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Ocean Child

Chapter Text

Lance was of the ocean. His mother cradled him in her encompassing embrace and sung him old songs of Earth, telling him he would be wonderful and a gift to the world. He remembers playing with dolphins and singing with whales. As a little boy, when one day he washed ashore and was found by a nice family. They didn’t know where Lance had come from or how he had survived the ocean without drowning. But his mother was kind to Lance. (as he was named by his Land family)

He grew up loving the sea, and to love innocent humans. He wanted to protect his mother’s so he would fight for them. He went to train at the Garrison with Hunk (who was a child of life and creation and was THE best friend in the whole world period) but the sky wasn’t exactly something that came naturally to either of them.

Hunk was good and making and fixing things, Lance went with the flow of his path and wanted to be the one to take action: fighter Pilot. But he didn’t make the cut. It stung but if he fought hard to be the best of the best of the cargo pilots then if an opening came he would be selected. Lance was selected but was constantly reminded of all of his failings. He jumped the gun, made too many jokes. No one respected him enough to allow him to be the leader he knew he could be.

Pidge was someone Lance couldn’t understand that well. He always seemed far away, his gaze looking through Lance as he went off somewhere.

--

“Come on Hunk.” Lance Prods, “Let’s go have some fun!”

Hunk groaned, “But Lance, every time we try and do something fun for YOU  we  and by we I mean  get in trouble!”

--

Lance was flying a LION. And good gracious Mother Earth she was SINGING in his head, it was beautiful. It was like hearing the waves of his mother and the inner song of magic. It was a whirlpool of harmony with the sounds of birds and bubbling laughter and  finally finally finally. 

This Lion felt like she was OF water. Like Mother had made him herself, but like she was..of something else, and she wanted to get back to where she was supposed to be.

“Let’s see what you want to do.” And he let her tell him how to move the controls. Guide him to making a wormhole. A thrill of  something  ran through Lance, fear excitement? Who knew but Lance was definitely gonna find out what was beyond that wormhole and went right for it as the others screamed around him.

--

Lance couldn’t just go back now. He realized that night, after failing to flirt with a princess and getting Hunk his Lion (Hunk had nearly DIED) and forming Voltron. He was traveling in space to fight a war with five lions or one large robot and he couldn’t just go back home to see the ocean. His MOTHER. Hunk couldn’t see Te fiti. She must be SO worried about him. And Pidge definitely had a family too but never talked about them.

Lance looked out at the stars and had this ache in him. He wanted to be home, diving into his mother’s embrace. Exploring the waters, playing with the dolphins and other fish that reside there. Hunting for treasure and eating meals with his Land family. He missed his Mom’s hugs…

Suddenly there was a warm hand on his shoulder and Hunk ever the empathetic being he was, was smiling at him with tears brimming his eyes.

“We’ll get back to them one day, Lance. I’m sure of it.”

They hugged it out, but Lance couldn’t help but wonder how long it would be. 1 year? A hundred?

--

Keith was a feisty S-O-B and Lance wanted him. Badly. But of course, there was Allura that lovely spitfire of a gal he didn’t have a chance with he had to think about too. It didn’t help that both of them would honestly not give him the time of day.

Lance wasn’t sure when exactly it was that he had fallen in love with the Red Paladin of Voltron. Maybe when he saved Coran? (No way would he EVER let Keith know he remembered their bonding moment. Ever. That was a lie he could not go back on without consequences.)

How do you get an antisocial S-O-B to talk to you? Lance decided that if Keith was convinced he was self-important (not entirely a lie) and annoying (hurtful but having a personality had it’s pro’s and cons.) Lance would make it his new mission to include Keith in any activity.

The next day when dinner finished Keith got up to train, this was Lance’s cue- he also got up and followed Keith. At first, the subject (Keith) wasn’t bothered by this since the pathway to their rooms, common room, anywhere else really was connected by that one hallway. But when Lance failed to make any other turns and stay true to a couple of feet behind Keith he then got suspicious.

“What are you doing?” He asked slowly, stopping in the hallway, turning to face Lance. Lance smiled and shrugged.

“Feeling a little stir crazy. You like to train after eating, and I wanna spar with someone. We can help each other out.”

“I…train with the drone.”

“Then we can both fight the drone?” Lance suggested easily and Keith, frustrated and confused did the only thing he could, huff turns around and mutter ‘whatever, just don’t wine.’ Which Lance was cool with. Step one complete.

Turns out training a little extra was doing wonders for Lance’s muscle tone with was just fine with him but he wanted to  relax  for a change.

“Hey, Allura.” He approached, smiling at her as sweetly as he could and Allura looked from her glowing control panels of information.

“Lance.” She greeted, putting on a gentle smile herself, “What can I help you with?”

“I was wondering if you had like…records of movies or something. Or TV shows. Documentaries. Anything.”

“Hm. I’m not sure. I could check the files on the castle for any uncorrupted data, I’ll get back to you on that.”

Lance pumped his fist in the air in victory. “Awesome!”

And Allura did indeed let him know, apparently a good number of Altean movies were saveable from the decaying data streams in the castle and had its own form of a theater.

--

Back on earth when he was closest to his mom sometimes he could make the water move. It was really fun seeing his human family splash in the waves and his littlest siblings laughed the hardest. Seeing their smiles meant the most to him. It was also nice when he was in the bath cause if he got bored he could do something, lift it, make shapes. Super useful if there was a spill sometimes. Water was water even if it had other stuff in it.

It was totally an accident when he found out. Normally when he was around other humans he tried not to. He had known it was possible considering who his mom was. He didn't think it would work it if it WASN'T his mom.But H20 is H20 no matter where you are he found out.

It was one evening when Pidge was bored and fiddling with her electronics. Mumbling about one thing or another and a water pouch precariously placed on the edge of their laptop.

WIth a careless mutter and a jerk of their arm Pidge knocked the pouch off and lance when to grab it, reaching for it and then the water reached back the water with the pouch floated in the air a spill frozen but still liquid in mid air and Lance was stunned. The water reacted. He still had a small connection to earth. A heat built up in his eyes and he knew he would cry if he didn’t stop himself. Come on Lance you can’t cry, not in front of Pidge!

“Lance, whatever you’re doing don’t stop doing it,” Pidge demanded and quickly moved the laptop out of the war zone and they over the water from multiple angles.

“How are you doing this?” They asked, “Is this new? Cause if this is new then we really need to go see Coran cause this could be a mutation or a virus or-“

Chuckling Lance wiggled his fingers returning the wayward water to the pouch where it belonged and he grabbed the pouch from the air. “No Pidge, this isn’t new” Lance smiled so wide and chuckled again. “It’s…kinda nice.”

Hunk was grinning at Lance from his spot on the couch, a translated book on his pad. He gave a thumb up and Lance grinned back.

He  had  to go ask Coran.

Coran was pleased by the challenge, “I can’t guarantee it’ll be like your earth Oceans but I’ll find you something safe to swim in my boy you have my guarantee!

Relief was like a cool balm and he patted Coran’s shoulder in thanks, “Don’t run yourself raged my dude, we still have a universe to save after all.” And he turned to go see what Pidge was up to.

“I swear hunk there’s something about pidge.” Lance narrowed his eyes at their resident gremlin. “She managed to get the EXACT part we needed. She talked to them for like, what…five minutes?”

Pidge rolled her eyes, “All I did was trade them something of mine, which honestly a copy of the Hamilton soundtrack isn’t that bad a trade at all.” She grinned, “But I didn’t tell them how to convert the format.”

Lance shivered,  A monster. Pidge is a real monster. Fey perhaps? 

--

Fighting The Galra totally sucked and did horrible things to Lance’s skin due to the oil he produced due to the stress of floating and flying in a void of nothing while facing life and death. Right now they were in a lull and Lance was desperate to do some relaxing, but he didn’t want to do it alone.

“Keeiiiith.” Lance whined dramatically flopping next to him in the common room. “You’re skin is just  crying  for a nice treatment. Come on, when was the last time you relaxed?”

“Uh…” Keith thought back, “When was the last time you forced me to watch that Altean movie?”

“Dude that was like, three days ago! You haven’t relaxed since then?”

Keith shrugged, “I train with you, that’s kinda relaxing.”

Lance huffed shoving his shoulder into Keith’s, “That’s like.. exercise. Relaxing in some form or another but.. not like the relaxing I mean my man. I mean like…taking a shower and putting a face mask, or brushing your hair, deep conditioning. Some… maintenance.  You know?”

Keith frowned, furrowing his brows at Lance taking in the words processing and processing until-

“I… don’t really do that. I take showers sure but that’s just.. to clean you know? But… sometimes when everything is just loud or whatever I go to my room to uh, sharpen my knife.”

Lance grinned, “Alright, let’s do that. I deep clean my skin and you deep clean your knife. Two bro’s just relaxing doing what makes them feel better.”

Keith rolled his eyes but got up when Lance did, “As long as you don’t force me to wear that goo stuff we’ll be good.”

“Promise,” Lance responded and felt this giddy part of him as he realizes that he’s gonna have Keith alone in his  room  for a little while. 

Chapter Text

Zarkon and his Witch were high on Lance’s list of ‘if I see them I’ll punch them’ because messing up their Teludav portal WAS NOT COOL.

Lance tried to get Blue to stop spinning around so violently but blue wasn’t responding she was completely offline, and hearing Hunk screaming in his ear was NOT helping.

“Hunk, buddy, CALM DOWN I’m right here with you we can figure this out-“ They hit the water and start sinking hard and fast.

“Hunk yo, buddy pal-“ Lance winced at Hunk’s retching over the coms, “You just threw up didn’t you?”

“Well, maybe.” He responded sheepishly, “I had some questionable food goo before the fight-“

“It’s fine Hunk no need to explain to me, we literally just had a ride on the worst roller coaster in the history of roller coasters.”

There’s a hard jolt as they hit the bottom of the ocean, so now that there’s little fear Lance could cause any more damage he starts trying to mess with the controls, “Come on girl, wake up.” But she’s out out and he sighs. “How’s yellow?”

“Not responding, looks like we’re dead in the water.” And paused for effect. Lance rolled his eyes.

“Okay comedian let’s try and- blue’s controls started lighting up like a beacon of hope, “Oh thank the gods Blue, now let’s see what we’re up against.” He looked at the sensors trying to see if there was anything being picked up and yes, Blue's controls felt better than ever that didn't mean she was built to handle battles underwater. Either that or she was still waking up and the sensors took longer to boot up. He grasped the control and turned blue around to get a better look around. Rocks, sand inky blackness in the far distance but there- a flash of something swimming behind the pillar and Lance does a double-take as the flash of well, hair and then a flash of a fish tale.

“What was that?” And he turns his Lion (barely a tilt, did he mention how awesome the controls felt under the water??), and there it is again just darting around getting quickly out of his line of sight, a flash of a tail disappearing into the darkness. “Hunk buddy ol’ pal I think I just saw a mermaid.

“What?” Hunk respond and Lance is already gearing up to get out there. No use trying to find something small and quick when it would be easier to go out there and do it himself. “Lance if you’re thinking about going out there I really think-“ But lance was already out and about looking around with his flashlight.

He would give anything to just take off his helmet. He hated how it limited his vision, but could he breath under waters that weren’t his mom’s? Lance wasn’t really willing to find out. His heart ached with the strain of the pressure on his suit and he sighed. Okay. Enough of that time to focus on the mermaid.

“Lance," Hunk scolded coming out of his Lion, shoulders hunched and he kicked his legs a little bit his breaths coming short from the pressure on his body, "We need to stay with the Lions.”

“But if there IS life here that can help us it won’t hurt to ask for it.” Hunk was silent in his own stubborn way, “Look, I’m going to look for the mermaid, you can stay in yellow. In the Dark. Alon-“

“Please don’t leave me alone!” Hunk shouts grabbing Lance’s hand after a quick swimming sprint. Lance clasps Hunks shoulder.

“Good to have you on the expedition buddy, now let’s go find us that mermaid.”

Mermaids were not nice. Mermaids were people that took over your friend and make you fight him!! NOT COOL.  They may have given Lance a nice air bubble, but it was getting REALLY inconvenient. He had the terrible urge to just pop the bubble and see how much his influence over water extended to an alien planet. He just wanted hunk to STOP ATTACKING HIM. The jellyfish itched and he kept dropping the fish that would snap his buddy out of it.

After Hunk slammed into him again, knocking him back against the wall Lance had reached the end of his game of pretend. Out of pure frustration, he clawed at the bubble until it popped. There was a rush of water a moment of adjusting his body to filtering oxygen from the water and what he had thought has been his heartbeat and blood rushing through his ears was actually very large shouting of DANGER DANGER.

Lance got a little distracted and got tackled. Dang as a zombie servant Hunk didn't really know how to fight, but that wasn't a complaint, not at all! He managed to worm his way out of Hunk's grasp and reached out a hand willing the currents to get that pufferfish back into his grasp, in less than 10 seconds thee little guy plopped into his hand.

“Sorry to do this buddy…” Not really feeling apologetic at all (except towards the puffer) Hunk got a face full of the green gas. The effect was nearly instantaneous and Hunk sputtered, coughing and flailing his hands around “Ew- what? Lance?” He looked around trying to place where they were.

“Hunk, you were trying to kill me because the queen put you under a spell.”

“Oh, uh. I’m sorry.” Hunk ever his flustered friend was so genuine he would kiss him if it wasn’t an inappropriate time for it.

“It’s fine, let’s get to our lions.”

--

Big bad Queen instead was not THE big bad but instead, it was the Big Bad Baku and it was a dragon worm thing and there was a sense of wrongness as he and Hunk tried to battle it out.

“Hold on, I’ve got an idea.” And he parks Blue, getting up from his seat shedding his suit as quickly as he can. He was gonna need as much exposure to the water as possible.

“Lance, wait you don’t know if-“

“I know Hunk but I gotta try.” He pressed the button to open the hatch so he could leave Blue.

DANGER DANGER the water shouted even louder Lance took a minute to adjust to this new voice and the feeling around him.

How do I help? What can I do?

The water pressed around him reassuringly, humming with relief and power he wasn’t even sure he could harness. With Hunk at his back, he was certain he could do this. So he let himself relax and let the ocean just..take over.

When he opened his eyes everything looked different, instead of color it was seeing the depth of everything the various energies and aura's that the water held about it and the beast before him was scared, hurting, and just wanting a healthy meal.

“Let’s get you on a diet on NON- sentient food.” He encouraged and urged the current to speed the creature south, plentiful fish and no mermaids to eat. 

Lance returned to blue a little reluctantly the ocean much more grateful than before. Blue purred when he was inside and safe and Hunk was going wild, “DUDE THAT WAS AWESOME.” And Lance laughed, “Just wait buddy, you’ll have your moment.”

Then hunk got quiet, “Yeah. Maybe.”

--

Being back in the castle was like being back in the hotel that you’re staying in on a long vacation, it’s not home but it’s close enough for now. The first thing Lance did when he was released was plop onto his bed, close his eyes, and sleep.

Sleeping was a mistake. It started off nice dreamed of his Mom, depths of oceans he could reach fish he could play with and whales that he sang with. He dreamed of his mom’s hugs and the Mcclain family giving him a home and food to eat when he didn’t even know what anything was.

He dreamed of the sky opening up and a large lion gobbling him up and alien worlds crying out for help as he was taken away Earth becoming just a small dot of light in the distance until that dot of light faded too.

He dreamed of cold metal and hugs from friends that just…weren’t the same.

When Lance woke up tears were leaking out of his eyes, across his temples and onto the pillow. He sat up and headed to the bathroom towards his spa treatment kit. It wasn’t anything that a mask couldn’t fix.

--

Something needed to be fixed, readjusted on the ship? Lance honestly just wanted to sleep. Sleep was so much better, but he got up and put on his armor just like everyone else.

Coran and Allura were not very good at giving instructions Lance decided and huffed as they kept waiting. To figure out what was going on.

“Outta the way.” Lance snapped, pushing his way to the (what was this for again?) and twisted one knob and pressed a couple of buttons. If they didn’t know what was supposed to be done you gotta start somewhere- wait why was it turning red?

“THE CURLY FRY IS TRYING TO KILL US.” Hunk yelled and Pidge shoved her way to the device and quick as cooling sugar fixed the whole problem. Pidge was a master at bullshitting Altean science and Lance wanted to learn so much from her.

“This technology is so elegant!” Pidge enthused and cooed and Lance chuckled. In the distance odd glowing balls of something were drifting towards them, or, they were flying towards the drifting balls? It was decided that some samples would need to be taken. 

When they got close Lance drew his shield and the balls just softly splatted against the surface. Shiro started spouting orders about making a shelter, gathering sample and such. Meanwhile, Lance reached for a mass and grabbed it, squished it to check its consistency and grinned. This would definitely lift everyone's moods.

The ball hit Shiro instead of Keith. He had tried to apologize, but this started a war of flying squishies and Lance loved it. It was like being home on earth having wet sand fights on the beach or mud fights with Hunk’s family but the fun dimmed down when Pidge mentioned that they should get some scans done on the stuff like they had come out here for.

Which Lance was fine with. He just had to go back inside. With gravity. Keeping hold of his human form. Lance was used to holding this form for long periods of time, but Lance normally at least relaxed in the tub back home, letting parts of his body go before…pulling himself back together but he didn’t know what would happen if he did that in strange water away from everything familiar. He hadn't dared do that on the mermaid planet and he doesn't dare do it here in the castle ship.

He went to Blue’s hangar.

Her cockpit was no ocean, and the songs she weaved in Lance’s mind were beautiful, she sang songs were similar to whales that he would listen to, ancient songs about how the world became the way it was (the whales were certain that one day the waters would overtake earth as a form of cleansing so that the earth could begin a new….the narrative is more enchanting than the summary. Hunk, of course, would be appalled that the whales bleak foretelling of the world. Lance couldn’t imagine that Tefiti would care much for it either. It made for a nice lullaby though.

But blue sang old songs, about the formation of the universe and how she came to be with her siblings, and of the Altean’s. It was a nice image to have, that Blue was not some enigma that was above and beyond comprehension.

--

“Paladins, get you your Lions!” Allura called through the ship, “We are approaching Olkarion.” Lance yawned and stretched from his pile of blankets in the cockpit of blue.

“Mornin’ Blue.” He slurred and reached out for an energy bar and a pack of water.

“Have an early morning?” Hunk asked through the coms when he got to Yellow, and lance laughed.

“Who, me? Nah. I’m just faster than you pal.”

“Okay guys,” Shiro cut in, “Let’s get going. We’ve got people to save and Galra to intercept and neutralize.”

“Got it.” Hunk and Lance said together, Pidge mumble a go sign and Keith remained silent, then they were all off.

The Planet Olakrion was just Hunk’s speed and he was in love. At first, it was a little scary that their lions had been so easily manipulated, but the Olkarions weren’t ones to take too many risks, and their tech was amazing. Where hunk could appreciate the wildlife and flowers, Pidge could appreciate the machinery and the magic-ness of it all.

Hunk even had a little notebook and everything to log all the planets he observed, doing rapid sketches while Pidge worked her magic on the tech in this place.

“Lance, my mom is going to FLIP when I show her!!” Hunk gushed over the pages and pages of alien plant life.

“Human mom or Mom mom?” Lance clarified and Hunk grinned, “Both of ‘em.”

Hunk’s human mom was a lover of nature, a true believer in Tefiti which suited hunk, an offspring of Tefiti, just fine.

“It’s just a bummer I can’t work the tech.” Hunk shared wistfully, shading one particularly interesting fungi, the cap looked like butterfly wings. “I guess pidge is just like.. a forest imp or something.”

“Yeah.” Lance thought aloud in his hammock, “Something.”

Everyone gathered for supper on the grand planet of Olkari (thought Hunk had to be prodded away from the planet looking at all of them and such)

Allura was already speaking with Ryner when he walked in, Hunk carrying a basket full of herbs and such to preserve and possibly cook with. Lance wasn’t entirely sure.

“Altean technology is something that our people observed many decophebes ago.” Ryner compliments, “We will never forget what the Altean people did for us, and we are ever so thankful that you are here now.”

Allura smiled, “Thank you. I hope our alliance will be helpful on both side.”

Ryner returns the smile, “It would be lovely if you would stay a few more days. If possible I would enjoy observing the lions. They are made of rare material. Do you know what all they can do?”

“I  don’t know.” Allura admits, “When they were built it was more of an..exploration. I only know what they can do when I saw the previous paladins training, or in battle itself. There may yet be unlocked abilities within them that our current paladins can unlock.”

Lance ate his food quietly, listening to this conversation. Thinking about how blue made that wormhole that got the team to the castle of lions in the first place. He didn’t bring it up, there was probably some other reason for it. Like a timer or something.

Chapter Text

Lance was getting worried about Keith. He had worked so hard to get on his good side and now he was pulling away again and he couldn’t have that. So he tried to keep up with him at the mall. But he was just so good at losing tales. Like he was some kind of, of- EEL.

Then Pidge wanted to get money for an earth console and a game. (with a free Kaltenecker of course) Pidge starts taking off her shoes with a shout of, “Whoever gets the most money before we pool it together get first dibs on the game!!”  Lance’s challenge mode was activated. He had spent a long time gathering shiny things when he was younger, this was going to be easy, but he didn’t need to let her know that.

So he left Pidge with the fountain gathering coins and walked to the other side, dipping a hand into the fountain, the water sort of tugged at him, excited to have him near and he wiggled his fingers, encouraging the flow of the water to scoop up the coins and he held out his shirt like a hammock and scooped the coins in the bubble of water in front of him and he grinned from ear to ear not really caring that some of the aliens were staring at him. And when he feels he has a sufficient amount from that side (meaning there are no coins left.) he walks over to Pidge,

“How’s the gathering going?” He twitters and pidge is crouched in the water, shoving handfuls of wet hand into their pockets.

“Pretty well, though I wish there was an easier way to get there, why’d you stop?” They stand up fully and look over at Lance, who’s grinning at her wiggling his eyebrows and her mouth dropped open a little at seeing the pile of coins in his shirt. Splashed through the fountain to the other side and saw no coins insight.

 Things only escalated from there by robbing other fountains getting chased out of the space mall, cow Kaltenecker in tow Lance’s ears were ringing for a good few minutes when they got back on the castle he and hunk were laughing a little at the absurd situation.

“Hey, Coran?” Hunk managed to get out, “We uh, got space for our new- new guest?”

Coran hummed in thought, twirling his mustache and then he snapped his finger, “I’ve got just the place in mind! This way!” he cried, rounding on his heel and marched further into the castle.

--

Everything settles down and somehow Lance had been appointed the Kaltenecker caretaker, not that he minded.

“So,” He drawled, “what did you learn about your knife thingy?” Lance asked petting Kaltenecker as she chewed on some of the grass.

Keith tugged on some of the green blades his eyes a bit unfocused, “Nothing worth any value. It’s made of some metal named Luxcite. And the only other clue I have is that the symbol engraved on it is galra. Or, a rune or something.”

Lance nodded taking in this meager info. He couldn’t imagine how frustrated that he must feel about all this and he sat next to Keith, leaning against his shoulder, “Hey. Look, no matter what we find out about this knife of yours; it isn’t going to change who you are to us. Red paladin hot head extraordinaire. All talent, no thought.”

Keith shoved at Lance but there was no anger behind it if that crooked smile meant anything, “And what about you, Lance? What secrets are behind the all talk and sparkle guy.”

Lance grinned at Keith and gave a light shrug, “Maybe I’ll tell you one day, wonder boy.” But today was not that day, and he didn’t feel that that day was any closer.

--

 

As the way of things team Voltron had to move on and if training and saving the universe was exhausting then running from the galra non-stop was a task and a half. It was so so hard. Lance was barely able to hold himself together and was just grateful that in the end they managed to get Zarkon off their backs. Shiro had managed to push Zarkon out of the spiritual plane bondy-thing that he was forcing between him and the black lion but boy did he look drained.

“I just got..so angry that he was doing this I mentally shoved and attacked back with all I had.” Shiro had confessed to the team, “I didn’t even feel like myself.”

“It’s a good thing you managed it, Shiro.” Allura soothed, taking his hand in hers, “Because hopefully now Zarkon will let us be.”

“Well, I hope so!” Coran added, “Cause I found the perfect planet to take a respite! Lance, I found you your water planet. The water is pink though, but it should be safe.”

“Oh Coran you BEAUTFUL man,” Lance gushed, “I won’t complain about cleaning for maybe a WEEK because of this.”

At hearing that kind of praise Coran puffed up his chest, “Well they don’t call me Coran the Finding Man for nothing!”

Allura smothered a laugh in her hands, “Oh they call you that now do they?”

--

The planet wasn’t earth, nothing ever really would be and the ocean definitely was not like his mother, but it could be a sister. She was old, but young. Hadn’t made a child yet and it didn’t seem there were any humanoid species on the planet either, but Lance was eager just to feel water again to submerge…would it be safe to just..flow? Having two types of water mix probably wouldn’t be good. Better safe than sorry he supposed as he toed at the pink edges with his toes. Hunk and Pidge were a safe distance, Hunk looking a little down that there weren’t any forests for him to get his relax in on unlike Olkarion.

Lance took the plunge and walked out about waist deep, letting his knee’s buckle gently so he could float on his back letting the water just lap at him in its unfamiliar hold.

New the ocean whispered Similar. Child. Earth? Lance smiled and reach back letting his fingers flow just a little, to mingle and send messages. Where he came from who his mother was. That sort of thing and the ocean reached and soothed his hurts mentally.

It wasn’t like his mother’s hugs. The ache in his chest opened just a little wider, a couple tears leaking out. Sad. Sweet Child. And the ocean swayed and hugged as soothingly as she could. The water tickled a little and it managed to get a bit of giggle out of him. Even if this water wasn't his mother it almost felt like being home again. 

He had to of been out there for a good while for Keith to come out and kick him in the foot.

“Come on, aren’t you afraid you’ll get pruny? Hunk says he found some fruit and is making a maybe-salad with it.”

Lance sighed and withdrew from the water standing back up.

“Yeah, let’s go check it out.”

--

The day had been going well, they trained strategized ate, but after dinner Shiro seemed to bit a little…off, depressed put down. His shoulders sagged a little more and his hair a limper than usual. Lance asked Keith about it. He seemed surprised but not too surprised.

“Yeah, ever since Ulaz saved us Shiro’s mind has just been on the coordinates. What’ll we find there? How did Shiro escape? Who are these mystery people? And Allura’s put us on a course to… you know.”

Right. Lance had sort of…chosen not to think about it. With everything else happening, training missing his mom having nightmares that tiny little conspiracy part of him sort of just decided he didn’t wanna touch it.

“Right, what do you think we’ll find there?”

Keith shrugged, “I dunno, but Hunk is definitely gonna compare it to food.”

Lance snorts, “Probably, I’ll even give you three GAC if is happens.”

 

He grumbled a bit pulling the GAC pre-prepped from his pocket and handed them to a pretty smug-looking Keith.

There was no point in getting angry over some lost gac he had plenty more from his escapade at the space mall (and he would never let pidge know) what really boiled at him was when Shiro said he and Keith were going to go on this super important mission that required finess, and keith was not finesse.

“Keith I love you dude, you’re great but Shiro listen, this isn’t a mission to stab first ask questions later this is a diplomatic mission.”

Keith opened his mouth to protest but Shiro beat him to it.

“Keith’s Lion is the fastest, it can get us in and out with the smallest margin of error.”

“We don’t need faster Shiro, this isn’t about the Lion’s speed factor. The fact of the matter is that we’re trying to make an Alliance right? We need people on this mission who can get these people to trust us!”

“Let me guess,” Pidge cut in, rolling their eyes and pushing up their glasses. “You’re the guy who can do that.”

His cheeks flushed at that, “No,” He refuted, “I’m not Pidge, you, in fact, could be a very very good option to get them on our side.”

“How’s that?”

“Cause of your cloaking tech, yeah it’s a bit rough but I’m sure these guys would adore being able to work with you to be able to get around Galra Patrol.”

“There’s no way I’m putting Pidge in that sort of danger.” Shiro denied, folding his arms and shaking his head. Fine. No Young people, he can work with that.

“And what about Hunk, huh? He’s a sweet guy, knows how to talk tech and fix things on the fly.”

“uh, Lance I don’t really-“

“Fine, okay. You don’t have to go if you don’t want to buddy, but there’s even Coran! He’s the oldest out of all of us with the most experience in-“

Lance.” Allura coldly cut in, and he cut back to look at her, and her face was wrinkled and her hands were balled up at her side, “Your leader has made a decision. While it is appreciated for you to make an effort to participate this is non-negotiable. Shiro and Keith will go, in the Red. Lion.

There weren’t many times in Lance’s life that he had felt so cut into and overlooked. The ocean was very singular in how much she loved him and his Land Family had other children to discipline. This sort of disappointment and vicious tone was red hot against his already fragile idea of his placement on the team.

“Sure. Fine.” Lance bit out, “Princess gets the final say, whatever.” And he pushed past Hunk who had tried to reach out to him in comfort.

He really wanted to go home. At least people listened to him there.

Lance has marched his way all the way to the hanger and grabbed the polish and rag that was just inside the door. Blue prodded at him and Lance reassured her that everything was fine, he smiled up at her and he started to hum, it was an old song from his mother. The tones mixing and sounding alien, bouncing off of Blue's metal figure in ways that reminded Lance of underwater caves. The song itself was was his mother sang to him. When he would find a dead sea turtle stuck in abandoned fishing nets, or when he had been frightened by a near blow when he had gone partially corporeal too close to a boat.

Blue joined him with her own melody and he started polishing off the scuffs on her paws. He had intended to be long gone from the hanger when Shiro and Keith came by to get going to the secret base but he got so caught up in getting one of the scuff off of Blue’s paw, when he heard two sets of footsteps behind him.

He didn’t stop polishing, fully expecting them to climb into red and head out. He heard Keith mumble something to Shiro which resulted in a sigh and a mumble back. Lance kept at it making his girl nice and shiny, refusing to give Keith anything to bounce off of.

“Lance.” Keith probed, “Look, I get it. I would’ve stood up for you, but you have to understand-“

“I don’t have to understand Keith, I finally think that I’m getting somewhere on this team but it turns out no, I’m not. No one wants-“

“Lance please.” Keith begs, his voice breaking a little bit and Lance sighs, closing his eyes counting to 10 and then turned around and before him was a very tense and a very nervous Keith, his eyebrows canted upward and he looked so earnest and sad and god Lance can’t really be mad at him because it wasn’t his fault.

“What is it?” He asked sullenly turning fully around to face him and crossed his arms waiting. Keith took a deep breath, and he took out his knife. The luxcite knife.

“Ulaz had a knife just like this one, remember?” Keith got closer, his voice low so Shiro wouldn’t hear. “And this is where he sent us. I know- I know I’m not the best pick for this mission but if I can find out even a little bit about where my mom came from-“

“Keith this is a terrible idea.”

“I know, but I have to know, Lance. Please.” And Keith’s eyes got so wide and pleading and Lance was taken aback for a second because Keith was asking permission. Ever since he got here no one has taken him seriously let alone asked him permission for anything, and Keith here trusted him enough to ask to break a rule that could ruin this alliance. But dammit…

“Could those eyes get any bigger?” Lance mutters and sighs, looking at the ground for a second and back up to Keith.

“Fine. Take your knife, but if they kill you for bringing a weapon I’ll bring you back and kill you again.”

Keith smiled, “Thanks Lance.” And gave him a quick hug before going to Red where Shiro was waiting. He looked at Lance and he gave a nod, looking proud and they both got in Red and began the start up sequence for liftoff. Lance left the hanger before it depressurized.

Lance had just gotten out of the Elevator when the power had gone out.

“Well that’s not good.”

Chapter Text

And it wasn’t good indeed. Lance yes wasn’t exactly human but that didn’t mean he could live without oxygen. He would have to be in the water and…not be human to last longer than his friends and they were all going crazy trying to fix it. Watching Hunk and Pidge try and figure out a way to stop the power drain was absolutely heartbreaking and all Lance could really do was sit on the floor and look out at the view screen hoping against hope that maybe just maybe he wasn’t going to die today.

Everyone was panicking trying to get things up and running. They were checking everything, and Lance hangs back.

“Have you checked the plasma relays?” He interjects, and Hunk, Allura, and Pidge who were crowded around a console stopped their mumbling and looked up. Pidge, in particular, responded first.

“This isn’t Star Trek you redshirt. If you’re not gonna suggest something useful- wait. The ship doesn’t have plasm relays but they!! Lance, you’re a Genius!” Before turning on her heel, “I’m going to the engine room, don’t follow me and don’t bother me!!” Then dashed off to the closet Jefferies Tube to climb their way to the engine room.

Lance shrugged and headed over to his seat looking out over at the viewscreen. If his nonsense helped even a little bit to get the life support back online who was he to argue? Hunk nervously sat beside him, twiddling his thumbs, “Lance, I know I haven’t said this before but I uh, started a little project in one of the greenhouses and I’m, really, really worried.”

Hunk’s shoulders were hunches and he was bowed over his knee’s, “Like, what if they suffocate? What if we suffocate? What if-“

“Buddy,” Lance cut in, reaching out and rubbing Hunk’s arm up and down, “If anyone can keep us alive, it’ll be you. You got the samples from the Pink Planet right?”

"Yeah, and…and the oxygen output was insane.” Hunk smiled, “I know better than to like, plant them back home but…it’s almost like having home here?”

Lance nodded, “Yeah, and Pidge’ll magic our way out of this I’m sure.”

“Still betting on fairy?”

“I think she’s a modern kind. Techo-Fey. Magic’s gotta evolve with the times somehow. How else would you get human slave if not to trick poor unsuspecting humans to sign over their rights of independence over a cracked screen?”

Hunk laughed, “As if Pidge would ever tell you that!”

Lance nodded and leaned back into his chair, “True, but if I know Pidge then the power will be back on any-“ And, like magic, the lights flickered back on and the vents flushed with fresh air. Lance took a deep relieved breath. “See? I knew they had our backs.”

Now all they had to do was wait for Shiro and Keith to return. Even with the power back on, Lance couldn’t shake the pit in his stomach. Even as the Red Lion came back he wasn’t feeling at ease.

Boy did he have to right no not feel at ease. Keith came back absolutely wrecked hanging off of Shiro and behind them, two Figures walked up behind and Lance stood up from his lounging position and hurried over to help Keith.

“God, what happened to you?” He muttered and he shot a glare over the shoulder at the other two goonies. “You know he’s the only red paladin we’ve GOT right?”

One of the aliens nodded their head, “We are aware. It was necessary.”

“Necessary.” Allura cut in, “Is creating an alliance in order to stop Zarkon, will you stand with us?”

The man who had spoken before with the square jaw and hair on his face, but not on his head nodded, his eyes stern. “We will, and we have a plan. We will need you to help us follow through on it.”

“... how soon?” Allura asked.

“Immediately.”

Lance was hardly paying attention at this point, trying to tend to Keith, setting him in a nearby seat and he went over to one of the compartments nearby, tapping the door open to get the first aid kit. Kolivan, the galra introduced himself was explaining the plan and saying that it required a material. Scaultrite or something. Lance took out some antiseptic and some cause, spraying some on and getting to the places that he could. Keith was trying to swat his hand away but Lance puffed his cheeks out and narrow his eyes. I dare you to try and stop me his glance said and Keith glared right back probably glaring something like I don’t need you to coddle me.

Lance sighed dramatically, interrupting the talk, “Coran. I think Keith’s too beat up. We might need a pod for this.”

Keith flushed, and he tried to get up, “I do NOT-“ but the fire that burned in his eyes suddenly got glassy and he starting listing to one side, Lance caught him. He sighed and glared at Kolivan.

“Whatever you did I hope it was worth it. Feel free to plan all you want I’m going to go put Keith in a pod- since he’s INJURED. Hunk?” Hunk turned to look at him startled, “Fill me in later, okay?”

“Yeah. Yeah of course.” Hunk agreed and Lance nodded.

“Coran, help me with this?”

“Of course, my boy!” And Coran picked up Keith and headed out.

Keith, being out of commission, wasn’t there for the lovely brief that followed after Lance and Coran carefully put him in the pod. Lance came back with Coran and Kolivan and the others were gathered in a room that had been dedicated to strategizing on long haul missions.

“Ah, Lance, Coran.” Allura greeted, “We were just about to start discussing the plan to get our Teludav project underway.

“The person we need most in order to get this plan underway is a genius engineer names Slav.” Coran started, and the other marmoran- marmorite? Pulled up schematics on the holographic projector table. “He is a prisoner in this larger prison facility.”

Pidge whistled low, “Wow, this place is dressed to the nines.”

Kolivan proceeded to describe the obstacles and worked with Pidge on how exactly to crack this egg.

Lance sat next to Hunk (who was conveniently near the back and away from Allura. Lance loved the princess like a sister but right now he wasn’t feeling too friendly) Hunk had a holo-pad out with notes scribbled on it and gently pushed it to Lance.

Hunk leans over and whispers to Lance, “When Keith is better, we’re gonna be on duty like- immediately to get some stuff from a creature called a weblum…justed wanted you to know.”

Lance smiled, “Thanks Hunk.” And turned to look over the mission.  Seeing Hunk’s notes sent nostalgic waves through Lance. It was like they were back in the Garrison, sharing notes in the back of the classroom to catch each other up on whoever needed to sleep in that day. This was more than theory on flight mechanics, so Lance had to pay a little more attention this time.

The target of infiltration was a HUGE space prison… they needed the mechanic that was being imprisoned there to help build a huge Teludav… no description of the mechanic? That wasn’t right. Lance wrote ‘what does Slav look like?’ and showed it to Hunk who shrugged helplessly. Lance looked to the front at Kolivan who was actively engaging pidge with techno-babble weighing his options. Allura looked over and saw Lance’s and she shook her head, effectively telling him that any comments or questions were not wanted. That…was rude. Very rude. And Lance sighed, leaning back in his seat and doodling on the holo pad. What was the point of him being here if Allura wasn’t going to let him engage?

By the end of the long de-brief, Lance discovered, through Pidge, that he was going to be the starting runner of the whole marathon. He and blue were going to hide in a blind spot and get a map-reading of the prison through blue’s sonic mapping device thing, which worked like a charm.

All the little rover’s shut down and everyone was able to sneak in without much of a problem. Except with the minus of there wasn’t one prisoner, there were two. Lance internally groaned to himself.

“Realistically a guy as smart as Slav would be shoved as deep into this place as possible.”

“But it could be a ruse.” Shiro mused, his hand cupping at his chin, “Lance, you go for the deeper prisoner and I’ll find out who the closer one is.”

Having zoned out a bit getting ready for the short walk to the closest cell he wasn’t entirely aware that Shiro had told him to go for the deeper into the prison. That didn’t add up.

“I’m sorry, what?”

Shiro looked Lane dead in the eye, “You go deeper into the prison, and see if the prisoner in that cell is Slav.” Lance would’ve claimed that Shiro was playing a prank but Shiro never joked on a mission.

“Right. But I don’t get it, why-“

“No time,” Shiro cut off, “Let’s get going before our cover gets blown.” And they separated.

Lance followed Pidge’s directions, evading the droids and keeping an eye peeled for any actual galra guards. Pidge got the attention of the guards and pulled them away to go check out some nonsense they had maneuvered and so Lance got into the room no problem. It was dark, and he couldn’t see well into the room, but it was spartan and there was a single small bed and a basin in it with a fountain above it. Lance wrinkled his nose at that bit and turned to pay more attention to the bed when he saw the room itself was empty, either meaning that Slav was out being tortured, or he was in the bed.

“Uh, Hello?” He said into the room, stage whispering hoping his voice carried. Apparently, it worked well enough because the blanket on the sheet jumped and startled scream came from it.

“Who are you!” Shouted the bird..centipede cat, thing?

“Uh, Lance, blue paladin of Voltron. Are you Slav?”

“Of COURSE I am. I’m Slav in just about 73% of all universes where I exist. Of course, there are the universes where I was never born, or the universe where I was born a little early or a little later which influence my name. There are also the universes where-“

“Uh, sorry not to interrupt or anything, but I’m kinda here to rescue you so that we can save the universe.”

Slav, who has paused his rambling, looked at Lance narrowed his eyes. “No thanks!” He said, flopping back into bed, pulling the pathetic gray cover over him.

“UHhh….” Lance trails off, but Slav had totally checked out, “Dude, I did not drag my baby blue all the way out here just for you to choose to stay a prisoner.”

“Blue?” Slav asked, poking his head, “As in the blue lion?”

“UH, YEAH? How you do you think we got here? Walking?”

Slav scoffed, “Of course not! There is no universe where we all get out of here if you had walked.”Slav hopped out of bed, “But the blue lion increases out chances by 80%! Let’s get going!”

And he hopped out of bed and…started making it? Or…making a sculpture from in the blanket?” Okay, maybe Slav’s been here a little too long. While Slav was busy Lance took a peek out of the door checking the vicinity, so far no guards which was good.

Lance opened up the comms, “I’ve got Slav, we can head out. Slav seems to be having a bit of a…moment to himself, how’re you guys doing?”

Silence, “Uh, guys?”

Still nothing.

Lance frowned and took a breath. Okay. This is okay, he could get through this. He could remember the way back just fine but if they couldn’t communicate getting back together was gonna be a bit of a problem.

“Perfect!” Slav called out, from his bed and clapped three pairs of his arms together, “Now we have a 2% increase of our escape plan succeeding! Let’s get outta here.” Lance can’t discern any pattern in the bedcovers, it just looked ridiculously crumpled now.

Lance gives the best smile he can, “Anything to help.” And they both ran out of the room, backtracking the way that Lance had initially came in.

They turned the corner and was about to exit the prisoner sect to an outer sector of the building. Slav made a squeaking sound and shuffled backward, “Let's go back!!” He shouted, turning to go back to the cell.

“What?” Lance practically shouted, “I thought that blanket was supposed to increase our chances by 2%!”

“It’s not the blanket!” Slav denies, “The blanket is perfect it’s…” He points, “THAT!”

Lance turned expecting to see a drone, a beast, the guy in charge but all that Lance saw was a tiny puddle in the middle of the corridor.

“The puddle?” Lance specifies, and Slav nods vigorously, “Step…around it?” Slav shook his head with just as much vigor. “Okay, why not?”

“There’s a 12% chance that I could slip!! There are even realities in which I drown because in those realities I never l learned to SWIM!” Slav’s eyes widened in desperation and clutched at Lance’s suit in desperation.

“Whoah, dude, hang on it’s not a problem. I can handle it.” He turned to face the tiny puddle, with little fanfare he reached out mentally to the small bit of water there was, heavily processed not a lot of personality but willing enough to let him do what he wanted, and he brought his hands together, then pulled them apart, also parting the water, dropping it over the sides of the bridge.

“I’m no Moses but I’d say that you’re problem is solv- AGF”

Slav had launched himself at Lance muttering to himself grabbing at his face forcing his mouth open to look at his teeth, “Avatar? No no…this can’t be one of those universes your not blue. And you would have…not a bender either at that matter you would be wearing.... Spark of light in the eyes with a…yesyesYES!! How lucky. In all of my days and analyzation, I never imagined I could be so lucky to be in THIS reality!! Yes. And an improvement of our chances!! Good lad.” Slav patted Lance’s cheek and then hopped off.

“…Okay then.” And followed after Slav who had skittered quickly across the bridge. Lance followed trying to figure out if Slav was this crazy, or if he had somehow caused this genius’s screws to come a little looser.

Lance thought they were home free but Slav, live before, gave a startled scream before hiding behind one of the bulkheads.

“What, what is it?” Lance looked around for danger no droids, guards-

“LOOK AT THOSE CRACKS.” Slav insisted, pointing at a panel that had been removed from the floor. “I can’t step on those!!”

Take a breath Lance, you need Slav alive and snapping on him and scaring him half to death won’t do anything. “What’s wrong with the cracks?”

Appalled, Slav gasped and then he gave Lance what he supposed was meant to be a scolding expression, “Oh I suppose no one cares about their Momma’s back anymore!”

“The… nursery rhyme?” Which Lance had never really paid attention to, due to the fact that his mom didn’t have a spine. And then tested at length with his land family when he found out about it, yielding no results.

“Nursery rhyme?” Slav questioned, an eyebrow raised in contempt, “I’m talking quantum realities here. Stepping on cracks exacerbates space-time temporal fissures! This exacerbation mathematically increases the probability that influences alternate realities to cause your mother to have a broken BACK.” Slav got so intense into this. As though Lance had failed his alternate mothers. Maybe he had? He couldn’t think about that now!

“Dude, all we have to do Is carefully walk around it. Like a game of hopscotch.”

HOPSCOTCH? Why would anyone ever make a game from that? DO you know how that influences the-“

“Slav, focus here. We’re not looking at Alternate realities man, we’re trying to focus on-“ But Slav just kept rambling and ranting. “Slav, buddy dude you’re going to get us-“

Before Lance completed the sentence a droid came running in, gun prepped to shoot. Lance let out a frustrated yell himself and shot the droids head off with his blaster. He waited a couple of more seconds to see if anybody was going to avenge their smoking pal, but when the coast was clear Lance rounded on Slav.

“Dude, I get your thing is worrying about alternate realities and using that awesome brainpower to somehow predict things in this reality but right now we need to get to the blue lion and the quickest way there is through this corridor use that brainpower of yours to avoid the crack, and we’re golden CAPISCE?”

“Pidge, I need a lock on my coordinance.” Shiro came in through the comms finally, I’ve found a creature, I’m pretty sure it’s not Slav- YUP- and I’m not entirely sure how to reach the docking bay from here.

“Shiro, unless you have a multiarmed anxiety-ridden train wreck I’m pretty sure you’ve just got an animal or something.”
YUP” Came the response, Lance sighed and looked over to Slav, who was now climbing up the walls away from Lance. Oh, come on.

PIDGE I NEED A DISTRACTION.” Shiro blasted through the comms, “The warden's found us and he is not happy.”

Right I’m on it!” Pidge assured over the comms.

“Slav, come on, we gotta go!”

“Using anti-gravity to float over the cracks would be much easier!” Slav insisted, “I did the math- It would increase our chances of success.”

Lance held up his hand for Slav to pause, “Pidge, how does turning off the gravity sound? Slav says it’ll work.”

“Oh my god that’s genius hold on to your hats, I’m turning off the gravity in three-two-“

And Lance started floating. It almost felt like being in the water again, without the mental connection or over-looming threat of explosions and death.

Without prompt, Slav wrapped himself around Lance and they jetted out of there. Of course, they came across a couple more sentries but Lance took care of them no problem, “My my!” Slav praised, “You’re an excellent sharpshooter.”

Lance grinned, “Thanks.”

When they met up with Shiro, he was holding a dog-like thing that was twice of Shiro’s height, its mouth was open letting its tongue flap as Shiro jetted along.

“You’ve got the wardens pet yupper, Laika!” Slav filled in, “He is not going to be happy about that.”

“Well, it’s not like I can kindly return it to the warden, who’s trying to kill us.”

YUP.” Lance snickered. Thank you, Laika for the valuable input.

Gravity back online in 3- 2- 1!” Pidge called out and everyone lanced safely but they still had the stretch of getting to the hanger where Blue was. Maybe there was a chance that they had managed to outrun the warden and Blue wasn’t being guarded.

The warden wasn’t there but there were quite a few droids that were VERY trigger happy. Raining down phaser bullets like it was monsoon season or something. Everyone had their shields out and Shiro was shouting orders. Pidge ran in, tasering whatever droids came into contact with their bayard. Shiro ran next using his robot arm fully powered up to chop them into pieces and Lance stood back with his blaster picking off the guys in Pidge and Shiro’s blind spots.

Lance took a quick look around for Slav but he didn’t immediately see him, which meant he was hiding or was caught and Lance was really really hoping that he was just hiding in some boxes or something.

Shiro took out the last droid, which Lance totally had, but it was fine.

Lance was catching his breath getting ready to haul everyone into Blue when the back doors burst open and there was the Warden ticked off and ready to throw hands (robot arms, this guy has ROBOT ARMS).

“You steal my Laika AND my prisoner? I don’t think so- you’re not going anywhere.” Pidge, of course, strikes first but her taze-grapple doesn’t really so much but piss him off more. He scowls pressing a button on his torso, and vials, that Lance hadn’t really taken note of, filled with corrupted quintessence begin to drain directly into his neck. The warden, already a beefcake, totally hulks out. He’s immune now to any of the electricity that Pidge’s grapple produces and easily throws Shiro across the room.

Desperately, Lance reached out mentally trying to sense if there was any water around to try and help them out but then Pidge got grabbed and the guy's hand which is covering their whole torso started to squeeze and Lance bee-lineed straight for him. Close combat wasn’t his strong suit but he had to do something, so he summoned his shield and bashed right into him, knocking the warden back a little. Before the warden could start to retaliate though there was the sound of an alarm, and Lance is felt the suction of depressurizing space and was out and away from the warden.

He looks up to see Slav at the control panel thumbs up at Lance. Slav starts the process of closing the door, but before he can get out of hanger one of the warden's robot arms catch Slav.

“NO!” Shiro shouts and Lance pulls out his blaster, popping up the sights.

“I’ve got this!” Lance assured, scoping in at his target. With Slav flailing so much he could only have one shot, he took a breath- and pulled the trigger.

The blast sunk into the warden's Robot arm, releasing Slav who then got sucked into space. Lance let out a shout of happiness and Shiro laughs, patting Lance on the back, “Way to go Lance. You did great!”

Lance flushed a little and laughed again, “Thanks, let's get inside I’m not sure how much longer Slav can hold his breath.”

Chapter Text

Everything had been gathered and now there was a short lull between getting the teludav built and launching the attack. Lance thought that he could get a few quiet days between all the training the saving and the lion driving.

But why did everything have to be so hard? Aside from the occasional bath or dip in a safe ocean he had had hardly any time to relax. And now his only respite was sleep and even that was betraying him.

When he closed his eyes he could hear the countdown of the airlock, the explosion that burned his back and he is unable to save Coran. The reality was only marginally between but why these nightmares? What purpose could they possibly serve?
Sometimes he dreamed about going home and the oceans just not... being there.

Lance had approached Coran as a last effort to understand what his mind was doing and asked him to scan for and druid magic.

“Nightmares like this can’t possibly be normal Coran.” Lance had pleaded and Coran examined the results in his machine.

“I’m sorry, but there’s just no sign druid magic. Your nightmares are 100% human-generated.” Well, maybe not quite completely human. Lance thanked Coran anyway and returned to his room.

The worst dream came after that realization. When his brain jam-packed everything together in a hellscape of torture and heartache.

This current dream had been a new spin on the airlock. He had been screaming for someone to help but no one was there. But then he saw the golden rays- his knight in red well, more like under armor but he was sweaty and handsome as ever this was the part where Keith would save Lance but things were drawing out. Something was definitely wrong when Keith looked far more distracted and scared. Lance tried to get his attention he only had a few ticks left. This would be the part where Keith would open the door and shoot the droid out into space, grab onto Keith's hands and get back into the safety of the castle but instead what happened was that Keith turned to the button and the droid, just as quick, stabbed Keith through the middle blood seeping into the fabric of his shirt. Lance tried to call out again his heart in his throat feeling the pull of the vacuum of space vaulting him out, there was no air was he supposed to hold his breath? Why couldn't he breathe? He had to Breathe!!

Lance gasped awake taking in a lungful of blessed air, even if it was recycled it was air and not a vacuum he was alive and that meant Keith was alive.

He was fine. It was fine.

He was sweating an uncomfortable amount and he really needed to just…relax. So he got up and headed to the pool, swimming trunks on and a towel to dry off with. Part of him was a little anxious and he stayed hyper-aware as it reached the floor.

The doors opened as quietly as ever and sometimes he wished they would make some kind of noise, like a woosh or some kind of hissing, maybe even a beep to signal that it’s arrived at the floor you selected but no. Everything had to be streamlined and efficient. Noise-canceling walls by design made for quiet rides in elevators.

He stepped out into the room and the lights were soft and setting a nice pattern on the floor. He smiled softly ad the familiar shapes and set his towel by the door. The room existed in a bi-gravitational state. A ladder on one end of the room to help with the transition but he wanted to try getting up there another way.

He had been experimenting with his influence over water, he could he found out, communicate with the different bodies of water like he could his mother as long as they were fairly neutral on the PH scale. Too basic or too acidic and just like any other person made of carbon wouldn’t do, but this water was just right. The remnants of a lost world. Still intact after all the millennia. It was old and soothing and sang songs to him that were foreign but beautiful. He reached up, opening himself and calling to the water and it reached back. This water was very curious about Lance the type of being that he was. Where he had come from. It was simple-minded due to how sectioned off it was from its main source but that didn’t matter. It wasn’t the vastness he needed, it was the closeness.

Soon the water engulfed Lanced and he flipped over so he could sit on the bottom of the pool, tucking his knees to his chest and allowing himself to flow just..a little. The edges of himself blurred with the water and he allowed his lungs to change just a little too so that he could keep the oxygen flowing into his body just fine.

He wasn’t sure how long he was there for, but he started doing some laps listening to the water excitedly share what stories they knew. Of the raining hot rocks, the different creatures in the depth of its being, Lance was really glad that this water was so much more than regular pool water.

The water shared how it had been taken by one of the holiest seas and blessed by a priest before being put in the pool, due to the fact he wasn’t Altean he couldn’t quite grasp some of the ideas but it was nice to know that he still had a connection of some sorts.

"Lance?" 

Lance at this point was laying on his back basking in the feeling and he blinked slowly, his mind just kind of, scattered and the water sorta gave him a push someone is here and Lance blinked a bit more trying to re-focus himself and look to see whoever was down there. But focusing was a little hard at the moment, but he tried his best to identify the person below him, finding any identifiers. The first familiar thing his brain latches onto was the hair. He would recognize that hair anywhere.

“Keith?” He asked squinting a bit as though that would help in any capacity.

“Yeah, Lance, what’re you doing here?”

Lance shrugged, “Just hanging out, what about you?”

Keith blinked, then looked down at himself, and was wearing his training gear, it didn’t look sweaty so he was probably heading to training, training meant he had to face the droids and his breath caught, in response, Keith furrowed his brows and he looked for the ladder walking. He really wanted to hide at the bottom of the pool and pretend he wasn’t having such a ridiculous reaction to his dream. Instead, he watched Keith climb the ladder and carefully turn himself with the gravity.

He walked along the edge of the pool and sat close to Lance on the edge,  he took his shoes off and then slipping his socks off stuffed them in his shoes and he took a deep breath and dipped his feet into the pool. Lance honestly wanted to stay in the water but Keith really looked like he needed up close and personal attention.

So Lance pulled himself up onto the edge of the pool and he grunted as Gravity pulled at him, reminding him that being on Land wasn’t his normal habitat. “So…what’s up?” Lance hedged and Keith shrugged.

“I don’t know. I, I kept thinking about how…I was floating in space with Alura. We both thought that somehow we were the cause of Zarkon…I’ve come close to dying before but- but not like that.” Keith’s fingers scratched at the tile as he looked at the pool. Lance understood. Totally 100%.

Lance took a deep breath and looked over at Keith, “I know what you thought. And you did what you thought was best. But…but that was stupid selfish, Keith.” His voice wasn’t as mad as he wanted it to be. He sounded tired. How many months had it been and he was already so done with everything? In the ocean, nothing moved nearly this fast, or this deadly. Sure, sharks were a thing but they weren’t…airlocks about to bust you out into the void of space, or people trained to kill you on sight.

“Yeah.” Keith agreed, “I was.”

That was unexpected, he looked over at Keith and he just looked so sad, and beaten down. He was looking at the water his eyes dull with malformed acceptable his shoulders slack. Open and Vulnerable. Lance didn’t like that look on him. At all. So Lance did the first thing that came to mind- he jumped back into the pool and dragged Keith with him.

This turned into an unwinnable game of splash-back. Keith shouted somet hing and Lance shouted things back. Making largers waves every once in a while and Keith shouted, 'No using water magic!' Lance only laughed.

"You're on my turf now! Get used to it!" Which made Keith tackle Lance and he quickly slipped from Keith's grip, darting further away and popped his head above the water, "That's a foul Kogane!" 

Lance wasn’t sure who yielded, cause it definitely wasn’t him, but when the water settled Keith got serious again. He sighed really deep and he leaned back to float and look up at the ceiling.

“Ever since I realized I was part galra….I haven’t felt like myself. I’m not human. I’m not Galra. I’m this…thing in between.”

Lance blanched at that. Confidant Keith, Shy Keith...insecure Keith, there were so many facets to him and Lance wanted to know so so much more about him and understand Keith. and he reached out, touching Keith's shoulder tugging him back up to an upright position.

“Dude. You’re not- a thing. What you’re going through? Perfectly normal. I had to go from learning Spanish to English just so I could attend the Garrison, so I know what that feels like.” And he knew what it felt like from going to one thing you knew you were to a whole other thing. Having your own mother basically, push you out from the metaphorical nest and having to learn to walk on land was hard. But he couldn’t say that. Making this about him wasn’t fair.

“And it’s not like you’re not you anymore. You’ve just got more to discover. Life tends to be like that.”

Keith rolled his eyes, “Great another soul search, just what I always wanted.”

Lance narrowed his eyes at Keith, “I’m sorry am I supposed to throw a pity party for you?”

Keith took a long-suffering sigh, “And here I was hoping we could break out the blankets and icecream.”

Lance grinned, leaning back to float, “Nah. I’d just rather be in the pool, letting the water wash away my sorrows.”

Keith snorts, and nudges at Lance, in response Lance lifts his head getting his ears above the waterline. “Hm?”

“Wanna race?”

Lance let the grin creep on his face. "Uh, Hell yeah!"

“Looser has to clean the cryo pods with Coran.” Keith immediately started swimming but Lance wasn’t too mad about it, he could always get a little push from the pool.

Chapter Text

The plan they had set sure had its flaws but they had no way to know what would have happened and who they would have lost. Blade members had died in the attack and a few others but worst of all, Shiro had disappeared, and they needed a new black paladin. Lance didn’t wanna try to get into the Lion. Couldn’t Allura just…. Sense some alien out in the distance, like a lottery? Lance had been chosen by blue. The water based Lion. It’s who he is.

Most likely it’ll be Keith. Keith was, is? Shiro’s most trusted after all. A handing down of the torch. Lance could have a chance. Shiro had let Lance take the lead in saving Slav after all. But Keith did have the advantage of having piloted Black before. To Save Shiro. So, if Keith piloted Black, who would switch Lions? Going on an escapade with a help wanted sign wasn’t exactly wise, or even possible.

Hunk could never handle Red even on his best and most patient days, and Pidge would rather die than leave her precious tech enhanced Lion. And if the Lions were swayed at all by their previous paladins Lance didn’t stand a chance there was more time between Keith and Shiro, more trust. It was human nature. Which leaves Lance. Always Lance.

So, Lance again he was left with the conclusion that Lance will probably switch to Red. He sighed looking up at the ceiling of his room, heart already aching with the loss. He didn’t want things to change. Of all the things that had changed he had finally found a sense of stability, but he was already losing it.

Lance sat up, the lights were dimmed having transitioned to night time.

He goes to sit with blue his footsteps echoing throughout the corridors and his own breathing to keep him company on the way down. When he gets to the hanger there’s blue sitting way up high, and she nudges softly at his mind. He nudges back and climbs up into her hatch. They both seem to know that their time might be coming to an end, so for the rest of the night, they just sit in each other’s company. Whispering songs to each other in soothing ripples. They both worried. For what was to come, for Shiro. For this whole mission, for his mom, Altea lost and almost forgotten, and Lance’s human family that he aches so much to be with again.

Blue comforts him, he can be strong no matter what change would come. Water was flexible after all. It could adjust no matter the circumstance. Blue was so sure of this, Lance almost believed her. It was really close.

Lance went to his pile of blankets in the back of the cockpit and set up one more night before having everything shift again.

As he closed his eyes he listened to Blue sing to him and as he drifted for a moment Lance thought he heard more than just Blue singing.

--

Morning came too soon. Lance opened his eyes and he could hear everyone outside, mingling voices and footsteps. Lance sat up, his bones creaking and popping as he stretched, picking up his blankets and folding the blankets neatly to be carried out later when the final decision was made.

He slapped on a smile and headed out of blue.

Hunk blinked and frowned, furrowing his brows at Lance, “Sleep in Blue again?”

Lance shrugged one shoulder, “Wanted to have one last night with her just in case; can’t leave my gal hanging.”

Allura clears her throat, “Each of us will enter the black for a time, and whoever is the right fit the Black Lion will presumably activate for.”

Pidge shifted on her feet, “Allura? What if- what if NO ONE is the right fit?”

The air froze, and Allura’s eyes widened a bit in panic before relaxing, “It will be fine. If it comes to that, then I’m sure the black lion will lead us to the next Paladin.”

Lance stared at an interesting scuff on the ground. Sort of praying that Maybe Pidge or Hunk WOULD be the new black Paladin.

Pidge couldn’t really reach the pedals and Hunk immediately let the power go to his head by asking Lance to make him a sandwich. “Maybe if you ask nicely, I’ll do it!” He teased when Hunk came out, and he bumped into Lance.

“I’d like to see how YOU do under the awesome powers of the Black Lion.”

But Allura was next, and everyone held their breath. Allura was their Princess, what better way to increase her lineage than being the black paladin? If she got the position, Lance could stay with blue. Nothing would have to change too badly.

But she wasn’t. She came out her head held high but her mouth tight with acceptance. Lance wanted to hug her. After everything that happened having the black lion basically say she doesn’t have the stuff to be the official leader of Voltron? That had to of been a kick below the belt. Coran went next, spent 30 seconds in the cockpit and quickly made his exit. It was Lance’s turn now.

He took a small breath and put on a smile, swaggering into the Black Lion. “Hello Handsome, how’re you doing?”

No answer. “That’s alright.” He murmured sitting into the cockpit as well, placing his hands on the levers, “I’d be quiet too. Under the circumstances.”  He sat in the chair, which used to be Shiro’s seat. And boy was it a seat to fill.

Nothing, “I get it. You miss Shiro, not a lot of time to mourn. Zarkon kinda went bat-nuts insane so you wanna make sure you choose wisely and… stuff.” Great Lance, what a way to talk up the lion by mentioning it’s terrible choice in siding with a maniac. He cleared his throat. “But it’s okay. You can sense the leader-ness in people, right? I’m sure you have nothing to worry about.” Still nothing. How many minutes had it been? Maybe just a couple. “I was able to save Slav you know, saved a planet by shoeing a hungry sea serpent from the mermaid filled waters. I can uh, safely say I’ve got a lot of living experience?” Still nothing. What more could be possibly said?

“I just…wanna go home, Black.” He mumbles, “I miss my Mom. I want the Galra to stop hurting people, I want to protect my space family. Including Keith. If, if you let me pilot you I feel like we can all get what we want. I’ll help end the war, find Shiro. Everyone wins.”

The silence weighed on Lance, heavy like being deep in the ocean. He wasn’t welcome anymore. Nothing he had said mattered.

“Right.” He muttered, standing up and putting on a smile that wasn’t quite as bright as before and headed out. “Message loud and clear.” He announced, to the others, and there was Keith so obviously Black’s choice, doing the stereotypical ‘I don’t want the position’ thing, but being the hero anyway.

“You’re up, man,” Lance announced and held out his hand to Keith, who was looking at the ground with determination. “Keith,” Lance stressed.

“I don’t want to replace him,” Keith muttered, his shoulders hunching.  Oh. Lance took every thread of insecurity and homesickness and shoved it in the way back of his mind. It wasn’t time to be annoying Lance, it was time to be supportive Lance. Supporting was something he was good at, Hunk maybe was just as good but Keith didn’t know Hunk as well, so it was up to him.

Lance reached out and placed a hand on Keith’s shoulder.

“You won’t be replacing him.” He assured, “We’ll find Shiro. This isn’t just about you ya know, Mullet.” Lance teased, “We’re a team, and a team needs a leader, and if that leader is you, I’ll do everything in my power to make this work.”

At first Lance wasn’t sure if he had gotten through, but eventually, he nodded and stood up straighter, heading to the Black Lion, not just a minute (dobash?) into entering black his eyes lit up, and a roar echoed throughout the hanger.

--

Lance was under no illusion that Red was nothing like Blue. Blue was compassionate, liked him spending personal time, appreciated new paint jobs and personal buffing sessions. Blue was okay with Lance sleeping in her cockpit.

Red was harsher, red was difficult, and even the mind bond between the two was strained. Red wasn’t that accepting of the change. Never going as far as pushing Lance away but never really reached out to Lance to meet halfway. Red seemingly didn’t want anything to do with Lance. When Lance had brought in his blankets from Blue to stash in the back of Red’s cockpit, Red had growled so loudly Lance felt mentally sunburned and had a migraine for the rest of the day. Okay. Got it, message received. Removing his sleeping supplies from rest and nursing his migraine in the darkness of his room.

Red reacted similarly negative when he had attempted to buff out some dents and clean up some scratches in an attempt to pamper and bond with Red. While it wasn’t as violent as the blanket incident, Lance could only stand the mental grumbling for maybe just short of an hour before he had to leave again, physically and mentally parched.

The differences between Red and Blue were only pilling up. Seeing Allura getting along so well with Blue indifference to Lance’s shaky relationship with Red made him really miss Blue, the time they spent together and how easily they clicked.

He sighed and drank some water before getting up from the couch in the common room to head to Blue’s hangar. If he could just get some respite from Red’s harshness by being with Blue’s soothing wash of affection, he could definitely handle more of Red’s aloof behavior, but when he reached her hangar Blue’s eyes were dark.

There was no affection tickling at the back of his mind and he couldn’t even hear the faint songs of the ocean.

“Blue?” He asked softly into the echoey chamber but there was nothing. Lance could only feel the licking heat of Red in the back of his mind but he didn’t want heat. He wanted cool rain and the soft tides of the ocean, even mentally.

“…Blue?” He reached out to her paw, placing a hand on her hoping just a little that the physical touch would spark something in his lovely lady, but again there was silence- a gaping hole where blue had once curled up gently in his mind. Where Red refused to even venture. Lance wasn’t sure if he could stand Red venturing that far. Lance wouldn’t want to swim too close to the sun.

Lance bowed his head, taking deep shuddering breaths. When he opened his eyes, there were drips on blue’s paw. Lance would have to talk to Hunk about fixing the leaky pipes.

--

Everything got so much worse with Red. It was one thing to be stubborn and aloof in the castle of Lion’s it is a totally other situation when Red was being this way in the middle of a space battle! Lance’s head was throbbing. They were getting tossed around like a salad and they needed to form Voltron now. But red wasn’t having it. Red was pulling against the stick, pulling away every time he tried to get red close he burned.

“Red.” He stressed, trying to get into formation with the rest of the team, but it was like red was fighting his OWN battle and refused to try and help Lance. Or maybe it was just apathy.

“What’s going on Lance?” Keith asked, “We need to form Voltron NOW.”

“Dude I’m getting there as fast as I can!” He shouted over the come, and YANKED on the controls, getting closer to the others.

“Red.” He pleaded to try to reach for that feeling of Voltron, the melding with the others but Red was a BARRIER of fire and heat. Mentally preventing him from reaching the precipice, “RED!” he shouted, his head pounding, tears burning in the corners of his eyes, and finally finally Red allowed him through to reach the others and form Voltron with the others and help the universe like intended. Red didn’t do this gladly. Mentally coiled for a quick attack.

The temptation was so strong to reach to blue to ask for comfort but even relaxing a tiny bit Red growled, threatening something ominous. Would Red force a Voltron separation? He couldn’t risk it. They had a job to do.

The robo beast they were facing was large and in charge; utilizing some kind of electric quintessence. One move after the next wasn’t doing anything and the roaring in Lace’s head and ears was starting to wear on his concentration. He could feel the rivulets of sweat down his neck and his hands were aching with how hard he was holding onto the controls.

Out of the corner of his eye, he saw the beast draw a weapon no one else saw. With a shout, he forced Red in between the blast. There’s a shock, pain- shouting- then darkness.

Chapter Text

Lance woke up on a medical bed, a monitor attached to his forehead. Coran was the only one there, and where normally he was relaxed wrinkles were furrowed into his brow at he looked over something. Maybe Lance’s life readings? Lance took a deeper intake of breath and Coran looked over, some of the wrinkles relaxing away.

“How’re you feeling?” He asks softly and Lance sat up slowly, “Easy there, easy.” Coran walked over to help Lance sit up the rest of the way, “You had a powerful electrical current run through your noggin. Had to use a cortical monitor to track the damage, couldn’t risk the pod mucking anything up. You’re really lucky you are. Anyone else and their brain would’ve fried.”

Coran’s expression turned pensive, “I’m hesitant to ask this Lance, you’re like a son to me. And you’re from earth, and earthlings are human from what I can tell and the pod treats you as a human but what I can’t understand...is why when that electricity hit you, it didn’t affect you like it would a human. By all accounts you should be brain dead, or have scarring at the very least.”

Lance looked at his hands, his head fuzzy, and he couldn’t quite feel his other limbs. “Can you keep a secret?” He asks softly. Not looking up from the blanket.

“Of course, Lance.” Coran reached out, placing a steady hand to Lance’s shoulder. "As our honorary Medical officer I keep full confidentiality!"

That was a comforting thought to say the least, so Lance took a deep breath, and told Coran about his mother. He murmured about the non-existence, and then meeting his mother and becoming him. Telling him about the first time he felt rain, when he first could talk to the whales. He told Coran about taking human form. Becoming Lance to a family in Cuba.

When Lance finished at least that part of his tale Coran patted him on the shoulder smiling kindly, his eyes scrunched in that way that reminded Lance of his Dad back in cuba when he was proud of Lance for doing something good, “Thank you for telling me. If you need anyone to talk to-”

“I know,” Lance interrupted. “Thanks, Coran.”

“Anytime.”

--

“You need to let Red know about your… situation Lance. Your quintessence is inherently aqua based, and red is fire. You two need to come to an understanding, all cards on the table. I’m sure if you’re as transparent as possible Red’ll understand.”

That’s what Coran said, but what Coran didn’t understand is Lance didn’t want to. He didn’t want to face Red again. He wanted to curl up on his bed and play Kill Bot Phantasm I or help Coran clean the pods, or maybe learn a whole different language with Pidge. Train with Keith. ANYTHING but face the lion he was certain hated him the most.

He wanted Blue back. He wanted to share whale songs with her and float in that nice mental space that reminded him of water. He didn’t want to feel thirsty or force his shape to hold together just a couple of minutes of being in the chair of Red's control, or face the heat and fire and burning Red inherently was.

Why did he ever leave home?

His feet walked Lance to the hangar anyway. It didn’t matter what he wanted, he had to try. For the universe, for Voltron, or at the very least for Coran.

When Lance got to the hangar Red’s eyes were dark, just like Blue’s were before. Lance took a breath, looking up at red, waiting for any signal.

Lance waited. And waited. Was Red REALLY going to force him to make the first move?

“Why don’t you like me?” He found himself asking to the sleeping Lion. It was a whisper, and the words made him feel numb, “I’m not Keith.” He thought about the garrison, his disappointment from not getting fighter class, but the air was different from the ocean. How could anyone expect him to know how hard to pull a lever to make an earthly vessel move in the air?

The only reason you’re here is because the best in this class dropped out.

Which was fine. Because Keith left, giving lance the opportunity to become more. Water had the tendency to fill empty spaces to fit whatever shape happened to be left behind. This time was different. Black had chosen Keith. Leaving Lance to take up his place again. Lance had come to that conculsion himself he had accepted and made his peice with it so why was it so hard to let it go? Is that all Lance would ever be? Letting go of his own feelings to fit the shape that people need him to be? 

Water could fill any space possible, but if that place was a furnace all water does is evaporate.

“We’re stuck with each other.” Lance mutters, crouching down to hug his knee’s, pressing his forehead against his legs, “So you just have to put up with me until Keith comes back.” The words felt phony as soon as he said them. He felt empty, and alone.

There was a nudge. Lance didn’t react, and the nudge came again. Mentally it felt like a cat nosing at your hand for attention but Lance was tired of trying. Everything he had given to Red, he had refused. What point was there to reach again if he was only going to get burned.

Water. Red hissed, softly, and distastefully and Lance nodded, apathy washing over him like an unwelcome net, trapping him preventing him from wanting to get up and leave, from saying anything in his own defense.

Your thoughts? Red nudged. And Lance wanted to laugh, but all that came out was a huff. After all this time Red wanted to hear his thoughts? See his memories? Oh sure. He would give them all right, vindictiveness boiling away. He pushed memories of oil slick bursting into flames on his mother’s surface. The aching pain of sunburns on his fresh skin when he first had human form. The anguish the whales sang of brother and sister being hunted and used to create oil for flame and food.

He pushed memories of inhabitable ocean depths with burning lava making the water boil at every point it touched.

Red startled at the onslaught, his presence receding, but returning more tempered. Less volatile and roiling like before. Red was almost…soft as he roamed around in Lance’s memories searching and feeling who he is. Like taking all the evidence at a tribunal before deciding the sentence.

He remembered feeling so angry at humanity for hunting the fish he used to play with, capturing the dolphins he would laugh with. The loss and blood spilled for gluttonous reasons. He wanted to flood them all. His own mother had given him the form of the people he had hated the most and guided him to people to raise him. The sun that iched and burned the fires that braised and burned and the literal trash that laid everywhere. Lance was a total demon at first to his Land family. The air was difficult to adjust to. Walking was a trip but mostly it was the fire and heat he hated the most. And Cuba was hot all the time.

He expected Red to leave again. Leave Lance empty, and all Lance could hope for was an apathetic working relationship but instead Red shared his OWN thoughts to lance, memories at the forefront for Lance to examine.

This mental world was similar to Blue’s and it felt like being in two places at once, he could feel his feet on the ground but at the same time he floated in the mindscape shared between paladin and Lion, and Red stood before him, physical, and animal like. Looking at him and on his four legs headed over, and thudded Lance in the stomach with his head.

The touch sent a gentle stream of memories to Lance, the warmth of a fire in the middle of a cool night, an Altean, Alfor, adamantly sharing stories of the stars with the other paladins. Candlelight in cluttered studies to light the way.

Warm food being cooked and shared.

The feeling of affection towards one another. The heat of battle and rage for the right to live and protect.

The red rage of..protection and indignation for- for Lance.

‘A child of water and my quintessence of fire are hard to connect.’ Red clearly spoke and conveyed. Starring up at Lance, ‘My Former paladin’s had a fire in them that allowed easy connection. Alfor was adamant and a dreamer and Keith threw himself at every obstacle. We must work together. We have no other choice. But that does not lessen my acceptance. Let us show them how powerful fire and water can be together.”

He felt like he felt he could cry; his throat was thick and eyes watery he sniffled as he nodded. “Okay.”

--

Just because he red were on better terms, didn’t mean all of the problems were fixed. Shiro had been found and that threw the last month or so into total chaos. Lance thought that Keith would want Red back. Black didn’t seem to trust Shiro anymore which was weird. In the end, Shiro went back into the black Lion due to duress of the team and Keith left for the blade of Marmora. Which was fine. Keith needed to do his own thing, explore his own culture…maybe find his mom. They could talk via space e-mail. It was fine. Really.

Lotor and Allura were flirting and building ships that Lance couldn’t even begin to understand, he could barely convince the princes to stay an evening away to play a game of monsters and mana. Slowly surely it felt the whole ship expect the lions and the mice, were drifting out of his reach.

He spent most of his time in the pool, his room, or with red. There wasn’t a lot of battling to do just yet and it was a lot of performance. Which was hecking fun if you asked him he got a hoot and a half out of it and honestly being around so many people gave him a burst of energy. (which totally made him an extrovert which did NOT help his situation back at the castle).

Of course, he busied himself with doing laps keeping in shape, taking care of Kaltenecker, making appearances at the various food times. He sat in bed with the communications pad that pidge had made for him, “It also connects to the data streams of the castle and if I so choose, the stuff on my laptop. Ask for something if you need it okay, otherwise have fun.”

Not that it was a lot of fun it was a LOT of science and magic mumbo jumbo that Lance had no hope of understanding. There were some instructional videos that were partially corrupted but there WAS a cache of Altean movies and literature. Not that he understood a word of it. Which then lead to Lance going to the holodeck and found that for some reason the SAFTEY WAS OFF.

He had been learning animals and stuff all good and nice (having of course absorbed some concepts of a dialect or two from the pool) but this program was brutal and the creature a Flexturgen or something like that chased Lance around the room and managed to get a hit on him knocking him into the wall and bruising some of his ribs. Lance had shut off the program with the emergency override.

He was so tired of things on this ship trying to kill him.

“Hunk buddy.” Lance begged at supper, “Please tell me that fixing the holodeck is on the docket to get fixed up because if I have to get bruised ribs for getting the word Flex-tur-gen wrong I don’t think I’m gonna make it.”

“Ahm,” Coran cleared his throat, “It’s actually Flix-tur-gin Lance, but good effort!”

Lance rolled his eyes but nodded, “Right right, Hunk? Buddy?”

Hunk, who had started talking with Pidge about something while Lance was talking stopped and looked over at Lance, “Sorry Lance, I’ll put it on the to-do list but that’s a pretty long list as it is and…”

“It’s okay,” Lance assured even though that tiny part of him screamed that NO it was not okay, he still smiled, “I’ll just put my armor on next time. It’s the most fun I’ve had in a while.”

Hunk grinned and busted out a laugh and everyone started talking amongst themselves. Lance poked his goo around on his plate.

With not much to do and not really feeling like swimming, he headed for the Arboretum. It had been months since Hunk has started his pet project, they had gathered different plants and things to grow. Hunk had managed to start a garden that he would occasionally use to supply himself in the kitchen.

Mostly the arboretum was a temperate climate to attempt to upkeep as much life as possible. Hunk was looking to make expansions that allowed for other forms of plants to survive. Like plants that’s need drier climates or those that require specific PH soil balances.

Lance took a moment to appreciate some color-changing flowers as he gently breaths on them. Enjoying the fluctuations from yellow to blue.

“Oh, Hey!” Hunk greets, now wearing his gardening gear, a watering can in one hand and another a bucket full of..well Lance couldn’t really see what was in there but he was sure it was something to take care of the plants.

“Thought you would be pulling some laps at the pool.”

Lance shrugs, “Wasn’t really in a swimming mood. I would train but training with the droid isn’t really fun.”

Hunk nodded, and watered some of the plants, reaching out and they reach back. He walked over to one plant and took out what looked to be a dead fish, and threw it up into the air, and one of the tree-looking things snatched it out of the air.

“Nice catch,” Lance muttered and Hunk grinned.

“She’s not even all grown up yet!” And they moved deeper into the Arboretum.

“So has Keith gotten back to you from all the messages you’ve been sending him?” Right. Keith. That’s who he’s been meaning to not think about. Thank you very much Hunk.

“Nah.” Lance shrugs, taking the watering can and lightly watering the soils in the garden section. He had done at least this bit a few times before. “I don’t really blame him. He left in such a hurry, wanting to learn more about being Galra, Shiro having come back. Neither one of them wanting to usurp the other when it came to Black. It’s all a mess. He’s probably just figuring it out.”

Hunk gave Lance a long look. “What?” Lance said, handing back the can, “I’m fine.

“Sure, sure.” Hunk placated, “Just don’t want you isolating yourself it all.  We don’t want a repeat of Earth History.”

“I plan to flood China one time and you never let it go!”

“Your Mom gave you a human body to empathize with us, not to destroy us. Besides, think of the little kids.”

“Yeah yeah. That’s my mantra got it.” Hunk smiled and patted Lance on the shoulder, “Come on, I’ve got a few more plants to feed.