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Lance’s idea of heaven is a place where he doesn't annoy everyone around him. Where he is able to do things without the constant voice at the back of his mind whispering anxiety. A place where he doesn't have to fake a smile every day because he doesn't want to attract more attention than what he deserves. None.

Fast. The blue paladin’s eyes match the dark sky, heartbeat erratic. He can't waste any more time. Lance learned after a few years that just because the castle's lights were out, not everyone was asleep. He could bet on Hunk, Allura, and maybe Coran, but he knows that the three others found it hard to rest. Keith is most likely busy training his muscles off, Pidge is definitely on her laptop like a little tech gremlin and Shiro

Shiro has nightmares. Lance has seen them. They scare the crap out of him. Yet, with fearful blood and cooling words, Lance always tried his best at calming his boyfriend.

Boyfriend. The word made Lance shiver - though, that could be the cold planet air - gripping onto his shirt sleeves as he steps onto the balcony. The castle has several floors, the fifteenth being the highest. Along with its height, the size of the balcony is nothing to laugh at. Lance takes two small steps, getting momentarily distracted by the shine of stars above. Constellations that he doesn't recognize, and probably never will.

Probably. An involuntarily chuckle leaves him. As if probability would change the fate he decided. Lance’s mind raced with planning all week. Mostly with how he could do this without anyone knowing or getting hurt, physically and emotionally. Above all else, he explained to Blue that he loved her. That, despite what he was going to do, she would be okay. Knowing her reaction would be far less than cooperative, Lance planned the reboot Pidge performed monthly to land on this night. The night of his demise. His lion will definitely mourn for a bit when she finds out that her paladin isn't here anymore, but that pain would soon fall away when Blue saw who her new paladin was.

Allura. Strong, sophisticated, bold - yet, in need of guidance. Everything Blue needed. The Altean would fly his lion, gain the attributes she needs, and keep their bond clear. Lance knows how much she misses her planet, as well as her family. She needs something like this. She is one of the two only Alteans left in existence, after all. The other being-

Coran. The man screams cheeriness. Lance has no doubt that he can keep this team together emotionally. Even if this decision of his does hurt them - he considers it more of a someone died thing rather than a Lance died thing - Coran is just the man to bounce them all back. Along with a certain cheery chef-

Hunk. The lovable guy easily distracted by the beautiful art of food. A true connoisseur. His best friend - Lance ignores the lump forming in his throat, walking closer to the rail at the edge of the balcony - full of humility, yet, unwavering confidence. Hunk’s a technological genius, along with another one of his friends-

Pidge. Or, Katie. She doesn't mind which one they use but responds faster to Pidge nowadays. She is such a smart teenager, still on the constant - perfectly distracting - search for her family. Pidge figured out how to reboot all the lions and leave them in tip-top shape. She had grown into a strong young woman. Her hair had also grown - Lance remembers braiding it and has to grip his scarred wrist to forget as his mind rattles on - as well as her patience. She even began teaching a certain mullet on how to control his.

Keith. A wonderful guy - Lance would never admit it in person, especially now, considering his current circumstance. Keith is a crazy talented guy with a short temper. If he keeps that under control, he’ll be perfect. Despite that, however, he is fine in Lance’s eyes. Distracted constantly by training, along with his adoptive brother-

Shiro.

Lance hits the railing.

His breath quickens, grip on the railing becoming so tight that his knuckles turn white. Pale skin contrasting with the blue fading light below. The floor is approximately one thousand and fifty feet - give or take, he had calculated - seeing as stories were differently sized in Altean architecture.

No, he thought. No, you have to finish thinking. You can't get distracted this time.

Shiro has been the perfect boyfriend.

The perfect friend.

The perfect leader.

He has been the distraction Lance needed up until this point.

Shiro, of course, has his own. Keith's brotherly love, his wavering mental health, and Voltron. Everyone had Voltron.

Voltron did not need Lance.

A hiccup-like sob escapes. He isn't going to cry. He is not.

The act of sitting on the rail takes too much.

Time. Effort. Mind.

He doesn't slip - this, disgustingly, disappoints Lance - allowing for a strong seat. Lance swings his feet a few times, looking down at the spot his body will fall on. Where his face will smash, brains leaking out. Blood will stain his face and torso, and the life will leave his eyes. He convinces himself that he deserves to choke on his own bodily fluids when he lands.

Lance closes his eyes, bites his lip one last time, and moves to fall off.

Dun, dun, dun.

Strong arms grip him. He is thrown back, across the balcony, close to the open door with a desperate skid.

The blue paladin’s heart beats erratically, skin breaking into a cold sweat as he looks up, eyes widening as they fall upon Shiro, panting near the railing with a serious look in his eyes. There's something else in his expression, but Lance is far more focused on the sound of his blood rushing in his ears.

“…Shiro…”

“…Lance…”

Shiro says it with such vigor, such emotion, that Lance can't believe he really said his name. Shiro is walking over to him, and Lance doesn't want to find if he is going to be scolded, pitied, or both.

Luckily - at least, in his mind - he still has his Bayard.

He had planned on leaving it in his Lion - er, Allura's lion? - but couldn't find a way of doing it without raising suspicion. His mistake could help him, for once. Pulling it out without thought, Lance transforms it into what he can only call the mecha version of a Colt 45. He doesn't have time to think of how cliche it feels, because he has to shoot himself in the head - and he has to do it fast

Times seems to slow down, the cool metal pressed to Lance's temple and his finger against the trigger.

Shiro is faster.

It is knocked from his hands, skidding across the floor to the railing, toppling over with gravity.

“No…” Lance gasps, reaching out with want- no, need. “No, no, no…!”

He is crying now, pathetic sobbing.

Failure, failure, failure.

Shiro pants heavily, wrapping his arms around his weeping partner.

A soothing sound comes from the black paladin’s lips, attempting to calm Lance's heart.

After a moment, Lance takes a shaky breath and wipes his tears, saying in a flat whisper,

“That should have been me.”