@yqlf for the Klance Valentine’s Exchange:
Lance walked the halls, restless, unable to sleep. He knew he wasn’t the only one. He heard Hunk rattling around in the kitchen and Pidge was up and working on some gadget. He hadn’t seen Allura or Coran, but he knew they were awake too. He assumed Keith would be on the training deck taking out his feelings on the gladiator set two levels harder than he SHOULD have been fighting, but…he wasn’t there? What the cheese? Where else could he be? It was Keith. He was either eating, sleeping or training…or fighting with Lance but that was just par for the course.
What wasn’t par for the course was the sniffling he heard as he made his way to the observation deck. Was someone…crying? That wasn’t him? He had just done a round of the castle. Who was it? Lance turned the corner and skidded to a halt. Keith hadn’t been seen out of his room in two days. Ever since they had raced to the black lion and found it empty. Of course, no one blamed him. No one really knew how close Shiro and Keith were, but they all knew they were at least good friends.
He should turn around. That was Lance’s first thought. He almost did too, except…sometimes… when he was crying he WANTED to be found. He wanted someone to notice him and tell him everything was going to be alright. So maybe…Keith did too? Only one way to find out…
“Hey, uh, you okay buddy?” Lance asked quietly staying where he was. Keith looked up, tear streaking down his face to see Lance. Wide eyed and wiping his nose, Keith didn’t tear his gaze from Lance. Couldn’t. He had never seen him looked so…so concerned.
“Hey, Lance.” Keith replied looking down finally. “I’m uh…” He chuckled bitterly. What was the use of lying? He had been caught in the act. “Pretty awful actually.” He admitted.
Lance smiled weakly and nodded. “Yeah, well no one is gonna blame you there.” He said tucking his hands into his pockets. His eyes searched Keith’s when they caught his own for a moment, and his mouth did that thing where it started running before he could turn his filter on. “You want some company?” His cheeks brightened and he stared as his sneakers focusing on a scuff on the left one. It needed to be polished but where the hell was he gonna find shoe polish in space? Maybe the mall? Oh man, he HAD to get back there!
“Sure.” Lance’s eyes snapped up to Keith’s steel coloured one’s, disbelief leaking out before he could check himself.
“I’m sorry, could you speak into my good ear?” Lance said grinning a little. “I thought you said you wanted to have a human interaction with me.”
Keith’s mouth twitched. “Just get over here, idiot.” He muttered looking at his hands.
Lance nodded and plopped himself down. “So…Are you okay?” Lance asked and held up a slim finger. “And before you say yes, please realize that you’re an awful liar and you do that shifty side look and you get all breathy when you lie and I’ll know.” He practically sing songed it at him.
“What do you think?” Keith huffed after a few seconds realizing Lance was right. Keith’s heart clenched painfully as he saw the empty pilot’s chair of the black lion in his mind once again.
“Pretty crappy probably.” Lance bit his lip staring straight ahead. “So my madre always says a hug helps any situation become a little brighter. So uhhhhh….” He pushed his hair out of his eyes, making it a total disaster of disarray. Now his hair was sticking up at odd angles and Keith couldn’t help the snicker.
“So uh what, Lance?” He always seemed to make things better. Yes, Keith still felt like he still had a hole blown straight through him, but Lance had a light in him that made him smile even now. It was like magic. Some sort of mystical talent that kept them all sane. Keith had never realized how much each one of them brought to the team, but Lance was harder to see most of the time. Keith was just now realizing without Lance they probably all would have lost their minds.
“Well do you want a hug?” Lance asked stringing all the words together, but Keith got his jist. His brow shot up, barely noticeable under the thick curtain of his bangs.
“…okay.” Lance practically choked on his own tongue at Keith’s acquiescence. He wasn’t expecting that. He thought it would be some teeth pulling ordeal with Lance finally screaming at Keith and him finally giving in just to shut him up.
“Oh, uhhh, yeah alright.” Lance watched Keith. Personally, he thought it was a trick. Personally, he thought he was going to reach over and Keith was going to try to gnaw his arm off. So Lance treated it like Keith was a bear. A very angry bear who just was woken up from a long winters nap and WHY was he doing this again? Lance carefully slipped an arm around Keith’s shoulders and surprisingly Keith leaned into it.
So, Lance wrapped his other arm around Keith. “There, there.” He said softly because that’s what his madre always did and okay so it sounded a little cheesy, but it must have been somewhat the right thing to do, because Keith wrapped his arms around Lance. Again, he was TOTALLY not expecting this. Like mayday what was HAPPENING? Apparently, Keith REALLY needed a hug.
“It’s okay.” Lance tried again, this time more sincere. “I know it’s hard but I’m here and it sucks, I know it sucks, Keith, but we’re gonna get him back.”
By now Keith was sobbing, clutching at Lance’s shirt and actually just letting it all out. Okay Lance was not prepared for this at all. He would have been more prepared for Zarkon calling a truce while dressed in an evening gown. Still, he had…asked for this? Kinda? He wasn’t gonna back down now. He never backed down from Keith, and he never backed down from a friend. Keith was well both.
“H-he…he told me like-like he knew….He told me when we…we were at the Blade of Marmora’s headquarters that…he…he wanted me to lead Voltron if something ever happened to him. Lance.” Keith looked up puffy eyes boring into him. “I CAN’T lead Voltron.” He shook his head.
Lance stared right back at Keith. “I think you admitting you can’t…probably means you can.” He said scrunching up his face in thought. “Wait, wait hear me out.” He said as Keith began to open his mouth. “You know that you’re not ready but like who else can do it? Allura has to open wormholes. She’s got to be ON the castle to do that. I dunno how we can even FORM Voltron without Shiro.” Lance’s eyes went wide in sudden dawning horror. “How in the quiznak are we gonna form Voltron?” He shook his head.
“You could.” Keith said and Lance laughed. “I’m serious.” Keith grabbed Lance by the shoulders. “You have better plans, and you know how to…you know…people.”
Lance. Just. Stared. Keith was admitting he would be a good leader. But he couldn’t make the calls that needed to be made. Keith could. Keith needed to be the voice of reason when Lance wanted to sacrifice everything for something small that wouldn’t help…but Keith was right Lance was a strategist…but…”Hey Keith, we make a good team.”
It was Keith’s turn to snap his eyes back to Lance’s. “You-you DO remember!” He practically shouted grabbing his shoulders. Lance was blushing. He could feel it all the way to the tips of his ears.
“Ha. Ha. Yeah, I do. I remember.” Lance admitted. “But I mean we DO make a good team so…so why don’t we both do it?” He offered, his voice pitching up at the end of his sentence.
Keith’s eyes went as wide as dinner plates. “Both of us lead Voltron?” He asked in disbelief. Lance shrugged.
“I mean why not. You’ve got the drive, I’ve got the plans and when we work together everything is like ten times better so yeah. Both of us.”
Keith was still staring. “Yeah, okay, sure.” He nodded. Holy crow! Lance grinned, tears shining in his eyes. “We’ll find him. We’re gonna fid Shiro, Keith, but until them we’re gonna make him proud bec-‘
Keith cut Lance off. Lance yelped but it was smother by Keith’s lips pressing against his own. Lance’s eyes felt like they were gonna fall smooth out of his face so he closed them, because that was the polite thing to do right? That was what he was supposed to be doing? Also he should probably…slide his hand into Keith’s hair or….something? So he did.
Keith’s hands cupped Lance’s cheeks and it was uncoordinated and sloppy at best. Keith was still getting over crying and Lance was well a mess because he was still trying to process the fact Keith kissed him, and he was kissing Keith.
Finally, Keith pulled back and wiped his mouth. “Ugh you use too much spit.” He huffed. Lance of course was immediately offended.
“Hey I’ll have you know I am a GREAT KISSER!” He practically screeched. “You just caught me off guard and I didn’t have a chance to really get into it! But if I had you’d be singing a different tune, Keith!”
Keith chuckled. Yeah, things sucked and they were missing their leader, but Lance made everything a little more bearable. They were going to get him back. Lance promised, and if Lance promised then they would find Shiro, just like he said. They would figure out the black lion thing and they would get him back. Him and Lance we’re gonna be a great team, because they were. With a gleam in his eye, Keith leaned in. “Oh, yeah hot shot? Prove it.”
And Lance SO did.