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You don't want me (so don't cry when i'm gone)

Chapter Text

There are different types of people in this world.

You walk on the streets and see someone loud and happy with a group of friends, a loner, a happy go lucky and easy going guy or a genius who's lost in his head. But there are a lot more.

Let's see this group of heroes. A ten thousand old girl who's just royalty to her very core, a man who is like an uncle who is respected by everybody and always there to help you when you don't even know you need it. A fighter, a leader and a solid isle man in the chaos of our universe and his little brother who's a hothead, a 'never think before do' personality and a cinnamon roll inside of the loner mask. A genius girl, a hacker, the one who if she takes something in her head, you know she will do it no matter what and the giant cinnamon roll who's a genius engineer and baker and the one who makes the room warm and always supports you. And last, there is the support, the one hiding behind loud bravado and wide smiles and makes you happy and stable in the worse situations, the one who brings joy and light in the worse situations. The one who got your back no matter what but you never know, never care enough to notice.

You guessed right, that's pathetic creature is me, my name is Lance McClain, ranged combat specialist, former Paladin of the Blue Lion, Paladin of the Red Lion... and a goofball, a flirt...a joke... if you ask the team.

But you can never know a book just from the cover. I can tell you a little more about myself before we jump in the deep water whats called Voltron and the mighty heroes and their issues. 

I have a large family from Cuba, I have a loving Mother, Father, two older brother, Marco and Louis, two older sisters, Veronica and Rachel, and a sister-in-law, Lisa. And I have two incredibly cute nieces and nephew, Nadia and Sylvio. 
I have an easy-going personality and I can always befriend everybody, but I have the bare minimum of friends that I can be truly sincere with (okay, only one) and his name is Hunk. We are best friends from the nursery and I thought that we will be for the rest of our life, but I was wrong...Because if a giant Blue Lion takes you to the space to fight with angry purple cat-bat aliens for the freedom of the universe with only seven people on a too big and empty castle then you cant just stay friends. You need to take roles, and what if your role is the goofball, the seventh wheel? What if you only do things to make it easier for the team and make them happy even if you are drowning in insecurity and guilt from all the kills you need to make to defend the universe and the really, REALLY ungrateful group of teens and aliens who are your family? Then something like a life long friendship is nothing and can go to the trash with you...*khm* ANYWAY he knows me best knows me more than anybody outside my family. He knows that I can be goofy, arrogant or flirtatious if that's needed to make somebody happy, but he knows that too that I have a giant insecurity about my place and worth, but it seems he forgot it in the big scheme and be mean too, 'because if they are i can be too, right?'.

OK, i know i can be sometimes a little too much, but i can't help it, when i feel like gotten forgotten in the space ranger group they made i just jump in with my loud voice and jokes to make myself known and to feel I'm in too but you know, it's tiring. Trying to be friends with people who don't care enough to see you under the mask? Who call you insulting names and hurt you whenever you try to help them? The people you thought like a second family for more than a year and help them keep their shit together, keep their heads above the waves in the dangerous situations? Just you seven together, it can be too much and too little at the same time. There are times when it feels like i have a place here, but why is it that's always only when they need my help, need to make a joke of somebody, to get back up? And then when I need them they insult me and toss me away. 

Again...

And again...

Lance McClain is a proud person, he knows his worth (most of the time) and knows when someone wants to sink his boat and drown him and he will not let them, whoever they are.

If you want to come and see because from now on I will take things in my hands and live the life I need.

Chapter Text

A new morning.

Lance really want to say that this morning is special, but he will be lying

This morning is like all the mornings in the castleship for the last months, cold and silent, only the soft humms of the engines is audible. Lance opens his eyes to glance at the little digital numbers of the clock that Pidge made at the start of they life in the space, its says 07:06 the others are probably still in bed and Keith is in the training room, doing his morning exercise as always so that means Lance has twenty four minutes to wake up and go to the kitchen before Allura will yell off his head as usual.

Great, just great.

 

"Come on, a new morning a new day for wonders" murmuring this Lance gets out of the bed and goes in the little bathroom to shower and do his daily rutin, little aspects of life that keeps him stable. After that he just puts on the paladin armor to give him a little mental stability, keep him on his feet for the day.

 

After staring in the mirror for five minutes (when did he got this dead look in his eyes?) he just sighs and goes out of the room to make his way to the kitchen. In the silent hall he has enough time to work his frown to his signature smile, to be happy and cheerfully with his insides dying and after a deep breath he goes into the kitchen with an energetic "good morning!".

There's only Pidge, she looks like she didn't have yet her first cafe so its better to let her be by herself, and Hunk, who is making some breakfast out of the goo. He gets a greeting back from him, and only an inhuman grunt from Pidge.

 

"Hunk! Buddy, mi hermano what's this heavenly scent i smell here? Today is somebody's birthday?" Lance suddenly gasp loudly " It's my unbirthday?! How did you know?" He ask gleefully and sits down to the table next to Pidge.

 

Hunk chukles a little and shakes his head with a smile.

 

"No, its just a normal breakfast Lance" he looks to Lance and then turns back

 

"but its true that today is our unbirthday so its should be a feast!" Hunk says with high spirit while getting another bowl to the food and Lance give a happy laugh to that.

Before they can say more Allura's calm tone catch their attention.

 

"Good morning Paladins, it's good to see you in such high spirits. Can i ask for the cause of it?" she ask and sits down to her seat at the head of the table, next to her Shiro sits down to.

 

"It's nothin', just Lance being Lance in the morning, as always" Pidge says with an irritated tone gulps down all of her cafe, that Hunk puts before her, in one go.

 

After hearing that Lance just keeps his 'it's okay' smile because she's just half asleep, she didn't meant it, it doesn't matter that his stomach curl in a tight
knot and feel like there are needles in his eyes. Lance needs to get it together, it was just a joke, right? Joke, like family, yeah that's it, they just mean to each other like siblings. As he lost in his head trying to loosen up and forget the painful words the others move to discuss today's training and he can catch only the last part of it.

 

Before he can ask for a quick briefing about what they agreed to, Keith and Coran finally arrives too and they move to lighter topics while they eat.

 

---

 

"Why can't you do something so easy right?! If you want to pretend its just a game we can die! Everyone in the universe can die! Why are you so irresponsible?"

 

Lance gets up from the floor, from where he got tossed by the bot. It's not like he wants to hand his ass to them, he's just really bad with hand-to-hand and the others are not helpful when he tries to get better, they just make a joke out of it and forget him. So why does Allura need to yell off his head?

 

"I know Princess, i'm trying to get better it's just-" he's got cut off by Keith this time.

 

"Why are you always looking for excuses? It's not that hard and we already showed you how to do it properly at least a hundred times Lance! If you just finally stop to show off and do your job as the Blue Paladin there will be no problems!" Why is Keith yelling to? I know he is perfect at destroying things but Lance is not like him, why can't they see it?

 

"I'm doing the best as i can! I know you mullet-head are so perfect but we normal people need more time to learn things like that!" He retort back but Shiro comes between them with a disappointed look in his eyes.

 

"Lance stop, you need to calm down" he says instead of something helpful and leader-like move. And why is it that Lance needs to calm down, he's not even yelling.

 

"But he's the one wh-" Lance try to protect himself but Shiro cuts in again and his thoughts just screaming in head that why can't they just let him speak?!

 

"I think we should end the practice for today, we are exhausted and we need to calm down. Good job today everybody" he says dismissing everybody so why does it sounds like to Lance like Shiro only imply the first part to him? It must be his imagination, Shiro didn't meant anything with it.

 

---

 

When everybody is gone and Lance sure that they will not come back, he pulls out his bayard and transforms it into his rifle. steadying himself and calling out to start the training sentence. He trains with it for two more hours and and with his sniper another one, standing in one place sometimes and at others sprinting from point to point to don't get caught by the drones. After that he walks away with heavy panting and sore muscles to bed, leaving behind perfect scores in the system, not bothered to save them because nobody will believe that he did that. After all, he can concentrate and work better without the team screaming at him for nonexistent reasons. He don't notice it but from the little over viewing balkon Coran comes down and looks trough his scores with a prude smile.

 

"Your scores are better and better my boy..." Coran mutters to himself and after saving the numbers in the system he leaves the training deck too. 

 

---

 

For three days everything was good, they had a little rescue mission on a planet, its was Raucto. The natives looked like humanoid green rats, but they were cheerful and they had enjoyable personalities and they were really grateful for the help as they made a little feast for Voltron as thanks giving. Lance had a good time with them, someone to finally talk to without hurting words or disapproving looks, it really helped to raise his hearth and warm his chest. When all stomach was full and Allura made sure they joined the Alliance, Voltron needed to set up and flight off. 

 

After that Allura had let them be for the next morning til lunch, Lance was really thankful for that and after an early breakfast so he didn't needed to talk to anybody he went to  the training deck to train alone a little more to get better and before lunch he was at the library, learning more altean. 

 

The lunch had nothing unusual too, green space goo and talks that passed above Lance's head. He was done and with a little smile feeding the Mice while waiting for the dismissal but instead Allura stood up from the table and looked them with a serious expression. 

 

"I didn't wanted to take away your appetite before lunch so i waited with the news but not a varga before the Blade contacted with me and they will come over" she looks at each of us " and  they will be here in a thirty dobosh for briefing, they have a big mission and they need our help. Get ready and come to the control room." 

 

After that she simply walked out of the room with her usual royal self, how can she walk like she is in the air? It's like she is gliding and not walking, yeah, Lance always thought that, because look at her, people can't just walk like that right? Or is it some altean royalty ability? But that's not really important right now, Lance remind himself because while he was musing about that theory the others got up and left too. Great, left behind again, no biggie right? He just sighs tiredly and going too to get ready.

 

Not ten dobosh later he is in the control room,nice and tidy and the perfect image of a Paladin, but Lance stands in the corner, out of the attention and near the shadow but not too much so the others don't take a notice of it. From there Lance is comfortable, he sees and hears everything, but out of the others little bubble and without a suffocating felling. How did he changed this much? Back then he would stand proudly with them, feeling like the teammate he always wanted to be. He had so much hope when everything started, he thought that things will be different here, that Lance finally found the team he is a real part of...

When the Blade arrives, Shiro goes forward to great them and Lance steal a little glance at Allura's body language, yep, she's still not lost her disgust against them. After looking back Lance's eyes meet with Kolivan's and he give the galra a playful salute and smile as greetings, just like to the other Blade members. After all, he had taken the time and got to know them and bond with them a little, both for the sake of Voltron and for his own sanity. 

 

The briefing goes well, the mission has a big importance in the big scheme but Lance can't stop wondering if they really want to do this mission with all of them. A stealth mission needs a few member only so why do they want to Voltron go too? They're not really the stealthy giant robot Lions so he smiles to himself when Kolivan answers his silent question.

 

"And that's why we only going in with a team with a few member and you have the technology for the assault. That's why we ask only two of you to come with us."

 

Kolivan stops to speak after that and leaves them to choose who's going. Lance want to give ideas too, because it would be the best if a ranged and a close combatant accompany the Blade, he knows it but they arguing such a pitiful way that they totally forgot this option. He tried speak up to remind them and to stop the little word war between his teammates but Shiro silenced him with a fast reprimand before Lance can even end his first phrase, so he is silent again, gaze wandering to the other team in the room. They're silent and still of course, as always on a briefing but Lance can see that they are good, no injury and there is a light atmosphere between them. Good, Lance glad that they're doing fine.

 

"Okay, then Keith and I will go with them" Shiro speaks up and Lance takes a quick look at Hunk's face, he don't look so satisfied with it either. 

 

"But Shiro, i think it will be better to take a ranged with you for this mission. The Blade and you two are close range, it's better if you have someone to have your back if" Lance speaks up fast, immediately regretting it as something flashing in Shiro's eyes as he looks at him and Lance don't really want to know what was that.

 

"And i suppose that will be you?" he ask with a mocking tone " Coming with us to seek glory and then jeopardize the whole mission because you can't concentrate?" he ask and the words, that tone and that piercing eye cut deep, but Lance can't show it, not now, now he needs to make this trough, after all it's important, more important than defending his own shattered hearth. That's why with a slow and a little shaky breath Lance speaks up again.

 

"No, i didn't mean myself. Whats important is that you take a ranged with you, that could be Hunk. After all...it's better if you trust your teammate in a mission like this" he says bitterly, looking Shiro in the eye for a moment then looking away, away from everybody so he don't need to see the burning cold eyes. But with that, he don't see how Kolivan eyes narrow at the other side of the room.

 

"I agree with the Blue Paladin. We should take with us the Yellow Paladin" Kolivan says, stepping forward before Shiro or anybody can talk again and Lance feel his chest froze  and heat up with that sentence in the same time. Happy that at least the Blade Leader willing to take his advice but feeling lonelier that he's choosing somebody else than Lance. But that's ok, the important thing is that the best soldiers goes to aid them and Lance can see too that he is not one of them.   

 

With a silent discussion and a final nod from Allura, Shiro looks back at the tall galran.

 

"Be that way then, we can depart in four varga if that's good for your team as well" he says and after Kolivan gives his affirmative Allura sends the Black and Yellow Paladin to get ready for the mission. After that Kolivan speaks up again, surprising Allura, who didn't thought that he has more to say.

 

"And there is another mission that we would like to ask the help of the Blue Paladin" he says with his usual solid face and tone, but when Lance looks at him, he sees a little glint of smile in his eyes. 

 

"And what mission would be that? I didn't heard about that beforehand." Allura ask with a little surprise in her voice and looks at Lance like he made a fatal mistake with just existing. Ouch-Lance can feel the love at there- just don't push yourself too much Princess -he thinks looking right back at her then shrug his shoulders a little saying that it's news for him too without words. 

 

"As you know, the Blade started to take bigger missions and making a name for themselves and letting the universe know that not all galra all evil. We have a mission that is exactly for this, but right now we have bigger problems with some details and i think the Blue Paladin's abilities are the best to help us out. " Kolivan says and looks Lance in the eye after that, who just can't help but gave him a smile.  It would be great, he really want to help and he can finally feel like the Paladin he is again. Lance don't know what details Kolivan speaking of but he is ready to make anything for them to others see the Blade of Marmora are full of good giant purple batlike cats. 

 

"It would be go..." he starts to agree but Allura's disbelieving voice cut him off, again, whats with this again?! He wants to scream from the frustration but instead just travels his gaze at the Princess, sad to see how little (if not nothing) trust she has in him.

 

"And you want to bring of all the Paladins, Lance with you? I think it would be wiser and more efficient to take Pidge or Keith with you. "

 

She says with such a confidence, do she really thinks of Lance as an useless trash who is only here because he can fly a giant lion? Heck he don't even wanted Blue to take him to space to fight in a war that's not his, to be with people who hate him and hurt him. To see people die because he need to take that shot to save others. To get abandoned from the only one who he ad trust out there and then get burned with the Red Lion's fury and longing after Keith. He is not like Blue and Red, he is not a sentient machine programmed for war and perfect in every way. He almost broke from the lost of Blue and now he has finally a good time with Red just for the time he lose his bond with the others? If they think of him like that it would be better if he just go and leave them, it will certainly make everybody happier... With a growl and a piercing fire Red pulls him out of his spiral, she's the only one who still wants him, but what will happen when Shiro takes back Black and Keith comes for her? Lance can see that his place will be taken again, but this time he will not get another seat for the lost one...Shaking out of himself after another growl he can finally hear to what Kolivan says.

 

"....beliefs but i can make decisions what's best for my people and I just like the other members here can say without doubt that the Blue Paladin are the only perfect Paladin for this job and he will do an excellently, as always" he ends it with such a confidence that Lance can't help but suck a breath in from the raw trust the galran men just proved in him. How did he, the seventhwheel, little and weak Lance from Cuba earned this much trust from them?

  

But he can muse about it later too, right now, he needs to be a man and make his own decisions. With a serious face Lance steps forward, between the two team and without a glance at Allura he looks in Kolivan's eye and answers his trust with confidence and strength that Lance didn't knew that he still have in himself. 

 

"I will aid you with my best abilities"

 

Lance can see the satisfied curl of Kolivan's mouth and Lance feels his mouth curl up a little too.

 

"Thank you Paladin, depart in four varga" Kolivan says and Lance after his usual playful salute takes his leave from the control room almost running off with his excitement.

 

His spirit was not this high in a long time.

Chapter Text

A small round room, the only light source is the holograph in its center. Not too long ago the were eight galran and a human in there, calm voices preparing for the mission, seven Blade of Marmora Member and Lance was there to listen to Kolivan and get everything in order, but now only Lance is in there with a stern expression on his face. They finished an hour ago, the meeting was fast and the seven others went to their ways to get ready. But Kolivan gave Lance a lot of information to think through before he can join them. Lance needed to get together his thoughts, he can't remember the last time he was alone like this, without Hunk or somebody else from Voltron for the 'safe numbers', more like to babysit Lance before he does something stupid, something "Lance-like". Too frustrated Lance snorts a little to get rid of these thoughts, it pains him how little trust the team has in him. He saw the look in the other's eyes before the Blade's ship departed and it punched him right back to the floor to try and get together his self-esteem again. He hears Kolivan's voice in his head again, turning back his mind to the mission ahead.

 

"We will strike at the public meeting that Commander Zhox will hold with the political leaders, the Empire had started to take over the powers from the shadows a quintant ago, and now they will step up to the stage and forcefully turn the leaders to the side of the Empire, declaring their control over the Planet. The operation will start with your shoot, you need to remove Zhox who's in control of the forces on the Planet. Your strike and Zhox's death will confuse the soldiers for a short time allowing our forces to strike. Your shoot is the signal of the start and the others on the surface will start phase two, eliminating the remaining galran soldiers and drones. That's why we need you to strike home for the first shoot and because the political leaders and civilians will be near the Commander, who will use them as his living shields if you alert him with your missed shoot."

After looking away from Kolivan's serious expression Lance takes another look at the environment of the operation. It's a city, it looks like the planet,  Yeawei,  is developed like the Earth before the 3WW but a little more alien-like and with much higher cranes. Giant skyscrapers everywhere, from the street one, can only see a bit part of the green sky. The buildings are so close to each other that Lance can only see the place where the galran general will be from one of the highest building's roof, 5000 meters away from Lance's sniper nest. It's a shock to him, Lance knows nobody on earth who did make a shot like this, like ever, but his bayard and the altean technology is more advanced than anything Earth can make so maybe it's not that much of a distance in space. Maybe he can do it, no, he  will  do it. He's flying with a giant sentinel robot lion, a shoot like this is nothing, Lance tries to convince himself. He came with the Blade to help them and he will prove that he can be the Paladin everybody wants him to be. He will not run from a little challenge, he will climb this wall and will save the people of Yeawei. A satisfying roar from Red comes trough their bond, giving him a small smile. Red is not Blue, but she is one of a brilliant giant lion who's trusting him, he can't let his girl down, does he? With the confidence that Red had given him Lance looks up from the holopad. 

"I will do it, you can count on me" he says with a strong fire in his eyes. With a satisfied gleam in his eyes, Kolivan nods, moving on to phase two.

 

From then they went through all three parts of the mission, phase three is nothing big, ensuring the safety of the natives and making contact, all the juicy diplomacy stuff. After that they were dismissed, leaving Lance in his current state, looking at the details again and again and memorizing every little detail and visualizing. They have a really good plan and he's confident in the success of the mission if  he  can do everything as needed. Lance trained a lot with his sniper and knows that he has the skills but the castle's training room doesn't have enough space to train for distances as wide as this, of course, Lance did longer shots perfectly at the heat of the battles when he needed to save his team from any harm that may reach them, but that distances were never more than 3124 m. How does he know this? It's not clear to Lance himself neither, with the vague clues Red did give him he thinks it has to do something to with the connection between the bayards and the Lions, like some automatic recorder that stores the data in the Lions. He tried to ask it from Pidge for a little more detail because he is sure that she has more knowledge about storing data but she kicked him out before he could speak a full sentence. 

 

A soft cough from the back brings Lance back to the present and the shoot he has to do but Kolivan's tall figure blocks the door before he can flee from the dark room to the hangars. Lance looks at Kolivan and the calm eyes of the Blade Leader tell him that he is not in trouble.  

 

"You have concerns Paladin" he says slowly and steps next to Lance quickly scanning through the holograph with his eyes "you have doubts in the plan?" he asks curiously looking back at Lance.

 

"No!...No, i think the plan is perfect" Lance shakes his head with a weak smile "I just wanted to clear some of my thoughts before the mission, and i have some questions..." he says worriedly and looks away for a second to steel himself, usually the team don't let him voice his questions on briefings or after them just in private, and that leads them to avoidable mistakes during missions that they would not do otherwise if they just look over the little things that rise Lance's fears. He tried so many times before but he only fund deaf ears and gotten insults and yelling back and with time he becomes tired of it and stopped to trying. But the Blade is not like Voltron, Kolivan is not like Allura or Shiro, or the others and he wants to do  everything  perfectly in this mission so he needs to stand up and give voice to his thoughts. If he knows everything he needs to know then he can be better with that information and that's better for everybody ...  right?  Kolivan would not look down on him because of it, or so he hopes. 

 

"Ask them then and i tell you everything that i know to easy your concerns Paladin" Kolivan says in a calm tone as he turns to Lance, locking his blue eyes with a nearly piercing search that Lance curious about, what is he searching for? What does Kolivan see in him, does he judge Lance like everybody? Lance can't find his answers in Kolivan's eyes but he doesn't see anything mocking or scornful in his eyes and that gives him a little reassurance that he can ask freely. 

 

"This distance... is this common in space? I never have seen somebody shoot a distance like this back home and i know that out here you guys and the alteans too are so much more advanced than Earth but i never met marksman like me on the planets that Voltron saved. Not even a galran sniper on the battlefields and missions so i really can't say i know how good people are snipers... " Lance trails off awkwardly scratching the back of his neck as he looks down to the holograph waiting for Kolivan to speak, when Lance looks up again he can see that Kolivan is looking at the holograph too seemingly searching his words to speak. After a few ticks, Kolivan's eyes finally turn back to him and starts to talk with a little smile at the edges of his mouth but with an unreadable face.

 

"No, it is rather uncommon. Even the existence of sniper rifle users is rare for the known Universe and there are reasons for it. For one, the galra beliefs true power lies in the physical strength and honor face to face fighting, win and crush your opponent showing him your strength is the way of the galra. Of course, this philosophy became a little old in the deca-phoebs and now they use powers from despicable sources like Haggar and her druids...but they still despise the ones whose fight from the distance, hiding in the shadows without facing their enemy. Zarkon doesn't reward those who fight like that and the others are looking down them. That's the reason you can't meet a sniper in the Empire's army, the generals don't like to use them because they will look weak in the eyes of the Emperor. " Kolivan speaks with an unreadable expression that Lance can't define but before he can ask more about this Kolivan continues his line of thoughts.

 

"As for the other planets and star systems...there are free lands that have the technological needs to fight against the Empire but that usually goes into warships and plasma guns to fight off them outside of their planet. The ones under the Empire who has the technology are the manufacturing colonies but they don't produce them of the reasons i told you before. Another reason for the skilled snipers' absence is the warships. You saw it before but the fights are usually in the Planet's atmosphere or space, with warships and cruisers without the need or possibility for the ground forces to fight against them and this is also true for snipers, just simply the normal rifles don't have enough puncture and impact to harm them." Lance can see a sour expression on his face for a second but it's almost immediately gone behind Kolivan's mask "The Blade has some members who can and like to use rifles but no one is skilled enough to be called a marksman. But you Paladin are a marksman who has the skills and weapon to be true to your name, Voltron lucky to have a soldier like you with them, to be their eyes on the battlefield and to be the support who can create balance in your diverse team. " Kolivan ends his speech with a little nod like he truly thinks that. How can someone drop something like this on Lance so easily and sincerely? When was the last time he heard words like this spoken to him, Lance really can't remember, but Kolivan's words warm his chest and make him fidget with embarrassment.

 

"How did...why do you have this much trust in me just like this? How can you say something like this? Even my own team don't see me in a light like this if you ask them they will surely say that I can't do this shoot or that I have any contribution in the fights..." Lance looks away murmuring with a defeated expression. That's right, they don't even think he can be helpful to the Blade on this mission, without knowing what's it about. They never see the true potential of Lance or his true self, but it's not their fault. It's not their fault that Lance hid his feelings and his true self behind layers of masks and fake smiles. It was all Lance's choice that he continued to hide when they got out in that magical space castle with giant lions with only seven people. He tried to loosen up and himself to them but it was too late, he screwed up. They already have this image of him when he finally got the resolve to stand up but almost immediately got dumped to the floor. After that no matter how hard Lance tried to show them he is worth something and that he can fight alongside them they never see it, they only take notice of his mistakes and that's further strengthening their slack-off and happy-go-lucky image of him. So what did he do that a stranger thinks more of him than his space family?  

 

"We saw recordings of your fights from the galra data chips our spies got at the intelligence-gathering missions and don't forget that we went with Voltron to missions together at least a dozen times already. Thanks to you we had always easier times because we didn't have to watch our backs and we could concentrate on the enemy ahead with Voltron, you always kept us safe from the back. Don't think we didn't notice" Lance looks up from his dark thoughts as a big and warm hand grips his shoulder soothingly but Lance cannot maintain the eye contact and looks away embarrassed. They indeed accompanied them for a lot of missions recently but how did they took notice of it this fast but his  friend s still ignore him? Lance sighs defeated in his head and looks back at Kolivan choosing to ignore his storming mind and aching heart.

 

"Thank you, I'm happy that you guys can fight more easily with us..." Lance smiles softly at the Blade Leader and then takes on a serious expression "I think I just ask my last question then..." Lance says and at Kolivan's nod, he continues "Do you guys have a shooting range? I feel like a good practice will help me get in the mood. I know we only have a varga before we depart to Yeawei but I need it right now... if not shooting, even just some other training. Please, Koli" he looks up at Kolivan with his puppy eyes and trembling lips, this play always helped him get things from his sisters back home. 

 

"Of course, but our shooting range is not like yours at the castle, but feel free to use it as you like it. We never say no to someone so eager to train. This way." Kolivan smiles down at him and then starts to walk out of the room and down on the corridor towards the shooting range. Leaving his problems behind Lance quickly follows him. 

 

There are not many Blades at the room as Lance goes in, Kolivan left to attend his other duties. After adjusting the settings to his level at the control pad Lance falls easily to stance as the program starts. 

 

With his bayard in his hands and enemies on the field, he can finally be free from his thoughts. 

 

---

 

Thirty-eight dobosh later Lance's hands are shaking so he grips his bayard stronger as he shoots the last training drone it's head. Putting away his rifle he tries to calm his uneven breath and goes to the wall to slide down and stretch his sore muscles. 

 

Kolivan did say that their shooting range is different than the one at the castle and yeah it was. It was  hard  as quiznak. But it was really good, now he understands why is everybody in the Blade is a muscle-wall. Damn if he were to practice every time with their program he would be one too. Of course, what they have at the castle is good too, Coran is good at programing the programs and they are hard too, but the drones are too predictable, it's easy to predict their moves but their speed, strength, and number make the fights hard enough. 

 

But man, he feels so good now, like he can take out a full battle cruiser just by himself. He feels his blood pumping through his veins and his muscles are hurting just in the right way, he feels alive. Maybe this feeling is what gives the strength to Keith to lock himself in the training room all day. 

 

As Lance's thoughts wander he takes out a water pouch from the box that the Blades keep in the corner. It's so refreshing, did water always felt this good? Lance doesn't really care about it so he just keeps drinking and starts to organize his thoughts. It was a good practice, thanks to that he gained his confidence, he knows that he will make that shot worth. He is a Paladin of Voltron and he would do anything to save innocents like the citizens of Yeawei. Together with the Blade they will save them and the Universe will learn that not all galra are bad, some want the end of Zarkon's reign just like everybody else. 

 

---

 

After getting refreshed a little Lance walks to the hangar to join the others. They have ten more dobosh and he can see that they are just at the end of the preparations. Most of them give him a nod as acknowledgment but don't stop at what they're doing. Lance walks to the familiar mask, this Blade went with them most of the times and Lance became friends with him almost immediately. Despite his appearance, he is easy to talk to and when something gets his attention he can become so talkative that Lance needs all his communicative powers to keep up with him.

 

"Regris! I didn't know you would come. You weren't at the briefing, but it's a nice surprise too know you are coming too" Lance greets smiling brightly at him, who in return looks up from his datapad and nods at Lance too like the others but with a playful tilt of his head so Lance knows that he's smiling behind the mask, it always feels good to be greeted with such enthusiasm and Regris is not one to be unaffected of the Blue Paladin's kind heart.

As Lance sees his friend's moves he thinks like Regris is looking at in his eyes, he doesn't understand why and tries to read the meaning of it, but he is not fast enough and Regris starts to move while clearing his unspoken question. 

 

"I was in charge of the information gathering for this mission but I just got back from an errand so Kolivan had taken over the briefing for me. And as the head of this operation, I started to organize the things here. You came just in the perfect time, we just finished everything we need to do before departure so after everybody is on board we are ready to go. It's good to see you decided to join us for this mission, I was not sure how Voltron would choose for Kolivan's proposal, but now we have one less thing to worry about that we have you and your skills with us." He looked around, the seven others went in the ship after finishing their work so Regris looked back at Lance giving a squeeze to his shoulder "We are ready to go and you Paladin?" He speaks to Lance so friendly that Lance can't help but feel lighter again, he missed a good-hearted interaction between friends. 

 

"Born ready," Lance says flashing his signature smile and walking in the ship to do what he meant to.

 

Chapter Text

Looking through the scope Lance takes in the situation on the square. He can see a lot of plump bodies of green aliens, they are shorter than the galrans with at least a head but they are triple as board and these green furry balls are now flowing to the streets from the buildings from everywhere. Lance can see on them that they are not built for fighting and from the look of Yeawei it seems they are an intellectual race with great sense of architecture and a greater longing for comfort. They built giant skyscrapers as long as he can see from up here, and with Yeawei's two yellow Sun it's really hot up on the roof, how are they don't melt with their fur? Lance is lying on the roof of the second highest building in within sight for two vargas already and now it's nearly the time for Zhox to come out to the podium and start his empty speech about an allience. From his sniper nest Lance can see everything in the area, including some of the Blades, perfectly blending in the crowd near the galran forces, ready to jump into action at Lance's signal. Lance can't help but be amazed how good they are at hiding their presence, if he didn't knew where to look he would never find them in the shadows. As he was inspecting the others his eye catch a glimpse of purple among the green and he instantly turns his attention to it. 

 

There...! Finally Zhox came out from a building, heading to the podium with his smug smile that tells he doesn't expect any resistance today, thinking he had won. Good, it will be easier to attack and the Blade will break his plans in half. 

 

Locking on the Commander, Lance follows carefully as Zhox walks through the street and Lance starts to even his breathing, slowly preparing the shoot, ignoring the world outside of his scope.

 

Breath out

Zhox steps next to Yeawei's minister.

Breath in

The Commander takes in his surroundings and starts his long and boring speech about cooperation, independence and the Empire's good will. The usual lies from an oppressive reign, empty promises of a tyrant. 

Breath out

Without thinking about everything Lance pulls the trigger and after a tick Zhox falls down lifelessly to the ground with a hole in his head and in the next tick the galran sentries follows him all around the square, becoming junks as they got slashed in half. 

 

After observing the developing chaos and pulling the trigger three more times, preventing three galran to take hostages while the Blades were busy with the sentries, taking his eyes off from the scope, Lance stands up with shaky knees and takes some deep breaths to calm himself. Turning his bayard back to its original form Lance turns to Yktu, the Blade who accompanied him up here, with a questioning look.

 

"The death of Commander Zhox, Subcommander Pras, Lieutenant  Vonteg and Uglox are confirmed. Phase two started without any casualties, nice work Paladin." Lance gives in return a winner smile to him, shaking off the tension of his shoulders a little.

 

"Cool, but we still have a lot of work to do, what do you say, are you up to some sentry hunting?" 

 

---

 

 Walking on the street Lance feels really drained. 

 

It's not like it was difficult to get rid off all the Galran on Yeawei but his team has only nine members and there were hundreds of sentries scattered around in little squads on the planet. Along the way Lance did see some of the natives fighting in groups with the sentries but fortunately nobody attacked the Blades. 

 

Even with the work of everybody Yeawei became free only in two quintant later, it's really nice to see how everybody's hard work paid off. And now looking at the group of galran friend at the end of the square, Lance can see the little signs of fatigue on everybody. Around them, there are some natives who seem scared of them, but the signs of the fight are on them too and unfortunately they didn't seem too hostile towards the little galran group. Finally reaching them, Lance takes off his helmet and greets them happily. 

 

"Hey guys! I finished the last lap in my area and it's clear from any galran, I suppose you're done too?" Lance ask smiling at the seven Blade, checking who's not there but with the masks on he can't tell for sure, some of them are really alike with the armor on. 

 

One of them steps to him and pats him in the back with a little too much force but Lance manage to stay on his feet and his smile is brighten as he listens to the Blade, thanks to her voice Lance can tell that she is Vocheev. This is the first time that they have met but she is the only female with them on this mission and she was really friendly to Lance on the way to Yeawei too.

 

"That's right Blue! You were almost last, what did it take so long? There is only Ryt out there, but he has the most far away area" she laughs like she just told a joke to him and then leads Lance to the others while talking " even Regris is here, but i tell you, he really likes to take his time so it's a real mystery how did you came after him" she stage whispers it and Lance can see that Regris' tail twitch from where he stands and Regris crosses his hands.

 

"That's enough, don't stuff his head with nonsense. " he says while his tail pushes her hand off of Lance's shoulder " Nice work Paladin, after Ryt arrive we can start phase three...but i think we will need your assistance for that, it looks like it will be not easy to get the natives trust, so we will need your rep..."

 

"Excuse me" completely gotten by surprise, all eight heads turns to the green alien who just walked to them. Seeing their reaction the denizen takes a step back alarmed and in an instant Lance steps forward with a welcoming smile and gesturing to them with a calming attitude. 

 

"Please, don't be afraid, sorry that we scared you, it was not our intention, you just caught us by surprise. What can we do for you?" Lance smiles up them, it's true that the denizens of Yeawei are smaller than the galrans but they are still taller than Lance. With their build and height they could be a really tough foe in a fight, but they choose to be peaceful instead so Lance is not afraid that they will break him half in any moment, yup, he has noting of that sort of feeling.

 

 "Yes...I...we are really confused. You're a Paladin of Voltron, right? Why...Why are you assisting the Galra? And...Why did your group fight with other galrans for these two quintant? Before all the commotion happend...the Leaders talked about merging in the Empire, but now that Galra who was on the stage dead...and...and this happened...Please Paladin, it means Voltron are here to help us?" They talk confused while their eyes are moving from Lance to the Blade behind him and back to Lance with a rapid speed.  Before answering Lance gestures to Regris to come forward.

 

"Yes, i'm the Blue Paladin of Voltron, i'm honored to meet you" he smiles " These people behind me is the members of the Blade of Marmora, we came here to prevent the Galran Empire to enslave Yeawei. " Lance smiles at the green alien pushing Regris forward gently " He is Regris, he was the one who made possible to help you. The Blade is here only for one reason, to help your people." He stops speaking, giving the stage to Regris.

 

After that Lance was at the edge of their group, calmly watching how everybody started to loosen up a little and slowly the people of Yeawei accepted the Blade of Marmora. After that they didn't needed much time for start to celebrate and the little party grew a large festival.

 

--- 

 

As the evening of the third quintant approaching Lance is sitting on one of the rooftops watching as the two yellow orb slowly disappears behind the landscape and the sky is turning from green to a deep blue, it's really beautiful and it gives a nostalgic feeling to Lance.  Except of the colors, the two sun and the clearly alien architecture, it was a sigh he never thought will see again, after the first sun went down and only one is visible it's nearly identical to the sunset back home, it did warm Lance's hearth as he let himself to think a little about his family, what are they doing, do they watch the sunset on the beach or it's already night there? He wants to daydream a little more but the little festival's voices below him pulls him back to the present, everybody is celebrating the fact that they are free from the Galran Empire and they insisted the Blade to take part of the festival as the heroes of the day and to celebrate the new alliance with them. It was funny watching how awkwardly did the Blades take part of the party and they started to loosen up two vargas ago, it was a new experience for them that the folks wasn't afraid of them, instead they gather around them and try to dance with them. The people of Yeawei were really kind and cheerful after they formed the alliance between Yeawei and the Blade of Marmora. Lance was really glad to see how everything went smoothly.

 

Of course it was not like that at the start. When the fight ended and that one alien went to them they were still wary of the Blade but they still organized the political talks with the planet's leaders and the Blade went with them happily, of course with the masks on Lance could only tell this from their body languages. During that assembly the presence of one of the Paladins of Voltron greatly helped and Lance had a big role there too, when the natives doubted if they really can trust in the Blade's word, the turned to Lance to give his thoughts on the matter and after confirmation they went to the next points of the meeting. And this little circle did repeated frequently. 

 

After seeing that a Paladin of Voltron is supporting the Blade the bravest of the Leaders got the courage and went closer to them and started to open up to them, openly supporting the alliance with the Blade of Marmora. As the representative of the Blade, Regris told them why are they on Yeawei and that it was them who helped eliminating the Empire's forces to free the planet, that the Blade are on Yeawei as long as they want them and they are really offering to Yeawei a true alliance that's beneficial to both sides. All the reasoning of Regris and Lance as the living proof of the Blade's good will, convinced the inhabitants that they are really free to do what they want and the Blade's only reason to be on Yeawei is to help them keep that freedom and to stand up against the Empire. Looking back the first time Voltron did meet with the Blade of Marmora, Lance can happily say that they are grown big with time and making big effort to help the Universe and to help their own race get back their dignity. 

 

Lance was happy, dead tired but happy that . When the operation started he did his insane shoot (he has still a hard time to understand it was not a dream) and killed Commander Zhox with one bullet Lance was still a little dumbfounded as he and Yktu started phase two, eliminating all Galran remained on the ground. It was a very tiring couple of quintants, but a very successful too and Lance is really happy for the people of Yeawei and for the Blade. Not long ago he was down on the streets too and was chatting happily with everyone who went to him, happy to get to know these new people and happy to celebrate their freedom. Lately he didn't have much of these times, when Voltron did help some Planet and they went to the aliens to celebrate Lance always got scolded if he got too friendly with somebody in the eyes of Allura or Shiro. Other times Lance was banned to go with them because 'his irresponsible and outrageous actions would jeopardize their chance for an alliance', and no matter if Lance tried to oppose, he got shut down by Shiro or Keith and it really did hurt him so Lance stayed back in the Castle with Coran and the Lions and he spent these times helping Coran with his work or doing simulations in the training room, but it was still painful that not even Hunk didn't stand on his side in those arguments. 

 

And after his mind went down on these spiraling thoughts he needed a little air to get himself togheter again but now he can't help but wondering about the team while spacing out before this beautiful sunset.

What will they say when he gets back?

Will they be proud of him?

Will Hunk bake him garlic knots for celebrating his shoot?

Will Allura see what he is capable of?

And Shiro... will Shiro finally see him for what he truly is and not just as the kid who always annoys Keith? Will they finally see him as the right hand of Voltron he grew into to assist the Black Paladin and the team in their hardest times? Without knowing a little smile had appeared on Lance's face, maybe it's just in his head but when he get's back they will be happy for him, just like they're happy for each other's achievements, like he's happy for their success. Maybe when he gets back they will finally see eye to eye with Lance and everything will be how it should and Voltron will be stronger than ever, alongside with their little family. 

 


Lost in thoughts, Lance didn't noticed as behind him Regris climbed up silently to the roof and startled Lance as he sat beside him.

 

After seeing it's just Regris and putting away again his bayard, Lance looks at the galran with a question mark over his head. Seeing his human friend's expression Regris takes off his mask and smiles at Lance. 

 

"Nice work Paladin, we're thankful for your cooperation. It's a good day for the Blade of Marmora, we achieved a big victory, but i'm afraid that without you we would have not gotten to this point with these results. But it's only a victory of one battle and we still have to win the war, that's why we need to go back now to head toward our next battle, are you ready for depart? I'm sure Kolivan and Voltron are impatient to know of our victory"

 

Regris speaks with a calm tone and his usual measured words but his tail is flicking to the sides with excitement gives away his true feelings. Lance seeing it can't help but chuckle a little and he stands up, stretching out his back. After a good and refreshing pop and a satisfied groan he looks down at Regris, offering his hand to help the Blade up with a friendly smile. 

 

"Yeah, i feel refreshed and ready, our next goal is to make Kolivan smile!"

 

Lance laughed making Regris smile and the two of them started to climb down from te roof to collect the others and fly back to the base with a successful mission's report.

 

---

 

Kolivan did not smiled, but he did gave them a satisfied aura after they finished the report. And everybody on the base had a little feast as dinner that day. And with the Blue Paladin among themselves, the dining hall was full of happines. 

Chapter Text

As the ship is getting nearer and nearer to the castle, Lance can feel his bond with the Red Lion stronger with every tick. He feels warmer as the little hole in his chest is filling again with the warmness of his Lion and as the always burning fire brings the happiness of his girl for his return. Proud of her Paladin. 

Of course, Lance is excited to finally be back, it was only a couple of quintants that he was away but he missed his family.

But he can't help to not be afraid, he really hopes that he is getting a warm welcome from everybody, after all, he truly loves them all. And now his mind doing what it always does, pulling to the surface the things that he did forgot (on purpose) and had them forcing back to the last room in his mind and lock them down for good. 

The most alarming one is the fact that nor Allura, nor Shiro did agree to send Lance to this mission and he just went ahead alone and decided this on his own.

The mission is a great success but it does not justify the fact that he threw the command line in the trash for this mission, and that was childish from him. He will get something for it, Lance was never more sure in anything in his life. 

Except maybe when he thought that he loves Jenny from the dance class. In the end, he was wrong so maybe he's never been sure for something before. That's a good sign. 

 

And now he is sidetracked. 'Let's take a look at the others' he stops his daydreaming and walks up to the two Blade. 

 

In the ship, that they are currently on, is only Lance and two Blade on board. Thanks to that Lance can freely agonize about his team in his mind, not attracting any attention because the other two is concentrating to get trough safety the asteroid ring. Why is the Castle of Lions are in the asteroid ring? Lance can only wonder their goal.

Red's reassuring purrs help calm down Lance but he can't enjoy the ride back as he thought he would. Not after his mind started to work against him. 

 

---

 

(Hunk's POV) 

 

In the kitchen, Hunk is concentrating on his baking as he's listening to Allura and Shiro.

Shiro and Keith came back to the castle a day ago and when the two leaders are in one room they just start to talk about Lance. And they are not saying nice stuff. It makes Hunk sad how little they think of his best friend. 

Allura's complaining about the fact that Lance had broken the command chain. Shiro's complaining about the selfish and childish behaviour of the Blue Paladin. Pidge and Keith are not saying anything just sometimes chip in with a remark, not helping either! 

Hunk thought Pidge is wiser than this. 

And Hunk? He doesn't like it how they talk about Lance, but he can't stand up for him. He's really bad with confrontation, usually Lance the who do it, but for obvious reasons, he can't do it right now.

Still, how are they not see what Hunk can? 

 

Lance did nothing but be collected and supportive to them all.

Sometimes when Hunk can't sleep and goes to the kitchen for a midnight snack he finds Lance in the training deck, and his friend looks like he was there for a couple of hours already.

Other times, Lance is in the hangars, reading some altean books on the paw of the Red Lion. Reading out loud if he feels like it. Or just be with the Lions, bonding and playing for them with the alien guitar he found in the bazaar of Thaphioitar. One of the planets they save not long ago. 

 

This time Hunk could see that Lance went with the Blade of Marmora with resolve.

He could see it in Lance's eyes, burning strongly. The resolve to do what only Lance can do doesn't matter that he won't know what is it yet. Lance was ready to do whatever they ask from him. Ready to help innocence people, even if it cost him everything. 

 

It was four days ago, now Hunk is really worried. 

It takes too long.

Something went wrong and Lance is injured? Or worse, got captured by the Galra? Even worse, he's dead? Oh boy... Hunk can feel his stomach doing a flip at the thought. 

Whipping stronger the goo, Hunk tries to distract himself. It's not like he has no faith in Lance, Hunk knows he's very capable. But the team's negative attitude is pulling him down too.

With every tick, he gets more and more agitated. 

 

As blessing comes Coran's voice, announcing a friendly ship's arrival and with that Hunk drops the bowl and nearly runs out of the kitchen. 

Allura and Shiro went silent as they looked at Hunk's abandoned bowl. After a tick, they follow the Yellow Paladin up to the bridge. 

 

---

 

After checking that the ship really is friendly the whole team went down to welcome the crew. Thanks to Coran it's sure, that it's a Blade of Marmora cruiser.

Hunk can only hope that Lance is coming too. Did Lance succeed at the mission and now they are coming back victorious. Or the Blade comes to tell them their friend's tragic end? Why didn't Lance contacted them yet, it would be a blessing for Hunk's paranoid mind. 

As Hunk starts tapping his feet on the floor from anxiety the ship is finally touched the hangar floor. 

Beside him stand Pidge, who is frustrated, if the elbow in his ribs is a sign for Hunk to stop. So he obediently complies and locks his eyes on the ship. Waiting for its door to open and show his friend. 

 

---

 

( Lance's POV) 

 

The first thing Lance gets when the door opens is the excited purr from Red and the feeling of her flames hugging him. It gives the strength to Lance to walk down on the ramp and face the team.

The two Blade is silently coming with him as they walk down. Two calm shadow behind him. 

When he finally collects the strength to look up his eyes finds Hunk first.

 

Hunk looks nervous, but the little smile he gives to Lance is welcoming. That smile gives Lance a warm feeling, like his best friend is still his best friend, waiting for the time to come up and give Lance a tight hug.

Looking away from Hunk, the next person he sees is Pidge. She has her usual grumpy face and her tablet in hands, typing the same as always and absorbed in her work. That's a good sign. It means she is not angry at Lance or that she doesn't care. Either way is good. 

Next to Pidge is Keith. He as that emo look on his face and he stands with crossed arms. From his body language, Lance can tell that Keith is annoyed. That's nothing new, Lance can handle an annoyed Keith any time. 

So far everything's good. 

 

And he needed to speak too soon because the difficulty jumps harder with Shiro and Allura. He can tell from a glance that he's doomed. 

Shiro looks angry but relieved at the same time. It would be good but he stands the way he always does when there is a lecture coming.

Allura looks just genuinely pissed. She looks like she will lose it any second now. If you ask Lance, he would bet his money on Allura's exploding the first chance she gets. That's something he needs to avoid giving her. 

 

Steeling himself with deep breaths Lance stops before his team. 

 

"Hi guys, did you missed everybody's favourite sharpshooter?" he asks them jokingly with his best smile on his face, hiding the nervousness behind his mask. In times it really hard to play the confident Lance so excuse him the shaking of his hands behind him. 

Lance did miss them, he was away for four quintant and now he needs his hugs from his family. He needs to feel he's welcomed. He needs something to believe he has his place here. 

 

Bless Hunk and his honey-like personality. As their eyes meet once again he finds himself in a tight welcome hug in the arms of his best friend. 

"Careful big guy, you're working with a delicate stuff" Lance laughs and hugs his best friend back the best he can, squeezing back lovingly. 

After Hunk sets him free Lance gets a grunt from Pidge that he deciphers as 'welcome back idiot'. He can't help but be relieved with the friendly grunt from her.

His smile grows wider as a warm hand squeezes his shoulder and his eyes meet with Coran's.

 

"Welcome back Number three, I assume your mission was a success, it's good to have you back lad" Lance nods at the altean's words.

"Yes it was, it's good to see you too Coran" he smiles warmly up at the advisor then turns to the Princess with a serious expression.

 

"I can give you my report Princess or would you like to hear it from the Blade?" Lance asked, standing a little straighter and changing in 'paladin mode'.

The altean princess looks a little conflicted after seeing their little reunion and the cold way she gets after it, but after a tick, she has her piercing eyes back. 

"I would like to hear both sides. Let us go to the bridge and after you, we can listen to the Blade's report too," she says and then turns away, walking out the door. 

 

Keith and Pidge follows her without a word. Hunk and Coran give their greetings to the two galra beside Lance and then they are gone too. The two Blade starts to walk to the bridge too but Lance is stopped in his step by Shiro. A strong hand on his shoulder keeping him from fleeing. 

 

"I'm glad that you're back safe and sound Lance" Shiro smiles gently but Lance can't loosen up. He can feel there is more that his leader wants to say.

And true to his anticipation Shiro continues to speak "but you can't just break order and fly off with the Blade of Marmora. You ignored Allura and went ahead without any reason. That's not how a team works Lance. It was irresponsible." Shiro says disapprovingly but Lance shakes his head and takes a step away from his leader, shaking off his hand. 

"It was not without reason Shiro. The Blade told us they need my skills for the mission, of course, I agreed to go. They needed my help."

"That's not the point. If I'm absent, Allura has the last word in missions and you ignored this fact. You went ahead and acted on impulse without looking around and listening to your superior. What would happen if Voltron needs you while you were away? Or if you got injured alone, without your team?" as if Shiro did not hear Lance's words he just speaks without hiding his thoughts. Listening to him Lance can feel how his patience is wearing thin. 

"I'm the right hand of Voltron. If there are lives on the line I will take the opportunity to save them. I know the weight of my post but when there is a need for a Paladin, for help I can't say no. Allura is the princess, yes, but I'm my own person Shiro, I knew what I went into. I know what I'm doing, can't you trust in my abilities too? If you can't do that, at least look at the results and think." Lance looks at him with a serious expression, he's too tired to take Shiro's abusing and tries to stand up for himself. 

"Enough, for now, we need to go to the bridge and you need to cool down, but we are not done yet. And as a result of your actions, you will help Coran with his work for a week." Shiro says then turns away, walking out the hangar and leaving Lance alone. He groans when the door is closed back. 

 

"Let's talk about prejudice instead... Nice start with letting them hear your voice, Lance..." he sighs defeated.

Red sends her thoughts of the matter and an encouraging roar from her hangar and Lance chuckles. 

"You're right, but it's not nice to say that of Shiro" the smile on his lips is genuine as he starts to walk out "I need to go before I anger Allura even more. I drop by you after the reports Beautiful".

He leaves the hangar with quick steps, repeating his report on his way to the bridge. 

 

---

 

Lance thinks of himself as a tolerant man. He thinks a big family and the hardships in his life gave him a big tolerance against bs. 

But at the end of the meeting, he just wanted to tell off Allura. Maybe knocking some reason in her head too. 

She was just so distrustful. And hurtful. 

Lance knew before that the princess was distrustful towards his abilities. But now he feels that the princess thinks of him as nothing.

That two poor Blade told her every little detail but she was still dissatisfied and asked for more and more.

Lance won't lie, it hurt that she questioned this much his ability to do his work as a Paladin. It hurts that she won't have the slightest faith in him. 

The others didn't talk much but when they heard of Lance's shoots there was a little reaction.

The first was Pidge, telling that it's impossible. She seemed interested so Lance thinks she said it in a good way. Hunk gave him a little pat on the back and Coran looked really proud as he smiled at him.

It warmed Lance's heart.

The other three's reaction was not good. And the looks that they gave each other was painful.

On the bright side, they just jumped the theme and went for the next question. Completely ignoring it. 

 

And when Allura was finally satisfied she let them go. Taking this opportunity Lance fleed room before Shiro or Allura could catch him. 

He was tired so he went straight to his room and after a shower, he went to the Red Lion's hangar.

 

His Lion sat there in all her majestic glory and her eyes lit up at Lance's arrival.

The thought that he is the Paladin of such a fantastic creature made Lance smile. When he was close enough she lowered her head and let him in. 

 

Sitting comfortably in the pilot's chair Lance sighed. The feeling of Red's consciousness hugging him like a blanket warms Lance's soul and he can finally relax. 

After sharing the last quintants stories they both went silent. Relishing that they are together again.

Lance almost drifted off to sleep in the quiet peace but after some time Red raised a question that instantly woke up him.

 

~What do you want to do from now on?~

 

It was something Lance didn't want to think. Not after the Blade. Not after the feeling of how a true team works. Feeling how others treated each other, how they cared for each other. Feeling how great it feels when somebody has their trust in him. When somebody got your back. 

It shook his word. It broke the picture of his space family and the picture of his role in it.

 

And now Lance was not sure of his future. 

 

His family taught him to always love himself, to never let others pull him down.

But now? Every day he feels like he's drowning.

Like he's s chained down and can't break free, slowly losing against the weight of the chains. 

 

Back home he would leave a group like this to find friends that really cared about him. He would run away and start over.

But he is now here. In space. In a quiznaking space castle, locked together with a group of people without the means of escape.

And he has a duty. He is a Paladin of Voltron, defender of the universe. He can't abandon his duty just because he's unhappy. He can't run. 

He's the right hand of Voltron, all he needs to do is to step past his selfishness. He needs to let go of his weak self. 

 

~What do you want to do?~

 

Red's question feels like a slap to his face. She tries to help him, but this question is something Lance avoided for a long time now. Because it brings ideas that he can't have if he wants to be stronger. 

"I want to run... I want to go away but I want to be with them too. I want to let them in and I want to lock them out, I want to show them who I am and I want to hide away from them. I want to be better for Voltron but I don't want to kill my true self. I want to change but I want to Me. 

I'm a coward Red, I want to run but I'm afraid of it. I'm a Paladin and I need to stand up against injustice. I want to run so much that it haunts me but if I do that the universe loses Voltron and there will be nothing to stop the Galra from killing innocents. I'm a coward and a weakling whose only good point is to be a Paladin of Voltron and I'm bad at it too! “

Lance can't help but shout as he finishes to speak. His eyes are burning and the tears are pouring from them.

He hugs himself to stop his shaking but it's in vain as he slips off from the chair to the floor.

 

Red tries to calm him but there is no help. Lance just can't stop the tears that were locked away for a long time now. 

 

---

 

Sometime in the castle's night circle Lance finally stops crying. After that he just sits there, lost in thoughts, blindly looking before him. He needs to decide the future now. 

At the morning he needs to sit down with the others for breakfast and he needs to be himself. Or the himself they think he is. 

 

He needs to face the others and joke as always. 

 

Lance stands up and rubs his face then gently pats Red's control panel, letting out a shaky breath. 

 

"I'm sorry Beautiful that you have to see this. But I made my decision" he says with a determined shining in his eyes "I'm a Paladin of Voltron, that's why I need to face my fears. I try to make Voltron stronger, I give the others a chance to change. Let's see how things work out, after that I choose my next step" he smiles as Red hums to him approvingly.

 

As he goes back to his room he feels lighter. Lance trusted once in his space family. He knows it's in them to grow stronger together. They can build trust again together, they can work together to make things better. 

Chapter Text

Everything was not okay. 

 

He was patient enough, but even Lance can't take everything, won't take everything.

There was a lot of things he tried, but every one of them was is vain. No matter what he did, it was just never good enough. 

 

Lance really tried to fix the team's problems for these past three phoebs. He tried to fix the team's dynamics and open up to the others, but he alone is not enough.

He needs them to meet with him halfway, he needs them to take some effort too. No matter what Lance tried he met with a wall, be it Allura, Shiro ...or literally a wall. That one was really irritating, that day could not end in a more humiliating way, it was his luck that nobody did see him running in the wall blindly... but lets stop here, just the memory of that day brings heat to Lance's face.

Do someone want to know why is he is right now in a dark corridor somewhere deep inside the castle. Hitting the wall and leaving bloody marks on it, without the slightest care about his hands. No? Of course not, he could not do this if somebody would care. But he needs to do this, after all, he can't hit Shiro or the others instead. That would be a really wrong move from him and no matter what, Lance isn't somebody who would hurt his friends...or not-friends. 

As he don't have anything else to do, he could go back and review the past phoebs for the next generation. He can leave his memo here in the castle for someone to find it. It will be surely better than the self-destruction.  

  

With a tired sigh he stops moving and slides down to the floor with his bleeding hands between his legs. After some calming breaths he takes out his personal device - they each have one thanks to Pidge - and starts the recorder.

Watching the blue sphere glowing in the middle for a tick he sighs again and starts to speak.

 

"Hello stranger, it's Lance McClain. Blue Paladin and Right hand of Voltron..."

When was the last time his voice sounded so blank, so done... so dead? If his voice is like this, how is his looks? His eyes must be dead too and he knows he has dark circles because he can't sleep more than a few vargas.

"Maybe no one will ever hear this log, but i just want to be hopeful and think this will be not lost forever. So i just want to tell my reasons for doing this. I just need a little time before the others going to sleep and i thought i could do my first and last log as a Paladin. You see, i had a resolve three phoebs ago to change things. I started it in the morning after i came back from my first mission with the Blade of Marmora..." 

 

---

 

In the morning Lance went to eat with everybody like always. Nowhere a hint that he broke down in the Red Lion's cockpit. He smiled and told jokes to the others to lift their mood before a long and hard day. 

He was careful. He was the same as always but he did slow down his pace and tried to speak with the others normally. When Pidge and Hunk started talking about some high-tech stuff, he was lost. No problem, he can talk to the others. He tried to join in the conversation but he was shut down so he just finished his breakfast silently. 

All movement was like this. He tried but he met with closed doors. Luckily they didn't have any mission so there was only training for the team. 

Lance was collected, he focused and did everything he needed to, perfectly and without a sound. He even let go of his pointless mocking with Keith. But after each training, when they did something wrong, Lance had the scolding. It didn't mattered to Allura and Shiro that he did things perfectly, he was the one to bear the blame. 

 

---

 

There wasn't any change even after a phoeb. 

Lance was quieter, he didn't told any unnecessary joke. He did fine in every training. He worked harder than ever but no matter what he did or who he spoke to, it didn't bring change. 

The Blade came again and asked for his assistance. After a long insisting from the Blade and an even longer persuading from Lance, he got the permission to go. The mission was a success and Lance had a good time with the Blade, he spent some time with them before he went back to the castle. Red was proud of him and Coran gave him a strong hug when he got back.

 

---

 

After two phoebs he was a tired of the team behavior and started a new policy. He left them some space and started his lone days. He was in the library most of the times or he hung out with Red in the hangar. At night he was training, that was the time when he started to get problems with his sleep.

 

It was a day like the others, sitting in the silent library, all around him books and documents. Everything was the same, except him. He fund a chronicle of the past Paladins. He was reading that chronicle for the past two quintant, it has everything in it. Each and every Paladin and their story, Lance loved reading it but after some time he fund out something he could never guess. 

There were Paladins who left Voltron. Almost everybody died or got too old to be a Paladin, but a few left. And almost all of them were Blue Paladins, there was 3 Red and a Yellow too, but the others all Blue. It shocked Lance. He never thought a Paladin could resign.

After he finished reading, he put everything back to its place and went to do his work. But he could not shake off idea of leaving. 

 

---

 

Lance did his work as Paladin properly for the next movements. He went another mission with the Blade of Marmora and helped Coran around the castle. When he was alone with the altean advisor he often asked him to tell the tales of specific Paladins. 

Red knew what he was thinking and was strongly against it. She became more motherly and protective to Lance. Thanks to her and Coran the idea of leaving was a dream, a 'what if' thinking in the lonely times during day and night. 

Until the battle in the Sionubell system.

 

It was a really difficult battle. The galra had a strong force there and a lot of prisoners that they needed to save. The plan was not bad, but Lance saw errors in it. He tried to voice them but the team shut him down and they started the operation. Lance had his stomach in a knot as they went in and he tried to defend every weak point they had. Thanks to some miracle he managed to do his part and fill in too in the first part. 

As time went on and the tension grew, everybody became more sharper. He tried to calm them and guide Keith forward in the plan, keeping everything together. 

 

The prisoners were almost all safe but there were still too many galra cruiser against them. Pidge worked with Hunk, Allura with Keith and Lance watched after them, keeping them safe when the galra attacked from a blind spot. Unfortunately Lance didn't have his back protected by them and he got a surprise attack from the back and got surrounded. He was alone against them, he lost the sight of the others and the castle. No matter how hard he tried, he got hit after hit.

"Guys! I need help, i'm surrounded and i can't..." he tried desperately ask for help.

"Lance! Do your job! We have our hand full, we can't always clean up after your slip up!" Pidge yelled at him and Keith barked him down too. After that he didn't tired to get help, but it was a lost battle, he tried to win against them but no matter how many he shoot down, there was always more. A strong blast knocked Red into another ship and Lance was sent flying in the cockpit. He felt a sharp pain in his left hand and in his side but he climbed back in his seat. He was dizzy and his vision went black and blurred as he tried to break free from the enemy. 

He could hear his comm buzzing as the team tried to contact him but when he spoke they didn't heard him. His comm off, great. He finally broke free when he heard the others.

"Lance! Where are you?! Why can't you answ...wwzzz"

"it's not time for su..zzz..king, answer already you idi..zz.zztt"

"How can he be so c..z..z..sh?!! "

"He is so irresponsible! Why can't he do some....zggzzz.... ously?!"

Lance could not hear everything but the words were harsh and full of venom as the team insulted him. Lance could not answer them and he could feel his consciousness slipping. As the team screamed at him and insulted him in the background he could feel as Red started to take control. She sent him a calming purr and Lance obediently let her do what she need. He stopped fighting against the dark and lost his consciousness as Red flew back to the castle.

 

He could not see but the others got in too, and the castle jumped to a safe place to take care of the prisoners.

 

---

 

Lance woke up for the soft nudges of Red in his mind and the screaming pain in his head and hand. According to Red, he slept for two vargas and nobody had come to look for him, she started to worry so she woke him up.

He was thankful for it he needed to go to a healing pod. He stood up, his legs barely supporting him as he bid goodbye to Red and went to heal himself before he bleed out in Red. 

On his way he didn't met anybody, not even Coran, but it's not too much of a problem. Thanks to his work with Coran, Lance knows the med bay and he can start the healing pods to. He takes off his armor, wincing as the pain stab in his side and arm. When he's free, he steps in and starts the program. Slowly he can feel as the pod working and he let the sleep take over.

 

---

 

Somewhere in the night the pod opens with a hiss and Lance takes two steps before he drops to the floor. He's cold and tired but thankfully nothings hurt. Slowly Lance collects his armor and goes to his room. 

His tired mind is like a recorder, playing again and again his friend's words from the battle and from the past. Not even sleep brings him peace, the nightmares that he has for a phoeb now stronger than ever.

 

The next quintants are a blur. They helped the prisoners go home and they repaired the castle and the lions. Lance got some insult from the others here and there but his mind was far away, planning his future. He spoke to Regris at night to say goodbye but Regris insisted that Lance visit the Blade before he go. So Lance made the first stop in his travel the Blade of Marmora. He was glad that someone at least wanted to see him. 

 

---

 

"And today...we have a training" Lance sighs as he looks at the numbers, he spoke for a long time without  noticing "It was the usual, but one of Keith's remark made me really angry...so i messed up my hands without thinking... I think i punched out all the stress i had...no i just feel empty... This is my tale...sorry if it got boring, i got carried away... I will going now. I don't know where will i end up but i will spread Beyonce to everybody" he laughs halfheartedly " yours always, Lance McClain." He finishes the log with his laugh, but it feels wrong to his ears. Lance puts down the device and stands up, the blood on his hands are dried but he can see that it's nothing serious. 

 

He walks down in the silent corridors to his room and takes his bag. There's nothing much in it, just some of his clothes and personal items. Next is the armory, he needs some weapons and a suit, he can't use the paladin armor, it's not his anymore. He's not prepared for the sight in the armory.

Standing in the middle, putting a rifle on the table is Coran. When Lance steps in the old altean turns to him with a sad smile.

"I see you came my boy" Lance can only nod as he walks to him " I can't say i'm happy that i was right...but i understand that you need to do this..."

"Coran, how? I...I mean, i never mentioned that i will go..."

"Nothing in the castle can slip by me. I saw how the paladins were treating you, i tried to help but there is only this much an old man like me can do" he sighs "The Paladins need someone who can comfort and support the others. But they themselves need the support of all their teammates, to ground them and keep them stable. This is a really fragile balance, without the reciprocated support these Paladins tend to crumble. I hate seeing it happen, especially to you my boy. You all were so close and i saw how hard you were working, i hoped things will turn for better. But this team doesn't notice their mistakes and they haven't listened to my hints about it..." he grasp Lance's shoulder " It saddens me to lose another son but it is time for you to leave and say goodbye to being a paladin."

Lance can see the sadness in his eyes and with tears in his own he hugs Coran tightly. He can't say a word, but he don't need to. Lance knows that all his feelings are in the hug, and Coran can feel it too. When they finally pull away, the altean wipes away his own tears.

"I prepared the necessary things for your journey" Coran takes a step back to show him everything on the table. 

Lance can see a sniper, it looks like his bayard's sniper form but this one is black with some blue adornment and with attachable parts. Next to it is a rifle, same design but this one is thinner and a little longer than his bayard, but it fits nicely in his hands. The third and fourth items are two pistol, both black. One has a blue lion head and the other has a read lion head painted on it. Lance can feel his tears coming as he takes in the last one, a sword, it's longer than is bayard and thinner but as Lance picks it up he can feel how balanced it is.


"Coran...these are perfect. How did you do it all? Thank you" Lance smiles at the ginger man who smiles back with a loving smile.

"I wanted you to have everything you could have, space is wide and you don't know what might happen. But there is this last one, this will give you the most protection" he smiles and takes out a suit. As Lance put it on he could feel how comfortable it was and it has a hood. He can move freely in it and it was more slim than the paladin armor but as sturdy. It has a different material for the boots and gloves, and they reach to the elbows and knees. It's mostly black, but have some red and blue lines for decoration. The helmet is rounded, the red and blue lines running up and to the back. With pushing a button the visor disappears and Lance smiles at the altean once more.

"Thank you Coran, i hope we will see each other sometime. Take care of yourself..." he smiles and hugs him once more. After a little he pulls away "I need to go, i promised Regris that i go and see him before i take off. Thank you, for everything" he smiles and Coran gives him a little device.

"It's my own work, i have the other half. You can write with it to me. Be safe my boy. " after a final smile Lance turns away and with his his new gear he goes to the hangars. 

 

He packs everything in the ship and sends his goodbye to Red.  She's not happy, but understands Lance's reasons. However when they talked about what to do, she choose not to cut their ties. Whenever they are close to each other, they can share their minds again and speak to each other. It warmed Lance and he happily agreed, that's the reason, that he feels that it's not their final goodbye. 

 

~Take care Cub, may the stars lead you and we will meet again. Never let your flame die down.~

 

"Yes, we will see each other again, take care of yourself beautiful." Lance smiles and flies away to start his new journey. 

Chapter Text

It took a varga and thirteen dobosh for Lance to get to the meeting point that Regris sent. It felt much more. He could not stop his brain's marathon but the thinking did not made time faster, it made slower! And in an empty spaceship deep in space and alone, Lance did not felt good. 

Lance was anxious, restless and so empty. He wanted to cry, he wanted to laugh. He wanted to punch himself for doing it and he wanted to praise himself for finally doing it. He he chose to laugh as a nervous chuckle comes out of him. 

He finally did it. He cut his ties with Voltron, he became free. He can do what he want now.

And what does he want? 

It was something he thought of in almost every varga for the last three phoebs. He want to go home so badly but he can't, at least not now. Not when there are hundreds of innocent aliens who are suffering because of the Galra.

He want to help so he stays, it wasn't an easy decision. He did not left Voltron to run away. No, he left to be free from his chains and now that he did it he can help the people in his own ways. He want to help so the war could end sooner,  and more innocent people can go home to their families. Yes, he may not be a Paladin anymore, but he's still Lance McClain and he has the power to help.

Maybe he could join the resistance or be solo and be some awesome space ninja. Or space mercenary. And he will need to change his ship as soon as possible, it would be awfully suspicuous if he stick with this altean ship, everybody knows that only Voltron has altean tech. He needs to stay low so he can move freely and work best. 

But he can set his half baked plan in motion after he saw Regris. Now he finally reached his destination...and it's an empty corner in space. As far as he can see there is nothing.

Maybe he got the wrong numbers, he typed something wrong? No, he checked it, twice. He is in the right place. So he just needs to wait for his friend, it could be worse. A peaceful corner always better to wait and here he can be sure to notice if something is coming his way. 

Lance stands up from his seat and walks down from the cockpit. The ship he got is not too big, perfect for one person to manage all the work and for one person there is enough space (as if Lance did not have enough already). He left his bag and new weapons at the entrance when he departed and now he wants to do a look over on his food, water, medicine and other stuffs. Thanks to Coran he has holsters and straps for his new toys and now that he calmed down a little and has some time, he can put them on. His two pistols goes to his thighs, red one to his right and blue is to his left. He had practiced a little with dual pistols at the castle, but he needs to train more with them now that he has these two lady.

He puts his sword and rifle on his back, always felt more  comfortable this way and he can move with more freedom this way. The sniper is in his sheath and it has a strap if he needs to take it with him for a mission, but for now he just puts in near his seat as he is not need it right now. 

Lance picked up food for a phoeb and water for two movements. In time he needs to find more or figure out a way to produce his own but he is good for now. There should be some magic alien thingy in this ship that recycles water, he knows somewhere he read about it before, he just needs to find it. He can hunt for his food on planets so that's not a concern for now.

Next his medicine and first aid collection. He have a little and got a little more from Coran. It's not much but enough for now, he could be injured lightly for three or four times before he runs out of it. There is no more healing pod for him so Lance needs to be more careful from now on. He has his doubts, but it's not like he wants to be injured, and now there is no team he need to push away from a laser. And Lance can be stealthy too, if he wants to and there is no one to make him agitated and angry in the most crucial times. So Lance is pretty confident that he does not get shot on the first tick he's on mission. 

 

And lastly, his own bag with his things he deemed to be to important to leave behind.

His clothes, and his jacket. He would never leave behind his jacket, it's one of the few things he has from home. It's a little worn out and he needed to sew it a couple of times but Lance can still smell home in it. He has the altean sleepwear that Coran gave him at the start of their little adventure as well as his blue lion slippers. He got really fond of them. 

He has his beauty products, it was really hard to fish these products out among all the alien version, if he was not careful enough he would have burned off his face at the start. Another point for languages, it can save your beauty.

But back to the point. Lance packed some of his little things he got from planets they saved. He has one of the world's most weirdest doll from a little girl he saved from a bomb. It's as big as his palm, in the color of toxic green and it has three eyes and a ponytail AND it has four arms. The people who lived there reached only to his knee, and were fluffy with red to brown fur. And they have four eyes, yeah, but it's still not three and where did they got the image for that doll?

Well, nevermind, it was weird but it was the cutest thing Lance had seen in space and he would fight anybody who dare to say otherwise.

Next in line was a necklace with a ring on it. The ring was from a metal only found on planet Xyries and it was the symbol of a great friend. Lance got it when they departed, he was so surprised he could not say a proper thank you before took off for their next mission.

The third item was a gem, not bigger than a golf ball and it was cut in magna form. It was blue, like the sky on a beautiful summer day but when the light shined at it from a specific direction, the gem became dark blue, like the night sky. Lance loved this gem to just watch, turning it this way and that way, mesmerized by its colors. All the Paladin's got one in their respective colors from a freed miner race but it never troubled him. Until now, it was on his desk in his room, where he always saw it from the corner of his eyes, always in reach when he could not sleep and he didn't wanted to think. 

And the last one is his favorite. He got it from a race, called gragad. They have a planet full of rainforest as a home and the people are the most beautiful race Lance ever saw. They were nine feet to thirteen feet tall, all long limbs but strong and gentle aura, and despite their high, their were like the elves from tales. They all moved elegantly and they looked like they were one with the forest. The gragad has two crystal like eyes, in green, blue and a darker brown. The clothes their have was only a silk on the waist and the female ones were in toge like dresses, always just enough to not call it out. All of them has long hairs, green or brown, the same color as their skin and each hair style told one's rank. They were so modest and gentle, Lance loved the movement they were with them. 

All in all, they were beautiful and Lance was fascinated by them. After the fight he talked with them, learned about them and their language. Everybody was calm and kind, but fierce and sharp in need. Lance made them laugh some and spoke of the forests of Earth a little, Earth's rain forests were similar, but in a smaller scale, the gragad was curious about it and Lance was happy to share. 

When Voltron helped them heal their injuries and establish stability Lance needed to say goodbye to them. He gave them a photo he had from home, he made it when the McClains were camping in summer, he has his family on it in the forest, smiling and playing in the forest. And Lance received a small plant in return. It looked like an azalea, but it was dark blue with light green, almost white flowers.

The flower's name is Aelnaet and it's a common flower for the gragad. They love this flower for its scent and the meaning it has. Friend, family, home and life.

It's a perfect plant for Lance who's crave for them in all his life. 

 

He finished the check up and started to familiarize himself with his new ship for the time being. He needs to find the altean devices that can keep him alive.

Lance finally found the panel that hides the treasures but he can't find the way to open it and he starts to get angry. Why is there no open button on this quiznaking panel?! 

Lance is ready to break down the unyielding door for his survival when he finally hears a beeping from above. He puts down the metal pole he fund, don't ask where, maybe he broke something while trying to open the panel...Anyway...the beeping! Yes, he puts down the pole and goes back up. He can see a familiar ship coming his way from the scans. 

 

With a smile on his face Lance sits down and opens the communication. Lance makes a friendly gesture to the masked alien on the screen.

 

"hello darling, it's nice of you to come by to see little ol' me" Lance smiles, maybe with little too much force but now he don't really care much about it. So what if he needs to try to hard for his peace of mind? 

"Yes, it's good to see you too Lance" Regris says with amusement in his voice " would you mind to follow me? It's not only me who wants to speak with you. And everybody would be happy to see you in person"

Lance looked at his friend and thought of his friends among the Blade. Maybe there is no hurting in it if he takes a little detour and visits his friends. It would be good to see everybody else one more time, he would miss them and he would regret to not see them for the last time for Gods knows how long. 

"okay, lead the way" Lance nods at Regris and starts his engine. 

 

As Regris takes off he follows him without a hitch, they fly for another varga before Lance can see the moving base ship the Blade of Marmora uses as secondary base. According to Regris, it's really practical for the members who needs to move from one mission to another without the time to travel to the main base. It's a ship so they can be always on move and out of the sight of the Empire. 

Lance picks up the incoming call from Regris when they're near the base. 

"Okay, we got permission to dock in, they are waiting for us" he says then flies in the hangar with Lance following right behind him.

 

As Lance is walking down from his ship to the others he starts to regret coming. He did not thought that Kolivan will see him off too. And from afar, Kolivan did not looks like he's happy. Lance want to run and avoid his anger but now that he's five feet away he can't turn around. His feet is more heavy with every step and then he froze just before the leader of the Blade of Marmora, feeling like he is five again and his mother is about to scold him. But five times worse!! 

Steeling himself he takes off his helmet and looks up at the galran leader with worried eyes. 

Thankfully Lance can't see any anger in his eyes, only concern as the tall man meets his gaze. 

 

"Welcome Paladin, it's good to see you, but I'm sad that in these circumstances. I'm glad that you choosed to come here before your journey" with a strong hand grips on his shoulders and Lance can feel that he really is welcomed. He smiles up weakly, scratching his neck.

"Yeah... But it's Ex-Paladin now... So just calm me Lance" he smiles "or Leo, my family called me that back home" he adds, hoping to ease up the mood. "Regris surprised me but it's true that I wanted to see you guys once more before I be gone, where ever that will be..." he chuckles. Good, now he just want to hide in a hole. It's not their concern that Lance has no idea what he's doing, why is he trying to whine to them.

 

As Lance starts his self loathing Kolivan is sizing him up, then his ship and then he nods at Regris.

"Right, I heard about it from Regris but if it's not too much of a trouble, I want to hear more from you, Leo" Kolivan tells him and Lance can feel feet move as he starts to lead him away from the ship, through a door and deeper in the base. "currently there is only a few members here but you can meet them at dinner time. There is nothing urgent right now so I'm completely free, please don't spare the details. With your earth saying, I'm all ears."

 

This made Lance smile truly, to think that the always stoic and pokerfaced Kolivan would be the one to use a saying that Lance teached to some of his alien friends. How the heck did it reached Kolivan? And he called him Leo before it. Total shock.

Lance suspected it before... but could this tall and scary alien be a fluffy ball below all the hard steel?

"Alright, I tell you what I can... but there's really nothing much and it will be really boring so if you want to stop me you need to do it now or you get the full Lancey Lance storytelling bundle" he jokes weakly as they reach a room, that suspiciously looks like the meeting room he was in in his first briefing. Oh, good times, good times.

Kolivan walks to the circular desk and sits down, without any second thoughts Lance sits down beside him. It's not a formal meeting so he can be a bit friendly. 

"please do as you please, I will listen until the end" Kolivan nods at him and after considering the possibilities Lance starts to speak.

 

For how long he speaks, he don't knows, but after the first sentences he can't stop, everything spills out of him. Some time after he started Regris joins them too and silently listens to Lance.

He starts at the Garrison, he tells them how everything started and then their life on the castle-ship. He talks about team dynamics and fights, how they worked as a team, how they lived as a family but how everything changed slowly. How bad everything was when Shiro disappeared and how hard he and Coran worked to keep them together and functional. How things gotten better after some time just to turn for the worse again when they found Shiro. How he lost his place and how he fought to gain it back. How he failed and how he got his decision about his future.

 

"And after that Coran gave me all these cool gears and I took off. And now I'm here, oh and I got a really cool phone like device so I can write to Coran when I have the chance." Lance sits down, when did he stood up??, and looks at Regris and Kolivan. They really listened to him, they listened to everything, the only one who knows all this is Red, but they shared their mind so it's not really count.

He waits for them to digest all the information he poured at them.  He spoke a lot, if his sore throat is from it and not frome the suppressed tears.

Will they laugh and call him weak and useless? Are they thinking about how to get rid of him now that they know how pathetic he is? When they look at each other, silently communicating, Lance wants to scream at them to say something, curse him or mock him, anything, but he clench his fists and stays silent. Trembling a little as he waits for their judgment.

Kolivan finally turns to him with an unreadable expression and... grips his shoulder firmly and gaves Lance a reassuring squeeze. 

"You worked hard Leo. Thank you for telling us." he says with his usual pokerface but his voice is warmer and it takes everything for Lance to not to start crying. 

"After knowing all this we really don't want to let you go without any solid ground beneath your feet. Space is vast and dangerous for a lone soldier so I have a proposal for you." Kolivan looks at him seriously but he still holds on Lance's shoulder with a firm but gentle hand. "Stay with the Blade for a while. We train you a little more, we prepare you for the hardships you may face in the future. We make sure that you are as ready as one can be for the war you joined, so stay and train with us."

Lance blinks. And then blinks again. 

Whaaat?! 

“What?! But... I... I don't have galran blood.... I'm not a Blade... I'm... I'm just me! I know I don't have a solid plan... But I was always good at improvisation... I can't..." Lance looks Kolivan in the eye" I don't want to burden you guys... I will be only a nuisance..."

Kolivan shakes his head but before he can say a word Regris spoke up. 

"It's not a charity, nor pity. You're a good soldier Leo. You already helped us a lot and it would be a shame to loose a powerful ally like you because you're alone in space without the sufficient knowledge to stay alive. With our help you will be stronger and more effective, that's good for us, for you and for the innocents you will help." Regris stands up and puts his hand on Lance's free shoulder" and we are selfish. Because the biggest reason is that we don't want to let you go out of our sight, Leo. Not because you're strong ally, but because you're our friend."

Kolivan grips his shoulder with a little more force but it's not hurts Lance as he looks back at him with wide eyes. 

"That's right. And you don't need to worry about being a Blade. You're a great friend of the Blade of Marmora, you have the right to stay with us if you want to. You fought for us, with us. You would honor us with your stay. Of course, it's your choice, we will accept what your decision is, so take your time to decide."

 

Lance is shocked. 

He did not expected this. He did not expected this.

He looks wide eyed at these two alien. These galran. These space ninjas. These two mad idiot. 

He looks at these two man and can't stop his tears. What did he do to have these two as his friends? How can they say these things to him with such a confidence? Are they serious? They looks seriously.

Lance slowly pinches his arm and then blinks again, getting rid of his tears. It's not a dream and it's not likely that he died.

 

So this is real!

 

They really offered him to stay with the Blade for training. He can stay here for a little and be better so he can help more people and he will not die meaninglessly before time. 

They really told him that he is their friend. He can stay here and spend a little time with his friends... Maybe he can help more to them, so he can be for use in his stay. 

Lance quickly rubs away his tears and looks at them with a determined fire in his eyes. 

"Yeah... I want to train with you guys" he smiles and then gives them his usual cocky smile "one can't get enough of this fine piece of art, I would be cruel to take away it from you " he winks at them.

Kolivan's eyes don't even flutter as he ignores the cheeky line but Regris huffs with a smile, murmuring something, too quietly for Lance to hear. 

 

Yeah, Lance smiles.

He can finally see some hope. Maybe with the Blade's help he really can become stronger. With his friends' help he can help the innocents. 

Yeah, sounds like a plan. Lance laughs and follows the two of them to the canteen to meet the others. 

 

Chapter Text

Lance's new armor.

lance

The new pistols and rifle.

weapons

 

Chapter Text

At dinner, Lance met with some of the Blades. They were on the base for a quick breath and briefing, some of them were open for some talking with Lance and he was happy for the welcoming air. It looked like they don't mind his presence and he was even invited to sit amongst them. They ate together and Lance was a little lighter when he got to sleep. His room was empty, only a bed and a table was in there but there weren't more room for anything else. He changed and flipped on the bed and thought of the future and the past. What will happen from now on? He want to help the others just like before so he can ask Kolivan about it, he went to missions before with them so Lance don't thinks it impossible. When he finally made some progress his eyes started to grow heavier and he started to slip in the darkness, he was safe and warm so he let himself drift away. 

 

The next day Lance, Kolivan and Regris departed and travelled to the main base, they said Lance will train there until he's ready. When they arrived Kolivan needed to supervise one of the ongoing missions so he left Lance with Regris. Regris helped him take his things to his room, he got a bed in a room with five beds, a lower bed next to the door was free and he happily accepted it. He knew one of the five roommates he has from before and the others looked nice too. He introduced himself to everybody and learned their names, made a friendly atmosphere. It was nice to meet his roommates so fast and Lance was really glad that he was not alone in an empty room. Back home he shared a room with Marco and Louis and he was never alone, this shared room was more comfortable for him than then one back at the castle. 

It was a little surprise that nobody seemed surprised with his appearance, they were like always when he visited. Lance was afraid that other than Kolivan and Regris the others will be hostile and against his presence but thankfully his fears did not come true.

Regris gave him a full tour on the base so he can find his way on his own later. Lance tried to draw a map in his head and learn the ways but he was always bad with directions. The corridors and rooms were a total labyrinth for the first time so he concentrated on the main paths. Bed-room to canteen, bed-room to the training hall, training hall canteen and of course the hangar from the other three. He tried hard but for a phoeb he got lost a lot of times, thankfully the blades were patient with him and helped him out in his need. After his first phoeb with the blade he learnt to see the diffenerce in each corridor and learnt his way around. 

After some time he noticed a strange pattern. When he had some free time and wandered around the halls and encountered someone they chatted with him for a little while they walked with him, how did he always encounter people with the same destination? 

It was weird. 

 

Regris showed him the training room and after a day Lance joined in. 

The Blade of Marmora has trainees, in the number of twenty-four. They all are in a different age and different stages in the training but all of them is hardworking and friendly. Lance can see the determination on every training, they all work so hard for the sake of others. Maybe the blades' coldness and unfriendliness is for outsiders only and everybody is like Kolivan? If so, how did Lance earned this treatment? He was afraid that the members will be cold towards him but he feels really welcomed at the base and with every quintant he feels more like a family with the blades. 

The instructor of the trainees is a Blade as big as Antok with a similar build but Lance saw scales on his arm so he must be a half-blood. His name is Dhalnok and he has a really strong voice with sharp eyes. When a trainee made a mistake Dhalnok was fast to correct them and improve their technics. He looked really strict but he was fair with the trainees. 

He welcomed Lance among the trainees and trained him just as hard and strict as the others. Dholnak was considerate of the human build in his training but still expected the maximum and more from Lance, thanks to that Lance was dead tired every quintant and could not worry unnecessarily. 

As always, Lance was good with his rifles but lacked in hand to hand and close combat. He was the best when it comes to shooting but he barely could hold his ground against the others in close combat, but he was determined and trained with his hardest every day and worked harder than ever. It was the environment or the mode he trained but it felt more effective than before.

Lance was small but quick on his feet and very agile, when he was calm he could outwit his enemies in the fight. Together with Dhalnok they made a fighting style for Lance and when he finally understood it Lance became more effective than ever. 

Thanks to Dhalnok and the other trainees, Lance improved, fast. He had the basics before but now he finally started to jump levels. He has gotten faster and stronger. He learned the ways of fighting against bigger and stronger enemies. He was now a worthy opponent against the others.

But not only that. He learned to fight better with his sword and learned new weapons. Dagger, axe, staff, spear, bow and whip, if you drop him off somewhere he could find a weapon to use now. He especially loved to use the whip, it went good with his fighting style and has a lot of ways to use, it was just as agile as him and Lance quickly got a hang on it. That's why he got one for himself the first time he had the chance, a really cool mecha whip, in base mode it looks like a baton but it expanded when Lance turned it on. Lance loved it. 

The first time, he showed his sniper abilities to Dhalnok, the tall man was silent for three whole dobosh. After that, he burst out laughing and talked so fast in the older galran language that  Lance could not understand him. So he just stood there and waited patiently for him to finish his rant and tell him what he just talked about. When he looked around the others were a little shocked too but when they caught Lance's eyes they smiled at him encouragingly. 

When the instructor finally calmed down he appointed Lance to the shooting range as instructor to teach the blades how to shoot as he does. After consulting with Coran he helped to make snipers for the Blade of Marmora and Kolivan contacted with Voltron for their patronage. When he started, Lance was little doubtful with his ability to teach, but he was determined to show them everything he knows, if they learn how to do it, they will not be dependent on Lance only and they will have an advantage against the Empire. 

 

In the beginning, Lance made a deal with Kolivan. While Lance's intention is to fight and help freeing planets, Lance needed training but he still didn't wanted to abandoned the innocents he could help. So Kolivan made a condition for him and his stay that they both were satisfied. 

Lance will stay in the base and train until Kolivan sees that he is ready and occasionally he would go for a mission where his skills are needed. As a trainee would go to missions in the later half of the training, but not alone, in groups of two or three, as everybody. 

It was a good deal for Lance, because, with it, he could be still useful while he is in training. It was good because with it he can be useful, he wants to avoid being a nuisance to the Blade as much as possible.

Lance worked hard, he trained, taught shooting and went to missions whenever he could. Besides from fighting in the training hall, his routine contained engineering and hacking, a little first aid and lessons about how to read different species from their body language (Lance was always good at reading people so it was one of his strongest points). From now on he will be alone, he will not have Coran and the altean's technologie to the knowledge he needs, from now on he needs to be independent and Kolivan made sure to teach everything to Lance. 

It amazed him how much knowledge the Blade has. When he asked about it, Kolivan smiled and told him the reason. 

"When you're alone in space, there could be always a crisis that you need to solve. Of course, we have experts in every field but when badly injured on an enemy ship, you need to take care of yourself. Or when your ship got shoot and you are stuck on a planet you need to know how to repair it, because there will be nobody to help you out."

Lance understood what he meant and he worked harder to learn everything he could. He saw how a little detail can save your life in need. 

 

Quintant after quintant, Lance spent his time in the fullest and worked hard. Of course ha had some fun here and there too. Like the time when he had a giant sleepover with everybody, they helped each other grooming their fur (or hair in Lance's case) and they slept or just lied down in one giant pile.

Lance grew closer to the blades and spent time with them, he talked about everything and listened to them, he fought alongside them and helped them when they needed. He was happy to provide some support to them, the war is hard on them too. 

 

He quickly got accustomed to his routine in the base. He talked to Coran on a weekly basis, they talked about what they doing and how they were, but never about Voltron. Lance could feel of their conversations that Coran is tired and it made him sad that he could not help the old altean more than easing up his mind.

 

Lance spent six phoeb like this. In the first movements Lance could not help but drop on his bed at night and sleep like dead til morning. And now that he stands before the mirror in the bathroom (that he brought) and he could see a different Lance.

When was the last time he saw himself? Until yesterday he did not have a mirror so it was on the castle of lions.

The Lance back there was a dead-eyed hollow shell of the once happy and shining boy. 

When Lance learned that the blade don't have a mirror in the entire base he searched one every time he could. It took six phoeb because he don't really go out of the base besides missions but he finally found one. Yesterday he was in a space mall and he found this treasure and brought it back with him, it was so dirty that he hardly saw anything in it and when he got back he was so tired that he went to sleep immediately. He had a nightmare so he woke up and could not sleep back so he cleaned the mirror and put it on the wall. 

When he put it on the wall he didn't expected anything new. He didn't expected to see a Lance so different that he's hardly recognize himself. 

 

The Lance back with the Paladins was skinny even with his muscles and was pale. If you took a look at him the first impression was that he was lanky. His eyes were dull and lifeless, the beautiful blue eyes lost their shine from the hardships of the war. Back then he always wondered where is that good looking guy with the charming smile and model like body he knew.

Now his eyes are full of life, the shine from back then is back like before but stronger with a confident shade in them.

His face looks healthy and the smooth smile gives him a confident aura, he looks older but not old. He looks like his dad from a picture when he was in his twenties. Their relatives always told him that he looks like his father. 

He never believed them until now. 

 

His hair got a little longer and it's now slicked back with the space hair gel he found. He found it in a space mall and it's really good. The gel is strong and lasting, but he can wash it out when he needs to. It has a forest scent, how? Lance has no idea. 

He had muscles back then too, but now he's well-toned and he lost his skinny look, thanks to Dhalnok's training he could win in hand to hand against the others.

Now he feels and looks strong, well not like the blades, but with Earth standard. Of course he's not like Shiro, nobody can be as muscular and him and look so natural. No, Lance looks good, but not to that extent. 

He finally looks like a real soldier, not just a kid who pretends to be. Now he really looks like he could kill you without a flinch.

And it's true... How many life did he took already in this war? Too many. As a sniper he could not spare someone's life, he can't risk his teammates to get hurt. In the start Lance's hand shook when he shoot but after Hunk got hurt because he didn't killed a soldier he got determined. And now he don't even flinch when he shots someone in the head from close. Humans really can adapt to everything. 

 

He stopped his line of thoughts and started to get ready for the day. 

After he brushed his teeth and face he walks to the canteen and sits down with his food, just some goo and food bars. It's rather early in the base so there is only two blades except him in the room. He's not feeling very talkative right now so just mechanically eats his breakfast, wondering on today's events.

 

Today he has a mission, a big one and he is quite uneasy because of it. Oh, not because of the task he has or what they will be doing. 

They will fight to free a planet, if they can drive out the galra from it, it will be a great loss to the Empire. It's a mission Lance did a hundred times before, so it's not the reason that he can't sleep.

The reason is that the mission belongs to Voltron and the Blade of Marmora will assist them. Not everybody, only a select few, unfortunately Lance is amongst them. Kolivan asked if he wanted to do it or should he left him out and Lance considered saying no, but they need his skills and the inhabitants of the planet need his help, there are people who needs his help and he can help the Blade too. So he told Kolivan he is ready to do it. 

But he's not.

He's not ready to face Voltron. He finally found some inner peace and confidence, he don't want to see them and lost it all again. He don't want to see them work together and be stronger when he was with them. He don't want to see how happy they are that he's not there.

That's why he will blend in with the shadows and fight from the background. He will hide from them like his life depends on it. He needs to do his work properly, he can't let them to distract him. He can't let his team to get hurt. 

After checking the time Lance goes to the training area for a little distraction and warm up. He sent a quick message to Coran that he will be a part of the blade team, because the only positive part in this mission is that he can finally see his favorite space uncle again. 

 

When he stands in the fighting ring, he takes out his rifle and readies himself starting training. 

He spends four vargas fighting against bots, using various weapons. Not giving himself time to think about anything outside of the ring. When his watch's alarm sounds he stops with a sweaty forehead and he needs dive dobosh to calm down. When he's finally got back to normal he walks to the briefing.

The mission is nothing unusual, everybody knows the default protocol so the briefing is fast. They will help Voltron on the ground and cut out every enemy personnel they encounte.  They will get rid off the commanders and back up the Paladins as they break in the systems. After the Paladin's left the base it's their job to get rid off any remaining galra.

Nothing new. 

Lance first priority is to watch everyone's back and be the backup where he's needed. He will move constantly between the groups and monitor the progress. He don't need to make contact with the Paladins, he only needs to watch over them. After he escorted the Paladin's out he joins in the cleaning. 

He can do his work from behind so thankfully he will not make contact with them. 

 

After the briefing, they depart to the castle of lions. Thanks to Allura's wormhole it's a really fast ride. From afar it looks exactly like he remembered but up close he sees more scratch than before. But of course, after all, it was six phoebs that he last saw the castle, they certainly has fights without him too, maybe even more

Lance changed a lot, but he can't help but check his armor and helmet as they dock in the castle's hangar. He didn't want to let the others recognize him. 

 

The Paladins looks normal as he walks down on the ramp with the others but he settles his eyes on Coran. The ginger man looks tired but has a big smile on his face as he founds Lance amongst the blades and Lance gives him a soft nod as greeting. He's happy to see the altean but after his greating Lance hides behind his helmet as he stands in the group of blades, using his smaller body to hide amongst them. 

He wants to listen to Kolivan as he speaks but after they came out of the wormhole Red found him, she won't stop talking and sending her emotions to him and Lance in return his own feelings. They have been doing this for thirty dobosh already and it's really distracting. It helps to not think about the humans before him but he starts to lose his grasp on his surroundings. 

Both groups walks up to the bridge to go through the plan for the last time. Kolivan is the only one who speaks from the Blades. Thanks to that, Lance can easily stay in the shadows with the others as they all chose to play statue at the wall. His armour different than the others' but he's still perfectly blending in, thanks to the shadows and he can now perfectly act like the blades, mimicking their stance he stands perfectly still, watching the map. 

The plan is exactly the same as Kolivan told them so Lance can relax and speak with Red. After Lance finished to tell her his life at the Blade they just blend together and Lance shuts his eyes, bathing in the warm presence of Red and gives her the best mind hug he can. 

 

After both side is satisfied with the plan the Blade goes back to the hangar. Back on the ship Lance gets ready for the mission with the others. 

If Lance paid more attention to the meeting maybe he would have noticed what everybody else did.

That the Paladins did not looked good.

 

Chapter Text

With a sharp gasp she sits up in her bed and in that one motion falls off of it. 

 

"Ah...arghh..." the sharp devices and tools on the floor are a little painful as she pushes herself up, looking around.

The nightmare that woke her up was a bad one about her family but it wasn't a rare occurrence. Still she got a little shaken up. As she calms down her headache and pain in the neck and back comes forth. 

That's what one gets for falling asleep across their computer and half done devices. 

Her clock says it's three in the morning in the castle's circle. It's not surprising that she was asleep, they had a hard battle before she got back to her room but she still started to work on one of her projects. 

Only after a shower, of course. She's a girl after all and a shower feels good after a hard battle.

 

Frowning she stands up, after her nightmare she could not sleep back so it's better to get something to drink and snack so she could continue her work. After pulling on her socks she walks out from her room and walks in the direction of the kitchen. 

"Still...it's weird..." she can't help wondering. Before when Pidge dozed off during her work she always found herself lying comfortably on her bed, tucked in her blanket. No matter where, always in her bed. Even when she was certain that she was in Green's hangar working on her or when she was hiding from everybody so she can finish her assignment for Hunk or Shiro. 

But thinking about it, it was not that common. Most of the times she was found by Lance and dragged to the bed before she can pass out from exhaustion. It's really annoying that Lance always interrupts her work. She just want some peace and silence so she can do her work. Why has Lance so much free time to always bother her? He should do something productive instead. 

"haaa..." with a deep sigh she puts her hand on her forehead. No, he does productive things, she's just tired, angry and annoyed to the sting in her neck and she directed her anger at him. Lance is the one who always finds him sleeping somewhere, no matter when, why didn't he found her today too? "Ahh...." Why is her head aching this much? Why did she dreamed about her father and brother? She just want to sleep, she's so tired.

Pushing down on her temple she shakes her head slowly. Why is she so annoyed at him again? Why is he so unreasonable and unpredictable? With how much he knows and how he behaves are on a totally different level. Why does he resemble so much to Matt? In everything? 

No, not everything. 

Matt has more confidence, Lance just faking it. 

It drives her mad every time. 

That irritating faking. Why is he so idiot to always stuck to that idiot behavior? They and Hunk could work out a lot of problems if Lance would just stop his idiotic tendencies. 

Argh...Don't even talk about Hunk, he's always spoils him. Thanks to that Pidge is the bad cop and she needs to beat out of Lance that mask. 

It's not that hard because she's always angry whenever she sees that fake smile on his face. Or whenever he makes a stupid comment that she knows he knows better. She just wants to beat him up 'til he behaves. Her anger always takes out the worse of her and she latches everything at him. And he just takes it! Even provoking it!

She's so angry! 

Her head hurts so much!!!

 

She's so occupied in her thoughts that she only notices the light in the kitchen when she's before the door. Weird, nobody should be in here at this time. Curiosity picked she peeks in through the gap that left open. 

It's Coran. Sitting at the counter with a mug in his hands. She almost called out to him but then she notices his expression and she froze in an instant.

 

She never saw the altean advisor in such a ...melancholic state. His lips are drooped and his shoulders are hunched, his head hangig between them. His eyes are always full of life and happiness, now she can't see anything else just sorrow in them. 

She wants to go there and comfort him but she's bad with emotions and they are not that close, she's not confident that she could help Coran. 

Lance!

Yes, the two of them are close, Coran adores Lance and Lance is good with emotions, maybe the best amongst them. Yes, she could talk to Lance about it when he wakes up and Lance can comfort Coran for sure. If it's Lance then Coran will open up to him in no time and they can do whatever they do when they are together.

With a nod she approves her plan and walks away from the door. But now she left without her drink and her snacks and her aches are stronger. Her eyes are heavy and she drags her legs with every step. She can't work like this, but she can't sleep at her room, it's too cold and lonely.

Green.

She can go to Green, there she could sleep for sure.

And when she wakes up he will look for Lance.

"Yeah...let's do this..." she murmurs through yawns and walks to the hangar to the Green Lion and huddling up in the pilot's seat she drifts out in a flash.

 

---

*beep beep beep*

 

Groaning, Pidge shuts down her clock, why did she make this thing so annoying? She stretches out her back and stands up from the pilot seat. It's breakfast time and she's hungry, she did not slept much but it was enough for now, she can function again with this amount.

The Green Lion is silent, she can't hear her constant buzzing in her mind but she brush it off as she's just sleeping.

After popping her back again she walks out of her Lion and the hangar, heading to the kitchen to join the others. After they eat she can talk to Lance to talk to Coran.

 

She walks in the kitchen, greeting the others as she sits down on her usual seat. Keith looks grumpy as ever, Hunk is half asleep as always at the morning and Shiro is talking in hushed tones with Allura. 

Peaceful like always. Pidge pulls a bowl of goo to herself and starts to eat, waiting for Lance and Coran to come too. The both of them are missing from the table so maybe Lance found Coran before she can say anything. Good job McClain.

As she takes another bite she feels lighter and can enjoy her food. After Hunk woke up a little she speaks with him about her work she wants him to take a look. 

When they all finished and she starts to wonder why the missing two did not came, Coran walks in, but there is no annoying laughter or joke coming so Lance is not with him. Coran has the same eyes from when she found him before. That's not good, no matter how Coran tries to act like always but his eyes are shining from sadness. 

 

"Paladins, there is something important that I must tell you all." Coran starts and looks at every one of them, with a look Pidge can only see like disappointment and sadness. "

" If it's that important why don't we wait for Lance? He's not here, have you seen him?" Hunk spoke up with a nervous voice. Pidge can almost see as every possible bad scenario comes to his mind and she wants to comfort him but she can't. Lance is the one who always pulls him out of his panic attacks but he's not here. AGAIN. Where the heck is he when they need him?! 

As Hunk is starting a panic attack and Pidge is fretting out, Coran slowly shakes his head and sighs. 

"No, unfortunately he's the news..." Coran sighs again and shakes his head "Lance is gone. Number three is gone and left his armor and bayard. I checked the Lions, the Red Lion has her barrier up." he finishes and sits down defeated, leaving the room silent, they could hear the faint mumble of the ship as the bomb settles down. 

 

Pidge is shocked and could only blink as she's putting everything together. 

Lance disappeared after the fight, he didn't even came for dinner. Why did she found Coran in the kitchen and why does he looks so sad. She found him just after Lance left! If she woke up earlier she would see and could stop him!

She starts to feel like crying so she turns to the only solution she knows. Turning her sadness into anger.

"How could he doing something so stupid!? How can he run away from his responsibilities? Why is he such an idiot?!" she's burning of anger, nearly screaming until Hunk takes her hand and she looks down at him, when did she stand up? She slides down back to her seat and shakes her head" how could he do this? That idiot..."she starts to burn out so she's only squeezed back Hunk's hand, fuming silently.

She looks at Hunk, surprised that he did not started to panic only to see that he is in total shock, face pale and his grip is stronger with every tick. She doesn't pulls away though, this is the only comfort she can give to him.

How can Lance do something like this? They need him! He is the Blue Paladin! Not only they can't form Voltron without him but he is her brother! They are a family! How can he abadon everything and run away?

She can feel her arms shaking as she grips Hunk's hand and the chair. She can't lose another brother, she can't stand it... Why did he leave? Without telling anyone?

It's not good. She can feel his emotions coming forth and her eyes wetting, but the next instant she hears a spiteful snort and she frozes.

"This is another of his attempts to get attention? How can he be more pathetic as times goes on? Or is he got so scared that he needed to run away?" the voice of Keith is angry and hateful. How can he speak like this?

Shiro grips Keith shoulder and Pidge is relieved to see Shiro still has his sanity. 

"We have bigger problems than that Keith, if he left we are one Paladin sort, we can't form Voltron like that and we can't fight without Voltron." WHAT THE QUIZNAK??!! What the hell Shiro? It's Lance they are talking about, shouldn't they, like, go and bring him back? And then beat him until he promises that he never do something so idiotic again, ever!

" Don't worry about that Shiro, we are certainly enough." Allura smiles at Shiro with his' princes' smile "now Keith can take back the Red Lion and you can go back to the Black Lion. Everything perfect" she smiles and Pidge want to punch her in the face.

"Yeah" Keith nods" now we can be better, without anyone holding us back we could fight better than ever" he laughs and Allura and Shiro happily follows the conversation but Pidge blocked out. Maybe they are right, but they still need to find Lance and bring him back! But it looks like they are happy that Lance is gone?

They just talk and talk. When Pidge search for Coran to see his reaction but the old altean is gone. She wants to go too, she feels drained and like curling on his bed and cry. The other three are still talking shit and she's just so fed up from them so now.

She starts to take a big breath to scream a them and then run away but suddenly Hunk hits the table, hard, and stands up. He's silent and his eyes burning with so much emotion that she can't read them.

Hunk looks slowly at them and then walks out of the kitchen in an intimidating way, Pidge could never guess the big guy is capable.

 

After the door slid shut again the kitchen fall silent again.

That three is just as surprised as she. But Pidge is angry too, so she slowly stands up to and without a word she walks out too. 

She's not stopping until her room and there she starts to work. 

No matter what the others think, she will do everything she can to bring back that idiot. 

That stupid idiot! This prank is too much.

 

---

 

After a week she has nothing and she's really frustrated.

She worked hard but somehow Lance managed to get off any radar possible. 

He's just vanished!

 

With a frustrated cry she kicks at the door and walks up to the bridge in full gear.

They will go to their first mission without Lance. Keith, Shiro and Allura are in full spirits.

They trained togheter and with the Lions too. It frustrated her but they really were powerful, but different. So different... and now they are going to real battle and she is a little worried. And confused. Definitely confused.

The Red Lion welcomed back Keith instantly. She has her barrier up but when Keith went back to her she lowered it down without a fight.

 

The castle is more cold than ever. Yeah, the three are talking at food time but Coran did not show up for this week and Hunk did not spoke a word. At least not when she could hear.

Pidge did not spent too much time with the team either, she worked every free hour she had. All in vain. She has nothing. 

And when she walked in she felt more alone than ever. 

 

 

Chapter Text

"Watch out! Keith! On your six!" came Shiro's shout as Pidge tries to fight off the galran ships, surrounding her. She lets out a frustrated grunt as a fighter jet slams in Green and she's almost tossed out of her seat but she managed to sit, only squeezing her arm between her and her armrest. 

"Argh...Shiro! I'm in trouble too! They surrounded me! I need backup!" she shouts but can still hear as Allura is having a hard time herself. Hunk is still silent but she can hear a grunt and some angry murmur here and there. She can't see the other Lions as they all got separated but Green is not in a good shape, she could not do this too long. 

Pidge is angry beyond her mind, she got injuries and somehow she has gotten shot more times than the usual. She's injured like the first time they have a battle against the galra when they started the space adventure and they did not understand anything. They are doing the maneuvers they used a thousand times already without a hitch but now she feels vulnerable at every tick and gets damage at situations she never did before. She gets damaged where she should not if they were doing the maneuvers right. Why? In training, they did so well. They worked good together. 

But now they are a shitty teamwork. 

A non-existent one. 

Like clue, an enemy comes from the back and attacks her and Green's warning light switches on.

Frustrating. 

The whole situation is frustrating. 

 

Another angry grunt from Keith and a quiet angry murmur from Hunk in the comms makes Shiro finally giving them the retreat order.

Pidge watches the Yellow Lion fly back in a groggy manner and she follows after them, only stopping in Green's hangar. 

Green practically crashing down to the floor. 

 

"Everybody is on the deck in ten" came the last word from their leader, a tired and weak voice. Pidge drops her shoulders, letting the tension go away as she feels as Allura opened a wormhole and sent the castle away to safety. The radio is dead and she pulls off her helmet and looks at her consoles with a complicated look, analysing the battle. 

 

From the start Green felt distant, she needed to put more strength in everything she did and it still felt off. In the battle, she saw that the other Lions were struggling too but near the end, she lost sight of them. But the battle was not too hard until they formed Voltron. They formed Voltron for a little but she did not feel the power like always, no, she felt the powers pulling in all directions, away from each other. There was no connection between the Paladins or was just so little that she could not feel it. 

At all. 

No wonder a hard strike left them disconnected and they were surrounded by the enemy from all directions. They were quiznaked.

 

They fought hard for a long time but they were more damaged with every dobosh. They did not work together as a team. Hunk did not speak, Keith went ahead alone and did not listen to anything Shiro said. Shiro and Allura tried to stay together but they were overwhelmed too. It was all a mess. 

Shouting and cursing and blaming.

Nothing new.

 

Still, it felt so awful without a loud and cheerful voice. 

She sighed and went to the bridge to get it done so she could hide away in her room. 

 

---

 

As time went on, it only got worse.

 

Well, not everything. 

After some hard battles and close calls, they finally learned how to fight together without Lance to watch their back. 

When Pidge understand why they suck as a team now and brought it up she caused a big shouting match. She brought it up at breakfast one day, they ate silently and only with the minimum words spoken when she finally got enough courage to speak about Lance and some of them did not receive it well. The theme was only good for a little anger channeling. They were arguing all day. 

Coran fleed from the room after a little but what surprised Pidge was Hunk. Hunk spoke to them nearly nothing in the past few days but after Shiro's utterly foul comment on Lance, he burst out.

Hunk was terrifying. He gave them a piece of his mind (a big piece) and Pidge saw in the eyes of Allura and Shiro that they understood something after that. 

What was that she could not tell but she wrote down to herself to never anger the big guy again without Lance to calm him down. 

Thanks to Hunk, they got back (or close to) to their track. They trained together more than before to improve their teamwork and thanks to that Voltron did a little better. 

And nobody talked about a certain Blue Paladin. It was like they forgot that he's still missing and their family is not whole. 

She could see why Hunk is avoiding everybody. 

She doings that too. 

 

Pidge still worked every day until she finds herself lying where she passed out from exhaustion. She was exhausted and hungry because she forgot almost always to eat and the one who made her is missing. And this fact made her more desperate to find him. 

She got angrier with every day she could not find Lance. How did that goofball managed to disappear without a trace? She could not find anything, not even the altean ship he took. Somewhere he needed to go but where can a well now man like the Blue Paladin go without being seen? It frustrated and amazed her at the same time. 

 

While she worked the team fell apart more and more. They could fight at the bare minimum but in the castle it was cold and empty. Nowhere a smile or a laugh, nothing, just coldness. They never interacted outside of missions and nobody made the first step for reconnecting.

Without Lance, all their bad habits came forward.

Keith trains more and more, working himself out 'til Shiro needs to drag him out to eat and sleep. Not always with success. Pidge once saw a bite mark on Shiro's human hand.  What the hell Keith? 

Allura got possessed with the war and her responsibilities to the universe. She comes back more defeated after every hard battle. Pidge once heard her hushed whispers to Shiro that she can feel Blue' s disappointment and grudge against her. That the Blue Lion only lets her in for the missions and she's locked out between them without a word.

With how Keith behaves after the battles, Pidge has a strong guess that he has a similar problem. Not like she will pity them, they brought it on themselves. Pidge is not better, she had some problem too but she worked things out with her Lion.

The odd things did not stop there though.

Shiro is just like when they first found him (nightmares and all that good stuff) and in plus he got a little cruel in fighting and with them. Cold remarks and pointless blaming, everything she never saw him doing. He had a fight with Keith too so from then on the two bothers are apart too. Everybody is cold and sad. Hunk is cold and sad, sometimes Pidge sees his friend working in secret, no question in what but she can't help him, he's not letting her.

The only one in their sorry group who looks functional is Coran.

Yeah, he's not as cheery or friendly with them like before but he's doing his work without a problem. Seemingly not disconcerted with Lance's absence, he doings his work like always. Pidge saw him looking at a phone-like device in secret with a look, that she could not describe. He looks happy, fond and sad at the same time but with a shaky smile and tears in his eyes. She never saw him like that before and it makes her sad. Maybe it's a picture of his family? She wants to ask, but she can't, the old altean's attitude is similar to the Yellow Paladin's, closed off from the team, speaking just the bare minimum.

 

Coran, Hunk and Lance. 

The three people who kept the emotions stable and Voltron on the ground.

And now that the balance is broken, it's painfully obvious that Coran and Hunk needed someone to keep  them  stable.

That was Lance. 

 

And they left their last wall of defense alone.  No.  They attacked it and it finally broke down. Leaving them defenseless.

 

 

When she finally understood the cause of their problems, it was too late. But the Green Lion saw it and accepted her back, they made things up with each other at least and Green saw how hard Pidge work in to get Lance back. With the help of Green, Pidge started to work to get close to Hunk again. 

It was hard, but Hunk was lonely too and accepted her back after some time. Not fully as they were before, just so she can join in her work to search together for Lance, but it was still more than she could hope so. And thanks to him she could have a small conversation with somebody about Lance. She learned why Hunk is so closed off, he's blaming himself too, but he's blaming the others too. He told her that he saw some hints that something wrong but thought nothing of it and ignored it. What if he had the courage to stand up against Shiro and Allura he could have helped Lance a little. 

Most of the time they were working silently but Pidge was grateful for the company. 

 

Weeks after weeks went by. The castle remained cold, the Paladins broken and the fights hard, but they managed. It was not as good as the trio thought the first day but they didn't die. They could not take on large galra settlements or free planets without help from the rebels or the Blade of Marmora but they lived.

On the way, she found her brother and after that with his brother's help, her dad. The only person left on her radar is still like a ghost.

 

Her brother, Matt, went back to the rebels to work there and the castle left empty again. 

The days went by, work, fight, work, eat and sleep when she lost consciousness. 

 

And finally, Allura's patience had run out. She and Shiro planned a big scale mission with the Blade of Marmora.

The planet of Chreyemn is in a strategic place and has important resources. The Alliance needs the planet and it will be a great loss to the Empire. Allura is beyond excited and has more spirit now, thinking they have the strength to move forward. 

She is a little sceptical with this but the leaders of Voltron decided to do something and so she can only comply.

 

---

 

When the time came, the Blade of Marmora came with their ship. Looks like this mission is really big because Pidge never saw this much Blade at once in a mission. All dark and silent giants with their masks on, keeping their secrets. They always awaken her curiosity and so she studies them as much as she can. Trying to find out more and more with every little movement. 

 

Oh

There's a small one. 

Well, they  seem  small only near the Blades, it looks like they are taller than Pidge if she compares how she looks beside them. 

He has a little bit of different armor. 

They are a different race? But the Blade of Marmora only has galrans. So they are half galra and the other half is the stronger blood in them like Keith? 

They are in sync with the other blades as they walk but they look like they are hiding. He's blending in the group almost perfectly. 

Oh! He peeked out to see something and with a nod blended in once again, better than before. Weird.

 

After some idle talk, Allura leads everybody to the bridge and they all start the briefing. Well, more like Kolivan, Shiro and Allura doing the briefing, everybody else is silent in the room. 

Pidge should concentrate on it but she is too curious about the weird one. Finally, she can see them again when the Blade made a line next to the wall. For a moment they were on the light and Pidge saw their armor more clearly. 

It  is  different from the normal Marmora armor.

But why?

They are standing in the dark with the other Blades, still like a sculpture and listening. (maybe, she can't tell with their weird mask on and their head is not moving)

 

When she had enough and it looks like the talking is in a safe zone, she speaks up, looking at Kolivan. 

"Who is that small one? They look different from everybody, are they new? " Pidge says and looks back at the small one. Not even a flinch or a move with fingers as she talks about them. Why are all the Blades are so good with remaining motionless or are they just ignoring her? When she hears a humm, she looks back at the tall galra with searching eyes.

Of course, Kolivan has his perfect poker face on, as always, fuck him. Pidge is really hating him right now. Fuck it, she hates every one of them for being so secretive, she can't even hack them to get her answers. 

"He is a different species, but an honorable member. You don't need to worry about him." Kolivan looks at the on in question and Pidge's chin falls down. A non-galra who is an honorable member? What did he do to get that title? Kolivan's eyes are shining with amusement as he sees something that Pidge not on the small one, but as he looks back there is no trace of any emotion,  again,  argh... "He will work as the Paladins' backup, he will accompany you after your objective is done and stand guard as you're working. He is trustworthy and will do his work perfectly. There is nothing more I can tell you about him" Kolivan looks at Allura so they can finish the briefing as Pidge digest the information, trying to make some sense out of it. So the alien is a he, cool, and he's not galra, double cool. But how can that small and thin alien be their backup?! He looks like Keith could take him out in an instant but needs to be really strong if Kolivan gave him that role, maybe Pidge could corner him and get some information. She could find out more if he were closer but back at the wall and in the shadows she can't see him well. 

 

She wants to run there and grab the alien but Allura ends the meeting and the Blade walks out of the bridge at a fast pace. Did he sensed her bloodlust (for information) and run away from Pidge? Nice work, it will be hard to catch him but Pidge is hungry for answers and she slips out from the bridge to catch up before anyone can stop her. Not like they are going to stay there and have a small talk, she just doesn't want to stay there and watch the arguing between Shiro and Keith.

It became an everyday occurrence. 

 

When she's finally at the hangar, the weird Blade is in the ship already and because they all need to prepare the other blades do not let her in. 

Quiznack. She needs to meet him somehow differently. 

 

But she needs to prepare too so she promises to come back later and goes to Green.

Her Lion is excited, she has more life in her than the last couple of months but she can't really catch the cause as her emotions are flying like a hurricane.

 

Herehereherebackbsckthehearthheretheheartbluehearthfinallyherebackhomeherewholehomeherehearth

 

The words are like drums in her head and there are rushing so she can't understand it. Rushing and repeating, making a headache for Pidge.

Just what she's needed. 

 

She can hear Allura announcing the jump and Shiro's order to go and win a battle through Green's hurricane and she shuts down them, ignoring the weird urging she feels. 

Why is Green so excited about this mission? 

She doesn't have time to figure it out so Pidge locks everything away in her head, focusing on the battle she's facing.

She will need all her concentration, she can figure out later what her Lion wants. 

Chapter Text

When Kolivan first heard of Voltron back and its new Paladins, he was sceptical.

It was so long that somebody heard of it that Kolivan had no hope in it. He thought it as another fairy tale the rebels spreading to improve moral. 

But as he worked and fought he heard more and more. It was not possible at that point that it's all just made out from a rebel's mind. As Voltron became busier and started to free more planets there were more whispers about the Paladins.

 

They could put in great danger the universe and all trey are working for if the Paladins are weak. So Kolivan had someone to gather more information about them to know if the Blade of Marmora could trust Voltron.

 

Thanks to that information Kolivan new more about that five Paladin than anybody in the universe. 

 

The Black Paladin has a strong and wise aura but the aliens are afraid of him because of his galran robot arm. He seems to have some mental problems but he's a capable soldier to shoulder the position of the leader of Voltron.

The Red one is more problematic. He's too hot-headed and quick to jump in action. Kolivan saw recordings of him going headfirst into battle, leaving his teammates to cover for him. The Red Paladin needed discipline before anything else.

There was the Yellow Paladin with a big body and intimidating appearance. From afar. When you interact with him you learn that he is the most kinder of all the Paladins. He has the potential to be a great Paladin but he is too peaceful for the war, too soft.

The current Green Paladin is just as curious and hungry for knowledge as all of the previous Greens. They were so small that Kolivan had honest troubles about accepting that this little thing is one of the mighty Paladins.

Kolivan heard a lot of things about the Blue Paladin. There were so many different images of him that it should be impossible for one person. However, when the Blade made his report about him, Kolivan needed to accept that the Blue Paladin is a true mystery.

 

The Paladins came from a planet far out of the system, at the border of the Empire and they all looked and acted so young. 

They were not a force he could trust at that time. 

 

As time went on the image of Voltron grew and Kolivan started to consider ally with them. The Paladins grew in their roles and became more known to everybody. He learned more about them and the Blue's mystery started to solve itself. Together with the Yellow he played his role as the leg perfectly and always acted in a way that was needed. Kolivan personally saw him once turning his bloodlust and bared fangs into a bright and calming smile, completely winning over everybody who faces that smile.

It was now easy to see why does he have this many different rumors about him, only one thing was constant.

Everybody loved him. 

You go to a planet that Voltron was on before and you can ask about him. Heroic, goofy, flirt, joker, anything but always spoken positively.

Perfect example of the old Blue Paladins behavior. The old rumors were true, the Voltron Lions really have a type.

(Kolivan would never admit that he laughed out loud when he came to this conclusion)

Yes, he heard that the Paladin was welcoming to everybody, more than anybody from Voltron, but Kolivan didn't have any particular impression of him. He just saw the young Paladin as a Paladin should be.

 

---

 

The atmosphere they were in, in their first meeting with Voltron was just like Kolivan thought it would be. 

Awkward. 

Voltron was wary of them and the Princess was especially venomous.

The meeting was done in a blink thankfully and Kolivan was ready to say his goodbyes when the Blue Paladin walked to Regris with a serious expression. He looked like he would punch him if Regris utter a wrong word.

The Paladin stopped right before a stiff Regris and every blade watched them, ready to stop the Paladin if he makes a move.

When the tension grew almost unbearable the young Blue finally spoke.

"Do you guys purr when you're happy or pleased?"

He asked this absurd question with such a seriousness that Kolivan lost his words to reply.

Regris was the same, he just stood there like he turned to stone and watched the boy before him. What was this absurd situation? How can be this the first thing he ask from them? Shouldn't he be scared or distant from them? He should be despised of them! Not asking if they can purr like a house pet.

As Regris got a hold of his voice he slowly nodded. 

"Yes... Sometimes..." his voice was so quiet that Kolivan could question he even spoke but the Paladin's face got so bright and smiled at the Blade before him that it must be real.

"Cool man! The name's Lance, it will be awesome to work with you!" he offered his hand to Regris and he grabbed him as a greeting.

"Regris, it certainly will be Lance" 

 

Kolivan knew that the Paladin won over every blade in the room in that instant. 

He was proven right when back to the base, he could not hear anything else but whispers about the Blue Paladin. 

Kolivan was blind to not see it before. The Paladin was always welcoming and charming to everybody. He always knew how to build bridges. Why would the Blade of Marmora be different?

 

---

 

After that they worked together with Voltron and Lance charmed everybody he met. Before Kolivan could do anything, the blades treated the young boy like he was a cub. They did it with little things but Kolivan understood it right away.

It was good to see the others be so lively after so long. The life came back to the base and they paid more attention to the missions to come back alive. Thanks to only one boy their success rate grew and the death rate went almost zero. 

 

But as things became better at the Blade of Marmora, things changed to the worse at Voltron. 

The Paladins lost the Black Paladin and after a hard time they found him but the dynamics already changed.

He saw how the brightness of Lance dulled and how sad he became so he invited the Paladins and Lance for missions. It was convenient and he was happy to see the boy regain his smile.

 

Everything became calm again, Lance was happy when Kolivan saw him before and after missions and he thought that was is. Voltron finally recovered from the damages.

But he was so wrong. 

He was not prepared for a call from Regris, saying that Lance is leaving Voltron. 

He was not prepared to see how broken the boy was when he arrived at the second base. If they let him go, he will be dead in a movement. Kolivan could not let him go now. 

So he proposed a good deal to  Leo.  (oh how warm Kolivan felt when they got this nickname)

Thankfully Leo accepted it and choose to stay with them. So Kolivan taught and trained him and Leo lived in the main base. After some time he joined in for missions and the boy became stronger than ever. Kolivan was proud to see how he could fight against everybody on the base and how good he became at the simulations.

The boy became family to everybody and Kolivan was happy to see him working hard every quintant.

 

Meanwhile, the Blade of Marmora was in contact with Voltron. They still worked together to free the universe from Zarkon's empire. Kolivan saw how the Paladins crumbled with every mission, only holding out with the last straw. He was disappointed to see how narrow-minded the Paladins were. He saw how missions failed because of it.

It was sad to see the Defenders of the Universe like this but he saw now what broke down Leo, what caused such a loyal soul to abandon them.

 

Maybe it was selfish but he did not speak to the Paladins about Leo's whereabouts.

He only spoke with the old altean advisor. He knew that Leo is keeping in touch with him and sometimes Kolivan told a tale about the boy to Coran. 

 

Time went by like this. He saw the fire in Leo's eyes and Kolivan knew it is time for him to go. No matter how much he wants, he can't lock him in the base, away from everything that could hurt him. Leo was ready and he has too many things to accomplish in this war.

Kolivan was ready to give him the go when the Black Paladin and the Princess came to him with a mission.

It was a mission too big for the current Voltron. The rebels could not help them this so they need the Blade of Marmora. Kolivan knew that they could fail in this mission like this, the Paladins are too unstable, to quick to fight and to blind to see. The blades could not do anything because the Princess is still too hateful towards galrans. They needed somebody who could handle them and guide them.

So he asked Leo to join in. 

Kolivan was not happy, but they needed him and the boy is perfectly capable of handling the Paladins. 

 

---

 

He may be cruel but he did not regret his decision.

Kolivan is now on the castle ship's bridge with Coran, overseeing and managing the operation.

Leo's only wish was to not reveal his identity to the Paladins, so the marmora is using a plus channel and they listening in the Paladin's line. 

The blades were the first to assault the base, they silently got rid of everybody they could and when the Paladins joined in, Leo went after them, doing his job without them noticing.

As they proceed with the operation the risk of getting noticed grew and Kolivan heard the inpatient urging from the Paladins to the Green one to finish their hacking. When the data arrived at the castle's computer Kolivan turned on his mic. 

"Leo, we have the data, the Paladins are ready to go to the extraction. Be careful of the surroundings and join team 2 after the Paladins are in the air." 

"Roger! Thanks, Koli" with a cheerful tone the little dot on the map starts moving.

 

After thirteen dobosh the Paladins are on the way back to their Lions to finish the operation. The base's communication system is cut out and all the living personnel dead.

All is left to repeat this process seven more times and the planet is free. 

 

---

 

At the sixth base, an alarm went off and the remaining forces came together to attack them. 

They were outnumbered still and it was a hard fight. The Paladins could not form Voltron and they struggled with the Lions. The blades were holding their ground and fought off the enemy from inside the ships.

They won after all, but if an alarm goes off sooner, they would have been all wiped out.

 

After the battle he went to see how they are doing, thankfully nobody dead and they already started to tend the injured. Good.

He left his family on the ship and headed to the bridge to speak with Voltron. 

 

"I don't  know! She was just rejecting me!  I don't know made her like this but she was not listening to me! I was completely shut out!" came an irritated voice from the bridge and Kolivan recognized the voice of the altean princess but the voice of the Red Paladin and the Black Paladin joined in.

"Allura, we planned this mission for so long, the Lions would not shut you out without a reason, what did you do?"

"What do you mean by that?! How can you ju..."

"Shiro, she felt it right, I felt it too! Red was distant too! She paid no attention to the fight, from the start she seemed... distracted... You can't blame Allura for it"

"Yeah... I felt it with Green too, but she was a lot more discreet about it. I think that's why we could not form Voltron... The Lions didn't want to...." a thoughtful comment from the Green Paladin made the room silent and Kolivan walked in without a second thought.

 

" Thankfully our numbers are full, and with a little more difficulty but we have the information you wanted to obtain, am I right Paladins? We should plan our actions for the future." with a strong voice, he chooses to end their discussion and start the meeting and after a tick the Paladins joined in, working on the upcoming events.

 

---

 

After they were done, Kolivan went back to their ship before the Green Paladin could stop him and ask for her to see Leo. The preparations on going back to the base was already ongoing and Kolivan chose to go to the deck and save their information from this meeting. The Paladins have a lot of plans for the future and they shared it with Kolivan, so he can harmonize the two organization's missions.

 

From the window, he saw Coran coming in and Leo went to speak with him for a little, after some time they hugged and Leo came back, helping with the finishing touches for they depart. 

When everything was done and everybody was on board they started the engines and flew out of the castle's hangar, towards the second base for further briefing.

 

Leo was sitting in a corner, looking at his communication device. Kolivan could guess that he's speaking with the altean advisor right now. He looks tired from the fight but he is not really injured, he just smiles with a sad smile, completely obvious to the world outside his screen.  

Even like this, he looks strong, the muscles beneath the armor are visible and he has a strong air around him. The fur on his head ( or  hair  as Leo calls it) is slicked back, it gives him a more mature image.  

He changed so much. 

He's nothing like the sad and scared boy who came to their base half a deca-phoeb before. He looks like a soldier now, the soldier that was in there before, it was just locked in among the Paladins. The soldier was not needed there.

But now, with the right care, it came out and showed perfectly what this man is capable of. 

Kolivan can see now, that the stars had a different path for him all along. It may be not easy, but if he chooses to stay back in the castle, he would have been crushed by now and a hero of the universe would be  dead .

 

Kolivan doesn't want to acknowledge it, but its time for Leo to walk his own path. 

He taught him everything he could to prepare him. He saw this little cub mature but keep his shine. Kolivan could now give his blessing to Leo. The base will be so empty without him, but he can't lock him up, nobody can. They would just hurt him and Kolivan could not stand the thought of hurting Leo. 

 

So Kolivan made up his mind, he will let Leo fight as he wants, where he wants and with he wants.

What happens now is on him.

And  only  him.

 

Kolivan just wishes that he will be safe. 

Chapter Text

On the way back Lance was spacing out, only barely not drifting out to sleep. Everything finally slowed down and now the tiredness has finally cathed up to Lance.

The mission was a success and nobody died from their ranks. Everybody is alive and are working right now to get them home.

Lance was so relieved to see every face back on the ship when they gathered again. Some soft 'good job' here and there while they started to attend the injuries. Lance has his mask on (if somebody were to suddenly check-in) so he could only talk to them and touch them to easy the after-effects of the battle.

He did what he's the best. He took care of them and made them smile. It was not much but he was happy to do it for them. 

Kolivan came in for a little before he went to speak again with Voltron. It took some time and they were almost done with the preparations for the departure when he came back. He looked a little tired and had a scowl on his face, but recently he always has this face after a meeting with Voltron.

In the last minute Coran came by to see Lance and he was so happy to finally hug the old altean. He missed him so much and he could not let him go once they hugged. He missed the smiling moustache and the soft yet bright and strong eyes. His weird British accent and the weirdest stories he ever heard. Lance nearly cried as he hugged him but that would make Coran worry so he steeled himself and smiled from the bottom of his heart. After all, he was really happy to see his favourite uncle. 

They didn't talk much, there was no time for a long reunion but Lance knew it was not the last time they saw each other so he let go of the altean.

With a heavy heart, he bid goodbye to the ginger man and flew off with the Blade of Marmora. 

 

 

Back in the base they got time to heal and rest and Lance walked to his shared room to get some shut-eye, but he could not sleep right away. He has too many thoughts flying around in his head. About the mission, about Voltron, about his past and everything he fights against.

Somehow during the battle, not only Red but Blue too invaded his mind. Her voice was much quieter than before when Lance was the Blue Paladin but she spoke to him too. The two Lions made his work harder but the constant distraction helped him ignoring the Paladins. He could not think outside of the mission and the Lions. It made the mission so much easier, it was better to listen to the girls chatting than listening to the Paladins.

Lance asked why Blue made a connection with him again, after all this time, but she only made a purr in his mind for an answer. Lance could not even be angry at her at this, as she and Red started to speak at the same time, making him smile despite the circumstances he was in. It was not the first time that the Lions did not answer his questions and Lance was done with getting angry, after all, they're just giant cats, always doing what they want.

Now that his head is just his again, all the thoughts and questions flooded back, he has to much space to think about his ex-team and the mission with them. Something felt off. Pidge took more time for her hacking (she was slower in every way) and somehow they did move differently in the base when Lance saw them. Like their teamwork is not fully matured, they worked with a disconnect that he could see without the Paladin bond. He did not hear them talking because of his girls but he sometimes saw them in a corridor or he looked after them in the open and saw how badly they worked together.

Lance finds it weird but they could have a lot of things happening that makes them a little more... sloppy.

He saw in the last tick as Keith lost it and attacked a sentry before Lance got there. It has their back to the Paladins and Lance had plenty of time to take it out when the Red Paladin suddenly jumped. He could not stop him or shoot out the sentry before Keith triggered the automatic alarm.

Lance was angry, how could Keith do such a big, noob mistake? He knew which spot he needs to attack the sentry for the quick disengage but he ignored it and let his anger take the better of him. As the sentry's two half had slide to the floor, the alarm rang out and hell broke out. 

Thankfully they still succeed after that and nobody died, just little injuries that could heal in a movement. But it was such an unnecessary risk, they were lucky that nothing serious happened. It was like Keith transformed back to the Keith when they became Paladins, the emo kid who listens to nobody and only talks if you force him. And has a temper like nobody else's. 

 

Lance saw just a little of Hunk... How his he? Had Hunk episodes in after he left? Can they help him? Does Hunk find new alien food that he can bake from? Does it help of his anxiety? And Shiro's episodes?

How are they managing now? He hopes they are fine... He's sure that they are doing fine... together...

 

Tiredness finally took a hold on him and took Lance away from his worries to the blissful dreamland.

When his roommates came in and saw their little friend sleeping peacefully they tugged him in with a blanket and left him in peace, so this little human can get his strength back. 

 

---

 

Lance woke up slowly, feeling the warmth around him and the comfortable and feathery pillow he has below his face. He slept like a log without dreaming and now he feels really good. When was the last time he slept this good? 

Slowly, really slowly stretching out he blinks his eyes open, looking around with a hazy expression. It's midday in the base so he is alone in the room right now.

It's not rare, in the base they're not sleeping at the same time very often. When somebody comes back from a mission, they usually go to sleep after reporting. If there is nothing else to do.

Lance most of the time wakes up alone, he learned fast that the galra needs less sleep than him, even the days on the base are different. Longer day times and much shorter night times. It was hard at first, but now he is accustomed to it. He just takes shorter breaks between activities and finishes his work earlier so he can go to sleep a little earlier and in the morning he sleeps a little in for the seven-eighth hours he needs. Now he's perfectly fine in the mornings and he can work without any problem, his skin gets the care it needs and thanks to his new muscles, he looks better than ever. Lance feels good in his body. 

 

While he stands up and takes off his last piece of Armour, he left it on himself before sleeping (he was too tired to care about them), Lance notices that he got a message on his communication device. A little purple light blinks repeatedly for a while now and it stops as he slowly picks up the device to take a look.

The message is from Koli, telling him to find him when Lance is ready. 

Ready? Well if it's ready then Lance can go to eat before he goes to the leader, right? Nice, he is starving right now.

After slipping on his space jeans and his space jacket (he got them from a space mall and after some light changes, they are perfect on him now), he goes to the cafeteria. He is not alone in there so he sits down with the others and finishes his breakfast while chatting with them. It was a funny conversation, it's always nice to listen to the blades stories. 

 

Now that he is ready he can start his search.

Kolivan was not in the cafeteria so he walks down to his room. Not there. The bridge. Not there. The training room. He is not there either but not to worry, off to the comm room...not there and this was the last room he could think of. 

Now that Lance is out of ideas he stops in the hallway, trying to find out where Kolivan might be. His feet are tapping on the floor as Lance tries to call forward the base's map in his head. 

"no... No... No... I looked there already... No... Why would he be there... Ah! The hangar!" Lance can't help but walk a little faster than needed. He was curious and when he walked in and saw the figure of Koli he ran there and jumped on the back of the leader with great momentum. 

" Found you! "he laughs happily and hugs Kolivan a little more, then letting go of him, Lance slips down on the floor again, smiling from ear to ear." got your message, what happened? " without missing a beat Lance switches to his serious tone, putting on his business mask. Looking at Kolivan's face to read his eyes about his worries but Kolivan smiles at him and shakes his head as an answer, calming down Lance's growing worry. 

"I was not hiding, but I'm glad you found me this fast." Kolivan chuckles softly "Your stealth improved, I didn't notice you coming from behind, good work Leo" Lance smiles at him, thanking his praise with his eyes "There is nothing wrong. On the contrary, I have good news for you. Come with me" Kolivan starts to walk and Lance follows him without question, wondering what happened if it's not bad news.

After walking through the hangar's main part they reach the secondary dock where the repairs are done and where the not used ships residing. 

At the sixth ship, Kolivan stops and Lance looks up. And his mouth drops.

It's his ship! The one he came with, the altean ship he took to fly here.

It looks different though.

It has dark colourings now and even the main body is different.

If you look at it really close, you can't tell it's an altean ship, but only if you personally saw before one. Lance only recognized it from its window. That's the only part left the same. Now his ship is slender like the ones the Blade uses but it still has the same size as before. It now looks like some normal ship that Lance saw before at the space malls. There is nothing suspicious about it from the outside so Lance can use it freely, he can go wherever he wants to. Cool.

Kolivan opened the ramp and they went in. Lance was more astonished than ever.

The interior design was fantastic!

 

The walls are dark blue, almost black with a soft white light and white switches. His ship inside looks like the night sky! It's so perfect that he can't close his mouth.

Somebody built a little cabin for him to sleep there and to store his belongings and the lower level has more beds for a future crew or the people he will help. There is a little kitchen where he can recycle almost everything and he has a lot of space for future needs.

Kolivan says that they didn't change too much the original design, the alteans made a good job with the ship so it was already ready for a crew to live in it, they just updated it with modern technology. Lance can see it, the ship is not much smaller than a Lion and while the Lions were made for one person, inside it was perfect for long missions and the Lion's inside was almost perfect for living. 

 

This ship was meant to use in a way Lance will use it. 

That's why he choose this one. In the library, he found a big stock of information about altean space crafts and space travel and after checking out the castle, he found that this type of ship was the best for him. 

But the Blades still upgraded it. And it's perfect!

They uploaded a map that will stay updated daily and he can even access the Blade of Marmora's channel for information and communication. The language is now galran because the altean will sell him out right away if somebody saw it, so they changed it. Lance learned it already so there is not a problem with it, but he will change everything to Spanish, or half Spanish when he has the time.

Kolivan showed him everything and they made sure that everything is functioning just alright before Kolivan came back to the room. 

Lance was still in there and looked at everything with starry eyes when it suddenly hit him. 

He looked at Kolivan with a heartbreaking expression and pale face. 

"You... You're sending me away?" he could not stop his voice from breaking as he looked at the tall alien. Who looked back at him with wide eyes and a confused frown.

"No! Stars, no... I'm not sending you away Leo" Kolivan steps closer to him and grabs his shoulder firmly with a gentle squeeze. "I'm showing you your ship because it's done and ready for your own missions. You're done and ready." Kolivan smiles at Lance "You did a great job, now you are ready to go fight, to write your own story and make the universe a better place to live in. I'm not sending you away, I'm just saying that when you want to, you can go wherever you want to. You completed your training Leo and you did an excellent job! With your human word... You graduated Leo, congratulations " Lance looks up at his eyes silently and smiles up at him with the most gentle expression he has" I saw in your eyes for a time now that you are eager to go and do something and I... We don't want to hold you back, we want to support you."

"Yeah...I am eager... I..." Lance can feel his tears coming forward but he collects his strength and smiles as wide as he can"Thank you Koli..." suddenly he hugs Kolivan tightly and presses his face in his chest, fighting against his tears. Kolivan is so firm and warm that he unconsciously rubs his face against his chest more. 

"No, I'm the grateful one. But you are not alone in this war, Leo. You have our communicator and our channel. You can always come back. And we will still ask for your assistance from time to time, and we will help you if you need it. Not only me, but we all also want you to stay in touch and come see us sometimes. You start your journey but it does not mean that you're left alone, you have the Blade of Marmora and the altean advisor young warrior" slowly Kolivan hugs him back gently and Lance looks up at him with a soft laugh. This hug worths more to him than his ship. 

" Of course I would come and bother you! How could I not see my favourite space ninjas again? If you let me, of course, I will come! I want to make sure my space family is safe too!" 

" We would be glad Leo. " he releases Lance and smiles at him "You need to be careful Leo. Space is vast and cruel, you will need to always be on your guard, don't let it swallow you, you need to fight, not just against the Empire. But you will do good, you're strong, I know you have the strength to face anything that stands in your way.

With our channel you have access to our information too, you can see where is a need for some help and you can alert us that you will take that mission. You learned everything you need to find innocents in need but you can always ask us. If you're not sure about some details, before you go in, contact us and it will work out. You are a warrior from the bottom. Of your heart, we all are proud that we know you, Leo." Kolivan starts to walk out from the ship and Lance follows him, murmuring a soft 'thank you' in a daze. 

"I...i need to get ready... And I need to say goodbye to everybody... It's good if I only leave after tomorrow?"

Kolivan pats him on the shoulder "You can stay as long as you want. I'm not kicking you out Leo." after another reassuring pat, Kolivan leaves Lance alone in the hangar, he needs to attend a meeting so he lets Lance to his thoughts. And Lance is thankful for it because he needs some time to organize his thoughts before he can function again. 

He can't believe it... He is ready to fight on his own? He trained hard and studied as much as he can and Kolivan says it worth it? He... Kolivan thinks that he can go now and fight without needing help...Kolivan is proud of him... 

"what..." his vision became blurry and as he wipes his eyes Lance found tears on his fingers, looks like he lost against his tears. 

'Why does it feel so good to have his trust?' his chest feels so warm and he can't stop his tears coming as Kolivan's words settle down in his mind. He has somebody who really thinks he can do this...He has somebody who cares about him deeply out here.

He is not alone.

'Thank you Koli...' looking out from the hangar, Lance watches the stars while his emotions calm down. 

Thankfully it didn't take long for him and in his ship's control room, Lance makes his plan for his next step.

 

For now, he needs to pack his things and then say goodbye to everybody. It will be lonely without them but he will see them again, he can see them whenever he wants.  

Everything will be fine. He worked for this after all. He can do this. 

With strong resolve, he walks out of the hangar.

He walks towards his future.

 

---

 

When he told Regris about his decision to depart the next quintant, his friend gave him a sad smile, saying that Lance needs to come to see him a lot and that he needs to send him messages every quintant or he will personally hunt down Lance. Regris only supported him and they worked out some details of Lance plan. With Regris' help, Lance once again saw his future brighter. 

After that, Regris gave a warm hug to the slender human and Lance was thankful for his support, he tightly hugged back and poured his heart into it, telling everything that words can't.

He could feel Regris' trust in him, he never questioned if Lance is ready or not to go. Regris knew he was ready and he wished him good fortune. 

 

It was the same as everybody else. They all gave him a hug and some heartening words before giving a small kiss on Lance's forehead. It was the blades' way of showing him their good wishes.

Dhalnok even gave him a little gift when Lance visited the galran instructor.

It was a pair of gauntlets. They are strengthened with metal and if Lance bumped his fist together, then metal claws came out from the fingers, just like the claws of the blades.

' You humans have no fangs or claws to fight, so if you are short of weapons, you can use your new claws to fight. You're snappy enough so there will be no problems'  

Dhalnok laughed while hitting Lance so hard in the back that he almost fell forward. But Lance held his ground and thanked him. 

It was a gift for taking lives, but Lance still loved it with his all.

 

After he did everything he wanted, he took off.

He needed to go, the more he was in the base, with them, the more difficult it became to say goodbye. Lance loved his space family.

And with their love and all these gifts, how could he not fight for them and the universe with his all?

 

---

 

He was out alone in the vast universe, ready to fight but first, he needed to learn the way around with his new ship. He needed to learn how to operate it. 

He made little changes for the better compatibility and he even made a voice command set, in Spanish, so only he could do some specific things with his ship. He programmed some settings that made his work alone easier and even uploaded songs. They were the songs he has on his phone when they all came to space, Pidge saved everything from their phones to the devices they used and Lance, of course, took it when he left. The songs are still cool and if somebody tries to hack in, then one of his favourite songs alerts. 

Lance loves to think about it like some cool theft-proof protocol.

 

After he was satisfied with everything, he started to look for work. At first, he used the Blade of Marmora's channel, but after some time Lance started to build up his own system. It was hard and it took a lot of work but Lance was determined to make it work. 

 

The very first mission in his solo career was a simple information gathering for the rebels.

Everything was fine... Until he made a little mistake and he got the ship's full personnel after him, all shooting and slashing at him. It was a  little bad but he got the information, blew up the ship and got away with only a scratch, delivered the information AND learned.

After that he went for all kind of missions, he made some mistakes and learned how to do things alone, how to look out for everything and how blew up a galra ship in the most effective way. How to fight without somebody looking out for him. 

And he did it all with style.

He is Alejandro 'Lance' McClain after all and a McClain does everything with style. Oh... His sister would be so proud to see him now. Furious for leaving without a word, but proud to see him like this. 

He missed his family every quintant, so he worked harder and harder, so he can see them one day again. After the war is over. 

 

And in between training and missions, he talked to Coran, to Kolivan and Regris. He meets up with the Blade of Marmora here and there and constantly reported to Kolivan. He sent his letters to Regris and Coran, keeping up with everything that's happening and he cheered them up when needed. 

When they asked he went to missions together with the blades and he even helped out the rebels a couple of times. Once he and Coran had a meeting in a space mall and he even made some work for the old altean. 

He made good use of his ship's empty spaces. Lance often helped freed prisoners reaching their home. He healed their injuries the best he could and stored resources for supply missions. He gave them a bed to sleep and food while they were under his wing. Some asked his name but he always just smiled and told them to call him whatever they wanted, his name is not important. He didn't want the Empire to know that he is Lance and the nickname Leo is something he wants only his close friends to use. So he remained nameless. 

 

Lance got injured sometimes, but never bad enough to get him off his feet. A stab in the arm, some broken ribs from a hard explosion, a laser burn in his left thigh from a nasty fight, after some time they all healed and he was good as new. Only his new scars remained to be reminders about his mistakes and victories. 

 

He was so busy for three phoeb after he left the Marmora base, that he had barely time for sleeping and doing his personal rounds. His skincare was his way to relax, but he could not do it daily, but it was good like that because Lance did good in his new life and he was satisfied. When he looked at the mirror, he always thought that he looks like his dad and now with all the changes, he really is just like his father in his twenties. 

 

He didn't have a crew, but thanks for all his friends, he could work with his quiet ship. He listened to his songs when the quiet became unbearable but maybe this was for the better. 

Lance thought that was it, this is how he will fight until the war ends. In solo, sometimes helping out bigger teams, like a mercenary. He became a quiznacking space mercenary. How cool is that? 

He thought that after three phoeb, everything is going to stay this way. Lance was ready to accept that he will live a quiet life in this war with his. He is not alone, but he is lonely a lot. But he was ready to accept it and be a lonesome fighter. 

 

Until everything changed.

It was a normal rescue mission like the dozen he already did. He had killed some galrans and destroyed some robots and was ready to take home the scared aliens. 

Yet everything changed after this.

Chapter Text

She woke up in the cell with a soft gasp. Her entire body hurt and she could not move her left arm. The tentacles on her head that were cut down are still hurting and burning, she could not move them as freely as possible because of the pain of every little movement. Through all this pain she can still think clearly, the druids could not rob her from her will. She never gave up to despair and always fought for her freedom. As her mind clears up from the dream mist, there is one thing she could not hide from.

 

Today is the day she will die. 

 

She spent ten or so deca-phoebs in the galra prisons. At first, she was only a worker in a mine on a Balmera, mining the crystals out of the poor creature and watching how everybody around her gave up and died. She spent every varga in pain too, she came from a peaceful planet with a fragile body just like everybody else but she never let the Empire break her. And she was alive till today. She is alive and she never gave up.  

But for the last two deca-phoebs, the druids took her in their care and it was not a vacation. 

The druids are ruthless and cruel. The only thing they care about is their experiments and every unlucky fool who got here is their tool.

She spent so much time in the laboratories that sometimes she lost herself, lost consciousness trough the session and only when she was lying down on the metal floor could she come back, not always remembering what happened. It was hard, to not lose her mind, but she is still sane and her mind is strong, this is not something common on this ship.

She never gave up her hope. 

 

But now she reached her end, there is nothing she could do to stop today events from happening. Yesterday during her time on the metal table, she heard two druids talking about the experiment she's in. Mostly it was the usual sickening talk, discussion about possibilities and the usage of her parts, but then something caught her attention, they have every data they needed from her and after the next experiment, she's done for. 

It means she is without any purpose now, there is nothing more they could take so they don't need her anymore. 

It means she will die, just like the others who never came back to the cell. Just disposable subjects.

 

She spent two vargas after she woke up in the cell, possibly the longest two vargas in her life. As usual, she helped the other prisoners with their injuries, her body lotion can disinfect injuries and speed up the recovery, she always helped them like that and after she was done with them, she caressed her own too. Her cut of tentacles will never be whole again, but at least the burning pain could be stopped. It was a little hard because her left hand was broken so she could not move it freely, but with her right hand and unharmed tentacles, she did fix what she can, but the lack of quintessence in her body was the biggest problem. She was tired and cold, she was struggling and her mind was slow, her body was heavy and hard, she could not feel her usual mist-like state where it should be.

At the end of the two vargas, she heard the door sliding open and the familiar sounds of the steps of the sentries. They always come at the same time, every quintant and take away two of them. After some time they found out the order, so now it's not a surprise of the choice of who they take.

The cell's door opened and as she thought, they ordered for her and another one, it looks like today only one will come back, the numbers getting cut down from time to time.

She slowly stood up and was almost out, one of the sentries are holding out the handcuffs towards her when suddenly a shadow appeared and jumped at the closer one. The only sound came from the destroyed robot as it dropped to the ground, sliced in two, and letting the other one aware of the intruder's appearance.

The other sentry attacked the shadow...no, it's not a shadow. It's a dark armoured alien with two blades. It was already ready for the attack and jumped back without any hesitation and avoided the sentry's attack with swift movements, it leant back and as its two limbs touched the floor, the other two shoot up and disarmed the sentry with a quick attack. It only took to the alien five ticks to disable the robot. It sliced this one in two too and took its arm.

After that, the slender warrior opened the other cell, using the scanner and spoke to the prisoners with a warm voice.

"Don't worry, I'm here to help. If you want, come with me, I can take you home, but please choose fast, we need to hurry before they swarm here and cut off our escape route." it says and walks down to the door, leaving them to choose what they want.

From its voice it seems their saviour is a young male, it speaks the common language but with a clear accent so she is not galra and has a warm tone even as he is urging them, he seems trustworthy so she follows after him after a quick glance around.

From the others looks, they came too to this conclusion and they all followed the young fighter through the ship, towards freedom. As they walk, she takes another check upon him. He has four limbs, he walks on two (but could on four too) and he doesn't have any visible uniqueness, no tail, no claws, no skin is showed off, only his dark armour, so she could not even guess his species. But it doesn't matter, what matters now that he is willing to help them and nothing else.

He soundlessly, without great effort and mercy fought off anyone who came up against them on the way, thankfully, they didn't meet a druid. It was breathtaking, watching him doing all this, he fought in such a professional way, he is not a beginner for sure, but where did somebody like him came from? He sounded young but he fought like an older, seasoned soldier. 

 

When they finally reached the ship, he showed them a room to wait in, it has beds, chairs and blankets in it, and he disappeared through a door. Not long after that, the shop came to life and they could feel the ship moving away from the druid base.

Now there was nothing they could do. She quieted down the others, some were so frightened that they could not even move from a spot and after that, looked around in the room. There are some free beds, most of them seem unused for a long time, looks like there is nobody to use them beside them, so this little group and the crew who rescued them is here. She was speechless as she gazed here and there, beside her, the others were just like that too.

The ship is just too beautiful in the inside, nothing that they imagined. The walls look like the sky from her home, dark, almost black blue and everything has a laid back style. There are panel doors on them and light coming out here and there. From here, four doors are leading to somewhere and some doors only hide a cabinet our resources. The technology is a little weird but modern, she never saw something like this before, somehow it all looked different than the common galra tech, it looks somehow...regal.

She saw some doors leading to other premises, those bear lettering, but they were locked and when she tried they did not open so she gave up and sat down on one of the empty beds. Now there is nothing more she could do, she can get some rest instead of unnecessary worries so she let her head sink in the pillow. It was so comfortable after the cell floor for deca-phoebs. 

 

It seems true. She's alive. 

And she's out of that hell hole. It's so incredible, she always hoped this to happen but never once saw the opportunity to do it. She heard rumours of Voltron and everybody hoped that they will come and rescue them, but she never believed it.  And now thanks to this stranger, she was free. He took her hand and give her hope back, hope to truly live again. 

She was free. 

She was alive.

She was still injured and hurt, but she avoided her death today, those injuries can heal with time and now she has time again. She can live for another quintant.

It was so long when she could be so sure of this like now. And this all thanks to this young soldier. A soldier who has a lot of weird things going around.

 

---

 

She didn't even notice when she drifted off to sleep but at the sound of footsteps on the metal floor and the door sliding shut, she woke up and looked at the dark figure of their saviour. He came in in a relaxed way and after stopping in the middle of the room, beside a table, he looked around. His stance seemed much more friendlier and the air around him is different now before he has a really strong, intimidating air but now it's warm and calm. As she observed him, she saw him looking at her, she felt like their eyes met but she could only see the red and blue light on his helmet. He is not wearing the hood now so the helmet is the only thing displaying, he is even unarmed, right now, his body shape is clear. He is slender with long limbs but smaller than the galra with a head or two (still taller than her), but he does not look weak. Or she thinks like this because she saw her fight before? It's hard to tell... 

As she was looking at him, the warrior slowly took off his helmet and smiled. 

 

It was a wonderful smile.

The... The boy looked young. Maybe eighteen deca-phoeb old? 

She could not name his species (at all) but he has two blue eyes (the colour resembled her home planet's moon), he has brown skin and short fur on his head and little ears and they're round! Now it's clear that he is not a half-galra. From his smile it looks like he does not have fangs, nor does he have any visible characteristics that the species have he resembles. There is nothing at all. She never saw somebody like him before. 

But this young saviour has such a calming aura as he looks at them with that smile on his face. As his eyes shining and his smile warms them up, he holds their attention on him without even trying. He is radiant, without a word, they can feel the kindness and goodwill from him. He looks at them like they were old friends when was the last time she saw somebody smile at her with kindness?

The room feels so warm with him in now, he is the centre of the room, a beacon of light to their injured souls. 

It's such a big contrast against the shadow warrior who killed his enemies without mercy and helped them escape. How could such a brightness hide in the shadows? How can he smile like this in this war? How does this young boy fight like the most experienced warriors in war and then? What did he endure to be like this? How can he be so strong? Why is he such a mystery? 

The questions' growing number makes her more and more irritated. She wants to get answers now. 

 

"We're now safe, the galra lost our tail and no matter how they try, they can't find us anymore." the boy's voice is still so calming and warm. He took out a holo map from his pocket, turned it on and placed it on the table "I can help you reach your home personally or I can take you to the rebels. If you have a place you can go, I can take you there so I would like to know what you want to do so I can plan our route" he won over these scared aliens' trust almost instantly and with and she listened as everybody took turns of speaking, the boy listened to them and helped figure out the better way for everybody. She observed how the boy listened to them and marked the planets on the map, not breaking his smile even once, his friendly demeanour erased the anxiety from their hearts and she saw something that amazed her. He did not only smiled with his lips, but his eyes were also smiling too, he was sincere the whole time. When she was the last one left, he turned to her and those blue eyes looked deep in her, but she could not say anything, she didn't want to go home. Nor does she have a place to go now. 

"What's your name? I want to thank you" she tells him instead but the boy only smiles again, but this one is a fake smile. This has something... sad in it.

"My name is not important, you can call me however you want. I'm just a nobody now. Just a nobody who has the power to help, it's not necessary to remember me. Nor do you need to thank me, I'm only doing what I should." so he can't or don't want to reveal his name, could he be a criminal? No, nobody has such bright eyes in that business. But he is certainly somebody... Or was somebody but he needed to start a new life. But as he said it... it's like he doesn't have the slightest self-esteem. It's not good, but it's not a thing she has a word with.

So she's concentrating on the first part, she can name him. There is a good name she thought of, let's call him Qeez. Queezariunn is the name of the God who takes the died souls back to the circle, he makes sure that the balance between the sides is undisturbed, he is a God who is greatly respected among her people. His servants are named Qeez. Qeez looked like them when he first appeared, as he dived on the enemy, so this will be a good nickname for the boy who took her died soul back and saved her life. 

"I don't know where I want to go yet. I think about it until you take everybody to their destination. I figure it out meanwhile. " she looks at him and Qeez smiles at her without any hesitation. 

"Okay, no problem, you can think as long as you need, don't fret over it." he smiles brightly, so willing to give her the time she needs... "Now, I have some first aid here that you all could use, sorry that I can't help out more with your wounds. And you need to get your strength back, you can get some goo from there" he points at a door, the one that leads to the kitchen" it looks a little weird but there is nothing wrong with its taste" he laughs softly and puts away the map "you can sleep here, rest and if you need everything, knock at that door" he points at the one he just came in" you don't need to care about anything besides your healing, just rest and get better, I handle everything else" he smiles again and goes through with light steps, the door slides shut being him, leaving them a little stunned. He has a lot of energy. And has his own space, they could only listen to him. 

 

"You think...he really will take us home?" a broken voice sounds, barely audible in the quiet room. She looks away from the door and nods at them without doubt. 

"Yes, I think Qeez is trustworthy. He wants to help us, he was sincere the whole time and did nothing but care for us" she smiles at the others. "and he is right, for now, let's rest and eat, we all need it."

"Yes, the uraikinen is right, for now just take care of ourselves." a four-armed alien stands up and goes through the door to the room where the food is. He did this without looking back and thanks to him, the atmosphere in the room broke, everybody sprung to action. 

She watched the other aliens going for food or getting comfortable on the beds and she did lay down too on her bed. If Qeez's ship is like her race's, then their little trip going to last for two movements, she has time for getting to know the mysterious boy. Right now her body is still weak, it would be the best to rest first before anything else. 

 

After a good sleep, she got up and treated her wounds as much as she can then walked around a little, admiring the walls and inspecting them. Her body is stronger now that she have her injuries treated and now she feels better too. Her body is lighter and her feet are carrying her without a problem. The magic of a bed after deca-phoebs of the cold floor. 

Some of her co-passengers are still asleep, some are in the kitchen, enjoying a meal and slightly conversing in hushed tones, the light is dim and she can see some blankets that were not there before. While she was asleep, somebody made sure that they are comfortable. 

Their saviour is such a gentleman, she can't help but chuckle a little.

Talking about their saviour.

He must be on the other side of the door as he said he would. He said they could go to him if they need him and she needs him. To satisfy her curiosity.

She slowly walks to the door and... It opens! He really left it open, how kind! This gives her the perfect chance to sneak a glance at Qeez and the crew. 

The first room she got in after going through the door, was just the lower deck, where they came in, there is nothing much in, just some plus equipment and clothes. Nothing could be found from it, disappointing. She walks through, towards another door, where Qeez is most likely is. 

Well, she hopes she's heading there. But she can always search more if her guess is wrong. 

When she's finally close, she can hear his voice, talking to somebody. So there are more personnel on the ship? She started to doubt as there were no signs of them but it would be impossible for a petite alien, like Qeez to manage everything on board. This ship is definitely not made for one person. 

When she reaches the door, sneaks a peek in, finding the cockpit. But in contrast to her expectations, she finds only the boy there, talking to a communicator beside him as he pilots. Screens are popping out and down as he reads them, sometimes wringing something before closing them. He is working alone? In the short time she watches, he's already done three people's share... He doesn't even have a second pilot to trust them with the navigating and reporting. While he looks accustomed to it, it's slower than with a crew. And a lot more dangerous too! 

"Yeah, I got it, I can do this gathering after the... second planet, its name is Wirendbdu, I got two passengers who want to go there so go get what you need after I'm done there. " his voice is stern but it still has a light undertone, she can't grasp what it is. 

"That's good, the planet is close to the base we need now, be careful, they have a good surveillance system, don't get caught, we can't let them know we know about their plans. After you have the data, meet up with Thrix and hand it to her, she will wait for you. She will send you the coordinates later." a calm but cheerful voice sounds from the other side of the channel. A voice speaking the common tongue with a galra accent, it just makes her more curious about Qeez. 

"Roger that, I'm nearing to the first planet so I need to go now. We can talk later, bye Reg"

"Haha, we better or you know I will hunt you down. Don't get your ass handled in the meantime" there is a laugh from the other side of the line and the boy says some words (she doesn't understand them, but they didn't seem very nice from his tone). The laugh disappears as a soft buzz signals the end of the call and the cockpit became silent. She waits for a little before knocking on the metal doorframe. 

 

"Qeez, can I talk to you now?" her voice is still a little distorted but better than yesterday, the pain of screaming is starting to dull too.

After her question, Qeez looks back at her with a confused look. As they look at each other's eyes, he murmurs to himself a word. 

"Qeez?..." suddenly his eyes start to sparkle and he brights up, letting a smile form "Oh, that's me, isn't? Yeah... No, sorry I know I told that you come whenever but I need to land us safely and talk to the locals. If it's nothing life-threatening after we are on route again, I'm happy to talk" after hearing it, she can sigh in relief, she was nervous there for a bit when he rejected but it's simply bad timing. 

"Yes, that would be good. Thank you..." she almost turns away but suddenly halts her movements "Do you need assistance in landing? I didn't see a crew on board and you must be tired." she sees sadness and... longing in his eyes for a tick at the word 'crew' but he hides it so perfectly almost instantly that it's hard to tell that it was even there. But she is sure now, he doesn't have a crew, he is doing everything alone. But he's not happy about it. 

"Maybe another time, you're hurt and tired, but I'm good thank you for your concern. I do this for a time now, don't worry. Get some rest and concentrate on your healing, that would be the best help for me" he smiles again, such a warm smile are directed towards her that she could not press it more. Not now at least. 

It feels like he really is concerned about her well-being and she can't argue with him, she really is hurt and tired so after a nod, she walks back to her bed. 

As she falls asleep once more, she could not shake off the desire to help this boy. 

 

---

 

She took some time to approach him again. 

She took her rest until they almost reached the second planet. And she is ready to approach him, there is nothing that could stop her from getting her answers. 

Now she feels a lot better, her arm is still healing but it doesn't hurt anymore (if she is careful with moving it) and she can walk normally again. The fire in her cut off tentacles are died down, only a numb feeling follows after moving them. Her system was always fast with self-recovery but was always stopped by the next experiment. Now that she had time, it could work as it supposed to be and her recovery was almost done. She will be never like before, the scars and marks on her body will stay with her forever but it's a small price for her freedom. 

She walks to the door of the cockpit and looks in. Qeez is sitting at the control panel like last time, but instead of talking with the friendly voice, he's now working on a... long-distance scanner?

She saw one before, back home her people used it to identify lost dwellers and upcoming storms. It helped them avoid too dangerous situations. It's a really useful tool if one uses it wisely but why does Qeer need one?

"Qeez, can I come in? I came to talk" she walks in without waiting for his reply and looks at the device closely "if you want it to not burn out after the first scan, I suggest you plug together the gamma and zeltoid cables and remove the unnecessary third key from here. It would be easier in the future if you change out this part for a little less complicated chip, makes faster the processing." she tells him in a calm voice, just like when she teaches the younger ones. But she is surprised that she still remembers it. It came out so naturally... 

As Qeez looks at her, he's just as taken aback as her but after a tick, he starts to do what she said just now. Not even questioning why she came in without consent or how she knows it. Isn't he too trusting? 

"The gamma... Always the gamma... Nice one La...how did you forget it..." his grumping don't stops as he works and she steps back and looks out the window while waiting for him to finish, the stars are beautiful today too, so calming and warm, never darkened by the world's cruelties... But they're so cold too, never bothering with other's pain... "Thanks... I think this thing will work now." he puts away the device and looks at her "You came to talk? Perfect timing, want some goo bars? No? Okay, then I just serve myself out. Man, these things are so weird, how does that goo stay in this form? I never want to know it." and he's as cheery as before. She could not answer his question so she blinks a little taken aback and watches him take out a 'goo bar' and starts to eat it, waiting for her to say something. After a tick, she pulls herself together and nods several times, grounding herself. 

"Yes... I'm wondering about... You... For instance, why did you rescue us? Who are you? Why are you helping us this much? He do you know all this stuff? What's up with this ship? There are things so weird here... Where did you get it?" the tip of the iceberg, but this the most important question right now. She just wants to know why this stranger helped her and she accidentally pours out more than she wanted to for the first time. As she looks seriously at Qeez, he just munches on his bar and smiles at her. His eyes are still smiling, but she can't read anything out of his expression. He got guarded? 

"I'm just nobody. Just a guy who has the strength to help others so he does. I'm just doing what I should and help those who I came across. It was a coincidence that got to your prison, but I'm happy that I could save you. There is nothing more to it. I'm just doing what I can with what I have." he smiles at her but she can't accept it. Nobody? How can somebody so kind and strong be nobody? How could some nobody have a ship like this? This is not ordinary technology, and who was he talking too? 

"No... You can't be just... Just nobody" she shakes her head but he smiles at her. But it's a smile with a little sadness in it.

"But it's the truth, I'm just a nobody now who can't help but take those's hands who needs it. As for why I helped you guys? It was just luck? There are so many innocents in galra captivity, but there is only one of me. I just help who I can, and you were the one I got across. "that's acceptable but it's almost the same he told her just before. 

And there it is again. That one word she can't shake off. 'Now'. So he was someone before, he just started a different episode in his life. Or a new life. And this ship is a connection to his old life! What kind of life did he have? She wants to ask more but Qeez starts before she can.

" How did you know how to build the scanner?"

"It's nothing really, just on my home planet, a device like this is commonly used. So most of us know how to use, operate and repair it." great, she missed her chance to push for more information. 

"Your home planet?" his eyes are brighter than before and he looks like a young boy as his interest is piqued so she can't help but smile and nod. 

"Yes, my planet, Uraikin. It's a beautiful place, but harsh to those who live there." she smiles and at the boy's pleading eyes, she starts to speak again. "Uraikin is a planet led by the most fiercer storms and winds. You can hardly find land there, but ice. Our people live in the sky, we catch the thunder for power and fly where the wind wants to take us... There are different tribes, some of us lives in the ice, building caves and castles in safety away from the winds but we build ships. Ships that are like castles, it houses families and we all work together for a living, enjoying the winds in the sky... " as she speaks she forgot everything she wanted to say and just tells the wonders of her home to the shining eyed boy.

 

 

A sudden beep stops her in the middle of her tale and Qeez instantly zones in the screen that popped up. She blinks some to come back to reality. She lost her perfect opportunity! 

" Sorry... We need to stop now, we're nearing the planet and I need to prepare for landing..." he looks back at her "but Uraikin seems interesting, I would like to hear more if you want to share" he smiles at her and she smiles back. It was a good time for her. 

It's disappointing that she forgot why she came in the first place and got carried away, but Qeez is a good listener and her heart warmed from the fond memories of her home. She would like to share more with him. But he is right, it's not the time for it. 

 

The chatting time may be over, but there is still one more thing she wants to do. 

"I asked last time, but do you need help? It was a long time ago that I last piloted a ship but I still know some tricks...It would be better than doing it alone."

Qeez's hands stop and she watches him without blinking. Hoping that he would lean on her a little. 

Slowly he looks up at her and nods towards the second command's chair. His face is unreadable again, just what does he think? 

"Okay... If you really want to, let's try it." he looks back at his screens" just take it slowly and ask if you need, I can handle most of the work's so you don't need to strain yourself with the parts you don't understand " he smiles and she sits down a little dazed. He agreed!!

He is a little too trusting!

What would happen if she were somebody who wants to harm him? Obviously, she doesn't want to harm him, but anything can happen! What would he do if somebody were to stab him in the back after trusting them without a second thought? 

 

Khm, anyway, she needs to familiarize herself with the way he commands the ship. It can't be that different from what she knows. 

Pulling up the screens, she starts to read trough but stops at the second part.

The first part was in the common language, she had no difficulty with it but the second part is in a language she never saw before. She can't understand anything at all! Why are there two different languages mixed in? 

And the data's 80% is in the unknown language. 

 

Now she can understand why he let her so easily in. She couldn't do anything even if she wanted to.

 

As she looked at him, she summarized what she learned so far. 

He is kind, strong, caring and a trickster. He looks weak, but he is strong. He is trusting, but only to a degree. And watching his upcurled lips, he likes to make pranks. 

 

As she's thinking about ways to discipline this little youngster, Qeez suddenly calls out. 

"Oh yeah, you call me Qeez but how can I call you? It would be rude of me to always use 'you' "

"My name is Maigrughinkhiet" she says with a soft smile, it was so long that someone asked for her name. She was happy to share it with him. 

"Maig...marhh....sjet..."Qeez is trying to say out her name but his tongue always slips. She can't help but laugh inside at his embarrassed face. His face became a shade darker and pinker. What is this? " Okay. Sorry, but I can't say out your name... What if I call you in a nickname? "

" Nickname? I don't have one" she shakes her head and he smiles at her like he just waited for this moment. 

"Then what about... Mag? Or Mars? Or... MG?" she listens but only one is to her liking so the choice is easy. 

"I like MG" she smiles, somehow it feels good to have a nickname, even if it because her name is too hard for Qeez. It still feels like they are closer now. 

"Cool! Then let's do our best MG!" he smiles and they start to prepare for the landing. 

 

Well, she doesn't have much work as she can't understand Qeez's language. As she sits there and tries to make out some sense of the unfamiliar words, she misses the small smile on Qeez's face. 

Chapter Text

Don't get fooled by her look. She is older than Lance, in Earth years, she is around 30-35. Even she doesn't know it sure because of her time in the galra prison.

Now some things about her.

 

Her blood is purplish-blue. The uraikin people have lighter bodies and they have lesser consistency. If the settings are right, their body could turn smoke-like, but don't worry, not on a big scale, usually just their fingertips and the tentacles' ends.

And there is a custom that they never forget.

At times, when there is something exceptional happened, they receive a ring (different sizes). These rings could be worn everywhere on their body and all have a different meaning. the bigger the deed, the bigger the ring is.

When MG became a slave in the Empire, she lost all her rings so when she met with Lance, she didn't wear any. But her first rings' did not grow with her body so they left marks on her, Lance once asked about them and after that, she told her about the rings.

After this, Lance started to give her rings from time to time. They were not from the material the original rings are made from, but they were all valued by MG. There was a ring from wood, a wood that is found on the planet they first worked on. Or there was a silver ring, made from the first blade she had, it broke in one of the missions. There was a ring braided from grass, the first time she saw grass. 

All her rings were made by Lance, some were rough, some were better but she loved them the same, they were made from the memories she had and in the same time they reminded her of home.

 

Once, she found a ring on a swap moon. It was a ring made from flackernoin. The stone of her home. It was a ring from her home.

She bought it instantly and back on the ship, she gave it to Lance. He wears it on his left hand's little finger. She needed to persuade him a little to wear it when he heard that it's an original ring but she succeed. 

 

MG

Chapter Text

The mission he went on started just like the others. He found a lead, sought out every information he could about the galra base

and prepared for the mission.

 

When he intruded the ship, it was clear that this base was a secret druid laboratory.

Unfortunately, he found some before so this was not too much of a shock for him. But it still made him sad and angry at the same time. How can they treat people like this? He gets more sick of the Empire with every quintant. 


He can't let them do what they pleased like this, so he runs down the corridor without stopping and he searched for the prisoners through and through.

After some time, he finally found them. 
He got rid of the two sentries that were there, spoke a little to the prisoners and the quickly left that sick place. He learned the hard way to never stay too long in one place and not let the druids found him.

Thankfully everybody followed him without too much of a hassle and they were at the ship in a blink of an eye. They did not run into anything strong, like a druid and Lance was thankful for this luck. It's always better to avoid trouble.

He leads them to the guest room. He liked to call the room with the most beds and biggest space the guest room because he always lodges the 'guests' there. Lance needs to get away from the base, the farther the better.

After he successfully got away from their radar and manoeuvred the ship to a safe zone, he was ready to talk to his new passengers. 

 

So he went to pay them a visit and solve some problems, like where to go from here. Some very important problems.

As he walked in and looked at them, there was only one word he felt right.

Unique.


They were very unique. 


As he took in the look of the aliens, he has a hunch about what this laboratory worked on. Something like extracting every possible information from as much different race as they can get their dirty hands on. With that information, creating something that could do more harm than ever to the universe. 
Sadly, that's what they always do, but it's not important now. He helped them get out of there and now they are safe. 

But he will still need to report this to Kolivan. There are more and more secret laboratories like this. Whatever they are planning could not be good for the others, Lance just hopes there will be no more surprise laboratories like these in the future.

This was already the third he found, by pure luck no more. According to the information he collected, it was no more than an outpost for the soldiers. And jet he found this. And this is nothing good.

 

That's aside, among the rare looking aliens, there was one that gave him the chills when he first saw them.
It's not like he is somebody who is influenced by the other's look (at least, not anymore) but they looked extreme with a human point of view. He felt remorseful for even getting scared at first sight, they doesn't deserve it, they are just some innocent alien who got abused by the Empire, they only deserve kindness and warmth.
If he looked closely at their body, it looks like the alien is a woman. Or something similar, it's always hard to tell with the differences between races, but let's go with 'her' until he learns otherwise.

She is wearing the usual galra prison uniform but he still can see some details. She has blue skin, long fingers that look like claws.

Her feet look like that too, but at the same time, somehow...faint. (He went crazy finally?)
She has a short tail, it's just a simple furless or anything-less tail, nothing like Regris'.

And she has two horns, they look like horns but at the same time, they are different too, they are growing out of her forehead.  

She doesn't have any fur or hair but she still has hair-like...tentacles (??) coming out of her head, constantly moving. Some look like if they were cut down, those are only jerking from time to time. 
She has a lot of injuries, she must be in pain.

It's hard to understand from one look, but there are clear signs of it.

 

Still, it wasn't the injuries that were too extreme for him. What put off him for a tick was hear head. Or more like her face.

She is not hideous. No, not at all. 
But her head looks similar to a human skull. Thankfully just similar and only at the upper part of her face.

She has thin lips and a flat nose. She has pointy ears and a big forehead. 
But she doesn't have eyes. Or to say it precisely, she doesn't have eyeballs. 

She has eyesockets but they are empty.

Or...

almost empty.

Two light blue dots shine in them and as she looks around, they are moving just like any other eye, as she blinks (?) the dots disappear for a tick and then reappear.

It's like she could pierce through you with her eyes and see your deepest thoughts.
But after some time, the feeling vanishes. 


It was just a little shocking for Lance at first. Now, he is perfectly fine again, feeling a little ashamed by himself.

 

After a brief orientation, he got the coordinates of the new stopping-points and he went to start their new course, sometimes it would be so easy with a wormhole, but he's not complaining. This ship is still faster than the most and he is free to go wherever he wants.

He reported to Regris, talked with him some and even got another mission. It was just a quick spying on his way to the second stop. He got it without a problem and continued his main mission. 

When he passed down the information he got to Thrix, she was really pleased with it, as she said, with this, they can finally beat their asses.

Lance laughed, wished good luck and told her to call him if his help is needed. He arriver to hos destination after that and passed down an alien from his ship in the third stop.

 

Ah, right.

He got a crew member! 

 

The blue alien, MG, came to him to talk (it was so good to listen to her and see how happy she seemed as she talked about her home) and she even assisted him after that. She joined to him out of her free will. And Lance welcomed her help.

 

She is smart.

She can't understand Spanish, but Lance saw how she's trying to learn it. And with a little success, she did it alone. She started to understand more and more.

 

Lance was impressed. And touched by her efforts.

 

He showed her how to operate the map and she showed him how to use the scanner in a more effective way after Lance told her what he wants to use it. 

They learned from each other in the short time they had.

 

They could just work fine together. She was a boon companion on the silent ship.

The two of them had a fun time together as they delivered everybody to their destinations.

 

But nothing lasts forever.

Now they are the only two remaining on the ship. It is time he needs to ask her where she wants to go, he doesn't want to let her go but he can't be selfish if she wants to go home. If he must, he will bid goodbye to her with a smile on his face.

At dinner time, they went to the kitchen and sat down together at the table with their bowls of goo. He eats slowly and quietly, Lance could not think anything good theme to bring up before he asks the most important question. Of course, his speakers are betraying now of all times.

He doesn't have an appetite so after he is half done, he puts down his spoon and looks at her. She looks restless too. She didn't even have half of her bowl eaten but she already is looking at him.

She looks hesitant.

Or he thinks she looks like that, it's still hard to read her expressions. 

 

"Uhm.." 

"Qeez..." 

 

Both of them start to speak at the same time and Lance giggles a little and MG smiles too, dissolving the tension between them.

 

"Please, go ahead" Lance smiles at MG and sits a little more comfortable on the seat.

"Yes... Yes, I did say before that I will think of a place where I want to go..." now she definitely looks like she is embarrassed "I know where I want to go" suddenly her eyes lit up with more fire in them and she looks directly in his "I want to go where you go" Lance's eyes grow round at this "I was here for a short time, but I saw so many things from you already. I want to continue watching you do more things. I want to watch you grow stronger and wiser. I want to help you. Grow together with you. I want to learn more things from you and teach you more" she smiles at him and Lance automatically smiles back "and I owe you my life, I want to repay that too. I want to stay here, can I?" she smiles and Lance looks at her smiling face. She has fangs, this is the first time she smiled so wide, but it's a beautiful smile.

"I didn't do it for you to owe me, you don't owe me anything MG. But if you really want to, I'm more than happy to have you here..." he smiles and holds up his glass to her "let's go and annoy the empire together" he laughs and smiles so wide that it's almost hurting his face. 

He has a new friend!

A friend who is willing to fight together with him.

 

---

 

And now they are three movements and four mission after the start of their partnership. 

Lance was happy, it was so long that he could talk to somebody face to face and MG looks like she's enjoying their discussions, even when they only talk of nothing. Still, it was so good, Lance was cheery and enthusiastic all day and at work, he even started to make jokes to MG. She can't understand most of them so he started to teach her some Earth culture and she laughs more and more at his jokes now. She talks about her home too, and Lance is happy to learn more about her. 

They haven't been together for long but he still feels like MG  is a lifelong friend of his, she is just a cool older sister figure or a cool aunt (sometimes, when he annoys her, she can be really strict). 

When Lance told Regris about her, the next quintant, Coran and even Kolivan called him! They were like a father to their son's first girlfriend, it was really funny. The two of them became so excited and asked a hundred questions, it was hard to not laugh out loud, when did they become so close? They were totally in sync as they made him promise to introduce her when it's time. 

It was a great surprise how interested they were in her, but he agreed right away to their request, promising that after some time he will.

 

Lance didn't tell her his name or talked about his past or about the Blade of Marmora, but maybe one day he will. He can't reveal the Blade of Marmora himself, if Kolivan is ready to do it, then he will but about himself, Lance maybe could talk with her somewhere in the future.

Maybe one day they become true friends who can share these things. 

But right now he doesn't ready to open up his heart fully. He is scared to do that now. 

The only one who he shared his every thoughts and fears was Hunk, but even he betrayed him in the end. He just can't open up so soon again.

 

"Okay, so I found another signal. It looks like from the database that this one once was a prison... And now it became an arena but because it's just a small one, there shouldn't be any serious security..." MG walks in, holding the datapad they got for her not too long ago and he looks up at her and stands up from the table, wiping off his hands. He was working on his sniper, cleaning it making sure that it's perfect to the smallest piece. This sniper rifle is his favourite weapon, so he always makes sure that there is nothing wrong with it.

"Let's go there then and we should shut down their party. I set us on course, please start to ready the guest room and our supplies, there will be a lot of people in need of them" Lance quickly puts his rifle together as he speaks and then smiles at MG "Nice finding, we will get there fast, it's close" he goes in the cockpit and sets the ship on course, they will be going to a big fight. 

But it shouldn't be anything they can't take on.

 

---

 

As she watches the map, following Qeez's movements on it and guiding him to the cells, she can't stop worrying.

 

Was it really a good idea to bring this place up to him? She knew if she mentions it then he will come here, but now that they are here, she can't help but have second thoughts.

The missions they did together were spy missions and the last one was a rescue, but it was a small galra prison. Only sentries and a joke like security systems.

 

It was, with Qeez's words, like stealing candy from a baby. 

Whatever it means, but it was easy for him. On the other side, it's good training for her, it's still hard to understand his language and to be the overseer of the missions. Now she can almost speak it and read it, he started to help her with it. Once he asked if it would be better to change everything to the common tongue, but she refused this right away. 

This 'Spanish' is really interesting and it's his mother language, she wants to learn it. 

He became flustered and smiled at her, saying that then he will help with it. And with his help, she learned much faster.

But she knows that he's directly choosing easier missions, because of her. Because she needs to learn and practice her way around the ship, the system, Qeez's style and most importantly, to the position of Qeez's right hand. Well, there is only the two of them but Qeez jokingly called her this once and she knew right away, she wants to be his Right Hand so she could help him with everything. Now they may be only two of them, but she has no doubt that new faces will come with time.

 

But she got sidetracked, now he is in an arena. It may be a small one, but it has sentries, soldiers and some druids. 

She is extremely worried but it can't stop her from doing what she needs, her work is to support him from behind.

"There are six soldier and four sentries coming in the next corner. Qeez... This is a bad idea...." she wants him to come back. This is a really bad idea! How many enemies are on that ship? He is just one person! She can't help him combat! There is this much she could help from behind a screen. This is much more enemies than she ever saw him fight against, what will happen if something happens?

"All of my ideas are bad, you will get used to it" he laughs(!) and she hears as his sword slides out of its sheath. He plans to fight them with melee? Is he stupid? What will she do if he gets hurt? Or worse? 

No, wait, she saw him fight and train before, he is good with melee and better with ranged weapons. If he thinks it's necessary to fight with melee, then she should trust him.

Argh, her nerves.

 

After some time, he speaks again with a light voice, he is too cheery for this situation!

"Woah, that was close, I will become a samurai if I continue this, next time I need to make my riffle silent or should I use more my gauntlets? Those with the whip should be amazing together...I need to try it out next time. So... Where is my date my lady?" he jokes and thinks about unnecessary things.

 

Why does she want to hit him so much?

With a deep sigh, she let's go of her urge and chooses to stay professional. Well, as professional as an amateur beginner could be.

"Go forward. At the second corner go to the left and you reach the first row of cells, at the third corner is the second row and at the fifth are the personal cells..." she quickly instructs him and watches as his dots move with great speed. He is running, looks like he's feeling the weight of the mission too, just pretends to be ignorant. There is so much on her list about him that she learned and now she added one more thing, will she ever stop adding them? Sidetracked again...Concentrate MG!!

 

So, the most important part of the mission, how does he even plan to get out this many people without getting noticed?

"So...What's your plan? You only told me to look out as always when you got out there and I still don't know how will you make it... Two sentries on the left... And there is a lot of prisoners here...another two down on the corridor and I want to help, how will proceed once you have everybody?" there is no answer for a tick and she can almost see how he smiles with that mischievous glint in his eyes.

"Yeah... Haha... Funny story..." he does what she thinks he does? "I just thought that I will improvise when I got there" he really did it...

"If you turn you will get to the first row... You know, I start to question your so-called sense of danger" now she feels like punching him again, maybe she will do it even if he is successful. But definitely, if he gets injured.

"Haha, don't worry, there is nothing wrong with it. I got this, oh and look, I'm here, are you ready?" his voice now is calming, it's unfair to use this tone when she has the right to be angry and worried! She can't even be angry at him for using this voice because it's working! 

"Yeah, everything is ready...ahh... Just don't get your ass handed to them... You are terrible at first aid and I still don't understand your body structure" she gave up, there will be a better time to beat sense in him. 

"You got it MG, OK, I got to the first, talk to you later, connect on emergency" she nods but he can't see it and she knows it but doesn't bother. Now she can only wait and hope that there will be nothing unexpected. 

Maybe she could take a look in the ship's cameras? But she can't hack it... Next time she needs to ask Qeez to teach her. She saw that he can, he did it before this mission too.

 

Counting the ticks and looking out on the enemy, waiting for him to speak, she can't do anything besides these. Should she try that hacking? Maybe she will have luck.

So she attempts to get in their system and use the cameras. 

And she got lucky, the base's security is not complicated and before Qeez hacked in, he opened up all the channels. Thanks to some lazy guard, the cameras were connected together with the main system and Qeez previous work opened the way to them!!

She can see with the cameras!

 

According to the map, Qeez is heading towards the second cells now and thanks to the cameras, she can see seven prisoners with him.

They're all weak, injured and battered, some of them need to help the others to walk but they all are following the little shadow. 

This is the first time she sees him in action after her rescue, he looks exactly like how he looked back then.

Wild, deadly, dangerous, dependable.

 

He is working smoothly, flawlessly and without hesitation. She watches him opening all the cells and comforting everybody who comes out. She can't hear his words, but he is speaking to the prisoners and she can guess what his main point is.

After some time, he starts to walk away, towards the personal cells. Taking time to carefully observing the surroundings as now is radio silence time. MG takes a quick look around them too then her attention swifts towards the prisoners.

And just like when he saved her, these people follow him too without hassle. His back looks so reliable as he leads the not too small team. 

 

She watches him. Trying to read his body, trying to figure out a part of Qeez.

There is so much she doesn't know. She can feel his sadness and fear sometimes, these feelings come out randomly and it takes a tick or two for him to hides them, just enough time that she always sees them. She doesn't understand why is he haunted by these feeling but she can see one thing. He is not ready to open up, whenever some bonding moment happens, his blinding happiness switches to complete sadness. She can see it, there is something binding him down, she can't blame him. 

There must be a good reason for it. 

She is patient, she can wait. 

This boy already took a portion of her heart, she can wait for him to open his up, maybe she can even help once he lets her.

 

As she is pondering on him, Qeez fought off some guards and started to open up the cells. There are ten in total, all of them occupied. 

The aliens coming out of them are looking stronger than the others. And a lot more savage. Qeez speaks to every one of them and calms them down with just a few words. How does he make it look so easy? He just walked there and won over them all to his side. He just tamed ten of the most dangerous type of prisoners, the top fighters of the arena.

She can't stop admiring his talent for people.

She saw and heard him talking and talking. Changing his attitude whenever it's needed. Always perfectly seeing through his surroundings and always adapting to the needs of others. He did it when he rescued her and the others, he did it sometimes with her and he did it in the last mission and now he does it now again. 

And thanks to her watching him close, she can see it. The only time he lies is when he talks about himself and his past. She still can't understand him, why is he like this? He has confidence but at the time he doesn't. 

He is full of contradictions. 

 

Ah! An almost giant muscle and fur came out from the sixth cell. He is certainly taller than the galrans and has a strong body. He has grey fur and pale yellow-green eyes, he looks like a galra hybrid, but like his other genes stronger, there is only a pale similarity. He looks calm as he listens to Qeez and after a nod he walks to the corner, watching out for guards while Qeez finishes his work.

The other prisoners are stepping aside from his reach as he walks by them, they are afraid of him, looks like he is the champion of this arena. It's not hard to tell, there are tales of the arenas' most powerful monsters everywhere. They're strong, merciless and cruel, the most powerful slaves the empire have. There is nothing weird in the way the others pull away from him but he doesn't pay attention to them, he only stands guard for them. Did Qeez ask him to do it?

 

Ah... This mission seems more and more troublesome. Not only the champion, but there are also twenty-three prisoners and all of them are injured more or less. Can they really help to all? Well...Qeez seems to think so and if he wants to then she has no complaint in helping him.

Qeez finally finishes and taps twice on his helmet, signalling for her for assistance, after a quick instruction from MG, he starts to make his way back. All of them are following after and the champion is at the back, making sure their backs' are safe. Did Qeez ask him to do it?

 

"Qeez! A dozen guards are on the way ahead, be careful!" she can't help but speak out, it looks like a trap for him. This counts as an emergency, right?

"Don't worry, I got it. Get the ship ready, start the engines, we're almost there. We will need to go as fast as we can before anyone can see us" she does as he tells him and prepared for depart. As fast as she can so she can offer some support for him against the many enemies. When she's finally done, she looks back at the screens. 

 

And her jaw falls.

 

The fight is already done? How? Qeez is proficient but not a one-man army so how did he pull this out? He is already heading down the corridors, only two corners away from the ship. The bodies of the guards and sentries are scattered on the floor so he did fight. 

What happened?!

 

As she looks at the screens, wondering what this could be, they already reached the ship and Qeez is helping them get in, then leading them to the guest room, after the last, MG closed the airlock. After some ticks, Qeez came in and sat down on his seat, shooting off from the arena and flying them as far from it as he can, getting rid of their pursuers. MG scanned the space around them and sighed when there was nothing found. She relaxed a little and looked at the boy.

"Qeez... Are you sure this is a good idea? Twenty-three prisoners from the arena and one of them is a champion... They may be dangerous..." she is really worried, he knows that she is not much help in combat so he would left alone against somebody like that champion is something happen. As she looks at him worryingly he smiles at her.

"They didn't choose to be in the arena, not even the champion, they all just survived. You're worried because they are dangerous, but they are just as hurt and scared like everybody else. Maybe more, you never know. The most brutal champion could be the most soft-hearted and just fellow you can think of, don't fear them, give them a chance and smile. They are just people like you and me. They just need time to calm down and pull themselves together, the arena could do horrible things to the soul." he is right. She knows he is right, she knows it. But what convinces her is not that fact, it's how he spoke about it like it's not just his opinion, he sounds like he experienced it before, in person. Does he know someone who came from an arena? Was he in an arena before? That could explain some things but this mystery is from his past too. There is no way that she can figure it out now. 

OH, how she wants to know... But right now she only nods, not letting the curiosity take the better on her. He is right, she needs to concentrate on the present.

"I see your point... Okay, I try to do it" she smiles at him "so now we go and see them, are you gonna seduce them or...?" she smiles as she jokes and stands up "And please, leave the first aid to me, I don't want to undo your work and do it again" she watches his eyes lit up and he laughs at her. She knows this happened only once but right now, this is the only thing she can tease him.

"Okay, I stay away from the injured. I promise" he laughs and stands up, then walks out, putting back on his helmet.  

She follows after him, watching his back with a calm smile.

 

 

The room is full of their new guests and she can feel their piercing gazes as they walk in, they already know Qeez so most of them are watching her. It gives her chills but as Qeez walks in the middle like always, they turn their attention to him. MG stays a little behind, talking to strangers is not her strong force. So instead she takes a closer look at them, making a quick check-up over them. 

 

Their condition is much worse than how she saw through the cameras.

 

Everybody is injured, some of them can't even stand up, they just lay on the bed, looking up at Qeez. There is one who is unconscious. She can feel her face gone pale and MG quickly goes there and checks up them, thankfully, they are only sleeping. Nothing life-threatening but they have some deep wounds that are in need of disinfection so she starts to tend the wounds as Qeez talks. Sometimes she listens in, letting his voice wash over her and calm her nerves, sometimes she gets really disturbed by some nasty wounds.  

She listens to his voice and works, she doesn't need to listen to the words spoken, she heard it already. It's the same monologue that she heard first, the only difference is that he introduced himself as Qeez and then MG too. The previous mission was the first they had freed prisoners and when she heard him, she felt really proud. He didn't tell her why he doesn't use his true name but the use of this nickname made her smile. Now, this name will spread in the universe and he will become a great strength against the Empire, she can feel it.

And she wants to see it happen with her own eyes.

 

Unlike their guests, both of them comes from a not well-known Planet from a distant corner of the galaxy, their species are not widely known. As far as she can tell though, these people are all from well-known slave planets or are half-bloods. They all are from the most suffering parts of the Galra Empire.

They have confused faces, but they still have surprisingly good control as they listen to Qeez, waiting for their time for speaking. Meanwhile, MG tends the wounds of those who let her. She walks around silently in the room and without disturbing her captain, she works on the visible injuries.

After some time, Qeez ends everything he needed to do and goes back to the cockpit, but MG stays. She still has work to do, they need her more than Qeez does right now. 

 

She smiles and talks to everybody who seeks out her for questions while she is working. Most of them though go to a bed and lies down to sleep after the meeting is done, she can understand it, they are all really tired so she is careful to not disturb them.

 

Coincidentally, the last one to treat is the champion looking alien.  

She was right, he is a giant, he is much taller than her. 

Like... With five-six heads? With his grey fur and yellow-green eyes, he resembles a galran but only a little. He has a long face and a little round ears and his eyes are narrow but they have a soft feeling as he looks in her eyes. Somehow he looks lazy? ...No, that's just the tiredness. She stops staring at his face and starts to inspect his body, looking for injuries.

There are a lot of scars and old marks but he has some nasty wounds too from recently. How many things did injure him? Claws, fangs, cuts, burns, shots and his left ear was bitten off?! And his lips... There is a small piece missing from the bottom lip, showing a part of his fangs...

If not for his eyes, he would look really threatening.

 

But she saw how Qeez talked to him, without any prejudice or loathing. Because he is not someone who deserves it, he deserves to be treated with kindness. She needs to see under his skin, she needs to see him for who he truly is...

She can do it too.

 

Sho she smiled up at him. 

"Please, sit down, I will treat your wounds." she looks at him and after a short staring competition, he complies and sits down on a free bed, now she can look into his eyes without breaking her neck.

"I help out with your worst wounds, but there are some old ones that I can't help with, those are almost fully healed and they will certainly leave more scars on you. I can help you out with your lip but I can't do anything with your ear." MG says after a quick inspection but she only gets a faint 'I see' as an answer.

Taking it as permission, she starts to work. She points out some parts that need to be frequently tended to, but she doesn't say anything else.

The last one she disinfects is his lip, leaning in close as she concentrating, moving her tentacles with great care and after the disinfection is done, she stitches it together, using a needle from the first-aid kit that Qeez showed her before. It was a fresh wound so it will heal, but it will leave a scar. As she's doing the last touches, he suddenly speaks up, making her jump a little, thankfully, she only applying a gel and a tape on the stitches to keep it together.

"You are really rebels? I mean...Do you fight against the Galra Empire? And do you fight in an organization? Or are you two some sort of mercenaries?" his yellows eyes are burning strong but they don't have malice or aggression in them as he looks in her's "The boy looks pretty young to be a paid fighter, yet he fought like a veteran and you... I never saw someone like you. You're from a druid laboratory, right? And this ship...I never saw technology like this, this is not a stolen galra ship. This is something else...And he was surprisingly collected when he freed us, not even a flinch. This was not the first to him to meet people like us? But you were afraid, so it was not with you, you seem to be a beginner, how long were you here? There is only the two of you on this ship? How did you manage to get us out of there without setting the alarms off? Do you have some relation to Voltron?" she blinks in surprise at the never-ending questions and sits down beside him while listening to all of his rambling. It's like he is not expecting answers from her, more like he's just thinking out loud. When he finally stops, she speaks up to give him some answers. She knows how frustrating to not have any.

"We're rebels, but not from the Rebels, just two people who are helping others. I was a test subject for a long time before Qeez freed me and the others who were there with me. I was not here for too long but I never even heard him talk about Voltron so I don't think that we have any connection...I wish I know the answer for these questions, I'm curious too" she sighs "Qeez looks weak and you look strong, I never saw you fight before, but even though, if you two were to fight... I would bet my money on Qeez" she smiles up at him with a teasing smile "My name is MG, I'm here to help him and watch him do something that I can't even imagine. If you need anything, just ask. Oh, and I'm doing the first-aid, trust me, you don't want him to treat you" she chuckles" I will do the check-ups on your recovery, come to me when there is something" MG stands up and smiles at him one last time when suddenly he smiles back too (it's a little scary smile but well...).

"I'm Nyanz. Thank you" he smiles once again and then lies down on the bed and shuts his eyes, leaving MG to her thoughts. After blinking, she looks away and smiles while putting away the tools she used. 

 

This people needed their help.

She can understand Qeez's point a little better now. They are really somebody else when they are treated with sincerity and kindness. 

 

Maybe this mission was not a mistake after all. 

She found out something important. 

War changes people.

 

It changed her. It changed Nyanz. It changed planets, entire worlds. 

It changed Qeez too, she can see it.