Two Shadows Went, Chapter 20

Updated: Apr 12, 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.


“Lance,”


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.


“I—“


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.”


“Lance—“


“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.


It felt—amazing.


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