Updated: Apr 13, 2019
When he could finally manage to get out of bed and dress on his own, Lance had decided to pull on real cloths. The night shirt and soft cotton sleep pants he wore were nice, albeit not exactly princely. Though with the ache dissipating it took a surprising amount of time to simply pull on pants and a shirt. He managed boots but as he rummaged around he couldn't find his circlet anywhere. He decided to forgo it in the end as well as a jacket. He highly doubted he would manage to stumble into anything important anyway.
Making his way out of the bedroom, he finally took a moment to observe his new surroundings. Shiro's quarters were—very black. Charcoal furniture, black accents, black everything. And if not black, then a deep Galaxy purple. The over washing color he realized though was grey. It marked the black to stand out more, but it was what most of the walls and even the bed linens had been made up in.
Lance wasn't so sure how used to it he could get, his own rooms were all whites and creams splashed with his signature brilliant blue.
As he had expected there was a lot of rooms to Shiro's quarters. The entry sitting room was the hub of his quarters, it led directly through double doors to the largest room, the bedroom. It had the vast canopy bed with walk-in closets on either side for them both. Lance being as nosey as he was, looked in Shiro's first. The most concise description of Shiro's wardrobe was: More Black. It was all functional black as well, cloths for training or strict uniforms. Nothing that just was there to be there. In his own closet it looked as if about half of Lance's cloths had been brought over.
The bedroom from there was one more room deep leading to the large bathroom. All of it was polished black metal of course and cool grey marble.
Once back in the sitting room, there was a door on either side. The one on the right led to what looked like Shiro's office that could double as another sitting room, with a massive dark grey wood desk, imperial style it dominated the room. There was also a small group of chairs and a cozy love seat arranged around a fireplace. On the left led to a small parlor. The most striking feature of the room was the piano.
Right. This room must have been designated Lance’s. It wasn't like the others. The grey was gone in here, with mostly white surfaces all around. There was still plenty of black as well. But on a white coffee table sat a beautiful cobalt blue vase, a bouquet of moon flowers resting in it. Soft looking sofas were arranged and book cases lined around a massive window with wispy sheer linen treatments.
Well, at least Shiro had planned on giving Lance some of his own space. Lance could live with that.
Before he left the quarters he looked around the sitting room again. One thing did strike him this time, how little was decorating the quarters. There were no pictures on the wall. It was all very regal. But it was also--minimalist and in way Lance wasn't sure he could appreciate. It was too much bare marble for his tastes.
Before Lance ever made it to his former rooms to see if there was any of his belongings that had been left behind he ran into the one person he never wanted to see—
"Your highness!" Coran's quirky accent never did quite soothe Lance. "Your highness! I'm not so sure you should be out of bed!"
Oh god, if Lance stayed in bed one more minute he'd die of boredom! "I'm perfectly fine, Coran." Lance monotoned.
"No," Coran insisted. "No, I was given the strictest of edicts by the Black Paladin himself," Coran leaned in towards Lance, hand to the side of his mouth as if he were telling a secret, "your newest bond mate," Coran raised his eyebrows in a way Lance never wanted to see again. "That you, my prince, are to remain in your rooms till you have properly regained your strength."
Coran cleared his throat then. "And if I might say, I witnessed you bonding sir and I think it to be sound advice."
And Lance had almost forgotten the part about how literally everybody he had ever known had watched Lance writhe in pain as Shiro had bite his way into Lance's soul and sealed them together.
Lance just held out his arms though, gesturing to himself. "As you can see I have regained my strength!" He hopped from one foot to the other. "Look I can ever managed to walk all by my self." He twirled around already on the path back to his own room. "Relax Coran, I'm just fine."
Coran was already dancing back to Lances side though. "Please, our highness!" He exclaimed before taking Lances arm, "let me at least assist you!"
"Coran, I'm fine!" Lance groaned.
"No-no, I must insist!"
With a huff out of puffed up cheeks and a lowered brow, Lance gave in. "Fine."
Coran gently took one of Lance’s arms.
"I was headed to my bedroom."
"Of course, this way sir," Coran pivoted them and started leading Lance back to the Black Paladin’s quarters.
"Not my new ones!" Lance exclaimed. "///My bedroom."
Coran stopped for a moment. "Your highness, I—“
Lance caught on this time as he saw the advisors face. "I know, Coran." He huffed. "They're not mine any more." He intently tried to stare straight ahead. "I live with Shiro now. I get it. You don't need to break it to me."
"Of course, your highness."
Lance felt a bit too much like he was being humored all of a sudden and with a determined look he gestured off towards his old rooms.
"Come on," he gruffed, "I just wanna go make sure every thing I want was retrieved and sent to Shiro’s—er—the Black Paladin Quarters."
"Absolutely, Your Highness!" Coran already was striding forward, pulling Lance along by his arm. "I will lead the way."
It seemed Lances escapade came at a price. After going through his room with a group of servants at his beck and call, he'd been goaded by Coran into dinner—with his family. Lovely.
Lance couldn't say he minded all that much. He'd had a productive evening. He had all of his books sent over, doubled the wardrobe sent, (adding the more fashionable picks back in, might he add) had the small jewelry armoire sent with all its contents and picked out the trinkets and little things he wanted to keep. By the time he got back, he just might have managed to carve his own little niche into the Black Paladin quarters.
That's when Coran had sprung it on him, asking if Lance felt tired or light headed at all. Lance had quibbed, assuring Coran he was in perfect health!
Which was just marvelous because that meant he could go to dinner with his sister and father and the rest of the Paladins and courtiers! Wasn't that wonderful!
And that's how he managed to find himself trying to sneak into the grand dining room.
As he glanced around at the head table he noticed his fathers absence. It was becoming more common. But what struck him more was the absence of his new bond mate as well.
Allura was already midway through holding her own preemptive court. She laughed at a joke of the baron honorably seated next to her.
Lance gave a sigh of relief as he tried to scurry to his seat.
Only to be stopped by Coran.
"I believe your highness, your new place is up here." He already had Lance’s arm looped through his own as he guided Lance up to the raised head-table.
At the center of the table, the Kings chair sat empty, and to the left sat Allura, now looking at Lance with crystalline eyes. And on the right was the seat belonging to the Black Paladin—Well it had been Red Paladin when Lance’s father still held the title, the point was it was the first ranking Paladin’s seat. Only there were two chairs at the ready.
And Lance was quickly being guided into the second.
"Coran," Lance tried to protest. He even stopped, halting Coran as he tried to explain. "I don't think..."
He hadn't ever really sat at the head table. He was the Second Prince after all, he sat with the rest of the Paladins, next to Hunk at the left table and—
The deep voice, as always, played down Lance’s spine like a Xelaphone.
Lance turned just as Shiro stepped up to him.
"I'm not so sure you should be out of bed." Shiro said thankfully quiet enough only Lance and Coran could hear. It was also accompanied by a look towards Coran, one of clear scolding.
"I," Lance spoke up before the advisor could be accused of any wrong doing. "I feel really well." He said. "I just wanted out of that bedroom for a while. I won’t strain myself. I’ve just been there all day, and all yesterday.”
Shiro's gaze shifted to Lance. It was so terribly unreadable as he seemed to consider Lance. "Alright, I can definitely understand that."
With that, he turned to his seat, brushing past in a soft manner. Lance realized it was in such a way that suggested Shiro expected to be followed.
Dutifully, Lance let Coran pull out the chair next to the Black Paladin and Lance seated himself next to his new mate.
"I have to say," Allura spoke up a seat away, though her calculating gaze flicked from Lance to settle on Shiro. "I'm quite surprised to see you up and about, baby brother."
Lance gave a glare in his sisters direction. "I'm not an invalid." He mumbled.
Allura opened her mouth, expression clear that she was about to contest--
"I've made sure he's doing well." Shiro's vice rumbled next to Lance. There was a new edge to this tone. Something Lance had never heard before. It was dismissal.
Lance blinked. He wasn't sure he'd ever heard anyone talk like that to his sister. People talked to him like that—well more often than Lance liked, but to Allura—no, that was blasphemy.
Farther down the table, Allura’s eyes narrowed as she regarded Shiro, taking a sip from her glass of dark rose liquid.
Lance looked away from her eyes. Hesitant, he started to pick at his meal.
Shiro had relaxed into him by the end of the night, an arm going to loosely and casually rest at his shoulders but he barely looked at him and there was little talking besides from the Baron at the table, still trying to convince Allura of some legislation or another.
At an opportune moment, Lance cleared his throat, “I think I should return to our room now.”
Shiro nodded beside Lance before he turned to him. His hand curled around Lance’s shoulder. “I’ll have Coran escort you back.”
Lance tried to shake his head. “I’m sure that’s not necessary.”
Shiro gave a slow nod, before his eyes alighted and rested on Lance. “It’ll make me feel better.” His tone was soft, but still decisive and he lifted his arm, motioning.
“Your highness,” Corna graciously offered Lance a hand.
He didn’t need it. But with a frown, Lance knew that wasn’t the rules of this game, so he took the offered hand as he stood.
Just as asked, Coran made sure Lance got back to his room.
The canopy over head still wasn’t his, and it was still jarring as he opened his eyes. Nineteen years of waking under a blue sky canopy had been ingrained in him. Shiro’s was so different. It was the same magical quality Lance had noticed on most of his formal wear. The canopy was like staring up at a brilliant eternal night.
But his attention was quickly drawn away. There was speaking in the room around him he realized as he shifted in the sheets.
“This isn’t exactly a prime moment.” It was Shiro’s voice and he was clearly agitated. “I’m sure his highness would prefer to sleep.”
The staunch and dodgy voice that followed made Lance groan. “The whims of his highness fall second nature to that of the Godess.”
He raised a hand, laying it across his face.
Out of the corner of his eye, Lance could see the acolyte take a striding step forward. Unfortunately for him, Lance’s new mate was twice the size of just about every Altean Lance knew.
A metal hand lay across Lances legs, as if to soothe but it just caused Lance to shiver from its cold touch.
Shiro ran with it, gesturing to the door. "My bond-mate is tired.” He hissed. "I don't care if you're the lion Goddess herself, until Lance is feeling better I will have to insist you leave."
A smaller second acolyte stepped up from the door, pointing out. "His highness was in attendance last night for dinner, we only wish a few moments of his time, and I'm sure if he is well enough for court, he is well enough for this."
Lance almost considered moaning in mock pain. The hand at his leg twitched, the metal constricting just slightly enough to squeeze Lance’s ankle through the covers.
"Fine." Shiro gruffed, before to Lance's surprise he sat at the side of the bed. "A few minutes." He darkly snarled under his breath.
The snarl was enough to have Lances nerves back in a tissie but he didn't comment as he finally removed his hand, he tried to push himself up, to find that Shiro was there quickly propping him up against the headboard, while equally glaring at their two robed guests.
The agitation off of Shiro was clear. Lance made a mental note that his mate clearly didn’t like his orders ignored.
The head Acolyte payed Shiro little attention as he snapped his fingers and a servant brought over a chair for him.
"Now your highness," the smaller one approached the bed, he had on impossibly thick glasses. But he gave a wrinkly smile as he approached Lance. "We're here to make sure you understand your new role and that your mate also," he gestured to Shiro giving him another wrinkly smile. "Understands. There is much deemed improper to talk of in everyday life, but is necessary knowledge for a happy life-bonding.”
Lance was froze.
Shiro next to him wore a puzzled expressing as his brow lowered, looking at the acolytes.
They were getting a sex talk. Together. In their bedroom. With Lance still in bed, in fact.
A chair was presented to the elder smaller Acolyte, and though quite frail looking ,he gingerly sat down.
"Now I realize in our society it is much more common to marry among your own second gender." The elder acolyte when on. "There are several reasons for this, but simply because it is easier to connect with someone on the same level as yourself. But as I'm sure the two of you are aware, You two are of the opposing second gender, Shiro as an Alpha and your highness as an Omega."
Lance was watching as it slowly dawned on Shiro exactly where this topic was leading. His brow slowly raised with each word, higher and higher till Lance was pretty sure it might reach his hair line.
The elder paused, looking to them both.
He wanted—an answer, right? Lance cleared his throat. “Yes, we are both aware of our own and of each other’s presentation."
"Oh good." The elder gave another smile. "Then which of you would like to go first?"
Lance blinked. Shiro next to him was still just staring.
"Pardon?" Lance asked.
"I'll take that as a volunteering," the elder enthusiastically gestured and launched in. "Omegas are traditionally the nurture’s. As well, it will be you that bares an heir. They have great responsibility as well as a capacity for caring.”
Well, that wasn't nearly as embarrassing as Lance had thought it would be.
Then the snooty, fat acolyte started to speak. To Shiro, of course. "Your Omega has three sets of glands primarily responsible for comfort and once stimulated cooperation and arousal."
The acolyte stood, taking one step towards the bed—only to be met by the Shiro wall again.
The fat acolyte looked up at Shiro as if he was the one in clear violation. ”If I may demonstrate—“
"No." The finality in Shiro's voice at that moment was both terrifying and the most relieving thing Lance had ever heard. The last thing he would ever want was some pudgy acolyte smudging his grubby fingers over Lance’s sparkly parts.
Undeterred, the acolyte leered at Shiro and went on. “Well, I will simply point them out then."
Knowing there wasn't much way probably around it, Lance opted to just get through it as quickly as possible. He reached out to tug at Shiro's hand just enough to get his attention and give a small nod.
Shiro still didn’t move much, glancing at Lance before he slid a step back to the bed, sitting this time directly between the acolyte and Lance.
"Right," the acolyte huffed. “Now, I am sure you’re aware the primary glands are situated just under the jaw." He gestured to Lance’s bandage. "During your mating, you bit into his left one in fact. But more on that later. These glands are the first you should seek out when trying to calm or persuade your Omega. These glands will zero your Omega’s focus on to you, bringing his awareness solely to his Alpha."
The acolyte gave another sweeping gesture to the back of Lance’s neck. "At the base of an Omega's skull is a set of secondary glands. When stimulated they will calm your Omega, easing any tension or resistance from his muscles." He gave a sweeping gesture downward. "These glands actually branch off and line your Omega’s spine in much smaller glands all the way down. Again they act much the same, inducing a state of contentedness and combating tension."
"And finally there is the glands at the base of the spine, laying at the level of the sacrum." The acolyte didn't gesture this time, only eyed Lance where he sat against the head board.
Shiro's expression didn't budge from malevolent allowing as he glared at the acolyte. And in answer, Lance flattened his back against the headboard a bit more. That—he defiantly didn’t want anyone touching down there.
Lance was a prince. No one was allowed to touch him without his permission. No one had ever even tried if his memory served. To a certain measure, Shiro hadn't even tried.
But if there was one category of people that could feel they still had the right, it would be a man thinking he was the hand-piece of the gods.
That gaze thankfully didn't last long before the acolyte turned, speaking to Shiro again. "Though the primary glands are the most important, these base secondary are possibly the most sensitive. When stimulated, you can encourage your Omega into arousal, and deep stimulation will allow the production of lubricant."
"And an Alpha?" Lance wasn't sure exactly what he was thinking cutting in, but he fluttered his eyes innocently as he pressed. "Please educate me on an Alpha's physiology as well."
The acolyte looked from Lance and back to Shiro. Shiro's expression, if possible ,plunged even more stone cold and his arms crossed. Lance was starting to really love when he did that. Between biceps as big as Lance’s thighs and a chest tight enough Lance might be able to play his abs like drums, it had this sort of puffing effect, making Shiro look even thicker and more muscular than before.
"Most Alpha physiology is much less complex, it wouldn't be very insightful--" the acolyte tone was already dismissive.
"Your Prince asked for an explanation." Shiro growled.
Not surprising the pudgy acolyte didn't step forward, and offer a "demonstration" on Shiro. Instead he looked uncomfortable before he gave a bit more awkward gesture to Shiro's neck.
"An Alpha also, has three sets of glands. His primary's lay just under his jaw line."
"What do they do?" Lance didn't bat an eyelash as he leaned forward elbowing a pillow under his arms as he slumped over it, lazing across the bed.
"They are major production sites of testerone. Your Alpha is no doubt very large and strong because of his healthy primary glands."
That was a wonderful bullshit answer. "Yes, but what happens when I touch them?" Lance emphasized.
The acolyte pursed his lips uncomfortably but answered. "The Alpha will respond—his focus will narrow to that of the closest Omega, or in your case your highness if you are touching him, he will focus on you."
Lance nodded like it was new information before going on. "And the others?"
The acolyte cleared his throat before he spoke. "His secondary will be at the base of his skull. When touched as well, these glands will calm an Alpha, specifically during times of spiked aggression or agitation." He gestured down to Shiro's legs. This time he was speaking much faster. "And the final secondary glands will be on the inside of an Alpha's thighs. They promote arousal, and produce knotting when stimulated."
Oh goodie, so Shiro had sparkly buttons just like Lance!
At this point the elderly acolyte chimed in. "Your highness, we must also inform you about your bond mark."
Lance did actually perk at this. Alpha and Omega physiology was common enough knowledge, but life bond marks-- that was something Lance knew very little about.
"Go on," Lance said.
Next to him, Shiro stiffened. He glanced back at Lance, but didn't comment.
"It is a very specific reason that Shiro had to rupture one of your primary glands." The elder acolyte said carefully. "A fully ruptured gland will grow back, don't worry, but your focus," the elder pointed to Shiro. "Will now forever more be on him. No other Alpha will hold your attention like him again. You may not even feel the effects of others giving you an Alpha Command. And further more the gland once grown back will be more sensitive than before, be prepared, if Shiro touches it after the mark has matured you will become rather enamored with him quite quickly, as well as a possibility of other physical responses."
It was actually a bit comforting, there was no way now he would be subjugated to another Alpha, he'd never feel compelled to do something he didn’t want to from another Alpha. Just Shiro. And although a bit bossy—Shiro seemed as a whole quite benevolent. He could live with that.
"Now corresponding, " the elder pointed his gaze towards Shiro, "his mark will have a similar effect on you."
Shiro for once tipped his head. The glare for the first time leaving as he raised an eyebrow. "His mark will have a physiological reaction from me?"
"Absolutely!" The elder nodded and pointed at Shiro’s puffed up chest. "You're the one that gave it to him. You're the one that broke that gland, and trust me your hormones will never let you forget it. That mark will be unique and attuned to you. You'll be able to pick it out from across a battlefield if need be. And you're possibly more susceptible then he is. Every time you see it you'll have a physiological reaction. You're an Alpha, you claim, you protect. Well you've already claimed him so now you're going to be obsessed with protecting him."
Lance quirked his head up to see if he could catch Shiro's eye. His lips were drawn in a tight line and his expression unreadable. He could have been a statue if Lance didn't know better.
"Now to the topic of an heir." The elder started.
They both stiffened and Shiro was very quickly standing.
"That's enough for today."
Lance finally breathed as Shiro's voice firmly stopped the elder acolyte. He looked away, giving Lance the briefest of glances before he stepped forward, giving a clear cue it was time for them to go.
"We won't need to produce an heir for quite sometime," Shiro stated. "And I'm sure we both get the jest of it." He gestured to the door, again with that finality that always made others do as he asked. "If we have questions we will come to the temple."
It was just an inkling, but Lance very much doubted they would have any questions.
The elder stared at Shiro for just a moment before standing and complying with a small bow good bye. The pudgy acolyte, on the other hand, looked taken back.
When he didn't move after a breath or two, Shiro fixed his stoic gaze on him.
"If you would, your Prince is tired after all." Shiro concluded. "He needs rest."
It ended any further protests and with in a few minutes the acolytes were gone, leaving Shiro and Lance alone again in their quarters.
For just a second, Lance considered not saying anything, but that part of him never won out and he opened his mouth anyway, "I'm sorry if I made you uncomfortable."
Shiro glanced back over his shoulder at Lance as if he hadn't expected the apology. He gave Lance one of those gentle smiles in answer first.
"You didn't. Don't worry about it."
There was silence then, a silence Lance wasn't sure if he should break or not. Shiro was still looking at him. His dark eyes still the same expressionless shade.
Before Lance could think of anything else to say, Shiro took a step forward and pulled the sheet up over Lances shoulder.
"Try to rest some more." Shiro said. "The mark will need it to fully mature."
In the end, Lance figured it was best just to give in and he turned into the covers, trying to get comfortable again.
Shiro didn’t return to their rooms often. Not that it was surprising. Lance could definitely sympathize. It was awkward being in the room with a soul mate you’ve barely even had a conversation with before. Let alone one that every time he tried to get out of bed a servant was pushing him back in.
Everything about Shiro was brisk and purposeful. He moved mostly quietly, keeping Lance asleep for most of the time.
But there was one other rare form—Unless Shiro was magic at making the bed every morning, he had yet to sleep next to Lance.
Lance wasn’t sure if that frightened him more or less than it relieved him.
“Sire,” Coran had tisked the third night in the room.
He’d pulled off the bed sheets. The dark grey bedsheets that would have shown clear evidence.
Lance blushed but didn’t move to explain himself.
Shiro hadn’t pushed him, and Lance hadn’t offered. It was as simple as that.
Everything was ceremony. Lance just didn't realize that fully until he was the one on the receiving end of it all.
His father was there though, which smiling over at the very old King gave Lance a small measure of confidence. His sister was too of course. They were in the sitting room of the Black Paladin quarters. Lance sat on the main couch, with Shiro next to him.
Across from him, on the facing couch was Lance’s sister. King Alfor had been guided to one of the plush armchairs. Coran was at his side still, attuned to his father, and still listening for any further instruction. There were other courtiers in the room. He didn't recognize most. There was a face he could pick out the best and in the back of the room. Hunk looked over the shoulders of most, down to Lance. As always, he smiled encouragingly to Lance.
Lance was provided a mirror for the first time on the coffee table. It was intricately carved with embellished flowers.
"We should get on with it, your highness," an acolyte whispered over the back of the couch to Lance.
With a hesitant nod, he leaned forward. The mirror was on an equally intricate stand, though when Lance reached out and tipped it so he could see his face, it moved easily enough. He positioned it so that the mirror was tipped so that the bandage at his neck was the focus before sitting forward a bit.
It was just like in the throne room again. Lance glanced around the small crowd present. Did they really need to all be here? Lance was just removing a bandage. It wasn't going to be a surprise to anyone what was under it either. Especially since Shiro, Lance had only just a few moments ago found out, had throw all disregard to the rules and had been periodically peeling the bandage away to make sure Lance was healing well. Apparently this was supposed to be the first time the bandage was removed and seen by all. No wonder, Shiro had always waited till he and Lance were isolated.
Trying to focus back on his task, Lance trained his eyes on the image in the mirror. It would be his first time catching a glimpse of the mark. He felt—he tried to breath evenly. There was no reason to be nervous about it after all.
Distantly his first real conversation with Shiro rang in his head though.
What if it wasn't a fully matured mark? What if Lance had to go through that again? Would they do it here? He could feel Shiro's leg where it brushed against his own. Shiro had promised him during the bonding he’d never humiliate Lance like that again. But he’d also made it clear he would make sure the bond was whole. How would Lance know if it was enough? Shiro could just scoop him up into his arms and bare down on him before Lance even had a moment to process.
Would it hurt as bad the second time?
Shiro's voice was tempered as he leaned forward to Lance.
Lance blinked out of his own frantic thoughts. Right. He was still in the room with a couple dozen people all watching him. He looked to Shiro, hoping it would calm his jarring nerves to focus on just one person.
Shiro hesitantly reached forward. "Here let me help," he murmured.
Involuntarily, Lance shifted away. "No. I've got it."
That took Shiro back for a moment, but the micro expression passed quickly as he gave a nod. Instead, he let his hand rest along the back of the couch, relaxing back away from Lance.
Turning back to the mirror, Lance pursed his lips before tipping his head and with long carful fingers he started to peel away the bandage.
He almost jumped out of his skin when he felt something brush down his back. He stopped just for a second before realizing, it was Shiro's hand.
A second time, Shiro smoothed his hand down Lance’s spine, pressing just slightly as he pet down his back.