Once dinner was over it had gotten late, so Buteo insisted on walking Pidge back to the castle of lions, much to Shiro's annoyance, but kept his mouth shut.
"Um...thanks for walking me back," Pidge said, a little confused as to why, wondering if it was dangerous at night.
"It was no trouble at all," Buteo smiled handsomely, "Would you care to join me for breakfast in the morning before I show you around our labs and workshops?"
"Sure, I guess," Pidge replied a little unsurely. It was just breakfast, it didn't mean anything.
"Great! I'll pick you up in the morning," Buteo grinned, giving her a bow before flying up and back to the palace.
'Here it comes,' Pidge thought when she saw Hunk and Lance smiling.
"Looks like someone's got a boyfriend," Lance sang.
"And a prince too, aren't you lucky," Hunk teased.
"Guys, knock it off," Shiro ordered, not wanting to hear it.
"Oooh, this is so exciting," Allura squealed, "Come on Pidge, we better find something nice for you to wear tomorrow!"
"What? Why," Pidge questioned, "What's wrong with what I normally wear?"
"Don't you want to look nice for your boyfriend on your date," Lance teased, shutting up when he got a look from Shiro.
"Are you sure it's a good idea to have Pidge hang out with this guy alone," Keith asked, still not trusting him.
"Of course, Prince Buteo wouldn't try anything, especially with someone he just met," Allura insisted, misunderstanding what he meant.
"What's that have to do with anything," Keith wondered, earning a startled gasp from Allura.
"Well! I don't know how things work on Earth but I can assure you that the Accipitridae are gentlemen," she huffed.
While the two of them argued, Pidge slipped inside the castle quietly so Allura wouldn't notice. She did not want to be up all night being forced to try on outfits.
When morning came around, the green paladin sneaked through the castle, trying to avoid getting caught by Allura, worried she might try forcing her into another dress. She didn't mind dresses, but if she was going to be walking around she'd rather wear shorts.
Once she saw that Allura was no where to be seen, she dashed down he hall only to end up bumping into Shiro. The black paladin was unaffected but the impact caused Pidge to land on her bottom.
"I'm so sorry Pidge, are you alright," Shiro asked, offering her a hand to help her up.
Pidge blushed and took his hand, "Ye...yeah, I'm fine. I was just trying to leave without getting spotted by Allura.
Shiro gave her a fond smile, "Worried about being put in another dress," he asked, laughing when she nodded, "Go ahead, I'll distract Allura if I see her."
"Thanks Shiro," Pidge smiled before running off again.
Shiro didn't like the idea of Pidge spending time alone with the prince. But Buteo was nice, so he probably wouldn't try anything, and Pidge was just interested in the technology. They were going to end up leaving tomorrow at the latest, so there was nothing to worry about. And, while he felt bad for thinking it, he was kind of hoping seeing Pidge out of a dress would make the prince lose interest, not that Pidge didn't look cute in her normal clothes.
Pidge got outside, only having to wait a few minutes before Buteo showed up. "Good morning Lady Pidge," he greeted as he landed, giving her his usual charming smile, not seeming to mind at all that she wasn't wearing a dress, "Are you ready for today?"
"You bet I am," Pidge said excitedly, eager to see their robots and machines.
Buteo took Pidge by the hand, leading her to the palace and taking her to the dining hall where an impressive spread of food was laid out for them. She had forgotten that they were going to have breakfast first, but didn't mind since she was feeling kind of hungry. She stuck to eating fruit, since she didn't know what kind of creature the meat came from. The fruit was good, hoping they would take some when they left the planet, sneaking some of the fruit into her bag.
Pidge was surprised at how much the prince could eat, but quickly assumed that the Accipitridae had a higher metabolism than humans. Once she was done she waited for Buteo to finish, not wanting to seem rude by asking him to hurry up. Luckily he seemed to have noticed she was done and quickly finished eating.
"Ready to go," he questioned with a smile.
"Yep," Pidge said standing up, eager to start looking around.
Buteo offered her his hand again which she took, thinking he just didn't want her to fall behind. Despite his big hands, he held on to hers like they were made of glass.
There first stop was at a factory type building where they seemed to build and repair their ships. The Accipitridae in the room stopped what they were doing to bow to their prince before returning to work. Buteo had made sure to ask to have their best work on display to impress Pidge. "What do you think?"
"It's amazing," Pidge looked around. Their air force ships seemed much more impressive than Earth's. And while it was no flying castle she still found herself in awe. "Is it okay for me to see the inside of one of the ships?"
At first Buteo didn't seem so sure, but quickly caved at seeing Pidge's pleading look.
"Try not to break anything," the engineer who was working on the ship implored, worried about the outsider ruining their work.
"I won't," Pidge assured them climbing in. She wondered if she would be pushing her luck if she asked if she could fly it. The ship was nice, through it felt different from being in her green lion. Maybe it was because of the bond.
She kind of wished Hunk was here, knowing he would have enjoyed it too. Maybe help convince everyone it wasn't a date. Pidge wasn't sure why Allura wanted to set her up with the prince. Sure, he was handsome and nice, but she wanted to focus on finding her family. Not to mention saving the universe. Through that didn't stop her from pining over Shiro.
Pidge could only imagine what Allura would do if she found out about her crush on Shiro. The princess seemed to enjoy playing match maker.
After spending a few hours in the factory they went to see what Pidge was looking forward to the most. Robots.
Buteo took her to some caves, where their robots were mining for some kind of ore. Being creatures of the sky the Accipitridae didn't care much for being underground, so they created robots to do the mining for them. The robots had a slim build but were easily able to carry heavy objects. Pidge looked over the robots in excitement.
"You really like machines don't you," Buteo said fondly.
"Yeah, I've always found it easier to talk to robots and machines over people," Pidge commented, not realizing what it sounded like. She noticed one of the robots was walking a little funny and had wires sticking out of the back of it's neck, going over to it. "Mind leaning down," she asked the robot, who did so.
It only took her a minute, fixing the wiring on the robots neck, who nodded in thanks before going back to work.
"I'm impressed that you figured it out so quickly," Buteo acknowledged, amazed she could pick it up so fast.
"Oh, that was nothing," Pidge waved off, having converted enemy robots to work for her. "So what is it that you're mining for?"
"Accipitri ore," he responded. "It is a strong metal that is used for our weapons and ships. The robots are made out of the same type of ore. It is even said to have been used for parts building Voltron."
"Really? I'll have to ask Coran and Allura about it," Pidge figured they would know.
Prince Buteo was a little upset that his attempt to impress her didn't seem to be working. Pidge seemed more interested in robots than him, but he didn't let it ruffle his feathers. Buteo did his best to buy more time with her, showing her another area where robots mined for crystals.
"Those are Accipitri crystals, they are our main power source, through we have been looking for other sources, should the mines run dry," Buteo informed her. "Luckily it does not take much to power our machines and they last for a long time."
Pidge seemed impressed by that and looked the crystals over, wondering if she could keep one to study. She then started to ramble on about Balmera and it's crystals.
"Wow, is it getting that late already," Pidge questioned as she looked at the sky, noticing it was starting to get dark. "I should probably start heading back so the others don't worry."
"If you would like, I can give you a ride," Buteo offered.
"Sure, that would be great," Pidge answered, not really feeling like walking all the way back. She looked around, "But I don't see any of your ships here."
Buteo chuckled, swooping Pidge up in his arms and flying off. The small teen cried out, wrapping her arms around Buteo's neck to keep from falling. "Sorry for not giving you more warning."
"It...it's fine," Pidge shuttered, not wanting him to think she was scared, but did her best not to look down. She tried to enjoy the feeling of flying with the wind blowing in her face, happy bugs weren't hitting her in the face. Pidge quickly relaxed and before she knew it they landed in front off the castle. "Thanks Prince Buteo, I had a lot of fun today. Thanks for showing me around," she bowed.
"It was no trouble at all Lady Pidge," Buteo smiled.
"Maybe if we come back we can hang out again," Pidge offered. She wasn't interested in dating, but that didn't mean she couldn't make a new friend. Pidge didn't notice his smile falter at the 'if' part. "Goodbye Prince Buteo," she bowed one more time before heading back inside.
The prince looked the ship over, a plan quickly forming in his head.