Lance keeps a very in depth journal of his thoughts and feelings. It includes dates, ages, times, and sometimes context snippets to help him remember. He does this in hopes that all his insecurities get transferred from himself to his little leather bound book. It usually only works for a few minutes before he just gets washed over with his feelings again. At home, he’d gradually stopped using it after he’d been getting promoted in the garrison, but he still took it everywhere he went. He’s realized that soon after becoming a paladin, he started writing in it again. He didn’t realize how bad it became until he wet from once every few days, to every day, to multiple times for the day.
He writes in it after a particular hard day with Voltron, but Pidge finds him writing in it while alone int he training room and makes fun of him for keeping a diary. Lance feels embarrassed, so he quits it cold turkey. Soon he’s itching to write in it ll the time but stops himself. He stays up all night more often, paces his room more often, works alone in the training room. He’s health starts to deteriorate and no one really notices. Hunk asks a few ‘are you okay’s?’, but lance just pastes on a fake smile and sends him on his way. The stress of not writing and getting his feelings down on paper ends up affecting him on a mission and he gets badly hurt trying to protect the other paladins.
He wants to recover on his own, much against Coran’s and Allura’s wishes. He barely makes it to his room and passes out. Shiro and Keith come to makes sure he’s okay because Shiro’s the leader and Keith feels bad for snapping at Lance pre mission. They find him knocked out. Lance’s journal is open on the headboard. Shiro looks it over and Keith just thinks it’s dumb scribbles. The words are scratched along the 2 pages in circles, ovals and spirals. The pencil is almost down to nothing. Shiro an only make out a few words here and there. ‘I’, ‘help’, ‘can’t’, ‘worthless’, and ‘weak’ make the most appearances.
Shiro closes the book and flips it in his hands. There’s no title. The leather is worn and the pages are old. Keith takes it from him and opens it. He flips a few pages scanning it. Shiro tries to take it back. He reasons that it’s Lance’s property, but Keith reasons that it was left open. Keith stops fighting against Shiro and looks at him with wide eyes. He hands the book over and Shiro glances over the page in confusion. He flips that page back then forward. Pages and pages of Lance’s writing. It looked much different to the page that was left open. Very elegant and slow strokes across the papers of a book filled with words that Shiro cursed himself for not realizing sooner.
Lance had felt inferior to them, like he didn’t belong. He’d been feeling that way for weeks because of how they treated him. How they joked about him. How they pushed him off to the side for their own missions. He knew Keith was feeling the same way. They had been unconsciously pushing him away lately. Shiro had been noticing that Lance spent more time alone with the Blue Lion instead of having meals with them or training with them.
“Sh-shiro, I- How did we not see this?” Keith hisses, guilt dripping from his words.
“Lance, obviously has had experience with putting on an act. We’ll help him. We’ll all help him. We have to.”
Bones has guarded Jim’s birthday for a long time. It’s not like guarding a secret, not when it’s a date marked by a hell of a lot more than Jim’s birth. He still guards it and keeps it quiet. The thing is, people don’t usually remember birthdays. They put them on their calendars or they might not pull one Earth day out of the 365 assorted ones.
Bones has never reminded anyone to wish Jim a, “Happy Birthday!” He’s never told the waiter in a badly disguised whisper that they’re celebrating. He’s never sent him a card or flowers at work. He’s never done a cake bigger than a cupcake. (One year, he put a candle in an apple to save him all that unhealthy sugar and Jim still chuckles over it.)
So what makes him think he can plan a surprise party, let alone that Jim Kirk will like it?
But he needs it, he needs it, he needs it.
Bones doesn’t have to have a psychology degree (he does anyway) to tell that Jim is lonely. He loves his crew and cares for them, but he’s their captain and he bears that weight like a door he’s trying to keep closed. Bones thought that was hardly like Jim at first, hardly like the confidence and swagger and charm that is Jim Kirk.
But Jim Kirk is cautious in love, shy when you don’t expect it. He’s scrappy and unconventional. He’s afraid too, but fear is what keeps you alive.
Bones watches to see if he panics, if the party is the wrong choice after losing their ship, the crew that didn’t make it. He watches to see if Jim hides a grimace– And he’s rewarded with a smile. After all, Bones is good at guarding Jim Kirk’s birthday, but he’s a natural at celebrating it in the best of ways.