Two Shadows Went, Chapter 8
Updated: Apr 12, 2019
Shiro had asked if they could have breakfast alone again. And it was—it would probably never be with in Lance’s power to refuse his mate for such a sincere request.
But now—Lance looked around the corner, he’d seen Shiro off and now briskly walked as quietly as he could to the main council meeting rooms. He glanced around himself a few times. Keith was still gone—where ever he was—and Lance was not going to let the opportunity go to waste.
And as if by some grand stroke of luck, Lance saw his sister just as she came out of one of those meeting rooms.
He swooped in and sidled up to her as casually as he could. She was surrounded by people all trying to get their say into her, but Lance pressed past them all to gently lay a hand on his sister’s arm, letting her know he was there.
“I need to speak with you,” He whispered to her.
Allura gave a subtle nod before Lance fleeted off and down the hall. Escaping from the other clamoring courtiers made Lance appreciate his lack of popularity in the Altean Royal Palace.
He was having a hard time getting used to Keith, if he had to get used to several lackies he wasn’t sure he could stand it. Lance ducked through a hall way and out onto an enclosed balcony looking over the gardens. It was an oddity in the castle and he knew his sister would know to meet him here.
Though a few minutes later when Allura appeared… She had Iso with her.
“Allura,” Lance said as she came through the door.
“Brother,” She said cordially. But she warmly came forward.
Lance smiled as they embraced, hugging his sister tight.
“It feels like it’s been ages since I’ve been able to be around you,” Allura said.
If nothing else, Lance found himself pleased at the wistful quality in her voice. She really meant it. It wasn’t just another ploy of hers.
Iso was already folding his arms over his chest, “What in the world was so urgent?”
Lance looked up at the Red Paladin, his expression creased, he glanced back down to Allura.
“We’ve both been worried.” Allura said then, drawing Lance’s attention back.
Of Lance? What was to be worried about with Lance and even more--
Wait — Lance looked back at Iso then Allura. They’ve ///both been worried? As in a ///we? Lance’s eyebrows rose all on their own. This was — unexpected.
Completely involuntarily he looked back to Iso. He wasn’t a horrible choice, Lance figured. But then again—the guy was insufferable. He was hot headed, temperamental and worst of all, so damn condescending.
Looking down at his sister — Lance couldn’t read her expression.
Iso was Red Paladin though. And Allura was to take the throne. With a union with the Black Paladin impossible--of course the next obvious choice would be the second in command Red Paladin, unless she planned to convince Pidge to consider her or even more unlikely Hunk to leave Shay. That didn't alienate all of his worries though. Iso was so--he wasn't exactly Shiro. But the problem being he thought he was.
Even beyond. Lance looked between the two. It didn’t sit comfortably with Lance that Allura was choosing her company based on how much political clout it could win her.
“Allura,” He knew his voice sounded unsure.
Allura quieted him with a hand to his arm. “I trust Iso entirely,” She said as she looked Lance in the eye.
That didn’t make Lance happy about his presence still.
“He’s a greatly needed ally.” Allure continued, trying to assure him. It only solidified Lance’s suspicions that this was another power ploy.
Lance huffed. Since when did they need allies with in their own home? Besides it was so unfair, to Allura, to Iso. Lance sincerely hoped there was connection and feeling between them, but he also doubted it greatly.
He tried to shake it off. “Allura,” he tried to start again, but his eyes snapped back to Iso. There was just something—Lance wasn’t sure he felt comfortable saying much in his company.
“You smell like him,” Allura observed. She lifted a hand to Lance’s cheek, as if to signify she was pleased. “The two of you must be doing better.”
Oh, he wished he knew. He felt like he was holding onto Shiro with one hand, Allura on the other and the problem was they were both starting to drift in different in directions. But Lance managed a tight lipped smile. He could pretend he knew what was going on in his marriage for her.
“I need to speak to you, about him.”
Allura’s hand dropped, but her attention was consumed with Lance.
Glancing at their uninvited guest, Lance quickly made the decision not to tell most of the events of the night before.
“Shiro—he assured me war is coming.”
Allura blinked. “Lance,” She said as if she was tired of his games.
Lance was already shaking his head though, “You don’t understand.” Shiro was so clearly already preparing for it. He was surrounding himself with people he trusted, he was setting up informant networks, he was practically setting up a personal guard for Lance! His actions were all pointing to a brace for the future.
But looking, Iso looked like he had already dismissed the idea. There was no way he was handing over a scratch of information of his mate over to that pompous ass. But without it— Lance gazed at Allura, there might be no convincing his sister that he knew he was right.
“Look this isn’t some prank of mine,” Lance tried to plead, taking his sister’s hand. “Last night, when I spoke to Shiro. He didn’t suggest war might be coming, not like any nobleman here. He was assured it was coming.”
Allura wore an expression of doubt. It was a slight pause before she spoke. “Lance, you haven't been in council meetings, you don’t know what you’re talking about. The Galra have already deescalated on our borders. This will blow over, I assure you.” She placed her hand over his. “Once father is able to sit back in his throne again, you’ll see. This is an empty threat from a war-nation. The Galra would be fools to attack Altea.”
Because of Voltron. They wouldn’t attack because they had already tried in the past. And Voltron had decimated them, everyone knew that. But now— Lance glanced at Iso. There was no denying there was a rift between the Paladins. Between Iso's discontent and Shiro’s reservations they had never even mind melded.
Lance looked back to his sister. “Please,” He sighed. “Just consider it. You said he was the best possible suitor for me. Please take that into account when I tell you I don’t think he would say anything to me unless he was certain.”
Iso snorted. "He’s fear mongering.”
Lance turned a scowl to the red Paladin. Just the notion made Lance’s lip curl in disdain.
“Shiro would never use fear to convince me of anything.” Lance said in a surprisingly steady voice.
Lance could see Iso's hackles already start to raise.
Allura looked in thought as she crossed her arms. “What has made Shiro so convinced?” She wondered aloud.
“I—I don’t know,” Lance admitted. He fully turned back to his sister.
“What has he seen in these last few weeks that we haven’t?” Allura wondered further.
Lance stood a bit straighter at that. He—the night before flashed in his mind. Shiro had lived as a Galra prisoner for years, he’d admitted to Lance.
Allura gave a frustrated sound. “it’s just more posturing!” She waved her hand. “They’ve done this before. It’s all in patterns I’ve been assured are meaningless in the end.”
Lance shook his head. “I can’t tell you what he sees,” Lance shifted uneasily. “But what ever it is, I want—“ he stopped, unsure how to express himself. “You should be just as prepared for it as he is.”
Looking over at him, a smile did creep into Allura’s expression. “You’re right,” she admitted. “I should be as prepared as he is.”