Keith ran down the hall, dodging the shots being fired at him. The Galra were especially angry today, for some reason. Well, the reason was probably that moments ago Keith and Lance had gotten caught in the middle of hacking into their computer system on the base for Pidge.
They were currently trying to stall, while their teammates were rushing there in time to save them. Lance was making escaping very hard.
"Come on, hurry up!" Keith urged. He grabbed Lance's arm and pulled him.
Lance yelled back, "I'm going as fast as I can. It's not my fault you tripped me yesterday and I twisted my ankle."
Keith pulled him harder as he slowed down even more. "I didn't trip you." Lance grunted.
"What are you-"
He looked over and saw Lance holding a hand to his stomach. He couldn't see the damage though his suit, but from his partner's face Keith could tell it wasn't good. "Shit."
Lance needed to get to a healing pod now. Keith saw an open door and took the chance. He didn't know what was in the room, but anything was better than getting shot at. He shoved Lance through first, and then slammed the heavy door shut behind them.
He breathed out a sigh or relief. It was only a small, dark, storage room. The thud of Lance's knees hitting the floor was loud enough to fill the entire space.
"Wait, no, buddy," Keith protested as he dropped to Lance's side. He held him up by the shoulder. Lance was extremely pale, and getting worse by the second. "Here, sit down."
He eased Lance back against the wall with his legs in front of him. "There you go."
Lance pressed his hands against his stomach. "I think," he said, " I got hit."
"Yeah I know, buddy. Can you let me see it?"
Lance shook his head. "Hurts."
"Lance, I need to see it." He sat down on Lance's lap, his knees on either side of his thighs.
Keith pried Lance's hands off of his suit so he could see the wound. "Hey guys," he said into his helmet. "Lance is hit. You have to get here now."
Static crackled and then Pidge's voice came through. "It's going to be a minute. Where are you guys?"
"A storage closet. We got completely turned around."
"Ok," they responded. "We're at the base now. Give Shiro a minute to get to-."
Keith ripped off his helmet before Pidge could finish speaking. "Lance. Stay with me, buddy." He lifted off Lance's helmet as well and set it by his own. He gently patted the side of Lance's face to get his attention.
"Are they coming?" Lance asked, his breaths labored.
"Yeah. Yeah, they're almost here. Just hang in there, ok?" He looked at Lance's chest and saw red covering the front of his suit. Lance's hands were smeared with blood from holding the wound.
When Lance's eyes fluttered closed and his head fell backwards Keith's heart dropped through the floor. "Wait, no no no. Please, no. Lance!"
Keith grabbed his face with both hands, forcing Lance to stay awake and look at him. Lance moaned in pain and it made Keith's tear up. He hated hurting him, but there was really no other option.
"Lance, not yet, ok? Just a few more seconds." He pulled him even closer.
Lance dropped his head into the crook of Keith's neck, and he could feel through Lance's suit that his forehead was burnng up. "I gotta…" he started.
"No, save your strength. Just breath, ok?"
He shook his head. "You need to know." His voice trailed off at the end of his sentence. Lance's breaths were
Keith didn't mean to start crying. He didn't even realize when it happened. But the next thing he recalled was sobbing while holding Lance's head against his chest. "It's going to be ok. It's going to be-"
Lance murmured, "I love…" His head rested against Keith's chest.
"I'll tell her," he sobbed. "I swear. If you don’t… I'll tell her, I promise."
The entire top half of Lance's body fell against him as he lost consciousness. Keith held him tighter. He rubbed his thumbs over Lance's cheeks to wipe away his tears.
"This isn't the way I wanted to hold you for the first time," he whispered into Lance's ear.
All of a sudden the door to the storage room busted open, letting light from the hallway illuminate them. Shiro and Hunk stood in the doorway. When they saw Lance, they rushed in to help.
"We need to get him to the Castle. Hunk, carry him," Shiro ordered.
Hunk pulled Lance out of Keith's arms and picked him bridal style with ease.
"Keith!" Shiro gripped him by the shoulder. "We need to get him to the castle. Can you cover hunk?"
He nodded. "Yeah. Yeah."
Shiro pulled him to his feet. "Go."
The rush to get Lance back to an escape pod was a blur. If something moved in their direction, Keith cut it down. If a Galra was brave enough to try to shoot at them, Shiro shot back. Hunk ran with Lance in his arms.
When they were back in the castle with Lance secure in a healing pod, Keith went to find Allura. He'd thought about it for a while before he decided to actually go through with what Lance had wanted him to do.
Maybe he could just ignore it and pretend he never heard anything. But if Lance never woke up and his final request never happened Keith wouldn't have been able to live with himself.
He found her, along with most everyone else, in the kitchen. Everybody was eating food goop in silence around the table. Hunk looked like someone had just told him that his new puppy was squished in the middle of the road.
"Hey, um, Altura. Could I talk to you?" All the paladins looked up at the same time, and then back down.
"Yes, of course." She got up from her seat and went to join him in the hallway.
When Keith was sure that they were far enough away that no one else could hear them he said, "Lance wanted to tell you that he loves you. Before he passed out. That's what he said."
Allura raised her brows. "Oh?"
"Yeah. I'm just letting you know because I know there's a chance he's not going to wake up and I just thought you should know. So...yeah."
"Ok. Thank you for letting me know," she said, expression unchanged except for an ever so slight smile.
Keith gave her a tight lipped smile back and turned to go back to watch over Lance. Before he could get back to the room Pidge ran up to them.
"He's awake. Just thought you would want to know. And I'm giving you a ten minute headscarf." They winked, and then turned around and ran in the opposite direction.
Keith started to run back to the healing pods. When he got there, Lance was sitting on the ground running his fingers through his hair. When he saw Keith in the doorway his cheeks turned pink.
"Hey," Keith said, trying to hide the fact that he had run all the way from the kitchen. "Pidge said you lived."
"Yeah," Lance laughed. "Obviously."
Keith knelt down by him before deciding to sit instead. "How's the pain?"
"Not bad. Hey um… about what I said to you. I hope things don't change between us."
Keith awkwardly bumped Lance's arm with his fist. "Don't worry, it won't. And I told her. Like five minutes ago."
"Told who?" Lance's eyebrow quirked up.
"Told Allura what?" He asked. "Sorry, I'm a little lost."
Keith gave Lance a weird look. "I told Allura that you love her. Like you told me to. Before you lost consciousness in my arms twelve hours ago."
Lance stared at him for a moment and then started to cackle. "Oh my God!"
Keith hit his arm again. "Don't laugh at me! What's so funny?"
Lance laughed harder. "God. Ok, ok." He tried to catch his breath. Keith looked at him expectantly.
"I didn't mean her, you idiot," he explained.
"You don't love Allura? But you said-"
"That's not what I said. You completely heard me wrong." Lance reached out to touch Keith's face.
"What?" Keith felt his face heat up. Lance was brushing his fingers down his cheek.
"I said, I love you." Lance's face was getting very close to his.
"What?" Keith's lungs stopped for a moment, and then roughly started again.
"You heard me wrong."
"And you're not mad? That I said that?" Lance asked, hesitantly.
"Why would I be mad?"
"Because we've always been rivals. It's not like we were ever close or anything. But somehow I still fell in love with you," Lance adds sheepishly. He looks away from Keith's gaze.
"We were never real rivals, Lance. Not in any way that matters. And you're literally my best friend out of all the paladins," He explains.
"What about Shiro?"
"He's my brother, that doesn't count."
"Oh. Sorry if this makes things awkward between us, but I heard that thing you said, too."
"I said a lot of things."
"About wanting to hold me?"
"Well," Keith joked, "then you should know you have nothing to be sorry for." His heart squeezed in his chest.
"Does that mean...?" Lance asked.
"Yeah, I think so."
"Oh. Ok." Lance smiled at him, blushing even more before looking away. "Sorry, I've been obsessed with you for, like, years. This is a lot to take in."
"Yeah, kind of." Keith chuckled. "What do you want to do now?"
"Is it even possible to date someone out here? It's not like we can go to the movies or go get a milkshake."
"Sure we can."
"Yeah, I guess so. It would be the same. We could do other couple stuff too."
"Like what other stuff?" Keith teased.
Lance brings his face close enough to Keith's that he could feel his breath. Keith's eyes flutter closed, anticipating the kiss. But Lance doesn't touch him.
"Is this ok?" He asks.
Keith answers, "I think that if you don't kiss me right now I'll kill you myself."
Lance finally closes the distance between them, pressing their lips together briefly, before pulling away.
"Was that ok?"
"God, yes," Keith replies. "Do it again."