Life is like a hurricane here in… modern-day America. But in Duckburg, it’s a veritable storm of fun, adventure, and d-d-d-danger for fans awaiting Disney XD’s summer revival of DuckTales, the beloved ‘80s cartoon about Donald Duck’s nephews and their wild excursions with great-uncle Scrooge McDuck (voiced by Doctor Who’s David Tennant).Premiering in August, the series has been carefully crafted as a familiar reboot albeit with contemporary comedy updates to the Disney Afternoon original. “One of the things we always loved about the old show was that it was this family of adventurers, but the emphasis in every episode had always been on the adventure and plotline,” says co-producer Francisco Angones. “The basic conceit of growing our show was that this is a big blended family of adventurers, so it should feel like a combination of Indiana Jones and a blended Arrested Development-style family sitcom where every character has a different relationship to one another.”The revival sticks to its adventure-of-the-week DNA, but with a hint of season-long serialization — one big mystery of the first season involves a decade-old family secret about why Scrooge and Donald stopped spelunking together — as well as sharpened characterization for nephews Huey, Dewey, and Louie (Danny Pudi, Ben Schwartz, and Bobby Moynihan). “Since everyone always says ‘Huey, Dewey, and Louie’ in that exact order, we decided to make that the birth order, and by defining that, we were able to assign traits that fit,” says executive producer Matt Youngberg. “So, Huey’s the oldest, a little more responsible, a little bit brainy. Dewey wants to stand out, and wants to break out of being labeled as just one of a set of three. And Louie is happy being the youngest child — he can slip under the radar.”Joining the pack (though decidedly not the Quack Pack), expect significantly more screen time for little Webby (Kate Micucci), Scrooge’s niece-by-affection, whom Youngberg says has “a stronger and more unique voice than she ever had before.” Angones adds, “We almost never say ‘the nephews’ or ‘the boys’ — she’s a crucial part of the adventuring team, and they really are this big, weird family. If Huey has Scrooge’s brains, Dewey has Scrooge’s guts, and Louie has Scrooge’s love of treasure, Webby has Scrooge’s heart.”The population of Duckburg doesn’t stop there. Not even close. In addition to previously announced treats like Beck Bennett’s Launchpad McQuack and Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Gizmoduck, the city is thriving with new and familiar characters — so let’s cannonball into some exclusives.
Donald Duck (Tony Anselmo) Expect to see a lot more of this world-class walking temper tantrum in the new reboot, which bumps Donald Duck up to main cast status. “He’s been a single parent obsessively taking care of the boys, and he’s a little bit overprotective and doesn’t want to take a lot of risks, whereas so much of Scrooge’s success is based on the fact that he’s willing to take risks,” says Angones. “In our world, about 10 years ago, Scrooge and Donald used to go on these big, crazy, rip-roaring adventures, and then they stopped talking to each other, to the point where when we start our show, Huey, Dewey, and Louie don’t even know that the richest duck in the world and this legendary explorer is their great uncle.” By the end of the first episode, Donald reluctantly moves his whole family in with Scrooge, but maintains some degree of his own independence — by keeping his houseboat in the pool.
Gladstone Gander (Paul F. Tompkins) Few things can unite Scrooge and Donald like a shared nemesis, and we find that in Gladstone Gander, a dandy old character who always irked Donald and now gets under Scrooge’s feathers, too. Angones says, “The great thing about Gladstone is that since Donald is fundamentally unlucky, Gladstone is supernaturally lucky, and so Scrooge and Donald can both agree that they hate Gladstone because he does nothing and gets everything.” (Also worth hating: Gladstone’s father’s name is Goosetave. GOOSETAVE.)
Gyro Gearloose (Jim Rash) You’ll notice Scrooge’s in-house mad scientist has gotten a fairly hipster makeover, but neither his wild inventions nor vocal exclamations (by Community’s Jim Rash) are any less manic. While his intern Fenton (Lin-Manuel Miranda) moonlights as local superhero Gizmoduck, presumable fan-favorite Gyro Gearloose keeps the spirit of DuckTales’ crazy super-science alive.
Goldie O’Gilt (Allison Janney) Returning as Scrooge’s longtime paramour is Goldie O’Gilt, a fellow adventurer who has a curious relationship with old McDuck. “In our adaptation, Scrooge is more of an adventure junkie than a gold addict, so we kept saying, ‘Well, if Scrooge is like Batman, then Goldie should be like Catwoman,’” says Angones. “She’s equally adventurous, every bit Scrooge’s equal, and he hates and loves that. They have this amazingly contentious relationship that’s been going on ages and ages, spanning back to the Gold Rush days.” Plus, the producers say it was David Tennant who geeked out the most about Janney joining the cast: “He heard us play a line she had recorded and he said, ‘That’s C.J. Cregg!‘”Ma Beagle (Margo Martindale) and the Beagle Boys (Eric Bauza) The perennially annoying villains are back in full force to block Scrooge’s adventures, with beloved character actress Margo Martindale on hand to voice the maniacal matriarch of the family of genuinely idiotic criminals. Big fans will note that they actually look like dogs this time. Relatively
Flintheart Glomgold (Keith Ferguson) One of Scrooge’s wealthy equals in Duckburg is Scottish showman Flintheart Glomgold, whom Youngberg describes as “this kind of go-go ‘80s billionaire who made all his money from branding and getting his face on every storefront.” Angones says, “Glomgold is bigger, faster, and cheaper. An in-joke we had for him was that originally in the comics, he was South African, and then they made him Scottish in [the original] DuckTales, so we really leaned into that and decided that when Glomgold saw that Scrooge was a Scottish billionaire, he decided to be the cheap knock-off. More Scottish and even richer.
”Mark Beaks (Josh Brener) The Silicon Valley actor adds fresh blood to the echelon of wealthy ducks that dominate the city. “We had a bunch of old money billionaires — Scrooge is the oldest money, this billionaire of the industrial revolution, and we have Glomgold — so we included somebody who’s representative of today’s billionaires, which is the tech industry billionaire,” says Youngberg. “Mark Beaks doesn’t care as much about money as he cares about status and being buzzworthy and how many followers he has.” Angones adds, “Josh Brener was so incredibly on all the time, selling and pitching. He’s a character who’s so broad and over the top, you love to be annoyed by him.
The vast expanses of darkness where nothing seems to exist. Silence. There’s no sound in space, so everything is quiet. Vast. Empty. It’s a terrifying thing. A calming one. That expanse is opportunity, is hopeful, is promising. It’s gentle. Quiet, empty, infinite…maybe. It’s a place for fear, and contemplation, and wondering. A place for pausing, for thinking, and travel, and doubt. A place for the in-betweens, the moments where there is nothing significant, and yet everything is breathtaking. So large, so powerful, so undefined…and yet when we wonder over space, it’s one of the last things we ever care to think about.
Miles upon miles of stars. Each with their own stories, each labeled by us as we look into the sky and point at them. The constellations shift with perspective, just as everything always does. At a point, the stars are no longer familiar. Unnamed. New. Brimming with potential. Perhaps we’ll learn them some day. Perhaps we’ll tell new stories. Stars are burning things, are deadly, and yet we hold them close: for beauty, for sharing, for stories. Because of the stars, we wish to explore. We tilt our heads back and yearn, yearn, yearn. How easy to forget that we are down here, and they are light-years away in all of their burning brilliance.
Galaxies and the potential for exploration. The names that we come up with for the things we have already seen and the others that we wish to discover. We dream of spaceships and other life. Of galactic battles, and new homes, and communication. There are dangers, they come with the prospect of space. Death. Failure. Loneliness. But we push. We build, and we dream, and we tell each other about what we will discover. The books, the movies, the theories, they pile up as though we already know, as if we were already there. Far away is an unknown, and we strive for it, reach for it. “What’s out there?” we ask each other. We wonder if we’ll ever know, and yet we continue to dream about what the universe holds.
The planets that are nothing like our own. They might be round, with dirt, and moons, and atmosphere, but they are not Earth. No. They are not Earth. Some might be red while others lack water. Ringed, cold, burning, gaseous, tiny. They are not Earth. We name them, it’s what we do, it’s how we pretend to know them, but they are not Earth, will never be Earth. And yet, despite this, we love them. We love the possibility, the challenge, the risk. We love to strive for something that is not possible, not yet. For “Not Earth,” but maybe still ours, in its own way. Maybe one day we won’t be here, but out there, on a yellow planet with different creatures and weather we can’t imagine. The possibilities are endless as we look to the other planets. Not Earth. It’s the possibilities, the differences, that make us strive to one day set foot upon their surfaces.
GOOD PLACEMENTS FOR LAWYERS - Sun in Libra, Virgo, Aquarius, or Capricorn - Moon in Libra, Virgo, or Aquarius - Mercury in Virgo, Capricorn, or Gemini - Jupiter in Libra, Aquarius, or Scorpio - Saturn in Libra, Virgo, or Aquarius - Jupiter or Saturn in the first house - Jupiter/Sun/Moon/Mercury in the eleventh house - Jupiter/Mercury in the seventh house - Neptune very far away from Mercury/Rising but not in opposition - Aquarius, Capricorn, Libra, Virgo, or Leo Rising - Aquarius, Virgo, Leo, or Libra Midheaven - Sun conjunct Mercury/Saturn - Mercury conjunct Pluto - Saturn in positive aspect to Sun/Moon/Mercury/Mars/Jupiter - Libra, Virgo, Aquarius, or Capricorn dominance - Earth or air dominance - Dominant tenth house - Tenth house stellium
GOOD PLACEMENTS FOR PSYCHOLOGISTS - Sun in Pisces, Aquarius, Sagittarius, or Scorpio - Moon in Pisces, Sagittarius, Scorpio, Cancer, or Gemini - Mercury in Pisces, Sagittarius, Scorpio, Gemini, or Virgo - Jupiter in Pisces, Scorpio, Cancer, Virgo, or Gemini - Pretty much any planet in the eighth house except Saturn - Mercury/Neptune/Moon in the twelfth house - Moon/Neptune in the seventh house - Chiron in the first house - Virgo, Pisces, Cancer, Scorpio, Aquarius, Gemini, or Sagittarius Rising - Pisces or Scorpio Midheaven - Sun/Moon/Mercury/Ascendant conjunct Pluto - Pluto in positive aspect to Ascendant/Sun/Moon/Mercury/Mars/Saturn - Scorpio, Pisces, or Sagittarius dominance - Water or air dominance - Dominant seventh, eighth, or ninth house - Eighth house stellium
GOOD PLACEMENTS FOR POLITICIANS - Sun in Gemini, Virgo, Aquarius, Scorpio, or Leo - Moon in Gemini, Virgo, Aquarius, Scorpio, Libra, or Leo - Mercury in Virgo, Capricorn, Libra, or Leo - Mars in Virgo, Capricorn, Taurus, Libra, or Aquarius - Jupiter in Sagittarius, Aquarius, Pisces, Cancer, or Libra - Saturn in Capricorn, Scorpio, Aquarius, or Libra - Moon/Jupiter/Saturn/Mercury/Uranus/Venus in the first house - Jupiter in the second house - Jupiter/Sun/Moon/Mars/Venus/Uranus/Pluto in the tenth house - Sun/Moon/Venus/Pluto/Jupiter/Uranus/Mars in the eleventh house - Virgo, Capricorn, Libra, Leo, or Aquarius Rising - Virgo, Capricorn, Libra, Leo, Aquarius, or Scorpio Midheaven - Sun conjunct Mercury - Ascendant conjunct Mercury/Venus/Jupiter - Sun/Ascendant in positive aspect to Moon/Mercury/Venus/Uranus/Jupiter - Leo, Gemini, Virgo, or Aquarius dominance - Fire, air, or earth dominance - First or eleventh house dominance - Eleventh house stellium
GOOD PLACEMENTS FOR TEACHERS - Sun in Pisces, Sagittarius, Scorpio, or Virgo - Moon in Sagittarius, Cancer, Virgo, or Aquarius - Mercury in Capricorn, Cancer, Virgo, or Aquarius - Venus in Gemini, Pisces, or Virgo - Jupiter in Sagittarius - Saturn in Virgo, Gemini, Aquarius, Sagittarius, or Cancer - Jupiter/Mercury in the first house - Jupiter/Mercury/Moon/Saturn in the third or ninth house - Sun/Mars in the ninth or tenth house - Aquarius, Pisces, Sagittarius, Cancer, Virgo, or Scorpio Rising - Aquarius, Pisces, Sagittarius, Cancer, or Virgo Midheaven - Sun/Moon/Mercury conjunct/in positive aspect to Jupiter - Mars/Venus conjunct Jupiter (though that can be tricky) - Sagittarius, Pisces, Aquarius, or Virgo dominance - Earth dominance - Third, seventh, ninth, or eleventh house dominance - Third, ninth, or eleventh house dominance
GOOD PLACEMENTS FOR SCIENTISTS - Sun in Pisces, Sagittarius, Virgo, Scorpio, Capricorn, or Aquarius - Moon in Virgo, Gemini, Scorpio, Sagittarius, or Aquarius - Mercury in Virgo, Sagittarius, Capricorn, or Aquarius - Saturn in Virgo, Capricorn, or Aquarius - Sun/Moon/Mercury in the third or ninth house - Jupiter/Saturn in the first, third, ninth, or tenth house - Aquarius, Virgo, Pisces, Sagittarius, or Scorpio Rising - Aquarius, Virgo, Pisces, Sagittarius, or Gemini Midheaven - Sun/Moon in positive aspect to Mars/Mercury/Uranus/Pluto - Mercury/Ascendant in positive aspect to Mars/Uranus/Pluto - Sagittarius, Virgo, Aquarius, Capricorn, or Scorpio dominance - Earth or air dominance - Dominant ninth house or ninth house stellium
Request: Hi! Can I ask for a Steve/Reader oneshot based on the song Jolene by Dolly Parton? I just listened to the cover done by Pentatonix and it’s SO heartbreakingly beautiful. Please make it angst…with a happy ending. Thank you so much!
Pairing: Steve Rogers x Fem!Reader
Word Count: 2,827
Steve and Bucky were sparring in the gym. They’d lost track of how long they’d been going at it. Both of them had to lose their t-shirts from overheating and wetness. Bucky was even forced to pull back his shaggy hair into a messy bun. They were covered in sweat and if it weren’t for random music playing, all they’d be able to hear is their heavy breathing.
“Thought I smelled something when I walked in…” A voice called out from the entrance. It was followed by an adorable giggle.
Steve instantly turned his head, knowing that voice anywhere. He beamed as he saw Y/N walk into the gym with a bag and her workout clothes on.
Bucky smirked at his best friend. Steve couldn’t stop looking like a lovesick puppy every time Y/N was in the room if he tried.
Steve instantly ignored Bucky’s presence now that she was in the room.
A = Announcement.- How do you tell him and the world that you’re expecting? I think Doyoung is a fun relationship kind of guy, lots of teasing and jokes. Telling him would probably be something fun but very blatant, like cupcakes with baby things decorating them. Don’t ask why, but I just thought of cupcakes and I think that’d be fun. As for telling the world, I don’t think Doyoung has a care for it, if he even announces it before the actual birth, he’ll just throw it out there, ‘we’re expecting. thx’
B = Books.- Did he read the books? I don’t see Doyoung reading too many baby books, I think he’s more of a dad that will have google on standby when he’s confused about something. “why would i buy books to spend hours looking for an answer when my phone takes 1.3 seconds? cmon now babe”
C = Cuddles.- Who cuddles the baby more? Doyoung’s going to be a very clingy dad, let me tell you that. He’s going to always have his bub in his arms, so 9/10, if someone’s cuddling the babe, it’s Doyoung. Or more or less he’s the one that likes rocking the baby in the chair and he falls asleep with the baby on his chest. Take a picture, I bet it’s the cutest thing in the world.
D = Daddy.- His reaction to being called Daddy and it setting in. I can imagine his butt in the doctor’s office, at the ultrasound and the nurse says, “and this must be daddy ^_^” and he’s instantly gone. It’d be the first time someone other than his s/o and the members has called him that, and it finally hits him like a truck. It’s not a joke. He’s actually going to be a dad. Fck. Doyoung’s going to be so blushy and shy while he’s practically dancing and screaming in joy inside. He’s such a bub ugh
E = Empty.- Who goes to the store when you guys run out of supplies? Doyoung is dressed and ready in a flash when his s/o calls out that they’re out of formula, or diapers, or wipes. He’s basically a butler masked as a dad for his s/o, he’s at their beck and call, and ready to run and get anything needed. It’s typically Doyoung that makes the store visits.
F = Feeding time- Who does feeding time? Honestly, you can’t leave Doyoung alone with food, I feel like he’s that dad that uses the ‘see! it’s good! mmm daddy likes it! you try!’ bs, but ends up actually eating the baby food and liking it. Either he needs watched or his s/o is going to be the one that usually does the feeding. The bunny can’t be trusted.
G = Grumpy baby. - Who is better at dealing with a grumpy baby? While I think Doyoung would be pretty good at dealing with a grumpy baby, I think he’d get frustrated pretty quick? Dealing with baby cries a lot, is usually a partnership, feeding off each other’s energy or goofiness to make the baby all smiles and laughter again.
H = How?- how many kids does he want? Tries to not make a bunny having kids joke rn I don’t see Doyoung having a boat load of kids, two is probably going to be his maximum, but I can see him striving for two, rather than just sticking to one.
J = Jokes.- best dad joke? “If prisoners could take their own mugshots, they’d be called cellfies”
K = Kisses.- His favorite place to kiss the baby. Doyoung’s totally a bby cheek kisses kind of dad. Honestly, who can resist chubby baby cheeks? You always wanna pinch and poke the lil cheeks and he has full reign over this tiny human? Bet your butt he’s gonna kiss his baby’s cheeks non stop.
L = Little.- How he feels when he holds the baby for the first time. Doyoung’s another one that’s just going to be so overcome with joy and happiness at the arrival of his child and it’s finally here, in his arms, that he’s just going to be a sobbing mess in the delivery room. He’s a mess of tears and sputtering about how he’s never been happier, and thanking his s/o for giving him this moment, and how he’s going to protect and love the both of them with his entire being.
M = Mommy.- what does he call you? I feel like Doyoung is a classic parent title kind of dad, mommy and daddy are his thing, and you bet your foot that him and his s/o will be that annoying parent couple that only refers to each other as their parent title lmao. It’s cute tho. Someone should do that with me, I have my kitten, we can have a son together. Pls.
N = Nappies.- who deals with the really bad ones? Lmao Doyoung mysteriously vanishes the second bad nappies are in question. He’s just gone. Poof. I feel like he’ll be that asshat dad that’ll argue who’s fault it is, so they have to clean it. “You’re the one that gave it that nasty food, I told you it’d end bad! It’s on you!”
O = Onesies- Who likes to dress the baby in ridiculous outfits? I swear Doyoung is that dad that gets all those weird clothes from walmart. You know those baby clothes, if you’ve been to Walmart. He’s getting all those weird pun baby clothes, and ugly frilly clothes because reasons. I don’t think the outfits are that crazy but they…ain’t cute.
P = Pet names- names he calls the baby. Doyoung’s a soft bun, and I can imagine he has the softest names for his child. Stuff like ‘daddy’s sunshine’ or ‘the light of my life’ and cute stuff like that, I think he has a freaking list of different nicknames he calls his bub.
Q = Questions.- How many questions does he ask the nurse? #IGotGoogle lmao I don’t think Doyoung would be a very question-y person, especially when he’s a blubbering mess in the delivery room. He’s too distracted by the moment to care about questions he can figure out later on. He’s in his dad moment, and doesn’t have time to care about anything else.
R = Rely- what is the biggest thing you rely on each other for? With Doyoung, I think it’ll be affection. Especially it being their first child, there’s very little time for yourself, let alone time alone with the s/o, and sometimes you forget how you even got here. So a big thing Doyoung and his s/o rely on each other for keeping intimacy, Doyoung makes it a point in the day that him and his s/o have to have a mental break, and just sit on the couch or smth, take a mental break, and cuddle.
S = Sleep duty. - who gets up when it’s really late at night? Doyoung is kind of dead most nights, it’s kind of hard to wake Dad!Doyoung up unless you like…punch him in the face. So either his s/o gets up or lays there pinching Doyoung until he wakes up. It’s worth it though, train him. Pinch him. Do it.
T = Trepidation.- fears as a new parent. I think it’ll hit him as soon as something goes wrong, how little prepared the cocky idiot was. He didn’t read anything, or ask anything, figuring he’ll just figure it out along the way. Well that was a dumb move. The first time the baby has a rash or won’t eat and he’s completely lost in how to fix the situation, he loses his mind. He’s crying more than the baby while trying to call someone or google what to do, and he just feels like he’s failed as a parent. His fear is just, fucking up really? Thinking he would be fine when he wasn’t. But he’s got resources and his s/o, he’ll be fine.
U = Ultra sounds.- His reactions to the ultrasounds. Like the delivery, the ultra sound is one of the milestones in having kids that really hits hard that, yes, you are in fact going to be a parent. Look at your little alien wiggling on screen. That’s your kid. Congrats. Between sputtering and crying his eyes out, Doyoung is just immensely proud. Proud he’s going to be a dad, and that the baby he helped make is healthy and on the right track, and in just a few short months he’s going to have that blurry image in his arms for real.
V = Values.- what is the most important value he wants to teach your child. I think Doyoung would do pretty standard values, like making sure his kid is happy and content with themself, and things that build self esteem and things of that nature. The last thing he wants is to see his child not be confident in themself and being unhappy.
W = Water.- Who gives the babe the baths? Bath time is specifically daddy/babe bonding time, Doyoung loves messing around in the bathroom, making shapes in the bubbles and putting on a show with the bath toys he’d gotten for the babe. Although something that should have taken a whole 10 minutes or less ends up taking an hour, but he’s having fun with his kid, so let him live.
X = X-mas- what do you guys plan for the holidays? Holidays are kind of hectic, with Doyoung, I think holidays will be spent at other peoples’ homes(family, friends, etc) rather than at Doyoung’s home. Running around with a baby to see Santa, visit his parents, his s/o’s parents, to see the members, it’s a mess and he’s dead by the end of the day, but hey, it’s the holidays. They’re always hell.
Y = Yelling.- How many fights do the two of you get in? Generally Doyoung is just a grumbler. When him and his s/o get in a disagreement, he’s like an old man pouting in his chair and mumbling how he’s right and you’re wrong. The most that will happen is the disagreements end up with non-inside voice arguments, but full blown fights/yelling are very rare.
Z = Zoo- How crazy is the house after the birth? Is it a house or a zoo, scientists can’t tell. Honestly most of the mess can be blamed on Doyoung not cleaning up the things he’s dragged out for no reason rather than like, regular post-kid messes. There’s stuff strung everywhere, and he’s the only one that knows where anything is. More reason to blame Doyoung for the mess, since he knows where he left everything. “Looking for the pacifier? Oh I think it’s in the couch. Remote? Yeah, it’s in the tub. Don’t ask.” God help his s/o.
Been wanting to write something for season 3 of Voltron ever since I finished it and finally got around to finishing this oneshot. Hope you guys enjoy!
“We’re coming for you, Shiro.”
That single thought had been blazing in Keith’s head for the last several vargas, ever since he and the rest of the Voltron team had come up with a plan to successfully in infiltrate the Galra warship that housed the team of Galra scientists in control of the so-called Project Kuron.
The same warship where Shiro’s clone had escaped from and where the real Shiro had to be kept.
It had been a tragic blow to the paladins when they discovered that the Shiro who had been living with and fighting along side them for months now had not been their Shiro, but a clone. Not even the clone, who had taken to calling himself Kuron, had known until twisted memories started to resurface and suddenly all the oddities of Kuron’s escape and the Black Lion’s rejection made sense.
Despite the surprise and agony of losing Shiro all over again, Keith knew that none of this was Kuron’s fault. In fact, the clone seemed to be taking the news the hardest out of all of the Castle’s residents combined. All his memories, his past, his entire life had been nothing but a fragmented lie. Nobody knew how to comfort him.
However, despite his own anguish and inner turmoil, Kuron had worked relentlessly the last few weeks to help Keith and the rest of the paladins search for the place of Kuron’s origin. It was the only place the real Shiro could possibly be at this point.
And at last, they were to finally locate it.
After much rejoicing at the discovering, the paladins, Coran, and Kuron all hunkered down and spent vargas coming up with a plan to get inside to stage a rescue. The warship was heavily armed and guarded, possibly with Druids as well. It had taken a while, with a lot of bickering and arguments, but soon they had a plan ready and that would go into action the next day.
That had been a while ago. Keith now stood alone in the control room, listlessly watching the endless space outside the Castle. He was sure that everyone in the Castle were now sound asleep. The leader of Voltron knew that he should be too, but right now a restless, nervous energy was keeping him wide awake. He had never felt so anxious about a mission before, not even when they had gone up again Zarkon himself. Perhaps it was because he now had the lives of his teammates (as well as Shiro) relying on him for guidance that anxiety now plagued him.
Keith thought all these months of being leader and flying the Black Lion would ease his self-doubts and make him more comfortable in his new role, but unfortunately that did not seem to be happening. He highly doubted it would ever happen really.
“Hey man, shouldn’t you be in bed?” a familiar voice called out behind Keith.
Keith crossed his arms defensively as he turned to greet Lance, still clan in his day clothes, with a stern frown. “I don’t know, shouldn’t you?” he countered.
Lance yawned loudly and stretched his arms in an exaggerated manner. “Awfully rude to answer a question with a question, Mullet head.” He took his place beside Keith and grinned playfully at the Galra-halfing, “Besides, I don’t need my beauty sleep as much as a certain someone.”
Keith rolled his eyes and scoffed at the Red Paladin, but couldn’t keep the amused smirk from his spreading across his face.
Lance grinned at the small victory, but then his blue gaze grew serious as he asked in a lower voice, “Nervous about tomorrow’s mission?”
The air seemed to grow heavy around Keith as he tore his eyes away from Lance’s concerned expression and let out a weary sigh. “Yeah,” he admitted quietly, “a bit.“ Keith tightened his arms around himself and continued in a worried voice, “The plan is risky and we don’t even know if Shiro’s really on that ship.”
“Don’t think that. Kuron remembered seeing him in one of his memories.” Lance told him, his voice as steady and calm as an ocean wave. “And yeah, the plan is plenty risky, but it’s not as if we’re rushing in blindly. We have Kuron letting us know what to expect and you Pidge will be tracking everything that goes on.” Lance shot Keith a signature confident grin, “All of us are prepared and ready so relax, team leader.”
Despite the worries and doubts that still troubled his mind, Keith felt himself return Lance’s grin. It was hard to feel too depressed when around the former Blue Paladin’s enthusiasm. But another thought tugged at his mind- something he had been thinking about for quite some time- and it caused his grin to sink back into a frown once more.
Lance immediately noticed the change in Keith’s expression. He tilted his head to the side, watching the former Red Paladin curiously. “Is something else on your mind, Keith?” he asked, sounding concerned.
“Yeah…” Keith answered after a brief pause. “There’s actually something I’ve been meaning to ask you.”
He turned to face the Red Paladin, his violet eyes flashing with enough intensity to have Lance slightly flinch back in a nervous manner. The Black Paladin took a long, deep breath before addressing Lance without a single note of hesitation in his voice.
“Lance, if anything happens to me tomorrow or in the future, I want you to lead Voltron.”
For several heartbeats, a heavy, stunned silence filled the chamber.
“…What?” Lance spoke at last, sounding as though he didn’t quite understand the words that had just come out of Keith’s mouth.
Keith calmly repeated himself. “I said, I want you to take my place as Head of Voltron if anything happens to me.”
“I KNOW WHAT YOU SAID!” Lance spluttered in a loud voice filled with shock and on the border of yelling, “I just can’t believe you’d say something like that!” He snapped his head to glare angrily at his raven-haired teammate, “Do you really think we’d let the mission screw up so badly that you’d get killed?! As if any of us would let anything happen to you!”
Keith had guessed beforehand that Lance would be surprised by his declaration, but was taken back by how furious Lance sounded.
“Lance, I don’t doubt any of yous guys at all! But if there’s anything I’ve learned since becoming the Black Paladin is that we have to be prepared for the worst case scenarios,” Keith explained, trying to calm Lance down, “This mission will be one of the toughest since our face-off with Zarkon- a lot can go wrong and I need to know that if anything happens, the team will be in good hands.”
“The team’s already in good hands!” Lance retorted, shaking his head furiously in disbelief as if he couldn’t believe they were even having such a conversation. At least he did not seems so angry anymore, only frustrated. “Besides, when we rescue Shiro and something happens to you- which it won’t- then the Black Lion will choose him to lead again.”
Keith closed his eyes and took a small breath as if to brace himself before answering. “Yes, that is true. That could happen.” He then opened his eyes and stared unflinchingly at Lance. “But this is also a good chance that Shiro won’t be in any condition to lead once we rescue him.” He leaned a bit closer, lowering his voice to a harsh whisper, “You saw how bad Kuron was when we found him. Shiro could be even worst. There’s just no telling how far the Galra are willing to go when it comes to him! We’ve seen that firsthand!”
“I…I can’t really argue with you on that.” Lance admitted in a strained voice, his gaze wandering off to the side. “Shiro might need a bit of vacation after this whole fiasco.”
“So will you do it?” Keith prompted. A stab of disappointment went through him at the slow shaking of Lance’s head.
“Keith…buddy…I appreciate the vote of confidence, but you know there’s no way anyone would agree to me being leader. Pidge and Hunk think I’m just a dumb goofball. Allura would be the better choice- she is a princess after all.” Lance’s voice was low with resignation and his body seemed to droop at his own words. A part of Keith felt infuriated that Lance could think so little of himself.
Then again, none of us really helped him think any different. Keith told himself, thinking of all the times he and the rest of the team had teased Lance, not knowing that their laid-back teammate would take their words to heart.
“I already talked with Allura about this. She knows if worse comes the worst who my choice of leader is.” Keith said, earning a surprised look from Lance.
“What?!” The Red Paladin’s voice cracked with disbelief. “She agreed with this?!”
Keith hesitated for a few ticks before answering in a wary tone. “It….took her by surprise, I admit.”
Lance let out a loud, bitter scoff. “Knew it.”
Keith settled a firm hand upon Lance’s shoulder, causing the former Blue paladin to turn to him blinking.
“But in the end she agreed that you are the best choice.” Keith said, giving Lance’s shoulder a tight, reassuring squeeze. Seeing the confusion swimming in Lance’s dark blue eyes, Keith continued in a quiet, earnest voice.
“Lance, don’t you understand how much you helped me since I’ve become the Black Paladin? I was literally tearing the team apart by the second mission until you knocked some sense into me. You supported me despite our stupid rivalry and every time after I completely screwed things over.”
“You didn’t screw up that much. And every one of us supported you, Keith. I’m nothing special.” Lance said his voice barely above a whisper, his sad gaze lowered to the ground. “Besides, it’s the Black Lion’s choice. And in case you’ve forgotten, it clearly rejected me.”
“It rejected you then. But who’s to say it will reject you now?” Keith argued, unable to keep a small hint of frustration from seeping through his voice. “The Lions’ change their minds.”
“Why would it? Nothing’s changed.” Lance argued, waving his hands around to gesture at himself.
“You have!” Keith snapped, his violet-grey eyes burning into Lance’s face, willing the Red Paladin to understand. “Maybe you weren’t ready to lead back then. But you’ve proven yourself time and time again that you’re willing to put the team above everything. Even if it meant you quitting the team- which it wouldn’t!” Keith added shooting his companion an irritated glare, recalling the time when Lance approached him with such a suggestion. Lance made a small grunt of acknowledgement but did not speak- obviously it wasn’t a memory the former blue paladin liked to dwell upon.
So Keith continued, “Allura and I…well…we can be selfish. When Shiro disappeared, I focused everything into trying to find him and left defending the universe to you guys. And Allura was even willing to risk Voltron itself by going inside a weird, dangerous wormhole to see if Atleans were inside.”
“All those are reasons are still pretty important.” Lance pointed out, his tone not unkind.
Keith shook his head, “It doesn’t matter- both of us put the team at risk. But you’d never do that- that’s why the Red Lion chose you. Because she knew the team needed you.”
Keith paused and then blurted out, voice filled with emotion, “That I need you, Lance. I could have never led Voltron without your help. And I know the Black Lion will see that how far you’ve gotten us.”
Lance stared, absolutely stunned into speechlessness at Keith’s outburst. His lips were slightly parted with no words escaping, and his blue eyes were wide, shimmering with an emotion that Keith could not quite name.
Keith wished his usually talkative teammate would break the loud, overbearing silence now filling the chamber. If anything just to distract the Black Paladin from the feeling of his face flushing red with embarrassment.
At last Lance spoke, his usually boisterous voice quiet and tinged with disbelief, almost frightened-sounding. “You need me?” he asked.
Keith forced himself, blushing cheeks and all, to face Lance. It anyone deserved the truth, he did.
“More than you could ever know. All of us do.” Keith told him, “That’s why I’m asking you this.”
Lance fell silent once more, but his expression was thoughtful. When the former Blue paladin nodded slowly Keith felt a seed of hope flare up within him.
“I still think you’re over-worrying about this. I doubt anything is going to happen at tomorrow’s mission.” Lance said, his voice tight and clipped.
“But…?” Keith quietly urged.
Lance sighed, but when he turned to face Keith, his expression was as solemn as the one he wore the day Keith became Black Paladin. His blue gaze burned with unwavering determination as he spoke, “…But if worse comes the worst, then yes Keith, I will lead Voltron and keep the team safe, no matter what. I swear.”
A wave of relief, cool and clear like a rare desert shower, washed over Keith. With Lance’s confident reassurance, it was like a giant boulder of a burden had been lifted off Keith’s chest and the anxiety he felt about the upcoming mission seemed like a distant memory. He now understood why Shiro had been so insistent on making sure Keith understood his wishes on making the former Red Paladin leader-ready, no matter how much Keith had resented it. Shiro had understood his own fragile mortality in this war for universe’s safety and had felt the need to make sure the team would be in good hands. Keith wondered if Shiro would approve of his decision of having Lance take his place if needed.
And Keith glanced at Lance- the team’s goofball brother, their ninja sharpshooter, their bold Red Paladin, his noble and loyal right-hand man.
Keith had no doubts about his choice.
“Thank you Lance.” Keith said, meaning every word.
He allowed a soft smile to spread across his face and was happy to see Lance return the gesture. “No problem, Keith.”
The two paladins fell into a comfortable silence, content on watching the infinite stars and galaxies of the universe they protected. Keith could not recall who moved first, but within moments Voltron’s leader and second-in-command were leaning against each other, shoulders pressed together. Neither wished to leave the warmth of the other’s company.
Keith felt the weight of Lance’s head fall on his shoulder.
“But you know nothing’s going to happen to you.” Lance said his usual, playful confidence back in his voice. “Not like with Shiro.”
“You don’t know that.” Keith answered grimly. I thought the same thing about Shiro.
“Yes I do,” Lance answered and though Keith could not see Lance’s face, he could hear a grin coming from him, “You know why?”
Keith resisted the smirk tugging at the corner of his lips. “Why?”
Keith shivered as he felt hot breath brush his ear as Lance tilted his head closer to him.
“Because I’ll be by your side,” Lance whispered, tone soft and so, so warm, “watching your back every step of the way tomorrow. I won’t let anything happen to you.”
Something inside Keith’s chest seemed to burst at Lance’s words, bubbly and pleasant, seeping through Keith’s entire body like a liquid joy. Despite the dangers that were vastly approaching, Keith felt a sense of security that he only experienced inside of Red or Black, their purrs rumbling through him. For the very first time since Shiro’s disappearance, since the Lion Switch, Keith finally felt like this was where he belonged.
Keith gave way to the happy feeling, holding it close to his heart in hopes that it never faded, pressed close to Lance. He rested his head on top of Lance’s, enjoying the softness of the brown, fluffy hair tickling his cheek and replied softly, “I expect nothing less from our cool ninja sharpshooter. My right hand man.”
Lance gave a sleepy hum in response. Keith’s smile broadened when his teammate made no move to leave his side, but merely snuggled a bit closer.
Neither paladin spoke after that. Keith knew there was nothing left to be said. A deep instinct within the former Red Paladin told him that this would be the last time him and Lance would ever have a conversation like this. They both knew their roles and where they stood in this fight for the universe’s safety.
And that was together, fighting and supporting each other side by side as leader and right-hand-man until only death itself could rip them apart…