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Waking up the Animal

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Lance didn’t know when it started happening.  Or why it was happening.  Or even what was happening.

Just that it was.

And he was starting to lose time because of it.

At first it wasn’t much.  Maybe an hour or two while flying Red between planets.  He figured he zoned out or fell asleep randomly, because there wasn’t much to do when flying the lions boringly through space.  It's had happened before.

But then he just came into awareness with Coran chattering away on the coms to him.  What he was even talking about Lance had no idea , nor was he going to ask. So he just settled for humming every so often until Coran finished then thanking him and turning off his coms for a few minutes.

And then the gaps got... bigger.

One minute he was flying Red, the next he was on sitting around a fire one some planet.  Or he was wishing everyone goodnight only to then wake up flying Red.

Which was weird.

Red didn’t seem overly concerned about it though.  She soothed Lance so easily when the panic of it all would set in.  She didn’t know what was exactly happening either, or at least in details she wished to share with him, but she was not worried about it.  

So Lance tried not to worry about either.

If only it was that easy.

It just seemed to get worse .

Lance was starting to miss days .

Everyone would talk about things he did or said.  Stuff Lance never remembered doing or saying.  But it was all easy to play off remembering, with a simple laugh or ‘yeah that was pretty cool’ here and there.  Or just a hum in some cases. While he screams internally, scrambling to figure out what was wrong with him.

No one seemed the wiser to anything being wrong with him, though.

But then again…

Shiro was a clone for months and they all had no idea.  Not until it all came out in the middle of everything.

And Lance didn’t want to say anything so soon after.

Not that Lance thought he was actuall y a clone of some kind.  He can’t think of when the Galra ever grabbed him long enough for that to even happen.  

Unless it was all before everything and he had been a sleeper the whole damn time.  Something the Galra just made and dropped down on Earth. A mind filled with memories and feelings that in the end weren’t really anything.  

But Red is quite sure and firm that that was not the case when Lance first thought it.  Almost outraged Lance even had it to begin with.  Huffing and puffing about it all. Just how dare he?!

Yes the Galra managed to fool them once with Shiro.  

Black was rather unorthodox to begin with.  But she hadn’t just let the clone of Shiro without plenty of reasons.  One being he was a puppet on strings with a mind and soul that didn’t know.  It was different all together.

A comfort that barely felt like one.

The other alternatives for what was happening are not much better.  

Lance didn’t tell anyone what was going on.  Why would he when he barely knew what was happening, and they had all been burned previously by something scarily close to it.  He dealt with it one his own.

Red was almost a constant sound of purring and feeling of rubbing up against his mind.  Soothing and calming him as it all ate at him. Which was only getting worse with every minute, hour, or day, were Lance blacked out.

At one point there was familiar feel of Blue’s push and pull presence came to Lance when he was particularly distressed. Her concern pouring over him, as his distress reached even her .  Blue was able to help for a few moments before Red snarled at her to go away, her help no longer needed.

But Blue was...well a chatterbox when she wanted to be.

Lance didn’t seem surprised when Allura approached him the next morning.  Asking if everything was alright. To which Lance smiled effortless, opened his mouth…

And blacked out for five hours.

Lance could barely keep it together when he came too.  Barely having enough sense to switch off his coms as he tittered on his sanity.  Scratching at his helmet to get it off, and fling it on the floor.

Red threw a fit at it all.

A righteous one, as she held Lance as close as she could.  Roaring and bitching at Blue for intervening, cause Red had it handled .  It’s was delicate and fragile, and Blue did not make things better.  Lance was worried enough as it was, stay out .  

But of course, all the lions heard it.  

And they told their paladins Red was hissing a fit.

Because Lance’s coms start lighting up with communication requests from everyone.  Which does not help Lance’s internal panic at all. He didn’t move to answer a single one as they start blinking in.  Hunk sent a text or sorts, that Lance could just type a response that he was ‘fine’ to and calm the other paladins nerves.  But he does it.

Rather Lance opped for curling in on himself.

Afraid he will just black out again for who knew how long.

And the pattern repeats, until Keith override Lance’s coms.  

“What the quazinack did you to get Red so pissed off at everyone?!”  Keith snapped harshly. Anger sharp in his voice, demanding Lance to answer when Lance didn’t want to to begin with.

When Lance didn’t answer...well Red did.

A snarl and an angry snip at Black.  Growling darkly at Keith to the point where Black physically roars at Red.  Which causes Lance to flinch at the sound while he hears everyone in Black trying to figure out what is going on.

Red roared right on back.  

Her paladin, her problem .  Everyone is making it worse.  What was going on was none of anyone’s concern but her’s and Lance’s.

Leave them alone .

And then Red bolted off as quick as possible.

She assured Lance everything would fine.  She would buy them a few hours of quiet so he could collect himself.  Find a suitable planet for the night so he could breath. The other’s would track her and join them later.  But for now he was free of them. He could express and feel all he wished, she would protect him while he did.

Lance was thankful for that.

He cried and aired his concerns to Red in their solitude.  Because he doesn’t no how much more of it all he can take before it all breaks him.  She gently rubs and grooms at his mental state all while.

After they land on a planet with a lovely sparkling waterfall and lake.  Lance had a solid three hours to himself. To explore and walk around without the worry of running into any of the others.  Let the gentle familiar sounds of water wash over and calm him.

Red warns him the others are coming, and Lance was more than welcome to stay within her for the night.  She will protect him.

Lance took her up on the offer.

As he crawled inside, the other four lions landed, and Red’s particle barrier went up.


A similar pattern continued to form over the next few days.

Lance would wake up to the other Paladins camped worriedly just outside Red’s particle barrier.  All seemed to greet him extra warmly and gently, delicately handing him things or soft touches. Kindly acting like there was nothing clearly wrong or weird with Red’s and his sudden isolation from them.

But then, usually, when Lance was about a little over half way done with breakfast, someone would ask if he was alright.  Voice laced and dripping with concern for him.

Sometimes, Lance could answer with an easy lie that things were fine.  He just had a panicked over something and Red reacted extremely. To which he was always told he could talk to anyone on the team if anything was bothering him. It was fine.  It was healthy. It was what he needed.  And Lance would just smile and nod, saying that of course he knows that, Red is simply being overbearing and it’s nothing.  But then he scurries right into Red...so it probably barely sold well.

Other times, Red is already moving to give Lance a place to hid before Lance even moved.  Particle barrier up before anyone could race after him. And growling at anyone that tried to grab him before he could run away.

Then Lance would spend most of the day avoiding everyone for most of the day on the coms.  Or at least avoiding the subject if they ever tried bring it up. Before eventually just cutting the line and Red would fly off.

He would rarely come down for dinner when they got to planet.  

(Hunk just started giving him spare food goo packets when he could.)  

Choosing to hole up in the safety of Red for the night most of the time.  While she purred and rubbed against him, assuring him, things would work out.  All of this will pass, and he will be fine.

Lance, honestly, started to believe her.

He still blacked out sometimes.  Things seemed to mend a little bit between the other Paladins when he does so.  Just a bit. But it wasn’t actually getting any better at all.  The black outs were random in when they came, and length of time they were.  They happened when they did for as long as they did. Lance was just there to experience them.

But Lance believed Red.


“Lance, enough of this!”  Allura snapped, storming towards where Coran had cornered him to ask how he was.  “Something is clearly wrong with you! I can no longer sit by while you lie and isolate yourself any longer.  We are your friends, you can trust. Tell us what is wrong!”

“I’m fine, Allura, honestly.”  Lance said breezily, with an easy grin.

“No you are not!”  Allura hissed sharply.  “You are acting like…” Shiro’s clone was left unsaid, but it hung in the air clearly.  “We are worried Lance, tell us what is wrong.”

“Nothing is wrong.”  Lance returned as he eased back a step towards Red.  

He knew Allura wasn’t going to let this go.  He could lie and lie that everything was fine and she would push.  She had that look in her eyes. Protective and determined. She was not going to let the team, not going to let Voltron fall for another threat they couldn’t avoid.  

Lance’s only choice was to run or have a panic attack right there.

But as he turned Allura grabbed his wrist.

“Let go.”  Lance asked in a firm tone.

Only Allura didn’t budge one bit.“No, you are not running way this time!”  She growled, with a tight squeeze of his wrist when he tried to pull away.

Red growled mechanically above them, and Blue back in warning.  Lance tried to pull his wrist away from the princess’ grasp again, only for her hold to tighten.  He winced at the pressure and the pain. Coran slightly flutters as he reaches for Allura.

“Tell us what is wrong, Lance.”  Allura ordered.

“Allura, let go.”  Lance hissed lowly in warning.

“I will do no such thing.”

“Princess, perhaps it best--”  Coran tried to reason as Lance winced again at the pressure on his wrist again.  

“No, Coran, this team has been through enough as it is.”  Allura snapped, cutting Coran off. “We have lost almost everything.  I am done sitting around letting this fall to the wayside. I will not let us lose any more.  Lance, will tell us what is wrong with him. Why Red has become so hostile to everyone .  And he will do so now.”

“Allura--” Shiro started.

No , I will not allow this to go--”

Enough!” Lance snapped angrily, anger and rage boiling in his stomach.  For the first time, he actually doesn’t want to run. He wants to fight with the hostile energy in the air.  “That is enough, Allura.” Lance growled out the demand, glaring down at Allura heatedly. “ We have asked, now we are telling.  Unhand us this instant.”   

Allura stared at him widely and doesn’t move.

But her shock is enough for Lance to tear away from her grasp harshly.  Turning on his heels, he stormed over to Red. Who was waiting patiently for him and puts up her barrier the once he’s inside it’s range.

He doesn’t look back.

Rather makes his way to where Kaltenecker is lightly grazing.

And threw up his breakfast.


It was a Druid that knocked everything into alignment.

Well, sort of.

There was a secret Galra base ship hovering around one of the moons of the planet they took up landed on for the night.  Of course, there was. But the base wasn’t paying any attention to what was happening planetside. Seeing as how they weren’t attacked in the dead of night by anyone.

And of course they couldn’t let it continue to exist.

The plan what was for missions like that.  Save a few alterations, for the additional parties within Voltron.  Two lions go in as a ground crew. To gather what internal or personnel they could, stop whatever operations were being on, and destroy the place.  The other three lions ran distractions above. Taking on fighters and ion beams, so the Garla don’t notice their party snooping around on the inside.

Lance and Pidge were the ones designated to go inside.  They got the short straws.

But Lance also knew it was because Red was still being overly snippy and hostile towards Black and Blue for them to chance something.  Same with Yellow, just perhaps not as extreme. Green Lion had taken to smartly staying out of whatever was going on, so it was safer bet.

Krolia and Coran accompanied them.  Both to get through doors and hallways quicker, and shift through twice as many systems once they reached the bridge.  

Easy peasy.  

They had run missions like this countless times before.

But of course there was a Druid there.  Creepily hanging around the commander of the ship.  They were the hardest one to land a freaking hit on out of everyone manning controls.  Always appearing and disappearing, while everyone else went down heavily.

It fell on Lance and Krolia to keep the Druid “entertained” while Pidge and Coran went at the Galra systems.  Which was fine. Krolia was good, she easily recognized Lance’s strength is distance and a killer aim. She moved like lightning, giving Lance windows to shoot in the Druid’s distraction with her.

But then...

The damn thing blasted Lance across the room.  Arches to dark energy and magic tearing through him as he was carelessly tossed away.  Slammed him into a far off wall.

And... Oh .

Oh, indeed.

That was different.

Oh...

That what was happening .

Well then…

Hello.

Hi.

This is…

New ...yes very.

Kind of...makes sense...sort of.

Space is weird.

There is a cry of pain and the heavy sound of a body dropping somewhere.  Then a heavier sound of doors sliding close and locking into place. Someone ease cursed...rather colorfully.

Wait, yes, he came with friends.

Friends that were currently in trouble.

He needed to…

Do something, yes.  

Definitely needed to do something.

And quickly preferably.

The Druid leaned down to pick up Krolia’s blade slowly.  Flickering out of existence when Pidge fired her grappler.  Only to reappear and sent Pidge soaring across the bridge when the green Paladin charged. Coran narrowling managing to catch her, as the druid turned back to Krolia’s form on the ground.

Dagger raised high in the air.  A sneer of traitor.

Lance need to move... now.

Yes, run now.

No, not run.  He won’t make it in time.  

Lance might be the fastest out of all his siblings.  But he wasn’t that fast.  Not fast enough to sprint across a bridge of a Galra ship.  Lance knows what his body can and can’t do and that was not one of them.

Shoot then.

No, not a clear enough shot.  

Nor time to properly aim, yes...of course.

See that now.

Hm…

Wait, can he…

Do the shifty disappearing teleport thing?

Yes, he knows how, but…

No time.

Do it.

Quazinack!

Lance moves quickly.  A blur of motions and fury.  His bayard shifting in his hand to his sword with ease.  Space folds and splits around him. And with one swinging motion, the blade was sent flying through the air with small clash of metals hitting.  Landing yards away.

That was…

Unpleasant, yes.

Felt like worse than dying.

Agreed.

Let’s never do that again.

Agreed.

The Druid strangers away from Lance suddenly in front of them.  Eyes no doubt wide at what just happened, even though Lance can’t see their face.  Body language was more than enough to tell him that.  

Lance smirked knowingly.  

Then in one quick motion, stepped and spun to bring his sword down at the Druid.  Who pathetically managed to stagger just out of reach. Narrowly avoiding Lance’s advances, before they remembered they could do the vanishing thing too.

Only Lance can sense where they were going to pop back up.

Turns on his heels, and...

The Druid slams into a control panel harshly.  A blast of blue fiery energy faded into the air from where it hit them in the chest.  Lance looked down in his hand in surprise.

Oh...that was cool .

That is just the beginning .

Lance moves again.  Surging forward at the Druid on the control panel.  But the flicker out of existence a tick before Lance’s sword makes contact.  

The panel sparks as the sword goes in deep.

And gets stuck a bit.

Quazinack!

It happens.

Yes, but not usually....It’s all so different…Yet all the same.

Yeah, don’t have to tell him that.

He gets it too.

“Lance?” A voice asked.  

He knows that voice.

It’s…

Pidge .

Yeah, Pidge.

Lance turned to look at the green paladin to find her eyes wide staring up at him from Coran’s side.  She looks somewhere between afraid and in awe at the sight of him.

Not that Lance can exactly blame her.  He was something else all together, from what he could make out in the reflection of the glass of her helmet.  His iris glowing a bright hot blue. A bluish glow, flickered and fluttering like a fire sort of, with the faint outlines of another figure.

Coran looked like he had seen a ghost beside her.  

Kind of sorta was.

Kind of sorta wasn’t.

Lance sees him mouth the name ‘Alfor’ in question.

“Lance, is that you?”  Pidge asked cautiously.

“Partially.” Lance answered both of them, with a sharp yank of at his sword in the control panel.

It doesn’t give like he wants it too.

“Partially?!  Who--”

Then Lance feels it.

Oh that’s where the little quazinaker went.

Lance turned to his right.  His bayard shifted into his rifle fluidly.  Settling into position as he body slid into a steady stance.  Quickly he fired over three shots in quick session. Before the Druid even materialized by the door controls.

Their body falls unceremoniously to the ground.  Dead. Nothing but a small fluttered of fabric and a clunking over their mask as it bounced away.

Oh that is very nice.

That is barely the surface.

“Lance?”  Pidge’s voice asked behind him again.  Causing him to turn to the green Paladin, who just seems more uncomfortable.  “What’s going on?”

“I…”  Lance started then stopped with a hum.

Realizing quickly there wasn’t exactly way to put it into words.  

He knew exactly what was going on with him, understood it in clear detail almost instantly.  But the words to describe it were lost on him a little. They hadn’t exactly come to enough in way that made complete sense.  It’s all kind of new and complicated, and a little weird.

“It’s...complicated.”  Lance settled for quickly.  “I...we...really can’t explain it too well right now.  Nor is there time if we could.” He stated firmly and hurriedly.  “Both of you need to gather what you can from their systems. The Druid was gone for too long, we think they called for backup and…”

A loud banging on bridge doors caused the three to turn and look.

Yup there were the sentry reinforcements.

Quazinack!” Lance cursed.  

He thought they would have at least a little more time.

“That door won’t keep them for long, both of you, systems, now!”  Lance ordered firmly as he raised his gun and kept it aimed at the door.  

There was another bang on the large bridge doors.  

Both Pidge and Coran made a sound behind him,.  Pidge’s more a surprised squeak at the sound than the order.  Coran’s was more confused sounding in general as he was probably trying to figure what was going on.  Or stopping himself from saying a bunch of things that are on his tongue.

Again, Lance doesn’t blame him.

With the sound of the two hurriedly working beside him, Lance moved towards where Krolia was.  She was already getting to her feet in a slowish manner, but nothing to suggest she was injured too bad.  Just perhaps a little sore from a few hits here and there. He gaze fixed on the door as Lance came to a stop behind her.

“They’re working on overriding the door.”  Krolia stated firmly.

Lance nodded with a small hum.

The large bridge doors were large.  But only for sentries could fit through in a row.

Not the easiest pickings.

But not an overwhelming amount if they weren't careful.

Not to mention sentries didn’t really have free logical thought.  They would keep a formation. Which, if picked off correctly if they kept up with it all.

Just not getting shot is the trick.

A very good trick.

“We’ll have a limited window to--” Krolia continued before stopping suddenly. Out of the corner of his eye, Lance could see her turn to look at him.  “Is this... normal , for you?”

Lance turned to look at her.

Finding her standing above him with a raised brow and wide eyes.

Clearly she’s never seen anything like this.

Well, neither had Lance.

But he was experiencing it...so it was different.

“It’s a new development.”  Lance stated easily. “Of sorts. It’s been going on for weeks now.  But out little friend over there helped...align...things.” He added gesturing towards the body on the ground by the door.

Oh, this was why Red was being so…

Temperamental.

No, pissy.

That is…

Actually a pretty actuate description.

I know, right.

“Do all the other’s…?”

“No,”  Lance answered quickly with a shake of his head.  “Just Lance. Or at least...we think just Lance.”

Another loud bang from the door prevented Krolia from asking anything else.

Or rather, a loud bang followed by positive sounding beep.

The large bridge doors slide open, and sentry fire poured in.

Lance tensed tightly as he fired back.  Successfully taking down three sentries with reasonably decent shots.  A since of pride that was half his, half not his (because it is too excited) pulled in his stomach.  He continued shooting as he carefully moved to the cover of a control panel. Krolia doing the other the same on the opposite side through.

Pidge’s voice curses loudly at the sudden fire.  

Not in pain…

Just surprise.

Coran’s voice said something that seemed to steady her.

Sentries were dropping easily enough with both Krolia and Lance shooting.  But they did seem to be almost endless as the surged through the door. Their single shots could barely keep up.

Cutting them down would be easier.

True.

Sentries weren’t programed much for close quarters fighting.

Or designed for the matter either…

Shooting was half working.

Agreed.  

They needed to…

Yes, exactly.

“Cover me.”  Lance called out to Krolia as he shifted his bayard to a his broadsword again.

But he doesn’t wait for her reply.  Instead rolling in the towards the opposite side of the panel he was hiding behind.  Carefully peeking around, to make sure the sentries were still focusing their fire down the center of the bridge.  

Lance moved quickly, charging three sentries that were furthest for from the door.  He cut them down with one strong swing on his sword. Spinning to avoid the fire of two more, before stabbing on through the chest.  Only to then in one fluid motion, pull the sword free and cut off another's head off.

Oh it had been a while since he fought like this.

It had been…

Years, really.

The last time he moved like this was…

With his brothers in the backyard.

With little foam swords.

No.

That wasn’t right.

But also yes, it was.

No, the last time he fought like this…

With a real sword...

Was...welll…

Oh...yeah…

Then.

Lance runs his sword through two sentries, before ducking and backwards kicking another in the chest.  Another fluid yank, swing, and jab. Took another four sentries down.

Grinning wildly, Lance throws his bayard towards a sentry entering through the door.  It knocked the robot over, along with the three walking beside it before they could process anything to do.  

He darted forwards, past to sentries, to grabbing the sword from the sentries chest.  Pulling it free and turning lowly to chop of the legs of the two sentries he past. Straightening up to, cut straight down one of them, then diagonal across the second.  Then ducked again, flipping the sword backwards in his hands and thrusting back into the torso of an approaching sentury.

He turns gleefully, and advanced down into the hallway.

This was very fun.

So different…

For shooting things

But that’s fun too.

Just in a different way.

How are guys doing in there?” Keith asked over the coms suddenly.

“Fine, aside from whatever is going on with Lance, we’re doing fine.”  Pidge answered. “Almost done grabbing every bit of data in this place.”

Uh...what’s going on with Lance?” Hunk asked worriedly.  “ Is he okay?”

“Yes, Lance is fine.”  Lance snapped over the coms with a grunt as he sliced upward on a sentry.  “Nothing is wrong with Lance.”

There was a beat of silence over the coms.

Okay…”   Hunk started after a moment.  “ Why is Lance referring to himself in third person?”

“It’s complicated.”  Lance returned, narrowly dodging shoot from a sentry.

Before uppercutting their gun in half.

“It probably has something to do with why he is glowing in a why that kind of looks like fire a bit.”  Pidge snapped back a beat after Lance.

What?!”   Keith snapped after a beat.  

Yeah, Pidge, did you just say Lance was on fire?!” Hunk asked right after.  “ And glowing?!”

“And possibly possessed.”  Pidge snapped back hurriedly.

Well...Damn.

Pidge was being chatty today.

Disclosing stuff she really doesn’t understand.

There is a chorus of what’s from the others flyinging out.

“Pidge!”  Lance huffed annoyed, before the Green Paladin could answer.  “Enough! We’re not possessed...we’re... something , but not that.  Focus on getting the data.”

A blade suddenly flew inches from Lance’s face.  Landing thickly into a approaching sentry beside Lance, and causing it to frizzle and die out.  He squeaked slightly, before turning to find Krolia with her arm still out like she just threw the blade.

She gave him a look that was easily ‘please follow your own advice’.

Lance gave her a nod of thanks.

It had been a while.

Kind of…

Sort of…

Yeah...

Quazinack this is weird.

Together they turned and charged the next wave of approaching sentries.

What is going on in there? ” Allura asked with a slightly grunt over the coms.

“Nothing of much concern Princess,”  Coran started with a nervous laugh. Which didn’t make it sound like everything okay.  It made it sound…

Worse.

Way worse.

Damn.

Was Coran always a terrible liar?

When it was needed….

But well…

Oh...yeah.

However, to their luck Pidge filled the coms with a cry of victory before anyone would question the older Altean’s tone.  Claiming to have copied all of the data from the systems to her suit to be processed later. Declaring she was setting the systems to wipe themselves and frizzle out in a set amount of time.  And how much she would really like to get out of there as soon as possible.

Lance sliced three of the last seven sentries.  Krolia taking down the other four with ease and grace.  

“Hallway is clear.”  Krolia claimed.

Good, get out of there as quick as you can.” Keith ordered firmly, just as Pidge and Coran were jogging over the mess of sentry parts Krolia and Lance had left in their wake.  “ We’re almost done with the fighters out here, but some extra help would be appreciated.”

“Got it.”  Lance answered with a nod.  He shifted his bayard back to his rifle as he turned back to everyone.  They’re all still kind of staring at him, but they at least don’t seem...to freaked out out it anymore. “Alright let’s go.”  Lance said as he turned, took to steps.

And then his knees gave out a little.

“Lance!”  Pidge called, but it’s Krolia that that catches him by the arm before he falls.

Oh quizanack.

He felt...funny.

Dizzy.

It’s been too long…

His body it isn’t use to this.

None of him is use to this.

But it’s been too long.

He expelled too much energy.

His body was starting to give out a little.

Just…

Just a little while longer.

Hold tight.

“Fine, fine, we’re fine.”  Lance assured in a pant as he tried to get his legs underneath him.  Carefully moving his arms out of grips to support himself. “Just not use to this.”

“This being…?”  Pidge asked carefully.

This.” Lance returned by gesturing to himself with a pant.  “We’re fine, we can make it to the Lions.”

Probably.

With enough will-power.

And focus.

Yeah, he could totally do it.

So Lance pushed on.  And besides a few stumbles here and there, it was fine.  Pidge or Coran were there to catch him before he made too much noise.  Or yanked him along to a hiding place with worried expression. But for the most part he could carry on.

And by some miracle it doesn’t take them too long to reach the hanger where they parked the lions.

Red purred and prinned happily in Lance’s mind.  Spring to life a few good ticks before Green ever did.  Happily rubbing herself all over Lance’s mindhole with loud happy mewls.  Welcoming Lance back joyously. Not mention giving him a nice surge of energy to keep his body upright.

Lance grinned widely at Red and her excitement.

And then something cold ran down his spine.

He turned sharply in the direction that he felt it.

He knew that feeling.

Almost too well.

It was…

Hagger! ”  Allura spat of venomously over the calms.  “ What is she doing here?”

Lance had a guess.

A pretty good one too.

The icy cold feeling of her was the same…

As...back then.

Yes.

He didn’t like it.

But there was some satisfaction in the feeling of surprise from her.

She felt him too.

And she was…a little…

Surprised?

Scared by it.

“We need to go, now.”  Lance said sharply turning back to the other three with him.  

All staring at him...staring at a wall.

Oh that looked intelligent.

“Yes of course.”  Coran said quickly.  The first to recover from their staring at Lance.  “I’ll join...Lance,” He said oddly, like he wasn’t sure what to say, as he looked at Lance for approval. But Lance doesn’t give him one.  “In Red. Krolia and Pidge will go in Green.”

“No, Coran, you will go with Pidge in Green Lion.”  Lance corrected quickly.

“But--”

“Coran, we would enjoy having you in Red Lion.”  Lance smiled out easily. Same way he always smiled at Coran...which was eerily almost exactly the same to begin with.  Wow. “But you will fuse and friet over us, when we need to focus on the task at hand.”

“Which is?”  Pidge asked.

“In short, not pass out too soon, and open a Wormhole.”  Lance answered easily. He held up a hand to stop Pidge from asking the question he knew was on her tongue.  Because the answer was yes. He could very much do that. “Krolia will ride with us in Red Lion. Pidge, you and Coran will go in Green.  You’ll be the lead once the wormhole is open. Understood?”

Pidge hesitated for a moment before nodding.

Then she grabbed Coran’s arm and hurriedly pulled him towards Green Lion.  Calls over the coms for them to hurry, the other’s couldn’t hold off Haggar for long, spurring them along.

Lance moved towards Red Lion after a quick nod to Krolia.  Red easily scooping them up in her mouth eagerly. But at least she waited for Lance to drop into the pilot seat in the air, before bursting out of the hanger door in her excitement.  Lance ignored Pidge’s comment as she existed behind them.

They are all instantly fray of the other Lion’s and Hagger’s forces clashing in space.

Finally, what took you guys so long?” Hunk called over the coms as Red blasted on Yellow’s flank.

“Weak knees.”  Lance answered easily as he fiddled with Red’s screens.

And Lance staring at wall for like five ticks.” Pidge shot out really quickly.

Sounds like productive uses of time.” Keith spat out, and there’s a small call from Shiro in the background of the com.  Nothing more than a sharp ‘Keith’ that cause Keith to growl in return. “ Look, I don’t think we can take Hagger--

“We can’t.”  Lance cut in easily. “But I have a plan on what to do.”

Which is?” Keith hissed in a heated down as black ducked two fighter ships.

“Working on it.”  Lance growled back, hurriedly fiddling with Red’s screens.  Annoyed the controls for what he needs are so buried.   A blast suddenly hits Red, justling both Lance and Krolia.  “Just...bare with me for a moment, and give me some cover.”

Lance?” Allura asked in tone that was both gentle and firm at the same time.  “ What are you trying to do?”

Lance doesn’t answer.

It’s a little too hard to answer.

And he stops listening too.

He needs to focus on the controls.

And keeping his body upright enough.

And opening the wormhole.

Which, won’t be that hard actually, there was enough left over quintenses…

Oh that’s why the wormhole opened for Blue.

Yes…

A little.

Oh, yeah...he did kind of do that...didn’t he.

But how..

Does it matter.

No, not right now.

Right now, he need to focus.

They needed somewhere safe.  

Far away and safe.

Olkarion.

“Are you sure this will work?”  Krolia asked quietly behind him.  “Have you done with before?”

“Yes.”  Lance answered simply.

He closed his eyes.

Took in a deep breath as he rested his hands against Red’s controls.  

Grinning slightly as the Lion purred in anticipation.

Focused on the feeling.

The familiar feeling that was also new.

But there had been a faint tickle of it in his stomach all the time ago in Blue.

And then…

That’s a wormhole!” Hunk observed excitedly over the coms.  Happily laughing and cheering, before it dawned on him...that wasn’t exactly usual any more for them.  “ Why is there a wormhole?

Allura, is that you?” Shiro asked over the coms.

No, I don’t know who’s doing that.”   Allura stated.

“Pidge, remember what the plan was.”  Lance ground out through his teeth. Strain thick in his voice, and he could feel sweat forming all over his body from the effort.  “We can’t hold it open forever.”

LANCE is doing this?!” Keith blurted out.  “ How--”

Pidge! Sooner rather than later!”  Lance snapped.

He doesn’t really listen to her response.  Or if she said anything to the others. Listening to them all talk ways taking too much focus away.

He needed to keep the wormhole open so they could all go through.

And it’s difficult.

More difficult than he could remember.

Not that he really remembered.

But he did.

He’s tired.

His body is starting to really not be able to withstand it much long.

Hold on.

Just a little bit more.

A little bit tighter.

It will be okay.

“They’re through.”  Krolia’s voice suddenly declared.

Soft, and right next to his ear.  So he would hear but not break the focus he was so desperately trying to hold onto.

Lance pushed Red’s controls forwards.

Sending her soaring though the wormhole.

And it all leaves him.

Drained away as quickly as it all set in.  

But it’s different then before.  

Not so...separate.  More open and there with clearity.  It still wasn’t all in the right spots...somehow Lance just knows that, but he has no idea what it means.  But it’s getting there. He just needs some rest.

Lance heaves a series of heavy pants, as he leaned heavily on Red’s controls.

Yeah, that was probably going to take his body some time to get use too.

Carefully Lance pushed himself back up.  Leaning back in Red’s chair still panting.  The sound of his teammates excitedly talking over the coms a distance sound in his ear.  Somewhat lost over the sound of his own heartbeat pounding there.

And...not.

Part of him is pretty sure they are talking to him.

He kind of hoped Krolia was answering for him a little.

Or at least telling them, he really has no breath to answer them with.

He turned to look up at her.  Finding her blinking down at him in amazement and shock.  Which is probably fair. Lance doesn’t look like he probably did two minutes ago.  And he did something totally insane.

He grinned at her weakly.  “I’m going to pass out now.”

And then he did just that.

Chapter Text

Red Lion was the last to land on Olkarion.

Right after Green and Black.

Softly settling down in a spot across from the other four with what sounded like a pleasant hum.  A small flick of her tail as it curled around her base. And leaning down instantly, mouth opening wide as she did so.

Pidge was the first to run over once Red touched down.  Sprinting across the distance as quickly as she could manage, with little greeting to the Olkari that were collecting.  She stopped just a few steps short of the Lion’s muzzle. Suddenly seeming unsure of just what to do.

Coran quick on her heels in the same manner.  Bolting away from the conversation with Allura and some Olkari.  Only he started up the ramp of Red mouth before stopping. Almost like he froze in his steps, before slowly easing back.

The other Paladin’s followed in suit a tick or two later.  

Excusing themselves from the conversations and interactions they were having before coming over.  Sparing each other a worried glance as the approached. They were all more that worried about whatever was going on.

Lance had gone eerily silent after the Wormhole opened.

Not to mention, Pidge and Coran did not seem in the sharing mood about what happened. Completely not answering anything that was ask.  While Krolia had taken to sticking to one worded answers that barely answered the question.  Seeming to be more focused on something else that talking to everyone.

And it was clear she was in Red Lion….

With a Lance that had gone completely silent to everyone .

Well...none of those facts felt like they spelt anything good.

As they all gathered around Red’s mouth, the could all see what caused Coran to stop.  What had him slowly easing back down the ramp. And gently ushering them all back a bit.

At the top of the ramp Krolia stood carefully at the top of Red’s ramp.  Lance’s limp from held in her arms bridal style with little effort. His head resting against her shoulder, and arms carefully nestled against his torso.  Almost like he was asleep and she had taken great care not to wake him as she moved him.

Everyone froze at the sight.

Quickly and carefully she made her way down the ramp.  Moving to lay Lance gently on the ground as Red straightened back off.  Coran and Pidge both moving to assist her in the action. Coran taking to straightening out Lance’s legs.  While Pidge’s hands flew to Lance’s wrist hacking her way into his suits readouts.

Hunk was the first to move.  

Bumping slightly against Keith’s shoulder as he moved to go to Lance’s side.  Settling down next to Pidge, raising his hands to help, before stopping. Suddenly unsure of how he could help and dropping them with a weak sound.  

“He is simply unconscious.”  Krolia stated simply as she carefully laid Lance’s head on the ground.  Giving Hunk a small look, before Pidge moved so he could see the read outs with her.  Then Krolia turned to glance up at Keith. “He stated as such before doing so.”

Keith only nodded in reply.   

They all could only seem to nod in reply.  Shock of the sight of Lance limp on the ground was heavy on them.   All of them not sure of what to do as the spared each other a glance.

“What happened to him?”  Shiro asked cautiously. First to gather his voice enough to talk.  Turning to look at Coran as he stood up from his spot.

The mustached Altean said nothing as he briefly glanced at Shiro.  Then his gaze feel back to Lance. He swallowed thickly as he moved to stand closer to Shiro and Keith, but every time he tried to open his mouth to explain it seemed like words failed him.  And it was hard to tell if it was because of whatever happened to Lance, or he simply just couldn’t produce the words from shock.

Allura moved to join Hunk by Lance’s side.  Moving on what felt like instinct as she kneeled down beside Lance.  Holding out a hand to lay against the front of his helmet, as she gently rested her other on Hunk’s shoulder comfortably.

“Wait, Princess, I don’t th--”  Coran started hurriedly.

Allura suddenly gave a small yelp of surprise pain. Yanking her hand back starply from Lance’s head as she feel backwards.  A small arch of blue energy snapping and crackling in the space between her hand and Lance’s helmet as she pulled away. Her eyes wide as she shook the pain out of her hand.

“Allura!”  Keith called in surprise.  Moving to help her up. “What happened?”

“I’m not sure,”  Allura grunted as she looked at her hand.  “But it felt like a feedback of Altean magic.”

“From Lance?”  Hunk asked, as he hurriedly looked between Lance’s body and Allura.  “Is that even possible?  And if it is, how is that possible?”  He continued to question.

Allura answered with a weak shrug.

“I believe Lance is a Mureti.”  Coran stated after a moment. A completely serious look on his face as he kept his gaze fixed on Allura.

Allura in turned furrowed her brow.

“Coran, Mureti are nothing but Altean myth and Legends.”  She stated matter-a-factly. “They are nothing more than stories that were passed down through history.  All over told and exaggerated for the sake of entertainment of the listener. They are not real.”

Oriande was believed to be myth and legend.”  Coran countered easily. “We now know it to be otherwise.”

Allura opened her mouth to say something back, but seemed to die on her tongue.  She glanced down at her hand again. Then back at Lance’s from on the ground, and back again.  Falling silent as she lost herself in her thoughts.

“Um...what's a Muteri?”  Hunk asked as he turned wildly to Coran.

“Mureti,”  Coran corrected Hunk softly.  Before clearing his throat slightly, and glancing around to make sure all the Paladin’s were giving him there attention.  “Are, as Allura claimed, figures in many Altean myths and legends. The closest translation for it is ‘Rebirth’. And usually the figures in the myths and legends were a founding member of Altean Alchemy born again in a new time and body.  Often a guiding force for the hero of the stories once they are ‘awaken’. Usually able to take on powerful threats with their combined energies of new and old.”

Pidge suddenly snapped her head up from the readouts of Lance’s suit.  Looking straight up at Krolia for a moment, before whipping around to Coran.  Her eyes bright with someone.

“That...actually kind of fits what happened with Lance in the bridge.”  Pidge declared brightly. “Almost to like a scary degree. Save the founding member of Altean Alchemy part.”

“How do you know that?”  Shiro asked as he looked at Pidge in confusion.

“Because it looked like King Alfor was atrso projecting himself over Lance.”  Pidge stated flatly before she turned back to Lance’s suit vitals.

“What?!”  Allura snapped with wide eyes.  Staring down at Lance’s limp from on the ground, then shooting up to the older Altean.  “That...that…” She tried to speak as he eased back down to her knees.

“It is true Princess.”  Coran breathed out simply.  “I saw it with my own eyes. I do not know how it is possible.  But Lance is a Mureti of your father, they are one in the same.”

A silence washed over them all for a few good moments.

Before Keith broke it with a steady sigh.  “So now what do we do.”

“I think Lance needs rest.”  Pidge stated easily, turning away from Lance’s vitals again.  “He’s vitals seem pretty consistent and normal right now. But that being said, before we got in Green and Red Lions he’s plan was to ‘not pass out long enough open a wormhole’.”  She continued with a sigh as she glanced around at all of them. “And that his body was quote-unquote: not use to it. So I think he overexerted himself.”

“Mureti’s also have a period of Alignment in the stories.”  Coran added lightly. “Usually a period of time where they lie dormant for a while after their Awakening.”

“And how long is that usually?”  Hunk asked curiously.

But Coran shrugged wildly at him.

“Alright then, sounds like we will rest up here on Olkarian for some time then.”  Keith stated firmly. “While we wait for Lance to come to, then go from there. That is if the Olkari will have us.”  He added turning to look behind him.

Only to find the Olkari had started to carefully gather around the group of them.  But mindfully staying out of their conversation and interactions until they were allowed in.  Of course, still listening in curiously. Probably to figure out why there was a Paladin of Voltron limp on the floor to being with as the others weren’t rushing around in a panic.  

Ryner is the first to approach at Keith’s turn turn towards them all.  Her expression soft and open as it was when she greeted them.

“Voltron is always welcome here.”  She said calmly, as she waved to a few Oklari behind her.  “We will see your friend gets the medical attention and rest he needs.”

And from there is was a waiting a game.


Hunk took first watch over Lance.

Well, sort of.

Everyone kind of just had other things to do once they got Lance settled and hooked up to a bed.  Just sort of leaving and scattering.

Keith had to go be the Black Paladin and see to the Coholition issues and concerns with Allura.  And speaking with the Olkari for about a few things here or there. Krolia went with him.

Pidge wanted to find out how Lance opened up a wormhole, outside of the Altean Magic he apparently had now.  Because that would mean they could go home quicker than the planet jumping.

Allura seemed to be avoiding the room all together.  Tending to the needs of refugees and figure heads. Stating they all need assurance that things would be fine, now that the Castleship was no longer something she had.  And the few times she had popped in, she rarely stayed for very long, or ventured past Shiro’s bed to look at Lance still in his own.

Coran usually left to see how she was doing every time she left.  Hurrying after her with a sad look on his face. And if he wasn’t doing that,he was trying to scour the Olkari’s copy of the Castle’s database for any information from the myths and legends that could help Lance out a little.

Romelle didn’t really know Lance.  Nor know many old Altean myths and legends herself, as no one really told them often where she was from.  Stories of Lotor the “Savior” were more favorable. So she wasn’t ever really there.

And Shiro was there, but, well…

To his credit, Shiro did try to be there.  It was kind of hard not to be when he was in the next bed over.  But he’s body and spirit were all sorts of out of whack with each other.  And try as he might, Shiro kept falling asleep for hours on end. Which no one was going to bother him for doing anyway.  And when he was awake, he figuring things out.

So it just left everything to Hunk.

Not that Hunk minded.  

He wasn’t exactly need anywhere on Olkarion.  

Not to mention Lance was his best friend, and he was basically temporally comatose.  Hunk would have to be dragged away from his bedside even if he was. So he kept Lance and Shiro company in the Olkari Hospital room they were put in together.

It’s just, sometimes he wished he a book to read.

Because there was only so many things he could talk about with Lance, and have him not answer back. Only so many stories he could tell about his life back on Earth.  So many times he could adjust Lance’s blanket’s so they keep him warm. Or check the read outs on the machines for any change.

Every second Lance laid there still and quiet, Hunk’s fear and worry would spark.  

“Coran said it might be a few Quintents ,”  Pidge’s voice suddenly sounded. Catching Hunk’s attention, but not pulling it away from Lance’s form.  “It’s only been a handful of vargas.”

Hunk frowned at the words.

Coran said it could also be like a whole month.

He poked at Lance’s wrist as he heard Pidge shuffle closer with s small grunt.  Hunk hopped that maybe it would get Lance to move a finger or something. Or yank his hand away slightly.  Just in annoyance, or a small sign he was still there.

“Stop that!”  Pidge snapped, with small shove of Hunk’s wrist.  Before she huffed and sat down in a chair beside him.  Pulling up her legs to criss-cross them underneath her as she settled in.  “He’ll be fine, Hunk. He’s conditions been stable since we landed. He’ll wake up eventually.”

Hunk pulled his hands away from Lance’s bed, almost like it burned him.  Fiddling with his fingers slightly as he continued to looked at Lance’s face and steady breathing.  The frown on his lips deepening more.

“What if he doesn’t wake up as Lance, though?”  Hunk asked anxiously as he turned to Pidge.

“What?”  Pidge asked.  Her brows pulling together in confusion.

“What if he doesn’t wake up as Lance ?”  Hunk repeated himself, before ducking down to look at his hands fiddling with each other.  “Coran said Mureti as like reincarnations. And King Alfor and Lance are one in the same. So we if Lance doesn’t wake up as Lance?  Do we call him Alfor?  Or he’s going to have some other name we have to call him...like...Alfance...or Lanor.”

Pidge wrinkled her nose at the names.  “I don’t think that will happen.”

“Why?”

“Because of how he...they?--Talked on the mission.”  Pidge stated easily as she opened her laptop and booted it up.  “A lot of uses of ‘we’ and ‘us’ when talking about himself...themself, I guess.  And spoke of ‘Lance’ in presence tense, rather than past.” She said adjusting her glasses as she looked up at Hunk.  “Krolia told me he started using ‘I’ again when Alfor’s projection faded away from Lance’s body before he passed out. Not to mention he still responded to the name Lance.”

“Yeah, but that doesn’t mean he’ll still be Lance when he wakes up.”  Hunk countered.

Pidge turned back to her computer.  Quickly typing little hurried brustes before she stopped.  Then sighed defeatedly after a few ticks.

“Look, I don’t know how Lance is going to wake up.”  She admitted weakly as she turned to Hunk. “Maybe he’ll be like he always was.  Or maybe he’ll glow with an outline of King Alfor around him for the rest of time.  Or maybe he’ll morph into something of the two. I don’t really know. This is all weird and way above me even wanting to understand it.”

Hunk whined at the ideas.

None of them sounded great, save the first one.

“What I do know, however, is how Lance opened the Wormhole.”  Pidge stated triumphantly. “I mean, aside from apparently having Alfor’s ability and magic to do such.”

“How?”  Hunk asked, almost a little thankful for the change of subject.

“Guess.”

Hunk frowned.

Pidge , just tell me.”

“Just guess once, and I’ll tell you.”

“I don’t know, Pidge, the Lions just have that ability.”

“You know, you could at least try a little.”  Pidge grumbled at Hunk as she turned to give him a look.  “No, it’s actually way more obvious and simple than that. Looks like King Alfor built Teludavs inside each of the lions.  I asked Green about it, and after some pestering she showed me how to access it, but not really how to use it. As it is for emergencies only.

“They’re kind of designed to open and close when the Lion is range and allow no one to follow.  And the coordinates are kind of set to where find the Castleship... where ever it is, so it needs a little reprogramming.”  She continued as she turned back to her computer. Typing away at something on her screen.  “Plus, there is only enough left over residual energy from Alfor for a a one way trip, rather not get stuck in space somewhere.  

“When I asked Allura to asked and check Blue, she found out the same.  Only no residual energy for a jump.” Pidge stated with an easy wave of her hand.  “Which makes since, as we arrived in Arus through a wormhole. Lance might of subconsciously opened it with Blue’s help all the time ago.  And Keith said Black admitted to having one too, even though it was kind of like pulling teeth.”

“And Lance was in Red when the Wormhole opened.”  Hunk said. Pidge’s train of conversation was not a difficult one to jump on to.  “So it’s probably safe to assume, Yellow has one to.”

Pidge nodded with a small hum of approval.

“The teludavs aren’t exactly large.”  Pidge added with a shrug. “Just big enough to open a Wormhole for the Lions and some small ships, but not much else.  And I guess...in theory, Voltron could open a Wormhole too.” Pidge started to rattle on.

And Hunk let her.

Letting her words about all the possibilities of the Lions having teludavs could mean.  It was a nice distraction from Lance still on the bed. And all the worries about how his friend was going to wake up, whenever he got around to it.  Or whatever the new normal for the team would be now.

It was kind of nice.


“Come on, I know you can hear me.”  Keith grumbled as he rested his forehead against Red’s particle barrier.  

He leaned heavily against it for a moment.  Closing his eyes on trying to feel Red in the back of his mind.  The weak little link between them that had still linger long after Black had accepted him.  Even after he left the team for the Blades it still lingered.

Just there for whenever Keith might needed it.

Like a little reminder of where he started.

But there is barely a flicker from Red in his mind.  

Keith could feel Black curl around him territorially, daring Red to try anything mean.  She still hasn’t forgiven Red for snapping and snarling at Keith. At everyone like they were the enemy.  But that being said, Black was calm around him, in a way that almost felt like understanding.

Keith sighed.  “And I know you can still talk to me.”

But it still stirs nothing out of Red.

Keith half wondered if this was what Lance felt like when Blue first shut him out so he could go to Red.  After all Red had still talked with him back then even though he was no longer her Paladin. Had Blue just shut out Lance completely?  Cut ties so Lance would bond with Red more quickly, rather than helping him ease into it.

And if that was the case,  did he knew Red still talked with Keith, while Blue shut him out.

If that was the case, no wonder Lance felt like he could step aside all the time go.

A soft high-pitch whine cut through the air.

Keith reached out to lightly pat Yo’s head.  Feeling the space wolf move closer to him as he lightly petted their fur.  He gave a small scratch behind the ears, at a gentle nudge to his leg when he didn’t move to look.

“What are you doing?”  He heard his mother asked softly behind him.

“Trying to communicate with Red.”  He answered simply, with a slight bang of his forehead against the particle barrier.  But it doesn’t do anything other than dully shock his forehead. “We use to talk even after I became the Black Paladin...but now…”

It was nothing.

Black lightly seemed to reason that that was not a terrible thing to be happening.  As she stubbornly stopped holding on to him. And her attentions were on the conditions of her new Paladin.

“I just want to know why she got so hostile and kept Lance away.”  Keith admitted before his mother could ask. Two years on a space whale taught him a lot about her train of thoughts.  “Shielded him away from us. We were his friends...”

And he wanted to hear it from Red.

Not theories for Coran.  

Or speculations from Allura.  

Or even a vague understanding from Black once she realized what was happening.

No, it needed to be from Red.

“Protection.”  His mother stated plainly.  “And little more. I do not think your friend had much of any idea what was happening to him until the past Quintant.  And it had been going on for a while, according to him.”

There is a flare of sharp panic and fear in the back of Keith’s mind.  It’s not his own, rather easily identified as Lance’s by the feeling of Red clouding around them.  The feeling almost blindsided him by the suddenness off it, but Black steadied him. As the terror of lost time crashes against him, along with the fridging anxiety of how it would sound if stated out loud.  The distress clawing at skin at what it could all mean.

Keith knew Red wasn’t throwing Lance’s emotions at him for effect or point.

No, Black responded in shock at the feelings.

Recoiling a bit at the sensations.  The hours Red had spent purring and wrapped around Lance’s mind trying to sooth him.  Get him to sleep and rest as she herself had only half a theory of what might be happening.  But didn’t dare speak it in fear of scaring Lance any more.

Rather Red’s sudden response was the true intensity of Lance’s feelings he had taken to feeling on his own.  Because…

‘I don’t feel like myself.’ Black supplied from Shiro’s clone’s worries.

“Oh…”  Keith stated weakly, as Red pulled it all away as quickly as she laid it on him.  He pulled away from the particle barrier. “He was losing time,” Keith stated as he stepped away, glance at his mother.  “Lance was scared.”

Lance was terrified by the idea.  

How had he managed to…

A sense of confusion washed over Keith from Red.  Similar feeling of Lance, only slightly different, wrapped around it.  It left like Lance both knew he was, but didn’t at the same time.

Black bristled curiously at the sensation.  

In a similar manner she had during the battle for the briefest of moments.  When she turned at to a present feeling she had felt in years, that faded into something else and disappeared a bit.  Lost on her to her in the heat of battle.

Then a wave of calm.  Again similar feeling of Lance, only different in the slightest of ways.  Yet different from the first. They understood, but at the same time didn’t.  But all was fine in those moments before they faded.

It didn’t feel like it made much since to Keith.  

Like at all .  

But Black understood more, as she suddenly nudged Red softly back.   Go to your Paladins hanging around Keith as it all goes over his head.

There is a flare of apology for Keith before Red vanishes from his mind.

“Keith?”  His mother asked with a raised brow.

“Sorry, Red was showing me something.”  He said simply, even though he didn’t understand what it meant.  Black assured him, she would explain later so he did.  At the moment it wasn’t important. “I don’t really understand it, but she was sorry for how she handled things.”

Krolia hummed lightly.  “Perhaps you should inform your team of what you do understand.”

Keith didn’t find that to be a terrible idea.


Nights on Olkarion were always something.

The air was always crisp and cool.  The biolomence of the plants around the city light it all beautifully.  But was never overpowering enough to block out any light from the stars above.  And the sounds of nature softed to a gentle whisper of leaves and wildlife.

It reminded Allura of Altea.

Not to an amazing degree.  

The stars and moons were different.  The sounds and air were different. The metals and buildings of the city were different.  A lot of it was honestly different.  Really only the stillness of it all was the only thing the same.  

But that was enough for Allura.

She took a deep breath of the night air, and glanced up at the night sky.  Letting the calm wash over her. And letting a cool breeze rustle away the stress of the day, while she tried imagining Altean constellations her mother always use to point out when she was a child.  Trying to get lost in the memory.

It had been a long few days.  

She had told to the Coholiation, rebel forces, and the Blades about the lost Castleship.  Everyone was more than understanding, and willing to supply anything they might be needed to aid Voltron.  Both in the quest back to the Paladin’s home planet, but also the construction of a new ship.

Shay had claimed the Balerma had formed many new battle class sized crystals within the last few months.  And whenever they could come around to look at them, Voltron was more than welcome. Which was good to know.

The Olkari were more than taking care of the refugees.  So there was little for Allura to do other than going around checking on everyone.  Listen to anything they might have to tell them. It wasn’t much more than gratitude and hopes things turn up for the better.

And Pidge and Allura had worked for a few hours each day trying to get teludavs in the Lions reprogrammed.  Which was taking more effort than necessary, as the Lions had all stubbornly buried the controls to use them.  But Blue was thankfully able to see reason in their use without the Castle ship. Aside for Green, the other lions were unnecessarily difficult.

Red refused to have opened up.

Which, Allura supposed, was fair.  Given Lance’s condition of well…

Being in a slight coma...

Because he was Mureti…

Or her father.

Allura sighed heavily as she stared up at the sky.

That was something she had been avoiding since they arrived.  After settling Lance into a room at the Olkari hospital, Allura had done her best to stay out of the room as much as possible.

She kept her check ins short.  Seeing that Shiro was resting enough, and nothing weird was happening since he was revived, only to scurry out.  Ignoring Hunk’s attempts to get her to stay, by stated there was something else she needed to tend to and leaving.  And taking up every chance she could to not go back in that room.

Coran tried to get her to help more.

Suggesting they look through the Olkari’s copy of the Castleship database.  In an effort to refresh their minds on the lore of Mureti’s. To better understand and assist, should the need arise.  And loosely try to branch the subject of seeing Lance.

However, Allura couldn’t take much of it.  

Mostly because Coran worked himself up into a state of search.  One where each dobash spent looking for something just fueled his frustrations.  Leading to him usually failing to work the Olkari’s systems correctly and get more frustrated, until he deemed her looking to be too slow and unhelpful and shooing her away.  

Not that Allura minded that.

But the Altean princess also knew it was a lie.  Most of the time she just couldn’t handle it. Looking made her get lost in her thoughts.  And her thoughts were in no stable place in regards to the issue.

Allura knew she was running form the issue.

Something Keith had been the only one to call her out on.  But he hadn’t made her stopped in doing so. Just pointed it out in blanant observation, before she fluttered away to find a new task elsewhere.

Could anyone really blame her, though.

She had come to terms with her father’s and Altea’s death a long time ago.  Laid them mostly all to rest that night the Castle went a little haywire from Sendack’s attack.  And it was still hard and sore some days, sure…

But Coran and her and more than come to terms with it.

Then Keith found a hidden colony of Alteans that Lotor had been mining from for centuries .  Which had stirred up many things in relation to the fact.

And now...her father was back…

Sort of…

Lance was a Mureti of her father.

And from what little she could remember of the Mureti myths, meant everything that was her father’s was Lance’s.  His skills. His abilities. His memories. All of it was for Lance to have as his own.

Allura wasn’t sure where she fit into all that.

Her father was her father and king.

Lance was....

Her teammate.  A fellow Paladin and brother in arms.  Her friend. Someone who had genuine feelings for her.  Someone to lazy around with and play goofy little games with.  A part of new little family she formed.

Not…

Allura sighed heavily as she leaned back against the back of the bench she was on.  Closing her eyes from the night sky above her.

Honestly the whole situation was the last thing she thought was happening when Red and Lance started isolating themselves from the group.  

To be fair, she didn’t know what to think when it started happening.  

Sure Lance would admit to maybe panicking over something, while Red was being an overactive ‘mother hen’ about it.  But it felt like a half truth most of the time. Sometimes he would just airly brush off the question all together. And other times he would run away to Red’s comfort.

When Allura had confronted him about it, and he snapped at her, she thought it was a side effect of her bring him back.  Similar to how Shiro’s hair turned white, only not. As it was like he got some of her memories of something. Because her father use to say “I have asked, now I am telling…” all the time when she was child and not listening to him.  It was why she let him go.

That and slight glow that had flashed in his eyes for a second as he said the words.

But Allura had only confessed that to Coran and Romelle.  

Which had resulted in Coran hurriedly calling Lance over the coms about the fact.  Something Lance had breezily made of comment of “Oh yeah, I died, it’s fine...it happens.”  Before moving on to another subject with him.

Now however...it was clear that was not the case.

Lance said those words because Lance was a rebirth of her father.  A Mureti inching closer to their Awakening.

A small squeak from her lap caught Allura’s attention suddenly.  Causing her to snap open her eyes a look down. Chulatt was standing on her laps, paws reaching out to grab tip of her one her fingers while curiously sniffing at the air.  The other mice sprang up to join Chulatt on her lap.

“Oh hello,”  Allura greeted with a smile.  “Did you all grow tired of being with Shiro?”

Plachu chattered sharply in complaint.  Stated that, no thet hadn’t grown tired of being with Shiro...or Lance, as they were both very warm sleeping and climbing surfaces.  When Hunk wasn’t trying to stop them. Chuchule joining in agreement. Very much wishing to get back there, because Lance is very nice and warm.

“I see,”  Allura giggled out as Platt crawled into her hand clumsily.  “Then why are you here?”

Chulatt followed after Platt.  Squeaking highly to the fact that they simply missed her.

All the other Paladins were there.

“I know...I just…” Allura started before sighing heavily.  

She turned back to look up the stars like they had some kind of answer for her.  But the only thing that comes to her is the memory of her mother and the constellations.  Followed by the father finding them all the balcony and retelling the stories of them all until she fell asleep.  

“I don’t know what to do.”  She admitted softly as she turned back to them.  “I don’t know what to think. Or how it will affect the team, or Voltron.  I don’t know what to tell everyone when they ask. Or what it means for Lance...I”  Allura paused for a few ticks. “I am afraid.” She finally admitted.

All the mice start to chatter all at once.  

Rushing to both assure things will probably work out.  And distract her with a funny story of how Keith apparently feel out of chair while sleeping, and Pidge laughed so hard, liquid came out of her nose.

It causes Allura to giggle as three of them try acting out the scene hurriedly.

Chuchule patted at Allura’s fingertips in a demanding fashion, once the others were done performing.  Stating that Allura wasn’t going to get any answers, or figure anything out if she kept away. That wasn’t going to help anyone out.

“Alright, I suppose that is a fair point.”  Allura stated with a nod. All of the mice quickly moving to huddle together in her hands as she moved to get up.  Carefully she moved her hand for the mice to climb up on her shoulder, once she started walking in the way of the Olkari hospital.  “That was very insightful Chuchule, did you come up with that all on your own?”

There was a chorus of ‘no, Shiro said it’ from the other three, before Chuchule could answer.  Followed by Platt claiming Pidge told him to stop being ‘leadery’ and go to sleep.

Allura chuckled lightly.

Imagining the exchange as she walked towards the hospital.  

It wasn’t a long walk from where she had been sit.  Something she had noticed after aimlessly wandering around for something to do.  She always came back to it without really thinking. Or at the very least, stayed close to it.  Pulled to it almost by something she was refusing.

She made her ways through the hallways.  It was night, visiting hours were over and most of the room lights were off, and the hallways dimmed some.  But as members of Voltorn, the hospital was open form them to come and go as they pleased as long as they were quiet while doing so when necessary.

Allura made her way to the room Shiro and Lance shared.  

More out of convenience than anything else.  

Though, the idea of two seperate rooms had made Shiro edgey when it was first brought up.  Keith had axed the idea all together, and Shiro only really relaxed once the Olkari gave them a duo room.

Quietly, Allura made her way inside.  Her gaze instantly falling on Shiro’s bed.  To find both of the Black Paladins asleep. Shiro slightly curled up one his left side, and Keith folded in half over the bed, still seated in a chair.  The Altean princess smiled to herself before turn to find Pidge curled up on cushioned seat on in the corner of the room. Coran using the wall as a pillow where he sat next to Pidge’s feet.

As Allura turned the gaze to the second bed in the room.  Lance still in the positions he was the last time she saw him.  Which was the same as when the Oklari first put him in the bed and tucked him in.  Hunk beside the bed, leaning on it heavily, struggling to stay awake as he muttered something quietly at Lance’s form.  She realized it was a recipe as she nearned slowly.

The sound of her footsteps caught the yellow Paladin slightly by surprise.  Causing Hunk to jump a little as he turned, before relaxing at the sight of.

“Hey, you finally came.”   Hunk smiled out weakly.

Allura nodded simply as she carefully placed the mice down on Lance’s bed.  The four them hurriedly moving to nestle up against his pillow.

“Sorry it took so long.”  Allura apologized as she sat down in a chair beside Hunk between the two beds.  Hunk just seemed to wave off the apology with a yawn. “I’ve had a lot on my mind.  Why don’t you get some sleep, Hunk. I’ll keep watch for a bit.”

“You sure?”  Hunk asked slowly.  “I can--”

“It’s fine, Hunk.”  Allura assured softly.  “Get some rest.”

Hunk nodded, and moved back to where he was leaning against Lance’s bed.  Only he flopped his head in his arms. Within a few ticks seemed to be snoring lightly as he instantly fell asleep.

Allura smiled softly at him.

She settled herself in the chair more.  Moving it slightly closer to Lance’s bed for she could reach for his hand around Hunk without straining herself.  Her hand tingle slightly with the feeling of her father’s alchemy, that also felt separately of Lance, under his warm fingers.

Glancing around the room after a moment, a sense that everything would work out came over her.   Washing over her like warm familiar blanket.

Yeah, they would figure this out.


It was dark when he woke up.

Or at least it was still dark outside in the sky.  There was a dim light from a hallway coming through the doorway.  And the lights of the city were muted along the edge of the window.  But the lights were off in the room his was in.

So it was probably safe to guess it was somewhere in the early hours of the morning.

Carefully he moved sit up in the bed.  Making sure not to disturb any of the sleeping bodies in the room as he glanced around.  A small grin come to his lips as his eyes adjusted to the lack of light around him. Then he gently peeled and worked his way out from under the sheets.

He moved slowly to get out of the bed.  Thankful to find it wasn’t creaky in the process.  And it didn’t ruin his silent movement out of the bed, as he delicately put his feet on the cold tile floor.  Then shifted his weight to stand.

A small sleepy squeak was made behind him.  He turned to find the little blue mouse sleepily peering up at him from a top the largest mouse stomach.  He held a finger up to his lips, and the mouse laid it’s head back down and went back to sleep instantly. Cuddling into the warm of the larger one for good measure.

Easily he made his way around the bed after that.  Moving as soundlessly as he possibly could. Mindful of the fact that everyone in the room was sleeping.  He more than knew how to move around quietly so he didn’t get detected.

So his feet barely made a sound as he moved towards the door.

With one last glance behind him, checking to see no one was disturbed, he smiled to himself.

Then walked soundlessly out the door.


Pidge’s sharp cry of “Everyone, wake up!” woke Shiro up instantly.

Groggily he crawled himself upright in surprise, almost kicking Keith in the face on accident.  His only saving grace was Keith decided to jump up to his feet at Pidge’s call. Body tense and ready to fight.  

Instantly more aware than Shiro as he tried to peer around the room for what was wrong.  Figure out why Pidge was yelling at them with a edge of panic to her voice. But all he can see is everyone else scrambling to do the exact same thing.

Then…

“Lance is gone!”  Hunk declared sharply.  “Guys, Lance is gone!” He continued with an anxious edge before the reality of it hits him.  The Yellow Paladin jumped out of his seat. “Oh quazinack !  Lance is gone! Why is Lance gone!?  Oh no, that can’t be good. Where did he go?!”

And then it was like all hell broke loose in the room.  

As everyone flocked around the empty bed.  Everyone but Shiro, who was not going to chance getting out the hospital bed after being startled awake.  He’s rather not fall face first on the ground while everyone is figured out where Lance went.

Because according to Coran, Mureti’s don’t usually wander off after Aligning.

But then again he wasn’t really sure what happened after Aligning.  The Olkari had buried the Castle’s collection of Altean myths and Legends deep in the system and he hadn’t exactly found them yet.  Nothing more than a few mentions one here or there in children rhymes. Which were not helpful in learning about them.

Of course, none of them know when Lance left.

Or where he would even go upon waking up in an Olkari hospital.  

Or why he would just up and leave.

Unless maybe he didn’t know where he was.  Wasn’t exactly aware of who he was. Perhaps it was possible after waking up from Aligning one was discorented enough to wander around.  Oh crap, was in that fiery-glow ghost state walking around the streets of Olkarion.

How did they not notice him awake up and leave?

Apparently Alfor was very good at stealth.  Use to sneak around the castle all the time when he was younger.  And he always kept up practice of it as he got older.

Shiro bit back a comment that Lance had his own set of stealth skills.  Something he admitted steamed from having a very strict mom and lots of siblings.  One just learned how to step and move to not get caught. As it wasn’t going to help the situation any.

Keith, to his credit, quickly managed to calm everyone done enough to suggest they look for Lance.  Split up look for him, as there was no one he could have gotten too far. Pidge and Coran would look around one way.  Allura and Hunk the other. Keith took to the sky in Black Lion, in case Lance for some reason was a climber. And Shiro...

Shiro was ordered to stay in bed and rest.

An order he listened to for all of two minutes after Keith ran out the door with the others.

Keith might be the Black Paladin.  But Shiro was technically his older brother, so that overruled listening to him.  

Besides, Shiro had been resting for days .  And he had gotten use to a solid body weeks ago.  Relearned what it was like to get around in one.  Even managed to learn how to balance himself and move around with just one arm.  He was more than capable of being able to look for Lance, or ask around if anyone saw him.

Shiro stuck to looking in the hospital.

Figuring if he fainted or something, it wouldn’t be long before someone came to his aid.  So all he had to worry about was a lecture from Keith about not listening to him. Besides some of the hospital staff had encourage Shiro move around little anyway.

Shiro’s search of the common hospital areas was pretty fruitless.  No one had seen anyone like Lance’s description even wandering around.  But they would more than keep an eye out for him. The whole nursing staff was more than advised to look for Lance.

After that, Shiro took to just wandering around.  For any place that might catch Lance’s eye as a place to be.  Or any place someone might look for just to get a few moments of silence to themselves.  But again they seemed to keep coming up empty. Causing, Shiro to just keep going up and up the hospital floors.

Until he found a small covered balcony/rooftop alcove.

Lined with a few cushioned outdoor chairs, couches and tables.  Along with plenty of space to accommodate for multiple patients in space wheelchair devices.  Overlooking a sweeping view of the city around the area, Clearly a space for people to gather and meet outside of derry hospital place.

It was mostly valid of anyone…

“Hey Shiro,”  Lance voice suddenly sounded as Shiro neared the only chair with someone seating in it.

Only Lance doesn’t actually turn to look at Shiro as he approached.  He attention still on the view of the Olkari capital and refugee camp.  As well as the orange space jello substance he had in a bowl. In fact he contently shoved a spoonful of the stuff into his mouth before he slowly turned to look up at Shiro questionaby.

Everything about him was exactly how Shiro remembered.

Which for some reason Shiro found to be a relief.  But that might just have been because Lance was not lying limp on a bed.  Rather sitting in a chair on a space hospital outdoor space, eating space jello.  Chewing slowly on the food in his mouth as he blue eyes peered up at Shiro standing behind him.

Then he body suddenly relaxed in relief.  “Oh thank god, it really is you Shiro.” Lance breath as he swallowed his food.  He smiled brightly up at Shiro. “I thought I got it wrong for tick, and you were just some random hospital patient   But there is only one person that feels like Black with some Allura mixed in.”

Shiro just blinked at Lance for a moment.

“Hey, have a seat.”  Lance continued as he motioned to the empty chair next to him.  “You want some space jello, I have an extra spoon...somewhere.” He stated with a frown, as his attention turned to the tray on the ottoman in front of him.  Its covered in a collection of stacked containers of food. Two-thirds of which were semi-empty. “It tastes like kind of like eggs and maple syrup, but it’s actually not bad.”

Shiro shook he head when Lance turned back to him.

Lance didn’t take any offence to Shiro’s denial of his offer.  Merely shrugging in a ‘suit yourself’ kind of fashion and shoveling more the orange space jello in his mouth.  And his attentioned turned back to the city as he chewed it.

Slowly Shiro moved to sit down in the chair beside Lance.  Carefully watching the younger paladin as he sat there.

“Lance?”

“Hmm…”

“Are you still...Lance?”

“Yup.”  Lance started, with an extra pop of the ‘p’.  “Still Lancey-Lance through and through.” He paused to turn and smile at Shiro widely.  “Alfor’s up here,” Lance said tapping at his right temple, before Shiro could ask. “If you're wondering.  We’re kind of like separate entities, just aware of each other now. He’s more like a guide of sorts, while I am in control.  Like a…”

“Mureti?”  Shiro asked.

Lance eyes went wide at the word.  Like Shiro just gave him a final word to a crossword he had been trying to finish for hours.

“I was going to say back-seat driver, but that’s exactly the right word for it.”  Lance declared brightly, as he wiggled slightly in excitement. “Like, spot on fits what happened.  That’s exactly what we are. How did--”

“Coran.”  Shiro answered before Lance could finish.

“Coran, Coran, the Gorgeous man.”  Lance sang with a chuckle.

Only to snort and double over with laughter as he scooped another spoonful of jello.  The action made Shiro believe it was something in his head that made him laugh. Something to do with Alfor in his head, more than Shiro being there.

Shiro watched Lance as he ate another spoonful of space jello.  

Everything about him still screamed Lance.  The way he talked. The way he moved. All of it like the Lance he knew and remember.  Acting airy and happy, like the past few days of his coma just never happened.

Or that past month of his strange isolation from the team never existed.

If Shiro hadn’t experienced them he might have believed it was all imagined.  Like he just fell asleep and dreamed the whole thing.

But Shiro had seen the panicked edge to Lance before everyone else.  He just hadn’t said anything because they were all on edge after everything.  Figured Lance would go to someone if he didn’t go to Shiro. Yet, that didn’t seem to be the case when Red suddenly turned hostile.

Shiro had done his best to not let the others theorize too much as to what was wrong each night Lance didn’t come down.  It was a dangerous thing to do. Especially so soon after everything regarding him. But the worry for Lance had eaten at him more than Shiro had let the other’s on to.

But as Lance sat in the chair it was like it was all some fever dream.

“So, you’re still Lance?”  Shiro asked.

“Currently, yeah, I’m just Lance.” Lance stated easily as he dropped his arms to rest against his legs.  “I’ll always be Lance, like I said Alfor’s more like a guide and back seat-driver.  But there is no ‘Alfor take the wheel’ sort of exchange.” Lance continued, as he poked at the what little space jello he had in the bowl.  “I mean we can come together...kind of like an Avatar State, you know like from that old The Last Airbender frantrize.”

Shiro nodded slowly when Lance nodded.

“It’s not like it exactly.  More us coming together to combine ourselves and fuse together into like one.  And we’re like co-steering the wheel together.” Lance clarified, as he scrunched his face at the words.  Like they aren’t really right, but not completely wrong either. “But it’s closest thing I can think of that make sense for humans.”

Shiro made a small sound as Lance turned to shrug at him.  And he didn’t fight the smile that pulled up at his lips at the action either.

Because at least he worked out a short answer to what happened.

Shiro was still working on cramming ‘I basically died, but a mystical robot lion saved my soul until I was saved and put into a clone’s body and what little was left of him merged with me,’ into a shorter sentence.

“You know everyone is look for you.”  Shiro stated after a few moments of silence past of him.

Lance turned to look at the sliding doors that lead to where they were seated.  Almost like he expected the whole team to burst through them. As if they were waiting for some cue behind it.  Only no such thing did.

“What are you doing up here?”  Shiro asked carefully once Lance turned back to him.

“Well for starters, I was hungry for solid foods.”  Lance grinned out as he gestured to the tray on the ottoman.  “Hospital food is...hospital food no matter where if it’s in space or not.  And everyone was asleep in the room, I didn’t want to wake everyone up by eating weirdly crunchy foods.  That, and I wanted to stretch my legs for a bit. You wake very energized after Alignment. Just FYI.”

“I’ll make note of that.”

“I also wanted some space.”  Lance admitted weakly after a moment.  “It’s a lot to take in. And sure during our Alignment when our quintessence were reorganizing in my body, a lot was sort of explained.”  He sighed out softly with a little shrug as he turned his gaze to the view of the city. “But I needed still need to work through a lot of things.  Figure out how to put it all into words that made sense, among other things.  I wanted some air before the game of 493 questions started.  So I came up here with breakfast.”

“Other things?”  Shiro asked.

Do his best to make his voice sound like an open invitation for a test run. For Lance to bounce stuff off of him with few questions.

Lance turned to him and blinked at him for a moment.  Then he seemed to occur to him what exactly Shiro was doing for him.  A wide smile spread across his lips. He placed the bowl of space jello on the ottoman next to the tray, then hosted himself up on the chair to cross his legs underneath him.

“Like why the Wormhole opened when we first got in Blue.  And why the Castleship tried to kill me like three times when Alfor’s AI was corrupted.”

“The Castle tried to kill three times?”

Lance nodded with a shrug.  “Well two separate occasions, and then the one big one that almost got everyone.  Apparently it could sense what I was before everything, and decided I needed to go.”  Lance said easily with a wave of his hand. “And then of course, why my third bayard form is an Altean Broadsword.”

“What?!”  Shiro snapped blinking widely at Lance.

“Oh, right, you haven’t seen it.”  Lance admitted sheepishly. “Yeah, I have a sword form, exactly like Alfor’s.  Which...you know...make sense because…” Lance smiled and tapped at his head quickly.  “I’ll have to show you.

Shiro nodded in understanding.

He never realized how much he didn’t really know about Lance.

“And then of course how everything started when Allura brought me back during the Omega Shield mission.”  Lance stated somberly. He poked at his knees as Shiro felt his eyes go wide at the words. “To be fair, I didn’t really know that was what happened,”  Lance stated hurriedly, making a point to look at Shiro, “but that and being in the quintessence field really kick started everything, because the blackouts started soon after that.

“Which was why Red got hostile towards everyone.”  Lance continued before Shiro could really wrap his mind around the sentence.  “I was blacking out for hours and panicking about it. And everyone asking about it didn’t make it any better.”  The younger admitted as his finger caught a loose string in the pants of his hospital attire. “But it was all because Alfor would kind of come into control, but he didn’t know who he was really, so he thought he was me.  And then other times it was our combined-ness in control, but it wasn’t right. But that’s just normal Mureti stuff that happens before Awakening. I know that now , but back then I was freaked out, Red was just trying to keep me sane.”

A silence fell over them as Lance pulled his gaze away.  His eyes finding the ground suddenly more interesting as his shoulders shagged.

Shiro sighed silently to himself as he looked at the other paladin.

He knew telling Lance he could have talked to them about it wouldn’t do anything.  It was all in the past, those words weren’t going to help him. And who was so say talking about it would have helped anything.

Shiro knew his clone has tried to air is concerns to Lance.  Who had listened to them of course and comforted him. But in the long run they were nowhere close to figuring out what was wrong with him until Hagger sank her claws into him.  The effort had felt fruitless to both of them, no matter how right it was.

And after everything with Shiro’s clone self, he couldn’t confidently say the team would react in a calm manner either.  Shiro didn’t know how they would have all taken the facts. If they would have tried to figure out what was wrong with Lance.  Or kept him at an arm’s length while they searched for answers.

It was a truly a gamble that Lance wasn’t willing to make.  

And Shiro couldn’t blame him for that.

“That is definitely a lot.”  Shiro muttered in agreement. “How long have you been up here?”

“Like...three or four hours.”  Lance guessed with a shrug. “I was out here before the sun came up like an hour and half ago...I think.  I don’t really have a clock. It could honestly be five hours.”

Which would explain why none of the staff had seen him.  

They all claimed to start just after sunrise when Shiro asked.  Everyone who Lance had probably interacted with had gone home, or were asleep currently.

“You want to head back to our room and call off the search?”  Shiro asked.

“Maybe in a few minutes.”  Lance answered moving his legs so he could hug them to his chest.  “I like it out here.”

“Alright,”  Shiro agreed with a nod.

After all it was nice up where they were.


Explaining everything to everyone was something of a challenge.  Full of ups and downs. Reference and terms that at most maybe half of the group would understand at any one time.  And it was more like a game of one-thousand and one questions between Pidge and Hunk alone .

But Lance got through it.

Things were still a little awkward at first.

Mostly with Allura and Coran, since well they knew Alfor before.  And for Lance to just suddenly know exactly the end to one of Coran’s stories, or give Allura Alchemy pointers, was understandable weird for them. (Lance doing Altean Alchemy was whole other sort of weird for everyone .)  Among what exactly it all meant for their relationships to each other.

But Lance was still Lance.  

Alfor was still Alfor, just kind of there in Lance’s head.  With all his memories, knowledge, skills, and abilities, for Lance to use at any time.  There to guide Lance and the team along the way in taking on the Galra, and Hagger, and whatever Voltron would face.  Experiencing whatever Lance did, and offering advice where need. Kind of like a really loud and talkative conscience.

There was no Alfance (the only mash-up of their name that Lance and Alfor liked) in existence.  Not even when they came together. They still existed as Lance and Alfor separately, just sort of intertwined and twisted into one essence co-steering Lance body around.

Therefore their relationships were as the stood before.

Save maybe one or two things maybe.

Alfor’s memories kind of ruined somethings for Lance to a point.  

Kind of hard to have romantic feels for Allura and also have memories of her as a daughter floating around. But holy crow did it kick up his brotherly instincts.

But in the long run it wasn’t too bad.

“This is a dumb idea.”  Lance declared as he shifted his bayard in his hand.  

He turned to look at Pidge where she was typing away on her computer.  Hunk carefully adjusting the camera beside her. Leaning over slightly to view her screen until he got just the right angle.  Then moved to seat beside where Shiro was behind Pidge.

They were still on Olkarion.  

They decided to stay a few days.  

Both to give Lance a few days to gather himself after waking up.  (Which was a lie, because it was completely unnecessary.) And to figure out how to open wormholes with the Lion’s teludavs.  Something that was more of a half truth, because Lance already knew how to do because Alfor knew, nor was it difficult for Allura to figure out once Blue gave her the controls.  

It was just the idea of combining efforts of two teludavs to open a larger wormhole that was the goal.  Because the teludavs were small, and holding a wormhole open was straining to do with the size. So far it wasn’t an overly fruitful venture, but there was some promise.

The real reason they were staying there was to build Shiro a new arm.  As a surprise of course. As Olkarion had more than enough resources to do so, and many were more than eager to help.  Though most of the work still fell to Pidge, Hunk, and Coran, with some help from Allura.

That was what Coran and Allura were working on right now.  While Lance and Keith were running a distraction of sorts. A really really dumb one in Lance’s mind.

“I want to go on record when I say this is probably the dumbest idea Keith’s ever agreed too.  And he’s had some dumb ideas. So…” Lance declared with a huff.

“Oh give it a rest, Lance.”  Keith snapped across the small ring from Lance.  

“No, unlike you, I know what we can do and how powerful we are together.”  Lance snapped as he pointed his finger at Keith.  “So I will not give this a rest, because it’s a dumb idea.  Claiming its for research purposes does not make any less dumb.”

“It’s just a sparring match.”  Shiro pointed out with a shrug.

“With sharp swords and three competitive parties.”  Lance countered.

Nothing about this spelled good idea.  

Even if Lance wanted to wipe the floor with Keith’s ass.  Just to like prove a point. And maybe a little because he’s always wanted to do that since meeting Keith at the Garrison.

“Alfor was competitive?”  Hunk asked as he aligned a device off of to the side.  Lance nodded when Hunk turned to look at him. He watched as Hunk made a face.  “Guess I always figured he was kind of a chill dude. You know being a king and all.”

“Yeah, no, sorry to burst your bubble bud.”  Lance sighed out.

“Alright, enough chit-chat.”  Pidge cut in as she adjusted her glasses.  “Let’s start this thing.” She declared as she pressed a button.  A little red green light on the camera lit up to signal it was recording.  “Lance, if you would…”

Lance sighed to himself.  Muttering one last time that this was a bad idea as he fell into a stance.  Alfor echoed a similar feeling in Lance’s mind. But he also found it to be an interiging experiment of putting facts to fiction.  

Taking a deep breath and closing his eyes, Lance steaded himself.

Reached out…

Grabbed on.

And collided together so much easier than before.

Like water.

Fluid was probably a more...

Correct analogy.

So much easier than…

The first time.

That was kind of…

Knocked together in just the right way.

Lance open his eyes.  A grin instantly growing at the look on wide eyes look on Keith’s face.  Horror and awe all missed in together as subconsciously took a step back.  Before he made it look like it was move to get into a fighting position as he activated his bayard.  

And there is a collective gasp from the side lines. Something Lance knew came out Hunk’s and Shiro’s mouths without even looking over.  Pidge seemed to almost snicker at their reactions.

“Lance did tried to warn you.”  Lance stated airily. “We really are sight.”

He held out his arm as he bayard took the from of a sword.   Lance twirled it experimentally with his wrist. Familiarizing his body with the weight and flow of it again, and to be just a little bit flashy.

Lance eased back into a low fighting stance.  Bringing the sword up to rest against his left arm in front of him.  He turned to Pidge for a moment to give her a quick nod. Before turning back to Keith to watch him to do the same.

A small buzzer sound rang through the air.

Keith tensed, shifting to charge, go on the offensive.

Ammatuer move.

Ready to…

Kick his half-Galra ass?

...Yes

No, ready to…

Show him what we can do?

Also yes.

Then…

Let’s go.

And with that, Lance surged forward.