"I never stood a chance, did I?
"Can you please take your pining somewhere else?" Pidge groaned from where they sat together above the training room.
Ignoring her, Lance continued to watch the scene unfold below him. Butterflies dancing in his stomach as his eyes followed the figure below. He was supposed to be observing for team building but he had long since stopped watching, in tactical terms at least.
He couldn't help it, Keith had to know what he was doing. He refused to believe anyone could be so attractive effortlessly. That Keith wasn't aware of how his muscles flexed we took a swing at one of the training Bots. His eyes flashing dangerously when one got too close to him or Hunk, who he was partnered up with this time. The victorious smirk that spread across his face when they succeeded in beating the level. It was scary how such little things had something stirring deep inside Lance. Something he was afraid to put a name to yet.
" Ugh you guys are gross,” Pidge groaned, earning a scowl from Lance. Honestly, he wished Hunk was his partner this time. At least he would humor Lance instead of calling him gross.
However, turning it back to the scene below a frown settled across his face at what he saw. Below Keith and Hunk had stopped training, a new presence making its way towards them. A few words exchanged leading to Hunk breaking off for a water break off to the side of the room, leaving Keith and the newly-arrived Shiro to converse amongst themselves.
Lance couldn't hear what they were saying but from the disappointed shake of Shiro's head at the consoling hand Keith place on his shoulder, he surmised it had to deal with the black lion.
Ever since Shiro had returned the black lion had strangely been shutting him out. Not once since his return did they respond to his presence, their eyes dark as they sat as still as could be. When asked Allura had no answers to why this was happening, in fact she was as confused as the others. Keith even tried asking Black but he never received an answer for the question. Perhaps it was really the simple matter of Black choosing Keith over Shiro? And while that seemed perfectly reasonable, something didn't sit right with Lance. Even though Blue was no longer his lion he could still feel the other every now and then. But with black, Shiro couldn't feel them at all. He should be able to at least feel a tickle, right?
"Since they're done now let's go see them, maybe it will ease your pining," Pidge teased, snapping Lance out of his thoughts.
Rolling his eyes in ood humor he followed her down. Mind wandering again to Shiro and the black lion. Out of all them Shiro had the closest relationship to his lion, second to only Keith and the Red Lion at times. So how could a bond like that be so easily thrown out? Did Black prefer Keith over Shiro as they all believed or were they mad at Shiro considering he had disappeared? However, since Black was the one who sent him away, the latter didn't make any sense. Maybe the lions were just naturally fickle? It would explain his situation with Blue after all. But before he could expand on that thought they had arrived at the control room. He couldn't help but be secretly happy as his mind was starting to take a dangerous turn with those thoughts.
Upon entering the room Pidge immediately gravitated towards Hunk. The two of them immediately drifting into discussing new projects as soon as they were within earshot of one another. Not in the mood to listen to their nerd talk he turned his attention to Keith and Shiro. Still in discussion about something that had Lance's curiosity stirring.
Approaching the two Lance's guard went up as they caught sight of him and stopped talking. However, he soon relaxed when Shiro offered him a warm smile and Keith regarded him with a soft look of his own. A few last words were said by Shiro before he patted Keith on the shoulder and started in the direction of Lance.
Meeting him halfway Lance stopped in front of the other. Arms patiently resting behind his back as he rocked back on his heels, curiosity eating at him as he wanted to ask Shiro what was up. But before he could say anything Shiro of course beat him to the punch.
“What's up Lance?" he asked with a warm smile.
"Ah nothing much I suppose. Didn't want to join in on Pidge and Hunk's nerd talk,” he answered truthfully, well as truthfully as he could be without revealing his burning curiosity.
Shiro chuckled with a understanding twinkle in his eyes. He too knew how confusing and boring Pidge and Hunk's conversations could be. Though as they stood there the moment of agreement turned to an awkward silence. Lance almost squirming under Shiro's gaze, a gaze that seemed almost calculating and had the hairs on the back of Lance's neck standing up.
“So... What were you guys talking about?" Lance asked, curiosity getting the better of him coupled with his desire to dispel the awkward air. He almost sighed in relief when this seemed to snap Shiro out of whatever weird daze he was in.
“ Oh just another failed attempt getting Black to respond to me" Shiro admitted while sheepishly rubbing the back of his neck. No doubt slightly embarrassed at getting another rejection.
Deciding not to make it any worse, Lance only hummed in understanding. Boy did he know how bad it sucked to be rejected by someone you once thought wanted you. Yeah, never a fun feeling.
“It is what it is I suppose. I'll just have to try again another time,” Shiro continued on as Lance's eyes drifted elsewhere.
Elsewhere being a certain mullet head who was in the process of stretching. His arms flexing as he extended them above his head. Shirt riding up to reveal a pale sliver of skin that had Lance trying not to blush. God he had forgotten how hot is brain thought Keith was at times.
Seeing how distracted the other was Shiro shook his head with a chuckle. Reaching out he ruffled the others hair, snapping him back to attention.
"I'm going to make sure Pidge and Hunk don't get too crazy with their plans. Here, why don't you give this to Keith for me?" he said as he handed Lance a small towel.
Taking it Lance didn't get a chance to say anything back at as Shiro made his way over to the other two paladins. Leaving Lance standing there almost looking like an idiot with a towel clutched his hands. Looking towards Keith he saw that he was still turned away from him and luckily didn't see that little moment of embarrassment for Lance.
Taking a deep breath Lance carefully approached Keith, his heart trying to be out of his chest as he did so. All he was going to do was hand a towel to Keith and he was a blushing mess. This separation of theirs was affecting him more than just one area it seemed.
Stopping only a few feet from the other he did his best to compose himself before clearing his throat. Nervous beyond belief as Keith turned to face him, his eyebrows rising in curiosity as well as surprise. Remembering his purpose for all of this before he could get lost in Keith's eyes, he thrust the towel out to Keith with a bright blush on his cheeks.
"I...Um...This is for you," he finished lamely.
For a moment he was afraid Keith wouldn't take it. That he would turn his back on Lance and walk away. Just the thought was devastating enough that it got Lance reconsidering this whole thing. Was it too late for him to drop the towel and run?
Before he could stew any longer though gentle hands reached out and took the towel from his hands. Thumbs brushing over his knuckles in a soothing manner. So fast that he almost thought he imagined it. Raising his eyes, he was met with the soft, fond look Keith reserved just for him as well he took the towel. Lance's heart practically melting right there.
"Thank you, Lance, that's very sweet of you," Keith said while he begun to wipe the sweat from his neck and face.
"Oh it’s no problem," Lance responded, a pretty pink blush staining his face. His eyes focused on his hands which he fiddled with in embarrassment.
Eyes not seeing the way Keith's trailed over his face. The violet eye's shining with fondness and adoration as they took in Lane's pink face. Teeth tugging on his lips as all kinds of romantic and some admittedly dirty thoughts raced through Keith's head. Oh Lordy he had it bad for this boy.
What Lance was quite aware of was the thumb coming up to brush at his cheekbone. Calloused fingers gently cradling the side of his face. Eye's shooting up he blushed even deeper when confronted with the look of tenderness that sat across Keith's face. When was the last time Keith touched him like this? Touched him with such love and care that Lance was almost brought to tears?
However, as he leaned into the touch his heart fell as the moment shattered around them. Keith starting in surprise as he let his hand drop. If that didn't make something deep within Lance ache and fester, he didn’t know what would. But he couldn't let that show at least not here in front of the others.
"Sorry," Keith mumbled out as he turned and walked out. Now was not the time to let his emotions get the best of him.
Lance didn’t say anything in response. Instead he sunk into himself as an all too familiar tune escaped is lips and offered comfort. There was a place to break down, but it certainly wasn't here. It was with that thought that he left as well. Oblivious to the pair of calculating deep brown eyes that had witnessed everything and followed him out.
With every step he took he swore that all the muscles in his body were protesting at once. He was beyond swore and would bet that there were quite a few nasty bruises underneath his suit. That last mission had been utter shit and while he was making progress it still wasn't enough. Not for Kolivan and not for Keith either.
"Your still too distracted," Kolivan's words echoed in his head as Keith stomped down the castle hallways.
Keith thought that he was doing ok. Stellar in fact but it appeared not if Kolivan's words were anything to go by. How the hell was he supposed to know that the sentries could detect bombs if set too early? And yes, while using his Galra enhancements to hack his way through was frowned upon by Kolivan, what else was he supposed to do? Everything worked out in the end so what was the problem?
Huffing in frustration Keith continue to stomp through the castle. Hood pulled up with a world-class frown settled across his face. After getting back to the castle he had no destination in mind. His room maybe so he could take the time to let his body relax. All he knew was that he didn't want to see or speak to anyone at the moment.
Which was the exact moment Shiro moved into his path.
"Keith you're back from your mission! How did it go?"
Sighing as he knew this conversation was going to happen, Keith stopped in front of the other. Well at least Shiro cared enough to ask and was someone he could confine in.
"Not the greatest. Kolivan still doesn't want me using my Galra side," he admitted.
Humming in thought Shiro answered," I see. Well I guess it can't be helped how he thinks of it. But between you and me, I think it's a good thing."
Perking up at his words Keith raised an eyebrow, "Seriously?"
"Yeah I mean it's part of you right? It is hard suppressing something like that. And while there have been rough patches with them team over it, I do believe it has helped. If anything in my opinion it brings an extra edge to the team," Shiro explained.
"Do you really think so?" Keith asked, touched that Shiro was taking the time to comfort him.
Putting a hand on his shoulder, Shiro gave him a comforting squeeze before answering, "Yeah I do."
Smiling at the words Keith relaxed. After such a shitty day he needed something like that. Needed to have someone take his side.
"Thank you Shiro."
"No problem kiddo. Oh! Before I forget can you tell Lance I would like to see him? I want to go over some formations with him and considering his room is right next to yours, I figured it would be easier."
Now the last person Keith wanted to see right now was Lance for a whole slew of reasons. But after the support he had just offered, how could he say no? Sighing Keith nodded his head while receiving some thanks from Shiro. Open the door, tell Lance, leave. It was simple enough.
Nothing could prepare him though for the sight that greeted him once he opened the door. Upon reaching Lance's room he gave a quick knock before placing his hand on the scanner. Grateful that Lance hadn't changed it to deny him entry. As the door slid open he opened his mouth to tell Lance Shiro's message but the words died in his throat at the site he encountered.
Standing there dripping wet with nothing but a towel held close against his body and barely covering his privates was non-other than Lance. His eyes wide as saucers from where he looked back at Keith standing in the doorway.
Keith tried to keep his eyes from wandering, he really did. But if he was weak to anything it had to be Lance. And considering he had never seen Lance like this… well hopefully he would be forgiven for letting his eyes wander. Forgiven for letting his eyes wander over soft tan legs that seemed to go on for miles. The skinny towel allowing Lance's slim hips to be visible. The brand on his hip now white with healing. Travelling farther up his eyes took in Lance's tapered waist and broad shoulders. The scars doing little to take away from the beauty that was every inch of brown skin. His arms starting to regain that muscle he once had, delicate wrists attached to slim, long fingers. Hands he could spend hours kissing in worship. Finally, his eyes made their way to the others face and a pair of sapphire eyes met amethyst ones.
And then the moment ended.
Letting out a screech Lance scrambled to yank the towel around him, failing as it only slid back into its original place every time. Keith himself trying to figure out what to do but only ended up looking like an idiot as he spazzed in place.
"Close the door!" Lance shrieked from where he still wrestled with the towel.
"R-right shit sorry!" Keith stammered as he stepped into the room, this allowing the door to slide shut behind him.
Seeing what Keith had done, Lance let out a groan as he all but gave up on the towel and opted to hold it as close as possible. " I meant with you on the other side," he snapped as his face lost a little of its previous redness.
"Sorry I just…well I panicked," Keith said, internally cursing himself for losing his cool like that. Way to make an embarrassing situation even worse.
Irritated but knowing it was an accident Lance rolled his eyes, " Yeah I can see that," he responded with a huff.
Keith could only look away in embarrassment. He should have knocked for once in his life. Or better yet told Shiro no. Now he was stuck with an irritated Lance and a faint itch in his gut. What the hell was that?
"Is there any particular reason you felt the need to barge in here?" Lance asked, snapping Keith out of it but only for a split second.
"Shiro wanted me to tell you he wanted to see you," Keith did his best to answer. The itch inside beginning to prickle as he got a glimpse of those slim hips again.
"Shiro sent you?" Lance questioned with a cocked eyebrow. His eyes narrowing with a hint of suspicion.
Huffing Keith snapped back, "Yes Lance, he did." His eyes still fighting to go back to those hips, saliva starting to pool in his mouth. God what the fuck was wrong with him?
Seeing the inner turmoil Keith seemed to be going through, Lance softened up. While the situation was beyond awkward he couldn’t stay mad at Keith for long. Especially when it was an accident, and something was clearly bothering the other.
"Keith what's wrong?" Lance asked in a gentle tone.
By now the itch had evolved into a full-blown hunger gnawing at his gut. Against his will he could feel his senses sharping, Galra instincts setting in as he got a whiff of the air. The clean, pure smell of Lance assaulting his senses automatically and only making it worse. His eyes snapping up back to those irresistible hips of his. One touch wouldn’t hurt right?
Straightening to his full height Keith begun to walk towards Lance, steps loud and insistent a he closed the gap between the two of them. Lance meanwhile was startled by the sudden change in the other. His feet stepping back against his will as he retreated. Eyes wide in confusion and a little bit of unease.
This went on till Lance's back hit the wall. Hands feebly clutching unto the towel still. Keith didn’t stop till he was well into Lance's personal space. One of his feet placed in between Lance's as hesitant hands came to rest on slender hips.
For a moment neither of them said anything. Only looked at each other as if they were lost in a trance. Keith becoming fascinated with how he could hear how fast Lance's heart was beating. Before it would have freaked him out but now it only stirred the hunger in his gut even more. His breath coming in little pants as his Galra instincts pushed to dominate over him.
"Keith…" Lance mumbled into the space between the two of them. His voice soft and breathy with yearning.
It seemed Keith wasn't the only one losing himself to the electric spark between them. Lance's eyes were becoming hooded as he leaned forward, decreasing the space between the two of them even more. By now they were only a hairs breath away from each other. Face's inches apart as eyes roamed over features.
Body reacting Keith let his hand settle completely on Lance's hips. His thumbs pressing into his flesh with the slightest amount of pressure. Not enough to bruise but to remind Lance of where his hands were. And by the content sigh he received it seemed it was ok.
More than ok in fact as one of Lance's hands let go of the towel as his arm came to wrap around Keith's neck. Using it to pull himself closer until their noses were brushing. Eyes locked on each other’s lips in the process. Lost in the moment they both begun to lean in. Mouths inching closer as they each felt each other’s breath on them. So close to kissing for the first time in many weeks.
And then Lance pulled back quickly and let out a cute but loud sneeze. Everything came to a grinding halt as Keith stepped back several feet and Lance clutched at his towel while he rubbed his nose. The shivers running down his body reminding them both that he was still naked and wet from his shower.
Keith could only stare as the last few minutes passed by. He had almost kissed Lance. Had almost given into his desires and Galra side even though he had promised himself he wouldn't touch Lance intimately until he learned to control himself. He had been plenty ok with letting this progress to where ever it was going without even thinking about the situation much less the consequences. He had let himself be sucked into his emotions and had dragged Lance down with him.
Beyond ashamed Keith uttered a quick, "Shiro wanted me to tell you that he wanted to see you," before he was bolting out the door. Letting it shut behind him without even a glance back at the other as he stomped the short distance to his room.
Lance stood there for a moment in total silence and shock. Shivers still racking down his body. It wasn't until he heard something smashing in Keith's room did he snap out of it. Listening closely, he could hear more items being broken along with the sound of a frustrated roar. Well so much for Keith not destroying his room anymore.
Sighing Lance let the towel drop as he begun to pull on his clothes. Mind doing its best to block out the almost kiss. As much as he had wanted it to happen there was nothing he could do now. Keith sure as hell wasn't going to listen to him now and all Lance wanted right now was to curl into a ball of self-pity. So yeah, no romantic thoughts for him.
Though one thing did nag at him. Keith had said Shiro wanted to see him? But how could that be when he had just seen the man and told him he was going to take a shower? Did he forget? Yeah that had to be it, otherwise it didn’t make sense.
Lance knew Keith didn't mean to do it on purpose, but it still sucked. This was what, Keith's 15th or was it 16th mission where he was gone longer than expected. And this time it was not something they could ignore. Not when they were fighting for not only their lives but the lives of the rebels around them at the moment.
They had managed to save 4 out of 5 ships from the Galra but the 5th was currently stuck in a tractor beam. They had been fighting for what felt like hours and Lance was sure he would be just one big bruise by the end of all this. There was still no word on Keith nor could Coran get in contact with the Blade. If this went on any longer things weren't going to end well.
"I'm sorry guys but Black is still shutting me out," Shiro spoke into the coms, frustration tinting his voice.
Nobody responded as they continued to fight off the waves of fighter ships. Desperate to get to the last rebel ship but not close enough yet. It wasn't Shiro's fault by any means, but it didn't make any of them less frustrated. Even now when they needed help the most, Black was shutting him out.
"The supply ship is almost captured," Allura panted as she and Blue worked to shake off more fighters.
Growling in frustration Lance turned his eyes to the helpless ship. She was right, at this rate it would fall into the hands of the Galra along with their poor pilots. If only there was a way to get them out quick enough.
All of a sudden a thought struck Lance. It was risky, and he ran the chance of not only hurting himself but the rebels too. But then again what choice did they have? Nothing else was working and Red was the most likely one to pull this off. He had to at least try right?
Red's encouraging growl was all he needed before he set his plan into motion. Weaving his way to the ship he started to charge Red's boosters to maximum capacity. Being careful to time everything just right less he miss or the boosters shorted out before he got there. Taking a deep breath, he waited till he was perfectly in line with the small ship. There was his chance.
Pushing the controls forward as far as he could, activating the boosters while he clenched his teeth as they rocketed forward. Consoling Red the best he could when they smashed through fighters like bugs on a windshield. He was like a comet, ripping through anything in his path as he hurtled towards the small ship. If his calculations were correct the boosters would lose power just as he reached the ship which would allow him to push the ship out without causing it to much damage. God, he prayed his calculations were right otherwise things were about to get ugly as he closed in on the small ship.
But to his momentary relief he was happy to see that he was right as his boosters shortened out allowing him to slow down and ram the little ship straight out of the tractor beam. Sending a quick apology to them as they spiraled out before regaining control and getting to safety.
Of course, the moment was short lived as Lance could feel the beam pulling Red in. There was no way of him getting out of this now. His boosters were completely shot and unusable at the moment. All he could do was wait and hope that one of the others came and helped him. And if not? Well better him than those pilots.
But before he could be sucked in any further a all to familiar Black blur slammed into the ship, causing the tractor beam to veer off. A voice Lance hoped to hear calling out to him.
" I got you Lance!"
Ah so Keith had made it after all.
After that the battle had all been cake. The Galra not standing a chance with Voltron here. Though Lance did have to wince at the anger radiating off the others. No doubt in who it was directed at. Boy this was going to be another fun conversation.
Lance was right of course as as soon as the all met on the bridge, Allura ripped into Keith. Citing bad leadership skills and selfishness as Keith said nothing. How could he though? He knew what he did put the team and others at jeopardy. The guilt and frustration obvious on his face as the others said some things as well. Lance being the only one not to say anything. What was the point? Yelling at Keith right now wasn't going to do any good. Better to save is breath and try and speak to him later.
When the last words had been said everyone had headed out to do their own thing. All seeking solitude and peace after such a stressful mission. That was all except for Keith and Shiro who had stayed behind on the bridge.
Curious and admittedly nosy Lance pretended to leave as well but stayed just out of sight of the door. Silent as could be as he waited for whatever Shiro and Keith were to discuss. Call it spying but they had been a little to secretive as of late and it was starting to bother him.
"You've been off with Kolivan more and more recently" Shiro started.
All was silent for a moment before Keith replied, "You know I have my reasons. I need to control my emotions as well as work on other things."
"Keith, I know you don't want to pilot Black anymore but if anything today proved that Black will continue to shut me out no matter what."
Lance froze as the words left Shiro's mouth. What in the world was he talking about?
Keith let out a weary sigh before he replied, "I tried to stay away for a little longer. I had hoped that a situation like that would push Black to accept you. But with everything happening the way it was I couldn’t willingly stay back any longer."
Lance's mind was reeling with the sudden information he was receiving. Keith didn’t want to pilot Black anymore and was pushing them to accept Shiro once again? He also had been there to step in earlier but did nothing? Let Lance pull off that crazy stunt before stepping in to the help? That last part had Lance's blood boiling with fury.
However, Shiro's next words doused his anger in one fell swoop, "Is it still because of Lance?"
"Not all of it but yeah. Shiro he's worked so hard and been through so much to get where he is now. It would be better if you piloted Black," Keith said, his voice weighed down with sadness.
"So, I'm taking that means you're still firm in your decision in not taking Red back from him?" Shiro asked.
"Yeah. It would be better for me to take a support role. I couldn't bear to take this away from Lance."
It was too much for Lance to hear all this. Keith wanted to step aside because he didn’t want to hurt him by taking away Red? His long missions away were also to push Black to accept Shiro so he could do just that? Even after everything they had been through Keith still made decisions without him. Still didn’t tell him everything. It was a fact that tore Lance apart and had him rushing away before he could hear anymore or do something stupid. Oblivious though to a pair of deep brown eyes, that had known he was there the whole time, follow him out.
Said eyes turned their attention back to Keith before asking their next question, "I take it things haven't been going very well?"
"I wouldn’t say that exactly. There has been… some moments but I suppose it could be worse," Keith admitted, weary of where he knew this conversation was going.
"Keith, you know its ok to want him, right? To desire him?" Shiro asked with a hint of teasing.
Sighing at the older man’s antics Keith nodded his head, "I know that but I don’t think we're ready for that. At least not yet."
Smiling at Keith's words, Shiro laid a reassuring hand on his shoulder. "And that’s fine. But also, don’t forget its ok to pursue what you want."
Letting out a soft smile show through Keith nodded his head in understanding. "Thanks, Shiro. I'm glad you're here supporting me."
"Any time. Trust me though I'm here whenever you need me."
Meanwhile Lance was rushing back to his room. Tears of hurt streaming down his face as he viciously rubbed them. He tried to suck it up and stop but they just kept coming. All he wanted to do was make it back to his room before someone ran into him.
“I never stood a chance, did I?” He sobbed in defeat.