when water is smothered by the flames; langst (klance)
WARNING: implied character death!!!!
Lance loved the sea. Every time the distinct scent of salt drifted through the air, he would search for the familiar sight of rolling ocean waves - the sound of turbulent waves crashing against the shore, or of gentle, rolling, waves softly reaching for the sandy shore and then retreating, ebbing and flowing with the cool nudges of the breeze; the white foam that sealed off the blue sea; the brilliant teal blue that faded into a serene royal blue at the horizon where it met the endless sky. The way the water felt as he propelled himself through it, as if he were suddenly airborne and free, and how the cool, misty, spray felt on his fingers. How he could submerge himself completely and let himself be enveloped by the tremendous weight of the ocean, suspended there while the world around him was silenced, as if in a trance, as if the world had stopped spinning for just a moment. The breathtakingly-beautiful sight of a sunset, the golden sphere bobbing on the ocean, and the clouded sky giving way to twinkling silver stars.
Lance loved the rain. The sound it made as it quietly hit the dry, thirsty sidewalks and made rippling puddles that ran down the sides of the street like a tiny creek. The soothing, steady rhythm tapped out by the pitter-patter on the roof that lulled him to sleep when insomnia wouldn’t rest. The way it slowly dripped down car windows like tears sliding down someone’s cheek. The way it dribbled down umbrellas and slipped into cracks, the weird way it smelled after it rained, and the droplets of dew that clung to grass and spider webs like strings of shiny pearls. The way the stormy gray sky cleared and left a dazzling array of rainbow hues instead. The shallow puddles left behind, reflecting the sky like a million mirrors embedded in the concrete. The splashes that flicked water droplets everywhere as a five-year-old-Lance’s rain boots made contact with the puddles.
And… Lance loved Keith, too.
Keith was like fire. He was too hot to touch, sizzling with intensity and passion. He was quick and confident and fiery, scorching anything that stood in his way. He followed his instincts, and his fists, not his brain. He didn’t think before setting enemies aflame. And he was unpredictable, too.
Yet… there was another side to him that Lance loved the most. The soft, warm, glowing side to Keith. The spark of happiness hidden behind the burning flames that had Lance staring in awe - the way Keith’s laugh lit up his entire face and how his eyes shined with a blinding light that rivaled the sun. He seemed so tender and fragile, and Lance never wanted to put out that light.
But what if Lance did?
Lance was like water. And Lance didn’t know what to do when he encountered fire- it was so different from water, but both were beautiful in their own ways. It was no secret how Lance and Keith clashed. And water never mixes well with fire. It smothers the flame until the only thing left is smoke and ash, and with its last dying breath the fire ignites the brightest before disappearing completely, only a whisper in the wind that is carried away and forgotten.
Lance didn’t want to smother the flame. He didn’t want this to end like all the other relationships where he pushed too far, where he wasn’t gentle enough.
So he pushed Keith out of the way and dove into the fire, pretending he was back in the sea. He remembered how he had never felt more right there in the ocean, so carefree and weightless. He pretended he wasn’t terrified, that he was brave.
And as he swept the trembling little girl off her feet and threw her to Keith, over the burning debris, Lance met Keith’s gaze. He couldn’t hear anything except for the pounding of his heart in his ears, but Lance saw that Keith was yelling, tears spilling from his eyes. Lance barely registered the droplets running down his own cheeks.
He was so incredibly stupid. But Lance couldn’t let Keith die.
So he smiled like always and yelled at Keith to run. And he let the surrounding flames licking at his feet climb higher until he was entirely consumed by the hungry fire that was so similar yet so unlike Keith. Lance was engulfed by regret and heat before it went black.
In the face of a raging fire, Lance was only a single drop of water.
But Lance forgot one thing: Keith was human, too. And humans need water to survive.