Swimming

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Jumping around from foster home to foster home as a kid meant that Keith never really had opportunities to act like a child. He watched as a mother and a father swung their kid in between them at the age of ten. He watched from outside the pool gate as his foster family took their biological child swimming at the public pool. He watched as the kids rode their bikes to school, racing to see who would get there first.

Keith had observed, but he had never experienced.

Suddenly having to live in an alien castle meant that he wasn't the only one learning how things worked. He wasn't the only one learning how to use the altean dishwasher. He wasn't the only one learning how to suit up in armor in under thirty seconds and he wasn't the only one piloting a giant robotic lion.

But, even so, the fact would always linger that the others would always have the advantage of childhood.

Keith had stumbled across the altean pool when he first explored the corridors of the castle by himself. It was humongous and looked deeper than any pool Keith had seen. The water looked just the same as the kind back on Earth, though the effect of the crisp and clean white of the tile gave it more of a lighter look.

He had gulped and immediately backed out of the room, overwhelmed.

The next time he visited it was with the rest of the Voltron crew. Once the news of the ship having a pool spread, they immediately called for a pool day and dragged him along with them as an excuse for 'team bonding.'

Throughout the day Lance had complained how a pool day inside of the castle would never compare to one down on Earth. How none of them could get sunburnt from the sun and how none of them could lounge in lounge chairs and grill hamburgers by the poolside.

Keith didn't know what he was talking about, but neither did Allura or Coran, so he wasn't completely alone. (But they were aliens and had an excuse for their confusion.)

Keith had insisted on staying by the edge of the pool, legs in the water as he watched the others play a match of marco polo. The others gave him weird looks, but didn't fight him any further on his refusal to join them, probably assuming he was doing his 'lone wolf' thing again, as Lance had claimed.

They could think what they wanted, it's not like Keith wanted to get in with them anyways. His swimsuit was uncomfortable on his skin, a fabric that he did not enjoy. It was his signature red, and in fact, the others had their swimsuits according to their lion color. Apparently the princess had swimsuits of all shapes and sizes in a storage closet somewhere and passed them off to the Paladins.

Even Shiro had opted to get into the pool with his purple swim trunks, looking happier than Keith had seen him in a while. Lance whooped and hollered, cannonballing into Pidge and Hunk. The two didn't yell at him, instead they retaliated by splashing him profusely.

Allura and Coran relaxed at the edge of the pool next to Keith, taking the time to lounge and talk amongst themselves.

Keith had never felt the urge to learn how to swim as a child. He had lived in a desert for most of his life, and none of the foster families had bothered to teach him. God, Keith would have rather died than ask Shiro or Adam or any of the Garrison instructors to teach him. He was content. He was just fine-

Keith was so occupied in his own thoughts that he didn't notice Lance crouching down behind him until he was whispering into his ear. "Scared of the water, mullet?"

Keith did not jump. He did not.

He turned his head back to Lance with an unimpressed expression, "maybe I just want to enjoy my day away from you. I could be training right now, but instead you drag me out to the pool to watch you play marco polo."

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