Two Shadows Went, Chapter 20
Updated: Apr 13, 2019
Lance stirred awake when he realized the pillow under him was wet—Lance moved stiffly as he tried to—his hand wiped across his face. The crusty horrible feeling of dried and cried out skin was tell tale sign enough.
That was when he felt Shiro surrounding him again.
Any other morning—and Lance would have mewed and welcomed the warmth. But he buried his face, shrinking back away from the Alpha.
“Shhhhh baby,” Shiro’s voice was so soft at his ear.
Lance hiccuped out a cry as the tears came thicker. His hands caged around his face as he hiccuped again and tried hiding in the sheets. They were black. Everything in the room was black. It was a room that had been filled with light and laughter and his father—and now it was all black.
“It’s okay.” Shiro still cooed to him, his breath was hot over Lance’s bare shoulders.
He was all bare… Lance lifted his head. He hadn’t—they’d been so angry with each other, Shiro hadn’t spoken to him past the few commands he’d given Lance. And Lance—he’d been too proud to ask for any cloths.
The robe he had worn was just barely still on, caught only at his wrists.
It allowed Shiro to smoothly run his hands up Lance’s skin, gliding up his spine.
“I won’t allow anyone to hurt you.”
Hurt him? Lance didn’t bury his face back in his pillow but he refused to look at Shiro. It was never anyone else Lance had worried about being a threat.
Light was filtering in over the bed. It was morning.
The first morning of Lance as a prisoner.
“I’ll never hurt you.”
Lance cried harder. He was hurting Lance right now.
It was when Shiro pushed up on the bed, pulling Lance up and against his chest that Lance was forced to stop cowering away. He pulled the sheet around him. The robe—covered nothing and Lance knew he couldn’t pull away from laying on Shiro’s chest, sitting between his legs, but he could cover up. His hands clawed at the thin fabric of the robe, trying to pull it up over his shoulders.
Sitting against the headboard, Shiro pushed his hand through Lance’s hair. He nosed against Lance’s scalp as he reached down Lance’s back, pulling the robe up over his back. Lance didn’t look up. His fists just tightened on the collar as he covered himself.
“You’ll be alright, I swear.”
Lance hiccuped again.
The morning light blanketed over them from the near window. Even through dark gossamer it shown.
It was morning. The day after—and Lance was forced to be alive, laying against his new king.
“I feel it.” Shiro spoke—it was almost like he was distant.
His hand sifted through Lance’s hair. It was cold across Lance’s forehead. His metal hand was always colder in the morning, dormant for hours of the night and nearly icy by the time morning came along.
Lance looked up a the distant tone in Shiro’s voice still.
“You’re sad.” Shiro swallowed with a thick sound from his throat. His eyes were narrow in a way Lance had rarely seen.
Lance wasn’t sure he had it in him to speak. He felt the frown on his face, he felt the tears still yet to dry.
He looked away to the bed sheets and pulled his knees up to his chest before he managed to speak. “Yes.” He bit out. “I’m very sad.” He was devastated. He felt like the very core of himself had been ripped apart.
Shiro leaned his head back against the upholstered headboard. The breath he let out was long and shaky. “I can feel it.” His voice was like the scratch of gravel this time. “It—it’s like it’s sunk through my bones.”
Lance looked up.
The life bond… They—large emotion could do that, it could catch them both up like that.
Lance hunched over his knees.
Shiro ran his hand over Lance’s shoulders and Lance, pulled his legs up, hunching over them so he could hide his face in his folded arms.
“I care so much for you,” Shiro said, though Lance wasn’t sure who he was talking to. And the tone of his voice--was he angry about that? Did he feel violated to actually feel for another?
Lance didn’t want to look up. He didn’t want to face Shiro. He just—He frowned so deeply.
Slumping back against Shiro’s chest, Lance couldn’t even hope to hide that he was crying again.
With hands far gentler than he had any right to have, Shiro glided a hand down Lance’s spine.
“Shhhh baby,” He tried again.
Lance nearly hiccuped again as he looked up. He felt—He frowned so deep.
If he was hurting—at least he could put Shiro through it as well.
“I’m hollow.” Lance hissed.
The hand at his back stilled.
“How does that feel?” Lance pushed. “does it hurt?”
Narrow slits of storm were all Lance could see as he looked up at his new king.
“I hope you’re in agony.” Lance breathed. “I hope you feel as broken as I do. As helpless, as hollow.“ His voice cracked with the last of it.
Shiro was already enfolding him, already pulling him in close. “Lance,”
Lance was nearly sobbing, the tears ran thick and hot down his cheeks as Shiro gathered him to his chest. He could barely breathe.
“I hope you feel like this,” Lance sucked in breath, an audible struggle.
“Lance,” Shiro repeated.
“You won,” Lance broke. “You’ve taken the crown—“ his lips curled in a snarl. “and now you don’t even get to celebrate,” He cracked again and his body shook as he sobbed.
The hot breath at his neck told Lance that even as he was held close, even as Shiro cradled him and Lance spat the worst he could—he was still there.
“You’ve gotten your victory,” Lance’s hands rubbed across his face, trying desperately not to seem as if he was bawling as much as he was. "And because of me I hope you’re miserable."
There was a long exhale of breath over him, Lance could feel as Shiro pressed his mouth into Lance’s hair. He could feel the strained tighten of Shiro’s arms around him.
And what a bittersweet victory it was, Lance mused.
“I wish I could hate you,” Lance sobbed.
There was no reply. Shiro’s grasp on Lance didn’t loosen.
“I wanna go to my family,” Lance pleaded again. “please, if you love me, let me be with them.”
Shiro was already shaking his head as he pulled Lance even closer into a nearly stifling embrace.
That’s when Lance remembered, as he looked up, though his head still resting against Shiro. The bandage at the side of Shiro’s neck was easily in reach as Lance shifted.
As Lance’s fingers graced over the edge of the bandage, he felt Shiro stiffen. Lance’s eyes flicked up and over Shiro’s face. His dark gaze was averted and so Lance continued. Carefully he pried one side up and then another, and then—slowly, slow enough he heard Shiro give an uncomfortable rumble, he peeled away the bandage.
The room was deathly quiet. Everything in the room was so quiet. There was no audience this time. There was no one to oohh and awww over the revealed mark. Lance didn’t preen over Shiro, and Shiro didn’t move.
It was—a perfect reflection.
A horrible, beautifully perfect reflection.
It was black, unlike Lance’s whispy white, and yet it was still pearlent.
"You can't hate me," Shiro stated then. Though he didn’t smile or smirk. It was simply a statement of fact.
It was physically impossible for Lance to hate Shiro.
And that mark proved it.
Lance felt—utterly hopeless. Leaning back, he let his head fall back over Shiro’s arm. Staring up at the black drapery of the canopy was better than facing his consequences.
What could he have done? Lance wasn’t even sure anymore.
Shiro shifted Lance then, and with careful hands had him lain back across the bed as he shifted and pulled away. Splayed out, Lance turned his head to watch as Shiro pushed away the covers, before placing his bare feet on the floor and getting out of bed.
“I meant it—I trusted you not to use me.” Lance pushed up from the bed. He sat up as he looked at Shiro.
Shiro was already walking back around the massive bed, as he looked back to Lance. “You can never hate me.” Shiro’s voice was solid. He was assured. And his eyes narrowed in a way that suggested he’d do everything in his power to make Lance realize that fact.
If there was anything to be confident in, it—it was the bond then.
Lance blinked slow as he searched for the right words. “No, I can’t.” He said.
Shiro gave a small assured nod, he turned back to continue to the en suite.
“But I still meant it.” Lance tipped his head towards Shiro.
There was a moment's pause as Shiro’s brow lowered, but he looked back.
“I will never forgive you—“ Lance swallowed, finally finding the strength to raise his chin as he spoke to Shiro. “If you kill my sister, I’ll never forgive you.”
It was answer enough in the way that Shiro’s jaw set as he looked at Lance. He turned away from Lance with a short bow, maybe out of instinct, and continued into the bathroom.
Lance was left in the bed.
When the bathroom door closed, he let out a long breath. His eyes felt swollen and sore. His face hurt—and his arms—Lance finally collapsed across the sheets.
He didn’t have anything left but threats. He hoped that would be enough.
It wasn’t till he let the robe fall to the polished bathroom floor that Lance finally fully looked at himself in the spanning vanity mirrors. …it didn’t look like him. None of it looked like him. His limbs looked thin in the mirror, his torso too slender. His skin was dull and his — he’d always considered himself a shade of bronze, but looking now—he might as well proclaim his new color palette black and blue.
His head shot up.
Shiro was shirtless, as he stood in the open doorway back through to the baths.
The kings chambers—Lance had always known they were big, though his father often had them sectioned off, making it appear smaller. The bathroom was sectioned off, the mirrors and vanity in one room and through a doorway was the bath rooms. A glass shower was to one side and the other was a deep set marble bath, oblong and much larger than even the porcelain bath Shiro and Lance had previously shared.
Not sure what to say, Lance turned back to face the mirror. There were bruises on nearly every inch of him, his ribs looked discolored and swollen especially. There was a bruise darkened over his cheek bone. His arms had scratches and dark spots all the way up to over his shoulders. As his chest expanded with breath, now Lance could tell why there was a twinge, and why he couldn’t take in full breath without feeling strained
“I’m sorry,” Shiro said as he approached.
In the mirror’s reflection, Lance could see Shiro as he came up from behind.
“I told them to —to try not to hurt you.”
“You threw me across a fountain,” Lance’s head turned slowly with his monotone words.
Shiro blinked for a moment, most likely considering his words. “You were in the way. I didn’t want to hurt you.”
Lance looked down at his bruised ribs. “but you did hurt me anyway..”
The expression Shiro wore was hard to read.
Lance’s reflection—didn’t look like him. It didn’t look like a prince.
“You said you—you said you’d already hurt me.” Lance shifted uneasy where he stood.
“Your highness…” Shiro’s voice was soft, he was already stepping closer.
Lance shook his head. “I’m not a prince any more.”
Shiro was already edging so close to Lance. “You’re my Prince still.” His eyes searched over Lance, maybe hoping still, still trying to make sure he hadn’t lost him.
Lance simply faced the mirror.
“We were all supposed to die.”
The room—felt frigidly still. The reflection of the mirror showed as Shiro seemed to sway, his eyes still on Lance.
Lance turned his head then, and then slowly planted his feet to face Shiro. His gaze steady, Lance pressed on. “It was supposed to be all of us, wasn’t it?”
The way Shiro’s jaw pushed forward was answer enough. He breathed through his nose, eyes flicking under his lowered lashes.
Lance slid a step closer. He had to crane his neck to look up at Shiro, but from the version of Shiro’s gaze it didn’t feel like that was how it was. Shiro’s gaze still only flickered towards him.
“Were you going to slit my throat, or were you going to tell Antok to do it?”
The whip of Shiro’s head up to look at Lance was something Lance didn’t expect. His deep grey eyes finally focused on Lance.
“You were supposed to do it.” Lance tipped his head, more confident in his words now.
Shiro still just watched him.
Lance narrowed his eyes at him.
“Tell me.” Lance said. “I want to hear it.”
Shiro shook his head slightly, but his eyes were on Lance.
“You would have lobbed off my sisters head, if I hadn’t whined.” Lance said. “You didn’t hesitate with her.” Lance shifted his weight as he considered further. “In the garden, you kept throwing me around because I kept getting in the way,” Lance shook his head. “You were gonna kill her then.”
Shiro’s jaw clenched as he looked at Lance. They both knew.
“I was always in the way.” Lance spoke slowly, his words drawn out as he looked to his Alpha.
And it was working. The stoic look of his partner wasn’t holding together, Shiro’s jaw line jumped as he restrained himself from speaking.
Lance wanted to hear it though.
“You wanted to marry her first,” Lance repeated. “I always thought you wanted her, I was so afraid you wanted her over me—but that was never… you wanted an easy target.”
“Don’t—“ Shiro shook his head.
But it was already on the road, and Lance wasn’t going to turn back. “When she started waving me in front of your face you must have thought, what an easy shot—you could have both of Alfor’s children without even trying.”
Every twinge of Shiro’s expression, every shade darker his eyes got as he scowled at Lance. It was too rewarding.
“You’ve been throwing me out of the way, for so long.” Lance finally reasoned through. “I thought you were trying to throw me under the bus, to put me up against my family. But you never intended to separate me from them. I was supposed to be lumped in with them.”
The silence from Shiro, was nearly suffocating.
“I want to hear it.” Lance repeated.
“It doesn’t change anything.” Through clenched teeth, Shiro’s still managed a snarl.
“I want to hear it.” Lance spoke louder, the sound ringing in the polished surfaces of the bathroom.
“You don’t,” Shiro shook his head.
Lance nearly laughed. “Nothing would make me happier.”
If it wasn’t for the established facts, Lance would almost guess at that moment that Shiro hated him.
It pulled at Lance, till he gave a sweet smile.
Shiro nearly snarled and growled as his chest puffed up and he squared off with Lance. “I couldn’t.”
There it was, what Lance had asked for—he dropped his gaze. He couldn’t say it satisfied much in him.
The huff of breath over Lance stirred at his bangs.
But as Lance drew his gaze up, the expression he was met with wasn’t what he expected.
“I’m sorry,” Shiro’s voice sounded thick, strained. His eyes on Lance, what ever anger had been there…
Watching whatever wrath Shiro held drain away, was like watching sand filter through his fingers. His throat felt tight.
“I can’t put you down there with her.” The shake of Shiro's head held finality.
Lance could feel as his eyes started to gloss over again. “You won’t.”
“I can’t” He repeated.
“You’re not saving me!” Lance finally let his own snarl out. “This is making it worse.” He whined. His hands lifted to his face. He felt like he was in agony. It felt like his very soul had been fractured.
“I’m sorry,” Shiro’s voice was so close to him.
Big, strong hands, hands Lance used to adore, pulled his own away.
Clasped over Lance’s shaking slender fingers, Shiro pet over the scratches and marks lining from fingertip to arm.
“Since the moment I first—since you let me break your skin the first time—I’ve never wanted to do it again.” Shiro hissed the words, like a threat almost.
Lance gave a whimper but his shaking shoulders still hunched deeper.
“I am so sorry I’ve broken your skin again.” Shiro said.
With a tug, and then another before Shiro let his hands draped from over Lance’s, Lance retreated.
“No,” He croaked, his voice raw. “It’s not my skin you’ve broken.”
“Stop expecting me to love you.” Lance hissed. “You forced me into this,” His voice cracked. His hands went back to his face, pressing in over his eyes. He didn’t want to sob again.
“Don’t turn these tables.” Shiro straightened. “It wasn’t me that forced you to do anything at the start of this.”
By the time Lance looked back up, Shiro was on his way back to the bedroom, leaving Lance to clean himself up however he wanted.
It wasn’t till Lance flipped the handle in the shower that he felt Shiro’s fingers trail down his spine again. He must be in a good mood, Lance thought, his anger towards Lance over their argument just a few minutes before had faded quickly.
The warm waters splashing across the tile masked the slide of Shiro’s feet closer.
“This isn’t comfort.” Lance expressed.
Shiro was still close, his hand sliding down Lance’s slender side, over the jut of his hip bone and down farther over his thigh.
“I’ll offer you comfort whenever you wish me to.” Shiro’s voice was deep next to Lance’s ear.
Eyes back to the tile, Lance didn’t say anything else as Shiro’s hand smoothed down his skin.
“You’re mocking me,” Lance whispered. “You told me you’d treat me like a prince.”
“I am.” Shiro kissed at Lance’s shoulder.
“Then send me down to the prison cells.” Lance challenged. His head lifted as he looked back over his shoulder. “I’m the last prince of Altea. Treat me like that, like you would the rest of my bloodline.”
Through the water droplets, Shiro’s eyes were a deep grey. He blinked and water droplets dropped from his eyelashes.
“This conversation ended.” Shiro spoke.
“You’re refusing to listen.” Lance countered. “I’ve made what I want very clear.” His throat felt tight, and his hand reached out to the marble walls.
Shiro’s sigh was against Lance’s hair.
“If I’m down there, with her, you won’t have to worry about me,” Lance went on. “I’ve got to be more of a burden here. No body—“
The hand at his throat, retching him back, had Lance gasping. On the tips of his toes, Lance was forced to stumble back and into Shiro’s arms, his back hitting Shiro’s chest as his fingers scrambled and pulled at Shiro’s arm.
“You don’t get to go back.” Shiro spoke at Lance’s ear.
Despite his hold, Lance found breath easy enough and it was even easier as he leaned back into Shiro’s other arm at his waist. And as Lance let his head rest back on Shiro’s shoulder, the metal hand relaxed and slid down over Lance’s collarbone.
Blinking up at the ceiling, Lance found he couldn’t really steady himself, but Shiro was already taking his weight, so sagging back into him was easier.
It wasn’t till Lance had relaxed back that he felt the hand slip down from his waist again.
His breath hitched as Shiro’s fingers splayed over him. His lips were at Lance’s neck. He was so warm as he shuffled Lance closer to let the water from the shower head stream over him. Lance let his eyes flick closed as he relaxed back. It was just—he didn't really wanna fight any more. So his grip on Shiro’s arm only tightened.
Shiro’s fingers slid over Lance’s soft stomach and down farther, sliding in between his thighs.
“Please,” the word came out as he exhaled and turned his face into Shiro’s neck. “Grant my request.” If Lance could get this one thing, he could steer events from there on out.
There was a rumble under him, causing Lance to shiver. His thighs squeezed over the hand between them. He could feel it already. He always craved Shiro. Even against gritted teeth and sharp comments, he could feel Shiro through the bond as well. Lance was sad—and Shiro was a roiling undercurrent of red hot coals.
“No.” Shiro’s voice was so close to him. “Your place is here.”
Lance shook his head.
That’s when he finally gasped, jolting as Shiro’s fingers slid up and—
“Nahuhh!” Lance’s head dropped back.
Sliding through slick, Shiro’s fingers worked into him.
And Lance’s hand scratched over his arms and his fingers clambered over Shiro’s skin.
His feet lifted as Shiro finally thrust his fingers in. And Lance panted. It was—oh the slow slide out of him, God Lance wanted so bad to just let go. But wasn’t that what got him here? Just letting go and letting Shiro take the reins was how Lance had ended up a prisoner in his own home.
Shiro was already kissing at the side to his neck, growling deep as he nipped over Lance’s bond mark.
Eyes rolling back, Lance was consumed with the fingers inside of him, moving slowly. His thighs nearly shook as his breath shuddered out of him with each exhale.
“Victory—“ Shiro hissed at Lance’s ear. “Is finally mine.”
Lance’s eyes shifted. How long had Shiro waited?
His fingers drew from Lance slow, eliciting a gasp.
“You’re not listening to my words,” Lance huffed.
Shiro’s eyes were narrow as he thrust his fingers back in. He leaned back down to kiss at the mark at the top of Lance’s shoulder.
Lance nearly hiccuped with a laugh.
“Spoils of war?” He offered.
“Mercy,” Shiro grunted as he moved his fingers still, keeping Lance prone and on the edge.
And edging him, he was, Lance’s eyes rolled back with each slow thrust of big fingers inside of him, and pulling out then back in—oh god.
“I don’t know if I like your mercy.” Lance pushed the words out.
“You’ve already taken it,” Shiro said, his lips were so close to Lance’s skin, kissing as he spoke all the ways up Lance’s neck.
Shiro’s fingers moved faster and Lance’s feet scrambled across the tiles to keep himself upright.
“You can’t reject it now—“ Shiro's voice was deep.
It was sudden and fierce but Lance’s feet pushed up as the alpha tone shook through him and his breath caught just as—
He let out a yowl as he arched with the climax and simultaneously Shiro sunk his mouth over the bonddmark.
He didn’t break Lance’s skin again, but it was a threat Lance could feel carved through him.
Once cleaned and recovered, Lance pulled on a soft white shirt upon entering the bedroom again.
With a jolt, Lance first registered as his arm was grabbed as he reached for the rest of his cloths.
“Shiro,” Lance knew his voice was clipped.
His hand still on Lance’s wrist, he only stepped closer, already in boots and pants he seemed to only have a keen sense for Lance. He leaned in, metal fingers tugging just once, and the shirt’s collar pulled over Lances shoulder to reveal another delicate blue mark over Lance’s peaking shoulder.
Leaning in, Shiro pressed a softer kiss to Lance’s shoulder this time.
With bated breath, there wasn’t anywhere for Lance to move, caught between Shiro and the massive bed.
“I’m sure your new subjects will like to see you,” Lance tried to keep his voice as neutral as possible.
“Lance,” His voice was always so deep.
An arm around his waist constricted, pulling Lance back farther to press in against Shiro.
Lance’s eyes widened.
Shiro already had him corned closer to the bed.
“Why am I here?” Lance whined. He looked pointedly forward this time.
Shiro let his arm drop as he slid in another kiss to his peaking shoulder. “Don’t act oblivious, love.” He kissed at Lance’s neck and then his jaw line.
A hand moved under the shirt and slid up Lance’s spine.
Eyes flicking shut, Lance went up on his tipsy toes to follow the hand, and the rush that came with it. As it reached between his shoulders he was pushed down, face first into the sheets.
With gentler hands, Shiro ran his fingertips back down and pushed the white shirt up.
Looking back, Lance found he didn’t mind as much this time. Swallowing, Lance pushed himself forward on the bed, more comfortably laying across the comforter and Shiro stepped closer behind him.
When Shiro crawled his hands forward, still standing at the end, Lance lifted his head.
“You won’t let me go,” Lance whined.
The shake of Shiro’s head was definite, final. “No.” He answered.
Lance was still slick. As Shiro moved his hand over him and between his legs again, his fingers slower, more expectant this item as they slid into him.
With a shiver and his eyes nearly rolling back Lance had to steady himself. Whatever look presented itself, it must have pleased Shiro, because Lance found his face peppered with kisses as a reward.
The shift of clothing was easy and even as Lance fell back across the bed he could feel as Shiro’s fingers spread him.
“Mhhhhnn,” It felt like—eons, ages, a millennia and Lance nearly arched with it.
“Why would you want to leave,” Shiro’s hands gripped at either side of Lance’s hips, his hands framing them perfectly before giving one powerful thrust forward, seating himself entirely within Lance.
The sheets gave their own whispers as Lance fisted his hands in them and tore them all closer to him.
“You have the Emperor’s favor.” Shiro explained simply.
Lance keened and lifted his head from the comforter. Right. Favor. He certainly had that.
“You have more now, than your family would have ever given you.” Shiro’s hands pet up and down Lance’s sides.
“You’ve destroyed this kingdom, I have nothing.” Lance whispered into the sheets. He looked back over his shoulder. "Why keep me here?” -
Rocking in—Shiro gave a grin and Lance had to bite his lip from crying out.
As Shiro slid out, his head lifted, falling back. “I don’t understand why you’re so insistent.”
“I’m bound by — duty” Lance couldn’t stop the hitch of his breath as he was thrust into again.
He was so full. So full and he could feel Shiro—each thrust felt so perfect into him. Lance’s back arched as he felt Shiro’s hand move back up his spine. Oh—oh god that felt amazing.
Shiro let out a chuckle. What they were doing was clearly affecting him as well. Lance could hear the smile in the deep rumble of his voice.
“Your duty?” He was chuckling.
Lance panted as he tried to steady himself. Shiro thrust into him again, and his vision blurred. It feel so amazing. “I’m—“ Another thrust into him and the slap of skin.
Shiro had fisted the white shirt in his hands, holding Lance in place with it.
Another thrust and another, he wasn’t speeding up. It was slow, dragging himself out, before the wet squash as his cock slid back through slick and into Lance again.
It was drunkenly maddening.
“I am—“ Lance had to swallow. “The prince of Altea.”
There was a deep rolling hum from over him.
“I should share the fate of Altea.” Lance struggled for breath as he felt Shiro sliding back out of him.
“You’ve never been concerned with Altea before,” Shiro explained simply.
“I’ve always put my kingdom first.” Lance shot back, his head jerking to look over his shoulder at Shiro.
The man was smiling. Maddeningly he was smiling at Lance so sweetly, like he was truly looking at the love of his live, like this was enjoyable to him. “No,” Shiro shook his head. “My love, you’ve always been concerned with the king, not your kingdom.”
Lance blinked at Shiro—he had—
Shiro pulled Lance back then, slamming back into him. “You will simply do the same now,” He whispered as he bowed over Lance, speaking into his ear. “You will serve your king.”
Shiro’s hands were underneath him then digging though the sheets—and Lance let out a cry as he was finally touched. As his own pleasure was finally met.
He felt it then, the first contraction through him, and it left him shaking.
Shiro over him gaped and growled, as he thrust into Lance faster now. With one hand splayed across Lance’s back he held him there and with the other he squeezed and pulled at Lance’s own cock between his legs. Lance’s hands fisted in the sheets and he whined and cried out.
He felt it hitting against him then as Shiro swelled.
“I’m too sensitive,” Lance begged as his hand dug under himself to grasp at Shiro’s. “I can’t again.”
“I want to see your face like that again,” Shiro slammed back into him, the knot slipping in this time.
Lance fought for breath but Shiro’s fingers still moved on him. He felt so close to the edge. His legs shook and he writhed against the onslaught.
“I can’t,” Lance gulped an inhale and his back arched as Shiro started to give him squeezing strokes as his knot slipped in and then out again. It was stretching him so much— and Lance loved it.
His body constricted again, the contraction hitting through him.
“Your emperor wants it.” Shiro —
Lance opened his eyes fully.
He could hear it. He could hear the smile again, the lift in Shiro’s voice. He was taking his victory now. He was celebrating his win now, taking from Lance whatever he wanted.
And Lance—he didn't have a choice.
The body constricted again and as it hit through him his vision blurred with white and the tension burst inside of him
Shiro thrust his knot in again and this time— it stuck.
His now short thrusts were frantic into Lance, testing the connection just enough to feel the tug between the two of them. And all through Lance’s orgasm he gasped and writhed and his back arched as his head fell forward to the sheets.
It was mere moments later he heard the groan of completion over him and felt the warmth of his mate spilling into him then.
Lance couldn’t move, his body spent, he just whined and keened as his new king clawed his hands over him.
“Yes,” Shiro’s voice was a growl over him.
Lance cracked his eyes only enough to see Shiro’s face. It was far too telling to watch as he smiled and chuckled over Lance, as he pet over him and tore the shirt he still wore away from his skin.
Leaning over him, Shiro licked his way into a kiss over the bond mark marring Lance’s neck.
He pushed up a moment later. The jostling made Lance mewl but it wasn’t painful.
He was simply stuck there, connected to his mate till the knot rescinded.
Even panting and collapsed, Lance’s head shot up.
Still supporting himself on the poster of the bed, and still—sealed in Lance, Shiro looked up as well.
A tall Galra, flanked by two black guards had entered the room. Behind him Antok wandered in as well, his hands held behind his back as he took up station at the back of the room.
When someone had entered the room, Lance wasn’t sure, but his face shot red as he tried to turn away. This was— no Altean would do this. This was inappropriate.
Shiro seemed unfazed a hand still stroking up Lance’s spine.
“You have a full day.” There wasn’t an ounce of shock in the voice of the newcomer.
Shiro was nearly giddy, Lance could see it, even just glancing to the side of his vision, Lance knew from the slight curve of his mouth in how he exhaled in a huffed near chuckle. Shiro was more than pleased. He was well sated at least, Lance could take pride in that. And he was not in the least bit affected by being found that way, knotted to his Altean prize.
“I’m afraid it will still be a few moments yet, before I can begin.”
The Galra’s golden eyes shifted to Lance. “It seems you’ve already finished.” He seemed amused but unfazed.
Shiro just gave a slight smile, his hand going to Lance’s hip, as he caressed him openly. “I don’t wish to hurt him.” His head shifted back to Lance. Shiro seemed to have fully regained himself. “He’s never given me reason to be cruel.”
Looking up from the soiled sheets, disheveled and on display, Lance narrowed his eyes at his mate.
“Of course,” the Galra gave a respectful nod. “He is your bond mate.”
“He is the Emperor’s consort.” Shiro corrected.
“Of course, my Kon.” The Galra gave a small bow of his head.
“The reports of this morning?” Shiro’s caressing hand didn’t still even as his tone changed.
Stuck there, Lance tested the connection himself as he tried to shift on his side and away. It—would be very painful if he tried to pull away.
“They’re good.” The man went on. “You’ve got the entire capital city under Galra control and we’re working our way through the outskirts.”
“I’ve been informed the noble family’s are shoring up their defense.” Shiro brushed the soft white shirt down over Lance's skin.
“Some,” there was a chuckle. “Though nearly half have proposed negotiations and as of now six are already here, proclaiming they will swear fealty.”
Those cowards. It was always—Lance felt numb. Their king was dead and yet none of them even lifted a finger unless it was in their own defense.
Lance had to close his eyes as he finally felt it, the swell, it was finally—“Nahhh!”
Shiro sliding out of him sent another shock wave through Lance, and he nearly face planted back to the covers.
“Shhh, my darling,” Shiro was over him in an instant, kissing at his temple as he pet at Lance’s hair. “You did so well.”
Those bigs hands were still at Lance’s thighs a moment longer, petting over soft skin before Shiro turned. He pulled on a robe as he directed a servant, “Get him something to eat and get him hydrated. He didn’t eat most likely all day yesterday.”
Lance didn’t feel like he could even push himself up from the bed, though he had enough sense to tug the long shirt down as he tucked his legs up on the bed.
“Thace,” Shiro’s deep voice echoed in the room as he cheerfully stepped forward to the advisor. “Let’s get started on the plans for dealing with the nobles that are willing.”
Lance shifted onto his side so he could watch as Shiro and Thace stalked away from the bed. The wardrobes of the room, were already thrown open as servants started to bustle in and attend.
There was movement and Lance noticed Antok had made his way over, standing still in the shadows as he rounded on the bed. Still an ever present guard.
Shiro was already being dressed in rich blacks and fitted armor, he spoke with Thace in hushed tones though still—Lance felt like he wanted to be buried. His mate was still reveling in victory. Even as he’d twisted Lance up, even as he’d taken everything and left him empty, he still enjoyed it.
Turning away, Lance noticed there were servants now with Antok.
“Leave him in peace till he wants to move,” Shiro’s voice boomed across the room. “My Altean Prince is frail right now—let him be.”
Frail? Is that how Shiro saw Lance? It seemed impossible at that moment to stop his own mind. Maybe this was loss, maybe this was what it felt like to be grasping at straws, but Lance couldn’t stop the whirling of his thoughts. Was this what it felt like to lose?
Slowly, Lance pushed himself up on the bed. Shiro had just—he’d royally fucked Lance. Lance could feel it still between his legs, the syrupy slick and white semen.
As Lance shifted to the side of the bed, Antok was already stepping up.
The man was so massive. Lance had to tilt his head to look up at him. He was so big. No doubt that was why Shiro chose him.
Offering a broad, massive hand, Lance was given a moment of comparison as he rest his own hand over Antok’s as he slid off the bed.
“Your Highness,” The servants were scrambling over to him.
Lance noticed they were the same two from the night before. He already disliked them. Those large eyes he knew were there more to spy on him than anything else.
Lance stepped around them, his feet still bare and the white dress shirt was still hanging off his shoulder.
“Lance,” Shiro called from where he still consulted at the sitting area of the room.
“I’m going to wash off.” Cause like hell was Lance going to let Shiro’s seed dribble out of him all day. “Antok is fine, the rest I don’t want around.” Lance knew it sounded rude. A few days ago, he would have never been so brash to the servants. He was a prince, he was better than that.
But—he was there to serve his King and after what just happened that was so painfully obvious. And Lance could care less. If he was the new palace pet, he might as well be frank.
Shiro still wore that smile—that smirk, Lance was behaving and it made him happy. He flicked his hands at the servants, dismissing them. His eyes were lovingly still on Lance. On the short cut of the shirt, on the new peppering of marks on his skin. They were intentional this time. Lance had been dealt a blow and it showed.
His loss showed across his bronze skin.
Lance gritted his teeth.
His frailty was on display.
Lance turned to the bathroom. Behind him, Antok followed and as Lance’s feet padded across the polished marble, Antok secured the doors to the bathroom closed.
“Thank you,” Lance paused at the showers glass.
Antok gave a nod. He was back to that helmet again so there was nothing Lance could glean.
Lance slipped off the shirt, dropping it to the tile, before he went to the shower. He wanted a real shower this time.
The massive halls of the throne room were packed with people. All with dark markings and ears all tilted upwards. Lance did not expect as he entered that every eye in the room would turn to him.
When Lance had stepped out of the bathroom, the King’s chambers had cleared. And what looked to be workers had filed in. They talked openly about the alterations they would be making to the room. Lifting the bed up on a platform, sectioning off a sitting room on first entry. They paid Lance no mind, and all Lance could think about was—it would look nothing like it had with his father.
The two wide eyed servants were eagerly waiting. They had laid out cloths for Lance on a foot stool, informing him he was to be presented to the Emperor. He didn’t have much of an option, so he’d let them dress him in the richly gold embroidered pitch black fabrics. A stark clean mark at both sleeves and then at a small insignia over the right of his chest prompted Antok to him say to him in a hushed tone, they were the mark of the Champion.
Lovely. Lance was being branded.
At the entrance of the throne room now, Lance looked over the vast open halls. The cathedral ceilings all richly adorned in blues and golds and silvers from his childhood were no more. While the shell of the architecture still stood, it had already been filled with deep purples and blacks.
If it weren’t for the white-marble pillars doting the room Lance wasn’t sure he’d even recognize the space.
“His Majesty, the Emperor has asked you to present yourself to him.” Though the crowd, Honerva spoke as she stepped up through the throngs.
Lance looked at her. She was the only other Altean in the room, it felt like a deep betrayal at that moment. It didn’t escape his notice that her own clothing brandished the same marks as Lance’s.
He only spared her a glance though before he stepped forward, descending the step into the court rooms floors, in sync his Guard moved behind him. Antok stood directly behind him as well as two hulking black armored guards flanked on either side.
The outfit he wore was unfamiliar to him in make. The servants had seemed to ogle over it so he could only guess it was Varria—Galra in origin. It fit more like a robe, covering over his shoulders and hanging down around him, though pulled in and sashed at his waist. It was also entirely open backed. It had slits clasped together at his sides as well, but beyond the sash they just hung down, leaving the expanses of his thigh on display as well till meeting the tall over the knee boots. And it hadn’t escaped Lance’s notice as the servants had pulled the long sleeves over his arms. Much of the fabric was thin, and Lance’s marks from his arms and hips still could be seen though, but his back—that was entirely on display.
Just another marked victory. The last remaining royal—now the Emperor’s pet.
It made Lance’s throat constrict.
For a man that had promised Lance would never be a trophy, he was now dressing Lance up very consistently as one.
The crowd parted easily as Lance started forward. He held his chin high, looking only forward to the King’s enclave.
Shiro had started from still talking with Thace even as he sat at the throne. A smile had curved at his lips first, before Thace had looked up from the data pad in his hands to see Lance as well. The smile he gave was a bit more mysterious as he looked back to Shiro before back to Lance. Shiro had spoken something to Thace that caused him to smile wider, though the tall Galran man gave a bow to Shiro before stepping down and away from the throne.
Lance was so enthralled with the interaction he didn’t notice as suddenly—
“Pompous prick!” The Galran woman spat as she narrowly moved out of Lance’s way.
It was shocking enough, Lance paused as the woman hastily stepped back and away as one of Lance’s Guards stepped up.
Right. He breathed slow. This was no longer his father’s throne room. Every individual in that room probably had enough cause to hate Lance they’d all sooner see him be-headed.
Lance looked up at the throne.
For all his lamenting that morning and his pleading—Lance wasn’t down in the prison cells with his sister. He was there, waiting for a verdict of inevitable death.
He was here, at the feet of the Man who had orchestrated it all.
And as he, himself had pointed out—Lance had the Emperor’s favor.
They all hated him here—except one.
And he adored Lance. He had saved him. He had preserved a dynasty because of him.
Lance took a step closer through the crowd. There was another jeer and a hiss from a Galra baring long fangs at him. Another snarled at him then as well.
The game—was still being played, it finally sunk into Lance then.
Eye’s around him, Lance could clearly see the looks of disdain on the dark faces.
He wasn’t sure if he could ever get any of them to adore him like the man that sat at their head—but Lance could garner their respect, and play his cards in a way that would please his Emperor as well.
Lance took another step, followed by another.
His pace was slower this time, the Galra before him stepping out of his way with sneers and howls as they all bore fangs and snarled at him. But none tried to actually touch him.
Lifting his eyes, to the throne, Lance breathed out slow as he reached the platform.
The dais was nearly unrecognizable. The throne Shiro sat on was not the same delicately encased gold of Lance’s father. It was dark obsidian and heavy—wide set as Shiro sat back in it, still watching Lance.
“Your majesty,” Antok stepped out around Lance.
Shiro lounged back, as he lifted a hand to his lips and looked on.
“The Altean Prince Lance, Last of the house of Arus.”
It was that word again. Lance narrowed his eyes. Last. Last… last… Lance needed to figure out a way past it.
With a small gesture, he beckoned Lance forward.
Lance’s guard all stepped with him up onto the dais as he approached. It wasn’t till Lance was only a foot or so away that he saw Keith step out from around the black throne.
He was—he looked the part for once. It was surely Shiro’s doing. Because in that moment Keith actually looked like he could rip someone to shreds within his lithe and richly red accented armor. The red cloak wrapped around his shoulders was—it made him look like the second hand to the Emperor that Lance had no doubt he was.
“You will kneel before your Kon.” Keith’s words were emotionless, but Lance noticed the stillness, the silence that had overtaken the room.
They kept repeating that as well. Like Lance hadn’t already figured it out, they seemed obsessed with informing him Shiro was now the emperor and not just over any one—but specifically he was Lance’s Emperor.
Well, if they thought he was give a bit of push back—he couldn’t disappoint.
Tilting his head, Lance looked to Shiro. His face held into a careful expression—they both knew what it meant.
Shiro blinked at him once, though he didn’t seem to consider before giving Lance what he wanted and saying it himself.
Keith wasn’t Lance’s emperor after all. He didn’t have a right to command anything from Lance.
“Lance,” Shiro’s voice was low though as deep as ever. “Kneel.” He nodded to the floor.
Lance glanced at his guard again. He could see where this took him. He was interested in garnering favor after all, might as well give Shiro something to chew on for a while.
So gracefully, Lance shifted down to a single knee, still high enough to be considered regal.
He saw it though, in the way Shiro tipped his head, in the subtle way he leaned forward.
Oh this—this was not what Lance had expected. And he may have gotten himself into some hot water. He felt hot, and breathed slow, hoping he didn’t step into water destined to boil.
“I must not have been clear enough—“ Shiro leaned forward on his throne to Lance. “On your knees.” His voice was booming, through the quiet halls.
Lance’s eyes were wide and he knew it. He didn’t have to look around him to know every eye in the room was on him.
He had one goal, he repeated to himself.
There was so much in him—his muscles felt stoney, his reactions sluggish. But he repeated to himself—he had one goal. And it meant more than his grasp on former glory.
So very carefully he shifted down yet again on his knees before Shiro’s feet.
The moment Lance’s head was bowed there was as click of feet before Thace was standing there at Shiro’s other side and his voice was clear and loud.
“You will swear undying allegiance to your Emperor, you will promise yourself to him and no other, and resolve yourself to all he commands, and you will acknowledge your own place at his left hand, relegating yourself to fulfilling his wishes within your role.”
Lances head tipped up. Not to Thace, not to Keith, but to look at the man he was mated to in the eye.
Shiro’s gaze was stalwart, stoney as he watched down at Lance.
“It will make no difference,” Lance whispered, just loud enough he knew only Shiro would catch it.
Shiro blinked again before with a narrow, lingering gaze he looked past Lance.
Lance tipped his head, his gaze shifting as well.
The game had changed. Lance breathed out slow, to try and give himself time to think.
The pledge wasn’t to Shiro. It was, but this—this was interesting. Behind Lance stood a wall of men. Though now that he thought about it. They had probably always been there. Shiro had managed to get into the royal Altean Palace as Captain of the Kingsguard, before he ever took the Black Bayard—at such a young age… He didn’t get there alone. He didn’t conquer an empire entirely alone. And all the snarling hulking beasts behind Lance—there was his support system.
This was—slightly encouraging.
This was a system Lance knew. A king was his pieces on the board, he was his support system. And all though Shiro may be ruling it different than Lance’s father ever did. This was still a game Lance could catch onto.
His eyes returned to Shiro.
Right. Lance was being asked if he’d play nice. Or if he’d fight and the men behind him—could demand his head. Shiro was trying to save Lance’s head. The question nagged what Shiro possibly even had to do to bargain for Lance’s life, no doubt a pledge of fealty was only the tip of the Iceberg.
The last thing Lance needed was to be the first to give reason for a guillotine, especially if he had at the very least an emperor that wanted him breathing.
“Your Majesty,” Lance let his head drop again. “I pledge myself to you.”
It was a comforting thought, in the back of Lance’s mind. His mate still loved him enough to possibly go against everything he’d promised these people for Lance’s life. It was the weirdest romantic thing he’d probably ever get from Shiro.
Lance sucked in breath. “I will do everything in my power to fulfill all that you ask of me.” And he breathed out.
Shiro was sliding to the edge of his throne as he reached forward to carefully cup Lances head, he pressed a kiss in over Lance’s forehead, before whispering at his ear.
Lance glanced at him through his lashes. “Would you have gone to war for me?” He whispered in return.
Those eyes—they were always such a beautiful storm to watch. “You already know that answer.” His voice though a whisper still was gravelly as he spoke.
Lance gave a nod. Though he wasn’t sure. He did actually wonder what would have happened if he refused. Would Shiro have let them execute him there, on those very steps?
Thace shifted next to Shiro, and Lance’s gaze snapped up. Shiro was presenting a box. As Thace pulled it open from a hinged side, Lance could see the black velvet inside that cushioned—
Shiro took the golden collar. It wasn’t all that thick. It was simple, no jewels or engraved marks. It didn’t need to be. It would be symbol enough.
Shiro was gentle as he leaned forward, tipping Lance’s face back with a careful finger and reached around to secure the clasp and encase the base of Lance’s neck in a ring of gold. Lance swallowed, and he could feel the constriction of it around his throat.
“Up now,” Shiro was urging him, his hand at Lance’s arm, gently patting him.
Lance took the cue and stood. He turned at Shiro’s guidance to face the hall. There were—so many dark faces looking up at him. A sea of purples filled the throne room.
It was a surprise when from behind, Lance felt Shiro stand as well.
“Galra,” His voice boomed hit sitme, resounding through the hall and he had every eye on him. “I give you our symbol to moving forward—my prince is the last relic of a tyranny! And he will be the new dawn of our era!”
There was a great howling across the room, and Lance sucked in breath, realizing the animalistic sound—was cheering.
“I have fought for him, just as we all have fought to reclaim our home! And as such we will not destroy it, but with his submission we will build a new Galran Empire, with no overlords at our backs this time—he is the light of the goddess, he bears her symbol and with him at our side we will reclaim old lands and retake all that was meant as ours!”
Another thundering howl and Lance nearly stepped back into Shiro as his eyes widened. They were all monsters. They all pound their fists and snarled their teeth even in celebration—Lance wasn’t sure—how could he possibly hope to do this? How had this ever produced the man behind him?
“I present to you my Consort! Our glory personified and our future fated with him on our side!”
The booming shout through the room had Lance’s fisted hands brought up before himself in protection, though as his eyes frantically looked back at Shiro—the man beamed and grinned.
And then Lance was abruptly sign shuffled back. Shiro was there as Lance was shield by Anotk’s hulking form.
“Keep him in secluded parts of the Palace,” As Shiro turned away from the crowd, his voice was hushed. Just loud enough for Antok, Lance managed to catch it as well. he indeed still looked accomplished but Lance caught the narrowing of his eyes. “Trust no one around him—not yet.”
Antok gave a nod, and quickly Lance had his own escort back through the throne room again. The room roiled with war like chats and all deep throated guttural voices.
It wasn’t till Lance was back out and gasping for fresh air in the courtyards that he realized something.
It was easier to lie to an emperor than Lance had ever imagined.