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Two Shadows Went, Chapter 31:Epilogue

Two Shadows Went Index

"Lance," Shiro’s desperate voice rang through his senses.

The rush of breath filling his lungs, had Lance gasping, his fingers curled as he gulped down breath after breath. There was a hiss as the airlocks around him broke and Lance’s eyes scrunched at the light.

Wh—-What? Where was—

The door was already swinging open though and Lance lost any hope of retaining his balance

His stagger forward wasn’t enough to catch him and Lance’s hands clawed out at the chambers walls only to slow his descent to the floor as he sank down.

When his eyes cracked open, Lance blinked up before him...

What—-Lance’s brow furrowed as he looked over the faces staring at him. This couldn’t—who were these people? They looked almost Altean and yet not? Were they Galra?

Would it be better for Lance if they were Galra?

"I—" Lance wasn’t sure what he would say. ‘I am your Kon Karnate?’ ‘I am the mate of your Kon?’ ‘I am an Altean prince?’ Did any of those titles mean anything anymore? His head swam with memories and an explosion--? Lance couldn’t place, what had--happened?

Lance starred up.

One of them stepped forward, before—

A shadow, a so familiar shadow stepped over Lance and hands were at his shoulders, pulling Lance up enough to get his feet under himself.

Lance’s face broke into a smile as he turned, his own hands clutched to the familiar large hands at his shoulders till— Lance stopped. He looked at the hand he caressed with his own.

Antok’s fur had always been a deep purple, a vivid deep purple. And the weathered cracked hands at Lance’s shoulders—had faded in color.

He leaned back as his face shifted up and he looked to the old, grizzled Galra that was stooped over him. FOr once he didn’t wear his helmet. His face had aged, but it was still the same in so many ways. His long mane of hair, once a blacked violet was now grey. His face markings were faded and his deep purple skin was now a lilac hue.

"Your Highness,"

His voice hadn’t changed.

Lance's expression broke as he realized. His mouth dropped open. “Shiro ordered me to be placed in hibernation.” He concluded out loud. "How long?" He reached to run his hand over the long, braided locks, his hand settling at Antok’s face.

It felt—-like safety. It felt like something Lance had so rarely felt as Antok adjusted, letting Lance lean back into him.

"It’s been a very long time, Your Highness." Antok’s voice rumbled.

"Your face..." Lance trailed, his eyes running over the man before him. Antok had been in his prime the last Lance had seen him and now—it was a veteran that stopped before him.

"You’ve changed as well," Antok indicated to the reflections in the cryopod.

Lance shifted, his interest peaked as he turned.

The crisp white tumble of locks he saw in the reflection was nearly matte it was such a bright white. It was a white so pure it didn’t even have a sheen to it. It wasn’t even the prismatic gleaming of his father or sisters' hair—it was just white. Like snow, Lance realized as he turned his head.

It must have been a long time indeed, Lance thought as he turned back. His soft, young face felt out of place to see, especially now with such a startling shade of white over his brow.

"Where is he?" Lance's voice was quiet. “What’s happened?”

It felt like family he realized as he looked back. The warmth from Antok, the heavy comforting hand at his back, the deep way his voice grated over gravel—like he was on the edge of purring or growling was unclear, but it was an edge Lance now knew so well, an edge he counted on from every other man in his life. The Galran tone of voice felt familiar and the slight accent was a comfort.

There was an exhale over his head. "Things—have changed. The universe has changed."

Lance glanced around him, gleaning whatever information he could. They were in space. There were three hibernation pods activated. Lance’s clothes had been washed--he’d been cared for.

“Where are we?” He asked Antok.

The old Galran opened his mouth to answer but before he could--


The long form of Allura stepped forward.

She still wore the clothes she’d been sentenced to death in. Lance’s eyes narrowed. She hadn’t been cared for.

Her face—Lance had never seen her look like that. It was a desperate look. A look of—a desperate need for hope.

With a push up, Lance let his guard guide him up to stand.

"Baby brother," Allura’s hand went to her mouth as her brow furrowed and her eyes—she was breaking. Her frame shook and wet glean of her eyes held Lance enraptured for the smallest moment.

Until his brow lowered.

Was this friend or foe? His feet moved to a wide steady stance.

"You saved us," Allura gasped.

Lance looked around then. The Castle of Lions—was all he could see.

"Your Highness,"

It was another familiar voice, and Lance’s head jerked to the side. There was a difference in Antok’s voice now. Sorrow. Antok held sorrow in his own voice.

“Where are we?” Lance repeated.

As Lance’s gaze cut across to Antok again his question remained unanswered as at Lances sid he noticed--

“Your Highness!” Coran stumbled forward to him, it was only a sliver of a blink before Lance felt the rush behind him and Antok had drawn his black blade. The brilliant vivid neon streak down the sword left tracks in everyone’s vision as it stuck out.

It didn’t even feel out of place. Lance tipped his head to his former manservant.

"Coran," he spoke.

The man’s gaze shifted from the sword pointed at him, to Lance.

The cream of armor in Lance’s ear told him, though his guard had aged—he had not faded.

"I’m afraid Antok has short limits," Lance spoke. "He’s not the generous type when it comes to trust." A memory surfaced then, Pidges still, paled face as she lay lifeless on the cold marble. Antok hadn’t hesitated.

The room quieted.