Games and Piercings (Voltron Langst One-Shot)
Based on the prompt by @ohwhataprettypinkhat ! Please do enjoy!
Lance had a game as a child, being the middle child. He really didn’t get too much attention from anyone except for the stray little one or two. Or when something drastic happened to him, like a broken limb or something. Which is why he created the game. Whenever he would talk, and he would notice someone not listening. He’d say something crazy. He’d remembered one time specifically. He was maybe eight at the time. With a gap-toothed grin and a mint green band-aid on his cheek as he babbled to his mother. Wild hand gestures and crazy exaggerations as she chopped vegetables at the stove. He remembered her nodding along, humming ‘yes’s and ‘okay dear’s every so often as he paused.
“Hey Mama, I’m going to go off to war and break my arm, okay? A hum.
“Okay mijo, go have fun.” Lance frowned before he stumbled off. Later that day he did actually break his arm. His friend’s mom had to call the ambulance and Lance’s mother hadn’t even know he was at the hospital when his friend’s mother drove him home and talked to Lance’s mother herself. Lance had smiled as he was smothered with attention and love from Garcia’s mother. But, it wasn’t his mother’s attention. It wasn’t the attention he wanted.
They’d never notice.
Even when he went off to Garrison, the game continued. Telling instructors he was going to go clubbing. Or that he was off to become a rebel fighter. Giving loud, exuberant stories about sailing the seas. Hell. He told his best friend Hunk he was going to go throw himself off the Garrison room. All he got was a absent minded smile and a ‘okay, see you at curfew.’ Lance wasn’t even sure Hunk had heard the leaving part.
Then he was a paladin. One of five defender of the universe, fighting an intergalactic war. He was the first one chosen in over ten thousand years. And still, when he’d make jokes, or give his serious opinions. No one heard him. After so many years of the same game, he’d finally gotten bored. So, Lance did the only logical thing.
Change up the rules.
Allura was one of the few who noticed him, so she helped him out with his little game. Smiled when he told her the rules. How he’d say crazy things to see if someone was listening. Except for now, just like that one time when he was eight. He’d actually do them. And see how long it took for them to notice the changes.
First was with Pidge, he’d sat in a room with her for three hours. Talking loudly and in great detail about the new blue highlights he was going to get in his hair when they stopped off in the next planet. How they’d be blue and teal and he was going to look like a god damn gorgeous fucking mermaid. Pidge only ignored him, only noticing and greeting him with a ‘huh?’ after three hours of Lance talking. The reason she noticed him was because Allura had entered the room and called his name.
He’d gotten his hair dyed on that planet, just as he said he would. And no one noticed.
The next one was his first ear piercings, he had been sparring with Keith, spouting nonsense as they fought in hand to hand combat. Lance was losing pretty much the entire time. But Lance knew that wasn’t anything new. Keith barely could tell the difference from fighting a training bot from fighting Lance. He got his piercing the very next day. Allura had done them herself. After one of their self-care and venting sessions.
And it just spiraled from there. Hunk was cooking one day as Lance was drawing and talking about a tattoo of the ocean themed Lion he was going to get to cover most of his upper left arm. Shiro was his verbal bouncy wall for both his right eyebrow piercings. Pidge, that was his tongue piercing. Keith caused his lip piercings, both of them. Hunk had driven him for the belly button piercing. Shiro had gotten him the star tattoos on the corner of his right eye. It was fun yeah, Lance loved the little changes in himself. Each one gave him confidence in his appearance, but they also hurt him.
It was like a reminder. Each thing he got was a time he was ignored. Rejected and alone. There were like constant reminders of his failings to get the attention he craved. Even Allura was getting agitated. Assuring him that she always noticed when he added the more noticeable things, and being surprised and often delighted and intrigued to see the more obscure and hidden changes. Lance always smiled when she fiddled with his new piercings, buying him new shiny ones that she matched with her own ear piercings, when she admired the progress he made in training, or when she traced his new tattoos with delicate nails. In return he always helped to braid her hair, painted her nails. Hell, he’d learned how to speak Altean for her. She was like the doting big sister he’d always wanted. He’d always craved to have.
Most of the time, it was able to shove away all of the bad thoughts. Enough to stave off the personal demons inside of him. Clawing at him and constantly nagging at him. Reminding him that he was just a speck in the universe. That he could die one day, and there would be not a single person to mourn his death or go to his funeral.
Those thoughts hurt. Until eventually, they didn’t. Soon the buzzing thoughts became normal in the back of his mind. Fading to silence as his excitement and live retreated in the castle. Being reserved for celebrations on saved planets, or for the Alteans that paid him attention and treated him like the family he saw them as. The paladins only seeing the bored, indifferent side that Lance adopted to deal with the people who no longer seemed to even care what he did.
At least, he thought they didn’t, but by the time they did notice he didn’t care whether they did or not.
It was a planet with a higher rate of gravity and magnetic activity. Gahtic’al or something? It wasn’t in a tongue that Allura talked about very often, but Lance was sure he’d get it by the time he meant the natives. The only thing he recognized as noteworthy was as Pidge announced they’d have to get rid of any metal they carried on them. Lance’s eyebrow raised up. His tongue running over and rubbing against the metal in his mouth. He almost felt anxious. It’d been a while since his skin had been bare of piercings. But, Lance knew he’d have to take them out as he watched even Keith give up his knifes. Lance sighed as he stepped up.
His hands were already reaching to his ears to take off his piercings in his ears when he felt eyes on him. Shiro was gapping at him as he pulled more and more metal off of his face. Then incredulous as Lance even pulled up his shirt to get off his belly button piercing. Shiro studied Lance up and down. There was three holes in each of Lance’s ears, one industrial bar, and two piercing holes in his right eyebrow. Snake bites, a belly button piercing. Were those tattoos on his skin too?! Shiro gaped. He. When? Lance. Who cared more about his skin and hair than he cared about his health, had piercings and tattoos? And dye in his hair?! Shiro looked around, seeing more dazed and staring paladins. Guessing he wasn’t the only one who hadn’t noticed. Maybe it had happened recently? Shiro looked back to Lance, who looked calm and relaxed. Shiro was in awe.
The boy looked so different. His body was stronger than Shiro remembered it to be, it was still lean. But with obvious strength, power, and muscle tone that didn’t compromise the litheness of his figure. His hair was brown with shimmering hues of blue and teal that framed his tan and tattooed skin perfectly. His face was set in a neutral expression. Not unfriendly, more of a calm blankness that looked like it could change into the most heart warming smile, or the scariest glare in the world. With a sharp jawline and the soft glowing blue lights of the ship, Lance looked striking, almost ethereal. With sharp royal blue eyes that were trained on a smiling Allura. What the princess did next surprised Shiro.
“Lance, your tongue piercing too?” Lance seemed to gauge her words for a moment before he got them. Immediately sticking out that long tongue, revealing a thick black metal piercing straight through Lance’s tongue. Causing Shiro to catch a noticeable shudder run through Keith. Almost making him smirk. Keith always had a thing for the blue paladin. And a thing for piercings. Keith had to be in heaven. But, how long had Lance had these piercings? Was Shiro so caught up in training and leading that he hadn’t notice so many drastic changes in one of his paladins? Lance grinned at Allura.
“Thanks princess.” Pidge was the first one to talk, pointing accusingly at Lance.
“What?! When did this happen?!” Lance quirked an eyebrow at Pidge, the expression on his face was friendly, but didn’t hold that same joking light it once did. Now it just seemed like a cool neutrality, as if he’d just noticed Pidge’s shock.
“What? The tongue piercing? I got that…” Lance frowned and looked to Allura, [When did I get the tongue piercing again?] Shiro gaped as fluid Altean language left Lance’s lips, as if he’d spoken the language his whole life. The other paladins’ reactions were much the same as Allura answered back.
[I’d say, eight months ago? Your newest thing was the industrial bar, which was about six months ago, and the tongue piercing was about two months before that. Didn’t you get it at that at the market place on Shero’sic?] Lance nodded.
“Yup. I remember now. It was eight months ago. Remember? Because I got it shortly after my face tattoos.” Allura nodded.
“Mmm, I still like your arm tattoo. But the stars are quite quaint.” Lance’s fingers brushed the two small stars just at the outer corner of his right eye. Bringing Shiro’s attention to the little stars that almost looked like beauty marks next to Lance’s almost glowingly blue eyes. Lance placed the peicings into a small bag for safe keeping and handed them to Allura to put with their other metal objects while they landed on the planet. Lance looked back at them expectantly.
“Well? Don’t we have a job to do?” And Lance walked away from them with Allura, leaving four shocked and confused paladins in his wake. Just what happened to their blue paladin? When had his body changed so much. So drastically in front of them without notice? When had he matured into such a strong young man? Calm and patient. The gleam and innocence of a child no longer in his eyes.
What had they done to him?
You wanted Part 2? You get Part 2