Oh hey, look, it’s not anywhere near midnight yet! How about that?
Now, before I post the fic, a tiny bit of context.
My very first fandom was when I was a little bitty thing, and it was Escaflowne. We had this old antique television, one of those great big things that was basically an entertainment station all on it’s own, only without the fun bells and whistles of drawers and cabinets. This looks pretty close, but you know, it was a long time ago and eventually it died and my father took it out and burnt the wood and wiring off, then hauled the rest off for scrap weight.
My newest fandom is actually Voltron: Defender of the Universe. Yeah, the remake. I’ll watch the originals eventually but for now, this is shiny and perfect and I can’t stop touching it.
Fun fact: I haven’t written for either of these before. Meep.
“Hard to believe no one ever knew this was here,” Shiro admitted, staring out at the green fields surrounding the Castle of Lions. It was early spring, he guessed, farmland as far as the eye could see around the horse-shoe crags that protected the ruins of a city. He couldn’t see much of the city, though he knew it to be there, beyond stone walls as tall as the grain grew, the new vantage hiding the black and violet scar that was a Galra ship in wreckage.
It had been an impressive display from the air. The crash zone stretched for miles, not just the main warship, but hundreds of fighters scattering like demented freckles, pocking craters in fields. It was old debris, at least a year, Shiro was guessing, but he actually didn’t know anything about the geological recovery rates from refined quintessence exposure on any world, never mind this one. Gaea, the princess said the locals called it. Though they hadn’t seen any of the locals yet, not working the fields– in their defense, he guessed, whatever they were growing was twelve feet tall– and not in the clearing before the city, on what looked like it had once been a thirty-foot road. The road itself wasn’t nearly large enough for the Castle, but the fields didn’t come right up to the road, expanding outward into a large clearing, more than enough to disembark.
More than enough room for a lot of things. They could land at least two of the lions here, easy.
Which didn’t mean they still didn’t technically park in the fields.
Allura led the way down the ramp, wrapped in a combat outfit with her hair pinned high, looking regal and yet still ready to kick ass. Shiro matched pace with her, which was his place as the Black Paladin, and the rest followed them. They were all tense about this, and that they could see the Earth and the moon hanging in the sky didn’t do a lot to reassure them.
The Galra ship had done a lot to reassure them they were dealing with potential allies. Or at least they were people who didn’t like the Galra. But with home so close they could reach out and touch it, he could feel the tension in his own veins. And if he was wired, with nothing back home to go back to, he could only imagine how Pidge and Hunk and Lance felt.
Tense soldiers meant tense first meetings. But it was too late to cast a glance back at them, see how they were holding up. They were already on the ground.
“That’s strange,” Allura murmured softly, considering the large and gaping void of people there to greet them. Shiro resisted the urge to check the sky for the Earth. “The message said someone would be here.”
“They could be waiting to see if we’re who we say we are,” he pointed out, in case Allura had somehow missed the pieces Galra strewn over the landscape on the way down. “Their last visitors probably weren’t very friendly.”
“They weren’t,” a woman’s voice put in. Feminine, young. About their age, more or less. She emerged from the crop, wearing a plain white tunic and a knee-length brown skirt. She was really just.. a normal looking girl, in Shiro’s opinion. She was tall and long-limbed, a runner’s build, and there was a small knife belted at her hip. Not much in the way of protection, but she didn’t look scared of them, only considering, green eyes taking in each of them at once. He saw her take in Allura, and then the rest of the Paladins one at a time, before her attention landed on him. Her eyes widened. “Takashi Shirogane?”
He startled, felt it ripple through him to the rest of the Paladins. “How do you know that name?” Keith demanded from behind him, taking a step forward, prepared to start a fight as easy as breathing. Shiro flattened his hand at his side, a subtle signal, wait.
The woman before him didn’t appear to know what to do. “I saw it, on television when I was back on the Mystic Moon– Earth. That’s where I’m from.” Her brows pulled, eyes narrowing. “That’s where you’re from too, aren’t you?”
“All except the Princess,” Shiro allowed, curiosity pricking at his mind. Someone from Earth, up here on a planet no one had ever seen or heard of? How?
Taking her cue, Princess Allura curtsied, despite wearing a bodysuit and not a dress. “I am Princess Allura of Planet Altea, and these are the Paladins of Voltron. You’re from Earth? What are you doing on Gaea?”
The strange woman did manage a small curtsy, although it looked nothing at all like any he’d ever seen on Earth, or the ones Allura did. Shiro was impressed even still. Curtsies were rare on Earth, and she didn’t look very comfortable doing it. “Hitomi Kanzaki of the Mystic Moon. You could say I’m on an exchange program.” She stepped further out from the grass, bringing two fingers up to her lips and letting out a sharp whistle that rolled through the air. “Van said he was going to ask someone about the people who survived the crash..?”
“There were survivors?” Allura asked her, immediately cluing in on who they were.
Hitomi nodded. “As many as we could pull from the wreckage. They’re beast-men like nothing anyone on Gaea’s ever seen before, and many of them are in critical condition. Fanelia doesn’t have enough supplies or healers to treat them all.”
“You’re treating Galra?” Pidge asked, dubious and doubtful, while all the red flags in Shiro’s brain started to wave around frantically.
“The evil alien bad guys?” Lance added, for effect, though that only resulted in Hitomi’s expression sharpening a bit. It wasn’t obvious; Shiro didn’t think the others even saw it. But he could see the way Hitomi’s countenance shifted at the words, at the disdain not well hidden in their tone.
“I’ve seen evil,” Hitomi disagreed, shaking her head. He wondered where she’d seen it. “These are just soldiers, and some of them are even younger than I am. You can’t tell me kids are evil and really believe it.”
“No. You can’t.” Whatever rebuttal Lance had been preparing to throw at her died with Shiro’s words, shutting down the argument before it began. Allura shot him a relieved smile, and the realization that he’d stopped a diplomatic incident joined it. She stepped forward, all liquid grace, and moved to speak with Hitomi.
“Is this Fanelia then? The planet?”
“The country,” Hitomi replied, allowing Allura to turn her attention away from the group.
Shiro turned to the team, dropping his voice so it was only directed at the group of them. “Look, we have to handle this very carefully. Princess Allura said we might find allies here to help us in the war against Zarkon, but we don’t know anything about them yet. Until we do, we have to play our cards close to our vest.”
“You can’t really believe they’re not evil,” Lance grumbled, more upset at having been called to heel than anything else. “Just look at what they’ve done already.”
It was true. The team had seen a lot of atrocities in the last year committed by the Galra, and they still hadn’t managed to find Pidge’s family yet, despite liberating dozens of mining worlds. Shiro had the added misfortune of having been their direct prisoner for a year before that, so he knew what sort of atrocities they could do to the people under their thumb first-hand.
But Takashi Shirogane was a soldier too. Kerberos was a mission he’d agreed with, and the first one that was really riding on him. But he’d studied a lot of world history at the Garrison, and he’d ended up with a lot of jobs on base that he hadn’t agreed with, and he’d said a lot of things that he didn’t mean, earning his place in the brass. Historical military structure was filled with people who believed, whole-hearted patriots, and people who were just there saying the same patriotic drivel because they had to.
…and it wasn’t like he hadn’t fought Galra in the arena, either, he remembered darkly. He wanted so hard to believe there were Galra out there that didn’t believe in what they were doing. It was hard though; Zarkon had been ruling for ten thousand years. That was a lot of time to drive propaganda and conditioning into people’s heads, building from parents to child to grand-child, making the foundation ever-larger until there wasn’t anything left for anything else.
“I’m just saying, she clearly doesn’t think so. We’re invited guests here, Lance, and we might get to use this as a pit-stop to go home. Let’s not screw it up, okay?”
Lance straightened at once, as if he hadn’t thought of that. Shiro saw blue eyes dart to the side and hunt out the blue orb hanging in the day-lit sky, bright and bold as anything.
Home. He turned, making his way over to Allura and Hitomi. He heard the others flanking him, lured out by the promise of getting to look at Earth. He wondered about Hitomi. Where was her home was, this human on Gaea?
“So where is the king of Fanelia?” Allura wondered.
Hitomi smiled, lifting her hand. A dragon’s roar echoed loud in the walls of the valley, and from beyond the ridge-line, a white dragon appeared in the sky.
Pidge saw it first, the Green Paladin’s HUD registering components faster than the rest, so while the others were still reeling from “It’s a dragon!” and Shiro’s brain was trying to process the incomprehensibility, he heard Katie’s words loud and clear:
“There’s a guy riding that thing!”
And a quick peek at anybody else who’ve done this prompt, yeah? Because it’s always good to take a moment and give a nod of acknowledgement to anybody who can pull off a crossover.
Wow guys. All our first fandoms were a long, long time ago. Man, I feel old.