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Mar 12th, 2018
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  1. “Hey, Shiro…?”
  2.  
  3. The man leaning against the metal wall looked over curiously, without any discernible emotion.
  4.  
  5. “Yes, Lance?” He used a tone of voice neither hot nor cold. The implacable nature of his speech frustrated Lance and only made him more frightened of what he was trying to do. Normally he could figure out what Shiro was thinking, what state of mind he was in. But as he watched Pidge and Allura spar, he didn’t show any sign of emotion.
  6.  
  7. Lance instinctually stepped backwards, looking side to side and making note of paths to escape if it became necessary. So far, nothing of the sort had happened in front of the others, but after what Shiro did last night he couldn’t help it.
  8.  
  9. “Do you think we could talk outside for a minute?”
  10.  
  11. Shiro nodded slowly, unfolding his arms and coming up off the wall. He beckoned to Allura and Pidge, stopping them in the middle of some close-range combat.
  12.  
  13. “You girls keep it up on your own, and make sure you tell Hunk he’s got to get in an hour of target practice today when you see him. Lance and I need to discuss something.”
  14.  
  15. Pidge shrugged and nodded casually, not thinking more of the interaction. Allura seemed kind of confused, but ultimately nodded as well. “We shall.”
  16.  
  17. As Shiro motioned for Lance to follow him outside, he couldn’t help but notice Allura giving him a concerned glance before returning her attention to Pidge. He hoped that she wasn’t going to catch on, or try to get involved. That would make things so, so much worse.
  18.  
  19. As soon as the door closed behind them, Shiro turned to Lance and raised an eyebrow. “Is something wrong, Lance?”
  20.  
  21. Christ. Did he… forget what had happened yesterday? Lance felt his stomach drop in a mixture of confusion and relief.
  22.  
  23. “Oh.” Shiro’s eyes widened. “Oh. Lance, did I…?” He seemed to be realizing why Lance looked so nervous. He leaned forward, gripping Lance’s shoulders. “Please tell me I didn’t hurt you, Lance. Please- What did I do?”
  24.  
  25. Lance tried to make a cheerful, lighthearted expression. “It’s not like that, Shiro. I mean, well…” He looked away, trying to figure out whether it’d be better to lie or give some abridged version of the truth. “You were kind of rough yesterday. I got scared and… I left.”
  26.  
  27. He didn’t mention that Shiro had broken into a violent tirade of insults against him, holding him down and branding his skin with the metal of his robotic hand. He didn’t mention having to use his bayard against him just to have a chance to escape, or hiding out in a storage bunker overnight unable to sleep out of fear that Shiro would pursue and find him. When he emerged carefully the next day, he saw Shiro chatting peacefully with Pidge and stayed in a group ever since, avoiding spending even a second alone with him.
  28.  
  29. “…I see.” Shiro looked down, and Lance felt a rush of adrenaline alerting him to either grab his weapon or get the hell out of there. He could feel that Shiro was trembling, but whether it was with anger or sadness wasn’t yet obvious.
  30.  
  31. The soft feeling of skin against his broke through the internal argument of fight versus flight as Shiro stroked Lance’s cheek and brushed through his hair.
  32.  
  33. “When I think back…” Shiro bit his lip, looking extremely distraught. “I don’t remember anything that happened last night. I keep forgetting things, even now.” He pulled Lance in with his other arm, holding him in an embrace that was almost cautious, one that Lance knew he could easily break out of if he really needed to. Was that intentional? “I’m so sorry, Lance. I don’t know why I’d do something like that to you. I- I don’t want to hurt you, Lance. You know I love you.”
  34.  
  35. Lance leaned into the hug and began to feel a comfortable warmth setting into his skin. This was why he’d convinced himself to seek out Shiro, even after all that had happened the night before. No matter how bad it got, feeling this loved and needed by his hero made it all worth it. Whatever Shiro was going through in his head when he broke into acts of violence, became completely out of control and then wasn’t even able to remember it, was obviously far worse than whatever pain he caused. He needed someone he could rely on, someone he could trust to help him through it, and it was Lance.
  36.  
  37. A genuine smile crept over Lance’s face. He needed Shiro the same as Shiro needed him. This made him feel whole, made their world make sense. Everything about them fit together so nicely, he could forget all the bad parts…
  38.  
  39. The warmth of Shiro’s breath on his shoulder, his silent desperation for someone to lean on, everything felt right.
  40.  
  41. Shiro pulled away just enough to lean back in and kiss Lance gently, their faces fitting together so comfortably that Lance thought he might have been built for Shiro. When did he start feeling this way, and was it before or after Shiro had…? That didn’t matter. He wasn’t going to think about it.
  42.  
  43. “Let’s go somewhere private,” Shiro murmured. “I want to give you myself as an apology. We can come up with an excuse for where we were later.”
  44.  
  45. His tenderness filled Lance with a fluttering feeling. “Yeah, okay.”
  46.  
  47. As soon as they were alone in Shiro’s room, Lance began to remove his clothes. He felt comfortable and safe now, as if nothing could go wrong.
  48.  
  49. “Lance…” Shiro’s voice sounded slower than usual, almost as if he were a little drunk. “Why did you run away, Lance?”
  50.  
  51. The hair on the back of Lance’s neck stood up. Shiro’s voice had turned to that hauntingly familiar, icy tone.
  52.  
  53. “Don’t you trust me?”
  54.  
  55. “Of course I do, Shiro,” Lance replied, beginning to feel that he had made a mistake. That change in Shiro’s voice triggered a memory that wasn’t too far back. Last night, Shiro had also started out in a good mood.
  56.  
  57. “Bullshit!” Shiro snarled, rushing at Lance and pinning him to the wall. The suddenness of the impact wracked Lance’s body with pain, and he bit his tongue until it flooded with the metallic taste of blood to avoid making any noise. “If you loved me- if you really meant it when you said-“ His breathing was heavy, his eyes wide and pupils two tiny dots cast in circles of dark shadow. Some days Shiro’s eyes looked smooth and grey like the sea, others they became almost entirely black with no light within.
  58.  
  59. “Shiro-“
  60.  
  61. His head was smacked against the wall again, the pain coursing through Lance’s skull like waves of anger washing over him from out of Shiro’s hand.
  62.  
  63. “I don’t believe you.”
  64.  
  65. “I do love you, Shiro!” Lance whimpered, turning his head away to brace for another blow. “I’m sorry I ran away! I should have trusted you! I’m sorryI’msorryI’msosorryI’msosorry-“
  66.  
  67. He felt Shiro’s force shift away as he fell in a heap against the wall, sobbing. His body still ached from the impact, his head spinning and prickling with pain. When he finally could stop crying long enough to look up, Shiro was looking down at him with disgust.
  68.  
  69. “I really believed you. I thought you understood my rules. I have such low expectations for you, Lance, and you still manage to disappoint me.”
  70.  
  71. Lance slumped back down, not even bothering to conceal his tear-streaked face. Why bother? He really had fucked up. He deserved this.
  72.  
  73. A loud noise startled him enough to look up again; Shiro had thrown his helmet against the wall in rage.
  74.  
  75. “Fuck!”
  76.  
  77. He ran up and punched the same spot with his Galra arm hard enough to leave a dent.
  78.  
  79. “Lance, I- Please, stop me. Please!”
  80.  
  81. He banged his human arm against the wall again and again, his angry yells turning into sounds of pain.
  82.  
  83. “Makeitstopmakeitstopmakeitstop- I don’twanttohurthimdon’twantto-“ He gasped, banging his head on the metal. “I don’t want to hurt him, somebody please stop me…”
  84.  
  85. He collapsed onto the ground.
  86.  
  87. Lance fought the weakness in his muscles to rush over to him and help him up.
  88.  
  89. Shiro’s face was pale, terrified. “It happened again, we came in here and I know I- I know I hurt you, Lance, I can see it, and I remember what I did to you yesterday-“
  90.  
  91. Yelling in pain, he grabbed his head, as if trying to squeeze out something evil within.
  92.  
  93. “Don’t try to remember it now,” Lance whispered urgently. “That gives you the headaches. Just… don’t worry about it. You’ve stopped now. It’s okay.”
  94.  
  95. Shiro’s eyes were full of tears, his voice choked. “I wish I could stay away from you.”
  96.  
  97. Silently, Lance thought about what Shiro had just said as he helped him up and carried if to him bed, lying him down and beginning to undress him. Did he wish for the same thing? That this whole twisted version of their relationship had never started, and Shiro never began hurting him and hunting him down and controlling him so tightly? If it hadn’t been for that… he’d have to give up all the love and affection and desperation that Shiro now had for him, and that was something he didn’t think he could do. The lows would always be worth it for the highs.
  98.  
  99. “Don’t think about it, Shiro. You know I forgive you no matter what. I’ll… I’ll always be here for you.”
  100.  
  101. Shiro smiled gently as Lance wiped the tears off his face before wiping his own.
  102.  
  103. “Please don’t let me become that way again, Lance,” he murmured as he reached up to pull Lance in. “That’s- That’s not me. I don’t know who I become sometimes, none of it makes any sense. Please, make it go away.”
  104.  
  105. Lance kissed him softly, carefully, the aching of his physical traumas masked by a new wave of euphoria at Shiro’s insistent hand encircling his waist and holding him as if he were the most precious thing in the universe.
  106.  
  107. “I’ll try to, Shiro,” he replied, resting his head on Shiro’s chest momentarily before propping himself up on his chest, mentally preparing for the intensity that came with having sex with Shiro at his most unstable. “I want to make you happy.”
  108.  
  109. Shiro laughed quietly, almost sadly. “You do, Lance. You do.”
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