lance appreciation day (or something like that)
Keith/Lance, Everyone & Lance // birthday fic // 9.5k+ // sfw
Summary: Pidge’s mouth twists into a frown. “What are you talking about?”
“This!” Lance spreads his arms out. “All of it! First, Allura is hitting me up for beauty tips. Then, Coran is… is praising me for, what, being myself? For saying we should save people even though, duh, of course we should. And Hunk tells me I have great aim and the Red Lion is purring because I guess she likes me or something and then— the person who almost always obliterates me in video games claims I’m on a roll?”
Or: Lance is showered in compliments and praise, considers the likelihood of slipping into an alternate dimension, and glimpses something he thought he left behind on Earth.
Lance feels like he’s been hit by a bus.
Or trampled by a herd of Galran soldiers. Hefty ones entirely comprised of muscle. The team has been working tirelessly for the last couple weeks. Busting a prison alongside the Blade of Marmora, liberating a planet, attending a handful of celebration parties— the usual stuff. Nothing out of the ordinary.
It’s the whole ‘no break in between’ that’s been causing problems. Apparently, time really does fly when you’re having fun.
Lance’s sleep schedule is pretty much screwed, and he can practically feel the zits pushing to the surface of his skin. Leave it to Lotor to fuck up his beauty regimen. He’ll make sure to complain about it— at length— the next time they cross paths with that assface.
Heavy with exhaustion, Lance trudges into the dining hall. Everyone is already sitting around the table, eating their respective bowls of purple breakfast goo. The nearest open spot is beside Keith. Because of course it is. Lance groans, loud enough to get Keith’s attention, and drops into the cold seat.
Keith spares him a fleeting glance between bites. But nothing more.
No ‘hi’ or ‘look, it’s the most charming and beautiful paladin in the universe!’ Not even a death glare because Lance slept in a few extra minutes. What? Hell, he would kill for one of Keith’s bity remarks right about now. His early morning charm and wit. Anything but this unnerving silence. Especially since he and Keith have a habit of filling any breaks in breakfast conversation with their bickering.
“Good morning to you, too,” Lance mumbles and shovels a sizable glob of goo into his mouth. And, maybe it’s just his imagination, but it seems like it tastes sweeter than Hunk’s regular batch. Weird.
Keith grunts out something unintelligible and continues eating. Lance leers at him suspiciously but doesn’t push the issue. He’ll deal with Keith’s pouting later.
Hunk and Pidge are strangely quiet, too. Occasionally, they look up from their food to seek out Keith’s gaze. Like a pair of cagey animals, wary of Lance. Neither say more than a couple words to him after he sits down. As if things couldn’t get any weirder.
“So, Lance,” Allura blurts from the head of the table. “How are you this morning?”
Lance freezes, spoon centimeters away from his gaping mouth. No, this is totally a dream. No way would Allura be the only person willing to talk to him. The one to make, what, small talk? Allura doesn’t do ‘small talk.’ At least not in Lance’s experience. Maybe he slipped into an alternate dimension— Slav would know.
“Good?” Spoken more like a question than an answer. Awesome. “I mean, uh. Yeah, I’m great! Never been better!”
The bags under his eyes say differently. But Allura wears identical dark circles, and Lance wonders how many long nights she’s already spent in the control room. Stressing over future diplomatic meetings. Honestly, they all look a bit haggard, pallid skin tones and sluggish movements.
“I must say,” she starts, offering Lance a tired smile. “Your skin looks radiant. Even with the, ah. Lack of sleep.”
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