*kicks down fandom door* I’M COMIN’ IN!
Lance, like all the other paladins, is finally getting used to the “mind meld” they all have to indulge in when controlling their lions. Until someone’s uncontrollable crush comes in and knocks them all back in surprise. It’s a crush that circles persistently through their thoughts and only gets stronger as time goes on, until they begin to realize this might be a bit more serious than the term “crush” implies.
Meanwhile, the unfortunate paladin behind it all is trying desperately to bury the feelings away, yet failing at every turn.
The mind meld, as Lance (because he was a genius) had deemed it, that the five paladins were quite forced into when they were in their lions was something they’d all been initially uncomfortable with. But as their battles with the Galra and practice days had worn on, they’d grown quite accustomed to the whole thing. The mental connection wasn’t overly invasive, after all. More or less, it was about intention.
Not intention as in they could control what was projected and what wasn’t, but more as though their thoughts and feelings had to be intentionally severe. For example, Pidge’s irritation when they were cornered by the Galra was always very obvious, or Shiro’s deep desire that they all stay calm and collected. Hunk was known for, well, panic, but that usually faded pretty quickly in favor a deep thrumming determination and focus (as well as hunger when they were practicing boring formations). Keith had less constant interjections and was more inclined to shoot them up with irritation or rage (depending on the situation) for short bursts of seconds. Lance was also pretty sure that, when things were dire, the fierce desire to protect came from Keith too. He’d thought it was Shiro at first, until their head’s steady kind of acute protectiveness had come to the surface.
Though everyone was flattered at these rare displays by Keith, no one said anything. Probably wouldn’t have gone over too well and, honestly, making Keith feel embarrassed by the bonds he’d formed with them probably wasn’t a good idea when considering how he kept to himself most of the time.
Because, yes, even Lance knew when there was potential to go a step too far. He liked to bicker and poke and prod at Keith, and be a general annoyance to everyone, but he wasn’t out to hurt feelings. Not intentionally anyway. He was a people person, after all, and spent a great deal of energy feeling others out and learning their boundaries. Sure, his fellow paladins probably didn’t realize as much (he knew they thought he was slightly ridiculous and maybe even a little stupid—most people did), but it was true. He was generally thoughtful and only pushed as far as he was sure someone could take.
His supposed intellect (or assumed lack) and knack for being annoying aside, he brought his own degree of Lance to the mind meld mud pile of feelings. Optimism, that was what he generally projected in battle or practice. After all, they had to have faith they were going to succeed in order to do so. Maybe optimism wasn’t as important as Hunk’s determination, Shiro’s steady hand, Pidge’s irritated analyses, or Kieth’s adrenaline inducing rage, but it must have been good for something. Otherwise there’d be problems. Allura was always going on about how they had to be balanced, how it was important that their own thoughts work well with everyone else’s.
And since no one had been complaining, Lance could only come to so many conclusions. Either his optimism was useful or, well, simply wasn’t a hindrance, worst case scenario. Not like they really talked about each other’s mental brain waves, after all. They’d all pretty much deduced who was who—it was pretty obvious—but so long as things were going smoothly, there was no need to call any of it to attention.
That was what Lance told himself anyway. Even if his fluffy, hovering over their heads optimism was as much use as a lawnmower in space, at least he wasn’t causing problems. That in and of itself was enough to keep him positive.
Maybe he was a fifth wheel, but at least he wasn’t running flat.