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Two Shadows Went, Chapter 16

Updated: Apr 12, 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.


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."