“Shiro!” Pidge’s voice screeches as she watches her partner being shoved into the tiny closet almost hidden in the wall; his broad shoulders bumping painfully against the frame before he disappears inside. The door is slammed shut and the faceless man turns to her; she raises her gun, her hands shaking slightly, but she isn’t fast enough. The gun is kicked from her hand, she screams, she bites, and before she knows it the closet door opens again and she is thrown against Shiro.
“I don’t need you Feds getting in my way.” They hear the suspect laugh from the other side before his footsteps are gone. Pidge pushes against the door in the pitch black darkness and feels Shiro behind her, much too close, much too warm.
“Let us out of here!” Pidge hammers her fists against the wood, kicks it angrily, until Shiro’s hands settle on her shoulders gently squeezing.
“It’s no use,” his voice is soft and his breath tickles her; he is just too damn close and she can’t see anything here. Her hands pause, unclench, and she takes a deep breath. “Save your strength.”
“For what, Shiro? He’s not just going to come back.”
“Allura knows where we are. They’ll find us. She’ll kick our asses for letting a suspect get away, but she’ll let us out of here.” Shiro assures her with his hands still on her shoulders. Pidge knows she’s tense and with him so close, she knows he can tell.
“When, Shiro? How long do we have to be in here?” She can’t keep the quiver out of her voice. Pidge leans forward, tries to break contact with Shiro, but there’s just no room. She closes her eyes, this darkness, her own, is almost a comfort.
“You know,” Shiro clears his throat behind her and she swears she can just about feel it, “this kind of reminds me of playing seven minutes in heaven.” He chuckles and she definitely feels that, his body seemingly coming even closer, his warmth indiscernible from her own. Pidge appreciates his attempt to lighten the mood, but this isn’t a game and it’s far from heaven. More like forever stuck in hell. Stuck being the operative word. She takes a deep, shaky breath.
“I’m sorry, Pidge.”
“This isn’t your fault, Shiro.”
“I’m making you uncomfortable. I’d say that’s my fault.” He shifts behind her and for a short moment his body is no longer touching hers. It lasts not even a second before he’s back against her; his chest pressing into her back, his legs aligned with hers. “There’s not much space here. I’m sorry, Pidge. I’ll try to uhm, behave. And shut up.”
“Shiro, you’re not the problem.” Her whisper in this dark, quiet closet could have just as well have been a scream. He is silent after that and Pidge is convinced she can hear him think. He is going through their files in his mind, searching for any indication why this is so difficult for her; it takes him a while, longer than she thought it would, and she knows exactly when he gets it.
His gasp is audible, sounds painful in her ears, and almost immediately his hand is back on her shoulder.
“Zarkon.” It’s not a question. “He- when you – when he…” Pidge nods, hoping to shut him up.
“I’m so sorry, Pidge.” His apology is different this time and his hand leaves her shoulder, lands on her back, and gently starts stroking up and down; Pidge is uncertain if he’s even aware of what he’s doing.
Ever since she’s come back, he’s been invading her personal space, making it his own. Touching her at every opportunity; just a hand on her shoulder, a lingering touch on her back. It’s as if he’s still not sure she’s really here with him and he needs to make sure it’s her and he can still touch her, feel her under his hands.
It bothers her, sometimes, but not now.
This, she realizes, is not at all like when Zarkon kidnapped her, put her in the trunk. Her hands tied up then, unable to scream, to ask for help. She’d yelled for Shiro in her mind repeatedly. This time he is here. She is not alone in the darkness. He is here and he is not going to let anything happen to her. He told her to take time off, to get better and she assured him she was fine. She was. Until now. So she doesn’t try to get away from him any longer, his strength and his warmth. Instead, she leans back against him, hoping he understands her without having to say it, without having to ask him to hold her.
For a moment they stand like this; back to chest, otherwise not touching. Then Shiro tentatively puts his arms around her, rests his hands on her stomach, engulfing her completely. His head comes to rest on hers heavily, surprisingly pleasant and a sense of safety spreads inside of her.
“Is this alright?”
“It’s more than all right.” Pidge lets him know, her gratitude stuck on her tongue, and puts her own hands over his; this time it’s her who needs to make sure he really is there and not just a figment of her imagination.
They don’t move, don’t speak for the longest time. Until they hear voices, frantically searching for them. Shiro’s hands leave her body, but not her, as they both hammer against the door and when it finally opens, the light blinding them momentarily, Lance helps them out.
“Finally! We got him agents, but he wouldn’t tell us where you were. Are you alright, agents?” Allura's questions feel like an interrogation and panic flares in Pidge's chest. She feels Shiro behind her, breathing a little louder than normal, trying to get her to mimic it. Pidge does and realizes that even though Shiro's not pressed against her anymore, he is there, ready to jump in, hold her, keep her safe.
Pidge takes a deep breath and nods sharply.
“We’re fine, Ma'am.”
Shiro puts his hand on her back as they leave, at last, but they never speak of what happened while they were trapped inside there ever again.