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Caramel Skin Under A Purple Rain

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Lance's first heat was a washout. He'd laboured no illusions that turning the outpost into the kind of place he dreamed of wouldn't be anything other than hard work, but between the hard work and the calls for assistance, he'd relapsed into his old ways so hard that he was ashamed of himself. He'd barely lasted the first two movements before lashing out and hurting himself due to the frustrations and limitations of his job, and his promise not to take the worst of missions on hadn't helped his mental health. An emergency rescue mission they'd taken on had been due to a volcanic eruption mid-monsoon season, a completely ridiculous series of events that lead to half of the planet's nomadic tribes dislocated due to the lava rains and ash clouds blackening the sky. They'd all been soaked to the bone, and many of the refugees they'd brought back to outpost were ill with their planet's form of the flu. Sick from withdrawal, anxious from a lack of Keith, overwhelmed by not being able to help everyone all at once, it all piled up against him and his immune system, leaving him seriously ill right before his heat decided to show up out of nowhere and leave him bedridden for a movement and a half on Erathus because nowhere else carried a cure for that particular strain of flu. Or, at least he thought he'd had his heat. He'd had to be sedated and intubated, leaving him losing time once again and disorientated from the overwhelming smells of the hospital.

 

He was feeling so emotionally compromised and awful from the flu, that when his period had come and decided to be on par with miscarriage, he chalked the extra misery up to his crazed hormones while cursing the universe for the following two weeks. Coran had visited him while he'd been hospitalised. The man a godsend as he stroked his hair, replaced his heat pack and let him vent his emotions. With Coran so readily able to make friends, he'd done some gentle enquiring with the hospital staff on Lance's behalf as his listed next of kin, after Keith, and found a solution for how to safely wean Lance from the gold pain relief solution. A process he was supposed to have gone through after being hospitalised by Klearo, only he'd never gone back for his follow up appointments due to how deeply ashamed he was of what had happened, and due to the feeling that anyone he did spend time with would be corrupted by his filthy body and soul.

 

By the end of the first 6 movements, outpost time, he was miserable. His marks were now almost always on his face as a constant reminder of Allura, who'd he'd started hallucinating again while in hospital. Keith was on training missions with the Blades. He'd had time to have dropped by during the two movements between missions. It would have been their first time seeing each other face to face after their separation after just a handful of precious quintants into the years New Years, yet with how contagious the flu had been, Lance had been forced to ask Daehra to keep Keith away from the outpost, and Erathus, to ensure his husband didn't manage to miraculously catch the bug despite hospital protocol. Now his husband was on a second mission, this one a phoeb long training new Blade recruits in the field because some Galra arsehole of a general decided to get all uppity.

 

Trying to appear happy was only making him feel worse. He'd been forced to hold his tongue when he'd been ill, and he'd been forced to ask Lucteal, who'd been hospitalised with a broken ankle, to take his communicator away so he didn't abuse Keith for missing his heat and for not being there to take care of him, because Keith wasn't in the wrong. He hadn't done anything wrong at all. It was cruel of him to want to project his fears onto his precious husband. He knew Keith wanted to be there with him. He knew if he let him, his husband would have been there in a heartbeat. But Lance couldn't risk infecting the whole of the Blades simply because he was feeling weak without Keith, so he'd stayed in hospital, healed, and now had new twice-daily injections that would last for the next three phoebs. Given they were to help detox, Lance couldn't help but wonder if he was simply swapping from one addictive substance to another. The injections didn't provide the same high. They didn't supply him with that sudden rush of life, or quieten his busy mind. His poor therapist was stuck talking to him every movement, while his poor team were stuck with him dragging them from job to job. Sometimes it was apprehending someone, but for the most part, he was playing galactic taxi or delivery boy. It wasn't like he wasn't enjoying helping people, it was simply that without Keith there, it felt as if the precious thing they'd been building would crumble away. They talked as often as they could, and more often than not Keith would message him shortly before he woke to tell him he loved and missed him. But Dios... it was hard. It was so fucking hard.

 

Before he'd known it, he was into his third phoeb living at the outpost with Keith having only been there for two movements of broken time. He was simply too busy. His husband missed him, yet lately, all they'd really talked about were the new Blade recruits. Initially, it'd been fun. Keith had asked him for ideas on how to bring them together and how to breed trust. It'd pulled him out of his flunk, as he'd felt proud to be able to support his husband. Lance had finally started finding his feet again. Things had finally started to settle and he'd started reminding himself more and more often not to self-harm and to eat because Keith would be hurt if he continued to spiral. It wasn't the healthiest of excuses. He knew it wasn't, but the thought of hurting Keith was the one thought that scared him shitless. He'd promised his husband he'd work hard on himself and talk to him about how he felt. It wasn't either of their faults that the Blades conducted secret missions where communication was impossible. So, when they finally did have time together, Lance wanted to spend every tick of every varga relaxing around their home with Keith. Their room had slowly come together, the majority of Keith's belongings moving from Daibazaal to their room. He still kept a basic kit on Daibazaal for the times he had on planet duties, but having Keith's things in their wardrobe never failed to make anything Lance feel less than loved. The small little otherwise insignificant things left him giddy inside, like the way Keith would huff over his pillows if Lance would move then, his husband would go out of his way to leave them across each other rather than stacked, simply to get a rise out of him. Or the way his boots sat by the end of their bed. Even the way their toothbrushes sat in the holder together in their bathroom. It made their space feel even safer, even though there was already a very limited amount of people who could access his room. Zak had written the control program for the hand scanner on his door. Keith, Daehra, Lucteal, Coran, and Shiro were the only ones other than him to have clearance to his space. The door to the wing where his quarters were located was only accessible by staff, with most of the space around his room used for storage. When he'd first started sleeping in the room, he'd slept on the floor in the wardrobe. The space of the bedroom felt massive, leaving him jumping at shadows, and whispers that weren't there.

 

The fourth phoeb of calling the outpost his home had been his favourite. Keith had had enough time off work to spend real quality time with him. His husband was more than happy to act as a barmaid behind the bar of what he called the hotel part of the outpost. And quiznak if he didn't look like sex on legs as he did. Word had finally started getting around, so business had picked up. Bounty hunters from every race now knew it was a safe inexpensive place where all personal rivalries were stored away. It grew tiresome to constantly quarrelling. A tedious peace was held. No one wanted to throw the first punch. All of them thought themselves alpha males, yet if they acted up, they knew they'd find themselves thrown into the holding cells beneath the bar. Their name and reputation would be torn to pieces before they set foot in the confined place. Around the walls of the bar, various bounties were posted, plus pricings for those looking to buy and trade goods. Lucteal and Tobias generally worked the trade section. Zak couldn't be trusted to man the section alone as his tinkering curiosity usually meant things were pulled apart instead of being turned over for GAC. Lance would work with weapons, but any and all drugs were off-limits to him by his own request. The desire to find that all familiar high seemed too much to handle when the pills or injections were right in front of him. Some quintants he wouldn't think of it, while others he felt as if his skin could barely contain all his desires. He was locked out of the storage system. The only lock in the whole outpost that he didn't have access too. If he wanted to score, he'd have to do so of world, and both times he'd given into the desire, it'd nearly broken his heart to have to admit it to Keith. Keith was mad, yet he understood. They both knew it was hard. The initial plan was for Keith to be there to provide support as he withdrew from all the quiznakking red crap in his system. Unfortunately, the universe couldn't simply give either of them the break and time they needed. Keith had also grown increasingly depressed and worried over the time they spent apart. So when he finally had a phoeb off to be with him, Lance wasn't sure if it was because there really wasn't much for him to do, or if Krolia was worried for her son's mental health. It all passed too fast for him. Giggly mornings in bed. Slow and lazy sex if they felt like it. Cuddles. Bad morning breath and long baths together... He was so proud to have Keith by his side. Proud to show him off and introduce him to everyone he'd been meeting since opening the outpost...

Everything was going alright until it wasn't. Everything was going alright until Lance felt like the rug had been torn out from beneath him. He'd finally felt like he could stop and take a breath without the whirlwind of life sweeping him away...

 

Keith had made a friend in the new recruits, and due to that friend, his husband had to cut their precious phoeb together short. Krystaal had become the bane of his existence, and Keith had no idea how much Lance hated hearing their name when they were together. He hated when Keith would sit there laughing as he checked his comms. But most of all he hated himself over how jealous he was. Keith had wanted to work on himself and he'd made a friend. He was growing as man, as blade member and as an important figure on Daibazaal. He should have been happy. He should have been worried when Keith had to rush off to Daibazaal because the team Krystaal was in had gotten into trouble on a mission because someone was in danger. Not because his precious time with Keith was cut short. It was so quiznakking hard not to cry when Keith left. His husband kissing him so sweetly then he was gone from his arms, their dopey wolf son in toe, with the promise to return soon. A promise Keith had to break when retrieving the missing team from the field. Even with the use of wormholes, it took two movements to retrieve the team. The precious two movements that'd been left of their phoeb... meaning their "holiday" time together to an end for God only knew how long. Both of them knew that keep their relationship going would be hard with the kind of work they did. Lance could scream until he was blue in the face over how unfair it was, yet he knew it'd get him nowhere. It hadn't even been six phoebs yet, and with the time dilation in play, his time was accelerated when compared to Keith. Two quintants for his husband were three for him. Two phoebs for Keith were three phoebs for him... He was the one who chose to settle on the planet knowing that time was different there. He had no right to cry when Keith no doubt was pushing himself even harder without the luxury of the extra vargas to rest. His husband didn't need him burdening him any further than he had... When his next heat came, Keith would come home again. He simply needed to remain strong until then... and ignore the tiny voice of jealousy that would whisper in his mind during those long vargas of the night. Keith cared about his team and who he was training because not caring meant death... All he could do was keep putting one foot in front of the other until his husband came back to him.

Chapter Text

Keith was tired. The kind of bone-numbing tired that came from having to supply additional cover during the mission they'd arrived back on Daibazaal from the previous night. Having slept the last several vargas away, the half-Galra knew he should be feeling somewhat refreshed, yet falling asleep had been more like a chore. His mind wouldn't let rest, leaving him tossing and turning until his body finally gave up and decided that his mind was filled with crap. Which it was. He missed Lance like crazy, not being able to talk to him was wearing thin on his emotions. Lance understood that there were certain missions that needed to be conducted in complete radio silence. He was able to have his comms on in his ship, the cloaking device scrambling incoming and outgoing signals to the ship so the person on the other end of the line couldn't be traced, but the fact there was that signal in existence in an area was enough to tip off most people that something didn't quite add up. With Lance's mental health practically a roller coaster, and with his line of work more dangerous than most people's, Krolia had granted Keith special permission that in extreme circumstances he was allowed to pick up a call from Lance at his discretion. Not wanting to cause a scene, or risk compromising a mission, his husband hadn't once made use of his special privilege. When Keith had tried to call him, as he laid in his overly large and empty bed, his call hadn't been accepted. He'd hoped for at least a message from his husband, but it seemed like he'd disturbed Kosmo off his feet for nothing as both his comms were notification free. Well, not completely free. His mother had sent a message teasing him for sleeping so long, and Acxa had sent one teasing him over not having gone straight home to Lance. He'd wanted to. Every single piece of him wanted to be curled around his husband, enjoying his warmth and the feel of Lance's soft skin against his own. Marvelling over the mystery of how Lance was still his despite him forever being at work, then their schedules clashing... He wouldn't be surprised if his husband wanted to dump him for how often he was called in, and how long his missions were. Keith knew it hurt Lance to be apart for so long, yet his husband bit his lip and held his head high. But now he needed to debrief his mother over why the whole mission had gone to quiznak, and why their cover had been blown by recruits who's job was to observe, not directly participate. He also needed to check in with the rest of the team to make sure those who needed medical treatment had received it... Quiznak... that sounded like far too much work...

 

Allowing himself to pull the blankets up over his head, and ignore the world for a little longer. Keith barely had a few doboshes of peace before his secondary comms were ringing. He hadn't been sure when Lance had given him a comms device connected to the bounty hunter network. He wasn't sure he wanted to know when Lance was throwing himself into danger until after the fact, when his husband was home safe and sound. He still regretted that he hadn't been there when Lance had been hospitalised. Daehra had politely explained it all to him, but anyone in love knows that when you hear the words "medically induced coma", your first instinct is to be there by their side. No matter how contagious they were. Besides, Coran had got to go. Lance hadn't thrown him out the room... Yes... he was slightly bitter about it still. He wanted Lance to rely on him. To talk to him. No matter what he was thinking or feeling. Sticking his hand out from under the blankets, he felt around for him comms. Kosmo thinking it was an invitation for him to climb under the blankets and make a nuisance. By the time he got Kosmo settled, he'd missed the call. His wolf licking at his hands as they lay back to chest. Lance was much less trouble to cuddle like this. Plus, it led to early morning kisses and nuzzles, then Lance would turn in his arms, kisses deepening, Keith sliding up and between his husband's leg... Fuck... he should have just gone home.

 

Seeing Daehra had called, Keith battled Kosmo to sit up. Daehra would keep him updated on Lance, and on things that she felt Keith should know about. Like when something triggered a change in his husband, or who Lance didn't like in the bar... The sorts of things Lance wouldn't admit to him because he'd think them trivial. It was hardly trivial when more than one bounty hunter had asked Daehra to put a good word in with Lance. Returning the call, Daehra scowled through the screen at him
"Why did you not answer? I only just called you"
"Nice to see you too, Daehra. I'm sorry, I just woke up. What's going on?"
"We require you to come home immediately"
"Uh... Dae, you're going to need to make sense. I came back from a mission last night"
"Lance is soon to start his heat cycle. He was hospitalised during the time his last one was supposed to come, and he'd acting completely irrational about this one. He says he doesn't wish to burden you, but he's locked himself up in his room"
Pinching the bridge of his nose Keith closed his eyes, taking a deep breath and exhaling slowly before opening them again. He had no idea it was supposed to come so soon. He barely had two quintants off before there was a coalition meeting Krolia wanted him to attend
"I take it you tried reasoning with him?"
"A customer told him he smelt like a "ripe whore". Normally he ignores comments like that, but he barely made it out to the storage room before throwing up. No one's allowed in your room, he can't stomach smells at the moment or touch. I'm sorry I missed most of his symptoms. He's been acting strange lately, I guess this would be why"
"He didn't say anything to me about... anything"
"Keith, you know he wishes not to worry you. You know he would never ask you to put him before your job, no matter how depressed he is. From the emotions I feel coming from him, his heat cycle should be starting rather soon"

 

That little shit. He knew Lance wasn't telling him everything. He'd asked him over and over if he was coping with his workload. If he needed help, or needed Krolia or Shiro to send out a team to assist, but Lance had brushed it off with "it's hard and there's a lot to do, but it feels good to be working towards something". What a load of shit. Sure, it'd be hard to get time off and it'd involve some major rearranging of the schedules on Kolivan and Krolia's ends. But Zethrid, Ezor and Acxa were all perfectly capable leaders. They'd be able to take his spot with ease...

 

"Keith. I can feel your anger from here. He is working very hard. He still talks to his therapist. He's finished his injections. He barely drinks as much as he used to. He participates in your team calls with the ex-Paladin members and contacts Miriam each Earth movement. He is trying, it's just... these last three movements he's been trying too much. I know you were unable to avoid leaving due to the emergency with the trainee members, but it feels to me like he was simply going through the motions until you arrived. He was so happy to have you home, that he hadn't mentally prepared himself for you having to leave early. Lance understands your workload, and I feel he feels that asking you to keep your promise of spending his heat with him has either been forgotten, or is at an inopportune time for you"
Why was he being lectured? It wasn't as if he'd intention set out to let Lance down. He didn't know how this heat thing worked... why couldn't Lance have more faith in him? He loved him. He adored him... He hated that he'd broken promises and missed things... They'd barely been able to do the initial shopping for their bedroom before leaving Earth, and he'd had to rush back to work
"He's my husband... he's supposed to come to me for these kinds of things..."
"You're the most precious person in existence when it comes to Lance. He only wants for you to be happy, and to be focusing on your mission so you can come home safe"
"Does he... is he in heat right now?"
"Soon..."
Lance hated his heats. He hated his body was "betraying him". He'd even said it physically hurt. Keith might have been mad at his idiot husband for not contacting him, but it was entirely possible that Lance was laying in their bed crying, torn between not wanting to burden Keith, and desperately wanting him to come home. He'd messed so much up. He couldn't mess this up for Lance, even if he didn't know what he'd be walking into, his husband desperately needed him home
"I'll be there within the varga. I'm leaving now"
Daehra's expression turned to one of relief
"Thank you! I'll meet you in front of the outpost. I'm sorry to worry you with this when you've only just woken"
"No. I want to... I want to know. I should have known he'd shy away from it"
"That doesn't matter. The pair of you are still just as bad as each other"
Keith feigned insult
"I'm not that bad"
"Tell that to Rachel"
"I'm hanging up now Dae. See you soon"

 

Ending the call, Keith forced himself out of bed. What Daehra had been referring to was he and Lance had bought their bed for the outpost. Having spent the day buying things for their new home and the bar part of the outpost, they'd filled the two bedrooms closest to their room on the Telula. There new bed in Keith's old room upon the ship. Exhausted from a day of shopping, Lance had thrown himself down on their new mattress, pulling Keith down on top of him where he would up elbowing his husband in the gut. Laughing as Lance whined at him, he peppered kisses to Lance's lips as he tried to bring his laughter under control, his husband pushing at him, but giving up and instead wrapping his arms around him and rolling them over so Lance was straddling his lap. Somewhere between kissing Lance's stomach better, and tickling his sides, they'd wound up progressing into sex, Lance's jeans around his ankles, Keith's jeans barely pulled down mid-thigh in their rush to feel connected. Having waited until the day where the Telula was mostly open so they could load her up, Rachel had sprung her plan to "heist" Lance's ship. Appearing in the doorway just in time to catch cuddling during their post-sex high... Keith still between Lance's legs, his arse in the air... Leading to his sister-in-law screaming and running. Lance was initially mortified, starting to cry thinking that Keith was more ashamed of the compromising pose than he was. He loved Lance. He didn't feel ashamed over showing that love... maybe a little awkward because Rachel had seen his arse, but she'd seen a mostly clothed Lance, and nothing of his husband's more intimate areas. When caught by Daehra and Lucteal, demanding to know why she'd screamed, the pair had simply rolled their eyes at her. Her revenge for the situation was to cover the Telula in cloaking camo while everyone was eating lunch, which might have worked if the Telula didn't cut off the shadow of his own ship unnaturally. In the end, Lance gave her a blaster to shut her up, though she really didn't deserve it. She hadn't won whatever sibling battle that it'd been. She'd only annoyed everyone by talking about them having sex, and leading to Lance banning sex for the rest of their time on Earth, which wasn't long due to him being called back for a mission. Even when they'd christened their room in the outpost, Lance was jumpy and expecting someone to walk in. Keith could have killed Rachel for upsetting his husband as she had, Lance had even been sleeping in his wardrobe like the bed was a taboo area... She'd fast become his least favourite family member.

 

Given that he'd be preoccupied with Lance once he reached the outpost, he couldn't take Kosmo with him. The last thing they needed was Kosmo interrupting with a wet nose to places no wet nose needed to go. Dressing casually, Keith's mind was busy with trying to figure out how to tell his mother he needed to leave immediately, not paying attention as he jogged through the halls. Jogging straight into Acxa with their two new most promising recruits Krystaal and Regetta.

 

Caught by Acxa, she stopped his backwards fall with a laugh. Things were going great for her and Veronica, her mood much more happy and outgoing, and her cheek had gone through the roof
"What are you doing? Krolia has been waiting for you all morning. You still have bed hair!"
"Leave him alone, Acxa. He's obviously sleepwalking"
Ignoring Krystaal's jab, Keith crossed his arms. The Galra reminded him so much of Lance that it was cruel. He might look like the love child of Acxa and Lotor, with Lotor's build and Acxa's cuteness, as his mother said, it was his personality that really reminded him of his husband. His stupid recklessness to throw himself in harm's way to protect someone else was just like Lance. He was a good guy, and it felt to him like he'd made a friend with no ulterior motives. He didn't suck up to him because he was Krolia's son or a past Paladin
"I have to go home. Lance needs me"
Acxa sobered
"Is he alright? He's not injured, is he? Veronica is always saying he's working far too hard... He's not in hospital again is he?"
"No. It's not like that... well, it's kind of like that. He's not in a good place right now"
Keith appreciated how Acxa cared for Lance. Zethrid and Ezor had developed a soft spot for Lance too, though they were much more subtle about it...
"Will he alright? Can I do anything to help?"
Shaking his head, he realised he had no idea how exactly to explain why Lance needed him home without betraying his trust
"He'll be alright, but I need to leave right away. I don't know how long I'll be gone for"
"Of course. We'll handle things here, you go look after your husband"
"Thanks, Acxa. Oh... Let Veronica know I'm there, so Lance might not check-in..."
"I know you want to reassure her, but when you're both together anything could happen"
"With Daehra there? No, seriously though, he'll be fine. He's just a bit stressed from overworking himself so I need to head out. Can you watch Kosmo too?"
"Consider it done. Now go already!"
Slipping between them group, he started jogging again, throwing back over his shoulder
"I'll see you guys when I get back! Don't slack on training!"

 

Krolia let him go with minimal fuss, Kolivan, however, didn't look amused that he needed to take time off for his husband. Explaining that he didn't know when he'd come back only increased Kolivan's scowl, Krolia smacking her boyfriend upside the back of his head in a move only she'd be brave enough to try. The air around her had changed lately, Keith was wondering if she'd fallen pregnant again... He hadn't told anyone her news, and he suspected that part of the reason why they'd both kept him so busy because they were leading up to revealing their news and asking him to stay on longer... Which he didn't want, and didn't know how to say no too. She was his mother... and Lance... Lance was his whole goddamn world. It was hard enough to be with Lance as it was. A year like this... Keith wasn't sure he had the strength to keep leaving Lance behind. His heartfelt like it was breaking each time he did, and he knew his husband felt the same way. The photos of them that hung in the cockpit of his ship were painful on the long trips between planets. The videos Lance sent him lulled him sleep each night, he must have watched them a hundred times by now. He knew them off by heart. He was struggling so badly with this situation that he didn't want to go back to Daibazaal. It already felt like he wasn't made for a teaching role. Being with Lance had finally taught him the value of being patient, something Shiro had never drummed into his thick scull despite his personal mantra. He found himself quick to find fault with the latest batch of recruits, despite knowing that everything they'd trained in, in their whole lives had to be thrown away as they learned how to live in peace. One simply couldn't blindly strikeout, or act rashly, it would compromise the mission to act in haste. Yet the instinct was still there. The instinct and culture of proving one's superiority through strength. He was tired of it. He was tired of knowing that he and Lance would perform these mission with ease. He was tired of cleaning up messes. Lance might not have thought himself worthy of being a Paladin, but at least he'd been useful from the start. Not like some of the recruits. Shaking his head, he dismisses the train of thought as his wormhole to the outpost opened. His stomach felt queasy with nervousness over what condition Lance would be when he arrived, and his heart was racing slightly over the fact that he'd be spending the next movement having sex with his lover repeatedly. As excited as he was over that, he still felt as if he was forcing himself on his husband, who'd in his right mind, was still coming to terms with sex being part of their relationship. He didn't want Lance to ever feel forced, but his heat was about to do just that.

 

 

*
Landing his ship next to the outpost in his designated bay, Keith nearly forgot how to human as he went to disembark. First, he forgot to undo the straps to the harness, then he stumbled over his own feet once he was finally free. Berating himself for his idiocy, he bit his tongue as he missed the last step of ship's ramp. Waiting for him, Daehra was wringing her hands, rushing to him once he was few metres clear of his ship
"How is he?"
"I don't know. He's in your bedroom, but he didn't look well when he left"

 

Falling into step with Daehra, the pair of them headed towards the side entrance of the main building of the outpost skipping entering through the bar area
"Did it come on suddenly, or has he been feeling the effects for days?"
"He felt jittery last night, but the rest of his symptoms seemed to hit all at once while behind the bar. He said the events were too much for him to handle, even with his mask on he could smell them"
"Do you think I need to shower?"
"I do not know. I would recommend it, but your clothes are in the bedroom..."
Which meant walking around naked. Every corner of the outpost was under camera surveillance, except for the staff quarters, bedrooms and bathrooms. Instead, cameras were in the halls facing toward room doors in case of any incidents. Lance didn't want to invade people's rights privacy, the footage stored in the basement of the outpost where most of it would never see the light of day
"I think I'll try talking to him first. If he hasn't showered, I'll try getting him to"
"Good. I know there is food and water in the refrigerator in your quarters. Lance mentioned only once before that he isn't able to fend for himself properly during these heats, and that he often isn't in his right mind or control of his actions. As it is only starting, you should be able to converse. If you can't, and you need something delivered, I can bring it to your door for you to collect, but I'd rather not enter Lance's room"
"That's probably for the best. I don't know how my own instincts are going to react to the situation. I've told mum I might be here a while"
"Of course you are. You simply cannot leave once it's over. He needs to step back from his workload and I'm hoping your presence here will force him to do so"

 

Keith frowned, holding the door open for Daehra before following her into the brightly lit hallway
"How much sleep has been getting?"
"I think he's been averaging 5 vargas a night, then an afternoon nap of a varga or two, depending on how busy the bar is. Lately, he's been rearranging the storage area for-trade items, but he insists on being hands-on in every aspect of running the outpost from maintenance all the way through to cooking. He's been compiling a new menu that is better fitted to Tobias's skills, as well as helping to explain Earth food to the new man we took on in the kitchen. To ensure quality, he tastes almost everything"
"I know he doesn't mind cooking, but he used to leave it to your cook"
"Our cook left after being insulted. We swapped two of the housekeepers into the kitchen while Lance is looking for a new one, yet... They all fail when compared to Hunk or Miriam"
Keith rolled his eyes. Lance wanted to serve travellers a taste of home. He served mostly Earth alcohol, with special stock set aside for those he dubbed regulars
"Everyone fails when it comes to Hunk. Why don't you and Lucteal have a look at cooks? Like make a list of potential candidates, and I'll talk him into hiring someone"
"If anyone can make him see reason, it is you"
"I don't know about that. He didn't even tell me about this"
"I know it's hard to handle. I can feel your emotions rolling off of you. He's been having a hard time readjusting to having his marks. So many people were commenting on it, he wears his mask in the bar now to hide them, or tries to cover them with makeup. I don't think it helped either to learn that his seizures were more or less maintained by the blue medication he was previously on, and that's why the number rose after weaning himself off it. Then there's the fact he was told he'd be feeling residual weakness for up to 6 phoebs after coming off the gold injections. Now that they've stopped, he refuses to take anything orally, even for something as minor as a headache. He's most frustrating"
"He has his moments. Has he relapsed again?"
"No. No, he said he's scared that he will if given the chance. A customer tried to pay in pills for his lodging with you know we do take. He fled the bar and refused to leave his room until their stay had passed"
Most of the pills they took nowadays only went to greasing deals or working as bait. The worst of them were destroyed so they wouldn't fall into the hands of people like Lance, who were recklessly using them to cope
"He didn't tell me that"
"He was ashamed of the incident"

 

Continuing the small talk until they reached the wing to where Lance was hiding, things hadn't been all bad for his husband. They'd travelled to a mostly water planet where Lance had made friends with a group of orphaned children. Having no homes, he'd made it his mission to find someone to take them in. Daehra had said he'd acted like Miriam as he'd fussed over the 6 children like they were his own. He'd brought all of them new clothes, toys, food, backpacks to store their own belongings in, then found a space for them at a rebel camp because most orphanages wouldn't have been able to keep them all together. He'd also given them a comms in case of any emergencies or if they simply wanted to talk. Some had sent through photos of drawings with Lance and his team. There were other things his husband had achieved, like saving those tribes that had landed him in hospital. They'd wanted to build a shrine to him once they were able to resettle, instead, Lance had made them promise to talk and trade more with each other. Just because they lived the same lifestyle and came from the same planet, didn't mean they all got along. Not everyone they'd been able to evacuate survived, yet if Lance hadn't come all of them would be dead. He knew how his husband's silly brain fixated on the bad, without requiring Daehra's little push towards reminding Lance that the work he was doing mattered.

 

Pausing to knock on their bedroom door, Keith let himself into their room to find Lance hidden under a pile of blankets. The scent filling the space so powerful he unconsciously took half a step back as his senses filled with it. Distress. Apprehension. Fear. Loneliness. Horniness... He could taste it on the tip of his tongue. Mentally kicking himself for stepping back, the half-Galra's legs shook as he approached the bed. His brain felt as if it was being invaded. A little voice whispering all the dirty things the could be doing to his husband as he forced himself to keep himself in check. Reaching the side of the bed, he knelt do undo his boots, his fingers clumsy and jeans far too tight as started panicking over how his body was reacting. He didn't want to hurt Lance, yet he'd barely been in the room a dobosh and all he could think about was how he needed bend Lance over and fuck him several ways to Sunday. He wasn't going to last.

 

Stripping his clothes with his boots, Keith climbed up and crawled across their bed, his hand landing on the curve of the lump that would be Lance's hip. Beneath the blankets, his husband whimpered
"Babe, it's Keith. Can you come out so we can talk?"
"Go away!"
"Go away" was followed by a soft sob
"I can't do that, babe. Daehra said your heat's starting. I promised I'd be here for this"
Tugging on the top of the blanket, Lance started to cry harder
"Babe, I'm not going anywhere. I'm here now..."
"Go away... please go away"
"I can't do that..."
"Please! Don't look at me!"
That piqued his interest. Pulling the blankets back, Lance had both hands between his legs, fingering and jerking himself off as he cried into his pillow. He'd thought the scent bad enough before revealing the source of it
"Don't look!"
"Babe..."
"Don't look at me! Please... please... don't look at me..."

 

Beneath Lance's hip and arse, the light brown sheet was darkened from his wetness with each obscene squelch that Lance's fingers made. Whimpering away from him, his husband tried to curl downwards to hide away. Taking Lance by the shoulder, he forced him back onto his back. The Cuban's eyes scrunched closed tightly as he continued to cry
"Oh, baby..."
Hiccuping, Lance shook his head at him
"I can't... I'm sorry... I didn't know it was going to hit today..."
Lance had no idea how hard it was for Keith to hold back, but he wasn't an animal. He wasn't going to pounce on Lance simply because his dick was twitching with interest
"I'm sorry... I'll be good... just... stop looking at me..."
Hushing him softly, Keith stroked at Lance's hair
"Baby, you're not doing anything wrong. Let me help you?"
"I can't..."
"You can't what?"
"Can't... come... it hurts... it hurts so much..."
"I've got you... you just need to relax for me"
"I can't... you smell wrong... you don't smell like you... I can't... I can't..."
Running his free hand up Lance's thigh, Lance arched his back under his touch
"You're so tense, baby. Open your eyes for me, ok? I'm here... your husband is here... come on, show my those blue eyes of yours"

 

Sniffling sadly, Lance did as he was asked. Watery blue eyes staring up at him as he bit his bottom lip. Running his hand back up from Lance's thigh to his cheek, Keith tugged Lance's lip free with the pad of his thumb
"See babe. It's me. You're safe now. You're in a safe place. You can relax"
"I'm sorry..."
"Shhh. This isn't your fault. I want you to come for me"
"I can't..."
"Spread your legs for me, and let your fingers slide out your arse..."
"I feel..."
"I know you're all confused right now, but I want to see you come for me and I know you can"
"It's dirty"
"It's natural..."
"I'm... a freak..."
"No, babe. You're going to come for me"
"It hurts... it's never hit so hard before... it hurts so much"
"Babe, I'm here... I need you to let yourself go. Put your legs down, and slide your fingers out"
With both arms trapped between his tightly closed legs, the position hard to hurt as Lance tried to ignore what his body wanted him to do. Inch by inch, his husband wrenched his shaking legs apart, not removing his fingers but making space to jerk himself better. The sight was glorious. Lance's leaking precum rolling down his fist into his short pubes
"That's it... your doing so good"
"I can't come..."
"Don't think about anyone else. Think about me. Do you want me to touch you?"
Nodding, Lance's already flushed face grew redder. Shifting his hand from Lance's face, he wrapped it around Lance's, controlling the pace as he thumbed at his slit. Gasping, Lance's cheeks glowed brightly as his husband came, cum splattering down his chest and stomach as his whole body finally relaxed. Drawing all he could, Keith milked Lance's erection until finally nothing more coated his fingers
"Better, babe?"
"You smell wrong..."
"I came straight from Daibazaal..."
"Your smell... is making me feel sick... feel so hot"
"I'm pretty sure that's the fever from your heat. I thought we could take a shower together"
Lance whimpered as Keith propped himself up. His lover flinching as he tried to bring his legs back up to cover himself up
"Shhh. It's ok. I'm going to pick you up and carry you into the shower"

Chapter Text

Carrying Lance into the bathroom, Keith sat his lover on the bathroom counter. Lance was wiping at his teary face, unable to look him in the and unable to stop crying. Keith hated it. He was painfully hard, dizzy on Lance's pheromones, yet Lance was miserable. Slotting himself between his husband's legs, he pulled Lance up to his chest, rubbing his back as he ignored the teasing wetness wiping across his crutch
"Babe, it's ok... it's ok, you don't need to cry"
Hiccuping, Lance hid his face against his neck, Keith raising his left hand to rub his wrist against his lover's neck
"Shhhh..."
"I'm sorry! I'm so sorry..."
"You don't need to be sorry. You've done nothing wrong"
"It hurts... so much..."
"How do I help? What can I do?"
"I... want it... but it's so shameful... I hate this..."
"You want to have sex? If it hurts..."
"It hurts because there's... nothing in there... I'm sorry... I'm so sorry..."
"Babe, you're telling me I need to fuck you for you to calm down? Is that it?"
Lance nodded, sniffling loudly. His husband usually sought his neck out when distressed for his scent, if he wasn't pulling away than that had to mean that he'd finally found part of him that smelt acceptable
"Hey, I don't know if you can smell it, but there's nothing shameful about you. I want you. I want you so fucking bad baby..."
"It's not... you're not in control of yourself. It's this body"
"Lance. I love you and this body... Of course, I want my husband, and I'll do anything to stop you feeling pain like this. I know you're not lying, I can smell your pain on you, and I know it's not how you want things to be, but maybe we can enjoy each other? We can pretend it's our honeymoon. You and me, in our own little world?"
"I... I'm really fucking scared. I was working and hit... and people weren't people anymore... they were all scents... I couldn't see faces... but I could hear Klearo..."
"Oh, baby... it's ok. Here wrap your legs around me... I'm not going to lie, I'm not going to last long, but once I'm in you, it's going to feel so much better"
"I... can't... move my legs..."
"Alright. I've got you, baby. Do you want to lie back for me"
"No... too many scents"
"Ok. Here we go, you ready?"
"Ye-yes..."

 

Lifting Lance by the arse, Keith sank into Lance's wet heat with ease, barely able to keep from coming as Lance clenched around him. Lifting him off the bench completely, Keith turned to slam Lance up against the bathroom door, pinning his husband in place as he growled. Holding his hips down, Keith couldn't hold back his urges thrusting into Lance hard and fast, his husband's fingers tearing at the skin of his back as he dissolved into mews and gasps. Feeling his dick swelling and starting to catch, he nuzzled at Lance's temple until his husband finally raised his head
"I'm going to come, baby. You feel so fucking good around my dick... You ready?"
"Kiss?"
"You want to kiss?"
Nodding, Lance came between them, come hitting Keith's stomach as he pushed his lips against his husband's, letting his orgasm wash through him as Lance's body went limp beneath him. Running his hands up and down his lover's upper legs, he kept his lips against Lance's, breathing through his nose as he tried to distract his husband from the fact he was still rutting hard between his legs as he kept coming inside of him. He'd come embarrassingly fast, in a matter of moments, a few doboshes at the most. Breaking the kiss, Lance gasped as his head thumped back against the solid door
"Quiznak! Are you alright?"
"Hurts less... needed air"
Moving his right hand up to cup Lance's face, Lance nuzzled into the touch, kissing his palm
"You feel better?"
"Not so hot... I can think better... You... smell like Acxa... and... something rotten"
Wrinkling his nose, Keith kissed the tip. Lance looked far too cute not to
"Sorry. I ran into her and the trainees racing to get here"
"Can we shower? I don't like their scents..."
"It might hurt... I'm pretty stuck in here"
"I'm... sorry, but I'm going to be sick if I have to keep smelling them on you"
"Ewww. No. Hold on tight then..."

 

Lance's version of holding on tight was clawing at his back as Keith's dick jostled, which was far too swollen to pull out without harming his husband. Much more carefully than when he'd slammed Lance into the door, Keith propped Lance up against the shower wall so he took the brunt of the water as he adjusted it to be just above room temperature. With Lance feeling ill, hot water was more than likely going to make him vomit. Stepping back into the spray, Lance whimpered as the water hit his skin. His face hidden against his neck again so Keith couldn't see his expression
"Too hot?"
"No... feel gross... really drained"
"Does it still hurt?"
"No. Keith... why are you here?"
He hadn't fucked Lance senseless, instead, he'd fucked sense right into him
"Because Daehra called to let me know. Why didn't you? I thought we agreed to tackle this together"
"I know... but it... I didn't want to disturb you... you've been so busy with work... and this is... I hate this... it hurts... everything feels so gross... I don't want to take up too much of your time..."
Lance's words felt like a slap to his face, his heart giving an uncomfortable beat. He was his husband. Lance wasn't supposed to feel like that. He was the one person that Lance was supposed to know would always, always be on his side
"You're my husband"
"I know! I know... but... I don't know what to say... I'm so tired of interrupting your work... You work so hard... I don't want..."
"Lance, stop it. I'm your husband!..."
Shit. He was yelling. Lance didn't do well with yelling, plus yelling while still coming in his husband felt... weird when it wasn't him calling Lance's name
"...I'm your husband. You're meant to talk to me. Daehra said you're been sad. I know you've looked exhausted when we talk..."
"I'm fine"
"Babe... you're not fine. My dick is stuck in you... If you're not talking to me, I can't be here for you"

 

A tick passed, then another... and a third... Long enough that Keith thought Lance was going to fob him off with another half-arse answer... instead Lance howled in misery, dissolving into sobs again. Dammit. He thought Lance was calm enough for this
"I'm sorry! I love you so much but I don't want you coming home because I hate seeing you leave me behind! I don't know what to do because I don't want to burden you! Ugh... I'm sorry... I'm trying but... I miss you all the time... and I can't tell you that because your work's important... and... and... I... ugh... love you..."
Quiznak. He'd pushed him too far...
"I love you too. I love you so much. I hate having to leave you behind, but baby, you're never burdening me. If you don't tell me what you're feeling, then... what good am I?"
"I don't want you to hate me"
"I am not going to hate you. I don't hate you. I hate that I've kept letting you down"
"You... have work..."
"You're more important than work"
"No, I'm not... You're training the new generation of Blades while... I run just a hotel..."
"Look here you, no. You saved people. I've heard about it... and I saw you picked up some small bounties..."
"Its work anyone could be doing"
"Yet no one had bothered to organise everyone and bring them together like you did"
"They didn't want to... they didn't want it unless they were getting something out of it"
"But things have gotten better as a whole, haven't they?"
"I don't know... I'm sorry... my head gets weird"
"I know it does"
Lance shook his head
"I mean... in heat... it's hard to find words... I know this sounds like a cop-out... but I'm not right in the head"
Keith sighed. Sliding his hand up from Lance's arse, his dick and Lance's long caramel legs around his waist were the only thing keeping his husband up now, Keith threaded his fingers through his husband's went hair
"Why can't you get it already? I'm hurting too. I tell you when I missed you. When I'm lonely. I tell you that I watch your videos and that I hate working so much... Am I not supposed to tell you that?"
"No... no... I want to be there for you"
"That's what I want. I want us to be there for each other"
"I have... so much stuff going on... If you got hurt because of me... I couldn't live... argh... sorry... it's starting again..."
Quickly to move, Keith took Lance by the arse trying to relieved the pressure in his husband's legs, guiding Lance back against the wall and grabbing the shower gel from the holder
"It's starting again? Does it hurt again?"
Lance winced as he nodded, both hands coming to rest on his smooth belly
"Cramping..."
"I'm still in you... "
Lance nodded, his husband's chest rising further than normal as he took a deep breath, and released it slowly
"I know... I know... normally... I'm alone... feels better with you, but it's still tender..."

 

Lathering up the shower puff, Keith started with Lance's shoulders. He had no way of understanding what Lance was feeling physically. He could curse everything and everyone out there, but that wouldn't give him answers. He wanted to know. He wanted to know how to care for Lance properly so he didn't feel neglected, used or abused and wrong because his body was a little different
"What does it feel like? I mean... is there any way to describe it?"
"Um... like... food poisoning... When you get those sharp pains... and all you can think of is dying to escape the pain..."
Keith stiffened at the word "dying". Lance had tried taking his own life before, even as a descriptive word, his stomach felt as if it'd dropped to sit in his feet
"... then... there's the need to have sex... to be pushed down and fucked... to have your body acting on its own... it doesn't matter what you do, it doesn't go away... I know the pills were bad... but my heat was gone... it was gone and I could control my body... I don't like this... I feel like I'm using you because I can't take care of myself"
Having worked his way down to Lance's stomach as he washed him, Keith shook his head. A soapy hand coming up to force Lance to stare him in the eyes
"You are not using me. You are my husband, and I am so fucking proud of you for getting off that junk"
"I miss it... the feeling... some days I want to scratch my skin off because I can't take anything and the feeling doesn't leave"
"And you don't. Both times you slipped up, you told me. You told me and we talked about it together. You've gotta start telling me more"
Groaning in pain, Lance shifted upwards. Keith could feel his semen and Lance's wetness running down his crotch
"Babe?"
"Pull out... I need to stand up"
"Are you sure?"
Lance gave a weird kind of half headshake before nodding
"Please... I want to try relieving the pressure on my stomach..."
"Alright. Can you take your own weight if I pull out? It might hurt, I'm still pretty swollen"
"Mmm... go slow..."

 

The noises that left Lance's lips were pornographic as Keith pulled out. His dick was still oozing cum in a near-constant stream. Whimpering as he stood, Lance turned his back towards him in order to lean against the tiles
"Give me a tick"
"Want me to do your arse and thighs?"
"Please... feels weird in a bad way... I know it's you... I just... if I give my anxieties this... then they should settle... or something"
Despite the view of Lance's gaping leaking opening, and the pride Keith felt a watching thick trail of cum spilling down Lance's taint... and the fact that cleaning him up would ruin the view, Keith fought his instincts down again
"Lance. You don't need to explain why you need things a certain way like this... we've never spent a heat together, so it's a learning curve for both of us. If you want to be clean, I'm happy to get on my knees and worship this beautiful body of yours as you deserve"
"Ghwah! What am I supposed to say to that?!"
Squawking at him, Keith smirked as he sank down onto his knees and ran the shower puff up the back of Lance's left leg. Washing the spot first, he then trailed kisses over the scar marks, and mottled spots that came from time spent in a healing pod. He didn't understand why it mottled Lance's skin. Not that he complained. His husband was more than just his eye-catching body. As cheesy as it sounded, and if he were the romantic and whimsical type without a reputation to uphold, he might go as far as to say that it was Lance's soul that he was in love with
"Mmm... you don't have to say anything. I just want you to be comfortable"
"I don't think I'll be comfortable until this heat passes... I'm sorry... you're always the one who has to drop everything to look after me"
"And I'd do every single time..."
"I'd do it for you... come to you... this isn't working how we thought... argh..."
Hissing in pain, Lance pushed Keith's hands off him as he hunched over
"Babe!"
"It's ok... I'm ok... I need to get out..."
"I'll get out too..."
Lance shook his head, sadness in his eyes
"I can still smell them... I'm sorry..."
"I swear if you apologise again, I'm going to yell at you. It's nothing to scrub myself down, but will you be ok?"
"I'll be ok... I'm starting to get hazy again..."

 

Lance walked out of the shower space with the grace of a newborn fawn. Leaning against the bathroom counter, his husband hung his head, clearly concentrating on his breathing. Lance's heat had barely started, and his emotions were already a mess. Keith had the feeling that they wouldn't be getting much sleep, not just from Lance's physical needs, or his, but from the nightmares he was sure would plague Lance. Heats were such a horrible and painful for thing for him, not at all some kind of gift like he'd thought maybe he'd be able to show his husband. In theory, a movement of being dick deep in his husband was paradise, in reality, he was starting to see the truth.

Scrubbing himself thrice down, he'd barely rinsed off before Lance was staggering back to him, Keith wincing in sympathy as Lance fell down on his knees
"Lance!"
Shuffling forward, his husband's eyes were black with lust. His hands grabbing Keith's hips as nosed into his crotch
"Need it... need it... you smell so fucking good"
Keith had a healthy attachment to his dick. He never pushed Lance to do anything more than he was comfortable with. He never put his hands on Lance's head or covered his mouth with his hand. So when Lance slid his mouth around his aching dick, Keith's eyes nearly rolled back as his hands went up to grip just above his hips. Why did humans have to have hands? He had no idea where to put his hands... Lance had thrown himself into this, he'd barely started but the way he was working Keith's dick with his mouth... it was enthusiastic, to say the least. Bobbing his head, Lance paused for half a moment to spread his legs, releasing Keith's right hip and reaching down to finger himself while rising his sticking his arse out. Quiznak... Fuck... he wished there was a camera in their bathroom because there was no way that he was going to forget this and this was definitely going to be keeping him up during those early hours of the morning in more ways than one. The way Lance's eyelids were lidded. His scent coming off thickly like they were standing on the beach under the warmth of the noonday sun. The soft moans Lance louder groans as Lance hollowed his cheeks and fingered himself. The way droplets of water rolled down Lance's spine, his hips jerking softly as his wetness squelched lewdly. His heart was racing, if Lance kept this up, he was going to come... and he definitely didn't want to get bitten for doing so...

 

Pushing Lance with his fingertips on his husband's shoulders, Lance was confused. His mouth still open, trails of drool and precum arching like spiderweb threads from his soft lips to the head of Keith's oozing erection. Falling back to slightly, Lance's eyes widened as his fingers slipped deeper inside, a small spurt of come landing between his husband's bent knees
"Bed. Now"

 

Lance dragged him to their room, bending over the end of their bed and sticking his arse out as he moved to fist himself. Taking his husband by the hips, Keith growled. He could smell those offensive scents now and he didn't want them anywhere near his husband. Not in their space. Lance was his to fuck and breed. Shoving himself in harshly, Lance half shot up, a knee on their bed as Keith started to ride him
"Going to fuck you so good baby... breed you so fucking well..."
The Galra eyes had turned yellow, his teeth sharpening as his scent flooded the room, warning no one to dare cross the threshold lest he tear them limb for limb. Crying out, Lance came across their sheets as he clutched at the fabric for purchase...

Now their bedding was peeled back, he could see his clothes mixed into the layers of blankets. Their pillows were covered in his shirts, his pride swelling that his husband had surrounded him with his scent. Nudging him up, Keith pulled out until Lance had climbed up onto their bed properly, rewarding his husband for such good behaviour with a better position. Allowing himself a taste of his husband, Keith jerked himself as he leaned down to lap at his husband's twitching opening, moaning as Lance's sweet wetness rolled down his throat. Rocking back, Lance fucked ground his arse against Keith's face
"Keeeeith... need it... fill me... want it so bad... fuck me... wanna... breed... so empty..."

 

Keith's ears twitched at the word "breed". Running his tongue up his husbands arse, he repositioned himself, sheathing himself slowly in Lance in order to savour the feeling of his lover clenching and drawing him deeper. Bottoming out, he ran his tongue up to Lance's left ear, tugging at the lobe with his teeth. Just as slowly he drew back, Lance whimpering at the lack of pace. Ramming back in, his husband cried out. Repeating the action over and over, it was sweet torture for both of them, Lance dissolved into chanting
"Keith... Keith... oh... ah... ah .. fuck... fuck... oh fuck... oh fuck... oh fuck... so fucking big for me, papi... you feel so fucking good... gonna... gonna fuck me and fill me... fill... me so much..."
Smirking, Keith sat back. Pulling Lance's arse cheeks apart, the half-Galra widened his husband's legs with his knees, watching himself fucking Lance's sopping cunt as Lance hungrily ripped around his swelled dick. Mewing at the change of position, Keith picked his pace up. Slap after wet slap filling the space as the wetness of Lance's arse rolled down their thighs. He felt fucking high on the scent, his fingernails now claws to allow him to hold Lance firmly down and breed him. He was going to fucking flood him with his seed. He was going to breed Lance until his husband's arse was gushing his semen out of that slutty little hole of his. His husband's orgasms hitting in hard pulses, the sheets beneath splotched around the sticky darkened wet spot as he rubbed the tip against them in search for further stimulation, moaning and mewing as he tried to fuck down against the mattress and push back to get Keith deeper inside of him. Unashamedly debauched all self-restraint was gone. Lance had cum three times for him already untouched, crying and whimpering for Keith to let him fuck his hand. Praising his husband, he allowed him to ride out his fourth orgasm into his palm knowing that he couldn't stave off orgasm any longer. His balls felt heavier than normal, the girth of his penis stretching Lance so wide open his husband looked impaled, ready to tear so easily around him. Snarling as Lance messed with his rhythm by bottoming out, Keith let his fingernails break Lance's skin
"Fuck me harder... fuck... Keith... need it... need it... please...

Lance pressed his smooth chest against their sheets with his arse up in the air whimpering at being unable to get enough friction on his dick, humping his hand. Pushing Lance up with his thighs, he rocked his husband back against his dick, forcing him to fuck himself for daring to move
" .... Keith... Keith... harder... harder... shit... mmmnnn... fuck... don't-stop-don't-stop-don't-stop... I'm gonna... gonna... ah... ah... gonna get pregnant... fuck... fuck... ah... mnnnn nnngh... ah... Ah!"
Fuck going slow...
Riding Lance mercilessly hard through his orgasm, Keith tasted blood as his vision misted red, and his own orgasm crashed through him so hard he fell forward as his hand flew to his dick, trying to stem the overwhelming gushing feeling like he was pissing inside his husband due to the force.

Every time he came inside Lance, it felt like a primal surge to thoroughly soaked his husband's insides with his seed. He loved to watch as his cum ran from his lover's arse and down his thighs. He loved to lick Lance clean. Revelling in the way Lance would hold his head down with those thick caramel thighs of his. He loved teasing the over sensitised ring of muscle with the tip of his tongue, ignoring Lance's embarrassed begging when his scent wasn't matching his words. His husband would be trying to fuck himself on his tongue as wet and cum covered Keith's lips and chin. He held no shame during sex with Lance. Not anymore. The way Lance cried out for him, for more... knowing he was all his and all those who'd seen the sight that rightfully belonged to him were all dead... he was drunk on the feeling. Drunk knowing that Lance had placed his ultimate trust in Keith to let go and give in to their instincts.

 

Coming down, Lance was sniffling beneath him and his nape was between Keith's teeth. Realising he'd bitten his husband hard enough to break the skin, Keith forced his teeth out of the bite, licking at the blood because he didn't know what else to do. It wasn't like he liked the taste or scent of blood. There were too many bad memories associated with it. He hadn't even meant to bite Lance. Pulling Lance sideways, Keith curled around him, rubbing at his belly as he swapped from licking to nuzzling
"Babe? Babe, you with me?"
"Tired... hurts..."
"Shit babe. I'm so sorry... I didn't mean to bite you as I came..."
"Hurts..."
"I know... fuck... I'm still coming..."
"I want to sleep..."
Sliding a hand up, Lance gripped at his pillow as he nosed into it. Having ridden through the wave of need again, Keith was feeling drained. Lance taking the brunt of everything must have barely been awake in his hold
"You sleep my love... you sleep, I've got you"
"You won't go... will you?"
"No, babe. No... you take a little nap for me... I'm going to be right here"
"Ok... it's cold"
Keith was drenched in sweat. It wasn't cold, but for Lance's sake, he grabbed a handful of the strewn blanket and pulled it over them
"I'm sorry"
There it was again
"It's alright. You're alright... get some sleep for me. We'll have something to eat and drink when you wake up"
"Not hungry..."
"I don't care. You need food..."
He needed food, rest and probably medication. Or at least Daehra's vitamin pills if he couldn't get Lance eating. Nosing at Lance, his husband didn't reply, unexpectedly already asleep or more likely he'd passed out.

 

As Lance's heat grew, his ability to do anything himself became practically nonexistent. He couldn't sit up to eat or drink unaided, Keith sitting him in his lap to feed him which was never more than a few bites before Lance would whimper at him to say no more. Water was harder, Lance barely able to swallow water and pills. The second time Keith had tried to give him pills Lance had had a panic attack so bad he'd thrown up and passed out after fighting him off. His husband's sleep was broken, not more than a varga or two at a time unless Keith stayed buried in his husband. It was mentally draining, yet Lance reaching him with those loving arms of his and shy smile on his face made it worth it. He couldn't take Lance's fear away, or help his husband control his bodily functions, but he could worship every inch of Lance's soft body when he was buried between his legs. He could take his time to pleasure Lance into orgasm. To press soft kisses to his love marked skin, and whisper words of praise at his husband's strength. He could be there when Lance woke disorientated and whimpering, pulling him up to straddle his lap as he rubbed his back until he settled. He could be there to carry Lance to the bath so he didn't have to sleep covered in cum and other fluids. To wash his hair and dry him down. He didn't know how much registered for his husband, but he hoped Lance knew and could feel his love for him.

 

 

*
Lance felt as if he was melting. Everywhere Keith touched blossomed with warmth. He could hear his husband's soft words, feel the love in every soft caress and gentle thrust. He wanted to be able to reply, but his throat was wrecked from crying out as often as he had. They'd gone it at like rabbits, not a surface in their bedroom or bathroom hadn't been free from his heat. His body in overload from the pleasure and love. He loathed his heat, this one the worst he'd ever experienced, but it was manageable only because Keith was there to keep him safe. His husband never faltering in his duties, whether it be feeding him, bathing him or fucking him, Keith was there.

Moaning as his husband slowly rocked from behind, his heat was wavering. The persistent crampings of his stomach lessening to a constant thudding ache as Keith pleasured his body. He could feel Keith's lips against his neck, his right leg raised and supported as Keith jerked him in time with his thrusts, his dick thickened but limp from how many times he'd come. Feeling another wave of orgasm building, the soft whine from his kiss swollen lips was all Keith needed, to know he was close. Picking up his pace, Lance came with a strangled whine, Keith growling as dick caught spilling warmth through his belly. Trying to roll his upper half, he flopped back like a dying fish, feverish eyes finding Keith's. Gently kissing him, Keith gave him a tired smile, lowering his leg and wiping his hand off, before bringing it up to cup his face. The pad of his thumb rubbing softly across the dip under his eye
"Hey, beautiful. Are you with me?"
Blinking at Keith, he wanted to reply. Coughing slightly at the woolly feeling of his mouth, Keith hushed him
"It's alright. I think your heats passing, your scents settling down"
"Mmm..."
It was more than he'd expected to be able to reply
"I wanted to make sure you knew I'm here"
He did... his stupid words weren't working, but he could still move his lips
"I love you"
Keith took a moment with his brow scrunched slightly
"You said you love me, didn't you?"
"Mmm..."
"I love you, too. Fuck, babe. I love you so much"
"Thank you"
"You don't have to thank me... I know you never would have left me to go through this alone. Besides, you're really beautiful"
Lance wanted to shove his husband playfully, but all he could do was let his eyelids start to droop. He was so quiznakking tired, and Keith felt so damn nice to cuddle into
"You should sleep. You did so good baby. I'm so proud of you"
Leaning in, Keith nuzzled into his cheek beside his nose as he kissed him softly. Keith was far more than he deserved. Who'd want to spend a movement like this? Forced to take care of someone too weak to do much more than whine or force themselves upon them. He adored him more than life itself.

Chapter Text

Coming out of his heat, Lance slept through the following quintant and a half. While his husband slept, Keith changed their sheets and found up the few blankets that hadn't made it onto their bed. Unlike Lance, Keith still felt the lingering urges from the past week, jerking off more than once in the shower to calm himself back down. Cleaning through the bathroom, he was glad that no one had seen the mess they'd made. The counter doors, shower wall and bathroom door had taken the brunt of their passions... which left him blushing like mad. If anyone had seen them... he would have clawed their eyes out. That side of Lance belonged purely to him, and now that they'd been through their first heat together, he had a much better idea of how to care for his husband in the future. He didn't know how much Lance remembered of it, but if he'd had access to an IV line and vitamin injections instead of pills, he would have been able to keep on top of Lance's needs far better... maybe he could get some stewed fruit or puddings, something easily swallowed that wouldn't hurt lance's throat. They also needed to get a fan for their room. The outpost might have built-in air vents, but that didn't help when Lance was freezing cold and had them buried under a mountain of blankets with Keith boiling his arse off.

 

Hearing a thud from their bedroom, it was followed by a weak calling of his name. Thinking Lance would sleep through his shower, Keith grabbed his towel and rushed into their bedroom. Laying on the floor, Lance was tangled up in their blankets, struggling weakly to untangle himself. The moment of worry at the sound of the "thud" passed in an instant. Lance looking adorable with his tussled bed head, and pouty lips. Sucking his lips in to avoid laughing at his husband, Keith stared down at him as Lance's pout only grew
"Help?"
"What happened?"
"I needed to pee... my legs didn't get the memo"
Lance's voice was husky from overuse. Having given up on escaping the blankets, he played with the hem of the blankets as he broke his gaze
"Alright, babe. Let's get you up. How do you feel?"
"Hot... tired... sick... grateful"

 

Pulling Lance free from their blankets, he hiked his husband up to his chest. Lance wrapping an arm around his shoulders
"Grateful?"
Lance nodded with a sign
"That you were here... are here... it must have been bad for you"
Kissing Lance's hair, what he'd gone through was nothing when compared to what his husband had been through
"I'm fine. A little tired, and a bit drained, but I'm alright. How much do you remember?"
"Most of it... I knew you were there, talking to me"
Sitting Lance down on the bathroom counter, Keith went to leave so his love could have some privacy. Wrapping his arms around his chest, Keith was pulled back against Lance. He felt weirdly glowy at his husband's words... A stupid, ridiculous happy glow
"I know... my heat's nearly all gone, but can we...?"

 

Turning in his hold, Keith cupped Lance's face. His big blue eyes staring into his own
"Babe, are you sure? You don't feel feverish and you don't smell as sweet now"
"I can feel it in my veins still... I... sometimes feel it after... but I ignore it... because I'm usually so miserable. I want to have sex with you while I'm mostly me..."
"I thought you needed to pee?"
Lance blushed lightly, biting his lip before giving a half shake of his head and replying
"I didn't want to say I'm horny... I'm sorry... I don't want to force you..."
"You're not forcing me. I'm worried about you. You've slept for most of the last two quintants. You're dehydrated and haven't eaten"
"Forget I said anything... you've done... enough for me. I shouldn't be asking for anything more"

 

Lance's scent filled with rejection, his whole frame slumping down. Keith wasn't trying to reject him. He'd simply thought that Lance had been completely open about his heat and that when it ended, that was it. He didn't want Lance thinking that he needed to give him sex as some kind of reward for being there
"That's not it at all. I'm worried. It was intense on your body"
"Is that why? Are you disgusted? By me and this? I... I shouldn't have made you come home"
"No. Hey, no. You're my husband. You'll always be my husband. I love that you want me. If you want me, you have me, but we're taking it slow. Then you're going to take a bath with me, and have something to eat and drink"
"Sounds good... my throat hurts"
"Sounds to me like I need to kiss it better?"
"Mmm... my neck hurts too..."
Guilt tugged at Keith's heart. He'd cleaned the back of Lance's neck up where he'd bit him, dressing the site with a waterproof bandage, but he'd left for the last few days because he didn't want to disturb Lance's rest
"That's my fault. I... bit you. On the first night when I came. I'm so sorry. I cleaned it up and I don't know why I bit you, but there was blood..."

 

Running his hands up from where they rested near the small of Keith's back, Lance brought them forward and up along his chest them further up to cup his face
"Keith... it's ok. I know how instincts get... I know if you hurt me, you feel it a million times deeper than anyone else... Now please, I want my husband"
"Promise you'll tell me if it hurts. We had a lot of sex"
"My body is ready... I'm already wet for you"
"You're a fucking minx"
Reaching up his left hand, Lance brushed his hair back from his face. Patting the spot down with a soft smile
"And you... You're the most amazing husband... I know I was out of it, but I heard you... I heard what you said... I love you, my mullet haired idiot"
Huffing Keith tried to hide how happy his accidental husband made him. Lance's love was so pure and all-encompassing. It'd been lost on Allura, or rather Allura's loss. How she didn't fall completely head of heels for Lance he didn't know
"You're the idiot. All I've got are these two hands to protect you... but I can't protect you from this"

 

Moving, Lance took Keith's hands in his
"You have these two hands to protect everything that I hold dear. You use these two hands to come home to me, ok? We need to talk, but right now I need you to take this pain away"
Keith's bottom lip wobbled. The thought of leaving again hitting him like a Galra cruiser in the part of his brain filled with his abandonment issues and feelings of shortcomings
"I don't want to leave you... let me take you back to bed and do this properly"
"Such a romantic"
Bopping Lance's nose, Lance made to bite at his finger
"Only for you"

 

Laying Lance out on their bed, his husband was a masterpiece. His body littered with the various marks Keith had left across his skin over the last moment. Some had already healed and were gone, like where his fingernails had broken the soft skin over Lance's jutting hips, the smaller love nips had stayed. He'd lost weight again, even more over the movement. He'd have to spend the next movement fattening his husband up again.

 

*
As Keith bottomed out, Lance's back arched as he moaned in pleasure. His long legs wrapping around Keith's waist as his husband slowly drew back and thrust back in carefully, a jolt running through his body as his husband hit his sweet spot. After a movement of this, he should have been tired of sex. He was tired of sex. He was tired of everything in general, yet when Keith had come to rescue his dumb arse from the floor, the sight of his mostly naked lover had him growing wetter than when he'd woken from dreaming of his lover. Keith had been so good to him. Way too good to him. Far better than he believed he deserved. Having been able to finally put it all into words, he found himself unable to convey the magnitude of his gratefulness. The man between his legs truly loved him. Truly treasured him.

 

Riding him slowly, Keith's hands roamed across his body. Occasionally he'd stop to press a kiss to some part he'd deemed of his affections deserving, but for the most part, Keith had a weird smiling sex face on that was adorable. It was so far gone from the shyness he'd held when losing his virginity. He'd grown confident. He loved to touch as much of Lance's body as he could. Keith's warm hands felt as if he was wiping away the memories of everyone else who'd touched his skin. No longer did he jump or flinch when Keith would whisper near his ear. No longer did Keith's scent of voice blend with theirs... He felt better for having shared his heat with Keith, despite the voices in the back of his head continually pointing out how much of a burden he was to his husband. He hadn't been wrong through. His heat had been the worst one he'd ever had. Normally he could make himself get off the floor to take care of himself in simple ways such as drinking water, yet with his husband there it was like some invisible wall had shattered and his body knew Keith would take care of his useless form.

 

Feeling Keith kissing him, Lance immediately responded by deepening the kiss as he rolled his hips. Out of everywhere, his hips felt it the most. He'd been surprised at the feeling of being stretched so wide as Keith slotted between his legs. He wasn't sure his arse would ever go back to normal. Keith had felt like... he was big. Even if his human-looking dick only looked a little bigger than normal, it was deceptive as hell. That thing grew so big that felt like he'd been impaled in all the best ways. The thing deep in the back corners of his brain that controlled his heat loved it. The way Keith would swell and catch. That thing near the base of his dick that made it hard to pull out. The feeling of Keith filled him with his spunk... He wanted to feel all of it all over again. Whining into the kiss, he tried to sit up and on Keith's lap. Instead of getting the message, Keith stopped altogether drawing a frustrated whine from Lance's lips
"Babe?"
"I wanna sit in your lap"
"You don't need to..."
"I want to... want up"

 

Keith snorted at his childish exclamation, yet still pulled him up as he sat back. Whimpering as he let his weight fall, Keith seemed to be buried impossibly deeper within him, stroking up the embers of his heat into a fierce fire in his gut. Placing both hands on Keith's shoulders, he forced him down, starting to riding him hard and fast, his mouth hung slightly open. Fuck. It felt good. Like Keith's dick was made to him every good bit inside of him. Plus the look of pure pleasure on Keith's face was worth it. He loved his husband. He loved the little pants and growls he gave, and the way he'd try to match Lance's rhythm knowing bottoming from the top would wear him out ridiculously fast. Bringing his left hand up, he gripped his erection, whining as he started to jerk himself off. He couldn't do any of this without Keith. Keith was the one that made this body tolerable
"Babe... babe, I'm going to come"
Nodding quickly, Lance wasn't going to last much longer. His body's only thoughts were on being bred by Keith which meant pleasing his husband by performing well. Even if Lance had vaguely figured out as much, his body and his mind still weren't communicating. He wanted to fuck because he was horny. That's what it came across as
"Gonna... come... fuck... fuck... Keith... ah... uh! Ah! Ah!
His toes curled as he came, stuttering out his moan as three hard pulses sent cum across Keith's stomach and chest. Half rising as he started to come, he dropped hard and bonelessly back down, Keith now deeply inside of him where warmth started to form. He wasn't entirely sure he could feel Keith coming or if it was psychosomatic from knowing he was. He liked to think he could. It made his belly feel warm and full in all different ways from eating, or being used like a cum dumpster. It was a good kind of full that turned bad the moment Keith pulled out. That was when the panic and terror would set in. He was beyond grateful that Keith hadn't let him sleep messy. His skin had to be as clean as possible. Even if it was an irrational fear, he couldn't get the idea of being fucked in his sleep by someone he didn't want out his head. His mind couldn't put two and two together even in heat with Keith, in a locked room with no one else having entry. Waking up with cum across him equated to someone touched him without permission.

 

Licking his lips, he let himself be cuddled by Keith enjoying the steady thumping of his racing heart. His stubborn husband had such a kind soul beneath all the emo prickliness. He just wanted someone to see him for him, and to love him for it. And he did. Rubbing his cheek against Keith's chest, Keith laughed softly
"Enjoying yourself?"
"Mmm... just thinking about you"
He heard the skipped beat of Keith's heart. That tiny moment of panic that raised his husband's pulse a tad more
"Me?"
"Yeah. I love you... you make everything more bearable"
"You..."
"I had you worried for a moment, did I? I heard your heart skip a beat for me, babe"
"With the amount of worry you put me through, I'm surprised my heart hasn't stopped"

 

It was a joke. It was just a joke. He knew it was a joke... yet his frazzled emotions didn't know it was a joke. Tensing in Keith's hold, he squeezed his eyes closed tightly as he tried to fight from crying
"Babe? You ok?"
Sniffling, he was losing the fight. Tears dripping on to Keith's chest. His husband's voice was soft but firm
"Hey... what are you thinking?"
"I'm sorry... I want to be good... better. I don't want to make you worry"
"You are good and you are doing better"
"I know you were joking, so if I'm doing better, why am I crying?"
"Because you're exhausted from your heat"
"I'm so tired... this between us... it isn't over is it?"
Keith hugged him tightly, burying his face in Lance's hair
"Work sucks and I hate leaving, but even if it spelled the end of everything in existence, I could never give you up"
Allura had... she'd left him behind like this...
"I'm not Allura"
Quiznak. He hadn't meant to say that out loud
"I know..."
"But you're right we really need to sit down and work this out. Daehra said you're not sleeping properly and pushing yourself too much"
"Daehra has a big mouth"
"Lance"
The way Keith said his voice, it was like he was commanding him to explain without raising above a loving whisper
"I have to. If I stop I think too much... I don't have the pills anymore and it's... it's really hard getting out of bed knowing you're not here... days are longer here, remember... I have to wait longer for news that you're ok... and I don't want you quitting work. I don't want you thinking about me all the time because I should be better now! It was three movements... not my whole life"
"You were tortured. You were tortured and you don't know how long they actually held you because space around here is hinky. You're allowed to still be healing..."
Shaking his head, Lance nosed at Keith's chest. He'd already thought about that in the past, more than he wanted to admit. He'd never truly, one hundred per cent know how long he was out and used for their pleasure. He didn't need Keith adding to his worry, and by default, worrying himself more
"I don't want to talk about it anymore..."
"Alright. We can talk later"
Good. His throat felt too raw as it was. Moaning hadn't helped... Dios... he'd been such a slut for his husband during his heat... Keith had to be a bigger pervert then he gave him credit for.

 

 

*
Waking on the fourth day after Lance's heat ended, Keith found their bed devoid of his husband's warmth. Lance was still weakened from his heat, and following the advice of his instincts, he'd stayed with his husband in their room knowing that Lance didn't have the physical strength to protect himself. He certainly had the mental strength, stubbornly shuffling around their room and insisting that he could feed himself. Messaging Daehra to let her know that Lance's heat had passed, she'd enquired as to when they would be returning to the outside world. Keith wanted to give it until the end of the movement, Lance didn't appreciate being babied... his husband's sulking lasting a whopping 5 doboshes before he scooted back in their bed and let Keith hold him.

 

Climbing out their bed, the half-Galra could hear water running meaning Lance was in the shower. Letting himself into their bathroom, he found Lance curled up in the corner of the shower, apparently sleeping. Shaking his head, he killed the flow of now cool water and squatted down by Lance, not caring that his sweat pants were getting damp as he took Lance's face in his hands, cringing at the lump his fingers found just above the hairline on the left. Soooo not sleeping
"Lance, babe?"
Tapping Lance's face, sleepy blue eyes blinked at him
"Babe, what happened?"
"Seizure..."
Semi slurring but not quite Keith's heart fell at the Cuban's answer. He'd prayed that by some miracle they'd vanished off the face of existence. He'd also been incredibly grateful to the powers that be that Lance hadn't had one during his heat
"Did the seizure happen in the shower or in bed?"
"Brushing my teeth... think I hit my head... wet myself..."
"Why didn't you call me?"
"Didn't pass out... 'nd was embarrassed"
Usually, Lance's seizures had him out for vargas like his panic attacks did
"Ok... I'm going to help you up now... and I'm going to take you to see Daehra. Just to make sure you're all ok"
"'m fine. You're fussing. This wall and I are besties"
"You're such a dork, you know that right"
"Mmm... I'm a dork with a wall as a best friend. Winning in life right now"

 

Hefting Lance up and over his shoulder, before he could complain further, Keith carried him back to their bed. Sitting him on the edge, he pointed his finger at his husband
"Stay"
Raising an eyebrow, Lance yawned as he dropped backwards
"'m not Kosmo"
"No. Kosmo... well, I can't say he's better trained... but he usually stays in bed"
"He's a menace"
"He takes after your side of the family"
"Can't deny that..."
"Nope. Now, I'm going to dry you and we're going to go see Daehra"
"Fiiiine... wake me up when we get there"
Reaching down, Keith pulled Lance back up to sit up
"Whope! Nope. No sleeping just yet. Gotta get your head scanned first"
"Why? It's already fucking broken"
"Not broken, just a little muddled"
"I fucking suck"
"Ok, that's it. No more talking. Just sitting"

 

Helping Lance to the med room, because his husband was a stubborn shit who wouldn't let him carry him, Daehra met them there. With more space than on the Telula, Daehra had more toys than Keith remembered, her face practically shone with pride as caught Keith looking around the space
"I'll be taking on my own proper staff soon. Coran made a lot of these supplies possible for us. Now, Lance, how did you manage to hit your head when Keith's been looking after you?"
Lying himself down on the examination table, Lance lazily waved a hand
"Seizure... I was brushing my teeth"
Grabbing her holopad, Daehra synched with the scanner above the examination table
"Do you know how long it lasted?"
"Few ticks... I didn't pass out..."
Keith interjected
"I found him sleeping in the corner of the shower. I don't know if he's out of it from hitting his head or the seizure"
Pouting, Lance closed his eyes
"Dobber... 'm fine, Dae just a bit sleepy"
"I'll be the judge of that. How was his heat"
waving his hand, he hoped Dae appreciated the effort
"It was fine..."
"I was asking Keith, not you. Now lay there and behave yourself"
Snorting at Daehra bossing Lance around, Keith waited for the soft hum of the scanner to stop before taking his husband's hand in his
"It was different from what I expect, but now we've been through one together, I think I've got a better idea of what to do next time"
"I'd like to know more. If we can isolate the compounds that directly neutralised his heat..."
"No"

 

Lance didn't let Daehra finish her train of thought, despite the fact that Keith was interested in what she had to say. He didn't want to suppress his husband's urges, or make Lance feel ashamed of his body. But that didn't mean he didn't want Lance to not have the option if he chose
"Lance..."
"No drugs..."
"Babe, Daehra only wants to help"
"No drugs... no pills... I don't want... them"
"These are...
"Keith, no"
"Babe, I'm not trying to force you. I want you to be safe, well and happy. I want you to have the option of them in the future"
"I don't want any pills! I don't want anything in my system!"
"You..."
Getting annoyed, Lance pulled his hand away
"You don't get it, Keith... it's like... you being stabbed when you love knives so much. Now imagine you're in a room surrounded by people holding your precious knives and they all want to stab you with them... it's safer to stay away..."
Keith hadn't been through addiction and Lance had no idea how start explain the urges that came with it
"I understand where you're coming from... I only want you to be healthy. I love you"
Pouting, his traitourous heart skipped a beat. Stupid Keith and his stupid love... He didn't want to feel happy, he wanted to feel understood
"I love you, even when I'm mad at you"

 

Humming, Daehra tapped on her holopad
"It's nice to see you're both as lovesick as usual. Lance, it's all surface damage. Your skull is as thick as it's always been. Your vitamin levels are down across the board, and you're dehydrated and a tad malnourished. That's to be expected given you and Keith have been so busy. I'm going to start a saline drip line. No drugs, just a bit of water to hydrate your cells"
"No drugs"
Daehra nodded with a smile
"No drugs... Keith... should have a line too. He was really tired Dae"
Keith crossed his arms
"I'm fine, babe"
"Don't listen to him... I don't think he slept much either..."
Sure, he hadn't slept much but he'd eaten and made sure to keep his fluids up the best he could. Staring down at his husband, Lance opened his eyes to shoot him a pleading look. Quiznak. He couldn't say no to that
"Alright. Scooch over"
"You might have to do the "scooching", I'm sleepy"
"So demanding"

 

Manoeuvring Lance into his arms, Keith watched as Daehra prepared the IV bag for Lance. Taking a few ticks to doze off, Keith waited for Lance's breathing to even out
"I know he said no drugs, but have you got anything to help with his vitamin and mineral levels?"
"I was going to give him a herbal solution to help, but I think we both had the same idea about waiting until he fell asleep"
"I tried to get him to take his pills during his heat, but he ended up throwing them up and panicking. I was thinking next heat that an injection would be easier, I could give him those while he slept"
"It looks to me you both could use more sleep"
"He's pretty much slept nonstop since it ended. I think we were both feeling it towards the end there"
"It's good to see him resting. Do you know how much more time you have off?"
"At this moment, you're the only one I've contacted via comms. Have you heard anything?"
"Your mother checked in to make sure you arrived. Shiro also tried to call. The others were concerned when they couldn't reach Lance"
"Others?"
"From what I understand Pidge, Shay and Hunk. For your group call?"
"Oh..."
"I told him that you were both spending time together and unavailable at the moment. I want you to make sure he eats after this"

Nuzzling Lance's hair, his husband flinched in his sleep as Daehra inserted the cannula
"I have been. His throat's been pretty tender from it all, not that that stops him"
"And his more intimate areas?"
Keith had the decency to blush... he'd pretty much wrecked Lance's arse repeatedly as he drilled him on any surface that would take their weight
"A little bit of tearing, but he's been healing fairly well. I should probably get you to double-check the wound on the back of his neck. I bit him pretty hard"
"If there was any kind of infection, the scanner would have picked it up. It didn't heal immediately?"
"No. Possibly because all his energy was going into his heat..."
"We'll take a little look at that when it wouldn't result in you having to let him go. He has missed you very much"
Smiling fondly at his lover, the feeling was very much mutual
"I miss him too. I feel like everything I feared is coming true with this outpost. We're both working so much. I thought I'd be able to use here as a base, but I'm so busy on Daibazaal or with missions that I'm not home as much as I want to be"
"As long as you know this is your home"
"Wherever he is, is home. How're things around here? Did you hire..."

 

Coming at him with a second saline bag, Keith wrinkled his nose as the cannula was inserted in his vein. Both he and Lance had relatively obvious veins in the crooks of their elbows. The ones on his hands were better... but hands always hurt a stupid amount in comparison
"... Did you hire a new cook? Or make a decision?"
"Shiro said he'd send someone out from the Atlas to help, but I've narrowed it down to two"
"You should hire both of them..."
"You haven't seen their credentials"
"I trust your judgement. If I never trusted you, I wouldn't have let you touch Lance"
"I seem to remember in the beginning you were quite against it"
"And I seemed to remember in the beginning your English was ridiculously formal. We've both changed"
Daehra giggled
"I think honestly Lance has changed the most. Not touching was the very basis of our professional relationship. He always supported us and our endeavours"
"He was always the glue that held Voltron together. Even when he couldn't see it himself... we all treated him like shit without realising... I wish I could go back and tell him how I actually felt, instead of feeding his silly rivalry game..."
"He's happy... most of the time. He still gets hung up on the negatives though... He's happy enough when he's busy, and not thinking about you"
"I hate not being here... I feel like I'm missing so much. We agreed on a decaphoeb, but it doesn't feel like it's working... Mum's got me training new recruits, and it's... frustrating. I can't take Lance to Daibazaal because it messes with his senses. I can't take him on missions because I don't want to put him in danger... Kolivan would have a heart attack if I even suggested it..."
"Have you talked to him? Told him that?"
"More than once..."

 

Silenced by Lance mumbling in his sleep, Keith hushed him as his husband softly whimpered "Klearo" and "no"
"I'll leave you two to rest. Please join us in the bar if Lance feels up to it"
"I think I'm going to take him to the kitchen. He'll start insisting on working again if he gets the chance"
"I wouldn't put it past him. Do you mind if I let Lucteal know how Lance is? He's been worried"
"Yeah. Let him know he's ok. Or he'll be ok. I'll have to start doing the call around. It's probably been movements already"
"It's been a little over one movement of our time. His heats last approximately one movements of your time"
"I keep forgetting your days are longer here..."
"His heat essentially lasted 4 of our days. Now, I expect you to make sure he takes it slowly. And I expect you to spend some quality time with him"
Keith nodded, he was in absolutely no rush to go anywhere
"Yeah. That's the plan"

 

*
When Lance woke they were still in the med room. Keith was being sappy as usual, kissing the spot where he'd just removed his cannula
"Dork"
Sprung in the act, Keith was adorable as he flushed
"You were supposed to be sleeping"
"Mmm... was. But my husband was being adorable and I don't want to miss that"
The throbbing, lingering headache that had plagued him since his heat ended had finally passed. When he'd collapsed in the bathroom, he'd thought it from that initially. Whatever Daehra had given him wasn't just simple saline
"How long?"
"She ran the bags on a slow drip so about 3 vargas. Your colour looks better. How do you feel?"
Humming, Lance took a moment to assess his body. He could feel his fingers and toes, which was a great start
"Everything's accounted for... my head feels better"
"That's good... up for some food?"
The part of that was "up" or at least part up wasn't up for food. Sex should have been the last thing he wanted now
"Yeah... food sounds good. I feel like I could still sleep for a phoeb"
"You can sleep as much as you like after you've led me to the kitchen"

 

Lance's heart fell a little at his husband's words. This was supposed to be Keith's home, yet his husband didn't even know his way around the outpost. Now that his heat had passed, Keith had no real reason to delay his return to Daibazaal... They'd both be going their separate ways until Keith had time to see him again... Biting down his feelings, Lance forced himself to sit up, cautious as he slowly made to stand unaided. His legs still felt like they were barely in their sockets, and now that he was standing the fact he was semi-hard was painfully obvious thanks to the sweat pants he was wearing. No one ever warns you of the risks when you go commando in sweats
"Babe?"
Waving off Keith's concern, he didn't want to be touched. If Keith laid his hands on him, Lance was scared he might resort to physically begging him not to leave
"I'm fine. The kitchen isn't that far from here and I have a craving for something meaty"

 

Simonne and Marla were both in the kitchen when Lance led Keith into the space. Giving them a small wave, he ignored Keith in favour of raiding the cupboards and freezer for what he was looking for. Being in a commercial-sized kitchen wasn't anything like cooking at home. There was a distinct lack of homely charm that he couldn't get used to. Plus, the big walk-in freezer designed to lock when the hit the latch leaving him perpetually scared either himself or his staff would freeze to death... He'd kind of wanted the cook they'd had for a few movements to end up in there in order to cool his temper off. The man had big dreams so he'd given him a chance, but Lance soon regretted it after seeing him lose his temper at Tobias for returning a dish because it'd been essentially raw. Tobias didn't deserve that. Giving him a verbal and written warning, two quintants later the man had quit because someone else had a problem with their meal. In Lance's opinion, the menu was too big. People came here to drink and sleep, eating was a far off thought and most people wanted something they could eat one-handed while drinking. Cutting their menu down to 5 mains and changing seasonally made more sense.

 

Gathering up the ingredients, Lance placed them down on the long bench in the middle of the room. Not sure of what to do with himself, Keith was leaning against the bench with his head in his hands. Trying not to stare at his husband, because God it was cruel how ripped and perfect Keith was, Lance jumped when Keith interrupted the silence
"What are you making?"
"Burgers. I've already done the patties when we had a fresh load of mince. So it's nothing fancy"
Keith leaned further into his hands, scratching at the scar from his fight with Kuron in an unconscious manner
"Can I help? I came home to help... and I'm supposed to be taking care of you. It's in the job description"
Lance's took offence to Keith's joke. He was completely done with the voices in his head. He'd known Keith for years. He'd literally told Keith that he shouldn't be making decisions for himself when it came to himself because honestly his hatred still ran deep. Taking a moment, he hated that Keith wasn't pushing because he knew Lance was thinking
"You can rinse the lettuce and tomatoes. They both need to be sliced... I'll do the onions, beetroot and the buns. I know there's a jar of pickles around..."
Onions were the perfect excuse if his stupid mind decided he needed to cry again. He wanted to cook for Keith. He wanted it to be good for his husband. Plus, he wanted to prove to himself that he could handle something as simple as making lunch for them
"Alright. Oh. Daehra said she was going to let Lucteal know you're up and around again. I'll have to call mum. She tried to call us. Personally, I think she's going to finally admit she's pregnant while we're both together"

 

Lance fumbled the bun he was removing from the bag
"She's what?"
"I only think she is... she hasn't confirmed it. I think that's why she's got me training the new recruits"
Lance rolled his eyes. He hated that Keith didn't seem to get it
"Babe, your mum's got you training the recruits because of those mad skills you've got. And because she trusts you. She needs someone she trusts to pass on the Blade technique-ee things you've all got going on over there"
""Technique-ee?" I don't think that's a word"
"I do. It's the best word for all your ninja stuff you do. That's great about Krolia, right?"
And not so great for them as a couple. Krolia would need Keith more and more as her pregnancy progressed. And depending on when she was due, Keith would probably need to stay on extra until she was back up on her feet again
"I mean... yeah. I think it is. I thought it was ok before I went home with you, but now I'm kind of really hoping she is... I want to spoil my sibling"
"Someone's got babies on the brain"
"No! No. Not like that! Not for a few more years... I mean... I'm just happy for her"
Keith's words stung a little, so without much in-depth thought on the matter Lance nodded, moving the conversation along
"Yeah, Krolia's going to have the cutest baby. I mean, I feel sorry for the kid having you as a big brother. You're pretty much perfect. That kid's going to have a lot to compete with"
"Pfft. You're the perfect one"

 

Giggling in the corner, Lance had forgotten the two maids were in the kitchen. It was lucky he hadn't opened his big mouth about his heat. Rolling the lettuce and two tomatoes over to Keith, his husband collected the items and moved towards the sink
"I kind of hope they look like Acxa. That'd be adorable"
"Or Krystaal. If they're a boy... Plus, just think about it. We could totally pull a Lotor and send them off to age up and take control of the empire when I retire"
Resisting the urge to throw something at Keith, the knives in the block just off to the right were all pretty appealing. He knew Krystaal was cute... but he hadn't seen her. Besides Acxa had her moments. Mostly whenever she saw Veronica and blushed
"That tooooooootally worked out great for Lotor... So no. You can't send your sibling off to age up. Plus, they're really cute when they're babies and all chubby. Nadia used to cry for hours, which isn't that cute, but she'd settle for me. She'd spend hours sleeping on me if she could. Like you and Juana"
"That was a freak incident brought on by all the love in your household. Did Miriam teach you how to make burgers?"
"She did, then Hunk showed me a different way. I'm not saying mami can't make burgers, but a burger has to taste like a burger and not like sausage meat"
"Oooh. I'm telling mami"
"We both know you wouldn't. Here, wash this for me"

 

Throwing Keith the onion he'd picked out, his husband washed and threw it back like they been spent every day of their married life in the kitchen and were well-seasoned pro's as Lance grabbed a knife from the block. Lance wasn't sure how many more days like this they'd get. Krolia needed Keith more than he did. His mental health didn't matter as much as her and his possible new sibling. Keith would make an amazing big brother now that all his sharp edges had been carefully rounded off. No. What Lance needed was to pull himself out his flunk on his own. He needed something to make up for that missing high, that wasn't Keith's touches and kissed because they'd be walking out the door soon enough with his husband. Dios... he was being such a petty bitch. Keith hadn't even left yet. Slicing through the onion he forgot to leave the end on. Barely half a dozen ticks passed before his eyes were watering. Sniffling, he forced himself not to wipe at his eyes lest he wipe onion juices into them. Sometimes in life, you needed to have a good cry on your own, and that's what his head was telling him he needed right now. Just to cry it out and reassess how he was now that his wretched heat had passed
"Dude, are you crying?"
Nodding
"I've been onioned. They're from Daehra's garden... which you haven't seen yet. I've got to show you while you're still here. She's even started working on cultivating desert and drought-tolerant plants to take home. We went for a run out to collect cuttings. Half of them didn't strike but the ones that did look pretty cool"

Returning with the lettuce and tomatoes, Keith frowned at him
"You didn't tell me that"
"It was when we picked up that guy who was wanted on Erathus for unpaid parking fines... like two phoebs ago I want to say. You know, the one who threw Lucteal against a wall so he smacked him over the head with his staff... I swear I told you"
"You didn't"
Lance would bet his life on it that he did, purely because of how funny it was at the time. The man had no idea that Lucteal had caught on fast when it came to training with his staff. He was just lucky Lucteal hadn't undone the middle and drawn his blades
"Yep. I know I did. I bet if you checked your comms, you'll find a pic. Lucteal took the commission for the bounty. I mean, it's not he hasn't picked up GAC before, but Daehra and I were busy being proud parents and now I'm rambling... I'm sure I did. It was after the volcano, but before... I don't know what came next. I think we some rebels here after... nope. It's gone. You need a knife. You can use the one from your boot on my food"
Keith rolled his eyes at him, playfully snarking
"I would have sterilised it first. I'm not some heathen"
"You probably wouldn't have remembered until halfway through. You know what, let's make Daehra and Lucteal lunch too"
"I thought we were eating alone?"
"And I thought my husband would see the issues with smearing toe jam on our lunch"
"Technically it's dinner"

Raising the pitch of his voice, Lance was exceptionally mature with his response
"Mem em meme me... Technically it's dinner. Look at me, I'm Keith! I can actually keep track of the time. With my grizzled body and stylish mullet..."
"It's not a mullet!"
"It is if I say it is"
"It doesn't work that way"
"It does too!"
"Does not! It's a goddamn mullet!"
"It's grown out!"
"So you admit you went through puberty with a mullet!?"
"I admit nothing! Why are we yelling!?"
Lance simply shrugged
"Because I'm right and you're wrong"
"No. You're being a stubborn dick"
"Well, this stubborn dick is making lunch for his mullet-wearing husband. If that's not you, you can fend for yourself"
"Wha... huh? No"
"Then get to work"

 

Making extra for Daehra and Lucteal, lunch was nice. Simonne and Marla had left them to enjoy their meal together, so Keith had decided to be an adorable little shit. Wrapping his arms around him while he'd grilled both burger patties, Keith had peppered kisses to his neckline, not at all helping his with the problem in his pants, or his anxieties over the fact that Keith was leaving soon. When their meal was done, Lance grabbed both extra meals, having Keith hold the door for him as he headed out to the bar.

 

The wolf whistles from a few of his usual customers didn't go over well with Keith. Smiling through the assault of scents, he gave his "admirers" a nod before moving down to join Daehra near the register
"I made you lunch. How's business?"
Sighing at him as he placed the plates down, Daehra finished up the purchase she was working on
"I thought I told Keith not to let you go back to work"
"You wound me. I made you lunch, and this is how you thank me"
"Keith should have been making lunch. You need to rest"
He'd been resting. He'd done the sleeping thing. He'd done the med room thing. Now he wanted to play at doing the "normal" thing
"I'm fine. I feel heaps better. Take a break, Keith and I can take over here. Where's Lucteal at?"
"The training room"
Sounded about right
"Why don't you go get him and have lunch here?
"Because Keith looks positively murderous behind you"

 

"I don't look murderous. I simply don't want men wolf-whistling at my husband"
Daehra laughed lightly
"Careful Keith, your possessive side is showing"
"Well... he's my husband... it took me long enough to finally catch him. I'm not about to let him go off with some random"
Keith sounded truly pissed about it all. Turning back to his husband, he drew him into a deep kiss before Keith could object. Looping his arms around his waist, and grabbing his arse to pull him closer, the kiss left Lance a little weak in the knees as some of the patrons laughed, while others cheered at them
"See babe. Nothing to worry about. I talk about you enough that everyone here knows I'm yours. They were only trying to get a rise out of you"
"I don't wan..."
"Babe. Don't you talk about me?"
Misinterpreting Keith's silence to mean "yes", Lance smiled as he placed a small kiss on Keith's still slightly parted lips
"See. It's the same"
"Alright... I'm... still having a few issues over coming out of your heat with you. Right now everyone here feels like a threat"
"Probably because they are. Any number of people here right now could take us in a fight. And besides, every offer I've had I've turned down. You are the only one in the universe that has my express permission to touch me like you do. Now stop thinking too much"
"I'm doing a "yo"u. Getting stuck in my head instead of being here"
"You should enjoy being here. You won't be here much longer. Here, help me clean up the bar a bit. You can work on not scaring my customers away"
"I'd rather take you back to bed"

 

"You two are gross. Get your hands off each other and get to work. Lance, I looked at getting some more staff in. The details are on the holopad down there. Keith, you know how to bus a table. Take this tray out there and do the rounds while I call Lucteal"
Ducking his head, Lance smiled a genuine smile at Daehra
"I love it when you get bossy..."
"We both know that's a lie. If I can't get you to rest, I can at least limit your activities"
"Yes, ma'am. Keith, you heard the lady. Time to work"

Chapter Text

Bar work... was worse than mission work. The constant being polite and smiling when what he really wanted to do was just shoot people... Keith was exhausted by the time he collapsed face-first into their bed. Disappearing into their bathroom, Lance seemed in a much better mood. His husband's scent had been all over the place. One tick he was horny, the next he was angry, or suddenly sad. He didn't know how to keep up. Plus, he kept being scolded for glaring at the customers, which wasn't his fault. He didn't like them teasingly asking "how good Lance was in bed", or jokingly saying "I would love to have a piece of that". He wasn't like his husband. He barely spoke to anyone he didn't know about Lance. He didn't randomly brag because he didn't know what would be appropriate and what would be crossing the line. He respected his husband too much to just blurt to some random about how wonderful Lance was... also... he didn't want to share. He didn't want someone taking him away because of how wonderful he was.

 

"Keith! Call your mum! I'm going to take a shower!"

Ugh. That was like effort. Effort that led to him nearly falling off the bed sideways in search of his comms. Giving up to gravity, he "gracefully" slid to the ground, comms in hand as he bothered to check the messages from his mother properly. Most of it was boring coalition crap. He really couldn't be bothered with reading, so opened up the call log and video called his mother.

Almost as if she'd been waiting for his call, Krolia answered with a smile on her face
"Keith! How's Lance?!"
Snorting at his mother, he tried to look hurt but was too exhausted to pull it off
"He's good. He'd recovered a few quintants ago, so I've had him resting"
"Is he there?"
"He's in the shower"
"Aw. How can I say hi to my two sons if one isn't there?"
"You could say hi to this one? You know, the one you produced"
Krolia rolled her eyes at him
"Someone's grumpy. What's the matter?"
"Nothing... Fine. It's just outpost stuff..."
"Mmmm? What's happening?"
"Everyone keeps hitting on Lance"
Having the nerve to laugh at him, he wanted to punch his mother in the arm for it
"It's not funny"
"For you, I suppose it's not. What does Lance say?"
"He's bragged to everyone about me apparently... it doesn't stop them though"
"Then it's fine. As long as you trust Lance, I'm sure he can handle a few customers"
"It's them I don't trust. He shouldn't have to handle anyone"
"You knew what he was getting into when he started the hotel side of the outpost. Now, what else is going on? You don't exactly look too happy to see me"
"What? No. It's not like that. It's just been a long day, and you're the one who spammed my comms up. I have no idea what most of the messages are about"

Krolia's expression morphed into something more neutral
"Ah... yes. We do need to talk about. The coalition have decided you're receiving an award over exposing what was happening with Kre'el and the others. I know we failed to locate the planet in question, but they feel you conducted a very thorough investigation, opening new avenues and raising new issues"
Ugh. The last thing he wanted to think about was Kre'el. Her stupid photo was even up in the bar. Her, Lance, some other woman named Leah and Helo. Th'al had sent through a bunch from the Gilded Cage's surveillance systems
"That was all Lance"
"I did explain that, several times over actually. Because you've become the face of the next generation, they wish to use the press to push for further peace"
"I don't want an award"
"I'm sorry. We did raise an objection, but the ceremony will be going on about a phoeb after Allura day. They're planning on broadcasting from Altea on the day, then using images from that day during the ceremony. It's mostly celebrating Daibazaal and it's..."
"Mum. I don't want this. Do you know what this is going to do to Lance when he finds out that they want to celebrate the death of his friends?"
"Don't shoot the messenger. We tried to decline, but that only led to tension. We're now being accused of hiding information gathered during the investigation. It doesn't help that the ships now been destroyed, and now that the miner settlements have been reorganised its... well... complicated. They also wish to award you for your humanitarian work"

 

Lance was the one doing all quiznakking hard work. With all this, he was going to have to head back to Daibazaal and sort it all out. There was no way Lance wasn't getting any kind of recognition. If he had to get up there like a fool, his husband was doing the same damn thing
"Humanitarian work can suck my dick"
"Keith!"
"You know this is crap! Lance did all that work. He traced the leads and followed everything up. You were there for that briefing"
"I know! You don't need to take that tone with me. That's why I was hoping Lance was there so we could all discuss it... Why don't you bring him to Daibazaal?"
"Because he's still recovering. I hope you know all this work is ruining my marriage!"
Krolia sighed deeply
"You can't run away from something you don't like. I'll try and talk to Kolivan. I agree that Lance should receive some kind of recognition, but I also have the feeling he'd turn it down. Talk to him and call me back about it. Oh, Acxa and Krystaal want to know when you're returning too. Acxa's requested leave to go stay with Veronica for a movement or so on the Atlas, I told her once you returned she'd clear to leave"
Unfortunately, if he didn't leave, his mother could simply open a wormhole then collect him herself
"I don't know when that's going to be..."
"You did say Lance is doing better? Your time there is accelerated, correct?"
"Yeah. It's time and a half here. Are you trying to tell me you can't do without me for a couple of movements"
"Not at the moment. I should be thanking my lucky stars both of you haven't gone missing for phoebs this time..."
"That wasn't our fault"
Hearing Lance shuffling out the bathroom, Keith closed his eyes as he drew a deep breath
"I didn't say it was... completely. You both still acted recklessly"
Letting the breath out, Keith forced himself to sit up
"I've got to go now. I'll be home when I can"
His mother looked mildly annoyed
"Alright. Tell Lance I said "hello". You're better off getting started as soon as possible with these preparations"
"Mum, I told you I don't want..."
Quiznak. Lance was right there
"I'll call you later. Tell Kosmo I love him"
"I love you, Keith"
His mother stared at him until he finally relented
"I love you, too"

 

Annoyed at the conversation, Keith tossed his comms across the room before forcing himself to climb off the floor. Thanks to the magic that was the maids, the washing he'd gathered up from their room had magically returned clean. Lance paid them all enough to keep their mouths shut, and he wouldn't have had them there if he didn't trust them. Whatever was going through Lance's head, his scent had shifted again, back to fear. Great. Juuuust what he needed.

 

Stripping down to his boxers, Keith slipped into his side of the bed with a yawn. Shuffling up behind Lance, his husband shifted away from his hold. Pushing his hand away before Keith could even wrap his arm around his waist
"Babe?"
"Not tonight"
That was short and direct
"Are you ok?"
"Fine. How was mum Krolia?"
Lance wasn't acting like everything was fine
"The same as usual. Everything's a mess. It's the end of the world. The coalition wants this. The coalition wants that... it doesn't end"
"The coalition wants to give you medal because Kre'el's dead"
Oh... oh... no wonder his husband was frosting him out
"You heard that"
"Yeah. I was going to ask you something if you hadn't already called her. I heard everything from the start"
"Babe... Lance, you know I don't want anything like an award. I don't see why they'd even want to give me an award. What happened isn't something to be celebrated"
"Apparently it is"
Having dropped his hand to rest right behind Lance's back, Keith walked his fingers slightly up
"I'm not accepting anything"
"You have to"
"I don't"
"You heard Krolia. Daibazaal needs the publicity"
"Daibazaal can jump"

Pushing the blankets back, Lance moved to sit on the end edge of their bed, burying his face in his hands as he did
"You know it's not that easy"
"Daibazaal isn't a threat anymore. The coalition doesn't know what they're talking about"
"The coalition that we all worked so fucking hard to form when we were Paladins... The coalition that was made up of the people with the biggest Galra issues... If you want peace, you need to keep showing the Galra doing good things"
"Our lives aren't theirs to use"
"They kind of are. Why do you think I like living out here away from all that? We're not even part of the coalition here. Erathus is on the verge because Shiro got the Atlas involved, but that would only be in a name anyway. They couldn't give two shits about the people out here"
Sighing mentally, Keith crawled up behind his husband
"I know that. But I'm serious. I don't want an award. I don't agree with this at all. I know politics is all pretty much a game, but the coalition can't throw this back in mum's face when they're in the wrong"
"You're not getting it. You are the legendary Black Paladin. The first Galra-Human born. The hope for the future. You're young. Good looking. Have combat experience. Helped save the universe and are the son of the Rulers of Daibazaal. It is also widely known that you and Shiro and tight as fuck. There's a reason it couldn't be anyone but you because you're the future in the eyes of the media while we're all basically background noise. I wasn't lying when I said you were the future on that stupid game show. You are the future and it means you're going to have to go through with this for the greater good of the Galaxy. Even if you don't agree with it. Besides, your mother also mentioned your team's humanitarian work. I wouldn't be surprised if the coalition requested more half-Galra to accept awards or be present during the ceremony to promote peace"
"These are our lives. Everything you went through is going to be lost and forgotten..."
"As it should be! What are they supposed to do? Show me being fucked on the big screen? Lance is different from Leandro. Leandro did the work. Lance simply provided the body"

 

As Lance snapped at him, Keith saw red
"Are you fucking serious right now?"
"It is what it is"
Climbing off their bed, Keith rounded his husband. Crossing his arms as he stared down at him
"It isn't right!"
"You ended a mass murderer in the eyes of the media. The story's already started to be forgotten"
"And you're ok with that? With people forgetting what Kre'el went through?"
"Of course I'm not! She deserved more! She wanted her and her people to survive! But her story won't create sensational headlines. It won't bring peace. How are people going to feel about the Altean's knowing Kre'el was Altean?! It won't just be Daibazaal that the coalition will start questioning"
"If they trusted us, they wouldn't question us, to begin with!"
"I know that!"
"Then why can't you see where I'm coming from!?"
"I never I didn't!"
"You're not agreeing with me"
"Because you're being narrow-minded! You have to look at the bigger picture here. It's more than us... You were always meant for great things Keith..."

 

Lance sounded lost and broken, like he didn't deserve to achieve anything in his life, and thought he never had
"What's that supposed to mean?"
"Never mind. It doesn't matter"
"Obviously it does, or you wouldn't be making such an issue out of it"
"It doesn't matter because no matter how it plays, this is something we can't change. For the sake of peace in the future, you have to go through with this"
"And what about the sake of the man I love?"
Lance gazed up at him with pained eyes
"When it comes to the fate of the universe, it doesn't matter how much you love someone"
"It isn't right"
"That doesn't matter. If any of the information relating to how I met Kre'el was to come out... for everyone to know... Keith, they'd know the kind of man you married. They'd know what I did to his officers. To him. The judgment of Shiro, Coran, Kolivan and Krolia would all be questioned. Why would they take the word of a man with a brain injury? It wouldn't matter what the truth was anymore. It'd all be about what story they can tell to gather the most support. If you fight this... if it causes Kre'el's comp..."
Lance trailed off, his eyes widening
"If if causes what? What is it?"
"If it causes Kre'el's compatriots to make a move... The could turn the awards ceremony into a public declaration and provoke them. If they over emphasise whatever information they have, things will start moving again. They never found the planet. I haven't been keep in the loop regarding investigations carried out since I stepped back to put this marriage first. This could be speculation, yet I'm sure someone with the coalitions staff would have already thought of this"
"That's even more reason to shoot this down"
"Didn't you hear me. We can't. If you go to them and say we can't make this public, they're going to ask why. I'm one tiny spec of insignificant dust"

 

"Would you fucking stop putting yourself down! I'm sick to death of hearing it!"

Keith didn't mean to blow his temper again. Lance was so much more than he let himself believe. He definitely could have worded things better, especially when Lance fled back across the bed and over to the door to their room
"Babe. You know what I mean. You know you're so much more than all these things you think you are. You're my husband. You're my husband and I fucking adore you. You're not insignificant. You're not any of those other words your anxieties tell you you are. I don't want things having to change for you. I don't want you going back to worrying who knows what. I want you to be comfortable, and safe..."

 

With his arms wrapped around him, Lance was visibly trembling. Stepping towards him, Lance held his hand up as he pressed himself against the door
"Don't! Just don't!"
"Babe..."
How was this fucking fair? Lance was right. He knew he was right, but that didn't make Keith any less right either
"I'm going to... go be somewhere else. I can't..."
"You don't need to leave. This is our room"
"I can't... I haven't been able to control my moods all day. If I stay..."
Shaking his head, Lance changed tangent
"...no. I can't stay... call Krolia and talk it through. Tell her I understand"
"You're serious..."
"It... it has to be done. Like the briefing. Maybe we'll be lucky and you'll just get some fancy award. Or maybe my spread legs will be all over the galactic media... I can't deal with this right. I don't want to fight you because I love you. And I know you're fighting for what you think is best for me... and I appreciate it. I really do. I'm going to take a walk... I can't be in here when it smells of your anger and hurt"
His husband got it. He understood what Keith was trying to say. The half-Galra knew he should have been relieved, yet at the same time, he'd scared the hell out of Lance who'd admitted he hadn't been able to control his moods all-day
"Lance..."
"It's alright. Let's not spend what little time you have left here fighting. Krolia wants you home soon. I'm used to it"
Lance's voice broke with emotion as he slammed his hand on the scanner for the door, disappearing outside and leaving Keith feeling like his heart was shattering. He knew he was being selfish. He hadn't planned to tell Lance immediately. He'd also intended to put off his return with whatever series of white lies he needed to spin. Why couldn't everyone butt out of their relationship? Why did the coalition have to think this was all a good idea? It was their lives. They weren't fucking puppets. Keith felt that instead of putting the issue to sleep, it was only going to bring the lingering embers back to life. If they stuck him in front of the press, the press were going to want the full story. Or they'd put enough pieces together to form a story they liked. Quiznak... If only he could go back in time.

 

*
Having spent most of the night tossing and turning, Keith felt barely human as he dragged himself out of bed. He'd gotten a few vargas in, but without Lance there... in his arms, where he was supposed to be, it wasn't right. The bed wasn't right. They had their own spots, and that was where they were supposed to be. No matter what happened.

 

Rubbing his eyes as he stumbled over to their wardrobe, his heart was broken all over again. Covered in a thin blanket, blood remained smeared on Lance's cheeks and arms. He didn't need to be a rocket scientist to know Lance had tried clawing his marks off his cheeks. His husband had told him he couldn't deal with things, and this was the end result. Ignoring the temptation to grab his comms up and send a photo of Lance to his mother to shove in her face how much of a bad idea this all was, Keith laid himself down on the edge of the wardrobe, reaching out to rest his hand on lance's chest. More than once he'd done exactly the same thing to escape reality. More than once his wardrobe had been his only source of safety and comfort. His heart pranged at the knowledge he knew what Lance would have been feeling when he climbed in there. Lance would have seen him on the bed and not wanted to disturb him, so chose the next place he felt safe. He didn't want to fight either. Lance was the single most precious person he had. He loved Shiro. He'd go through hell for the man... but Lance... if he lost Lance, he knew he'd lose his mind. Lance was his stability. Lance would never let him down or fall, even if it led to self-destruction.

 

Stirring under his touch, his husband's bottom lip quivered as he pulled the blankets up under his chin
"I don't want to fight"
"I don't want to fight either"
"I know you love me. I do..."
"I know"
"You haven't even left and I'm already trying to act like you have so it doesn't hurt as much... I'm sorry I'm so selfish... the whole universe needs you"

 

Wriggling himself over and under the blanket, Keith pulled Lance up against him
"You're not selfish. You're an idiot. Sometimes I don't know how you can love me as fiercely as you do. But I love you back just as much. You're my family. I was hesitant to ask, even before mum mentioned it, but do you think you might want to come to Daibazaal for a bit? It doesn't have to be long or any longer than you want..."
Lance let out a weird gasped sob
"I can't... I can't... I've lost my... I've lost my support again and I'm still trying to find my feet... I can't say how I'll react... I don't want to embarrass you... and I don't want... want to be sent back to step one all over again because I'm not strong enough. I make so many demands on you..."
"Baby, you can always make demands. Let's face it, I'm probably going to honestly forget half the time. And I've probably hurt you dozens and dozens of times by forgetting as it is. But I don't care how many demands you make. I like it when you boss me around. I like it when you get all excited and start planning things out even though there's ages before it happens"
"I feel like I talk at you too much... I feel like I shouldn't be messaging you at all when you're on missions... I know you turn your comms off and get them all when you come back... but doesn't that make me too needy?"
"Lance, you're recovering. You need to breathe. I love those messages. I look forward to your messages. I appreciate when you keep me in the loop"
"Do you?"
"Of course. Why would you ask?"
"B-because I thought you were going to dump me"

 

Keith blinked rapidly as he frowned. Why was he dumping the man who adopted him like it was as natural as breathing?
"Why would you think that?"
"Because I message too much... you tell me a little... and you love me... and I know you can't say everything but I feel so far out on the outside of your life. You're making all these memories with everyone else... that I won't ever know about or be a part of... I... think... you'd be happier if you'd never met me. You..."
"Don't be an idiot"
Lance didn't reply. One moment turned into three very long moments before Keith continued
"You're my husband"
"Who's like this... Who's brain-damaged and will probably keep having seizures for the rest of my life... you didn't sign up for this"
"I don't care what I signed up for"
"I do. All I want is you to be happy. No matter what it costs"
"I want the same for you. I can't always answer your calls, but you're not alone. You can call mum, and Shiro, and Coran, and Mami, and Veronica, anytime you need. Mum and Shiro are the two that will probably know my schedule the best"
"I get stupidly worried you're gone forever when I don't hear from you"
"I get worried too. When I see you've signed up for a bounty, or you're off-planet"
"I know you do... but sometimes it's nice to hear it... or to read it... I'm being demanding again. I honestly only really care to know you and your team are safe"
"I'll try and work on it. You might need to remind me, but I'll try"
Lance nodded with a loud sniffle
"Thank you... You should... probably leave tomorrow... I don't want to say goodbye, but if Krolia is pregnant, she's dealing with enough as it is"

 

Keith bit down the tiny flash of anger at Lance telling him to go
"One more quintant isn't going to make much of a change, let alone two"
"It... it's hard enough to think of you leaving... I need to get back into my routine"
"You're still recovering from your heat. It was a major strain on your body"
"It was on yours too. You always, always get stuck looking after me"
"That's not true. I seem to remember you carrying me around Kre'el's ship"
"Because you had to rush to my rescue, to begin with"
"Like you didn't have a plan all along"
"I planned to die"
"I... I know you did. Have... Things are better now, aren't they?"
"Y-yeah... yeah... they're more tolerable"
"Doesn't that mean I should stay around longer?"
"It's only going to hurt more if you leave later... you should go"

 

Keith felt horribly torn. Again, he knew exactly what Lance was feeling. He didn't want to. It already felt far too hard to say goodbye, and he most definitely didn't want to go
"Acxa is supposed to be going to stay with Veronica... I guess that means I'll be training the recruits with Zethrid and Ezor"
"You're good with them"
"I don't know about that. There are some real dumbarses in the group. Krystaal is probably the most competent. You'd really like them. They're not up with your sharp shooting skill, but I think they'd make it with a little more time and dedication"
"You really like Krystaal, don't you?"
"We get on pretty well. Krystaal is a lot like you. A selfless idiot who'd let themselves be blown up to protect everyone... you also have the same sense of weird humour... plus you're both not half bad looking. You're both tall... and smart... and quick thinkers able to adapt in the middle of the battle... buuuut, you're beautiful and my husband"
Nudging Lance at his joke, Keith had no idea the poisonous barbs he'd filled Lance's heart with
"It sounds to me like you have a crush"
Rolling his eyes, Keith stole a kiss
"Who needs a crush when I have my husband waiting all the way out here for me?"

Driving those thorns deeper, Keith was an idiot if he thought Lance was going to have the courage to confide in him after being compared to someone Keith was in contact almost all the time when on duty.

Chapter Text

Sitting in the hospital waiting room, Lance's couldn't sit still. Bouncing on the ball of his left foot, his whole body was wracked with nervous energy. Keith had promised him he'd be at his appointment today. He'd messaged his husband the previous night to triple confirm it, then twice again that morning, only for Keith not to reply. But that was ok. His husband had sworn he'd be there... he'd sworn it and Lance believed him. Keith had missed his last major appointment two phoebs ago, though that hadn't been his fault, and the Cuban would completely forgive everything, provided Keith arrived within the next 10 doboshes... 9 doboshes... Dios... his thumbs hovered over his comms as he simply sent Keith "Keith?", for the third time that morning. It was bad enough he'd had to come to Altea for this appointment... and with Keith supposedly meeting him there, he'd left Daehra and Lucteal at home. He'd promised Coran they'd catch up after his quick scan... so where the quiznak was his husband?

 

When his name was called by the nurse, Lance was quick to ask if the next person in line was already there as he was waiting for his husband. The nurse was all smiles as she assured him they were... only, when two vargas had passed after the original scan time, Lance knew he couldn't keep putting it off. The look in her eyes had shifted from friendly reassurance to pity, leaving Lance feeling like the biggest quiznakking fool on the planet. Rushing out the hospital, he barely made it to the bushes by the door before throwing up.

That was the whole reason he was there.

He'd been warned that the injections to help ease him off the painkiller would leave him weak for up to 6 phoebs after it stopped, but now he barely had the strength to get out of bed. No matter how much he slept, his eyes burned like he hadn't, or he'd be throwing his guts up for vargas at a time. He wasn't stupid. Despite what anyone else might say. He'd done the math, and he'd done 5 different brands of tests, yet none of it felt real and he really didn't know how to cope with the idea of being pregnant with Keith's child. They were supposed to find out today. He was supposed to be there for the scan. He'd lied his arse off to everyone over why he'd been so sluggish and unfocused. Part of him desperately wanted to believe the lie and blame it all on the medication... even if he couldn't get away with it. If he was pregnant, he'd barely be a phoeb along by outside time. It'd been a phoeb and a half for him since his heat and his period had never come. When he threw up over his bowl of cereal, because the scent was all wrong, he'd taken the first test to simply ease his mind, knowing that it'd be one of the first things a doctor would ask.

 

Releasing he was throwing up at the front of the hospital, it really wasn't a good look. With tears spilling down his cheeks, he wrapped an arm around his waist as he stumbled the 50 or so metres to the first edge of the building where he could hide. Tugging his comms out, he tried Keith's number, sinking to his knees when his husband failed to answer. The rejection he was feeling from the call ringing out was nothing to soul breaking pain of being ignored by Keith when he needed him the most. This was their baby. He'd built it all up in his head. He didn't even know if Keith wanted kids or if all the talk about kids during his heat was because they were both high on the need to breed. Curling around his comms, he screamed at the stupid device before jerking back and moving to throw it, then stopping at the last tick. What if Keith had been hurt on his mission? What if his husband was laying somewhere bleeding out, unable to tell him? Feeling his breathing catching, he needed to know. He needed to call someone... Keith couldn't be hurt. He couldn't... he couldn't do this without his husband. This was Keith's baby... his husband had to know that it existed... he had to come back to them...

 

Trembling hard as he fought to breathe, his tears dripped onto his comms screen as he found Shiro's name in his contacts. Keith had made him swear that if he couldn't contact him, he'd call Shiro if he needed anything. Not knowing he'd hit video call, he broke down into open sobs as Shiro's face filled the small screen
"He-... Whoa! Lance, hey... What's going on buddy?"
"Ha-Have you... heard from Keith?"
Wiping at his stupid leaking eyes, Lance sniffled and sobbed at the same time
"He's on a training mission for the next... three quintants with no coverage. Didn't he tell you?"
Shaking his head, it dimly lit a light somewhere in his brain that his husband did have a training mission coming up, but Keith had promised him. He'd messaged the previous night and promised
"I... he said he'd be here... he p-promised!"
"Lance, where are you? Are you at the outpost? You're having a panic attack and you need to calm down for me"
"He said... he said..."
Unable to breathe, his breath was stolen by the awful suffocating feeling that needing to vomit brought on. Throwing up by side, he whimpered as his stomach cramped in protest
"Lance. Lance, where are you right now?"
Collapsing back against the wall of the hospital, he sniffled, his throat burning and his nose feeling blocked as he did
"A-Altea"
"Altea?"
"Have... an appointment... Keith was supposed to be here"
"Lance, can you move? I don't want to end the call, but if you can't get to Coran..."
He didn't want Coran's overly happy personality, or the man fussing over his condition
"Don't want Coran... Keith... Keith said call you... I can't... can't move Shiro... I don't know what to do... I don't want to... I don't think I want to be alive anymore..."
He didn't. Not if Keith wasn't, and not if Keith was going to reject him and their baby. He'd rather be dead than see the look of disgust on his husband's face
"Fuck. Lance, stay on the line for me. Ok, buddy? I'm leaving right now, so stay on the line for me"

 

Dropping his comms next to him, Lance curled back in on himself. He knew being married was going to be hard with their jobs, but this was the second big appointment of his that Keith had missed. He'd promised to be at the first one but had to put his team first. He'd promised to be at this one too but now was nowhere to be seen. They barely saw each other as it was. Maybe Keith was finally sick of him? Maybe he didn't want him anymore, and didn't know how to tell him? They'd spent his heat together... and it'd been hard on his husband when Lance couldn't explain everything he was feeling when he was feeling it. He'd never shared his heat willingly before... Maybe Keith was so busy lately because he'd been scared off by how fucked up Lance's body was? He wanted his husband. He wanted Keith to love him like he loved the half-Galra, but did even deserve to be loved like that? Maybe Keith was picturing Klearo and his men fucking him like the slut he was? Would his husband believe it was his baby? Lance had slept with more people than Keith had...

 

When Shiro found him, Lance was still hidden just off the main gravel path in front of the hospital. Whimpering at the touch, his burning nose scrunched up the stench in Shiro's scent. It wasn't Keith's. It wasn't Keith's at all, forcing him up to kneel, Shiro pulled him against him, rubbing his back as he hushed him, reassuring him that he had him. Burying his face into Shiro's jacket, Lance could only continue to cry. His breathing still all over the place, but the universe hadn't been kind enough to let him pass out. Instead, he was left with lungs that felt useless and an aching chest that felt filled with glass. Rocking and hushing him, Lance had no idea how long they remained like that. He knew his mouth was moving between sobs, but the words weren't reaching his ears. Or rather, the sound of his own fear had rendered him deaf to anything but his pulse rate.

 

When Lance's body finally went lax against Shiro, Shiro lifted him with ease. Ashamed of what had happened, and ashamed his brother-in-law had dropped everything for him, Lance hid his face against Shiro's neck as the man began to move from their hiding spot. The whole world was probably watching. They were probably all watching and laughing at the fucked up ex-Paladin who missed his husband. Carried inside, the next thing he knew was that he was being laid down on an examination bed. His eyes closed to guard against the burn, but mainly to hide from the shame of being there without Keith. Shiro took his right hand in both of his, as Lance was forced to let him go of him with a whine
"Shhh. You're alright. I'm here..."

 

Nodding at Shiro, Lance was beyond exhausted before the stupid attack. The bags beneath his eyes so dark that he almost couldn't remember how they used to look. His head was throbbing from crying so much, yet his left hand had moved to protect his lower belly. As if could save his child from its messed up mother
"I'm sure Keith's just fine"
"He... didn't come"
Coming out as a broke whisper, Shiro released his robotic hand from the hold to stroke Lance's hair back. He hated the touch, but revelled in the comfort, unsure how that could happen. Speaking softly, Shiro didn't seem to be patronising him as he replied
"It's a movement long training mission. Are you sure he messaged you?"
Sniffling, Lance nodded. His throat still felt ruined. His mouth all cottony
"Check my comms... the code is Keith's birthday"
Coughing at the dryness, Lance whined in discomfort, Shiro well into "Space Dad" mode
"Excuse me, can we get some water over here?"

 

Shiro's request was filled, and a few moments later the man was helping him sip through a straw, then cruelly removing it before the taste of vomit was gone from his mouth
"You'll be sick again if you drink too fast"
"I'm sorry... I'm sorry you came all the way out here..."
"Hey, I've got a wormhole generator. It's no big deal"
"It is! Keith... Keith was supposed to be here. I had the whole thing planned... he promised, Shiro"
"I know, but I'm here. What were you here for?"
Squirming, all he wanted to was curl back up. He wanted to be home on the outpost, in Keith's arms
"Abdominal scan... I've been sick lately... it was supposed to be at 10 in the morning... I waited... I kept saying he'd be there..."
"Shhh... there's a nurse who's going to go check to see if we can do that scan now. Is that ok?"
Nodding, Lance turned his head to try and hide his face against the pillow beneath it. There were a few moments of silence, before Shiro's soothing voice was back again
"She's going to find out what's going on. How long have you been sick, now?"
"I've been tired for the last 4 movements, my time..."
"About 3 our time. And your stomach? You've been throwing up?"
"Mmm... I know what's wrong... this was supposed to confirm it... I'm so fucking scared that Keith is going to hate me"
Hiccuping, his bottom lip trembled
"Shhh... my brother could never hate you. He adores you"
"We hardly see each other anymore and I miss him... but he's so busy I can't tell him because I want him to be happy... I'm so tired Shiro... what if he wants to break up?"
"Did you overdose? Is that what's wrong with your body? It's ok if you did, we can get you help..."
So Keith had told Shiro that he'd dump him if Lance shot up again... His husband had promised to be there, no matter what. He was trying so hard... and it was hard...
"Didn't... didn't overdose"
"Lance..."
The firmness was there, Shiro questioning if it was a lie, yet telling him that it was alright to admit that it was
"I didn't... I didn't..."
He didn't even want to take anything for his headache or for the nausea
"Ok. Ok... ok, shhh. I'm sorry. I had to ask"
"Keith was supposed to be here"
"I know, kiddo. Maybe he thought he'd be back in time"
"I haven't... seen him in 5 movements my time..."
"But he calls you, right?"
"He does... but he has so much work... when he's home, he's thinking about work... We said a deca-phoeb, but it's barely been 6 quintants and now this... he's going to be so mad"
"Keith isn't going to be mad. He'd be madder if you didn't take care of your health"
"I try..."
"I'm sure you do... The nurse is back, do you feel up to answering some questions? She's holding a holopad"
"Yeah... sorry... I'm sorry"
"It's ok, you don't need to be sorry. I'm happy you reached out to me instead of trying to cope on your own"

 

The light of the room stung at his tender eyes as Shiro helped him sit up better. The nurse wasn't the same one he'd assured Keith was coming, easing some of the embarrassment he felt over this whole fiasco
"Hey, Lance. I'm Meria. I see you're in for a lower abdominal scan today. Now, I've got all your notes and I just need to confirm a few things with you, is that alright?"
"Can Shiro stay?"
Meria nodded with a smile
"Of course he can. These questions might be a bit intimate, is that alright?"
"Shiro knows most of my medical history on file"
"Very good. Ok, so I see you listed the reason for the scan as suspected withdrawal side effects from drug use. Is that from the BXP-269 you were using?"
The fancy name for the medication he took to come off the yellow stuff
"Yeah..."
"Did you complete your three phoeb course?"
"Yes... There should be confirmation from Erathus..."
"We have it listed, I just need to understand a little bit better so we can interpret your result accurately. Now, this is due to the DFP-260 in your system. It says you were using it on a serious recreation level for the past 2 decaphoebs?"
"Yes..."
"And you haven't taken any of the DFP since then?"
"No... I swapped to the BXP daily injections. They said my body might start to break down coming off them..."
"And the other recreational drugs in your system?"
"Haven't been taking them..."

 

The red stuff had been horrible to come off of. Worse than the golden DFP... he hadn't even known the names of what he'd been using, not the medical names at least
"Sorry to interrupt, but I don't understand. I thought you were going off your injections, that's what Keith told me"
"I did... Erathus had a safe way from me withdrawal without dying, but it meant three phoebs of injections so my organs didn't shut down... I haven't... I haven't taken anything like that in two phoebs now"
Shyly staring at his lap, he winced as Shiro took him by the chin and forced his face up to look at him
"That's amazing. I wish I'd known. I'm so proud of you kid. Why didn't you or Keith tell me?"
"Keith had to go help on a mission. He missed the last appointment... I don't know if he knows... or even cares"
"I'm sure he does, and I do. That's massive progress"
Those were the words he wanted to hear from Keith. This. That his husband was proud of him for sticking out the general crappiness that came with it all. Not just a full encompassing "I'm proud of you"...
"It's nothing... but sometimes there's side effects and stuff... I don't think that's it... but... that's why my marks are back"
"Whatever's wrong, we're going to get you the best possible help and care available"
Redirecting his attention to the nurse, Shiro's hand released his chin and moved to gently squeeze his shoulder
"I'm sorry for interrupting"

 

Meria took it all in her stride
"I assure it's quite fine. I only have a few more questions then we can take you through for you scan. How does that sound?"
It sounded to him like he was about to dig his own grave, but he wasn't strong enough to face this alone
"Ok..."
"Excellent. Now, in the last deca-phoeb, how many sexual partners have you had?"
"One. My husband"
"The same answer for the last 6 phoebs?"
"Yes"
"And when was the last time you engaged in sexual activity?"
"About... 4 movements Altea time. I live on a planet affected by time dilation, so 5 to 6 movements for me"
Nodding Meria tapped away on her holopad
"Alright, last question. Is there any chance you might currently be pregnant"
Lance's breath caught in his throat, his cheeks growing warmer as he nodded, ashamed. He couldn't even bring himself to try to look to Shiro. He knew he'd be confused, then hurt that no one had given him the full details of what Allura had done to him. Clearing his throat, Shiro started
"Males of our species..."
"Shiro... don't. I know what she said"
"Lance..."
"Please... please don't... I took... a test and it was positive. Can Shiro stay for the scan? My husband... is on a mission..."
Meria's already soft expression softened further
"Of course he can. Being pregnant, that does limit some of the scans we can perform. I think in this case a standard scan of your abdominal area should suffice, which means good news for you because we can bring the portable scanner to you instead. Now, I need you to slid your shirt up, and unbutton your pants. Metal may read on the scanner and we don't want it looking like you have a tumour when you don't. I'll go get the scanner while you make yourself comfortable"
"Thank you..."

 

Shiro had to help him lay back and pull his shirt up. He fumbled the button on his jeans so badly that his Space Dad took pity on him
"Lance..."
Shaking his head at Shiro, Lance didn't want to hear it right now
"If something was done to you..."
"A-Allura changed my body to be more compatible with Keith's... I don't want to talk about it... Please... later... it's all I can do not to start crying again..."
"This is why the scan was so important?"
"I... didn't want to... believe the tests... but I'm... I'm so fucking scared"
"You don't need to be. I'm here... and no matter what the scan says we can work it out"
Lance blinked up at Shiro, confused as quiznak
"Why... are you being so nice? Aren't you... revolted? I'm not supposed to be able to conceive... I can't... I can't go through losing..."
"You're not going to lose Keith, and you don't know if you are yet"
"I don't know how to tell him"
"We'll work it out. The first thing we need to do is get through this scan, alright?"
Lance sniffled as he nodded. Everything about Shiro physically felt wrong. His body was too big. His scent was scaring him. His touch while warm and soft, made his skin almost burn with rejection, but his Space Dad had come so far, with no idea what was even happening. He'd dropped everything to be there for him
"Thank you... I didn't know what to do... Coran... I can't... not right now"
"You're working yourself up again. Concentrate on your breathing"
"I feel too sick... I'm so tired... I just want to home"
"We'll get you soon... listen to my breathing and try to match it. You only have to hold out a little longer"

 

"A little longer" ended up being around 5 doboshes before Meria came back with the device and another nurse. To Lance, it looked like a breakfast tray, especially when they placed it over his lower abdomen. Activating the device, it synched with the holoscreen on the wall directly opposite them. Tapping on her holopad, Meria adjusted the scanner to focus on his abdomen, Lance wanting to hide his stomach from everyone's prying eyes. There was way too much focus on him...
"What do the scans show?"
Asking the question Lance was afraid to voice, Shiro squeezed his hand a little too hard
"It's excellent news. As you can see..."
Zooming in on two dots that looked like all the other normal black blobs, Meria continued
"... we can see two foetuses, both with heartbeats... and if we do this..."
The blobs became less blob-like and more like blobby sea horses about as big as his fingernail...
"According to your species guide, I would estimate you to be approximately 5 movements along... Would you like a copy of your results printed?"

Staring at the screen, Lance didn't know what he'd thought a baby would look like while still so early in the pregnancy. It was more... kind of creepy... like an alien thing had taken up residency in his body
"Yes, please. For the father"
"We'll take a few vials of blood for sampling, and set you up with a doctor's appointment in two movements to monitor you. It says you have your own personal treating physician, so it may be worth talking to her about your options when it comes to treating morning sickness, or if you wish to terminate the pregnancy. You'll need to rest and monitor your health carefully. Are you headed straight home after this appointment?"
They'd done a very basic once over when he'd first turned up for his initial appointment. They'd wanted to give him medication for his lack of sleep and vomiting. But he'd refused. Now he was staring at the woman like she'd grown another head. He kind of got what she was saying, but his head didn't have a firm grasp on "the English". The woman could have been speaking Spanish to him and he would have been just as blank
"Yes, he is"
"Excellent. Make sure he rests. He's obviously deeply distressed. You'll need to monitor for seizures, given his history. Try not to leave him alone until he's emotionally settled. He needs to sleep, and if possible make sure he eats two decent sized meals today. If portion size is an issue, try making sure he has six smaller sized meals, but don't wake him to force him to eat. We'll just take these samples and you'll be off"

 

For someone who'd injected so many drugs, it was still uncomfortable to have the samples taken. Being so tired, his body was overly sensitive. Whimpering as the needle broke the skin, Shiro stroked his hair as the vials were taken. To Lance, it felt like Shiro didn't know what to say. His condition wasn't exactly common... Shiro was probably passing from being in shock to disgust. His body was so far from normal... Keith was... Keith wasn't going to be happy... Keith had barely survived Christmas and New Years with his family... oh, Dios... What was his mami going to say? She... she didn't know... his papi... they were going to be so mad... He... as scared as he was, he'd been silently excited at the idea of having children with his husband. Of a tiny miniature Keith with all his looks and attitude...
"Shhh, it's over now. Let's get you home. I'll do your pants for you, you just relax"
Mistaking his mental pain for physical, Shiro started fussing over him. Doing his pants up, and pulling his shirt down for him. Bowing at them both Meria and her assistant left them
"Can you stand?"
Nodding, Lance wasn't too sure he could. Shiro was already holding the prints from his scan, helping him dress and keeping him calmish. He should be able to stand on his own... Helping Lance up, the moment his feet met the floor, his knees crumpled, the room spinning violently as his body denied him any form of dignity he might have been able to scrape together by walking out unassisted.

 

"Whoa! Up we go"
Hefting Lance up into his arms like it was nothing, Lance hid his face against the man's neck. He was pregnant and Keith wasn't here. He was pregnant and Keith wasn't the first to know
"I'm sorry... I'm so sorry... I don't blame you if you hate me..."
"I don't hate you. You heard what the nurse said, you need to calm down and rest"
"It's unnatural... Keith... was supposed to be here"
Gripping Shiro's shirt, his fingers hurt despite the weak hold
"Keith would have been here if he could have been"
"Don't tell him... don't... tell the others... they think it's side effects"
"I won't. It's your news to tell... We're going to work this out"
"I'm sorry"
"You don't need to be sorry"

 

 

*
Shiro was at a loss over what to do. He'd never thought Lance would call him out of nowhere to ask for his help. Not when he seemed to be doing so much better now that he was running his outpost. He'd been blind to Lance's pain, and as oblivious as Keith seemed to be over it. Keith had said that Lance had his times when he was distant and distracted, but given he was still attending therapy and surrounded with support, Keith had chalked it down to the chronic loneliness that he also felt. He knew for a fact that Keith wasn't happy to leave Lance for movements at a time. He'd called more than once to ask for his advice. Sure, his younger brother was enjoying his time training the new Blades, he'd even made friends with them, but it wasn't the same as being home with his husband. On top of that, Krolia and Kolivan had both placed more responsibility in Keith's hands, his workload only increasing. He already wasn't sure he'd be able to keep to the one deca-phoeb deal he and Lance had.

 

Leaving his pod on Altea, Shiro took Lance's. With the wormhole capabilities of the Atlas, it was far easier for him to retrieve his pod than it was for Lance to return. He had the feeling that Lance would be avoiding Altea and Coran for the foreseeable future. Surprising Daehra with his unplanned visit, Shiro smoothly covered for Lance, respecting that he didn't want anyone knowing his news, not when it was so fresh. Assuring her it was simply the aftermath of a panic attack, he nearly got lost as he traced his way through the maze inside the outpost, Lance would, of course, insist on having the furthest and most private wing of the outpost for him and Keith. Carrying the younger man, he used Lance's limp hand to unlock the door, smiling at how homely he and Keith had made the place. If someone had asked him if he'd ever believed Keith loved sleeping under a mess of overly fluffy blankets 10 years ago, the answer would have been a firm no. Lance's side of the bed had a framed photo of him and Keith, while Keith's side had a framed photo of Lance and Kosmo. With scents being so important to Lance, he settled him down on Keith's side of the bed, Lance sluggishly climbing beneath the covers and pulling one of Keith's pillows up to his chest as he buried his face against it, whimpering out Keith's name. Not wanting to intrude, Shiro didn't know what to do, not until Lance reached for his sleeve, quietly asking him to stay.

 

Sitting on Lance's side of the bed, Curtis had been blowing up his comms over his sudden disappearance. Assuring his boyfriend he was safe and well, he briefly explained that Lance had called requesting his help. His next move was to check Lance's comms. Lance was completely shattered over Keith's broken promise, but Keith wasn't one to make promises lightly. Feeling like he was invading the younger man's privacy, he only opened Keith's messages, trying to squint and mentally ignore everything else on the small device. He'd been hoping Lance had simply dreamt it, yet Lance had been right. Keith had promised to be there for him, Lance even stating that it was an important appointment that required both of them being there. That made things a little more awkward. Shiro didn't want to interfere, but Lance had been so scared that Keith had been injured. Maybe if he could confirm that Keith was safe and that mission was still on, Lance would feel better about Keith not showing up, due to the mission and not injury. Messaging Krolia was his own comms, he didn't word his request to talk properly. Krolia jumping to "worst-case" mode over his "Can you talk, it's urgent? It's about Lance". Yeah. He really could have worded that better.

 

"What's this about Lance? What's happened? Is he safe?"
Mentally wincing, Shiro nodded. Krolia loved Lance like he was her flesh and blood son, she looked a tick away from sending all the teams under her command to ensure Lance's safety
"Sorry, Krolia. Lance is alright, he's a little upset so I was wondering if it was possible to contact Keith?"
Visibly relaxing, Krolia let out a deep breath
"You had me worried! Don't do that to me. Keith's on a training mission. He isn't due to return for another three quintants"
"Lance had an appointment today on Altea. I thought he was supposed to be out of contact, but when I checked Lance's comms, he'd replied that he'd be there"
Krolia frowned
"It was supposed to be a silent mission... He wasn't supposed to break protocol, even to talk to Lance. I did permit him to take his comms in case of an emergency..."
"Lance is pretty shaken over it. He's worried that Keith's been injured. I was wondering if there was a way you could confirm his status?"
"That idiot son of mine... it might take some time, depending on if he has his comms with him. Will Lance be alright to wait? Or..."
The "or" was her asking if he was mid-panic attack
"He's sleeping now. Asking for Keith in his sleep. It was an appointment over side effects from medication. Keith missed his other appointment, so him missing it again..."
"I'll see what I can do. Leave it with me"
"Thanks, Krolia"

 

True to her word, barely 15 doboshes passed before Keith was calling him. His younger brother looked exhausted. Not Lance's level of exhaustion, but completely done with his mission
"Shiro, what's going on with Lance? Mum wouldn't say, only that I needed to call you immediately"
Was it wrong that for a split tick Shiro was slightly happy that Keith had panicked? Given the state, Lance had worked himself into over his husband. Moving his comms, Shiro tilted it down to capture Lance's worn face. Even asleep the emotional pain and exhaustion was written all over his face. Tilting it back up, he wore his best "unimpressed dad" expression
"What happened? Did he have a panic attack?"
"He had an appointment today on Altea that you didn't show up for"
Drawing his brow, Keith jerked back slightly
"How could I show up when I was on a mission?"
"I don't know. He was scared you'd been hurt when you didn't show up. Did you know he's been sick?"
"He didn't tell me he's been sick... I know he's been pretty tired mentally trying to adjust to work and us... He said it was side effects, but I haven't been able to get home again. Mum has me training the new recruits and with this stupid coalition stuff and preparations for Allura day... I've been completely run off my feet"
Lance wouldn't tell Keith that he suspected being pregnant, not unless it was face to face. He must have pushed everything down and aside so he wouldn't be a burden on Keith. He didn't want to be mean to Keith, but Lance saying he was sure he wanted to be alive had scared the absolute shit out of him
"He called me today, crying his eyes out and convinced you didn't care. He couldn't get through to you, so I went in your place. You missed his last big appointment. You didn't tell me he'd worked hard to get off the drugs"
"Shiro..."
"When you get back to Daibazaal, ask Krolia for some time off. I've already told Curtis I'm going to stay with him here. He's not in a good place right now"
Keith hung his head, scratching at the back of his neck
"Fuck... I didn't mean to let him down again. I know how much it hurts him that I'm not there... I haven't been able to see him in movements as it was. Daehra said he was acting strange, but I haven't been able to check-in... You know what he's like. He tries so hard and pushes himself too far... I thought he was working hard because he was enjoying his job... He told me not to worry, even though I do. He always tells me all the major things that happen there... He always messages me to check in each quintant... Why couldn't he... he tell me he's been ill? No. No, that's so like him... the idiot wouldn't want me to worry... Right. I'll be home in three..."
Whining Keith's came, Lance, hugged the pillow tighter in his grasp. Lance needed rest, he didn't know how he'd react to find him talking to Keith when he felt that Keith was ignoring him. Keith was on the verge of tears
"Quintants. I know. I'll take care of him for now. But Keith, if he snaps at you, go gentle on him. He's really not well at the moment"
"I should be there... Thanks, Shiro... quiznak... I've got to go. I left them making a fire, and now the whole clearing... sorry... uh... tell him I love him... or don't... I don't know what to say..."
"I'll tell him your safe, but that's it. This is between the two of you"

Cutting the call, Shiro placed both their comms onto Lance's bedside table. He wanted to do something to help Lance out, especially given that he was pregnant. It seemed so surreal that something like that could happen. Then again, his soul had been stored in Black before being transferred into his murderous clone. What had once been thought of as indisputable facts of the universe had shattered the moment they ended up in Blue. Pulling the prints of Lance's twins from his jacket pocket, Shiro couldn't deny he was jealous. He biologically couldn't give Curtis kids... they'd talked about adoption, but what if that didn't work out? What if they fell apart? Even if Keith and Lance fell apart, they'd always have that blood bond. Propping the envelope up against the photo frame, Shiro then took a deep breath and closed his eyes. His personal feelings needed to be set aside, for the sakes of Lance and Keith.

Chapter Text

Skipping the debrief on Daibazaal, Keith found the return wormhole his mother had opened for him, his team and the recruits took them straight to the outpost instead of home. For a milli-tick, his heart gave an uncomfortable thunk as he entertained the idea of running. It'd been no lie when he said he didn't know what to do about Lance. His husband had told him to leave last time he was there, leaving him feeling annoyed that they'd reached no clear solution on anything. Returning to Daibazaal, he'd talked out things with his mother, his and Lance's fears of the fallout, yet the coalition was still pressing ahead with the festivities and award ceremony, the only difference now was this whole team were being recognised for their work. He wasn't ready to face Lance, scared his presence would send Lance deeper into his flunk instead of supporting him. Being away he'd given it some real thought. Like losing Red, Lance had lost the support system he'd found in illicit drugs. And like with Red, Keith hadn't been there leaving everyone else to take the brunt of Lance withdrawal. They'd planned for him to be there. Lance had wanted him to be there because he knew he couldn't trust his choices. Withdrawal the first time around had been awful, the memories still vivid if he allowed himself to think of them. Again, like with Red, the drugs had supported Lance for years... there was little wonder his husband was still trying to find his feet again, especially when the one person who was supposed to be at his side wasn't. This whole year had been nothing like Keith wanted. Perhaps the only good thing was that his mother was indeed pregnant, and he was going to be a big brother in roughly 4 and a half more phoebs.

Landing his ship in the "staff" area of parking, near the Telula, Daehra's pod, Zak and Tobias small new ship, and three other ships he didn't recognise, Keith climbed to his feet finding the recruits all staring at him in confusion. Right. He had people with him
"Thanks to Krolia, we're taking a small side vacation at... my husband's outpost. You should probably know that almost all the patrons here are experienced bounty hunters, who don't like Galra and also don't like the Blades. No weapons are to be taken into the outpost, nor is this any kind of training mission. That means no climbing in the vents. No recovering weaponry. No scavenging. No setting fires. No matter what anyone says about your heritage, you need to ignore it. Lance won't tolerate rudeness in his outpost, so even if you don't see him or the staff acting immediately, know that the incident hasn't gone unnoticed. There are also surveillance cameras in every location except the bathrooms and bedrooms. There are weapons for buy and trade, so don't be overly worried and most of the people you meet will be armed. If worst comes to worst, the bar has a weapons cache. I don't know why my mother decided you all needed to come home with me, but Shiro from the Atlas will also be here. Let's head down. The front door is kind of hard to miss"

Letting the recruits walk ahead, Keith found himself cornered by his team. Zethrid with a tight hold on his arm as Acxa frowned at him
"What's going on? You said Lance was ill again, so why are we all here?"
"You know as much as I do. I have no idea why Krolia sent us out here"
"I doubt your mother..."
"Acxa, I don't know. And I wouldn't put anything past Krolia. She must have thought it bad if she sent us right here"
"Do you think he came down with that flu again?"
"No... but I'm worried enough without jumping to conclusions. Shiro wasn't happy"
"Is there anything we can do?"
Wrapping him a weird hug from behind, Zethrid nodded
"We care about the little guy. He's been pretty sick this year. Maybe we should take him back to Daibazaal and get him some real medical attention"
"He's alright... He's tougher than he looks"
Ignoring Ezor, Acxa hugged him from the front in some weird sandwich
"We know it's hard on you. But you can talk to us all"
Hugging Acxa back, Keith sighed
"I know. I honestly don't know what's going on though. He had an appointment on Altea as a follow-up, and for some reason thought I was going to be there. Maybe it's because the outpost runs fast? Now I find out he's been sick since I last left and hiding it again. We didn't even get to talk properly last time because he was sick... Being married is a lot harder than people make it out to be"
"I know he has his job, and his issues, but you really should think about bringing him to Daibazaal. Even if it's just for a few quintants and medical checkup..."
"Shiro made it sound like he's too fragile for that. Every time I think about they did to him, I want to hunt them all down and slaughter them. This coalition bullshit couldn't have come at a worse time. They fucking tortured him, gave brain damage, cut his finger off, left him having fucking seizures and now the coalition wants to put a shiny little medal over the top of it all... I'm sorry, I shouldn't be venting like this"
"We're your friends. Plus, mami said we're part of the family so we have to look out for our little brother"

Watching as one of the recruits managed to walk into the automatic front door of the outpost, Keith sighed
"And the recruits. Apparently, we can add "not knowing how to work a door to their failings""
"They are rather worrisome"
"We'd better head in there"

Keith did a double-take as he walked into the bar room. Behind the bar was Shiro, looking as if he ran the place, with Pidge looking... out of place... No... they were both out of place. Why were they even here?
"Keith! It's about time you showed up! Hunk! Keith's here!"
Hunk was here too... Now Keith was starting to wonder if maybe that wormhole had sent them all to some parallel reality. Cautiously walking over to his brother, Hunk popped his head out from the storage room closest to the till
"Hey, man! This is a pretty nice place you've got here"
Ducking back away into the room, Keith was even more confused
"Shiro. What the fuck is going here?"
Scratching the back of his head with his robotic hand, his older brother looked somewhat sheepish
"I borrowed a few people..."
"I can see that, but why?!"
"Well days are longer here, and with Allura day in two quintants outpost time, we decided to make a bit of a holiday of it beforehand"

"Allura day isn't until the end of the month"
"Don't worry, I thought I had more month in my month too. Seeing Pidge had already landed on Altea, I invited her out here and borrowed Hunk for a quintants. I'm taking it Krolia didn't bother giving you a heads up?"
"No! As far as I know, I was coming home to see Lance"
Pidge snorted
"Good luck with that one. Shiro's got him on bed rest, and he's the only one allowed to visit. He invites us out to hang out, then Lance isn't even up for it. Still, it's nice to finally be invited to see where you call home"
Keith's knees went wobbly. Acxa taking his arm
"Shiro, why don't you and Keith go visit Lance. Where's Lucteal or Daehra?"
"Lucteal's grabbing another crate of beer from the cool room. Daehra was picking up orders from the kitchen... Hunk and Tobias have been discussing cooking pretty much since Hunk walked into the kitchen and saw him using "the wrong" knife". Lance is in your room if you're ready to head down there"
Was he ready to see his husband? It felt weird that their friends had suddenly invaded their outpost like it was nothing. As far as he knew it was the first time Shiro, Hunk and Pidge had visited... plus the recruits... and wow... they were terrible homeowners. Practically none of their friends or family had been invited to visit in the 5 is phoebs since they left Earth...

Following Shiro through to the main connecting hallway for the outpost, Keith was finding his feet fascinating. He wasn't sure what Lance had told his brother, or what any of this was about
"Keith, it's going to be fine. Lance is still a bit out of it, but we've talked"
"Talked about what? I don't even know what's going on"
Pausing mid-step, Shiro turned back to him
"Lance had to have a scan on Altea, he was worried that it was caused from coming off that yellow pain killer..."
Reaching into his pocket, the older man pulled out Lance's comms. Tapping on the screen, he opened the conversation thread between them and handed it over
"He was pretty panicked that something was seriously wrong with him, so when you didn't show up, he went to the worst-case scenario. I told him you were on a mission, but he insisted you promised that you'd be there... as you can see, you're confirmed you will be. I don't know how it happened. If there was some kind of message glitch or delay or scramble, but this scan was really important to him. We've talked a lot, as much he could at any rate. His nightmares have really knocked him around the last few days, yesterday he stopped talking altogether. I put him in the bath, because he was having trouble... with everything. He managed to forget who I was last night, so all I can say is you'll need to take it slow"
"He forgot who you were?"
"He came out a panic attack in a daze and has been hazy since"
If the scan results were positive, why was Lance acting like he was? His scans had to have been alright, or Shiro would have told him right away
"Did they say anything on Altea? Was any reason that he was triggered so badly there?"
"You're best off talking to him about that, then coming to talk to me about it. He knows everyone's here, but he's not going too great on verbal responses... oh, here. Take this. Talk to Lance before you open it"
Fishing a small envelope out his back pocket, it only served to make him more confused
"What is it?"
"Photos..."
Photos? Photos of what? And why wasn't he the first to know what was going on? Lance hadn't messaged him again. Shiro was acting shady. Apparently, there was some kind of reunion happening that he knew nothing about... and he was still to tell Shiro and Lance that he was going to be a big brother...
"Keith?"
"Just what the quiznak is going on..."
"Talk to Lance. Here him out. Come on, he's probably wondering where you are"

Watching Shiro let himself into what was supposed to be his and Lance's room, the bed was a mess. Clothes had been laid over the back of a chair carried in from the bar
"Sorry. I've been sleeping here. Lance hasn't been sleeping well without someone around"
Keith's possessive side flared. This was his and Lance's sanctuary. Their bed. Their blankets...
"Don't give me that look. Lance wanted your side because it smelt of you, and I've been trying to sleep on the edge of his side. Plenty of space between us"
"I'm being a dick, aren't I?"
"You should know I'm not going to make a move on your husband. You should also remember you're the one who told him to come to me"
"I know... But everyone is telling me I'm being... I'm not doing this right. It's been 5ish phoebs for me. I'm still trying to adjust to my new role. Mums pregnant. Lance is sick. You're all telling me to do better with him, but how am I supposed to be doing better when apparently I'm breaking promises I don't remember making. He's upset every time I leave. I don't even have to be out the outpost and he's upset. He's not coping. And I'm so sick of only being able to come home because something's happened to him. It's like... I don't get to come back otherwise. I want to spend time with my husband when things aren't going right. I want to come home when he doesn't need me to look after him all the time. I thought we'd be able to make this work. He said he supported me still needing my job, but the last time I was home he thought I was going to dump him... He's off the pills but his mental health is going backwards... One dobosh he's shutting me out, and the next I'm stuffing up... and I don't want to keep stuffing up. All I want is to take time off, but this coalition thing and Allura day. I forgot it was so close... He's probably thinking about her constantly..."
"Keith, I can promise you that Allura is the last thing on his mind. And everything you said, he feels much the same. He wants to go away with you. Spend time one on one with you. Travel with you, but he also wants to respect you and your choices. He's talked to his therapist yesterday. They want him to come in for an appointment, but he's not comfortable with that. He said he wanted to talk to you before making any decisions"
Keith wiped at his eyes
"He's given me authority over everything medical and legal he could... on Erathus, Earth and Altea... and Daibazaal too I suppose. What has Daehra said about his condition?"
"He hasn't talked with her about it. It's been mostly chronic fatigue. Again, he wanted to talk to you. I don't think he would have opened up to me if he wasn't feeling guilty over giving me a call"
"He's good at that guilt thing... even over shit he's got no control over. I wish we could go back to how it was on Earth... even before that. When I could blow off work because I was still technically on a mission while not at the same time..."
"We won't be leaving for a while yet. Curtis is going to pick us all up with the Atlas then wormhole to Altea. So we don't have to leave until the last dobosh. Don't forget, Patience..."
Wiping his eyes again, Keith shot Shiro a watery smile
"Yields focus"
"Exactly. Let's go see your husband"

Lance was in their bathtub with his knees up against his chest. A trail of water leading from the bath to the toilet and the lack of remaining bubbles would indicate Lance had been there a while. Not looking up at them, Lance's gaze seemed fixed on the wall across from the bath. Walking over to the bath, Shiro squatted down, placing his human hand on Lance's shoulder who didn't even seem to register it
"Lance. It's Shiro. Keith's here. It's time to get out the bath now, buddy. You with me?"
Turning in his direction, Keith got his first proper look at Lance's face. His husband's normally warm and golden skin seemed washed out. His eyes barely open, with deep bags beneath them. As Lance's lip trembled, he hid his face in his hands
"I'm sorry..."
"Shhh. Enough of that. We've talked about it. I'm going to leave Keith to help you out the ba..."

Climbing out the bath, Lance didn't seem to care he was naked as he rushed to the toilet, heaving wetly as Shiro grabbed his towel with a sigh. Pushing the towel into his hand, his brother jerked his head in Lance's direction
"Talk to him. I'll be in the bar"
"I will..."
He wasn't going to turn his back on his husband, not when Lance was clearly ill. Carrying the towel over, he wrapped it around Lance's naked form
"Hey, babe. I'm home... Wanna tell me what's going on?"
Lance seemed to stick himself further in the toilet, trying to vomit when nothing was coming up. Positioning himself behind Lance, he pulled him back and into his lap, a hand going to his husband's forehead as checked for signs of fever. Keith wasn't sure if he was relieved or not to find Lance fever free
"I'm sorry... I'm so sorry..."
"Babe, I don't know what you're apologising for"
"I... had it all planned. All of it... You were supposed to be there... we were supposed to be there together..."
"Where? At the scan? Shiro showed me your comms, but babe, I swear I don't remember sending those messages... What happened? What are these photos? Why wouldn't Shiro give me a clear answer?"
Lance sniffled
"I... wanted you to be the first to know... together... I wanted to do it together...but Shiro had to be there wh..."
Launching forward, Lance threw up little more than spit
"How long have you been throwing up like this?"
Holding up 1 finger, Lance wretched again
"1 what? Movement?"
Giving him the thumbs up, Keith dragged him back out the toilet again
"You've got nothing left in your stomach to throw up"
"I know... oh, Dios... it wasn't supposed to be like this"
Placing both hands on his stomach, Lance squeezed his eyes shut. His scent was overly sweet, not pained yet not what it usually was
"Babe?"
"I need you... I can't... can you help me to bed?"
Sliding his arm under Lance's legs, Lance wrapped his arms around him allowing himself to be lifted
"I don't understand what's wrong with you... Shiro said the scan went well"
"I'll tell you when I'm laying down... I'm just... so sorry"
That wasn't comforting at all. What did Lance have to be sorry for? Had something happened before the scan? Or was there something more to the scan that wasn't alright?

Laying Lance down, Keith moving automatically to dry him down with the towel. His husband whimpering away from him when he got too close to his stomach and head. It looked as if there fresh scars on Lance's inner thighs, but Keith couldn't be completely sure
"I need clothes... the others are here..."
Pulled from staring at Lance's slim frame, Keith shook his head
"You need sleep. And something for the nausea"
"The nausea's here to stay..."
"What does that mean?"
Lance sighed softly, rolling away from him
"It means you're... it means, I... I'm sorry, Keith. You mean the whole to me... and I had it planned... how it was supposed to go... you were supposed to be here... you missed it... you missed it..."
Covering his face, Lance curled into himself as he started sobbing softly
"I was on a training mission. I told you, and I told you to put it up on our calendar"
"You were supposed to be there... you promised... you promised..."
Running his fingers down Lance's back, goosebumps erupted under his fingertips, Lance had dissolved into repeating "you promised" as he cried
"I don't know what happened, but I never saw those messages and I never replied... I would have been there... if you'd messaged mum or Shiro, they would have told you... I couldn't be there. Or you could have booked another time... I can't understand if you're going to lay there and cry instead of talking to me"
Lance shifted from his touch
"Under the bed... there's a box under the bed..."
"What does that have to do with anything?"
Literally, he was right there. Lance could open his mouth and tell him what was wrong. Shiro could tell him what wrong. Why were they now playing this game? Pulling the blankets over his head, Lance cried harder
"Lance, stop ignoring me and tell me what's going on"
"Look under the bed!"
"Why?!"
"Because I'm too fucking scared to say it out loud! Because once I do, you're going to leave me!"

Growling in annoyance, Keith climbed off the bed in order to find the box under their bed. There wasn't a whole lot of space under there, but there was a long thin box
"For quiznak sake! I'm not going to leave you! Now tell me what's in here before I open it!"
"I can't! I'm fucking scared...!"
Hurling the box at the wall separating their room from the bathroom, the contents of the box spilling as the lid came off, 5 white sticks with different coloured tips scattering on the floor. Furious, he stalked over snatching up the closest two sticks
"What are these? Are you shooting up again?! Is that why you're sick!? I thought you were done with that!"
"They're not drugs!"
Confused, Keith moved the red-capped stick thing so the cap was laying next to the blue one. Rolling them over to face up, he stared at them with his brow drawn. It took half a dozen attempts to read above the weird double-lined window thing. "Pregnancy test"... and it said the other thing on the same one... which was...

Keith's hands started shaking so badly he nearly dropped the tests
"Babe... babe... is this what I think it is? Lance... are you trying to tell me? Are you? When? How... are you sure? You're not serious are you?"
His mum was pregnant... She was having a baby... Not them... How? Wasn't Lance taking birth control? He used to take birth control... and why hadn't he thought of a condom? Right... right, he was horny as hell. Thinking with his dick and his heart, not his brain... But how...? This couldn't be real... He couldn't be a dad... How did one "dad"?... a baby... them?
"Lance. Answer me. What is this?"
Having moved from his side of their bed to Keith's, Lance was right up against the pillows
"I'm sorry! It must have happened during my heat... I don't... I don't know... I wasn't thinking straight... I planned to find out for sure with you at the scan..."

Shiro had been there. Shiro had known before him... about their baby... Taking a few shaky steps he sank down on the edge of the bed. They were having a baby. He and Lance were having a baby... it wasn't planned... but aside from the sick feeling of shock... something akin to happiness was welling inside of him. A baby...

"I'm so sorry... I was so scared to tell you... I knew you wouldn't want this. I didn't mean this to happen. You promised to be there... and we were going to find out... together..."
"We're having a baby... how... How can I not be happy?"
"You didn't smell happy"
"I'm in shock. I... I mean, we knew it could happen but I didn't think you were off your contraceptives"
"They were a daily pill!"
"I thought maybe injections... I didn't think you'd go off them. Not with all these strangers in and out the bar"
"You think I'd sleep around?!"
How was he saying all the wrong things?
"No! I think too many people have their eyes on you"
"So you don't think I'm faithful? You don't think this... that you could be the father?"
"Babe, don't put words in my mouth. I'm trying to understand..."
"Your dick knocked me up. What else is there to know...?"
"I... how long have you known?"
"A movement and bit... I... I didn't know if it was true... I didn't know if I could carry... I lost... I lost the first one... I don't know if my body can carry properly. I don't want you to get your hopes up... because I might ruin this like everything else I do... I wanted you to be the first one to know... I'm so sorry"

Leaving his boots on, Keith climbed in under the blankets on Lance's side. It smelt far too much like Shiro. Reaching out, he wrapped his arm around Lance's waist to pull him tight up against him
"Stop apologising"
"Why? You hate me, don't you? I got pregnant. I should have told you to use a condom... I shouldn't have let you stay..."
"Don't you want the baby?"
"I don't know what I want!"
"I promised to spend your heat with you. We knew it was a possibility... I know you went off the drugs, but I never knew you meant your contraceptives too..."
"You're just as much to blame as I am!"
"Why are you yelling at me?!"
"Because I'm pregnant and I don't know what to do! It's in me, Keith. Growing in me! Something I didn't... it's..."
Is that what it came down to? Lance didn't want their baby because he'd fallen pregnant accidentally
"Another thing you didn't want in your body?"
"Yes?! No! I don't know. That's what makes it so hard!"
"You don't want it... I see..."
Releasing Lance. Keith climbed back out of their bed, angered by his husband. Why tell him if he was just going to run off and deal with it himself!? Why tell him if he was only going to reject him? Did Lance not want him now that he was getting a child out of it? Out of him? No... He was being cruel. Keith couldn't even imagine what Lance must be thinking, or feeling. Keith didn't even know what he was thinking or feeling... Other than sick and scared. Lance had been right though, the nausea was there to stay, at least initially... A baby... they were having a baby...

"I never said that I didn't! I... I don't know what I want!"
"It's our baby..."
"I know..."
"I don't know what to say..."
"I don't either... I'm fucking scared Keith. I'm scared and if you're scared, then you should say so... Maybe you should talk to Shiro? He seemed more excited about it than you are"
Keith didn't know how most people reacted to their partner being pregnant. He was excited. Nervous. Scared. Terrified. Proud... all at the same time
"I'm not not excited. You're the one who keeps apologising"
"This isn't working. We're going around in circles. I told you how I feel... now you need to think about what you want and what you want from us"
"I love you. You know that, don't you?"
"I do... but I don't know if you love them"

How was he supposed to love someone he hadn't met. Someone whose existence he'd only just learned of... In his heart, he wanted this baby. He'd thought as much when Lance was in heat. All the what-ifs as he rubbed the tiny bulge of Lance's stomach from where he'd filled his lover over and over... Lance should have told him though. That he wasn't on contraceptives. That it wasn't safe to be having unprotected sex...
"I think I'm going to go talk to Shiro..."
His husband was still crying, not responding other than to cry harder. Stress couldn't be good for the baby or for Lance's seizures and all he was doing was adding more stress due to his head being a muddled mess. He couldn't do this... He didn't know the first thing about being a father. He couldn't promise his kid he wouldn't die on a mission... and what would his mother say? She was pregnant... how could he tell her that his very male husband was very much pregnant?

*
Finding Shiro in the bar, his older brother led him back from the space before he started drawing attention to himself. Leading him away from the main floor and up the smaller second-floor control room, Shiro pushed him to sit, the paper of the envelope rubbing against his back and reminding him he still had the scan photos. Taking the envelope from his pocket, his hands were shaking uncontrollably as he slid the prints from the envelope, deep purple eyes filling with tears at the blobs on the scan as he let out a broken sob. Nearly scrunching the prints he brought his cupped hands to his forehead as everything became a hundred times realer. They were having a baby.

Crouching down in front of him, Shiro took the prints from his hands
"Keith...?"
"He's pregnant"
"Yeah... How are you doing?"
"I... I don't know!"
Setting the prints aside, Shiro pulled him down so that he kneeling between his brother's legs, Shiro ending up sitting on the floor to hold him as he cried
"He doesn't want the baby!"
"Shhhh... shhh... Is that what he said?"
"He kept apologising... and he doesn't know... he said he doesn't know... he should have told me! He should have told me he didn't have contraceptives in his system! He hates me for getting him pregnant!"

Rubbing his back, Shiro continued to hush him softly. Not that Keith could calm down now that the dam had broken
"You knew it was a possibility?"
"Allura changed his body to be more compatible with mine! She did this... she changed him inside... and now he doesn't want our baby inside of him... he wants them gone! Why tell me if he wants it gone!?"
"Keith, you need to calm down for me and listen to me right now. Lance wants this. He's scared and confused. But he told me himself... He convinced himself that you'd be angry at him for falling pregnant when you're working so hard as it is... He wants to want this baby, and he wants you to want this baby, but he doesn't want you to feel like you don't have options"
"He didn't sound like he wanted it. He made it sound like it... like it was the first time all over again... like I forced him to get pregnant..."
"What do you mean the first time?"
Emotionally shattered, Keith's mouth had no filter
"He got pregnant when they raped him... and he lost it... he had it... beaten out of him... He was so scared to tell me... but if he's comparing me to them then doesn't that make me the same? Doesn't that make... me a monster like them!?"
Swearing softly, Shiro hugged him tighter
"No. No, it doesn't. He knows how much you love him. He knows it. He's been agonising over how to tell you. It tore him to shreds that you weren't there to find out with him. But he's about 6 movements along. Both bubs are doing just fine..."
"B-both?"
"Ah... yeah. It's twins according to the scan"
"Twins..."

Suddenly he couldn't catch his breath. Everything surrounding him drowned out by his racing heart. Twins. As in two. As in Lance was pregnant with twins. Two tiny people...
"Oh god... oh god. I can't do this! I can't be a father. I don't know how to be a father. What do I do? I only just found out mums pregnant. Now Lance is pregnant. How am I supposed to help both of them?! What if something goes wrong? He's going to have to quit work. I can't quit work. I can't. Mum needs me... I can't...
"Keith. Keith, listen to my voice. You're having a panic attack. I need you to focus on me... ok?"
"He's having twins... Does he want them? Can he carry them? What if... what if something wrong with them, from the drugs? What if he loses them? He's not well... I never should have let him buy this place... I never should have... we don't see each other. How am I supposed to be a dad if I'm never home? How am I supposed to go on missions? What if I don't come home? Our kids can't end up in the system Shiro... oh god... what if... what if he dies... what if they die"

Pushing him back, Shiro cupped his face. Keith unable to focus through the blur off his tears
"Keith. You need to breathe. Come on. In through your nose for me..."
"He can't die!"
"Lance isn't going to die. We're going to get him the best medical attention and advice we can. You're going to be a father, and your husband needs you right now, so you need to calm your breathing for me. That's what you and Lance do isn't it, here, put your hand on my chest and breathe with me"

An eternity and a half passed until Keith finally brought his breathing back under control. Or at least, it felt that long. Collapsing against his brother, he felt boneless and cold
"Lance wants these twins. He wants you and a family. It might have been accidental and oversight on the protection thing which you're both responsible for, but that doesn't change the fact that you're both going to be parents"
"He kept apologising"
"Because he's scared. He's been screaming Klearo's name in his sleep, I guess I understand why now. Why did neither of you tell me about this?"
"About what Allura did? How she changed his body? We don't have answers. Coran has theories that he can't control the extra quintessence he received from Allura so couldn't change his body back. Lance has a theory that this was her gift because she knew how badly he wanted a family of his own and with us both being male she didn't understand the whole adoption thing... Whatever it is, it makes his scent really appealing to Galra. I can feel his... smell his emotions in his scent. I can tell what he's feeling without having to ask... He's so ashamed of his body"
"He... he asked me if I thought he was a clone or if he was in his real body. He said it didn't feel like his body and hadn't since he came back"
"He died... he fucking died and thinks he came back wrong. He had fucking nightmares for phoebs about being trapped on the astral plane. Then... then he lost Allura... We... we think she gave him some of her quintessence to also keep him stable and alive. Like the power source for your arm... maybe that's what anchors your soul now? The only person who held any answers was Allura and she's gone..."
"That's a lot"
"I want to be happy about this baby, but I'm scared"
"He feels exactly the same. He's waiting for your permission on how to feel"
"We tried to talk... but it's so much... dad died before... well... you're the closest thing I had to a dad... I don't know how you did it. How you took me in... I don't know if I can make medical choices for... for the three of them... I can't... I can't choose them over him and he might never forgive me if I do... and what about his seizures, Shiro? He won't be able to be left alone"
"Seizures?"
Right... he didn't know what Shiro knew or didn't know...
"They're... from the brain injury... we thought they were from abusing drugs, but... apparently on Erathus they said it was from a traumatic brain injury... I just want to rest... I want to take him away... but now he's pregnant... he won't stop this. He won't stop work... and he's going to be worried about the others knowing. Worried about telling his family. What if it all falls apart because I couldn't control my dick?"

Shiro snorted at his ending sentence
"I can't do much, and I can't say I fully understand anything going on with his body. But I've seen that look in his eyes before. I know it well. He's given up on himself. It's not that he wants to die, but if he was about to be hit by a car, he wouldn't be moving to get out of the way. What he needs is to hear that you want these twins. That's what's going to calm him down and bring him back. I know he's excited. He told me he was excited before he started overthinking what you were going to think"

Keith drew in a shaky breath
"I'm scared, Shiro"
"That's alright"
"Mum's pregnant too..."
"I'll have to congratulate her. Did you tell Lance?"
"We just fought... he said he was going to sleep"
"He needs it. You're going to be a great dad, Keith"
"W-was he really... ok?"
"Yeah. Exhausted, emotionally exhausted, and scared. But nothing wrong with both babies"
"Two of them... I didn't know if my sperm would even take, being part Galra and all... God..."
"He's only 6 weeks in. So you have some time before you tell anyone"
He couldn't tell people beforehand?
"We do?"
"Most miscarriages happen before 12 weeks. Most of the time it passes in a period before most women know they're pregnant... or men..."
"I didn't think to ask him about his period... I was mad over him being right..."
"That wouldn't the first time that happened... Keith, it's ok to be excited, and if you're excited, I think you should tell Lance. Be honest with him"
"I just tried to do that. He's convinced I'm angry... maybe I am... but he's just told me. I don't know what to do! I... think I really want this, but the only real family experience I have that's been any good is that time with you, and Christmas... two babies... he's having twins!"
"You're both having twins. It takes two... I really don't understand how this happened, and honestly, I'm kind of hurt you left me on the outside of something like this... but it's already done, and now you really should go back to Lance. Don't forget, he can't understand if you don't talk to him, and you can't understand if you don't question him. You can do this. You both can. You're going to be amazing parents. You know what shouldn't be done... I hate that you know, but you do. And neither of you are alone. I won't tell anyone, this is your news to share when you're ready. So go back to your husband"
Shiro's moved his hand from his back, Keith could hear the ruffling of paper before the scan prints were pushed back into his hand
"You've got this kiddo"
"Thank you, Shiro... Thank you for being here for him... and for staying... and going to pick him up... and just... thank you... I'm sorry... I'm not used to him letting people into our space..."
"Lance said as much. If it helps, hands were above the blanket, all I did was help him bath and shower... He... had an accident during a nightmare. That's the most hands-on I got"
He knew Shiro wouldn't go after his husband like that. He was happy with Curtis, and Lance had chosen to let Shiro into his tiny circle of trust. His instincts were furious, but his heart was relieved
"Shiro..."
"I changed the sheets and blankets, I don't think he remembers. I know his body and who touches him is a big thing for him. So if he asks you can be honest with him now"
"Lance... is really susceptible to scents. Even if he can't say it, he knows it's you... I need to go see him"
"Then get off of me already"
"I am... you're the hugging me"
Keith sniffled and wiped at his face, releasing Shiro
"Thank you..."

*
Walking back to their bedroom, Keith broke from a slow walk to jogging, then running. Shiro had said it was alright to be happy and it'd dislodged the fear, allowing the happiness and excitement to bubble into his bloodstream. Maybe the twins weren't planned... and maybe their jobs were impossible... but they were going to be parents. He and Lance... were living a miracle.

Reaching their room, Keith slammed his hand down on the hand pad. Slipping through the gap before the door opened fully. Still curled up on his side of their bed, Keith pulled the covers off and swept his husband up into his arms. Lance's tired eyes blinking at him in confusion. Smiling down at him, he spun around in a circle, Lance scrambling to clutch onto him
"Keith?"
"We're having a baby!"
It was ok to want this... it was ok to want these children...
"Keith? Wha..."
Leaning down, Keith nuzzled into his husband's face
"I'm sorry. I'm scared and I'm probably going to fuck things up over and over again... but I'm... I think I really want this for us..."
"You sounded so angry..."
"Confused... scared... confused... maybe angry, but babe... we made a baby..."
"We made two... Keith, how is this supposed to work? Our marriage is barely working"
"I'll quit ahead of schedule. You can come stay with me on Daibazaal, and come on training missions and help me train the recruits. You're the best marksman I know... and it'll be safe because I won't let anyone hurt you. The others can run this place. We can comm every day and I can there for your next scan... and we can see our twins together..."
"This wasn't the plan..."
"Babe, all the best things that have happened to us haven't been planned. The best thing that happened to me was marrying you, and we took movements to figure that one out.. so what if mum's pregnant? We can talk to her and work something out..."
"Krolia's pregnant?"
"Yep. She only just told me I'm going to be a big brother... and now I'm going to be a father too..."

Sitting down their bed, Keith carefully manhandled his husband so he was straddling his lap, his face in his hands
"I don't even know if I want this... this wasn't the plan... I don't know if I can carry to full term... I was so sure you'd hate me... and now you've come back and said it's all ok... I don't know what to feel... your anger hurt"
"I know... but... this is a lot. I thought you were on contraceptives... so I felt... I guess I felt betrayed that you didn't tell me you weren't... My instincts didn't like it, not with so many people attracted to you... I thought you'd still be on them, or some kind of injection because you have no idea what kind of people are coming and going from here. Though now that I think of it, you did say you didn't want to take anything... and your heat... all I could think about was swelling that stomach of yours with our child... so I don't know if I could have remembered to actually use a condom. With... with how you were apologising, I thought..."
Lance let out a miserable whimper
"You thought I'd slept with someone else"
"Not consensually... but babe, you can see why can't you? You kept saying I'd be mad. Shiro said you were basically non-responsive. You kept apologising and you... you hated the idea of being pregnant... even to me"
"I can't ask you to stop working... your mum is going to need you more than ever and this pregnancy... it's not going to be as long as normal..."
Keith scrunched his brow
"Why not?"
"My heat was... like 7 movements ago now for me... but 5 for you... that's.... when I'm 6 phoebs... it's only to be 4 for you... 40 weeks... I don't know the math but it's like... 25 weeks... your time before I'm due...the gap is so big. I don't want to leave here, but I'm pregnant... I don't know what to do..."
"We'll work it out. We'll work it out when you don't look so exhausted..."
Searching his face, Lance sniffled softly
"You've been crying... I'm sorry... I'm so scared of what this means for us... I'm so exhausted Keith... I'm so tired of having so many ups and downs... I miss being on my injections. I miss having energy... I miss going out and helping people... and now I have to leave here and I have nowhere to go"

Parroting it back to Lance, Keith was confused... the only thing that had really changed is that his husband was pregnant... Lance was still Lance... so how did that equate to homelessness?
"You don't have nowhere to go..."
"I can't go back to Earth... mami... mami... Keith how can I tell my family!? I was born male! I'm not meant to be pregnant!"
Oh. Ah... it's been scary enough for Lance the first time, trying to tell his mother about his health issues... But now Keith felt confident enough to talk to Miriam and Jorge on even ground over Lance's health. Lance might think he shouldn't legally make his own decisions or question them, but he was far more capable than he thought. He knew what he needed... thoooough, he did have the tendency to be swayed by others opinions too easily... In this case, his parents were going to be the least of his worries. No. Rachel was going to be the main issue in Keith's opinion... but then again... Veronica. Oh god... Lance might have a point. Veronica was going to kill him for knocking up her little brother... No. Nope. He couldn't go there. Lance needed to hear everything was going to be ok.

"Mami and Jorge are going to love you just as much as they do right now... Shiro said he's not going to tell anyone. And I won't tell anyone until we're ready to do it together..."
"And what if I lose them? What if I can only get pregnant but can't carry? What if all..."
"Babe... I know nothing about being pregnant. Shiro just gave like the 2 dobosh talk about it... he said that miscarriages happen mostly before 12 weeks... we still have time to decide what we want to say to everyone... and to ensure things are ok with the three of you. I'm serious. I want you to come back to Daibazaal with me. We can spend the next phoeb together... Daehra and Lucteal will probably be able to sense your pregnancy... and I'm sure they wouldn't mind running things here. Or you can call in Th'al...?"
"I don't want to stop working... I've barely been able to keep up with work since you left... I'm so tired all the time... Shiro's had to look after me..."
"He told me. It should have been me... I swore to myself I wouldn't make you cry and it's all I do..."
"I didn't want to say it... because I don't want to hold you back... but I need you... I've needed you home for phoebs..."

Yeah. And he'd needed Lance just as badly... They'd both held it in because it only served to hurt each other when they brushed against the topic
"I know you have... I never should have listened to mum and gone back to work so soon... I'm grateful Lucteal and Daehra were here... but I'm so fucking sick of only coming home when something is wrong or something happens. I want to take you away. I want to... go on missions with you. Your mission... not my boring ones..."
Lance shook his head
"We can't anymore. Not now I'm pregnant! I'm not ready for any of this! I wanted to keep working... I wanted to make something out here and again I have to walk away! I'm sick of walking away not having finished anything I've started"
Moving his hand up to Lance's forehead, he frowned at the warmth now there. His husband's exhaustion had seemed to have lead to a fever
"Shhh... Hey... ok. You're feeling warm... your voice sounds ruff too... I think you need some sleep and fluids"
"I can't... Shiro decided to invite everyone out here... I can't ignore them. Pidge will ask questions... and Hunk... and you... I can smell other people on you"
"Mum opened a wormhole directly here. I have my team and the recruits with me"
"I should be out there. I should be the one..."
"No. You need your rest... you've got our babies to focus on... and I've got you and my other two babies to focus on"
"Did you just call me a baby?"
"I don't know, did I? How's the nausea?"
"Awful... my nose is all clogged up and burning... can we take a bath together?"
"Didn't you just get out the bath?"
"I... my skin... I feel them on my skin... I don't feel clean"
"Baby... you are"
"I feel them... I feel him on my skin... and hear him... telling me I'm a "pregnant whore"... it only excited them more"

Lance clamped a hand over his mouth, climbing from Keith's lap and running to their bathroom. A bath was completely unnecessary... though without his blade suit on, Keith probably stunk to high heaven... Still, a bath was a small price to pay for Lance's mental health...

Chapter Text

When Lance fell asleep in his lap in their bath, Keith let him rest. His husband looked so incredibly fragile as he placed the entirety of his trust in Keith protecting him. For Keith's part, he couldn't keep his hands off Lance's stomach, rubbing softly until his husband moaned in his sleep and he was forced to behave himself. The quintant was definitely not how things were supposed to go. Lance was supposed to have a simple bug or something. Something he knew how to handle and how to be there for. Not a baby... or twins... Twins... as in two... Finding his hand gripping Lance's stomach by his fingertips, his husband roused slightly. By his estimate, they'd probably been in the bathtub for the last two vargas or so
"Keith?"
"I'm here..."
"You're playing with my tummy..."
"It's a cute little tummy"
Moving to nuzzle at Keith's jawline, Lance gave a small yawn before kissing him randomly
"We're having a baby"
"Yeah... we're even having two..."
"You knocked me up good like you said you would"
"This is true... How do you feel?"
Lance snorted as if something was funny
"Honestly... exhausted and horny... if I'm not sick, scared, freaking out or sleeping, I've been fucking horny... Not like... not like in my heat, but at the same time, I feel it... like a bite... you know, it's there but you can't scratch it... or rather, I've been trying to not scratch it..."
No wonder Lance had snorted. Horny wasn't on Keith's list of expected replies. Chuckling affectionately, he kissed his lover's hair
"We can't have that..."

Letting his hand slide down between Lance's legs, Lance whimpered at the touch, grabbing Keith's hand and moving it back up to his stomach
"I can't... I can't... I'm too scared"
Keith wasn't particularly in the mood, he only wanted to comfort his husband
"Babe, its only me and you here. No one else... you can let go. Leave it to me..."
"It's dirty... I'm dirty"
"You're not dirty. Your body is clean..."
"But..."
"Do you remember the first time? When you asked me to take the feeling of their touches away? To replace them? Let me touch you... not sex, just touching. You're stressed, exhausted and confused... rely on me"
"It feels dirty... my skin feels itchy"
"Then let touch you... cover you in my scent so you know I'm here"
"I'm..."
"Babe, I'm not trying to push you... I want you to know you're safe. To feel completely safe. You're in our bathroom. It's just you and me... let me give you some release"
"I feel so sick from the feeling..."
"Then let me make you feel better"
"But what about you? You still don't know how you feel about this pregnancy"
"I don't think either of us knows..."
"I want to want it..."
"Then let yourself want it. Let yourself be happy..."
"I don't know if I remember how..."
"I know you do. I never should have started yelling at you..."
Let his hand wander back down, Keith grasped Lance's half erection. Whining into his ear, Lance's breath was hot... and his husband really needed to brush his teeth
"Everyone was telling me how shit of a job I've done being there for you. Shiro was disappointed I broke that promise. I was disappointed no one could give me a straight answer... I can't understand if you don't talk to me"
"I'm sorry... I'm so sorry... I don't want to be a burden..."
Twisting to hide his face, Keith jerked Lance off slowly, his free hand rubbing circles on the soft skin that would soon stretch as he swelled. Moaning into his touch, Lance spread his legs further. If there was one major pro to the Galra having built the outpost, it was that their baths were big enough for 4 humans of their size to fit. It was akin to a small swimming pool in that regard, with taps that activated by waving your hand underneath them. Being able to just barely reach within sensor distance with his toes, that's how he'd kept the water from getting too cool during Lance's nap. With how pent to his husband was, it only took a few doboshes for Lance to cum with a soft sigh of relief. Feeling for the plug chain with his toes, Keith pulled it free and gathered Lance up into his arms
"You with me, babe?"
Nuzzling him affectionately Lance took his hand in his
"I think I needed that..."
"I think you might have needed that too..."
"I can't... bring myself to do it alone... it feels wrong"
"I swear to give you all the handjobs you want or need"
Laughing softly, Lance finally stopped nuzzling into his neck
"You might need too... I'm going to get so fat..."
"Not fat. You're stomach's going to swell up with our children"
"Mmm... yours... I... I don't know if I... it's scary... but not as scary as being raped into pregnancy... I... truly love you Keith... you're my world... I keep trying to do better but nothing works out right... it feels like every step I take forward, I'm swept right back to the start... I don't want to go back to the start"
"You're not back at the start... You're not. You're doing so much better"
"Am I? I feel like I've been in a constant panic attack since I found out. I can't sleep without Shiro there because if he's there, then they're not... I had a seizure I can't even remember... and... I blacked out so badly I forgot who Shiro was... I thought I was back there... he put me to bed, but when I woke up I still thought it... these stupid dreams are so fucking vivid... and I... I broke my promises to you... I've only known for a few quintants now and if I'm this bad already... how am I going to get through this?"
"You're going to get through this because we've both hit the end of our emotional rope. I can't... I can't keep leaving you. I can't stand not being with you..."
"You have so many obligations"
"And out of them, being your husband has always been number one. Even if it hasn't felt that way for either of us. Let's tell the others at dinner that you're coming to stay. Even if it's just for the phoeb, to begin with"
"I'm scared to go to Daibazaal... they could tell I was pregnant from my scent alone. What if your team smells it on me?"
"Then I'll punch anyone who says anything in the face"
Lance gave a weak laugh
"You can't do that... I want to be excited for this..."
"Babe. You are recovering. You're allowed to be mixed up and confused because quiznak knows I am. I'm terrified, but I'm not going to walk away. Now, enough wallowing in the bath. You need to eat. I bet you haven't been keeping anything down"
"I've barely got any appetite... We need to join the others for dinner"
"Let's go by the kitchen? Hunk might have something to help the nausea"
"Ginger... is supposed to help. Lisa had bad morning sickness..."
Keith smiled. Lance seemed to be more positive, or at least he sounded more positive
"Alright. Dinner and IV bag after. Dehydrations probably making it even worse"
"I haven't been able to keep anything down"
"We'll figure this out. Together"

*
Keith had helped him dress in a bodysuit beneath his husband's clothes. The fact that Keith had flipped out over the pregnancy hadn't been surprising for Lance. The fact that Keith had run hadn't been either. The fact that he'd come back... Lance was still trying to believe that. The fact that his husband had swept him up into his arms and told him that it was ok to be excited was... he had no words. Keith was excited. Keith was excited and scared like he was. Keith was excited and scared and wanted their twins... His husband hadn't left him... and even if it was pretty shitty of him to think he would, he couldn't help his stupid out of control anxieties were leaving him feeling so weak and broken it was almost like being back in the first movement on Erathus. They'd made a baby... two babies... Two living tiny people were inside his stomach right now...

"What are you smiling about?"
Keith hadn't let him walk to the kitchen. Instead, his husband was carrying him in a reverse piggyback kind of deal. Keith had offered him a piggyback, then had gotten himself all worried about putting any pressure on Lance's stomach. Now that he knew it was okayish to be ok with what was happening, he found it incredibly sweet
"You..."

He hadn't been lying when he said he felt he was a constant panic attack. Shiro's scent was wrong, but he needed that physical human contact... his body and his mind weren't talking all that much before Keith came. Maybe because Keith was the calm in the storm that was his life... He was also the one most affected by Lance's pregnancy, being the baby daddy and all...

"Me?"
"Yeah... I just... I'm really grateful to have you as my husband"
"I thought you were scared"
"I am. I'm fucking terrified of what's to come"
"I am too... a lot. I cried all over Shiro earlier. I didn't want to fight with you. But I still can't believe it... We hadn't had the proper kid discussion..."
"Don't you think I know that? I know how painful your past is for you... and I'm scared of what it's going to bring up for you"
"I thought I'd have time you know, being a big brother first"

Quiznak. Right. Krolia was pregnant... The smile on his lips started slipping. Krolia should be enjoying all the attention of her only son, and his help through what was to come. Keith was going to make an absolutely amazing big brother... but he'd only get a few weeks of that before being a father.

"You'll make an awesome big brother"
"We'll make awesome big brothers... you know mum loves you like you're her own"
"She only loves me because I love you"
"Nah. That's a bonus on top. You've really impressed her as you"
"She still scares me. I hope you know that. She's hot as hell and could snap me in half"
"I remember you saying the exact same thing before"
"It's as true now as it was then. She's not an enemy I'd like to ever make"
"Me either, honestly..."

Keith fell into a silence that didn't quite sit right with him
"Keith... are you scared of being a big brother?"
"I..."
"You know, I mean what I said. You're going to be an amazing big brother. And amazing dad. You've... been through hell. And you'd do anything you can to protect the happiness of those you care about"
"I don't know how to feel about it... now that it's actually happening... I don't have the experience"
"No. You have no idea. I've never been a big brother either..."
"You're going to be a mum... and you basically took care of all us on the Castle all the time. You're... you're going to have to teach me how to make a happy and warm family like yours"
A happy and warm family he'd started avoiding calling again... Lance couldn't picture calling home any time soon, though mami would probably call to check in on Allura day...
"You're the one who makes it happy and warm. I love you... and I know you want this... but go careful on me? When this all hits you again... and it will... if you want to run... don't hide it from me"
"I'm not going to run"
Keith had grown. In every single way possible, yet Lance knew it was still sinking it... Keith might have felt better for talking to Shiro, but how was he going to react tomorrow? Or the day after? Or the day after that?
"Babe..."
"I'm committed to you. And to them... I didn't... I didn't think... I think I'm attached to them already"
Then it would break Keith's heart if anything happened to them. That was the last thing he wanted
"I'll be careful... I'll try to be careful... but babe, if we're going to Daibazaal... you're going to have to move your knives from under your bed... if I get stuck in an attack... and if I hurt you... or if I hurt me... I could... I don't want to, but I could hurt them"
"You're not going to hurt anyone"
"I hurt myself... trying to get my skin off... my face and my legs..."
"What?! Where was Shiro?!"
"Sleeping... I didn't remember until I came out of it... there was blood... I was trying to... to get Klearo off me. I'm asking you to do this for me. Kosmo's good at stopping me..."

It was heavy. It was a heavy thing to drop on his husband. He was practically murdering Keith's happiness with his mental illness
"We can talk about it when we get there. Whatever we need to do, we'll do it together. You're my husband I love you"
"Vomit breath and all?"
"Vomit breath and all..."

Pausing to kiss him before entering the kitchen, they were still kissing as the door opened. Letting out a long "ew", Hunk covered his eyes with a tea towel
"Guys! Don't get me wrong, I'm happy for you and all, but this is a kitchen. Please tell me you haven't defiled this sacred space"
Carrying Lance over to the side bench, his husband sat him down, giving him two quick pecks on the lips, before moving to hop up and sit on the bench beside him. Lance's stomach was already starting to roll at the normal kitchen smells. Hunk had been frying something. The stink of the oil was no friend to his pregnant state. Placing his hand on his knee, Keith squeezed it lightly in a gesture of support
"Sorry, Hunk. I missed my husband"
"Only you two would be married by accident... Holy Quiznak! Lance are you alright?!"

Meeting each other's eyes, Lance felt as if his stomach was about two ticks from betraying him. He knew he looked ill... Hunk was a natural-born worrier, if he could lie his way through talking to Hunk, Hunk would reassure everyone else
"Stomach bug I picked up from an alien. Everything is still tender, but things will be better"
"Are you sure? I've seen you looking like the living dead before, bro, but this... you look like you should still be in bed. Keith, is he..."
"Lance is alright. As he said, he picked up a bug or two. He's had a check-up, and things are good"
"Did he have that check up on Altea?"
Scrunching his brow, Lance was confused
"How did you know?"
"Ah... Pidge was going to tease you, but there are photos of Shiro carrying you in his arms being circulated by the media. You know, "trouble in paradise". And "what could this mean". I recognised the hospital in the background. If you're sick, you're better off having something light... How about I whip you up some ginger tea?"

Why would anyone care about what he and Shiro were up to on Altea? Or care enough to take photos? And if it was across the galactic press, why hadn't Shiro said anything? Did Curtis know? The last thing he wanted was for stupid rumours to ruin Shiro's happiness.

"Hunk, my man... Thank you. Where's Tobias?"
Or their actual cooks...
"Helping with the bar. Ugh... someone wanted to trade some things..."
The way Hunk shifted his weight concerned him
"Trade what?"
"Lance, are you buying and selling drugs here?!"

Lance felt as if the air had been driven from his lungs. Then realised that it was the awful sensation of not being able to breathe because he needed to vomit. Sliding off the bench, he rushed to the sink, heaving up what could only be described as a dollop of watery spitty bile. Heaving again, his mouth was all drooly. Coming up behind him, Keith rubbed his back as Lance hacked and spat. The Cuban was already sick of vomiting. He hated how tense it left his stomach muscles, and that "morning sickness" couldn't keep its shit to only happening in the morning
"We buy and sell everything here. If we're buying them here, then we're taking them out of circulation. We buy weapons and tech too. Babe, you've got nothing left in your stomach. Rinse your mouth out"
Keith knew there was nothing left in his stomach. He knew there was nothing left in his stomach. His stomach wasn't listening though. Reaching up he fumbled the tap on, grateful Keith was there to smoothly cover things
"But they... I thought it'd happen like some kind of shady deal... In a back corner... not in the bar in front of everyone"
Rinsing his mouth half a dozen times, Lance sipped down some water cautiously. The worst part of vomiting was the longer burn and the burning kind of smell that lasted inside of him for vargas
"You've been watching too many movies, Hunk"
"I don't want to be involved with that. I never understood how people could become dependent on something so bad for them"
Standing up, Lance sank back into Keith's touch. It was fine to have a moral code, yet it rubbed him the wrong way that Hunk was acting so naive. When it came to bounty hunting, you did whatever you had to do to get your bounty. It was literally that simple. Quiznak. If someone came in here trying to sell slaves, he'd buy them... He'd buy them, then arrest the person at the first chance he got
"No one is going to offer you drugs here. And most of the people we serve aren't good people... but without them, things around here would be dangerous. Keith, can you get me out the plain crackers? They should be in the cupboard near the first fridge"
"They're not there. Your cooks have no idea how to organise a kitchen... I think we put them over here"

Walking to the opposite side of the kitchen, Hunk opened one of the upper cupboards. The kitchen was arranged by Lance to be the same as his kitchen at home. Knowing he was upset and uncomfortable, Keith pushed gently on his back, encouraging him to return where they were sitting before. Opening the pack of crackers, Hunk set up a few on a small plate for him. Lance would have rather picked from the pack. He wasn't sure of his strength... which was proven when the plate Hunk gave him nearly fell on the floor. If Keith hadn't acted so quickly to prevent disaster.

Sipping in his tea and slowly working his way through his crackers, Lance nearly fell asleep when Keith started playing with his hair. Using his fingernails to lightly scratch at his scalp, Lance was practically purring as he let Hunk and Keith's conversation slip past him. As long as he was eating and drinking, Hunk wasn't complaining about his health. Maybe he actually was and he was missing it? Yawning, Keith tugged him closer
"Babe? You good?"
"Sleepy"
"I can see that. Wanna skip dinner?"
"Nah... I wanna cuddle... here"
"Your scents evened out, and your colour looks better. How do you feel?"
"Like crackers might be my new best friend"

"Hey! I heard that, man!"
Laughing tiredly, Lance tried to find the energy to joke, but it just wasn't there
"No one could replace my main bro"
"As long as you know that. You guys don't have to wait for dinner. We have about another varga before everything will be ready. Daehra said we're all having dinner in the second entertainment room? I can't believe you guys have a first entertainment room, let alone a second"
"Second room is... an o-o-overflow room..."
Yawning widely, he shook himself in an attempt to wake up
"It's mostly things that were already here... like tables and chairs... The first entertainment room is for guests"
"We're not guests?"
"Your family... mmm, if we're having dinner there, we can head in early. There's a sofa in there"
Keith's voice came from directly next to his left ear
"I thought you wanted cuddles?"
"Sofa cuddles sound better..."
"Yes, they do. Mostly because neither of you should be sitting on the kitchen counters. Even if you own this place"
Lance ducked his head while Keith laughed. He was still nervous Hunk was going to bring drugs up again... Plus... dinner was only a varga away. Dinner with everyone...
"I think we've been told, babe. Can you give me directions?"
Lance nodded, whining at the loss of Keith's body heat as his husband climbed down off the kitchen bench. Holding his arms out limply, Keith lifted him into his arms
"I'm going to take him down there to rest before dinner. I'm looking forward to some real food. We've been stuck eating purple goo again"
"That stuff should be banned as a violation of human right. Galra rights. Universal rights. I've got things under control here. Maybe you should have Daehra take a look at Lance before dinner?"
Damn. He thought Hunk would let it go
"Hunk, it was just a bug. I'm not contagious"
"You smell funny and you're throwing up"
His chest tightened at the thought of his scent. He was wearing the suit in the hopes it would diminish his scent...
"He smells fine. Although he does need to brush his teeth"
Saved by Keith again, Lance couldn't win
""He" is right here. And he is feeling better for having kept something down"
"You know babe, we could stop by the medbay and run that IV bag before dinner?"
"No... after dinner is better. You're all worrying too much"
"Shiro dropped everything to pick you up. We're allowed to be worried"
Sensing his dropping mood, Keith kissed the top of his head
"I would rather Shiro drop a hundred things and know that Lance was alright. Seeing we're not heading to the med room, take your time. Mr Grumpy here needs his rest"
Why was everyone picking on him? He didn't want to be awake when the cannula went in... No. He wanted to be awake, but closer to sleep so he couldn't crave the feel of the injector needle
"That's rich, coming from you. I bet you can't even find your away around without me"
"I found my way to our room"
"That was a fluke... now let's go... I have a sofa to become friends with. Bye, Hunk! I promise we haven't done many gross things in here"
"Dude! What do you mean "many"?! Are the benches safe? Do I have to clean them again? Why are you doing gross things in here, to begin with?"
As Keith walked towards the door while Hunk bombarded them questions, Lance waved over Keith's shoulder. He wasn't trying to pick a fight with Hunk, but it was so quiznakking easy to get him worked up when it came to the sanctity of the kitchen... or any kitchen for that matter.

*
"There you losers are! You've got time to visit hunk, but no time for me!"

Hushing Pidge, Keith stroked Lance's hair. Despite his insistence that he only wanted cuddles, Lance had drifted off into a doze soon after they'd settled down on the smaller of the two sofas. Bounding over, Pidge stopped as she smacked into the back of the sofa, half falling over and letting out a long "awwww", when she set eyes on Lance, following it by swiftly whispering
"He almost looks innocent like this... I almost don't want to wake him"
"He was woken by a bull trying to ruin my furniture"
Mumbling sleepily, Lance rolled over in his lap and poked his tongue out a Pidge
"What the quiznak is wrong with you?! Shiro said you were ill..."
"Space bug... I hear you planned to tease me for collapsing on Altea"
Shaking her head, Pidge walked around the sofa and threw herself down on the arm
"I was until I saw your face! Seriously, aren't you supposed to be some big bad bounty hunter with his own crew"
"My face! Have you looked in the mirror lately, Pidgeon"
"Oooh sick burn from the sicko"
"Damn right... Mmm..."
Pinching the bridge of his nose, Lance paled
"Babe?"
"Just feel a bit funny... can you help me up?"
"Funny?"
"Yep... I mean, I'm naturally hilarious... but I don't think my hilarity is what's trying to escape"

Keith groaned at his husband's lameness. He knew Lance was only putting on a show for Pidge, yet he wished Lance would shut up and go back to napping. Tugging Lance up by the armpits, his husband flopped against him with a soft whine
"Babe?"
"It's ok... I think it's just dizziness from lack of sleep... or Pidge's loud voice"
"I'm...! Not that loud"
Starting at an indignant yell, Pidge quickly dropped to a whisper. Lance chuckling softly, cutting in before they started teasing each other again, Keith figured someone had to be the adult between the three of them
"You two are as bad as each other. Pidge, stop picking on the sick person. Lance, you know what she's like..."
"Great going Lance, now "dad" here is telling us off. Why'd you have to go get sick right before Allura day?"
"It wasn't like it was planned. You better not have been messing with my outpost"

Now that the spot next to them was only occupied by Lance's socked feet, Pidge slid into the spot and put Lance's feet in her lap
"You know, you stink right. I was looking forward to hanging out with you, and seeing everything around here"
"I'll have to make it up to you next time. Next time we should go to Erathus. Have you been?"
What was on Erathus that Lance couldn't get here? Or on Daibazaal. Erathus was bad news as far as Keith was concerned. Humming, Pidge flicked Lance's toe, Lance retaliating by trying to stick his toes up her nose. Laughing as she pushed them down, she had the advantage in strength Lance admitting defeat with a small whine that was muffled by Keith's neck
"Only briefly. I didn't think you were too popular there?"
"You know what they say Pidge, if you can't beat them, let them get so well known that you can't lay a hand on them"
"No one likes a bragger"
"Yet... I bet you were eyeing off all our tech"
Huffing, Pidge crossed her arms
"Zak already took the best stuff... it pains me to admit it, but he's smart..."
"Ha! That's because my team is the best. I did handpick them after all"
"And what does Keith have to say about this?"

"Keith is wisely not getting involved in your sibling squabbling"
"Coward. Lance, what do you see in this guy?"
Letting his hand travel from his stomach up to rest palm down on Keith's chest, Keith was expecting some kind of sappy answer
"He's big and muscled... plus, he's got a big dick"
Pidge squawked, blushing much the way Keith was. Lance had hit his rambling stage
"I did not need to know that!"
"Yeah, babe. Pidge didn't need to know that"
"My brain power has weaned off... plus I feel funny"
"You should let me take you back to our room. I know you want to hang out with everyone, but you can't even keep up with verbally sparring with Pidge"
"Can too keep up... She's got mystical powers of confusion because she's a gremlin"
"Ya know, you're no fun when you're this sick. Why don't you sleep it off and make it up to me at breakfast tomorrow?"
"Help. I'm dying. Pidge is being kind"
"I'm always kind you arsehole"
"Now she's swearing at me! Don't tell Shiro... He still thinks she's sweet and innocent"
"That's because Shiro has good taste. I don't know what he was thinking taking the pair of you in. You're two halves of the same damn idiot, Daehra was right"
"I'm the funny one... Keith's the cute one, aren't you babe?"
"No, you're the cute one"
Pidge rolled her eyes, poking at Lance's ankle
"I see you didn't say he's the intelligent one... Still, I'll take Gremlin over ankle biter"
"If you were an ankle biter, you wouldn't be anywhere near my feet. You both need to stop fussing, I'm fine"
"Babe, you're rambling"
"Fine, I'm sleepy and fine"
"Plus you did say you felt funny"
Keith nodded as Pidge backed him up
"Babe, no one is going to think any less of you for being sick. We've already checked in with Pidge and Hunk, what you wanted to do. Pidge isn't offended any more than usual"
"But I want to have dinner with everyone... and I wanna see your team too... and your recruits"
"Which we can do in the morning"
"Why don't you nap here? If you wake up, you can meet everyone?"
"Don't wanna nap"
Pidge's howl of laughter was drowned out by the arrival of the others. Lance tensing in his arms. His hand coming to cover his mouth while his other hand went to his stomach...
"Lance?!"
"Too many scents... gonna..."

Stumbling half a dozen steps, Pidge screamed as Lance collapsed on the floor seizing. Rushing to Lance's side, he arrived as Shiro rolled Lance onto his side, Keith catching sight of the vomit running from Lance's nose as he faced Shiro's knees. Taking Lance by the jaw, Keith's eyes shot up to meet Shiro's
"He's vomited. We need to get his mouth open"
"You're not supposed to interfere with a seizure!"
It was hard to ignore Pidge screaming at them, as Keith tried to get Lance's mouth partly open without harming him
"What happened?"
"He said he was feeling funny, Pidge and I were trying to get him to go back to bed, but he wanted to see everyone. When... when everyone came in it was too much... I think he threw up as the seizure hit..."
"He'd eaten?"
"Dry crackers and ginger tea in the kitchen when we were with Hunk... it wasn't much, but he kept them down for over a varga"
"That's more than I was able to get him to eat and keep down"
Kneeling down at his side, Pidge was crying
"What's going on? What's wrong with him? Why is no one helping him?!"
"Pidge, stop yelling. He has seizures... It's complicated..."

Getting Lance's mouth open didn't come until his seizure finally started to lessen. Shoving his fingers into Lance's mouth Shiro didn't shy from scooping up the mess Lance kept expelling weakly. Keith rubbing Lance's back as Shiro stroked his cheek with his free hand. Glossy blue eyes blinking up at Shiro, whining weakly as he allowed Shiro to tend to him
"You had a seizure, baby. Only a dobosh or so... Can you follow my words? Just blink... don't force yourself just yet"
Lance barely blinked, but Keith was sure he saw him make the effort
"That's good baby. I'm going to lift you up now, and Shiro going to help get you back to our room. Shiro, have you cleared his airway?"
"Yeh. Lance, you ready buddy?"

Lifting Lance, Keith found everyone staring at him. It hadn't been one of Lance's more severe seizures, but with Lance's pregnancy, every seizure was a heart attack. All Keith wanted was to get back to their room and check for bruising or bleeding. The fact he'd had two seizures in the space of a movement wasn't a good sign... and... what if it continued? Lance wouldn't be able to left alone at all... not with the risk... Keith's eyes filled with unshed tears as he buried his face in his husband's hair. He should have pushed harder for Lance to rest. Lance had said he felt funny... probably the sign of a seizure coming on... but he didn't usually feel them... Making his way through their friends and the recruit, Acxa placed her hand on his shoulder
"Is he... will he?"
"He's alright now it's over. I'm sorry, I need to take care of him right now"
"I'll take care of the recruits..."
"Thank you..."
His team was probably going to be hurt that he hadn't told them. But he didn't know the full details of Lance's condition, only that the drugs weren't to blame. Instead, it seemed to him that they'd been what was keeping the seizures at bay all along.

Catching up with them as they walked, Shiro looked wiped out
"I asked Pidge to wait until the tomorrow morning before starting with the questions. Keith, seizures..."
"Seizures while pregnant isn't a good thing. I know... there was a split tick between the sofa and reaching him that my heart stopped..."
"I think while we're on Altea, you should see if you can get him into the hospital"
"I was... I wanted him to rest. I should have pushed harder..."
"Keith... don't..."
Softly whispering his name, Lance reached up blindly for his face
"Don't... wanted to see everyone..."
"But..."
"Please don't..."
Before he could protest again, Shiro firmly reassured him
"See. It wasn't your fault he had a seizure. Is there anything I can do?"
"We need to stop by the med room. I want to run an IV line to get his fluids up. He was looking so much better for having eaten something"
"I can get the saline bag..."
"And herbs... I... Daehra has a herbal supplement, like a vitamin pill but better"
"I heard folate is important during a pregnancy... for foetal development"
"I doubt he has any of whatever that is in his system... How much did you get him eating?"
"Some soft foods, but to be honest, they said that rest was more important than food. But with his morning sickness... I don't know what to do"
"You did a good job with him"
"Did I? I feel completely over my head..."
"You kept him going..."
"He wouldn't open up to me as he did with you"
"He's a shit like that... but he said he felt like he was in a constant panic attack. There's... something in my scent that he finds soothing. Like he can anchor himself with it... Though he's probably going to be in a rotten mood tomorrow morning. He hated sympathy and now everyone saw him having a fit. I don't think he's ready to tell everyone"
Shiro sighed, closing his eyes as he did. Keith could hear him mentally counting to 10 before opening them
"Alright. I'll help you cover for now. Lance shouldn't have to talk until he's really ready too. Not that anyone is going to judge him. I can say it was a side effect of the medication they gave him for his... what are you going with?"
"Stomach bug picked up from an alien"
Shiro raised an eyebrow
"His stomach bugs... then. If you say I told you, then you're covered as to why you're not so shocked"
For a tick, Keith thought they might get away with it before he deflated with a groan
"That won't work. Daehra knows Lance won't take anything and... I freaked out on Acxa earlier... I think I mentioned his seizures... Quiznak..."
"We can worry about a cover story after we get him cleaned up and settled"
"You need a shower too..."
Shiro looked down at his pants and hands
"Yeah... I guess I do..."
"And you're braver for sticking your human fingers in his mouth"
"I wasn't thinking straight. My heart's still racing from seeing him fall. If I wasn't already grey..."
"I know how you feel. I found a few around my temples... they all came from him"
"Him... isn't asleep..."
Lance's eyes were closed, and his lack of response had led Keith to believe he'd passed out with his hand on Keith's hair
"Of course you're not, Lance. Just resting your eyes?"
"Mhmm... Shiro gets it..."
"That makes one of us"
Snickering at Shiro, Lance dropped his hand to his lap
"I'm sorry... wanted to see everyone"
"It's alright, babe. We can see everyone in the morning. Sleep for me a little longer"
"Wasn't sleeping... but ok"
Quiznak. His husband was so fucking precious.

Conquering showering with an almost unconscious Lance back when Lance was withdrawing, Shiro went about organising towels and their bed for them when they got out. Swapping when both he and Lance were done, Keith was definitely ready for sleep by the time they were both dried and dressed. Getting Lance out of his suit had been a struggle, yet his instincts wouldn't allow Shiro to help, still shaken from Lance's fall and the risk to the twins. The half-Galra's heart was still racing, even after triple checking Lance wasn't bleeding and bruised. Settling them both in bed, the first IV bag was hooked to the lamp because it was the only place he could get it to stay still. Coming out their bathroom, Shiro cast them a soft look
"Is he out?"
"Not quite. Thanks for your help"
Shiro had found Daehra's herbs for them. Thankfully she labelled her medical supplies in English or they would have spent all night figuring things out. Injecting the vitamin mix first, Lance hadn't liked it all, until Keith did some creative truthing about accidentally prickling him while trying to get the IV set up. Sitting on the edge of the bed, Shiro went to reach for Lance before pausing
"I'll find another room to crash in tonight"
Letting out an "nnngh" sound, Keith had to push space between his chest and Lance's mouth to make out this husband was trying to tell them "no"
"I think he wants you to stay"
"I don't want to be in the way"
Keith stifled down a snort
"Shiro, you've literally... basically been his rock. He isn't one to ask anyone to stay, let alone sleep in the same room or bed as him. He really has to trust you to do that these days"
"He has you"
"And right now he's disorientated and out for the night. He wants you to stay. Besides, this isn't the first time we've shared a bed"

Shiro didn't seem convinced. Keith was feeling jealous of this new found best friends with Shiro thing, but had no energy to care
"I don't..."
"Shiro. I don't have the energy for this. We've all had a scare tonight. Just sleep here where you'll be able to act if anything happens"
"Fine..."
"Good"
Careful not to disturb Lance, Shiro threw his towel over towards the washing basket in the corner before joining them under the blankets. Laying facing them, his brother's expression was still filled with love for the pair of them
"I never got to congratulate you both properly tonight"
"I got him to agree to come to stay on Daibazaal. We were going to discuss it with the others at dinner"

The small moment between the three of them was interrupted by a knock on the door. Shiro climbing back out the bed to answer, revealing an anxious Hunk standing there
"Is Lance, alright!? I brought you some dinner, but if I'm in the way..."
Turning back, Shiro was leaning the decision to him
"It's alright, you can come in"
Calling softly from the bed, Keith found Lance was trying to keep his eyes open. Bopping him on the tip of the nose with his finger, his husband gifted him a dopey smile. Armed with a tray of food, tea and what seemed to be a couple of water pouches, Hunk wasn't alone as Daehra slipped in behind him...
"What's going?! How is Lance?"
Thanks to his anxieties, Lance might have trouble feeling loved by others, but both their friends were practically radiating love and concern. Clearing his throat, Shiro took it upon himself
"He had a seizure, most likely brought on from his weakened state after picking up that stomach bug"
"Is that all? You said he was alright when we were in the kitchen and next thing I know Pidge is balling her eyes out because Lance has collapsed and she didn't know what to do"

As far as Keith knew, Lance and Pidge's relationship was still strained. Hunk looked as if he wanted to burst into tears himself
"She said Lance vomited?"
"He threw up just as the seizure hit. I hope you don't mind Daehra, we borrowed a couple of IV bags and some herbs"
"I don't mind. But I don't like not knowing what is going on with my patient"
Placing the tray of food down just below Keith's feet, Hunk worried his hands
"Will he be ok? I made some vegetable soup... and put some crackers there..."
"He'll be fine Hunk. He's simply weak right now. He was so excited about dinner with everyone he refused to slow down"
"That sounds like him... uh... um... you'll let me know if I can help, won't you?"
"Right now, the best thing you can do is not worry. He's probably going to be embarrassed tomorrow, but he's down for the night now"
"Oh. Ok. I'll just go then... Lance, I hope you feel better soon, buddy"

When Hunk's caring aura left the room with him, Daehra crossed her arms. Keith knew the expression she wore too well
"What is going on with him?!"
"Dae..."
"First he's exhausted, then he's shutting us out... I don't know what I've done wrong, but..."
"Whoa. Dae. You haven't done anything wrong. He was sick... he still is sick. He thought it might be related to coming off his meds so had a scan on Altea. While he was there, there was a miscommunication that I was going to be there. He described it as feeling like being in a panic attack since he got home again. I've also invited him to live on Daibazaal for the next phoeb. We both know he won't stop working, so if he's not here to work... well..."
Daehra frowned, but accepted what he said
"He's an idiot. I wish he'd talk to me about all of this. I could have conducted the scan"
"From what Shiro said, he was supposed to meet with Coran over Allura day. You're coming to the festival, aren't you?"
"Yes, only for the first day. Coran will be opening a wormhole for Lucteal and I. Though I dread to think of what I'm going to come home to... and a phoeb without Lance around, all our regular customers are going to be upset"
"Admit it, you and Lucteal will miss him the most. Daibazaal is only a wormhole away"
"Do not tempt me. Fine. I'm trusting you to make sure he rests, and in future, I hope you'll trust me enough to help you so you don't have to steal my herbs without telling me"
Keith felt a prang of guilt. Daehra and Lucteal had been watching over Lance for so long now
"I'm sorry Dae. I do trust you with him... I just... I can't let you in right now. You know those instincts Lance I share..."
"Keith, I can feel you. You barely wanted to accept Hunk in here. I want to know the tick something happens, if it happens. And I really wish you'd talk to him about going onto medication for his seizures"
Being pregnant, Lance might be more open to it... then again, medication could affect the twins
"At least think about it. And don't go hiding things again"
"Yes, Daehra. Thank you..."

Sighing heavily, Daehra moved to leave the room. Shiro staring at the door long after she'd gone
"Shiro? You ok?"
"Does she know how scary she is?"
Keith snorted
"Yeah. She does. That's the problem with trying to hide things from an empath"
Shaking his head, his brother retrieved the tray of food off the bed
"I feel bad for Hunk, but I'm not hungry at all"
Keith shook his in agreement
"I'm not hungry either. Why don't you leave it in the bathroom? Maybe we can get Lance to eat when he wakes up again?"
"Yeah. Are you sure you still want me to stay?"
"Lance wants you here. And as annoying as you are... I'm grateful to have you here. I know we need to have a talk, but thank you Shiro"
"We need to have more than a talk..."

When Shiro finally rejoined them in bed, Lance proved he was a stubborn shit by taking Shiro's hand and placing it on his hip with a very sleepy, and very slurred "good night" to both of them. Kissing Lance's hair, Keith curled around his husband as much as he could, while Shiro waited until Lance was snoring to take his hand off his hip. If he hadn't felt like the whole day had taken a decaphoeb to get through, Keith might have made a joke over Curtis being jealous, yet at the same time, he knew he wouldn't because he knew how much Shiro must be missing his boyfriend. Curtis had the patience of a saint to put up with their antics, and he owed the man big for this.

Chapter Text

Waking up with a soft yawn, Lance nuzzled into the warm body holding him tight, not being able to remember the last time he felt so well-rested or has slept through the night entirely. Feeling the lips, of who could only be Keith, peppering the top of his head with kisses, Lance stretched with another soft yawn as he wiggled up to lay face to face with his husband. Behind him, there was a nasally snore, causing him to nearly giggle when Shiro followed it up with one twice as loud. Brushing his hair back from his forehead, Keith's smile was filled with love. Far too much love to be waking up to. He'd acted so deplorably the day before
"I was betting he'd wake before you did"
"He's been really good to me"
"I know. How are you feeling?"
All limbs were attached. Keith's smell was drowning out Shiro's. He was still drowsy, but Keith was home so that made everything alright... plus, he only felt slightly nauseous
"I don't remember how we ended up in bed"
Keith's expression turned pained. Doing that thing where he bit the inside of his cheek as he drew his brow, yet his scent eyes gave away the pain... The last thing he remembered...
"We were sitting in... the kitchen... and... Hunk made me drink that tea... it gets kind of foggy"
"You were falling asleep in the kitchen so we went to the secondary entertainment room..."
"And Pidge was there..."
Lance could clearly remember hearing Pidge's voice recently...
"When everyone else came in, you went to get up. Before that, you said you were feeling funny. You ended up having a seizure"
"In front of everyone?"
"We told them it was because you've been sick..."

 

Everyone saw. Everyone saw him having a seizure...

 

"Babe, it's ok"
"It's not ok"
There were things he wasn't ready to talk to everyone about yet. He still needed time... He didn't want to admit to Hunk and Pidge that his torture had resulted in seizures due to a serious brain injury
"Look, Shiro and I told them it was because you were sick. We told Daehra it was because you pushed yourself too far. We covered for you"
They shouldn't have to cover for him. He was a grown arse adult
"Stop giving me that look. You can make it up to everyone at breakfast this morning"
"I had a seizure in front of everyone"
"And all everyone wanted to go know was if you were ok. No one was laughing. No one was judging you. Do you think Shiro or I would have let them keep their teeth if they had?"
"I haven't seen anyone today... how am I supposed to know if they all have teeth still"

 

Nuzzling into his face, Keith rolled him away from Shiro so he was forced to lay on top of his husband. His stomach and his bladder protesting laying front down
"That's my man. God, Lance. You're so quiznakkingly beautiful"
Feeling himself blush, Lance dropped his head next to Keith's so he didn't have to meet his husband's eyes
"Shut up..."
Sliding his hands down Lance's back, Keith massaged at his lower back with his fingertips
"Don't tell me to shut up. I know you're smiling"
"Who's fault is that? It's too early in the morning... and it's the first morning I haven't woken up feeling worse than when I went to sleep"
"That's good... hey, lift your face for me. I want to look at you"
"That sounds like the perfect reason not to"
"Why? You're beautiful. Waking up with you still feels like a dream"
"Keeeith"
Whining his husband's name, Lance mouthed at his husband's neck. If Keith was going to tease him so soon after waking up, then his husband was going to have to face the consequences
"Mmm... I won't say no this kind of wake up when we're on Daibazaal"

 

Parting his lips, Lance sucked hard, Keith jerking under him as he tried to push his face off the place Lance was sucking a hickey. Stopping when he tasted blood, the Cuban let his husband finally have his wish of seeing his face. He hoped he was showing the right emotions... as he wasn't exactly sure what he was feeling emotionally. His head felt better for having slept, and for having fluids in his system, but everything else was frustratingly muddled. He was embarrassed over having a seizure. Scared to face everyone after collapsing in front of them. He didn't want to lie to everyone, but he also didn't want them disgusted over his body... buuuut, with the way Keith was looking at him so softy, he wanted to throw everything away and cling to Keith. Have Keith keep him calm in their bed. Their space he'd opened up to Shiro without asking Keith's permission. Then there were all those thoughts. He felt like absolutely quiznak for not being able to come out of his own head for Shiro. It'd been hard to reach out, and now he didn't know how to apologise for Keith being the only one to fix this broken side of him. Leaning up, Keith was lucky Lance was flexible as nuzzled into his face. Apparently, he hadn't been enough of a shit to get his revenge for Keith being stupidly perfect
"You scared the shit out of me last night. When you fell like that. I couldn't breathe. I couldn't get your mouth open and you kept throwing up. I was scared you were going to drown... and I was scared for our babies..."
"I'm sorry... I wanted to see everyone last night..."

 

Lance was absolutely terrified at the idea of seeing everyone all at once. All their scents. All their voices and things he needed to keep up with. But yesterday felt like if he didn't man up and do it then, he'd only run when the time came. It's kind of been nice to listen to Keith and Hunk talk, but he had no idea what he'd talked to Pidge about. He hoped it wasn't about the fact he was still yet to use the finger she'd gone to all that effort to make him.

 

"I know. You were too sick and I should have pushed harder at you to rest. You're not disappointing any of us by being ill. You're pregnant with our babies, and... that's some kind of miracle"
"Your babies are making me sick... I can tell they're going to be trouble"
Not that he was attached to them... He was... but he was trying to be realistic. Keith was still not the "enthusiasm" stage of things. Not the... Oh fuck...
"Babe. How do we get them out!?"
All of a sudden the "real" stage of things popped its ugly head up and smacked him a dose of reality he did not need. Watching Keith's eyes widen like his, his husband's scent shifted so dramatically with fear that he was sent running to the bathroom.

 

Following Lance into the bathroom, Keith sat behind him. Rubbing his back as he reacquainted himself with the toilet bowl, tears streamed down his face as he panicked over how he was supposed to give birth. He didn't want them coming out the same way they'd come in. That would hurt!
"Babe! How do I give birth? I don't want to give birth out my buuutt..."
Wailing at his husband, Keith laughed softly
"We woke Shiro up. He reminded me that c-sections are a thing..."
He wasn't sure he wanted a caesarean either...
"My stomach's going to be sooo fat and then they're going to cut it!"
Throwing up, the sound blocked out Keith's reply. Shuffling up further behind him, Keith pulled his hair back from his face before tying the longer bits into a ponytail much like the one Bob had made his husband wear. He really needed a hair cut, but his self-care and pampering had gone to shit as he now appreciated practicality over everything
"You're not going to be fat. You're going to be all round from our babies"
"But my butt... what if they can't take them out?"
Nearly hyperventilating, he choked on the vomity spit in his throaty. Moving up from rubbing his back, Keith rubbed his shoulder
"Shhhh... we've got phoebs to work it out"
"I don't want to give birth! I like my arse! You like my arse! What if you don't love me when I'm fat!"
"Baby, I'm always going to love you. Always. Even if we fight or something, we'll make up"
"I don't know how to have a baby"
He imagined it was going to hurt a lot. Miscarrying hurt so bad... but that wasn't a fully formed baby... babies don't have small heads...
"I don't know either. But we're going to get through this and have our beautiful twins"
"My butt has to hurt twice"

Yes. He was concerned about his butt.. His butt. Hips. Stomach... breasts... was he going to get breasts? Keith loved him because he was a boy. With boy bits... Now his husband was fucking laughing

 

"When you get further along we can explore your options"
His options? What?! With wide eyes, he continued his freak out
"My options!? Where are you going to be!? If I have to go through this, you have to be there too! I'm not going through this without you!"
Gagging, Lance wanted it to stop already as he turned back to the toilet to vomit. Keith nuzzling into his hairline like all of this wasn't gross
"I mean how you feel most comfortable giving birth. I'm going to be there"
"You don't know that. Mum's having a baby too... she needs you! What if you're on a mission"
"I won't be"
"Keith!"
His husband was acting far too relaxed about this... and now he was laughing again
"Babe. I'm going to be there. I promise you this. If I'm not, you can castrate me"
Scrunching his nose up, Lance didn't find the humour in it. He'd cut off Klearo's dick, then slit his throat. He was trying not to think of him... and trying not to compare the difference in morning sickness as it was
"Not funny"
"Sorry. Are you done here? I have no idea what the time is but breakfast should be ready. Or there's some vegetable soup in the fridge that Hunk dropped off last night"

Oh, Keith. Poor sweet Keith. Lance almost pitied his husband's naivety... Morning sickness had a mind of its own... something that was proven when they were both stuck there for the next 2 vargas.

 

*
Joining everyone in the secondary entertainment room for a late breakfast, Lance had an armful of Pidge almost immediately after he and Keith walked into the room. Shiro had been on a call to Curtis who'd decided to bring the Atlas out to the outpost sooner, so had left to greet his boyfriend. Patting Pidge on the head, he'd never really committed her scent to memory, most probably because he hadn't had the chance. As weird as it was, she smelt like the oil you used on creaking hinge mixed with something floral... When he thought about it, it made sense given her love of robotics and her former status as the Green Paladin
"Don't you ever do that to me again! I was scared you dumb arsehole"
"I'm sorry, Pidgeon. I'm feeling much better than I did yesterday"
"What was that, even? You said you felt funny... then you were... I don't think I've been that scared since I returned home and had to face my mother"
"I'm ok. I'll be ok..."

He didn't want to talk about the seizure, yet before he knew what was happening, Keith's team was also hugging him. It was weird... their smells not sitting well with his delicate nose, and it left him uncomfortable knowing they'd never have hugged him if he hadn't made a fool out of himself. Growling at the group, Keith pulled him backwards so his back hit his husband's broad chest
"That's enough pawing at my husband. He's fine"
Zethrid and Ezor didn't say anything, shrugging at each other and returning to where they'd been playing cards with two soldiers that must have been recruits. One looked like a smaller version of Zethrid, like if one was to cut her off at her knees, while the other... for a split tick looked so much like Lotor that he found himself staring. Not quite smiling at him, Acxa hesitated before asking
"We were just learning how to play UNO with Katie. Would you like to join us?"
Pidge hissed at the name Katie, Lance dropped his head back onto Keith's shoulder. His husband's scent was filled with annoyance and possessiveness. Lance swore he could taste Keith's warning to others on the tip of his tongue
"He needs to eat breakfast first"
"He needs to explain last night too"
Lance's gut rolled. Pidge was too smart for her own good. There was no way he couldn't tell them... despite how embarrassing he found it
"I... I'm not going to get out of this, am I?"
"Not as long as your sick"
Kissing the side of his head and rubbing his hands up and down Lance's upper arms, Keith tried to buy him more time
"It's a good thing he's not sick"
"Babe..."
"You're not sick anymore. And it's not like you're contagious"
"I don't know... there seems to be something in the air. If I pinky promise that I'm ok, will you believe me?"
Pidge sighed dramatically at the pair of them
"Pinky promising on the finger you refuse to wear doesn't count"
"I don't need it"
"All that hard work! I even put in a vibration setting for you and Keith"
Lance wasn't sure whether to laugh or be mortified... As it stood, option b seemed the way to go
"Pidge!"
"What? I was trying to make it practical"
"Alright you two, no more arguing. Lance, come sit down babe. Maybe if we get lucky, we can watch Pidge lose at UNO"
"Pffft. See if I worry about you in the future. As for losing at UNO, these poor losers are about to make me rich"

 

Guided to sit a few chairs down, Keith moved his chair up behind him so Lance could sit sideways and watch the game. Pidge was ruthless. He almost felt bad for the two Galra
"Babe, who are they?"
"Just recruits"
Mentally rolling his eyes, Lance sighed
"I know that. I wanted to know their names. That tall one looks like he's the son of Lotor and Acxa... He's actually kind of cute"
Growling, Lance found himself manhandled into Keith's lap
"You're my husband"
"I know that. I was simply making the observation. Plus... he keeps looking at us and I don't know what to do"
It was true. Each time the Galra's pinky-purple eyes were cast their way, Lance felt a chill run down his spine. He hadn't even met the stranger, so wasn't sure how he could have insulted him
"You don't have to do anything. They're probably shocked from how cuddly I am with you"
"You're as bad as Kosmo when it comes to pats and love"
"Only from you. We need to make plans after this. We're both going to need to pack"

 

Lance wasn't looking forward to packing or to moving. He was all for being with Keith constantly, because he found it nearly impossible to truly be mad with the man, but they'd only need back together and Keith was acting seriously possessive, especially with the way he was pressing against his stomach like he was trying to shield their twins. His husband knew his stomach hurt, yet had lifted him out of his chair like it was nothing. Taking Keith's hands off of his stomach, he interlaced their fingers, leaning back to whisper
"Can you not move me like that?"
"What? Why? Is something wrong?"
Now Lance felt bad... Keith didn't seem to realise that they were going to adjust their actions to accommodate his new "condition", his husband merely wanted to hold him. Kissing Keith's jaw, he hoped he'd softened the harshness of his whispered request
"No... no, you're pressing on my stomach, and... I'm a bit nervy with everyone here"
"Quiznak... I'm sorry, babe. I should have..."
"Keith, don't. I didn't mean to imply anything, or to upset you..."
"I should have thought... you were just sick..."
Fuck... He'd really upset Keith, or rather because of him, Keith was upset with himself. Turning in Keith's hold, he gave Keith a soft smile
"And I'm not going to break. My nerves are being stupid and my stomach still feels tense. I don't know about you, but I don't want to wind up back in the bathroom so soon"
"I don't either... is... has it been that bad?"
"It wasn't too bad this morning. It's more annoying than anything"
"I'm sorry..."
How was he supposed to try and be happy about the pregnancy if Keith was apologising?
"Please stop apologising. I don't want you to treat me like I'm made of glass. I don't want your pity or your sympathy. You said you were happy about this, so I want you to be happy"
"I don't want to see you suffer"
"I'm not. We just need to find a new rhythm now it's not just us to think about. I love you, and I love your cuddles, but I'm not up for suddenly being picked up or manhandled right now. It's a new situation for us, so of course, things are going to happen... but we can talk about it, right?"
"Yeah. Yeah, baby. I want you to be able to talk to me about anything. I'm... mad for not thinking about it"
"You didn't have to think about it because it's been a long time since your touch caused us any major issues. I'm still getting better, and I... feel shitty for telling you that I can't do this long-distance thing anymore. I feel like I failed you because I can't cope without you"
"No. No, you haven't. You're so fucking strong"
"I haven't felt that strong lately"
"That's not your fault. You didn't ask for these panic attacks, or for this... sickness..."
Dropping his gaze to his lap, Lance's heart felt heavy
"Still. I should be better by now"
"You are doing so much better"
"I had a seizure in front of everyone... I feel like shit lying to them"
"If you don't want to lie, I'll support you. I've got your back, no matter what"

 

Sighing to himself, Lance wished he could see in himself what Keith seemed to see. Pidge had been so shaken by his seizure. He'd scared Keith and Shiro... and poor Curtis... he'd basically stolen the man's boyfriend away with no explanation. He wasn't particularly close to Curtis, yet he respected the man and knew Shiro loved him deeply. He also didn't want to be the cause of further complications between them
"Um... babe... do you know when the Atlas will be arriving?"
"Probably about now. Why? What is it?"
"I want to apologise to Curtis... and I want to explain things to him"
"You don't need to do that. He'll understand"
"He shouldn't have to understand. He adores Shiro. Shiro... he talked to me about how Curtis helps him through his nightmares and panic attacks. I... thanks to you, I know I'm not going to get better without being honest and Shiro said much the same thing. I want to explain to him, maybe not that I'm pregnant yet, but that I had a major episode and that nothing happened"
"You don't need to explain, but we can if you really want to"
He wanted to for Shiro's sake. He wanted to help preserve Shiro's happiness
"I think I need to. Can we go before we eat? While there aren't that many people around and before Veronica finds me?"
"You're scared of what she'll say, aren't you?"
"A bit... I haven't even explained things to mami. She worries so much with me being out here and the time thing makes it hard... It's been several phoebs for me. She gets confused with the time, then I get confused..."
"I know I've had issues with Veronica in the past, but I think she'd understand if we, if you, wanted to tell her"
"I don't want to make her worry. Do you know how much she'll nag about all the missions and supply runs I've done alone? I want to feel normal"

In other words, he mentally couldn't handle being pregnant and everyone constantly keeping an eye on his every move because they thought he was going to have a sudden seizure. Kissing his hair, Keith nodded
"We can go find Shiro and Curtis right now. I can message Shiro, that's probably going to be easier"
"Yeah... um... do you think he can meet us near the staff door around the side? I don't want anyone overhearing us"
"Sure. I'm proud of you, babe"
"Don't be too proud, I still have time to chicken out"
"You won't. You're so much stronger than you know"

 

Heading back through the outpost, Shiro and Curtis were waiting for them when they arrived. Despite standing close to each other, Lance was sure there was some kind of lingering tension there. Feeling Keith's hand on his shoulder tighten, it seemed his husband had noticed it too. Raising his hand to greet them, Shiro's smile seemed slightly faked
"Hey, Lance. Keith. I got your message, you said you wanted to talk?"
"Lance wants to talk to Curtis if that's alright?"
Curtis looked mildly surprised, as Lance nodded at Keith's words
"You want to talk to me? Are you sure?"
Curtis's tone rubbed his instincts the wrong way, despite there being no malice in it
"Yeah. Umm... if that's ok. It won't take very long, I promise"
Shiro seemed as confused as Curtis was
"Lance, is something the matter? Did something happen?"
"No. No, it's ok. I just need to borrow your boyfriend for a tick. I thought maybe we could talk on the other side of the door?"
Originally he'd intended to explain things in front of Shiro and Keith, but with both of them being overly concerned about him, he didn't want them interrupting
"Sure. I don't see why not. Keith and I will wait here for you"
"Thanks, Shiro"
Leaning into him, Keith softly whispered
"I thought we were going to talk in a group"
"I know... but... I want to do this right. I'll be on the other side of the door, just there. Ok?"
"I don't know..."
"Babe. If something happens, you are literally two ticks away. Let me do this for myself"
"Alright..."
Kissing Keith's cheek, his husband released him. Walking forward, Lance used his hand to open the door, grateful that his biometrics could be read through the glove.

 

Following him outside, Curtis leaned back against the outpost wall, while Lance wrapped his arms around himself in a self hug of support. Now they were alone, he needed a moment to figure out his words
"Lance, what did you want to talk about?"
Nearly flinching, once again Curtis had done nothing wrong
"I want to explain why Shiro came to pick me up"
"Oh, is that all? He already explained it"
"I know he did. But I wanted to talk to you myself about it..."
"You don't need to"
"I do!"
Yelling at Curtis, Curtis raised an eyebrow
"Sorry. Sorry. Dios. I'm so bad at this. Last movement when I was on Altea, I had a major appointment scheduled. I don't know if Shiro explained to you, or you know what I went through, but this appointment was really important to me. Keith was supposed to be there for it, and I ended up having a full-blown panic attack because he wasn't... I... something bad happened to me, and it's left me not able to trust a lot of people, even people I see as friends..."
"Shiro explained that you were tortured..."
That was pretty much common knowledge despite how he wished it wasn't
"Yeah... I have... I have permanent brain damage from it. Not everyone knows and I don't like talking about it. But Shiro... he's so stupidly "Space Dad" like. I hated him... for a while there I really hated him. His clone Kuron..."
Shaking his head, he didn't want to go there even if his mouth did
"I was hurt and hating everyone. Keith came along and forced so much love down my throat that it still scares me. He encouraged me to try and open up... and to trust. Shiro was... well, he's in that circle of trust. And I feel really bad that he had to come to help me. I wasn't in a good mental space. It was like being in a panic attack days... I um... I also get seizures, especially when I'm stressing. You're the first person outside of this circle that I wanted to tell because I know how much you love Shiro and Shiro adores you. Hunk told me about that article, so I wanted to explain what happened that day. Shiro found me in the bushes at the hospital. He helped calm me down from my appointment. That attack was so bad I couldn't walk without help... I guess what I really wanted to say was that there's nothing going on there. I panicked and didn't know who else to call when I couldn't get through to Keith. Shiro stayed in my room while he was here because of I... I sometimes hurt myself during an attack... and... I just don't want to hurt Shiro or ruin his happiness. He's so in love with you, and he's done so much for me... and for Keith..."

Wiping his eyes, he hoped Curtis didn't think he was aiming for a sympathy vote. He was simply so nervous that his body defaulted to tears
"And he deserves to be happy. I wanted to explain things to you myself, because I felt you deserved to understand. It's not easy being on the outside... it really kind of quiznakking sucks. I want Shiro to be able to talk to you and not feel he has to hide everything... I haven't told my friends about my seizures... I don't want any kind of pity. I don't want them to feel they have to babysit me... I'm sorry... Keith says I ramble"

 

Curtis took a few ticks before pinching the bridge of his nose in a very Shiro manner
"Shiro did explain things. But I appreciate how hard it had to have been for you to approach me. And I thank you for doing it face to face. Can I ask you something?"
Slowly Lance nodded, not sure where this was going
"Are you getting help for this?"
Brushing off the slightly insulted feeling, Lance nodded again
"I have a counsellor I talk to regularly and I'm going to be moving to Daibazaal with Keith until my health improves. Everything is so complicated and it just got even more complicated. I haven't melted down that bad since... in a long while and I only panicked more when I couldn't calm down. I didn't even know about the article until Hunk told me. I don't follow news from that side of the universe. Shiro really loves you. He talked about how good you are to him, and how you work through his PTS... That's why I wanted to tell you everything myself without him or Keith interrupting and doing that thing where they assure it's ok, and don't let you talk properly"
"Shiro's "space dad" role?"
Curtis smiled at him, loosening the tendrils of dread around his stomach
"Yeah... He's worse than my own dad, half the time"
"He cares a lot for all of you"
"I know he does. That's part of what made it so hard to let him back in. I want him to... I guess I want him to be there as a friend, but at the same time, I want him to be selfish and to pursue the things he loves, and wants, like a future with him. We all lost so much... so I never want to get in the way of his happiness"
"I wasn't impressed that he dropped everything the way he did, but I'm glad he could be here for you. I knew nothing would have happened between the two of you, but with how evasive he was..."
Curtis trailed off, so Lance finished his sentence for him
"It really fucking sucked?"
"Yeah. That"
"I might... not be able to let you in... to trust you. But I don't want to disclude you either. I want to try and be friends. So I need to apologise if I fuck things up beforehand, because I don't realise sometimes that I have... I hope this is making more sense to you than it sounds like it's making me to me"
"You're a good guy Lance. Not everyone would admit things like this for the sake of their friend. I hope we can be good friends too, not just for Shiro's sake"
"I'd like that"
Feeling somewhat self-conscious and annoyed at himself, Lance nodded again
"Good. That's good... and can I ask you not to tell anyone about my seizures being caused by brain damage"
"I won't, but can I ask why? They're not something you can control"
"I know they're not... I just... I know they care, yet when people know they start acting like I'm not me. I can't stand them watching me, like they're waiting for something to go wrong"
"I don't think they'll judge you, or treat you any differently"
"But they do. I had a seizure last night in front of everyone. Pidge was hysterical, so was Hunk from what Keith told me in the bathroom this morning. Plus, they've already made a fuss over it this morning. It makes it hard to focus on everything else"
"I still think it's in your best interests to tell everyone, or at least those you're close to"
"If you mean Veronica, she scares me. She scared everyone. That's why I wanted to talk to you away from her, or I'd never hear the end of it"
Curtis gave a sigh
"She certainly is headstrong"
"I know... Anyway, we should head back in before Keith and Shiro worry any further. All your meals and stuff here are on the house, just let the staff know I said as much. I don't know how long you guys want to be on land"

 

With its size, the Atlas had to currently orbiting the planet, as there was no way it'd fit in the parking area without walking up to the outpost being one hell of a trek. It was the only logical conclusion Lance could make.

"We intend to leave once you've had time to talk to your staff. Shiro explained that the decision was reached last night, so I'm assuming you'll need time to pack"
"You don't mind?"
"No. If something happens, we have wormhole capabilities"
"This is true. Right now I'd give my right arm for a generator. It's a movement long flight to Erathus, or a movement and a bit flight to Daibazaal"
"I expected it'd be much longer"
"The Telula, my ship, is pretty fast for her class size. A smaller ship would probably take about two movements, either way, maybe longer if it was something small like a pod"
"You seem to know your ships"
Shrugging, Lance dropped his self hug
"You get to learn a thing or two out here or you'd never survive"
"I suppose not..."

 

Letting the conversation run dry, Lance let them back into the outposts. Shiro was leaning against one side of the hallway with Keith leaning against the other
"Lance. How'd it go?"
Rolling his eyes at his husband, Keith didn't need to say his name
"I think it went good... Curtis?"
Curtis laughed softly, before smiling at Shiro. Shiro reaching out his hand, with Curtis moving to take it in his
"Lance was telling me how you came to his rescue. He's a good guy. We talked about some things, and he's permitted us to talk about his seizures and what you've been helping him through with his panic attacks"

Glancing past his boyfriend, Lance shook his head as Shiro silently asked if he knew about the pregnancy. The poor man probably would have... actually, no. He didn't know how Curtis would react. He might have tried to take the first step with Curtis, but that was as far as he could go right now
"I am sorry that I left like that"
"I know you are. Lance wanted to make sure that I wasn't mad at you, is misunderstood anything. It seems like you've helped him through a lot"
"He has. He's done so much for both of us"
Kissing his hairline, Lance wasn't sure why Keith had agreed with Curtis when he was clearly talking to Shiro
"You're both family to me. As your "Space Dad", I'm putting my foot down and we're all going to have breakfast now that is out of the way. Lance, you need to keep eating"

Stupid "Space Dad" mode had been activated. When Shiro married Curtis, would that make both of them "Space Dad"? Or did he need to find a name for Curtis? "Space Dad" kind of felt like a special name between them all. He didn't know Curtis well enough to give him a nickname. Maybe he could think of something during breakfast?
"I know I do. I was going to, but you know what it's like"
"I do. Now it's time to eat, then time to pack"

Chapter Text

Preparing to leave the outpost left Lance spending most of the day running around, despite Keith's continued nagging that he should rest. Between packing, reassigning staff, and calling his mother to inform her he was going to be spending the next phoeb on Daibazaal, and dealing with another crippling bout of morning sickness, Lance felt like he was sleepwalking by the time Veronica finally caught up with him. Mad at him for not informing her he was sick, or calling her to come to get him, his sister called him an idiot so many times that by the end of it, Lance was completely done with people, finally letting Keith whisk him off to his ship given the Telula would be staying on world in case Lucteal or Daehra needed her. Having mostly built the outpost into what it was with his decisions, hanging over the reins felt like he was proving he was as stupid as everyone said. They were supposed to be hiring Daehra's staff soon. The idea of making her wait even longer for more staff felt cruel. She was so passionate about medicine, and so beyond happy to share her knowledge. Lance knew she was scared overtaking on a teaching role, so had planned to be there to assist... by providing comic relief and encouragement.

 

There was also the fact that lunch had been painful to deal with. An exhausting experience in its self. It was clear that no one wanted to respect his wishes of not discussing his seizures or his health. Hunk sparking the topic back to life as he placed down a plate laden with twice as much food as everyone else's in front him, then enquired to how he was doing after his seizure... then if he'd had another since and if that was why he and Keith had missed breakfast that morning. Now he had no choice but to address the issue, purely because he was miserable with all the fuss being made over him. Why couldn't the people who cared about him trust him enough to understand that maybe he already at under control, or maybe he was taking steps towards getting things under control, without jumping straight to lecturing in the name of "love"?

 

*
With the miracle of wormhole travel, Lance had barely flopped down on Keith's small bed before his husband was shaking his shoulder to tell them they'd arrived on Altea. With the Atlas taking an extended stay, of a movement on ground, they'd landed on Altea itself rather than synching into orbit around the planet. Sighing softly at Keith, he shot him his best puppy-dog eyes as he pulled his husband down into a forced cuddle. Not one to say no to cuddles, Keith laughed softly as he wrapped his arms around him
"You know we have to get up, babe"

 

Kissing his forehead, Lance hugged his husband tighter. Getting up felt too much like effort. Keith had left him to settle in while he moved his ship on board the Atlas. Unfortunately for him, Keith was a skilled and proficient pilot, he'd barely been gone for 10 doboshes before he was back again
"I know... but we cooooould just take a nap"
"You're that tired?"
"Mmm, beyond tired... I want to nap with my husband"

 

Rolling over to lay back, Keith tugged him gently until Lance was half laying on the half-Galra with his head resting on Keith's chest. It was his favourite place to nap. To be lulled off to sleep by the sound of his husband's heart, and to know he was safe in his arms
"I wouldn't say no to a nap either, if I'm honest. I'm tired from watching you run around all day"
"Then nap with me..."
"As much as I want to say yes... we can't. Shiro went ahead and booked you an appointment for tonight, before dinner"
Since when was Shiro booking his appointments for him? And why hadn't either Shiro or Keith asked his permission?
"What? Why? We're already here a quintant ahead of schedule"
"He called up to book you an appointment tomorrow, but they had an opening today. He mentioned you had blood tests done, so wanted to make you one so we could get your results"
"Why didn't you tell me? All I want to do is sleep and now I have to go be poked at, then sit through dinner with everyone being all annoying again"
Rubbing his arm, Keith leaned up to kiss his hair. Rubbing his cheek against his husband's neck, Lance drew his leg up to rest over Keith's lower stomach. If Keith could be a cuddly octopus and make everything alright, why couldn't he cuddle his way into a little leeway
"I can see if we can move it. I don't think we can get out of dinner though. Coran's excited we're all here"

 

Lance could tell from Keith's tone and worried scent that his husband didn't want to reschedule the appointment. The memory of how upset over Keith had been on the previous night's seizure and the potential damage it could have done to the twins came to the front of his mind. It wasn't just the two of them in this relationship anymore
"No... I suppose it's best we get it done. Am I having another scan?"
"I think so. Can I be there this time?"
Lance frowned. Where was Keith going to be if it wasn't with him?
"Why are you asking?"
"Because I wasn't there the first time... I didn't know if you wanted me there this time"
"Idiot. You're the father... You should see what you and that dick of yours did"
"I seem to remember you liking what me and my dick at the time"
"It wasn't the worst way to spend a heat... I want you there for these appointments... We can't take back you missing the first one, but I want you to meet your children too. They kind of look like black spots to being with, then Altean's can zoom right in on them. It's kind of weird and kind of cool... and..."
And last time he'd been too upset and shocked to accept the moment. Shiro had seen the twins better than he had... Shiro wasn't even the father and he knew more about the twins than both of them did. His stomach dropped at the thought. He should have been stronger, but he hadn't even been able to ask anything about them
"Babe, you don't need to worry. I'm looking forward to seeing them"
Letting Keith think that was what was wrong was kinder than admitting he was already a failure of a mother
"Sorry. We should get up and get ready"
"Lance?"
"It's fine... I'm fine. If we stay here any longer, I'm going to fall asleep"
"I wish you could. You need your rest"
Not "I wish we could", or "I wish we could because I've missed you". His anxiety being petty over his husband's wording was the cherry on the top of the situation. Keith was going to see their twins... but what if this was what drove him away?

 

 

*
Brimming with nervous energy, Keith couldn't keep still. He didn't know if he wanted to hold Lance's hand or keep his arm wrapped around his husband's waist. The nervousness coursing through his system came from the possibility of the scan results being bad, yet what kept him unsure of how to act was the fact he was going to see their babies. Despite how he acted, and his gratefulness to Shiro, his heart hurt over not being there for that crucial first scan where Lance's pregnancy was confirmed. It was a huge moment in their lives, and yet another moment he'd missed.

 

Annoying Lance with his nervous energy, his husband had snapped at him to "just hold his quiznakking hand" and "to calm down because he was being weird". Leaving Keith having to be content with simply holding Lance's hand as they walked up to the hospital. He wasn't fond of all the memories from the last time they'd been here, especially having to wait through Lance's surgery then recovery, with the constant fear of what the bleeding in Lance's brain could mean, but again, the twins were where is his mind was at. He hadn't seen any photos of his soon to be sibling. This scan would be the first ultrasound he'd ever attended... and he was going to see their twins...

 

Following Shiro's instructions on where he needed to take Lance, the clinic area was empty. Outside the windows, night has already started to creep through. Feeling Lance shiver next to him Keith took his jacket off, draping it over his shoulders
"You ok?"
Staring at his lap, Lance nodded
"Yeah..."
"You're not being very convincing"
"Sorry. It's weird being back here so soon..."
"Is this the same clinic as last time?"
"Yeah. It's the Altean equivalent of an ultrasound clinic. Even though they don't do ultrasounds the same way as they do on Earth"
"Was it busy? Did you have to wait long?"
Raising his gaze to look away from him, Lance pulled the front of Keith's jacket together
"I don't want to talk about it"
Right. He'd left Lance waiting...
"I'm sorry. I don't know what to say"
"I don't want to think about it... it was embarrassing and I want to forget"

 

Lance's soft mumbling felt like a punch to the gut. Lance had summoned up all his courage thinking Keith would be there for him
"How long did you wait?"
"Didn't I tell you I don't want to talk about it? It was a stupid misunderstanding on my end"
"I want to talk about it because you're obviously still upset about it"
"Upset about it!? Fine. I waited vargas. Vargas of stupid sympathetic glances as time went on and it became clear you weren't going to be here. Then Shiro had to fucking carry me around in front of everyone. So yeah. I don't want to talk about it. I don't feel comfortable sitting here and waiting, only for them to act all surprised when they actually see you here with me"
"Babe..."
"Don't. I don't want to fight. I know how excited you are to be meeting your twins... so can we focus on that instead"
"Our twins..."
"What?"
"You said "your" twins"
"Oh. Same difference. You're the father"
The shrug that accompanied Lance's words wasn't right. Lance was upset, and trying to play it down. Except, he was failing miserably
"You're their father too"
"I think I'm the mother in this case. I provided the womb and the egg..."

 

Keith's slumped forward in his chair, resting his elbows on his knees as he buried his face in his hands
"You make it sound... I thought you were ok with this"
"I don't know what I am. I couldn't handle looking at the first ultrasound. Shiro had to talk for me. I'm already stuffing everything up, and... What kind of a mother am I? I'm biologically a man. I look like a man... but I don't know what I am anymore"
Sitting back up, Keith wrapped his arms around his husband
"You're an idiot. Why do we have to label it? You're you, and that's the only thing that matters to me"
"Can you still say that if my body changes? You were attracted to me when I was a guy... I've always been a guy... I don't know what to call this body. I don't even know what to call me. What if my body changes? What if I grow breasts? Or things down there change?"
"I'll still love you"
"Even if you're not sexually attracted to me!?"
"Babe, sex is only a bonus. I love having sex with you. But I love you being safe and comfortable even more. Your heat was... long, hard and... amazing. I was even planning the things we could do the next time... You're amazing. These twins are amazing. We don't know what's going to happen, but we'll get there"
Giving in to his hold, Lance rested his forehead against Keith's temple
"I feel like my body is betraying me again. It's going to grow and change... and all I want is to be normal"
"You are normal"
"I'm not. You saw the way everyone wanted to know about my seizures. I don't have a choice anymore. I have to tell them so they don't keep pushing things. Then... then they're going to want to know what I'm doing about it... I wish we'd stayed in bed... but thinking like that makes me an even worse husband"
"Why? Today has been exhausting for you"
"Because that would mean delaying you seeing them even longer. They're yours and you had to wait..."
He's only found out about them the day before... Thinking about it, it felt like a movement had passed in the last quintant and a half
"We're here now, and we're both going to see them again together. You said you could process it all, right? Then it's like we're both meeting them properly for the first time"
"I wanted you with me... so badly..."
"I know... but we get to see them again today... and I can't help but feel so fucking proud of you"
"What happens when I start showing?"
"Babe... I didn't notice it before, but you have the smallest bump already. I noticed when you pulled me down onto my bed and your shift moved"
"I do?"
"Mhmm. It's small, like after dinner with when mami cooks... you know, when we all eat way too much"
Moving his left hand to Lance's stomach, he rubbed his hand over the tiny swell. It was like Lance had popped a little overnight
"Can you feel it?"
"It feels firm... what does it feel like when I rub your stomach"
"Weird... I feel like I'm hyper-focused on your fingers... I guess maybe nice too. I shouldn't have snapped at you. I'm nervous for this and I'm nervous for dinner"
"It's ok..."
"It's not ok. You're my husband and I've been taking all my stuff out on you"
"You said it's been hard..."
"I tried to do everything I used to, before you came back into my life, but I can't force those emotions down like I used to... and I know I was out there doing what I could, but my head's stupid"
"Your head isn't stupid. After all, who's lips am I going to kiss if I can't kiss yours"
"Have you tried using a mirror?"
Snorting, Keith shook his head
"I thought you'd tell me I should kiss your arse"
"If you're offering..."
"Don't tempt me..."
"I better not... you'll never let me finally have my nap if I do"
"I'm sorry you couldn't nap earlier. I would have let you if we'd had time"
"I could nap right now..."
"You could, or we could sleep in my bed where I can do all sorts of things to you"
"Like what?"
"Cuddle you. Undress you. Watching you snoring your head off"
"And they say romance is dead"
"Wait until the day of the festival, I'm going to give you all the romance you want"
"I'll hold you to that. You know, though, you haven't asked me to go with you"
"I'm not letting you go with anyone other than me. We've only had one real date, so it's way past time I spoil you"

 

Keith had hesitated to ask Lance to the festival given it was Allura day. He wanted to respect his husband's wishes, though now that he could smell how happy he'd made the Cuban, he wished he'd asked sooner
"You really want me?"
"Idiot. I want you all of the time. I don't care if it's riding every single ride and eating way too much, or spending vargas sitting on the bathroom floor cuddling you. I want to make our marriage work"
"That's all I want... to figure this out. But I think I'd still prefer eating too much to be stuck in the bathroom. Vomiting gets old real quick"
"I'm sure it does... Hey, Lance. You know I love you, don't you"
"Yeah. I do... I mean, I know"
Nuzzling into Lance's face his husband pushed him away with a laugh. His smile was bright and brilliant. How he wished Lance would always look at him like this all the time
"Your mullet tickles, mullet!"

 

Taken through to an examination room, Lance's scent had taken on a sour edge. Sitting in the chair closest to the doctor's desk, his husband looked drowned in Keith's jacket, Keith not able to help himself as he straightened out the collar as rubbed away invisible crease lines as they waited the few doboshes for the doctor join them. Smiling as he walked into the room, the man didn't seem to be of Altean origins, instead, he appeared to be a mix between Olkari and something else
"Lance. Keith. I'm sorry for the short wait, one of my patients went into labour not that long ago so I was just checking in on her progress. I'm Doctor Ceelra, and I've taken over your case now that your pregnancy has been confirmed. I hope you don't mind, but I do need to take a few ticks to review your file"
Lance opened his mouth, only for nothing to come out
"That's fine. We're grateful that you could get us in tonight"

 

A few ticks passed with the Doctor tapped away at the keyboard connected to his monitor. Keith felt sick to his stomach with nerves. Not clearing when the man finally turned his attention back to them
"Alright, Lance. I've taken a look at your blood tests, and you appear to be both dehydrated and malnourished last movement. How have you gone with your intake since your last appointment?"
"Um... I've tried. My morning sickness has been pretty bad. I haven't been able to keep much down. I had two IV bags last night...?"
Looking to him, Keith nodded, giving Lance the best reassuring smile he could
"Two IV bags and a folate injection. He was able to keep some dry crackers down for about a varga, and a little tea, but he threw up shortly after breakfast today"
"And what colour has your urine output been?"
Lance squirmed, his scent wasn't happy at all
"Dark yellow. I know it's a sign of dehydration"
"And seizures?"
"He's had two in the last movement"
"Are you aware of the possible complications that seizures could bring? I see you aren't currently taking medication..."
"I don't like... drugs of any kind near me. I don't want to take make medication"
"Understandable given you're a recovering addict. However, I strongly recommend that we start an active plan for your seizure control. There are safer drugs we can give you that won't affect the foetuses. I also want to start you on twice-weekly folic supplements. As your husband seems aware, folate is key for development during the early stages. You should be eating plenty of leafy vegetables, and a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. When seizures occur it can be caused by both too much folic acid or too little. That's why I recommend one pill every three days, of a low dose. I'll also give you a prescription for a medication that will help control your seizures. Due to the damage you've been diagnosed with PTS rather than PTE, this is pending given your previous relationship with drugs..."

 

Fisting the fabric of his jeans, Keith knew the man had to be frank. But Lance felt guilty enough about his addiction. He didn't want to be on drugs, and he'd said as much
"Is there anything else he can try. Other than medication?"
"Medication is the best option for Lance and your children. I cannot force you to take it, but you do run the risk of miscarriage and foetal death. Possibly the death of Lance if there's a placental abruption. His body initially didn't have the ability to carry, which means we are unsure how to proceed and will need to reassess during phoebly examinations. I feel confident that with Keith's partial Galra genetics, that if Lance does go into labour after 7 months there's a raised chance of survival. But I strongly urge you to monitor your own health. I see you have issues with anxiety and depression?"
"Our situation has changed, and I'll be living with my husband full time now"
"I still want to give you something for your nerves. Running in a constant state of stress may have a range of physical symptoms attached, such as motion sickness, high blood pressure, weight gain, increased depression, lack of libido"

 

Counting things off on his fingers, Ceelra had no idea Keith wanted to break them. Keith didn't want to know all the risks, though he did, in this manner. He much preferred doctors like Daehra who were honest and open, without the silent judging that seemed to be happening. Keith also wasn't sure if it wasn't Lance's scent putting him on edge. His husband seemed to be sinking further down in his chair with each word out the man's mouth. He'd seemed so nice to begin with.

"Now Lance, I do need to do an external examination. No sexually transmitted diseases were found in your blood tests. And just for clarification against the file, this is your second pregnancy. The first ending in miscarriage?"
"Yes"
"And you have had problems with your menstrual cycle?"
"The last one was longer than usual"
Quiznak. He wanted to reach out and pull Lance close
"Following complications from a case of Vuulufal flu?"
"Yes"
"Ok. Now, why don't you head behind the curtains here and take your pants off? I want you to lay on your right side with your left knee brought up to your chest for me. Keith, if you'd like to wait outside..."
"Keith stays... I mean, he's my husband and the father. He stays"
"Very well. If you'd like to go ahead, I'll be in after I write up these prescriptions for you"

 

Lance's hands had been shaking too hard to undo his pants. His husband jittery as Keith helped him undress his lower half and settle on the examination bed. Stroking his husband's hair, Keith was stuck half bent as tried to keep Lance calm. Kissing the corner of his lips as he nuzzled into his face, trying to distracted him from what was about to come. When the Doctor pushed the curtain back, Lance whimpered softly
"Alright. Let's take a look back here and see what's going on. Have you had any pain or discomfort when using the toilet?"
"N-no"
"Good. So what I'm going to do first is an external examination. Then I'm going to use a speculum to take a deeper look. The speculum may be a bit uncomfortable, but it is necessary"

 

Keith winced in sympathy when he caught sight of the speculum. He felt even worse when Lance latched into his hand with a bruising grip, eyes scrunched tightly as whimpered, unable to relax over the intrusion. Detecting blood in the air, he found that Lance had bitten down so hard on his lip that he'd drawn blood. With his husband unable to respond, Keith was left to answer the doctor's questions over his husband's health and "how remarkable it was that there was very little damage".

 

By the end of the examination, neither of them were particularly happy. Lance would need a cesarean unless his body adjusted to pregnancy. Trying his hardest Lance had whispered softly that he needed to go back in time and murder whoever thought up speculums in the first place. His joking might have been funny if his body wasn't trembling. All Keith wanted to do was take Lance back to his ship so he could take that nap he so badly deserved.

 

"Now that all that unpleasantness is out the way, it's time for your scan. Lance, why don't you go ahead and roll onto your back for me, while I have a nurse bring in the scanner"

 

Helping his husband onto his back, Keith then cupped Lance's face in his hands. His husband's eyes were filled with the tears he'd refused to shed
"How do you feel? Are you sore?"
Shaking his head, Lance sniffled
"It feels gross between my legs"
"Let me clean you up. You did good"
"It hurt. I hate those things"
Kissing Lance's forehead, Keith smiled
"You got zero envy from me. With everything else, I forgot we got to finish things with the scan"
"I did too... He said things looked ok. That's good, right?"
"I think he would have said if something was wrong. He doesn't seem to have much filter on his mouth. Let me wipe you down, if it gets too uncomfortable just tell me and I'll stop"
"I'd rather be clean..."

 

Using the sheet from the bed to wipe his husband's arse and thighs free of lube, he then used the other end to cover Lance's junk and give him a bit more privacy than he'd had before. They might have all been men, yet with Lance's history on file, the doctor should have placed Lance's comfort ahead of everything else. Taking his husband's right hand in his, he nuzzled his cheek against the back of it. Now that Lance was somewhat more comfortable, his excitement was growing again
"You're like a big puppy with all these pats"
"I can't help it. We get to see our twins soon"
"I swear if he takes any longer, I'm going to fall asleep here"

 

"Fortunately for you both, we're ready to perform the scan now"
Followed in by a rather plain, yet smiling woman, Lance seemed to know her
"Hi, Meria"
"Hello Lance, it's lovely to see you again. This must be your husband Keith?"
"Meria was the nurse on duty when Shiro came with me. Keith got the dates wrong thanks to work, but he's ready to meet the twins"
"That's excellent. I see your belly is already exposed for me, so I'll go ahead and pop this one in place"
The device she carried with her looked like a breakfast table, especially when placed over Lance's lap. Activating the device, she tapped on the holopad and soon a screen he hadn't noticed on the wall came to life. Keith had to hand it to the Altean's, when it came to technology they made it appear seamless. Synching the screen and the scanner, Keith's eyes widened as the image appeared on the screen. His eyes rushing to fill with the flood of emotion he felt over the two small humans inside his husband. Gripping Lance's hand harder, he couldn't take his eyes off the screen. The word "incredible" didn't come close to how he felt over it. They were their twins. The two tiny humans they'd created together...
"Keith? Babe?"
Pulled back to reality, Keith realised tears were racing down his face
"They're perfect... Babe... look at them... look how small they are"
Wiping at his face with his right hand, Lance squeezed the left one
"How do you feel, daddy?"
"P-proud... so fucking proud... I've never seen anything like it... that's our twins... babe..."
Overwhelmed, Keith leaned down to kiss Lance passionately, not caring about the tears or snot as he tried to convert every ounce of happiness he was feeling into the kiss.

 

"Both have good heartbeats. You can see the separate sacs. Shall I go ahead and zoom in now? Or would you like a moment?"
Meria's voice made Lance jump, his husband blushing slightly as Keith broke the kiss to stare down at the man he adored
"Can you zoom in, please? Keith wasn't here last time and he's been so excited to see them"
"Here we go"
Keeping close to Lance, Keith sidestepped around the corner of the bed, his cheek against Lance's as he stared up at the screen in wonder. He didn't think he'd be able to see things so clearly on the screen, yet he found himself letting out a sob at their tiny forming hands. And their noses! They had tiny little noses! And... and... god... he was so fucking proud... And quiznak... Lance's tiny tummy was adorable. Kissing his cheek, Lance sighed softly
"Is it everything you thought it would be?"
"And more... we're going to be parents"
"Yeah, we are. Daddy Keith. I hope they look like you"
"No. I hope they look like you, and have your compassion..."
"We'll have to wait to find out... but I still think a copy of you would be adorable"
"No one wants a copy of me"
"I do. I mean, a baby copy. Not like a clone copy..."
Lance was completely wrong in this instance. He'd seen his husband's baby photos, plus the photos of Lance growing up. He was a cute kind of goofy that was adorable. Taking a deep breath, his senses were flooded with Lance's exhausted scent. He was relieved to find happiness in there, but it was very nearly drowned out by how tired Lance truly was
"They're so perfect..."
Kissing his cheek again, Lance was amazing. More than amazing. He was incredible. And even that failed to explain everything
"Like their daddy Keith. I love you, babe"
"I love you too, sharpshooter"
"Everything is looking good. You can see the growth since your last scan... and you're right on track to be giving birth on the 29th of January, by your Earth time and measurements. I'll print you a copy of the scan results"
Keith nodded quickly
"Is there a way to get a copy of the video?"
Meria smiled politely
"If you have your comms, you can film while we take the measurements. Both video files will be stored on file, so if you bring in a data chip with you for your next scan, we'll be able to upload the videos for you"
Lance laughed softly as Keith fumbled to get his comms off his wrist and pointed at the holoscreen
"Thank you. He's been a ball of excitement since we walked into the hospital"
"It's nice that he could be here this time. Let's turn the volume on so you can hear their heartbeats"
Heartbeats? They got to hear both heartbeats?! He was already feeling invincible... and couldn't stop crying even if someone paid him to. They were going to be parents!

 

*
Keith was still on cloud 9 as they left the hospital. Lance was pretty much sleepwalking next to him, refusing to be carried a second time, while all Keith wanted to do was get back to his ship and look at the photos from the scan again. He was going to be a dad. Daddy Keith as Lance said... As Daddy Lance said. Having stopped to pick up the medication Lance's doctor had prescribed, the battle there had only just begun. Lance didn't want pills. Even pills that were good for him and their babies. He wasn't going to push Lance after all he'd been through that night, nor did he want to upset him at the festival, but he was sure it was one of those things where it was better for Lance to start earlier rather than later.

 

Keeping his husband propped up with his arm around his waist. Shiro was waiting for them not far from the hospital entrance on the grass area. Seeing his brother, he wanted to yell to the world that Lance was carrying their twins, and that their babies were healthy. Lance was getting there, the Doctor had prescribed additional pills to help with the pregnancy, and emphasised the importance of eating even if it was just grazing on small snacks through the day... Still, as worried as he was about his husband, his heart was still racing from seeing his twins. A phrase that wasn't going to get old any time soon. Feeling Lance take his hand off from around his waist, Keith looked to his husband questioningly
"I can feel your excitement. Go jump on Shiro and work off some of this extra energy"
"Are you sure? You're practically sleepwalking"
"I'm sure... And I'm sure he's worried"
"Ok. I love you"
"I love you too, you idiot. Now go hug your brother"

 

Running off across the grass, Shiro caught him with ease as Keith launched himself at him. Wrapping an arm around his stomach, his older brother messed with his hair, the smile on his face wide
"I take it everything went well"
"I got to see them! They're so small! I'm going to be a dad"
"Yes, you are. You're going to be a fantastic father... I don't know about a fantastic husband, you left Lance to come charging at me"
"He told me to... he said I needed to burn off some energy. I... Shiro, they're so perfect... You could see their noses... I want to scream how perfect they are"
Laughing happily, Shiro kissed the top of his head
"You've come so far, Keith. I'm so proud of you. You know, Shiro's a great name for a kid"
"We haven't even started talking names. Plus we don't know the gender... and Lance is due to give birth at the end of January, so we have time"

 

"Sorry, Shiro. He's been like a kid on a sugar high since the ultrasound. You should have seen him crying"
Finally reaching them, Lance let himself be drawn into a now three-way hug
"Shut up. I was excited. Did you see how perfect our babies are?"
"Yeah. Just like their daddy"
Yawning widely, Lance slumped against Shiro's broad chest. Shiro raising an eyebrow at him. Lance's eyes were already sliding shut as Shiro took over his job of holding Lance upright
"He's exhausted"
"Severe exhaustion is a symptom. If you guys want to crash in the palace, Coran has organised rooms for everyone"
"I think that's the best course of action. He still needs to eat more, but the Doctor has given him I think 6 different sets of pills to help"
"I'm not taking the pills. I just need sleep..."
Shiro nodded, letting Keith go so he could lift Lance up into his hold. His husband groaning his disapproval
"I can walk"
"I think Keith's already got the walking part covered, buddy"
"I wanna walk"
Kissing Lance's temple, his husband wasn't getting out of being carried. His heart couldn't take anything happening because Lance had tripped and fallen
"Nope. I'm your husband, and I want to carry you"
"I don't wanna be carried... I'm not dying"
"No. But you are carrying our babies. Shiro, we got to hear their heartbeats, and they said if we bring in a data chip next time, they'll put the ultrasound videos on it for us"
"That's great guys. I'm glad it was good news for you. Let me show you through to where we're all bedding down. I think we're just going to end up crashing wherever and calling that our room for our stay"

 

Mumbling sleepily, Lance nosed into Keith's chest. They probably wouldn't be able to do this once Lance's stomach started swelling...
"Can we sleep near you guys? Don't want the others to... if I wake up... yelling"
With Shiro in full "Doting Uncle Mode", the next evolution of "Space Dad Mode" he ruffled Lance's hair as he moved past them to lead the way to the palace
"Of course you can. I think Curtis already picked a room, so I'll give him a call. And I want to see those photos too"
Unable to stop himself, Keith nodded quickly as he gushed
"They look so much bigger than last time... and they're so tiny. I recorded some of it with my comms... Lance has got the smallest bump happening. I totally didn't notice until he pulled me down for cuddles. It's adorable"
Everything he said seemed to have Shiro laughing softly, the mood so good between the three of them
"You're showing me that too. Not the bump but the prints. The end of January... I think we can come up with a gift or two by then. And you'll need a baby shower..."
"You two are as bad as each other. I guess we know which uncle is going to spoil them the most"
"Damn right I am. My baby bro is growing up and having babies of his own..."
"Mmm... I think Keith got the better deal here... I have to give birth, and he got to wreck my booty"
"I'm smart enough not to touch that one. Did they say if... uh, how you'll be giving birth?"
Keith shook his head, Lance was sleepy rambling and likely to say anything
"No. Because his case is... well. They said they'd have a better idea once his body starts adapting to the pregnancy"
"I don't wanna push them out my butt. I like my butt"
"I know you do, babe. It's a very nice butt"
"Yours is better... your butt in those black skinny leg jeans... it's a work of art... could stare at it all day... your butt and your face... my husband is so pretty"
Keith felt his cheeks growing warm under Lance's praise? He wasn't sure if it was "praise" or "sleepy husband flirting"
"I thought I was cool, big and grizzled?"
"With a monster dick... such a big dick"

 

Shiro sucked in his lips, shaking with laughter as Keith blushed harder. Shiro didn't need to know about that, or the way his dick swelled and caught on Lance's soft warm walls. That had to be a Galra thing... only it'd only happened with Lance, not during puberty or those moments spent with his hand
"Alright you, that's enough scarring, Shiro"
"I'm just saying that with a dick like that, there's no wonder I got knocked up"
A squeaking squeal escaped Shiro's lips, Keith groaning
"Baaaabe, you're killing me"
"'m sorry... love my husband so much. He's so pretty"
"You're the pretty one"
"Nooo... I'm ugly... my body's all dirty"
The mood sobered immediately. Shiro's smile faltering as he gazed down at Lance. Keith loathed it when Lance spoke of himself that way
"Babe, you're not dirty. You're not"
"Am... feels gross"
"What feels gross?"
"My butt..."
"He had an internal examination with a speculum"
Shiro winced in sympathy at Keith's explanation
"Yeah. Those aren't great"
"Hate being touched by him..."
"I know you did, but you did so well, baby. So proud of you"
"Mmm... think I'm sleepy"
"Then get some sleep. I've got you"
"I wanted to walk... was so embarrassing having to be carried"
"Oh, and here I was thinking I was being nice"
Keith shot Shiro a clear scowl that said "don't encourage him"
"You're nice... I'm sorry I hated you so much... just wanted to be more like you and Keith... you're both better than I am"
Scolding Lance softly, he was sorely tempted to cover Lance's mouth
"Ok, that's enough. There is absolutely nothing wrong with you. You're my husband I love you. So stop being an idiot"
"But I'm your idiot?"
Lance sounded genuinely confused about his status as "Keith's idiot"
"You are. We're two halves of the same idiot"
"Hehe... that's true. You're really pretty"

 

Keith wasn't falling into this loop again. Not reply, a few long doboshes passed before Lance relaxed completely in his hold
"He's asleep. Sorry, Shiro. He rambles when he gets sleepy"
"It was entertaining while it lasted, though I'm not sure I needed to know about your monster dick"
"I don't think you needed to know either"
"Still, it's nice to see him being open about how he feels about you"
"Yeah. He can be cute like that... He says he wants the twins to look like me, but I hope they look like him"
"Why don't you just hope for one each?"
"Because he's cuter"
"He has you whipped. I better call Curtis, Lance distracted me"
"He's good at that too. He wanted to stay in bed and cuddle before the appointment. I wish I could have let him. Oh! Since when do you know things about pregnancy!?"
"I looked some stuff up after I found out Lance was"
"You're better at this than we are... I haven't looked anything up. I don't even know what to look up"
"Maybe you and Lance could do it together? I think he'd like that"
"Yeah. That's a good idea... seeing the scan today. It made it so real"
"It's only going to get realler from here on out. Don't forget if you two need anything, I'm here"
"I know..."

 

Curtis met them at the palace entry, the man smiling softly when he saw Lance asleep in Keith's arms
"Someone had a big day. Is it alright to ask how it went at the hospital?"
Lance wanting to bring Curtis into the fold was sweet, but he knew Lance hadn't told the man about the pregnancy only the seizures
"Good. Alright. They've given him some medication that should help with the seizures. He's in rough shape, but between the three of us we should be able to get him back on his feet"
"It seems unfair after all you went through that he has seizures. Is there nothing that Altea can do?"
"No. His quintessence runs higher than a normal person's constantly, so he heals faster than normal, but even with Allura's magic in his system, he couldn't heal the brain damage. When his body has multiple things to focus on healing, they all heal slowly... and he heals to scar or mottled skin most of the time. They've given him medication but he hates taking medication in way, shape or form. Now he's supposed to take like 4 of these daily, and 6 pills every three days..."
"Ah. Well. I'm sure if you talk to him he'll realise it's for the best. I let Coran know you won't be at dinner tonight. He said he'd visit you in the morning, and not to stress"
"Yeah. He and Lance are really close. He's like an uncle to all of us"
"I can see why. It felt to me as if it took a lot of courage for him to talk to me"
Keith nodded at Curtis
"It did. His PTSD is out of control, yet he insisted he had to explain things to you because he wanted to preserve Shiro's happiness. He felt guilty taking Shiro away from you"
"He'd only have to feel guilty if he was attempting to seduce my boyfriend"
"He carries a lot of guilt over a lot of things. I don't know what it's called, but the area of his brain that got damaged deals with feelings. It affects his flight or fight responses. He also gets depressed because sometimes he'll get confused and he can't follow time anymore"

 

"Keith, I think that's enough for now. Lance isn't awake to speak for himself"
Shiro's voice was soft but firm, Keith frowning at his brother
"Lance wanted to be open and honest with Curtis about this. He said he really admired the way you and Curtis work through things. That's why he didn't want to put pressure on your relationship, and why he wanted Curtis to understand so he'd never think it was something it wasn't. He's stupidly soft-hearted. He'll always go to the point of self-implosion to protect the people he cares about"
"That's a good quality to have. Let me show you through to your room. I have a few ration bars you two can split. I found them in the bottom of our suitcase from New Years"
"Dare I ask why you had ration bars stashed?"
"I'm not one for the fancy food. In all honesty, I would have preferred going camping with Shiro to being stuck at home for that New Years party"
Curtis hadn't let those feelings show at all... Keith's New Years had been all over the place, ending with him getting lost and being found by husband, then some rather fun fooling around in the bathroom as Lance missed his grazes better...
"You guys should just come to Cuba and hang out with the family this year... Mami and Jorge would love to have you. We could make a thing of it... Even go camping on Lance's farm..."
Shiro cleared his throat
"I think Lance might have other things on his mind around then, but we'll definitely keep it in mind"

 

For a few ticks, Keith didn't get it, then it hit him like the Atlas to the face. His husband was going to be very pregnant then. His husband was going to have to face his family while very pregnant. With all the judgemental aunties... Would they even be able to go back to Earth for Christmas!?
"Oh... I forgot about that... Maybe we can go glamping? Is that what they call that fancy camping that really isn't camping?"
"You're really into this idea of camping aren't you?"
Keith nodded, his gaze firmly on his sleeping husband. It would be their last Christmas as just the two of them... Plus his husband deserved to be spoilt
"I just think it'll be fun..."
Saving his mood, Curtis asked
"Don't you constantly have to camp during your job?"
"It's not the same though. Lance is fun to camp with. Everyone else... it gets repetitive. Krystaal isn't too bad. He spends most of his time doing goofy things and trying to make everyone laugh
"Sorry, I don't know the name of your recruits"
"Krystaal is the one who looks a lot like Lotor. Except he has a wicked sense of humour. He's also pretty good with a gun and with a sword... He also actually listens to instructions in the field, which is a huge plus when it comes to them. And he gets on with the rest of my team, which isn't exactly easy to do..."
Focused on Lance, Keith misses the exchange between Curtis and Shiro. His voice filling with excitement and unexpected warmth over his new friend
"It's great that you're having a good time with your recruits. It must be a relief for Krolia"
"Yeah. I'm going to have a new baby sibling soon. Mum thinks Krystaal looks like the love child of Acxa and Lotor, though Acxa swears it's not true"
"I don't know how Veronica would take that"
"I'm not stupid enough to say that in front of her. You know she called Lance an idiot like a hundred times today for making her worry about him, and for not telling her he was sick. I feel like she should know how fragile he is about that stuff by now. I don't care if it's their thing. He's too emotionally compromised"

 

Keith didn't think anything of it again as Curtis showed them through to the room next to his and Shiro's. Laying Lance out on their bed, his husband didn't stir. With Curtis not knowing of the pregnancy, the time wasn't right to show Shiro the scans of the twins, so when Curtis went to fetch the ration bars, Keith promised to show him the following day, his smile plastered across his face over the twins all over again. Leaving them with half a dozen ration bars, Keith said goodnight to the pair and went about stripping Lance down and getting him under the covers before stripping down himself and opting to leave the ensuite light on in case Lance woke up needing to vomit during the night. Making sure the pill bottles were on the bedside table, next to the ration bars, Keith finally climbed into their bed where he looped Lance's arm around his waist and settled down to watch the ultrasound recording on repeat.

Chapter Text

Waking up in the middle of the night, Lance was starving. Finding the ration bars next to the bed, he'd wolfed down five of them before realising how much he'd eaten, and deciding he needed the bathroom, and water. He couldn't remember ration bars ever tasting so damn good before. Returning and crawling into bed, he was asleep almost the moment his head hit the pillow, only to wake a few vargas later at sunrise gagging on the urge to vomit.

 

Falling asleep with his arm wrapped around the toilet, he was still there when Keith woke up. His husband waking him with the sound of the toilet flushing, and a soft "babe" right by his ear. Keith's excitement over the twins last night had been absolutely adorable. Waves of proud scent had drifted from him, making the discomfort from the speculum bearable as they stared up at the two tiny humans they'd formed together. Keith might not have known it, but it was exactly how he'd wanted his first scan to go... minus the initial examination. He knew his husband was angry at the doctor, but to Lance, the man was just doing his job and he could respect that, no matter how mixed up it made him feel.

 

Raised to his feet by Keith, his husband's eyes were filled with concern. Lance opening his mouth to reassure him, only to catch a whiff of his horrendous breath. Holding his hand over his mouth only served to deepen Keith's concern
"I need to brush my teeth"
"There a toothbrush for each of us on the counter. How are you feeling?"
"Teeth first. Talk after"

 

Brushing away the furry feeling and triple scrubbing his tongue, Lance took a moment to stare at himself in the mirror as he rinsed his mouth. The bags beneath his eyes were still there, but he looked far more human than he had the day before. He felt more human too. The ration bars had stayed down for a few vargas meaning his stomach actually had something to throw up, and he'd finally drunk enough water for his pee to graduate from dark yellow to a less alarming yellow. Catching Keith staring, he smiled at his husband
"That feels so much better. I think something was trying to set up a base camp on my teeth"
Giving his mouth another quick rinse, Lance turned the taps off before moving to turn around and jump up onto the bathroom counter. Opening his arm, Keith shuffled forward for a cuddle, nuzzling into his neck with a sigh of happiness
"You seem better this morning"
"I am. Those ration bars tasted amazing"
"I never thought I'd hear that"
"I never thought I'd say that. Who gave them to us?"
"Curtis. You said you wanted to sleep next to Shiro and Curtis in case you had a nightmare"
"Was I sleep rambling again?"
Bring one hand up, Lance stroked the back of Keith's hair as he kissed the top of his head
"Yeah. Did you get much sleep?"
"Like a log. I woke up, fed my face and passed out again until sunrise"
"That's good"
"I know. I'm pretty proud of myself this morning"
"I got worried when you weren't in bed. You fell asleep hugging the toilet"
"It's better than falling asleep in the toilet. Though I stink, and I'm covered in toilet germs... Do you want to take a shower with me?"
Shifting and raising his head, Keith scrunched his brow
"You're really happy, aren't you?"
"I'm happy that I kept something down for the twins and those bars are like packed with good stuff... plus the scent didn't make me want to hurl... but what made me the happiest was that I was thinking about you at the scan yesterday"
"Me?"
"Yep. You were so excited... I guess it's relieving. You know?"
Keith snorted, was his husband not as excited as he'd seemed, or was he not relieved? He still wasn't sure as Keith followed up
"Not really... now, you said something about a shower?"
Laughing at his husband. He tried to ignore the voice of anxiety in the back of his head reminding him this was simply a wave of happiness and he deserved to be miserable. He'd never lied when he said he wanted to be better for Keith's sake, and now he had time to be with his husband and work towards them fixing their marriage
"Yeah..."
Leaning in to kiss him, Lance let himself dissolve into his husband touch. His body craving his husband's attentions after having spent so long apart, and his headspace was finally stable enough to let him enjoy the touches for what they were.

 

Deepening the kiss, Keith's hands went to his underwear as his own went to Keith's, a frantic need building between them they fought to get each other naked without breaking the kiss, Keith growling into the kiss and hefting him up off the counter the moment his underwear fell from around his ankles. Wrapping his long legs around his husband, he left himself be carried over to the shower, where Keith pinned him up against the wall, rutting and rubbing his dick teasingly up against Lance's slicking opening, trailing his hand up his outer thigh, Lance whimpered as Keith's fingers replaced the feeling of the blunt tip of his erection. His husband breaking the kiss but keeping his lips against his
"I'm going to mess you up so badly, baby. Do you want it? Do you want me to?"
"God, yes..."
Kissing his way down to mouth at Lance's neck, Keith was careful as he pushed a finger in, starting to finger him slowly as his arse grew wet. Moaning and rolling his hips, his whole body felt like he was blushing as he ground down against Keith's hand
"Fuck... Keith, I can take another one..."
"No... going to make sure you're nice and prepared for my dick. Then I'm going to fuck this pretty little arse of yours until you scream my name"
Shit... He'd forgotten how much of a filthy mouth his husband during sex. He loved it when Keith told him exactly what he wanted because he knew that if it grew too much he could ask him to stop. With how his dick was throbbing, he most definitely didn't want to Keith to stop...
"Mmm. You know how much it turns me on when you talk like that..."
"That's because you know I'm going to do what I said. You smell fucking incredible... I feel like I'm going to come just fingering your arse... shit... I want to eat you out, babe. I want you to ride my face and come across my stomach"
Lance's body flushed with warmth, his head fuzzy as if he was in heat, the rising need to be filled was stripping his reason away. He needed his husband and none of this face riding quiznak
"Tonight... right now I need you in me. Need you fucking me... need you coming in me... I want to feel it..."

 

Finally, he was rewarded as Keith pulled back and pushed two fingers into his already wet heat, his husband knew his body like the back of his hand, his fingertips going straight to his sweet spot and sending jolts of pleasure up his spine as Lance's nails scratched at Keith's back
"Fuck... right there..."
"I can feel it, babe. Feel how much you want it. My hands soaked with how wet you are. I bet you could take another finger, but I want to take my time"
Lance shook his head
"I want it..."
Moving back up to his lips, Keith whispered
"What's the magic word?"
"Please... please, Keith... I want it... I can feel how wet I am... I want to come on your fingers before you fuck me"
"I fucking love you"

 

Continuing to rub his sweet spot, Lance mewed as the pleasure built. Sensing he was close, Keith pulled back again to push three fingers in like he'd begged for. Crying out, his husband's free hand slipped between them, jerking him off as he fucked him with his finger rather than toying with his prostate. Crying out in pleasure his orgasm rushed to hit, as he came between their stomach, his inner thighs twitching like crazy as Keith milked his dick dry before raising his hand and licking his cum from his fingers
"You're so fucking hot when you come..."
Licking his lips, Lance didn't have a reply for that one. Keith was still fingering his arse, his body starting to feel slightly over-sensitive, but instead of finding it uncomfortable, the itch of horniness beneath his skin was demanding more
"I'm going to fuck you now... I'm going to cover your skin with my scent so everyone knows you're mine"
"Mmm... I'm yours, babe..."

 

Taking him by the arse, the moan Lance let out as Keith slowly buried himself balls deep seemed to echo around the bathroom. Looping his arms over his husband's shoulders, he let Keith move his hips for him as his husband went about thoroughly drilling him. Mouthing at Keith's neck, he wanted to be just as possessive of Keith. He wanted everyone to know that Keith was his. And he wanted to hurt anyone who dared tried to flirt with the father of his children. Sucking a deep hickey above the neckline of most of his husband's shirts, Keith growled, holding his hips down and fucking him so hard that his mind went blank as he drooled with pleasure. To have this with Keith... it was like a drug. His body was desperate for pleasure at the hands of his loving husband. Gripping him desperately, Keith pulled him down the wall and spread his legs wider, both of them moaning over the change of angle as Keith's dick started swelling
"Shit, babe... you're so fucking tight for me... I'm going to come inside you..."
"Do it... gonna carry you around inside me all day..."
"Fuck... I should have brought a plug. We could slip off and fuck anytime you want. Make you round with come and my children..."
"I'm already pregnant... don't want to be full with a litter... but wouldn't mind if they were yours... fuck... fuck... Keith, I'm coming!"
Digging his fingertips into his spread legs, Keith cried his name as he buried himself as deep as he could, holding Lance down against him like he was trying to get him pregnant all over again. Riding out the waves of his orgasms, more and more cum dribbled from his dick with each of Keith's thrusts, Lance falling against his husband and letting his strong arms move back down to his arse to support him.

As usual, the moment Keith's breathing started to pass from pants his husband started nuzzling into his face, peppering his lips with kisses as he rested their sweaty foreheads together
"Babe, you ok?"
Humming, Lance nodded
"Yeah... yeah... fuck... that was hot"
"I didn't hurt you?"
The throbbing in his arse was the good kind of throbbing, almost like he could feel his heartbeat there
"No... no. Feels good... I feel so full"
"Your tummy seems bigger today..."
Lance let out something that wasn't a giggle, a snort or a laugh, but kind of all three
"Don't tell me that. I'm going to have to wear all your clothes when I start getting bigger"
"You already do"
"This is true"
Pressing a kiss to Keith's lips, Lance suddenly felt choked up with emotion. A sniffle coming from nowhere
"Babe? What is it?"
"I just... I really fucking love you"
"Aw, babe. Hey... I'm not going anywhere. You don't need to cry"
"I know you're not... and I feel shitty for chaining you down and so fucking happy that we get to be together again"
"You're not chaining me down. You're holding me up. You've always been my greatest supporter"
"I think in this situation you're literally holding me up... I've been such a moody and miserable arsehole... but... it's like when you're here everything is so much better. I love you so much, Keith. You're... my best friend and the best husband I could ask for, and the best dad for my twins and I love you so much"
"I love you too, Lance. More than words. I might mess up, but I don't want you to ever leave my side... and I'm going to try really hard for the sake of our family. Seeing the twins... I've never felt anything like it... I don't know how to be a good dad, but you're going to teach me"
"We're going to have to teach each other... we're two halves of the same idiot"
Keith snorted, nuzzling his face affectionately
"I think that's our official names now"
"So do I... but seriously, thank you for being there yesterday. I nearly lost it when he started examining me. And his name... my brain kept trying to rearrange letters from "Ceelra" then to "Cleera"... then... him..."
"I wanted to punch him"
"I know... I think I want to have my scans on Erathus. They're not as advanced as Altea, but they're also... more casual about things there... but I still want to get copies of our ultrasound"
"I do too. I'll see about getting a chip today"
"Thanks... mmm... you know we actually have to turn the shower on if we want to do the whole getting clean thing"
Keith groaned at him
"But I just did the fuck my husband into oblivion thing"
Laughing, Lance stole a quick kiss
"I'll wash your hair for you. It's gotten even longer"
"I want to get it cut, but I keep forgetting"
"I'll go with you. I need my hair tidied up anyway"
His hair was a shaggy mess that was still slightly uneven from behind shaved
"Alright. We'll find somewhere today"
"Gotta look good for our date tomorrow?"
Lance hoped his hopefulness wasn't too forward. They'd only had one real date and he was beyond excited to be publicly appearing on Keith's arm
"You already look good. You could wear a sack and you'd still look good"
"This true, but I have the feeling I'd be cold..."
"And that you'd be showing too much skin. I don't want to share you with anyone"
Laughing, Lance nuzzled into Keith's face
"You won't. Ever... You're it for me, Samurai"
"Good. Let's keep it that way..."
Smiling up at him, Keith was beautiful when he smiled. Despite having been together for so long now, the sight never failed to make Lance's heart skip a beat.

 

 

*
Clutching Keith as he piggybacked him out the bathroom, Lance was ready for bed again. Keith couldn't keep his hands off him, his third orgasm leaving him drained in all the right ways. Keith had gotten carried away cleaning him down. The kisses between his thighs as Keith ran his soapy hands across his skin leading to an unexpected blow job. Laughing at something stupid Keith said, he stopped when he noticed clothes laying on their bed. His anxiety skyrocketing over the fact someone had been in their room while they showered
"It's alright. I'm here"
Hugging Keith tighter, he felt like his privacy had been invaded as his husband moved to their bed, lowering him down before picking up the note on top of the clothes
"It was Shiro. He heard we were busy and didn't want to disturb us. He thought we could use a change of clothes because we didn't get to unpack last night"

 

Letting out a sigh of relief, Lance flopped back on their bed
"Fucking dick. He gave me a heart attack"
Dropping the note down, Keith climbed up to straddle him, his hands going to the swell of his belly as he leaned down and kissed his bump
"If it wasn't Shiro, I would have lost my shit. I won't let anyone hurt you or our babies"
"Babe, you know I'm going to be helping you train your recruits. The idea of me coming with you, was to stay with you"
Kissing his bump again, Keith then climbed up to lay himself down beside him
"Lance..."
"I know you think it's a bad idea, but my suit will protect my body"
"It won't protect you from impacts. I don't want anything to..."
"Shhh. Look. I've been thinking about it, and what I can do to help. You suck at team bonding, right? Well, I can help. And I can help with their blaster skills. Neither are hands-on..."
"But something could go wrong..."
"Or, and just hear me out, something could go right. You know I can't stand sitting around. And you know I'm... nervous about Daibazaal, but I'm still coming with you because I want this marriage to work. Kosmo can come. He can stay by my side. I'll only do hand to hand training with you... I won't push it because I'm planning on being more teachy than handsy... I'll wear my suit..."
"Babe. My team are all part Galra..."
"And Daibazaal is the Galra homeworld..."
Sighing at him, Keith's fingers softly caressed his belly. It was hard to keep a straight face when his husband was tickling him
"You're sure you want to do that? Come with me? We don't know where we're going half the time until we get there. Mum does what she wants"
"That only adds to the fun... Look, I'm trying to find a way to make our marriage work. We can try it, and if it doesn't work out, we'll figure something else out"

Keith was the only one who could bring him out of his panic attacks, and with the sensitivity of Galra noses, he didn't think his secret would be kept for very long within the walls of the palace. Then there was also the fact that how would living on Daibazaal without his husband, be any different to living on the outpost without Keith there? Other than the fact his support network would drop to pretty much being just Krolia. They were going to be fathers. They needed to get their shit together as soon as possible.

 

"You have to be careful. If I tell you something's too dangerous, I want you to listen to me"
Lance pouted. He knew how happy Keith was to be becoming a father. He wasn't going to jeopardise that
"I'm not looking for trouble"
"No, but it has a habit of finding you"
"Then you'll have to live up to your promises and protect me"
"You know I'm going to do everything I can..."
"I know... we better get dressed, Shiro is probably covering for us as it is"
"If he isn't, Coran will"
"I don't want to think about Coran trying to cover for us having sex in the shower. I don't know what's worse, him or Shiro hearing us"
Keith pulled a face
"Has to be Coran. Can you imagine him trying to explain it without saying it out loud... I'm having mental images of him making the motion with his hands"
Shoving at Keith, Lance sat up a little too fast, covering it by waving his hand like he was dismissing Keith
"That's gross. Stay away from me..."
"I'm just saying..."
"Well don't"
He was going to struggle to keep a straight face in front of Shiro as it was.

 

Wearing the clothes Shiro had leant them, the pants were way too big for his slim hips. Lance didn't even need to put them on to know they weren't going to fit, leaving him changing shirts and wearing the pants he'd worn the following day. Unlike him, Keith looked somewhat presentable. Shiro's shirt was a little big, but he wasn't swimming in it... and when Keith realised he didn't have a change of underwear, he opted to go commando like Lance was in his previous day's pants, because going commando in Shiro's pants was just creepy... letting Keith call Shiro, Lance noticed the envelope of scan prints near the remnants of his midnight feast, claiming the last ration bar for himself seeing they were going to breakfast anyway, picking up the prints to check through them again.

 

Crossing his stretched legs and lounging back against the wall, Lance had barely opened both the ration bar and the envelope before Shiro was letting themselves into their room, seeing what Lance had in his hold his brother-in-law made grabby fingers towards the envelope
"Those better be what I think they are?"
Playing dumb, Lance held up the ration bar
"It's the last one left. Keith woke up and ate the rest in the middle of the night"
"Keith! They were for both of you!"
Snickering as Shiro scolded Keith, Keith accepted that he wasn't going to get a "hello" from his brother. Closing the door, he stalked over to their bed and threw himself down near his feet
"Don't listen to him, Shiro. He woke up in the middle of the night and ate the rest of them"
"You didn't see me do it. With no evidence, it never happened"
"You already confessed to me"
"Dammit. You caught me. These are better than I thought they'd be... I managed to keep them down for a vargas too... but I get the feeling your more interested in what's in the scans"
Shiro laughed, moving to sit himself down between Lance's legs and the edge of the bed
"What gave it away?"
"The fact you went straight for the envelope and ignored Keith trying to say good morning to you"
"Sorry, Keith. Good morning. Good morning, Lance. How are you feeling?"

 

Telling Shiro he could still feel his heart in his arse, probably wasn't what Shiro meant. Catching sight of the hickey on Shiro's neck, it seemed like he and Keith weren't the only ones having fun. If he said he was tired, he'd only be made to stay in bed, so option 3 seemed the way to go
"Hungry. These bars are really good..."
"You don't need to polite. Curtis found them in our case"
Lance still wasn't going to complain. He'd eaten worse and dodgier. His twins needed food, and if it took eating a hundred of these ration bars, he'd do it for them
"I'm not. I think it's because they don't have much of a scent or a strong taste is making it easier to process. I'm screwed if Hunk tries to serve us something fried"
"I'm not sure what the menu is. We agreed on a late breakfast at 9, under Allura's statue. Coran's already roped your team's recruits into helping with final security checks. Krolia told him to put them to work. The Acxa, Veronica, Zethrid, and Ezor will be joining us"
"And Curtis?"
Lance didn't want for Curtis to be discluded already
"He's got some work to do, but he'll be joining us for lunch"
Pulling a face, he sighed. He planned to be napping right about then
"Lance?"
"I don't think I'm doing lunch. I haven't even done anything today and I'm sleepy as quiznak"
"I think you were doing Keith..."
Leaning over, Keith punched Shiro in the arm
"Like you weren't screwing Curtis. Yeah, we see that hickey. Stop picking on my husband"
"La la la la la. I don't want to hear about it. I don't want you thinking about us, and I don't want to think about Shiro doing that. Keep it up and I'll keep these scan prints for myself"
In perfect synchronisation, Shiro and Keith both replied
"I'll be good"
Then pulled faces at each other when they realised what had happened.

 

Everyone said he and Keith were two halves of the same idiot, yet there were times between Keith and Shiro that were just as bad. Finishing the end of the ration bar, Lance placed the empty packet on the bedside table, wiped his fingers, then pulled out the first print of the 3 in there. Smiling at the memories the new scan photo brought, he stared down at his tiny twins. It was still incredible to imagine that one itty bitty egg and one itty bitty sperm could make two itty bitty babies. He wasn't exactly sure how conceiving twins worked and made a mental note to look up why they were in two separate sacs when they were both growing inside of him. Handing the photo over to Shiro, Shiro let out a low whistle
"You can definitely see the difference when compared to the other scan"
"Let me see"
Pushing himself up, Keith moved to kneel behind Shiro
"Look at them. Lance, do we have any of their hands?"
The second print was two one piece of photo paper of their forming faces
"Will you take noses? You're just as obsessed with their noses. Look at one the right, I swear they're taking after you already"
Realistically he knew it was impossible for their twins to be scowling, but the right twin didn't seem to get the message. Or at least to him they hadn't. Passing the print over, Keith nearly knocked it out of Shiro's hands in his haste to point out their noses
"Look how tiny they are. You can see where their eyes are, and their lips... and their noses..."
"Was he like this last night?"
"He was worse, but it was really sweet. He had a bonding moment that we both remember"
Huffing, Keith flipped him off
"I've remembered all our bonding moments"
"Mhmm. Here, you can see their hands in this one, and it's got my due date printed on the bottom"

 

Passing the third photo over, Shiro's smile only grew
"Look at that. You can see their hands, or what will be their hands..."
"What do you mean "what will be"? Those are very clearly tiny little hands"
"They're still forming is what I meant. So January 29th is the big day?"
"Mhmm. I know people carrying twins tend to go into labour early... and that's provided I don't miscarry... Keith couldn't help but get his hopes up while I'm trying to be more realistic about it..."
"Our twins are going to be fine"
"I'm only saying that..."
"Babe. Our twins are going to be fine and you're going to be fine"
"What I'm trying to say is that they don't know how this pregnancy will be progress. It could be like any other pregnancy or there might be complications because I'm pretty much male"
Handing the three prints back to him, Keith took them from him pretty much the moment they met his hand
"Our babies are perfect"
Rolling his eyes at his husband, Shiro seemed sympathetic
"There's a lot to talk about and consider. Have you thought about what you're going to tell your family?"
And there went his mood. Anxiety fast filling his gut as he bit at his lip. He knew he had to tell them. He could just show up home for Christmas heavily pregnant and expect his mami not to be upset
"We were thinking of waiting until 12 weeks... or at least until 10... though if Lance is living with me for the next phoeb we should pass that 12 weeks mark anyway"

 

Drawing his knees to his chest, Lance rested his chin in the valley as he hugged his legs
"I don't know what to tell them. Or when. There's a lot I feel like I'm going to have to tell them if I tell I'm pregnant... Mami... I don't think I could ruin things with moods again. She was worried enough last Christmas, and I'm pretty sure the only thing that kept her sane was the fact Keith was there with me to keep me out of trouble. She knows I had a problem with drinking and painkillers on Earth, but she doesn't know I spent two years being a space junky too... I just... I don't want to disappoint her again... then there's Rachel and Veronica... V's going to be mad I didn't tell her my body turned into this... thing. I don't know how to tell Krolia... she's so kind to me, but I still feel like I'm... not good enough to be part of her family. She's so strong and beautiful, plus she's having her own baby soon. She's probably already counting to have Keith's help, given his husband isn't supposed to be able to fall pregnant. Coran knows. And I'm so fucking grateful to him, but I don't know how to tell him this. He'll worry... and I'm so over people worrying... And Dae... I left without telling her... and now I want to tell her in person because she was there... the first time around when I miscarried... she's always been there... her and Lucteal. I just want to live on the outpost, but my pregnancy will end up being so short in movements out here... as it is, even if I'm gone for 4 movements, that's 6 there... I know the outpost is a work in progress, but I love it... I love my customers... I don't even mind chasing out the troublemakers with my blaster... I'm not going to have Zak in my ear over something techy he's done... and now I sound miserable, but I want to make this marriage work so fucking badly... so, no. I have no idea how to tell anyone"
Wiping at his eyes, Lance shyly looked up to Shiro and Keith. Both men looking worried
"I'm sorry. I said too much... my head gets... you know"
"Babe..."
Keith sounded sad. He didn't want Keith to be sad
"It's alright. It's a lot though. I'm trying to be happy... these are our children that I'm not even supposed to be able to have. I've already decided I want to work on our marriage first..."
"Lance, you know Curtis and I will help you out as much as we can"
"I know Shiro. I'm so grateful. I might go wash my face... Why don't you have Keith show you the video from the scan? He hates the doctor, but Meria was there. The nurse who did the scan last time, or rather one of them... she was the one who said we could get proper copies"
"Sounds good. We need to head to breakfast as it is. It's about half 8 already"
"Quiznak..."

 

He didn't want to be late, and he didn't want to feel Shiro and Keith's eyes on him. He'd said too much, letting his anxieties get the better of him... but he couldn't help their being so much on his mind. Climbing carefully off the bed, he nearly crumbled on the spot when he knocked down one of the bottles of pills he was supposed to start taking. No one seemed to get it. He'd rather push through everything than risk falling back into drugs. Especially with the twins... Ceelra might have said they were safe, but what if they weren't? What if those pills caused complications or a miscarriage...? What if... what if he forgot taking them and ended up taking too much? Or ended up having to go through withdrawal again because of them? He simply didn't feel mentally stable enough to trust himself right now... so why was it wrong for him to want to work things out in his head a little more before making his decision?

 

*
Nipping at Lance's neck, Keith had his arms wrapped around his husband as they walked up to the table where the others were already waiting for them. Lance had swatted his hands off his stomach a dozen times as they walked, Keith now awkwardly walking with his chin resting on Lance's shoulder and both hands captured firmly in his husband's.

Unlike the previous night, various stalls, stages, vendors and rides were in different stages of construction. Technically the festival started tomorrow, but tonight would be a practice run in perpetuation for the week-long festival. Lance kept stopping every few steps to look at something or other, meaning their walk was even longer than it should have been, and he'd bumped up against his husband's arse so many times that he was tempted to take Lance back to bed and finish what they'd started in the shower.

 

"Isn't it too early in the morning for you two be being gross?"
Grumbling at the pair of them, Pidge looked as if she didn't get much sleep the previous night at all
"Nope"
Popping the "p" in his reply, Lance tugged him along to the three vacant seats together. Letting his husband choose to sit in the middle, Keith sat down next Acxa, while Shiro sat between Lance and Shay
"Has no one given the gremlin her coffee this morning? She looks cranky. Hey, Shay, it's nice to see you again. How've you been?"

Keith wasn't jealous... not at all as Lance turned his attentions away from him. Moving his hand to rest on his husband's thigh, he knew from Lance's scent that he hadn't quite come back from Shiro's question earlier. Just like when it'd been only then who knew they were married, things seemed a whole lot simpler before everyone else added their opinions into the mix.

 

"I'm great, Lance. It seems you're feeling better, Hunk was worried over how ill you were"
"You know what they say, you can't keep a good man down. I'm feeling loads better, now. I thought Shiro said you were helping Hunk with breakfast?"
"I was, but he insisted I join you all instead"
"I'm glad he did. It's been phoooooebs since we saw you"
Keith wouldn't have believed if someone had said that Hunk and Shay would marry one day from their first meeting... Then again, he and Lance... He probably would have stabbed anyone who'd said they marry
"Yes. I heard you run your own outpost now? With Keith?"
"Yeah. It's not bad. There are still some things that need ironing out, but I like it. I'm going to spend the next phoeb living with Keith, so now I have to adjust back to normal time... How are the wedding plans?"
Shay blushed, Keith, inching his chair closer to Lance's
"Hunk said he wants to talk to all of you together..."
"That's fine! I'll just wait until the big man shows up"
Shay was clearly excited... It took her all of half a tick to shake her head, as she replied
"I'm sure he wouldn't mind if we talked a little"
"Oh, good. Because honestly, I don't know how long I can wait for the details. You must be so excited"
"I am... and so nervous. Were you nervous when you married Keith?"

 

Looking to him, Lance's eyes seemed to twinkle as they snorted when they made eye contact
"We were both slightly drunk, and had no idea we were in the middle of getting married... I think we took the easy way out"
"Definitely. Keith would have been crying his eyes out... then he probably would have forgotten the words and got mad..."
"Oh come on, I'm not that bad..."
"Uh, babe, you really are. No. I'm happy we had Annla there. It was figuring out what came next that was the hard bit. Plus with our jobs... Keith's always busy, or I'm busy. That's why I'm taking some time off to be with my husband"
"Shiro, back me up. I'm not that bad, am I?"
Glancing back at the table, he found everyone wearing pretty much the same agreeing looks. Keith huffing at the lot of them
"You guys all suck. Shiro, you're supposed to be my brother. And Acxa, you're basically my sister... Where's the family support?"
"That's what you have Lance for"
Acxa's soft reply sent Lance into a fit of laughter
"He's the one who started it"
"You're the one who married him. I notice you haven't asked my Veronica for your support"

Covering his mouth, Lance tried to bring his laughter under control
"That's because she's supposed to take my side"
"What was that, baby brother? I'm supposed to take your side? I don't think so. You were sick for movements, called Shiro out to help you, and now you're moving in with Keith suddenly. Plus, you were seen at the hospital last night. What do you have to say to that?"

 

Having missed the conversation leading up to the moment, Hunk and Coran were both smiling as they arrived with breakfast. Climbing to his feet, Keith was afraid Lance was going to bolt for a moment, only for his husband to move to hug Coran, who was already getting weepy before Lance's arms wrapped around him
"Lance, my boy! I've missed you!"
"I've missed you too! I'm sorry I didn't make dinner last night. I literally fell asleep before we even got back to our room"
"No need to fuss. As long as you're alright"
"I am. I'm doing better. I can't believe it's been like 6 phoebs since I saw you"
"Ahhh, but not to the rest of us. It's been..."
"Four... I think. It was on Erathus?"
"That's right my boy. I still wish you'd let me stay longer"
"Well, I had the outpost to think of. If you're ever out of on Erathus, I'll have Th'al set you up with the best room in the hotel"

 

Leaning back, Shiro whispered to him
"I thought he was about to run"
"So did I. I'm glad Lance is close with Coran again. I want sure how he was going to react given its Allura Day tomorrow"
"They turned up at just the right time"
"Yeah..."

 

"Can I get in on the hugs?"
Reaching out, Lance and Coran both drew Hunk into the hug
"Hunk, I thought you'd be sick of me already"
"Nah, Buddy. I missed you"
Releasing them from the hug, Hunk put on his "professional" face
"You two better sit so I can serve breakfast"
"Understood. Hey, Coran let's catch up this afternoon? Keith wants to get his hair cut, and mines finally at a good length to figure out what to do with it"
"I know just the woman for the job"
"I knew you would. Coran, Coran, the fancy man"
Twirling his moustache, Coran struck a pose that had all of them groaning at him. Moving back to his seat, Lance pushed Shiro out the way before sitting down between them. His scent was a little sour as it reached Keith's nose. Wrapping his arms around Lance, Keith nuzzled his neck behind his nose
"Babe, you ok?"
"Caught a sniff of coffee. My stomach said a big fat no thanks... I don't think Coran noticed though"
"No. I think you made his morning though"
"That's good... I really want to hurry up and go back to bed... if I start falling asleep, will you prod me?"
"On it"

 

As breakfast was served and everything started to fall into place as they ate. Lance went ghostly white as Hunk carried around a pot of coffee, discretely covering his nose with his left hand, and death gripping Keith's hand with his right. Declining coffee, Hunk raised an eyebrow as he, Shiro and Lance all said no. Lance's hold on his hand lessened minutely between coffee and a plate of waffles appearing before them, Lance quick to swap his strawberry loaded plate with Keith's caramelised banana topped waffles. If anyone noticed, it went unsaid as they started eating. A handful of doboshes passing before Pidge put Shay out of her misery
"So, Shay. You promised wedding details when Hunk came. I think we've tormented Lance long enough. He seems ready to burst from not asking"
"I was. I mean, I am! Buddy, spill!"
Slinging his arm over his fiancé's shoulder, Hunk brimmed with pride
"You go ahead and tell them"
"Are you sure?"
Hunk nodded at Shay, Shay giving a nod back as something silently passed between them. Shay excitedly exclaiming
"We're getting married in Hawaii!"
Hunk following up with
"On February the first! We've booked the hotel and venue"
"Our colours are going to be yellow and white... because Hunk was the yellow Paladin..."
"And we were thinking we want all of you to be part of the wedding..."

 

Gushing with excitement, Keith smiled broadly at his two friends. His head hadn't put the dates together, but Lance had. Keith copping Lance's distressed scent so thickly he gagged. Looking their way, Shiro wore a look of confused offence. His voice full of concern as he whispered
"Lance?"
"I can't... I can't breathe..."
Quiznak. Coran was questioning Hunk and Shay, so the attention wasn't on them
"Babe?"
"February first... that's two days after... I can't... I can't go... I'm... gonna be sick..."
Covering both hands with his mouth, Lance's panic only continued to grow. His husband was right. He was due way too close to the wedding day... The wedding that was already booked and organised... The wedding of the man who used to be Lance's best friend. If ever there was an event that shouldn't be missed, it was definitely Hunk's wedding
"Babe... try breathing through your nose..."
"Lance, do you think you can move?"
Their words overlapped, Lance, shaking his head as he continued to pale. Tears forming in his eyes. Stripping off his jacket, Keith didn't know what Shiro was planning as he laid it across his legs, until he'd guided Lance's face down and Lance was heaving his guts up into the jacket. Climbing out his chair and moving to crouch as he rubbed his husband's back, he could feel the tremors wracking the Cuban's body. Shiro stroking his hair as he Lance tried to sob out apologies between hard heaves. Out of all the times for his nausea to hit, it had to be at breakfast with their friends.

 

Around the table their friends had fallen quiet, Coran the first to come to their side as he crouched down next to Keith
"Lance, my dear boy. It's alright... just let it out"
Whimpering miserably, Keith wasn't sure Lance had much to let out. There was the ration bar and a bit of banana that Lance had carefully scraped off the waffles... and some water. That was about it... He also knew his husband was miserable due to the seizure that had ruined their last planned meal together as a group
"I... I'm so sorry..."
"Hush, my boy. None of that. It's already heating up to be a warm day. I must admit even I feel a bit stuffy in these clothes"

 

Keith's heart swelled with love Coran right then. Rather than bringing up the fact Lance was sick, he was giving him a perfectly reasonable reason for feeling ill under the bite of the morning sun. Now that Coran had mentioned it, Keith realised he was sweaty and arms did feel slightly burnt
"I'm sorry... Shiro"
"It's alright. I wasn't all that fond of this jacket. Curtis's mother gifted it to me when I was dating Adam... It was at the end of its days anyway"

 

"What the quiznak is going on with my brother?!"

 

Flinching hard enough to nearly fall off his seat, Keith wrapped his arm around his husband and pulled him up
"Not now, Veronica"
Scolding Veronica, Shiro dropped the ruined jacket from his lap
"What do you mean "not now"? First has a seizure, now he's throwing up, and refuses to tell any of us about it! It's like he doesn't care how worried we are about it!"
Nervously Coran stuttered out
"Ah. Yes, perhaps now is not the time, young Veronica..."
Sniping back, Veronica didn't back down
"We're talking about this now. Before he has a chance to run away again"
"Veronica, shut up!"

 

Standing up unsteadily, Lance wiped his mouth
"Not until you tell us all what has been going on with you! We're you're friends and family Lance! We care about you! You keep alienating yourself from us! We're all worried!"
"No one asked you to be! I'm fine!"
"You collapsed! You had a seizure!"
"It's not a big deal!"
"Newsflash, baby bro! Seizures are a big deal! Do you know how scared everyone was?!"
"You weren't even there!"
Swaying, Keith steadied his husband
"I think that's enough for now"
Trying to stop the situation escalating, Keith was ignored by the bickering siblings
"I know this isn't the first time!"
"No, it's not! What do you want me to fucking say, Veronica!? I have permanent fucking brain damage from being fucking tortured?! Fine! I do! I fucking seizures because of it! So no, it's not a fucking big deal because we're dealing with it! It's definitely not a big enough deal to ruin the conversation over Hunk and Shay's wedding! God. You're a bitch. Yeah, I felt shit but maybe I didn't want to do anything about it because I'm happy for them and wanted to hear their plans! So fucking thank you! Thank you for ruining breakfast!"
Screaming at his sister by the end of it, Lance pushed Keith away from him
"Babe?"
"I'm fine. I'm going back to our room to sleep. I'm sorry... Hunk and Shay, I really do want to hear more about your wedding. It sounds amazing already... and breakfast was good too..."
Mumbling off his sentence Lance turned on his heels and started back across the grass that led towards the palace.

 

Turning back towards their friends, Keith was ready to let his own anger lose on them until he saw Veronica was crying in the arms of her girlfriend. His anger still there, but his words stalled in his throat. Being the dad of the group, Shiro handled things much better than he did
"I know you're all worried about him. Lance did have a check-up at the hospital last night and was given a clean bill of health. Coran's right about the heat, as nice as this was, it is getting rather hot here without shade cover. Lance really was looking forward to breakfast with everyone. And as for his seizures, there is a management plan in place. With the stress from being ill, and still recovering that is most likely why he had a seizure the other night. He didn't want you all to worry when nothing can be done about it other than managing his stress levels and watching his health. Which is what Keith has been doing, as well as Daehra. He doesn't want to be treated any differently. He's still the same man we served with in Voltron. I think we should all step back and take a breath. Keith, why don't you go check on him. Veronica... I'm disappointed in you... but it looks to me that adding to the guilt you feel right now isn't going to help anyone. Coran, do you have somewhere I can throw this jacket out?"
Coran blinked, clearly not expecting to be part of Shiro's diplomatic rant
"Yes, I'll be happy to show you were before you clean up"
"Thank you. Hunk, Lance was right. The waffles were delicious. I'll catch up with you all at lunch"

 

Falling into step with Coran and Shiro, Lance had disappeared from view by the time they started to follow... Coran was wringing his hands, yet minding his manners by not pushing the matter. Keith felt like he should say something more. About Lance and about the pregnancy, but still didn't trust those angry words not to become unclogged. He wasn't angry at Coran, so didn't want to lose his temper at him, and while it was true that Lance had snapped, he was also proud of his husband. It wasn't Lance's fault that Veronica had pushed him. Keith had hoped that the topic would be dropped. What he was proud of was that Lance had tried to make an effort with Hunk and Shay. He knew he was panicking, but still wanted to ensure Hunk and Shay were happy. Because that was the conversation they'd been having before Veronica interrupted. Yes, Lance had been running from talking to her, but he had a lot on his mind... Still, Lance could have stormed off after yelling. Instead, he'd composed himself enough to apologise and thank the pair for breakfast.

 

Reaching their rooms, Shiro had disposed of the jacket somewhere along the way. Keith too in his head to notice. Standing in front of their door, Keith knocked, giving Lance the option of answering or not. A few ticks passed without Lance answering
"Keith, why don't you go ahead and check on him. We'll wait out here"
"Sorry... Thanks... and thanks, Shiro. I had no idea what to do when he said he was going to be sick"
"I didn't either... It was the first thing that came to mind"
"I'm sure Lance appreciated it..."
"Go check on him already. We can wait"
"I'll be right back"

 

Laying on their bed, Lance had his legs up on their pillows, with his dirty shirt we down and lying over his face
"Babe?"
"I'm ok..."
Walking over to him, Keith sat on the edge of their bed, peeling the shirt back
"There you are"
"Sorry for breakfast"
Lance's eyes were red, but he wasn't crying like Keith expected him to be
"Nah. It's fine. I'm amazed you lasted through those smells as long as you did"
"Dios... it was awful. Soooo many smells"
Leaning in to kiss Lance's forehead, his husband felt too hot
"I know it the scents and the panic, but I think you overheated. You're warm"
"My face was red when I got back. I'm going to take a nap... How mad was everyone?"
"Not mad. Veronica was crying her eyes out. Coran and Shiro are waiting outside"
"I feel shitty for ruining his jacket. Do you think it was salvageable?"
"He binned it. Honestly, I don't ever remember him wearing it since before Keroberus"
"Would he be mad if I replaced it?"
"I don't think he'd mind. Do you want to see them?"
"No... I want to nap. And pretend our friends aren't going to be judging us"
"You're worrying over Hunk aren't you?"
"Aren't you? It's two days, Keith..."
"We'll figure it out"
"How? I can't change my due date... and you heard how excited they are..."
Lance rolled away from him, Keith sighing softly as he placed his hand on his husband's hip
"Babe. We can always stay at the outpost. Even if they come early... or even if we stay there for a few weeks? Speed it up a little? We have options... Let me tell Shiro and Coran we're going to take a nap"
"You don't have to stay"
"I don't have to, but I want to"
"What about everyone else? I kind of walked off"
"Shiro asked them to respect you, your privacy and your choices. He told them that everything was alright last night and that we have a plan for your seizures... They'll understand"
"They shouldn't have to. It's my business..."
"I know. But maybe this means they won't be pushing so often to know?"
"I didn't want to talk about it. I wanted to... have a good morning"
"I know, babe. This morning isn't on you..."
"Still..."
"Nope. I'm going to tell the others you're resting... I'll be right back"
"I'm not going anywhere, mullet"

 

Letting himself back out their room, Keith nodded at the anxious pair waiting
"He's taking a nap. He'd already got a cold cloth over his face.
I think we're going to try sleep through until lunch, though I don't know how he's going to go about hanging out with everyone at once. His anxiety hasn't exactly been great"
"Maybe a small dinner would be better? Just you former Paladins and Shay?"
Even then that would be pushing it...
"And Curtis. My team... feel free to boss them around as much as you like. I know Lance has missed you"
"I've missed him too. He's not been having the best time out there. I'm happy he's moving off that planet for the time"
Keith wrinkled his brow
"Lance told you?"
"We talk. He didn't tell you?"
"No. Then again, I haven't exactly been the best husband"
"He still loves you fiercely number 4. Let him know this morning is not his fault?"
"Thanks, Coran. What are you going to do?"
"I'll be fine. I'll change and meet up with Curtis. That was my plan anyway. I have my comms if you need anything"
Keith thought for a moment
"Oh! Can you grab our things off my ship? Lance's blue suitcase is in my room, it's got clothes for both of us in it. He's probably already asleep by now..."
"Sure. Don't worry if you can't make lunch, though. Let him sleep, and I'll drop everything off later"
Keith nodded gratefully. He and Lance had amazing friends... it was just the family side that chaotic
"I better get back to him. Thanks for the help this morning"
"You're very welcome, my boy. I just hope he'll be feeling better tomorrow. I'm hoping he'll enjoy himself at the festival. I never pictured it being something this large! But, it's all in Allura's honour. As long as her brave sacrifice is never forgotten... That's good enough for me"
"That and I believe you have a Yelmor competition to win"
Coran tried and failed at keeping his mental scheming hidden, twirling his moustache around his finger as he looked up to Shiro
"The same could be said about a certain arm wrestling competition"
Laughing, Shiro scratched the back his head
"I can't deny that... I may have made a promise to Curtis to defend my title"
Keith didn't want to know the details of that promise. His brother's sex life was creepy... or rather, it was far too disturbing to go back near that topic ever again
"That's enough. Besides, Lance is going to slay in all the shooting games"
"And what are you going to contribute. Are you going to go around annoying everyone by asking if they've seen anyone suspicious?"
"Haha. You're not funny, old man. I'm going back to my husband. You two can plan your own domination for tomorrow's competition. I have a date to figure out"
"Ooooooh. Keith's got a date"
Rolling his eyes at his brother, Keith hit the door button
"Goodbye, Shiro. I'll see you later, Coran"

Chapter Text

Complaining it was too "uncomfortable" and "sticky" to cuddle, it didn't stop Keith from waking to find Lance curled up around him. Their suitcase had magically appeared in their room, as had a box of ration bars, Keith was grateful to his brother as enjoyed being trapped in Lance's solid hold. He'd missed Lance's cuddles. His husband might call him a "cuddly octopus", but that definitely went both ways. Almost all off Lance's cuddles now exclusively belonged to him... His husband always had the best cuddles. A Lance cuddle could completely change his mood as if his hold sucked out all the shittiness of the day. His husband the softest and best man he knew. Even if things weren't perfect, they were fighting, or he'd completely missed something so Lance was pissed at him, he still loved his husband profusely. Smiling as he felt Lance start to stir behind him, he placed his hand over his husband's right, loosely linking fingers
"You awake, beautiful?"
"Nope... I'm awake nauseous"
"Oh, you're calling me "nauseous", are you?"
Nosing Keith's neck, Lance kissed his nape
"Never... come back to sleep?"
"Babe, I don't think it works that way"
"Shhh... cuddles"
God. Seriously. Keith didn't know how much harder he could fall for Lance
"Want me to cuddle you?"
"Nope... I like this... you're a perfect fit"
"You're a dork. You know this, right?"
"Your dork..."
"Yeah... ow! Jesus!"

The switch between soft, sleepy, cuddly Lance and Lance running for the bathroom came with a knee to a place no knee needed to be. Not with that much force. Hobbled, and clutching his crotch, Keith could hear Lance vomiting again as he made his way to their bathroom, his junk not as forgiving as the rest of him as he filled up the rinse cup on the bathroom counter and carried it over to his husband. Unable to keep from hissing as he half fell trying to crouch down by his husband's side. Keith managed to keep from spilling the water, but hit his not so "funny bone" in the process
"Babe, I've you water"
Heaving instead of replying, Keith liked to interpret that as "Thank you, my dear husband. Both me and our babies appreciate it, even if it did come at the price of your testicles and elbow"
"You're welcome"
Propping himself up with his elbow resting on the rim of the toilet, Lance blinked at him sleepily
"Thanks, babe... 'm gonna be here..."
Throwing up mid-sentence, Keith wrinkled his nose. He kind of preferred Lance vomiting when he couldn't see it coming out his mouth and nose at the same time
"Be here a while... why don't you go back to bed?"
"Because I'm your husband and if you're stuck in here, it's only fair I am too"

It took the next fifteen doboshes for Lance to stop gagging and hacking up spit before his husband could finally reply
"It's ok... 'm okay here"
"You're not ok here alone. I don't mind..."
"I think I'm just gonna nap here on the floor..."
"Rinse your mouth first. And you're not sleeping on the floor. Shift over"
Lance's eyes watered, less than gracefully grabbing for him as Keith shuffled sideways, trapping himself between the toilet and the thin pane of glass that separated it from the shower. The position was horrible, but Lance looked so happy not to be alone
"I love you!"
"I know, babe. Here, rinse then drink some if you can. Shiro dropped off ration bars with your suitcase, so you'll be able to eat something a little later. I'm assuming you wanna nap right now?"
Lance took the cup of water, rinsing and spitting as he was told
"I do... but I know I'm going to throw up again..."
"I think the bathroom can take it... maybe not my comms"
"I don't know where mine are... I don't think I want to"
"Don't think about it..."
"I'm too sleepy... growing babies take sooo much energy"
"Then it's a good thing you married a "cuddly octopus" isn't it?"
"Best thing... I still feel on edge, but I can control things better with you here"
Kissing Lance's hair, Keith them smiled lovingly at his husband
"That's good. We're gonna work this out together"
"Yep... you and me..."
"Exactly. The Samurai and the Sharpshooter..."
"Mmm... oh... quiznak..."

*
Trapped on the bathroom floor, Lance was snoring loudly as Keith regretted cramming himself into such a small space. He'd needed to pee for the last varga, yet every time he moved Lance would grow distressed. Keith had already lost track of time between the fits of Lance napping, and the fits of him throwing his guys up miserably. He'd tried his hardest not to disturb him... but quiznak, he needed to pee. Shaking Lance's shoulder, his husband groaned at him
"Babe, I need to use the toilet"
"Mmm... fuck off... I'm sleeping"
Sucking in his lips, Keith swallowed down his laughter
"I know. You're sleeping on me"
"Shhh..."
"Lance..."
"Shut up. I wannna to sleep"
Being told to "shut up" was a bit abrupt. Lance usually listened when he woke him. Even if it was the middle of the night to discuss whatever idea had decided that he shouldn't sleep until he'd worked it out
"I know you do... but I need to pee"
"Ngh... just stop talking..."
"Lance..."
"Leave me alone... just go pee already"
Moving his boyfriend, Lance fought his hands growling at him until Keith stopped. Lance wasn't really the "growler" in their relationship. Keith only accepting his growling due to his Galra heritage. Whatever was going on with his husband, he didn't want to move despite it being a reasonable request.

Waiting a few more doboshes until Lance had settled. Keith carefully tried to move Lance again. This time ending up bitten on the hand for his efforts. He didn't want to use force, but there was also no way in quiznak he was wetting himself when the toilet was right in front of him. Frustrated to point of genuine anger, Keith pulled his comms out and paused, before deciding that he did indeed need help. Opening a message to Shiro, embarrassment warmed his cheeks as he thought how to phrase his message until his bladder pulsed painfully and gave him no choice
"Shiro. Bathroom. SOS. I'm trapped and Lance is moody. Help"
Moody felt like an understatement. His husband had bitten him. Sworn at him. And told him to "shut up". He wasn't feeling the love at all. Lance was lucky he did love him. Anyone else would have been punched for daring to bite him.

Left there until near breaking point, Shiro was a sweaty mess when arrived. Frowning at the sight of a peacefully, and angelic-looking, sleeping Lance, his adopted brother seemed clueless
"Get him off me"
"Why?"
"Because he's in a foul mood, and won't let me move him"
Still confused, Shiro moved to Lance's side, lifting him off Keith's lap. His husband letting himself be lifted like he hadn't been a total shit to him
"Can you take him into our room. I'll be in a tick"
"Ok. But I think you know you owe me an explanation"
"I know..."

Finding relief in being able to pee, Keith scrubbed his hands firmly. Lance had bitten his hand hard enough to draw blood, but Keith supposed it was better he bit him then zapped him with his Altean magic again. Heading through the bedroom, Lance was sleeping on his side though now appeared to be crying in his sleep
"What did you do to him?"
Shaking his head, Shiro's face seemed to be stuck on confused over the whole thing
"Nothing. The moment I laid him down, he whimpered and the tears started. What did you do to him?"
The tiny traces of accusation in Shiro's tone rubbed Keith the wrong way
"Me!? I tried to wake up to move him, and he fucking bit me"
Holding his hand up, Shiro's eyes widened fractionally
"He bit you?"
"He also lost his temper at me. I was stuck on the bathroom floor because I didn't want him sleeping in there, and this is the thanks I get"
"You know he's fragile... Did you try being..."
Why was Shiro lecturing him? Like he was going to hurt Lance?!
"I shook him awake gently and was sworn at for it"
"How long were you down there for?"
"I have no idea. Long enough for my back to hurt. Every time I moved he got upset. Then trying to move him got me bitten"
"Maybe he was having a nightmare?"
"More like he's a pampered little shit"
"Keith!"

Sighing in frustration, that wasn't what he meant. He adored Lance. He also didn't know why Shiro was going after him now...
"I know. Ok. I know. He's having a rough time. But I asked him to move because I needed to pee. I don't think that warrants him getting snappy with me"
"Soooo that's what this about?"
Quiznak. He'd fucked up and admitted the truth
"Ok. Yeah. But I've needed to pee for at least a varga. He was napping on me because of his nausea. I get he's uncomfortable, but he drew blood"
"And you know the second he knows he's going to be upset. With him sleeping, I don't think it was the emergency you made it out to be"
"Fine. The next time he falls asleep on you, and you're trapped needing to pee, I'm going to leave him there. Also. I didn't say it was a matter of life and death"
"No. You said "SOS". Which is close enough"
"It was an emergency!"
He'd nearly wet himself. Lance wouldn't have teased him... but he might have just had to leave the planet and change his name from the personal internally projected shame
"I ran out on Curtis because of you"
"With how sweaty you are, I don't think I want to know. You can head back now. I've learned my lesson. I won't wedge myself in next time"
"Or I can stay with him. You were supposed to get your hair cut..."
"Supposed to"? What was that meant to mean? He knew they'd skipped lunch, but it couldn't be that late...
"It's that late?"
"You missed lunch, dinner and the start of tonight's trial run. Curtis and I had been successfully distracting everyone until you called. Veronica was looking to apologise to Lance, too. We said you were both busy planning the recruit training, so you'd better come up with something"

That... actually explained a lot. Why he'd needed to pee. Why his back hurt like quiznak and now why his stomach was screaming at him... He'd barely had any of his waffles before breakfast went to hell... Not that he blamed Lance. He was... hangry.

"Oh"

Starting to fuss over Lance, Shiro pulled their blankets up, before moving the pill bottles from the top of the bedside table into the top drawer of it to make space for the ration bars he went about retrieving and stacking them strangely neatly. Ignoring Keith's watching eyes, Shiro headed into the bathroom next, returning with a full cup of water which he placed down next to the ration bars.

"Yes, "oh". Your husband is pregnant. Even if he's grumpy, it's not healthy for him to have only eaten 6 ration bars in... how long now?. He wouldn't even eat properly for me. I had to try and spoon feed him. He needs food and water, even if he's cranky at you. Keith. This isn't like a cover mission where you can't eat because you don't have time. Him not eating, is seriously going to affect your children. As well as his mental and physical health. No wonder he's dreaming of being captive again, food isn't exactly high on priority for a captive. I don't care if you have to feel like shit, be tougher on him with eating. Even if you get bitten in the process. They already said he was malnourished... what you're going through... It's... something that not everyone can have. No matter how much they might love their partner... You're lucky to have what you have with him. You didn't realise how long it'd been since he ate, since either of you ate. It might have been fine before he fell pregnant, but love alone won't keep him pregnant, or feed your children the nutrients they desperately need. Set alarms on your comms, and go take a walk while I talk to Lance"

Keith felt as if he'd missed something. He couldn't make Lance eat if all his husband was doing was napping between bouts of nausea. The bite on his hand no longer seemed important when Shiro phrases things like that. He had no idea what a pregnant person needed. He had no idea how he should be going about getting Lance to eat and drink properly when his husband couldn't keep anything down. Yet, when Shiro said it, Keith was left clenching his fists and feeling incredibly stupid. He was also left feeling like his older brother felt he wouldn't be much of a father to the twins. Grinding his teeth so hard together that it hurt, the half-Galran strode over to the bedroom door, wishing he could slam the stupid thing in Shiro's face. He'd barely had 80ish vargas to come to terms with being a father. He was out of his depth and desperately trying to find ways to soothe Lance's anxieties so his husband would be comfortable with the idea of being pregnant as it was. What else could he do? Why was he failing at helping his husband when he was trying his hardest to figure this whole thing out still? He'd fallen in love with their twins the moment he'd seen them on the ultrasound. He didn't want anything to happen to them... but he didn't know if he could be tough on his husband after neglecting him for so long. He deeply feared Lance turning his back on him, or walking away because he felt he wasn't making an effort. Throwing all the love he could at Lance with the hopes of something sticking was all he felt he could do. Lance was either too tired, sick, or nauseous for a full and proper conversation over anything. Yet, Shiro knew best it seemed, while Keith knew nothing.

Chapter Text

Keith was acting distant. Lance didn't know how he'd managed to sleep for most of the previous day, or how he could feel like he hadn't, yet today was going to be a good day. He was determined for it to be a good day. Leaving his husband sleeping, he'd scrubbed every inch of his body down, plucked his eyebrows to perfection, trimmed his pubes, lotioned the quiznak out of his skin, managed to find a way to wear his hair that looked a sexy kind of "effortless" mess, then dressed in a soft blue button-up shirt that Keith never failed to compliment him in, coupled with jeans that hugged his hips and arse so perfectly that it should be sinful. He'd cleaned his boots up, had both knives back in place where they belonged. Found his comms, wrinkled his face in annoyance over Veronica's repeated apologies, cleared the notifications then swapped over to wearing his work comms instead. When Keith had invited him to live with him, he'd forgotten all about the fact he'd promised his team that they'd hit up the festival.

 

Though. In his defence, he did have other things on his mind.

 

From what his distracted mind could remember, Shiro had woken him up at some point the previous night to make him eat, and to discuss the fact that he couldn't spend vargas ignoring food. He also had the feeling he'd been dozing before that, something sat wrong in the reaches of his brain. Like bad news that refused to be processed. It wasn't as if he'd done it on purpose, the moment he'd gotten back to their room he'd decided to say "quiznak it all". They said he and his babies needed to change. He needed to eat for their sake, which he'd already sworn to do. Keith was crazy excited about it all, and once he'd recovered his strength and ability not to keep breaking down, he was sure he'd be just as excited. The last thing he remembered was drifting off in Keith's arms and thinking he was the luckiest man in the world to have such an understanding husband. He knew he and Keith really needed to have a talk about everything, but he'd thought his husband was working on easing the way into the conversation by letting him try to destress before bringing everything up. Now Keith was acting distant and Lance's hackles were raised.

 

Walking up towards the main row of the festival, the day was bright, with enough cloud cover to take the edge off. All around them were people laughing, children running around screaming, and vendors pumping more scents than his mind could register into the air as they called out to advertise their stalls, whether they be food, games or something else. In preparation for his date, Lance had pretty much slathered beneath his nose with his eucalyptus lip balm. Eucalyptus wasn't his favourite scent, yet it did have the advantage of being the one thing that smothered everything else. All he wanted was his date with Keith. He wanted to eat all kinds of stupid food. Play all the stupid games and spent time being a lovesick fool with his husband. Now he had Keith walking beside him with his hands firmly wedged into the front pockets of his jeans, without having made a single comment or compliment in his direction. Having not been terribly positive about his body for phoebs, he'd even taken selfies to commemorate their date... following it up with a few awkward photos of his tiny baby bump... though he was pretty sure it was more ration bar bump than baby, quietly proud over having kept most of it down. The first thing he'd done when he woke up was force down two bars.

 

Having agreed to meet Daehra and Lucteal near Allura's statue, Lance's smile was stupidly wide when he saw the small surprise waiting with the pair. Annla's deep blue hair shimmering as she caught sight of him, and came running towards him. Jogging towards the pint-sized princess, he swept Annla up into the air, spinning her before settling her on his hip. Pout at his lack of usual "gentlemanly" charm, Annla bopped him on the head lightly
"Laaance. I'm a princesssssss. You can't casually sweep me off my feet"
"I'm sorry, my'lady. How have you been, my princess?"
"Excellent! I've missed you... and you... Mr Lance. Mr Lance! Are you and Mr Keith... having a baby!?"
Right... empath powers... that worked even better through direct touch...
Covering Annla's mouth with his hand, Lance shook his head. Today was a good day. It was going to be a good day. A great day. An amazing day!
"That's a secret. Like how you secretly married me and Keith off without telling us"
"Daehra says..."

 

Bopping Annla on the tip of her nose, Lance could feel Keith glaring a hole through the back of his head. It wasn't his fault Annla knew! Plus, she was genuinely excited for them with no pre held prejudices
"That "we're two halves of the same idiot"... I know, but you still went ahead and tricked us... and for that, you are keeping our secret"
"But why? Why aren't you happy?"
"Because it's complicated. Keith and I only just found out, so we want to keep it to ourselves for a little longer. Now, stop distracting me. We're supposed to be enjoying the festival. Where do you want to start?"
Annla pouted, her puppy-dog eyes made it so hard not to just sweep her off and spoil her rotten
"Mr Laaaance!"
"Nope. When did you start calling me "Mr Lance?" again, little lady?"
"Mother says I have to be more polite"
Lance blew a raspberry. The point of festivals was to have fun, not for Annla to walk around missing out, and watching everyone else having fun while she was forced to miss out due to her royal status
"Baaaah. We're at a festival. It's all about the food and rides today"
"But I want to know about the baby... M-Keith... won't you tell me, please?"

 

Lifting Annla off his hip, Keith set her down
"Babe, can I talk to you for a moment?"
Lance had no idea where this conversation was going. Tugging him a few feet away from Annla, Keith crossed his arms
"What was that?"
Raising an eyebrow, Lance was lost. Keith's tone had his heart rate rising
"What?"
"Picking Annla up like that?! What if something happens to the twins?"
Snapping to annoyed, Lance wanted smack his husband
"Nothing was going to happen. All I did was catch her?!"
"With that force against your stomach... What if it caused a miscarriage? What if she'd hurt you?"
Keith wasn't used to the chaos of small kids... He'd been in the foster system and closed himself down emotionally due to his trauma. His husband was already a helicopter parent and their twins were barely twins
"Babe... I'm strong enough to hold Annla"
"You swung her around and up onto your hip! She could have kneed you in the stomach"
"Keith... I can handle it. I can handle kids... I caught her, spun with her to slow the force, then lifted her onto my stomach. All her force and momentum from running was lost in that spin. Now, what's going on with you? You've been in a bad mood all morning"
"I'm not in a bad mood"

 

The way Keith slightly shifted his weight. A hand coming up to brush his fringe back from his eyes. Yet his lips were the real give away that Keith had been in a bad mood, and wasn't enjoying being pushed on the topic. Trying not to let his anxiety show, Lance hated that his heart was racing even harder over what should be a simple conversation
"Babe. I know you're in a bad mood. Did I do something?"
"I... no. It was Shiro"
Ah. Oh...
"Did he give you the talk? About my health?"
Keith's eyes went wide, relief flooding his expression
"He gave you the same talk!?"
Oh, thank fuck... They could talk about this. He didn't know what he would have said if Keith had dumped something heavier than this on him
"Yeah. Yeah, he did"
"He says I'm too lenient on you. I should be pushing harder for you to eat... You didn't eat before we left the room, and now we're... This was going to be our date. Now we have Annla... and Daehra and Lucteal here... and I thought... it was going to be just us..."

 

Opening his arms, Lance tapped his foot until Keith slowly shuffled into his hold
"I was so excited about today. I woke up early. I ate, and I ate, and I ate, some of those ration bars to make sure I had the energy for today. Then you were so upset... I want to have that date with you, but I also think this will be good for you. You say you don't know how to be a big brother, let alone a father. Annla is a bit bigger than a baby, but you know... I think this could be good for you. You were great with Juana. She loved you. So did Nadia and Sylvio... it's not for the whole day, you know. Plus, she's really happy for us. And that's... it's kind of nice not pretending"
"What if she tells someone?"
Nuzzling into Keith's hairline, Lance pressed a kiss to the spot. He was annoyed that Keith couldn't use his adult words to simply tell him what had been on his mind. Sure, he'd slept most of the previous day, but that was yesterday. And sure, he really could do with going back to bed for another deca-phoeb, but today was going to be a good day... no matter how many times he had to repeat the mantra in his head
"She won't. She's a tough kid, she keeps secrets and doesn't let anyone see her upset. After her father passed, she tried to keep it all in. I didn't know she was coming today, but I think she could use some serious fun. Besides... I'm not going to complain about spending my day with my smokin' hot husband"
"You ate? You're not just saying that? And she didn't hit your stomach?"
"I swear on our wedding hair clips, that I ate. I showered. I shaved. I tried to groom my hair the best I could... even picked this shirt you like so much. I wanted today to be good"
"You smell funny..."

 

Moving to try to rub his wrist on Lance's neck, Lance tried to dodge while still holding Keith in his arms
"It's either the deodorant, the body butter, or the lip balm"
"And you aren't wearing your suit under your clothes... or your mask..."
So casual clothes on their date were a no go? He was sure if he'd put his suit on, Keith would have fussed over him wearing it... Did Keith not appreciate the effort it took to look this damn good? Or the effort it took to soothe his nerves into not hiding his body away in his combat suit? His husband hadn't even noticed that he'd stolen his pair of fingerless gloves because his hands felt too exposed without something there and wearing his work gloves wouldn't have gone with the look he was aiming for
"Maybe I wanted to look good for my husband!?"
"Idiot. Your health and safety is more important"
Keith was at him to relax. To be how he used to be. To be worry less and be happy. Altea was safe, and all that. He'd protect him. So he dressed for his husband. For fun. And agreeing to try this "normal not on constant guard" kind of thing
"I'm an idiot for wanting to look good for you?"
"I don't want anything to happen to our twins... I feel like you're not over what happened after the scan. I feel like you're not as ok as you're trying to be. You had a major depressive episode. You were barely a step up from catatonic. I want to tell you not to try so much, but Shiro made it sound like we're not trying at all"

 

Shiro could only offer advice from an outsiders point of view. It wasn't as if Lance didn't want to try. His body was simply reacting differently to his first pregnancy. He honestly was beyond exhausted, too exhausted for food, but he wanted to try. Wasn't that the main point?

 

"I'm not... I'm not over it. There are too many people. Too many scents. Too many unknown elements. I don't want to see our friends. I don't want to talk to my family. I don't want to do anything other than fall back to sleep because I'm quiznakking exhausted Keith. My head is filled with waaaay to much stuff. I feel one bad incident away from ending up crying on the floor. But I woke up this morning thinking about how much I wanted this day with you. So I primped. I dressed as nice as I could. I want a nice and normal date with my husband"
"And you ate?"
"Yes. I ate. Can we go now? I want to see everything we can. Do everything we can... and I want to do it with you. Don't you think it's going to be fun teaching Annla things? Her planet doesn't have ice cream! What kind of planet doesn't have ice cream? No chocolate. No fairyfloss. This is important to me too because I know... the last... you really suck at letting go and relaxing. We've been married for something close an Earth year with all the time pockets and to the outside world it's probably more... and we've only been on one date. We weren't even dating properly when we did. We skipped right to the end... I want more, Keith. I'm selfish, shallow and greedy. I want to go places and see things with you before it's four of us. So can you try to make an effort today? Not to be so frowny and grouchy? This day is the start of the festival to remember Allura's sacrifice... she wouldn't want any of us to be sad"
"I'm not being grouchy. I'm exhausted. I've been wracking my brain trying to think how to tell you that I have to be stricter. Shiro told me to set alarms. To wake you up to eat... He made it sound like I wasn't considering your health"

 

Lance bit his bottom lip. He didn't like to worry his husband, yet Keith didn't have all the facts. Shiro... for possibly the first time in their shared history, Shiro was jealous of what he and Keith were going through. Shiro hadn't said in that way, still, he'd said enough. Lance now felt a whole new kind of guilt for monopolising Shiro's time. He wasn't taking care of his body, when Shiro would never have this same experience. To Lance though, a parent's love didn't have to be biological or tied through blood. He knew enough people who didn't get on with their parents, yet for some reason society still shoved the shitty "perfect" family thing down people's throats. He... when he'd been torn between his feelings for both Allura and Keith, he'd allowed himself that daydream. That daydream of adopting. That daydream of fostering. Raising a family with Keith. He was still very open to the idea of fostering, yet he hesitated to bring it up with Keith given his traumatic past. The fact that houses existed where kids weren't loved or safe... It broke his heart. He hated how deeply the kids would have been hurt. How their faith would have been destroyed. Lance wasn't sure he had any faith in humanity to be throwing around, but if he could just show one child they weren't alone, he'd be able to hold his head high.

 

"I've spoken with Shiro. He was kind of right, even if he didn't use the right words. You're my husband, Keith. My absolute world. I'm going to work hard to keep your twins safe and sound. And you're going to work hard at having fun, Mullet"
Keith laughed at him softly
"It's not a "mullet", I had a trim last night"
Keith had gone and gotten his hair cut without him. But he wasn't going to mention that, because today was going to be a good day. He wasn't going to mention how much it'd hurt... or that he'd been excited to go with his husband. Or that he'd had all these silly little plans of watching Keith get his hair cut. He wanted to know what kind of expressions his husband would make. The way he'd move. The way he held his head. The kind of short speak between him and the hairdresser. He wanted to see it and commit it to memory as it was another side of Keith he hadn't seen
"I know. Now, can we please go have fun?"
Detaching from Keith, Lance grabbed him by the right wrist in order to start dragging him towards Annla. His husband mumbling to himself as he did. Today was going to be a good day. He wasn't going to get caught in his head, and the uncomfortable feeling he got from Allura's towering statue wasn't going to ruin his date with Keith. Allura had done this to him. If she didn't want him pregnant with Keith's children, then she shouldn't have changed his body without his permission. The guilt he felt over being married to Keith, and being happy with Keith... under her statues gaze, was not going to ruin things for him. Or for Keith who was no doubt worrying over how celebrating Allura would affect their relationship.

 

 

*
Keith was the first to admit he wasn't pleased about sharing his date with Lance, with Annla, Daehra and Lucteal. It'd been so long since their last date. Far too long when he thought about all the phoebs between then and now. Yet, despite his displeasure, Lance had proven to be right as they spent their morning teaching Annla, and the two siblings, the joys of "festivalling".

 

For the most part, the rides were similar to Earth in the way that there were multiple sized roller coasters, bumper cars, a Ferris wheel, an exceptionally creepy merry go round with creatures that looked more out of a nightmare than cute and fun, parasols, teacups, a zero-gravity and a high gravity spinner. There was also a waterpark, waterslide, an alien version of a log ride. Then there were the other things like skill testers, shooting range, balls and clowns, strength testers, fortune tellers, hoops, show bags and various other small vendor games. If Keith had been alone, he would have had no idea where to start, yet his husband was a self-proclaimed festival expert, declaring that there was a certain way to get the most out of the experience. With how excited Lance seemed to be over it all, Keith could only nod and agree as Lance appointed himself the festival king.

 

Starting with teacups, because it was Annla's first time at a festival, Lance splurged as he insisted on paying for everyone's ride tickets. You could pay GAC for each ride, or if you had a ticket, you got to skip most of the waiting time in encouragement for people to be prepared. Ignoring the rules, Lance had Annla in his lap as she spun the wheel, shrieking with both laughter and fear. From there they hit up the smaller roller coaster. Lucteal looking a little green as they climbed off, while Annla demanded to go on the big one. Redirecting her to the bumper cars, Keith felt for his husband. He hadn't considered the fact that Lance's "condition" would exclude him from rides, yet there was a clear sign warning against pregnant people using the ride. Lance brushed it off, insisting he was fine, but Keith was sent into a whole new world of worry. Shiro's words had played over and over in his mind, his husband had been asleep by the time he'd returned from having Coran trim his hair. He hadn't been looking for the man, yet as he'd stalked off to cool down, he'd first run into To'ral, who ended up copping most of his feelings at the time, then Coran on his way back to Lance. His hair was shorter than he'd wanted it, barely falling halfway down his shoulder blades, but where he'd thought he'd get teasing from Lance he'd gotten silence. It'd been the middle of the night before he'd fallen asleep, wondering how he could talk to Lance about his health. Because of his brooding, he'd nearly ruined the day with his husband, who clearly wanted to do absolutely everything they could together. Now that Lance was being excluded from certain rides, he felt selfish for enjoying ramming Annla in the bumper cars. Even if the princess held no qualms over taking the three adults head-on. To steal the phrase usually reserved for Kosmo, Annla was a menace. Merciless as she first took on Lucteal, then took on Daehra, only for Daehra to team up with her again, against him. Calling Lucteal to his aide, the four of them were evicted from the ride for being too heavy-handed, leaving Lance in a fit of laughter that wound up only coming to end after they passed a coffee stall and Lance was sent running to the closest bin.

 

Missing the shared look between Annla, Lucteal and Daehra, Keith rubbed his husband's back while Lance cursed the world. The half-Galran didn't notice Daehra leaving their group in order to buy some water for Lance. When his husband reappeared from "examining the contents of the trash can", an unnecessary and completely unbelievable lie, Daehra was waiting with the bottle of water, passing it over she casually stated, "you need to stay hydrated for the sake of you and your child". Keith... thought about trying to lie his way out of it. Jealousy kindling in the base of his stomach as their small secret seemed to be growing without their expressed permission. Their friends couldn't help their empathic powers, but they could help when it came to choosing to announce they'd figured out their big secret. With Lance looking green around the gills, and somewhat paler as he processed what Daehra had said, Keith took his husband's hand in his. He wasn't ashamed of this pregnancy. He might have been every single definition of "scared shitless", and then some, but he wasn't ashamed that he and Lance had created twins. He loved his husband deeply, and sure, he wasn't ready to be a father, but he sure as quiznak wasn't turning his back on his husband or their children.

 

Deciding that it was best for Lance to sit and recover his strength, Keith led the group over to the cafe area, stopping a few stalls away so that Lance wouldn't have to be overwhelmed with the heavy scents of food. Sitting down on a bench, he pulled his husband into his lap so he could rub his wrist against Lance's neck. His husband smelt wrong. He'd picked up the scents of the people standing near him as they'd watched the four idiots attempting to ruin the dodgem-cars, and while knowing Lance couldn't help it, his instincts were on edge from the unwanted scents. Leaning back into his hold, Lance sipped at his water as Daehra sat beside them wearing her best "mum expression" as she pushed the topic
"Lance, I know you're pregnant. Why didn't you tell me sooner?"
Shooting her weak finger guns, Lance sighed softly
"You got me. But how did you know? Could you sense on it me, like Annla?"
"No. Keith's thoughts. I'm sorry Keith, but you were projecting your worry over Lance too strongly for us not to be affected. You've also been staring at his stomach more than you seemed to realise. If you had realised, you would have attempted to correct your gaze. Then there's the fact that Lance couldn't join us on that ride, but what really gave it away was the pregnancy test that was caught up in your washing. If you didn't wish for people to know your secret, I would suggest not leaving around evidence"
Groaning to himself, Lance laughed as he pushed a kiss to Keith's cheek
"I think she's got us. It's nice to know my husband couldn't keep his eyes off me"
"You're a shit... I thought we weren't telling anyone"
Their parents didn't even know. Neither did Coran... who was basically family anyway. Picking his words carefully, Keith heard the effort Lance was going to to be polite about it all
"We aren't, but we can't take it back. We didn't tell you because Keith only just found out. With human pregnancies... there can be a lot of complications. We don't know if I can carry without losing them... We also wanted to tell our parents too, before everyone else knew"
"I understand that... but... I wish you'd felt able to confide in me"
Lance's scent started turning, Keith annoyed at Daehra's reply. Sure, she'd done so much for both of them, but this was their news. None of this was going to be easy, especially for Lance. When discovered that Lance had a womb, Daehra had been told that men of their species didn't normally fall pregnant
"It's not that, Daehra. This pregnancy is a big deal for both of us. We're both scared over it. If Lance experiences complications, he may die..."
"I wish I could have helped. I would have understood Lance's needs better, as well as his mental state. I take it that this is why Lance is leaving to live with you?"

 

There was a shift in Lance's scent from upset to angry, Lance sitting forward
"Lance is here. Lance shouldn't have to remind you he is right here. He also doesn't want to talk about this. I think it's time we let Annla choose what we're doing next"
It was a bad habit of theirs to speak about Lance like he wasn't there. Though, his husband had seemed pretty content in his lap physically, until they pushed him over the pregnancy
"Lance, I'm sorry if I over spoke..."
"You're worried, but I wanted to keep this to myself longer. I don't want to talk about it. I don't want to think about it right now. I don't want to do anything other than enjoy time with my husband on our date"
"You and Keith were on a date?"
"Not "were", "are". I love this dorky mullet more than anything, so I keep telling myself today is going to be a good day. I guess that god refused to give me the day off from morning sickness so that I could enjoy it properly with Keith. Still, I'm happy that Annla is here. I told Keith it'll be like a trial run for when we're parents"
"Keith is here too, you know"

Sitting up to wrap his arms around Lance's stomach, Keith nuzzled into his neck. He wanted to spend the whole day making his husband happy, yet Lance was happy for now hanging out with his team and Annla... and Keith was enjoying the excitement on Annla's face over the simplest things. They'd passed a strength tester as they'd walked, Annla staring up the mostly familiar animal faces. Seeing they walking to find somewhere better for Lance to rest, she hadn't voiced her desires out loud, but Keith had noticed out the corner of his eye how interested she looked. Despite the game most likely being rigged, he still wanted to try to win something for her. Her first, then he'd use every single skill he had to win whatever his husband wanted. It'd be nice to make new memories, and not just memories over attempting to win Allura "something shiny".

 

Rolling his eyes with a huff, Lance lightly dropped his head back against Keith's forehead. His husband's hair smelt of coconut, only upsetting his instincts more as it wasn't Lance's usual distinct scent. His head felt muddled from the difference, like his eyes could see Lance, he could touch and feel his husband, but his nose was telling the rest of him to be wary
"I know my dork is right here. It's not as funny as you think it is when it happens to you, is it? You guys can grab something to eat if you want, while we're this close. Then Annla can choose the next activity"
"Lance, you should eat. It is unhealthy not to eat in your current..."
"La la la la. Not listening. I have food with me. Seriously, you guys have to try all the festival food. Keith will take you. I'm just going to sit here and sip my water until my stomach settles"
"I can stay..."
"Don't make me "la la" over you too. I'm fine. I'm fine and don't need all the fussing. No more baby talk from any of you. Keith is going to introduce you to sugar... Ice cream would be even better. Keith, find them ice cream!"
Ice cream wasn't real food...
"Uh, babe... are you sure?"
"Yep. And while you're at it, I'll take bubblegum flavour if they've got it"
Ooooh. So Lance wanted ice cream. If Lance wanted ice cream, he was getting ice cream
"Do you want any toppings on it?"
"See, this is what makes you husband material. Ok. So if they've got bubblegum, then waffle cone with no topping. If they don't, then I want vanilla with sprinkles"
"In a waffle cone?"
Undoing his hold around his waist, his husband turned towards him, holding the pads pointer and thumb of his left hand a few millimetres away from each other
"Babe, you were so close. Of course in a waffle cone. All other cones are traitors and mami didn't raise no heathen"
"No, mami raised an amazing man with dubious tastes"
"Oi! I represent that implication!"
"I know you do, babe. That's why I love you. Are you sure you don't want anything else?"
Lance shook his head, before stealing a kiss
"No. Go have fun, then come back to me"
As if there was anywhere else he wanted to be
"Ok. I love you"
"I love you too, Samurai. Make sure these two don't get too carried away with the flavours. And make sure you don't let Annla have all the toppings. They don't taste good together. It's way too much at once. Let her try sprinkles, but only choose one syrup"
"I'll keep that in mind"
He had no clue when it came to kids and sugar, only that too much lead to them feeling sick... He already knew what he wanted. If they had bubblegum, he'd simply get vanilla with sprinkles so Lance could have some of both. It was a small step to getting their date back on track.

 

Finding ice cream wasn't that hard, or as hard as Keith had worried. One of the vendors was proudly advertising "Earth" food, despite being manned by a team that clearly wasn't human. Insisting that she was a "big" girl and that she could handle a cone, Annla got a double scoop of strawberry with sprinkles. Keith able to fulfil Lance's desire for both a waffle cone and bubblegum flavouring, and a plain vanilla waffle cone with sprinkles. Feeling adventurous, Daehra tried the salted caramel, while Lucteal looked somewhat sullen as he ordered a double scoop of banana and chocolate. Paying for the lot, the price was grossly overinflated at what would have been about $10 back home for each treat. He never would have splurged for such expensive ice cream back on Earth. He'd rather spend a half an hour drive from home to find a better price, yet with Lance being pregnant, he pretty much wouldn't be able to say no to him. Plus, those ration bars... Lance deserved a treat for forcing those down.

 

Ordering both flavours were worth it when Keith saw the way his husband's face lit up. Laughing and crying, Lance took his ice cream from him, before taking a lick of Keith's offered ice cream as he sniffled out his "thanks" and his "I'm sorry for crying, but I swear I'm really happy". Sitting beside his husband, Keith looped his arm over Lance's shoulder. Lance happily cuddling into his side as he kept crying, trading licks of their ice creams, though Lance pretty much ate both of theirs, leaving Keith his cone to finish alone. Seeing as he didn't really want the ice cream to begin with, and how cute his husband was, the half-Galra was tempted to head back to the vendor to order two more, simply to see Lance keep smiling as he was. Waiting until they'd finished eating, Annla tugged Keith's hand softly to draw his attention from Lance, shyly asking where a bathroom was. Not knowing the protocol for taking kids to the bathroom, he was kicked in the shin for asking Daehra to take Annla to the bathroom, the princess calling him stupid, resulting in Lance cackling with laughter. Keith had no idea what he'd missed
"It's alright, Annla. I could use a trip to the bathroom too. Keith is a little dense about some things. Are you two going to wait here?"
Leaning around them, Daehra glanced at Lance, then back to Lucteal, then back to Lance again
"We were thinking you two could continue your date?"
"Guys, you don't have to be like that. Sure we're all hanging out together, but I'm happy as long as I get to spend time with him. Besides, I don't mind spending time with Annla... She's our favourite little princess, after all"
Daehra and Lucteal were far too trusting. They were likely to find all the wrong kinds of vendors at the festival... but Keith wanted quality alone time, especially now that Lance was getting sleepy. Lance's scent again clueing him in better than his husband was
"Why don't we take Annla to the bathroom, then meet you back here and go from there? That way Lance and Annla can go to the toilet, and you two can pick what you want to do next?"
Nuzzling into his neck, Lance "whispered"
"I want to go on the big rollercoaster"
"No, thank you. If you're doing that, I'm going to wait right here. I see no point in paying GAC when it's the exact same thing each time we go for a fly with Lance"
"Rude! I'm an excellent pilot!"

 

Yelling in his ear, Keith shoved his husband away
"That was my ear!"
"Lucteal insulted my honour!"
"What honour? I was there for the Blue Lion experience!"
"Dude! Yeah was like once. Blue literally had a mind of her own"
Starting his sentence, Keith figured he could bluff rather than expose any of Lance's secrets. Lucteal was handling finding out Lance was pregnant better than he thought... unless the man was taking pot shots as his husband and not jesting
"Shall we not talk about..."
Even Daehra was in on it. This was gold, or it would have been if Lance hadn't cut her off
"Ok! Enough. I'm more than capable at piloting any ship thrown my way. Come on, Annla. We don't need these losers"

 

With Annla up on his shoulders, Annla was directing them where they needed to go. There were various electronic signs up that cycled through alien languages, though the main theme of the map was the same, Lance able to decipher enough to pass the directions up to Annla, not caring about the last of her ice cream dripping into his hair. Passing the same skill tester as they had before, Annla nearly fell off backwards as she craned her neck to stare at the rows of masks
"Do you want one?"

 

Pulling bits of Lance's hair out in the process of her fall, Annla pulled out more in surprise. Lance yelping as the force pulled him backwards
"I... what... no... masks are for babies"
Blushing, Annla bit her lip
"Are you sure? I saw you watching them as we passed the first time"
"They're for babies. I'm not a baby"
Keith was at a loss for what to say. Annla was usually so forceful that she practically would have demanded on. Shifting his weight, he opened his mouth, before closing it as he tried to come up with the right words
"Really? I think some of these are kind of cute. There's a lot of Earth animals in the mix... and a lot I don't know the name for either... Keith, do you feel up to a strength test? I mean, my big rugged husband should have noooo trouble at all winning us a mask each... I think that white cat one, the third along the top row is pretty adorable, but then the black cat mask in the fifth row is all chubby, and chubby cats are adorable too... He looks like he's packed full of yummy treats and ready for pats and naps... Oh my god, babe, we should get that one for you. You love your pats and naps"
Keith's cheeks reddened. He only liked pats and naps when it involved Lance. It wasn't even pats and naps... He was a man. It was quiznakking "manly cuddles with his husband"
"Whatever... It's your fault"
"Ignore him, Annla. I think you'd look super cute in the white cat mask. I think the orange is supposed to be a fox... but it might be a tiger with those stripes... hold up, is that a Voltron mask? Keith, can you see what that they did to yellow!? We totally have to tell Hunk. He'd go nuts for it... or over it... I do not remember yellow's face being so squashed"

 

Cottoning on to the fact he may have real customers on his hand, the man manning the stall slipped out from behind the rows of masks. Keith taking an instant dislike to his cocky smile and slicked back white hair as he rubbed his hands together greedily. Somehow he'd rigged the strength test with the intention of taking money from naive festival-goers
"Step right up. Step right up. All it takes is one hit. Hit hard enough that the top light glows and win a prize! 900 GAC gets you 3 tries!"
900 GAC geez. Keith had a feeling that the price might have been inflated given who he and Lance were. Still, he had his own personal pride to think of, and more importantly, he wanted to wipe the smugness off the man's face
"If I win, I get my choice of any mask I want, don't I?"
"Anything in the red zone and you get your choose from the second row down. Hit the light and you get your choose from the top row"
Looking over to the masks, the white cat one was in the top row. As he listened to his husband explain the different animals to Annla, he understood now why Lance had made a fuss over how cute they were. Annla was embarrassed because she didn't know the names of the animals on them. She didn't know how to say which one she liked, and her princess pride wouldn't let her admit her faults. Mentally snorting to himself, Annla was kind o a carbon copy of him when it came to not knowing things. Or how he used to be...
"Do you two know what you want?"
Giving him possibly the biggest smile he'd ever seen, Annla nodded quickly
"The white cat one... Lance was right. It's the cutest one there"
Tilting his head back, Lance's smile was open and unguarded as he gazed up at Annla
"I like to think I have excellent taste"
"Nooooo. The white cat is better than the black cat!"
"I think the black one is adorable"
Annla wasn't having it
"It's ugly"
"It's "ugly cute". I'm going to have to teach you all about fat cats and their super important role in Earth culture"

Furrowing his brow, Keith crossed his arms as he tried to glare at Lance. His husband made it far too hard to be angry with him for real, especially when he looked so natural carrying Annla around on his shoulders as if she was their daughter
"I thought you said the black one reminded you of me. Are you trying to tell me I'm "ugly cute"?"
Snorting with laughter, Lance poked his tongue out before looking at him
"You're the one who said it, babe"
Oh. It was so on. His husband was a little shit. He'd give him "ugly cute"
"Just you watch. I'm going to win both those damn masks, then I'm going to make you eat your words. 900 GAC right?"
"That's right! Let's see you win... if you can"

 

Pulling out his wallet, Keith pulled out 1000 GAC, which unsurprisingly the vendor "didn't" have change for. Lifting the mallet from its holder beside the tester, it was grossly misproportioned weight and size-wise. There was a high possibility that if he was a "normal" festival-goer he wouldn't have been able to lift the quiznakking thing, to begin with
"You've got this, babe! Show him what you can do!"
Clapping and cheering for him, Lance didn't care he was making a fool of himself and drawing stares from the passing people
"Yeah! Go, Keith!"
"Hey, get your own husband! This one's mine"
Giggling, Annla nodded
"I know. I was there... I see you still carry both your tokens"
Moving his hand from her leg to the hair clip on his necklace, Lance stared down at the small gold piece of jewellery
"Of course I do. This is the single most precious item I own in the world. It's more important to me than anything I ever own will be, because it tells me every single day that I have the most wonderful and supporting husband I could ask for. Even if we fight, or we aren't happy all the time, it's my good luck charm that says Keith will be there"
Instead of "awwing", Annla made a wretching noise
"Who cares about that? Keith, you better win or I'm never talking to you again"

 

Keith's heart was racing at Lance's pure love. No. They weren't happy all the time. They barely knew how to function together under one roof without accidentally setting each other off. Their marriage needed more work than he knew what to do with. They had twins on the way. Lance wasn't well mentally, and he was covering up all his anxieties over becoming a father by trying to love Lance extra hard. But that didn't matter, because his husband trusted in him. Shooting them a finger-gun with his left hand, Lance shot back double in his direction
"I've got this!"
"Hell yeah, you do! Pretend you're smacking Lotor over the head! Or the purple goo dispenser!"
God. He loved his quiznakking idiot.

 

Keith's first swing was experimental, he managed to hit into the red lightly section leading the colour draining from vendors face. The first three lights were yellow, followed by three green, then four red, before finally the red light atop the stand
"That's your black cat, babe!"
Stating it out loud, he didn't move to swing again until the vendor moved his slimy arse to unhook the black cat mask. Not that he'd admit it, but there was a kind of blue wolf looking mask in the bottom down far corner that he was eyeing off, curious as to how Kosmo would react to it. So as long as his next hit landed the critical blow, he'd still be able to win the wolf. "Helping" Lance slide the black cat on, it was definitely more ugly than cute with its fat cheeks looking as if its mouth was full of those weird space chickens Kosmo got into.

 

As Keith raised the mallet for the second swing, he felt the weight shift. The vendor's eyes sparkling with evil glee as the handle seemed to now weigh at least as much as Lance did when he was carrying up against his chest. Unfortunately for the vendor, he didn't know that that was a somewhat common occurrence of late. Just as he raised the mallet, the weight shifted back to the head. Grinding his teeth to keep his expression neutral, his thoughts didn't do to "Lotor" or to the "purple food goo", instead they went to how much he wished the landing sensor was Klearo's face. Swinging it down with all his might, the vendor jumped back as he snarled out his anger. The hit sending the lights up to where the red light flicked on with annoying screech. Pale and shaking with fear, the man was jittery as Annla directed him to the white cat mask, her glee obvious, while Lance sucked in his lips so he seemed more mature. Stuttering out to "just take the third and leave", Keith picked out his wolf mask, which Annla then had to help put in place. As they were leaving the vendor miraculously found a 100GAC coin, that he pushed on to Keith before retreating with possibly the weirdest walk Keith had ever seen. His legs dead straight as if he'd forgotten that knees and hips were an actual thing.

 

Barely able to keep it in, they'd only made it a few metres before Lance was laughing so hard he was crying, and Keith was lifting Annla off his husband's shoulders before she lost her balance. Catching his husband's eye, Keith couldn't hold down his own laughter. The man had totally had that lesson coming. He'd well and truly shattered his pride and then some without a single drop of blood split. Slowly their laughter died out, Annla frowning at the pair of them as she was a disapproving daughter embarrassed by her two idiot fathers. Doubling over as he grabbed his crotch, Lance was still laughing while looking pained
"Babe?"
"I really need to pee. I forgot that's where we were going"
A little of Keith's dying laughter may have been directed his husband's way after being bitten when he'd needed to pee the previous day. Not a complete arsehole, Keith took Annla by the hand. He'd left the navigation to the pair of them, then like Lance, he'd forgotten the purpose of his journey
"Do you know the way to the bathroom?"
"Yep. Lance really needs to go. His tummy hurts"
"Your stomach hurts?"
Lance nodded
"It's fine. It's not baby pain. It's "I laughed so hard I nearly wet myself pain". Totally worth it though. The look on his face. Do you think he'd take offence if I went back and beat him?"
"Babe. You need the toilet. Let's focus on our mission first"
"Yeah... yeah, that's probably for the best"

 

With lines being super long despite multiple toilets being available, Keith decided it was time to fake an emergency. "Propping" his husband up, Keith pushed their way through the front, apologising and claiming a Paladin emergency. For pop-up facilities, they were the nicest public toilets Keith had ever been. Between each person, there was a sterilise hot rinse, surfaces still steaming as he ushered Lance inside. His husband then rewarding his hard work by kicking him out while he peed. The woman who'd been waiting at the front of the queue was quick to pick a fight over him pushing in. Grabbing Annla by the hand, Keith pulled her back from around the side, smoothly lying that Lance was her bodyguard and checking for potential explosive devices before Annla used the facilities. That soon shut her up. Lance was already self-conscious about the time he spent in the bathroom as it was. Like fuck, he was letting some snooty cow ruin his husband's day.

 

 

*
Nearly a varga had passed since leaving Daehra and Lucteal near the food vans. Lance was now wearing his jacket as he carried Annla on his shoulders, his husband having a difficult time with the smell of disinfectant in the toilet, so he'd zipped Keith's jacket all the way up to the top, not caring that the fabric of the collar sat just beneath his lips earning a few weird glances as they walked. In some strange way, Keith kind of did feel like a family with Lance and Annla by his side. Annla was so curious about everything, Lance was happy to entertain her, while Keith was happy watching the interactions between them. It also hadn't hurt that Lance had been adorable as he thanked him for winning their masks while Annla was in the toilet. His husband had refrained from kissing him due to vomit breath, but standing their arms looped loosely around each other's waists as his husband nosed at his neck had reassured him that whatever he was doing, he was doing it right. Though he wasn't sure what the whole bathroom thing was about so was saving that question for later when they were alone and he wasn't risking embarrassing Annla. Returning to the two siblings, Coran had found the pair. The Altea was talking animatedly as he waved his hands around. Before he could stop his husband, Lance was creeping up on Coran, scaring the quiznak out the man as he tapped him on the shoulder.

 

"Lance! That was mean!"
Bopping Lance on the top of his head, Annla was unimpressed
"Sorry, m' lady. Annla, this Coran. Coran is basically like the best space uncle you could ever ask for... I don't think you've met... Anyway. Coran, Annla was the one who tricked us into getting married... ow! That's it, Pidge is getting an upgrade. You're the new gremlin of the group"
Pulling Lance's hair, Keith wasn't impressed with Annla's behaviour. Lance was clearly making a joke, and he worried that too much hair-pulling would send his husband into a panic attack. Lifting Annla off Lance's shoulders, Annla looked scandalised. Kneeling down, he looked her in the eye
"Stop hurting my husband. You know better than to be hair pulling, especially when you should be able to feel his pain and discomfort. Now, this is Coran who is very important to Lance and I. Coran, this is Princess Annla. She's Lucteal and Daehra's younger sister. Now, say hello to Coran nicely"
Annla still looked unhappy but curtsied as did as Keith asked, Coran, returning the curtsey with a bow, before continuing
"Are you enjoying the festival?"
"Keith won us masks and said we could go on the biggest rollercoaster"

 

Stepping closer to him, Lance slipped his arm around Keith's waist
"Yep. You know, you should come with us. Daehra and Lucteal had the nerve to say I'm an awful pilot. Personally, I think that's exactly why they should come with us as punishment for being so rude. That is if you've got the time"
"Oh, no. I wouldn't wish to interrupt. Daehra and Lucteal were informing me that you two are on a date?"
"Coran, you went to so much effort to make all of this happen. I know you want things to run smoothly as it's in Allura's honour, but she would want you to have fun. Just like Lucteal and Daehra are going to go have fun because they shouldn't be sitting around like this. Allura wouldn't want you worried like this. Besides, Keith is on this "manly" streak, and I need witnesses for later bragging rights"
Stomping on his husband's foot lightly, Lance gaped at him
"You had it coming. You said I was "ugly cute", and now you want witnesses to my "manly streak". Plus, it was only lightly"
"I want witnesses because I'm proud of you, moron"
Not for the first time that day, Keith was blushing
"Then just say you're proud of me!"
"I am! And you're hot! You know I think you're hot"
"You compared me to a fat cat!"
"Fat cats are awesome! And, what I said was you "like pats and naps""
Dropping to a whisper yell, their four friends seemed worried. It wasn't like they were actually fighting. Keith's pride was strong enough to survive being compared to a cat.
"I like cuddling with my husband!"
"I like cuddling my husband too! You fit into my arms perfectly"
"Yeah. Well. So do you"
"And I like your mask. It makes me miss our son"
Keith had his mask on sideways so it covered his right ear. The half-Galra wearing his the same was as Lance and Annla were
"I'm curious what he's going to think"
"That his father is an idiot?"
"Probably. Do you want to go find that roller coaster now? Has your stomach settled? Do you think it was the ice cream? You said you were going to stick to the ration bars"
"I had a sudden craving for it while thinking about what would be good to eat under this heat. It's settled down. I could take a nap though"
"My poor old man"
Cocking his head, Lance scrunched his forehead up
"Will you still love me when I'm old? And all wrinkly?"
"You're already wrinkly enough. Tell me if you need a break?"
"I will. You ready?"
"Always. Come on, Coran. Lance is right. You need some fun too. Plus, it's gotta be better than his piloting skills"
"You all fu-... freakin' suck. Coran, help?"
"Well, there was that one time..."
Throwing his hands up in the air, Lance started to stalk away
"I'm hurt, guys! I'm actually, factually, hurt!"

 

Doing the biggest roller coaster of there, Coran's screams we're the same as Annla's as the pair death gripped their harnesses. Annla throwing up mid loop and mid-scream, yet somehow Coran managed to escape unscathed despite sitting next to her. Both Lance and Keith escaping unscathed, Lance keeping it down until they were off the ride, then rushing to the closest bin to throw up. Coran taking care of Lance, as Annla threw her arms around Keith, crying her heart out as she apologised for being sick. Thinking Coran had Lance covered, Keith squatted down to check out Annla's dress, treating the princess like he would Lance as he reassured her it alright. For the most part, she seemed clean. She had vomit smeared across her cheek and ear, but her dress, arms and hair had escaped the mess. With a little bit of water, it'd all wash away. Standing up to ask Coran for directions to where he could Annla cleaned up, Keith found Lance gagging alone. Scooping Annla onto his hip, Keith carried her over to Lance. Trying to soothe both of them as he mentally cursed Coran for disappearing on them. He was just about to start cursing out loud when Krystaal crossed their path on his rounds. Desperate for help, it was relieving to find a friend in all the chaos. Calling him over, Keith sent him off to find water for both Annla and Lance, deciding on the spot that rides were banned for the rest of the day. There were still plenty of games and vendors to explore. Annla had gotten her wish of riding the biggest ride available. They'd done other rides. Lance's stomach was probably feeling scrambling, and the last thing Keith wanted was scrambled twins. The sign said "no pregnant people", still he'd let Lance have his way given that the only real danger was a sudden stop. He couldn't blame Annla, but he could feel completely overwhelmed over not being able to help.

 

Krystaal and Coran arrived at the same time. Keith's annoyance with Coran lessening as Coran explained he'd fold Lance he would fetch some water. His husband was unable to pass the message on. Getting them both cleaned up, Annla ended up in Coran's arms. Coran's eyes filled with a deep melancholy sadness, Keith easily able to imagine the number of times he must have carried Allura around in such a manner. She even seemed scared when Krystaal got too close. He knew not all Galra were purple, but Annla hadn't been around enough to get the idea of "purple skin" being evil from her mind. He hated seeing the look of hurt of Krystaal's face, especially when all he'd done was help and was now being rejected for no reason. He was lucky enough to look human, and extra lucky that Krystaal's scent and appearance didn't trigger Lance in his weakened state. Making the decision for the group, Keith cuddled his husband close as he announced they'd be taking the afternoon slow. His goal was to slowly wind up near the palace so he could convince Lance to take a nap. The only thing exciting happening that night were the fireworks which had been scheduled for the first and last night of the movement long festival.

 

Not listening to him, his husband was a stubborn shit. Lance wanted to play everything from the ring toss to the balls and clowns. Some with more finesse than others. His husband was told off for leaning too far forward during the ring toss, it was a kids game and the woman was all about "following the rules" and "no height advantages". Lance still won, even playing fair. Choosing a white fluffy thing that he could only call a "space rabbit", Lance hugged it tightly as Annla scolded him for his bad taste, then asked Keith to win her the stuffed camel looking thing which was horrendously ugly. With nothing slipping past his husband, Lance was soon declaring it a challenge in both games and who could find the best vendor food, Coran dragged into their competition as the referee.

 

Narrowly beating his husband at the knife toss, Lance whooped his arse at the shooting games, of which there were far more. His husband didn't seem to need an initial practice shot as he adjusted for the tampering and crooked barrels of the old school style guns. His eyes narrowed, breathing even, as he oozed confidence. Out of everything, his second win was another one of his rabbits, followed by small toys for Annla, and a few kids who were awed by his skills, his second-biggest win being for Coran which some stuffed slug looking thing he seemed especially keen on. Keith hadn't thought Coran would be into stuff toys, yet proudly carried his slug around as if he'd won the damn thing. Over the following few vargas their popularity dropping with the vendor holders upon learning they used to be Paladins... due to Pidge and Hunk having made a clean sweep through the area. Pidge he could picture, Hunk... Hunk was a little harder, though when Lance mentioned he was probably trying hard to impressed Shay, Keith could see it. It was just like how he wanted to impress Lance. He wanted to feel Lance's eyes on him as he won. He wanted him to find him desirable in ways other than the support he offered. Most of all, he wanted to show Lance how strong he was. That he could handle himself no matter the mission, and that if they were separated due to work, he had a wide array of skills that would ensure his survival. Their rivalry was ultimately brought to an end by Lance's yawning, his husband trying to rub at his sleepy eyes as he carried his prize winnings including a stuffed version of Red, that Lance won by beating him at a shooting game where the aim was to hit 20 moving bullseyes in a dobosh. Keith got an impressive 16. Lance passed 20, winning a toy from the top rack of stuffed animals. He didn't know why Lance would want a stuffed version Red, what with his time in Voltron still tinged with bitterness, but didn't question it in front of Annla who worshipped Voltron, and Coran who was seeing far too much of Allura in Annla. Following the vendor rows to the palace, Coran caught onto what Keith was up to as he promised to return Annla to Daehra and Lucteal while Lance napped.

 

Leaning heavily on each other, they nearly tripped over each other's feet as they stumbled into their room. Staggering over to the bed, they both collapsed face first, Lance laughing as they landed on their prizes ungracefully. Rolling onto his back, Lance turned his head towards Keith, spluttering as he inhaled some of the fur off the white rabbit
"You know those rabbits are ugly"
"They're ugly cute..."
Nope. Not this again. Grabbing Lance's stuffed toys, Keith threw them over to the other side of the bed
"I don't know why you needed two of them"
"For the twins... and Red for you... I miss him"
Red was for him?
"I miss him too... and the rabbits are for the twins?"
Yawning, Lance rolled back to face him
"Mhmm. When we're old I can tell them about our date. It was a good date"
Wriggling closer to Lance, Keith smiled softly at his husband
"Yeah. It was. Are you ok with us not being alone? I mean, it was kind of a..."
"Shhh. Don't ruin it. It was a good day. You did a really good job with Annla"
Keith wasn't sure he had. Propping himself with his elbow, he poked at his husband's chest with his left pointer finger
"What's that supposed to mean?"
"My scalp still hurts... I thought I was going to panic when she kept pulling, but you scolded her when she needed it... you're going to be a good dad"
"Why didn't you?"
"Because I didn't know the words at the time. I didn't want to make a scene... I still had a lot of fun"
Reaching out, Keith pulled the mask off the side of Lance's head, before doing the same with his own
"I'm glad. I was wondering... with how much you threw up. I thought you'd be exhausted"
Lance groaned at him
"I am. I'm so beyond tired. I've been ready for a nap since we left this morning"
"Idiot, why didn't you tell me?"
"Because I wanted to have a good day. Now I'm going to have an awesome nap before the fireworks tonight"
Keith's lips turned downwards. His husband had had such a long day as it was. He was still recovering
"You want to go?"
"With you... I wanna see all the bright colours with you. Plus, we didn't try the fairy floss"
Snorting at Lance, Keith made a dramatic show of rolling towards his husband and looping his arm around him loosely
"I thought you had a plan. What happened to that?"
"I did... you do sugar midmorning for the energy, then savoury for lunch, and sugar again mid-afternoon. That way you don't end up feeling gross from too much sugar... and the kids run it off before hitting their low on the drive home. You don't have a big family without learning a thing or two"
"Wow... you did have a plan"
Lance tapped the side of his nose
"Mami and papi know a thing or two... are you ready to nap? Or do you want to shower first? I don't feel very sexy anymore... I think Annla got ice cream in my hair"
Keith nodded, his hand stopping to hover near Lance's hair before he slowly lowered it down. Lance's brown sweaty locks were sticky, and now he was concentrating on it, he could smell off milk
"Yeah. Would a bath be better? It'd get you off your feet"
"That actually sounds amazing. Can you little spoon with me... really just wanna hold my husband"
Lance sounded mildly surprised as if Keith didn't frequently have good ideas
"How am I supposed to wash your hair if I'm the little spoon?"
Lance frowned deeply, face wrinkled with confusion
"You... can't? I wanna cuddle you"
"How about, I cuddle you in the bath, then you cuddle me in bed?"
Relief flooded Lance's face, far too much relief. His husband really must have been mentally struggling with working the problem out
"Look at you. You're so smart... and handsome. Very handsome... And so strong. Quiznak. I wish we'd filmed the look on that vendor's face as he rushed to get rid of us"
"That was pretty funny"
"It was... ugh... I think I'm stuck here"
Moving his hand up from where he was stroking his husband's side softly to cupping Lance's right cheek, he rubbed at the skin gently
"If you want me to carry you, that's all you have to say"
"I like it when you hold me... when it's just us... I don't want people thinking I'm weak"
"Baby, you're not weak. Here, let's take a bath"
"Thank you... I love you, and I loved today"
"I did too, babe. I did too"

Chapter Text

Watching the fireworks with Keith was the perfecting ending to their day. Keith had woken him in a panic over Annla disappearing. Having gone overboard with the spicy food in a bid to beat his husband when it came to vendor food, Lance kept an arm wrapped protectively around his tender stomach as they'd rushed to get ready then headed out to find Annla. All of their initial panic for nothing when they found a dozing Annla in one of the corridors that led to their room in the palace. Crouching down, Keith shook the small princess's shoulder softly. Her black eyes fluttering open as she reached up for Keith to lift her. The scene melted Lance's heart. How could Keith possibly think he'd be a terrible father? He'd been amazing with Annla all day. Lance especially proud of the way he hadn't lost his temper with her over the small things she did wrong, like her jealousy over meeting Coran who'd they'd both been happy to see. Annla was still growing into the person she'd be. The constant onslaught of festival-goer emotions and thoughts would have been exhausting for her, in addition to the fact that now Daehra wasn't there to be her constant companion back on their home planet, she was probably feeling lonely and neglected. Sending Daehra a quick message to meet them at the Ferris wheel because they'd found Annla, Lance gathered up the princesses things before following his husband.

 

Rendezvousing with Daehra and Lucteal, Annla only roused when she was moved into Lucteal's hold instead. Lucteal was another man who'd make a great father. He hadn't kicked up a fuss over Lance being pregnant, despite how strong his feeling had been for him. He'd also come to accept Keith, despite criticising the fact that Keith was never at the outpost like he should be. That's why he'd expected more from Lucteal over the pregnancy, as despite their mutual "friendship", Lucteal had been feeling that Keith had pretty much abandoned Lance there. Not that Lance's mental state hadn't exactly said pretty much the same thing. Daehra and Lucteal were the only two there for him as withdrawal kicked his arse ten ways to Sunday. He'd been able to spend quality time with Lucteal as they'd both healed on Erathus. Throwing out an invitation to watch the fireworks with the group, Lance wasn't being completely honest. He wanted to spend the night watching them alone with Keith. Together the group decided to watch them from the Ferris wheel, what wasn't supposed to be open due to the height and something about health and safety, until Keith slipped the man a wad of GAC, and asked for half a varga up the top. Splitting into two groups, Lance and Keith wound up alone in a passenger car together, the glass becoming mirror-like, blocking out the view into the other car where their friends were.

Alone together, Lance felt like he and his husband were the only people in the world. Drawing Keith down onto the floor of the car, the glass door ensured they wouldn't miss the fireworks when they started, but for now, he had some fireworks of their own in mind. Straddling his husband's lap, Lance ran his hands up Keith's chest, pushing up his husband's shirt to reveal Keith's pale toned chest. He loved Keith's body. He loved the feeling of Keith's warm body soft beneath his hands
"Babe?"
Humming, Lance leaned down to kiss Keith. Rolling his hips suggestively as he deepened the kiss until Keith finally started getting the message. Gripping his hips, Keith tried to roll them, only there wasn't that much space and the kiss broke when Lance knocked his head on the seat
"Fuck! Shit... babe, are you ok?"

Laughing softly at his husband, Lance couldn't think it was so like them. Sure, it hurt, but he'd barely knocked it before he was laughing
"I'm fine... I'm fine... it's uh, a bit cramped in here"
"What were you thinking? Are you sure you're alright"
Rolling his eyes at Keith, Lance drew him into his hold as he wound up with Keith half in his arms and half squashed against the chair on the other side
"Babe... I was trying to make out with you. I'm already brain-damaged, so I don't think there's much left in there to damage"
"I thought you wanted to watch the fireworks"
He did. But after such a great date, and the breaking of the promise to continue what they'd started in the shower, he wanted to spend some time pampering Keith
"Oh, babe... oh, Keith. You're really too sweet and innocent some times. I wanted to make out with you, blow your mind, then cuddle for the fireworks"
His intentions went straight over Keith's pretty little head. His husband nosing against his chest as he looped his leg over Lance's waist, his free arm going under Lance's head. Assuming his cuddly octopus pose, Lance was stuck in Keith's loving hold
"You don't have to blow my mind... you're always blowing my mind. You're some kind of incredible, you know that right?"
"Babe. Your dick. I was going to suck your dick"

 

Making a squeaking noise, Keith's head shot up before he started coughing. His husband was unappreciative of Lance's laughing. He'd expected some hard blushing and stuttering, not for Keith to choke on his "squeak". Waiting for his husband to recover, the moment was kind of ruined. Lance sliding up off the floor to sit and stared at his own reflection. Regaining control of his breathing, Keith climbed off the floor to sit behind him, wrapping his arms around his waist as he rested his chin on Lance's shoulder
"Sorry...?"
Keith clearly didn't know what to say
"You don't need to say sorry"
"Babe... you have to admit, it was kind of unexpected"
"Was it?"
Keith pulled back, Lance knew he was having the struggles to work things out. His husband's tone dripped with confusion
"Yes? I mean... you said making out?"
"Never mind. It was stupid. I was stupid"
"You're not stupid. I'm allowed to be confused. Where did that come from?"
"What? Me wanting to touch my husband?"
"There's a difference between wanting to suck my dick, and making out. I mean, I'm not going to say no... I'm just confused as to how we got there"
"Because...! Because I wanted to"

 

Lance was sure he was about a heartbeat away from dying of shame. Wasn't fooling around what people did in Ferris wheels!? He was no expert on Ferris wheel etiquette, but they were alone. They'd had an amazing day. An amazing nap. He wanted to fool around and have some fun with his husband, instead, he'd made a fool of himself. He'd only given Keith one successful blow job that he could think of... Whereas his husband had made come three times that morning...

"Babe..."
"It doesn't matter"
"Look, you don't need to be embarrassed. Just talk to me, please"
Sighing, Lance let Keith force him to face him. His husband had that stupid worried look on his face, giving him no choice but to talk
"I... I was you know... thinking I wanted to do something nice for you"
His heart couldn't take it. His lap incredibly interesting when compared to Keith's concerned expression
"What? Why do you think you need to do something nice for me? And why a blow job?"
"Because!"
"Because why? I know you don't like giving head"
"That's why! We had an amazing day, Keith. It was nearly perfect. And it was nearly perfect because it was with you. Like the ice creams. You got both flavours. You won those masks and that camel Annla wanted. It was... if I hadn't been sick it would be the most perfect date I could ask for... so I wanted to do something for you. Something only I can do... so I wanted to make you feel good..."
As his stupid eyes filled with stupid tears, Keith gathered him up and into his lap
"You're an idiot. Babe. I'm not with you for the things you do for me. I'm with you because you love me. What you said about your hair clip, that... that made me so fucking happy. I don't care that you're not up to giving head yet. I don't care if you can't ever give me head. I love you. Being with you, that's what I want and need"
"But... we... you made me come so fucking hard this morning... and said you wanted me to you know, ride your face..."
Keith groaned at him
"Did you not think I enjoyed myself because I only came once? Babe, you're fucking hot as hell. I love watching you fall apart when I touch you"
That wasn't solving Lance's issue. Keith was fucking hot when he let himself go. When he wasn't worrying about treating Lance like a glass treasure. He'd told his husband a hundred times he'd tell him if it ever got too much and each time it did, even when simply kissing, Keith would pull back
"Don't you think maybe I want that too? To touch my husband? I want to do the stupid things couples do. I want to be happy with you. To do these stupid things before our babies come... I thought maybe you'd be ok with it... not that I'd be interrogated for wanting to touch you"
"I want to do all that with you too. You know you don't have to try hard to make me happy"
"You were showing off today... I know you were... if I don't have to try so hard, neither do you"

 

Raising his hand, Keith scratched the back of his head
"You noticed?"
"Of course I noticed. You're my husband"
"I was... I wanted you to be proud... and I wanted you to see that I haven't gotten sloppy"
"Your show was to what? Teach me you can still kick arse? I would hope so"
"Are you trying to be funny?"
How was he being funny? Keith was skilled. That's why Krolia was working him so hard. It was hardly astrophysics
"Babe, your mother is training you to take over Daibazaal. You're training the next bunch of recruits. The next generation of Blades. You kind of need your skills. Not that I didn't appreciate the show. I was prepared to show you how much I appreciated my big strong husband, and now we're stuck in this loop"

 

A long moment passed, then a second. Keith sending a shiver running up his spine as he whispered in his ear
"Hey, Lance. Do you want to fool around in here?"
Arching an eyebrow at Keith, Lance was momentarily struck dumb. The mood wasn't what it was. Keith had basically made him question if he was desirable enough for his husband... and now, now he was getting it. His husband was like a big dumb puppy
"Sure... do you want to try..."
"Babe, is it ok if we try something different..."
Talking over the second half his sentence, Lance tilted his head to scowl at his husband
"Do you not like letting me speak?"
"It's not... but I've got an idea..."

 

Sixtynining in a Ferris wheel cart was possible. There was zero pressure on his shoulders or head. Keith didn't care that he was kind of terrible at giving head, hesitant over having not much technique, and stuttering in his performance when Keith's lips slid over his dick. Feeling his own pleasure starting to rise, the gross feeling in his stomach lessened as his body had something else to focus on. Not wanting to come first, Lance closed his eyes, letting himself throw himself completely into his task. The pressure on his lips felt weird and kind of gross, but Keith's natural musky scent soothed his panic, his husband's muffled moans spurring him on as he brought Keith to orgasm before finally letting his own roll through him. Keith's warm wet mouth leaving him wondering if it felt as amazing for his husband each time they had sex. Keith had brought up the idea of switching, but Lance had no confidence in being the one doing the fucking. He wasn't even sure he was that great in bed, despite all the love and praise Keith showered him in. Sex between them was becoming a normal thing. He felt proud of himself for not having melted down during their date, and having been able to be "normal" all day for his husband. With minimal cleanup, Keith took control as he cleaned the wetness between his thighs with his tongue before insisting on helping Lance pull his pants back on properly. Settling down against the glass wall opposite the door, his husband wrapped his arms around him, kissing at his neck as Lance let him take his weight. While they'd been fooling around the Ferris wheel had finally come to a stop.

 

Cuddled into his husband as they watched the glass change back to see through due to dazzling firework show. Lance honestly felt content and very much loved. Keith's fingers finding his as the interlace them, resting them lightly on his tiny belly. His husband was incredible. He knew just how to comfort him, without making a scene over the fact he wouldn't have been able to handle Keith's hand or fingers on his hair. He didn't even have to tell him, it was like Keith had read his mind about his lasting jitters. Though, it was entirely possible Keith was simply being extra careful out of gratitude for not biting his dick off or slitting his throat. Today had been so perfect that he didn't want it to ever end.

 

 

*
Taking an over-excited paw to the face, Keith was initially confused as to why he was under attack until there was an excited "yip" followed by their blankets disappearing off their bed. Sleepily stumbling off their bed, he was forced to play an impromptu game of chasey with Kosmo. Lance didn't deserve this. Husband had only fallen asleep a couple of vargas earlier, Keith evicted from the bathroom somewhere around midnight, so when Lance wasn't there at dawn, he'd found his husband still hunched over the toilet without the energy to move. Keith wasn't sure how his husband didn't hate him for the countless hours he'd spent throwing up.

"Keeeith... cold..."

Distracted by Lance whimpering as he curled around Keith's pillow, Kosmo looked to his second father. Lunging at his wolf, Keith pulled the blankets from his hold
"Enough. Sit there and reconsider your life actions"
Carrying their blankets back over to their bed, Keith sort of tried to flick them out nice and smooth, before giving up in favour simply making sure Lance was covered. Kissing his husband's cheek, Lance was shaking as if he'd been thrown into an ice bath
"Babe, mum's here. Kosmo stole the blankets"
Mumbling sleepily, Lance scrunched his eyes closed tighter
"Mum?"
Krolia was "mum", but Lance seemed too asleep to tell the difference between "mum" and "mami"
"Krolia. She's got Kosmo with her. He stole the blankets..."
Lance let out a grunt for no apparent reason until he continued his mumbling
"I don't think I can get up"
Oh. Lance had thought he'd moved... He hadn't. Not in the slightest
"Babe, you don't need to"
"'m tired... can I have Kosmo cuddles?"
"You don't want my cuddles?"
"You gotta see your mum... 'm sleep"
Kissing Lance's cheek again, Keith laid himself out beside his husband, tapping the space behind Lance summoning Kosmo up behind him. Placing both paws on Lance's hip, Kosmo yipped happily before yawning and dropping his head down between both paws
"You're "cute", not "sleep""
"Sleep"
"I can stay..."
"No. Go see mum... I sleep"
"Alright. I'll set you an alarm for later, you have to make sure you have something to eat and drink... and you've already fallen back to sleep"
Keith couldn't be mad. Lance was exhausted and beyond adorable as he slept. Stealing himself a kiss, Keith then sat up to gaze sternly at his wolf
"No funny business. No stealing blankets or waking him up. He needs his sleep. No playing games, and no panicking if he vomits"
Kosmo gave him a bored yawn before huffing and closing his eyes. It seemed to him that the dopey animal hadn't missed him at all. Stupid traitor. As long as someone was giving him pats and treats, he'd happily trot off with anyone. Unless it was Lance. He'd formed a deep bond with his second father, so leaving Kosmo with Lance, he knew Kosmo would keep him safe. With the way Kosmo was acting with Lance, Keith wouldn't be surprised if Kosmo could smell Lance's pregnancy. He seemed to pick up Lance's moods without verbal trigger signs.

 

Showering and dressing, Keith didn't feel right leaving Lance. While he'd been in the bathroom, Kosmo had smoothly stolen his spot in their bed. Lance curled into him with his head resting on Kosmo's shoulder as they both snored. Grabbing his comms up, he shot a couple of photos of the pair, unable to be angry with either of them. The move was going to be a lot for Lance, especially when they move to being on standby on Daibazaal. His husband was terrible at sitting still, and once on Daibazaal, the number of tasks he'd be performing daily would drop to next to nothing, other than the training missions his mother had already organised. Keith intended to fulfil his obligations as "Recruit Trainer", but once Lance's pregnancy progressed past 20 weeks, he'd be stepping down entirely. He had no idea where Lance wanted to live. He had no idea where he wanted to raise their twins. If Lance wanted to stay at the outpost... he wasn't entirely sure he could support it. It was a clear risk to Lance and their children, and between two newborns and an outpost to run, he didn't think they'd be able to give enough commitment to either. It wasn't a conversation he was looking for to having. Lance could be far too stubborn about things. They still needed to have a proper conversation over Lance taking his medication, but on the heels of their date the previous day, he didn't want to bring Lance down back to reality. He wanted his husband to be happy... if he could make Lance happy, then maybe he'd be more open to seeing reason over his medication.

 

Triple checking Lance had food and water, Keith nearly doubled back into their bedroom the moment he stepped out the room. Lance had told him to go, but his heart wasn't in it. He didn't know what to tell his mother. He didn't know what to tell her over Lance, and what would be overstepping. He couldn't mention the pregnancy, nor did he know how to tell her that he felt he'd abandoned Lance by leaving him to continue his life alone. Not at all what he wanted for his marriage. He was completely serious about making things work, but he didn't want to sound as if he was placing all the blame on Lance, when he was just as, if not more, responsible over how things had played out. His personal promise to preserve Lance's happiness instead ended with his husband suicidal and thinking Keith was leaving.

 

Trudging from the palace, Keith dragged his feet. The day was just as bright and crisp as the day before. Lazily clouds floated across the clear blue, the sun carrying a little more bite than the previous day, but the refreshing breeze ensured the day wouldn't be too uncomfortably hot. Knowing his mother was already somewhere at the festival, Keith decided not to call ahead. She'd find him easier than he'd find her, provided she wanted him to find him in the first place. If she'd really wanted to, she simply could have called, or asked Coran. Actually, there were many numbers of ways she could have tracked him down, now that he thought of it. Kosmo being easiest. His wolf would have tracked their scents to find his way to their room. All Krolia would have had to do then was hold onto his fur, though, on second thought, he had no idea if teleporting would cause pregnancy complications and that was the last thing he wanted for his mother. She was so happy to be having this baby... She was making a real family with Kolivan... with a baby, she wouldn't be leaving behind. Keith's steps faltered, now the thought was in his brain, he could feel his abandonment issues trying to rear their ugly head's. His mother loved him. She loved and she'd had no choice but to leave him and his father behind... but if she'd never left, he... no. No. Nope. He wasn't going to go there. She'd left because she had to. They were reunited, and he was going to be a big brother. That was what he should be focusing on... instead of being jealous of a child that was still yet to be born. A child that would be raised with Krolia's unending love and comforting presence through the highs and lows. He had Lance now. Lance who was the salve to his wounded soul. Lance whose heart he'd broken, and their twins whose first scan he'd missed. I was a failure as a big brother. A failure as a little brother. A failure as a husband. And a failure as a his husband. Shoving his hands deeper into his pockets, Keith's outlook on the day flipped entirely. The sun was obnoxiously bright. The clouds were obnoxiously white. The breeze could go fuck its self. And his pity party was fucking pathetic. Things had never been better for him... so why was he so discontent?

 

Finding that people were less likely to approach him if he faked a little "purpose" in his stride, Shay was the first person he found that didn't piss him off insight. Leaning against the railing of what looked some nerd arena, Keith figured it'd be the polite thing to stop off and say hi. Moving to stand by her, Shay smiled warmly at him
"Good morning, Keith. Enjoying the festival?"
If Shay wasn't noticing his stinking bad mood, then that was a start. He knew the moment his mother set eyes on him
"Yeah. It's bigger than I thought it would be. What's going on here?"
"Pidge and Hunk had a disagreement over coding. They've entered a competition to create a light display"
That sounded boring as hell, and right up their alley... and potentially dangerous
"Do they get to create any display? Or do they have a target?"
"There is a display. Based on last night's fireworks. Did you see them? They were breathtaking"

Not as breathtaking as Lance. His husband was the most breathtaking thing in existence. Him on his hands and knees... his wet mouth around Keith's taunt dick... the stubborn denial of his own pleasure as his honied lips slid up and down his shaft.

"Yeah, they weren't bad at all. Lance and I watched them from the Ferris wheel"
Shay shuffled at Lance's name, Keith jumping to the wrong conclusion as his guard flew up
"Is there something wrong with that?"
The defensive tone caused Shay to widen her eyes as she waved her hands
"No! No, not at all. I... uh... I was wondering how he was doing, but I did not wish to overstep"
Oh shit. Shay was nice by nature. Of course, she didn't mean anything by it. Plus the last time she saw Lance, Lance had blown up
"Fuck... I'm sorry, Shay. Yeah. He's alright. He ate way too much sugar, so he's still sleeping it off. We spent yesterday with the princess who wed us, as well as Daehra and Lucteal"
"I saw you yesterday, Lance did seem happy"
"Yeah. Yeah, he was. The girl with the blue hair, her name's Annla. She's Daehra and Lucteal's little sister. Her planet was hit hard by the Galra, leaving it pretty much sand and caves. Her coming was a surprise for both of us, but Lance seemed happy enough"
"Hunk wanted to approach you..."
Shay looked to her engagement cuff, playing with the thick band
"Lance isn't mad at Hunk, or anyone really. Maybe Veronica, only because she forced him. He doesn't want to talk about it"
"He made that much clear. I'm afraid I don't understand what he suffers with"
"He doesn't so much "suffer," as he has a "condition" that causes him to lose control of his body. He's still Lance. The same dork that flew the Blue Lion when you met him"
Shay perked up. She seemed almost hopeful
"It's not a serious condition?"
"Oh... it can be...? It really depends. Seizures leave him exhausted. And it depends on where they happen, Lance could hurt himself depending on how he falls and what he lands on. Kosmo is with him now. He's good at reading Lance"

 

Shay deflated, Keith, feeling bad as she did. She was trying her hardest to understand what her friend was going through, without pushing or interfering in Lance's life. Not wanting to leave her feeling down, he pushed a smile to his lips and continued
"We have a lot to work out and get through, but he's tough. It doesn't stop him from doing what he wants to do, or prevent him from being the idiot he is. Just treat him like you always do. I know it's weighing on him over him blowing up when you were discussing your wedding plans. He's excited for both you and Hunk"
"Thank you, Keith. I'll talk to Hunk. I know he wishes he and Lance could reclaim the closeness they once shared"

That would be impossible. Lance was still deeply hurt over being basically abandoned when they were still living on the castle. He might be making the effort, yet Keith was certain that if conversation between them fell into a lull, Lance wouldn't be able to keep trying. He was friends with them, but his walls were high. His trust poorly reconstructed with staples and sticky tape, unable to stand the harsh weather that even the slightest form estrangement would bring. What Lance really needed was prolonged and quality time with his old friends to iron out those fault lines and find a new way to proper and real friendship again. They'd all grown, and like any relationship in life, time and distance caused cracks.

"It's hard with work. I know Lance would appreciate it... Maybe once he's settled on Daibazaal you could come visit? I could show you around the place"
Shay gave a nod, Keith knowing the words he'd carefully chosen had become a promise rather than an invitation
"That would be nice. I would value his input on the wedding. Hunk insists it's all alright, but I still don't understand your Earth customs"
Keith gave a snort
"No one understands Earth customs. We all fake it and make it up as we go along. Lance loves parties though, so I'm sure he'll have plenty of ideas. I better get going, Krolia is around here somewhere, and I have no idea where"
"I haven't seen her, but I will let her know you're looking for her if I do. It's was nice talking to you, Keith"
"You too, Shay. I'll see you later"

 

Back to wandering almost aimlessly through the crowds of festival-goers, each stall he passed reminded of the previous day with Lance. Embracing their old "rivalry" had been fun. His ego didn't even care when his husband kicked his arse. It only made him love Lance even more. Scanning the crowds, he didn't know where to begin looking for a pregnant Galra. Most of the rides his mother wouldn't be able to go on in her condition, which kind of left the stage performances and food. Food was out for Lance. His pregnancy didn't appreciate much of everything when it came to scents, but his mother was further along. Maybe he'd find her there? But what did he say when he did? Still mulling over his dilemma, he nearly jumped out his skin when a soft hand landed on his shoulder. Whirling around, Acxa, Krystaal, Veronica and his mother were standing behind him. Keith blinded momentarily by a bright flash that was followed by Acxa's laughing. Realising he'd been blinded by the flash of a vintage camera, Keith crossed his arms as he tried not to let his upset or annoyance show
"Real mature guys"
"I'm sorry. You were looking so grumpy, I egged Acxa on"
Rolling his eyes at his mother, he was certain Krolia wasn't sorry at all
"Whatever. Where were you? I've been looking for you since Kosmo teleported in and stole my blankets"

 

Waving her stick of fairyfloss, his mother ended up pointing at Krystaal. His mother was very clearly pregnant, the swell of her stomach practically a neon sign now that he knew of the pregnancy. He really must have had his heads up in the clouds for not having noticed sooner
"I ran into Krystaal, who at least was polite enough to pretend he was happy to see me. Where's my other son?"
"Lance is still sleeping back in our room. We... uh, had a late-night"
Veronica frowned at him, while Krolia laughed. Keith's cheeks reddening as he knew what she was going to say before she did
"I hope you're going easy on him. He has been sick"
"I know how to take care of my husband!"
Snapping at his mother, Krolia's happiness morphed into concern. Great. He'd quiznakked that one up
"Sorry. Like I said, we had a late night. He was so hyped from the carnival it took a while to get to sleep"
She wasn't buying it
"Sorry, I think my idiot son and I need to have a talk. Thanks for the fairy floss Krystaal. And Acxa, don't forget you have the whole movement off. Make sure you spend some quality time with Veronica. I have your next training planet picked already. And you..."
Reaching out, his mother grabbed him by the ear, starting to drag him away from the group
"You have some explaining to do"

 

Towed away by his mother, Krolia didn't release her hold until they were a significant distance from the other. His ear smarting from her tight grip. Angrily rubbing the spot, he didn't see what he'd done to warrant that. So much for the recruits respecting him, thought Krystaal was more a friend than simply a new recruit
"Spill"
"Spill what?"
"You. What's with the mood? Did you and Lance fight?"
"Sheesh. No. We're fine"
"Keith. You're not fine. What's going on? I've heard that Lance had a seizure. Is he ok? Is he ok being left alone?"
Why was it always about Lance? Shay wanted to know about Lance. His mother wanted to see Lance more than him. And sure, she'd asked if he was ok, but only because she thought him stressing over his husband
"Lance is fine"
"Well, that's ok then. Now, what's the mood about? You don't look happy"
"It's nothing. I'm fine"
Shit. He'd been spending too much time with Lance. He sounded just like him
"Keith. I'm your mother. Talk to me"
"It's nothing"
Gazing at him her patented "mum" look, Krolia then proceeded to shove her fairy floss at his mouth until he was forced to open it. Wrinkling his nose at the unwanted influx of dyed sugar, it took all the had to hold his temper as he pulled the stick away rather than slapping it out her hands
"What was that for!?"
"Because you won't talk to me"
"I don't know what I'm supposed to tell you!"
His mother didn't look surprised when he snapped this time. Calmly she tore a length of fairy floss free, leaving her right eyebrow raised until he crumbled
"I don't know what to tell you, but I'm quitting working for you. I know I'm supposed to be training the recruits but I'm sick of it. I'm sick to death of it. Lance isn't fucking fine. He wanted to die, mum. He wanted to die because he thought I didn't love him anymore. You keep sending me on missions and according to Shiro, I have no fucking clue how to look after my husband. I don't. I don't know what I'm doing. He's supposed to take all these pills to help with his seizures. How did you even know he had a seizure? He doesn't want everyone knowing, though it's probably too late for that if you know"
Keith's words fell in a jumbled mush as he tried to get everything out in one breath. Taking a deep breath, he let himself drop back to lean against the light pole behind him
"I don't know what I'm doing mum. I don't know how to be married. I'm never there when he needs me. And he does... but... I keep trying to show him I love him and that's not making it better. So I don't know what to do. Because I do love him. And he says I should be there for you, but I'm... I can't do this anymore"
"You can't do training, or you can't do Lance?"
Keith's heart skipped an uncomfortable beat. He had Lance and their twins to think of. His mother was carrying his replacement. All of a sudden it felt like too much. His chest tightened as he struggled to take a breath. Dropping her fairy floss, Krolia took his face in her hands
"Keith, breath for me"
He was trying. In through the nose. Hold. Out through the mouth. He knew it a million and one times over. All the times he'd talked Lance through the same thing. And now...
"I love him..."
Tears welled in his eyes. The "but" didn't need to be said given he'd already stated it
"Then we can work the rest out. Focus on your breathing"
When the sob bubbled up from his throat, he sucked down a breath
"I don't know what to do. He won't take his medication. He's absolutely exhausted. He wants to come train recruits with me, but I'm worried about his health. He's going to be mad at me for talking to you about it, but Shiro... says I'm not doing it right. I thought if he was happy, then... then maybe he'd be more open to taking his medication... but now I don't know..."
"Keith, Lance is a grown man. Lance is your husband. You've been the one there for him, not Shiro. You know what works with him"
"Do I? Because I seem to have missed a hell of a lot not being there! 7 phoebs... it's been 7 phoebs for him. How much is he keeping hidden as he pretends to be happy?"
"7 phoebs? It's been 5 since New Years"
"Time works differently there. It's been 7 for him. Or about 7. He's been off running around his sector in space, not caring if he had a goddamn seizure in the middle of nowhere"
"Ah. Sorry, pregnancy brain makes you forgetful... Keith, if I'm working you too hard, you shouldn't be afraid to tell me"
Keith was still struggling to breathe. He was deathly embarrassed over crying in public where his mother had to comfort him. Her hands felt as if they were the only thing stopping him from sliding down the light pole
"But you need me. And Lance needs me..."
"Keith. I'm fine. I have Kolivan by my side. I'm sorry if I've been putting all this pressure on you. I believe in you and your talents, so I can't help but entrust you with more missions. You have proved yourself over and over. You've made so much progress with those recruits. You've built your name and a reputation you live up to. I should have considered you and Lance further. That's on me. I couldn't be prouder of you. And you know it's not your job to take care of me. It's mine to take care of you"
"Everything... I'm sorry. I shouldn't be crying. I was going to ask why you didn't come with Kosmo"
"Keith. You don't need to apologise. I..."
Keith was done with the subject. Well, more like he wanted to be done with it
"It's fine, mum. I don't know why I melted down like that... Lance would be mad at me for..."
"You haven't spilt any of his secrets. Keith, you know you can talk to me, don't you?"
"I know. Everything hit me all at once again. I want to... I don't know how to be a big brother. I don't know how to be a parent. Aren't you scared?"
"Keith, there's a big difference between being a brother and a father. I still have a few phoebs before I give birth"
"But aren't you scared? What if something happens? What if something goes wrong during the delivery? Or... or something happens to the baby"

 

Releasing his face, Krolia pulled him into a tight hug
"Galra genes are strong. Your new sibling will be strong too. Has it been weighing on you?"
"You saw my memories. I couldn't help a single one of those kids... I don't remember their names or their faces anymore... but what if... what if something happens and they end up in an orphanage or in the system. I don't want their lives being like mine"
"I'm sorry I wasn't there when your father passed. I'm sorry you went through so much pain and suffering. But you're not alone now, Keith. You have Lance for a start. He loves you very much"
That was twice he felt as if his mother had rejected him. Yes, she had Kolivan by her side. And he had Lance now. And yes she said she relied on him... but... She could have started by saying he had her...
"Thanks, mum"

 

Parting from her hold, Keith wrapped his arms around himself as he wiped at his face. He wasn't sure he felt any better for having talked to his mother.
"Keith, you know you're my firstborn, and the way I feel about you is never going to change. This baby isn't going to change that. I love you"
Those were the words he wanted to hear. Normally throwing one's self at someone was Lance's move, yet Keith still threw himself at his mother
"Oof! Oh, Keith. Nothing could or would ever change the way I feel for you"
"I'm sorry. I am happy for you. I guess I can't... it's not fair that they'll always have you there when I had to wait over a decade and a half to meet you..."
"Wait. You didn't think I was sending you on all these missions because I didn't want you around"
Part of him had wondered. Keith wanted to say no. He wanted to say that the thought hadn't wormed its way into his brain more than once. Still, he hadn't been thinking of it given he was too busy being angry and embarrassed
"I wasn't until you just said so"
“I love you. Here, how about we find somewhere to sit and talk properly?”
“I’m ok, mum. I’ll be ok…”
“Nope, you’re my son. I want to hear everything. Starting with why is Lance having seizures, and how we can both help him, and how I can help your marriage”
Keith couldn’t go into the full history on that one. But maybe having his mother talk to his husband about his medication would give them both insight they were sorely lacking. The incite of a parent rather than two galactic dumb-arses who were way in over their heads
“You did drop your fairy floss... Why don’t we make our way over to the food vendors and go from there?”
Krolia gave a laugh
“I hate to tell you, but with how I feel right now, I don’t think we’ll be leaving there any time soon”
Keith jerked back a little in confusion
“You get hungry when you’re pregnant?”
“Oh, my boy. You have a lot to learn”

Chapter Text

Babies... Keith's head was filled with everything baby. His legs were as shaky as a newborn fawn as he stumbled along beside his mother's side. She hadn't held back. On any of it. Keith wasn't sure if he was relieved that his dick was semi-normal by Galra standards. Sure. Not all of them did what his did, so it wasn't common in recent era's, but it wasn't completely uncommon either. Though it usually happened when they considered their partners their other half after years of trust... Not when the relationship was new and fresh, and not so much between same-sexed couples. So his dick had a mind of its own in that aspect. Or that was the general gist of what he got. There was something about cross-species and Altean's and he didn't need to know that Kolivan had never swelled up in his mother, and yet, he'd been cursed with that information against his will. No amount of mental soap and steel wool would ever expunge that from existence. They hadn't even touched the topic of Lance other than the very top layer of him not being alright, his interest in Galra pregnancy failed to stay a background interest. Once his mother started she didn't shut up. No matter how many times he'd groaned, dry wretched or covered his ears. And Kolivan... Kolivan was loud. Keith nearly threw up on that fact alone. He didn't need to know his father was a "grunter" while Kolivan was "loud". No amount of therapy would help him. Why did he need to know any of this?! Why was he being punished!? He wanted his husband. Lance wouldn't subject him to the "ins and outs" of his parent's sex life. Even phrasing it like that led to his soul-draining away a fraction more. Kolivan wasn't loud... Loud Kolivan... How was he supposed to face Kolivan again?

Still in a daze, Keith could see Shiro and Curtis approaching, both men happily holding hands as they took in the fun of their festival. He envied them. There they were, oblivious to Kolivan in bed, while he was haunted. Pushing his boyfriend towards them, Keith kept walking until he smacked into Shiro's wide chest. Krolia sighing at him, while Curtis hung back behind Shiro
"Keith? You ok there, bud?"
"Kolivan's loud in bed"
Blurting out the most tormenting thought of all, Krolia snickered at him. Shiro awkwardly patting his back, as if that would magically make him feel better
"Uh... Good for him?"
Keith shook his head, looking up to meet Shiro's eyes with a silent desperation in his to be saved. Covering her mouth as she continued to laugh, his mother was horrible
"I gave the birds, the bees, and the babies, talk. He's been like this for the last varga"
Shiro's face morphed into second-hand embarrassment as he sympathised
"Oh, man. I'm sorry to hear that"
Dropping his gaze back to Shiro's chest, Keith mumbled
"It's in my head"
"Did you learn anything useful?"
"Kolivan's loud in bed"
"I don't think that counts as useful. Where's Lance? I thought he'd be with you?"
"He's lucky. He escaped. He's sleeping... Shiro..."
"I know. I heard you. Are you sure he's alright on his own? Maybe I should go check on him"
"He's got Kosmo. If you want to be helpful, you can take mum"
Snorting at him, Shiro's robotic arm patted his head
"Sorry, little bro. I've got an arm-wrestling match to win"
"Take me with you? Please... I can't take any more"
"Keith, you're being overdramatic. You're part Galra, and though you and Lance aren't ready for children yet, you should know about your heritage, whether you choose to adopt or use an egg donor"
Keith whined at Shiro. He definitely was not ready to be a father. Not after what his mother said. Babies now took the top list of terrifying things. Projecting out both ends. Endless nights of screaming. Crying with no idea why. Mood swings. Leaking boobs. A constant need to pee... Puking. Poop all the way up and out the nappy. Sudden infant death. Defects. Potential haemorrhaging during birth. Strokes. His knees just about gave out. His mother was supposed to make him feel better. Not scare the ever-living quiznak out of him. How was Lance even functional. He had to know about all these things
"I think you've broken, Krolia. Would you like to join us? Curtis has a tendency to really get into these kinds of things. He's nearly as entertaining as the match itself"
Curtis grumbled about his boyfriend, but Keith could hear the love. It only served to make him miss the grounding presence of his husband. He never should have climbed out of bed. All he'd done since climbing out of bed was be hassled by spiralling thoughts and nearly upset Shay. A whole lot of "nothing accomplished".

"How could I say no to you, Shiro? It's a much better invitation than walking around with Keith like this"
Shiro laughed, his brother was traitor. His brother had also been painfully right. He had no idea what he'd gotten himself into... or gotten he and Lance into. He needed his husband. Lance would know what to say... hopefully... Mumbling Lance's name, Shiro patted him on the head again
"Curtis, do you want to go check on Lance real quick for us? I would send Keith, but he's defaulted to factory settings"
"I don't mind... but do we have the time?"
"We have a little over 40 doboshes before the first match starts. That should be enough time for you to check on Lance and to get back in time to start checking out the competition"
Turning Keith, Shiro placed both hands on his shoulders and pushed him forward
"Come on, you. Hot sweaty arm wrestlers are just the thing to brighten your mood"
"Not as hot as Lance"
Leaning in, Shiro proceeded to prove he was able to fuck with him just as bad as Krolia did
"Trust me. Curtis goes crazy for this, in more ways than one. He barely keeps it in his pants. Maybe you should enter? I bet Lance would go all weak-kneed"

Keith bit down a silent groan. His family were a bunch of mean weirdos. As he felt himself walking forward, he could only ponder as to why he even let them into his life, to begin with.

*
Woken by Kosmo barking, Lance hadn't had enough sleep. His head throbbed, and his throat felt as if someone had held his mouth open then poured gravel down his throat. Confused by what was going on, he made to climb off the bed, only for Kosmo to growl at him. The wolf seemed to have grown in size as he paced between the bed and the door. It wasn't until he heard a "thud" against the door that his heart started racing. Someone was out there. Someone was out there and they were doing something. If it'd been Keith or one of their friends, then Kosmo wouldn't be going crazy. Scrambling off the bed, Lance grabbed his blades from his boots, Kosmo growling at him again, then grabbing him by the hand when Lance went to move towards the door. Pulling his hand from Kosmo's mouth, Lance sidestepped silently to the wall, following along to the door. His senses narrowed and focus on the shuffling sound on the other side of the door, waiting for them to make their move. Each tick a dozen beats of his heart... but nothing was happening. Looking at Kosmo and giving him the slightest nod, the wolf teleported from the bedroom. A clear yelp coming from the other side. Not wanting Kosmo to kill someone, and not completely sure it wasn't a case of the wrong room because all the passages looked exactly the same, he whistled softly, Kosmo reappearing as the sounds of heavy footsteps running gradually faded away.

All at once, he deflated against Kosmo as the wolf trotted to him. Wrapping his arms around him, Lance buried his face in Kosmo's thick fur as he tried to calm down
"Thanks, boy. I'm ok... I'm ok"
Whining at him, Kosmo gave a yip and wriggled out his hold, before head butting softly at Lance's stomach with a kind of" questioning yip". Lance would have laughed if his heart wasn't still going a zillion miles an hour. With shaky arms, he wrapped them back around Kosmo who teleported them over to the bed. Kosmo was trying to make him rest, but it honestly felt like he'd left his stomach back over near the door. He'd always know Kosmo was so much smarter than he played. He obviously knew Lance was pregnant... Kosmo probably smelt it on him. He knew such things were possible. He had been a "pregnant whore" before. Feeling his fears turning to tears, Lance remained semi-kneeling as he started to cry softly. Keith had barely been gone a few vargas. He remembered telling his husband to go, and now he was having a meltdown because Keith wasn't there to hold his hand. He had no idea what he would have done if they had entered his room. He'd sent Kosmo out there when they could have hurt him. He hadn't thought. He hadn't acted rationally. He'd grabbed his blades in preparation to attack. If he hadn't recognised the person... he could have... he probably would have... He... It wouldn't have been the first time that he'd murdered someone. There they were... He and Keith playing happily like he didn't have a past. Like he deserved to be happy. To start a family. How many people had he taken away from their family?

Whining softly, Kosmo wriggled to get his head up, nosing at his tears. He didn't want to upset Kosmo. He didn't want to upset Keith. Keith was so excited about their twins. He'd thought he would be happier about it all. He thought he and Keith would choose when it was time, when their marriage was actually functioning. He had to be fine by the time Keith came back. His husband was trying too hard to make him feel loved and safe
"I'm ok, Kosmo. Thank you. I think I want to get some more sleep, but I can't do it when you're sitting on the blankets. Hop off for me, then you can have all the pats and cuddles you want"

Jumping down off the bed, Kosmo trotted over to the door where he sniffed loudly at the bottom seam line, before starting to scratch at it. His fur son sending his heart racing all over again at the thought that someone could still be standing there. Someone waiting for him... His lungs already felt tight, as if verging on a panic attack. Knowing that it wouldn't leave until he knew for sure that no one was there. Lance moved much more carefully and slowly as he climbed off the bed again. His steps were just as light as he moved to the door, slamming his hand down on the door button.

Darting forward, Kosmo grabbed something off the floor. Lance kicking into overdrive with the panic the action brought. What was he thinking!? Did his fur son really not have as many brain cells as he thought he did? Grabbing Kosmo by his collar, Lance wrestled him back into the bedroom, hitting the door button blindly as he moved to stand over Kosmo, feet planted both sides of the menace. As the door silently slid closed, Lance grabbed the object from Kosmo's, Kosmo having the nerve to look proud of himself
"Go get on the bed. You're a shit. You don't do that. You cannot, I repeated, you cannot go around putting whatever you want in your mouth. Don't scare me like that again"
Kosmo's tail kept thumping. Lance's words going right over his head as he tuned him out
"Bed. Now!"
Huffing, Kosmo teleported away, the wolf scratching back the top blankets to climb underneath with his arse hanging out. Tail still wagging. His son was an idiot.

The object in Kosmo's mouth turned out to be an envelope. Sliding the tongue out, no mysterious powered poofed out. Holding the envelope with his left hand, he carefully pulled out what seemed to be a series of photos with his right. Frowning at the top photo, it was of his date the previous day. With the envelope behind the photos for support, his hands grew shakier. The first 9 photos were of his date with Keith. All of them taken from a distance. All of them of him, zoomed in so his face took up the majority of the frame... He didn't understand. He couldn't understand. Why would anyone take photos of him? He was on a date with his husband. He hadn't hurt anyone... Hitting the last two last photos, his eyes widened as he thumbed them on an angle so both were visible. Vomit shooting up his throat, as the room swayed. One photo was his face scratched out. The second the stylised "y" he still hadn't recovered from. The stupid "y" that he found himself searching for on each customer that visited his bar, which was followed by the moment of fear when he couldn't see their arms. He loved his job. He lived for his job. That didn't mean he didn't have those fears. That didn't mean that some days he wanted to hide because of those at his outpost. Shaking so hard he fumbled the photos, Lance let out a squeak as the photos went up in flames, gone in a couple of ticks as if the envelope had never been real. No ash or scorch marks on the floor. No scent of burning paper. Nothing... just... This had to be a dream. It'd been phoebs... Phoebs... He hadn't pissed anyone off lately, or anyone that he thought had a connection to those people...

Sensing Lance's spiral, Kosmo teleported off the bed. The sudden touch of his long wet tongue against Lance skin made him shudder. Ghosting fingers sliding across his throat. The sensation of hot breath against his ear. His breathing catching in his throat as his mind went blank.

*
Arm wrestling wasn't Keith's thing. Shiro and Krolia were locked in a heated debate over the competition line up. Shiro had the advantage with his robotic arm, but some of the competitors... you couldn't tell where the muscles ended and their heads started. They were so jacked that Keith wasn't sure they had any kind of life outside of the gym. Maybe it was just him, but liked men like Lance and himself. Neither of them looked particularly strong on the outside, but completely dominate a fight if needed. Long and lean, he loved his husband's strong arms, and even stronger legs. The soft warm hands that felt full of love, yet had and could kill if pushed so far. These guys reminded him of cheap plastic figures stuck in place, whereas Lance was flexible as hell. To an overly impressive degree... More than Keith was... which was frustrating. Lance got into enough trouble without being able to squeeze into even more trouble. Left to ponder what his husband would think of all of this, he wondered if it would be better to just slip away back to their room. Only, he didn't have the words he needed yet. He was in love with his twins, yet fucking terrified thanks to his mother. He loved Lance more than them, so why was it that when he tried to reassure himself that if something happened Lance being safe and well was his priority, that he couldn't get the thought of their hands and faces out his mind. Did that mean they meant more to him than his husband? Would there be a time when they meant more to Lance than he did? He felt like he'd missed the bottom stair and was stuck in the horrible long moment of limbo.

When Curtis finally joined them, the first match had begun. Holding his left forearm, Curtis sidled up to him, confusing him with his meek manner. He'd only gone to check on Lance, what possibly could have gone wrong
"Curtis, everything alright?"
"Have I done something wrong?"
Keith blinked half a dozen times
"No? Did something happen? Did Lance say something? If he's having a panic attack or a meltdown he sometimes acts without control"
"I didn't even get to check on Lance. Kosmo bit me"
Rolling up his sleeve, the marks were bloody where his wolf had latched on. Keith's eyes went wide at the sight. Kosmo knew Curtis. He'd solicited pats from him more than once before
"What did you?!"
Yelled at to "shut up", Curtis didn't make his mistake of yelling. Instead, he dropped to a more of an angry hiss
"Me? I was pacing out there trying to figure out if I should knock, or let myself in case Lance was sleeping. I didn't want to disturb his rest if he wasn't feeling well still. Then when I hit the door button, I mustn't have hit it properly because I walked straight into the door. Then Kosmo teleported out and bit me!"
Keith groaned, burying his face in his hands. Why the quiznak was Kosmo such an idiot!? Curtis was a friend. He knew Curtis was a friend... yet... Lance was also pregnant. Kosmo hadn't seen him since before he fell pregnant... His wolf was only trying to protect Lance in his vulnerable state... but that didn't make him any less of an idiot. It was Curtis! Curtis had the patience of a Saint!
"I think I know what happened. Kosmo wasn't trying to hurt you. He was trying to protect Lance. He's nearly telepathic with Lance's moods. I am so sorry. Lance was most likely asleep, maybe even having a nightmare, and Kosmo saw anyone who wasn't me as a threat. We should get that cleaned up..."
Curtis slumped back in his seat
"I feel stupid for not knocking now. It felt wrong to just walk in on him..."

Keith's appreciation of Curtis only rose further. Curtis genuinely cared for Lance, and wanted to respect his boundaries. Having been through so much with Shiro, Curtis most likely understood how triggering an unknown presence could be
"Lance wouldn't want you bitten. Maybe next time try knocking, then letting yourself in? I don't know what to say. He's never acted like that before. Does it hurt? It looks like it should hurt"
"Honestly, the moment he latched on I... I think I screamed before I ran"
The confession was low, Curtis's pride damaged by Kosmo of all things. Screaming because of Kosmo... That was usually Lance as he was tackled down and licked to death
"If it makes you feel better, Kosmo's tackled Lance and made him scream before"
"It doesn't. He's a menace"
Sounding huffy, Curtis only made it funnier by sounding exactly like Lance. The laughter he gave not appreciated as Curtis covered his bitten arm, before crossing both arms and glaring down at the arm wrestling ring
"Sorry, Curtis. Lance frequently calls Kosmo a menace"
"Lance is right. See if he gets extra treats next time he's on the Atlas. He's gone and done his dash"

No wonder Lance and Curtis had found common ground so easily. They were way too alike... Having listened in on their conversation, Krolia leaned right over Keith. Showering his lap with the pastry crumbs of the weird thing she was munching on
"You never got to check on Lance, did you?"
His mother was right. Kosmo had chased Curtis away before he'd had the chance
"No... If Kosmo is with him, and that aggressive, then he should be fine, shouldn't he? You did say he was sleeping when you left him, didn't you, Keith?"
Keith nodded. Still, a sense of dread had started to rise from the pit of his stomach. Lance could have been having a panic attack on the other side of the door. He could have had a nightmare. He could have been throwing up again... What if he'd stressed himself into another seizure?
"Yeah. Had a late night, maybe I should go?"
Krolia sighed at him, spilling more crumbs as she nearly crushed the pastry while waving off his comment
"If he's sleeping, you should let him sleep. Both of you are so stubborn about resting when you need to. Still, it's strange for Kosmo to bite..."
Shooting up, Keith clenched his fists. Ignoring the fact he'd basically hit his mother by accident in his haste, Keith didn't feel reassured by either "adult" he'd been seated between. His life felt like a kaleidoscope of chaos, and he needed a more "adult" adult
"That's it. I'm going to check on him"
"Keith"
Calling his name, Keith ignored his mother. She'd filled his head with a hundred and one things to think of. He literally didn't think his brain able to absorb anything more.

Chapter Text

Letting himself into their bedroom, Kosmo growled at him softly before yipping and teleporting around the room. Sitting in the middle of their room, under the now open vent, was the bedside table. The objects from its top strewn across the room. Sniffing deeply, Keith smell Lance's fear and panic... then the subtle hues of blood. Feeling his baser instincts rumble to life, Keith jogged the few steps over to the bedside table, quick to climb up and hoist himself up into the air vent. He didn't have to try hard to find his husband. Lance was unconscious on the right side of the vent, his shirt shed. His hand still laxly gripping one of his boot knives, as if he'd been ready to attack anyone who followed him up. Reaching out to take the knife, Keith slipped a little. He'd hand to jump up to catch the edge of the vent opening, then hold himself up with the strength of his arms alone
"Kosmo...!"

 

Teleporting him back down from the vent opening, Keith stared up at his new dilemma. Lance hadn't moved an inch when Keith had called for Kosmo
"Kosmo, get Lance"
Whining then yipping, Kosmo tilted his head to gaze up at the vent, before letting out a huge bark. If it was a simple matter of climbing up and pulling Lance back down, he could have done it himself. But Keith had no way of knowing how Lance would react to being moved, nor did he wish to risk hurting their twins
"Kosmo! Get Lance out the vent and onto the bed!"

 

Proving himself incompetent, Keith had to lift Kosmo up to the vent, his muscles straining under the weight, then his wolf finally cooperated by teleporting himself and Lance onto the bed, Lance bouncing lightly as Kosmo quiznakked the landing. Coming too, Lance dragged himself the small distance to curl up in the corner of the bed as if trying to make himself as small as possible. Something had to have happened. Something had to have scared his husband pretty badly if he'd fled up into the vents.

 

Keeping his movements slow and deliberate, Keith climbed up onto the bed
"Lance? Babe, it's Keith"
Not answering, Keith's hand was smacked away as he went to reach for his husband. Keith knew he was acting out of fear, yet the action still stung
"Babe, I'm not going to hurt you. It's me. It's Keith"
Catching his husband's hand a Lance went to smack at him again. Holding his husband's wrist, Lance growled at him. Darting his hand past Lance's other hand, Keith tilted Lance's head up to look at him. Lance's eyes were clenched tightly closed. Leaning in, Keith tugged Lance's captured hand back, forcing his husband to hug him as he moved to nuzzle into Lance's cheek
"You're ok. You're ok, babe. It's me. Can you take a deep breath through your nose for me? See? It's my scent"

 

Growling and huffing, his husband's breathing seemed to take forever to calm. Lance still guarded as he opened his eyes. Feeling Lance moving, his husband pushed him back, cocking his head to stare at him in confusion
"You're ok. You had a panic attack. You with me?"
Lance's eyes darted from Keith's face up to the open vent, then back to him
"I found you up in the vent. Can you tell me what happened?"
Shaking his head, Lance brushed him off as he climbed around Keith and off the bed, striding into the bathroom before closing the door wordlessly.

 

Unsure whether to follow Lance or not, Keith found himself sitting on the edge scolding Kosmo for biting Curtis instead. Kosmo happily taking all the attention he was getting, his tail thudding happily against the floor as he rubbed at Keith's hands in an attempt to get even more pats than what was possible. It was times like this that he was wished Kosmo could talk. He knew what happened with Lance, while Keith was left on the sidelines until his husband was ready to talk. He knew he probably should have moved the bedside table back, but there was still the matter of replacing the vent cover... which while it wasn't urgent, it did need to go back up before they fell asleep and preferably glued back up there so Lance couldn't make another escape attempt. Maybe he was acting cowardly by not following Lance into the bathroom, but his fears had definitely gotten the better of him. How was he supposed to explain to Lance that in the short time he'd spent with his mother, he wasn't sure now was the right time to be having them? There was no harm in waiting. Plenty of couples waited until they were in their 30's before having children. So what if they were 50 when their kid turned 20? All that mattered was that they loved them. Lance hadn't even been all that happy about them...

As if Kosmo could read his thoughts, his wolf yipped at him as he teleported away, sitting in front of the bathroom door as he narrowed his eyes towards Keith. Their twins weren't even born and Kosmo was already taking their side... All the half-Galran wanted was a few vargas to sit down alone and think things through, without the worry of Lance having some kind of episode. He was secretly sure that made him a horrible husband if he wanted a break from Lance already. His husband had told him he needed to rely on him until he was a little stronger... now he wanted to run away. The worst thing was knowing that if he asked Lance for a little space to work his head out, his husband would give it to him, no questions asked.

 

Left there for half a varga, Keith knee started bouncing with impatience. He had no idea what was taking Lance so long and felt as if he'd missed the acceptable timeframe to follow him in. When his husband finally came out, with a bandage wrapped around the upper part of his left thigh, Lance walked straight over to their bed, crawling in beside Keith then laying with his back towards him, Kosmo unhappy that his human had ignored him as he slunk over to lay in front of the bedroom door with a dejected huff. His husband smelt of the Altean body wash that came with the room
"Babe?"
"C-can you hold me?"
"Uh. Sure... What's going on with you?"

 

Moving up to spoon around Lance, Lance shook in his hold. This wasn't normal
"Babe, did something happen? Did you have a nightmare?"
Nosing into his pillow, Lance shook harder
"I... I... Can you talk to me... I can't..."
"Ok, ok. Shhh... we don't want to trigger another seizure. You're ok... Um... Um... Oh, Curtis came to check on you earlier. He got all flustered outside the door because he didn't want to walk in on you, then he decided to take a peek and see if you were awake... and he walked right into the door. I guess you didn't hear him? Kosmo did. He even bit him... That's why I was wondering if you had a nightmare... Curtis said he screamed like a girl and ran away as fast as he could"
"C-Curtis was here?"
"Yeah, baby. Did you hear him?"
"No... Nightmare"
"It must have been really bad. I found you in the air vent"
"Don't remember..."
"What happened to your leg?"
Taking his hand, Lance lifted it off, wriggling away from him. Mumbling at him, Lance went about pulling blankets up to cuddle into
"I don't remember. I'm going back to sleep. You go back to the festival"
"Babe?"

 

What had he done wrong? Lance said to talk to him? And to hold him? He'd done what Lance wanted. Even with his gut still rolling with his thoughts
"Lance, I don't get what's going on with you"
"It's nothing"
"Babe, I know you better than that. You're still shaking"
"It's fine"
"What aren't you telling me?"
"Nothing"
"Something's obviously up"

 

Rolling over, Lance seemed nervous. He hadn't made to move towards him if anything he'd moved backwards as he'd rolled. Keith knew it! He knew it, something else had happened, sure, Lance still had screaming nightmares, but nothing this bad for a while
"See. I knew something was up. What is it?"
"Curtis wasn't the only one who came to the room"
Keith wrinkled his brow. Lance seemed to be struggling with his words. There was a small extended gap between each word
"What do you mean?"
"I mean... I heard something and checked the door and there was this envelope. It had like photos of our date and a picture... of that red "y" shape... and I went blank after that"

 

Keith frowned deeply. He hadn't seen anything like an envelope. The half-Galran's voice rough. This was the last thing his head needed right now. They hadn't heard anything. They hadn't found that planet. Shiro would have told them if something was wrong, or if there was some kind of danger
"What? Where is it? Did they try anything!?"
Lance gave a tiny shake of his head
"It burst into flames... I don't have it..."
Keith filled with relief. Envelopes didn't simply go exploding for no good reason. Instead, it was far more likely that Lance had dreamt the whole thing. Half asleep and scared from Curtis being a moron... Yeah... That made sense
"That sounds like a pretty bad dream..."
Narrowing his eyes, Lance scowled
"It wasn't a dream"
"Babe"
"It wasn't a dream!"
Now he was upsetting Lance. He wasn't trying to be a dick about it, it just seemed super unlikely. Lance had had wild nightmares before
"Lance, you were half asleep and scared..."
"Are you serious right now? It happened!"
"Ok. Ok, babe. But it's not like you... You could have still been sleeping..."
"Get out!"
"Lance..."
"No. I was going to hide it from you. I was going to act like it was nothing. I was going to try and work it out myself. But I fucking tell you and you don't believe me. You jump right to "it must have a been a nightmare". "It must have been a hallucination". I thought my husband might actually believe me... Go away. Go back to the festival or something. I can smell you've got other things on your mind. I don't need your stress too"

 

Lance rolled away from him again. Keith had well and truly fucked that one up
"Babe... I'm not saying I don't believe you, but... Why now?"
"I don't know..."
"Are you sure it wasn't a dream?"
"Maybe... maybe not. I'm going back to sleep so you should go"
Lance was doubting him. Doubting that he could approach it as something serious after calling it a dream... which he still thought it was. He'd bet GAC that was all in Lance's head. Keith had been desperate for time to think alone. Now he was being evicted, he didn't want to leave. A tiny part of his brain believing what Lance had said. The tiny part that he should have listened to instead of upsetting his husband
"Alright... Babe... you can see how I thought it was all a dream, can't you?"
"You're my husband... I thought maybe you'd believe me, but you're probably right. It was probably my dumbarse hallucinating..."
Lance's voice quivering, his sentence trailing off with a soft sniffle
He couldn't go. Not now that he'd reduced Lance to tears. Sighing to himself mentally, Keith shifted over, wrapping his arm around Lance's waist, at least Lance didn't slap him away or attempt to escape his hold this time
"I'm sorry. It's just... really confusing. It's been so long"
"Don't you think I know that! That's why I struggled with telling you..."
"Ok. Ok... Can I still stay and hold you?"
"It's your room too... I'm going back to sleep"
So Lance hadn't forgiven him. He was silently testing him. If he left then Lance would think he didn't believe him, and if he stayed that meant to Lance that he wanted to be there? Silent tests were the worst, especially when Keith didn't think he deserved it. Lance already knew his mind was preoccupied with other things. He was failing this mystery test no matter what he did.

 

*
Fresh from his "hard-fought win", Lance found himself disturbed by an overly loud and proud Shiro as Shiro flopped back onto the bed and shook his leg until he got his attention.

Lance hadn't been able to sleep. His leg throbbed from where he'd nicked himself with his blade, before or during his escape up into the air vents. He didn't remember climbing up there. He didn't really remember much of anything after the photos went up in flames. He'd been unable to fall back to sleep, mentally kicking himself for telling Keith about the photos. Of course, his husband wouldn't believe him. He was well aware of how crazy he sounded. With the way he'd been rehearsing what to say in the shower, he'd sounded crazier each time he'd said it. He hadn't wanted to tell Keith, but it was too big for him to deal with on his own. What if something happened to his husband because of this, and he'd simply sat there quiet about it all? He'd never be able to forgive himself for it. He knew what he saw. It wasn't a nightmare. It was as real to him as Keith's arm around his waist had been. His husband laying behind him tensely for the better part of a varga before mumbling "I'm sorry. I'm going to go", then leaving him there to cry it out alone. Not that he actually cried. No. He'd grown teary over Keith not believing him, then spent the... however long since Keith left, staring across at the grey wall on the other side of the bed. He didn't understand why he'd been so stupid. He was mentally ill. Keith was probably always being forced to choke down his real feelings about him. He'd smelt his husband's rejection on him the moment he'd come out of whatever episode his stupid mind had chosen to lock him in. Keith didn't want to be there. He didn't want to be with him. Or to be with their children. His husband was lying to him without even opening his mouth.

 

Talking a hundred miles an hour about his win, Lance knew he was only going to ruin Shiro's mood. That's all he did. He wanted to bolt from the feeling in Shiro's hand on his leg, despite the fact, there were three blankets between him and Shiro's hand. Curling up he covered his face with his hands and the blankets, trying to block Shiro from existence. He so badly wanted to be happy for him. He knew this whole "arm-wrestling thing" was a thing for Shiro and Curtis. Like his and Keith's thing was blowing stuff up. Or was...

 

"Lance? Are you ok in there? I thought Keith was here with you"

Interrupting his own rant, Shiro climbed up into what was supposed to be Keith's spot. Keith must have taken Kosmo with him, because Lance had no warning before Shiro was walking in like he owned the place. Gently Shiro worked the blankets back from Lance's face
"Hey, what's all this?"
Shiro's scent was wrong. He could tell he was upsetting the older man with his actions. Placing his human hand on Lance's shoulder, Shiro squeezed softly
"We're going out to celebrate my win. Curtis and I. We wanted to invite you and Keith to join us... but if he's not here, I guess that means I'm in charge of getting you up and ready"
"I want to stay here..."
"Ah! I knew you could speak. My plan worked. What did Keith do now?"
"Who said Keith did anything?"
"So my brother didn't?"
Lance snorted wetly, grimacing as he snotted down his face. Wiping his nose on his hand, he then twisted back to look at Shiro
"He did... but I guess when your husband's insane, there's only so much insanity you can take"
"You're not insane. Keith's... he was a bit spooked. Krolia had "the talk" with him. He was walking around looking pretty spacey after finding out that Kolivan is loud in bed"
There were a lot of things in life that Lance had no interest in. Kolivan... doing that... with Krolia... and being loud. No
"Eeeeew"
"He seemed spooked. I think she broke him. So I wouldn't try to take it too personally"
"How can I not...? He wouldn't believe me, Shiro. He told me it was in my head"

 

Turning away again, Shiro decided it was perfectly ok to pluck him up into his lap like Keith, as the older man sat up
"None of that. Whatever happened, you have a right to whatever you feel. Your feelings are valid. Does this have something to do with the vent to your room is uncovered?"
"It's stupid"
"Nah. What's stupid is that this medal isn't even made of gold. Tell me what happened"

 

Word vomiting on Shiro, Shiro let him talk until Lance ran out of words. He could almost hear Shiro thinking before the man surprised him
"I think we should switch rooms"
Lance's heart leapt, his words slow as he tried not to let his happiness show
"You believe me?"
"I have no idea why they would make a move, but I would never forgive myself if something happened. Just like you said you couldn't forgive yourself if something happened to Keith"
"Keith told me it was a nightmare, but Shiro... it was real. Kosmo had the envelope in his mouth. I... I know Curtis wouldn't have left it, right?"
Shiro didn't seem offended by the questioning tone he finished in
"No. If they were photos of your date with Keith, that wasn't Curtis. And we don't have the technology in our room to have had the photos printed"
"So why now? My marriage is practically over Shiro. Keith didn't want to be here. I could smell it on him. I wish I hadn't even left the outpost..."
"That's enough of that. I'm sure he was only moody because of the baby talk with Krolia"
Wiping at his eyes, Lance then climbed off Shiro's lap because it was kind of weird, and he was feeling slightly better given that he had someone who actually believed him on his side. Settling down on the edge of the bed, he felt like he could finally fall back to sleep
"I know he was excited about them... but I can't help but feel like it's finally registered how much of a responsibility it's all going to be"
"You've also had more experience with kids and a family in general than he has"
"I know. I'm sick of not connecting with him. Our date was amazing. The whole day. And I know finding a new way to live with each other again is going to be hard, but I'm scared he's going to turn around and tell me to have them aborted. I don't want you to talk to him though. He didn't like it very much last time... I worked myself up trying to figure out how to tell him. I talked to myself in the shower, trying to figure it out. I tell him and he straight up tells me it wasn't real. Maybe you're right. Let's just go out. I can't promise I won't throw up or ruin another jacket... but I can promise you I'm sorry I wasn't there to see you win. I'm happy for you"

Turning back to shoot Shiro a genuine smile, Shiro looked pretty damn proud of the medal around his neck. To Lance, the arm and hand which was supposed to represent the contestant were angled as if it was trying to jerk the "1" off rather than simply be grasping it. Going out was the last thing he wanted, but why should he be stuck there being miserable while his husband was off being happy?
"You know you want toooo"
"I don't know if I want to... but I don't feel like being here right now. I don't want to ruin the night for you and Curtis"
"I'm going to guess you've been too stressed and upset to eat. Frankly, you look like shit"
Hugging himself, Lance shook his head. Now acutely aware he'd been wearing just his boxers since he'd come out the shower. He'd wanted nothing against his skin, and he wanted to drown in his husband's scent
"With lines like that, I have no idea how you landed Curtis"
Shiro's robotic hand made him jump as he patted Lance on the head. The range on that thing was ridiculous
"Trust me, some days I have no idea how I landed him either"
"Because you're... you. I don't know what to wear"
Preferably Shiro would let him out in his sweats and a loose shirt, his heart gave a weird sideways beat as Shiro replied
"Leave it to me"
Greeeeat. This was going to be a whole lot of work that his sleep-deprived state wasn't looking forward to.

 

 

*
Lance dutifully got dressed as Shiro swapped his and Keith's things with their own, including the bedding which brought a blush to Lance's cheeks. Shiro and Curtis had banged it out more than once, Lance wasn't so stupid to assume they hadn't. Not with those hickeys. Waylaid with a fit of nausea, Shiro took it all in his stride, rubbing his back as Lance gripped the bathroom counter. He hadn't been able to make it to the toilet, the feeling hitting out of nowhere when fighting with his buttons. He hadn't even been sure he'd needed to vomit and not worked himself up over seeing double with the buttons.

 

Dressed in black, Lance knew he looked good. Other than the bags under his eyes, and the stumble in his step. They were meeting Curtis at one of the pop-up bars set up for the festival, the tent not particularly exciting in its self, but it was loud and sounded like fun. Everything he didn't want right now. He couldn't drink. He knew how unfun it was on the other side of the bar when things went to quiznak. Standing out the front, Curtis smile widely at them
"Lance! Did you have a good sleep?"
Shoving his hands deeper in his pockets, Lance mumbled
"Not really"
"Sorry, Babe. Lance isn't feeling that great, and I couldn't find Keith"
"Oh, Keith's already here with Kosmo and Krystaal. He was here when I showed up. I think he's been here for a while now"

 

Krystaal? They couldn't sort their shit out, but it was ok for Keith to be off with his new best friend. Lance didn't even know what Krystaal looked like... Only that Keith really liked them, and he didn't really like Keith all that much at the moment. Keeping close to him, Shiro shepherded him to the tent. Keith and Krystaal were impossible to miss. The pair seemed to be going shot for shot as people cheered for them. What struck Lance was the fact the Lotor looking love child was Krystaal. The Lotor looking love child that Keith had let him think was a female, was Keith's new best friend when he knew that Keith had found Lotor hot. Acxa was hot. She might be his sister's girlfriend, but she was also cute and completely adorable when she was around Veronica. Krystaal was best of both of them as far as looks came. He'd thought him a simple recruit... and a girl recruit at that. Watching as Keith slammed another shot glass down, Lance was filled with anger. He was fucking pregnant to this arsehole. He should have been the one drinking with Keith. Being stupid with Keith. Not watching his husband make a fool of himself over there with another man...
"Lance..."
"I'm going to hit him"
Curtis paled, Shiro stepping between Lance and Keith
"Lance"
"Don't!"
"I know you're upset..."
"He's drinking with the guy he..."
"Lance, let's go somewhere else..."
"Why does he get to stay there and drink while I'm fucking pr..."
Shiro clamped his hand over Lance's mouth to keep him from blurting out his secret
"I know you're preoccupied. Let's just go get a drink somewhere else"
Behind Shiro, the crowd let out a collective gasp. Pushing past Shiro, Krystaal was swaying in his seat. Both he and Keith were fucking lightweights. There were maybe 8 empty shot glasses in front of each of them
"Lance!"

 

Hearing his name yelled by Shiro, Keith's head shot up
"Lance!"
Drunk enough to abandon their game midway, Keith narrowly avoided face planting as he caught his foot on the table leg. Embarrassed, Lance turned away
"No. No. No. Come back, baby! I love you"
Prevented from leaving by Curtis, who was holding onto Shiro's robotic arm as he stood beside his boyfriend, Keith nearly fell on him as he reached him
"Everyone! This is my husband, Lance!"
His name was cheered. Lance brushed off his husband. He felt gross. He felt gross from all the scents and the stink of Keith's alcohol-drenched breath. He didn't appreciate Keith calling his name like that, even though he should be with how Keith was claiming him as his in front of everyone. Octopusing himself to Lance's back, Lance shuddered as he reacted instinctively, shoving Keith off and darting to the safety of Curtis and Shiro
"Aw, what's wrong, baby?"
"You're drunk"
Keith frowned and tilted his head
"You're sober. You should come have a drink with Krystaal and I. He's a lot like you. You two are like peas in a pod... get it? Cause like peas grow in a pod"
Keith laughed at his own stupid drunkenness. A cold shiver ran up Lance's spine as if someone had poured a bucket of icy water all over him. Didn't Keith think that he'd loved to be able to have a drink? That he wouldn't love to be able to kick back and drink until his mind went pleasantly numb. Lance's right hand went down to his thigh, he was itching to be able to inject himself. To get fucking high and escape reality. Keith left him to get drunk with Krystaal. He'd climbed out of their bed to go drinking with another man. A man whose skills he'd bragged about more than once. A man who was probably completely normal down there. Not some kind of freak with puffy tits and two babies on board. His breathing was starting to grow uneven. Why was it that every time he thought things might finally look up, someone out there had to pull the fucking rug out from beneath his feet?
"Curtis, why don't you take Lance back to our room. I'm going to deal with Keith"
"Don't bother. He's made his choice"

 

Fleeing the tent with his face burning, tears rolled down his face as Curtis jogged to catch up to him. Wrapping his arm around his shoulders, Lance shrugged Curtis off with a half-hearted apology. He didn't want people pitying him. He didn't want their sympathy. What he did want was their understanding, and for them to understand he'd stood well enough on his own two feet for phoebs. He'd been having the same highs and lows and phoebs now. The only thing that had changed was now he was knocked up. Running after him, Keith half tackled him. Lance spinning and slipping out the hold as fear gripped him tighter
"Hey! Wait up!"
Coming running after Keith, Shiro grabbed him around the waist and hoisted him up onto his shoulder
"Put me down!"
"That's enough!"
Roaring at Keith, Lance shied away from the enraged Shiro with a whimper. Realising he'd scared him, Shiro went to reach towards him only for Lance to drop to his knees as he clutched at his chest. Squatting down, Curtis's voice reached his ears from a distance much greater than the few centimetres away he was
"'Tani, you take Keith. Put him to bed. By the time you reach the palace, all those shots would have hit him. I'll take Lance back to our room"
"We swapped rooms with them, I'll explain later"
As if Lance couldn't feel any guiltier for ruining Shiro's celebration party. He'd thought he'd just resume his previous role as the unneeded extra wheel, not the one coming in and crashing the night. Gifting his friends with about as much joy as Zarkon crashing the evening
"I'm sorry... I'm so sorry... Lo siento..."
"No has hecho nada malo"
Lance flinched at his native tongue coming from Curtis. His pronunciation sounded like it'd gone through a cheese grater in the process. From his knees, Lance fell back onto his arse as Keith angrily lashed out
"For fuck's sake, Shiro. Put me down. You're embarrassing me"
"You're embarrassing yourself"

 

He was trying hard to bring himself back under control. He was trying to breathe like he was supposed, repeating Shiro's mantra as he did. Keith was drunk. He needed to be patient with drunk Keith. Keith had looked after drunk Lance more than once. Placing his hands on his upper arms, Curtis rubbed them softly with his loosened grip. The man's voice was soft yet firm, Lance finding his gaze rising in order to seek Curtis's face out
"Don't focus on them. Focus on me. You're going to be ok..."
"Shiro! Let me the fuck gooooooo"
Sighing, Curtis shook his head
"Get him out of here"
Moving past them, Keith glared down at the pair of them
"Hey! Oi! That's my husband! He's mine! You can't have him! Lance! Lance!"

 

Reaching out for him, Keith's outstretched hand was soon out of the corner of his vision. Without the object his anger and misery, he was able to draw a deeper breath. He still very much wanted to punch Keith. Smiling softly, Curtis patiently waited for him to be able to draw a regularish breath
"Up for moving?"
Nodding, Lance wanted to get out of the public eye
"Thanks... I'm ok now"
"You're not ok, and you don't have to be. This is nearly as bad as the time Shiro got drunk at this diplomatic function. We weren't even dating, and he went around scaring every guy in sight off. He nearly ruined the whole peace treaty, then didn't remember a damn thing the following morning. He couldn't work out why none of the men wanted to talk to him"
Lance blinked away the tears in his eyes
"That happened?"
"It sure did. There was this other time when he nearly slept walked out of our quarters when he was naked. Honestly, sometimes I wonder how he managed to keep you all inline"
"Because he had to... he couldn't let himself be himself... I'm really glad he has you..."
Starting to cry at the thought of Shiro having someone who loved him so deeply, Lance felt the bitter acrid taste of jealousy clogging up his throat
"Please don't cry. I don't know what to do or say"
"I'm really happy Shiro has you!"
Wailing at poor Curtis, Curtis laughed
"I'm really happy I have him too. Let's get you back to bed. Keith said you had a late-night"
With very little filter left between his brain and his tongue, Lance nodded
"I was throwing up all night... I was hungry but now I feel sick all over again"
"Ouch. That doesn't sound like fun. Do you mind if I help you up?"
Lance shook his head, Curtis getting what he meant as he helped him stand
"At least you know Keith loves you. He not only told everyone you were his husband, and announced he loved you, but he tried to scare me off too"
Half falling into Curtis, Curtis patiently waited until Lance found his feet under him. Clenching and unclenching his fingers, the compulsion to inject was growing again
"I thought falling in love would be a good thing... but all it does is fill you with anxiety... he left me to go drinking with another man... and I don't think I'm ok with that"
"You don't have to be ok with it. Try talking to him when he's sobered up"
Between the buzzing in his head, and the buzzing in his veins, it was a struggled to stay normal and grounded
"I don't know what to say anymore"
"It's up to you, Lance. You run a bar, and in that respect, you have a better grasp on things than I do. If he doesn't seem to remember, you don't have to push the issue if you don't want to. It's not like he dacked himself or was making out with anyone"
"But what if we hadn't interrupted? I think... I think Keith has a crush on Krystaal"

 

Curtis shook his head with a deliberate slowness... and maybe because his world was a weird mess, he felt like something was wrong with that shake. Keith always talked about Krystaal... always... and he was always messaging him when he was out at the outpost
"If he had a crush on him, he wouldn't have rushed to you. He wouldn't have made a scene or told me to leave you alone. You're like Shiro. You think far too much. Just try... following how your heart feels"
Lance didn't have a reply for that. He didn't know what his heart felt other than pain... He adored Keith, but something had happened when his husband was talking with Krolia, and now he felt unwanted. Unwanted and unnatural... and burden to Curtis and Shiro. This was Shiro's night to bask in his win. Wiping at his wet face, he sniffled up his pathetic side. Shiro had been looking forward to this. He didn't want to keep thinking about Keith
"Curtis... Can we still do something for Shiro?"
Curtis shook his head, the man was probably mentally stressing over his condition
"I think the best thing you can do now is get some rest while Keith sleeps it off. Shiro won't mind"
"But I mind!..."
Lance cringed at his own yelling. His head, heart, and nerves didn't appreciate the loud noises. Dropping his voice to something more acceptable, Lance hoped he was getting his words across. His face and mouth felt numb, but he wasn't about to just shut up without making himself understood
"... I mean. I want to do something. He was excited... I didn't even get down there to cheer him on. If it's was me... he would have"
"Lance, you wanting to do something for him is what will make him happy"
"That's not the point. Please, Curtis. Take my chip card. Get some Crumsano Regent from the pub tent, it's a beer from our my region way. It's a really good beer... and pizza? There has to be some kind of place around here that sells pizza"
Gushing at Curtis, Lance fumbled his wallet out. He wasn't sure why Shiro had made him take his wallet? Now he was happy he had. Kind of happy? Relieved? No. That wasn't the word either. His actions were a drop in the ocean compared to what they'd done for him...
"You don't need to pay, I've got this"
He wanted to be on an even field with Shiro. He'd always wanted to be on an even field with Keith and Shiro. He didn't want Curtis thinking him lacking
"Curtis, I've got the GAC. I've got the GAC to hire a full staff, own an outpost and have a part share in a hotel... Let me do this"
"We'll go halves for Shiro"
"Deal... Now go. I'll wait here..."
"Are you sure? I don't mind walking you back to the palace"
Trying his best to channel sass, Lance failed
"Yes, mum. Or are you "Space Dad 2"?"
"Shiro is the "Space Dad". I didn't tell you this, but he loves that you all think of him that way. I'm happy being Curtis"
"You lost that name the day you started dating Shiro. Space Uncle's Shiro and Curtis... yeah, I like that one"
"I don't know if I do... "Space Uncle Shiro" shortens to "SUS" and "Space Uncle Curtis" shortens to "SUC"... Sus and Suc..."
"At least I didn't call you "Friendly Uncle Curtis"..."
Curtis gave a groan
"I don't know how Shiro retained his sanity between the 5 of you"
"There was seven. 10 if you counted the mice. 11 with Kaltenecker... when you're the bottom of the totem pole, you notice these things... does Kuron count? He had a thing or two to say about us. Don't even get me started on how moody the Lion's could be"
"Don't be like that. Without you, Earth would have been destroyed. Wait here and I'll be right back"

 

Curtis had recorded the whole arm wrestling competition. Shiro had left Keith to sleep it off in the bathtub, while they kicked back eating pizza and watching Shiro's glorious win. "Watching" wasn't the right word though. Lance was dozing against Shiro's shoulder as Curtis and Shiro enthused over every loss and win leading up to his victory. Shiro had tried to convince him to lay down and get some sleep, but Lance really wanted to watch Shiro's win. Pizza and beer had gone over so well. Shiro wouldn't let him have any beer, making him drink water like a kid, but Shiro was excited for a "guys" night. Lance was pretty sure he'd been momentarily forgotten when they arrived back at the bedroom. The pizza boxes and beer had nearly ended up in the floor as Shiro kissed Curtis... enthusiastically. It was definitely not a child-friendly kiss... Lance nearly threw up from the intensity and he was only a bystander.

 

Feeling Lance's head sliding down his arm again, Shiro laughed softly as he handed his holopad over to Curtis
"'m watching that"
Slurring out the words sleepily, Lance hadn't been watching anything other than the inside of his eyelids for the past 10 doboshes. That didn't stop him from protesting
"The match finished, and spoiler alert, I won. It's time for you to get some sleep"
"'m fine"
"It's time for Little Lance's to go night-night. Do you want to sleep here tonight? Or next door? Or in the bath with Keith?"
He was probably going to have nightmares, so wanted to go sleep alone... His mouth stating so without him realising. Following up with that he should go back to his own room so Shiro and Curtis could bone. Rambling, Shiro suppressed his laughter as he helped Lance off the bed. Curtis was insisting that Lance could stay, but Lance didn't want to sleep next to two people having sex. Carried out the door and into what had been Shiro's room, Shiro fussed over him as he helped him get out of his jeans and boots. His buttons becoming a causality of war as they snapped off his shirt. If Shiro hadn't been there, Lance would have fallen asleep face down with his arse in the air because blankets were much too complicated in his current state. Tucked in, Shiro called Curtis on his comms, leaving it on like one would a baby monitor before leaving Lance to settle. The bed felt horribly big without Keith and Kosmo, yet horribly small with the soft toys they'd won sitting along the far side. Despite how tired he was, each time he started to doze off, Lance would snap awake only for the cycle to begin it again. In the end, it took vargas to finally drift off for the night, terribly lonely and feeling terribly small.

Chapter Text

"Get up!"
Waking with something rudely smacking into his face, Keith groaned miserably as he peeled his sleepy dust riddled eyes open and glared at the offending object that had hit him in the face. Pants... Why in quiznak's name was he being hit in the face by a pair of pants, when his head was throbbing like a bass drum and some kind of alien fur creature had set up residence in his mouth? Blinking himself to full consciousness as he yawned, Keith had no idea why he was in the bathtub, or how he'd ended up being filled with the desire to burrow back down into the bath and try for another several vargas worth of sleep. Not when the tub was so damn uncomfortable
"What happened?"

Trying to gather spit in his mouth, all he seemed to do was make the taste lingering there worse. His stomach was making rumbling noises, yet the mere thought of food was enough to drain the colour from your face
"I'm not surprised you don't remember. You got yourself wasted doing shots with Krystaal, before sending Lance into a panic attack. He's fine, thanks for asking. Already up and at the festival with Coran. We have a Paladin panel in 15 doboshes, so time to shower and get your shit together"
Groaning, Keith closed his eyes and let his head drop back against the rim of the bathtub
"I'm allowed to have a drink or two"
"Tell that to your pregnant husband"
Now, he may just be remembering things wrong, but Lance was the one who told him to go
"I'm not having this fight with you. I feel like shit"
"Good. I wanted to take him out and cheer him up. Instead, he ended up going to bed alone"

The coldness coming from Shiro wasn't entirely unexpected. Maybe he had overindulged. It certainly felt like he had
"Don't throw that back at me. You're not his husband"
"No. I'm not. He was in a vulnerable..."
"He's always in a vulnerable state. He had a damn nightmare and ended up in the air vents yesterday..."
Hurled up out of the bathtub suddenly, Shiro dropped him. Keith barely keeping from falling over backwards
"What the fuck!?"
"Lance is your husband. The man you spent years in love with. The man who is absolutely crazy about you"
"I know that!"
"Then why aren't you getting your shit together!? You're going to be a father!"
"I know!..."
Screaming at Shiro, Keith's world swam. Sinking on to the edge of the bath, he buried his face in his hands
"... I know. But I don't know how to be a father. I don't know how to be a father, Shiro. I don't know how to care for a baby. I don't know how to change a nappy. I don't know what to do for a fever. I don't know... I don't know what to do!"
Shiro's sighed heavily as he sat down next to him
"Is that what this about? You're scared about being a dad?"
"Wouldn't you be? I'm a mess. I'm turning 26 and my life is a mess. My husband won't take his medication. He keeps having panic attacks. He keeps testing me without me knowing it's a goddamn test until I fail... and... Shit, Shiro. I don't know what I'm doing. We can't even make a marriage work. How do we make a marriage and kids work? What does that even look like? He lives for his job. It's more important to him than the health and safety of our babies. Maybe he was right about having an abortion? He's not well. He's not mentally well. He's not physically well. He's hallucinating or his nightmares are out of control. He's got it in his head that the same people who raped him are back. What the quiznak am I supposed to do with that? And mum... God... She made it seem like having kids was awful. Really awful. Vomiting. Fevers. Teething. Sleepless nights. Shit storms... I can't take twins on missions. I don't know how to sit still. I don't think we're ready for this. I don't think I'm ready for this... it's such a big thing. These two tiny lives are going to be dependent on us. An ex-junky as he calls himself, and a Blade member. When things get hard... Lance doesn't have that drug crutch anymore... I don't know what to do if he won't listen to the doctors. If he's not going to try. Why am I going to try?"

A very long and pregnant silence hung in the air when he was finished. With each passing tick, it was like Shiro was readying himself to explode, then his voice came out dead level, not relieving Keith of his anxieties
"Have you tried talking to Lance?"
"He doesn't want to listen. He thinks he got this letter yesterday. He thinks we're all in danger and he got mad at me for saying it was probably a nightmare. It was right after Curtis left. He was freaking out because Curtis being cautious on the other side of the door scared him. You know how he gets. You know he gets paranoid. There was no evidence of anything like that..."
"It's not paranoia if someone is actually out to get you... You raised the same issue with something happening at the awards ceremony. Now that it has happened, you're rejecting it because you can't control it"
"I can't control anything... I don't know what I'm doing and talking to mum only made it worse. I love him, but she... She made me see how... How far I have to go"
"Rather than getting drunk with Krystaal, yes, you got drunk with Krystaal as in shot for shot, you should talk to your husband. Lance is feeling all these same anxieties. He loves you, but you're running from him. Talk to him. He might not have been up for talking yesterday, but try. Try until he doesn't have any other option but to answer. I was scared when I took you on, but we turned out alright, didn't we?"

He'd gone drinking with Krystaal? Keith could very very vaguely kind of remember running into him... He'd been feeling bad about leaving Lance, but he was sure that Lance had imagined the whole thing. His husband was mad at him, and he was mad at him for being mad at him. He'd been so happy to see the twins, and now he was terrified. Absolutely and completely terrified... He didn't Lance being danger from someone new and unknown. He also didn't want their lives together to suddenly be upheaved. The twins would change everything. The twins would change everything and he didn't know how to have a family. Shiro was right, they'd done alright, but Shiro hadn't needed to wipe his arse or had to go through hours of potentially life-threatening labour...
"I don't want to hurt him"
"You already are, by running"
"Running is all I know how to do... Running after him. Running into battle. Running after you"
"It takes two to make a baby or twins in this case. There are thousands and thousands of people out there who can never have what you two are going through. Don't take any of it for granted. If you're scared, or if you don't want this, you need to talk to him. You need to let him know where you stand. And you need a shower. You reek like you bathed in that stuff you were shooting. We've probably got about 5 doboshes to be there. Best get a move on"

*
Running to make the panel on time, Keith and Shiro we're both confused by the sight before them. There were five chairs, for five Paladins, except... in the place of Allura a photo of her sat, occupying one of those spaces. Behind the chairs was a series of banners featuring the faces of the Paladins framed by a thick band of colour responding to the lion they flew. Black for Shiro. Black and Red for Keith. Yellow for Hunk, then Green for Pidge. Allura was in the place of the Blue Paladin... and no signage for Lance. None... It wasn't Voltron without Lance. Lance was the heart and soul of Voltron. They'd never come together if not for him.

Joining Hunk, Pidge and Lance, Coran was a few feet away yelling at some event coordinator who'd failed their job over the lack of Lance's presence. At least that was what Keith thought at the time. Opening his mouth to greet his husband, Lance seemed to have preempted the move as he'd disappeared over to Coran's side silently. Elbowing him, Pidge had mischief in her eyes
"I hear someone got drunk yesterday"
"Shut it, Pidge"
"Oooh. Touchy. Yelling about how you and Lance were married... Galactic social media is buzzing with it"
Keith frowned at Pidge. If he was yelling how much he loved Lance or was married to him, then why was he so mad at him
"I did what?"
"Yep. Right in the middle of your drinking match. You lost me GAC. I expect you to pay up"
"You were betting on me?"
"I would have put all my GAC on Lance, but he wasn't there to bet on"
"Whoa! Hold up. You would have bet on Lance? I'm so confused right now"
Pidge rolled her eyes at him with enough sass that the eyeroll didn't seem limited to her eyes alone
"Lance works in a bar! How many times do you think his customers challenged him to drinks!? How many times has he partied himself to sleep? You can't work in a bar and be a lightweight!"

"I tried to tell her that Lance doesn't drink that much anymore, but Lance sided with her. Are you ok, man?"
Joining in on their conversations, Hunk ignored Pidge nodding enthusiastically, most probably because Lance had agreed, or so he gathered by her gesturing to Lance
"I'm fine. I have no idea what we were drinking, but it wasn't that all pleasant to wake up to. Why is there no place for Lance?"
Hunk sighed
"Lance said that Allura should be on the panel, as it was her sacrifice that saved us all. He said he didn't need a place, but Coran wouldn't let him back down from this. Now they're trying to make a spot for him, despite the fact, he doesn't want to be here"
Playing it cool, Keith raised his eyebrow, hoping to make the action seem natural
"Did he say that?"
"Not in so many words... I thought he liked his time being a Paladin..."
"That's stupid. He's obviously having too much fun being a bounty hunter. Plus, he's probably struggling with this whole situation. I mean, this is a festival to celebrate his dead girlfriend"
Hunk gaped at Pidge, his face losing some of its colours as his cheeks turned a faint pink
"Pidge! You can't say that in front of Keith, he's his husband"
Shrugging, Pidge wasn't fazed
"Minor detail"
"No. No. No. Major detail!"
"Keith isn't complaining"
"Because Keith loves him. Right, buddy?"
"Yeah..."
Keith didn't want to be roped into this argument. Pidge started laughing, the noise grating on his throbbing head, her arms wrapped around her waist as she struggled out
"You could sound more enthused! What? Trouble in paradise? Are you in the doghouse for getting drunk without him?!"

"Ok, guys. That's enough..."
By standing behind him, and placing his hands on Keith's shoulders, Shiro drew their attention
"We're here to be Paladins, which means putting our game faces on. Do we have any details of what we're actually doing? Coran forgot to fill us all in..."
Pidge pulled herself together, sounding almost disinterested as she related
"He forgot to tell all of this. They ran a "question" box for us the past couple of days. We're going to be given a tablet with questions for each of us on it. We don't have to answer all the questions, buuuuut it's going to be broadcast live across the universe. I've got Matt filming it. I can't wait to see how Keith acts with all this attention"
Crossing his arms, Keith scowled at Pidge
"I know how to do my job"
"Just because you know how to, doesn't mean you won't be awkward as hell..."
"Pidge, why do I feel like you've bet GAC on my performance"
"Because I have. Ooooh, look. It's Lance and Coran. What a convenient excuse not to continue this conversation"
"Pidge!"

Pidge was the picture of innocence as Coran and Lance joined them. Lance standing half behind Hunk, refusing to meet Keith's eyes, as Coran filled them in on what was happening. Space had been made for Lance, by squashing them all slightly. The table was made for 5, not for 6. Lance wouldn't hear of Shiro not being on the panel, despite the fact that Keith had ultimately spent more time as the Black Paladin than Shiro had. Before he was ready, Keith was falling into line with the others, a holopad pushed into his shaky hands then the next thing he knew he was walking on to the stage where camera flashes blinded him.

Panels were horrible. Panels were horrible enough when sober, doubly so when hungover, and triply so when your husband was sitting beneath a photo of his dead ex-girlfriend, at the opposite end of the panel where he had no chance of talking to him. They were married. They were married and the whole quiznakking universe knew it... So why wasn't the happily married couple together? Lance didn't seem to mind. All of their group were already laughing and deep in a four-way conversation that had gone right over his head. Keith was out his depth completely. He had no idea that their questions were being screened behind them as they answered, he had no idea that the question time had hit him, and he had no idea of the words on his holopad were actually English because his eyes felt ready to fall out his head. In his own way, Keith was developing a new appreciation for functioning alcoholics.

*
Keith was in trouble. With the eyes of thousands staring in the direction of his husband, several long ticks had passed since Keith's holopad had started to glow around the sides. Sitting in front of a crowd and answering questions was not how Lance planned his day going. He wanted to sit down and discuss what had happened the previous day with his husband. That was the only way he was going to find some form of mental relief from his racing mind. Despite feeling angry each time his gaze moved to his husband, Lance cleared his throat
"Sorry, guys! My husband isn't great with crowds, but that's just something else about him that I love. Now, his question is..."
Craning his head back to read the question he made a goofy show of it. It was probably for the best Keith wasn't on the ball
"What was the worst part of being a Paladin?"

Moving his right thumb and pointer to his chin as if stroking an imaginary beard, Lance hummed. He loathed this attention. He loathed playing at niceties but knew he had a job to do. He Lance playing Leandro, who was playing Lance. It was the only way he could cope with the public spotlight
"The worst thing... Oh, boy! Coran's cooking... the first time he cooked for is... I thought he was trying to kill me! Then there's the time in the middle of the night when Allura would run practice emergency drills... I guess the worst thing of all is that despite Allura's sacrifice, the fact that if she hadn't given her life none of us would be here right now... The worst thing is that we're still fighting while we're trying to recover. And all the little people we couldn't reach in time... but when living on the Castle, it was definitely the time Coran tried to cook for us. I'm sorry Coran! You're our awesome adopted Uncle, but us humans have a weird diet... I think we all would have gone crazy if it wasn't for Hunk's culinary prowess"
Flashing the crowd his best smile and finger guns, Lance hoped he'd done enough. Pidge was agreeing now, Keith's holopad was no longer glowing, Shiro leaned back to give him an approving nod, and Hunk was blushing. Reminding himself that each question moved them closer to the end, he looked down to his own holopad.

After half a varga, they were all sweating. Pidge was being an angry little gremlin, at the point of threatening to murder the sun because she was done with this heat. Everyone knew the best way to store their little anger muffin was to sit her in a cool dark corner with her tech. Lance was feeling it too. His head felt sinus headache gross, his bodysuit might keep him cool for the most part, but worked best when his mask was up, which it wasn't, so the rest of him wasn't feeling that great either. No matter how much water he'd drank down, he only felt more and more dehydrated. Feeling his holopad grow warmer as it started to glow, he nearly dropped the device on the table as he vomiting into his mouth. His question being "How did it feel to work for Ambassador Klearo? What do you do now?". It was a simple question. Any number of fans would have seen the broadcasts of him standing behind the man. It didn't mean that he wasn't panicking. It didn't mean simply seeing the image of the man didn't bring all the memories flying back. Lance couldn't do this... Leandro... Channel Leandro
"Well..."
God. His heart was hammering so fast it felt as if it was going to flying out his mouth
"I own a club now, out on Erathus. It's pretty nice there, and safe. The place is called "The Gilded Cage"... We wanted to create a safe place for travellers in the area. My friend Th'al runs it... Um... other than that... I'm Keith's husband and it's pretty much a full-time job keeping up with him... it's simple and nice"

That funny feeling was spreading through him. His holopad cooled as the colour left. Thumbing through the message list, every message submitted was listed, then chosen at random. That one message soon turned to half a dozen... of Klearo... and the look on Lance's face as the abuse had begun. The fear in his eyes. The disgust. The loathing of every piece of bullshit sprouted from the piece of shits mouth. Then blank emptiness. The change in his expression was almost haunting. It was as if you could see the time it crossed the line. When his whole being had shattered beneath the man, and the men who'd sexually abused him. As he scrolled up, in the hopes of finding evidence that he was being targeted, blood dripped onto the screen. Wiping at it, a second drip landed on his finger. Raising his hand to his nose, drops of blood rolled down his fingers. The holopad falling from his fingers to land on the table, the screen glitching before turning black.

"Lan..."
Starting to say his name, Pidge realised his nose was bleeding. The woman fishing out a handkerchief from nowhere and pushing it up against his nose so hard Lance was actually pained by the action. Sitting next to him, it was only natural she'd notice. She'd no doubt been caught in the cloud of his stenched up emotional scent, causing her to be more focused on her surrounds
"Sorry folks! Even us Paladins are only human! How about this heat!?"
Covering for him, Lance was immediately grateful to Pidge, she didn't need to whisper to him to get out of there as she put herself out her comfort zone, it went unsaid like a silent agreement, Lance hightailing it off stage and straight into Coran's waiting embrace.

Led away from the stage, and into the background workspace where the transmission was being monitored, Coran sat him down on a flimsy fold-out chair, forcing his head down between his knees as his nose bleed steadily worsened
"One tick my boy. I do believe you're the one who taught me that trick with the cold compress"
Lance didn't think that placing a cold compress on the back of the neck was much of a trick, but with how overheated he felt, he'd take a cool anything right now. It was strange how he'd longed to feel something more than cold all the time, his condition had forced him to pay constant attention to his body. Knowing that even if he couldn't feel the effects of the heat internally, the rest of him could. It was like his soul had been frozen, then disconnected from his body, causing a strange disharmony between the pair. It was another reason he'd found himself wondering, more than once, if he was a clone. Returning with a cold bottle of water, Coran held it against his nape. Lance shuddering as his body rejected the cool relief it offered
"How's that?"
Lying smoothly, Lance nodded
"Better..."
"Ah... We'll give it a tick to kick in. I'm sorry about what happened out there, my boy. We left the questions open..."
"Coran..."
There was a gentle plea in his voice
"You're right. Perhaps now isn't the time"
Now wasn't the time. Never was the time. Those memories were fucking with his head enough. What he saw as clear evidence between the photos he was sent, and the messages on the holopad, he feared bringing it up with anyone. As he'd reasoned, the others would too. A fan could have meant no offence, though a fan wouldn't have sent as many messages as they'd had. Hopefully, when he had the holopad back in his hands, he could prove to his husband he hadn't been lying... Not that he should have to... No. No. He wasn't going there. He'd briefly bumped into Krolia who'd apologised for Keith's drunken behaviour, explaining how she and Keith had had the "baby talk", and explaining how Keith felt displaced by her coming child. Lance didn't need the talk to know that. It was hard for Keith. Keith didn't know what or how to deal with it. Still. He knew from personal experience that alcohol wasn't the answer. Not that he would turn down a stiff drink, or a dozen right about now.

Opening his mouth to reply to Coran, Lance was on the ground before he knew what happened. One tick he was there, feeling quiznak, the next Coran's face was peering into his and Lance felt as if something had zapped every ounce of energy from his body. Neither of them had thought about the sudden and drastic change in body temperature triggering a seizure. Tasting vomit and blood, he wished that was the end when it came to bodily fluids, only... down his legs was wet and cool. His suit catching the mess he'd made, while he'd been out of it long enough for his piss to cool. Blinking sleepily at Coran, Coran smiled softly at him as he tucked a stray hair back from Lance's face. This wasn't the first, second or third time he'd thrown up. The first and second because of his pregnancy, the third because he'd worked himself up simply opening his medication bottle
"Seizure?"

Slurring heavily, Lance's voice failed to reach his own ears
"Yes, my boy. A little over 45 ticks... Keith will be here soon"
Coran sounded like he was speaking through a fog. He was kind of blurry. His neat orange hair blurred like a fire on his head
"Sorry..."
"Enough of that... rest..."
He didn't want to rest. He was ashamed of his body betraying him in a tent full of strangers. It didn't matter that they were towards the back, mostly out of the way. He was supposed to be a Paladin, which meant staying strong and never letting the public see your weak side. His mind might have felt like a sludge sundae, but his thoughts had to get that final blow in.

*
"What kind of an idiot puts something ice-cold against their skin when they overheat! You're lucky your heart didn't stop!"

Cleaned up by Shiro and Keith, mostly Keith with Shiro's support, Pidge was the first to scold him as she and Hunk joined them in his and Keith's room. Laying with a cold towel folded over his forehead, Lance had agreed he was an idiot in a series of "mhmm" and "uh-huh" until she finally ran out of appropriate questions. Shiro stopped her when she started to tease him and Keith, and given he was tired and somewhat sooky, he didn't feel like admitting how nice it felt to have Keith holding his hand. Having spent the last half varga chilling, Lance was ready for a nap, but Pidge and Hunk had decided that hanging around and scolding him needed to morph into a group hang. So Lance contented himself holding Keith's hand, and feeling Shiro's solid presence on the other side of him. There was a feeling that he'd forgotten something, but for now, he was happyish... or okish... scared, yet safe. Everyone in the room with him knew he was deeply scared by Klearo, each of them in their own trying to be there for him without making it too obvious.

When Kosmo teleported into their room with a bark, his fur son decided that the best way to greet them all was to let out the most horrendous silent fart, that sent Pidge and Hunk scrambling off the bed as they gagged. Pulling the wet towel over his face did very little to diminish the stink as Keith echoed the other's movements and deserted him. The loss of his hand felt immediately. Whimpering at the connection between him and husband being broken, Shiro stuck his hand under the towel and pinched his nose as if Lance wasn't perfectly capable of doing so himself. Dimly he could hear Keith scolding Kosmo, Pidge laughing and Hunk still gagging. Yet they all felt so far away from him that he and Shiro may as well have been stranded on an island. Kosmo, immune to his own stench, laid happily over Lance's legs. His tail thumping in time with the throbbing of Lance'd head. Unable to stank the stink, Pidge and Hunk only lasted a few moments before opting to bail, Lance deaf to their leaving as he was hyperfixating on the feeling of Shiro's hand against his nose. His trauma was well aware that a hand to the nose meant soon water would be poured down his throat until he nearly drowned, or did and they were forced to revive him. He was starting to panic, his body too sleepy and leaden to fight off the man's hand, his hands weakly gripping at the sheets beneath him. Gasping like a reeled in fish, his body finally decided it had reached its limit, allowing him to pass out.

*
The moment Lance's gasping met Keith's ears, the half-Galra was abandoning his futile attempts to scold Kosmo over the fart bomb he'd dropped, and rushing to pull the towel from Lance's face. Who needed Lions or Bayards, when your cosmic wolf could clear a room with just a simple fart. As Shiro released Lance's nose, Lance lay deathly still, his chest barely rising as Keith held his hand above Lance's mouth to check his husband was still breathing
"Keith?"
"Shut up..."
With a gentle exhale, an inhale didn't follow. Keith placing his head against Lance's chest to find it wasn't rising
"Fuck! Don't you dare, you stubborn arsehole"

Lance was vulnerable. He was vulnerable and Keith hadn't thought that Shiro's touch would send his husband into a panic. Not with the way Shiro was sitting right next to him as if he rightfully belonged there. Not with the way Shiro had supported Lance's weight while Keith peeled off the layer of his husband's clothes then wrestled him out his stupid bodysuit. Lance was so out of it, he wasn't sure that Lance had any physical strength to protect himself, and usually when in that state would only allow him to touch him, yet his husband didn't seem to care he was naked in front of Shiro. He didn't shy away from Shiro's supportive hand on his hip. No. His husband had leaned into Shiro's touch, sending bitter jealously blooming. He was the only one who was allowed to touch Lance's body. Him. Lance had said so. And despite Shiro being happily in love with Curtis, Keith could barely keep down his instincts. He could barely keep himself from taking a swing at his own brother. Lance had ignored him all morning, then Coran had sent some aid rushing to tell him that Lance had had a seizure. By the time he'd gotten off the stage, and down to communications tent, his husband was slurring as Coran reassured him. Blood and vomit were across Lance's fair and hair. His eyes were glassy and unfocused. Pidge being the genius she was, had been the one to realise it was the temperature change that had triggered it, yet they all know seeing Klearo again had hit Lance hard. Each of them hated him in varying degrees, but none as much as him. He'd been all for it when Pidge angrily grumbled about hacking the holopad Lance had been using to find out who had sent that photo in, only when the holopad had been retrieved, it'd fallen wrong against the table and fried the memory chip in it. Ropeable, and concerned for Lance, they'd all kind of felt like being there by his side, even if he was sleeping off the effects of his seizure.

Interlacing his fingers, Keith pumped down on Lance's chest, Shiro springing into action when he realised Lance wasn't breathing, moving to give Keith the space to work. Keith gave a dozen panic-driven pushes before Lance sucked in a breath, his back arching as his marks glowed brightly. Gasping and coughing, Shiro helped Keith sit Lance up, Lance shaking as Keith grabbed him by the chin
"Lance?!"
"Mmm?"
"Keith, maybe you should give him some space to breathe?"
"Don't tell me how to handle my husband!"
Snapping at Shiro caused Lance to whine. Keith feeling like a dick for it the moment the words came out his mouth. But... quiznak!
"Sorry. Sorry... something scared him so badly he couldn't breathe..."
"It must have been my hand over his face... when Kosmo farted"
Shiro looked exactly as Keith felt. His face devoid of colour, and clouded with guilt. Guiding Lance into his lap, Shiro helped to get Lance straddled with his nose against Keith's neck. His favourite secure position
"That with having Klearo shoved in his face... Shiro, was I wrong? Did someone send him those photos? someone actually after him again?"
"I don't know. I know he was scared and hurt that you didn't believe him"
"We keep... not connecting..."
"Getting drunk and bottling it up like an idiot will do that. When he comes too properly, talk it out. Or if you still need time to think things out, we can watch him again..."
"I don't know... I don't know how to be a dad. I thought we'd have more time"
"No one's ready to be a parent. And it's not as if these are usual circumstances. He'll listen"
"I know he will... that's the problem, isn't it? If I repeated anything I said this morning, he's going to bolt"
"At least he wouldn't be stuck wondering about how you feel and if you still want this marriage"
Keith held his tongue. He still loved Lance. Lance was the air to his lungs... but Lance, kids, and work... He didn't know how to juggle it all.

Getting a few vargas sleep with Lance still in his lap, Keith woke with a start. His thoughts spilling into his dream, his mind tormenting him over everything he stood to lose. Starving and thirsty, Keith was surprised to find Lance awake as he carefully untangled his husband's hold on him. The moment their eyes met, things felt all that more awkward between them
"I'm... I'm going to get us something to eat, and a drink. Then I think we need to talk"
Climbing out his lap, Lance nodded. Settling himself into a ball on Keith's side of the bed, his husband rested his chin on his knees, his voice soft
"I'm leaving"
Opening his mouth, Keith closed it just as quickly before giving a half shake of his head. Lance wanted to leave? Walkout on their chance to talk? Or... was there something more to this?
"Stay here for a tick"

To Keith it felt as if Lance was watching his every move as he grabbed up a couple of ration bars, and two glasses of water. Returning to their bed, Lance was at least willing to take the ration bars from him. His glass of balanced near his bare feet. Opening the ration bar, Lance tore off the end with his teeth, eating quietly and ignoring the way Keith watched him. Sighing to himself, Keith did the same, forcing himself to eat half the tasteless bar. They weren't that great, but it wasn't goo
"I think we need time apart to think"

Dropping those words with dead calm, Lance stole his breath
"I think there are some things you need to work out, and I don't want to be on Altea anymore. I talked a little with Krolia. I wish it'd been you who'd explained to me what happened between you and her. Kids. Hey. I get it. It's a huge thing. I can't concentrate on them, me, and walk on nails around our friends. I'm tired of yoyoing more than I was when I was alone. I'm going to ask Krolia to lend me a ship and head to the next training planet"
"I know we haven't been connecting... but we just haven't had the chance. You spent most of yesterday sleeping!"
Quiznak. He sounded far more accusatory than he meant to
"And you spent it getting drunk..."
"Only because you were testing me! I don't know how it turned so shit so fast!"
"I wasn't trying to test you. I reached out and you made me feel stupid. I'm going to give you a chance to think. About what you absolutely truly want. Me. Me and the twins. If you want to take the out. My head is a mess. I don't want to be here. You're still wanted here. You still have things to work out. You should take the time to think it through"
"Don't I get a say? You had a seizure, then a panic attack so severe you stopped breathing. I have to pump your chest until you finally took a breath... We've only been here a few days. You're not taking your medication..."
"No. I've been forcing myself to drink enough water that I go to sleep needing to pee and wake up nearly wetting myself. I've been scoffing down these bars because they're like the only thing I don't throw up. So don't say I'm not trying. You knew I messed up, you told me I could trust you. You made me trust you. And I thought you actually saw me. Now I don't want to fight. I want to think. You don't think I'm scared? I know all the risks with pregnancies because I come from a huge family. It doesn't get that big without things happening... I'll keep your twins safe until you make a choice. I don't know how to be a dad. A little brother and an uncle. A drunk and druggie. I've got that covered. A dad. A mother. I don't know what to call myself other a freak. You make the choice. I can't trust myself anymore, apparently"

The last part was definitely a jab at him. It was the only part where Lance's voice had held any emotion. His husband sounded like Leandro. Leandro when they'd first crossed paths again
"That's not what I want"
"Then what do you want?"
"I don't know"
Lance sighed
"Exactly. We have all this festival stuff happening while trying to fix this mess of a marriage. I hate being in the crowds. I hated being on the panel. I..."
Lance frowned as his sentence stopped abruptly
"You, what?"
"I... no. It's better I talk to Shiro. You should enjoy the festival"
"What can you say to Shiro, that you can't say to me!?"
"I don't know what I can say to you anymore. I love you. I love you more than anything, but that doesn't fix our marriage. I know you're stuck lying to everyone because of me again... I don't want to be a burden on you... but I'm scared. Everything that makes us "us", is going to change. I'm scared. I don't want a life of just... just sex... sleep... eating... and what? I don't know how to settle down anymore. I thought... I thought us having our own home would... we would have... That we'd be together more than we were. I don't know where we're going to live... I'm such a fucking screw up... I can't even keep my husband happy... I was proud... maybe that was it. I was proud of our room and our space. I tried my hardest to make it as relaxing as I could for you. I wanted you to feel at home, but you don't"

Lance wiped at his face, Keith biting the insides of his cheeks. It was his fault. He hadn't spoken up to his mother. He'd thought himself capable of handling everything. He'd thought himself agitated and annoyed, yet he hadn't sought his mother out sooner. He hadn't sat down with her and asked his hours to be cut or to be rotated off the training roster. Even when he thought about it, or grumbled, he hadn't sat down with Krolia and said it sooner. Maybe that had been his pride? Krolia kept giving him work because she was proud of him. It seemed to him that their combined pride had led to things winding up as they had.

"Let me come with you. We can go ahead. We can figure out how we're going to conduct our training exercise. Krolia doesn't really tell us about the planet... so we could think up something before the others come?"
Lance sighed at him
"That's not going to work"
"Why not?! Things only became complicated because of the others. We didn't see them the day of our date... and I thought we had a good time?"
"You were practically high on seeing your twins for the first time. Being responsible for these two lives hadn't sunk in... I think it was... it was the best day of my life. You're so quiznakking sweet to me. You treat me amazingly... then... you get stuck in your own head. It wasn't my... I was not trying to test, or you drive you to drink with Krystaal. I wanted to cuddle without talking seriously... I wanted you to tell me how things went with Krolia... I want you to be able to rely on me, Keith. I know my seizures have been hitting frequently, but... sometimes they don't hit for weeks..."

, Of course, he was high on seeing their twins. Their tiny little noses. Their tiny hands. Their tiny bodies. Their children. Half him. Half Lance... They were barely more than a bunch of cells caused by their lack of sense with contraceptives. But... would they even survive if Lance kept having seizures?
"The pills would help with that"
"I can't, ok! I know they're not the same, but thinking about them... I can't! I'm eating these bars. I'm forcing myself to keep eating!"
Holding his hands up in surrender, Keith knew he should have expected the backlash
"Right. Fine. I'm sorry for worrying. Did you at least eat last night? How did you know I was drinking?"
"Shiro, Curtis, and I had a pizza and beer night. Shiro was trying to make me happy, so we were going out for drinks. He wanted to invite both of us to celebrate his win, but couldn't find you. He made me get dressed up. Anyway, Curtis was waiting outside the tent you were drinking in. I had a panic attack, then begged Curtis to go grab beer and pizza, we came back to their room and watched his win while you slept in their bathtub"
"I don't remember that"

Opening his second ration bar, Lance nodded
"I'm not surprised. You were going shot for shot with Krystaal. I don't know what you were drinking, but when you saw me you started yelling about me being your husband, then got kind of mad... not mad, annoyed? when I was panicking... This is why... This is why I think we should take a few days apart. That way you can get your thinking straight"
Now they were back on that... He didn't want to leave Lance alone. He only needed... a few vargas...
"I know I quiznakked up... but... we're supposed to be talking this out!"
Lance wasn't one to talk with a mouthful, yet the way he was tearing into the ration bar, his husband had seemingly forgotten swallowing and chewing was a thing
"Keith, I can smell the confusion on you! You smelt of fucking rejection yesterday. I've already got a plan for the next planet. Krolia will ok it once we talk it out. I'll be there for like 4 quintants..."
"You'll be alone! I get that you don't want to be a... that you don't want an easy life or whatever, but what if... What if you get so scared that you stop breathing again? Then what? I can't fucking lose you, you idiot! No. You're not going alone"

Lance had stopped fucking breathing! He'd needed CPR! Now he was sitting there, filling his face and acting like him nearly dying was a perfectly acceptable thing! Like quiznak, he was letting his husband do something silly and dangerous without him... In order to be two halves of the same idiot, both idiots needed to be present. Besides. With everyone filling his head with so much information, hadn't it occurred to Lance that maybe Keith needed a break from everyone? Krolia had given him the baby talk. Shiro's was telling him to talk to Lance, but not to, then to. Lance was still melting down. His husband had even had to cover him at the panel. Surely he'd fulfilled centuries worth of Paladin duties sitting there under the sun. He'd even gotten sunburnt for his troubles.

Fiddling nervously with the ration bar wrapper, Lance talked to his hands
"Keith. How are you supposed to think things through between us, if I'm there with you?"
"You said you had plans for the next planet... if I put you in charge of the training exercise... you and Kosmo can set it up or whatever. I promise I won't interfere... I'll stay back... just... I feel like if you leave right now, it's only going to get worse between us... I don't want to lose you, but... you're right. I am kind of freaking out over it all. Kids... I know we're not the same kids that were sent into space, but when I think about being 27... I don't feel my age..."
"And you think I feel 24? I still remember everything that happened like it was yesterday... all of it. That's why... I need to go"

They lost three years to the void, and he was gone for two with his mother. 6 phoebs had been all it took for Voltron to nearly break. For Lance to break... All their time together had failed to keep Lance sustained through his absence. Then there was Kuron, who'd physically harmed Lance... Pidge and Hunk who'd abandoned him. Lotor who'd weaselled his way in... Lance might have made peace with them, but he still hadn't made peace with his memories.

"We'll go together. The three of us. You, me, and Kosmo. We'll work it out together. It'll be like a family camping trip..."
"Keith..."
Lance was wavering. Lance was wavering and he could see it!
"You can boss me around. Whatever. As long as I'm with you, I can do anything..."
"That's not fair..."
"I don't care if it's not fair. Just don't leave me behind"

Lance sighed deeply, flopping back on the bed and spilling his glass of water everywhere as he did. Groaning as he craned his neck to stare at the reason why his feet were wet
"Fiiiine. Dios. I'm an idiot for agreeing, and you better do what I say. No arguments. I have a plan to fix your teamwork and individual skills, and I won't let you stop me. Don't treat me differently. I'm fucking pregnant, not dying. Don't forget the difference. And do not think for one quiznakking moment that I will not have Kosmo teleport you to the other side of the planet if you get in my way. Plus. You're sleeping in the wet spot... and don't even think about touching me until I give you permission. I'm still hurting, and I'm still livid at you"
"Ok..."
"So you better figure out the hell is going on with you, and you better stay away from me until you do. I'm going back to sleep. I want to get a few vargas before your kids have me on the bathroom floor again"
Keith hadn't taken into account Lance's morning sickness, but it was just another reason for Lance not to be left alone
"I..."
"Don't. Not until you've done the think"

There was no mistaking that. Keith may have just won the battle, but Lance... Lance was the final boss and he had a long long quest chain to go...

Chapter Text

Forest. Forest as far as Lance could see and he was loving it. Keith was camping under the wing of the jet Krolia had lent them, while Lance had happily strung up his own tent away from him, closer to the clearing's edge where he was able to survey everything from the nice little tree that had easy to climb branches. Keeping to his end of the bargain, Keith had spent a lot of his time hanging back at his campsite across the clearing, Lance venturing over when he felt like it, or for dinner, or to sleep at night. Keith was paranoid. Paranoid that some great big mystery animal was going to eat Lance in the middle of the night. Day naps were acceptable, with Kosmo there for cuddles, but night meant sleeping in Keith's arms. They'd failed at sleeping further apart. The first two attempts resulting in Keith octopusing his way across the foot or so between them, in order to capture and cage him in his hold.

 

Before leaving for the training planet, Krolia had forced them to have a "family meeting", her words sticking in Lance's brain. Lance was only allowed on off-world Blade missions on the provider that he stuck to his medication and followed the "no comms" rule when it was in play. He loved that Krolia was proud of her son, that she trusted him and his skill as she reiterated repeatedly between apologising for not remembering that the outpost didn't play by standard time rules, yet he didn't love that his husband had told her he wouldn't take his medication. That felt like Keith crossing the line and breaking his trust all over again. A feeling akin to finding out Krolia knew his darkest secrets relating to Klearo. If she ever found out that he was a recovering drug addict... Shiro knowing was bad enough... Lance had the feeling that Krolia knowing would be a lot like Shiro knowing. Knowing without knowing. Knowing without feeling those compulsions or desires. Passing judgment as if quitting was the easiest accomplishment attainable. So he'd lied. He'd agreed. Anything to make the conversation come to an end. Keeping busy had helped clear his head. No crowds meant no unknown enemies coming for him. The lack of running water sucked, the scanners not picking up a fresh supply in the immediate area, but when Acxa brought Keith's ship to regroup with them, they'd be able to shower then. He was currently 3 quintants seizure and panic attack free. His morning sickness was still kicking his arse, so was his fatigue, but he was so quiznakking proud of the mission he'd designed for Keith's team. With Kosmo at his side, his husband had loosened the invisible collar around his neck. Though unimpressed by the pair of them disappearing for vargas at a time with just a backpack and a holopad, Keith didn't try to stop him. Lance was sure his husband would if he knew the number of high places he'd frequented since their arrival. But what kind of team challenge would it be if it wasn't designed to test individual and team strengths?

 

*
Giving in to his bodily urges, Lance was still a little tender when Acxa landed Keith's ship in the clearing near the jet they'd borrowed. His husband had told him he was scared over him being in the field, and that he'd have an answer for him by the time the movement was over. Lance didn't like to mention that he was kind of heartbroken that Keith had spent quintants thinking and still couldn't come to a clear conclusion over what they were going to do. His husband still loved him, still wanted to be with him, but what came next hinged on the success of this training mission. He was due right before Hunk's wedding... To him, the clear choice would be to return to the outpost for a movement or two, just enough to speed the pregnancy along... or even weekends. After pouring blood, sweat, and tears into getting the place into something functional, he wasn't prepared to walk away. Keith was his precious husband... but he was sure with how suspicious Keith had been over Krystaal, that his husband harboured feeling deeper than friendship for the man. That's what he wanted him to work out. He wanted Keith to work out that he did, then he wanted his husband to choose him. He'd given him the option to decide to walk away. Doing so would break Lance beyond words, but keeping Keith and forcing him to suffer... He couldn't live with that either. He wasn't proud of spreading his legs for his husband. He hadn't wanted to while Keith's feelings were so up in the air. Yet all the hormones coursing through his system had him waking up so wet between his legs, he'd soaked Keith's sweats with the slick substance he produced. Keith's hands were all over him the moment his husband woke, Lance nearly crying as Keith massaged at his small budding breasts, his nipples so tender that the slightest touch burned. With no one around, beneath the red sky of the planet, Keith had fucked him until the pleasure turned to pain, and his hips felt dislocated. Covered in fresh lovebites and limping, his uncomfortableness left Zethrid and Ezor in stitches as he tried to salvage some of his "reputation", which had fallen to land somewhere beneath the purple leaf litter, then sunk down into the unseen topsoil.

 

Acxa had delivered them an angry message from Veronica over him departing from Altea without telling her or the others. Lance had told Shiro, Curtis and Coran, letting Krolia cover for them when it came to the others. It didn't mean his sister wasn't damn near-apocalyptic in the recording. He's said they'd talk... and they hadn't. She'd probably run to their mother, then he'd cop it from her... Ugh. The quiznakking mess the fallout was sure to bring was enough to make him seriously considering never returning home. Something he had been considering since he'd found out he was pregnant, and knew the aunties would most likely shun him to the point of him becoming taboo. Being bisexual was bad enough, or "gay" as their narrow minds labelled it. Love was love. Just because he loved someone with more of the same bits and pieces as him, didn't make him anything less. No. He was kind of less than human, but if Keith wanted his twins, then there was no way he was letting them start their lives being tainted due to the fact he was a walking abomination. The embodiment of sin... It was all a load of quiznakking crap anyway. He was soon to be 24. He needed to stand on his own two feet, or face being swept under someone's thumb and never realising any of his remaining dreams. Not that he had many of those. He wanted Keith to be happy. He wanted to see Shiro and Curtis wed. The same for Hunk and Shay. He wanted to see Daehra reach her goal, and see Lucteal ask Yule out on a proper date. He'd given up Zak, Tobias or Pidge ever marrying... though they'd both made progress on their prospective projects. If they combined their forces, they'd more than likely combine them for evil. Building the world's first sentient sex bot or something along those lines. A different kind of mail order bride, or groom, or robot... He didn't like to think ill of Tobias, he just lacked so many social skills.

 

Prewarned that Lance was their commander for the duration of their training camp, the first thing he did was order the others to make camp, as he sent Keith and Kosmo off to gather firework. Having arrived midday, it was more important they first "found" shelter, and orientated themselves in the clearing, so they'd be able to use telltale landmarks to find their ways back in they became lost during their adventure, than it was important to launch into training without being properly prepared. Safety came first. Maybe because Lance was scowling so fiercely, not wanting to the group of recruits to think of him as "Keith's kept woman", none of them took him all that seriously. Ezor giggling her head off. As annoying as it was, he didn't show his irritation or deviate from his mental plan. The moment the recruits had lined up in front of him at Ezor's command, he'd begun relaying information they'd need to complete their objecting. Krystaal seemed especially pissed at him. His arms crossed as he looked bored. Lance would have paid good GAC to see a bird shit on him as he talked, only, he hadn't seen that many birds that weren't on ground level... Unimpressed by the lack of cooperation, Lance snubbed the others as he rearranged Keith's sleeping area. Krolia had given him permission to run the training exercise, that should be all that mattered. Plus, he'd worked exceptionally hard to pull all of it off. With his mood souring as self-doubt began pouring in... He decided that when Kosmo came back, the pair of them were going to bed very early... with Keith.

 

Keith refused to let him go to bed early. His husband had done a good job collecting firewood, and with Kosmo acting too protective of him, growling at Acxa when she came to report that everyone had set up their sleeping areas. Not wanting to risk anyone being bitten by Kosmo again, Keith had insisted that they needed to spend the night near the recruits, so Kosmo could see they meant no harm. That was how Lance found himself sitting around the main campfire with the others, cuddled up in Keith's lap by mostly his own choosing. Keith was off the market... so he may have ever so slightly been staking his claim. Drifting in and out of the conversation, Lance spent most of his time mentally sizing each member up.
There were 6 recruits, the only one polite enough to introduce herself had been Regetta, but that meant 4 snobby Galra that his anxieties were telling him weren't to trust... The number dropping to three when one of the male recruits managed to set himself on fire, despite being a good foot away from the fire itself, and not even looking at it when it happened. Now it seemed to him they were less like snobs, and more like quiznakking idiots... Which was all the better for his training plans... These idiots were going to have to work with Keith's main team if they had any hopes of advancement.

 

 

*
Woken in the middle of the night with morning sickness, Lance crept up into Keith's ship feeling like he was some kind of thief. He wasn't used to the quiet and empty feeling, nor did he have the layout memorised, so simply decided to stick the rest of the night out sleeping on the bathroom floor, where Kosmo and Keith found him in the morning. With a hot shower under his belt, he felt better about facing the recruits. Keith had pampered him in the shower, massaging his aching shoulder's until he forgot he was mad him, and something suspiciously purr like wouldn't stop rumbling up from his chest. Stupid Keith and his stupid skilled hands... And extra stupid Keith for reminding him that he'd been neglecting to check in with mami and Jorge. Acxa had reported magnetic solar storms that would have made outside communications impossible anyway, so he didn't need the reminder anyway. Not when it would be a full week of peace that he was past due. If not for the up and down between him and Keith, the last 4 quintants were heavenly. He loved the forest. He loved how Keith's natural scent matched that of their campfire. This, whatever it was, was what he'd needed.

 

Breakfast was better than dinner had been, everyone seemed much more talkative with him, expanding the number of names lance knew when it came to the recruits. Regetta he’d decided he liked. Krytaal was a big fat nope. Legre, the idiot who’d set himself on fire was a bit of an airhead... Happy to wander around chasing invisible butterflies or something, until he tripped up over his own feet... Melda was the... He was friends with Legre by the same... specialness. They weren’t like the Blade members of the past at all. Or maybe because Kolivan and Krolia were so scary, Lance found them lacking. That wasn’t to say that Melda and Legre had no redeeming qualities at all, it was more a fact that they were yet to be seen... and because he was a mostly okayish person, he was going to keep his mouth quiet about their lacking “smarts” if they proved to be “dumb smart” like him.

 

Asking Zethrid to gather everyone for him, Lance stood as tall as he could. Though not the smallest of the group, he wanted to make himself at least seem like a credible threat. Clearing his throat, he would have kicked Keith in the shin if he could have. His husband having the audacity to snicker at his attempts at confidence. Pouting mentally, he wasn’t going to miss his chance at revenge when the time was right. Pointing at the two recruits he didn’t know, the others looked to them
“You and you. Names”
The smaller female Galra of the unnamed pair didn’t seem impressed over being singled out, holding her tongue. She wasn’t overly remarkable. If anything she looked like a cardboard cut out of a young Galra. The second Galra stepping forward to stand to attention. Lance now regretting singling her out. Saluting, then bowing deeply, Lance blinked at her rapidly as he tried to process her level of dedication
“My name is Nerlo, sir! It is an honour to meet you, sir! I look forward to working with you, sir!”

 

Yelling at her feet. Lance mentally cringed. He wasn’t “sir”. He didn’t like being called “sir”. Looking the woman up and down as she straightened, Lance could pretty much see the stars in her eyes. Greaaaaat. Just fucking fantastic... Wait. No. He couldn’t let his annoyance show... Professional. He could be professional. It was just like... No. it wasn’t just like training Lucteal and Daehra. Or when they busted Zak out... If it was, things wouldn’t be so damn hard
“Umm... Excellent energy, Nerlo, but why don’t we keep that for the course? You’re going to need all the energy you can get. Now, because your friend decided she’s going to glare at me, your name is gonna beeee... Rachel”

 

Acxa covered her face with her hands, a small groan escaping her lips. Zethrid and Ezor both snickered audibly, as Keith covered his mouth with his hands. As much as her like to say he wasn’t petty, “Rachel” had rubbed him the wrong way. When no one bothered to correct him, Lance gave an exaggerated shrug
“Soooo. I’m Lance, Keith’s husband and Acxa’s brother in law, because she’s dating my sister and she’s like a sister to Keith... and saying it like that sounds creepy. Now. Krolia has given me full permission to test your skills however I please, then report back to her. Keith and I have been here for the last 4 quintants in preparation for this. However, Keith has no idea what’s about to happen. If you’d all like to get your comms out, I have mapped out the area in play. I’ve divided the course into four segments around the clearing... ya’ know what, it’s going to be easier if you’re looking at the map when I explain. I can’t just send you the map in a bulk message thanks to our friend the sun, so we have to do this the old way with cords”

 

Transferring his maps to Keith, Acxa, Zethrid, and Ezor, they passed it along to the recruit. Lance wasn’t about to take the subtle bullying from ”Rachel”, as he refused to speak until she’d pulled up her map on her holopad. Smiling sickeningly sweetly, Lance continued as he manipulated his own map
“Excellent. This looks good. So, because I’m not an arsehole, I took pity on you all. Using the standard specifics of the older model Cruisers that we encountered as Voltron, I took the area of the top three floors and drew my area boundary 3 miles long, so it runs parallel to the escarpment about 5 miles away... Now I’m distracting myself. On your maps, the nice friendly yellow circle is this clearing. As you can see, there are four areas for this training exercise. Today you’ll be in the shiny green area in the northeast corner. I’ve hidden half a dozen targets for each team to retrieve. If you don’t retrieve them all, you won’t be able to pass into the next quadrant”

 

Zethrid crossed her arms, eyebrow raised. Yes. It sounded super easy
“The aim of this task is to operate on limited information, and iron out the kinks before we take this show on the road. I may be Keith’s husband, and for that, I know a whooooole lot of what I said, you all blanked out. Since the moment you all arrived, I’ve dropped clues. I also had the benefit of having Kosmo by my side, and I’ve climbed a tree or two in my life. You’ll need to find out tracks. Each target will give you a partial hint towards the next one. It might say something as simple as “left” or it might say something like “36”. Your job is to work on the information you have, then make and draw correct conclusions. If you pass out the boundaries, you’ve got the dead. Climbing in and out of ships unnoticed is harder than it sounds. In my sector of space, you go in guns blazing. I’m not going to shoot you, but you will incur a day delay... and that will interrupt the next activity... and the next... you’ll get it when we get there”

 

Patting his leg, Kosmo obediently trotted over to him. Wrapping his hand around the wolf’s blinged-out collar, Lance allowed himself a tiny smile
“You’re all going to break into teams. Kosmo will be staying here with me. Because you can’t always take a magical cosmic wolf everywhere with you. You’ll be maintaining “radio silence” between the teams. If you’re seen by another operative, your mission could go to quiznak... and you’ll occur a 6 varga time penalty. Time for the teams! Zethrid, you will be working with Nerlo on finding the pink targets. Ezor, you will be working with Krystaal and Melda. Your targets are blue. Acxa, and Rachel 2.0, your targets are like a shiny black grey. Keith, that leaves you with Regetta and Legre... to find the purple targets. Yeah, that should work... See, the thing is guys, sometimes you’ve gotta work with people who aren’t like you at all. You’ll find your first targets only a few trees in. If you can’t find it, come back and I’ll show you. If you get lost, stuck or injured, call for Kosmo and we’ll come help you out. I suggest you take both your blasters and your blades, as well as water. The forest isn’t air-conditioned like a nice big battle cruiser, plus there are no convenient vents to hide in. The terrain out there can be unstable, so always watch your step. Your suits can withstand most damage, but that doesn’t make you invincible. Be alert... and have fun. I’ll see you all in... well, the quickest time Kosmo and I laid out a track and got back was 2 vargas by foot alone, so I expect you’ll be back by sunset. If you’re not, stay where you are. I’ve got all targets mapped, so we can trace your movements... that and the best tracking dog in the universe. Right. Go. Get whatever else you think you’re going to need and can carry on your body”

 

Giving them a small wave, Lance turned his back on the group, hoping they’d leave sooner rather than later as his stomach had started rolling halfway through giving instructions. So far his secret seemed safe, his scent caught in the protective weave of his bodysuit. Following him happily, Kosmo licked at his gloved fingers in search for the pats he knew he was going to get as soon as the others left. Lance planned to get a few vargas sleep provided his pregnancy allowed him, as well as staying out of the direct heat, and keeping hydrated. Then he’s work on the small explosive devices he wanted for stage three of the exercise. None of the teams would suspect it, but when they collected their targets, the “information” they successfully collected came together to produce 4 of his mother’s best recipes. They needed to give him a code word from the recipes for them to move onto part two... which was the same word for all four teams. Maybe that was slightly douchey, yet he couldn’t wait to see the looks on their faces. Sometimes you went through hell sneaking around, all for it all to be for nothing. That was another lesson he wanted to drive home. The thought of being penalised was just for added measure...