Based off of @letkeithinfodump’s lovely Langst post
Do Not Tag As Sh/@nce or Sh/e!th or any other Sh@/adin ships
Lance could feel himself start to shake as Shiro had announced to them who he chose to lead Voltron in case he couldn’t.
It was Keith.
Lance took a breath and balled up his fist. He swallowed the lump in his throat and tried to blink away the stinging in his eyes as he stared at the floor.
Why should he even be surprised? It’s not as though he couldn’t see Shiro’s obvious bias towards Pidge and Keith. He knew that it wasn’t their fault or that they meant to be favored but it stung and he was getting increasingly frustrated at this.
Lance bit his lip before taking another deep breath and trying to calm himself down before catching Shiro’s shoulder when he told them to disperse.
“Shiro? Can I talk to you about something?” Lance asked
“Uh, yeah sure, about what?”
Another breath. “I wanted to talk to you about choosing Keith as the back-up leader.”
Shiro quirked a brow, Lance could tell he was going to have a hard time with this.
“Well you see Shiro…Keith…Keith isn’t a good choice for leader,” Lance had to fight to keep eye contact with Shiro, “you see he’s…impulsive and a hot-head. He’s a nice guy but he’s put us all in danger on numerous occasions beause he didn’t follow an order and he voted to leave Allura behind and-!” Lance could feel his confidence rise but Shiro raised a hand to silence him.
“Lance, I understand your concern but I’ve made my decision already.”
Shiro turned around and left Lance there with his anger festering and his pride hurt even more than before.
He ignored him.
Lance bit into his lip so hard it felt like it might draw blood. He felt the familiar sting at the back of his eyes and the heat on his neck. He blinked his vision in and out of focus as he felt his body shake with anger.
Lance was the only one left in the console room, so his voice echoed and bounced back to him with just as much disappointment and anger it had when the words left his lips.
“You’re not the you I thought you were.”
The next time Lance brings it up is when he’s hardened his attitude towards Shiro’s behaviour. He knows it’s not exactly his fault but the way he brushes Lance off is unacceptable and this time, Lance is Not Having It.
“Shiro.” Lance walked up to Shiro, he rather have missed all of the break between training than have to keep in his feelings.
Shiro turned around and sighed, “Lance, look, I know-” but this time it was Lance who cut Shiro off.
“No Shiro, you look.” Lance took one big breath before starting, “I understand that you are the leader and that you were thrown into this by yourself, but you see, you are extremely biased towards Pidge and Keith and honestly, I just can’t let that stand anymore man.”
Lance paused to see Shiro blinking in stunned silence, he took this as his cue to continue.
“Shiro, I understand that you know Keith the best and probably know what he’s capable of. But your making him stressed because your expectations of him are too damn high and you have to accept that there are things that not even Keith can do- nothing wrong with that Keith, it’s ok that you can’t- but instead you just say “I believe in you” and you tell him to basically change everything about himself so he can act like a good-…no I mean, so he can act like you. Shiro, you can’t expect that to magically fix anything!”
Lance took a deep breath and gathered his thoughts before proceeding onto his next topic, “Do you even talk to Hunk ever?”
“Well-” Shiro began
“Outside of giving orders? Do you ever ask, ‘Hey Hunk, how was your day? Did you do anything new?’ Because as far as I know, all you can say to him is ‘Hunk, shoulder canon.’, ‘Hunk, you go with whoever on this mission to retrieve whatever.’, sometimes you can’t even address him directly! It’s just ‘Legs, do this!’ You don’t actually talk to him Shiro.”
“Also? Isn’t Allura the technical leader of Voltron? She actually knows Zarkon. She actually knows the aliens that we fight and that we talk to. Why are you acting as though you know this stuff? Even if Allura doesn’t know, most of the time Coran knows so he should also be consulted.”
“Yes, well I-”
“Not only that, but you didn’t consult anyone else when deciding Keith would be the Black Paladin. You didn’t check with Keith on how he felt about that, and even then he told you himself and you ignored it. What’s worse is that you didn’t even consult with your lion, the one Keith would be the pilot of. How do you know if she was okay with this? How do you know if this is what she wants?”
Shiro fell silent, it seems that this was the one that made him crack.
He felt a presence next to him and he fixed his stubborn gaze from Shiro to Keith.
Lance was getting ready to argue with Keith when the red paladin turned from Lance to Shiro and said, “Lance is right, Shiro.”
Lance blinked confusedly as Keith continued on, “You don’t listen to him at all. Remember the Blade of Marmora? You didn’t listen to Lance, and I nearly got myself killed. Granted, I wanted to go but… the point still stands.” Keith crossed his arms as he finished his argument.
Lance felt a warm hand on his shoulder as he looked to see Hunk sending him an appreciative look before agreeing with the fire and ice paladins.
One by one, everyone from the Team Voltron stood behind or near Lance and agreed with him.
Shiro looked up from the linoleum tiles, seemingly ready to get criticized once more.
“What do you say?”
Shiro closed his eyes as he took in a deep breath before opening them once more and looking around the small group of people. “…and all of you feel this way?”
There was a small murmur of agreement and short little nods.
Shiro sighed, “You’re right Lance. I wasn’t thinking about anyone else but my own beliefs and bias.”
He turned to the two alteans to his left.
“I’m sorry for not consulting you on matters I know you would have more knowledge on. I…I tried to think that just because I lead Voltron I know everything but…not really.”
Shiro continued on down the line of paladins.
“Lastly, Lance…I’m sorry. You were right and….I was ignoring you. Thank you for pointing this out to me and…I know it was probably hard but…I’m proud of you.”
About two weeks later Shiro went to the Black Lion and asked if she would be willing to pick a backup to pilot her in case something happened to Shiro.
She said yes so, all the paladins (+Allura and Coran) would stand in front of her and allow her large, wisdom filled eyes to scrutinize them.
When Lance stepped in front of her he felt as though every crevice in his mind and soul was being checked and scrutinized. Before long, the Black Lion’s eyes started to glow.
She did it. She found her back-up paladin.
Hunk’s and Pidge’s cheers could be heard in the background as they whooped and hollered at Lance.
Lance felt waves of pride crash over him, before feelings of anxiety and guilt replace them.
But what about Blue?
Lance looked to the Alteans, knowing that the other paladins wouldn’t be able to fill out his spot without creating a new spot in Voltron needed to be filled. He played with the idea of Blue Paladin Allura, and while she could certainly fill out the spot with ease, he knows that she’s the pilot of the castleship, and if her was honest, that was a lot harder to replace than the pilots of Voltron.
Before announcing his decision he used his connection to the Blue Lion to ask her about if that was okay or not. She said it was fine so long as it wasn’t permanent and she could have Lance back. Lance smiled, Don’t worry my lady, you’re my one and only. He told her before turning to the alteans.
“Will you be the back up Blue Paladin?”