Pidge Gunderson was always sick. Coughing and sneezing. Sniffling her way through the day. Lance first noticed this when they resided at the Garrison.
“ Hey, Gunderson! Wha-”
He froze. A heap of blankets lay on the bed, surrounded by tissues and multiple discarded bottles of tylenol.
A tuft of hair peeked out of the blankets on the bed.
He unraveled the blankets until he could see her pale freckled face. Dark circles shaded the bags underneath her honey eyes. He hissed with sympathy.
“ Woah. You okay? You look like shit.”
“ Wow, thanks for noticing-” Pidge replied, the remark rolling of her tongue, dripping with sarcasm.
Lance sat beside her.
“ Are you going to call in sick?”
“ Well, are you at least gonna eat something?”
“ It’ll come right back up.”
Lance cringed. “ Oh. Ew-”
“ You asked.”
She laid back down, piling the blankets back on top of her. A wet cough tore it’s way from her chest.
“ I hate my immune system. ”
Lance hummed with sympathy, and patted the heap reassuringly.
“ You’ll get better.”
Pidge was sick again about two weeks later
“ Pidge, you really need to sit this one out.”
“ No way-”
She was sweating profusely, bile rising in her throat.
“ Seriously, you look like hell. Again. In fact, this is the third time this month!”
She broke into a coughing fit.
Hunk frowned with concern before smiling.
“ At least I’m not the one getting sick this time.”
Pidge glared daggers at Hunk until he looked down like a puppy with its tail between its legs.
“ Fine. But as your brilliant pilot and captain, I’ll be reporting your condition to Iverson.”
Pidge groaned in rebuttal but Lance wouldn’t have it.
The simulation came to a stop.
Lance hopped out before Pidge could stop him.
“ Excuse me Mr. Iverson, it seems one of my crew mates has come down with something. Its affecting his work ethic, and I think he should sit out.”
Iverson nodded in agreement.
Pidge trudged out of the simulator.
“ Yes, sir?”
“ Mcclain here will be escorting you to the infirmary. ”
“ But sir-”
“ It wasn’t a suggestion.”
Pidge grumbled before walking over to Lance. She reached up with the gestures a toddler makes when they want to be held.
Lance knelt down and allowed Pidge to cling to his back like a koala.
Pidge buried her face into the tall Cuban boys shoulder. She grumbled in protest as he carried her to the infirmary.
“ You’ll get better.”
She was tapping away on her tablet in the common room when she coughed
“ Theres the fourth time-” Lance said from the doorway.
“ Oh, shut up!” She laughed.
Lance chuckled, plopping down next to her.
“ You’ll get better-”
He said, dramatically wrapping his long lanky arms around her small frame.
“ I’m not even sick, dumbass-”
Pidge deadpanned, unable to conceal the grin that tugged at the corners of her mouth.
The mission had been successful so far. Pidge managed to get the security systems down while the other paladins took out galra soldiers. She hummed contentedly as she pressed a button to shut the systems down completely. Well. Almost.
She heard footsteps, and before she got the chance to even pull her hand away, something struck her abdomen.
Struck THROUGH her abdomen.
She let out a pained groan as she crumbled to her knees while the galra soldier who shot her stepped forward and picked her up by the neck, trying to squeeze out the little bit of life she had left in her.
Another shot was heard. The soldier dropped her and flopped over beside her.
“ Pidge! Oh god-”
The voice came closer, but it was unfocused and almost unfamiliar. She turned towards the voice, clutching her stomach to stop the the blood.
She coughed. Droplets of blood sprayed across her armor.
A blurry face came into view.
“ Lance…” Pidge slurred, blood dripping from her mouth, down her cheek, and to the floor.
He looked like he was crying. Was he? She didn’t know. All she knew in that moment was unfathomable pain.
“ I-I need you to move your hand so I can see the wound.” Lance said softly, gently running his thumb across her cheek.
She complied hesitantly with a whimper, letting her hand drop to the floor.
There was silence for a few moments as Lance took in the horrific sight. Pidge felt her conscience start to slip away from her.
“ No, Pidge! You need to stay awake!” He cried, grasping her hand. He took a deep breath.
Lance scooped her up into his arms, cradling her cautiously. Her body had already gone limp, but her mind was still there. She buried her head into his arm.
Lance looked down as he began to speedwalk down the long purple corridors.
“ Yeah, Pidge?…”
“ Sing to me.”
Lance took in a shaky breath.
“ You are my sunshine…” He began, looking down at Pidge’s pained expression as he ran.
“ My only sunshine..” He saw the Red Lion in the distance. If he could just get there…
“ You make me happy-” He looked down at her face and smiled shakily, wishing he could take all that pain away.
“ When skies are grey…” He held her closer to his chest.
He heard her strained voice mix with his. “You’ll never know, dear… How m-much I love you…”
Lance sprinted towards the Lion.
“ God, please don’t take….”
“ My sunshine…”
He laid her down on the seat of the red lion, feeling for a pulse. None. He began to sob, holding her body close to his chest.