“Hunk, three O’clock!” Shiro warned, taking down three more galra fighter jets.
“Got it!” Hunk yelled in return as he obliterated the jet about to broadside his lion.
The team was fighting Lotor in their first real battle since Shiro came back. It was a surprise ambush that no one suspected. Everyone was once again back in their respectful lion as they fought.
It had been about a week and a half since they had found Shiro, fighting alongside Matt on a rebel ruled planet. The castle had received an anonymous distress call from a strange planet at the time and were headed that way when Pidge realized it was the rebel group that had taken her brother from the Galra Empire. They hurried to the planet with all boosters, full throttle. Once they had landed they met with the rebel leader and were soon introduced to his second in command, Matt. Pidge cried when she saw how different Matt was. Lance and Hunk both started to tear up at the siblings reunion. Every one however stopped what they were doing when Shiro stepped out of a side room. Everyone rejoiced and Keith actually showed emotion for the first time in his life. After a week of convincing,Matt joined the Paladins.
The paladins awoke to the sirens blaring throughout the castle. Jumping into their lions, they were greeted by two of Lotor’s fleets. Everything felt weird for everyone at first because of the sudden change back to their original lions. Yet in only a few ticks there were working together better than ever. In only ten minutes they had managed to wipe out at least half of the combined fleets with little to no hassle.
“Team! Form Voltron!” Shiro commanded through the coms.
All the lions stopped at once and raced to meet Shiro halfway. Once Voltron was formed they took out the fleets’ main control ship with the Black Lion’s Jaw blade. With the main ship in pieces Voltron split up to take care of the remaining few fighter jets, fleeing the fight. In one last fighting shot, one of the larger jets managed to hit Blue directly where Lance was sitting. Electricity sparked all around Lance as he felt his bond with Blue fade then disappear. His heart pounded in his ears as memories of fighting Zarkon came back to him. Blue just floated, lifeless mid battle, with Lance inside freaking out.
He tried every button and switch on the control panel to wake Blue up after the impact, but couldn’t before Pidge took out the remaining few jets Lance was headed to take care of.
“Come on girl! Stay with me darling. I know you are still there. Don’t leave me hanging. Come one we just need to get back to the Castle then I’ll give you a manicure! Please, Blue! Come on Beautiful, don’t die on me!” Lance pleaded with his lion.
“Lance! What happened?” Keith demanded.
“I don’t know, a stray fighter jet hit Blue in the head and she won’t respond!” Lance spit out as fast as he could. Hunk turned and raced over in a panic to latch onto Blue’s tail and drag them back to the castle, as Lance still tried everything to revive Blue.
“I’ve got you, Lance.” Hunk said Softly, ushering Yellow to fly back towards the castle.
“Alright everyone! Great job out there, Paladins, let’s head back to the castle for some breakfast.” Allura congratulated the team as they trudged back to the castle.
Once back in Blue’s hangar, Lance stayed in her cockpit and spoke to her until she woke up. Once Lance’s connection to Blue formed, as she woke up he left her to join the others for breakfast. His connection with her had grown ever since Allura had begun to pilot her. He bonded with Blue as much as possible as to not lose his bond with her.
Lance walked out of Blue and stood for a moment, he did hurt a little bit but decided not to worry anyone. Replacing his pain, with a smile he walked into the dining room and found that everyone was already seated and eating away at some odd looking dishes. Keith was the only one still in his paladin armour, aside from lance, too hungry to even think about changing beforehand. Everyone else was in their normal attire as Lance practically skipped in the room. Matt heard him along with Hunk and looked up to greet his gaze.
“Are you alright? Sounded like something happened out there with you and Blue.” Matt asked.
“Nothing much. just some minor malfunctions, don’t worry we’re both fine, just a little battered up that’s all. Nothing too serious.” Lance reassured Matt. A sigh of relief left Hunk as he got up to make Lance a bowl of food. Coran, Pidge, and Keith looked up to see him when he spoke but only for a moment. Allura and Shiro were deep in a conversation about Lotor to even notice anyone else in the room. Lance sat down in his designated seat and thanked Hunk for the food as he handed him his bowl. Lance just stared at his food for a while. His new seat was right next to Matt and Hunk. Good thing because he got along with them both great. Hunk shook him out of his trance and pointed towards his food.
He practically inhaled his bowl, and headed back to his room. There, he changed out of his armour and put on his normal clothing. He sat on his bed staring at his helmet for a few minutes.
‘Am I just the 7th wheel?’ he thought to himself. All of his homesickness was hitting him, hard, along with his anxiety and depression-not a good mix. All he did this past battle was hang back and pick off a few stragglers and when he tried to act like a hotshot, he got injured. His bond with Blue faded, only for a few minutes, but it faded. That’s a problem. Is he even cut out to be a Paladin of Voltron? All he ever did was get hurt and make everyone mad. Sure, he did a few good important things once in awhile but no one really noticed. It was always hidden under everyone else’s accomplishments, Hunk and his ability to create anything at anytime or place, with anything, Pidge with deciphering important information and coding things in an instant, Keith and being an amazing pilot and fighter, then Shiro and being an outstanding leader and strategist. What was Lance good for? Yeah, Blue always told him that he was special, and that she chose him for a reason, and that he was a vital part of voltron, he would believe it for awhile. Until he screwed up again, then everything went crashing down once again and reality set in.
Allura was perfect flying Blue in his place while he flew Red. Now they had Matt in the picture as well everything changed. Sure, Lance got along with him famously, but Matt was a better strategist and could make the right decisions immediately. Lance however, just joked all the time and most of the times made wrong decisions. Why not have one of them fly Blue in his place?
He snapped out of his trance and walked down to the observatory, discovering that everyone was already in there huddled around a hologram in the center of the room. Planning, strategizing, actually being a team and creating a game plan to defeat Lotor. He walked in as Keith was saying something, no one seemed to noticed Lance enter. He listened to Keith and the others and caught up with the plan after a while. He noticed however one small but extremely crucial mistake. It would leave voltron open to any attack for only a few ticks, but it was a huge detriment as Lotor was their newest threat. He was extremely cunning, even more so than Haggar and his father combined, and seemed to have many tricks his sleeve.
“Hey, guys? You missed this hole in the plan. We could get ambushed here and it would screw everything up.” He spoke up as he stepped up next to everyone. All of their heads whipped around so fast you could actually hear the crack in pidges neck. They were all shocked to hear Lance’s voice. Hunks expression softened into a smile as he realized it was Lance. Keith, Shiro, and Allura immediately turned and started to look for this so called opening Lance was talking about. Coran walked to him and put an arm around his shoulders, giving him a delighted smile.
“There is no flaw there Lance, now please butt out and leave the strategizing to the real pilots here.” Keith turned and spoke with disgust laced in his voice. Lance looked at him in bewilderment, he ran up to the hologram of the entire plan, and began to zoom in and show everyone the opening in the plan. Only Coran and Matt saw it, but as they tried to speak up but Pidge and Allura shut them down with glares that no man could survive. Shiro joined Keiths side and confronted Lance.
“Lance I’m not sure what you are trying to do here, none of us see this so called “flaw” or opening you see in the plan. I don’t even know if you’re just scared because of this plan or of something else but please leave the planning to us for now.” Shiro spoke in the tone of a father scolding a child. Lance lost the light in his eyes and nodded as he turned and walked back to Coran. Coran took him to the back of the room where Matt followed them.
“I’m not insane, you both saw it too! So how do they not see it?” Lance asked them. “I just wanted to actually help for once and keep us safe during battle but I guess I’m just the guy who jokes about every little thing.” He started to walk away when Coran grabbed his arm and pulled him back in front of him. Holding him by the shoulders Coran looked at the saddened boy.
“Number 2, you are completely correct about the opening and I saw it too, now I want to help you prove that you were right and have them change the plan.” He stated firmly. Matt agreed and Lance nodded as he stood up tall and walked back over to the group. Hunk gave him a saddened smile but he shrugged it off. He walked back to Shiro and Keith and made sure they weren’t drawing anything on the hologram before he once again zoomed in on the opening.
“No, this plan has a flaw and I will not leave it be. We are a team and everyone deserves to be included in planning. I may be the jokester of the group but I am not joking about this opening when it could cost us our lives.” Lance glared at Keith. Once again he started to go over in even more detail how the plan had a flaw in it, once finished Keith piped up,
“Lance, For the second time, I don’t see any kind of “opening” or “hole” in this plan. We are completely protected by the castle there.” He zoomed in on the game plan. “Now I don’t know what happened with you and Blue out there today but obviously something messed with your eyes and your head because all I saw you doing was hanging back and barely doing anything. Then when you tried to show off to everyone, you messed up and got hurt in the process. Now please step aside and leave the planning to the actual strategists in the castle. And please try to act like a true Paladin of Voltron for once.” Keith got up in Lance’s face and glared at him with anger that could have killed Hitler on the spot.
“Keith-” Shiro started, stepping forward.
Lance shrunk back and said nothing as he turned and stomped out of the observatory. Coran, Matt, Hunk, and even Pidge tried to stop him but he just pushed past them as he ran back to his room. He finally realized the horrible truth that he had been fearing for a while. The team didn’t need him, there was only once option left. He grabbed a bag from under his bed and threw it on his sheets. He sat with his heads in his hands. He knew what he had to do.
He was going to leave Voltron.