Two Shadows Went, Chapter 11
Updated: Apr 12, 2019
The morning after everyone left—Lance was met at his door by Keith.
“Morning,” the wild thing clearly hand’t become articulate in the time he’d been away.
Lance blearily looked around. …what? What time was it? Standing in his pajamas at the door he wasn’t sure—“Who are they?” Lance pointed to the guards—all of them.
Behind Keith was a set of two guards, and stationed at the door were two more.
It was all slowly rolling back to Lance. Shiro was gone. Keith was back—and Lance now had company.
Keith craned to look back a the guards. “No better time than now to introduce you,” He drawled. “May we come in?”
He was being nice—Lance didn’t trust a nice Keith. It was also as Lance finally started to wake up—too damn early for this.
There hadn’t even really been a night before, Lance had spent every moment in conferences or in goodbyes. He didn’t think he even made it back to his apartments till the early hours of morning—and now…
With a nod of his bed head, Lance turned to welcome his guests into his entryway.
Three men stepped through, as Lance retreated to pull on a blue robe from his bedroom. When he returned they all stood militarily stiff in his entry way.
“Shiro has assigned you a personal guard.” Keith stated.
Bloody brilliant. Lance blinked for several seconds before nodding.
“This is the head of your guard, and your new personal shadow,” Keith stepped to the side as he gestured to the man.
At last he was being honest.
The hulking figure took several steps towards Lance, though did not remove his helmet. He wore black, and the symbol of the black paladin was on every piece of his armor, he wore a hood even as well and as he approached, Lance wondered if he was even taller than Shiro.
“Your highness,” The helmet gave his voice a sort of hollow tone to it. He bowed his head as he slid to one knee for just a moment before he lifted out and slid back to stand. “My name is Antok.”
It was a long way up, as Lance craned his neck to the hulking man before him.
“It’s-“ Lance stalled for just a second. “it’s a pleasure.”
Keith was already wandering closer. “He’ll be accompanying you from now on.”
Lance shifted his gaze. Keith wasn’t looking at Lance. He instead was drifting towards one of the couches, already making himself at home.
Right. The huge man before Lance was so big he nearly shadowed Lance.
“The first council meeting has already started.” Keith drawled.
Startled, Lance looks dover. “What?”
He was stand in for Shiro on the council until he got back. Scrambling Lance was already charging back to his room. It was too damn early for this—and Lance was already behind on his duties. Antok was rather quiet as he walked and he took up a position at the door, hands behind his back, waiting patiently. The other black armored man in the room did the same.
Great. He was starting this all out just great.
Lance shifted uncomfortably in his chair. He'd felt — off since that morning. Lance couldn't say he particularly enjoyed ever getting up and out of bed, but that morning… he'd basically had to force himself to get up and start pulling on cloths in order to be ready in time for the regular morning updates meeting.
For which—all the meetings were so god damn boring.
“There was a report of a cruiser possibly launched shortly after the attack.” A general read.
Lance had always wished to be more involved, had always tried his best to make himself seem like he could handle the responsibility.
“Possibly?” A council man spoke up near him.
But now that he was sitting in meetings all day—they were the most awful thing he could think of. They were usually far too long, with men far older than him speaking like they actually knew what they were talking about when the truth was no one really knew what was going on. And they kept looking to Lance like he possibly had answers.
“Well in the chaos there was several unconfirmed reports, sir.” The soldier said.
That’s incredibly unhelpful, Lance nearly said. But instead he just rest his face again his hand as he leaned across the table.
In his sisters and mates absence, Lance's place had been moved directly to his fathers left. And since his father only attended roughly half of the meetings scheduled, that put Lance at the forefront of the room with old stodgy men all staring up at him like he had answers. Lance had no such thing.
There was more chatter and a few more back an forth. One report was that a fleet was coming up on Altea’s southern rear, another that a star cruiser had been seen landing near the capital, another that the goddess herself had been sighted. And on and on. Lance nearly yawned.
God he was incredibly tired.
"We will reconvene in two hours," The high council elder proclaimed as he stood.
Lance welcomed the recess as he was almost immiditietely standing himself.
It had been two weeks, since the forces dispatched into space had left the face of Altea. there was a tremor of nervousness in the room as it was still unconfirmed when they would be returning. The white flagged banner ships were all still at the ready, waiting just outside of Altea's Moons to be called into action if needed.
Lance scrunched his nose as he felt the twinge he'd been feeling all morning. His insides felt like they'd been tied into knots. He resisted the urge to bow over as he made his way to the door.
As expected, two towering Black-clad guards met him at the door, standing at attention as Lance approached.
"I expect you'll be joining the others for lun--" Keith bored monotone stopped just as he stepped up to Lance. His brow creased in a way that narrowed his eyes. "Lance,"
Lance felt like his limbs were failing him and moved sluggishly as he prodded out of the council rooms. "No," He didn't bother to correct Keith this time. "I'm going to my rooms." <i>To lay down for a while.</i>
He felt like he'd gotten out of bed too soon, despite a full nights rest, he felt like he'd been pulled from bed far too soon for the day. All he could think about was returning to bed.
A couple hours of sleep would do him some good, Lance thought.
Though the lack of jabs directed Lance to look up.
Keith was hanging back a few steps, watching Lance with a narrow gaze, his shoulders held meticulously still.
It was an odd stare, Keith's eyes unwavering from Lance as he stood a bit straighter, his mouth pressed hard into his trademark flat line.
"Were you hungry?" Lance inquired, remembering his manners suddenly. He was a Prince. His needs needed to come second.
His black clad guards moved around him, flanking him and ready to escort him back to his rooms.
"Something could be sent up." Lance said. "I'm--" He did't want to admit he wasn't feeling well. "--Just not very hungry." Lance tried.
Keith still hung back, the rather cold expression still on his face.