The Songs of Distant Earth
Guess who just watched every episode of Voltron in three days for the first time??? Title is blatantly borrowed from a sci-fi book that I LOVE by Arthur C. Clarke. (Pls read it if you like serious sci-fi.) P.S. The two songs mentioned here are “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” by Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwo-ole, and “White Rabbit” by Jefferson Airplane, if you want to listen to them as you read. Which I would strongly advise, lol.
Spoiler alert if you haven’t caught up yet.
Keith is staring at nothing when the knock comes at the door. For a minute he stays right where he is: arms strewn idly at his sides, boots discarded at the foot of the bed, day clothes only half-exchanged for nightwear before he gave up and laid down a couple hundred tics ago. A couple more pass.
The knocker knocks again, no more or less insistently.
On the other side of the door, Lance is frowning. None of them are doing very well without Shiro. It’s been a full Terran month now since his disappearance, and the ship is slowly falling prey to the most dreaded of all fates: a return to normalcy. No one wants normalcy. They want their leader back. Their friend. Without his leadership each new partially drawn-up plan feels hollow and pointless. Without Shiro, Voltron is nothing more than a chicken running around with its head cut off. Ha, ha. Good one, Lance… Fighting the endless crushing void of depression with dark humor is a dubious coping mechanism, but hey, it’s all he’s got. It’s better than just waltzing straight into the void, y’know?
Speaking of which.
Lance gathers his resolve and knocks on the door in front of him for a third time. The alien metal is ice on his bare knuckles. None of them are doing well, but if you were to ask Lance, Keith is doing the worst.
He’s about to knock a fourth time when the door abruptly slides open. “H-hey buddy,” Lance says dumbly. He knows his grin must look like it’s scribbled on in crayon, but he can’t help grinning anyway. It’s all he knows. A childhood of lying through his teeth to younger siblings about the darker aspects of life, the universe, and everything (and a subsequent year in space lying through his helmet about the odds of survival to civilians midrescue) has trained him too thoroughly. Happy Face Mode is automatic.
“What?” Keith knows that everyone is probably concerned about his refusal to participate in anything beyond training and war meetings but he doesn’t really care. Most everyone has gathered that Keith wants to be alone. Most. Lance, however. Suffice it to say that Lance appearing in the middle of the night to try and goad Keith into god knows what is no new thing. The familiar cadence of this visit doesn’t make it any less annoying, though. “Alright,” he deadpans when a few more tics have passed without Lance moving or saying anything at all, “good talk,” and moves to close his door.
“Wait!” he blurts, and his arm is shoved through the door into Keith’s room, keeping him from touching the closing mechanism. “You weren’t sleeping, were you? No? Okay cool. I have something I wanna show you.”