lysapadin: pen & ink painting of bamboo against a full moon (Default)
[personal profile] lysapadin
Title: Vigil
Characters/Pairings: Lance/Keith
Summary: What Lance knows of Shiro says that as long as there's a chance, he won't stop fighting.
Notes: We've all seen the season two preview from SDCC by now, yes? This is me preemptively curling up in my Fortress of I Don't Care What Canon Says Shiro Is Going To Be Just Fine Damn It and making myself feel better about the whole thing. 910 words, general audiences.

~~~~~~~~~~


Vigil

They never have to go looking for Keith these days. A whole castle-ship full of Altean goodies, sometimes a new planet or solar system to explore, and he's always in one of two places when he's not in the command room: either he's on the training deck, working himself relentlessly (Lance would swear that the training drones look exhausted after one of Keith's sessions), or he's in the cryo-replenisher room.

Well. They all spend their fair share of time in the cryo room these days, but Keith… Keith spends the most time there of them all, maybe more time than the rest of them put together do.

Lance finds him there now, standing in front of Shiro's pod with his forehead resting against the glass (or whatever fancy Altean equivalent to glass it actually is). It's late, and Keith is talking to Shiro again, the way he only does when he doesn't expect to be overheard. "I can't believe you stuck me with this mess," Lance hears him say—a common refrain, one he's heard in every possible key from aggravation to grief. Tonight it's exhaustion. "Damn it. I don't know why you thought this would be a good idea."

And hadn't they all just wondered about that when Keith had come screaming in, bearing Shiro's mostly-dead self with him? But maybe Shiro'd had a better idea what he was doing than they'd thought there at first. Keith isn't Shiro, not by a long shot, but he's managing just fine in his own way.

Not that Lance is going to tell him so out loud. Wouldn't want the guy to get a swelled head or anything.

It doesn’t do him any good to brood, either, so Lance crosses the room and fits himself against Keith's back, hooking his chin over Keith's shoulder and clasping his arms around Keith's waist.

Keith stiffens at first, but eases again when what Lance says has nothing to do with what he's overheard: "I think he's starting to look better."

Better is very much a relative term, but they'd all seen just how bad it had been when they'd stuffed Shiro in a pod with crossed fingers and nothing to go on but desperate hope. The princess and Coran had both agreed that it was a long shot, given the extent of Shiro's injuries, something something something the cryo-replenishers can only heal the body, not the spirit blah blah blah if the spark of life has been extinguished, there's no way for it to be rekindled etc etc etc.

Or something like that. Lance isn't a mystic and doesn't care to be. He leaves that stuff to the ones who like it and lets Pidge and Hunk tear their hair out trying to reconcile their understanding of biology and technology and plain old physics with Altean metaphysics. It's enough for him that there's a chance, however slim. What he's known of Shiro says that as long as there's a chance, he won't stop fighting.

Keith lifts his forehead from the glass; they look at Shiro's battered form in silence. Yeah, better may be relative and he still looks terrible, but not as terrible as before. Every day seems to close those awful wounds a little bit further, reduce the livid bruising a little bit more. When Keith finally says, "You really think so?" Lance is perfectly honest when he says, "Yeah, I really do."

Keith exhales and lifts a hand to rest his fingertips against the glass. "It's so slow."

It really is—Lance can't argue with that. Still. "It's happening," he says; Keith curls his hand into a fist against the glass. "He's coming back to us. I know he is." It's Shiro. There's no way he's not coming back to them. He wouldn't be Shiro if he weren't fighting for that as hard as he possibly can.

Keith makes a fretful sound, curled fist still resting against the glass until Lance reaches up and captures it in his own hand. "It's taking so long." Then, softer, he says, "I miss him so much."

Lance sighs and squeezes him. "Yeah. Me too." He works his fingers between Keith's, coaxing him to relax the fist until he can twine their fingers together. "It's getting late."

Keith doesn't respond right away, but finally he says, "I just… I hate leaving him by himself like this." His just a little longer, please? hangs in the air, unspoken.

God knows it's quiet in the cryo room when there's no one else around, still and chilly and, to Lance's way of thinking, not very comfortable. Altean tech is all minimalist lines and cool blues and greens and greys, no warmth at all. It's hard to think of being left alone in the middle of all that. He's done his own stints in the cryo-replenishers for one reason or another. Lance has never mentioned the dreams he remembers from those times to anyone else, doesn't know whether they're just dreams or actually snatches of memory, but he's convinced that whoever's in cryo can hear what's going on outside the pod.

Keith's been in cryo too, now; Lance wonders if he thinks the same thing.

He arranges himself against Keith's back more comfortably, settling in to keep vigil with him for as long as it takes.

Keith doesn't say anything, but he squeezes Lance's hand, acknowledging that, and together, they watch Shiro sleep, dreaming of the day that he'll wake up.

end

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