Oooo, for the prompt thing, what about Lance talking to Keith in a quiet moment where the BoM and Voltron are actually in the same room about why Keith really left... Like, what was the 'other' part of the reason Keith left? Lance probably thinks it has something to do with hiiimmmmmmm
Lance sits in the common room with Keith next to him. Their knees touch slightly. Lance sighs and listens to the sounds of Hunk hovering over something in the kitchen and Pidge entering some numbers into her laptop. Shiro confers quietly on the other side of the room with Allura, Kolivan, and a couple of other blades. The setting is familiar. It’s comfortable. Lance smiles to himself and turns to murmur something quietly to Keith when he pauses.
Ah. Of course.
Where he eyes should meet shades of red he only sees purple. He sighs. Reality comes crushing back.
“Yes?” Keith waits expectantly. Lance shakes his head. His hand gently reaches out to lower Keith’s hood. His fingertips brush against his pale cheek.
“God, pull this down when you’re in here. Your cool, mysterious act fools no one.” Lance smirks. Keith pulls his face away with a pout.
“Just hiding my mullet from you.”
“You gonna try to grow it into a sweet braid?” Lance sneers. He nods over to where Kolivan stands. “Get a super long one like Kolivan and whip your enemies with it?” He moves his head in slow arcs like he’s in a shampoo commercial. Keith frowns… then caves. He smiles shyly.
“No, that would be a huge disadvantage. Enemies could grab me by it.”
“You should tie your knife to the end of it and just SCHWING! SCHWIP!”
Keith laughs at Lance’s sound effects. He can’t remember the last time he laughed like this.
“Keith! Are you paying attention?” Kolivan turns over his shoulder. Imposing and serious as always.
“Yes sir!” Keith sits up. Kolivan nods, then resumes talking to Shiro.
“Jeez,” Lance scoots close so that their sides are against each other. His breath fans against Keith’s ear.
“No fun allowed.”
“You don’t get to be leader by telling jokes.” Keith chuckles. He lets his head turn and he realises how incredibly close he is to Lance. Lance’s expression is relaxed and looks at Keith with lidded eyes and a lazy smile.
“Are you having fun?”
“W….what?” Keith’s pulse starts to hammer. Had he been caught staring.
“With the blades. Are you having fun there?” Lance’s eyes narrow curiously. Keith relaxes. He doesn’t pull away when Lance slides his arm behind him on the couch.
“Fun is… not the word I’d use…”
“Come back then.”
“Lance…” Keith sighs. “I’m needed there.”
“We need you here.”
“No you don’t, I’m superfluous. We have six paladins and only five lions. Shiro is a better leader than me so…”
“So I’ll sit out!”
“No!” Keith suddenly reaches for Lance’s arm. He grips it tightly. His eyes look panicked. “No I don’t want that.”
Lance scowls. His mouth forms a hard line and he pulls his arm away.
“Is that what this is all about?” His voice is dangerously low. “You leaving just so I get a lion?”
“No! No!” Keith shakes his head aggressively. “Lance I…”
“Please, Keith please don’t be the reason you left.” This time it’s Lance that initiates the contact. He gently touches Keith’s thigh. It’s warm. Keith heaves out a long sigh.
“Lance… you are much more important to this team then you realise.” Keith picks up his gaze and forces a smile. “That day… when you came to me and told me about how we need our best paladins to make our strongest team?” He huffs a humourless laugh.
“I never doubted that you would be in a lion. You are one of our best, Lance. I said to not worry about it, because I knew that you would always be in a lion. Maybe not blue, maybe not even Red but…” Keith smiles. He puts his hand on top of Lance’s. Lance stares dumbstruck.
“You’ll always be needed in Voltron.” Keith smiles wider.
“We need you too.” Lance leans closer. Keith shakes his head.
“I’m just a pilot. And good at stabbing things, but you…” Keith leans forward. He dares to cup lance’s cheek with his hand. Lance blushes up to his ears.
“Lance you do things that I could never do. You lift the team up. You’re good with plans and knowing when to fight and when to run. You keep this team together.”
“Then why can’t I keep you?”
Keith’s hand drops. He feels floored. Air escapes his lungs in a rush. He blinks several times as he tries to compose himself. As he tries to build up his walls again in the face of Lance’s brutal honesty.
“I didn’t leave so you could stay.” He swallows. “But I knew I could leave, because the team still had you and Shiro.”
Lance pouts. He’s not satisfied but he knows this isn’t the place to argue. He falls forward until his head thumps against Keith’s shoulder.
“Come back in one piece, you hear?”
Keith wraps his arms around Lance’s middle. He tries to burn the feel of his jacket, the warmth, the weight against his chest into his memory. He isn’t sure when the next time he’ll be able to do this again.
Lance chuckles. It surprises Keith.
“I can’t believe you’re not embarrassed hugging me in front of your new dad.”
“He’s not my new dad.”
“But do you think he’ll yell at you if he sees you getting sentimental?”
“Yeah, but I’ll fight him.” He chuckles and squeezes Lance tighter.
“My money’s on Kolivan.”
“Dude, you’re tiny. Have you seen you with the other blades? It’s hilarious.” Lance laughs into Keith’s chest. It’s warm and rumbles pleasantly. Keith smiles and melts further into the couch.