Not As Clueless
Pidge couldn't even remember what they had been arguing about.
It wasn't like the two of them were actually arguing. It was more like playful bantering that could develop between brothers and sisters, and that was exactly the sort of dynamic that she and Lance had formed. It had started back at the Garrison when Lance had tried to take her under his wing by occasionally covering for her and trying to get her, Hunk, and himself to bond as crewmates. Since coming to the castle though, it had definitely grown into a brotherly-sisterly bond.
"You know for a guy who could notice that a fake Rover was in the room, I'm still shocked that you didn't notice that I was a girl!" Pidge teased as she typed, and then for a second, as she looked up from her screen, she saw it.
Pidge was observant. It was just in her nature. She noticed, her curiosity grew, she pursued it, she learned. It was part of what made her an awesome scientist, hacker, and Paladin.
And one of the things she had only truly realized since leaving Earth was that Lance was not as open or as dumb as he generally came off as.
Lance was just as observant as she could be. He saw, he analyzed, and then he came up with a plan to deal with things, even if that plan involved throwing himself on top of another person to shield them from an explosion. That was part of what made it so surprising that he had missed that fact about her, especially when the other times when he missed things had other factors involved.
And in that moment, she saw a brief look of surprise followed by his thinking face. That meant that he was making a decision about something, and as his expression quickly turned into his signature smirk, it was obvious that there was something being covered up here.
"Well, sorry about that, but really," he flung out a hand as he gestured at himself, "isn't it easy to not – "
"What are you hiding?" Pidge cut him off, eyes narrowing. Lance's bragging was another sign that he was hiding something. Her previous task was completely forgotten as she set her tablet aside.
He blinked at her. "Wha-what? I don't know…" His voice trailed off at her flat expression. He looked away, his hand coming up to scratch the back of his head.
"Lance…" Pidge tried prodding.
He sighed. "Look," he started, "before you told us, back at the Garrison, I had noticed that, biologically, you're a girl."
She stared at him. "What?"
"I mean, yeah, I noticed. I have several sisters, you know." Lance looked… it was somewhat like embarrassment, but not quite. He was definitely flustered, but for the life of her, Pidge could not understand why he would be flustered or why he would have hidden this, especially as the rest of the team had seemed to figure it out one way or another and had admitted to knowing before she "came out."
Due to her lack of response, Lance just kept going. "And, well, there are certain signs, you know? Did you ever notice, uh, that I tended to give you, um, surprise chocolate when…"
"Oh." Realization struck Pidge.
Back at the Garrison, and even here, Lance tended to look after his teammates. Back then, this mostly meant trying to include Pidge in bonding activities, studying with Hunk, or helping the big guy with his anxiety. This behavior had extended to all of Team Voltron out here, but it certainly had changed in terms of expression.
Back then though, due to Lance's tendencies, she would never think twice when he would just randomly give her chocolate on some days. At the time, she figured it was just another way for him to try connecting with her, which she was determined not to do due to her personal goals, but now that she thought about it…
Those times he had given her chocolates were always during the worst part of her periods.
"I mean, chocolate is like the go-to solution for my sisters. I figured it'd help for you as well. Then again, I was trying to be subtle about it because I didn't want to seem to be calling you out and making you uncomfortable and – " Lance was rambling, which he tended to do when nervous or uncomfortable, and Pidge knew she had to shut down this train before it got too bad.
"Why?" She blurt out. He startled, obviously not expecting that, and at his curious blink, Pidge clarified, "Why were you so surprised then? When I told everyone?"
A thoughtful look crossed his face, and he bit his lip. Pidge let him take his time.
"I have a sister that one of my aunts continually refers to as a 'he.'" Pidge blinked at the supposed change of subject and was surprised by the slightly bitter expression on his face. "This same aunt also refuses to call my sibling 'them.'" A small chuckle escaped. "Me and the rest of my family don't see that aunt very much."
Pidge's face scrunched up as she tried to put the pieces together. After all, Lance was a fairly logical thinker, so there had to be a reason he was telling her this.
"So yeah, I noticed that, biologically, you were a girl. However, gender and biology doesn't always match up though, you know? I mean, you used a more gender-neutral name, referred to yourself as a guy, was really quite insistent that you were a guy, so I thought – "
"You thought I was trans." Pidge's eyes widened with this new revelation. "Oh."
"Yeah. Kinda." Lance didn't look at her, his hand coming back up. "That's why I didn't want to make a big deal out of the whole giving you chocolate thing, because I didn't want to accidentally out you or cause you to feel dysphoria about your body or anything like that."
"That's…considerate." Though not unsurprising considering what he had just revealed. Lance's protectiveness of his siblings, both older and younger, had been well known even at the Garrison.
"In any case, it was a surprise that you actually were a girl. It's understandable why you pretended," Lance quickly followed up, "it was just a surprise."
Pidge sat back a bit. In that context, yeah, it would be quite the surprise. She hadn't really thought about what she was doing while she was doing it, but she had never considered what would happen if someone were to figure out that she was a girl and not a boy. In Lance's case, his first thought hadn't immediately jumped to "disguise," and he'd actually been shockingly tactful about the whole thing. He hadn't asked her about it, or even hinted at knowing the truth, and instead had just tried to help her in his own way.
Actually, his methods of helping were a lot subtler back then in that regard.
"Thanks." Lance's head jerked up as he stared at her. "I mean, I'm not actually a trans boy, but thanks for not pushing things I guess."
"No problem." Lance smiled at her, his expression soft as he reached over and ruffled her hair.
"Hey." She tried to sound a lot more annoyed than she actually felt as she tried to put it back in some semblance of order.
"And, uh," Pidge looked back up as Lance nervously stammered a bit, "I know all this sort of stuff is confusing, so if you ever want to talk…" He wasn't looking back at her, still seeming a bit flustered.
A slow smile crossed Pidge's face. To be honest, her gender and all that stuff that went with it were not usually on her mind. She had too many other things to worry about. But if she did ever want to think or talk about it…
"Thanks." She said. "I'll keep it in mind."
Lance finally looked back at her, and as he searched her expression he must have found something reassuring because a grin quickly grew on his face. "As long as you do."
Pidge snorted and turned back to the code she was developing. Now, if only she could remember what they had been talking about.
"And getting back on topic," Lance then continued, "Scooby-Doo is obviously the best mystery series in existence."
Oh, yeah. Pidge hid the grin that crossed her face. "Sherlock Holmes is the better mystery character."
And with just a single sentence, the banter was back on.
Though Pidge would never admit that she somehow felt lighter than she had before.
AN: So Lance tends to notice small details and is really observant about things. That's why it's somewhat surprising to me that he never noticed Pidge was a girl, especially when everyone else did. I mean, maybe she's actually a trans girl, which could help explain it, but I thought maybe he thought the opposite was going on if she was born female. Either way, I'm going with she/her pronouns for Pidge since she made a point of saying she's a girl, but if you think she's nonbinary then I think that's also cool too. That's why I sort of left it open that she may find her feelings changing in that regard at some point.