One of the things I love about Black Paladin Lance is that there are so many possibilies for how he becomes the Black Paladin. Here are just a few ideas I’ve had:
Allura brings up the fact that they’ll need a new Black Paladin and Lance immediantly steps up. He was the leader pre-voltron so it’s only natural, really.
This can also go many ways.
Keith freaks the fuck out at Lance because um, hello? There’s no way Lance would make a good leader, he’s reckless and talks them all into messes all the time. Not to mention the fact Shiro said he should be the leader, Keith isn’t going to go against Shiro’s words
Lance points out that Keith is just as reckless as Lance is, expect Keith is at his most reckless in battle so it’s not a really good idea for Keith to be the leader. He also mentions that of course Shiro picked Keith for the leader, if Keith’s really that blind to favourism he’s an idiot. Shiro barely looks at Lance, Hunk, or Coran.
The dispute quickly tears the group apart. Coran and Hunk are for team Lance, Allura (and techinally Shiro) are team Keith
Pidge could go either way, on one hand she could go for Keith because 1. She trusts Shiro, and 2. She too doesn’t really notice how good a leader Lance is cause that the type of leader Lance is. Shiro’s a very obvious leader, he stands above the others (both literally and figuritively) and is helps pull others up. He’s not entitled but his energy basically screams follow me. Lance isn’t like that, he’s the type of leader that will stand in front of you when there’s consequences or danger, but outside that he’s standing with you or behind you and pushing you to be your best. So Pidge just sort of didn’t notice she followed his lead in the garrison.
Or Pidge could be Team Lance because she did notice
Personally i perfer Pidge being Team Keith and then realizing very quickly she made the wrong choice
Lance quickly notices that they’re not getting anywhere arguing about it so he relents (very much ‘fine, whatever, you lead voltron, have fun with that!’ and storms off). Which, ironically, just further proves he’s better black paladin material
Keith becomes the Black Paladin, Lance the Red, Coran the Blue (they need Allura in the castle), Pidge and Hunk remain as they are
Keith leads and he’s not terrible at it he’s just not all that good and he doesn’t have time to learn and Lance has to do a lot of back seat leading because Keith just doesn’t understand their strengths and weaknesses, is trying to hard to channel Shiro and becoming a pretty big dick (Shiro’s in a different position, he was already their upperclassman, Keith is techinally meant to be on their level but acting like an upperclassman and it’s pissing everyone off), he’s no help in statergy meetings, and he runs off by himself in battle all the fucking time
Lance starts having to shout ‘switch’ during battles beause it’s a better system than arguing with Keith. He goes off at the guy whenever he runs off. He ends up having to explain Keith’s half baked ideas. He’s basically the leader without the black lion and he is so sick of Keith’s shit. Red is too and they bitch and moan about it together. Black and Keith don’t talk.
And despite all this the only person to come around and think Lance should be their leader is Pidge, Allura is still very, very sure Lance is not a good idea
Until she actually she’s him in action. For whatever reason Lance is forced to pose as Voltron’s representative/Leader on a planet and Allura expects it to go terrible but it doesn’t. Lance is still flirty and ridiculous but he’s able to sit down and be serious. Maybe Keith pissed someone off and Lance has to talk Keith’s way out of jail, maybe he’s trying to convince them to help despite the danger it puts the planet in
Whatever it is he succeeds and when he comes back they have a whole new talk about who the leaders going to be. Lance is given the role and the first thing he asks is if Keith is truly fine with that. Que Keith feeling guilty because he expected Lance to be an asshole about it but nope
Lance is still immature and insists on making Voltron bow after distressing things, tells Pidge they can finally make Voltron dab and other such stuff but he’s serious side is out more often and everything goes amazingly with Voltron
OR: Keith doesn’t speak up. Maybe he doesn’t think Lance will be the best leader but he doesn’t want to be the leader. Allura’s still not very sure about it, but Coran and Hunk (and maybe Pidge) all insist it’s a good idea and no one else steps up so Lance becomes the black paladin
Everything goes really well. Again, Lance is immature and a flirt but when the situation calls for it he’s as good and mature a leader as Allura and Shiro
Allura apologizes for misjudging me and Lance jokes about her finally falling for his charms in just a matter of time and Allura gets pissed and Lance laughs only to admit that it means a lot she said that
He doesn’t find out Keith was meant to lead until they’re saving Shiro. Lance walks in the black lion behind him (his armour now black) and Shiro can’t make out who it is at first he just says something along the lines of ‘keith, i knew you’d come for me’ with a grin and Lance frowns and steps closer and says ‘i’m not keith dude, can you see okay?’ and shiro finds and his first reaction is to ask if Keith is okay, why isn’t he the black paladin? and Lance is starting to get pissed because seriously shiro? is it so unlucky to him that Lance could be a leader? But he sucks it up and answers everything calmly because he has a fucking person to save
Shiro doesn’t even think to thank him in all that goes on and Lance just gets really, really bitter
like he knows he shouldn’t be and all but he’s upset. He’s been running on fumes for weeks making sure everyone else is healthy, coming up with plans with Allura and their allies, making those allies, and just all the stress of causing all the shots and now this. He still manages to collect himself and put on a brave face but he has a short fuse these days, he’s on edge, and everyone is on edge because of it
the tension doesn’t help either, they’ve saved shiro but now what? it’s not like shiro can just slip back into the place he had, he needs time to heal and readjust and everyone else needs time to readjust like they planned to save shiro but they never really planned past that
Things with Shiro and Lance just get worse. Shiro doesn’t know how to treat a Lance who no longer has a hero complex, who knows he’s earnt his place and has a right to speak up against Shiro. Shiro finds it weird enough that Lance is sitting in on all the meetings they’re having, let alone that he’s an active part of those meetings unlike the others who may listen but don’t really interact (thinking the BoM style planning, Lance was clearly listening in and looking for faults in their plans only to find none while the others weren’t paying as much attention)
It also doesn’t help that he doesn’t see the awesome leader Lance was because normally Lance is so much more patient. He hears Lance ask why Keith didn’t tell him about Shiro’s wish and Keith admits he didn’t want to lead and Lance gets mad because this isn’t school anymore. Someone can’t be your replacement because you don’t want to do something. They get into an argument but that’s more or less the way they commicate, so what Lance says gets through to Keith it’s just not how Shiro would do things
And that’s what it comes down to, really. The fact Lance leads in a different way to Shiro. He never once tried to be shiro because he know it wouldn’t work. He’s a great leader in his own right, it’s just that shiro has a hard time seeing anyone elses training styles as right.
They end up having a heart to heart in Black. Lance was chilling in his pilot chair sort of just sighing and trying to get it out of his system and Shiro showed up to reconnect with his lion and he stumbles upon Lance and Black like just talking. And Shiro doesn’t get it because it was never that easy with him but that’s because they’re different people with different needs. Lance needs to talk, Shiro doesn’t.
So Lance and Black talk in a way only pilot and paladin can. Shiro clears his throat and Lance ends up telling him how he feels (like the crystal seen with coran). He tells Shiro how he’s just… he knows he’s going to be kicked to the back on the group again because thats what happened last time and he just isn’t happy about it because he’s made his spot on the team and now it’s falling through his fingers. He admits he’s made Shiro was surprised Lance was the leader, like Lance knew Shiro didn’t notice him but it still hurt.
And Shiro feels like shit and they work through their problems like adults
OR: Lance doesn’t step forward as leader. They’re in their lions about to go into battle but Keith… Keith can’t enter Black. The lion once more has his particle barrier up and he won’t let Keith in.
Lance, because he’s in red and feels its better he sit out than Keith, flies over to see if he can help. Keith’s still trying to push in and Lance makes a joke about needing to knock (like he did with Blue) and it fucking works.
Maybe they don’t realize at first cause Keith was also pushing at the barrier but Keith steps forward and Black doesn’t lower his head. Instead the cat basically rolls his eyes and moves to lower his head and let Lance in
Lance is hella shell shocked and just sort of… walks in. Like, okay then I guess I’m your paladin now? ‘no shit kid lets go’ says black as Lance sits in his pilots chair and it just sorta happens
he rejoins the fight and everyones like ‘you got it working! good job’ and Lance is like ‘well actually’
Hunk, Coran, and/or Pidge could be like ‘called it’ or everything could just be really confusing and tense until Black rolls his eyes again and tells Lance to just focus already holy fuck dude war zone
Things go swimmingly
OR: Allura annouces it has to be the blue paladin, always. The Blue Lion is the only one with a qunsitence that will match the black lion and therefore they don’t have a choice, lance is the leader
Lance is thrilled at first and then not everyone else is
Hunk and Coran are so proud, as are the mice
Again, 50/50 on if Pidge is okay with this or not.
Keith is not, he complains that Lance is nothing like Shiro (Lance argues that neither is Zarkon) and gets really uffy about it
Allura attempts that she’s not happy about it either but there’s not really anything they can do so they’ll have to stuck it up and deal with it
Their balant dislike of Lance pushes him to not be so proud. He knows if they’re going to work as a team they’ll need to all accept him as a leader so he starts pushing himself way to hard
he also tries to be more like shiro, which really doesn’t work out for him
he’s not sure Black will accept him at first but the lion does only he refuses to commicate with Lance properly.
Lance pushes himself too far in training, barely gets any sleep, and constantly gets into fights with Keith and Allura because he’s just looking out for them but fuck off lance, just because you’re the black paladin doesn’t mean you can order us around
his insecurities just get worse
he starts getting wreckless, not as a leader but as a person
he takes every hit he can for the others, stops eating almost entirely, stops talking as much etc.
Coran and Hunk notice but they don’t know what to do (Hunk’s used to calling up an older sibling or Lance’s mama for this but he can’t right now) but Allura and Keith are blissfully unaware.
Until Lance ends up in the healing pods because he pushed himself too far and Allura and Keith get mad at him for it and Lance just doesn’t have the energy to fight. He ends up telling them to search for a new black paladin then, if they’re so against him he will back down the moment they find someone. Maybe they’ll actually give that person a chance to be a leader
He doesn’t say it rudely or like they could never find another, he just says it plainly and then Hunk leads him to get some food.
Que Allura and Keith feeling like shit and realizing they really haven’t given Lance a chance. Allura reviews it and wow, Lance is actually great in battle as the black lion. In fact the biggest fuck ups are from Keith refusing to listen. Keith has a good long think-and-stare-at-my-blade session
They both decide they do need to give Lance a chance, Lance doens’t exactly trust them at first but they try and everyone finds it fits rather well. Lance starts to relax more now that Allura and Keith aren’t jumping on his every flaw. Allura starts listening to him. Keith starts following his orders
DANCE MAJORS AU. (Part 1, Part 1.5,Part 2, Part 2.5, Part 3 finale) Contemporary Ballet Dancer Shiro is someone everyone admires and basically Everyone’s Crush™ but he already have his eyes set on a certain new hip-hop dancer recruit next door who’s always wearing red. He doesn’t have the guts to ask him out–at all. However, he asks if he could teach him hip-hop dancing.
And you knoooooooo he was watching them all get all the weapons and getting all excited himself like “oooh I wonder what my bayard is gonna turn into! the black one must be a very special one! cuz i dun see it here.. Allura is probably saving the best for last!”
and hes standing there like “I’m so ready! give it to me! sooo ready! gimme!”
and Allura’s just
“Shiro, I’m afraid your bayard was lost with its paladin.”
and his face just goes:
and then he like smiles and all “I guess i’ll just have to make do..”
LIKE NOOOOOO GIVE SHIRO A DAMN BAYARD!! YOU KNOOOO HE WANTED HIS OWN BAYARD SO BAD AND YOU JUST WENT AND BROKE HIS HEART LIKE THAT!!! LIKE “YOU GET ONE, AND YOU GET ONE, AND EVERYONE GET ONE, BUT NONE FOR YOU SHIRO, SORRY!” ALLURA COULDNT LIKE TELL HIM BEFORE THAT HIS BAYARD WAS MISSING?? WHAT IS THIS NONSENSE?? MOST HEARTBREAKING MOMENT IN SEASON 1 RIGHT HERE. SHIRO BETTER GET THAT BAYARD IN SEASON 2 I SWEAR. JUST LOOK AT THAT HEARTBROKEN FACE! HE WANTED ONE SO BAD!
Also, Lance makes a bunch of very THINLY veiled sex jokes and everyone more or less ignores them until finally one of them gets up super close and whispers something filthy in his ear all seductively. He gets very quiet then.