Time for some more whump! It’s Day Two- Hypothermia!
Lance and Keith (read: klance) go to an ice planet.
why do i only ever hurt lance
“Figures,” Lance grumbled. “Stereotypical ice planet. Why couldn’t the rebels have lived on, I don’t know, a tropical island? The entire known universe and we can’t stumble across some beach residents in need of rescue?”
“Lance,” Shiro’s disapproving voice sounded over the coms. “The two of them gave me their only ship. Which means we’re helping them. They’re part of a freedom fighter organization, maybe they can help us.”
“Yeah, okay, but why do I have to be the one that gets sent down here? I’m from Cuba! This is way, way below comfortable temperatures for me.”
“Quit whining,” Keith snapped, glaring at Lance over his shoulder. “Our armor’s designed to keep us warm, and this is below comfortable for anyone. And pick up the pace.”
Lance rolled his eyes, but jogged to catch up to him.
“Sorry, Lance, but the red lion is the best at withstanding extreme temperatures. And it’s smaller, and faster than the other lions, so it can better navigate the terrain,” Shiro explained.
“Wish I had help navigating the terrain now,” Lance muttered under his breath. The two of them were currently struggling through over a foot of snow. “And that doesn’t explain why I had to bring Keith with me.”
“Because going on solo missions to unknown locations is how you get killed,” Pidge pointed out. “Star Wars? Hoth? Luke almost getting annihilated by the abominable snowman? Any of that ring a bell?”
“Quiznaking ice planets. Why are we out of the lion anyway, Shiro? Red’s warm. Do you want us to freeze to death and then have to hide inside the body of a space camel?” Lance’s voice was dripping with sarcasm.
“What the hell are you talking about?”
“Star Wars, Keith. Remind me to marathon it with you when we get back to Earth. My niece loves those movies, and she’ll eat all the popcorn, but it’s worth it. Trust me.”
“Would you two take this mission seriously?” Shiro asked. Lance could practically see him rubbing his temples exhaustedly. “I know it’s not exactly high-stakes adventure, but these guys saved my life. You’re not going to go prancing around the planet in your lion and accidentally destroy their hideout.”
“Prancing? Shiro, I don’t prance, I'm—”
“Lance, look,” Keith interrupted him and pointed out towards a large stretch of ice before them. It would’ve been a lake, had the planet not had such low temperatures. “Pidge, is that the direction we need to go?”
“Yep,” she told them. “The hideout’s not far from the opposite side.”
Keith sighed. “We’ll have to go around.”
“Woah, what? Keith, that lake is huge! It’d be so much easier to walk straight across,” Lance protested. “I’m not about to freeze to death while we take the scenic route.”
“In case you hadn’t noticed, that’s ice, dumbass. If it can’t support our weight and breaks then we really could freeze to death! That water’s gotta be a lot worse than this.”
“I’m not an idiot, Keith, I know that. Pidge, if I send you a scan can you see if it’ll support us?” Lance asked. Pidge made a noise of affirmation, and Lance used his armor’s scanner to send an analysis of the ice to her.
“It looks pretty thick,” she mused. “I wouldn’t jump up and down or start hacking at it with your bayards if I were you, but you’ll be able to walk across.”
“See?” Lance smirked at him. “What’d I tell you? It’s fine.”
“Shouldn’t we, I don’t know, check the lake? What if there’s a… space octopus in there, or something? Or a shark? I mean, they wouldn’t normally live in lakes, but this isn’t Earth so who knows? Are space alligators a thing?” Hunk spoke so fast it was almost difficult to understand.
“Hunk, you’re rambling,” Lance observed with a fond smile. “But don’t worry. The top of the lake is frozen, so they wouldn’t be able to breathe, right? Let alone get to us. If it makes you feel better, I’ll do a full scan of the lake.”
“Nope. No animals down there,” Pidge confirmed a few moments later. “Now would you two hurry up and cross?”
“I still have a really bad feeling about this,” Keith mumbled.
Lance turned towards him with a grin. “We are so watching Star Wars together. In fact, we should see if they have it at the space mall. But sorry, Keith, if you want to go the long way, be my guest. I’m not going to wait any longer than I have to.”
“He really is the true pilot of Red,” Pidge sounded as if she was trying to repress a laugh. “Impatient as all hell.”
“Hey!” Keith and Lance exclaimed at the same time.
Pidge snorted. “Just get going already.”
Lance wasted no time in starting out across the lake. He was several paces ahead of Keith, who still hesitated to step out onto it. As he was about to continue forward, Keith stopped in his tracks. He could swear he saw something dark moving below the ice, but Pidge had scanned the lake for life, hadn’t she? It must just be his imagination. He started forward again, but just then the ground shook, and the ice in front of Lance exploded.
He let out a strangled yelp, stumbling away from whatever had just burst out of the lake. Keith could hear the frantic voices of the others in his ears, but it all descended into white noise as he saw the vine that had broken through the ice wrap around Lance’s legs.
He rushed forward, but it was already too late. Keith watched as Lance was dragged into the hole made by the creature, and plunged into the freezing lake.
The water was murky, and dark. Lance could barely see, all he knew was that something was dragging him further and further down into the depths. He didn’t have time to activate his helmet properly before water was rushing into his lungs.
He felt the grip of whatever held him tightening on his legs, and though he tried to kick he couldn’t break free.
Lance forced himself not to panic. Panicking wouldn’t help him. So he collected his thoughts, summoned his bayard, and pointed it down. He still couldn’t see anything, but with luck he’d hit the monster, not himself. He moved his finger to the trigger, aimed for what he hoped wasn’t his leg, and fired.
Judging by the shriek of pain and how the hold on him loosened, Lance guessed the laser met its mark. He kicked upwards immediately, swimming quickly to the surface. However, with limited eyesight and dwindling oxygen, his hands met nothing but ice. Panic started to overtake him again as he desperately scrambled to find the hole which he’d fallen into.
Lance was just starting to give up hope completely when suddenly a hand snagged around his wrist and yanked him to the side, and up to the surface.
Lance sucked in a breath, coughing the water out of his lungs as he collapsed onto the ice. His vision was foggy around the edges, but he could see well enough to notice Keith kneeling over him, breathing heavily.
“Are you okay?” he demanded, hands hovering over Lance’s form. “Are you hurt?”
“What—” Lance coughed again. “What was that… that thing?”
“I… I didn’t scan for plants,” Pidge told him apologetically. “In my defense, I had no idea there would be some crazy strong… Venus flytrap-ish monster living here.”
“Now will you listen to me when I tell you something’s a bad idea?” Keith asked, sounding way to relieved to actually come off as angry.
Lance gave him a shaky smile. “I c-could ask you the… the same, S-samurai.”. Keith tensed immediately.
“Why’s he talking like that?” he asked. “He’s… breathing weird, too. And shivering. Pidge, what—”
“Keith. Scan. Now.” Pidge’s voice was suddenly alert, and when Keith complied, she cursed. “Hypothermia. I should’ve guessed. Keith, get him back to the castle. He should be fine, but he needs a pod. Allura and I will come back to the planet in Blue later.”
Keith nodded, picking Lance up in his arms as if he weighed nothing at all, before rushing towards Red. “Hang on, Lance. You’re gonna be fine.”
“You.. you were r-right,” Lance admitted around chattering teeth. “That was a… very b-bad idea.” His eyes started to slide shut.
“Wh— no, Lance, you have to stay awake. C'mon, keep your eyes open. We’re almost there.”
“’M sorry, Keith, b-but it’s… it’s freezing, and you’re r-r-really w-warm,” Lance mumbled, closing his eyes and leaning his head on Keith’s shoulder. “I think… I’ll just take a little n-nap.”
“Lance, no, you’ve got to—” Keith started insistently, but Lance had already passed out in his arms.
Lance fell unceremoniously out of the healing pod, but was luckily caught before he collapsed onto the floor. He looked up to meet Keith’s dark eyes, and promptly groaned. “So, I guess we had another bonding moment.”
Keith bristled. “That’s all you have to say? Not ‘thank you for saving my life?’ After your stupid decision-making skills got you put in a pod for the… how many times has it been now?”
Lance ignored him. “Where are the others?”
“None of them wanted to stay overnight, because, again, you’ve been in this pod way too many times,” Keith told him, unsure if he should point out that Lance had made no move to step back, so Keith was still supporting the entirety of his weight.
“And yet you stayed,” Lance grinned. “Guess I should probably start listening to you, huh?”
Lance’s smile turned quickly into a smirk. “Well, that’s too bad, since we both know that’s never going to happen.”
Keith scowled, prepared to drop Lance onto the floor. He would have to, if Lance hadn’t leaned forward at that exact moment and kissed him.
It didn’t last long, but Keith was blushing furiously, anyway. It was nice to see that Lance looked a little flustered, too, though.
“Thanks,” Lance said softly. “For saving my life.”
“Um,” Keith started, brain still trying to understand what was going on. “Did you just— you and I— is this— what?”
Lance laughed, finally stepping back from Keith and turning to walk out the door. “I’m going to go get some food goo, if you’d care to join me.”
Keith watched him go, and stammered out a few more incoherent sentences before rushing after him.