It was a warm and sunny day at Castle Elementary school. A young girl with tawny brown hair sat on a wooden bench during recess. This girl’s name was Katie. She wore a green striped shirt underneath her jean overalls with a middle pocket that had a frog face stitched onto it, with matching green socks and white sneakers to match. She sat alone on the bench while eating her peanut-butter and jelly sandwich and watching all of the other kids play on the playground, swinging on the swings and chasing each other around the field playing tag. Eventually the game of tag made its way onto the wood-chipped area that the jungle gym was set up on, bringing more kids into the game, and making Katie very annoyed.
Most of the kids that sat around her answered the siren’s call of kids running and screaming on the woodchips and rushed to join in on the fun. But not Katie. She just turned up her nose, took a bite out of her sandwich and continued to swing her legs back and forth while trying to block out the noises of screaming kids that hurt her ears. Normally these noises don’t bother her if she’s distracted, for example if she was playing with the kids too then the noise wouldn’t bother her so much. But the kids never asked her to play with them, and poor Katie doubted that they ever would. She was an awkward kid, and didn’t connect to people as easy as the other kids did. Whenever she tried, she usually just ended up weirding them out.
So she put her sandwich back in her lunchbox and whined and covered her ears with her hands. But because of that, she couldn’t hear the footsteps approaching her bench.
“Hey.” A little boy with dark brown hair, tan skin and blue eyes said to her.
“Hey?” He repeated when the little girl didn’t respond to him.
“Hey!” He shouted.
That finally got the girl’s attention and she screamed when she heard him.
“Hey that was rude! You shouldn’t yell so loudly at a girl who’s covering her ears!” Pidge exclaims. “It’s clear she doesn’t want to hear things right now!”
“Oh uh…I’m sorry.” The boy apologized awkwardly. “It’s just that you looked sad sitting here covering your ears like that and I thought you might want to play with us.”
Pidge looked at the boy as he shuffled his foot in the woodchips and blinked a few times as her cheeks turned pink. No one, especially not a boy had ever asked her to play before. Maybe this could be her chance to make a friend.
“Really?” She asks and smiles, her hazel eyes lighting up with excitement. “You want me to play with you? You don’t think I’m weird?”
“Why would I think that?” The boy asks. “You just don’t like loud noises, that’s all. I don’t like them either.”
He held out his hand to her and Pidge looked at it.
“My name’s Lance. What’s yours?” He asks.
“My name’s Ka-Ah!” She screams as someone throws a tennis ball and it hits her sandwich, making it spill all over her overalls.
“My pidge!” She exclaims.
“Your what?” Lance asks.
“My pidge sandwich.” Katie says. “Someone hit it and now it’s ruined.” She pouts.
“I’ve never heard of a pidge sandwich before.” Lance says, his eyes wide with excitement.
He looked down at the mess on the small girl’s overalls, curious to see what this new type of sandwich looked like. Then his shoulders sagged and he frowned.
“Hey wait a minute, this isn’t some new kind of sandwich, it’s just peanut butter and jelly.” Lance says.
“Yes! That’s what I said!” Pidge argued. “A pidgesandwich!”
“Huh.” Lance said and smiled. “Pidge. That’s a fun word. Hey, since you call the sandwich pidge, can I call you that too?”
“No you can’t!” Katie argues.
“Aw, really?” Lance asks, sounding disappointed. “But it’s such a cute name.”
Katie blushed again. Well, it was a pretty cute name, and she knew that other kids in the class gave their friends nicknames. If he was giving her a nickname, perhaps this meant that he wanted to be her friend? If so, she loved the name!
“You know what, you’re right.” Pidge says with a bright smile. “It is a cute name! I like it a lot!”
“Great! Then from now on I’ll call you Pidge!” Lance says cheerfully.
Katie smiled back at him, swinging her legs happily.
“And we’re gonna be best friends forever!” Lance adds.
And in that moment Pidge’s lonely world gained someone irreplaceable.
Thirteen years later and Pidge was still watching Lance play with his friends. Except they weren’t playing tag anymore.
“Hike!” Someone on the football field shouted.
All the football players on the field pushed into each other while Lance caught the ball and ran towards the end-zone. Just like in tag, he dodged and weaved the other players
In front of the bleachers where Pidge sat, the cheerleaders cheered and waved their pom poms as Lance scored a touch-down. Pidge smiled at him as he did his embarrassing victory dance.
“That dance is ridiculous.” A boy dressed in mostly black sitting next to Pidge commented.
She turned to face her friend Keith, a boy who was the same age as her and Lance that they met in middle school along with Hunk whom Lance became very close with and played with him on the football team. Lance and Keith teased each other and argued a lot, but once you got to know both of them you could tell that they cared for each other. Which is really saying something for Keith considering he doesn’t look like he cares about anybody or anything, except…
“Whoo hoo! Great job Lance!” The head cheerleader Allura, cheered from the track.
Keith smiled at Allura and looked down at his sketchbook and began to draw something. Pidge, being the nosy girl that she was, decided to lean in next to him and peek at what he was drawing. She managed to catch a glimpse of the rough outline of a person before he yanked his sketchbook away and held it away from her before she could see more of what he was drawing.
“Hey! What the hell are you doing?” He asks. “You know it’s rude to peek at someone’s art? You don’t see me trying to read your codes.”
“Like you even could read them.” She teases. “I was in that intro to technology class with you, you failed remember?”
Keith gave an offended scoff.
“I only failed that class because the only technology they taught us about were computers.” Keith explains.
“Well yeah.” Pidge says like it’s obvious. “What other kind of machine is there that would be worth teaching us about? Computers are the future.”
“Yeah but so is radio.” Keith says.
“Radio?” Pidge asks.
“Yep.” Keith says, popping the “p”.
“How useful can a radio be?” She asks. “It’s not like you can send important documents, videos and other files through them.”
“No but you can communicate with them.” Keith says. “They can do more than just play music. You can send messages through them. Both with voice and mores code. You can even find a way to detect radiation with them too.”
“Since when are you an expert on radios?” Pidge asks curiously.
“I’m not.” Keith says then gulps. “My pop was.” He says softly.
Pidge’s smile fell. Even though it had been eleven years since Keith’s dad died, the topic was still a sensitive one. They were both really close. His mom left him and his dad a few months after he was born so it was just him and his dad living in a little cabin together for all of Keith’s life until he died when Keith was 8. Pidge hadn’t known Keith back then, but Allura did. She and Keith were childhood friends just like Pidge and Lance were.
Apparently Keith and Allura’s kindergarten teacher used to put Keith in time out a lot and Allura felt it was unfair so she would go and sit in time out with him so he wouldn’t be alone and draw pictures with him. Pidge wondered if that’s what sparked Keith’s interest in art. And clearly an interest in someone else.
Allura waved at Keith from the field with her pom pom in the air. He waved back with the biggest grin plastered on his face.
Out of the corner of her eye, Pidge saw Lance waving to her from the field with his football in his hand. She waved back, then her eyes widened when she saw him jogging over to the bleachers. She quickly adjusted her skirt and pushed up her glasses while fixing her hair, in an effort to not look like a total mess.
“Hey there Pidge.” Lance says as he hops up the bleachers and leans down in front of her.
“Hey there All-Star.” Pidge teases.
Lance’s face lights up from her nickname and he laughs.
“That was a nice touchdown there. Think you can do that during an actual game?” She asks.
“Yes. Obviously, that’s what practice is for.” Lance reminds her.
“Uh huh.” Pidge says and twirls her pencil while looking back in her notebook.
“I bet I could tackle you before you reached the end zone.” Keith quips.
“Oh reallymullet?” Lance scoffs.
“Keith, what did you say this time that made Lance upset?” Allura asks.
Pidge looked up to see her climbing up the bleachers to stand beside Lance.
“Keith claims that he can tackle Lance before he reaches the end zone.” Pidge informs her.
“Oh my.” Allura says and smiles, looking Keith up and down with an impressed expression on her face.
“That is quite a bold claim darling.” Allura says.
“Yeah but I think it has some truth in it.” Keith argues while giving the head cheerleader a soft smile. “I was on the team freshman year after all.”
“Yeah but then you got kicked off because you were an ass to the coach.” Lance reminds him.
“Yeah, but I don’t mind. I think the sport is reckless and dumb anyway. But it is pretty damn amusing to watch you get beat up out there.” Keith says.
Allura laughed and Keith grinned and looked down, but the perceptive Pidge could see the blush he was attempting to hide. He looked back up and flased Lance a cocky smirk.
“You want me to prove it to you?” He suggests.
“Hell yeah let’s go right now!” Lance says.
“Alright let’s go.” Keith says and hops down the bleachers.
“I’ll be right back babe.” Lance says and kisses Allura.
Pidge took in a quick sharp breath and immediately looked down into her notebook. Her heart dropped to her stomach every time she saw them kiss. With the way that Allura acted around Keith, calling him “darling” and him driving her home from school every day, and the way that Lance did the same for her, it was easy to forget that Lance was Allura’s boyfriend and not hers. But eventually, someway she’d be reminded of reality.
“Don’t hurt him darling!” Allura called to Keith. “We need him in good shape for homecoming!”
“Don’t worry! He’ll be in one piece after this I promise!” Keith called back.
“What!?” Lance exclaimed.
Allura laughed at his comically angry reaction.
“First of all why do you assume that he’s the one that’s going to hurt me and second of all is the homecoming game all you’re concerned about! What about my personal health? What about the dance?” He adds with a smirk.
“I obviously meant both.” Allura reminds him. “If you’re in good shape for the game then you’ll be in good shape for the dance.”
Lance winked at her before turning back to follow Keith onto the football field.
“Oh! That reminds me!” Allura exclaims before turning to Pidge. “Lance and I are going shopping tomorrow for suits and dresses for homecoming. I was wondering if you would like to come with me. We can pick out dresses for each other.”
“Thanks but I don’t need to go dress shopping.” Pidge says with a tight lipped grin.
“Oh so you already have one for the dance?” Allura asks.
“No, I’m just not going to homecoming.” Pidge says.
Pidge jumped in her seat, startled by Allura’s screech and nearly dropped her notebook down in-between the bleachers.
“Why not!?” Allura continued, despaired that Pidge wouldn’t be attending. “This is our last homecoming. We’re Seniors now! You have to go.”
“Does it really matter? I mean it’s just gonna be like every other year right?” Pidge asks.
“Well…this year I’m Homecoming Queen.” Allura adds.
“Yeah and you were last year too.” Pidge reminds her.
“I know but…this year Lance is Homecoming King.” Allura says. “I thought you’d want to go to support him.”
Pidge gripped her pen so tightly her knuckles turned white. She did want to support him. She really did. The thought of him smiling happily on the field with a crown on his head and a bouquet of flowers in his arms having everyone cheering for him would be a dream come true for him. But she wasn’t sure that her heart would be able to handle seeing him being all lovey dovey with another girl.
“Yeah, I would but Lance is my best and one of my only friends. I’d be alone there without him and I think he’d feel bad if I was all by myself while he’s having the time of his life you know.” Pidge said as an excuse.
“What about Hunk?” Allura asked.
“Third-wheeling with him and Romelle again?” Pidge asks. “Nah. I want them to spend their last homecoming together as a couple without me tagging along.”
“That’s fair.” Allura agrees.
“You could maybe….” Her voice trailed off and Pidge looked up to see her biting her lip in thought. “Go with…Keith?”
Pidge sits up in surprise.
“Really? You want me to go as Keith’s date-“
“No not as his date!” Allura quickly interjected. “I mean…unless you…think of him like that?”
Pidge could tell that Allura was anxious about what her answer would be. And she knew why. Thankfully she would have nothing to worry about.
“No. I don’t. Keith’s not my type at all.” Pidge tells her.
Allura let out a sigh of relief that she tried to keep subtle but really wasn’t subtle at all.
“But I guess we could go together as friends.” Pidge thinks.
Then at least she’d be in the comfort of someone that shares her pain…
“That’s a splendid idea!” Allura exclaims and slams her palms down on either side of Pidge onto the bleacher bench, making the girl nearly spill her notebooks again.
“I know Keith will agree to it, you two get along so well and then you can come dress shopping with me and help me pick out a dress!” Allura rambles.
“Why do you need my help picking out a dress?” Pidge asks curiously.
Allura knew much more about fashion than her. She was easily be able to pick out a dress on her own. She did last year. Why in the world would Allura need her opinion on what to wear to a dance?
“Because…you know what Lance will like. You know him better than anyone. You’d know what he’d think would look pretty on me.” Allura explains.
Pidge’s chest felt tight as she gulped to keep herself from tearing up. She didn’t hate Allura. She was jealous that Allura had Lance’s affections but the reason she felt that way was because it didn’t seem fair. Even though Pidge had known Lance far longer than Allura, and knew him much better than she ever could, been with him through so much, and have such chemistry that he drastically lacked with Allura it astounded Pidge that he would fall for Allura instead of her. And the fact that Allura needed Pidge’s help to pick out a dress for the dance, only proved that point. Couldn’t Lance see that she was the one who understood him? She’d been there all along so why couldn’t he see-
“Pidge?” Allura asked.
Pidge looked back up, pulled out of her daydream to see Allura looking concerned for her.
“Is something wrong? Have I made you upset?” She asks.
“No.” Pidge says, faking a smile and closing her notebook. “I’d love to go shopping with you. You’re Lance’s Queen. I want to make sure you look amazing for him.” And she meant every word of that.
Because as much as she was disappointed that she wasn’t the one that held Lance’s heart, at the end of the day, all she wanted was for him to be happy.
She looked down at the field and tried her hardest not to laugh while she watched Keith tackle him to the ground as he tried to get past him. Allura however, was laughing so hard she nearly fell off the bleachers.
Pidge was sitting in her room, trying to distract herself from thinking about Lance when she was distracted by none other than the man himself.
She heard something tap her window. The sound confused her and caused her to pick her head up in wonder of what was going on. But she figured it was just a bird or something. So she chose to ignore it. But then she heard the sound two more times, and her heart soared because she knew who it was. She looked out her window and saw Lance waving at her from the window. They had lived next door to each other for their whole lives. She should have realized after the first acorn he threw at her that it was him trying to get her attention.
He waved at her, then she waved back. Then he saw her pick up a giant notepad and write something on it. He turned it around and she read it.
“Want to go to the mall now and get snacks for Keith and Allura?”
Her chest tightened at the thought of getting to go to the mall with Lance alone somewhere. But they had done that a million times before and he never thought of it as date. At least, as far as she knew. She picked up the big notepad by her bed and wrote her response on it.
Lance smiled at her and gave her a thumbs up. Then his brow furrowed when he saw her scribbling something else.
“We both have phones now you know. You could have just texted me.”
He wrote back:
“I know, but this is more fun!”
She rolled her eyes and wrote back:
Lance smiled and wrote back:
“Why did you bring your book with you to the mall?” Lance asks her.
“Because my computer coding class has their first test the week after homecoming.” Pidge explains.
“Whoa really? I thought the teachers would go easier on you guys because of the dance?” Lance asks.
“Our teachers probably don’t expect any of us in the tech program to go.” Pidge says.
“Why would they-“ Lance starts then Pidge gives him a deadpan look.
“Oh…right cuz’ you’re all nerds!” Lance teases and steals Pidge’s book out of her hands.
“Hey!” She shouted and reached for it.
Lance held it high above her head. She jumped on her tip toes and shouted at him to give it back. And he would have given it to her if not for the big smile on her face as she shouted at him.
“You know, jumping isn’t going to help you.” Lance teases as he walks away from her and over towards a bench near the water fountain.
“You’re still too short. And no amount of jumping is ever going to make you tall enough to-oof!” Lance exclaimed as Pidge jumped on his back from behind, using the bench to climb on him from behind.
She grabbed her book back out of his hands and wrapped her arms loosely around his neck and he secured her legs under his arms as they both walked past the fountain and continued on past the shops. Some of the adults they passed by gave them weird looks while the kids faces would light up and then they’d beg their parents to pick them up too for a ride around the store.
Pidge looked over her shoulder and looked at their reflections in the mirror and smiled. This felt so easy. Pidge had a hard time opening up to other people, but with Lance she really felt comfortable and unafraid to be herself. And surprisingly enough, he liked who she was. He thought she was weird, but it was a good thing. He always had trouble getting close to girls who were too guarded.
Which is why Pidge was amazed that he even got together with Allura. She was one of the most guarded people Pidge had met aside from Keith. In fact, the only time Pidge had ever seen Keith or Allura show their true colors was when they were with each other. Like right now when they approached the food court and spotted Keith and Allura sitting together at a table eating pretzel bites and laughing together.
“Hey guys, what are you doing here so early?” Lance asks as he approached them.
They both looked up and did a double take when they saw that Pidge was clinging to Lance’s back like a koala.
“I could ask you the same thing.” Allura says and stands up. “Keith and I thought we’d come here early and surprise you two with snacks.”
“It’s so funny you say that because I came here early with Pidge for the same reason.” Lance explained.
“Well don’t two great minds think alike.” Allura quips.
“That’s why we’re so great together.” Lance replies.
Allura giggled then cupped Lance’s cheeks in her hands and brought him down for a kiss.
Pidge buried her face in the back of Lance’s neck so she wouldn’t have to see. But the kissing noises were hard to ignore. Thankfully they only lasted briefly and then Lance let Pidge down off of his back.
After they ate, they split up. The two boys went to go find suits for the dance, while the girls went to go find dresses.
Truth be told, Pidge had never felt that uncomfortable in a dress shop. She liked to wear dresses. Casual ones anyway. Nothing this expensive… But then again, Allura was pretty rich.
Allura insisted on outfitting Pidge with a dress first. They had no problem selecting the color. Green was the obvious choice. It looked the best on Pidge and it was her favorite color. The only issue was the style…
“How about this one?” Allura suggested.
Pidge took one look at it and gagged when she saw how frilly and sparkly the skater dress that Allura had picked out was. The thing was covered in sequins and the lights from the store reflected on nearly all of them.
“Oh my… that bad?” Allura asks and looks at it.
“On me yes.” Pidge says. “On you, maybe not so much.”
“I suppose you’re right. We do have very different styles you and I.” Allura presumes as she looks over the dress.
“Do you think Lance would like me to wear something like this?” Allura asks.
“Well, that’s kind of a tough question.” Pidge says.
“How so?” Allura asks.
“Well, Lance likes to stand out. He grew up with a lot of siblings so he’s been fighting for attention his whole life. He’s always wanted to wow people so wearing something like that, it would definitely get people’s attention, and in turn he’d get attention and he’d love that. But at the same time, he’s already going to be getting a lot of attention since he’s Homecoming King, and if you wear something that stands out too much, then you’ll out-stage him and he’ll be feeling dull next to you. What Lance needs is someone to balance him out. Someone who’s not so plain that they’re boring but not someone who shines so bright that they’ll outshine him either.” Pidge explains.
“Something, you mean?” Allura asks.
“What?” Pidge asks.
“Something. You were saying ‘someone’ when describing what dress I should wear.” Allura explains.
“Oh!” Pidge exclaims and her cheeks heated up.
“I’m sorry! Yeah I meant something!” She quickly corrects herself while laughing nervously.
Allura arched an eyebrow, looking as if she wasn’t convinced. Pidge bit her lip and began to sweat. Her heart was pounding in her chest. Her mind racing with possibilities of what might happen to her if Allura found out about her crush…
Then Allura erupted into a fit of laughter and Pidge let out a sigh of relief.
“Well, regardless I think you’re right. I’ve already been Homecoming Queen once. This is Lance’s time to shine. So I’ll tone down my style a bit this time.” Allura says.
Pidge couldn’t help but look a bit sad when she heard Allura say that. She shouldn’t have to dim her light just so she wouldn’t outshine Lance.
After Allura picked out a cute green dress that she claimed Pidge looked absolutely gorgeous in, Pidge waited in the changing room area for Allura to try on some of her dresses.
“How’s it going?”
Pidge turned her head and looked surprised to see Keith enter the changing room area.
“Keith?” She asks. “What are you doing here?”
“Lance asked me to come spy on you girls and see what Allura’s going to wear to the dance.” Keith explains.
“Didn’t she explicitly say she wanted it to be a surprise?” Pidge asks.
“Yeah but you know Lance. He’s worried that what he wears won’t measure up to…”
Keith’s voice trailed off as Allura walked out of the changing room she was in, in a pale pink short, strapless, fit and flare dress that had some light sequin decorations on the bodice.
Pidge waited for Keith to finish what he was saying but he couldn’t. His jaw was hanging on the floor.
“Oh.” Allura says and blushes.
She brushed a lock of curly white hair behind her ear and looked away shyly.
“I wasn’t expecting you to be here Keith.” Allura says.
“I-I uh…” Keith starts but gulps, unable to find his words.
“Wait! Lance isn’t with you is he?” Allura asks and quickly goes to hide back in the changing room again.
“No!” Keith quickly answers. “No you’re fine. He’s not here. He just asked me to come see how things were coming along and how you look in your dress…”
His cheeks turned pink and he turned away from her, rubbing the back of his head from the last thing he said.
“Oh…well, what do you think?” She asks.
She did a little twirl and Keith’s response was immediate as his lips curled into a smile.
“Gorgeous.” He says with complete honesty and seriousness in his tone.
Pidge arched an eyebrow and Allura smiled and giggled from his response.
“Thank you darling. Do you think Lance will like it?” She asks.
He gulped, as if swallowing a lump in his throat before answering.
“If he doesn’t like it then he must be more of an idiot than he already is.” Keith says.
“Alright then.” Allura giggles. “I guess this is the one. I’ll go get changed. Just give me a minute.” Allura says and disappears back into the changing stall.
That gave Pidge her chance to ask Keith the question that had been burning inside of her all day.
“Keith, why don’t you tell Allura how you feel?” Pidge whispers.
Keith turned to her and glared.
She gulped, immediately regretting asking him.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” He replies.
Pidge let out a sigh of relief and chose not to press the matter further. But then Keith sighed and shuffled his feet on the ground.
“You know why.” He mumbles. “It’s the same reason you won’t tell Lance how you feel about him.”
Pidge’s face turned red and her knee-jerk reaction was to deny her crush but, Keith had finally admitted to his love for Allura to her. It was only fair that she do the same.
“Yeah. They’re both happy together.” Pidge says and looks at the door of the changing stall.
“But I think Allura’s happier when she’s around you.” Pidge says.
Keith smiled softly.
“I think she might like you back.” Pidge suggests.
“I highly doubt that.” Keith says.
“Why?” Pidge asks.
“You think that if she loved me she’d choose two other guys over me?” Keith asks Pidge.
Pidge bites her lip, remembering Allura’s previous boyfriend Lotor. He seemed nice at first but then turned out to be a jerk so she dumped him. And then a few months later she got together with Lance.
“She doesn’t like me like that. It’s as simple as that.” Keith says.
“Well maybe she just doesn’t think that you like her?” Pidge asks.
Keith gives her a curious look.
“You guys have been friends for awhile. She probably doesn’t realize that your closeness could mean something else. So you’ve already shown her how you feel and she doesn’t understand. Now you need to show it.” Pidge explains.
“Wow, that’s good advice actually.” Keith says and smiles at Pidge. “Maybe you should take it for yourself.”
And with that he turned around and left to go back to Lance.
“What were you and Keith talking about?” Allura asks.
“Nothing.” Pidge lies.
Homecoming finally came and just as Pidge and Keith had expected, the game was boring as hell. Keith had opted to doodle in his sketchbook instead of actually watch the game, and Pidge had no idea what was going on. She was only interested in watching Lance preform on the field. She couldn’t help but laugh so hard she snorted from his ridiculous touchdown dances.
They won the game and everyone was happy. That was everyone aside from Keith and Pidge who had to watch Lance and Allura get fitted in sashes, crowns and given bouquets of flowers as they were crowned Homecoming King and Queen. All of their classmates cheered them on and chanted for them to kiss.
Pidge was about to turn away but stopped when she saw something strange. Allura seemed unhappy with her classmates request. But then Lance turned to her flashing that bright grin of his and she forced one on her face and pressed her lips against his while their classmates cheered. They pulled apart and both smiled and waved at the crowd. But then Allura’s smile fell. As people began to leave she noticed Allura whisper something in Lance’s ear that made his smile fall. Then she lead him away somewhere.
Pidge wasn’t sure what was going on, but for some reason she felt like Lance was going to be upset by what Allura had to say. And that made a pit settle in her stomach.
She waited for Lance in the hallway outside of the boys locker room. She spent that time waiting, wondering how she was going to ask Lance what happened.
By the time he walked out, she was convinced that she had the perfect script in mind for how she was going to bring this up.
But then her words caught in her throat when she saw the redness in his eyes and the tightness in his grip as he grabbed her wrist and pulled her down the hall and around the corner, checking over his shoulder to make sure none of his teammates could see them.
“Lance?” She asks, concern evident in her tone. “What’s wrong?”
“Allura….she broke up with me.” He chokes out.
As they walked out of the school together, Pidge should have felt thrilled. The man she loved was single! But…instead she felt her heart breaking for him, because his heart was breaking too.
“Why did she break up with you?” Pidge asks after a long moment of silence.
“She uh, said she didn’t feel like she was really in love with me. She felt like she was just using me as a rebound after Lotor and she felt like I deserved better than that. That I deserved someone that would….”
His voice trailed off as Lance stopped short in the parking lot. Pidge walked forward a few steps then stopped next to him.
“Lance?” She asks.
There was no answer.
“Lance?” She asks again but he didn’t move a muscle.
It was like he couldn’t hear her. She turned to look in the direction he was staring at. And what she saw, made her heart drop to her stomach.
Keith and Allura sitting on Keith’s bike.
That in itself wasn’t out of the ordinary, they drove home together every day after games and practice. But what was out of the ordinary was that this time, Allura wasn’t just sitting on Keith’s bike. She was sitting on Keith.
With both legs straddling him, she sat on his lap while wearing his signature red leather jacket over her cheerleading uniform as he sat on his bike. And the two of them were making out. Hard.
Pidge had seen Lance and Allura make out before. She never paid too much attention because seeing that would always break her heart and make her want to turn tail and run away, but it was enough for her to recognize that Allura had never kissed Lance with this much passion before. With Lance, it was cute little giggly pecks. Little giggly pecks that Pidge had longed to share with Lance on the bleachers while he had his arm around her. But what she was witnessing right now, was full-on making out. The kind of making out that you would see in R-rated movies before the lead couple had sex.
Pidge’s mouth opened and closed like a guppy as she found herself unable to look away as Keith and Allura devoured each other, tongues occasionally tangling together before disappearing into each other’s mouths. She could hear Allura moaning into the kiss as she gripped his jet-black hair and he kept her steady by placing his hand on the small of her back and the other on the back of her neck.
When they finally broke for air they smiled at each other before Keith attached his mouth to Allura’s neck and she let out a delighted gasp.
“Oh Keith…” Pidge heard her whisper softly before one of her hands slid up under his shirt.
The other hand grabbed his belt and tugged on it, bringing their bodies closer to one another. Keith grinned against her neck and rolled his hips once before-
“Hey!” Lance shouted, breaking Pidge from her trance and their once friends, now lovers from theirs.
Lance stormed past Pidge, as he made his way over to his ex-girlfriend and frenemy.
Keith’s brow furrowed when he saw Lance coming and Allura’s smile fell instantly as Keith helped her off of his bike and they both stood as Lance approached them.
Pidge could see a look of guilt wash over the head cheerleader as tears started to form in her eyes as Lance stopped in front of the two of them. His fist was clenched with anger and his posture was tensed. Pidge knew he was angry and her heart willed her feet to move so she could rush to Lance’s side and be there with him as he confronted the two people that broke his heart.
“Lance I can explain-“ Allura started but Lance cut her off.
“You don’t have to explain anything.” Lance answered tersely. “It’s obvious what’s going on right now, and I’m an idiot for having not seen it sooner.”
He sniffed as tears started to form in his eyes. Allura’s bottom lip trembled and Keith bit his.
When Pidge reached Lance’s side she slid her hand into Lance’s, just like Keith did for Allura.
“You’re not an idiot.” Allura tells him and smiles.
“Yeah I am.” Lance says as his voice cracks.
He sniffs again before continuing.
“Everyone told me that you two were close, and that you probably had something going on, but I was too blind from my own love for you to see it.” Lance says. “You’re not the girl I thought you were Allura. The Allura that I fell in love with wouldn’t cheat on her friend of seven years and boyfriend of six-“
“She wasn’t cheating on you!” Keith shouted angrily in her defense. “She dumped you today remember? She’s free to do whatever she wants.”
“Oh like you, mullet?” Lance sneered.
Keith’s jaw clenched at Lance’s lewd assumption. But Allura pressed her hand against his bicep to keep him from doing anything.
Lance turned to Allura.
“I’m guessing he’s the reason you broke up with me?” He asks.
Allura stiffly nods her head yes.
“Well then I guess you really weren’t lying when you said you never loved me.” Lance says. “But you were right about one thing. I do deserve someone better than you. Someone that won’t go making out with some other guy, minutes after breaking up with one she was with for six months!”
And with that Lance stormed off before Allura could explain herself.
Allura started to tear up and Pidge felt her own anger rising as a result of this situation.
“What the hell!?!” Pidge exclaims at the two of them. “Since when are you two a thing?”
“I uh…took your advice Pidge.” Keith says softly. “After what you said at the mall I thought long and hard about what you said and when I dropped Allura off back at her house I decided that I couldn’t hold back anymore.”
“You were absolutely right.” Allura says and gives her a small smile. “We had both done everything to show each other how we felt but because we were friends for so long we didn’t think anything of it. We had to tell each other.”
She looked at Keith and they smiled at each other and squeezed each other’s intertwined hands.
Pidge felt her heart shatter when she heard that. She had inspired this. If she had never given Keith that advice, then Lance’s heart wouldn’t be broken right now. But she was still furious at Allura.
Allura had something precious, something that Pidge had wanted for years and she had the nerve to just throw it away like it meant nothing to her! She knew that their relationship didn’t make either of them happy and that she was clearly much happier with Keith and Pidge was happy for them deep down but, did they really have to get together so soon? Did she really feel absolutely nothing for Lance that it didn’t bother her at all to dump him as soon as Keith confessed his love to run into his big muscular arms and suck face with him on his bike. How dare she smile at her and look so happy?
“Allura how could you?” Pidge choked out. “You’re his dream girl, the only woman he’s ever loved!”
Allura smiled and let out a short laugh as a few tears rolled down her cheeks.
“Oh Pidge my dear.” She says as she wipes her tears with her thumb. “I don’t think Lance was ever in love with me.”
“Are you kidding me?” Pidge asks. “He was over the moon about you! He’s been crushing on you for years!”
“That wasn’t love Pidge.” Allura says. “He never loved me. He only loved the idea of me, of using me as a means to meet some goal he had set for himself to have what he deemed was the ‘perfect life’. But I think that the one that he truly loves is you.”
As Allura spoke, Pidge felt her anger towards her friend start to ebb away.
“Go to him. I know that he’ll listen to you.” Allura says.
Pidge simply nods before backing up and running off to find Lance.
He had already left the school. His car was missing from the parking lot. But thankfully her brother Matt had come back from college to support his old school for the weekend so he drove her home.
As soon as she got out of the car she ran next door, leaving her brother confused and curious as she ran over to the door to Lance’s house. She banged on the door but no one answered. It was surprising that no one was home, considering that he had so many siblings, aunts and uncles living in the house with him. She was about to turn away and go home when she heard the door unlock. It swung open and there was Lance’s abuela.
“Oh hello Pidge.” She says.
“Hello Ms. McClain.” Pidge says and smiles. “Is Lance around?”
The old woman frowned at first. She likely knew about what happened with Allura, which meant that the logical thing for her to do was to turn away anyone who wanted to visit Lance. But Pidge was no mere friend to Lance.
“Come in dear.” She says. “He’s upstairs in his room.”
“Thank you.” Pidge says.
Pidge ran upstairs while Lance’s abuela watched her go with a knowing smile on her face.
She reached the door to Lance’s room and knocked on it tentatively.
“Come in.” Lance groaned.
Pidge opened the door and her heart broke when she saw Lance sitting on his bed with his head in his hands.
He picked his head up and looked surprised to see her.
“Pidge?” He asks. “What are you doing here?”
“Your abuela let me in.” Pidge says.
Lance smiled a bit.
“Of course she did. She loves you.” He says.
Pidge came over to his side and he scooched over to let her sit on his bed with her.
“I know that it would be silly to ask if you’re okay.” She says and Lance manages a small laugh.
“So instead, do you mind sharing what you’re thinking with me?” She asks.
Lance stays silent for a bit and looks at Pidge. He gently took her hand and her breath hitched.
“When Allura broke up with me, she told me something. And I’ve been thinking about it ever since. The thing is, I’m not sure whether I can believe her or not.” Lance explains.
“Well what did she say?” Pidge asks.
“Well you heard the first part.” Lance says. “She said that I deserve someone who really loves me, and that she didn’t want to keep stringing me along. But what I didn’t tell you, is that she thought that I should be with you.”
Pidge’s eyes went wide and her heart was pounding. She was positive that her face was bright red and she quickly looked away from Lance and adjusted her glasses.
“W-why would she think that?” Pidge asks.
“Probably because of the same reason she’s with Keith right now. They’ve known each other forever, and they grew really close. At first they were just good friends but, it got to a point where each of them felt something more towards each other. This whole time, she’s been in love with Keith. And it makes sense, I see that now. But I just wish I knew what made her see the truth all of a sudden-“
“It’s my fault.” Pidge admits.
Lance looked confused so Pidge took a deep breath before explaining.
“At the mall, I found out Keith was in love with Allura. And I told him that if he likes her that he should tell her how he feels. I am so sorry Lance! You know how Keith is when it comes to expressing his feelings. I didn’t think that he’d actually go and confess to Allura! Certainly not this soon. So, I know that you probably hate me now because I’m the reason your girlfriend dumped you-“
“Pidge, Allura didn’t dump me because of some advice you gave Keith. She dumped me because she didn’t love me. And to be honest, thinking back on it, I don’t think I ever loved her either.” Lance says.
“Really?” Pidge asks.
“Yeah. To be honest I think my crush on her was mostly just me trying to prove to myself that I could be with a girl like her. I mean, that’s every guy’s goal to date the head cheerleader right? But then once I got her, after awhile, I found out that’s not what I wanted. In fact, what I’ve been looking for has been here this whole time.”
He squeezed Pidge’s hand and looked in her eyes and her heart soared.
“Pidge, you’re the one who understands me. You’ve been here all along and I can’t believe that I never realized that this whole time, I belong with you.” Lance says.
Both of them were tearing up and couldn’t stop smiling.
“You belong with me.” Pidge says. “I love you Lance.”
“I love you too Katie.” He replies.
They wrapped their arms around each other and hugged while the sun set outside.
That night at the Homecoming Dance, Allura was starting to get worried. She knew that she shouldn’t expect Lance to show up after what happened after the game, but she wasn’t sure how she would explain his absence to her classmates. They were supposed to slow dance together halfway through the party. She really messed up tonight. At least she wasn’t alone though. Keith slid his hand into hers and squeezed it, reminding her that he’d be right next to her the whole night, no matter what.
Then, all of the football players cheered and Keith and Allura turned to see Lance walk through the doors of the gym, holding Pidge’s hand. Keith and Allura looked relieved, but it was short-lived when they realized that Lance was probably still furious with them. They spotted each other across the room and Lance began walking over to them, Pidge in tow.
“Hey.” Lance says.
“Hey.” Allura replies meekly, then she noticed the corsage on Pidge’s wrist. “Did you give her that?”
“Yeah.” Lance says. “My parents were a bit surprised when I told them that I was going to the dance with Pidge instead of you but, they’re still happy for me. And I’m happy to take her.”
Allura smiled and gently played with the make-shift corsage Keith had made her out of tissue paper and pipe-cleaners.
“And since I know you won’t be upset to hear this so soon after our break-up since you’re with Keith, I thought you’d like to know that I’m now dating Pidge.” Lance says and wraps his arm around her and pulls her into his side.
Pidge blushed and Keith and Allura looked surprised but happy.
“Lance that’s wonderful!” Allura says. “But I’m still surprised. I was a total jerk to you, and I dumped you for the man that’s beaten you at almost everything-“
“Well he may be better at me than math but he’s definitely not better at me than sports.” Lance says.
“Well then how did he tackle you after practice the other day?” Pidge asks.
“Oh yeah…” Lance says. “Dude that was a good tackle.I know that I teased you about sucking at it but you were actually pretty good at it. I’m surprised the coach kicked you off. You’d have my position now if he hadn’t.”
“Yeah, that’s why I quit. I gave up on all of that stuff because of you.” Keith tells him. “I saw how upset you were that I was always getting picked first for everything and beating you in practice and I decided that losing your friendship wasn’t worth it so I quit football.”
“You what!?!” Lance, Pidge and Allura exclaimed at the same time.
Keith crosses his arms over his chest, looking down at his feet and biting his lip before repeating himself.
“I quit.” He says and looks back up at them with glassy eyes. “I never cared about those things, but I did care about you. You were my friend Lance. And you being ignored because of me was making you upset. I didn’t care about sports anyway so it wasn’t a big deal to me to quit the football team. I didn’t have much time for it anyway and I had to take the job my dad’s friend offered me at the car shop in order to make some money to afford to go to school.”
“Afford to go to school?” Pidge asks, confused. “But this is a public school. There’s no tuition fee.”
“Not this school.” Keith says and gives the three of them a small smile.
Allura arched her eyebrow and Keith let out a short laugh before continuing.
“I applied to college. Altea University, same as Allura.” Keith says.
A smile began to grow on her face when she heard that.
“And I got accepted.” He said.
Lance’s jaw dropped and Pidge covered her mouth while Allura jumped on the balls of her feet and let out an excited squeal when she heard the news. She threw her arms around his neck and he caught her and spun her around while she congratulated him on his acceptance. And celebrated the fact that this meant they’d still be seeing a lot of each other when they started school next Fall.
“That’s awesome.” Lance says. “I’m so happy for both of you guys.”
The look in Lance’s eyes told Allura he was being honest.
Then the music got quiet and they heard someone tap on the mic and announce that the homecoming court dance was about to start. The two couples looked at each other awkwardly when they realized this meant that Lance and Allura would have to dance. But the two of them shared a look and surprised Keith and Pidge by leading them to the dance floor with them.
Needless to say, Lance and Allura shocked their class by not dancing with each other and instead dancing with two wallflowers that they barely knew. But no one could deny how much happier they looked when they were with the people that they truly loved.
It was amazing how easily they were able to get over what happened in the parking lot just hours ago. By all accounts Lance should still be furious. But how could he be mad, when he had the true girl of his dreams in his arms, sharing his spotlight at his side. Pidge had been standing by him, waiting out his back door, and after all this time, he finally leaned down and gave her her first kiss. And in that moment that their lips met he knew, that he had always belonged with her.