Day One: Homesickness
Thought I’d start off @vldangstweek with something that turns from angsty to fluffy, just because, based on the rest of this weeks prompts, it’s gonna get waaayyyy angstier (knowing me, anyway). Everything will be tagged with vldangstweek and any of my usual angst tags (angst, langst, klangst, etc)
Let my children go home, they’re stressed and tired (under a cut for length).
“Come on Lance, one more time! You need to defeat this gladiator before I can allow anyone to go to dinner!” Allura shouted down from the observation deck.
The quiet groans of his teammates filled his head and Lance winced, stepping back to stand his ground against the bot attacking him. His vision wavered over his helmet and his fingers trembled against his bayard, unable to form it because of the close range combat style. He grunted, rolling as the bot dove for him, sweeping it’s legs out from under it and sending it to the ground. Briefly, he heard Hunk’s cheer of encouragement in his comms, and then the bot was back up again, charging at him.
Lance sighed, side stepping the bot and pressing his shaking hands to his head, trying to stop the swimming feeling in his brain, the burn at the back of his throat and eyes, the tightness in his chest. He took a hit, hard, and fell backwards onto his ass, teeth clacking together.
“Dude, seriously, we’re starving!” Pidge called out. “You need to beat this!”
Lance took a shaky breath, shooting a glare at the deck. “You want me to beat it? Fine. I’ll beat it.”
Before the bot could get any closer, Lance whipped out his bayard, transforming it in the process and ignoring Allura’s shouts of this being a hand to hand fight. Within seconds, the bot was in a smoking heap on the floor and Lance was shaking, sweat curling down his forehead. Allura stormed out of the observation deck and onto the main floor, eyebrows furrowed. “That was not the assignment, Lance. You’ll have to do it again.”
Lance ripped off his helmet and chucked it to the ground. When he looked up, Allura took a step back at the ferocity in his face, the tears in his eyes. “I said, no. I’m not doing this bull shit anymore. They’re not either,” he snapped, pointing towards the deck. “You don’t get to treat us this way, we’re the only reason you’re not dead or still in those stupid pods. You called us family, Allura.”
His voice broke and his lip quivered as he stumbled back, shaking his head. “You don’t get to treat family like this. Not when we’re doing all of this for you.”
He swallowed and spun on his heel, storming from the room. Allura hesitated, glancing back at the deck only to find the rest of the paladins and Coran standing behind her. She studied the group, noted the lines on their faces and the bags under their eyes, and frowned. “Do you all agree with him?”
They remained silent for a moment, glancing at each other. Hunk spoke up first, his voice gentle. “Yeah. I do, at least.”
“Me too,” Pidge piped up, staring at the floor and fiddling with her bayard.
Keith nodded silently, rubbing a hand up and down one arm and looking off to the side. Hunk huffed. “Allura, we…I would say we’re homesick, but I don’t know if that covers all of us.”
“We’re Earth sick,” Keith offered. “And Lance…”
Shiro spoke for the first time. “Lance has the most family to miss out of the five of us.”
“And honestly?” Hunk muttered. “You yelling all the time, you pushing him, and us, all the time? No breaks, no relaxation time at all? I’m amazed he didn’t snap before this.”
Allura swallowed. “I’m…”
“It’s okay,” Hunk promised. “We understand, you want to stop the Galra, stop Zarkon.”
“But you have to remember that we’re all volunteering to do this,” Pidge said, fidgeting from foot to foot. “There’s nothing keeping anyone here other than empathy. Don’t give Lance a reason to stop caring, or he will leave.”
Allura bit her lip and glanced over her shoulder. “I should go-”
“No,” Keith said firmly, stepping forwards and resting a hand on Allura’s arm. “We got this. You two go get dinner.”
She and Coran studied the paladins for a moment before nodding in agreement and leaving the training deck.