The word “fine” had been officially added to the long list of words Andrew despised. He was going to cuff the idiot’s head every time he said that, classic conditioning and all that shit.
The gas station looked straight out of B-rated movie about gangsters and drug cartels. It stunk of piss from the outside public bathroom with the broken door and from gasoline from the pumps, and the articles in the little shop showcase looked three years old at least. There was a clown doll that had been staring at Andrew the whole time he’d been there, laying with his back against the old rusty Ford they had arrived with, and that had definitely exhaled its last breath, no matter how many times he had tried to get his hands under its hood to revive it.
“It’s fine,” the idiot had said after the fifth attempt. “I’ve got this.”
Trust is a weird thing, isn’t it? It’s something people take so seriously, yet they also turned it into a game. Lance just falls, and sees what happens.
Lance made a grunt sound as he hit the ground in front of Pidge. Pidge shook her head slowly, gripping her laptop closer to her body.
“I trusted you.” Lance narrowed his eyes up to her. He laid there, arms splayed on his sides, a pout playing on his face. “I even gave you a warning.”
Pidge rolled her eyes in annoyance. “Do you think I’m just gonna drop my laptop to catch you for your dumb game? I’m sorry, Lance, but I’m really busy right now.”
Lance pout deepens, but nodded his head in understanding as Pidge lowered her face to give him a smile.
“Next time buddy, okay?”
Lance wanted to try it again, but this time it was with Hunk.
Lance walked a slow pace towards Hunk, humming innocently and tunefully, his arms at his sides until he was a close enough to Hunk for him to make the catch.
“Trust fall!” Lance shouted, turning his back and letting gravity take him down, falling, hoping a pair of arms would catch him.
Sadly, there weren’t.
“Oh, Lance!!” Hunk shouted in surprise, almost dropping, his plates, “Stop doing that! I can’t catch you with my hands full!!”
Hunk set the plates he was going to use for the food later down, holding out his hand for Lance to take, which he does.
“I trusted you.” Lance chuckled jokingly, narrowing his eyes as he did with Pidge. He grabbed the plates down and handed them back to Hunk.
“Sorry, dude,” Hunk frowned as soon as his hands was full of the plates again. He shifted his arms for a better position for the plates, and smiled. “Just kinda caught me off guard.”
“Ahh, don’t worry, it’s just fun and games,” Lance shrugged, “Don’t drop me next time, butterfingers.” He chuckled, and Hunk gave him a smile and shook his head, nudging Lance’s arm with his own.
“Next time, buddy, okay?”
Keith was next on his list.
It was after training of course. Lance had waited for Keith to be done with the bot, as it fell hard to the ground in pieces, Keith ended the session and moved out of the training area, where Lance waits for him near the entrance.
Lance was a little nervous for this one, considering that he would expect Keith to be the last person to catch him. But reality is, Lance doesn’t care if Keith catched him or not.
Because he already trusts Keith with his life.
Lance cracked a smirk, his arms ready to be stretched out, falling back on either against the cold floor of the castle, or the warmth of Keith’s arms and body.
He popped out, seeing the surprise in Keith’s purple eyes, and fell back.
“Trust fall!!!” He yelled.
Gravity took him, but instead of a pair of arms catching him, it was the whole body instead, taking both Keith and himself to the ground.
“Agh, LANCE!!” Keith groaned, “Get your dead weight off of me!!”
Lance laughed playfully, like a puppy looking for attention.
“Keeeeeith,” he pouted, sitting up and straddling his hips purposely, “I trusted you!”
Lance could’ve sworn he saw a quick pink flush on Keith’s cheeks, but he let that thought out of his mind.
Keith pursed his lips, not knowing what to do as if Lance straddling his hips was a once in a life kind of thing.
Keith gritted his teeth. “Get. Off.”
Lance would be hurt by this, but he caught the flicker of a smile on the corner of Keith’s mouth, knowing he was enjoying this as much as he was.
“I swear to God, LANCE!!” Keith whined, “You’re crushing me!!”
Lance grinned widely, and crossed his arms, a thought running across his mind.
“Promise me you’ll catch me next time, then.” Lance smirked.
Lance smiled again, taking his hands and tickling Keith’s sides, causing him to laugh uncontrollably. A laugh that could save his life, a sound that he finds the most comfort in when the days were dark.
Lance laughed wildly too. “Promise me!”
“I-haha!!-I-sTOP IT!!” Lance caught tears in Keith’s eyes from laughing too hard, clutching his sides and wiggling underneath Lance, his body warm from the contact.
Lance decided that his next target shall be Shiro.
But hey, what other ways can he spend his time around the castle without having a little fun for himself?
He peered around the corridor wher he saw Shiro talking to Allura about what move they shall proceed next with Zarkon and his army at hand on one of the screens, dragging their hands across it as they make the plans.
Lance wonders if even Shiro would drop everything just to catch him.
Lance made a small smile to himself, and walked in unnoticed, not listening to the talk exchanges between Shiro and Allura.
“Trust fall!!” Lance smiled widely, confident that maybe he would be caught.
Instead, he had his trust back on the floor.
Allura yelped in surprise and confusion, and Shiro just groaned with frustration.
“Ahh, Lance!” He raised his voice, “Not now!!”
Lance felt his heart break just a little, but it was alright. It was only fun and games, anyways.
“I trusted you.” Lance pouted, chuckling again. His arms at his sides, his head tilted up to look at Shiro and Allura, who both towered over him like his parents would when he was about to get -dun dun dun- la chancla.
Lance’s chuckle turned more into a light hearted laugh. It was enough for Shiro to lower his gaze to a more calm expression, cracking a small smile as he helped Lance back up.
Allura raised an eyebrow, still confused. “Is this ‘trust fall’ an earth thing?”
“Kind of,” Shiro chucked, “Hey, Lance, maybe you should stop doing this to everyone. We’re not always gonna be prepared, you’re always catching us off guard.”
Lance felt a small frown forming on his mouth when looked down, staring the ground where he was just laying. He felt a little guilty annoying everyone.
That “trust fall” thing was only something that he would do with his siblings, who no matter what they were doing or how annoyed they were, they would drop everything just to catch the boy in their arms.
It was all just fun and games, right?
“Sorry, Shiro,” Lance chuckled sheepishly, “I was just trying to pass the time.”
Allura grinned, “Well, you’re in luck Lance. Shiro and I have just finished our plan for when we infiltrate the Galra. Get the others, too. Are you ready?”
Lance’s eyes went up, a small smile finding its way back on his face.
He decided to do it just one last time.
That’s all that came to his mind. That’s all he wanted to do. But he didn’t. He couldn’t.
Lance was the one who drew the attention. He drew the attention away from Shiro and Pidge, so that they could get closer to what they needed.
Lance felt himself cornered, surrounded by the Galra.
He lifted his gun, ready to fire when they did.
And when they did, he just wasn’t quick enough to avoid all four guns aiming and firing him.
He remembers hearing the blast ricochet from all four.
He remembers their taunting words, how -useless- he was and how -irritating- he must be for his teammates to leave him all alone.
He remembers the aching pain from his chest to his leg, a burning sensation that his grandchildren could’ve felt.
He remembers seeing the Galra fall back, leading themselves to believe that they have killed one.
He remembers standing on his two, thinking of the first time he walked his first steps towards his older brother, now thinking of how these were him possibly taking his last few steps.
He remembers hearing echoes of voices and blasts coming from the end of the corridor of the Galra ship.
He remembers hearing Keith’s shouts stand out from the rest.
He remembers Keith’s laugh and his smile, which urges him forward.
Holding his sides, cracking his smile possibly for the last time, he takes bigger steps to get closer to Keith, who was crouching down behind a busted machine, a good hideaway from the Galra’s blasts.
As Lance got closer, he took smaller steps, croaking out his next words.
Although, instead of falling back, he fell forward, gravity pulling him down, expecting to feel the cold ground of the Galra ship.
Instead he felt a pair of arms in front of him, and when he looked up, he saw a sight of someone, an expression he hopes to never see on his face again. The expression of pain and concern, eyes wide in panic. Brows furrowed worriedly, and mouth tightened as if trying to hold in the sobs. He saw the tears prickling his face.
Lance didn’t want to see that. He didn’t want to see Keith like that ever again.
“I trust you,” Lance chuckled, feeling Keith adjusting him in his arms, cradling him close to his own body, despite the fact that he was being drenched in Lance’s blood.
“S-Shut up, Lance, j-just-shut-,” Keith choked, trying to get a hold of himself. “You’re gonna be alright, you’re gonna-you have to-”
Lance lifted his hand and tangled it in Keith’s hair. He just wanted to see Keith smile one more time. He saw Keith shout something into his intercom of his helmet frantically.
Lance felt Keith tighten his grip on him when he felt himself drift away, as if he believes that the tighter he held on, the longer Lance will stay.
“I’m..not going a-anywhere Keith, but you..don’t n-need me,” Lance just laughed, “I’m just the s-seventh wheel.”
Lance was so close to Keith that he could hear the breath caught in Keith’s mouth.
“No, y-you’re not, you idiot,” Keith’s tears rolled down his cheeks, “Y-You weren’t supposed to go out like this. You -aren’t- supposed to–We were just getting-,” he sniffled, laughing like him crying was so stupid, “getting started.”
Lance laughed, and hugged himself closer to Keith, taking in his scent, even if his blood spilled over him.
Finally, he heard other voices, other hands trying to help him up. But all he did was held onto Keith tighter.
All Lance wanted to do was just lay there, knowing that his silly little trust fall wasn’t all stupid. He wanted to lay there, with Keith holding him close as if he was precious cargo. The longer Keith held on, the longer Lance will hold on.
Trust is a precious cargo that Lance likes to hold on. It’s funny, you know. The way it’s been made into a kind of game he held on as a kid? The way he trusts Keith with his own life. The kind of trust that turns a certain bond into something more than one person hoping the other will catch them.
It’s funny, the way he believes that falling is just like flying, except there’s a more permanent destination. Whether it’s the cold floor of a castle or a ship, or the warmth of someone who cares about him.