Replaceable Part 3!!
Lance was woken by the sound of the castle alarms blaring. He quickly rolled out of his bed and put on his armor. He took a quick look in the mirror to see how he looked. He is eyes were still puffy and red from all the crying, but if any of the others asked, he could simply blame it on the sleep. Running his fingers through his hair to make it look presentable, he took a final glance at his reflection and ran to along to the pounding sound of the alarms. Lance reached the room just as Hunk was. Hunk sent him a small smile, in which he returned. His smile quickly fell however when he turned to look at Keith, who was clearly trying to ignore him, not even looking in his direction. Lance swallowed around the lump in his throat. *No. No more crying.* Allura clapped her hands together, getting the attention of the team. “Okay, Paladins! We’ll be arriving on the planet in just a few ticks, so just a quick reminder that this alliance is very crucial to Voltron and stopping Zarkon. Everyone must be on their best behavior! We have to make sure that we secure this alliance, no matter what!” *Oh yeah…* Lance thought. *I completely forgot about the alliance..* “Princess, we are now landing!” “Thank you, Coran. Alright Paladins! Let’s greet our, hopefully, new alliances!” As Lance stepped onto the foreign planet, he looked around in awe. It was beautiful here. There were enormous, strange looking buildings that looked like skyscrapers. The planet reminded him of New York, only there was a peaceful, calm aura surrounding the place. It was clear to see that this alien race was very civilized and advanced with technology, which also meant weaponry. They would definitely be a powerful ally for Voltron and the fight against Zarkon. Allura led them to a large building that resembled a mansion, but it appeared to be made out of an iridescent, chrome material. Coran stepped forward. “It’s made out of a material that’s virtually indestructible. And you may have noticed that you can’t see into the building, but once you are in the inside, you can see the outside. I believe you have something similar on Earth. Two-way mirror is it?” Pidge nodded with her mouth hung open while the other paladins looked around in awe. “It’s beautiful.” Shiro murmured. Lance nodded in agreement. He could feel the excitement bubble up inside him as they drew nearer to the entrance. When they entered the building, Lance was not disappointed. It appeared as though there was some sort of celebration going on. Hundreds of chandeliers made out of glowing blue crystals hung from the ceiling, creating a soft blue hue to light up the room, giving a calming effect. Rows and rows of tables were lined up, displaying an endless buffet of food Lance had never seen before. The aliens there were all dressed in various ball gowns, some of which seemed to sparkle like it was made entirely out of crystals and jewels. And there was music softly playing in the background. Everything was breathtakingly beautiful. One of the older looking aliens recognized them and walked over to Allura. “Ah, hello Princess Allura. It’s a pleasure to finally meet you.” Allura bowed deeply. “The pleasures all mine, Queen Lilith. I would like the introduce my Paladins, the team of Voltron.” The Queen’s eyes shined as she gazed at them. “Yes, yes! I would like to thank you for everything you have done so far. The task you have been assigned is very challenging and dangerous. It is quite impressive the things you have accomplished.” The Queen turned to Allura. “Now, I do believe we have business matters to discuss. Paladins, please enjoy yourselves. This party was thrown for you after all.” The team sheepishly gave their thanks. Lance turned to the party, eyes alight. *Finally, time to relax and have some fun!*
Everything was going amazingly. Lance’s belly was stuffed with delicious food, everyone he talked to was incredibly respectful and kind. He was…happy. He smiled genuinely for the first time in what a felt like a very long time. Everything was going perfect. That was until he talked to Hunk. Lance noticed Hunk talking to a trio of female aliens who were all wearing elegant gowns. They were all giggling as Hunk was flushed red and rubbing the back of his neck. Lance knew that look. Hunk was uncomfortable. What kind of friend would he be if he didn’t come in the save the day for his best bud, his right hand man? So, Lance made his way to them. “So, what are you lovely ladies doing this fine evening?” One of them turned and giggled. “Oh, we were just asking Hunk here about his adventures as a Paladin.” The alien let her hand trail down Hunk’s arm. “He’s very strong and brave. And quite cute if I’m being completely honest.” The others around them giggled in agreement. Lance chuckled and shook his head. “Sorry to be the bearer of bad news ladies, but Hunk right here.” He threw an arm around Hunk’s shoulders. “He’s already a taken man.” Lance felt Hunk stiffen underneath his arm. “Lance, what are you-” “And who is the lucky lady to have such a handsome defender of the universe?” One of the girls pouted. “Well beautiful, that would be one rock hard gal by the name of Shay. You see, from the first time Hunk looked at her, he was smitten. You should of heard him-” “Lance, can I talk to you for a second?” Hunk interrupted. Before Lance could reply, Hunk dragged him away from the group, and to a secluded corner. “Hey, what’s up buddy?” Lance grinned. “Don’t ‘buddy’ me.” His smile fell. “What was that all about?!” “Wha-what?” “Who gave you the right to just start running your mouth about my feelings or relationships?” Lance slowly took a step back. “I-I’m sorry, Hunk. You just looked uncomfortable and I thought-” “No. That’s just it. You didn’t think at all.” Hunk gave him a hard look. “Did you ever think how that made me feel? Lance, that was embarrassing! Shay and I aren’t even dating, and the only reason I told you that I liked her is because you’re supposed to be my best friend!” “Hunk, I am your best friend!” “A best friend wouldn’t just spill out the inner most secrets to compete strangers! I thought I could trust you. I guess I was wrong.” Lance could feel the familiar heat behind his eyes. “H-Hunk..” “Just leave me alone, Lance. And just try to think of others feelings before you think of yourself. And stop trying to 'help’ me. You’ve done enough 'helping’ already.” With that, Hunk turned and left. Lance stood frozen, unmoving. Feeling the heat increase and the water beginning to form in his eyes, he quickly left. He had to get out of there. He couldn’t cry in front of these people, he would just ruin the alliance. *Just like I ruin everything else. But where could I go?* Then, someone was calling to him in his mind. *Blue.* Lance ran back to the castle, avoiding his teammates. He couldn’t let them see him like this. When he got to Blue’s hangar, he could already feel himself starting to crumble. The dam behind his eyes cracked and the tears began to flow. He ran to Blue as she lowered her head and open her mouth for him to enter. Lance threw himself into the pilot chair, drawing his knees to his chest and allowing the tears to flow freely. “Blue, why do I have to mess up everything? I try to help, but I just end up making a bigger mess of things. I knew I didn’t belong here. I was never meant to be a paladin of Voltron. I’m just a weak, pathetic, excuse of a pilot. Keith was right. I’ll never be a true pilot of Voltron. All I am is a cargo pilot.” Lance muttered bitterly. Blue tried to send him comforting thoughts, reassuring him that he did belong and that she CHOSE him to be here paladin, but Lance ignored her, letting the grief and shame consume him.
Lance was still in the castle with Blue when he heard a thunderous crash outside, followed by several screams of panic. He ran to the nearest window to see what caused the commotion. When Lance glanced toward the sky, he gaped at what he saw. A large Galra ship was hovering in the air, and it suddenly projected a hologram of a scarred, angry Galra. “Paladins of Voltron, I am here in behalf of Zarkon. We know you’re here! If you do not reveal yourselves, this planet will perish.” Lance watched as Hunk, Pidge, Keith, and Shiro ran outside the building, facing the hologram. “Ah, there you are.” “What do you want from us!?” Shiro shouted. “Hmmm..I actually have a deal to offer.” *A deal..what could he possibly have to offer that would interest us?* Lance pondered. “Do not think we haven’t noticed that you have stolen information from our database, but what caught my attention was what you specifically searched. It appears that you are looking for your fellow species, one that shares DNA to the Green paladin.” Lance gasped as he saw Pidge pale. “Where are they?! What do you know?! TELL ME!!!” Pidge screamed. “Haha, be patient gremlin. We do have the information about these humans you are looking for, possibly even their coordinates. But in exchange for your the information, you have to prove your strength to me and pry the information from myself. Let me see the strength a member of Voltron has.” The others sneered and shouted at the Galra while Lance set his jaw. He knew what he had to do.
“I’m going.” “No Shiro, if you go, who’ll lead Voltron? There’s a very high chance that whoever goes will not come back alive.” “It’s either I’m going, or no one is going, and that’s final.” The team was still arguing when they were caught off guard by thunderous laughter. “Ahahaha!! It appears we have a challenger!” The team whip around, just in time to see the Blue lion headed straight toward the ship. The Glara ship begins to take off, the Blue lion right on its tail. “LANCE!!” The team ran after them, but they were slowly losing ground. Shiro quickly turned on his communications in his helmet, allowing the others to hear. “Lance! Lance! Do you copy?!” “I hear you loud and clear, Cap!” “Lance, what the quiznak do you think you’re doing?! Get back here right now! That’s an order!!” “Sorry Shiro, but I can’t do that. I’m getting that info.” “Lance, you can’t do this; it’s a suicide mission!!” Shiro screamed desperately. “That’s okay Shiro. I’ll do whatever I can to help my team, especially if it’s concerning their family. I may never get to mine again, so if there is a chance that I can help any of you get back with your family, I’ll always step up to the plate. It’s time that I tried to do something right, instead of being a disappointment to the team and ruining everything. Besides.” Lance chuckles weakly and let’s a few more tears escape, dripping off his chin onto the control panel. “I’m replaceable.”