Or in which the team sees the security footage of Lance torturing Joras.
If you haven’t read the first one and felt like the torture scene was cut off or simply just not enough, here’s the cctv along with the team’s reactions to A Certain Elegance
*** I am extremely sorry for taking this long to post this! I had trouble with the structure and flow of this story that I had to scrap the whole thing and rewrite it over and over- it sucked!! (And it still is in my opinion). But I’d rather post it now than not post at all, right? So I guess I’m apologizing for two things: 1) That this took so long to write, and 2) That the structuring and flow might be a little iffy..***
Caution: This turned out longer- waaaaay longer- than what I planned!
To say that Shiro was concerned was an understatement. Being the Black paladin does that to you. He had to juggle being a leader and being a friend to the other paladins, balance between being stern like a General, and being considerate like a friend. He thought he’s been doing a good job so far, ordering the others around with a firm tone and patting their backs for a good job; until now.
The other paladins- Keith, Hunk, and Pidge- were already in their lions waiting for the wormhole from the Castle of Lions, all except the Blue Paladin. Shiro tried to play no favorites when it comes to his teammates, giving them equal attention if need be, but Lance was beginning to occupy most of his thoughts.
“Yo, my dudes. Aww you guys so sweet, waiting for me.” Lance’s face projected in his lion’s screen.
“About time.” Katie’s face popped up on his screen.
“I was outnumbered Pidge, get off my case…”
Shiro let them drone on into a harmless squabble of words against words, but one thing stole his attention.
Shiro may have been used to the sly and seemingly innocent act Lance pulls during diplomatic missions, but the splatter of blood on his helmet was a surprise.
‘Maybe it’s alien blood. He did say he was surrounded.’ He thought, wishing the cold tendrils of suspicion let him go.
The tendrils of suspicion didn’t let him go. Instead, it gripped him tight and held on for dear life.
"If you’re such an amazing paladin, what did you get out of that Galra ship, Keith?“
"Well, me and Hunk, managed to hack into their servers.” Keith held out a small thumb drive, “You are looking at the ship’s security footage from the year it was used until we sacked the place."
"Ha, don’t make me laugh.” Lance opened a zipper in his flight suit and fished out a data pad, “Behold! The data pad containing all information about the ship’s plans, course, slaves, meal plans and all of the above! Beat that, Keith."
Keith scoffed, "For all we know, that data pad’s full of malware and alien porn."
"It’s from one of the Generals who supervised Shiro in the pits, mullet head…"
There was blood splattered everywhere on Lance’s white and blue armor, from his helmet, his breastplate down his knee guards. There were also dark spots on his black flight suit that Shiro assumed it was alien blood not Lance’s.
He met the princess’ eyes and they both had the same suspicion.
What the hell did Lance do this time?
'Shit,’ Lance thought, 'of all the things they could find, they’d have to find security tapes.'
After the debriefing in the Bridge, Lance made his way to the showers. Lance walked in strides, letting his long legs do their work. He undressed in a way where he’s taking off armor and flightsuit in an efficient way yet not looking like he’s in a hurry, like he’s not a bundle of nerves.
The blood on his hands was still warm as well as the memory of blade gliding across skin, leaving a trail of vibrant red. Lance shivered despite the warm spray of water against his body. The thrill of letting loose a part of him that he badly kept a secret was a complete euphoric feeling. It was like the flood gates were finally open, setting free the torrent that was the Salazar in him. And for it to be contained yet again because of a thumb drive the size of- well - his thumb, Lance scoffed at the cruel joke that was his life.
He scrubbed at his chest, reliving the sensation of warm blood and tears on his fingers.
He lifted his hand to his face. Lance watched the beautiful crimson of Joras’ blood wash away from his fingers like it was never there. He frowned with the thought of the others finding out that part of his life.
Lance was and never will be ashamed of who he is. He planned on telling the team about his upbringing and his family, but now was not the time. They are fighting an intergalactic war, the fate of the entire universe are on their hands, they don’t need any distractions right now. That means no surprise attacks in the form of him being a mafioso was needed. And also, Lance was wary on how the team would take it. Will they look at him differently? Would they treat him at an arm’s length?
A feeling of warm comfort hummed in the back of his mind, gently waving through his body.
Blue sent him feelings of acceptance and assurance, telling him that the team will understand, that they will not think badly of him. Lance smiled at the comfort that his sentient lion was sending him. But he was still reluctant about the cctv footage. There has to be a way where the team doesn’t find out he’s a Salazar and still hold on to the high of being one.
A mischievous spark of an idea jolted Lance out of his thoughts.
“Of Course!” Lance exclaimed and hurriedly looked for anyone who might have heard him.
When he was sure no one was listening, Lance started formulating his plan. But little did he know, he was smiling that Salazar smile once again.
“Knock, knock. Pidgey, open up!“
Pidge looked up from her laptop and sighed. She knew that voice, heard it over and over again until she can pick it out in a crowd.
She groaned when the knocking hasn’t stopped. What she would give for some peace and quiet-
“Pidge, you know I come from a big family, I can do this all day!”
“Alright, alright, I’m coming, geez!“
PIdge trudged to her door and placed her hand on the pad on the wall. The door opened to a Lance wearing that stupidly soft robe with an equally stupid green goo on his face.
“What do you want?“
“Well hello to you too, Katie.“
PIdge gave Lance a pointed look.
“I’m just here to give you the data pad I retrieved from the Galra ship, no need for your sass, Pidgey.”
PIdge took the data pad from Lance. “Is that all? If you haven’t noticed, I have a shit ton of video feed to go through.”
“Oh I noticed alright!“ Lance unceremoniously waltzed his way inside her room. With Pidge’s dwarf like height, she doesn’t exactly have the ability or the energy to stop him.
“I mean look at this room!“ He gestured at the scattered clothes and the multitude of wires all tangled up that occupied most of the floor and the bed. “There’s more junk covering the floor than, you know, actual floor. And look at you!” Lance pointed at Pidge and leaned closer to take a sniff, “You reek, Pidge. Have you eaten anything since we arrived? Please tell me you at least ate something before you planned on binge watching years worth of security footage.“
Pidge was touched, really she was, especially when Lance was acting more like a mother to her than the space brother she dubbed him as. But Lance acting like a mother hen sometimes can get a little overboard. Like that one time he lectured Pidge about brushing her teeth before going to bed, he texted her every hour reminding her to brush her teeth.
“Will you leave if I say I did?“
“That depends,“ Lance crossed his arms on his chest, “are you telling the truth?“
Pidge was about to say yes but her stomach whaled a guttural cry like the traitor it is. She opened her mouth to argue but closed it again because Lance was smirking at her.
“Nice try, Pidge.“ Lance made his way towards her drawer and pulled out clothes and a tower, “Take a shower, the one I taught you with the scrubbing and the conditioning, understand? After that, you will eat. We just raided a Galra ship and took all of their rations, Hunk went wild with his cooking. I promise the food tastes divine.“
Pidge was tempted to do just that, hell, she could almost feel the warm water on her skin. Then her gaze slid on her bed and saw her laptop. Right, she has a job to do.
“Lance, I have videos upon videos to watch. I don’t have time for a thirty minute shower-“
“Nuh-uh.“ Lance placed a finger on her lips, stopping her from reasoning out. Pidge tried to chew that finger but Lance pulled his hand back and ruffled her hair, “I know when you can do stuff and when you can’t. In your current condition, you can’t. In a matter of hours, you’ll find yourself sleeping then chugging mugs of coffee. I know you, Pidge.“
“No, you don’t under-“
“Katie/‘Pidge’ Holt/‘Gunderson,’ if you don’t take care of yourself I will. I’m one step away from dragging you to the bathroom and giving you a bath myself.“ Lance ruffled her hair a bit more before smiling softly at her, “Go. I’ll watch the videos for you. Go!“ Lance gave her a little push towards her door.
Pidge plopped down on her bed, her hair still a bit damp after her thirty minute shower Lance routine. She felt light as a feather. She picked up her laptop and placed it on her lap. The notepad program was open. She clicked on it and saw a typed message from lance:
‘Hey Pidgey, I ran your Galra translation program on the videos and it seems that it didn’t place the videos in the right order. Some are in the right order though, but some are definitely misplaced. I sifted through the earlier videos and marked them whenever something interesting happened. Remember if you need some help, don’t hesitate to ask for it, ok?
P.S. I left you snacks under your bed, be sure to eat them when your vision starts to blur :)’
Pidge scanned the file names of the videos Lance listed below his message. There weren’t a lot, which she expected. It was a courier ship, the most exciting thing that must have happened was when they were carrying prisoners, which- based on Lance’s notes- happened only twice so far. Pidge clicked on the file containing all of the security footage and confirmed that it was truly out of order, she expected that too. Her Galra translator still had a few kinks she needs to fix but at least she has something.
Pidge cracked her knuckles and adjusted her glasses.
“Let’s do this,” then she clicked on the next video.