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Things I Have to Say

Title: Things I Have to Say
Fandom: Voltron: Legendary Defender
Characters: Shiro, Pidge
Rating: PG-13
Warnings: Some description of blood and gore. Pidge says some words that censors would not approve of.
Disclaimer: Voltron: Legendary Defender belongs to Dreamworks, World Events Productions, and Studio Mir. I own the stories I write.
Summary: Shiro and Pidge are on a mission in an old temple and are stuck in a room together. It’s not as pleasant as it sounds. Written for the Shidge Week 2016 Day 5: Coming Out prompt.
Word Count: 1594
Originally Posted: 23 September 2016
Edited: 24 October 2016

ff.net | DA | tumblr | ao3

Big thanks to MeisterGao for beta-reading and d0g-bless for proofreading. And a shout out Ayame Suzaku for catching mistakes that slipped through the cracks. All of you are amazing!

~

Bright fuchsia energy streaked across pristine gray marbled doors that gleamed behind a pale gold sheen which covered the rest of the stone room. The pink-purple flashed again against the equally golden shimmering floor tiles soon after. Other than a slight crackle of energy, all remained the same.

“Yeah. No change in the particle barrier.” Pidge looked up from her holo-display to frown at Shiro. “It looks like we’re stuck here until we complete whatever task this stupid place wants us to complete.”

Shiro deactivated the glow of his Galran arm and rubbed at the metal joints of his wrist. “Can you translate the etchings on the wall to find out what that task is?”

“Something about confessing your deepest, darkest secret.” Pidge stuck out her tongue at that. “Yeah. If I wanted to do stupid slumber party shit, I’d have a girls’ night with Allura.”

“Language.” Shiro sighed, taking off his helmet to rub at the scruff of his undercut. “Uh …”

He glanced at his companion before pointedly looking away. “I’m not a big fan of the Paladin armor. Kinda wish it came with a jockstrap and cup to be honest.”

Pidge recoiled from Shiro’s side. “Okay. That was in no way deep or dark, just plain embarrassing and gross, and I totally didn’t need to know that. I mean, I thought these suits came with the proper support. Or maybe I’m being biased because I have my binder to use in place of a sports bra. How long have you been thinking that? You know what? I don’t want to know. I don’t even want to think about the possibility of the other guys think about that. Nope. Just gonna think of some teen angst to spout and hopefully get us out of here.”

“Every teenager thinks their angst is some deep, dark secret.”

“Yes. I am aware, but maybe believing it is will help us get out of here? Better than sharing unwanted facts about support down there.” She gestured vaguely in the direction of his groin.

He coughed and looked away, a blush on his cheeks. “Yeah. Sorry.”

“Whatever. Let’s just not speak of this again.”

“Agreed.”

“So …” She screwed her eyes shut with shoulders hunched. “I had my first kiss during a game of Truth-or-Dare when I was eleven and hated it because the guy was all slobber. I didn’t even want to play, but I was so desperate to fit in with kids my age rather than be the odd genius girl everyone made fun of behind my back. I ended up just laughing along with everyone about it, but I seriously thought I was ruined forever at the time.”

The one eye she opened saw no change in the room, not the in the particle barrier or the marble-like doors. “Well that was a bust.”

“All slobber?” Shiro asked, one brow raised.

Pidge went lax in defeat and embarrassment. “Not a memory I’m particularly fond of. It was just so … wet and uncomfortable. At least it wasn’t as bad as when I tempted that pervy old man to sneak my way onto Garrison property.”

Another brow joined the other on Shiro’s face as all amusement fell away to shock, the helmet in his hand falling to the floor. “You what?”

“Oh. Yeah.” She shrugged. “I did that. I would have thought for sure that at least that one would work. I haven’t told anyone about it.”

“Pidge—Katie. What did you do?” His expression could be described as nothing short of ‘severe.’

“Nothing. I just heavily flirted with a skeevy guard who was on post who was really into young girls with long hair and short skirts. Certainly helped that I can be cute as cute can be. Guy was a total lecher.” She shuddered. “Definitely don’t want to think about that ever again.”

“So he didn’t do anything inappropriate to you?”

“Other than undress me with his eyes? No.”

“He didn’t touch you?” Shiro’s eyes quickly ran over her, brows pinched as if he were capable of telling where the pervert dared to lay a hand on her.

“Apparently he was more turned on by me not letting him touch me.” Pidge cringed at the memory.

“I ... don’t know how to feel about that,” he admitted.

“Then don’t think about it.” She huffed while crossing her arms. “It happened, and no harm was done. The only real downside is that it wasn’t a deep or dark enough secret, which does us diddly squat in getting out of here.”

“I’ll think of something.” He kept his eyes on her just a little longer, reluctant to let the recent confession slide into obscurity but needing to focus on the crux of their current situation. “Does it say anywhere if it has to be both of us?”

“Yup.” She pointed to the far wall. “The swirling text says something about ‘All souls who enter this place must each confess and unburden their hearts of the darkness that lies deep within.’”

“‘Unburden,’ huh?” He turned to the text in question, gaze focused on where the inscription circled around a black eight-pointed star. The star’s points connected with the surrounding letters, the symbol’s color seeping out seamlessly into the numerous etchings—on display as it bled out in a mesmerizing spectacle. “I hated fighting while I was a captive—my and my opponents’ struggles entertainment for others.”

Pidge looked up from her holo-display, but was greeted with only the back of Shiro’s head.

“I hated taking lives in order to survive.” He curled and uncurled his Galran hand into a fist in front of himself, taking a moment to run his thumb along the pads of his fingers as though feeling their texture or the texture of something on them.

“I still hate it—hate killing. But sometimes …” A slow breath passed through his lips as his hand fell back to his side. “I miss the Arena.”

“It’s always been satisfying landing a punch or a kick, even taking down the other guy in a fight. But there’s … There’s something just as satisfying about the cracking and breaking of bones—how they just … shift and give way when you hit them hard enough. The same thing in how flesh sinks and squelches when blood vessels burst and tendons snap—makes hits slide when you make contact, but it’s pleasantly warm.”

A chuckle, hollow and low, shook his shoulders. “It makes me sick thinking about it, but I do miss it.”

The silence that followed lasted no longer than a beat, just long enough for shame to coil and squeeze around Shiro’s already painfully constricting heart. It lasted just the right amount of time for disappointment and fear to skirt along both of their awarenesses.

If this wasn’t enough, what kind of confession would be?

A series of clicks sounded out through the room, but the doors remained closed, the golden barrier still up.

“Well, at least we know the confessions work,” said Shiro. They were still trapped, but it was progress, and the two welcomed the small amount of relief that wormed its way into the heavy atmosphere. Even so, the Black Paladin resolutely kept his eyes from Pidge as he retrieved his helmet from the floor. Had he looked though, he would have seen her slack face become calculating—the thin line of her lips tugging down into a grim frown as understanding flared in her amber eyes.

“I don’t completely hate you,” she said to his broad shoulders and back. “I don’t hate that you had to do what you did to survive and escape. I don’t blame you for what happened to my family either, but …”

She worried her bottom lip between her teeth and then shook her lowering head. “Fucking quiznak. I just want to punch you in your perfectly imperfect handsome face sometimes.

“It’s stupid, I know that, but I can’t help but think about how you get to travel across the universe as some great hero while my dad and brother are prisoners of Zarkon and the Galra Empire. How is that fair? My mother running herself ragged alone on Earth without knowing the truth about her son and husband. It’s been over a year—she deserves to know. She doesn’t deserve any of the pity she has to put up with from others, or the grief of not knowing what really happened. My family is still suffering, and I can’t do a fucking thing about it.

“You were a prisoner. You stayed alive by fighting in the Arena because you were forced into it. But you’re away from that. It’s in the past.” The swelling fire in her chest quelled when she lifted her head, seeing his profile sag and shake. “At least it should be.”

She blinked rapidly to clear her blurring vision and wiped at her eyes underneath her helmet’s visor. “I’m sorry. I really, really am. It’s not fair to dump this all on you. This room and its bullshit task aren’t fair. This war and what’s happened to both of us definitely aren’t fair—neither are my feelings about what’s happened and how I relate them to you. I don’t hate you, not really. And I don’t blame you—you’re even one of my main sources of comfort. It’s just … You remind me of why I’m so miserable.”

Pidge’s voice cracked on the last syllable, the sound echoing around the chamber before it was overcome by the rumble of marble doors opening and the static of the golden particle barrier fading away.

~

For the record: I totally believe that the Paladin suits come with the proper support because shapeshifting Altean bodysuits would definitely have that feature. Shiro’s just weirded out—eternally grateful though, mind you, but still weirded out. Also, I find it’s a critical flaw not to have any protection for the groin region. If there isn’t some Altean equivalent for a sports cup to go with their suits in canon, then our poor space boys better hope they never get hit below the belt.

Also, I’ve been thinking about writing something like this since “It’s Not Your Fault.”

Author

cherry blossom
sakura_scout
Dauting's inner voice
Dauting

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Status: One-Shot

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