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Volume Four

Chapter Text

"Alternative"

Keith laid down, curled around his cosmic wolf. He had just reconnected with his mom, and, even though he wanted to curl up with her, he didn't want to inconvenience her. He closed his eyes and fell asleep.

%%%

Keith opened his eyes and was surprised that his surroundings weren't the cave on the back of the Space Whale. In fact, it reminded him of the headquarters of the Blade of Marmora.

"Yorak!"

Keith turned around in time to jump out of the way as a Galra ran through the corridor, being chased by another Galra, this one tailed.

"Regris," Keith breathed. He missed his partner. He had been paired with Regris on most of his missions, and they developed a close friendship as a result.

Keith watched as the two Galra accidentally ran into a large Blade, whom Keith recognized as Antok. He watched a bit fearfully. He knew Antok could be rough; what would he do to them? To Keith's surprise, Antok chuckled and scooped up Regris and his companion. When he started carrying them off somewhere, Keith had to run to catch up. He followed the large Blade but watched Regris and Yorak interact. It was also when Keith realized that he couldn't be seen as the two younger Galra looked in his direction and neither one commented on his presence.

Yorak looked a lot like his mom for some reason. He looked exactly like a male version of her actually. Keith came to the startling realization that this Yorak was an alternate version of himself, one that looked more Galran and had been taken into space instead of staying on Earth.

Keith followed them into a room that was filled with blankets and pillows. He saw and recognized the Galra sitting in among the pillows. It was Krolia!

"Mama!" Yorak leaped from Antok's shoulder and tucked himself under Krolia's chin.

Krolia purred to Yorak. "My kit."

Keith turned his back to the scene, willing himself not to cry. He wanted that familiarity with his mom, to be able to cuddle up with her.

%%%

Keith wasn't sleeping soundly; Krolia could tell. She was disturbed by the tears that slid down his cheeks and the little whimpers he made. She immediately crossed the cave to kneel by his side. She gently shook his shoulder. "Keith! Keith, wake up!"

Her movements caused the cosmic wolf to awaken, and he stood at Keith's side, whining and nosing his neck. The combined efforts of Krolia and the wolf were enough to rouse Keith, who awoke with a loud whine.

Krolia looked at Keith, who still had tears in his eyes, and drew him close to her chest. Keith whimpered and tucked himself under her chin like he had seen the alternate version of himself do.

"Keith, what happened?"

"I saw an alternate version of us. I looked more Galran and you apparently took me with you and raised me at headquarters. He called you Mama and sat like this."

"It sounds like it was nice for that version." Krolia looked at her son and could tell something was bothering him about what he saw. "But there's something else bothering you?"

"I can't help but think that you'd love me more if I looked more Galran."

"Oh, kit, no. I love you because you are Keith, my son, my sweet boy. I don't care whether you look more Galran or more human. I love you because you are you." Krolia purred to her son and wrapped her arms around him a bit tighter. "Why don't you get more rest, kit? I will keep an eye on you."

Keith snuggled a little further into Krolia's chest and gave a soft sigh. "All right...Mama."

Keith's eyes drifted closed, and his breathing evened out, becoming soft purrs of a sleeping kit. Krolia gently nosed his hair. She hoped she convinced her beloved kit that she loved him, because she loved him more than life itself and would willingly give her life if it spared his.

Fin