Disclaimer: I don't own any of the Voltron characters. I just love writing about them.
This is a product of my procrastination.
Things were different after that.
They were still together. They still kissed and touched and were in love.
But now a sadness tinged all that. Sunk into their every kiss and contact.
The knowledge that something should exist where it didn't and its absence was a painful reminder of what they both wanted.
There were no more 'almost' incidents where Keith thought they might actually make love. No more making out hotly like teenagers.
Just two people, still very much in love, but mourning something that felt lost to them both.
It unsettled the rest of the paladins to see them like that. Curled together but unsmiling. Lost in their own thoughts the way they had once been lost in each other. Their behavior, once so happy, now solemn and gray.
Shiro, the most unsettled of them all, worried that he'd been the cause of this discord between them.
He'd meant to only talk to Keith about the possibility of their relationship crumbling, not be the cause of it.
Even if it wasn't affecting their ability to form Voltron or aid the universe, it was still affecting their small family.
Yet every time he tried to draw either of the two into a conversation on the issue they managed to avoid admitting what was wrong.
Why they were still together, but not like before, and Shiro knew something had to be done.
If only because the sight of them was breaking his heart.
Keith hadn't been sleeping well. Not since that awful night Lance had admitted the one truth he'd never wanted to consider. That they would never be mates. It didn't matter that Lance loved him and that the feeling was reciprocated. It didn't matter that their courting had ended.
The golden eyed teen had made it very clear that their days were numbered. That they were temporary.
He felt stupid for ever thinking otherwise.
Love was a powerful thing. But it had never been powerful enough to make the people around him stay.
Not his mother or his father.
Why had he thought Lance would be any different?
"Because he's Galra." Keith thought to himself as he stared at his own tired eyed expression in his bathroom mirror.
"Because he called you a pretty name and said his kind were monogamous." He thought with self loathing.
He ran a hand over his paler than normal face and wondered if it would have made a difference if he'd been born purple instead of pale.
Why else would Lance admit to loving him and wanting him, but not claiming him, unless it was because he wasn't Galra too?
He'd never blend into any family photograph that Lance's clan took or be able to add children to the family.
He could barely even speak Galra and he'd been practicing in secret for weeks now.
Lance probably wouldn't even want him to meet his family if it ever did become possible.
Yet, despite all that, he stayed. He knew Lance wouldn't remain with him long, but he still stayed.
He still curled into furred arms every night and kissed lavender lips every morning.
He stayed and counted himself lucky. Even if he was just a place holder until Lance met a Galra that could be everything Keith wasn't, he wasn't about to shorten their time together.
Because no matter what his DNA said he was, no matter what other humans were, Keith was monogamous.
He'd picked Lance. There had been no one before and there would be no one after.
It was his choice, and as painful as it was, nothing was going to change his mind.
Keith thought it was only a matter of counting the days till Lance got bored with him. Till his nights became cold again and his lips untouched.
At least until he saw a blade on the back of a Galra named Ulaz.
A blade bearing a mark he'd known for as long as he could remember.
The one thing he'd kept at his side since he was old enough to wield it safely.
A sight that brought a twinge of hope to his heart for a possibility he'd never dreamed possible. One he didn't even dare voice until he was deep in the lair of the Blade of Mamora.
Till he was faced with a challenge that nearly brought him to his knees and called forth memories and horrors that shook him to his core.
Till despite wanting to know about his past and if he and Lance had a future, he offered the blade to the Mamora rather than see the alliance between them crumble.
The sight of it transforming in his grasp and the Mamora's leader's words were the only thing he needed to witness to finally allow it all to land on his shoulders and for that weight to carry him to the ground.
Shiro rushed to Keith's side as the red paladin fell and just barely managed to catch him before the poor boy landed face first onto the ground.
"Keith!" He shrieked; his call echoed by the tackling of the red lion against the outer crust of the hide out.
His human hand nearly flinched back after coming in contact with the heat that was pulsing off Keith's skin.
"He's burning up." He muttered fretfully, barely aware of the fact that Kolivan had come to stand over them.
"He seems to be going into heat." He noted urgently as he flashed a look at both the crumbling ceiling and his second in command.
"There are many unmated men and women under my command should he be in need of someone, but I'm afraid I must insist that he be cared for before his lion destroys our base. Is he unmatched?"
Keith moaned weakly in Shiro's arms, but remained unconscious as the Paladin's leader gathered him into his arms.
"He has a mate, back at our castle, but how will that help him?"
Kolivan shook his head gravely.
"A heat is a very intimate thing to be shared between mates and only a mate can quell it fully. Is his chosen human?"
Shiro shook his head just enough to not disturb the boy in his arms.
"No, he's the Blue paladin. A Galra."
Kolivan gave a firm nodded as he motioned Shiro towards the elevator that had brought them to the main hall of the building.
"My advice to you is to unite them as soon as possible. This isn't a naturally occurring heat and there can be repercussions to not resolving it as soon as possible."
Shiro allowed himself to be lead to the elevator, but continued his questioning.
"What kind of repercussions?" He asked sharply as the doors were closing between them.
Kolivan merely shook his head and muttered: "His mate will know."
Lance shifted uncomfortably in his seat in the control room as his eyes bore into the monitor in front of him.
The red lion had been activated and for all Lance knew his boyfriend was in trouble.
Yet there was nothing he could do but await orders to either aid his love in battle or await his return in the hanger.
It was torture.
Especially since Keith had been in such a rush to meet the leaders of the Blade of Mamora that he'd barely paused to peck Lance on the cheek before he'd departed with Shiro.
If that was the last time he ever got the chance to be with Keith, he'd never forgive himself.
After what seemed liked weeks rather than hours the red lion returned to the castle and nothing in the universe could have kept Lance from running to check on them.
He could tell something was wrong. He could practically smell it in the air.
It wasn't until the red lion's mouth opened that Lance realized it wasn't trouble he was smelling. It was Keith.
He couldn't get to his boyfriend fast enough as he realized what was happening.
And that it was all his fault.
"Keith, oh Keith." He whimpered as he took his love from Shiro's arms.
The black paladin began to explain what had happened and what Kolivan had told him, but Lance wasn't listening.
All his ears could hear was Keith's shallow breathing and all his eyes could see was the sheen of sweat covering his skin.
"He's in heat." He whispered more to himself than to the others.
They quieted at his words as they watch the taller teen cradle his love in his lap and do everything he could think of to soothe him.
Shiro hovered over them both with worried eyes as Lance brought his wrist up to Keith's nose and his free hand up to his neck.
"What are you-" Shiro began, but a sharp look from Lance cut him off.
A whimpered from Keith brought his attention back to the boy in his arms and the Galra was quick to shush him.
"Shh, Keith. Just breathe. Deep breaths now." He urged gently.
None of the other paladins moved as Keith unconsciously did as he was instructed and took deep breaths of Lance's scent.
It seemed to quell something within him, because not even a minute later his breathing evened out and his eyes fluttered open.
"Lance." He breathed; more joy and relief in that one word than in any other that they'd ever heard him speak.
The Galra in question brought the red paladin's face to his throat as he rocked them back and forth gently.
"Should we get him to a healing pod?" Pidge asked when the room had quieted of all but their breathing.
Lance shook his head.
"This isn't a natural heat. Trying to prevent it could damage his ability to have them at all in the future. His body would be scarred from it and he'd probably end up sterile."
Lance trembled slightly as he continued.
"We'll need supplies to help get him through it successfully."
His voice was stronger by the time he'd created his mental list and raised his head to meet their worried gazes.
"Pidge, gather some blankets and put them in my room. Hunk I need you to put some nonperishable food and plenty of water there too. Leaving for food breaks won't be much of an option for a while."
His voice grew softer as he turned to Shiro and the two Alteans.
"Keith and I….We won't be able to pilot our lions for at least another few days. Interrupting is not an option I would recommend until at least three days have passed and even then you should do it very cautiously and only out of extreme necessity."
His grip on Keith tightened as the teen trembled in his arms.
"I can handle everything else." He assured them before they departed.
Only when they had left did Lance look down to see purple eyes staring up at him.
"You're in heat Keith. Do you know what that means?" He muttered so softly that only the boy in his arms could hear him.
He could feel Keith's smile against his skin just before he answered.
"I'm Galra." He replied with such pride it nearly brought Lance to tears.
"I can be your mate now." He continued, his smile as bright as his eyes were glazed.
That pushed Lance over the edge and made the tears brimming in his eyes spill over.
"That wasn't, you were always, it was never about what you were." He finally managed to respond.
Keith barely seemed to hear him as his smile turned into an opened mouth kiss against Lance's neck.
"You smell so good. Even better than usual." He praised around a mouthful of purple flesh.
Lance let out a startled laugh at the unexpected change of subject before falling silent again.
"This is my fault. You're in heat because I'm here. Between your age, my presence and all the stress you've been under it's no wonder your body reacted like this."
Keith pulled back from his neck a little and scrunched his nose before blinking in confusion; clearly more out of it than he'd been a moment before.
"I'm not stressed…" He asserted absently. "I'm…"
Lance nearly flinched as the boy in his lap rolled close enough to half grind against him.
"I'm really, really, hot." He half panted into Lance's upturned ears.
"Oh Quiznak." The Galra breathed as he rushed to arrange his boyfriend back into his previous position.
Keith whined lowly in protest, but settled back into his previous position with his face in Lance's neck.
The purple teen was about to try and continue their conversation when he caught sight of Coran rushing past the door to the hanger.
"Coran!" He called franticly.
The older Altean paused in the doorway and turned to them.
"You called my boy?" He asked with his normal exuberance.
Lance tried to nod, but stopped with a blush when he felt Keith's teeth against his neck again.
"Do you know if the castle has any Tegaiyti tablets or mixtures? It might calm Keith down enough for us to have a real conversation without stopping his heat altogether."
Coran tilted his head thoughtfully.
"We should have some in the infirmary. I'll go check."
He was halfway out of the doorway when Lance called to him again.
"One more thing Coran, can you check if there's any…" He trailed off uncomfortably before looking down at Keith.
The newly discovered Galra Halfling was nuzzling against him in a deceivingly innocent way and it made the next words out of Lance's mouth all the harder to form.
"Anything to make sure Keith's heat doesn't get the results nature intended it to have?"
Coran's expression remained puzzled for a moment at his words, but quickly cleared.
"Oh, of course. The Altean equivalent should work just as effectively and we've got a rather large supply of it. I'll grab both and leave them in your room."
"Thanks." Lance called after him gratefully as Coran left and they were once again left alone.
Keith was still clearly too out of it to talk and he didn't want to initiate anything until they had, so Lance focused on soothing him rather than satisfying him.
He altered between making sure Keith was catching enough of his scent to not freak out and petting his hair gently.
It got harder to keep his hands in appropriate places as Keith's body continued to pump out pheromones in greater and greater quantities, but Lance merely started breathing through his mouth and hoping their friends would finished their tasks quickly.
After what seemed like an eternity Hunk finally appeared in the doorway and flashed them both a set of thumbs up.
"All set guys…So ummm….Good luck?" He offered unsurely before blushing and bolting down the hall.
Lance was glad he didn't linger and start babbling. He loved Hunk, but right now his soon to be mate needed his attention.
So, as gently as he could Lance gathered Keith into his arms and started walking towards his room.
When Keith woke up again he was disoriented. The last thing he remembered clearly was Kolivan telling him and Shiro that he was Galra. That it was possible for him to be Lance's mate.
Then it all got fuzzy.
He remembered flashes of Shiro, Red's voice both teasing and reassuring in his head, then Lance. Warm and wonderful and clearer than anything else.
As though summoned by Keith's thoughts of him Lance appeared out of their private bathroom with a glass of water in one hand and wet wash cloth in the other.
"Oh good, the Tegaiyti tablets are working. How's you head?"
Keith sat up slowly as his love took a seat beside him on the bed and pressed the cloth against his cheek.
It was refreshingly cool against his over heated skin and he couldn't help but lean into the touch.
"Clearer. But still…" He didn't have words for how the world seemed a little blurred around the edges. For how he could feel the dull simmer of heat in every inch of his body, just waiting to be set free.
Lance nodded in understanding.
"The Tegaiyti cleared your head, but it won't stop your heat from happening. It's just delayed it for a little while…..Long enough for us to talk."
Keith lowered his eyes at those words and leaned more heavily into Lance's touch.
"Did Shiro tell you…?" He asked softly.
"Yeah. He told me" He admitted calmly.
Keith met his gaze.
"If I'm Galra, does that mean I can….We can be…." He flushed as his own embarrassment kept him from continuing.
Lance frowned as he cradled Keith's face in one hand and reached for Keith's hand with his other.
"I should have explained to you why I didn't become your mate sooner. I should have told you why I hesitated at all. It was never because I didn't want it. You can't know how much I wanted to make it official that first night….." Lance trailed off and Keith crawled even closer to him.
"You don't have to explain, just because I'm going through this….." When he didn't say anything else Lance offered "Heat."
"Heat." Keith continued with a shy nod.
"It doesn't mean that you have to explain or do anything, Kolivan offered-"
Before Keith could even finish that sentence he was on his back and Lance was hovering over him. The taller teen had a scowl on his face and Keith's hands pinned to his side.
"If he laid a hand on you….." Lance snarled darkly.
Keith looked up at him wide eyed as he felt the urge to submit rather than struggle against the hold. His mind clouded over momentarily as he thought of all the different ways Lance could help quell the building fire inside him.
"I only want you." He admitted with breathless honesty as he looked up at the lavender teen above him.
The Galra's snarl softened into something incredibly gentle as he met Keith's eyes with his own golden ones.
"You have the most beautiful amethyst eyes Kialto." He complimented unexpectedly. "They're what made me think you might be Galra in the first place."
Keith's mind cleared at that.
"You thought-" He started, but Lance cut him off.
"I didn't know. But Galra have been crossbreeding with other species for centuries and usually there's at least one dominant Galra feature in any one born with even a hint of Galra DNA. Especially since it tends to be genetically dominant. Pidge said amethyst wasn't a common Earthen eye color and you responded to courting just like any Galra would. I couldn't prove it and nothing I knew was definitive, but I couldn't become your mate until I knew for sure."
Keith wilted at that as he turned his head to the side and away from Lance's gaze.
"So if I were only human-" He began, but Lance interpreted him again.
"You could have been Human or Altean or even Balmeran and I would have loved you and wanted to be your mate Keith." He admitted with certainty.
"Then why….?" Keith asked as his dared to turn and meet his gaze again.
"Because it's different when Galra mate with each other. If you were anything else and got tired of being with me it wouldn't matter, you would have been able to leave me without an issue. But if you were Galra, even just a small percentage, and we became mates, you would have been bound to me. Galra are naturally monogamous. We only take one mate a lifetime. Once you were mine no other Galra would ever have you and you would have been disgusted just by the thought of being with anyone else. That's why Galra never cheat, we never have one night stands, and when we decide on a mate, it's for forever. I know it's not like that for humans and you needed to know what you were deciding before you made that decision."
Lance leaned down until they were only a breath apart.
"If you weren't Galra and left, it would have destroyed me. I couldn't have ever had another mate. I would have pined for you until I died."
The lavender teen leaned down and placed a lingering kiss onto Keith's cheek.
"I would have risked it anyway. I would have taken you as my mate even with that chance."
Keith reached up to wrap an arm around Lance's neck and keep him in place.
"You should have talked to me. So I could tell you what I've known since the day our courting ended."
This time Keith initiated the drawn out kiss between them.
"I thought you didn't want me because I was human. That I would be replaced the second you found a Galra worthy of you."
Lance opened his mouth to protest, but Keith cut him off with another tender kiss.
His voice was even lower as he continued.
"And I would have stayed with you until that very last second and been grateful for the opportunity. Because I've known since that day Lance that mate or not, Galra or not, you're it. Maybe it's the Galra in me and maybe it's not, but I only want you Lance. All these weeks of being with you without actually being with you, have been driving me up the wall. Wondering what I was doing wrong. Why you would want to court me, but not keep me."
Keith's voice got tighter as he continued.
"I never felt so helpless. So wrong when I was sure I was doing everything right. I'm the paladin of the red lion. I'm all instinct. And you don't know how wrong everything's felt since you said you wouldn't be my mate."
Keith could feel tears gathering in his eyes and something catching in his throat, but he blamed the hormones he could feel raging through him for that.
"I never want to feel like that again." He admitted in one final exhausted rush.
He didn't dare meet Lance's gaze as he confessed his worst weakness to the teen he loved, but he felt the other's eyes on his face like searchlights in the dark.
Finally Keith felt claw tipped fingers trail down the side of his face and a furred forehead press against his own.
"I was the one that did everything wrong Keith. I was the one that made you feel that way. I've known since the moment I stepped out of my lion that you were it and I never should have let you think for a moment that I wasn't completely yours."
Keith tightened his grip around Lance's neck and basically just breathed him in. He could feel whatever Lance had given him wearing off and his focus waning in the face of his building want.
"Make it up to me. Make me yours." He pleaded under his breath.
Lance leaned back and really looked at him, noting his dilated pupils and limp limbs.
His smile grew both concerned and fond.
"You're in heat, you aren't thinking clearly-"
Keith laughed lowly at him.
"Lance, you're the only thing I've been able to see clearly since this whole heat thing started. I was in a base with upwards of a hundred eligible and unmated Galra."
Keith unwrapped one arm from around his boyfriend's neck and placed a hand against his face.
"And all I could think about was how much I needed to get back to you." He breathed.
He pulled Lance down until they were a centimeter apart.
"Mate me." He begged, his indigo eyes glowing gold around the edges.
The sight made Lance swallow hard and breathe deep.
"Okay." He finally conceded.
The word alone made Keith's body relax against the stack of pillows behind him and drew a smile to his face.
Lance smiled softly back at him before placing a swift kiss to his lips.
Before Keith could move to deepen the kiss Lance detangled himself from his boyfriend's hold and stood up.
Keith let out a sound that was unmistakably a whimper as Lance grabbed something from the side table and the glass of water.
"You need to take this first. Okay?" He muttered gently, handing Keith a tiny turquoise pill and the glass.
Keith sat up with a grumble and took both offered items.
"What is it?" He asked absently.
Lance rubbed the back of his neck nervously as he answered.
"I didn't want to give you anything other than the Tegaiyti without your consent. It's Altean birth control. Coran thinks it should work for you too."
Keith's head bolted up so fast he nearly made himself dizzy.
"Are you saying I can get pregnant from this?!" He shrieked.
Lance took an involuntary step back as his ears pressed down in a startled manner.
"Yeah?" He stuttered back in shock.
Keith thought he'd been handling everything he'd learned that day pretty well, but there was only so much his hormonal mind could take before it started getting overwhelmed.
Something must have flashed across his face because Lance instantly rushed forward and steadied him. He knelt before the shaken teen and cupped his face between his hands.
"You can only get pregnant during a heat and once your heats have stabilized they'll only happen twice a year or so. This is your first and it was caused by my presence, stress, and your age. Once we're mated your body should stabilize and begin a healthy routine."
Keith took a deep breath as he listened, taking comfort in Lance's calm and soothing presence.
Once the knowledge sunk passed the initial level of shock in his brain Keith met his gaze with a look of wonder on his face.
"We could have a family." He stated with awe.
Lance's features softened.
"Someday Kialto. When the war is over and we can give our children the kind of stable environment they deserve."
His smile turned teasing.
"If they're half as lovely as you fending off unsuitable suitors will need to be my full time occupation."
Keith melted at the thought of having children with Lance. His pale skin and Lance's golden eyes. His raven hair and Lance's endearing ears. There wasn't a combination that didn't bring a smile to his face.
The wonder of it all made him blush as he looked down at the tiny pill. On one level the thought of taking it made his hair bristle and his stomach catch. But at the same time he knew as much as he wanted to someday have a family with Lance, it wouldn't be fair to any child to start it in the middle of a war.
"Someday?" He asked hopefully.
"Someday." Lance promised.
That was all Keith needed to hear to bring the pill to his lips and swallow.
Half a glass of water later he was back on the bed with Lance at his side, the final effects of the Tegaiyti completely wearing off and his heat returning in full force.
Lance was gentle as he began stripping him bare of his clothing and dabbing at his head with the still wet cloth from before.
He was humming a tune Keith didn't recognize, but was calmed by. He knew this was something new and slightly frightening to both of them and he appreciated the fact that this was an intimacy that they would only ever share with each other.
"I love you." Keith admitted as Lance shed the last layers of his own clothing.
The purple teen paused in the middle of pushing the clothes off the bed to turn and draw Keith into a lingering kiss.
"I love you too." He whispered between them.
Between hearing those words, seeing Lance in all his natural Galra glory and the hormones rushing through his veins Keith was on a high that he never dreamed could be surpassed.
But then Lance touched him, and everything got better.
This makes up for the angst right? Care to drop a review as a reward? I'll post the next smutty chapter sooner if you do!
PS: I love reviews that give genuine feedback. What did you like? What could I work on? (Please PM if you want to point out a spelling mistake so I can fix it without seeing a review saying I need to fix it and always having to go back and check to make sure I did). Reviews full of hate without reason will be ignored.