Pidge woke up with a headache.
Electric eels were swimming around in the water that was her barely-coherent thoughts. Somewhere through the fluid she surmised this was probably a hangover. Therefore, opening her eyes would be death right now. She turned over, buried her face in her pillow, and patted her hand around the bedside table until her fingers curled around her phone. Very carefully, she turned it on and opened one eye.
Goddammit turn that brightness down! Okay, a little better. She pulled up the keypad and speed-dialed Shiro.
"Pidge? What's going on?"
She hissed in pain. He may as well have put a bullhorn to her ear. "Please, quieter. Shiro I'm calling you because you're discreet."
"I'm hungover. I need you to bring me the...whatever it is, the pills, and like a metric ton of water."
"Hang tight, I'll be there in ten minutes." Shiro hung up.
Pidge rubbed the heels of her hands into her eye sockets, trying to relieve the pain. It was a dumb idea to drink last night. She blamed it on being addled from sleep-deprivation and caffeine withdrawal. Her dad made her quit drinking coffee to help her insomnia, but the insomnia still stuck around. So, middle-of-the-night Pidge had figured if she was strung-out on a stimulant, then a depressant like alcohol was the way to go. If that dream last night meant anything then she should stay off any drugs at all.
All right. Admittedly, put that way, I can see why mom and dad are concerned.
It wasn't the first time Lance had dragged her from her computer and into bed. All her teammates had, at some point, even Keith. More often than not, she'd doze a little in Hunk's arms until he was satisfied she wasn't getting out of bed. Lance would pull her to her feet and guide her down the hall with a hand on her back. This was the first time he'd carried her. She must've been half asleep in the mess hall because she was dreaming by the time her head hit the pillow. Hopefully, hopefully, hopefully Lance had left quickly, because she dreamed that they exchanged 'I love you's and she kissed him. If she'd talked in her sleep, and he heard - embarrassing doesn't begin to describe that possibility.
Oh, shit. Shit shit shit I left my laptop in the mess fuuuuuu -
Her bedroom door swished open, loud enough to startle her but still very quiet so it didn't send her head pounding again. Well. Pounding harder. Shiro came in with a packed lunchbag, the kind that zippered open in the front. He gingerly sat down and pulled out a bottle of pills and some water.
"Hey, Pidge. Take two of these, then drink all the water." Pidge dutifully followed instructions. Next he presented her with a thermos. She opened it, steam hitting her face, and smelled chicken broth that made her mouth water.
"The painkillers aren't quite enough. Get some calories and nutrients in your system and you'll start to feel better." The broth was the best thing that ever caressed her tongue in her life. Shiro stayed with her as she drank.
Pidge paused between sips. "I left my computer in the mess last night."
"That's unlike you," he replied softly.
"Lance - " she coughed some gunk out of her throat " - Lance dragged me back here last night."
Shiro smiled. "I guess some things never change. I remember scooping you off your workstation a few times on the Castle. Don't worry, knowing Lance, he probably went back to get your laptop."
A couple minutes of silence passed. The only sounds in the room were the faint engine rumbles, Pidge drinking her salty broth, and sheets rustling as she squirmed uncomfortably.
Finally, she snapped. Thankfully the pain had subsided considerably. "Just ask me, Shiro."
He placed a gentle hand on her shoulder. "Why were you drinking?"
"I was tired and stressed out and sixteen-year-old brains have an underdeveloped frontal lobe that interferes with rational decision making." She groaned and rubbed her temple. A slight ache lingered. "I won't do it again, Shiro. It was a stupid mistake."
Pidge knocked on Lance's door. She had sunglasses on as a precaution, lest the bright ship lights trigger the hangover to come back for revenge. He opened the door, wearing street clothes. He froze at the sight of her. Behind him, Allura rested on his bed with her back against a pillow against the wall, like a makeshift couch. She worked on something on her pad and was in her pink uniform.
After a couple heartbeats of Lance just staring, Pidge said, "Hey. Can I have my computer back?"
"Yes! Of course, coming right up!" He winced, turning to grab it. Allura looked up and gave her a smile then returned her attention to the screen. "Here." Lance held out the computer. She grabbed it - maybe a little too forcefully.
"Thanks. For this and for getting me to bed last night." Pidge tried to leave before her gut could twist even more into tangled pasta, the way it did around Lance lately, but he stepped out and let the door shut.
He stood awkwardly, one hand in his pocket and one in his hair. Lance had always been a little awkward, but confident-awkward. Not like this. "Did you mean it? What you said last night?"
It was Pidge's turn to freeze. "Oh god, that wasn't a dream? Lance did I kiss you because if I did I'm so sorry - I'm never drinking again - "
"Hey hey, it's all right, don't worry, you didn't. That part was definitely a dream. But um, you said something kinda...you said you loved..." he trailed off. His eyes shifted from the ceiling to the floor to her face to a spot in the middle distance behind her.
Heat rushed to her face. Then Pidge blinked and snorted. "I meant I love you as a friend, Lance. Drunk Pidge gets super dramatic and affectionate with people." Lie. She'd never been drunk before. "Of course I love you. We're friends, teammates, comrades-in-arms, no way we almost die together a dozen times and come out of that without a bond." Was that too many negatives in one sentence? His eyebrows are furrowing. "So, yeah. I didn't mean to freak you and think I meant something like - like romantic or some shit." What are you doing? SHUT YOUR MOUTH NOW! At least Lance's face was clearing. He looked relieved, so maybe her excuse wasn't that much of a train wreck. "God, I'm never drinking again."
He quirked a smile at that. "Well you can trust me to pluck the bottle out of your hands whenever you need, Pidge."
Lance's voice sounded strained, but after excusing herself with something about needing a late breakfast, Pidge didn't stick around to figure out why. She'd just told her crush - her friend - a pack of bald-faced lies and she hated it.