keith had not had been stupid enough to let his guard down and go out of his bedroom that first night. The only reason that he had ventured out of his room during the Castle’s night cycle that night was because he had been suffering from nightmares for the past months. Sleeping and him hadn’t had been the best of friends for the past couple of months. Half the time Keith couldn’t sleep because of his insomnia was running rampant, and when he could sleep he was plagued with nightmares. And this particular nightmare had been extremely gruesome and felt very real. When it was over Keith had woken up in a cold sweat, with his heart hammering so hard in his chest that he thought that it might burst out, his ears were ringing so hard that he felt dizzy, and he was nauseous that he thought that he was going to puke .So he figured that he left his room to go through a walk that he might be able to calm down his nerves enough so that he could at least salvage a few hours of sleep. Normally when he couldn’t sleep he would go to the training room and train himself into exhaustion. But this time around his body and his mind were both so tired that he could hardly function. He knew that if he had gone down to train that he would have hurt himself there and there would be nobody awake to come help him. So once he had calmed himself down Keith thought that a walk would be the right thing to do help calm himself down and relieve some of the stress he was feeling. He figured that he might as well do something useful since he couldn’t sleep.  And it probably helped that it seemed like something that Shiro would have told him to do.         

                     Though Keith hadn’t expected to run into Lance in the little secret hideaway that he had found and thought that he was the only one who knew about it. And he certainly hadn’t expected to have on of his flashbacks in front of him either. At this point Keith couldn’t even really remember what this particular one was about to be honest. All that he could clearly remember about that one was that feeling of pure and utter fear, and panic that just seemed to flow rapidly through his veins. And how his anxiety levels had just seemed to spike higher than he ever thought was possible, when he had realized that there was someone else in the room with him and he was no longer alone and able to suffer in peace. Keith had felt his lungs plummet into his stomach when his fear idled brain had pieced together enough to let him realize that the person in the room with him was none other than Lance.  And that one single thought alone was enough  to send Keith over the edge. And over the edge he did went.  

           After Keith was able to calm himself down after his first encounter with Lance, he had felt so embarrassed and so guilty. He felt embarrassed at the fact that he had ruined the reputation that he hah held up among the team. Keith knew that he had a reputation for being a hothead and that there was this some sort of image that people had of him whenever they thought about him. And especially the one that Lance had of him since he declared them “rivals.” He knew that most likely the vision that Lance had of him painted him as an all around pompous, and cocky, hothead  asshole who thought that he was better than everyone else. So for him to look and act, and to be so vulnerable around someone, that someone being Lance was unheard of. And not to mention that it was so out of character for him that it was downright terrifying to think of. And yes, he did in fact realize that he had probably scared and traumatized Lance during both of their encounters more than Keith was by them, but the amount of  embarrassment that he felt overid that feeling completely. Then there was the guilt that he felt for almost killing Lance the first time he saw him in an attack. He was lucky that he was able to snap himself out of his spoke out state that he stopped himself from hurting Lance. He felt so bad about that, yes he knew that Lance hate his guts, and wanted nothing to do with him most of the time unless he wanted to make fun of and poke at Keith, but Keith himself didn’t actually hate him. Even though the thinks that Lance can be annoying sometimes, but Keith liked Lance. He liked Lance more than anybody realizes. And yes, again he knows that it is a bad idea to fall in love with and gain a crush on someone who repeatedly tells you that they hate your guts. Keith sighed to himself as he ran his fingers through his hair. Once he got back to his room and locked the door he flopped down on his back on his bed. It was then that it really hit him that he needed Shiro here with him to help him deal with his problems. Keith didn’t know what he was supposed to do about this. It was hard for Keith to organize his own thoughts into something coherent when he was so exhausted from the lack of sleep he was he getting. Though that’s sort of self-explanatory since he’s pretty sure that he hasn’t slept at all since Shiro’s been missing after their last battle with Zarkon, and that’s been months ago. He would doze off periodically throughout the day sometimes, but it was never for long periods of time. He couldn’t sleep, and when he was able to barely grasp it, he was often plagued with nightmares that kept him up all night.   

            Locking himself up in his room had given him time to think, probably too much time to think when it came to the grand scheme of things. And with his own insomnia acting up frequently in the past little bit he has even more time to think. Being alone with his thoughts was always something that he found always dangerous for him. Keith wasn’t a one who was very open with his emotions, and good at communicating his feelings to others around him. That was why he blows up a lot of the time, because he can’t communicate what he wants and then gets frustrated with himself and the situation that he had been put in. So to put it bluntly, emotional stuff isn’t Keith strong suit and can be classified as something more of a weakness, and that makes it hard for him to deal with it. As he thinks about this Keith takes off his gloves and runs his fingers along the scars that cover his wrists. He just stared as them for a while and then it suddenly dawned on him that he hadn’t felt this low in a while now. The last time that he felt like this was 3 years ago when he had just came out to Shiro and Adam at the Garrison. Yes, he knew that coming out to two men who he already knew weren’t strait and were in a relationship with each other wasn’t really something to worry about. But Keith still did because he was still scared to death of their reaction to him. He can still remember being so nervous that he had thrown up on Adam after he had come out. Shiro thought it was hilarious, Adam not so much. During this trip down memory lane, the itch that was underneath Keith’s skin was burning to be scratched at. Keith tried to rein in his self-control, but the urge to do something about that was to strong to resist anymore. And to make his struggle even worse he could hear Shiro’s voice in the back of his head telling him not to do it. Telling him that he’s stronger than the desire, that he got through it once and he can do it again. And that he promised him that he wouldn’t do it ever again once they got him clean. And Keith cried to himself as he took his knife out of its holster and sild it across his wrist while he broke his promise that he had made to his brother.         

              It was a couple of hours later when it happened. After Keith had cleaned up all of the blood on his skin and blade and out both his gloves and jacket back on and layed down on his bed and just stared at his bedroom ceiling. A million thoughts were all running through his head, and they were all going so fast that they were making him dizzy. One of the biggest things that he was feeling was the guilt at what he had just done. He had been clean for 3 years now, with some help from both Shiro and Adam. And in a matter of no more than 10 minutes he had thrown all of that away and broke the promise that he had made to his brother that he wouldn’t do it again. Even when Shiro had went missing for a whole year for the first time Keith had kept his promise. He didn’t falter, he didn’t crack under the pressure, and he kept his word. Maybe the reason that he didn’t break was because he always knew that Shiro was out there somewhere and he would come back to him. This time though Keith doesn’t have that feeling anymore. Now he’s just hoping that they can find any remnant of Shiro that they could, and regardless of what had happened to him they get his body back. At least then he could get some closure and bury, the last of what family that he has left in the world. It’s then that Keith decided to move on to thinking about other things.           

                    Keith was so lost in his thoughts that he didn’t even notice that there was somebody outside his door until he heard a loud ‘Bang!’ It was so loud that it startled him out of his thoughts, he jumped up and grabbed his Marmora blade, ready to attack whoever it was at the door. Though he stilled his actions of walking to the door when he heard a voice on the other side. He was halfway to the door when Lance spoke to him. “Keith? You in there man? It’s me Lance.” He felt conflicted about what he was supposed to do at that moment. Keith knew that he had two options to choose from at the moment about how he can handle the situation. The first one was that he could always go and open the door, confront Lance and face his problems head on, thus getting rid of most of them. Or, the second option was that he could pretend that he wasn’t here and just ignore Lance until he went away. The big shocker to everyone here is that Keith had chosen the second option. Well, at least that’s what he tried to do. When Keith tried to move back to his bed, he got hit with a sudden dizzy spell that sent him toppling to the floor with a loud thud. He winced to himself on impact and hoped that Lance hadn’t heard it. Though all of his hopes that he hadn’t heard where dashed when he heard the lock on his door be overridden and opened. And there at the doorway stood Lance.   

           The scene that Keith was currently in was kind of almost comical to think about. Here he was sprawled out all over the floor, in what can be deemed a very compromisable and vulnerable position for him. And then there’s Lance who just standing like a statue in the doorway, looking gobsmacked and a little lost. If this was any other type of situation then Keith would have laughed his ass off at how stupid Lance looked at that moment. Though being in the current situation himself at the present Keith was more inclined to disappear into the nearest hole available so that he could curl up in a ball and die. For what felt like hours to Keith and probably to Lance also, but in reality was only about 15 minutes, they just stared at each other like they were strangers who just met for the first time. The two boys could have passed off as statues, they were so stone like. And they stayed like that until Lance cleared his throat loudly breaking the tense silence between the two of them. “Uh….. Here, let me help you off of the ground.” Lance said as he moved across the room to help Keith up. It was then that Keith seemed to come back fully to his senses. “No, no, uh.. I got it.” Keith told him as he popped himself up to his feet.        

               Once Keith was back to a standing position and Lance was farther into the room than he was before, the atmosphere between the two of them was just plain awkward and slightly tense. Neither knew what to do with themselves or the other in the room given this situation that they were currently in. So, the two boys just stood across from each other in the middle of Keith’s bedroom actively trying to avoid eye contact with each other. After a few minutes of doing this Keith couldn’t take it anymore. “Look, Lance whatever it is that you’re here for just say it and get out ok.” Keith bit out at him as he moved to go sit back on his bed. Looking back over his shoulder as he sat down on his bed at Lance, he could clearly see that his outburst hadn’t scared Lance off in the slightest. He just bent down and picked up his blade that he had dropped when he went down, and stood back up and headed back over to his bed. He stopped in front of Keith and handed him back his Marmora Blade. He then motioned for him to scoot over to allow Lance to sit down next to him on the bed. Keith took his knife from him and rolled his eyes at Lance as he moved over so that he could sit down on the bed next to him. Once Lance had sat down on the bed Keith felt himself stiffen up some. He was never good at or comfortable with human contact. His social anxiety had always made it difficult when he had tried to interact with other people and made it hard for him to deal with it. People made him nervous, and he always felt nauseous when he had to talk to someone new for the very first time.    

             Sitting on the bed with Lance next to him was seriously messing with his anxiety levels. It was getting harder for him to breathe normally all of a sudden. It was like all of the air in the room was getting sucked out of the room, and the walls were trying to close in on themselves around him. And Lance’s presence wasn’t helping to soothe his shot nerves at all. In fact it was making everything that Keith was feeling, and all of the symptoms that he was experiencing 10 times worse. Keith was so lost in his thoughts that he wasn’t paying any attention to his surroundings, so it was safe to assume that it was justifiable when he flinched when he felt Lance grab his hand. “Hey, hey, Keith, it’s ok dude…. You just gotta grab my hand and squeeze if you can hear me ok?” Lance told him in a whispered voice. Keith, for once did as he was told, and squeezed Lance’s hand in a death grip. “Ok, now I know that physical contact tends to help most people when they’re going through stuff like this, and it helps to ground people back to the real world. Now that we’ve gotten that taken care of and squared away we can move on to the next thing, squeeze if you’re listening.” Keith squeezed his hand harder. “Ok, now I want you to count and follow my breathing ok Keith, just listen to my voice and follow my breathing, can you do that for me man?” Lance asked him in a calm and caring voice. Keith squeezed his hand. “Ok, here we go, breathe in for 4, hold for 8, and out for 7 got it?” Lance asked him. Again Keith squeezed his hand as a sign that he understood. Lance took that as the go ahead to begin.   

             After what felt like hours to Keith he finally felt like he was able to breathe easier. Once him and Lance were done with the breathing exercises he just slumped over to rest his head on part of his bed frame, but he still has a tight hold on Lance’s hand in a semi-deathgrip. He was avoiding looking at Lance out of embarrassment and the fear of Lance’s teasing. Though Keith waited and waited and waited and nothing seemed to happen. It got to the point that he couldn’t take the silence anymore and brought his head up to look at Lance. He was met with Lance’s ocean blue eyes staring back at him. Keith felt a blush rise up to his cheeks and turned away again really quick in embarrassment. He then huffed when his bangs had fallen into his eyes in the process. Keith finally was able to let go of Lance’s hand when he realized that his own palms were beginning to sweat profoundly through his gloves. He was starting to close himself off again, at least that Lance could tell. He was so hoping that Keith wouldn’t do this to him, what had just happened between them was something intimate and vulnerable they shared with each other. And Lance was so amazed with himself that he was able to break through one of the many walls that Keith has built up around himself over the years. He’s come to far now for him to stop now.   

              Listening to Keith’s breaths even out, Lance would almost assume that he was asleep if it weren’t for the fact that his hands were still shaking slightly. And he knew that Keith was probably in no condition to talk at the moment. So, Lance just let him sit there in silence for a little bit, giving him time to recollect his thoughts and organize them back again after his panic attack. Lance was content to just let him be until he was ready to talk. And that was how they stayed until Keith decided to speak up first.    

           “What did you come here for Lance?” Keith asked him in a hoarse voice. He sounded terrible in Lance’s opinion. Keith didn’t sound like Keith, he sounded desperate, done, vulnerable and broken. It was a total juxtaposition from his normal behaviors. “I just wanted to come over here and make sure that you were ok.” Lance said softly. “You haven’t been acting like yourself lately and I was worried, then those 2 times that you freaked out on me and tried to kill me, I wanted to figure out what’s going on with you.” Lance admitted to him. “Look, I know that you and I don’t always get along that well and are able to see eye to eye but, I’m here for you man if you want to talk. Please, man I’m begging you, talk to me Keith.”  

               Keith sighed to himself as and brought his hands up to rub at his face. He knew that he should listen to Lance and open up to him and talk about what was going on with him. And like Lance said he was really ready to listen. But there was still that little part of him in the back of his mind that was telling him to run away and to hide like a child. Finally Keith just gave up and figured that he might as well go ahead and get this over with now instead of later. He took a deep breath and let it all out through his nose. He looked up at Lance and he could see the fear and hesitation in those indigo orbs. And the nerves that were shaking out in his hands. Keith’s whole posture basically screamed uncomfortable in big red letters. But he knew that Lance had him in a corner and there was no way out of this. He sighed before he said, “Where did you want me to start?”

 

Chapter Text

             “Where do you want me to start?” Keith asked him. Lance sat there for a few moments, completely and utterly shocked. He didn’t think that it would be this easy to get Keith to open up to him and discuss what has been bothering him for the past couple of months. Lance had just assumed that Keith would have put up more of a fight to talk than he did. Lance had thought that the process of trying to get Keith to talk to him would have involved more screaming, yelling and fighting. He thought that this conversation would end up in some sort of brawl. It hasn’t happened yet, but the conversation isn’t over yet. This fact was very unnerving to Lance that he didn’t have to do that much to get Keith to talk to him. Something wasn’t right here. And it kinda scared Lance, just a little bit.   

        

           After a few moments of careful consideration, Lance was finally able to tell Keith what his answer was. “I guess that I want you to start wherever you feel most comfortable at,” Lance said as he looked Keith in the eyes. He then moved to wrap an arm around Keith’s shoulder to provide some comfort for him. He had failed to notice the slight blush that dusted Keith’s cheeks and if he did, then he didn’t bother to mention it. It took a few moments before Keith was able to work up the courage to start talking again. He let out a deep breath as he focused his gaze to look back down towards the ground and on his feet. He never realized exactly how dirty his boots were until they were that he could focus his attention on without freaking out. He felt nervous about spilling all of his deepest and darkest secrets to Lance. The only person who has ever known about Keith’s life before Voltron and before the Garrison was Shiro, and now he’s gone so… Anyway, all of his life Keith has never really been one to talk about himself and he’s never really been able to be open with other people. He’s always just kept everything to himself and that’s how he’s always done it and that is what he prefers to do.    

 

                 “Huh…..” Keith shuddered as he rubbed his hands together. He didn’t know what had happened but it seemed like the temperature had just dropped low all of a sudden. And to add on top of all of his other problems, Keith hates the cold. Maybe it’s a side effect of living in a desert for pretty much all of your life, but the point is that it doesn’t take that much for Keith to get cold. He shivered once more and then looked back at Lance who just seemed to be sitting there waiting patiently on him to continue. “I guess that I should start with my childhood right?” Keith said after he cleared his throat. “I mean that’s where most people start when they’re talking about what’s bothering them right?” Keith questioned Lance. Keith was completely lost at what to do at the moment. He’s never done anything like this, no one except Shiro and the occasional social worker had ever asked him to talk about his feelings. Lance shook his head in approval like he knew what he was talking about and motioned for Keith to continue. “Uh... Well, I guess that I should start with my parents first.” Keith said with a little bit of uncertainty laced in his voice. “M-my Mom left not that long after I was born. My Dad didn’t like to talk about her that much, and I had learned not to ask about it, so we never really talked about her much, if at all.” Keith stated. And that was where Keith had left off about his Mother. What little information that he was able to get on her when he was younger wasn’t all that much. He had gotten used to the fact fairly quickly that he didn’t have a mother. Though he had always wondered what had happened to her. It wasn’t until he came to space that he realized why things never made any sense when it came to his mother. With her being Garla and all it kind of was a no brainer as to why she had left. It still hurt though. “Then there’s my Dad he- he,.....he uh…” Keith just kept getting more choked up the more that he tried to talk about his dad. His father was also another very, very sore spot for him in his past among many, many other things that had occurred.  

 

                        Lance had seen that he was struggling and had squeezed his arm tighter around Keith’s shoulder. And he could tell that by how stiff the other boy’s body language is that he was very stiff and uncomfortable about this conversation. It didn’t take a genius to see that Keith was barely keeping it together as it was, and it would probably only get worse as time went on. “Hey, Keith man it’s ok, just chill out some ok?” Lanc told him. “You don’t have to say anything that you don’t want to ok?” Lance said as he tried to soothe his nerves some. “I-I know that I need to be more open with not only you, but the rest of the team too, but I just can’t get the words out to tell you.” Keith confessed as he shuddered and wrapped his arms around himself. “Are you cold Keith?” Lance asked as he turned his head to get a better look at him. Keith didn’t say anything but Lance could tell that by the way that he was holding himself and shivering that he was probably just a little bit cold at the very least. Keith jumped up in surprise when he felt something being draped over his shoulders. He was even more shocked that it was Lance’s jacket that was wrapped around his shoulders.  

             

                      “Why did you give me your jacket?” Was actually what Lance had expected Keith to say to him as a response. That was the most typical Keith-like reaction that most people who know him can predict happening. He had figured out that Keith would be all weird and skeptical about being given his jacket, which he seldom takes off. And yes it was very rare, even during the training that they did without their armor on that he ever took it off. Lance had gotten that jacket for his last birthday that he had before they went up into space. Lance’s mother had bought him the jacket and had mailed it to his older sister Veronica who was also at the Garrison, training to be an analyst to hide it from until his birthday arrived. He loved that thing because his mom gave it to him and it’s one of the only things that he has of her and the rest of his family with him in space. Even though the only person who knows this is Hunk, everyone else knows that Lance never takes the jacket off, he just doesn’t. Until now though, and somehow it doesn’t phase him at all that the first person he gave it to was Keith. He just simply told him that “I gave it to you because you looked cold.” Dark violet eyes stared back at him in shock. It kind of worried Lance a little bit that Keith thought that it would be so hard for him to be nice to him without having no strings attached. And looking back on it now, maybe Lance shouldn’t have taken their rivalry for as far and as long as he did. But that’s exactly what he did and now you can’t go back and change the past. You can only move on to what the future can hold for you.    

 

                   The two of them spent the next little bit sitting in awkward silence on Keith’s bed in his room. Neither one of them had said anything to each other for a while now. Keith had spent most of that time looking down at his feet on the floor, picking a loose thread that was coming off on one of his pant legs. And Lance spent his time watching what Keith was doing to avoid making eye contact or any type of conversation with him. Even though Lance himself had thought that what he was doing at the moment was a little bit creepy, there was just something about Keith that him not be able to look away from him at all. He had never realized before exactly how attractive Keith was appearance-wise. With his pale skin, shaggy long black hair that gleamed and shined in the light, and those deep violet eyes of his. He looked beautiful like that, especially when he gets shy around new people that he hasn’t met before, right before he tries to take them out. He kind of reminds Lance of one of those male-lead vampires from those trashy teen romance movies that Veronica was obsessed with when they were children.    

     

                          Lance was so busy looking at Keith at that moment that he wasn’t paying any attention to what Keith himself was doing. It wasn’t until he saw those vibrant indigo orbs looking at him in questions that snapped him out of his haze. He inwardly cringed at himself at the fact that Keith had caught him staring at him. “Uh, hi…” He said, and then winced at how his voice had cracked in the middle of it. He had hoped that Keith didn’t come to think that he was a weirdo and stalker because of it. Though he never did say anything about it though, he just returned his gaze to the floor. It took a few more minutes before Keith cleared his throat and tried to talk again.        

 

                                “Umm…… Do you still want me to tell you?” Keith asked him in a low voice. “Cause what I’m about to tell you isn’t very pretty.” And Lance never thought that he would see the day that he would live to see the day that Keith Kogane had sounded so small when he talked. “Go on and tell me, Keith, we’re teammates, family, we have to be able to trust each other enough to be able to confide in one another about these things,” Lance told him, He paused for a good moment thinking over what he wanted to say next so that he wouldn’t freak Keith out. “You do trust me right?” Lance asked him. He had hoped that Keith couldn’t detect the nervousness in his tone. Keith nodded his head yes in agreement. Lance let out a long breath that he didn’t know that he had been holding. “Ok, are you sure about this though, this is your last chance to back out now?” Keith told him. “Yes, Keith I’m 1000% percent sure that I want to hear what you have to say to me,” Lance told him in a clipped tone, with a stern look on his face. Keith just looked up at him for a moment. There was something in his eyes, but Lance just couldn’t figure it out exactly what it was.  

   

                         “I guess that I should start with my Dad since he was the only family that I had ever known before Shiro came along,” Keith told him. “My Dad was the best and I’m not just saying this because I’m his and son and I’m biased. I’m saying it because it’s true.” Lance chuckled at that comment. He could relate to that feeling. Almost every little boy always thinks that their Dad is the best Dad in the whole wide world and that was the end of it. “He was a firefighter, he had made it to being one of the Captains at the station when I was 11.” Keith had explained to him. “Everyone looked up to him because he had reached such a high rank and at such a young age also, he was a real-life hero…..” Lance had gotten a little worried when Keith had just started to trail off mid-sentence of the conversation. He was about ready to go and ask him if he was alright when he head Keith let out a choked sob. Lance reacted quickly, his reflexes going into overdrive, and wrapped Keith up safely in his arms. He also made a mental note for later on that Keith was skinny. Hugging him like this Lance had noticed that he seemed skinnier than he was before. Worried, he stored that bit of information away for later and would go to ask him about it later.    

   

                     “It’s ok Keith,” Lance whispered into his ear. “It’s not ok Lance!” Keith screamed. There came in the yelling match that they were missing from their normal conversations. “It’s not OK! My Dad was a hero, he was a nice person and he died like he meant nothing.” Lance was taken aback by his friend's outburst. He was also shocked to find out that one of his friend’s father was killed in a fire. “He burnt to death in that building like a caged animal, all because the owner was too lazy to keep it up to code.” From his tone, Lance could tell that Keith was still very hurt by the circumstances of his father’s tragic death and it affected him deeply. And Lance himself would probably be that much of a mess, if not more if their positions were switched. Though that doesn’t make it hurt any less for Keith though, he’s Dad’s still dead. “I’m so sorry Keith.” Was all that Lance was able to get out of his mouth. And he knows that it probably didn’t mean much if anything at all to Keith since he’s probably heard it all before at least a 100 times. But it was the only thing that he had, and Lance wanted to tell him something to try and make him feel better.    

 

                                Keith just sat there and looked at him for no more than a second, before it was like the entire dam had burst open. Lance flinched a little on impact when Keith had full out launched himself across the bed and into his chest. Lance was even more shocked when he had started full-on sobbing into his shirt. Once Lance had gotten over his shock, he wrapped his arms around Keith and he held him tight. He wasn’t quite sure how long that they were in that position for but Lance found that he didn’t mind it that much. All that he could think about was how he just wanted Keith to be happy.   
 

                         The two of them just sat there for a while before Keith had cried himself to sleep. Lance was a bit surprised that Keith was able to let his guard down enough for him to fall asleep on Lance like that. Well, it was more like he had fallen asleep in Lance’s arms like they did this all the time. And you better believe that Lance was glad that they were currently alone in the room now. He could just picture in his mind about what Pidge would do to them if she caught them like this. More so for his sake than Lance’s since Pidge always messed with him and Hunk, but it was extremely hard for her to get anything on Keith to use against him since he’s so quiet. And the part about being all anti-social doesn’t help him at all. It used to bug Pidge that he was so closed off before she got over it and moved on to tormenting Shiro before he disappeared. Keith’s closed off personality used to irritate Lance a lot too. Though over time he’s come to accept the fact that it’s just how Keith is and he couldn’t change that. He was just happy to have Keith asleep in his arms at the moment and have the ability to watch him sleep. Lance couldn’t pinpoint it but there was just something about Keith that drew him in. It was like a moth being drawn to a flame, the attraction pull was that strong. And he was really glad that Keith was getting the rest that he needed. Oh, if only if Lance knew what he was getting himself into.   

 

                       

Chapter Text

                 

     Chapter 4
            It was quiet, very quiet, a little bit too quiet if you asked Hunk. Though that might be because he was currently alone in the common area of the Castle. He was very used to all of the hustle and bustle that normally occured in the Castle. Well that was the normal that he had gotten used to. After Shiro,... vanished everyone had adapted to a new normal. Hunk knows that the sudden and unexplainable disappearance of their beloved leader Shiro had hit everyone on Team Voltron hard. After Shiro went missing after  that last one in with Zarkon, things changed drastically around here. And being the very empathic person that he is, it didn’t take Hunk long to notice all of the changes both subtle and not that had happened almost overnight.      

 

                For starters there was Pidge. She was still as her fun loving, smart as a tack, tech guru self. But Hunk could see the differences. Pidge was one of the ones who changed more sutlely than the others did. Yes, she was very upset when Shiro vanished and she still is. Though Hunk has noticed that she had begun to isolate herself from the rest of the inhabitants on the Castle. She was more reserved than she used to be when they first came to space and that is saying something since they couldn’t really get her to talk to them at all in the beginning. Hunk hates seeing her do this to herself. Pidge now spends every waking moment locked up in her lab in Green’s hangar tinkering around with something. No one really knows what it is, and she won’t tell. He knows what she’s spending all of her time doing though. She’s in there trying to find a way to locate Shiro and her father and older brother Matt. This is the second time that Shiro has vanished on her and the rest of her family is still missing. He knew that she was having a hard time dealing with all of this. Hunk wishes that she would just open up to him or anyone really. He just wants her to take care of herself and sleep, like he knows that she hasn’t been doing this last little bit. He loves that girl like a little sister and it would break his heart if something ever happened to her.   

 

                   Moving on to the next member of the crew that he is worried about is Coran. The old Altean was still his usual eccentric and extravagant, and cheerful self. Though whenever Hunk sees him smile now, which is rare, he can see that it doesn’t reach his eyes anymore like they used to. Even though they haven’t known Coran and Allura very long, Hunk knows that Coran views all of the Paladins as his own family like he does Allura. All five of them were considered to be his niece and nephews along with Allura. The Yellow Paladin knows that Coran is having just as a hard if even harder time with the disappearance. He saw Shiro as a nephew or even a son-like figure. And from previous knowledge, Hunk knows that it is a devastating blow to a parent to lose a child when they were fairly young, just like Shiro and the fact that you are still alive when they die. All that Coran does now is sputter around the Castle “fixing” things that he deemed needed to be fixed. It was more like Coran was going around the Castle saying that things needed to be repaired to give him an excuse to be moving around and productive. He was just trying to do anything and everything to keep himself busy. Though to be honest, all of them Hunk was the least worried about him. Coran seemed to be handling all of this fairly well. He was dealing with the loss of Shiro. And from what Hunk could gather from the talks that the two of them have had over the past little bit, he was doing ok. At least Hunk could get him to talk about it, unlike everyone else when he tried with them and they just brushed him off.  

 

               Though Coran might be handling everything ok, that wasn’t the case for everyone. Allura was a very hard person to read. The young Altean Princess seems to be a master of putting on a facade for everyone to see while she is suffering on the inside. In all of the time that they have been in space he and Allura had never “clicked.” Now, don’t misunderstand what he was trying to say. He actually really likes Allura. She is a very intelligent, graceful, diplomatic beautiful and quite intimidating woman if you asked him. But the two of them just never went together like him and Lance did when they met back at the Garrison, or anyone else for that matter. It wasn’t what Hunk would consider a bad thing though. He still loved and respected her like he would any of his over friends. There was just a little bit more of distance between the two of them, unlike the others. They weren’t as bad as her and Keith though. A little distance never stopped Hunk though. Hunk knew that out of all of them, Allura was probably closest to Shiro. Afterall the two of them had spent a good bit of their time out in space planning out attacks and other strategies to help win the war. And there was nothing wrong with that. Allura could hang out with whoever she wanted to. And that just makes Shiro’s disappearance that much harder for her to handle. Hunk knew that Shiro’s disappearance was somewhat similar to the death of her father. From what little that Hunk knew about King Alfor’s death was that he had put Allura and Coran in the healing pods to protect them from Zarkon and his army. So basically he was here one minute and gone the next, which is exactly what happened with Shiro. And he could tell that all of the stress from the disappearance of Shiro and the Coalition, Zarkon, and now Lotor was taking its toll on the princess. She seemed colder, less welcoming than what she normally projects on tobotuers. And Hunk didn’t fail to notice that she seemed paler and that there were dark bags underneath her eyes. It was easier to annoy her and have her temper flare up. She was beginning to turn into a female version of Keith. It was a little bit concerning if you asked Hunk. The few times that Hunk had gone to Allura to see if she was alright, she had brushed him off and said that she had more important matters to attend to. Hunk eventually gave up on her after a while.       

 

                Speaking of Keith, he was one of the ones that Hunk was very, if not the most concerned about. Hunk and everyone else knew that while Allura may have been close to Shiro, their relationship whatever it was(He knew that Shiro had a male fiance at one point back at the Garrison.), it was nothing compared to what he and Keith had. And Hunk knew what the two of them had was completely platonic. Shiro saw Keith as a little brother, and Keith saw Shiro as an older brother or parental figure to him. So Hunk could only imagine how completely and utterly devastated Keith is about Shiro’s disappearance. And it didn’t take a rocket scientist to be able to tell that Keith wasn’t handling this well at all. Besides the fact that he either spent every waking hour training or out in Red trying to hunt down Shiro for hours on end, which wasn’t healthy at all. Hunk had also noticed a large change in his personality. Keith was acting more timid and reserved than Hunk had ever seen him before. And Hunk never thought that the words “Keith” and “timid” would ever fit together in the same sentence. Along with the fact that Keith was acting more subdued and muted than he ever thought was capalable he just seemed different than before. Hunk was used to the hot-headed and ill-tempered Keith who would go off on anyone that even remotely pissed him off and how it would happen frequently.  He was used to how Keith would disregard all orders and go out on a limb with his own plans during missions. Keith always trusted his gut feeling, and went with what he thought was the right thing to do if he thought it was right. But now it’s like the Keith that he knew had seemed to vanish when Shiro did. Keith didn’t really talk, though even though he’s a hothead he didn’t really talk a whole lot to begin with. From what he could conclude from Keith’s previous behavior, Hunk could tell that he was very shy and showed symptoms of social anxiety.      

 

         In all of the time that he had known Keith, he had never been pegged as a people person. He’s always kept to himself, even back at the Garrison where Hunk was pretty sure that the only person that he talked to was Shiro. He never really interacted with anyone unless he was forced to. And if you tried to push him into a conversation he would just blow up. Though all of that behavior was beginning to undo itself before Shiro went missing, again. And all of that change and progress that Keith had made over the period of time that they had been in space was now completely forgotten. And now Keith was more reclusive and isolated than Pidge was at the moment, and that was saying something. When someone did see Keith around, he was like some sort of ghost of his former self. He always looked down at the ground. His eyes always remained in a downcast position with a distance, far off look in them. His skin was paler than normal and he just seemed depressed. Hunk was very positive that Keith was depressed and in a very poor mental health state. He was really concerned and worried about him.     

 

                 The other person that he was really worried about was his best friend Lance. Lance’s normal attitude towards things was very laid back. Now don’t be mistaken Lance can be serious when the situation calls for it. Though at the moment he is acting very serious. A little bit too serious if you asked Hunk. He has always been used to Lance's jokes, horrible puns, even worse flirting, and bubbly personality. This new, calmer, more stoic and serious Lance was a tad bit too unnerving. There was nothing wrong with the way that he was acting at all, for anyone other than Lance. It sent alarm bells going off in Hunk’s head. He’s never seen Lance act like this before. And out of all of them Lance was one of the only ones who had opened up to him. He told Hunk how worried he was about how everyone else was doing. And Hunk had noticed how he had taken a special interest in Keith. The Red Paladin has always had some sort of a strong hold over Lance. Regardless of whether Keith knew this or not he’s always been able to get into Lance’s head and wedge himself underneath his skin. Hunk has always suspected that this infatuation with him and their heated “rivalry”, had more to do with the fact that Lance has a huge crush on Keith. Hunk’s not stupid, he has always figured that this huge obession that Lance has had with Keith ever since they were mere children in the Garrison had more to it than just being rivals. He’s pretty sure that Lance had used the excuse of being rivals so that he could be close to Keith. Or the fact that he thought that it would make it seem less obvious that he was in love with him. Though he could never get Lance to admit it all of the times that he had pushed.    

 

              Another thing that Lance had confessed to Hunk about was how strange Keith had been acting lately. He had told Hunk about the weird encounter that he had with him the other night in the common room And yes, it did seem a little bit odd even for Keith. From what Lance had described to him sounded like Keith was either sleepwalking or he was delusional.  And Hunk could tell that Lance was very concerned about his fellow paladin’s mental state. Especially with the fact that Keith had just gotten chosen by Black to be the pilot for them. They needed a leader for this team and they would all prefer that he was sane and in the right mind frame to be able to command them out in the battlefield Hunk had no problem with Lance helping. Hunk himself was also very worried about their new Black Paladin. He liked Keith, as a person and as a friend even though Keith is very stand-offish with all of them. He just wanted his friend, both of his friends to be alright in the end. He just hoped that Lance didn’t get too invested in this and end up with his heart getting broken, yet again. He’d seen it happen to him one to many times at this point and he knew that it was taking its toll on Lance.     

 

                     All that Hunk really wanted was for this war to be over. He was sick and tired of the fighting and the violence. He wanted to go home and be with his family. And he knows that these thoughts are selfish ones, but he doesn’t really care. He knows that he’s not the only one of them to want to go home, to be with their families and to live a normal life. Still his statement stands though. When the war is finally over Hunk had this grand scheme of his. His plan was to head straight over to the Balmera and take Shay and the rest of her family back home to Earth with him. From there they would all live happily ever after with his family on Earth, where they would all be safe. And if it was up to him know, Hunk would hop in Yellow and go straight over there get them and leave. He was done with all of this.    

 

                 Was this a far fetched dream? Yes, yes it was. Did Hunk really care about what anyone else had to say about it? No, no he did not. He also knew that there was a good chance that this will probably end up with him dead once the war finally ends, if it ever ends. But this gave him something sweet to dream about at night. Thinking about Shay and the life that they could have with their two families on Earth. This gave him one more thing to hope for when he got up in the morning. And Hunk knows that he complains the most about being in space, he’s not going to deny any of that. But one thing that makes all of this worth it,, is the fact that by doing his job he’s keeping all of his friends, and family and Shay safe from any harm that the Garla could possibly bring to them. And from there he just hopes for the best. Since that’s all they really have at this point.

 

Chapter Text

                       

         Chapter 5 

 

             After Keith’s little breakdown, he just crashed. To be even more specific he fell asleep against Lance. And it was a sight that Lance will forever have ingrained in his memory. Keith’s ebony locks were all squished and messed around him in some sort of messy halo on Lance’s shoulder. It contrasted perfectly with his skin that it made it look like he was glowing in the light of the bedroom. He didn’t have the heart to wake him up, he looked so cute. So he just gently moved Keith to where he was lying down in bed. Lance stayed there on the edge of the bed for a while just watching him sleep. And yes, he knows that it’s a little bit creepy and a tad bit stalkerish But since no one else was around who was conscious at the time, so he didn’t really care. So what if he has a teeny tiny, itzy bitzy crush on Keith. It’s a free universe for the most part, or at least it is where they currently are. The whole point of it is that he can like whoever he wants to ok.    

 

         Lance was about 13 years old when he came out to his family as bisexual. He was a complete nervous wreck, and he was so terrified that he thought that he was going to puke. Though the reason that he was scared was different than the reason that other people are scared to come out to their families. Even though Lance comes from a very traditional Cuban Catholic family, they’re pretty open minded about things. Especailly things like different sexualitiyes. It all started with his Abuela immigrating over to the U.S. from Cuba. Lance was told the whole story about it when he was a child. His Abuela had fled Cuba when she was only 16 years old with her older brother Vincent. His Tio Abuelo Vincent is gay and he was publically outed during a Church gathering in Cuba. Even though the rest of the world for the most part was very open minded and very accepting of things like this, Cuba was still just a little bit behind on things. Vincent had become an outcast, and eventually a social pariah amongst the people in their hometown. And he was excluded from pretty much everything. It had gotten to the point that he couldn’t take it anymore and he left. His Abuela, who loves her older brother so much and the fact that they are very close even until this day, decided to leave with him.     

 

                 It was very hard for the two of them those first couple of years that they were in the U.S. Though before he left Vincent had gotten himself a job working on the docks in Miami, Fl. His Abuela had gotten a job waiting tables at the local dinner and she was going to school at night to finish her high school education. And they bounced around between places to live until they had enough money to buy a tiny little trailer in a dinky trailer park on the outskirts of town. When she finally got her GED, she went to community college to become a beautician. She graduated 1st in her class. During her college years she had met and married his Abuelo Edwardo. His Abuelo was also from Cuba and he and his family had moved to Florida from Havana when he was 6 years old. And not long after they got married, his Abuela became pregnant with his father’s older sister, his Tia Melissa. She actually graduated college when she was 5 months along with her. And Uncle Vincent ended up marrying one of his Abuelo’s best friends Max. He was of German and Irish descent and they have been together ever since.     

 

              So his whole family expecting him or not wasn’t the big issue here. The whole problem was that the year before his older sister Veronica had come out to their family as a lesbian. His whole issue was that he had thought that his family wouldn’t believe him because of this. Lance had thought that they would have told him that he was confused because of Veronica and should take more time to think about and make sure that he was right. But Lance knew, and he had known for a while now that he was bisexual and he wanted to tell his family. He had known ever since he had a very weird and slightly errotic dream about one of his older brother Luis’s friends. This was killing him and he wanted his family to know. Why you may ask? The answer is pretty simple, they were his family and they all deserved to know the truth about him. Though he was able to fix his problems with the help of his Tio Abuelo Vincent and his older sister Veronica. Then no that long after that was when he was introduced to the one and only Keith Kogane that next school year at the Garrison.      

 

               Ok, so Lance has basically been in love with Keith since they were 13 years old. And yes he did create that stupid rivarly that everyone on the Castle hated just to get Keith to notice him. And in all kind of backfired in his face. Instead of making him take notice and fall in love with him; Keith did notice him sure, but instead of falling love with him, he ended up hating him in the end. So Lance had tried a different approach. He began flirting with anyone and anything that had two legs and looked remotely human-ish that caught his interest. From Allura to Nyma, to many other diplomats from the planets in the Coalition he has met. If he couldn’t get Keith the old fashioned way by wooing him off his feet, then he would just make him jealous. Which was kind of easier said than done. Keith always ended up agitated with him every time he caught him flirting with someone. Though the fact that he was upset was because he was jealous or the fact that he was just annoyed and thought that Lance was immature he didn’t know.   

 

           Anyway, his crush on Keith wasn’t the sole reason that he was spending a lot of his time thinking about Keith. He was genuinely worried about the other teenager. He had been observing Keith from a distance like he normally does. (He’s not a stalker, he’s just highly observant and very worried.) He saw the bags under Keith’s eyes and how they just kept getting bigger and bigger. He notices how his reflexes are slower and his attacks in training are slower and more dull. He knew that Keith was dealing with the emotional turmoil that came with losing Shiro a second time. And he could sympathize, and somewhat emphasize with him on the matter, coming from a large family himself. When his Abuelo was killed by a drunk driver when he was 14, it was like his whole world ended. He was pissed at the whole world and didn’t really care what anyone else thought about it. His Abuelo was a good and honest working man. He never did anything wrong and didn’t deserve to die alone like he did.         

 

                Getting back on topic here, Lance didn’t want Keith to overwork himself so much that his body just shuts down. He knows that Keith is hoping that Shiro is still out there somewhere, alive, alone and possibly hurt who knows where and who knows what condition. Lance is also fully aware that this is the only thing that is keeping Keith going. He is also aware that at this point, since they haven’t heard anything from Shiro himself or any news that he’s alive from another some other source could only mean one thing. More likely than not Shiro is gone and he is never coming back because he’s dead. He knows that when Keith either realizes or finds out about that he’ll be crushed. Lance can already picture the meltdown that will ensure, It won’t end pretty either way. And he’s not 100% sure whether anyone can put back all the pieces in the aftermath.      

 

              Part of the reason that Lance is so worried about Keith is that he’s terrified that Keith will end up doing something stupid, Did he think that Keith was capable of harming himself or doing something way worse? There was a good possibility of it. He knows that Keith is a good person. Keith, even though he has trouble expressing his feelings and showing that he cares deeply about everyone on the Team is a good person. And he genuinely feels more than most people can realize. Lance knows that Keith is trying his best to be the leader that his team needed. But Keith can only be a great leader if he had the Team that he needs behind him to support him. And so far they have all fallen quite below what is required of them to help Keith out. And Allura wasn’t helping matters at all.    

 

            

              Ever since they made the discovery that Keith was part Garla. Allura has made Keith’s life a living Hell. Lance never thought that the Princess could ever be as racist as she was being with Keith now. It shocked everyone greatly, and that was when Lance realized that nobody was as perfect as they seem to be. Years of hatred directed at the Garla and what all they did not only to her people, but her family as well. All of this had soured her opinion of the Garlan race greatly. It wasn’t an excuse for any of her behavior this past little bit at all. And Lance certainly wasn’t giving her an out for the way that she was treating Keith, and it didn’t make it right either. But Lance could understand where she was coming from somewhat. Though out of the two of them Keith and him are more similar. Lance was used to being picked on by other kids for his race and accent when he was little, so he can relate.    

 

                Though Keith was trying his best to put up a front for everyone, his mask was beginning to crack. Lance, on more than one occasion had mentioned to Hunk about his worries for the raven haired teen. He felt marginally better after talking to Hunk about his troubles. Hunk has always been a good listener. He has always seemed to know just the right thing to say in any situation. He’s gotten Lance through more than crisis in their whole entire friendship. He’s very grateful for having Hunk as his best friend. He loves Hunk like he is a brother to him. Both of their families have practically adopted each other anyway. Might as well make it official.      

 

               But still, Lance just can’t get his mind off of Keith. Turning his attention back to the sleeping teen behind him. At the moment he seemed to be peacefully asleep. ‘Good!’ Lance thought to himself. Keith deserved to have at least one decent night’s sleep. All of the stress with Shiro, Allura, Lotor, Voltron and the rest of the war was taking its toll on him. He was pretty sure that he wasn’t sleeping at night, and hadn’t been for a long time. He could also make a food guess that he wasn’t eating at all either since he hasn’t shown up for any meals in weeks. He could tell that Keith had lost a lot of weight. And it wasn’t doing his health any good either.     



Chapter Text

Chapter 6  

 

              All that he could see was black and nothingness. Everywhere Keith looked there was just black. He had no idea where he was or how he got there. The last thing that he could remember before now was being in his room with Lance. Wait a minute… “Lance!” He had no idea where Lance was now or if he was alright. He couldn’t really see his surroundings that well, so it was hard to tell where he was and make things out in the dark. Keith knew that Lance was with him before he blacked out. He was beginning to panic a little bit at the fact that he couldn’t find him anywhere, no matter how hard he looked. Keith knew that even though Lance wasn’t particularly fond of him and that the two of them don’t normally get along well, he wouldn’t just ditch him. Lance was just too nice to do a thing like that. And Keith himself couldn’t ditch him either, he just couldn’t, he had to find him.          



         Wherever Keith was there seemed to be no concept of time. He had absolutely no idea how long he had been here already. It could have been hours, days, weeks, months, maybe even years. Though Keith would never admit it, he was starting to get scared for his life. And what was driving Keith insane was that he didn’t know who was behind this. He had come to the conclusion that whoever had taken him and put him here also had Lance with them at this very moment. Keith’s thoughts were running a million miles a minute, if not even faster. He was really starting to freak out now.   

 

                  Every bad scenario possible that he could think of was going through his head. And all of them ended with the out come of Lance getting hurt, or something even worse, Keith’s stomach was just rolling at the mere thought of it. He really needed to find Lance and get the two of them out of there and back to the others. But where were the others? Were they ok? Were they injured? Were they harmed? If Keith was losing his mind before , he definitely was now. One of the thoughts that was constantly running through his head was how horrible a leader he was.     

 

           Keith was no Shiro, that much was obvious from the start of all of this mess. Shiro was honorable, noble and so put together. He always knew what to do and what to say to diffuse a situation. Shiro always had everything under control. He had a good thing on his shoulders and a heart at least triple the size of his body. Keith on the other hand, was his complete opposite. Shiro was all valor, and he was a known hero back on Earth. Keith, well Keith was Keith, and he was a screw up, big time. He was brash, harsh, and stand-offish. He’s hot headed and is very prone to act first and think about things later, at some point. He somehow always manages to put his fist in his mouth when he speaks. He can never say the right thing, And when he tires, it always makes the situation worse. He was drowning in stress and extra responsibility and had no life raft, or anything to hold on to.    

 

                  The darkness was everywhere. It was starting to make him feel claustrophobic. He was beginning to feel like the walls were closing in on him. It reminded him of one of the foster homes that he stayed in. The parents used to lock him up in the hall closet for hours on end as punishment. During this, Keith did what he normally did the best in these types of situations. He ran. Though this time it seemed like the more that he ran, the worse it made things to be. And he was beginning to feel light headed all of a sudden. He had to stop when his legs finally gave out on him. It was at this moment that Keith had come to terms with the fact that he was more than likely going to die here. He was going to die a failure and a major screw up. Just like he’s been told of his life that he was going to be.     

 

                         Right when it was starting to feel like his lungs were trying to rip themselves from his chest, he started to hear things. Thinking that he was losing his mind and getting ready to die anyway, he didn’t really pay it that much attention at first. Of course all that it was, was a bunch of white noise. He couldn’t even make out what it was at first. After a while though it was more than just mind numbing buzzing going through his head. It was a voice. At first he didn’t really recognize it. But the more that the person talked, the more familiar it was to him. It then dawned on Keith that it was Lance’s voice that he was hearing. “Keith! Keith!” He heard Lance yell. Keith tried to do anything to make some kind of noise to get Lance’s attention to tell him where he is. Though all of the breath had been stolen from his body. All that he was capable of doing was gasping for breath. He knew that Lance was still talking but he couldn’t understand anything anymore. Just as he was closing his eyes, Keith felt the whole place start to shake. The choppy motion was doing his upset stomach no favors. He felt like throwing up when all of a sudden this bright white light came out of nowhere and into his line of vision, blinding him. Then it all went black.        



                        When Keith came to the next time, it was rough. When he opened his eyes, his vision swam and his stomach rolled then flipped. He tried to move to somewhere he could vomit, so he wouldn't choke to death on his own vomit. But his body was so out of whack that all he could do was roll over and hope for the best. He threw up as soon as his body made contact with the floor. And it wasn’t soft contact at all. He was able to push himself up onto his arms so he was less likely to choke on his puke.        

 

                   Keith felt like he was in the process of dying. He’s pretty sure that he has never felt so bad in his entire life. And that included that one time he ate an entire gallon jug of ice cream. Though it didn’t really help that Keith hated puke and vomiting in general. He was a big time sympathy puker. That was the reason that every time Hunk got sick he had to either leave the room or mute his comm line. He knew that he would end up getting just as sick if not sicker than Hunk if he didn’t distance himself from the situation. And his hatred for vomiting is also another reason that he has avoided all things alcohol and dairy products like the plague. He knew that if you get drunk enough you would puke your guts out. And Keith was also lactose intolerant, so that made everything at least 10 times worse. Anything dairy that he had consumed would do straight through him and he’d spend all night puking at the very least.      

 

                    Keith flinched violently when he felt something touch his back. Though he was a little bit too preoccupied to care at the moment, let alone do anything about it. “Hey, hey, it’s ok just, breath Keith. You’ve got to breathe man, just ride it out and it’ll pass.” Lance said. Ohh, it was Lance. At least he had fina;;y found where he went. They must have been put back in the same room after he passed out. That was good, sort of. At least he knew where Lance was now.  

 

                Keith shakily reached out his hand and grabbed at Lance’s wrist on his free hand. His grip wasn’t as tight as it could have been, but it was tight enough for Lance to get the message. “Ssh……, Hey Keith it’s ok buddy.” Lance told him as he continued to rub his back. “Calm down man it was just a dream, you’re safe.” Lance whispered into his hair. Keith shook his head and his heart rate picked up in speed just a bit. No, this couldn't have all been just a dream. It felt all too real to be a dream. There was really something wrong here.    

 

              Things were finally starting to calm down when Keith had started dry heaving. Lance held him against his chest, with his arms wrapped loosely around his waist.He had made it very easy for Keith to get out of his hold at any time he wanted. After awhile he just gave up and melted into Lance. He was tired and exhausted and felt gross as can be. But he couldn’t go to sleep yet. He had to figure out what was going on and if everyone was ok or not. He just had to. But he was struggling to keep his eyes open. His mind was very cloudy and muddled. He was having trouble trying to get his brain and mouth to cooperate with each other enough to talk. And Lance was so warm, and the calming patterns that Lance was tracing on the skin of his arms was very soothing. Before he knew it, Keith had ended up falling asleep in Lance’s arms. And it ended up being the best sleep that he has had in a very, very long time.