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I found religion between your thighs

Chapter Text

To start with a clichéd statement: the kid that walked through the bar doors was certainly a sight for sore eyes.

It was some shitty dive off the highway where the pickings were slim, but Shiro had been working on the semi attractive bar tender for the past hour when in walked one of the most beautiful people he had ever seen.

As an incubus Shiro really didn’t have the right to be picky. His life literally depended on if he could find someone to have sex with, and at times there weren’t really the most...savory of people around. Sure he attempted to get to know them first—he wasn’t a complete asshole—and afterwards they always seemed happy...if missing some of their life force.

But when his attention was caught by movement out of the corner of his eye, and his gaze was drawn up (up, up) a pair of tanned legs, Shiro cursed his luck.

The kid looked like he wasn’t the legal age to be in a place like this, but something about the cocky tilt to his mouth gave him the air of someone older. He was decked out in a pair of short shorts, giving the impression that his legs were never ending; a tight blue shirt with a faded saying splashed over the front and showing off a strip of cinnamon skin completed the extreme ‘twink’ vibe he was giving off.

Shiro could feel the crackle of lust snap through the air at the kid’s appearance. Several people couldn’t take their eyes off of him (the incubus included); though their gazes were predatory, they seemed too intimidated to go up to him as he stood alone in the door way, his head cocked curiously.

Shiro was about to pull away from the bar tender—the half apology and shitty excuse already forming on his lips—but then the kid walked up to a group of men. The incubus noted the ratty navy blue backpack swung casually over the kid’s skinny shoulder and the way he leaned in close to one of the men’s space; long tanned fingers stroked down the man’s arm and soon they were leaving.

Shiro tried not to feel disappointed when the kid left. No doubt he was looking for a ride to some place and knew how to find it, but there was a coppery taste in the back of his mouth as he turned back to the bar tender.

Thankfully she didn’t seem too deterred about his brief distraction as she slid him another drink.

Chapter Text

The next morning found Shiro pulling himself out of bed; the motel’s threadbare sheets slid over his bare skin and made him feel itchy. He felt sated and content, his movements languid as he dressed.

The bar tender (her name was Lucy) was still asleep on the bed; her fiery red hair was like a fan over the cheap bed spread, and a pleased flush was over her cheeks. Shiro felt a little guilty knowing that she would feel hungover once she woke up, but that was the price to pay to sleep with an incubus.

He grabbed his bag and left the room. He didn’t bother to wake the woman up since the room was already paid for. He didn’t particularly care for the morning after.

The sunlight was like a slap to the face once he stepped outside. Heat seeped into his bones and humidity fell over him like a sopping wet blanket. Shiro scowled at nothing in particular as he walked to his car; sweat already began to gather at his hair line, and when he opened the door to the old 1970’s muscle car, a burst of heat coughed from the cab.

Though he was a demon, Shiro hated to be hot.

Climbing into the car, he scrolled through his phone as he waited for the AC to kick on full blast. There weren’t any new messages from Keith, though that wasn’t surprising.

They had split up somewhere around Reno with the younger demon saying he’d ‘keep in touch’. The last message was from a week ago—nothing special, just an update of where the younger demon was and that he was still topside. Shiro knew Keith was savvy, but it still didn’t make him worry less.

He sighed softly, shoulders relaxing as the AC finally began spitting out cool air. Shiro let out a little hum, content with taking the day easy since he had a fairly eventful night.

Some coffee would be nice.

He remembered a little diner just a few exits away and pulled out of the motel lot. The car practically purred as the engine roared to life, the tires smooth on the highway as he pulled up to speed.

As promised, there was a sign proclaiming to have the best pancakes in the state just a few miles away. The lot was empty save for a few cars and semis peppered about; a bench sat in front of the squat building, and on it laid the kid from the night before.

That was interesting.

Shiro pulled into a spot and quickly got out of the car. He stared a little at the kid, noting that his outfit was different, though the fabric wasn’t any less tight. His knees were pulled up to his chest, an olive green jacket tossed over him as a blanket while he used his backpack as a makeshift pillow. As Shiro approached, shoes crunching on the gravel and gaze intent on the kid, a pair of blue eyes peered up at him in curiosity.

A slow smile curled over the kid’s pretty face and he sat up with a languid stretch. “It’s you,” the kid breathed, skinny arms falling to rest casually on either side of his lap. “You’re the demon from the bar.”

Shiro blinked, thoughts of maybe getting an easy meal out of the kid flying from his mind. Humans weren’t able to know a demon just by looking at them, let alone be completely unfazed—if a little excited.

The kid folded his jacket and put it back in his bag; a glimmer of glass and the smell of magic suddenly clawed it’s way into Shiro’s sinuses. He wrinkled his nose as the kid stood and shouldered his backpack. There was an expectant look on his face, one that made Shiro’s hackles rise. “You’re not a hunter, are you?”

At the incubus’ flat tone—unimpressed and simply done—a sunny laugh bubbled from the kid’s mouth. “What? Oh god no!”

Relief washed over Shiro as the kid’s laughter died to a pleased hum. Blue eyes sparkled with mirth, leaving the incubus floundering for something to say. He cleared his throat and gestured vaguely toward the diner. “Lemme buy you a coffee?”

Chapter Text

The kid’s name was Lance and it turned out he was a witch.

Shiro sipped absentmindedly at his coffee, grey eyes watching as Lance flirted with their waitress. She left, her cheeks flushed but had a spring in her step that hadn’t been there when they arrived. Lance smiled smugly and poured sticky syrup over the stack of discounted pancakes.

“Your ride fall through?” Shiro asked after a moment, setting his chipped mug onto the plastic table top. Lance looked up, brows furrowing before his expression smoothed.

He swallowed delicately, leaning back and grabbing his own mug with long fingers. “The dude wanted more than I was willing to give so he kicked me out of his truck.” A sour expression crossed over the witch’s face. “On the side of the highway! Can you believe—ugh, whatever. So I hiked back here and stayed the night; I figured someone would be willing to give me a ride in the morning.”

Shiro snorted and raised an eyebrow. “You’re lucky no one tried anything when you were camping out.” He eyed the skinny male. Lance most likely had a few tricks up his sleeve to protect himself; he seemed smart. “Where are you going anyway?”

Mistrust flashed behind Lance’s blue eyes, but he recovered quickly and rolled a thin shoulder in a half hearted shrug. “New York.” He didn’t give any more information, and instead plastered a flirtatious smile over his mouth. “What about you? I haven’t really seen a whole lotta demons wandering topside since the big guy got sealed away.”

Shiro suppressed a wince. News of Zarkon being sealed into the pit hadn’t really been brought up in the last 20 years. The supernatural beings he normally dealt with knew not to mention it, and humans had no clue what type of war had gone on under their noses.

“I’m enjoying my freedom,” He replied as casually as he could. “Are you gonna wait for another trucker to take you where you need to go?” A corner of Lance’s mouth twitched with an actual smile while Shiro raised an eyebrow.

“If I ask you to give me a ride,” The witch purred, blue eyes becoming half-lidded and almost glowing. Shiro resisted the urge to gulp; the kid should’ve been the incubus, not him. “What’s the chance of you wanting a bite to eat?”

Shiro’s eyes darted to Lance’s mouth and then back to the witch’s cool gaze. The smell of magic was heady around the kid—it was a surprise that he hadn’t noticed it the night before.

He wiped the rather dumbstruck expression off his face and replaced it with one he normally reserved for tempting. Shiro watched with some satisfaction as Lance’s eyes widened a fraction of an inch as he leaned forward, invading the witch’s space with his own powerful aura. “You’re a little too potent for my tastes.”

He settled back into the booth and plucked up his coffee mug. Lance remained wide eyed for a few seconds before he released a sharp laugh.

Chapter Text

I knew you were a muscle car type of guy.” Lance remarked as he tossed his bags into the trunk. Shiro snorted, watching as the witch ran his long fingers over the shiny black paint with an almost reverence.

“I’ve been topside since the ‘70s,” he said, climbing into the cab and making sure the AC was cranked. Lance hopped into the passenger seat, a pleased expression on his face as he all but sunk into the leather. “I guess I just couldn’t let it go.”

He had spent the last 45 years driving aimlessly, tempting and corrupting along the way. The routine had changed a bit when Keith managed to claw his way out of the pit sometime in the mid-90s, but after the younger demon had left it had returned to the same blandness it had always been.

Shiro glanced at Lance from the corner of his eye, watching as the witch typed something on his phone. There was a wrinkle between the kid’s brows and a frown working at the corner of his mouth as his blue eyes scanned over the glass screen. The demon pulled his gaze away and reached over to fiddle with the radio.

There was a few moments of silence as Lance messed with his phone and Shiro flipped through channel after channel of static. He gave up with a sigh, finger jabbing at the ‘off’ button with more force than was necessary. He was used to silence, the stream of his own thoughts, and memories that always turned violent; this silence made the incubus squirm as curiosity about the witch sitting beside him gnawed at his mind like a mouse.

“So,” Shiro began, his voice surprisingly loud in the cab. He winced minutely before continuing as if nothing happened. “What’s in New York?”

He watched out of the corner of his eye as Lance slid his phone into the pocket of his jeans. He had changed out of the blue and white henley from that morning and into a soft looking tank top; Shiro tried not to stare at the tanned expanse of Lance’s collarbones and throat, but he had never really been good at resisting temptation.

Lance seemed to be considering what he wanted to say, his blue eyes probing the side of Shiro’s face which made the demon turn his gaze back to the road almost guiltily. “Family stuff,” the witch hummed, and lifted his legs in order to prop his feet up on the dash.

Shiro pursed his lips, dark brows furrowing as he looked over at the other male. “Feet off the dash,” Lance rolled his eyes but obliged. Shiro turned back to the road. “...that’s pretty vague.”

“Need to know basis, sorry about that big guy.” Lance’s tone was sing-song, but the demon knew he was being serious.

“It’s not like I was gonna do anything nefarious with the information,” Shiro murmured. “But I get it.”

Lance looked as if he wanted to say something but decided against it. Instead he curled his legs up to sit cross legged and turned so that he was fully facing the demon. “I really am sorry,” the witch bit the inside of his cheek. “It’s just...my sister, I need to go see her.”

Shiro waved a hand and nodded. “I really do get it, Lance, you don’t need to apologize. People...things like us don’t get far in life by trusting too easy.” He gave the witch a placating smile. “So don’t worry about it.”

Lance’s shoulders drooped in relief, and a soft breath left his mouth. “Okay...” Suddenly a mischievous grin curled the corners of his mouth. “Sooo, the 70s...what was that like? Did you have Ferrah Fawcett hair? I could totally see you rocking it.”

The demon grimaced, his nose wrinkling in distaste. He shot the witch a glare, one that Lance merely batted his eyelashes at. “It was...a surprise, that’s for sure. And no, I didn’t.”

“Were you ever topside before then?” Big blue eyes stared at him with genuine interest; Shiro weighed the consequences of telling Lance too much or clamming up.

He chose the former. Whether it was due to loneliness or just wanting the other male know more about him, it was a toss up. “No, I used to be up here all the time in the Dark Ages.”

It had been extremely different then; people had been more afraid of letting things they didn’t understand in, less trusting than humans were now. He never learned the names of those he fed from back then, uncaring of humanity’s feelings on the matter and only knowing how to feed his own gluttony.

Lance cocked his head, interest peaked. “Really? Like, because people were super chaste so you needed to tempt them to come to the dark side?”

Shiro laughed, shocking both of them. He pressed a hand against his mouth, embarrassed. “No, no people fucked like bunnies even back then. It was just when I was made; then I went back into the pit until I managed to leave.”

The witch leaned in close—close enough that Shiro could smell hotel shampoo and an undercurrent of magic. “Why’d you leave? I thought all demons wanted to stay down there?”

Images of the Arena flashed behind Shiro’s eyelids every time he blinked. His hands tightened on the steering wheel; he remembered the feeling of blood washing over his hands as he ripped another demon’s heart from its chest. Incubi weren’t made for fighting, let alone in the Arena...but all things learnt how to adapt and he was no exception.

He had clawed his way out of the pit, vowing never to return, loyalty to his ‘Emperor’ be damned.

“Shiro?” The demon blinked and he was back in the car with Lance. The witch’s long fingered hand rested cautiously on Shiro’s shoulder; he was pouring in some sort of soothing magic, the light a soft mint green.

He sucked in a shaky breath and released it. “Sorry,” Shiro said, teeth bared in a false smile. He resisted the urge to shake off Lance’s hand even though the magic was like a cold burn. “Need to know basis.”

Chapter Text

The sun was beginning to set across the highway, casting the cars in a sepia tone that for all the years Shiro had been topside he never got tired of.

He and Lance had lapsed into a semi-awkward silence after they had attempted to ‘bond’. Shiro blamed it on himself really; Keith had always told him that he hid things too much, even for a demon.

Lance had put in ear buds around the second hour of their silence and stared out of the passenger window. Shiro had tried not to look at the witch too often, but he found his eyes sliding over to study the strong profile and slender neck too many times to count.

He tried the radio a couple of times, the static clearing for a few minutes to blare local stations and top 40 hits. Shiro drummed the fingers of his right hand on the steering wheel, agitation making his skin feel too tight. He glanced at Lance again and was surprised to see blue eyes peering at him.

“Is there any place we could stop?” The witch asked hesitantly, an embarrassed flush making his copper skin turn rose gold. “I’m kinda hungry...and I need to pee.”

“Uh, yeah sorry.” Shiro’s eyes darted to search for any exit signs that promised food. “You could’ve said something earlier.” He shifted lanes, not looking at Lance to gauge his reaction. The witch huffed softly and crossed his arms over his thin chest; he looked back out the window but didn’t put the ear buds back in.

Shiro bit down on the inside of his cheek, the tension returning between them ten fold. There was an icy edge to the silence, one that made the demon cringe. He cleared his throat, slowing to take the exit. “I’m...sorry,” he said stiffly, “I’ve never traveled with a human before so I’m not really used to...everything.”

Lance snorted, though thankfully Shiro couldn’t detect any bitterness behind it. The temperature seemed to return to normal, allowing for his shoulders to relax. “I’m not really human, ya know.” The witch murmured, “but apology accepted.”

Chapter Text

“Yeah, I found a ride—no, you don’t have to worry Hunk, he seems like a nice guy!”

Shiro stared up at the ceiling of his car, wondering who Lance was talking to.

They had stopped for a quick rest and food for Lance—Shiro didn’t need to eat, and while Lance wasn’t completely human he still needed to eat. After Lance had suggested they camp out in the car for the evening even though Shiro told him he didn’t need to sleep.

“Evil never sleeps, Lance.” The demon said, giving the witch a confused look over his milkshake as the other male practically inhaled a burger.

“Sleeping is the best though!” Lance blinked in surprise, a bit of ketchup caught in the corner of his mouth. Shiro clenched his fists to keep from doing something stupid like wiping it away. “Why don’t you indulge me then? I can’t really sleep in a moving car.”

Shiro tilted his head, “Would you rather get a room then?” He had the funds to get the witch a room—well, more so like he could manipulate the circumstances to appear like he had the funds to get Lance a room.

The other male finally wiped at his mouth with a cheap napkin and crumpled the paper in his fist. “I don’t mind the car.”

It had been a few hours after when Shiro had dropped into something that resembled sleep when Lance had crept out of the car. He had started off in whispers, but as the conversation progressed he began speaking normally.

Shiro wondered if Lance really thought he was asleep or if he just didn’t care.

“What do you mean you know I’m lying? I told you, Shiro is an average guy—Hunk! Ughhh, fine...he’s kind of a...demon—no, an incubus not like a demon of wrath, Jesus!” Shiro turned his head so he could watch Lance scramble to come up with an excuse. The witch was talking with his hands even though the other person—Hunk—couldn’t see him.

Moonlight shined down over them and cast Lance in an ethereal glow, making his skin almost navy. The demon could feel the beginnings of hunger at the edge of his brain, demanding he just take his fill of Lance.

Shiro clenched his jaw and turned away. He hadn’t completely lied when he told Lance that the witch was too potent for his tastes; humans were enough to satisfy the cravings for a while.

But he could tell that if he had Lance, then there was no way he would be able to stop.

Chapter Text

Lance prowled through the gas station like a man on a mission, blue eyes critical of the items washed in fluorescent light. Shiro followed a few steps behind with snacks the witch had shoved into his arms, a confused frown on his face when Lance stopped in front of the sunglasses display. “Ah! Perfect!”

Shiro could feel the wary gaze of the gas station clerk on his back even as the man rang other late night customers out. He felt like his skin was too small under the human’s scrutiny, like he and Lance were doing something morally wrong just by existing.

Well, he was an abomination but Lance was just a witch, so the guy really needed to fuck off.

Lance turned to him with a grin, a huge pair of reflective sunglasses perched on his face. “How do I look?” Shiro could see his own face staring back at him—tired looking, but a soft grin curling at the edges of his mouth.

“You look like a cop,” He said to which Lance wrinkled his nose and put the sunglasses back. Shiro hummed, turning to discreetly glance over his shoulder at the clerk.

He was glaring now.

“Why do you even need sunglasses? It’s night.” Lance held a fist under his chin as he studied the sunglasses. He flapped a dismissive hand in the demon’s direction.

“Mine broke when I was making my way out of LA, so I need to replace them.” He hummed and snatched a pair of aviators from the rack. “How about these?”

Shiro opened his mouth to reply but the cold press of an enchanted knife to his throat made him freeze. “Don’t move demon or else this goes into your poor excuse for a brain.”

The clerk, of fucking course.

Lance was staring wide eyed at the man holding a knife to Shiro’s throat; his expression was fearful, and his hands shook minutely. “W-what’s going on?”

The knife dug in a little deeper and caused black blood to begin seeping from the cut. “Don’t worry sir, I have it all under control. Please just leave the store and everything will be fine.” Shiro closed his eyes to keep from screaming because of course it was a human hunter—though why Lance was acting this way...

He resisted the urge to snort.

The witch held his hands up, pretty mouth posed in a small ‘o’ of surprise. “You called him a demon? I-I’ve known him for years!” He was backing up slowly, going toward the shelves of alcohol.

The hunter made a soft noise from behind Shiro, something like a laugh but the edges were frayed with pity. “I’m sorry kid, but that’s what these things do. They lie.” The knife digging into his skin was getting annoying, but he wasn’t going to kill the guy until he gave him more of an opening. The fingers of Shiro’s right hand twitched, dark magic just waiting to burst from his fingertips and dig into the human behind him.

The temperature seemed to drop when Lance reached the end of the aisle. Magic began to crackle in the air, creating a sort of vacuum in the small space of the gas station. Lance’s eyes had began to glow a dim blue while his hand reached slowly toward a large glass bottle.

The hunter didn’t have time to counter when Lance knocked the bottle to the ground and flames instantly burst from the impact.

The human squawked in confusion, jerking away from Shiro in order to cover himself. The demon jumped away from him; dim violet burst from his right hand, staining the skin an onyx while he whirled around to deliver a finishing blow.

“Shiro, leave him!” Lance’s voice was tinny in the back of his mind. The smoke was becoming thick due to its magical properties and allowed it to give them ample cover.

The hunter was doubled over and coughing; the knife had fallen to the ground—forgotten and useless, though for how long? How many more creatures like he and Lance had to die?

“If I don’t kill him, he’ll send more hunters after us!” Shiro didn’t recognize his own voice—strained and panicked, the faintest edge of a growl rolling through the syllables.

He was worried about himself—that was how he lived for so long—but he was worried for Lance.

A slender hand wrapped around his arm and began to tug him away from the coughing human. Soothing magic was being pumped into his veins; the dark magic began to flicker and finally sputtered out.

They ran out of the gas station, their exit followed by a burst of smoke and broken glass. Lance hadn’t let go of Shiro’s arm, his magic still swarming the demon’s senses even when they reached the car.

As they pulled away, tires crunching on the concrete and the bright red from fire truck lights flickering in the background, Shiro saw the hunter stumble from the station.

The tense silence didn’t last very long. “I’m sorry,” Lance said, “I know that there might be hunters after us now, so I understand if you just wanna drop be off somewhere—“

“It’s fine,” Shiro said on the end of a sigh. The smell of smoke clings to them along with the frozen edges of Lance’s magic. His hands gripped the wheel for a moment before relaxing. “I’ve had run-ins with hunters before. I’m not gonna abandon you for something that was bound to happen. Besides, you saved my life back there.”

Lance stared at him with wide blue eyes before his shoulders relaxed as a grateful sigh whooshed from his mouth. He ran his thin hands down his face, lips perked in a crooked grin. “Oh thank god! I wasn’t looking forward to finding another ride!”

The witch paused and lifted his hand up to the sunglasses still perched on his head. He plucked them off and stared at them for a moment; with a soft laugh, he placed them over his eyes and rose an eyebrow at the demon. “You’re stuck with me now, Shiro.”

Chapter Text

It’s been about a week since Shiro has fed, and he’s beginning to feel it.

The smell of sulfur clings to his skin like a godawful perfume, his teeth constantly have a sharp edge to them, and he knows that the grey he’s chosen his eyes to be have now gone yellow.

The thing is Shiro doesn’t want to feed with Lance around.

It isn’t like he’s afraid he won’t get anyone into his bed, or that the witch will leave if he takes the time out of their trip in order to feed...he’s selfish and admits that full heartedly so he knows it’s because he doesn’t want Lance to think any less of him.

They’ve made it out of New Mexico and have begun the Texas leg of the trip; Shiro had insisted they stop at a motel in order for Lance to get some proper sleep while the witch tried to insist he was fine.

It’s...nice to have someone to worry about rather than feaster in his own thoughts; since the hunter incident they’ve grown more friendly...closer.

He doesn’t want to ruin that with his fucked up biology.

Shiro runs a hand down his face and glares at his reflection in the motel’s cracked bathroom mirror. Yellow eyes glow back at him almost mockingly.

A brisk knock at the door pulls the demon from his staring match. He clears his throat and adjusts the towel hanging around his hips. “Uh, I’ll be out in a sec, sorry.”

He opens the door and nearly crashes into Lance. His hand goes out to steady the witch that had bounced against his chest; Shiro notes that the tips of his fingers are starting to go black, so he snatches his hand away from Lance’s shoulder so the witch won’t see.

“Sorry man, I—oh,” A sharp crackle of lust snaps through the air when Lance’s eyes greedily drink in the sight of Shiro in only a towel. The demon feels his mouth begin to water at the smell while something inside of him howls for his need to be sated.

As suddenly as the lust had come it’s shut away, which allows Shiro to reel himself back into a semi-coherent state. “Bathroom’s all yours.” He says, voice low with the edge of a growl to it. Shiro clears his throat, surprised at the tone and steps passed Lance in order to get dressed.

The bathroom door shuts quickly after that.

()()

Neither of them mention what happened at the motel when they leave to get food.

Shiro thinks it’s for the best; he doesn’t want to get too attached to Lance, and knows that even though he and the witch have started to become closer...it’s not like this trip can last forever.

“Are you okay, Shiro?” Lance’s voice is soft beside him, concern painting the edges of the witch’s voice and making the demon want to cry. He can’t look over to see big blue eyes staring back at him and reflecting that same concern, so he keeps his gaze locked on the road.

“Yeah, I’m fine...” Lance makes a noise that doesn’t sound convinced; there’s a dark skinned hand suddenly in his vision. Thin fingers pluck his right hand from the wheel and uncurl his black fingers almost accusatorially.

“This doesn’t look too good to me.”

Is he a bad person (demon) for relishing in the feel of Lance’s skin on his, even when the other is scolding him?

Shiro stays quiet as he pulls into the packed parking lot of the diner Lance had found online. He looks over and sure enough the witch is glaring at him, his brows furrowed and causing his nose to wrinkle cutely.

He needs to feed soon or else he’s gonna go nuts.

“I just haven’t...” Shiro looks away from Lance’s probing gaze and instead studies their hands that are still linked together. “I haven’t...fed in a while.” He rolls a shoulder in a shrug, attempting for casual even though his mind is shrieking for him to just take what he needs.

Lance’s lips purse into a thin line before he drops Shiro’s hand with a sigh. “Why didn’t you say so? We coulda stopped somewhere...” The tips of the witch’s ears go pink and he’s suddenly not looking at Shiro at all. “I imagine it’s not like, hard for you to find someone.” The compliment is hidden behind a grumble—it’s a far cry from the normally quick flirtations Lance is able to pull out on everyone he meets.

He feels a little touched.

Shiro turns off the car and opens the door. “I’m fine, Lance.” He tries to smile but remembers the sharpness to his teeth so instead pats the witch’s shoulder. “C’mon, you said you were hungry.”

Lance hesitates for a moment before following close behind. Shiro can feel the irritation being directed at him, which he knows is warranted...but right now he can’t make himself care.

They slide into a booth and are greeted by a waiter. “What can I get y’all to drink?” He must be just on the cusp of 18, all gangly limbs and a mop of red hair that falls into pretty green eyes. Shiro is staring, his hunger clawing at his guts as the waiter gives him an appreciative once over.

“Just a coffee please,” He can feel Lance’s gaze almost burning on the side of his face. There’s a soft crackle of lust coming from the pretty human, and Shiro knows if he plays his cards right he’ll be able to get an easy meal from the kid.

He looks over to Lance who is putting the moves on the waiter and making the kid blush as bright as his hair. Blue eyes flicker to him; their gazes catch and Lance suddenly shoots him a quick wink. Something heavy settles in Shiro’s stomach that has the flavor of envy; who he’s jealous of he has no clue.

(He’s lying, he absolutely knows).

The waiter scurries away after taking their order, his hips swinging and catching Shiro’s attention. Lance laughs softly and rests his sharp chin into the palm of his hand. “Your eyes are this wicked color of gold.” Shiro jerks his head toward the witch, eyes wide at being caught.

“Are they noticeable?”

Lance cocks his head, smile slipping from a smirk to something genuine. “Only if you’re looking... Bet if you ask real nice, he’d fuck you in the bathroom.”

It’s a tempting thought...the kid seemed willing—though he’d probably want Lance to join, and isn’t that temptation in its self?

Shiro huffs and glances out the window to study the fat clouds lazing by in the afternoon sky. “Whatever.”

Lance kicks him under the table; his easy smile is replaced by an expression of worry as he leans forward. “What’s your problem, Shiro? Are you just gonna let yourself waste away?” The demon opens his mouth to reply, but closes it with a click when their waiter places their drinks onto the table.

“Um, are you ready to order?” Blue eyes stare accusingly at him, and he knows that Lance is right, if he asked nicely the waiter would be more than willing for a quickie in the bathroom.

“Will you give us a couple more minutes?” Lance looks away from Shiro, allowing the demon to breathe as he shoots their waiter a small smile. The kid blushes and nods, quickly scurrying away from their table. “You’re acting like a big baby.”

Shiro wants to sink down into the booth and avoid the disappointed look being thrown his way. “I...” He rubs his hand down his face and releases a rough sigh. “I know.”

“Wanna tell me why you’re being purposeful difficult?”

“Not really.” He’d much rather cut of his arm than admit to Lance that he’s kind of...pining. The witch hums and then lightly kicks him again.

“Dude, if you’re embarrassed about it, don’t be.” Lance shuts his menu with a snap. “You gotta eat just like I do, it’s just...different.”

Shiro wants to bash his head against the table, that or stick his tongue down Lance’s throat—neither option is viable though. Instead he glances over to see their waiter making his way back to them. “You’re being way too understanding about this.”

Lance laughs softly. “I know.”

()()

Shiro’s mouth is hot against the waiter’s (he’s already forgotten the kid’s name); his fingers are woven through his red hair, tugging and making the kid whimper.

It’s quick and messy with Shiro pinning the kid against the bathroom’s wall. His hands greedily take in smooth skin and his body shudders when he finally sinks his dick into the kid’s warm ass.

“Fuck,” He hisses, shutting out the kid’s moans and urging for him to continue. Shiro is imagining tan skin, blue eyes, and a quick smile as he pumps home. The kid’s energy comes easily just as white spurts between their bodies; he’s already slumped and passed out, his face pressed against Shiro’s chest.

Instantly he feels better—physically anyway. Shiro gulps down unneeded lungfuls of air, his forehead pressed against the side of the kid’s head as he gathers his thoughts.

He had never imagined someone else when he was feeding...

Shiro pulls out and makes the kid decent. No doubt he’ll be out of it for a few hours; the demon tries not to feel guilty about that.

He walks out of the diner while not looking at any of the other waitstaff. He looks guilty as hell, but he can’t help but feel rejuvenated. Lance is sitting on the hood of the car, a cigarette held between slender fingers as he basks in the evening sun.

Shiro tells himself that he didn’t feel his mouth go dry at the sight, tells himself that he didn’t imagine Lance wrapped around his dick and begging for it only minutes ago. The witch opens his eyes and smiles at the demon; he takes a long drag and flicks the still burning cigarette away before hopping off of the car.

“Feel better?”

You’re stuck with me now, Shiro.

Looks like it.

“Sure.”

Chapter Text

They fall into a pattern after that. Lance goes off to do something (Shiro doesn’t ask, and the witch never tells) while he goes to the nearest bar in order to feed. Seducing people in a place where they’re more susceptible to it makes Shiro feel less dirty, less like he’s taking advantage of the humans he needs.

He and Lance don’t talk about it aside from the witch asking if he ‘had fun’ with a teasing little smile that does things to Shiro.

He seems to always imagine Lance halfway through.

Shiro sighs to himself as he waits in line at another gas station. In his hands he has the snacks Lance had requested and a few things of iced coffee that he’s become addicted to. Shiro wonders what other demons would think of him, especially after his ‘glory days’ in the Arena: paying for snacks and keeping his hands off a witch that would be willing to lay with him.

He pays quickly, not really wanting a repeat of the cashier-turned-hunter incident from a few weeks ago. Luckily the gas station is packed with humans, so even if there was a hunter in their midst, they wouldn’t be so stupid as to draw attention to themselves.

The mid morning air is already hot, a fact that has Shiro scowling at nothing in particular as he all but stomps back toward the car. He freezes for a moment when he looks through the windows; Lance is predictably in the front, but in the back is someone holding a knife to the witch’s throat.

He darts toward the car and wrenches the door open; dark magic is already forcing its way into his fingertips while a furious snarl curls over his lips.

“Seriously, asshole, who the fuck are you?”

“I don’t talk to dudes with shitty haircuts, sorry.”

Two pairs of eyes—one an angry violet, the other an annoyed blue—turn toward him.

Lance’s hands are a faint snowy white, his magic causing his breath to shiver out of him and dissipate in the hot Texas air. The frosty magic almost masks the scent of soot and charred leather coming from the car’s intruder.

“Keith.” Now that Shiro’s unnecessary heart beat has calmed, he is able to think clearly. Thankfully the fire demon hasn’t acted rashly and cut Lance’s throat. “Put away the knife and get out of the car. You’re burning the seat.”

()()

“So you traveled with Mullet here for over 20 years?” Lance’s eyes darted to Keith, a scrutinizing look in the azure depths before they returned to Shiro. “I’m so sorry, dude.”

Shiro could practically see the steam coming out of the fire demon’s ears, but luckily Keith remains visibly calm. He’s resisted the urge to melt their table, so that’s nice.

“Why are you even traveling with this guy, Shiro?” Keith huffs, a pout working over his mouth before he remembers to reel his expression in. Instead he turns an accusing glare to the incubus, dark brows furrowed and a frown tilting the corners of his lips.

“Lance needs a ride to New York,” Shiro says simply and stirs the already melted contents of his milkshake while pointedly not looking at the younger demon. “Why were you in my car threatening him?”

“Yeah!” Lance leans over and pokes Keith in the forehead. “Just for that, you’re buying my lunch.” Shiro tries to stop the snort of amusement from coming out, but fails miserably.

“What? No I’m not!” Keith slaps Lance’s hand away from his face, but it seems like the witch has found a weak spot and continues to pester him. Shiro sits back and sips at his drink; he’ll stop them before it gets out of hand.

After a few moments Keith finally manages to make Lance keep his hands to himself—though by the tiny grin on the witch’s face, Shiro isn’t sure how much that’s the demon’s doing. He growls and turns to the incubus. “I wanna talk to you,” Keith pointedly looks to Lance, “alone.

They walk outside of the restaurant, making sure to stand under the shade. Shiro envies the fire demon who looks at home under the scorching sun while he tries to keep as cool as possible. There’s a few moments of silence before Keith huffs and deflates from whatever puffed up act he had around the witch.

“It’s good to see you, Keith.” Shiro says softly, attempting to pave over the awkwardness he can feel in the air. The fire demon gives him a wary look and then allows a small smile to come to his lips.

“Good to see you too,” Keith sighs and runs a hand through his dark hair. Shiro notes how tired he looks; it almost appears like the fire demon is run thin and carrying some sort of burden on his shoulders.

“What’s up?” It’s hard getting the younger demon to open up, but Keith had wanted to speak to him—even going so far as to breaking into his car and threatening Lance—so it must be important.

Keith scrubs a hand down his face and slides down to sit on the ground. “There’s something I need to tell you, but you can’t tell your meal in there, got it?”

Shiro scoffs and gives Keith a reprimanding look. “Lance isn’t my—“

“Whatever.” Keith closes his eyes and sucks in a deep breath of the hot air. Violet eyes flutter open and lock with his own gaze. “Shiro, they’re trying to open the Pit. They’re trying...to bring back Zarkon.”

Chapter Text

The news is like a ton of bricks slamming down over him. Goosebumps erupt over his arms as a heavy chill at even the mention of chief demon’s name rolls down his spine. Keith looks both afraid and pissed, a mixture of emotions that Shiro is feeling deep in his gut.

He sucks in a loud breath and lets it out through clenched teeth. “Who?” Shiro’s voice is thick with primal fear, words clawing up his throat. Suddenly he feels cold despite the heavy heat.

Keith crosses his arms and squints up at the sky. His mouth is a thin line, face a near perfect blankness though the jiggling of his leg gives away his anxiety. “Fucking Lotorif you can believe it.”

Shiro frowns, surprised at the answer. “Are you sure? Lotor hates his father...not to mention he was sealed away as well.”

Keith swipes a hand through his dark bangs and rolls a shoulder in a shrug. “Dunno. There are holes all over the place, and if you get a helping hand—maybe your little witch friend knows more than he’s telling.”

It’s a sobering thought, Lance possibly being a part of this new disaster. He doesn’t know the witch; for all Shiro knows Lance could be the one that had broken Lotor out in the first place.

He grits his teeth, doubt swirling around in his head. “Lance doesn’t have anything to do with this, Keith.”

The fire demon snorts, “How do you know? Witches are slippery bastards.”

“He saved my life.”

“So did Sendak and look where that landed you.” The younger demon closes his mouth with a snap, realizing immediately that what he said was a low blow. “Shiro, I’m sorry—“

The incubus holds up a hand—cursed, used for killing other demons. “Stop...” Shiro drops his hand with a long sigh, shoulders stooping as a sudden wave of tiredness (surprising, he shouldn’t be tired) washes over him.

He thought that when Zarkon was sealed away that he would be done with the fear. (He thought the same thing after he ripped out Sendak’s throat).

“...you’re right, I don’t know anything about Lance...but...” He’s always been too soft for a demon, especially after he escaped the Pit. He’s a poor excuse for the chaos wreaking being he’s supposed to be. “He’s a good person, Keith.”

The fire demon purses his lips and narrows his violet eyes to study the older demon. A few tense moments buzz between them; the chill from Keith’s news is starting to fade and Shiro is beginning to feel sweat run down his back. “...you’ve changed Shiro.” The younger demon tilts his head, expression flickering from hard to soft in a matter of seconds. He looks away and shoves his hands into his jacket pockets. “...just...keep your guard up around him, Shiro.”

()()

Dusk is beginning to fall when Keith hops onto his cherry red motorcycle. They’re parked in a rest stop parking lot; humans go about their own travels not knowing of the impending doom just a few miles below their feet.

Ignorance is bliss, Shiro guesses.

The fire demon squints under the lowering sun, black hair curling around his childish face due to the humidity. He glances at Shiro and then to Lance through the windshield. “...take care of yourself.” Keith says stiffly after flicking his gaze from the witch.

“Call me if you run into any trouble.” Shiro gives the younger a long stare. “Or if...you know.”

“You’ll probably notice before I do.” The younger demon tugs on a crimson helmet and flips down the reflective visor. “Remember what I said, Shiro.”

He might know more than he’s letting on.

Shiro purses his lips but gives the fire demon a quick jerk of his head in a nod. Keith starts his bike and leaves without a backwards glance.

Shiro waits until he can’t hear the whining of the bike’s engine before he gets back into his car. Lance looks as if he doesn’t know what to say; white teeth gnaw on a pink bottom lip before the witch sighs softly.

“You okay?”

Is he? Seeing Keith after a few months of practical radio silence wasn’t uncommon, but the fire demon’s news about Zarkon and Lotor leaves the taste of ash in his mouth.

How do you know he’s not involved in this somehow?

Shiro’s hands tighten briefly around his steering wheel. “...why are you going to New York?” He wants to believe that Lance doesn’t have anything to do with this—with Lotor, with Zarkon—he wants their meeting to have been coincidence rather than fate.

“I told you, I’m seeing my sis—“

“Lance, please.” They haven’t driven from the parking lot. Motorists mill about outside of the car, unaware of the drop in temperature that makes Shiro’s unneeded breath fog out before him.

Silence washes over them and stretched thin like a rubber band ready to snap. Shiro glances at the witch from the corner of his eye; Lance has a mixed expression on his face as he looks down at his hands.

There’s frost forming over tan fingertips, and Lance’s eyes are glowing a soft blue. He released a long sigh, breath streaming from his mouth as the temperature slowly creeps back up. “I...I promised I wouldn’t tell anyone—“

“Lance, I don’t need the gritty details I just need,” Shiro chews on the inside of his cheek; should he just come out and say it? “The Pit...Lotor...did you have anything to do with it?”

Lance inhales sharply and whips around to stare at the incubus with an incredulous expression. “No! That’s what I’m trying to stop!” His face crumples slightly while his shoulders slump in defeat.

(Shiro doesn’t try to lie to himself about the fact that Lance seems disgusted at the thought of bringing back Lotor).

The witch runs a hand through his hair, leaving the chocolate curls messed and just begging for Shiro to flatten them. He keeps his hands to himself and instead waits for the witch to continue. Lance glances away from the incubus to the windshield then back to Shiro’s patient gaze. “I should...probably start from the beginning.”

Chapter Text

Lance is four years old when his mother tells him that he isn’t like the other kids, that he’s special. He watches in fascination as her dark fingers weave through the air, soft sparkles of snowflakes appearing and falling gently to their living room floor.

He claps in delight, blue eyes wide and mouth perked in a smile prompting her: “Again, again!”

His mother smiles and curls her larger hands around his—they’re cold to the touch, and spirals of frost curl over her fingers. Her deep blue eyes stare into his own. “I’ll teach you how to do this, hijo.”

Lance is six when Zarkon’s demons kill his entire family.

They’re twisted creatures, veins glowing a sickly purple—dark magic enhanced by the demon lord’s Witch. Snarling mouths and glowing yellow eyes are the stars of Lance’s nightmares for years after.

He hides in a closet, magical energy still too low for the demons to sniff out. He covers his mouth to keep from screaming; thuds of his families’ bodies echo from underneath him.

His father, his brothers, his sisters...

His mother.

The house has gone cold—an indication of her magic twisting through the air. Lance can see his own breath fanning in front of him even though it’s summer. He’s sweating and crying, whispering prayers to the witch goddess Hecate to at least spare his mother.

The crackle of magic suddenly stops and heat begins to sink into his skin.

Lance waits for hours after that, too afraid to wander into the house proper in case the demons have decided to stick around. He doesn’t know why they came for his family; he’s six years old and an an orphan, completely alone in the world.

The closet door creeks open ominously when he finally works up the nerve to leave. The house is dark and silent, so unlike how it had been just the night before. The room he’s in has been ransacked; the bed is turned over, the desk broken in half.

He creeps down the stairs and the scent of blood smacks him in the face. It clings to everything and remains caught in his nose; Lance gags but swallows down bile and doesn’t look at the living room.

The kitchen has barely been touched. There’s smears of blood in the shape of long fingers near where they kept the knives, but other than that it’s pristine. Lance makes a beeline for the phone, grabbing a chair so he can reach. There’s a number written beside the emergency numbers; Lance remembers his mother telling him that if anything happened to them to call that number.

He holds his breath and listens to the other end ringing.

”Hello?”

“Is this Mr. Altea?”

”Yes? Who is this? Little boy, where are your parents?” Blood coating the floor, the coppery scent making him gag...tears well in Lance’s eyes, but he remains calm despite the pounding of his heart.

“They’re dead.”

()()

His mother had been apart of the Council of Five, also known as Voltron. Alford Altea was one of the founding members—the Red Witch. He had taken Lance in and raised him as a son alongside his daughter Allura.

The two got along well; Lance followed Allura wherever she went and practiced his magic diligently—well, most of the time.

When Lance is sixteen Voltron seals Zarkon into the Pit; a joyous day in the supernatural world, but also one of sadness for Allura and Lance.

Alfor, for all his power, fell to Zarkon just as the sealing spell was completed.

Lance stares at his reflection in the mirror, mouth a hard line as he attempts to adjust the black tie he had bought just for this. The black suit crinkles uncomfortably around his narrow shoulders, the material not broken in.

There’s a soft knock at his bedroom door. “Come in.” He says hollowly, looking away from his reflection to the reflection of the door; he isn’t surprised to see Allura walk into his room.

“It’s almost time.” She says softly; he was always confused as to what color her eyes are—they seem to shift from nebula to ocean, but today they’re blank and shining with unshed tears.

Lance drops his hands to his sides, tie still undone and hanging limp around his neck. He doesn’t want to go—he never had to bury his biological family, so he doesn’t want to bury his second father. Allura steps into his space and begins to fix his tie.

“...now that Father is...gone...you know what needs to happen.” Lance winces and looks away from Allura’s fretting fingers. His hands tighten into fists.

“Zarkon is sealed away, why should we remake Voltron?” His voice sounds bitter, words hissed from grief stricken lips. Tears slide down his cheeks so Lance angrily wipe them away.

Allura curls her fingers to her palms against his chest. Her white brows furrow and a minute frown appears over her mouth. “In case he comes back. We need to err on the side of caution, Lance.”

Always the rational one, always collected.

Lance feels sick.

He wrenches away, mouth a flat line. “Dad died in order to seal that bastard away, and you’re wanting to-to just replace him!? Allura, it’s his funeral, don’t you think that’s a little cold?”

“I don’t want to lose anyone else!” Her voice rings through the room; it’s the first time she’s shown any sort of emotion since their father had died. Nebula colored eyes well with tears before sobs begin to shake her shoulders.

Lance feels bad for snapping at her, but a small part of him—a small ugly part hidden deep in his soul—is proud that he made her feel as badly as he does.

()()

They end up not speaking to one another after the funeral. Lance isn’t sure who initiates the silence, but he flies out to California to work for a family friend named Coran to avoid the awkwardness.

Years pass with no news from either Allura or from the possible threat of Zarkon reemerging.

Lance likes working for Coran; the man is energetic and far older than he looks—Lance is sure he heard the older witch talking about Salem as if he were there, but it’s probably an exaggeration. He sees all sorts of supernatural beings that come into Coran’s magical shop—from gnomes to even some defective demons.

Lance has to remind himself to breathe when they come in.

He isn’t sure how many years pass but he soon begins to hear whispers about a group of witches breaking Zarkon’s son Lotor out of the Pit. A shock goes down his spine as he turns to glance over his shoulder to see who’s gossiping.

A group of Fae chatter over the sweets made for them, their sharp teeth glinting in the afternoon sunlight. Lance swallows thickly but swans up to them, a flirtatious smile working over his mouth. “I couldn’t help but overhear you lovely sióga we’re talking about...mind letting me in on the hot gossip?”

One fae looks up and gnashes their needle teeth at him in a facsimile of a smile. Their eyes flutter vertically, eerie pupils small holes like a fly’s. “And what do we get in return, pretty witch?”

He isn’t stupid enough to bargain with a fae, but the need to know if what they’re saying is true burns in his gut. “I know where Coran keeps the good stuff,” Lance shoots them a wink. “On the house.”

The fae chatter quickly amongst themselves in their birdsong language before the one that had spoken to him gives him a quicksilver smile. “Deal.”

()()

Lance runs up to his room, his legs like lead as he crashes against the stairway walls. The fae’s gossip bangs around in his head, the words heavy with truth.

The fae were there when Lotor had burst from the ground.

His hands shake as he tosses items to the ground looking for a map and his pendulum. Lance snatched them from their spot and snaps open the map; spreading the creased paper over his messy floor, Lance sucks in a calming breath.

Alfor always said the best magic comes from a level head.

His hands have stopped shaking when he lets the pendulum fall from his closed palm. It swings over the map for a few seconds, the deep blue crystal dragging over the paper before beginning to softly glow. Frost creeps down the chain and curls around the stone; it begins to swing in circles as Lance focuses on his sister.

He needs to find her, they need to stop this.

They need Voltron.

The pendulum twists in circles, jerking in Lance’s hand as it tries to locate Allura. He hopes that she isn’t masking her magical signature, hopes that she’ll be willing to talk to him even after all these years.

The pendulum stops with a heavy thud and Lance opens his eyes. A breath of relief tumbles from his mouth.

New York.

Chapter Text

Lance falls silent after his story, frozen tears caught on his copper cheeks like diamonds until he shakes his head. “So, yeah...I’m trying to stop that from happening.”

Shiro doesn’t know what to say. On one hand he’s astounded (and frightened) by being in the presence of someone who personally knew two witches of Voltron. Tales of their might rang throughout the alleyways of Pandemonium, and rumors about Zarkon actually being the Black Witch were whispered in fear. On the other hand, he wanted to apologize for the hard life the witch before him had lead; the killings were brought about by Wrath demons—there was no doubt about that—but being a creature of the Pit himself, Shiro still felt responsible.

“I...I’m so sorry...” He lifts a hand; the movement is jerky and unsure, but soon Shiro hesitantly lays it over Lance’s thin fingers. He’s cold to the touch, but the demon can still feel the rush of blood through veins indicating his heart is pounding, that he’s alive.

Lance lets out a soft huff of laughter; it doesn’t sound amused, but the noise makes Shiro’s shoulders relax minutely. He doesn’t slide his hand away from the demon’s (something Shiro is surprised about especially due to the seriousness of their conversation before hand). Instead the witch turns his hand over and lances their fingers together, giving Shiro’s a brief squeeze. “It wasn’t your fault.”

They sit holding hands for a few moments. Cars pull into the lot and spill out tired motorists, their voices muffled by the car’s windows. The sun has dipped below the horizon and has cast the sky into a mixture of purples and navy.

Shiro tries not to count the soft beats of Lance’s pulse in his fingers but fails; a flush of...something warms his heart. It’s an entirely foreign feeling—fondness? He knows he’s already overly fond of the witch, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise...but this feels different.

Lance releases a shaky breath and finally pulls his hand from the demon’s. “I’m really glad I met you...” He gives the incubus a small smile, “It’s...nice not to keep that from you.”

“I’m glad you told me,” Shiro says; he turns on the car, the engine purring lowly and filling the air with a much needed white noise. “But I do have a question...why did you trust someone like me to get you to your sister?”

Lance blinks and cocks his head, his brows furrow before a softly flush washes over his cheeks. “I...oh, um...”. The witch looks down at his hands. “When I first saw you in the bar, I thought you were just some run of the mill incubus—ya know, a douche.”

Shiro snorts, “Understandable.” He doesn’t mention the fact that he had wanted Lance to be his meal for the night; that was the last thing the witch needed to know.

Lance hums and glances at the demon from the corner of his eye. “When my ride fell through and you just showed up where I was, I thought ‘Hey, why not use this guy?’ I was gonna see how long it took you to try something and then kill you for your car.”

The admission hangs in the air until a burst of laughter tumbles out of Shiro’s mouth. Lance looks a little insulted but after a few seconds of the demon’s laughter and seems to realize that he’s not being laughed at. Lance huffs and crosses his arms, “What? Don’t think I could take you?”

Shiro continues to laugh, though it’s died down to a few soft chuckles. He presses his forehead against the steering wheel and closes his eyes. The stress from Keith’s news and Lance’s story has washed away after the witch’s admission of planning to kill him. “I-it’s not that, I’m pretty sure you could wipe the floor with me.” He sucks in a breath and lets it out before sitting back up and turning to Lance.

The witch is still flushed in embarrassment, though there’s a soft current of lust running through the air as the other male gazes at him. It’s not enough to distract Shiro, but the fact that it’s there makes him...happy.

He tells himself not to do anything stupid like kiss the witch, but lifts a hand a cups Lance’s sharp jawline. Swiping his thumb over the witch’s soft cheek, the last of the frozen tears falls away.

“I’m glad I met you too, Lance.”

Chapter Text

Nothing too exiting happens for the next few days. They drive through Arkansas and Missouri without any incident though Shiro has constantly been checking over his shoulder.

He feels like they’re being watched.

Lance has the windows down now that it’s not so stiflingly hot; the wind blows chocolate curls into obnoxious cowlicks that make Shiro laugh and the witch pout. Lance turns the radio down and slides his sunglasses up onto his head. He narrows his eyes at the incubus and lets out a little huff.

“When was the last time you fed?” A shocked flush blooms over the incubus’ cheeks, but thankfully he has the excuse of needing to keep his eyes on the road instead of looking back at Lance.

“Um...” Shiro knows that putting off needing to feed isn’t the best thing, especially after Lance had insisted (over and over) that it was fine. He glances at himself in the rearview and bites back a curse at the soft yellow reflected back.

Lance huffs and grabs his phone from his pocket. “Uh-huh, that’s what I thought.” His thin fingers flit over the glass surface before a victorious noise leaves his throat. “Alrighty, I have a new destination.”

“Lance, it’s fine. It hasn’t been that long—“

The witch holds up a hand, “Shiro, I know you’re self-sacrificing as hell but putting off your health for the sake of getting to New York faster isn’t good.” Lance’s disappointed glare softens and he smiles. “Look, it’s almost time for us to stop anyway. This way you can find someone for the night and I can take a nice long bath, sound good?”

Shiro lets out a long sigh through his nose but nods. He hasn’t fed in few days, and though Lance is partially right in that the incubus wanted to get to their destination faster (and therefore possibly beating Lotor before he released Zarkon), he also felt like they were being followed.

His hand tightens around the steering wheel as he takes the exit Lance directs him to.

Maybe he’s just being paranoid? It wouldn’t be the first time...Shiro glances once more at the rear view and sees nothing.

()()

Lance tosses himself onto one of the bed with a low appreciative moan. Shiro tries to shove away the spike of need the noise causes and instead focuses on getting ready.

He feels a little ridiculous primping just to find a quick meal (he isn’t going to take whom ever he finds back to the room), but the town Lance had found is a college town so the humans here will most likely need more coaxing than the barflies he’s used to.

Shiro makes a face at himself in the mirror; he really just wants to stay here.

Grabbing his wallet, the incubus glances at Lance. “I’m off.” The witch cracks open his eyes and gives the demon a small smile.

“Have fun, see you when you get back.”

Shiro hesitates for a moment, debating whether or not he should lean down and kiss Lance. It would be too awkward he decides...Instead he gives the witch a stiff nod and leaves.

()()

The incubus finds himself in one of the town’s clubs after striking out at several bars.

Well, not really striking out because he didn’t try. He sat alone in the corner, nursed his drinks, and felt sorry for himself. He didn’t want to be out, but at the same time his hunger was beginning to claw at his insides.

He wanted Lance.

He didn’t want to hurt Lance.

Shiro groaned and dragged a hand down his face.

When he was first created he wouldn’t have given a single fuck who he hurt. He had been ravenous and took whatever he wanted. Incubi aren’t known for their ruthlessness (most drained their partners, true, but slowly and sensually); Shiro on the other hand had been.

He isn’t sure what had changed. Was it because of his time in the Arena that had quelled his hunger, or had it been Sendek’s betrayal?

Shiro is pulled from his brooding by a soft hand on his arm. He turns and is met by light blue eyes and an easy smile that reminds him of Lance.

“Can I buy you a drink?” The girl tilts her head and shows off the smooth column of her throat. Heavy lashes bat up at him while the lights of the club play nicely over her dark skin.

Hunger howls in his head so Shiro slips on a tempting smile and leans down so she can hear him better. “Of course, lead the way.”

The girl slides her hand down his arm and laces their fingers together. She leads him through throngs of gyrating bodies and to a bar lit with pink neon.

They settle close to one another (Shiro tries not to be disappointed that this will take longer than needed; Lance seemed pretty excited by the idea of being alone). A drink is in his hand before he knows it and thinks that this girl must be a regular here for them to be served so quickly.

“My name’s Olivia,” Her lips are painted an interesting shade that catches on dark lights and the neon lining the bar.

“Shiro,” He replies, making sure not to sound too bored or annoyed. It isn’t the girl’s fault for wanting to get to know him better; normally he would feel more comfortable with that, but he’s on edge.

She stirs her drink and eyes him for a moment. “You go to MU? I haven’t seen you around before,” Her cheeks darken pleasantly and she pulls her plush bottom lip between her teeth. “I think I’d notice someone like you.”

There’s a soft snap of lust and he knows that if he plays his cards right, he’ll be gone sooner than later. Shiro leans forward, crowding into the girl’s space and noting the blown pupils and quickened breath. “No, I’m visiting some friends.” He slides his hand over hers; her skin is soft and she smells like lavender.

Her tongue flickers out to wet her lips. The lust is stronger now, cementing Shiro’s hold over the human. (He’s already imagining Lance looking at him the way the girl is). “Do you...do you wanna come back to my place?” She asks, “My roommates are outta town...”

Good, he’ll be able to leave her in the comfort of her own home after he’s done.

Shiro gently squeezes her hand and helps her from her stool. He feels slightly guilty that he’s using a minor form of hypnosis on the girl, but his hackles are risen and his hunger is driving him nuts.

They walk out into the parking lot; it’s began to drizzle, though the rain doesn’t seem to deter college kids wanting to go out and have a good time. The bus stop isn’t far from the club’s parking lot, though the trickle of people seems to thin the closer they get to the inclosed stop. Shiro notes the buzzing of fluorescent lights and the far away laughter of humans.

Then suddenly, his stomach is burning.

A surprised gasp is the only thing that has time to leave his mouth as he stumbles to his knees. Black blood gushes from the gash that’s now making his abdomen gape open; his hands shake as he lifts them to his face.

The feeling of a heeled foot slamming against his back and making him fall to the ground causes Shiro to look up. His vision his going blurry at the edges, but Olivia is lookin the down at him with a victorious smile curling over her mouth.

“Y-You’re a hunter?” It hurts to speak, but he watches as the girl twirls the obsidian blade between her long fingers.

She snorts and squats down to his level. “Well, she was,” Now that she’s closer, Shiro can see the black oozing from the corners of her eyes.

Possession.

Imp.” Shiro growls, but flinches at the pain that shoots down his spine. He needs to get up, he needs to find Lance.

The imp laughs in delight and stands again. “You say that like it’s a bad thing! Sure I’m lower than an incubus but wait till Lord Lotor hears that I’ve caught the Champion!” She snickers and taps the blade against her lips.

Black has began to slide down her face like horrible tears, indicating that there’s only so much time that the imp has a hold over the girl.

He needs to distract her somehow...”How did you find me? Did Lotor send you?” Shiro coughs; blood flies from his mouth. He hasn’t fed in several days so his healing is far too slow to take care of a wound this extensive.

The imp grins brightly. “Oh that was easy! This girl and her friends were already following you and your little witchy friend.” She moves closer to him, the grin dimming to a smirk. “All we had to do was possess them and wait till you two were separated.”

Shiro’s eyes widen. Lance.

He sees the blade coming down; thousands of years surviving in the Arena allows for him to calm himself despite the blood sluggishly dribbling from his stomach. Shiro snaps his hand out and snatches the knife from the imp; black magic surges through the obsidian and into her own hand.

The appendage bursts, bone and blood splattering over the damp sidewalk. An inhuman yowl leaves the imp’s lips as she pulls her ruined hand toward her body. The knife falls with a dull noise and Shiro is off like a rocket.

His feet thunder on the ground as he takes off toward the hotel. He can hear the imp chasing him, snarls and screeches echoing in his ears even though all he can think is I need to find Lance. Lance, please be okay.

The imp pounces on him, sharp ends of shattered bone digging into his neck while the other hand holds the knife. She hacks at his cursed arm, blood spurting from the wound; it burns but feels cold at the same time as muscle is revealed to the outside air.

Shiro writhes and slams her against a building, his arm now hanging useless against his side. He doesn’t care at the moment, all he needs is to get the imp off of him.

The imp clings to him even though he continues to beat her against the brick building. His vision is going black at the edges; he’s lost so much blood...

Shiro is beginning to move sluggishly; the imp has started to stop struggling as much, but he knows that if he doesn’t finish her now then she’ll just recover and jump to a new body.

It’s hard to move...he’s so tired...

As his vision goes dark, Shiro thinks he feels the burn of fire and the cold press of fingers against his cheek.