Hunk doesn't know who screams first, before the thunderous, ear-splitting boom rattles the ground and a wall of smoke and debris envelopes Hunk's vision.

There's a outcry of terrified voices below the stage.

In the whiteout, disorientating haze of his senses, Hunk thinks he hears Shiro yelling out orders — evacuate the area! move! hurry up! — as the members of Voltron's coalition yell as well, running.

One or two aliens shove around Hunk, ignoring him as he jumps off the stage, suddenly too dizzy to regain his balance and careening forward. "Hunk, don't! We gotta go! Come on!" Lance's own voice pierces through the muddle and noise and confusion.

There's a set of fingers on his wrist, roughly hauling him towards a nearby cave.

It's too small for anybody but two, by the looks of it. Hunk finds himself choking on the thickened, ashy air, as they run inside, coughing and stumbling.

"We're almost there, buddy," Lance reassures him, clapping a hand over Hunk's abdomen to guide him and stay upright.

Hunk finally notices the warmth on his yellow shirt and glances down absently. The flecks of soil-dirt and the jagged, open rips on the cottony material that weren't originally there. Neither had been the increasing, dark red spots of blood. He doesn't say anything, obediently sitting where Lance arranges him, checking him over.

There's soil and a layer of grey ash on Lance's features as well, but no visible injuries. None of them had been dressed in their armor before the start of the festival.

"What happened…?"

"Explosives," Lance replies grimly. He then breathes out a low, humorless laugh and raises his eyebrows. "So much for a warm welcome." Hunk grimaces, clenching his jaw, when Lance's hand presses tentatively over a newly sore, sensitive area. Lifting up Hunk's shirt confirms where the blood comes from — two different fragments of iron jut out of Hunk's flesh where they had embedded. "Hunk, I'm sorry. I gotta get this out of you."

He nods, taking over for Lance and holding up his own mustard yellow shirt.

"There's a med-kit in my left pouch," Hunk explains monotonously, feeling Lance reaching and fumbling and unbuckling his hip-belt, slipping it off. "Your other left. My left."

Despite the situation, Hunk's lips curl up as Lance crinkles his eyes and snickers at his own blunder.

If anybody knows how to cheer him up… it's Lance.

"You're pretty darn snarky for the guy with a hunking piece of metal in his side," he quips, taking out the disinfecting, miniature tools. Hunk bites down on his lips, slamming his head against the cave-wall and groaning when Lance's tweezers dig around his torn, bloody flesh, extracting the small bit of iron-shrapnel, and then the larger one. "Hunk, meet hunk."

"I'm sorry to say we're acquainted," Hunk croaks out softly, shutting his eyes and trying to breath through the pain roaring inside him. "Where's the disinfectant?"

"Right here, don't worry. Stuff's gonna hurt like a mother though."

"Not gonna lie, man… I would rather die of that than die slowly of a blood-rot."

Hunk almost regrets his words. It hurts — it hurts enough where Hunk may pass out. Somehow, he remains fully conscious or doesn't cry either, while a frowning Lance adjusts him to stop leaning on the wall and wraps the bandages around Hunk's middle.

"Where's the others?"

There's no immediate answer, but Lance's frown deepens. Hunk feels his pulse quicken. The air around them, even within the shadows of the tiny, cramped cave, smells like cinders and smoke and flames. One of Hunk's hands lowers, grabbing over the other boy's fingers for his attention. "Lance—"

"They're handling it," Lance tells him quietly, sternly. "I saw you first and dragged your butt out of there. Keith and Allura were leading away everybody in the crowd towards the fields. They'll be alright if they keep away from the fire by the stage-end."

Hunk shakes his head, pushing down on Lance's shoulder stubbornly and getting on his knee.

"Whoever set off the explosives is still out there. We gotta help—"

A jolt of red-hot, bursting pain courses through Hunk's side. He groans loudly, clutching his bandage as Lance curses and helps him sit back down. "Hunk, stop for a tick and listen. You still need to get on the castleship. This injury is not gonna get better, man." Lance's blue eyes soften with fondness, when Hunk sniffles and gives him a pitiful, watery look. "We're the paladins of Voltron. You and me got this, okay?"

"… okay," Hunk murmurs, repeating him. He smiles faintly, and almost giddily, when Lance joins him against the wall, slinging an arm cozily around Hunk's neck, keeping his hand protectively resting against Hunk's bandages. "Thanks, Lance."

"Don't mention it, buddy."



Voltron isn't mine. It's Hunk Ship Week 2018 on Tumblr! How exciting! He's the best boy,,,, he is. I decided to do Day 4 and substitute the original prompts with one of the ones they offered in a list as an alternative prompt: Tool Kit/Bandage. It seemed like a more unusual one and I like a challenge! I'm also gifting this to my pal glove23 on Tumblr/FFN/AO3. CONNER, YOU HELPED ME FIND INSPIRATION SO IT'S UR GIFT. A VERY MERRY UNBIRTHDAY TO YOU! And to everybody else: thanks very much for reading this and please leave a kind word or two if you stopped in to read! I'd love to hear anything you liked about this!