Tbh kinda want there to be some langst in the form of Matt suddenly showing up and seeming like a the team wanting him to pilot blue lion
Lance didn’t mean to spy on them, okay, nor did he mean overhearing what they were saying. It’s just, he was going for some leftover goo after a well needed shower, and as he was rounding the corner, Shiro’s voice, laced with amusement, reached him and made him stop in his tracks.
“We’re gonna train you like a true paladin of Voltron,” he was chuckling, followed by a oh so familiar ‘oof’, meaning he had just patted the shit out of someone’s shoulder. The someone replied back, a little wheezy “Sure, because that’s exactly what I need” and- of course it was Matt.
Matt Holt, Shiro’s long time friend and companion, Pidge’s brother, miraculously back safe from the failure of the Kerberos mission. Everyone was overjoyed with having him on the ship, rightfully so, and he was a cool guy, with an acquired knowledge of Galra machinery that even the Alteans lacked. Had a smile for everyone, a biting humor that made even Keith laugh, and was also great with technical stuff. Basically, the perfect paladin.
And Lance was happy to have him back, of course, because he had never seen Pidge look so joyful, and Shiro looked less like he was contemplating leaving again to fistfight enemies in the astral plane. It was awesome, even.
But- lately his chest had inexplicably started to feel hollow. He was so happy, except for the constant pressure in the back of his eyes, and an annoying knot in his stomach. And sure, he could feel his control slipping with Blue, like their bond was just an echo of what it had been, like the connection was disturbed by a shitty cable plan, but it was going great. Zarkon was no more, Shiro was back with Matt, and the Galra army was still reorganizing itself, scattered and weak. They would be able to get it over with, finally, and go back home, leave all this shitshow behind and save the universe, whatever.
It only made sense to use every resource they had. And while Lance thought he had hidden his shortcomings well, what if he hadn’t? It didn’t matter. Of course they wanted Matt to pilot Blue in his place, because he was a shitty paladin anyway and wouldn’t it be better for everyone? He just wanted to go home, and him backing down was the faster solution.
So why couldn’t he bring himself to say it? To say, hey, Matt, I’m leaving Blue to you, treat her well, she’s a mighty lady. And why couldn’t his heart stop rabbiting in his chest, growing fangs to bite into his lungs and steal his breath? Why the fuck did he feel so empty?
He was surprised too, when a thud ringed clearly in the silence, and it was him hitting the floor, his legs suddenly giving out.
Confused, he watched two figures approach and- Shiro and Matt were looking at him weirdly, as he scrambled upright again, using the wall as a prop.
“Lance,” Shiro called, and he was frowning “Everything okay? We heard a noise.”
Lance laughed, although humorlessly. “Just tripped!” he lied, and now Matt was smiling, and he couldn’t bear it any longer, could he?
“No case of human slipperies, I hope,” Matt joked, and Shiro gave him a tight lipped, amused stare.
Lance winced. “Naah, I just took my shower a little too hot, I guess.”
Shiro looked relieved at that, but still suspicious, his eyes narrowed. “Good job out there, by the way,” he praised, slowly, clearly trying to make him feel better, and it hurt. Why did it hurt so much?
“A-Ah, of course! You, too,” he tried to hide the grimace behind a bright grin and a wink. An uncomfortable silence fell upon them. Huh. “Well!” he trilled “Now, if you’ll excuse me, my beauty sleep is calling me!” They laughed.
“Sure it is! Get some rest, Lance,” Shiro said, raising his hand to give him what would probably have been a reassuring pat, but Lance practically sprinted away, missing the troubled look Shiro and Matt shared.
Only when the door of his room was firmly closed behind his shoulders he let his legs fail him again, sliding down into a crouched position.
“Fuck,” he managed, low and broken, staring at his feet, as hot tears started streaming down his cheeks, “Fuck.”
i am enjoying echoes so far but i think i like the celica parts better than alm, because alm gets, like, knights and shit, he and his friends have the backing of nobility and he’s the new leader of the army and they are Going To War
meanwhile, team celica is a bunch of random people with nothing better to do
i see a lot of people speculating that lance would have an angry/antagonistic reaction to keith being the new leader of voltron in shiro’s absence because of their whole rivalry thing. and as much as i think that kind of tension and conflict could really lay insecurities out on the table for some new development between the two, i feel like lance would be more empathetic toward keith’s situation because he knows what it’s like to feel like you’re just someone else’s second-choice replacement (lance only being fighter pilot because keith flunked out and keith only leading voltron because shiro is gone)