hit me up w/ some voltron goodness 8)
Lance puts his foot down, and Shiro/Slav have a long overdue talk.
Shiro never figured Lance for the snapping type. They all had their moments, under the constant stress of intergalactic rebellion, but Lance kept a reasonably calm lid on it – his self-titled “rivalry” with Keith aside. Looking at him now, there is only surprise at the way he’s holding himself, the set of his expression: Lance looks both nervous and pissed off.
‘Keith – could you give us a minute?’ he says, in a deliberately calm voice. Out of the corner of his eye, he sees Keith hesitate, as if reading the tenseness of the situation and worrying that it might get out of hand. ‘Now, Keith. Go check on Slav’s sector.’
Reluctantly, and with a suspicious look at them both, Keith exits. Lance looks even more nervous when he does. More so when silence settles on them, and he raises a brow at Lance. Well? says the look, say what you have to.
‘I just… you’re way too hard on him,’ Lance repeats, a far cry from the irritated way he’d snapped Can’t you just cut Slav some slack? ‘He’s trying to help, Shiro. I-it’s not… he doesn’t mean to annoy you. It’s just how he… is.’
‘Excuse me?’ His previous calm turns to surprise. He keeps his voice low, not meaning to menace – but Lance scowls a little deeper, mistaking it for nonchalance.
‘Don’t, Shiro. You sound just like Iverson when you do that, a-and he was an ass,’ Lance says, voice rising only in pitch. Angry and nervous, like a cornered cat. Shiro takes a small step back to give him breathing room, but Lance stays tense. ‘Slav only wants to help. You treating him like a nuisance isn’t – it’s not fair, okay. He can’t help being jumpy; he was a prisoner for ages –’
It takes a second or two for that to sink in. When Shiro goes quiet, when his stare goes vacant as he processes this, Lance steps forward, speech picking up momentum as he grew more defensive.
‘– and it’s not easy to adapt out here,’ there’s a note of hurt in his voice, and it hits Shiro more than the chastising. ‘Slav got taken from his people and thrown into a war just like we did. He’s handling it different. YOU handled it different, we all did. I thought you’d understand him because of it, since you both got tortured by the Galra.’
That’s almost an accusation, and now Shiro fully understands what has Lance so fired up, so recalcitrant. And that understanding brings with it a sense of guilt, especially with the way Lance had said I THOUGHT you’d understand.