Lance had avoided the hangers since that day. He had avoided them like the plague. He didn’t let Red in anymore than he had to. He didn’t tug on the remaining bond with Blue. He didn’t visit Black.
He avoided them all.
He only had himself to blame really. He had let Blue in, had let Black in, had let Shiro in. He had let them touch him, had let them see the deepest parts of him, had let them watch him come undone.
He couldn’t blame Shiro, couldn’t demonize him, couldn’t be mad at him like he was at Blue and Black. After all, it wasn’t Shiro’s fault he disappeared. He had no say in it. He had no idea, no control over, the pain that had befallen Lance since then.
If Shiro was here none of this would’ve happened. He would’ve still had Blue, Black and him. They’re… whatever they had, would’ve stayed the same. They would’ve been able to meet, to touch, to release, to talk, to be together. Shiro was not here though, and Black and Blue had finally rejected him.
He had honestly expected Black to give him some sort of reaction when he had been sitting in their cockpit. They had spent a lot of time together in this very spot, talking and doing things, private things, and he had expected Black’s human form to materialize before him, to comfort him, and their controls to awaken beneath his hands. After all, Lance had spent so much time with Black, as well as Blue, that understanding and working with them would’ve been easy.
As time ticked by, as he waited, he knew that he didn’t really want Black to awaken for him. He wanted someone to share his pain with, as he knew Black was feeling the same. He also loved and adored Blue, and as much as he wanted to prove himself, he knew that at the end of the day he’d be happy with his beautiful Blue.
All he wanted was a sign.
With what they’d done, with how much Lance cared for them, shouldn’t Black have given him some response? Some way of knowing that even with Shiro gone that he still had someone? That the things they had done, the moments they had stolen, were more than just that?
Black never did materialize for him. Instead, Black roared to life for Keith, as Lance had begrudgingly accepted they would. That was okay though, he still had Blue. He still had his place. Someone still loved him.
Until Blue didn’t.
Particle barrier up, shutting Lance out, refusing to budge. There was no push at his mind, no words explaining what was wrong, what Lance could do to fix this, whatever this was.
Silence. Silence from Black he could handle, could maybe understand. Shiro was gone, Black was mourning as much as the team was, as much as Lance was, and, yeah, talking would be smart, would help them all find closure, but people or sentient lions in this case do senseless things when in pain. Blue, his beautiful Blue, shouldn’t be shutting him out.
Red’s roar called to him, and it was then that he knew, that he understood. The things Blue had done to him and the things Black had joined in on were nothing to them. He had been used like a toy, thrown away as something new came along.
When he handed Allura his bayard, he handed her what was left of his heart.
Part of him wanted to deny that fact, to deny the pain and suffering and confront Blue, to ask what he had done. He couldn’t though. He couldn’t open up. Even as Red prodded at his mind he couldn’t. Even as they formed Voltron for the first time during the switch, he couldn’t. Even as they searched and searched and searched for Shiro, he couldn’t.
He had to accept that he was now Red’s. He had to accept that once they found Shiro that he’d be cast aside once more. Keith was Red’s rightful paladin, he knew. He could feel the remnants of their bond whenever Lance piloted them, could feel the way Red wanted to go to Keith’s side, to protect.
Shiro would take Black again, Keith, Red, and Allura would stay in Blue. It was what their lions wanted it seemed. It didn’t matter that he had a history with Black and Blue, had spent endless hours talking to them, bonding with them, letting them touch him and touching them in return.
Lance looked down at the plushie in his hands. It had taken him a long time to find the right colors and material, to memorize every single detail. He had stabbed his fingers so many times while sewing, covering his fingertips in band-aids.
It was pointless now.
He let the Blue Lion plushie fall, his tears finally falling with it.
He was just a means to an end.