Ik it's not realistic but I hope lance is shown to be as good a pilot as Keith. Even if they fall into a new hierarchy and lance finds his place, it'll always be below black lion compatible Keith and idk I just feel kinda bad for lance
while black paladin Lance is a hc that you can pry out of my cold dead hands, my side hope is for him to be finally shown as the great pilot he is. If they fell into a new hierarchy, as you said, it would make sense to make Lance second in command. Not just for the blessed “rival with whom I also make a great team” dynamic, but also because of Lance’s flying prowess.
We’ve been shown that once Keith dropped out at the Garrison, his place was taken by Lance, so he’s definitely capable of challenging if not his “authority” (but who are we kidding, it’s Keith) for sure his adaptability to new roles.
What should be taken into consideration is that, despite the way their lions were chosen for them by outfit-matching (i’m only half kidding here), Keith is used to Red, who is small and agile, and Black is an entirely different matter. And Keith is not the “patience yields focus” type of guy for shit, he’d probably get really frustrated and have a hard time adjusting. He’s smart as hell, but also hot blooded and not really one to wait it out and work around the problem; he’s more of a “barrel into the fight (un)armed and fuck shit up” which is good, even, but not exactly what a leader needs to be, right? So, unless a brand new Keith raises from the ashes like a composed phoenix, I’d say no, thank you. Or at least, give him someone that can balance him. And you all know where I’m going with this, nudge nudge, ice and fire.
Now, I’m not trying to push my agenda on anyone, but Lance is, in my opinion, the one that knowingly lacks the raw talent Keith has and makes up for it with hard work and dedication. We’ve been given so few insights on what happened really at the Garrison, and we’ve seen Keith training like that grind meme we all know and love, but I have this headcanon that Lance actually trains twice as hard, off camera, maybe whenever he knows no one will search for him, to try and stay on par.
I’m shamelessly langsting, but picture this: Lance waking up in the middle of night to train his worries off, because he wants to live up to expectations, pushing himself harder and harder, not wanting to disappoint the universe. The pressure works hard on his back, and while he’s homesick and miserable, he would also give anything to be exactly what the team needs, and he’s going to work for it till he can’t breathe anymore.
He’s adaptable, and stubborn, and he’d make a great black paladin, given they found someone else to pilot the left out lion. But even still piloting Blue, watch him fight for his place tooth and nail and show to everyone that he deserves to be there, because he’s beautiful like that and no one puts Blue in the corner. Also, questionable quotes aside, he’s technically really skilled and it would be unfair for anyone not to recognize it. Under all that chipped armor of false bravado and flirting, there’s an insecure and small boy, but there’s also a thrumming want of being seen, to finally belong, and I really hope they’ll give him the chance to show it.
Please take all this with a grain of salt, I came out with it at the drop of a hat and might be spectacularly jossed come September, should I remind you that we have six more seasons to suffer, but yes, take all this langst overflowing from my pores and know that I believe in him totally. Hell, I have hope in the team, too.