Pidge slowly opened her eyes, pain launching itself through her mind as her ears rang unpleasantly.
What…? What happened? Oh… they’d been fighting Galra... again. It was just a simple raid wasn’t it? A simple, basic intel-gathering mission, in and out, with Lance only there as back-up.. LANCE! Lance had been near her screeching her name desperately! There had been blaster fire! And then there’d been a loud noise. No. An explosion. And… Her eyes flew wide open. No… Lance… He hadn’t… Had he? There. That crushing sensation all around her, and the tose sharp edges digging into the more flexible sections of her suit.
"LANCE!” she cried out. “Lance no! Wake up damn you! Wake up!”
Tears spilled over, collecting into a little pool of water on the visor of her helmet. She was reminded of that past horrific moment when she had come across Matt’s ‘grave’.
"C’mon… I’ve already lost my brother and father to those quiznacking Galra once, but at least they’re not dead. Huh? You hear me? You’re not allowed to die!” She continued to plead hysterically.
"Quieten down Pidgey. I’m not-”
A bone-crushing hug cut him off as the sobbing reached new levels, grasping as tight as she could given the literal bone-crushing rubble that was currently engulfing them, but this time the cause of her despair were more relief and anger related, yet she was still too late. Too slow. Too dumb.
“You idiot Lance! You nearly- you nearly-” she hiccupped. Lance rubbed soothing circles on her back.
“It’s okay Pidge” he whispered. “It’s okay.” Repeating the simple phrase calmly, trying to comfort and reassure her in some way.
Taking slow, shuddering, deep breathes, she continued to clutch at Lance, then forced herself to assess his condition and think logically once more. Even though it was clearly not okay. Lance was not okay. In order to do that though, she remarked to herself dryly, you kinda need to stop acting like a baby koala.
She stubbornly lifted her head and began to assess what little she could see of down see.
Holy quiznak, he did not look good.
Blood matted his hair within his fractured helmet. The once pristine, shining armour of her own special blue knight was now dull and cracked with dust, ash and blood coating every crevice. There was no denying that it had saved his life; just like how he had saved hers - that he was alive himself was a quiznakking miracle itself but he must surely being slowly crushed as granted her the necessary room to breathe without further destabilizing the rubble. She dreaded what might have happened to her if not for Lance’s quick and selfless actions. Why does he always put himself in harm’s way like this?
Her thoughts cast back to a similar scenario - to the very beginning of their Paladin lives - back on Arus. They’d only known Allura and Coran for a couple days, yet Lance had thrown himself to protect the Altean mechanic, who’d been walking, completely unaware of the imminent danger. Just like she had been, tapping away obliviously.
A deep ominous sound rumbled into her thoughts, sending them back into oblivion. The reality of the situation finally sunk in.
“Oh no... Lance, honestly, how bad are you right now? We’re gonna need the others’ help.”
“My communicator’s bust.” It had probably been smashed by a piece of debris. “Yours is good though, right?”
“Should be.” A couple ticks of hopeful fiddling was only rewarded with wailing feedback. A bittersweet success for them, for while it had actually turned on, like her, it was useless.
Lance grunted. Shifting under the staggering weight as he tried in vain to balance it when the structure was clearly being disturbed above - if she listened carefully beyond her ears’ ringing, she could make out pleas and the tell-tale scrapes of search parties. They’ll get here in time, they must. We’re family, and family don’t leave each other behind, right? Because that was them, right?
“Hey Lance,” ensuring she repeated his name so that he wouldn’t go into shock, although he must be by now; it was inevitable with that much blood loss. “Hear that? That’ll be Keith – he’s too stubborn to give up on us, so we can’t give up hope either. We won’t be down here for long. They’re coming.”