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A Lion's Calling

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“Like I’m not myself.”

Lance furrows his eyebrows in deep thought as Shiro’s words keep rewinding inside his mind. He crosses his arms over his chest, thumb unconsciously rubbing the side of his forearm as he let his mind wander.

It’s been a few weeks since...everything. It’s still a little hard to grasp the recent events and while the team have been able to find a solution for every problem they have faced during those weeks, there’s this one thorn that still bothers Lance’s mind.

He tries to discard it, classify it like paranoia or overthinking and be done with it, but he can’t. The thorn digs deeper inside him every time Shiro merely looks at him.

It’s there whenever Shiro tenses at the slightest touch or when it takes a few tries for him to react to his own name. There’s something behind those gray eyes that tells Lance something is wrong. He can feel it in his gut, twisting and tugging hard against him everytime he tries to ignore it.

“Not myself,” Shiro had said and Lance is starting to believe him.

“Lance? Lance, dude!”

Lance snaps back, eyes widening in surprise and blinking when he catches both of Pidge and

Hunk’s eyes on him, looking at him bemused and slightly concerned.

“You okay?” Hunk asks quietly, leaning closer to the brunet and huffing when Pidge drops herself on his back unannounced to get a better look at Lance.

“Yeah, you looked a little constipated there,” Pidge says, pushing her glasses up to rest on top of her head before she wiggles her eyebrows. “Aw, were you thinking about Allura and how close she is with Prince Lotion?”

Lance rolls his eyes at the mention of the Galra Prince. “No but thanks for the annoying thought.”

“Then, what is it?” Hunk asks confused, groaning as Pidge pushes him further down with her weight. “Pidge.”

Lance chuckles, shaking his head at his friends before he stands up and waves a nonchalant hand at them. “Don’t worry about it; it’s nothing important.”

He ignores his friend’s calling because as soon as he turns around, Hunk and Pidge start up their wrestle match as Hunk tries to get Pidge off him. Lance smiles and shoves his hands deep into his jeans’ pockets.

Now, where on earth is Coran?

“Astral plane?” Lance repeats slowly Coran’s words and hums when the Altean nods proudly back at him.

“That’s right, my boy! The astral plane is known to be the ultimate level of bonding with your lion. It’s the core of said bond and also what strengthens it.”

“So, that time when we all put our bayards at the same time,” Lance says quietly, eyebrow furrowed in concentration as he recalls the event. “We managed to get to Voltron’s core?”

Corans nods. “Each lion have their own astral plane but when a connection is made between Paladins, they can all co-exist on the same astral place.”

“How do I do that?” Lance asks worriedly, offering a weak smile when Coran gives him an odd look at the question.

“Both Paladins at hand must have a close connection,” Coran replies easily. “There must be a blinding trust between each other and one of them ought to make an invitation first, for the other to enter.”

Lance groans and drops his face on the console near him, grumbling under his breath at the news. Great, and how the heck is he supposed to make Shiro to invite him to wiggle inside his mind if he didn’t even remember doing it the first time?

“May I ask why the sudden interest on the topic, my boy?” Coran asks concerned, arching an eyebrow at the teenager when Lance waves a hand at him.

“Just something that has been on my mind lately,” He answers sourly before he takes a deep breath and pushes himself back, smiling gratefully at the older Altean. “Thank for the info, Coran.”

“And where you going now?” Coran chuckles as he crosses his arms and watches the teen leave. Lance half turns, still walking towards the exit backwards but meeting Coran’s eye.

“I gotta make a call.”

“You want to what?”

Lance groans, dragging his hands over his face painfully. “Mullet, I swear if you make me repeat my entire meta of why I think Shiro’s not Shiro, I’m going to throw myself into the airlock, don’t test me.”

Keith’s expression on the screen turns from confusion to scandalize at the words. “Lance.”

“I’m kidding, kind of, not really, anyways,” Lance rambles, shaking his free hand in front of his communicator. “Just for one movement, Keith, please. I can’t - Shiro would never allow me to be in his astral plane thingy but maybe if you manage to bond with Black, she will let you in and then you would let me in!”

“But I never had the bond Shiro had with Black! I only lasted a few movements as the Black Paladin, Lance.” Keith says incredulous, sighing as he runs a hand over his hair and leans back.

Lance vaguely notices the lack of chest plate on his friend’s body before Keith’s eyes are back on him. “Are you sure about this?”

Lance bites his lower lip tightly. “I’m sorry, Keith, but I really am. I wish I wasn't but...I need your help to be sure. For everyone’s safety.”

Keith purses his lips in thought as he leans back, his own communicator still propped by his pulled up knee. Lance waits patiently for his answer, thumb starting to rub against his forearm anxiously.

“You think I’m crazy, don’t you?” Lance sighs, dropping his head on his free hand. “I mean, I wouldn’t blame you, I -”

“Lance,” Keith cuts in, not harshly but there’s this strong vibe on the words that shuts Lance right up. Keith waits until Lance’s eyes meet his own again to continue, his gaze never wavering. “I trust you.”

Lance’s stomach flips at the words before he looks away and rubs the back of his neck sheepishly. “Oh, okay, I - okay.”

Keith looks amused by his reaction for half a tick before he nods seriously. “Okay, I will talk with

Kolivan and Krolia tonight. I will get back at you later, alright?”

“Yeah, yeah, that’s fine, I will just -” Lance stops abruptly and furrows his eyebrows in confusion. “Wait, who’s Krolia?”

“Oh, that’s my mom.”

“Your what?”