OKAY OKAY SO I was thinking about Soulmate AUs because I’m a SUCKER for those and THEN I started thinking about a Soulmate Sim AU (so, an AU of an AU? Lol)
Keith’s soulmark is bright blue, almost luminescent, and it’s scrawled over his shoulderblades in some weird hybrid of neat and messy writing. Some part of him wishes that Lance were his soulmate, but Lance’s first words to him were “Nope. No, you–no, no, no. No, you don’t. I’m saving Shiro.” and the words on his back say “Keith…come on, Keith, wake up!”
In hindsight, his words are pretty vague–they could come from anybody. He gets into trouble all the time, being knocked unconscious by an angry fleet of Galra ships, an enormous space beast or some other crazy accident. He hears words similar to that phrase all the time, but never the exact sentence.
And then, suddenly, one day, he does hear them.
It’s after their final fight against Zarkon–he’d been out for three weeks due to a minor coma caused by a traumatic head injury, so waking up after that was a struggle. And then the words come, “Keith…come on, Keith, wake up!” It’s like lightning striking through his mind and he bursts into consciousness, losing his breath and fumbling for words when he sees that the person who said them is none other than Lance.
Of course, he’s immediately confused. Is he wrong? Lance said the azure words written on his back, but they weren’t the first words he’d ever said–and that’s how soulmarks work, he knows, because he’d seen it with Shiro and Allura before (“How do you have the Blue Lion?”, which, was oddly specific, and “We don’t know what you’re talking about”–amazing that Allura and Shiro’s presence was separated by ten thousand years, and they were drawn together anyway, like some strange twist of fate). So then his hopes fall again, realizing that it must be coincidence that Lance said those words, maybe he’d seen them when Keith was unconscious and decided to say them as some sort of joke (he gets slightly bitter about the matter and kinda takes it out on Lance, but whatever). From that day on he tells himself over and over to stop hoping, to stop dreaming about meeting his soulmate, and especially to stop thinking it might be Lance as he inevitably falls in love with him anyway.
Then the world as he knows it comes crashing down.
It’s…all fake? All a lie? He really isn’t back on Earth with Lance, everything he’d experienced with him after waking up from his coma was just some made up world created to protect him? The betrayal hurts unlike anything he’d ever felt before, and standing face to face with this…artificial version of Lance, he doesn’t want to believe it.
The simulator shuts down and everything disappears with it–their memories, their laughter and their joy–and so does Lance. And when Keith wakes up to find he’s crash landed into some planet and the pod he’s in is damaged beyond repair, he rips out what remains of Lance’s AI cube and holds it close to his chest. He’s going to save him, no matter what, even if he lied and tricked him into believing they were finally at peace–and that’s when he realizes.
“Keith…come on, Keith, wake up!”
Those were the first words Lance said to him. Not his Lance, not the Lance of Team Voltron, the Blue Paladin, nor the human from Earth that was in the same class as him at the Garrison–but Lance, the AI, the happy-go lucky robot with a consciousness and a heart and emotions and so much love for Keith that he almost drowns in it, of course–
Can his soulmate be an artificially made person? He doesn’t know, but the bright, neon blue words, the same color as Lance’s eyes, match up, and everything makes sense all at once.
And so when figures emerge from the smoke billowing out of the crashed capsule he holds out the cube and begs for them to save Lance, because hell if he’s going to let his soulmate die, human being or not.
Lance doesn’t have a soulmark, because he wasn’t born with one. The original Lance and Pidge didn’t feel the need to give him one, because doing so would be wrong, going against all the rules and laws of the universe and soulmates.
But Keith–Keith is bound to him. The words he’d said when Keith woke up in the simulator for the first time were words meant for him, meaning that all along, Lance was meant to be created. Fated.
While Hunk and Katy work on creating a physical body for his core, his AI cube, to be put into outside of his existence in the simulator, he asks them a favor. For a modification, to be more specific.
When Keith sees Lance for the first time, blue eyes vibrant with code and matching the color on his shoulderblades, he starts crying out of happiness.
For written in his handwriting, a gentle red color, are the words “Lance…where…where are we?” It’s not anything remotely romantic, but it’s his words, the first words he’d said to Lance when he woke up and they met for the first time. And that means more to him than anything.