happy birthday, our blue boy
lance thinks no one remembers about his birthday. he doesn’t mention it because they have more important things like saving the universe. so lance sits quietly in his room, repeating the names of his parents, siblings, nephews. he tries to remember their faces and panics a little when he needs more than usually to remember his little niece’s laugh and the way her eyes would light up whenever she talked about something she loved.
he used to have a picture of all of them from his mother’s birthday but he lost it on one of the missions, so now all he had was his imagination and he was scared that they look different in his mind than they really do.
when the clock hits midnight, lance mutters a quiet “happy birthday to me”, but then the alarm roars through the castle. lance runs out of his room but he can’t find anyone else. suddenly he hears hunk’s scream, he was shouting lance’s name from one of the hangars. blue’s hangar.
it doesn’t take lance long to get there because despite what everyone else thinks, he’s quick to react when he knows that something is wrong. but when he enters the hangar, his lion is where it always was. it’s dark and suddenly very quiet.
“what is it, girl? where’s hunk?” lance asks, putting one hand on blue, but there’s no answer. lately he got a lot better at communicating with her, so it’s weird that she doesn’t want to talk to him, especially on his birthday. it’s not like she knew, lance was sure even hunk was too busy to actually remember.
after few seconds, blue opens her mouth. a clear message for lance, get in here. so he does, still not sure what to make of all this. the inside of his lion doesn’t light up the way it usually does when lance walks inside but lance is sure he can hear something…
“surprise!” the loud scream is in a perfect sync with the lights that suddenly burst around lance. the boy is so shocked he almost falls on his ass when he sees his friends in front of him.
hunk, pidge, allura, shiro, coran. even keith, despite their loud argument that happened after yesterday’s mission. lance looks from one face to another, feeling the tears forming in his eyes. they remembered.
“you guys even have a cake!” lance squeals with excitement, blinking rapidly to make sure it’s not a dream. but no, there it is, in allura’s hands. a cake that looks almost like the ones he got for his previous birthdays.
“we didn’t really know much about the traditions on earth but the other paladins helped us a lot,” coran explains cheerfully.
and lance lets the tears fall because they didn’t have to do anything. they were fighting zarkon and the galra could attack at any moment, but his friends remembered and did all this… for him. he wants to tell them he doesn’t deserve this, that he wouldn’t be upset if they didn’t remember. but he can’t utter a single word, he just stares at them and feels like the love and happiness will flood out of him any minute now.
hunk steps out first, holding something bright in his hands. “we know how much you miss the earth. we all do, but i’m pretty sure you want to go back the most,” he starts, looking at his best friend. “coran told me you miss the sunlight the most, so… it’s not really the same but me and pidge made this for you from the quintessence. it’s not as hot as the sun, but it’s always warm and the light looks very similar,” hunk explains.
then he puts his gift in lance’s hands and lance shivers. it’s a small ball made of glass with quintessence inside. it’s bright, yellow and so warm. yes, it’s not like the sun, but it’s still more than lance could have asked for. he couldn’t remember when was the last time he actually saw the sunlight, but what he held in his hands right now was probably the closest he’ll get to it in a long time.
“thank you guys,” he sniffles, half-hugging hunk and ruffling pidge’s hair. he can’t stop looking at the yellow light shining through his fingers, he’s afraid that if he’ll turn his gaze away, it will burn out and lance will be in the darkness again.
but then keith comes closer, awkwardly clearing his throat and scratching his neck with his free hand. in another one he holds something small. at first keith’s not saying anything, he just pushes something into lance’s chest so the taller boy has to give hunk his small sun to take what keith gave him. he looks down and breath catches in his throat.
it’s a picture of lance’s family, the one lance thought he had lost forever. it was put in a blue frame with little stars on it. the picture was worn out because lance always kept it folded in a pocket of his jeans or tucked under his uniform, but it was right there and lance couldn’t believe his eyes.
“how did you-”
“i found it,” keith cuts him off in a rush and when lance looks up he can see a blush on his cheeks. keith doesn’t quite meet his eyes. “one time when you got off your lion, you dropped this and i found it. i wanted to give it back but we were all tired after the mission, so i just left it in my room and kind of… forgot about it? yeah, and then we were in this space mall and i saw this frame, so i thought that if you put your picture in it, you wouldn’t lose it again, and then hunk mentioned your birthday and…” keith rambles, unable to stop. lance hears shiro’s chuckle from behind but all he can see is keith.
keith who usually fights with lance, keith who acts like he doesn’t care about anything, keith who actually notices more than anyone. keith who, in some ways, brought lance’s family back to him when lance thought they’re so far away. lance pulls keith into a hug, squeezing him so hard he’s sure a little more pressure would break keith’s ribs. it’s awkward at first because keith isn’t used to being hugged. but it’s not that keith doesn’t like hugs, lance knows that for a fact, he’s just touch-starved, so after a moment he returns the hug, relaxing a little.
“thank you so much,” lance chokes out, trying to get a hold of his own emotions because damn it, he’s not a crybaby.
keith pats his back. “don’t sniffle on my jacket.”
lance laughs and pushes keith away, and then shiro tells him to make a wish and blow the candles, so lance does. he closes his eyes and thinks “go back home with all of my friends after defeating zarkon”, then he blows all of the candles.
“happy birthday, our sharpshooter,” shiro says, hugging lance.
and when lance looks at their faces again, sees their smiles, hears their laugh, he thinks that it is. it is a happy day. he turns to thank them again, and that’s when he hears blue’s voice in his head, soft and caring. she says,
“happy birthday, our blue boy.”
lance thinks it sounds almost like his mamá. it’s almost like he’s… home.