Memory Devices (Sunday - Family)
There was a time when Lance didn’t have to worry about when he would hear his family’s voices next. At home, he could walk into any room and chat with whoever was in the room at that time. At the Garrison, he was able to pick up the phone between drills and at night, hearing his the multitude of voices that tried to speak to him all at once.
In space, it’s different. There are many rooms in the castle, but only seven “people” he could converse with, not including the mice and Kaltenecker the cow. There was too much silence, something which Lance couldn’t accept at first.
So instead, he decided to be loud. Being loud reminded him of his family, the family whose voices were fading from his memories.
The other occupants of the castle didn’t like the noise. Keith liked quiet, except for in battle. Shiro constantly told Lance to be quiet so that the others could “actually be productive”. Allura thought that his loudness meant that he wasn’t taking his job seriously, and made him train harder than the rest. Hunk and Pidge were alike, in that they accepted that Lance would barge in and make a big deal out of nothing, but got annoyed quickly with his presence, telling him to go away so that they could focus. Coran didn’t mind Lance’s personality, but he would often interrupt the paladin to inform him of Altea’s past.
Eventually, he managed to figure out that the others in the castle were actively avoiding him. He ended up with free time that he either spent writing or exploring the castle. At some point, Lance found a room that was similar to the control room where they first found Allura and Coran.
The room was empty for the most part. There was a couch in the middle of the room, with equipment that looked like their mind-melding gear. Other than that, there was dust all over the room - an obvious indication that the room hadn’t been occupied in a long time.
Curious, Lance walked over to the headgear and tried to figure out how it worked. There were Altean symbols lining the back of it. Lance only knew one of the buttons, so keeping in mind where it was, he put the item on his head and pressed the button.
There were no words that could describe how Lance felt at that moment. There was a sudden, sharp pain in his head and then it vanished. The device seemed to have taken his memories, and displayed them in front of Lance.
Some memories were distorted, blurry. Others were clear like they were happening right then.
Off to the corner of everything, Lance noticed a different memory. His family. The family that he had left behind on Earth, the ones who supported him through everything.
He could remember this memory easily. It was the day that the entire family visited Varadero Beach, a place that they rarely got to go to. The memory continued playing out - his younger cousins and siblings playing on the beach and in the water, his mother and father helping the youngest build sandcastles, his aunt and uncle sleeping in the shade while the older siblings and cousins either kept an eye on the others in the water or were sunbathing. It was one of the best days that Lance could remember.
There and then, Lance made a promise, heart aching, and tears in his eyes.
“I will come back to you. No matter what.”