A/N: Regris mentioned it, so I had to write it. XD
Regris had heard of the recruit, Keith. He'd shown up a few pheobs ago with a Marmoran blade, claiming it had come from his mother. Despite looking far from Galra, he had managed to unlock the blade. After that, he didn't join the Blades like all recruits did. He seemed to jump back-and-forth between the Blades and the paladins of Voltron. It all sounded unnecessary to Regris; why didn't he stay with the Blades?
Whatever the reason, Regris didn't meet Keith face-to-face until he arrived at the base with word that he was staying for real. Kolivan told Regris that Keith would be in the same dorm as him, and left the recruit in Regris' care.
Regris wasn't impressed. Sure, he was stubborn, tough, and fierce -all Blades had to be. But he was a head shorter than all the other Blades, had no claws, horns, or spikes, had flat teeth, and -most importantly- no tail!
But, orders were orders. Regris gestured for Keith to follow him, then walked away without waiting. Soft footsteps indicated that Keith was following.
After a dobosh, Regris glanced over his shoulder. The small recruit had his head ducked and arms crossed to hide his hands in his armor. He was much quieter and sedate than the stories had made him out to be.
Regris shrugged it off. Stories were always so exaggerated.
"This is our dorm."
Regris stepped into the room that he shared with fifteen other Blades of Marmora. Bunks were stacked against the walls. There were a few shelves holding spare helmets and armor. There were a couple chairs scattered around the room. Boxes under the beds held the Blades' scant belongings.
Speaking of belongings…
"Where are your personal belongings?" Regris asked.
Keith shook his head. "Didn't bring any."
Regris hummed. "Just as well. The Blades of Marmora can't build up clutter. It's only more things to move if we had to evacuate."
Regris waited for more, but Keith simply stood there. Eventually, Regris walked out the door.
"Come, we have training."
By the end of the quintant, Regris had to admit that Keith had skills. While he wasn't as strong or big as the others, his speed and agility made up for it. Nobody could lay a finger or blade on the swift little recruit.
Keith grew more enthusiastic in training. His face held an easy grin as he evaded Regris' claws and tail. He seemed to take great joy in sliding under Regris' legs and tugging on his tail.
He also had excellent instincts. He somehow knew when Vrek slid into the fight, and easily adjusted to a new style to combat the two older Blades.
Keith was quickly accepted into the Blades once his skills became clear. He was hardy and tough, and Regris already could tell that he could trust Keith to watch his back.
Keith didn't engage in the banter that the Blades started up once training was over. Regris, Keith, and their dorm companions returned to their dorm and shed their armor.
"Put your stuff here," Regris told Keith, using his tail to pull out the empty box under their bunk.
Keith silently took off his armor and put it away. He stood awkwardly beside the bunk, looking smaller than ever in his plain gray shirt and oversized pants that needed a belt.
"Get some sleep," Regris advised. "Kolivan wakes us up at early vargas to train again."
Keith silently followed the others' example of climbing into bed. Considering the top bunk was over Keith's head, he made easy work of climbing up the bedpost and into his bunk.
Regris got into his lower bunk. He turned to the wall, listening to Keith restlessly shuffle around in the bed. He finally fell still, but Regris could tell by his breathing that he was still awake.
Regris figured he was just having a hard time sleeping in an unfamiliar place. It wasn't unusual for new recruits, although he'd have to get over it for longer missions.
He was just drifting off when Keith started moving again. Feet landed softly on the floor, prompting Regris to roll over. Keith jumped when he saw that Regris had turned to him.
"I didn't mean to wake you," Keith whispered.
"I was already awake," Regris responded. He sat up. "What is the matter?"
"Nothing. I just can't sleep."
Regris studied Keith. He had his arms wrapped around himself again, like he was hugging himself. His eyes were distant and tired.
Regris recognized the posture, but he was surprised to see it in such a new recruit. He would have thought that the issue would have been dealt with before Keith arrived. Regardless, Regris wasn't going to leave him like that.
"Come here," Regris said, rolling so that his back was to Keith again.
"Don't try to hide it. I see you want to kola," Regris said. "No need to be embarrassed."
Keith didn't say anything else and Regris didn't push him. After a few ticks, there was a heavy sigh, then the mattress shifted as Keith crawled up. Scrawny arms wrapped around his middle.
Regris turned his head and smiled. Keith's eyes were already closed and his breath was evening out.
Regris shook his head, feeling a surge of protectiveness for the little recruit. He just hoped that Keith didn't have to kola for too long. It would be interesting to explain why the Blades newest recruit was kolaing during training in the morning.