Hunk walked out of the recording room with a small smile. Tired, and a bit vulnerable, but still a smile. The rest of the paladins waited patiently for their friend to finish his log, Shiro being next to go.
“How did it go buddy? Talk about Shay?” Lance nudged his best friend with a wide grin, eyebrows waggling with unspoken context. Hunk’s smile slipped, and he chuckled nervously.
“Y’know those recordings are supposed to be more serious than that dude.”
Lance’s grin stuttered, and he paused skeptically.
“What do you mean? We’re just recording some daily thoughts and dating our adventures.” Lance furrowed his eyebrows. That was what they were supposed to do right? Log their missions and thoughts?
Shiro shook his head as he made his way over to the two paladins. He rubbed the back of his neck with a small sigh.
“It’s more complicated than that. These logs are something all space cadets do when they’re on a mission away from home. A safe space to let out your feelings and fears, self-reflect. It helps with keeping a healthy mental state and what not. Plus they’re nice to look back on when you want to ground yourself.” Shiro explained thoughtfully. Hunk nodded behind him.
“That’s what we were taught to do at the Garrison, remember?”
Lance felt a sense of dread pouring over his shoulders. He had managed to botch even this.
“You mean you guys opened up and stuff?” Lance frowned, feeling more uncomfortable by the second. He never had to openly admit to the heavy stuff swirling around in his head before, especially on camera where any of the team could watch and judge.
Keith grunted in response, rubbing his right eye, which Lance finally realized was red with tears! Pidge held out a long, indecisive noise while moving the palm of her hand in a rocking motion.
“More or less, I’m not really one to look into the sappy stuff.” Pidge added, smiling towards her brother at the far end of the room. Matt was too focused on trying to beat a level to overhear any of the conversation. Pidge had already resolved most of her turmoil, Lance guessed.
Suddenly a creeping fear crawled up Lance’s neck. Here his teammates were talking about the gritty, blemished truths of being stuck in space. While Lance was focusing on how pretty Allura looked.
Shiro walked into the room to start his recording, while Hunk placed on hand on his best friend’s shoulder.
“What did you talk about Lance? In your video?”
Hunk stared expectantly, and Lance’s mind flitted with all the potential hours of video logging he could fill with his own fears and feelings. His homesickness, his isolation, the idea that he wasn’t good enough, the fear he would let the team down or worse, get someone hurt.
He was terrified of the Galra winning, of his team realizing he wasn’t worthy of a lion and replacing him. He felt his insecurities grip his lungs and self-disappointment shackle his wrists. He bit his tongue as unwarranted thoughts of guilt flashed in his mind, feeling wrong for finding Keith’s eyes much prettier than Allura’s.
How his mother reacted to her son’s death, how Blue locked him out without so much as a goodbye, how Black rejected him after pleading, how his friends saw him as a one dimensional, joke of a person.
Lance managed a strained smile.
“Can’t talk about the heavy stuff when there isn’t anything wrong, bud.”