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Volume Four

Chapter Text

 

"Kit Keith"

Kit. Keith had been hearing that word a lot since he came to the Blade of Marmora headquarters. He didn't know what it meant. Maybe it was their way of saying human? They did say it to him or about him, instead of saying his name. He was 'the kit.' It was getting annoying not knowing what it truly meant though. Perhaps he could get it out of one of the Blades he routinely sparred with, Regris.

He skipped breakfast like he usually did and went straight to the training hall. He stepped into the familiar room and was surprised to find it empty. That was strange. There was usually someone in the room, no matter what time it was. Keith was a bit earlier than normal but didn't think that was a factor.

%%%

Kolivan, Antok, Thace, and Ulaz liked to think they were observant beings. There were only two lapses in judgement since Kolivan became leader of the Blades. Those two lapses resulted in Regris and Keith becoming Blade operatives when they were actually kits.

Speaking of the kits, only one was present for breakfast. Regris was sitting between Antok and Thace. It was his favorite spot, since he didn't like sitting between either pair of mates. After taking a bite of food, Regris looked around their table and then the hall, slightly confused. He swallowed and asked, "Where's Keith?"

Thace ran his hand down Regris's spine, a comforting motion. "We're not sure, kit. He's definitely on the base though."

"He better not be training," Antok grumbled. "The kit trains more than any other Blade."

Regris whined softly. He considered Keith a younger brother and didn't like the fact that he didn't act like a kit. Ulaz leaned across his mate and stroked Regris's headfur. "It's okay, kit. We'll find your brother. Just eat."

Regris went back to eating, earning him some pets from Antok. He briefly purred to him in between bites. Kolivan stood up. "I will go find our errant kit and bring him here. He needs to eat."

The leader of the Blade of Marmora was not usually one for searching for errant members. For him to volunteer to look for Keith, it meant that he was worried about him. Kolivan was indeed worried about Keith. He was too short, skinny, and skittish, especially for a kit. He was also way to proficient with a sword than kits even twice his age! In fact, kits Keith's age should still be prone to clinging to their parents and taking long naps.

Kolivan briefly stopped at the room Keith was originally assigned since it was on the way to the training hall. He knocked and called through the door, "Keith? Kit, are you in there?" After not receiving a reply, Kolivan said, "I'm opening the door."

He opened the door, revealing an empty room. Kolivan's ears drooped at the state of the room. He expected a messy room with a comfy nest in the middle, but what he saw was a room that barely looked lived in. The only thing that told Kolivan that this was someone's room was Keith's red and white jacket hanging in the closet and an extra pillow on the bed. It was so barren and cold, it hurt Kolivan's heart, and this being a kit's room made it hurt even more. Kits should be surrounded by soft things and pack members. Keith didn't have any of those things in his room.

Kolivan snagged Keith's jacket (and found his Marmoran uniform in the closet and taking it as well) and the extra pillow from the bed. He carried these things to his pack's nest room and set them to the side. The other kit was joining his pack; he didn't have a choice. The kit had to be suffering being alone. He made his way to the training hall, mentally berating himself for having another lapse in judgement. He thought the kit was okay and enjoying himself when he wasn't on missions, but that apparently wasn't what happened. The kit wasn't taking care of himself, which shouldn't have been a surprise given his age; he was a toddler, but Kolivan had thought that his human DNA had been in control more than his Galra DNA was. Apparently, it was only in appearance.

Kolivan entered the training hall and stopped when he saw the kit in question training. He knew he had been, having heard the clang of metal against metal from outside the room. He let the doors close behind him before he growled loudly.

%%%

Keith froze when he heard the growl, blocking the gladiator bot. He let his eyes flick over to where the growl originated from and was surprised to see Kolivan. Keith decided to quickly end the bot and see what his leader wanted. Keith sliced through the bot and sank to one knee. "Leader."

Kolivan stopped growling and approached Keith. "Rise, kit. Why are you in here so early? Everyone is still at breakfast."

"I don't usually eat breakfast."

"Kits should eat breakfast."

Keith paused. "What's a kit?"

Kolivan stared at Keith. "You don't know what a kit is?"

Keith shook his head. "I've heard the term many times, but no one ever told me what it meant."

"You never knew what it meant?" Kolivan swept Keith close and held him against his chest.

Keith closed his eyes and relished the contact. He liked how Kolivan was holding him. "No. What does it mean?"

"Kit is the term for a Galran child."

Keith opened his eyes and looked up at Kolivan. "But I'm not a child. I'm an adult on Earth."

"That may be true, but in Galran terms you are a small kit. Now, how long have you been training?"

"Uh, I woke up early. I don't really know how long I've been in here."

Kolivan nosed his hair and started grooming it. Keith froze before he relaxed against him.  "That feels good."

Kolivan didn't say anything, just kept licking his hair for a couple more doboshes. Keith felt his eyes close, and he started purring. Kolivan wasn't that surprised to hear the kit purring. Most kits liked getting groomed; he figured Keith wasn't any different. When he was done grooming, Kolivan scooped up the kit, who was half asleep. "Come along, kit. The others are waiting for us to join them at breakfast."

"So...sleepy."

Kolivan paused. It wouldn't do to have the kit eat when he didn't have the energy to stay awake, but it also wasn't good for the kit to miss a meal, especially when he was so skinny in the first place. Kolivan pulled out his data pad and typed out a message to his pack to make a plate for Keith and bring it to the nest. He didn't wait for the inevitable reply. He put his data pad back into his pocket and secured his hold on the now dozing kit. He carried Keith out of the training hall and into the nest room. He stepped into the nest and sat down, reclining in the nest. He settled Keith on his chest, stroked his hair, and softly rumbled to him.

The door to the nest room opened, admitting the other four members of his pack. Thace held a container in his claws, clearly it was meant for Keith. He placed it on the table before entering the nest with the rest of the pack behind him. They gathered around Kolivan and Keith.

"Is he okay?" Regris asked.

"He was training again. He grew tired when I groomed him. I only intended to get the sweat out of his hair before going to breakfast, but being such a young kit, it was inevitable. Speaking of which, he didn't know what the word kit meant."

"He didn't know? We have been calling him a kit since we found out," Ulaz mentioned.

"He asked what it meant when I called him kit. He was insisting that he was an adult on Earth. Antok, could you hand me that pillow? The one with Keith's jacket."

Antok snagged the pillow with his tail and handed the soft, red, round pillow to his mate. He watched as Kolivan put the pillow next to the kit. "Where is the rest of the kit's stuff?"

Kolivan's ears drooped at his mate's question. "That's all he has. He didn't have a nest. His room was as barren and empty as it was before he was assigned to it."

"What? Why?" Regris looked distressed.

"Because I was launched into space with nothing but the clothes on my back and whatever I had in my utility packs." Keith cracked an eye open before he saw his pillow. He snatched it up and hugged it to his chest. "Where am I?"

Kolivan carded his claws through Keith's hair. "You fell asleep back in the training hall when I groomed your hair, so I took you back to the nest I share with my pack. We want you to be a part of our pack."

"Pack?"

"It's like a family, kit," Thace answered. "You need a pack. It's one of those Galra needs that you deny yourself of, one of many."

"Wha-?" Keith was fighting to keep his eyes open.

"Shh, kit. It's okay. Get some rest. We'll talk when you've rested," Kolivan stroked Keith's hair some more.

Antok laid down beside Kolivan with Regris in his lap. Regris snuggled closer to Keith and wrapped his tail around his right leg. Antok's tail was wrapped around his mate's waist. On Kolivan's other side was Thace and Ulaz, the latter on the former's lap. Thace was nuzzling Ulaz's neck and stroking Keith's cheek. Kolivan knew his pack was going to need to take the rest of the day off to tend to their new kit's needs. They also needed to stop by a space mall soon in order to get more supplies, not just for the base but for Keith as well. The kit was going to be taken care of; Kolivan was going to make sure of that.

Fin

Chapter Text

"Unhealthy"

Lance sniffled pathetically. He was sick with the common cold, an Earth cold, which meant Shiro, Hunk, and Pidge couldn't come near him without contracting it themselves. Surprisingly, the Alteans could get Earth diseases as well, so Allura and Coran couldn't care for him either. There was only one being on the ship that could take care of him without getting sick himself, Keith. Being half Galra made him immune to most Earth diseases, even though there were Galran diseases that made Lance's cold seem like a bad case of the sniffles.

Speaking of Keith, he was out collecting things for Lance, so he wouldn't have to continuously leave the room. Lance disliked being by himself on a regular day, but when he was sick, he absolutely despised being alone. Keith had told him that he would collect food, drink, medicine, and more blankets and pillows before coming to cuddle him. He knew Keith was on his way back. Lance was just impatient.

Just then, the door opened, admitting Keith or at least Lance assumed it was Keith under the mountain of pillows and blankets. The mountain moved into the room and promptly tumbled to the floor, revealing Keith with a basket hanging from a wrist. He set the basket down next to the bed and knelt down, feeling Lance's forehead with the back of his right hand. "Hmm. Warmer than before I left."

He reached into the basket and pulled out some medicine. "Coran said these should work on your cold. Pidge confirmed it."

He handed Lance the little blue pills and a water pouch. Lance took them without issue and finished the water pouch as well. "Thanks."

Keith took off his boots and shrugged out of his jacket. He unclipped his utility belt and laid all of these items to the side. He set about building a nest out of the materials he brought. His Galran instincts told him to build a nest to make his brother feel better. He knew his instincts recognized that the team was a family to him with Lance, Pidge, and Hunk as his younger siblings, Coran as his uncle, and Allura as his older sister. Shiro, however, was a different story. Shiro was his boyfriend, so his instincts told him that Shiro was his mate. He tended to stick around Shiro a lot, but when Lance fell ill, it was up to Keith to nurse him back to health.

Once the nest was done, Keith scooped up Lance, blankets and all, and deposited him in the nest. He stepped in and tucked Lance against his side, nuzzling his hair. Lance relaxed against Keith, half asleep. Keith started licking his hair, which wasn't the first time Keith had done that. Keith had taken to grooming the team, especially when they were either having trouble sleeping or were half-asleep already. The grooming always seemed to soothe everyone, even Keith, who was always the one doing the grooming. Allura called it team bonding, which led Keith to grumble about Lance not remembering the bonding moment. Lance responded with a quip about making sure he remembered this time, but he always remembered when Keith groomed him. He liked it way too much to forget it.

Fin

Chapter Text

"Confrontation"

Keith was sitting in the cafeteria with a tray of questionable human food and his data pad in front of him. He was jotting down notes in code so that no one but him would know what he was writing. That was the issue with gathering intel to put in his report to Kolivan. He wanted to make sure he didn't forget anything, and the best way to not forget anything was to use notes. Most of the cadets around gave him a wide berth anyway; for what reason, Keith didn't know. He thought he was pretty friendly.

%%%

James Griffin entered the cafeteria with a group of his friends. Ina Leifdottir had been his friend since they met in elementary school. Lance McClain was a new guy that met him in the simulator, and they had bonded over a hero worship of one Takashi Shirogane. Three others were also new to the scene. There was Nadia Rizavi, Ryan Kinkade, and Hunk Garrett. Hunk was a packaged deal with Lance. James had nothing against Hunk, but he did wonder why he signed up for the Galaxy Garrison if he got motion sickness so horribly. Apparently for Kinkade, flying was his second option. He had an extreme passion for filming and was a quiet guy. Nadia was loud and the opposite of Kinkade but also with a passion for filming but of interesting things, where Kinkade liked filming everything.

There was another guy that James met but didn't hang out with. He met him in the simulator, and this guy flew so well, he was at the top of the class and was put straight into the fighter pilot program and had only had to fly two simulations, one individual and one team. James didn't know much about the guy, but something about him rubbed him the wrong way. It was like he was trying too hard for people to like him, like he was hiding something. Today, he was going to find out what it was, but first, he was going to eat lunch with his friends.

%%%

Keith picked at the human food as he let his gaze wander around the cafeteria. He was a little interested in 'people watching' but didn't know what Kolivan wanted in his report. He didn't have any experience writing reports. It was only a few phoebs...months since he was sent to Earth. What if he put the wrong things in his report, and Kolivan sends him back? Should he be including tactical data too?

Keith was so deep in his thoughts that he didn't see fellow cadet, James Griffin, step over to his part of the table. James cleared his throat. "Ahem."

Keith looked up and then flicked his eyes down to his data pad. Thankfully the screen was locked. Since he hadn't typed anything for three minutes, the screen auto saved and locked. The only way unlock it was with Keith's ring finger print. Most people use their thumb or index, so Keith decided on a less commonly used finger. Keith returned his gaze to James's face. "Hi. Do you need something?"

"Answers like why does Officer Shirogane like you, how do you fly so well, why haven't I seen you before, and anything else you're hiding?"

Keith was taken aback. He wasn't used to being questioned, especially in an accusatory tone. "I don't owe you any answers."

The snippy tone Keith said that in made James angry. He impulsively threw a punch, striking Keith in the cheek. Keith fought the urge to respond in kind, but he knew he was stronger than humans and could do some major harm to James. He simply used his sleeve to rub at his cheek while he glared at James.

James stared at Keith as a little bit of purple showed up on his cheek, his expression morphing into panic when he realized that it was the color of a bruise. Did he hit him hard enough to bruise him?

Keith noticed the expression change. "What's wrong with you?"

"I didn't mean to bruise you!"

"What are you talking about?"

"You have a little purple bruise on your cheek."

Keith froze, his hand flying to cover his cheek. He forgot that the foundation was only able to be wiped off, since it was water and sweat proof. Feigning fear over having a bruise rather than fear over having part of his cheek stripe uncovered, Keith scooped up his data pad and back away from James. "S-Stay away from me."

James reached out, not wanting Keith to run away from him, but he was too late. He watched as Keith ran out of the room. That interaction had not gone according to plan. James hadn't wanted to antagonize him. He had genuinely wanted answers and maybe even befriend the dark haired cadet. His shoulders slumped as he too left the cafeteria, not even sparring a glance at the uneaten lunch the other cadet had left behind.

%%%

Keith dashed back to his room and locked the door, glad he didn't have a roommate to contend with. He grabbed the concealer and walked into the bathroom. He wiped the remaining powder off his right cheek, revealing his purple cheek stripe that he got from his mother. "I miss you, Mom."

Keith blinked back tears as he once again applied the concealer his eldest sister had gotten him. At least James thought it was a bruise and not a sign of his alien heritage. Slowly, his cheek stripe was hidden from view once again. Keith wondered when he would be able to go home and not have to worry about concealing his cheek stripes.

Fin

Chapter Text

"Mischief"

Regris stirred in the middle of the night, inadvertantly waking up Keith in the process. Keith let out a questioning noise, not used to someone else in his nest.

"It's just me, Keith. It's Regris."

Keith yawned. "Wha-What's going on?"

"I'm hungry. I want a snack."

"Daddy and Papa don't keep snacks in our quarters."

"We could go get something from the kitchens."

"Yeah. I guess we could."

Regris and Keith both slipped out of his nest and tiptoed out of the quarters he shared with Thace and Ulaz. Regris wrapped his tail around Keith's wrist. It wasn't because he thought Keith wouldn't be able to keep up or know where to go. It was because the halls of the base looked a little scary at night. Regris had never been out late at night without an adult present.

Keith smiled when he felt Regris's tail wrap around his wrist. He knew why he did it. He could smell the slight fear that was coming off the other kit. It wasn't that noticable, but Keith had been training his nose to detect scents with his Dads and leaders during his regular training sessions as well. Keith wrapped an arm around Regris's waist and gave him a slight squeeze. "It'll be okay, Regris. We're almost there."

Regris smiled at Keith. He liked that the other kit was kind. It didn't bother him that he couldn't see, never had. He was his best friend and had been for three deca-phoebes.

The trek to the kitchens didn't actually take that long, but it felt like it did. The two kits walked into the kitchen, and Keith turned to Regris. "What are you hungry for?"

"Um, something cold."

"I wonder if there are popsicles," Keith wondered out loud.

"What are popsicles?"

"Popsicles are frozen treats on a stick."

Regris chirped, liking what he heard. He tugged Keith over to the walk in freezer, and they entered the cold room. Regris unwrapped his tail from Keith's wrist, and his eyes scanned the shelves. Spotting the popsicles, Regris's tail swished sharply, hitting the door in the process. The door closed behind the kits, locking them in.

Keith could have sworn he had just heard the door close and lock. He turned towards the door and touched it. Ignoring Regris's shout of triumph at finding the popsicles, Keith pushed on the door with no luck. He whined, catching Regris's attention. "What's wrong, Keith?"

"I think we're locked in here," Keith whimpered.

Regris's eyes widened, and he tried opening the  door with the same result. It was true! They were stuck, and no one knew where they were.

%%%

Ulaz sat bolt up right in the nest, startling Thace. "What's wrong, 'Laz?"

"I don't know. Something doesn't feel right." Ulaz stood up. "I'm going to check on the kits."

Ulaz rushed to Keith's room, only to find his kit's nest empty. Neither of the two kits were there! He yowled in distress, drawing Thace to his side. The violet furred Galra stared at the empty nest.

"Where are the kits?" Thace asked.

"I don't know, but we need to find them."

Thace and Ulaz rushed out of their quarters and into the main part of the base. Keith had never left their quarters in the middle of the night before, especially without an adult.

%%%

Keith and Regris were cuddled up next to each other, trying to stay warm. They had wanted the popsicles, but when they learned the door was locked, popsicles were the last thing on their minds. Regris was curled around the smaller kit, especially since Keith didn't have any fur and was more susceptible to the cold temperatures. How long would it be before someone found them?

%%%

Thace and Ulaz were starting to get desperate. Where were the kits? They were considering enlisting more help, but that would take even longer. They had to calm down and think clearly. Where would two kits go in the middle of the night? It dawned on both Blades at the same time, and they rushed into the kitchen. Thace's ears drooped when they both noticed the kitchen was empty. Ulaz whined loudly.

%%%

Keith's head shot up, barely missing Regris's head. He knew he just heard his Papa. Keith whined as loud as he could. He unwrapped Regris's arms and tail and went to the door. He banged on it and kept whining, hoping someone could hear him.

%%%

The racket coming from the freezer drew Thace's and Ulaz's attention. Thace all but yanked the door open. Keith tumbled out and into his arms with a yelp. Thace wrapped his arms around his kit as Regris shot out of the freezer and barreled into Ulaz, knocking him off his feet. Both kits were freezing and whimpering.

"Why were you two in the freezer?" Thace asked.

"W-W-We wanted a-a mid-midnight s-snack," Keith stammered, teeth chattering.

"Let's take these kits back to our rooms and warm them up before we scold them," Ulaz mentioned, scooping up Regris and carrying him to their quarters. Thace stood up with Keith in his arms and followed his mate.

The pair of mates wrapped the kits up in a couple of blankets and stuck them between them in their nest. Keith whimpered and stuck his nose in Thace's neck. He didn't want to ever go into the freezer ever again. Regris shook in more than just the cold. He was scared. He and Keith might have died in the freezer if Thace and Ulaz hadn't found them, and that thought scared him.

It took several vargas for the kits to stop shaking, though both were still scared as the realization of what could have happened sank in without the adults even having to voice it.

Thace gently nudged his kit. "I know you kits already know what could have happened had Ulaz and I not found you in time, but did you know how your deaths would have impacted not just us but the entire base? Kits are precious, because you are the next generation of Galra."

"We're sorry, Daddy. We were just hungry," Keith cried.

"It was my fault," Regris sniffled. "I woke up hungry and accidentally woke up Keith. I suggested we go to the kitchen and wanted something cold to snack on."

"I'm the one who suggested popsicles," Keith added.

"I never want to see a popsicle again," Regris muttered.

"I never want to eat a popsicle again," Keith put in.

"We'll understand if you don't want us to hang out anymore." Regris sounded depressed.

"We would never separate you two. You are such good friends. It would be a shame for us to separate you, especially since it was an accident. However, you are both restricted to the nest for a movement. You may not know this, but you disappearing in the middle of the night scared us. We didn't know where you were, if you were hurt, or even of you needed help. It was a sense of helplessness. We never want to feel that again. So, tonight, you stay here with us," Ulaz replied.

Keith and Regris snuggled further into the blankets they were wrapped in and against the adult Blade laying next to them. Keith kept his nose buried in Thace's neck. "Love you, Daddy. I'm sorry."

Thace tightened his grip on his kit. "I know you're sorry, my kit. I still love you, no matter what. Just don't do that again."

"Promise."

Fin

Chapter Text

"My Mate"

It had been two weeks since the fight with the Komar mech. Shiro was glad that the Paladins all survived and were finally all being released from the hospital. Most of the Paladins had been released a few days ago, so only one Paladin was still being detained. Keith had suffered the worst injuries of all the Paladins and his recovery was slow going mostly due to his mixed heritage. The medicines were either not strong enough or completely ineffective, and the hospital food wouldn't stay down. Krolia was concerned about her kit and had used Cosmo to sneak in proper food. Lance had stopped by several times, especially when Krolia and Kolivan weren't in the room, and had taken to holding Keith while he rested.

Today was the day Keith was finally being released from the hospital. He was still under orders to take it easy, so Lance decided to stay with Keith at the Garrison instead of letting Keith traverse the desert to stay in his father's shack. Keith appreciated the company. He and Lance had been growing closer as they had confessed to each other once Lance had been released from the hospital.

Keith had built a nest in his room and was currently resting in it, cuddled up next to Lance, who was reading out loud. It was supposed to be a quiet evening, so when there was a knock on the door, Lance paused in his reading. He laid the book aside and kissed Keith on the forehead. "I'll see who that is and be right back."

Lance exited the nest and opened the door. He was surprised to see Nadia Rizavi and James Griffin standing there. "We heard Keith finally got released. We can finally have that party!"

"Party?"

"Partial thank you party, partial you survived, partial-" Nadia was cut off by James elbowing her in the ribs.

"I think he gets the picture."

"Well, as nice as that sounds, Keith just got released and isn't up to attending a party yet. Postpone it for another week."

James grabbed Lance by the shirt. "You Paladins think you can save Earth and then order people around. This party has been in the works for two weeks already and now you're saying to wait even longer! You-"

"Unhand my mate!" Keith growled. He was standing behind Lance with his eyes sporting the yellow sclera and slitted pupils of his Galra side.

James yelped when he saw Keith's eyes and the fangs in his mouth and released Lance. Lance immediately went over to Keith's side and wrapped an arm around his waist. Keith's eyes went back to normal. "You heard what Lance said. I am under strict orders to rest and going to a party is the opposite of the doctor's orders. Postpone it. If you won't, I will tell either Shiro or Commander Holt or maybe even Commander Iverson. You won't like what they would do to you, Griffin. Now, shoo."

Keith dragged Lance back into his nest and resumed his cuddling. Lance picked the book back up but didn't immediately continue reading. There was something on his mind. "Keith?"

"Yeah, Lance?"

"What did you mean when you called me your mate?"

"Well, that's what Galra refer to their significant others as. I know we just started this relationship, but if it's okay with you, I'd like to call you my mate."

Lance looked at the part-Galra snuggled against his shoulder and smiled. "Yeah. I think I'd like that too."

Keith purred as Lance continued reading. His mate; he liked the sound of that.

Fin

Chapter Text

"Bowling"

"Bowling? That's a great idea!" Lance exclaimed. "Who's all coming?"

"Well, as far as I know, it's the MFEs and the Paladins," Veronica answered her brother. "The MFEs are the ones who thought of it, so can you tell your team?"

Lance grinned. "I can do that."

%%%

The Paladins met each other outside the bowling alley, Shiro and Adam joining them. It had been a surprise to everyone that Adam not only survived his crash but also woke up from the coma he was in, a result of the crash.

"What is this bowling Lance spoke of?" Allura asked.

"It's a game, Allura," Keith answered. "Let's go in, and we can show you. It'll be easier to show you."

The group of seven entered and met up with the MFEs and Veronica, who smiled at the group. "I'm glad you guys could make it."

"Thanks for inviting us." Keith looked around. "Are we the only ones here?"

"Yeah," James admitted. "We booked it for the evening."

"Why? We don't mind sharing the space," Hunk asked.

"You wouldn't get much enjoyment out of the game if you were continuously interrupted by others wanting to show their gratitude for you saving Earth," Nadia replied.

"Ah, that makes sense." Pidge readjusted her glasses. "Shall we start?"

"First, shoes!" Lance exclaimed.

Keith led Allura over to the counter. "We need to find out your shoe size. Let's let the other girls get their shoes and compare them with your feet."

"Why do I need special shoes to play this game?"

"These shoes are designed not to ruin the floor of the lanes," Pidge answered, giving her shoe size and receiving weird looking shoes with the number on the heel.

Veronica, Nadia, and Ina all did the same and compared their shoes to Allura's feet to determine her shoe size. It turned out she had the same size as Veronica, who gave her the shoes and went back up to the counter to order another pair.

Keith led Allura to the seats in front of one of the lanes, and they put on their shoes. "Now, we need to figure out which bowling ball you need. There are a lot of different weights."

She tried several ones and soon found one that felt comfortable in her hands. She and Keith carried their bowling balls to the ball return and set them down. "The idea is to roll the ball down the lane and knock down the pins that are set up at the end. You get two chances to knock down all ten. You have to make sure your ball doesn't end up in the gutter, which are the grooves on the sides of the lane. It'll be easier once you see how we do it."

Since they had the entire bowling alley to themselves, they spread out and had two to a lane. Shiro and Adam were on one with Lance and Veronica next to them. Pidge and Hunk were next with James and Ina on the next lane. Next to them were Ryan and Nadia and Allura and Keith were on one together. Keith let Allura watch the other pairs bowl, while he set up their lane.

As she watched the others bowl, Allura found her eyes being drawn back to the lane she was sharing with Keith. She saw him taking his turn. She was mesmerized as he released his ball from the start of the lane. It traveled down the lane with just the tiniest bit of a curve to take down all ten pins at the same time. The smile that lit up Keith's face made it impossible for Allura to take her eyes off of him. He turned around and stepped down off the lane. "Whenever you are ready, Allura, it's your turn."

She decided to try to her hand at it. She picked up her ball and tried to imitate what she saw Keith do. Unfortunately, she did not get the exact same result. Her ball flew straight down the lane with no curve and managed to knock down eight of the ten pins. Clapping from behind her startled her slightly. She turned around and saw Keith wasn't the only one who was clapping; Lance was there too.

"Well done, Princess. Now, all you have to do is knock down the last two pins!"

"Lance, it's your turn again!" Veronica called out.

"I'm coming, mi hermana," Lance called back. "You can do it, princess. I believe in you." Lance walked back to the lane he shared with his sister.

As the twelve people threw bowling ball after bowling ball, there was a clear list of who was the best bowler and who was the worst. Surprisingly, Keith was at the top with James trailing him by a few points. Lance was in third place, Ina was behind Lance, and Veronica followed the blonde MFE pilot. Allura was in sixth place with Pidge following her. Ryan was next with Hunk following him. Nadia was after Hunk. The last two were tied for last place. Keith had dubbed the team 'The Disaster Gays (TM)' because it was the team of Shiro and Adam. They were losing because they were a little too wrapped up in each other to bowl properly.

Balls kept flying down the lanes, racking up more points. The leaderboard didn't change in the slightest. Keith did not end up with a perfect game of 300, but he was pretty close with 276. James was on his heels with 250. Lance ended up with 230. Ina bowled a 225, and Veronica got a 220. Allura managed to get a 215. Pidge got a 205, while Ryan got a 200. Hunk ended up with a 190, and Nadia bowled a 180. The Disaster Gays (TM) only managed a 50 point tie for last place.

The dozen people bowled game after game into the night and the only change was the points. The leaderboard remained the same. At one point, the main lights turned off, and it became Cosmic Bowling, earning a "whooo!" from the Paladins. It was becoming an amazing night, just like the Paladins always dreamed of having when they had come back to Earth.

Fin

Chapter Text

"The Blade of Marmora"

Keith grinned from his seat in the Red Paladin chair. He was finally going home. Ulaz was standing near his kit and had a comforting hand on his shoulder. Keith nuzzled his hand and softly purred to his Papa.

"Identify yourself."

Keith grinned wider. Apparently, the Blades were still using the security protocol Lotor had come up with after he had been nearly kidnapped.

Shiro looked at Keith, who nodded and leaned against Ulaz. "Open a hailing frequency, Coran. We are the Paladins of Voltron, sent here by Ulaz."

A couple of ticks passed before the automated reply came. "Three may enter. Come unarmed."

"Why would they insist on coming unarmed? Shiro, this doesn't feel right," Allura commented.

"We've come too far to turn back now," Shiro replied.

"They just sent us a route to the base, but we'll have to move quickly. Because of the solar flares, it's only open for another varga. Then, it'll be closed for two quintants," Coran put in.

"They're gonna close it for two years?" Hunk asked.

"Two days," Pidge corrected.

"Oh," Hunk said.

"So, any thoughts on who's gonna join you on this little mission? I'm thinking things may get a little hot, so you're gonna want someone who can stay cool," Lance inquired.

"You're right. Keith, you're coming with me along with Ulaz," Shiro decided.

"Keith's a hothead! He's probably going to shoot first and ask questions later! And they're not going to be able to answer his questions because they'll be dead!" Lance got in Shiro's face.

"We haven't severed Zarkon's link with the Black Lion," Shiro started explaining while moving Lance back out of his face. "So, it has to stay here. And the Red Lion can withstand the heat from that sun. So, yes, it'll be Keith and Ulaz."

"The course to the base will be quite treacherous, to say the least. You're walking a razor's edge between the gravitational pull of the black holes and the sun. One false move and you'll either be stretched into infinity or burnt to a crisp," Coran warned.

%%%

Keith was excited to be piloting his Papa and his mentor through the extremely dangerous route home. It had been a long two deca-phoebes, but he was finally going to see whoever was home. He hoped his entire pack was there, but in his heart, he knew not everyone was there. They were in a war after all. He landed the Red Lion outside on the asteroid. Red Lion let her three passengers out before she powered down.

Keith tensed slightly when the lift activated and two Blades came into view. His breath caught in his throat as he recognized both of them. It was Antok and Taulol! He couldn't take it any longer and ran towards them, yanking off his helmet in the process. He let out a whine before he reached them, which caused Antok to grab Keith and pull him close. "Kit?"

Keith nuzzled his largest pack member, tears coursing down his cheeks. "I can't believe I'm finally back! I missed you guys so much!"

Keith felt weight against his back and purred to his surrogate aunt. "Kit, it's been so long! I was against sending you away two deca-phoebes ago."

"I wasn't fond of the idea either, but Lotor convinced me."

"Imagine our surprise when Ulaz told us he made contact with you and that you were in space."

Keith grinned. "Can we go in? I want to see everyone who's still home."

Antok shifted his hold on Keith and put him up on his shoulders. "Hold on, kit."

Keith twisted around and looked at Shiro. "Come on, Shiro. Let's go."

"What's going on, Keith?"

Keith couldn't blame Shiro. He hadn't told anyone about being raised by the Blades. He had figured it wouldn't end well. When they had encountered Ulaz, the truth came out, and, to Keith's surprise, the only one who reacted negatively was Princess Allura.

"Shiro, Keith has told you that he was raised by the Blade of Marmora. These two are members of our pack," Ulaz spoke up. "Antok and Taulol. Now, let's go inside. Our leader, Kolivan, is expecting us."

Shiro slowly followed the three Blades and Keith into the lift, which carried them into the base. When Antok walked into the main hall, Keith was still perched on top of his shoulders, grinning cheekily. There were gasps from the Blades they passed, but Keith wasn't entirely interested in their reactions. He wanted to see Kolivan's reaction to his reappearance after two deca-phoebes. Fortunately for Keith, the trek to the dais didn't take long thanks to Antok's long legs. He heard Kolivan's breath catch in his throat, and his mask disappeared as he approached his second-in-command. Antok knew what his oldest friend and leader wanted and lifted the kit from his shoulders, setting him down between them.

"Keith? Kit, is that you?"

Keith reached for him. "Dad!"

Kolivan grabbed Keith and tucked him against his chest, nosing his hair. "Kit, you're finally back."

"I missed you so much!"

Kolivan held Keith out to get a good look at him. "You are still short, kit, but what are you wearing, and where are your stripes?"

"I am a Paladin of Voltron. I had to hide my stripes when you sent me to Earth, and I just got used to hiding them."

Ulaz came up behind Keith and put his hands on his shoulders. "Leader, I believe it's time for Keith to take the trials. He will pass and make us proud."

Keith looked from Ulaz to Kolivan. "Can I?"

Kolivan took one look at Keith and knew he couldn't say no. "Of course, kit."

%%%

Keith was nervous as he entered the room, armed only with his mother's knife. A singular Blade rose from the floor with his mask covering his face.

"Surrender the blade." The Blade drew his sword and brandished it. "You cannot win." He twirled it around until it was downward facing.

Keith drew his knife and held it in his right hand, forward facing. He charged first, and his attempts to hit his opponent with his knife were blocked twice in a row. He kicked and then slashed at him before flipping the knife around, it now rear facing. Keith tried two punching slashes (which were blocked by the Blade's sword) before the Blade grabbed his wrist and elbowed Keith in the face and shoved him away by pushing on his chest. Keith stumbled and fell but rolled back up onto feet. The Blade rushed at him and attacked him six times in quick succession with Keith blocking each of the attacks. The Blade feigned a slash before he  kicked at Keith and landed a blow with his sword on his right shoulder (between shoulder blade and neck), causing him to cry out. A kick sent him tumbling end over end before Keith stood up and stabbed forward, and the Blade grabbed his arm and twisted him around until he was bent forward with the Blade's sword at the side of his neck. "Surrender the blade and the pain will cease."

"I won't quit."

"Then the pain continues." He released Keith, who fell to his knees. He stood up and turned to face the Blade. "You are not meant to go through that door." He was clearly gesturing at the door in the rear of the room. With a wary glare at the Blade, Keith dashed past him and into the next room. He stood with the knife held out in front of him, ready to defend himself against whoever showed up next.

%%%

Regris and Krolia entered the room through the floor with their masks on. Krolia's eyes narrowed as she saw a fresh wound on her youngest kit's shoulder. He was injured! She fought the urge to growl. She was going to kill the Blade in the first room if she got her claws on him. Everyone in the organization knew Keith was her kit, just as everyone knew that Regris, Lotor, Ezor, and Acxa were also her kits.

Keith rushed forward, intending on fighting these two Blades. He was hoping to defeat them, but the battle was short lived as the one with the tail tripped him and pinned his legs while the other one pinned his arms. He fought as hard as he could, trying to get them off when he heard someone say his name. "Keith."

He looked at the Blade pinning his arms and saw the mask disappear, revealing his mother's face. "Mom?"

His eyes traveled down to the Blade pinning his legs and saw his eldest brother's grinning face. "Regris?"

Krolia and Regris released their hold on Keith, allowing him to get up. Keith caught the look in his mom's eyes and realized that she was staring at his cheeks, specifically the spots where his cheek stripes were. However, they were still hidden under the foundation he had used when he got to Earth. Krolia couldn't help the whine that left her throat at the sight of the bare cheeks.

"Mom, it's okay." He hurriedly wiped his cheeks with the sleeves of the uniform, revealing his stripes. "See? I still have them and still remember everyone." He quickly tucked himself under her chin in a very familiar manner. "I missed you so much, Mom."

"I missed you, too, kit." Krolia nosed Keith's hair. Regris slid in next to his brother and wrapped his tail around his waist.

"Hi, Regris. I missed you too," Keith purred.

"Me too."

"Oh, by the way, Mom, thanks for lending me your blade. It was comforting to have it with me." Keith backed out from under his mother's chin and flipped the knife around, handle facing Krolia, to hand it back to its original owner. "Take it."

Suddenly, the insignia glowed before the glow spread to the entire knife, and then, it elongated into a short sword. Keith's eyes widened in shock before he chirped.

"Congratulations, my kit. You've awoken the blade. It's yours now. You're officially a Blade."

"I am? I passed the trials?"

"Yes, and now, I must go talk to the Blade you first faced."

Keith made a questioning noise. "Mom, please don't kill him."

"Don't worry, kit. I won't kill him, but he'll wish I had."

Regris tugged Keith out of the room and towards the med bay. "You need to get this treated." Regris looked up at who was in the med bay. "Ulaz!"

Regris hurried over and hugged Ulaz. He may not have been as close with Ulaz as Acxa and Keith, but he still missed him. Keith came over, nuzzling his Papa. Ulaz didn't realize Keith was injured until Ulaz had gripped Keith's shoulder, prompting his kit to hiss.

"Keith, what-?" Ulaz immediately let go of the kits and inspected Keith's shoulder, finding the injury quickly. He recognized that it was from a luxite sword and was incensed that a member of their organization harmed their kit.

Keith recognized the look on Ulaz's face. "Don't worry about it, Papa. Mom's already taking care of it."

"All right, kit." Ulaz nodded and set to treating his kit's injury.

%%%

"HOW DARE YOU?! THAT WAS MY KIT YOU INJURED!" Krolia roared.

The other Blade struggled in her grip but couldn't find any purchase as Krolia had him pinned to the wall a few feet off the ground by his neck. Her grip was making it hard to breathe. "Please. I-I didn't k-know."

"LIAR! EVERYONE KNOWS KEITH!"

"Krolia, stand down. Ilun didn't know. He came to us a few quintants after Keith left on his mission," Kolivan intervened. "Put him down."

Krolia none to gently dropped Ilun to the floor. Ilun rubbed his neck, trying to get feeling back into it. Kolivan approached Krolia, passing Ilun on the way. He paused and patted Ilun on the shoulder. "Do not injure anyone else going through the trials. Take the rest of the quintant off to recover."

"Yes, leader. My apologies." Ilun bowed and left as Kolivan made his way over to Krolia.

"What is the matter, Krolia?"

"When I saw Keith without his stripes, it brought back memories of that horrid nightmare I had."

Kolivan tugged Krolia closer and tucked her against him. "It's okay, Krolia. Keith still has his stripes and his memories of us. Your nightmare didn't come to be. Now, let's go see our kit."

Krolia let herself be led to the med bay, where not only Ulaz and Regris were crowded around Keith, but Antok, Taulol, and Shiro were there. Shiro was trying to get close to Keith but was continuously blocked by Keith's pack members. Keith could see Shiro was worried about him. He chirped, gaining everyone's attention. "Can one of you step back and let Shiro in? He's worried too." When no one moved, Keith turned to Regris. "Please, Regris. He was like family when I was on Earth. He watched over me."

Regris could tell how much this human meant to his brother and stepped back, using his tail to bring Shiro to Keith's side. "Thanks Regris."

"Keith, are you okay?"

Keith smiled. "Yeah. It was just a little cut-" Keith was cut off by a few growls. He ducked his head as the adults of his pack disagreed with his description of his injury.

"That was no mere cut, kit. A few inches deeper and it would have cut through a muscle!" Ulaz corrected.

Keith purred to his Papa. He was such a worrier; something he missed while he had been on his mission and consequently shot into space. He saw Krolia edging her way closer and chirped. "Mom!"

Taulol backed away, allowing Krolia to get close enough to her kit to pick him up. Keith wrapped his arms around her neck and nuzzled her. Krolia licked his cheek stripes causing Keith to purr again. Krolia looked at the assembled members of her pack. "I refuse to be separated from Keith again. I will be returning with him, Ulaz, and Shiro. Regris, you can come with us if you'd like."

"I'm coming."

"Hold on," Shiro tried to interject.

"We are coming as well," Kolivan spoke up, motioning to himself and Antok. "We have a plan to take down the Empire but we need the assistance of Princess Allura."

Keith knew that Allura wouldn't be pleased with that many Galra on her ship, but he couldn't bring himself to care. Almost his entire pack were going to reside in the castle, and that made it all worthwhile.

Fin

Chapter Text

"Cicatrice"

Lance was worried. There was a bad storm raging outside his home, but that's not exactly what had him worried. His mate was out in that...that monsoon. It wasn't quite a monsoon though. As a water fey, Lance had control over most forms of water, except for the rain. His mate, Keith, was a fire fey and had control over even the hot lava that flowed from the volcanoes to the north. The fact that they were mates was unusual to say the least, being complete opposites, but they loved each other without reservation.

Suddenly, the door to their home banged open, startling Lance horribly. He spun around as lightning flashed, illuminating the battered form of his mate. With a gasp, Lance rushed over as Keith toppled over. Lance managed to catch him, being careful of Keith's soaked red and black wings, and carried him over to the magical fireplace. There was always a fire going during the day, which should have been a bad idea since they lived in a tree, but since it was a magical fireplace, the flames never spread to their home. When Lance settled Keith near the flames, Keith lifted his face to gaze at Lance, revealing a new mark on his skin.

Lance was used to the scars littering his beloved's body. Keith had been previously captured by hunters who captured and sold magical beings for a huge profit. Lance had happened by their encampment one night. It was just a stroke of luck that they stopped by a beach and imbibed a little too much alcohol. (Lance could tell it was cheap beer from the smell.) He had freed all of the captive beings that night, Keith being the only one who stayed with him. Both fey could feel the connection they had with each other and just knew they were mates.

Lance gently cupped Keith's face and focused his powers. He was versed in healing, but he wasn't as masterful as his eldest sister. He could at least make the mark look less angry. Keith sighed in relief as he felt the fire replenish his wings, the heat dry him off, and Lance healing his newest injury. The storm had caught him off guard and blew him into a prickle bush. He had escaped with only minor scratches except for his face. He knew that it was going to scar, even with Lance's healing; another one to add to his collection.

Lance removed his hand and let Keith slump against him for a moment. Both fey were glad Keith was home and out of the storm. The blue and white winged fey scooped up his mate and flew him to their nest located in the higher branches of their tree home. He settled them into the soft blankets that lined the nest and wrapped his wings around Keith, keeping him tucked against his chest. He felt better now that he had his mate in his arms and wrapped in his wings. Now, he could relax; they both could.

Fin

Chapter Text

 

"Shield"

Shiro was walking along the beach. It was near dusk, so there wasn't anyone else at the beach, which suited Shiro just fine. He wasn't there to visit other people. He had recently met two mischievous mers, who were as fascinated with him as he was with them.

"Shiro!"

Shiro looked up and smiled. There were two heads poking out of the water, one brunette and one raven-haired. He rushed into the water. "Keith! Lance!"

With flicks of a red tail and a blue tail, Keith and Lance swam a little closer. The two mers pulled themselves up on a wide rock that protruded from the water. They kept the ends of their tails in the water while they waited for Shiro to swim to the rock.

Lance grasped Keith's hand, and Keith wrapped an arm around Lance's shoulders, making sure to not touch his back. Lance was very self-conscious about the scar that covered most of his back. He got that when he had protected a younger mer from a electric eel swarm. Keith also had a scar, but his was on his face. There was a stripe on his cheek, a souvenir from a run in with box jellyfish. The tentacles brushed against his cheek, leaving a red welt on the right side of his face.

The two mers weren't the only ones with scars. Shiro had a scar across the bridge of his nose, was missing most of his right arm, and had little slash like scars over his chest and back. He told them they were from his time in the military. He had lost his arm protecting a buddy from a shrapnel explosion, most of which got imbedded in his arm, but a piece did slice his nose, giving him that scar. Due to his sacrifice, Shiro was outfitted with a metal prosthetic that was waterproof. It was meeting the human that allowed the mers to not be completely self-conscious about their scars.

Shiro pulled himself up onto the rock and held his arms open. Keith and Lance released each other and propelled themselves forward to end up in Shiro's arms. He closed his arms around the two mers, holding them close. He loved visiting them but was most excited today as they had promised him something special.

Lance and Keith had looked for a way to share their world with Shiro, and Keith had found it yesterday and had shared his knowledge with Lance. Apparently, a mer's kiss could give a human the ability to breathe underwater for an hour. It was an exciting discovery, one they couldn't wait to share with Shiro.

Fin

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

Chapter Text

"Fianceé"

Keith was uncharacteristically nervous, more nervous than he was when he proposed to Lance. It made Lance wonder what was going on.

"Keith?"

Keith literally jumped, his feet leaving the floor and his tail fluffing out. "Lance?"

"Oh my! I didn't mean to startle you," Lance said, rubbing Keith's ears to soothe him. "You just seem distracted."

Keith melted into Lance's arms, purring, which was heard in his voice. "I am. My Dads are coming for a visit. They want to meet you."

"Who are your Dads?"

"Thace and Ulaz but Kolivan and Antok are coming with them."

"Why do they want to meet me?"

"Because you're my fianceé."

Lance's eyes were drawn to his left finger when Keith said this. "Your fianceé. It has a nice ring to it."

Keith's violet irised eyes locked onto Lance's blue eyes, his tail wrapped around Lance's waist, and he whispered, "It'd be even nicer to call you my husband."

Lance blushed, his Altean marks glowing in response. "When are they arriving?"

"Kit!"

"Now."

Lance turned to see four Galra heading in their direction. He noticed that two of the Galra looked very similar in reference to fur color, one of them having a tail very similar to Keith's. Another one of them reminded Lance of Keith's fur color, while yet another one (the one who called out) had ears just like Keith's.

The one with ears like Keith's who had violet colored fur was close enough to scoop up Keith in a tight hug. "Oh, kit. We've missed you at home."

"Dad, I'm glad to know you missed me, but put me down."

"Nope."

Lance couldn't help but laugh. The four Galra turned to face Lance, whose face was slowly turning red from laughing too hard. Keith finally managed to get down from Thace's arms and gracefully landed in front of Lance. He rubbed Lance's back. "Come on, your highness. Breathe."

Lance gulped lung fulls of air. "I'm okay. I'm okay."

Keith nuzzled Lance's neck. "Good."

"Keith, kit, aren't you going to introduce us?" the pale Galra asked.

Keith grinned and wrapped his tail around Lance's waist. "This is Lance, my fianceé. Lance, this is Kolivan, Antok, Thace, and Ulaz. They are my pack, my family."

Lance looked at each Galra as Keith introduced them, pointing at who was who. "Welcome to Altea. I am Prince Lance."

Keith shook his head, his black hair swinging from the motion. "They know you're the prince, idiot."

"Aw, you love me though."

Keith sighed and purred to him. "I do."

"May we see your ring?" Kolivan inquired.

Lance held out his left hand, showing off his engagement ring. It was a sapphire band with a trio of light amethysts set into it. The four Blades gathered around, Ulaz gently grasping Lance's hand and turning it left and right. He nodded and released his hand. He turned to Keith. "You chose a good ring, kit."

"He chose a good guy," Lance chuckled.

Keith rolled his violet eyes, the irises standing out in the yellow sclera. It was then that Antok noticed his kit's red cape that went down to Keith's waist. "Kit, what's this?"

Antok reached out and gently touched Keith's cape. Keith smiled. "King Alfor gave me this as a symbol of my status as Lance's fianceé."

"I think it should be longer," Lance piped up.

"You only think that so you can hide under it," Keith quipped.

The Blades watched as their kit and his fianceé good naturedly squabble. It was easy to tell that they were a good match.

Fin

Chapter Text

"A Little Trust"

Keith woke up in between head spaces. He knew it wasn't a good thing, but there wasn't anything he could do. He put on a pull up and got dressed in his normal clothes. He decided to forgo morning training and get some breakfast instead. He just hoped there wouldn't be any attacks today.

%%%

Keith hated being wrong when he wasn't in little space. When he was in little space, it made him want to cry. He hurried to his lion, who purred to her Paladin. He purred back and, when he felt her nudge at their bond, opened his mind to her. Red appeared in her fluffy lioness form, but Keith, instead of appearing as his usual seven-year-old self, appeared as a four-year-old. He toddled over to her. "Mama."

"It's okay, my cub. You stay here, and I'll fly. After that, I'll take care of you."

"Okay, Mama." Keith snuggled against Red's soft fur, purring.

Red curled around her little Paladin and groomed his hair as she flew and took care of any enemies that were in the way. Fortunately, they didn't have to form Voltron, especially since it wouldn't work because Keith had retreated into his bond with Red, where the other Paladins couldn't reach him, and was little.

Once the battle was over, Red flew back into the castle and landed in her hangar. Keith left the cockpit but not the hangar. He waited for Red to transform into her real lioness form. Once he had his Mama with him, he let her take him to his room. She kept her tail wrapped around his waist as she guided him into his room.

When the door closed behind them, she carefully helped him undo and take off his armor and flight suit. She pulled out his little bag and got out a pair of elastic waisted pants. He was able to change into the pants and his usual t-shirt. She laid down in his nest and beckoned him over. He toddled over and plopped into the nest, curling up with her. "Mama."

%%%

Shiro was concerned about Keith. His flying was different, almost as if he wasn't the one flying, but why would Red prevent her Paladin from flying? He didn't know but was going to find out. He made his way over to Keith's room and knocked on the door. "Keith, are you in there?"

"'Kashi?"

Shiro opened the door, recognizing the voice of his little. He stepped into the room but stopped short at the sight of the red, fluffy lioness curled around Keith in his nest. "Keith?"

"'Kashi, Mama take care of me."

"Mama?" Shiro studied the lioness and realized who it was. "I'm sure Red is a good Mama for you."

"I love her."

"Love you, too, cub," Red replied before grooming Keith's hair.

Shiro backed out of the room, content to let Red watch over Keith, especially since he seemed to trust her. Trust was very important to a little, Keith especially, and once you earned his trust, it was easy to keep.

Fin

Chapter Text

"Assassin"

Keith peeked around the corner, his grip tightening on his blaster. His violet eyes darted from one side of the adjoining corridor to the other, and seeing no one, the boy tiptoed around the corner and into the shadows of the next corridor. He was trying to blend into the shadows to avoid detection. It was one of the rules. Avoid detection and hit his targets. His targets were the other members of his pack, Kolivan, Antok, Thace, Ulaz, and Regris. Each one was armed with a blaster, but the blasters didn't fire lasers or lead bullets but vividly colored balls of paint; a different color for each member of the pack. Kolivan had red, Antok had blue, Thace had purple, Ulaz had green, Regris had orange, and Keith had white.

Keith had been very adept at avoiding getting hit and was devoid of any color on his clothes. All of the other members of his pack had other colors marking their clothes but not Keith.

Suddenly, a flash of blue flew past his head, splattering on the wall behind him. Keith's eyes landed on the largest member of his pack, who had his blaster aimed at Keith. Keith grinned and escaped into a nearby vent. He quietly crawled through the ventilation system. Knowing he couldn't stay in there, he located an exit and dropped out of the vent system, landing a shot on Kolivan, who just grinned and leveled his blaster at the kit.

Keith dove out of the way, only to be hit by an orange paint ball. Keith paused in shock as he had been shot for the first time by his pack brother, looking down at his chest. It was centered on his torso. He lifted his head to meet Regris's grinning face. His expression changed from shock to mischievous in less than a tick, and Keith shot his brother and their leader before bounding out of the room.

Kolivan and Regris looked at themselves and then each other before turning to look out the empty door. They heard the pretend outraged voices of the rest of the pack before they grinned, Regris laughing. The youngest kit was good at this.

%%%

The Paladins were of conflicting opinions about joint training sessions with the Blades. Keith, Shiro, and Allura loved them. Pidge and Hunk would rather be messing with tech, and Lance didn't care for them, since the Blades were worse taskmasters than Allura had been when they first arrived at the castle.

Lance was dragging his feet as he made his way to the training deck. He shot a glare at his team mates, especially Keith. He was almost bouncing on his feet like he couldn't wait to get to training. His glare sharpened at Keith's giddiness.

"If you are so excited to train, why don't you go ahead of us?"

Keith grinned. "I'm only excited because I know what training exercise we are going to be doing."

Lance sighed. "Sounds like Mullet all right. Excited about training."

Keith frowned. "You are going to eat those words when you find out what we're doing."

"We'll see about that." With Lance having said that, the group entered the training deck and was surprised to see all five of the Blades in there with blasters in their claws and six more laying at their feet.

Keith chirped and grabbed one of the blasters. He checked the color of his ammo and was pleasantly surprised to see that he got the same color he always had at home. He looked up at his pack and grinned.

"Welcome, Paladins. Please select a blaster for the training exercise," Kolivan stated.

The other five Paladins (including Allura) quickly dispersed the remaining blasters amongst themselves.

"Now, please check the color of your ammo and state what color you have," Thace continued.

"I have pink," Allura said.

"Yellow," Hunk spoke up.

"I ended up with tan," Shiro added.

"I got magenta," Pidge remarked.

Lance looked at his ammo. "Ooo. I have aqua."

Kolivan replied, "Red."

Antok retorted, "Blue."

"Purple," Thace added.

"Green," Ulaz acknowledged.

Regris responded with, "Orange."

Keith grinned. "White."

Lance's eyes widened in realization. "Are we doing a shooting exercise?!"

Keith's grin grew bigger. "Told you so, Sharpshooter."

"I'll give you that one, Mullet. So," Lance twirled his blaster. "When do we start?"

%%%

The Blades realized they may have made a mistake inviting the Paladins, specifically Lance, to join this...game of theirs. If they thought Keith was good, then Lance was on another level altogether. He shot everyone, even Keith sported Lance's aqua colored ammo! He did this all without getting hit himself. However, it went from a fun exercise to a game of cat and mouse with Lance as the cat.

Kolivan and Antok exchanged looks of dread as they edged along the corridor. They had decided to team up together in order to not get taken down by the Blue Paladin like Thace and Ulaz were. They had lost sight of Keith and Regris, but they had to still be in the castle.

They saw the Yellow and Green Paladins in the corridor. The Yellow Paladin was collapsed, covered in all of the colors of everyone's ammo. The Green Paladin was escaping into the ventilation system. They noticed she had spots of color as well. They shook their heads at the futility of her actions. She couldn't stay in there, and when she came out, she would get tagged by Lance...and maybe Keith.

A little further down the corridor, hushed voices could be heard. From what Kolivan and Antok could hear, it appeared that Shiro and Allura had also teamed up, but to take down Lance, they needed to keep their voices down, so he wouldn't hear their plan.

They continued to creep along the corridor, which was strangely quiet and darker than normal. The Blades weren't worried as they had excellent night vision. Somehow, they missed Lance creeping up on them.

"I win." Lance pulled the trigger.

Fin

Chapter Text

"Rest"

Keith trudged into headquarters, tired after his mission. At least he wasn't alone; Acxa was by his side. He was so glad that his sister was going on missions with him. He really wanted to curl up with his mom though.

Acxa kept an arm around her twin. She could feel how tired he was and was afraid that he'd collapse any tick. She just hoped he'd be able to make it to the nest.

%%%

Krolia was reclined in the familial nest with Regris curled up against her side. He had had a close call on his latest mission and had needed comfort. She hadn't liked that all of the kits were sent of missions by themselves, but she hadn't had a choice in the matter.

Suddenly, the door opened, and her twins walked in, Acxa supporting her younger brother. The tick Keith saw Krolia, he whimpered. "Mama."

"Keith." Krolia reached out, and Keith swiftly entered the nest and tucked himself under her chin.

Acxa entered the nest and settled beside Regris, noticing the older kit was still unsettled. She groomed his headfur and purred to him. He relaxed a little, sensing his siblings were nearby.

Krolia just held her youngest kit. She could tell how tired he was from how he snuggled against her. She purred to him. "Just rest, my kit. I'm here. I've got you."

Keith let his eyes drift closed, a soft purr escaping him as he fell asleep. Krolia let a hand drift down to the other two kits curled up on her other side. She stroked their headfur, earning purrs from them. "Go ahead and get some rest, you two. You deserve it just as much as your brother."

"Okay, Mama," Acxa replied. All three kits were touching some part of each other. Acxa curled around Regris with her head in Keith's lap. Regris was tucked against his sister and had his tail draped across Keith's legs.

Krolia sighed softly when she heard the purrs of three sleeping kits. She had hoped she would be able to get them to relax. Nothing was better at relaxing kits than cuddles in the familial nest, especially with their mom.

Fin

Chapter Text

"Bouncing"

Kolivan, Antok, Thace, and Ulaz accompanied their kits to a trampoline park. Thace was holding a kit with short, pale lavender fur; solid gold eyes; and large, fluffy ears, whose name was Keith. Antok had ahold of his kit, whose name was Regris, who had short fur the same color as his Dads; a long tail; large, fluffy ears; and the same gold eyes as his pack brother. Kolivan and Antok were biological Dads to Regris, while Thace and Ulaz were Keith's biological Dads.

The tick they entered the building, the kits squirmed in their Dads' arms. Keith's golden eyes lit up as they took in all the different areas. There was a large area that looked like a patchwork of trampoline squares with a slanted wall to bounce off of. In a sectioned off area was a spinning, two armed beam that had to jumped over or it would knock them off their feet, which would cause them to land on a trampoline. There were three foam pits with various ways to fall/jump in. One way was to jump in via a flat trampoline, another way was to jump in via a slanted trampoline, and a third way was to to jump off the diving board. In a separate foam pit, one would hold onto a trapeze bar before releasing their grip and landing in the pit. In the last section were two balance beams that two opponents tried to knock each other off of with long bags with handles.

Keith looked at Thace. "Daddy, can we go?"

Thace looked over at Antok, who nodded and set his kit down. Thace followed suite, setting Keith on his feet. "Go ahead, kits. Have fun."

A pair of fangs flashed before they dashed off. Ulaz chuckled as his kit and his pack brother flung themselves into one of the foam pits. He leaned against his mate, and Thace wrapped his arms around Ulaz as a sign of affection as well as to keep him from hovering over Keith. Ulaz was quite protective of their kit. It was something he had in common with Antok. The large Galra was very protective of his kit, which did extend to the other kit of his pack as well. With Antok watching them, no one dared mess with the kits.

%%%

Keith was having a little bit of an issue getting out of the foam pit, so Regris used his tail to let him have a life line. Keith used his brother's tail to help him out of the pit.

Keith was surprised with himself as he was enjoying jumping and flipping on these trampolines. He even bounced off the slanted wall with a wide grin on his face, showing off his little fangs. He had lost sight of his Dads but knew that they wouldn't leave him there and that they were more than likely nearby. He bounced on an out of the way trampoline; higher and higher before doing a flip and catching sight of his Dads. He waved as he flipped. Ulaz waved back, while Thace grinned.

Regris had his tail wrapped around his waist, so it wouldn't get in his way as he bounced. The last thing he wanted was to land on his tail. He had done that before, and it was painful. He had needed cuddles from his Dad, who sympathized with him. He knew what that felt like. He had done something similar in his youth. Antok wrapped his tail around Kolivan's waist as he watched his kit having fun.

"This was a good idea, wasn't it, my mate?" Kolivan asked.

"Indeed it was. Our kits are having fun...and so is Thace and Ulaz."

Thace and Ulaz were on the balance beams with the bags in their claws, clearly trying to knock each other off and into the pit below. It was almost as if Thace and Ulaz were being deadly serious until you caught sight of their grins, but even then, it still looked serious. They taunted each other and very carefully chose their stances and whether they dodged or blocked their opponent's attack. It was several doboshes of this back and forth before Thace got the upper hand and knocked Ulaz into the foam pit with a soft war cry. Thace grinned and gave an exaggerated bow before Ulaz knocked him off his feet from the foam pit, and the violet furred  Galra landed in the foam pit on the other side of the balance beam.

Kolivan grinned as he watched the other couple act like a couple of kits and relaxed against his mate. This was a good idea, even though it was originally just for their kits.

Fin

Chapter Text

"Tired"

Keith awoke with a gasp. His breaths were coming in pants, his ears were folded against his skull (almost disappearing into his fluffy hair), and his tail was twitching. He clutched his blanket to his chest and tried to calm his breathing. It was just a nightmare, no matter how real it felt. His pack and team weren't going to leave him just because he didn't look purely human or Galran. He knew that, but he also knew that he wasn't going to get back to sleep by himself. He wrapped his fluffiest blanket around his shoulders and left his room.

%%%

The bridge of the Castle of Lions was eerily quiet in the middle of the night. Shiro hadn't thought a room would be creepy, but this one was. Maybe it was the low hum of the Balmeran crystal or maybe it was the missing murmur of the rest of the Paladins. Whatever it was, it set the Black Paladin on edge.

Maybe Shiro shouldn't have taken a midnight shift when he hadn't been getting enough sleep as it was, because he started dozing off in his Paladin seat.

The door to the bridge opened, and Keith approached the lightly dozing leader. He shifted on his feet. He didn't really want to wake Shiro if he was actually sleeping, but he needed the comfort of his brother. "Nii-san?"

Keith's voice startled Shiro awake. He quickly looked over his shoulder. "Ototo? What's wrong?"

Keith still hesitated. He didn't want to sound weak, even though Shiro had comforted him through many nightmares before.

Shiro took a good look at Keith's posture and instantly knew what he wanted. He held his arms open. "Come here, Keith."

Keith saw the invitation and took the opportunity to sit on Shiro's lap. He sighed in contentment, hearing Shiro's heartbeat in the ear he had pressed against his chest. Shiro carded his left hand through Keith's hair.

Keith snuggled into Shiro's chest, but he felt like he needed verbal confirmation that his dream wouldn't come true. "'Kashi?"

"Yes, Keith?"

"You don't mind that I look more Galran, right? I won't get kicked off the team because I don't look like I used to?"

"Keith, I don't care if you looked like a pure blooded Galra. You are still my little brother. None of us care that your Galra heritage is more obvious now. You are the Red Paladin, and you're not getting kicked off the team. Besides, I don't think Red would allow it." Shiro noticed the lingering doubt on Keith's face. "Also, the Blades don't care that you don't look full Galra either. They love you, because you are you. They took you under their wings, and you are pack to them. They will never abandon you, and neither will we."

"Thanks, nii-san." Keith yawned.

Shiro wrapped the blanket and his arms around Keith. "Get some rest, ototo. I'll be here when you wake up."

Keith's eyes closed, and his posture relaxed as he fell asleep, firmly ensconced in his brother's arms. Shiro tried to stay awake for his midnight shift, but it was hard with Keith's comforting weight and his body heat. Without meaning to, Shiro fell asleep.

%%%

When Allura stepped onto the bridge that morning, she was not expecting to see her Black and Red Paladins sleeping in the Black Paladin seat. It was adorable though, especially with Keith purring. She took a few pictures with her data pad and sent them to the rest of the team, Coran, and the four members of Keith's pack. She tucked it away before she shifted. She grew in size, so she could safely carry both sleeping Paladins at the same time.

It was difficult to get them out of the Black Paladin seat without disturbing either of them, but she managed to do that. She carefully carried them to the lounge and laid them on the couch. She paused when Keith stopped purring and whined a little. She quickly realized that his blanket had slipped off of him. When she situated the blanket back over him, she realized why Keith liked the blanket. It felt like Galra fur and was weighted as well. Allura smiled and couldn't help but pet Keith's hair, causing him to resume purring. Allura only stayed for another dobosh or two before leaving the Paladins to continue resting.

%%%

Shiro opened his eyes slowly. He recognized the lounge, but wasn't he just on the bridge? Keith was still on his chest, covered with his weighted fuzzy blanket. He didn't want to move while Keith was still sleeping. He carefully fished his data pad out of his pocket and was surprised to see that he had a couple of similar messages, one from Pidge and one from Ulaz.

The messages had a picture of him and Keith asleep in the Black Paladin seat and text stating that they looked adorable sleeping there with Ulaz adding the line that they shouldn't sleep in chairs because it wasn't good for their health.

Just then, Coran entered the lounge and noticed that Shiro was awake but not Keith. He instantly quieted his voice. "Good morning, Shiro. I trust you had a good rest."

"Did you move us, Coran?"

"Ah, no, Number One. That was Allura. She's also the one who sent everyone these pictures." Coran showed Shiro all the pictures Allura had sent him.

Shiro blushed and tightened his hold on Keith. "Keith's not going to be happy that people have seen these."

"He'd have a problem with it, even though it's just the team and his pack?"

Shiro stopped and thought about the conversation he had with Keith the previous night. He combed his fingers through Keith's hair and replied, "Maybe not."

"I'll leave you two be. The princess said you two need rest. She's ordering an easy quintant for everyone unless there's an attack."

"You should lock the training deck then," Shiro muttered.

"Allura's already taken care of that," Coran stated before he left the lounge.

"Not funny, Shiro," Keith groused but didn't open his eyes.

Shiro grinned at his brother and petted his hair. "It's true, ototo, but just go back to sleep. It's all right."

Keith grumbled under his breath but snuggled against Shiro's chest anyway. Shiro chuckled and tucked Keith's weighted fuzzy blanket around him but wasn't surprised to feel Keith's tail wrap around one of his legs. He had learned that it was a sign that Keith didn't want the person he was snuggling with to go anywhere. Shiro had no intention of leaving his brother any time that quintant anyway.

Fin

Chapter Text

"Freeze Tag"

The Paladins were gathered on the training deck, which surprised the Princess. Normally, all five didn't show up unless she told them to bond as a team, but this didn't look like any training she was used to. They were just trying to stay away from Pidge, who kept chasing after them. How were they supposed to form Voltron if they were avoiding one of their fellow Paladins?

%%%

Shiro had to admit that Lance and Hunk had a good idea for the team to let off some steam by playing a game on the training deck, which was empty at the moment. Keith had been on his way there, so roping him into the game wasn't too hard. They just had to explain the rules. (Lance had a heart attack, when Keith said he never played freeze tag...or tag in general). Shiro had never seen Keith smile so much before. The Red Paladin seemed to be having fun, especially since he was physically the fastest on the team and no one could catch him.

Suddenly, Shiro felt a tap on his back. He looked at the grinning Pidge who had used his moment of distraction to tag him. Shiro grinned before he froze in place, hoping someone would come by and unfreeze him. He allowed himself to take in the scene before him. He watched as Pidge alternated between chasing Hunk and Lance, and once in a while, when he was close enough, she'd lunge at Keith to try and touch him. She usually missed, him dancing away with a broad grin on his face.

It was then that Shiro realized that Allura was standing just inside the training deck doors, watching the game with the most confused look on her face. He couldn't figure out why she looked confused. The rules of the game were straight forward. Even someone as socially awkward as Keith understood them. Just stay away from... ooooh. Then, Shiro understood. It probably looked like they were trying to avoid Pidge, which they were, but Allura probably didn't realize it was a game.

Shiro felt another tap but this time on his shoulder. A quick look told him that Keith was the one who freed him as he watched the Red Paladin sped off to free Hunk, who had been tagged by Pidge. Shiro knew he couldn't just slip away from the rest of the Paladins to explain it to the princess, but surely she'll either ask what was going on or leave. The Black Paladin turned his attention back to the game and missed the entrance of the four visitors Allura had come to tell the Paladins about before she got distracted by their antics.

%%%

Kolivan, Antok, Thace, and Ulaz stared at the Paladins. Shiro, Lance, Hunk, and Keith seemed to be trying to stay away from Pidge, with only their kit succeeding. Why would they try to avoid their team mate? It seemed a poor way of bonding, but the smiles on their faces indicated that everyone including Pidge were having great time. Thace stepped forward and let out a loud growl, stopping the Paladins in their tracks. Keith's head turned in their direction, and he let out a questioning noise.

"What were you five doing?" Ulaz questioned.

Keith came closer to his pack. "It was a game called...hey, Lance! What was the name again?"

"Freeze tag! Seriously, Mullet, it's not a complicated name."

"I've never played it before, okay?"

Lance clutched a hand to his chest. "Don't remind me!"

"It was a game?" came a hesitant question from behind the Blades. "So, you weren't trying to avoid Pidge out of malice?"

Keith looked over and saw relief on Allura's face. "Yes, princess. It was a game. We like Pidge too much to avoid her."

"A game?" Antok cocked his head to the side. "How old are you Paladins?"

"Hunk and I are seventeen," Lance answered.

"Fifteen," Pidge said with a shrug.

"You know I'm eighteen," Keith replied.

"I'm twenty-five," Shiro stated.

"No, you're not," Lance corrected. "You're six."

Shiro groaned. "I regret telling you my birthdate."

Ulaz let out a whine. "Six?! You're six?!"

Keith purred to Ulaz. "Lance was making a joke. Shiro is twenty-five."

Ulaz didn't look convinced, so Thace gathered him into his arms and nuzzled his mate's neck. "It's all right, Laz. The kits are playing a game. When they are done, they can come rest in our nest."

Keith snickered and jumped to the side to avoid the swat from Thace but couldn't escape the one from Antok's tail. "Hey!"

"Don't laugh at your team, kit. Now, go play. We'll see you and the other kits when you are done playing," Antok stated.

Keith hurried back onto the main floor of the training deck. "Okay, guys. Who's it now?"

"Someone other than me," Pidge commented.

"I'll do it!" Lance volunteered. "Go spread out. I want a good challenge!"

Allura and the Blades watched as the Paladins started another game of freeze tag, this time with Lance as the one they were avoiding. Kolivan addressed Allura. "Princess, may we have a large amount of pillows and blankets? We are going to build a large nest in the lounge for all of the kits to rest in."

Allura suppressed a giggle. "The only Paladin that's truly a kit is Keith. The others are human, who don't have as long a lifespan."

"Nevertheless, we will still have them rest in the nest. They may not live as long as Galra or Alteans, but they are still young," Kolivan responded.

Allura grinned. "Of course. Follow me, and I'll show you where the excess supplies are. You can take what you want."

Thace led Ulaz out of the training deck, following the princess, with Antok right behind them. Kolivan paused for a dobosh and looked over his shoulder at the group of kits, the corners of his lips twitching at Lance's failed attempt at getting Keith.

Fin

Chapter Text

"Belly of The Weblum"

Keith couldn't believe that he was going to fly into the stomach of a Weblum to gather scaultrite. His Dads had been rightfully horrified to learn that their kit was being sent on this mission. Krolia, on the other hand, had refused to let him go.

%%% Flashback Begins

"No! He will not be sent into one of those giant death monsters! He's just a kit!" Krolia exclaimed.

"Mom, it's okay. You heard what Coran said. If any one of us fails, the entire plan fails. Besides, I've got Hunk with me." Keith nuzzled his mom, who gave tiny licks to his visible cheek stripes. "I'll be fine."

"I know you will, my kit, but it's my job to worry about you."

"I love you, Mom. I'll see you when we get back."

"Love you too, Keith."

%%% Flashback Ends

Even though he assured his Mom that he'd be fine, it was still dangerous. Moreso since the video Coran uploaded seemed to be corroded due to its age and caused them to be missing some very important information. Fortunately, Yellow Lion had strong armor, and Hunk could activate the armor claws, allowing them to attach to the Weblum in its blind spot. They entered the Weblum, and Keith had to talk Hunk down from the panic attack he almost had. Following that, they were almost immediately beset by flying jellyfish looking creatures that had acid defenses. 

Keith and Hunk got separated as they battled the creatures, Keith having to dive into stomach acid to escape them. He was dumped out and was free falling. He managed to land on the hull of a trapped ship.

"What the-impossible." He stood up, materialized his sword, and sliced through the cord wrapped around the ship. "Don't move. I'm here to help." He stabbed the hatch of the cockpit with sword, which fell away when he pulled his sword back. Keith held his hand out, which the pilot grabbed. Keith pulled the pilot up and close. He saw a familiar symbol on the helmet and gasped. Keith  yanked forward on the arm he was holding, grabbed the gun, and aimed it at the pilot. "You're Galra."

More of the jellyfish looking creatures appeared at that moment causing Keith to growl. "Not those things again."

The pilot pulled up a screen from their forearm panel and started typing on it.

Keith asked, "What are you doing?! You're turning this ship into a bomb."

Both jumped off the ship as the creatures attacked and swarmed the ship, which then exploded. Keith activated his shield to protect not only him but the Galra pilot as well. The explosion pushed them through a wall, and both of them landed face down. The next thing Keith knew, the pilot was rushing towards him and tackled him, grabbing back the gun as Keith flipped them off. They fired three times in rapid succession while Keith manifested his shield. However, the blasts didn't hit him; they took care of the three creatures that were approaching from behind Keith.

"I guess you can keep your weapon."

The pilot lightened their helmet tint, and Keith gasped. "Acxa, is that really you?"

Acxa took a real good look at Keith and gasped as well. "Keith?"

The twins hugged each other. Keith asked, "How did you get trapped here?"

"I was sent to gather scaultrite for Lotor," Acxa mentioned.

"How are Lotor and Ezor?" At his twin's confused look, Keith added, "Our Mom and Dads said you guys were together."

"They're doing good as far as I know. I just need to gather some scaultrite, so I can make it back to them."

"You're in luck because my friend and I are here to get scaultrite too."

"Who is your friend, and what are you wearing?"

"I'm the Red Paladin of Voltron, and my friend is Hunk, the Yellow Paladin of Voltron. We got separated and are supposed to meet up in the third stomach. Let's go." Keith grabbed his twin's hand, tugging her along.

%%%

It didn't take long for Keith and Acxa to reach the third stomach, and, to Keith's delight, Hunk was already there.

"Keith! You made it! We both made it! Who's this?"

"This is Acxa, my twin sister. We grew up together at the Blades' headquarters. Acxa, this is Hunk, Yellow Paladin of Voltron." Keith stage whispered, "Careful. He a hugger."

Acxa grinned. She was glad that her brother was with someone who would gladly give him affection.

"Uh, that may be true, but this isn't a time for hugs. Look!" Hunk pointed at a large group of the creatures that had been attacking them since they entered the weblum.

Keith sliced through several of the creatures and used his shield to physically block a stream of others, while Acxa shot several with her blaster. Hunk had taken a bunch out as well when they stopped attacking. There was a whirlwind of some sort that took a lot of them out. Hunk figured out what he needed to do in order for Keith to collect the scaultrite.

Once Hunk got the weblum to activate its blue laser (and stayed out of its path), Keith collected and bagged the scaultrite. He handed Acxa a full bag. "Here. This is yours, sis. Take it back to our siblings."

Acxa flung her arms around Keith's neck and bumped their helmets together. "I'm going to miss you, but I'm glad we got to see each other again."

"I told you we would. Tell Lotor and Ezor hi and give them hugs for me."

"Hopefully, I'll see you soon, brother." Acxa squeezed Keith before releasing him and taking the bag he offered her.

He watched her leave with a heavy heart before radioing Hunk to pick him up. Once he and all the scaultrite were aboard the Yellow Lion, Keith entered the cockpit and yanked off his helmet, staring at his stripes in the reflective surface. He wished he could have nuzzled his twin before they parted again.

"Hey, where's your twin?"

Keith whined softly. "She had to go. By the way, Hunk, you really came through in a clutch back there. Without you, the mission would have been a failure."

"Aw, thanks, Galra Keith."

Keith rolled his eyes. He knew Hunk didn't mean anything by the nickname. "Just get us back to the castle. I need my pack."

Hunk cocked his head. "Do you need a hug?"

"Please."

Hunk set his lion on autopilot and wrapped his arms around Keith, pulling him onto his lap. Keith nuzzled Hunk's shoulder, relishing in the contact. Hunk rubbed his back, and Keith started purring. Fortunately, Yellow could fly herself, because Keith didn't want to be put down. He missed his siblings a lot, especially Lotor, Ezor, and Acxa. He hadn't got to be truly reunited with them since he had been sent to Earth. He was glad to have half of his pack with him back at the castle ship, but he longed for his pack to be whole.

Having to jump immediately into a battle with a robeast they had previously fought and thought had been defeated by the Balmera they saved was not what Keith and Hunk had expected. Keith had to get to his lion, but Yellow had been blasted by the robeast's beam and was rendered temporarily inoperable. However, seeing how close they were to the castle, Keith figured he'd just jet pack over and get Red. He didn't expect to be hit by the robeast's beam, but Red came to his rescue.

Once the team formed Voltron, the robeast was dispatched with relative speed, and they were able to enter their hangars back at the castle. Keith and Hunk unloaded all the bags of scaultrite they had collected. Allura was pleased with how much they collected and thanked both Paladins. "Hunk, Keith, thank you so much for collecting the scaultrite."

"You're welcome, Princess. Can we go wash up? The inside of a weblum is not what I want to smell like." Keith wiggled his nose. The smell was starting to get to him.

"Oh yes. Of course. Go wash and change."

Keith quickly departed and practically dove into his shower. He definitely wanted this disgusting smell off of him and scrubbed every inch of skin and his hair multiple times until there was no hint of the smell left. He dried off and threw on some comfortable clothes, padding barefoot to his pack's room. He chirped when he saw Krolia, Kolivan, Antok, Ulaz, and Regris all in the nest, apparently waiting for him. He entered the nest and tucked himself under his mom's chin, whimpering slightly, which worried the pack.

"What's wrong, my kit?" Krolia asked, nosing Keith's hair.

"While Hunk and I were in the weblum, I met someone else who had been stuck in there. After I rescued them, I found out it was Acxa! She had been sent to gather scaultrite as well. We only got to talk for a little while, but we couldn't take off our helmets. It was rough. I didn't even get to see my other brother and sister either." Keith buried his face in his mom's neck. "I just want our pack whole once again."

Kolivan rubbed Keith's back. "We understand, kit. Perhaps once this plan of ours in completed, everyone will be able to join us either here or home."

Keith snuggled against his mom, who noticed how tired her youngest kit was. "Get some rest, Keith. We have a long movement ahead of us."

Fin

Chapter Text

"Routine"

"Dad! I'm home!" Keith called as he opened the door. He toed off his shoes and ran into the waiting arms of his adopted father.

"Hey, sport. Welcome home. How was your day?" One look at Keith's face told Jake everything he needed. "Come on, Keith. Let's go sit down."

Jake led Keith into the master bedroom's enormous bathroom that had a sit down vanity in it. Keith gracefully sank down onto the seat and stared at his adoptive father in the mirror. Jake picked up a hairbrush and started running it through Keith's thick hair, eliciting one of those strange sounds that Keith made; this one a purr. Jake smiled as Keith closed his eyes, clearly enjoying the hair brushing.

It was a routine that they had established early on. It was a way to get Keith to talk about what was bothering him and gave them time to bond. They had a lot in common. They were both boys who had been Fosters in their childhood and had behavorial issues and got returned a lot and nobody gave them a chance or tried to work with them when all they needed love. Jake had aged out of the system and vowed to foster a troubled child who was just like him and give him/her all the love and attention they needed. That's how he came to have Keith in his home.

Keith had been returned one too many times and had pretty much resigned himself to remaining at the orphanage until he aged out. When Jake had come in to look at prospective kids, Keith didn't come running. No one had ever wanted a troublesome older kid...until Jake showed up. He had asked for the files of the kids who had been returned multiple times. The second he had seen Keith's file, he knew this was the one. The ladies who ran the orphanage scoffed and suggested he choose a different child, but Jake insisted on Keith. Keith was in shock when he was brought before the man, so sure that it was a mistake that he whimpered a little. Keith cut himself off and cringed, knowing how the ladies who ran the orphanage (and the other kids) didn't like those weird noises he made. However, Jake simply pulled him in close and rubbed his back. He whispered, "It's okay." He raised his head. "This is the one I want."

That had been six months ago, and Jake couldn't imagine his life without Keith in it. He had discovered odd little quirks of Keith's that he let slide, even though he took note of them. On the top of the list were the weird noises he made (like the whimper and the purring). There were times where Jake swore he saw Keith's eyes change from white sclera to yellow and from round pupils to slitted. Sometimes, when he was angry, his teeth were sharpened. Not all the quirks were physical changes though. He adored hugs and liked cuddles. He still had issues talking about what was bothering him, which led Jake to lead him to the vanity and brush his hair. He had found that Keith found it relaxing to have his hair brushed, and when Keith was relaxed, he was more open to talking.

"There was a man from the Galaxy Garrison that visited our class today. He had my class fly one of the simulators, and I did really well, and he wants me to go to the Galaxy Garrison, but we can't afford for me to go."

"Since you showed such an aptitude, we will find a way to get you into the Garrison."

%%%

Keith had held onto the practice of talking while brushing his hair, even if he was by himself. It also helped to hear his problems out loud, even though he didn't just talk about them. So, it came as no surprise to him when his pack found him sitting in front of a mirror he bought at the space mall, brushing his hair and talking to his reflection.

"Kit? Is everything okay?" Thace asked.

"Wha-of course. Why wouldn't it be?"

"You were talking to yourself," Thace answered.

Keith chuckled. "It was a habit I picked up from Jake."

"Who is Jake?" Kolivan inquired.

Ulaz slipped the brush from Keith's hand and started running it through Keith's hair, causing the kit to purr, which was heard in his voice. "Jake was the one Foster that actually adopted me. He had come to the orphanage looking for a kid that had been returned many times. He actually chose me and let me indulge my quirks, as he called them. I now know they were my kit instincts and part of my Galra heritage. We had a routine that if I was having a bad day or something was bothering me, I'd sit down at his vanity and he'd brush my hair while I told him the issue. I liked it so much that I kept doing that, even though he isn't here with me."

"Of course he is, kit." Thace reached out and  gently placed his hand over Keith's heart. "He's in here, and I'm glad you had someone who had such a positive impact on your life."

Keith purred and nuzzled Thace. Kolivan and Antok gathered around Keith and doted on him. Antok wrapped his tail around Keith's waist, and Kolivan rubbed his back. Thace nuzzled Keith's neck, while Ulaz kept brushing Keith's hair. Keith was happy that his pack was going to continue the routine Jake had implemented when he accepted Keith into his life.

Fin

Chapter Text

"Sensory Overload"

Keith huddled in his bed. The lights were off, and he wasn't wearing his jacket or his boots. He knew he had promised Lance that he would join the team for movie night, but everything was too much. The lights were too bright, the sounds were too loud, there were too many people around, and hardly anything felt right. He knew he wouldn't be able to enjoy himself and didn't want to stop the rest of the team from enjoying themselves.

%%%

Lance frowned as he walked to Keith's room. He was a little irritated with his...crush. Lance had to admit it; he had a crush on Keith. Crush aside, Keith had promised Lance that he would join them for movie night and failed to show up. He had been certain that the resident emo was on the training deck, so he volunteered to drag him out of there. To his surprise, the training deck was empty. With the first likely place crossed off his list, Lance went to Keith's room.

He couldn't see any lights on or hear any sounds coming from inside the room, but that didn't mean that Keith wasn't inside. He knocked on the door and was surprised to hear a whimper come from inside the room. He gently opened the door and stepped inside, allowing the door to close behind him.

It took a few moments for his eyes to acclimate to the darkness and a few more for him to make out the outline of his crush on the bed. Remembering the reaction to him knocking, Lance whispered, "Keith?"

Lance could tell Keith looked up from the softly glowing eyes. It was a trait he got from his Galra heritage. His eyes didn't change unless he was beyond angry, but they glowed in the dark nonetheless, giving the Paladin excellent night vision.

"Lance?" His voice was barely more than a whisper.

"Yeah," Lance continued to whisper. "Are you okay?"

The movement of those glowing eyes indicated that Keith shook his head. Lance waited a moment before he added, "Is the reason you didn't show up to movie night that you ended up with sensory overload?"

There was a dobosh of awkward silence during which Lance wasn't sure if Keith was going to answer. Reluctantly, Keith nodded.

"Is there anything I can do?"

Another silent dobosh went by before Lance had an idea. "Would you want to wear my jacket? You could put up the hood. It's good at blocking out light and sound."

Keith looked Lance up and down as if he was sizing him up, but Lance realized he was looking at his jacket. One dobosh stretched into two before Keith whispered, "Yeah."

Lance smiled as he took off his jacket. He crossed the room and stood far enough from Keith's bed that the other Paladin wouldn't think he was crowding him but close enough where Keith could grab the jacket from his outstretched hand.

Keith looked at Lance's jacket before lifting his eyes to Lance's face. The hesitation on Keith's face was easily seen at this close distance. Lance bit his lip before he offered, "Would you want me to put it around you?"

Another nod, this time tentative, was his answer. Lance got even closer and draped his jacket over Keith's shoulders and put up the hood, making sure to not only tuck his hair inside it but also to not touch Keith too much.

He knew what sensory overload was like. He got it all the time as a kid. It was one reason he liked his jacket. He wasn't lying when he said it was good at blocking out light and sound, but it was also good at enveloping the wearer in a comforting feeling material. He just hoped that it helped Keith like it did with him.

Keith was amazed at how Lance's jacket seemed to help him. He didn't feel as if everything was too much anymore. He wasn't up to leaving his room or joining the rest of the Paladins for movie night, but he was feeling better. He looked up at Lance and smiled for the first time that day.

"I guess I'll go tell the guys that they can start the movie. I hope you feel better, Keith."

Lance stepped away from the bed and out the door. Before the door closed behind him, he could have sworn that he heard, "Thank you, Lance."

Fin

Chapter Text

"Going Out"

Krolia cocked her head as she reread the message she received. "Keith?"

"Yes, Mama?" Keith poked his head out of the kitchen, where he was preparing himself a snack.

"I just received an invitation to go out shopping with Pidge."

"Weird. Pidge doesn't like shopping." Keith walked over with a bowl of cut up fruit and looked at the message. As he looked over the message, Krolia snuck a couple pieces of fruit out of his overly full bowl. His eyes lit up. "Oh, the original invitation is from Veronica."

"Veronica? Oh! That's your boyfriend's sister, right?"

"Lance isn't my boyfriend," Keith mumbled.

"But you wish he was," Kolivan stated, coming over to Keith and Krolia, nuzzling the latter and petting the former's hair.

Keith purred from the affection. "Maybe. Are you going to go?"

"I think so."

"Would you like me to go with you?" Kolivan asked.

"No. You would be bored hearing ladies gossip and try clothes on."

Keith stuffed a piece of fruit into his mouth to stifle his laughter. His mother's comment evoked an image of Kolivan standing in a mall, holding a bunch of bags and looking completely out of place. However, he wasn't completely successful and half-choked on a piece of apple. Kolivan pounded on his back, dislodging the piece of fruit.

"Easy, kit."

Keith managed to wheeze out, "Thanks."

"While your mother is out, do you want to hang out with your boyfriend, kit?"

Keith turned red and insisted, "He's not my boyfriend."

"I did not mention any names, but apparently, one came to mind," Kolivan teased.

Keith ducked his head, hiding his eyes behind his bangs. He knew Kolivan was just teasing him, but it was still embarrassing. "Yes."

Krolia nuzzled Keith's head. "It's all right, kit. Why don't you go ahead and hang out with Lance while I go shopping with his sister? Maybe you can tell him about your feelings."

"Yeah. Maybe."

%%%

"You invited Krolia? Why?" Lance was confused.

"I thought she might like to wear some Earth fashions. Besides, she'll need some maternity clothes soon," Veronica answered.

"M-Maternity clothes? But her husband is dead."

"Her first husband is, but she's...oh, what's the word...mated? Yeah, she's mated to Kolivan."

"She's pregnant? Does Keith know?"

"Of course Keith knows. He's the one who told me."

"Why didn't he tell me?"

"Have you seen him in the past month?"

Lance's shoulders sagged a little. "No, but I wanted to. He's just so busy with transforming the Blade of Marmora into a humanitarian relief organization that I don't have a chance to hang out with him."

"If you tell him you want to hang out, maybe he'll stay on Earth longer."

"Yeah. Maybe."

The roar of a hover bike engine drew the two siblings attention, and they dashed to the door. A red and white hover bike pulled up to their house, next to their mom's car, their dad's truck, and Lisa's SUV. Keith got down and helped his mother get down and to the house. Veronica opened the door, allowing the two Koganes entrance.

"Krolia, Keith. Thanks for coming."

"Thank you for inviting me," Krolia replied.

Keith looked at Lance and gave a small smile. "Hey, Lance. It's good to see you."

"Same here. I missed you."

"Did you want to hang out...with me?"

Lance's eyes lit up. "Sure."

"We can take the hover bike and get ice cream or something," Keith offered.

"Ice cream sounds good, but doesn't your mom need the bike?"

Keith shook his head. "No. Kolivan doesn't want her riding on it by herself. They only reason he let her ride was because I was there. I am more protective of her than he is."

"Why?"

"Galra births are exceedingly difficult. I am only allowed to go somewhere since I am early in my pregnancy," Krolia answered.

Keith tucked himself under his mother's chin and purred to her. "Take care and have a good time, Mama." Keith turned to Veronica. "You are the one I'm going to hold responsible if she doesn't."

"Don't worry, Keith. She'll be okay. Besides, it's not just me and Pidge. Allura, Romelle, Nadia, and Ina are coming with us."

Keith visibly relaxed at the list of names. He trusted the two Alteans the most aside from Pidge. He nuzzled his mom before he stepped back. Krolia took this time to whisper into her son's ear. "I expect you and Lance to be boyfriends when I get back."

Keith blushed a little but nodded and stepped over to Lance's side. "Are you ready, Lance?"

"Yes."

Keith grabbed Lance's hand and pulled him outside. They climbed onto Keith's hover bike, Lance sitting behind Keith with his arms around Keith's waist. When Keith started the bike, Lance couldn't help but bury his face into Keith's back.

%%%

Once the two boys were out of sight, Veronica drove herself and Krolia to the mall, where they met the rest of the group. They all insisted on going to the maternity shop first, in order to get Krolia into some comfortable yet cute clothes, and then a baby clothing store to at least look at the adorable clothes because Galran kits may not fit into Earth baby clothes.

Krolia quickly corrected the girls' line of thinking.  "Our kits are born small, but they grow quickly. I'd like to get some of these for my kits."

"Kits? As in more than one?" Pidge asked.

"Oh yes. Galra have litters. Always more than one kit. "

"Then why is Keith an only child?" Nadia questioned.

"Human-Galra hybrids are different. It was a difficult pregnancy. I miscarried a couple times before I had Keith."

Allura and Romelle hugged Krolia, who purred to them in response to their comfort.

"Speaking of Keith, how is he dealing with you expecting another baby?" Romelle inquired.

Krolia giggled. "He's more protective of me than Kolivan is."

%%%

Keith and Lance were sitting across from each other, enjoying their ice cream.

"I can't believe you chose vanilla!" Lance exclaimed. "They have a million flavors!"

"They have fifty flavors, Lance, not a million, and I like vanilla."

Lance waved his mint chocolate chip ice cream cone in front of Keith's face. "Come on, Keithy. Live a little!"

Keith shrugged and bit the top of Lance's ice cream. Lance's jaw dropped in shock. Keith swallowed the ice cream thoughtfully. "Not bad, but I think I'll just stick with my vanilla."

Lance was gobsmacked. "Wha-Keith?"

Keith chuckled. "I like this. Hanging out with you. In fact, I'd like to do it more often. What would you say to being my boyfriend?"

Lance's eyes widened. "Really? I'd like that too, but next time, don't bite my ice cream."

"Come on, Lancey. Live a little."

Fin

Chapter Text

"Dozing Kits"

Krolia walked into her nest and was surprised to see not only Keith laying in there but Lance as well. Her kit was curled up with his team mate. What was their relationship? Were they mates?

She entered the nest and curled around Keith's other side, nosing his hair. She was pleased to hear that he was purring, so he hadn't been having any issues.

"Mama?"

Krolia shifted her gaze down and noticed that her kit's eyes were half open. "It's okay, kit. I'm here...and so is Lance."

"...Lance?"

"Did you not know that Lance was here?"

"No. Just surprised that you don't mind."

"Of course not, kit. Lance is welcome, especially if he's your mate." Krolia nuzzled Keith's neck gently.

"Yeah. He's my boyfriend. I love him."

"And I love him too." Lance opened his eyes part way.

Keith nudged Lance with his head. "Did we wake you?"

"Not really, cariño." Lance tightened his grip. "It's good to see you again, Krolia."

"Thank you, Lance. Now, you kits need to get some sleep. It's in the middle of the night cycle. If you want, I will join you after a shower."

"Yes, please, Mama." Keith yawned.

Krolia licked Keith's right cheek and Lance's left cheek. "I will be right back, kits."

As she walked to the bathroom, she heard Lance ask, "Did she just call me a kit?"

She chuckled as she started the shower. Having Lance around was going to be interesting.

Fin

Chapter Text

"Watermelon"

Keith was lounging with his pack in their nest when there was a knock on their door. Kolivan went to get up to answer the door and failed to notice that his sleepy kit had a hold of his braid. The increased pressure on his headfur caused him to fall back into the nest with a yelp. Keith opened his eyes and blinked owlishly at his leader. Antok chuckled, patted Keith's hair, and stroked his mate's headfur before he answered the door.

To his amazement, there stood the Yellow Paladin with a large bowl of something in his arms. Hunk took an unconscious step back. Antok had always scared him a little. "Uh, hi. Is Keith awake?"

Hearing Hunk's voice caused Keith to sit bolt upright. "Hunk!"

Hunk took a step forward at the sound of Keith's voice. "I found this fruit that tastes like watermelon and-"

Hunk cut himself off as Keith appeared next to Antok with his eyes sparkling. "Watermelon? Really?"

Hunk grinned. "Do you want some?"

"Yes, please."

"I thought so, so this whole bowl is yours." Hunk held out the bowl he was holding.

"The entire thing is mine?" Keith was surprised. "Won't the others want some?"

"Yes, but I have plenty, so everyone will have enough."

Keith gratefully took the bowl and purred. "Thank you."

"Aw, you're welcome, dude." Hunk smiled as Keith nuzzled him before retreating into the nest with the bowl of watermelon.

Antok hid his smile at his kit's actions. "Thank you for thinking of our kit, Hunk."

Hunk blinked. "Why wouldn't I? I found out Keith likes a lot of fresh fruits and vegis and made it a point to make sure that we have plenty."

"Fruits are okay for him to eat, but vegetables are sweet for Galra, and he shouldn't eat a lot."

"Really? For humans, vegis are essential."

"I will inform Ulaz about this and we will find out which part of his heritage Keith follows in this case. Thank you again." Antok gently closed the door and returned to the nest, where Keith was sitting.

He had his legs crossed and the bowl sitting in the space they created. The rest of the pack was gathered around him, Thace looking into the bowl with interest while his mate leaned against him. Antok sat down next to Kolivan and started undoing his braid (mostly because he wanted to and partly because he wanted to make sure his headfur wouldn't get accidentally pulled again).

"So, what is this, kit?"

"It tastes like watermelon, which is a tasty treat on Earth."

"A treat?" Ulaz questioned. "Is it sweet?"

"It can be, but it's not like candy. It has natural sugars." Keith fished out a piece and popped it into his mouth. His eyes fluttered shut for a moment. He swallowed the piece and purred. "It's so good! Try some!"

Thace tentatively pulled out a piece and took a bite. His eyes widened, and his ears perked up at the taste. He pressed the remaining part to his mate's lips. Ulaz allowed his mate to feed him the fruit.

Keith turned his gaze to the other pair of mates. Kolivan picked out a piece and followed Thace's example of sharing his piece with his mate, whose claws were in his white strands. Keith grinned at his pack's reaction to the fruit. He had a feeling that he was going to have to ask Hunk where he got it from, so the Blades would have it available at headquarters.

Fin

Chapter Text

"Death of A Kit"

"Krolia, emergency extraction now!"

Krolia growled low in her throat at the command of her leader. They only used emergency extractions if the mission was compromised or there was a druid aboard. She didn't know which situation they were in, so she didn't waste any time. She grabbed two of her kits by the back of their uniforms and started running. Regris knew better than to question his pack mother and slipped out of her grasp to cling to her back. It made it easier for her to keep ahold of Keith. The youngest kit didn't like leaving when the mission wasn't completed and was more likely to engage enemies unnecessarily.

Keith tried to slip out of his mother's grasp but stopped when he heard her growl. She wasn't angry with him, but it was a warning. There was danger around, and she needed him to stay put. He knew better than to argue with that growl. He tucked his head into her shoulder and didn't move.

Krolia almost breathed a sigh of relief when she saw the rest of her pack hurrying into their pod. Kolivan, Antok, Thace, Ulaz, and Acxa were safely aboard the pod when she felt the temperature of the ship drop before she even heard the druid approach. In one fluid motion, she threw Keith and Regris, whom she had detached from her back, into the ship. The two kits were caught by Thace and Antok, respectively. Krolia drew her blade as she turned to face the druid. She never stopped moving though, making it seem like she was back pedalling rather than trying to make an escape.

"You and your group are not leaving." The druid raised one of its hands, preparing to unleash their trademark lightning bolt attack.

"NO!"

Time seemed to slow down, but Krolia was frozen in place. She wasn't moving towards the ship nor could she prevent the lightning bolt from hitting the being that flung himself in front of her. The scream ripped from his throat echoed in the hangar as more joined in despair. A transformed blade went zinging through the air and embedded itself in the druid's chest, causing the creature to add its own scream to the din before it died in a flash of light.

Krolia knelt down and turned the being over, hands shaking and tears sliding down her cheeks. It couldn't be true. Her youngest kit couldn't be lying in front of her, having taken the hit from the druid's attack, but the proof was there in front of her. He was having trouble breathing, and his eyes were threatening to slide closed.

"Mama...I'm glad...you're all right..."

"Shh, my sweet kit. You're going to be all right. We'll get you back home, and you'll be okay."

"I...don't think...that'll happen...Mama, I...love you."

His violet eyes slid closed, and his body went lax. Krolia shook him. "No, Keith. Don't die on me! Please, baby. Wake up!"

She cradled his body close to her chest and sobbed, her heartbroken cries drawing the rest of her pack in. Acxa tentatively reached out and stroked Keith's hair. When she didn't get a response, she whined and buried her face in Ulaz's chest, his uniform soaking up her tears.

Regris stared open mouthed at this turn of events. One dobosh his brother was standing next to him, and the next, he was dead. It was almost impossible to believe, if it wasn't right in front of him. He turned his head and buried his face in Antok's chest with loud whimpers. The large Blade turned slightly so he couldn't see the heartbreaking scene of Krolia crying over their kit's dead body.

Ulaz couldn't believe that their kit had done that. Why would he throw his life away? He knew he had thrown himself in the path of the druid's attack to save Krolia, but wasn't there a better way? There was nothing he could do but comfort the kit whose face was buried in his chest, sobbing tears for her twin.

Thace knelt down near Keith's head. He reached out and stroked Keith's untameable hair. He had always loved to groom his hair, trying to do the impossible task of making it lay flat. He would never get to do that again.

Kolivan retrieved his blade from where it had clattered to the floor after taking care of the druid that killed his youngest kit. He sheathed it and walked over to Krolia, who was still sobbing over their kit. He placed a hand on her shoulder. "Let's take him home."

Tears still cascading down her cheeks and landing on her youngest kit's uniform, Krolia stood up and carried him into their pod, being followed by Thace, Kolivan, Ulaz (who was carrying Acxa, who had passed out from exhaustion due to crying), and Antok, who was carrying a still whimpering Regris. Ulaz and Antok laid the two kits in the nest and curled around them. Krolia kept ahold of Keith and Kolivan and Thace started up the pod and flew it back to headquarters. Every member of their pack was heartbroken and would never recover from the loss of their littlest blade.

Fin

Chapter Text

 

"Tormented Dream"

Acxa glanced around the ship. It was eeriely quiet, which was unusual. Normally, she could hear Ezor's inane chatter or Lotor giving commands or even Kova leaping onto a consol, but there was nothing. She drew her blaster but kept it pointed down as she slinked through the corridors of the ship. She checked every room she came across, but the result was always the same: empty. She methodically made her way to the bridge, her nerves more and more on edge as she neared her destination.

The door to the bridge opening in the silence of the ship was akin to an explosion going off nearby. The scene that assaulted her eyes was horrific. Slumped against her consol was Narti with the slain form of Kova by her feet. Not too far away was Ezor, her hand reaching out for her equally dead girlfriend. Trembling, Acxa turned to face the command chair and gasped in horror. Lotor was slumped in his chair, throat slit and blank eyes staring at the slain forms of three of his generals.

She backed up, bumping into a consol. She glanced at it, its surface reflecting her image back at her. Her eyes scanned her reflection in abject terror. There was a red smudge on her right cheek and what appeared to be bloody hand prints on her left arm. The most disturbing thing was the blood splashed across her chest. How did she end up with blood all over her? A glint to her right caught her attention, and she saw that she was holding a blood stained sword instead of her blaster. She dropped the weapon in revulsion and resisted the urge to vomit. The implication was too much to bear. She couldn't have been the one who slaughtered her team and their prince. She couldn't.

%%%

Acxa awoke with a loud whine. She panted heavily as she glanced around at her surroundings. She was in her room on Lotor's ship, laying in her nest. The familiar hum of the ship was comforting, especially since the sound was absent in the nightmare she had had. She wrapped her arms around herself and tried to calm down, because it wasn't real. She hadn't killed her team or their prince. Everyone was alive and well and...on the bridge. The image of all five of them slaughtered brought tears to her eyes, a loud keen tearing itself from her throat.

The pounding of footsteps didn't attract her attention nor did the opening of her door. Crowded in the doorway were Ezor, Zethrid, Narti with Kova on her shoulder, and Lotor. Lotor entered first and knelt down in front of his highest ranking general. "Acxa?"

Her head jerked up at the sound of his voice, and, to his surprise, she threw herself at him, clutching at his uniform top and crying. He wrapped his arms around her, confused as to what had disturbed her so greatly. The other three generals gathered around their prince and distressed team leader. Ezor laid against her side, Zethrid rubbed her back, Kova jumped into her lap and purred to her, and Narti stroked her headfur.

Once Acxa wasn't so distraught, Lotor asked, "What happened, Acxa?"

"My apologies. It was just a horrific nightmare. I shouldn't have lost my composure over it."

Ezor let out a low whistle. "It must have been really bad if it rattled you."

"It was."

A dobosh passed in silence before Lotor asked, "Do you want to talk about it?"

Acxa paused. Did she have enough strength to talk about it? She nodded slowly. "Apparently, you all were slaughtered. I found you all on the bridge, but there weren't any intruders. I had searched the ship on my way to the bridge. If that wasn't bad enough, the nightmare made it seem like I had done it! I was covered in blood and holding a blood stained sword." More tears slid down her cheeks. "But I couldn't have done that! I wouldn't have betrayed you like that! I couldn't..."

"I believe you, Acxa. You are my most loyal general and are incapable of such acts of treachery. Do not dwell on this nightmare. It will not happen in real life." Lotor rubbed his cheek against hers. "Now, get some more rest, Acxa. We're here with you."

"Can we be in my nest?" Acxa asked, glancing at her team. "All of us?"

"Of course."

It took a little bit of rearranging, but all five part Galra and one cat were laying in Acxa's nest, and the highest ranking general was able to find some peaceful rest, ensconced in her team's embrace.

Fin

Chapter Text

"Time Traveling"

Keith looked around. He didn't recognize the planet he was on, but he noticed there were sentries and low level Galra officers there. He avoided attracting attention to himself as he observed the installation we was near. There was something not right; Keith could feel it, even though he couldn't figure out what it was just yet.

He stayed in the shadows and slunk along the edges until he saw something that got his blood hot. There were Galran kits here that were being used for labor. There were four of them, and they looked familiar. One was lavender with short white headfur, and another one was violet in color. There were two other kits that were the same color, but one had red markings on his head and shoulder length white strands and the other was taller and had a tail.

Something about these kits was familiar to Keith, but he was sure that he hadn't met them before. However, he couldn't allow these kits to be used for slave labor. It was wrong. Kids of any race were precious; he had learned that. He had always enjoyed caring for the younger kids at the orphanage.

He leapt out and used his Marmora blade to dispatch the sentries that were in charge of watching the kits. This man with violet cheek stripes destroying the sentries scared the kits, the violet one hiding behind the lavender one. The one with the tail was shielding the other three. Once the danger passed, the man turned to the kits.

"Don't hurt us please," the tailed kit pleaded.

Keith couldn't explain his actions, but he followed his instincts. He purred to the kits, which put them at ease. The violet one poked his head out and approached the man, who scooped him up. The kit nuzzled Keith's head before he turned to the others and chirped. The other three slowly approached the pair.

Keith smiled. "What are your names, kits?"

"Thace."

"Ulaz."

"Kolivan."

"Antok."

Keith was in shock. These kits were his pack members as kits. He must have been sent into the past somehow. How didn't matter at that moment. He had four kits to take care of. "I'm Keith. Where are your parents?"

Tears gathered in the golden eyes of all four, but Ulaz spoke. "We were taken from them. We don't know where they are."

Keith purred and gathered all four into his arms, hugging them. "It'll be okay, kits. I'll see if we can find them."

Suddenly, a roar drew their attention. Little Kolivan perked up, recognizing the sound. A large Galra in a familiar Blade uniform appeared out of the forest. He unsheathed a Marmoran blade. "Release my kit!"

Kolivan wriggled out of Keith's grasp and rushed over to the Blade. "Papa! It's okay. He saved us!"

Keith set the other kits down, unsheathed his blade, and knelt down, holding his transformed blade in his hands (palms up). The older Blade seemed to freeze, looking at Keith's position. It was the position of a younger Blade to show deference to an older, more experienced Blade.

"Rise. You're a Blade? I've never seen you before."

"Can we talk somewhere else? These kits need to get somewhere safe."

"Follow me." The Blade scooped up Kolivan, who wrapped his arms around his neck and purred.

Keith scooped up Antok and Ulaz. Thace jumped onto his back and clung to him. Keith purred to the three kits as he followed Kolivan's father to the pod, where he radioed the members of his team. The kits slipped out of Keith's grasp, calmer now that they were somewhere familiar.

Kolivan's father entered the pod and allowed Keith to sit down near the only member of the team that stayed behind. The female was holding a younger kit that had violet headfur with magenta underneath and purple fur with slightly darker purple stripes on her cheeks. The younger kit sniffed in his direction and let out a questioning noise. "Shh, Krolia. It's okay. We'll find our pack kits."

Keith's eyes widened. That was his mom as a kit! Just then, Thace, Ulaz, Antok, and Kolivan rushed in and over to Krolia and her mom. The tick her eyes landed on her pack brothers, they lit up, and she leapt out of her mom's arms and onto her brothers. Nuzzles were exchanged, and purrs were heard, which masked the hurried footsteps of three Blades.

"Ulaz!"

"Thace!"

"Antok!"

All five kits looked up, the three in question looking up.

"Daddy!" Antok rushed over to his Dad.

"Mama!" Thace was scooped up by his Mom.

"Papa!" Ulaz purred to his Dad.

Krolia turned to look at Keith and approached him. She lifted her arms up, and Keith gently picked her up. She patted his cheek stripes. "You have the same stripes I do."

"You're cute," Keith said.

Kolivan's father put a hand on Keith's shoulder and spoke when Keith looked up at him. "Now that the kits are safe, I want answers. You are clearly a Blade, but I have never seen you before."

"This is going to sound weird, but it's the truth. I'm from the future. I do not know how I got here or why I was here, but I need to go back. My pack is going to be worried about me."

"Who is in your pack?"

"All of these kits but as grown ups plus another kit a little older than me."

"Another kit?"

Keith tensed slightly. He hadn't meant to let it slip that he was still technically a kit. He bowed his head a little. "Yes. I am still considered a kit."

"How old are you?"

"Eighteen."

Of all the reactions Keith was expecting, being pulled into a cuddle pile with all five kits and the five adults was at the bottom of the list. He relaxed, his eyes drifting closed, when he felt claws being dragged through his hair and all the kits cuddled up against him.

%%%

Keith's eyes opened, and he noticed that he was on the castle ship. He was standing off to one side with Pidge, Lance, and Hunk while Shiro had his Galra hand at a Blade's neck. The Blade stepped back, his mask disappearing and his ears flicking out.

"Ulaz?" Instead of Shiro asking the question, it was Keith.

Ulaz turned and looked at the Red Paladin, whom he had flung around and who was removing his helmet. "Keith?"

"Hi, kit," Keith said softly.

Keith was unprepared for Ulaz to nuzzle his head. "Keith."

Keith reached up and stroked Ulaz's headfur. He whispered, "It's all right, kit. I'm here."

Ulaz softly purred at the term, even though he was older than Keith now. "Don't call me that in public, please."

"All right." Keith closed his eyes, enjoying the proximity of one of the kits he saved.

%%%

When Keith opened his eyes, he was standing next to Shiro at the Blade of Marmora headquarters.

"I am Shiro, and this is Keith. We are Paladins of Voltron."

"Keith?" the tall masked Blade from behind them asked. Keith turned slightly, removed his helmet, and smiled when Antok caressed his cheek stripes. "It's you."

"Hi, Antok."

"Keith?"

Keith turned around and faced the approaching Blade, who was deactivating his mask. "Hi, Kolivan."

To Shiro's surprise, Kolivan reached out and pulled Keith close, nosing his hair. "It really is you. We thought you might have been a dream."

"I'm no dream. I'm here to take the trials and awaken my blade."

"Very well."

Keith closed his eyes and sighed. This was going to hurt.

%%%

Keith opened his eyes and wasn't surprised that he was some place different. He realized what was going on. He was traveling through time, reliving the moments he had initially met the Blades. Currently, he was on Zarkon's command ship. He was hiding while Thace typed in the old code while being taunted by the Druids. He leapt out of hiding, throwing his blade with a cry of "Kit, duck!"

Fortunately, Thace did duck. It was in response to Keith's voice. Once the two of them took care of the Druids, Thace turned to Keith and chirped. He nuzzled Keith's head. "Keith, it's you. I missed you."

Keith stroked Thace's headfur. "Yeah, it's me, kit. However, we have to continue the mission first, and by the way, I will not allow you to die. You are going to set this up, and then, you are coming with me, kit."

"Yes, sir."

Keith smiled and closed his eyes, satisfied that another one of his kits was safe.

%%%

When Keith opened his eyes again, he saw he was in the nest at headquarters. It was full of the pillows and blankets he was used to, and Regris was sleeping in the spot next to him.

As Keith sat there trying to figure out what was going on, the door to the nest room opened, admitting the rest of his pack. Krolia noticed her youngest kit was awake and deep in thought. She knelt down and rumbled to him. His head shot up and smiled as his eyes landed on each adult member of his pack. "Hi, kits."

He grinned as he dodged Antok's tail as it tried to land a soft blow to his head. "Sorry. Now that I saved you all in the past, multiple times for a couple of you, it's hard not to call you guys 'kits'. However, I will try hard not to."

Ulaz and Thace pulled Keith in between them and nuzzled his head. Ulaz whispered, "Just between us, Keith, if you want to refer to Thace and myself as 'kits' in private, then you may. You saved us twice, after all."

Keith purred to Thace and Ulaz, returning the nuzzles. He still didn't know why he had been traveling through time or how it happened, but he was glad he did.

Fin

Chapter Text

"Archery"

"Now, aim carefully. Keep your arm steady, and release!"

Thwack

An arrow was sticking out of the target, not quite a bullseye but a solid hit nonetheless. The archer, who was none other than Prince Lance, groaned at his poor aim. He walked over and yanked the arrow out, glaring at it like it insulted him.

"If you glare any harder, it's going to burst into flames."

"It would serve it right," Lance groused as his bodyguard and fiancée, Keith, chuckled. He drew up alongside the prince, his tail wrapping around his waist, and gave him a kiss on his cheek.

Allura smiled at the two of them. She allowed Lance a moment of reprieve during his lesson. She was teaching Lance archery since it was something she excelled in. She had heard that their father was going to allow Lance to learn more physical activities, which prompted her to suggest archery first. She knew that once Lance started studying sword fighting and hand-to-hand combat from Keith, he wouldn't want to do anything else. Of course, Lance didn't know he was going to be learning from Keith; simply knowing that he was learning was enough for the prince. Keith, of course, knew he was going to teach his fiancée but was sworn to secrecy. It was a surprise for Lance's upcoming birthday.

Lance snuggled into Keith's side for a moment, allowing the half-Galra to scent him. Keith had been doing that more often lately. It was his way of staking his claim on the prince. Not everyone could smell it, but to those who could, it was obvious that the prince was taken. For those who couldn't smell it, the ring was an obvious sign. He also knew that on his eighteenth birthday, King Alfor was going to announce  his engagement to the people.

Keith purred to Lance as he led him back to where he had been shooting from. Lance placed the arrow in the quiver that was in front of him. Keith kept his tail wrapped around Lance's waist as the prince kept practicing his archery with his sister keeping watch in between shooting her own arrows. It wasn't much longer before Lance got a bullseye.

"I did it! I got a bullseye!"

"Well done, brother."

Keith purred louder to Lance and licked his cheeks. Lance froze in response to the action, his Altean marks glowing slightly. Keith had never done that before. Noticing Lance's reaction, Keith cocked his head. "What's the matter, my prince?"

"You licked me."

"Yes. It's a way for Galra to show their appreciation to a loved one. I was congratulating you on getting a bullseye. Is that okay?"

"Yeah. I just wasn't expecting it." Lance snuggled against Keith, who relaxed a little and started grooming Lance's hair. Lance had gotten used to Keith grooming his hair ever since they had gotten engaged. He actually liked it, even though it was a little strange. He was learning little things about his fiancée, and he liked it a lot. He couldn't wait for his birthday.

Fin

Chapter Text

"Lonesome Kit"

Kolivan entered the nest room and wasn't surprised to see Keith laying in the nest. As he neared the nest, he realized that Keith was asleep. He had thought so, since the kit was purring, but he wanted to make sure. He stepped into the nest and settled next to his kit. The fact that Keith was alone in the nest concerned Kolivan a little. Keith had told him that it was okay, that he didn't mind napping in an empty nest, but it didn't sit well with Kolivan. A kit shouldn't nap alone.

Kolivan reached out and stroked Keith's hair, eliciting the kit to purr louder and causing Kolivan to smile. Keith was such a young kit. He gently pulled Keith onto his lap and nuzzled him. He didn't get to hold Keith much during the day with him being busy running the organization and the kit training, unfortunately. The pack had been slowly getting Keith to train less and embrace his kit instincts.

Keith was vaguely aware of someone holding him. He knew it was a member of his pack, but which one? All four of them were much larger than he was, which was expected since they were full blooded Galra and he was half, and then there was the age difference as well. They were in their two hundreds and were considered adults, while he was only nineteen and considered a kit.

He felt a nuzzle and realized it was Kolivan. His nose wasn't as sensitive as a full Galra's, but he was able to pick up some scents. His pack, specifically, had unique scents. Ulaz smelled like lavender and luxite, Thace had the scent of wisteria mixed with luxite, Antok's scent had a mixture of luxite and fir trees. Kolivan, however, smelled solely of luxite, and it was this scent that clued Keith into who was holding him. Why he was holding him eluded him though.

His eyes fluttered open, and he let out a questioning noise, catching Kolivan's attention. "Kolivan?"

"I didn't mean to disturb you, kit."

"You didn't." Keith rubbed his head against Kolivan's shoulder. "Why are you holding me?"

"You looked lonely in the nest, kit, like you needed some company."

"I..." Keith trailed off. Did he want company? It was nice being held by Kolivan.

"Kit, I know you said that you didn't mind napping in the nest alone, but would you consider napping with one of us? You could nap in Ulaz's or my office or with Thace in the communications room or with Antok while he oversees Blade training."

Keith was silent for several doboshes as he contemplated the pros and cons of napping with his pack. His instincts had been telling him to nap with one of his pack members, but he had been ignoring it for fear that he would be bothering them if he asked to. "Would that be okay?"

"Of course, kit. I, for one, would love to have you in my office. There's a small nest in there if you need some place to rest in an out of the way location that isn't the nest." Kolivan gently nuzzled Keith, who responded by purring to him.

"I'd like that very much," Keith replied before yawning.

"You are still tired, my kit. Get some more rest here. You can start napping with us tomorrow."

Keith's eyes drifted shut, and he fell back asleep, snuggled against his pack leader. Kolivan dragged a blanket over and covered his kit. It wouldn't do for him to get cold on the base, especially since he lacked the fur most of the base's inhabitants took for granted. After all, it was his duty to watch over Keith, not only as the leader of the Blades but also as the leader of his pack.

Fin

Chapter Text

"Sandbox Friends"

Calvin Kogane took his son to the park for the first time. His heart was still heavy from Krolia leaving, even though it had been three years since he had seen her in person. He did have a picture of her hidden behind a picture of himself and his little Keith on his hover bike.

Calvin set Keith on his feet and, with a very light push to his shoulders, urged him to go play. Calvin was very glad that his son looked so human, even though he was only half human. He looked human but had Galran instincts. In the three years Krolia had been gone, Calvin had tried to curb his Galran instincts. He didn't want to discourage his son for his instincts. However, he knew how cruel humans could be towards anyone who was different. He would not tolerate anyone being cruel to his son and made sure Keith knew to only display his Galran side at home. He only hoped that there wouldn't be any issues today.

%%%

Lance was sitting in the sandbox with a blue bottle of bubbles. He may have been only two, but he knew how to blow bubbles. His siblings had taught him that. He blew a large bubble and watched as it floated away...and towards a dark haired boy he had never seen before. The boy noticed the bubble and watched it with wide purple eyes. It popped on its own, causing the boy to jolt at the suddenness.

His eyes roved over the path the bubble had made and landed on Lance in the sandbox. He toddled over to him and stood by the box. "Hi. I'm Keef."

Lance blinked. He didn't know much English. "Hola. Soy Lance." [Hi. I'm Lance.]

Keith blinked. He recognized that language. His Dad spoke that language sometimes. "Hola. Soy Keef." [Hi. I'm Keef.]

Lance's eyes lit up. This kid could speak Spanish! "Juega conmigo." [Play with me.]

Keith nodded and sat down next to Lance. The two boys took turns blowing bubbles, competing good naturedly to see who could blow the biggest one. The two boys were giggling and having a great time.

Their giggles attracted the attention of a couple of bullies that liked to dominate the park. They had never seen either of the younger boys before, and the leader was going to make sure neither one wanted to come back to 'their' park. He marched over and promptly knocked over the bottle of bubbles, spilling the contents, which were soaked up by the sand. Tears pooled in Lance's eyes. His Mama had bought those specifically for him. It was even his favorite color!

Keith didn't like that these boys made his new friend cry. He couldn't help the growl that reverberated in his chest. He didn't realize that his eyes changed briefly. His sclera turned yellow and his pupils narrowed into slits. These changes freaked the older boy enough to make him back off and retreat back to his group of friends. Keith stopped growling and turned to Lance, who still had tears in his eyes. The three-year-old wrapped his arms around the slightly younger boy and purred to him. He knew he shouldn't, because Daddy told him not to, but it was a bonafide way to cheer someone up. He couldn't remember her but was sure that his Mama had purred to him before.

Calvin had noticed the exchange between his son and the older boy. He was on his way over to Keith when his son hugged his new friend. He heard the purr and was worried about the younger boy's reaction, but the brunette seemed to calm down and relaxed in Keith's arms. He stopped but kept watching the two boys.

Keith looked up and saw his Daddy watching him. He knew he had seen what he did. Keith gave a little kiss to Lance's temple and whispering, "Lo siento. Tengo que." [Sorry. Got to go.]

"No."

"Keith, you can stay there and play with your friend."

Keith smiled. "Thanks, Daddy." He turned to Lance. "Está bien. Puedo jugar." [It's okay. I can play.]

Lance smiled and held his arms out. Keith snuggled against the brunette and purred again. Lance sighed. He wasn't sure what sound Keith was making, but it was comforting, and if they had fallen asleep together in the sandbox, it was okay. Babies needed naps after all.

Fin

Chapter Text

"Communications"

It was several phoebes since the freezer incident, and it was finally time for the two kits to join Thace in the communications room. Technology never really interested Keith, mostly because he couldn't see it. Regris, on the other hand, was extremely excited for that particular quintant. Keith had a hunch that his best friend was going to have a knack for technological stuff.

They arrived in the communications room together and were greeted by Thace. "Regris, Keith, come in, kits."

Keith immediately tucked himself against his Daddy with practiced ease, nosing his chest. "Hi, Daddy."

Thace nosed Keith's hair and ruffled Regris's headfur. "I have a lot of things to teach you two. So, let's get started."

It ended up being a long and boring quintant for Keith since he didn't have any interest in the technology stuff. That wasn't to say that he didn't learn anything. He learned how to differentiate by sound the different tech systems, the difference between breathing and the hum of technology, and how to determine if something has been tampered with. 

Regris was having the time of his life learning all about the different systems, which he also described to Keith (with Thace adding little details Regris missed in his description), and different programs he will learn more about later on.

Keith and Regris left the communications room later that night, accompanied by Thace. Regris was nearly bouncing in excitement when Thace dropped him off at his pack's nest room along with an apology and explanation of the kit's excitement. Thace noticed Keith seemed down, so he scooped up his kit and nuzzled him. "What's the matter, my kit?"

"Regris found his area of expertise, and I'm happy for him, but what if I don't find mine? What if I don't have an area of expertise because I'm blind?"

"Oh, kit. You'll find your area. You have only tried two areas. There are many, many other areas for you to try, like flying."

Keith looked at him. "Am I allowed to try flying, Daddy?"

"One quintant, kit. One quintant."

Fin

Chapter Text

"Agitated Mates"

"Lance!" Keith sat bolt upright in the nest with a shout of his mate's name, which was followed by a loud keen.

This display from their usually quiet kit disturbed every member of his pack. Krolia tugged Keith onto her lap and nosed his hair briefly. He reeked of distress. "Oh, my kit. What happened?"

Keith tucked himself under her chin and whimpered. "Lance was piloting Red and was shot down onto a Galra occupied planet. He was unconscious, Red was unresponsive, and Empire soldiers were approaching. I need to see him and Red."

%%%

Shiro, Hunk, Pidge, Allura, and Coran were in the lounge comforting Lance, who had had a nightmare about Keith getting captured whilst on a Blade mission. Shiro jumped slightly when his data pad dinged. He withdrew it and, to his surprise, saw Ulaz. "Hi, Ulaz."

"Shiro, we need permission to dock, specifically in the Red Lion hangar."

The urgency in the Blade's voice overrode Shiro's hesitance at the unusual request. "Granted. See you soon?"

"Please meet us there, especially Lance."

"Is Keith with you?"

"Now."

Shiro was surprised at the growl accompanying his second favorite Blade's (Keith was first) voice. "Of course." The link was terminated, and Shiro turned to Lance. "Hey, buddy. The Blades are coming. They are landing in the Red Lion hangar. I think Keith is there."

Lance perked up, tears still sliding down his cheeks. "Keith's here?"

"Let's go." Shiro held his hand out for Lance to grasp, which he did. Shiro pulled Lance to his feet and accompanied him to the Red Lion hangar.

The tick Lance's eyes fell onto Keith who was talking to Red, Lance called out, "Keith!"

Keith turned around and started running in his direction. "Lance!"

Lance wrapped his arms around Keith and pulled him in close. "You're here. You're safe! I was so worried!"

Keith nosed his hair and whined. "You're all right! You and Red both are safe!" He turned to his pack. "I want to stay here for a bit. I need to feel Lance beside me." Keith nuzzled Lance close.

"Come with me, sweetie." Lance gently tugged Keith with him out of Red's hangar. Keith threw a questioning noise over his shoulder at his pack. Kolivan returned it with a rumble, which reassured him.

The Blades followed Keith and Lance to the lounge and constructed a nest for the pack and Paladins to rest in. Keith pulled Lance into the nest and snuggled him. Thace tugged Ulaz into his lap and nuzzled him, Antok doing the same with Kolivan. Krolia tugged the other two kits into the nest, while Shiro urged the Paladins to join them.

Keith and Lance were snuggled up against each other, while Acxa was curled around her twin with her Mom behind her. Regris was actually curled around Lance, his tail curled around his brother's mate's leg. Behind Regris was the pairing of Kolivan and Antok, while Thace and Ulaz sat above the kits, taking turns grooming the kits' (including Lance) headfur. Shiro and the other Paladins sat in front of the Blades with Shiro being the closest to Keith. Allura and Coran settled into the nest near the rest of the Paladins.

A content purr was heard in the nest. The Blades were relieved to hear their youngest kit's purr. When he had woken from his nightmare, he hadn't purred at all, not even when he saw that his lion and his mate were all right. It was a troubling thing when kits didn't purr. More purrs joined Keith's, and the Blades didn't care that the Paladins learned that they purred. It was a universal Galra trait that the Paladins already knew about, wasn't it?

Fin

Chapter Text

"Galran Features"

Keith dragged himself out of bed early in the morning and started his morning routine, even though he felt like something was off. When he was in the shower getting his hair wet, that was when things got weird. He ended up with what looked like black ink on his hands. He wrinkled his nose and quickly rinsed it off his hands. He proceeded to shampoo his hair, and when he rinsed his hands off, he noticed the soap suds were tinted black as well. He rinsed the shampoo out of his hair and was alarmed at more black ink being washed down the drain. Pushing his rising panic level down, he finished his shower and dried off. Movement in the mirror drew his attention, and he stared at his reflection in disbelief. He quickly looked behind him before pulling a lock of hair down to inspect the color. Instead of the normal coal black color he was used to, it now lacked any color at all. In fact, it closely resembled Allura's hair color! He couldn't help the shout he gave at seeing his hair color had changed.

The stampede of feet heading in his direction did nothing to draw his attention away from his now white hair. The door to his room slammed open, admitting the other four Paladins and the two Alteans. Keith was briefly glad that he had a pair of pants on as all six of them crammed into the bathroom doorway.

"K-Keith?" Shiro stammered. "What happened?"

"I don't know. I took a shower, and now, my hair is white." Keith held back a whimper.

Coran visibly relaxed and twirled his moustache. "Is that all this commotion is about? It is simply his Galran heritage becoming dominant. He will undoubtedly develop more features as time goes by."

"But, why is my hair white? My mom's is purple and magenta."

"Isn't your grandfather's headfur white?"

"I don't-" Keith cut himself off. He did just learn that Kolivan was his grandfather. "He does."

"Then, that's where you got it from," Coran stated.

"Why are they just showing up now?" Keith asked.

"I am no geneticist, but I suspect your genes recognized that it wasn't safe to do so until now."

Shiro sighed in relief and pulled Keith into a hug. "I'm glad you're okay, Keith."

"I didn't mean to scare anyone," Keith mumbled into Shiro's shoulder.

Lance raised an eyebrow as if critiquing Keith's new look. "It doesn't look too bad, but put a shirt on, Mullet."

Keith tossed a glare in Lance's direction before he realized that the Blue Paladin was trying to relieve the tension in the air and let Keith know that it was okay with him.

Allura approached Keith, and Shiro let him out of the hug. Keith nervously watched the princess approach, unsure of what she was going to do. She smiled and stroked his hair. "You look good with white hair, Keith. I like it."

Keith couldn't help but nuzzle her hand in response with a soft purr. She smiled and continued stroking his hair.

Pidge adjusted her glasses. "What other features would he develop?"

Coran hummed. "He might develop features either from Krolia like cheek stripes or from Kolivan like the fluffy ears."

"Or maybe both!" Hunk exclaimed excitedly. "Maybe he'd even be purple! He'd definitely look more Galran then!"

Keith grinned at the acceptance of his team mates and family. Allura continued to stroke his hair. "I recommend taking at least the quintant off, in case more features appear."

"I don't need the quintant off, Princess."

"Nevertheless, we all will take the day off," Shiro decided. "It's been awhile since we've had time off."

Keith tried his hardest not to melt in the princess's arms, but when her fingers moved from stroking his hair to a different movement, he couldn't help it. He purred louder and nuzzled her. She smiled and continued doing that motion.

Shiro and the rest of the Paladins watched as Keith was now sporting purple, fluffy, Galra ears, which is what the princess was rubbing. Keith seemed to be developing the Galran features without pain, which Shiro was thankful for. He didn't think he would be able to listen to Keith's screams if he had.

"Let's let Keith put on a shirt and then reconvene in the lounge," Shiro suggested.

Allura removed her hands, prompting Keith to whine a little. She smiled and trailed a hand down his face. "Join us in the lounge, and I'll continue that."

Keith peered at her through his bangs and smiled. The sextet left Keith's room, and Keith hurriedly threw on a shirt. He hastily ran to the lounge and was surprised to see it empty. He entered and chirped at the sight of a nest in the middle of the couches. It was a little messy, and Keith guessed that whoever made it wouldn't mind if he fixed it. He was so preoccupied with fixing the nest that he missed the arrival of the four Paladins and two Alteans until Lance cooed at him.

"Look at him fixing the nest." Lance elbowed Hunk gently. "I told you it was messy."

Keith paused with a blanket in his hands and looked up. "Was it okay that I fixed it?"

"Definitely, buddy. We're no experts in building nests, but we figured you'd be able to fix it."

"Oh, okay." Keith went back to fixing the nest, which didn't take too long. He looked up and saw the other six climbing into the nest. Allura settled next to him, reached out, and rubbed his ears. He instantly melted, purred, and laid across her lap. She was a little surprised but didn't cease rubbing his ears.

Shiro was sitting beside Keith and maneuvered Keith's lower half onto his lap. It was a testament to how relaxed Keith was due to Allura rubbing his ears. Keith's purr was loud and relaxing to hear. Keith was nuzzling Allura, who noticed that Keith had a purple stripe on each cheek. Lance, who was sitting on Allura's other side, reached out and stroked his cheek stripes. Keith turned his head and nuzzled Lance's hand. Lance was surprised but continued stroking his cheek stripes.

Just then, Keith yawned. Hunk and Pidge, who were nearby, noticed his fangs. They edged closer, and Pidge leaned against Keith, who was now sporting patches of purple fur that matched his ears and were a shade lighter than his stripes. Hunk reached out and stroked his fur. It was very soft and fine!

Keith yawned again. He didn't know why he was tired. He just got up! However, he was so comfortable and relaxed, he couldn't get up, even if he wanted to. He was fighting to keep his eyes open, which Lance noticed. "If you're tired, Keith, you can go back to sleep."

"Developing these new features must be tiring. None of us will blame you if you do," mentioned Coran, who was seated behind Allura.

Keith yawned once more and then nuzzled Lance's hand, his eyes closing. He continued purring as he fell asleep. The other six people, who were gathered around Keith, weren't sure if Keith was done developing Galran features, but they were there for him no matter what.

Fin

Chapter Text

"De-Aged Paladins"

Allura resisted the urge to pinch the bridge of her nose. Somehow, her Paladins were nothing more than children now. They had physically regressed in age with Shiro still being the eldest at 6. Keith, Lance, and Hunk were 5, and Pidge was 4. They seemed to recognize each other but not her or Coran. However, they weren't afraid of her or Coran; quite the opposite actually. They started calling her some form of mom. Pidge called her 'Mom,' Hunk called her 'Mum,' Keith called her 'Mama,' Lance called her 'Mamá,' and Shiro called her 'Okāsan.'

It was adorable, and so were they. Her little Paladins were so adorable but had little differences than what she was used to. Little Keith was shy around anyone who wasn't Shiro, Pidge was energetic, Lance was sweet, Shiro didn't have his prosthetic or scars and was open and friendly, and Hunk was outgoing.

She took on the role they gave her and took care of them. She didn't know how long they were going to be de-aged, but she was going to make sure they were being taken care of and cared for. She spent time with them one-on-one and with the group. When she was spending one-on-one time with them, Coran watched the others, and when she was watching the group, Coran resumed his search for a solution to the de-aging problem.

There hadn't been any issues until bedtime. She had to carry Pidge to bed and tucked her in, plucking the glasses from her tiny face. "Good night, Pidge."

"Night night, Mom."

Allura checked on Hunk and found him sitting on his bed. She walked over and knelt down next to his bed. She had him lay down and tucked him in. "Mum, can I have a story?"

"Of course." Allura paused. What story could she tell him? She proceeded to tell him a story about the Yellow Lion, which effectively lulled him to sleep.

She stepped into Keith's room to see him looking at his Marmora knife, which was still in its sheath. She didn't have the heart to take it from him, knowing how much it meant to him. "Hey, Keith. It's bedtime."

The little boy looked up at her and clutched the knife to his chest. "Please don't take it."

"Oh no, Keith. I won't take your knife. In fact, no one will. Did you want to sleep with it under your pillow? That way you know where it is." Keith nodded and slid it under his pillow. Allura tucked him in and noticed that he looked like he wanted something. "Did you want something, sweetie?"

"M-May I have a story, Mama?"

"Of course, sweetheart." She settled next to him and carded her fingers through his long hair, while she weaved a story about the Red Lion and her relation to her current Paladin. During the story, Keith's eyes fluttered closed and his breathing evened out, signaling that he had fallen asleep.

Allura carefully slipped out of Keith's room and over to Lance's. She walked into the room and immediately felt little arms wrap around her leg. "Mamá!"

Allura smiled and picked up Lance. She cuddled him, carrying him to the bed. She set him on the bed and tucked him in. She leaned over and gave him a big hug and three kisses, one on his forehead and one of each cheek. "Good night, sweetie."

"Night night, Mamá!"

Allura entered Shiro's room and was worried when he seemed restless, even though he was sleeping. She hurried over to his side and shook his shoulder. "Shiro...Shiro." He wasn't waking up. "Takashi!"

His eyes flew open, tears slipping down his cheeks, and looked at her. "Okāsan?"

Allura scooped Shiro into her lap and rocked him. "It's okay, Takashi. I'm here. I've got you."

Once his breathing was under control, he said, "Okāsan, I don't want to sleep alone."

"Would you like to sleep with Lance? He should still be awake."

Shiro nodded, and Allura carried him next door. She knocked on the door before opening it and calling out softly, "Lance, are you still awake?"

"Yes, Mamá." Allura walked in holding Shiro. "Is Shiro okay?"

"He had a bad dream and doesn't want to sleep alone."

Lance pulled back his blanket, scooted over, and patted the bed next to him. "He can stay here."

Allura set Shiro on the bed and tucked the two boys back in. She stroked Shiro's short hair and gave Lance another forehead kiss. "Good night, boys."

"Night night."

Allura watched as Lance pulled Shiro into his arms, and Shiro snuggled into Lance's chest. She smiled as the door closed. She sighed in relief. As much as she liked them as children, she really hoped Coran could find a cure and return them to their regular ages, so they could continue their work against the Galra Empire.

Fin

Chapter Text

"Paladins Meet The Guns of Gamara"

Akira was bored. He hated all the paperwork he had to fill out. It was amazing how much paperwork piled up when one was in a coma. Requests to read over and either accept or deny, medical reports to look over, status reports to read, and suggestions to take into consideration. He wished there was a mission or something unusual to take his mind off it.

"Chief, we're getting an unusual reading!" Isamu called out.

Akira's ears twitched, and he stood up and walked over to his best friend. "Unusual, Isa? How unusual?"

"It reminds me of the readings we encountered when we were dealing with the trans reality comet," Sven put in.

"Trans reality comet? When was that?"

"During the time you were in a coma, Aki. It was the mission that ended with me being shot."

"Again when was this?"

Sven looked at Akira and noticed he was making a joke about Sven being shot a lot. "Not funny, Aki."

"Akira, it's a vessel of some sort that has the same signature as the comet," Isamu reported.

"On screen."

The view screen blinked on, and an image of Voltron appeared. Sven gasped and pushed the audio/visual button. "Paladins, identify yourselves."

The image of Voltron was replaced by a figure wearing red and white armor. "This is Keith, Black Paladin."

Keith's image was replaced by a figure wearing blue and white armor, who winked. "Lance, Red Paladin and resident Sharpshooter."

"Pidge, Green Paladin," the figure in green and white armor spoke before they were replaced by a figure in yellow and white armor.

"Hunk, Yellow Paladin."

"Allura, Blue Paladin," replied the figure in pink and white armor.

Sven breathed a sigh of relief. It was the Paladins he was used to. He turned to Akira. "Can they land? These are the ones I told you about."

Akira eyed the large robot. "Can they separate? That thing is too large to land in our hangar."

"Paladins, you may land, but you need to separate into lions to do so," Sven replied, his picture appearing in the lions.

"Sven! You're alive!" Lance exclaimed.

"Roger that," Keith replied. "Voltron, disband."

The giant robot separated into five differently colored lions that flew into the hangar. Akira, Sven, and Isamu were there to greet them. The figure in red approached them first but was cut off by the figure in blue rushing forward and hugging Sven. "It's so good to see you, buddy!"

"Lance, let him go before you get...murdered, if this guy's expression is anything to go by," Keith said. He had noticed Akira's expression, which had darkened when this stranger hugged his boyfriend like they were old friends. Keith had to stop himself from growling.

"Aw, Keith. He's just excited to see the guy who saved his life," Hunk said.

"Yes, but I don't want my...teammate murdered."

"Just admit that you like him," Pidge whispered as she lightly elbowed Keith.

"I will on my own time," Keith nearly hissed.

Akira's expression changed as he realized that this was the Keith Sven had told him about. He approached Keith and held his hand out. "I am Kogane Akira, Captain of the Guns of Gamara."

Keith grasped the offered hand. "Keith Kogane, Black Paladin, leader of Voltron, and member of the Blade of Marmora."

They released their hands, and Akira introduced the other two Guns. "Of course you know Sven. He is my highest skilled Gun and his preferred partner is Slav. The Gun on my other side if Kurogane Isamu, my best infiltrator and my best friend."

"The other Paladins already introduced themselves." Keith removed his helmet. "Before the others do, our Allura is Altean, but she's nothing like the evil Empress from this reality. As the leader of Voltron, I will not stand for her to be attacked based on her race."

"We understand."

The other Paladins removed their helmets to a couple of gasps. Akira, Sven, and Isamu looked up to see Hiroshi and Tsuyoshi standing in the doorway and staring at the new comers.

"I think we need to find a place to sit down and talk," Sven mentioned.

"Agreed," Akira and Keith chorused.

%%%

The two teams gathered in the meeting room, each on a couch. Sven sat as close to Akira as he could without sitting on him, and Isamu was on Akira's other side. Hiroshi was sitting next to Isamu, and Tsuyoshi was sitting next to Sven. The Paladins sat across from their counterparts with Allura sitting across from Sven.

Introductions were exchanged again, and an awkward silence followed. Lance laughed. "Well, this is awkward."

"I'm surprised you hadn't started talking, Lance. Normally, you don't shut up," Keith replied.

"Well, I don't know what to say for once."

"Never stopped you before."

"Shut your quiznack."

Akira and Sven exchanged amused looks, the former saying, "Why don't you just admit your feelings for each other? It'll be less painful, especially to those around you."

Keith and Lance both blushed and stared in the opposite direction. Hunk and Pidge laughed. "Thank you for calling them out. Their pining is annoying."

"And disgusting," Pidge added. Their teammates' comments made Keith and Lance blush brighter.

Keith turned his head slightly and snuck a glance at Lance. He was really cute. Would it be that bad to confess? He turned fully to Lance. "Lance, I like you."

"Really? Since when?"

"Since we rescued Shiro from the quarantine tent."

"Ha. I've like you longer. I've had a crush on you since the Garrison."

"It's not a contest, idiot."

"Of course, it is. We compete with each other. That's our thing!"

Keith rolled his eyes but smiled as he slipped his hand into Lance's. They may not have meant to slip into this other reality, but it was a good idea.

Fin

Chapter Text

"Missing Mates"

Regris whimpered. He wanted his mate back in his arms, but unfortunately, Keith was visiting the Paladins on the castle ship and wouldn't be back for a couple of quintants. Regris knew he shouldn't be this much of a mess, especially since he and Keith hadn't mated yet, but he missed his little Blade.

Krolia peeked into the nest, and her heart went out to her son's mate. Even though Regris was barely an adult, she still considered him a kit. She slipped into the nest and pulled him into her arms. He clutched her uniform top, whimpering a little. Not liking him whimpering, Krolia groomed his headfur.

%%%

Keith piloted the pod into the hangar. He was missing his mate so much that he was finding it hard to concentrate and find happiness in anything. He made his apologies to his friends and was grateful that the Paladins understood what he was going through and told him to go back early. Each of them hugged Keith and insisted that he visit again but with Regris this time.

Keith exited the pod and rushed to the familial nest. The door whooshed open to reveal his mom grooming his mate. He dove into the nest and chirped. Regris's head shot up, and he responded with a rumble. Krolia backed up and let Keith tuck himself under Regris's chin. Keith nuzzled his mate and purred. Regris curled around Keith and purred back to him.

"Why are you back early?" Krolia asked, nuzzling her son's neck.

"I wasn't having a good trip. It wasn't the Paladins' fault though. I couldn't concentrate or find happiness in anything, even training. I missed Reg too much. The Paladins insisted that I visit again soon and bring Regris with me."

"I would love to visit the Paladins with you, my mate," Regris purred to him.

Keith sighed and soaked up the affection from his mom and his mate. It felt so good to be home.

Fin

Chapter Text

"Lesson Plan Helper"

Adam buried his head in his hands. Why were lesson plans so hard? His boyfriend wasn't much help either. There were a couple of good reasons for it. He wasn't a teacher, and he was just in his early twenties.

Speaking of his boyfriend, he was outside racing hover bikes with his protégé. The young cadet was a brilliant pilot as well as all the other areas taught at the Garrison. Adam's head shot up. That was it! Keith could help him! He had about an hour before the cadet would come back, and he had to have some kind of plan in the works.

%%%

Keith had the biggest smile on his face. He had finally tried that cliff dive and succeeded. Even losing to Shiro again couldn't wipe the smile off Keith's face. He was in such a good mood, he challenged Shiro a footrace to his front door.

They busted through the front door, making an obscene amount of noise as they did so. Adam was seated at the table with his lesson plans spread out in front of him. For once, he didn't seem to mind the noise they were making. On the contrary, he had a grin on his face. He turned to face Keith, slid a worksheet closer to him, and asked, "Keith, are these questions too hard?"

"If I do it now, do I have to do it again in class?"

"Just look like you are."

"Deal."

Shiro looked horrified. "Adam!"

"What? It's not like he's not doing the work. He's just doing it early and turning it in at the end of the class."

Keith looked up and down the worksheet. "How long do I have?"

"An hour."

Keith grinned devilishly. "Challenge accepted."

Fin

Chapter Text

"Precious Paladin"

Keith dragged himself into Red's hangar. He was so keyed up and irritated at the same time. Someone locked the training deck, and he had been wanting to train in order to tire himself out so he could sleep. However, since the training deck was locked, he decided to visit Red.

Red always like when her Paladin visited her. They had such a strong bond. She knelt down and opened her mouth, allowing him entrance. He gratefully entered her mouth and sank into the cockpit seat. "Hi, Red."

"Hello, my cub. Come join me through our bond."

Keith smiled and closed his eyes. He easily found and followed his bond with Red through the flash of light that always made him shield his eyes. When he opened his eyes, he saw the fluffy, real lioness form of his lion, who was laying down, waiting for him. He walked over and cuddled up next to her. His seven-year-old self made it easy to curl up next to Red. He sighed happily and closed his eyes.

She wasn't the biggest lion, but she was his. She was warm and comfortable to lie against. She was a constant presence even when they weren't physically together. He could always feel her in the back of his mind, tempering his anger and making sure he never felt alone.

Red purred softly to her cub, not surprised when he purred back to her. It was a sign that he was asleep, because he usually purred when he was sleeping. She shifted slightly to curl around him and protect her precious Paladin as he slept.

Fin

Chapter Text

"Drawn To Each Other"

Keith darted back and forth, hoping to find a place to hide. His brother, Shiro, always wanted him to practice hiding, especially since his wings, being crimson and black, stood out in most floral settings. At that moment, he was trying to hide in a forest but wasn't having any luck. However, the forest felt unusual. Most of them felt unsafe and claustrophobic; this one felt like neither. In fact, he felt like it was drawing him closer to its center. He allowed the forest to lead him on.

He came upon a clearing and saw a gorgeous brunette fey kneeling near a crystal blue lake. His blue and white wings had an opalescent sheen to them that stole his breath. When the other fey turned around, Keith gasped. He was absolutely gorgeous. His eyes were the same color as the lake he was standing near.

Lance was slightly surprised by the appearance of the other fey. The lake had whispered to him about someone approaching, and Lance knew better than to be scared. The water of this forest wouldn't let anything harm him or let anyone wishing him harm to approach. He was breathtakingly beautiful. His crimson and black wings were a stark contrast to his own blue and white, and his dark hair was long and constantly obscured his stunning purple eyes.

Lance felt himself being drawn to the other fey and let his wings fly him closer. "Hi. I'm Lance and I don't think I've seen you before."

"I'm Keith, and I'm sure we haven't met before. I would like to get to know you though."

"I would like that."

Fin 

Chapter Text

"Little Shiro"

Keith was worried about Shiro. Voltron had defended a planet and drove out the Galra who had conquered the planet many deca-phoebes ago. The inhabitants were grateful and decided to throw a banquet in their honor. Allura had accepted without checking with everyone, and Shiro was in between head spaces.

It was easy for Keith to tell, especially since Shiro had accepted him as his caregiver. Normally, Shiro would be talking with the inhabitants and dignitaries, but at that moment, Shiro was staying near Keith, who definitely didn't interact with the inhabitants. Due to his proximity, Keith had a hand on his hip, keeping it subtle enough to not draw attention to Shiro's current head space.

"Daddy?"

The little voice startled him slightly, but he still replied, "Yes, sweetie?"

"Too many people. Scary"

"Oh, baby, I'm sorry." Keith pulled out his communicator. "Lance, do you hear me?"

"What'cha need, Mullet?"

"Shiro's not feeling well. I'm taking him back to the castle."

"Is he okay?"

"He's a little under the weather." Keith knew stressing that specific word would allow Lance know what the situation was without letting anyone eavesdropping know anything.

"Roger that, Samurai. I'll let the rest of the team know that Shiro is ill and that you're caring for him." Lance deactivated the comm link.

Keith led Shiro out of the alien palace. "Daddy, up?"

"In a little bit, baby. I need you to be a little patient for Daddy." Keith didn't like denying his baby little things like that. Fortunately for both the caregiver and his little, it wasn't much longer.

Keith was able to scoop up his baby due to his strength not only as a caregiver but as a Galra hybrid. Shiro nuzzled his Daddy's shoulder. He loved him so much.

Keith carried his little into the castle and to his room. He pulled out Shiro's little stuff and changed him into a diaper and into a sleeper. He urged a pacifier into his mouth and carried him over to his bed. They settled on the bed, Shiro cuddling his Daddy and sucking on his pacifier. Keith carded his fingers through his little's short hair, giving him a measure of relief.

"Love you, Daddy."

"Love you, too, baby."

Fin

Chapter Text

"Flower Crowns"

Lance was laying in a field of red and blue sea flowers, weaving them into two crown shapes and his tail almost blending in with the blue flowers. He had just met the perfect mer. He had black shoulder-length hair that seemed to dance in the currents, purple eyes that only hinted at the depth of his heart, and the most vibrant red tail that ended in a pair of transparent fins. They had met just a few days prior when they both saved a whale calf from a hungry shark and managed to return her to her worried mother's side.

"Daydreaming of me?"

Lance jerked his head up and smiled as he saw it was only his perfect mer. "And why shouldn't I?"

Keith grinned at Lance. He loved the way Lance looked. Once they had reunited the calf with her mother, he had time to look at who exactly had assisted him. He had never seen the mer before and was enraptured by what he saw. Lance had short brown hair that reminded Keith of the color of the sunken human ships that lay submerged and broken on the sea floor. Lance's blue eyes matched his tail, which matched the blue flowers that Lance was sitting among and had in his hands, which were linked with the red flowers.

"What are those?" Keith asked, pointing to the flower crowns.

"You've never made flower crowns before?" Lance gently picked one up and showed Keith what it was

"What's it for?"

"This." Lance put the one he was holding on Keith's head, letting the flowers nestle into his hair before putting the other one he made onto his own head.

Keith gingerly touched the crown before smiling at Lance. "I love it."

Lance loved seeing that smile and decided that he would do anything to keep seeing that smile. "I'll make you a flower crown every day for the rest of our lives if it'll make you happy."

Fin

Chapter Text

"Reassurance"

Keith sat bolt up, gasping for air and gripping his blanket in both hands. He looked around his room, his breath catching in his throat as he realized that he was alone. He wasn't sure what he thought of that anymore. He had just spent the past few quintants as a baby in Lance's care. The Blue Paladin was unsurprisingly good at caring for babies. Keith was glad that Lance didn't ignore him or mistreat him in any way. In fact, the brunette constantly cuddled him and held him. Keith wrapped his arms around himself, trying to comfort himself and failing. He knew what he wanted now. Even though he was back to being a teenager, he still wanted to be held.

He stood up and left his room, dragging his blanket with him. He made his way to Lance's room and knocked on the door. He didn't have long to wait. The door opened, revealing a slightly disheveled Lance on the other side. He yawned. "Keith? Buddy, what's up?"

Keith looked up at Lance with tears in his eyes. "Lance."

Instantly, Lance was more alert. He pulled the slightly shorter teen into his arms. "Hey, cariño. It's okay. I've got you."

Keith nuzzled Lance's shoulder, where his head was nestled, and whimpered a little. Lance gently led Keith into his room. "Did you have a bad dream, cariño? Do you want some company?"

Keith nodded, not feeling up to talking. Lance scooped him up and carried him to the bed. Keith was surprised that Lance could carry him so easily. Lance sat down on the bed, settling Keith onto his lap. He rearranged the blanket to have it covering Keith's front and carded his fingers through his long hair, humming an old Spanish lullaby he had long forgotten the words to.

Keith relaxed fully in Lance's arms. His eyes slid closed as he listened to Lance humming. This felt so good that he started purring, glad that Lance was still willing to help him, even though he was back to being a teenager.

Fin

Chapter Text

"Pictures"

Keith took a deep breath and pushed open the door to his father's room in his shack. Back when he lived there after getting kicked out of the Garrison, he never opened his father's door. He couldn't bring himself to. Now, he was more mature and had his mother by his side.

Krolia was impressed by her son. He was so strong, always thinking about others before himself (even though he hardly thought of himself). This part of his past was rough and made him grow up far quicker than he should have, and there he was facing it once more, but at least, she was there with him.

The door opened with a barely audible creak, a testament to the amount of time that had passed. The amount of dust on everything didn't surprise either Kogane. Krolia drew up beside her son and placed a hand on his shoulder. He reached up and covered her hand with his and gave her wrist a quick nuzzle. Keith walked forward, Krolia letting her hand fall from his shoulder. He picked up every picture frame from every flat surface.

Calvin Kogane loved displaying pictures of himself and Keith. As a kid, Keith had always wondered why there were no pictures of his mom. Now that he met her, Keith assumed that his dad didn't keep any pictures of her because it might have alerted the authorities that something wasn't right.

Krolia watched as her son methodically went through the drawers and cabinets, looking for more pictures. She knew he wouldn't find what he was looking for. Calvin had hidden any pictures of her in a secret compartment of his bed. She knelt down and moved the mattress away from the headboard. She reached behind the headboard and grabbed a key that was taped to the handmade piece. She then unlocked the hidden compartment in the box springs. The drawer popped open and there was an album of pictures. She pulled out the book and the few loose pictures scattered underneath. She shut the drawer and stowed the key in her pocket.

Keith walked over to his mom, and his breath caught in his throat. There were the pictures he always wanted to see in his youth: his parents holding him as a baby. He gently plucked the picture out of his mom's claws and gingerly held it in his hands. His parents looked so happy in that picture, love just radiating from them; love for each other and the tiny baby nestled in her arms as Calvin took the picture himself. Krolia packed all of the pictures except for what Keith was holding and the album she found into the bag he had brought along for that purpose.

"Kit, come with me. I want to show you these pictures."

Keith looked up at his mom with tears in his eyes. She rumbled to him and gently guided him into the main room of the shack. He sank down onto his couch, and Krolia sat next to him. She plucked the picture from his hands and placed it to the side. She opened the photo album across both of their laps. The first few pictures were of a wounded Krolia recovering on the couch. The next few were of them exploring Blue's cave. After the picture of finding the Blue Lion, the next few pages were of pregnant Krolia. Then, baby Keith appeared in the rest of the pictures.

As Krolia showed Keith the pictures of his babyhood, tears gathered in his eyes and slid down his cheeks. Krolia set the book off to the side and gathered her son in her arms. She held him as he cried tears for a father taken too soon from him.

Fin

Chapter Text

"Surgery"

Shiro had his head buried in his hands. He couldn't believe he had to make the call. When the Paladins crashed back to Earth after launching the Komar mech into space, the Garrison rushed to rescue the heros of Earth. All of the Paladins had varying degrees of injuries with Keith being the most severely injured to the point of needing life saving surgery. With Keith listed as an orphan on Earth and Shiro as his mentor, the decision was up to Shiro. Shiro didn't feel that he was the right person to make the call, but Krolia wasn't there, and she trusted him to take care of her son.

%%%

Keith felt like he was floating. He was getting glimpses of things that didn't feel right. There were doors that opened in front of him, lights that flew overhead, voices that sounded far away and too close at the same time, and then nothing as his eyes closed again.

When Keith once again came to, he wasn't alone. His mom was sitting on his bed next to his legs, and Kolivan was sitting in a chair near the window. However, it was neither of them that spoke first. There was someone to Keith's right that sounded stressed. "Keith! I'm so glad you're all right."

Keith tiredly turned his head and saw Shiro sitting by his head. "Shiro, hi. Wh-what happened?"

Shiro carefully grabbed Keith's hand that didn't have an IV stuck into it. "I'm sorry, Keith. I know you don't like it, but it was the only way to save your life."

"What are you saying, Shiro?"

"You needed surgery to save your life."

Keith froze. He never liked the idea of having someone cutting into him like he was some kind of experiment. "Why...why would you agree to that?"

"Because I asked him to take care of you."

Keith turned his head to look at his mom. "But, Mama-"

"Shh, kit. Listen, I'm glad he made that call. I don't know if I could handle arriving here only to hear another love of my life wasn't alive anymore."

Tears leaped to Keith's eyes. He hadn't thought how his death would have affected others. He wasn't used to having others that would miss him if he were to die. Krolia stood up and neared his head. He locked eyes with her and whined softly. She gently nuzzled his head and rumbled. He wanted her to pick him up and hold him. He had been separated from her for too long and missed having that closeness.

Krolia carefully scooped up Keith and settled him on her lap. He whimpered as he settled on her lap again. After a minute, he sighed and cuddled up against her. Krolia's hands hovered over her kit's body. She locked eyes with Shiro and asked, "What did they need to do to save my kit?"

"He had some internal bleeding in his abdomen that they had to stop and a concussion."

Keith whimpered a little at what was done to him. He relaxed a bit as he felt his mom wrap her arms around his chest and groom his hair. He was glad his mom was there. As long as she was there for him, he felt like he could handle this.

Fin

Chapter Text

"Sleeping Over"

"You're inviting me over for the weekend?" Keith was trying hard to contain his excitement. He didn't like sleeping in the dorms at the Garrison.

"Yeah. It's called a slumber party. Matt is coming, and you know I live with Adam."

Keith grinned. He liked how Adam and Shiro acted around each other, and Matt was funny. He had met Matt after getting accepted into the fighter pilot program after all.

"Besides, I figured you'd like some time away from the Garrison after that incident with James Griffin."

The smiled on Keith's face fell. Just a few months into his mission, and he almost got found out. He didn't know why Griffin had a problem with him. He was just trying to stay out of everyone's way and make notes for his report to Kolivan.

Shiro noticed the smile fall from Keith's face. He hadn't wanted to make Keith sad. He carefully wrapped an arm around Keith's shoulders and gave a squeeze, which prompted Keith to give him a smile. "That's better. Go ahead and pack a bag. I'll meet you at the gates in ten minutes."

Keith grinned and entered his room. He didn't have much to pack, but he had to make sure to bring his powder with him. He wasn't going to be caught in a situation where he needed it and he didn't have it. He threw it, some clothes, and toiletries into a bag and left his room. He had been careful to tuck his Mom's Blade in his clothes, so it wasn't easily seen.

He met Shiro at the gate with a minute left to spare. Shiro grinned and wrapped an arm around Keith's shoulders, leading him over to a hover bike. Keith climbed on behind Shiro and hung onto his waist. Shiro started the bike and drove them to the apartment he shared with Adam. It wasn't that long of a drive, but Keith loved the speed and feeling the wind blow through his hair. He hoped Shiro would let him drive sometime.

They dismounted the bike, and Shiro let him into the apartment and led him to the front room, where Matt and Adam were hanging out. Matt perked up when he saw them. "Hey, Keith!"

"Hi, Matt," Keith carefully put his bag off to the side and prepared for Matt to tackle him, which he did. It was another thing Keith learned about Matt in particular. The older cadet loved to tackle his close friends. However, he could never take down Shiro or Adam, so he just hung on their backs (like he did when Shiro was giving Keith the tour of the building). 

Once Keith pinned Matt and the older one of the duo wasn't able to get up, Matt panted and asked, "So, when's the pizza getting here?"

Adam gasped in mock outrage. "How dare you assume we ordered pizza?! I can cook!"

Keith let up Matt, who replied, "Yeah, but what's a sleepover without pizza?"

Keith gathered from the conversation that pizza was a type of food. He hoped it was good.

Just then, the doorbell rang. Matt ran to get it, but Shiro beat him to the door. He pushed him back. "You don't get to answer it. You don't have any money."

"Not on me," Matt retorted.

Shiro opened the door and paid and tipped the pizza delivery person. He carried in ten large pizzas. Keith's eyes widened at the large cardboard boxes these pizzas came in. He had to fight the questioning noise rising in his throat, but he did cock his head. Why were there so many, if there was only four of them at this party? Were they expecting more people?

Shiro noticed Keith's cocked head and wide eyes and chuckled. "We got a selection of pizzas since we didn't know what toppings you liked. We also don't have to worry about any going to waste, because Matt here will eat any pizza."

"I do not." Matt's cheeks flushed.

"Oh yes you do. I recall you ate a large, cheese stuffed crust pizza with garlic parmesan white sauce and topped with Italian sausage, salami, pepperoni, banana peppers, black olives, pineapple, and extra extra cheese," Shiro replied.

"By yourself," Adam added.

"Hey. Don't gang up on me! Keith, save me!"

Keith chuckled. "Sorry, Matt. I'm no match for the combined efforts of those two." He edged closer to the table, where Shiro stacked the boxes. "Which toppings did you get?"

"This stack is pepperoni." Shiro opened the top box of a stack of four. "This is just cheese." He opened the top most box of a stack of two. "And this is sausage." Shiro opened the top box on the stack of three.

Keith noticed a box all by its lonesome. "What about that one?"

Shiro grinned. "This one is Matt's challenge. It's a BBQ sauced pizza with ham, beef, jalapeño peppers, onions, diced tomatoes, roasted red peppers, spinach, and extra cheese. It's a tradition when Matt is at a sleepover here that he has a pizza challenge." Shiro shook his head. "I swear he looks forward to it."

Shiro whisked the box over to Matt as Keith crept closer to the pizza boxes set up on the table. He looked at the larger stack and took a covert sniff. It seemed safe and smelled wonderful. He took a peek over his shoulder at the three humans and noticed they were occupied with Matt's attempts at eating his challenge. Keith covertly took pictures of each of the pizzas and would figure out how to get them into his report to Kolivan. He slipped his data pad back into his pocket and took a slice of each topping. He figured he should try each one so he could at least describe the taste. He carefully walked back to where Matt was trying to finish the challenge pizza. Keith picked up the piece of pepperoni pizza and bit into it. He couldn't help the chirp he made. Fortunately, it was muffled by the bite of pizza and the laughter of Shiro and Adam. This pizza was delicious! He could see why Shiro ordered so much of it. He practically inhaled the pepperoni slice before moving onto the others. The cheese one was okay as was the sausage one, but Keith preferred the pepperoni topped one. He grabbed the top most pepperoni pizza box and sat down near the trio of humans, content to watch their antics as he ate what was quickly becoming his favorite human food.

Fin

Chapter Text

"Not Sleeping"

Keith slashed another gladiator bot before wiping the sweat from his brow. "Start training level fifteen."

He readied his stance and gripped his two swords a little tighter. He knew he shouldn't be on the training deck this late, but he had discovered the code that kept it locked at night and began to use it again in lieu of sleeping. It wasn't that he wasn't sleeping, but when he invariably had a nightmare, he wouldn't be able to get back to sleep, so instead of wasting time trying and failing to get some more sleep, Keith decided to use the time to get more training in. He had started using only one sword at a time but that had been too easy, so he unsheathed his Marmora blade and continued rising in levels but this time dual-wielding.

%%%

Antok growled lowly as he stalked through the castle ship. His pack's kit hadn't come back to the nest after the dinner meal. Initially, they weren't bothered by it as he had been spending time with the other Paladins before bed. He also had been falling asleep with either Lance or Shiro in the lounge; however, not that night. Both Lance and Shiro were in their rooms, sleeping, and Keith was nowhere to be found. Well, not nowhere. Antok knew where his errant kit was at that moment. He had apparently learned the code that locked the training deck at night and began training again late into the night.

His enhanced hearing picked up the tell-tale clang of metal upon metal. He growled louder and almost wrenched the doors open with his claws. Seeing his kit training caused Antok's eyes to flash. He stepped closer and roared, his displeasure obvious.

Keith flinched when he heard the roar. He quickly dispatched the last gladiator before turning to face his largest pack member. "Antok?"

"Kit, come here," he growled

Keith didn't dare disobey that tone of voice. He deactivated his bayard and sheathed his Marmora blade, hurrying over to the tailed Blade. Without hesitating, Antok picked him up and flung him over his shoulder, carrying him off of the training deck and to their nest room. He deposited him down in the middle of the nest. Keith looked around and saw all four members of his pack lounging in the nest. He fidgeted nervously as they all stared at him. He knew it was a battle of wills, and he was losing. He whimpered. "I'm sorry."

Thace drew Keith closer and against his chest. He stroked his kit's long hair gently with his claws. "We know, kit, but this isn't the first time, we've had to drag you off the training deck. It probably won't be the last either, but please keep the training to a minimum. If you are having trouble sleeping, come to us. Any one of us would be willing to lay with you. Kits sleep easier with a member of their pack nearby."

As if his body was proving Thace right, Keith felt his eyes droop and his body go lax. He snuggled against the violet furred Galra and let himself drift off, his breathing becoming the soft purrs of a sleeping kit. As the purrs filled the nest, the four adults breathed a sigh of relief. Sometimes it wasn't easy getting Keith to sleep but sometimes his instincts made it simple.

Fin  

Chapter Text

"Missing Her"

Keith awoke with a loud whine, panting heavily. He was glad that he had sent everyone away to a different lion and let Black know that he was going to take a small nap since they were traveling through a boring sector of space. However, his mind wouldn't allow him a moment's reprieve, and he had had a nightmare.

"Are you okay, little one?" Black asked through their bond.

Keith tucked his legs against his chest. "Yeah. Yeah. It was nothing."

Black scoffed. "With that whine? Doubtful."

"Don't worry about it."

"Don't make me get Red in here!"

Keith sighed. "It's just I miss my mom, okay? We grew close during our time on the space whale, which was two deca-phoebes for us. Now, she is gone, and I miss her."

Black purred to her Paladin. "You're okay, little one."

"I'm going to try to get some more sleep. Let me know if something happens."

Black lowered the lights in her cockpit to allow her precious Paladin some much needed rest and waited for him to close his eyes before reaching out through a mostly dormant bond. "You were right, Shiro. He was hurting. His mother being gone did more damage than anyone realized."

"Just keep an eye on him. We'll do what we can to hopefully reunite them soon."

"You need to get some rest too."

"I do."

"Now."

Shiro blushed. "Okay. You win. Good night, Black."

As Shiro drifted off to sleep, he swore he could feel fur brush against his cheek. "Good night, my cub."

Fin

Chapter Text

"Misremembrance"

"Mama, could you," Keith turned around. "Mama?"

Krolia was nowhere to be found in the lion's cockpit. Keith looked down at the floor near his pilot's seat, where Cosmo was laying."Where is she? Did you teleport her to a different lion?"

When he didn't get any response from his wolf, Keith turned on the comms to the other lions. "Hey guys, is my mother in one of your lions?"

"Mother? What are you talking about, Mullet? You told us yourself you're an orphan," Lance answered from Red Lion.

"Lance, I came back from the Quantum Abyss with my wolf, Romelle, and my mother. Her name is Krolia."

"I don't remember anyone named Krolia when I met you. It was just you and your wolf, Keith," Romelle stated. "Are you okay?"

"No. This isn't right. I was reunited with her on a Blade mission right after the Kral Zera."

"Maybe I should come over and see if Black will let me pilot her so you can get some rest, Keith, especially if you are hallucinating," Shiro suggested.

"No, Shiro. I'm all right. Sorry to bother you all." Keith turned off the comms and pulled his legs up to his chest in the seat. He couldn't have just imagined it. He had never had imagined his mother before, so why would he do that now?

%%%

Keith whined out loud in his sleep, tossing and turning in his small nest in the back of the Black Lion. Gentle claws combing through his hair soothed him. He cracked an eye open and, to his relief, saw his mother sitting next to him in their nest. He held his arms out and whimpered.

Krolia scooped up her kit and wasn't surprised when he tucked himself under her chin. It was his favorite position, and she loved the closeness it provided. After eighteen deca-phoebes apart, they needed all the proximity they could. The two deca-phoebes on the space whale renewed their bond as mother and kit, and they took every moment they could to strengthen that bond.

Krolia rumbled to her kit. "Are you okay, kit?"

Keith whimpered. "It was a bad dream, Mama. No one remembered you and claimed that they had never met you, but I remembered reuniting with you."

Krolia tightened her hold on her kit. "Do you want to talk to the other Paladins to reassure you that they know me?"

Keith paused. Did he? "I do, but I don't want to leave your arms."

"I had no intention of making you leave, kit." Krolia stood up, picking Keith up in the process. She made her way to the cockpit and sat in the pilot's seat with Keith on her lap. She quickly turned on the comms to all of the lions. "Is everyone awake?"

"Everyone in Blue is awake," Allura replied, referencing herself and her fellow Alteans.

"Both of us in Green are awake," Pidge answered for herself and Shiro.

"Yellow Lion is here."

"Red Lion checking in."

"What's wrong, Krolia?" Shiro asked.

"Well, that's one. Keith had a nightmare where no one remembered me and claimed to never have met me. It disturbed him greatly."

"Trust us, Mullet. Your mom is no one anyone could forget. For one, you two look so much alike, the only major difference, aside from gender, is the fact that you're not purple."

Keith rolled his eyes. "Thanks, Lance."

"It would be hard for me to forget either of you," Romelle added. "You two helped rescue me from the colony."

"Yeah, buddy. Your mom is amazing," Hunk added.

"We all think so," Allura put in.

"Of course we do," Coran agreed.

Pidge nodded. "We're also glad that you were able to reunite with her and spend some actual time with just her. Well, her and Cosmo."

Keith smiled and leaned a little further against his mom. "Thanks, guys. Hearing that makes me feel better."

"No problem, Keith. Why don't you get some more rest before Black takes it upon herself to make you?" Shiro suggested.

Keith chuckled. "From your tone, I'm guessing she's done that before?"

"Yes. She has such a mom attitude about her."

Keith grinned widely. "So does Red."

Lance cocked his head to the side. "Well, she said that someone had to look after you in your mom's place."

"Tell her thank you from me, Lance," Krolia responded. "Now, I am going to take my kit back to our nest to guarantee that he does rest. Thank you again, everyone."

A chorused "you're welcome" was heard before Krolia turned off the comms. She stood up and carried a half awake Keith back to their nest. She settled in their nest and let him lay on her with his head once again tucked under her chin. She purred to him, lulling him to sleep.

"Sleep well, Keith."

"Love you, Mama."

"Love you, too, my kit." Krolia turned her head and gently nosed his hair, smiling when she heard his purr.

Fin 

Chapter Text

"A Little Sick"

Lance was worried about Keith. He hadn't been seen all day, which meant he hadn't eaten all day either. Was he on the training deck again? The Red Paladin lost all sense of time when he trained. Lance didn't like it and decided to check on him and pull him off the training deck if necessary.

He walked to the training deck and was surprised that it wasn't in use. He blinked at the darkened room. Where would he be? With Red Lion or maybe even Black? No. Something was wrong. Lance could feel it. What was it? He let his feet take him where they wanted to, and he ended up in front of Keith's room. He knocked on the door. "Keith? Buddy, are you in there?"

A series of sniffles from inside worried Lance. He hurriedly opened the door and entered the room. It wasn't dark, but it was definitely dimmer than the corridor. Lance had to let his eyes adjust to the dimmer lighting and was able to make out a lump in Keith's nest. Keith was obviously under one of the many blankets. "Keith?"

"G-Go away...Lance."

"Not happening."

%%%

Keith knew not showing up for anything was going to worry people, especially Lance. His caregiver was bound to go looking for him, but he was feeling too sick and too little to do anything about it himself. He heard knocking on the door and a voice calling out, "Keith? Buddy, are you in there?"

It was D-Lance. Keith wanted to call out, to tell him that he wanted him but also wanted him to stay away. He was so conflicted that all he could do was sniffle, which caused Lance to open the door. A few ticks went by before he heard Lance's voice again. "Keith?"

"G-Go away...Lance." He had to force himself not to call him Daddy. He knew the tick he did that Lance wouldn't leave him alone.

"Not happening."

Well, apparently Lance wasn't leaving anyway. Keith peeked out from under his blanket and locked eyes with Lance. "Daddy."

Lance was at his side in an instant. "Hey, cariño. It's okay. Daddy's here."

"Daddy. Don't feel good."

"I know, baby. How about I get you changed, and then you can get some rest?"

"Yeah."

Lance gently pulled his little from the nest and was pleasantly surprised that he was still dry. He laid him down and set about changing his clothes, finding out that Keith was wearing a pull up. "You are such a good baby, sweetie. You knew you weren't feeling good and put on a pull up just in case. Now, let's get you all fixed up."

He switched out his t-shirt and jeans for a red sleeper with white accents and his pull up for a diaper. He scooped him up and settled into the nest with his little nestled between his legs. He had his little's three favorite comfort items with him; a fuzzy red blanket, a stuffed Red Lion, and a white pacifier with a red 'V' on the outside. He offered the pacifier to him, but the little pushed it away.

"Don't want your paci, cariño? What about your lion or your blankie?"

Keith eagerly slipped both of his other comfort items into his arms and cuddled with them, whispering, "Don feel good."

"Are you hungry or thirsty, cariño? You haven't had anything all day." Not getting a response, Lance continued, "What about if I call Shiro and ask him to make you a bottle with some medicine in it? It should make you feel better?"

Lance more felt his little nod than anything and pulled out his data pad. "Hey, Shiro. Keith doesn't feel good and needs a bottle with some meds in it."

"How sick is he?"

"'Kashi."

"Hey, baby. I'm sorry you don't feel good."

"Daddy here."

"I know he is, and I'm glad. You sound like you have the sniffles."

"Uh-huh and hot."

"Your throat probably hurts."

"Yeah."

"All right, baby. I'll get your medicine and bring you a bottle. You stay with your Daddy. I'll be by soon."

"Bye bye, 'Kashi." Keith buried his face in Lance's shirt.

"Bye, sweetie. I'll be by soon, Lance."

"We're in Keith's room. Bye, Shiro." Lance terminated the link and spent the time trying to soothe his little. He was grateful when there was a knock on the door. Shiro opened the door slowly and made his way over to the nest. "Hi, Shiro."

"Hi, Lance. Hey, sweetie. I got a drink for you."

Keith tiredly lifted his head in the direction of his other caregiver and whimpered. Lance took the offered drink and held it up to his little's mouth. Keith sucked the nipple into his mouth and suckled it, closing his eyes to show he was enjoying his drink.

Lance sighed. "Thanks, Shiro. I was so worried about him, especially since he was trying to push me away until I said I wasn't going anywhere."

Shiro reached out and stroked Keith's hair. "His little side was probably confused because he was ill. Keith usually takes care of himself when he's sick."

"I wish he didn't think he has to. I don't mind taking care of him even if he wasn't little."

"You should let him know that, when he feels better and is out of little space, which might take longer this time due to his illness and him fighting it."

"I don't mind taking care of him, no matter how long he's little."

"I'll leave you two here then. Besides, it looks like he's already asleep."

Shiro left the room as Lance eased the half full bottle away from the slackened mouth of his little. He set it down nearby in case he woke up and wanted more. Noticing the little's tongue was moving as if he was still sucking in his sleep, Lance snagged the previously rejected pacifier and slipped it in. Keith sucked on his pacifier and snuggled against his Daddy. Lance pulled the fuzzy red blanket up to cover his baby's body. He didn't care how long Keith was sick or little. He was a caregiver in every sense of the word and would take care of Keith, no matter what.

Fin

Chapter Text

"Exhausted"

Keith staggered into his room, fresh from a shower. He had finished a long, strenuous training session and a well earned, hot shower. He sat down next to his nest and tugged his boots off. He set them aside, unclipped his utility belt, and stuck his sheathed Marmora knife under his favorite pillow. He set his utility belt on the dresser and hung his jacket on the hook on the wall. He set his boots in the closet and changed into the Red Paladin pajamas. He laid down in his nest and fell asleep almost immediately, softly purring.

%%%

The rest of the Paladins noticed the absence of their Red Paladin, when they showed up for dinner. Allura sat down at the table and asked, "Where is Keith?"

"That's a good question, Princess. We don't exactly know," Shiro admitted.

"I'll go look for him," Lance volunteered.

"Yeah. Go check on your boyfriend," Pidge teased.

Lance blushed but didn't deny it. He was dating Keith, but they didn't do much more than cuddling and holding hands, especially since their relationship is pretty new. He knew Keith was a private person, and Lance didn't want to make Keith uncomfortable by pushing his boundaries.

However, that didn't mean Lance didn't know where Keith liked to hang out. His boyfriend liked to be on the training deck, with the Red Lion in her hangar, in the lounge, and in his room. Though, if Lance was honest with himself, he didn't know which one of those places his boyfriend would be in. He decided to check the training deck and was glad it was empty. He checked the consol and wasn't surprised to notice that Keith had logged several vargas in there after lunch. Since he wasn't there now, it meant that he was probably in his room.

Lance hurried to Keith's room and knocked on the door. "Keith, baby, are you in there?" He listened for a response, but he didn't hear one. "I'm opening the door."

Lance opened the door and entered far enough to allow the door to close behind him. He saw Keith laying in his nest, sleeping and purring. Lance knelt down outside the nest, reached out, and stroked Keith's hair. He absolutely loved his boyfriend's hair, especially when he let him play with it. Lance couldn't wait until Keith allowed him to braid it or do some more elaborate things since it was longer than anyone else's on the team (not counting Allura).

A questioning noise alerted Lance to Keith waking up. "Lance?"

"Hey, baby. We noticed you were missing from dinner."

"Sorry. I'm just so tired from training this afternoon."

"Is there anyway you can eat something first?"

"I don't think so." Keith struggled to keep his eyes open.

Lance stroked his hair. "Go ahead and go back to sleep, baby. I will make sure you have some food set aside for you to eat later."

"Okay." Keith yawned and closed his eyes. "Thanks, Lance."

"You're welcome." Lance went to stand up but was stopped by Keith nuzzling his hand, purring. Lance kissed Keith's forehead. "I'm going to get food."

"Can you come back and cuddle with me?"

"Of course, I will." Lance left Keith's room and headed back to the dining area. He sat back down in his seat.

Shiro looked back at the door, obviously expecting Keith to walk through it. "Where's Keith?"

"He's too exhausted to stay awake long enough to eat. I told him I would set aside some food and return to keep him company after dinner," Lance reported.

"So, he's not eating?" Hunk asked.

"Not right now, but he will want food when he wakes up," he assured his best friend.

"Why is he exhausted?" Allura asked.

"He spent several vargas on the training deck before taking a shower and going to sleep in his nest." Lance had noticed his boyfriend's hair was still damp from his shower when he touched it. "I want to eat, so I can go back to him."

"Well, good thing food is done," Hunk said, sliding over two bowls to Lance. "Here's one for you and one for Keith when he wakes up."

Lance looked in the bowl and was surprised. "It's not food goo!"

"I found some new ingredients on the last planet we saved and had been experimenting with them. I think I came up with an interesting combination. Let me know what you think."

"I always do, buddy." Lance lifted his fork to his mouth and took a bite. His eyes widened in shock. "This is delicious! I can't place the taste, but this is so good!"

Hunk beamed. "Thanks, buddy."

Dinner passed pretty quickly with Lance's declaration of the deliciousness of Hunk's newest creation. Lance polished off his dish and swiftly carried Keith's portion to his room. He set it on the dresser near his utility belt and stepped into the nest. He settled next to Keith and gently pulled his sleeping boyfriend into his arms. He smiled as Keith repositioned himself to get back into a comfortable position, including having his head tucked under Lance's chin. However, Lance did move his head so he could lay his cheek on top of his boyfriend's fluffy hair. Keith was still purring, which was so soothing that it lulled Lance to sleep as well.

A few vargas later, Keith shifted slightly and noticed that he was being held. He cracked an eye and saw that Lance had returned and had indeed cuddled with him like he asked. He closed his eyes again in content and fell back asleep, his purr picking up again when he fell asleep.

Fin

Chapter Text

"Even Evil Has Family"

Sendak was not in a good mood. It was obvious to anyone who came across him. The only good thing that happened was that he had located and successfully captured the Red Lion of Voltron, which then Emperor Zarkon let remain on his ship. There had been minor insurgents on a couple of planets in his sector, which he personally squashed, which didn't help his mood any.

His lieutenant, Haxus, had received a secret communique that was sure to lift his commander's mood. He had informed the pilot of Sendak's mood, to which the pilot purred to him in reassurance. Haxus smiled and gave the pilot that landing code for the private hangar. Now all Haxus had to do was figure out how to get the commander to go to his quarters without getting his head ripped off.

Fortunately, his time had come in the form of Sendak rubbing at his left shoulder. Haxus stood up from his post and whispered to his commander, "Maybe you should go relax in your quarters and take off your arm prosthetic."

Haxus didn't flinch when said prosthetic was brought to within an inch of his neck. He could even feel the heat from the quintessence that coursed through it. "You know I'm right, commander."

Sendak growled but removed his prosthetic from Haxus's neck. "Very well, Haxus. You are in command for now."

Sendak turned and left the bridge, completely missing Haxus's grin. It didn't take long for Sendak to get to his quarters. He entered the room and was startled by a little voice calling out, "Daddy!"

Sendak immediately caught the tiny kit that had tried to jump onto his father. He lifted him up and set him on his right shoulder. "Yorak, when did you get here?"

"Mama and I just got here!" Little Yorak nuzzled his Daddy's ear.

Sendak's eyes landed on the female Galra in front of him. She approached him and purred. "We wanted to surprise you, Sen."

"That you did, 'Lia." Sendak nuzzled his mate's head. "That you did."

Sendak carefully rolled the shoulder his kit wasn't sitting on, which caught Krolia's attention. "Let me help you with that."

Sendak kept a firm hand on Yorak while his mate unlatched his prosthetic. Once it was gone, he laid in the nest with his son on his chest. Little Yorak was the spitting image of his mother but with Sendak's ears and his shining gold eyes. Sendak licked his son's cheek stripes, a feature that he loved that his kit got from his mother. Yorak purred to his Daddy. Krolia stepped into the nest and settled against her mate.

"How long do you get to stay this time?" Sendak didn't like that his mate and kit were stationed elsewhere.

"Warlord Ranveig was owed some favors and called them in to get us reassigned."

"Reassigned where?"

Krolia grinned. "Here. You're looking at your new stellar cartographer."

Sendak's eyes widened. "Truly? You both get to stay here?"

Krolia nuzzled her mate's head. "Yes. We have been away too long. Yorak needs his father, especially if he is to take his place in the Empire one day."

Little Yorak tilted his head, one of his ears twitching. "I hear something."

"What is it, my kit?"

"Someone calling to me."

Both parents looked around the room in alarm but could see no one. "There's no one here, kit."

"Not here but on the ship. She says she wants to see me." Yorak gasped. "She's a red kitty."

"The Red Lion is talking to you?"

Yorak's other ear twitched. "Yeah."

"Let's go see what the lion wants with our kit," Krolia suggested.

Sendak frowned but relented. He was curious why the lion was talking to his kit too. He quickly attached his prosthetic and escorted his family to the hangar, where the Red Lion was standing with her particle barrier up. The tick Yorak was standing in front of the lion's barrier, said barrier disappeared and the lion's eyes lit up, looking like the little kit's eyes.

Yorak chirped and was surprised that the Red Lion lowered her mouth to him. He petted her muzzle. "Hello, kitty."

"Hello, little cub."

Yorak purred. He liked this kitty. Krolia stepped up behind her kit. "Red Lion, may I ask a question?"

"Who is this, cub?"

"This is my Mama. She's the bestest mama in the universe!"

Krolia blushed at her kit's comment.

"She can ask her question."

Yorak looked at his Mama. "Go ahead, Mama."

"I was wondering why you were talking to my kit."

"He is my future Paladin."

"She says I'm her future Paladin, but Mama, what's a Paladin?"

"The Paladins were the pilots of the lions of Voltron. We had heard that the lions choose their Paladins," Sendak answered for his mate. "To be chosen at such a young age is unheard of, but it is a great honor."

"The grumpy one speaks the truth."

Yorak giggled. "That's my Daddy. He's not always grumpy."

Krolia stifled a giggle at her mate's affronted expression. He scooped up his kit and mock growled. "I'll show you grumpy."

He proceeded to tickle his kit, who squealed with laughter and tried to wiggle away from the tickling claws. "Mama, save me!"

"Oh no, my kit. I'm no match for your father and his tickling claws."

The Red Lion chuckled and put up her particle barrier again, content to watch her future Paladin grow up with his family for now.

Fin

Chapter Text

"Comfort"

Keith awoke with a jolt, tears leaping to his eyes. The nightmare was horrible and left him feeling vulnerable. He wanted his Mama to come comfort him, even though he knew Shiro needed her than he did. Shiro had horrible nightmares from his time in the arena and needed comfort in the aftermath. Even though Keith knew this, he still wanted the same comfort. Tears started pouring down his face as he cried into his pillow, hoping to muffle the sound and not disturb anyone.

%%%

Lance was awakened by an unusual sound. Normally, he wouldn't have heard anything, but Pidge repoed her headphones, so the Blue Paladin heard everything. This unusual sound, Lance recognized it as someone crying, was coming from Keith's room. Lance got out of bed, put on his lion slippers, left his room, and walked next door to Keith's room. Lance tried to enter, but the door was locked. He knocked on the door. "Keith? Buddy, are you okay?"

Unfortunately, Keith was crying too hard to answer. "Lance? What's going on?"

Lance turned to see who had spoken and saw the rest of the Paladins coming up the hall. Shiro, who had spoken, was in the lead.

"I don't know why, but Keith is crying. His door is locked, and I can't get him to answer."

Shiro wrapped an arm around Lance's shoulders. He knew Lance was worried about Keith, but Shiro didn't know how to get to Keith without breaking down the door and scaring Keith more.

"Shiro? Lance? Hunk? Pidge? What are you all doing out here at this time of night?"

The four Paladins looked at who just arrived at the scene, and Lance felt like he could cry in relief. Surely, Allura could get Keith to open his door.

"Mamá! Keith is crying. His door is locked, and he won't answer us."

Allura walked up to the door, pausing to stroke Lance's hair soothingly. She knocked on the door. "Keith?"

There was a brief pause before they heard shuffling inside the room. There was a beep as the door unlocked before it was opened a crack. The tick Keith saw Allura was truly standing there, his resolve broke, and the door opened fully. He flung his arms around the princess and cried. "Mama!"

Allura was taken aback at Keith's actions but lowered him to the floor in any case. She pulled him onto her lap and stroked his hair, letting him cry it out. "You're okay, Keith. Mama's got you. You're safe."

He gripped her nightgown and stuttered out, "I-I'm s-sorry."

"There's no need to apologize, sweetie. I don't mind comforting you."

"I sh-shouldn't. Shiro needs it more than I do."

Shiro knelt down next to the pair. "Keith, no. Just because I have nightmares more often than any of you doesn't mean that you don't deserve comfort."

Keith slowly raised his eyes to meet Shiro's and saw that Shiro wasn't just saying that.

"Why don't we all head to the lounge and have a sleepover there?" Allura suggested, standing up and still holding Keith.

Lance perked up. "We should bring pillows and blankets!"

"To build a nest!" Shiro added.

"A n-nest?" Keith repeated.

"That's right, sweetie. Your siblings can build us a nest to rest in, and we can have cuddles all around." Allura carried Keith to the lounge, while the other Paladins hurried around with pillows and blankets. They built a nest, which was well built, in Keith's opinion. Allura settled into the nest with Keith on her lap, and her other children cuddled around her and Keith; Shiro and Lance were the closest, Lance was curled around Keith's side.

"Sorry, Lance. I didn't mean to not answer you," Keith whispered.

"It's okay, Keith. You didn't do it to be mean. Just get some rest."

"Lance is right. Everyone should get some rest." Light snoring drew their attention to Hunk who was laying on his back with Pidge sprawled out on his front. Allura giggled. "Looks like Hunk and Pidge already did that."

Keith closed his eyes and relaxed in his Mama's arms. He was glad that she was willing to comfort him after his nightmare, just like she did with Shiro.

Fin

Chapter Text

"Little Mama"

Krolia panted and whimpered in her sleep. She was engulfed in a nightmare and alone in the nest or so she thought. She was surprised to feel someone scoop her up and nuzzle her. The lack of fur concerned her until she heard the purr. She realized it was the time traveler. He was there from the future and was considered pack. In fact, he was very soothing to the little kit. He gently licked her cheek stripes so like his own. Her eyes slid open slowly and landed on his face. She let out a questioning noise. He cooed to her. "It's all right, kit. I've got you."

She snuggled into his chest with a little sigh before she starting purring, just so glad that she wasn't alone. "Keith?"

"Yes, kit."

"Don't leave me."

"Not my intention, kit, but I will at some point. However, we will meet again, but for now, I'm here for you and the other four kits."

"Is there anything you can tell me about the future?"

Keith hesitated. What was he allowed to say? Kolivan's father hadn't forbidden him from saying anything, but Keith remembered a little from his temporal mechanics class at the Garrison. Would telling the kit version of his mom mess with the time stream? If he was vague about some things, surely that would be okay.

"Well, we have a large pack. There are you five kits as adults and myself and another slightly older kit."

"You don't act like a kit though."

"I didn't grow up around Galra, so I'm learning as I go." Keith smiled. "The one who is most successful at getting me to act like a kit is you actually."

"Are we close?"

"Not as close as I'd like, but that's probably more my fault than anything."

Krolia sat up and rubbed her cheek stripes against his. "I'm sure your Mama and Daddy love you just the way you are."

"My Dad died when I was younger, but my Mama loves me so much. She tells me that all the time."

"My Mama does that too, but where is she? I thought she's be back by now." Krolia's eyes started tearing up.

Keith reacted immediately. He hoisted Krolia a little higher, her nose ending up near the scent gland in his neck. She took a deep breath and noticed that his scent screamed blood relation. She chirped and pulled back. "Y-your scent."

"What about it?"

"It smells like family. We're related, aren't we?"

Keith hesitated but found he couldn't lie to her. "Yes. We are related."

"How?"

Keith threw caution to the wind. "You're my Mama."

Krolia was surprised but shouldn't have been because the cheek stripes were a family trait. Her Mama had them, she had them, and she apparently gave them to her kit. She purred to him. "I'm glad you told me. Thank you."

Keith wrapped his arms around her and purred back. "You're welcome...little Mama." Krolia snuggled into his lap and yawned. "Get some more rest, and your Mama will be back when you wake up."

"And you'll stay with me too?"

Keith petted her headfur. "I won't leave before you wake up." Satisfied, Krolia closed her eyes and fell asleep, purring softly. "Sweet dreams, little Mama."

Fin

Chapter Text

"Young Altean"

Coran was dusting off some shelves in the lower levels of the castle when he stumbled upon a backup to the castle's computer. Intrigued as to what was kept on this backup, he turned it on. To his immense surprise, it was a backup for the library of Altea. There was even a self updating catalogue of living Alteans. With shaking hands, Coran opened the file and flipped to the end of the file. To his immense surprise again, there was a name he recognized. The lastest entry read 'Keith Kogane.'

%%%

Keith was walking to the training deck, intent on getting a good workout in before breakfast. He was not expecting to get waylaid by Coran. "Morning, Coran."

"Keith, I must speak with you. It's urgent."

Keith paused mid step. Coran sounded so serious, completely unlike his usual upbeat self. "I was just heading for the training deck, but I guess it can wait for a bit. What's up?"

"I have discovered a back up for the library of Altea."

"Oh, that's nice."

"It contains a self updating registry of all living Alteans."

Keith winced and bit his tongue to stop himself from voicing his first thought, which was "That must be a short book."

"I found out that Allura and I are not the only two Alteans alive. You have Altean blood as well, my boy."

"What? I'm Altean? That's impossible."

"The book doesn't lie."

"But I'm human."

"Somewhere in your family history is an Altean. It must be relatively recent for you to have enough of it for it to register but back far enough for you to not receive any distinctly Altean features. How old are you, Keith?"

Keith hummed. "I think I'm still eighteen at this point, but I could be nineteen if my birthday happened already."

"Nineteen? What kind of scale are you using?"

"Oh, um, we use the term 'years' on Earth, which I guess converts to deca-phoebes. So I'm nineteen deca-phoebes."

"Nineteen deca-phobebes? Why you're just a little thing!"

Keith took a step back. "No. I'm an adult on Earth."

"In Altean culture, you're a young child." Coran gripped Keith's arm and led him away from the training deck. "You are not training on an empty stomach, my boy, and not directly after eating either. In fact, I'm surprised you're up this early. You should still be sleeping."

"I always get up at this time, Coran."

"Tsk, tsk. We need to fix that."

"There's no need to fix it. I've always gotten up early."

"Little ones need more sleep than what you're getting. No wonder you're grumpy during the day."

"That's just my regular attitude, especially towards Lance. He loves to irritate me."

"Well, I won't stand for it any longer. You are an Altean child, and I won't let anyone hurt you."

Keith didn't say anything as Coran gently pushed on his shoulders, so that he would sit at the table in the dining area. "I'll cook you an ancient Altean dish that's sure to please your palate."

Keith slightly panicked. He didn't want to eat Coran's cooking. Fortunately, there was a clatter that came from the kitchen. It seemed like Keith wasn't the only Paladin up. Hunk was already in the kitchen. Keith breathed a sigh of relief at that knowledge. Hunk didn't let anyone else in the kitchen while he cooked. Keith hoped that it was something other than food goo.

Hunk left the kitchen with what looked like a big stack of oddly colored pancakes. Keith's eyes widened in delight. He liked pancakes, because it reminded him of simpler times with his Dad. "Those look amazing, Hunk."

Hunk looked up. "Oh, hey, Keith. Didn't expect to see you here this early."

"See, little one, even Hunk agrees that you need to sleep in."

"Little one? Is that a new nickname? Are we all getting one?"

"It is a new nickname, but just for Keith. I found out that Keith is part Altean."

Hunk set the plate down. "Oh, that's cool! Can he change his shape? How Altean is he?"

"We don't have any answers, Hunk."

"Yet," Coran stated. "However, before we do anything, he needs food and more rest."

"Those look delicious. May I have some now?"

"Of course. Have as many as you like. I have a lot more coming." Hunk left the dining area, heading back for the kitchen, presumably to continue cooking more pancakes.

Coran watched in satisfaction as the young Altean piled many of the strange mostly flat foods onto his plate and absolutely drench them in an equally strange substance of a questionable brown color. Even though he didn't know what this food was, the important thing was Keith was eating and enjoying the food.

There were several differences between a typical young Altean and Keith. Most importantly were the differences in their sleeping and eating habits. Young Alteans tended to adore sleeping in, much like Lance. In fact, he wouldn't have been as surprised if the Blue Paladin's name had appeared in the book as he was when he read Keith's name. Also, Keith had a bad habit of skipping meals in favor of training.

Coran needed to inform the princess of this new development. Fortunately, she had just walked into the dining area. "Good morning, Coran, Keith."

"Morning, Allura," Keith replied before taking another bite of breakfast.

"Good morning, Princess!"

Allura looked at Keith's plate curiously. "What is this?"

Keith swallowed and answered, "Hunk made pancakes for breakfast. It's an Earth delicacy."

Coran tugged on his jacket. "I was about to make an ancient Altean dish, but Hunk was already in the kitchen."

Allura giggled as she took her seat. "Coran, you know the Paladins prefer Hunk's cooking."

"I just thought I'd give Keith a taste of his heritage."

Allura looked from Coran to Keith and back again. "What?"

"I discovered a back up for the library of Altea, which contains a self updating registry of all living Alteans. Keith's name was listed in the registry."

Allura's hand flew to her mouth. "We have another Altean on the ship?"

"It would appear so."

It was then that the rest of the Paladins entered the dining area. Lance saw the huge pile of oddly colored pancakes on Keith's plate and frowned. "Geez, Mullet. Did you leave any for the rest of us?"

Before Keith could retort, Coran jumped to his defense. "Hunk said there was plenty, Number Three. Do not be mean to Keith."

Lance looked at Coran confused. "Why did you leap to Keith's defense? I've only seen you do that for Allura."

"I do that for any Altean."

"But Keith's human."

"Not fully. He has Altean blood in him."

"What?" Lance's eyes widened.

"Incredible," Shiro said.

"How Altean is he? Can he change his shape?" Pidge asked.

"I asked the same questions, Pidge." Hunk exited the kitchen carrying two large platters full of the pancakes. "They don't have any answers. I suspect that some time after breakfast, Coran and Allura would find out."

"Yes. After breakfast and some more rest, we'll find out how much Altean blood the little one has."

Allura looked at Coran. "Little one?" She turned towards Keith. "How old are you, Keith?"

Keith sighed. "It translates to nineteen deca-phoebes."

Her eyes widened. "You are a young Altean!"

Keith ducked his head a little. "Apparently."

Shiro patted Keith on his shoulder. "It'll be okay, Keith. Just finish your breakfast."

Keith peered at Shiro through his fringe and gave him a small smile. "Okay."

Shiro helped himself to some pancakes, signaling the rest of the Paladins to start eating as well. After breakfast was over, Coran didn't give Keith any time to even try to escape to the training deck. He gently gripped the young Altean's arm and guided him back to his room. "You will get some more rest. I do not want to see you out of this room for at least another varga."

Keith wanted to retort that he didn't need a nap, but then he saw the look on Coran's face. It was so reminiscent of the look his father had given him when he was younger that Keith didn't argue. Coran noticed the fight leave Keith's posture and hugged him. "You're okay, little one. Just get some more rest. When you're done, meet me in the infirmary." Coran released Keith, who hesitated at his door. "What is it, my boy?"

Keith gave him a little smile. "Thanks."

Keith entered his room, leaving Coran more than a little confused. The advisor decided to seek out Shiro for answers. He wasn't surprised to find him on the bridge in his Paladin seat. "Shiro, I have a question. I hope you have the answer."

Shiro turned to face the older Altean. "Well, ask away. I hope to be able to answer it."

"I escorted young Keith to his room for some more rest and he thanked me after I told him to get some more rest. He looked liked he wanted to fight at first but then didn't. I don't understand why."

Shiro grinned. "That's Keith for you. He's an orphan and hasn't had anyone to make sure he takes care of himself."

"He doesn't have parents? The poor boy! Whatever happened to them?"

"He doesn't talk about his mom, but his Dad died in a fire. He was a fireman."

"Was either of them Altean?" Allura asked.

"I guess it's possible that his mom might have been, but unless it's really far back, I don't think his Dad was."

"It's still possible, since it's been 10,000 deca-phoebes since the destruction of Altea. He might only have a drop of Altean blood," Coran replied, sadly.

"Why doesn't he talk about his mother?" Allura inquired.

"She left him and his Dad when he was a baby."

"Alteans love their children. Most species that I have met do. Don't humans?"

"Most humans do, Allura. There are some anomalies. He hadn't had anyone care about him until he met me at the Garrison when he was thirteen."

"When did his father die?"

"Keith was six. He had to rely on himself for seven deca-phoebes."

%%%

Keith rubbed his eyes and blinked. He didn't realize that he was tired but had apparently fallen asleep. He left his room, wondering what time it was. It was one reason he didn't like sleeping in or taking a nap; he lost all track of time. He went to the infirmary but was surprised that no one was there. Keith looked around in confusion. Did he not sleep enough? Coran had said at least a varga, but maybe he had only slept for a few doboshes? He sat down on the edge of one of the examination beds, reading on his data pad.

%%%

Coran hadn't expected Keith to actually fall asleep due to him originally fighting it. So, Coran had gone to check on Keith in a varga and was pleased to see him sleeping. He had tugged his blanket over him and left him to rest. He didn't know how long Keith would sleep but figured he had at least another varga, so he decided to clean the dining area.

He let his mind wander as he cleaned. He almost couldn't believe there was a young Altean on the ship and had been there for nearly a deca-phoebe, and he and Allura had no idea. It had been awhile since he had helped raise a little one, so he was relying on his instincts. He finished cleaning and looked at the time and nearly panicked. It had been a varga and a half! He washed his hands and rushed to the infirmary. He skidded to a halt right outside the infirmary. He didn't want to startle Keith if the Red Paladin was sitting in there. He strolled in and smiled as he saw Keith sitting there, reading on his data pad. "Hello, little one. I hope I hadn't left you waiting long."

Keith looked up with a little smile on his face. "No. I haven't been sitting here long."

"Well, that's good. Now, I need a blood sample to determine what percentage of your blood is Altean." An almost imperceptible flash of fear passed through Keith's eyes. Coran paused. "Did you want to have Shiro in here for this?"

"Please."

"Wait here, and I'll go get him." Coran walked out and returned shortly with Shiro in tow.

Shiro immediately stepped over to Keith and drew him into his arms. "It'll be okay, Keith. I know you don't like needles, so don't look at it. Focus on me."

Keith took a deep breath and took off his jacket. "Okay."

Shiro noticed that Keith's breaths were coming in a bit faster. "Hey, Keith. Remember the time when I tried cooking dinner for Adam."

"Didn't you burn it so bad that you set off the fire alarms and the fire department had to be called?"

Shiro laughed. "Yeah. It was so bad that Adam officially banned me from the kitchen. I wasn't even allowed to make myself coffee."

"So that's why you always had a cup of the Garrison's coffee in your hands."

"And now, we wait for the results. It won't take more than a couple of doboshes," Coran announced.

Keith looked over in surprise. "It's over already?"

"Yes. It goes fast and painless when you don't focus on it." Coran loaded the blood sample into the machine.

"So, what outcome are you hoping for, Keith?" Shiro asked.

"Oh, um, I'm not sure. Maybe a high enough percentage to do the shape changing thing."

Coran chuckled. "Trust a little one to want the shape changing ability. Don't worry, Keith, unless you have a very minute amount, you will have that ability."

"Wouldn't that require a different restructuring of my bones though?"

"You would have already gone through a restructuring earlier in life in order to accommodate the ability," Coran stated as he looked over the results.

"Oh, I guess I won't have the ability."

"But, Keith, you already did. You had a very painful puberty. It's not normally painful, so I think your body was restructuring itself for the shaping changing ability," Shiro said.

"In fact, you do have the ability, my boy. You are twenty-five percent Altean."

"It's that high?" Keith asked.

"Yes, one of your grandparents had to be full Altean for you to be a quarter Altean."

"Which grandparent?" Keith asked before adding, "Not that it matters that much. I never met any of them."

"I think it would be one of your maternal grandparents. I would think if it was one of your paternal grandparents, then you would have been taken in by them once your father passed," Shiro reasoned.

"Yeah. So, when can I try shape changing?"

"Allura is actually the one who should instruct you on honing that ability."

%%%

"First, we'll focus on seeing what you'd look like as a full blooded Altean. Just close your eyes and concentrate on what changes need to be made," Allura coached. Keith closed his eyes. After several doboshes, she, Shiro, and Coran could see his skin darken, his ears became pointed, and red Altean markings appeared on his face. He opened his eyes, which were still violet. Allura smiled. "It worked. You look great!"

Keith looked at Coran, who had tears in his eyes. "You look amazing, little one."

"Are you okay, Coran?" Keith asked.

Coran reached up and brushed the tears off his cheeks. "Yes. It's just been so long since I've seen another Altean."

Keith smiled and hugged Coran. "If you'd like, I'd be willing to let my markings show."

"You'd do that for us?"

"Yes." Keith closed his eyes and let his skin lighten and his ears become rounded but allowed his red Altean marks to remain visible. He opened his eyes and smiled. "Just like that."

Fin

Chapter Text

"Lay Down"

Krolia landed her pod in the hangar and was only slightly surprised none of her pack was there to greet her. Knowing her pack, they were probably busy. Kolivan would be in his office doing paperwork, Ulaz would be in the med bay patching up some Blades who got injured on their missions, Thace usually manned the comms at this time of the quintant, and Antok normally handled the afternoon training session. However, she expected her kit to come greet her. Keith always loved to greet her when she returned from her missions.

She left the hangar and headed for Kolivan's office first. She had to drop off her report first before she could go lay down, hopefully with her kit. Being pack, she didn't have to knock on Kolivan's door, so she just pushed open the door. The unmistakable sound of a purring kit reached her ears. She saw her kit napping in the nest Kolivan kept in the corner, buried under several warm blankets. Just as she thought, Kolivan was seated at the desk, going over reports.

"Hello, Kolivan."

"Welcome back, Krolia."

"I see my kit is sleeping here, but why is he under so many blankets?"

"He said he was cold."

"It's not any colder than normal, so why is he so cold?"

"He doesn't have any fur, so the base feels colder to him."

Krolia sighed. "Well, at least he's warm enough to get some rest."

"Do you want to lay with him?"

"Yes."

"Then, go ahead and get in the nest. You know it's not just for Keith."

Before she did, Krolia nuzzled Kolivan, him returning the nuzzles and earning a purr from Krolia in response. Kolivan gave her a gentle yet firm push in the direction of the nest he kept in the corner of his office nearest his desk. Krolia took off the top of her Blade uniform, leaving her in the gray flight suit worn underneath, and climbed into the nest. She settled behind Keith, curling around him but keeping the blankets tucked firmly against her kit. She gently began grooming his hair, a soothing action for both mother and kit.

Keith, realizing his mother was there, reacted instinctually. He gave a sleepy chirp and rolled over to snuggle with her; however, the blankets were in the way of being in contact with her, so he whined a little. Krolia unwrapped the blankets, which allowed Keith to snuggle up against her, his head tucked under her chin. Krolia settled the blankets mostly over Keith but not over herself. She buried her face in the top of her kit's hair and relaxed.

Kolivan had gone back to going over his reports, only half paying attention to them as he was also watching Krolia and her kit interact. Keith was ruled by his instincts while he was sleeping; much more than when he was awake. It was endearing to watch a kit interact with his mother. Kolivan was not surprised when he heard two purrs coming from the nest. He figured that Krolia would get some rest after her mission. The fact that she was curled around her kit made the scene that much sweeter.

Fin

Chapter Text

"Not Expendable"

Kolivan walked into the lounge and was slightly surprised to see his newest Blade cuddling with the current Red Paladin. How did he get there so fast?

"Keith?"

Lance curled his arms around Keith. "Leave him be, please. He's shaken after that battle."

"He shouldn't be. It was a wonderful battle."

Lance pulled Keith closer to him. "It may have been a win, but Keith was close to death."

"It's a hazard of war."

"He almost sacrificed himself to take down the shield! He almost died!"

Kolivan's ears drooped. "He was willing to sacrifice himself?"

"Yes. I want him to come back to the team, even just for a little. He was always one of us. You Blades seem to not value who he is, only what he can do for you."

"How dare you?! Keith is immensely valuable, not only as a Blade operative but as a kit! He is a member of my pack!"

"...Kolivan? Is it time to go?" Keith yawned. He then became aware of someone holding him. "Lance?"

"Hey, Keith. You feeling better?"

"I think so."

Lance let Keith sit up. "You know you're important to us for more than just for what you can do, right?"

Keith stood up and offered a smile to his replacement. "That's nice of you to say, Lance. I appreciate it, but I have to go back with the Blades. There are still many more missions I can do."

"Not alone, kit. I refuse to let you go on any more missions alone, kit."

"But, Kolivan. I can do solo missions!"

Kolivan swept Keith close and held him against his chest. "No, my kit. I almost lost you today, the same way I lost Thace and Ulaz. I don't want to lose you too."

Keith nuzzled Kolivan's chest, and the Blade leader was surprised to feel his uniform damp. He looked down at his kit and saw tears falling down his cheeks. "What's the matter, my kit?"

"I'm so sorry, Kolivan. I just thought it was a good idea, and it would've saved a lot of people."

Kolivan pulled Keith even closer and stroked his hair. "You are not expendable, Keith. Not anywhere close. You are one of the most important beings in the universe, especially to me."

Keith purred and wrapped his arms around his leader. He couldn't wrap his arms all the way around the Blade, but it still brought him closer. Kolivan rumbled to him in order to soothe his kit.

Lance realized that Kolivan truly cared about Keith as a person as he watched them interact. He stood up and approached the two Blades. "Hey, Kolivan. I'm sorry. I didn't know how-whoa!" Lance was not expecting Keith to latch onto him and pull him close. "Keith?"

"Lance, thank you for being there for me."

"No problem, buddy. You are very important to a lot of people, including me. I love you, Keith."

"I love you too, Lance. Can you to stay with me while I'm here?"

Lance smiled. "I would love to stay with you...cariño."

Keith smiled in return and closed his eyes. He liked being told he mattered. It wasn't something he was told often, especially in his youth.

Fin

Chapter Text

 

"Unconscious"

Kolivan was blissfully unconscious. After phoebes of torture from the deranged druid, the battered Blade leader welcomed the tranquility and peace of his consciousness. Of all the forms of torture, the druid loved bringing up Voltron's disappearance. Kolivan couldn't help but dwell on the disappearance of not only the Paladins but the two Blades he was closest to, Keith and Krolia. After the loss of Ulaz, Thace, and Antok, Kolivan swore that he wouldn't get close to anyone again. However, he couldn't help getting close to the kit, which led him to be close to another operative, because where ever Keith was, Regris wasn't far behind. Regris's death was another blow, one he hadn't thought would hurt as much. When Kolivan learned of Keith and Krolia's disappearance, his will to live dwindled to almost nothing, leaving him almost floating in his mind.

Strangely enough, Kolivan realized he wasn't alone, even in his own mind. He tensed as a figure approached, figuring the druid had figured out how to torture him there as well. The figure wasn't Macidus, but a being who was dead.

"Antok?"

"Hello, 'Van." Antok approached Kolivan, removing his mask as he did. Kolivan tensed and closed his eyes, waiting for some kind of strike. He couldn't believe his dead mate was with him. It had to be a trick. When a strike never came, Kolivan cracked an eye open to see Antok standing in front of him with his arms open, waiting. Kolivan broke at the scene. Antok always waited for Kolivan to initiate the affection; no one knew that. That meant this was Antok! Kolivan rushed into his mate's arms.
"Antok!" Kolivan nuzzled Antok. "I've missed you so!"

"'Van, you've been so brave in the face of so much loss."

"I lost almost everyone, even Keith and Krolia have disappeared!"

Antok blinked. "Keith? Oh, the Red Paladin who took the trials. He's a full Blade?"

"Yes and no. I found out after your death that he's just a kit. However, he has been invaluable to our cause, even going as far to extricate Krolia, who is his mother."

"I figured Krolia was related to him somehow, since he unlocked her blade."

"But no one has seen them or even heard from them in three deca-phoebes. I fear they are lost as well."

"They are not dead, 'Van."

The absolute certainty in his mate's voice caused Kolivan to look up. "How do you know?"

"Because they've come to rescue you. You need to wake up, 'Van, but remember, I love you." Antok kissed Kolivan before fading from his consciousness as Kolivan's eyes fluttered open. The sight he saw before him was so welcoming that he could've cried. It wasn't just Keith and Krolia but the Voltron Paladins as well.

"Keith. Krolia." Kolivan couldn't speak above more than a whisper at the moment, but his two favorite Blades were close enough to hear him.

"Shh, Kolivan. It's all right. Keith took care of the druid. He's gone. You need to rest," Krolia stated.

Kolivan looked at Keith and could see a marked difference in the kit. However, he could also see that Keith wanted to snuggle against him but was afraid of hurting him more. He slowly lifted his right arm. "Come here, kit."

Keith carefully tucked himself against Kolivan, sighing in relief. Kolivan was slightly surprised when the kit started purring. He didn't know he could do that. Slight pressure against his left side reminded him that the kit spent a great deal of time with his mother, which might have awoken a great deal of his Galran instincts. "I'm glad you're alive, Kolivan."

"So am I, kit. So am I."

Fin

Chapter Text

 

"The Leaders' Kits"

Romelle was wandering around the base looking for Keith. She was slowly becoming used to being around a large number of Galra. The Blades were for the most part happy with the latest edition to their leader's pack. However, there were those who didn't like the fact that there was another being who wasn't Galran. They already didn't care for Keith, because he didn't look Galran, but they should have realized that didn't mean he didn't have the protective instincts. Most of the Blades didn't bother Keith, because he was the beloved kit of the five highest ranking Blades, including Krolia, whom most of the Blades respected. There was one Blade, Takal, who was the most vocal against Romelle's presence.

On this day, Takal cornered Romelle as she searched for Keith. "Aw, is the poor little Altean lost? Maybe she should have stayed with her race? Oh, that's right. Most of them are dead."

Romelle knew the Blade was trying to get a rise out of her and wasn't about to give him that satisfaction. "I'm looking for Keith."

Takal sniffed in disdain. "I do not keep up with the half-breed."

"Very well then. Good-bye." Romelle turned to leave, but Takal grabbed her arm.

"I didn't say you could leave."

"Let me go!"

Suddenly, Takal had a transformed blade in his face. "Remove your hand from my sister, or my sword will do it for you!"

Takal realized it was the leader's kit, who was actually sporting a few more Galran features than normal. He could see fangs and yellow sclera with slitted pupils. Takal quickly albeit reluctantly removed his hand from Romelle's arm. He smacked Keith's blade away from his face. "Get that away from my face, half-breed!"

A snarl from behind Takal alerted him to the fact that a member of the kit's pack had arrived. He gulped and turned around, hoping to see either Thace or Ulaz. Unfortunately, it was not either of those Galra, but Krolia and Antok. Takal's eyes flicked from Antok's face mask to Krolia's burning eyes and knew he had made a huge mistake.

"Kits, come here." Krolia opened her arms, and Keith and Romelle ran to her. "I leave this to you, Antok."

Antok's tail stroked the kits' cheeks as they passed. "Of course. Shall I contact the pack or do you want to?"

"I will."

"Very well, 'Lia. See you in the nest."

Krolia led her kits away purposely keeping them from seeing what Antok did to the Blade. He unfortunately couldn't kill him, since every member was valuable, but he could hurt him severely and send him to the med bay, where Ulaz would patch him up in a very detached manner, especially since the doctor would be informed of this Blade's transgression.

After patching him up, Ulaz would leave the med bay and head to the nest to check on the kits. He found the rest of the pack in the nest. Keith and Krolia were cuddling Romelle. Keith's Galran features had receded once the danger had passed, and he once again looked completely human, except for his cheek stripes. Thace was seated above Keith and was grooming his hair, which caused the kit to purr. Kolivan was curled around Keith, rumbling to him, and Antok was curled around his mate with his tail wrapped around Keith's waist. Ulaz slipped into the nest and covered the two kits with a warm blanket before curling around Krolia and grooming her headfur, causing her to purr. Word of the interaction between the kits and Takal and the consequent punishment spread throughout the organization like wildfire, and a consensus was reached. Don't mess with the leader's kits. Ever.

Fin

Chapter Text

"Chase"

"Keep up, Keith!"

Keith suppressed the urge to growl at his pack brother and redoubled his efforts to catch up. He and Regris were by themselves for about a varga. Thace was on a mission, Antok and Kolivan were in a meeting, and Ulaz had some critically hurt Blades he was treating in the med bay. The two kits had to entertain themselves, which led Regris to engage Keith in a chase. It had initially started as a play fight in their nest room, and it had spilled out into the halls. It devolved even further into a chase with Regris in the lead.

He rounded the corner and accidentally ran into a group of Blades leaving the meeting room. Keith couldn't stop in time and crashed into his pack brother, sending both of them sprawling into the middle of the group. Fortunately, the Blades the kits crashed into were able to keep their footing.

"What is this?" asked the Blade Regris had crashed into. "Kits?"

"I didn't know there were kits on the main base," another one mentioned. He picked up Keith by the back of his clothes. "Though this one doesn't look Galran."

"Put me down please!" Keith whimpered. He didn't know this Blade.

Regris futilely tugged on the Blade's arm. "Put him down!"

"What is going on here?!" demanded a stern voice.

Everyone froze and looked up at the duo of Kolivan and Antok. Keith felt like he could cry in relief. "Dad! Father!"

"Put my kit down!" Antok exclaimed.

"Your kit?"

"He is part of my pack," Kolivan explained. "Kindly put him down."

Keith was set on his feet, and he and Regris quickly scampered to the sides of their Dads. Keith climbed onto Antok's back and buried his face in his back. Antok's tail curled around the kit, pinning him to his back. Regris clung to Kolivan's legs. Kolivan reached down and petted Regris's headfur.

"Leader, we had no idea you had two kits."

"We have had Keith since he was a tiny kit and had adopted Regris when he lost his mother. Now, you are dismissed. We will convene again in a movement."

The rest of the unfamiliar Blades left, and the leaders carried their kits back to their nest room. They settled into the nest, the kits crawling into their laps. Antok wrapped his tail around their youngest kit and nuzzled him. Kolivan cuddled their other kit close, rumbling to him.

"Are you okay, kits?" Antok asked.

"Yes, Dad," Keith answered.

"I didn't mean to run into anyone," Regris replied.

"And I didn't mean to crash into Regris," Keith added.

"We know, kits. Why don't you keep the playing to either the nest room or one of the smaller training rooms?" Kolivan suggested.

"That sounds like a good idea, Father," Regris responded, snuggling into Kolivan's lap, yawning.

"Get some rest, you two," Antok stated, petting Keith's hair. Keith chirped and snuggled into Antok's lap. Soon enough, the nest was filled with the purrs of two sleeping kits.

Fin

Chapter Text

"Sharing The Bed"

Lance walked into the room he shared with his boyfriend and stopped short at the sight of the boyfriend, who was laying on the bed. He was on his side and had his Galran features visible. Keith could decide whenever if he looked more or less Galran. Right now, he had purple, fluffy ears; purple cheek stripes; and a long, thin, purple tail, which was stretched out across the bed. Lance smiled and didn't have to worry about the tail; it would wrap around his waist once he settled on the bed.

Lance quietly entered the bathroom and applied his face mask. He had already changed into his blue Paladin pajamas and had his lion slippers on, which muffled his footsteps and was something that he was grateful for since it ensured that his boyfriend remained asleep. He sat down on the edge of the bed and watched as the tip of Keith's tail tapped the bed as if it could sense Lance nearby and was irritated that it couldn't wrap around him. Lance found it endearing and amusing at the same time.

His timer quietly dinged on his data pad, and he stood up, walking into the bathroom to wash off his facemask. Keith didn't like snuggling with Lance when he had his facemask on overnight, so he compromised and washed off the facemask before joining Keith in the bed.

To Lance's surprise, Keith rolled over and snuggled into him, but his tail did wrap itself around his waist. Lance wrapped his arms around Keith and pulled him even closer, burying his face in his boyfriend's fluffy hair. Keith sighed in contentment, a purr starting up and lulling the Blue Paladin to sleep.

Fin

Chapter Text

"Sparring"

Keith tried to sneak out of the nest many times to go train, and every time, he got caught. It wasn't always one of his 'Dads,' some times, it was his mate. When his Dads caught him, they picked him up and carried him out of the training hall, if he even made it that far. Usually, he barely made it out of the nest. However, that quintant, he actually made it into the training hall. In barely concealed glee, Keith started his warm ups. He had barely begun, when he heard a growl.

%%%

Regris had been waiting for his mate in the training hall. He knew Keith would think he had gotten away with sneaking out of the nest, but Regris had decided to wait for his little mate. He realized that Keith hadn't seen him and growled.

Keith reacted immediately. He froze, but his eyes landed on him and widened slightly. He let out a questioning noise and relaxed when he heard Regris purr to him. Regris walked over and pulled Keith into his arms. He nuzzled his head. "Why do you keep trying to train, my mate?"

"I always did at the castle, and I'm just trying to keep up with my regime." Keith couldn't help but purr at the affection from his mate.

"You train way too much. Come back with me to the nest."

"But I have too much energy, Reg! I need to do something."

Regris growled playfully. "Too much energy? You wanna spar?"

Keith's eyes sparkled. "Yes!"

Regris flexed his claws. "Then come get me."

Keith flung himself at his mate, jumping at the last tick, which effectively catapulted him over Regris's shoulders. Readjusting his body's position midair, Keith grabbed ahold of Regris's shoulders and tried to bring him down, using gravity to his advantage. It didn't work, but it did get Regris off balance. Keith landed behind his mate and aimed a kick at his knees, which would have connected if Regris's tail hadn't tripped him, forcing him to land on his back. Keith backward rolled away from the tail's reach and popped to his feet again, a big grin on his face.

Regris turned around to face his mate again, his tail twitching in excitement. He was enjoying this play fight disguised as a spar. He flexed his claws in Keith's direction again, growling playfully.

Keith ran at Regris again but was snagged by his tail and ended up on his back again. However, Keith was fast enough to escape the tail pinning him. Keith growled and managed to jump up onto Regris's shoulders. He hooked a leg around his mate's neck and dropped his entire weight down, effectively knocking Regris off balance. Keith swept Regris's legs out from underneath him. Keith jumped onto Regris and pinned his legs and arms, his tail already pinned behind his back.

Keith was breathing heavily, almost panting. "I win."

Regris purred to him. "You sure did, my mate. Good job."

Keith raised an eyebrow. "You didn't let me win, did you?"

"Did I?" Regris struggled a little in Keith's grasp and managed to get his tail free. He broke out of Keith's grasp, flipped them over, and pinned his mate. "Maybe."

Keith nuzzled Regris's head with a purr. "Let me go."

"Hmm. I don't know. I caught you fairly." He stood up and threw Keith over his shoulder. "I think I'm going to take you back to the nest. I want cuddles after that fight."

Keith struggled a little as he laid over Regris's shoulder. Regris jostled his little mate and lightly whacked him with his tail. "Stop struggling."

Keith lightly whined at his mate. "Reg."

Regris used his tail to caress Keith's cheek stripes. "It's all right, Keith. You're not in trouble. I just want some cuddles."

Keith laid over Regris's shoulder and waited while his mate carried him back to the familial nest. Keith was not surprised that they were the only ones there. What he was surprised about was the two boxes of food waiting for them on the table. Regris set Keith into the nest and grabbed their boxes. He sat next to Keith, and they enjoyed their food.

%%%

Thace watched their kits enjoy their food before they cuddled each other in the nest. He nodded before he left the hallway to head to the communications room. He had agreed to watch out for the kits to make sure they ate before they did anything else. Even though Keith and Regris were mates, they were also quite young in Galra culture. They were considered the kits of the four highest ranking Blades in the organization, but they were a powerful couple on their own, if they only knew what kind of power they held.

Fin

Chapter Text

"Calm"

Shiro was keeping an eye on both of his littles, Keith and Lance, as everyone was spending time in the lounge. Lance was gleeful as he was finally allowed to play with Allura's hair. He was trying a particularly difficult braid and had his tongue peeking out from between his lips. He didn't seem like he was going to regress any time that quintant.

Keith, however, was fidgety. It was obvious to anyone who actually knew Keith. He had his arms crossed over his chest like usual, but his fingers were clenching and unclenching his jacket. He was also worrying his lip between his teeth.

Shiro was sitting next to Keith, which made it easy to lean over and whisper, "You okay?"

The shake of his head was almost imperceptible as was the whisper of "no."

"You want to go back to your room?"

"Yeah."

Shiro hesitated before offering, "You want me to go with you?"

"Please."

Shiro and Keith both stood up, Shiro wrapping an arm around Keith's shoulders. He led Keith out of the lounge and didn't miss the way Keith leaned into him. The tick the door closed behind them, Keith whined softly.

"Keith?"

"Daddy."

That confirmed Shiro's suspicions. He withdrew his arm and held his arms out. "Do you want me to carry you, baby?"

Keith nodded and held his arms up. Shiro scooped up his little and let him nuzzle him. When Keith was in little space, he was more in touch with his Galran instincts and made little kit noises, according to the Blades.

He carried his little to his room and set him down. He petted his hair before pulling out his little bag. He pulled out a diaper, a sleeper, and his three favorite comfort items (a red blanket, a red and purple pacifier, and a stuffed Red Lion). He quickly switched out his clothes for a sleeper and a diaper. He slipped Keith back into his arms, offering the little his comfort items. He sucked on his pacifier and cuddled his blanket and lion as his Daddy settled them onto the bed. Keith snuggled against Shiro and purred. Shiro stroked Keith's hair, soothing the little a lot. His purring was kicked up a notch as he fell asleep, which told his caregiver that he was completely relaxed, which, in turn, relaxed Shiro.

Fin

Chapter Text

"Appearance"

Keith groaned as he unwillingly opened his eyes only to shut them again as the light was too bright. It felt like he was being stabbed behind his eyes. He very slowly opened his eyes, and the lights were still too bright. He kept his eyes open the smallest crack so he wouldn't walk into a wall. He stood up, took a step, and promptly fell flat on his face. He landed with an "oomph."

He lifted his head, and his eyes were slowly getting used to the level of light, which turned out was very dim. He always kept the lights low when he went to sleep, so he wasn't disoriented when he woke up. He pushed himself up, but his fingers felt like they were burning and wouldn't hold him up, causing him to crash back to the floor. He whimpered and tried to pull out his data pad. He powered through the burning feeling in his fingers and contacted the first person on his contacts list, Shiro.

"T-Takashi."

"Keith, what's wrong?"

"I...don't know. It...hurts."

"I'm on my way, Ototo."

The data pad dimmed, and Keith stayed where he laid. He couldn't tell how long he laid there before Shiro opened his door. Keith whimpered again, catching Shiro's attention. "Ni-san, it hurts."

"What hurts?"

"Everything."

Shiro hummed. "How about I pick you up and carry you into the bathroom?"

"Okay."

Shiro carefully scooped him up and carried him into the bathroom. He turned the light on, and Keith curled into Shiro's chest with a whine. Shiro looked down at Keith in concern, which morphed into surprise as he noticed differences in his brother.

Keith's black hair was now dark purple with magenta ends, and he had big, fluffy ears and a long, thin, purple tail. Wanting to see if there were any other changes, he gently shook Keith. "Hey, Ototo. Look at me."

"The light hurts, Ni-san."

"But I can't help you if the light's off. Come on, Keith."

Keith reluctantly lifted his head and looked at Shiro. He noticed more features. Keith's eyes had yellow sclera, but they still had Keith's beautiful purple irises and black pupils. There were purple cheek stripes, and Keith's fingernails had lengthened and sharpened into claws. Shiro could feel his brother's claws and knew what happened, even without seeing them. He smiled at Keith, realizing what was happening. "Keith, do you know what is going on?"

"No."

"You are manifesting Galran features."

Keith whined. "What?"

"You look more Galran. You're in pain, because you are developing these features."

"What do I look like?"

"Can you look in the mirror?"

"I'll try." Keith turned to the mirror and saw the changes immediately. He saw his hair color, his ears, his eyes, his cheek stripes, and his tail. He lifted his hands to see them and saw he now had claws. He also saw his skin turning purple; no, not turning purple. He was growing fur. That would explain why his skin felt prickly. Keith turned his head and buried it back into his brother's chest, whining.

Shiro was slightly surprised at the feeling of wetness as his vest and shirt soaked up Keith's tears. He stroked his hair. "It'll be okay, Ototo. Do you want to stay here or come to the lounge?"

"I don't want to leave. I'm afraid of what the team would think."

"It'll be okay, Ototo. The team won't think any different about you, but you can stay here, if you want."

"I want to stay here until this is all over."

Shiro carried Keith back to his bed, which was filled with a bunch of blankets and pillows, arranged in a plush nest. He gently set him down in the nest and noticed the way Keith's tail curled around his leg. Shiro stroked Keith's hair before pulling a blanket up and over his brother. "Try to get some rest."

Keith curled up in his nest and bit back a whine. He didn't want to make Shiro stay any longer, especially when there wasn't anything he could do to help him. He breathed a sigh of relief, which ended in a whimper, when he heard Shiro exit his room. He didn't know how long this was going to last, but he wished he was unconscious.  Perhaps if he was, he wouldn't feel all this pain.

Fin

Chapter Text

"Prejudice"

Keith was excited. He was allowed to meet Regris in one of the training rooms and walk there completely by himself. His Papa was in the med bay, his Daddy was on a mission, Antok was overseeing training in a different training room, and Kolivan was in his office. Keith was deemed old enough at ten deca-phoebes old to walk to the training rooms by himself, especially since he knew the route by heart and could navigate it blind. Keith wanted to make sure he proved to his entire pack that he could do this.

His excitement was evident on his face when he entered the training room. He could smell that there were several other Blades in there, including Regris. He smiled even wider. Regris's smell was different than other Blades. He, like Keith, lacked the distinctive luxite smell that the full operatives had. Only after passing the trials would they gain the scent of their luxite swords. Keith noticed that he had a slight scent of luxite that clung to him. He guessed it was from carrying his mother's knife from age three when his pack adopted him. Regris's scent of snowdrops came closer, which was also accompanied by a shout of "Keith!"

A tick later, Keith felt Regris's arms go around his neck and his tail around his left leg. Keith's smile never left his face. "Hi, Regris!"

"Well, if it isn't the two most useless Blade wannabes."

Keith felt Regris stiffen and followed suit. He didn't recognize the scent or the voice of the speaker, but he gathered he wasn't nice since his best friend was tense.

"Leave us alone, Soshan," Regris pleaded.

"Run along, little kit. You are not the one we want."

Regris whimpered and slowly let go of Keith. He knew he wouldn't be able to defeat the Blades nor could both kits out run them, and they would be even angrier at having to chase their intended target.

Keith reached out and stroked Regris's headfur. He whispered, "It'll be okay, Regris. Antok is in one of the nearby training rooms. Go get him."

Regris reluctantly ran off out of the training room, hoping to find Antok before Keith got too hurt. Keith made sure he heard his friend leaving before turning his attention to the Blade...no Blades in front of him. His nostrils flared, taking in the different scents. He could tell that there were four Blades that surrounded him. He had heard them move about the room and knew that he couldn't escape their clutches. He only hoped that Regris brought Antok quickly.

%%%

Regris skidded into training hall A, narrowly avoiding sliding into a pair of Blades.

"Whoa, kit. Easy. What's the rush?" one of them asked.

Regris let out a high pitched trill, attracting everyone's attention, including Antok's. The large, tailed Blade approached him. "Regris? What's wrong? Where's Keith?"

Regris's breaths were coming in pants. "Keith...training hall B...Soshan...trouble...hurry..."

Antok scooped up Regris and rumbled to him as he ran to training hall B. He opened the door and saw the four Blades beating and kicking his pack's downed kit. He roared in obvious displeasure.

The four Blades paused, one of their feet still on Keith's torso. Keith's whimpers and whines incensed Antok further, making him advance and growl. The four Blades backed away from Keith, letting Regris dart forward. He saw large bruises blossoming on Keith's skin, and there were even scratches that were bleeding. His headfur was messy, moreso than usual, and his breathing was labored. "Antok, Keith needs help!"

Antok tore his gaze away from the four Blades to look at the two kits on the floor. He gently scooped up his pack's kit and allowed Regris to cling to his back as he hurried to the med bay. Antok rumbled to his kit in order to soothe him as much as he could. They entered the med bay, and, before Antok could call out to Ulaz, Keith whimpered in pain, alerting Ulaz to their presence. The pale doctor rushed forward as Antok laid Keith on an examination bed. "What happened?"

"Soshan and his pack decided to pick on Keith. Regris was able to alert me quickly, but they still were able to hurt our kit."

Keith whimpered again as Ulaz gently removed his shirt. Ulaz rumbled to him. "It's okay, kit."

"P-Papa?"

"Yes, kit. I'm here. I'm going to treat your injuries and take you back to the nest."

"Can everyone be there? And Regris?"

"We're fortunate that Thace is going to be back any tick now. I will tell him and Kolivan and talk to Regris's pack to see if they will let him sleep over," Antok said, reaching back and petting the headfur of the kit still clinging to his back. "Regris, do you want to stay here or come with me?"

"I want to come with you. If I could cuddle with my pack a little before coming with you if I'm allowed, that would help."

"Of course, kit. Now, let's let Ulaz heal Keith and take you to your pack." Antok carried the kit out of the med bay and to his pack's nest room.

He knocked on the door, which opened to reveal Regris's mother. "Antok? What's the matter?"

"Mama!" Regris leapt from Antok's back and clung to his mother.

"Regris! What happened, kit? I thought you were going to be playing with Keith."

"The two kits were ambushed by another group of Blades. Regris wasn't injured, but Keith was. Your kit wants some cuddles, but Keith requested that he be in our nest once Ulaz finishes treating his injuries."

"Of course Regris can go cuddle with Keith when he's released. Will you be coming back by to collect him?"

"I can if you'd like."

"I would like that." She nuzzled her kit. "Come, kit. Let's get you calmed down, so you can go see your friend when it's time."

The door closed, and Antok went to his mate's office, where he pleasantly found Thace reporting to the leader. Both Galra looked up at Antok when he entered.

"Antok?" Kolivan inquired.

"We are needed in the nest room. Keith was attacked. He is being healed by Ulaz right now. He will be taken to the nest to relax. He's asked that all of us plus Regris be there."

Thace growled. "Who dared to harm my kit?! They will pay dearly!"

"Not now, Thace. Now, we need to calm Keith. Let's wait for him in the nest," Kolivan stated, placing a hand on Thace's shoulder.

Thace sighed. "You're right, Kolivan. Keith is most important."

The three Blades left Kolivan's office and headed for their nest room to wait for Keith. When they received a message from Ulaz saying that he was headed their way with Keith, Antok left the nest room and collected a mostly calm Regris from his mother and returned to the nest room right before Ulaz arrived with Keith.

Thace saw his kit still looking beaten up and reached out for him. "Kit."

Keith looked in Thace's direction. "Daddy!"

Thace gently plucked his kit out of his mate's arms and pulled him into the nest. Regris hovered nearby uncertainly. He wanted to cuddle with Keith but didn't want to hurt him any more than he was already. Ulaz entered the nest near Keith and pulled Regris between himself and the pack's kit. Regris nosed Keith's hair, reassuring himself of his friend's condition.

Keith heard the rumbles of the rest of his pack members and knew that his request had been fulfilled. A heavy hand petting his hair let him know that Antok was close by. "Kit, the Blades that attacked you need to be dealt with."

"I know, but can you not do it? It won't make things any better. They don't think I can do the things they can just because I'm blind. I want to prove them wrong. Please let me deal with them myself."

Thace exchanged a quick look with the rest of his pack. Like him, they knew they couldn't deny the kit the chance to one up his attackers. Who knows; he might even get them to respect him as well.

"Very well, kit. You can deal with this yourself; however, we don't want you to be alone with these Blades. Once you're all healed up and rested, I want to test your reflexes in the flight simulator."

Keith chirped in happiness and snuggled into his Daddy's chest. He couldn't wait to try his hand at flying.

Fin

Chapter Text

"Moving In"

"Are you really okay with this, Adam? I don't have to make the offer." Shiro asked. Keith was trying hard not to eavesdrop, but it was hard seeing as his hearing was exceptional.

"If you don't make the offer, Takashi, then I will," Adam retorted.

Shiro was all smiles when he approached Keith, who was reading ahead in his History of Earth Ships class. The entry that really caught his interest was the section about The Calypso. "Hey, Keith. What'cha reading?"

"I'm just reading ahead in my History of Earth Ships class."

Shiro leaned over and saw the entry Keith was on. "The Calypso, huh?"

"Yeah. It's really neat."

"It interested me and inspired me to join the Garrison." Shiro paused and stole a glance at Adam, who gave him a smile. "I have a question, Keith. Would you like to move out of the dorms and in with me and Adam?"

"What? Is that possible?"

"Yes, especially since I am assigned as your mentor."

"Mentor?"

"Yes. The higher ups noticed that you have a knack for the academics and flying, so they assigned me to foster that and help it grow, so I petitioned to have you live with me." Shiro winked. "It helps that Adam likes you too."

Keith grinned. "If it's not too much trouble, I'd love to."

Shiro's grin matched Keith's. "Then, you'll move in after classes today." He turned to leave but paused and called over his shoulder, "Sometimes Matt drops by."

Keith watched as Shiro walked away and met back up with Adam. He grinned even wider, nodding, and Adam wrapped an arm around Shiro's waist before they walked away.

Keith couldn't believe that he got to live with Shiro and Adam. It was an amazing opportunity as he found out that Shiro was a exceptional role model, especially to many of the cadets in Keith's class (like James Griffin and Lance McClain). He also knew that it would be harder to make sure he didn't accidentally expose himself. However, he still couldn't wait for his classes to end.

%%%

Keith hurriedly and excitedly packed up his room, taking care to hide his knife and container of concealer. He already had a security measure on his tablet to prevent anyone else from accessing his files. He grabbed his bags and met Shiro by the front gate. Once again, Shiro drove him to his apartment on his hover bike, further cementing Keith's desire to drive one himself.

Shiro led Keith into the apartment and to the spare room. "This is where you'll sleep. I'll leave you here to unpack. Come to the living room when you're done."

Shiro left the room, leaving Keith to do his unpacking. Keith carefully unpacked his stuff, hiding his concealer in his clothes and his knife under his mattress near the head of the bed. Once everything was done, he stashed his bags under the bed and left the room.

He only saw Shiro in the room and was wondering where Adam was. Shiro patted the seat on the couch next to him, waiting for Keith to sit before talking. "Adam has an extra class to teach, so he won't be here till later. I wanted to go over some rules, mostly of what we expect. Most of the rules are just like the Garrison. Keep your room clean, don't destroy property, y'know stuff like that. What we expect is to trust us and do your work when you're done with classes. If you need help, just ask. Any questions?"

"Do you want me to do any work around the house?"

"I can show you how to wash your own clothes if you'd like but beyond that, no. Your main responsibility is to your schooling."

"Just don't let him try to teach you how to cook. I don't need two kitchen disasters."

Shiro and Keith looked up at the door and saw Adam entering the apartment. Keith grinned at the bantering between the two humans. He snuck a glance at Shiro before turning back to Adam. "Are you saying that Shiro can't cook?"

Adam nodded. "He can't cook toast."

"Well, that's okay. I can cook. I might be able to teach him a thing or two," Keith quipped.

"Hey!"

Adam wrapped an arm around Keith's shoulders. "Kid, I think we're going to get along great."

Fin

Chapter Text

"Scared Paladins"

Kolivan was walking the corridors of the castle ship. He was making sure everyone was sleeping during the night cycle. His pack was in the nest already minus their kit. He had been spending time with the other Paladins before bed. If he had heard correctly, they were gathered in the lounge, so he headed in that direction.

However, he detected a strange smell and an unusual mix of sounds. He opened the door and saw the Paladins huddled under blankets. He noticed that Keith was whimpering as he cuddled Shiro, who was looking pale and had an arm wrapped around Keith. The other three Paladins weren't faring much better. They were shaking, and Kolivan was sure he heard a whimper coming from one of them.

"What happened here?"

Keith's head jerked up. "Kolivan!"

He scrambled to get up to cling to his eldest pack member, but Shiro had a death grip on his shoulders. Keith stopped struggling but whimpered again. Kolivan stepped closer to provide comfort to his kit. He petted Keith's hair and rumbled to him. "Now, what happened?"

"W-we were t-telling scary st-stories, and we-we got scared," Hunk stammered.

Kolivan blinked. "You were the ones telling the tales, correct?"

"Yeah. Some of them were so scary that we can't sleep."

Kolivan's gold eyes traveled over the terrified Paladins. "Why don't you all join us in the nest?"

"Is that allowed? I mean, we're not Galra or Blades," Shiro asked.

"It is allowed. You kits need some comfort in order to rest. My pack can provide that. Now, follow me."

He scooped up Keith and led the rest of the Paladins to their nest room. He opened the door and was pleased to see the rest of the pack was still awake. Keith perked up when he saw his mom in the nest. He chirped and wriggled until Kolivan set him down in the nest. Keith immediately made a beeline for his mom and tucked himself under her chin, sighing in relief.

Thace noticed the other four Paladins behind their leader. "What's going on?"

"The kits scared themselves telling scary tales."

Thace chuckled and beckoned the Paladins in. "Come in, kits."

"Why do you keep calling us 'kits?'" Lance asked.

"Because three of you are younger than Keith, and he's a very young kit in our culture. Shiro is not much older than Keith, so he would also be considered a kit," Ulaz explained.

Lance opened his mouth to make a comment that Shiro was actually the youngest due to his birthday, but a glare from the Black Paladin made him reconsider, and he closed his mouth. Instead, he climbed into the nest and settled next to Thace, who pulled him onto his lap and nuzzled him.

Hunk tentatively entered the nest and was pulled down beside Antok, who wrapped his tail around the Yellow Paladin's waist and rumbled to him.

Ulaz beckoned Shiro to him. "Come here, Shiro."

Shiro hesitated until Kolivan gently nudged him forward. He settled down near Ulaz, who pulled him closer and let him lay against him. "It's all right, kit. I've got you."

Seeing as Pidge was the last Paladin, Kolivan scooped up the Green Paladin and stepped into the nest, sitting down beside Antok. He kept her in his arms like he did with Keith when Krolia wasn't available. Speaking of Keith, he was snuggled against his mom, who was purring to her son in order to calm him down.

Kolivan surveyed the group. Keith was relaxed, laying in his mom's arms, and Shiro wasn't looking as pale anymore as Ulaz nuzzled him. Hunk was looking better with Antok's tail and arms wrapped around him. Lance wasn't shaking anymore, and Thace was grooming his hair. As for Pidge, she was almost asleep and holding onto his braid tightly. As Keith's purrs filled the nest, Kolivan knew the Paladins would get a good night's sleep.

Fin

Chapter Text

"Too Much Energy"

Keith was sitting in the lounge, fidgeting. He had a ton of pent up energy and no way to expel it. The training deck was closed for an update. Coran was taking the next two quintants to add training scenarios from the Blades of Marmora. As exciting as that sounded to Keith, it gave him no outlets for his energy. He knew he needed to get rid of his energy, or he wouldn't be able to sleep.

He heard a roar in his mind. "Red?"

"Come to me, cub."

Keith blushed at her calling him 'cub' but did as she requested. Maybe she'd let him go flying and do some death defying stunts where his adrenaline would spike, and then he would crash after the spike.

He entered Red's hangar and was pleased to see  her eyes lit up. She knelt down and opened her mouth, allowing him entrance. He walked into her cockpit and sat down in the seat. "Hi, Red."

He felt her brush against their bond and knew she wanted him to follow her into it. He shrugged and closed his eyes, following their bond through the flash. He flung his arms in front of his face to fend off the bright flash that always assaulted his eyes. He lowered his arms but didn't open his eyes until a shadow fell over him and blocked out the majority of the light. He opened his eyes and saw the fluffy, real lioness form of his lion. "Hello, my cub."

"Hey, Red." Keith knew he appeared as a seven-year-old through the lion bond.

"I know you have an excess amount of energy and need a way to get rid of it."

"Yeah. What do you have in mind?"

Red crouched down and lightly swiped at Keith's legs. He jumped over her paw and was confused until he saw the grin on her face. She was play fighting with him, just like his pack. He returned her grin and playfully growled at her. He charged at her and tried to tackle her. However, that worked as well as it did against Antok, which wasn't well at all. He ended up on her back and paused, wondering what she was going to do. He didn't have long to wait, because she laid down, effectively getting him to slide off her back, and tickled him with her tail. He giggled and squealed, trying to get away from her tickling tail.

She did let him go when she noticed that he was gasping for breath. She nuzzled him while he got his breath back. After he got his breath back, she switched from nuzzling him to grooming his hair. He let out a yawn. "Red?"

"Tired, my cub?"

"Yeah actually."

"Then go ahead and get some rest. I'm here to protect you." Red curled around her tired Paladin, who yawned again before he started purring as his eyes drifted closed. Red was glad that she was able to help her Paladin unwind and get some rest.

Fin

Chapter Text

"A Little Fashion Show"

Keith woke up feeling little, really little. He really wanted his Mama. He just didn't know where she was. Maybe he could call her.

%%%

Allura was on the bridge when her data pad dinged. She withdrew it and answered it, surprised to see Keith. "Keith?"

"Mama?"

Her eyes widened a little. "Hey, sweetie. You need me?"

"Ye."

"I will be right there." She ended the call and left the bridge, hurrying to her little's room. He opened the door. "Keith?"

She saw him sitting on his bed with little tears in his eyes. "Oh, sweetheart, what's wrong?"

"Wet."

"It's okay, baby. Give me a tick."

Allura knocked on the wall, and Lance showed up. "Hi."

"Oh, Lance. I meant to get Shiro."

"He's on the other side, but can I help?"

"You're not feeling little?"

"Not really."

"Okay. Can you strip the bed and redress it?"

"Yeah. I can do that."

"I'm going to clean him up." Allura scooped up Keith.

Lance stroked Keith's hair, and Keith looked at him. "Lancey."

"Hey, buddy. Mama's gonna take care of you, and I'm gonna fix your bed."

Keith nodded and let Allura take him into the bathroom. Allura set him down and ran a warm bath. Once there was enough water, she turned off the taps and stripped her baby. She set him into the bath and rinsed him off. Once she had him rinsed off, she drained the tub and lifted him out. she dried him off and dressed him in a warm, red sleeper and diaper. She carried him back into his room and saw Lance petting Keith's stuffed Red Lion. "Lance?"

He gave a shy smile and held out the lion. "Hi, Mama."

She smiled back. She had had a feeling he might regress, but at least his headspace was about four deca-phoebes old. She turned so Keith could see Lance. "Look, Keith. Lance is offering you your Red Lion. Isn't that nice?"

"Red?" Keith looked at the other little who was holding out the toy. He gently took the lion and cuddled with her. "Thanks."

"Are you sleepy, Keith?" Allura asked.

"No. Cuddles?"

"Of course, cuddles are offered."

"Me too, Mama?" Lance asked.

"Of course." Allura scooped up Lance and let him cuddle her. She snagged Keith's little bag and asked, "Do you two want to go to the lounge or Mama's room?"

Lance gasped. "We can play in your room, Mama? I've never been to your room!"

"That's one vote for my room. What about you, Keith? Lounge or my room?"

"Mama."

"My room?" The youngest little nodded, and Allura carried both to her room, setting them on her bed. Keith stayed where she put him, feeling the different textures of the blankets and pillows. He started moving them around, unconsciously building a nest. Lance bounced on the bed a couple of times (before Keith started building his nest) before he slid off. He started exploring his Mama's room. Allura noticed Keith's attempts at building a nest and brought over a few more pillows. "Here you go, sweetie. Do you want to use these for your nest?"

Keith looked up at his Mama, slightly worried that she would be mad at him for moving her pillows and blankets around. When he saw her smile and offer of more pillows, he smiled and gently took the pillows one at a time, adding them to the nest.

"Mama, look!"

Allura looked up from her youngest little and had to stifle a giggle. Lance had found her closet and had somehow managed to put on one of her dresses. "You look good, sweetheart. Are you putting on a fashion show?"

"Fashion show?"

"It's where you put on different clothes and show me how you look in them."

Lance's blue eyes lit up. "Yeah! Fashion show!"

"Let me take pictures of you in each outfit, starting with this one." Allura pulled out her data pad. "All right, Lance. Ready?"

Lance smiled real big, and Allura took the picture, the flash attracting Keith's attention. He looked up to see his 'brother' reentering the walk in closet. He cocked his head. "Lancey?"

Allura reached out and stroked his hair. "It's all right, Keith. Lance is just putting on a fashion show for us. Do you want to watch?"

Keith nodded and held his arms out. Allura scooped him up and settled him on her lap for an afternoon of cuddles while Lance put on a fashion show for them with pictures on Allura's tablet to prove that Lance looked good in a dress.

Fin

Chapter Text

"Expectant"

Keith opened his eyes groggily. Where was he? It smelled like the nest on the base, but Shiro was also there. Those two things didn't usually go together. Then, the previous night came rushing back. His pack had set up a kit date for him and Shiro to enjoy. He blushed, his ears pinning back against his head. He and Shiro had loved playing with each other and had apparently fallen asleep, but he didn't remember climbing into the nest to sleep or curling his tail around Shiro's waist, but he was prone to doing the latter in his sleep. He could feel where Shiro's hands were; one was curled around his head and resting between his ears and the other one was one the small of his back, right above his tail. Keith knew that if they were at the castle ship, in the privacy of their own room, then Shiro would have that hand lower.

Just then, he felt another hand, this one clawed, stroking his hair. He purred to whichever Dad it was. "It's okay, kit. You and your mate are taking an easy day today. You two wore yourselves out last night on your date."

Keith smiled. It was Thace. Keith continued purring and buried his face into Shiro's chest, falling back asleep.

Thace breathed a sigh of relief when Keith didn't argue. Sometimes it was a fight to get the kit to follow orders. He was glad this was not one of those times.

Ulaz was draped across his back. It was true that Keith and Shiro had worn themselves out on their date, but it also provided Thace and Ulaz to take the day off themselves and not have to traipse all over the base in order to watch the kits.

It was three deca-phoebes ago that Thace and Ulaz had been separated while they were undercover at central command. Ulaz had freed Shiro, thus compromising his position, and had to go into hiding at the Communications Base Thaldycon. They had been separated for several phoebes and were thankfully reunited soon after Voltron dealt a massive blow to the Empire. Keith had been very instrumental in saving Ulaz and Thace, insisting that there had to be another way and not letting them sacrifice themselves like they were prepared to do. They were grateful for the kit's stubbornness for it brought them back to each other. On the anniversary of their separation, Kolivan and Antok allowed Thace and Ulaz to take the quintant off and spend it with each other.

However, usually, their kit (and his mate) were not present on this date. Kolivan had offered to watch them or send them back to the castle ship, but Thace wouldn't hear of it. It might send the wrong message of their kit not being welcome except at certain times, and Thace wasn't going to let their kit think like that. He was fairly certain that he and his mate could get Keith and Shiro to stay in the nest for most of the quintant. So far, it was working. Normally, Keith would be awake early, if for no other reason than to eat breakfast. Perhaps he liked to sleep in because his mate was sleeping next to him. Whatever the reason, Thace was glad that Keith had fallen back asleep.

%%%

Shiro tightened his arms around the body pressed against him. He knew it was Keith. The ears his left hand laid between and the tail wrapped around his waist was a dead giveaway. He murmured, "Kitty."

"'Kashi," was uttered just as softly and sleepily. "Go back to sleep."

"But-"

"No whining." Keith squeezed his tail around Shiro's waist. "I'm still tired."

Shiro cracked an eye open. "Are you feeling okay, Keith?"

"Just tired, 'Kashi."

"If you're sure." Shiro drew Keith closer. He moved his hands so both rested higher on his back. He rested his head against Keith's hair, making sure he didn't pin his fluffy ears. He didn't close his eyes though, and they landed on the pair of Galra resting behind Keith.

Ulaz could see the concern in Shiro's eyes. Keith being tired more than usual was worrisome. Even though it was his day off, he was going to scan Keith to make sure he was okay. Their kit was more important than their day off as he was the reason they got to be together. Ulaz nodded, which reassured Shiro that his mate was going to be okay.

%%%

It was after lunch, so seeing Keith still sleeping worried Thace, Ulaz, and Shiro. Shiro scooped up his mate and carried him to the med bay. He sat down on one of the examination beds and held Keith in his arms. Ulaz approached with a handheld scanner and scanned his kit, making sure it only picked up Keith, so the results wouldn't be irrelevant.

It was a painful two doboshes waiting for the results, and during this time, Shiro cuddled Keith closer. The machine beeped as the results were displayed on the screen. The beeping disturbed Keith, who awoke with a whine. His purple eyes landed on two of his Dads, one of whom had his back to them. "What's going on?"

"You have been sleeping for more than twelve vargas, kit, and we were worried, so Shiro brought you down to the med bay, so Ulaz could scan you," Thace answered. "We just got the results."

Ulaz turned around and approached the pair of sitting mates. He stroked Keith's cheek stripes, even the discolored one on his right cheek. "Apparently, kit, you are expecting a kit of your own. Your body needs the extra rest to get used to the kit growing within you."

Keith's eyes grew wide. "I'm pregnant? I didn't know I could get pregnant."

"It's all right, kit. Male Galra can carry kits, if they are mated to another male," Thace explained.

"I'm so sorry, Keith. I didn't mean for this to happen. We never even discussed a family before," Shiro apologized.

Keith purred to his mate. "It's okay, Shiro. I know we never discussed it, but I've always wanted a family."

"I know this news is new, but you need to have some food, Kitty."

Keith snuggled against Shiro. "That sounds good, but so does lounging in the nest."

Thace chuckled. "You two go lay down, and Ulaz and I will bring you some food."

Shiro carried Keith back to the nest room, and they both laid down in the nest to wait for their food to be delivered. They actually didn't have to wait long. Ulaz and Thace returned, each carrying two containers. Thace handed Keith and Shiro his stack, stating, "The top one is Keith's."

The pair of mated Galra watched as their expectant kit and his mate starting eating their
food before they dug into theirs. The fact that their kit was expecting was startling, but Thace and Ulaz were excited to think of them having a grandkit in their lives. It was a new chapter in their kit's life, and they were going to help him during this time.

Fin

Chapter Text

"A Pack Always Stays Together"

Lance was surprised but happy that his Omega's tail had unwrapped itself from Lance's waist sometime during the night. It meant that he was calmer and less stressed than he was the previous night. It also provided Lance the chance to slip away. Allura had upset his Omega last night for the last time, and it was time he had words with her. He grabbed a nearby blanket and covered Keith with it, so his absence wouldn't wake him up. He didn't leave immediately after covering him up though. He waited a couple of doboshes before he got up.

He quietly left the lounge in search of the princess. He found her on the bridge. He kept the smile off his face. He had always considered her something like a sister to him, and her presence had helped him with his homesickness, but he wouldn't allow her to continue upsetting his mate. "Allura?"

She turned around. "Good morning, Lance."

"That remains to be seen," he muttered, knowing she would hear him. "We need to have a talk."

She was aback by his abrasive attitude towards her. He had always been the warmest Paladin towards her, so she didn't understand this shift in temperament. "About what?"

"About your treatment of Keith."

Her face darkened slightly. "What about it?"

"You upset him last night, which is unwise given who he is. He is the only Omega in our pack, which means he is precious to us, especially to me. He is my mate, and I will do anything to protect him. I demand you tell me exactly what you said to him last night."

Allura sniffed. *"I told him that I hoped he wouldn't be able to carry the baby to term."*

Lance saw red at the implication, If Keith lost the baby, it would send the Omega into a depression, seeing as Keith was very attached to his unborn baby. Lance growled. "How dare you wish that upon us! Losing this baby is the worst thing that could happen to Keith aside from losing one of his pack members! Why would you say such a thing? His pregnancy is not inconveniencing us in the slightest! We still have enough pilots to form Voltron without him, so what is your problem?"

"He's Galra, and now even looks like it!"

Lance stared at her incredulously. "That's your issue?! The fact that he has a few visible Galran features?" Lance's face darkened. "I don't believe you. You told Keith that you were okay with him being Galran, but that was because he didn't look the part? Now that he has a few Galran features, you are going to be hostile to him." He growled again. "You are not to go anywhere near my mate again. If I hear about you saying anything else cruel to him, you will not like the consequences."

Without waiting for a reply, Lance stalked off of the bridge. He let his anger leave him before he entered the lounge. He didn't want his Omega to smell the anger and think something was wrong. He smiled as he saw that Keith hadn't moved since he had been gone. He slipped under the blanket and gently nuzzled Keith's neck before pressing a kiss to the back of his neck. He tucked his head in the crook of his neck and inhaled his Omega's pleasing scent of cinnamon and chocolate, the scent calming him even further.

Shiro was already awake when Lance came back. He knew the other Alpha had had words with Allura. They had agreed last night that they were going to talk with Allura about her treatment of Keith. It wasn't a surprise that the Alphas of the pack were ready and willing to defend the only Omega, but what was the surprise was the Betas were ready to do the same.

Shiro scooted out of his spot and tugged Pidge into his spot, in order to keep Keith warm. She snuggled into Keith's side, enjoying his warmth, causing Shiro to smile. Seeing him surrounded by the rest of the pack and hearing him purring soothed his instincts (both Alpha and big brother), making it easier to leave the room. He was going to give Allura a piece of his mind...unless Lance got her to realize her mistake.

Shiro walked out of the lounge and to the bridge, where he figured Allura would be. He entered the bridge and saw her standing on her platform like she always was. "Allura."

She turned around and saw Shiro walking towards his Paladin seat. However, he didn't sit down. He faced her, and she saw he had an emotionless mask on. It set her on edge. What did he want? "Shiro?"

"Why? Why do you hate Keith?"

Allura resisted the urge to roll her eyes. Of course it was about Keith. She should have figured after the 'talk' with Lance, but she did think the only lecture she was going to get was from Lance. "Because he's Galra and looks like it."

Shiro forcefully breathed out through his nose. "You're being racist again, Princess. I thought you had learned your lesson. We work with the Blades all the time."

"They didn't pretend to be anything other than Galra."

"Neither did Keith."

"He passed as human even though he wasn't."

"He didn't know!"

"I doubt that."

"You didn't know Keith then, you don't know him now, and you won't know him in the future. You need to stay away from Keith. If you don't, we will take him away from here, and good luck finding new Paladins, because the entire pack is behind me."

Shiro exited the bridge with his head held high and went back to the lounge. He saw that his pack was waking up. Keith was still in his spot as was Lance but the two Betas were crowded around in front of Keith with their hands on his belly. Keith looked up when Shiro entered and chirped. Shiro smiled and sat back down in his spot next to Keith.

"Takashi, feel." Keith took a hold of Shiro's left hand and placed it on his belly.

Shiro smiled wider. "Your baby's moving."

"They're happy that their Daddy, Uncles, and Aunt are close by."

"Of course we are. We are your pack, and as your pack, we have your back."

Keith let out a questioning noise at his brother's phrasing. "Takashi?"

"What Shiro's trying to say is that he and I talked to Allura and ordered her to stay away from you," Lance told him.

"If she doesn't, then we will leave. You are important. If she hurts you, she hurts all of us."

"Shiro and Lance are right," Pidge agreed. "We can stay with either the rebels or even the Blades, whichever group you'd feel even better with."

Keith gasped suddenly, and everyone's eyes widened. The baby had kicked. Lance grinned. "I think our baby agrees with us."

Fin

Chapter Text

"Boyfriend Jacket"

Lance was busy tearing apart his room. He was looking for his jacket and could have sworn he had left it in his room, but it wasn't there! He conceded that it wasn't in his room anymore and started putting his things away, thinking about where to continue the search for his jacket. He knew his didn't leave it in his boyfriend's room as they routinely cuddled in Lance's room instead of Keith's. Keith said it was because Lance's room looked lived in whereas Keith's was extremely sparse. Lance walked in one time and thought he had walked into a vacant room at first. The only things that told him it was Keith's room was the red and white crop jacket hanging on the hook on the wall and his Marmora uniform in the closet.

Lance finished putting his room back in order and left to go check the lounge, since it was the second most likely place he'd leave his jacket. It wasn't a long trek to the lounge, so Lance was alert enough to hear purring before he entered the room. He grinned. The purring meant Keith was asleep. He must have finished his session in the training deck and post workout shower and had tired himself out. Lance slipped his data pad out of his pocket and entered the lounge, intent on taking pictures of his sleeping boyfriend. He wasn't prepared to see his boyfriend sleeping under his jacket. His jacket was draped over Keith like a blanket, but Lance could see one hand clutching his jacket so it couldn't be slipped away.

Lance stood dumbfounded, almost forgetting he was going to take pictures of Keith sleeping. He almost dropped his data pad before he remembered and had to scramble to keep it from hitting the floor. Once the data pad was safely in his hands again, he started taking pictures of Keith from different angles.

Once he was done, he put his data pad away. He was left with his original problem. He wanted his jacket, but his boyfriend was using it as a blanket and apparently had a death grip on it. How was he supposed to get it back?

%%%

Keith yawned and opened his eyes. He hadn't intended on falling asleep, but Lance's jacket was comfy and smelled nice. He really should return it. He stood up, draped the jacket over his arm, and left the lounge in search of his boyfriend. He wasn't sure where Lance would be. He was fairly certain he wouldn't be in his room or on the training deck. Maybe he was in the kitchen?

Keith made his way to the kitchen, but he found it strangely empty. Well, at least, Hunk wasn't spending all his time in there, but where was Lance?

Keith decided to check with the lions. Perhaps Lance was bonding with either Blue or Red. Keith checked Blue's hangar and was surprised to not only see Red and Blue in the same hangar but Lance was also wearing his jacket. He was sitting between the two lions, who were laying down, and talking to them.

Keith walked up to Lance, who noticed his approach. "Hey, Mullet. Welcome back to the world of the living!"

Keith rolled his eyes at Lance's joke. "So, why are you wearing my jacket?"

"Because you had mine." Lance's comment made Keith blush slightly. Had Lance seen him sleeping under it? Lance grinned and took out his data pad, pulling up and showing Keith the recent pictures. "And you looked adorable."

Keith blushed even harder and buried his face in Lance's jacket. "Delete those!"

"Nope. I'm keeping those and any other ones I take. I love having pictures of you."

"Can I have my jacket back?"

"Naw. I think I'm going to wear it for now."

Keith blinked. "You like my jacket?"

"Yeah. It's more comfy than it looks."

"If you're keeping my jacket for now, then I'm wearing yours." Keith put on Lance's jacket, even going as far as putting up the hood.

Lance chuckled. "Come here, babe. Let's spend time with our lions."

Keith smiled and sat down with Lance between Red and Blue, both Paladins unaware that they were being watched by more than just the Red and Blue Lions.

Black Lion (with Shiro in the cockpit) was sitting in the shadows of Blue's hangar, watching over the two Paladins. "They are adorable together."

"They are. I wonder when they are going to switch back the jackets," Shiro mused.

Black chuckled. "Knowing how stubborn they are, it's hard to say."

Fin

Chapter Text

"Revelation"

"Aki, you need to relax," Sven said.

"I know, but I need to finish these-"

"Oh no you don't, Aki. Come here." Sven pulled his boyfriend away from his reports and over to the couch in the office. Sven undid his ponytail and removed the concealer on his cheeks with his sleeve. Even though Akira disliked them, Sven thought his Altean marks added to his handsome visage. He let Akira settle on the couch and lean against him. Sven stroked his cheeks, paying attention to his marks. Akira sighed as he relaxed against his boyfriend, his ears twitching in pleasure. They were so wrapped up in each other, even the door opening didn't disturb them.

A feminine gasp did draw their attention along with the exclamation, "You're Altean!"

Akira and Sven looked up to see the Blue Paladin, Allura, and the Black Paladin, Keith, standing in their door. Allura looked gobsmacked, but at least, Keith looked apologetic. "Sorry, we didn't mean to disturb you."

"Wait a tick. You're Altean, but in this universe, the Alteans are evil. How could you be the leader of the resistance movement? He could be a spy."

"Allura, stop." Keith growled. "I thought you learned your lesson last time. I will not let you do this again. Remember I'm half-Galran and a part of the Blades of Marmora. Remember them? They are Galran and my pack but against the Empire. The Galran Empire is evil, but not all Galra are part of the Empire. In this reality, the Altean Empire is evil, but not all Alteans are evil. I didn't like it when you shunned me when we learned of my heritage, and I will not stand for you doing it to Akira."

Akira looked at Keith. "You're half-Galra?"

Keith turned and looked at his counterpart. "Yeah."

"You don't look-"

"Yeah. I don't know why. Ulaz, he's the doctor and part of the Blades, thinks it's because of my age. He thinks I might develop features later on."

"What do you mean your age?"

Keith rubbed the back of his neck. "I'd rather not get into that now."

"Well, thank you for standing up for me."

"You're welcome." Keith stepped closer and whispered, "She needs to learn not to condemn or praise an entire race based on the actions of a few individuals."

Akira's ears twitched as he caught what Keith said even though he whispered it softly. "Agreed."

"We'll leave you two to relax."

"Why did you come in here though?"

"Isamu said that you were probably too busy and weren't taking a break. I volunteered to try to convince you to take a break, but obviously, he needn't have worried," Keith replied.

"Oh no. He was right to worry. Aki wasn't taking a break. I just managed to convince him before you got here."

Keith smiled. "I think I'm going to see what Lance is up to."

"Bye, Keith, and thanks again." Akira leaned against Sven and closed his eyes, so he didn't see Keith practically drag Allura out of the office. She was still processing what Keith said in his little rant. She couldn't believe she had started to slip into her old thinking patterns. She resolved to avoid the blanket statements that seem to get her into trouble and act like the diplomat that she was.

Fin

Chapter Text

"Feels Right"

Prince Lance was bored. He had been stuffed into this very restrictive outfit and forced to stand at near attention while the guests filed in. This ball was supposed to help him find a potential mate. He had recently presented as an Alpha, so his mother and father had put out an invitation to all eligible Omegas, both male and female, from allied planets. So far, none of the Omegas caught and held his attention.

"I need a break. I'm going to go get some fresh air." Lance walked out onto a nearby balcony and breathed a sigh of relief. He ran a finger under his collar, trying to loosen it if he could.

A soft whine drew his attention to the other side of the balcony where a Galra hybrid stood, his tail swishing against the floor. He had pale skin and not purple or blue either. His hair was black and looked very soft. He had purple fluffy ears poking out of his hair and purple cheek stripes. His fangs were visible since his mouth was slightly open. He seemed to be having the same problem Lance was. Another whine caused Lance to draw closer. "Hi?"

The Galra hybrid looked up, and Lance was surprised to see a dark colored circlet on his brow. "Hi."

"Do you need some help with your collar?"

"It's just so tight. I tried telling my advisor that it was too tight, but he didn't listen."

"I think I can help. I'm Prince Lance by the way." Lance was easily able to loosen the collar a little bit, allowing him to breathe a little easier.

"Allow me to return the favor. I'm Prince Keith of Marmora." Keith deftly loosened Lance's collar.

"I don't think I've seen you before."

"I just presented as an Omega," Keith admitted.

Lance brushed a hand across Keith's forehead and down his face in a caress. "I figured as much. I'm an Alpha, and I would like to get to know you better."

Keith smiled shyly. "I'd like that."

Lance offered his arm to Keith, who wrapped his arms around Lance's. Lance escorted Keith back into the ball room. The two princes paused at the dais, where Lance's parents were seated and where a small delegation of Galra were kneeling. There were two that had the same fur color, one having a tail and one having red markings on his head and white headfur that was plaited. Another one had violet fur and one that had pale lavender colored fur. The one with the braid looked up. "There you are, Prince Keith. You-oh. It seems you met Prince Lance already."

Lance turned to look at his parents. "Mom, Dad, this is Prince Keith. I'd like to spend some time with him to get to know him better, but I think he and I will get along greatly."

"Are you sure, Lance? He's the one you want?"

"He's the one I want to get to know," Lance corrected. "He's special, and I don't want to rush things."

"If you're sure, my son."

Lance led Keith back out onto the balcony for some privacy. The instant they were out of sight, Keith unwrapped his arms and tucked himself under Lance's chin with a soft purr. "Keith?"

"Sorry, but this feels right."

"You don't have to apologize." Lance wrapped his arms around Keith. "This feels right to me too."

Fin

Chapter Text

"Disregarded - Purposefully or Accidentally"

Keith stumbled into his room, tired from his training session. He saw Krolia waiting for him and chirped. She rumbled to him and drew him close to her chest. He purred to her, glad that she was there for him. He had been excited to visit the Paladins, but he didn't realize that Voltron was doing a show of arms when he got to the castle. He was a little sad that the team wasn't there when he arrived, but at least his mother had come with him. He was happy about that, and his Galran kit instincts were pleased that she was there for him.

Krolia nuzzled her kit. She wasn't happy with the Paladins. Keith had made plans to spend time with them, and they neglected to tell him that they had a show of arms at the same time. When Keith mentioned to his pack that he was going to see the Paladins, Krolia offered to come with him. He accepted it, which pleased the both of their instincts.

She scooped him up and carried him to their nest. When she had seen his room at the castle, she was dismayed. It was extremely sparse and empty. She took it upon herself to fix that while he decided to train a little. She found extra blankets and pillows and built a nest for them to rest in. She didn't want to do much since she didn't want to stay there for long. If the Paladins weren't going to make time to spend time with her kit, then they weren't to be away from their pack for long.

She settled in the nest and starting grooming Keith's hair. Keith started purring at the affection. "Mama."

"It's all right, kit. I know you're sleepy. Just get some rest."

"But the Paladins are," Keith yawned. "Are on their way back."

Just then, Keith's data pad dinged. He withdrew it and read the message. He stopped purring and whined. Krolia stopped grooming him. "What's wrong, my kit?"

"The Paladins aren't coming back tonight. The planet's inhabitants are throwing them a party and they're going to be back tomorrow morning."

Krolia squeezed her kit. She was worried that this would happen. "Do you just want to go home, kit?"

"But the Paladins know I'm here."

"They apparently place a higher value on this show than spending time with you."

"But-but-" Keith whimpered.

"I know you were close, kit, but they are hurting you, even if they don't mean to."

"Can we stay the night? We can leave in the morning. I'm tired."

"Of course, kit." Krolia smiled and went back to grooming her kit's hair. Krolia promised herself that the next time she saw the Paladins she would tell them what she thought of their actions towards her kit.

Fin

Chapter Text

"Meeting The Paladins"

Keith was packing a small bag to take with him to the castle ship. He and his pack were going to visit the Paladins for a few quintants, and he was quite excited to see his friends, chirping every so often as he packed.

Keith's pack were watching their kit, amused by his antics. The chirping was a sign of his good mood, and they hoped it would last. A knock on the door caused Keith to stop mid chirp. He let out a questioning noise to which Thace responded with a rumble as he answered the door. "Eldir?"

Keith's head shot up as Kolivan's father walked in. Keith darted over and hugged the elder Blade, who petted his hair. "Hello, kit." He noticed his bag. "Are you going somewhere?"

"We're going to visit the Paladins for a few quintants. Do you want to come?"

Eldir chuckled. "If you wish me to accompany you, I have no reason to decline."

"Of course you are welcome to join us, Father," Kolivan responded.

"I'm done packing. Let's go!" Keith stated.

The pack followed their excited kit to the pod they were taking to the castle ship. The trip to the castle ship didn't take long, especially since Allura opened a wormhole, allowing the Blades to appear near the castle. The pod landed in the hangar, and Keith had to be physically restrained before he leapt out of the pod before it was safe to. Once the pod door opened, Antok released his kit, and Keith rushed out of the pod and over to the assembled group. He was dragged into a group hug and purred to the group as a whole.

"I missed you, guys."

"We missed you, Keith. I'm glad you and your pack were willing to come aboard for a few quintants," Allura stated.

"We all are, Mullet, but who's the new Blade?" Lance asked as he noticed Eldir.

"He's not new, Lance. He's actually an elder member of the Blades."

Eldir came up behind Keith. "Hello. It is a pleasure to meet the legendary Paladins of Voltron."

"Hello. I'm Shiro, and this is Lance, Pidge, Hunk, Allura, and Coran."

"I am Eldir, former leader of the Blades, Kolivan's father, and Keith's grandfather."

"Keith's grandfather?" Shiro repeated.

"Not biological, but he asked if he could consider me as such. It's an honor for a kit to consider someone family that isn't related to them by blood."

Shiro grinned. "Keith has a habit of collecting non blood related family, and he doesn't even realize it. The entire team is his family, just like you guys."

The pack came up behind Keith and joined the group hug, Keith being in the middle of the whole thing. It was getting a little hard to breathe though. "Uh, guys. I need to breathe."

"Breathing's overrated," Lance joked as everyone backed up a little, and Keith gasped for breath.

"Thanks." Once he got his breath, he continued, "We can either go train or continue the cuddles."

The pack exchanged a look over the Paladin's heads and made a decision. Kolivan turned to his father. "Father, did you know that three of the Paladins are younger than my kit?"

Eldir's eyes widened. "What? They're kits?"

Thace nodded. "And Shiro is only a little older than Keith."

"I cannot allow a bunch of kits to train. We need a nest," Eldir declared.

Keith grinned. "The Paladins keep one in the lounge."

"Then we are heading there. Lead the way, kit," Eldir said. Keith nodded and started leading the group out of the hangar.

"Hold on. We're not kits," Shiro stated.

"Yes, you are. Now, either follow your brother or we'll carry you," Eldir replied.

Shiro looked at the rest of the pack. "Would you?"

"If you don't follow Keith, yes," Ulaz answered.

Shiro's eyes widened but turned to follow Keith to the lounge. Lance chuckled. Antok smacked him in the back of the head with his tail. "Don't laugh, kit. Now, go."

Lance scurried after Shiro with Hunk and Pidge on his heels. Allura and Coran chuckled at the Paladins' antics and walked out of the hangar. The Blades all walked to the lounge, saw the Paladins sitting in the nest, and grinned. The kits listened and were cuddling. Keith saw his pack and beckoned them into the nest. They climbed in and crowded around the group of kits. Kolivan curled around Keith, and Eldir curled around Kolivan. Antok was laying behind Hunk and Pidge, Thace was close to Lance, and Ulaz was close to Shiro. The Blades purred to the Paladin they were near, effectively lulling them to sleep, Keith purring in response.

"Told you they were kits," Thace told Eldir.

"It's not just them who fell asleep." Eldir nuzzled Kolivan, who was also purring in his sleep, curled around his purring kit.

Fin

Chapter Text

"A Deep Level of Trust"

Krolia tugged Keith along as they ran back to the pod, staying in the shadows as much as they could. They had been sent on a mission together, since they were still getting used to each other. They reached the pod, and Keith sat in the pilot's seat, flying the pod away from the Galra ship and towards home.

Krolia was worried about her kit. His arms were shaking, and he hadn't deactivated his mask. Was he injured? She approached him and took a covert sniff. She could just detect the scent of tears. Her kit was crying and not asking for comfort. Krolia reached forward and put the ship on autopilot. She turned the pilot's seat and deactivated her kit's mask. He let it disappear but lowered his head so she couldn't see his face. She rumbled to him and gently lifted his head. The tears sliding down his face disturbed her more than she thought. She couldn't not comfort him. She held her arms open, allowing him the choice.

The tick his mask disappeared, Keith knew Krolia knew that he was crying. They had had many close calls during their mission, and it was too much for Keith. He needed to decompress but had a feeling that he wouldn't get the chance. When she opened her arms to him, he couldn't resist the urge to get the comfort she was offering. He stood up and rushed over to her, crashing into her. She managed to stay on her feet and continued rumbling to her kit.

She stroked his hair as he cried into her chest. Krolia maneuvered herself and her kit to the aft section of the pod. She sat down, pulled Keith onto her lap, and started grooming his hair. She switched from rumbling to purring, hoping to soothe her kit. It worked a little too well as she noticed that Keith had fallen asleep. She looked around for somewhere to lay him down so he could get some rest while she piloted the pod, but when he started purring in his sleep, she realized that putting him down was no longer an option. It took a deep level of trust for a kit to purr in his sleep, and she couldn't believe that Keith trusted her that much in such a short amount of time. It was something she never thought her kit would bestow upon her again.

Fin

Chapter Text

"Mating Bite"

Lance grinned as he felt his boyfriend wind his body around his. Keith wrapped his tail around Lance and used it to bring him even closer. He also wrapped his arms around his neck and started licking his face. "Lance."

"Wha-What is it, kitten?"

"I love you, so much," Keith said between licks. "I want to mark you as mine."

"Please do, kitten. You know, I'm yours."

Keith nuzzled Lance's neck and licked it briefly before biting down hard. Lance bit back a scream as Keith's fangs pierced his skin. Keith withdrew and licked the wound, giving his mate affection after the pain he caused. Lance shivered as Keith's rough tongue slid over the mating bite. "Mine."

"All yours, kitten." Lance leaned against his fuzzy, purple mate. "Now, the whole universe will know."

Keith purred, his fluffy ears twitching. "Now maybe you'll stop getting flirted with."

"I'd be more worried that my hot mate would find someone as perfect as he is."

"I did. You." Keith licked the mating bite again. "I love you, Lance."

"I love you, too, Keith." Lance turned around, wrapped his arms around Keith's neck, and started peppering his face, ears, and hair with kisses. He had discovered by accident that Keith's ears were ticklish. All he had to do was give them the barest of touches, and the half-Galra would giggle. It was the cutest thing Lance had seen in awhile, and he took every opportunity to make him giggle.

When he started nibbling on Keith's neck, Lance wasn't surprised at the growl he heard. It wasn't angry or playful. It was more like a warning. If Lance didn't stop soon, then Keith was more than likely going to carry him to their bedroom and let Lance have his way in private, which sounded like a good idea to Lance.

Fin

Chapter Text

"Shells and Pearls"

Lance swam in circles, bending over his tail so that the transparent, flowy fins brushed his brown hair. He was slightly bored waiting for his boyfriend to show up. Shiro was a wonderful merman, though his ego had taken a beating when he lost most of his right arm in a freak accident with a fisherman's boat. To compensate, Shiro usually wore a satchel across his chest, so he could still hold things that he needed.

"Lance!"

Lance stopped swimming in circles and looked up at who called out his name. He grinned and started swimming in that direction. "Shiro!"

The two mermen met in the middle and wrapped their arms around each other. Lance laid his head on Shiro's chest. "I missed you."

"I missed you, too. Sorry I made you wait."

"It's all right. You're okay, though, right? You usually aren't late."

"I'm all right. I lost track of time, looking for something."

"Did you find whatever you were looking for?"

"Oh yes." Shiro unwrapped his arm and pulled out a string of shells and pearls. He held it out in front of Lance, letting the other merman look at it. It was gorgeous with a repeating pattern of two shells followed by a pearl.

"It's pretty."

"I'm glad you think so. I want you to have it."

Lance's eyes widened. "I-I couldn't," he stammered nervously. "It looks really valuable."

"I made it for you."

Lance stared incredulously. He wanted to ask how he made it, but that sounded rude, so he settled on asking "Why?"

"Because I wanted my boyfriend to have a present."

Lance blushed and allowed Shiro to slip it over his head. The shells and pearls complimented Lance's skin and hair color. "Thank you."

Fin

Chapter Text

"Late Night Cuddles"

Lance awoke briefly but was unsure of what woke him. Just then, he remembered that Keith had fallen asleep on top of him. His slightly shorter boyfriend was adorable, not that he'd say that to his face. He preferred to not be threatened by his Marmora blade.

At that moment, Keith was wearing a long sleeved, red sweater paired with a pair of black shorts and his signature black, fingerless gloves. He was draped across Lance's chest with his arms on each side of Lance, and his legs splayed out across Lance's.

Lance brought his hands up as much as he could, since they were pinned by Keith's, and rested them on Keith's back. A slight blush appeared on Lance's face as he heard Keith purring. He adored his boyfriend so much. Maybe he'd be able to get him to relax tomorrow. It was a long shot but worth it in the end. However, that could wait until they were both awake in the morning. Lance closed his eyes and fell back asleep.

Fin

Chapter Text

"Just A Kit"

Ilun kept looking over his shoulder at...well, at the kit. He hadn't wanted to believe this little alien looking thing was a Galran kit, but Keith's pack said he was, and he had been making kit noises since they got back to the pod.

A particularly distressed whimper made Ilun put the pod on auto pilot and stand next to the kit. "Keith, are you all right?"

Keith whimpered. "Yeah."

"That whimper says otherwise."

Keith flinched. "Sorry. I'll stop."

Ilun knelt down in front of the kit. "Kit, no. That's not what I meant. If you whimpered, then that means something isn't right, and your pack is going to have my head if I don't try to help."

"But you don't like me. Why would you want to help me?"

Ilun took off his mask and pushed down his hood. "I didn't mean to make you think that I didn't like you. I don't know how to handle kits. My siblings were all murdered by the Empire, which is one of the main reasons I joined the Blade."

"That's a good reason. I kind of know how you feel. My Dad died when I was younger."

Ilun's eyes widened. "Your father perished when you were a tiny kit?"

"Yeah. I still miss him."

Ilun saw Keith's eyes mist over and sat down next to him. "Would you permit me to hug you, kit? You look like you could use some comfort."

Keith looked up at Ilun and nodded. He leaned against Ilun, who wrapped his arms around him and rumbled to him. Keith closed his eyes and relaxed. It felt so nice that he started purring, which surprised Ilun but not enough to make him stop rumbling. He also started stroking the kit's hair. Maybe the kit's pack would allow him to get to know him better. He was such an unusual kit, and Ilun liked unusual.

Fin

Chapter Text

"Warm-Ups"

"Aww, Keith, why do I have to be here this early in the morning?" Lance groused.

"Hey, don't complain. You agreed to help me with my workout this morning." Keith practically dragged Lance through the castle corridors in the direction of the training deck. "If you don't walk, Lance, I will carry you, and don't think I won't."

Lance pouted but did as his boyfriend said. It didn't take the two Paladins long to reach the training deck. Lance was only partially surprised to see Keith not start up the training sequence. He set his jacket, bayard, and utility belt (sheath included) off to the side and started going through his warm-ups. He ran a couple of laps, did several sets of push ups (included one handed ones), and stretching exercises, which gave Lance a good view of his boyfriend's body. Lance was so preoccupied that he didn't realize that Keith had asked him something.

"Sorry. What was that, baby?"

Keith sighed and laid down. "Come hold my ankles so I can do some sit ups."

Lance's eyes lit up slightly. He liked being able to put his hands on his boyfriend. Keith wasn't used to a lot of physical affection, so anytime Lance got to put his hands on him, he was going to enjoy it. Lance immediately came over, knelt down at his feet, and held his ankles down with his hands.

Keith put his hands behind his head and interlocked his fingers. He did a sit up, only to meet Lance's lips when he reached a sitting position. Their eyes closed automatically as their lips met. Keith moved his hands until they were wrapped around Lance and pushed back with a little bit more force. Lance lost his balance and toppled backwards, his hands leaving Keith's ankles. Keith kept leaning forward and landed on top of Lance. He ran his hands under the front of Lance's shirt, making Lance gasp into his mouth. Lance pulled back slightly. "Keith, we shouldn't do this here."

"Do you want me to stop, Sharpshooter?"

"I didn't say that."

"Then, I won't." Keith leaned closer and reclaimed Lance's mouth.

Fin

Chapter Text

"Take A Break"

"Start training level thirteen."

Cosmo watched as his human attacked the robot. He was on high alert but knew that his human wasn't in any real danger. The first time Keith had trained, Cosmo thought he was being attacked and had tackled the robot, unintentionally defeating the level, but his instincts had told him to protect his human. Keith hadn't been angry at Cosmo, because he was just following his instincts to protect Keith. Keith used that time to explain to Cosmo what he was doing and that he was not in any danger. Fortunately, the cosmic wolf understood and didn't disrupt any future training sessions.

Keith didn't even spare his wolf a glance. He had to keep his attention on the gladiator, which happened to be dual wielding. That suited Keith just fine as he could do the same. He had his bayard in his left hand and his Marmora blade in his right. He had been going for several vargas and was getting tired, but he wanted to see how far he could get.

Cosmo tracked Keith's movements across the training deck with ease, never once losing sight of his human. He was on his paws in an instant when Keith was knocked to the floor.

"End training sequence." The gladiator powered down before it was swallowed by the floor. Keith stayed on the floor, panting slightly. Cosmo padded over and nudged Keith in the side with his nose. "I'm okay, boy. Just tired."

Cosmo wiggled his body under Keith's arm and teleported them to Keith's room. He managed to get Keith to duck through a decent shower. Keith was at first going to put on a clean pair of pants and t-shirt, but Cosmo held out the pair of Red Paladin pajamas. Keith knew better than to ignore Cosmo. He took and put on the pajamas. Cosmo latched onto Keith's sleeve and tugged him down into his nest. Cosmo laid down, and Keith snuggled up against Cosmo's fur. He was so soft and comfortable. The cosmic wolf curled around Keith and laid his tail over Keith's legs. Keith's eyes slid closed as he fell asleep, content to rest with his wolf.

Fin

Chapter Text

"Perfection"

Keith was sitting on the porch swing, watching the sunrise. He loved the sunrise in the desert; always had. He used to watch it sometimes with his Dad. It was a simpler time, just him and his Pop. Now, he had another individual he got to share it with, Lance. They had finally beat the Galra Empire and established peace in the universe. Keith knew Lance had family on Earth and considered it home as well. Keith didn't have any connection to the planet but considered wherever Lance was home.

The door opened, and Lance took a seat on the porch swing next to his husband, handing him a cup of tea and kissing his temple. "I see I haven't missed much."

"No. You just made it in time." Keith snuggled against Lance and sighed in contentment. "This is nice."

"There is something that would make this even more perfect."

"And what would that be?"

"I got the phone call from the Garrison. Not only did I get the job, our files went through, and we are cleared to adopt a child."

Keith's eyes lit up, and he kissed Lance. "That is perfect!"

"What kind of kid do you want to adopt?"

"I want to pay forward the kindness Shiro gave me and adopt a kid who has been returned by many foster families and given up on."

Lance smiled and kissed Keith's temple. "I can understand that. We can go later today if you'd like."

"Yes. I'd like that very much, but for now, I want to watch the sunrise with the most perfect man in the universe."

"But that's what I'm doing."

"Sap."

"You love me anyway."

"I do."

Fin

Chapter Text

"At Ease"

Keith walked into the lounge and saw Kuron sitting there, reading. Keith was glad they were able to remove the programming Haggar put in his brain, and now he was a normal human. Keith was still getting to know him but liked what he saw so far. He was nice and genuinely took interest in what everyone was doing, wanting to help out in any way he could.

Not everyone was at ease with Kuron staying on board the ship. They still had to find the real Shiro, wherever he was, but Kuron was a good pilot for Black since she let him pilot, which was good because Keith still went on Blade missions. He was back at the castle ship for good, but when he was needed, Kolivan contacted him. Keith and Kuron took turns flying Black just like Allura and Lance did with Blue, so Keith and Lance did the same with Red. The three lions loved their primary Paladins as well as their secondary ones and didn't seem to have a preference as to which one flew with them.

So far, Keith hadn't heard from Kolivan, so he assumed he wasn't needed for a Blade mission. He sat down next to Kuron. "What are you reading?"

Kuron looked up in surprise but smiled as he saw it was Keith. Of all the Paladins, Keith was the one who was most at ease with him. "Hi, Keith. I was just reading something Coran suggested. Did you need something?"

"I was wondering if you wanted to do some sparring, specifically hand-to-hand combat."

Kuron's eyes lit up. "Sure. I'd love to!"

Kuron followed Keith to the training deck, where both of them began stretching. Once they were sufficiently stretched, they stood up and approached the middle of the floor. He caught the smirk on Keith's face and realized that this was for fun as much as it was for actual training purposes, and he was more than okay with that.

Fin

Chapter Text

"Adopting Twins"

Keith and Lance were holding hands when they entered the orphanage that morning. The receptionist greeted them. "Good morning, gentlemen. May I help you?"

"Yes. We are the Kogane-McClains and we're here to adopt."

"Oh yes. We were told to expect you in the next couple of days. Right this way." The receptionist led them through a nearby door. "What kind of child were you thinking about adopting? A baby or young child, maybe?"

"No. I want to look at the files of any children that have been returned here many times and may have been given up on," Keith replied.

"Why would you-"

"Because I was," was the cold reply.

Lance wrapped an arm around his husband's waist and gave him an encouraging squeeze. They followed the receptionist into a room, where they were invited to sit. She left quickly, leaving the couple alone in the room. "Are you okay, baby?"

"I hate institutions like this. They don't care about the older children or the ones with deep emotional trauma. Everyone likes the babies and small children."

"They are the cutest." The receptionist had returned with a couple of thick files that were placed on the table and a couple of ladies that were in charge of adoption.

"Be that as it may, we know what we want. Someone had the kindness to look past my tough exterior and be a mentor to me. I want to pay that kindness forward and adopt a child that has been given up on." Keith reached for the files. He looked at the thickest file first. It was for a ten-year-old boy named Jeff, and his file indicated that he had a fraternal twin named Lisa. Keith peeked at the other file and found that it was Lisa's file. He looked up. "I want to meet Jeff and Lisa."

"Are you su-"

Keith's glare cut the woman off. Lance laid a hand on his husband's shoulder. "Please bring them here."

The woman who had been silent nodded at her companion, who left to collect the children. She slid the paperwork and pens over to Keith and Lance. "If these two are the ones you wish to adopt, this is the paperwork that needs filled out."

"I'll start filling this out, while you meet with the kids," Lance said, pulling over the paperwork and picking up one of the pens. He slowly started filling in the necessary information.

Just then, Keith stood up, his eyes locked onto the door, or rather the children that walked into the room. Jeff had short black hair and blue eyes, and Lisa had the same blue eyes, but her black hair was long and put into a ponytail. They looked like a perfect combination of him and Lance. "Hello, Jeff, Lisa."

Jeff crossed his arms, but Lisa met his gaze. "Why did you want to see us?"

"Lisa! I thought we weren't going to talk to them!"

"You should show some respect! These men are talking about adopting you two!" the lady who brought them in exclaimed.

"Stop. It's not their fault," Keith cut in. "They have seen this scene before. They always get this far, but then get rejected for a number of reasons. The parents don't want older children, are only looking for one child, and/or don't want 'difficult' children."

"How do you know?"

Keith knelt down in front on the twins. "Because two of those reasons were why I aged out of the system. I did end up finding a kind man who was a mentor to me, but he never fostered or adopted me."

"You were just like us?"

"Yes, and my husband and I want to adopt you both."

"Hey, Keith. What's your middle name again?" Lance called out, pausing in filling out the paperwork.

Keith rolled his eyes and looked over his shoulder. "Lance, you know it's Akira."

When he turned back to the kids, he was surprised to see Jeff looking at him. "Are you the Paladins of Voltron?"

"Yes. I piloted the Black Lion, while Lance piloted the Red Lion."

"The Paladins of Voltron want to adopt us?" Lisa echoed.

"Yes we do, if you'll have us." Keith wasn't surprised to have the two children throw themselves into his arms. He wrapped his arms around his children. He just knew these two were the ones they were meant to adopt.

He looked over at Lance, who muttered, "Jeff Kogane-McClain, Lisa Kogane-McClain" as he wrote their new names down.

Keith nodded. Jeff and Lisa were their children now, and they would never give up on them.

Fin

Chapter Text

"Regrets"

'I just don't wanna be stuck here for eternity with Lance.' Keith punched his pillow. Why had he said that about Lance, especially after Lance had said such nice things about him! He punched his pillow again. He was such a mess and had probably messed up any chance at getting to know his right hand man any better.

A distinctive pop caught Keith's attention, and Keith wasn't surprised at Cosmo's entrance. The cosmic wolf seemed to know when Keith needed him. Keith hugged his wolf and gripped his fur between his fingers. "Why did I say that about Lance? Why couldn't I say the real reason I chose him? He deserves to see his family again, especially since he has such a large family, a complete family, one that misses him. He didn't deserve to stay there for eternity, especially when Bob kept calling him a 'dum-dum.' That was exceptionally rude."

"You were right when you called him a jerk."

Keith's head jerked up at the sound of a very familiar voice. "Lance?"

"Hey, Mullet."

"What are you doing here? How did you-did Cosmo bring you here?" Keith looked at his wolf. "Why did you bring Lance here?"

"Yeah. Cosmo appeared in Red and then poof, here I am, hearing my leader tear himself apart over something he said in a stupid game show."

"Well, I shouldn't have said what I said. It wasn't supposed to come out like that. It was really mean."

Lance pulled Keith into his arms. "Hey, hey. I know you didn't really mean that. I knew there was a different reason for you picking me. I know you got nervous about explaining your reasons."

"You're really perceptive, you know that?"

"Mostly when it comes to you. I-I really care about you, Keith."

"Really, Lance?" Keith smiled. "I love you too."

Lance brought his mouth close to Keith's. They were mere inches away from Keith's, but Lance seemed to be hesitating as if he didn't know if Keith wanted to kiss him. Keith decided to take matters into his own hands and closed that minute gap between their lips. Their kiss lasted for several doboshes, their need for air the only thing that separated them. Keith held Lance close and purred to him before he abruptly stopped.

"Aww, don't stop, Kitten. I liked it."

Keith blushed but didn't comment on that. "Lance, if you're here, who's flying Red?"

"You know she can fly herself, right, Kitten? All of the lions can."

"Yeah. I didn't know if she could do that for you and at less than minimal power."

Lance paled slightly. "I think going back might be the best idea. I'll see you again, soon, Kitten. Come on, Cosmo. Take me back to Red."

With that command, Cosmo whisked Lance away, leaving one thing on Keith's mind.

"I'm not a kitten!"

Fin

Chapter Text

"Instinctual Reaction"

Keith sat bolt upright, gasping for breath. It figured that the one night he fell asleep away from his pack, he'd have the worst nightmare he ever had. It had been a strange dream. They had gone back to Earth, and Keith was alone. The Paladins had gone back to their families, but Keith was separated from his. His pack wasn't welcome on Earth, so they left...without him. He was utterly alone again.

He knew in his heart that his pack would never abandon him like that, but the nightmare had shaken him horribly. He realized that he wouldn't get anymore rest, so he changed into his day clothes and left his room. He headed for the training deck with both of his blades in hand, not caring that he passed by Lance's room.

%%%

Lance had been sleeping fitfully, because Pidge had repoed her headphones again. He kept snitching them, and the tick she needed them, she took them back. So, he was awoken by an unusual sound. He couldn't figure out what it was, so he threw his blanket off and stumbled to the door. He opened it and stuck his head out. Not surprisingly, Keith was already dressed and walking in the direction of the training deck. Lance frowned. He had offered his boyfriend the opportunity to sleep in his room, but Keith had refused but gave him a hug anyway. Lance watched as Keith walked away.

"Keith?" he called out, but it didn't seem like he heard him, which worried him.

%%%

Keith entered the training deck. Since he already had his swords out, he called out, "Start training level twenty."

Two gladiator bots dropped to the floor and started attacking after a tick. Keith went on the attack, dual wielding with ease. He was channeling his fear of abandonment into his attacks, causing him to be laser focused on his training. So much so, that he didn't notice Lance's entrance.

Lance watched Keith, worriedly. This seemed different than his boyfriend's normal training. It seemed like he was fighting like he had something to prove. When Keith defeated the gladiators, he took a moment, and Lance stifled a gasp. Keith's eyes had changed. They had yellow sclera and slitted pupils. Fortunately, they retained Keith's gorgeous purple irises. Lance couldn't help but approach him. "Keith?"

%%%

"Keith?"

Keith whirled around at the sound of his name. In his hyper focused state, he didn't recognize that it was his mate. He took a step back as the human approached before he rushed forward with a snarl and grabbed his arm. He whipped him around and flung him towards the door.

Right at that moment, the door opened, and in walked Kolivan, who was able to catch Lance and maintain his footing. "Lance? What's going on?"

"I don't know." Lance was set on his feet but kept close to Kolivan. "Keith was training, but it seemed different, so I approached him. I guess I startled him because he threw me. Thank you for catching me."

"Thanks are not needed, young one. I had come here to get the kit off the training deck."

"How are you going to do that?"

"Like this." Kolivan studied Keith for a tick before he growled loudly.

Keith stopped like he was frozen, staring at Kolivan. Then, he blinked, and his eyes went back to normal. "Kolivan? Lance?" His eyes widened as he suddenly remembered throwing Lance into Kolivan, of all beings. He whimpered loudly, afraid of what was going to happen.

When Keith whimpered, Lance rushed forward and pulled Keith into his arms. "Hey, cariño. I'm okay. See? I'm not hurt."

"I am also uninjured, kit. You are not in trouble for your instinctual reaction. However, you do need to leave the training deck. It is much too late for training." Kolivan approached Keith and scooped him up into his arms. He looked down at Lance. "Come with us, kit. Keith's going to need all of us tonight."

Lance hesitantly nodded and followed Keith and Kolivan to the nest room. Kolivan entered the nest and sat down with Keith still on his lap. Lance paused outside the nest, still unsure about entering the nest. Thace looked up and beckoned Lance to enter. He did so but settled next to Kolivan and reached out to stroke Keith's hair. Keith turned and looked at Lance before he looked back up at Kolivan and gave a little whimper.

Kolivan looked from Keith to Lance and back again before he slid Lance onto his lap. Keith chirped in thanks and snuggled into Lance's chest. The Blue Paladin was surprised to feel tears soaking into his pajama top. "Cariño, it's okay."

"What happened?" Ulaz asked.

"Keith accidentally flung his mate into me when we tried to get him to leave the training deck," Kolivan said.

"He didn't know what he was doing!" Lance defended.

"Easy, kit. We're not mad at him," Antok soothed. "On the contrary, it means he's allowing his instincts to take over in battle...and training."

"That's good." Lance bumped Keith's head with his. "Though, I would like to know what got you so worked up that you left your room at this time of night. I assume it was a nightmare."

Keith nodded and whimpered. "We had gone back to Earth, and the Paladins went back to their families, but my pack wasn't allowed to stay, so they left. I was all alone again."

The pack was horrified at the thought of abandoning their kit. Antok, Thace, and Ulaz scooted over closer to Kolivan, Keith, and Lance. Thace stroked Keith's cheeks, where his stripes would be if he had them. "Kit, we would never abandon you. You are our kit, and kits are precious to Galra as a race."

"And when we do get to Earth, I'm introducing my boyfriend to my family. My family is going to adore you as much as I do," Lance declared.

Keith sighed and snuggled against Lance even more. Even though he knew he wouldn't be abandoned, it was nice to hear it too.

Fin

Chapter Text

"A Different Pack Is Still A Pack"

Keith was resting in the lounge. He was finally back at the castle for good. He still went on Marmora missions, but he was lived at the castle. He had gotten pleas from everyone at the castle to come back to them. Keith was so touched that he requested the transfer immediately. Kolivan was saddened that his kit was going to be away from the base, but he recognized that Keith had his own pack in the form of the Paladins and Alteans. He gave his permission, provided that Keith spent some time with him after whatever missions he went on. Everyone agreed to the terms, and Allura opened a wormhole for Keith.

Keith started drifting off, when he heard a roar in his mind. "Red?"

She brushed against their bond, and Keith not only mentally followed but physically as well. His feet brought him to the lion's hangar as he followed the fluffy lioness form of his lion through their bond into the space where lion and Paladin could freely interact. He was pleasantly surprised to see not only Red but Black and Shiro as well. Keith smiled and approached the trio.

Shiro was relaxing against Black, who had her tail draped across Shiro's lap and was grooming Red. Red was laying down in front of Black, obviously waiting for Keith to join them, which he did. He settled next to Shiro, who wrapped an arm around Keith's shoulder. He relaxed against his oldest friend and their lions. Red turned her head slightly and began grooming Keith's hair, causing him to purr. Shiro smiled at Keith. He had truly missed him, and he wasn't the only one. Both Red and Black had missed him as well. He and Lance could feel it through their bonds with Red and Black. It was extraordinary the bonds Keith had with the lions, and Shiro and Lance felt honored to have felt bonds as deep as the ones Keith had with Red and Black.

Shiro felt Black slap his leg. "You have a strong bond with me as well, my Paladin."

"Keith has a stronger one."

"It's only because the little one is sensitive to quintessence."

"Keep it down. My cub is sleeping," Red insisted, pausing in grooming Keith's hair. She went right back to it once she was finished speaking.

Black and Shiro chuckled. Red was such a mama to her Paladins; always had been and always will be.

Fin

Chapter Text

"Sword Vs. Sword"

Keith walked onto the training deck, intent on getting some work done with his bayard. It still looked weird seeing the Black Bayard in his hands, but at least it was still a sword. He heard the clang of metal on metal and was confused. Who was using the training deck and using a sword? He entered the training deck and was surprised to see Lance battling the gladiator with a red sword. He apparently had a new bayard form. Keith grinned. He had wanted a challenge. He unlocked his bayard and let it transform into a sword, waiting until Lance beat the level.

When Lance defeated the gladiator, Keith was glad he didn't call out the next level and grinned. He approached Lance with his sword in his hand. "Hey, Lance!"

Lance turned around and blocked Keith's attack, the grin on his face matching Keith's. "Hey, Mullet."

Keith pushed forward a little. "I see you have a new bayard form."

"Yeah. It's an Altean broad sword, according to Allura." Lance pushed back. "I was hoping for a real challenge."

Keith grinned even wider. "Then why didn't you ask, Sharpshooter?"

"Not really a sharpshooter with this sword, am I?"

"You'll always be my sharpshooter."

Lance blushed and ducked under Keith's sword. "You, uh, mean that, Keith?"

"I do, and if you want me to teach you a thing or two with your sword, I'd be happy to."

"Yeah, yeah. That'd be great."

Fin

Chapter Text

"De-Aging and Aging Up"

When Keith woke up in the nest, something didn't feel right. He couldn't quite figure it out until he opened his eyes. There were five kits and two adults in the nest gathered around him. There was one female kit and the rest were male, all of whom looked familiar. Keith maneuvered out of his place near the female kit, who was curled around his head. He didn't remember falling asleep with a kit curled around his head. He remembered falling asleep tucked under his Mama's chin. He looked around at everyone, his eyes widening in surprise.

The kit that had been curled around his head was purple with darker purple cheek stripes and purple headfur tinged with magenta, making her look like a kit version of his Mama. The next set of kits were curled up with each other. One was lavender with a white strip down the middle of his head, and the other one was a violet purple. The next set of two were the adults. One was a female with short, blue fur and darker blue headfur, and the other one was a male who looked like Regris, being the same color as their pack leaders and had pointed ears and headfur like Thace's. The last two kits were both male and looked to be approximately the same color. The one with a tail also had a scar across his left eye, large furry ears, and a strip of white fur on the top of his head. The other one had red markings on his head, a scar across his right eye, fluffy ears, and white headfur tied into a braid.

Keith supposed he was older as well and couldn't help the chirp he made at the realization that his pack were the opposites ages they were supposed to be. The result was instantaneous. All five kits and the two other adults woke up and looked at Keith.

Krolia cocked her head. "Keith?"

"Mama, what happened?"

Krolia looked around at her pack and finally down at herself. Her eyes widened. "I-I don't know."

"Why are we kits?" Thace asked, his ears drooping.

Ulaz wrapped his arms around his mate. "I don't know either, Thace. I could run some tests."

"You aren't going to be running any tests," Regris spoke up. "You are a kit."

"But how are we going to know what happened?" Ulaz questioned.

"We could think of what all of us went through recently," Acxa suggested. "It can't be that hard, since the eight of us usually don't do the same thing."

"It doesn't necessarily have to be at the same time. The adults, well kits now, would have to go through the event at the same time as well as the three of us," Keith mentioned. "Wait I know! It must have been during that mission last night!"

"The one where we were looking for information on the delivery of the weird quintessence?" Regris asked.

"It must have been. We had split up with you three going in one direction while the rest of us went in the other direction," Kolivan mentioned. "We were covered in a blue quintessence."

"It was hard to get it out of my fur," Thace grumbled.

Keith scooped up Thace and gently nuzzled him. "It's okay, Thace. You did a good job getting it out."

Thace melted in Keith's arms and purred to him. Keith purred in response though it sounded more like a rumble than a purr. Krolia looked at what Keith looked like as an adult. He did have a few more Galran features than he did when he was younger. He had her purple cheek stripes, fangs, and large, fluffy ears. His hair was also longer. Acxa scooted over to her twin and started braiding his hair. He relaxed and continued his rumbling purr.

"How long is this going to last?" Antok asked, wrapping his tail around Kolivan's waist.

"If someone would let me run some tests, I'd be able to tell," Ulaz retorted.

Thace slipped out of Keith's lap and over to his mate. "It'll be okay, 'Laz."

"What about if I go with Ulaz and help him?" Keith asked. "Since I worked with him a lot."

Ulaz perked up. "I like the sound of that."

"Everyone else stay here, and Ulaz and I will get answers," Keith said before adding under his breath, "Hopefully."

Keith held his arms out in case Ulaz wanted to be carried. Ulaz blinked at Keith's offer. "Kit, why are you..."

Keith lowered his arms. "I don't know why I did that. I think it was my instincts."

Acxa rumbled to her twin. "It's okay, Keith. Go with Ulaz to the med bay, and help him run the tests, but get dressed first."

Keith looked down at his clothes and noticed his usual long shirt wasn't as long or as loose as he liked it. The five kits were swamped in the casual clothes their adult selves wore to bed. Since they didn't have clothes small enough for the kits, they had to wear long shirts until clothes could be found.

Ulaz waited for Keith to get dressed. He actually had to wear Thace's clothes, which were a little baggy. The two Blades walked to the med bay, Keith's hand landing on Ulaz's headfur. Ulaz tried to resist the urge to purr at the motion but failed. Keith couldn't fight the new instincts as well.

"Sorry, Ulaz," he whispered before scooping the kit up. "My instincts were screaming at me to pick you up."

Ulaz snuggled against Keith's shoulder. "It's all right. I understand. I don't recommend trying that with Kolivan or Antok. They may not appreciate it."

"But Thace and Mama would?"

"Why do you still call Krolia 'Mama'?"

"She's still my mother. It just feels right." The two Blades made it to the med bay with Keith carrying Ulaz into his office. He set the little kit on the chair, him scrambling to rest on his knees to see over the desk.

Keith exited the office in order to collect the items he knew Ulaz would need. Helping Ulaz in the med bay had its perks. It was fortunate that the med bay was quiet and mostly empty so no one was around to see the adult Blade that looked so much like the youngest kit of the leader's pack. Once Keith was done collecting everything, he returned to Ulaz's office. Keith let the kit run tests on himself and Keith to determine how this happened and how long this would last. True to what Keith and Kolivan had suggested, both Keith and Ulaz showed a small amount of the weird quintessence their groups were exposed to. The duration was fortunately quite short, only for the rest of the quintant was Ulaz's guess.

"That's a relief," Keith stated with a sigh. "Let's go back to the nest."

"You go back, kit. I should stay here and do some work."

"Oh no you don't, Ulaz. You're not allowed to work." Keith scooped up the kit and carried him out of the med bay and into the nest room. Keith was pleased to see his pack dressed and still in the nest. He set Ulaz into the nest next to Thace and stepped into the nest himself, noticing that Krolia was snuggled in Regris's arms and purring softly.

Strangely, Antok was in Acxa's arms as the adult female seemed to be stopping him from leaving. Seeing her twin's confused look, Acxa explained, "He was trying to leave to go train."

Keith chuckled and held his arms out to the group of kits. "Anyone want to come here?"

Ulaz resolutely cuddled against Thace, intent on not being in Keith's arms again, even though he liked it. Keith noticed that Kolivan was fidgeting slightly like he wanted to but was fighting his instincts. He crawled over and settled next to Kolivan, pulling the kit onto his lap. He rumbled to the kit. "It's all right, Kolivan. We all have these new instincts to get used to. If you want to be held, you just have to ask."

Kolivan sighed and cuddled against Keith. "What did you and Ulaz find out?"

Keith nuzzled Kolivan. "It was as we thought. When we were on last night's mission, our respective groups got doused by weird quintessence, causing this change. Fortunately, Ulaz said it would only last for the rest of the quintant."

"Kits," Krolia said, looking at Regris, Acxa, and Keith. "We need to eat."

Regris tickled Krolia lightly. "Are you hungry, Mama?"

Krolia giggled. "Yeah."

"How are we going to get food when we all look like this?" Keith asked.

"We put an order in and one of us goes to get it," Thace answered.

"I can do it, especially if I wear my mask," Regris volunteered. He pulled out his data pad and opened a message to the kitchen staff. He explained that Krolia's twins were ill and the entire pack was taking care of them along with the fact that he was going to collect the food. He typed up what he wanted and got Keith's, Acxa's, and Krolia's orders. Kolivan and Antok gave theirs as did Ulaz. Thace leaned over to Regris and gave his order. Surprisingly, it contained a lot of vegetables, making Regris frown. "That's not a good idea, Thace. You need a bit more variety."

Thace pouted slightly and modified his order. Regris sent the message and waited ten doboshes before he put on his uniform and mask. Keith smiled. If he didn't know any better, he would think it was normal Regris, not aged up Regris. It didn't take too long before Regris returned carrying all eight containers. Krolia rushed over to help her kit and was handed her container and her twins' containers. Regris handed out the other containers to the de-aged Blades.

Everyone started eating from their containers. Krolia sat between Keith and Acxa, both of whom had a kit in their lap. Antok looked comfortable in Acxa's lap, especially since he wasn't being restrained. Kolivan didn't look like he wanted to leave Keith's lap anytime soon. Thace and Ulaz sat beside Regris, a kit on each side.

Once everyone ate their food, Kolivan and Antok snuggled against the adult holding them, their eyes drifting closed. Thace and Ulaz laid against Regris with full bellies. It was only Krolia that was fighting her nap. Keith looked down at Krolia. "Mama, why don't you get some sleep?"

"I don't." Krolia yawned. "Don't want to."

Keith reached over and petted her headfur. "Why don't you lean against me and close your eyes? You don't have to sleep, just relax."

Krolia nodded and did as her youngest kit suggested. Just as Keith figured, it didn't take long for Krolia to actually fall asleep. Acxa looked down at their de-aged mother before addressing her twin. "How did you know that would work?"

"The pack told me the same thing when I was learning about my kit needs. I would deny that I needed a nap, so they said for me to close me eyes and relax. I would invariably fall asleep not long after I closed my eyes." Keith noticed the kit in his arms shifting slightly and softly rumbled to the kit, soothing him and allowing him to rest easier.

Several vargas later, the five kits woke up. Keith nuzzled Kolivan, who purred at the affection, and petted his Mama's headfur. Antok slipped off Acxa's lap and reached for his sword that was in a pile to the side of the nest. Kolivan let out a questioning noise at his mate's actions. Antok paused and huffed. Kolivan growled, and Antok whined.

Keith and Acxa were watching the interaction between Kolivan and Antok. Acxa scooped up Antok and sat him in her lap again, while Keith unbraided Kolivan's white strands and ran his fingers through it. Acxa sighed. "Antok, you can't train. Your blade is the same size you are at the moment. It won't be safe."

"Kolivan, I know you are the leader, but your kit instincts are more prevalent. Let us take care of you five until this wears off."

Kolivan didn't immediately respond. He didn't know if he should agree with Keith. Krolia looked over and climbed into her son's lap. She hugged Kolivan. "Keith's right, Kolivan. We are kits right now. We can trust them."

"All right." He looked over at Antok and whimpered a little. Antok looked over and let out a questioning noise. "I'm sorry, 'Tok."

"It's all right, 'Van."

Kolivan reached out to Antok, who slid off Acxa's lap and climbed into Keith's. Keith was knocked backwards due to having three kits in his lap. The three kits looked over at Keith in concern and smiled when Keith laughed. Acxa reached over and plucked her Mama out of Keith's lap, allowing Keith to sit back up. Antok wrapped his tail around Kolivan's waist and his arms around Kolivan. Kolivan relaxed in his mate's arms, purring.

Thace and Ulaz were sitting in front of Regris, cuddling and whispering. "I want to go to the med bay and get some work done. I know it's piling up."

Thace tightened his grip on his mate and replied, "I know, my mate. It's not a good idea."

Ulaz buried his face in Thace's shirt and whimpered a little. Regris was watching them, and Ulaz's whimpering broke his heart. He didn't like hearing any kit whimpering. He reached out and stroked Ulaz's headfur, rumbling to him. Ulaz looked up, and Regris could tell that he wanted picked up but also wanted to still be held by Thace. Regris solved that issue by scooping up both kits and cuddling them. Regris looked over at his siblings. "We should have these kits do something other than stay in the nest."

"I don't know. We don't need the base to learn what happened. None of us look completely different than we normally do, so it's pretty easy to figure out what happened," Keith replied.

"We can let them tumble and play fight in here. That's what they let us do," Acxa brought up.

"That's an idea, but how do we get them to agree?" Regris asked.

"We can hear you," Kolivan muttered.

Keith tickled Kolivan a little. "Then why don't you do it?"

Kolivan chuckled, buried his face in Antok's fur, and mumbled something.

Keith's ears twitched. "What was that?"

"I'm comfortable."

Keith grinned. "That's okay. I can watch over any kits that don't want to over there." He pointed over to the far section of the nest. "I know Kolivan is coming with me. Is anyone else?"

The other four kits looked at each other and shook their heads. Antok nuzzled his mate and slipped out of Keith's lap. Keith shuffled over to the far section and let Kolivan lay across his lap. The young kit watched his fellow kits tumble and play fight across the nest, unconsciously whimpering softly. Keith's enhanced hearing caught the soft whimpers partially hidden by the playful growls of the play fighting and looked down at Kolivan. "Kolivan, what's wrong?"

"Nothing."

"That answer doesn't work when I say it, so it won't work when you use it. Try again."

Kolivan sighed. "I'm comfortable, but I also want to join in."

Keith nuzzled him. "I understand. I get that way sometimes, and I remember what you guys told me."

Kolivan looked up at Keith and saw the smile on his face, his fangs easily seen. "We've told you a lot. Which one?"

Keith playfully growled and tickled the kit in his lap. "Cheeky. It was 'do what feels right.' If it makes you feel better, all of us can play fight."

"Yeah?"

"Of course." Keith stood up and walked over to the group of kits. To Keith's surprise, Kolivan sprang from his arms and tackled his mate.

Keith locked eyes with his twin and smirked, flexing his fingers. She grinned and tackled him. They were careful to make sure they didn't get too close to the kits, but their play fight ended when Krolia tried to tackle her daughter. Acxa managed to catch her Mama. That seemed like the catalyst to cause the rest of the kits to play fight with Keith and Acxa. Regris watched over all seven members of his pack until Keith called out, "Join us, Reg. Lock the door, and come have some fun."

He did just as his brother asked and tackled Keith. The eight pack members were having so much fun that they lost track of time and missed lunch. By the time they realized it, it was too late for lunch, but they still each ordered a slightly larger snack than normal, and Regris also put in their dinner order early.

Regris retrieved their snacks and dispersed them. The pack ate their meals quietly, satisfied with how the day had gone so far. It had been a long time since they had all had a quintant off to spend with each other. After their snack, Keith tugged Kolivan back into his lap, remembering how Kolivan wanted to be held. The kit snuggled into Keith's lap, not noticing that Keith yawned. Krolia had noticed though. She rubbed her head against Keith's arm. "Kit, why don't you get some rest?"

"But, Mama-"

"No, kit. You're tired."

Keith ducked his head. "Yes, Mama."

Keith shifted and relaxed with Kolivan still cuddled up on his lap. Krolia snuggled against her kit and purred to him, relaxing him even further. Keith struggled to keep his eyes open, but when Kolivan started purring too, he let his eyes close and fell asleep. Acxa and Regris grinned as their brother purred in his sleep. They weren't surprised that Kolivan and Krolia were asleep next to Keith but turned their attention to the three other kits.

Acxa watched as Antok glanced from his blade to where his mate lay and back again. She tensed in case he decided to try for his sword again but needn't have worried. He moved over to where Kolivan was laying and curled around him. She grinned and turned her gaze to the two kits near Regris.

Thace and Ulaz were cuddling near Regris. Thace was grooming his mate's short headfur. Seeing as the two awake kits were preoccupied, Regris locked eyes with Acxa and stood up. "Keep an eye on these two, while I go get dinner."

Acxa nodded and watched the two kits as Ulaz turned around in Thace's arms and started grooming Thace's chest, paying attention to his starburst scar.

It didn't take long for Regris to return with the eight containers in his claws. By that time, Keith, Kolivan, Antok, and Krolia were awake and scattered around the nest. Acxa was running her claws through her twin's now unbraided hair. Regris handed out the containers to the kits before he approached his siblings. "Are you okay, Keith?"

Acxa answered for him. "This situation is hard for him. I hope it's really over tomorrow morning."

"Well, the sooner we eat, the sooner we can get everyone to sleep. Hopefully, this'll wear off while we sleep." Regris handed the other two containers to his sister and brother, the latter of whom sat up.

Regris looked around the nest at his pack members, who were eating. He opened his container and started eating, hoping he was right in thinking that it was going to wear off while they slept.

Fin

Chapter Text

"Taking Turns"

"Ouch! Let go, you little monster," Keith growled. He couldn't believe he was in charge of watching the de-aged version of Lance. He knew he and Lance had been getting along better lately, but did that really mean he had to watch him?

He and Lance had come back from a mission late the previous night and had promptly passed out in their rooms. When everyone woke up, they had had a seven-year-old Lance on their hands. Pidge and Coran promptly scanned Lance before they dropped him off with Keith. Hunk stayed in the kitchen to bake cookies for his de-aged best friend. He remembered that Lance loved snickerdoodle cookies, so he tried his best to recreate them. Shiro and Allura were scanning the planet Keith and Lance had been on. The scans from the planet and from Lance said the same thing:  it happens all the time to deter aliens from staying, it would last one quintant, and it would happen to Keith after Lance was back to normal.

Keith set Lance back on his feet and rubbed his head where Lance had yanked on his hair. He was so glad this almost over, just a few more vargas before they were going to bed. Just then, he felt slight pressure around his waist. He looked down and was horrified to learn that Lance had unsheathed his Marmora knife and was waving it around. Keith chased the little boy in the blue and white hoodie. "Lance, no! That's dangerous! Please give it back!"

"Look at me! I'm Keith!" Lance called out gleefully. He knew it wasn't the smartest idea and that he was causing problems for Keith, but it felt so nice, and he couldn't help it. It apparently was a side effect from the planet he and Keith were on, and he knew that Keith would be acting the same way tomorrow.

While Lance seemed distracted, Keith managed to slip the knife out of Lance's grasp. He quickly sheathed it and scooped up his little team mate. "All right, Lance. You had your fun. Now, it's bed time."

Keith carried Lance to his room and set him down. He turned to leave but was halted by a tug on his pants. He turned back around and looked down. Lance looked nervous about something, so Keith knelt down. "What's wrong, Lance?"

"Can you stay here with me? I don't want to be alone tonight."

Keith's heart broke for the little boy, and he knew he couldn't say no. "Of course. Let me change my clothes, and then, I'll be back."

Lance nodded and let Keith stand back up. He changed his clothes and sat on the bed to wait for Keith to return. A few doboshes later, Keith returned, dressed in his Red Paladin pajamas. He smiled softly when he saw Lance sitting on the bed. He sat down on the bed and pulled the little boy into his arms, laying both of them down. He dropped a kiss on the little boy's brown hair. "Good night, Lance."

"Night night, Keith."

%%%

When Lance awoke, he was seventeen again, but Keith was seven-years-old. Lance grinned. He was going to take care of Keith for the quintant. He laid in bed, waiting for Keith to wake up, which didn't take that long.

Keith's eyes opened, and he realized that he was now the little kid. He felt a hand curl around his head and a kiss drop onto his forehead. He frowned and tried to push Lance away. However, it didn't work as Lance was bigger than he was.

"Today's going to be fun!" Lance slid out of bed and tossed a shirt and a pair of pants to the young boy. When the Paladins had realized that Keith was going to go through the same thing Lance did, Shiro had found a black t-shirt and a pair of black pants for Keith to wear.

Keith got dressed while Lance changed his clothes in the bathroom. Once Lance and Keith were wearing their clothes, Lance swept Keith up onto his shoulders and carried him out of the room. Keith scowled at the back of Lance's head. It was going to be a long quintant.

Fin

Chapter Text

"Empty Threats"

Keith was happy that his pack was allowed to stay on the castle ship with him. It meant that his pack and his mate were in the same place at the same time, and he could spend time with both. He decided to forgo training in favor of cuddling with his mate in the nest. Unfortunately, Lance was nowhere to be found...or so he thought.

%%%

Lance was slightly nervous as he sat in the nest with the Blades. He got along with Kolivan, Antok, Thace, and Ulaz in general, but this was the first time he met them as Keith's mate. He was hoping that they approved of him, since he loved Keith so much.

Kolivan, Antok, Thace, and Ulaz wanted to question their kit's mate alone but didn't get the chance as Keith entered the nest room, and his eyes landed on the five beings in the nest. He chirped and leapt into the nest, cuddling with Lance.

Keith's Galran features appeared as he cuddled his mate. His tail wrapped around Lance's waist, his ears laid back in contentment, and he was purring. Lance wrapped his arms around Keith, enjoying the feel of his mate's fur.

"Kit, we were about to ask Lance how much he cares for you, but it is unnecessary now. It's obvious how much you both care for each other," Kolivan said.

Thace reached over and grasped Lance's chin, lifting his head a little. "That being said, if you hurt our kit, we will toss you out an airlock."

Lance shrank back a little and gave a little whimper, similar to their kit's whimpers. Ulaz paused. "Lance, how old are you?"

"I'm seventeen, just a deca-phoebe younger than Keith."

Thace's eyes widened. He couldn't believe he just threatened a kit! "My apologies, kit. I didn't realize your age."

Keith let out a questioning noise at the same time Lance asked, "Why are you calling me 'kit,' and why does my age make a difference?"

"You are younger than Keith, and we consider him a kit," Antok replied.

Keith lifted his head. "Since we're mates, they are going to consider you a kit as well."

Lance nuzzled Keith's neck, eliciting a purr from the raven-haired teen. "Well, that's okay, cariño, as long as they like me and won't throw me out an airlock."

Ulaz grinned. "As much as throwing you out an airlock would be satisfying, Keith would be sad if we did that, and we wouldn't hurt our kit like that." Lance breathed a sigh of relief until Ulaz bent close. "However, you going a few rounds on the training deck with the rest of my pack with me patching you up at the end would be more likely if you hurt Keith."

Keith shook his head slightly and snuggled further into Lance. He knew Lance would never hurt him, so his pack's threats would never come to pass.

Fin

Chapter Text

"Two Gays Chilling In The Pool"

Lance was really apprehensive about going to the Altean pool for a few reasons. The top most reason was because the pool was upside down! Who had their pools upside down? The Alteans, that's who. It was crazy, but seeing as Lance and his fellow humans were living in an alien space castle and fighting against a group of purple space cats (and one of said humans was part space cat), it shouldn't have come as that much of a surprise.

Another reason was because his crush would more than likely be there. On his first and only trek to the pool, he was joined by Keith, the one guy he crushed on hard at the Garrison and his crush didn't fade away. It only got worse being stuck in space with him. Nevertheless, Lance was on his way to the pool.

When he got there, he was surprised to see Keith swimming in the upside down pool. Lance watched for a few doboshes, silently admiring his crush's body. He was perfect, even with his scars. The only major one was on his right shoulder, and he had gotten that from the Trials of Marmora.

Keith noticed when Lance entered the room. It was hard not to notice Lance, especially when he had a crush on the brunette. He was perfect, even though he tended to run off at the mouth. "Hey, Sharpshooter, are you just going to stare or are you going to join me?"

"And how do I join you?"

"You didn't ask how the pool works?"

"Obviously not if I'm asking you."

"Take two steps to your right and there'll be a ladder in front of you. Climb up. Once you're up here, the gravity will take effect, and you'll be able to swim."

Lance hesitantly followed his directions and was pleasantly surprised that it worked. He climbed into the pool. "Thanks, Mullet. So, who did you ask?"

"Coran. He was more than happy to show me how it worked, though he was surprised to learn that I love the water. Apparently, the Galra don't like water."

Lance laughed. "Just like house cats!"

Keith grinned. "Yeah. I guess."

"I don't mean anything by that. It's in my nature to make jokes about everything. It's a way to lessen the tension in the room."

Keith smiled a little. "Thanks, Lance."

Lance grinned. "Do you wanna race?"

Keith grinned back. "Sure."

"One, two, three, go!"

Keith and Lance took off and swam to the end of the pool and back with Lance being the winner but not by much. Keith sighed and relaxed against Lance. Keith knew what he was doing, and Lance's brain short circuited at the closeness of his crush.

Keith hoped his bold move didn't backfire. He was fairly certain that the Blue Paladin had feelings for him, and he was wanting to confess before too much longer.

Once Lance's brain rebooted and caught up to the situation, he asked, "Hey, Keith, buddy, what are you doing?"

"Enjoying laying against my crush."

"Your crush?"

Keith looked over his shoulder at Lance. "You want me to spell it out? Fine. I really like you, Lance. I have for awhile now."

"That's not what I meant! I thought I was the only one that had a crush. I didn't know you had a crush on me."

"I do."

"Well, I had a crush on you since the Garrison." Lance put his arms around Keith, relishing the contact.

"Do you want to be boyfriends then?"

"I'd love that." Lance spun Keith around in the water and claimed his lips in a gentle kiss.

Fin

Chapter Text

"Mama Krolia"

Krolia sat down in the rocking chair her mate acquired for her. In her arms was her little kit. She couldn't believe she had a tiny kit of her own and loved him so very much. He was loosely wrapped in a slate blue blanket and nestled in her arms. She liked that he looked so much like her mate, except for his hair, which was darker, and his eye color, which was her purple. She gently kissed his black hair, and he nuzzled her chest. She smiled and let him nurse from her.

"Hungry little thing, ain't he?"

Krolia smiled at her mate. "Of course he is, Cal. He's part Galra. He's got a lot of growing to do to catch up to my side of the family."

"Is it just eating a lot? I just want to make sure our little man gets what he needs."

"He needs a lot of food, especially meat when he gets to that age, and affection. Affection is very important to Galra. We are an affectionate race, and our development is closely tied to how much affection we receive."

"That's why you don't lay him down much."

"Yes. He is very little and requires a lot of attention."

Calvin held his hands up. "Easy, darlin. I'm not saying it's a bad thing. Little tyke just loves his Mama. Just like I do."

Krolia's cheeks were tinged with a purple that matched her cheek stripes. She dropped another kiss on her kit's soft hair as he fell asleep, a quiet purr escaping him as he slept in his Mama's arms.

Fin

Chapter Text

"Hurt Lance"

How long had it been? Keith didn't know, but however long it was, it was too long. Lance had gotten injured on a mission, protecting Keith. Keith had almost gotten shot, but Lance threw himself in the path of the laser. Seeing Lance get hurt caused Keith's eyes to turn Galra and his teeth to sharpen into fangs. He rushed the sentry and dispatched it in no time at all. He hurried back to Lance and lifted his boyfriend into his arms, not realizing that he was sporting more Galran features (purple, fluffy ears, purple cheek stripes, and a long, thin, purple tail) as he was laser focused on getting Lance back to the castle and into a healing pod.

It didn't take Keith long to make his way back to Red, who purred to her Paladin. Keith sat in the pilot's seat with Lance still in his arms. "Take care of your mate, my cub. I'll fly us back."

"Thanks, Red."

Red flew her Paladins back to the castle in record time, and Coran helped Keith get Lance into a healing pod. No one mentioned Keith's Galran features as they knew that they showed up when Keith was experiencing intense emotions. Also, no one mentioned when Keith left the pod room, came back wearing Lance's jacket, and sat down next to the pod containing Lance.

Shiro ushered everyone out of the pod room, only pausing to pat Keith on his left shoulder. "Lance will be okay. He's strong."

Keith whined softly and tugged Lance's jacket tighter around his body. Shiro's heart went out to Keith. He knew how much his brother cared for Lance. He hoped that Lance wouldn't be in the pod for long.

%%%

The front of the pod disappeared, and Lance willed his body to not stumble out of the pod. He took a deep breath, slowly opened his eyes, and stepped out of the pod. The figure next to the pod drew his attention. He saw his boyfriend, sporting Galran features, and wrapped up in his jacket, sleeping and whimpering softly. Lance carefully picked him up and carried him out of the pod room and to his room. He sat on the bed and laid Keith down on the bed, laying beside him and pulling him into his arms. He laid his head on top of Keith's, glad that Keith's whimpers changed into purrs as if he subconsciously realized that Lance was okay and holding him. Lance allowed his eyes to close, pleased that Keith had waited for him to get released from the pod.

%%%

Keith realized a few things without opening his eyes. First, he was laying down when he had fallen asleep propped up by the pod that his mate was in. Second was that someone was holding him. Third and most important thing was that Lance's scent was all around him. He cracked an eye open and was pleased that Lance was laying on the bed and had his arms wrapped around him and his head on top of his. Keith closed his eye and snuggled further into Lance's chest, purring once he fell back asleep.

Fin

Chapter Text

"Kin"

Why did Shiro have to disappear again? Why did the Black Lion have to choose a new Paladin? Why was it Keith? Keith didn't have answers to these important questions nor did he have the time to even contemplate the questions; not when there was a new threat.

"Attention, Paladins of Voltron. This is the son of Zarkon, Emperor Pro Tem of the Galra Empire. Surrender now or you will be destroyed."

"We've been set up!" Pidge cried

Of course they had. Nothing had been going right since the fight with Zarkon. Why would this be any different? Now, he had to try to be the leader Shiro wanted him to be AND deal with this Emperor Pro Tem, whoever he was, though he did sound familiar to Keith if he was honest with himself, but he didn't have enough time to breathe, let alone figure out why he sounded familiar. Everything seemed to be happening so quickly. One dobosh he was messing up, leading his team into a trap this enemy set up, and the next they went into an alternate reality, extracting a comet made of the same ore that King Alfor used to create Voltron, only to have it stolen by Zarkon's son. Not everything was bad though. Just recently, they found Shiro and had located the comet. Now, they were staring at a ship that was apparently made from the comet.

Team Voltron turned around to dash back to their lions when the bay door that led into the corridor opened. Keith was in the back of his team, so he couldn't see who was exactly in front of them, which didn't matter in the long run as a large, furry female jumped up and tried to land a punch on Allura. It created a cloud of smoke, created by the force of her punch, which provided cover for another female (this one with a tail) to attack Pidge and then Hunk. Keith watched as Lance started shooting at another female; however, this one Keith recognized. It was Acxa! A quick scan of the area yielded the sight of his other sister. He yanked off his helmet and chirped loudly, a kit noise he often made when they all lived at headquarters. All eight of the others stopped fighting and turned in his direction. Ezor's and Acxa's eyes widened a tick before they quickly approached Keith and wrapped their arms around him. The three of them purred to each other, the girls nuzzling their youngest brother.

"Uh, Keith, what the quiznack are you doing?"

Keith looked up at his team, specifically at Lance, who had spoken. "These are my sisters."

Hunk looked at Acxa. "Hey! We saw you in the Weblum!"

Acxa shuddered. "Ugh. Don't remind me. It took forever to get the smell off of me."

Keith nuzzled her. "You did a good job, Acxa."

Acxa looked at her other two generals who were staring at her and Ezor as they nuzzled their youngest brother. "Zethrid, Narti, stand down. They are not truly the enemy."

"But Lotor said-"

"He didn't know that our brother was here."

Keith perked up. "Is he here?"

"He is close by. He's the Emperor Pro Tem."

Keith's eyes widened. "What? But he introduced himself as Zarkon's son."

"Lotor is biologically Zarkon's son. Mom just adopted him," Ezor stated.

"I knew Mom adopted him. I just didn't think about who his biological parents were."

"Keith! What is going on?!" Allura demanded.

"Princess, there's going to be a diplomatic discussion on the castle ship in ten doboshes," Keith announced. He turned to his sisters. "Can you two and Lotor make it in that time?"

"Of course."

%%%

As soon as Lotor, Ezor, and Acxa entered the bridge, they heard a chirp and landed on their backs in a pile. Keith was on top of them, smiling widely. "Hi, guys!"

Keith let out a squawk when he was lifted off his siblings by the back of his clothes. He looked to see who had grabbed him. Surprisingly, it was Allura. "You shouldn't tackle potential allies, Keith."

"They aren't just allies, Allura. They're my siblings."

"Siblings?" Allura echoed.

"Yes. They are all my kits." Krolia entered the bridge with Regris behind her.

"Mom!" All four of her kits rushed over to Krolia, Regris joining in. All five of her kits tackled her and they all ended up in a pile, Krolia laughing. She purred and nuzzled each of her kits.

Lotor pulled Keith closer and nuzzled him. "Hello, little brother. I missed you."

"I missed you too, Lotor, but what was the big idea about not introducing yourself properly?" He lightly punched him in the arm. "You never once said your name!"

"You should have been able to recognize my voice."

"I have been away for two deca-phoebes and under an extreme amount of stress." Keith grinned. "After all, I do pilot the Black Lion."

Lotor's smile faltered. "Th-The Black Lion? You pilot the Black Lion?"

"Well, now I do. I did not originally pilot the Black Lion. I was originally the Red Paladin."

Suddenly, the doors to the bridge opened and in walked Kolivan, Antok, Thace, and Ulaz. The four Dads made their way to Krolia and her group of kits. Regris was glad that his father was still alive. He had been severely injured in the battle against Zarkon and would have died had it not been for Princess Allura. Allura had provided him with a little bit of quintessence which stabilized him giving him time to get into a cryopod. He knew that Allura didn't care for Galra as a race, but she still saved his father's life, which he was grateful for (even if it was simply because she understood that Antok was family to Keith, who was family to Allura). The Blades all nuzzled each other in greeting, especially Lotor, Acxa, and Ezor, all three of whom had been isolated from their pack for so long, and if Keith had his way, his pack would never be separated again.

Fin

Chapter Text

"Secrets"

While the new Paladins went after the Green and Yellow Lions and Allura attempted to locate the Red Lion, Coran checked the computer systems, specifically the scans of the new Paladins the computer did when they first arrived. Something in the back of his mind told Coran to look at the scans alone, and he always listened to that little voice. The scans contained details of each Paladin; their name, age, race, and gender.

The first three entries were standard, even though everyone's ages concerned Coran a bit. Most of the Paladins were quite young. It was unfortunate that the lions seemed to have chosen this ragtag group.

~Takashi Shirogane - 25 deca-phoebes old - male - human~

~Alejandro "Lance" McClain - 17 deca-phoebes old - male - human~

~Tsuyoshi "Hunk" Garrett - 17 deca-phoebes old - male - human~

Then next entry surprised him a little.

~Katie Holt/Pidge Gunderson - 15 deca-phoebes old - female - human~

Why did she have two names listed? He had thought the newest Green Paladin was female, but why was everyone referring to her as 'him' then?

~Keith Kogane - 18 deca-phoebes old - male - Galra/Human hybrid~

Coran's eyes widened. The newest Red Paladin had Galra blood in him! He stroked his mustache, deep in thought. He hadn't realized that the Galra had ever been to the Paladin's home planet. However, if they had, then why wasn't it taken over? But since it wasn't taken over, then the Galra hadn't been there, but then how did the Paladin have Galra blood? Did he know he had Galra blood?

Coran took the files and put them in a secure file under several encryption protocols that was sure to deter most anyone, especially Allura. He wasn't keen on keeping secrets from the princess, but these secrets weren't his to tell. He hoped both Katie and Keith would tell their secrets soon. Having big secrets like these didn't bode well for forming Voltron.

He figured Katie knew her secret, but the question was did Keith know about his heritage? Coran somewhat doubted it. He didn't have any reason to believe that he did and no reason to be frightened of him or blame him for the actions of a few Galra. After all, he wasn't even alive when Altea was destroyed. Unfortunately, Coran doubted Allura would think of it that way. She was racist against all Galra, and her hatred of them would damage any relationship between her and the new Red Paladin.

Fin

Chapter Text

"Natural Talent"

It only took Keith a couple of quintants to claim he was all healed up, but Ulaz wouldn't clear him for an entire movement. Once Keith received the all clear from his Papa, Thace kept his end of the promise and let his kit try his hand at flying the simulators. Thace could tell Keith understood a lot of the principles and theories associated with flying but seemed to be having issues with actually flying in the simulator. Thace didn't understand. Keith had the understanding that even seasoned pilots didn't have but couldn't fly. Was it the one thing his blindness prevented him from doing?

Thace could tell his kit was getting frustrated and even a little depressed at his failure, so he decided that a change of scenery was necessary. He scooped up his kit, who gave a surprised chirp. No matter how old Keith got, Thace would never find him too big to pick up. "Daddy, where are we going?"

"You need a change of scenery, kit. We're going to go flying in a real ship. I'll take you flying, so you can feel the thrill of flight."

Keith clung to his Daddy as the violet furred Blade carried his kit to the hangar. He signed out a ship and did the pre-flight checklist, explaining things to his kit as he went. Once the checklist was done, Thace described the layout of the ship before letting Keith touch the controls. Satisfied with the layout, Keith found his way to the co-pilot seat and strapped himself in as Thace sat in the pilot's seat and started the ship.

Keith felt the rumble of the ship which was different than the turbulence acting on the ship. That was the major problem with the simulator. The rumbles all felt and sounded the same, so it was impossible for Keith to determine if there was an engine problem or if it was simple turbulence.

The flight was amazing and indeed lifted Keith's mood until the return trip. When Thace was navigating the path between the black holes and the giant blue star, a solar flare struck the ship and fried the navigational array, rendering it inoperable. Thace nearly panicked. He couldn't navigate the path without the map, which had been supplied by the navigational array. His mind was in a state of near panic and barely registered the small hands flying across the control panel, activating the co-pilot controls.

Keith could tell there was a problem, and his Daddy didn't know how to fix it. Good thing Keith didn't rely on maps. He felt the difference between staying on course and veering off. He calmly and slowly piloted the ship back to the hangar and landed like he had done it before. Thace's mouth was practically hanging open in awe of Keith's obvious natural affinity for flying. Where were these skills in the simulator?

"Well done, kit. I want you to show the rest of the pack, but we need a new ship first."

Keith perked up. "Can I do the pre-flight checklist?"

"Certainly, and I will supervise," Thace replied almost immediately. Keith smiled as Thace led him to a new ship. The two of them completed the checklist with only one minor mishap. Keith couldn't tell how much fuel was in the ship. "Sit in the co-pilot's seat, kit, and I will get the rest of our pack."

Keith smiled brightly and sat in the co-pilot's seat just as his Daddy said. He didn't have long to wait before his pack's scents reached his nose. He turned around. "Hi, Papa! Hi, Kolivan! Hi, Antok!"

"Keith? What are you doing in the co-pilot's seat?"

"Daddy told me to sit here."

Ulaz looked at his mate. "What do you have planned?"

"You'll see. Let's take a quick trip outside." Thace sat down in the pilot's seat and started up the ship. He flew it out of the hangar before he swiftly switched the co-pilot's controls on.

Keith realized that his Daddy turned on his controls. He grinned and navigated the path flawlessly. He exited into the endless infinity of space. He slowed the ship and turned, grinning to his pack.

They were amazed at Keith's natural talent. Since when could he pilot this well? They had all seen his failures in the simulator.

"Why were you so horrible at the simulator, kit?" Kolivan asked.

Keith shyly admitted, "The sounds were fake and impossible to tell apart. Here in the real ship, I can hear the difference."

"Well, kit, we found your area," Thace stated. Keith's grin was blinding.

Fin

Chapter Text

"Working Late"

Shiro yawned as he stood at his station. He was so tired, since he hadn't been to bed yet. He had sent his boyfriend to bed already and had meant to join him soon after, but he got bogged down with work. He couldn't leave the work for the morning or to his bridge crew. He knew that Keith wasn't going to be happy about his absence. He just hoped he would stay in his room, especially since he would more than likely have his Galran features visible.

Shiro wasn't ashamed of his boyfriend's mixed heritage and loved that he sometimes looked the part, but not everyone was comfortable with having that easily seen. He knew Curtis, Coran, and Veronica had no problem with Keith's additional features. However, Iverson and the MFE pilots were on the bridge, even though the pilots should have gone to bed already.

Shiro's data pad dinged, and he withdrew it, answering it immediately. His eyes were greeted with the irritated visage of his boyfriend. His fluffy ears were pinned back, and his tail could been easily seen, swishing in the background. "Hey, Keith."

"Don't 'hey, Keith' me! You were supposed to be in here with me!"

"I know, baby, but you know how work is."

Keith hissed. "I don't care. I want you here now!"

The hiss startled Shiro. "Baby, what's wrong?"

"I-I-" Keith whined. "I need you, Alpha."

Shiro knew what his boyfriend meant. His heat was starting soon. The pre-heat was a distinctive smell, and he had smelled it on him all day; one reason he had sent him to bed early. He knew his Omega would start nesting that day and saw him sitting in a very plush nest during the call. Shiro knew he couldn't deny his boyfriend. "I'm on my way, koibito."

Keith purred when he heard the pet name. He adored when his mate spoke to him in Japanese. He couldn't understand most of it but loved the sound of it. "Hurry, Alpha."

The connection ended, and Shiro looked up at the individuals standing on his bridge. Curtis and Veronica were smiling at him. Coran gave him a wink. The Altean knew of Shiro's relationship with Keith and had helped the hybrid when Shiro wasn't there. He flicked his eyes to the MFEs and none of them were looking in his direction, but that didn't matter to him. His focus was now on his Omega. He had to take care of him. "Coran, you're in charge for the next movement. Please do not disturb me except for under the most dire emergency."

"Yes, sir. Take care of your Omega, Captain."

Shiro hurried from the bridge, heading for his shared quarters. He made it in record time and dashed into the room. He saw his half-Galra boyfriend laying in the nest he made. The door closed behind him as he sent his floating arm ahead of him. It caressed Keith's hair, eliciting a purr from him. Shiro hesitated at the edge of the nest, waiting for his boyfriend's permission to enter. Violet eyes met his, and Shiro knew he had better enter the nest or his Omega was going to be rough with him. If Shiro was honest with himself, he was curious to see how rough his Keith could be. This was going to be an interesting movement.

Fin

Chapter Text

"Arranged Marriage"

It was a very exciting day. The prince of the Earth and the princess of Daibazaal were to marry. It was a blind, arranged marriage that would unify their planets and solidify their alliance. However, the prince was completely against the very concept.

"How am I supposed to love someone I never met?!" Keith exclaimed.

"You will have the opportunity to do so for the rest of your lives," King Adam answered. His husband, Shiro, patted his hand. A sweet smile was exchanged between them. "Now, the princess and her family are scheduled to arrive soon. Go to your chambers. Someone will be along to collect you when it's time."

Keith scowled but stalked away to his chambers. He couldn't believe he was required to marry this snooty princess and couldn't talk his Dads out of it. He flopped back onto his bed and stared at his ceiling. He couldn't tell how much time had passed, but the knock on his door was expected. Keith sighed. He figured it was one of the servants, maybe even the brown haired Altean. Keith liked how Lance bantered with him like Keith wasn't above his station. He never treated Keith like he deserved to be on some kind of pedestal. Keith liked Lance as a good friend and had been happy when his request of having Lance as his personal body guard was approved.

"Come in." Keith's smile faded when it wasn't Lance or even one of the other servants who opened the door. It was a blue skinned female. "What are you doing here?"

"I know you don't like this, but could we try to get along?" Acxa pleaded.

"In the public's eye, we will be the perfect couple."

"And out of the public's eye?"

"I do not like this. I will go through with the ceremony but I will never love you. It is my duty as Prince of the Earth to unify our planets. We will be married but only in words. I will never share my chambers with you." Keith turned his back to her. "Now, run along, little princess. You are not supposed to be here, especially when you're not wanted."

A tear slid down Acxa's cheek as she slipped out the door. Keith kept his back to the door. He probably shouldn't have been that rough with her, but he wanted to make sure she knew her place and didn't get any ideas.

A soft knock on the door drew him from his thoughts. "Prince Keith?"

Keith turned around. "Lance, come in."

Lance pushed the door open and closed it behind him. He looked at his charge. "Are you all right?"

"Honestly? No. My 'intended' paid me a visit."

Lance blinked. "She wasn't supposed to see you, especially before the ceremony."

"I'd rather she didn't see me at all."

Lance approached the prince and put his hands on his shoulders. "I know you don't like her, but you are the prince."

"I know, Lance."

"I'll always be with you, Keith. Now, let's get you ready." Lance helped Keith get dressed in his finest clothes and escorted him to the chapel, where the ceremony was to be taken place. Keith took his place at the front of the room. Lance stood behind and slightly to the left of Keith, dressed in his guard uniform.

The Kings of Earth entered the room and approached their son. "We're proud of you, Keith, for doing this, despite your objections. We're sure you'll learn to love Acxa."

Adam and Shiro took their seats in front of Keith and Lance, leaving the seats in front of the bride's place for her parents, who entered next. Empress Honerva entered with her son, Prince Lotor, escorting her. They took their seats right before the trumpets began playing the traditional wedding march. To Keith's ears, it almost sounded like a funeral march (if it was played a little slower). His eyes landed on Princess Acxa being escorted up the aisle by her father, Emperor Zarkon. The closer they got, the shorter Keith felt his fuse get. He took a tiny step back, feeling Lance behind him. He whispered, "You got this, Keith. I'm behind you 100%."

Keith took a deep breath and accepted the hand of his bride-to-be. He fought to keep the disgust from showing on his face, and only the knowledge of Lance being there kept Keith from throwing his duty to the wind and offending both the royal families.

Fin

Chapter Text

"Contentment"

Keith was relaxing in the nest they had in the lounge with Lance in his arms. His tail was wrapped around Lance's waist. He nuzzled his face in Lance's hair, inhaling the scent of the strange Altean shampoo he used, which reminded Keith of coconuts for some reason. His fluffy ears were relaxed, and he started purring as he completely relaxed, cuddling his boyfriend.

Lance grinned when he heard Keith purring. Even though Keith looked more Galran, Lance loved him all the same. He was glad everyone loved the way Keith's Galran features showed up. His long, thin, purple tail was prehensile and was also prone to wrapping around Lance's waist or caressing the cheeks of one of their ship mates. His fangs weren't as easily seen, unless he smiled or talked to someone. His cheek stripes were a feature he received from his mother, Krolia, as was his hair. His hair was no longer black but two toned (dark purple with magenta underneath). He also had large, fluffy Galran ears that Lance loved to rub, which always left him with a purring mess in his arms or on his lap. Lance had closed his eyes when he felt the strange sensation of something going through his hair. It felt strange but good at the same time.

%%%

Keith started grooming Lance's hair on instinct, hoping to soothe his mate. He could feel the tension in Lance and knew grooming would calm him down, so he hoped the same was true of Lance.

"Uh, Keith, baby, what are you doing?"

"Grooming you."

"Why?"

"You're tense, and I'm trying to help calm you down. Is it not helping?"

"I didn't say that. I'm not used to it, especially since you haven't done it before."

Keith stopped. "I-I'm sorry, Lance. I didn't think about how you might view grooming."

Lance reached up and rubbed one of Keith's ears, eliciting a purr. "I didn't say you couldn't. I just didn't know what you were doing. It was a weird sensation, but I liked it."

Keith nuzzled Lance's head without dislodging Lance's hand. "Can I go back to grooming you?"

Lance hummed and turned in his mate's arms. "Maybe in a moment. I want to do this some more."

Keith purred louder and slid down a little, making it easier for Lance to rub his ears. He nuzzled Lance's chest, enjoying the attention he was receiving from his mate. He would continue grooming him but just not at that moment.

Fin

Chapter Text

"Triad"

Lance fidgeted slightly as a wolf howled outside. It wasn't the howl that bothered him. It was the fact that it was a solitary howl that wasn't answered. Usually when Shiro howled, Keith answered. The only times he hadn't answered were when he was in human form or injured. Lance knew Keith wasn't in human form, because he had seen the large black wolf himself leaving behind the even larger white wolf. That meant he must be injured, which was distressing for more than one reason.

Keith and Shiro were revered as deities in their wolf forms as the townsfolk rarely saw them but had caught glimpses of them protecting the small village from whatever beasts set their eyes upon the town. The two wolves were often left offerings to appease them, as if not doing so would cause calamity to befall the peaceful village. Keith and Shiro would never let that happen, even if the offerings stopped. Lance was from the village and would occasionally stop by to buy things for his home. He needed to be surrounded by nature for his spells to be at their strongest.

It was just by chance that he met the two wolves. Shiro was in wolf form, having a nasty cut across his snout, but Keith was in human form, trying to remember which berries would help heal his mate's injury. Lance happen to be picking berries for that exact purpose as well. He carefully approached them with the basket of berries easily seen. He could see that Keith was very protective of the white wolf, standing between him and Lance. "Who are you, and why are you here?"

"I'm Lance. I live out here, even though I'm originally from the village. I'm a spellcaster, and I'm picking berries to use in potions to aid in healing."

Keith's purple eyes flicked from Lance to his basket to Shiro behind him. "Would it be possible for you to show me where the berries are? My...wolf has sustained an injury that worries me."

"If you and your mate would be amendable to the idea, you could follow me to my home, and I can heal the injury as best I can. I will admit, it still might leave a scar since it's not fresh."

Keith whined at the thought of causing his mate harm when his brain caught up to what Lance had said. "Wait. Why did you call him my mate?"

Lance smiled. "I can see auras. You and your wolf have similar auras, so I know you're a wolf shifter as well, and your auras tell me that you are mates...but are waiting for a third?" Lance tapped his chin. "That is unusual. Wolves are monogamous. Aren't wolf shifters the same?"

"No. Some are, but we are very territorial, so it's rare to run across any others. Can you lead us to your home, so he can be treated?"

"Oh, of course! This way." Lance led the wolf shifters to his home. "I'm Lance, by the way."

"You said that already, but I'm Keith, and this is Shiro."

"Are you by any chance the black wolf that is usually seen at the white wolf's side?"

"Yes. I'm only in human form right now, so I could pick berries."

Lance started preparing said berries. Unfortunately, they took awhile to prepare, but he always had some on hand, already made. He grabbed the potion and handed it to Keith. "This needs to be rubbed into his injury every four hours."

"What do we owe you for the potion?"

Lance waved his hand. "I don't need any money, but I'd like to see you guys more often. It gets lonely here. I wouldn't mind some company."

Keith looked at Shiro. Both could feel a connection to this spellcaster and couldn't explain it. There was something that drew them to him, and they wanted to figure out what it was. "Yes. We'd love to spend time with you."

Once they started spending time together, it became apparent that Lance was their third. He was seamlessly integrated into their lives and brought about a sense of completion. When his mates went out to do perimeter checks, he took comfort in hearing their howls, so when he only heard Shiro's, he was worried for his other mate.

It turned out that Keith was only slightly older than Lance and spent half of his time human and the other half wolf. Shiro usually spent most of his time in his wolf form, but seeing his mates interacting in human form would cause him to shift as well.

The door opened, and in walked Shiro, carrying the larger black wolf on his back. Lance rushed over. "Keith!"

The black wolf lifted his head and gave a whine. Lance petted between Keith's ears. He gently nuzzled Lance's hand, before whimpering in pain. Shiro, in wolf form, carried his wounded mate into the living room, and Lance helped Keith slide off Shiro's back. Keith laid down, his left rear leg sticking out. Lance could easily see the gash on his leg. It was an unusual injury as the fur around it seemed to be singed off as well. Well, the fur would grow back, and Lance wouldn't have to worry about the fur sticking in the wound.

Lance gathered a couple of potions, the berry one for the injury and a cream for the burn. He knelt down next to his mate and explained what he was going to do. He always found it easier to treat someone if they knew what he was doing. "I'm using the potion on the wound and this cream on the area around it."

Shiro curled around Keith, letting the younger wolf bury his face in the soft white fur. Shiro licked Keith's head, providing comfort while Lance healed his injury. It wouldn't be an immediate fix, but it wouldn't scar since Shiro got Keith to Lance quickly. It would still take about a week before Keith would be able to shift back, and Lance knew that Shiro would remain in his wolf form to keep Keith company, but he didn't mind. As long as Keith was comfortable as he healed, that was all Lance wanted.

Fin

Chapter Text

"Shimmering and Fluttering"

Keith loved Lance so much, but he wished his wings would stop fluttering when Lance's shimmered in the sun. It started when they met, and it kept happening, no matter what he did. Even if he didn't see Lance's wings shimmer, his wings still reacted. At first, he had been almost launched into the sky and needed someone to hold onto him, but as he got used to being around Lance, his wings only let him hover over any piece of furniture he had been using.

%%%

Lance sort of felt bad for his mate. He didn't mean to make his wings flutter. It just happened when he was out in the sun, which he was a lot, especially when he fed his fish in his pond. Keith was resting on the couch on his stomach with his head on a pillow. The latest fluttering had sent Keith into the ceiling, and he hit his head on the hard wood. They didn't know why he had such a strong reaction, but Lance felt bad about venturing out into the sun while his mate was hurting.

Keith himself told him to go feed his fish and had positioned himself so he could watch. He liked how Lance looked in the sun near the pond. Keith figured if he could see when Lance's wings started shimmering, he might be able to only hover over the couch and not be launched into the ceiling again. It was not an experience he wanted to go through again.

The sun felt so good on Lance's skin and wings. He just knew his wings were shimmering. His eyes sought out Keith and was pleasantly surprised to see him just hovering over the couch with a tiny smile on his face. Lance breathed a sigh of relief. His shimmering wings did indeed make his mate's flutter, but at least, this time, the fluttering didn't injure him, and Lance was going to make sure that it never did again.

Fin

Chapter Text

"Kit Instincts and Galran Features"

Thace awoke with a whimper. His eyes roved over everyone in the nest. His mate, Ulaz, was curled around him with his arms around his waist. In front of him were two of their kits. Acxa and Regris were curled around each other. There was a space between Acxa and Kolivan, who was snuggled against his mate. The space was large enough for their two remaining pack members, who weren't in the nest at that moment. It was strange. They had been in the nest when Thace went to sleep, but now they weren't.

Ulaz nuzzled Thace's neck. "Go back to sleep, my mate."

"Where are Keith and Krolia?"

Ulaz cracked an eye open. "What?"

"Keith and Krolia aren't in the nest."

Ulaz snagged his data pad and sent a message to Krolia's data pad asking where she and Keith were.

%%%

Krolia groomed her youngest kit. She had left the familial nest with Keith when he was whimpering in his sleep. She didn't want to wake up the rest of their pack. She had scooped him up and took him to her personal nest. He had woken up briefly and looked at her. He realized she was with him and that he was safe with her, so he closed his eyes and relaxed in her arms. He was still shaken from his nightmare and was glad that his mother had decided to comfort him in private.

He snuggled against her. "Mama."

"What is it, my kit?"

"I love you."

"I love you, too, my Keith." Krolia nuzzled Keith's neck and went back to grooming his hair.

"Mama?" Keith whimpered.

"What's wrong?"

"It hurts."

"What does?"

"My head."

Krolia gently touched his head. "Where exactly?"

He touched his ears and his cheeks. "Here, here, and my mouth."

"Hmm." Krolia carefully inspected the three areas before purring to her kit. "You are apparently developing Galran features, my kit. You have my cheek stripes and are developing furry ears like most of our pack has. The pain in your mouth is from your fangs coming in."

"When will the pain stop?"

"As soon as your features finish coming in."

A ding from Krolia's data pad drew their attention. "Who's it from, Mama?"

"Ulaz. He and Thace noticed our absence and were wondering where we went. You have a choice to make, my kit. We can either stay here or go back to the familial nest."

Keith whimpered. "I don't know. I don't want to disturb their sleep."

"They wouldn't mind. Kits are very important to everyone in the pack and not to just the biological parents."

"Can we go back then?"

"Of course, kit. Do you want me to carry you?"

"Yes please." Keith held out his arms.

Krolia scooped her kit and carried him back to the nest. When they entered, Thace and Ulaz were sitting up, but everyone else was still asleep. Thace noticed Keith looked a little different. "Kit, are you okay?"

"It hurts a little. Mama said it was because I was developing some Galran features."

"Do you want to come here, kit?"

"I don't know."

"If you want, I could go get some pain relieving medicine, so you can get some sleep," Ulaz offered.

"If you don't mind."

"I wouldn't have offered if I did mind, kit." Ulaz briefly nuzzled Thace's neck and let his claws drift through Keith's hair as he left to get the medicine. Krolia settled near the other kits and pulled another blanket up and over them to help keep them warm, since they had thinner fur than most of the adults in the pack.

It didn't take Ulaz long to return with the medicine. He handed it to Keith, who swallowed the liquid. He made a face at the taste but relaxed against Thace, who started grooming his hair. Keith's eyes drooped closed as the medicine took care of the pain, letting Keith get some sleep.

Krolia laid down near the other two kits but still being near Keith as well. Keith was pulled between Thace and Ulaz, making sure he was warm enough and able to get some rest. They hoped the rest of his features finished coming in while he slept.

Fin 

Chapter Text

"Isolation"

Keith whined. He didn't feel good. He wanted his pack to cuddle him, but only Ulaz was allowed around him. He wasn't even allowed to be in their nest! He felt his Papa stroke his hair. He opened his eyes halfway. "Papa."

"Shh, kit. It's okay. You're only contagious for the next few vargas."

"Are you sick, Papa?"

"No, kit. As soon as you were diagnosed, I inoculated myself and scanned the rest of the pack. You did not get anyone else sick."

Keith laid his head down and whined again. "I don't wanna stay here, Papa."

"I know, kit. You have to stay in quarantine for now."

%%%

Regris whimpered as he cuddled with Thace in the nest. He missed his pack brother. It had been three quintants since he had seen him in person. Ulaz kept sending them pictures of Keith and a video of the kit saying how much he missed them, which was so sweet, but it also ended with Keith looking worse for wear, which worried the other kit.

The other adults of the pack were worried about both kits. They knew they were really close, even before Regris joined their pack. Now that they were pack, Keith loved spending time with the slightly older kit. Regris was miserable being separated from Keith. It was even worse since he knew his pack brother was still on the base. Thace started grooming the kit's headfur, since he was clinging to him.

The knowledge that both of his kits were miserable broke Kolivan's heart. The tick Keith was released from quarantine, he was going to let both kits and the rest of the pack have the next two quintants off, in order to allow Keith to recover and to reassure the rest of the pack that their youngest kit was going to be all right.

Just then, his data pad dinged. He opened it up and saw it was a message from Ulaz. Keith was no longer contagious, and Ulaz was bringing him back to the nest. Kolivan set his data pad aside and gently nudged the partially dozing kit. "Hey, kit. Ulaz is bringing Keith home."

Regris let out a questioning noise just as the door opened. Keith heard his pack brother's sound and chirped in response. Regris pulled away from Thace, whose tongue ended up licking thin air. His expression was amusing, but neither kit noticed. Keith slipped out of his Papa's arms and into the nest. He tucked himself against Regris, who wrapped his arms around his brother. "I missed you, Keith."

Keith whimpered. "I missed everyone."

Kolivan stroked Keith's hair. "We'll have a couple of quintants to spend time with each other and also let you rest."

Keith looked at Kolivan and chirped. "Really, Father?"

"Yes, kit. You need it." Kolivan bumped his nose against Keith's temple in a Galran kiss (between family members). "Just as much as we do."

Fin

Chapter Text

"Promised Day Off"

When Shiro initially suggested it, Keith was opposed to the idea. He didn't need a day off, but when he heard that his pack was going to be coming for a visit, he found himself looking forward to having a day off.

He should have figured something was off when the alarms were what woke him up. The lions had to be launched to help defend the Atlas, especially since the MFEs weren't done recharging. It didn't take long, and Keith found himself back in his room, taking a shower.

A pounding on his door interrupted his shower, but he managed to rinse the soap off his body and quickly dry off before answering the door. He found out it was Lance, because while he was drying off, his right hand man's voice came through the door. "Come on, Keith! The meeting is going to start soon, and Shiro's going to have my head if I show up without you!"

When Keith's door opened, Lance tugged Keith into the corridor. It was only by luck that Keith managed to grab his jacket. He still had his towel over his hair. He quickly donned his jacket as best as he could while Lance dragged him down the corridor. Keith frowned. This wasn't what a day off looked like, but then again, the attack wasn't planned, and the meeting was in response to the attack. Maybe after that, Keith would be able to spend time with his pack.

He wrenched his arm out of Lance's grasp and finished putting on his jacket while still following him. Lance had looked like he wanted to complain, but whatever he was going to say died on his tongue when he saw that Keith was simply putting his jacket on while still following him to the meeting.

Keith and Lance entered the meeting room and took their seats. Shiro started the meeting, and, just as Keith suspected, it was about the attack. It took two vargas for the meeting to wrap up, and Keith was heading for his room, when his name was called out by Hunk. "Keith!"

Keith froze. He knew he couldn't really deny Hunk whatever he asked. The Yellow Paladin was exceedingly kind, and Keith couldn't find it in himself to be mean to him. "Yes?"

Hunk wrapped an arm around Keith's shoulders. "Hey, man. I was wondering if you could help me in the kitchen?"

"Why me? You know I don't really cook."

"No, I know that. I meant as a taste tester. I usually ask Lance, but I need someone with Galran taste buds."

"I don't think my taste buds are Galran, buddy. Why don't you ask one of my pack when they get here? I'm sure either Thace or my mom would love to sample your cooking."

"Your pack's coming?"

"Yeah. Shiro told me yesterday that they were coming today."

"Oh. He said there weren't any scheduled pickups today."

Keith blinked. "They're not coming?" He frowned. "I'm going to double check with Shiro. If they truly aren't coming, then I'll join you in the kitchen."

Hunk smiled. "Okay. See you soon, hopefully."

Keith watched as Hunk walked away. The conversation left a bad feeling in his gut. Why would Shiro tell him one thing and then say the complete opposite to Hunk? It didn't make sense. He pulled out his data pad and initiated a video link with Shiro. "Shiro?"

"Oh, hey, Keith. What's going on?"

"Yesterday, you told me my pack was coming today, but Hunk just said you mentioned that there wasn't anyone coming on board today. So, which is it?"

"I apologize. I forgot to tell you that they were delayed and aren't able to make it."

"So, are they coming at a later date?"

"I don't know. They didn't mention it."

"Oh. Okay. Hunk mentioned wanting my help in the kitchen, so I better not keep him waiting. Bye, Shiro."

"Bye, Keith. Have fun."

Keith ended the video link and frowned as he slid his data pad back into his pocket. He had been practically coerced into taking a day off, and when he found himself actually looking forward to it, it didn't happen, so now, instead of spending a leisurely day in his nest with his pack, he was probably going to spend most of the afternoon in the kitchen, being Hunk's Galran taste tester. Somehow, that didn't feel like an even trade.

Fin

Chapter Text

"Night Terrors"

Keith whimpered and rolled over in his sleep. A clawed hand stroked his headfur in an attempt to calm him, but Keith could tell that it wasn't his Mama. He opened his eyes, and they focused on the only other Galra in the nest, his grandfather, Kolivan. He whimpered again. Where was his Mama?

"Easy, Little Blade. Your mother will be right back." Kolivan tugged Keith onto his lap.

Keith snuggled against his grandfather but gave a little whimper. He couldn't relax until he saw his Mama, not after the nightmare he had. He had been born looking more like his Daddy and something made his Mama leave him with his Daddy, who died later on, and he was all alone for many deca-phoebes.

He knew it was just a nightmare, especially since he looked more like his Mama. He had extremely short purple fur with the darker purple cheek stripes, and his eyes had yellow sclera with violet irises and black pupils like his Mama. He also had large, fluffy ears like his grandfather.

Kolivan stroked the little kit's headfur and hoped his daughter was on her way back to the nest. He knew it was the only way his grandson was going to relax.

%%%

Krolia could feel something was wrong. She knew it had something to do with her kit. She was glad she wasn't on a mission, so she had no qualms about walking out of the training session. She knew Antok might question her about her departure later, but she was laser focused on returning to the nest.

She entered the nest room and was slightly distressed at hearing her kit whimpering. It was disturbing that he was whimpering even though he was in Kolivan's lap. He was whispering to him, "It's okay, Little Blade. Your mother is on her way."

Krolia rumbled loud, catching both of her family members' attention. Keith perked up. "Mama!"

Krolia entered the nest, and Keith jumped into her arms. She caught him and nuzzled his head, eliciting a purr from her kit. "What's wrong, my kit?"

"I had a bad dream, Mama."

"Do you want to tell me about it?"

"I looked more like Daddy, and you had to leave me with him. Something made you leave us. Daddy died later on, and I was all alone for many deca-phoebes." Keith sniffled. "It was horrible."

Krolia cradled her kit close and licked his cheek stripes, eliciting more purrs from him. She settled in the nest, next to her father, who nuzzled her headfur. "It's okay, kit. It was just a nightmare. You're here with me and your grandfather. You look like me, and I'll never leave you, my beloved kit. Ever. I love you, Keith."

Keith nuzzled his Mama. "I love you, too, Mama."

He yawned, and Krolia nuzzled him back. "Go back to sleep, my kit. I'm here, and I'll be here when you wake up."

Keith closed his eyes, a purr rising in his throat. He relaxed fully in his Mama's arms. Krolia groomed his headfur as he fell asleep.

Fin

Chapter Text

"Feeding"

Lance kept his eyes on the sinking moon and lightening sky. His boyfriend was late, too late actually. He couldn't be out this late; the sun could kill him. He usually went out during the night to get blood from a blood bank, since he disliked attacking people, even though he was a vampire.

Lance had met Keith on a night much like this one. He had gone to a double feature movie at midnight. He was about to go into his apartment when movement in the nearby alley caught his attention. He doubled back and saw a group of thugs beating a pale teen. Lance's eyes narrowed. Four on one weren't fair odds, and Lance disliked unfairness. He stepped into the alley and pulled the thugs away from him. It soon became apparent to Lance that he was over his head, and he was sure that he was going to be sporting new bruises the next day, when he heard a growl from behind him. He couldn't explain what happened next. One minute, he was about to get the beating of his life, and the next, he was being helped to his feet by the pale teen he had tried to protect.

"Are you okay?"

"I was supposed to ask you that," Lance retorted. "Some savior I was, but I'm okay. Thanks."

He looked over his shoulder and flinched. "Do you live nearby?"

"Yeah." Lance jabbed a thumb over his shoulder at the building, whose shadow they were hiding in.

"I know this is forward, but can I crash at your place? Just for the day. I'll leave once night falls. I promise."

Lance hesitated for a moment. "Well, you did just save me. It's the least I can do. Follow me. I'm Lance by the way."

"Keith."

To Keith's relief, Lance opened the side door that was located in the alleyway. Keith followed Lance at once, breathing easier once he was inside and away from the gradually encroaching sun.

Looking back, Lance wasn't sure what it was that clued him into the fact that Keith wasn't human or what drew them together, but he wasn't going to complain. He found himself falling further in love with Keith and was certain that the raven haired vampire had feelings for him.

Speaking of the vampire, he was staggering to the house he shared with Lance but was in trouble, causing Lance to run out with an umbrella. He put it up to shield his boyfriend from the sun and let Keith lean against him until they entered the safety of the interior of their house.

"Keith, what happened?"

"I...ran into...hunters...on my...way...to the...bank."

"Were you hurt? Did you get anything to drink?" Both questions were answered with shakes of his head.  "You need to feed, Keith. Here. Take from me."

"I...can't. You'll...turn...Lance."

"That's okay. I love you enough to want it. Please. If you don't, you'll die. I don't want you to die." Lance pulled Keith into a sitting position and pulled Keith's head to rest with his mouth on Lance's neck.

Keith took a deep breath before carefully biting into his boyfriend's neck. It was such a sweet taste that it took a great deal of restraint for Keith to not drink a lot of it. He pulled back and licked his lips. "Thank you, Lance. Let me help you now."

"Help? How?"

Keith drew a claw across his wrist. "First, drink. Just a few mouthfuls will do."

Lance closed his eyes and tentatively lapped up the blood that dripped from the wound. After he swallowed the few mouthfuls, the wound closed on its own, a reminder that the body it was on had regenerative powers. Keith wrapped his arms around Lance as painful tremors wracked the slightly taller teen's body. At first, it hurt to breathe, and then, his body spasmed. Each spasm increased in severity until the teen was screaming in agony. He barely felt his body anymore, much less the arms holding it. However, he did feel his heart slow and eventually stop.

Keith kept his arms around his boyfriend's body until the movement ceased. He knew at that time the body had died. He closed his eyes. "1...2...3...4...5...6...7...8...9...10."

Keith reopened his purple eyes just as Lance opened his ocean blue ones. "Thank you, Keith."

Keith smiled, showing off his fangs and causing Lance to do the same. "You're welcome, Lance, and thank you. I would have died without your help."

Lance put his forehead against Keith's. "I couldn't let my boyfriend die."

"I know, and I appreciate it. I love you, Lance."

"I love you, too, Keith."

Fin 

Chapter Text

"Two Voltron Teams"

It had been a regular battle, when suddenly there was a flash of light, and another Voltron appeared, although there were slight differences. Once the battle was over and the Galra had retreated, the two Voltrons disbanded and each lion flew into their hangar, their dopplegangers following. Shiro suggested everyone would meet in the lounge.

In the Black Lion hangar, Shiro stared at the figure in red and white when they left their lions. They removed their helmets, and Shiro couldn't help but stare. He looked like an older version of Keith with a longer mullet. Shiro repressed an urge to groan. Lance was going to have fun with this, even though Lance hadn't made fun of Keith's hair in a while. He sighed and gestured for the other pilot to follow him.

%%%

In the Red Lion hangar, Keith left his lion but didn't remove his helmet as he waited for the other Red Lion pilot to leave his lion. The figure wearing blue and white leapt to the floor and removed his helmet. Keith bit back a whine. He looked like an older Lance...with a mullet. Keith grinned. This could be interesting. "This way."

"Not taking off your helmet? Kind of rude, isn't it?"

"I will later. Just follow me."

%%%

In the Blue Lion hangar, Lance was petting his Blue Lion when he saw the figure in pink and white stumble slightly. He was at her side in an instant. Just because he was dating Keith didn't mean he couldn't be a gentleman. "Are you all right?"

"Yes. Thank you. The landing was a little rough." She straightened up and removed her helmet.

Lance offered his arm to her. "Shall I escort you to the lounge, milady?"

Allura giggled and took his arm. "Thank you."

%%%

In the Green Lion hangar, Pidge left her lion and studied the other Green Lion while she waited for the pilot to exit. When he did, she was surprised that he looked extremely similar to her but not the same. Pidge shook her head and hoped they would get along. "Hey, if you want to follow me, we can meet everyone there."

"Hold on! You're a girl?!"

Paladin Pidge repressed a shudder. The other Pidge's voice made her cringe. "Yeah. Is that a problem?"

"No! I find it amazing!"

Paladin Pidge didn't want to get into an argument about what girls can and can't do, so she just repeated, "Follow me."

%%%

In the Yellow Lion hangar, Hunk stared at the other pilot, feeling like he was looking in an aged mirror. He grinned and motioned with his head. "My leader wants us to meet in the lounge. Follow me."

"Of course Keith would want to arrange a meeting."

"Keith? Keith didn't ask for the meeting."

"But you said your leader."

"Keith isn't my leader. Shiro is."

"Who's Shiro?"

%%%

The group of Paladin Shiro and Commander Keith and Paladin Keith and Pilot Lance arrived in the lounge, where Allura (Altea) was waiting. Paladin Keith whispered to Shiro with a grin, "This Lance has a mullet."

"Don't start something, Keith," Shiro said.

"All right." Keith entered the lounge and leaned against the wall, waiting for everyone to show up. Paladin Lance and Allura (Arus) arrived next, followed by both Pidges and both Hunks.

"Keith!" Allura (Arus) called out before rushing over to the commander. She wrapped her arms around him and kissed him, his arms encircling her waist.

When they parted, he asked, "What was that for?"

"Do I need a reason to kiss my fiancée?"

A light blush stained his cheeks. "I keep forgetting. It's still new."

Paladin Lance scanned the lounge and spotted his Keith sitting away from everyone. "Keith, are you okay?"

He only managed a small shake before they were interrupted by Shiro clearing his throat. "Now that we are all here, I think introductions are in order. I am Takashi Shirogane, leader of the Voltron Paladins and Paladin of the Black Lion. Call me Shiro."

Shiro turned to look at Keith, signaling that he wanted him to go next. Keith sighed. "Keith Kogane, Paladin of the Red Lion."

"And second in command," Shiro added.

"Doesn't matter. Nothing's going to happen you," Keith shot back. Shiro sighed.

"Anyway, I'm Lance McClain, Paladin of the Blue Lion, resident Sharpshooter."

"Katie Holt, but I go by Pidge, Paladin of the Green Lion."

"Hunk Garrett, Paladin of the Yellow Lion."

"And resident cook for Hunk. Both Hunk and Pidge are our tech geniuses," Lance added.

"Shut up, Lance," Pidge snarked back, but there was no real heat to her tone.

"I am Princess Allura of Altea."

"I am Commander Keith Kogane of the Galaxy Garrison and Voltron Force, the pilot of the Black Lion, and," he blushed here, "fiancée of Princess Allura."

"I am Princess Allura of planet Arus, pilot of the Blue Lion and fiancée of Keith."

"Lance Alverez, pilot of the Red Lion."

"Pidge Gunderson, pilot of the Green Lion."

"Hunk Garrett, Yellow Lion pilot."

"Now, that we are all introduced, I have a question," Allura (Arus) asked. "Are not the Keith and Allura in this reality dating?"

Keith and Allura (Altea) looked at each other before they resolutely looked away. Allura cleared her throat. "I most certainly say not."

"Definitely," Keith agreed.

"Give it time," Commander Keith stated.

The Garrison Trio looked at Keith, then at Allura, and then each other before bursting out in laughter.

"Keith and," Hunk chuckled.

"The princess," Pidge laughed.

"That'll never happen." Lance wiped the tears from his eyes.

"What's so funny about that?" Commander Keith questioned.

"It's nothing against you," Keith responded. "I'm not interested in girls. I'm gay."

"Oh my! My apologies. We're still discovering differences I guess," Allura (Arus) replied.

"There are even more differences than you think," Keith muttered under his breath.

Paladin Lance eyed his boyfriend, having heard him. He could tell his Galran features were out, which was why his helmet was still on. "Come on, Keith, take off your helmet."

"Lance." Paladin Keith's voice held a note of danger, which Paladin Lance ignored. He knew his boyfriend wouldn't hurt him.

"Take it off or..." Paladin Lance trailed off, giving the other pilots the idea that this was a normal thing.

Paladin Keith simply stared at his Lance as if he was daring him to try. He grinned and tackled Keith. Keith growled at his boyfriend, who managed to use the element of surprise to tug off his helmet. He tossed the helmet to Shiro, who caught it on instinct, and Paladin Lance pulled his Keith back onto the couch. Lance sat next to him. Keith curled against Lance's side and refused to look up, knowing his purple cheek stripes usually unnerved people, being a uniquely Galran trait. Lance stroked Keith's ears. "It's all right, cariño. No one's going to hurt you."

The other pilots stared at Paladin Keith in surprise. They didn't expect him to have alien features. Allura (Arus) walked over and knelt down in front of him, placing her hands on his knees. This surprising action caused him to look over, his purple eyes locking with her blue ones. "Your Lance is right. We don't care that you're not fully human."

"Why not?"

"Because I'm not either," Commander Keith spoke up. "I'm Arusian."

Paladin Lance buried his face in his Keith's hair to muffle his laughter. He knew the other Keith didn't mean the little Arusians from Arus where they had found the castle, but he couldn't help but imagine a little Arusian with a black mullet. He tried to get his laughter under control but was failing horribly. Paladin Keith flicked his eyes up like he could see his boyfriend. "I doubt he's referencing the Arusians we met."

Allura (Arus) stood up, returning to her team's side. "Did they look like me?"

"No," Lance wheezed.

"Then, they are different. I am Arusian as well."

Commander Keith's eyes flicked between Lance and Keith, noting their positions. "Are you two dating perhaps?"

"Yeah. Mullet here is my boyfriend."

Keith reached up and swatted Lance lightly. Lance grinned and stroked Keith's ears, eliciting a purr from him. It was an instinctual reaction, one Keith couldn't really control, even if he wanted to.

"Dude, are you purring?" Pilot Lance asked.

Paladin Lance kept stroking his boyfriend's ears but answered, "Yes, he is. Do not make fun of it. It took him awhile to be comfortable enough to purr around us."

The purr changed in tone, surprising Paladin Lance. He looked at his boyfriend and was surprised to see his eyes were closed. He made eye contact with Shiro. "Is he asleep?"

Shiro looked over. "Apparently."

Paladin Lance gently switched Keith's position from curled at his side to onto his lap. He wrapped his arms around him, holding him.

"Is he all right?" Allura (Arus) asked.

"Yeah. He just doesn't get enough sleep at night. We all have nightmares from everything we have gone through, from being thrusted into an intergalactic war, but he had a rough life before that," Shiro explained.

"Shiro, can I take him to our room?"

"Of course. Take care of him."

Paladin Lance stood up and carried his boyfriend out of the lounge and into their room. He sat on the bed and shifted Keith off his lap and onto the bed. He laid down next to him and smiled when Keith moved over and snuggled him. He went back to stroking his ears. He reflected on the little bit of interaction between them and the other Voltron team. He didn't like when the other Keith and Allura acted like his Keith should be dating their Allura. He repressed a shudder. Even though Allura had apologized about shunning Keith for his Galran heritage, they didn't have the best relationship.

He sighed and buried his face in Keith's fluffy hair, making sure to avoid his ears. He closed his eyes and hoped the other Voltron team would be able to return to their reality before Keith woke back up.

Fin

Chapter Text

"Blade Keith"

The first time Lotor saw him, he did a double take. His vision didn't change. There was a tiny member of the Blade of Marmora standing next to the leader of the Blades. The little Blade barely came up to the leader's chest, but the confidence he/she exuded was amazing. It became apparent that this little Blade was an actual member of the Blade and not an example of the leader humoring a young Galra when he assigned him/her to an infiltration mission, and he/she bowed and said, "Yes, Leader."

'So, the little Blade is male,' Lotor thought.

The first time Lotor saw the human, he hadn't given him a second thought until he came across him on the training deck, which was where he constantly was. The human was occasionally in the presence of the Paladins; something he didn't think was strange. Humans seemed to like being in each other's company. It was during one of these times that he learned the non-Paladin human's name was Keith.

He normally wasn't interested in the humans, but for some reason this one intrigued him, not as much as the little Blade but that wasn't an issue, because he never saw them at the same time. He didn't go looking for Keith when the little Blade was on the castle ship, which he only showed up when the Blade of Marmora delegation were there. He was constantly in the company of the four highest ranking Blades, Kolivan, Antok, Thace, and Ulaz. However, the one time he saw him away from the Blades, he had been conversing with Princess Allura on the bridge, their conversation hushed, when Lotor stepped onto the bridge. It came as a surprise when Allura hugged the Blade, who returned the hug. "Please be careful out there."

The Blade laughed and replied, "Kolivan said the same thing."

'Why is this little Blade allowed to be so familiar with the leader of the Blades?' Lotor wondered. This question plagued him until he witnessed Antok and the little Blade sparring. Both Blades had their masks on as usual and were growling at each other, though the growls lacked any real ire or irritation. In fact, they were downright playful. He watched them from the shadows and when the Blades were done, Antok, who had won, patted the little Blade on the head. "You did well, kit."

'Kit? Kit?! The little Blade was a kit! Why was he allowed on missions?' This turn of events confused Lotor as much as anything else, but it did answer the question as to why he was so familiar with Kolivan. The kit must be part of his pack.

He resolved to get to know the kit better as he didn't know any kits that were allowed on missions or anything similar. However, he didn't get the chance as the kit stayed with his pack most of the time or was away from the castle ship.

A couple of quintants later, he watched as Kolivan and Antok took a pod back to their headquarters. He assumed the kit went with them until he overheard Thace asking Ulaz, "Where's the kit?"

"On the training deck of course," Ulaz replied.

This was his chance! The kit was on the training deck. If he waited for him, he might actually get the chance to talk to him. He went to the training deck and entered the room but was disappointed when it was just Keith in there training. Slightly  irritated, Lotor leaned against the furthest wall. His eyes kept being drawn to the human tearing through gladiator bot after gladiator bot with a familiar looking sword. Lotor's eyes widened. That was a Blade of Marmora sword...in a transformed state. Only those with Galra blood could unlock a luxite blade. How could this human do it?

A growl from the doorway drew both of their attentions. "End training sequence!"

Keith whined, his blade transforming back into its knife form. "Thace, I almost finished that level!"

"No sass, kit. You have been in here too long. Kolivan told Ulaz and myself to make sure you didn't stay in here all day."

"Haven't been in here all day," Keith muttered under his breath.

Thace heard him anyway. "How long have you been in here, kit?"

"Three vargas."

"Three vargas?! That's it, kit. You're coming back with me to the nest." Thace threw Keith over his shoulder and carried him off of the training deck, neither one noticing Lotor, which suited him just fine.

He hadn't realized that the kit and Keith were the same being. That meant that Keith had Galra blood, but why didn't he look Galra? Somehow, he had to get the answers; he just had to.

Fin

Chapter Text

"Playing With Daddy"

Keith and Shiro were on the training deck, doing some hand-to-hand combat while the rest of the team were relaxing. Before they had retreated to the training deck, they had checked on Lance to make sure he wasn't going to regress when they were training.

Keith flipped Shiro over his shoulder with relative ease. He had gotten stronger while with the Blades. Training with opponents larger than yourself had its advantages. Even though Keith had gotten a lot of bruises and was sore after every training session in the beginning, he was also gaining strength. Shiro did a hand spring and landed on his feet with a grin. He enjoyed training with his boyfriend.

%%%

Lance had been having a good day and even appreciated that his two caregivers had checked on him before they went to the training deck. However, the sight of them leaving made him a little sad, which, coupled with being alone, made him regress. Fortunately, his head space wasn't tiny, but he was three. He wanted cuddles from his Daddy and Papa, so he toddled to the training deck. He hesitated outside the door. His Daddy and Papa always told him that the training deck was too dangerous for a little, but he really wanted to play with Daddy. Daddy loved spending time on the training deck; surely, he'd like to play with him. He entered the training deck and saw his caregivers wrestling. It looked like fun. He squealed with excitement.

%%%

Shiro's and Keith's hand-to-hand combat devolved into a wrestling match a few doboshes before they heard an excited squeal. They paused in their wrestling and looked towards the door.

"Lancey?" Keith stood up, helping Shiro to his feet.

"Daddy! Papa!"

Keith hurried over to the little and scooped him up. "What happened, Lancey?" 

"Wanted to play, Daddy."

"We've told you that this is a dangerous place, sweetie."

Lance's eyes watered. He didn't like disobeying his Daddy or Papa. "But..."

Keith bounced the little in his arms. "Hey, now. There's no need for tears, baby. You're all right."

Shiro stepped closer and stroked his little's hair. "That's right, sweetheart. You're not in trouble."

"No?"

"No trouble, baby. Now, who did you want to play with?"

"Wanna play with you, Daddy!"

Shiro smiled, not offended. Lance always preferred to play with Keith. Shiro ruffled Lance's hair before going to sit on the sidelines. Keith set Lance on his feet and adopted a defensive stance. "Ready, baby?"

"Ready, Daddy!"

Keith was taking it easy on the little; that was obvious to Shiro, who had just spend the last varga sparring against him himself. It was obvious that this was more of a play fight that actual training. Keith was still utilizing the techniques he learned while on the Blades' headquarters but only the ones that he would use when he play fought with younger kits.

Shiro grinned. He knew that not only would Lance need a nap after this, but Keith was liable to take one as well.

Fin

Chapter Text

"Fighting An Instinct"

Keith was laying in the large nest the Paladins kept in the lounge, purring to the little napping in his arms. Shiro always liked to nap with his Daddy but sleep between his caregivers during the night. Keith nuzzled Shiro's short hair and was fighting the urge to groom his little's hair. He knew his baby didn't mind that he had a few Galran features as Keith had shown to be nothing but loving. In fact, his baby loved touching his fluffy ears. Lance, Keith's boyfriend, loved caressing Keith's cheek stripes when they were alone.

Lance slid in behind his boyfriend and buried his face in the longer strands of his hair. Keith purred even louder when Lance joined him in their nest.

"I can tell you're fighting some instinct, cariño. What is it?" Lance whispered into one of his fluffy ears.

"I want to groom our little's hair, but I don't know if he'd like it, and he's asleep."

"I understand. Are you all right fighting it?"

"I don't know."

Lance hummed. "What if we switch places and you groom me?"

Keith shook his head. "Shiro fell asleep in my arms. If he wakes up in yours, he may be fussy."

"What about if we change positions and you lay with him nestled into your side and me on top of you, so you can groom me?"

Keith cocked his head. "Why are you so adamant about me grooming you?"

Lance blushed. "I-I kind of like it."

Keith smiled, showing off his fangs. "You do?"

"Yeah."

"Daddy?"

Both caregivers looked down at the still sleepy little, Keith asking, "Did we wake you, baby?"

"Kinda."

"Sorry about that, sweetie. Papa and I were just talking. You can go back to sleep."

"Or you can take a nap in my arms, sweetheart," Lance offered.

"Papa?" Shiro looked from one caregiver to the other.

"He's offering because he wants groomed," Keith clarified.

"Groomed?"

"Yeah. Daddy licks your hair. It feels nice," Lance answered.

"Can I have?"

Keith blinked. "You want me to groom you, sweetie?"

"Uh-huh."

Keith smiled as he dipped his head down and started grooming his little's hair. Shiro found it slightly strange but enjoyable none the less. It relaxed him so much that it lulled him to sleep.

Lance smiled as he watched the scene. As glad as he was that Keith got to groom Shiro like he wanted, Lance was also a little sad. He was really hoping his boyfriend would groom him. He sighed inaudibly as he slid in behind Keith and buried his face in the longer strands of his hair. Oh, well. He might be able to negotiate some time alone with his boyfriend and coax him into grooming his hair.

Fin

Chapter Text

"My Hover Bike"

"Can I?" Keith was in slight awe at the offer.

"If you'd like to. It's pretty easy to operate one."

"I've seen you drive one and always wanted to try it myself."

Shiro smiled. "It figures you'd like it. You like things that can go fast."

"I think I like the adrenaline rush."

"It's a pretty intense high." Shiro grinned. "You wanna try racing?"

Keith's eyes sparkled. "Definitely."

Shiro drove them from the apartment he shared with Adam to the Garrison, where there were hover bikes to rent. Shiro checked one out for the entire day, since it was cheaper and he didn't know how long they were going to be out. He got the keys and led Keith to a blue hover bike. He let Keith climb aboard and handed him the keys.

Keith grinned and started the hover bike. He started out slow, following Shiro, but was soon enough going faster and giving Shiro the race the man had suggested. The pair raced along curves carved in the rock faces, the wind whipping through their hair. Neither Shiro nor Keith could keep the grins off their faces, even as they neared a cliff.

Shiro gunned the engine and drove off the cliff. He leveled out and drove a little further out before turning slightly, expecting to see Keith still on the top of the cliff and looking amazed. What he didn't expect was for Keith to have followed him and do the same exact maneuver, pulling it off perfectly, and yelling out, "Tired already, old timer?"

Shiro grinned again and gunned the engine to catch up with Keith. Keith couldn't explain how he knew where he was going, but he had an instinct to go out into the desert. He knew it was near the Blue Lion's cave, but it wasn't the lion calling him. It was something else. Soon enough, there was an old shack with a gorgeous red and white hover bike sitting beside it. Keith slowed his rental to a coast and stopped near the shack. He recognized the place now. It was his biological dad's old shack!

Shiro slowed to a stop next to Keith. "What is this place?"

"It was my Dad's place before he died."

"Are you the only living relative?"

'No,' Keith thought, thinking of his mother and twin sister, but out loud, he replied, "Yes."

"Then, all of this is yours, including that." Shiro pointed out the hover bike that Keith had already seen.

"Do I leave it here or do we come back to get it?"

"What do you want to do? It's your property now."

Keith paused. It would make visiting the Blue Lion's cave easier if he had a mode of transportation that he could use at will. "I don't have anything from my dad. Could we come back for it later?"

"Of course. Now, do you want to continue racing?"

Keith grinned. "You want a rematch, old timer?"

%%%

When Adam returned home from teaching, he saw an unfamiliar red and white hover bike parked next to Takashi's. He never really liked riding on the hover bike and didn't understand his fiancée's love of it. He supposed it was because he wasn't an adrenaline junkie. He opened the door, wondering who was visiting.

He didn't see any extra shoes by the door or hear any extra voices. In fact, the only voices he heard were the excited voices of his fiancée and the cadet that was living with them. He entered the living room, continuing to search for the owner of the hover bike.

Shiro and Keith were still riding their adrenaline highs when Adam came home. His odd behavior was worrisome, so Shiro asked, "What's the problem, Adam?"

"Whose bike is outside?"

"Oh, that's mine," Keith admitted.

"We found Keith's late father's shack out in the desert and he had this hover bike that was still in working order. So, since it is Keith's now, we brought it back," Shiro added.

Adam shook his head at the duo. Of course the cadet liked riding hover bikes. He swore Keith and Shiro were cut from the same cloth. One was bad enough, but now he had to deal with two of them. "As long as I don't have to ride it."

Shiro and Keith watched as Adam set up his lap top on the table and started working on his lesson plans. Keith leaned over and whispered to Shiro, "What does he mean?"

"Adam doesn't like riding hover bikes."

"Adam can hear you," Adam stated without looking away from his lap top, causing Shiro and Keith to chuckle.

Fin

Chapter Text

"All Of Ours"

Keith was sitting in the damaged Galra fighter, still shaken about what he had been prepared to do. He knew he had to face the Paladins and Kolivan, so he took a deep shuddering breath and unlatched the cockpit. The tick his feet hit the floor, a loud roar shook the castle.

"Little one, come here!"

Keith cocked his head. He hadn't heard Black Lion in awhile. Curious as to what she wanted, he let his feet take him to Black Lion's hangar and was surprised that not only was Black Lion standing there but the rest of the lions as well. They all had their particle barriers down, and their eyes were lit up, signifying them being online. Keith stopped short when a yellow tail appeared in front of him. He carefully stepped onto the tail and was lifted into the air, ending up in the middle between all the lions.

He looked around at all the lions. "What's going on?"

"We all know what you tried to do, little one," Black started.

"The question is why," Blue stated.

"I was trying to save millions of lives, including your Paladins."

Red whined. "You're still a Paladin, cub."

Keith looked at Red. "You have Lance. He's a great Paladin."

"So are you," Green said.

"I understand Black and Red being here, but why are you three here?"

"You and I had a connection before I met Lance, and we still have that connection," Blue answered.

"Your sensitivity to quintessence has established a bond to myself and Green," Yellow replied.

"Can we all meet in the bond?" Green asked.

Keith shrugged. "I guess."

Black lowered her tail, allowing Keith to step down. Each of the robot lions laid down around Keith with him laying against Red, who said, "Follow our bond, cub."

Keith nodded and closed his eyes. He followed the bond that he had with Red through the flash. He appeared as his usual seven-year-old self in the space where Lion and Paladin could freely interact. All five lions appeared as their real, fluffy lioness forms and gathered around the little boy. Red gently nudged him over to Black, who was laying down.

"Sit down, little one."

Keith sat down in front of Black, who started grooming his hair. Blue and Yellow curled around each side of him, their tails stroking his back. Green and Red were laying in front of him with Red laying her tail across his lap. Keith heard four out of the five lions purring to him, and it filled him with such a loving feeling, causing him to start purring back to them.

Red nuzzled Keith. "Don't ever risk your life again, cub. You are all of ours, and we will always take care of you."

%%%

Matt went looking for Keith, wanting to talk to him about what he almost did. He passed by the Black Lion's hangar on his way to the regular hangar, but seeing all five lions in there made him pause. Normally, the lions are in their personal hangars, so why were they all crowded in one...and laying down? He didn't know they could lay down. He entered the hangar, wondering what was going on.

Green Lion lifted her head to look at her Paladin's brother. She sensed he was concerned about Keith. She allowed him to see that Keith was actually sleeping against Red.

Matt stopped as he spotted Keith laying against the Red Lion. He knew how tough the last mission was on everyone, especially Keith. Matt decided to let Keith rest, seeing as the Blade had all five lions guarding him, but resolved to talk to him before Keith left to go back to the Blades.

Fin

Chapter Text

"Afternoon Activities"

Regris was not letting his Dad out of his sight for long during the day. Antok had just gotten back from his mission and couldn't blame his kit. Fortunately, his kit was old enough to start training. Regris followed his Dad into the training hall, unaware of the fact that he was going to join in instead of just watching from the sidelines.

Once everyone was set up, Antok turned to Regris and asked, "Do you want to join them, kit?"

Regris's eyes widened. "Can I, Dad?"

"Yes, kit, as long as you don't train a whole bunch. You can train once a movement and only in the afternoon after resting after lunch."

"I promise."

"Then, go join in." Antok handed his kit a training blade and pushed him towards the floor with his tail. Regris grinned and nuzzled his Dad, purring in delight. The Blades in the training hall smiled as their leaders' eldest kit joined them and made room for him in the front of the group.

%%%

Kolivan was walking around his base, checking on his Blades, who were treated to the sight of the leaders' youngest kit napping in his arms. Keith was sitting on Kolivan's left arm and leaning against his chest, his head nested against his shoulder and one hand gripping Kolivan's braid. Kolivan didn't mind letting Keith nap on him, knowing that the little kit loved being around him. His purr was a dead giveaway.

Kolivan stopped by the communications room, checking on Thace, who had his kit with him. Ezor was laying against his back, sleeping. Kolivan stepped over to his pack member. "How's everyone doing?"

"As far as I see, everyone's okay. Ulaz and Acxa are having a quiet day in the med bay for a change, Taulol is visiting Krolia and Lotor, and Regris is training with Antok."

"Training? But he's only fourteen deca-phoebes old."

"Antok's just letting him train one quintant a movement and only after his post lunch nap."

"That's good. I just hope this kit doesn't learn what his eldest brother is doing."

Thace chuckled. "You better hope that Regris doesn't tell any of the kits, because you know Keith will hear about it."

Kolivan smiled and gently nuzzled the still dozing kit. "Keep an eye on our pack, Thace. I should go to my office and do some paperwork."

Thace smiled. "You won't be able to put him down, since he has a good hold on your braid."

"I wouldn't dream about putting him down anyway." Kolivan left the communications room and made his way to his office. He settled in his chair, and the movement disturbed Keith enough to cause him to whimper but not awaken. Kolivan rumbled to Keith to soothe him and let him settle on his lap and still holding onto his braid. He kept rumbling to the little kit, even as he did his reports. The little kit's purr joined his rumble as they spent the afternoon together.

Fin

Chapter Text

"Spoiling My Boyfriend"

Keith was leaning against his hover bike, waiting for Lance to join him. His boyfriend had asked if he wanted to spend time with him at the mall. Desperate to get away from the lovey dovey atmosphere at home, Keith agreed. Kolivan had started courting Krolia, after getting Keith's permission (since the first step in the courting process to ask for permission and Keith was Krolia's only family). Keith didn't mind that they were dating, but he was grateful when the other Paladins asked if he wanted to join them in activities (with and without their families). Even the MFEs asked if Keith wanted to join in, though Keith suspected that there was a bet between his team and the MFEs to see who could get Keith to join them more often. He thought it was a pointless bet, since he was dating Lance and couldn't tell him no.

"Keith!"

Keith looked up and smiled, seeing Lance running up to him. "Hey, Lance."

Lance put his hands on his knees, panting and trying to catch his breath. "Sorry to keep you waiting. I had to catch a ride with Veronica. Unfortunately, she was only going halfway. She was strangely going to visit Acxa."

Keith grinned. "What? You didn't know that they were kind of dating?"

"Kind of dating? What does that mean?"

"They are dating but it's not official yet. They are keeping it secret except for a few individuals."

"Fair enough. We did that too."

"Well, it's different, since we were in space, millions of miles from Earth. Now, you said something about spending time together here."

"Yes. I figured we could buy some stuff. It's been too long without new stuff, clothes especially."

"You want to go shopping?"

"I want you to get some clothes. You need better fitting clothes since you had that two year time skip with your mom and Cosmo. Speaking of, where is Cosmo?"

"What? You expected me to bring my space wolf on a date?"

"No, but I know he pops in unannounced."

"I told him to stay home."

"So, you have trained him." Lance offered his hand to Keith, which he accepted. The two started walking into the mall.

"Very funny, Lance."

"I'm just joking with you, cariño." Lance pulled Keith into the nearest clothing store. "Now, what kind of clothes do you want?"

"I'm not partial to one style or another, Lance."

"So, you'd wear anything?"

"Pretty much."

"So, can I pick out clothes for you to try on?"

"I guess."

"Great!" Lance kissed Keith on the lips and led him over to the men's dressing rooms. "Stay here, and I'll get some clothes for you to try on."

Keith blinked at his boyfriend's enthusiasm. He couldn't understand why he was so excited about this. It wasn't much longer before Lance showed up with some denim pants and different color shirts, none of them black. He handed them to Keith and steered him in the direction of the dressing rooms. "Try those on. I will be back with more clothes. However, I want to see everything you try on."

"Okay?" Keith went into one of the dressing rooms and separated the clothes into piles. He took off his shirt and pulled on one of the other shirts before Lance knocked on the door. Keith knew it was Lance because he could see his shoes.

"Let me see, Keith!" Keith unlocked the door and let Lance in. Lance set down more clothes and closed the door behind him. "Keep going."

Keith tried on shirt after shirt, Lance deciding which colors looked best on him. Not surprisingly, red and purple looked good on him, but so did blue and white. Keith also tried on the blue jeans and khaki pants he had pulled off the racks. Lance liked the way the jeans looked but not the khaki pants. Keith looked at the new clothes Lance had brought and paused. There were some simple dresses along with a more formal one. "Uh, Lance?"

"Humor me, cariño. Please."

Keith shrugged and did as Lance requested. He was surprised how comfortable the simple dresses were. He looked at the fancy dress. "How do I put this on?"

Lance smiled. "Let me help you."

Together, Lance and Keith managed to put the red dress with spaghetti straps. It had a deep V neckline and a skirt that flowed out from the waist to the floor. Lance smiled as he checked out his boyfriend in the fancy dress. He knew he had been taking a gamble picking out dresses, but it had paid off, and Keith looked amazing.

Lance picked up all the clothes Keith looked good in while Keith changed back into his usual clothes. He also grabbed up the fancy dress and tugged Keith up to the register. The Cuban didn't even blink at the total and used his Garrison issued card to pay for it.

Keith couldn't understand why Lance paid for the clothes. He could've paid for it himself, so he asked, "Why did you pay for my clothes?"

"Because I wanted to spoil my boyfriend."

Keith blushed. He wasn't used to someone wanting to buy things for him. He looked at all the bags containing the clothes Lance bought for him and couldn't help but smile. He could get used to this.

Fin

Chapter Text

"Beach Vacation"

"Hurry up, Pops!"

"Hold your horses, son. The beach ain't going nowhere." Calvin laughed.

His son, Keith, was so excited to be going to the beach, especially since it was summer break. Keith had had such a hard year with the emergence of a bully by the name of James Griffin. No matter how it was handled (parent-teach conferences or fights between Keith and James), nothing seemed to make a difference. He advised Keith to ignore him, but James seemed to go out of his way to get under his son's skin, so Calvin decided to take Keith on a vacation to the beach. He just hoped it would help keep his mind off the previous school year.

%%%

Lance grinned. He was excited to be at the beach while visiting his cousins in the states. He knew the beaches on the west coast of the country were pretty, but nothing beat Cuba's beaches. He ran down to the water's edge, not even slowing when he entered the water. The cold water lapped at his ankles, but Lance wasn't even fazed. He had spent most of his life at the beach and knew how the ocean was.

He was waist high in the water before a dark haired boy caught his attention. He was timidly entering the water like he was afraid it would hurt him. He also saw an older man, likely the boy's father, standing on the beach close enough to the water if his son fell but far enough away to not be hit by the tiny waves that reached the beach. Lance waded a little further in so he could interact with the other boy. "Hi!"

%%%

"Hi!"

Keith looked up as he carefully made his way deeper into the water. There was a grinning brunette boy standing a little further than he was. "Hi."

"I'm Lance."

"I'm Keith."

"Do you want to swim with me?"

Keith looked back at his Dad, who nodded, before turning to his new friend. "Sure."

"Come on, Keith. We gotta go deeper if we want to truly swim!" Lance grabbed Keith's wrist and gently tugged the other boy deeper in the water. Keith couldn't help but grin as Lance's enthusiasm was infectious.

%%%

Calvin watched as his son played and raced against his new friend. This vacation was definitely a good idea, especially since it seemed to take Keith's mind off the fact that he would have to go back to attending the same school as his tormentor once summer was over. For now, Calvin vowed to bring Keith to this beach as often as he could during the summer.

Unfortunately, those plans were reduced to ash when a fire consumed not only the Kogane house but Keith's dad as well. Keith was sent to an orphanage and had a temporary yet horrid stint in foster care. No one seemed to want to take care of a still grieving hot-headed older kid, not when there were happy younger kids and babies to choose from. Being passed over caused Keith to close himself off from everyone else, almost believing it when he was labeled a discipline case. All thoughts of a happy vacation at the beach were buried and seemed like a lifetime ago, memories of a grinning brunette almost lost.

Fin

Chapter Text

"Adam's Two Disasters"

Adam groaned. The last thing he remembered was hitting the hard Earth, but did that mean he was dead? If he was, why was he in pain? He always thought death was painless, and where was everyone? He also thought that his deceased loved ones would be there to greet him. Where were his parents...and Takashi? He and his fiancée had had a huge fight before he left on that fateful mission to Kerberos, but he still loved him. He had watched as he boarded the ship that took him from him.

"Adam?"

Adam opened his eyes, a white ceiling coming into focus. He wasn't dead. Someone had found him and took him to a hospital.

"Adam?"

He turned his head in the direction of the voice calling him. His eyes landed on a familiar face with a few deliberate errors that made him question whether he was dead or not again, because Takashi was dead, right?

"T-Takashi?"

"It's me, Adam. I'm not dead, and neither are you." Shiro scooted his chair closer to Adam's hospital bed and leaned over, placing his forehead against Adam's. "I missed you."

"You @$$hole." Tears collected in Adam's eyes. "You left me, left Keith to go gallivanting among the stars and fighting in an intergalactic war."

"I'm sorry. I'll understand if you don't want to see me again."

Adam reached out and grabbed a handful of Shiro's shirt. "If you think I'm letting you go again, you are crazy."

"Well, that's a relief."

Adam and Shiro looked at the doorway to Adam's room, where Keith seated in a wheelchair was being wheeled in by Matt Holt. Adam stared at the man in the wheelchair. While there was a marked difference from the angry young cadet that he had helped raise, Adam could still see it, especially in the grin on his face. "Keith?"

"Yeah. It's me, Adam."

Adam narrowed his eyes. "You need to be grounded for running away from the Garrison, being shot into space, fighting in an intergalactic war, and becoming a space ninja."

Matt piped up, "And trying to go kamikaze on an enemy ship, which wouldn't have worked anyway."

Shiro's eyes widened, and he exclaimed, "Wait. What?!"

Keith groaned. "D@mn it, Matt."

"Also getting a dog without my or Takashi's permission," Adam continued.

Cosmo appeared and rubbed his head against Keith's leg before hopping up on the bed. He stared at Adam, sniffing him. He turned to Keith, barked happily, and licked Adam's face. Adam grinned and said, "Okay, he can stay." He sighed. "At least none of you died out there."

Shiro rubbed the back of his neck and laughed nervously. "Yeah, about that."

Keith thought, 'Payback' and spoke up, "Actually, do you know why Shiro's hair is white now? This is actually a clone body. His soul had been transferred into it after he died in a battle that didn't even matter in the long run."

Adam.exe had stopped working for a moment, before he threw a vase of flowers at Shiro (who caught it). "What the £μ(|<, Takashi?!"

Keith looked at Matt. "My work here is done. We can go now."

The vase which had been placed back on the side table clipped Keith's shoulder. "We haven't finished our talk, young man."

Matt was too busy rolling on the floor laughing to wheel Keith back to his room. Keith whistled for Cosmo, but the wolf was laid out at the foot of Adam's bed snoozing. "Thanks for nothing, you useless Space Wolf."

Matt regained enough breath to add, "Keith's mom chewed him out for a lot of it though."

Adam exclaimed in shock, "His mom!?!"

"Yeah, this hot Galra babe."

"Watch your tongue, Holt." Keith elbowed Matt sharply in the ribs.

"Wait...Galra?!...That actually explains a lot of things," Adam mused. 

Keith sweat dropped. "Well, glad to see you alive, Adam. I need to get back to my room before my pack come find me."

"Your pack?"

"Yeah, Galra have packs. There are seven members of my pack, not counting me. Kolivan and Antok are the leaders of the Blades, Ulaz is the lead medic, Thace and Regris are our communications specialists, Krolia is my mom and a covert ops specialist, and Acxa is my twin."

"Soooo...I have to take care of this Acxa too? I definitely have to...if she's anything like you."

"Hey!"

Fin

Chapter Text

"Lion Plushies"

Keith and Shiro were sitting on the floor of the lounge playing with a soft rubber ball as their two caregivers were watching. At first, it was only Shiro who had regressed while everyone was in the lounge, but Keith had been known to regress if Shiro had. He fortunately hadn't regressed really little and was able to play with him. Keith was around two-years-old while Shiro was just slightly younger at eighteen-months-old. Both littles were in diapers, and while Shiro was in a sleeper, Keith was wearing a t-shirt and a pair of shorts.

Lance had been the one to take care of Keith when he regressed while Hunk distracted Shiro until Lance brought Keith back with a rubber ball. What the littles didn't realize at the moment was that Lance had a surprise for them when they were ready for their nap. He had made them stuffed versions of their lions. He knew it had been a gamble to bring the Red Lion plushie along since Keith may not have regressed, but it had been worth it.

Hunk kept on eye on both littles as they rolled the ball back and forth, giggling every so often. If the ball rolled too far away, he would nudge it back within their range. Keith would always say "thank you" when it happened. When Keith first regressed, everyone was surprised at how well he spoke, but it turned out it was due to his Galran heritage. Shiro tried to copy the other (current) little but could only say, "Fank you."

Hunk gently patted both littles on their heads, depending on which one spoke. "You're welcome, sweetie."

It wasn't too much longer before Keith started yawning, causing Shiro to yawn. Lance grinned. "Aww, are a couple of someones sleepy?"

Keith rubbed his eyes and looked at Lance. "Daddy, up?"

Lance smiled and scooped up his little, which prompted Hunk to scoop up the other little. The two caregivers settled back on the couch with their littles on their laps. Lance carefully brought out the two plushies he made, handing the Black Lion one to Hunk, so he could give it to Shiro. Lance handed the Red Lion to Keith, who squealed and cuddled the lion plushie. "Thank you, Daddy."

Lance kissed the top of Keith's head. "You're welcome, cariño. Now, get some rest. Daddy and Red are here to watch over you."

Shiro's eyes had been halfway closed when he heard Keith squeal. He opened them, only to see his caregiver holding a plush Black Lion. He looked up, confused. "Hunky?"

"Lance made this plushie for you, sweetie. Now, Black Lion can watch over you while you nap no matter where you are."

"Fank you," Shiro sleepily slurred as he cuddled the lion, falling asleep ensconced in his caregiver's arms. Lance and Hunk knew their littles were asleep by the soft snores coming from Shiro and the quiet purrs coming from Keith. Apparently, bringing the lion plushies was a very good idea as it allowed the littles to fall asleep relatively easily, which didn't always happen.

Fin

Chapter Text

"A Little Play Time"

Keith and Lance were on the training deck doing hand-to-hand combat, which actually devolved into play fighting, but Shiro didn't mind; however, Allura did.

"Focus, Paladins! Stop playing around!" she ordered over the intercom.

Keith and Lance sprang apart at her orders. Keith spared a quick glance at the observation deck before he went back to the hand-to-hand combat. It didn't take much longer before it devolved into a play fight again.

Shiro could tell Allura was getting irritated, so he suggested, "Princess, you've been at this long enough. Why don't you take a break, and I'll deal with them?"

Allura was a little skeptical but did as Shiro suggested. "All right. I don't know what's going on with Keith. He usually doesn't lack focus, so it's worrying."

Allura left the observation deck, not attracting the attention of the Red and Blue Paladins. Shiro sighed and descended onto the main floor of the training deck. His appearance did cause them to stop. They looked at him and chorused, "Daddy!"

Shiro paused. Well, that explained why they were play fighting instead of sparring. He smiled and scooped up the littles. Keith nuzzled Shiro's head, while Lance snuggled against his shoulder. He gently bounced them. "Did you two have fun playing with each other?"

"Uh-huh. Keithy is so much fun!"

"So is Lancey."

That told Shiro that they were in the three-/four-year-old range and not in a younger head space. It gave Shiro a few options on what he could do to occupy them. First, though, he had to get them dressed in appropriate clothes and pull-ups, just in case of accidents.

"Let's go to your rooms and get changed, and then we can go back to the training deck, and you two can go back to playing."

"Yay!" the two chorused. Shiro smiled. His two littles liked speaking at the same time, which was such a departure from when they weren't little.

Shiro carried them to Lance's room, where he let the little change his clothes by himself. It was something Lance liked doing. Shiro carried Keith to his room and pulled out the clothes Keith needed to wear. The little had no problem putting on the clothes, but he liked having Shiro pick out what he would wear.

Once both littles were changed, Shiro scooped them back up and carried them back to the training deck. He set up soft mats for them to tumble around on. "There you go, my sweethearts. Have fun."

"Thanks, Daddy!" they chorused. Shiro leaned against the wall on the sidelines, keeping an eye on his littles in order to make sure they didn't get hurt. He didn't think they would, but he wanted to make sure they remained safe. It was one of his jobs as their Daddy, and it was one he took seriously.

Fin

Chapter Text

"Disturbed Dreams"

Keith, Kolivan, and Regris infiltrated the ship, which was strangely empty. The three of them made their way to the bridge. While Keith planted the tracker, Regris checked the logs. Suddenly, the door slammed shut and locked.

"I'm locked out of the system," Regris said.

"It's rigged to blow!" Keith exclaimed.

"The ship's a decoy! Everyone out!" Kolivan declared.

Keith and Kolivan used their blades to force the door open.

"Attempting to override," Regris stated, but the door was forced open.

"There's not enough time! Come on!" Keith urged.

"Just a few more ticks." Regris was adamant.

Keith darted forward to grab Regris, but Kolivan caught him and ran. "Regris, no!"

The ship exploded with Regris still on it.

%%%

Keith awoke with a whine. He panted, trying to draw in enough oxygen. His eyes landed on the other five members of his pack, asleep around the nest. More importantly, Regris was asleep curled around him with his tail wrapped around his leg. Keith sighed in relief. It was just a nightmare. Regris didn't get blown up. He whimpered and snuggled against Regris, burying his face in his chest.

He felt clawed hands rubbing his back. "What's the matter, kit?"

It was Kolivan. The leader of the Blades had noticed that Keith was whimpering and wanted to comfort him.

"I had a nightmare, where Regris died, and we let it happen."

Kolivan was stunned. Letting kits die on a mission was one of the worst things that could happen on a mission. He bent down and nuzzled Keith's neck. "Of course that didn't happen, kit. Your brother is right there in front of you."

"I know, Kolivan. It just seemed so real."

"I know, kit. I know."

There was a pause before Keith asked, "Is there anyway I can spend all quintant tomorrow with him?"

"Of course, if that's what you want, kit. You and your brother can spend time in the nest room or play fighting in training hall B."

Keith relaxed slightly. That helped calm him down. He closed his eyes and started to fall back asleep. However, Kolivan noticed that, even though Keith was sleeping, he wasn't purring. Apparently, the kit's nightmare disturbed him greatly. It was nice that the kit asked for the next quintant off. It showed him that Keith was slowly getting used to being taken care of by the pack, and Kolivan was pleased.

Fin

Chapter Text

"Approval"

Keith was happy with his Galran features. He always wanted to look like his pack, and now he did. Keith wanted to visit the Paladins, but he knew he couldn't just drop by with his new looks. He decided to do a video call with a few members of his pack with him. Kolivan was unable to join him as he had a small squad of Blades that needed reprimanded for glaring at him during The Gathering two quintants ago. However, his mom, sister, brother, and Ulaz agreed to stay with Keith during his call.

Keith sat in the chair and connected with a secure, private communique with the Castle of Lions. Coran appeared on the screen. The older Altean squinted at Keith before his eyes widened. "Keith! My stars! Your Galran features finally came in. You look good, my boy."

Keith couldn't help but purr at the man he considered an uncle. "I had Ulaz stimulate them so they would show up early, but I'm extremely happy with them."

"That's wonderful, lad. Do you want me to get the others?"

"Yes please. All five of them if you don't mind."

"Not at all, Number Four. Mute your channel. I'm sounding the alarm."

Keith nodded and pushed the mute button. He held a thumbs up, letting Coran know it was safe to do so. Krolia stroked Keith's hair. "I like this fellow. He has a lot of respect for Galra, even making note of our exceptional hearing."

Keith smiled. "Coran never blamed me or treated me different when we first learned of my heritage."

Keith noticed the rest of the Paladins (including Allura) had arrived and Coran had turned off the alarm, so he unmuted the channel in time to hear Lance complain, "Why did you test the alarm system? I was just about to beat Shiro in combat!"

Keith snickered. "I doubt you could actually beat Shiro in anything, Sharpshooter."

"Keep your Mullet out of this, Samurai-whoa!" Lance finally looked up at the view screen and noticed that Keith looked more Galran than the last time he saw him.

"Look! It's Galra Keith!" Hunk exclaimed in excitement.

Keith laid a hand on Acxa's arm when he saw his sister bristle at Hunk's comment. "He doesn't mean anything by the comment. Hunk isn't capable of being mean."

Shiro took a good look at the man he considered a younger brother. He had violet cheek stripes; a patch of violet purple fur on the right side of his neck and a few on his arms, legs, back, and chest (judging by the loose shirt he was wearing); fluffy, purple ears; a long, thin, purple tail; and sharp fangs, but he was still Keith. Shiro smiled. "Are you coming for a visit, ototo?"

Keith perked up at the nickname. "I'd like to, ni-san, if it's okay with everyone."

"Yeah, get your purple @$$ over here."

"Pidge, language!" Shiro admonished.

"English," she sassed back.

Keith laughed before he turned to look at Allura, the one being whose opinion he was most worried about. To his immense relief, she was smiling. "Your room is ready for you whenever you like, Keith. I've told you before. I consider you Paladins my family. I stand by my comment. You are like a brother to me, Keith. Please come by."

Keith purred at the acceptance. "Can some of my pack come with me?"

"Of course. I'll even get some more blankets and pillows so you lot can build a proper nest!" Coran exclaimed.

"Please put them in the lounge. My room isn't large enough to build a nest large enough for everyone."

"Everyone?" Lance asked.

"I want the team to be in the nest as well, and that includes the two resident Alteans. I want to spend time with my family and pack together," Keith answered somewhat shyly.

"Aww! Of course, buddy," Hunk replied. "I know I'd love to spend time with you."

Keith smiled again. "See you guys soon."

"Wait, Keith. Let me open a wormhole, so it won't take long for you to get here," Allura offered.

"Are you sure, princess?"

"Yes."

"In that case, give us ten doboshes to pack and exit the base," Krolia stated before closing the channel. "Now, back to the nest room, kits. We must hurry."

Keith and his siblings rushed out of the communications room, leaving Ulaz and Krolia to follow the kits, the former sending a message to the rest of the pack asking who was going to join Keith on the castle ship. Thace agreed to come, but Kolivan was still reprimanding the small squad of Blades, and Antok wanted to stay with his mate. Keith didn't blame Antok for wanting to stay with Kolivan; he knew mates couldn't be separated for long.

It didn't take long for the majority of the pack to collect the clothes they wanted to take with them or to board the pod. Truthfully the longest part of it was piloting the pod through the passage between the sun and the black holes. The tick they entered normal space, a wormhole opened for them. The Marmoran pod flew through the wormhole and was allowed to land in the general hangar at the castle.

The tick the pod powered down and the door opened, Keith raced down the ramp and tackled the Paladins, Shiro managing to keep his footing and allowing the others to not hit the floor. Keith nuzzled everyone, purring loudly.

Krolia led the four other members of the pack out of the Marmora pod with a smile on her face. Her youngest kit was so happy, and she was glad that they didn't shun him based on his looks. She stroked his hair as she passed. Keith chirped. "Mom?"

"It's okay, kit. We're going to the lounge to set up the nest. You and your team can join us whenever you're ready."

Keith smiled. "All right." He turned back to his team. "Do you want to go to the lounge?"

"We can do that," Shiro said.

The entire team went to the lounge, where there was a huge nest with the Blades in it. Keith stepped in and tugged Shiro with him. He laid down next to Krolia and pulled Shiro down with him. Regris and Acxa were on Krolia's other side with Thace and Ulaz on their other side. Lance laid down against Keith's legs. Allura settled down next to Shiro with Coran behind her. Hunk and Pidge were settled in front of Thace and Ulaz.

Keith continued purring as he enjoyed being surrounded by his team and most of his pack, especially since everyone was so accepting of the Galran features he had always wanted and finally got.

Fin

Chapter Text

"Heat"

"Shiro? Where's Keith? He's not in our room!"

"He's not?! I left him asleep in there not an hour ago!"

"He's almost in heat! He's not allowed out!"

Shiro thought quickly. He grabbed the other Alpha's arm. "He's probably on the training deck."

Both Alphas started running to the training deck. The younger of the two was growling at the thought of their Omega out of their room. They skidded into the training deck, but it was empty! The growl died in Lance's throat as panic started to set back in. "Where is he?!"

Shiro sniffed. Keith's scent was very stale. He hadn't been there in a couple of days. "We need to sniff him out. He hasn't disobeyed us by training. His scent is stale."

Lance sniffed too. He agreed with the other Alpha. Their Omega hadn't disobeyed their rule of not training so close to his heat. They left the training deck, sniffing all the while. Keith's scent was fresher in the hall but still relatively stale. The longer it took to find a fresher trail the more frantic Lance got. He was very close with their Omega but was also glad he had the older Alpha at his back.

All of a sudden both males turned their heads, catching a whiff of a fresher trail. Lance inhaled deeply, his mate's smell placating him slightly. Strangely, the trail led them to each of the Paladins' rooms and Allura's room as well. Confused, they checked their room again and, to their surprise, their Omega was lying naked in a nest made of blankets, pillows, and clothes belonging to members of their team. Lance approached the nest carefully. He knelt next to their Omega and let out a small growl. Keith's head shot up, and his violet eyes landed on both of his Alphas, a whine escaping his throat. "Alphas."

"My pretty little Omega," Lance said with a growl.

Shiro drew up next to Lance. He growled at the sight of his Omega naked in the nest he made. "Omega."

"Alphas, please," Keith gasped out. He made grabby hands at them. Without further ado, both Alphas entered the nest. They took off their clothes and added them to the nest, making their mate moan. Shiro and Lance wrapped their mate in their arms and buried their faces in his neck, kneading his scent glands with their teeth. The little gasps escaping the pretty Omega made the Alphas grin. "Please, mark me, my Alphas!"

Shiro took the lead and bit down on the left side of Keith's neck, while Lance joined him a second later, biting the right side. Keith screamed in pleasure. Both Alphas released their Omega, who slumped against them. Shiro growled and nudged the Omega. "You should have told us you needed to make a nest. You freaked out Lance when you disappeared from our room."

Keith looked at Lance as best he could with the younger Alpha still buried in his neck. "I'm sorry, but I didn't have much time before this heat overtook me completely. I needed the materials right then and there."

Lance nuzzled his neck and said, "I understand, but you are our Omega. You need to let us take care of you. Now, we will."

Fin

Chapter Text

"Hoodie"

Keith knew he wasn't feeling well during the last battle against the Galra but also knew resting wasn't an option. He suffered in silence but vowed to take an early night and prayed he was able to sleep.

He managed to drag himself to his room and was barely able to change into his Red Paladin pajamas. He fell onto his bed, not caring that he was on top of the covers instead of under them. He couldn't stay asleep long enough to reach REM sleep, so he didn't have any dreams, fevered or not. He groaned softly. He wanted to sleep but couldn't fall into the deep sleep he needed.

He dragged himself out of bed and dug through his closet until he came upon an old, worn hoodie. It was supposed to be a soft blue, but it was so faded that it looked more gray than blue. It was also slightly big on Keith as it was actually an old hoodie of Lance's. Keith had taken it when they were still on Earth (before they launched in the Blue Lion) and had never gotten around to returning it. Keith was glad he never did, because it was going to help him. When he and Lance were on separate missions, Keith would wear the hoodie when he slept, and it would help him not miss his boyfriend as much. He slipped it on over his pajamas and slid under the covers of his bed. He closed his eyes and inhaled the comforting scent of Lance's cologne, which clung to the fabric, even after all this time.

%%%

Lance entered the dining hall, expecting Keith to be there already. He blinked at the empty room. Did he miss him, and he was already in the lounge or on the training deck? Lance checked the two locations, neither of which had Keith in them. Lance cocked his head. Where was he?

Lance walked to Keith's room, doubtful that his boyfriend was still in there. He knocked. "Keith?"

Coughing from inside the room worried Lance so much that he opened the door. He saw his boyfriend laying in bed, wearing a gray hoodie over his pajamas. Lance stopped. The hoodie looked familiar and from its bagginess, he had to guess it was one of his.

Regardless of the fact that Keith looked adorable in his clothes, Lance realized that his boyfriend was sick. He hurried over to his side and pushed the hood down so he could stroke his hair. "Keith?"

Keith opened his eyes halfway. They were fever bright. "Lance?"

"I'm here, cariño." Lance felt his boyfriend's forehead with the back of his left hand, withdrawing it rather quickly. "Oh, Keith. You have a pretty high fever. You're staying right here."

"But what if there's an attack? Without Red, there's no Voltron." Keith's words were slightly slurred.

"You can't pilot in your condition, Keith," Lance insisted. "It'd be too dangerous. Just rest, Keith. You need to to get better."

Keith's eyes drifted closed of their own accord, letting the ill Paladin get the rest he so desperately deserved.

%%%

A few vargas later, Keith opened his eyes, pleased to see Lance was laying next to him, awake. "Hey, cariño. Are you feeling any better?"

"A little, but not much, but your hoodie helps."

"Why do you have it? Not that I mind. You look adorable in it." Lance drew Keith into his arms.

Keith blushed. "Thanks. I like it."

"I figured that."

"Do you want it back?"

"No. I like seeing you in it." Lance kissed Keith's hair. "Get some rest. I've got you."

Keith closed his eyes. He could definitely get some sleep with his boyfriend holding him while he wore his boyfriend's hoodie.

Fin

Chapter Text

"Overprotective Mates"

Keith was still in their room. He didn't dare leave with Shiro and Lance checking in at random intervals. He stayed in his nest, completely naked. His mates had gone into over protective mode when they realized that Keith was indeed pregnant. They allowed him to talk to Red about letting Lance pilot her, which thankfully the lion agreed to (especially once she found out that her Paladin was expecting). After that, the two Alphas ushered their mate back to their room, where they stripped him of his clothes and told him that he needed to stay safe. He retreated into his nest and dozed on and off all day. There was food and drink that was brought in by one of his Alphas. When Lance was the one checking on Keith, he stayed and cuddled with his mate. When it was Shiro, he pulled his mate into his lap and wrapped his arms around him.

The others wanted to see Keith, but having an Alpha growl at them scared them. Shiro was one thing, but to see the goofy Blue Paladin growl at Pidge was frightening. The small Beta stood her ground. "I only wanted to give Keith-"

Another growl followed by a snarl cut her off. From inside the room, he heard, "Alphaaaaaa."

Lance perked up and retreated into his room. He saw his Omega frowning at him from his nest, clad in only boxer shorts. "My pretty little Omega, why are you frowning?"

"Because you and Shiro are scaring away our friends. I know you two are being protective over me and our pups, but our friends do not intend to harm us." Keith placed his hands on Lance's arm. "Please, Alpha. Let them visit."

Lance relented, unable to deny his mate something so simple. He threw a black T-shirt to him. "Put that on and stay in your nest, Omega."

Keith purred to his Alpha and put the shirt on. It was big on him. Clearly, it was one of Shiro's shirts. His Alphas had been doing that lately. When he was allowed clothes, it had to be at least one article of clothing from each Alpha. The boxers he was currently wearing were Lance's.

Once Lance was satisfied with the safety of his Omega (being covered in his and Shiro's scents helped immensely), Pidge was allowed to enter. Lance remained outside, fighting against his instincts to grab Pidge and throw her out of his mate's sanctuary.

Pidge nervously approached what was clearly a nest on the large bed. Keith looked at her. "It's okay, Pidge. You can come closer, just don't touch the nest."

"I just wanted to give these books to you. I thought you might be going crazy in here with those two lunatics not letting you out."

Keith smiled. "Go ahead and put them on the desk. I appreciate you stopping by. My mates are being a little too over protective, but it is in their nature."

Pidge peered at him over her glasses. "I see you are wearing their clothes."

"It's the only way they will let me have any clothes on at all. I think they just like seeing their marks uncovered."

The Beta noticed the two nearly identical marks on each side of Keith's neck. It clearly screamed that he was claimed. "Why are they being so over protective?"

Keith looked a little distressed. "They didn't tell anyone?" At Pidge's head shake, he continued, "I'm pregnant."

"Ah. Now their behavior makes sense. I'm going to take my leave now. Can I tell the others?"

"Yes. Please do, and please send my two knuckleheads in."

"Roger that." Pidge left.

Not two minutes later, both Alphas entered their room, sniffing the air. Keith's distress was still evident in the air as was Pidge's scent. Shiro started growling at the thought of Pidge causing his mate distress. Keith whined, snapping Shiro's attention back to him. "You two forgot to tell everyone else why I am confined in here. You forgot to tell them I'm pregnant."

Both Alphas' eyes strayed to their mate's still flat stomach. They couldn't wait until he started showing. He would then be shown off, hanging off of both of their arms. Keith could tell their minds were not on what he was saying. He whined again. "Alphaaaaaaaaaaaas."

This snapped both Alphas' attention back to the Omega. Lance and Shiro crawled into their mate's nest and put their arms around him. Lance crooned to him. "We're sorry. We were so preoccupied with protecting you that we forgot to tell everyone else. We will tell them soon. Right now, we want to spend time with our pretty little Omega."

Keith purred to his mates. He couldn't stay mad at them. They were very devoted to him. He knew they would flaunt his status once he was showing. They would want everyone on the ship to know how strong their claim on Keith was. A pregnant Omega complete with mating marks was a sign of a strong claim, especially to other Alphas.

Fin

Chapter Text

"One Big Happy Family"

Keith carefully made his way to the Black Lion's hangar. He smiled when she crouched and opened her mouth, allowing him entrance. He gingerly made his way to the cockpit seat, somewhere he hadn't been in awhile.

"How are you feeling, little one?"

Keith yawned. "I'm okay, Black. Mostly tired."

Black chuckled. "I can imagine. He's not making it easy on you, is he?"

Keith rubbed his belly. "No. He's sitting really low."

"That's a good thing, right?"

"Yeah. It means that I'm near the end of my pregnancy."

"How does Shiro feel about it?"

Keith laughed. "He's going crazy. He's trying to make sure the baby and I have everything we want." He laughed again. "This baby isn't going to want for anything, between Shiro and my pack. He has such a huge family, but I don't know who's more excited, Shiro or my mom."

"I doubt they are more excited than you."

"True. I never thought I'd be a father...or mother. Mom told me that the being that carries the baby is considered the mother." Keith yawned.

"Are you tired, little one?"

"Yeah. Can I sleep here?"

"Only if you're comfortable."

"Yeah. If Shiro comes looking for me, let him in."

Black lowered her interior lights, put up her particle barrier, and started softly purring to her secondary Paladin. Keith's eyes drifted closed, and he started purring in response.

%%%

Shiro entered the room he shared with Keith and was surprised that it was empty. Keith had said he was going to go lay down, because he was tired. Where was he?

Suddenly, Shiro felt a nudge in the back of his mind where his bond with Black was. Shiro pushed back, letting his lion know he was concerned about Keith. She purred to him and showed him a picture of Keith sleeping in the pilot's seat. Once Shiro calmed down, Black urged him to come down to the hangar.

Shiro grabbed a couple of blankets and headed down to the hangar. Upon seeing him, Black lowered her particle barrier and crouched down, letting him walk up the ramp in her mouth. He entered the cockpit and smiled at the sight of his boyfriend sleeping in the pilot's seat. He was glad Keith was sleeping and hoped he'd be able to get a good amount of sleep. He covered him with one of the blankets he brought. His eyes widened slightly when he saw fluffy ears nestled in Keith's hair, twitching slightly.

He knew Keith had Galra features that showed up every so often, especially in his sleep. How long they stayed depended on Keith's pregnancy. The longer Keith was pregnant, the longer the features stayed. The most common features were purple fluffy ears and violet cheek stripes.

Shiro was also glad that they had the support of not only the entire team and the Alteans, but the Blade of Marmora as well. Shiro figured that would be the case anyway. He had seen how the Blades treated Keith. The four (five if you counted Krolia) highest ranking Blades accepted Keith into their pack and treated him like family. It warmed Shiro's heart that Keith finally had a large family, especially after the tragic childhood he had had.

Then, there were the lions, Red and Black specifically. Red still considered Keith her cub but understood that sometimes Keith wanted to spend time with Black. He was capable of flying either lion, when he wasn't expecting. When they learned of his condition, neither lion would let him fly. They weren't going to let him endanger their grandcub. Shiro chuckled when he heard that. First the Blades were calling the baby their grandkit, and now, the lions were calling him their grandcub.

"S'iro?"

Keith's sleepy voice drew Shiro from his thoughts. He looked down at his boyfriend, whose eyes were still half-lidded. "Shh, koibito. Rest."

Keith lifted his arms. "Wanna sleep in your arms."

"I don't know if we'll both fit in the pilot's seat." The tick Shiro said that, both Paladins heard Black scoff before the seat widened and reclined a bit. Shiro blinked in surprise. He grinned before he gently scooped up his expectant boyfriend and sat in the reclined seat, letting Keith settle himself on his lap. He laid on his side, cuddled up against him as best he could. He sighed as he closed his eyes again, purring when he felt Shiro drape the blanket over the both of them. He truly couldn't wait for their baby to arrive, but for now, he was going to get as much rest as he could.

Fin

Chapter Text

"Chocolate"

Keith was headed to the training deck when a delectable scent caught her attention. Predictably it came from the kitchen. Fortunately, it was Hunk in the kitchen and not Coran. She sniffed the air as Hunk took out a tray of...brownies! She waited until he closed the oven and set the tray down before she said anything. "Are those brownies?"

Hunk jumped in surprise before he turned around to see the Red Paladin standing there sans jacket with her hair in a ponytail and her head cocked. He smiled. "Yup. I made brownies and chocolate candies."

Keith crept closer, her fingers itching to get a taste. She usually avoided the kitchen so she wouldn't get tempted to taste between meals. Hunk noticed what Keith was trying to avoid. He smiled, cut out a piece of the brownies, set it on a plate, and nudged it in her direction. Her eyes flicked from the offered brownie to the chef in question. Hunk nodded. "Go ahead. Let me know how it tastes."

Keith gingerly broke off a piece and popped it into her mouth. It tasted like heaven. As she chewed, the taste also reminded her of the brownies Shiro would bring her back at the Garrison. "These are amazing. They taste like the ones I would get at the Garrison. Takashi would always bring me brownies and chocolate once a month."

"Wait. You were dating Shiro back at the Garrison?"

"Yeah. Why?"

"He would come to my dorm once a month for chocolates and brownies."

"Wait. Those were from you?!"

The exclamation brought Shiro into the kitchen with Lance on his heels, having been lured by the smell of chocolate. Shiro immediately drew up to Keith's side and picked up his girlfriend, setting her on a nearby counter. She smiled and leaned against him, her head on top of his. "Takashi, why didn't you tell me that you got the chocolate and brownies from Hunk when we were at the Garrison?"

"I didn't think it was that important."

"Wait. How did you get some of the baked goods Hunk made? He always told me he ran out," Lance inquired.

Keith shrugged. "I don't know. Takashi always got some when I needed it."

"I realized that Shiro would ask for chocolate once a month, so I kept some back for him and his girlfriend. I just didn't know at the time that it was for Keith, not that it matters," Hunk answered.

"You gave her your amazing chocolate instead of your best friend?" Lance sounded slightly hurt.

"Lance, you didn't go without. You just weren't allowed to eat the entire pan," Hunk reminded him before shaking a finger in his direction. "And don't think about trying to eat the entire pan now either. There are two females on this ship that will want chocolate. I aim to provide that for them."

Keith popped another piece of her brownie into her mouth and tried to suppress the moan that left her throat. She swallowed the chocolate. "And I know I speak for Katie when I say we appreciate it."

"And that's another thing," Lance said. "Why do you get to call her Katie when she prefers going by Pidge?"

"I asked her after she revealed her true identity if I could call her Katie, and she didn't have a problem with it. I was introduced to her as Katie by her brother, Matt," Keith replied.

"Yeah. I hated that he forced me to come to that gala in a fancy dress." Pidge entered the kitchen and swiped a brownie. She took a bite as Lance went to grab one. Hunk smacked his hand with the wooden spoon that was in his hand.

"Why do the girls get to have one but I can't?!" Lance cried.

"They are my taste testers for chocolate," Hunk stated. "Besides, I prefer to stay on their good sides. They can be scary during their cycles...especially since they are scary on a good day," Hunk replied.

"Good save. Well, thanks for the brownie. I'm heading for the training deck." Keith attempted to slide off the counter, but Shiro stopped her. "Takashi, let me down."

Shiro simply picked her up off the counter and slung her over his shoulder. "You don't need to go train, Keith."

"Takashi, put me down!"

"Nope."

The Garrison Trio watched as their Black Paladin carried his second-in-command and girlfriend out of the kitchen. Lance tried once again to get a brownie, only to get smacked on the hand again.

"Ow!'

Fin

Chapter Text

"Not Alone Anymore"

Keith was walking through the corridors of the castle ship during the night cycle, when most of the other occupants were asleep. He wasn't sure if Pidge was asleep, because he knew the tech genius was neck deep into some mysterious tech she salvaged from an abandoned Galra cruiser the team had investigated. Of course, he wasn't allowed to go with them. Lance wouldn't hear of it. He was expecting, and Lance wouldn't let him endanger the baby.

Keith stepped onto the bridge and was surprised to see Allura sitting in the Blue Paladin seat. She looked up at the entrance and was on her feet in an instant. "Keith! What are you doing up?"

"I couldn't sleep, and walking is supposed to be okay."

"I insist you sit down." Allura was at his side, guiding him towards the Paladin seats.

Keith sighed. He knew better than to argue about it. "Can it be the Red Paladin seat?"

Allura smiled. "Of course.

She led him over to the seat and helped him sink into it. She started carding her fingers through his hair, eliciting a purr from him, which was heard in his voice when he asked, "Why are you awake?"

"I was going through these charts and updating them, since there have been changes in the 10,000 deca-phoebes that Coran and I have been asleep."

"You could do that during the daytime, Princess. Why aren't you asleep?"

"Because someone needs to be awake in case you aren't asleep."

"Nice try, but what's the real reason?"

Allura looked away but continued to comb her fingers through Keith's hair. "I...It's the anniversary of the destruction of my father's AI. I know it's not my father, but it was all I had left."

"I know how you feel, Princess. My father died when I was little, and all I had was his shack and hover bike, which I couldn't even keep until I turned of age." Keith chuckled. "Of course, they couldn't keep me from it when I joined the Garrison. It was as good as enlisting in the military. I was thirteen when my Dad's property came back into my possession."

"And all of that is back on Earth. I've separated you Paladins from your families, and here I am moping about losing an AI."

Keith nuzzled Allura's hand. "You didn't separate us, Allura. Technically, it was Lance and the Blue Lion, but it's okay. Besides, we all have pictures to remember our families by."

Keith withdrew an old photo from one of his hip bags and showed it to Allura. It was obviously a young Keith with his father. Child Keith was riding on his father's shoulders, wearing a cowboy hat and brandishing a very familiar knife. "I didn't know you had your knife back then."

"My father was the one who carried it until he died. He always left it at home when he went to work though. He had told me that my mom wanted me to have it when I was old enough." He slipped the picture back into his hip bag.

"Thank you for sharing that, Keith. I feel better."

"Are you tired, Princess?"

"Yes, but you shouldn't be alone."

"We could go to the lounge. I promise to stay if you fall asleep."

"All right. Here." Allura held out a hand, which Keith accepted, and helped him to his feet.

It was an exhausting walk to the lounge for Keith, so he gratefully sat down on one of the couches. Allura brought over a couple of blankets and draped one over Keith before laying down next to him. He reached over and started stroking her hair. "Get some rest, Princess. I'm right here."

Allura closed her eyes and drifted off, the hand in her hair soothing to her. She couldn't tell how long she had been asleep, but she had to assume it was several vargas, because she heard the other Paladins talking.

"Aww, look how cute!" (Hunk)

"Don't be too loud. You'll wake them up." (Lance)

"Shouldn't we move them to beds so they will be more comfortable?" (Shiro)

"I dare you to move them. Keith's hand in tangled in her hair." (Pidge)

Allura cracked an eye open and noticed the four Paladins standing relatively close to her...and Keith. He was sleeping, a soft purr escaping him.

"Morning, Princess." Shiro noticed she was awake.

"Morning, Paladins. Could one of you help me untangle Keith's hand?"

Lance and Shiro stepped forward. Lance sat down on Keith's other side, while Shiro slowly and gently untangled Keith's hand. When his hand was almost untangled, Keith growled.

Lance stroked Keith's hair. "It's okay, cariño. Allura asked us to help her."

Keith stopped growling and opened his eyes. "Lance?"

"Morning, sweetheart." He kissed Keith's cheek, bent over, and kissed Keith' belly. "Morning, baby."

Keith blushed at Lance's actions and looked over at where Shiro finally got his hand untangled from Allura's hair. Allura sat up and hugged Keith. "Thank you for last night, Keith."

"There's no need to thank me, Princess. We're all family here. You don't have to be alone anymore."

Fin

Chapter Text

"Inner Animals"

Allura thought she knew what her Paladins were capable of. She had no way of knowing that she was about to be proven wrong.

%%%

It was a late night in the control room. Shiro was sitting in his Paladin seat, doing a scan of the region they were flying through, when the door opened, and in shuffled Keith, who was wearing a pair of black sleep pants and a soft red shirt. He walked over to Shiro and leaned against him.

"Hello, Keith."

"Takashi, you need sleep."

"I have the night shift."

"Ni-san, I'm tired."

"Then, go to sleep, ototo."

"Not without you."

"I'm not leaving."

Keith's form blurred before a Black Mamba appeared, quickly slithered up the Black Paladin seat, and settled around his brother's neck. Shiro chuckled. "I guess you aren't either."

%%%

Allura stopped short when she entered the control room the next morning. There sitting in the Black Paladin seat was Shiro, but he had a long, gray snake draped around his neck. The snake opened its mouth in something akin to a yawn.

"You know that mouth of yours freaks me out." The snake looked Shiro in the eyes and fake yawned, showing off the black interior of its mouth. "I don't need any of your sass, and close your mouth."

The snake closed its mouth and laid its head back down against Shiro's chest. Allura hesitated before stepping onto her platform and calling out, "Good morning, Shiro."

Shiro turned around. "Oh, good morning, Princess. I guess my shift is over."

"Yes. Go ahead and take the morning off to rest."

"Thanks, Princess. I'll do that as soon as we eat." Shiro gestured to the snake that lifted its head and looked at the princess with strange, purple eyes.

"Very well." Allura watched as Shiro and the snake left. She couldn't shake the feeling that she had seen those eyes before.

%%%

The Paladins and Alteans stopped by a peaceful planet to restock supplies. Lance decided to transform into his bird form and go flying. He adored the feeling the wind beneath his wings, but he never strayed far from the castle.

When Allura announced that they were getting ready to take off, Hunk let everyone enter the castle before whistling and catching Lance's attention. He landed on his arm, and Hunk carried him into the castle.

The whistle also caught Allura's attention. She watched as a relatively large bird landed on her Yellow Paladin's arm and was about to scold him for taking a bird into the castle but stopped as she realized that whatever the bird was that it wasn't native to the planet that were about to leave and had the most piercing blue eyes that looked strikingly familiar somehow. She would talk to Hunk about where he got the bird from, but right now, she had to fly the castle ship.

%%%

Allura was passing the Green Lion's hangar, when she heard a strange conversation taking place, which caused her to pause.

"Pidge, please! I just want a couple of pictures!"

"No, Lance."

"If I can't have access to the classic memes, then I will make my own copy of them, and what's more classic than the honey badger meme?"

"You're as bad as Matt."

"Come on! Just one picture!"

"Ugh, if I agree, will you stop harassing me?"

"Yes."

"Fine."

"Yes!"

The conversation left her with a couple of questions, one of which was 'what was a meme?'

%%%

Allura froze in the doorway to the training deck. There tussling was a gray wolf, a black feline, a black bear, and something else Allura couldn't identify. Lance was sitting on the sidelines surrounded by Keith's jacket and everyone's bayards.

"What is going on here?"

The four animals froze, and everyone looked at the princess. Lance stood up and waved a hand at the animals. "You guys continue. I've got this."

The animals went back to play fighting while Lance approached the princess. "Sorry about that. I guess we forgot to tell you and Coran. Humans can change into what we term as our inner animal. Most humans have one shape they can take, but us Paladins have two." Lance started pointing at the animals. "Shiro is a Gray Wolf or a King Cobra, Keith is a Black Jaguar or a Black Mamba, Hunk is a Sun Bear or a Green Anaconda, and Pidge is a Honey Badger or a Western Diamondback Rattlesnake."

"What about you?"

"Oh. I'm a Harpy Eagle or a Fer-De-Lance Pit Viper."

"I don't know if I believe you, Lance. It sounds made up."

Lance chuckled. "All right. We can give you proof." He stuck two fingers into his mouth and gave a whistle. The four animals stopped tussling and looked at him. "All right, guys. Change back."

To Allura's surprise, the Gray Wolf changed back into Shiro, the Black Jaguar changed into Keith, the Sun Bear changed back into Hunk, and the Honey Badger changed into Pidge.

"Believe me now?"

"My apologies, Lance. I didn't know humans could change their forms. May I see your forms and the others' alternate forms?"

Lance shrugged his jacket off, tossing it to join Keith's, before he transformed into a Harpy Eagle. He launched into the air for a moment before coming to land on Hunk's shoulder. The eagle blurred and Lance was once again standing behind Hunk. He grinned, and all five Paladins changed into their snake forms.

Her eyes widened when she saw the gray snake that Keith became, because she recognized him as the snake that was draped around Shiro's neck a couple quintants ago. She looked at the others. Shiro (almost 11 feet) was a little longer than Keith (over nine feet) with Hunk being the longest and biggest. Lance and Pidge were a lot shorter than the others, Lance being just shy of six feet and Pidge barely reaching four.

Shiro changed back into his human form and scooped up Keith. Keith wound himself around Shiro's neck before Shiro stroked his head. "We apologize for not telling you sooner, but we aren't used to people not knowing."

"It's all right, Shiro. My only question is are any of you guys dangerous?"

"Typically no, but we can kill someone. The terrestrial forms we have are capable of killing with either teeth or claws, but our snake forms have venom, except for Hunk, but he can crush someone with his body." He tapped Keith's head. "Hey, open up, buddy."

Keith looked at Shiro confused but did so anyway. Shiro gently grabbed Keith's head and pointed out the fangs. "The four of us have these fangs that deliver the venom to whatever we bite." He released Keith's head and gently stroked his head. "Thanks, bud."

Keith hissed, but Shiro knew he wasn't angry; however he put him down anyway. The snake blurred before he became the Black Jaguar he was before she came in. Keith head butted Shiro's leg. "All right, ototo. You win."

Shiro's form blurred before he became the Gray Wolf again. Keith growled and tackled Shiro, while the other three Paladins became human again and steered clear of the play fighting animals as they approached the princess.

"They'll be at it for awhile," Lance mentioned. "Keith and Shiro love to train in all their forms."

"But I saw you two," Allura pointed at Pidge and Hunk, "training with them."

"It wasn't training. We were just having fun."

"Fun?" Allura looked at Keith and Shiro. "I guess it could be."

Fin

Chapter Text

"Overcoming Prejudice"

It had been five deca-phoebes since Keith had demonstrated his natural talent for flying. He excelled in anything his Daddy taught him in relation to flying. When he wasn't flying, he trained with Antok as much as he was allowed to. His training times were increased since his pack knew he was sharpening his skills to take down the pack of four Blades that had beaten him up.

Thace was observing his kit in his latest training session, pride swelling in his chest. Not for the first time, he thought back to when he and Ulaz learned that Keith was blind. He had told his mate that their kit would become a legend within their ranks, and upon seeing his kit take down Antok, he wholeheartedly believed it.

%%%

Antok groaned from his position on the floor under the kit. Normally, he could have jostled the kit enough to unbalance him, but Keith had his knife pressed to Antok's throat, so any jostling would result in a cut on his throat. "Well done, kit. You successfully took me down, an opponent four times your size."

Keith didn't move, but he did sniff. His posture relaxed a bit, and he withdrew his knife. "I did, didn't I?"

"Yes, kit. Now, take both of us down."

Keith's exceptional hearing gave him only mere ticks to move. He managed to dodge Kolivan's initial lunge, but he couldn't dodge Antok's tail as it swept Keith off his feet. However, the kit was quick to leap back to his feet and go on the attack. He attacked with the ferocity of a Galra who knew he couldn't lose. The pair of mates were an exceptional team, and it may have been cruel to pit the kit against them, but it gave them an accurate example of the kit's skills. Whether or not he actually could take down the leaders wasn't the point. The point of this exercise was to prove that the kit was ready to enact his revenge against the Blades who had attacked him, which he was.

%%%

The headquarters of the Blades was abuzz with excitement. A trial of combat was happening later that quintant. The leaders had received a request for the trial, which was granted, but no one seemed to know who had sent the request. It was quite exciting, since a trial of combat was a rare event.

The leaders refused to answer any questions about the trial before the time it would start, which would be after breakfast. Everyone seemed to be eager to rush through the meal as if that would bring about the trial any faster.

The only Blade that didn't seem eager about the trial was the leader's kit. Most of the Blades figured it was because he wasn't able to see it, but it was because he was nervous. He had submitted the request for the trial of combat, even though it was just a formality. Kolivan wasn't going to deny the kit the chance to get back at the Blades who despised him and possibly earn their respect.

"You do need to at least eat a little bit, kit," Ulaz said.

"I know, Papa, but I'm so nervous about the trials that I don't think I can keep anything down. Can I just eat a larger lunch?"

"Very well, kit, but I want you to have a snack as well," Ulaz relented. Keith purred to his Papa, who stroked his kit's headfur.

Soon enough, breakfast ended and the majority of the Blades gathered in the observation area, which was sectioned off from the combat area, which was the same room the first round of the Trials of Marmora take place in. A trial of combat was so rare that it was illogical to have a designated room for it when space was a luxury in the base.

Soshan and his pack were entering the observation area, when they were stopped by Kolivan. The four Blades bowed to their leader.

"Rise. I need you four to participate in the trial of combat. You will go in one at a time, and fight with honor."

"Yes, leader." Soshan led his pack to the waiting area underneath the combat area.

Kolivan joined his pack at the front of the room. He pressed the button for the intercom. "Combatant, enter."

Keith took a deep breath and entered the room to the surprise of the observers. The kit was the one who requested the trials?!

"The trial of combat is a one-on-one hand-to-hand combat. There are four rounds to this particular trial. The trial will now commence."

The first member of Soshan's pack, Chagan, was between Thace and Kolivan in terms of height and his build was like Thace. He was surprised to see the leader's blind kit in the combat area.

"I'm supposed to fight you?"

"Yes." The kit's voice didn't waver and was full of confidence.

Chagan grinned. "Maybe you can give me a little bit of a challenge unlike that quintant in the training hall."

Keith growled. "That was four-on-one and five deca-phoebes ago. Now, let's go!"

Keith rushed the other Blade, jumping at the last tick, which effectively catapulted him over Chagan's shoulders. Readjusting his body's position in midair, Keith grabbed ahold of Chagan's shoulders and tried to bring him down, using gravity to his advantage. It didn't work completely, but it did get his opponent off balance. Keith landed behind Chagan and aimed a kick at his knees. The kit moved so fast and agilely that Chagan didn't have a chance to retaliate in any way, before Keith pinned him.

"Round one is over. Victory to Keith."

Keith extended his hand to Chagan to help him to his feet. Chagan accepted his hand up. "You are quite fast, kit. I was wrong. You would be an asset on the battlefield."

"Thank you."

Chagan left as Kolivan announced over the intercom, "Round two begin."  

Delan entered the room and was surprised at his opponent, just like his pack member was. His fight along with the third round against Ardol lasted as long as the first round and with the same results. Keith soundly defeated both of the Blades and earned their respect.

The last round was the one Keith was actually concerned about. Soshan was between Kolivan and Antok in terms of height but as agile as Ulaz and was the leader of his pack. He was a bit older than the other three, so he had more experience, but Keith knew he was quicker and more agile.

"Round four begin."

Soshan confidently stepped into the combat area and was as astonished as his pack members had been. Then, he grinned. He would get to beat up the leader's kit with no repercussions. "So, you are the little upstart who thinks he's so special just because you are the leader's kit."

Keith ignored the taunt, because he had heard it before and knew it to be a lie. He simply ran at Soshan and jumped onto his shoulders. He hooked a leg around the large Galra's neck and dropped his entire weight down, effectively knocking Soshan off balance. However, his plan of bringing him down failed spectacularly when Soshan stood up and grabbed Keith's free leg, yanking the kit forward. Soshan grinned as he held Keith upside down at arm's length by his ankle. Keith struggled to get down, pulling at Soshan's fingers. It took a dobosh, but Keith managed to get his leg free, but instead of falling, he executed a graceful backflip off of Soshan's hand. Landing in a crouch, Keith paused, listening for a clue as to what his opponent's move would be. 

Soshan was frustrated. The kit was a much better fighter than he had given him credit for. If he didn't know any different, he wouldn't think the kit was blind. How had the kit learned to fight in the five deca-phoebes since their encounter in the training hall? His eyes flicked up to where he knew the entirety of the base was watching.

However, this distraction gave Keith the opening he needed. He once again rushed Soshan and jumped onto his shoulders. He hooked a leg around the large Galra's neck and dropped his entire weight down, effectively knocking Soshan off balance. He wisely kept his legs out of reach this time. He quickly crouched and swept Soshan's legs out from underneath him. He jumped onto the downed Blade and pinned his legs and arms with surprising strength.

Soshan struggled to free himself from the kit's grasp, growling. Keith looked at him in the face, his hazy purple eyes unnerving him, and he could have sworn the sclera had a yellowish tinge to them. "Give up. I beat you and your entire pack in hand-to-hand combat. I do not wish to do more harm to you."

"Never." Soshan managed to free one hand and unsheathed his blade. He pushed the kit off of himself and charged with his sword. Keith had heard the sword being unsheathed and smelled the luxite in the air. He quickly unsheathed his knife and threw it with such accuracy and speed that not only did it disarm Soshan, but it also pinned him to the floor.

Keith did not approach the pinned Blade but remained where he was standing. "This was supposed to be hand-to-hand combat only. It was dishonorable to pull your blade on me. However, I defeated you a second time. If you continue this, I will soundly defeat you again and again."

Soshan yanked the knife out of the floor where it had pinned him. He approached the kit but instead of attacking him, he knelt down, holding his knife out. "My pack and I were wrong. Not only would you not be a liability on the battlefield but you would be an asset on any mission. I would be honored to assist you once you become a full fledged Blade. You have earned the respect of my pack and I."

"Thank you." Keith picked up his knife and sheathed it. He left the room, where he was immediately ushered to the med bay, where his Papa checked him over for injuries. There were a few minor scrapes and scratches, but his kit was mostly in need of food and comfort.

However, not only had Keith earned the respect of the ableist Blades but he also earned the right to go on simple missions. He just didn't know that yet.

Fin

Chapter Text

"New Bayard Forms"

"Hey, Keith! Hold up, dude!"

Keith paused and turned, recognizing Lance's voice. "What's wrong, Lance?"

"Did you get a new bayard form? When we had to escape that Galra ship, you were able to blast our way out."

"Oh, yeah. I have a hand canon."

"A hand canon?"

"Yeah. I don't know what else to call it." Keith grinned. "Do you want to see it?"

"Sure." Lance wrapped an arm around Keith's shoulders and accompanied him to the training area. "Now, let's see this so called hand canon."

Keith grinned even wider and pulled out his bayard. "Are you ready?"

"Just activate it already."

Keith activated his bayard and a black and white...hand canon appeared. There was no other term for it. It looked awesome in Lance's opinion. Keith could tell by the look on Lance's face that the other was jealous. "Now, who's the Sharpshooter?"

"Still me. All that thing is good for is obliterating everything in its path. Two of my bayard forms are good for precision strikes."

"Two of your bayard forms? How many do you have?"

"Oh, that's right. You were helping the Blades when my third bayard form appeared." Lance pulled out and activated his bayard, his sword appearing. "Allura told me it was an Altean broadsword, the same type her father used when he was a Paladin."

Keith couldn't help but stare at the sword in Lance's hand. The Black Paladin had always adored swords, and this one was quite the beauty. "It's gorgeous, Lance."

Lance blushed. "Thanks. Your hand canon is amazing as well."

"Just admit that you like each other and kiss already!" Nadia exclaimed as she crossed the training area.

Keith and Lance turned and watched the MFE pilot leave before they turned back to each other, allowing their bayards to deactivate and disappear.

"Do you like me?" Lance asked.

"Whether I do or not doesn't matter. You're dating Allura."

"Actually, we broke it off. We realized that we are better off as friends, really good friends."

"So, you're single?"

"Yes."

Keith closed the distance between himself and his right hand man. "In that case, I should let you know that I do like you."

"I like you too, Keith." Lance wrapped his arms around Keith and tugged him firmly against him.

Keith rested his forehead against Lance's. "I'd very much like to kiss you."

Lance leaned even closer, his lips mere inches away from Keith's, his words the only thing separating their lips. "Be my guest."

Keith closed that minute gap and wrapped his arms around Lance, his hands running up Lance's back (under his Garrison issued blue and white shirt), making Lance gasp into his mouth.

When they broke apart, Keith smiled sweetly. "We should probably take this somewhere private...sweetheart."

"My room is close."

"Lead the way."

Fin

Chapter Text

"The Wager"

"Hey, Keith! We're ready for movie night! Are you ready?" Shiro called up the stairs.

"Just a sec!" Keith called back. He wanted to make sure he had extra concealer over his stripes. He didn't want to accidentally have it wiped off and try to explain to Shiro, Adam, and Matt why he has purple on his cheeks. He looked at himself in the mirror and smiled. He looked good. The concealer wasn't noticeable nor were his stripes. He hurried down the stairs and plopped between Adam and Matt on the couch. Shiro was sitting on Adam's other side. "So, what movie are we watching?"

"I thought we'd watch The Grudge, but Shiro nixed that," Matt said, sliding an arm around Keith's shoulders.

"For good reason," Shiro retorted. "I don't want to watch a horror movie based around a legend in my culture."

"What culture, Shiro?" Keith asked.

"I'm from Japan. It's on the other side of the world."

Keith nodded. He had studied the schematics of Earth and the different countries. Unfortunately, there were too many for him to memorize. "So, what are we watching?"

"I figured we'd watch the Resident Evil series. There are six; the original called Resident Evil, Apocalypse, Extinction, Afterlife, Retribution, and The Final Chapter," Adam answered.

"That's an awful lot, especially if they are the usual two hours," Keith stated. Living with Shiro and Adam, Keith had been exposed to Earth culture and had found out that most Earth movies were between an hour and a half to two hours in length.

"That's why we are starting this on a Friday night. We will watch tonight and tomorrow night," Matt replied. "Now, sit back, and enjoy the marathon."

During the second movie (somewhere between the lickers in the chapel and Nemesis showing up), Matt had moved his arm off Keith's shoulders and was sitting with a bowl of popcorn on his lap. Keith had shifted position and leaned against Adam with his head in Adam's lap. He dozed off during the movie, so he wasn't aware of Adam carding his fingers through Keith's hair. He was remembering his mom grooming his hair, and it felt so similar that he unconsciously started purring.

A strange noise caught Adam's attention and drew it away from the movie (which was okay, since he had seen this one before many times). He felt a slight vibration on his lap and realized that it was coming from Keith. At first, he thought the kid was snoring but soon realized that it was more of a purr than snoring. He filed that detail away and resolved to tell Shiro about it sometime on Saturday, when Keith wasn't in the same room.

%%%
 
"I know what I heard, Takashi! He purred! He purred!"

"How could he do that?"

"I don't know, maybe he was experimented on but it went wrong."

"That sounds ridiculous, Adam. He's just a regular kid."

%%%

The quartet continued watching the movies during the day, so they only had to watch the last one at night. Keith asked if he could sleep in his room, which Shiro declared a good idea for everyone. It didn't take Keith long to fall asleep. Unfortunately, it was anything but restful.

Keith awoke with a whine, sitting bolt upright and panting. His nightmare was horrible. He didn't have his stripes and his pack didn't remember him, forcing him to go through the Trials of Marmora, where he continuously fought Blade after Blade. He had to make sure he still had his stripes, so he quietly got out of bed and padded barefoot to the nearby bathroom. He didn't close the door all the way, leaving the door open enough to let someone see the light without getting too close. He used his pajama sleeves to wipe off the concealer, revealing his violet cheek stripes he got from his mother. He sighed in relief, not knowing that someone had seen him.

%%%

Shiro was on his way to the kitchen to get a glass of water, when he saw the bathroom light on. He figured someone accidentally left it on, so he slowed down as he neared it, intent on turning off the light, when he saw Keith standing there staring at his reflection. Shiro didn't mean to stare, but he hadn't seen the purple stripes on his cheeks before. He stayed long enough to witness Keith applying a concealer to the stripes, effectively hiding them from view. Shiro quietly tiptoed past the bathroom and into the kitchen. He absentmindedly filled a glass with water as he thought about what he just witnessed. It must have been a birth defect that Keith learned to cover up to avoid awkward questions. He polished off his glass of water and resolved to bring it up to Adam the next day when Keith wasn't nearby.

%%%

"Adam! He's purple! I saw it!"

"Purple?" Adam sounded skeptical.

"There were two stripes, one on each cheek. He's covering them up with a concealer of some sort, probably to avoid awkward questions."

"Naw. It's probably another effect from the experiment he underwent."

"He didn't undergo any experiments. It's simply a birth defect."

"No. It's a-li-ens," Matt piped up from the stairs, where he was coming down from.

"Aliens?" Adam and Shiro chorused.

Shiro sighed. "You and your Dad are obsessed with meeting aliens."

"Twenty bucks, it's aliens," Matt dared.

"I'm in but it's not aliens. He underwent an experiment," Adam betted.

"Same, but it's a birth defect," Shiro wagered.

All three shook hands on it. All of this happened without Keith's knowledge, and they were going to keep it that way, so they didn't embarrass the younger cadet.

Fin

Chapter Text

"Glimpses of What Could Have Been"

Sunlight spilled into the cave, where Keith, Krolia, and the cosmic wolf stayed while on the Space Whale. The glimpses into the past and future happened more often when they were awake, so Krolia was able to help Keith come to terms with what he saw and Keith was able to explain things to his mom.

They were just about to go hunt for breakfast, when a flash engulfed them. It was an alternate universe. That much was obvious to Keith as he saw Regris in this vision.

"Who is that, kit?"

"That's Regris. He was my partner on several Blade missions, but he died on one of them."

Keith watched as Regris was fussing with his Blade uniform, but it looked a little different. It looked a little fancier than normal. Keith cocked his head, causing Krolia to ask, "What's the matter, kit?"

"Regris's uniform is different. This one seems fancier."

"He may be on his way to a formal event. Sometimes, the Blades attended a formal event, like a wedding or coronation."

"All the Blades seem to do now is mission after mission." Keith groused as he and Krolia followed Regris as he left the room and walked to another room that had a lot of Blades standing near the back. Regris walked all the way to the front where Kolivan was standing. Not too long after, the doors in the rear of the room opened, revealing Keith in an equally fancy Blade uniform being escorted by Thace.

Krolia realized that she was witnessing an alternate version of her son getting married to Regris. The wedding was a silent affair with a bonding of their blades. Keith and Regris presented their luxite swords in their dormant forms to Kolivan. He wrapped a cord around the two knives. Then, Regris and Keith activated their blades simultaneously. The two blades shifted to their awakened forms. The energy from the two blades merged together, so when one was being used, the other blade would grow warm and could be used to lead the owner to his bonded.

Once the light from the merging disappeared, Kolivan unwrapped the cord, and Keith and Regris sheathed their blades. Kolivan placed a hand on one of Keith's and the other on one of Regris's and brought their hands together, clasping them and encasing their joined hands in his. "Congratulations on your bonding."

"Thank you, sir." Regris was the first to respond with Keith following a few ticks later.

"You may have your requested movement off your duties," Kolivan informed them.

Both Keith and Regris smiled and bowed to their leader before leaving the room.

Krolia smiled sadly, but that smile turned to a frown as she felt her kit start shaking at her side. She turned to him as they emerged from the vision. "What's the matter, my kit?"

"I-I-We were still getting to know each other, but I did feel this pull from Regris. I was going to talk to him after our mission, but he died on that mission, and Kolivan prevented me from saving him, and now, I see how happy I could have been. It's not fair!" Keith exclaimed before breaking into heart wrenching sobs.

Krolia quickly swept her kit into her arms, tucking him under her chin, and purred to him. "I know, my kit. I know."

Not for the first time, Krolia cursed the circumstances that had separated her from her kit and mate and the series of plights that had followed her kit since the death of his father all those deca-phoebes ago. She had hoped her reunion with her kit (and mate) would be a joyous one, but that obviously hadn't been the case.

Fin