Two Shadows Went, Chapter 7
Updated: Apr 12, 2019
It took only a week for Shiro to compile his own candidates for the Green Paladin consideration pool. As always he’d been ruthless, brisk and entirely businesslike in his selection. Coran told Lance he’d looked over 300 profiles of Alteans viable for the position. He’s personally sat in on the screening of 50 and before talking to 20 himself.
And now all five of his candidates stood before them.
As in all things, it was a ceremony, so Lance stood next to his sister in the massive hanger for the Green Lion. Behind them was the proper assembly of acolytes and courtiers. It was a small affair, only the closest to the throne allowed at the choosing. Across the room, Shiro stood with the red paladin at his ear and a few councilmen around him. From the grave look on his face, Lance guessed that Shiro wasn’t listening to what ever Iso was saying. No, his eye were on the candidates, scanning over them as he waited.
Before them was the great, agile Green Lion. On a pedestal, just beyond the green lit barrier hovered the green Paladin’s Bayard.
In a half circle around the Green Lion was assembled the candidates. It was alternating between a pick of Shiro’s and a pic from the Council. Each wore a simple form fitting black pilot suit. It was the same worn under all Paladin Armor. It also gave off a sense of uniformity among them.
There was a chime from over head, signaling that it was time to begin.
The first candidate stepped forward, a Council pick, and outstretched his hand as he encountered the barrier.
Unfortunately for him, despite his confidant demeanor, the barrier didn’t even flicker.
Shiro’s first pick stepped forward.
As well the boy was rejected.
The councils pick stepped forward swiftly.
There was a flicker of the barrier, but ultimately—rejected.
Shiro’s second pick stepped forward.
Lance cocked his head at the small—person. Was it a girl? If it was, her shape was really androgynous. With big round glasses over her face, Lance couldn’t tell her expression as her quiet, short steps took her to the particle barrier. She looked so young though, maybe only fourteen, fifteen at the most.
She didn’t even raise her hand, just gazed up at the lion, and the barrier slammed down, allowing her entrance.
Straightening, Lance couldn’t help the sly smile on his face.
The small mousy haired girl smoothly crossed into the Green Lions circle and took a hold of the green Bayard. She looked up then, to Shiro.
He wore his own smile, this time one—satisfied, and oddly secretive as he gave her a brisk nod.
The girl turned and held up the Bayard.
The room broke into applause and the small crowd assembled, and started to move forward to congratulate the new Green Paladin.
Lance stayed where he stood though, watching across the room to his mate. Shiro had turned more at ease now that he spoke to a red faced council man confronting him. Lance knew that easy smile though, It would be a matter of second before Shiro brushed any concern away and got what he wanted. Lance was starting to realize—Shiro was a meticulous planner.
And then there was a party.
It was the royal palace after all, if there was an excuse to have a party, why not have a party?
Lance deposited an empty flute off to one of the hovering servants around before he picked up another. He usually enjoyed these sorts of things. Who didn’t love a party after all?
This one though, was exceptionally crowded. Since Shiro’s unexpected choosing it had been a bit of juicy gossip to see what would happen with the Green Lion. Even the emissaries of Balmera had returned which meant—Lance was riding solo. Hunk snatched up ever opportunity he had to be with Shay. Not that it was surprising, trying to hold up an intergalactic relationship sounded exhausting.
Lance sighed as he drifted to the edge of the room. Holding up a relationship right here at home was exhausting.
Since—everything, Lace had barely seen Shiro. Most of his interactions with his mate happened late at night when Shiro would slide over Lance, smoothing their skin together. It was always way late, usually Lance had already fallen asleep. Blearily he’d register Shiro removing his shirt, and then Lance’s shirt, and whispering hushed little nothings to him, as Shiro coaxed Lance into laying in his arms as they slept. By first light, Shiro was gone again and Lance would be left with Keith…
The thought suddenly occurred and Lance looked around himself. Where was his raised by wolves stalker? Lance hadn’t seen him all day. That was odd for his creepy mullet headed shadow.
Lance spotted his sister, she was laughing and surrounded by a group of emissaries and courtiers all chattering away to her. No doubt they were hoping for sway on one policy or another ultimately.
It was entirely disinteresting and Lance turned away to look out through the massive columns to the terraces. With the grand ballroom occupied with such a great fan faire, the windowed doors had been opened and the sleek gauzy fabric of the white curtains drifted slightly with the evening breeze. Between them Lance could just make out… the girls mousey messy hair was hard to miss. The rest of her had been utterly transformed of course. She wore royal Green Paladin Armor accented even with a short cape. A green jeweled circlet sat on her head as well.
She boosted her self up onto the thick stone railing of the terrace and looked out and up to the stars.
Looking around one more time, Lance couldn’t spot any better offers so he snatched up an extra flute and trailed closer, out into the warm night air.
“How’s it feel to be apart of the team?” Lance asked as a smile spread.
The girl jerked in his director. Her narrow eyes ran over Lance like she was scanning for a virus before resting on him.
Lance offered the crisp bubbly drink out. “Katie, right?”
Those narrow eyes only slendered more as the new green Paladin took the flute.
“I prefer Pidge.” Her voice didn’t exactly hold a lot of warmth either.
Lance still tried to smile. “Oh cool. I’m—“
“I know who you are.” Pidge cut in with the bite of words.
And you’re rude, Lances brow lowered. But he still drifted closer. “Oh yeah?”
“Shiro explained you’re his mate.” Pidge said briskly.
Lance nodded. “Yes. We’re life-bonded.”
“You mean you were arranged or in your case ordered to life-bond.” Pidge cut in again.
Lance wasn’t sure how to answer. It wasn't obviously not true.
Pidge gave a snort. “Figures that archaic practice would still be fashionable here.”
This time, Lance looked over the smaller Green Paladin more critically. She was short, like he’d observed young. His current estimation sat at 16 but the way she spoke suggested a bit older. She was Altean, her ears like most curved downward. Her eye marking were perfect triangles in a bright green that accented her gleaming gaze well. Her expression was shrewd and— striking, like she was a viper curled and ready to strike the second someone came closer.
Lance set his own flute down on the stone railing. “I wouldn’t say its fashionable, It’s entirely uncommon.”
“Right,” Pidge sounded like she was humoring him.
Tipping his head, Lance held out his arms to Pidge. “I’m sorry, is there something I’ve done—“