See, I don’t classify myself as a fanfic writer. I’ve spent many nights scouring the archives to find the fluffiest fics the internet has to offer, but rarely do I ever contribute.
However, I did write one about Voltron.
Yes, the show that crashed and burned “Voltron”. It was back before season eight struck and there was still hope.
I was (and still am) an avid Plance shipper. Plance was the ship between Pidge Gundersn (Katie Holt) and Lance.
The show did little to develop their dynamic but heavens knows the gardeners collected every crumb they could. Every interaction those two characters had were golden. I think that if you ask the right people, they’ll cite the Space Mall episode as their favorite. 22 minutes of Pidge and Lance being best friends? Sign me up sir.
I was helplessly in love with these characters and for this ship that I knew deep inside would not become canon. So I wrote a fanfic for it.
Several fanfics. However, only one ever got to see the light of day on AO3.
It was a good-sized one shot where Lance got the attention he deserved. He become the leader of Voltron and he was Altean because why not and he was also a genius because why not.
It was my story. My self-indulgent Lance-stanning heart couldn’t help it. I was aching for Lance to finally be done good and if the show-writers wouldn’t do it, I would.
So Pidge busted Lance for being a genius and it was revealed that all along, Lance had been guiding Voltron to success under the guise of being a lovestruck fool. It was revealed he knew Pidge liked him all along and Pidge was upset, but not in a bad way…in a relieved way. Because everything was out in the open and their feelings could evolve into a real relationship.
Very few things hurt as much as seeing this ship wither away.
I went through phases of shipping Klance, Allurance, and even Lance with that mermaid alien, Plaxum.
I eventually settled on Plance with Lance’s iconic “Don’t you touch her!” quote from the prison break episode.
Honestly, that entire episode was shipping bait. They teased those two female Galra generals who used to work for Lotor, they teased Keith and Acxa, they teased Plance. And which ones became canon?
None of them. Absolutely none.
Anyway, as the last season neared, I knew Plance didn’t have the time to become canon. There wouldn’t be enough time to flesh out their relationship. They wouldn’t be enough time for Pidge to realize her feelings and there wouldn’t be enough time for Lance to realize that Allura really wasn’t interested and it was time to move on. There wasn’t enough time for anything.
But who needs time when you have a time skip? That was my last desperate hope as I watched Season 8 run its ruinous course.
I knew from the moment Pidge sacrificed her game for Allura, she had sacrificed Plance. That game was the golden key to the ship becoming canon and she had just given it away to a character who was destined to die.
So when Allura died, I figured out something pretty morbid.
…maybe the key didn’t die with her. Now that Allura was out of the way, a new door could be open for Lance to finally meet Pidge halfway.
Klance had no chance in high heaven of happening, Allurance was physically impossible, Plaxum still lived under the sea…there was nothing stopping Pidge from making her move.
Aaaand then one of my fanfic wishes came true and Lance became Altean. Kind of. At the time, I was too delirious and high on pretzels to care because HOLY MOTHER OF CHILDREN, LANCE IS CANONICALLY ALTEAN.
Then people started pointing out that Allura had basically left a visible mark so that Lance could never ever forget her. Damn it.
Still…one episode left was plenty of time for a time skip. Team Voltron settle into regular lives on earth, Lance goes to see Pidge, they hang out, Pidge eventually asks Lance out, he says yes, flash forward, wedding rings on their fingers, boom shackalacka DONE.
Easy as pie, simple as plance.
But things are never that straightforward, are they?
Word on the vineyard was that due to abrupt script changes, characters were swapped out and drawn over. Allegedly, a scene where Lance and Pidge are hanging out and building a robot was drawn over with Matt in Lance’s place. I’m not sure about the credibility of this. It made sense rewatching the scene though.
The entire last episode goes by without a single plance-centric scene, and then the time skip finally makes an appearance.
I held my breath as each picture rolled out. A group picture. Pidge looks happy. So do the others. I see no tell-tale wedding rings on anyone’s fingers. Disappointing.
Lance was taller and shaggier and he was surrounded by Kalteneckers. No mention of Pidge. No mention of his dreams to become a pilot either.
Pidge and the Holts continued being geniuses. Fantastic.
I’m losing all hope and then there’s FINALLY A WEDDING SCENE.
It’s for Shiro and….Curtis. I like Curtis. He’s hot and kind of funny. I like Shiro. He’s space dad.
But them kissing was not the ending I had wanted.
So I cried. Out of all the crappy things. I could’ve cried about Allura’s death or Voltron disappearing back into space. I could’ve cried because my beloved show had ended and I would never see those characters again.
But instead, the biggest loss for me was that Plance never became canon.
You know, I’m aware Voltron was never about shipping. Shippers gave the show its notorious reputation for being toxic.
However, that doesn’t invalidate the fact that many people enjoyed the show because of its relationships and they enjoyed seeing these amazing characters interact and if they had wanted something more, so what?
I wanted Lance to be treated better. I wanted him to gain everyone’s respect as a leader. I wanted him to be seen as more than a goof-ball. I wanted him to be more than a rebound. I wanted him to be someone’s first choice. I wanted Plance.
And I didn’t get it.
So screw Voltron.
I invested time in writing fanfics and reading fanfics and talking to other members of the fandom because maybe plance could happen, and I didn’t have to be the only gardener.
I came out of Voltron hurt, disappointed, and frustrated.
And even though I’ve come to love other shows, talking about plance still brings about an angry fire. I don’t believe I’ve quite let go of the ship yet. Maybe I won’t ever.
But I won’t make the same mistake of ever becoming that invested in a ship ever again.