VLD OC - Team Bonding [5/7]Yellow Clara lay in her bed staring up at the ceiling. She'd been trying to get to sleep for a couple of hours, but it seemed that insomnia was plaguing her. "Ugh," she grunted in irritation. She couldn't take it anymore and finally got out of bed in a huff. As she left her room, still in her pajamas, she squinted at the light of the hallway. The metal floor felt freezing on her bare feet at first, but she was too tired to care. She walked down the hallway until she made it to Shiro's room. She was hesitant to disturb him, especially if he was already asleep, but he did say she could talk to him any time. Gently, she knocked on his door and listened for a response. When she heard none, she sighed and decided not to try again. The poor man already struggled to get enough sleep. She wasn't about to wake him up. Her second thought was to go get a late-night snack. Maybe some food would cheer her up. She continued on through the ship until she approached the kitchen. To her surprise, the light was already on and she heard faint humming. Peeking through the doorway, the first thing she saw was Hunk happily mixing something in a bowl. The kitchen counter was scattered with different baking ingredients and tools as well as a plate or two of finished pastries. She considered going in there, but she wasn’t sure what to say to him. Out of everyone on the ship, he always seemed the softest and gentlest. Those were two things that Clara rarely were. The yellow paladin stopped what he was doing when he saw her standing there. "Oh! Hi Clara! What brings you here so late?" Startled that he saw her, she jumped a bit. Clearing her throat, she walked the rest of the way into the room and shrugged. "Oh hey, uh… Couldn't sleep. I didn't think anyone would be up so I was just gonna get a snack," She leaned on the counter and looked closer at what he was mixing. It was some sort of blue goop. It kind of looked like cake batter. "What's that you got going on there?" she gestured at the bowl. "I couldn't sleep either, so I'm making a cake from some ingredients we got on the last planet," he chuckled. "I tend to bake when I can't sleep. Here, have a cookie. I just made them," He put the bowl down and picked up a plate of cookies from the edge of the table. They were green with blue and brown chocolate-chip-looking things in them. Clara wasn't one to back down from food, no matter how strange it looked. She grabbed one and took a bite out of it. As she chewed, she realized that it had a familiar flavor. "Did… did you make this out of food goo?" "Yeah," he grinned shyly. "I'm just experimenting. Is it any good?" "You kidding?" she mumbled as she shoved the rest of the cookie in her mouth. "This is amazing. How'd you even do this?" "Oh, well it wasn't that hard once I figured it out. I could teach you if you want! Do you like baking?" "Yeah, I baked a little bit growing up. I'm not this good, though," she replied, grabbing another two cookies from the plate and munching on them happily. Hunk blushed at the compliment. "Aww, thank you," The yellow paladin thought for a moment, then went to grab another apron and handed it to Clara. She put it on and took the bowl of batter that he gave her. "Could you finish mixing this please? I'll start on the icing." "Sure thing," she nodded. She mixed the batter and poured it into the baking pan while Hunk put together the icing. After she placed the cake in the oven, she sneaked in another cookie. The paladin giggled. "Go on. Have as many as you want. We can make more," Clara glanced between him and the tray, the cookie still hanging out of her mouth, and slid the tray closer to her. Hunk couldn't help but chuckle even more. "You've got a sweet tooth, huh?" The girl nodded as she continued her munching. He stared at her for a moment as she ate. With the smile and cookie crumbs on her face, she looked so much softer now than she did throughout the days he'd known her so far. "What?" Clara paused, raising an eyebrow when she noticed him staring. “Huh? Oh! Sorry! I just uh… I didn’t mean to stare! You just don’t look so scary right now!” He froze, realizing what he said. "T-that’s not what I meant! It’s just... when you first came on board, you were kinda… intimidating... I-I mean you’re cool and all, but I wasn’t really sure how to, uh, talk to you… Ya know?" She continued to stare at him, making him sweatdrop. “‘Cause like, y-you’re so strong! I mean you survived the Galra for a long time! And we saw you in the training room! You’re really good a-and I just… I dunno,” he stuttered nervously. Clara thought for a moment and sighed. "Lance said something similar yesterday… Am I really that scary? I don't bite… usually,” she said, taking another bite of a cookie. “Just at people I don’t like." "No no! It’s-" he waved his hands in front of him, before pausing. “Do you, uh, like... me? You haven’t really interacted with us that much so far...” She paused. “Yeah, I like you. I’m really starting to like all of you.” “Oh, that’s good! I’m glad,” he smiled sweetly at her. “It’s just hard for me to get to know new people. I feel like an outsider a lot of the time.” “What?” he asked, shocked. “Why didn’t you say so?! I totally could’ve spent more time with you! Or make you a gift basket to welcome you to the team! You’re not an outsider. You’re part of our little space family now.” “Space family?” she questioned, giggling a little. “That’s sweet. Thank you.” “Of course,” he smiled. Then, a lightbulb went off in his head. “Oh! I have an idea! Would you like to be my official taste-tester?” “Yeah, sure. Why not?” she shrugged happily. “Great!” he exclaimed. “I have another cookie recipe I’ve been wanting to try out. Wanna help me?” She nodded and they got to baking more cookies. They continued for a couple of hours until they had a table full of delicious treats. By the time they finished, there were ingredients and messy pots and pans everywhere. They were both covered in powder and frosting. The duo huffed and eyed their flavorful creations confidently when they heard footsteps approaching. A moment later, the team leader himself appeared in the doorway sluggishly rubbing at his tired eyes. When he noticed Hunk and Clara behind the table of sweets, he paused. “Oh, um… Am I interrupting something?” The duo glanced at each other and started giggling. What a sight they must’ve been.
VLD OC - Team Bonding [4/7]Blue Clara stretched her back and shoulders while she walked down the hallway. She spent at least a couple of hours with Pidge helping her go through the files from the prison ship, but now she was back to wandering around aimlessly. Alright, what now? she thought. Maybe I should just explore for a while. As she did so, she recognized where she was and remembered that there was a pool room nearby. She didn't get a close look at it on her initial tour, so she figured she'd take the time to check it out now. When she got to the door, she opened it and peeked in. The scent of water immediately hit her in the face. As she looked around, her eyes were instantly drawn to the ceiling where a giant body of water was situated. It looked like a pool but she had no idea what it was doing up there. “What the actual hell?” she muttered. Continuing on with her scan of the room, she noticed a figure sitting by a pillar. As she approached, she saw Lance despondently gazing up at the pool. His knees were to his chest with his arms around them. In an attempt to avoid a possibly awkward situation, Clara turned to leave, but hesitated. She thought further and grunted, rubbing her face with her hand. Turning back around, she headed into the room. When he noticed her approaching him, he let out a little screech and fell back. “C-Clara?! What are you doing here?” “Exploring. You?” she pouted, crossing her arms. “I, uh, I was just l-looking at the pool,” he stuttered nervously. “In what universe is that even considered a pool?” she gestured at the ceiling. “How in the world are you even supposed to get up there?” “There’s like an elevator or something. It’s weird,” he agreed. Clara shrugged and plopped down next to him. He stared at her for a moment, unsure of what to do. “So, why are you in here anyway?” “Um… to… look at the pool? I already-” “No, I mean why are you here,” she said bluntly. “You can pout anywhere, but you chose here.” Lance panicked at the question. The only sounds that came out of his mouth were incoherent stutters. Why is she here? What does she want? Gosh, she’s so intimidating... Oh, no. She’s staring at me weirdly. What do I do? She must think I’m a freak! “Well?” she pressed for an answer. When he continued stuttering, she rolled her eyes and turned back to the pool. The water waved gently as its reflections bounced all around the room. Lance calmed down a bit and stared at her. She had a small frown on her lips. Is she mad at me? He let out a small sigh and looked back at the pool. A few minutes of silence had gone by when he finally spoke. “Do you ever miss home?” Clara glanced back at him with a small shrug. “Yeah, I guess… I used to miss it more, but it’s been so long that I’ve almost forgotten what it was like.” "I haven't… Not yet anyway… It kinda feels like a distant memory." Her frown grew wider. He was obviously distressed, but she wasn't sure how to make him feel better. Looking back at the pool and then back at him, she struggled to figure out what to say. "Did you go to the pool a lot on Earth? Is that why you're here?" Lance hesitated a moment to answer. "Yeah," he sighed. "I lived near the ocean. I remember going out on the beach with my family… playing in the water… and the sand… I loved how the ocean smelled and how the wind felt in my hair." Clara noticed his eyes beginning to water like he was about to cry. Oh God, she thought. What do I do? I'm so not qualified for this. Figuring it was best to imitate what Shiro does when she's upset, she placed a hand on his shoulder and attempted a reassuring smile. "Hey, it's alright. Um, there there," She patted his shoulder in a kind, albeit awkward manner. When he gave her a look, she removed her hand. "Sorry. Comforting isn't exactly my strong suit." He smiled, wiping the wetness from his eyes with the back of his hand. "It's ok. You did fine." "Liar," she grinned, making him chuckle. “How about you? Did you ever go to the beach when you were a kid?” “Uh, no… not really,” the brunette said sadly, furrowing her brows. “We didn’t live near the ocean. I did hang out at a lake sometimes, though… by myself.” “Aw, that’s too bad,” Lance frowned. “How come you were by yourself? Did your parents not take you?” “My dad was busy all the time… and my mom was sorta… ya know, dead. So, I did a lot of stuff by myself.” “O-oh,” the blue paladin stuttered quietly. His eyes went very wide at what he heard. When he got his bearings back together, he attempted to lighten the mood. “Well, don’t worry. I can take you to see the ocean when we get back to Earth. You’ll love it! We can go swimming and collect seashells! You should meet my sister, Veronica, too. I think you’d like her. You guys give off similar vibes.” Clara gave him a grin. “Thanks. That would be cool.” He grinned back and they continued to gaze at the glistening water hanging above them. "Ya know, you're not as scary as I thought you were," he commented after a few moments. "You think I’m scary?" "Well, kinda. You give off sort of an intimidating aura. You're all strong and aloof and you're good at fighting and stuff," he blushed, a little embarrassed at the confession. "But, you're actually really nice now that I'm getting to know you!" "Hmm, well, you're not as much of a flirty goof as I thought," she grinned. "You’re actually a pretty cool dude," she added elbowing him in the arm playfully. Lance smiled and elbowed her back. Thinking for a moment, she got a bright idea that had the potential to end the evening on an exciting note. "Hey, how do you feel about pranks?" The paladin blinked in surprise. "Pranks? They're great! I used to pull them on my siblings all the time. Why?" Clara's mischievous grin grew even wider. "Perfect. How would you like to learn some new ones that I devised myself at the Garrison?" she asked as she stood back up. "Not only were they brilliant, but the officers never ever caught me." "Woah! You pranked the officers?!" he shouted, standing up as well. His eyes lit up as Clara crossed her arms confidently. "Teach me! Teach me!" Turning, she gestured for the young paladin to follow. "Come, I have much to show you."
VLD OC - Team Bonding [3/7]Green Only a couple of weeks had passed since Clara’s rescue and she was still trying to get used to her new life aboard the Altean castle-ship. As she walked through the spacious halls, she looked in awe at the architecture of the vessel. Never had she seen something so technologically advanced, yet so graceful. Arriving at the doorway to the ship’s bridge, she walked in and looked around at her surroundings. The only people there at the moment were Shiro and Coran. Coran was working at his station and Shiro was at his paladin's chair looking over some specs of Galra ships. Clara made her way to the black paladin. As she approached him, he turned to her. “Oh! Good morning, Clara. How are you?” he asked with a grin on his face. "Hey! I'm alright. You?" "I'm great, thank you! What are you up to?” ““Just wandering around,” she leaned on his chair. "Getting used to the place.” “That’s nice. Why don’t you go hang out with some of the team? I noticed you’ve been sticking close to me and Keith since you arrived.” She shrugged and crossed her arms in front of her. “I dunno, Floof. It’s been so long since I’ve met new people who, ya know, don’t wanna kill me. As if I was ever good at socializing in the first place. What would I even say?” He turned to face her better and gave her an encouraging smile. “Well, you could ask them about themselves. Get to know them better. Maybe do something together?” Clara shrugged again, looking at the floor. “Why don’t you start with one of them and work your way to the others?” “I guess…” “You could start with Pidge! You two have more in common than you think,” he suggested. “We do? How?” she asked, raising an eyebrow. “You’ll see. Just go try talking to her.” “Hmmmph,” she pouted. “Oh, alright. You win.” As Clara approached the lab, she thought about what she was going to say to the young paladin. What could we possibly have in common other than having gone to the Garrison? Ugh. Socializing is so exhausting. The door slid open and she spotted Pidge at the controls with half a dozen screens up, typing furiously. She approached, but the younger girl didn’t seem to notice that she was there yet. She cleared her throat. “Uh, hello?” Pidge, turning her head, finally noticed the older girl. “Oh! Hey, Clara. Can I help you with something?” “Not really. Shiro wants me to ‘bond with the crew', so…” She pushed up her glasses and smiled. “That sounds like him. Well, pull up a seat.” Clara did as she suggested and took a seat, leaning back and crossing her legs. Looking up at the screen, she cocked her head to the side a bit. “So, what’s all this you have here?” “These are the files that we downloaded from the prison ship we found you on. Actually, come to think of it, it’s part of the reason we found you.” “Huh,” she responded. “Are you looking for anyone in particular?” Pidge frowned. “Yeah. My dad and brother. They were on the Kerberos mission with Shiro. Didn’t he tell you?” Clara blinked, sitting up in her seat. “Wait, what? Commander Holt is your dad?!” "Yup!" she grinned. "But… but I thought his daughter was named Katie!" "That's my real name. Pidge is just a nickname… And the alias that I used to sneak into the Garrison," She rubbed the back of her head with an embarrassed smile. Clara froze to let the information sink in. "No way…" "Yeah, I know. Sneaking isn't exactly the best way to get in, but I was desperate! They wouldn't let me-" "I can't believe you snuck in too!" Now it was Pidge's turn to freeze. "What." "I don't think I've even told Shiro this, but I sorta snuck in too. Well, it was less ‘sneaking in’ and more ‘not being completely honest’." "What?! How?" "Well, they needed parent permission, but since my father didn't know I was going, I forged his signature... many times." "Woah. Sweet," she grinned. "I hacked into the system to submit and accept my application and pretended to be a boy so they wouldn't recognize me because I snuck in previously, but they caught me and banned me for life." "Well aren't you a little badass," Clara chimed, making them both laugh. When they calmed down, Pidge sighed and glanced at the work on her screen. Pictures of her father and brother were in the top corner. She frowned as she remembered how much she missed them. Clara saw the look on her face and glanced at the pictures as well. Maybe she'll feel better if she knows she's not alone? "You know," she began. "Commander Holt means a lot to me too." The green paladin looked back at her curiously. "How so?" "He's the reason I wasn't kicked out of the Garrison," Saying this, she leaned back on her chair again and stared at the ground, memories of the Commander flooding her mind. Pidge's eyes widened as she waited for more information. "When I was a first-year, I was very disruptive. I was mean and didn't respect the authority figures. No one liked me and I didn't like any of them either. Well, I got in a fight one day and the senior officers wanted me expelled, but the Commander somehow convinced them to give me one more chance. He spent the next year tutoring me until I felt better and became a 'model cadet'," She let out a soft chuckle. “Woah,” Pidge whispered. "My dad did that for you? He mentioned he was tutoring a cadet, but he never said who it was." “Yeah, that was me. Heh... He's done a lot for me. And you wanna know something else?” “Mmhmm?” “He was the one who introduced me to Shiro.” “Wow, really?” Clara nodded in response. “You two are really close, right?” “Yeah,” she smiled. “He means a lot to me.” “I know he feels the same about you. I mean, you should’ve seen him. When you were in the healing pod, he stayed there with you the whole time. He was so worried about you.” Clara was a bit surprised at the news, at least for a moment. That man was always such a worry-wart. He was always making sure everyone around him was taken care of. “It's so cool that my dad helped you like that… Hey, would you like to help me search through these files? It would go a lot faster with the two of us.” The ponytailed girl smiled. “I’d love to,” She scooted her chair closer to the workstation and began helping Pidge with her work. As they talked, they continued to realize just how similar they were to each other and their sisterly bond started to grow.
VLD OC - Team Bonding [2/7]Red A swing and a miss. She swung fast, but he was slightly faster. Clara turned to look behind her and saw Keith’s sword headed right for her. Reacting quickly, she took a dive and flipped out of the way. This was her chance. Just as he was off balance from the miss, she twirled around and swung her Altean staff to hit his wrist, making him lose his grip on his weapon. His sword went flying as Clara tackled him to the ground of the training room. Pining his wrists down to the ground, she loomed over him with a triumphant smirk. “You’re gonna have to try harder than that, li’l dude.” They both huffed from the intense training session as she helped him up. “I’m taller than you, you know,” he pouted, rubbing his sore wrist. “So?” she said, walking over to his bayard, picking it up, and tossing it back to him. “And I wasn’t even that short when we met. We were almost like the same height.” “Almost. You’re still a little dude, li’l dude,” She twirled her staff around a few times before resting it on her shoulder. Keith huffed again. “Another round?” “Nah,” she shrugged, walking back toward the middle of the room. “How about we go against bots now? Switch it up a bit.” “Why? You afraid I might actually beat you next time?” he smirked. The brunette stopped in her tracks. “Beat me? You can’t beat me.” “Not yet,” His grin grew even wider. "But I understand if you're too scared." Clara peered to the side with a scowl. With no warning, she turned around and swung her staff at the red paladin. He expertly jumped out of the way and blocked a second swing with his sword. As they held their weapons together in a standoff, they grinned at each other, brows furrowed. Breaking apart, their swinging and dodging continued. The sound of their weapons clashing rang throughout the room. Their movements were so fluid, it was almost as if they were dancing. Keith managed to knock her off her feet once or twice but wasn't able to hold her down before she got back up in one swift movement. Clara knew how hard he was trying by the ferocity of his attacks. Sweat dripped down her face as she blocked blow after blow. She blocked a final one before she retreated backward. Keith swung his sword at her but missed as she flipped out of the way again. As she got back on her feet, she turned to see the paladin lunge at her. She gasped and grunted as he landed on her and held her wrists down like she'd done to him earlier. He was panting hard as he made a triumphant grin. The ponytailed girl stared at him wide-eyed for a moment. Then, her expression turned to a confident and mischievous smile. Before Keith could react, she had moved her legs up between them and kicked his chest with surprising strength. He flew in the air and landed a few feet away with a grunt. Coughing, he attempted to regain the air she kicked out of him. He sat up and shot her a look. "What the heck was that?!" She grinned as she propped herself up with her hands and crossed one leg over the other. "That was enhanced strength, my dear friend," she replied, winking. He grumbled angrily as he stood. “Don’t worry about it, Keith. You’ll get it sometime. I've just had a little more fighting experience,” She stood as well and retrieved her staff, which she had dropped. “I don’t need to get it sometime. I need to get it now.” “Chill, man. What’s the rush?” she questioned, retracting her weapon to its shorter form. “What’s the rush? We’re in a war, Clara! If I can’t defeat you, then-” “Then, what? You can’t defeat the Galra?” she crossed her arms. “Yes-... No! Ugh… They’re physically bigger and stronger than us. We need to be prepared,” he stressed. He stared at the ground and grunted. Clara sensed that there was something deeper that was bothering him. Rather than wasting time trying to gently pry the information out of him as someone else would do, she preferred to cut right to the chase. “What are you really worried about, Keith? It’s not just the Galra soldiers, is it?” The red paladin shifted his stance and glanced at her for a moment. “It’s nothing…nevermind,” he grumbled. Attempting to leave the situation, he headed for the door. However, as soon as he tried walking past Clara, she grabbed his arm and held him in place. They locked eyes. Somehow, without any words having to be spoken, they felt a mutual understanding. “It’s the supersoldiers, ok?” he said, looking away again. “They tried to turn both you and Shiro into that. We saw your enhancements from your scans… We saw you completely destroy the training robots. And Shiro’s strong too with his Galra arm. You guys were rescued before the experiments went further, but who knows how many more supersoldiers they have out there. Soldiers that are even faster and stronger. If I can’t even beat you during training…” Clara frowned at him. She hated to think about it, but he was right. Her hand slipped away from his arm as she sighed. Turning his shoulders so that he’d face her, she tried to comfort him. “Keith… all you have to do is your best, ok? You don’t have to defeat any foe we come across alone. We’re a team. We all face them together and we all help each other. If we work together, we’ll be stronger than anything the Galra throw at us,” After she realized what she said, she shuddered. “Oh, ew! I sound like Shiro! Why did you let me go on like that?!” Her uncomfortable expression was enough to make the paladin stifle a laugh. “I guess you’re right, though…" “Nah, screw all that! Get stronger. Tear them a new one. Show them who’s boss,” she punched her palm with her fist and flexed her muscles comedically. Keith outright laughed this time, making Clara laugh too. “Really, though,” she added through her last few giggles. “We’re here for you. We’re not gonna let them win and as far as I'm concerned, I'm gonna make them regret the day they messed with me.” After giving him a reassuring smile, she pulled him in for a hug. The embrace surprised him at first, but he gently hugged her back.
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