Pidge looked up from her laptop, and peered at the figure in her doorway.
“Hey Lance, whats up?”
Lance shuffled in and sat on her bed beside her. “Can we talk?”
Pidge nodded, and resumed clacking on her keyboard. Lance shut her laptop gently and stared at her, his blue eyes piercing.
“Like talk talk.”
She turned to face him, greatful the darkness hid her blush. For the last three years, she had been hiding the fact that she was in love with Lance Mcclain. She kept it a secret because he liked girls like Allura. Not like her.
“I’m all ears.”
Lance seemed to visibly relax before taking a deep breath.
“Pidgey, no matter what I say, I don’t want any interruptions. Just wait until I’m finished okay?”
“I want to tell you how much you mean to me, and to thank you for coming into my life. You are something I never thought could exist for me. You are the best thing that has ever happened in my life, and I will never regret telling you how I feel.
“I have been through many relationships, but didn't really take any of them seriously. I flirted with every alien I met, abandoned friends for girls and even got the blue lion stolen. But you happened; you came into my life and stole my heart away from the day I met you.
“At first I was confused. I didn't really know what I wanted. I didn't know if I wanted to take a chance again and actually take you seriously. So, I decided to come close to you as a friend and find out who you truly were first and what you were really like. You seemed cool, nice, and funny, not to mention smart--some things I really liked in a girl. Not what I thought I liked in a girl mind you, but things that I know really count.
“Well, time has passed, and I have discovered new things about a new me. You have truly changed me. Still, I'm scared, because I'm growing a deep feeling inside my heart that I just can't explain. I truly don't know what your feelings are, but I don't want to force you to tell me something you don't really feel towards me. I want to receive love and trust from you when you truly mean it. All I ask of you is to show me that you care for me, and to also trust me the way I trust you.”
Lance took her hand in his.
“I love you Pidgey.”
Pidge was breathless. Lance just confessed to her.
“I love you too Lance. For longer than you could possibly know, I’ve loved you.”
She leaned up, and closed the distance between their lips. He kissed her back eagerly. When they finally pulled away, she smiled at him. He smiled back, and in that moment everything was perfect.
Pidge walked into her room, only to be met with a candle lit scene. Two video game controllers were in the center of the room, attached to a giant screen. Lance emerged from behind the TV, a small package in his hands. He held it out for Pidge.
She opened the box to reveal Killbot Phantasm II. She looked up at Lance, her eyes filled with love.
Lance grinned, kissing her softly.
“Happy five year anniversary Katie.”
“Do you know what I love?”
Lance chuckled, wrapping his arms and the blanket tighter around the two of them. Pidge snuggled closer to him.
“Wanna know what I love?”
He felt her nod her head.
Lance kissed the top of her head. He swore he could feel her roll her eyes.
“I’m your dork.”
Pidge rolled over to face him and kissed his lips.
“Yeah, you are.”
“What the quiznack were you thinking Pidge?” Lance shouted at her.
“I don’t know.” Pidge shook her head.
“Well let me inform you then. You lock us in the air cruiser, risking all of our lives, and go running off somewhere to do God knows what.”
“I thought my brother was on that cruiser. I took action.” She spat back.
“Because of your actions, our space family got hurt. Shiro’s arm is missing. All you have to say for yourself is you took action?” Lance ran a hand through his hair. “I thought you were better than that.”
Pidge’s heart clenched but her fury raged on. “Well I guess you thought wrong.”
Lance stopped his pacing. “Yeah, I guess I did. We’re over Pidge. I can’t be with someone who puts their own interests above the lives of others.”
She watched him stalk out of the room, the door closing with a hiss. She fell to her knees and sobbed.
Pidge knew she was in trouble when Shiro called her to the deck of the castle. As she stepped through the door, she was greeted by Allura, who sat her down next to a very unhappy Lance. Pidge tried to smile at him, but he avoided her gaze.
“I’m sure you know why you’re here, so I’ll skip the chit chat.” Shiro looked them over, his hand on his hip. “Allura and I are sending you on a month long trip to Kralc.”
Pidge felt her eyes widened as Lance jumped to his feet.
“No way I’m going anywhere with her.”
To her credit, she didn’t even flinch. Shiro sighed.
“Lance, you two need to be able to work as a team. Thats why I’m doing this.”
“Did you forget what she did? Or does your missing arm help ring any bells?” Lance glared.
“Watch your tone Lance. I may be your friend, but I’m not asking. I’m ordering you as your commanding officer that you will go to this planet.” He shifted his gaze to Pidge. “That being said, this is also a punishment for your reckless behavior.”
She looked at her feet. Shiro briefed them on the mission.
They were to be dropped off by Hunk, and were sent to rally the rebel fighters. Teach them how to form ranks, and finally lead them into battle against Sendak. A piece of cake really, until Shiro added a very important detail.
“Kralc is a developing planet. That means no tec.”
Pidge stopped her fidgeting. “No tec?”
Lance laughed. “Serves you right. Lets see how you do without a computer to hide behind.”
“Lance” Shiro's tone held an unspoken warning. “No Katie, there is no tec permitted on this trip. You will be picked up by Hunk one month after being dropped off. And no lions.”
“No lions?” Lance blanched.
“The point of this mission is teamwork. You must fight with the rebels, make them see you two are a pair. Help them organize themselves.”
Lance smiled. “Just like the old days huh?”
“Just like the old days.”
Pidge felt sick to her stomach.
Their first week had been pleasant. Pidge and Lance were treated like suto-royalty, getting their own tents in the war torn battle camp. Lance made quick work of teaching their soldiers how to form lines, the proper commands, and some basic fighting drills. He also made sure Pidge was discluded from all battle discusions.
Pidge spent her days learning how to stitch up wounds, disinfect scrapes and even amputate an arm. Without a keyboard to busy her fingers, she struggled to find things to do. Besides from Lance ignoring her and being incredibly bored, life in the wilderness wasn’t all that bad.
Then the storm hit.
With the snow and wind came the galra’s first attack. They struck hard and fast, severely wounding the rebels moral. More and more, she saw soldiers asking her why she wasn’t fighting, and why she was letting them bleed. Pidge had no response.
The cold weather also meant smaller food rations. All around, people starved, and Pidge distributed her portion as fairly as she could to the kids. It was the least she could do.
She felt dumb, being unable to do anything. By week three, she was willing to kill to get her hands on some tec. Then she could do something useful, like hack into the galra cruiser and disable their weapons. If only.
Covered in freezing mud and snow, Pidge stumbled back to camp. She had spent the afternoon trying to help the wounded stuck on the battlefield, to no avail. By the time she had arrived, medical supplies in hand, the once rebel fighters were nothing more than rigid corpses.
Passing through the camp they had made, she spotted a familiar figure huddled against the side of a tent. Laila, the pregnant wife of one of the soldiers had come along as a nurse. Without thinking, Pidge stripped out of her cloak, pants, socks, and boots, offering them to Laila with a smile. The young woman looked astonished as she soundlessly took the offering.
Pidge nodded before turning to Lance’s tent, ignoring the wind whipping at her bare arms and legs.
She fell to her knees, the exhaustion heavy on her shoulders. Footsteps approached her, and she looked up at Lance.
His face was as cold as the blizzard she had just come from. No sign of concern or pity in his blue eyes.
There was a moment of silence as the two paladins stared at each other.
“You’re a selfish brat.” Lance growled, his eyes piercing hers. There was nothing Pidge could do to stop her shoulders from slumping further.
“You’re a selfish brat,” he hissed, the rage evident in his expresion. “How dare you only think of yourself on the battlefield? Do you have any idea what the word teamwork means? You endanger the lives of my space family on the off chance that your brother or father would be on that ship. Well let me tell you something Katie.” Pidge flinched at the sound of her name. “Your family is probably working for the galra, or dead. Think about that.”
“You have no right to talk to me about my family like that.” Pidge coughed out. She clenched her fists to stop the trembling.
“Your actions lead to Shiro losing his prosthetic arm, Keith and Coran in a cryopod, we lost the planet to the Galra, and the castle ship sustained heavy damage. We never should have trusted the mission to a worthless, untalented, sad excuse of a paladin. And because of your foolish actions, we are going to lead these rebel fighters right into their slaughter. Have you even done anything to help the people?”
Lance’s words cut deeper than steel, blow after blow.
“I hate you. That will never change.”
Pidge closed her eyes. She willed herself to stand on her shaking legs. To look at Lance’s uncaring eyes as he pointed to the flap of his tent. “Get out.”
Determined to not make more of a fool out of herself, she turned slowly, bracing herself for the cold. If Lance noticed her lack of fur coat, or bare legs, he didn’t remark. So Pidge stood as straight as she could, and marched out into the blizzard.
Lance lost his composure the minute his tent flap closed. Slumping in a chair, he stared at the fire keeping him warm. He knew what he said was unfair, but he didn’t care. Didn’t care that most of what he said wasn’t true.
He was angry about his situation. Lance missed the luxury of the castle ship, his friends, the safety of Voltron. And he had taken his frustrations out on Pidge. He wished she had screamed at him, maybe even slapped him, but she just took every hit he threw her way. And he had let her walk into the frigid night practically naked.
He didn’t know where her jacket or heavy pants had gone. She was even missing her boots and socks. He knew she was skinny before, but these past few months had really taken a toll on her. He groaned, and slumped further into the chair. Tomorrow he would have to lead his men into another battle that most of them weren’t likely to walk out of.
All Pidge wanted was to sleep. As the shivers racked her body, she sat up, giving up. Sunlight peeked through
Pidge raced to the medical tent, a pile of clean towels in her arms. All around her, wounded rebel fighters were screaming in pain. If she had some tec, she’d be able to help them. Unfortunately, she was stuck with bandages and hot water.
Passing by one of the cots, a hand reached out and stopped her. She looked down into the spiteful eyes of a rebel.
“Why don’t you fight paladin of green?” The man hissed, his words hitting home. When he received no response, he continued. “Your men are dying. Men that wish to fight with you. They stand to see the mighty green paladin of Voltron defeat the galra. Instead you stay here, doing a nurses job. You are no nurse. You are a fighter.” He released her, and closed his eyes.
Pidge stepped outside the tent watching the battle, the mans words heavy on her heart. She could see Lance struggling to hold the lines. Rebels all around him were turning to run. As then ran past her, she could almost hear their thoughts.
Even if she was extremely outmatched, out of her element, she would not stand by and watch these people die. She would fight with them. No matter what Lance said, she would do anything to protect this family she had made. Even if it meant dying.
Lance knew from the start that the battle would go downhill fast. He swung his bayard as rebel fighters fell to his left and right.
“Keep fighting!” He shouted to his right, the few survivors falling back. His left wasn’t looking any better.
The fighting raged on, their numbers becoming fewer and fewer as the galra picked them off one by one. In the distance, he could see Sendak approaching, prosthetic arm glowing.
Around him, his men stopped running, and began to fight. Lance watched in awe as they began cutting down galra soldiers. He grinned, and turned to the nearest fighter.
“Why the sudden change of heart?” Lance asked, his energy back at full force. The rebel smiled and pointed over Lance’s shoulder.
“The green paladin has joined the front lines.”
Lance felt his heart stop. He whirled around, praying that he had misheard.
Sendak loomed over Pidge, his evil smile letting everyone know he remembered exactly who she was. She stood chin raised high, bayard in one hand, shield in the other. She arched an eyebrow, an unspoken challenge.
Lance began fighting through the snow and ice, cutting down any galra who got in his way. Sendak pressed closer to the green paladin.
The gleam in his eyes told Lance he would enjoy killing her slowly.
Have you even done anything to help the people? Lance gagged at his words from the night before. He had caused this.
To his left and right, the rebel troops reformed their lines, excited whispers filling the air. The green paladin is finally fighting.
She was reckless and stupid, but incredibly brilliant. She knew her stand would motivate the others. He cursed her brains. She was out of her element, miles away from any form of technology. Her hand to hand combat was okay at best.
Sendak stood twice her height.
Too far away. He was too quiznacking far to do anything-
Pidge took her fighting stance as Sendak raised his sword.
Her scream ripped through the air, straight to his gut as the long blade sliced down her arm and into her leg. Pidge knelt on her knees, her good arm struggling to hold her shield up to protect her.
He took it back.
Lance took back every single word, every moment he hated her.
He pumped his arms faster, unable to breath, to think.
He took it back; looking back, he hadn’t really meant a word of it. Not at all.
Pidge staggered to her feet only to have her bad leg crumple under her. Sendak chuckled.
“Por dios!” Lance roared. His cry was lost in the sound dying soldiers. “Please!”
He prayed to any god that listened. Let her live.
He hadn’t meant it. Any of it. He took back everything.
Worthless. He called her worthless. She was worth more then the entire galaxy to him. He was a fool.
He took it back.
Lance bit back a sob, flying to her as Pidge tried to rise again, using her shield as a crutch.
Rebel fighters stopped and watched, curious as to what cool gadget the green paladin would break out.
Lance and Pidge both new that she had nothing. That he had banned her from using technology on this planet. The only thing these men would see was her death.
But Pidge kept her smirk, her bleeding arm holding her bayard steady. She stood in defiance. In rage. Her chin still held high. Proud as ever.
Ready for death to overtake her.
She had been ready from the start Lance realized. Prepared to sacrifice everything she loved for this war. Determined to never let the galra win, at any cost. He was so blind.
The snow around her was red with her blood, but still she stood fast. Her arm quivered, and she winced, rolling her shoulder.
She would die to keep the rebels fighting. To rally a smidge of hope in their hearts.
Sendak watched as her stance faltered, as she adjusted her footing, an amused look passing over his face.
Still she held her ground, refusing to give up another inch of their precious land.
She did this for their family up in the castle. For the universe.
He took it all back.
Lance was no more than a hundred feet away when Sendak struck again. A scream ripped free as the giant sword was brought down.
Pidge ducked to the side, lashing out with her bayard. Her aim held true as currents of electricity were shot into Sendak's side. Pidge fell to the ground, her skin deathly pale.
Lance ran harder, faster, only twenty feet away. He slid to the ground, his bayard transforming into the shotgun he loved so much.
Sendak grabbed onto Pidge with his robotic arm, the young woman whimpering under the pressure.
Sendak and Pidge went down.
Lance ran to her, prying the giant claw off her small body. Cradling her limp form in his arms, he ran to the camp. The amount of blood on around her made his stomach churn.
Pidge groaned in his arms. Lance looked down, still running.
“Why did you do that you idiot?”
Pidge smiled. “The rebels needed to be motivated. I couldn’t risk our family again. Not after what happ-” She broke off into a coughing fit, blood spraying onto his armour. She looked up at him, her honey eyes glazed over with pain. “Not after what happened at the cruiser.”
Lance felt his heart clench. “Don’t worry about that anymore Pidgeon. We’re almost at camp.” No they weren’t even if they made it, the lack of technology gave her little chance of survival.
Pidge smiled. “I thought I’d never hear you call me that again.”
Blinking back the tears in his eyes, Lance smiled. “You will always be my Pidgeon.”
“I’m sorry Lance.” Pidge broke, trembling with sobs. “I’m so sorry I hurt you.”
“Hush, don’t worry about it.” Lance stroked her hair. “We are almost home.”
“Don’t lie to me Lance. I know you stopped running.” Her smile turned sad as she looked to the raging battle. “If you ever find Matt or Dad, can you tell them I love them?”
“You can tell them yourself.”
“No I can’t” The light was beginning to fade from her eyes. “But I can do this.”
Lance raised an eyebrow. Pidge turned her eyes to his.
“I love you Lance Mcclain.”
Lance kissed her.
“I love you too Katie Holt.”
When he pulled away, she had gone still. Her laboured breathing the only indicator of life. A young woman stood before him, the crisp wind whipping at her hair.
“Please, let me take her back to camp.”
“Who are you?” Lance asked.
“Laila. Katie gave me her clothes so I wouldn’t freeze. She fed my children and many others what little food she got. It’s the least I can do.” Laila gently took the body from Lance. He stared numbly at her, unsure of what he just heard.
She had done so much for this war. Sacrificed too much. He would be damned if he lost this battle.
“Take good care of her.” Laila nodded, and Lance raised back in to the fighting, bayard raised proud. He would not fail her.