Platonic hug between Keith and Pidge? Maybe Pidge needs comforting after an anxiety attack or a battle and Keith helps her. Love your work, thank you!
I definitely remembered this wrong and did during an anxiety attack? Anyway, two hugs for the price of one! Awkward sidehug AND long-lasting hold-a-person hug!
They all knew Pidge took it rough when they encountered Galra slaves and her father wasn’t among them, but usually Shiro went to talk to her afterward, so Keith hadn’t thought about it much. He hadn’t felt like he had a right to talk to her about it, anyway, not since that time he told her her family wasn’t more important than the whole universe. That had been a bad play, and while he’d realized that at the time based on how the others had reacted, it hadn’t really sunk in until the Blades’ test.
He almost went and got Shiro, now. But Pidge wasn’t just crying, she was shaking, so hard he could see it from the door to Green’s hangar. That seemed like a whole different kind of bad, and he wasn’t sure getting Shiro was the right thing. He tentatively stepped into the room, but she was too wrapped up in her head to notice, and he suddenly knew he’d made the right choice.
“Hey, Pidge, are you ok?” he asked.
Pidge looked up at him from where she was sitting against the wall, eyes wide. Her face was flushed and her breathing was a little fast, like she’d been running. She shook her head, frantically, and his mouth went dry. No. She wasn’t. Of course she wasn’t.
He walked over her, searching for more words and not finding any. Finally, he slid down the wall to sit next to her, laying an arm tentatively around her shoulders. She reached up with the hand next to him and grabbed at his shirt. "I can’t breathe,“ she said. "I can’t breathe. I’m gonna pass out. I’m gonna die.”
“You’re not gonna die,” he said, tightening the arm around her a little. "I promise. I won’t let you.“
"I can’t breathe.”
“You can breathe. You’re talking, and you can’t talk without breathing.” As soon as he said it, he knew it was wrong. It was too logical. Not the kind of thing you said to someone when they were upset. But then -
“Oh. Yeah. Then why am I dizzy?”
“You’re maybe breathing too fast. That’s not good, either.”
“I think something’s crushing my chest.”
He blushed a little as he stared down at her, looking just long enough that she would know he’d checked, but trying not to stare too long. "I’m pretty sure it’s not. You look ok. Normal clothes and all.“
"I think I’m dying. Is my heart supposed to be going this fast?”
He checked her pulse, feeling the wrist of the hand that was tangled in his shirt. "No. But I think it’ll slow down if you can just breathe more deeply.“
”‘Just breathe more deeply’“ she parroted back sarcastically. The flush that had been across her face when he walked up was gone, replaced by an eerie paleness.
Keith bit his lip, then moved on impulse, pulling her almost all the way into his lap so that her side was snuggled up against his chest, his arm still around her shoulders. "Look, just lean into me and breathe when I do, ok? We can do it together.”
He could feel her trying to take slower, deeper breaths, but when he reached for her wrist again, her heart was still racing. She let go of his shirt, rearranging herself to recline more fully against his chest, and he kept one arm wrapped around her and the other hand on her wrist, feeling her pulse.
Her breaths gradually slowed and eased, and her heartbeat got steadier and more normal. He felt a knot of tension relaxing in his stomach and half wondered if Pidge could tell. He figured probably not, given how freaked out she still was.
Finally, Pidge relaxed completely, sagging into him and leaning her head back against his chest. "I’m such a mess,“ she said.
Keith shrugged. "I think we all are, sometimes. I used to sleep with my shoes on, in case we got attacked.”
“That seems like a rational response to being Voltron.”
“I used to sleep with my shoes on when I lived by myself.”
“Maybe less rational.”
Keith figured he probably should move. But Pidge seemed content to stay here, and she’d always been kind of huggy with Shiro sometimes, and maybe she still needed this, so he stayed put, trying not to move too much so that he didn’t ruin her fragile new calm.
“Anyway, thanks, Keith.” Pidge said after a moment. "For … whatever.“ She leaned forward, starting to get up, and Keith tried not to show how much of a relief that was as he scrambled to his feet behind her.
Before he could figure out what to say, she’d turned a bright smile on him and added, "You’re pretty great, you know that?”
He panicked. "You’re pretty … sweaty.“
Pidge laughed. "I take it back. You’re a jerk. But thanks anyway. I mean it.”
Keith blushed, looking down at his feet. "No problem.“
She didn’t say anything when he grabbed the socket wrench he’d come in here to borrow in the first place and then bolted, but later he overheard her telling Shiro that she was ok and he’d been "a big help,” and he could let himself feel proud, just for a minute, that he’d done something right.