Two Shadows Went, Chapter 18
Updated: Apr 13, 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 halls. “The entry to the bridge is sealed off, but I can open it.’
Lance nodded and followed. Their footsteps sounding hollow and lost as they entered they trudged through the ship.
Put Line Here
As the thrusters of the ship lit, Lance found himself amazed. A part of him — maybe he hadn’t totally believed it. It was like see a fairy tale was real in all of its glory — and all of its tragedy.
Allura stood posed over the platform her hands at either of the controls as she determinedly concentrated. The room was lit in brilliant runes and patterns of teal, streaking across the floors and around them.
Lance stood at the helm of the ship, watching around them all.
They’re coming, He thought as he saw the great black ships in the distance.
He looked back to Allura.
The ship steadily rose from the ground as Lance watcher he ease into her fate and take the ship upward.
“We won’t have long to warp,” Lance said as he came back around to the helm console.
Allura’s narrow eyes looked to him. She didn’t say anything though.
“We have to be out of the galactic line before we can,” Lance went on. “So if there's any hope of speeding up— take it.”
Lance managed to bring up a radar from around them, the room no longer just a window as information highlighted and zoomed across and around them.
“Lance,” Allura gritted her teeth as the dark Glare ships in the distance turned their direction. “Get shields up.”
Lance swallowed but nodded. Holding his hands over the console he quickly tried to process the information laid out of rhim. He highly doubted a ship of that size was made to run off of two people, but there also was very little options they had left.
Pressing down on ta defenses module and tapping in, Lance looked up as he experimented…
And the shield went up around them, glowing over the ship as they tiled out.
“Shields up,” He confirmed.
Allura gave a nod as she concentrated still, her hands clawed over the controls at her sides as she did her best to power the ship up through the atmosphere.
It was then that Red streaked across Lance’s view. Dancing after was Green.
“They’re headed for us!” Lance hollered as he hunched over the console.
It didn’t look like there was a lot of fire power to the ship, but there was enough Lance could employ.
“Let them come,” Allura hissed.
Lance jerked back from his position as he looked over his shoulder at his sister.
“We need to leave,” He repeated to his sister for the hundredth time. “If we can get past Mai’s orbit we can warp.”
What did she not understand? They had one goal at that point, preserve what they could, themselves, their legacy!
“If we have the Lions there will be no war—we can defeat the Galra here!” Her voice held a confident and queenly assurance— that Lance wished was speaking anything but madness.
Lance stole towards his sister, eyes narrow. What was she talking about? Shiro had four of the lions. “Allura we have to go! We don’t have a single Lion on this ship! I only have the Bayard to the Blue lion.”
“I will not give away my home!” Allura raised her chin as she spoke to Lance. “ Not like you! You gave them the Blue Lion, you gave them Yellow as well!”
Shaking his hand, Lance stumbled another step closer as the Galra ships surrounding opened fire, rocking the ship with each blast in the shields.
“We need to regroup!” Lance said desperately. He couldn’t change what he’d done. He just--he needed to get them out of there! He felt like a mouse trapped and surrounded by cats all waiting to pounce.
“They have Black, Red and Green! Hunk is dead, And you left Blue on that field." Allura fired back. “We cannot let them have the legacy of our father!”
“Red Bay Doors request for opening.” The control systems AI over head sound over the bridge.
Lance shook his head and jumped forward to his sister. “No! Allura!”
But she was already sliding her hand across the screen. And Lance watched as the view of the bay doors expanded before them. They needed to be speeding up, to try blasting far enough out of Altea’s range they could warp.
“Alert!” The same feminine Ai’s voice came over. “Main Bay doors under attack.”
A second view opened and Lance gasped.
Green was prying them open. Thick vines and roots twisted as the Green Lion latched her claws on one side and started to pull. More roots seemed to grow out from the space and were ripping the doors open. Red slammed in massive claws hooking in through the crack of the doors as well opposite to green. Together, Lance could see the strain on the lions, but little by little they were pulling the doors open--directly into a chamber Lance was familiar with.
“Allura!” Lance tried one last time. “We need to get out of here! If we accelerate to the fullest we could knock them off--”
“They’re already here!” Allure cut Lance off. “There’s no way they could have more than a handful of men with them, this is a chance to end this, and get back two more of the Lions!”
Immediately, Allura pivoted and strode off the platform, from her deep blue cloak she pulled forth for the first time something that truly froze Lance.
“You stole it.” he gasped. He looked around.
Of course she did. Red was requesting entrance over--that wasn’t the Lion that should be pursuing them.
Allura stopped at the door of the bridge, looking back over her shoulder at her younger brother.
Lance reached out, though—no. he knew what he was reaching for. His sister. He wanted just his sister. And yet his hand hesitated. She wasn’t there anymore—at least not the sister Lance had always known.
Her jaw was set defiantly as in her hand she clutched the Black Bayard.
Lance shook his head. Of all moments—he was just so—he hadn’t expected the blow to hit so hard though him as he looked at his sister. “How? W-When?”
“In the gardens,” Allura said. “When Shiro was occupied with throwing you around. It seems you both could at least managed to distract each other.”
Lance shook his head. What--that Bayard wouldn’t serve her at all! She had to know that!
“You have always ran from your problems, baby brother.” Allura said. She inhaled, her chest and armor puffing up. “We can’t run anymore.”
Looking at her face, Lance nearly lost all breath. How could she…?
“Don’t Allura,” Lance said as he stepped forward.
Her eyes only narrowed as she turned. “It’s my right,” She spoke quietly as she stepped away out of the bridge.
The ship was struck then, and Lance’s weak knees buckled as he sprawled over the floor.
What—Lance’s mind raced. How could he stop this? How could he even hope to stop any of it from happening? Everything he’d done had simply turned on him a that point. Ever turn had only bee forked yet again as he desperately tried to keep moving.
Lance’s hands on instinct went over his head as the ships shield were blasted again, rocking the ship violently.
It was several seconds before Lance found the strength to stand.
They hadn’t completely lost yet.
There was only one place Allura would lead them.
He pitched himself forward into a run as he finally steadied his feet not he ground.
Lance knew he was in the right place as Keith hurled a knife just as Lance lunged through the door. With a jump back, Lance grit his teeth before charging, his Bayard slicing out through air into the broadsword.
Keith took him head on as his own weapon came up. It was a violet purple from a steel Lance has never seen.
“You’re no match for me.” Keith hissed.
Lance narrowed his gaze. They were at the long hallways leading to the hall of Lions, the rooms where his father— no, his mother had given the Lions life. All Lance had to do was distract Keith enough to get through double set of doors.
Lance pushed Keith back, skidding him across the polished floors easily enough before Lance lunged in again — and again and again— backing Keith farther down the opposite hall till —
Keith braced for a charge that never came.
The seconds delay was enough for Lance to pivot and to race around the domed room to slide in through the open doors.
He was greeted with his sister.
From behind though, Lance barely opened his mouth before Keith was on him, and this time he shoved Lance in through the doorway. Lance gritted his teeth but by the time he could raise his sword again, Keith slashed out— and the Blue Bayard clattered to the ground.
“I always told you—“ Keith grit out. “Keep ahold of your weapon.”
He charged again, shoving Lance through to the middle of the room.
Lance was confused for half a moment before he understood as he was seized—and a metal arm looped over his shoulders.
“Nice to have you join us, my love.”
Lance was circled around at the words, His feet barely touching the floor as Shiro forced him to pivot and in face to face with his sister.
Her eyes narrowed on him for a moment but she looked back to the man holding him instead with a deep breath puffing up her chest.
“Your forces will stand down.” Allura commanded as if they hadn’t been intruded upon.
In the hall of the lions, each enclave pillared around them as Allura held the Black Bayard out, she grasped it tightly over the platform. She stood on the raised platform, sticking a menacing figure towering over the room.
“That is not—“ Shiro’s voice so close to Lance’s ear was nearly chilling. It had felt like eons since he’d heard it.
“I am taking command of this bayard,” Allura challenged. “You will yield your forces.”
“That Bayard doesn’t belong to you,” Pidge said as she stepped up closer to the pillar. Around her was at most four other black guards, though battle worn and leaner, in flight suits as they all faced the would-be queen.
Allura tipped her head to the youngest Paladin but only looked away with an air of dismissal.
Lance felt as Shiro’s grip on him only tightened. He also could feel the exhale of breath at his cheek and Lance turned his face. This was his chance of appeal. If ever there was a moment he could pay off everything he’d done, ever moment he’d stood by his Paladin this was it.
But before Lance could open his mouth—
“Which will you pull from my hands?” Shiro spoke in a level tone as his gaze fixed on Allura.
Allura’s gaze narrowed. Her jaw clenched as she struck her arm out, holding the Black Bayard out at arms length to her side and the room lit around them, but the Bayard stayed dormant. Frustration crossed her face, Lance could see it. “I am the rightful queen, and you will stand down Black Paladin, or I will relinquish your power.”
What--? Lance blinked at her sister. The room around flashed again and he realized. SHe was trying to activate it. She was trying to pull the lion to her. But the Bayard--it was still, no violet light pouring from it. It didn’t accept her.
Lance shook his head at his sister. It would never work! The bayard had already chosen and traitor or not, it would not respond to any other! SHe had to know this was insane! How could she do this?
“If that’s your choice,”
Lance heard the whisper at his ear before with a shove, he was thrust forward and barely caught himself only to— Lance’s eyes were widened as he stared at the glowing vibrantly violet hand mere, shallow inches from his face.
Lance felt himself shiver as he steadied himself. He couldn’t turn to look at Shiro behind him there was no way without putting his face through that hand. He could only look forward, look to his sister. His mouth opened as a plea was half formed, his eyes looking to his elder sibling.
She was his family...
“Allura,” He managed in a harsh whisper.
He couldn’t—Lance felt completely trapped. His mouth moved as he felt the heat form the hand of his lover so close to him. He’d already seen it sear through a man, he’d seen it cut through mens chests.
His eyes clouded. How--had Shiro lied to him? Lance was promised he’d be kept safe and yet--his lips trembled. Would he die here? Would Shiro really kill him?
“You will return the Bayard to it’s rightful owner,” Pidge spoke. She had retrieved her own Baryard. It flashed out in a flurry of green at her sides to the arched blade.
“I am it’s rightful owner,” Allura grit as suddenly the room alighted around them—
Lance could have told her. If she’d only ever asked him he could have told her one key thing— Keith was deathly loyal to his commander.
And the leap he took over Lance, the red sword raised over head nearly stopped everyone in the room— but as he came down and struck across Allura face it all seemed to speed up.
Lance could barely even turn his face before in a flash the deathly purple was gone and Shiro was shoving him to the side and without a moment to blink Pidge was on him.
He was pinned to the floor with the green neon blade at his throat.
Lance still craned his neck though to watch the room ahead of him. Keith slammed a second strike across Allura’s bleeding face as Shiro strode to where the Black Bayard had toppled to the ground.
“No,” Lance let out as he tried to force himself up. His hands slipped and his legs banged to twist around as he scrambled across the smooth surface of the flooring.
Pidge gave a growl over him but flung herself over him to try and stop him. If it had been Keith Lance knew he wouldn’t have moved farther but Pidge was smaller than him and he pushed her away as he tried his best to crawl across the floor.
“Let her go!” Lance shouted. “Let her go!”
Shiro bent where he stood over the Bayard before very carefully he stooped to pick it up. It lit in his hand immediately, brighther for a few seconds as if relieved to be back in its chosens hands.
Keith stood as well as what few guards were in the room surrounded Lance’s sister.
“She would have watched you die,” Pidge hissed in at Lance’s ear, still fighting him to stay down.
He was watching his sister though, her huddled form as she finally looked up to Shiro.
As Shiro’s fingers tightens on the Black Bayard it soared out in a flash of lightning to the massive black claymore again.
“I’ll never stop fighting you!” Allura howled. “I never will stop!”
Shiro stepped slowly a new familiar calm settling into his limbs and Lance’s eyes widened as he struggled again.
“No!” He screamed. His voice felt raw as he desperately fought off the Green Paladin over him scrambling across the floor every inch he could manage.
“I know.” Shiro spoke as he looked to Allura. His grip on the claymore was at the ready
Allura’s glare up at the man dripped with venom.
Shiro’s heavy step then a second closer to Allura resounded in the room. He held the black claymore out before him proudly as if to show her.
“I’ll never forgive you!” Lance desperately screamed then, his voice nearly cracking as he felt himself break into tears.
It finally stopped his Alpha.
Lance could feel the whine in his voice, He knew— the biological trick he was playing — wasn’t fair. But it was all he had left. There was little else he could do but as a life bond mate, as his Omega--a whine was all he had to implore to his Alpha.
“If you do it, I’ll never forgive you,” Lance repeated the trembling whine in his voice trailing off.
His sister’s gaze on him then, Lance couldn’t bare the — disgust, the malice in the way she looked at him.
But Shiro turned.
Every Alpha in the room had their eyes on Lance.
Shiro seemed to consider for a moment--before the claymore lowered as he looked again to Lance.
“Take her,” He directed to the guards around him. “She’s to be charged with treason before the council.”
The black guards converged on his sister. And through her wails and flailing attempts to make it harder, her hands were bound and a plated gag placed over her face.
Lance’s head fell at he sound of it. He--what had he done? Was any of this right?
“Let him up,” Shiro directed to Pidge.
She immediately did so, standing and taking a step back.
Lance very carefully pulled himself up to his knees.
The sound of Shiro’s boots again bringing him closer gave Lance little comfort. He knew his face was tear streaked as Shiro approached him. He trembled, still feeling the heat of that hand held so close to him, he could still grasp the fear that had overtaken him. He still held the question--would his lover kill him?
Very carefully Shiro took hold of Lance’s face, cradling it as he spoke.
“Now I’ve given you a real gift.”
Lance felt like his spine creaked as he broke into a strangled cry, turning away from Shiro.
It felt like he’d lost everything at that moment.