“Promise me something?”
Lance nuzzled the top of her head the familiar scent of her lavender shampoo filling his lungs. “Anything.”
Pidge burrowed further into his arms. “You’ll never leave me right?”
Lance pulled back so he could look into her eyes. “Pidge, you don’t need to worry about that. I’ll never leave you.”
She smiled and brought her lips up to meet his. “I know. Just checking.”
He kissed her back, wrapping his arms around her again. Embracing her warmth, he sighed contently. He was happy.
Lance was having a bad day. It had started out okay, but had quickly gone down hill. He got his butt kicked in training by Keith, spilled food goo all over his new pants and couldn’t for the life of him get his bayard to work.
To top it all off, he had a huge fight with Katie. He closed his eyes, mentally cursing at the memory.
“I’m sorry if I’m being distant, but I’m so close to finding them Lance! I can feel it!”
Lance rubbed his forehead. “Like you were ‘so close’ last month? No offence Katie, but everytime you say that, you end up no closer to the truth.”
“Lance, their my family. I can’t abandon them.”
“And I’m your boyfriend!” Lance shouted. “Doesn't that count for anything?”
Pidge stopped typing. She looked at Lance, her eyes wide and sorrowful.
“Of course it does. You mean everything to me. I see a future with you when we return to earth.
Lance kept his expression neutral. Even though her words warmed his heart, he was still ticked off about being ignored for weeks at a time.
“At least I’ll have a family to return to when we get back.”
Almost immediately after he said it, Lance regretted his words. Hurt flashed across Pidge’s face within seconds. He saw her eyes dim a little, and could sense her walls building up. She was shutting him out.
He reached out to her only for her to flinch away.
She turned to face away from him, her shoulders trembling. “At least I know my place on the team and in my family. I’m the brains, the tech savvy. I’m also the paladin of the green lion, and only daughter to Colleen and Sam Holt. I know they love me, because there’s only one of me. You on the other hand,” she snorted. “You have no place. Not on the team, not in your large family. You’ll never know if your mom loves you, or loves the older brother she sees in you.”
Lance felt like a knife had stabbed him in the heart. He staggered back, his body shaking at her words. She knew his weaknesses and had lashed out, hitting her target with deadly precision. He looked up to see her big amber eyes staring up at him, a mix of regret and horror shining in them.
“Lance, I didn’t mea-”
“It doesn’t matter what you meant. What’s done is done.” He knew his tone was cold, but he couldn’t help it. Without saying another word, he whirled around and marched out the door.
Lance groaned, cursing his own stupidity. If he hadn’t left, they would have talked out their problems and probably could have been snuggling by now. Instead he had run away like a coward.
Settling in Blue, Lance opened the hanger door and flew out. He needed some time to think.
“Lance, come in.”
“Lance, do you copy?”
“Buddy, where are you?”
“Lance, this is Shiro. Come back now, that’s an order.”
Opening his eyes, Lance listened to the constant stream of his teams worried voices over the coms.
“Guys, I’m here, relax.” He soothed. “What's the big deal anyways?”
There was silence on all other lines before Keith spoke up.
“You better get back here as soon as possible, or so help me, I will kill you myself.”
Lance frowned at Keith's harsh words. “Jeez, hold your horses. I’m on my way.” He turned off his com and patted Blues dashboard. “Let’s go home girl.”
As he exited his lion, Lance was met with a very, very angry Keith.
“What the fuck were you thinking?” He seethed through clenched teeth. He grabbed Lance’s collar and shook him.
“What was I thinking? What are you thinking?” Lance pulled away, suddenly angry at the attack. “I just needed some time to think! You have no right to talk to me about needing alone time.”
“At least I tell the team were I am. You just decide to get up, and take four days in space?”
Four days. It had felt like a few hours. Quiznack. His confidence dissipated. “I lost track of time?” He offered with a sheepish smile.
“You lost track of time? For four days, we have been trying to coax Pidge out of her room. For four days, I’ve had to listen to her sob endlessly. She hasn’t eaten, she hasn’t drank anything, I don’t think she’s showered or used the bathroom! You have been MIA for four quiznacking days and all you can say is you “lost track of time?”” Keith shook his head. “Unbelievable.”
Lance felt the regret weigh heavy in his stomach. He ran out of the room, ignoring the shouts of protest from his team. He needed to seeher.
Standing outside her door, his heart sank even further as he listened to Katie cry. He never wanted to hear her in pain, much less be the cause of it.
With the wave of his hand the door opened, revealing a dark room. A small figure lay curled up in the corner. Her shoulders trembled.
“Hey.” Lance waved even though she couldn’t see him. “I’m sorry for everything I said.”
Pidge whirled around, her eyes wide. “You’re back.”
Lance grinned. “Happy to see me?”
She frowned and turned away.
He sighed. “Look Pidge, I know I said some pretty harsh things to you that I’m not proud of.” He took a step towards her. ”I will always support your ambitions to find your family no matter what. I love you. Please forgive me?”
Lance didn’t know what he was expecting. He wanted Katie to run into his arms and forgive him, but he didn’t think that was a reasonable outcome. What he didn’t expect was for her to stand up and look at him, fury seeping off every pore in her body. He actually took a step back.
“You think this is about what you said?” Her voice was dangerously low. “I forgave you for what you said a long time ago. No Lance, this is about something much bigger.”
“I don’t know what yo-”
“I thought you left me!” Pidge screamed.
The silence that followed was deafening. Lance froze, and stared at her, small and trembling. His heart clenched. He hadn’t meant to hurt her.
“I thought you left me.” She repeated, quieter now. “Sooner or later, you’re going to find someone prettier, or smarter, or funnier than me, and leave. Just like my dad. Just like Matt. Just like Rover.”
“Pidge, ple-” He reached out a hand, but she was already moving out the door.
“No Lance. I need to be alone right now.”
“Quizanck, why am I so weak?”
Pidge stood outside Lance’s door a mear three hours after their second fight. Yes, she was still mad, but they needed to talk out their feelings. Just before she was about to enter, her com lit up.
“Paladin of green, this is Zarkons witch. I have a proposition to make.”
Pidge’s blood ran cold. Haggar.
“I want nothing to do with you.” She moved to turn the signal off.
“Even if it concerns the safety of your brother and father?”
Her hand paused. Haggar had Matt and her dad. She couldn’t let them get hurt.
“What do you want?”
“I want the lions.”
“That’s impossible. I can’t do that.”
“Need I remind you Katie , that I hold both your brother and your father in my possession. The only thing keeping them alive is your obedience.”
Pidge’s heart sank. She had no leverage in this situation.
“Anything else. Please don’t hurt them?”
There was a pause and then a chuckle. “I wish to destroy Voltron from the inside out. I believe you have gotten quite close with the current red paladin, am I correct?”
Pidge felt the dread creeping up her spine. She tried to answer but no words came out.
“I’ll take your silence as a yes. I need you to destroy him. Break off your relationship. Make him hate you.”
The communicator shook in Pidge’s hand. Break up with Lance or have her brother and father killed. She sank to her knees as tears rolled down her cheeks.
“I can’t.” She managed to choke out.
“You better.” Haggar's voice was everything cruel in the world. “Lest you never want to see your brother again.”
The line went dead, leaving Pidge to her thoughts. Lance would understand. He had to. She could fix this, all she needed was time.
Lance looked up as Pidge entered his room. He immediately smiled and opened his arms for a hug.
“Hey Pidge, what’s up?”
His grin drooped a little when she walked past him, ignoring his welcoming arms, and stared out the window.
“Still mad at me?”
“Lance, I’m done.”
He put his arms down and let out a nervous chuckle. “Don’t even joke about that Pidgey. I know I broke the promise, but I swear it will never happen again. Please.”
“It’s not a joke. I don’t want to be with you anymore.” She turned to face him, her eyes cold and emotionless.
Lance took a step back, clutching at his chest.
“Why? Was it what I said? Because I’m sorry!” He wished his voice sounded stronger, but it trembled.
Pidge sighed as if he was boring her. “It’s not either of those things. I need to be with someone who understands me on an intellectual level.”
That stung more than he wanted to admit. He always knew Pidge was smart, brilliant even. He never thought she thought of him as dumb.
“So what, you’re just going to leave me? Leave us?”
The answer was simple yet devastating. Lance felt his sadness turn to rage.
“Then leave.” He spat. “I don’t want to be in the same room as you for longer than necessary.”
Pidge gave him a curt nod, and walked to the door. Instead of leaving, she turned.
“I’m leaving on a solo mission to find my family. I won’t be around for a while.” Then she left, the door closing behind her with a soft hiss.
As soon as she was gone, he fell to his knees, sobbing. He was never good enough for her. He would never be good enough for her. But that didn’t mean he had to stop fighting.
Not for her, for himself. She had left him broken, but he would come back stronger.
Lance swore to himself that he wouldn’t give Pidge the satisfaction of seeing him weak. He would be strong.
Being alone for six weeks in space was not her ideal vacation, but it was better then nothing. Getting Shiro to agree to let her go on this mission solo had been a doozy. He had wanted to take Keith, but she had refused. She needed to do this alone.
Saying goodbye to the team was hard, but they knew she would be back. Eventually. She had estimated the journey to the cruiser and back would take roughly a month. Unfortunately, she had run into some setbacks. This lead to two months in space, with her just being about to see the Galra cruiser.
The one thing her extended time in solitude had granted her was the ability to think. Think about her family, earth, and Haggar. Think about exactly what she was going to do to the witch when she found her. Haggar had made a mistake. Pidge now knew the location of her brother and father. She would play puppet to her wicked schemes no longer.
Thinking was great, until she thought about the one thing she didn’t want to. Lance. Their last conversation had been unagreeable, and it was a jerk move on her part to leave right after. All she needed to do was find her family and explain everything to Lance. Then hopefully he would at least forgive her. Maybe even give her a second chance.
Getting into the cruiser would be easy. Getting out would be hard. Haggar must have her family in the lower prison cells. All Pidge had to do was dock outside the ship, sneak through one of the disposal chutes, and hack the systems for a distraction. Piece of cake.
“Quiznack.” Pidge swore as she opened the last cell in the prison to reveal a scared Arusian. They had to be here. She had searched every damn cell in this ship, so where were they?
“Looking for someone?” Haggar's voice sent shivers down her spine. Pidge turned to face her.
“Where are they?” She stared at the witch, her hands trembling slightly.
“Where are they?” She repeated again. “You said they were here. You said you had them!”
Haggar chuckled, low and cold. “My dear Katie, I lied. ”
The last word hit her like a punch to the gut. Haggar never had her family. She had manipulated Pidge to do her bidding without having any leverage.
“No.” It was barely more than a whisper. “No, it’s not possible.”
“But it is you foolish girl.” The witch sneered, her eyes glowing yellow under her hood.
A dam of rage burst inside of Pidge. “You bitch!” She screamed, shooting her bayard at Haggar. “You fucking bitch!”
Haggar easily avoided her attacks, shooting a blast of electricity at the green paladin. Pidge dodged it, and continued to ruthlessly attack her.
Haggar shot at her again, this time hitting her target. Pidge let out a whimper as she crashed against the back wall. Pain flashed through her arm and she gritted her teeth. Slowly, she got up and fired her bayard again. Haggar let out an amused laugh.
“You’re a persistent one aren’t you?”
Pidge didn’t respond, sweat beginning to form on her brow. Her arm felt as though it was on fire and every sense of her was telling her to stop, but she didn’t. She couldn’t.
“Unfortunately, I have places to be and people who require my attention.” She opened her hand and shot lightning, catching Pidge as she tried to retreat.
The green paladin screamed and writhed in pain. When she finally felt like she couldn’t take it anymore, Haggar stopped. She bent over the Pidge and whispered into her ear.
“Make no mistake girl, I’m not as cruel as you think. I’m simply playing a game to stay alive. I know what it’s like to lose your family, so I suggest you leave before any guards find you.”
Pidge’s mouth was too dry to speak. As she watched Haggar disappear, Pidge tried to stand up. Every bone in her body resisted, but she pushed through.
How she had made it to her lion was still a mystery. What she did know was pain, exhaustion and disappointment. With trembling hands, she set course for the castle, before the darkness consumed her.
“All paladins to the bridge please. I repeat, all paladins to the bridge.”
Lance cursed Shiro's timing as he got off Allura.
“Sorry babe, we’re going to have to wait.” He said with a wink.
She giggled. “For you Lance, I’d wait another ten thousand years.”
“Sap.” He pecked her on the cheek before grabbing her hand and heading to the bridge.
“What is it Shiro?” Hunk asked, apron still on. “I was in the middle of trying out a new souffle recipe.”
“Pidge is back. Our scanners picked up the green lion outside the castle.”
Lance joined the others, running to the docking hanger. As the green lion landed, Lance was feeling nervous. His last encounter with Pidge had been less than pleasant, so seeing her again held mixed feelings. How would she react to him and Allura? Would they still be friends?
Those feelings quickly turned to dread as no Pidge appeared.
Shiro had read all their minds. Quickly, they made their way to the lion. Keith climbed in through its mouth. There was a moment of tense silence before he yelled.
“Coran, ready a pod! Everyone, clear the way.”
Lance felt his heart drop. A couple seconds later, Keith emerged holding a bleeding, burned and bruised Pidge.
Hunk barfed. Shiro swore. Allura started to cry and Lance held her comfortingly. His own eyes started to water as Keith passed them.
Her armour was nothing but shreds. Blood oozed from a gash on her head, and her right arm hung limply beside her, the shoulder obviously dislocated. Lance shivered as he saw the burns. He knew them well. They all did.
Haggar was going to pay.
He gritted his teeth and stepped away from Allura. Fists clenched, as he stormed to his lion.
“Lance, where are you going?!” Shiro’s voice boomed from the other side of the hanger.
“I’m going to make that witch pay!” He shouted back, breaking into a sprint. He made it about four steps before strong arms yanked him back. Lance fought against Hunk with all his strength but to no avail.
“No you’re not.” Shiro was in front of him. “I know you’re worried about Pidge. We all are. But now is not the time for revenge. Now is the time to stay by her side, supporting and helping her.”
He put his hand on Lance’s shoulder. “We will make Haggar pay, I promise. Just not today.”
Keith returned, pale and shaken. “She didn’t respond well to the pod. Coran thinks it’s because of the large quantities of dark Altean magic she was exposed to. We have her stabilized, but it’s going to be a long road to recovery.”
Shiro nodded. “Can we see her?”
“I was actually going to ask Allura to clean her up a bit before.” Keith blushed a bit, looking at Lance's’ girlfriend. “You know, wash her and change her clothes?”
“Of course.” The princess rushed out the doors, her hair flowing behind her.
The paladins had created a system. They took one hour shifts watching their green counterpart. It was Hunks turn, and the others were gathered around the dinner table. None of them had any appetite. They sat in silence.
“It’s been three weeks!” Lance exclaimed, punching the table. “It’s time to act!”
“Guys!” Hunk burst into the room causing all the paladins to stand up.
“What happened?” Shiro asked, brow creased.
“Is she okay?” Keith questioned.
Lance looked like he was about to run to the medical bay. “Is Katie-”
Hunk shook his head and grinned. “She’s awake!”
Pidge opened her eyes as her door slid open to reveal Shrio, Coran, Allura, Keith and Hunk. She smiled at them warmly.
Shiro gently hugged her, trying not to touch any of her wounds. “We really missed you Pidge.”
“Wasn’t the same castle without you.”
There were murmurs of agreement throughout the group. Pidge felt her heart warm slightly. She was finally home. Allura waved shyly.
“It’s so nice not to be the only girl on the team Pidge! And I’m sure Lance will be far mo-”
“Lance?” Pidge frowned, looking for a pair of familiar eyes in the room. She found none.
The room went silent as the others shifted uncomfortably looking for the blue paladin. She closed her eyes again. He wasn’t coming. Not that she expected him to, but it would have been nice to see him again. She needed to tell him about Haggar.
Coran cleared his throat. “So nice to see you awake number five. I think we’ll let you get some rest now.” As they herded out of her room, Hunk stayed behind.
“Can I stay? I really missed my best bud.”
Pidge let out a throaty laugh. “I’d like that.”
“Lance and Allura?” Pidge snorted. “Jeez Hunk, I thought I was the one who hit my head!”
Hunk’s face stayed neutral. “It’s not a joke Pidge.”
It’s not a joke. Her exact words to Lance when she broke things off. Her heart sank.
She cleared her throat. “Well, I guess I’m happy for him. He’s moved on.” I haven’t .
They were silent for a moment before Hunk stood up, patting her shoulder.
“You should get some rest. I’ll be back later with dinner.”
“Thanks.” She winced as she lay back down.
The door hissed shut, and Pidge let the tears flow. She had left him, and in turn he had left her.
Pidge laughed. “So let me get this straight. Lance asked you out in Altean?”
“Yes! I’m pretty sure he said ‘will you elefant the baby’, but I got the message.”
The girls giggled in unison. Pidge took Alluras hand.
“I’m really happy for you, you know that?”
Allura squeezed back. “I know. Thank you Pidge.”
She smiled, thinking about Lance. He hadn’t visited her at all. Maybe it was for the best. He probably hated her. Her heart tightened at the thought.
“He doesn’t hate you, you know that right?” Allura’s concerned eyes were staring at her. Pidge smiled back.
“I wouldn’t be so sure. I was pretty ruthless.”
Allura shook her head. “Pidge, you are still his best friend. You’re still so important to him.”
“Important huh? Not important enough to visit I guess. It’s been four weeks Allura, I get the message loud and clear.” She scoffed.
Pidge turned her eyes downward, picking at some invisible lint on the sheets. She felt Allura stand up.
“Try to sleep Pidge.”
She smiled back. “I’ll try. Thanks for everything.”
The princess looked at her one last time before turning off the lights and heading to Lance’s room. That boy had some explaining to do.
He looked up, his fingers pausing their trail through Alluras hair. “Mhm?”
“You told me you went to see her.”
Lance sighed. He knew Allura meant well, but he was going to scream if someone else told him to go see Pidge. He sat up and ran a hand through his hair.
“So you lied to me?”
“I just need some more time.”
“More time? It’s been four weeks Lance. She’s so small Lance.” Allura looked at him, her voice softer. “So while you’re ‘taking your time’, Pidge is stuck in pain wondering if you hate her. You haven’t visited her once Lance. She’s been through so much. I don’t think she can lose another friend.”
Guilt filled Lance’s gut. He rolled out of bed and pulled on a shirt.
“Where are you going?”
“To see a friend.”
“You know she’s probably sleeping right?”
Lance shrugged. “Pidge never sleeps.”
The door slid open revealing a very messy room. Lance smiled to himself. The day Pidge cleaned her room would be the day pigs fly.
“That was fast Keith.” Her voice was coming from the bed. “Ready for some Killbot Phantom?”
Lance felt his blood boil. “May I ask why you’re playing
game with the mullet emo?”
Pidge looked at him and rolled on her side, closing her eyes. “Go away. I’m sleeping.”
“Pidge, don’t do this.” He pleaded with her.
The lump on the bed remained silent. He made his way over to her, careful not to step on anything. As he got closer, he could see she was shaking. No, crying.
Silent sobs racked her small frame. Lance felt the guilt that had been building up in his chest boil over.
“I’m so sorry. I meant to visit, I was just being stupid. I want, no I need you as a friend. I want to play video games with you and steal cows from space malls. Don’t leave me.” Not again , he added silently in his head.
Pidge opened her eyes. “Don’t apologize Lance. You have nothing to be sorry for. I treated you like a jerk, and I’m paying the price.”
“No, I’ve been the jerk. Please don’t think you’re anything less than my best friend.” And only my friend, he thought to himself bitterly.
She looked up at him and wiped her tears away. “Friends?”
He cracked a smile. “Friends.” Lance conformed. “Are you up for some Killboy Phantom?”
“Is that even a question?” She cocked an eyebrow.
He was already grabbing the controllers.
Lance looked up as Allura entered his room. He smiled, opening his arms for a hug. “Hey babe, I was just headed out to see Pidge. Is everything all right?”
She stayed by the door, looking down at her feet. He felt his heart sink.
“No what?” He knew the answer. He just wanted to hear her say it.
She finally looked at him, eyes filled with unshed tears. “Lance, I can’t do this anymore.”
“Please Allura, give me another chance.” He was practically begging on his knees. “I promise I can be better!”
The princess wiped her eyes and smiled. “Lance, this isn’t about anything you did.”
“Because this was a fling. That’s it. We both knew it wouldn’t last, so-” her voice broke. “So I think it’s best we end it sooner rather than later.”
“Allura, I already lost Pidge. I can’t lose you too.”
" And I can't watch you fall in love with another woman."
"But I moved on." He sighed. "I thought I moved on!"
She wrapped her arms around him, and he savoured her warmth. In his heart he knew they were never meant to be, but it stung anyways.
“I think,” she whispered in his ear. “I think that’s the problem. You never really lost her. She’s still with you no matter how hard you try to get rid of her. And I think you’re with her too.”
She pulled back, holding him at arm's length, offering him a watery smile. “I know love when I see it Lance. I saw it when my mother and father would look at each other. I see it in Hunk’s eyes when he looks at Shay. And I see it in your eyes whenever you see her. Not me, her.”
Lance let out a teary laugh. “I’ve fallen pretty hard haven’t I.”
“Go get her. If you don’t someone else will, and you’ll live the rest of your life wishing you had seized the moment.”
With a pat on the shoulder Allura walked away. Lance sank to his knees. She had been right about one thing. His feelings for Pidge had never left. The only problem with confessing his undying love was that she definitely didn’t feel the same way. She had made that clear when she walked away. He wasn’t about to be the dog crawling back to his master. If Allura was right, she would have to come to him.
Sitting back down he decided he would have some alone time. He needed to think.
Pidge looked at the clock. Lance had made a routine of visiting her every evening for video games and cookies. She sighed as she tapped her foot. He was late.
It hurt being with him as a friend. She wanted nothing more then to wrap herself in his arms and relish in his body heat. Unfortunately that was a “girl friend only” perk.
What was taking him so long? Sighing, she sat on the bed, waiting.
He never came.
“If you keep frowning, you’re going to get wrinkles.”
Lance ran his hands over his face as he watched Pidge and Liam talk. As much as he wanted to join the conversation, he knew they were blabbing about some advanced alien space tech that he wouldn’t be able to follow. Instead, he turned to Hunk.
“I’m not frowning. I’m perfectly happy.” He tried to grin, but it came out as a grimace. Hunk sighed, patting him on the shoulder.
“There there my little lover boy.” He smiled. “Liam will be gone soon.”
Sure. Liam and his little group of rebel allies had docked on the castle a few days ago to restock and refuel. Coincidentally, they also brought some incripeted Galra code that was taken from a prison they recently raided. Pidge was decoding it now to see if it contained any information about her family.
Lance wouldn’t have minded the extra company if it wasn’t for one, little detail. Liam had taken quite the fancy to Pidge. His Pidge. Now a days, the rebel fighter was hardly seen without her. He was always carrying her around when she got too tired to walk, and making sure her injuries were well tended. They spent long hours together pouring over Galra code and talking about Olkarion. Lance didn’t like the way he looked at his Pidge. When he had confronted her about his worries, she had shrugged him off. Apparently Liam was a “nice guy” with “strong morals.”
To make matters worse, Pidge had been ignoring him. Sure, after the break up with Allura Lance skipped a few of their gaming sessions, but he still valued her company. He hadn’t meant to push her away, it just happened. And now he was paying for it.
“I don’t care Hunk!” He called over his shoulder before leaving.
If he had looked back, he would have seen Pidge’s look of longing. Longing for someone just out of reach.
Liam the lame finally left two days later. A week after that, Pidge had burst in with the coordinates to another Galra prison. She asked Shiro if they could go as a team and liberate the prisoners. After much debate about whether or not Pidge was battle ready, Shiro reluctantly agreed. Thus, Lance found himself standing in the oddest prison he had ever seen.
“So I get the whole “cement walls and no windows” thing, but where are the people?” His voice boomed off the bare walls.
The only thing inside the room was a large computer. It had instantly claimed Pidge’s attention, the small paladin tossing her helmet to the side and plugging her wrist port in.
Now that he was thinking about it, there had been almost no Galra to fight. No one had stood their way as they marched into the unlocked prison. A prison they received the coordinates for from a sketchy group of rebels who had docked on their ship. No rebel group before had ever done that. Come to think of it, no rebel group had ever found them.
Realization hit Lance like a punch to the gut.
Oh quiznack. Oh fucking quizanck.
It was a trap. Everything had been set up.
“Get out!” Lance yelled at his team. “Its a set up!”
Hunk, Allura, Shiro and Keith ran out the doors without hesitation, Lance following behind. He looked around for a familiar green helmet.
“Where is Pidge?”
Team voltron searched for their missing green paladin outside the chamber.
“She's still inside.” Hunk breathed, the realization hitting them all like a ton of bricks.
“Quiznack!” Lance swore, running back through the metal doors. Shiro called after him but he paid no attention.
Pidge was where he left her, downloading info from the Galra computer. Her helmet lay forgotten beside her.
“Pidge, we have to go.” Lance tried to pull her up, but she shook her head.
“Lance, this is the one shot I have at finding my family left. I’m not leaving until I get everything.”
“This is not up for debate. We are leaving now. I promise we will find your dad and Matt, but there are other ways.”
“I’ve tried all the other ways. They don’t work.” Her eyes dropped to the floor. “Just go back to the hanger, and I’ll join you in a tic.”
The reassuring smile she put on her face almost made Lance listen to her. He shook his head and grabbed her shoulders.
“I’m not leaving you again.”
Pidge looked up at him, her honey eyes huge. Her chin trembled slightly.
Whatever she was going to say was cut off by an alarm, and the metal doors slamming shut. A faint hiss followed, making Pidge and Lance exchange worried glances.
Pidge put her helmet on, and Lance was about to do the same when he realized he had left it in the hanger. Quiznack.
“Lance, where’s your helmet?” Pidge’s voice was laced with worry.
He scratched the back of his neck awkwardly and chuckled. “Funny story, I might have left it with the rest of the team?”
They both knew it would be impossible to get to it. It would be impossible for them to escape with the resources they had with them. The walls and doors were too thick, and the only possible means of escape was a small air vent on the ceiling. Pidge swore, and moved to take her helmet off. Lance stopped her, holding her wrists.
“Don’t.” He was dead serious. “I need to know you’ll be okay.”
After a moment, Pidge dropped her hands reluctantly. Lance began coughing. She looked at him with concern, but he waved her off.
“Don’t worry about it. I’m fine.”
She glared. “You are not fine. You are dying.”
“Don’t sugarcoat it will ya?” He tried to joke.
“Lance, you can’t die on me.” Her voice quavered slightly. “You can’t die because I still love you.”
His heart stopped. She loved him? That was impossible.
“You made it very clear that you wanted nothing to do with me when you broke up with me.” He stated, not allowing himself to dare to hope.
“I was being blackmailed by Haggar. She wanted to destroy the team from the inside out. If I didn’t tell her, she would kill Matt and dad. And when I called her bluff, and broke off the communication, I was too late. You and Allura were already happy.”
Lance’s vision was going blurry, either from tears or lack of oxygen. “Pidge, I had no idea.”
“I know.” Her smile was sad. “I hope you’ll be able to forgive me someday.”
He looked her firmly in the eyes. “Pidge, none of that was your fault. I already forgive you.”
Her shoulders shook with sobs, and she shook her head.
“Not for that. For this.”
Lance opened his mouth to ask, but he was cut off by a sudden pain in the back of the head. He sank to his knees. Pidge stood over him. He watched as she took her helmet off and knelt before him. He tried to protest as she kissed his forehead and placed her helmet on his head, but his mind was too fuzzy.
Then, the darkness engulfed him.
The soft beep of a monitor lulled him back into consciousness. Groaning, he pushed himself into a sitting position.
He was in a white room, arm attached to a monitor and lying on a thin cot. He was in a hospital room.
“Lance!” Hunk engulfed him in a hug. “You’re awake!”
“Hey buddy.” Lance smiled.
Shiro, Keith and Allura were grinning at him around the room. Lance looked at his leader.
“After the door shut, we thought we’d lost you. But then the Mariots showed up. Their advanced tech opened the door, and allowed us to reach you. They brought us back to their base, and have been caring for you ever sense.”
Lance frowned. “Where’s Pidge? Is she okay? Last I remember is-”
He looked up, dread settling in his gut. Around him, his teammates gave him sympathetic glances. Keith cleared his throat.
“Lance, by the time we got in it was too late. The poison had already reached her heart. Without a helmet, she didn’t stand a chance.” He looked down. “I’m sorry.”
Lance felt his world tilt. She had sacrificed herself to save him. It was all his fault. They had promised to never leave each other, but here he was, alone.
“No.” He shook his head. “She’s still alive.”
All he got was small head shakes. Lance began to shake. Hot tears fell down his cheeks, and he felt the comforting arms of his fellow paladins surround him. As always, they would get through this loss as a team. A unit. Together.
Bright light blinded her as she opened her eyes. As she tried to sit up, people wearing surgical masks pushed her down, clamping her wrists and ankles to the cold metal of the table. She tried to scream, but her throat was too dry.
“Welcome back Paladin of Green.” The masked figure closest to her snapped on some gloves. “We had quite the adventure retracting the poison from your heart.”
Pidge began to struggle as they came closer, scalpel in hand. “Lance! Help! Please!” She managed to croak. A hand covered her mouth.
“Be aware that no one knows you are still alive. No one is coming for you. So I’d recommend you do exactly as I say. We wouldn’t want something... tragic to happen to… let’s say the blue paladin now would we?”
Her eyes went wide, but she immediately stopped struggling.
Cold gloved fingers touched her forehead and she winced as the scalpel dug into her skin.
“Let’s see if the brain of the famed green paladin is worth talking about. Don’t worry, this won’t hurt a bit.”
Cold fear cut into Pidge like a knife, but she stayed still. To her credit, she lasted twenty tics before she started screaming.
At least Lance would be safe.