At first, Lance can sense dread — but not his own.
He has gotten used to the pinpricks of celestial light glimmering behind his eyelids, or phantasms like a dim feedback of emotions from Red or from the other members of Voltron.
During a stakeout, a long while back on one of the Galra command ships, Hunk and Pidge found their escape route cornered off by a group of armored sentries. Lance overheard it on his comm.-links. And then he felt the heightened sense of fear from them, and someone's pain echoing like a physical recoil within Lance's middle. Only a split-tick of a moment. He knows now it had only been a sentry's fully charged taser-gun aimed at Pidge, and she could have easily survived the hit. Lance nearly tore his way to her location without glancing down at his suit's tech, using his instincts, shooting down the Galra sentries amassing after him. He left behind molten-hot, smoking pieces of rubble and Galra-armor — their enemies — in his wake.
("You're so dramatic," Pidge mumbles, somehow lying on her side, half-dressed and bandaged around her abdomen. Her mouth does uplift into a faint, appreciative smile when Lance's fingers trace up and over her pale and lightly freckled arm, relocating his hand quickly, eagerly to Pidge's cheek.)
They're all connected somehow, regardless if it is convenient. Regardless they want it or not.
Lance's systems go offline, blackening out. Before he gets a chance to register this, in confusion or alarm, and figure out the cause, Red plummets through deep, dark space, and down towards the nearby planet. The walls to his cabin boom and shake uncontrollably, tossing him around to his seat. The strapwork to the piloting chair keeps Lance firmly in place, but strains his muscles and bones agonizingly.
His vision goes grey around the edges, when everything begins to rapidly spin. Lance's neck aches. His equilibrium shot to hell. His Lion punctures, burning-hot, through the unnamed planet's atmosphere.
Somewhere in the background, Lance hears the other paladins screaming, experiencing what he is.
Maybe it's another couple of doboshes before Red finally hits onto what must to be ground. She crash-lands, nearly belly first, grinding and sliding into torrents of snow and diamond-hard ice.
Lance's neck snaps forward with the impact, and he blacks out promptly.
He comes to with Keith yelling in his ear, dazed and blinking out more dizziness. Lance's skull throbs. His neck-muscles feel stiff-sore enough where Lance can barely turn or arch them without needing to stop.
Red's systems whir back on, and the piloting cabin heats up gradually around him.
It's cold. It's damn cold wherever they are.
"Keith…?" It sounds like a garble of static and words in Lance's communications. Was there some kind of disruption field coming from this planet? Where are they? Lance tries to call out for Hunk next, hearing his best friend groan out and complain, Lance's fingers gripping over the controls.
"If you can hear me, sound off!" Keith tries again, a little less loudly and frantically.
"Lance here," he replies after Allura's fatigued voice, unbuckling his straps carefully and wincing at the sensation of his ribs protesting. Lance med-scans himself with his paladin's suit, finding nothing bruised or broken.
"Yeah, Hunk is me and still here apparently…"
There's a pause and then Keith calls out for Pidge. No answer.
Lance's throat begins to close up, his heart hammering. His vision greys out again. "Pidge?" Allura shouts from within his paladin-helmet, increasing the throbbing. "Are you there? Pidge, will you please respond!"
"Can anyone reach her?"
Keith's voice filters in, trying to be levelheaded, as Lance steadies himself with a long, deep breath, pushing himself out of his seat. Due to the steep angle of Red leaning over, he clutches onto an overhead railing, peering through the snowstorm. At least that's what it looks like from outside the port-glass. Who even knows if it's a storm or part of a living entity on these weirdo alien planets?
"I got a visual on the Green Lion," Lance announces, relief flooding through him. It's the barest hint of green and black through a curtain of whiteout. He guesses she can't be more than forty or so meters. "I'm not sure where the rest of you are, but Pidge is right up on my 3—I'm going to her."
"Lance!" Hunk cries out.
With a little pressure-control and rumbling, Lances manages to straighten out the Red Lion until he's able to navigate safely within her. "Lance, stay in your Lion," Keith orders grimly. "The conditions are too—"
"I hear you, Keith. I do," Lance says, forcing a cheerful note in his tone. "I'll be alright. Promise."
There's more protests through the comm.-links, ringing in his eardrums. He tunes them out instead, figuring out what needs to come with him. It looks like the ice planet has a sustainable amount of gravity without an artificial need in Red or likely his jetpack, but very little means of oxygen if they needed it.
Thankfully, he discovers that his Lion is able to maneuver itself closer to the other Lion, bounding through the snow and skidding to a halt without toppling over. "If you can hear me, Pidge… I'm coming to you. Just hang tight," Lance mutters, checking over his equipment. Everything outside his Lion below freezing, and even with the internal warming-tech in his paladin suit, it won't last forever.
Pidge must have taken a hit inside her own Lion, which already worries him if she's been rendered unconscious. They all would have to assess the situation quickly, and then hightail it out.
"We need to figure out what happened to the Lions…" Hunk speaks up.
Lance becomes unable to hear the rest of their ongoing conversation, climbing out of Red. Once he's where he wants to be, bumping onto the side of Green's mechanized shoulder, Lance heads for Green's escape-hatch. The winds howl, blurring everything. For safety measures, he casts a cord between the two hatches, using himself as a balancing point, and secures the line as soon as Lance enters the top-hatch to Green, huffing slightly. It's almost as freezing in here as it is outside according to his helmet's readings.
None of the interior lights whir on. Lance activates a wrist-light, and the night-scope tech.
He rushes over to the pilot's chair, smaller than his, where she dangles sideways and limply out of it. One of the straps has worked itself between her torso and leg in an uncomfortable position. Lance untangles it fast and hoists her out of the seat, gently laying Pidge down and repeating her name.
The wrist-light isn't strong, but he can at least glimpse her entire face. There's no visible swelling or scratches on her, or any runny lines of blood. It still doesn't mean there isn't a head injury.
"How is she doing, Lance?" Keith asks softly.
It feels like Lance's heart keeps hammering relentlessly. Pidge remains unresponsive, to any touch or voice. He syncs up to her, searching through the list of vitals. "That's what I'm… quiznak…" Lance murmurs, rubbing his armored hand over the bottom of his visor as if attempting to cover his lips. Weak pulse. Labored breathing. A minor elevation in the white cell count. "It's not… it's not looking good. Her suit has some kind of malfunction. She needs to get warm right now and the power's out on the Green Lion—"
The wind howls even noisier outside of Green, drowning out Lance, and then calming. Somehow it helps that Lance's frenzied words are cut off abruptly, making him gulp for air. This is bad. Hopefully the storm doesn't intensify, or they're all gonna be in trouble sitting in the dark and freezing their asses off.
"We ended up in some disruption field, didn't we?" he asks, listening to Keith's heavy sigh.
"… That's the most likely situation, yeah."
Lance shakes his head, getting up and examining the Green Lion's frontal cabin for a med-kit. "When I get back to Red, I'll try to send you our location, Keith. Over and out." No med-kit but he does find an emergency blanket in one of the more visible floor-compartments and a set of soft-fiber, high-tension cords to hook Pidge against him on their short but harrowing journey back to the Red Lion.
He tries to wrap the blanket securely around Pidge when the sudden, noticeable jostling gets her awake. Her eyelids flutter. "Nooo…" she mumbles, drowsy and bewildered, pushing him lightly and one-handed.
For a moment, Lance's chest tightens.
As much as he selfishly wants to hold her against him, to not be in their paladin-armor and feel her, every inch of warmth left to her, Lance understands it's a race against time. "S'okay," Lance mutters out distractedly, tightening his arm around Pidge and slowly rubbing her arm. "It's gonna be okay, Pidge. We ended up crashing and we need to get you to the Red Lion so try to keep your eyes open. If you start getting sleepy, let me know." It'll be an extremely bad sign if Pidge starts dozing off.
Hypothermia will be setting in and keep her from being conscious again. Lance tries to bury that thought, glancing over Pidge's helmet. There's already a layer of frost beginning to form on her visor.
Once he's finished clipping them together, and adjusting the emergency blanket over Pidge's head, Lance climbs up once more, mindful of Pidge's weight to his front and cradled against his left arm. Despite the raging, snowy storm, the high-tension cord between their Lions remains taut and immovable. It's definitely not a living storm or whatever Lance's mind concocted earlier, but it's hellish.
Nothing can be gentle but Lance does his best, flapping against the wind, hitting against Red's exterior framework with his foot taking most of the impact. He sends a mental request for his Lion to bring down the heat of the pilot's cabin, so not to overwhelm either himself or Pidge coming inside.
Lance carries her back through Red's top-hatch, watching her shudder violently and groan. He tosses off the snow-crusted blanket as Pidge's amber-brown eyes slip shut. A ribbon of panic unfurls in Lance's gut. "Pidge, no—wake up," he says, raising his voice. Lance gathers the other paladin into his arms, clutching the sides of Pidge's helmet. "Don't close your eyes. I need you to wake up, Pidge… Pidge!"
As if hearing Lance's words, Red's internal lights flicker. The overhead lights drone and brighten. Lance's thumb slides absently over Pidge's visor, pushing away the dampness of the melting frost.
She needs a slow-building warmth, if Lance's past medical training got it right. Body warmth.
He yanks off his helmet, pressing the hidden deactivation button for his suit-armor to bunch into removable sections. What ends up being left on Lance is the whole coverage, black thermal-bodysuit. Eventually, that's all on Pidge as well as Lance locates her suit's deactivation button and presses on it.
After examining Pidge's skull for any trauma or blood, he comes up with nothing. There's another mound of emergency blankets from Red's compartments. Lance drags them over, resting Pidge in his lap and chest, keeping the blankets tucked around them. He takes a deep, steadying breath, chewing on the inside of his cheek and thinking this situation over. "Okay," Lance murmurs. "Okay. It's gonna be alright."
Reassurance is what Pidge — and himself — needs right now. For one of them to be focused.
"Shuudup uhhruddy," Pidge breathes out, slurring and shivering.
Eyes widening, Lance peers down on her, his lips stretching into a grin. Half of Pidge's brightly flushed cheek buries itself into Lance's collarbone, as she nuzzles deeper to him. "You scared the hell outta me, you know that," Lance tells her, hugging her and dropping his face into her sweaty, amber-brown curls.
"Me too," Lance says semi-jokingly, running one of his palms up her back and massaging Pidge's nape. He doesn't need the scan-readings to know Pidge is warming up naturally, her heartbeat strong and steady.
Keith can wait for a signal. He needs this.
Voltron isn't mine. Yall are never gonna get a break from me posting Voltron dsjkfndfskj OH WELL! It's day 1 of the Langst Gift Exchange and I posting my pitch hit! I ended up getting bookiecokkie on Tumblr who asked for Plance AND YOU KNOW WE LOVE PLANCE IN THIS HOUSE. WE STAN. WE LOVE AND APPRECIATE PLANCE. WE ARE A GARDENER AND WE JUST WANNA LOVE OUR DUMBASSES. Pppffttt. Thanks for reading my fic and yes please any comments/thoughts would be wonderful!