The Bilingual Struggle
 
Count: ~800
Pairing: implied Klance
Chara(s): Lance, Keith, Hunk and Pidge

In which Lance forgets what a word is in both English and Spanish and suffers™

-x-X-x-

  

Lance bit the inside of his cheek. Frustration nipped at his nerves. He stared into Keith’s eyes in a poor attempt to get the boy to understand what he was trying to say, but Keith stared back at him with a raised brow.
 

Lance made an aimless arm gesture.
 

“You know, that thing.”
 

Keith’s confusion grew.
 

“That thing! Keith, come on, it’s that thing!”
 

“I have no idea what you’re trying to say right now.”
 

“Augh!” Lance grabbed the ends of his hair in frustration. He racked his brain for the word—could practically see the image of the object in his mind’s eye, but couldn’t for the life of him recall its English name. He tried for Spanish instead. “Come se dice... uh...” His brain stalled.

The image appeared so clearly in his mind, he could almost taste it on his tongue. Why couldn’t he remember the name?!
 

“Fuck!” He hissed. “What is it called!!!”
 

Keith chuckled.
 

“This is not funny Keith! If I can’t remember what it’s called in Spanish or English, how am I going to communicate?!”
 

“I don’t know, charades?”
 

“Keith!”
 

“Okay, okay, maybe you can describe it for me?” He suggested instead.
 

Lance felt the urge to kiss him. “Great idea! So it’s like... it’s that thing you don’t do. Like you have a board and, like, you put...you put—“ Lance groaned in frustration. He tugged on his shirt insistently. “You put this on it. On the thing. And then you have, like, this...” He threw his hands in the air at the sight of Keith’s blank stare. “Ave María, por qué no puedo hablar inglés?!
 

“Huh,” was Keith’s eloquent response.
 

“What are you two doing?”
 

Lance whirled around to face the newcomer. He nearly cried in relief at the sight of Hunk’s curious, friendly face.
 

“Hunk, buddy! My best friend, my great pal! Please help me!”
 

“Sure,” the older boy grinned. “What’s up?”
 

“Lance is having difficulty trying to say a word,” Keith explained.
 

Lance scoffed. “No, no, that’s not what happened. I was trying to make a joke about Keith’s clothes—“
 

“Oh really?”
 

“—and it was completely ruined because I can’t remember what the thing is called!”
 

Hunk tilted his head slightly. “Uh, what thing?”
 

“The thing!” Lance insisted. He a made a gesture in the air and moved it back and forth horizontally between them. “The thing! The thingy with the board!”
 

Hunk stared at him blankly. “Buddy, are you okay?”
 

Lance roared in frustration. “Why doesn’t anyone know what I’m talking about?!”

“I don’t know, Lance, maybe because you’re not being clear?” Pidge interjected. She slipped into the lounge, wiping her glasses. She gave the boys a cheerful smirk. “So what’s going on and why is Lance screaming about it?”

Before the boys could say a word, Lance was in Pidge’s face. 

“Pidge! Pidge! My good buddy, Pidge, you’re smart, right? You’ve gotta know what I’m talking about!”

She carefully shoved him out of her personal bubble and inspected him closely. She rubbed her chin methodically. 

“Depends, I need some context.”

“Lance apparently forgot how to English.” Hunk replied a glimmer of amusement sparkled in his dark eyes. “Remember that time in the Garrison when he forgot what pants were called? It’s that.”

“Ahhh, the great Bilingual struggle. I see. Alright Lance, what’s the word of the day?”

Once again, Lance repeated the horizontal movements. He tugged on his shirt as though it would help, but neither Hunk nor Pidge reacted.

“Is it a bell?” She guessed.

Keith frowned. “That doesn’t make sense. He said it was a joke to make fun of me.”

“He also said there’s a board involved.” Hunk helpfully supplied.

Pidge raised her eyebrows. “A washboard?”

Lance wanted to cry.

“That’s not it. Those weren’t the right movements.”

All three of them joined together, contemplating Lance’s horrific acts of charades. Behind them, Lance fell onto the couch cushion, utterly exhausted and defeated. He buried his face behind his palms, unable to bear the shame of losing both of his languages.

-x-X-x-

Later that day, when Pidge, Keith, and Hunk had given up trying to decipher Lance’s charades – and after another close encounter with death thanks to an intergalactic war with a bunch of furry, alien felines, Lance crawled into his mattress weary to the bone and ready to sleep.

With his face mask immaculately applied to his face, headphones ready to play soothing Altean music, Lance made himself comfortable deep within his bed and heaved a heavy sigh. He closed his eyes, ready to embrace sleep.

Suddenly, his eyes snapped open.

“IT WAS A CLOTHES IRON! KEITH! I REMEMBERED WHAT IT’S CALLED!”

He scrambled out of his blankets, twisted them around his ankle and fell to the ground.