The seeping felt like a warm gush of honey from a honeycomb. It was flowing, at a sickening pace, warming his skin and oozing through his suit. The shining from the chestplate was subtle, dulled a dark crimson, but left a glow in the darkness of the lion. It was slightly comforting. Like the stars, so far away to touch and dulled from their true light.
That is what Lance was, now. He was a star, flickering, dying out. Being reminded of the night sky made him stilly slow the rapid gasps easing from his throat, as he was so used to. It felt unnatural, it felt wrong. This was not supposed to happen. He wondered if his teammates could see his lights softly fade.
The blue paladin was lying across the rubble and broken pieces of glass from his lion’s insides, poking at his skin annoyingly. It should have been a harmless, numb feeling, as like a star, the farther away, the more dull it seems. Instead, it was a grievous screaming in his veins, to his mangled skin tearing in ways it should not be. The red was staining his ripped clothes, painting them with a continuous, waning emotion.
Each second was cruelty. Burdened with the cold of the metal floor, and the increasing buzz of his wounds. He could feel the pain crawl to his lungs, and immediately panicked. If he couldn’t breathe, he would be lost. Lost in racing thoughts from his mind, and the needful lurching of his chest.
He needed air.
The sweet smell of the ocean waves easing in and out from the shore, the laughter, the sky. When he looked up, he’d see crystal blue above him, and a bright yellow star. The sun, warm and welcoming. Combined with the coolness of the water and the heat from overhead, it created a soothing tingling that would spread from toes to ears.
Lance had remembered that tranquility, smiling softly, which to his chagrin, turned into a grimace full of pain.
He was losing blood.
With as little movement as possible, the boy reached his way to the helmet that had flown off in his descent. He could call for help, for his team.
Even being the so-called “7th wheel,” Lance needed them desperately. It left a pang in his heart to think they would willingly leave him behind some day, forget him in the world’s simple pleasures. Toss him away, for he was a hinderance needing to be disposed of. Exactly like trash.
They would give into the devil’s temptations and rid him from their lives. He was not needed anywhere.
His fingers tensed as he stretched towards the helmet, more agony pouring through his limbs. It was strange how such a simple movement could send him in a painful frenzy.
Wry humor was the only aspect of sanity that remained in his eyes. Remove it, and let the tears flow.
Lance would not do that. Keep a strong smile, distract them from suffering. Help them. Be a shoulder to lean on, do not be the one with tears. Do not break, or you are weak.
You cannot cry, it defines vulnerability.
His hand lightly grasped the helmet, finally, holding as if afraid it would disappear. His only remaining hope of survival was rescue.
He flipped it over to press the voice signal on. His hands were shaking, fingers brushing over the buttons, almost scared to hear his friends. Because that’s what they were, right?
With a click, and a few more gasping breaths from the blue paladin, he could finally hear the grungy ring of the team’s voices.
“-ly went away from the castle to-”
“-here is Lan-”
“-oking, this is seriou-”
They cut in, sharp and loud. He had the speaking close to his ears, in fear he wouldn’t be able to communicate. As if they wanted to hear his ragged wheezing.
What were they saying?
A lake of blood had pooled around Lance’s body, morbidly lukewarm in temperature. He could feel it reach his legs and give his shoes a damp sensation. His throat closing up again. It was choking him, his body was trembling.
It was strangling him.
His senses immediately flew into a fit of terror, chest tensed up in a burning discomfort. Would he die here? Would they hear him?
“H-help…” Lance finally managed to cough out the word. The word that would bring him out from this hell of misery.
Relief poured through him, they must have heard him. He listened intently on the voices as they sounded through the speakers.
“Do you think he’s sleeping or something? It’s happened before.” Pidge’s recognizable voice rang.
“I don’t know, he’s always goofing off too much. It wouldn’t surprise me.” Then it was Keith.
Lance’s grip on the metal grew tighter. He could feel the blood being cut off, but the shock was too much. Had they not heard him? They… wouldn’t be doing this on purpose, right?
“Shiro, could you find Lance? I want to go cook and get off of this creepy planet.”
Lance heard a deep, tired sigh. No, no, no. This wasn’t-
“Lance, if this is a joke, it’s not amusing. We need to get back to the castle and you were supposed to be getting the crystal samples. Please hurry, and take this seriously.”
Lance’s throat was still slightly filled with blood, not even managing a rasp for a reply. He couldn’t even talk.
“We work as a team, we need to act like one. We all need to try our best, and we’ll be held back if some of us aren’t giving it one-hundred percent.”
Shock and hurt spiked through Lance’s mind. He… he already know that he…
He told himself that every day.
And now, Shiro…?
His body was going into auto-pilot. He could hear, he could think, but his body was wrenching and arching on its own accord. The boy just wanted to leave. Get out of this black oblivion that was only a fervent hell of panting and strangled moans. It hurt. He had to make sure they heard him.
Lance had gotten the crystal samples. He had done his job perfectly.
He tried to warn them about the planet, something was wrong with it. He could tell there had been Galra soldiers nearby, but despite his skeptical questioning, Allura had convinced him that the place had no inhabitants.
Until Lance found the base, it was too late. It was so cleverly concealed, using the crystal’s unique aura to mask their presence. Even the ship couldn’t pick up the small camp with the sensors. It seemed not only Voltron was in need of the mineral.
He and Blue had been attacked. After blowing a few craters to get to the crystal, his teammates had agreed to turn off his voice signal, so the blasts wouldn’t effect them as well.
The team hadn’t heard him, they hadn’t heard the explosion. The Galra had set bombs down there, most likely as an automatic defense system. He and his lion were trapped under rubble 100 meters down.
He was going to die. His eyes were fluttering to stay open, only to stare at nothingness. He was blacking out.
Would he ever see his family again? They probably assumed he was dead already.
Would he ever see the stars again? He wanted to be one.
Lance let his hands slowly loosen from the helmet. There was blood on them. His team… They would come here and find him. Maybe in time to keep him alive.
That’s if they even came back for him.
Finally, his head softly tilted back in resignation, and for once, he let a few tears fall.