(Hey I wanted to include a warning because this includes some torture and mental manipulation/images.)
Slowly, Lance cracked open his ocean blue eyes although it did little to help overcome the overwhelming darkness he was faced with. Shivers wracked through his body as he attempted to move forwards however cool metal chains held him back. Panic started to set in as he struggled against his binds, as he struggled to get out, as he struggled to calm down and think. The battle had been tough, the strongest memories being the noise. Ear piercing shrieks of pain from the Unilu they were trying to help had surrounded them as loud blasts of gunfire found their targets. The occasional blast of an explosion would shake the ground as the planet’s whipping winds slammed into the objects in its way. As his thoughts became clearer his breathing slowed and he slumped back. Yet with the calm came the wave of pain. Suddenly he could feel every bruise with their dull, pulsating pain and the sharp, shooting, almost burning pain of the cut on his shoulder. The Paladin gasped sharply as his breathing became shallow and his movement came to a complete still as to avoid agitating his injuries any further. He couldn’t help but to make a remark dryly to the empty room.
After approximately 30 minutes of sitting in pain on the freezing floor, the door to what ever cell he was contained in creaked open slowly and outside light flooded the room. In entered a cloaked figure, faced obscured from view as the light silhouetted their figure and blurred Lance’s adjusting vision. Blinking profusely he continued to look upon the approaching figure, finally working out that a druid stood before him. The two sat at an uncomfortable stand still as the druid looked down at him, it’s unfeeling eyes gazing at him relentlessly as Lance attempted to work up the courage to speak. After opening his mouth in an effort to speak words that would never be the druid raised it’s hands and a shock of energy coursed through him. It felt like fire was running through Lance’s veins as he jittered and screamed in pain. That pain consumed him, making it woefully easy for the druid to pick through the Blue Paladin’s memories as if it had all the time in the world.
The onslaught stopped after an unknown amount of time, the pain having made the time seem continuous, indefinite and the Paladin of Voltron struggled to regain his breath. Unbeknownst to him the druid had slinked out of the room, now having an abundance of knowledge to use against him.
Waking to shouting wasn’t unusual however the almost animalistic snarls were odd. Heart pounding as he became alert, Lance watched the door area in hope. That hope didn’t let him down as the cell door slammed open with Keith rushing into the cell. His eye’s were almost filled to the brim with tears as he saw his team mate and he didn’t hesitate to call out to him. “Hey Mullet! Fancy meeting you here!” Lance chuckled lightly as Keith looked at him from only a foot or two away. Looking up at the other in worry as Keith didn’t move he tried again, this time the laughter and joy in his voice faded. “ Er…aren’t you gonna’ help a pal out?” At this the Red Paladin laughed maliciously, neither moving forward or backward yet hunched over as if whatever he was cackling at was the funniest thing he’d ever heard. Wiping a tear from his eye casually Keith spoke for the first time since he’d entered Lance’s cell. “What? Don’t tell me you actually thought we were here to rescue you? You were easily replaceable.” And with that Keith turned to exit the cell. “ Wait, that was a joke right? Right? You’d never say that… Keith?! KEITH?! WAIT! PLEASE!” The cell door slammed shut and Lance was left shouting his desperate pleas to no one.
Time and time again Lance suffered through botched rescue attempts by his team mates. Time and time again he suffered through cruel, unfeeling words so unlike his friends. Time and time again he suffered through excruciating pain delivered by the hands of those who would never think to do such a thing; the hands of his second family. Time and time again hope would rise in his chest, flickering as it remained undefeated by the bad. By the time that hope would have been fruitful… By the time it took to work, Lance was a husk of the loud, confident Paladin he once was, now laying beaten, broken and afraid of being hurt once again. So when Shiro and Hunk entered the room, gasping as they saw the blood splattered on the floor and the boy sprawled across it, rushing towards their friend and fellow Paladin they had so clearly failed, it was a surprise to them when Lance screamed as he spotted them. To Lance however, as he continued screaming even whilst he was unbound from his chains and raced out that small cell, it was as if he was awaiting pain, humiliation and, perhaps the worst, a false sense of hope. See, eventually Lance had learnt that hope and pain are intertwined and that hope always lets you down.