Disclaimers: They aren't mine. You know that. I'm just borrowing them.
Notes: Thank you Hanofer, my guiding angel, Kat, my inspiration, Lythias, for listening, and those who believed and wrote to me.
This is a weird blend of original and new Voltron. I canıt really remember a lot of the old one, but I have stuck by it where I could. I use the physical builds of the new series though. Not faces though. Just rough sizes and stuff. Sorry, rambling.
Summary: An accident leaves Hunk without his best friend, but can he ever get him back?
Warnings: Conceived after midnight while watching Olympics. Oh, right, suffering, violence, profanity. CHARACTER DEATH!!!
Green lion spun wildly, venting huge amounts of fuel. To his credit, the pilot was silent, trying to fix the ruptured tanks.
The com piece in his ear was wild with noise. Voices were yelling at him, telling him what he should do to fix the leak. Most of them were pretty useless suggestions, things that he had already tried without success.
One voice was a bit calmer than the others, telling him to shut down all systems and wait to be towed back. He smiled to himself, gently running his hand over the control panels. Good old Hunk, never panicked, always rational where his babies were concerned.
He shut down the system and waited. There was a faint moaning noise from the engine and he started spiraling down.
"Guys, I donıt want to worry you, but I can't stop. There isn't enough fuel to stabilize my orbit."
He heard them all talking but tuned it out. "C'mon, Green, you never let me down before. I know, youıre hurting, but I need a little more."
The engines kicked back in with a loud groan. He grinned and threw the lion into a controlled spiral, wincing at the loud noises that came from the craft.
"Iım sorry, buddy. Weıll patch us both up when we get home."
There was a violent lurch, and the engines cut out again. He swore to himself as his head cracked against the panel, smashing his glasses. Now, he was in trouble.
He watched the ground spiral closer and closer. He took a deep breath, mumbled to whatever deity might be listening and closed his already sore eyes.
Then, they reached impact.
Hunk watched Green lion spin out of control wildly, then plummet towards the planet's surface.
"Pidge! You with us? Pidge!"
There was silence over the com line. Hunk threw Yellow after the Green lion, patting it soothingly. "Donıt worry, I wonıt let either of them get hurt."
He chased the speeding lion in front of him, struggling to keep control while maintaining the high speeds. He realised too late that he wasnıt going to be able to stop the other craft from smashing into the ground. "Pidge! Pull up!"
There was still silence and the engines died for good. He glanced at his scanners, watching the lion hit the ground at terminal velocity, tears running down his face.
There was smoke, dirt and steam everywhere. Pidge staggered out of the battered lion, coughing up the smoke he had inhaled. He flung his helmet to the ground and collapsed to his hands and knees. Blood dripped from a shallow incision made by the glass of his lenses under his eye, and his head was throbbing from the battering it had taken.
Green was lying on the ground, unmoving. He crawled over to him, laying down on the massive paw. "You okay, Green?"
The lion moved his head slightly, but just lay it back on the ground. Pidge coughed and lay on his back. "Know how you feel."
"Pidge? You alive? Please, tell me youıre okay."
"Youıre alive! You made it."
"We both did." He coughed more and rolled off the paw. "I, I can hear something."
He crawled to the overgrowth. "hello? is anyone out there?"
There was a slight rustle. He peered forward, but he could barely see without his glasses.
"Time to die, shrimp."
He spun, feeling nausea rise in his stomach. A figure stood in front of him, and though he couldnıt see them, he knew that voice. "You."
There was a snapping noise and the body fell to the ground, perfectly still.
In the background, Green lion howled and collapsed.
Hunk jumped out of Yellow and sprinted along the ground. He could see the trail of blood that led from the left paw of Green lion to the crumpled form lying on the dirt, unmoving.
"Pidge!" He dropped to his knees, running his hand along the bloody face. "C'mon, you gotta wake up."
He checked for a pulse, relaxing slightly when he felt one underneath his fingertips. He listened for breathing.
Swiftly, checking that he wouldnıt do any further damage with the action, he rolled Pidge onto his back and pinched his nose.
He fastened his mouth over his friendıs and breathed out hard. The frail chest rose, but collapsed when he moved away. He repeated the action, almost screaming for joy when he continued to breath on his own.
There was a noise behind them. Hunk turned around to see Black and Red land next to the crumpled form of Green lion. The pilots leapt out as Blue landed behind them, sprinting over to where the pair sat on the ground.
"Is he okay?"
He shook his head. "I donıt know. He was lying here, not breathing, when I arrived. Thereıs no sign of a struggle, though."
Keith pulled off his helmet and ran a hand through his hair. Lance knelt down next to them and opened the large eyes, checking the pupils. "Theyıre not responding properly. The right is dilated."
Hunk ran his hands over the spine quickly. "Nothing feels broken. Do we risk taking him back?"
By this time, Allura had joined them. "Can we do anything else? He needs help, as soon as possible."
Keith nodded. "Hunk, take Pidge in Yellow lion with you. Lance, you and Allura tow Green back with you. Iıll go ahead and warn them to get the medical unit ready."
Lance frowned. "Red's faster. Weıll go ahead."
Keith frowned, and opened his mouth to argue but Allura stopped them. "Guys, no time to argue. Logically, the fastest ship should take Pidge back."
Lance nodded. "I'll take him."
Hunk reluctantly handed the small pilot over the Lance. "You crash, I'll hurt you."
"Hear you loud and clear. I wonıt crash. Do you really think that little of me?"
Several raised eyebrows and a cough later, he was in Red and taking off.
It took the other three members of the team longer to get back. Green was not responding to anything, it just lay there, even the override commands wouldn't get it to react. They ended having to tow the craft back to the maintainence bays with the other three lions.
They ran to the medical unit as fast as they could. Coran was in there with Lance, both of them were leaning in around a bed.
"Heıs alive." Lance whispered. "More or less."
The others crowded around. The number of tubes and machines seemed almost obscene for someone so small. Worse than that, he seemed frail, helpless and lifeless. All the vibrancy and laughter was gone, leaving a shell.
Hunk stared. It was like someone had finally broken him.
Allura spoke first. "I'll contact a friend of mine. Heıs a doctor, and a very good one. He might be able to help."
Keith lay his hand on Alluraıs shoulder. "Do that. We need him well again."
Hunk almost lashed out at the words. Need him well? What, to send him out again, into the fighting? Sure, he was no child, he was small, but only slightly younger than the rest of them, and old to stand on his own feet. How could Keith speak of him as a nothing more than another soldier though? This was meant to be his friend, someone he cared about.
Allura left, followed by Keith. Lance stepped in behind Hunk and rested his hands on the broad shoulders. "He'll be okay. He has to be. We canıt lose another friend in this fight."
He quietly left, shutting the door as he went.
Hunk took one of the delicate hands in his own. "You have to wake up. What'll I do without you there?"
The next day was harder on all of them. They knew that they had a respite while Lotor recovered his wits, well, a semblance of wits, and wouldn't be needed for a while.
Breakfast was silent. Allura had found something interesting on her plate and was intently staring at it. Lance was busy rolling an apple back and forth in his hands, while Keith pretended to eat, staring at something on the opposite wall.
Hunk was nowhere to be seen.
Finally, Lance spoke. "Anyone know where Hunk is?"
No reply from either of them. Lance sighed. "Look, we canıt sit here in silence while we wait for something to happen."
"Lance is right. We need to talk about this."
Lanceıs eyes went wide. "I didn't say that."
"You implied it."
Allura coughed slightly, and they fell silent. Hunk was standing in the doorway, covered in grease and oil. He stared at them and then dropped his head. "I can't get him working. Green's just about gone. There's nothing wrong with him but he won't work."
He gazed around the room. "Kinda like his pilot."
He turned around and walked out. Allura let out the breath she hadnıt realised that she was holding. "He's not coping."
"You think so?" Lance asked bitterly. "I can't remember a time when those two weren't working together. Of course he's not coping."
"Lance, you're yelling. That won't help anyone."
Lance stood up and walked out. Keith watched him go impassively.
"Arenıt you going to apologise to him?" Allura asked.
"Should I? What did I do wrong?"
"You didn't need to criticize him like that! This has been hard on us too!"
Allura stood up and stormed after Lance. Keith sank down squeezed his eyes closed, trying not to let the tears of grief show.
Hunk sat in the main engine of Green. Yellow was next to him, supporting the weight of the other lion. He had fixed the ruptured fuel lines, patched up the tank, replaced the broken engine parts and fixed the shielding.
Green still wouldn't get up.
"Hunk? You in here?'
He peered out and watched Keith walk into the bay. He sighed and slid out from the engine. "Over here."
Keith turned and looked, giving a shy smile. "I wanted to apologise."
Hunk stopped where he stood. "You're, apologizing?"
"I was callous last night. I didn't mean what I said how it sounded. I don't want to lose him, we need him, he's one of us, not because Green lion needs a pilot. Pilots are easy to come by. Friends aren't."
Hunk smiled. "That's okay."
Keith shifted on his feet. "I'll let you get back to work."
"Nothing to do. There's nothing wrong with Green, it's just that he won't get up."
"Why would that be?"
"I dunno. He might be missing Pidge."
Keith sighed. "It's a robot, Hunk. As attached as I am to them, I recognise the fact that they are machines."
"Explain this then." He typed in the override commands for Green. The engines kicked in, eyes blazing to life. It raised its head, looked at them, and lay back down again, the light fading.
Keith stared. "That is unusual."
"Iıve never seen anything like it. I think he's mourning."
"You keep saying he."
"Yeah, him. Greenıs male. Pidge always refers to Green as him, like Lance calling Red her. Yellow is male, so is blue."
Keith frowned. "How do you know?"
"You can feel it. They told me. Sven told me about blue, I can feel yellow. He's very male."
"So, what's black?"
Hunk shrugged. "Only you could tell me. What is black?"
Keith shook his head. "This is pointless. I have to get back to work." He turned to leave, glancing back once. "I'm sorry again."
Hunk watched him ago and sunk back into the bowels of Green to finish his repairs.
Hunk finally went up to medical. He sat down next to the bed and took the Baltonianıs hand in his. "Hey, shrimp. Green's not too good, he misses you. Allura's not eating properly, and Lance and Keith are at each other's throats." He stroked the auburn hair back. "Things are pretty much the same as always. Just worse."
He lowered his head onto the pillow next to the soft face of his best friend. "C'mon Pidge. You have to wake up. Green misses you."
"I miss you."
Slowly, the team returned to a semblance of normal. Alluraıs appetite came back, and Keith and Lance stopped bickering as violently, though they didn't stop fighting altogether.
Only Hunk didn't improve. Anytime not spent in the mechanics bay with the lions was spent sitting next to Pidge in the medical unit. The machines continued to record that there was no change and the doctors began to hint that they thought they should be turning off the life support systems.
Lance watched Hunk from a distance. He recognised the signs of grief, who didn't, but this was more intense than that.
He strolled into the command centre, grinning at Coran, who was just leaving, and sat down at the computer. He stopped for a moment. What the hell were their real names? He was so use to using their nick names that,
Ah, that's right. With a small smile, he typed their names into the computer and requested their service records.
If he didn't know better he'd have said that his heart stopped briefly. They had joined the academy the same year. Shared a room for the entire time. Drawn the same postings, been stationed together by chance and kept together when the officers realised how good a team they made.
The academy. Always the two of them. Two halves of a whole.
Lance leant his head against the screen. No wonder Hunk wasn't coping, he hadn't been without his best friend since he had met him.
"Lance? What are you doing?"
He slammed the off button when he heard Keithıs voice. "Nothing."
Keith leant past him and turned on the computer again. He typed in a few simple commands and frowned. "You went through their service records?"
"I had to! He was reacting so badly, I wanted to know why!"
"You had no right to!"
"Someone had to try and help! You aren't!"
Keith stared at Lance, his eyes hard and cool. "You will not come in here again unsupervised. Have I made myself clear?"
Lance gaped. "What!? You can't do that!"
"I can and I have. Get out."
Lance glared at his captain and stalked out. Fine, he wouldnıt help. On impulse he turned around at the door. "He's not eating, not sleeping. You should watch it, he's near a break down."
"He's an officer. He wouldn't do something so reckless."
"Dammit Keith! You don't choose to break down, it just happens!"
Keith stared at him. Lance sighed. "Fine. I won't help anymore."
"He doesn't need you going through his record to help."
Lance left, leaving Keith in the room by himself
It was now three months since they found the pilot comatose. Keith and Lance were sitting at breakfast, still not speaking, when Allura ran in and skidded to a halt. "It's Hunk. He collapsed in the mechanics bay."
Keith jumped to his feet turned to her. "Where is he now?"
"In medical. They say heıll be okay."
Lance shook his head. "I told you, I told you he wasn't coping."
Keith glared at Lance but stayed silent. Allura sighed and calmly walked forward. She slapped Keith, hard, then Lance. "Grow up! We have two friends in trouble, and you two won't speak to each other like children! What happens if Lotor attacks? You'll just ignore each other?"
Keith had the grace to look down and Lance glanced upwards. Allura shook her head. "Fine, keep fighting. I'm going to go check on my friends. Don't bother coming up until you've sorted this out."
She stormed out, leaving two very stunned pilots in her wake.
Hunk opened his eyes to see Allura leaning over him. She had a frown on her face and tears in her eyes. He smiled cautiously. "Morning, Princess."
She smiled. "How are you feeling?"
"Fine." He smiled broader, hoping that she wouldn't see through it. "Where am I?"
"Medical. You collapsed in the mechanical bay." She brushed her fingers over his cheek. "Why didn't you tell us?"
"Tell you what?" he asked, genuinely confused now.
"Hunk, do you know how sick you are?"
He shook his head and froze. Tubes were stuck in his arm and machines beeped around him. "What's all this?"
She closed her eyes. "You didn't know about your heart?"
"No. What about it?" He was starting to feel panicky.
"You have a defect. The stress youıve put yourself under, not eating, not sleeping, Pidge's accident, it has," she paused, "you need a transplant. Soon."
He was silent, reeling from the shock. "What? You can't be serious."
"I've never been as serious in my life." She took his hand. "Your physiology is going to make it difficult." She paused, and Hunk got a sinking feeling in his gut as he realised what she was about to say. "No. You can't."
"It's your only chance. There is only one near match that we have access to."
"What about his chance!?" Hunk sat up, wincing at the pain in his chest. "You can't ask me to let him die for me."
Allura sighed. "But he would. You know that, don't you? Hunk, we've all avoided it, but he's gone. All that's keeping him going is the machines now. The best we can do is save your life, and then avenge him."
"He's a child!"
She frowned at him. "I know he's young, but....."
"But nothing! I won't let him die for me!"
Sensing that the conversation was over, Allura left. Hunk rolled onto his side, gazing at the profile of his small friend and cried himself to sleep.
The hours blended into days. Hunk was restricted to the medical unit for bed rest. He refused to speak to the doctors, barely talking to Allura when she came in to visit.
Keith and Lance finally started talking again, just to get in to see Hunk. They had heard from Coran about his condition, and were both eager to see him before he deteriorated further.
Keith looked around the door cautiously. "Hunk? You awake?"
Hunk nodded, but his eyes never left Pidge. Keith came in and sat down next to him. "How do you feel?"
He took a deep breath. Allura had asked him to speak to Hunk about having the operation, but he wasn't so sure if it was a good idea. Still, he had promised, and he never went back on his promises. "Hunk, I wanted to ask you about having the operation."
Keith chewed his bottom lip. "I know this must be hard for you, more so than any of us, but he's going to die, no matter what we do."
"No. I won't kill him."
"He's already gone, Hunk. The Pidge we know was killed back on the planetıs surface. Even if he lives, what sort of life will he have? He won't be able to come off the machines, he won't wake up."
"No!" Hunk finally faced Keith, his face angry. "I won't let you do that to him. You can't give up on him. Too many people gave up on him. I promised that I'd never do that, and I won't! Not now, not ever!"
Keith lay his hand on Hunkıs shoulder, gently pushing him back into the pillows. "I'm sorry, I shouldn't have presumed to change your mind. We won't do anything without consulting you first, I promise."
Hunkıs eyes drifted closed, his hand reaching out to the other bed. "Really?"
"Really. I won't let them turn off the machines."
Hunk smiled softly. "Good."
Keith waited until he was asleep before leaving quietly. He had made a promise.
He never went back on his promises.
Lance stood outside the door, rocking on his heels. He didn't want to go in, but he so desperately wanted to.
Taking a deep breath, he entered the room. "Hey, how you holding up?"
Lance sat down and put his feet up on the bed. "You aren't, you know."
"I know. But I feel okay at the moment."
"Well, that's all that matters."
The words were so blunt and unexpected that Lance nearly fell backwards off his chair. "What?!"
"I'm dying. The doctors know that I won't make it without a transplant. I can't have the transplant without a spare heart. We don't have a spare heart. I'm dying." He shrugged. "Strangely, I'm not scared. I know that I'll die, but it doesn't really scare me."
Lance nodded. "Fair enough. I think I'd be a little worried about it all. I mean, there's so much to live for still."
Hunk raised an eyebrow. "Like what?"
"Your life. You have your life to live."
"My life is lying in the bed next to me, rigged up to machinery to keep him alive."
Lance fell silent. He thought for a moment. "No, if that's the case, you have nothing to live for."
Hunk nodded. "I won't live without him."
Lance stood and stretched. "We'll miss you if you die."
"We'll miss both of you."
He left, not hearing the whispered, "I know that as well."
That night, Lance dreamed. And he knew how it would all end.
It was at nine in the evening, two days later, that the power died.
Everything was in chaos. The back up generator hadn't kicked in, and no one could see a thing.
The medical unit was an uproar. Doctors and nurses ran about, trying to find flashlights and batteries.
Silently, one of the patients stood up, ignoring the crippling pain in his chest. He moved over to the other bed, tears running down his face, not for him, but for the young patient who would never get up.
He carefully picked up his friend and settled into the mattress, eyes drifting shut.
The lights came on several seconds later. Keith, Allura and Lance had run down to medical, hoping that the unit had had power for the time.
The door opened and they ran in. The doctors stood in the opposite doorway, heads down.
On the bed, Hunk cradled Pidge to his chest. Both of them were still, eyes closed as though they had just drifted to sleep on the couch again.
Hunkıs arms were wrapped the smaller pilot, who had his arms wrapped around the large chest of the mechanic.
Neither moved the slightest inch.
The machines were silent.
In the mechanics bay, Yellow and Green lay against each other, the light gone from their eyes.
The survivors of the Voltron Force lowered their heads in a mark of respect for their dead friends.
Lance was the only one to speak, and if anyone heard him, they didn't show it.
"Together in death as in life."