That's Not So Different
@lovelylangst, I saw your idea that Voltron is hit by a spell by Haggar that makes them all revert to their original languages and I loved it so much I made a fic out of it.
I don’t know if you like your ideas being written out, so if you don’t, tell me and I’ll take it down.
Also, I kinda changed the idea a bit, so basically Pidge is perceptive and Allura is an oblivious bastard.
Word count - 2000+
Pidge stumbled out of her lion, her bayard clasped to her chest, wheezing. Her voicebox felt like it had been clapped in hot iron, and black lightning sparked painfully from her armour where Haggar’s spell had struck Voltron. It had lanced all the way through the metal, and Pidge had heard Hunk whimper in pain.
Keith was sliding down Red’s leg. Some of his armour was shattered - no doubt from the hit - and his helmet was off. Sweat stuck to his forehead. His violet eyes were wide, and full of fear. He didn’t seem to want to look at her.
Hunk and Lance were nowhere to be seen - hiding out still in their lions, probably, like a mouse from a cat’s claws. Shiro eased himself out of his lion’s mouth. His helmet was off, too, but he looked unhurt. Voltron hadn’t won - but they’d escaped. For now, they were safe.
“Shiro! Pidge!” Allura came sprinting up to the hangar, her silvery hair flying behind her - she hadn’t bothered to tie it up. Coran was running behind her. “Lance!”
“He’s… He’s still in his lion, Coran,” stammered Pidge. “Oh, God, that was a hit… I feel all weak.”
“It must have been the komar,” deduced Coran, his hands a flurry at the scanner. “That spell Haggar devised. Do you feel like you’re going to pass out? Are you hurt?”
Pidge shook her head, shakily. “No,” she muttered. “I’m f-fine. Just shaken.”
“Keith? Shiro?” asked Allura. Her eyes were wide. “Are you hurt?”
Keith shook his head. Shiro opened his mouth to say something, but Keith, swift as a whip, stuck his hand over Shiro’s jaw. Shiro glared at him, and pulled his arm away.
There was something different about Keith’s voice.
It seemed more accented, sounding a little like Shiro’s when he mumbled to himself in Japanese. Keith didn’t seem eager to say much. He had deactivated his bayard, and was staring at it like he’d lost purpose. Pidge felt a rush of fear, down to her toes. Something was different, and if Keith was acting on it, then something was not only different, it was wrong.
“Kīsu, sore o yame nasai -”
Shiro clamped a hand over his mouth.
Pidge glanced at him, curiously. “Shiro?”
Shiro’s eyes had gone terrified. His cheeks were pale as chalk.
“Shiro?!” Allura sounded scared, her hands tugging at her hair in apprehension. “What’s happened? What was that?”
“Japanese,” Pidge said, exchanging a look with Keith. “Shiro, are you okay? You look -”
She wanted to say like death, but she felt like it might be considered a bit too rude and out of place, seeing as they had just nearly died anyway. Shiro looked like he was going to throw up. Keith, standing beside Shiro, put his arm on Shiro’s shoulder, and led him away without a word.
“What’s going on?” spluttered Coran. He was tapping at the blue lion’s leg with his communicator. “The lions are running, but Hunk’s been knocked out and Lance just won’t leave his! What’s wrong?”
“I think,” said Pidge slowly, “that something is different.”
Slav came running in, just as the blue lion’s jaw opened. The noodle alien paused, his eyes round.
“Oh, so you survived,” he said. “The probability of that was highly unlikely. Are you sure you’re alive?”
“Yes, Slav,” muttered Pidge. “Go do something else now.”
Slav didn’t move. He twisted a whisker like tendril around his mouth with his top pair of arms, like the way Coran did.
Footsteps tapped behind her, and Pidge looked back.
Lance limped towards them, taking off his shattered helmet. One eye was bruised and puffy. His knee trembled under his body weight.
“Lance!” Pidge ran up to him, but before she reached him, he collapsed, smudging blood on the floor. Allura gasped, and ran to join Pidge beside him.
Lance’s body was battered with bruises. His eyes were closed, one swollen with blood and purple. His armour was a mess, but at least he was breathing.
“Is he okay?” Allura whispered.
“I think so,” Pidge confirmed. She took off her glasses and pressed the lens to Lance’s bruise to test the severity. While she did that, Coran helped a very dazed Hunk out of his lion. He looked confused, but unhurt. Better than Lance and Shiro, at least.
“Why was Shiro speaking Japanese?” Allura asked, in an offhand voice. Pidge looked up.
“Native language,” she shrugged. “People tend to switch to their native language when they’re shocked.”
“Really?” Allura sounded interested. “What’s yours?”
Allura sighed. “English, right?”
“Yeah,” Pidge admitted, looking a little guilty.
“How’s Lance?” Pidge asked.
Coran was standing by the healing pod, twisting his moustache. He started when Pidge spoke.
“Pidge! Oh, you scared me!” He wiped his forehead. “He’s alright. He wasn’t badly injured. An hour more, and he should be raring to go!”
Coran eyed her.
“How is Shiro?”
Pidge sighed. “Still in shock. Babbling to Keith in Japanese. Clear to God Keith doesn’t understand a word of it.”
“Oh, really?” Coran looked interested. “Had Keith spoken yet?”
“No…” Pidge suddenly realised where Coran was coming from, and a jolt of horror shook her. “No, Coran. That doesn’t happen to us. Besides, neither Keith nor Lance have spoken, and they have English as their first language.”
“Not Keith,” said Coran. “His family - ignoring the Galra side - come from Korea. They moved to Texas before he was born.”
“Fine, Lance then.”
Coran glanced at her, before saying, in a controlled voice:
“Druid magic is capable of many things, Pidge.”
“It’s different, certainly.”
“So, you’re saying…” Allura tapped her nails on the table. Around her, sat Pidge, Coran, and Slav.
“Yes, princess,” said Coran, not needing the question to be finished. “Earthlings have many languages. It’s totally possible.”
“That’s true,” admitted Slav. He fiddled with his fingers, his beaklike mouth quivering.
“Admittedly,” Allura said, “you could be right. But then why is Lance not speaking? He speaks English, doesn’t he?”
“Yes, princess,” said Pidge. “That, I don’t get. He’s biracial, Cuban-American… Maybe he speaks Spanish.”
Allura snorted. “Trying to get attention, more like.”
“Hey!” Pidge retorted. “Lance isn’t like that! Don’t go like that! When he’s breaking like that, it’s dangerous!”
“Pidge, he’s like that every day!” Allura complained. She looked away from Pidge’s angry face into Coran’s concerned one. “So, I chase down Lance, and then we wait for the magic to wear off?”
“If it wears off.”
Pidge glared at Slav. “You know, for someone who’s always complaining about the odds, your pessimism doesn’t exactly help.”
Pidge fought the urge to throw Slav out the airlock.
“Princess, your idea of ‘chasing down Lance’ doesn’t seem to work in my mind,” Coran fretted. “He’s earned some rest.”
“Which he has now had!”
“Y'know, Princess,” Pidge said, trying to relieve some tension, “maybe I should just go get Lance.”
“No,” said Allura, standing up, and brushing her hair behind her in a determined fashion. “He won’t take it seriously if you deliver it. I will.”
And before anyone could say anything, Allura left, shutting the door behind her.
Her fingers stung underneath the icy feel of the doorframe. The sky-blue light swept over the stooped figure hiding in the corner. Cloaked in an olive jacket.
“Lance?” Allura stepped cautiously forward, before gasping, and taking a few hesitant steps back.
Lance was crying.
The blue paladin sat hunched, her forehead on his knees and his tan hands wrapped over his face. Tears glittered on his hands like liquid diamond, rasping unintelligible words to the floor.
“Lance!” Allura said, for the third time, but now her voice filled with panic. She didn’t know why - Lance had always irritated her, even after he had stopped his stupid flirting game - but the Lance in front of her looked like the last kind of person to flirt with a princess. What she could see of the gleam of his blue eyes he was raw with sadness.
“Oh, my god,” Allura whispered. Lance didn’t look up - had he even heard her?
She heard footsteps behind her, and saw Pidge and Keith. Both of them looked stricken. Keith had his hands over his mouth as he hurried to Lance’s side. His eyes gleamed, and he looked horrified.
Pidge stood, her hands on her bayard. She looked angrily triumphant, accusing eyes on Allura, hissing, “I told you! I swear to god I warned you!”
“I - I…” Allura didn’t have the words. She bit her lip, shaken.
Keith was whispering words in Korean, his hands in Lance’s, trying to make him look at him, wiping at Lance’s tears with the hem of his cropped jacket. Allura caught a few words off the side.
“Ulji mal-ajuseyo. Jagiya, ulji ma.” He kissed Lance’s tear-streaked cheek and wrapped his arms around him.
Allura froze. Only speaking one language. Keith’s words were worthless when Lance didn’t know what they meant.
Lance’s eyes glowed a sharp, water blue through the darkness, fixed intently on Allura. He looked more angry than sad now. Suddenly, Allura felt a chill in her blood that had nothing to do with the cold castle.
“No tienes idea,” he spat. “¿Por qué me subestimas? Quiero que mires más allá de tus propias esperanzas por una vez.”
Only one language.
She had never been more wrong about someone.
Pidge had gasped a little at Lance’s words, but Keith didn’t move. He kissed Lance, on the lips this time. Tears shuddered down his face.
Allura took off running, not wanting to see anyone. She knew Lance’s tears came from more than just pain, of not having anyone understand him. The way he looked at her… It was her fault. All her fault.
When she reached her own room, she cried almost as much as she had seen Lance doing.
Pidge sat at Lance’s side.
She hadn’t known something for sure. Guesses weren’t good enough. She cursed herself.
Not knowing something certainly - that was different. Pidge didn’t like different things.
“Where is he?”
Pidge looked wary about telling Allura… Anything… About Lance’s position. He looked pretty broken from their encounter from yesterday.
“In his room,” Pidge said eventually. “Keith is with him.”
Allura nodded mutely.
“This is your fault, you know,” she said accusingly.
Allura sighed. “I know. I’ve never been more wrong about something.”
Pidge turned her head to the blueprints on her lap, and didn’t say anything.
“I was wrong,” Allura repeated. “I didn’t listen to you. Not to Keith when he said that Lance needed more recognition. He nearly died for Coran… God, if Coran had died..” Her eyes drifted off into space, but she made them stoic and rigid again.
“I don’t know a thing about Lance,” said Allura. “I didn’t pay enough attention to him - not even so I knew he loved Keith and Keith loved him back, not so I knew he cried like that… I was wrong. You were right. He didn’t speak because he couldn’t. But when Keith and the others didn’t try, I didn’t care, and Lance could easily have been unable to speak as much as the others. But no, I was stupid. I thought he was flunking. I was wrong. You were right, he was bilingual. Spanish is his main language. Worst of all, he couldn’t tell me… But would I have listened?”
Pidge didn’t stop Allura, idly listening to her words whilst tapping on the electronics.
“I was wrong,” she repeated. “You were right. It’s always you who’s right.”
Pidge blinked. Then she smiled, cocky.
“Me, always right?” she asked. “Yeah, that’s not different. That’s not different at all.”