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"Listen," he asked, taking him by the shoulders, pausing his current nervous breakdown and focusing his attention on his blue eyes; of a blue that he had not seen in two years, "I can't explain it, but you're going to have to trust me."

He opened his mouth, wanting to protest, but a knock on the door made them jump, instinctively looking at it warily.

“Lance?” Came from the other end, Nyma's familiar voice making him sigh in relief.

But before he could get up to open it or answer it, he was pulled to the ground again, Keith covering his mouth with his palm while putting his index finger over his own, asking for silence. He blinked, wanting to speak, but his voice came out muffled and almost inaudible.

"Lance, open up, I know you're there."

He glanced at the door, trying to point it out, but Keith shook his head, still holding his index finger to his closed mouth.

"Lance," Nyma insisted again, but after a curse in a language that was obviously Galra, a much louder blow to the wood was heard, exalting them.

"He's not here," growled another voice, deeper, causing him to shiver, and looking into the blue eyes he realized why he had asked to be silent.

"I'm sorry, Sendak," apologized the voice familiar to him, the one he had been listening and answering for months. "I thought I had come in here."

"Find him," ordered Sendak, one of the generals of the Galra Empire. "It is inadmissible that he meets the Prince."

After a whispered agreement, the footsteps retreated from the room, leaving them relatively alone. The hand over his mouth pulled away, letting him breathe air he didn't know he was holding, and he blinked at nothing for a few seconds, trying to understand what he had heard. The person in front of him instead dropped to the ground, letting out a heavy sigh and staring at the ceiling, stretching his neck and relaxing his shoulders.

"They have more spies than I thought," he muttered more to himself, and it was what made him pay attention to him.

"What was…" he began doubtfully, not even knowing how to ask.

He watched him for a moment, his eyes slightly hidden under his now longer hair, and he sat more comfortably on the floor, looking down for a moment.

"I can't explain it," he said softly, his fingers fidgeting between them, "Not now. We do not have much time."

He opened his mouth and closed it, puzzled, and realized that the initial shock of having found him a few minutes ago, after two years with no signs of life from him, was still consuming him inside.


He saw him blink, cocking his head.


He grabbed his shoulders, shaking him as hard as his arms could, and felt his hands grip the sides of his body, shocked by the movement.

"Where the hell have you been?!" he yelled, his voice cracking, "How could you do this to me?!"


"I've been waiting for you!" He exclaimed, tears streaming into his eyes, "I've been thinking for years that you'd come back!"

He felt his fingers tighten on his clothes, and he realized that he could no longer control his sobs.


"How could you leave me?" He murmured, feeling his throat scratch and his voice shaking, "How could you leave without saying goodbye?"

He heard him sigh, one of his hands going up to his face and gently wiping the tears away.

"I'm sorry, Lance," he said in a low voice, leaning towards him and making him lean against his chest, wrapping his arms around him and keeping him close to his body, "I had no choice. I had to leave. I couldn't allow you to be in danger."

Lance frowned, sniffling, and rubbed his face into his shirt, snuggling against him.

"I don't get it," he whispered, still hitched up, "You could have told me you had to go..."


"You could have said goodbye, at least."

He felt him shake him head and sighed.

"You could have asked me to run away with you."

He pulled away from him, pushing him by the shoulders and keeping him at that distance, staring at his face with an expression full of surprise.

"What?" He blurted out, his brow furrowing, "Would you have wanted to go with me?"

He watched him silently, detailing the small differences that two years without seeing him had made in his physique —his hair was longer, and impossibly more unruly, though at the time he kept it in a braid, and it framed his face in a charming and careless manner, denoting his fine lines and hard lines, maintaining a softness that seemed never to age. He glanced at his cheek, pierced by a scar that he wanted to disappear with a kiss, or several, and then looked up into his eyes. These hadn't changed at all, and looking at them he remembered all those moments of happiness they had spent together in his childhood, the moments of bewilderment, confusion and pain that came when he became a courtier, and the last moments when he learned that he was the most valuable people in his life, a declaration of love made against his lips, and a kiss he believed had been part of a dream.

"I would have followed you to the end of the world," he confessed, a lot more honest than he thought he could be, shaking his head afterward, "I would do it now. I would always do it."


"I love you, Keith," he laughed softly, smiling despite the tears in his eyes again, "I always did."

Lance heard him sigh, his laugh choked with air, and leaned into him, pausing before stepping fully into his space.

"What are you...?"

"Kiss me, Keith," he asked, "Do it now that I'm awake."

He felt his breath hit his parted lips and then the subtle brush of his mouth against his, ending the distance for himself as he felt so much fullness in his person.

And while he wanted that moment to be eternal as well, things outside that room, beyond the closed door, were too out of control to ignore any longer.

"Lance, listen," he heard him murmur against his neck, humming back, "I would love to continue with this..."

"Don't tell me there's a 'but'," he complained, sitting up a bit to look into his eyes.

"But," he repeated with a mocking smile, making him groan, "I really must go."

"Really, really?" he asked, tilting his head, fingers deliberately running over his chest, "Or really 'but after kissing you for a while longer'?"

Keith laughed, rolling his eyes, and kissed him promptly, pulling away when he tried to hug his neck to pull him to the ground again.

"Really, really," he answered, putting distance between them and starting to button his shirt, "I already delayed the mission too long, if I stay longer it will become more dangerous.

He watched him adjust his clothes, disgusted to see his skin disappear behind them, and sighed heavily.

"I do not get it."

His eyes scanned him for a few seconds and then lowered to the ground, contemplating.

"I know," Keith said in reply, as if he hadn't been asking for an explanation from the beginning, "But I can't say much.

He pouted, crossing his arms, and wrinkled his nose when he was kissed on his lower lip playfully.

"I'll be back for you, Lance," he murmured, bringing his foreheads together, "Just trust that I will come back for you."

And he knew in that moment that he had always believed that he would come back for him, no matter how many years passed.