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Red and Green | Tag Jaya
June 20
Voltron -Legendary Defender

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#1
Keith stepped down from the red lion’s huge jaw and looked at the cabin through narrowed eyes. It was a familiar site, more than familiar, the cabin he had built on Earth after getting kicked out of the Academy, which made it all the more strange. What was it doing here?

Flying Red through a portal hidden in space debris he’d been ready for anything, except for something he knew. Red’s scanners proved this physically this was was his cabin, but geographically… well the word geographic didn’t apply, as this wasn’t Earth. Red couldn’t place the planet they were on, and considering how far the red lion had wandered through the Universe that meant either this was somewhere Voltron hadn’t been before.

Or it wasn’t his Universe.

“Is this the astral plane, you know the place Shiro battled Zarkon?” he spoke out loud, but he tapped into his connection with Red, hoping for something. Hadn’t the black lion been able to send Shiro there somehow? Red’s response was suspiciously quiet - it always seemed the lions knew way more than they let on - but Keith trusted if there was anything useful Red could tell him about the place, she would’ve. But if this was the astral plane, Shiro might be here.

“Well, I guess I explore then,” he said, looking to the horizon where desert changed abruptly to some kind of cityscape. “And in something less conspicuous,” he added, patting Red once before walking around to the back of the cabin where he’d always stashed his hoverspeeder. He felt a wave of nostalgia as he pulled the tarp off it. It felt like home as he swung a leg onto it and fired up the engine. As much as he loved flying Red, there was something simple and raw about flying low to the ground on the speeder, intuiting obstacles that would be too late to dodge if he waited to actually see them. “See you soon,” he said and zoomed off toward the lights.

As he skirted the edge of the city he didn’t see anything like his speeder, and yet nobody looked at him like he didn’t belong. In fact, looking around at the people/creatures populating the streets it seemed like nobody belonged, and everybody belonged. Is this some kind of interstellar way station? Then how come Red didn’t know it?

He needed information, and the flashing sign advertising drinks and dancers meant people willing to share information. Unless he was under whatever drinking age they had here. Setting the alarm on his speeder, he walked into the bar trying to put off a ‘don’t mind me’ vibe. He’d stashed his paladin uniform in the cabin and put on an old pair of jeans and a leather jacket. As he entered the bar he decided age wasn’t going to be an issue since it was hard enough to tell what species the denizens were. There seemed several likely prospects cozied up to the bar, but the green-skinned woman walking around like she owned the place seemed the place to start. Hardly noticing the dancers on stage, he walked up to the possible owner.

“Uh, hi, do you have a moment? I’m new in town and a little lost.”
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Star Trek-AOS

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#2
Jaya had been making a leisurely circuit of the club, checking on the service, making sure that the patrons were enjoying themselves, greeting newcomers and regulars alike, although she did spend a bit more time chatting with the regulars. Especially the ones who she occasionally took care of personally.

In other words, it was an ordinary day here in the Hub, and since things were going well at the club, Jaya was starting to consider ducking out for an hour or so to work in the shop, to see if she could get the shuttle working. So far things had been going slowly, it appeared that Bones was right, and that the parts would have to be made out of "real" materials, which, so far seemed to mean replicating the components. Or, frequently the components needed to assemble into the components. Which was a bit tedious.

And then her plans were put on hold by a rather attractive, and rather young, Terran who walked up to her, requesting help. Jaya favored him with a reassuring smile and said "Good to meet you. I'm Jaya, welcome to the Green Goddess." she lead him over to a quiet booth in one corner, and signaled for the server to bring over drinks for both of them. Sparkling water for her, since she was working, and a mild fermented fruit juice for the young man. "You're new here? Well, let me be the first to welcome you to The Hub."
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Voltron -Legendary Defender

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#3
“The Green Goddess… so…” He was staring at her. Jaya was a striking woman, aside from her vivid coloring, and she emanated confidence in a way that made Keith’s mouth go dry. “You’re the goddess I guess.” His face pinched slightly at how awkward he was being, but he recovered quickly, keeping his straight posture, even lifting his chin a little. He wasn’t some kid in a bar for the first time. Well, he was, but he was also a paladin of Voltron, one of the best pilots in the Galaxy Garrison, and a formidable fighter. He was here on a mission. “The name suits you,” he said, his voice noticeably deeper as he followed her to a booth.

As he sat across from her he realized how much she reminded him of Princess Alura, if a bit more sensual than the Altean princess. And he remembered how distraught she’d been at Shiro’s disappearance. Mind on the mission. Can’t afford to get distracted, he thought as a server set a glass of fizzy orange liquid in front of him. He sniffed it, unsure whether it had alcohol in it. He took a sip determined not to make a face and then relaxed as it was both sweet and refreshing but didn’t taste like it would knock him out.

“I got here just a couple of hours ago, I’m looking for somebody…” He dug a hand into his coat pocket and pulled out a picture of a younger Shiro from before he’d been captured by the Galra. It had been in his cabin actually. He slid it across the table toward Jaya. “What is the Hub? My lion doesn’t even recognize the coordinates of this place.”
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Star Trek-AOS

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#4
"Flattery like that will get you everywhere." Jaya said, smiling at the young man. He was new at this, and trying to play the man of the world. It was sweet, in a way. Like a qilath puppy barking at shadows. "But I'm not the Green Goddess. That honor belongs to another, the club is named after her." it was named after the Orion goddess of luck and passion and fertility, but she knew that those details wouldn't interest him. And in any case, Orions didn't reveal more than they had to about their culture to outsiders.

"I'm sorry." Jaya said, examining the photograph. "I haven't seen him, and I'd remember a handsome face like that. Your lion?" she asked, not certain what he was talking about. She was fairly certain that was some sort of Terran animal, but she was also certain that lions were not sentient.
She paused for a moment, trying to decide if she should play naive. But no, this young man was an innocent and would want someone to guide him, not a giggling girl who would hang on his every word "The Hub is....a nexus, of some kind. There seem to be portals that lead here from many different universes. Dozens, if not hundreds. This place seems to exist between universes, and links them together, somehow."
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Voltron -Legendary Defender

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#5
“I didn’t mean it to be flattery,” he muttered, shifting awkwardly in his seat, freezing as he realized that might come across as insulting. “I mean, you are obviously beautiful… and…” He groaned, pinching his nose, his voice losing its false confidence. “Just ignore me… who is the Green Goddess then?” He was interested, partially, though he was more interested in moving the conversation past his bumbling compliments. And onto whether she had seen Shiro.

He blushed a second as she called the image of Shiro handsome, and then snatched the photo back, tucking it into his jacket. “He’s an amazing leader, like a big brother to me… I need to find him.” He looked down, his brow pinched in pain. “He sacrificed himself to save our team… and he just disappeared.” Keith’s voice took on an edge of real confidence for the first time. “I will find him.”

His mouth twisted in annoyance as she asked about his lion. He needed information, not to have to explain Voltron to someone who had possibly never even been in space. “It’s a huge robot lion, a spacecraft of sorts. Have you heard of spaceships? Anyways, I’m its pilot.” He felt a soft rumble in his mind reminding him it was a consensual relationship. Yeah yeah Red, I’m trying to keep this simple.

As soon as Jaya started explaining the Hub Keith’s eyes laser-focused in on her. A nexus, that made sense… but… “Hundreds?” If Keith had accidentally teleported here somehow, he could be anywhere. In any universe. The impossibility of his task shadowed his determination for just a moment and his face paled. Then an idea lit in his mind and his eyes sparkled.

“Do you think there are people, or, uh, beings here who might be able to track my friend?

“And how do I get back to my own Universe?” If she’d been here for any length of time, she’d probably gotten this question dozens of times, and considering she had her own exotic club, she’d been here awhile. A few times he glanced toward the dancers, several women sliding across stage. Back in the Academy, other students had tried to tease him with pictures of naked women, but he’d always been too focused on his studies to care much. These women here affected him about as much. His eyes slid over them and back to Jaya.
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Star Trek-AOS

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Katie

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#6
Jaya noticed the way that the young male was reacting to her, and to the other females in the club. Or rather, not reacting. Oh, she knew that Orion women weren't to everyone's taste, but the pheromones that her "sisters" and the other Orion women were giving off should have piqued the interest of any young male. Or at least any young male who was attracted to females. Not that she hadn't been trained to deal with this eventuality, contrary to popular belief, Orion women had the ability to provoke more than simple lust, and she could still make him feel comfortable, relaxed, happy, and generally inclined to help her out.

And although she didn't have them up on stage most of the time, since they were more of a specialty item, Jaya did have a few male employees, for those patrons who were interested in such. And she signaled one to come over now, to drop off a small tray of fruit and cheese. And to see if Yoshi appealed to the young man.

"I'm familiar with spacecraft." Jaya said with a smile, noticing how the young man had underestimated her. They always did, which was the reason Orion slave girls were so good at what they did "I came here on a shuttle, which was damaged, and still needs repair." perhaps the young man would have compatible parts, or materials, and be wiling to share. "At least hundreds." she continued "And there are beings who keep track on comings and goings, so if someone has seen your Shiro" not that she was certain that this Shiro was involved with Keith, but it seemed the easiest way to bring up the subject "it will be possible to find him. As for going back, the gateway to your universe will be the point where you entered the Hub. It will let you out where you entered in your world."
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Voltron -Legendary Defender

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#7
Keith couldn’t help noticing others in the bar mesmerized by the dancers to the point where they were practically drooling. It annoyed him. There were more important things in the Universe than the pleasures of the flesh. That men could waste so much time on food, drink, and women when so many were suffering at the hands of Zarkon disgusted him.

He took a slow breath and looked back at Jaya, finding something about her - maybe her smile, or her plain good manners - disarming, relaxing. He took another slower breath. “Thank you for helping me… this is a lot to take in.” He bowed his head to her and then turned…

Just as a tall, muscled man set down a plate of food. Keith caught his eye to thank him and the man… held his gaze, twitching the corner of his mouth into a smile. Just for a second he lost himself, mirroring the smile, and then the man cocked a brow in a way that sent Keith’s eyes immediately searching for anything else to look at.

Luckily - or not - he’d made a fool of himself by questioning whether Jaya knew what a spacecraft was when she’d actually arrived via shuttle. “Oh… I’m sorry,” he said, staring at the table cloth. “I shouldn’t have assumed. I, uh…” He shrugged, his gaze rising to meet hers again. He was keenly aware the male server was still there and felt the air cool when he finally left. “I could take a look at it and run some diagnostics, unless you already have people doing that.” He wasn’t as skilled as Hunk or Pidge, but he could do basic repairs on a shuttle.

And though he needed to know how to get back to his own universe, that there were those in the Hub who would know if Shiro had been here was the best news he’d had yet. He was so thrilled he didn’t immediately register her phrasing of ‘your Shiro’. Under different circumstances he would’ve corrected her and said Shiro was like an older brother, but also his commanding officer. He certainly wasn’t “his”. But as it was Keith’s usual tunnel vision constricted even more as he focused in on the hope of finding the black paladin.

“Where… where do we find these people?” He recovered, barely. “If you’re willing to guide me.”
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Star Trek-AOS

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#8
Jaya watched, amused, as Keith's behavior confirmed all of her suspicions. Both about his interest in males, his lack of interest in females, and his lack of experience with either. Idly, she wondered if it would be a good idea to set Yoshi to work on rectifying the last, but this young man seemed depressingly focused on his quest. It seemed to be a common problem for Terrans.

"Its quite understandable." Jaya replied easily. "Many of the people here come from universes with a level of technology that doesn't allow for making steel in large quantities, let alone interstellar travel." Answering his question she said "There a number of beings who do so. One of them is called Death, and claims to be a deity of their world. I can give you the address, if you like."

Jaya was not eager to go see Death. Not that she believed their stories, but they were disquieting, and she would keep her distance if she could.
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Voltron -Legendary Defender

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Raven

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#9
If being over-focused was a common Terran problem, than Keith was the embodiment of that trait. The other paladins would readily agree with Jaya that Keith’s thought process was like a train on a track.

Though he wasn’t oblivious to her amusement about… something.

He wasn’t sexually or even romantically experienced, but he was well aware of what kind of business this was, and what probably happened in back rooms. Was she expecting him to patronize the Green Goddess for its non-culinary services in exchange for the information she was giving him? He didn’t even have any money to exchange, but he’d seen enough of his own universe to know some business people didn’t deal in money.

“I, uh, would be very grateful for any information you could give me, but…” He looked up at the dancers and gulped as he thought he heard a satisfied shout from somewhere in the back. “... I don’t have any way to thank you, I mean, I’m not skilled in what you provide here, so I couldn’t…”

He sighed and ran his fingers through his shaggy hair.

“I don’t think any of your patrons would find me very suitable anyways…” Though the thought sent a strange tingle up his spine which somehow made him turn even redder.
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Star Trek-AOS

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#10
When the poor boy thought that Jaya was going to expect him to work off his debt by coupling with the patrons, well, she did her best to stifle a laugh "I'm sure that we can find some mutually agreeable exchange." she replied, still amused "Coupling is only one of the services that we offer here, even if we were bartering work here. But as it happens, I'm in need of parts for my shuttle, and there are a few parts I have where the installation will be easier with a second pair of hands. I think that this work would be more agreeable to you, yes?"


Jaya smiled "I don't know about the patrons, but I think that more of the staff would be interested in you than the reverse." she considered, and decided to give the young man a tiny nudge "Yoshi seemed quite taken with you, if you'd like an introduction later."
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Voltron -Legendary Defender

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#11
Keith thought nothing of flying blind into a fight where the odds were against him. If a scenario was dangerous it only made him more likely to jump in, sword bared. He was definitely a daredevil, but he wasn’t a playboy. The stereotype of the ambitious pilot who was a ladies man was just that, a stereotype, and nothing close to the mark. He’d always assumed he was too focused on his career and his love for flying to have a relationship.

That he might not even be interested in women somehow hadn’t come up.

Until now, when it was coming up very obviously, at a time when he needed to be focused. Needed to find Shiro.

But Jaya had a way of… getting him off track, seeing through him, completely unnerving him in fact. To the point where it made sense that she might ask him to couple with patrons as payment…

“Oh, yes, yes I can help with the shuttle, that sounds… fantastic.” Something he could do that didn’t involve… whatever was going on in that back room. He looked over his shoulder again as a blissful whimper slipped from the hallway.

It seemed they were back on track. He could help Jaya with her shuttle, she could introduce to him people who might have seen Shiro arrive, and…

“Interested in me?” Yoshi? Oh, the man who had served them, and had held Keith’s gaze. “Oh, I’m not… “ He had to clamp his mouth shut and tilt his chin into his hand for a moment. Keith didn’t like lying, and when he did he was bad at it. Trying to hide from the other paladins that he might be Galra had been tense as hell. Struggling with that aspect of his identity had been hard enough, he hadn’t even considered that he was even more… complex. “I mean I don’t think…” It wasn’t as if there was any shame in it, not the way there had been on Earth decades earlier. But he had enough on his plate. His hands were shaking and he pressed them against the table, bowing his head slightly.

“Jaya, there’s something to what you’re talking about, but I just came to terms with being part Galran, an alien species in my universe, and I have to find Shiro, and as much as I appreciate what you’re doing…” He looked up again, eyes pleading. “I need to stay on track. Maybe we can talk about this later because… I guess there’s something to talk about?”

Hell, this wasn’t the time.
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Star Trek-AOS

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Katie

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#12
"Excellent." Jaya said to the young male "We have a bargain, then. Once you're finished eating, I'll give you directions to Death's office. Once your done, you can come back and I'll set you to work on the shuttle." a bit of a gamble, but Jaya was fairly confident that this male was one of those almost painfully honest and honorable Terrans who'd feel honor bound to pay his debt.

When he started to say "I'm not." Jaya just looked at him, eyebrow's raised until he amended the statement, although it took everything to she could not to roll her eyes when he said he wanted to talk later. Because obviously talking was the best way to work out what you wanted to do in bed and who you wanted to do it with. "You're a hybrid?" she asked, wondering how that had worked. "In my universe, people usually know that, of course for us it always involves a genetics lab." as for the rest of it "I know that your species is sometimes reticent when it comes to coupling" which was an understatement. Honestly, she was starting to wonder how it was that their species hadn't managed to go extinct, between the taboos on when they could couple and with whom, their propensity to make individual choices not to reproduce, and their tendency to form monogamous pair bonds with members of the same sex on an amazingly frequent basis. "But its quite possible to do enjoy the sweetness of life without abandoning duty altogether."
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Voltron -Legendary Defender

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#13
Keith’s relief was palpable as Jaya confirmed they had a deal, and that deal didn’t involve him dancing naked or anything more interesting. He was too in the moment to notice that his thought was ‘more interesting’ rather than ‘more frightening.’

“Yes, okay, we have a deal.”

And Jaya was right, Keith had a sense of duty as flexible as a rock. He’d die before he’d default on a debt. Though as focused and committed as he was there was a part of him that was aware of the opportunity Jaya was giving him. It wasn’t that he had no interest in romance, or sex. He’d had vivid dreams… dreams that he’d passed off as just that, dreams that had no bearing on his actual life. Some dreams that were inappropriate to have about a commanding officer that he’d tried his best to forget. And Jaya seemed to know… a lot. About sex. About alien hybrids.

“Yes, I am, but as to how it happened?” He gave an embarrassed shrug. “It wasn’t so long ago that I didn’t even know there were aliens, or, other intelligent species aside from humans. Learning that I have a relative who is Galra was, well we are kind of at war with them so it wasn’t something I was proud of. As to how it would work biologically?” He chewed on his lip a moment. “It might have been done in a lab, but why?” He sighed. “There’s a whole lot more that I don’t know than I know.”

As far as being reticent when it came to coupling, yeah, she pretty much hit the nail on the head. Clearly it wasn’t something she found shameful or embarrassing at all. The idea of enjoying the sweetness of life while still being dutiful… that had a good sound to it.

And with that thought came a hollow longing within him. What had he been denying himself? Pain creased his brow and he stood up abruptly.

“I’ll go meet Death and return to fix your shuttle.” A stranger sentence he’d never spoken, but then again, this was the Hub. Everything was strange here.
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