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The first time Allura sees him after the wormhole, it takes all the strength buried in her bones not to pin Shiro to the wall of the hangar and kiss him until she forgets the sting of the taste of being without him.

Gods he looks like death, the scent of blood and sweat and dirt and the sharp ozone of some alien atmosphere clinging to his skin, but he’s here, gods he’s here he’s home he’s a l i v e

Mezhayat-altīn, Shiro,” she murmurs, and even leaning over Keith’s and Pidge’s shoulders, battered and bruised (but whole), the Black Paladin meets the stars in her eyes with his own.

Welcome home.

“It’s good to be back, Allura.”

 

_

 

The tikin don’t pass by fast enough as she watches Shiro in the cryopod, the soft white of the bodysuit almost glowing in the dimmed lights of the infirmary chamber. She knows he’ll be fine, Coran assured her, all of them assured her, but the hum of the ancient technology and the steady, rhythmic sounds of the monitors calm her tumbling nerves more than anything else.

The Princess thinks, sitting amongst her comrades, and contemplates the almost-silence and herself.

He wasn’t even missing for that long, she tells her scrambled thoughts, shaking her head. Stop acting like a youngling that’s said goodbye for the first time.

But isn’t that the crux of the problem? Allura is no youngling, but her birth-family is gone, ash in her mouth, whisked away by time and space and the thunder of her world torn apart at the seams. Her Paladins are her family now, Coran is like a father figure to her, and even the mice she shared countless decafeebek with in stasis are precious reminders of home to her.

But it’s not the same. Shiro isn’t the same.

(He hasn’t been the same since the first time he kissed her, hungry and filthy and full of reckless abandon, after the Balmera, when he could taste magick on her tongue, thrumming in her veins, her fingers tangled like claws in his hair.)

She doesn’t know what she’d do if he went on a mission and didn’t come back. She doesn’t know what she’d do if she had to say goodbye again. So she waits for her Black Paladin to wake up, as they all do, and the last time he touched her is a shadow on her skin, inky and endless.

 

_

 

It will take the Castle a quintant to arrive at the coordinates Pidge decoded from Shiro’s arm. No matter how much she doesn’t think it’s a good idea, Allura knows her Black Paladin well enough to know that he wouldn’t put the team in any kind of danger they couldn’t fight their way out of. She doesn’t trust a Galra as far as she can throw one, but when Shiro puts his foot down even the heir to the throne of Altéa cannot shake his resolve, and for this she is grateful.

Shiro is steadfast and strong, like her father before her, like her planet had once been, and she clings to his confidence like a starving woman laid before a feast. Allura must be able to trust him to lead Voltron where she cannot, and if this is where he chooses, then so be it.

There is a knock at her door, and she lets Shiro in.

(She knows it’s him before she even gets up, knows it’s him by his sock-footed steps and the way he always knocks three times against the cold metal and because she knows he wants, just like her.)

Mekhannet,” the Black Paladin says, almost shy, the Altéyra greeting slipping from his mouth like water. It is formal, respectful, and awkward in her ears, but she loves that he cares so much to learn. The warmth of her mothertongue pools at her feet, and Allura’s toes curl against the floor. She is hungry, restless, alight.

Meheli,” she responds softly, drawing the heavy blanket around her shoulders tighter. A more familiar greeting, usually reserved for a close friend, a partner. A tinge of pink brushes over Shiro’s cheeks. A lover.

She reaches for Shiro’s right arm, twining her fingers with his. The metal is cool against her palm as she pulls him all the way into her room, the heavy door sliding shut with the hiss of the lock clicking into place.

The hunger is too much, for her, for him, for all the things that make them feel whole again, and Allura practically throws herself at Shiro, capturing his mouth with her own and grasping the black fabric of his undershirt like a lifeline. The Black Paladin yanks her forward, grinding rough against her, and even though the Princess doesn’t think she can possibly get closer to him she does, somehow. The heat of him is like stars exploding under her skin.

“Shiro, nem hayazati, nei khalatia,” she pleads between kisses, digging and wrenching her fingers into the fabric of his clothes. The alien endearments aren’t as alien to Shiro’s ears as they once were, their meanings branded behind his eyes from the countless times they’ve fallen from her teeth.

“Allura, my love, my stardust,” he repeats, and all the things he came here to speak of, the coordinates, the Galra, everything they both thought mattered before is nothing compared to now.

“I almost lost you,” Allura says, the words hitched in her throat against his lips from more than just the heat of her Paladin and the tug of his fingers in her hair. He brushes a thumb over the pink marks on her cheeks made heated with her arousal, and the Princess moans. He watches the pupils of her eyes contract at the contact, cat-like and thin, alien and yet not.

“But you didn’t,” Shiro comforts her, sliding the soft blanket from her shoulders and nipping at her bottom lip, rucking up her nightgown and slipping his fingers beneath the thin fabric. The contrast of his hot, human hand and the cool metal of his prosthetic makes her tremble. His fingers ghost over the jagged pink lines that curve over her hips and down between her legs, drawing a keening whimper from the Princess.

“I came close, closer than I ever want to,” she whispers, dragging her nails through his hair, like little claws crackling lightning over his skin. “I can’t lose anyone again. I can’t lose you.”

Shiro reaches beneath the band of Allura’s underwear and finds her slick and wet and warm, and she feels so good he can barely stand up straight long enough to guide her towards her bed. He pushes aside the sheer curtain and when Allura’s back hits the cloud-soft comforter she feels weightless, infinite. Shiro crawls over her and she turns her head to the side just long enough for him to undo the buttons at the nape of her neck. He pulls the nightgown from her body, and the once-soft fabric is like sand against her skin, the friction fanning the flames that burn in her bones from his touch.

Allura reaches up to grasp Shiro’s undershirt, lifting it up to press her lips to his chest, a hand dragging red lines like watercolor down his stomach. She is aching, starving, licking the salt from his skin, the sharp edges of her hound-teeth bared against his scars. The sounds she draws from his throat are long and languid, hitched when she slides her fingers over the clasp of his pants. Her Paladin pulls the tank top over his head, tossing it aside like her nightgown without so much as a glance. The Princess looks up at him with starshine eyes as he kneels over her, between her legs, and in them he can see her come completely undone.

“I’m here, I’m here Allura,” he repeats, like a mantra against her lips, the words like honey dripping from his teeth and down her throat to pool hot and heady in her belly. Her hands guide his kisses to her cheek, her jaw, the sweet spot he bites beneath her ear where her neck meets her shoulder that makes her scream. His fingers trace her dak-vazek, her sense-marks, and Shiro swears the trails of pink glow at his touch as he follows them down her arms, beneath her breasts, over her hips and between her legs. The feeling of his human hand is different from his metal one as he touches the slashes of pink on her skin, but she loves it, pushing his right hand down towards her underwear, telling him without words which she wants inside her.

That’s all that matters. I’m here,” Shiro whispers against her inner thigh, fingers hooking in the band of her underwear and pulling them off to land forgotten on the floor. Her scent is heady, intoxicating, she smells so fucking good. He throws Allura’s legs over his shoulders, trailing kisses and nips down the softness of her belly, biting love-bruises into the pink dak-vaz beneath the sharp bone of her hip. Shiro licks at her core and the sound she makes is heavenly, the taste hot and tangy and he can’t get enough, slipping a finger inside her, then two, then three. She inhales sharply each time, clenching her thighs tight around him and pulling at his hair, urging him closer, harder, deeper.

Her Black Paladin scrapes his teeth over her clit, curling his fingers against the slick skin inside her, and it’s like a galaxy being born behind her eyes, the secrets of the universe dripping from Shiro’s tongue between her legs. Allura screams, thanking every god and goddess she remembers that the walls of the Castle are soundproof and steady, writhing against Shiro’s fingers. She feels her muscles clench around the heated, unyielding metal, unwilling to let him go.

(It took some convincing their first time before he would dare touch her with his artificial hand. But when Allura had pressed her lips to the place where metal met skin, Shiro knew better than to doubt her, or himself.)

This is far from the first time Shiro has ever eaten the Princess out, but every time it’s like the first time all over again. He doesn’t think he’ll ever get used to how aching, how tight, how hungry her body is, so familiar and yet so alien. The scent of her is earthy, the taste of her tangy and smooth, and the feel of her clenching around his fingers so tightly is the most perfect fucking thing he’s ever felt. Her hands grasp his hair in time with her cries, moving his mouth where she wants it until her hips tilt ever so to the right and–

“Yes, yes, gods yes,” she pleads, voice high and hitched and broken. “Shiro, there, right there, don’t fucking move—”

The Princess howls, her Paladin bares his teeth against her skin, and for a tik Shiro thinks he might come from the sensations around his fingers alone. The hell with nunvill, the slick fluid of her orgasm is the real nectar of the gods and he licks at her folds, her clit, every part of her core until he’s satisfied all of it is gone. He can feel the tight rings of muscle inside her, keeping his fingers fixed in place, and he knows it’ll be a few doboshin before he can slip them out of her.

(Their first time she thought the differences in their sexual responses might scare him off, but after he told her being physically locked inside her might be the hottest thing he’s ever heard of, she didn’t keep her hands off him for hours.)

Shiro props himself up on his left arm and leans up, meeting Allura halfway, and the friction of the sheets through his pants is enough to make him squirm as she kisses him, tasting herself on his tongue. Her hands cup his jaw and she slides her little claws down his neck, making him moan, leaning closer, needing more. She can feel her inner walls releasing her Paladin’s fingers, little by little, aftershocks glittering up her spine as he strokes the sweet spot deep inside her one last time. A breathy moan escapes her throat at the gesture, and she feels Shiro’s satisfied hum against her lips when his fingers are finally free. He slides them slick down her chest, leaving wet-hot trails that he follows with his tongue, and the feel of her own fluid on her skin is like a burning, brilliant brand.

“You’re not going anywhere,” Allura orders, face pinched pink and breath coming quick and deep in her lungs. She pitches forward onto her knees, a hand shoving Shiro to the sheets, dragging lines of red and want into his skin that he wants to carry to his grave. She settles herself over his hips, grinding down onto him and it feels so fucking good but it’s not enough, it’s nowhere near enough and Shiro hisses in a breath between his teeth.

“As if I’d rather be anywhere else,” the Black Paladin says, voice low and rough in his throat as Allura rocks above him, both hands gripping her hips hard enough to leave bruises she’ll be proud of. He bites his bottom lip, breath catching in his throat as Allura unfastens his pants and slips her fingers beneath the band of his shorts. He lifts his hips enough for her to get them down and helps her take them off, and then she’s back on top of him, pinning him to the soft sheets. The heat of her is almost unbearable and he bucks into her, desperate, needy.

“You’ll be lucky if I let you leave this room,” Allura murmurs in Shiro’s ear, her white hair falling guardian around his face and fingers twined with his.

“Is that a challenge?” Shiro growls, licking at the space between her breasts, nipping love-bruises onto her skin. She tastes salty-sweet, hot and heady and like stars, crushed in his mouth.

“Is it?” Allura asks, the curve of her brow and the lilt in her voice playful. Her hands release his wrists and follow the curve of his hipbones, touch feather-light and inviting.

Shiro sits up, rolling Allura over onto her stomach, tangling one hand in her hair and pressing her into the bed with the other. He licks at the sweet spot beneath her ear, drawing a moan from the Princess’s throat. He trails his fingers down her back, the hard edges of her shoulder blades betraying the tight hold she has on the sheets. The weight of her Paladin is solid and comforting as she rocks back into him, reaching back to guide his jaw along her shoulder where she needs his tongue and teeth the most.

Shiro follows her lead, steadfast and strong, tracing the pink dak-vazek on her shoulders and her back, her sense-marks glowing in the dim light of the Castle’s night shift. Like Blaschko’s lines, Shiro thinks as he follows the glowing trails. There aren’t many of them, but all of them meet at the base of her spine and he presses a kiss to the soft skin there. Allura’s reaction is instantaneous and heated, a sob tearing from her throat and her legs spreading ever so wider. Shiro nips at the starburst of pink, leaving a love-bruise that has Allura half-howling to the ceiling, pleading into the fabric beneath her.

“Shiro, Shiro, please, hlyatón, please–”

“I know, I know,” Shiro whispers, pulling Allura to her knees, sliding one hand between her legs and the other over her chest. He traces the shape of her bottom lip, Allura’s mouth yielding to one of his fingers, then another, her tongue hot and wet and slick and he can’t take it anymore. He needs her, her nails are digging into his thigh like she always does when she wants to take control, so he lets her.

Allura is above him in an instant, shoving Shiro back against the pillows, kissing him in all the ways she wanted to when she first saw him in the hangar, battered and beaten but alive. His hands tangle in her hair, letting her lead him to his end, her fingers trailing through the dusting of hair on his chest. She’s so fucking slick and hot against him as she grinds herself down down down, as close as she can get. Her scent is heady, intoxicating, and when she guides him inside her it’s like the ending of the universe behind his eyes, the beginning of another in his heart.

If there are words for the way Allura makes Shiro feel he doesn’t know them, in English, in Japanese, in Altéyra, nothing else matters except for the friction of her thighs against his sides and the slick-slide of her around him. He presses his human hand against the flat of her belly, feeling the strength of her muscles as she rides him and guides him gone, bracing herself against his chest. His fingers drift lower, following her sense-marks, pressing against her clit, rubbing, making her pant, making her sob. The Princess shivers at her Paladin’s touch, clawing at his chest, his arms, any part of him she can as she twists her hips just the way he likes, slamming down to meet him as he bucks into her with a growl. She is liquid heat around him, she can feel her inner muscles tightening, locking him in as far as he can reach inside her, she’s so close so close so godsdamned close

Allura screams, the world is white behind her eyes and she doesn’t know if it’s the universe or her body that has come undone at the seams. She kisses Shiro through it, feeling lighting licking up her dak-vazek and fire dripping down her belly to settle between her legs. He stills beneath her and she swallows the cries from his throat, one of his hands fisting in the sheets and the other covering the starburst of pink on her back, pushing her down on him as hard as he can. Liquid heat fills Allura and she holds his jaw reverently, her Black Paladin glass-fragile and infinite in her hands, lost in the heat of her body and the scent of her as she waits for his breathing to slow and his moans to quiet.

Shiro’s hands run ragged over her back, flickering over her sense-marks, and the sensation of her inner walls clenched around him is almost too much as he crushes her to his chest, head thrown back against the sheets. He claws his fingers into her skin, bites love-bruises into her shoulder, anything to ground him in the reality that Allura is here above him, around him, buried so far between the spaces of his ribs that even the end of all things cannot rip her from him. It’s all he can do to hold on, hands in her hair and tracing her sense-marks and tongue licking love from her hound-teeth.

“I’m here, I’m here, Shiro,” Allura whispers, voice soothing as her hands card through his hair, her Black Paladin come undone beneath her.

“You’re here,” Shiro says, reaching up, rubbing his thumb against the splash of pink on her cheekbone. She nuzzles his palm, eyes half-lidded and endless. The words come out as if he’s surprised, as if he can’t believe Allura is resting on his chest with a smile tugging at her lips. It’s been enough doboshin that he’s free to move from her body, but he’ll be damned if he’s going anywhere when she looks like this, crowned in white and soft around the edges, the weight of a dead world eased from her shoulders, if only for a night. She takes one of his hands, pressing a kiss to the soft skin of his wrist.

“We both are.”