Been wanting to write something for season 3 of Voltron ever since I finished it and finally got around to finishing this oneshot. Hope you guys enjoy!
“We’re coming for you, Shiro.”
That single thought had been blazing in Keith’s head for the last several vargas, ever since he and the rest of the Voltron team had come up with a plan to successfully in infiltrate the Galra warship that housed the team of Galra scientists in control of the so-called Project Kuron.
The same warship where Shiro’s clone had escaped from and where the real Shiro had to be kept.
It had been a tragic blow to the paladins when they discovered that the Shiro who had been living with and fighting along side them for months now had not been their Shiro, but a clone. Not even the clone, who had taken to calling himself Kuron, had known until twisted memories started to resurface and suddenly all the oddities of Kuron’s escape and the Black Lion’s rejection made sense.
Despite the surprise and agony of losing Shiro all over again, Keith knew that none of this was Kuron’s fault. In fact, the clone seemed to be taking the news the hardest out of all of the Castle’s residents combined. All his memories, his past, his entire life had been nothing but a fragmented lie. Nobody knew how to comfort him.
However, despite his own anguish and inner turmoil, Kuron had worked relentlessly the last few weeks to help Keith and the rest of the paladins search for the place of Kuron’s origin. It was the only place the real Shiro could possibly be at this point.
And at last, they were to finally locate it.
After much rejoicing at the discovering, the paladins, Coran, and Kuron all hunkered down and spent vargas coming up with a plan to get inside to stage a rescue. The warship was heavily armed and guarded, possibly with Druids as well. It had taken a while, with a lot of bickering and arguments, but soon they had a plan ready and that would go into action the next day.
That had been a while ago. Keith now stood alone in the control room, listlessly watching the endless space outside the Castle. He was sure that everyone in the Castle were now sound asleep. The leader of Voltron knew that he should be too, but right now a restless, nervous energy was keeping him wide awake. He had never felt so anxious about a mission before, not even when they had gone up again Zarkon himself. Perhaps it was because he now had the lives of his teammates (as well as Shiro) relying on him for guidance that anxiety now plagued him.
Keith thought all these months of being leader and flying the Black Lion would ease his self-doubts and make him more comfortable in his new role, but unfortunately that did not seem to be happening. He highly doubted it would ever happen really.
“Hey man, shouldn’t you be in bed?” a familiar voice called out behind Keith.
Keith crossed his arms defensively as he turned to greet Lance, still clan in his day clothes, with a stern frown. “I don’t know, shouldn’t you?” he countered.
Lance yawned loudly and stretched his arms in an exaggerated manner. “Awfully rude to answer a question with a question, Mullet head.” He took his place beside Keith and grinned playfully at the Galra-halfing, “Besides, I don’t need my beauty sleep as much as a certain someone.”
Keith rolled his eyes and scoffed at the Red Paladin, but couldn’t keep the amused smirk from his spreading across his face.
Lance grinned at the small victory, but then his blue gaze grew serious as he asked in a lower voice, “Nervous about tomorrow’s mission?”
The air seemed to grow heavy around Keith as he tore his eyes away from Lance’s concerned expression and let out a weary sigh. “Yeah,” he admitted quietly, “a bit.“ Keith tightened his arms around himself and continued in a worried voice, “The plan is risky and we don’t even know if Shiro’s really on that ship.”
“Don’t think that. Kuron remembered seeing him in one of his memories.” Lance told him, his voice as steady and calm as an ocean wave. “And yeah, the plan is plenty risky, but it’s not as if we’re rushing in blindly. We have Kuron letting us know what to expect and you Pidge will be tracking everything that goes on.” Lance shot Keith a signature confident grin, “All of us are prepared and ready so relax, team leader.”
Despite the worries and doubts that still troubled his mind, Keith felt himself return Lance’s grin. It was hard to feel too depressed when around the former Blue Paladin’s enthusiasm. But another thought tugged at his mind- something he had been thinking about for quite some time- and it caused his grin to sink back into a frown once more.
Lance immediately noticed the change in Keith’s expression. He tilted his head to the side, watching the former Red Paladin curiously. “Is something else on your mind, Keith?” he asked, sounding concerned.
“Yeah…” Keith answered after a brief pause. “There’s actually something I’ve been meaning to ask you.”
He turned to face the Red Paladin, his violet eyes flashing with enough intensity to have Lance slightly flinch back in a nervous manner. The Black Paladin took a long, deep breath before addressing Lance without a single note of hesitation in his voice.
“Lance, if anything happens to me tomorrow or in the future, I want you to lead Voltron.”
For several heartbeats, a heavy, stunned silence filled the chamber.
“…What?” Lance spoke at last, sounding as though he didn’t quite understand the words that had just come out of Keith’s mouth.
Keith calmly repeated himself. “I said, I want you to take my place as Head of Voltron if anything happens to me.”
“I KNOW WHAT YOU SAID!” Lance spluttered in a loud voice filled with shock and on the border of yelling, “I just can’t believe you’d say something like that!” He snapped his head to glare angrily at his raven-haired teammate, “Do you really think we’d let the mission screw up so badly that you’d get killed?! As if any of us would let anything happen to you!”
Keith had guessed beforehand that Lance would be surprised by his declaration, but was taken back by how furious Lance sounded.
“Lance, I don’t doubt any of yous guys at all! But if there’s anything I’ve learned since becoming the Black Paladin is that we have to be prepared for the worst case scenarios,” Keith explained, trying to calm Lance down, “This mission will be one of the toughest since our face-off with Zarkon- a lot can go wrong and I need to know that if anything happens, the team will be in good hands.”
“The team’s already in good hands!” Lance retorted, shaking his head furiously in disbelief as if he couldn’t believe they were even having such a conversation. At least he did not seems so angry anymore, only frustrated. “Besides, when we rescue Shiro and something happens to you- which it won’t- then the Black Lion will choose him to lead again.”
Keith closed his eyes and took a small breath as if to brace himself before answering. “Yes, that is true. That could happen.” He then opened his eyes and stared unflinchingly at Lance. “But this is also a good chance that Shiro won’t be in any condition to lead once we rescue him.” He leaned a bit closer, lowering his voice to a harsh whisper, “You saw how bad Kuron was when we found him. Shiro could be even worst. There’s just no telling how far the Galra are willing to go when it comes to him! We’ve seen that firsthand!”
“I…I can’t really argue with you on that.” Lance admitted in a strained voice, his gaze wandering off to the side. “Shiro might need a bit of vacation after this whole fiasco.”
“So will you do it?” Keith prompted. A stab of disappointment went through him at the slow shaking of Lance’s head.
“Keith…buddy…I appreciate the vote of confidence, but you know there’s no way anyone would agree to me being leader. Pidge and Hunk think I’m just a dumb goofball. Allura would be the better choice- she is a princess after all.” Lance’s voice was low with resignation and his body seemed to droop at his own words. A part of Keith felt infuriated that Lance could think so little of himself.
Then again, none of us really helped him think any different. Keith told himself, thinking of all the times he and the rest of the team had teased Lance, not knowing that their laid-back teammate would take their words to heart.
“I already talked with Allura about this. She knows if worse comes the worst who my choice of leader is.” Keith said, earning a surprised look from Lance.
“What?!” The Red Paladin’s voice cracked with disbelief. “She agreed with this?!”
Keith hesitated for a few ticks before answering in a wary tone. “It….took her by surprise, I admit.”
Lance let out a loud, bitter scoff. “Knew it.”
Keith settled a firm hand upon Lance’s shoulder, causing the former Blue paladin to turn to him blinking.
“But in the end she agreed that you are the best choice.” Keith said, giving Lance’s shoulder a tight, reassuring squeeze. Seeing the confusion swimming in Lance’s dark blue eyes, Keith continued in a quiet, earnest voice.
“Lance, don’t you understand how much you helped me since I’ve become the Black Paladin? I was literally tearing the team apart by the second mission until you knocked some sense into me. You supported me despite our stupid rivalry and every time after I completely screwed things over.”
“You didn’t screw up that much. And every one of us supported you, Keith. I’m nothing special.” Lance said his voice barely above a whisper, his sad gaze lowered to the ground. “Besides, it’s the Black Lion’s choice. And in case you’ve forgotten, it clearly rejected me.”
“It rejected you then. But who’s to say it will reject you now?” Keith argued, unable to keep a small hint of frustration from seeping through his voice. “The Lions’ change their minds.”
“Why would it? Nothing’s changed.” Lance argued, waving his hands around to gesture at himself.
“You have!” Keith snapped, his violet-grey eyes burning into Lance’s face, willing the Red Paladin to understand. “Maybe you weren’t ready to lead back then. But you’ve proven yourself time and time again that you’re willing to put the team above everything. Even if it meant you quitting the team- which it wouldn’t!” Keith added shooting his companion an irritated glare, recalling the time when Lance approached him with such a suggestion. Lance made a small grunt of acknowledgement but did not speak- obviously it wasn’t a memory the former blue paladin liked to dwell upon.
So Keith continued, “Allura and I…well…we can be selfish. When Shiro disappeared, I focused everything into trying to find him and left defending the universe to you guys. And Allura was even willing to risk Voltron itself by going inside a weird, dangerous wormhole to see if Atleans were inside.”
“All those are reasons are still pretty important.” Lance pointed out, his tone not unkind.
Keith shook his head, “It doesn’t matter- both of us put the team at risk. But you’d never do that- that’s why the Red Lion chose you. Because she knew the team needed you.”
Keith paused and then blurted out, voice filled with emotion, “That I need you, Lance. I could have never led Voltron without your help. And I know the Black Lion will see that how far you’ve gotten us.”
Lance stared, absolutely stunned into speechlessness at Keith’s outburst. His lips were slightly parted with no words escaping, and his blue eyes were wide, shimmering with an emotion that Keith could not quite name.
Keith wished his usually talkative teammate would break the loud, overbearing silence now filling the chamber. If anything just to distract the Black Paladin from the feeling of his face flushing red with embarrassment.
At last Lance spoke, his usually boisterous voice quiet and tinged with disbelief, almost frightened-sounding. “You need me?” he asked.
Keith forced himself, blushing cheeks and all, to face Lance. It anyone deserved the truth, he did.
“More than you could ever know. All of us do.” Keith told him, “That’s why I’m asking you this.”
Lance fell silent once more, but his expression was thoughtful. When the former Blue paladin nodded slowly Keith felt a seed of hope flare up within him.
“I still think you’re over-worrying about this. I doubt anything is going to happen at tomorrow’s mission.” Lance said, his voice tight and clipped.
“But…?” Keith quietly urged.
Lance sighed, but when he turned to face Keith, his expression was as solemn as the one he wore the day Keith became Black Paladin. His blue gaze burned with unwavering determination as he spoke, “…But if worse comes the worst, then yes Keith, I will lead Voltron and keep the team safe, no matter what. I swear.”
A wave of relief, cool and clear like a rare desert shower, washed over Keith. With Lance’s confident reassurance, it was like a giant boulder of a burden had been lifted off Keith’s chest and the anxiety he felt about the upcoming mission seemed like a distant memory. He now understood why Shiro had been so insistent on making sure Keith understood his wishes on making the former Red Paladin leader-ready, no matter how much Keith had resented it. Shiro had understood his own fragile mortality in this war for universe’s safety and had felt the need to make sure the team would be in good hands. Keith wondered if Shiro would approve of his decision of having Lance take his place if needed.
And Keith glanced at Lance- the team’s goofball brother, their ninja sharpshooter, their bold Red Paladin, his noble and loyal right-hand man.
Keith had no doubts about his choice.
“Thank you Lance.” Keith said, meaning every word.
He allowed a soft smile to spread across his face and was happy to see Lance return the gesture. “No problem, Keith.”
The two paladins fell into a comfortable silence, content on watching the infinite stars and galaxies of the universe they protected. Keith could not recall who moved first, but within moments Voltron’s leader and second-in-command were leaning against each other, shoulders pressed together. Neither wished to leave the warmth of the other’s company.
Keith felt the weight of Lance’s head fall on his shoulder.
“But you know nothing’s going to happen to you.” Lance said his usual, playful confidence back in his voice. “Not like with Shiro.”
“You don’t know that.” Keith answered grimly. I thought the same thing about Shiro.
“Yes I do,” Lance answered and though Keith could not see Lance’s face, he could hear a grin coming from him, “You know why?”
Keith resisted the smirk tugging at the corner of his lips. “Why?”
Keith shivered as he felt hot breath brush his ear as Lance tilted his head closer to him.
“Because I’ll be by your side,” Lance whispered, tone soft and so, so warm, “watching your back every step of the way tomorrow. I won’t let anything happen to you.”
Something inside Keith’s chest seemed to burst at Lance’s words, bubbly and pleasant, seeping through Keith’s entire body like a liquid joy. Despite the dangers that were vastly approaching, Keith felt a sense of security that he only experienced inside of Red or Black, their purrs rumbling through him. For the very first time since Shiro’s disappearance, since the Lion Switch, Keith finally felt like this was where he belonged.
Keith gave way to the happy feeling, holding it close to his heart in hopes that it never faded, pressed close to Lance. He rested his head on top of Lance’s, enjoying the softness of the brown, fluffy hair tickling his cheek and replied softly, “I expect nothing less from our cool ninja sharpshooter. My right hand man.”
Lance gave a sleepy hum in response. Keith’s smile broadened when his teammate made no move to leave his side, but merely snuggled a bit closer.
Neither paladin spoke after that. Keith knew there was nothing left to be said. A deep instinct within the former Red Paladin told him that this would be the last time him and Lance would ever have a conversation like this. They both knew their roles and where they stood in this fight for the universe’s safety.
And that was together, fighting and supporting each other side by side as leader and right-hand-man until only death itself could rip them apart…
Summary: Hades hears from a sound source that there’s a good chance that Nico di Angelo is dating Leo Valdez, so Hades pays Leo a visit. It goes about as well as you’d expect, which is to say not at all. Or so, Leo thinks.
The beginning of the end all started with Aphrodite.
Maybe that shouldn’t have been a surprise, but it sure was one when the goddess of Love appeared at the foot of Hades’ throne, seemingly having let herself into the palace.
“Oh, Hades! My dear…” Aphrodite paused a moment to wrinkle her nose, though whether it was in disgust of the interior design or the thought of being too many things in relation to her to count, the Lord of the Dead wasn’t sure. “Well, lord. I have news from above! You know, the place that you don’t visit all too often to shut yourself in this cave.”
I’m using Sans to represent my inner anguish towards my essay through a touch screen (I’m having a bad time)
(If you haven’t noticed already, I’m less active now bc of school. Anyway, this is the one time I’ll be on in awhile, and I can’t go for long periods of time, so I’m sorry if I don’t answer your questions now. I’ll take care of them when I have enough free time. Thanks for reading, hope you have a great rest of the month!)
Wendy rested her head in her son's lap. She has always been a strong woman, fighting to hide her inner anguish his entire life, but now it was all just too much and she couldn't handle it. Peter had walked out again. George had bad grades. Gia and Jane couldn't get a long. And jay was an emotional mess. On top of it all, her mother had called once again to tell her how she raised her kids wrong. It all was just overwhelming and she couldn't handle it.
George was sitting there with a distant look on his face until he felt her resting against him. After he did, he ran a hand up and down her back while the other played with her hair
(Credits to the writing is mine. Credits to the creator to this picture which wowed me. Which, thanks to all the reblogs, I now know it’s @nanananananablr)
He had thought he would die alone, sadly that was not the case. It seemed like a sadistic ploy that his greatest fear had been avoided in such an action as the one occurring in the arbor wilds.
The blade was warm with another’s blood as it pierced his skin. In these fleeting moments, the great Fen'Harel seemed to be watching his reign end from above. He had become a floating projection, peering down at the unpredicted massacre.
How did his death come to occur? The old being that embodied Pride could hardly grasp the information as he drifted into the broken Fade.
The old Inqusition’s Inner Circle watched in anguish as Lavellan’s body fell against her Vehnan’s. Who had dealt her final blow? It hardly mattered. This is where in the mist of chaos, she would end her journey and leave the world of Thedas.
The hilt of the blade glinted as it sank farther into their flesh. Her violet gaze flickered in her last moments of life. Watching the scarred sky for the last time. Reliving in her minds eye all she had managed to accomplish in her thirty eight years of time on the Earth.
Lovers’ blood mixed together as it formed a crimson pool. The Dalish halla, had started as an innocent of the free marches. The youth of her fell in love with what seemed a tamed beast. The admiration and infatuation seemed unrivaled. Even after the wolf’s goodbye. He was a wise creature, as she followed his last advice for her. “Steel your heart” and with that, the Halla grew strong and lead long her band of beloved misfits…
At last she was granted her final wish, to fall beside the Dread Wolf’s step.
The chest clears, the cold retires ( ! ), the breathing eases as the antibiotics creep in, there is a spring in the step as the tread mill winds its way, the voice is back .. somewhat ..
BUT .. the pain .. what does one do with PAIN ..! That does not CLEAR !!
The pain of killings and death of our brave heart soldiers .. of the destruction by nature from the morning earthquake in the North Eastern region of our land, close by to where we are now .. the disturbed World affairs .. the weeping and the distress of the families of those lost forever .. the anger and outrage, the raised voices and concerns of the common us .. the anguish of what we live in and what we shall leave behind for ours ..
DISTRESSING, DESOLATE AND DISMAL ..
Watching the Tv and the recreation of all that transpires, of the horror and the darkness .. of inhumanity, of distorted views and opinions .. of a certain helplessness .. of just not wanting it all to be a part of us ..
And then there is ‘life’ .. to live to survive to enact to normalise to involve to beckon to design to expect, to dictate ‘the show must go on’ and the uncertainty of it all ..
At times a beat of the heart impulses us to scream the loudest scream to depict the inner swells of frustrated anguish .. of not finding solutions .. to by inadvertent behaviour express ourselves ..
To kick .. to demonstrate our withins ..
And then just as rapidly as it came the softness of the young and innocent take over .. they melt us .. they cajole us into a submission that mollifies us and grounds us from the extenuating madness around ..
And the beauty of beautiful visions overtake us .. the rain .. or is it the tears of our self in PAIN .. !!
It is time to retire (!) for the morrow holds an early .. a very early rise ..
But the haunts of the evening shall be carried to the pillows and to our thoughts for all that suffer ..
It kind of turns me off that SP decided to show Itachi as suicidal after seeing the war scene.
When I read that bit, in the novel translation, it was one of the best parts. It showed that at a very Young age Itachi made a resolve to never let the ugliness in the world touch his core . ( something that helped him never to succumb to curse of hatred) .
He didnot let the gory scene of the war awaken his sharingaan IIRC – or he suppressed his inner anguish at that point. he made a resolve to be stronger and act as a protector. That event made him stronger inside.
I think that scene was unnecessary because Itachi was NEVER suicidal after that war scene. This small addition by SP kinda adds a dimension to itachi which was NOT there and takes away from his character.