Klance, galra rescue, if that's okay with you??
If Keith doesn’t
cradle carry an injured Lance at least once during the series then what even is the point
Hope you enjoy!
Lance closed his eyes, breathing slowly through his nose, concentrating on the faint sound of the footsteps, just audible through the reinforced prison door. One two, two two, three two, four two, five two, and they drew even with the door. Six two, seven two, eight two, nine two, ten two, eleven two, twelve two, thirteen two, fourteen two, fifteen two, and they reached the end of the hall. Perfectly consistent, every single time. It would be 600 seconds before another soldier passed by his door. He turned away from the door and slid his butt back towards his feet, which were the real problem. He’d figured out everything except his feet. He had a way to get the door open, he knew the routines of the guards well enough to circumvent them, and he had been on enough Galra ships at this point that he knew how to find the emergency escape pods. He just had to pray they were close enough to a planet where he could land and hide until he could get a message to the castle. His feet, however, were still posing a problem.
The Galra had cuffed them together as soon as they’d stripped off his armor, and as soon as they’d brought him to a cell, they had locked the cuffs against the floor. Since then, Lance hadn’t moved from this spot. At least they gave him a bucket they emptied fairly regularly. He wondered morbidly if he ought to be flattered, in a way, that his interrogators came to him. Did they really think he posed such a threat that it was too dangerous to even move him from one part of the ship to another? Still, it was conundrum for Lance: they weren’t cuffs like anything he had ever seen, made of shimmering purple light and yet somehow solid. If he had to guess, it was probably some kind of druid magic mixed with technology.
He massaged his bare feet absently while he thought. They had gotten swollen and sore from being still for so long, and had developed a habit of falling asleep all the time, waking Lance up with painful pins and needles. His best solution at the moment was to fake some sort of collapse, since he was reasonably certain he was still valuable enough to the Galra to be taken to a medical facility – but every time he thought of inviting needles and scalpels and god knew what else near him, a vision of Shiro’s metal arm flashed before him like a specter and made him set the idea aside with a shudder.
A sudden impact against the ship threw him sideways, his elbow smacking painfully against the floor. As he pushed himself back to a sitting position, the ship shuddered again, and he thought he could make out the distant sound of blaster cannons firing. He strained his ears, hardly daring to hope—
The door of his cell flew open with a bang, the crumpling, sparking form of a broken guard drone tumbling after it. Keith stood in the doorway, breathing hard. His sword retracted into the bayard handle, flashing back to his waist, and he rushed forward.
“Lance!” he cried.
“Keith!” Lance gasped, finally overcoming his surprise, only to be knocked speechless again as Keith dropped down and caught Lance in a tight hug.
“Guys, I found him. He’s alive,” Keith said into his helmet. Right next to his head as he was, Lance could faintly hear the tinny sounds of the cheers of his teammates. “Lance, are you okay? Are you hurt?”
“N-nothing a night of sleep in my own bed and a good face mask can’t cure,” he stuttered, bringing his arms up to return Keith’s hug. “Did everyone else make it off Uveer okay?”
“Yeah, we’re all fine,” Keith said, and Lance could’ve sworn his voice cracked just slightly. “Even Blue’s back safe and sound in the castle, waiting for you.” He pulled out of the hug and grabbed Lance’s hand. “Can you walk? Come on, let’s get out of here.” He pulled, snagging Lance’s feet against the cuffs.
“Keith, wait— I can’t,” he said, pointing at his feet. Keith looked down, noticing the problem for the first time, and drew his bayard. “Wait NO—” Lance shrieked as Keith brought his sword down. It bounced off the cuffs, which sent an arc of lightning up Lance’s body. He screamed and collapsed to the floor.
“Lance?” Keith asked, dropping back to his knees, sliding his hands under Lance’s head and back and lifting him up. “Lance, are you okay?”
“Every time you try to break them, they do that,” Lance panted, muscles still limp. “I have no idea how to get them off.” Keith frowned.
“Guys, can anyone else make it into the ship?” he asked his helmet, and paused. “We need to find the key for Lance’s cuffs, I can’t break them,” he explained. After a moment, he cussed, glancing between Lance and the open door of the cell, where red emergency lights washed the whole ship in the color of blood. He gently lay Lance back on the floor and stood. Lance struggled back to a sitting position. “I’m going to go find a key. I will be right back, I promise,” Keith said. Lance stared up at him, feeling hope slip away, despair settling back into his limbs like lethargy. Keith must have read it in his face, because he crouched down briefly and brushed Lance’s cheek with his fingertips. “Lance,” he said, his voice low and soft and rough. “Look at me. I’m getting you out of this cell and off this ship. I promise you won’t spend another hour here. I promise.” Their eyes met, and Lance felt a tear slide down his cheek. He nodded slowly. Keith hesitated, and then pulled off his helmet and settled it over Lance’s head. “Say hello to everyone else in the meanwhile,” he told him. “I’ll be back as soon as I can.” Lance nodded one last time, and Keith disappeared out the door.
“Hey guys,” he said, his voice shaky, and was greeted by a chorus of his name. He felt a smile spread slowly across his face. “Yeah, it’s good to hear your voices too,” he said. “Everyone doing alright? Hunk? You holding up out there? Hopping Voltron around on only one leg?”
“Yeah, we look pretty silly without you,” Hunk said. His voice, so warm and familiar, seemed to fill Lance with a sense of security he hadn’t felt in weeks.
“Just hold on, Lance, Keith will be back any minute,” Shiro said. “He’s been on a warpath to find you ever since you didn’t make the rendezvous on Uveer.”
“Really? Keith?” Lance wondered. There was no reason to doubt Shiro’s words, and yet Lance had figured Keith would be the one advocating they leave him behind. He closed his eyes, seeing the intense sincerity in Keith’s face as he promised he would be back, and something fond stirred in his heart.
“Yeah, he—” Pidge’s words were cut short as the helmet was ripped from Lance’s head. He froze at the feeling of a blaster pressed against his temple. The Galra soldier standing above him pulled the helmet onto his own head.
“Stop attacking, or your friend dies,” he said. Lance’s breath came shallowly. The blaster was cold, barely an inch from his eyes. “Now,” the Galra insisted. Abruptly, the ship stopped shuddering, and the distant sound of the blaster cannons went quiet. “Abandon your lions, return to your ship, and we will send your friend to join you.” Lance was afraid to blink, afraid to move, his heart thudding painfully against his chest. He flinched at the sound of his name.
“Lance!” Keith shouted. “I found the—” He skidded to a halt in the doorway, taking in the scene. Lance stared at him wide-eyed, willing him to escape, to turn and run, to take Voltron and go because he wasn’t worth this, he wasn’t worth losing Voltron and he certainly wasn’t worth getting another Paladin killed. The Galra said nothing, only pressed the blaster closer against Lance’s head.
“Get away from him,” Keith growled, low and dark.
“Put the bayard down or he dies,” the Galra said.
“If you harm a hair on his head, I swear,” Keith said, something dark and ugly and murderous in his tone that Lance had never heard before, “I swear I will kill every last Galra on this ship with my own two hands.”
“Put it down.” Keith didn’t break eye contact with the soldier as he slowly bent and set the sword down. Lance shivered at the look on his face. He had never seen so much rage in Keith’s eyes before. “Good,” the soldier said, and Lance noticed he was a little breathless. He’s afraid, he realized. He doesn’t know what he’s doing. “Now, uh, put your hands up and, um, walk over to the wall.” Keith didn’t move, still glaring at the soldier. Lance, heart thudding so loudly he could barely hear, made a very stupid decision.
As fast as he could, he reached up, grabbed the blaster, and pulled it away from his head. The Galra pulled the trigger in panic. Luckily, it missed Lance’s head. Unluckily, it managed to clip the edges of his cuffs, sending the worst arc of electricity he’d felt yet screeching through his body. It knocked him backward with such force that he took the soldier with him and the blaster went skittering across the floor. He struggled to breathe, his chest tight and his heart stuttering arhythmically. Keith was already on top of them, dragging the soldier away from Lance. Lance couldn’t turn his head to see what was happening, but the sickening sound of rending flesh and the soldier’s garbled, gurgled scream made him decide he didn’t want to. Moments later, Keith was kneeling over him, his helmet back on his own head, unlocking Lance’s cuffs. Lance twitched his feet, sighing in relief.
“I told you I’d be back,” Keith said, smiling softly. “Are you okay?” Lance managed a nod.
“Just a little… just a little out of breath,” he said. Keith gently pulled Lance’s arm up around his neck, and tucked his arms under Lance’s knees and back.
“Let’s go,” he said. “Healing pod first, then face mask, okay?” There was something infinitely soft in the way he said it, and Lance felt some of the tightness in his chest ease.
“Sounds good,” he murmured.
[I am no longer accepting prompts, just completing the ones in my inbox]