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Garrison Academy

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Lance

Lance didn't want to leave home; but he didn't feel like he had a choice.

As much as his parents were trying to cover it up he knew, they were struggling. It's not easy with a full household; especially with low wage jobs. But they tried their hardest to pull through and even though it isn't his responsibility that just made him feel guilty. Whenever he asked if there was something he could do he just got the smile from his mama that says, "everything will be alright" but Lance knew; it was not. All he could see from that smile was sadness.

He was the oldest in his family; with 10 other siblings. Since his parents were hard at work most of the time, he did his best to take them in and keep them out of trouble. There was enough raw tension around the house as it is from all the stress. Unfortunately however, that didn't stop the tension from exploding at times. Lance couldn't count the times he had to distract the others from the yelling and screaming from the other room. With reading and dance parties with blasting music, he thinks he did a good job when he had to.

There were many quiet discussions from the adults on how to fix this, but there's only so much that can be done to fix something that is possibly broken beyond repair. That's about when Lance came across a pamphlet for Garrison Academy; a boarding school that offered full rides to children of families with low incomes. With him gone that would be one less child to care for, so he contacted to get more information, and now here he was.

Lance's family saw him off. They each hugged him and said their goodbyes. It was emotional for Lance; he just hoped everything would be a bit easier on everyone. "No need to cry", he remembered telling his siblings while wiping their tears away. "You guys will be fine without me; you guys are strong." He got a final kiss on his cheek from his mom before he got on the train bound to his destination. He could still feel the kiss lingering, even hours away.

He took a deep breath, looking up at the academy. 'Well this can't be so bad' he thought to himself. It's like a fresh start to life. Sure he had to make new friends, but this was Lance. Lance was good at making new friends. Besides, Hunk is here. Hunk has been his friend since practically birth, the only friend he ever counted on enough to let him into his situation. They were practically inseparable; but besides Hunk he realized, he had left everything else behind.

He just hoped he made the right choice.

 

Keith

Keith had nothing to lose.

After his mother left, so did his father; on this "crazy quest to find her" or something. In Keith's opinion, it was just because he wasn't wanted anymore. Even if he wanted to believe that his father would come back, who would leave their child alone and not take them along? Once it was found out that he was living in his small house alone, he was forced into the orphanage with other lonely children. It was no use getting close to those kids or even the staff of the orphanage in Keith's opinion; they'll just leave him like his mother or even worse; get close to him and abandon him like his father.

Sure it was an isolated life, but Keith got used to it.

It didn't bother him at all when he was flat out ignored; it's not like he talked anyways. It didn't bother him when other kids left with new parents. It didn't bother him when there were whispers that no one would want a kid who doesn't talk. Keith lived for himself only. He was convinced that if there was no one there to love him, then just himself was fine. Until Shiro walked into his life.

No one knew where this boy came from. He just showed up on the doorstep, no clue of his family and no one could track them down. He really only seemed to know his name; Shiro. He was a few years older than Keith, black hair and grey eyes. If Keith was interested in getting to know people he would want to get to know Shiro. What a shame that he did not.

Shiro was nice to everyone, everyone loved Shiro. But due to the fact he was an older child none of the parents wanted him. Like Keith he was left in the dust, pretty much stuck in the orphanage. A couple of times he tried to talk to Keith but the younger boy just shrugged it off and turned away. What did he care he didn't want to talk to anyone; but Shiro just kept on pushing. Eventually, he was the first one to break down Keith's walls.

Looking up to him like a brother, they kept in touch even when the other went away. Shiro found a boarding school to experience living away from the orphanage. He and Keith talked almost everyday. It's been years since then; and it was Shiro to convince Keith he needed a new start, to get out and find some friends. The orphanage clearly wasn't doing him any good. "You should come here Keith. I think you'd like it."

Keith reluctantly agreed. It was time to finally get away from this dreary hell hole.

So he packed his things and ended up here, at the Garrison Academy. Glancing up at the huge buildings, Keith made a small promise to himself; 'don't let yourself get attached to anyone'. It's okay to have only one friend. After all, people only leave in the end.

Pidge

Pidge has never really fit in.

He was always different from everyone; a nerd, a standout, extraordinarily smart. His dad, Sam Holt, was known everywhere for his work on math and science so it's only natural that his children would get some of his smart genes. Pidge always excelled in everything he did but no matter what he would always get compared to his father. Though it was quite exhausting to be continually compared to his dad, at least there was someone to turn to when things got overwhelming. Matt, Pidge's brother, was always there for him no matter what.

Matt was the person who cheered him through the rough times, and Pidge was grateful to have someone to turn to. Whatever they went through they went through together, especially through the transition.

For a long time, Pidge held a secret. He held it from everyone, including Matt who was the one person he trusted with his life. For a long while it didn't even feel right to him. It freaked Pidge out beyond belief. The thought that he could possibly feel more comfortable as a guy was unknown to him. This period of time was excruciating; it's like not knowing what is up or what is down, he was constantly thinking over and over again about who he is and whether it was acceptable for him to feel that way. He had to talk someone, but he chose to tell no one at all.

There was always a fear within that no one would be able to accept the true him, so he chose to hide it inside. Though the ace bandages were painful, he started closing his chest away. Rather than telling anyone, he decided maybe it would be better to restrict his breathing. Maybe it would keep him from spilling it out to the world; the thought that he was not the daughter he was born to be. It hurt him to still go by Katie at school but hey, if it would stop people from figuring out his imperfections then so be it.

Naturally, Matt was the one to figure out something was up first. Something was different with Katie, he noticed. She appeared more anxious to him, for her that was not normal. He gave her a few days, thinking she might come around and mention something to him. Katie didn't ever stop him so he took matters into his own hands even if it would cause him to be hated.

"Hey Pidge?" Matt said gently, knocking on her door softly. "Can I come in?"

"What is it." Pidge huffed, opening the door. She seemed tired, Matt noted, there was a bland tone to her voice. He slipped into her room, shutting the door before slowly approaching her. There was an issue in this; Matt didn't know what to say or how to confront her, so he ended up staying completely silent. "Matt come on."

"Woah woah woah." He stepped back again, worried by her confrontational tone. Again, it was not like Pidge to be so aggressive. "Katie Holt don't use that tone with me. What's going on, are you..." before he could finish suddenly Pidge burst into tears. Approaching her again, Matt tried a gentler tone. "Hey – Pidge... Are you okay? What's wrong?"

That evening, Pidge spilled everything. How he had been feeling, how he felt like he had to hide it from mom and dad, how he felt like he even needed to hide it from Matt. His brother only listened, with an intent look on his face. But Pidge knew; he was listening to every word. If anything, Matt had always been a good listener. Once Pidge got done spilling all of his secrets, Matt had said sympathetically, "I'm glad you told me Pidge. It's going to be okay."

His brother by his side, Pidge stopped the ace bandaging and actually bought a safe binder. Matt helped him immensely; there is no way that he could ever repay him in a whole lifetime. In a couple of months when Pidge was ready, he came out to the rest of his family to only receive positive responses. They agreed to let Katie officially change his name to Pidge. It was Matt's nickname for him, so the transition to calling him Pidge would go smoothly for the family. It was an homage for his brother, as his support meant the world to the younger sibling. Not long after it was time for Matt to go to a boarding school; and though he was missed like crazy talking to him still felt like home.

School life without Matt around however; was a nightmare for Pidge. Other kids would poke and prod at him, still call him Katie, and all that. Though the pain was huge; he just decided to shrug it off, show that words wouldn't hurt him even though they did. Each word jabbed at him like a knife. School became a hell hole; but in only a few years time he would get out.

When he became around Matt's age when he left it was time for Pidge to reach out and try new things. To himself he promised to get away from this place; to somewhere where no one knew him. Where he could gain respect. So following in his brothers footsteps, he applied to the Garrison Academy.

Stepping off that plane was the most frightening, but most amazing step to this new life. He was ready for every bit of this. He could finally work on becoming himself.

Hunk

Hunk had always decided he would go away from home one day. But was he ready? Not at all. He loved home. He didn't want to leave his mom all alone. But in the end they both agreed it was the best option for him.

He loved his mom to pieces; she raised him as a single mother which he knew was not easy. She had him way too young, but she still chose to keep him and raise him up. To Hunk, she did a pretty amazing job. He was so proud of her; his mom was always his hero. They didn't have much but for what they had, their cozy little home is enough.

The only issue is that when he or his mom was struggling, Hunk never really learned to rely on others. Sure there was Lance, his best friend, but he had nothing compared to what Lance was always going through. The only thing Hunk knew was to be strong for others; so that's what he did. When it came to taking care of everyone, he had a huge heart. When it came to take care of himself; he would just shrug it off. "Be strong, be strong, be strong" he kept telling himself, like being weak was no option. He even always came off as strong to his girlfriend, Shay, who he met a year ago.

He met Shay online due to some common interest of computers. If they were seen together people would think they were the perfect couple; but they've never been seen together, as a matter of fact they have never personally met each other. Shay lived all the way in a big city; Hunk just lived in a tiny old town. They were so in love, but the relationship certainly had strains due to the distance. But they didn't let it show that it bothered them. Both were too strong to even admit it.

Coming across a boarding school, Garrison Academy, Hunk was curious. The more and more he looked into it; the more he felt it was a good idea. Maybe getting away from home was what he needed to do but he couldn't leave his mom all alone; he didn't want her to be lonely without him. He was her only child; how could he just leave her like that? But he kept drifting to the page, wondering what it would be like away from home, until he forced himself to shut the computer.

One day he accidentally left the computer with the tab open. When his mom went to use it for work, she noticed the page and curiously brought it up to him. She mentioned it was okay to go; Hunk refused. It kept going on and on like an endless cycle before Hunk finally sighed and gave in; he agreed he would get away. He only made his mom promise that she wouldn't be upset without him. She smiled and promised; bringing him into a tight hug while saying she was so proud of him. Hunk nodded, tears in his eyes.

When he left, his mom was the one with tears in her eyes. Hunk kissed her cheek and waved goodbye, before hopping on the train for the adventures that would come. On the train was the only time he allowed himself to not be strong; silently crying when it took off for the destination.

Once arrived, he got off the train and walked toward the building ahead to hunt down Lance. He messaged Shay and his mom to let them know he got there. Slipping his phone in his pocket, he put up a strong front again. Nothing is going to break his walls down now.