Two Shadows Went, Chapter 18
Updated: Apr 12, 2019
The massive black claymore slammed into the stone of the fountain. Lance tried to calm his breathing as he scrambled away, looking across the yet to bloom moon orchids to the fountain. At it’s rim stood Shiro. His gaze was dark across the fountain as he looked at Lance. How he’d made it there ahead of them Lance could only guess. But he’d already dispatched one of the few guardsmen Allura and Lance had left.
Allura grit her teeth next to Lance as she looked a the man in their path. The two guards left formed up around them.
They’d just skidded into the clearing, Lance was still heaving from breath as he looked at his Alpha.
“We have to go,” Lance urged Allura again as he grabbed her hand and sprinted forward, veering off to the left. He just had to get her through the clearing, they didn’t have to win and Lance—he’d already seen this match, he’d already watched Shiro fight his sister months ago and though they were interrupted before a winner could be declared—it had already been clear.
As expected Shiro met them, flinging the claymore out to his side—stopping Lance in his tracks where it struck in against the ground, sticking straight up.
Lance’s eyes went wide as Shiro lunged forward. A guard met him and Shiro rammed head on, with a knife pulled from his belt, the grappling need as Shiro embedded the knife through the the altean’s throat and charged forward.
Lance realized halfway through Shiro wasn’t lunging for him.
The short blade in Shiro’s hand slashed out to Allura. She deflected only with widened eyes and stumbled back as Shiro’s hand lit and struck from her opposite side.
There last guard left stole forward with his own war cry—
It turned to a shrill cry of pain as Shiro’s Galran arm sliced through the air with precise actions—removed the guards sword arm. The scent of seared flesh tinted the air as the royal cloak crumpled and the guard buckled to the ground.
It was time enough for Allura to jump back several steps as taken back as Lance was, realizing she was the target.
Her eyes darted to the Black Claymore still standing from where it had drove through the earth several feet away catching the last lingering light as it swallowed it whole. A Moment passed and without its wielder it flashed back in a brilliant display of cosmic lightning to the black Bayard, hitting the grass, and nearly disappearing among the tall greenery.
But Shiro was already launching himself back at her and she skidded back several more steps.
She flashed out her staff again just as Lance pulled himself together and charged in to her aide.
His broad sword clashed with the short blade Shiro advanced with.
There was deep rumble in Shiro’s chest. And though he made no move to push Lance away it shivered through Lance’s very bones.
“You will stand down.”
Lance felt a cold dipped though his veins and he exhaled in a gasp as his body seemed to seize up. That was an Alpha command. And it felt bone chillingly horrible as it settled in him.
Shiro had never used it on Lance before. His voice had very rarely even dipped into the drumming Alpha tones and only during intimacy.
But — Lance still steadied himself. It was a tugging at him, and it felt wrong and guilt and nausea and regret were already there tingling in him, but he shook his head.
“I won’t let you hurt her.” Lance said as he pushed off from their crossed swords.
Skidding back across the grass, Lance held the broad sword steady.
Shiro wasted not a second in advancing again and this time he nearly tore Lance asunder as he ripped him aside and pushed him into the grass. Allura drove through the grass to her right in effort to scramble away. Lance was quick on his feet though and seeing the partner this time was already scrambling around SHiro as he slashed away at Allura.
The short sword was discarded and vivid purple cut through the air as Shiro sheared his seeping hand so close Lance could smell the sizzles of his sisters hair.
His sister was still on the ground, skittering away at every give but she didn’t have time to find purchase enough to get up. Lance leapt at the Alpha, bowling into him.
It wasn’t much time to give, as Shiro had Lance by his flight suit, grip tight as he fisted the fabric. “I told you to stand down.” He hissed. He picked Lance up at that moment and slung him away, pitching him across the fountain to land among the tall stalks of moon orchids.
Lance landed with the air knocked out of him, but as soon as his vision stopped spinning he pushed up. Shiros long strides to his sister were like watching a typhoon approach low and dark and deadly.
This time he let out a scream as he flung himself forward . If he’d just proved anything it was Shiro clearly didn’t want to hurt him. And Lances theory was proved correct as yet again he was simply flung away from the Shiro. This time, Lance was thrust back to the grass effortlessly, but it was enough as Allura scrambled up to her feet, her staff in hand, she swung out with it. The arch of it’s laser slicing through the air and knocked Shiro off his feet for the first time.
“That way,” Lance pointed to the small northern break in the tall hedges as he pushed himself up from the ground and nearly pushed Allura forward.
He already heard Shiro getting up, but taking his sister’s hand, Lance raced through the maze of the gardens, taking turn after turn as he pulled her in deeper.
None of them knew this place like he did. Shiro may have been able to find his way to the Fountain, to their—Lance closed his eyes. There was no way he knew the heart of the gardens, no other man knew them like Lance.
Lance’s eyes narrowed as he pulled Allura through to the heart of the gardens and deeper.
It felt like running for hours though it was probably only mere minutes. Sounds were all like trumpets in Lances ears, every snap of a twig or crinkle of grass a possible enemy. He’d heard the bowls or Galra and the rumble of explosions in the distance. There was no doubt the Palace was completely over run and soon possibly the entire Capital City.
As they emerged at the south steps of the Temple— Lance looked up at the white structure.
“You did it,” Allura breathed.
Lance looked to his sister.
Did she…did she know?
Lance turned away as he stepped forward.
In the distance, the battle still raged. The Green Lion bound though troops, cornering off what was left of the royal guard. But Lance was more concerned with Red. Much closer, the Red Lion was scanning over the maze, prowling ever closer, but careful. Each step was calculated, harming as little as possible. Lance wasn’t sure—could that be Shiro’s orders? Were they told not to hurt Lance? If they had just wanted to Royal siblings dead, they could have set the gardens a blaze. Did they need them for something else?
“We need to go inside.” Lance said as he strode forward, turning away he did his best to wipe away the burning thoughts of his mate at that moment.
Right or not, there was no going back at that point.
As they secured the doors behind them, Allura stepped up.
Lance paused as suddenly for her the teal of the doors around alighted as she held her hand out and they heard as the massive doors bolted shut.
Allura didn’t look up at Lance as she did.
“There’s things—“ She shied away, pulling her hand back. “about this place.” She sounded a bit chagrin. “Father showed me, when I was younger.”
Lance looked back behind them through the halls.
“It’s not a temple.”
Allura looked back over her shoulder as well. Her eyes were unreadable as eh took in the subtle shifts of light through out the white halls. “No.” She agreed. “It’s not.”
She stepped forward then, striding in through the entry hall