"You do know that this is all your fault, right?" Pike asked, and if Meklavar had been able to move her arms, she'd have punched him.
"Oh, yeah," She started, glaring at the wall since she couldn't glare at him. "It's my fault that those bandits came out of nowhere."
"You hid in the grass in full armour!" Pike cried, and Meklavar could feel him stuggling to look round at her, his back rubbing against hers and the rope straining around them both.
"I didn't exactly have time to take it off!" She said, and Pike scoffed loudly behind her. Meklavar tried to stretch out, but her skin was burning where the ropes had been rubbing. They'd both been struggling for hours, and it had gotten them nowhere. No matter how she sat, or how she shifted, Meklavar was constantly uncomfortable. And she could tell the same was true for Pike, because every time she moved, she heard him wince.
"How are you doing back there?" She asked, and Pike sighed and rested the back of his head against hers.
"Could be better," He said. "Could be worse. Just wish I had my sling. You?"
"Cold." Meklavar said. They'd taken her armour from her, leaving her in her undergarments; an undershirt and thin, short pantaloons. And while she had been allowed to keep her boots on, they were sat on a cold stone floor, underground, and Meklavar had been shivering since the door had closed. The only parts of her that were remotely warm were where she was pressed against Pike.
She looked over at the door. She hadn't heard anything from behind it since the bandits had first left, and she had no idea when they'd be back.
"What do you think they'll do with us?" Meklavar asked. Pike didn't answer, but he shifted his arm around until their hands touched, and then he locked his fingers between hers.
"What would Pidge and Lance do, do you think?" He asked, and Meklavar couldn't help but grin. Pidge and Lance were characters, created years ago, way back when they'd first been trapped together. They were people far away, on different, fantastical worlds, with their own adventures.
"Pidge would use her machines to free them." Meklavar said.
"Would those work on rope?" Pike asked.
"Of course," She started. "She's a genius. She could get anything to work!"
"Ah," Pike said, with a laugh. "Of course. Sorry I ever doubted her."
"What would Lance do?"
"Oh, easy," Pike said, and Meklavar could almost hear his grin. "He'd shoot the lock right off the door."
"While tied up?"
"No," Pike said. "Obviously Pidge would have used her fancy machines to get them out of the rope first." He said, and Meklavar hummed and nodded.
"Of course." She said. "Though that's a metal lock, I don't know if your sling could- Wait!"
"What?" Pike demanded, voice too loud. The ropes tightened as he turned to try and look at her.
"I know they took your sling," Meklavar started in a whisper. "But do you still have your stones?"
"Yeah, they threw them back at me. Said they were worthless."
"Oh," Meklavar said, and she hoped he didn't have bruises. "Are you okay?"
"Yeah, I'm fine," He said distractedly. "What about the stones?"
"Are any of them sharp?" She asked, and she could practically hear the moment Pike figured out what she wanted to do.
"I think, some of them," He started, and then began pawing at the ground. "Hold on, let me find- Aha!"
"You got one?" Meklavar asked.
"Yeah, I think this'll work. But you're gonna have to keep the rope tight for me, okay?"
"Sure," Meklavar said, and leant forward while Pike struggled with the rope. It took longer than was ideal, and Meklavar's whole body was stiff and sore when it was done, but she could feel the moment the rope snapped, and then the two of them were able to unravel themselves.
"So, Madam Genius," Pike said, when he was standing again. "How do we get that door open?"
"We don't," Meklavar said, and pointed upwards. "We go out the window."
Pike turned to her, beaming, and suddenly butterflies were flooding Meklavar's stomach.
"Need me to hoist you up there?" He asked.
"Yes," Meklavar said quickly, thinking of his hands on her waist and her legs around his torso.
Instead, though, he got down on his knees and bent over, almost like he was bowing in front of her. Meklavar hesitated.
"What are you doing?" She asked, and Pike looked up and rolled his eyes at her.
"You sit on my back," He started. "And then I'll stand, and pull you up onto my shoulders- Oh! Wait!"
He stood, and unravelled his tattered cloak from around his shoulders, before stepping close to Meklavar (he smelled warm and loamy. And just a little bit sweaty) and wrapping it around hers instead. Immediately, it was warmer. Not only because she was wrapped in Pike's cloak, but also because her face was on fire.
"Thank you," Meklavar said, hoping her voice gave nothing away, while Pike dropped back down onto the dirty ground.
"Okay, go," He said, and gestured toward his back. Meklavar forced her feet forward, until she was placing her boots on either side of Pike's head. He grabbed her calves, the skin of his hands rough on her legs, and Meklavar took the chance to look down at him.
She couldn't see the back of his neck - his hair was too long - but she knew it was bent and exposed. It wasn't the time or the place, but Meklavar wondered what he'd do if she ran her fingers over his neck and into his hair, or pinched the tips of his ears. Pike heaved her up and gripped her knees, pulling her forward until the back of his head was pressed to her lower belly.
"Huh," He said. "You're heavier than I thought you'd be."
Meklavar had half a mind to start squeezing his head between her legs, but instead she took a measured breath.
"Just get me over to the window," She said, shortly.
"Anything for you." Pike said, and Meklavar rolled her eyes, glad he couldn't see the furious red her face had become.
Once she was close enough, she reached out and touched the glass. It was slightly wet, dew drops forming on either side of it. Meklavar wasn't sure how long they'd been down there, but it was nighttime, and she couldn't see anyone around.
"Is there anything heavy down here?" She asked Pike, who looked up at her, burying his head even harder into her belly. "Anything I can smash a window with?"
"Oh," Pike said, sounding disappointed. "We're breaking the window? Did you not have a cool contraption we could use?"
"They took all my things from me, Pike," Meklavar pointed out. "Besides that, there's a time for contraptions, and a time for brute force, and this is definitely a time for brute force."
"I suppose," Pike said. "But I haven't seen anything heavy enough to break a window."
"Then I'll just have to use my fists," Meklavar said, as she began to unwind Pike's cloak from her shoulders.
"Oh, no," Pike said. "Don't do that."
"I'll buy you a new one," Meklavar promised, and she started to wrap the fabric around her closed fist.
"That's not what I meant. No offence, but you don't look like the type of person who can punch through glass." Pike said, and Meklavar tightened her hand in his cloak.
"Well then, there's nothing to worry about, is there?" She asked, before she steadied herself against the wall and pulled her fist back, concentrating her strength, and driving it forward, ignoring Pike's strangled don't.
She felt it as the glass shattered around her hand, falling to the ground and in general, making way too much noise.
"My mistake," Pike said, and he sounded a little breathless.
"We need to get out of here," Meklavar said, pulling jagged pieces of glass out of the pane. "Do you think you can fit through this gap?"
"Absolutely," Pike said. "You go out first, and I'll come out after you."
Meklavar grabbed the ledge and pulled herself up, and Pike tried to help but he was so preoccupied with not touching her arse that she managed to pull herself through before he'd figured out where to put his hands. She wriggled out onto the wet grass, probably staining her linens green, and then she turned back to help pull Pike up. He'd found something to stand on, bringing him up to her height, and he was holding out his arms expenctantly.
"If you'd be so kind?" He said, with a cheeky little grin, knowing full well at that height he could just heave himself out.
Meklavar rolled her eyes just to show him how she felt about that, but then reached in and let him grab hold of her anyway. Pike used his long legs to push himself upwards, all while Meklavar grabbed him around the middle and pulled. It didn't take long for him to wriggle out of the windowpane, and when he did, Meklavar's knees buckled. He was much taller than her, and she was holding all his weight, so they fell on top of each other, a little heap in the wet grass.
Meklavar shivered, cold and damp, but Pike didn't seem to care about the grass or the temperature. He planted his hands either side of her head and pushed himself up so he could grin down at her.
She knew it wasn't the time or place, but for a moment the moonlight lit up the sides of his face, the shadows highlighting his perfect jaw and his perfect eyes, that for a moment she couldn't hink of anything but how beautiful he was.
"So," He started, a wide smile on his face. "Let's go and get our stuff back, shall w-"
He broke off with a muffled sound as Meklavar reached up, wrapped a hand around the back of his neck, and slotted their lips together. His breath was atrocious, but so was hers, and neither complained.
Instead, his hands gripped the back of her head and pulled her closer, and Meklavar knew they'd be caught if they didn't move, but they stayed in the wet grass for a quiet moment, content to be in their little heap.