Okay so this is inspired by my own experiences with migraines and what a friend told me aura migraines are like. The idea popped into my head an wouldn’t leave me alone. Let me know what you think?
As a Paladin of Voltron, Lance was familiar with pain. He’d been blown up, tossed around through space, and beaten up by the Galra, who weren’t known for holding back. Pain was a regular part of his job now. It had been since the beginning. And yeah, it hurt (duh!), but he’d learned to cope. Lance was pretty sure he could handle just about anything.
To Lance, migraines were like a tsunami in his brain; a sudden, unstoppable wave of confusion and hurt that swept him away. He’d had them ever since he was a kid. If he was lucky, he would sense one coming on and take some advil before lying down in a dark room and trying to sleep through it. If he didn’t catch it in time, the pain could incapacitate for hours at best, days at worst. And once one hit, all he could do was wait it out and hope it ended quickly.
Lance was dozing on the couch with his arm over his eyes. It had been a long day of training, and he could feel a small ache forming behind his eyes. The lights were dimmed and the other paladins were at dinner, so he had some peace and quiet to himself. At least, he did, until the alarms sounded throughout the castle. Lance shot up, but immediately slouched forward as the pain behind his eyes sharpened and moved to his left temple.
“Fuck,” he muttered. “Not now!”
Lance slowly straightened up, pulled himself to his feet, and made his way to the hangar as quickly as he could. With each step, he felt the pain at his temple pulse and radiate out through his sinuses and down into his teeth. He felt the tendons in his neck grow tight as a burning sensation made its way from the base of his skull to his shoulders. By the time he made it to the hangar and into his Lion, he was fighting back waves of nausea.
“Lance where are you?” Shiro called over the intercom. “We need you out here!”
Lance swallowed hard and muttered through clenched teeth, “On my way!” Of all the times to get a migraine, he thought, it had to be now.
He felt Blue reach out in his mind, concerned, but he cringed and quickly limited his mental connection. With the pulsing in his head, the Blue Lion’s feelings were too much to handle and only made the pain worse.
“Sorry, Blue,” he whispered, “I can’t.”
Though he couldn’t hear her in his mind, he thought Blue must have understood because as soon as he wrapped his hands around the controls, she shot out of the hangar and into the fray. Three large war ships were converging on the Castle, firing shot after shot from their ion cannons. The particle barrier around the castle was shredded and the Lions couldn’t defend it separately. As soon as Lance was close to the rest of the Paladins, he heard Shiro shout.
Immediately Lance joined in the formation to form the giant robot. As each Lion joined together, Lance could feel an increase of pressure in his mind. His mental link to the rest of the Paladins and Voltron was closed off, but he needed it to open complete the formation. Lance closed his eyes, took a deep breath, and lowered the mental block.
The pain was overwhelming. He could feel Hunk, Pidge, Keith, Shiro, Blue, and even the other Lions in his head. It felt as if they were all pressing against his migraine, squashing it and condensing into a point of unbearable agony. There was nothing but the pain. He wasn’t aware that Voltron was formed. He wasn’t aware as they rest of Paladins piloted Voltron and destroyed the warships. He wasn’t aware that he was screaming in pain through it all. He couldn’t hear the shouts of concern and panic from the others as they listened, but could do nothing.
After what seemed like hours, Voltron separated. The pressure lessened in Lance’s head and he exhaled a great sigh of relief. The migraine lessened to something he could manage as his senses came back to him. He could feel the controls tight in his grip, the tears streaming down his face, the raw ache in his throat. He could hear his own heavy breathing and his teammates, desperately calling out to him. He could taste blood in his mouth, and it vaguely occurred to him that he had a nosebleed. Slowly he blinked his eyes open and looked around.
Lance blinked again, shook his head, and opened his eyes once more.
He couldn’t see.
He couldn’t see!
Lance pulled his helmet off and scrabbled at his face, feeling for blood or cuts, something to explain his blindness. But all he felt were his own features. No damage. His breathing escalated as he kept feeling around and waving his hands in front of his eyes.
“I can’t see,” Lance whispered. “Guys I can’t see! I can’t see, I can’t see anything! I can’t–” his voice raised to a panicked shout and he continued to hypervenitlate. He could hear shouting, but he couldn’t figure out what the others were saying.
“Lance!” Hunk’s voice finally caught his attention. “You need to try to slow your breathing. Just stay exactly where you are. We’re coming to you! You’ll be okay.”
Lance tried to take a breath, but he couldn’t focus beyond his blindness. He couldn’t see, he couldn’t breathe. He clutched at his head as he felt a painful pulse behind his eyes. With a choked off scream, he felt himself fade into unconsciousness.
Lance woke up slowly. He felt fuzzy, like his whole body was made of cotton fluff. As he became more aware of himself, he tried to remember what happened. He remembered a battle, trying to form Voltron, then–
Lance sat up quickly, his eyes wide open, trying to see. Everything was a gray fuzz, but he thought he could make out the faintest blobs of color. As he blinked and looked around, he felt a hand on his shoulder that gently pushed him back down onto the bed.
“Lance it’s okay,” it was Shiro. “You’re okay. You’re in the med bay.”
“Shiro…why can’t I see?!” Lance’s voice was strained and raspy. He tried to keep his breathing even as he angled his face to where he thought SHiro was.
“We’re not sure. Do you remember anything?”
“I…I remember fighting….and trying to form Voltron. It hurt.” As soon as he said this, he felt the dull ache of a migraine. “Still hurts,” he mumbled.
“What hurts?” Shiro’s voice was gentle, but Lance could hear his worry.
“My head.” Lance felt his energy draining. “Shiro can I sleep now?”
“Yeah buddy. Go back to sleep. We’ll be here when you wake up.”
Lance smiled in thanks before immediately succumbing to sleep.
The second time Lance woke up was slower and easier. He felt groggy as he carefully blinked his eyes open. The sight of the med bay was still slightly blurry, but Lance didn’t care. He could see again! He carefully levered himself up onto his elbows and looked around. Shiro, Hunk, Pidge, and Keith were all sitting in chairs around his bed. Hunk, Pidge, and Keith were slumped over fast asleep, but Shiro was leaning over Lance, concern etched into every line of his face.
“Shiro,” Lance smiled. “It’s good to see you.”
Shiro breathed a sigh of relief and sat back in his chair.
“Your vision is coming back,” he stated. “I’m glad it was only temporary. I think I know what caused it, now.”
Lance pulled himself up into a sitting position, giving Shiro a questioning glance.
“You said your head hurt, right?” Shiro asked.
“Yeah,” Lance said. “I had a migraine before the fight. I get them pretty often. It’s mostly gone now though. What does that have to do with my vision?”
“Some migraines can cause a variety of physical symptoms like hallucinations, weakness, and temporary loss of vision. They’re called aura migraines.” Shiro looked at Lance thoughtfully. “I think when we formed Voltron, it caused an aura migraine.”
Lance considered this new information. What if it happens again? What if he can’t fight?
“Does–Does this mean I can’t be a Paladin anymore?” He asked, his eyes downcast.
Shiro looked surprised.
“What? No of course it doesn’t mean that!”
“But if it happens again–” Shiro cut him off.
“If it happens again, we’ll deal with it. But you’re part of this team Lance. We’re not kicking you out just because you get sick sometimes.” Shiro grabbed Lance’s shoulders and looked him in the eyes. Despite the blurriness, Lance could see Shiro had a stern look on his face. “We. Need. You.”
Lance gave a watery smile and leaned in to wrap his arms around Shiro.
“Thank you,” he whispered. Shiro patted him on the back before pulling away.
“You should get some more rest, Lance. You still look pretty worn out.”
Lance nodded slowly. He was still tired. And just having a conversation left him completely exhausted. He slowly laid back and rested his head on the pillow behind him. As he drifted off, he smiled, safe and surrounded by his team.