Summary: Shiro has been brought back and now, there is an extra paladin. No one knows what to do about it and who should stay behind. Because of this, Lance is left questioning his role and importance in the team, wondering if he will be the one left behind.
The black lion condensed, and Keith watched as Red, formed the arm. Lance was still trying to get the hang of the lion and he was glad he could be in synch with it. All he had been doing as of late was letting his team down. Especially since Shiro came back.
It was as if he made even more mistakes than before. For some reason the only time he didn’t make a mistake was when he was forming Voltron. And that may have just been because Red appreciated Keith enough to help him out by forming the right piece.
“Disband!” Again the lion followed Keith’s order, and Lance sighed. Even when he had been in Blue, he had made a mess of things. Lance had never really been a leg kind of guy. He wasn’t sturdy, didn’t hold the team together very well, and above all, he wasn’t dependable. Being the arm was far more his style, but he feared he may have to give it up soon.
The team headed into their holding rooms and Lance waited until the others were on the bridge. He then walked over to the blue lion’s holding. “Hey buddy.” He reached his hand out, but Blue kept silent. “Look, I know I’m not your paladin anymore, but I was hoping I could at least talk to you.” At this, Blue leaned down, head nuzzling into Lance’s palm. Lance smiled and looked up at the big lion, unaware that the others on the bridge were now watching him through the security cameras they had installed.
“What is he doing?” Allura asked, getting ready to stomp down to her lion and drag him away, but Pidge put her arm out and stopped her.
“Wait, I think he just wants to talk to Blue.” Allura stepped back and huffed, annoyed that another paladin would want to talk to her lion. Keith, Shiro, and Pidge watched intently, listening to what Lance had to say.
“I’m not really sure what to do Blue.” The lion purred into his hand. “Maybe I’m just not good enough for this.”
The lion pulled back and snapped at him, as though telling him he was wrong, and Lance replied as though he understood the creature.
“Right, but everyone is doing wonderful. And now that Shiro is back, Keith will go back to Red. Allura is most definitely your rightful paladin, so where does that leave me?” Pidge wanted to go in there and tell him off, tell him that he was being an idiot. However, Keith held her back.
“No Pidge. He needs to get this out.”
“On top of that,” Lance continued, “everyone else has their uses. I don’t. I mean Pidge is really good at anything nerdy. Coran knows how to run the castle, and Allura is necessary to run the castle. Hunk is a fantastic cook and Shiro is a wonderful leader. Keith, I don’t really know exactly what his purpose is.” Lance had sat down, Blue laying down, head in Lance’s lap.
“That little-” Keith was getting ready to march in there when Lance spoke again.
“However, Keith is better than me, in every way. So what does that leave me with?” Blue made a sound similar to a whimper and a whine. “Exactly. Nothing.” Blue whined again and Lance stood up. “No buddy. I honestly don’t know.”
Everyone was watching with curiosity. “He can actually understand them?” Allura was the one who posed the question, and everyone exchanged glances. They didn’t know, and honestly, none of them could actually understand them like they were speaking their language to them. They turned back to the conversation.
“I don’t know if I’m going to leave yet. I haven’t decided, it’s not exactly like I have anywhere to go. At least, not where I would actually be wanted.” Blue snapped again. “Maybe by you. But what about the others?”
Blue looked around and Lance did as well, seeing Red not too far from them. “Oh come on, Red would prefer Keith, we all know that.”
Snapping once again, teeth clanging, Blue gently gripped Lance’s shirt and pulled him over to Red. Lance nodded and slowly put his hand out to Red, waiting for the lion to bite his hand off. Instead, Red nuzzled him, a lot like the blue lion had done at first. Red whined, and again Lance responded as though he knew exactly what the lion was saying. “Yeah huh. You so would.”
Red snapped, and everyone looked at each other. “Do you think he can understand all of them or just-”
“Yellow did not say that Red! I heard what he said to you.” They all looked back at the screen, confused when they saw all five lions there, surrounding Lance. He turned to Hunk’s lion and tapped the metal nose. “Bad boy. You can’t say those words even if Red was wrong about what you called-”
“That answers that question.” Pidge looked up at the screen they were watching to see Lance laughing. He hadn’t laughed really since Shiro came back and Pidge wondered if he had held a grudge. Frowning, the younger girl walked to the bridge, no one wanting to stop her.
Lance looked up to see Pidge standing there, a worried look on her face. “Oh, hey Pidge. What’s up?” His smile changed, and Pidge could tell it wasn’t as real as the one he’d originally had before.
“I just wanted to come and see how you were doing.”
“I’m good, just talking to the lions.”
Pidge took in a breath before asking the question everyone on the bridge wanted to know. “Can you actually understand them?”
“Well yeah. Aren’t we supposed to? Wasn’t that part of basic training?”
“But you can actually understand them like they are speaking English to you.”
Lance just nodded before getting up. “Look, I’m gonna go rest, I didn’t really have the best training session today. I did almost blow you up after all.” He smiled sadly before leaving her alone. Everyone had left the bridge after that revelation, to go and think about it.
When he got to his room, Lance took a shower and then changed into his night-clothes. He put his headphones on before lying down. Lance turned to face the wall, knowing that no one would just walk in without knocking first. Not that he could hear the knocks anyway.
He thought about what Keith said. “It will all work itself out, don’t worry about it.” Or something. Contrary to popular belief, he liked to have a plan. He liked to know exactly how things were going down, because then, even if things got messed up, he could at least have some sense of direction. What Keith had said was not useful at all. It didn’t encourage him in any way. In fact, it wasn’t really an answer to the question that had been looping in Lance’s mind. It may have even added more.
Lance groaned as he realized something was shaking him. He turned away from the wall to see Keith standing there. “Lance! I’ve been yelling at you through the wall for like ten minutes!”
Lance rolled his eyes. They always did that. Yelled through their shared wall at the other. “What do you want?”
“I want to know what’s wrong with you.” Somehow, Lance had managed to take his headphones off without realizing it, and he watched as they dropped to his bed.
“Nothing is wrong.”
“That is bullshit and you know it. Now tell me.”
“What did you really think when I came to you a few days ago, after Shiro got back?”
Keith frowned in confusion. “You mean about you leaving the team?” When Lance nodded, Keith’s frown deepened. “I don’t think you should. I think if anyone should leave it’s me-”
Lance snapped his head up and glared at Keith. “No. You have more you can offer this team than I do.”
“Lance. Man, come on. I can’t adapt easily to situations like you can. I can’t have a good joke at any time. All I can do well is brood.”
“No disagreement here.”
Keith scoffed before continuing. “My point is, you have strengths that keep us all together. If you left the team would fall apart. Look at what you did for me. I never would have gone into the black lion if it wasn’t for you. I never would have even come this far if not for you. And Pidge sees you as an older brother. How do you think she would feel if another of her older brothers just left? This time on purpose. And Hunk, you and him have a good little joking brother ship. You two have a seemingly unending amount of tricks that go back and forth with each other. I’m not sure about the others, because I haven’t really observed you with them, but trust me. You mean a lot to all of us, and if you left, our team would fall apart. If any of us is irreplaceable, it’s you.”
Lance looked at Keith before grinning. “I stand corrected. You are good for something other than brooding.”