Hating homophobes/transphobes irl is SO DIFFERENT because you know you should hate them, you have no trouble hating the same people online, but you know this person, you just talked about the math homework a minute ago, you know they’d hate you if they ever found out about you but yesterday they offered you tictacs and you had a laugh about a bird hitting the window, and you’re so fucking terrified because you don’t want to lose this, you don’t want tolose any of them but you know their opinion and you know you’ll never be yourself around them and it’s heartbreaking and terrifying
“Coran! For the last time, we don’t need to include your story about harvesting glonknors from the Ventarian moon!”
“But Princess, if King Alfor and I hadn’t gone on that trip he never would have built Voltron in the first place!”
Lance zoned out while Allura and Coran got into yet another debate over exactly what should be included in the Voltron Handbook. Coran wanted to include every single detail, while Allura was trying to be pragmatic; the point of the handbook was just to debrief Coalition members on the who/what/when/where/why of Voltron, not tell everyone’s whole life story.
All of Team Voltron had gathered around a long dining table in their temporary living space. Jumping planet to planet on their journey home was taxing, and Lance was grateful for the allies that provided them quarters for the night, always thankful to not spend another night sleeping in his lion. But reviewing the Handbook again was testing Lance’s patience, with the team constantly debating which information should be in it.
Groaning in resignation, Lance crossed his arms on the table and flopped his head onto them. He startled slightly when he felt a soft nudge against his left arm, peeking over his arm to see a copy of the handbook being pushed against him. His eyes tracked up from the hand resting on the book, up the red sleeve, to the unruly black hair, and finally settling on Keith’s hopeful face.
Keith’s eyes flicked quickly to the book, causing Lance to glance down and notice the four lines sloppily scribbled onto the open page in red pen. He turned his gaze back to the soft, bashful expression on Keith’s face.
“Tic tac toe?” Lance muttered, “Really?”
The small smile slipped away as pink dusted Keith’s cheeks.
“Sorry, uh. I just thought, you know…,” Keith mumbled, moving his hand off the books. “I mean, you like games, so…,” He shook his head, expression dropping back into his usual neutral, somewhat disgruntled look. “Never mind. It’s stupid.”
Something about this interaction shook Lance, oddly. Keith had leaned away and averted his eyes, looking more downtrodden over a game of tic tac toe than Lance thought anyone really should. But then he thought about Keith, how he had spent over two years away from the team, away from any humans, anyone his own age. Two years away from his friends and the only family he had known. He had reached out, in a small way, to Lance.
Maybe he was trying to get back the friendship they had before he left. Maybe he saw Lance’s miserable demeanor and tried to cheer him up, in some weird Keith way. Maybe Lance was looking a little too deeply into it, but he wasn’t going to take that chance. He shoved his hand into his jacket pocket, grasping his own blue pen.
“Hey,” he whispered, catching Keith’s attention again. He waggled his pen slightly. “I do like games. Why don’t you start?”
Keith blinked once at Lance, before smiling again and fetching his red pen off the table. He drew a sloppy X in the middle left box of the board.
Lance considered his options. The middle outside boxes were a weird choice for a starting move- everyone knows you want to dominate the corners. He figured Keith must be some kind of tic tac toe expert to make such a bold move. Deciding to match Keith’s boldness, Lance drew his O in the top middle box before turning the book back to Keith.
Keith’s eyes focused hard on the board, clearly giving careful consideration to his options. He scribbled his X in the bottom left corner, turning the book back towards Lance with a smug grin. Lance was then forced to draw his O in the top left corner to prevent Keith’s win. When Keith saw Lance’s move, his face dropped, looking genuinely forlorn at his win being taken from him.
Baffled again, Lance took in Keith’s expression, his body language. While he still looked sad at not getting his winning move, he eyes were sharp and calculating, his shoulders tense. He was taking this game more seriously than Lance would have expected. Finally, Keith drew his X in the very center box, while his smug grin returned.
It was then that Lance realized something very important. Keith sucked at tic tac toe. He truly, honestly, was bad at it, and judging by the confidence wafting off of him in that moment, he didn’t even know he was bad at it. Lance flicked his gaze between the board and Keith’s grin, which lost its smug edge to be replaced with an actual gleeful smile. Oh, god. Keith thought Lance was stumped. He thought he was the cleverest person to ever tic tac toe. He was so excited, maybe even a little bit proud. He had two avenues to win now! He didn’t even notice that he completely failed to block the win Lance could get on this turn, by simply placing his O in the top right corner. Lance had this in the bag.
But then Lance looked at Keith’s positively beaming smile. He thought about how quickly his expression dropped when Lance blocked his win the last time. He imagined the look of pure defeat that would replace that joy if Lance placed his O in that box. He hadn’t seen Keith smile like that in months, while they were apart or caught up in space war nonsense. Keith hadn’t had the chance to sit back and do something simple and silly like play a game of tic tac toe in two whole years. He hadn’t even been around a friend, someone his own age, his own species, in two whole years. He hadn’t been able to just be a teenager in two whole years.
What kind of person would Lance be if he took this away from him? He’d have to be a monster to rip that happiness away from him now. And yeah, maybe he also just wanted to keep looking at that beautiful smile and bright eyes.
Breathing deeply, letting go of nearly 18 years of intense competitiveness, Lance drew his last O in the bottom right corner. As soon as he had, Keith snatched the book back, practically bouncing with giddiness, and drew his final X in the top right corner, quickly striking a messy line through his 3 X’s, letting out a quiet but enthusiastic “Ha!” as he did so.
Keith turned the handbook, and that radiant smile, back to Lance, proudly showing his victory. Lance couldn’t keep the answering grin off his face if he tried.
“Guess you got me this time, buddy.”
“Yeah,” Keith whispered glancing back at the game board, then back to Lance. “I’ve never won this game before.” Somehow, Keith’s smile grew even wider, sending waves of pure affection through Lance.
“Well, I guess all that Blade training paid off, just in the form of of mad tic tac toe skills.”
Keith’s eyes lit up. “Do you think I could win again?”
“Let’s find out,” Lance said, pushing the book back towards the other paladin.
Keith nodded quickly, drawing out another board and placing his first X, again, in the middle left box. Lance decided to see what would happen if he didn’t give Keith the win this time. The absolutely dejected expression and slumped shoulders was definitely not worth the small victory, and Keith easily won the next two games, regaining his joyful confidence.
Lance and Keith’s goofing eventually pulled Pidge’s attention away from the ongoing debate between Allura and Coran over the importance of Tarturan traditional dance styles in relation to Voltron’s numerous victories, and she challenged Lance to a game of tic tac toe as well.
Distracted by the peaceful happiness settled onto Keith’s person, Lance failed to notice Pidge drawing two O’s during one turn, and lost soundly.
Lance crossed his arms and pouted at the game board, prompting Keith to drape one arm around his shoulders and pat him consolingly on the chest.
“Don’t worry, Lance,” Keith whispered, only slightly piteously, “You’ll get her next time.”
Sighing, Lance leaned into the embrace. He’d have this “losing” streak hanging over his head for weeks, but he decided eventually that it would be worth it.
The things he puts up with for a cute boy with a beautiful smile.
Second, there’s reason which Thor is drawn as bunny/rabbit, it’s not unpopular in some countries of us Asia I just say for letting everyone know more (in case you have not known about this yet) - Thor’s name - I mean the word ‘THOR’ it got the same pronunciation with the word ‘Rabbit’ in some country, as I know, beside Vietnamese (my language) both Japanese (
兎 can be read as Usagi or So/Tho) and Korean (
토끼 - tokki) got quite similar pronunciation to the word.
Especially in our Vietnamese, the word not just sound the same, they’re written nearly the same: Thor and Thỏ (Rabbit) - so we call him God of Rabbit all the time. Our interviewer did tell this to Chris and Taika once in, which you can view here.
Third, more people asking me about that fanfic I read. This is not as my rec fic or anything, I just have a chance to read and… well, open mind I guess? You can try it here. I would send thank you, to the writer.
And that’s all I have to say. Thanks for the reading.