They were arguing, the whole team. Shiro had technically started it, saying he would go. The Galra transmission demanded one of the Paladins, or the whole Castle would be blown to bits, and honestly they were in no condition to fight.
“I’ll go.” Keith said. “I’ll be fine, I can fight and take care of myself-”
“No.” Shiro said, shaking his head. “They want me. Haggar wants me.”
“I’ll go!” Hunk piped up again, but everyone shot him a look and he grumbled under his breath. Lance looked back to Shiro and Keith, who were bickering, Pidge, who was leaning on the console tiredly, watching them, and Allura who was joining in on the bickering.
“I will go.” She proclaimed. In the mess that ensued, no one noticed Lance quietly stepping towards the beam that would transport him to the Galra ship that was looming outside the window like a tyrant. They had gotten into their systems, and this was the only way off the ship as of now.
Lance’s mind raced as he watched the team carefully, now Allura was yelling. Five steps.
“Lance?” Someone asked. The room went deadly silent and Lance darted forward, hitting the button that would shut the beam’s defense and seal it off. It started humming, and everyone was staring at him.
“Shiro’s the leader.” He explained, rushed as the humming got louder and the top of the encasement grew brighter. “Keith is the best pilot, Pidge is a genius and Hunk is a brilliant engineer. Allura, you’re the Princess and Coran you’re the only one who knows the Castle well.”
“Lance, no!” Hunk shouted, launching forward. Lance laughed a little and pressed his hand to Hunk’s through the material, it felt like plastic. And it was getting warm, he noticed.
“I’m just a boy from Cuba.” He said, the light over his head getting brighter. Hunk burst into tears, and Lance’s bones seared as the beam came down.
Hunk was sobbing, Pidge at his side in an instant and Shiro only a moment later. Keith stood, staring at the place where Lance had stood only moment before with a look of confusion and terror.
“Lance.” Allura mumbled, mouth hidden behind her hand as she stared in shock.
Coran paced, then went to the console and started typing. His face was the most serious Keith had ever seen. Something filled his chest, watching Hunk and Pidge sob and Shiro hide tears. Guilt. If he had just gone-
Keith turned and left the room, stoic until his head met his pillow and then he cried.
Lance blinked, the sensation of his flesh being burned off disappearing and he winced, blinking in the hard purple light that made a headache start to pound.
“Well.” Someone purred near him, making him jump and lift a hand to shield his face and get a better look. Long white hair, purple skin, twin scars running down under his eyes, a man stared at him. He smiled, too wide in a way that made Lance shiver.
“We gained a Paladin much quicker than I had hoped.”