The Lionsquad + Zarkon as kids
I wrote this as this is what they were like as kids before the series:
Shiro: As a child Shiro always dreamed of the stars. It was hard for him to see them in the middle of downtown Tokyo, so he would try to climb to the roof of their 20 story apartment to see the sky. In desperation, his parents would buy every astronomy book they could get their hands on, just to keep his feet on the ground. He was bright for his age; languages and mathematics came easily to him. His younger brother looked up to him, and then came to depend on him when their parents died in a car accident. An aunt took them in, but at night when the nightmares got bad, Shiro’s brother would sneak into his room. Shiro would tell stories about how mom and dad were living in the stars, and how they’d go to visit them someday. Shiro’s brother got into drugs and partying when he got older, and forgot about the stars. Shiro joined Galaxy Patrol as a way of looking for the family he’d once had.
Keith: China was the undisputed national world leader, and Keith grew up a member of a rich, privileged family in Beijing. His three older sisters doted on him, and he loved it when they badgered their parents to take them on rides in the family jet. Keith grew to love flying. Unlike his sisters, Keith had a bitter, angry relationship with his father. He suspected that his father enrolled him in Galaxy Garrison, rather than the more prestigious Chinese Flight Academy, because it was on the opposite side of the world. As a young child Keith liked frozen yogurt but hated ice cream, didn’t get the point of going to live concerts when you could hear the music so much better at home, and liked to borrow his sister’s pants with the glitter on the back pockets.
Lance: Puerto Rico was just too small to hold this wild child. Lance had plans and dreams for his future. His madre always said that he was running before he could walk. Lance was the kid with three leashes on him when they were out. He needed three because his quick little fingers would undo the first two while she was busy buying produce, and if she didn’t catch him before the third was undone, he’d escape to the farthest, most unreachable corner of the marketplace. Lance grew up surrounded by aunts, grandparents, cousins, and siblings. Three or four generations of family were crammed under a single roof and he loved every loud, cramped, boisterous minute of it. He was exceptionally intelligent, and despite having no family connections and no money, he was accepted into Galaxy Garrison on a scholarship. He wanted to be a fighter pilot to make his father proud. But because he didn’t have the connections, he was stuck with cargo pilot until Keith dropped out.
Hunk: Hunk’s mom was Hawaiian and his father was Japanese. He was an only child, and grew up on dad’s fishing boat off the coast of Molokai. He was a quiet, loving child, who could swim like a fish and hold his breath as long as the pearl divers. He learned to fix engines with his dad out on the boat, and loved it when his mom tucked him in with large, fluffy blankets and quiet songs. Hunk joined Galaxy Garrison because it made his parents proud, and because the fishing was drying up. He knew he would need to sail in a different kind of ocean in order to take care of their future.
Pidge: Katie had a friendly rivalry with her brother, Matt, for as long as she could remember. They were constantly competing for academic honors. Her father worked for the German government and her mother stayed home to raise them both. Katie always wanted to be a pilot, but got higher marks in computer engineering and software design. Because of her need to compete with her brother, she regretfully decided to play to her strengths, and only read the pilot manuals as a guilty pleasure. Katie was always a cheerful, self-confident girl. It was only when Matt and her father went missing on the Kerberos expedition that she began to have anxiety attacks.
Allura: Due to thousands of years of genetic modifications, Alteans have extended lifespans, but can rarely have children. Allura was doted on as one of only 17 children to be born in the past century. Every adult was her parent, and everywhere she went she was safe and adored. As the princess, the other children naturally followed her lead. She spent long hours learning all aspects of knowledge to prepare her for her eventual ascension to the throne. But when no one was watching, she would sneak off to beg for stories from the Paladins. Allura was only 114 when the war started, too young to have any serious relationships, yet. However, she was kissed three times before the war. One was her best friend, Sirith, a girl in her diplomacy class who promised to marry her when they were old enough. One was a boy with unfortunately short ears, and the third was a kiss on the forehead from the Blue Paladin. Allura totally counts that.
Coran: Coran grew up in the Castle of Lions. His grandfather helped to build it, and his family served there generation after generation. The castle’s bones are his family’s bones, and Coran grew up zipping through the hidden doorways and secret passages faster than any security guard could catch him. His father was the head cook, and he got his refined palate and deft hand in the kitchen from him. His mother taught him how to listen to the castle, and how to fix virtually anything that could break in it.
Zarkon: Zarkon was an only child, destitute and impoverished. He fought with other gangs of children for scraps of food, in between picking pockets and running errands for the older street toughs. One fateful day, he met a brown-skinned Altean boy who was dressed in fancy clothes that screamed both money and an easy mark. He was shocked when the boy, Alfor, caught him picking his pocket, and even more shocked when he didn’t call for the guards. Instead Alfor bought him food, and then more food. The two became inseparable in the space of an afternoon, and Alfor refused to leave Galra unless Zarkon was with him. They grew up as brothers in the Castle of Lions, and eventually the Black Lion called him to be a Paladin.