• Pitchgold

Two Shadows Went, Chapter 16

Updated: Apr 13, 2019


When Lance pressed his hand over the training rooms lock pad the door whooshed open. Keith was startled as he scrambled to stand, facing Lance.


Lance had donned a simple silver circlet along with the free moving triang cloths.


“Your Highness,” Keith spoke as he came closer, it was at nearly a jog.


Till Lance looked up at him — and Keith slowed, edging just around Lance’s personal space.


“Shiro has a lot of confidence in you,” Lance said simply. He knew his voice wasn’t yet—he wasn’t relaxed around Keith. His jaw jutted just a bit and his eyes narrowed. He needed this man was a mantra in his head.


Keith gave a grave nod.


“Is it well placed?” Lance asked.


He’d kissed Lance—and Shiro hadn’t torn his fingernails off because of it. No he’d used Keith, he’d twisted the kiss and pulled it around to hold it like a knife to Lance’s throat. Lance needed to figure out all he could from this man.


Keith gave another nod.


The room was still for several more long seconds. Before Lance gave his own nod, and jump started forward.


“Lance,” Keith tried as Lance passed him.


Headed straight to the armors rack Lance pulled a short sword down before retrieving a second.


“Lan—“


As Lance turned he hurled the sword tip to face off Keith.. Agile, Keith jumped away, his feet sliding apart as he prepared to face Lance, his brow creased.


“I’m not good at a lot of things.” Lance admitted as he looked over the second sword in his hand. “I’ve been trained to fight. When I was young i had lessons everyday—but then I presented. And I grew complacent.” Lance sucked in breath. “I can shoot, and it’s brought my family a lot of honor.“ Lance made a face as he grasped the handle of the short sword.


“But I don’t know remember how to adequately use this,” Lance admitted. “All my weaponry was made for me. It’s long and thin—but it can’t—“ He looked back down at the sword.


Keith’s adjusting his feet echoed in the room before he took a step forward. He raised his hand, eyes on Lance as he placed his fingers over the flat of the blade held out to him, tracing the blade as he took another step closer.


Lance winced. He should have been able to hold his expression in control but as Keith glided closer, he winced.


Mid-step, Keith halted. His fascinating magenta eyes didn’t waver on Lance.


It was almost enough for Lance to believe everything Keith had sworn to him. But his own eyes narrowed. Almost. But not enough.


“Your Highness, I’m sure your proficient in the most advantageous—“


“I’m not resourceful,” Lance cut in. He was growing tired of being humored. “I cant just pick up a sword. I can’t just take someone on —“ He grit his teeth. “Not even when it’s mattered…”


Keith stood for a moment longer.


"Do you remember the guards you caught assaulting me?" Lance asked.


Keith was silent before giving a nod.


"I needed aid." Lance concluded.


“You had those guards away from me, in less than a second.” Lance continued. “They practically dragged me down that hallway before you got there.” There was a sneer in his voice, a disgust for his own actions.


Keith gave a slow nod.


“Here,” He came forward. “You’re grasping it like it’s fork—it’s not.” He showed how he grasped his own sword. “Your hold needs to be strong on it, not nimble—it’ll get knocked from your hands otherwise.”


It was tentative, but Keith reached forward then, adjusting Lance’s grip, with light hands. His fingers were rough, just like Lance had remembered them.


And Lance’s stomach dropped. He wasn’t sure he could go through with his own plan at that moment.


Lance looked up as Keith finished, his hands falling away, it was a light touch, like he was afraid he’d crack Lance.


“Thank you,” Lance said, so very grateful he was understood. He could make that emotion come to his face. He’d used that mask in court many a time. It was time he started pulling those masks out, started looking through his own repertoire and seeing what he could use.


Keith gave a nod.


And just for a glimmer—for half a moment, Lance had him. His mouth lifted and his eyes brightened.


Maybe Keith actually believed all of those things he’d said to Lance. Maybe it was a truthful confession of loyalty and adoration…


“First thing is foundation…” Keith started, hands gesturing down at his feet.


Lance smiled as he did his best to mimic, and pulled out his attentive mask.







His father distrusted the Acolytes. Lance observed the way for the first time completely unguarded he wore a look of pure disgust at the red-robed men that attended to him.


Lance blinked and gave a nod as an acolyte passed him. The few still standing around his father's bed were still speaking in hushed tones, still no doubt informing Lance's father of any further rules for Allura’s ascension.


When Alfor’s eyes finally graced Lance standing at the folds of curtains, leading to the blocked off bedroom, he gave an abrupt wave of his hand. It looked more like he was rejecting some rather foul food from the look in his face, but without comment the red robed men left, filing past Lance on their way towards the door.


Once they had all left, Lance stepped forward to his father's bed, the evening candles already lit around them, though the moon had yet to rise outside the vast windows.


"That circlet," Alfor’s gaze was back on the silver circlet at Lance's forehead.


Lance stood a bit straighter. "It’s one of my favorite."


He came forward, not bothering with a chair this time as he sat down at the edge of the king’s massive bed. "You placed it upon my head,” Lance said cheerfully. "When I was younger, I was coordinated with this circlet." Lance tried to snicker and smile though as he pointed out. "Though it fits quite better now."


"It was crafted for your mother."


Lance"s mouth snapped shut.


"She wore it for such—" Alfor’s face seemed to fall. "It was such a short amount of time."


Lance swallowed.


He’d never been told that.


"I’m sorry," Lance looked away. "I never realized it was such a reminder of her."


His father was silent again for a moment more.


“I—“ he stopped .


Lance looked up through his lashes, his eyes cloudy. This this was so unlike the strong, cheerful man Lance had once known.


"I regret the moment those acolytes handed me that circlet." This father admitted. His voice was strained, pulled thin as he spoke, like each word was a hurtle.


Lance frowned. "I'm sorry, you never got more time with her."


Alfor seemed to break then, his voice very small. "I didn’t have a choice."


“I—" Lance wasn’t sure what to say.


"She cared for you more than anyone else." Alfor said solemnly.


Lance nodded. "I would have liked to have remembered her."


“She was amazing.” Alford eyes slid to the window. “I’ve always missed her so terribly.”


Lance swallowed as he looked to the dusk outside the window.


As his eyes were turned away, Alfor reached for him, old fingers dug into Lance’s arm.


Eyes snapping back to his father, Lance’s mouth dropped open as he reached for his father's hands.


“Don't ever — don’t go to the temple. Don’t ever let them lead you to the temple.”


Lances head cocked.


“I can’t—“ Alford voice broke. “I don’t think, for what I’ve done, I can’t be sure I’ll ever be able to see her again.”


“Father,” Lances breath woodshed from him as his father's grip tightened at his arm.


“I failed her,”


For the first time in Lance’s entire life he saw as his father's eyes swelled with tears, though none spilled over.


“And I placed that burden on your head,”


The age in his father's face was so impossibly apparent at that moment.


“I don’t have time to right this,”


“Father” Lance whispered desperately then.


“Don’t let them lead you to the temple.” His father repeated, his head shaking.


Lance shook his own head. What was —? Lance opened his mouth, licking his lips as he tried to process.


“I don’t understand —“


“Your Majesty,”


Lance’s head jerked to where the curtains parted for an entry.


Ghostly and slender, Honerva stood in the doorway. At her sides were two tall deep blue armored King’s Guards.


From next to Lance Alfor drops his hood on Lance.


“Pardon us, Your Highness,” Honerva gave a bow to Lance. “But you father is due for his nightly medication.”


Lance’s mind still felt like he’d just stepped off a whirling top. So stumbling and still finding his balance, Lance gave a nod. “Right.” He stood. “Of course,”


Lance stepped closer to his father even as he stood, leaning into press a kiss to his father's head.


“My dear Lance,” his father murmured, his hands at Lance’s hands. “You’ll return?”


Lance nodded emphatically. “I will always return for my family,” he said trying to sound as chipper as he could.


Alfor’s gaze on him was of little comfort though as Lance pulled back away. “You are my sweetest child .”


Lance gave a breathy smile, “compared to tigress Allura I’m not all sure that’s saying much!” He chuckled.


That managed to lift his father into a smile.


“I’ll return in the morning,” Lance reassured.


His father gave a nod before Lance turned from the bed and made his way past the black-robed woman and her small entourage of guards.







When Lance returned to their room — It was dark. Light sprung from the office at Lance’s right. Lance thought about parting the doors just a bit more to venture in — but instead looked away to the bedroom.


Removing the circlet felt like such a relief before he pulled the trinkets and gems and things away from his uniform.


It was the sound of shuffling that brought Lance’s attention.


Shiro had opened the office door to step out. Just a step enough the light still reflected off him as he looked to Lance.


“Lance...?” Shiro’s voice was inquiring as he looked to Lance across the room.


Lance turned. He removed the earrings he was finishing with, slipping them off to his vanity before he fully turned to look at Shiro.


“You’re back from your fathers.” It was a conclusion as Shiro’s face smoothed with the words.


Lance gave a nod.


Lance knew he seemed —out of sorts but he couldn’t help it


He was hoping Shiro wouldn’t notice it, but as the man tipped his head to Lance, it was clear he hadn’t fooled anyone.


“He’s worse?”


Lance shook his head. “No. About the same.”


Shiro gave a small nod. “ah,” Though his gaze on Lance was still inquiring.


“I remind him of my mother.” Lance offered.


Shiro seemed to still.


Lance went on with a sigh. ”I feel incredibly guilty for it.” His eyes drifted off. “Allura's mother was a very advantageous match. I don’t believe they bore any ill will there, but it never seemed to have much feeling either. But my mother—he swears he loved her. They were mated even. And now he misses her.”


“Lance,” Shiro stepped forward, flicking the living room light on as he went with the wave of his hand over the sensor at the wall.


The room flooded with warm crisp light then.


“He shouldn’t make you feel that way,”


Lance’s head jerked. Just as Shiro came forward, Keith emerged from the office as well. Dressed in black and red, slim-fitted and though adorned, more simple armor than most.


The surprise — Lance had in no way expected there to be another person in their rooms at that moment.


Shiro didn’t even glance back at Keith before he was before Lance.


“He’s dying,” Lance breathed as he looked past Shiro to Keith.


The boy stood just inside of the living room in the long light caste from the office.


“And he misses her,” Lance explained again, this time with emphasis.


Keith’s expression twinged in an unpleasant sort of way.


Shior stepped into their bedroom before Lance, his expression as well seemed tight though— Lance narrowed his gaze. It was reined in on a short leash it looked like.


“I’m sure he does,” Shiro’s voice was—


It wasn’t concerned. In fact, it was more like he was trying not to say the words through gritted teeth.


Lance glanced back to Keith. His own expression looked tight and controlled.


Lance held very still. It was a challenge not to narrow his own eyes, to try and read between every line and every gesture.


“He still shouldn’t make that your fault.” Keith said with his same growl.


Lance side-eyed the mess of a red Paladin. Even they wouldn’t be that stupid to criticize a dying king.


“He’s right.” Shiro’s gaze flashed up to Lance. “His reason…” Shiro’s voice broke off.


Considering how to best keep the conversation from turning a direction Lance wasn’t comfortable so he sidestepped. “I’m sure he doesn’t mean to.” Lance shook his head. “I don’t believe he’s ever meant to hurt me.”


Shiro’s eyes narrowed again on Lance.


Keith, near them, crossed his arms, but didn’t say anything.


Lance’s gaze jumped from the two, before he turned back to his vanity, removing the few rings he wore. The sound of them dropping into the small silver dish was the only in the room for several seconds.


“Keith,” Shiro’s voice was deep, gravely even as he stepped again up closer to Lance.


Lance’s eyes almost on instinct slipped closed as Shiro’s hand smoothed at the top of his spine. It was nearly agonizing in the way he slowly drew it down, dragging his palm over each vertebrae. His breath nearly dropped out of him as Shiro's hand fell away. But Lance’s system had already been flooded with the thick hormone endused feeling of calm.


Good. Lance could work with calm. A shot of calm would do nothing but help him in this.


“Your highness,”


Lance looked up to find Keith shockingly close to him. He effortlessly lifted Lances hand up, pressing a kiss to the Lance’s fingers.


“I trust I’ll see you for another lesson tomorrow.” A smile lifted Keith’s lips.


He was looking forward to it. Lance could keep him waiting. He had a hook lodged in him—but he could also wait, he could reel him in slow if he wanted it to feel like a surprise.


Lance managed his own smile. “Of course.”


Keith gave him his own full smile before he released Lance’s hand and turned back towards the door.


“Black paladin,” Keith wore an entirely genuine smile this time as he clasped at Shiro’s hand.


The man gave his own cocky smile to Keith before a playful punch on the shoulder. “Be on time for once tomorrow.”


Keith waved a hand, “got it, sir.” He said sarcastically before he was striding back through their living room to the door.


Lance watched as the door finally clicked shut and they were left alone.


“I thought you’d be gone longer,” Shiro said. “I’m sorry, Keith—“


Lance waited, his head tipping back to his Paladin. He wanted to hear how Shiro would finish the statement.


“He just feels familiar.” Shiro’s voice was low, eyes a bit unfocused, like lost in memory. Before he spoke again, his head snapped up. “It’s comfortable for me to have him around.”


Lance nodded. He could understand that at least. It still — Lance faced his vanity as he reached down to slip his boots off of his feet.


He was met with—a hand, so carefully balancing Lance.


It startled Lance, and shakily, Lance managed to slip his shoe off. “Thank you,” he murmured.


The kindness caught him off guard as he adjusted and shifted.


Shiro gave a deep hum as he grasped Lance’s hand.


There was no stopping the blush as Shiro lifted Lance’s hand to his mouth and pressed a kiss. It was—tender, lingering.


And Lance felt the flutter in him as he finally lifted his eyes to watch.


He pulled away a moment later. “I need to hang this cape up.” He takes as he started to his wardrobe. “It will wrinkle.”


He just earned a chuckled hum before Lance was released.


It wasn’t till he heard a heaved sigh that Lance realized Shiro had trailed into their sitting room behind him. Lance pulled the wardrobe closed as he looked through to the room. He just—he\is chest filled as he watched his mate through the doorway.


From Calcutta;action to—Lance knew what he wanted so dearly. He just didn’t dare utter it, even to himself.


For the possibly the first time ever, Lance got to watch as Shiro let himself drop, and flopped back into their couch. It was almost comical to see the way the regal folds of fabric and polished adorned armor all wrinkled and crumpled across the couch cushions as Shiro leaned his head back with a long exhaled huff.


Lance stepped forward now with bare feet across their plush white carpet.


His mate…


“I am so exhausted.” Shiro confessed as Lance approached the back of the couch.


He looked it. Tired wrinkles across his forehead, dark skin around his eyes, and even in the way he smiled like it wasn’t quite full entirely.


This—was the Shiro Lance couldn’t help himself from adoring.


Carefully, Lance reached forward to dust his hand through the white floof of hair, combing his fingers through it and pulling it away from Shiro’s face.


“Never stop,” Shiro murmured as his eyes slipped closed.


It wasn’t till Lance was pulling his fingers back again through Shiro’s hair, dusting back to scratch his fingers back over Shiro’s scalp that Lance had a better idea.


Grasping the flowing folds and spans of fabric from his own formal attire, Lance stepped out and around the couch.


Shiro opened his eyes, clear he was about to protest before Lance was lifting one foot, and Shiro’s head was up, watching as Lance crawled into his lap. Facing him, with what Lance hoped was a sneaky smile he seated himself carefully and steadily in Shiro’s lap.


It felt nice. Lance felt his breath heave just a bit, but it felt nice.


Shiro’s mouth was still open as he watched Lance but Shiro made no comment as Lance got comfortable.


“Is this okay?” Lance checked as he sat back, straddling Shiro’s knees.


Light grey eyes flashed up like lightning to Lance’s face before Shiro gave a hasty nod. “Great.” He managed.


Lance gave a chuckle. It was honestly—it felt exhilarating. Is this what mates were supposed to feel like?


Shiro was much more awake as he raised his own hands, smoothing both palms over Lance’s thighs at either side of his own hips.


Biting his lip, Lance leaned back, his hands placed back over Shiro’s knees.


“Think you can hold me up?” Lance inquired with a shift of his head.


Shiro gave another one of those smiles, a bit sly and playful and all Lance’s before he answered. “I’m sure I can.”


Lance gave his own cheeky smile before he shifted his hips forward—and rolled his hips down and ground his groin over Shiro’s.


The thrill that seemed to light through Shiro was entirely worth it and he was hit instantly as it was clear his entire attention was consumed on Lance.


Lance closed his own eyes at the action. A buzz alighted through him. It was blissful.


“Again,” Shiro growled.


Lance was more than happy to accommodate as he rolled hips back forward, resting more of his weight back on Shiro’s spread knees so Lance could lift his hips higher as he rolled them again.


It was warm friction that settled in Lance as he ground again, it spread through his body easily, sliding in through his veins like syrup. He bit his lip again this time as he ground again and his mind numbed with the warmth. His enjoyment shuddered out of him in a broken breath.


“Let me,” Shiro spoke as he leaned forward, his hands gliding up to Lance’s sides, fingers catching in the soft fabric hanging over Lance in thin veils.


Lance could only answer with another shuddered breath as his mouth dropped open as Shiro's hands shifted and directed his hips back down. This time, Shirt pushed his own hips up and they ground back together.


“Yessss,” Lance pushed from his lips.


It was like drinking fine wine, it flooded through him, in a pleasant subtle way that had Lance flying.


Shiro’s strong hands slowed Lance, making each grind down slow and agonizing and Lance let out his own groan as finally Shiro pushed up against him and they dragged against each other.


“Again,” Lance demanded as his eyes cracked open.


Shiro was very close to him. His breath was warm too over Lance’s lips.


“Anything, Your Highness,” Shiro huffed out breath with each word.


And he bumped his hips up harder that time, grinding himself in against Lance to the point Lance was very aware that his own heat of arousal wasn’t alone.


Lance’s head fell back as he frantically jutted his hips forward over the bulge.


Shiro’s hands extend, griping up and grasping back under Lance’s rib cage, holding him up and inl pace before he bucked his groin up in against Lance.


Each thrust was amazing and cruel in the friction as it sloshed through Lance, he felt caught, like he was poured full with every pleasured slow and deliberate thrusts and like it was never enough.


“Faster,” Lance demanded through breath.


Shiro smiled at him. Before shaking his head,


With a sound of indignation, Lance gave every ounce of himself as he bucked a best he could into his Alpha.


The snarled out growl that shook through Lance was amazing, like bells resonating through him. He’d caused that—Shiro gave that noise for him. And Lance hummed out his own moan in answer as he pushed himself into it more.


He was nearly— he felt so warm and so amazing and he—


Lance was suddenly snatched up, Shiro’s arms snapped around him and captured him up to gather to his chest.


Still huffing, Lance cracked his eyes as he found himself suddenly trying to steady himself over the hard metal breastplate Shirt still wore. They both were still entirely clothed.


“Don’t move,” Shiro growled into Lance’s mouth as one hand shot to Lance’s spine.


The whine that dropped from his mouth was completely involuntary before he noticed the hand reaching between them.


Shiro’s gaze never left his own as he shifted the folds of fabric away before, Lance looked down. Flushed dark Lance nearly mewled at the sight of the precum sliding down Shiro’s shaft. It seemed so close at that moment.


With another sweep down Lance’s spine, sending him shivering, both of Shiro’s hands were at the back of Lance’s uniform.


Shiro leaned forward, capturing Lance’s bond mark in his mouth right before Lance heard as the fabric to his pants were ripped away. The thigh high leg pieces were unharmed but the folds of fabric were torn from back all the way between his legs and to the front.


Already slick, Lance gave a nod before Shiro was sinking two fingers in.


“Nahhh!” Lance’s head threw back, giving Shiro more room to devour him.


The invasion was—blissful this time. The maddeningly foggy feeling of being filled had him bouncing his hips lightly again to fuck himself on the digits.


Before he could even process, Shiro had three fingers in and spreading.


Lance’s hand came up to clamor at his partners face.


Shiro broke from his leisurely long kiss to Lance’s bond mark to look at him.


Lance gave another nod, slow and long and his eyes never left the lightning in Shiro’s own gaze.


With an arm constructing around Lances hips, Shiro pulled Lance close enough to—


Lance breathed out slow as he was filled a lot more that time. It was —so perfect. And Lance’s head dropped forward, his forehead pressed to the richly adorned shoulder at Shiro’s right.


There was warm breath at his hair and a kiss pressed to his ear, as Lance shuddered. His arms circled around Shiro’s neck possessively, curling around his head, fingers grasping at his short hair.


Though as he raised his head just a bit, instead of saying something this time to prompt his Alpha forward, Lance instead soothed his mouth at Shiro’s neck and kissed up and over the primary glands just under his jaw.


There was a gritted out growl at Lance’s ear. But it vibrated pleasantly through him — like nothing else could and Lance cooed back and ran a long lick up over the gland.


The greedy hands that gripped him then were nearly bruising as Shiro bucked up into him.


Lance’s hand clawed up over his Alpha’s face, holding him there as he adored the primary gland further, and further.


He could feel it—swell in his mouth, and he nipped at it before kissing again.


And in response, Shiro fucked into him long with heavy hard thrusts as he huffed and breathed in against Lance’s hair.


“Lance,” His voice was a gravely mess of growls and groans.


Lance’s eyes nearly rolled back at another long thrust driven through him. It was consuming and wonderful.


With another long and slow lick over the gland, Lance took a second to breath up against Shiro’s ear. “Fuck me,” He commanded.


Shiro obliged completely as he slammed up into Lance.


It shattered any self awareness Lance had as he suddenly gave —his climax wrecking through him suddenly as the gasped and curled in over Shiro.


And completely through it, Shiro drove up into him, harder and harder as he himself possessively grabbed at Lance, his fingers digging in over Lance’s skin and his other fisting the fabric as he clutched Lance to him.


When Lance finally managed to breath again it was only to be swept up into the contraction that forced through him.


It took just once this time, as Shiro forced Lance down over him and Lance locked down on it.


Lance gave a small cry a Shiro swelled inside of him before— “Ohhhh,” dribbled from Lance’s mouth as warm seed spread through him.


Shiro was heaving for breath as he sat back into the couch, his hands still clutched at Lance as he just sat there for several long moments.


Lance blinked, once then twice, managing to clear his vision from the white cascade of orgasm before he looked up.


At the side of Shiro’s neck, just under the curve of this jaw his glands were swollen and ripe red.


Lance kissed forward over the glands—


Before Shiro’s collapsed back completely onto the couch, head leaning back over the edge again.


With his own cocky smile this time, Lance accepted it as he rest his own head over Shiro’s shoulder again.







He used to be good at this. Lance used to be brilliant at swordplay.


But as he landed back in his ass the seventh time that morning he huffed.


"You’re not holding on to it!” Keith snapped as he charged back across the mat.


He wasn’t—a good teacher. He snapped, and sneered, and everything was Lance’s fault.


"It weighs a god damn ton when ya start swinging it around!” Lance snapped back as he pushed himself up from the mat.


"It’s a basic short sword." Keith threw his arms up like that was obvious.


Lance retrieved his basic short sword. It had skittered across the floor shortly before Lance had been sent there himself.


"I’d turn you into a kabob if this was my bow.” Lance muttered to himself as he gripped the blade’s handle.


Wistfully, he thought of the delicate handle of his bow. Long and thin the bow felt light as a feather in his hand. It had also been handcrafted to Lance, the handle fitted to his hand, weighed to his own proportions.


"This isn’t your conditions Lance." Keith called out, his eyes narrow. "A real fight will never be catered to comfortable conditions."


He was right. And Lance hated when he was right. So with a perturbed expression Lance turned back.


"Fine," Lance huffed as he grasped the sword again, pointing it back up and facing off with Keith again. He’d figure out how to kabob Keith on his basic short sword then.


"Wider stance Lance,” Keith said as he stepped back into his own fighter’s stance, there was the faintest smile this time.


Lance pushed his foot out another inch. “Prince,” he hissed.


And this time when Keith charged, Lance managed to keep ahold of his blade.





It was always easier to just stay in bed. Even as Lance returned in the evening, he found himself stripping off his formal wear and collapsing into their soft comforters. Most the time he’d manage to right himself and pull something to do in with him into the bed with him.


But there were times as well, such as that evening, that even with the light of sun not nearly gone, Lance wouldn’t remember following his eyes until they opened several hours later.


That evening as he opened them, Shiro was tugging off his own shirt and crawling over the covers to Lance. It looked like it was barely even 8 and yet — Lance just drew the covers down to accommodate his partner.


“The best surprise is to come home to you,” Shiro chuckled as he pressed a kiss to Lance’s forehead.


Humming in response, Lance huddled in closer to his bond mate. He still wore a shirt and Shiro’s warm skin against the smooth fabric was blissful.


Shiro was pulling Lance into him, leaning back into the pillows and cushions as he gave a deep Alpha call to his partner. Lance cracked a smile as he felt the rumbling drum in Shiro’s chest.


That was nice.


It was always nice, and Lance—maybe a part of him knew, but there was no fighting it. He wasn’t sure he trusted his life bond mate—but he loved him.


Lance pushed up to kiss at Shiro’s neck, letting his body fall over Shiro, confident he’d be cradled as he smoothed his mouth up over Shiro’s neck and worked his way up.


“Ohhh,” Shiro’s growl at Lance’s ear was warm.


Reaching the red primary glands, Lance cracked an eye as he suckled over them, watching as their effect gripped Shiro. His eyes half-lidded and his body sagged into the bed, his head hitting back on a pillow nearly instantly.


Lance gave his own wicked chuckle before taking advantage as he pushed up and scrambled over Shiro, leaving long licks over Shiro’s right gland, over and over till Lance smoothed his hand up the other side of Shiro's cheek and suckled in over the gland, it swelled in his mouth, swollen still even from their activity the night before, and Lance nipped just lightly and —


It ruptured—and Lance shot back.


“Oh god,” Lance raised his hand first to his mouth. There was blood.


And panicked flooded him as wide eyes Lance looked over his fingers.


He’d never—oh god. Oh god! He’d never meant to hurt Shiro!


Shiro noticed and much calmer than Lance could have imagined, he raised his own hand, feeling along the gland before he lifted his bloody fingers to look at.


“I’m so sorry,” Lance stammered before he was scrambling off their bed. “I’ll get a first aid kit,” He skidded into the bathroom before retrieving the small box under their sink and returning.


As Lance stepped back into their bedroom, Shiro sat at the edge of the bed, smiling.


“Come here, baby, “


Clutching the box to him, Lance frowned. “I didn’t mean to—I’m sorry—“


“It’s alright, comere’ ”


“Let me just get some gauze or something—I’ll call a servant—or Antok!” Lance let out as he looked to the door. Antok was always fucking responsible!


“No, no darling, come here!” Shiro urged more as he gestured for Lance to return to him. He was smiling this time.


And Lance paused.


Carefully, Lance stood at the edge of the bed, setting the first aid kit down on their comforter. Lance opened the box before pulling out a white strip of gauze.


“It’s alright,” Shiro murmured as he pulled Lance in closer before wrapping his arms around Lance’s slender waist.


“Maybe we should call in a healer…” Lance murmured. He carefully pressed the gauze over the bleeding primary gland just under Shiro’s jaw line.


Shiro was still just smiling to him. He dusted a hand over Lance’s cheek softly. “No. They’ll all know anyway.”


Lance’s brow creased as his brow tipped up in worry. They’d know? How?


Shiro seemed to catch on as his own eyebrow rose.


“Lance,” he said softly.


“I’m sorry,” Lance tried again. “I didn’t know it would do that.” Lance took away the bloody gauze to replace it with fresher.


Shiro grasped his hand as he smiled so brightly again at Lance. “Baby.” He shook his head.


Lance looked up from the bandage to Shiro’s face.


“You marked me,” Shiro was still just smiling as he spoke softly and leaned forward on the bed to kiss at Lance own pearly bond mark.


“What?” Lance questioned.


Shiro pulled Lance in closer. “I’m yours forever now.”


Lance shivered as he felt that cool metal hand smooth over his back. But his hands rest on Shiro’s shoulder as it sunk in. His eyes glanced around bit before he could articulate. “I— I gave you a bond mark.”


Right. That was how bond makes were supposed to be given, over time at just the lightest of pressure, at the repeated adoration given to each other.


Lance looked up as Shiro pulled away from rising over Lance’s mark.


“Will—“ Lance could barely, he managed a smile. “Will it look the same?”


Shiro nodded. “It should. Or very similar.”


Lance looked back down away though, he couldn’t help the peak of a smile.


“I didn’t—hurt you?” Lance made sure.


Shior was already kissing over Lance’s cheek. “No, my love. It was mostly just a surprise.”


Lance nodded.


That was—a lot different than how he’d gotten his mark.


“Comere’,” Shiro was growling again though as he scooped Lance up and to him, already sliding back on the bed.


Lance protested though, “No, we need to bandage it!”


He won and they bandaged the mark before he lost and Shiro tugged him next to him in bed and growling deep and low as he marked up every inch of Lance in return.





“I’ve heard from the servants chatter you’re spending a lot of time with the red paladin, even learning how to use a short sword,” Allura spoke low. The lions hanger were deserted as they stood a the bay doors.


Lance felt the breeze as he looked out of the Altea capital.


A lot—he had so much on his mind. He still could feel Shiro’s weight from the night before. The buzz from—Lance had marked him. There was no going back before but now… Lance and Shiro were intrinsically tied from both ends. A real bonded pair, desi\timed to walk the universe only together.


For the first time ever, Lance glanced back behind them. The golden crest to the crown princess was inlaid deep into the breastplate of the guards that stood several feet away.


Lance couldn’t say he’d ever really seen a guards man draw his sword, ever even seen a real conflict.


“I’m having a detachment trained to wear the blue alliance armor.” Allura spoke up once she saw Lance’s gaze.


Swiveling his head back to the landscape, Lance said nothing for a moment before commenting. “I’ve never liked having a personal guard.”


“Since Shiro has become Black Paladin, he’s nearly tripled the number of Black Allegiance guardsmen.” Allura hissed. Her voice held a sort of spiteful regret. All the signs were there.


Lance looked over to her. “That’s why I’m learning to use a short sword.”


“The moment this detachment is ready, they’ll take their place as your royal guard.” Allura insisted.


Lance shook his head. “Don’t box me in.”


“It would be your guard!”


“And Shiro insisted the same with the black clad giants he has follow me.”


Allura huffed. “So obstinate.”


Lance chuckled. “Yet endearing.”


Allura turned away to the horizon again.


The sun was so low in the distance.


Lance sighed. “The palace seems so quiet.”


“The Palace is empty.” Allura’s voice was flat.


Lance looked over to her.


“Nearly three fourths of the noble families are gone.” Allura crossed her arms.


Lance felt as he consciously pushed breath out. “They are abandoning their country—“


“They prefer to ride this out at their villas,” Allura sneered. “War cuts into tea time and dinner parties after all.”


Lance nodded. A part of him wished he could do the same. Leave as the fight started and return to act shocked and amazed, declaring if he’d only known he would have supported—what ever party ended up sitting on the throne.


“We don’t need them,” Lance nodded to himself.


When he looked over to his sister, Allura paused before giving a long confident smile.


“We never have.” Allura concluded.





“We need to go through with this soon,”


Lance froze. His training boots were—a very soft leather and when he walked they were nearly silent, each step lift less than a whisper of fabric.


“Not now, not yet.”


Lance could pick out Keith’s voice from across a room at that point in his life and Lance stopped. He was either stupidly lucky or awfully unlucky, but Lance stopped right where he stood.


Ahead of him was the training rooms. He’d need to turn one corner up ahead before the door would be directly to his right again, and through the pillars of the enclaved entrance to the great, domed training arena was the messy tangle Keith’s head.


“The man is at death’s door,” Keith hissed.


Lance side stepped, ducking past a pillar on his own. He was early. Nearly thirty minutes early for a sparring session with the mullet. But Lance had wanted to practice. Sitting next to his father for too long made him uneasy and if he returned to his rooms, Antok would find him — and Lance would be stuck with a guard the rest of the day, and he’d already given the guard Shiro had assigned that morning the slip once.


“Exactly!”


The voice that hissed wasn’t one Lance particularly could pinpoint. It was too—did he know anyone even that venomous? It nagged at him. He —he must know them.


“That man festers and as he does all his sins are catching up to him,” That same hiss.


“This isn’t about your petty revenge,” Keith snarled back. “You will stand down.”


That seemed to catch whomever was speaking off guard, judging from the silence.


“Pulling this off seamlessly will take time.” Keith huffed. “If any sort of vacuum is left—“


“This isn’t what I was promised.”


Keith huffed out a growl. “You’ll get your promised reward.”


Lance heard the slide of Keith’s boots on the floor. “I have a training session with His Highness now.”


The dismissal was clear as the sound to the large training room doors took Lance by surprise.


Another moment more and there were hasty steps in the marble leading away down the adjacent hall.


That surged Lance into action just as he heard the slide of the training doors back closed as he sprang from his hiding spot around the column. As Lance stepped out into the hall, he caught just a glimpse — before black robes were billowing away around a corner. His eyes swiveled round as he turned. Keith had already gone into the training rooms, so the straight shot down that hall led out into the third story balconies.


Lance narrowed his gaze. Through the lush greenery mazing gardens—standing tall in the afternoon light — was the temple. White ornate and with four pillars set out around it, all connected to the largest.


Lance brow creased as he stepped forward. He’d never really looked at the temple from this distance. Never paused to look at the overall shape of it.


His father's words rang in his head, but at the same time—


It didn’t look very much like a temple.






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