Not being able to sleep through the night is nothing new for Shiro. Even before he’d piloted the Kerberos mission, he’d often been kept up by now obviously minor concerns. So he’s developed ways to deal with it. Sometimes he reads, sometimes he trains, sometimes – like now – he simply goes for a walk.
Shiro knows the castle like the back of his hand, knows which paths to walk down depending on how antsy he is. Knows which halls settle which itch.
He also knows that it’s best to avoid the other paladins at times like this. The middle of the night is a strange time for all of them, almost surreal. He’s learned their nighttime habits as well: Keith ends up at the training deck, Pidge usually works on things near Green, Hunk stress-cooks in the kitchen. And Lance, Lance is usually in the observation deck.
On nights when Shiro can’t help himself, when his control is low, he wanders there too. He never goes inside, not when Lance is in there. Instead, he watches from afar, telling himself he’s keeping an eye on his teammate’s well-being.
So when he turns a corner and sees Lance walking down a different hall than normal, he hides.
Lance is moving with determination, not looking right or left as he walks. He looks so different than normal, the way he holds his shoulders is stiffer than usual. Naturally, this means that Shiro needs to keep an eye on him.
He changes direction, following Lance from a distance, blending into the shadows. Something about the situation tells Shiro he needs to be careful, not let Lance know he’s being followed, but Lance doesn’t notice him at all. It takes a bit for Shiro to realize where they’re going – in fact, it doesn’t register until they’re almost there.
The shuttle bay.
A shuttle he doesn’t recognize is there, and Shiro darts behind the entryway into the bay, peeking his head out to look. Lance still doesn’t notice.
As if out of nowhere, a cat appears, hopping down from the top of the unknown shuttle. Lance stops, and the cat curls itself around his ankles, yellow eyes staring up at him, visible from this distance.
Shiro creeps forward silently, hiding behind one of the Altean ships so he can get a closer look.
The shuttle door opens, and a vaguely familiar blue alien steps out. Shiro can’t see their eyes, but what he can see is a long tail extending from beneath their cloak. The way they move towards Lance, almost floating down to him, makes his hackles rise. He gets the impression he couldn’t take the alien alone.
They turn to the side, holding out their arm in the universal sign for please enter. And to Shiro’s surprise, without a single word, Lance walks up the stairs.
The cat follows, leaping up onto the shoulder of the blue alien. They turn, following Lance inside the shuttle. The whole thing is so strange, rubs Shiro the wrong way. He knows, objectively, that the smart thing to do would be to call the others, ask for help.
But something stops him.
The shuttle door closes with a clang, and Shiro is spurred to action. He has a limited window to make this work, so he needs to move fast. Shiro bursts into a run as the shuttle lifts up, hovering above the floor. With a grunt, he pushes himself faster, jumping towards it as he hears the distinct sound of thrusters firing up.
Shiro grabs on to the landing gear just before it retracts, holding onto it for dear life as it raises up. He curls his lower half up against it, getting his feet out of the way as the floor closes beneath him. Shiro barely has a chance to hope this part of the shuttle is airlocked before the thrusters fire and the shuttle shoots out of the castle.
Luckily for him, the shuttle seems to be airlocked, because he doesn’t immediately pass out. He uncurls himself once the ship stops accelerating, looking around. He finds a hatch above him and pushes it up slightly so he can peer into the ship itself.
The blue alien is standing with their back to him, hand on the back of the pilot’s chair. The cat is sitting on the other side, and Shiro makes out the distinct sight of dark brown hair over the top.
Lance is…piloting? What’s going on?
He holds his breath as he watches, but the three of them don’t move, don’t even speak. He seems to wait forever, watching as Lance guides the shuttle as if he knows exactly what he’s doing. As if he’s done this a thousand times before.
And then he sees it: a ship. Lotor’s ship.
Before Shiro can come up with a plan, a way to get him and Lance out of here in one piece, the screen crackles, and an image appears. Lotor.
“Narti, I take it you brought him with no issues,” his smooth voice fills the shuttle, sending shivers up Shiro’s spine.
The cat’s tail twitches, but the blue alien doesn’t respond. Lance does. “You knew I’d be here. Permission to land?” He almost sounds sarcastic, snarky when he says it. The whole thing confuses Shiro to no end.
Especially when Lotor smirks. “Permission granted. Proceed to shuttle bay seven.”
His face disappears in a blink, and the ship reappears on the viewport. Lance turns the shuttle, aiming it towards where Shiro can now see an open door.
His mind whirs as they approach the entrance. He slides back down, silently closing the hatch above him. He needs to be ready to jump out as soon as possible, but first he needs to figure out what the hell is going on. Why is Lance here? How does he know Lotor? Why does this seem…common?
Shiro stops the spiral of his thoughts when he feels the ship rumble around him. He grips the landing gear just in time for the floor to slide open beneath him. Shit. He can’t be seen now. Not before he knows what Lance is doing here. He can’t risk both their lives.
He holds the top as the foot beneath him extends, bouncing as they land with a jolt.
Shiro freezes where he is, waiting as he hears the slide of the door opening. He waits until he hears footsteps before his curiosity is piqued, and he can’t wait any longer. He slides down the gear, barely poking his head out.
The blue alien is walking away, out of the shuttle bay with the cat on their shoulders. Shiro looks around, catching sight of Lance walking down the steps. Shiro untangles himself, dropping down to the floor silently. His legs protest at the sudden movement after being cramped for so long, but he ignores it.
Because the door opens again.
Shiro keeps himself hidden behind the shuttle, watching as Lotor steps in, pausing at the entrance. To Shiro’s surprise, Lance picks up his pace. “You couldn’t have called for me sooner?” He demands once he and Lotor are face to face.
Lotor’s smirk is visible, even from where Shiro is hiding. “So impatient, Little Blue. Things would’ve been easier if your castle didn’t keep changing location.”
“I pinged you our location three times since the last jump.” From the back, Shiro catches the stiff frame of Lance’s shoulders, the tension lining his back.
“Do you think me one of your Earth dogs?” Lotor asks, voice low and threatening. “That you can throw a bone and I will fetch it?”
On instinct, Shiro activates his hand. Every fiber of his being tells him that Lance is in danger right now. That no threat to his own life is a good enough reason to stay still.
But then Lance responds. “No, I…” He shifts his weight. “I know you’re not. It’s been a long time. That’s all.”
Something about the tone of voice, the way Lance speaks, surprises Shiro. Surprises him so much he loses focus, hand deactivating automatically.
“You would do well to remember that, Blue.”
Lotor steps forward, closing the distance between him and Lance. Shiro sees him reach into his own pocket, but from his vantage, he can’t see what gets pulled out. Lance does, however. “In here?”
“Impatience and insolence earn their own rewards, paladin. If you want something else in the future, you’ll do well to remember that. Now kneel.”
Shiro’s hackles raise as Lance obeys without question, dropping to his knees in front of Lotor. Lotor drops his hand to Lance’s cheek, smirk once again on his lips. “So obedient,” he approves. He moves, walking in a slow circle around Lance, eyes never once leaving his still form. Lance, who always seems eager to move, always loud and boisterous, stays completely frozen. Silent.
Once Lotor reaches the front again, he stops. “You may remove your jacket now.”
As if waiting for the cue, Lance moves, shucking his jacket off immediately. He grabs his right sleeve, peeling it up before Lotor clicks his tongue. “Not so fast.”
Lance’s soft groan is audible, even from here. Shiro can’t see his face, but he can imagine it. Scrunched in frustration, most likely. His hand balls into a fist against the gear he’s hiding behind. His every instinct is telling him to stay put, stay hidden. But his mind fights against it. And it just gets worse with Lotor’s next word:
Again, Lance obeys without hesitation. “Please,” he begs, voice wrecked. “Please, Lotor. I’ll do anything.”
“Please what? Be specific, Little Blue.” He’s toying with Lance. Whatever is happening between them, Lotor is treating it as a game.
“Give it to me. Please. Lotor.” The way Lance moans Lotor’s name is too reminiscent of the way he moans Shiro’s in his dreams. Despite himself, despite the circumstances, Shiro’s groin twitches in his pants.
“Oh? Give it to you? And here I thought you preferred my touch.” He nearly purrs the words, voice dipped in poisonous honey.
“Please. You know what I mean. It’s been so long. I can’t take it anymore.” Lance drops his head. “Please,” he repeats once more.
Apparently satisfied with Lance’s begging, Lotor nods. “Rise.”
Lance leaps up, standing at attention.
“Give me your arm.”
Lance finishes rolling up his sleeve and thrusts his arm forward. Shiro shifts so he can get a better angle. He catches sight of a vial, filled with golden liquid. He barely registers the sharp glint of a needle before Lotor thrusts it into Lance’s arm.
The moan Lance lets out nearly causes Shiro to collapse to the ground. He’s only heard that in his dreams. His human fist is clenched so tight he can almost feel his nails digging into his palm, and his cybernetic fingers twitch with the desire to shove his hand down his pants and relieve the tension pooling in his lower stomach.
“So eager,” Lotor remarks, as if this happens all the time. As if he’s heard Lance’s moans more than once. “I haven’t even injected you yet.”
“Hnn…fuck…please…” Lance pants.
“Careful now. Wouldn’t want you overdosing.” Lotor must have injected some of the substance into him, because Lance lets out another sound, sinful in how loud it is. Shiro presses his hand to the front of his pants, willing himself to calm down. This is so wrong. He should be helping Lance, not be getting turned on while Lance stands there, clearly not in his right mind.
Lance’s entire body is taut, pulled as tense as Shiro’s own feels, as if he’s a string which needs to be plucked. His shoulders almost seem to vibrate from the force of staying so tense, his back arched in a way that makes Shiro press against his groin even harder.
“Now,” Lotor’s voice breaks Shiro from his spell. He hadn’t realized his eyes had closed until they flutter open. Lotor is holding the empty syringe, in his hand, stepping away from Lance. “Tell me what you want.”
“Touch me.” Lance’s voice is hoarse, wrecked completely. His words are even more desperate than before, when he’d been on the ground, literally begging.
“Turn around,” Lotor instructs. Shiro doesn’t have the mental facilities to remember to hide in time, but it doesn’t seem to matter. Even from this distance, he can tell Lance’s eyes are glassed over when he turns. There’s a flush high in his cheeks, coloring his face in a dusty red. He looks absolutely beautiful and fucked out, despite no one laying a single hand on him.
Once Lance is turned, Lotor closes the distance between them. He wraps his arms around Lance, one reaching under Lance’s shirt to his stomach, the other resting on his chest over the shirt. He leans in, murmuring in Lance’s ear, his voice carrying through the shuttle bay. “Do not touch yourself, and do not touch me, or I will not let you come. Do you understand?”
Shiro doesn’t know what Lance is begging for, because Lotor doesn’t move from where he stands. Regardless, Lance’s head falls back, baring his neck as he moans as if he’s the star in a porno. Shiro can’t take it anymore – he slips his hand in his pants, wrapping his fingers around himself.
It’s better, in a way, when he uses his Galra hand. The metal almost convinces him that he’s not the one touching himself, allowing him to give into the fantasy.
And right now the fantasy is playing out, live, in front of him.
Lance’s hands are pressed to his thighs, knuckles white as he grips his pants. His hips shift subtly, rocking forward and back, as if trying to recreate the feeling of sex. His head is still tilted back against Lotor, his mouth open as he pants. Whatever Lotor gave him, whatever is going on in his mind, is getting Lance off in a way so strong he doesn’t even have to be touched.
It’s sick, how turned on Shiro is at the sight of it. The sight of Lance being touched, being dominated, by someone else. How he’d begged so prettily, dropped into a kneel just to be permitted to remove his jacket. How he’s wordlessly begging for more now and yet is still so hard Shiro can see the bulge in his pants.
“Lotor…” Lance breathes, voice echoing in the room. He pants loud enough that Shiro can feel it in his blood. “Let me come. Please.”
Shiro is at Lotor’s mercy, the same as Lance. He can’t come until Lance does. Can’t finish until he sees Lance, blissed out and overwhelmed. His hand freezes in its motions, waiting. Until finally:
“Come, Little Blue.”
As if the words are magic, Lance groans, his entire body going boneless as visible wetness expands against the front of his pants. He sags back against Lotor, being held up by him.
His neck is flushed, face tilted back so far Shiro can’t see more than his chin right now, and his chest is heaving in exertion, despite having done nothing at all. Shiro bites back his own groan, hand moving in earnest now. He wants to be the one to wrap his arms around Lance, hold him while Lance writhes against him and begs him please, Shiro, let me come. He wants it more than he’s permitted himself to want it in the past.
And the sight of Lance, completely controlled by Lotor is too much. Especially when Lotor leans in, whispering something in Lance’s ear that makes Lance shudder.
It pushes him over the edge. With a grunt he sincerely hopes is quiet, Shiro lets his orgasm overwhelm him. Wetness spreads through the inside of his own pants, coating his hand and clothing in a sticky mess. He closes his eyes, leaning against the landing gear of the shuttle as he heaves, willing his breathing to calm once more.
Once he’s in control again, he peeks out, risking a look. Lance is hunched over himself, jacket tossed over his shoulders. Lotor is nowhere to be seen.
Shiro nearly jumps out of his skin when the door to the bay opens again, but the blue alien with the cat is who enters this time. Lance straightens and turns. Shiro grabs the landing gear, staying out of sight. He can guess what comes next.
No one seems to have noticed him, and he manages to hold on as the ship takes off again. This time he doesn’t look out of the hatch, instead staying curled in the confined space, feeling his own mess dry in his pants. He jumps out as soon as the shuttle stops, landing quietly in the castle’s shuttle bay.
Lance descends alone this time, and Shiro’s glad he jumped out when he did, because as soon as Lance’s feet hits the ground, it takes off again. Shiro has nowhere to hide, but Lance doesn’t turn around. His shoulders are hunched as he walks slowly out of the shuttle bay, never once looking back.