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It's Okay

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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.

OhnoohpleasebythestarsquiznaknoyoucantyourenotallowedPLEASE

"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.”

“Lance?”

“Lance!”

Chapter Text

The Green Paladin was the physical manifestation and representation of the Green Lion, the Guardian of Life. But what was life? Life was movement and joy and pain and sadness and laughter and freedom. He had been full of life. 

 

Pidge didn't know if she was worthy of being a paladin anymore, let alone the Green Paladin. What was the point of anything anymore when you couldn’t protect those you love? When everyone died or left her behind regardless.

 

She knew the others were worried about her but she struggled to bring herself to care. Yes, Shiro, she was aware she was being aloof and shying away from touch… but no more so than before right? Mourning wasn’t going to solve anything nor bring him back (that would make it real) . The safest and most logical (cowardly) course of action was to devote herself to the constant stream of coding and technology. Definitely not avoiding the rest of the team (family) - because look where that had gotten her! Mother abandoned, father and brother missing but presumed dead; her foolish quest to find them was ridiculous and now her self-indulgence had cost Lance his life. Stupid stupid alien surveillance footage. 

 

“Pidge?” Quiznak. Hunk. How long had it been this time? “Pidge c’mon please, you need to eat something and get some rest. It’s been three quintants now.” Oh yeah, no wonder why the worry shone so clearly through his voice.

 

Lance would be ashamed of me, wouldn’t he? Pidge, c’mon give yourself a break, let us in. His voice inside her head was crystal clear, cutting through her excuses and self-pity faster than Keith slicing droids. Because no, he wouldn’t be ashamed, he would be concerned. And caring and understanding and loving. Because he was her brother , who had held her together when she needed to fall apart. And now, she realised why, because he understood, his wisdom light-years beyond anything anyone credited him for. Family wasn’t a weakness, but laughter, tears and cuddles.

 

The Blue Paladin was the physical manifestation of the Blue Lion, the Guardian of Water. Water was what connected all life forms; it was the glue, the foundation, the leg, the lifeblood. It was clean and resurrection and purity and grief and tears. It was family.

 

Pidge opened the door.