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Monster You Made Me

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“As instructed, I have combed the recesses of it's psyche, and there is nothing noteworthy.”
“Then it is useless to us. Send it to the arena.” The hooded figure turned to leave.
“As you command.” The druid bowed low and moved towards the body strapped to the raised table, motioning a sentry to come forward.
“Hold it in place. Kill it if it shows resistance.” The druid pressed a few buttons on the nearby control panel, and the limp body fell forwards into the arms of the sentry.
“Take Prisoner 117-9875 to Commander Sendak's ship for transport.” The sentry dragged the body out of the room. Grey eyes flickered open partially, seeing a purple world before them, before closing once more.

 

Shiro groaned as he stirred. It felt like a compactor was pressing down over his body and he didn't want to move. His eyes slowly blinked open, a purple hue surrounding him.
“Shiro! You awake?” Shiro rolled over. In the corner of the room sat Matt.
“Matt? What? W-Where are we?”
“You don't remember? We're on an alien ship. We're prisoners.” Matt pulled his knees closer to his chest and looked at the floor.
“I haven't seen dad yet either. What do you think they're doing to him? Do you think he's...”
“I don't know...but we're alive and everything feels fine. I don't think they're going to kill us.”
“Yet.” Matt pushed himself deeper into the corner and hid his face. Shiro sighed. He was right. Pulling himself up slowly, he groaned, grabbing the side of the slab he was on to steady himself.
“If they wanted to kill us, we'd be dead by now. Do you remember what they did to you?”
“Not really. Just being strapped onto something and a prick. I woke up in here, where you're sat.” Matt looked up, scratching at his neck. “You?”
“I...felt like I was falling at one point and green light. Everything hurts though. My muscles ache.” Shiro carefully massaged his thighs, letting out a soft hiss as he rubbed a little too hard.

 

A strange click, then whirring, and another click broke the silence. Both occupants quickly turned their attention to the door. A blinding purple light shone inwards, and they tried to shield their eyes from the harsh light. Heavy clanking became louder, and the sound of something being dragged in made Shiro curious, and he tried to squint through the light. Two figures; likely a sentry and another body. He tried to get up, but he hissed in agony at the pain in his thighs. As quick as they had entered the room, they were gone. The door swishing shut and clicking.

 

“D-Dad? Dad!” Matt scrambled to Sam's side, grabbing his limp body in his arms and cradling him to his chest. He brushed some damp strands of hair off his forehead, before laying him down gently and checking for a pulse.
“He's alive, Shiro! Dad's alive. He's fine...” Matt grasped Sam's hand, and started to gently rock backwards and forwards repeating 'he's fine' over and over, tears rolling down his cheeks. Shiro smiled weakly; he was relieved they were all back together, but for how long, he didn't know. He'd been trying to remember the 'training' they'd had on Earth, and it didn't feel that it would help in the slightest.

 

-

 

The three humans were dragged half-asleep from their cell and forced to walk at gunpoint through the corridors by the sentries. It had felt like days since Sam had been brought to them, and about as long since they'd eaten or drank anything. Matt was feeling the effects of dehydration the most, and could barely walk in a straight line. He kept slumping against the wall. Shiro wasn't fairing much better himself. The muscle pain was only getting worse since he had no medication, and with each step it felt like someone was punching his kidneys. They finally made it to a large hangar. In there stood more sentries and two aliens in front of a craft; black and purple in design.

 

“You're late.” One of the aliens turned, his skin indigo and small black horns running down his head. Shiro cocked his head to the side, stopping so he could process what was in front of him. He felt something press into his back, before stumbling forward. He wasn't sure how he could understand what the alien had said, but with his pounding headache he didn't want to think too much.

 

“The druids have decided Prisoner 117-9874 be taken to one of the research camps, and Prisoner's 117-9875 and 9876 are for the arena.” The one with horns didn't look at them, and Matt stumbled towards Sam, trying to lean against him for support but losing his balance.
“Matt!” Sam rasped. He coughed as he dropped to his knees, but unable to help Matt off the floor due to his hands being bound. He glared up at the alien, then turned to the other one. Both stood there, watching, before the other, a very tall alien with two-toned purple fur, drawled out:
“Is there any reason that you are giving Commander Sendak sick prisoners? What use is that one for the gladiator arena if it cannot stand, and what of the one for the research camps? You've come from the main fleet, you should have basic prisoner supplies.”
“They're just prisoners. I'm not wasting my limited resources when I have a crew to feed and keep maintained.”
“A crew of primarily sentries.”
“Do not disrespect me, Officer Haxus. Unlike you or Commander Sendak, I've earned my spot through hard work and loyal service. Take them and get off my ship, I've a system to return to.” He turned and glared at Matt and Sam as he stalked by, his sentries flanking him.

 

Haxus clicked his tongue and stepped forward.
“You. Prisoner. Are you and your kind sick?” He stared at Shiro, who slowly shook his head. Haxus sighed.
“In Galran that gesture is an insult. Speak.” Shiro blinked and tried to create some saliva in his dry mouth. He opened his it, but only air came out.
“Need...water. Dehydrated. Sick.” Sam had choked out a reply, and pointed to Shiro when he said sick. Haxus stared down at Sam, then back at Shiro and sighed. He turned, addressing the sentries quickly. Shiro stumbled to Sam and Matt, who had managed to roll himself onto his side by this point, although panting heavily.

 

“You will be given liquid and quarantined until cleared. The Commander wants no alien diseases on board. You will comply or face punishment.” Haxus turned and walked towards the ship, and the sentries moved forward, pulling them all up and dragging them into the craft. They were ushered into a small holding cell with an energy field in place of a door. In perhaps a few minutes, they felt the engines rumble to life and the ship move.

 

In no time at all, it came to a halt again and they were all pulled out by the sentries. As they were marched through the hangar, Shiro spotted the tall Galra, Haxus, in conversation with an even larger Galra. Just how big did this race get, he wondered. Perhaps he would have chance to ask, or not. By the sounds of it, he was probably never going to know since him and Matt were the two likely off to the gladiator arena. They were pushed into a small tiled room. It looked sterile; something between a public shower and hospital ward. Shiro stiffened, and looked to Sam who was holding Matt in his arms, glaring warily around the room. Shiro looked up to see what looked like sprinklers. Suddenly, the light dulled and they sprayed hot liquid down.

 

Matt rasped and brought his hands up to protect himself. Sam pushed him into his chest and bowed his head, a pained frown on his face. Shiro threw his hands over his eyes as the liquid, which smelled similar to the antiseptic sprays in a hospital, soaked into his hair, skin and prisoner garb he wore. It wasn't burning, but hot enough to be a shock to the system. Eventually it stopped, and all three stood there, rubbing water out of their eyes or spitting it to the floor. Sam pawed around for the wall, and Matt guided him slowly over to it so he could try and get his bearings.
“It stings.” Sam hissed as he blinked his eye a few times.

 

A door in front of them opened up, and the group took it as a sign to move forward. Shiro and Matt took one of Sam's arms each, and walked together. It helped to keep them balanced, but the rags they wore felt heavy and moving in anything soaked was uncomfortable as it hugged against their skin. As they entered a second, narrow room, it looked like a giant dryer, similar to ones Shiro remembered in a pool he visited once with Adam when they went on holiday. The fans came to life with a low hum, and soon they were having to brace themselves as warm air hit them from all sides. Their hair blew wildly in all directions, while Matt had to try and ground himself before the fans knocked him over. The temperature in the room was rising as well, and just like the sun in the middle of summer, they dried quick enough.

 

From there they left to find a third room. In it was someone, this time not a sentry, dressed in all red. They were possibly a Galra, judging by their height.
“There are fluids here. Drink. Sustenance will be provided in due course. You will be taken and checked for all foreign disease and infection within half a varga.” They motioned at the small bottles of liquid on the table. Finding the energy from somewhere, they scrambled for a bottle each. Shiro pulled the cap up by his teeth before taking a sip. He wanted to chug the bottle down, but it wouldn't help him. He took small, slow sips, and felt his throat moisten up. He'd never experienced dehydration before, and this was something he didn't want to experience again.

 

“You, Prisoner 117-9875,” Shiro blinked, pointing at himself.
“Yes. Follow.” Shiro grabbed another bottle of water and cautiously followed the alien. He looked back at Sam and Matt, who were anxiously watching him. As he followed down a small corridor, he had to blink to adjust to the low light levels. Everything was dark with this strange purple light and he couldn't understand why everything seemed to be the same colour. He could feel his hands become clammy and sipped some more water as they came to a stop.
“You will be seen. Enter.” Shiro, unsure how to respond, gave a small bow, before quickly entering the room. He regretted it as a sharp pain shot up his right leg. He hissed, grabbing it and dropping his water bottle to the floor.

 

“That can wait. Sit.” The voice sounded old, and Shiro looked over to see a Galra sat at a desk with a hologram projected screen. This technology. Shiro wanted to see what it did, but the pale Galra with pinky-white markings just stared at him. He sat down on a cold metal table as the medical officer approached. He took out a small hand scanner and ran it down Shiro's body. His eyes squinted as he possibly read the screen, Shiro wasn't sure since he had no pupils, but grumbled something under his breath.
“Of course the human has something wrong which they could not fix.” He opened a cupboard and pulled out a long needle, then a vial of some strange, bright white liquid. Shiro pulled himself inwards as the Galra approached.

 

“How'd you know I'm human? How can I understand you?” He eyed the needle nervously.
“We have been watching your species for millennia gathering information. There is a translator implanted behind your ear. It is universal. Stay still and do not ask questions.” The Galra pulled his right arm out roughly and injected the strange white liquid straight into his artery in his elbow. Shiro hissed in pain as he watched the contents empty from the vial, but then something...felt warm.
“W-What did you inject? What is this?” He went to shove the Galra away, but was held back by stronger hands.
“Quintessence-based medicine. You have a disease that is easily curable. We cannot afford it to infect anyone else on the ship.” The tone was so matter-of-fact, like somehow curing his genetic condition was that simple.
“It's genetic. It's not something you can simply cure with one needle of fluorescent liquid.” Shiro rasped, glaring at the Galra in front of him.
“And I suppose you know so much about Galran medicine, human? Your race is primitive in comparison, but if you wish to believe you are not cured, then think whatever you please. I will not repeat myself again: do not ask questions.” He rose and walked over to his display, typing something down before taking another needle. This was empty.

 

“Other arm. I am taking a blood sample. Afterwards you will strip and I will check your vitals and run a few extra tests. Then you may leave.” He watched Shiro glare at the floor and shrugged. After a few seconds, Shiro raised his left arm. He looked away as the needle went in. Even across the universe these tests were just like home. He wished someone was here with him, like when Adam used to come along with him.

 

After what felt like hours, he was allowed to leave. He pulled the ragged shirt over his head and left without saying a word. He sipped some more water, his cracked lips stinging. The warm feeling that had entered his arm now felt like it was all around his body. It was strange, he felt heavy but in a good way. He shook his head and shrugged his shoulders. It was all a lie. As he entered the room, he found Matt and Sam still sat there. They rushed to his side, pulling him over to the table with them where a small bowl of purple goo sat. Shiro wrinkled his nose at the sight of it. He couldn't cook, but this looked awful – almost as bad as natto.

 

“What happened? How are you?” Sam placed a hand on Shiro's shoulder while Matt pushed a bottle of water closer to him.
“It was just like any other medical exam. They took blood – they can scan you with this device and apparently see what's wrong with you. He found out about my condition and...” Shiro coughed a little and took some more water, “he gave me something...quintessence? He called it that. Apparently I'm 'cured'.” He made air quotations with his fingers. Sam looked pensive for a moment before nodding to himself.
“Do you believe it?” Shiro knew that look.
“There's a possibility. I'd need to know what this stuff is made of. I know the word, but there's several definitions. I am wary though. It could be something else entirely. I don't know for certain – I mean look where we are.” Sam scooped up some of the goo from his bowl and slowly put it in his mouth, chewing as he remained in thought. Shiro glanced at Matt, who'd barely touched his 'food'.
“Is it that bad?”
“It's disgusting. I heaved.”
“Does it taste like chicken?”
“No. It tastes like a raccoons ass.” Matt forced a smile but it went when Sam stared at him.
“Please try and eat a little more. Your mother will kill me.”
“I'll...try.” He got a tiny spoonful and raised it to his lips. He sniffed it and pulled away. Sam groaned and motioned for him to pinch his nose. Matt whined but conceded. As he placed it in his mouth, his eyes shot open and he turned away from the table, coughing out the goo.

 

“Prisoner 117-9874. You are required.” The attendant in all red appeared in the doorway. Sam sighed heavily as he rose from his seat, taking his bottle with him.
“Shiro, please try making him eat.”
“I'll try. Good luck.” Shiro's mouth tugged into a small smile as Sam left, before he returned his attention to the goo.
“C'mon. Let's try and eat this shit.” Shiro smirked at the forlorn look Matt gave him, and ruffled his hair a little. This warm feeling inside him was somehow making his mood the tiniest bit better.

 

-

 

The cell was silent aside from the soft grunts and sighs of Matt sleeping, finally. He was snuggled against Sam's side, who was absently fiddling with his hair.
“Shiro? Can I ask you something?”
“Yeah?” Shiro glanced over at Sam, who just kept stroking Matt's hair.
“I hate to ask you of this but please; please take care of Matt for me.”
“You never need to ask me for anything, Sam. I'll do whatever it takes to keep him safe. Don't talk like you'll never see him again.”
“Shiro. I don't think we'll be seeing anyone again.” He pushed stray strands of Matt's hair from his face, smiling fondly at the soft features. “I'm proud of him; he's accomplished so much, but I never should have taken him on this mission. Or you. I've sentenced you both to death.” He choked on the last word. “This is the last time I'll see him so peaceful. The last time I'll ever see you. You know, he sees you like an older brother, and honestly,” Sam looked over solemnly, “I've seen you like a second son. I'm sorry I've failed you both.”

 

Shiro opened and closed his mouth, swallowing down a lump in his throat.
“You've supported me so much since dad died, and been an amazing friend, as well as Colleen and the kids. You've not failed us and you're not a terrible father. Mark my words; I'll keep us both safe and we will find you. We will save you.”
“I appreciate your optimism, but the Commander refuses to see me to defend your cases, and they're dragging me away in who knows how many hours. It's something you have nightmares about, as a parent, outliving your kids. I'm scared for him, for you, and...Colleen and Katie will never know.” Sam's voice cracked. He tried to muffle it, and sniffed to clear his nose.
“I can't wake him. Not now. Did you know he used to do this when he was ill or wanted me to get him some new gizmo; cuddle up and sleep on me. Then he became a stroppy teenager and hated most of the decisions I made, especially around curfews and tidying his room. Colleen told me when we were away in the Kaiper Belt, Matt and Katie would sit on the roof until the small hours of the morning talking to me. She pretended she didn't know what they were doing.” He smiled and sniffed again.

 

“Sam, please listen. I'll protect him. We'll get you out. I promise.” Sam glanced up to see Shiro with his head bowed low. Sam sighed and opened his other arm out, Shiro crawling over.
“I love you and Matt like family, and I'm happy I found you all.” Shiro relaxed when Sam pulled him in.
“I truly hope you can find me.”
“I'll protect Matt with my life, and will sacrifice it if I can save him.” Shiro reached out and brushed Matt's arm, gaze hard as he took in every detail of his peaceful face. It was probably the last time he was going to see him like this again as well.

Chapter Text

DAD! PLEASE, DON'T TAKE HIM AWAY!” Matt screamed, his voice hoarse and tears rolling down his cheeks as the sentries ripped Sam from his arms.
It's alright, Matt, I'll be okay. You'll be okay.”
NO! Please, please don't take him from me. I beg you.” Matt thrashed himself free of Shiro's grasp and ran at the sentries. One raised it's gun but Matt didn't care. He threw himself at Sam and tried to grab on as tight as he could, but to no avail. He was pulled from his father and thrown to the ground. Shiro managed to catch him, but both smashed their heads against the hard floor.

 

Are you being noisy again?”
Matt glared at the Galra they knew as Haxus. He'd stepped into the cell, taking stock of the scene.
"This prisoner has a place to get to, stop being so aggressive and loud. Take him.” Haxus turned to leave, but before he was out the door Matt screeched again, lunging for Haxus with his shoe. In a flash of purple, Matt's body twisted in mid air and hit the ground with a thud. Shiro scampered over to him, picking him up gently.
“W-What did you do?” He checked for a pulse, which was there, thankfully. He glared at Haxus, but he was leaving the room along with Sam, staring behind as best he could, mouthing he loved them.

 

Shiro jerked awake, punching the wall accidentally. He swore, clutching his fist and tried to roll over, before realising there was a body pressed against his. Matt had slung an arm over Shiro's waist and was curled in a ball against his back. Shiro delicately lifted his arm up and pushed his body up against the freezing metal wall so he could get out. He perched at the edge, shaking his hand and flexing his fingers. It wasn't his dominant hand, but for what was ahead of them, he needed everything to function; his and Matt's lives depended on it, and he swore to Sam they'd see each other again.

 

“...ro?” He turned to see Matt gazing at him through heavy eyelids.
“It's fine, I'm here. Get some more rest, okay?” Shiro forced a smile but looked away, eyes focussed on the doors. He'd been waking up, at his guess, roughly an hour before their only meal of the day. He'd never felt this hungry in his life, and was starting to miss Adam's home cooked meals. He could feel his stomach ache and twist and his mouth water, but he slapped himself. He needed to focus. He laid on the floor and put his hands behind his head and lifted his knees. It was a bad idea to exercise on so little food, but he needed to stay physically ready for the fight. Later he'd practice some more moves with Matt when they were alone. He had no idea what these other aliens could do, and from the few he'd seen outside the cell, he didn't want to find out.

 

-

 

“The ship will be entering warp in two dobosh's for the main fleet and Central Command.”
The aliens around Matt and Shiro paused before scurrying away towards the cells. One, a pale grey alien limped towards them.
“You'd best hurry back. If they catch you out here they won't hesitate to give you a beating. You two young ones don't need that now.” He coughed, before limping away. Shiro and Matt looked at each other, then followed quickly.
“Thank you. Let us help you back though.” Shiro helped to steady the alien.
“Yeah, we don't want you getting beat by the guards.” Matt took his arm on the other side. The alien looked between them, blinking and mouth open, before it curled into a soft smile.

 

“T-Thank you. I don't know where you are going, but I pray good souls like you are not destined for the arena.”
“We...are.” Matt bit his lip and looked to Shiro, would could only focus on moving forwards.
“That's a shame. There's a dozen of us going in for today. Some are going to be servants, others...well. I am Xi. You?”
“I'm Matt, and that one there is Shiro. We're humans, from the planet Earth.”
“Thank you, Matt and Shiro.” Xi made a small smile before pointing to his door, “now go, before they find you.”
“We will.” Shiro guided Matt away and pulled him back towards their block. He had a rough idea where it was from here, and couldn't afford either of them being caught.

 

-

 

Matt and Shiro stared up at the high ceilings. This was Central Command? Shiro thought, trying to guess the height of the room.
“Keep moving. The arena floor needs a new coat of paint.” The guard, this one an actual Galra, shoved Shiro forward. He stumbled but glared back at her. She clicked her tongue, and grabbed his face easily with one hand.
“Look at me like that again, and your entrails will smeared all over this floor. Understand, Terran?” Shiro bit his tongue as he moved onward, Matt quickening his pace to walk besides Shiro. “It's ok,” Shiro murmured to him. “We'll get out of here. I'll keep you safe. We'll win and get our freedom, just like it was back on Earth.”
“Shiro, I'm worried, you look tired and...and we've barely been sleeping.”
“We'll be fine, Matt. Remember, patience yields focus.” Shiro repeated the latter a few times. It was a mantra his mother had taught him as a child, and one of the few things he still remembered from all those years ago. Shiro wondered if he would remember her face before he died.
“Hey...how's your muscles been? You've not been saying about the pain much the past week.”
“I guess you're right.” Shiro frowned. That was a fair point actually.

 

-

 

“Prisoners are such a pain.” Haxus flopped down in his seat next to Sendak in the private box.
“What happened this time?”
“Usual. One of the Terrans, the quiet one, acted up.” Haxus placed his drink on the side next to him and stretched. “One would think that with military backgrounds they wouldn't be so stupid.”
“Their military is clearly lacking in discipline.” Sendak ran a hand through his fur. “It matters not. They're fighting Myzax today so it is going to be over in half a varga anyway.” He sniffed and took the flute next to him, sipping from it while flicking through his tablet. “Have you seen the odds?”
"Oh yes. I placed a little bet actually.” Haxus grinned and pulled out his own tablet, showing Sendak what he'd bet. Sendak choked on his drink, spluttering into his hand while Haxus cackled to himself.

 

“Little? That is a phoeb of your salary. What possessed you to make such a absurd bet?”
“Remember the last one I won? The one where the odds were against that Nirynian?”
“That is a poor basis to make such a large bet. I am not bailing you out next phoeb.” Sendak pushed the tablet away. “I admit if you are victorious, I will be purchasing it. If anything can defeat Myzax, I imagine half of the commanders will want it.”
“What about Emperor Zarkon?” Haxus fiddled with his claws, occasionally looking back at his tablet screen.
“The Emperor has little interest in collecting gladiators these quintants. He gave his last two to Ranveig for his services.” Sendak spat the name and Haxus chuckled.
“At least he isn't here, Commander. Will the Emperor be making an appearance?”
“He will. We will be meeting afterwards to discuss a few things. You will be attending as well.” Sendak smirked and Haxus arched an eyebrow.
“What's the occasion? I'm not a Commander or of merit.”
“We will discuss it later, Lieutenant. I will be back in a few ticks.” With that, Sendak rose and left the box. Haxus blinked and mouthed Lieutenant a few times.

 

-

 

The arena was huge and the chatter of the spectators unbearable. Matt backed as close as he could to Shiro, but he was at the front of the queue, Shiro right behind him. Two sentries stood in front of them, holding strange swords. The other aliens around him were silent or muttering to themselves; praying to a god or for it to be quick death. Shiro wanted to run, just grab a blade and escape, but there was nowhere to go.
“It's going to be alright, Matt, you'll be okay.”
“I won't, Shiro! I'll be dead in under a minute. Maybe more if I have the nerve to run!” Matt snapped, his voice catching as he grabbed his shoulders and crouched down. “I'm a dead man; I'm a dead man walking.” Matt fell to his knees, rocking back and forth as he dug his nails into the fabric of his prisoner's garb.
“Matt, please...you need to stay strong. This is how they win. They want to break you,” Shiro went to crouch beside Matt, but was stopped by a blade coming down in front of him.
“Halt. Remain in your position until instructed.” The sentry held the blade in place, before Shiro backed away to his position.

 

“All rise for Emperor Zarkon, may he reign for ten thousand more deca-phoebs! Accompanying him is the High Priestess, Haggar. May she continue to provide the Empire with more powerful quintessence! Without further ado, let the Emperor's Games continue!"
There was a resounding roar around the arena as the announcer continued, "this movement, we have Myzax, the Galactic Gladiator and our Champion, in one-on-one fights with these universal terrors. Will our Champion be defeated by one of these newcomers, or will the Galra's supreme Champion continue his reign? Let Myzax enter the ring!” The announcer, an overly energetic young Galra, pointed at the door on the far side of the arena. It opened painfully slowly, and when he saw it, Matt wished his vision had never been corrected. His heart pounded in his chest and he shook in fear, a cold sweat coming on far too quickly. He wanted Shiro to hold him, but he was still being watched like a hawk.

 

“...Matt, a Terran or 'Earthling' – a new species to the arena – will be fighting Myzax first. Will this deranged...attacked the Galra, live, or die?” Shiro's eyes widened as he caught bits of what the announcer was saying. Lies. Of course, the Galra had attacked them, but no, Matt couldn't go first. He just couldn't. He was already falling apart and this was it.
“I'm not gonna make it. I'll never see my family again!” He could only stay rooted on his knees as the sentry approached, offering out the sword.
“Matt, you can do this.”
“I-I-I...” His voice cracked and he looked back to Shiro, eyes wide with terror. He shook as a sharp sob came out. Shiro screwed his eyes shut. He couldn't stand it any more, he was angry that he couldn't do anything, he was angry they were going to die, he was angry at it all.

 

He jumped clean over Matt and with all the force he could muster, pulled the sword from the sentry, turning and screaming he bared down on a stunned Matt.
“If you won't fight, I will. This is my fight!” Shiro roared as he brought the curved blade up high. Matt screamed out as he tried to push himself away, but was too slow. The blade connected with his leg, blood splattering on to Shiro's face as he heard it hit the bone. Shiro lunged for Matt,
“I want blood, anyone's blood!” He trapped him beneath his weight. Matt was sobbing as he tried to move away from Shiro.

 

“W-W-What?”
“Take care of your father. I said I'd save-” Shiro was pulled away and pushed towards the arena, blade in hand. Matt watched him square up to the sentry before turning his attention to Myzax as he entered the opposite side. He felt metal hands grab him and then something was injected into the side of his neck. His vision petered out quickly, and the roar of the crowd died to silence.

 

-

 

“What is all that noise about over there?” Haxus squinted down to where the prisoners stood, and Sendak leaned out of his seat to see what had caught his attention.
“Oh. Just a reckless one. Nothing new.” Sendak shrugged, reckless lambs to the slaughter was something he'd always seen, and this one screeching away was no different. He didn't care for these pests, but at least they could have a somewhat honourable death through combat.

 

“Oh, did you see? The big one, the one I placed a bet on, just attacked the small one, you know, the screechy one!” Haxus laughed, smacking his leg as the small one writhed on the floor in his own blood as the larger one was pulled off him. “They seem to be quite an odd race! I've had no issue really from the big one or the other we dropped off, but look at it now. So barbaric.” Haxus wiped at his eye, still laughing as a sentry pulled Shiro off and pushed him towards the arena. Sendak watched quietly, eyes narrowed as he tried to work out how long the match would last.

 

The announcer, now a bit confused, tried to bring order, but it was a loud, sharp voice that caught everyone's attention. Zarkon was stood in his royal box, staring down at the arena. He narrowed his eyes at Shiro; scrutinising him on the sands below. Zarkon didn't know who this prisoner thought they were, and nor did he care, but what he did take issue with was this creature disrupting order.
“If this dreck wants blood, then let the fight commence. Vrepit Sa.” He settled back down, and rested his chin upon his hand as Myzax charged. This little Earthling would learn the meaning of pain soon.

 

Shiro fell more than dodged to the side as Myzax brought his fist down. He scrambled to get some distance from the gladiator. As he was in mid-jump over a rock, something electrocuted him from behind. He screamed out and his body twisted as he landed hard on his arm. He swore and picked himself back up, looking around for what hit him. Myzax was stood metres away, how did he...? He screamed again as his legs were taken out from behind, the electrocution just as painful as before. He fell to his hands and knees, panting hard. Shiro's head bolted up to see a purple orb return to the Myzax's stick, and he realised it wasn't a type of mace. Myzax laughed as he threw his arm forward, the orb flying for his face. Shiro flung his arms forward, the energy prickling as it teased across his spine. He rolled through the sand and scrabbled to his feet, flinging himself behind one of the pillars for reprieve.

 

He gulped air into his lungs, body poised to make another leap to the ground, but the energy ball didn't come right away. He couldn't attack the arm, there was a pauldron in the way, and he was muscular and tall. No wonder he was the champion. Using the blade, Shiro tried to get a reflective read on where Myzax was now.
“Found you!”
His right. Shiro swerved away from the pillar but was gut-punched. He coughed and doubled over. Myzax grinned and thrust the wand forward again, the orb flying off and hit him in the face. Launched again across the arena, Shiro skidded to a halt, arms splayed out and body aching. He could feel the hot air against his bare skin and something damp. He clenched his teeth together. Focus, get in close. He pulled himself up to find Myzax charging again and leaping up. Shiro braced for the impact and raised the sword, the flat edge catching his mighty fist. The bladed edges cut into Shiros skin, but he held his ground.

 

Myzax straightened himself out and raised his wand, arm by his side as Shiro glared up. An opening he'd been waiting for. Screaming, Shiro slashed the sword sideways into Myzax's unprotected inner thigh. The monster screamed out in rage and swung the energy ball down, but it caught part of Shiro's shoulder instead as he went down to the left. Shiro rolled the opposite way, crouching low to the ground so he could dip and dive as he needed to. He went to hack again at the other side of the injured leg, but Myzax grabbed the sword. Shiro's eyes widened in shock as he was lifted clean from the ground and thrown across the arena. There went his plan of keeping close.

 

As Shiro hit and bounced off the ground, body rolling until it hit one of the other pillars, the crowd let up a mighty cheer. Shiro struggled to pull himself up and blinked his vision back, he let out a pained shriek as the orb connected with his ribs. He flopped forward onto his stomach, panting heavily as the orb flew back, before Myzax aimed it again at him with a frenzied roar. All he could do was try to block it. Raising his sword and bracing himself, the orb struck the blade. Instead of electrocuting him like he thought, it bounced back. Myzax roared again as it landed back in the wand, and for the first time Shiro realised what it was doing.

 

Three times. He could only throw it three times. He had to get closer; he'd injured his opponent so he wouldn't be moving much, and the green blood that oozed from his leg was staining his body suit. Bracing was hard, and he knew he couldn't keep it up long. He had to get back into close range again. He crouched again and through the burning pain in his ribs and lungs, he ran to some rock cover. The orb was thrown. Defend. He changed his stance, ready to brace, and held out the flat of the blade so the ball deflected off. He leapt over rocks and was now in the open. Defend. This one took a bit more to resist. His leg buckled and he coughed as the force sent sand into his face. He then ran to Myzax's left. Defend. His knuckles were white around the handle and his hand hurt badly. His whole body was sweating.

 

This was it. Twisting the blade around, he roared as he ran forward, chasing the orb. Myzax saw him coming and twisted his body left. Just what Shiro wanted. As the orb re-entered the charging zone, Shiro feinted right as Myzax brought his fist down. He slashed the blade again along the outer thigh, then grabbing the strap of the pauldron, used it to swing himself around so he was behind his opponent.
“Gotcha.” Shiro snarled as he thrust the blade deep under the right shoulder blade, completely unprotected. The wand fell almost instantly from Myzax's hands, which should have meant the fight was over.

 

No. Shiro slashed the back of Myzax's other leg over and over. He backed away as he fell forward, bellowing out in pain. This creature had killed fuck knows how many prisoners like him, Matt and Sam. He had to make sure he could never harm either of them. Shiro circled the creature, eyes wild. He stabbed his sword through the right hand twice, then using his foot, kicked the elbow joint hard until he tried to roll it away. Then he struck through the tendons.

 

The cry of pain that went through the arena was ear splitting, but the blood pumping in Shiro's ears had drowned it all out now as he stood beside his head. He lowered the blade and hooked the curved front under his chin. Myzax roared and tried to roll away, but only had one stubby arm that couldn't reach Shiro. Ignoring Myzax's struggles and thrashes, Shiro lined the blade along where at least humans had their carotid arteries. He pressed the blade as hard as he could, straining himself as he made sawing motions to cut deeper into the skin. Myzax's roars became more and more garbled as Shiro sawed.

 

“My Lord, may I request the body once the prisoner is done with it.”
“For your experiments, Haggar?”
“Yes. He has served the Empire well enough, so will be given a special reward. If I may, can I request that the prisoner not remove his head. It would make the experiment more time consuming.”
“Very well.” He rose from his seat to the hacking coughs of Myzax's last breaths, and the prisoner's laughter as green blood soaked through his uniform. The crowd, bar the few extra bloodthirsty, was watching in silence or hushed whispers. The prisoner had not awaited permission to slay the reigning Champion. This was the second offence against him today.

 

“Myzax is no more.” His voice broke Shiro from his sawing. He blinked a few times at his hands. At the green. The body, he looked around him at the small pools of blood and broke out into shakes. There was some of his own droplets about the place. His back stung, his body hurt. The smell. Shiro backed away, tripping over Myzax's bloody hand. He coughed. Then coughed again and spat blood to the floor.

 

“The newcomer has shown disrespect to your Emperor on this quintant. Would you have him destroyed?” A large cheer went up around the room. Shiro's head whipped at the masses around him. But he'd won? He'd done what he had to. He crawled through the sand towards Zarkon's box.
“Or would you rather I spare it so he can continue to entertain?” Zarkon's lips pulled into a smirk as he watched the prisoner squirm beneath him, reaching his hand towards the box on his knees. A larger cheer went up around the arena, and Zarkon raised his clawed hand.
“Prisoner. Rise.” Shiro rose through pure intimidation as he felt those strange eyes bore through his soul.
“The arena has decided on this quintant you will survive. You will take the mantle of Champion until it is stripped of you through honourable death by combat.” He turned his gaze towards the announcer.
“We will continue the games tomorrow. The new Champion needs servicing.” He turned on his heel and made for the exit, Haggar in pursuit.

 

Shiro dropped to his knees as it felt like the weight of the universe was lifted. He wasn't fully aware what was happening when he was taken under each arm and whisked away through a dark corridor, or the soft prick of an injection against the side of his neck.

 

-

 

“Oh, what a glorious day, Commander!” Haxus purred jovially as he watched the GAC transfer to his account. “No more tedious Myzax, the little Terran is actually a barbaric savage, and I do recall someone saying they'll be purchasing him?” Haxus rested his face in the palm of his hand, slyly grinning at Sendak. Sendak grunted as he rubbed his eyes.
“Yes, yes, I said I would. The bids are already ridiculous...how much GAC does Morvok have?” Sendak squinted at the screen and hissed. “That is it. Don't ever tell me I don't spoil you.”
“I won't, Commander. Shall I buy you dinner tonight?”
“You can buy me dinner for the rest of the phoeb.” Sendak bit as he placed his bid. “We should get ready to see the Emperor.”
“I thought he was going to kill the prisoner, you know.” Haxus collected the glass flutes and set them on the side together.
“The Emperor?” Sendak pushed the tablet into his pocket.
“Yes. It feels he rarely ever gives votes.”
“That is because nothing has changed in deca-phoebs.” Sendak checked the time and motioned for Haxus to walk with him. “He does enjoy new blood. I am sure though that he will get someone to make that prisoner pay. I would relish it, and plan to if I win him, but it probably will not be until tomorrow now.”
“Don't break him like the last one,” Haxus said. “I will still be placing bets on him if you buy him.”
“He would be my property, Haxus.” Sendak reminded him as they reached the hallway to the throne room. Sendak quickly checked the time again and gave Haxus a once over. “Stand to attention.” Sendak ordered. Haxus obeyed without hesitation, and Sendak hummed his approval. “Let us go.”

 

As the two Galra entered the chamber, Zarkon motioned for his guards to leave them in peace. Both Sendak and Haxus proceeded to the base of the throne and bowed down upon their knees.
“Emperor Zarkon, we are grateful that you are able to see us.” Zarkon looked between them, and motioned for them to stand at ease.
“Sendak, you do not need to be as formal.”
“You are my Emperor and my master, I wish to show you my continued respect.”
“You show that by being my trusted right hand. Now, this is your charge, Officer Haxus?” Zarkon looked Haxus up and down.
“Y-Yes, Emperor Zarkon, I am a humble officer aboard Commander Sendak's prison ship.” Haxus instinctively dropped to his knees, head bowed low to the floor. Zarkon's laugh was a deep rumble, but still cold.

 

“Stand, Officer. Sendak, you say he is ready for the role of Lieutenant?”
“I do, Sire.” Sendak replied, his eyes locked with Zarkon's. A small smile tugged at their Emperor's lips as he learned back in his throne.
“As your Commander is organised, I have received all the necessary information. Your intelligence gathering from prisoner observation and recording has assisted the Empire quashing rebellion. How you have been able to use cyber warfare has also pleased me during your attack on Xukran six phoebs ago. Shutting down the planet's weapon and shield systems was critical in their defeat.” Zarkon rose from his throne and took a step forward. “You rise from the rank of Officer to Lieutenant, and will remain in the service of Commander Sendak.”

 

A smile graced Haxus's lips as he bowed lower, head kissing the polished floor. “I live to serve you, my Emperor. Vrepit Sa!”
“Vrepit Sa!” Zarkon boomed back. Haxus looked to Sendak, who gave him one of those knowing expressions. They'd served together for hundreds of deca-phoebs, and Haxus knew he was at best, carrying Sendak back to his quarters on-site tonight after heavy drinking celebrating this.
“Lieutenant, I need to discuss some business with the Commander. You are dismissed.” Haxus nodded, and gave another bow and salute before quick marching from the room. As the doors slammed shut behind him, Zarkon exhaled loudly.

 

“This quintant has been bothersome.”
“Are you referring to the Terran?”
“I am. I was not made aware their species had space-faring capabilities powerful enough to carry them to the edge of their system. Commander Krovag will be reassigned for his negligence.” Zarkon's voice rumbled darkly.
“A wise decision. Would you like the Terran disposing of? It is Prisoner 117-9875, who currently resides aboard my ship-”
“Does it? Was there any reason why the dreck was not instructed on proper arena etiquette?” Zarkon's eyes narrowed and for the first time in deca-phoebs Sendak was worried by the look in his old teacher's eyes.
“W-Well there are members of the prison ship whose job this falls to.”
“I do not wish to hear superfluous excuses. You will punish your crew as expected, and as for you, aside from remaining with the main fleet for the next deca-phoeb, you will also be tasked with personally training, disciplining, and punishing the new Champion. The dreck has offended me, and I demand compliance. I do not care how you do it, but you will make it happen. This,” and Zarkon's lips pulled themselves up into a small smirk as he watched Sendak squirm under his gaze, "is your punishment."
“I-I am sorry that I have failed you. I will seek to right these mistakes.” Sendak dropped to his knees, glaring at the floor.

 

Heavy footsteps crept slowly closer and the ground around him was submerged in shadow. “Rise.”
Sendak rose to look Zarkon in the face.
“You are my trusted right hand and I am hard on you because you overcome all trials I put in your path. Now go. The Champion, if he can live through tomorrow, needs educating.” Zarkon patted his shoulder, and Sendak saluted his Emperor, before turning about-face and swiftly moving for the exit.

Chapter Text

Shiro led on the freezing floor of his cell, gaze unwavering from the dark grey wall in front of him. He could lay on the slab or under the thin blanket he'd been given, but the coldness helped him stay awake. He didn't want to sleep; not after what he had done earlier. He growled, hitting his head hard enough against the floor to make his ears ring and pain sharply branch out. The flashes of memory that came back made him feel sick, he'd tried sawing at an alien's neck like it was a tough piece of beef. He'd not been told where Matt was: either no one knew or would talk to him. The other prisoners had steered clear of him and kept as far as they physically could on the ride back to the ship. He couldn't blame them.

 

Something clicked and light flooded the room. He moaned, rolling over as footsteps approached.
“The Commander has requested your presence. Up.” The guard, this one a Galra, kicked him hard in the back, making Shiro grunt and hiss. Slowly, he pulled himself to his feet and was grabbed, his arms pulled together and wrists bound in biting metal restraints. “Move.”
Shiro growled and reluctantly walked forward, purposefully slow. The guard shoved him through the door. “Commander Sendak isn't in the mood for your meandering feet.”
“Tell me where Matt is and then I'll walk faster.” Shiro bit back. There was a few seconds before Shiro received the guard's response; a kick to the back of the knees. Shiro fell forward, his face hitting the metal floor with a crack. He yelped in pain, rolling to his side and swearing as he felt blood pour from his nose. The guard said nothing as he grabbed Shiro's shirt and dragged him past the others' cells. Hushed whispers followed him out of the hallway.

 

-

 

“Raglog, why is the Champion being dragged through the ship like a common prisoner?” Haxus stepped almost cat-like around Raglog, leaning down to see the blood pouring from Shiro's offset nose. “And can you confirm why he is bleeding?” Haxus placed his arms behind his back, stepping over Shiro and circling back around to scrutinise Raglog.
“He fell over his own feet. I'm not sure why you care, or why you're talking to me like a superior.” Raglog pushed past Haxus, dragging Shiro behind him.
“Well.” Shiro saw the simpering look on his face. “I have been made Lieutenant by the Emperor himself. The Commander recognised my skills and talents. So let me ask you again, why is he bleeding?” Shiro felt the grasp on his shirt tighten and he looked up.

 

“I-Well, you see he was being non-compliant, sir, and so I had to use force.” There was a pause until Haxus sighed. “You could have said earlier. I'm sure all will be forgiven by the Commander, if he's in a good mood. Last time I checked he wasn't.”
“What are you suggesting, Lieutenant?”
“Give me the Champion so I can take the Commander his property.”
“You oily bastard!” Shiro snapped, glaring at Haxus and pulled sharply forward. “I belong to none of you.” Raglog grabbed his shoulders to keep him back. “I-I-I had no idea!” Raglog glanced down at Shiro and bit his lip.
“The Emperor decided this. Now, let me take him and grab a vial from Ulaz's office before we get to the Commander's quarters.” Haxus strode over and placed a hand in Shiro's hair. His nails dug into his scalp. Raglog saluted and bolted down the hall, leaving Shiro in Haxus's 'care'.

 

“Do you know where Matt is?” He finally asked, swallowing down his anger.
“Hm? Who's that?”
“The one who was supposed to fight first.” Shiro clenched his teeth.
“Oh the one you attacked in your blood frenzy. I wouldn't know. Then again...I could get you that information.” Haxus grinned as he dug his nails in tighter. Shiro bit his lip, trying to ignore the taste of blood that ran down his face. “What's the price?” He pushed his head back, ignoring the pain to glare up at Haxus. The Galra didn't look at him, and his face was obscured at an angle so he couldn't get a read either. “That depends.”
“On what?”
“On what happens tomorrow.” Haxus's voice was steady, but before Shiro could ask anything else, Haxus yanked his head back so it was almost touching the floor. He crouched down, his strange yellow eyes narrowed. “You are going to learn very quickly, little Terran, that questions tend to annoy the Galra. You do as commanded. The same,” he slowly ran a long finger over Shiro's bloody lips and looked at it curiously, “comes from talking back to your superiors. Which we are in all ways.” Haxus licked the blood from his finger and smirked down. Haxus pulled himself up and watched as Shiro struggled to roll over onto his side, and then slowly to his front. He forced the side of his face into the metal floor, and pushed himself at least onto his knees, panting heavily as the blood dripped to the floor.

 

Raglog sprinted around the corner carrying a needle with that same bright liquid as before. He skidded to a halt in front of Haxus, panting as he shown him what he had found. “Ulaz...said...to use this. Inject it...in his nose.” He held out the needle and Haxus plucked it from his fingers. He glanced at it before turning to Shiro with a small grin on his face. “Hold him, Raglog.”
“Understood!” Raglog ran behind Shiro and put him in a tight headlock. Not enough to choke him, but enough to make his body tense up. “This shouldn't hurt.” Haxus purred as he traced the needle down past Shiro's eye and then pressed it tentatively against the side of his nostril. Shiro held his breath and closed his eyes. Suddenly, he felt those sharp claws squeeze his cheeks, force his head up and the needle brush against the inside of his nose before stabbing into the skin. He let out a hoarse yell, his face falling forward when he was released. The Galra above him laughed, smacking his shoulder with enough force to bruise.

 

-

 

“Explain your lateness, Rag-” Sendak looked up from his terminal to see Haxus and the Champion. He narrowed his eyes, stalking over and pulling Haxus to the side. “Where is that dreck, Raglog?”
“I relieved him of his duty. He was roughing up your property, as you can see.” Haxus jabbed a claw towards Shiro's face, which was covered in another coat of partially dry blood. Sendak snarled and smashed the large prosthetic arm of his into the wall. “I do not need these insubordinations!” He shut the holographic screen down and stalked over to his terminal.

 

“He's had quintessence.” Haxus shifted uneasily on his feet.
“You are dismissed.” Sendak waved him away as he stalked towards Shiro, planted firmly on the spot and eyeing the prosthetic hand. Sendak slowly circled him like he was a prize bull at the county faire. He swallowed and kept his back rigid, more so when his restraints were taken off.
“Do you know who I am?”
“You're the Commander.” Shiro kept his eyes focussed on the wall to keep his eyes from roaming.
“My name?”
“Commander Sendak.” He swallowed again. He couldn't show him any weakness.

 

Sendak purred to himself as he stopped in front of Shiro. “These are the type of responses I approve of from a slave.” He watched as Shiro shifted from one foot to the other. “I have...been made aware of my circumstances. Permission to speak freely?”
“Not granted.” Sendak turned away and settled on the large sofa in his quarters, watching the Champion for any tells. In his many millennia of being alive, there was universal body language, he had found. At this point he was waiting for a rebuttal; polite or not, it would come.

 

“I don't understand.” There it was.
“I did not give you permission to speak.”
“And what are you going to do?” Shiro snapped. “Beat me? Kill me? Some other twisted torture?” He took a step forward, fists clenched tightly. Sendak's gaze drifted between his face and fists. “Do you honestly think you can intimidate me? Go on, strike me.” Sendak tilted his head to the side as he leered at Shiro, gently tapping his cheek. With a throaty growl, Shiro launched himself at the arrogant alien, right arm drawn back and body curving slightly as he threw his punch. It connected with his jaw.

 

Sendak let out a low, slow laugh. It rumbled in the air and vibrated in Shiro's stomach. He kept laughing as he slowly, but firmly, grabbed Shiro's wrist with ease between metal claws, applying more pressure and watching his face contort with pain as it only increased. He continued laughing as he pushed himself off the sofa, sharp fangs glinting in the purple light as he bore down on Shiro. “Did you think that hurt?” Shiro opened his mouth to answer, but a small, almost inaudible, whine escaped his lips in the place of words. “Answer me.” Sendak coolly asked, raising his regular arm and placing it around Shiro's throat, pulling him up and letting go of his wrist. “I-I-I don't know.”
“I do not appreciate dishonesty.” Sendak squeezed tighter.
“N-No.” Shiro grabbed at the huge forearm, trying to dig his nails in but getting nowhere through the thick fur. His vision hazed over and he choked, his hands scrabbling faster and eyes darting between them and Sendak. Finally he was dropped to the floor. It was plush compared the the cold steel everywhere else. He panted, looking up to Sendak for any clues as to what the Commander might do next. Those yellow eyes had a predatory gleam about them.

 

Sendak knew this is why Zarkon gave him the Champion; to make him learn to temper himself. He couldn't just kill the Champion because of the social repercussions of killing a gift from the Emperor, and he couldn't beat the shit out of him before his fight – it would be an dishonourable death due to sustained injuries. It limited his options, at least for now. He growled out as he sunk his claws into Shiro's hair, and dragged him to his feet a few paces away from the terminal.

 

“I have more pressing matters than training a new slave right now, so this will be a small part of your punishment, depending on the outcome of tomorrows matches.”
“M-Matches?” Shiro's mouth went dry and his stomach knotted.
“Oh? Since you killed our reigning Champion, you took the mantle by right of victory. You will be fighting the other prisoners tomorrow, likely killing them as well-”
“I don't want to kill anyone else! They've done nothing!”
“It is not up to me, only the Emperor – the one who gave you to me.” Sendak's tone was turning terse; and Shiro tried to swallow his own feelings down before he gave himself away.

 

Sendak settled down in his seat and turned back on his terminal. “If the Emperor had wanted you dead. You would be. Emperor Zarkon is the most powerful being in the universe, and has lived for over ten thousand deca-phoebs. You have insulted him, and as his right hand,” he watched as Champion's face paled and a bead of sweat ran down his cheek, “it is my job to put you in your place. You should be honoured he has punished you so lightly, and that I am your new master. There are many commanders who would not treat you with respect.” He chuckled as Champion snorted. “You do not know anything of the Galra. You will, in time.” He typed in his credentials. “I have work to do. You are to stand at attention until you are dismissed, or I speak to you. You must also memorise that you cannot act within the arena without the express permission of the Emperor. The fight starts after he shouts Vrepit Sa, and when you have your opponent in an incapacitated position, a fist on the wall of his box means execution, and a wave of his hand means the prisoner is spared. Can you comprehend this?” Sendak rubbed his eyes as he fiddled about looking for a document he was reading earlier. Champion chewed his lip, “what happens if I choose to not comply?”
“Then I would shut that noisy mouth myself.” Sendak gazed up and down Champion's body as he said it, noting him tense up. “It seems you are not totally naïve to what duties slavery includes.”
“We're different species.”
“So? You are a slave, an object if you will. Now silence.” Sendak turned his attention to the screen, ears twitching as he heard the Champion's breath hitch to say something. He didn't.

 

Sendak's huge prosthetic arm leisurely dangled over the side of his chair as he flicked through a holographic interface. Shiro shifted uneasily from one foot to another; he could feel his bladder tighten and press against his abdomen. He'd been questioned on and off for give or take the last hour and a half about arena etiquette, earning small approving noises from Sendak each time he answered correctly. He tried to resume his rigid position, but as the seconds trickled by, the more painful his bladder became. He let out a soft hiss and tried to relieve the pain with slow, deep breaths. He watched Sendak's bat-like ears twitch and a feeling of dread compounded itself on top of the bladder pain.

 

Another ten or twenty minutes passed until Shiro couldn't maintain his position any longer. He crossed his leg over the other and tensed his muscles the best he could. He let out a low whine, which finally prompted Sendak to look over at him. “Why are you making noise and doing that?”
“I need to...” Shiro hesitated, hair falling in front of his face as he bowed in shame, “use the toilet. Please, it hurts.” Shiro pleaded, looking up through his hair. Sendak studied him for what felt like forever until he replied. “No. You are to stay there at attention silently.”
“I can't! If I do I'll fucking piss myself!” Shiro snapped desperately back, clutching at his abdomen. “Then soil yourself. You can clean it up with that mouth of yours after.” Sendak turned in his chair and folded his arms across his broad chest. “B-But...”
“No buts. If you so desperately need to go then go. You will, however, remain where you are stood.”

 

Shiro stared hard at the floor. This was humiliating, and Sendak knew it. He refused to let himself break and tried clenching his muscles again. The pain shot through him and he hissed, grabbing his sides and sinking down to his knees. He heard Sendak rise from his chair and winced as he felt him approach, casting a looming shadow. Shiro didn't dare look up, but didn't have a choice when a boot pushed him by the shoulder with ease onto his back. His legs filled with a sharp pain as they were trapped under his own weight, and then he felt it; his muscles relaxed. “No...” he whined, covering his face with his hands as he felt his the fabric around his crotch become warm and soggy. He let out an undignified whimper as his bladder emptied and Sendak just stood watching, expression unreadable.

 

Slowly Sendak raised his foot from Shiro's shoulder. He remained awkwardly on the floor, peeking through his fingers. “You can put that mouth of yours to work.” He nudged Shiro with the clawed boots, the points digging in between his ribs. Carefully, he moved onto his front, making sure his thighs were as far apart as possible so they could try to dry. It wouldn't happen quickly but he couldn't afford chafing if he was to continue fighting. He pushed himself to his knees and carefully studied Sendak, “what do you mean?”
“Clean up your urine. With your mouth.” Sendak pointed to the dark patch where Shiro had been pushed down. Shiro grimaced at the patch. “You want me to lick your carpet clean?”
“Yes. You dirtied it, so you can clean it.” Sendak grabbed Shiro by the fringe with his prosthetic hand and forced his face down. “Lick.” He pushed his face deeper into it and Shiro retched at the smell. He wasn't totally dehydrated, but he wasn't drinking as much as he should. He tried to breathe through his teeth, but the pressure on his scalp was unbearable, and he could feel his hairs slowly being pulled out. He hit his hand against the carpet and Sendak released. He mentally steeled himself as he pressed his tongue against the material and took a tentative lick. He could feel his tongue dry out almost immediately; the fabric was rough and he could swear it felt like it had fluff stuck to his tongue. He scraped his nails along it, trying to get rid of the feeling before wiping it into his thigh. Sendak pushed his face back down again. “Stop delaying and do your job.” He growled, jabbing Shiro again with his boot. Shiro's body jerked, and squeezing his eyes shut, he licked the carpet again with more urgency; the quicker he did it, the quicker it would be over.

 

Seemingly pleased that he was following orders, Sendak released the grip on his hair and padded back to his chair. Shiro glimpsed up quickly between licks and loured at him, before taking a shallow breath and returning to the carpet. He felt sick from the taste of his own urine and from the action itself. He wasn't sure if the alien realised his attempt to humiliate Shiro was blatant, and that in doing this would make him resentful, or whether he just didn't care whether Shiro knew or not. At present he was leaning towards the latter, but it was a fools mistake to make presumptions. He needed to make sure he kept anything about him secret and give Sendak no possible ways to manipulate him – any signs of weakness would be exploited. He tried to recall the articles and books he'd read while back in the Garrison, which in turn was something about his life he could use to help tether himself. As soon as he started to forget, that would be when he would break.

 

Sendak's ears pricked when he could no longer hear the Champion's tongue against the carpet. “I presume you are done?” He asked, looking down to see him on his knees glaring at him. “Use your shirt to compress the dampness. Kneel or sit on it so it soaks it up.” Sendak turned his attention back to the screen and looked for the line he was reading. It was the report from the druids about what they had combed from the human's minds, and had a breakdown for each of them for ways to earn compliance. It was good the Champion couldn't read Galran, otherwise he'd be clued up to what Sendak was doing, and he couldn't have that. He heard a sigh and the rustle of fabric and Sendak smirked to himself. For now he was complying, to a degree, but soon enough he'd argue back again. He enjoyed a bit of aggression from his slaves, it made things more interesting when it came to breaking them down. He'd had one about three hundred deca-phoebs ago who was too subservient, and in the end he'd given her away to Commander Trugg who was more than pleased.

 

It had been about twenty minutes since Shiro had knelt on his shirt. Sendak peered over and motioned for him. “Come here.” Slowly, Shiro rose to his feet and walked carefully over, making small noises of annoyance when his thighs rubbed together. As he stopped a few paces to his side, Sendak pulled him over with the prosthetic arm, eyes still fixed to the screen. “Since you have somewhat behaved, I will let you drink to wash away the taste. Would you like that?”
“It would be appreciated.” Shiro said cautiously. Sendak rose and wandered to a small black cupboard. He pulled out two tiny bottles and returned, placing both on the terminal. “Before you can drink, you must preform a task.”
“What...'task'?” Shiro's tone was indicative of distrust, and Sendak's lips curled into a small smirk. Suddenly Shiro lost his footing. He fell into Sendak's thighs, yelping as his fingers gained no purchase and slipped down the chest armour. “What is this? What the fuck are you doing?”
“You said you wanted a drink.” Sendak pushed his claws into Shiro's hair, massaging his scalp forcibly and making the Shiro wince, “and I said you must preform a task.” He pushed his face into his groin. Shiro pulled himself away, hissing through the pain and glowered up at Sendak. “You think I'm going to go there?”
“Well you have before, have you not?” Sendak leaned forward and chuckled. Shiro could feel a cold sweat on the back of his neck and his hands felt clammy.

 

“What I am saying,” Sendak unclipped the front of his suit carefully with metal claws as he forcibly rubbed Champion's face against his groin, “is that you have serviced males before with no prior connection. This is no different.”
“You've got no basis!” The Champion's growl was muffled.
“Your file. It is almost complete.” Sendak yawned, mussing up his hair some more. He could feel the Champion tense up again but continued, “you seem to forget how advanced we are. Now get on with it, I would like to rest shortly.” Sendak turned his attention to his messages, there was an angry one from his resident medical officer, Ulaz, about how quintessence-based medication wasn't supposed to be used as a fix-it for every tiny problem. He groaned, being a Commander had it's perks but responsibility was a pain in the rear.

 

Sendak could feel warm breath against his groin and unsteady hands fiddle with the fabric. He pulled his hand from the thick hair and pushed his fingers into the Champion's mouth, making him gasp in protest, and ran his index finger over the teeth. They weren't too sharp, so not a completely carnivorous race like his own. It was a bit dry in there but it didn't really matter to Sendak at this point. He was there, might as well. He frowned when he felt hands curl around his wrist. He pushed his fingers in deeper, holding Shiro's jaw, as he used metal claws to ease out his cock. Again the Champion tensed. Sendak exhaled and pulled his slightly moist fingers out and gripped Champion's fringe again, pushing his face against it.

 

Shiro felt a cold chill run down his spine. There was no way he was going to get away from this. Pretend it's Adam, he thought. It wasn't comforting when Adam's dick didn't look anything like the strange purple ridged monstrosity that was warm against his face. The head had weird, soft spikes around it before it went to the main shaft. He swallowed what little saliva in had in his mouth. “Please me, slave.” Sendak commanded, this time with a hint of a threat if he didn't. Shiro screwed his eyes shut and tried to ignore the strong musk, reminiscent of cloves. He could do this; he'd already humiliated himself today. He gave a preliminary small lick and brought his hand up and ran it down the ridged shaft. It was surprisingly smooth in comparison to all the fur Sendak had. He mentally scolded himself – he shouldn't think like this – he didn't go to space to jerk off aliens. He gave it a forceful tug, but received no indication from Sendak that it had hurt him. He scowled at the cock in his hand; what was the point if he wasn't going to react? He gave it a harder tug and pressed the flat of his tongue against the head, applying pressure and then easing off for a few seconds, before flicking his tongue around the tip. A sigh came from above him; something then.

 

His strokes became more vigorous as he thought of Adam gripping his shoulders and the hoarse moans he used to make when Shiro went down on him. He quickly ran his tongue along the shaft, the sensation of the ridges odd against his tongue while his hand squeezed the base. Finally, he bit the bullet and took the head in his mouth, rubbing his tongue against the underside of Sendak's cock. A purr came from above him; probably a good sign. The quicker he made Sendak come, the quicker he could go back to his cell. Is it wrong I miss the cell? He thought as he pushed himself further down the cock.

 

Sendak was feeling relaxed for the first time in a while. The slave was acceptable at giving oral, however it was clear he needed improvement. He'd need to train him in that, or throat fuck him, which ever was most appealing at the time. He watched his head bob up and down and felt teeth graze against the ridges. That actually felt nice. It had been quite a while since Sendak had had his needs met, but presently this was a little too slow for his liking. Locking the terminal, he grasped Champion's face with both hands and guided him further down his cock, claws digging into the Champion's skull. He heard a sad whimper, but ignored it as he forced him down quicker. His mouth was still a bit dry, but it didn't matter.

 

This carried on for a few more dobosh's, before Sendak felt the tell-tale signs that he was close – another 'perk' of it being so long, he supposed. He thrust his hips up. Now he was hitting the back of the Champion's throat, which earned more rasps and pained chokes. Biting his lip, he gave one final push and emptied himself into the Champion's mouth, growling in pleasure. He felt his slave try and pull away, but refused to let go. “Drink up, Champion.” He crowed, leering down as he felt him struggle to try and swallow. His eyes watered and he'd started coughing on Sendak's cock. He opened those grey eyes to stare pleadingly at Sendak, but he was kept in place. “When you are finished, you may move.”

 

If Shiro felt sick earlier, the urge to vomit had grown considerably. Sendak's hot come tasted sharp and bitter. There was too much of it and he didn't want his death to be through choking on alien dick. He focused hard and slowly swallowed down bits at a time, using his tongue as a poor barrier to cut off swallowing too much. This throat and jaw felt sore, and he was certain there was possibly come in his nose. Finally, he was allowed to pull away and fell to the floor, panting and coughing. His throat felt sticky and like come was still stuck to it, or carpet fluff, he didn't know any more.

 

“Drink.” Sendak held the tiny bottle out, and without any hesitation he grabbed it and drank greedily. It was a cool, slightly sweet liquid that soothed his aching throat quickly. “What do you say?” Sendak pressed his boot on Shiro's stomach hard. Shiro glared up at him. “I would thank you, but I'm not in the mood.” He pulled himself away, shivering from the dampness still between his legs. Sendak crossed his arms across his chest again, “if you don't thank me, you will not be sleeping.”
“Are you really being that petty?” Shiro's voice was a bit higher than it should have been. “Why should I thank you? If you had let me take a fucking piss earlier none of this would have happened and I wouldn't have had to almost choke on that.” He motioned to Sendak's cock.
“Because I own you. You should feel honoured I am being so liberal and not keeping you chained to my bed, because I have no problem with doing that. If the Emperor was doing the punishing, your situation would be considerably worse.” Sendak rose from his seat and descended on Shiro. “So, Champion, are you going to thank me, or would you prefer actual punishment?” He brought his prosthetic arm forward under Shiro's throat, the claws glowing a strange purple-white light.

 

Feeling the heat from the claws and by the unreadable look on the Commander's face, Shiro chewed his tongue as he weighed up possible outcomes. “I am...thankful you gave me a drink.” He had to force himself to say it. Sendak gave him a smug look and turned, passing him the second bottle. “Wait.” He turned and moved through a doorway into another room. He returned quickly with something in his hand, a band of sorts. “To make it known you are mine, you are to wear this.” Sendak grabbed him with the prosthetic arm and held him in place as he fitted the dark grey collar around his neck. Shiro remained still; it wasn't worth fighting with what hung on the table now.

 

“This collar will let others know that they are not to harm you unless I have consented. You will still be able to fight in the arena. It also has a small feature.” Sendak pulled out a small tablet. He pressed a few buttons on the interface, and then it hit Shiro; a jolt of electricity shot through his body. He fell backwards and groaned in pain, clutching at the collar. “This is for punishment purposes. Every time you disobey me, I will use this. Do you understand?”
“I do.” Shiro bowed his head, eyes dark as he glared at the carpet.
“I will call Haxus. He shall return you to your cell.”

 

-

 

As soon as Shiro was alone, he rushed over to the toilet bowl in his room and pushed his fingers as far back into his throat as he could. He heaved until he retched. His stomach ached and throat burned and hurt against the collar, but he made himself do it again. Through teary eyes, he stared at the bowl; the purple was probably the food goo, but the pink-white thick swirls was likely what he'd been forced to swallow. He wanted to wipe his mouth in his sleeve, but he didn't want to make this uniform any dirtier. He settled on the floor next to the bowl, wrapping his arms around his knees.

 

The whole interaction was jarring. On one hand he was relieved he wasn't just shoved onto the floor and raped, but at least then he could really hate Sendak and feel justified for wanting to gut him slowly with his own prosthetic arm. He didn't do that; he degraded him and gave him some bastardised illusion of choice between two almost equally shitty options, or just no choice at all. For all he knew this was some elaborate plan to break him down and he wasn't really a slave at all. In retrospect, he got away with far too much then what he should of. At the same time, he was a prisoner and prisoners don't get told things. He shouted hoarsely into his hands. Why couldn't he of just lashed or shocked him a few times?

 

Shiro leaned his head back against the side of the toilet, the cold helping ease his sweaty skin. He pushed his fringe from his forehead and exhaled. This was fucked up. His thoughts were fucked up. None of this should be happening; they should all just be getting ice samples back on Kerberos and listening to Sam sing his silly space peas jingle. Matt would moan at him, and Shiro would be sat at the table laughing. Maybe he'd message Keith and see how he was doing. He closed his eyes at the thought of Keith, the teenager he'd met and helped get into the Garrison; an amazing pilot with so much potential, he wondered if he'd finally beaten any of Shiro's records yet. He was close a few times. His gaze darkened. He wasn't sure how long it had been since they'd been captured, but it was likely that the Garrison had picked something up. Would they have made it public? If they did how would Keith react. He bit his lip and clenched his fists until the knuckles were white. He hoped he was okay.

 

He didn't know what time it was – when did he ever – but it felt like he wasn't going to be sick any more. He made his way over to the slab and looked at the thin blanket. It was big enough to at least cocoon himself in. Sighing, he pulled the ragged shirt off and carefully draped it from the other slab – the one that Matt had sometimes slept on. After that he pulled himself out of the body suit and pulled the legs as far apart as he could to help them dry. He shivered and made his way for the blanket. Hopefully it would all be dry by the morning, and he hoped they'd let him shower again so he could get the blood off his face. He tried to get himself comfortable; tried to ignore the events of the day. He'd probably dream about killing Myzax. He groaned. He needed to start working out how he was going to stay sane in this place fast. If his thoughts were anything to go by right now, then the means may end up being morally questionable. The laugh he released was hollow; stuck in an alien prison trying to think through the moral and ethical dilemmas he found himself in. It was going to be a long night.

Chapter Text

Shiro paced slowly from his cell. His clothes had dried but he felt disgusting wearing them. His plan to actively avoid being near any of the other aliens was successful, because they were avoiding him. Whispers, curses, hisses, and the odd alien spitting in his direction followed him around the large room as he got his food. They glared and backed away like he was one of their captors. He nonchalantly tugged at the collar, growling to himself as it refused to budge. He sat in the corner of the room with his bowl of goo. He poked it in disgust, before forcing it down his throat. It was likely that his story had spread from the other aliens who were with him yesterday. He wanted to find Xi, the one that Matt had spoken to, and see if he had any idea where Matt may have gone but there were a lot of prisoners here, and none looked friendly right now.

 

He sighed and picked himself up, grabbing another bottle of water from a crate. It was more comfortable to eat in his cell at this point and he'd barely slept last night thanks to nightmares. What if he was forced to kill someone pregnant, or a child? The Galra were probably disgusting enough to send children to the arena, considering the arena in the first place. It made his blood run cold to think he'd have to be complicit in that, or should he just kill himself instead? But then he'd made his promise to Sam; he had to get him out. Then there was the stress of Zarkon; if Sendak wasn't lying to him about the Emperor, what if he chose to punish Shiro instead? He groaned, pressing his head against the wall near his cell. “C'mon Takashi. Stop worrying and go finish this crap. You're gonna be okay; just think about Matt and Sam.” He took a swig of water. It was felt comforting to hear his own voice saying something positive. He settled on his bed and brought the blanket over his head as he tried to relax. He took another sip of water and then slowly scooped another spoonful of goo.

 

“That's a pretty looking collar, whore.”
Shiro whipped his head towards the bass voice. In the doorway stood two aliens; one lean and tall, and the other broader with naturally armoured 'skin'.
“Presumptuous, aren't we?” Shiro held the eye contact, his voice cold. He couldn't recall seeing these two about, but there was a lot of different faces in the prison. The lean one gave him a once over. “Well what else would we call you? Getting pulled out in the night cycle and coming back with that lanky bastard hours later sporting a pleasure slave's collar.”
“You must be pleased with the promise of protection all because you got lucky.” The broad one sneered. “Attacking the little one because you wanted to sate your bloodlust. It must be a half-breed.” It stepped over the threshold and Shiro pulled the blanket off and moved to the middle of the room. “If you've just come here to talk shit, I don't care. Get out.”

 

The aliens laughed, the lean one fiddling with his horns and mimicking Shiro's voice. “You've not denied anything, but if you want us out, make us.” He sidled up beside the broad one and they looked at each other, then back at Shiro. His gut twisted; their looks were too much like Sendak's last night. Fighting through his dry throat, Shiro pulled himself to full height. “I won't hesitate to beat the ever-loving shit out of both of you if you take one more step forward.” Shiro brought his fists up and shifted his stance so he was ready to strike. The lean one he could deal with, the other he wasn't sure.
“It wants to fight! It is a half-breed.”
“We'll wait for later, H'jorn, then we prove our worth as gladiators by putting on a real show.” The lean one patted H'jorn's shoulder as he gave Shiro another once-over, licking his lips. He turned, and H'jorn obediently followed.

 

Shiro stood there tense for a few minutes, straining his ears to listen for them. Once he was sure they were gone he slowly walked back to the slab, placing his hands on the cool metal for support. He just stared at it as he processed the interaction. Pleasure slave. He brushed his fingers against his collar, stroking them down the front. He screamed, throwing the bowl of goo across the room and slammed his fists into the metal, doubling over it and trying to restrain himself from crying. He smashed his hand into the metal again a few times for good measure. He needed to hold it together. They were trying to rile him up, that was it. If they were going to be his opponents then of course they'd want to put him on edge a few hours beforehand.

 

The predatory looks.
Putting on a show.
Shiro glowered at the slab below. It was clicking into place what they'd meant.

 

-

 

Sendak was sure he'd read the same personnel file twice now. He'd forgotten the feeling of having a new gladiator and the accompanying fears how they would fair in their first day of battles. He'd check the personnel files later, since his meeting with the crew was scheduled for tomorrow. He rubbed his brow as he made a mental checklist of what he needed to do. Aside from escort Champion to the check in, he'd need to be cleaned up and reminded again about arena etiquette. Sendak rested his face in his palm as he weighed up giving him another reason to stay alive; he'd look like a fool in front of the other members of High Command if this one died quickly...and if Ranveig was here then he wouldn't hear the end of it for deca-phoebs.

 

A soft automated beep caught his attention. “Enter.” He watched as the door slid open and Haxus strode in, saluted him, and stood at attention. “At ease.” Sendak motioned for the sofa, and Haxus nodded curtly as both went to sit. “I've got the night cycles report. All systems are online and functional, passing their diagnostic checks. Frequency scans have found nothing out of the ordinary. All crew and sentries have been accounted for, as well as prisoners. A supply delivery was approved and here,” Haxus passed Sendak his tablet, “is what we have received. This has been accounted for.” Sendak nodded his head slowly, signing the small box he needed to. “Aside from this, I have preformed my mainframe checks. No viruses or foreign software detected. Our next fuel delivery has been pushed back a few movements since we are stationed back home.” Haxus took back his tablet and placed it beside him.

 

“Excellent report as always.” Sendak leaned back. “Did you rest well last night?”
“Yes, especially after I deposited the Champion back in his cell. Permission to speak freely?”
“Of course.”
“How are you after last night? I apologise for not notifying you about taking over the escort, but did the Champion behave?”
“I was stressed last night and about as stressed today.” Sendak flicked his prosthetic hand nonchalantly, “however Champion was mostly behaved. He's very mouthy – asks a lot of questions and doesn't know when to stop.”
“Did he ask you where that other prisoner was?”
“No?”
“Oh, he asked Raglog and I about it. I hinted I could find the information out, at a price.” Haxus purred to himself. Sendak rolled his eyes. “Just how many favours have you got owed to you now?”
“Enough.” Haxus laughed again and let his head loll back. “I'll put my ears to the ground and let you know whether that might be a viable way to keep him behaving. Give me about a movement, minimum.”
“Seems reasonable.” Sendak grinned and picked himself up from the sofa, stretching. “I'd best see about getting Champion sorted out. Send a sentry down and have him go to Ulaz.”
“Understood.” Haxus saluted Sendak, who mirrored him back, before leaving the quarters.

 

-

 

“How have I gained muscle mass? I lose it!” Shiro snapped, bewildered by the chart in front of him, Ulaz groaned, pinching the bridge of his nose. “I told you before, the quintessence healed you like it healed your broken nose.”
“But it's a genetic condition!”
“Which we can heal! When was the last time you had symptoms, hm?” Ulaz leaned down over Shiro who didn't buckle under the gaze. “The last time was...was...”
“Was before you seen me?”
“Yeah...” Shiro hesitated, then blinked. “But how?”

 

Ulaz cried out in frustration and tightly grabbed Shiro's shoulders, shaking him. “How many times must I say quintessence to you? Are humans really this bovas-minded?”
“What's bovas-minded mean? You keep throwing about all these alien words and expect me to know – I don't. I had aliens threaten me, been forced to choke on Sendak's dick, and you with your,” Shiro looked around and shrugged his shoulders, “medical...things. I don't think you grasp that I'm from a planet that has never met any other life. So from thinking we may be alone in space to have some Galra cruiser in our system no less, and then be thrown into galactic prison, shouldn't your clearly developed brains be able to make a simple connection?” Shiro had pushed himself off the table and stood as flush against Ulaz. Even though he was taller, Shiro would fight him if he had to.

 

Ulaz stared at him for a long time before clearing his throat. He pushed Shiro back with ease. “It's a phrase meaning stubborn, like a bovas. You are fine for battle. Take him, sentry.” Ulaz breathed out as Shiro was escorted away. He was right; he should try being a kinder to this species. More so if Sendak had already started on him.

 

-

 

“You look better.” Sendak paced around Shiro and stopped in front of him. “You have a good form as well, I approve.” Shiro nodded curtly as he watched Sendak. “Come. We are to board for Central Command.” Sendak motioned for Shiro to follow and he did, keeping a few paces behind Sendak as they made their way to the hangar.
“Permission to speak?” Shiro glanced up at Sendak as they took the elevator down. Sendak scrutinised him for a moment before motioning him to continue. “Will I be travelling with the other prisoners?”
“No. You will be with myself and the crew.”
“I see.” Shiro returned to his rigid position. Sendak observed him from the corner of his eye. It was similar to the tenseness he usually adopted, but it reminded him of Haxus and his own training. Perhaps the Champion's race did know how to be respectful of their superiors.

 

A sharp bing snapped him from his thoughts. Sendak reached into his pocket and pulled out the tablet. A message at this time was odd, as arena days were public holidays. He frowned as he unlocked it and scanned the message. It was from Trugg and calling an emergency council meeting for after the arena matches. He paused before checking the sent list. Scanning the names, he stamped his foot in frustration. Of course he was coming. Of all the commanders, it just had to be Ranveig. He stamped his foot. “You will survive today's matches, understand?” He glared at Champion who gave him a quizzical look. “Understood.” Sendak didn't care to think about Champion's slow tone. So long as his slave won, he could rub that in Ranveig's annoying face. Then there was contending with the other commanders and all the petty squabbles and remarks. So long as Champion lived, Sendak would take it out on him later.

 

-

 

The ride to Central Command was quiet and boring. Shiro listened to the banter from the back of the shuttle, and noted the curious glances at him from the corner of his eye. As they docked, he was ushered down the ramp by a sentry last. It was busier here compared to the other hangar he was in yesterday. There were many shuttles, some better-looking than others. He wondered how they handled in flight compared to Earth's ships; it would have to be what he used if he ever tried to escape.

 

“They are fine vessels.” Shiro looked up to find Sendak studying him. Shiro hummed in agreement and a firm hand came down upon his shoulder, steering him away. “I am going to check you in to the arena, however today you choose a weapon. Do you remember what we spoke about?”
“Yes. I await for the Emperor to start the fight, and when I have almost defeated my enemy, I wait for him to cast his vote.” Shiro mumbled as he was guided through the hallways. There was something about Sendak that seemed off – he was distracted by something, and at a guess it was whatever he received in the elevator. Perhaps it was an appraisal, if the Galra had those. He used to get nervous about them, never knowing if he had done enough. It may explain why Sendak wanted him to come back alive.

 

-

 

Shiro stood in the cell. The wide door in front of him a way to the arena. He looked down at the blade, similar in design to a shamshir, but with more protection around the hilt. He'd preferred to use the sword from yesterday, but was told they were just for prisoners. A gun would have been easier since he was trained in firearms. He lifted the light weapon, swinging it around to get more of a feel for it. He thrust forward. Again. No, he didn't like that. He slashed across in front of him, the sword sung as it cut through the air. This was better.

 

“You know,” Shiro sat himself against the wall and stared at the ceiling. “You're going to have to kill innocent people, Takashi. Actually kill them. It's more than a simulation this time. You're military, remember? You grew up in a post-war world, but you've been trained for this.” He ran his hand down the detailed handle. “It's horrifying, but we have to live for Matt and Sam. We can't humanise and think about who we're going to...kill.” He let the word hang in the air. “At the end of the day, if conflict had broken out on Earth, we'd have to fight in it. If there's anything you can do, it's try and keep it humane and quick.” He blinked slowly as he recalled the videos they were made to watch.

 

The shooting ranges with human-shaped targets. VR simulations. Drills in decommissioned buildings and ghost towns. He didn't get to the rank of lieutenant for being scared, he got it for understanding what he needed to do when it came to it. Perhaps it was best to frame it as a war upon his people, and he was the sole combatant. If he didn't survive, then how could he protect Matt and Sam, the rest of the Holts...Adam, Keith, Iverson, his friends back home.

 

He chewed his tongue as he gazed at the door in front of him. He'd almost forgot about the facade from yesterday, how he had no idea. Whether it was smart to carry it on was up for debate, but for now it might be a useful crutch until he could settle himself mentally. It would just mean that he'd become more ostracised from the others in the prison, but his survival was paramount. He let his head drop forward as he rotated the blade slowly. He needed to empty his head; get into character. Fact is the others will want him dead, and he didn't know how desperately they wanted it. “If I leave my enemy alive I'd expect them to kill me. The same applies if they leave me alive.” He muttered to himself as the doors whirred into action and the floodlights poured in.

 

He blinked his eyes, adjusting to the new light level and rose. The roar of the crowd he'd been trying to ignore felt like an oncoming avalanche as he left the cell. He could feel that heat, the smell of sweat and food. He slashed his blade as he walked, eyes set on the prisoners in front of him. He was never a religious man, but if there was some type of entity out there, he hoped it would forgive him for the sins he was going to commit. He came to a standstill within eye-line of the box and looked to see Zarkon, stood watching him. He gave a shallow bow, and watched as an alien slowly staggered towards him, clutching the sword close with tears in their eyes. Shiro exhaled and focused. He'd made his mind up.

 

“Vrepit Sa!”
He launched forward.

 

-

 

“You seem agitated, Commander.” Haxus leaned closer to Sendak, who snorted in response. “What gave it away?”
“Your fur has ruffled out.” Haxus said quietly. Sendak sighed, running his hand through it to smooth it out. “There's an emergency meeting scheduled for after the fights. Trugg messaged a varga ago. All Commanders are reporting in.”
“It must be something big for Zarkon to request the entirety of High Command.” Haxus looked around, noting Ladnok and Trugg sat together chatting in the box next to theirs. “Either we are under attack or it's related to the Lions of Voltron.” Sendak murmured as he took a sip of his drink. “Champion is at least preforming to an acceptable standard.”
“He is. I just hope he doesn't keel over.” Haxus muttered. Sendak grunted in response as he observed the fight below. “His behaviour is perplexing. He fights as he does, but then outside of the arena he is either quiet, difficult, or accepts orders.” Sendak leaned forward, peering down as Champion cut through his opponents tendril, its sword falling to the ground. He was fighting off the other three that had snaked their way around his body with a ferocity that pleased Sendak.

 

“Perhaps the Terrans are contradictory as a species?”
“Perhaps, Haxus. From the files about Earth history I have seen, they seem to be a very warmongering race.”
“Then maybe this is his way of honouring his home.” Haxus gazed at Sendak from the corner of his eye. He clearly was stressed if he was thinking about his slave. “I'll take care of the ship until you get back. I'm also buying you those weird salted meats you like so much.” Haxus nudged him gently, earning a soft laugh from Sendak. “I'm always partial to salted meats.”
“Do you want him in your room later?”
“Yes.”
“Do you want me to prepare him?”
“If you feel like it.” Sendak watched as Champion looked to Zarkon's box as he stood over the now tendril-less alien. Zarkon's fist hit the wall. Both he and Haxus cheered as Champion bent down, lifting it's head up and slit its throat. The crowd roared as the blue blood soaked onto the sands below. Champion stepped over the body and grabbed the sword the alien had been given and stabbed it into the sand.

 

-

 

Shiro turned his attention back to the remaining two prisoners as he wiped his arm over his brow, panting. It was the two from his cell this morning. He took a steadying breath and waited to see which one was called in first. “Our penultimate prisoner is H'jorn of Vema. Tried for despicable crimes against the Empire, he has been sentenced for execution.” For the first time today, the announcer didn't sound like they were bouncing off the walls. A thunderous noise rose from the crowd; boos rumbled around him while the jeers were sharp. He narrowed his eyes; he wouldn't feel guilty about this.

 

H'jorn strode into the arena, head held high as he raised his arms wide. The angry masses proceeded to howl, but neither Shiro or H'jorn were focused on them.
“How's it been murdering the innocents?” He had a twisted grin upon his face as he studied the blade.
“How's it feel knowing I'm your executioner?” Shiro took up a defensive stance; he would need to gauge this one first and the break he'd had wasn't as long as he needed.
“Good, knowing I can kill some filthy half-breed with ease.” H'jorn's voice dripped with contempt as he charged forward. “This is for everything your filthy race has done to mine!” He screeched, drawing the blade high as his body twisted, arm coming out to guard his chest as he brought the blade down hard.

 

It was too much. Shiro dove in the opposite direction as the blade struck the sand with a mighty thud. The sand billowed up around them, but there was no time to hesitate. H'jorn was charging again and Shiro was still on the defensive. Attacking head on was a death wish but he needed to find a way to slow him down. Shiro's eyes darted around between dodging, trying to check his surroundings. The pillars - of course. “Fight me!” H'jorn roared, flinging his sword to the floor. “I'm going to crush your tiny little skull like I've crushed those little kits.” He cracked his neck and chased after Shiro, who was sprinting toward the closest pillar. Shiro stopped, flinging himself around to stare at the oncoming H'jorn. He panted, sweat trickling down his face as he grew closer. H'jorn's arms were outstretched, hands ready to grab Shiro's small frame. Almost...almost.

 

H'jorn smashed into the pillar, his large frame denting it. His small eyes darted around, looking for where the filthy half-breed had gone. He let out a sharp throaty growl as he pulled himself away, bits of debris falling from his arms as dust and sand floated around him. “Face me-”
He rasped, trying to gulp a few large breaths, before coughing and choking on his own blood. He looked down to see a blade through his abdomen, blood staining the length. Between ragged breathes, he turned his head to see the filthy half-breed behind him; the little cunt had punctured his lungs. He opened his mouth but no noise came out as he slowly slumped forward, the blade coming down with him.

 

Shiro observed H'jorn bleed out. The way he was dying was akin to being shot through the chest. He slowly moved towards the body, taking the handle of the blade and easing the sword out. Under the skin he could see the muscles contracting like lungs. He frowned. He'd not considered alien organs could be in other places. He wiped his brow again as he settled down beside H'jorn as the crowd around them burst into applause and cheers.
“I don't know what you mean by half-breed, but presume you mean half-Galra.” Shiro looked to H'jorn's wild eyes, his breath ragged and shallow. “I'm not one of them, nor do I ever plan on it. I've got people to save; made promises I plan to keep, and I can't let anything kill me. I don't expect or want your forgiveness, because you're more disgusting than I am.” He spat blood to the floor and wiped the side of his mouth. “However, at my core this isn't me. It never will be.” He listened as the breathing stopped. H'jorn's eyes were still open and looked glassy. Bowing his head, Shiro exhaled and rose from the sand. He wandered over to H'jorn's sword and threw it across the arena towards the last prisoner. He tried to let his body relax. One fight left. This one he wasn't looking forward to considering how exhausted he was. At least the 'show' these two promised wasn't amounting to much, which likely meant the other things they'd mentioned earlier was hyperbole.

 

He looked up to the royal box to see Zarkon stood studying him before raising his hand. Shiro spat again to the floor, watching as the sentry ushered the final alien into the arena, handing them the sword. “Rebel scum, Captain Nadiva of Herteris, you have no idea how much it pleases me to see you here.” Zarkon drawled as he lowered his hand slowly. He looked between Nadiva and the Champion before smirking as the crowd roared in anticipation. “Champion! You have pleased me with your show today. Do not disappoint me. Vrepit Sa!” Shiro only just finished swallowing before he was thrown on the defensive. Nadiva was upon him as soon as Zarkon had finished talking. He swore, holding his sword with both hands as Nadiva bared down on him.

 

“You were lucky.” Nadiva purred, his green-yellow eyes glittered dangerously as he leapt back gracefully. Shiro panted quickly, slashing his sword out before running low forward. Nadiva's guard was wide open and he was cocky; this would show him. He yelled hoarsely as he swung the sword round and it sung through the air. It connected with the other blade. Nadiva yawned lazily and Shiro went to pull back. “Oh no, Champion, you must stay,” he simpered as he grabbed Shiro's hair. He yelled out in pain, pulling against the clawed hand and feeling the strands tear out. His eyes watered as he struggled to get free, but dropped his sword in the struggle. Nadiva laughed. He pulled his sword away and Shiro fell forward between his arm and chest. Shiro hissed as the arm held him in a choke hold and with the sword, Nadiva slowly traced it up Shiro's clothes. He used enough pressure to rip them but not enough to mark the skin.

 

“What good is it keeping all that skin hidden? Your master must be the possessive type.” Nadiva deeply murmured as he cut more fine lines through the fabric. The grip tightened around Shiro's throat as the other arm moved and he felt calloused fingertips and pointed claws peel away his body suit. He jerked away as cold metal compressed against his sweating skin, and slowly he could feel the flat of Nadiva's blade tease it's way down his back, bumping over each vertebrae before tracing over the curve of his ass. Shiro stiffened and he heard a soft chuckle from above him. The flat side spanked his ass, then again a tad harder. Shiro let out high squeak, trying to focus on his escape.

 

He heard the blade thud to the ground and Nadiva relaxed the grip on Shiro's throat, to then lift him like he was nothing and toss him to the floor. Shiro rolled across the sand, the loose shirt fell off and the back of his body suit ripped further apart. He groaned as he came to a stop, about two metres away from Nadiva and the weapons. He rubbed his throat, glaring daggers at his opponent as he brought himself to his feet. “You're quite resilient aren't you?”
“Don't fuck with me!” Shiro snarled, teeth bared. He clenched his fists tightly as he went back in for another attempt. Nadiva's face became focussed again, almost serene, as he deflected the first punch, but took the second one to the face. He pulled away, rubbing his cheek, but Shiro refused to let up. He grabbed the scruff of Nadiva's neckband and yanked him down with both hands. As he hit the floor, Shiro pulled his leg up and used it to flip Nadiva over the top of him, releasing the grip on the band. Nadiva landed hard on his back and groaned, rubbing teal strands from his face. He cracked his eyes open to see Shiro jump on top of him, pressing down on his chest with his knees and digging his rough fingernails into his scalp.

 

“Little half-breed learn that from his master when he's sucking Galra cock?” Nadiva smiled up at Shiro, who's face contorted with rage. He bellowed, punching him square in the nose, and he could hear the cartilage crunch. Shiro laughed, letting his head fall forward as Nadiva yelled out in pain, trying to nurse his face and pull Shiro's hand from his hair at the same time. Shiro clenched the teal strands tighter, and pulling back his fist again, he smashed it into one of those strange eyes and then the other. Shiro shifted his weight and dropped his knees either side of Nadiva's chest. He flexed his fingers and struck against his left cheek. Then the right.

 

“I. Belong. To. No. One.” Shiro spat between punches. There was purple blood smeared over his shredded knuckles, adding another splatter of colour to the almost complete rainbow on his skin. He could feel his eyes prickle as he punched, panting heavily as he struck again. This one Nadiva caught. He turned his head slowly, staring at Shiro with a single bloodshot eye. There was a ripping noise from somewhere. Shiro tensed as he turned to see two long, thin appendages; similar to those of a praying mantis unfurl. They rose above his head. He pushed himself forward, but was stabbed in the shoulders by the pointed ends. He screamed in pain as he was lifted into the air, and slowly lowered in front of Nadiva's bloody face. He raised a hand and rubbed Shiro's cheek, running a finger along his jawline and over the collar. Nadiva leaned in close, mouth a few millimetres away from Shiro's. “Then why do you wear this?” His warm breath against Shiro's lips sent shivers through his body.

 

-

 

Haggar examined the scene below with objective coldness. “Sire?”
“Are you going to ask me to let Nadiva live if somehow Champion gets out of this situation?” He watched as Nadiva's appendages pumped something into his shoulders and let Champion fall to the sand. He paced slowly around the body and kicked Champion over to his stomach. “I would like to study the biology, and see if we can engineer something similar. The same goes for the human. It has proven more hardy then initially predicted.”
“If they were going to be useful to you, why have your druids declared them fit for the arena?” Zarkon glanced over at her. “By that logic every species we enslave would be experimented on, and it's a waste of time.” She muttered, wrinkling her nose as Nadiva, now pinning Shiro through the hands with his appendages, ripped the remainder of his body suit from his back.

 

“Is this necessary, my Lord?”
“It's entertainment. Listen to the crowd.” Zarkon shifted in his chair as he listened to the caterwauling masses. “It matters not what happens, so long as those who see this broadcast know what will await them in the arena if they wish to defy my rule.” Zarkon glanced over to Sendak's box, not far from his own. The Commander's prosthetic had dug through the thick metal and he had a look of pure fury upon his face. Zarkon sniffed as he turned away. This was all part of Sendak's punishment so far as he was concerned.

 

“Would you prefer them still warm?”
“I would.”
“How far are you with your current experiments?”
“Some are a few phoebs away from completion, others are midway and some have just started. A handful have the materials necessary. Why?” Haggar gave her Emperor a sceptical look. “I want results before I will allow you further funding for these ones. Even then, you will need to seek permission.”
“I am aware of that.” Haggar rose from her chair and made for the exit, one of the druids who stood in silent vigil following. The other remained.

 

-

 

Shiro's body felt unnaturally warm. He arched his back up as he felt claws drag down his spine. The trails they left behind felt warm. It may be blood, but he didn't care. His eyelids fluttered closed as the claws ran along his sides and he let out a throaty moan. “Does your species always make this much noise?” He heard the deep rumble in his ear and Shiro moaned again. “Why's my body so hot?”
“Would you like me to help you?” He felt the clawed hands run over the curve of his ass cheeks and squeezed the muscle. Shiro sucked in some air, letting his head flop to the side. His whole body felt relaxed. “Patience.” Nadiva hushed, he retracted his appendages back below the shoulder blades and stalked over to the pair of swords. He weighed them both in each hand, before bringing them back. “This might sting a little, but I promise it'll feel good.” Nadiva leaned down and pressed his fingers to Shiro's hole. As expected, his aphrodisiac worked on this species too as his fingers came away covered in slick. Shiro whined, trying to snare Nadiva with his legs.

 

Nadiva's gaze trawled over the toned and muscular body that writhed at the slightest of touches. He did owe this human some much needed payback, after all. He grabbed both of Shiro's legs, a sword under each arm, and dragged him to the centre of the arena. He laid him onto his front and held both swords to the air. “Which one?” He bellowed. He raised his arm and earned a cheer, and then the other, which gained a louder one. Nodding, he dropped his old sword to the sand and slashed Shiro's blade straight across his chest. The wounds wouldn't be deep; he didn't want to fuck a corpse, but whatever Galra scum had to clean this human up, well he was glad it wasn't him. There'd be a lot to check. He slashed again over Shiro's nipple. He let out a sharp cry, his cock hardening and eyes rolling back. Nadiva chuckled to himself as he slashed again, and again, and again.

 

Nadiva stepped over the body and admired the cross-hatch of cuts, lines, and small gouges. Nadiva settled down at Shiro's hips, running his hands through the blood. “You never told me your name, Champion.”
“S-Shiro. P-Please, I can't take much more of this.” Shiro raised his hips and tried to catch Nadiva with his legs again. “Shiro. That's a lovely name. Don't worry, you'll be in the depths of pleasure soon.” Nadiva turned to the royal box. Zarkon hadn't ended the fight yet, but had kept looking at Sendak, who looked ready to leap into the arena. The old furball really hated his toys being played with. Shrugging his shoulders, Nadiva pulled Shiro up by the leg and rubbed his hole again. It was soaked with slick. He picked up the sword just under the hilt and aimed the tip of the hilt at Shiro's hole. He pushed it gently against his skin, then a little harder, until it slid inside with a wet noise.

 

Shiro let out a long whine as he arched his body, trying to draw whatever it was into him. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath as it breached him. It was wide, but he could take it. Everything felt soaked and he groaned as it reached his prostate. He shuddered and looked down at Nadiva through the haze. “Please, I need more.” Nadiva nodded as he twisted the handle out slowly, before pushing it back in. He twisted and thrust a few times, Shiro's screams of pleasure urging him on before feeling his own erection. Nadiva swore as he yanked to sword out and ripped a small hole in his body suit. He eased out his hemipenes; a darker grey compared to the rest of his body, and rubbed their curved heads against Shiro's gaping entrance. Shiro shivered at the bumps he could feel pressing against his hole, and whined for Nadiva, running his hands down his bloody chest.

 

Nadiva finally turned to Zarkon, who still remained watching. Sighing, he took both hemipenes and pushed them both into Shiro at once. He let out a sharp gasp as they unfurled within him and his body was overtaken with a strange fullness. “P-Please!!” Shiro begged, grinding his body against him. Nadiva cocked an eyebrow before throwing Shiro's leg over his shoulder and pulled his body closer, thrusting in deep and slow. Shiro moaned louder, gaining some purchase and thrusting back. Nadiva bit his lips; the hot and slick walls felt tight still around his cocks. His eyes fluttered closed as he picked up the pace, admiring the sweaty skin under the intense lights. He watched as Shiro grasped for his cock, slowly stroking himself.

 

“And you deny you are a whore,” Nadiva hissed as he felt himself get close. Shiro tried to respond but Nadiva gave him no chance. He dropped Shiro's leg from his shoulder but then pushed both his knees up to his chest, pulling his hips up so Shiro rested on his shoulder blades. Nadiva got himself comfortable and licked along his collar bones, lapping at the blood and making Shiro whine and moan even more, pumping his own cock until he came over his chest. Nadiva bit his lip, and his thrusts became more erratic as he got closer. Pulling out, he forced Shiro up by the hair and thrust the thickest hemipene into his mouth. Shiro gagged on it as he emptied himself, the other one splattering come over the collar and down his chest.

 

The crowds around them cheered and booed the two panting gladiators in the arena. Zarkon's face twisted in glee as he rose from his chair. “As the Champion has been incapacitated, and we have been given quite the 'show', I have decided that Nadiva of Herteris will gain the title of Champion, and his opponent, Takashi Shirogane, can re-challenge him in six phoebs time, if he so desires to reclaim his title.” Zarkon nodded down at the arena, before stepping out of the box with the druid behind him. Nadiva watched him go before looking back at Shiro, who'd flopped back to the sand panting on his side, drool running from his mouth.

 

Chapter Text

Ulaz was sat in the lounge on Central Command overlooking the docking bay. Haxus had asked him to keep an eye out for a certain battle cruiser: Ranveig's, and to message him as soon as it turned up. Sure enough, it had just come out of warp a few ticks ago.
Ranveig's ship is here. How did it go?
The reply was quick and Ulaz's stomach churned.
Fuck. You're going to be busy – Commander's furious.
Ulaz dropped the communicator on the table and ran his fingers through his short fur.

 

“I know that look.”
Ulaz turned to see Thace stood a few paces away. Thace smiled and came and settled beside him. “Overworked again?”
“It's bad.” Ulaz downed his drink and ordered another via his communicator. “Did you watch the match?” Ulaz gazed to see Thace look down at the table, resting his hands in front of him and made a derisive snort. “It...he...I don't understand.” Thace said each word slowly, and it made the fur on the back of his neck stand on end to hear him so pained. “I should go collect him. Do you want to come with me?”
“I'm actually here to meet my date,” Thace winked at Ulaz, who nodded slowly. “She's just made it in on that ship that docked.” Ulaz knew he was playing it up in case of eavesdroppers, but it was just bad. “Then you both might as well come keep me company, if your date would like to see a strange, mostly hairless alien.” Ulaz laughed softly to himself as he rose. The drink arrived as he was about to turn, and he downed it in one, handing the glass back. “Let's go meet her then.”

 

-

 

“What did Ulaz say?”
“T-They're here, Commander.” Haxus stood rigid as Sendak's gaze remained on the arena. Both fighters were tranquillised and dragged from the ring by the sentries. “You are still to prepare him and can do as you wish. Gag him as well. I am off to my meeting.” Sendak turned, fur bristling in rage as he stalked from the box. Haxus waited until he left before relaxing his position, dropping back down into the seat and staring at the twisted and punctured metal in front of him. Sendak must be pleased today at all costs; if he wasn't, the crew would have hell to pay. He swallowed, checking his communicator. He had at minimum three vargas, and needed to get to work. He was angry, and if it was his choice, Nadiva would be the one getting punished. He narrowed his eyes. That could probably be arranged.

 

-

 

“Where did they find him?” Krolia cast a cold gaze over Shiro's body.
“They've made it to the end of their solar system. Krovag picked three of them up apparently.” Ulaz muttered, injecting two needles of quintessence into Shiro's chest to kick-start the healing process. It was risky using this much, but he was on a time limit. He surveyed the lacerated flesh and rubbed the bridge of his nose; it wasn't going to be healed by today.
“Was there any-”
“No. None were Keith.” Ulaz sighed as he turned to Krolia. She nodded slowly and turned away, resting her forehead against the wall. Thace went to place a hand on her shoulder, but hesitated before pulling away. “He must still be safe with his father.” He muttered, sidling up alongside the table to survey the human himself.

 

“For how long is what I'm concerned with. I don't think we have the ability to stall them any longer.” Krolia remained in her position. “Have you let him know about the humans?”
“I did as soon as I had the chance.” Ulaz said as he placed some towels next to Shiro and dipped a thick cloth into a container of warm water, dabbing the torn skin as carefully as he could. He threw a cloth to Thace and both worked their way across Shiro's chest. “Thank you.” Krolia turned to watch them both clean the body, noting the collar and feeling her stomach churn. At least it isn't Keith. “Would you like assistance? Standing here like this makes me feel useless.”
“Draw some blood for me and place it in the machine by my terminal. I'll need to make sure there's no contamination in his blood stream. I need antiseptic as well. Top left cupboard on the back wall.” Ulaz squeezed the dirty cloth and threw it to the side, taking a clean one and continuing down his abdomen. “For how frustrating this human is, certain damage was completely unnecessary. I will say though, his will to stay alive is refreshing.”
“I didn't think you got soft spots for your patients?” Thace glanced up. “It's not a that. He doesn't back down in the face of things bigger than himself. He reminds me why we fight.” Ulaz softly patted Shiro's clean shoulder.

 

-

 

The chamber buzzed with chatter. Theories of why they were all here, the arena fights, gossip. Sendak sat near Zarkon's seat at the head of the table, drumming his claws over his arm. He glared hard at the display in front of him, trying to focus on the intelligence report he was supposed to of finished reading earlier. His ears pricked as the automatic doors opened, and he glanced to the side to see who it was. He uttered a curse to himself as Ranveig stomped in, the usual smug look upon his face.
“If he annoys you just ignore him.”
“Did I ask for your opinion, Trugg?”
“I don't fancy sitting through another one of your dick measuring contests again.” Trugg shrugged her shoulders and looked at Sendak. “Don't look so sour, it does nothing for you.”
“Noted.” The two shared a civil chuckle.

 

“Ahh, Sendak. How have you been?” Ranveig settled in a chair on the opposite side, his broad form looking far too big for the seat. Sendak leaned back. “Busy. Yourself?”
“Busier than you I bet. I took a new planet a movement ago; a bit messy but hey, it's why the Emperor sent me.” He beamed, placing his tablet into the port and engaging the display. “It was a shame I missed the arena, did get to watch it all. Lucky that the weak runt managed to survive.” He glanced up at Sendak, smug smile back on his face. “I suppose it shows; you know, who has more money than sense.” He kept his eyes, one cybernetic and the other natural, trained on Sendak. “Well,” Sendak scratched the side of his nose, “it would certainly be a bad purchase. However, the Emperor has his reasons behind gifts.” He locked eyes with Ranveig, who made a small growl before looking away.

 

The room hushed as two guards called for attention. The Commanders rose to their feet at attention in absolute silence as Zarkon came in to the chamber. He made his way along the side of the room and settled into his throne at the top of the table, Sendak to his right, and Haggar, who as usual slipped in quietly after, to his left.
“At ease.” There was a scuffle of chairs against metal and the odd creak as the commanders settled back into their seats. “I am aware that the meeting was tabled at short notice, and I am pleased to see all of High Command is accounted for.” Zarkon took stock of each commander in turn. “However it is of great haste that I call this meeting.” He tapped a button on his display and a holographic monitor appeared in the centre of the table above them. It was an image of a robotic lion. Gasps filled the room as they all stared at the projection.

 

“There are intelligence reports that the Red Lion has been uncovered by rebels in the Raxgarian System in the Quaserian Quadrant.” Zarkon tapped his claw and the display changed to a map of the empire. It flashed green on a galaxy near the edge of the map and zoomed in several times to the system in question. “Although intelligence is still trying to establish whether this is correct, this is the first time in deca-phoebs we had any specific evidence of a location. Moving forward, I will be reallocating commanders to compensate for the search efforts.” The holographic display above the table disappeared, and Zarkon leaned back in his chair. “High Command will not be changing, however Commander's Sendak, Trugg, Ladnok, Gnov, Janka, and Ranveig will be pulled from their current responsibilities and operations to stay with the main fleet. Sendak and Ranveig, you may nominate a Lieutenant to oversee your role duties as you see fit. You will all be taking an advisory role, like Commander Gnov.” Zarkon motioned to Gnov, who bowed her head in gratitude.

 

“Commander Prorok will be supported by Commander Mar directing Central's fleets due to the increased activity, while Commander Branko,” Zarkon glared at Branko, “will be taking his fleet to assist Ranveig's on the front lines. Commander Morvok will be overseeing Janka's supply chain.” Zarkon's eyes narrowed as the tiny commander sat almost near the end of the table pumped his fist in celebration. It was easier to keep him as far away as possible, the cowardly brown-noser. The commanders around him hushed and elbowed Morvok back into silence. One large positive of assigning Morvok was that he was incompetent, and with Janka having the second-largest fleet in the Empire, Zarkon wanted to put him back in his place.

 

“If you are stationed at a Communication station or overseeing mining planets, you will be exempt from searching, but must offer one cruiser for the search. Finally, those of you around the table who have not been singled out will be tasked with hunting down the rebels and combing the systems.” Zarkon turned to the members of High Command, “I expect to see submissions by the start of the night-cycle regarding who you are leaving in charge. Some of you will be given new systems to oversee, however the extra support and fleets should be sufficient.” Zarkon watched his commanders faces. Some looked anxious, others seemed excited. It was a good way to work out which would be effective moving forward.

 

“Haggar also has news to share.” Zarkon turned to her and she nodded slowly, standing from her seat to address the room.
“We have developed a way to possibly detect the signal of the Lions. This will be sent to you via the communicators within a quintant, along with information pertaining to rebel forces and their ships. Your feedback will be required on its effectiveness. I can also confirm the Komar experiment will be ready for testing within a few more phoebs. Any suggestions of planets with a populace would be useful for initial testing.” Haggar gazed around the room, which remained deathly silent. She sat herself back down. Zarkon cleared his throat. “On to other business.”

 

-

 

“Ulaz, is he- I don't recall authorising a party in the medical bay.” Haxus blinked as he stepped into the room, eyes darting between the three officers stood around the body on the table. “L-Lieutenant Haxus. I was just showing Lieutenant Thace and Officer Krolia the human. They were most intrigued from the arena matches earlier.” Ulaz smiled wryly. Haxus nodded slowly. “I did not see their names signed in on the ship's log.”
“That is my fault.” Ulaz dropped his head. “I had to quickly attend to the prisoner due to the severity of his wounds. I will not make the mistake again.”
“See to it you do not. It is nice to see you, Lieutenant Thace. Was it Krolia?”
“Yes sir.” Krolia stood to attention. “I am intelligence on Commander Ranveig's ship. Please accept my apologies, I have never seen a human up close. Their bodies are...strange. Furless.” She glanced over at the table awkwardly. “The lack of fur is distressing.” This earned a small chuckle from the others around. “Well they say the thicker the fur, the better the mate.” Thace patted Krolia's shoulder.

 

Haxus cleared his throat and all but Thace stood to attention. “The Commander has required him. Is he able to function?”
“He has sustained damage that is healing at present. Medically speaking he needs rest.”
“Quintessence?”
“Two large doses. Administered four vargas ago. He should be waking up from the tranquillisers soon.” Ulaz watched Haxus weigh up what he needed to do. He was always far too easy to read.

 

“What has happened with the new Champion?”
“I am yet to see him.”
“You don't need to. He will heal fine.” Haxus moved forward and looked down at the naked body. He could finally see in detail all the slashes across the slave's chest. “I'm making a change to your rota. Since you are with friends, you can take the night off. You will need to start early however. I suspect you will be busy tomorrow.” Haxus stared intently at Ulaz, who nodded slowly as he understood the meaning. “Thank you, Lieutenant Haxus. Shall we be off?” Ulaz turned to Krolia and Thace, who nodded in agreement.

 

“Urgh...”
The four Galra looked around to see the slave open his eyes slowly. He gazed at them and tried to sit up, hissing in pain and slumping back down. “I'll carry him.” Haxus moved to the table and with ease scooped him up bridal style. He nodded to the others and swiftly made an exit. Ulaz, bit his lip as the door swished shut behind him, and flopped back into his chair. “You wonder why I drink?” He muttered. Thace and Krolia padded over, rubbing a shoulder each. “You can get through this, brother,” Krolia smiled. Ulaz felt Thace smooth the fur on the back of his neck. He was good at calming him down.

 

Haxus gently placed the slave on Sendak's sofa. From his bag, he placed two big packets of salted meats on the terminal and sighed heavily at the human. “I will run you a bath. Wait.”
“Is this Sendak's room?”
“Yes.”
“Why am I here?” Haxus studied the slave before moving to the bathroom. He heard a loud hiss – he'd probably tried to get up. He leaned over the side of the bath, turning the taps on, and grabbed a few bottles. He'd need get rid of Nadiva's scent as thoroughly as he could, because even through the antiseptic, Haxus could smell the sickly sweet scent on the slave's skin. Scents Sendak recognised would please him, and right now that's what he focused on.

 

He came back into the living quarters to find the slave sat up, running his fingers across the wounds, a small frown on his face. “Come here. I need to check you.” Haxus watched him drop his hands to his knees before slowly walking over, a pained look as he soothed his ass. “Do you remember what happened?”
“Kinda. It's still hazy.”
“Turn around.” Haxus narrowed his eyes at lines of scabbed skin all over him. The shallow cuts on his chest were almost gone, but there was still a lot there. He pressed his hands against the body firmly, checking for any signs of broken bones. That all seemed fine. He ushered the slave into the bathroom and stopped the taps. He pushed him forward towards the water.

 

Tentatively, Shiro tested the water with his foot. Humming in appreciation, he got in the tub. He was fine until the water covered his ass; that made him yelp.
“Whats wrong now?”
“It...stings.”
“Stand and lean over.”
“I...”
“You can't check your own rear unless humans are that flexible. Considering the arena, I don't think it matters much any more. The Empire has seen you at your most intimate.” Haxus huffed. Shiro stared wide-eyed at him. “What do you...? No. No no no.”
“Fights are broadcast. Now bend over. That's an order.” Haxus moved towards Shiro, who complied out of shock. They recorded everything? No. This was worse, so much worse. If it was broadcast, what if Matt or Sam saw it? They'd have seen him fight like that, seen him come undone. No.

 

Shiro felt claws spread his cheeks apart. He swallowed down a large lump in his throat as he felt them trace the skin, poking and stroking. He'd expected it to be more painful. “You have a hairline tear here,” Haxus smoothed his finger just below his hole, “but it's in surprisingly good condition considering you were sodomised with a sword and hemipenes. I suppose that's the quintessence.” He poked his finger a bit harder, making Shiro whine. “Don't touch there.”
“Why?” Haxus poked it again and earned another noise.
“B-because it's sensitive!” Shiro's voice caught in his throat. “I would have never of guessed.” Haxus muttered, his hot breath tickling Shiro between the thighs. “Now in the bath with you. Go.” Haxus pulled back and tapped Shiro's ass. Groaning in frustration, Shiro lowered himself steadily. He took a deep breath and hissed out loudly as he submerged his body. He tested moving, the water gently lapping against his scarred skin. That was ok. This would be ok.

 

“I will be washing you.”
“I can do it myself.”
“No. You are to let me wash you thoroughly. I will need to scrub you down for the Commander.” Haxus took a rough brush and Shiro coughed loudly. “That's going to just rip the scabs off my skin. Do you have a flannel? It needs to be soft.” He looked around for something. “Will this do?” Haxus produced something similar to a loofah from a small drawer near the bath. Shiro opened his mouth, then closed it. He ran his fingers over the beige item; it was sufficiently soft. Haxus pushed his hand against Shiro's shoulder. “Lay down.” Shiro slowly let himself sink into the large bath, a pained smile on his lips as the water lapped against his sore back. He was uncertain why Haxus seemed to know Sendak's place so intimately. “Why does Sendak have something soft like that? How's that any good for washing?” Haxus looked anywhere else but at Shiro as he applied the teak coloured gel to it. “Arm.” Shiro brought up his arm and Haxus scrubbed him. He wasn't as rough as Shiro was expecting, and he closed his eyes as Haxus pulled his other arm up. It could be considered relaxing. Especially considering earlier. His memories had started to come back, a feeling of nausea curling in his stomach. Alongside it he felt the flames of rage slowly flicker to life. As soon as he saw him again, he'd have him.

 

“I'm coming in. It's very awkward to wash you like this.” Shiro's bubble burst as he whipped his head to Haxus as he unclipped his armour. Shiro scooted down the other end of the bath and drew his legs up against his chest. Haxus looked him over and shrugged. “I carried you here naked and have been washing you. Now you have a problem?”
“It's just intimate; one of my captors just casually getting in the bath with me. Naked.” Shiro muttered, fiddling with his collar. “Well I'm not going to wear my body suit. I need to remove that to clean you properly.” Haxus snapped his claws at Shiro's collar and placed his hand on the side of his neck. It clicked, and he pulled away, seeing a ring of dirt and blood.

 

Shiro watched him place it down and unzip his body suit, letting it drop to the floor. He ran a hand through his short fur and turned. His body was littered with scars; some nicks and others deep gouges. His eyes trailed down to the small waist and strong thighs. Shiro swallowed again as Haxus sat himself down at the other end of the large bath. “I know, I have an excellent physique.” He pulled Shiro towards him, settling him between his legs. Shiro watched him reach for the soft loofah and gel again, then a few seconds later felt a strong clawed hand on his shoulder as he scrubbed against his skin. He let out a soft whine when Haxus scrubbed between his knotted shoulder blades. He arched his back; that actually felt good. There was a soft chuckle behind him as Haxus moved down his spine, making pleasant circle motions. Shiro closed his eyes as he leaned forward. It felt really good; the last time he did anything like this was with Adam in the shower three months before Kerberos. That had quickly turned to sex, along with all the other times they'd had showers together.

 

“Turn.”
Shiro moved himself around; his body had slowly gotten less sore since he got in the water. Haxus finished squirting the gel and pulled Shiro close to his chest, placing Shiro's arms either side of his head. He tilted Shiro's head up as held him by the jaw as he gently cleaned his neck. Shiro could see himself in the wall-length mirror opposite; the position Haxus had him could be viewed as riding him. He swore to himself, dropping his head, he didn't want to think of Haxus and his weird alien dick. No. Nope. “Are you alright?” Haxus smugly asked, his voice a rumble near Shiro's ear as he squeezed the loofah over his nipple, hand tightening on his hip. “Why?”
“You seem aroused.” Haxus ran his clawed finger down Shiro's skin to a few centimetres away from the base of his cock, voice completely deadpan. Shiro looked down between his arms to see a semi-hard erection.

 

He pushed himself away from the edge of the bath and covered his body. “Should I let you clean around there? I don't know how soft I need to be.” Haxus passed Shiro the loofah, who took it quickly. He turned away from Haxus, squirting some liquid onto it as he shifted to a raised position. He looked at the loofah and then his cock, and decided it was best to ease it with his hands. He placed the loofah to the side after making sure his hands were soapy, and massaged his cock until it was thoroughly lathered, his brows knitted together as he focussed on making sure it was clean before he went back to days or weeks feeling filthy. He reached for the loofah, but turned to see Haxus holding it. “You will stay will you are and wash here.” He ordered coolly tapping his ass as he handed it back to Shiro. Shiro made a small huff and arched his back as he scrubbed his ass cheeks. His face flushed as he stared hard at the wall in front of him, realising the other places he needed to still clean. “You're enjoying this, aren't you?” Shiro glanced back at Haxus, who grinned, letting out a loud purr. “Fuck sake.”
“If you don't finish cleaning I will scrub you hard.”
“I know.” Shiro used his left arm to support himself against the side of the bath as he leaned forward and spread his legs. Slipping his right arm between them, and cleaned as quickly and thoroughly as he could. He really didn't want Haxus having a free show when he needed to clean certain places.

 

“Happy?” Shiro thrust the loofah into the water, wringing it of the suds.
“Somewhat aroused. I did not realise humans had hairs around there, or on the front, or the legs.”
“Are you aroused at me washing, or my body hair?” Shiro clenched his jaw and glared at the wall in front of him as he sat back down in the bath. Haxus gently pulled him back by his shoulders. “I will wash your hair. Lay down.” Shiro did as he was told, although concerned that Haxus would just drown him in the bath tub. He felt his hands massage his scalp, paying attention to his fringe that had been frequently abused as of late. “Do all humans have hair like this?”
“No. It's just a style we have it cut to. I like it this way.” Shiro closed his eyes. “What about how dark it is?”
“Humans hair ranges from black through white. Eye colour changes as well.” Shiro let himself be pulled up as Haxus lathered the shampoo that smelt close to manuka honey. Matt used manuka honey shampoo. He looked at the greying water around him, wondering where Matt was now. He didn't move when Haxus went to pull him down, but did jerk back to reality when a pointed claw pressed against his asshole. “I need to wash it out.” He said. Shiro muttered an apology and laid back, eyes boring a hole into the ceiling.

 

What am I doing bathing with the enemy? He bit his lip, heartbeat raising. “Lieutenant Haxus, permission to speak?”
“You're being exceedingly formal. But permitted.”
“Prisoners...117-9876 and 117-9874,” he paused, adamant he was right, “would you be able to confirm their status?” God he hoped this worked. He watched Haxus's eyebrows raise, a small grin on his face. “Very good, slave.” He stroked Shiro's cheek like you would a pet. “If you do something for me later, I think I might just be able to get you that information.”
“You said the price would depend.”
“I'm even more pleased you remembered.” Haxus finished smoothing the suds out and let Shiro sit back up. He pulled Shiro into his chest, slinging an arm across his waist and stroking his thigh. “If you can behave this well for the Commander later, I'm very certain I can let you know soon.”
“Thank you, Lieutenant.”
“Oh, that wasn't my full price.” Haxus squeezed the back of Shiro's thigh, and he understood, the nausea threatening to actually make him sick.

 

Getting out of the bath, Shiro handed a towel to Haxus and then took one for himself. He bent down to look at the collar. He chewed his tongue as he looked at the blood and filth, but bent over the side of the bath and pulled out the loofah. He gave it a firm scrub, rotating the collar to inspect for any tiny piece of dirt. “Lieutenant?” Shiro offered it to Haxus, who took a few moments to judge it before clicking it back on Shiro's neck. “It is good you did not need to be prompted. The Commander will be pleased.” Haxus ruffled his damp hair. He let himself be led out of the room as the bath drained to the sofa. Being made to sit, Haxus paced towards a bag by the terminal.

 

He dumped it on the table, the contents rattling as it hit the glass. “Open the bag and lay out the contents.” Haxus settled on the sofa opposite him. Shiro frowned at the bag as he pulled it over and unzipped it. Sticking his hand in, he felt something cold. He ran his fingers over it, finding it was made of several linked pieces. Sighing loudly, Shiro tugged it from the bag. “Chains. Should I be surprised?”
“I would be shocked if you were.” Haxus shrugged his shoulders as Shiro let them clatter to the table. “Wall, ceiling, or bed?”
“Bed.” Haxus grinned as he lazily pulled the chains over and started to untangle them. “Continue.” Shiro groaned as he pulled the bag to his lap and dug around. He set a collection of plugs that increased in size on the table, something similar to a bit you'd put in a horse's mouth, and three tubes of liquid that he could only hope was lube. Assessing the items, he rested his face in his hands. “Would my assumption be correct that when you said about preparing me for the commander, it wasn't just having a bath?”
“That's an astute and correct assumption. So long as you comply, I will find out the status of the other prisoners.” Haxus crossed his leg over the other and observed Shiro. “It's ultimately a fair deal; we both get things for those we care about. If you dishonour our agreement, well...I'd hate to be in your shoes anyway.” Haxus gave the chains a quick shake and rose, taking them through the other door in Sendak's quarters. “Go collect my things and rinse the bath.”

 

Shiro entered the bedroom reluctantly, a knot in his stomach. The bed was huge with the chains coiled in the corners. Shiro placed Haxus's suit and armour neatly on the floor, hesitating near the door. He had a head start if he tried to make a run for it. “Come lay here without the towel.” Haxus patted the spot behind him, scratching his shoulder nonchalantly. Shiro swallowed, Adams apple tight against the collar. He moved carefully to the huge bed and climbed up. Haxus reached out and grabbed him with his long arms then pushed him down on his stomach. He felt the mattress move and creak as he felt soft fur brush against his skin as Haxus settled on top of his ass. It almost tickled. “Hands above your head.” Haxus muttered, hot breath against Shiro's neck. He complied and winced when Haxus tightly gripped them. He felt his rough tongue run down his back; twinges of pleasure rippling through his body as it dipped between his muscles. Shiro shuddered as Haxus ran his other hand down along his side.

 

Shame swelled in Shiro's stomach and it got tighter as he felt the hand massage his ass cheek, the deft tongue licking small circles around his tail bone. He let out a soft hiss as it dipped a bit lower, which earned a harsh chuckle from Haxus who nipped at the flesh lightly. Shiro squeaked, pressing himself into the mattress and trying to imagine it was anyone else. He had to comply. He could get information for doing it. What was his pride worth for Matt and Sam? He jerked from his thoughts as the rough tongue licked against his hole, teasing the entrance briefly, before lapping over his taint. “N-No.” He whined. “No? Your body seemed to like it.”
“My body reacts to stimulus, that doesn't mean I want it.” He couldn't believe he had to explain this; he felt completely nonplussed. “You're going to have to accept it's happening and learn to enjoy it.” Haxus licked again, earning another shudder again. “It'll be easier for you, like complying.” He teased Shiro's hole again, pushing his tongue in deeper. Shiro pressed his face into the blanket, groaning loudly. He had to bear it; at least it wasn't Matt or Keith. He grit his teeth; if anyone ever touched them, he'd kill them himself.

 

“On your knees and spread yourself.” Haxus commanded, taking one of the small bottles and placing it next to Shiro. He pushed Shiro's face down into the mattress and leaned back. “Now put on a nice show for me, better than the one in the bath.” He taunted as he leaned back on the bed, taking his cock in his hand. Shiro swallowed as he noted it's length. It was very similar to Sendak's, but the ridges looked more like small bumps. He unscrewed the cap and squeezed a modest amount out, before placing a hand between his legs and rubbing it slowly over his hole. Haxus purred as he watched, and Shiro closed his eyes to focus his efforts. He pushed two fingers in and slowly scissored his entrance, trying to stifle his moans. It was a lot looser then it should be, but after what he'd remembered in the arena, it wasn't a surprise. If he saw Nadiva again, he knew he'd snap.

 

“Play with yourself more.”
“Yes sir.”
“And refer to me as sir, I like that.” Haxus narrowed his eyes as he grabbed Shiro's wrist and forced his hand in rougher. “Roughness is what Galra like. We are not tender.”
“Yes...sir.” Shiro bit his lip as he pulled his fingers out to move his hand, and for good measure inserted a third finger. He used his other hand to pump himself with slow but rough movements, screwing his eyes shut as the heat rose internally. He started to pant as he built up a good rhythm, and that feeling of needing more, which usually he loved, started to surface. He refused to beg.

 

“Oh? Are you getting needy?” Haxus leaned in, stroking his inner thigh. Shiro didn't respond as his breath hitched in his chest. He rolled his hips and moaned into the blankets. “I have something for you,” he indicated to his leaking swollen cock, “would you like to feel it?” He took the bottle of liquid and poured some over himself, smoothing it in. Shiro watched his hand slide over the soft, rounded spikes on the head and licked his lips absently as the lube shined off the small bumps. Shiro bit his lip, piercing the skin to temper himself. No. He would not beg. As if he could read minds, Haxus pulled back. “If you don't answer me, I'll just have to put your collar to use. Oh, and no information,” he simpered. Shiro stopped fingering himself. “You can't. We made a deal.”
“I can and will. Answer.” He dug his claws into Shiro's skin, on the verge of piercing it. “I...Yes. I would like to feel it, sir.”
“Better.” Haxus made a loud purr as he yanked Shiro by his legs towards him. He got on his knees and steadied himself, pushing down deep into him without any notice. “My, you humans are quite spacious.” He crowed, pushing himself in to the hilt.

 

Shiro tried to scream out as Haxus stretched and pierced right into his prostate. Pain shot through him like electricity. He felt the strong hands push his shoulders down as Haxus drew out to the tip before thrusting sharply back in. “You know,” Haxus panted, “I really do like how bloodthirsty you are. Your fights are,” he thrust extra hard, making Shiro cry out, “some of the first in a long time I've found titillating.” He pulled out and with ease flipped Shiro on to his back. “I want to watch that pretty little face of yours.” He bared down, lifting Shiro's legs against his chest and pushing himself back in with a wet pop. Shiro tried to pull back, but the claws now around his hips dug in, piercing the skin. “Stay!” Haxus snarled, his lips curling back to reveal sharp teeth. He stared down at Shiro's chest, a mad glint in his eyes. “I can't wait to see you back in the arena, more scars across your body.” He traced one of the small gouges under Shiro's nipple.

 

Shiro tried to scream out again at the white-hot pain. It felt like his organs were getting churned up. It's all for Matt and Sam, it's all for Matt and Sam. Patience yields focus. He groaned out as he felt his cock squeezed. He was already close; had been for a while, but at this rate he wasn't going to get to finish at all. Everything was painful and he just wanted it to end. Suddenly, Haxus pulled himself out. He yanked Shiro by the fringe as he crawled over his chest, forcing his mouth open and shoving his cock in. Hot come erupted into his mouth for the second time today. His eyes rolled back and the corners prickled with tears as he gagged on the thick and sticky liquid. “Swallow it all. Then clean me up.” Haxus ordered, rubbing the top of his head as he slowly came down. Shiro would glare at him if he could, but for now he had to focus on dealing with the hot mess in his mouth.

 

Finally he was allowed to fall back into the bed, panting heavily and covered in a thin layer of sweat. “There's a bit of blood.” Haxus noted, pulling Shiro's leg up and lapping against the skin. He cried out for the umpteenth time today, his own neglected cock twitching for release. “I have something for that. You have to wait for the Commander before you can.” Haxus pulled something out from a drawer beside the bed, Shiro eyeing the small metal ring with disdain. “I don't want Sendak's old cock ring. Or yours. I don't know anymore.” He snapped, but his protest was ignored as Haxus clipped it around him. “I also need to finish getting you ready. Your teeth need cleaning, they look disgusting.”
“I'm aware, because no one has given me a damn toothbrush since I've been captured!” Shiro growled. Outside of the lack of showers and other hygiene facilities, he hated the gross taste in his mouth, which had been added to by the third alien who'd came in his mouth within the last day or however long it had been. Haxus rounded on Shiro, squishing his cheeks together. “Talk to me again like that, and I will rip your cock off and fuck your own ass with it. Understand?” To put his threat across, he gripped Shiro tightly, pushing his claws in and breaking the skin. Shiro screeched and curled into himself, glaring at Haxus as he pulled himself off the bed. “You'll also need this.” Haxus threw the largest plug at the bed. “Put it in.”

 

-

 

Sendak stalked down the hall, rubbing his eyes. When Zarkon had allowed questions after everyone gave their reports, the newer commanders would not shut up. There were arguments; Branko pleaded about going to hunt for the the Red Lion, and was thankfully punched in the face by Ladnok, then Gnov and Janka got into a debate about his fleet. He was looking forward to the salted meats and venting his frustrations.

 

“Sendak.” Sendak stopped, growling in frustration. “What are you after, Ranveig?”
“Oh, nothing. Just wondering what my old comrade is up to these days.” Ranveig slapped his shoulder hard and leaned down. “I mean, you got a really cushy job just transporting prisoners and patrolling one of the quietest quadrants in the Empire. You're getting a reputation for being soft; especially after allowing a bottom-bitch like that into the arena.”
“That 'bottom-bitch' killed Myzax.” Sendak shoved Ranveig's hand from his shoulder.
“And he was going to die eventually. It was luck.”
“Are you really thinking the Emperor would give me something weak? You insult our Emperor?” Sendak turned on his heel and brought himself toe-to-toe with Ranveig. He was a few inches taller, but Sendak knew he was the stronger of the pair.

 

“I think you're trying to save face. I saw the bid you placed.”
“Then ask the Emperor yourself.” Sendak glared into the cybernetic eye and raised his prosthetic arm slowly. Ranveig snorted, pushing past Sendak. “Your slave gets being a bitch from you. If the Emperor asked you to suck his cock you'd bend over backwards...if you haven't before.” He laughed at the guttural snarl from behind him and felt the prosthetic arm punch him in the back. “Now, now, Commander. We have to be professional. See you around.” He raised his hand as he walked away, Sendak glowering after him, a thunderous growl in his throat. Ranveig would pay for his disrespect.

 

Chapter Text

Sendak burst into the room, fur fluffed up. “He's in the bedroom ready.” Haxus looked up at him from the sofa, gaze sharpening. “Ranveig?”
“We'll talk later, Haxus. Is he prepared?”
“He is. You were still okay for me to...?”
“You know I would be; I trust you.” Sendak clapped his hand down on Haxus's arm, giving it a small squeeze. “Are you sorting out the new cell tonight?”
“I am. I see we need to hold it in there too.”
“With you in charge for now, I'm sure everything will work out.” Sendak rumbled as he unclipped his armour and placed it on the sofa. Haxus saluted him and left in a hurry.

 

When Sendak had stripped down to his body suit, he made his way to the bedroom. His ears had picked up the rattle of chains and almost inaudible sobs coming from his slave. “Are you enjoying your position?” Sendak purred as he stepped through the threshold, leaning against the door frame to admire his form. His slave had managed to bend his knees, raising himself from the sheets. His back arched beautifully; muscles taut and metal bit in his mouth. He whipped his head to Sendak, eyes wild and body twitching. The desperate whines and groans were stifled by the metal. Sendak let his eyes trail down to his stiff cock, chuckling at the ring around it that buzzed intermittently. The plug in his ass was a vibrating one, it's soft hum in the background. “It seems that Haxus prepared you well,” he drawled, unclipping his suit slowly as he moved towards the bed. The slave's muffled screams was music to his ears, and Sendak chuckled darkly as he scrabbled against the bed, the chains rattling but inhibiting his escape.

 

“You almost put up a good fight earlier,” Sendak sat naked on the edge of the bed, running a hand along the damp skin. “I was disappointed in the end. You became too arrogant in your victories and misjudged your opponent.” He pressed a claw against the slave's nipple and watched his body jolt and try to twist away, screaming something in retort. He shook his head at Sendak, small tears in the corners of his eyes. “You dare insult me?” Sendak pressed hard enough to draw blood, making the slave scream again in agony. He smashed his head against the pillows behind him, writhing and panting heavily. “...O!”
“Oh?” Sendak pulled himself closer, lapping at the blood. “I don't understand, speak up.” He licked again, teasing the strange nub that made his slave choke back a moan. He tried to speak again, but it was incomprehensible. “Regardless, your loss and subsequent display with that dreck has called into question my reputation, and I will not be disrespected.” Sendak settled himself on top of his chest, relaxing so the slave took all of his weight. Wild grey eyes looked pleadingly up at him as he struggled, making throaty groans and whimpers, his breathing quickly starting to falter as he writhed in desperation. A large smile formed on Sendak's lips and he slowly knelt up and gave the slave a few ticks to take deep breaths.

 

“You have rested enough,” he muttered. Sendak shifted to settle over the slaves hips, placing his prosthetic hand down against the skin. All splayed out, it was almost as wide as the broad chest. Sendak dug the claws in and slowly dragged them together; the slave letting out a pained shriek and rolling his head back, sweat running down his forehead. Sendak reopened the healing gouges and ignored the choked sobs from under him, more fascinated by the dark blood that contrasted against the pale skin. He hummed to himself as he smeared it across the slave's chest and bent down to lick the wounds he had inflicted clean. It was less metallic in taste compared to Galra blood. He teased his tongue in one of the gouges he'd made, chuckling as the scrabbling started again. His slave tried to buck him off: an inconsequential action.

 

Sendak moved again, this time between his spread legs. He nudged the plug with his finger, watching him squirm again. “I bet you'd like this out?” The slave's head nodded furiously in agreement and he pushed his hips towards Sendak, moaning at what the movement must have done internally. Sendak twisted the plug around roughly, before pulling it out and throwing it to the sheets. His golden eyes caught the small smile of relief as he dropped to the mattress, chest heaving. Sendak looked down at the twitching hole. He placed a finger inside up to the knuckle and curled it round, earning a garbled noise. “Would you like me to take the bit off?” He received a vigorous nod and leaned down, unclipping the mouthpiece.

 

He watched his slave close his eyes and swallow. He blinked slowly up at Sendak, eyes cloudy. “P-Please, Commander,” his voice was like a whisper as he raised his hips. Sendak let out a hollow laugh as he placed another finger in. “When I'm done playing with you. Patience.” He focused on massaging the hole; the toy was good to keep him looser, but he did enjoy making his slaves squirm by doing it himself. The moans and whimpers stirred the arousal in his gut, and made his cock stiffen quicker.

 

Sendak leaned down, pressing his tongue to his slave's cock. He bucked his hips and let out a low groan, the head leaking pre-come onto his abdomen. “You can get to work on this.” Sendak rose and dropped to his knees above his face. He pressed his cock against his lips. The slave glared at it, then him, but opened his mouth regardless. Sendak pushed himself down, grabbing his fringe and hitting the back of his throat with ease. “I should have you in this position more!” He laughed, quickening his pace.

 

If Shiro thought something could puncture his throat; this was it. Tears streamed down the sides of his face and any saliva he had made was trying to lubricate his dry throat in vain. His eyes rolled back, and somehow the entire thing got worse when Sendak moved his hand just above the collar and squeezed. Shiro choked. He couldn't handle this: it was too much. He coughed and spluttered, arms and legs thrashing about as he tried to scream through the thick dick in his mouth. Sendak pulled it out, letting it rest on Shiro's face, it's musky scent going straight up his nose. He lifted his head as best he could and tried to regulate his breathing again, coughing spit into Sendak's fur.

 

“How can you please me if you keep choking?” Sendak snapped, pushing himself in again. Shiro tried to make a noise of protest, but it was replaced by a pained croak as Sendak grabbed his abused hair again. He thrust slower into his mouth, but had taken to stroking his inner thighs with that prosthetic arm. Shiro hoped he wouldn't tear up the sensitive skin there. After what felt like forever and with a mix between a groan and a snarl, Sendak shot his come into Shiro's mouth. Shiro felt brief reprieve as he begrudgingly swallowed it down. “You look exquisite.” Sendak purred at him, smoothing the wet threads of saliva and come into Shiro's skin.

 

Shiro watched Sendak through tired eyes as he moved back to between his legs; an expression of pure glee on his face as he dragged his hand down Shiro's inner thigh. “You still need to learn how to pleasure me effectively.” Sendak pushed a clawed finger against his taint and earned a small hiss in response. “You've got the rest of your life to perfect it.” Shiro clung to the hope he'd have escaped long before then. He let out a quiet moan as Sendak fingered him vigorously, screwing his eyes shut.

 

The mattress moved beneath him, and he cracked open an eye to see Sendak releasing one of his legs. Shiro rotated the ankle and flexed the muscles; he'd been too distracted to by the toys and other pain that he'd become numb to the burning in his wrists and ankles. “It'll be easier like this.” Sendak muttered, holding the leg against his chest and pressing his cock against Shiro's hole. Finally, I can be done of this. Shiro pushed himself against the hardness, trying to ease him in. A dark growl came from above him.

 

A cold darkness smothered his face, the pressure enough to hurt but not crush his skull. “You dare? Don't you think of pushing against me like you did that dreck from the arena!”
“I didn't do it willingly!” Shiro rasped out, pulling at the restraints in blind panic. “You think I wanted it?”
“I think your actions and the amount you begged is all the answer I need.” Sendak spat. Shiro felt the pressure around his entrance disappear, but wasn't prepared for the sharp claws slashing across his thigh, then slowly down the other. He shrieked, but it came out staggered. Sendak snarled again as his chest was clawed at. “You.” A slash. “Are.” Another slash. “Mine.” A final slash. The pain fired through his body until he couldn't take it. Shiro let his body fall lax. The physical and mental exhaustion from the arena, the multiple violations, and the stress had finally fried his mind. He was done.

 

He felt numb to the the hardness as it pushed its way inside him roughly. The grunts felt like they were miles away; somewhat muffled by the ringing in his ears. He was aware his body was moving, but he didn't feel any connection. It was like he could almost get out of this vessel made of flesh and float away, but something still anchored him here. Maybe it was because the darkness has lifted, and something cold was clutching him under his body. At least he was being compliant. Haxus would let him know where Matt and Sam were then. Sendak couldn't be angry any more, he wasn't fighting him or running his mouth. He was a good boy. Poster boy of the Garrison. Ace pilot and Lieutenant; Takashi Shirogane. Shoulder number 13589. Good boy. His interior monologue was getting caught up in the static, until it was all he could hear.

 

He was too pliant and quiet. Sendak growled low and gave a sharp thrust. It earned nothing but an almost inaudible squeak. He clamped his prosthetic harder around the slave's waist, squeezing him. Nothing but him tensing, and Sendak wasn't sure his slave was aware of what his body was doing. He didn't like this. They either fought back or screamed; there was never disconcerting silence. “Where is your self-respect? What happened to the fight that burned inside you?” He snarled, baring down over the limp body. He pulled the slave's face from the side and growled at the glassy eyes that seemed to stare right through him. Sendak let his face droop back to the side and let out a long hiss. He was close, but what kind of claim was he making to his slave if it was unresponsive? There was no honour in claiming a victory when the enemy surrendered, and it was the same case here.

 

Sendak came hard into his slave. He removed the ring, which had stopped vibrating a while ago now, and stroked his slave to orgasm while he waited for his own cock to soften before he removed himself. He dropped the slave to the bed, wondering if he would move by his own accord. He didn't, just laid there breathing heavily. “Slave. Look at me.” Sendak felt something knot in his stomach. It was like he was being mocked; that his slave dared disrespect him by feigning ignorance. He unshackled his other leg and then each arm. The slave remained where he was, staring like Sendak didn't exist. He let out feral snarl, lips pulled back as he drew his hand up.

 

Shiro was brought out of the static when it felt like a brick had been smashed into his face. He yelled out, nursing his burning cheek and curling in on himself. There was something warm everywhere and he couldn't tell whether it was inside or outside. He uncurled himself, a strained noise rising in his throat as he noticed all the blood. “You are responsive, finally.” Sendak was sat naked beside him, his claws and cock covered in blood, likely Shiro's. “Did I make you angry?”
“You did.”
“Are you happy now?” His voice was barely audible. There was a long pause, but no answer came. Shiro lifted his head slowly, pulling himself closer to Sendak and nuzzling into his chest. “Let me do better. I won't disappoint you again. I promise.”
“On your honour?” Sendak tugged at his collar, rubbing his fingertip over Shiro's Adam's apple. Shiro took Sendak's bloody hand in his and raised it to his mouth and tentatively licked over the top of one of the claws. “On my honour.” His mind was numb to everything right now, the only thing that he knew was that if he swore on his honour, that would make Sendak happy. If he was happy he would get information. Information meant he could plan his next steps.

 

Sendak was confused with his slave. It was like he rebooted into another person after his trance or whatever it was he'd done. He observed him make gentle licks over his fingers and palms, occasionally placing a single digit in his mouth to suck and lap away the blood. “You swear you didn't enjoy what the dreck did to you?” He pulled the slave up into his lap, steadying him in place. “I swear.” He placed his hands on Sendak's shoulders, staring him in the eyes. “You'd be able to tell if I was lying.” Sendak hummed in agreement, running his slightly damp fingers through his slave's hair. “I need to finish.” He muttered, leaning down and taking Sendak in his mouth. Sendak grunted, tightening his grip on his scalp as he watched. He'd planned to grab a bath but this would do for now. It also seemed his human was better at giving oral then he'd been led to believe. Sendak glanced over the slave's body; though a bloody mess, he did enjoy seeing his come dripping down between his legs. He purred, flopping back and letting the human work him thoroughly in his hands. Perhaps he could come again today – it had been a long one.

 

-

 

He felt on the verge of passing out as Sendak carried him. They were going back to his cell apparently. The purple light hurt his eyes, but it was compounded on the pain coursing through his entire body. They'd fucked again; Sendak had let him ride him this time. No chains, no hair pulling, no bit or plugs. It could almost be considered 'normal' if he hadn't been screaming for the Commander to fuck him, on his order of course. He'd been shown some kindness as well; some salted meat that was like jerky, a drink, his wounds bandaged and cleaned, and a new set of clothes. He rubbed small circles into the back of the Commander's armour, but he probably couldn't feel it.

 

Something hissed and they stepped into a slightly darker room. Sendak tensed for a moment, which roused Shiro to look round. His heart skipped a beat; Nadiva was there. “Calm.” Sendak's voice was cold as he paced to the other side of the room, setting Shiro down on the cot. This isn't my cell. He watched Sendak move towards Nadiva, curled on the floor and panting.

 

“You took my slave without my permission.”
“You sent him to the arena. He was fair game, especially with what he's taken from me. Filthy half-breed.”
“In what sense?”
“Ch- Clearly Galra. Why else would you make him your pleasure slave?” Nadiva pulled himself up to his knees; the left side of his face was swollen and what looked like fresh blood dripped down from his hairline. He glared defiantly at Sendak, teeth clenched together tightly. Sendak threw his head back, laughing haughtily as he turned to look back at Shiro. “He's just a Terran, or Earthling. Not a drop of Galra blood in there.”
“He fights just like your kind!” There was something that wavered in his tone that Shiro noticed, and it seemed Sendak must of as well. He grabbed Nadiva by the horn, lifting him clean off the floor. “I said he is not Galra. His fighting is at least more honourable than yours ever will be!” Shiro could imagine those sharp teeth bared, as he watched Sendak throw Nadiva to the ground, the crack sounded painful. Nadiva screeched, eyes wide as he saw the piece of horn that had broken off in Sendak's hand.

 

“It seems someone has rightly roughed you up, but now you will pay for using what is mine. Watch, slave.” Sendak's face was thunderous, and Shiro quickly pushed himself up to attention as Sendak stamped hard on Nadiva's back, crushing his heel into his shoulder blade. There was a deadly grin on his face as he tossed the horn to his prosthetic hand, and stabbed it through one of Nadiva's long, silvery hands. His scream made Shiro's ears ring in pain. “This is how you dominate.” Sendak muttered as he leaned down and tore open the thin garb around the other shoulder blade. He yanked the small point that protruded out, and with another shrill scream, pulled out the appendage. Nadiva snapped his jaws, trying to move away, but Sendak was unrelenting. As soon as half of it was out, he brought his prosthetic claws to life, searing through the limb like hot butter.

 

The pain in Nadiva's voice was real. He recoiled as best he could, but Sendak refused to give up. Grabbing him firmly by the hair, he forced his head up to look directly at Shiro. He brought the still hot claws round in front of him. “What did my slave take from you?”
“F-Fuck you!” Sendak placed a finger against his cheek, the heat searing a mark into his skin. The room smelt like burning flesh. “Again.”
“Fuck you!” Sendak placed a second finger against the skin. Nadiva choked out a cry, trying to pull away. “Again.”
“My sight!” Nadiva's brow was covered in sweat, his breath hitching. Sendak removed his claws and slowly dragged them down his body, hovering above the hemipenes. “Which eye?” It was a chilling whisper that made Nadiva's face pale. “Left.” Sendak clamped down on the hemipene and motioned for Shiro to come over. He did as instructed, standing above Nadiva. He'd lost more of his other horn; so someone other than Sendak had been here.

 

“Remove his left eye. That's an order.” It was military coldness, much like how he used to have to talk to recruits during mock exercises. Shiro dropped down to his knees, bringing his hand up to Nadiva's face. It wasn't on the swollen side, that made this easier. “Since he used you, you're well within your right to take it.” Sendak whispered. Shiro hummed in agreement, moving his fingers towards Nadiva's face. Since he was bigger than Shiro, at least it meant gouging it would be easier. He pushed his fingers in, not actually sure how he was supposed to gouge an eye now he thought about it. It didn't help that Nadiva wouldn't stop screaming. Shiro grabbed the right horn, pushing his head back. “Shut your mouth!” He hissed, gaining some purchase on the wet eye. He eased his fingers back, feeling the eye become looser, tendons and muscles snapping one by one. Nadiva let out a final screech.

 

Sendak could not be more pleased as his slave fell back onto his knees, clutching the eye in his bloody fingers. He dropped Nadiva's body to the floor. He was still breathing, but at worst he had passed out. “Use one of your bandages on the wound.” Sendak held out his prosthetic palm, the slave placing the eye in it before untying one of the wrist bandages. “I need something to compress it with.” Sendak hummed and ripped some of the cloth from Nadiva's body, passing it to him. He watched his slave dutifully bandage Nadiva up, and looked to Sendak. “You may rest. I am pleased with you today.” He nodded and climbed into the cot. He flopped down away from Sendak, curling in on himself.

 

Sendak turned back to Nadiva's passed out form on the floor. Lifting him by the back of his clothes, he dumped him on the other cot. He pulled the horn from his hand and wrapped the wound in another piece of cloth. He paused, fingers brushing the handcuffs on his belt. He could cuff him, but then if anything happened by the morning, well, that's what happens when you keep gladiators together. He pushed Nadiva onto his side, noting the tear at the base of his body suit, the fabric stained and the skin smeared with purple blood. He picked up the appendage he'd ripped off and stalked from the room, locking the door behind him.

 

-

 

“I'm wary about it.”
“The rota change?”
“Yes.” Ulaz fiddled with his glass. “I don't trust it.” He looked to Thace and Krolia, who were sat opposite him. “I think you're stressing yourself out.” Krolia mused, downing the last few sips of her drink. “This is what he means, you get reckless when you overthink.” She set her glass down with a clatter and rose, smoothing out her body suit. “I've got to get back to the cruiser. I'll see you whenever.” She waved her hand as she walked away, small smile on her face. Ulaz scowled at the glass in front of him. Krolia was wonderful but difficult at times to talk to, he didn't want to accept she may be slightly correct.

 

“She's probably thinking about her kit. Don't let it get to you.” Thace patted Ulaz's hand gently. “I know. It's just how Sendak is with his slaves. It's the silence when you ask them how they obtained the injuries, but you know damn well why they're torn to shreds. I sometimes wake up in the morning and think 'what's the point?'.” Ulaz quietly thanked the server who placed another drink in front of him. “I know what I need to be doing, however it's draining after deca-phoebs.” He downed half of the bitter drink in front of him. Thace squeezed his hand. “You care a lot about the work you do, the little aliens you see. I couldn't do it, honestly.” Thace gave him a toothy smile. “Wanna come back to mine tonight?”
“Yeah I would. I need the space.”
“Thought so.” Thace stretched himself out as he rose from the chair. Ulaz downed his drink and stood, stumbling to the side.

 

It felt like a long walk back to Thace's small apartment in Central. As soon as they were through the door Ulaz wandered over to his sofa and flopped down over the arm. “Are you sleeping there tonight?” Thace slipped his armour off and placed it on the counter near his door. “I'm getting you a glass of water.”
“Thank you.” Ulaz chuckled at the snort from the small kitchenette. It was good to see the others from time to time, as unless they were called back to headquarters, they rarely saw other each other. Thace set the water down on his small table and sat beside Ulaz, lightly playing with his fur. Ulaz let out a low purr and closed his eyes.

 

“I remember when I used to do that to you. Gods, that was how many deca-phoebs ago?”
“Maybe about three hundred? It's hard to remember.”
“Kolivan scolded me you know.” Ulaz chuckled, running his hand over Thace's thigh. “I imagine he did. Was that...when Regris first joined?”
“About then I think. I remember you joining, Krolia, Antok, and everyone else. I do miss teaching from time to time, but it's nice not being caged up there either.”
“That's true. Kolivan said in ten deca-phoebs he may let me start instructing.”
“That's really good news. You're patient, you'll do well.” Ulaz picked himself up, taking the drink. “I should probably sleep. Early shift and all.” He glanced at Thace, who gave him a warm smile.

 

-

 

“You wanted to see me, Commander?”
“Sit.” Sendak motioned to his sofas and the two settled opposite each other. Sendak leaned forward, taking Haxus in. “The meeting with Zarkon related to Voltron. The Red Lion as potentially been found by rebels, and High Command has been called to remain in Central for the foreseeable future. I am going to be putting forward my choice for who will take over responsibilities for the prisoners, and since you are the only person aboard who I think can manage it, I will be putting you forward. Is this acceptable?” He smirked at the wide eyed look on Haxus's face. He looked at his feet, then back at Sendak. “I-I am honoured you would consider me. Of course, without a doubt I will take the responsibility.” Haxus sat up straight, a giddy smile plastered over his face. “That's good. I just need to give you one little bit of advice; you can rough up the prisoners, but fucking them is a no. Only slaves can be used as such, or have you forgotten?” Sendak growled.

 

Haxus crumbled beneath his steely gaze. “How did you...?”
“I checked the logs after seeing the damage myself.”
“I...he deserved it after what he did.”
“I'm leaving that primarily up to the slave to sort out. I roughed him up for assaulting my property, but the slave is capable of fighting his own battles if he is to survive.” Sendak leaned back, scrutinising Haxus. “Are we clear?”
“Crystal, Commander.”
“I will overlook this indiscretion once and only once. He will be gone before tomorrows' night-cycle to whoever wins him.” Sendak shrugged his shoulders. “I know you are fond of him, but I will not allow my trusted friend to be stripped of his rank because he got a bit emotional about a slave no less.” He watched Haxus nod slowly to himself, swallowing an obvious lump in his throat. “Thank you, Commander.”
“That is all. I must type and submit my report.” He rose, and Haxus quickly took his leave.

 

-

 

Ulaz was a little later than he should have been returning to the ship. He cursed to himself as he ran through the corridors towards his office. As he rounded the corner, he spotted four sentries with two bodies. Narrowing his eyes, Ulaz jogged to a halt in front of them. By the mercy of the Gods. “Put them both in the healing chambers immediately.” He hammered the button to the medical room and shot inside. The sentries dragged the two in and roughly and pushed them upright in the tanks, strapping them in tight. Ulaz shooed them from the room as he set the pods to run full body scans as he quickly slipped the breathing masks over their faces. He shot a glance over at the silvery skinned one, grinding his teeth in frustration. That one would need the most work at a preliminary glance. As the tanks filled with orange fluid, Ulaz smashed his fingers against the touchpad; he needed words with the Commander about this.

 

It was about half a varga until Sendak deigned him an appearance. He glanced at the two figures in the tank, before rounding on Ulaz. “You have them healing. What do you need me for?” Curt as ever. “I would like to know how Nadiva has ended up missing one of his retractable limbs, why there are burn marks on his body, why he is missing an eye, the horn damage...and most importantly why he was not treated after his fight as is standard? Your slave, well, I already have my guesses.”
“What's that supposed to mean?” Sendak feigned ignorance, making the rage Ulaz kept inside him bubble to the boil. “Commander, I have been your medical officer for deca-phoebs. I know what you are capable of.” Ulaz kept his calm; rising to Sendak's games was a path he would not walk. Regardless, he couldn't tell his superior what to do – only advise.

 

Sendak smirked to himself as he wandered to Nadiva's tank. “I'm not sure. It's possible that my slave took it out on him in their cell. You never really can tell with these humans what they'll do next.” There was the smallest purr in his voice that made Ulaz want to drop his cover and just gut Sendak like the worm he was. However he had to keep up the persona for the greater mission. “Was that all you wanted? I could have messaged you back. I am busy at present.” Sendak gazed at Ulaz's reflection in the tank. “I need your permission to implant a cybernetic eye for Nadiva.”
“I suppose I could grant that,” Sendak held out his hand and took the tablet that Ulaz gave him, quickly signing the request off.

 

“So why is my slave in a tank?”
“He's got hairline fractures, a new set of gouges over his chest that weren't there yesterday, internal rectal damage, his throat is inflamed, and his vitals are showing dehydration.” Ulaz muttered as he pointed to each section. “I presume you will want him later?”
“I would.”
“Medical opinion is that he needs time to heal and plenty of fluids and sustenance.” His voice was cold, detached. “I will take that into consideration.” Sendak kept his cool and placed the tablet on the side of the terminal. “Is that all?”
“Yes, sir.” Ulaz saluted Sendak as he left, glaring daggers at his back. He needed to get to work.

 

Chapter Text

Shiro yawned, his heavy eyes slowly blinking open. He rubbed his face as he sat up slowly, wondering when his slab had got that comfortable. He paused as he caught something orange and glowing to his left. He whipped his head around to catch an alien – no – Nadiva sat opposite him, knee up and arm slung over it. His other leg swung slowly in small circles. “You're awake then.” There was something despondent in his tone. “What are you doing here?” Shiro tensed, raising his fists. Nadiva made a half-hearted snort. “How much do you remember from yesterday? Or should I ask how much do you want to remember?” He moved the rest of his face into the light, and Shiro noticed the lack of horns.

 

“What happened to you?”
“You, Haxus and Sendak.” He spat their names with venom. “I remember bits of yesterday but, something else happened, didn't it?”
“You could say that. Would you like a reminder, Shiro?”
“When did I tell you my-” It was like his memories were a derailed train hitting a wall at top speed. He stared at his hands, at Nadiva, at the cell, and grasped the sides of his head, eyes screwing themselves shut. “You remembered I take it?”
“You raped me!”
“Trust me when I say that the act of forcing myself on you is not something I would actively do to people I am engaged in combat with. It was my way of...trying to stay alive.”
“Let's call it what it is!” Shiro seethed, pushing himself from the cot and advanced on Nadiva. He grabbed his collar, yanking him close to his face. “You humiliated me in front of the Empire, which meant not only you, but Haxus and Sendak fucked me up yesterday.”
“Well aren't we both lucky.” Nadiva's laugh was hollow. “That lanky bastard had me as well. Be grateful Sendak didn't rip off your limbs, although you ripped this out.” He pointed to his cybernetic eye.

 

“What do you mean?”
“What I said. You gouged it out of my face while Sendak held me down. Where do you think these little burn marks came from?” He poked at his cheek. “You weren't the only one violated.” Nadiva wrapped his long fingers around Shiro's wrist and gently pulled it away. “I understand; that I hurt you. My actions are inexcusable, but please be assured I will be gone from your presence by the end of the day.”
“What do you mean?” Shiro folded his arms across his chest. “I'm getting sold.”
“Why?”
“It's what they do with gladiators. We get to stick around for entertainment, and if you're the Champion, which I am now, I'll be sold off to some Commander or Zarkon. Gladiators don't get collars like that,” he tapped Shiro's collar, “usually it's half-breeds who are forced to become pleasure slaves, hence why I thought you were Galra.” Nadiva pushed himself back against the wall and closed his eye. “I was wrong about that. Whether you can accept my sincerest apologies, I don't know, but I need to survive for the people I care for, and I didn't particularly want to kill you either. You're a prisoner just like me, we need to band together.”

 

Shiro moved back to his cot and flopped down. “I can't accept it.”
“I know.”
“Why didn't you want to kill me?”
“For the reasons I said.”
“Nothing ulterior?” Shiro stared at the ceiling, trying to process the fact he was having a chat with his rapist. He supposed that he'd still have to communicate with Sendak and Haxus. He scowled at the ceiling, wondering how he was going to be able to contain his anger. He had to make sure he didn't get himself killed.
“You and I are similar; I have those who I will protect, as do you. It's why you put on a facade for the arena.” Nadiva finally spoke, opening his yellow-green eye and studied Shiro intently. Shiro sat up frowning. “What makes you say that?”
“The fact you injured the little one, who I heard was terrified of going in first. Also how you are. If you were truly as bloodthirsty as you were in the arena, we would be fighting right now.” Nadiva paused, looking at his claws.

 

“Someone who cares for their kin and does what they have to do are people I will take the time to know. So I spared you because I wanted to talk to you, tell you about the rebels who fight Zarkon and his destructive empire, and hope that you will aid us.”
“You got yourself captured to recruit people?” Shiro snorted, cocking an eyebrow. “Are you serious?”
“I was captured and forced to execute my entire crew before being carted off to the main fleet. The Druids likely pulled information from me about the rebels, however I'm hoping the message I sent got through to our leader before the ship was over-ran.” Nadiva's gaze stayed fixated on his claws, voice monotone. “Do you not care for your crew?”
“I do, but the mission is of greater import than the lives. That, and one of my comrades gave us up to the Galra.” Nadiva shrugged his shoulders. “They just wanted to survive I suppose.”
“How can you sit and talk so matter-of-fact about this?”
“Because I have faced death down more times than I can count. How did the Galra come across you?”
“They found us exploring the furtherest reaches of our solar system.”
“They have not invaded your planet?”
“No. Until a few weeks ago, we'd never met an alien species.” Shiro sat cross-legged on his bed. “So the rebels, the Galra, what I've seen; I don't know what to do, I don't know what's right any more.”
“Being a prisoner of the Galra will do that to you. You end up committing the most unspeakable actions.”
“Like you and me?”
“Exactly. They will break us down and reform us given the chance. It is why I am cruel and cold, why I do what I do. I will not yield, and will await a rescue from my comrades. We've done it before, and will do it again.”

 

This peaked Shiro's interest. “You've busted out prisoners before?”
“On several occasions, yes.”
“If I agreed to join you in the rebellion, could you guarantee my friends' rescue?” Shiro's gaze hardened, and a small crooked smile sat on Nadiva's lips. “I could guarantee it would happen, but when I couldn't say. You'd need to prove yourself; there's a lot of people to save. There's so many types of slaves and places they keep them, and everyone's lost someone over the last ten thousand deca-phoebs under Zarkon's regime.”
“Ten thousand years?”
“Deca-phoebs.”
“How? How has he survived so long?”
“We do not know. The Galra demand quintessence, so it's reasonable to assume that it gives him power. It does heal, as we both know.” Nadiva touched his cybernetic eye, and Shiro looked to his wrists, it was if he'd never been shackled to the bed last night.

 

The two basked in silence together. Food and water was posted through the small door on the floor for them at some point. Nadiva brought Shiro his food, and the two ate with mild chatter about their respective homes. Nadiva had lost his home world to the Galra when he was only two deca-phoebs old and was raised in an asteroid belt for many deca-phoebs with the rebels. Shiro in turn explained Earth was in a post-war period after the events of World War Three and the Galaxy Garrison.

 

“Have you never experienced actual combat? I find that very surprising.” Nadiva cocked an eyebrow, setting the tray next to him. “No. Only exercises and simulations.”
“So this has been the first time you have had to kill?” Nadiva's voice was gentle compared to the monotone Shiro had been used to. He scowled into his food goo, chewing his tongue. “Yes.”
“It doesn't get easier. You must be careful you do not lose yourself.”
“I rely on my training and the bloodthirsty facade. If I humanise them, then I'll end up dead.” Shiro snorted, guzzling his water. “It will only get you so far.” Nadiva rose from his cot, stretching out his body. “If you continue down your path you will become like them.”
“The Galra?”
“Yes.”
“What do you do then? You use a facade yourself.” Shiro set his water down in his lap, tightening the grip on the bottle. “I carry each death with me, as is customary with my people.”
“But you just kill more innocent people, especially now as Champion.”
“That's true,” Nadiva leaned down to touch his toes, “however my resolve increases so I may kill Galra and criminals and honour the fallen.”
“It sounds like you're okay with the sacrifice of the innocent so long as the means justify the ends.” Shiro shifted in his position awkwardly. “I don't think we will agree on a philosophy, Shiro, but consider it. You're ultimately the one to walk your own path.” Nadiva shook his arms and took a fighting stance, loosing a punch into the air.

 

Shiro watched Nadiva run through his stances, curious at ones he'd not seen before and how the body before him moved. “You say I'm a pleasure slave, but would I count as a gladiator?” Shiro piped up, moving his legs over the side of the cot. Nadiva observed him through the cybernetic eye for a moment. “Technically, yes.”
“Are there other gladiators aside from you, Myzax and myself?”
“Yeah. Most of the commanders keep them.”
“Do they all train together?” Shiro pushed himself to the floor. Nadiva pulled himself from his stance and studied Shiro curiously. “They do so far as I am aware.”
“Similar to the gladiators of old back on Earth then.” He paced around the cell, frowning at the metal beneath his feet. “I'll need Sendak's permission to fight, right?”
“Correct.” Nadiva settled on his bed. “The old hairball is possessive, as I'm sure you realised.” Shiro nodded curtly, wrinkling his nose at the images that sat clearly in his mind's eye. He stopped, staring hard at the floor. “I know what I have to do.”
“Don't let him break you. The man who gouged my eye out last night was not the man I fought in the arena.” Nadiva pulled his legs up and pushed himself back into the wall.

 

Shiro's gaze remained glued to the floor. He didn't know what had happened last night except he zoned out at some point. “I'm sorry.”
“It's not your fault. You were just trying to survive.”
“I don't even know if I was? I went to him the second time-”
“Second time?”
“Y-Yeah. He struck me, and I guess I just...woke up? I don't know. I just remember bits...wanting to make sure he wouldn't be angry. Everything hurt, I didn't want to go through it all again, wind up dead.” He dropped down to his knees, running his hands through his hair. “I'm scared I enjoyed it. He didn't chain me the second time.”
“Your body cannot help how it reacts.”
“That seems rich coming from you.” Shiro sneered. “That's because I pumped you full of aphrodisiacs. You only 'enjoyed' it because your brain was confused into enjoying it. You aroused me with how you acted under it's effects-” Nadiva managed to grab Shiro by the wrists as he charged, his face livid. “Don't you dare.”
“If it will make you feel better,” Nadiva pushed Shiro away and pulled off the clean shirt he wore, remaining in his tight bodysuit, “you may do the same to me. It's fine. I deserve it.”
“What the fuck is this? Are you trying to guilt me?”
“No. I don't know what 'guilt' is either. Things just are, and you move on. Sometimes it is harder then others, but you get through it. It's fine, really. It's fair.” Nadiva pulled himself to the edge of his cot, resting on his knees. “Use me to your hearts content.” He lowered his head, awaiting his retribution.

 

Shiro was frozen in place. He couldn't – refused – to believe that this was happening. “I can't do this. It'll make me just as bad as Sendak and Haxus.”
“And me.”
“Yeah.” Shiro swallowed. He moved away from Nadiva back to his cot, clutching the side tightly. “You realise you would suffer no consequences?”
“Sendak would have my head.”
“Doubtful. I violated his property – you – and he would see you in good favour for exacting revenge.” Nadiva narrowed his eyes at the derisive snort. “It would put you in a good position to get back to the arena. You have 'defeated' the Champion in his eyes, he would be giddy with happiness to see you kill me in a legitimate arena match. It would be by your own merit.” Shiro trained his steely gaze on Nadiva. “Why do I feel you're leading me into a trap? Or you just want me to fuck you?”

 

Nadiva shrugged his shoulders. “I do find you aesthetically pleasing I won't lie. However I want to become allies with you, and if this would make you happier to side with me, I will do what it takes.”
“So you're an opportunist?”
“Yes.”
“Then I wouldn't really be raping you, am I?”
“You didn't want to anyway.” Nadiva pulled himself from his cot and took a step towards Shiro. “Is it easier if I consent to it?” Shiro shifted his gaze to the thin sheet on the mattress. It would be easier if it was consensual, and if what Nadiva said was true, it would help him get further. It was just if it was true. However, the vile voice in the back of Shiro's head had reared it's ugly face.

 

Do it. No repercussions? May as well. When will be the next time you have any control, really? You're a slave; an object, a fleshlight with a pulse. He wants it, he wants you to fuck him. When was the last time anyone begged like that? You always give but never take. But he did take; he took away the relationship from Adam. But did he really care? He thought you were weak and pathetic – couldn't handle a mission in space? Refused to listen to you and got angry because you wanted to do something worthwhile before you died. You got engaged to him without really meaning it, all because he wanted to marry. You did it for him, you gave in when you shouldn't of. Look at him, you can fuck him up and just say it's how humans fuck, what would he know? We can do this, we should do this. Take back control before it's ripped from us again. Before we're humiliated and treated worse than a dog. I'd be a terrible human though. What does being human in space mean? This place doesn't conform to the ethics of human society, so why should we when we need to survive. Look after yourself so you can look after the Holts. We need to look after the Holts, Shiro, otherwise we've failed. Failure is not an option. Take back control and fuck him up.

 

“Are you okay, Shiro?” Nadiva put a tentative hand on his shoulder, uncertain why the human had started trembling and uttering incoherent words to himself. Shiro's head tilted to look at the hand on his shoulder. He brushed his fingers over the warm silvery skin before pushing it away. “I'm fine.” He crawled under the blanket and curled in on himself. “You are done talking I see.” Nadiva studied Shiro before moving back to his own cot and laid down. “Once I get to the arena to train with you, I'll let you know about the rebel stuff.” Shiro stared at the wall, and let himself slowly drift off. He needed sleep. Today was too much.

 

Shiro roused from his sleep as a hand gently nudged him. He opened his groggy eyes to find Nadiva leaning over him. “What?” He yawned, pushing the hand away as he sat up. “Food has appeared again.” Nadiva motioned to the trays on the floor. Shiro looked around, blinking slowly. “Is it already tomorrow?”
“I'm sure it's only been a few vargas.” Nadiva paced towards the trays and brought Shiro's his again. “It's strange.” Nadiva sniffed his food. “Did you every get two portions?” He watched Shiro shake his head. “Don't do that in front of the Galra.”
“Already have. Found out it hurts.” Shiro unscrewed the cap and took a swig of water, poking at the food with a look of disdain. “I don't know why it's offensive.”
“It's something about disrespecting the speaker – you're too important for them to listen, when they outrank you.”
“They really don't understand context.”
“No, they really don't.” Nadiva smiled a little as he set his spoon down.

 

The two sat in mild conversation for a while before the door clicked, then beeped. They shielded their eyes as the light flooded into their dull cell, but was quickly blocked by a huge figure in the doorway. “Champion, here.” The voice was rough and strangely accented. Shiro watched Nadiva close his eye, then slowly rise from his cot and stare at the newcomer. “Who are you to come in and summon me like a pet?”
“Hehe. You are a feisty one, aren't you? I am Commander Ranveig, also known by the title of Warlord.” He took a pace towards Nadiva. “I brought you, and you are mine. Here, now.” Nadiva stifled back a snort but paced over slowly to Ranveig, standing a head under the huge Galra. He was bigger than Sendak. Ranveig roughly twisted him round and drew his arms up locking them into place and shoved Nadiva through the door. He cast a crooked grin back at Shiro, before another figure stepped into the room, the prosthetic hanging dangerously at his side. Sendak. “You will be escorted to my quarters.” His voice was cold, and something sunk in Shiro's gut. Not again.

 

Chapter Text

Shiro stumbled forwards towards the toilet, grabbing the sides as he heaved the contents of his stomach into the water. He coughed and spluttered, eyes watering and snot running from his nose as he hacked up more sick. His body was drenched in a clammy sweat, and he couldn't remember if it was three or four days ago since he'd been allowed to bathe. Not days, that was wrong; quintant, that was it. He rested his forehead against the rim. It was cold, it was soothing, like the feeling against his back right now. He settled down on the floor and eased himself over, cursing as the icy metal bit at the open wounds. Maybe he should have just stayed where he was. God, Adam was right, he should have never came on this mission.

 

Since Nadiva was taken away by Ranveig, he'd spent most of his time in Sendak's quarters fulfilling his duties as a slave when he was onboard. He was never allowed out unaccompanied, but Sendak had started to ask him to do menial things, like pour him a drink or request food to the quarters after showing him how to use the communicator. He'd been take up to the bridge a few quintants' ago; Sendak had affixed some energy rope to his collar and literally dragged him naked like an unruly dog through the corridors. He exhaled sharply as he shifted onto his bruised shoulder. Shiro tugged at his collar absently.

 

Dealing with the first time Sendak took him unwillingly was harder to process than he thought. The voice in the back of his head screamed to fight back; do anything other than be compliant and subservient. He knew what he should be doing but couldn't act on it, and he wasn't sure if it was fear that short-circuited his drive to fight. It didn't help that Sendak couldn't decide if he liked him passive or not. Some nights he'd be growling in his ear that he was pleased Shiro knew his place; others he'd be tearing him apart and fracturing bones when he went in dry. He had a rainbow of bruises over his skin; the oldest around his ribs were turning yellow and brown now. He had a few green, blue and purple ones along his thighs – most around his hips. He snarled a curse out and rubbed his bruised face; he no longer had any way to vent his anger, and it was all grinding him down slowly through exhaustion.

 

He still wanted to ask Sendak if he could join the other gladiators, which was why he'd been behaving in the first place, but the chance hadn't presented itself since he was ordered to remain silence. He crawled to his bed, pulling himself up and took one of the bottles of water he'd hidden in the blanket. Sleep now.

 

-

 

“How did you get these marks?”
“Is there any point in asking?” Shiro stared at the wall as the medical officer, Ulaz, washed the blood from his back. “I have to ask, Shiro.” Ulaz sighed as he dabbed along the long tear. This was the first time in a movement he'd seen the human; and it was as bad as he expected. The gouges Sendak left a few movements' ago across his chest hadn't healed properly even with quintessence, but that was likely because Sendak hadn't let it heal. There was one small gouge left from Nadiva across his nipple, which had just scarred over by this point. Outside of more cuts, there were plenty of bruises littered across his body.

 

Shiro hissed when Ulaz pressed lightly over his swollen fingers, ripping his hand away. “Are you going to tell me how they got broken?” Ulaz quietly asked.
“Again, what's the point? You know this was all done by him.” Shiro snapped, drawing his hand close to his chest. Ulaz bit his lip as he pulled away. “I can't give you any quintessence because you've exceeded the healthy dosage for the month when I fixed the fractures, but I can give you drugs to numb the pain and slowly repair the damage. I'll make you some splints to straighten out your fingers, but aside from that all I can advise Sendak is to leave you to recuperate.”
“He won't let me. Every single day, it's just me and him, or I'm alone, or I'm here. That's it, that's what my life's become; fucked, beaten, healed; rinse and repeat.” Shiro punched the metal table with his right hand, glaring hard at the floor.

 

“I'll get the antiseptic for your open wounds and the drugs. I'm giving you a smaller dosage because these are used for adult Galra. Usual heal time for us is between four and six quintants.”
“That's pretty quick.” Shiro mused.
“You've finally learned what a quintant is?”
“Sendak's been teaching me. He doesn't like me using Earth terms for time,” Shiro shrugged his shoulders, his brow creasing lightly. “Well Earth terms aren't applicable in space, but I suppose it's because you're used to these measurements?”
“Obviously.” Shiro leaned forward as Ulaz applied the gel to his back. He let out a small growl under his breath like normal. “It always feels like it's burning my skin.”
“You don't come out in a rash, so that's most important.” Ulaz muttered, smoothing it in to the pale skin. “Is your pallor supposed to change?” Shiro turned his head, giving Ulaz a bemused look. “No. It pales because we're ill, usually.”
“You don't seem to be feverish or displaying any known infections. I've already checked you for that.” Ulaz slowly caught Shiro's face and leaned down to stare into his eyes. “What illness do you have?” Shiro took his wrist in his hand, pulling it away. “I'm stressed. I'm surprised it's taken this long to work it out.” He turned back around to stare at the wall.

 

Ulaz studied Shiro. He was usually snappy and curt with him, but lately there was something different in his mannerisms. He looked down at the collar. Quickly checking around, he placed his finger against it, the metal clicking. He slowly pulled it from Shiro's neck, the human beneath tense. “Why did you do that?”
“I need to check your neck for sores.” Ulaz lied. “I realised I applied the gel too early. You need to be clean. You can use the shower room – there's some neutral gels you can wash with that shouldn't aggravate the wounds.” Ulaz moved away from Shiro to his terminal, watching him from the corner of his eye. Shiro sat there delicately stroking his neck with his eyes closed. He almost looked peaceful.

 

Shiro slipped off the table and made for the door. “You need to let me get in, right?”
“Yes.” Ulaz locked the terminal and jogged over, letting the pair out. “Since those clothes are filthy I'll get another pair for you. Also you'll need to eat something of substance with the drugs I'm prescribing you, so I'll get you some food and water.” Ulaz muttered as they walked down the corridor. He flagged the sentry and gave it quick instructions to let no one but him collect the slave from the shower room afterwards. “I will leave this sentry standing watch over you while I collect things. Take your time and be thorough.” He patted Shiro lightly on the shoulder. Shiro nodded slowly and stepped cautiously into the room.

 

It took longer to find clothes that were small enough for Shiro to wear then he thought. He hurried down the hallway and passed the sentry, to find Shiro wringing out his long fringe, sat on bench next to his filthy uniform. “Was it pleasant?” Ulaz set the clothes down and handed Shiro a small towel he'd been able to find, looking away from him for decency's sake. “I'm surprised you're not having a really good stare.” Shiro muttered, scratching at his furry cheek. “Every other fucking alien out here does.”
“I'm your healer. I see your body regularly enough.”
“So you eye me up when you're working?” There was a tiny smile on his face, and Ulaz was confused what he was suggesting, “I am professional and won't try to sleep with my patients. Please do not think I would take advantage of you.”
“It was a joke.”
“Oh. Right.”
“Thank you.” Shiro didn't look at him when he said it, but Ulaz felt happy the human had managed say something positive for once. “I will leave you to drying yourself, but hurry, or the food will go cold.”
“Warm food?” Shiro whipped his head around, eyes wide and mouth agape. Ulaz blinked, a smile gracing his lips. “Y-Yes.” He turned as Shiro jumped up and started to work his skin dry. It was a bit sad, Ulaz thought, that the human would get this excited over something so small.

 

Shiro's attempt to contain his excitement and curiosity was poor at best. He poked some of the manchin, a type of meat that was a usual staple food for most young Galra and looked to Ulaz. “That's also another type of meat. Here, these are meats, these are vegetables, and these are carbohydrates.”
“And you're not lying when you say I can eat as much as I want?”
“No. Just don't be sick and pace yourself.”
“Is there a catch?” Shiro narrowed his eyes, hand ghosting the manchin wing. “Just don't complain when I reapply the gel.”
“I'll try not to.” Shiro took the meat and without hesitating, bit it. He hummed to himself in delight. Ulaz observed him, before setting the pills down next to him, “remember these.” Shiro nodded, a large smile on his face as he tore through more manchin.

 

Ulaz picked up some bovas cuts and held it between his teeth as set to work finding some finger splint plans. He'd measured Shiro's fingers earlier, and just needed to find a size that worked. Adult Galra ones were too big, the same as adolescent by the looks of it. “You need child Galra splints.” He called. Shiro groaned in response. Selecting a pair, he sent it over to his replicator. “Where'd you put your collar?” Shiro pointed to the table he'd been sat on earlier, and Ulaz nodded. “Do I need to have it back on?” Shiro shielded his mouth as he spoke. “No. I'm just going to clean it-”
“No. Let me do it. It's mine.”
“It's no trouble-”
“Really. It's mine to take care of.” Shiro swiped it from the table, clutching it tightly. Ulaz nodded, turning his attention to the replicator. “Your splints are ready and...the Commander will be here in half a varga.”
“Great. Guess I'll see you tomorrow then?”
“I'm going to have a word with him.” Ulaz wandered over and settled next to Shiro. “Hand.” As gently as he could, he fixed each splint on to Shiro's fingers. “Remember, I need to reapply the gel.” He muttered. Shiro nodded and wandered over to the table, still chewing the torka root. He slipped the shirt over his head and unclipped his body suit.

 

Shiro sat on the table toying with the collar, now back around his neck. Since Haxus had mentioned the Commander would be happy with him for taking care of it, he'd been oddly protective of it. It was awkward to wear when he ate, and he hated the pressure around his neck, but he'd been wearing it for so long now he felt naked without it. He exhaled, tasting the lemony-minty mouth wash that Ulaz had given him after he'd been allowed to clean his teeth. He'd not been allowed to shave his face, or have his hair cut, and the length was starting to bug him as well. He looked to the door as it slid open, and for the first time in movements, Haxus was there.

 

“Where is the Commander?”
“Caught up in a meeting. I'm here to collect the slave. Have you cleaned him up?”
“Yes. He was filthy. I need to talk to the Commander about his health.”
“Well you can let me know and I'll tell him.”
“I'm sorry, Lieutenant, but in accordance with policy I cannot do that.” Ulaz swallowed as Haxus shifted on his feet. “Are we doing this after the Commander has just replaced half the crew?”
“Wasn't the point that people were taking shortcuts in the first place?”
“That's true.” Haxus paused, looking over to Shiro for a moment. “Fine. I'll tell him to come down and see you when he returns to the ship.” Haxus clicked his claws and Shiro moved towards him, standing to attention and bringing his right arm across his chest. “He's learning all sorts now, isn't he?” Haxus chuckled, ruffling Shiro's hair roughly. “We do like a little obedient slave.”
“Yes, Lieutenant, sir.” Ulaz swallowed at the cold compliance; a stark contrast to the glimmer of happiness he saw earlier.

 

-

 

“In there is the training deck.” Haxus jabbed a claw towards a open space below them. It was as large enough to fit the Calypso in, Shiro thought, as he paced over to look through the large windows. He clenched his shacked hand together, watching as two Galra inside fought it out. “They're fast.” Shiro muttered, narrowing his eyes as he studied the attack patterns below him. “Galra tend to be. Did you want to go watch?”
“I'd rather be fighting myself.” Shiro raised his shackled hands, “but I doubt you'll let me out of these, sir.”
“That's correct.” Haxus said, steering Shiro away by the shoulder. “I'd like to see you back in the arena. I miss seeing you so bloodthirsty.” Haxus exhaled, clearly lost in thought. “Ah. I remembered why I was taking you a long way back. The information you asked for.” He turned to Shiro and clapped his other hand on his shoulder.

 

Shiro bit down on his tongue. He had to make sure he gave nothing away. “Yes, sir?”
“Well, I can confirm both prisoners 117-9876 and 117-9874 are alive.”
“Thank you, sir. Would you happen to know where're they're based?”
“No.”
“But,” Shiro stared at the floor, “I asked about their status.”
“And I told you they were alive.” Haxus's voice was growing agitated. “Asking for their status just means if they're alive or not. I have given you that information as you requested.”
“And usually you would receive more information then just whether they're alive or not.”
“Maybe back on your planet, but not here.” Haxus drew in close, his breath hot against Shiro's lips. “Get out of my face.” Shiro snarled, pushing himself forward. “Make me.” Haxus snorted, smug smirk plastered on his lips. “You're an obedient little slave, what are you going to do?” He chided.

 

It was quick and hurt, but as soon as Haxus released his shoulders, Shiro kicked his foot right into Haxus's groin and shoved past the Galra. “Get back here now you filthy Terran or face my blades!” Shiro didn't look back as he sprinted down the green-lit halls. He'd got a good head start on Haxus. The distant screeching started to peter out as the blood pumped in his ears and the sound of his own breathing took over. His eyes snapped back and forth as he made snap judgements as to which direction to go in. He honestly had no idea where he was going. Ship. Find a ship. He could escape. Get to a hangar. Logically it should be on the lower decks, and the best way to do that would be to find a maintenance hatch.

 

He almost ran right into the wall, but managed to bounce off it with his shoulder. Fuck. He sprinted down a long hallway, nothing in sight yet. That was good. He had to keep moving.
“Attention all crew! We have an escaped prisoner loose on the ship, last known location on Level Twelve. Search and stun. I repeat; search and stun. Target is not a threat, but hostile.” That must've been Haxus's voice over the intercom. Shiro growled. The lights changed from green to a flashing magenta; a loud alarm blaring throughout the ship. He needed somewhere to hide - fast.

 

He almost ran right past the panel. He turned back and went to grab the sides. How did I fucking forget. They were still bound at the front. He snapped his teeth and gripped one side of the hatch, rattling and yanking at the metal with all his strength until he could ease it off. He awkwardly clambered in. It was hard to keep a grip on anything like this, but he managed to carefully but quickly descend the ladder.

 

-

 

How did he escape?” Ulaz shouted into his communicator as he ran through the corridors. “He headbutted me and kicked me in the fucking dick, Ulaz!”
“Their skulls aren't even armoured. Are you really that pathetic?”
“S-Shut up! Hurry up and tranquillise that barbaric little dreck!”
“Well if you could actually locate him, maybe that would help? Can't you track his collar?”
“No, it's too old for that.”
“How old is that fucking thing? Over ten thousand deca-phoebs?”
“I don't keep track of the Commander and his antique slave crap. Just hurry up and find him.”
“What are you even doing?”
“Bringing up all the drone and camera feeds. They're stupid, Terrans, he's probably hiding in an alcove or cupboard.”
“He's going to be in the hallways – he can't get into any of the rooms.” Ulaz rounded a corner and stopped dead. “He can however, get into the maintenance shafts.”
“His hands were bound!”
“Then explain why I'm staring at the metal cover on the floor.” Ulaz padded over slowly to check the shaft. “He's not gone up.”
“Then go down, genius.”
“What's down this shaft? It's Level Twelve: MS-67.” Ulaz peered down as he waited.

 

“It goes to the main hangar.” Haxus paused. “The little dreck is going to escape.”
“He won't be able to work anything, remember?”
“That's a good point.” Haxus was silent again. “I'll get the guards down there, and have sentries manned at each exit. We need to find him soon, the Commander just messaged me.” Ulaz felt his gut tighten. “We better. I'll go down the shaft.” Ulaz cut the communicator and shoved it in his pocket. He grabbed the bars and swung himself in. It had been a long time since he'd had to do anything like this. He let go.

 

-

 

For the first time in a long while, Shiro felt alive. The adrenaline pumped in his veins as he stalked one of the Galra guards. This guard was smaller then the others he'd seen before, and at a guess, they were young. He'd likely have the upper hand. He was playing about with his communicator, giggling like a school boy. Shiro stalked closer, moving on tiptoe. No sound, no noise.

 

“Uwaah!!!” With a hard thud and clatter, the guard hit the floor face-first. Shiro pounced. He kicked and stamped on the back of his legs, spine, he kicked as hard as he could against the guards ribs, spitting and snarling. The guard looked terrified, but Shiro refused to relent. Get your cuffs off. “Take these off now!” Shiro barked. The Galra whimpered, but brought out one hand and squeezed the metal. They clicked open, just like the collar earlier.

 

Flexing his right hand, he bent down and grabbed the guard's face. “Hangar. Where is it?”
“Next floor down!”
“I'm taking this.” Shiro grabbed the blaster a few feet away. He aimed it at the Galra in front of him. “Nothing personal.” He pulled the trigger. The laser blast struck the guard in the face, but whether he was dead, it didn't matter at this point for Shiro. He needed to get moving. He sprinted down the hallway, cursing at the burning stitch in his side. It hurt, but it still felt better than being force-fed alien come.

 

He skidding to a stop as a small drone appeared before him. “S-Shit!” Shiro raised the blaster and fired, the machine falling to the floor, small sparks erupting from it before the light dimmed from its robotic eye.
“He's on Level Two! All personnel, get there now!” The intercom. Fuck. He slipped down a side corridor that ended in a dead end, but did end in another maintenance panel. He yanked it off as he heard distant metal boots and the whirring of something he didn't recognise. There, he was in. He couldn't hold the blaster and put the panel back on, so had to hope that he could get enough of a head start. The hangars were close. Freedom was nearly upon him. He had to stay focussed – Sendak was his biggest threat.

 

He slipped carefully out of the shaft, holding the blaster close. He felt like he was being watched, but of course he would, he was almost at his destination. He sunk slow and strained his ears as he crept around, trying to not let his twitchy fingers fire too early. It seemed too quiet. Something wasn't right. He finally found himself looking through large windows to a hangar lined with hundreds of fighter jets. He shouldn't be surprised, but the sheer volume was terrifying. Earth would be annihilated.

 

“What are you doing?”
Shiro yelped, firing off a shot into the hallway. “You've got it set to stun, but you almost had me.”
“U-Ulaz? Is that you?!” Shiro pointed his gun around, trying to locate where he was hiding. “I thought you were a medical officer?”
“I am, Shiro, but I am trained in combat. Would you mind placing the blaster down, I don't like hurting my patients.”
“I-I know you want me to put it down, but I can't. I know it's a ruse.”
“Well you can't say I tried.” Above. Shiro looked above him but there was nothing there. Something caught him under his left arm and he groaned out, but left a shot off into the floor. “Careful.” Ulaz was right in his face, the tiniest of grins on his face, but eyes glowing dangerously.

 

“Where did you-” Shiro was grabbed around his arms and lifted clean into the air. He dropped the blaster with a clatter to the floor. Ulaz wasn't squeezing him hard, but Shiro felt that this was relaxed for him. “Put...me...down!” He kicked out, and somehow managed to kick Ulaz in the gut. He dropped Shiro, who grabbed the blaster and ran towards a set of doors. He hammered the panel and it buzzed, red light denying him access. He could feel his heart rate increase and sweat drip down his neck as Ulaz turned towards him. Shouts were growing louder until he was surrounded on all sides, the guard he'd shot in the face was there supported by an angry-looking comrade. Then of course, Haxus had to appear.

 

Shiro couldn't back himself more into the door. What he didn't bank on was it opening. He fell backwards, having relied on it for support. The faces in front of him dropped and he knew in that moment that the hard mountain he'd hit was Sendak.
“What the hell is going on here?” A hand wound its way under his jaw. The claws pressed in sharply as the broke the skin.

 

Chapter Text

“C-Commander! I-”
“That little dreck shot Yarva in the fucking face!” The guard carrying his comrade placed him carefully against the wall before drawing his sword and rushing at Shiro. “I'm going to gut you!” His eyes shone dangerously in the pulsating light as he bared down. Shiro scrabbled in Sendak's iron grip, screwing his eyes shut.

 

“C-Commander?” The voice was meek.
Shiro cracked open his eye. The point of the sword poked out of the huge black hand. He couldn't see Sendak's face, but he could feel how taut the body was under his suit. Sendak never said a word. He shoved Shiro away, Haxus grabbing him tightly and yanking his hair back so he could glare into his eyes, a toothy sneer on his face. “Just you wait.” He whispered. “Follow. All of you.” Sendak said flatly as he pulled the guard by the front of their armour down the corridor. There was a single room with a window in front of them, but with how nervous the others started getting, Shiro's gut started to knot.

 

Sendak pushed the guard against the door and yanked the blaster from Shiro's hand. “You tried to kill my property.”
“Your what?”
“For your undisciplined actions against your Commander and his property, I hereby condemn you to death.” Sendak placed the blaster against his chest and without hesitation pulled the trigger. The guard screeched as he went down, writhing and twitching as Sendak opened the first door and kicked him inside. He closed it and pressed a few buttons on the panel. Air lock disengaging in thirty ticks. Sendak crushed the blaster in his prosthetic claws and threw it to the ground. He turned, and Haxus pushed Shiro back towards him. “Watch.” He pressed Shiro's face against the cold glass.

 

As the automated voice counted down, the horrified look on the guard's face turned to fear and panic to realisation and desperation. Shiro could see everything; he couldn't move, he'd die out there. “Commander, please-” Sendak smashed his face into the window. “Silence!” He snarled, digging his claws in tight. “His blood is on your hands.” The whisper made Shiro's spine go cold.

 

He couldn't hear the guard as they tried to drag themselves to the door, and never would as the air lock opened. He'd never seen anyone die from the vacuum, and honestly never wanted to again. As the lock opened, the body just flew out unceremoniously. “The Galra body takes thirty ticks until the oxygen is gone.” Sendak whispered into Shiro's ear. “I wonder how long it would take it to leave yours?” He kept his eyes on the body floating just outside the ship; answering would have him out the airlock as well.

 

Slowly, Sendak turned to the remaining members of his organic crew, the alarm still blaring around them and lights flashing. “If any one of you ever considers trying to kill my slave.” He threw Shiro to the floor, “or touches him without my consent again, you will be going out that airlock. I didn't invite undisciplined drecks to my crew, I invited strong and capable Galra. Take stock of its collar. It. Is. Mine.” Shiro could feel multiple sets of eyes on his curled up form. He'd landed on his broken fingers and could feel them sting for the first time in hours. He bit his lip as he felt a tight grip around his ankle. “Lieutenant – my office in fifteen dobosh's. Get that alarm off now.” He stormed off down the hallway, dragging Shiro's body behind him.

 

-

 

“How on Daibazaal did he manage to get away from you?” Sendak roared, striking his fist on the desk. Haxus flinched. There was no question he deserved this. “He headbutted me and kicked me in the groin.”
“Are you joking?” Sendak stared at him, mouth agape. He brought his hand up to his temples, then to his mouth. “I'm...speechless.” He flopped it down on the desk, shrugging his shoulders. “Explain everything that led up to this.”
“I collected him from Ulaz's office two vargas ago, at the allotted time you were supposed to. After talking with Ulaz, I then took the slave for a long walk back to his cell-”
“Why?”
“I wished to show him more of the ship, as you have taken him out previously.” Haxus shifted in his chair. “What aren't you telling me?” Sendak's brow knit together as he leaned forward. “I...had information for him,” he closed his eyes and slowly reopened them, “about his previous cell mates.”

 

Sendak leaned back and brought his prosthetic arm to the table, the claws drumming on the spotless surface. “What information?”
“Their status.”
“You are aware you should not be divulging this information?” Sendak's fur started to puff out, his claws silent. “P-Please understand, Commander, it was to serve you!” He slammed his palms against the spotless surface, the chair clattering over behind him. “It was movements ago; when you'd asked me to prepare him. I said I'd exchange the information for his compliance!” His heart hammered against his chest as Sendak stared at him. He bent his head down. “Commander-”
“Silence, Lieutenant.” Sendak didn't look at him. “Not only have you given information away in exchange for sexual favours, but you have disrespected me in the process. A member of the crew is dead because of your negligence.” Sendak rose from his chair. “I will need to submit a report to the Emperor, and he will make the call on your punishment. You've got a clean record, so I'm sure it'll be something small like reassignment for a few phoebs. For the time being, I'm suspending all your duties and will take back overseeing the prisoners. You will be assigned to your quarters, and your permissions will be severely reduced.” Sendak crossed his arms over his chest, face expressionless.

 

Haxus bowed his head and rose. “I understand, Commander.” He pulled his communicator from his pocket and placed it on the table, along with the small lanyard clipped to his waist. Sendak nodded stiffly, placing them in a drawer. “Can I assume that he lashed out because he was not happy with the answer?”
“Correct, Sir.” Haxus stood at attention, arm across his chest. “That is all. Go.” Sendak turned his back on Haxus, and he heard the door swish open and close.

 

He rested his head against the wall. He hated this; how stupid and reckless Haxus had been. He was risking his career and now this was a mark against him, even if it would likely be a light punishment. He'd done everything he should of, which was fine with Sendak, but it shouldn't of happened. The slave, arguably just opportunistic, had managed to evade capture from sentries and regular guards alike; he'd managed to wind his medical officer for enough time to get from his iron-grip, and stolen a blaster from some grunt. He'd wished he'd been here to deal with it himself. Sighing, he made for the door. He needed to grab a few things before heading down to see his slave.

 

-

 

Shiro tugged again half-heartedly at his restraints; his arms and legs stretched wide and shackled in heavy cuffs, the rattle of the chains echoed around the room. Sendak had dragged him in and strung him up. He'd tried to fight back but was back-handed over both of his cheeks. They still stung. He wasn't sure what Sendak was going to do, but he'd removed the collar once he was tied, and it was a rarity that Sendak would ever take it off unless he was making Shiro clean it.

 

The automatic doors behind him hissed open and he heard heavy footsteps echo against the metal floor. They stopped, maybe a few feet back. “So what happens now?” Shiro asked, glaring hard into the dim room as he tried to steel himself. There was no answer, just footsteps and the sound of something clattering. “Not talkative for once? Nothing smug to say? No chiding that you're superior?” Why he was goading Sendak he had no idea at this point. It was probably the adrenaline and rage – or he hoped so.

 

With no warning, white-hot agony tore through his flesh. Shiro threw his head back, screaming. He could already feel at least four warm lines across his back. He wasn't prepared for the second lashing, or the third, or the fourth. Each time he screamed himself hoarse, tears and dark spots clouding his vision. He choked on his own breath, and the lashing stopped. The reprieve was short-lived as his clothes were ripped from his back. He felt sharp claws as they kneaded his ass cheeks, and squeaked as a rough tongue ran up his spine. Sharp teeth pierced the skin just below the base of his neck, the tongue hungrily licking at the blood. Shiro let his head drop forward, panting and trying to resist screeching out.

 

His throat released a ragged shout as he felt claws slash over the lacerations. He snarled, lips curling back, and looked up to see Sendak slowly wander round, letting the tailed whip drag over the floor beneath him. Shiro couldn't stop his body from trembling; the sweat soaked his skin. He could feel the pain well in his chest as he saw the whip fully now, the four dark thongs stained red with his blood. He tried to say Sendak's name, but nothing but a rasp came from his dry cracked lips. Sendak raised his arm high, a look of pure euphoria on his face.

 

Crack.
Crack.
Crack.
Crack.

 

His rasps slowly became inaudible until Shiro slumped forwards, head hung almost against his collarbone. He could hear the distant clatter of the whip hitting the floor and muffled footsteps. A hand roughly grabbed his face, a finger stroking his stubble slowly. He slipped out of consciousness with a soft breath.

 

Sendak studied the tear-stricken face; blood splattered across his cheeks and nose. His slave had longer hair now, which he had started to prefer. Sendak tilted his face to the side, pressing his fingers to the bruised cheek. He drew his hand back and slapped it across both sides of his face. The slave's eyes bolted open. “Please...” He croaked, tears threatening the corners of his eyes. He dropped his hand and turned back towards the whip. His ears pricked as the chains rattled hopelessly against the fittings. He picked up the whip and moved back towards the table where his other equipment lay, exchanging it for a slender metal bar.

 

His body was descending. Was it? He felt his toes brush against the floor and the clicking of metal stop. The floor was warm and slippery. He dared to glance down to stare at small puddles of his own blood. His feet prickled as he wiggled his toes; muscles tingling as he could shift his weight about for the first time in almost a varga. He felt his ankle grabbed and the clatter of chains, before it was forcibly moved and attached to something else. The same happened with his other leg, and he was left with his feet planted on the floor and legs spread – not as wide as before, but still far enough apart. Next his arms were brought in behind his back, and he could hear something click together. Shiro tried to pull his arms apart, but found them joined together at the wrists. The left above the right.

 

Sendak, happy with his slave spread as he was, paced around in front of him, his head hung low. It was possible he may pass out again, but another slap would likely do the trick. He pulled his slave by the hair forwards, bending down to look into those grey eyes he was a little fond of. There was the embers of fight in there. As he unclipped the front of his body suit, he let his prosthetic claws run slowly over the bloody chest, digging back into the gouges he made movements' ago. The slave rasped again, trying to pull away from the pain. Sendak focussed on his claws, which came to life. He seared slowly along the lash marks, the slave's primal scream echoing around the room. The smell of burning flesh was not pleasant to his sensitive nose, but watching him flit in-between consciousness was worth the stench. He pulled his claws away, letting them relax, as he pulled the slave down to his semi-hard erection.

 

Shiro spluttered around the hot dick in his mouth as Sendak pulled him roughly along its length. He tried to scream through it to no avail as it swelled in size. He heard soft grunts above him as the underside of Sendak's cock rubbed itself against his tongue, the pace and force increasing with each thrust. The ridges caught under his teeth, and it felt like they'd be ripped out along with his throat. He screwed his eyes shut as the thrusts became erratic, trying to will his own erection away; he was losing blood, he didn't need any more of it going somewhere like that. The grip on his hair tightened, and he felt Sendak's cock twitch in his mouth before he emptied himself. Shiro swallowed what he could as Sendak pulled himself out; threads of come catching his lips and face. The grip on his hair released, and he dropped his head, spit and come dripping from his open mouth. His body shuddered as he coughed what he couldn't swallow to the floor, before his stomach decided, it, to, needed to empty its' contents.

 

Sendak was unrelenting in his silent assault on Shiro's body. He felt those sharp claws squeeze his cock, giving him a few tugs, before he ran the flat of his finger around past Shiro's taint to his hole. His voice cracked as Sendak slapped his ass sore while one of the cold metal claws probed his hole before pulling away. He felt the hard tip of Sendak's erection force itself in; the pain intense internally as it almost felt like his cock was forcing itself through his gut. He heard the loud purr above him, the prosthetic holding him around the chest with the biological hand held his hip in place. There was too much in there like this, Shiro couldn't cope.

 

When the body under him went limp, Sendak found it was easier to fuck further into him. No resistance was good, but then he couldn't let his slave off the hook. He bit down into his shoulder, digging his teeth in hard. The body jerked underneath him, Sendak purring to the feeling. As he lapped at the bloody marks he'd made, he pulled the slave in closer and forced himself with more fervour – the small mewls and whines pressing him forward for a second release. He bent his knees a little more and forced him down hard as he thrust upwards; the slave's shriek carnal. He moved his hand across the damp and bloody chest before wrapping it around Shiro's cock, pumping it roughly as he could feel himself reach climax again.

 

Shiro flicked between consciousness as Sendak came hard in his ass, his own erection painful in the tight grasp as he neared his own release. His eyelids fluttered and he let out a small squeak as he came, pain and shame shooting throughout his entire body as he slumped forwards in the restraints. He was vaguely aware of Sendak pulling out, of the hotness that ran down the insides of his thighs. Then nothing.

 

Sendak loosened the chains and the slave dropped to the floor with a thud, his ass raised and come and blood leaking out. He moved back to the table, taking his communicator and quickly typing a message out, before placing it back down. He took the collar and a small knife, before returning to the body. He attached the collar back on, lifting the slave's filthy face. He was out, at least for now. He let it fall back to the floor and moved to crouch behind him, taking a foot in his hand. He made quick small cuts over each foot; his slave waking to make a strangled noise and tried to lash out, but to no avail, before flopping his face into the puddle of vomit he'd made earlier. Something on his hand glinted, and for the first time, he noticed the small finger splints. Sendak raised the hand and studied it in his prosthetic, before clamping it around the wrist. With a crunch and another shriek, he let it drop, the metal cuff crushed into the bloody skin.

 

The door behind him opened, and he looked around to see four guards stood on the threshold. He rose and motioned for them to approach.
“As I said, you have free reign to use his body for pleasure for the next varga. Nothing more. There is a camera in the room, so you are being recorded. Understand?”
“Yes, Commander!” They placed their hands against their chest and Sendak dismissed them to their entertainment. His ears pricked at the hoots and jeers as he collected his things from the table. He turned to see they'd rolled his slave to his back, ripping the remaining fabric from his chest until all that was left was that around his legs and arms. Sendak sniffed as he turned for the door, pulling out his communicator again.
Come to Interrogation Room L13-C one varga from now. You have him for the next movement.

 

-

 

Ulaz's stomach tightened as saw four guards on Level Thirteen. They were jeering and making grotesque sexual comments. They quietened down as they passed him in the corridor, but he could feel the stares on his back. He stopped in front of Room C and took a deep breath before placing his hand against the panel. The door opened to the dimly lit room and his nose was hit with the stench of blood and vomit. He coughed, covering his face and glared through the dim light.

 

There.
The floor.

 

He wasn't sure why he ran. He skidded down onto his knees and scooped Shiro delicately into his arms. He placed his fingers above the collar to check for a pulse. It was there, but slow. Ulaz snarled out as he took stock of the marks, the blood. He shook his head at the burn marks, the lacerations and bite marks. He was smeared in blood, come, vomit and the who knew what else, but it wasn't pleasant. Ulaz made sure to carefully lift Shiro before striding from the room. His gaze was dark, and he wasn't sure he was equipped to deal with the injuries he was yet to find.

 

Chapter Text

Ulaz stirred from his sleep, eyes opening slowly as he stretched. He moaned, blinking towards the tank in front of him. Shiro. He steadied himself up from the terminal and padded softly towards the tank, pressing a hand against the glass. His face looked pained even when he was under. The night before had been utter hell; he'd had to leave for Central Command because the ship wasn't equipped to handle the work he needed to do to the human. Removing the cuff that had been crushed into his skin had been a nightmare, and he'd had to approach the Druids for insight about quintessence usage because there was no way Shiro would've survived the night after he fell into shock and almost flat-lined. The Druids themselves were eerie, and he never liked being around them for any period of time. The only thing that was lucky was that they did help, since in that all-knowing way about them, they knew of Shiro's circumstances as Sendak's property and the Emperor's gift.

 

Either way, Shiro was stabilised. Ulaz ran an internal scan and went to grab something to drink. So much as alcohol would be great, this wasn't the time. As he stepped into the silent hallways of the medical centre, his communicator vibrated in his pocket. He pulled it out as he walked to the staff canteen, scanning the message from Thace;
When you say fucked up, how fucked up?
Ulaz rubbed his brow as he typed back;
Hand crushed, lacerations everywhere – even the feet – rectum torn in so many places I am surprised they didn't give him a new asshole, bruised all over...you do not want to know what fluids I found on him. My initial scan shown possible blindness in one of his eyes but I think that won't be permanent.
Ulaz pushed his communicator into his pocket as he selected a drink. A cup rattled out of the machine before the mixture poured itself in. He watched the dark liquid stop and then the next one pour.

 

That's really fucked up. Shit I'm sorry you have to deal with this.
Ulaz scanned the message and sniffed. If I could I'd gut Sendak with his own prosthetic. Can't you just hack it?
He lifted the cup to his lips and took a sip.
Do I look like the witch?
Ulaz grinned at the message before stalking back towards the room. His scan should be done by now.

 

He set the cup down and brought up the results. The bites and scratches were the first things that had healed; the antiseptic in the quintessence an absolute blessing His internal damage, lacerations and cuts were slowly healing, but needed more time. Ulaz took another sip of his drink as he narrowed his eyes. The wrist should've started to heal by now along with the fingers. That was odd. He pulled up the settings and parameters for the tank, making sure the output was right for the condition Shiro was in. Correct, could go up a bit, correct...what the fuck. He pushed himself away from the terminal. He needed a second opinion.

 

-

 

“H-High Priestess? What do I owe this honour?” Ulaz bowed low, arm clenched against his chest as the hooded figure stalked into the room, two Druids flanking her. “My Druids have told me the quintessence is not healing it.”
“T-That is correct.”
“Stand.” Ulaz quickly stood to attention. She raised her hand as she swept across the room towards the tank, and as Ulaz relaxed, he watched her study Shiro through the glass. “What happened to it?”
He opened his mouth to answer but closed it again. “It was...punished for trying to escape.”
“How.”
“It was lashed and raped repeatedly.” He swallowed the lump in his throat.
“Medical Officer Ulaz.” How did she know his name? “Everything here is correct, medically speaking. However, it would do you well to harden your disposition towards these matters.” She didn't look at him as she spoke, but tapped the glass with her clawed hands. “Bring him out. There is something anomalous here.”

 

Ulaz jumped into action. He set the tank to drain, looking nervously at the Druids and High Priestess, who were talking amongst themselves, every so often. As the tank made a soft beep, he moved forward to pull him out. “No. Leave him in there.”
“Yes, High Priestess.” Ulaz backed away as she approached the body, lifting the mangled wrist and studying it herself. She motioned for one of the Druids to come over and pointed to the skin. The druid bent over, taking the wrist itself before pulling back. “It is fragments.”
“Fragments of...what?” He asked warily.
“Restraints were used, yes?”
“I...yes.”
“The metal used is ancient – it dates back nine thousand deca-phoebs.” Haggar plucked a fragment out, handing it to Ulaz. “The restraint was likely ones that absorbed quintessence.” She paused, brow creasing. “Run the compounds of the shard and isolate them, then scan the body. We need to remove it as quickly as possible.” Ulaz hurried to the terminal and turned it on, quickly checking around him for a scanner. “I will speak to the Commander myself.” She muttered. “I will leave one of my Druids here. They will summon me back once you have the results.” She cast her cold gaze at Ulaz, who nodded curtly.

 

-

 

“Commander Sendak, explain to me why you have quintessence absorbing restraints.” Haggar slowly circled Sendak, who was bowed on one knee in the throne room. Zarkon sat quietly on his throne, arms resting on the sides and slowly drumming his fingertips together as he observed Sendak. He'd had the report come through late last night, and was once again disappointed in his old charge for letting his closeness with certain members of his crew cloud his judgement.

 

“All materials that related to quintessence absorption was to be given to the Druids for the Komar experiment. Why did you feel you were exempt, Commander?” She continued, stopping in front of Sendak.
“I allowed it, Haggar.” Zarkon rumbled. She turned to him, brow creased and mouth agape. “Why, My Lord?”
“Because I was the one to give them to him.” Zarkon rested his hands on the side of his throne. “He asked to keep them as a reminder of his old tutelage. I agreed.” He looked down at Sendak, who bowed his head low to the floor. Haggar averted her gaze before returning to her usual position besides the throne.

 

“This conversation is a waste of time. The only one of import is regarding your failure to post someone suitable to oversee your role.” He rose from the throne and slowly descended the steps until he stood over Sendak. “I will overlook the death of your crew member who disrespected your property and was rightly sent from the airlock. The guard who was defeated by the slave is a waste of resources, and will be reassigned to a position far from Central Command. Lieutenant Haxus, however, has a pure record and impressive skills that the Empire requires. You were right to suspend his duty, and from your report I believe all that could have been done, was.” Zarkon paused. “Regardless of this, I will personally be overseeing his punishment.”
“A fair and just punishment should teach him what he needs to learn.”
“You will also fight him. It will be a closed match.” Zarkon placed his hand in Sendak's fur. “Rise, Commander.”

 

Sendak rose to look into the eerie eyes of his Emperor. “I accept you prefer to form a cohesive unit through trust, but you must never forget that we may have enemies on the inside – the treasonous Blade of Marmora. They have agents planted, I am sure, in all ranks of the Empire. We may flush them out, but I cannot be sure they are all gone until their leader, Kolivan, is dead by my hand. If Lieutenant Haxus was a spy or betrayed the Empire, I expect you to have no hesitation ending his life.”
“You speak the truth, Emperor.” Sendak lowered his gaze. “I can see through you, Sendak. He has disrespected you, so I give you this closed match as a duel of honour.”
“Thank you, Emperor.” Sendak bowed low.

 

“Part of your punishment is showing me what you have taught your slave. I would like to see him fight.”
“Who would you like him to fight?”
“You. I miss his bloodthirsty attitude. Nadiva is too smug, and we both know that his victory wasn't legitimate.” Zarkon sneered. He turned back towards his throne. “Additionally, consider yourself grounded to the confines of Central Command until further notice. I expect you to be on the station by the end of the movement.”

 

-

 

His body was strapped to a table. Ulaz and a strange alien with a mask like a plague doctor leaned over his left arm with a small pair of tweezer-like instruments, picking something out of his mangled wrist. Ulaz had told him they'd anaesthetised the area instead of putting him under, and it was normal for the Galra to do this. He couldn't feel much past his elbow regardless, but his stomach felt churned up. He felt cold and clammy; almost ready to just pass out at any moment. Ulaz said it was fine if he did – it would probably be less grizzly. Apparently they were going to pull the skin back to get the small bits out. It's when they would use tiny instruments to collect the metal. If it got into his bloodstream and to his heart, he'd die.

 

He still wondered if that would be better then the life he had presently. Matt and Sam were probably having similar things done to them, but Shiro knew they were strong. They'd be okay, until he could get them both out. If he joined Nadiva, that would move closer to a feasible reality. Right now he couldn't pass through a door without needing a Galran escort. Maybe being dead wouldn't be too useful right now. He rolled his head to the left, and as Ulaz moved his hand away, he noticed the flesh peeled back, muscle and a bit of bone exposed. There was a lot of blood. He felt a bit light-headed and closed his eyes.

 

-

 

“So...how did it go?” Haxus lounged with his legs up on the sofa, watching Sendak as he perched on the edge by his feet. “That grimace doesn't look promising. Am I fucked?”
“Technically no, but literally? Yes.”
“Did he say if I'm being moved off the ship?”
“He didn't. I don't think you will be. Yarva is getting moved out to the fringes – like Branko did. He's going to be personally punishing you, and he's making us fight.” Sendak glanced over. Haxus blinked, sitting up slowly.

 

“I see why you said literally now.”
“Yeah.” Sendak looked down at his prosthetic claws. “It's not a death match.”
“Oh thank the gods.” Haxus flopped back into the sofa, groaning in frustration. “It's going to hurt, the punishment?”
“Yeah.”
“Any advice?”
“Take it.”
“Thanks.” Haxus pulled himself up, resting a clawed hand on Sendak's thigh and giving it a tiny squeeze. “Would you like a drink?”
“That'd be great. I've had the High Priestess at my throat today.”
“Yeah, you can't let her get angry at you. Otherwise she'll probably replace your other arm.”
“Her work is exceptional – it feels just like my organic arm.” Sendak frowned, before following Haxus over to his tiny kitchenette. “I'll be moving into my old place in Central by the end of the movement. When you can, come over.”
“I haven't been there in deca-phoebs.” Haxus chuckled as he took two glasses and a large bottle of mahogany-coloured liquid from the cupboard.

 

-

 

“High Priestess, no trace of the metal remains in its body.” The Druid passed Haggar a small container with the fragments. She peered inside and nodded slowly. “It's also reacting well to being back in the tank. Is it still safe to keep it on this much quintessence?” Ulaz glanced warily over from the terminal. Haggar and the Druid turned to him, silent for a few moments. “Yes. To heal him faster, I can refine it further.” Haggar stepped to the tank and placed her hands against the glass. Ulaz watched as her body relaxed; a strange, dark purple light emanating from her, until she screamed to expel the energy. As if the glass was nothing, it passed through into the tank; the once off-green colour now a bright violet. She let her hands drop away. “It shouldn't be long now until it is fit to leave the tank. Your assistance today has been of value, Ulaz.” Haggar gave him a detached once-over, before motioning the druid to follow her as she clutched the container.

 

-

 

Ulaz appreciated Thace coming to see him; he'd brought him a pipe and an energy drink to keep him going. The two sat in silence, staring at the tank and Thace occasionally squeezed Ulaz's hand, fingers laced together. “He'll be alright, Ulaz.”
“Still concerned.” Ulaz rested his head on Thace's shoulder. “I've been up for thirty vargas or something. Had a tiny nap,” Ulaz yawned, “but for how long I don't know.”
“Not long enough, clearly.”
“I'm taking care of him for the movement.”
“Do you think it's going to take that long for him to heal?”
“The body may be healed,” Ulaz took a drag on his pipe, “but it's everything else. I'm still worried about the quintessence exposure.” He motioned the the violet tank as he exhaled the smoke. “I suppose,” he continued, “it's interesting to see what the effects could end up being, but I hope it just increases his strength.”
“What if he becomes too strong? You know the Empire will use him.” Thace rested his chin in Ulaz's soft mohawk. “Then at best it levels the playing field. He can defend himself.”

 

-

 

“Take this and squeeze it.” Ulaz handed Shiro a soft grey ball. He took it in his left hand and clenched around the foam object a few times. Carefully at first, before smiling to himself as he made confident squeezes. “Well that seems fine. Rotate your wrist for me?” Shiro done as instructed, a tiny smile on his lips. “It's like it was never crushed, and you couldn't tell either.” He laced his fingers together and stretched them out, the bones making small cracks.

 

“Sadly, not everything has healed correctly.” Ulaz motioned Shiro to follow him a small side room with wall-length mirrors, a bed, and a small counter. He loosened the soft robes he'd been give to wear over his shoulders, pulling it down so they sat around his hips. It was the first time in a while he'd actually seen his reflection. Pacing slowly towards it, he placed a hand to his face. His stubble had grown out into a beard and his fringe was down past his nose. His skin was really pale which only made the dark bags around his sunken eyes more prominent. He bit his lip as he let his eyes drop down. He trailed his fingers along the three burn marks over his pecs to the side that Nadiva scarred the nipple on. Sendak's claw marks were still there as well in the centre. “Your back is thankfully clear. Aside all the bruising, of course.” Ulaz held his hands behind his back as Shiro pulled his mouth open to check his teeth, frowning as he poked his canine. It didn't wobble, that was good. He didn't want to lose anything out here. “How's your eyesight?”
“Fine, why?”
“There was the possibility you may have woken up blind in one eye.”
“But Sendak didn't smash my face into the floor.”
“Not from Sendak.” Ulaz wandered over and gently patted Shiro's shoulder.

 

“So...where are we?” Shiro finally asked, rubbing the back of his head.
“We're on Central Command. I couldn't heal you back on the ship. You almost died.” Ulaz squeezed Shiro's shoulder lightly. “We couldn't have that.” He smiled. Shiro looked at him, blinking slowly. “Why?”
“Because I would be a failure at my job if I let you die.” Ulaz cocked his head to the side. “Ah. It just sounded like you're keeping me alive for other reasons.” Shiro pulled away, wandering uneasily on his feet around the room. He felt lost; not really here. “Did you say someone other than Sendak attacked me?”
“You were assaulted by others. A minimum of four.” Ulaz studied Shiro as he stopped in place.

 

“Four.” He turned his head slowly to Ulaz, head tilted back, eyes wide, and mouth partly open. The look made Ulaz tense. Shiro rolled his eyes to look at the ceiling, a stifled, cold laugh echoing around the room. With speed Ulas didn't think he had, Shiro charged, drawing his fist back. Ulaz side-stepped, but realised he wasn't the intended target as the fist shattered the mirror. Shiro stood there laughing to himself, letting his forehead rest against the broken glass. The shards drawing blood from his knuckles.

 

-

 

“More manchin?”
“Thank you, Ulaz.” Shiro offered a smile as he stabbed his fork into the meat, the bandages around his hand looking like they needed a change. Ulaz's gaze softened as the human ate. The events from yesterday seemed to have been forgotten, at least by Shiro. Ulaz had noted it down in his observations, and was adamant it was linked to the quintessence exposure. He'd had to subdue him after he smashed the mirror up more, and he could only presume the look of death and revulsion Shiro had given him was what his victims saw in the arena. It was a look that didn't suit him.

 

It was his fourth quintant with Shiro, who had spent most of his time in the tank healing. This was the first proper meal he'd had since the quintant he tried to escape. “Did you want to stretch your legs today?”
“In what way?”
“I have a few things to do, and some help would be good.”
“Am I allowed out?”
“Well since I'm taking care of you, yeah.” Ulaz stole a tiny piece of manchin from Shiro's plate, the human grumbling in annoyance. “I would really like to, honestly.”
“I'd have to cuff you, sadly.”
“So long as it's in front of my body, that would be easier.” Shiro tugged at his robes, shivering at the cold. “Come, I had a body suit for you. You can wear the robes on top.”
“Do you have anything like a sash? A piece of fabric to go around the waist?” Shiro covered his mouth as he spoke, swallowing. Ulaz paused. “No, why?”
“Oh, I was going to try and style it like something from home.”
“I can find you some fabric if you like.” Ulaz shepherded Shiro into the side room and motioned to the under suit.

 

-

 

There were stares and whispers as the two walked through Central's bustling market. The place smelt of so many different foods; he recognised bovas and manchin, other meaty-smelling things frying, something like cinnamon, and other sweet smells that made his mouth water and stomach rumble. They passed under neon signs - some floating in the air above, others welded to shop fronts.

 

Ulaz had linked his arm with Shiro's as he fought through the masses. Although Shiro kept close and to himself, he had a habit of tugging Ulaz towards random shops. After what felt like three vargas, Ulaz finally found the fabric shop, and let Shiro hunt for whatever it was he wanted.
“Hey Ul-sir, would you be able to purchase this one?” Shiro bit his tongue. Ulaz had told him before they left he had to act subservient while they were out, as it was possible they would get into trouble – him more so – for acting familiar. He bowed his head to Ulaz, who nodded stiffly, stepping forwards to inspect the fabric himself. He glanced up to the shop keeper, who was eyeing Shiro warily. “How much?”
“Three thousand GAC.” The shop keeper was a squat alien with buggy eyes and a nasally voice. Ulaz shrugged his shoulders and brought out his communicator.
“You want to smack that slave for being so rude!”
“Well it's something his master will have to do in private.” Ulaz pushed his communicator back into his pocket, glaring down at the alien. “You should know to keep your opinions to yourself, dreck.” He passed Shiro the fabric, placed in a small bag, and pulled him away.

 

“Sorry you had to see that.” Ulaz whispered. “I needed to make a scene.”
“It's alright. I'm sorry I'm messing up.”
“You're doing fine, I promise.” Ulaz's breath was hot in Shiro's ear. He tightened his grip on the handle. “Either way, let's carry on with the errands.” Ulaz pulled him along, Shiro getting swept up again in all the noises, smells and sights.

 

They took a lift back to the medical centre. Shiro had his face plastered to the window, hands touching the glass as he stared out in wonder. Ulaz looked away awkwardly when the other passengers in the lift glared over at him. After they squeezed out, Shiro seemed like a bundle of energy – he really was acting like an excitable kit. “I didn't recognise any of the stars or constellations. What galaxy are we in? How far is the Milky Way from here? Are we in Andromeda? Draco? Antlia? The Hydra Cluster? Are we anywhere in the Laniakea Supercluster?” Ulaz's ears drooped a little. “We don't have the same names for them as you, so I wouldn't know where they are. Unless you know what quadrant they're in?”
“Not in the slightest, since the Galra base their quadrants from here?”
“We do.”
“Oh.” Shiro looked down at the floor. Ulaz patted him on the shoulder lightly. “Maybe Sendak will show you.”
“Maybe.”
“Are you hungry?”
“Constantly.” Shiro grinned, but there was a sad tint to his gaze.

 

-

 

“So what did you want to make out of the fabric?” Ulaz stood in the doorway of the small room as Shiro pulled off his body suit, carefully folding it and placing it on the counter. He pulled the robe up again. He held both sides outstretched, and wrapped the left side over the right. Holding it in place, he picked up the material he'd folded in half earlier. He carefully wound it around his waist, tugging out a small loop, until he threaded the ends through. Instead of leaving the tie at the front, he moved it around to his back. “The robes reminded me of some clothing I wore back on Earth sometimes. It's called a yukata – my grandparents always used to like me wearing one as a kid. It was a dark blue and had purple marks on it. The knot's called Sarashi Kaze, which means 'wind style', if I remember correctly. My grandfather taught me how to do it, but it took ages because I'd always get stuck with the heko-obi.” His smile wavered as he looked to Ulaz. “You know this has been the first time I've had any semblance of freedom; the fact I get to dress myself like this.” He slipped down the side of the bed to the floor.

 

Ulaz padded over and sat on the floor beside him. “Although I don't understand what you've been talking about for the last six vargas, I've enjoyed seeing a little glint in your eyes. You looked happier then when I gave you manchin for the first time, and you've opened up which I appreciate.”
“You won't tell Sendak?”
“I won't tell him.” Ulaz rubbed Shiro's shoulder as he leaned against his chest. “Can I nap while you get food?”
“Of course. I'm also not making you manchin again so don't ask.” He tussled Shiro's hair softly and pulled himself up, offering Shiro a hand. “You aren't...wanting anything, right?” Shiro asked carefully. “I mean you're gentle, and if you were gentle during that I wouldn't mind.”
“I don't want sex from you, Shiro.” Ulaz gently eased him up and sat him on the bed. “Don't stress out and get some sleep.”

 

-

 

Unless they went out or had the dentist in, Shiro was allowed to lounge about the room without his collar. He could bathe as much as he pleased, and spent three vargas in the bath earlier in the quintant. Ulaz had allowed him a razor to shave his beard off, and focus on a few other places, but had insisted he had to remain in the room. He was at least polite and would look away. Ulaz had let him wander about in his makeshift yukata, and when he was busy, he'd practice different knots or do some light exercise in the room. Last night he managed to get some personal time to himself, which ended up being after he woke up during a sex dream between himself, Adam, and Keith. Keith was a weird addition – he liked him but didn't have any feelings like that for him.

 

“Ulaz, can I cut my hair tonight?”
“I can't see why not.” Ulaz muttered as he typed on the display, exhaling smoke through his mouth as he pulled the pipe away. Shiro hummed in appreciation and wandered over beside Ulaz, who stopped for a second, before continuing. “Sorry. I forgot you couldn't read Galran.”
“No, but It'd be helpful to learn.”
“Perhaps another time. Sendak's taking you back later.” Ulaz paused typing again. “Let's go get your hair sorted, and I'll need to make sure you have some proper food again before he gets here.”
“You sound like a divorced mother talking about their ex-husband before you let the kids go for the weekend.” Shiro gave him an awkward smile, but Ulaz just stared at him. “You don't get it, do you?”
“Sadly not, but you can explain it to me as you cut your hair.” Ulaz said, getting up from his chair.

 

“You've been the happiest this movement then I've ever seen you.” Ulaz commented as Shiro washed the hair from the back of his neck and shoulders. “It's because you've been kind to me. You've not made me do anything to you...just fed me, took me out, just shown me basic human decency.” Shiro muttered as he furiously rubbed his neck. Ulaz reached out a hand and carefully plucked the strands of hair away. “Better?”
“Yeah. Less itchy, thanks.” He turned to Ulaz, offering a soft smile. “Do you think Sendak will let me spend time with you – like learn things?” There was a cautious edge to his tone.
“The Commander is someone I need to be wary of, as you know,” Ulaz leaned back against the wall. “He gets jealous and temperamental with his slaves having too much outside contact. That said, so long as he considers someone non-threatening, he can be a bit lenient.”
“Is this why he lets Haxus be around me?”
“Partly. He and Haxus have known each other for hundreds of deca-phoebs – he was his mentor, if I'm remembering correctly.” Ulaz looked at Shiro, who seemed to be lost in thought.

 

“I used to be a mentor back on Earth.”
“What was your pupil like?” Ulaz offered Shiro a towel to dry himself. “Where to start? I used to be a recruiter – so I went around to schools to look for prospective students to join the Garrison-”
“Schools have kits in – children – yes?”
“Yeah.”
“Why is a military trying to recruit children?” He cocked his eyebrow, “it's a bit barbaric, is it not?” Shiro was uncertain how to respond. He draped the towel over his head and perched on the side of the bath. “It's just what's normal on my planet. They wouldn't see active service until they were eighteen minimum.” He seemed a bit offended, Ulaz thought, but sending children no less to war was disgusting. “Well, I let them do flight simulations, and there was this one kid, Keith, who was amazing. Something set him off and he stole my car, and I had to get him out of a juvenile detention centre.”
“Is that like a prison?”
“Yeah.”
“A child prison?”
“Yes?”
“I'm starting to get the impression your planet is harsher than the Galra with punishments. A child, in prison.”
“It's not...the same. Just let me continue? You're bad at listening to stories.” Shiro chided, scowling. “I apologise, it's just...strange.”
“Anyway. I said to come along to the Garrison and he did. Keith didn't have any parents, so it took a bit of time, but I got him in as a cadet. He was just,” Shiro smiled in his reverie, “such a good pilot. He was focussed for the most part, but got in a few fights here and there. But he was just so engaged with learning. He was set to head into the fighter pilot class like I did, and I'm just so proud of him. He's probably smashed my records by now.” Shiro chuckled to himself, absently toying with his fringe. “It made me so happy seeing him that excited the day before we launched for Kerberos. That little gleam in his eye. I miss him.” He frowned at the floor. “I hope Keith's okay.”
“I can tell you miss this little Earthling. Was he a mate?”
“Like a partner – girlfriend, boyfriend?”
“Yes.” Ulaz jerked back at Shiro's sudden loud reaction. “No! No, no, no! It's not like that!” He raised his hands. “No, he was just a friend.”
“So Earthling mentors don't bond intimately with their pupils?”
“No! That's really unprofessional. I could've lost my job. Why? Don't tell me the Galra do?”
“Some do, yes. Depending on circumstance, it may be frowned upon. Otherwise it's expected.” He shrugged his shoulders. “It's not usually made public.”
“Does that mean Sendak and Haxus...” Shiro made a crude motion with his fingers, hoping to the gods the Galra understood. Ulaz watched and gave him a wry smile. “I wouldn't be surprised.” He stifled a laugh as Shiro made a retching noise. “Anyway, food.”

 

-

 

Sendak strode into the room his slave had been residing in for the last movement, to find him and Ulaz sat talking, his medical officer wrapping some gauze around the slaves' hand. “What happened to him?” The two looked up, and quickly straightened themselves out, bowing to him. “Please follow.” Ulaz motioned for Sendak to follow him to the small room. He pointed to the glass, that had remained shattered, and quickly shut the door behind them. “The High Priestess refined the tank's quintessence herself. When I was talking him through his injuries – one that may have been partial blindness,” Ulaz glowered at Sendak, “and explained that it wasn't just you who used him, that happened.” He motioned again at the smashed glass. “I also have a report for you which, frankly, you're not going to like.” He paced around the room, finally getting to unleash some of his grievances. He couldn't really lay into Sendak, but this was usually the angriest he got with the Commander. “He almost died because of all of that.”
“What do you mean?”
“The blood loss? That cuff you crushed into his wrist? If myself and the druid didn't manage to pick the chunks out, it would have killed him if it got to his heart.”
“Don't dictate to me what I can and can't do to him.” Sendak growled. “I'm preforming my job, something you want of your crew.” Ulaz spat. Sendak exhaled, pacing around the room.

 

“Is he fit to fight?”
“Excuse me?”
“I asked if he was fit to fight. Emperor Zarkon wants to see what I have taught him.”
“He would need to remain on a steady diet and actually do some training. When is it scheduled?”
“In two quintants.”
“He's healed, bar the hand, which I am refusing to use quintessence for after that.”
“Understandable.” Sendak rubbed his eyes, growling to himself. “He won't be going back to the ship. I've been grounded to Central Command for the foreseeable future. You will continue to be his healer, but his move to Central's prisoner cells has been complete. You'll be happy to know I don't plan on having him tonight.” Sendak moved from the room back out to his slave, sat studying him from the table. “You and I will be doing some training tomorrow. You have been moved to a new cell on Central Command. Ulaz will be escorting you there shortly.” With that, he left.

 

Chapter Text

The sword clattered to the floor, followed by a dull thud.
“Is that the best you can do?”
“You've been working me...for...two vargas...straight.” Shiro wheezed, wiping sweat from his brow and airing the body suit around his chest.
“That's no time at all.” Sendak paced over and dragged him to his feet, roughly pulling his face up. “You will run the drill again.”
“Can I at least drink something? Please?”
“Fine. Your body is damp.” Sendak wiped his hand against Shiro's cheek, before motioning him to follow towards the small terminal. He handed Shiro a bottle, which he chugged down quickly. Sendak eyed him as he handed him another, which Shiro drank slower this time. He poured the remaining contents of it over his head, scrubbing the cold water into his face. “Why did you do that for?”
“My skin feels sticky.” He answered, blinking water from his eyes. Sendak hummed and tapped his claws on the terminal. “You've completed the basic training quicker than I was expecting.”
“Back at the Garrison we were trained in hand-to-hand combat and firearms. I've also taken some different martial arts and boxing classes before.” Shiro looked up to Sendak as he scrolled through a list, pausing to read on occasions. “I will put you on an advanced training programme to see how you handle it. The AI will be set to attack lethally.”
“Great.” Shiro mumbled. “Can I at least rest a little?” Sendak observed him, before sighing. “I suppose so. I don't fancy Ulaz whining at me like a disgruntled mother.” Shiro bit his tongue so not to laugh. He settled down with his back pressed against the wall, closing his eyes.

 

“You seem to be enjoying yourself.” Shiro opened his eyes to look at Sendak's back. “That's because I am, Commander.”
“What do you enjoy about it?”
“The adrenaline. The thrill. Feeling alive. I've never really thought about it.” Shiro looked at the floor in front of him. He enjoyed the discipline behind the martial arts and the focus required for fighting in general. The training was also good to keep him in peak condition even after he was diagnosed. “Why are you so interested in what your slave likes?” He dared to ask. Sendak turned around, leaning back on the terminal. “I noticed you smiling. That was all.”
“Oh, okay.” Shiro closed his eyes again, hoping Sendak wouldn't pester him.

 

“You fight differently here compared to the arena. It's less wild and more calculated.”
“I was calculated in the arena.”
“It's different.”
“That's because the AI hasn't been set to kill me, has it?”
“There is that.” Sendak paused. “Do you know why you're being trained?”
“You want me exhausted before you torture me again? You like your slaves drenched in sweat before you destroy their assholes?”
“I'm not in the mood for your pettiness.”
How am I being petty?” Shiro pulled himself up from the floor, fists clenched at his sides. “You threatened to throw me out an air lock, dragged me through the ship, lacerated my skin and between being conscious, raped me, again.”
“It was your punishment for trying to escape.” Sendak glared at Shiro. “Don't push it.”
“Or what? What else can you do?”
“I can make sure the other prisoners you were with suffer.” Sendak replied coolly.

 

“N-No.” He whispered, pushing himself against the wall as Sendak's imposing figure approached. “Yes, slave, I can and I will.” He spat. “You were rightly punished for trying to escape. If you hadn't assaulted the guard, whose career you have ruined I may add, then the guard who attacked you would never have tried to honour him. This. Was. Your. Fault.” He jabbed his claw into Shiro's chest for emphasis, hot breath against his face. “For all your petulant whining, I don't see you curbing your behaviour. Is it because you perhaps like this?” Shiro felt the clawed hand drift down his front, slowly massaging his groin.

 

He wouldn't admit it, but the touch presently actually felt good. “Every time I've tried to toe the line, it's never good enough for you.” Shiro hissed through his teeth. Sendak squeezed harder. “But you weren't really, were you? You only behaved – and I use the word sparingly – because of what Haxus promised. You are self-serving in nature, with no consideration for those around you.” He dug his claws into the fabric. Sendak was right about the former. Shiro screwed his eyes shut. “Your silence is as good as agreement.” The fingers lingered, slowly stroking his semi-hard cock. “I-I'm not self-serving.”
“How?” Sendak rubbed small circles around the head.
“Everything...I do...is for those I care about.” Shiro breathed out, eyes fluttering closed as he dug his fingers into the wall behind him. You just had to crack this way, didn't you? Stupid boy. He's going to use this against you, if he didn't already know. The hand pulled away, leaving Shiro's body to shudder. “Explain to me,” Sendak placed his hands behind his back as he walked away, “how you are not self-serving.”

 

Shiro could feel the sweat trickle down the back of his neck. He opened his mouth, then closed it again, staring at the floor. Sendak turned his head to study him. “Has it dawned on you yet?” Shiro clenched his teeth and balled his fists together. “I've behaved for you so you didn't have a reason to take it out on my friends or use it against me as blackmail. Being self-serving means I wouldn't consider others in my decisions-”
“In all my deca-phoebs, I have never heard such tripe.” Sendak let his hands fall to his sides, and an overwhelming sense of dread swept over Shiro. “You seem to forget I have access to your file, to your life.”
Please, don't do this.” Shiro couldn't push himself further into the wall and slipped down the freezing metal.
“Your relationship with your old mate? It seemed you liked to focus on your career over him. How many times did you argue, did he compromise his values for you? You chose to leave him for space without a care. The kit you mentored? Another selfish action to boost your self-esteem and give you the illusion of self-worth. Every achievement you made back on your inconsequential planet was to try and secure you a place in the tapestry of history, but ultimately, all just self-serving actions put into place so someone would remember you after you died. So you can sit there quivering like a yupper all you damn well please, but get it in to your tiny brain that you are just as selfish as the rest of us, and it would do you well to remember that. Your self-righteous martyr complex will lead you nowhere.” Sendak towered over him and leaned down.

 

“Nothing to say?” Sendak traced his hand down Shiro's face. “I was looking forward to a rebuttal from that noisy little mouth of yours.” He purred, stroking his claw over Shiro's lips. “You might detest me for what I do to you physically, but did you really think I wouldn't mentally be able to break you down?” He whispered, golden eyes gleaming. He slipped his hand down Shiro's jawline and slowly pulled away. “Now up. You've had time to rest.” He clapped his hands and Shiro jerked back to reality, scrambling to his feet and almost tripping over himself. “The AI will be lethal. Do try to concentrate.” Sendak taunted as he pressed the screen. Shiro took a deep breath and exhaled, drawing the sword in front of him and widening his stance as the training robot emerged from the floor, holding the same falchion-like sword as he did, it's 'eyes' glowing violet as it came to life. “Begin!” Sendak barked.

 

The robot was upon him quickly, bringing it's sword down hard. He blocked the attack; sword held length-ways, knees bent. He shouted as he pushed back against the robot, sending it pacing back a few steps. It pulled back the sword and crouched low, before launching itself again and slashing low. Once again Shiro was on the defensive, giving a quick parry. The blade deflected and skimmed his side, nicking the skin in the process. Shiro hissed out, and while it was low, used his elbow to bash it in the top of the head. It hit the ground. Shiro pivoted around and struck along the thick metal. He took a few back-steps as his opponent rolled over and up onto one knee, sword over it's chest.

 

The robot lunged again for him, but at the last moment feinted to the side as Shiro went to parry. The blade slashed across the right of his chest, a few inches below his armpit. He yelled out in pain and stumbled backwards, clutching the wound with his left hand. His parry attempts were getting weaker and more desperate until the sword was knocked out of his hand. The robot drew the blade back and made to slash across his neck-
“Idiot!”
It was grabbed and smashed into the wall opposite him. As Sendak pulled his prosthetic back, the robot fell to a crumpled, sparking heap on the floor with a crash. Shiro panted heavily with his hand to the collar, eyes wide and fixated on the space in front of him.

 

Stupid, stupid, stupid! He had you rattled, you lost your focus. No it was my fault. Don't go blaming yourself for what he said. He wanted you to lose, he wants to manipulate you, break you down. But I let it go. Because you were distracted? Which is my fault. Don't let him get to you. He wants you malleable so you're easy to control. No one controls us and no one ever will. But what if we're being obdurate and fuck up? What if we have been and that's how we've got ourself to this point. He had a point earlier – about being selfish. It's a tactic! He's ancient and has probably done this plenty of times before. Trust yourself, he wants to break you so you become a tool or some entertainment for them. He doesn't care and won't ever care.

 

“Stop muttering nonsense to yourself.” Sendak rolled Shiro onto this left side and looked at the wound. “Stay.” Shiro watched as Sendak pulled some wipes from the bag and patted down the wound and roughly cleaned it. Shiro sucked in air through his teeth, wincing as Sendak leaned against one of his ribs. “Sit up.” Shiro complied, noting the small pack of medical supplies by his leg. Sendak pulled out a spray bottle and squirted it at the cut, before pulling out some gauze and wrapping it around his chest. “The spray will stop the wound from becoming infected. I am told you cannot have quintessence, so it will scar over.” Sendak sniffed, taking Shiro's left hand and pulling the bandages off. “Your knuckles need a clean. Hand.” Regardless, he grabbed the wrist and sprayed the wound, before reapplying new bandages.

 

“You lost when you gave your opponent time to get up.”
“I thought I couldn't get another hit in without being open.”
“You think too much. Unlike the arena, fight to kill as quickly as possible. Leave your opponent with no quarter. You had the time to strike. Until then you were doing well.” Sendak knotted the bandages tight, looking at him. “You could be so much stronger than you are now.”
“Do you think so?” Shiro's inner voice was screaming at him, but he assured it he was just playing along. “Yes. You appear strong, but you are not truly disciplined or trained effectively.”
“What's the catch?”
“You need to prove your worth and willingness.” Sendak ruffled his hair, and guided him towards the exit.

 

-

 

Shiro was awoken early the next morning. He was in a foul mood and running on a lack of sleep. Two sentries came to escort him to Sendak's quarters. These were different then the ones on the ship, they seemed better kept. He still didn't know why he had to fight today still, but considering how Sendak was yesterday, he imagined it was serious. He yawned loudly; his night had been full of the sounds of screams, crying and fucking. He'd also been running over what Sendak had said, about becoming stronger. If they used him, he could use them back. It would fit in well with when he could see Nadiva again. He'd join the rebels, and the more training and strength he had, the better their chances of escape.

 

After several trips on different lifts and a lot of walking, they arrived in a spacious hall. Four large warped pillars stood in a square, giving off the usual violet light, while around the room strange up-turned diamonds floated above a dipped surface, again glowing. In the centre there sat a strange crystal – the only curved object in the room – being held to a strange glowing 'fountain', at his best guess, by metal points. Three stairwells in the cardinal directions trailed up to long hallways, all lit with the usual violet strip lights. Shiro was surprised the Galra cared for such decoration; it seemed far too elaborate for them. He peered at the huge metal support columns, noting glowing Galran words carved into them. The sentries led him up the flight of stairs directly in front of them, until they stopped at a black door.

 

The sentry pressed the intercom, and a few seconds later the door swished open to reveal a spacious atrium. They shoved him through the threshold before the door shut behind them. He heard the familiar click of the locks setting into place and slowly turned back to the room. Tall black pillars – about four metres tall, supported a curved ceiling with what he first thought was a mural of the stars, until he realised they flickered and moved. He let out a small gasp, before tearing his eyes away from the hypnotic display. The room was about fifteen metres squared, with dark and light grey metal tiles. The dark walls had thick violet white strip lighting running up them, ending in small prism-shaped lights. Scattered about the room were royal-purple chairs and sofas and small tables. In the centre sat a diamond-shaped depression with bright liquid settled on the surface. Shiro moved towards it and poked the surface, small ripples radiating out. It was warm to the touch.

 

He looked up to see three small archways leading off in different directions. The one directly in front of him led to another room, that seemed dimly lit by comparison. Cautiously he stalked forwards; confused that Sendak hadn't come for him yet. He peered into the room to find it sparsely decorated. A few weapons hung on the wall – too high for him to reach. There were a few different swords – one in particular looked ancient but very well worn. Moving left, he found glass cases with several sets of armour. He squinted through the low light at one of the designs.

 

“That was my armour when I was first accepted into the Royal Guard.”
Shiro whipped his head around to find Sendak leaning against the arch, a mug in his hand, and eyes glowing eerily in the low light. “I...sorry, I didn't mean to pry.” Shiro quickly paced over to Sendak, who hummed at him, tussling his hair. “There is no door, so it's fine. Come, you can eat with me.” He let his hand slide from Shiro's hair and meandered out of the room. Something was weird, and it wasn't just because Sendak wasn't wearing his usual prosthetic – this was more like a regular sized hand.

 

“How did you sleep?”
“Not well,” Shiro hesitated at the threshold as Sendak seated himself. The commander patted the seat next to him, and Shiro strode over, “the neighbours are noisy.” He finished, perching on the seat awkwardly. Sendak gave him a once over, noting the dark rings under his eyes. “Well the rabble from the ship have been moved off, and most of them will be fighting the Champion.” Sendak yawned as he placed a mug in front of Shiro and pushed a small lidded pot towards him. “It's invigorating leaf water. Wakes you up.” Sendak motioned to his mug. Shiro blinked, pulling it towards him. He opened to lid and couldn't help but giggle. “It's tea. You've got tea.”
“No, leaf water.”
“No, we have this drink called tea back on Earth, and it's made of tea leaves. Some people call it leaf water. Thanks.” He bowed his head since he didn't fancy pissing him off again today. Sendak shrugged and sipped his tea. “Eat. I need to make a few calls.” He supported himself as he moved away from the table. After he left, Shiro pulled a few plates of food towards him. He recognised none of it, and made nervous sniffs at some of the more appetising-looking foodstuffs.

 

-

 

Sendak had slept as bad as his slave had. He rubbed his tired eyes and drained the mug, setting it down on the desk in his office. He pulled his communicator from the drawer and placed it in the docking station. He lazily tapped at it until he found Haxus's number. It rang for a dobosh until it was answered.
“Commander?”
“Yeah. How did it go?” There was silence for a few ticks. “I ache all over and got torn up badly.”
“Did you take it?”
“I mean I did.”
“But?”
“I'm not in the mood for your awful puns, Commander.”
“Don't dodge the question.” He heard a grunt on the other end. “I said I got torn up. It's going to heal wrong I know it.”
“You'll be alright. It is a shock to the system.”
“Anyway why did you call? You woke me up.”
“To do just that. You're going to be summoned in two vargas, as a heads up.” There was another pause
“Can I visit later?”
“Yeah sure. We will speak later, I have some more calls to make. But get ready – I order you not to be late.”
“Oh trust me I won't be.”
Sendak cut the call and yawned again, scrolling back down his contact list.

 

-

 

“I see you have eaten. Good.” Sendak observed as he padded back into the room. He pulled the pot towards him, pouring more into his mug.
“Permission to speak?”
“Granted.”
“I'm still uncertain about why you had me training. What's happening later?” Sendak set the cut of meat he was about to eat back to his plate, noting the slave shift in the chair.
“The Emperor has requested that I show him what you have learned in the form of a fight. So you and I will be fighting.”
“W-We're fighting?”
“Yes.” Sendak knitted his brow. “Not to the death. It is part of a dual purpose.”
“Is it like the arena? Get your opponent into an immovable position?”
“First to draw blood. We will be using those swords from yester-quintant, since those are ceremonial duelling blades.” Sendak drained his mug. “You will also witness an honour duel between myself and Haxus.”
“Did he...dishonour you?” The slave was careful in his wording. At least he didn't ask why. Sendak chewed a bit of meat he'd pulled from his slice.
“Yes. He should never of tried to exchange information for your servitude, and regarding that, he has insulted me in the process.” He gave his slave a once over. “I have never required help training a slave before, nor do I need it.” He picked up the slice and pushed it into his mouth.

 

“Come. We are to be clean.” Sendak rose and Shiro followed suit. They wandered through a wide corridor only decorated with lights until they came to a door at the end. As they stepped through, Shiro made a small gasp. “These quarters used to belong to my clan, so the size is understandably large.” Sendak gently guided him towards a recess and let go. He touched a panel on the side of the wall, and water cascaded from the large shower heads. Sendak stripped away his under suit and padded under the water. Shiro, too distracted by everything else and trying to avoid looking at the naked commander, was brought back to reality when a firm hand clapped around the back of his neck, releasing the collar. “If you want me to strip you, I will.” There was the hint of playfulness somewhere in that gruff voice. Shiro fumbled with his body suit and placed the collar carefully on top of the folded clothes, before guardedly moving under the water.

 

Sendak paid him no mind as they washed for the most part in silence. Shiro was passed a handful of bottles to use, occasionally stealing glances at the deep scars on the commander's back. He had a few; one that went from his left shoulder blade and curved over the top of his right ass cheek was the most prominent. It wasn't straight or clean cut either. He quickly turned away to stare at the wall; he didn't fancy explaining himself to Sendak if he'd been caught, and knowing him, it'd be an excuse to fuck him in the shower. Do you remember when Adam and you fucked a lot in the shower? Oh Jesus-fucking-Christ, no. Remember when you'd push him against the wall and he'd grab your shoulders and bite your neck? When you'd tease him and have him begging. Please, no. “Takashi, ahh! Harder!”
“Stop it!” Shiro grabbed the sides of his head and stumbled towards the wall, leaning his head against the cold tiles. “It's not appropriate.”

 

“What's not appropriate? Aside from shouting this early in the morning?” Sendak glanced round at him. “You've been muttering to yourself again, which is strange already, but please do tell me.” Shiro glared at the floor. “It'd rather not talk about it.”
“Fine. Regardless let me look at you.”
“Why?”
“To see if you are clean enough.”
“The front's clean.” Fuck sake.
“What are you hiding.” He felt a cold hand on his shoulder that turned him roughly into the wall. Sendak inspected his face and trailed his gaze down. “Is that it? You became aroused?” He scowled, batting away Shiro's hands. He took Shiro between two fingers in a v-shape and spun him back around to face the wall, moving them slowly up and down his length. Shiro couldn't help his reaction and moved into the touch, making small breathy moans as Sendak worked up a rhythm, tightening and easing his grip around him. In turn, he grabbed Sendak's wrist tight and ground his hips upwards, letting his head roll back into his wet chest.

 

He felt cold fingers brush over his jugular and squeeze lightly. His mouth parted open, water splashing over his lips. Sendak's purr rumbled as he pulled Shiro up from the ground with his prosthetic arm easily, Shiro gripping the bar with his right hand to steady himself. He felt the hand release from his cock, and whined pathetically, until he felt something hard push between his ass cheeks. “N-No.”
“Yes.” Sendak pushed himself in, earning a pained grunt from Shiro as he leaned forward to brace himself. The hand came back to his cock and pumped agonisingly slowly, while Sendak thrust into his ass. The ridges dragged along his hot insides, drawing out a long moan as Shiro arched his back. He didn't want him in there, but as he thrust back and forth, not as rough as usual, he found the actions careful. “I'm very pleased with you.” The hot breath along his neck made Shiro jerk his body. “If you weren't so abrasive.” He felt his tongue trail along his neck and over his collar bone. “Or misbehaved so frequently, it would feel good like this.” He felt those sharp teeth nip lightly at his neck. God, he was getting close.

 

“I don't...can't tell...what you want.”
“Retain your will to fight.” Sendak stepped away from the wall, wrapping his arm over Shiro's waist and holding his chest tightly. “But remember.” Shiro's eyes rolled back as he felt Sendak's entire length fill him. “You are mine in mind, body and soul.” He punctuated each word with deep thrusts, hitting Shiro's prostate. “I demand unwavering trust, respect and loyalty in public, and private.” He let out a low growl as he slowly dropped down to his knees, placing Shiro on the wet tiles. “But know it will be returned.” His snarl was feral as his thrusts became more erratic. Shiro, a moaning mess on the tiles, pushed his hips back with fervour. Sendak grabbed his hips with both hands as he released a pleased growl. Shiro grabbed his own cock and stroked himself between incoherent moans. He was close. The blood pumped in his ears and the noise of the shower drowned out the increasingly feral growls between them until Sendak dug his fingers in hard to Shiro's hips and emptied himself. Seeing stars, Shiro's orgasm fired on to the tiles. The two panted, Sendak easing Shiro up nip and lick at the side of his neck. “Good boy.”

 

-

 

After the impromptu shower sex, which had left both him and his slave unnaturally tired, Sendak had allowed a small nap of fifteen doboshs. He'd made a small nest of towels on his bed for the two of them, and set an alarm just in case. His slave was already asleep, snoring lightly in a ball, while Sendak absently ran his claws along the soft skin over his back, eyes closed and listening to the breathing. He'd never really considered what he wanted before, because things like this never crossed his mind. He draped an arm over the warm but damp body, stroking the chest lightly. He'd prefer a day like this instead.

 

-

 

“I'm supposed to fight in this?”
“It's customary.”
“I...” Shiro pulled his hands from his hips, stroking his chin as he picked up the flimsy material. “I might as well be fighting naked. Do you have to fight in this?”
“No, I am not a slave.” The tiniest smirk pulled at Sendak's lips as he watched him. “Since we are supposed to be drawing first blood, it is usually from across the chest.”
“I see.” Shiro flattened out the outfit, not particularly convinced Sendak was being truthful. He rubbed the back of his hair and pulled up the dark grey studded arm guards. He checked the ends and threaded his arm through the largest hole, lacing his fingers into the correct holes and clenching his fist. “This fits too perfectly.” He frowned at Sendak. “This is custom.”
“It is. Still in the style required.” Sendak stood there with a shit-eating grin on his face.

 

He pulled the other guard over his arm and stared at the boots. He measured them against his leg and glared at Sendak before sighing. Settling on the bed, he loosened the buckles along the side and shoved his foot in, rolling backwards as he pulled the leathery material up and over his knee. He grabbed the other and forced himself into that before fastening the buckles along his thighs and calves.
“If we did not have to do things, I would keep you in just this.” Sendak purred approvingly, running his clawed hand down Shiro's thigh. He pulled away from the touch, the area still sensitive after earlier.
“I-I need to finish changing.” He turned, pushing the straps away and taking the miniscule pieces of leather in his hands. “Which...way do I put these on?”
"The flaps protect your rear.” Sendak smiled devilishly.

 

Shiro pulled them up. It felt like he was wearing tight creaky underwear with just enough room for his genitals to rest in semi-comfortably. The leather rode up around his ass, and the flaps that were supposed to protect his rear barely covered it at all. It also sat around his hips, displaying the muscle definition. “I feel we're off to a bondage club, or to some sex dungeon.” He muttered, picking up the straps and waving them at Sendak. “Where do these even go?”
“Allow me.” With an ever-growing grin, Sendak took them in his hands and turned Shiro around, attaching them so they crossed over his back and chest. “You are dressed. Go clean your collar and come back here afterwards. I must prepare myself.” He moved towards a small room as Shiro wandered out, pulling the leather down that rode up uncomfortably.

 

-

 

The trip up to the throne room was arduous on the basis that everyone they passed just stared. Shiro was acutely aware of how he looked, being walked a little better than a dog on a leash and wearing effectively nothing. The stares and whispers burned him, while the air around him was bitingly cold. Sendak seemed quite content walking around in his burgundy and golden armour, the energy rope leash held loosely in his prosthetic hand. He'd switched back to his usual one, with the violet energy between the shoulder and elbow.

 

As they stopped outside a huge set of double doors, Shiro looked up to see Haxus awkwardly shifting on his feet. He wore the same type of armour as Sendak.
“I am glad to see you made it in time.” Sendak called, quickening his pace. Shiro jogged along behind, lest he be dragged across the floor.
“Commander, good morning.” Haxus stood to attention. His usual snarky disposition was gone, and it was a little unsettling. Haxus flicked his gaze to Shiro, likely taking his attire in. “He looks...” He licked his lips, dragging his eyes away. “He looks ready for his fight later.”
“He does.”
Shiro didn't need to see his face to know he was smirking.
“Come. The Emperor awaits.” He tugged Shiro along as he moved to the doors. They opened wide to reveal a long room with a huge vista window. At the far end, four figures awaited. Shiro swallowed as they started in.

Chapter Text

“You please me by being early.” Zarkon settled into his throne, tapping his claws against the metal. “Did you rest well, Lieutenant Haxus?”
“Yes, Sire.” Shiro cautiously let his eyes wander to Haxus, his teeth were grit tightly together. He seemed off out in the hall, and Zarkon's remark was too pointed; something had happened.
“You are aware why we are gathered, yes?”
“Yes, Emperor Zarkon.” Sendak bowed his head lower to the ground. “All parties have been briefed upon their circumstances.”
“Excellent. Druid, bring me the slave. Commander, Lieutenant, take a sword.” Zarkon motioned for the two druids that flanked him to come forward. The druid approached Shiro, who raised his head slowly when he felt the tug on the leash. It was the same plague doctor mask. He opened his mouth to speak, but recalled Sendak's strict warning on speaking out of turn in the Emperor's presence.

 

He was brought to the foot of the throne. He let his eyes wander to his right, noting the other slave sat on their knees, a long thin tail curled around their waist. They were 'dressed' in loose dark translucent fabrics, held together by small rings of metal. They caught his stare from the corner of their eye. In silence they acknowledged each other, before the alien turned their attention back to the two Galra. Shiro settled as comfortably on his knees as he could as he tried to mimic the position. He tensed when he felt a hand run through his hair, teasing the strands. “You wish to become one of my concubines?” He looked up to look into the strange violet white eyes peering down at him, finger pointed to how he was sat. He wanted to answer or shake his head no, but that would be a mistake. Instead, he shifted so he sat on his rear. He just had to put up with a cold ass for the time being. He glanced down, but noticed the other slave watching him curiously. Their lips lifted ever so slightly, before nodding their head to the scene in front of them.

 

The fight hadn't started yet, but Haxus and Sendak stood with the blades crossed, like in a fencing duel. The cloaked figure withdrew themselves from the vicinity, before Zarkon stood. He towered over Shiro. His presence made the deepest part of his mind freeze up; there was something about Zarkon that felt wrong, that in being alive he defiled life itself. He watched as Zarkon slowly took each step down, and the alien to his side crawled over to him, petting at his face with all the restraint of a toddler.
“The Emperor brought Yastara here to play.”
“What do you mean?” Something cold stirred in Shiro's gut.
“Yastara has said, silly pet.” They spoke in a silky, innocent manner, but there was something off about them he couldn't quite place. Yastara pushed Shiro to the ground, running their soft fingers over his cheek and leaning down, nibbling gently on his lip. “You have a collar like Yastara,” they pointed to their neck, “we are equal. Well, Yastara is more experienced.” They puffed out their chest as they sat up on Shiro's stomach, tail unfurled and the bulbous tip poking at Shiro's lips. “Ohh, Yastara is forgetting. We must only have soft play.” They huffed like a petulant child and shuffled backwards. Shiro noted that unlike himself, this Yastara wasn't leashed or bound. They scooted around behind Shiro, and with more strength then what their body alluded to, Yastara lifted Shiro under his shoulders.

 

Shiro ended up settled between Yastara's legs, the tail looped twice around his thigh and the bronze hands roamed over his scars. “You have been bad, yes? You should be good for your master.” They whispered, poking Shiro's bound hands. Shiro bit his lip as he tried to focus, albeit poorly, on Zarkon's speech to the two. He'd picked up a few words: honour, pride, disrespect, and recompense, but that was it. Yastara would not shut up, and kept pinching, prodding, poking, and petting him. Why did Zarkon have to bring a slave along, let alone this one? “Look, master is raising his hand! They'll fight, little pet, they'll fight!” They shook Shiro violently, giggling and holding his head forward. “Watch, watch!” Shiro shivered at the happy laughter in his ear, and swallowed back the sick feeling in his stomach when the tail unfurled and started rubbing slowly between his legs.

 

“Vrepit Sa!” Zarkon lowered his hand, and Sendak launched forward, slashing diagonally down at Haxus. Haxus brought his blade across, intercepting the strike with a small grin. Sendak drew his lips back and snarled as he applied more force, the blades screeching in protest. Haxus growled back before pulling away, hissing in frustration as he side-stepped round to strike at Sendak. His attempt was stopped fast when Sendak pivoted in place, blade drawn across. The two grinned at each other. They'd have to stop dancing about sooner or later.

 

Haxus jumped backwards and crouched low, eyes scanning for any visible breaks in Sendak's guard. He wrinkled his nose. None. He growled and came forward to block Sendak's downwards slash, the blades singing again as they struck. He couldn't hold this position for long, and Sendak knew it as he pressed down harder. His brow was furrowed in concentration and lips curled back. Haxus snarled, pulling the blade away. Sendak quickly stopped himself from stumbling forward, snapping his teeth together and back-pedalling. He slashed his sword to his side and launched again with a roar. Haxus cursed internally. He couldn't take Sendak in a full frontal charge, but what his Commander lacked was manoeuvrability. Haxus ran towards him, dragging the blade across the floor and bringing it upwards with a screech. At the last second, Haxus dove alongside Sendak, the blade drawn adjacent to his shoulder. It skimmed along Sendak's pauldron, leaving a fine scratch. He let out a soft chuckle as he pulled himself around behind Sendak, aiming a slash across the back.

 

What?”
“I knew you'd get behind me. You never did well against a head-on assault. It's a bit like how you went behind my back with the slave, and your other discretions.” Sendak's voice was a low rumble in this throat. He shoved Haxus back hard with the blade and paced slowly around him, infuriated by the attempted strike. Haxus followed his steps attentively, feeling uncertainty rise in his chest. “You severely hurt my pride with your actions,” Sendak continued, “and the trust and loyalty you betrayed – an insult!” He slashed the blade in frustration. “Do you think me weak?”
“No!” Haxus yelled, gripping the sword tight, “I only sought to aid you, as you have aided me through your tutelage. I admit I have acted not on your behest, but my intention was only to punish those that slighted you and caused offence.” Haxus locked eyes with Sendak, eyes narrowed, “my resolve to serving you and the Emperor is absolute, and if I need to beat some sense into you, Commander, I will!” He snarled, charging forward and drawing the sword above his head. Sendak roared again as he lunged, bringing his sword horizontally across.

 

Shiro watched the sword fly across the hall, landing with a clatter and skidding away. It was silent, and slowly he moved his eyes back to the figures in the middle of the room, trying to focus and ignore the throbbing pain between his legs; Yastara hadn't relented touching him, and he'd bit down on his tongue far too many times so not to cry and moan out. Haxus knelt on the floor, nursing the under suit below his armour. Above, Sendak stood perfectly still, staring down at him. He released the blade and bent down, placing a hand on Haxus's shoulder and leaning in. Shiro tried to strain his ears, but if they were talking, he couldn't hear it at all.

 

“Commander Sendak is victorious.” Zarkon moved forwards, letting his hands drop to the sides. He watched Sendak pull Haxus up by the forearm, and the two turned to bow to him. He raised his hand, looking between them. “Lieutenant.”
“Yes, Sire?”
“What have you learned from your experiences?” Zarkon eyed the wound; it was shallow enough it would heal over fine enough. Many deca-phoebs ago, Sendak struggled with restraint, but perhaps now he was learning. “That though my loyalty to my Commander is strong and true, I should only act on his explicit command. My actions could be construed as mutinous and dishonourable, as you have rightly educated me.”
“Precisely.” Zarkon nodded in approval, before motioning the two to relax. “Yastara!”

 

Yastara looked up, eyes wide, as they ground their tail harder between Shiro's thighs. They rolled Shiro to the side, mewling, “Master?”
“Attend to the Lieutenant. Clean the wound.”
“Yes! It pleases Yastara that you can trust! Thank you, Master!” They rose, and tottered over to one of the Druids, who passed them a small medical kit similar to the one Sendak had when they were training. Shiro paused, narrowing his eyes as he watched Yastara. Their back was scarred. He gazed where it trailed to, left shoulder to the right, a diagonal cut. Jagged. He bit back a gasp; he'd seen that scarring earlier. It wasn't identical but...he lifted his gaze to Sendak, who was listening to Zarkon it seemed. The golden eyes caught his, and Shiro jerked his head towards Yastara, frowning, and then back to him. Sendak's gaze drifted back to the Emperor and Shiro clenched his fists in frustration.

 

Shiro's eyes flicked back to Yastara, who had led Haxus to sit on the steps nearby. The unnaturally excitable slave delicately cleaned the wounds, Haxus patting the russet mess of hair on their head. They mewled in appreciation, and Shiro closed his eyes. He couldn't turn out like that; so desperate, broken and utterly defeated. Unless it's naivety and they truly think Zarkon cares. We're not having this conversation. It's fucked up. It is. We're no Galran cumdumpster.

“Are you talking to yourself again, slave?”
Shiro blinked his eyes open and stared up into Sendak's eyes. “I...”
“It's irrelevant. What were you staring at me for?” He leaned down and pressed a clawed finger to Shiro's hand restraints, then to the collar, releasing the leash. “Yastara has the same scar as you.”
“You are mistaken.” Sendak pulled Shiro up roughly. “Come. We fight soon.”
“But-”
“Recall I don't like questions. You are imagining it.” Sendak hissed, spraying spit into his face. He pushed Shiro roughly down the steps by the shoulder. Shiro tried to keep his footing as he was forced towards the Emperor, expressionless as always.

 

“What should I call you, slave?” Zarkon drawled as he leaned down, examining Shiro like an animal in a zoo. He had to reign himself in. “Whatever you call me, Emperor, it is correct.” Shiro kept his body tense and to attention. There was a hollow laugh from behind him. “Did you enjoy yourself with Yastara? They are one of my more pliant concubines. Loyal, trusting...understand their place. Do you understand yours?” Zarkon had circled back to stand in front of him, baring down. “Y-Yes, Emperor.”
“Where is it?”
“H-Here.” Shiro dropped to his knees, bowing his head low and holding his arm over his chest. Zarkon didn't acknowledge him. Instead he clicked his claws for Shiro to rise. “Sendak. It appears he has learned some level of respect.”
“He still requires work.” Sendak tilted Shiro's face up, grinning at the fear in his eyes.

 

“Will you be fighting without a sword?”
“I shall, Emperor Zarkon. I should try to level the playing field.”
“It would be a better way to discern his teachings.” Zarkon turned and made his way back to the throne. “I am certain the entertainment will be acceptable.” He said, settling down. Sendak tossed Shiro his sword, Shiro just catching it by the hilt in his right hand. He wasn't sure if he was insulted or relieved Sendak wasn't fighting him with a sword, but at minimum all his strikes would be low. He'd also got to study how he fought, and knew to expect plenty of charges. So long as he timed his rolls right, he could get a good strike in early. He couldn't get cocky, but he had enough rage beneath the surface he needed to vent out. He gripped the sword tighter in his hand, drawing it up and smirking at Sendak. He'd no longer be underestimated.

 

“Begin!” Zarkon shouted, his voice echoing around the hall. As expected, Sendak lunged straight for Shiro, his prosthetic drawn back. Shiro steadied his nerve and held his ground, bending his knees ready to drop.
Now.
He dropped down, Sendak flying over his body. Shiro picked himself up and swung around, screeching as he brought the blade down, both hands gripping the hilt. It sang, but bounced off the armour on Sendak's leg.
Shit.
Shiro backed away as Sendak picked himself up, cracking his neck and flexing his claws. “I'm slightly pleased with you. However,” he turned his head, golden eyes flashing, “you better face me instead of ducking.”
“Fuck your goading.” Shiro snapped, pointing the blade at Sendak, eyes dark. He should probably try going on the attack – just make sure he didn't hit the armour this time.

 

Shiro crouched low and ran forward, yelling out as he swung the sword towards Sendak's thighs. It clanged against the prosthetic. Shiro applied as much force as he could against the hand as he tried to push it away, but quickly worked out Sendak wasn't exerting much effort; he wasn't even facing him properly. He jumped back, slowly circling around the stationary figure. Why won't he strike? What's he waiting for? Is he waiting until we tire? Shiro's thoughts raced. “You speak about me facing you, but where's your honour?” It was his turn to goad him now, and it felt satisfying.

 

He only just dodged the prosthetic and the lit claws. They smashed into the floor where he was stood a few ticks beforehand, creating a substantial indent. He watched it retract backwards, Sendak glowering at him. Fight him like Myzax, get in close! Shiro ran, watching as he turned to follow, calculating, until he launched his arm again for Shiro's exposed chest. He rolled to the side and back onto his knees, sprinting straight for Sendak with the sword raised. Sendak clenched his teeth as Shiro leapt at him, sword coming down to strike down the front of his chest. He was caught by the throat, letting out a strangled choke. Sendak bared his teeth, clenching tighter and raising Shiro above his head. He lifted his free hand to Sendak's arm, digging his nails in. He drew the sword up, glaring down into Sendak's eyes. “Fuck...you.” He choked, thrusting down at his face, hand unsteady.

 

“Master...the silly pet just-”
“It did.” Zarkon watched Sendak slam the slave into the floor, the body bouncing, and ripped the blade from his grip before stabbing it through his sword hand. He kicked the shrieking slave to his side, and with the now retracted prosthetic, crouched to drag his claws slowly up his chest. The slave's shrieks grew even more pained as the stench of burned flesh reached Zarkon's nose. He wrinkled it, motioning for one of the driuds. “Bring me Haggar.”
“Yes, Sire.” In a burst of dark energy, they vanished. Zarkon looked down to Haxus, who was on his feet. “At ease, Lieutenant.” Zarkon watched Sendak uncover his slashed eye, the skin more torn that he expected. He chuckled darkly; the slave was going back to the arena.

 

“You have trained him well, Commander.” Zarkon proclaimed. “It was a lucky strike.” Sendak dismissed, clasping his hand to his face. “He lasted longer than I expected.” Zarkon motioned Sendak to bring the slave. The sword was tossed to the floor, and the slave was dragged by his stabbed hand back to the throne. He tried to hold back the sobs of pain as he nursed his broken ribs, but a few escaped. For every one, Sendak's grip tightened. “Bring him to his knees.” Zarkon watched as Sendak dragged him up by the hair, forcing him to look at the Emperor. “You assaulted your master.”
“He wanted me to attack.” Shiro panted.
“The face is not allowed.” Zarkon asserted. “If you perceived yourself as the victor, you are mistaken.” He screwed his face up as Shiro spat blood to the floor, glowering up at him. “He needs more training. It is a shame he is stuck with a weak body-”
“I have taken more shit than you can imagine! My body is not weak.” Shiro spat again, temper flaring as he tried to rise from the floor. “Watch your tongue!” Sendak smacked Shiro across the face, leaving a bright red mark across his the cheek. He hacked more blood to the floor, wincing at the pain every time he coughed or even moved. “Tell me, dreck, if your body is so strong, why do you writhe in pain? Sendak, let us do a test. Let's see how quickly it takes his arm to break.” Zarkon leaned forward, gaze piercing.

 

Shiro's yelp twisted and rose several octaves as Sendak grabbed his hand in the prosthetic, yanking it up. It felt he'd pull it out of the socket, but he wasn't that kind. He splayed Shiro's hand open, and glaring down through his one eye, snapped his finger backwards between two claws. Shiro's screams echoed around the room, tears streaming down his face.
Snap.
Snap.
Snap.
Snap.
Shiro's throat burned and blood trickled over his lips. Through twitching eyes, he could only watch and scream more as Sendak crushed his forearm. He could hear the bones splintering and crack. “N-No! No more! Please!” His hoarse cries fell to a silent crowd as Sendak curled the claws around his elbow. “You claim your body is strong,” Sendak mused, squeezing, “but look at your dominant arm. It's destroyed.” He grinned as he mustered all the pressure he could and closed the metal fist.

 

The cracking of bone and Shiro's hoarse shriek hung in the room. His body was drenched in sweat and shuddering. He tried to move his right arm, mouth agape as nothing worked, the shattered bones sticking out through the leather guard. “No, no, no.” He breathed, trying to take the mangled mess in his left hand until Sendak grabbed that. “No!”
“Emperor? Should we test the other one for good measure? Perhaps this is stronger?” Sendak's voice was mocking. “The first test was sufficient, but what say you, dreck? Do you think we should test your other arm?” Zarkon looked down his nose at Shiro, who bowed his head. “N-No. C-Clearly my body was,” he shuddered a breath out, “weaker. I-I'm not...strong.”
“No. You are not.” Zarkon replied.

 

The main doors to the hall opened, and a robed figure strode in. “You wished to see me, My Lord?” Haggar's voice petered out as she stared at the scene in front of her. “What has happened?” She quickened her pace and took stock of the slave on the floor, bone poking out of his crushed arm, punctured by claw marks. She looked to Sendak to see the blood-stained claws, and noted his organic hand over his eye. “Do you require my prosthetic work?” She turned to Zarkon, who nodded in response. “For which one?”
“Sendak will need a new eye. The slave there managed to catch him.” Zarkon offered a smile, while Sendak snorted. “The slave...well, Sendak? Do you think he deserves a prosthetic? I would enjoy seeing him in the arena, however if you have other plans, well, that is your business.” Haggar turned to Sendak, who in turn kicked the whimpering mess of the slave on the floor.

 

“I can forgive you for taking my eye. It was a fine strike and you did not hesitate for once. However, if you wish to partake in what makes you feel alive, and become strong enough to fight me properly, then I will allow you to take the arm. If you refuse, your use becomes limited.” Sendak crouched and pulled the slave up by the hair. “Speak your answer.” He noted the blood smeared over his face and the darkening bruise. The slave was certainly in pain. He cracked open his eyes slowly, the smallest glint of hatred and fight still left in there. “Make me stronger.” He bit out slowly. Sendak smirked as he let his face drop. “He accepts.”

 

Chapter Text

 

“Strap him down.” Shiro could easily confuse the woman's voice for calmness, if it wasn't for the medically cold detachment that hung around every word. He was held under each arm by the masked aliens and forced down. They would alternative between one holding, and one strapping him to the table roughly. He tried to struggle, but his bonds were too tight. “He will be here shortly, High Priestess, should we knock it out, or anaesthetise the area?” One of the masked figures turned to the woman. She inclined her head towards Shiro, before turning on her heel, “anaesthetise the area.” The High Priestess left through a nearby set of doors, likely to tend to Sendak.

 

Shiro's eyes snapped to the side when he saw one of the figures coming towards him, a large two-pronged needle in hand.
“T-That's excessive!” He tried to pull his shoulder away as they silently bent down and stabbed the points into his skin. Shiro's raucous cry rang out, sweat rolling down his forehead. Why couldn't he just pass out? If there was a god, they were a cruel being. Oh. Oh damn that is strong. Shiro took a deep breath in through his nose and out through the mouth. His shoulder, it felt strange...tingly, heavy, like it wasn't there at all. He couldn't remember the feeling from last time, since he was slipping between consciousness, but if it was like that time Ulaz and the masked alien picked metal out of his wrist, that wouldn't be too bad. He rolled his head back to look at the rest of the room – the table being somewhat tilted – blinking.

 

He watched the masked alien return again with a strange device, like Ulaz's, but also a tiny bag. His body tensed, but the alien ignored him as it cut through the arm guard, then placed minuscule pieces of metal to his mangled arm. He shouldn't have looked down; the bile rose in Shiro's stomach.
“Remain still.”
He watched the alien scan his arm from a few different angles, until it seemed pleased. “What're you doing?”
“Taking measurements for your new prosthetic.” With that, they affixed a drip into Shiro's left arm and moved to a terminal. His gaze followed, eyes widening in terror. Above him hung a menagerie of straight and circular saws, knives, possibly a cauterising laser? He had no idea. He tried to struggle again, but there was no give. He was wasting precious energy. They'd use the laser, it has to cut through bone! Nice clean cut, we'll be fine, Takashi. There are positives, remember; patience yields focus. We get the arm, practice with it, get strong, join the rebels and get Matt and Sam back. Then back to Earth, show them we didn't die out in space. Oh shit, is this going to affect our pension? Did they know if we are MIA or KIA? Does it even count as in action? Shiro's eyes unfocussed as he lost himself to his asinine thoughts, a solace his mind needed right now.

 

-

 

“It will need to go in a tank afterwards to heal. As it's healer and your previous work within the department, the High Priestess has requested you for the removal.” The Druid passed Ulaz the mask, which he placed over his nose and mouth. “I see.”
“It is a shame that you left us.” The Druid muttered, handing Ulaz a long pair of gloves. “We have many more planned experiments, and your expertise would be useful.”
“As I have said, I am always happy to work on an advisory basis. I just missed the call of life on a cruiser.” Ulaz pulled the gloves on, offering the Druid a small nod. “Well you are based in Central for the foreseeable future, so perhaps you could advise more frequently?”
“Perhaps. It would depend on whether the High Priestess would allow that.”
“Of course. Please, follow me.” Ulaz followed the Druid from the preparation room along a dimly lit corridor, past open doors with rooms bathed in pink light, and closed ones that slightly muffled the sounds of screams or equipment in use. This was partially why he requested the move, but mostly due to Kolivan's mission posting.

 

He entered the room, his jaw tightening. “Remind me how that happened again?”
“At the Emperor's request, Commander Sendak crushed it.”
“I see.” Ulaz strode up to Shiro, unable to apologise for what he was going to have to do. Shiro was staring blankly into space, mouth making small shapes but no noise escaped his lips. There was no awareness to his surroundings. “Slave.” Ulaz growled. Shiro's head bolted up as he blinked and licked his dry lips. “U-Ulaz?” His mouth tugged at the corners, and Ulaz's stomach lurched. “The area has been anaesthetised?” He turned away, hands behind his back as he strode to the terminal, tapping the display.

 

“Yes. We will leave you to your work, Technician.”
“I would prefer that.” Ulaz muttered as the table moved, laying itself out flat. The large circular light above Shiro turned on, electing a sharp hiss from him. Ulaz brought up the camera feed from above, and pressing the display again, the circular saw above him whirred to life. Using a small joystick, he moved it towards Shiro, doing his best to ignore the panicked questions that became more and more fearful as the blade inched closer, his vitals spiking. “Ulaz! Please don't – don't do this! Please, please, please!” Something died in his chest as Shiro thrashed his face about, eyes wide and skin pallid and drenched in sweat. The terrified whines and screams grew in intensity, and as the saw pressed down on the flesh, Shiro made the most ear-splitting scream he'd heard in deca-phoebs. The blood sprayed everywhere as the saw cut its way through the muscle and its pitch shrieked higher as it started to cut through the bone. Shiro was screeching himself hoarse, and gods, Ulaz wished he would stop.

 

The saw made a metallic drone, and Ulaz knew the rest of the muscle had been severed. He hit the display button, and slowly pulled it away. His stomach churned in disgust as he ripped his eyes from the screen, ears pricking to the rapid beeping of Shiro's heart rate. He should have been knocked out fully for this; slave or not, the action was cruel, but now something he was complicit with. “The mission is priority.” He could keep telling himself that, but as he picked up the mangled arm, he caught those strange grey eyes. They stared through him, twitching. His shuddering body was drenched in a cold sweat and the bruises over his ribs had finally started to come through. Ulaz gently rolled his head so it faced the ceiling, shielding his eyes from the light with his hand. He closed his eyelids, muttering, “please rest,” as he took the arm and placed it in a container for disposal. The mission may be priority, but this is so, so wrong.

 

-

 

It had taken a few quintants' for the cybernetic eye to be fitted due to the scarring over his brow and cheek. Haggar was keeping him in overnight, but other then that, he would be released soon. She'd inquired about the slave's arm for her research, and he'd granted her the limb – it wasn't as if the slave needed it any more. They'd spoken a little about upgrading his prosthetic, so she'd ran a scan to see what improvements could be made. All in all, the stint wasn't as terrible as it could've been.

 

“Commander Sendak, sir, may I enter?”
Sendak's ears pricked, and he looked at the officer stood awkwardly in the doorway. Sendak nodded curtly, feeling he recognised the officer from somewhere, but not being able to place it. “My apologies, I - my name is Hepta – of the Korvek Clan – I was wondering, sir, if you needed anything?”
“You are Ladnok's kin?” So this was her awkward brother.
“Yes, sir.” He stood at attention so tensely, it made Sendak smile a little. “Officer Hepta, are you on secondment?”
“Light duties, sir, since I am still adjusting to my arms.”
“How did you lose them?” Sendak motioned for the young officer to relax his position. “It was during a rebel attack, sir. I was trying to protect a comrade – there was an explosion, and-”
“Enough. It hasn't been long, has it?”
“No, sir. Only a few phoebs ago.” He flexed his fingers forlornly. “I worry I will never have the same level of control, that I will become useless to the Empire...Does it get easier?” There was a small crack in his voice that Sendak knew he should scold him for, however Hepta's reaction was too close to home.

 

“I lost my arm hundreds of deca-phoebs ago, and have gone through several since. It is difficult for the first deca-phoeb, but it will get better. For me,” he leaned back into the pillows, “my focus was on mastering the hand fast so I could keep fighting for the Empire. That, and I refuse to lose.” He grinned sheepishly, looking back to Hepta. “I need to become accustomed to this eye now.” He pointed, admittedly slightly askew, to his right eye. “Was that all, Officer Hepta?”
“No, sir. I did legitimately come in here to ask if you needed anything.” Hepta stood back to attention. “However I'm grateful for your words. It means...a lot to me.”
“In what way?”
“My sis- Commander Ladnok speaks very highly of you, sir, and like you both, I aspire to become strong and command my own ship.” Hepta's attempt at confidence was...poor at best, but awkward or not Sendak felt his lips curl into a smile. “When you are confident with your arms, and completed your work here, contact my Lieutenant and arrange a meeting to see me. In answer to your earlier question, I'd like an update on how my slave's doing.”

 

“Your slave? The furless thing?”
“Yes.” One eye narrowed, but it felt weird and stung doing it over the prosthetic. “Oh, the Druids told me to tell you not to frown so much right now. The remaining muscles and tendons are still bonding with the eye. Your slave...well...I'd need to check.”
“Your tone does not fill me with confidence. What's happened.” Sendak leaned forward. Hepta stiffened, looking to the side. “I'm...I'm not at liberty to tell you, because it's classified-”
“By who?” Sendak's growl was guttural.
“The Emperor!” Hepta flinched away as Sendak cursed loudly. “Can you bring me the High Priestess?” He growled out slowly. Hepta nodded vigorously, gave a quick salute, and ran. Sendak flopped back into the pillows, pinching the bridge of his nose. It frustrated him when Zarkon did things like this; mostly because he ended up with slaves like Yastara left at the end of it, or they were dead. Neither of which he wanted for this one.

 

-

 

“Wakey, wakey, slavey-matey.”
Shiro groaned, batting whatever was jabbing his cheek away as he rolled over. “I said wakey.” He jolted awake, sucking in a deep breath as something smacked against his throat. Wait a minute. He pressed his fingers around his neck. Where is it? His eyes flicked about. Shiro didn't recognise his surroundings at all; large crates sat around him, narrow walkways between them. A storage room? It was dimly lit. He leaned down to the floor on his right arm to catch his breath, but jerked away at the sound of metal. “W-What the?” He raised his arm, the light catching the edge. “What is this?” Shiro rasped, tentatively reaching his human hand out to brush his fingers over the metal.

 

“You wanted to become stronger, remember? Your master asked you nicely if you wanted a new one. Not like you deserve one.” The speaker was petulant, and Shiro felt something jab him in the back. He growled, pushing himself around to see something move out of sight. “Who the fuck are you?”
“Such nasty comments from a silly little pet. Yastara will need to punish you.”
“Well stop hiding then and come out!” Shiro stood up but stumbled to the right. “Shit!” He tried to grab at the side of the crate, but ended up putting his right elbow through it instead. Using his left hand, he yanked himself out of the metal, frowning at his arm. That should of hurt, but there was nothing. He tried to flex the fingers, but all he ended up doing was rotate the arm.

 

“You've been healing all nicely in the tank, but your arm is still fixing itself. Why do you think Yastara has you here now?”
“What do you even want with me?”
“Silly pet doesn't listen! Yastara is going to punish you! Good pets don't harm their masters, or speak naughty in front of the Emperor.” He felt a heavy weight land on top of his shoulders and he crumpled to the floor. Fingers laced into his hair and yanked it upwards, a pair of yellow eyes blinked at him. “To be good you need to be relaxed, know your place, yes?”
“My place isn't under you!”
“Mmm, it is!” Yastara poked Shiro's nose, before his body jerked as he felt something grind between his ass cheeks, pressing at the tight fabric. “See, silly pet, you don't have your collar! Yastara does, so you can't hurt Yastara. If you did, then Emperor Zarkon would kill you!” They scrambled off Shiro and flipped him over, grinning madly down as they settled over his hips, tail poised ready to strike.

 

“Do you want to know why the Emperor keeps Yastara?” Yastara cooed, rubbing their tail again Shiro's cheek. Shiro clenched his teeth tight. Yastara's face twisted. “The Emperor likes Yastara bestest because Yastara can do this.” The thin tail wrapped itself around Shiro's neck, constricting his airway. As he opened his mouth, the bulbous end forced its' way inside. Shiro's shouts of protest were muffled as he grabbed at the tail around his neck, but it just coiled tighter. He scowled up at Yastara, but his eyes drew wide as he felt the end in his mouth unfurl. It pushed against the roof of his mouth and tongue, until something hot secreted down his throat. Shiro coughed, rolling his head to the side as the tail relaxed around his throat. It withdrew with a wet 'pop', and through heavy eyes he saw the end fanned out like flower petals, a stamen-like piece inside.

 

“It should start soon.” Yastara giggled as they stood over Shiro, head cocked to the side. “See, the Emperor likes to think of the old Empress. Yastara can do that for him.”
“What do you mean?” Shiro asked between coughs. “You are a very stupid pet. It means Yastara can make people see things that aren't true!” They paced around Shiro's body, tail swaying gently. “You're fucked up.” Shiro growled, trying to push himself onto his knees. “Yastara doesn't think so. Ohhh, hurry up!” They whined, pushing Shiro back down to the floor with their foot. “You're not even that big!”
“Fuck off!” Shiro spat.

 

“Don't talk to me like that, Takashi.”
Shiro blinked. “A-Adam?”
“Don't act so stupid. Have you really forgotten me that quickly?” Adam bit. Shiro turned his head around to see him glare down at him. “You look awful.” Adam crouched down beside Shiro, taking his chin in his hand. “Well, you wanted to leave.”
“I wanted to pursue my dreams before I died.” Shiro pushed Adam backwards, his body knocking against one of the crates. He grunted as he pushed himself back up. “Don't you ever lash out at me!” He shouted, pushing himself forward and forcing Shiro back down to the cold floor. Grey met hazel eyes, Adam's warm and minty breath against his face. “What the hell is going on with you?” Adam snapped, settling on top of his hips. “This is all bullshit! You're not real!” Shiro snarled as his lips pulled back.

 

Adam's eyes closed and he exhaled. He drew his hand up and smacked Shiro across the face. That fucking stung. “I'm not real, huh? Fine. I guess if I'm not real then this isn't happening.” He punched Shiro's gut. He cried out, snarling up at Adam as he grabbed at his shoulder. “I'm not real, remember?” Adam laughed as he fiddled with the under suit, ripping the fabric away from the catches. “So none of this matters. Like I didn't. The only person who ever mattered to you was that brat you picked up.” Adam roughly grabbed Shiro's cock, squeezing it tightly as he thumbed the tip, pressing his nail in. “I was your fiancé, but do you even know how I felt when all you would do was talk about the brat?” Adam grit his teeth together as yanked Shiro's cock. “Keith this, Keith that.” He sneered, “you just wouldn't stop. Oh, and taking him to the pre-launch? You think I didn't know? That was a fucking kick in the teeth. You said you weren't close, but invited him over me!” His laugh was cold.
“We weren't doing anything!”
“Liar!” Adam struck his gut again.

 

“I don't even know why I'm doing this – letting you get off. Reckon I should just think about myself, just like you did?” Adam cocked his head to the side, brown hair falling in front of his face. “Don't you fucking dare.” Shiro still couldn't work his right arm – it felt asleep. “Well you always liked giving it rough, and again, I suppose if none of this is real then what does it matter, Takashi? It's not like you're even trying to stop me.” He pulled Shiro's legs over his shoulder, ignoring the kicks of protests as he ripped the fabric between his thighs, exposing his ass. He leaned forwards, pinching Shiro's nose together and forcing his fingers into his mouth. Shiro bit down hard, earning a hiss from Adam. He ripped them from his mouth and pushed them against Shiro's hole. “You're fucking loose. Barely ever let me fuck you, but who've you been whoring yourself to? Half the Garrison?”
“N-No!”
“Still fucked enough of them though, didn't you?”
“I slept with four people when I was single; you know that.”
“Did you let Keith fuck you?”
“No!” Shiro's voice went higher when Adam shoved another finger in, thrusting the two roughly in there. He cried out in pain, trying to push himself away.

 

“Oh, so this hurts does it? Thought it wasn't real?” Adam spat as he grabbed his cheeks. “You're not...real.” Shiro bit out through the pain, trying to tug Adam's hand away from his face. Those once-loving eyes grew cold, and he thrust two dry fingers into his ass. Shiro cried out, digging his nails into his wrist, eyes twitching through the pain as he pressed his fingers under his ear, Shiro's jaw stinging. “You can keep saying I'm not real, but there's no one else here; just us.” Adam seethed, taking his hand from Shiro's hole to unzip his fly. He pressed the tip against Shiro's entrance and with a sharp thrust, shoved himself in deep. “I really didn't want to fuck you like this, Takashi, but you left me with no choice. It could have been just like before, but you had to be stubborn, didn't you?” He pulled back and thrust in hard again; a strangled scream erupting from Shiro's mouth.

 

-

 

“I was busy, Commander.” Haggar's voice cut the silent air as she stormed into the room. Sendak lifted himself from the bed, placing his feet on the floor. “I understand, but I need to know; why has the Emperor requested my slave?” He held his tongue, wanting to just snarl like he normally would. Haggar narrowed her eyes as she observed him from under her hood. “He wished to educate your slave-”
“But surely, and I mean no disrespect, he should have asked?” Sendak met her gaze. She looked down, eyes narrowed. “The request said that you had consented.”
“I was not consulted.”
“You call the Emperor a liar?” Her voice rose and she took a step towards Sendak. “No! I would never call our Emperor a liar. I swear, and you can check my mind to confirm, I have not been consulted.” He straightened his back and closed his eye. “Believe me, I have nothing to hide.” There was a pause, then soft footsteps, as she approached. Fingers brushed against his fur and his eyes shot open, a strangled growl escaping through his lips, as she entered his mind.

 

“You are...correct. I do not understand – the request was sent from the Emperor himself.” Haggar paced away.
“Who came to collect him?”
“It was one of the concubines.”
“Which one?” Sendak narrowed his eyes, feeling the sting of the muscles over the right again. She was silent. “The bronze-skinned one with the tail. The one that applies hallucinogenic techniques.” They both paused. After a few moments, Haggar spoke again; “I was told they came alone.”
“The Emperor never sends his concubines here – it would be guards.”
“Yes...I will contact the Emperor. You will remain here.” She turned and pushed him gently by the chest to remain. “I am sorry, High Priestess, but I must be responsible for my own slave.” Sendak pushed himself up from the bed. “Your prosthetic is still recharging.”
“That's fine. I have my communicator – I will contact Commander Prorok.” Sendak pulled his armour over the body suit, a dark gleam in his eye. “Do you know how long ago he was taken?”
“Roughly two vargas ago. I was in my lab at the time.” Haggar watched him leave and clicked her tongue in frustration. She didn't want either of her possible test subjects dead, and knowing the Emperor and Sendak, one would be.

 

-

 

“I'm not sucking your dick!” Shiro rasped, pushing Adam's abdomen away as best he could. “It's not a real dick though, is it?” Adam smacked Shiro's face again and pressed the bloody head against his lips, grinding his hips against them and gripping Shiro's hair tightly. “I bet if it was Keith you'd have your mouth wide open – or Matt.” Shiro growled in his throat in response, glaring hard up at this man who was not Adam. He closed his eyes, hissing out at the additional slaps. “Your silence speaks volumes. Maybe you already did that with both of them. Probably Sam as well. Oh, was it a Holt sandwich-”

 

Shiro punched Adam in the face. He stumbled backwards and Shiro pulled himself to his feet, lips curled back in a feral look. “Don't. You. Dare.”
Adam's lips curled as he wiped the blood away. “Is that how you got on the Kerberos mission? Bent over and begged Sam? Blew him under the desk like you did me?”
“You know nothing.” Shiro squared his shoulders as he advanced on Adam, grabbing him by the scruff on his uniform. “I know you aren't real – just a figment of my imagination – and everything you say is based on my perceptions; real or fictitious.” Shiro slowly raised the prosthetic, trying to grip Adam's wrist. With his left hand, he dropped the uniform and grabbed his throat. “So what I do to you doesn't matter.”

 

Adam wheezed out a laugh, his mouth unnaturally wide and eyes glistening with tears. “Then do what you want. Show me, Takashi Shirogane, what a monster you are.” His lips curled and Shiro screamed at him, throwing him against the crates. He rounded on Adam, grabbing him by the leg and yanking it over his shoulder. “You think assaulting me is going to work? I've put up with enough of that in the last two phoebs,” Shiro growled as he tugged the belt off and mustered enough movement to drop his prosthetic over Adam's chest. He kicked his feet out, but Shiro applied all the weight he could as he threw it to the side and pulled the trousers down just past his ass. The hot come ran down the inside of his thighs as he shifted, pressing himself dry against Adam's entrance. “At least I can vent some stress of my own out.” Shiro snarled pushing himself in. It hurt both of them. Shiro shuddered out a low growl as he pushed inside, the walls tight were uninviting as he clamped his teeth down around Adam's collarbone. The scream that came out of Adam's lips was huskier. Shiro frowned as he forced his teeth down harder, thrusting himself back in and out in a frenzied manner. If this caricature of his ex-fiancé was going to act out of character, then so was he. Adam never accused him of anything like what this one had – he'd never speak so disparagingly against the Holts or Keith like that; especially Keith.

 

“S-Shiro! S-Stop, you're h-hurting me!”
No. No, it's not him. Don't look up.
He looked up.
A wide pair of amethyst eyes stared back and the body beneath him shook. “K-Keith?” Shiro felt himself come over in a cold sweat. His eyes flicked down to the small puncture marks, blood swelling to the surface against the pale skin. “Why did you...? You only had to ask-”
“No!” Shiro pulled him up into his arms, tears threatening to fall. “You shouldn't be here.” He delicately licked at Keith's neck, and pressed the side of his face into the collarbone. He felt arms curl around his neck, a soft grunt as Keith moved above him. “I am, Shiro. Then you...did this. Did I do something wrong?”
“No. You did nothing wrong.”
“So why are you hurting me?”
“I-” Shiro bit his lips and pulled away to look at Keith. “I...thought you were someone else – someone who hurt me.” He lied. Why are you lying? It's not him!

 

Keith paused, staring down into his lap. “Who hurt you?”
“It doesn't matter-”
“It matters to me! Lemme help you feel better.” Keith took Shiro's face in his hands and pressed their lips together, forcing his tongue inside Shiro's mouth. He was taken aback by Keith's...passion as he let him explore. His kiss was sloppy, but it made something warm stir in his chest, something he'd not felt in what felt like forever. He's not real – stop letting this carry on. Shiro let out a breathy moan as Keith ran his hands over the tight material, fingers pinching his nipples. Why are you doing this to yourself? It's not him, he's not in space with us. It's impossible. Just let me enjoy someone being delicate with me, okay? His brain didn't have a comeback, and he tuned out the rest of his thoughts to focus on what was in front of him. He brought his knees up to support Keith's rear, and steadied his hip with one hand as he traced small circles into the skin.

 

“What happened to this?” Keith picked up the limp arm beside him, letting it drop with a thud to the floor. “It doesn't matter.” Shiro offered a small smile as he felt Keith lift himself slowly off Shiro's cock. “I think it'd be better if it hurt less.” Keith muttered, hot breath against the head. He carefully licked the top but grimaced. “Keith, it's bloody. Don't do that.”
“Fine.” Keith grinned up at Shiro and spat into his hands, rubbing them both up and down the shaft. Shiro let his head roll to the side, eyes fluttering closed and taking a deep breath as he just enjoyed the hands working him. His right arm twitched, and he tried to focus on raising it. Slowly, he felt it hover a bit from the floor, before it dropped. He moaned low as he felt teeth graze against his cock, and gazed down at the mess of Keith's dark hair bobbing up and down. Shiro's fingers were just out of reach of the dark locks, and he whined quietly when Keith glanced up at him, eyes wide and needy.

 

“Shit.” Shiro swore as Keith pulled away. He spat into his hand and spread himself for Shiro, teasing his own entrance with his fingers. “Please...let me help you feel better.” He took Shiro's cock and slowly eased himself down, a needy moan catching in his throat. Shiro hissed as he watched Keith settle – the view was good. “Keith.” He breathed, brushing his fingertips over the soft skin. The body above him shivered as it set an agonisingly gentle pace, Keith's hips rolling back and forth.

 

-

 

“Incompetent dreck!” Zarkon roared, grabbing Prorok around the throat and drawing him in. “What do you mean you cannot locate them?”
Prorok's voice cracked, the noise garbled. Zarkon clicked his tongue and threw him to the ground, his fists clenched tight as he glared at the display. “Yastara's collar has a tracking device. Find it!”
“There's...a chance, My Lord, that they are somewhere with interference?”
“Are you asking me a question or making a statement?” Zarkon pressed his heel into Prorok's hand, grinding his foot down and eliciting a hiss from the commander under him. “Where on the ship could provide that much interference?” Zarkon stormed over to the display.

 

“There's the area around the High Priestess's laboratories and the Solar Barrier control room, Emperor.”
Zarkon stared at the map of his Command ship, judging the distance. “Bring up the radius of effect for both areas, Commander Mar.”
“Understood.” Mar hammered his fingers against the console, narrowing his eyes as the display changed. “Would you like me to plot in where they could be within three vargas?”
“Do it.” Zarkon watched the screen flash again, possible areas now highlighted in green. He surveyed the map, trying to think where that little dreck would hide. It would be somewhere quiet. “Sendak, we will search there.” Zarkon pointed to Level 97 – known as a storage level of sorts. “Commander Mar and you,” He spat as he regarded Prorok, “deploy the guards and sentries to the other areas and check the footage. We will find them.” With a swish of his long cape, Zarkon strode from the room, Sendak quietly following behind him, keeping pace with the Emperor. “We will find them, Sendak, and when I find Yastara, it is as good as dead.”

 

-

 

Keith was snuggled against his chest, placing gentle kisses over the scars and burns. He laced his leg between Shiro's thighs, who pliantly moved them. “Thank you,” Shiro panted, scrubbing his hand over his face. “What're you thanking me for?” Keith shifted his knee to gently press against Shiro's tender groin. He chuckled, planting kisses down his body.
“It felt...really good.”
“Do you want to feel good again?” Shiro twitched under Keith's hand around his cock. “N-No. I'm way too tired.” Keith's grip tightened. “You don't want me to continue? You liked this.”
“I did – it was great. I just...can't again.”
“But why?” In Shiro's heart he knew none of this was real but that voice broke him. He grit his teeth, ignoring the hypersensitivity, “because I've taken advantage. Keith, stop it.” He tugged at his arm, but Keith pushed it away. He kneeled over Shiro's stomach, the tiniest flash of yellow there for a split second.

 

“No! You have to keep feeling good. I'm here to please you unconditionally. You should please me just the same!” His voice was higher, not so husky. Shiro frowned at him – sure Keith could be stubborn but...something dark whipped behind Keith's back. “What's that?” Shiro asked cautiously. He focused hard on both arms to push himself up.
“What's what?”
“There's something behind you.”
“It's nothing. I don't know what you're on about, Shiro.” Keith cupped his face, planting another kiss on his lips. “N-No, I saw something.” Shiro caught him around the neck with his left arm and rolled the two of them over, so he was staring down into those strange eyes again. He pushed himself up onto his haunches and rose to his feet, the muscles burning as he rose. “Stop being so paranoid.” Keith huffed, a half-smile on his face as he pushed himself up, dark hair falling in front of his eyes.

 

Shiro put his left arm out to steady himself. This new one was weighty and pulled against the skin, so he felt off-balance. He squinted around the dimly lit room, ignoring the trashed boxes. “See? Nothing.” He heard Keith's voice but refused to look at him. He rubbed his eyes, groaning at the pounding ache behind them that had suddenly come on. He carefully peered down the small walkways, before looking down at Keith. Shiro grit his teeth and backed away up against the crates, raising his left arm. Don't act so surprised. You knew it wasn't him to begin with. Look at you, hurting yourself again. What a fucking embarrassment. Congrats, by the way, for fucking a fake version of your friend. Bet you feel real proud of yourself.

 

“What's wrong, Shiro? Why are you looking at me like that?” He cocked his head to the side.
“You're not Keith.” Shiro needed to make some distance.
“Of course I am. Who else have you been fucking and calling for?”
“No. You look like him, sound like him, but you're not him. You weren't Adam, either.” Shiro tensed his body, trying to figure out how he'd fight with just one arm. Keith glared at him, but sighed. He closed his eyes and picked himself up from the floor, dusting down his open jacket. “Yastara really wished you had stayed good, but Yastara is sadly mistaken.” Yellow slits glowered at him as they took a step forward. “Understand, dreck, that all the words and the actions are of your creation. Yastara's movements are the only thing your body will feel.”
“But you just spoke as Keith!” Shiro snapped. “No, that was the last of the hallucinogenics. Yastara has been quiet – had to cover your mouth a few times.” They giggled, then mimicked Shiro's moans back at him, arching their back. “Oh, Keith, that feels so good-”

 

Yastara's body hit the crates and fell to the floor in a heap. They blinked up in a daze, before squealing as Shiro came for them, eyes dark and wild as he brought his fist down. Yastara leapt over crates and dove around corners, whereas Shiro pushed his way through the paths. A tail. He stamped just before the bulbous end, and a loud screech tore through his head. Yastara bolted, Shiro grabbing the tail with his left hand and getting dragged along on his stomach. Yastara tried to leap up but with the added weight, they didn't clear it. The two fell to the ground, Shiro cursing as he pulled the tail hard. “Bad pet! Zarkon'll have your head.”
“You think I care?” Shiro sneered, bringing his fist down against Yastara's cheek. A crack. They howled out, grabbing their jaw and looking at Shiro through teary eyes.

 

Shiro felt something trail over the thin fabric on his right shoulder. He looked down to see the tail open; it sprayed liquid in his eyes. He reeled back yelping and shielded his face as he heard feet scamper away. He rapidly blinked and rubbed his eyes; there was enough vision to see where he was going. He charged forward, body catching the sides of crates, but he pushed on through the pain. Yastara reached the door, fishing for something in a small pouch attached to their hip. They kept looking back at Shiro, before pushing something against the panel. The door opened and they scurried out.

 

He yelled, pushing his body faster as the door went to close. You need to make it. The bright light on the other side was diminishing. There was almost no room. He screamed, eyes closing as he thrust his right arm forward. The sound of metal creaking made Shiro open his eyes. He blinked. His arm...had worked? He focussed hard as he tried to flex it, and slowly he managed to push the thin door back. He stumbled through it quickly, checking in both directions for the slave. There.

 

“How did you...?” Yastara blinked, drawing their body close together as they backed away slowly. “My arm.” Shiro raised it, watching the light reflect off the silver metal. He smiled, but his gaze hardened as it trailed back to Yastara. His head flashed with pain, and for a split second Yastara took the form of Keith. He clenched the metal fist tightly and slowly moved forward. “You're trying to trick me again? Take a form I won't harm? I know it's not him!” Shiro rushed Yastara, bringing his fist up. He squinted away as it took on a violet glow, and it connected with Yastara's chest.

 

Shiro blinked his vision back, looking up slowly. His stomach dropped; it wasn't Yastara. “N-No.” He tried to pull his fist away but it was stuck. On what? What's...oh. The orange fabric was torn and singed; red bleeding through the cotton. “Keith? No. No.” Shiro's mutters became more and more panicked as he tried to pull his arm out, but it had locked itself into place. Dark eyes met his, blood trickling from his mouth, “i-it hurts, S-Shiro. Wh-why d-do you h-hurt me?” The whispered words lanced through Shiro's heart. He dropped to the floor, the body falling down into him. It inched further down his arm; the breathing becoming shallow in Shiro's ear. “I-I...don't wanna g-go.” It was barely audible.

 

-

 

“You're using the bayard?” Sendak queried as the two ran down the corridor. “I think this warrants it. I...apologise for my slave's behaviour. I gave it too much freedom, clearly.” Zarkon's voice was like thunder as they rounded a corner, his Emperor skidding to a halt. Sendak almost ran right into the back of him, but stopped in time. “Why did we-” He snarled, taking a step forward. “Slave? What have you done?” He stalked over, grabbing his slave by the hair and pulling him backwards. He yelled out and toppled back, the body coming down on top of him. Sendak swore. “He's punched right through your slave.”
“So he did.” Zarkon approached slowly, pulling the body up by the hair. He tossed the limp form down the hallway. He brought the bayard up and with a burst of light it transformed into a large cannon. Sendak scooped his slave up under his arm, and watched as Zarkon fired.

 

The light blinded Shiro. Even with closing his eyes, he could still see it through his eyelids. As the light dissipated, he cautiously cracked an eye open. The floor and walls smouldered, but there was nothing...material left. “Your slave saved me a headache.” The cannon vanished as Zarkon turned; a strange black and white curved object in his hand. Zarkon tilted Shiro's face up, studying him like he was weird new food. “His collar isn't on.”
“It's not?” He could feel Sendak's grip tense around his waist. “It's likely back in Haggar's lab. I will send a guard to return it to your quarters.” Zarkon placed his arms behind his back, moving towards the door Shiro had escaped through. “Was this were Yastara brought you, slave?”
“Yes, Sire.” He swallowed, hoping Sendak wouldn't smack him for speaking out of turn later. He just wanted to sleep – forget today ever happened. “I see.” Zarkon pulled the door, straightening it out. “How was your arm?”
“It...is hard to manage. I-I can't control it right.”
“You won't yet. Sendak, I will give you a phoeb to get him used to his arm, then you will have him training. Understand?”
“Yes, Sire.” He bowed, Shiro still under his arm.
“On a final note; your slave still killed mine. I will require compensation.” Zarkon stepped towards Sendak until their eyes met. “It won't be now, but I will contact you in due course. Now go, take him back to your quarters. I will inform Haggar.”

 

-

 

Sendak dropped Shiro carefully on to the floor, stretching out his shoulder. “You're heavier than you look.” He muttered as he headed into the depths of his home. Shiro sat on the cold tiles, eyes drifting in and out of focus. The violet light sparkled like diamonds against the floor, and he stretched out his hand to take them. They vanished. No, there. He grabbed again at nothing. He let out a frustrated whine as he followed the trail, stopping before he fell into the strange bright liquid in the centre of the atrium. He blinked down at his milky reflection. What was he even doing? He closed his eyes and took a deep breath through his nose, then exhaled through his mouth.

 

Keith's pained reflection stared back up at him; eyes dark and blood trickling from his lips. “Shiro.”
“No!” He screamed, punching the water with his human hand. He threw himself to the floor, the metal hand clattering against the tiles underneath. He cracked open an eye to see the hand stained red.
I-I...don't wanna g-go.”
He screamed again, curling up into a ball as he dug his nails into his scalp. He wasn't here, it wasn't Keith. It wasn't possible.

 

Shiro didn't register Sendak had returned to the room until he was lifted from the cold ground. “I do not know why you scream, but you need rest.” His voice was quiet as he pressed his hand lightly over Shiro's eyes. He felt them wander through the hallways until he was dropped into soft blankets, and a weight settled next to him, bringing him in close. “Close your eyes. We have both been lucky today the Emperor spared us.” Sendak eased his fingers along the suit catches and undone them. Shiro's body stiffened as he felt Sendak shift and roll the material down over his shoulders. He caught the orange-red and golden eye, mouth open as if he was about to protest. “I don't want your body right now. My concern is for your welfare. Now stop being difficult.” He pulled the fabric from Shiro's prosthetic and slowly, Shiro eased himself out.

 

Sendak bundled the under suit into a ball and tossed it to the ground. He went to move away from the bed but felt something latch on. “I...don't want to be alone right now.” The slave muttered into the blankets. Sendak tilted his head up, frowning at the watery marks along his cheeks. “Are you crying?”
“I saw my friend dying. I killed him.” The voice was monotone and small.
“What you saw was fake. You killed Yastara, rightly.”
“But-”
“It was Yastara. You are one of three Earthlings in space. That is all.” His slave curled into his arm regardless, burying his head into the side of Sendak's thigh. With an exasperated sigh, he leaned back and slowly petted the human's hair as he sniffed and his voice cracked.

 

Chapter Text

As soon as the slave had fallen asleep, Sendak pulled himself up. He padded slowly into the bathroom and fished through the cupboards looking for a small bowl. He was surprised the slave had managed to manipulate his arm so early. It was extraordinary but terrifying at the same time; especially since it was 'quick' by Galra standards with how he took to his prosthetic. He was also surprised Haggar had designed a weaponised one for his slave. What was her rationale? He pondered possible reasoning as he ran water into the bowl and fetched some cloths. He glimpsed at himself in the mirror, taking stock of his face. He ran his fingers slowly across the scarring, wincing and grumbling in pain because he'd winced. Yes; the slave was certainly exceptional as he studied the glowing eye that looked back at him.

 

He wandered back to the bedroom and glanced over the body. Credit where credit was due, he was hardy in nature. It was a shame he was not born a Galra; he'd be a fine warrior and one Sendak would look at mentoring. He mentally scolded himself as he bent down and lifted the arm. He shouldn't be feeling such sentiments towards a lower life form. Yet, as he cleaned the smooth metal and watched the light glitter off the water droplets, he felt a strange sense of pride for his slave he wasn't used to feeling. “You are a strange creature,” he muttered, rustling his limp hair. The slave stirred, heavy eyes slowly blinking open, before closing again. “Rest.” He whispered as he eased the fingers apart and cleaned the gore away.

 

He decided it best not to clean the body yet. He didn't want to wake his slave, primarily because he didn't have control over activating the arm yet. He needed to get an inhibitor and quickly – he was not going to let the slave cause him or itself damage. Sendak placed the bowl on the table and made his way to the atrium, picking up his communicator and settling on one of the sofas. He held it close, realising he couldn't read anything from his usual distance, the backs of his eyes sore and heavy. It was probably until his new cybernetic settled. Flicking through his contact list, he selected Ulaz's profile and placed it down as the call went through.

 

“Commander? Can I help you?”
“I will require your presence at my quarters on Central Command early in the morning. I presume you have the discharge notes from the High Priestess?”
“I do. I also have the slave's – is this what the call is about?”
“Both.” There was a pause. “Can you also bring an inhibitor.”
“I can. Why do you need one so early?”
“He's activated it and killed one of the Emperor's concubines.”
“By the gods! How beat up is he?”
“Not as much as I was expecting. The Emperor was quite pleased he didn't have to kill his concubine himself.”
“In what way?”
“They claimed to be the Emperor and took my slave away. We presume to kill him.”
“You should've kept a better eye on him. Don't tell me, he's been raped, again?”
“I noticed stains between his thighs.” Sendak pursed his lips as Ulaz swore in frustration. “It's down to the lack of brain cells between the officers and Druids.” Sendak snapped back. “Are you there now?”
“Yes. I have his collar as well.”
“Bring it with you tomorrow.”
“I will. I'll prepare now and be up early. Please be awake.”
“I'm sure I will be.” Sendak ended the call and leaned back, closing his eyes to offset the pain; like someone was stabbing the back of them with white-hot pokers.

 

-

 

Shiro stirred, nuzzling his head into the warm and fluffy blanket. He hummed in happiness, pushing his hands through the thick fur.
“I didn't realise I had adopted a kit.”
Shiro rolled backwards and he brought his left hand up defensively, glaring at Sendak. “What did you do? Why am I naked?”
“Gods, you are too loud in the morning.” Sendak groaned, taking his mug from the side and sipping the contents. “I made you one.” He pointed to another cup and flicked through the small tablet he held in his Galran hand.

 

“What're you reading?”
“Apparently I'm not going to get a thank you.” He dropped the tablet into his lap and glared at Shiro. “Thanks.” Shiro growled out, noting that Sendak was actually wearing something. “Good enough. It's a report regarding rebel activity. I need to read it for my meeting later.”
“Is that with the Emperor?”
“Yes.” Sendak pulled Shiro into his lap and handed him the mug. “It should be cool by now.”
“Is it tea?”
“Leaf water.” Sendak picked up the tablet again and flicked down, yawning and exposing his sharp teeth. Shiro stared at the mug, swirling it in his hand, before taking a small sip. Sendak kept him steady on his lap, the thick fur mussed up where he'd been nuzzling and kneading it earlier, thinking it was a blanket. “We'll shower shortly.”
“Okay.” Shiro closed his eyes as he enjoyed the warmth in his throat.

 

-

 

“Is there nothing you can put him in?” Ulaz looked to Sendak as Shiro sat curled up on the couch in a towel. “Everything I own is too big for him.” Sendak replied. “I can pick something up on my way back.”
“How long will you be?”
“Not sure. A good few vargas.”
“He's eaten?”
“Of course.” Sendak smoothed the fur along the back of his neck and looked down at the two. “I need to leave to pick up my prosthetic from Haggar. There will be no visitors today.” He checked his armour again and left the two of them together.

 

Ulaz settled next to Shiro on the sofa. He rested his forearms over his thighs and stared at the floor. “I need to apologise for the arm; I'm sorry.” He muttered, head hung low. Shiro looked away in silence, tracing his left hand over the metal. “What's done is done.”
“Shiro, you don't have to bottle it up-”
“I do.” His voice was cold as he chewed his nails. The silence descended around them, Ulaz staring at the floor. “They should have anaesthetised you completely for it.”
“I didn't feel anything.”
“You were screaming.”
“I don't remember fully what I was doing.”
“I'm sorry-”
“It's done. I've got this hunk of metal now.” Shiro rolled his right shoulder. “Better get used to it.”

 

“So what happened with Yastara?”
“Oh, you know, smacked about, raped, forced to see my ex-fiancé and one of my closest friends.” Shiro laughed, rolling his head to look at Ulaz. “Keep seeing his face and hearing him ask why I hurt him as he died on my arm.”
“You know they weren't real?”
“It felt real. There's only so much I can lie to myself until even I don't know what's reality any more.” Ulaz caught the gaze; hollow and holding practised military coldness. He rose from the sofa and paced over to the small bag he had with him, pulling out his scanner. “Let's get you checked over.” He murmured.

 

It had been a varga or thereabouts since Ulaz had left. The conversation was curt from Shiro's side. He didn't want to be around anyone right now, just with his thoughts. He settled by the pool in the atrium and took a deep breath. For the first time in deca-phoebs, he was going to try meditating again. It might help him focus on his arm; try and work out how to make it work. Yester-quintant it seemed to be impulsive emotions and spurred on by pure rage, but he couldn't let himself activate it only through that. He closed his eyes and listened to the soft bubbling of the water. He took in a deep breath through his nose and let it out through his mouth, trying to narrow his focus in on his shoulder and down into the arm.

 

Adam's hollow laugh shot through his head. His eyes snapped open and he grasped his hand to his mouth, eyes wide. No, focus. It wasn't real. There was some fact in what Adam said. But he wouldn't have done that. Wouldn't he? You don't remember that look? It was break-up sex and you were both drunk, he was hopeful he could. He knew my opinion on him doing it. Not like you were fucking him to get him off though, was it? I suppose. Did it even mean anything? Shiro grit his teeth and shook his head, growling. He needed to focus. He resettled into his position and steadied his breathing again, trying to feel out the connection between the flesh and metal.

 

For vargas he sat there trying to separate out the different sensations. Until the middle of the bicep, it felt warm, but then he hit the cold wall of metal. He flopped down on the floor behind him, rolling his right shoulder around and around. He needed to get it back to an action he didn't need to think about, but this was a good enough start. There was the possibility Sendak might be pleased, but it would depend on how he was after his meeting. He looked up as he heard the click of the door, and levered himself over to his right and sat on his knees, hand placed on the floor to help him. Oh gods my legs ache.

 

“I must say, that is quite a sight to walk in to.” Sendak purred from the doorway as he placed a small bag down. Shiro arched his eyebrow and looked down at himself. He'd tied the towel, albeit loosely, around his hips. Everything above the belt, however, was on display and being on his knees? Well, it's what the Commander liked. “Well don't get too used to it.”
“I could just not let you wear clothes.”
“That's true.”
“How's your arm?” Sendak settled down on one of the sofas as he unclipped his armour, watching Shiro. “Well, I can rotate the shoulder if I focus hard enough.”
“Show me.” Shiro closed his eyes and took a deep breath as he rotated it backwards and forwards. Sendak motioned him over, and Shiro complied.

 

Sendak turned him round as he came to a stop in front of him. “Now do it again.” He watched the slave's shoulder muscles move under the skin intently. He carefully pressed his fingers against the muscles, tracing up to the shoulder and squeezing around his arm. He hissed as he knit his brows together. He was fed up with not being able to frown – even blinking hurt right now. “Is there any reason you're pressing the muscle?”
“I'm seeing how taut it is.” Sendak muttered, eye following the curve of his spine to the hem of the towel. He licked his dry lips as he brought the slave into his lap, pulling his legs apart so they were sat either side of Sendak's thighs. He watched curiously as the slave tugged the towel away at the side.

 

“I'm still sore and everything feels bruised, but just go for it. Why not.”
“As I said before,” Sendak affixed the towel back around his waist, “I'm concerned about your welfare.” He wasn't sure if he felt insulted or pleased, however he'd certainly be making up for lost time when his slave had controlled motor functions. After all, he had needs that needed fulfilling. Keeping a firm grip around his chest, Sendak slowly rubbed the tense shoulder blades. A startled grunt escaped his mouth, but Sendak ignored it as he massaged the skin. “Staying so tense will be bad for you moving forward.” He whispered into his ear, his slave making a little moan as Sendak licked the edge. “I thought you didn't want to-”
“I'm just easing your tenseness. It's not my fault if you find this arousing.” He purposefully kneaded the knotted muscle.

 

Shiro's eyes widened as he felt a deep sense of pleasure wash through his body. It wasn't sexual, but it just felt good. It shuddered and he covered his mouth after a small whine escaped his lips. “Fuck.” He whispered, letting his body relax. Sendak kneaded the spot again, and he jolted. “You're,” Shiro arched his back, whining again, “doing this on,” he tried to pull away as his breath caught, “purpose!” He bucked his hips and gripped Sendak's prosthetic, panting as he glared around at him. Sendak stared back up, another shit-eating grin on his face, “I would never attempt to find your weak points.”
“We both know that's a lie.” Shiro let Sendak pull him back so he could shift his legs from the sides, brows knitting as his naked ass settled on top of Sendak's semi-hard erection for a tick or two. Apparently, that was all he needed now to set his insides off. He bit his lip, trying to push down the warm and needy feeling in his ass. It is official; our life is a hentai. At least there's been no tentacles or bestiality...yet. Out of the two options, he'd prefer the tentacles. He hoped the Galra thought bestiality was disgusting and outlawed or something. Granted, he'd yet to see any actual animals.

 

“Are you lost in that tiny head of yours?” Shiro blinked slowly up at Sendak, who handed him the small bag. “Go along and change, then come to the kitchen. You shall help me prepare food.” Shiro turned with the bag and hurried off towards the bathroom, clutching the towel that threatened to fall off. As he entered the room, he carefully sat down on one of the small raised platforms by the bath. It probably wasn't supposed to be a seat. He pulled out the contents: two body suits, some short-sleeved robey-thing with tails at the sides, and what might as well be a corset, but without the titty holders – is that the right word? - and with one arm hole over the right shoulder. He cocked his eyebrow at a similar-looking set of not-leather-underwear at the bottom of the bag and placed it down, wondering what in this room would be the surest way to killing himself quickly. He realised, however, that his clothing options were limited to just the robey-thing. Sighing, he placed the other items back into the bag and pulled the fabric out to have a look; uncertain how much of his ass it would cover. He swallowed back against the fire in his loins, questioning again at the neediness.

 

-

 

The next few movements passed by slowly. Shiro's quintants were spent in Sendak's quarters, and he'd fallen into a routine. Good news was that his body hadn't rejected the arm; bad news was that he was still struggling with certain movements. To increase Shiro's motivations, as Sendak had put it, he'd had Ulaz create splints that stopped him from using his left hand. He had to wear them for most of the quintant, but was allowed breaks to eat using his left hand when his right wasn't able to grip. Sendak had also set him little tasks to do about the place, effectively making Shiro a maid. He'd thankfully not purchased a Galran maid outfit, or at least Shiro hoped he hadn't, but he welcomed the different ways he got to train his arm.

 

Even something so basic as putting water into the pot for tea was a struggle, and he'd broken a few glasses accidentally from misjudging the pressure he was exerting. For every glass he'd broken, Sendak had punished him to varying degrees. At first it was sleeping on the floor, then it built up to arousing him to the point his orgasms were just dry or not given. One night Sendak had Haxus over and he'd split some alcohol; the punishment there was to 'entertain' them by fucking himself with some vibrating toy. Remembering how he writhed and squeaked, how he made sure to put on a show, made his face flush and cock twitch.

 

He braced himself against the wall, resting his forehead against the cold metal in the kitchen, fighting down the bile that threatened to rise up his throat from the humiliation. He wanted to say no, he really did, but he also didn't want the commander to turn aggressive on him again either. These quintant's of a relaxed and even playful Sendak hadn't been too bad, much to Ulaz's surprise. He knew it would end and things would go back to how they were, but perhaps through all the bravado and ego, there was something-

 

“Shiro? Are you alright there?” Ulaz poked his head around the door, and Shiro ripped his mind away from his thoughts. He smiled and watched Ulaz enter the kitchen, placing his bag on the counter. “You look well – still pale – but well.” He offered. Shiro chuckled as he moved to the side of the sink, taking a clean mug and carefully turning it. “My sleeping's got better.”
“Not on the floor?”
“No.”
“And you're not having any nightmares?” Shiro could feel Ulaz's stare and bit his lip as he busied his hand. “I told you I'm not having them.”
“The Commander has mentioned a few times you thrash about in your sleep, muttering to yourself.” Shiro felt a hand on his shoulder, and he stared down at the kettle that sang as it reached the boil. “Let us talk over...'tea', was it?”
“Yeah,” Shiro nodded as he slowly lifted the kettle, eyes focussed as he steadied it over the rim of the pot and poured. “Excellent.” Ulaz's voice was warm, and he mentally scolded himself for hiding away from the one Galra who legitimately cared about him. He'd been a complete dick over the last few movements and he owed him an apology.

 

“I'm sorry,” Shiro looked up at the golden eyes as he nudged Ulaz his cup. “What're you sorry for?” He took it and the pot as they moved to the table, Shiro taking his movements slow before feeling confident he had this. “How I've been with you; curt, snappy, just a dick.” He settled in the chair next to him, bowing his head. “I hope you can forgive me.” Shiro felt a hand clap down on his shoulder and pull him in close. “You don't have to apologise for anything. You've not really had a break since you came to us.” Shiro allowed the tight embrace and buried himself into the armour. Ulaz always smelt nice – somewhat sweet but not overwhelmingly so. “We can talk if you would like?”
“I actually would.” Shiro rose, and motioned for Ulaz to follow with the rest of the tea and pot in his hands. They settled on the sofas and Shiro pulled his legs up to sit on them, resting the cup down, a small smile playing on his lip. “You're better with the grip – further ahead then we thought.”
“Meditation has helped me,” Shiro flexed his fingers, a small frown on his face. “It's still not right yet.”
“It won't be for a few more movements.”
“Yeah.” Shiro took a deep breath in, staring hard at the floor.

 

“So what did you want to talk about?” Ulaz took the cup in his hand. “I don't even know. I guess it's just everything with Yastara.”
“Are you still worried you killed your friend?”
“Yes, but it's more than just that.” He glanced to the door, then back to the floor. “I guess I'll start with Keith – the student I was a mentor for. I know we spoke a while ago about him, and your...confusion I suppose that we weren't intimate. One of the...illusions I saw under Yastara's hallucinogenics was him. It was twice. The first time it was,” he screwed his eyes shut, “intimate. The second time was when I 'killed' him.”
“The intimate part makes you uncomfortable?”
“Yeah, both do. See back on Earth we have an age of consent. A really long time ago different countries had different ages, but eventually it all equalled out to sixteen Earth years. He was seventeen when I left and, legally, I mean we could, you know.”
“Be intimate?”
“Yeah. I actually had a mate, as you put it, at the time but we broke up over some life differences. So nothing would have happened before, and if it did I'd be put in prison rightly so. I just...feel wrong for thinking about him like that? I feel worse because it sounded and acted like him, or at least what my head clearly imagined. But I...the action of me hurting him...it just makes me feel sick and it hurts.” Shiro pushed the metal fingers through his hair, some strands getting stuck in the joints as it compressed without his consent. He narrowed his eyes, forcing the fingers open. “I'm scared of myself because I took advantage of a fictitious version of my friend, and what if I ever did it to the real life version? I don't know how to explain it, I can't think right.” He looked to Ulaz, who sipped his tea thoughtfully.

 

“This is a slightly difficult conversation to have with me, as Galra are long-lived.” Ulaz began, “however, may I ask you if you've ever had dreams of any platonic friends in such a way?”
Shiro nodded and Ulaz leaned forward, “and have you ever tried to make what you dreamt a reality?”
“No, of course not.”
“So on the balance of probability, it would be highly unlikely that you would act on your fantasies.”
“Isn't it wrong though? He's younger than me by seven Earth years. I mean, age is a number, but I'd feel that I'd be taking advantage of his trust.”
“I think you've two big problems here: your first concern seems to be an abuse of trust, which at present is quite a large aspect in your life. For example, you being upset with me regarding your arm. I would guess your trust has been abused before from those who were close to you?”
“It has, yeah.”
“Personally, I have mentored a good few Galra in my lifetime. Between one of my pupils and I, there's a good few hundred deca-phoebs difference. A thousand between another.” He watched Shiro's jaw drop as he mouthed the words. Ulaz shrugged his shoulders. “As our species has advanced, lifespan has increased. I say this because age for us is a lot looser, kits non-withstanding of course.” Ulaz observed Shiro as he drew his legs in closer and slung his arm over himself. “One way to try and find solace is that he's not actually here, and is safe back on Earth. You,” Ulaz paused, “will never see him again, so perhaps you should allow yourself the escape of dreams.”

 

“Perhaps.” Shiro was uncertain. Ulaz was right in that it was dreams and not reality. Hell, he'd dreamt the other night of sodomising Sendak with his own prosthetic, but like that was going to actually happen. He's had a weird dream about a dominatrix Admiral Sanda once, and he was really confused because he held no attraction to women in the slightest. Adam had teased him about it during their graduation ceremony. That was the night they officially got together, thinking about it.

 

“When you talk about your pupil, there is a softness to your tone I'm not certain you notice. It was why I presumed they were a mate to begin with.” Ulaz proffered the pot to Shiro, who held out his cup. “As a potential mate or comrade, he clearly means the moon and stars to you, and the fact you're beating yourself up about the false events concerning him suggests to me you have a deeper bond then you realise.” He set the pot back on the table and took his own cup and took a swig. “Ask yourself; perhaps not now, but when your mind is in a better place, whether you would fight and die for him.” Ulaz stared into the steaming liquid, mouth lifted in the corners.
“T-Thank you, Ulaz.”
“Was there anything else?”
“Yeah.”
“Are you happy to continue?”
“Perhaps...not now. Sendak should be back shortly.”
“Ah, I also need to run my tests and checks. How about you tell me more about Earth medicines again? It's great to learn new things from you.” Ulaz reached across the sofa and pulled his bag close while Shiro chuckled. “Oh wow, where did I even finish last time?”
“I think around painkillers?” Ulaz patted the seat next to him, and Shiro wandered over, smoothing out the tailed robe he wore. “I almost forgot,” Ulaz rummaged through the bag and brought out the fabric he'd brought Shiro, “this was yours,” he pushed it into Shiro's hand, the small human offering him a wide smile as he pushed his left hand out. “I doubt you remember how I did the knot?”
“Not a clue.” Ulaz grinned as he removed the splints.

 

-

 

“You've seemed awfully docile as of late.” Ranveig commented, leaning against the wall as he watched Sendak pocket his tablet. “Is it possible that the great Commander Sendak has plateaued? How weak he must be for his slave to cut out his eye-” Sendak's prosthetic gauntlet smashed Ranveig into the wall. He cocked his head to the side, a smug look on his face, “he fought valiantly to try and defeat his opponent with his own strength, as opposed to someone who uses dishonourable tactics.”
“Are you talking about me or the Champion?”
“Well that depends.” Sendak retracted his prosthetic with ease, orange eye glowing dangerously.

 

“Will you drecks stop destroying the meeting room and bickering like angry kits?” Gnov slammed her fists to the table, glaring at the two of them with pure disdain. “I preferred it when you were away from Central Command because you're infuriating to be around!”
“What do you even know of the trials and troubles outside Central, Gnov?” Ranveig spat as he approached, towering over her, “you've grown weak playing politics back here on Central. I'd say you're a waste of a warrior, but you're not that great-”
“Enough! You know why you were thrown out to the fringes? Because you're as thick as bovas-shit.” She jabbed her claws into his chest, eyes narrowed to a deadly point. “Just because I'm not as outwardly aggressive as you, doesn't mean I don't know how to take you down.”
“You want to go, little woman?”
“You want to die, dreck?” She reached for her blade, eyes unmoving as her and Ranveig squared up to each other. Sendak cleared his throat. “It's been a long movement and we need to reach a decision soon. As much as I would support Gnov gutting you, I think I'd have to fight her off first,” he looked to her and received a grunt in reply. “I've things to attend to.” Sendak stalked from the room, giving Ranveig a hard glare as he left.

 

-

 

“Remind me how many movements are in a phoeb, again?” Shiro asked as he held the weights above his head. “There're nine movements in a phoeb, and ten phoebs in a deca-phoeb.” Ulaz muttered as his fingers busily typed out a message on his communicator. “Drop them.” Shiro gently placed them down to the floor and shook out his hands. It had been seven movements since his arm had been replaced, and though he had a few off days here and there, primarily regarding pressure exertion, he'd not broken much else. He did, however, piss off Sendak when he accidentally punched a hole through the wall in the hallway. His eyes held fast on the floor, chewing his tongue. Sendak was beyond pissed, and for the first time since the shower sex, he'd fucked Shiro's mouth and hadn't held back. It happened a few quintants' ago in the evening, and that night he was secured to the end of the bed by an energy leash to sleep on the freezing floor. His throat still hurt, but he'd stopped coughing blood up, which was a positive.

 

“Are you alright, Shiro?” A hand touched his shoulder, and he jolted away. “Y-Yeah, just lost in my thoughts again.”
“Is it about your pupil? Is that still on your mind?”
“On occasions, but no, just other things.”
“You can talk to me.” Ulaz gently rubbed his arms, giving him a warm smile. Shiro nodded, feeling the faintest blush on his cheeks as he curled his metal fingers around Ulaz's wrist. “I know. Thank you.” He leaned in and took Ulaz in a hug, the Galra embracing him back. Shiro drew small circles into the tight body suit, nuzzling his face against the soft short fur. “You're too good to me.” He whispered, a tiny chuckle escaping his lips as Ulaz shivered. “Your breath is very ticklish against my ear.”
“Sorry.” Shiro did it again, and Ulaz pushed him away by the shoulders, expression nonplussed as he stepped back.

 

There was the a playful glint in Shiro's eyes as he put his arms behind his back and stepped towards Ulaz. “I promise I won't do it again.”
“If you do, I may need to subdue you.” He offered a tiny grin and watched as Shiro moved closer, his grey eyes glittering under the purple light. “Do I want to know how you'd subdue me?” He arched his eyebrow and placed his hands on his hips, cocking his head to the side.
“In the same manner as when you escaped.” Ulaz wasn't particularly sure why Shiro was grinning at him, or why he felt there were some hidden intentions behind those eyes. Finally, the human burst into a fit of laughter, before drawing up quickly and planting his lips against his. Shiro held the kiss for a few seconds, his eyes closed, before he pulled away and back to the weights on the floor. “I should get back to lifting these, right?” He glanced behind him, a warm smile on his strong features. “If you keep looking at me like that, I might have to do that again.”
“Shiro, y-you shouldn't behave like that.”
“Why's that? It's just us here.”
“Because,” Ulaz motioned to his collar, “if anyone finds out, we're both out the airlock.”

 

Chapter Text

Only one more movement to go. Shiro thought as he followed Sendak through the hallways that led from the right of the atrium. He'd never explored this side of the quarters before, because Sendak rarely came over this way unless he was looking for something in dusty boxes or if he wanted to be left alone, which as of late had started to increase. He knew that Sendak was stressed out with the meetings again, and he'd overheard him talking through possible battle plans in galaxies and systems Shiro had no comprehension of. He'd been waking earlier lately and scurrying off to make him a pot of tea.

 

If there was any version of Sendak he did like, it was him in the mornings. He was groggy and didn't talk much, but surprisingly civil. He had a habit of licking the back of his head when he scooped Shiro into his lap as he read his reports, but apart from that they both enjoyed the quiet. He'd sometimes tell Shiro the basis of his report and answer questions he deemed acceptable, and Shiro understood that he could, in fact, be gentle. From a position of authority, like what he held back in the Garrison, he recognised the difference between 'work' and 'private' Sendak, but wished on occasions his work mindset wouldn't come home with him. Today was his first day off in eight quintants – so a full movement.

 

“We're here.” Sendak motioned the slave forward and patted his shoulder approvingly, he'd just registered he was wearing one of the body suits, which he seemed to like wearing for training. He'd actually got him the tailed robe for that purpose, but he'd never bothered scolding him over it since he never told him, and the slave lived in it. If he had to wash it, he'd sit in a towel until it was dried. Sendak was sure that if he could, he'd sleep in it as well. The other outfit he had told him to keep clean, and the slave had done precisely as he asked.

 

Shiro stepped into a room that had very different light to that of other Galra places. It was bathed in dusky red, and much like the arena, the floor was sandy and it felt humid. He turned to look up at Sendak, tilting his head to the side. “Permission to speak, sir?”
“Granted.”
“This room is very different from the others – why is that?”
“It is set to be like my old home world, planet Daibaazal.”
“What happened to your planet?” Shiro asked uncertainly. Sendak turned away from him, pacing to a small bench. “It was destroyed. No more questions.”
“Understood, sir.” He tacked the latter on for good measure.

 

“You understand what we are doing today?”
“Activating the weaponised aspect of my arm.”
“Correct. Unlike mine, yours does not have a quintessence feed,” he motioned to the energy between his pauldron and the gauntlet, “so we need to establish how you will do it. Do you recall how you activated it before?”
“Through rage and the urge to kill, sir.”
“Then we will try that.” Sendak raised his gauntlet and brought himself into a closed guard, while the slave raised his human arm up, and held his Galra arm below it, elbow out and fist balled. “Begin!” Sendak roared.

 

Like in their previous fight, Sendak charged him and drew the gauntlet across his body like a shield. Shiro clenched his teeth together and screamed as he focussed everything into his arm. All of the assaults, the beatings, the humiliation; Shiro had plenty of reasons to want to kill Sendak. He launched himself forward, the hand glowing purple-white, strange purple markings lighting his arm, as he drove it forward.

 

Blood dripping from Keith's lips. The body falling like a ragdoll down his arm. Those eyes losing the spark of life. “I-I...don't wanna g-go.” His voice nothing but a hollow whisper. Shiro aborted his attack, rolling over the sand, the light dissipating away and the low hum it made dying. Sendak skidded to a stop, snarling and snapping his teeth in anger. “What was that about?” He roared, grabbing Shiro by the leg and flipping him over; the claws of the gauntlet glowing under his chin. “I...my arm, it felt like it was giving out-”
“Liar.” Sendak hissed as he pulled him up by the scruff, golden eye bathed orange-red in the light. “Let me try again! Please, sir.” Shiro begged as sweat rolled down his brow, chest pumping with anxiety. Sendak snorted, yanking him roughly to his feet and pushing him backwards. “You will attack me instead. Strike to kill.” He took a few long paces away and brought the arm across his body again, nodding at Shiro to make his second attempt.

 

Shiro paced away, glaring down at the sand beneath his feet. He's not Keith. You can do this. Show that bastard what we can do, otherwise it's just another humiliation. Shiro ground his teeth together. He wasn't going to let Yastara's hallucinations fuck him over getting back to the arena. He snarled, feeling the fire in his chest reignite. Without warning he pivoted around and launched at Sendak screeching, arm aglow and eyes locked on to his target. Sendak smirked and muttered something Shiro couldn't hear as he punched forward.
Shiro! Stop!”
Shiro threw himself to the ground, skidding to Sendak's feet. The light faded again. He curled his organic hand into a fist and, between frustrated sobs, punched the sand.

 

“Pathetic.” He felt Sendak's clawed boot on his shoulder as it pulled him over, so he was laid facing the ceiling. “You were fine; the strike was almost perfect. Why,” he bent down and pulled Shiro up by his collar, “did you hesitate? No lies, or I will make sure the only thing you see for the rest of your miserable life, is your own face reflected back at you in the floor as you are fucked within an inch of your life.” He pushed Shiro back down and straddled his hips, baring down. “Explain.” The snarl rumbled deep in his chest. Shiro averted his gaze and swallowed the lump in his throat. “I...keep hearing him – the illusion that Yastara cast of my friend – I can't strike. I want to, but then I remember; see and hear things and I just...can't.” Shiro kept his eyes focused on the wall. He was too scared to face Sendak; too weak.

 

The weight lifted from his chest and he watched the commander pace away and pick up his tablet. He settled on the bench and tapped away on the screen, then lifted it to his mouth. Sendak's gaze rested on Shiro as he pulled himself onto his knees. They watched each other in silence until someone answered on the other end.
“Commander?”
“I need you to purge something for me.”
“Is this what we spoke about a while ago?”
“It is. It's still a problem.”
“I can come in half a varga.”
“Thank you.” Sendak ended the call and rose from the bench, dusting his armour off. He silently strode to Shiro, who sat with a puzzled look on his face, and grabbed him by the hair. Shiro hissed, but as usual, it was ignored, as Sendak dragged him from the room and along another corridor until they stopped at a door. Sendak placed his hand against a panel, and as it opened, he shoved Shiro inside without a word. He blinked like a deer in the headlights as the door closed behind, and he was left to his own devices.

 

“I'm sorry I had to call you here.”
“It's quite alright.” The druid stalked in that eerie way that made anyone's fur stand on end as they entered the atrium. It peered about, as if looking for something. “The slave is in the cell.”
“Any reason?” They followed Sendak along the dark hallways until they reached the door. “It'll make your job easier.” Sendak opened the door, the slave huddled in the corner. “He's all yours. Just do as we discussed.” Sendak's gaze flicked from the slave to the druid and back again, before turning. “Certainly.” He watched as the druid approached the slave, who glared up. “Behave yourself or it'll be worse.” Sendak snapped, those odd grey eyes looking to him cautiously.

 

The bony clawed fingers scraped along his forehead before resting over his temples. “Relax.” The alien raspy voice tried to coo as the claws dug in. Shiro's body trembled as his head started to feel like it was crackling; neurons firing in every direction. The crackling feeling turned to a sharp, white-hot pain like his mind was being assaulted by a thousand tiny knives. His eyes rolled back into his head. Those amethyst eyes staring loving down at Shiro as Keith caught his lips in a heated kiss. His eyes rolling back as he bucked his hips against Shiro. Those arms wrapped around his neck as he grinned up, black strands of hair stuck to his forehead. Affectionate whispers. Hands running down his chest. The blood on his lips. The fleeting heartbeat. The hot feeling on his arm. Immovable corpse. Dead open eyes staring down at Shiro as he was trapped on the floor. “Shiro, please don't hurt me.”

 

The slave's screech was primal and pained as he fell back into the corner, body slipping down to the floor in a comically slow way. The druid pulled away, turning to look at Sendak. “His memories regarding the illusion or any mention of it, as well as the events up until entering the training room have been purged. There's a few bits I noticed in there that I'd possibly look at cleaning up.”
“That will be all. I just want him fighting.” Sendak turned and led them back through the hallways to the door. “How long will he be out?”
“Roughly two vargas.” They observed Sendak silently for a long moment that made the fur along his spine stand on end, before leaving.

 

He flopped down on the sofa, running his hand through his fur in frustration. He didn't want to have to get to this point, but Ulaz had been the one to tell him it was the only option he could support if the slave had to go back to the arena. He wasn't happy about the suggestion either, and had made Sendak swear on his honour it was a last resort. He picked himself back up and made his way back to the cell. The slave was awkwardly laid on the floor, neck raised against the wall. Sighing, Sendak came in and picked him up, carrying him back to the sofa where he'd been been beforehand. He eased him down and propped him up against the pillow, dusting the bits of sand off of him and feeling for anything else that may make the slave question him later, before wandering off to his office.

 

“You're awake, finally.” Shiro slowly opened his eyes, staring at the gauntlet in front of him. “Y-Yeah. I'm sorry, I didn't realise I fell asleep.” Shiro picked himself up, rubbing his head. “Headache?”
“Y-Yeah.” He frowned, he didn't remember falling asleep at all. He looked at Sendak, who picked up the half-drank glass of water he had earlier. Shiro took it, downing the water in a few gulps. “I think you were mumbling about having a painful head, so I left you to it. I've done some more work while you've been napping.”
“I thought today was your day off? Do we,” Shiro licked his lips, “still get to do some training today?” He looked up hopefully at Sendak, who grinned back at him. “Of course. We need to test and train that arm of yours. Hopefully, it will work fine.”
“I hope so too. I want to get back to the arena.” He punched his fist into his palm, humming to himself. Sendak chuckled and pulled him up. “Then let us train.” He turned on his heel and Shiro followed behind him.

 

“Thank you, for letting me rest. I didn't know I needed it.”
“Sometimes sleep can take you by surprise. Did you dream of anything?”
“No. Why?”
“You occasionally talk in your sleep, mutter names or things like that.” Sendak looked down at him. “I'm curious.” He opened a door and Shiro stepped into a dusky-red room. He looked around, ruffling the back of his growing hair. “It's humid like the arena. Permission to speak?”
“Granted.”
“Why's it so different in here? The humidity, the light, the sand?”
“It's a room that is designed to be like my old home planet, Daibaazal. No more questions.” Sendak raised his prosthetic like a shield. “You will focus upon activating your new arm, and you will strike to kill. Understand?”
“I'll try.” Shiro took a deep breath. He couldn't rely on bloodlust alone to get his arm working, he needed to focus it so it was natural.

 

It took a few dobosh's for the slave to reactivate the arm, but when he did, he threw himself at Sendak. The attack connected, and it was considerably stronger than previous strikes. Sendak smirked as he batted him back into the sand. “Again!” He barked. The slave came back for another attack, this one striking high. Sendak knocked him back again, the force rattling his gauntlet.

 

They continued training for vargas; Shiro practised deactivating and reactivating the arm. Sometimes it took a while, other times not so much. He was still a bit wary because he kept relying on the negative emotions inside him, but he had a movement to get used to this. It was a good start, or at least he hoped it was. By the end of the session, he'd flopped into the sand, panting heavily. Sendak approached and nudged him with his boot. “You have made an acceptable start. We will reconvene later, for now, sustenance.” He beckoned lazily through the door, Shiro scrabbling to his feet and aired the body suit. He liked this; the training and these small moments. His head shot with pain, perhaps his headache wasn't as gone as he thought.

 

-

 

Shiro straightened out the leather guard around his wrist, flexing his organic fingers. He only had one arm guard remaining now from his fight with Sendak – the other mangled and probably still attached to his old arm. He smoothed the armour over his chest, smiling to himself. “Are you ready to leave?” Sendak stood in the doorway checking his communicator briefly before turning his attention to Shiro. Nodding, he made for the door. “Wait. You're being leashed before we go out.” Sendak came over, holding the metal end and attached it to his collar. He pressed a button with the other bit he had in his hand, and the purple energy rope came to life. “Don't frown. You tried to escape and haven't earned that much freedom.”
“When will I?” Shiro groaned as Sendak tugged him through the door. “When you prove your loyalty.” He didn't look at him, but paused as the door opposite slid open.

 

Another Galra – more blue in colour – appeared. She was talking to someone, and a large alien leaned down and stepped over the threshold. Shiro tensed as he looked over the alien; they carried a mighty war axe in their huge muscular arms. Their face was rather flat, but had sharp angular crests that went back and pointed up over their cheeks and on top of their head. From what Shiro could see, they were battle-hardened with scars littered all over their green-grey skin. The two looked to Sendak, then Shiro.

 

“Good morning, Commander Sendak.”
“Commander Ladnok, you are taking your slave to the arena?”
“She has a name, Sendak.” Ladnok crossed her arms over her armour, pupils fixated on Sendak. “Remind the Commander.”
“Kaleska,” Kaleska bowed low, raising her arm to her chest. Ladnok sniffed in approval. “And what might be the name of your little slave, hm?” She padded over to Shiro and lifted his chin, her black pupils coldly looking down at him. He opened his mouth to answer, but Sendak tugged his leash. “His name is of no import. Using their names gives them a sense of self, and slaves should know their place.” Sendak rumbled, glaring over at her. Well that explains a lot. Shiro's gaze flicked to the floor. Ulaz was the only one to use his name, and it was something he appreciated.

 

“You were always so uptight about these things.” Ladnok shrugged and motioned for Kaleska to follow. “So we're both going the same way?” She eyed Sendak who gave a curt nod in return. “The Emperor has agreed for him to return. As you can see,” he jabbed his claw backwards, “he has a much better arm.”
“I also see you've collared him.” She muttered. Sendak chuckled darkly, “well they must know their place. Slaves are slaves in all capacities so far as I am concerned.”
“I don't think we'll see eye-to-eye on that.” Ladnok smirked and Sendak snorted. “You just had to go there.” They looked at each other and chuckled, Ladnok elbowing him in the ribs, “it's good to chat like this, it's been too long.”
“I saw your brother a phoeb ago.”
“Oh gods he told me.”
“He speaks highly of you.”
“Well that's nice to hear.” She mused as they passed the fountain.

 

Shiro watched the two Commander's in front of him, slightly perplexed how their banter worked.
“Hey.” Shiro looked up to Kaleska, who walked beside him without restraints, a leash, or a collar for that matter. He wouldn't admit it, but he thought she was not a she. He offered her a small smile, and she raised her thick fingers, each one as thick as two and a half of his, to his neck to brush the collar. Her green eyes narrowed as she looked to Sendak's back and then back to Shiro, gaze softening a little. “Tiny's safe with me.”
“Huh?”
“Ya safe with me. I'll look after ya. 'Specially around dreckface.”
“Dreckface?”
“Champion.” Her voice was a guttural rumble, earning looks from Ladnok and Sendak. “Talkin' to Commander Sendak's slave.” Ladnok nodded and turned back to Sendak, carrying on with their conversation. “Talk later. Silence now.” She motioned her axe handle to the lift, and Shiro nodded as he picked up his pace to stand near Sendak, fiddling nervously with his guard and occasionally shooting glances at Kaleska as she leaned down, touching up Ladnok's lipstick with small and delicate movements. He watched Ladnok cup her face and press her forehead against the crest.

 

On their way down to the arena, they passed groups of Galra who stared and whispered. At least I have more on my ass for once. Shiro stared at the floor as he tried to listen to the conversations, catching the odd comment here and there. As they stepped out of the last lift, they were greeted by two other Galra, their own gladiators in tow. Shiro's body turned rigid as his eyes caught a pair of bright yellow ones, skin bronze and a head of shaved russet hair. It can't be Yastara, they're dead. He jolted when he felt a heavy hand on his shoulder. “Zestera, and the tall one's Banlu. The Galra are Commanders Trugg and Gnov.” Kaleska rumbled as she lifted her hand.

 

“What's this? A day out for High Command?” Trugg snorted as she tugged her gladiator, Banlu, closer.
“Apparently so,” Ladnok smiled as she came to a stop in front of Trugg, giving her a peck on the cheek.
“Commanders, please. We are in public.” Gnov turned to Sendak, who shrugged his shoulders. “That's true.” Trugg sighed before leaning in to whisper to Ladnok. Her gaze caught Shiro, and Trugg walked forward, the hair from her mohawk falling over her face. “Are you sure your little fucktoy is going to be alright in the arena, Sendak? He's not going to open his legs to every-fucking-gladiator?” Shiro followed her gaze to Sendak, who scowled down at her. “This fucktoy took my eye out. I don't have any reason to doubt his aptitude.” He undone the leash from Shiro's collar and placed a clawed hand on his shoulder. “I'd worry about your own gladiators.”
“Sen-Sen, stop being a bitch.” Gnov sighed, patting him on the shoulder. “Don't use that name.” He spat, gaze murderous.

 

Shiro was, somehow, managing to maintain his composure well considering the company. What he wanted to do was run his hand through this Yastara lookalike, and beat the ever-loving shit out of the Commander who called him a fucktoy. He could feel curious eyes on him from the other gladiators, and slowly the group moved onwards, Sendak snapping every time the purple-haired Commander with the same-coloured patches around her eyes called him by his nickname. He felt a heavy hand again on his shoulder and looked up to see Kaleska looking down at him, giving it a quick reassuring squeeze. “Ignore 'em. Galra're petty.”
“Tell me a'out it.” Banlu muttered, their voice rather shrill and enunciating the vowels. Shiro craned his neck to look at Banlu, who bowed their head down to him. “Where's...was it Zesteria?”
Zestera.” The voice came from behind him, the Yastara-lookalike glaring daggers at Shiro. “I'm sorry-”
“Enough.” They pushed past Shiro, yellow eyes flashing dangerously. “Don't min' Zestera, they're 'ad at talkin'.” Banlu patted Shiro's head gently as they followed the others to a large set of majestic-looking doors that Shiro vaguely recognised.

 

“Sendak, don't.” Gnov gripped his elbow as they entered to find Ranveig coming towards them. He looked between Sendak and Gnov, then the others. His gaze rested on what Sendak could only presume was his slave, because his lips turned upwards. “Oh, it's my slave's plaything. I'm so happy you brought it down, perhaps he can vent some of his frustrations into its ass, remember?” Although he was addressing Sendak, Ranveig was looking at his slave the entire time. “If Sendak here hasn't fucked you loose, I'm sure the Champion will enjoy himself on this,” he went to trail his hand over his face. Sendak snapped, his prosthetic smashing into Ranveig's side. “If you dare lay a finger on him without my consent, I will see to it myself you're stripped of more than just your title.”
“I don't swing that way, but good luck.” Ranveig spat, pushing himself away from Sendak and stalking out.

 

The other Commander's moved onwards, except for the ones with patches around their eyes. Zestera moved close to her side, checking around for any possible threat, their bulbous tail twitching behind them. “You know what he's trying to do.”
“I know but,” Sendak trailed off, motioning for Shiro to come, “he's just become such an arrogant dreck, and his existence just pisses me off these days.” He growled, holding Shiro tightly against his chest. Shiro was uncertain. It was nice that Sendak had stood up for him a few times today now, however he wasn't convinced it was genuine either.

 

Eventually he was signed in and allowed to pass into the halls beyond the entrance. It had been a long time, and he felt a lost as he stared at the high walls around him. Zestera had gone on without him, which he was frankly happy about. “Tiny, over here.” Shiro looked up to see Kaleska wave him down, smile on her face. “My name's Shiro,” he called, jogging over to her. She nodded slowly, mouthing the name. “Ya got a strange name, Shiro.”
“Kaleska is just as strange.” He grinned sheepishly and she snorted, patting his shoulder so roughly he fell forward. “Sorry, forget ya don't know me.” She pulled him up by the shoulder and lead him through the halls. “I'm a rudiarius – a trainer. Used to fight in the arena deca-phoebs ago but ya can see,” she motioned to her body, “not so good any more.”
“Is that why your outfit is really intricate?” Shiro looked up at her as she stifled back a laugh. “Ya're quick thinker.” She motioned to her whip at the side of her hip. “Gotta keep Champion in check. Excited to see the new crop.” She prodded Shiro's arm, “especially this in action. Fist fighter?”
“I'd prefer to be.” Shiro made a small gasp as they stepped out onto the sands, at least a dozen other figures there.

 

Shiro glanced around and spotted who he was after. “There's someone I need to see.” He muttered. Kaleska followed his gaze. “Be wary – I've got no trust in dreckface. Slimy, arrogant.”
“We were cellmates; he's not...bad.” He looked at the ground, Kaleska watching him like a hawk. “He insults our craft for what he did to ya. Dirty, wrong.” She patted Shiro's shoulder and moved away. Taking a deep breath, Shiro made a beeline for Nadiva as he practised his forms in the sand.
“Hey,” Shiro offered as he approached slowly. He took Nadiva in; his long teal hair now jaggedly cut short. He looked drawn, and his already pale skin looked paler. “Shiro?”
“Yeah. I finally got back here.” He held up his prosthetic arm, “I think this might be useful.”
“For the arena, yes.”
“I mean for what else we spoke about, remember?” Shiro took a step towards Nadiva, who hummed as he remembered. “I recall you had an answer for me.” His voice was more bass now, clearly comfortable with the interaction. “I do. I'd be...interested in your proposition.”
“I see. We will discuss in the showers later.” He walked towards the gaggle of gladiators forming. “Best hurry, before Rudiarius whips us.” He flashed Shiro a grin, and Shiro followed in tow.

 

-

 

“To the showers with ya, ya sweaty bastards!” Kaleska bellowed, her voice echoing around the arena. Shiro scrubbed his brow and followed behind Nadiva and Banlu, who were discussing something. “Ya did a good job, Shiro,” he felt a large hand tousle his hair and nodded, flashing a grin up at Kaleska. “Thanks.”
“Ya arm is quite...terrifying. Burning through armour like it's paper.” She brushed her fingers against the metal, brows knit together. “More weapon-time for ya though.”
“Sadly. I probably should,” Shiro muttered as they reached the changing room. He unbuckled the long boots he wore, keeping his head down as the other aliens stripped around him, completely at ease. Kaleska plodded out the the room to the showers; mixed by the looks of it.

 

“Shiro,” the bass voice rumbled in his ear. Shiro sucked in a gasp and turned his head around. “Yeah?” He watched the last alien enter the showers, the hiss of the water and chatter loud enough to keep their conversation drowned out. Nadiva settled next to him, brushing away the sharp strands as he leaned forward. “It seems slavery has not treated either of us kindly.” Nadiva let out a half-snort, running his hand through the choppy hair again. “No, but you look a lot worse then I do.” Shiro awkwardly patted his shoulder, unsure whether he should comfort Nadiva or not. He fell to the former – he'd thought his situation was bad, but considering his few and far between interactions with Ranveig, Sendak's rage if he was brought up, and the state of the man in front of him; his life had actually been not as bad in hindsight these past movements. That, and if he was going to work with Nadiva, he probably should show some level of caring.

 

“I suppose I do look bad as of late. The arena does that to you.” He motioned to a long scar across his chest; the line running deep. “That's my most recent one. I see you have a few of your own – Sendak?”
“Yeah.”
“He's burned you, I see.” Nadiva didn't ask as he ran his calloused fingertips over Shiro's burns, a light crease on his brow. Shiro shifted, pushing his hand away. “It happened a while ago.” He paused, “I want to join you, with the rebels. How does this exactly work?” He scooted closer to Nadiva, knowing their time would be limited. He felt hot breath against his ear as Nadiva leaned in close, the low rumble vibrating around his head. “I've got a contact, which is all you need to know for now. I will need to pass on a message to get authority to let you in. Then,” he took Shiro's flesh hand in his, slowly turning it over and tracing a line over his palm, “we make a blood seal. For now, if you can give me any information, that would be a start.”
“What type of information?” Shiro pulled his hand back, the sensation a bit too ticklish for his liking. “Military-related. Planned prisoner drops, base locations, that type of thing. I thought this would be obvious?”
“It is, but confirming my guesses. I can't read Galran-”
“But you can listen for now.” Nadiva smirked at Shiro.

 

“Champion, Tiny. Showers.” They both whipped their heads around to find Kaleska stood naked in the doorway, holding her whip and eyeing Nadiva more than anything. “Tiny is collared, leave him.”
“My deepest apologies, Rudiarius, we were just catching up. I was just asking Shiro about his fellow humans.”
“Y-Yeah.” Shiro's voice faltered, trying to play it up as something difficult to talk about. Kaleska didn't look convinced. In truth, he'd not been thinking much about Sam and Matt. It wasn't, as he walked to the showers, Kaleska acting as a wall between them both, because he didn't care. He'd just had so much more to think about. It seemed as well that they'd at least be alive, since Sam was at a science camp or something, where they'd want to keep him alive. Matt was in some type of labour camp. He wasn't on a mining colony, so that settled his mind a bit. He bit his lip as he slowly scrubbed as his skin, letting his head fall back to feel the warm water run down his face. His focus had shifted, but he still knew that the core reason for him to keep going was going to be to save them. He knew how to be patient, even if he hated how drawn out things became.

 

Chapter Text

“I really don't belong in there.” Shiro stood rigidly on the spot as he eyed the eatery, then the clientele through the glass. Sendak sighed, looking down at him. “Technically, no you don't, but Haxus is meeting me here, and I can't be bothered to take you back home. It's been a long day, and I suppose you need feeding as well.” Sendak bent down to give him a quick sniff. “You don't smell too awful either.”
“Thanks.”
“That wasn't a compliment.”
“I know.” Shiro and Sendak's eyes met, before he received a sharp tug on the leash. “Regardless, I can take you in because of my position.”
“You get a lot of perks because of what you do.”
“That's what happens when you're the Emperor's right hand, and served the Empire for so long.” He muttered, turning his head to look for Haxus.

 

“Sorry for the lateness, Commander. I was just finishing my last shift.”
“Your reassignment is finished now?
“Good behaviour.” He lowered his arm from his chest and peeked around Sendak's broad form. “How was his first day?” Haxus jabbed a claw in Shiro's direction.
“Yes, how was it?”
“Fine.”
“Well obviously you pleased the Rudiarius; you're not gore on the end of her war axe.”
“Wait what?” Shiro didn't get a response as he was pulled into the eatery, glaring at Sendak's back. He'd have preferred to know he could have died today.

 

A server eyed the group, sharp eyes lingering on Shiro specifically, before turning their attention to the two Galra.
“Do you have a reservation?”
“Yes,” Haxus stepped to the counter, flashing his tablet screen to the server. They scrutinised it for a moment before handing it back. “We do not have any facilities for,” they motioned to Shiro, clearly tempering their words, “your tag-along.”
“He's quite fine sat on the floor. Would you prefer I kept him under the table?” Sendak towered over the server, drumming his claws over his gauntlet. “For the great Commander Sendak and his entourage, we are able to make an exception.”
“Well, so long as our dining experience isn't disrupted this evening, then everything should be fine. Slave, do you think you can sit quietly under the table?” Sendak turned to look down at Shiro, who brought himself to attention, “yes, Commander.” He crossed his arm over his chest and bowed. Sendak hummed approvingly and looked back to the server. “There should be no issues, I presume?”
“None, Commander.” They let the title hang, before motioning them to follow through the restaurant and up a few flights of stairs until the came to a raised pentagonal platform that over-looked the floor and out into the atrium below.

 

They handed menus to Haxus and Sendak, while Shiro settled on the cold floor under the table, eyebrow twitching in frustration as he glowered at the floor. He didn't want to be here for preciselythis reason. If Sendak hadn't put the inhibitor back on, he'd happily shove it through the server's throat. He felt a small squeeze on his shoulder, and he looked up to see Sendak peering down at him. “Provided you are quiet, I can feed you bits. Understand?”
“Yes, sir.”
“Good boy.” Sendak ruffled his hair, and picked up conversation with Haxus.

 

For the next fifteen dobosh's, his presence was ignored until Sendak passed him down a glass of water. Shiro thanked him, but he didn't pay attention as he continued talking. Their conversation revolved around Galra, places, and policies he didn't understand. He guessed half of it was in-jokes, when Haxus would snort or Sendak would roar with laughter. The first time Shiro jolted out of his quiet trance, hitting the top of his head on the table. He'd earned growls and a sharp kick from Sendak in the back. Other then that, he was bored shitless. He pushed himself back into the plush booth seat cover, closing his eyes and trying to just rest for now.

 

“Well I finally managed to take you out for dinner.” Haxus lounged back in the booth, ignoring the flashing light on his communicator. A chuckle rumbled from Sendak's throat as he flicked through the menu. “Don't go requesting the most expensive thing, or half of it.”
“Well then what's the point?” Sendak lowered the menu, a shit-eating grin on his face as he jabbed at what he'd spent a good ten dobosh's debating over.
“It's the same thing you had last time. Really?”
“I just couldn't decide on which one.” Sendak took mock offence as he downed his drink. “That sounded nice, but manchin is always too stringy and sticks in your throat.”
“Commander Sendak; meat connoisseur,” Haxus drawled. Sendak stifled a snort as he closed the menu and put it aside. “I have a comeback for that, but I'm not drunk enough to say it.” He leaned back, purring in contentment. “Should I order some Nederian vodka?”
“You spoil me.” Sendak rolled the base of the glass against the table, glancing down to check the slave. “I think he's sleeping.” A small grunt was enough for them to realise he was in fact, not asleep. Both Galra shrugged and continued.

 

“Have the meetings been intense?” Haxus inquired carefully, placing Sendak's order for him and requesting more drinks via the tablet. “They have. I forgot how much I hate Janka. He's a coward and an insult to High Command. Trying to suck up to Gnov.”
“She gets far too political for my liking, but she's pleasant enough.” Haxus smiled, watching Sendak look to the side. “Yeah, she's changed a lot since we met millennia ago. A lot colder now, but then it makes sense.” He leaned to rest his elbow on the table, stacking the glasses and pushing them towards the server from earlier as they placed new glasses down, and then a bottle each. Sendak arched his brow at Haxus, who merely chuckled, “I'm getting your drunk. You need it.”

 

“Are Trugg and Ladnok courting again?” Haxus asked as he lowered the glass from his lips.
“Of course they are. That's until they argue again.”
“So it's not work that has you on the vodka?”
“No.” Sendak swilled the liquid in his glass. “It's just we're no closer to finding the Red Lion. The rebels seem to have vanished from all scans, but...” he leaned in closer, voice low, “we lost contact with the twenty-third fleet three quintants' ago. There'll be an announcement tomorrow, but we're not receiving anything back from the ships – like they just vanished.”
“Is there anything to cause the lose of communications?”
“Not in the area they're in.”
“You think the rebels have set up jamming equipment?”
“If they have, it's well-hidden and more advanced than our own.” Sendak took a sip of his drink, swirling the liquid in the glass, “there's a theory it might be the Blade of Marmora, or the rebels have found some amazing scientist and engineer. It's just a nightmare right now. Oh,” he motioned at the food being carried around in front of them. Haxus thanked the server as they left.

 

“Wake up,” Sendak jabbed at Shiro's cheek with his prosthetic claws. Shiro groaned, tilting his head back. “You've been quiet, albeit asleep. Eat.” He patted the seat next to him and Shiro awkwardly crawled up. Sendak pulled him in close and buried his claws into Shiro's ever-growing hair. This close, the smell of the vodka clung to Sendak. Shiro wrinkled his nose as he pushed the fork towards him. “I'd like to feed myself, sir.” He muttered. Sendak shrugged and let Shiro take it. Both him and Haxus watched as he pushed the fork into his mouth, the sauce over the meat quite sweet. He made an appreciative hum in the back of his throat as he swallowed, eyes flicking nervously between the two Galra. He slowly handed Sendak back his fork, but he pushed his hand towards the plate. “You can have more than one piece of meat, here.” He took Shiro\s hand and pressed the fork down into something else. Likely against his better judgement, he ate a little more.

 

He felt too anxious to continue after a few dobosh's and lied he was full so he could go back under the table. Sendak nodded slowly, knocking back another glass of vodka. “You will try some dessert later. For now,” he murmured, brushing his claws through Shiro's hair, “I have a job for you.” Shiro didn't like that smirk. “What do you want me to do?” He didn't know why he bothered asking when Sendak shoved his face into his groin, “I don't think you need any more instruction. Haxus?”
“Only if the Commander deems me worthy,” Haxus smirked at Sendak, who ran his hands more vigorously through the brown hair. “Best get on those knees. You are not to spill a drop since we're out in public.” He commanded, unclipping the front of his uniform. He noted Haxus move a little closer, unfastening his uniform at the bottom. Shiro swallowed the lump in his throat, taking a quick swig of water before focusing on the two Galra cock's sat in front of him. How the fuck am I supposed to manage with this? He got comfortable on his knees and reached out with both hands, at least happy Sendak had his metal arm to contend with, wrapping one around each cock.

 

The conversation above carried on as if nothing was happening under the table. Shiro worked both cocks carefully, licking cautiously at the tip of each. “We don't have all quintant, slave. Get on with it.” Haxus hissed, blindly grabbing for his hair until he laced his claws into it, and shoving Shiro down on his cock, the ridges catching under his teeth. He choked back a cough as Haxus roughly forced his head down, taking in more then he was ready for. “Do be careful,” Sendak purred, spreading his left leg slightly, “I've not been working him lately.”
“Apologies.” Haxus chuckled, loosening his grip a little. “Don't forget to please your master.”

 

Shiro growled around the cock in his mouth and pulled himself off, tugging sharply on Haxus's dick as he moved to Sendak and vigorously forced himself down the length. “It seems that done the trick.” Shiro ignored Sendak's mocking coo as he ground his teeth in, biting down hard between the ridges. “Good boy.” It seemed his dear master was having to stifle a moan. Good. He roughly pumped the base and Haxus's length to a quick rhythm, flicking between them both with quick licks and trailing his tongue over both cocks, pressing his canines deep into the stiff ridges.

 

“He's certainly got better.” Haxus commented from above. “Yes. Ah yes, did I tell you about the shower?” Shiro stopped dead. Please don't say he's going to talk about that. Oh fucking hell, no. “If you did I don't remember.”
“Oh, he was very pliant and needy. Arching his back and thrusting against me as I took him.” Shiro felt metal claws in his hair, pushing him down on his cock. His cheeks burned in embarrassment as Sendak continued to inform Haxus of all the details. “I was pleased when he leaned in to the touch the most. I think he's realising it's better to enjoy it.”
“It certainly is easier to let your inhibitions go. I never understand that with slaves, they should just accept their lot and get on with it.”
“Some do, but you don't want them to just roll over.”
“Oh that's true. It's boring when there's no fight at all.”
“Agreed. That's when I usually get bored and dispose of them.”
“You gave that female to Trugg, but what about the one before that?”
“That was millennia ago. I think I sent him to the brothels. He was a great hole, but too brittle for my liking. At least this one has serviced males.”

 

Haxus had his claws in Shiro's hair and was pushing his cock deep into his throat, poking the back as he slid easily in and out. “I feel close.” Haxus grunted as he ground Shiro's face down to the hilt. “Just empty in his mouth.” Sendak said as he guided Shiro's hand up and down more forcefully. “Drink back Lieutenant Haxus's come, then you can have mine.” Shiro merely grunted in response, trying to hurry this along as best he could while ignoring the twinges of his own arousal. He hated this, and he hated his body even more after the debasing remarks stirred something he'd never admit to. Sometimes he wondered if he should just burn his own genitals by with his prosthetic, but in retrospect it was completely pointless. After a few more dobosh's, Haxus ground out his orgasm deep into Shiro's throat. The thick hotness a tsunami. Haxus pulled him off, watching him intently from his viewing point. Thick strings of saliva and come snapped in the centre as Shiro took in a deep breath, closing his watery eyes. “I don't know if you look better on your knees or covered in blood.” Haxus purred, pushing Shiro on to Sendak's cock. “Now please your master by letting him face-fuck you.”

 

It was arguably easier having had Haxus come down his throat already, because although his jaw ached, Sendak's girth didn't feel too bad for once. He didn't want to think he was getting better; perhaps accustomed was a better word? Then again it'd been since he put the hole in the wall, and that was a few movements ago now since Sendak last face-fucked him. He caught Sendak's light frown briefly. Of course he was watching. He glanced up as best he could through watery eyes, noting the communicator in his hand pointed down. Don't act surprised. In reality, he wasn't at all. Exhaling through his nose as best he could, he braced himself against Sendak's thighs and ground himself down. It earned the tiniest of growls from above. His ears pricked to footsteps behind him and the clatter of crockery above him, Haxus again thanking the server.

 

“Think you'll enjoy dessert?” Haxus smirked as he picked the decorative bits off his cake, licking the tips of his claws.
“I think I may more then I usually do.” Sendak set the communicator down beside him on the table and picked up the spoon, poking at a piece of fruit. He let out a small hiss and tightened his grip around the back of the slave's head, keeping him in place until he felt himself empty fully. It was a good start to the evening so far. He watched as the slave pulled away, lips swollen and wet. Sendak grinned to Haxus, motioning to the vodka. With a knowing smirk, he poured a small glass. “Here, it'll help wash down the taste.” With a mumbled thank you, the slave took it and knocked it back in one. He coughed, doubling over to try and keep the noise contained. “You really are being so good today. Come, sit up with us again.” Sendak couldn't help but snort at the angry twinge in his slave's eye as he glowered up.

 

“Here, try this,” Sendak dipped his claws into the thick sauce, it's consistency close to that of freshly melted chocolate. He ran a claw over the swollen bottom lip and slowly, Shiro allowed his mouth to open. It was almost like cinnamon, but if you combined it with banana and cherry. Shiro delicately licked the sauce off Sendak's claws, and in turn he ran them over his tongue, then finally over his lips they pulled out. “Are you looking needy for release or because you want more dessert?” Sendak scooped him into his lap and leaned into the crook of his neck, hot breath against his cool skin. The smell of the vodka was stronger now, which probably explained why both had become more brazen in their actions. Shiro hissed when he felt clawed fingers rub over the fabric, stroking his cock that had been softening. Shiro pointed to the dessert with no hesitation. Sendak hummed and brought it closer. “Use your fingers,” there was the slightest slur on the 's' noises.

 

-

 

Getting back with Sendak and Haxus had taken longer than it should of. Tipsy Sendak really couldn't keep his hands to himself to the point where even Haxus had to gently remind him he needed to wait until they got back. “But look at his ass,” Sendak pulled Shiro roughly and bent him over, claws squeezing the skin. “It's just so tight.”
“I know, Commander.” Haxus said despondently as he rubbed his brow.
“Listen,” Sendak smacked it, Shiro crying out as he jolted, “it makes a good sound and he does that.”
“He does. You can show me what other sounds he can make when we get back.”
“Or we can both do it. Yeah, as your serperior- sorp-suparea- Commander, I order you to fuck him with me.” Sendak chuckled, pressing his fingers between Shiro's now very tense ass-cheeks.

 

“Commander, there's no way that's going to work.” He had to say something. Shiro eased himself from Sendak's grip and smoothed the fabric. “You're...both...much larger then what I've had back on Earth. You won't both fit.”
“Nonsense,” Sendak waved his hand dismissively, “you just need a thorough stretching.”
“And about a hundred litres of lubricant.”
“Or, some of this.” Haxus brought a bottle and a small box of syringes from his bag. “What's that?” Shiro raised his hands defensively. “Oh, something you've had before. Recall your...loss in the arena.” Haxus swallowed when Sendak sharpened his gaze on him, “w-well, it's a synthetic copy of that.”
“So you didn't milk it from Nadiva?”
“Of course not.” Haxus scowled at Shiro as he put it back in his bag. “It's up to the Commander.” They both looked to Sendak, who shrugged his shoulders. “I just want to get home and make him scream. We're wasting time chatting.” He wandered off towards the nearest lift, both Shiro and Haxus groaning in unison. It wasn't the right lift.

 

-

 

After a varga and a half, they finally made it through the door. “Slave, bring drinks. Alcoholic ones.” He drawled, flopping down onto one of the sofas and placing his communicator and tablet on the small table. Haxus stretched and settled opposite, running his hands over the plush material. “I always liked your clan home.”
“It has it's memories, both good and bad.” Sendak mused, looking at his claws. “Slave, go draw a bath as well.”
“Yeah.”
“Yeah, what?”
“Yes, sir,” Shiro growled out as he stormed to the kitchen. He braced the sides of the sink, trying to temper himself, before moving to the small rack under the counter and pulling out the first bottle. He couldn't read any of the names, but it was doubtful it would matter. He grabbed two glasses and made his way back to the room, the two Galra laughing amongst themselves. He placed them down on the table and turned to leave. “Aren't you forgetting something?” Sendak slurred, golden eye trained on Shiro. “Sorry, Commander,” he answered as politely as he could muster as he bent down and poured them both a drink.

 

“You won't partake?” Haxus asked as he took the glass. “That's not for me to decide.” He flicked his eyes to Sendak, who paused for a moment. “You may. It has been a good day.”
“Thank you, Commander.” Shiro looked at the bottle, today had been the first time he'd drank anything since their flight before Kerberos and for everything that had happened, well, he wasn't sure if Sendak would have any booze left by the end of the evening. “Get a glass.” Sendak waved him off, and Shiro left the room again. He detoured to start running the bath. It would certainly fit them all in with ample room to spare, but gauging how the evening was going, it was unlikely it would be for just cleaning purposes. He sat watching the water fill into the depression. The bath was more like a pool. He turned his attention to the bottles along the side, and pulled himself over, unscrewing the caps and sniffing each bottle. He might as well make it smell nice, at least for him.

 

“He returns. Come, sit,” Sendak patted the seat next to him and Shiro reluctantly settled down beside him, body tense. “Drink.” It was somewhere between an invitation and command, so Shiro poured himself a glass of what ended up being a strange orange liquid. He sniffed it, not entirely certain what he could approximate it to. Regardless, he knocked it back in one and reached for the bottle again. “I think we might need more at this rate. Have you drank much before?”
“Of course.” Shiro snorted, knocking back a second glass and pouring a third. “I don't know what Galran standards are like, but by Earth standards I could hold my alcohol well. Depended on percentage.”
“Well what you're drinking now is about fifty-five percent.” Sendak smirked as he watched Shiro's face pale. “You've already had a bit of Nederian vodka, and that's about forty...eight?” He looked at Haxus, who thought for a tick. “No, it's forty-nine.”
“Well,” Shiro swirled the liquid around in the glass, watching the light reflect on the surface, “I suppose we'll have to see where the night goes.” He downed the third glass and shuddered, blinking his focus back. “It's advisable to sip it. Does your species not know how to temper their intake?” Haxus asked, purposefully taking a sip of his drink. “Some don't.” Shiro hiccuped, frowning as he covered his mouth. “Are you part of that some?”
“Not usually,” he hiccuped again, earning a loud chuckle from Sendak, who drained his glass.

 

The chatter was meaningless for a few dobosh's, Sendak snaking an arm around Shiro's waist and pulling him onto his lap. He placed his fingers around the back of the collar, letting it slip from Shiro's neck, then proceeded to lick along the nape slowly. The alcohol was relatively fast-acting, or it was the lack of food in his stomach, he didn't know. What Shiro did know was that his body felt a bit heavy and the air touching the wet patch of skin felt nice. “I should...go check the water,” Shiro tried to pull himself away, Sendak growling behind him. “Haxus, would you mind?”
“Certainly not,” Haxus got to his feet, blinking for a second, before moving away.

 

“Let's take off that armour, hmm?” Sendak purred, hooking his claws between the clasps around his sides. Shiro nodded and worked the other side until the straps were loose. He pulled the chest portion away, Sendak dumping it lazily on the floor. Claws brushed over the scarring and a small approving purr rumbled behind him. Shiro focussed on the floor. “I am very pleased you are training again. I can't wait to see you back in the arena.” Sendak whispered as he tugged at the front of the glorified leather underwear Shiro wore. “Why's that?” He asked, trying to stifle down another hiccup. “I enjoy you fighting, and you will become Champion again. Perhaps one day, you can come out with me to conquer worlds.” He nipped at Shiro's neck, grip on his body becoming more possessive. “Would you like that?”
“I just want to fight, get stronger.”
“Would you say you would fight for victory or death?” Sendak's pawing stopped, and he pulled Shiro around to face him. Shiro blinked, confused why exactly this warranted him stopping, albeit a reprieve. “If I die, I can't get stronger, and you don't go in to battle to lose. So yeah, of course victory is what I fight for.” He shrugged, he'd be in no state to help Matt or Sam, or Nadiva now, if he was a corpse, and this question seemed a bit stupid to ask. “I'll put it this way,” Shiro leaned forward, face a few inches from Sendak's, “if I had the opportunity to fight the Galran commander before they abducted us, I'd be happy with either outcomes.” Sendak studied his face for a few ticks, while Shiro kept a sharp gaze trained on those strange eyes.

 

It was without warning. Sendak grabbed Shiro by the back of the head and brought him in for a brutal kiss, the prosthetic pressing their bodies close. Sendak's tongue was overwhelming and just filled Shiro's mouth as it pushed itself inside. He feel it massage his own tongue as it pushed deeper inside, tasting the alcohol alongside his own. Shiro groaned as he braced himself against the top of the sofa, letting Sendak pull his legs apart and settle him over his hips. Sendak pushed him down and at the same time bucked his hips upwards, grinding his bulge for emphasis against his ass. Shiro pulled out of the kiss, panting. “What was that for?”
“You pleased me,” Sendak purred, kneading his ass cheeks through the leather. Shiro bit the bottom of his lip, feeling the heat pool in his abdomen. He motioned for the glass on the side, and Sendak allowed him up to take a sip.

 

“Sorry to interrupt,” Haxus was leaning against the doorway, a wide smirk on his eyes, “but the bath is drawn. It is,” he motioned with his hand, “a bit too hot right now, but whatever the slave added to the water, it smells wonderful.”
“What did you add, slave?” Sendak sat up, unfastening his chest plate. Shiro took another sip, staring at the floor, “I think it was from the green screw-cap bottle.”
“Oh, that's emollient soak.” Sendak snapped his fingers, “usually I save that.”
“I'm sorry, I didn't know.” Shiro lowered his head, realising his mistake and recognising the word from somewhere. “We should really teach you how to read at some point.” Sendak muttered, placing the chest plate down. “Ulaz will probably teach him.”
“True.” Sendak shrugged his shoulders and guided Shiro along after Haxus. “It's fine,” he purred in his ear, “it's actually quite sweet even if it was accidental.” Hearing Sendak use the word 'sweet' was something Shiro didn't expect to come from the Commander's mouth, and as he entered the bathroom, he didn't expect to see a small collection of various toys sat near the side. He swallowed, scratching at his neck awkwardly.

 

Shiro watched the other two strip down and settle on the edge of the depression, Sendak glancing at his arm. “I should change arms. Back in a few ticks.” He turned and left, leaving Haxus alone with Shiro. Haxus watched as Shiro pulled the arm guard down slowly and settled on the ground to unbuckle the thigh-high boots. “You know, slave, you're a lot better now then when you came to us. I'm pleased you're behaving for the Commander.” He lowered a foot in to the water, hissing at the heat. “I guess I had to learn a few things.” Shiro muttered as he leaned back, pushing the boot over the knee. “So long as you keep the Commander happy, I will be happy.” Haxus continued, watching him from the corner of his eyes. “I suspected as much. You're both close, right? He taught you.”
“Correct.”
“He's easier to live with. I think,” Shiro paused, unsure himself what he was even saying, “because we've been cohabiting together. He lets me fight, and so long as I'm loyal, he treats me well.”
“Time helps. He can be grumpy fuck, but he's always there for you so long as you don't abuse that trust. In time, he'll grant you more freedoms, which I'm sure you've noticed?”
“Yeah. Kaleska and a few other gladiators. That Yastara as well.” He spat the last name, glaring at the ceiling. “Come here,” Shiro looked up from the ground to see Haxus pat the side next to him. “Lemme take the other boot off.” He mumbled, quickly making short work of the buckles and wandering over, forgetting the front of his leather pants were open.

 

He settled next to Haxus, who shifted around and lifted Shiro's prosthetic, studying the metal intently. He let his hand glide up the arm and slowly down over the scarring, tiny smile playing on his lips as he traced Shiro's left nipple. He tugged Shiro into his lap, laying him down over his knees. “The Commander told me there's a bit on your back that makes you body move by itself.” He cracked his fingers and pressed them over Shiro's skin, kneading the skin as he tried to find the sweet spot. Oh fucking hell that feels good. He felt his body, already heavy anyway, relax into Haxus's lap. The fingertips pressed a few inches away from his shoulder blades, but the muscles were knotted under the skin. He let out a sharp moan, pushing upwards as invitation for more. “Oh there's another spot?” Haxus chuckled as he massaged it more vigorously. Shiro answered between breathy moans, head rolling towards the door, watching Sendak wander down the hallway towards them through heavy eyes.

 

“Don't put him to sleep.” Sendak smirked as he settled beside Haxus, easing the only protection Shiro's ass had off. “Fine. Up you sit.” Haxus slapped his exposed ass and Shiro crawled off, sitting on his knees. “You have a choice; we fuck you with the toys, or you do it yourself.” Sendak and Haxus watched him, and Shiro cursed for being put on the spot. He wanted neither, but at the same time, the heat in his abdomen had only increased. He knew what was coming as well. Swallowing the burning lump in his throat, he looked into Sendak's eyes. “It's best for you both to since,” he motioned to their cock's, “you have a better idea on space at this point. I'm...trusting you,” Shiro stared hard at Sendak, the hint of a dare that if he fucked up, he'd have a difficult slave on his hands again. Sendak considered him for a long moment, before nodding slowly. “Then I appreciate your trust. Here.”

 

Shiro rose and came to settle in Sendak's lap, the Galra gently smoothing his skin as the steam coiled and rose in the air around them. A low purr rumbled in Sendak's chest as he nipped at the skin lightly, Haxus drawing close and grazing his teeth against Shiro's chest. He let out a soft gasp, uncertain which way to lean as he was sandwiched between the two bodies. He rested his hands on Haxus's shoulders, letting his head drop into the crook of his neck until Haxus went lower, hand curling around Shiro's cock and rubbing it slowly in circles. “F-Fuck.” Shiro hissed, tightening his grip in the short fur. Haxus let out a warm chuckle, breath ghosting over Shiro's skin. “Too quick?” Sendak purred, running his hands down Shiro's sides. “N-No,” he gasped, “surprised.”
“We aren't completely cruel.” Sendak ran his tongue over Shiro's ear, letting his metal fingers tangle in the thick dark hair.

 

Shiro was shifted onto his knees, Haxus still working his cock slowly in his hand and grazing his teeth against his chest. Sendak's presence disappeared for a few ticks, before he felt fingers press against his hole. “Commander, before you do that, may I?”
“Of course, Lieutenant. Turn.” He tapped Shiro's shoulder, who let out a small moan as the hand pulled away from his cock. He moved around, Sendak placing his hands to his shoulders. He felt Haxus spread his legs, which felt like lead by now, and squeaked when he felt his cheeks spread apart, a tongue flicking over his entrance. He moaned, letting himself fall into Sendak's chest. “Don't lay on me,” he rumbled, lifting Shiro's chin slowly and catching him in another brutal kiss, the teeth biting lightly down over his lips. Shiro did not resist, there was no point. He moaned as Sendak probed his mouth and Haxus his hole, totally lost and warm.

 

It continued for a few dobosh's, the kisses breaking so they could both breathe. A hand – Sendak's – toyed with his cock, and Shiro could feel himself falling further down the rabbit hole of pleasure. He pushed himself forward into the touch, the hands around his ass spreading it further apart as Haxus teased deeper. Shiro's moans and gasps shifted in tempo depending on who was touching what, but it all felt good.

 

Haxus pulled himself away, taking a deep breath. He spat at the slave's entrance, massaging it with his fingers as he reached for the first plug – small to test the waters, so to speak. Sendak gave him an approving nod and he went forward, pressing it against the entrance. The slave whined, falling forward but then rearing back. Haxus chuckled as he slowly twisted it in. As soon as it fit all the way in, which was met with no resistance, he turned the vibrating function on. The slave whimpered and dropped his front in Sendak's lap, moaning into the Commander's thighs. “He seems so sensitive. It's been a while?”
“I haven't touched him for over a phoeb. Outside of making him fuck himself, this is the first time in a while.”
“Maybe you should make him wait?” Haxus smirked and Sendak snorted. “You know that won't happen.”
“True.” He reached around and rubbed his fingers against Shiro's taint, pressing the back of his balls as Sendak slowly continued to pump the slave's cock.

 

Shiro whined when the plug was pulled out, but made a louder one when another was placed inside him. He bucked his hips backwards, eyes fluttering closed as he adjusted to the new size. He could still take more. Slowly, he opened his heavy eyes, ignoring the buzzing feeling in his head as he reached for Sendak's cock. He placed it in his mouth, swirling his tongue lazily around the head. “Good boy,” Sendak purred, stroking his hair and slowly balling it in his fist. Shiro hummed in appreciation as his pace increased to what he could focus on.

 

Sendak motioned at the toy two sizes up, this one closer in length and girth as Haxus. It had a small curved massager under the main shaft. Haxus grinned and pulled it over. He rotated the vibrating plug in the slave's ass while he took the lube, slathering plenty on before slowly twisting the second plug out. Haxus slapped the slave's ass, leaving a red handprint, and the slave moaning into his Commander's cock. “Do you like that?” A muffled noise of agreement came from the slave, Sendak chuckling as he kept his head low for a few ticks. Haxus gave the hole another lick and probe, before pushing the new toy in. “This might feel big,” he whispered hoarsely, “but you can take this.” The slave whimpered and braced himself against Sendak, who gently rubbed his scalp. “Slave, you will be fine.” Sendak made a few sharp tugs on the slave's cock, earning more muffled moans and whines.

 

Shiro eased himself back against the toy, feeling something underneath press against his balls. He frowned as he continued pleasing Sendak, until whatever it was came on. The sensations shot through his body. He pulled himself from Sendak's cock, a trail of saliva still connecting the two. “Fuck!” He fell forward, pushing his hips backwards before pulling away, in turn adding more friction against Sendak's strokes. He heard the two Galra chuckle, but he didn't care right now as teeth grazed over his ass cheeks and Sendak pulled him in for another kiss. Arching his back made it feel so much better, but also more sensitive. He bucked his hips backwards, grinding himself down on the toy in Haxus's hand. “You like this?” Sendak's growl was husky in his ear. Shiro could only moan in response, feeling his eyes water and legs turn from lead to jelly.

 

“Shall I use the next one up?”
“Try the second biggest one.” Sendak hissed as the slave returned to his cock. He didn't need to manage his pace, because the slave was working him with abandon. He clearly needed to supply him with alcohol more frequently if this happened. “L-Let me, please,” the slave turned back to Haxus, eyes heavy, as the other toy was removed. He looked unsteady on his knees as Haxus passed him the toy, thoroughly lubed up. He studied it in his hands, licking his lips, before pushing himself down on his front, keeping his ass raised high. Slowly, he pushed it in, breath hitching in his chest, before groaning into the tiles, back arching and hips raising higher. “You almost have it.” Haxus scratched his cheek, while Sendak kept his attention primarily on the slave. With a final pop, the toy remained in place. “Can you move?” Sendak asked.
“Yeah.” The slave breathed, slowly shifting himself so he could work himself.

 

Shiro was completely gone. Any rational thought had flown out the window some time ago, and all he wanted was to just feel good. The alcohol had really helped ease his nerves, and as he watched the two Galra behind him, his eyes flicked to the stiff and leaking cocks between them. His eyes rolled back. Fuck, he wanted this hot feeling in his ass gone. It was becoming unbearable. He slowly lowered his hips down and rolled over, hand still keeping the toy in. He hissed as he shifted, and slowly shuffled back towards them. Falling down a little, he landed in Haxus's lap, running his tongue up and down the ridges of his cock. With his spare hand he played with Sendak, rubbing the flat of his thumb over the beads of precum. Through touch, he increased the vibrations in the dildo, loudly moaning around Haxus's length.

 

“I think that's enough time with the toys, otherwise you'll be too tired for us both.” Sendak muttered hoarsely, twisting it slowly and discarding it to the floor. Shiro whined in displeasure, but this was very quickly rectified when Sendak made him rise, and the Commander took him in his mouth. Shiro braced Sendak's shoulders. He was...not expecting that. He felt Haxus behind him, who shifted his leg, holding it up under the knee, as he returned to eating his ass. Since his time knowing either of these two he, really, really didn't expect this, especially from Sendak. Perhaps what he said, about returning the favour of compliance or whatever it was, was actually a good idea? Maybe he'd been too stubborn. Shiro stop thinking and enjoy it. Thanks, little voice in his head. He let his eyes roll back and felt his body give. Sendak caught him under the shoulders, chuckling around his dick, and Shiro couldn't take it. “V-vibrations! Close,” he dug his nails into the thick fur, feeling several fingers or a hand or he didn't know what in his ass any more. Sendak shrugged and pushed onwards, teasing his nipples and running his tongue along the underside of Shiro's dick, pressing against the sensitive bit near the base. With a jerk of his hips and something between a shout and a moan, he came hard. His body gave out, and slowly he was brought down to the floor.

 

“You lasted for quite a while, slave.” Sendak purred as he checked the water. “It's almost fine to get in.” He watched as Haxus pulled some towels out and came over, making a nest on the floor. “You play with him first, we are celebrating your freedom from your reassignment.” Sendak pulled himself from the floor, picking up the discarded toys and placing them in the sink, running the tap scalding hot and fishing out the cleaning fluids. He heard Haxus shift and a breathy whine. He watched from the mirror as he pressed the slave's legs against his stomach and eased himself in, a deep moan echoing around the room.

 

The buzzing in his head was effecting his vision. Or the booze. Either way Haxus was inside him, almost balls deep. It felt wonderful to his drunk body; half fuelled from an orgasm high and the other half from being incredibly drunk. He felt Haxus pull out and push back in, taking his wrists and holding them above his head. He cried out in pleasure, pushing himself back, rhythm off as he tried to time the thrusts. He could hear Haxus laugh, it sounded muffled, like someone had shoved cotton wool in his ears. Shiro let his head roll to the side, exposing his neck. “You look exquisite like this,” Haxus muttered, possibly. He felt teeth graze his skin, then plant themselves into his shoulder. Shiro let out a heady moan, panting heavily as he noticed Sendak leaning against the sink, watching with a sly grin on his face.

 

Sendak padded over and settled into the towel nest, noting a few white strands of hair in the slave's fringe. “Are you enjoying yourself?”
“Yes,” he mewled, pawing at Sendak's thigh. “What do you want?” Sendak posed, rubbing a fingertip along the slave's swollen lips. He made incomprehensible noise and pointed to Sendak's cock, trying to tug his hand free of Haxus's grip. Sendak settled closer and Haxus released his human hand. He watched the slave pull himself towards him and move to his side, letting out a higher wail as Haxus drove himself in deeper. “This is,” Haxus panted, “a great angle.”
“It seems like it,” Sendak smirked as he teased the slave's hair, growling as he felt teeth press down around his cock between the ridges. It hurt a bit more when he wasn't hard, but at the same time at least the slave was showing a bit of fight. He watched as ran his tongue over the ridges. Sendak tightened his grip and brought him slowly along his length, making a contented growl as the slave took it. He pulled him off, watching the trails of saliva glisten in the light. Gods, this one knew how to put out.

 

“Tag in?”
“Mmm,” Sendak purred, pulling Shiro off his cock with a wet pop. Shiro whined loudly as Haxus pulled out, tapping his ass in appreciation, he presumed. “Don't worry, you'll be full again soon.” Sendak purred, flipping Shiro to his stomach and drawing his hips up. Shiro felt clawed fingers poke inside, grinding his hips back against them. “Eager, aren't we?”
“Maybe.” Shiro cast him a sultry look, or tried, he wasn't sure how he managed words right now. Sendak's lips twitched into a small smirk as he watched the fingers pull out, to shortly be replaced with his ridged dick. Shiro let out a long moan, catching in his throat. He pushed his face into the floor, breath hitching as he felt Sendak push himself fully in. He felt the claws trail down his back and a slap on the ass. He bucked his hips backwards, moaning again at the intensity of the feeling. He tried to push himself up to his elbows, but flopped down again. Instead, Haxus lifted him to lean against his chest, slowly stroking Shiro's cock. He buried his face in the sort fur, whining louder as Sendak brought his wrists back and held his arms together. Then he started to thrust.

 

Usually he didn't appreciate the slave shouting or screeching. This, however, was fine. For every scream and deep moan, Sendak picked up the pace, his lips curling back as could feel the warmth in his abdomen grow and coil. He had to tell himself not yet; to be patient. He smacked the slave's ass, earning a low growl. Haxus, at this point receiving oral, looked ready to break himself. “You look content.” Sendak growled. “Yeah just...his mouth is so warm.”
“Yeah.”
“Didn't need that stuff, thank fuck.” Sendak grunted his agreement as he released the slave's hands, and slowly pulled himself back out. He whined in protest, bucking his hips backwards with force. “Lay down,” Sendak panted, airing the back of his neck fur. Haxus complied and moaned as Sendak lowered the slave down onto his cock, it going in with complete ease. He leaned the slave forward, Haxus pulling his legs either side of his waist. “It'd be good to try holding him up and doing this.”
“Maybe later.” Sendak blinked back his focus as he settled between Haxus's thighs, pushing the slave forward so he laid against Haxus's chest. “I'm going to put it in, alright?” The slave made a noise, he presumed, of acceptance. Either way, it was happening. He slowly aimed himself, pressing his cock against the hole and Haxus's cock. His lieutenant moaned loudly as they pressed together, the slave groaning into Haxus's chest and swearing incoherently. With caution, he pushed himself in inch by inch, the two under him moaning at different octaves. He watched their faces contort with a mix of pleasure and pain, licking his lips, this is what he liked to see.

 

Shiro felt full. Really, really full. His body was coated in a layer of sweat and he could feel the heat in his face, shoulders, and cock just increase. He dug his fingers into Haxus's toned chest, rubbing his face against the soft fur. He nipped between moans as Sendak started to set a rhythm. He felt hands on his hips and others pulling his ass cheeks open. He groaned, drool trickling from the corner of his mouth as Sendak's pace increased. He could slowly feel Haxus start to shift under him, rocking his hips back and forth at a slower pace. The feeling of the ridges was intense as they rubbed his insides, stirring him up in a way he'd not known was possible. It hurt a bit but, it wasn't as bad as he thought it would be. It was nice, not worrying, just letting them get on with it. He gave his own hips a little buck, hearing the two Galra he was sandwiched between make low growls. His ass was slapped in response, and Shiro moaned into Haxus as both stimulated his prostate. The friction against his cock was getting too much. He was...too close again. “Close,” he managed to get out as his vision blurred and body felt like it was on air.

 

Sendak and Haxus had set a good pace between them. Both were panting and vaguely acknowledged that the slave was close, but they had to work through their own orgasms. “C-Commander, I'm-”
“Just finish in his ass,” Sendak snarled as he narrowed his eyes in concentration. Haxus cried out, emptying himself. Sendak was a few ticks behind. The slave let out an ear-splitting scream, before flopping down for good, body relaxing out. “He's came on me.”
“Yeah.” Sendak leaned over his slave, panting and wiping his brow as he tried to regulate his breathing, sweat dripping off his nose. He slowly pulled out, watching the thick mess dribble out of the hole and on to Haxus's cock. As Haxus pulled out, the slave whined and rolled over, hole twitching and come pooling out between his thighs.

 

Sendak dripped his foot in the water. It was a bit cooler then it should have been, but still warm enough. He motioned for Haxus to sit, and his lieutenant slowly pushed himself up, the mess the slave made apparent over his stomach. “Good?” Haxus breathed.
“Well needed.” He said between pants, shaking the clammy slave. “Did you enjoy it?” The two Galra watched as the slave slowly opened their eyes, blinking hazily at them. “Mmm.” He tried to pick himself up, but faltered. “I like him on drink.”
“Yeah. He's fucked.” Haxus muttered, shuffling over and rolling the slave towards them. “Shall we bathe your slave?”
“Can have a go.” Sendak chuckled. Together, they eased the slave up and into the water with them, making sure to keep him sat up. Haxus gave Sendak an affectionate lick and received a nuzzle in return. “We need to do that again.”
“Always later?”
“We'd need to use the bottle.”
“Should be fine, he won't notice if he's out of it.” Sendak took a brush, which Haxus swapped out for a sponge, “you'll rip his skin off.”
“Fair point.” Slowly, he began to carefully wash the slave down, who occasionally cracked open an eye between longer and longer gaps.

 

Chapter Text

Shiro stirred groggily, rubbing at stinging eyes. His head was pounding and he felt sick. He tried to pick himself up, but flopped back down. He heard a groan next to him, a large purple arm snaking around his waist. “No.”
“I feel sick.” Shiro rasped, pushing the heavy arm off of him. “Haxus.” Sendak rolled over, cybernetic eye emitting a harsh glow. There was a grunt from the other side of the bed and Shiro turned his head to see another body there, curled around Shiro's shape. He growled, dragging himself down the bed and stumbling over. He rubbed his eyes and tried to steady himself as he wandered through the cold hallways, body aching and stomach churning with every step.

 

He was trying to recall last night. He drank alcohol and Galra come, was fucked a lot by too many different things, and that...was about it. He was wet at one point, in a towel being dried maybe? There was also some pretty vivid and sexually charged dreams. He pulled himself into the bathroom, locking the door behind him. He tripped over his own feet, landing hard on his shoulder, his arm luckily out to protect his head from smashing against the floor. He groaned, rolling over onto his stomach and just pulling himself along the floor. It was cold and everything was sore but oh god was it easier than walking. He pulled himself up against the bowl of the toilet, coughing into his hand. In the low light, everything was bathed pinky, he let his eyes drift over the nest of towels and to his thighs, frowning as he traced his fingers along some dark smears. He spread his legs, noting the source of the smears was further round. It was unlikely he'd shit himself, so the only other conclusion was blood. He ran a hand through his hair, frown deepening as he felt the hair stuck together at the back.

 

The bile rose in his throat and he whipped around to vomit into the bowl, grasping the sides and coughing more up. His eyes watered and his throat burned as he sniffed. It was just come and stomach acid. His head pulsed, the pain growing worse. He supported himself against the side of the sink as he pulled himself up, flipping the tap on and lapping at the water. It partially soothed his throat, but something still felt off as he combed through his memories of last night. He steadied himself back to the floor, moving towards the towel nest and settling inside, wrapping them around him like a protective cocoon. His body felt cold; whether or not because he was naked in a bathroom and crawling all over the floor, or had a fever, he didn't know. He let his eyes focus on the mirror in front of him, losing himself to his thoughts.

 

That was it. He shuffled himself in the towels over and slowly rose, craning his neck to check out the source of the blood. Correct. When did we bleed? I don't know. Because it felt good last night from what we can recall. I know; It doesn't make sense. It was just once. Is there any tearing externally? Shiro felt along himself, biting his lip as he brushed his fingers over sharp little tears. He winced, falling back to his knees. Why can't we stand? What's wrong? I don't know, it can't be the alcohol any more. It has to be something else. Like what? Shiro shook his head, running his hands through his fringe, fingers tangling in a knot of strands stuck together. He shook his head again, starting to ease them apart. It was flaky between his fingers and the taste...was Galran. He narrowed his eyes, processing the snippets of memory again. No one came in his hair last night. Did they fuck near him in bed? He got splash damage? How did he sleep through that?

 

He laid his arms over his thighs, staring down at the stains. His original arm twinged as he relaxed the muscle, and he sighed, bringing it up to study. Shiro worked from the wrist upwards, and at the elbow he paused, squinting through the haze and pained vision at the dark bruise. He pressed a tiny mark in the centre, then again. That is a fucking syringe mark. Of what? Remember what Haxus had? It clicked into place; everything. Shiro let his head strike the back of the mirror, slowly striking the back of his skull against it. They said they'd be gentle. Liars. Why you trusted them I have no idea. Well what could we have done? It was going to happen anyway! So would this, just we'd probably be in a tank instead, maybe. Did you even register how they spoke last night? No, of course not, you were too drunk on pleasure. I need a drink. You really don't. I do. No, you need to make them regret fucking you up. No more, c'mon, Shiro. You think they won't do it again? But then what? We'll be dead. Better off dead then being drugged and fucked. What about the others? I'm sure they'll be fine. Do you honestly think they're worried about you, really?

 

Shiro didn't notice the tears rolling down his cheeks until he felt drip to his chest. He looked at himself in the mirror; new bruises around his hips, scarred, drawn and pale, sat naked in a bunch of towels. He sobbed into the fabric, rubbing his snotty nose over it. What even are you any more? Just a fucktoy, and what life is that, really? Shiro bit into the fabric, sobbing harder. He picked himself up, still unsteady and eyes bleary, and used the wall as support to get to the shower. He needed to be clean. He needed to wash away everything. The filth had accumulated and there was a thick layer of it over his skin. He hammered the panel with his prosthetic and set the water to a higher temperature, pushing himself into the corner of the shower and curling into the fetal position, arms shielding his face as he let the water hammer down against him. The sobs came off rattled, harsh on his chest and throat. Gods, he couldn't even cry properly.

 

-

 

“Hasn't he been gone a while?”
“Mmm, I suppose so.”
“Oh fuck, I've got blood on me.” Haxus glanced to Sendak nervously. “Did we remember to clean him off?” Sendak paused, rubbing at his eye. “I'm...not sure. That synthetic stuff is really...bad to come down from.” Sendak pressed his hand over his organic eye, hissing as he turned the light on and placed his feet on the floor. His ears pricked and he frowned through the pain. “Can you hear the shower?”
“I don't have giant ears,” Haxus rolled over, but still perked up. “Since when can he use that?”
“He shouldn't. Why has she given him tech that interfaces with ours...?” Sendak was talking to himself by this point, but something in his gut stirred.

 

“Get a body suit on, something's off. He's broken routine, minimum.”
“You sure it's not the fact you're feeling sick?” Haxus swallowed when Sendak let out a guttural snarl. “Gotcha.” The two quickly threw on their body suits and Sendak fished out a handgun for each of them. “Isn't this a bit too much?”
“Set it to stun.”
“I don't remember you being this paranoid in the morning.”
“I didn't have a military-trained gladiator with a weaponised prosthetic in my house,” Sendak snapped. He hated mornings, and this was another reason to hate them. He felt sick and had a possible shitstorm on his hands. “He can't use the prosthetic with that inhibitor, can he?” Haxus whispered as he flanked Sendak, both carefully moving towards the bathroom. “He shouldn't, but if he can access rooms and the shower then I don't know if he's worked out he can take it off, if he can.” Sendak's voice rasped as he kept close to the wall, handgun trained forward.

 

He placed his hand against the panel, narrowing his eyes as it allowed him in. “Slave, we're coming in,” he roared, coughing as his throat burned. There was no reply. Slowly, they entered to room, guns raised. “He's not in here.” Haxus stated, moving towards the shower and turning it off. The steam hung in the air around them, thick and humid. Sendak paced over to the pile towels, noting the patches of fresh bright red blood. “Where do you think he is?”
“I don't know.” Sendak paused. There wasn't anywhere particular in the house the slave cared much for, besides the training room, but he wasn't sure now if he could get in there alone or not.

 

Sendak turned on his heel and stormed down the corridor, handgun loosely held in his hand. Haxus followed in hot pursuit. They checked the other bedrooms – where the ghosts slept – which were as empty as they always had been. That cleared the left wing. They made their way to the dining room, Sendak's ears pricking towards the kitchen. He went to open his mouth, but chose not to speak and motioned Haxus to be silent as he slowly approached the doorway. He peered around the room, spotting the frame of his slave, unnaturally small, sat under the table, a bottle of alcohol lazily hung in his hand. He observed him take a sip, staring forlornly at the floor. His slave wasn't an idiot; he must know they were outside the room. He seemed vacant, and Sendak only had one guess why he might. He squinted at the organic hand; bright red and raw-looking. On closer inspection, what skin that was on show was raw and red.

 

“Why?”
Sendak blinked through the dark spots in his vision. Who was he talking to? “I asked why, Sendak.” The slave turned to look at him, eyes puffy and red, face almost white. “Why what?”
His stomach churned at the laugh in response. He watched the slave double over, holding his sides. He rolled onto his side, trying to regulate his breathing as he watched Sendak through one wide eye, the other distorted as his skin pulled against the floor. “But Commander, you must know what I, a lowly and insignificant life-form, am thinking? You already have access to everything I've ever done; all my hopes, dreams and fears, and you certainly enjoy reminding me every time I don't meet your expectations. Let me ask you, please, if you will deem my question worthy, what the fuck possessed you to betray my trust? I am dying to hear why.” He pushed himself up and chugged the bottle he'd set down beside him, eyes twitching and a layer of dampness under his forehead.

 

Sendak considered the question and took a step into the room. “GET OUT!” His slave had never raised his voice so angrily since they'd met, and Sendak withdrew, partially through surprise and partially because he needed to diffuse this, whatever this was. He'd read in the file about humans that they could be very emotional, he supposed this is what it meant. “It was not my intent-”
“Oh fuck off with that bullshit.” The slave glared at him, waving his arms up in frustration. “There's only one reason. You wanted to do what you wanted, as always. In some drunken moment of stupidity I went along with last night, so why...why did you need to inject me? Why didn't you just wake me up? Ask again?” His voice cracked as he punched the floor with the prosthetic hand, then again as he muttered to himself, shaking his head as he stared at the floor. “I just can't keep doing this; I can't handle it.” Grey eyes peeked up at Sendak as the slave pulled the hair away from his face. “I thought I was doing okay, but obviously not. It's not like you care, though? Can Galra be compassionate? You certainly aren't.” He pulled the bottle to his lips, hands shaking as he sipped more alcohol, head twitching to the side.

 

“I chose not to wake you because it was the first time I'd ever seen you so peaceful. You didn't thrash about or talk in your sleep last night.” He settled down on the floor from the doorway, ears pricking as Haxus left him to it. “That sounds like crap. Why should I believe you? You said you'd grant trust and loyalty and shit like that if I gave it to you, and I have. So why?” He pleaded, Sendak noting him swallow a few times. He looked away, honestly not certain what possessed him to do it himself. “Originally we – Haxus and I – were going to leave you. We took the...” he wasn't sure what to call the synthetic, “drugs, I guess, and tried keep you out of it. Obviously it didn't.”
“So what made you both think that fucking a black-out drunk body was a good idea?”
“Again it-”
“Stop dodging and answer it, Commander.” The slave's voice took on it's own commanding tone, albeit offset by him swaying and barely able to keep his head straight. “I just enjoy fucking you.” Sendak shrugged his shoulders. “I thought injecting you would make it feel better since you were out.”
“Or, and tell me if this sounds more believable, you wanted to just wanted to fuck your toy again with your friend or whatever the fuck Haxus is to you, or some utter bullshit reason, 'cause that's all I am, right? To make it easier, you drug me up so it feels 'nice', and I'm supposed to kiss your fuckin' boots and thank you or something because you were kind? You? 'Cause I clearly needed your purple alien dicks! You know I listen, right, to how you talk about me?” The slave crawled out from under the table, taking another swig from the bottle. “So how right was I?”
“I also said you would be mine in mind, body and soul.” Sendak muttered, “which it seems you forgot. You do remember your place?” He was getting to the end of his patience at this point. The slave was talking to him like an angry lover if anything right now, or at least it's what it felt like.

 

Shiro blinked, cocking his head to one side. “How have I not? I know I'm a slave, I get that.”
“So what's this been?”
“It just s-sounds like you want to avoid accountability.” His words slurred, Shiro blinking through the haze. He should stop, this; drinking, but it made him happy. He drank after everything with Adam. He drank a lot. The doctors told him to reign it back in with the condition, but why couldn't he indulge himself? Now he didn't have to worry about it, he could drink all he pleased. “I'm held to account over your behaviour when it effects others.” Sendak growled. “Yeah but you alwaaaays ignore Ulaz's recommeendations.”
“Not always.”
“S-still did.”
“Because you needed...” Sendak narrowed his eye at the ground, then the slave, “educating.”
“That's a s-shitty euphemism for breaking me.” Shiro growled, trying to glare at Sendak but feeling his muscles twitch instead. “I s-swear Haaxus has done a better job of gettin' me to be some bitch then you. If you're so good at this shit, why are we sat here like this?” He slammed his fist into the floor, lips curling back as he loured at Sendak. His face dropped quickly, registering the death glare Sendak was giving him. To say he crossed the line was an understatement; he'd over-shot the line so far that he wondered if this was how he was going to die; sat on an alien's kitchen floor, drunk, in some flimsy body suit. At least then he'd finally be away from all this, all the stress and nightmares.

 

Sendak knocked him back to the floor with his full weight, Shiro not even attempting to defend himself at this point as both hands clasped around his throat. Choked to death? Standard. An intimate way to kill someone. Thought it'd be more interesting. It probably pissed Sendak off more knowing he wasn't attempting to fight back. Ah well, slaves didn't fight back, so he kept saying, implying, whatever. He was just done with all this. He felt light-headed and heard ringing in his ears. Darkness set in around his vision, and he welcomed it with a fervour he'd never imagined.

 

Sendak had been too tempted to snap the little dreck's neck there and then. The smile that tugged at the slave's mouth was infuriating, and it was yet another thing that Sendak had given him that he wanted. Well, thought he had. He'd knocked him out, minimum, for a while. It would be enough time to do what he needed to. He could feel Haxus's presence, and pulled himself up. “Do you have that contact still in the Ragnar ring?”
“I do.”
“Tell them I'll be there in two vargas with something to drop off.”
“Commander, are you-”
“Not now. I need to see the Emperor. Load it up,” he motioned to the body on the floor, “and make sure it's thoroughly restrained. I also have a job for you, since you're going back to manning the ship.”
“Am I?”
“Zarkon spoke to me after a meeting. I meant to tell you sooner.”
“What's the job?” Haxus swallowed.
Sendak stared at the slave in abject disgust, and then looked back at Haxus. “Bring me Prisoner 117-9876.”

 

-

 

Zarkon motioned for Sendak to settle in his quarters. It wasn't uncommon for his right-hand to come visit from time-to-time and just talk. “You come looking angry.” He clicked his claws and a servant bustled over, placing some glasses out for both of them and pouring drinks, before bowing and moving away. Sendak lowered his gaze for a long moment, “I wanted to kill him.”
“Who?”
“The slave you gifted me. I was...so close to just snapping his neck.”
“I see. It's not like you to almost circumvent traditions and customs. What about my gift displeased you?”
“He still refuses to submit properly.”
“He is stubborn like yourself, and that is why you have him.” Zarkon leaned forward on his elbows, eyes narrowed.
“We...do share that trait.” Sendak mused, taking a small sip, his head still pulsing with pain. “I don't know why Haggar weaponised him.”
“She has some plans, as usual.” Zarkon sniffed. “What have you come to ask?”
“If I can take a few movements off in the Ragnar ring.” He watched Zarkon scrutinise him. “Has it truly been that difficult to break him?”
“Yes. It's like he finds another resolve from somewhere. It's why I've put in the request for one of his own species. He seems to care about them, so this is the only way I can think of. Emperor, I'm conflicted that I have grown weaker – that I've failed you.” Sendak massaged his brow, glaring hard at the drink in front of him.

 

Zarkon leaned back in his seat, crossing his arms over his chest. “It is a long time. You've also tried a few different tactics I believe?” He watched Sendak nod his head slowly. “Perhaps you have been cohabiting too early. I would not let new concubines into the harem until a deca-phoeb has passed, and I know they are sufficiently under my control. There's nothing wrong with your efforts, it just seems Terrans are quite resilient by nature. It makes me relish in the thought of having my own one day,” he let out a low rumble, and Sendak snorted. “Well you can have him whenever you please.”
“I am aware, I'm just waiting until he's settled into his role with you. Regardless, outside of you and Gnov, the other members of High Command tend to let others do the work first with breaking their slaves. Ranveig has been renting out the Champion since he's had him out in the Rings. I hear he's rather popular.” Zarkon smirked to himself.
“You do enjoy Champion in this situation, don't you?”
“Of course. His faction has caused significant damage to key checkpoints and locations for deca-phoebs. To finally have my enemy in the arena? I am thoroughly enjoying it.”
“I met one of the survivors in Haggar's labs.”
“They are an asset to the gene pool, then. Hardy and strong warriors are what we need.”
“I agree.”
“Take the leave. I'm going to call a recess to proceedings and call the fleet back. We need to gather intelligence, but I've not felt anything from the other Lions – especially the Black Lion.”
“Thank you, Sire.” Sendak drained the glass and made to rise.

 

“Commander. I do not see your attempts as weakness. Understand?” Zarkon rose and moved around to Sendak. He placed his hand on his shoulder and motioned his head backwards, “would you like to share a concubine with me? Perhaps calm yourself?” Zarkon's lips tugged into a small smile and Sendak glanced to the side, tiny grin on his face. “Is it worth indulging a failure of a Commander?”
“I'm indulging a former student.” Zarkon motioned for him to follow.

 

-

 

“S'what can I do for ya, Camannder?” The alien was younger then Sendak had imagined. “What happened to Tarblon?”
“Wow, ya knew ma great-great-great-great,” he paused, running out of fingers to count on before shrugging, “ma grandfather? Ya're ancient!” He laughed, before placing his boots on his messy desk, leaning back in his chair as he grinned at Sendak. “Regardless, what's your name, and how did someone so young get to running...this.” Sendak motioned to the floor below them, a large circular room full of scented smoke, gaudy curtains, and other aliens dressed in either nothing, or various silks and see-through fabrics. “Alrigh', Cammander. Name? Ya can call me Hetto. Got this place by givin' ma mather-fuckin' bratha a real nice new smile,” he ran his finger across his throat. “Mather-fuckin' ain't no lie eitha. May've seen a bitta work mayself, gotcha?” Hetto lazily stabbed a knife through the desk with his tail, watching Sendak through hard eyes.

 

“Well, Hetto,” Sendak lifted his gauntlet over his lap, “I'm looking to make you an offer.”
“Whatcha got ta offer?”
“How would having the first Terran whore work for you?” He watched Hetto's face light up. He swung his legs off the desk and pulled himself up properly, “what's the catch? Ya knew Tarblon, didja give 'im a slave before, or ya lookin' to?”
“I did.” Sendak pulled out his tablet and pressed a few buttons, showing Hetto the screen. “All logged, and that's his signature.”
“Ya I gotcha. So, am I getting this Terran to keep?”
“Not so much, however,” Sendak leaned forward, “any GAC he makes you in any capacity, well, you can keep the profits. I don't mind how you go about his clientele. I suppose to turn a pretty profit you'd want to have as many customers at a time, but then,” Sendak shrugged, “that's what I'd do.” He observed as Hetto leaned back, contemplating how much he could charge. “Ya know what else we do?”
“I do.”
“How long?”
“I'd say five movements, but if he's not as I want him, well, you'll get him a bit longer.”
“I get all the profit?”
“Of course,” Sendak purred, “I couldn't ask you to split it with me. Perhaps you could send me some update videos? I heard you made those.” Hetto flicked his eyes about and pushed himself closer to Sendak, “ya...not tryin' bust my balls are ya? Trap me?”
“Oh no of course not,” Sendak raised his hand, “it's not in my interests to shut down your other side of the business, much like I never did before.” He placed his hand back in his lap, offering a polite smile to Hetto.

 

“Ta be straight,” Hetto placed his hands out in front of him, “ya gotchaself a slave, ya want me t'whore him out for five movements or maybe longa, an' all ya want is videos back?”
“Oh, and maybe to watch, just from an overseeing room sometimes.”
“Ya well tha' can happen. Ya don't wan' no GAC an' I get it, ya?”
“That's correct.” Sendak waited for Hetto to decide. “Ya, doable. Lemme see this Terran then, ya got 'im 'ere?”
“I do. Haxus, you want to bring in the merchandise?” Sendak purred, gaze steady on Hetto as they watched, tail raising to rub the underside of his chin. His smile broadened as he took in the Terran, and Sendak grinned at him when Hetto turned back to him, eyes glittering. “Thatsa one tha' killed ol' Myzax! Dayum, gonna make mayself a killin'!” He smacked his hand against his thigh and ripped open a drawer, throwing bits on paper, two communicators and a few wrappers to the floor, until he pulled out a small box. “Dunno if they smoke alrigh' but 'ere,” Hetto pushed them to Sendak, who took out what looked like a Yortorian cigar. He arched his brow at Hetto, who lit it up, taking a drag and exhaling as he made giddy little noises.

 

“He'd got in inhibitor on the right arm as it's weaponised,” Sendak took the lighter and lit the cigar, handing the lighter back to Hetto, “only Galrans can remove it.”
“Gotcha,” Hetto was scribbling notes down. Sendak reeled off some general information, noting to avoid aliens who could cause corrosive damage, but otherwise broken bones and cuts were fine if they happened accidentally. No mutilation damage was to come to the prosthetic, most of the face, and the genitals, but everything else was fair game. “Ya well if the merch got fucked up, I'd be outta whores, ya?” Hetto scribbled down the last of his notes, taking another glance at the Terran. “Didn't 'e have a callar at one poin'?” Sendak's face turned dark for a tick, before glancing over the the slave; naked and pale, eyes flicking about erratically between himself and Hetto. He turned away. “He did. No point keeping it on him though if he's here.” Sendak shrugged and flicked the cigar. “If I deem him worthy, then perhaps he can have it back. If not, he can stay here and service all sorts of aliens.” Sendak snorted. Hetto sniggering in agreement. “Ahh, Cammander, ya ain't gotta worry 'bout the variety he's gonna be seein'.”
“Oh, Hetto, I'm not.” Sendak gave his slave a look of pure glee as he took another drag.

 

At the end of the day, it was his own fault for being so stubborn. The slave acted up, whether he believed it or not, and that was perhaps his fault for spoiling him. It wasn't himself that was weak, it was just that this slave was from a very new race in it's galactic infancy, and he was clearly too stupid to understand Galra customs and the way of the universe. If he could, Sendak may have felt a shred of pity for the slave, but then pity wasn't reserved for anything belonging to the servant class. All Sendak wanted to see right now was the realisation his face as it dawned on him how good he'd had it. Sendak had told him he was a liberal commander after he'd beat Myzax, but he never listened.

 

“Ahh, lemme take a looksie,” Hetto stretched and shoved his hands in his pockets as he sauntered over to the slave. He motioned for Haxus to unlock the cuffs and chuckled as the slave tried to shield himself. “Nah, ma muscular GAC-maker, let Hetto have a look at the goods,” he curled his tail around the slave's cock, squeezing tight, and between himself and Haxus, they grabbed an arm each. “Mmm,” Hetto took a look around the back, squeezing the slave's ass cheeks and pulling them open. He drew his tail back, brushing around the entrance and then quickly sliding it inside. Sendak continued smoking as he watched the slave go to yell out, but one look stopped him. The slave let his head drop, likely glaring at the ground. “Real spacious, warm, an' seems pliant.” Hetto pulled his tail out and let it slowly run across the slave's front, before probing down into his mouth. The slave spluttered around the tail, Hetto ignoring the coughs. “He can't 'ave kids, righ'?”
“No he seems to only have male biology.”
“Whew, gettin' fed up of the abortion bills I gotta pay out for. Too many 'alf-breeds, amirite?” Hetto laughed mostly to himself at the dig he'd just made. “Body seems in goo' candition, ya wanna brand him with ya clan sigil? Can I pierce 'him, too?”
“Glad it's in good condition. No – so far – on the sigil, and yes, but only here, and there,” Sendak pointed to the areas and Hetto whooped again.

 

“So how quick do you think you can put him up?”
“Now,” Hetto pulled out a third communicator and started to take photos of the slave, bending him forwards. “Aww, he's gotta real pauty face, ya? Little Terran and Champion's fundin' a hella great lifestyle,” he chuckled as he uploaded them, taking a drag on the cigar, “anythin' else, Cammander?”
“I suppose,” Sendak looked to Haxus, and then briefly to the slave who was watching him, trembling like a leaf. “He's best put in a pair of stocks at first, the whore likes it from behind. I suppose make sure he doesn't come back crawling with STDs.”
“Gotcha. Ganna give this boy a nice setta piercin's an' see what tricks 'e can pull, ya?” Hetto batted his eyes at the slave, who screwed his face up in disgust.

 

Sendak took a few more drags on the cigar as he watched Hetto pace around the room, his tail curling around the communicators he'd thrown on the ground and placing them on the table. “I'll be in contact to arrange anything further.” He added, stubbing it out into the ashtray and rising from his seat, smoothing out the body suit. “Ya tha's fine.” Hetto giggled as he thrust his communicator in front of Sendak's face, “already eight participants!” He whooped again, pushing his puce-coloured hair behind his ear. Sendak glanced at his slave through the corner of his eye; the Terran stiff and unmoving, his mouth opening and closing as if to speak, but knowing what would happen if he did. “Ya gotta go?”
“Yes, we've things to attend to.” Sendak nodded at Haxus, who grinned at Hetto and waved a goodbye, opening the door for Sendak.

 

“Ya gonna say bye ta ya masta?” The Hetto character shoved Shiro forwards, and he stumbled in front of Sendak. With effort he brought himself to look up at the Commander who towered over him. “Bye, sir.” He ground out each word, eyebrows knit together as he glared up at Sendak with as much rage and reproach he could muster. Sendak just stared through him, like he was nothing, and moved on. “Do have fun, slave, and be safe.” The latter sent a frigid chill down his spine, and he was adamant it wasn't the room.

 

Chapter Text

“Ya gotta name, Terran?” Hetto sat on top of his desk, tail pulling the ashtray close as he took a crumpled box from his shirt pocket, easing out a cigarette and offering one to Shiro. “I...yeah.”
“They don't ask ya, I know.” Hetto shrugged, lighting the cigarette and taking one out to throw to Shiro. “Calm ya nerves, Terran, ya makin' ma skin itch.” Hetto made a wry smile as he flicked the ash. Shiro nervously looked at the cigarette, not entirely certain what it was even made from. On the other hand, he could have been drinking Galran bleach for all he knew. He heard a soft chirp as Hetto patted the space next to him, lighter in his open palm. What was the use any more? He could piss off this Hetto guy and get royally fucked over, not do that and get fucked over, or maybe if he was lucky, he could somehow survive the time here. He carefully inched closer, Hetto pulling a discarded jacket from the pile in his chair and letting Shiro settle on it.

 

“Shiro.”
“Kay, may call ya Shira bu' it's ma waya speakin', ya?”
"It's fine." Shiro played with the lighter, until Hetto took it from his hands and lit it for him.
“Used ta be in ya bootsies,” Hetto muttered between exhaling, “Galra scum treatin' ya like a glory hole. Got maself outta it by persistin'. Got yaself two choices, way I see it; accept ya lot or not. Gets easia as ya do it more, get yaself more powa dependin' on how good ya are,” he grinned at Shiro, cigarette poking out from the side of his mouth. Shiro listened, taking a drag on the cigarette and exhaling through his nose.
“I thought I was getting 'better'.”
“Then whatcha doin' here?” Hetto asked, he flicked the ash again. Shiro weighed up answering, but shook his head.
“Maybe another time.” Hetto shrugged his shoulders, rubbing Shiro's back with his tail.
“Best getcha ready soon.”
“Already?” Shiro coughed, staring in disbelief at Hetto through watering eyes.
“Ya, first sesh is in...'alf a varga. Ya got eight customers.”
“B-But that's too much!”
"Learnin' experience.” Hetto stared at him through narrowed eyes, “ya don't getta take cub-steps in this line'f work. Time's GAC.” He stubbed out his cigarette and waited for Shiro, still nursing his.

 

-

 

“Numbin' spray's all good,” Hetto brought the small spray bottle to Shiro's nipples, giving a few generous sprays, before taking the clamps and aiming the needle at the scarred one. “Tha' one betta stay. Deep breath,” he pushed the needle in, Shiro clenching his jaw at the pain. “Otha now.” He swapped out a new needle and did the same again, this one hurting a bit more. The only piercing that hadn't hurt as much as the dick piercing. He gazed down at the small ring with a bead within the loop. He could imagine what would be attached to that at a later date. “Not fa touchin', gotta cage it up.”
“Great.” Shiro let his head roll back into the wall, blinking slowly up at the ceiling as he heard Hetto bring something from the drawer. He screwed his eyes closed as he felt the tail lift his cock gently, and then freezing metal against the skin.
“Cammander says ya difficult, but ya bein' real good f'me, Shiro.” Hetto simpered, dragging his tail slowly along his thigh.

 

-

 

Shiro tried to keep his breathing level as the ticks passed by. He was terrified and under-prepared and felt a fine sheen of sweat over his body, hands clammy against the floor. His ass cheek felt sore where Hetto had shoved a needle in, apparently to keep disease away. The metal collar and chain that ran down his front and clamped around his ankles had him anxious; the chain was short as it joined to a central ring that lay over his stomach. Hetto didn't tell him what they were going to do, and he was partially happy with not knowing, yet afraid that it was going to be worse then Sendak's torture.

 

The metal doors creaked loudly and he took another deep breath, holding it tight in his chest as he raised his head to watch eight aliens enter the room; faces covered by masks likely for anonymity's sake, but chattering and hooting loudly as they slowly approached and surrounded him. He exhaled slowly, feeling his skin flare up in goosebumps and the urge to fight increase. Just tear himself out of the situation, destroy everything in his path and just escape or die trying. Death right now seemed like a great option as he glanced nervously at the clientele.

 

“It's smaller in person.”
“Has a pretty-lookin' mouth.”
“Ugh they pierced it.”
“I like that piercing.” One of the aliens, this with four thin arms, stepped forward and pulled Shiro's face up roughly, two hands holding his face and the other two busy pushing his lips open and hooking into his nose, yanking his head back.
“Tch, restraints are shit. I'm starting, don't care what you lot do.” He growled at the others and pushed down this trousers, bringing out a cock that looked like a hemipenis, but was just one cock, just with two shafts leading to a single head. He shoved it roughly into Shiro's mouth and started to thrust. “Lick in-between.” Shiro glared in revulsion at him, pressing his teeth down. “Ah! Little whore fuckin' bit me!” The fingers in his nose pulled Shiro's head back uncomfortably, the restraints going taut, as the alien pulled their cock out. “I didn't pay for this!” He snarled as he drew two hands back and with a crack, smacked him across both sides of his face at the same time.

 

“'Least there's some fight! Lemme see if I can calm him down.” Another alien said, pushing the four-armed one away and leaning down. Shiro brought his head back to see three long tentacle arms attached to each shoulder, small suction cups on the underside. Oh fuck, no. He struggled as they coiled around him, tightening as his body was lifted and slowly moved back between the group. He felt so many hands brush against his raw skin, the feeling painful if nothing else as fingers and claws dug themselves in. He half-listened to the comments about his scars, his body, but his attention was solely focused on the tentacle alien who was drawing the tips of the tentacles between his legs.

 

Without warning, sharp pain lanced through his insides. He went to scream but it was stifled with the strange cock of the four-armed alien. He felt the chains go taut as his back was forcibly arched and he tried to draw his legs up to give himself some lax around his neck.
“He's presenting.” The tentacle alien gurgled as it rubbed along Shiro's taint, before sliding in another tentacle. Should I feel grateful it doesn't hurt as much as it could? No, he shouldn't. He tilted his head to the side as he felt something slap into his palm, well both.
“Use your hands.”
“We only have a varga!” The second voice rasped. Shiro curled his fingers around both of the dicks and started to build up a rhythm as best he could. He couldn't keep track of where the others had gone; there was still hands burning his skin with their touch. He wished he was sandwiched back between Sendak and Haxus; he'd take that any day over this. He was going to break, he couldn't break, he must be strong, for Matt and Sam. That'd been his reason to keep going, and he'd hung on to it every day, even if he wasn't always thinking about them. He closed his eyes, he was doing this so they wouldn't have to.

 

“It's so squishy in there,” the tentacle alien tittered as they pushed another two inside. They chuckled at the muffled wail Shiro made around the cock that was now hitting the back of his throat. Shiro's eyes stung with tears as he felt the two new tentacles start to build up their own pace; all four moving at different speeds and hitting too many places deeply. It wasn't a matter of feeling full; it felt like his body was going to break. A hand compressed down on his gut and Shiro tried to pull away.
“I can feel them all wiggling about in there.”
“Come here then,” the tentacle alien muttered, “you can see it.” He felt his legs forced back down to his chest and the tentacles inside start to swell. He tried to scream, move away, but he couldn't.
“Close...” the alien hissed as they gripped Shiro's thighs tightly, compressing against the muscles hard.

 

It felt like someone had turned a hose on full blast. Shiro could do nothing but make pathetic squeaks, his eyes rolling back into his head as the alien came. It was hot, too hot, everything ached. The tentacles pulled out one-by-one, and he could hear the come splash against the floor. He screwed his eyes shut as those around him laughed, grabbing his ass cheeks and spreading them as far as they could, at a guess staring at the twitching hole. He felt a set of claws dig into the skin.
“May not want to be fuckin' it in your nasty come, but at least you've opened it up.”
“I'll put it back on the floor.” The tentacle alien lowered Shiro's body into the hot puddle. He winced at the come that felt like it was pouring from his ass. It's not forever.

 

“Ok, so you can stop hogging his mouth.”
“Piss off.” The four-armed alien shoved a smaller one aside. He'd apparently been polite enough to take it out as he moved.
“Lemme just-”
Shiro gasped sharply when he felt something new fill him. Claws settled into his hips, and he looked up to see a new alien, skin a deep terracotta colour, let out a pleasant hiss, before he felt his head being pulled back and the thick cock from earlier return.
“It feels like he's just clenching against me.” Shiro made a throaty noise in protest, earning another smack around the face. The alien over him chuckled, muttering he understood that it was probably a bit embarrassing. He'd make him feel good; they'd all make him feel good. Shiro wanted to be sick.

 

“Drink up.” That was all the warning Shiro had as the alien emptied into his mouth. It tasted sour and bitter as he slowly drank it down, the process harder when he had too much going on around him. As the alien pulled out, they pumped any remaining come onto his face, then wiped it against his cheek. “For biting me, I'm having that ass soon.” He growled, before moving to let another dick push its way into his mouth. He was quickly forced round to his hands and knees. He desperately tried to ignore the pain in his caged erection as best he could as he was spit-roasted. The one at his mouth seemed happy to let another share with him, so like with Sendak and Haxus, he alternated between the two, until they decided they both wanted to see if they could fit in his mouth at the same time: they couldn't. Shiro hissed as he felt the skin around the side of his mouth tear.
“M-Maybe,” Shiro panted, shakily trying to use their hips for support, “I can try...” he let them support him under his arms as he took both of them in his hands. He swirled his tongue around both strangely tapered heads, before pressing them together and easing his mouth over them both. The aliens above made noises of what he presumed was satisfaction. One tugged at his ear lazily while the other ran their hand through his hair, petting him like an animal. He sobbed as the alien behind him hammered into his ass harder, the pain becoming overwhelming. He tried to pull away, but was held in place. He felt hot tears trickle down his cheeks and claws rip through his skin around the hips.

 

“I-It's too much!” His voice pitched high as he felt the cock stab in to the hilt and swell. The cry caught in his throat as he felt more hot liquid shoot into his ass, and his rear end left to drop to the floor. Those at his face kept his torso up, pushing him back down to continue servicing them both. He tried to look up at them through bleary eyes, their faces obscured through the tears. He let out a pained whine as he felt something barbed push its way inside him, screeching out through the dick in his mouth as it started to roughly move in and out. He felt someone grab his shoulder, yanking his prosthetic around and forcing the grip closed.
“Put your hands to use, whore.”

 

He looked around to see some long coral-coloured thing and whimpered pathetically. His head got pulled back around and he flinched as ribbons of come squirted over his face, catching in the hair and running down his cheeks, tainting the tears. Then the other in his mouth fired down his throat, the contents burning against the back. He fell down to land awkwardly on his left hand and hacked up the come he couldn't swallow, the action irritating his stomach and he vomited all over the floor; nothing but come and stomach acid again. It was a trend that was becoming common in his life.

 

“That's pretty gross.”
“Well who knows, Terran's probably get off on that.”
“No!” Shiro's voice was hoarse as he glared up.
“You're speaking when you should be sucking.” He went to protest but felt fingers push his mouth open, probing his tongue and teeth. They were pulled out and replaced with another dick. He screwed his eyes up, wondering how many cock's in the last twenty vargas he'd had in his mouth. He felt the tentacles wrap slowly around his body again and stroke along his spine, earning a strangled moan as they pressed against the knotted skin.
“He likes that, do that more.” Shiro gasped around the cock as the tentacles spread out, pressing and rubbing the skin. No, no this isn't fair, this isn't right. I don't want this, not from them- a gratifying moan escaped around the thickness in his mouth, and he felt the tension leave his body.
“That feels better. He was compressing too much.” The alien behind him breathed as the barb dragged along the abused walls slowly. He made another moan, hips raising by their own volition.

 

It continued until he was dropped to the ground, face a few centimetres away from the vomit, but rear left in the puddle of come. Someone dragged him by the legs, and he choked back a sob as he felt lukewarm come smear up his back and through his hair. Everything hurt, he just wanted this to end now. A body leaned down over his face, and another over his chest. He felt his legs hoisted again and something wide slip inside. Shadows surrounded him and his hands were brought up to caress more dick. He felt his knees made to bend and something forced between each one. At this point there was no guessing what it could be. He screeched out as he felt something else enter his ass. Oh, the tentacle guy. One had slipped in around the wide cock. They started to thrust, building a fast rhythm between them. Shiro let his eyes roll back into his head and a hiss escape his lips, until they were once again opened and he had the 'pleasure' of being throat fucked. There was too many bodies; too much heat. He felt like he was being crushed and swamped – everything was too sensitive. Something in the back of his mind felt like it was close to snapping. Not yet, hold it together.

 

The first to finish was the one fucking his right knee joint. The second was over his prosthetic hand and the third from his human hand. The next erupted hot come down his throat, while the one above his chest sprayed it all over his neck and face. He flinched when it got in his eyes. As he tried to rub it away, the sixth knee fucker came all over his thigh. Slowly they pulled away, content whines and purrs above him. He dared to look down to see the first alien who'd throat fucked him panting away as he drove himself into Shiro's ass.
“Lift him?”
“Yeah.” The tentacle alien wrapped the five other appendages around his body and with a wet pop, the cock came out. Shiro was braced against the tentacle alien's chest, the suckers rubbing and toying with his skin, one rubbing his balls slowly. He let out a heady moan, head dropping; the chains a distant rattle as his legs were brought up against his chest. He moaned again when the thickness returned, and his eyes shot open when they both struck his prostate at the same time.

 

His screech was hoarse and broken, and between them, the two aliens fucked even more noises out of him. His body was malleable; like jelly, and so every thrust - every touch - felt like fire against the raw skin, but also like he was going to drown as they stimulated his prostate.
“This is what I paid for.” One of them said. There was a grunt in response as finally, the wide one shot his load deep into Shiro, the tentacle curling within him, stretching him, and firing another huge burst of come. Shiro's scream echoed around the room, his tongue lolled out as tears streamed down his cheeks. His body twitched as they dropped him to the floor; come staining his thighs and creating a new puddle where he lay. He wasn't fully aware with what was happening above him; just registering jeers and hoots. Shiro's body convulsed as he tried to move away from streams of hot liquid that splashed over his chest and the fresh tears in his hips. It was warm, it stank. Everything hurt. Everything was dark.

 

Shiro let out a primal screech and moved too quickly, pulling something in his shoulder, as he was drenched in freezing water.
“C'mon. Clean up. You got more clients soon.”
“I-I c-c-can't.”
“That's your job, babe. Here's a throat soother, you took a lot of dick.” She pushed the soother into Shiro's mouth and dropped a towel on top of him.
“C'mon babe, let's give you a shower and clean you out.” She leaned down to release the restraints on his ankles and then the collar, his body frigid to the touch. He tried to stand, but stumbled froward into her bosom.
“Careful, I don't want to get wet and gross.” She pushed him up and moved away, Shiro stumbling after her, teeth chattering as he tried to warm his body.

 

-

 

This room was plush compared to the previous one. He was placed on top of soft sheets that felt heavenly against his skin. Still naked, he drew them up around him. The woman, he didn't know her name, looked him up and down.
“I'm thinking I might call you Princess at this rate. Your previous master has clearly spoilt you.” Shiro could detect the disdain in her voice, and bit his lip, looking away from her hard gaze. “You've no idea what it's like living this life.”
“I don't.” Shiro answered, voice low.
“You will soon. Oh, Hetto says if you bite another dick again, he'll be dealing with you personally. I suggest you really don't.” She gave him a final check over, pushing a few locks of hair behind his ear. “Good luck. You've got four.” She raised her hand in farewell as she went to the door. As she opened it, she offered entrance to four different aliens, one minimum Galran. Shiro swallowed the lump in his throat as they approached, settling around him on the bed and letting hands trawl over his clean skin. He heard the door lock shut, and watched several sets of claws trace along his inner thighs. He was pushed back into the blankets. Shiro was tired, he couldn't fight any more. Maybe tomorrow. Something thick and hot eased into his mouth, he lapped the underside subconsciously.

 

-

 

Shiro flopped into the corner of the mattress against the wall, bringing himself in as small as he could as he closed his eyes. He needed sleep, but at the same time he didn't want to. Too much had happened today. He cracked his eye open carefully as he felt a weight settle next to him on the mattress. In the dim light, an orange eye gleamed down at him: Sendak?
“Shiro?” The bass voice reverberated in his ears, and without thinking Shiro grabbed Nadiva's wrist sharply. He looked to Shiro in surprise, but leaned down and moved a little closer. “What're you doing here?”
“Sendak.”
“I see.” Nadiva traced the bruises around Shiro's neck, his human hand grabbing his other wrist.
“Don't.” His whisper was hoarse as he leaned closer. “I've got information.” He mumbled into Nadiva's chest. They laid in silence for a few ticks, bar the light snoring around them from the other occupants, until Nadiva withdrew his hands.
“Come closer and tell me.” Shiro nodded and curled his arm over Nadiva's waist, lacing the other under his neck. In whispers, Shiro told Nadiva everything that Sendak and Haxus had been talking about, and other snippets of information he'd picked up on and could remember.

 

“Thank you.” Nadiva cautiously brought his hand up and pushed back Shiro's hair, smoothing it gently. “I'll let my contact know, and about your situation-”
“It'll only be five movements if I behave.” Shiro muttered, shoving his face into Nadiva's chest. He needed to feel warmth, even if it was someone he wasn't completely certain about still; at least Nadiva shown him some semblance of respect and right now he'd take that over being alone.
“You had many today, didn't you?” Shiro shook his head in agreement.
“They humiliated you?” Another shake. Shiro felt less tense when Nadiva brought him flush against his body, curling himself protectively around Shiro.
“While I won't be here all the time,” Nadiva muttered into his hair, “when I am, I will keep you safe at night.” Shiro nuzzled against his chest, feeling heat rise in his cheeks.
“Thank you,” he planted a small kiss against Nadiva's collarbone, allowing himself to relax. Within a few ticks, he dropped off.

 

-

 

Hetto balled his hand up in Shiro's fringe, lifting his head roughly as the woman behind, Cida, unbuckled the restraints that kept him to the breeding table.
“Shiro, ya undastand now? Can't keep bitin' custama's, can ya?” He leaned down to peer into what was usually quite pretty grey eyes, these one glassy and dull.
“Babe, I warned you about this.” Cida berated from behind, giving his ass a firm spank, Shiro's body twitching. “If you don't do your job, you get punished. Hetto, this is why I hate Galran pleasure slaves, fuckin' useless because they're so spoilt.”
“Cida, I know. But hey, we getta make 'im betta,” Hetto winked at Cida, who rolled her eyes. Turning his attention back to Shiro, Hetto smacked his cheek. “Asked ya a question, Shira.”

 

The smacks had burst his bubble he'd escaped to. He stared at Hetto, who was upside down, for a long moment, before giving a small nod.
“Ya didn' hear me, didja? What've we learned?” He pushed his tail under Shiro's head, tilting it up.
“No biting.”
“Thatsa good boy! Othawise, what 'appens?” His voice was a happy sing-song as he watched Cida plug up his rear. Shiro mumbled something.
“Didn't catch tha'.”
“Punishment.”
“With what?” The pause was beautiful as Shiro sucked in a breath, looking up at him with pleading eyes.
“Say it.” Hetto rubbed his tail over the swollen and cracked lips, teasing the split corner. Shiro sobbed when the plug was forcibly rotated within him, and after a few ticks, he answered.
“Yuppers, sir.
“That's a good boy,” Cida cooed from behind him. Hetto nodded and turned, glancing up to room where the Commander and Haxus had requested to watch from.
“Bet ya masta is well pleased with ya.” He laughed as Shiro shrieked as he walked away, tossing a small chip up and down in his hand. This was a little souvenir for the Commander, the fucked up piece of shit.

 

He took the elevator up and sauntered into the room, Haxus giving him a mocking applause.
“What a beastly show!” Haxus looked to the Commander, who nodded, the tiniest smirk playing at the sides of his lips.
“It was indeed.”
“Ya happy, Cammander?” Hetto perched on the table, pulling out a cigarette as he tossed the chip to Sendak, who caught it with ease.
“Content, for now.”
“Ya difficult ta please, aintcha?” He watched the Commander give him a broader smile and rose, pocketing the chip safely away.
“We'll look at coming back next movement. Surprise me with what you do. Only four more left, possibly.” Sendak's laugh was dark as he made for the exit, Haxus waving his farewell again. Hetto looked out the window down at Shiro, body covered in a thick coat of yupper spunk. He exhaled the smoke out, watching him fall to his knees and doubling over.
“Cammander's real fucked up.”

 

-

 

“Alright, babe, you look into the camera there.” Cida whispered, rotating Shiro's head to the set-up in front of the bed.
“What's happening?”
“We're making some movies,” she rubbed his shoulders gently, “well, not with me. We know you can only get it up for dicks.” Shiro ignored her cold laughter as she smoothed her hand through his hair.
“Hetto has a real nice guy lined up for you, he's got a monster dick. Almost as big as a yupper.” She laughed again as Shiro tensed up under her rough touch. If only he could impale her along his prosthetic, just shutting that voice up, that laughter. “Anyway, little whore, you got some toys here, not like you really need it considerin' your daily schedule, but hey, play with yourself for the camera. Let's make Hetto some nice GAC, alright, babe?”
“Y-Yeah.”
“Good boy,” she handed him a large plug and some lube. She was right; it's not like after earlier he needed it.

 

Licking his dry lips, he slowly lathered it up and turned himself around, planting his face into the rough blankets and raising his ass. He angled it right and pushed it in slowly, making sure he made his moans sound needy. Was it bad he was recalling porn he used to watch? He didn't know. Acting was not his strong point, but then would aliens really notice? They didn't know enough about Earthlings, so maybe it was okay?
“Oh babe, you're doing a good job. Keep going, make it vibrate. Touch yourself some more, let's make people want you.” Cida purred as she snapped a few photos. Shiro turned the plug on, arching his back at the sensations as they shook through his body. At least with himself he could go at whatever pace he liked.

 

After maybe fifteen dobosh's, a large reptilian-looking alien stepped through the door, small sharp horns and spikes around his face, and scales covering most of the body he could see. The alien threw his clothes to the floor off-screen, and Shiro watched as the naked being approached, settling down next to Shiro and brushing his hand away from the different plug in his ass at this point. With ease, he flipped Shiro down to where a slit sat on his body, and pushed Shiro's face to it.
“Lick.”
Shiro hummed obediently and ran his tongue over and around the slit, watching between licks as the monster cock revealed itself. It was terrifying; bigger than Sendak's.
“Oh babe, you're gonna love that in your ass.” Cida chuckled. Shiro blinked up at her, mouth opening and closing as if to protest. He bit his tongue as he took the cock in his hands. He wasn't sure how he was going to manage, but he had to. He licked cautiously; this didn't taste too awful.

 

-

 

Between the wet noises, stifled grunts and soft moans, the bell around his neck jingled with each thrust. Shiro half-watched his reflection in the window as the Galra's sharply ridged cock struck against his prostate. His fingers curled into the sheets and he bucked his hips backwards, moaning hoarsely as sharp claws dragged along his skin.
“F-fuck,” the Galra, young at a guess since this one had pupils, grunted as he grabbed Shiro's waist and thrust sharply, knocking him back into the mattress. “Can't believe...I get to fuck an ex-Champion.” He panted, biting hard into Shiro's collar bone.
“Well, now you are,” Shiro managed to purr out.

 

He motioned for the Galra to pause and rotated onto his side as he brought his leg up.
“You can hit more that way, it'll feel good.” He gazed up under heavy eyes, pushing his hips toward the Galra. They watched him for a few ticks, before licking his lips and thrusting back in. Shiro screamed in pleasure, biting hard into the sheets. He felt a hand on his cock, rubbing the tip and two-movements old piercing. He let out small gaspy moans, spurring the Galra along with flattering remarks. Please, just one release. Shiro felt the tell-tale signs that the customer was close. The thrusts were erratic and quick, each one striking his prostate far too nicely. With a growl over a snarl, the Galra emptied themselves into Shiro's ass. He pushed Shiro's leg to the side, so he could look at the ex-Champion, damp and sweaty in the sheets below him. With a claw, he flicked the bell around his neck and flopped down on top of Shiro, his short fur tickled against the skin.
“I hope all Terran's are like you.”
“Why's that?”
“You feel good to fuck.” Red eyes looked down at him, then nipped along his jawline. “If I had the GAC, I'd like to fuck you in some pretty undergarments.”
Shiro forced a smile and rolled his head back to look out the window, noting his reflection as the Galra brought his clawed hands along his sides. It's all for the Holts.

 

-

 

“He's taken so much.”
“Too much if you ask me.”
“I think it's pretty hot.” The officer hissed as he shot his load down the abused throat. Shiro whined as he pulled away, swiping the come away from his lips and looking around for anyone else who dared think they could exhaust him. He may be panting, and felt ready to keel over, but he could keep going, he had to. He pushed himself back on the lightly barbed dick in his ass, at least focusing on that for now. It was better than thinking about how giddy he felt; how ready he was to collapse to the floor.

 

Hetto studied the scene below, glancing occasionally at the Commander who by all accounts seemed bored. “Prablem, Cammander?”
“No.”
“Ya don't look happy.”
“I was earlier, now he's just a mess.”
“Regrettin' it?” Hetto lit a cigarette, watching him consider the question.
“Only the number.”
“Was pretty high,” Hetto took a long drag, “took more'an I could, ya know?” He exhaled as the Commander rose to stare out the window. Shiro wouldn't see them; he had no idea they were all here.
“How many are left?”
“'bout ten.”
“Then he can finish up once they're done.” He drummed his fingers over the gauntlet, glare fixated on the human below as he took another officer in his mouth.

 

-

 

Shiro balled his fists in the teal strands, back arching against the wall as silvery hands teased his nipples. Nadiva poked the tip and under the piercing with his tongue, making Shiro shiver as he delicately licked his cock.
“How are you holding up?”
“Not now, please...”
“Very well.” Nadiva took Shiro in his mouth, smirking around the cock as Shiro pitched higher, grinding himself further into Nadiva's mouth. He tugged the hair harder, and felt a finger slowly stroke his abused hole.
“We don't have to do this.”
“Just fuck me, I want it.”
“Tell me to stop if it's too much.”
“Yeah.” Shiro pushed himself back into Nadiva's mouth, the other allowing him to set the pace. It wasn't long until he reached orgasm – it'd been denied so much lately and he had no privacy to do so himself. This whole thing with Nadiva had started from nothing – well, maybe all the hushed conversation at night and curling into each other had something to do with it. Either way; it had to be quick. Nadiva had a client shortly, whereas Shiro had started earlier and was 'free'.

 

Nadiva pushed him into the wall, settling down to run his tongue over his entrance, before carefully easing one of the hemipenes in. Shiro gasped, pushing his hips back. Nadiva chuckled as he pulled Shiro by the knee up, wrapping his leg around his waist and pushing inside. The pace was fast, with Nadiva moaning quietly in his ear. Shiro thrust himself back as quick as he could, biting down on his lip to stifle back the moans. Nadiva pulled out without warning and spun Shiro around. With ease, he lifted him and speared him on the hemipene.
“I'd rather look at you,” his voice rumbled in Shiro's ear as he ran his tongue down his neck, nipping affectionately at the collar bone.
“Fuck,” Shiro moaned, bracing himself against Nadiva as he worked his hips back. The two built up a good pace, Nadiva stimulating his prostate in a not-so-painful way that made Shiro feel giddy and helpless.

 

Teeth sank in to Shiro's shoulder, and he felt Nadiva shoot his load up into his ass. They remained in position, until Nadiva slowly planted Shiro's feet back on the floor and gave him a quick kiss, Shiro grabbing his hair and making it deeper.
“I must go.”
“Be safe.”
“Thank you.” Nadiva waved to Shiro and grabbed a towel. He watched him go, scrubbing his face as he turned to clean the evidence away. It ended up being impromptu, his thoughts shifting to the last time he had impromptu shower sex with Sendak. He chewed his lips, both with people who'd raped him. Well, at least Nadiva had apologised and not thrown him in here.

 

“Hey Princess, hurry your ass up. You've got a visitor.” Cida shouted through the water.
“I don't have any clients!”
“Oh, this one isn't your client.” Cida laughed and vanished from the entrance. Shiro narrowed his eyes, who the fuck would be here to see him? Sendak? He quickly finished up, moving towards a towel and drying himself down as quick as he could. He'd not been allowed clothes, knowing it was all for the purpose of humiliation. He threw the towel over his head, wringing his hair out and then combing his fingers through it, before leaving the shower.

 

He followed Cida through the halls, rubbing his skin to keep himself warm.
“Oh babe, you're gonna be so excited to see who it is.” She cooed in that infuriating way. Shiro remained quiet as she ushered him into a lift, certain they'd just passed by one of the rooms he'd spent a fair few nights in since he came here. She bounced on her toes and flicked through her communicator, before shoving Shiro into the wall, raising the camera high to take a few photos of him, pulling his body this way and that.
“You're so photogenic, although better when you're on film. Such a shame; such a waste,” she tugged at Shiro's cock, rubbing her fingers around the head. Her smile broadened as she dug her nails in. Shiro closed his eyes and averted his gaze to anywhere but her. He hated rough stimuli, but the Galra had gradually eroded that away, like everything else. He tried to push down the heat in his gut, hoping she wouldn't grab at him again.

 

The doors opened and she guided him by his shoulder along a dimly lit corridor that stank of smoke until the stopped in front of a large door.
“In you go, babe.” She winked at him, pressing her hand to the panel and shoving Shiro through the door. He stumbled into the room, his body heavy from exhaustion.
“It's a change seeing you in the flesh.”
Automatically, Shiro dropped to his knees, arm crossed over his chest.
“Commander.” Shiro held the position rigidly. He heard Sendak rise from the chair he was sat in and could feel sweat at the base of his spine as he listened to each heavy footstep, the clawed tips of the boots clattering against the metal floor.
“Stand.” Shiro stood.
“Attention.” He changed position again. Sendak circled around him, examining every aspect of his body; the new bruises, cuts and tears. Content, he returned to his chair and settled again.

 

“Here.” He pointed at the spot between his legs, and Shiro let his feet carry him. He let Sendak push him down by his shoulder and stared up at him like some type of deity, licking his dry lips. Sendak dragged a claw slowly over his mouth and he could feel his body shiver in anticipation. Shiro'd been dreaming more about Sendak. He'd been pining after his touch during the group sessions or with other Galra.
“Oh? Does that feel good?” Sendak did it again, and Shiro nodded his head in agreement, opening his mouth a tiny bit. Shiro went to open his mouth, but paused.
“You may speak.”
“Thank you, Commander,” he licked his lips again, “In answer, yes. I've missed this.”
“Really? You seem to have been enjoying yourself here from what I've seen.”
“I...” Shiro knew the remark was cutting, but it didn't matter, “may have enjoyed some bits, but I'm only...accepting my place. I'm nothing of consequence, just an alien whore.” Please, just put your hands in my hair, rub my jawline. Anything. Sendak scrutinised him for a few ticks, then slowly trailed his claws over the burn marks. Shiro leaned in again, and Sendak pulled his hand away.
“What place have you accepted?”
“I,” Shiro took in a deep breath, “this one; on my knees, for you.” He swallowed, “I was acting above my station, demanded more of you when you are so good to me. Commander, I would be honoured,” he bowed his head low, “if you could forgive my ignorance and hostility; let me please earn back your trust.”

Chapter Text

Sendak wanted to take the slave back now. He swore to himself he'd give it five movements, but if this was the result after almost three, in retrospect he should have brought him here earlier. That was, of course, in theory. He still needed testing. “Forgiveness is a possibility.” He touched the slave's lips again, and slowly eased a finger inside; those grey eyes bright up as he licked and suckled it. “Please, Commander,” the slave whispered between licks, taking Sendak's finger to the knuckle, “let me prove to you I'm worthy of forgiveness.” Sendak snapped his metal claws and the slave stood. He eased his finger out and rubbed it over one of the nipple piercings, pressing the nub down and forcing a sharp moan. “Good boy.” He patted his lap and without hesitation, the slave crawled on top.

 

Shiro was pleased Sendak allowed him this. He didn't know where to put his hands, whether or not the Commander had any preferences presently. Like Sendak could read Shiro's mind, he took his hands and brought them to the bottom of his body suit. “Tell me what you've missed,” Shiro nodded slowly, bowing his head to Sendak again. “There's a lot. I miss waking up next to you, and mornings – showers, making you tea,” Shiro unclipped the suit slowly, “then there's sparring. I think that's my favourite thing.”
“Anything else?”
“This,” Shiro ran his hand over down the ridges, stroking the top roughly. “You like it rough.”

 

“I do.” Sendak watched his slave settle back between his legs, running both hands along his length. He twisted one hand at the base and squeezed the head, rubbing his thumb over each spike. Sendak's ears perked up and he arched his back in the seat. It seemed he'd learned something of use here. “Do that again.” He ordered, and the slave complied. He applied his teeth against the ridges, but Sendak would allow that. “You were right to punish me by sending me here. I deserved it.”
“You did, but like your combat ability, I believe you have the capacity to learn – become better.”
“I want to be, for you.” the slave murmured as he eased Sendak's length into his mouth. He came close to the hilt before he pulled back up, looking up at him through dark eyelashes as he teased the tip with his tongue. Sendak growled, pushing his claws into the slaves hair and forcing him down. The slave made an appreciative groan, digging his teeth into the base as Sendak went to pull him back. This was acceptable; he was still coherent of mind unlike Yastara.

 

The more Shiro got into it, the better it felt. He could feel the warmth pool in his groin and up through his chest. There was no anxiety; no tenseness or pressure. He could enjoy this and not feel bad about it. Sendak and the others had told him to accept it, and finally he understood what they meant. He'd been trying to help him, but Shiro was too stubborn to listen: too stupid. He pulled away, trails of spit connecting his mouth and Sendak's cock. “You were right about so many things. I didn't trust you – too scared.” He confessed. “What did you fear?” Sendak rested his face in his prosthetic hand. “Well take this,” Shiro tugged at Sendak's length roughly, “it's felt really good – you even said if I didn't misbehave or act like a dreck I'd enjoy it more. That's what I was scared of: enjoying it.” He teased Sendak's head again. “You'd see it as ridiculous Earth sentiments; but if I enjoyed it, I was scared I'd stop thinking about those I wanted to protect. I was terrified with how wrong the situation was, but since I've been out here, I've met so many aliens who've been through so much more than me, I realised my thinking was...”
“Naive? Incorrect?”
“Yeah.” Shiro felt the hand pull away and looked up to Sendak as he placed it on the arm of his chair.

 

“It seems that your planet's ways of thinking have harmed you. It's a shame,” Sendak leaned over and pulled his slave from the floor, settling him in his lap. He allowed the slave to move his wet cock around to his ass cheeks, slowly grinding against it and making little whines. “I don't know if there's a way to undo all that damage.” Sendak purred as he noticed the slave's cheeks turn redder. “Maybe...” he noted the slave glance to the side, expression that of uncertainty, “tell me if this sounds naïve, but maybe I need...”
“Need?” Sendak had to keep his tone even.
“Re-educating? Rebuilding from the ground up-” Sendak forced his head up, leaning in close, “I'm sorry. I asked too much, it was stupid-” He could be quiet now. Sendak pushed his tongue deep into the slave's mouth, holding his head in place as he felt the body in his lap just melt away. Sendak let out a long purr as he moved one of the slave's legs over the side of the chair and pushed his length in, the heady moan spurring him to make sharp thrusts. Others may have touched his slave, but he was the only one who'd make him react this way.

 

-

 

“W-What've you done to him?” Matt couldn't sink any lower then his knees, but he wished the ground would swallow him up as he could only watch Shiro's body slammed onto a desk, legs spread apart and pushed back into again. “We haven't done anything to him.” Haxus, the bastard who'd taken his dad, answered, filing his claws as he lazily watched the video. “How can you sit there doing that?”
“How can you sit there and not try to stop this, hm? The door's open, you were told you can end it at any time.” Matt heard Haxus move from his position, the footfalls heavy on the ground until he was cast in the Galra's shadow.

 

“You're weak.” Haxus spat. Matt's body tensed, but he stayed rooted to his position in fear. “I don't w-want to die.”
“I see.” He could hear the smile in Haxus's voice and something dropped even further in his stomach. But what could he do? Really? There was nothing. Even if he somehow could overpower the two Galra, receiving no mortal wounds, there was getting out of here alive, getting off the ring in Central Command with fleets of battle cruisers, and he had no idea where Earth was. Fighting was useless, he'd learned that from the two failed mutinies he'd seen take place on the labour planet he was on. Half were shipped to the arena, the others executed by a firing squad.

 

“Is it because,” Matt jerked at the hot breath in his ear as hands massaged his shoulders, “just like me, you like watching it? Perhaps, it's a bit arousing?” Matt grabbed the arm before it made contact with what was between his legs. “N-No! How can you- why would you suggest that?” His voice pitched high as he tore his eyes from the screen, staring fearfully into the gleaming yellow ones. “Well, if you cared about your friend like he does for you, then you'd surely do something. Unless you're more selfish then he is-”
“Shiro is not selfish! He's the kindest person I know...always there for you, helping others. You don't know him, you don't know how he's been there for me, for his friends-”
“I know your friend quite intimately.” Haxus purred, closing the gap again between their faces. Matt wanted to be sick; he didn't need Haxus to explain – didn't want him to.

 

“You know, it's taken quite a while to get him like that. It's amazing what a few movements and a change of scenery can do. Maybe,” Haxus's continued, “he'd like a friend to play with? It must get quite lonely for him, when he's not fighting or receiving.” Haxus yanked Matt up by the hair and reached for the blaster, holding it lazily in his hand as he steered Matt from the room. “Since your cowardice is making me sick, you're going in. I think it'll be nice for your friend to finally see you.”

 

-

 

“Commander, p-please.” Shiro sunk his canines into his lip as Sendak pulled back, leaving the tip inside, before thrusting roughly back again, hitting his prostate just right. “Look at you, coming undone beneath me,” Sendak's grip around his wrists tightened as he pulled himself back out. Shiro knew Sendak liked this; his lips had tugged upwards when he confessed to Sendak. If he had to; he'd avow all his sins and crimes and seek redemption or retribution, whatever the Commander deemed necessary for his atonement.

 

Shiro ground his hips back against Sendak, eyes fluttering closed as he could feel the base swell. “You're close,” Shiro breathed. Sendak chuckled darkly as he pulled out almost all the way, breaking the rhythm. “Not yet, slave.” He smiled as the tip eased out, leaving Shiro whimpering as Sendak pulled away, gazing at him almost spent on the desk. Neither of them had came yet, and the exhaustion was starting to catch up with Shiro. It was the relief of seeing him, how amazing it felt, the fact he was being so good to him – he didn't deserve it. So even though he wanted Sendak right now, he knew this was the right choice, there was a reason, and so he would blindly accept it for better or worse.

 

The door opened as Sendak lifted the slave from the desk. It seemed Haxus had to bring the Terran instead of what they'd hoped. “At attention, you have a guest,” Sendak let go of the slave, who took his stance on command. “Haxus, let my dear slave see his visitor.”
“Apologies, Commander, he's been very shy.”
“Well we can't have that.” Sendak scoffed, returning to his chair and getting comfortable.

 

Shiro's heart felt like it was going to stop as Matt came into the view. Instinctively, he went to cover himself, but stopped mid-way as a warning growl came from his side. “Remain at attention.” Shiro nodded, cheeks burning as Matt received an eyeful of everything. He watched Matt look anywhere but at him. He understood why but it stung. “H-Hey.” Matt finally offered, his smile forced. “At ease, you may speak.” Shiro nodded, feeling Matt's gaze on him. “It's been phoebs.” Shiro's face softened as he looked over Matt. His hair was longer then Shiro's by a few inches. He looked drawn, thin. “What've they done to you?” Shiro moved cautiously until he abandoned his reservations, bringing Matt into a tight hug. Shiro felt him hesitate, before raising his arms slowly. “Just regular labour planet things, living in a prison.” He muttered, pulling away and scowling at the two Galra; their expressions impassive.

 

“It's nice that you shown yourself,” Sendak finally offered. He clicked his fingers, and the slave came to his side. The other Terran swallowed, expression somewhere between disgust and pity. He motioned lazily at the floor, and his slave settled at his feet like the very good pet he was being presently. “My slave has been very keen to keep a vow to your kin. Your father, I believe?” He didn't wait for the Terran to respond. “Sadly,” he ran his hand through the slave's hair, earning a small hum, “that vow has caused him to make some very bad decisions, as you can see.” Sendak motioned to his slave, while keeping eye contact with the small human in front of him. “I would like you to explain why, then, you have not gone out of your way to try protect your fellow Terrran?” Sendak's mouth curled into a dark sneer as he balled his fist in the slave's hair.

 

Matt opened and closed his mouth, not certain what the Galra meant by his words. “I-I don't understand.”
“Really? You had the option to stop what I was doing to my slave if you so wished.” Matt swallowed as Shiro gave him a puzzled look. “Lieutenant, I think the human needs to be educated.” Matt backed away as Haxus pulled a device from his pocket, and turned his attention to the screen behind him as it lit up. He heard Shiro make a pathetic squeak, and understood quickly why. “This was the quintant after my slave injured you. He won in the arena, but sadly the new Champion defeated him dishonourably.” The Galra's voice rumbled like thunder. Matt's blood ran cold when he heard choked wheezes behind him, as the Shiro on the screen lay blood-covered and the sword inserted inside. “Do not turn away!” Matt shuddered as he watched the rest of it unfold. It kept going, and going.

 

“That isn't the only instance.” The video paused and Matt slowly turned to see Shiro pulled up in the Galra's lap, claws tracing a set of burn marks. “After my Lieutenant let him know about your status, which he traded his sexual servitude for, I may add, he tried to escape. He almost did if he could interface with anything. His actions resulted in the death of an officer, and another being placed in our medical bay. He was likely trying to find you. I needed to punish him. These burns are your fault.” He then lifted the prosthetic arm. “He accepted this to become stronger – to protect those he cares about.” Matt watched Shiro nod slowly, eyes fixated on the screen. “Can you guess who that might be?”
“M-Myself and my dad.” Matt's throat was dry as he staggered backwards, back hitting the wall as sweat trickled down his neck. Shiro had gone beyond what he should have; he didn't have to do all of this, no one would expect this much of him. “Is your friend correct, slave?”

 

Shiro pulled himself out of his trance as he whipped his head back to Sendak. He'd been half-listening, too caught up in what had been playing in front of him. He'd remembered bits but this, this made his skin crawl. He was fucked by his own sword handle. He looked to his left hand, tracing the spots where the spines had punctured right through. “Slave.” Sendak growled. “Y-Yeah. S-Sorry.” He leaned back into Sendak's armour and looked to Matt, now staring wide-eyed at him. He cocked his head to the side, uncertain why he seemed so surprised. “I made a promise to Sam to keep you safe, and of course I want to see you both free. I'd...do anything to make that a reality, even at the expense of myself.” He forced a smile, but the look on Matt's face said he could see right through it. “I'm your lieutenant and friend, Matt, you're like a brother to me. Of course I'd want to protect you.”

 

“S-Shiro.” Matt croaked, his body sliding down the wall as he shook his head. “Shiro, please, you...you shouldn't carry that burden yourself.”
“Matt, you're only eighteen, you've only just graduated from the Academy. As your superior officer, I have to protect you. So long as I'm...behaving for the Commander,” Shiro looked to Sendak, who squeezed his waist to continue, “you're safe.”
“He's taking advantage of you! He's hurt you when you 'misbehaved', but do I look hurt to you?” The corners of Matt's eyes prickled with hot tears as he glared at the Commander. Shiro was released from his grasp and slowly paced over, settling on his knees in front of him. “Matt, you haven't been hurt because I've complied. I may have...fought back, but in the end, the Commander was truthful. Here you are, unharmed and alive.” He ran his human hand over Matt's cheek, eyes soft as he petted the uneven stubble. “Commander Sendak isn't that bad, honestly. He's been...good to me, even if I am here.”
“Where is here?”
“It's a,” Shiro bit his lip, “brothel.” Matt's face paled as he repeated the word back. “Why did he send you here?”
“I was acting petulant, obstinate.” Shiro shrugged his shoulders, “but Commander Sendak may be able to forgive my infractions. I did drunkenly disrespect him in his clan home.”

 

There was too much information to process for Matt. He shook his head, this was wrong. All of this was wrong. The legendary pilot; Takashi Shirogane, knelt naked in front of him covered in scars, bites, bruises and cuts, and spoke like he was defending an abusive partner. “S-Shiro. I'm sorry.”
“For what?”
“This. All of this. It's not your fault, it's,” he paused, closing his eyes and opening them, “I know dad cares about you, and I do too, but you shouldn't of...how do I say this? You didn't need to try and protect us at the cost to yourself. You've suffered so much and I...I am so honoured you consider me worthy of protection, but you needed to focus on keeping yourself alive and sane, too. You've done so much, and I don't think I'd have your strength.” Matt brought his shaky hand up to Shiro's human wrist, softly gripping it.

 

The prosthetic hand curled around Matt's forearm, ripping it away and leaving scratches over the skin. “S-Shiro?”
“What did you say?”
“W-what?”
“I didn't need to try and protect you? I should have focused on myself? How selfish do you think I am?” Shiro pushed both his hands against the wall, glowering down at Matt, who struggled against the prosthetic weakly. “I-I didn't mean it like that! Shiro, please understand! I'm worried about you, you're not yourself!”
“What does that mean?” Shiro hissed, muscles burning as he brought Matt's head up with his human hand. “Y-You're talking about Sendak like he's some s-saviour! They're poisoning you, breaking you!” He coughed when Shiro brought the grip tight around his throat. Matt tried to push out with his legs, tears rolling down his cheeks as Shiro's gaze became vacant.

 

“Slave, release.”
The sharp command shot through Shiro's head. He released Matt and pulled away, drawing both hands to his lap and sat glaring at Matt. “You don't know what you're talking about.”
“It's as clear as daylight, Shiro.” Matt coughed, hand rubbing his throat but eyes wide. “You've been broken down and manipulated by them, for some messed up game. They don't care about you-”
“Because you care about me? What did Sendak mean when he said you had the option to stop something? What didn't you stop?” Shiro had to restrain himself from moving forward and gripping Matt again. He couldn't believe how insensitive he'd been; Shiro had gone through so much; too much. He'd been humiliated, raped and tortured and allowed it so they'd be safe. What did it get him? All the times he'd wanted to succumb, all the times he'd wanted to end it. He needed Sendak to re-educate him, it was a shame he couldn't just purge himself of the thinking, start all over again. He shook his head at Matt, “officer, answer me, now.”

 

“I-”
“Your friend has been here before you were taken to see the Commander. As soon as you stepped into this room, he had the option of coming along.” Haxus smirked. It was exciting to see where this was going to go. He watched the slave's eyes narrow and head turn back. “Is that true?”
“Y-Yeah. I was scared, Shiro, I didn't know – there was nothing I could do!”
“Except he could watch, and had time to ask me questions.” Haxus's smirk grew wider as he stared at the small human. The slave wasn't facing him, thankfully.

 

“I-I was scared, Shiro.”
“You were scared.” He repeated. Shiro mouthed the words again and closed his eyes, pulling away from Matt and rising. Matt watched him pace alongside the window, pressing his head to the glass. “Scared.”
“Y-Yeah.” Matt didn't like this; didn't trust it. This wasn't Shiro. “I w-wasn't strong enough to protect you. I-I'm so sorry.” He sobbed, letting his head drop into his palms.
“You're sorry?”
Matt looked up through tear-stained eyes as he felt the cold metal fingers wrap around his throat. He coughed and hacked as he was lifted clean from the floor and slammed into the wall. His head throbbed, and he looked down through blurry vision to see steely grey eyes scowl up at him. “You think saying you're scared is going to make it better? You don't think I've been terrified? I watched them cut off my own arm, murdered innocent aliens...I've lost,” he paused, running his human hand through his hair, “my mind. But you, for all intents and purposes, you've effectively told me you'd sit back and let me be violated because you're scared? What are you scared of?”
“Death! Never seeing anyone again! I never meant to hurt you – you're misunderstanding-”
“I understand, Matt.” The edge from Shiro's voice vanished as Matt was dropped to the ground. He grabbed at his throat again, his stomach uneasy as he watched Shiro stagger over to the Galra. He settled between Sendak's legs again and raised his prosthetic arm. Sendak shrugged his shoulders and pressed his fingers to the metal.

 

Click.

 

Shiro bowed to Sendak and pivoted on the spot, flexing his fingers. He'd give Matt something to be scared about. He felt sick; sick of Matt, himself, this entire situation. He needed to push it down, let it wash over him. He'd be okay, he always wound up in a good place eventually. He pushed down the suffocating feeling, and grabbed the front of the prison garb. He dragged the shrieking human towards the huge window and with as much energy as he could muster, threw him to the floor and drew back the prosthetic arm. It glowed as he shattered the glass, shards raining down to the floor below. It was quite a drop. He cleared a big enough hole in the window and grabbed the material around Matt's neck.

 

“Shiro, don't. Please, please don't do this. Shiro. Shiro? Shiro, no, no!” Matt scrabbled for purchase on something, but his nails squealed against the metal uselessly he was forced head first over the shards. He screamed out in pain as they slit through his skin, and bit-by-bit, he was pushed out the window. He'd die if he hit the ground. He'd never see his mom, dad, or Katie again. “S-Shiro! P-Please!” He cried, tears rolling off his face to hit the floor below. His neck was going to snap- His body was weightless for a split-second and he screeched, closing his eyes.

 

“Did you really think I'd let your fall to your death?” Shiro's voice was distant and cold. Matt couldn't speak as he whimpered, and felt the tightness around his ankles increase and his body lift slowly. He watched the ground drift away, his body racking itself with sharp bursts of terrified laughter as he was yanked through the window. “So did you feel like that?”
“W-what do you mean?” Matt tried to even his breathing, stop laughing. Why was he doing that at a time like this? What was wrong with him? “When you were watching Sendak and I earlier, is that how you felt? That scared?” Shiro's arm activated again and Matt ceased laughing. He pushed his body close together, eyeing the arm fearfully. “I...”
“So no.” Shiro sighed, the arm deactivating as he turned on his heel.

 

Sendak watched him settle again between his thighs. He'd thoroughly been enjoying the exchange between the two humans. It was fascinating to see how their mental states were so fragile. It was good intelligence information for when they'd invade Earth, especially if this was the norm for the species under intense mental stressors. “What's wrong?” He let the slave place his face against his palm. “I'm tired, Commander.”
“You don't want to spend any more time with your friend?”
“Thank you for bringing him, but no. I'd rather spend what little free time with you.” The slave looked at him through heavy eyelids. Sendak stroked his jawline slowly, smile broadening as he looked over at the shaking human. “What would you have us do with the human?”
“Whatever you want. I just don't want to see him right now, Commander.”
“I see.” Sendak pushed himself up from the chair, the slave scooting to the side as he approached the fear-stricken human. He nudged him with the gauntlet, a strangled cry coming from the boy. “Lieutenant, I will leave the human in your capable hands. I shall be taking my leave with the slave.”
“Is there anything you'd like me to do, Commander?” Haxus stalked over and stood over the body on the floor. “Well as the slave has said, whatever you want. You have free reign to entertain yourself with it. You have the night, after all.” Sendak and Haxus shared a knowing smirk. The human beneath them sobbing as he tried to pull away. Haxus grabbed him by the shoulder and hauled him up to his feet. “Then, by your leave, Commander, I will entertain myself.” He pushed the human to the desk, claws tracing over his hips.

 

The click of claws prompted Shiro up, and on burning feet, he came to Sendak's side, eyes noting Matt against the desk Sendak had been fucking him on earlier. It made his stomach knot up but, if Matt couldn't even return the favour on the possibility it was rape, well, why should he care any more? It was karma. “Come along, slave.” Sendak ushered him from the room, Matt's sobs and cries muted as the door closed behind them. “Where're we going, Commander?”
“I booked a nice room for us tonight on the basis you were good,” Sendak muttered as he guided Shiro through the tight corridors. “You have been better then what I expected.”
“I'm happy I've pleased you.”
“You can please me more shortly.” Sendak purred as they reached a flight of stairs. Shiro paused at the bottom, “I'm sorry, Commander, but I don't think I can handle stairs right now.”
“That's fine,” Sendak hoisted Shiro over his shoulder, rubbing his thigh carefully, “I imagine you're very tired.”
“Thank you.” Shiro traced his hands down the armour. This reminded him of another time so many phoebs ago.

 

They entered a room that smelt sweet, likely from the incense that burned in small holders. Sendak gently laid him into the soft sheets, and Shiro felt like he could drift off right away. He pulled himself up into the pillows, flopping down and stroking the fabric lazily. From the corner of his eye, he watched Sendak strip out of his armour. “There's liquids on the side. Get yourself a drink, you've been shouting and screaming a lot tonight – your throat must hurt.”
“T-Thank you, Commander.” Shiro slowly pulled himself up, moving groggily to the edge of the bed and noting the bottles. Water, thank fuck. He picked up the jug and poured a full glass, necking it back and grabbing another. It soothed his aching throat. He felt the bed shift next to him and claws rake down his back. “When you're ready, shall we pick back up where we left off?”
“Please.” Shiro turned, offering him a soft smile and motioning to the glasses. Sendak nodded, and Shiro poured him a drink.

 

-

 

It had been half a movement since Sendak had visited, and Shiro was counting down the quintants until he'd be out of here. Cida was motioning for him to play up for the camera as Hetto fucked him into the mattress, and he mustered a few moans. He just felt empty, and it wasn't down to not seeing Sendak. There was something else; he couldn't place it, but something felt missing - lacking. He moaned, arching his back and biting the sheets with his teeth as Hetto snapped his hips back and forth, the tail whipping his ass cheeks hard. Perhaps it was the lack of training? He was missing it, even if he only had one quintant with the other gladiators. He let his mind gloss over; he'd think about it later.

 

-

 

“I heard you had the other human visit?” Nadiva whispered, rubbing Shiro's back as they laid on the mattress. “Yeah, I did.” Shiro let out a soft hiss as he kneaded a knotted muscle. He had a lot of those lately. “I don't understand why they'd bring him over.”
“I don't either.”
“Did you enjoy seeing him? It was the little one you wanted to protect, yes?”
“Not really. I don't want to talk about it,” Shiro turned his head, “he's not worth it.”
“Did he betray you?”
“You could say that.”
“I saw him; being dragged out by the lanky bastard.”
“Haxus?”
“I prefer to call him lanky bastard. The human's suit was torn to ribbons, he was bleeding. I think he must've,” Nadiva paused, “violated your friend.”
“Oh. That's a shame.” Shiro felt his chest twinge in pain. “You don't sound sincere.”
“Oh, sorry. Yeah, that's terrible to go through. I bet he was scared.”
“That sounds less sincere.” Nadiva hissed, pulling Shiro over onto his back. “What happened?”
“He betrayed me. That's it. No more.” He pushed Nadiva's hand away and rolled over to face the wall again, closing his eyes and praying he could get some sleep. The empty feeling in his chest a dull pain now.

 

-

 

What am I living for? What's my purpose? To just entertain? Shiro let out a moan as he felt the alien clamp around him, arching it's back. The Galra sat watching seemed pleased, ordering him to fuck her slave. Shiro nodded curtly and grabbed the tiny pair of hips, digging his fingers in hard enough to leave bruises as he pulled out and thrust hard back in. He let his eyes fall closed as he worked up a decent pace – it'd been too long since he was giving and using the muscles again felt draining on top of exhaustion. Is our purpose to grow stronger? Earn freedom? Can we earn freedom from the Galra? That's something to find out. What about to fight, but then is that not entertainment in of itself? He didn't know for certain. We liked the idea of space exploration...perhaps we can work towards that? If we behave, the Commander might take us out to see new places? It's a possibility. The alien under him keened, bucking their hips for more. Shiro spanked them, grabbing their thin wrists and pressing them against their back as he hammered inside, earning choked moans from the body underneath him. The Galra purred in the corner, undoing her body suit.

 

-

 

“It's nice having you here,” Thace purred, nuzzling into Ulaz's neck. He chuckled, giving his lover an affectionate lick. “I've enjoyed no interruptions in our quality time.” Ulaz traced his claws over Thace's side, a low chuckle escaping his lips. “Later. I've got to get back to work in a varga.”
“Well, I'll be here when you return.”
“It's nice, but are you not worried?”
“You mean about Shiro?”
“Yeah. It's just a surprise that Sendak's not demanded you go to his quarters in so long. I mean, I don't agree with what he does, but it's been...four movements now?” Thace stroked Ulaz's cheek. Ulaz pursed his lips as he sat up. He took his communicator from the side and flicked through his messages. “You're right. I mean I told the Commander he needed to let the prosthetic settle and that Shiro needed to focus on getting a full range of movement back for the arena.”

 

“Didn't you say his mental state was a bit questionable?” Thace sat up, the sheets settling around his hips. “Mm,” Ulaz narrowed his eyes as he typed out a message and hit send. “I told him to be careful and not to exacerbate the issue with high-stress situations. He's been through a lot in a short period, and any unnecessary stressors could cause him to spiral or shut down. At least that's my guess, I'm no expert in human mental health.” Ulaz paused as he stared at the screen. He wasn't sure if it was worry from what Thace had said, or something was actually wrong, but something twisted deep in Ulaz's gut that left him feeling anxious.

 

-

 

“Cammander, I gotta say, ya slave's earned me a lotta GAC.” Hetto smirked as he settled on the desk, lighting a cigarette and taking a long drag, a big smile on his face as he exhaled. “Itsa shame he's gotta go, ya know?”
“Well, I am very pleased with your work.” Sendak cocked his head to the side as he watched the woman, Cida, he believed, tie a blindfold around his slave's eyes. His ears twitched in curiosity; he'd not considered sensory deprivation as a possibility. So simple, but such a forgetful means. “How's he been since last movement?”
“Some days 'e's here, otha days, not so much.” Hetto shrugged as he offered Sendak a cigarette. Sendak waved it away as the woman pulled the chains taut; the slave raised from the floor, arms and legs splayed out. “Danno what ya did ta him, but 'e's been vacant, ya know?”
“I did what was necessary.”
“S'long as it was' worth it.” Hetto shrugged his shoulders, face unreadable as he watched from his perch.

 

“Since it's tha las' sesh, decided ta make ma GAC's-worth outta it. Rented tha time outta tha highest bidda, ya? Got q-u-i-t-e an offa tha' I could't rafuse.” Hetto muttered as Cida left Shiro suspended as he looked through the recently replaced glass. He was playing with fire, but this was his domain; the Commander couldn't touch him here. His business was legal, and even then any 'proof' on other matters would lead to implicating the Galran Commander sat in his eyeline, considering what evidence he possessed. He didn't believe for a second a Galra could keep their word, even if he'd explicitly stated so several movements ago.

 

-

 

The restraints bit into his wrists and ankles; it was similar to the first time with Sendak, except he wasn't floating in the air. He didn't like the feeling; he had no awareness of where he was, and all the slight movements his body made in the chains had him worried where he'd end up. Logically it was stupid; he could only remain in one place, but he was quickly losing his sense of bearing; he imagined this would be what it felt like free-floating in space.

 

He heard the heavy doors creak open, and uselessly moved his head from side to side, turning to gain an idea of where the footsteps were. It was a fruitless effort as everything echoed around him. He could pick out the heavy footfalls of boots on metal. Whatever was coming towards him was large to make such a sound. He could feel a shiver run along his spine; the first one in a while that filled his bones with dread. Was it because he couldn't see? Perhaps. He could hear the hum of the recording drone around him. He'd started to notice it during certain sessions. Always once a quintant. The footsteps came to a halt and his body tensed. For dobosh's he could hear nothing but the sound of breathing and his own heartbeat. The silence was deafening.

 

“Sendak is a fuckin' dreck if he thought this wouldn't happen.” Shiro's head bolted up, trying to pinpoint the location of the voice. That weird accent; he knew it but couldn't place it. “Leavin' you here without your collar? Oh, you must have pissed him off somethin' fierce if he's abandoned you to this place. Tell me, whore, what did you do?” He felt large sharp claws grip his chin and tilt it up roughly, the smell of alcohol on his breath. “Talk, that's an order.” Shiro swallowed and licked his dry lips. “I wrongly called his abilities into question.”
“Which means what?” Shiro wasn't expecting a punch to the gut. He bit his tongue as he screamed, likely hacking spit and blood to the floor. “J-Just as I said!”
“For a whore like you to call him into question, he really has grown soft and weak! Here was me thinkin' he'd tired of his fuck hole, but you, a human, managed to upset him? It's like my day's gettin' better and better.” The Galra laughed, painfully squeezing his face. “Oh, whore, you'd be better with a new master. If I kept you, you could be an excellent bed warmer for Champion.”

 

“Y-You're Ranveig-” another gut punch. “C-Commander...Ranveig.” Shiro corrected himself as he coughed again, the chains rattling overhead. “Commander or Warlord. Unlike Sendak, I'm known for my skills in battle. He is nothing more than a glorified bed warmer for the Emperor.” Ranveig spat, dragging his claws over Shiro's shoulder. Shiro tried to suppress a hiss, dropping his head low as the claws pulled away from his ass cheeks. He could feel the drag marks burn against his flesh. “He's never had to earn anything in his life.” Ranveig snarled, punching Shiro's side hard. He let out a sharp scream, body swinging like a ragdoll in the restraints. “He just received you for no reason from the Emperor and swans about the place so self-important.” Shiro yelped when his thigh was grabbed, the skin and muscles twisted in opposing directions sharply. For all of Ranveig's bitching, he sounded jealous more than anything else.

 

“That doesn't sound like the Commander I know.” Shiro muttered hoarsely, regretting his decision immediately. His loyalty lay with Sendak only; and this Galra was one that he hated. He could see why. “And what do you know?”
“I saw him most days, before I was here. You just don't know hi-” he screamed as a fist connected with the side of his jaw, the bone shattering on impact. Shiro spat and coughed blood, tears streaming down his face. “That dreck and I have more history then you could imagine. Did he ever tell you how he lost his arm?” He pulled Shiro up by his hair, not that he could see him through the blindfold. “He lost it to me.”

 

-

 

“Ya don't seem pleased, Cammander.” Hetto was having to stifle back a laugh as he watched the Galran's fur bristle out. He may be silent, but the fluffy sub-species was the easiest to read. “Ya probably shouldn't 'ave said to saprise ya,” he wandered over and stood next to the chair, toying with the knife lazily in his tail, “'cause eventually ya gonna get a nasty shock.”
“It sounds as if you intended this to happen.”
“Can't see tha future.” Hetto replied, watching the Galran's rigid posture in the glass, eyes drifting to Cida and one his body guards stood behind them both, blasters trained on their guest. “I see.” He growled, prosthetic claws digging through the metal side of the chair.

 

-

 

“If you were breedable I'd get more enjoyment out of doin' this to you.” Ranveig was somewhere, but Shiro didn't know where. All he could muster was pathetic whines and sobs as his body ached from the abuse and from the chains cutting deep into his skin. “See, at least I could pretend that Champion was breedable the few times I've fucked it, but between you and me, I don't find this attractive.” He tugged Shiro's cock for emphasis. So he was behind him. “Havin' said that, the idea of fuckin' up Sendak's little toy is even more arousin'.” Shiro made a panicked noise in his throat when he felt a large hand smack and grab his hip, dragging him in the chains against something hard and extra spiky. “I really hope you don't enjoy it.” Ranveig snarled, as he clapped his other hand on Shiro's hip and forced him against the tip. The noise that escaped his, he presumed, bloody lips, didn't sound like it belonged to him. He felt every barbed ridge of Ranveig push dry and slow against his unprepared walls. He could feel it sting, burn, and tear.

 

Ranveig was punishingly fast and rough. Shiro heard the chains rattle and metal ping, his arms becoming lax and front falling forward. His front was grabbed and he was pulled up, the barbed cock pushing sharper into his body. “I could shatter both these arms of yours,” he muttered, Shiro feeling rough patches of fur against his shoulder blades. He couldn't speak, but made some garbled noise of protest as best he could. Ranveig dug his claws and teeth in, both of them breaking the skin.

 

“So quiet and well-behaved.” The purr was venomous, and he felt a hand snake round his front. Shiro screwed his eyes shut as the claws pinched at his balls. He could feel them cut through the sensitive skin and he let out a screech, blood gargling in his throat as he hacked it out. He could feel Ranveig start to swell inside him, he didn't want this, not him. His attempts to pull away were unsuccessful, and Ranveig brought him in to a crushing embrace as he emptied himself into Shiro's abused body. It felt hot and gross.

 

With a semi-content sigh, his body was dropped forward suddenly, his ankles the only things supported in the air. Shiro cried as he pawed for the ground, fingers finding no purchase. He heard a laugh from above, then another clink of metal. One of his legs dropped down, the other still suspended, and Shiro's shoulder hit the ground hard. “Enjoy my seed deep within you.” Shiro felt his leg shifted and something slipping into his hole. He whimpered, realising Ranveig had pushed a plug inside.

 

-

 

Sendak cracked his knuckles and rose from his seat. Before Hetto could so much as catch his breath, Sendak had him by the throat. He threw his body to the ground, watching the two peasants skid down beside him, forgetting that they were supposed to be protecting the dreck. His lips curled into a feral snarl as he grabbed the first body guard – the largest one, reptilian-looking and with a few spikes. The prosthetic claws reached around his face, their magenta glow kicking in as they seared burns through the scales. He dragged his claws together over the mouth and eyes, earning screams and shrieks of agony. He smashed his fist over the side of alien's face, and with his prosthetic hand, threw him over his shoulder. There was a loud smash and a crunch behind him. He'd finish that one soon. These two, Cida and Hetto, he had plans there.

 

Sendak caught her round the face with his clawed boots, the points pushing into her cheek. She yelled up at him, grabbing at his foot. Hetto tried to assist her, but he was no fighter. Sendak grabbed his tail, giving it a sharp tug, and dragged him over to the blasters he'd managed to kick away. Hetto was a good enough meat shield at this point. He bent down and set the one to stun, and fired it against the base of Hetto's skull. The man shrieked and convulsed underneath him, limbs twitching as the paralysis set in. He raised it and shot at the woman, her scream melodic to his ears. He moved back to the body on the floor, the reptilian alien trying to push himself back up. Sendak reset the blaster and jabbed it into the aliens mouth, canines bared in a murderous smirk as he pressed the trigger. He died with his eyes wide, pupils dilated in fear. The sniffles and whines of the paralysed were so feeble, pathetic. He lifted the corpse by the leg, using it to smash the window. He dropped it over the precipice, watching it hit the ground with a dull thud. He crushed the blaster in his prosthetic and threw it away, turning his attention to the remaining two. “You made the mistake of pissing off the wrong Commander.” He grabbed Hetto by the tail and Cida by the back of the hair, dragging them from the room.

 

Shiro struggled in his single bond; the skin around his ankle felt shredded. Wait, he had hands. He ripped the blindfold away, hissing at the light and closing them right away. It took a few dobosh's, but as he cracked open his eyes slowly, he heard the metal door whine open again. He struggled around, squinting at an orange glow. Please, not him again. His painful body tensed, only to soften for a moment until he saw the vicious look on Sendak's face. He's going to kill me, I'm dead, dead, dead. Shiro scrabbled against the metal floor, his filthy broken nails finding no purchase. It wasn't like he could get away with one leg still in the air.

 

Sendak came to a stop in front of his slave. He dropped Hetto to the floor and reached for the chain, cutting the links like butter with his metal claws. “Which one?” Sendak threw Cida to the floor and brought the gauntlet down, eyes trained on his slave. He watched him look between the two drecks, before pointing reluctantly to Hetto. He let out a thunderous roar and grabbed Cida with this regular arm, tossing her into the air with ease. He focused on his prosthetic and aimed his punch at her, the arm extending out, hand piercing through the soft flesh. Her departing scream was sharp and hurt his ears, but that was one more gone.

 

Shiro watched him flick the body from his hand like it was nothing, claws dripping blood. He'd have swallowed if he could. “He was going to try and keep you.” Sendak crouched down, smoothing his hair. “This is why we can't trust lesser species.” He gave him a small lick before turning his attention back to Hetto. Shiro tensed as Sendak kicked him over between the ribs with the clawed boot tips. He knew how much that hurt. “He was also foolish enough to think he could try to kill me.” That had Shiro rasp, trying to pull himself towards Sendak. Hetto wasn't exactly a good person, but he wasn't a complete monster either. Having said that, he wasn't a saint himself. “Would you like me to end his miserable life, or would you like to help?” Shiro blinked slowly, looking between Sendak and Hetto.

 

He held out his prosthetic. Monster or not, he'd swore himself to the Commander. What would it say about him if he refused him? Sendak was also...terrifying. He couldn't remember if he'd seen him murder someone before in such a violent way. Torture, yes. Sendak let out a strange purr and scooped Shiro up in his arms, nuzzling his face as he released the inhibitor. Sendak placed him on top of Hetto and settled with his organic hand compressing his neck. “Do you recall what I told you about how Galra fight?” Shiro nodded.
“What would be the quickest way to kill him?” Shiro ignored the squeak as he placed his hand over Hetto's chest, working out where the heartbeat felt strongest. He tapped a point on the left-hand side of his chest. “Good boy. You know what to do.” Sendak watched as his arm lit up. Shiro cocked his head to the side, watching the twitching eyes. It was just like the arena. With a quick and clean movement, he stabbed through body. His hand was stuck on something, and he tried to wiggle it free. “Wait,” Sendak helped ease it out, the two admiring the gore that covered the metal.
“Let's get you back to Central Command.”

 

Chapter Text

Ulaz chewed his claws as his eyes darted around, looking for the shuttle. Thace was right, it'd all been too quiet. He should have known; should have clicked something was amiss. He was stupid; so, so stupid. He craned his neck as he watched another shuttle dock, noting the guards moving over towards the doors. He narrowed his eyes, moving carefully through the bustling hangar. He muttered apologies as he squeezed between other bodies, until he found himself at the foot of the ramp leading up to the shuttle. Sendak was there, talking quickly to some guards and motioning to the bundle he held tightly in his prosthetic. The blankets were patchy with blood, it was likely Shiro.

 

“Commander!” Ulaz shouted as he stalked his way up the ramp. Sendak twisted his head around, gaze dark as he caught sight of the medical officer. “Speak to me with respect, Officer.” Sendak snarled as he eased Shiro down to the floor. “The worst he has is a few broken ribs and a broken jaw. He'll need a tank. I need to talk to the Military Police about what's happened. Message me your location.” He stalked away, following the two officers towards their offices on the far side of the hangar. Ulaz stared after him, unblinking. He exhaled slowly and brought his attention down to the collection of blankets, his pale feet filthy and torn. Ulaz felt pity well up in his stomach as he took Shiro by the hand and made a path for them along the edge of the hangar, moving slowly for him.

 

Outside the busy hangar, he pulled Shiro to a small seated area that thankfully wasn't as packed as usual. It overlooked one of the gas planets out in the system. Ulaz slowly pulled down the makeshift hood to take a look at the human, letting out a sharp hiss as he covered his neck quickly. Shiro whimpered, pulling himself inwards. “It's not you,” Ulaz hushed him quietly, “I've just noticed you don't have your collar. It makes this a bit more difficult.” He looked around, keeping his eyes peeled for any Galra who seemed a little too curious about the collection of bloody blankets he was sat with. “Here, let me carry you.” He smiled softly as he scooped Shiro into his arms and carried him bridal style through the halls. He was lighter then he remembered, but he shouldn't be carrying him like this at all. He'd have to take him to the Druid's labs.

 

Upon reaching the labs, he set Shiro down to take a quick rest. It wasn't even a full dobosh before he felt the tell-tale sign of a druid – a sense of innate fear bubbling up inside his body. He stiffened his position, turning to greet it. “I only look to heal him for Commander Sendak at his request. I presume it is still satisfactory to use the room I have been allocated?” He watched the druid move towards Shiro, pulling the blankets back and moving his head to the sides. “Where is the collar it had?”
“I do not know. He's returned with the Commander in this state.”
“You may use the lab. I will let the High Priestess know you are here.”
“I don't think that's necessa-”
“All information about who comes in and out is now relayed to the High Priestess due to the previous incident.” The druid pulled away from Shiro, and Ulaz realised the implication. So long as he was left alone to heal him, he didn't care. “I will assign you Officer Hepta. We are increasing his responsibilities.”
“Thank you.” Ulaz watched the druid move away, pinching the bridge of his nose, he didn't need any strangers around him.

 

-

 

Sendak rubbed his eyes as he stalked down the corridors, his only focus getting to the labs where his slave was healing. It had taken a few vargas to go over what had transpired. Although he knew he would be fine, it was still always an unnecessary stressor. He turned down a familiar corridor and entered through the doors to find Ulaz stood, arms crossed over his chest, with the High Priestess beside him. Neither looked in a good mood.

 

“A word, Commander Sendak.” Haggar motioned for the two Galra to follow her. She made her way down the hallways she had called home for millennia, stopping at a door. As it swished open, she noted the officer diligently keeping watch over the array of equipment. “You are relieved of your duties for the next two vargas, Officer Hepta.” Haggar waved her hand for him to leave, and Hepta scurried out, casting curious glances at the three. As the door shut behind him, Haggar raised her head to cast her cold gaze over the Commander stood in front of her. “Tell me what happened to him. I will know if you lie.”

 

Sendak considered her for a moment. He wouldn't lie to her, but with Ulaz's sharp eyes trained on him, he was not looking forward to his lecturing later. Taking a deep breath, he explained the events of the last five moments. Ulaz would swear on occasions and Haggar would give him a look of pure derision at the unsavoury parts. He had to admit, talking about some bits was harder to do then he'd first imagined. In hindsight, he was never planning on recounting the events to anyone bar the slave himself.

 

“I explicitly told you not to exacerbate him!” Ulaz snarled, canines on display as he stormed up to Sendak. “You and the Emperor want him in the arena, but now you go and do this? Do you know how much quintessence I need to heal the physical damage?” He defiantly pushed his face close.
“A lot, I presume?”
“Yes.” Haggar answered instead. “The amount will be subtracted from your subsequent salary. I pray you have savings.” She nodded for Ulaz to continue. “Even after the physical damage, I need to check his mental state, and I won't lie, I don't know enough about human brains to grasp how he's going to cope!”
“Why does it matter how or if he's going to cope when I'm breaking him anyway for repurposing?”
“Do you want a slave like Yastara, devoid of a personality, or dead?” Ulaz countered. Sendak's face turned sour at the reminder and he grabbed Ulaz by his armour. “Mind your place.” He growled out.

 

“Hold on.” Haggar paused. She moved to the terminal, her clawed hands swiping through his file and scanning the notes. She brought up a secondary screen and tapped the display quickly with one hand. The two Galra watched her as her gaze flicked between the screens, and knew that she was working something out. Silence was what she needed, and what they would respectfully give her.

 

After almost a varga, she turned from the screens. “I have a way we can all get what we want.” Her glowing yellow eyes somehow looked dark in the light. “I want more data on his kind,” she waved her hand at the slave in the tank. “I have kept his arm as a biological sample, although I also want to draw live samples from him. He could be a mutant of his species, at least compared to the other two. Then there's measuring his physical limits. You will have him healed to peak condition, however I want data on his combat limits only, not how much he can take in your chambers.” Her remark clearly made Sendak uneasy, but she didn't particularly care, she was getting to start a new project, and this one had come at perfect timing.

 

“Medical Officer Ulaz is also correct. While for a Galra soldier we would purge the mind, he is not. His mental state will be monitored, and no more purges will be granted. However, I've been running through the information gathered from our intelligence stations – the one near his home planet has picked up a substantive amount – some relating to medical pieces about the human mind judging by images. Your jobs, along with Officer Hepta, is to go through it and select what is useful. Commander, I also believe you have been sent a full copy of your slave's personal data that has been mined from Earth's servers and data banks? I think I saw something like medical notes in a language I couldn't read.” She flicked back through the images, pausing as she tapped the screen.

 

Sendak brought out his tablet and flicked through. “It was sent it, yes.”
“Have you done much reading about his species?”
“Only about their history and bits about him.”
“Read more, and send me the information. To summarise: the Commander gets him fighting, Officer Ulaz gets to keep an eye on his mental state, although I expect you to take notice,” she glared hard at Sendak, “and I get my samples and data to see what other uses he may have. After that, I could even get more samples from the other humans. Is this acceptable?” They both agreed, because neither could say no to the High Priestess. Sendak hadn't had chance to re-collar his slave, so even if he did object, he couldn't do anything to stop her. “You both please me. Then, get to trawling the data. I will send Officer Hepta back in. Medical Officer Ulaz, you will take the lead as his healer.” With that, she nodded at the two and moved to leave. “As a final note, bar yourself, Commander, the other two will be receiving additional pay. I will leave that in your capable hands to sort out.” With that, she exited the room.

 

“I hope you're happy with yourself.” Ulaz moved to the terminal, pressing a few buttons and pausing as he considered what to type in. “He's my slave and I can punish him as I see fit.” Sendak growled, settling against the tank. “But I have to fix him up.” Ulaz retorted, glancing over the top of the displays. “I can find a new medical officer if you're going to be like that.”
“One that your slave trusts, though? I've built up a very strong rapport with him since he's been in my care.” Ulaz finally knew what words he was looking for and left the displays to run their filters as he stormed over to Sendak. “If you want to reassign me, go right ahead. But I sincerely wish you luck in finding a medical officer who won't quit every-other phoeb for the amount of work he needs.”
“What're you saying?”
“You know precisely what I mean. You push him too much. He has limits, and when you eventually push just a bit too far, what do you think will happen?” Ulaz arched his eyebrow as the Commander looked away. “Exactly. Don't keep ignoring my reports. I'm trying to save you hassle and problems.”
“I don't think I'll be having behavioural ones any more.” Sendak smirked at the floor, and Ulaz didn't need to ask any further questions. He didn't want to know.

 

“Keep your job. You know I'm not in the best moods right now. Like you.” Sendak finally admitted, rubbing his eyes again. “I had some of the peasantry decide they were going to try and keep him, so I disposed of them. If you must know, that damage is from Ranveig, not me for once.”
“I was surprised you even bundled him up and applied basic medical care.”
“I'm not a complete monster.” Sendak's gaze hardened, “he killed one of them.”
“But you must of allowed it?” Ulaz watched Sendak nod slowly, tapping the flat edge of his tablet against his thigh. “He's been forgetting things, staring off into space a bit.”
“Let me get a smoke first, then we can talk.” Ulaz muttered, heading to his bag and pulling out his pipe. Sendak cocked his head to the side. “Hypocritical?”
“My job is stressful.” Ulaz gave him a half-smile and pulled out a small communicator. “I need to record the discussion.” He pressed a button and motioned for Sendak to start.

 

-

 

“Finally, your jaw's all fixed.” Ulaz lightly chuckled as he tossed Shiro a small bag. The human, perhaps a little too groggy in hindsight, snatched at the air but missed the packet that flew over his head. He watched it, turning his head to Ulaz with a very displeased look on his face. “Don't give me that look,” Ulaz grinned, and Shiro rolled his eyes. Ulaz watched him cautiously climb over the pipes around the tank and squeeze between the back. “I'm not used to being the short one.” Shiro grumbled, wandering over and pulling himself up to the table. He offered Ulaz the bag, who shook his head. “I saved them for you, they're yours.”

 

“Thank you.” The Commander had been right – there was something off with him. “This must be stuffy and claustrophobic in here. Did you want to go anywhere, stretch your legs?”
“I don't really know. I want to do something, but I don't at the same time.” Shiro twisted the top of the packet up. “I don't know if it's because a lot happened. I'm just overwhelmed.”
“If you don't want to go out, I was actually wondering if you could help me?”
“What can I help you with? Outside of killing things and sucking dick, there's not a lot of things I'm really good for these days.” Ulaz felt the fur stand up on the back of his neck. He frowned at the man sat on the table. “You're more then that. You're intelligent and have an amusing wit about you. Your love for space is just a little bit infectious.” Shiro cocked his head to the side, “how does that work?”
“Well, remember when you were asking me what system this was in, and you listed all those 'superclusters'?”
“I'm uh...not sure?” Shiro narrowed his eyes, focusing hard at the floor. Ulaz watched his pupils flick around curiously, as if moving them would jog his memory. “It was when we went out to find you fabric.” Ulaz prompted. “Oh, oh yeah. We went to that big market, and I told you about heko-obi's.”
“That's it!” Ulaz clicked his claws. “Regardless, I have a bit of a surprise for you. Follow.”

 

Ulaz jogged over to the displays and brought up the secondary screen. He turned to Shiro and offered a tiny smile. “I was wondering if you would recognise this?” He poked the display and Shiro looked up. It took him a dobosh to process he could read the words. “Have I woken up able to read Galran?”
“Nope.” Shiro could hear the smile in his voice, and as he stared at the screen, he felt something bubble inside of him, something warm and familiar. His eyes darted about reading every single word and then looking at the url listed at the top of the screen. “How did you? This is the? It's a star map.” He wanted to scream in happiness and cry and curl in a ball all at once.
“I believe it's an information page from your old place of work?”
“Yes! How do you have it?”
“Galran intelligence gathering is very...efficient.” Ulaz tapped the other display. “However we have some images to work from, and so what we can do is this.” He took Shiro's hand, needing to lift him against the terminal, and guided him through the motions of setting the image to scan. Ulaz pressed a few keys, but apart from that, the second display started running different star charts. “Hopefully we can work out where you are.” Ulaz ruffled the top of his hair. Shiro choked out sob, grabbing him around the waist. He didn't know why he was crying so suddenly. He didn't care why. He felt arms around his body, and gentle fingers stroke the back of his neck. “It's alright, Shiro. I'm here for you.”

 

-

 

“This is for you.” Sendak presented his slave with a small black tablet, similar to his own. The slave took it in his hands, inspecting it from all angles. “It's just a tablet.”
“Why have you gifted me one, Commander?”
“Good behaviour. It has a few things on there you may find soothing.” He watched the slave turn it on, legs swinging over the edge of the table. Sendak looked over to Ulaz, who was still talking to Hepta it seemed. “The tablet contains information pulled from Earth's databanks and servers.”
“That's...terrifying.”
“The Galra look to gather as much intelligence as possible. Your planet is also quite noisy, so that makes it very easy to locate and draw information from.”
“We did also send things into space.”
“We are aware.” Sendak rubbed the back of his neck awkwardly. He wasn't entirely convinced this would be a good idea, but Haggar had agreed to it on Ulaz's recommendations.

 

“You've got...a lot of my information.” Shiro flicked through the tablet, brow furrowing as he checked what file types they had available. “What does that say?” He turned the screen to Sendak, who took it from him. “It says media.” Shiro bit his lip, taking the tablet back and tapping it. Reams of photos began to load up and he scrolled and scrolled. He felt Sendak watching him, and shifted along the table he was sat on, patting the side next to him. “Since, you know, we're rebuilding trust. I...want to share this with you.” He muttered, leaning into the Commander's armour and presenting him with the last photo he had from Earth of him next to Matt and Sam in front of their ship. “You look very happy.”
“I was.”
“What was your role?”
“I was the pilot.” Shiro sighed, swiping the screen. He paused on one photo and let out a small laugh. He felt claws rub his shoulder and relaxed a little. He'd been missing these little moments with Sendak.

 

“That's my friend. He was happy I was going on the mission, but was upset I was leaving. He didn't smile a lot but when he did, like this, it really cheered me up.” Shiro noted the slightest of blushes on Keith's cheeks in the photo. Shiro had drawn him in for a close hug and squashed their cheeks together to take the selfie. He tried to recall why he'd have pulled him that close, but the memory was hard to find.

 

He quickly backed out of the images and scrolled until he hit the audio and video files. He tensed at one video, recognising the file name. He'd need to learn how to delete that soon. That was not for Sendak's eyes. “What's wrong? You're staring like you've seen a ghost.”
“It's nothing important. Bad memories.” Shiro smiled as he tapped an audio file, a steady beat filling his ears. “This is one of my favourite songs.” He let himself fall into Sendak's lap, and felt the clawed hand smooth his sides carefully as he listened.

 

“Your species is really very noisy.” Sendak arched his brow at the small chuckle from his lap. “Humans are a really expressive species. If you stifle that, you take away what we are. Don't the Galra have art?”
“Define 'art'.”
“Architecture, paintings, literature, theatre, dance and music? You don't sing?”
“Ulaz?” Sendak called, motioning the other over. “Would you say that valik counts as music?”
“Uh.” He raised his brows at Sendak, who didn't really know how to respond himself. “The guttural throat growls to war drums and horns?”
“Yes, what the ancient clans of Daibaazal's dark-side used to do before battle or in mourning.”
“I would...presume so?” Ulaz scratched the back of his neck.

 

“Are we talking about music?” The three at the table looked around to see Hepta clutching the tablet close to his chest, but with a big toothy grin on his face. “I studied the ancient clans when I was younger, and clan history at home is very important. It'd class as music – singing – but takes on more of a dirge quality. Although drums and horns are important in most Galran music through the eons, there was also a clan that used string-based instruments during times of celebration. That was made from the heart strings of fallen steeds, if I'm remembering right. So yeah we have music, it just doesn't sound like what you're playing. What instruments does your kind have?” He crouched down to look at the slave snuggled in the Commander's lap, cocking his head to the side curiously.

 

“Officer Hepta!” Ulaz barked, “I have told you not to crowd the human.”
“A-Apologies!” Hepta backed away quickly, bowing his head in apology to Ulaz, and then Sendak. “You can sit and discuss musical instruments with the human, but just remember what I said, understand?”
“Understood, sir, I'm sorry for acting out of turn.”
“Go take the report to the office for me.” Ulaz patted his shoulder, and Hepta scurried away.

 

Shiro couldn't hold back his laughter. He balled his hands into Sendak's thigh as he lifted himself up. He wiped his eyes, the two Galra giving him odd looks. “I-I'm sorry. It's just funny. It's nice to laugh again.” Shiro managed eventually, taking a deep breath. “He's been giving me the odd glance every so often. It was weird at first, but he seems harmless.” Shiro powered down the tablet and placed it to the side. “He seems nervous.”
“It's likely working here, and the reason he's here.” Sendak muttered, petting Shiro's hair slowly. “What do you mean?”
“He was trying to save a comrade during a rebel attack. He lost his arms during the fight. You've met the perpetrator already.” Sendak growled. Shiro blinked, “who was it?”
“Champion.”

 

-

 

“Shiro, I'm sorry to wake you, but I need your help translating again,” Ulaz gently shook Shiro's arm, the human grumbling as he was roused from his nap. He'd been sleeping a lot lately and barely eating. Ulaz wondered if it was down to all the quintessence he was likely absorbing from being in the labs. Even if he wasn't in the tank, he'd noted the levels had plateaued at a greater-than-average level. His temper had flared on occasions when they'd needed to draw samples, to the point Sendak needed to restrain him. Whether it was good or not, the Commander certainly seemed to possess a better hold over him these days, and usually a stern talking to would relax Shiro enough that Ulaz could continue with his work.

 

“Kay.” Shiro yawned, pulling himself up and raking his long hair to the side. “I can braid it for you if you like?” Ulaz offered as he steered Shiro towards the terminal. “Braids are usually worn by warriors, and as a gladiator, it wouldn't be strange for you to wear one.”
“If you want. I don't feel like much of a gladiator lately. I'm just stuck in here like a lab rat.” Shiro motioned to the room. “I'm feeling weird again. My chest hurts and I'm having nightmares.”
“We'll have a talking session in a varga if you want?”
“That'd be nice.” Shiro took the drink Ulaz offered him and settled on the stool. “Have you got the recording thing?”
“I do. I can braid your hair while you read.” Ulaz flashed him a smile and Shiro nodded, before turning his attention to the screen.

 

-

 

“I feel bad. Really bad.” Shiro placed his hands between his legs and rocked backwards and forwards. “I tried to kill Matt. I let him...get violated by Haxus. I did nothing. I failed him, I failed Sam. I'm a fucking monster, Ulaz. I see his face in my dreams, but then I see so many others.” Shiro looked up to Ulaz, who was sat opposite him listening carefully, just like he always did when Shiro was like this. He smoothed the braid, appreciating the small kindness that Ulaz always shown him. Always looking after him like nothing was a trouble. “Can you promise me something?”
“Of course, Shiro.” His voice was so soft, so warm. “As much as I...belong to the Commander. I sometimes wish you were my master instead. I'm not saying Sendak is terrible, but it's just taken a lot to get to where we are now. It's better, but he doesn't even use my name. I still feel I have to walk on eggshells with him, even though he's not been as violent towards me in a phoeb. You though, you're so caring and kind. Alright, we didn't get on at first, but you've treated me so well.”

 

Ulaz shifted his legs and cleared his throat. “Perhaps we should take this a bit at a time? Let's focus on the first bit; your friend, Matt. Your guilt is clear, Shiro, but you can't allow this to consume you. You were involved in an awful situation that was compounded by an equally worse set of prior circumstances. Your head was a place no human or Galra would want to be in, but yet here you are. Your friend is young, yes?”
“Yeah.”
“Much like Officer Hepta, the young say things in a well-meaning manner. Yet sadly, they are not as well-equipped. Both you and your friend have been through so much since coming to us, and from your files,” Ulaz always hated reminding Shiro of this, “we can see you both have led very calm lives for the most part. It is only natural, sadly, that this culminated the way it did. He was clearly worried and upset seeing you like that, and you were upset because of what had transpired, hence your feelings of betrayal.”

 

Ulaz wanted to tell him none of this was his fault; that it was all Sendak and Haxus's doing, but if he did the likelihood that Shiro would spiral again was too great, and the outcome for the man sat in front of him looked to be nothing but bleak. He didn't want to lie to him, but he couldn't allow the human to keep undergoing torture he knew he'd fight against. At least if Sendak could take him willingly, the Commander wouldn't leave him with so many broken bones, and if Shiro was at least consenting as much as a slave had consent, then it was considerably better then before. He had to admit, the Commander's behaviour had improved around Shiro, and even he was noticing the gentle touches and private laughs they'd share. It didn't warm his heart, but it eased it a little.

 

“You need to give yourself more time. From what I've read about humans, you need the time to process and heal, to make sense of things. It's probably more healthy then what we do. Shiro, your kind must have amazing emotional resilience. You are stronger than us in more ways then you think.”
“U-Ulaz. I...” Shiro's eyes welled up and he leaned forward, hiding his face as he sobbed into his hands. His body shuddered, and Ulaz rose from his seat, coming to crouch beside Shiro's chair. “You're doing great,” he whispered, rubbing small circles into his human shoulder. Without warning, Ulaz was pulled into a tight embrace, soft lips pressing against his cheek. Shiro sniffed again, the wet trails of tears damp across his short fur. “Promise me you'll never leave.” Ulaz wrapped his arms around Shiro's back and drew him close, nuzzling the crook of his neck. He couldn't make a promise like that, but he wanted to.

 

Chapter Text

“What form do you call that, Officer Hepta?” Sendak scolded as he pulled Shiro off Hepta's hips. “H-He's stronger than he looks!” Hepta panted, dusting his armour down as he looked at Shiro cautiously. “I know he's a gladiator, but fuck me.”
“Language!” Sendak scolded again, his neck fur puffing out. “Commander, he's still struggling with his arms.” Shiro placed a tentative hand on Sendak's arm, rubbing it gently. Sendak let out a sigh and looked down at him. “You need to enforce discipline, slave.”
“But you can do that by rewarding good behaviour, right?” Shiro gave him a sheepish smile and approached Hepta. “His form wasn't bad, you're just nervous, right?” He asked, and Hepta's ears lowered. “A bit. I've never been much of a fighter. I like it, but I feel I'm better at other things.”
“You mean like Ulaz?”
“Yeah, like that.” Hepta shifted awkwardly on his feet. “I can use firearms well, but fighting with swords and my fists? I'm not strong in those areas.” He glanced away from Sendak. “I'm sorry, Commander, I must seem like a joke of a Galra.”

 

Sendak approached and settled a hand on his shoulder. Hepta slowly raised his head, ears drooping low. “Officer Ulaz and Lieutenant Haxus may not be as strong a fighter as myself, and perhaps not as naturally aggressive as the slave here, but they do know how to put up a fight. Perhaps I should give you both a set of stun guns?”
“It'd be nice to use a blaster again.” Hepta grinned, looking to the slave, “I'm a pretty decent shot.”
“Good, because I'm not too bad either.” The slave smirked and took a few paces towards Hepta, eyes ablaze like they used to be. “Officer Hepta, go and collect two training weapons.” Sendak nodded and Hepta jogged away.

 

As the doors closed, Sendak pulled Shiro into an embrace, clawed hands resting on his rear. “I do enjoy when you talk like that.”
“I like a challenge.” Shiro purred as he ran his hands down Sendak's front. It'd been quite a while since they'd done anything, and it'd be unlikely they could still for even longer. Shiro leaned into Sendak's palm as the fingers stroked his naked neck. “Why haven't you put the collar back on yet?”
“You miss it?” Shiro could feel the husky voice rumble in his chest, and he felt his face burn. “Well, yeah. I don't feel I'm really yours without it.”
“Don't worry, I'll give it to you soon.”
“Do you know that on Earth, what you said can be seen as filthy, right?” Sendak gave his forehead a tiny lick and released him, walking over to the discarded training sword. “Oh, I am well aware of it's Earth meaning.” Sendak purred as he caught Shiro's gaze. “So I'll leave it to you as to what my intentions are.” Shiro paused for a few ticks, mulling it over before hissing and stalking away to collect his sword. Why does he do this?

 

-

 

“So are all humans this furless?” Hepta shouted over the rushing water. Shiro cocked his eyebrow at the Galra who was staring at him, pupils wide and looking like he wanted to touch Shiro's skin. “We all have tiny hairs on our body – fine and barely notable. Some aren't, but they grow in places to keep us warm.”
“So you need to have warms heads, armpits, and,” Hepta motioned vaguely to Shiro's crotch. “Yes, Hepta.” Shiro sighed, somewhat exasperated by the amount of questions he kept getting from the Galra about body hair. “So the hair on your stomach and the little fluffy bit on your chest and around your face is also to keep you warm?”
“Yes.”
“So if your feet get cold, why don't you have furry feet?” Shiro paused, casting the curious Galra a confused look. “You know, I have no idea.”
“Humans sure are weird.”
“We sure are. Galra are a bit confusing – there's the lizardy ones like the Emperor, the fluffy ones like the Commander, and then ones like yourself and Haxus. Why is that?”
“It's just how we evolved.” Hepta shouted matter-of-fact, tilting his head at Shiro like he was an idiot.

 

“Our home world, although I've never seen it, was apparently rocky and sandy in the northern hemisphere, but then the under-side of the planet was cast in darkness for most of the deca-phoeb because of how our planet was.”
“How does that work? Was your planet not a sphere?”
“Kinda, but not all planets are the same, you know.”
“Really?”
“Of course? You don't know a lot about space, do you?”
“Well,” Shiro smoothed the suds from his hair, “we'd only just reached the end of our system.”
“Well hopefully you can see more of space some time, if you live long enough in the arena that is.” Hepta stuck his tongue out. It may have been in jest, but Shiro's face faltered a little as he turned the shower off and grabbed a towel. Ulaz was right about the young ones not realising the weight their words carried. As a citizen, Hepta didn't have to worry about being forced into the arena to fight for his life.

 

-

 

“Did you have a good sleep?” Shiro swung his legs over the side of the table like usual as he watched Ulaz bring up the displays on the terminal. “I did, thank you.” Shiro frowned. He seemed distracted. “I was helping Hepta with translating earlier, and Sendak came in for a few vargas after his meeting. I think he got in a fight with someone, because his cheek looked swollen and his lip was cut.”
“I see. The Commander should be fine.” Ulaz brought out his pipe and lit the contents. There was definitely something wrong. With caution, Shiro slipped off the table and crept over towards him. It was like he was in his own little world. As he got closer, he heard a sigh. “I would prefer you not try to sneak up behind me, Shiro. Please remember I'm trained as a warrior, and those reflexes just don't disappear.” His voice sounded tired and frustrated. “I-I'm sorry, Ulaz. You just don't seem like yourself.”
“That's because I've had some bad news.” Ulaz turned back to the screen.

 

He felt a warm hand place itself over his. Ulaz looked down to see Shiro staring up at him, eyes full of determination. “You can talk to me. I may not be as old as you-”
“Thank you for that-”
“-But I can at least listen. It's heart-wrenching to see you like this, and you're my friend.” Shiro curled his fingers around Ulaz's, and he mouthed the words to himself, a tiny smile on his lips. “Let's go for a walk.” He patted Shiro's shoulder, and the human bolted away to find something to wear. It was late enough that they'd likely not get any problems from other Galra out and about, and where he had in mind was quiet enough.

 

Although the druid in charge for the evening was a bit too questioning, he was still allowed to do it. The two walked for quite a while in silence, until Ulaz finally stopped in a large atrium. A huge fountain of quintessence sat in the centre, while a variety of different hardy-looking plants grew in rocky beds. It was similar to a park, with diamond-shaped lamps scattered about the area. Ulaz wandered to sit at the edge of the pool, motioning Shiro to follow him. “Whenever I need to think, I come to this place.” He muttered, dipping his fingers in the quintessence and half-smiling at the warm feeling. “It seems nice.” Shiro looked around. “It is. There's very few natural spaces like this on Central Command. They're mostly in the rings.” Ulaz looked to Shiro, the bright violet-white light from the fountain highlighting his face. He looked away back to the pool.
“I found out two things. The first relates to an old pupil of mine.” Ulaz swallowed the lump in his throat. “Today I found out that they perished. Are you aware that some of the fleet went missing?”
“I'm not sure.” Shiro shifted his weight and reached for Ulaz's hand. “I-I'm sorry.”
“We don't fully know what happened to the fleet yet, but another came upon the remains only a few quintants' ago. They've been searching for a few movements now, and I just. I just...” He trailed off, biting back the tears threatening to spill from his eyes.

 

He, Thace and Krolia had mourned their brother earlier. They were awaiting Kolivan's message – none of them could understand why their brother never made it off the ship when their numbers weren't exactly impressive to begin with. Answers were needed; accountability was demanded. The intel they'd gathered between them was all correct, and according to Krolia, they had a new lead found through one of her own established contacts. Ulaz needed to be careful what he said to Shiro, he couldn't reveal anything that could threaten their mission, and he was too close to Sendak. He couldn't put him in that position and potentially be killed. Gift or not, his actions would be treasonous.

 

“It's...hard to know that someone out there has the technology to cause our ships to vanish and...destroy them.” He scrubbed at his eyes and ran his hand through his mohawk. “I've heard things, from Sendak.” Shiro muttered quietly, scooting towards him. “He was talking to Haxus about the twenty-third fleet going missing the quintant before I was forced to the rings. He mentioned something about the rebels and the Blades of Mamoa?”
“Marmora.” Ulaz corrected. “They're a group that fights against the Empire.”
“Are they like the rebels?”
“From what I understand, they are Galra themselves.” Ulaz needed to be very careful. “So...there's Galra that don't agree with what the Empire does? From my perspective, they sound great.” Shiro smiled half-heartedly. “Sorry, I shouldn't say that, should I? I'd probably get murdered by Sendak if he heard me say that.”
“You would, but I can understand why you'd find them appealing.”
“Sendak was saying about how they think it's them or the rebels must have jamming equipment or insider knowledge or some amazing scientist. They don't seem sure, or didn't seem sure. It probably doesn't help, thinking about it. I'm sorry, I'm being insensitive.” Shiro retracted his hand and shuffled back.

 

“It may not be concrete, but if there's discussions about this in High Command meetings, then at least they're on top of it. It's...nice to hear at least.” Ulaz offered Shiro a weak smile and motioned him back. “I trained my old pupil as a Technician, and like me they moved into the medical field after working in the labs for quite a while. It was a new chapter in their life and, for it to be taken so quickly away from them...I just, it's not fair, it's not right.”
“I don't know how Galra deal with grief, but your pupil, they're still in here,” Shiro pressed his hand to Ulaz's armour. “They're in my armour?”
“No! They're in your heart!” Shiro gave him an incredulous look. “Why would you think I meant armour?”
“Well your hand's there.” Ulaz's face twisted into a smile, and he scooped Shiro into a cuddle. “Thank you.” He mumbled, a small tear rolling down his cheek. “You're going to crush me like you almost did when I tried to escape.” Shiro pushed at his arms, and Ulaz hummed softly as he let him go.

 

“You are right. I will carry them with me for the rest of my quintants. In my heart.” He clarified the latter, Shiro snorting at him. “It's...what I learned to do when I lost my father. I was about ten when he passed away. He had the same condition as I did, before you healed me. His heart gave out suddenly.” Shiro glanced to the quintessence, a doleful look in his eyes. “I still miss him. He was supportive of me applying for the Garrison, even though it was so many deca-phoebs away at the time. When he wasn't working, at weekends he'd spend it playing with me, helping me build model planes and rockets. When I was really little, I remember he found this...awful alien costume and chased me around the garden in it. I used to pretend I had this laser gun and would shout 'blam-blam' at him.” Shiro laughed, his eyes having a small glint as he was caught up in his reverie.

 

“My pupil had a habit of hiding my pipe.” Ulaz pulled it out. “Not this one, of course. They'd yell at me to stop smoking, it was bad for my health.”
“Well it is.”
“It is, but it calms my nerves and gives me a chance to think. We all have our vices,” Ulaz looked pensively at the pipe, before lighting it. They sat in silence, the sound of the quintessence bubbling softly and the pipes contents gently burning away the only distractions. “My vice is drinking.” Shiro finally said, Ulaz noting him rest his head on knees. “A common one.”
“Some things are universal.”
“Seems to be.” They shared a private laugh, Ulaz taking stock of the man to his right. “Thank you.” He leaned over, planting a chaste kiss to Shiro's cheek.

 

“Can I try a bit?”
“Of what?”
“The pipe?” Shiro took it from Ulaz's offering hand and drew it to his lips, taking a small puff.
“Do you like it?”
“Indifferent.” Shiro coughed a little as he exhaled, handing it back. “What was...the other bit of bad news you had?” He gazed solemnly at Ulaz, watching him take a long drag. They remained in silence as Ulaz stared at the ground below them. “It concerns something I must do to you.” He answered carefully, not looking at Shiro. “It'd be invasive and I don't really want to do it, but I have no choice.”
“You can't lie you did, can you?”
“The High Priestess knows if you lie or not. So no.”
“Is it just taking more samples? Does she want a brain sample?” Instinctively he grasped his skull. The idea of having anyone poke around and pull bits out was a horrifying thought. “No, and if we took anything from your brain it would be a tiny amount – microscopic. Like a biopsy. The other human, the scientist, they preformed two on him, and I can confirm he's very much functional.”

 

“So what do you have to do?” Shiro pressed, and Ulaz couldn't keep it from him. “I need to go through your memories – all of them since you came to us. We don't have a complete map of your mental state, and,” he grit his teeth, “the technology used is similar to what the Druids did to you when you were captured. They can probe your mind and memories; find anything they want or purge it from you. The machine I have to use has been tested on a great scientific mind who refused to co-operate with us, so any ideas he had would be pulled and visualised.”
“That sounds barbaric! What happened to him?”
“He was actually broken out of prison almost a deca-phoeb ago. We're still looking for him.”
“I hope he stays safe.” Shiro muttered, clutching his shoulders tightly. “In your case,” Ulaz continued, “the machine can be tweaked to see how the memories makes your brain react and what chemicals it releases on reflection. If those line up with my current theories and prognosis then I can make sure the Commander takes that into account, because I have the High Priestess on my side at present. She's...someone you want as an ally.”
“Really?”
“Yes.” Ulaz swallowed. “You see why I've been distant? I've been conflicted, because a Druid would just be invasive and wouldn't ask, but I...don't want to hurt you any more – especially after what happened with your arm.”
“I forgave you.”
“I haven't forgiven myself.” Ulaz let his arms drop to the side despondently. “There's nothing I can do. I have to hurt you, and I don't want to. I can't even have you under.”

 

“The fact you don't want to means more to me then you'd ever know.” Shiro pulled himself off the side and stood in front of Ulaz. He took the pipe from the Galra's hand and placed it beside him. “Look at me.” He watched Ulaz raise his head, his eyes emitting a dull glow in the light. Please not like that. “You've told me what will happen, you've made it clear you'd rather not, but at the end of the quintant, you've done the decent thing and told me. I don't want anyone in my memories, honestly, but if I had to have anyone rooting around my head, I'm happy it's you.” Shiro crouched in front of the Galra, taking his hand in his. “When are you supposed to start?”
“Tonight”
“How long will it take?”
“Several sessions. It won't all be at once. That much I could refuse to do.” Ulaz studied his hands. “I feel sick knowing I'll see you so vulnerable.”
“I don't think it matters. I've been humiliated enough I don't think I care any more. Oh, I should warn you, don't eat anything before you do it. Turns out bestiality is a thing aliens allow.” Shiro cracked a broken smirk as he let his eyes drift to the ceiling.

 

Shiro was taken aback at the strong embrace. “I'm so sorry, Shiro. If I could, I'd take you away from this in a heartbeat.”
“I believe you.” Shiro felt his eyes prickle again. Being around Ulaz made him cry; a lot. He wasn't used to having someone shatter his defences like he did. Shatter was too violent a word, and that was something Ulaz was not. He looked up to find those golden eyes closed tight. Ulaz was too good for him. Shiro was nothing more then an emotionally messed up fuck-toy; Ulaz didn't need him ruining his life. “I wish we'd met better in another life.” Shiro whispered as he pushed his face against the armour, enjoying Ulaz's scent. He wouldn't try and kiss him again, He shouldn't.

 

“I know we should go back soon, but can we sit longer?” Ulaz's whisper was hoarse against his ear. Shiro hummed in agreement, and was released from his arms. The two settled back on the edge of the fountain in silence, Ulaz pulling Shiro against his chest and drawing swirled patterns into his skin. “I'm still a bit nervous, I hope this makes you feel better.”
“It feels nice, but no matter what, I trust you.” Shiro watched Ulaz, taking in just how pale his fur was. The quintessence made it look white. He swallowed the lump forming in his throat, trying to push his racing thoughts to the side.

 

Shiro watched him bring the pipe back to his mouth, adding some more tobacco-like substance to it and reaching for his lighter. A golden eye met his, and as he lit the pipe, the gaze remained steadfast. Ulaz took a few drags, blinking slowly at Shiro, who could feel his face burn hotter. Shiro brushed his fingers against the pipe delicately and Ulaz brought it down, exhaling though his nose. “Take a drag,” he muttered. Shiro took a longer one then the previous attempt. “Hold it inside,” Shiro tried to remember how he smoked the cigarette with Hetto, but Ulaz's lips were far to distracting as he leaned in close, bring his pipe back to his mouth. “Breathe out.” Through half-closed eyes, Shiro exhaled.

 

Ulaz didn't mind the smoke as it billowed against his face. He brought his clawed hand up and ran it through Shiro's dark hair. He could feel himself lean down against his better judgement, those strange grey eyes pulling him in. He shouldn't do this, he was supposed to be the one person who wouldn't take advantage of him. “Sh-” his attempt was blocked as Shiro kissed him. He felt his tongue flick against his lips, and let the human enter his mouth. He allowed Shiro to cautiously probe about, before rubbing his tongue against the human's. Shiro shivering in his chest, the tiniest of gasps making his ears twitch. Ulaz carefully broke the kiss as he pulled away, licking his lips. Shiro's skin had turned red and his eyes were wide in the light. “Are you okay?” Ulaz asked. His reply was an even needier kiss than the first, that prompted Ulaz to push back just a bit to explore Shiro's mouth. The second kiss broke again, the two panting a little. “We shouldn't do this.” Shiro looked at him, and Ulaz nodded in agreement.

 

When they stared at each other, they both knew that would be a lie, and this was something they'd have to carry to the grave as Shiro pushed himself on top of Ulaz's hips, cupping his face and kissing him again as the quintessence continued to bubble and the lights continued to shine.

 

-

 

“How was your shift?” Thace cracked an eye open as he watched Ulaz flop down on the bed. “I...fuck.” Ulaz looked to Thace. “There's a problem."
“What's happened?” His breath caught; he hoped Ulaz hadn't done something reckless. “Shiro...I...we kissed.” Ulaz's ears drooped and he pushed his hands into his face. “I was an idiot.”
“Is that it?” Thace pulled Ulaz towards him. “Is that what you're worried about?”
“Well of course!” Ulaz snapped, glaring up at him. “Shhh. It's alright. Were you worried I'd get mad?” Thace was expecting it to happen eventually, and was happy it finally had. “Yes. I know you said things are okay since we aren't mates and everything but I just feel bad.”
“Well you don't mind me doing things, right?”
“Of course I don't.”
“Then the same applies. Anyway, before I get ready, tell me about it.” Thace gave Ulaz a small nuzzle, the older burying his head in some blankets. “Stop being bashful.”
“It was nice.” Ulaz rolled away. “If Sendak finds out, I am dead.”
“You would be. Do you think Shiro can stay quiet?”
“He can, we both know we shouldn't have done it.”
“It'd be nice to sit down and talk to him properly.” Thace fiddled with the blankets, nudging Ulaz with his hand.

 

“You were hacking when you came in. Are you ill?”
“I had to trawl his memories. The ones I did...I've been sick about three times tonight. I'm not even that far in, either.”
“Fuck,” Thace spat, pulling Ulaz into his arms. “I'm sorry, for him and you.”
“Don't feel sorry for me; they aren't haunting me on a daily basis.” Ulaz leaned into the touch, and Thace could feel his body grow heavier. He was starting to pass out from exhaustion – all that work he'd been doing in the day-cycle was starting to catch up.

 

-

 

“I need to take a spinal fluid sample. From what I've read about your species, this isn't a terrible procedure.”
“Are you doing it like how my species would?” Shiro asked cautiously. Ulaz nodded, eyes darting to Sendak who was sat listening intently. “He won't be able to do anything strenuous, so no training for a movement.” Ulaz watched Sendak's lips twitch, but he didn't seem to have any complaints. “The High Priestess has requested it to be done.”
“What she asks for, she will receive.” Sendak shrugged and cracked his neck, the swollen jaw finally settling down. “Do you need anything for that?” Ulaz motioned to Sendak's jaw, and the Commander shrugged his shoulders. “I don't feel like giving Ranveig the satisfaction.”

 

“What happened, Commander?” Shiro looked nervously over at Sendak, who turned his attention to him. “We couldn't see eye-to-eye on a few things.”
“I bet he's not in the best shape.” Shiro balled his fists up, and Sendak chuckled, leaning over to tussle his hair. “You are quite correct. He got what he deserved.”
“So much as I am content you beat up Commander Ranveig, I need to get this sample done hastily.” Ulaz sighed as he collected up some long needles, turning to Shiro and offering him a sympathetic look. “Can you go lay on the table and draw your legs up and tuck your chin in. Commander, if you're able, I was hoping you could assist me.”
“What do you need me to do?”
“Keep him preoccupied.” Ulaz brought the needles and some wipes over to the table, letting Shiro push the robe he wore around his hips.

 

Ulaz carefully cleaned the skin and took the needle for the anaesthetic. Sendak settled in front of the Shiro, leaning down to give him a tiny lick on his forehead. His grip on the needle became so tight he almost broke it in his hand. After what he'd seen with the memory trawling, a swift death would be too kind for Sendak. Steadying himself, he injecting the area he planned to draw the sample from. “It should take a few dobosh's.” He muttered, taking the needle away and throwing it in the sharps bin. His ears twitched at Shiro's warm laugh and the Commander's low rumble. He paused again, feeling his gut knot itself up. He hated this; hated how much control Sendak had over him. If he could, he'd get him back to Earth away from this life.

 

“Hey, Ulaz? How strong is that stuff? Everything feels really numb.”
“Everything? It should be just the area.” Ulaz whipped around, hurrying over to Shiro and pressing his claws against the place he injected. “Are you touching me?”
“Yes.”
“Can't feel it.”
“How about here?” Ulaz slowly pressed his claws further and further up Shiro's spine, the human unable to feel his touch. Ulaz was worried as he pressed his claws against his stomach. “Nope.”
“What have you done?” Sendak's growl was low as he pressed his claws against Shiro's nipple piercing, he sucked in a deep breath.
“Can you feel it?” Ulaz's voice rose in urgency.
“Not really. My chest hurts.” They watched his chest rise and fall, his breathing starting to sound off. “Get him in the tank, put the mask on him.” Ulaz commanded as he ran to the sharps bin, carefully opening it and pulling out the needle.

 

“Fuck!”
“What've you done?” Sendak's voice raised higher as he pulled the mask over Shiro's mouth and nose. “The amount, it was for a regular Galra-”
“What will it do to him? Is he going to die?” Sendak stormed over and grabbed him by the front of his armour. He yanked himself away from the livid commander and ran over to the limp form in the tank. He whipped out his scanner, taking a quick reading. “He needs quintessence, now.” Ulaz hammered his palm against the button and the tank closed with a beep. They both watched it fill with the quintessence-infused liquid, Ulaz biting his claws anxiously as he watched the vitals spike.

 

It was a waiting game neither Galra liked. Ulaz stared at the readings, noting every subtle change, while Sendak had taken up a vigil in front of the tank. “He's strong, he will recover.” Ulaz wasn't certain if he was being addressed or not. Regardless, he kept to silently watching. “How did you miscalculate?” That was directed at him, and Ulaz didn't have a suitable reason to give. “It was an accident.”
“If he was to perish, know that I would see to your demise myself.” Ulaz swallowed and bowed his head. Invoking Sendak's ire was something he couldn't afford.

 

-

 

“Stop that, you're making your skin raw.” Sendak smacked Shiro's prosthetic away from his back. “If I have to put you in restraints, I will do it.” He warned. Shiro groaned, deliberately placing both his hands above his head. “Happy?” He sniffed a few times and Sendak nudged the tissues towards him. “I feel I'm looking after a petulant kit.”
“Imagining you around children is...terrifying.” Shiro blew his nose and closed his eyes, bringing the blankets up around his neck. He was freezing, his back ached and felt bruised and almost everything was itchy. The light hurt his head, and the pounding headache had been persisting for about four quintants' now. He'd go to sleep and wake up with the damn thing. Ulaz had been trying to soothe his pain in-between a million apologies, which would be fine if noise didn't feel like it was ten times louder than it actually was.

 

“Do I need to make you eat again today, or do I need to force the tube down your throat?” Sendak pushed his hair from his eyes, Shiro leaning into the touch. “No tube. I don't like gagging and choking.”
“You don't seem to mind if you're being throat-fucked.”
“That's...different.” Shiro cracked an eye open, “there's nothing sexy about this. I'm sorry, I'm a disappointment.”
“I can forgive it because it's side-effects.” Sendak squinted at the slightly shifting blankets. “Stop wiggling, I know you're itching your skin again.” He planted his prosthetic on top of Shiro's body, forcing him still for a few ticks. Shiro's gaze moved from the hand to the Commander, the tiniest smirk playing on his face. “Don't you-” Shiro wiggled underneath the claws, a self-satisfied smile on his face as he eased the itch. “Are humans always this frustrating?”
“Some.” Shiro snatched a tissue up to blow his nose.

 

“I never noticed your eyes glowed. Is that normal for Galra?”
“Those who use quintessence, yes.”
“Is that why you've been around for so long?”
“That's correct.”
“Doesn't it feel strange? Knowing you've gone beyond your natural life span? Don't you get bored of seeing the same things over and over, just a little different?”
“You're rather philosophical, aren't you?” Sendak purred, although the tone was mocking. “No it's just something on Earth. There's stories and tales of people searching for things like the 'fountain of youth' and elixirs of immortality. Culture back home pushes everyone to look young, fear ageing and death.”
“That's very curious. As Galra, so long as it's a death of old age or through combat, it is not a fear that binds us. We look to live longer to continue fighting; be it for the Empire or whatever other cause.”
“So why did you want to continue living?” Shiro cracked open his other eye and watched Sendak. He seemed taken aback. “I live to serve my Emperor and the Empire. To be victorious.”
“So what happens when you've no more enemies?”
“There will always be enemies of the Galra, especially while Voltron exists.” Sendak rose from his seat, stretching his arm. “That is enough questions for now.”
“But I have so many to ask. You know so much about me, but I know nearly nothing about you.” Shiro reached for the glass and carefully took it in his hand as he watched Sendak consider him. “Perhaps in time I will indulge your curiosities.”
“I'd...like that.” Shiro's lips curled upwards as he settled back into the blankets. Sendak ruffled his hair. “You are a strange creature.” He sounded almost affectionate.

 

-

 

Due to the side effects of the anaesthetic, Shiro had taken a movement until he was well enough for the fluid sample. This time, it had gone ahead smoothly. They were running behind schedule, but at least Shiro was getting to train again with Hepta. The two would argue from time-to-time about who was the better shot or if Hepta stole a bit of his food. Ulaz had to scold him for stabbing Hepta in the hand with a fork at one point, but aside from that incident, they seemed to get on well enough. The young Galra was also quite efficient at his job and seemed to have a real passion for the work. He'd spoken to the High Priestess about him, suggesting that he would be an asset to the labs if she continued to give him projects. She was taking it under consideration and review.

 

“Officer Hepta, you can head home early if you like.” Ulaz looked up from the terminal at the two sat on the table, Shiro showing him something on the tablet. “What are you two doing?” He cocked his head to the side as they both laughed. Hepta looked up, “he's showing me videos of Earth animals.”
“It turns out that every single video I ever watched online's on here.” Shiro chuckled, but he didn't look happy. “It's amazing how I can watch the cached videos at all.”
“Didn't you say we're 'billions of light years' away?” Hepta asked.
“Yeah. I don't know if you use light years, or if it's light deca-phoebs.”
“It doesn't really matter,” Ulaz flicked back to the terminal, pulling up his previous notes and skimming them.

 

“Why is it that the little creature makes my chest feel warm, but I want to hold it tight against my chest and never let go?” Hepta tapped at the screen. Shiro chuckled, “that's what I was saying about something being cute.”
“So do you find some Galra...'cute' because they are furry?” Hepta gave Shiro a shit-eating grin and Ulaz decided this was probably the best time for him to leave. “I have work to do, Officer Hepta. We'll see you in the morning.”
“Ah, yes sir, sorry.” Hepta pushed himself from the table, offering Ulaz a quick salute, before jogging from the room.

 

“Thanks.” Shiro sighed, placing the tablet beside him. “I don't think I could answer that question.”
“I didn't think you'd want to.” Ulaz motioned him over. “I'm on the last section of your memories. Are you as happy as you can be to let me do this section in one go, or do you want me to break it in two?”
“I just want to leave, in all honesty. I think doing it in one would be better, although I use the word lightly.” Shiro twisted the fabric around his waist in his hand. “Didn't you want to tie it like you normally do today?”
“I didn't feel like it.” Shiro let go of the fabric and moved towards the door. “Let's...get this over with.”

 

It had been two vargas, but they'd both been sick twice now. Shiro had broken down a couple of times in tears to the point Ulaz didn't need to check the readings, because the physical reaction was evidence enough. He'd been giving Shiro stress balls to try and hold, but he'd broken every single one. There was only so much positive coaxing Ulaz could give him, and it was at the point he needed to cradle the human in his arms, rocking him gently back and forth. This was apparently soothing, or for Shiro he found it so.

 

Shiro was sat back in the chair again, arms strapped down at his request. “I'll be starting again. Take deep breathes for me. You're doing really well.” Like usual, Shiro was unresponsive as he steadied his breathing. Ulaz pressed a button on the display, and the machine crackled back to life. Shiro's agonised cries made his stomach do flips as he continued to monitor the screen, capturing the images for reference only. He'd never store this, that would be too cruel.

 

He wanted to end it after what he'd just seen, but knew he couldn't. Something glowing orange caught his attention, and he paused the feed. He recognised this alien – it was the Champion. He felt his hackles rise as he watched and listened, but the anger quickly dissipated to be replaced by terror. Shiro was giving classified intelligence to him. The same information that Krolia's contact had passed on. He lifted his hand to his forehead, eyes wide as he stared at the monitor and then Shiro. Ulaz let the memory finish and ended the feed. The mission was priority, and nothing could compromise it. Nothing. Ulaz couldn't blow deca-phoebs of cover; it would be a betrayal to the Blades if he did. He was going to have to do something he wasn't proud of; become just as vile as Haxus and Sendak. He prayed the gods could forgive him; that Shiro could forgive him.

 

Shiro's eyes flickered open to see Ulaz's shining back. “What did you do?
“I...I-” If Shiro felt like he was going to die, this was a fine moment for it to happen. He'd not had time to come up with a decent lie, but it likely wouldn't work either, not now and with the present technology. “You dare pass on information to our enemies?”
“We're slaves! It's not like it matters? What if I tell him things? What can he actually do?”
“You realise there are possible spies in our ranks? If he has connections-”
“He'd be dead! If he was really feeding information out, then how come he's alive?” Shiro was answering on pure reaction. “Are you stupid? He may be being kept alive to monitor, collect more information on. Surely you know how spy networks work?”
“Not off the top of my head – you seem to have a good idea-” Ulaz pushed his claws into Shiro's face, his expression twisted into a feral snarl and canines on display. “Give me a reason not to tell the Commander.”

 

He watched Shiro's face pale. Gods, he hated this. The realisation and terror surfaced quickly, his body tensing under his claws. “P-Please.” He quietly choked. “You can't.”
“I need to report this to him – he needs to know.” Ulaz pulled away, hands behind his back, but scowling at Shiro over his shoulder.
“You're killing me.”
“You sealed your fate when you chose to pass on information.”
“I thought it would help! To get Matt and Sam free!”
“You believed him? He's a terrorist, slave, he's going to do anything he can to get information out of you!”
“What...what can I do?” Shiro's voice was almost inaudible as he hung his head. “What do you mean?” Ulaz had a suspicion where this conversation was going to head, and he felt something die in his stomach. Shiro bit his lip, teeth drawing blood. “Is there anything I can do for you? I'd...do anything.”
“Are you trying to strike a deal? What do you have to offer me, realistically?” Ulaz held his cold tone, hating every word that left his mouth.

 

“Nothing but my body.” Shiro croaked, eyes unfocused as he stared at the floor; he felt crushed. The only truly good relationship he'd been able to tack together had crumbled to dust due to his own stupid decisions. “Do you think I want it after all I've seen?” That cut deeper then any claws or whips. Shiro ripped his gaze away from the floor. “I-It's all I have-”
“Then it's a start. I'll give it some thought to what else you can do for me after I finish my work, but know this; if I you interact with that terrorist again, your fate will rest with the Commander.” Ulaz moved forward and roughly brought Shiro's face up. “You know what to do.” He growled, easing his body suit open. Shiro's eyes lowered and he opened his mouth obediently. This was his fault; he deserved this. It was another reminder in the many he'd had recently that living to protect those he loved got him nowhere. It was nothing but misery and humiliation.

 

Chapter Text

The wet sound of fresh blood splattered against the cold metal floor. The dull eyes of his reflection glowed back at Ulaz as he dragged the spiked thongs back over his shoulder, hoarse hisses of pain filling the room as the spikes dragged through the torn flesh. He should have handled it better; should never of looked. He deserved nothing but this just punishment for his actions. “Let Birgir reign down his righteous fury,” through the pain he lashed the thongs back over his shoulder, “and,” he choked, “let Hlynur bless me in blood,” he clenched his fist around the handle and pulled, his screech high as the metal ripped new lines through his lacerated skin. He panted, eyes heavy and body almost ready to keel over, “let Lilja purify me with her forgiveness.” He let the thongs clatter to the floor as his body fell, exhausted. Ulaz slowly reached for the large needle of quintessence and stabbed it into his collarbone. “Finally, let Unnur purge my body of sin.”

 

-

 

Thace entered Ulaz's dark apartment and made a beeline for the bathroom. He only ever came here when things were bad, and this was the second time since Ulaz had been grounded in Central he'd come to his aid. As he opened the bathroom door, he wrinkled his nose. The smell never got better – it never would. “You need to stop doing this to yourself.” Thace whispered as grabbed a towel and bent down, placing it gently over the shredded back. He wouldn't hear him – Ulaz was passed out cold on the floor like all the other times prior to this.

 

Thace turned the light on and carefully eased Ulaz into the bedroom, taking out the medical kit and checking the supplies had been replaced. Nodding to himself, he worked at cleaning and sterilising the wounds. He needed to be placed in a tank to heal properly, but Ulaz wouldn't allow it due to his religion. Thace narrowed his eyes as he massaged the healing gel into his short fur, pulling away the tufts stuck in the gouges. That religion would be the death of him if it didn't end up being through battle. He wasn't a fanatic like he said he was when he was young, but there were some things that he never let go of; this being the worst. “I hate how this way of thinking was forced upon you,” he muttered into Ulaz's ear, giving his neck a tender lick, “and I hate you won't let me in. You can't keep overburdening yourself.” Thace refocussed his efforts on sterilising everything. He knew Ulaz would have injected himself with quintessence, but he needed more then this. It was going to be a long day-cycle.

 

-

 

Ulaz stretched out his body, cracking his eyes open and yawning wide. He blinked at the mug that sat on the bedside table. He took it, appreciating the small gestures of kindness that Thace allotted him when he was like this. He blew the liquid and took a tentative sip, humming in gratitude. His back felt sore, but it was irrelevant whether he hurt or not. He'd gone against what he believed in, and there was no justification for feeling sorry for himself. Dragging himself from the bed, he wandered through the dark corridor until he made it to the kitchen, Thace leaning against the counter as something cooked in the pan. “You need to clean out your fridge more often. Half of it was inedible.”
“Good evening to you too.” Ulaz cracked a half smile before setting his mug on the side. “Thank you for everything you've done.” He leaned against the fridge, the two watching the pan.

 

“What transpired last night for this to happen again?” Thace finally asked as he turned off the heat and started to dish things up. He watched Ulaz bring his claws to his mouth. “Don't keep biting them.”
“Apologies, I don't realise.” He settled carefully in the chair as Thace pushed the plate towards him and set a tall glass of water down. “You need your strength.” He muttered as he settled opposite with his own portion. “Was his memories that bad?”
“They were terrible. I've never seen anything so degrading in all my deca-phoebs. His friend, gods...now I've seen and heard it all...I know why he willingly goes to Sendak.” Ulaz held his head in his hands, digging his claws in tight. Thace pulled his wrists away. “Please, stop hurting yourself.” He pleaded delicately. “That's not everything, oh gods no.” Ulaz sat chewing the food in his mouth, gaze fixated on the counter top.

 

“He's passed intelligence on to Champion – the same intelligence she submitted.” Ulaz finally said. He watched as Thace placed his fork down on the plate, head bowing as he to leaned on the table. “What did you do?”
“The only thing I could think of; threaten him and...I can't say the rest. It's too shameful.”
“Did he resist?”
“No, he was obedient. That doesn't make it better.”
“I know, nor would expect it to.” Thace sniffed as he stabbed his food absently. “I threatened to tell Sendak, told him to stay away from Champion.”
“How can he if he's going back to train? He can't avoid him forever.”
“I realised. More so after I found out they slept together. I made him swear he would break off any contact other than gladiatorial chatter.” Ulaz stared at his food, not feeling hungry any more.

 

“Are you going to do anything else to him?” Thace finally asked. “I'm going to avoid anything sexual in nature with him.”
“That's for the best.” They looked at each other before Ulaz turned away. He couldn't stand to look at those eyes; he was making Thace sick with worry. “Was it penetrative?”
“It wasn't sodomy if that's what you're asking.” Ulaz tapped his mouth and Thace nodded slowly. “I understand why this morning happened then.” He muttered, drawing his mug to his hands.
“I'm disgusting and sinful.”
“No, you were thinking about the mission. We all have...difficult sacrifices we need to make.” Thace rotated the mug on the table, watching the steam rise. Ulaz snorted. “The mission feels pointless when we have to hurt those we're supposed to be trying to free.”
“But what else could you do? Reveal you're role to Sendak's personal slave and pray he didn't accidentally let it slip?” Thace's voice was louder then Ulaz was expecting.

 

“I'm sorry, I just...I wish you didn't hurt yourself like this. I feel bad for Shiro, of course I do, because he means a lot to you, but you're my mentor, my lover and someone I'd let have me as a mate. I want to be there for you, but when you punish yourself like this it...hurts. I know you hurt, don't think I'm trying to make this about me.” Thace grabbed Ulaz's wrist, holding it tightly as he leaned over. “Please, Ulaz, let me in and help you. I'm scared you're going to punish yourself so much one day you never wake up. I...get that your religion means a lot to you, but it affects your welfare.” Ulaz slowly looked into his eyes, head moving to the side just like it always did.

 

“It's hard. Everything growing up was so strict. We had to adhere to it 'lest we all be flogged. It's why I started biting my claws.” Ulaz set his fingers out on the table and watched as Thace picked up each hand with care. “You're taking the skin off.”
“Is it not an improvement?”
“It...is, but still.”
“I don't want to push my problems upon you either.” Ulaz admitted, taking a sip of water. “You have your own skeletons.”
“Perhaps, but you go rummaging for mine and I allow you in. I want to spend my time helping you. What would you say if we had a sit down, like you and Shiro, and tell me about what's on your mind? You're allowed to switch off and be looked after.” Thace took both the plates and placed them on the side. “We'll eat later.” He squeezed Ulaz's shoulder, the older Galra offering a cracked smile. “Perhaps I could share some of my demons.”
“Then let me fight them off.” Thace gave him a small forehead lick, and he pulled Ulaz from the chair.

 

-

 

“You're free to take the slave with you. I am awaiting your Medical Officer's final report, and then you will receive the advisory one afterwards. I trust you will pay attention this time?” Haggar would be as condescending as she pleased with Sendak. She still wasn't happy with him for mishandling what could have been a perfectly good test subject if he hadn't been so desperate to break it. Nevertheless, if he could sufficiently rebuild it's psyche, like Sendak had mentioned to her, there might be other uses outside of the arena if it lived that long. “Thank you, High Priestess.” Sendak and the slave bowed to her, and she dismissed them with a flick of her wrist.

 

-

 

“You have been awfully quiet.” Sendak muttered, toying with the frayed braid that hung over his shoulder. “I'm tired, Commander.”
“Was it a bad night?” Shiro was glad Sendak couldn't see his face. “Yeah. You could say that.” They walked in silence until they reached the giant atrium signifying they were close to Sendak's quarters. “So...Commander Ladnok and Kaleska live opposite us, but who else lives here?” Shiro asked carefully, looking left and right. “The other members of High Command. Commander Janka and him live to the left, whereas Commander's Trugg and Gnov live to the right.”
“How come we never see them except Commander Ladnok?”
“Our clan homes mean something different to all of us. Gnov prefers to stay inside since she works constantly. Trugg flits between her clan home, Ladnok's and the Emperor's cruiser. Ladnok commands the High Priestess's cruiser, but is normally here. Myself and the other two spend a lot of time away from our clan homes, and if I had my way, I'd stay on my cruiser.”
“Why did you come home then?” Shiro cast Sendak a quick glance. He watched him carefully before ruffling the back of his neck. “The Emperor grounded me here as punishment.”
“O-Oh. I'm sorry.”
“What's done is done. It was partially my fault.” Sendak pressed his hand to the door and it opened.

 

Shiro had missed this space. He wanted to go back and sleep on the sofa, but he wasn't sure. He wandered over to the pool, settling down on the floor to stare into the bright liquid. It's light was comforting. “What're you doing sat there?” Shiro turned to watch Sendak pull the armour from his chest, casting Shiro a look that could be worry. He didn't know. “I'm just...I don't know.”
“Come here.” Sendak motioned for him, and Shiro pushed himself from the tiles as he wandered over, awkwardly fiddling with his fingers. “Are you ill again? Do I need to call Ulaz-”
“No! No, I'm fine. I'm just really, really tired.” Shiro snapped. He flinched, drawing himself away as Sendak turned, the gauntlet catching in the light. “I-I'm sorry, I didn't mean to snap. I'm sorry-”
“Silence. Sit.” Sendak ordered. Shiro complied, but remained rigid on the seat. “Stay.” Sendak gave him a curt nod and left the room. He returned a few dobosh's later with two glasses and a bottle of what was likely alcohol.

 

“You look like you need a drink.” Sendak poured Shiro a glass, something he didn't expect, and pushed it towards him. Shiro reluctantly picked it up and took a sip. “I brought more of what you drank a phoeb ago.”
“I thought it tasted familiar.” Shiro studied the floor. “I'm sorry for snapping.”
“You're forgiven.” Sendak watched Shiro intently as he drank. He wished he had pupils, at least then he'd be easier to read.

 

“Are you relieved to be out of the labs?”
“Yeah. The Druid's creep me out.”
“Unsurprising. Many Galra fear them for their powers.” Sendak mused, swirling the clear liquid. “The Galra fear something?” Shiro picked his head up, that was strange for Sendak to admit. “Yes. We may not fear death, but we still fear things. We are a multi-faceted race, if you would believe that.”
“I do, to an extent.” Shiro looked to the bottle on the table, wondering how drunk Sendak planned on getting him. He downed the rest of the drink and reached to pour a second glass. It was another short-term fix, but it would help him forget for a while.

 

“Something troubles you.”
“Whaddya mean?” Shiro rolled his head forward, struggling to keep it from lolling back. They'd been having meaningless on-and-off chatter for the past varga and a half, a second bottle on the table between them almost empty. “You've been looking like you're ready to weep at any given moment.” Sendak leaned forward, watching Shiro carefully. “You're not acting like yourself.”
“I dunno who I am right now.” Shiro hiccuped, groaning to himself.

 

“You're Lieutenant Takashi Shirogane.”
Shiro frowned, brows knitted together as he lifted his head to Sendak. “Whatcha call me?”
“Lieutenant Takashi Shirogane. That is your name, correct?”
“Lieutenant's my title. Was.”
“I gathered.” Sendak studied him, sipping again at his drink.
”How do you know my name?”
“Are you really asking me?”
“Yeah. It's always been 'slave', or 'champion' for all of twenty vargas. Just guessed ya didn't know and never wanted to ask.”
“Oh no, I've known it since you came aboard my ship.”
“Why use it now?”
“You asked who you were.” Sendak shrugged his shoulders, “I thought it an odd thing to forget.”
“Don't mean it like that.” Shiro murmured. “I just don't know who, or what, I am. Not in a literal sense,” he looked at Sendak before he could answer 'human', 'alien', 'slave', or at worst 'whore', “it's like I'm a different person.”

 

“Events since your capture have changed you, yet you still persist being stubborn.” Sendak pulled his legs up on to the sofa as he propped himself up on his elbow. “To presume you'd remain the same is odd. You still do some of the same things, like quietly observe and get annoyingly loud-” Shiro snorted, and Sendak cracked a half-smile, “you take less coaxing to follow simple commands, however that's better for the both of us I think. Ah, yes, your sharpness in conversation; that's not really changed.”
“Sounds like you're talkin' about a kid.”
“There's an example right now.” Sendak smirked and Shiro groaned, hiccuping again. “I suppose the biggest thing is your inability to place your own life over others. At times I wonder if you just want to throw it away.”
“Few reasons for that.” Shiro closed his eyes as he leaned back into the sofa. “Might as well tell you at this point.”
“Only if you wish.” Sendak poured himself another glass and proffered Shiro a top-up. Reluctantly he nodded in agreement.

 

“Cut a long story short, my dad had a genetic condition I inherited. Was diagnosed as a teenager with it, on a shit-ton of medication to help the pain. Condition would cause my muscles to slowly decay, and then likely affect my organs as I got older. They were tryin' to ground me. Fuckin' fiancé ended the relationship 'cause I wanted to go out and live before I lost my independence – work tried to stop me.”
“If you were sick how did you make it to space?” Sendak was actually quite intrigued, so much as he knew the general idea of this from his notes and what was sat in front of him. “Matt's dad, you know, the one I threatened to throw out the window, he wouldn't do the mission unless I was the pilot. Saved him a few times out there. So cuz millions got spent on it, and Sam's literally the best scientist in his field back home, the top-brass caved to his demands. Anyway,” Shiro waved his hand, “I went off-course. So eventually Ulaz claims that he's cured my condition, and you know, I don't believe that. Why should I? I accepted I was gonna die, probably just like my dad maybe in my thirties if I was lucky?” He ran his hand through his long hair, pushing it back against his scalp.

 

“So yeah, I accepted I was gonna die sooner then what I hoped, so why not do it earlier on my own terms instead of when it slowly stripped me of everythin' I enjoyed in life? No brainer.” He poked himself in the forehead, a look of self-loathing on his face. “Now, well life has gone to shit, really. This is nice for maybe a few movements, and then it'll cycle. Again and again and again. So why not just give up? Ain't gotta purpose any more. I let Matt suffer, I've made you livid with me...I've messed up so many 'good' things that was happening slowly and I'll probably end up dead in the arena. So yeah, what's the point. Just get it over with, I'm weak and a waste of your time.” The slave flopped to the side, staring glassy-eyed at Sendak.

 

“If you don't bother, I'll do it myself.”
“How do you think you'll manage that?” Sendak rose from his seat and padded over, rolling Shiro over onto his back. “I'll find a way. What humans do, ya know?” He laughed, but there was no joy there. “You will do no such thing, and I will not kill you.”
“Please, just do it.”
“No.”
“Just pretend it was an accident.”
“I won't do that. You're drunk, and I'm not having a repeat of last time. You're going to bed.”
“I'm not,” Shiro dug his fingers into the side of the sofa as Sendak went to pull him off, his grip tightening as he was tugged, “going to,” his knuckles were going white, but his prosthetic had a better grip it seemed, “bed.” The sofa came with him as Sendak pulled harder, a growl from behind him. If he wound Sendak up enough, then he'd hopefully do it. “Another thing that hasn't changed is your petulance.” Sendak snapped, dropping his legs and pricking him between the ribs with his prosthetic claws. Shiro hissed and rolled instinctively, and was slung over the Commander's shoulder.

 

Put me the fuck down!” Shiro screamed, trying to flail his legs but failing. He curled his fists up, striking the Commander's back. Every blow seemed to just bounce off. “Why won't you react?” The scream caught in his throat and his eyes burned. He pressed his face against Sendak's shoulder blade and shouted into it, the tears finally free. Sendak remained silent as he placed him down in the sheets. Between blurry eyes, Shiro watched as he removed his gauntlet and climbed over to him. “I'm not rising to this again. You are drunk and emotional.” He pulled Shiro tight against his chest, his organic hand teasing the frayed braid out and began to rake through his soft hair. “I command you to rest, Lieutenant Shirogane.” Shiro sobbed harder, wrapping his arm around Sendak's waist and pushing his face into the body suit.

 

“I'm sorry. I'm a fucking mess.”
“Sleep.”
“Yes, Commander.”

 

-

 

“Here.” Sendak passed the mug to the slave as he groggily sat up. He stared at Sendak, then the offered drink and slowly took it in both hands. “Thank you.” His voice was delicate, much like his actions. Sendak nodded and settled down beside him. “Are you feeling less sensitive?”
“Nope.”
“I see.” Sendak picked up the tablet and considered the alien language before him. These were apparently the slave's work evaluations, and he was curious about their contents. So much as he could understand the slave through speech, the variety of human language was difficult to translate due to no understanding of the multiple alphabets. Human's had far too many languages. “I would like you to read these to me.”
“Can I be sick first?” The slave pushed the cup into Sendak's hand and vaulted over his legs off the bed. He stumbled, but ran through the door. Sendak heard his feet hitting the metal, then the bathroom door open in the distance.

 

After ten dobosh's, he returned, leaning against the door frame for support and coughing. “Better?”
“Yeah.”
“Come, read these to me.”
“What is it?”
“I was hoping you could tell me.” Sendak patted his lap and Shiro slowly climbed up beside him. Sendak pulled him close, slowly rubbing the prosthetic as he handed him the tablet. “I imagine you will recognise it.”
“I...yeah.” Shiro's hands trembled, of all things, as he held the tablet. The level of information had gone beyond uncomfortable at this point. “They're my bi-annual evaluations. Why do you want me to read these?”
“I am curious what your superior officers thought of you.”
“Still, what use is it to you?” Shiro flinched when the hand pulled away and slipped under his chin. He let his head get tilted back, to look at golden and orange eyes. “You said last night you didn't know who you were, so perhaps this would help.” Shiro felt his mouth open, but chose not to speak. Is this his attempt at helping? No, no that's not...but, we're...trusting him. Give him a chance. He didn't beat the shit out of you for last night when he easily could. “Okay.”

 

Periodically, Sendak would pause Shiro to make sure he drank. Eventually the two got hungry, and Sendak carried him to the kitchen so he could continue reading. Occasionally he would ask questions, and while they ate, he asked plenty more about what enemies of Earth existed if it was at peace with itself. At times he would laugh about how weak the planet's defences were, but would then explain the problems with using the equipment. The amount of knowledge the Commander had about warfare and technology was terrifying, but at the same time it made perfect sense considering his age. Even Shiro had questions he wanted to ask about the Galran's military, but he didn't want to come across that eager.

 

“After you reading what you have, you would certainly make an excellent soldier for the Empire. Your loyalty, tenacity and ability to push yourself is admirable. You'd also get to see much more of space, like the quadrant I patrol.”
“So you have patrol routes as well as prisoner transport?”
“That's correct.” Sendak placed the mug on the table. “I sense you have another question.”
“I do. I...uh.”
“Ask me.”
“Sorry, Commander. You're the Emperor's right hand, and you're part of High Command, yeah?”
“Correct.”
“So, to me because of how things were back home, I would have thought you'd be stationed here, because that's important. So, why does such a high-ranking Commander who's probably loyal to a fault, have a job like prisoner transport? It seems beneath your position.” Shiro made himself small in the chair, eyes transfixed to Sendak's expression watching for any tiny changes. Please don't say I overstepped.

 

After several painfully long ticks, Sendak exhaled. He thought the slave would ask about his arm before this, but he'd underestimated his perceptiveness it seemed. “That is quite a story, and I think one I shall regale to you.”
“Even though last night I was a piece of shit?”
“As you said, you were tired. As you shown, you are emotionally delicate right now. It is forgiven, except you will not try to harm yourself. You will not die dishonourably.” Sendak growled, noting the slave turn rigid under his gaze. Sendak motioned him to follow, and the two wandered through the atrium to go into the right wing. They ended up in the training room, Sendak settling on the bench and held out his prosthetic arm.

 

“Hundreds of deca-phoebs ago I lost my arm.”
“He...said he took it.” Sendak clenched his claws and noted the squeak beside him. “It is humiliating, but correct.” He grit his teeth and exhaled again. “Back then, I was commanding a mighty fleet. We would take planets in the name of the Emperor and fight in ferocious battles with our enemies. I had been doing that for four thousand deca-phoebs, and I loved every dobosh. Feeling my blood surge in the midst of battle; the thrill was exhilarating. It was not to last, however.” He fell silent as he felt the phantoms he'd kept at bay for deca-phoebs crawl out from the cracks in his mind.

 

“A battle cruiser had been over-ran by rebels and the Blade of Marmora. They wanted to make a trade; the vessel and it's contents, for the freedom of some planets. It was nothing but a supply vessel; but it had our soldiers and valuable quintessence aboard that the High Priestess demanded we retrieve. For myself, though, something far more important was on board that vessel.” He felt a warm hand touch his, and he looked down to see the slave lace his fingers between organic ones. “Sorry, it looked like you needed comforting.” He muttered, looking to the floor. Sendak gave his forehead a small lick and pulled the slave into his lap. “I was not in a right mind to lead that mission and should've deferred, however I was...reckless and enraged. I took the fleet to the meeting point, and as we fell out of our hyper-jump, we found the cruiser we were supposed to retrieve, and something so much worse. A creature called a weblum.”
“Wait, a creature?”
“Weblum's consume dead planets.” He could have laughed at the whispered curses, but persisted with his story. “The weblum saw the fleet and attacked. It can fire such a mighty energy attack that it vaporised over half the fleet in a single strike. The vessel was also caught in the blast. The remaining fleet scattered, and for the first time in my life I was at a loss. I had no strategy; no plans. In haste I brought the fleet into a trap and suffered heavy losses, and thus Ranveig, a lesser Commander in one of the cruisers, challenged my leadership. The Emperor and High Priestess were incandescent at my failure, and allowed the leadership challenge. You can see the outcome.” Sendak raised his prosthetic bitterly. “As punishment, I was removed from the front lines and placed in a quiet part of the Empire – it barely has any advanced lifeforms, maybe two species? Nothing is an actual threat. It's an insult to my skills, but a reminder of my errors. Transporting prisoners is a way for the Emperor to keep an eye on my behaviour, since I must return to the main fleet rather frequently.”

 

“What's your question? I sense you have another.”
“I...I'm trying to understand how someone like you could make a tactical error. When you talk about warfare so expertly. I just...can't grasp what could make you act so rash? What was so important on that ship?” Sendak felt his body tense against his chest and he let out a long exasperated sigh. “I'm not going to hurt you.” He gently placed him down and rested his organic elbow on his thigh, placing his painful head in his hand. The wails and screams of the ghosts grew louder. He'd be having nightmares again tonight. “This is the last thing I'll tell you before I require to be left alone until I come for you, you can do as you wish in the house, but under no circumstances are you to disturb me.” Sendak rose and moved to the door. “The most important thing on that vessel was my son.”

 

Chapter Text

Shiro remained sat in the sand for a varga. The revelation Sendak had once had a child wasn't something he could have ever anticipated, let alone him suffering such a huge defeat. Until that moment, the Commander was an invincible force; completely unassailable and unyielding. Maybe that's where he got that scar from. He recalled the strange scar that both Sendak and Yastara had, the one he denied. Both had links to the Emperor, so perhaps it was given to those who dissatisfied him? He stretched out his arms and flexed his fingers. Perhaps Sendak's hubris was forced; and his possessiveness and rage was the by-products of being humiliated, and he was trying to hold on to something he no longer had.

 

He's still strong – he kept going and took the humiliation and pain. But he barely seems to address it. Galra don't seem to address much. A bit like us. We're bad at that; we lie and avoid it just as much. Is it because we're not strong? Maybe, or it's because he was right; Earth taught us bad habits. They don't live to the same ethical standard, so why keep applying Earth standards? We're going to be stuck out here for fuck knows how long, possibly forever, and you have to admit, some of the things we've learned have been really interesting. I mean that's true. I want to pick Hepta's brain about Galran traditions. Yeah that was pretty interesting. They're not all...terrible. They still hurt us. Because we've been hanging on to what was, and not looking at what is. We enjoyed the time in the bathroom, when we finally saw him and had that room. We want that security and the collar back. Remember we decided to give our trust and loyalty to him, and since we've come back, since he saved us I might add, has he laid a finger on us? No, but it's when he does. Because we'd have pissed him off. Last night was a prime time he could have, but he didn't. He didn't rape us, he let us cry into his chest and remained by our side all night. But what if it's an act? What if it isn't? We can keep going in circles or we can make a decision. We need to agree something concrete, because right now he's the one stable thing in our life out here. We've damaged our relationship with Matt, the one with Ulaz is fucked up, and we can only worry about whether Sam knows or not. Sendak is here; he is trying it seems. If we keep going on like this, we're going to break so much more. But then what's our purpose? I don't know what we're even living for any more. I know, and we need to work that out still. Later, we need to think about what's in front of us, and we need to decide the best course of action.

 

-

 

Sendak sat in his office, eyes unfocused as he stared at the display. There were words there but they were incomprehensible. Some details he couldn't regale to the slave; the ones about the audio feed – the shouts and screams of the crew, then silence. Even to this quintant, he wasn't sure what his son's last words were: he could never make it out from the other screams of fear and calls to retreat. Out of it all, Haxus had been the one to remain at his side. His relationships with the other commander's fell apart, and both him and his mate became distant, throwing themselves into work before the guilt, shifting blame, regret, and disinterest in each other set it. She'd ended it, and he didn't bat an eyelid.

 

He turned off the display, ignoring the reports and pulling open a drawer to the side of his desk. His organic fingers brushed against the small metal holo-projector. He pulled it out and gently set it upon the desk. Pressing the button, he stared mournfully at the images. He should have done more; been there, perhaps helped him unlearn the stubborn characteristics he'd adopted from them that led him to shouting at them both and storming out, adamant he there was no way the rebels or anyone would be able to take their ship. Sendak's gaze softened as he skipped to the next one. He wore his first set of armour there; just starting his stint in the Royal Guard. Gods, he needed a drink.

 

-

 

The kitchen looked like a bomb-site. Sendak arched his brow as he listened to the slaves increasing curses. He had no idea how he could generate this much mess. “What are you trying to do?” He finally asked, stepping in. The slave yelped, turning around, face spattered with some orange-looking juices. “Are you...are you trying to prepare food?”
“Trying, yes. I don't know what half of this is still. I've not seen it raw.”
“Do you actually know how to cook? You're not using the right knife to cut the kest.”
“The orange thing?”
“Yes, the orange thing that's sprayed over your face.” Sendak swiped his claw across the slave's cheek, and brought it to his mouth. “If you want this, fetch me one with a serrated blade.” He watched the slave pace away, checking the counters and sink for the knife. “I can't cook, by the way. I can reheat things and burn stuff.”
“Then I will show you. I would like you to be able to cook something edible at one point.” Sendak cleared some space, eyeing the filthy blender warily. “What did you put in there?”
“Uh...it was...” the slave rummaged through some empty packets and handed Sendak one. “That squishy thing.” Sendak gave the packet a bemused look and placed it down. “You tried to blend meat.”
“I thought it was a fruit – it looked like a peeled lychee.”
“Gods, you really cannot cook, can you?”
“I can't read either.” Sendak sighed and pressed himself against the slave, who was in turn was pushed against the counter. “Then let me educate you.”

 

-

 

It had taken about three vargas to make food and eat. Sendak was annoyed he'd made the kitchen a state, and gave him the understandable punishment of washing everything up and cleaning the room in one varga. It had to be spotless, and if Shiro knew anything, it was how to keep things to a high standard. When they were in the barracks, he had to keep his bunk pristine and all other areas clean. His superior officers would come in with white gloves and run their fingers over any surface for dust, and the floors had to be spotless to the point you could eat off them. He was always fine, because both his parents were fastidious with keeping things tidy.

 

“Did you do much earlier?” Sendak watched him from the doorway. “Just some exercises and practised my forms. I was thinking a lot otherwise.” He replied nonchalantly, frowning at a stain on the counter top he'd missed. “Then I had a flick back through the tablet you gave me. It's jarring, seeing how I was then compared to now.”
“Do you miss it?”
“Of course I do. I had freedom; a life.”
“No one is ever truly free.”
“Well no. I suppose I mean control then. I don't have that.”
“You have control over some aspects, like earlier.”
“I guess so. Maybe a little more lately since you brought me back.” Shiro, finally pleased he had defeated the stain, turned and leaned against the counter. “I just wonder if it'll last.”
“It'll last for however long you remain behaved, as I have previously said. If you lash out like last night again, then next time you will be punished.”
“I'm still surprised you didn't. I mean I hit you.”
“You did, but they were like tiny taps. It was noticeable something was wrong with you last night.” Sendak stepped over the threshold, inspecting his work.

 

“Your work is adequate.” Sendak motioned the slave to follow him. They wandered through the quarters until they reached the training room. “I thought a sparring session would do us both some good.”
“I think that was a good call, Commander.” The slave gave him a small smile as he followed at his heels. “It'll also be a good time to look at reforming you. You recall what you asked me?” Sendak watched the slave pause, clearly searching his memories. “I...think so. I was talking about Earth, when I told you I was scared of enjoying anything with you.” He shifted on his feet, clearly recalling the rest of it as he reached for his neck. “You still want the collar back?”
“I...yes.”
“You don't sound as convincing as before.” Sendak let the inhibitor fall to the floor. “Have you perhaps changed your mind?”
“No! No, I've just had a lot going on in my head. Of course I do, I swore myself to you – I still fear you won't forgive me.” He gave Sendak a wide-eyed stare, mouth slightly agape.

 

“It's just,” Sendak trailed his claw over Shiro's lip, “you seem so scared compared to the last few movements.” There was that purr again. “I don't want to fail you.”
“I see.” He let his claw linger before pulling away, “then you will defeat Champion. I will forgive you if do so and re-collar you.” Shiro remained staring at Sendak like he was mad. “L-Last time he almost killed me!”
“Almost is the important word there.” Sendak grinned, taking a fighting stance. He wasn't wearing his prosthetic gauntlet, but the regular one. Shiro quickly assumed a fighting position, wondering just how Sendak was going to fight with this arm. “Begin!” He shouted, and Shiro launched himself forward, hand glowing and drawn back as he brought it round to strike at the Commander's thigh. Sendak dodged, and he heard a small chuckle from above as he was forced to the ground. “Try again.” That purr fired Shiro up. Oh, I'll try as many times as it takes.

 

-

 

Shiro's arms were pinned behind his back as his body hit the sand with a dull thud. He groaned, pushing his hips up against Sendak, who was sat across them. He could hear the low chuckle rumble in his gut. “You got a scratch in.”
“You're bleeding.” Shiro retorted, lips pulled back to reveal his teeth. He was pumped up on adrenaline, and his heart was beating hard in his chest. “But it's like a scratch. “ Sendak leaned down to purr in his ear, his sharp teeth brushing against his exposed shoulder. Shiro growled, trying to pull his arms back. “Oh, you still want to fight?”
“Of course!” Shiro struggled under his weight, bucking his hips up and tugging harder at his arms. “Tell me why.”
“Because I fucking live for this.” Just fucking let me up, stop monologuing. He felt Sendak push himself off, and Shiro quickly rolled away back up onto his knees, flicking his arm out like he was slashing a drawn blade.

 

The slave's eyes held a beautiful frenzied look about them that pleased Sendak to no end. “You get one more hit, where're you aiming?” Sendak smirked as the slave screeched and ran low towards him. He was coming in to make another strike at his waist. Sendak let himself drop lower to the ground, knees bent ready to push back at the prosthetic came round to strike his arm. Those eyes glittered at him like he knew. The slave never swung his hand against the arm, instead he dipped to the side and punched into his chest armour. Almost instantly, the hand deactivated, the slave panting heavily as he stared at the cracks in the armour.

 

Sendak purposefully curled each individual finger around Shiro's shoulder, digging his claws in. Shiro didn't want to look up, but lifted his head to lock eyes with the Commander. “You struck me as if to kill.” His tone was unreadable. Shiro swallowed but held his gaze. “You always say I need to look for the quickest way to end the fight.”
“That is correct.” The grip tightened and Shiro could feel the claws pierce his skin. He winced at the pain, but continued to keep the Commander's gaze. “So what now?” He whispered.

 

Sendak swept his legs out from under him, and Shiro fell back into the sand. He felt it stick to his open wounds and hissed out in pain. The Commander dropped to his knees and dragged his claws down Shiro's chest, the fabric shredding in their wake. Fuck. Shiro arched his back into the touch, Sendak pausing as he reached his hips. “Are you going to punish me?”
“I'm actually rather proud of you right now.” Sendak purred, trailing his claws over his thighs, ripping the material. “So why would I want to punish you?”
“I cracked your armour.”
“I suppose you did.” Sendak pressed his thumbs into the space between his legs, kneading the sensitive thighs slowly. Shiro groaned, spreading them wider when the claw tips pressed against the skin. He could feel the heat pool in his gut, and Sendak clearly noticed.

 

He slowly trailed his hand over the slave's naked stomach and chest, letting his palm enjoy all the curves and dips of the solid muscle below the surface. The slave writhed under his touch, which was certainly enjoyable to watch. He paused at his throat, squeezing it tight before releasing. Sendak leaned down to drag his claws over the slave's cheek and tangled his hand in the knotted hair, roughly digging his claws in. “I have a very enjoyable punishment lined up.” Sendak smirked as he yanked the slave up sharply, forcing him along by the hair and out of the room.

 

Sendak forced him into a small cell with freezing metal floors. Shiro cried out as his body was pressed up against the wall and his arms pinned against his back. He felt the remaining fabric ripped from around his body and tied roughly around his hands. Sendak kept him in place by pushing his knee between Shiro's thighs, and he couldn't help but grind his hips against them. “C-Commander, fuck.”
“You wanted this,” Sendak purred in his ear, “you asked about punishment.”
“Yeah,” Shiro breathed, whining when Sendak's heat pulled away. “Stay exactly where you are.” Sendak ordered, and Shiro watched him leave the room, the heavy door slamming shut behind him.

 

A varga later, the door finally opened, smashing against the wall behind him. Shiro felt rough claws around his wrists. The fabric was pulled away and something metal replaced it, clicking into place. His prosthetic was pushed into the wall, and the inhibitor placed back on. “You were very good for not breaking free when you so easily could.” Sendak's cool voice was hot against his neck, making chills run down Shiro's spine. “I-”
“No talking, slave.” Shiro felt something soft pushed into his mouth. At a guess it was likely the tattered remains of the body suit that had been tied around his wrists. “I want to hear your desperate whines and whimpers of need.” Shiro bowed his head, pushing his hips backwards in answer. It's been movements, just fuck me up. “Good boy.”

 

Sendak struck the back of the slave's thighs with a narrow crop, and it earned him a sharp whine as the skin reddened. He struck over and over; the only sounds that of the crop slicing through the air, the smack, and the whines. After ten dobosh's he took a step back to admire the red marks and trembling body as his slave panted. “Such a good boy.” Sendak purred as he placed it down and pulled the slave around by the shoulder to face him. He stroked the side of his face, watching as he leaned into the touch. “It's good to see you enjoy this.” Sendak tugged at the hoop at the end of the piercing, the slave squeaking as he pushed himself upwards. “I told you it'd be better, didn't I?” He nodded his head slowly, eyes heavy and cheeks flushed.

 

“Turn back around and lean against the wall. You will not break the position.” Sendak ordered, and Shiro complied. He heard the Commander move behind him and claws trace around his entrance. He moaned around the fabric as Sendak teased his hole, before pulling his hand away. His body felt cold for a few ticks until a slick finger pushed its way in, and he moaned at the warm touch as the Commander probed his insides. Another finger pushed itself in. They curled and stretched him, and Shiro felt his body relax against the invasion. Sendak chuckled above him, and the prosthetic snaked around his front to toy with his stiff cock. It was hard not to break position; he wanted to lean back into his touch and buck his hips, but the Commander had issued orders and that was priority over what he wanted to do. The Commander knows best. He let out needy whimpers and gasped through the fabric. Just fuck me up.

 

He started to wonder if Sendak was a mind reader, because he pulled his fingers out and they were very quickly replaced with something hot, large and slick. It pressed against his entrance, but from this angle it was tight and painful. Regardless, Sendak pushed himself in and Shiro's back arched as he let out a heady moan. Sendak purred in response as he dug his fingers roughly into his hips and set a quick pace fucking him. “You are exquisitely tight from this angle.” Even Sendak seemed surprised, the faintest hint of satisfaction escaping his lips, as Shiro felt his ass cheeks spread apart. Shiro could only moan his agreement loudly as the ridges rubbed against his hyper-sensitive insides; each movement driving him just a little more crazy, a little more desperate for Sendak to just fuck him on his knees like a dog. At least it's Sendak. It's not those bastards from the brothel.

 

With each thrust, the slave came a little more undone beneath him. Sendak was pleased he remained standing, even if he was trying to get him to falter. He forced his fingers under the fabric gag, chuckling at all the saliva the slave had made, then pulled them out. He took the slave's cock between the wet fingers and set to working the leaking cock. The slave whimpered, hips automatically rolling towards the touch. Sendak snarled and bit down against the his shoulder as he felt his release build.

 

The angle that Sendak was hitting was really good for his prostate, but not for his bladder. Having an erection really didn't help either. Shiro moaned and mewled, body trembling under the Commander's sharp thrusts and expert hands. He was getting close, and Sendak kneading his balls wasn't helping. He let his face rest against the wall, appreciating the coldness against his sweaty and filthy skin. He felt the Commander's swollen cock twitch inside him as it struck his prostate, and Shiro's body shuddered as he saw stars. He felt his own hot come splash against his stomach, the rest dripping down the head. Sendak let out a deep snarl and Shiro felt him empty himself. The battle wounds and those from the sex were sore, but the post-coitus high was good. Sendak was too good to him.

 

He felt a rough tongue lap against his shoulder. “You've been very good at receiving your punishment.” It sounded like Sendak was trying to regain his own breath. The fabric was pulled from his mouth and dropped to the floor, and Shiro could finally catch his own. “C-Commander. I-”
“Wait.” He purred huskily, and slowly Sendak pulled out. Shiro hissed as the length was removed, but squeaked when he felt something new press inside him. “You can keep that in while you clean up.” Sendak clicked his claws and Shiro pushed himself away from the wall with his torso and carefully dropped to his knees as he took the offered cock in his mouth. Shiro worked his length, cleaning him thoroughly, before pulling himself off and letting Sendak push his fingers in, eyes glued to his face. “You make me want to take you again.”
“I wouldn't complain.”
“I know,” Sendak eased his claws from Shiro's mouth, trailing them over his lips, “because your body is mine.”
“It is.” He hummed in appreciation as Sendak teased his hair.

 

“You can clean up the mess you've made.” Sendak grabbed him under both shoulders and planted him in front of the wall, holding him by the hair. “Clean.”
“Yes, Commander.” The slave licked his lips before lapping at the messy trails he'd made. As he needed to go further, Sendak pressed his head down and kept the plug in place, twitching the end and earning pathetic whimpers. “Good boy.” He was still impressed with the lack of push-back, and it'd been over half a phoeb ago. He truly had learned his place, at least when it came pleasing him.

 

“Commander, may I...use the bathroom please?” The slave rolled his shoulders, looking hopeful at Sendak. He studied him and slowly pulled him up, before pressing him back against the wall. Sendak softly stroked the skin of his cock. “You can here.”
“I-It'll get everywhere, please-”
“Here, or I'll put you on your shoulders and press your bladder until you piss on your own face.” He growled low in the slave's ear. There was an almost inaudible squeak. “It's part of your punishment.” Sendak let his prosthetic fingers toy with the plug, until he felt the body relax. His slave let out a few sobs, as he allowed himself to be humiliated. Keeping his word, Sendak remained in place, giving tiny licks against the bite wound from earlier. “There, that must feel better.” He wiped his hand into the slave's skin. “You remember from the last time how to clean it up. Then go get yourself a shower. Tonight, you can cut your hair for being so well-behaved.” Sendak released the cuffs and watched his slave sink to the floor.

 

“What do you say?”
“Thank you, Commander, for being so lenient.”
“You understand this is part of reforming you, yes?”
“I do, sir.”
“I will be in my office. Come find me once you are clean. You can remove the plug once you have your shower.”
“Yes, Commander, thank you.” The slave bowed low, and Sendak gave a contented purr. He put his cock away and left him knelt in the room. Humiliation was the key to making sure his slave remembered who was in control; for all the 'nice' things Sendak could do or be, his slave needed to remember not to get comfortable. Life would eat him alive if it did.

 

-

 

“Did you submit it?” Thace draped his arms around Ulaz's neck. Ulaz leaned back into the touch, exhaling the smoke and watching it billow in front of the screen. “Yeah, both of them. I detest every word I had to write.”
“I thought Shiro's one was supportive of his health?”
“Oh it is.” Ulaz looked up, “however if I know the Commander, he'll do the exact opposite of it. Him and Haggar are planning something, I don't know if it's between them or separate, that's the thing.” Ulaz paused.
“You'll have to do some digging. Maybe see if you can make Shiro tell you anything?”
“It's just hoping I don't have to push much.”

 

Their conversation was broken by the radio static changing to a low hum. They scrabbled for the pen and pad, and settled in front of the ancient radio. It started with a sharp tone, then an automated voice spoke.
“Zero-nine-seven, five-eight-one-one-three, nine-zero-zero-two-four-seven. Six-six-eight-one-zero-five-nine.” There was another sharp tone and then the static returned. Ulaz stared at the notes and nodded to himself slowly as he reached for his bag, the two of them settling down at the table and sharing the Galra Empire's Code of Conduct book between them. Ulaz pulled out a thick book and set it beside them. They caught each others stares, and Ulaz took Thace's hand in his. “Let's see what it says.”

 

-

 

Sendak was about to close his display for the evening when an alert flashed in the corner. Sighing, he clicked it to find a holiday request along with the forwarded medical report for the slave. He sniffed and typed out a message to Ulaz. He'd need to discuss the report with him anyway, so he could just confirm the holiday then and there. There was a knock at the door, and Sendak checked the time. He'd taken quite a while to sort everything out. Hopefully the slave wasn't going to be difficult or too delicate.

 

“Enter.”
Shiro pushed the door open and fastened the towel tighter around his hips. He felt better at least getting to cut his hair back, and get rid of the stubble again. “You look much cleaner.”
“I feel it.”
“Are you delicate right now?” Sendak motioned him to settle opposite him, and Shiro paced over, sitting carefully in the large chair. “Not as much as I would have been. As said before, the time out there taught me a lot.”
“I'm pleased to hear that.” Sendak placed his hands on the desk, giving him a glance over.

 

“I'm not sure if I prefer you with longer hair or when it's neat-looking like this.”
“I prefer it this way.”
“There's not as much to grab, that's the only thing.”
“Well,” Shiro leaned his elbows on the desk and pushed himself forward, “there's always this bit.” He pointed to his fringe, the white streak looking a little more pronounced. Sendak toyed with the hair, brow furrowing. “Is your hair supposed to turn this colour? Is this normal? Ulaz and I have noticed it.”
“Today was the first time it's registered. Sure, human hair will naturally go grey or white over time but...not like this.”
“I will be inviting Ulaz over to discuss your final medical report. We shall ask him then.” Shiro felt his face drop at the name, Sendak noting the change. “I know he searched your memories, but you must realise he was very vocal about being the one to do it, for you. The High Priestess and I would have chosen a Druid, but he was explicit in stating your mental health would get worse if we did.” Sendak rose from his chair. “He might frustrate me, but his loyalty is unquestionable. He does spoil you as well,” Sendak smirked as he ruffled Shiro's hair. “You're the first one he's really got on with, and this pleases me.”

 

Shiro swallowed the lump in his throat as he followed Sendak out. The Commander took them back to the bedroom, and like usual, he dropped Shiro into the sheets as he stripped off his armour and body suit. “You really did crack it, didn't you? I am thoroughly pleased with you.” He grinned, settling down and pulling Shiro on top of him. “You will defeat Champion, mark my words.” He pressed Shiro's head into his chest, while with his free hand, tugged the towel off from around his waist and smoothed his rear. Shiro rubbed his face into the fur. At least he's pleased with me. He let out a small squeak when a claw teased his entrance.

 

-

 

Ulaz fiddled with the bodysuit around his neck as he stood outside the Commander's door. He was anxious being here because Shiro'd be here, and he dreaded to think how that interaction would go. At least Sendak would have collared him again. He was far too possessive to let anyone have a chance of harming his slaves. “Officer, it's good to see you early as usual.” He hadn't realised the door had opened, and he quickly stood to attention. “Good morning, Commander!”
“It is a fine morning, isn't it?” Sendak gave him a toothy smirk and motioned him inside.

 

He followed the Commander through to his office, but there was presently no signs of Shiro. “Is he training?” Ulaz queried. Sendak gave him an even wider grin as he tapped the top of the desk. Ulaz felt his stomach drop when he leaned down to see Shiro sat underneath it, naked, and in a very different collar to what he was expecting. The look he gave Ulaz was that of pure fear. Don't look at me like that, please. He noted the chains leading from hooped nipple piercings to the cock piercing. They were all connected to the loop in the leather collar around his neck. His lips looked swollen and wet. He could guess why Sendak had a 'fine' morning. “Did you see the bell?” He pressed his foot between Shiro's legs and prodded his cock with it. It made a soft jingle while Shiro made a soft whine. “I am sure you must be pleased, Commander.” Ulaz ripped his gaze away as he settled down. He could hear Shiro move thanks to the bell, while the Commander sat and got comfortable.

 

“It's a surprise for you to want so much leave at once. I can give you it, of course, but just curious what's happened.” Sendak offered Ulaz a glass and he smiled, taking it and pouring some water. “It's not so much that anything's happened – not with my family this time anyway – I think it's just been rather hectic these last few movements...phoebs really, and I just need to take a break.”
“So over-worked.”
“Yes. You do create a lot for me.” Ulaz offered a wry smile and Sendak chuckled. “I suppose I do, and I will concede you have been busy. You've gone above and beyond my expectations, even if at times they can seem a little meddlesome.”
“If I wasn't so meddlesome, I'm certain the slave would be in a worse state.”
“I concur. I don't know what I would do without you, and Haxus of course.”
“Commander, I am here to do my duty.” Ulaz bowed his head. Internally screaming and wanting to flip the desk, grab Shiro, and run.

 

“How has he been?”
“We had an incident two quintants' ago. He wanted me to kill him.”
“That's in line with part of my report.”
“Yes, I did note that,” Sendak sniffed as he brought it up. “As I was reading it, I became a bit concerned with what input I may struggle with. With meetings starting again shortly, I'm concerned that I may not be about for much of the day-cycle. Since his species is social, my concern is that he may spiral.”
“Well won't he have training?”
“I'd need someone to take him down and likely bring him back, that's the thing.”
“What about Officer Hepta? Would he not be taking Ladnok's slave?”
“That...is actually a point I'd not considered. Slave, would you like to see Officer Hepta?” There was a brief pause. “I am always happy to see Officer Hepta, Commander.”
“I'll have a chat with him and Ladnok then. Would you not be able to do some quintants?” Sendak cocked his head to the side.

 

Ulaz fiddled with his claws under the desk. “Well, I did schedule my leave from next movement, and I'm working an advisory role for the High Priestess-”
“She'll likely be fine if I ask her.” Sendak shrugged. “It also gives you time to talk to him, and see how he's doing. He does like your company.”
“Well, if you ask I'm happy to do it.”
“You'd be happy, won't you?” Sendak asked Shiro again. This time there was a longer pause. “If it would please the Commander, then yes.”
“Good boy.” Ulaz winced at the patronising tone.

 

The two discussed aspects of the report above. Shiro remained focused on the Commander's cock in front of him, running his fingers over each individual ridge and tracing the veins. He'd left tiny teeth marks against the flesh and gave them small flicks with his tongue. His jaw ached and having Ulaz around made him uncomfortable, but at least the Commander was here. He was safe.
“My biggest concern is Champion. I don't trust him around my slave.” Shiro lazily licked the underside, listening carefully.
“In what way?”
“Well he's a rebel at his core, and likely working with the Blade of Marmora. I am concerned he may try and coerce my slave for information.” Shiro's entire body tensed up, tongue against Sendak's swollen head. No, no, no. Please don't, please don't say-
“I saw nothing like that in his memories. I would have alerted you then and there.” Ulaz replied coolly. “I know. It would be a shame if we had to kill him. Especially after all this time and investment.”
“I agree. It would feel like a waste. But, I think your slave is quite perceptive. I doubt he would do something so reckless.” Shiro let out the breath he didn't know he was holding.

 

“Are you alright down there?” Sendak pushed his claws into his fringe. “Y-Yes. My jaw aches a little.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yes, Commander.” Shiro made sure to sound more confident in his reply. Don't give yourself away, even if it is tempting to drop him in it along with you. “Fair enough. I will type up a response later, but I have two final questions, if you don't mind indulging me.”
“Of course, Commander.”
“His hair is turning white. There's a larger segment now then before. Would you know why?”
“Can I take a look?”
“Of course. Slave, go to Officer Ulaz.” Sendak released his grip on his hair and Shiro reluctantly crawled a little to rest in front of Ulaz's feet.

 

Ulaz pushed himself back in the chair and bent down to take a look. Grey eyes met his. He brushed his fingers through the hair, gently easing the strands between them. The affected area had indeed grown. “There's two things I can think of: either it's caused by stressors, which makes sense considering the past few phoebs, or it's quintessence. You recall that the Empress's hair turned white while she worked on the rift?”
“I recall seeing it with my own eyes.” Sendak replied. “Regardless, I don't think I can give you a diagnosis, however his quintessence levels in the labs were quite high even though he wasn't always in the tank.”
“That may explain my next query. Here, take a look at this.” Ulaz kept his gaze purely on the white strands, and tried to offer Shiro a small smile. All he received was a scowl.

 

With a thud, Ulaz looked up to see the cracked armour. “What happened to that?”
“He did. We were sparring last night and while his arm was activated, he struck my armour. I appreciate the arm is weaponised, but this seems a bit too much considering the reports of his physical.”
“It's lucky the strike was where it was.” Ulaz pulled the armour closer as he inspected it, noting the scorch marks around the centre of the dent. “I can't say unless I was there, however there looks like there was a lot of force behind the blow. I'd be interested in seeing him spar some time...may I?”
“You can spar with him yourself if you please. It'll be good practice for him.” Sendak paced around and looked down at him and Shiro. “He does enjoy fighting. Which is why when he defeats Champion, he can have his collar back.” Sendak clicked his claws. Ulaz watched Shiro crawl out and settle against his leg, the bell jingling as he moved, drawing his body in close as he closed his eyes.

 

“I've decided you may start your leave now if you so wish. I'll let the High Priestess know you won't be around.”
“I would...very much appreciate that. I will be ignoring work mail, if that's alright?”
“Of course.” Sendak watched as Ulaz rose, picking up his small satchel. He nudged his quiet slave, “say farewell to Officer Ulaz, you've barely spoken a word all morning.”
“Apologies, Commander.” He nuzzled against Sendak's leg, before lifting his gaze to Ulaz. “Goodbye, Officer Ulaz, sir.”
“Return to your position, I shall be back soon.” The slave nodded and watched them leave.

 

As they reached the door, Sendak placed his hand on Ulaz's shoulder. “For the record. If you ever wanted to,” he gestured back into his quarters, “play about with him, you have my consent.”
“I,” Ulaz blinked, “h-he's yours, Commander, I would never dare touch your property.”
“I know, which is why I've given you consent to if you so wish. I'm sure he'll get over you rooting about in his head in time. I can sense his tenseness.”
“I hope so as well.” He offered a weak smile and turned on his heel, “thank you, Commander. It does mean a lot that you can trust me with him.”
“Trust works both ways, and I trust you completely.” Sendak gave him a small salute, and Ulaz gave him one back. “Vrepit sa.”

 

Chapter Text

“Young master, lemme just fix ya armour.” Kaleska bent down and corrected the bottom of Hepta's armour. “Urgh, don't nanny me!” Hepta whined, but a small grin teased his lips as he pressed his head against her crest. She chuckled, patting Hepta on the shoulder. “Can't letcha out like that! Mistress would scold me somethin' fierce!”
“I won't let her scold you.” Hepta gave her a warm smile and wrapped his arms around her large waist. “I'm glad you're here.”
“I'm glad I am too, young master.” Kaleska stroked his face like a mother would soothe a child. “I'm happy the Commander's letting me take you down to the arena! It's just weird we have to take you on a leash.” He turned to Shiro, who was hovering near the door awkwardly. “I...tried to escape once.”
“Ahh, that explains it.” Hepta nodded knowingly. “That's a shame. I hope one day you won't need it.”
“We'll see in time.” Shiro offered a half-smile as Kaleska came over to fix the energy rope. She ruffled his hair softly. “Young master, you must lead him.”
“I know,” Hepta huffed as he took the end. “Let me know if I tug too hard, okay?”
“I...will.” Shiro was surprised by this kindness. Usually it was keep up with Sendak or get dragged along.

 

The three walked and chatted about various things. Hepta finally pressed him about instruments, and Shiro was left trying to remember what he'd reeled off before he was repeating himself. It felt like the journey took less time than normal as they arrived at the doors to the arena. “Let's get you both signed in. I have to get to work quickly – hopefully the Druid's won't be angry.”
“They should be fine, young master, just remember to be honest.” Kaleska soothed as she unclipped Shiro's leash and collar. Hepta motioned them to walk in and jogged over to the sign-ins.

 

“He's still so young,” Kaleska sighed, watching Hepta excitedly greet the just as excited receptionist. “You seem to get on really well.” Shiro said, glancing up at her. “Well, I've been around him since he was born. After his and Ladnok's mother died, I practically raised him.” Kaleska looked sorrowfully at the ground. “She was my previous mistress.”
“I'm sorry to hear that.” Shiro watched Hepta along with Kaleska. “So how old is he?”
“Ya ask me a difficult question! Le'see...it's almost mistress's five-thousandth birth celebration, so that means the young master is just turnin' a thousand deca-phoebs old in the next two phoebs.”
“Isn't that when we all fight each other?”
“I think so?” Kaleska stroked her chin. “Will have ta check and get back to ya, Tiny.”
“Please, use Shiro.”
“Can't help it, ya so tiny and I wanna mother ya!” She picked him up, tracing her fingers over his neck.

 

“Where's ya collar gone, by the way?” Her bright green eyes grew dark quickly.
“Sendak...took it. I won't get it back unless I defeat Nadiva.”
“What did he do to ya?” She placed him back on the floor, putting her hands on her hips and cast him a stern look. Under that gaze, she really did look like a mother. “He...sent me to the Ragnar ring – I was there for five movements in a brothel with Nadiva – and then I've been with the Druids up until...” he counted on his hand, “four quintants' ago.” He couldn't lie to her because she was so genuine, and like him, a slave. She studied him for a few moments with her hawk-like gaze before nodding slowly. “I'm sorry to hear that. Ya must have had a rough time. Can only imagine what ya went through, and I don't think I'd scratch the surface. I'm sorry for bein' so stern with ya.” She bent down and bowed her head. “P-please, you don't need to be so kind. I-It's fine. I'm...in a better place.” He offered her a smile, and she nodded slowly. “Lemme know if ya need a break, alrigh'?”
“I will, Rudiarius.” He offered her a tiny smirk as Hepta waved them over and ushered them in.

 

-

 

Shiro cocked his head as Banlu and Kaleska waved him over. Zestera glancing up from their food briefly before glowering at Shiro and turning their attention back to stabbing at the contents of the bowl. “Sit,” Kaleska patted the seat next to her and Shiro settled, placing the bowl on the small table. “Ya enjoyin' fightin' again?”
“Yeah, it's nice not training with just Sendak or Hepta.” Shiro cast Zestera a sharp look, lip twitching in irritation as they snorted derisively. He noted Banlu jab Zestera in the ribs with their sharp elbows, mouthing something at them. “Ah ya, the young master came back filthy after your skirmishes.” Kaleska's lips tugged into a fond smile as she pushed the food round the bowl. “He mewled for a bowl of sugared kest when he got home. The mistress was not happy with him.”

 

“He's immature for a soldier.” Zestera glanced at Kaleska, yellow eyes narrowed into slits. “He needs more discipline.”
“He's nothin' but a babe. Don't be so harsh!” Kaleska admonished, her rumble reverberating around the table. “He's almost a thousand deca-phoebs old. He should know better.”
“He's recoverin'!” Kaleska drew herself up to full height baring down over them. Zestera glared at her and sighed. “I can't talk to you when you're like this.”
“Ya star'd it!” Banlu's shrill voice cut through the air like a knife. She grabbed Zestera by the shoulders and pulled them towards her, nostrils flared. “Why you actin' like a bellen'?”
“I don't like that thing there.” Zestera jabbed their finger at Shiro, who gave them a confused look, spoon in his mouth. He swallowed the food down and rose from the seat, pacing slowly around to stand in front of Zestera.

 

“So what's the problem?” Shiro crossed his arms over his chest, lips curled downwards. Back on Earth he'd deal with this differently, but here it was much harder to use calm words in such an aggressive society. That, and Zestera had always been casting him venomous glares whenever he saw them. Zestera snorted and pushed themself up, drawing close to Shiro's face until they were millimetres apart. “You attacked your kin.” They pushed his shoulder, Shiro took it. “You only won on luck against Myzax.” The spit sprayed over his face, and Shiro wiped it away. “He was my kill.”
“So why didn't you do it sooner?” Shiro raised his eyebrow, placing a hand on his hip. “I attacked Matt because I knew he'd die in the arena. I saved him from this. Killing Myzax? That was skill, not luck.”
“You're a fucking disgrace. Barely ever here, too busy getting your ass fucked by that cu-” Shiro flashed his teeth and grabbed Zestera by the folds of their wrap. Twisting his body, Shiro threw the alien clean over his shoulder to the hard ground. He clenched his fist tight, feeling the hand power up. “Don't you talk about shit you don't know anything about!” Shiro snarled, launching himself at the heap on the floor.

 

The breath was knocked out of Shiro when he was floored by a huge weight. “Shiro, get yaself back in line! Zestera, cut the shit. If both of ya act this way, ya gonna taste my axe. Ya understand?” Kaleska roared. The others in the hall watched the commotion from their seats, and the room filled with whispers and judgemental or curious stares. Shiro was eventually allowed up. Zestera scowled at him, then Kaleska, before stalking away, grabbing his sword as he pushed the doors open with a bang. Shiro narrowed his eyes at him, his gaze reaching Nadiva who leaned against the back wall. He watched him follow Zestera out.

 

-

 

“I'm not surprised he's behind the technology.”
“Neither am I. It just surprised me they had the resources to create something so destructive. If we could get the blueprints for that cannon, defending the Empire would be amazingly simple with the pure range it has. I'm sure we could improve upon its capabilities.”
“That, or we salvage it. Get him back again.”
“You know I'd have to carry him again on my ship.”
“I'm sure the patient Sen-Sen I know would be able to hold his temper, like always.” Gnov's lips drew up into a pert grin. Sendak barked out a laugh. “Impudent wench.”
“Insufferable bastard.” Gnov jabbed his side with her elbow, Sendak grunting as he rubbed the area. She turned, a few paces in front, “you should remember not to let your guard down.” Gnov laughed in that musical way she always did, casting his a provocative look before turning on her heel. “Come along, Commander, I don't have all quintant for your dawdling.”

 

The playful conversation came to an abrupt end as they entered the hall to see the Rudiarius stood with her massive hands on both of their slaves. Her imposing figure rigid. Sendak and Gnov cast each other awkward glances before striding over.
“Gladiators, greet ya masters.” Her voice rumbled, and both slaves bowed low, arms across their chests. She followed suit afterwards, and exhaled. “I'm sorry to bear ya both such bad news, but we had an incident with these two earlier. 'Though I've punished 'em both,” she squeezed both their shoulders, and both slaves reluctantly turned to show raw backs, “anythin' further falls within ya personal preferences.” She firmly pushed them both forward, handing the lead to Sendak.

 

“I would like to know what happened.” Gnov gave Zestera a disapproving glare before turning her attention back to Rudiarius. “It started with Zestera here disrespectin' a Galra Officer, then escalated when Shiro 'ere squared up to him. Shit was spewed, and Shiro tossed his fellow gladiator to the floor and activated that arm.” Rudiarius glanced down at it, Sendak noting the fearful look in those bright eyes. It took a lot to scare the Rudiarius; she'd by far seen the most out of all of the present gladiators. He'd need to pick her brain in private at some point. “I ain't standin' for disrespect in this hallowed arena. Friendly rivalry? Fine. Tryin' kill each other, nah. You're gladiators, not murderers.” Sendak felt his slave shift a little closer at the latter comment.

 

“In a vedashell, I can pair 'em up or keep 'em apart, let 'em scrap it out, or leave it in your hands.” Kaleska looked between the two Commanders in front of her, both considering their slaves. Finally, Gnov answered; “I would be happy to make them work together. Sendak?”
“Might as well. You'll be training together, and you can learn to get on.” Kaleska gave them an approving smile. It was likely that both Commanders were using this as a punishment for them both, but as far as being a slave went, she held a good standing with most of the Commanders. Champion's was always difficult, but then he always looked at her like a piece of meat. That was the one thing she had been eternally lucky with since she was captured. “On a more personal note, in two movements Commander Ladnok will be five-thousand deca-phoebs old. Would you both be free to attend the celebrations?”
“Providing I'm not busy with work, I should be able to attend.” Gnov offered a smile. She looked to Sendak, who gave her a sharp nod. “It'll be good to get out.”
“Slaves are welcome, as well as any additional guests. Just let myself, or the you- Officer Hepta, know.” She rumbled, before offering them both a salute.

 

-

 

Sendak pushed Shiro into the cell, closing the door behind him. “Explain, now.” Shiro watched the prosthetic claws activate as be backed up against the wall, a bead of sweat running down the side of his cheek. “They insulted me! Was about to call you something awful! They were bad-mouthing Officer Hepta and angering Kaleska, then they started on me! I'm not taking that from them – not someone like Yastara!”
“You know?”
“Know what?” Shiro watched the claws deactivate. “Gnov's dreck of a slave was Yastara's kin.” Sendak leaned against the door, eyes focused on Shiro.
“I mean, they look almost identical, how could I not guess they were related?”
“Do they know what happened to their kin?”
“I don't know – all Zestera seemed to be annoyed about was the fact I killed Myzax. Apparently that was their kill.” Shiro rubbed his eyes.

 

“I lost it when they said I was barely in training because I was always getting...ass-fucked by you. They were gonna call you a cunt and I just couldn't let that happen.” Shiro sighed, bringing himself up to full height and staring intently at Sendak. “You want me to stand up for you? I did. You want to punish me, go ahead. I'm trying to show you loyalty, and if that means beating the shit out of other slaves then I'd do it again in a heartbeat.” He crossed his arm across his chest with purpose, giving Sendak a curt bow. “You're my Commander, after all.”

 

-

 

Both Shiro and Zestera stared at the energy rope that bound their wrists with contempt. That much they could seem to agree on. Kaleska beamed at them, before turning back to the other gladiators stood a few paces away in a line. Shiro's eyes flicked to the small clusters of spectators in the stands – apparently it was normal for some citizens to come and watch – especially the bookies when they were trying to work out the odds for main events. “So!” Shiro quickly brought his attention back to Kaleska, who paced up and down the line, hands behind her back. “Can any of ya bastards tell me why teamwork is important?” I know why team work is important, but I don't think this dreck does. He'd imagined this was how Keith felt when that kid set him off. He smiled, tuning out a little as he recalled the memory, remembering how surprised Keith looked when he offered his hand. The poor kid probably had a lot of people give up on him, but Shiro could see that potential. He was gonna be a great pilot; he knew it.

 

Shiro jolted as a large shield was stabbed into the ground at his feet. “Better be payin' more attention, Shiro.” Kaleska gave him a warning look, and he nodded hastily. “You're going to get me killed. Fucking useless untrained dreck.” So much as it was tempting to bite back, Shiro ignored the baited insults. He was better then that. He cocked his head to take stock of the pole arm in Zestera's hand. It looked like a woldo, and the blade had seen better days. “Weapon of choice?”
“Favoured, actually.” Zestera sniffed as they tugged Shiro along with them.

 

“How do you fight?”
“Well.” Zestera cast him a scowl.
“No, are you agile? Defensive? Focus on attack?”
“I don't think, just do.”
“We need a plan. What're we even fighting?”
“If you'd listened, instead of being stood there with a dopey look on your face, you'd have heard Rudiarius say we were fighting a terchii.”
“So what's that?”
That.” Zestera raised their joined hands and pointed to the beast that cantered out. It looked like a shire horse, but stood at about two metres at least to the withers, and instead of short hair like a horse, it had a thick exo-skeleton and a deep red crest running from its head to its hindquarters. The creature brayed and snorted as it reared up. “Native to my home world. Aggressive in nature. You defend, I attack. Got it?”
“Yeah.” Shiro narrowed his eyes as Kaleska whipped the creature into a frenzy. “Let's go.” Zestera took off, and Shiro did his best to keep pace. He was as fast as Nadiva.

 

The terchii snorted and galloped towards them. “Defend and brace!” Zestera ordered, dipping behind Shiro. He brought up the shield, and as the creature reared up and struck its mighty hooves down, Zestera pressed their full weight against Shiro's back. He grunted as his prosthetic screamed under the tension, brow knitted tight together as he concentrated on keeping them alive. His legs strained, even if they were bent to take the blow. “Don't think I can hold it-” Shiro snarled as he felt Zestera skirt away and thrust the pole arm into the breaks in the exo-skeleton under its foreleg. It brayed in pain as it swung it's thick neck to Zestera.

 

Shiro withdrew, tugging his arm and pulling Zestera to the floor, the head just missing him. “What was that?”
“No time!” Shiro clicked his tongue as he dove towards Zestera. He pulled them up roughly and the two danced around the creature as it cantered away, circling them. The two drew together so their backs pressed. “I didn't wanna go flying with you.”
“Could have gave me a warning!”
“No time for chatter, it's coming back.” Shiro panted, eyes focused on the terchii as it stampeded towards them snorting wildly. They only just dodged out of the way, Zestera trying to get a lucky strike but the thrust just bounced off the exo-skeleton. They both growled in unison. “We need to get the underbelly properly, and we can't let it draw out the fight.” Zestera watched from the corner of their eyes as Shiro pulled himself up. “Least you can hold your ground.”
“At least you can use that thing.” Shiro snorted, offering a tiny grin. “Can you try draw it in with the pole arm? I'll then come in to block as it rears up, then you can try and stab it.”
“Sounds like a plan. I won't be able to brace. You're on your own.”
“Don't take long then.” They watched the terchii continue to circle, noting the deep red patch under the foreleg and spots of blood on the sand.

 

Zestera screeched at the terchii, lashing their tail against the sand and slamming the large blade of the pole arm to the floor. Shiro was poised to move as it galloped at them, head raised as it brayed and snorted.
“Wait.”
Shiro watched as it got closer.
“Wait.”
It didn't seem to be slowing down.
“Wai-”
Shiro dropped, pulling Zestera down with him as the terchii cat-leapt over their heads. As it's body touched down, it bucked. Shiro rolled up to his knees, pressing his weight into the shield and grunting in pain as he was knocked on top of Zestera. “I-Idiot!”
“What type of team mate would I be if I let you get trampled? Strike it, now!” Shiro shouted, pushing himself up with Zestera, the other thrusting the pole arm into the unprotected thigh. The terchii shrieked out in pain, as it limped forward, blood pouring from the wound. Zestera moved under the beast's legs, thrusting the pole arm up once, twice, three times; the pink flesh and white bone shining through. Shiro stumbled backwards, bringing Zestera down on top of him, the two panting heavily as the terchii staggered forward, before dropping into the sand. It billowed up around it, before slowly settling. The creature lay defeated.

 

A raucous roar resounded behind them, and they heard feet thunder across the sand. Zestera pulled themself off Shiro, dropping the pole arm to the floor. With their free hand, they offered it to Shiro. “You're not totally shit at defence, but that doesn't mean I like you much either.” Shiro paused, before taking the hand and letting himself be hauled up. “You're good with a pole arm, perhaps you can show me one day?” He cocked his eyebrow, Zestera snorting in response. “Takes deca-phoebs to get as good as I am. Depends if we're alive by then.”
“Then lets stay alive,” Shiro offered them a warm smile. Zestera looked away.

 

Kaleska came to a halt in front of the pair, undoing the bind. “Great work! We're gonna have a mighty lunch!”
“We're going to have a what?” Shiro looked between her and the terchii. “Ya, they're ridiculously tasty. Zestera here can cook 'em up real well.” They turned to Zestera, who folded their arms across their chest. “I might be able to whip something up, Rudiarius.” They bowed their head and took the pole arm, motioning for some of the others to come over to the body. “You and they got the kill, so you can share the heart.” She gave Shiro's shoulder a pat, “it'll make you stronger, maybe even a little bigger.”
“Sounds...great,” he watched with scepticism as the group dragged the body between them, Kaleska gently pushing Shiro towards them to help lift the carcass.

 

-

 

Shiro let out a soft gasp as he slipped into the warm water, sinking low and absently blowing bubbles. It was just him – Sendak had to take a call with Haxus about something. The emollient soak smelt and felt good against his bruised and cut skin. It had been a good quintant, all things considered. Carving up effectively a horse was disturbing, and he'd not really enjoyed the half a heart he'd been forced to eat, but Sendak had been weirdly pleased with him for bringing some cuts home. Maybe terchii was a delicacy? To him, they were eating a horse. Hopefully they could have something meat-free tonight. He closed his eyes, yawning, as he sank into the water, letting himself float along the top. God, this is really relaxing.

 

-

 

“The Commander messaged saying he will be later then planned. His meeting has carried on longer then he anticipated. You will remain in here until he comes to collect you.” The guard pushed open the door of the large cell and Shiro thanked him as he stepped in, eyes catching a dull orange glow. “Have fun,” the guard called, walking away. Shiro settled opposite Nadiva, who cocked his head to the side, the teal locks looking a bit longer now. “It's been a while. Have you been avoiding me?”
“It has, yeah.” Shiro chewed his tongue. He had to be careful what he said.
“Is something wrong?”
“Yeah, something's pretty wrong.” The fact that it's your fault Hepta's so nervous about returning to front-line duties. He'd got weirdly attached to Hepta, possibly because his behaviour at present reminded him a little of Matt. He was also friendly enough in a strangely endearing way. He shook his head; he was struggling with getting attached to anyone who wasn't Sendak because betrayal would eventually happen. He wished things were black and white; all these shades of grey were difficult to deal with. He just didn't want to feel so alone. He missed Ulaz; calm, kind Ulaz. I just want to trust someone again.

 

“What happened?”
“I've been warned about hanging around you.”
“By who? Kaleska?” Nadiva crossed his leg over the other, watching him intently.
“Not just her. Effectively, I'm dead a man walking if I say anything.” Shiro leaned forward, expression grave. “I see. That is a shame.” Nadiva stared at the floor, a little dejected. “I had some news to give you.”
“Nadiva, please don't make this more difficult.”
“It's about your friend-”
“I said don't-”
“-we know what planet he's being held on.” Nadiva crouched down next to Shiro, gently brushing some of his hair away. “We need to make a prison break there, Shiro. In the next few phoebs, we can free him.”
“Nadiva, stop, please. I can't be involved in this.” Shiro curled his fingers around his wrist, pushing him back, face pained as he screwed his eyes shut. “I thought to tell you at least.” Nadiva rose and made his way back over to the bunk. It squeaked as he settled.

 

“I thought this might happen eventually.”
“Thought what?”
“You have thrown your lot in with a the Galra – they got to you, they broke you.” Nadiva's stare turned icy. “I should have curbed my expectations – you had potential, but only that. I am curious, though,” Nadiva rolled to his side, expression nothing but pure disgust, “what you sold yourself for. Or did you perhaps just give yourself up? Opened your legs like the whore I always thought you were?”
“That's rich coming from you!” Shiro rose, fists clenched tight. “You might act cool and collected but you're just as broken as I am! How do I know if anything you say is true? You took advantage of my trust when I was vulnerable.”
“Because you wanted it, and you were easy to manipulate.” Nadiva rose, squaring up to Shiro. He shoved Nadiva away, teeth bared. “You even act like them. Such a pathetic, broken creature.”
“I'll break you.”
“Really? Then do it in the arena. Get to the finals to face me, and I'll make you wish you'd never been born.” Nadiva spat at his feet and turned back to his bunk.

 

It was a tense half a varga until the guard came along, sensing the atmosphere it seemed. He quietly pulled Shiro out and walked him to the front desk, Sendak stood checking something on his tablet. He ushered Shiro out, and the two walked in silence. Shiro could feel Sendak's gaze on him; he could likely sense the anger coming off him in waves. “What troubles you?”
“Champion.” Shiro spat. “I'm going to kill him.” Sendak made a bone-chilling chuckle and Shiro felt his hand on his shoulders. “I will enjoy seeing you do it.” Shiro looked at the hand, pushing it off to stand in front of Sendak. “I'm serious. I'm going to paint the arena floors with his blood and use his corpse as a fucking brush.”
“Don't become too blind.”
“My sight is crystal clear, Commander.” Shiro growled. He spat against the floor. “Can you do something for me when we get back?”
“What do you want?” Sendak sounded bemused. Hopefully he'd like the response. “I want you to fuck me up.”
“What would that entail, slave?” Shiro stopped, looking at the Commander's still form in the low light. “I want you to fuck me until the only thing I can scream is your name.” He carried on walking, eventually hearing the clawed boots catch up quickly.

 

Chapter Text

“The Revolution is an old girl, but she gets you where you need to go.”
“How many deca-phoebs has she been ferrying strangers into the skies?”
“Oh, quite a few. She's had a few makeovers; replaced a few parts here and there.”
“So, is the Revolution really the same ship as when she was first built?”
“The Revolution may be not have all of her original pieces, and she might look a bit battered up, but at the end of the quintant, she's still the same old girl she's always been – still represents the same ship I built.” The burly Galra sat on the engine exhaled smoke from his lips, looking down at the cloaked figure.

 

“Don't get many strangers waxing philosophical about spacecraft, especially out here on the fringes. You a bit of a thinker?”
“You could say that. I find your answer curious; could you not argue that she has lost so much of herself that she's no longer the same craft? Or perhaps as soon as you changed one part, she no longer was the Revolution?”
“I see what you're saying. It's all about identity and meaning. To me,” The Galra smirked down at the stranger, “things will change over time like everything does. Things will break or fail, but so long as she ain't flown into a star, well, I can repair anything. New parts and paint jobs happen, I might update the font on her to be a bit more in line with the times, but to me and those who keep coming back to fly my little craft, she'll always be the Revolution.”
“That's a rather endearing way to look at it, your craft, I mean.” The figure lifted a long pipe to their hidden lips, taking a slow drag.

 

“How much to hire her out? I need to get somewhere, but the route can be quite treacherous.”
“A good conversation usually covers the cost.”
“How do you keep her running?”
“I do odd jobs here and there,” the Galra hopped down from the engine, lighting another cigarette and wandered over to look at the glowing eyes of the stranger. “Without conversation, you cannot learn. Without learning, you cannot gain knowledge. Without knowledge, life is meaningless.”
“You're a pilot who thinks a lot, aren't you?”
“Aye. I have the time and space.” He waved his arms around. “This moon sees very little activity.”
“I imagine so. It's a very quiet place to retire to. What made you want to live out here? I hear it can be dangerous.”
“I like a bit of danger in my life.” The two Galra stared at each other for a few ticks. The wind picked up and rattled some nearby shutters.

 

Their blades clashed against each other; the metal sang out around the dark field. “It's good to see you again, brother.”
“Likewise.” The hood blew away, revealing Ulaz's face. “Do you want a drink, perhaps a rest before you go?”
“I must make haste,” Ulaz checked around the ship, nodding in contentment. “I understand. Follow me a tick.”

 

-

 

It had been a while since Ulaz had flown anything. He sat in the cockpit chair, rechecking the co-ordinates he'd put in. He'd always quadruple check them, and keep an eye on the time. He had to be cautious when he approached the main base due to the pathway opening and closing. If he didn't fly fast, he may miss the window and have to wait for a few quintants until it opened again. He bent over the console, checking the controls and what was available on board the ship. It had cloaking, boosters, and by the looks of it a military-grade cannon installed. He didn't expect to get into any skirmishes, however one could never be too careful.

 

He pushed himself up from the chair and stretched his arms out, taking the cloak from the back of the seat and folding it neatly. He padded over to his bag and pulled out his suit. It'd been a long time since he'd worn it. He smoothed his claws over the grey material as he pulled it from the bag, then the rest of the armour. He stripped out of his military-issue attire and stowed it carefully away in a sealed compartment that blocked the intense radiation he would soon be in contact with. Though the ship had strong shields, he'd prefer to play it safe.

 

Ulaz watched the stars pass by from outside the display. Deep space was a lonely place, much like the life of a Blade. Even though he and Thace were as close to being mates as they could get, this life wouldn't allow them the chance to make it a reality. It was no ones fault; things just had a way of panning out as they did. Even though they were grounded in Central Command, and it'd been great spending so much time with him again like they used to; all the gentle domestic moments, the sweet kisses and tender sex, the breathy purrs and the way he laughed all felt painful to him – it shouldn't feel like these moments were being stolen away. It could never be, they could never have this long-term. He felt his eyes prickle and wiped at the edges. He shouldn't feel like this, it was a life that he'd chosen, after all. He blinked under heavy eyes. Everything was catching up with him.

 

-

 

You awakened the Blade.” Kolivan gave Thace a curt nod. Ulaz bent down, helping the Galra up. “T-Thank you.” He blinked at Ulaz, a hint of fear in his eyes as he still wore his mask. They all did until a possible candidate passed the trials. Ulaz hummed a response and took a few steps back to stand near Kolivan and the remaining veterans of the Blade. Their numbers had recently taken a heavy blow – but like always, the disenchanted souls of the Empire would find themselves here looking for answers to questions they had for too long suppressed. Thace had become close to Ulaz's mentor; Hurgen, and he had passed his blade on to him along with the co-ordinates. Like most possible candidates, they had to work out what the code meant. Selection had never been wrong for millennia.

 

You will be trained by your new brother, Ulaz. I expect you to listen without question – he is as seasoned as I.” Kolivan's mask disengaged as he slowly stepped towards Thace, planting a hand on his shoulder. “Thank you.” Thace bowed his head forward towards their leader, then dropped to the floor. Ulaz softly padded back over, pulling him up again. “I will commence training after he rests.” Ulaz muttered, hoisting the body over his shoulder. Kolivan nodded, the other Blades around them beaming and chatting amongst themselves. “It's good to have another in the ranks.”
It is, but we still need more. More blades must be claimed.” Kolivan muttered darkly as he turned to the few veteran members that remained. It was enough to count on one hand. They had other members, but none as experienced as themselves.

 

Ulaz's eyes blinked open slowly. He'd been asleep. He rubbed them as he moved up to look at the displays and track his location. He was a quintant away from his destination. A little more rest couldn't hurt, even if it meant revisiting memories in his dreams.

 

-

 

Tell me, little one, what's on your mind?” The older Galra settled beside him, taking a pipe out and lighting the contents. It was long, thin and silver, and Ulaz liked the shine the pale moonlight made against it. “I'm not that little. I'm nine-hundred and thirty-two, actually.” The Galra at his side laughed heartily, choking a little on the smoke. “Goodness, where are my manners!” He wiped at his eyes, before sighing and looking up at the stars, the wind rustling the trees above.

 

I don't want to be here any more. I'm sick of living like this. There just has to be more to life then this religion. I want to go out, explore. Do the Galran thing, you know?”
And what is the 'Galran thing'?”
You know, fight for the Empire. The Alteans destroyed our home – I didn't ask to be born into a family that wanted to abandon the Empire for what it did!”
From what I know of you, which I admit is not a lot, I think you would be too kind for the Empire.”
What makes you think that? I could kill someone, if I wanted to.”
Really? Well, since you are an adult, why don't you have a go?” The Galra beside him passed him a knife, a strange symbol glowing brightly at the hilt as it neared him.

 

Ulaz took the weapon in his hand, turning it over and over. “What's it made out of? It feels so light. Why does the centre glow? What does the symbol mean?”
All very good questions. I could tell you, but you said you wanted to kill.”
Can I retract that?”
I don't know, can you?” He took another drag on his pipe, watching Ulaz for his answer. He swallowed, pupils transfixed on the knife in his hands. “I want to retract that. I want to learn – grow.” Ulaz's ears pricked at the soft chuckle beside him.
Lets play a small game. I'll offer you some choices, and you tell me what sounds better, okay?”
Okay...” Ulaz side-eyed him carefully, before moving his body round, fingers tight around the hilt. Although his religion was pacifistic in nature, somehow holding this knife felt natural, familiar somehow.

 

So, books or a blade?”
Books, of course.”
What do you think sounds more appealing: freedom of thought and what you can vocalise, or social rules and repercussions that can change at any given moment?”
That's a harder question then the first.”
I didn't say this was an easy game, just small.” He grinned between the pipe. “So, what's your answer?”
That's a bit loaded – because you make one sound worse, but you can argue that social rules can help a society not devolve into a mindless collection of people spewing hatred and misinformation just because they think it.”
But then if censorship and punishment for being an individual exists, a society can become stunted and stale – as well as a dictatorship. It does not grow and learn. I can see your point, but you're only looking at it from one way. There are many shades of grey in life.”
Then can I really make a choice?”
You can choose whatever option, or no option at all.”
I don't think I'm ready to make a choice.” Ulaz said with confidence. “I don't have all the information.”
My, you are quite grown up for your age, aren't you?” He laughed again. Ulaz found it puzzling; they weren't telling jokes.

 

You're a really strange guy...what was your name again?”
Hurgen.”
You said you were a soldier with the Empire?”
I did, yes.”
You don't act like the other soldiers around here. They look at us with hatred – treat us like half-breeds.”
Ah-ah, none of that,” Hurgen scolded, “my children are just as much Galra as I am.”
I-I'm sorry,” Ulaz's ears drooped and he pushed the knife back. “I should get going. If I'm late back they'll punish us all again.” He turned to leave, Hurgen catching him by the hem of his shirt. “Those wounds – when did you get them?”
It doesn't matter.”
Wait, Ulaz.” Hurgen pulled himself up and grabbed the him by the shoulders, spinning him round to look at him. He was a tall, muscular Galra with a strong jawline. “I have one last question for you: would you rather stay here, or leave?” Ulaz stared at him for a long moment. “If I could, I would leave right now. I'm scared I'm going to die on this moon.” He screwed his eyes shut, before running.

 

Ulaz rotated the blade around in his hands. He always thought he'd taken Hurgen's blade, until he shown him his own. This was his; it chose him to wield it. The first time it awakened for him was when him and Kolivan completed their trials. Kolivan had come from the Royal Guard at the same time Hurgen rescued him from his life, if it could really be called that. They were both the same age. That was a little over eight-thousand deca-phoebs ago now. He ruffled his mohawk. After Kolivan had been training a while, their then-leader, a woman called Illara, had hand-picked him for eventual leadership. She was cold but fair, and honestly, she couldn't have picked a better leader. His skills were honed to perfection and his battle prowess was a sight to behold. He was a true force of nature in person and on the battlefield.

 

His mind drifted to the Commander – not so fond of Kolivan. Sendak saw him as a cocky upstart, and Kolivan was the only one who could challenge him in any type of fight outside of the Emperor, or so he said. Sendak had confessed deca-phoebs ago that he wished Kolivan hadn't betrayed them when he was drunk – he missed the challenge and wanted to fight him again. Ulaz wasn't a betting man, but even he didn't know who would come out of that fight alive if it ever happened. Part of him prayed it never did, because Sendak would be fury incarnate for Kolivan's actions leading to the death of his son.

 

-

 

He traced his hands along the cool stone. It always surprised him considering what lay outside. He was back home, even if what awaited him made the fur on his neck stand on end. He was anxious to see Kolivan; those eyes that had grown colder after so many deaths. He kept it hidden well, but Ulaz knew. Leadership was a lonely place from what he understood, and he was content that there was never that expectation for him. He paced up winding staircases and then a lift, until he came out at the end of a corridor; their emblem flickering in the hall in front. Ulaz made his way along and stepped into the room; Kolivan and Antok stood awaiting his arrival.

 

“Welcome home, brother.”
“It's good to see you both well.”
“We have much to discuss, but first, I need to do your debrief.” Kolivan slowly stepped down and walked past him, Antok striding after him. Ulaz sighed and turned, following the two back out of the room. As cold as always, it seems. It was going to be a long two movements.

 

-

 

The debrief took vargas, but was finally winding down. Kolivan thanked Ulaz as he placed the data chips in a small container. “As always, you deliver a wealth of intelligence.” Ulaz could have sworn there was a ghost of a smile on his face. He nodded slowly and shielded a yawn. “You can rest soon. Just the usual questions to tie it up.” He looked down at his pad and sighed; “are you still of able body and mind to continue your mission?”
“Yes.”
“Are there any relationships that could be compromising to your role?”
“No.” Ulaz bit his lip.
“Are you sure?”
“Do you mean Thace?”
“No, although you know my feelings on that. That slave you mentioned is who I'm referring to.”
“I don't think it would be-”
“You explicitly told me what you've done to him and yourself. I would call that compromising.”
“I still put the mission first.”
“But you cannot deny it. If he has a death wish, he may try taking you down with him.”
“Along with Sendak, Nadiva, Krolia and Ranveig.”
“I can't justify exchanging two Blades' and an allies life for a slave and two members of High Command.” Kolivan leaned in towards Ulaz.
“I wasn't suggesting that at all, but pointing out I understand the gravity of the situation. I am confident that I have it in hand. The slave is too fearful of reprisal to be of any potential threat, and so far as he is concerned, I'm just like the rest of the Galra.” Ulaz crossed his arms over his chest. “Memory purging by the Druids is too high risk, my only other option is what we use.” It wasn't an option he liked the thought of, but it was the only way Ulaz could guarantee the safety of the Blades and Shiro.

 

Kolivan considered him for a long moment. “Will it work on him?”
“Highly likely from what information I have about his species.”
“Then you can take as much as you need back with you. At least you have easy access to him. If you are confident in this, then I will believe it.” Kolivan tapped the display and looked back up at Ulaz. “I will want updates if anything further happens, understand?”
“Yes.” Ulaz watched him nod and look down at the display, pausing again. “It's a shame Nadiva has made this messy. I'd have asked you to seduce him for information if that was the case.”
“Kolivan, that would be too much.”
“No, it wouldn't.” His tone grew terse, and Ulaz knew this was the best time to back down.
“Do you feel your role is compromised?”
“No.”

 

-

 

“So, this is one of the Lions of Voltron?” Ulaz slowly walked up to the barrier, rapping his knuckles against it cautiously. Kolivan chuckled behind him, taking a few paces forward. “It certainly is. The Red Lion – the right arm of Voltron.” They both stared at its vacant 'eyes'. There was something eerie but ethereal about the ship that sat in front of them both. “It's like you're just waiting for it to move.” Ulaz tried to joke, Kolivan just arching an eyebrow at him before fixing his gaze back on the lion. “It has yet to accept anyone as a pilot.”
“That's probably a good thing.” Ulaz wandered around the barrier that the ship had erected. “It's possible Zarkon could sense it.”
“That's certainly true. I presume he is still hunting for the Black Lion?”
“Of course he is.” Ulaz stood beside Kolivan, hands behind his back.

 

“So we've found two of the five lions. Is there any news about the Black, Yellow and Green?”
“No news yet.” Kolivan kept his gaze with the lion steady, as if staring at it would make the ship lower the barrier. “You know what we could use that human for?”
“Which one?”
“Sendak's slave.”
“What would you intend to do with him?” Ulaz asked carefully. Kolivan was silent for a while. “Send him back to Earth – warn them about the impending Galran attack when they get wind of the Blue Lion's location. When and if you get off Central, of course.”
“That would takes phoebs of planning – I imagine I would be blowing my cover for that to happen?” Ulaz arched an eyebrow at his leader, who let out a small chuckle. “I think you'd be happy getting away from Sendak.”
“I have been missing this place, I must say. Will the Red Lion be moved from headquarters in due course?”
“Yes. We're looking at transport options and locations at present, while keeping an eye on fleet movements.”

 

-

 

So what happened for you to come back looking like this?” Ulaz asked as he wrapped the bandage tight around Kolivan's chest. This was the biggest wound he'd received to date. “The operation was compromised, and we...we lost Velk along the way.” Kolivan hissed through his teeth as Ulaz applied some gel to the gash on his arm. “You're really good at healing. Have you thought about doing that?”
I don't think I'm honestly all that great. All I did was read books, practised a bit on some dummys and a few live subjects.”
Is that why your light's always on when I'm trying to sleep? You're reading?”
Well yeah. Books are great sources of knowledge – and data pads.”
If you spent the time you put into reading into training more, you'd probably be able to do more missions.” Kolivan flinched when Ulaz tugged the bandages hard.

 

Not everyone's born equally.” Ulaz glared at Kolivan.
It's been a thousand deca-phoebs – you're out of that place now.”
I know, and I've unlearned a lot...just some things are harder to break then others.”
You can do it. When you do, you can become my body guard when I lead.” Kolivan cracked a tiny grin before it disappeared. He dropped his head low as a throat cleared from the doorway.
Kolivan, if you're to lead one day, you need to reign yourself in. I understand what you did, but we can't afford to lose our brothers and sisters or become compromised. Unlike the Empire, everyone is useful and has a purpose. No one is a number.” Ulaz turned to see Illara stood behind them, eyes fixated to Kolivan's broad form. She looked to Ulaz, inclining her head. “You will have a new mission shortly. I need you to brush up on your swordsmanship before you go out. It'll be a small team – three operatives. I suggest you spend some time with myself and Kolivan.” She gave them both a curt nod and left, hands behind her back.

 

Do you think that's what I'll become if I ever lead?”
I think that's entirely up to you, but you have to think about all the lives you're responsible for.”
Yeah. Maybe that's how you're supposed to be when you have that much pressure.”
It sure is a lonely life, leadership.”
I think only a few can walk it well enough.” Kolivan stared at the bandages, and offered Ulaz a toothy grin. “For putting it on tight, I'm gonna make sure training is rough.” Ulaz elbowed him in the side, chuckling to himself.

 

-

 

The only sound around Ulaz was that of deep breathing as the three of them meditated. It was a long-established practice within the group, and something he hadn't made the time for since he was stationed on Central; he simply hadn't had the opportunity. Through his eyelids, he could see the light flicker. A growl came from his left, and he heard Antok rise to his feet. “I'll go see what he's got into now.”
“Please.” Kolivan answered, the exasperation clear in his voice. Ulaz cracked his eye open, watching Antok's tail swish in frustration as he paced from the room; his footfalls making no sound.

 

“Who is 'he'?”
“A very important scientist. Do you recall the reclusive Slav, at all?” Kolivan rumbled.
“I recall the name, but can't put a face to him. Why is he here?”
“It's easier to keep an eye on him, and he's updating our systems and networks. We'll be taking him to the outposts to upgrade them soon enough.”
“Is he the one behind the cannon you mentioned?”
“He is.”
“I wish you'd told me sooner. It feels at times you don't trust me.” He heard a sigh, and looked to Kolivan. For the first time in hundreds of deca-phoebs, he looked tired. “It's not an issue of trust. It's been your recklessness at times that worries me. I don't want to lose you.”
“Because you see me as a valued friend, or just another number?”
“Don't think of yourself like that – you and your work are crucial.”
“You didn't answer my question. I accept that my life is less important then the overall mission.”
“You know you're my friend.”
“Then why does it feel like we're strangers? What happened?” Ulaz tilted his head to Kolivan, who held his head in his brow. “Our paths diverged a long time ago, what became important to us shifted.”

 

-

 

Thank you,” Kolivan pulled the braid around his neck and smoothed out the uniform. He wore the garb of a leader; he was now the head of the Blade of Marmora. “How does it feel?”
Like I've large boots to fill, but the mission comes first.”
Have you...grieved Illara?”
She knew that the mission was priority over anything else.”
Kolivan that's...that's cold.”
I've never been as compassionate or emotive as you, Ulaz, and this role does not allow for that. The stakes are too high to be clouded by emotions and feelings. I – we – must soldier onwards.” Kolivan moved with conviction towards the door. Ulaz grabbed his forearm tightly.
We can still do that and mourn the fallen.”
“You can still do that. I cannot. I will mourn her in my own way, and that's all you need to know. Come, we have work to do.” Kolivan pulled his arm away and exited through the door. Ulaz curled his clawed hand around the air, drawing it back to his chest. He steeled himself, and followed quickly.

 

-

 

“How did you manage to switch off the gravity?” Antok held Slav between his second pair of arms, tone exasperated. Slav shrugged, making a dismissive noise. “It is just a small calibration error! If you let me go, and push me at a twenty-six degree angle, there's a ninety percent chance that in this reality, I can fix it. Unless...this is the reality where I don't, and the station gets torn apart by the black holes. Or we combust thanks to the star-”
“Would you please just fix the gravity!” Kolivan growled as he floated aimlessly.
“Yes.” Slav remained in Antok's grip.
“Well?”
“You want me to do it now? Okay. Push me towards the panel, but at a twenty-six degree angle only.” He squinted his eyes at Antok, who groaned and aimed him as best he could. Ulaz watched somewhat bemused from his spot floating above a control panel. It'd been a long time since he'd been in zero-gravity, and a longer time since Antok and Kolivan had expressed any other emotion in their voices.

 

-

 

You wanted to see me?”
Hurgen glanced up as he emptied the charred contents of the pipe into the ash tray. “I did, come on in. You don't have to be nervous.” He offered one of those warm smiles that always made Ulaz feel safe, and he padded slowly over to the bed. “You don't have to sit on the edge like that – I don't take up that much space, do I?”
N-No, it's just...I didn't expect you to ask me here. It's your space.”
Only when I'm on base.” Hurgen shrugged as he refilled the pipe, lighting it again. “I'm going on a long mission.”
Where to?”
Central Command. They've made me a lieutenant, and I'm going into communications.”
You don't sound happy about it.”
I'm not, because I wanted to focus on teaching you a few new things. However, Kolivan's the boss, so his word is law.” Hurgen exhaled the smoke, studying Ulaz pensively. “It's likely I'll be gone for a good few hundred deca-phoebs – probably longer.”

 

I'm going to miss you.” Ulaz flicked his eyes to Hurgen.
I'll miss you too. You've really come a long way – and you've developed a good fighting style. It doesn't waste energy – it's efficient and suits you. Compared to the young Galra I met on that moon all those deca-phoebs ago, you're so much more confident in yourself. As your mentor, I...” Hurgen trailed off. He set the pipe down and placed the ash tray on a small shelf above the bed, and pulled himself over next to Ulaz. “I'm proud of you. I think you no longer require a mentor.”
I. Are you sure? I'm still not-”
Ulaz, trust me. I wouldn't say it if I didn't believe it,” Hurgen wrapped an arm around his shoulder, bringing him into his toned chest. Ulaz felt a tiny lick against the end of his ear, letting out a small purr as he closed his eyes. “Will you stay the night?”
Of course.”

 

“May I enter?”
Ulaz blinked up from the blade in his hands and placed it on the bed. He'd been reminiscing about his mentor. That night was a bittersweet one; on one hand it was a wonderful time with Hurgen, but also the last time he saw him. This room held a lot of memories; ones he never wanted to let go of. Hurgen was strange and unnaturally laid-back for a Blade, but his reasoning was that you had to laugh, otherwise the job they did would break you. It was one of his lessons that Ulaz could never really grasp.

 

Kolivan stood on the other side of the door, offering out a small packet. “I'm here, if you allow it, to indulge in your smoking habit.”
“Are you just here to indulge in smoking with me?”
“I think we need to talk. As...friends, as opposed to leader and subordinate.” Kolivan glared down at the floor. “That would be nice. Come on in,” Ulaz took the offered packet and motioned Kolivan inside, the door sliding shut behind him. They settled on the bed, the small ashtray threatening to fall over as Kolivan sat down. “It's all your muscle.” Ulaz offered a weak smile as he placed the packet between them while Kolivan pulled out his own pipe from the inside of his wrap. “I do have the body of a warrior.” Kolivan didn't pick up on the joke. “Hurgen and Illara would be proud of you.”
“I wonder whether they would. We've lost so many.”
“It's not your leadership. The Empire has changed, the rebels have changed, and so have we.”
“But we aren't what we once were.”
“We're still the Blade of Marmora, and our mission is to stop the Empire's domination of the universe. Just because things have changed, doesn't mean that we have. And even if that's so,” Ulaz lit the contents of the pipe as he watched Kolivan, “then perhaps we are a more refined version of what first was.”
“Perhaps.” Kolivan exhaled the smoke into the room, watching it coil and wisp.

 

“I know we can be at loggerheads about work,” Ulaz started, carefully deliberating over his words, “but do you honestly see my empathy and compassion as a weakness?”
“I...think it became something between us because of what we've learned and where we came from. Your skill-set has got you into a lot of places, that I will grant you; but I think the time you spent in the witch's labs, well, it felt your focus has shifted. It's not a weakness, just for the work we do, it can be reckless and I don't want you to endanger yourself, as I have said in the past. If it came to it, and you did perish in an attempt to save another, so much as I would be proud of you I would be angry you threw your life away.”
“Even if I knew their worth was greater than my own?”
“Unless it was a Paladin of Voltron, but even then I'd still be angry you were dead.” Kolivan gently butted his fist against Ulaz's forearm. “Who would tie the best warrior braids for me?”
“Was that...a joke?”
“I don't tell jokes.”
“Thank Unnur you don't. I can try, they're not as good as they used to be.”
“It'll be fine.” Kolivan moved the ash tray and shifted closer to Ulaz, who set to work on untangling the hair.

 

“About your pupil. I told him to leave the twenty-third fleet. He was so fixated on the mission he thought there was enough time to gather more information.” Kolivan mumbled. Ulaz paused mid-way through the braid, staring at the white strands. “Additionally the rebels fired too early. I am sorry it came to this.”
“I'm sorry you have to feel it's your fault.”
“I am the only one accountable.” Kolivan slumped forward, sighing heavily.

 

-

 

“I'll be in contact in due course.” Kolivan kept his voice monotone as they stood in the hangar. “You are to keep on with your mission as originally briefed.”
“Of course,” Ulaz bowed slightly and tossed his bag into the shuttle. “Be safe upon leaving.”
“I shall be.” With a nod, Kolivan turned and left, Antok raising a clawed hand before following their leader.

 

As Ulaz settled down into the cockpit and input the course out of the base, his mind flicked to Shiro. Hopefully he was doing okay. He prayed that Sendak hadn't beaten or fucked him to an inch of his life, or just done anything that might harm him mentally. If he had to, he'd send him back to Earth himself.

 

Chapter Text

Shiro hissed as Sendak traced his claws over the still raw tattoo at the base of his spine. “You have my clan mark now.” He purred against Shiro's ear, grazing his teeth against the skin. Shiro nodded slowly, trying to ignore the dull pain as Sendak pressed his prosthetic fingers into the bruised skin around his hips. He should never have asked Sendak to 'fuck him up', because he'd subjected him to a movement of rough and viscous sex that left him too exhausted for training. Two nights ago, Sendak decided he wasn't allowed to sleep, and he'd almost got himself cut in half by Banlu earlier. “Who do you belong to?” He sensed the irritation in his lack of response. “You, Commander.” Shiro whispered hoarsely, pressing his hips against Sendak's stiff cock. “Good boy. Go get yourself ready.” Sendak pulled back as he dragged his claws agonisingly slowly across the skin. Shiro felt empty as he moved towards the bedroom, ignoring the heat that pooled in his gut. His body screamed for Sendak's touch, but something niggled in the recesses of his mind he shouldn't.

 

He would prefer to stay in his normal tailed robe, but Sendak didn't allow it. He had to wear the weird corset thing. His only real worry was that it would irritate the nipple piercings as opposed to the skimpy leather shorts that came along with it. It was proper slave attire, he said. Bullshit. He'd prefer to just sleep, but judging from how much Sendak had cleaned up for this party, he felt he'd not get the chance to tonight either. At least there was no training in the morning. He let the robe fall from his broad shoulders and slipped his prosthetic through the arm hole, pulling it up around his sides. He fastened the clasps at the front, wincing as it already felt tight around his chest and he'd yet had the back tightened. The black material creaked around his shoulder as he tried to cover as much skin as possible. Try as he might, he couldn't cover the bottom of his stomach.

 

Giving up, he pulled the last piece on and glanced at himself in the mirror. There were a few intricate dark purple marks around the sides of the corset, which now he looked at them, looked quite pretty. He dragged his thumb over it, admitting Sendak at least had a good dress sense.
“You look pleasing on the eye.” Shiro grunted in response as he tugged at the material around his ass. “Thanks.”
“What's wrong?”
“I'm...just tired. I don't really want to go out tonight.”
“You're worried, aren't you?” He watched Sendak in the mirror move forward and bring his hand down upon his shoulder. “You will be fine, it will be quite a relaxed affair.”
“I'm feeling Galra parties are very different to Earth parties. What happens?”
“You'll see when we get there.” Sendak squeezed his shoulder and smoothed back his fur. For once he wasn't wearing his armour, which was strange for Shiro. His coat looked amazingly comfortable. With a click of his claws, Shiro followed behind, resisting the urge to hold the hem, but did focus on looking for shapes in the pattern. That was at least a good distraction.

 

-

 

They didn't go to Commander Ladnok's clan home, but to a place of rather fancy-looking halls. Shiro kept so close to Sendak, the Commander had stepped on his foot a few times. It didn't matter, he felt safe beside him in the busy hallways where he would catch Galra leering at him, before they caught sight of the Commander. They were stopped a few times by female Galra, most of which seemed to be trying to flirt with Sendak. He would kindly push their advances aside, and they would continue on.

 

“You're popular aren't you?”
“Are you surprised?”
“Yes.”
“It's awkward,” Sendak licked his lips, “because they're the type who look for strong mates in the higher classes. I don't want a potential mate who is looking to just further themselves.”
“I thought you'd love the attention.” Shiro raised his eyebrows at Sendak, who flicked his cheek. “Perhaps about eight thousand deca-phoebs ago, but not now.”
“What were you like back then?”
“It's not important.” Sendak let out a small growl and Shiro nodded his head, pressing his face against his arm.

 

“You're a bit over-affectionate.”
“I'm feeling nervous still.” Shiro stopped, glaring at the floor. Sendak sighed in frustration. “For the most part you're going to be stood around. Likely pawed at because you're exotic and strange, and later you'll be providing entertainment.”
“What type of entertainment? I can't act or sing or-”
“Sexual entertainment.”
“Oh.”
“You'll be fine – you can do the latter very well.” Sendak ruffled his hair, and Shiro pushed himself into Sendak's chest, wrapping his arms around his waist. He hated himself like this – he was too tired. He needed sleep. “Come along, we mustn't be late. It is a birth celebration.”
“I'm sorry, Commander.”

 

-

 

“I'm happy you made it!” Ladnok shouted, waving Sendak over. His lips tugged at the corners as he ushered the slave over with him. She took his hands in hers, a large grin on her face. “You even dressed up? Is my birth celebration that much of a deal?”
“If you'd prefer, I could just go home and change into my armour.” He barked out a laugh as she chuckled, elbowing him. “You look nice. It's a good coat.”
“Thank you. I also have a small something – here.” He handed her a tiny envelope. She rotated it in her hands before opening the top carefully. Her face turned from one of concentration to joy, and she leapt at him, pulling him down into a tight hug. “Thank you, so much! I've been dying to go!”
“There's another one in there. Just in case you want some company.” He gave her a soft smile, and the young commander's lips curled upwards. “You look pleasant when you're not frowning, you know.”
“So I hear.” He flicked one of his ears and she snorted. “Fuck off, go enjoy yourself.” She patted his arm, and turned to greet another guest.

 

Shiro was bemused by the exchange. One thing he enjoyed was watching how Sendak acted around those he knew. When Sendak and Haxus were together, it ended up in just terrible ideas between them, but with female Galra he was polite and playful. “So,” he posed, “how long have you guys known each other?”
“Since she was a kit, why?”
“Curious, that's all,” Shiro offered Sendak a smile, who nodded down at him slowly. “I should get you with the other slaves. As said, you will be pestered throughout the night. Ladnok will make it known when she requires entertainment.” Sendak leaned down, his breath hot against Shiro's ear, “you get to use your new piercing.”
“Sendak there's a...problem with that.” Shiro pointed at the slaves that looked closest to women back on Earth. “You recall my file?”
“Yes.”
“Do you recall anything about me having female partners?” He shifted uneasily on his feet as Sendak folded his arms as he concentrated. “I don't.”
“I've had none for a reason. I just don't...find them appealing. At all.”

 

It took a few ticks for it to click. Perhaps not click, because from the Galra he'd been around, gender didn't seem to be a factor. “So you are only attracted to one?”
“Yeah.”
“I see, so like Ladnok then.” He uncrossed his arms. “Then you'll have to do your best on Zestera first. I think they're the only that may work to begin with.”
“I'd rather not since, you know, Yastara?”
“Well it's not them. I'm sure you can get yourself aroused enough so you don't get punished.” Sendak guided him towards Banlu, who watched them with curiosity. “I'll find you later.” Sendak moved some of his fringe from his eyes, before moving away.

 

“You okay 'here?”
“Just terrified. You?”
“Jus' ano'her day.” Banlu shrugged her shoulders, pulling her long ponytail over her shoulder. “Sorry, 'eard you talkin'. S'okay, don't really like guys mysel'. If we 'ave to, you know, I can,” she rotated her wrist, “fin' somethin' to use on you.”
“You sure?”
“Yeah. Us slave's gotta look out for each o'her.” She tapped at her collar. “Can guess what you go through.” She offered a half-smile.
“How do you get through it?” Shiro asked after a few moments, “because, I've kinda just accepted I need to give myself over to Sendak, and since then it's not been as bad. Not fighting, I mean.”
“Ha'e to say it, but I gave up fas'. Didn' think t'fight – too scared. Hopin' the arena will kill me in time. Kaleska keeps me goin' fer now.” She gave Shiro a light pat on the shoulder, “do what's bes' fer you, kay? We gotcha though, gladiator's honour.”
“I haven't done anything to deserve this kindness from any of you.” He shrugged his shoulder and Banlu snorted back a laugh. “Mos' of us knew ya hur' your frien' to keep 'em safe. How you fought after is wha' we like. Ya small compared to Sendak, an' we can see how beaten up ya get. Ain't righ' a' all. Too much.”
“So I'm a pity case?”
“Nah, we've all been in your shoes. Offerin' wha' we can so ya ain't so lonely – it's scary.”
“It is,” Shiro nudged her long forearm. “Thanks, Banlu.”
“Nah trouble.” She gave him a toothy smile, and he noted the canines had all been removed.

 

-

 

The room was alive with chatter and laughter, the noise overwhelming and disorientating. Some drunken Galra shouted over to Commander Ladnok, congratulating her on being five thousand deca-phoebs old. Zestera and a few other slaves had arrived later. Some belonged to other commanders, and two were sent from Zarkon's personal harem. Primarily, the room was full of female Galra, which Shiro was still nervous about, especially if they decided they wanted him to do anything with them. That said, the males that were there were too curious for his liking. He screwed his eyes shut tighter as he felt claws press between his legs roughly, rubbing the material against his skin.

 

“Does your species have gender?”
“Yes, sir.”
“What one are you?”
“Male, sir.” He relaxed for a tick before he felt fingers brush against the leather around his hips, then push the it down. “It seems you have the same type of equipment.” Shiro bit back a squeak as cool fingers took his cock in their hand. He felt them pull back the foreskin and rub the piercing in small circles. “You like this?”
“Y-Yes, sir.”
“That's good. I like watching you in the arena, by the way.” The grip became tighter. “Since you're no longer collared, I'll have to come searching for you later tonight.” The Galra let out a low purr against his ear as he pulled away. Shiro let out the breath he'd been holding and pulled the leather back up, ignoring how painful his cock felt contained within it.

 

He looked to the side, noting Zestera's collection of Galra. They were pushed face-first onto the floor, body completely still except for the pupils that twitched with rage. Their tail was pulled round, being poked and toyed with by two Galra, while another probed into their rear.
“It's got two pathways back here.”
“From the same hole?”
“Yeah it's weird.” The Galra spread Zestera's hips wide and pressed two fingers deep inside. Zestera grunted, eyes flicking up to Shiro. They held the gaze until the Galra seemed content they'd poked and prodded enough, and left.

 

“Fucking Galra scum.” Zestera hissed as they stood up, brushing the crumpled fabric out. “I hate it; I hate them.”
“Can't say I blame you.” Shiro muttered, staring out into the room trying to find Sendak. “Are you nervous, about having to be 'entertainment'?” He asked, turning his head back to Zestera. They frowned at him. “No. I've been 'entertainment' plenty of times before now. Why, are you?”
“Yeah. I mean, I...can do it, just not with what's around me.” Shiro was starting to wonder if he should ask Zestera whether he could use their hallucinogenics.
“Why?”
“Don't find it arousing.”
“That's shit. Don't think I'm just going to bend over for you. I'm planning on enjoying myself as much as I can tonight.” Zestera sniffed. “Beats having to please her.”
“Commander Gnov?”
“Yeah. See my species has this ability-”
“You make hallucinogenics. I know.” Shiro cut in, gaze hardening, “I seriously know.”

 

Zestera chewed their lip, a deep frown on their face. “How would you know?”
“I met a slave who looks exactly like you. Their name was Yastara.”
“Was. Past tense,” Zestera glared at the floor, “what happened?” Shiro looked away into the crowds, erring to not be as truthful as he should be. “They died.”
“I see.” There was a long pause between them until Zestera spoke again. “I'm happy they did. My sibling wasn't right for a long time. Zarkon broke them, and they tried to do the same to me.”
“Did you resist?” Shiro cast them a disgruntled look at the sharp snort. “What do you think? It cost me something pretty, but I can keep fighting in my own way. I think for and look after myself – caring about others gets you nothing but misery.” They spat on the ground. “As soon as I can get free, I'm taking a ship to some quiet planet and living my remaining days there. If I can't find one that's not infested with Galra, I'm flying my ship into Central Command. Everything I held dear has been ripped from my hands and stamped on, so what's my life worth? Nothing.”
“How do you plan on getting free? We're slaves.” Shiro wasn't sure if Zestera was deluded or holding on to some vague hope of freedom, but they snorted sarcastically in response. “I'm going to beat Champion. If you do, the Emperor grant's you one request.”
“I didn't know that.”
“Because this is the first non-prisoner games you're fighting in. You know if we fight, I'm winning, right?” This time Shiro snorted, he tilted his head to look over Zestera. “Champion's mine, but good luck beating me. If you plan on using that pole arm again, the blade'll be on the floor in a few ticks.”
“Big talk for something so soft and slow.” A ghost of a smirk sat on their lips and Shiro stifled back a small laugh.

 

Shiro held his mouth tightly together as two drunk female Galra tottered over.
“I wanna go on that later.”
“But I do!”
“Let's share it!” One, this one of the reptilian variety, planted her hands on his shoulders and licked her lips, and his body tensed under her touch. “I'm gonna ride you so hard you break.” Shiro swallowed as he bowed his head, “I'd be grateful, ma'am.” The two Galra giggled as they pulled away, staggering towards a cabana adorned with silky-looking fabrics and tiny lights. Large beds sat in the centre, some occupied already.

 

“That was painful to watch.”
“No shit,” Shiro glanced over, “I said I don't want any female bits near me, but it's that or receive punishment.”
“If you think of someone you want to fuck, lemme know and I can help you along – it won't last long though, I'm not that potent any more.” Zestera flicked their tail. “Consider this a one-off for having the balls to tell me about my sibling. That's the first I heard of it. How long ago?”
“About two phoebs – it's been a while.” Shiro watched Zestera mouth the words, then click their tongue. “The Galra are fucking bastards. I hope, by the way, that they didn't go all sadistic on you.” Zestera's face dropped as they watched him. “What happened?”
“I'm not talking about it.”
“Fair enough. Heads up, but if you start thinking of someone else, it will change to them. You know the rest.”
“Yeah,” Shiro scratched at his arm, “thanks.”
“Sorry – for what they did,” Zestera wasn't looking at him as he apologised. “It was bad, right? Don't answer, of course it was. They weren't always like that, but the witch purged their memories – all of it, gone. It's not to justify, just, you know.”
“I think I get it.” Shiro squinted into the crowd, watching Sendak and Trugg arm wrestling. Ladnok hammered the table, slapping her hand against Trugg's shoulder as she slammed Sendak's hand down.

 

Another varga slogged by until Ladnok summoned the guests around the small collection of slaves. Shiro didn't like the predatory gazes; he couldn't fight or run, and would have to put himself on display. He may've been forced to make porn, but this was different. He felt something prick against his skin, then a hiss next to him. He turned, confused, as one of Zarkon's slaves prodded them each with a needle. He could feel his gut knot up with anxiety – what have they given me now? What's going to happen? His thoughts were broken when he felt something push up against his lips, and blinked to see Zestera half-glaring at him. They leaned in, mouth centimetres from his ear. “Escape to your dreams.” Shiro nodded slowly, feeling like he'd heard something like that before. He'd dreamed of Keith the other night – this time just him. Maybe that would make this better? It wasn't real – just like a dream – so it wouldn't count. It didn't count.

 

Shiro's eyes flickered open as the tail eased itself inside his mouth. He braced Zestera's shoulders as he dug his nails in deep. The tail rubbed against his tongue as they stimulated the bulbous appendage. He could feel the tip unfurl and ease itself back as liquid squirted out. Shiro drank what little there was down; if it could help him, he'd take it. Strong arms took his and pushed him to the floor. A weight settled over his hips, and he felt calloused hands rub against the skin. Shiro could feel something warm inside him; he felt light, happy, like he could fall asleep. He closed his eyes, letting his head tilt to the side.

 

“Shiro, are you really asleep?”
“Hm?” Keith. He looked so real. Shiro brought his hands up, running one through his hair, and the other smoothing his jawline. Is this how he'd feel if I touched him? Shiro's eyes stung as he pulled him down with all his strength, flipping him on to his back and kissing him deeply. Keith moaned against the kiss, pressing his hands against Shiro's chest and unhooking the clasps. The two pulled apart, panting, and Shiro gazed into those amethyst eyes as he pushed the dark hair back. “I'm going to be so careful with you.”
“What do you mean?” Keith cocked his head to the side. Shiro sat on top of his hips, pushing away the fabric carefully as he admired the smooth pale skin. No scars, he's fine, not hurt. Safe. Right now, Keith was the only thing he wanted more then anything from Earth. He'd forgo mac and cheese, cats, and Adam. Hell, he'd give up the Garrison if he could have the real Keith here in his arms. “I mean, I'll go slow. I want you to be comfortable.” Shiro pressed his lips against Keith's again and gently pinched at his nipples. Keith made soft noises, dragging his nails over Shiro's broad shoulders.

 

Keith kissed him again, moving his hands down and unbuttoning his trousers. Shiro tugged them down with one hand, while Keith tried to push the leather shorts down. It was difficult between the desperate kisses. He was so distracting. Shiro moved to let Keith kick off his trousers and pushed his fingers into the dark locks, just enjoying the feeling against his skin. “Are you gonna just play with my hair?” Keith breathed as he used his feet to push down the leather. Shiro jolted as he felt something soft rub against the base of his cock. He looked down to find Keith rubbing against him with his foot. “That's new.”
“Thought I'd try – you seem distracted.”
“Y-Yeah. Just...you,” Shiro could feel the heat pool in his face and gut. He wasn't sure what feelings were real and which were coming from the drugs and hallucinogenics. Keith made a small laugh, and it sounded like music to his ears. It was just like all the times Shiro told him really bad space jokes but he genuinely found them funny, even though they were crap.

 

“Shit,” Shiro grit his teeth and pushed himself back on his knees. He took Keith's semi-hard cock in his hands firmly, teasing the end. Keith arched his back underneath him, pushing himself into the touch and whining his name. Keep saying it just like that. Fuck, he had it bad. It was likely aphrodisiac, of course it was. Shiro pulled his hips up high and ran his tongue over the head, drawing small circles and pressing against the tip intermittently. He gave it a graze with his teeth as he dropped his hand to the base and made shallow but firm strokes. “S-Shiro!” He pushed himself deeper into Shiro's mouth, who simply moaned around his length. With his prosthetic, he slowly teased against the rather slick hole. It didn't matter if it was slick, because he could feel the heat coming from his own body and could feel his own trickle down his skin.

 

He pushed a finger in slowly and teased his entrance. Keith moaned and pushed himself into the finger, inadvertently going further into Shiro's mouth. Shiro felt Keith's fingers ghost against his own cock. He shifted his body a little closer. He felt him carefully play with the piercing, pushing the hoop around and gently tugging at it. “K-Keith, fuck,” that felt so good. He pushed his hips forward, and Keith did it again but rougher this time. Shiro moaned around his cock. He heard Keith's small gasps and whines, and set his hips down. He shifted his position, letting Keith have easier access to his cock, while he returned to stimulating him. Shiro let out a loud moan when he felt a tongue cautiously lap at him. Through the heady haze, he glanced down, watching Keith slowly inch down his length. They both moaned and whined, Shiro trying to avoid just fucking his throat.

 

Sendak watched with drunken curiosity as his slave bucked his hips up against Zestera. Gnov was hanging off his shoulder, her hand rubbing small circles against his chest. “He's reeally into it, isn't he?”
“Yea.”
“Maaybe, since our slaaaves caan get on, we should...” she trailed off, running her other hand over his rather obvious bulge. Sendak was drunk, but not stupid. He batted her hand away. “Sen-Sen, don't be like thaaat.”
“You're hammered. There's nothing there, and I am not a convenience.”
“Better then haaavin' to pretend,” she jabbed her claw towards Zestera. “Only fuckin' point of it.” Sendak wasn't sure how to respond to that, and he really didn't want to either. He was not going to make a scene. He ignored all her touching, batting her hands away, and tried to just focus on his slave. By this point he'd brought Zestera onto their hands and knees, his face buried between their legs. For once, even they looked like they were enjoying themselves.

 

“Shiro! It's..it's.”
“Shh, it's okay,” he stared through the heat down at Keith, his hair a mess and a light sheen of sweat over his skin. He was giving him a heady look from over his shoulder, and Shiro was completely entranced. He wanted to earn more looks like that, make him so undone. He felt his own cock twitch as his mind raced. Shaking his head, he kneaded his human hand against the skin. He didn't like touching Keith with the prosthetic – he didn't want to expose him to the reminder he wasn't all human any more. Genetically he was, but things had changed, he had changed. He licked his lips and probed Keith's entrance a final time, earning a growled moan, and pressed the tip of his cock against it. Keith shuddered underneath him, rolling his hips back and giving Shiro that look from a few ticks ago. “Fuck, you're beautiful,” he mumbled as he pushed himself in against the warm slick.

 

Keith cried out in pleasure, his body tense for a few ticks before slowly relaxing. Shiro ran his fingers down his spine, letting his calloused hands feel every bump of the vertebrae. He's so soft. “I-Is it okay? Does it hurt?” He watched Keith shake his head no, and felt himself relax. “Good, I'm gonna make you feel good, Keith. Tell me if it gets too much, okay?”
“I will,” he breathed, easing himself back along Shiro's length. Fuck, that view. Shiro couldn't pull his eyes away. The heat in his body only increased, and he pushed himself fully in to the hilt. They both made breathy growls as Shiro eased back and slowly thrust back in. Keith may be slick, but Shiro didn't want to rush him. His eyes shone bright below as he watched Shiro, and it felt all his misery and pain was seared away. Keith could banish the darkness. Only Keith. He may have given himself to Sendak, but this was entirely different; there was no pain here, no bad memories, no need to fear his reproach or Keith himself. Don't put him on a pedestal – we can't manage any more intense emotions. We won't see him in the flesh, and remember this isn't really him. Shiro may've thrust too hard because Keith hissed underneath him. Shiro kissed his skin, huskily apologising as he rubbed his sharp hip bones. He snaked his hand around Keith's small waist and stroked him slowly, feeling the damp beads against his fingers. Shiro breathed out his name again and groaned as Keith clamped around him, back arching as Shiro struck his sweet spot. “S-Shiro, please, harder.” That was all he needed to snap his hips back and thrust sharply back in.

 

He wanted to see Keith's face as he felt himself get closer. Shiro pulled out, a long whine escaping from the body beneath him as he flipped him onto his back. Shiro easily slipped back inside and bit down on Keith's swollen lips. “Fuck,” Shiro murmured, cracking his eyes half-open as he felt legs wrap around his hips, locking Shiro in place. “C-Close.”
“S-Same.” They kissed again, making higher and higher moans until Shiro choked out a moan as he came, Keith's walls keeping him in place as he felt something warm spray over his stomach. Shiro pushed his fringe from his eyes as he caressed Keith's jawline. His eyes were bleary, content-looking. Shiro wanted to do it all over again; he wanted Keith to experience as much pleasure as he could give him.

 

A very drunk Trugg staggered over, Ladnok attempting to steady her. Shiro's reverie was interrupted as she dragged Banlu away by her hand, while Ladnok tapped the two slaves Zarkon had sent on the shoulder, the two completely engrossed with each other. They untangled their limbs and followed in tow. You realise you've been fucking a dream-Keith in front of a room full of Galra, right? He felt his face burn. He dared to glance down to find Zestera wiping at their mouth, eyes heavy and cheeks just as flushed. “Fuck me. I don't want to admit it, but I needed that.”
“I-I...”
“Don't. It was...gentle. It's been deca-phoebs – many...deca-phoebs.” Zestera's lips tugged upwards. “Got company, by the way.” Shiro felt hands grip him under his arms and he was hoisted up.

 

“You're coming with me,” he didn't recognise the voice, and reality struck him hard. Where was Sendak. He was supposed to be here. Shiro whipped his head about, uncertainty rising in his chest. He watched as Zestera was scooped up by some female Galra, drunkenly shoving their clawed fingers into their hole. One licked Shiro's come from her fingers, casting him a curious look. No. Just no. He couldn't give her a pleading look, that would probably just arouse her.

 

He was carried away to one of the cabana's and tossed onto a mattress. Shiro looked up to see a board Galra settle over him, tilting Shiro's face from side to side. “Didn't look at your face properly. Strong, I like it. Commander, do you mind?”
“Not at all, so long as you can share nicely with Officer Helka.” Shiro pushed the Galra's wrists away to see Sendak lounged leisurely on the bed opposite, a few other Galra sat close beside him. He offered Shiro a disingenuous smirk, and he felt the nausea rise. Shiro swallowed, looking around at the occupants. “Who's...Officer Helka, Commander?”
“I am,” Shiro looked up and felt his stomach drop further if it was possible. She cocked her head to the side and settled beside the male Galra next to him. “Oh, Commander, he's so much smaller in person!”
“He is, Officer Helka. You must be excited.” Shiro knew the colour had drained from his face, because Sendak's smirk just seemed to grow impossibly wide. He had no idea what he'd done now.

 

She leaned down and through shaky hands, ran her fingers over his skin. “It's soft! Not fur-soft, but soft. Kinda tacky?”
“Ahh, his species sweat when they exert themselves.” Was it because of how he fucked Zestera? Was this petty revenge? Shiro cast Sendak an unsettled look, but the Commander ignored it if he even noticed. “Either way, he's just so pretty,” she turned her attention to Shiro and leaned down, licking against his lips. “I've been a fan for a while, and come and watch you train when I can. To think I can...” she trailed her hands over his scars, giggling to herself as she kneaded his skin harder and harder, apparently gaining more confidence to touch him. He'd almost forgotten about the male Galra, who was tracing his fingers over his thighs and touching all his cuts. Shiro jolted as he ran his claws along one, automatically raising his hips. The Galra chuckled as he pressed a finger against Shiro's entrance. His body reacted like he hadn't came not even five dobosh's ago, and he hissed through his teeth as he was pushed back into the sheets.

 

Helka laid down next to him and rubbed her face against his cheek, small brr-noises coming from her throat much like a cat. Shiro's brow creased as he tried to push down the sick feeling in his stomach. “I don't want this.” He whispered. The two Galra stopped touching him to look at each other, and both turned to look at Sendak. Shiro tilted his head, glaring over at the Commander. “I told you, I can't.
“Is it you can't or won't?” Sendak sat up. Shiro considered the question. He'd rather be punished – he wasn't going to compromise himself like this for anyone. “I won't. This,” he motioned to Helka, “is a personal affront. Shred or sear my skin – whatever – but not this.” He pulled his body away and sat on his knees, crossing his arms over his chest and glaring daggers at Sendak. He'd compromised too much of himself already, and right now, stupid as it was, he was daring the Commander.

 

Sendak flicked his wrist and the two Galra moved hastily away. He rose from the bed, smoothing out his coat as he stepped forward. “I wonder how long you can keep that look of defiance about you, because like always, it will go.” The slave grit his teeth at the remark, growling out a retort instead of answering. He was so bestial when he was angered, and Sendak did thoroughly enjoy taming it. It was all worth pressing his buttons, especially when it yielded moments like this. There were of course, more buttons he could press, and he could dig out all the fight his slave still had within him. He couldn't have a boring slave, after all.

 

“Officer Helka was so excited as well, you've upset her. Shouldn't you feel bad?”
“I...” Shiro glanced at Helka, who was holding on to the other Galra who sat between his thighs looking crestfallen. He turned his attention back to Sendak, who had used the ticks to loom above him. Shiro swallowed but remained steadfast. “I told you. Don't try to guilt me into this. Besides, you said I was entertainment.” Shiro shifted backwards but kept his gaze steady. Sendak chuckled, grabbing his chin in his hand. “You're not finished entertaining.”
“Then you're going to have to force my compliance.” Sendak leaned in close, his voice only audible for Shiro. “You seemed to comply fine enough when you let all those officers fuck you. Or how about your first session? That was a treat to watch.” Shiro felt his blood run cold when Sendak's hot breath got so close to his ear. “Or when you let the beasts have you-”

 

Shut your mouth!” He slammed his prosthetic fist into Sendak's jaw, the Commander pulling away sharply as he rubbed the cheek. Shiro's entire body burned with rage as he withdrew his fist, sniffing coldly as he glared at Sendak. He couldn't run, and he wouldn't; he'd face Sendak and the Galra down himself if he had to because he would not give in. He'd dug himself this pit and he didn't care how high the walls were, he'd break his nails to scrabble back out. He watched Sendak wipe his mouth and study his hand for a few ticks. “You drew blood.”
Good.” He let out a guttural snarl and launched himself from the bed, grabbing the Commander's organic arm and yanking him down with his weight.

 

He could hear the occupants back away or out – he didn't know or care to check as he yanked the arm tight, rolling himself up to his feet and pulling Sendak's weight with strength from who knew where. “You always like a fight, yeah? You have one.” Shiro cracked a vindictive smile. Sendak barked out a laugh and tugged his arm. He almost lost his footing but curled his toes into the cold floor as he strained backwards. “You forever amuse me, slave.”
“That's not my fucking name!” Shiro spat as he caught Sendak's forearm between his prosthetic. He bent the metal back at the elbow, levering it with his human arm to apply as much pressure as he could. He blinked at the fingers, then looked at the inhibitor.

 

“Don't you dare.” Sendak growled low as the realisation suddenly dawned on him. He balled his fist and Shiro could feel the muscle tense under the fur. “Where's your honour, Commander?” Shiro hissed, “why don't we make this a fair fight?”
“This fight will never be fair!” Sendak snarled. His eyes flashed dangerously as he dropped back to the floor. The arm that Shiro had been straining against relaxed, and Shiro fell into the Commander's chest. Strong arms clamped around him, and Shiro squirmed and kicked out to free himself; hissing, spitting and growling as best he could under the increasing pressure around his lungs.

 

“Where's all that fight gone?” Sendak taunted. He bared his teeth into a large grin as Shiro writhed and tried to yank an arm free. Shiro grunted in response; he couldn't afford to make unneeded noise as he felt his breathing strain in the strangle-hold. “Ahh, no words? You understand you can't win?”
“I'll die trying.” Shiro headbutted his chest, which ended up hurting him more then Sendak when he responded with another loud bark of laughter. Sendak released the hold enough to slam his hips into Shiro, the jolt of pain causing him to move closer to Sendak's face. Shiro glowered into the glowing eyes. Sendak caught Shiro's hair in his prosthetic as he drew his head back painfully far so his neck was exposed. “I could tear your throat out right now, and you couldn't stop me.”
“Do it then.”
“So defiant.” Sendak licked his lips. He pushed Shiro up onto his knees painfully as he sat. Without warning, the hand on his hair let go and grabbed him around the throat tightly. Shiro gasped for air, but remained glaring as hard as he could at Sendak. The Commander placed his forehead against his, and quickly drew it back and struck forward.

 

Crack.

 

Shiro screamed as he tried to pull a hand free to shield his nose. Sendak made small licks at the blood that ran down his face as he hoisted Shiro up by the throat. He grabbed the hand around his neck, digging filthy nails into the fur, until he was dropped into the sheets. Sendak settled on top of him, and slowly unfastened his trousers. “You know I am forever intrigued by what you get angry over. You've let me debase and humiliate you, yet you roll over. I tell you to fuck a female Galra, and here we are. You, under me, where even you agree you belong.” Sendak emphasised the last part and Shiro glared to the side. “It was also interesting you attacked me with your Galran arm. Is it because you know it is stronger – that we are stronger?”
“F-Fuck you!”
“I'm sure you'd love to try,” Sendak's lips drew into a broad smile, “however, there's only one person I would allow that to.” Sendak rubbed his cock over Shiro's bloody cheek, smearing pre-come over his face. “You look filthy. Like the good little whore you were trained to be.”
“I swear you're getting off on all this. You're a sadistic prick.” Shiro panted. The blood dripped into his mouth as he tried to breathe. Sendak cocked his head to the side, giving him a predatory look Shiro hadn't seen in phoebs. “I would have thought you'd of guessed by now,” he ran the head of his stiff cock over Shiro's mouth, teasing the entrance, “I've a predilection for violence. And you, my degenerate of a slave, keep my needs sated.” Sendak eased himself in, Shiro coughing blood around the thick length as it hit the back of his throat. Sendak gave him a perverted look as he remained where he was, trailing his claws through the blood.

 

“Even without my cock in your mouth, you don't deny anything.” He mused, rubbing his fingers together. He glanced down at the slave, eyes wide as he tried to breathe through all the saliva, blood and his cock. Sendak hummed and pulled himself out, moving towards Shiro's hips and raising them up. His ears pricked as the slave hacked up whatever was in his throat or lungs, but his focus remained on what he wanted right now: release. There was enough slick there still, and it wasn't like the blood and spit wouldn't do either as he pushed it in without much further thought. The slave coughed sharply, the little spasms feeling good against Sendak's length. “What are you, slave?”

 

If Shiro had the capacity for tears, he would be crying. He rolled his head, demoralised as he watched Sendak roll his hips forward. He choked on a moan. Even this feels good. What the fuck am I any more? “You've already admitted you're mine, you still want my forgiveness, and your collar. Why the hesitation?” Sendak growled, thrusting into him sharply. Shiro arched his back, feeling his cock harden again. “You know I'm proud of you for landing a blow.” Shiro clenched the sheets, panting heavily, as he felt the cock piercing tugged at. “I-I'm yours, Commander.”
“But what are you?” Shiro moaned as the bruises on his hips were pressed. He didn't know, he couldn't think. It hurt but it felt good. He hated Sendak with a passion but in the same breath he still did so much for him. He wasn't even mad when he should be – he'd insulted Sendak in front of other Galra, how this played out as it did he didn't understand – couldn't understand. Was it that Sendak got off that much on him fighting back, or was there something he was missing? He'd always kiss him if he acted Galran – was that it? He couldn't remember. He had to answer Sendak; he needed too.

 

“I-I don't know.” He coughed into his hand as Sendak hit his prostate, the groan catching in his throat. Sendak clicked his tongue as he picked up the pace. Shiro knew what was coming – another monologue. “You are my depraved beast. You've murdered so many in the arena, and then there's the ones that took no coaxing at all. You act like an animal in heat as soon as you receive the slightest touch, and gods, you have taken so much to sate your deviant ways, haven't you?” Sendak cupped his face gently, “and like an animal, you've laid with them. But gods, that's not even the worst of it, is it? Your dear friend you left in Haxus's care? Haxus assured me he was so very well-behaved, he barely cried at all. He even came for him, all over the desk.”
“S-Sendak, stop. Please.” Shiro tried to struggle but the words had done their damage.
“Shh, I'm helping you, reforming you. To do that, I need you to see all your reprehensible sides, accept them as part of you. Just like how you have accepted your arm,” he stroked the metal almost affectionately, “your human emotions hinder you; they've turned you in to this deplorable monster.” Shiro stared up at Sendak, mouth moving but no words coming out.

 

He was right, oh god he was right. No, no this was so wrong, so messed up. No, we are a monster. He's trying to help us, offering us a salvation from it all. No, he's condemning us to be like them. Do you think we could be accepted back on Earth like we are now? What hope is there? None. He's safety – he hasn't harmed us. What's a broken nose in the grand scheme of things? But- But nothing. It's decided, we're letting him re-purpose us. Fuck what we learned on Earth – we aren't surviving, are we? This could have gone so much worse. It...could have. So what do we live for? For livings sake. Then what life is that? It's one until we find a purpose. It'll become apparent, in time. Can't you tell there's something happening in the background? Wheels are in motion, and we'll find out in due course.

 

“C-Can you fix me?” That alone almost made Sendak climax. He bit down on his lip as he gripped those bruised hips harder. “Of course. You may be a broken mess, but as I have said so many times, I can see your potential.” He smeared the blood on the slaves lips over his cheek, “you may keep losing your way, but let me help you, guide you, along a much better path. Do you accept this?” Sendak was only just holding back his release. He watched the slave pant and writhe, before he looked up at him. “I accept. Fix me. I don't want to be a monster or a beast.” Sendak let out a deep purr as he slammed himself with vigour into the slave's hips. The slave could barely moan or gasp, and grabbed their own erection. He came first, and then Sendak emptied himself. He dropped the slave's thighs down and leaned over his body, those grey eyes glittering in the low light. “Thank you, Commander.”

 

-

 

I'm taking you to the bathroom to clean you up.” Shiro nodded in response, letting himself rest in Sendak's arms. He could have just dragged Shiro back, but no, Sendak had carried him from the party. He eventually felt himself lowered into something soft, and he watched Sendak place the clothes he'd worn earlier to the side. Sendak wrung out the cloth and carefully cleaned Shiro's skin. He leaned in, giving the slave a small lick over the clean collarbone.

 

I'll get you some quintessence.” He padded over to the cupboard and pulled out a collection of needles that Ulaz had given him in case he needed to patch up any small jobs. He presumed this counted as a small job, although he had no idea how much he needed to use. He'd prefer to have his face healed as quickly as possible. He took the box over with him and settled next to his slave's body, watching him struggle to breathe through his mouth. Catching his nose, and a hoarse whine emitting from his slave's lips, he placed the needle in a small gap between two fingers and emptied it. He applied all four needles – two on each side. He watched the slave curiously as he brought his fingers up to his nose, lightly touching it. “It's warm, Commander. It's really warm.”
Quintessence is warm, slave.”
No, it's...it's...hot.” Sendak tilted his head to the side, he'd not heard of that effect before. “It's probably just fixing the bone. Let's finish cleaning you up.” He returned the needles to the box and grabbed the cloth again, dabbing carefully at his bloody face.

 

My eyes feel weird – everything seems...blurred? Brighter?” Shiro tapped Sendak's arm. The Commander turned, his expression changing from curiosity to bewilderment. He grabbed Shiro's face, tracing a claw under his eyes. “W-What's happened?”
They glow.”
They what?” Shiro screwed his eyes shut, then opened them again. He blinked and rubbed his eyes in a futile attempt. Sendak scooped him into his arms and took him to the bedroom. He grabbed his communicator and skimmed the contact list. “Clothe yourself; I'm contacting Ulaz. You need to see him immediately.” Shiro swallowed and grabbed the tailed robe and tightened the belt as Sendak busily spoke. He cut the call and turned to Shiro. “We're going out again.”

 

Chapter Text

Ulaz rubbed his eyes as he stared at the results of the hand scanner. The quintessence levels were far too high. Shiro's pupils were barely visible through the soft white glow, and he couldn't be sure yet if this would be temporary or long-term. “You said you gave him four injections?” He looked over to Sendak, who leaned against the wall watching intently. “Yes. Two each side of his nose.”
“The dosage in each of those needles was enough to repair his nose in a few vargas. You didn't need to apply them all.”
“I wanted him healed,” Sendak growled low as he stepped towards them, tilting Shiro's head up in his prosthetic. “Is it long-term?”
“I won't know. I need to observe him overnight.”
“Shall we go to the labs?”
“No. I would prefer the High Priestess not get wind of this.” Ulaz folded his arms over his chest. “If she did, I have a feeling you won't be seeing him for a while.” He watched Sendak smooth the metal finger over Shiro's jaw before letting his head drop. “I suppose you have a point.”
“I can look after him here tonight. It's late, and I presume you have meetings in the morning?”
“I do. You are able to stay at mine with him if you wish – I have the space.”
“Well I have a few things to do here, and judging from his disposition, he looks completely exhausted.” Ulaz had noted how lethargic his body was, and wasn't certain if it was the quintessence or something else. He had a suspicion there were a few things at play.

 

“So remind me what happened to his nose?”
“I broke it.”
“Why?” He watched Sendak tap his cheek, and Ulaz noted the slight swelling. “What prompted him to do that? I thought he was well-behaved?”
“He would not preform a task I asked of him, and lost his temper. Of course, I've reminded him of his place.”
“I'm sure you have, Commander.” Ulaz's eyes roamed the skin that was visible, noting all the new cuts, bruises and scars. He didn't like this, and his quintant had already been terrible enough getting back to Central.

 

“If you don't mind, I need to head out. You can uncuff him if you wish, but he was difficult coming here.” Sendak stretched and took the white strands between his claws, smoothing it out straight. “The glow suits you. It may not be the same as ours, but it's a start.” Sendak caught the slave's face, giving his forehead a small lick. “You behave now for Officer Ulaz, or I'll be pulling some of your privileges, understand?”
“Yes, Commander,” the slave kept eye contact until Sendak let his face fall. “You are a good boy.”
“Thank you, Commander.” Sendak could feel his lips tug into a smile. It had been a very good evening, and he was looking forward to dreaming of when the slave had completely accepted his lot with them. Providing he won in the arena and stayed as the Champion, Sendak would have many more options to play with. He bade farewell to them both, and headed out of Ulaz's strange and vacant apartment.

 

Shiro felt his wrists picked up and the handcuffs removed. He watched Ulaz set them down on the table and sit opposite him. “Are you okay?” Shiro slowly tilted his head up, blinking at Ulaz. God, he wanted to tell him everything, but he couldn't . Ulaz had betrayed his trust and how could Shiro forgive him? It was these human feelings, he needed to burn his bridges – cut himself off – his mind screamed it was unhealthy, but what was healthy any more? What was real any more? Thinking was too much. He was so exhausted, so emotionally and mentally bankrupt.

 

Ulaz covered his ears as Shiro screamed. He just kept screaming until the noise whittled down to nothing but cracked air. Ulaz wasn't sure what to do, except he knew he couldn't stand for this. He brought Shiro into a tight embrace, letting him scream against his chest. “It's alright-” he winced when fingers dug into his back.
“Get off me.”
“S-Shiro, please.”
“No, no, don't touch me. I can't – not again tonight. I won't let you.”
“I'm not going to hurt you.”
You did. I thought I could trust you – you felt like a friend. I was so fucking stupid.” He pushed himself away, pacing around like a caged animal. “I don't want to be here.”
“I can't let you leave.”
Then make me stay.” Shiro glared at him, the glow somehow looking more intense. Ulaz sighed, rubbing his brow. “You won't be able to disengage my lock.”
“Then I'll punch my way out.”
“You're not breaking the door.” Ulaz paced slowly towards him. He may need to use the cuffs after all.

 

Shiro watched Ulaz like a hawk. He was getting out. He brought his guard up as he moved towards the door. “Shiro, I'm not going to fight you. I'm not hurting you.”
“Fight me.”
“For the love of Lilja, I'm not doing it.”
Coward!” He lunged forward, aiming his fist at Ulaz's chest. As he drew close, Ulaz caught his arm, twisting and bringing Shiro over his shoulder. As he hit the floor, his prosthetic was brought round and pinned against his back. He bucked his hips upward as Ulaz settled over his legs, hissing and growling.

 

It took a few dobosh's until Shiro stilled. Ulaz kept his grip firm on the arm, but not tight enough to cause him any damage. “I'm not fighting you, Shiro. You're not well.” There was silence again, then Shiro's body convulsed under him; choked sobs rattling from his lips. Ulaz settled on his knees next to Shiro, letting him curl in on himself. It hurt, this wasn't right. He didn't know what had happened over the last two movements, or even tonight, but Shiro was breaking apart and he didn't know what to do. He couldn't send him back to Earth like this; he wasn't sure how the Earthlings would treat him after all this time. From what he'd gathered from Shiro, it'd taken almost two phoebs for them to get to Kerberos, and he'd been with the Galra for perhaps three phoebs now. If Shiro's maths was correct, he'd been away from Earth for roughly ten Earth-months at this point – six of those in captivity.

 

Ulaz carefully scooped Shiro from the floor and gently laid him down back on the sofa. He touched his forehead, frowning at how hot his skin felt. “I'll be back in a few ticks.” He quickly jogged from the room to the bathroom, rummaging through for something soft for his skin. He hissed when all he could find was a towel, and ran it under the tap before wringing it out. His ears twitched. Was that a bang? He paused mid-wring. Again. What the fuck is he doing now? Ulaz pulled out one of the small medical kits, grabbing a light sedative. He held it between his teeth as he ran back into the room. At first he couldn't find Shiro, until he paced around to see him sat in the corner. The glow was dull as he brought his head back against the wall. Ulaz winced as he dropped down onto his knees, setting the sedative aside. He grabbed Shiro's face, his expression unreadable.

 

When did I become a monster?”
“Shiro?”
“Was it when I hurt Matt? When I killed Myzax? Or was it when I started to bond with the monsters?”
“What do you mean by monsters?” He watched Shiro tilt his head up, “well who else would it be? You – the Galra.”
“W-Why do you think you're a monster, Shiro?” Ulaz swallowed the lump in his throat as Shiro motioned at himself. “Look at me. I used to be really calm, really kind. I've killed and been so cruel – I'm not even really human any more, and if I could call any of you friends, well, you're all monsters too.”
“You're not a monster, Shiro.”
“That's rich coming from the mouth of one.” Ulaz closed his eyes. He could understand why Shiro hurt, but he had no idea how much it'd hurt him too.

 

“Do you want to forget?”
“What do you mean?”
“On my travels I got you something.”
“Why would you get me something?”
“Because, so much as you may not believe me, I hate myself for what I did to you.”
“Why would you hate yourself?” Ulaz sighed. He always had so many questions. “I've grown very fond of your company. You're an interesting person, Shiro, and I enjoy talking to you.”
“So...why did you...?”
“In my stupidity and haste, I went with the one thing I knew that would 'work'. I didn't want the Commander or the Druids to find out – I didn't want you to die.”
“Why didn't you ignore it?”
“Because if my mind was every checked, we'd both be dead.”
“Won't they know anyway you lied?”
“Not with what I have for you.” Ulaz moved back to give Shiro some space.

 

Shiro wasn't sure if Ulaz was telling the truth, or whether this was a ruse. He pushed himself back into the wall, drawing himself in. “You said you hate yourself for what you did?”
“Yes.”
“How much did you hate yourself?” Shiro narrowed his eyes, watching for any tells that he was lying. He was surprised when Ulaz tensed up, drawing his shoulders in. He couldn't even look at him. “So you didn't really-”
You want to see?” See? See what? What did he do? Shiro nodded cautiously as Ulaz swallowed. He watched him unfasten his armour, Shiro already not certain where this was going, and move around with his back to him. He slowly unclipped the front and sat there silently for a few ticks. “Pull the fabric down.” His voice was devoid of emotion. It unsettled Shiro.

 

Ulaz screwed his eyes shut in shame as he felt fingers brush against the fur on the back of his neck. He let Shiro pull the fabric down over his shoulders and swallowed when he felt the cool air hit the exposed fur. There was a sharp intake of breath behind him. He knew Shiro was going to question him. “What...is all this?”
“A reminder of my sins.”
“Who...did this to you?”
“I did.” He felt nervous fingers trace the deep scars on his back. “Why would you...do this?”
“To punish myself for what I've done.”
This is my fault.” Ulaz pulled the fabric up and fastened his body suit. “No, Shiro, this is all my fault. That's why I want to help you, even if it does mean making you forget. It's the only way to keep you truly safe. I'm sorry for burdening you with this now.” He tensed when he felt arms grip around his waist. This was a surprise. “I've missed you. I-I'm so s-sorry.” Ulaz felt his body shudder and his voice pitch high again as he started to cry into his shoulder. Ulaz placed a clawed hand over Shiro's, giving it a tight squeeze. “I hope you can forgive me some day. I'm sorry for betraying your trust, I really am.” He felt his own eyes prickle, and he pulled Shiro from his waist, before scooping him up.

 

You need to rest. Do you want a sedative, or not? It's up to you.” He smoothed Shiro's fringe from his eyes, the human looking so exhausted in his arms. “I just want to sleep.”
“Then let's get you to bed.” Ulaz offered him a small smile as he carried him through the apartment and placed him gently on top of the sheets. “Before you sleep, let me just check the back of your head. Can you roll over for me?” Shiro turned to his side. Ulaz gently touched the skin, pressing lightly. Shiro hissed a few times in pain. “Do you feel light-headed?”
“No, just hot and tired. I...was given aphrodisiacs and hallucinogenics again earlier.”
“Why?”
Entertainment at Ladnok's party,” Shiro yawned, “Zestera offered because Sendak said I had to pleasure a woman. That's why he broke my nose – I refused.” So that explains that. “The aphrodisiac was the same type as the synthetic from before.”
“So outside of Zestera, what else happened?” Ulaz settled beside Shiro on the bed, gently stroking his arm. “I got carried into a room where two Galra wanted to do stuff to me at the same time. One was male – the other female. I said no, Sendak came over and I lashed out at him. I get I probably deserved it...maybe I should have just swallowed my pride and done it? It may not've been that bad-”
“No, Shiro, you did the right thing,” Ulaz rubbed his arm harder, “you should never compromise yourself like that.” Shiro looked up at him, nodding slowly. Ulaz wasn't sure whether he really agreed. “I managed to knock Sendak to the floor though. I think I'm getting stronger.”
“It's all that training-”
“He still defeated me in the end. Being a human is pretty useless out here, huh?”
“Don't talk about yourself like that, you're not useless.”
“He broke my nose, almost choked me with his dick, and then fucked me until I conceded I'd become a monster. The latter is true, it's okay, you don't need to be nice about it. Is it wrong I get off on this though? I have for a while. Ulaz, I'm so fucked up.” Ulaz placed a claw to his mouth to silence him. He was hurting himself talking like this; getting worked up again.

 

“May I hug you?” Shiro looked up to Ulaz, then back at the bare bedside counter. Ulaz didn't have much stuff, kinda like him back at the Garrison. He rarely kept much – it was easier if he had to travel. “I'd...like that.” He squeaked as Ulaz pulled him into a tight embrace, pressing Shiro's body against his lean one. He could fall asleep in his arms. Shiro rested his face in the crook of his neck and closed his eyes. “I've missed you. Did you know you smelt a bit sweet?”
“Thank you,” Ulaz ran his fingers over the skin, still noting it was quite warm. “Let me do my best to look after you. I swear on my honour I'll never hurt you again.” Ulaz whispered, and Shiro hummed in response. He pressed his lips against Ulaz's neck. “Take that as my forgiveness. I just...need to sleep.”
“Can I check your eyes?”
“Mmm.” Shiro opened them, and Ulaz nodded slowly. “They're still glowing, but they aren't as bright as earlier.”
“That's good.” Shiro yawned again, and let Ulaz lay him back onto the sheets. “Good night, Ulaz.”
“Good night, Shiro.” He felt his weight lift from the mattress.

 

He wasn't sure whether he should be happy with how quickly it took Shiro to drop off. At first he wasn't sure he was even breathing. Ulaz rubbed his eyes – they stung with strain and stress, but he couldn't sleep, he had work to do. He rose and quietly stepped from the room to make himself a drink and collect his tablet. From previous experiments he'd ran in the past regarding quintessence exposure on behalf of Haggar, he was doubtful the effects would remain long-term and Shiro would be fine. Nonetheless, he couldn't be presumptuous based on previous data. He mentally scolded himself; Shiro wasn't data, he was his own person, just like all the others. He refilled the kettle and left it to boil to collect a mug.

 

As he set it down, his thoughts wandered back to the man asleep in his room. It was what he spoke about – not being human – he was struggling to grasp. The Galra had always been a race that was quite content with the rationale that they lived to face down death depending on their pursuits in life, which eventually over thousands of deca-phoebs pre their space exploration era, transformed into the mantra of “victory or death”. Some groups, like the Blade of Marmora, believed in “knowledge or death”. They may mourn the dead, but they would still celebrate the life they'd led. He poured the water, and stirred his drink, still lost. Did humans not have a unified purpose? He recalled when he first met the three humans in his labs for testing, and how each was very different to the next. He'd need to talk to Shiro, and see if discussing home would do him so good. Perhaps jogging his memory was the best way. If anything it gave him an anchor point which he seriously needed right now.

 

He settled in a seat by the end of the bed and took out his tablet, flicking through to see if he had a copy of Shiro's data in Galran on him. It would only likely be what the intelligence had gathered, but it was a start. It would also keep his mind busy while he observed Shiro for the next few vargas, and he had to admit, Shiro's Earth stories were interesting to listen to.

 

-

 

He'd been restless during the night and woken a few times covered in sweat. Ulaz had to tell him two separate times where he was and why he was here. It'd then taken him half a varga to settle back into sleep. Regardless, he seemed to have woken in a good enough mood besides the nightmares. That was another thing he'd need to pick his brain about in due time. “Would you like some tea?” Ulaz raised his mug, and Shiro nodded, offering him a grateful smile. “Where's the bathroom?” He asked as Ulaz went to leave the room. “Ah, just through that door there.” He pointed and left, hearing his footfalls behind him.

 

A few dobosh's later, Shiro emerged in the doorway, yawning and blinking around. “Do you not like decoration? Your place is really sparse.” Ulaz looked up thoughtfully. “I've never been one to have many possessions. What I keep is what I need, and I'm never hugely fond of staying in Central Command these quintants.”
“Why?”
“Just memories of things I would prefer to forget.”
“Ah, I'm sorry.”
“There's no need to apologise,” Ulaz muttered as he poured them both drinks, and pushed the mug towards Shiro, “it isn't your fault you have questions. Knowledge is a good thing.”
“I thought the Galra hated questions?” Ulaz couldn't help but chuckle as he blew on his drink. “We don't like questions about our operations or perhaps if they are a bit too probing. However,” he noted Shiro shift awkwardly, “sometimes it's just down to our moods. Do you remember when you used to give me such disdainful looks when you used to ask me questions and I wouldn't answer how you wished?”
“I do a bit, but it feels so long ago now that it's hard to remember. There's,” he looked hard at the floor, “generally a lot of better memories attached now.” He took a sip, jerking away and sticking his tongue out, seemingly panting, Ulaz wasn't sure. “Are you okay?”
“Burned my tongue,” he quickly set the mug down and ran his tongue under the tap, groaning as he shook his head. “Sorry, it really hurts.” Ulaz made a small chuckle as he picked the mug up again and blew it a few times. “Well it's not long boiled.”
“I know...it's morning, I'm not really awake yet, and usually I end up making tea for Sendak.”
“I didn't realise he drank it that frequently.”
“Yeah,” Shiro raised the mug, “it tastes different but that's it. Back on Earth we have loads of different types – one place I went to once had about two hundred.”
“Just on your planet alone? That's quite a lot.” Ulaz was a bit surprised, but then he didn't exactly know a lot about Earth even after his reading – he never got around to its geography or flora.

 

Shiro smiled as he leaned against the counter. “Our planet has – or had – a lot of different species on it for a long time. There's been mass extinctions, like the dinosaurs or during the ice age, and then my species done a lot of damage too to wild populations.”
“What on Daibazaal is a dinosaur, or an ice age?”
“Dinosaurs were these giant reptiles that lived on Earth millions and millions of Earth-years ago. Some lived in the seas, others in the skies, and on land. Mammals – what humans and...I want to say some Galra since you've got fur, evolved from – were also starting to evolve alongside them. An ice age...did Daibazaal not have polar ice caps?”
“Our planet was rocky and had some flat lands, but a portion was always in perpetual darkness, so it's possible. Commander Sendak would be better to ask, since he used to live there. I was born elsewhere and after it's destruction.” Ulaz sipped his tea and tilted his head to the side, “so an ice age is?”
“Oh, sorry. So pretty much the Earth's surface and atmospheric temperature reduces over a long period of time, and it gives rise either to continental or polar ice sheets forming or expanding. In some cases, they can expand all the way down to the equator, or only cover parts of the north and south hemispheres.”
“It sounds like your planet can be quite dangerous.”
“It can be I guess. I mean we have natural disasters like hurricanes, tornados, tsunamis, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, and maybe you could say super-viruses as well, but then at the same time Earth has a lot of really cool places. There's deserts and mountains, rainforests and plains, marshes and canyons...there's just a huge range of places to see and go, even the depths of the oceans. You know we've explored more of space then we have our own oceans? It's crazy.” Shiro chuckled to himself as he wiped his eyes. “It's just a shame that I won't get to see it again.” He sighed despondently into his tea. “It would've been nice to show you, one quintant.” He sipped it and set the mug on the side.

 

“I think that's enough about Earth for now, if that's okay.”
“Of course it is. I didn't realise you'd started to feel homesick.” Ulaz motioned to the kettle but Shiro passed on another drink. “I've always wanted to explore – go out and see new things. I'd feel stuck if I just stayed on Earth and thought I'd have plenty of time to see everything as I got older, even if it would've become harder. Now, I know I won't get to do that at all. I mean, I love space and there's just so much to see, but I'm just stuck here in Central Command.” Ulaz watched him for a few long dobosh's. He opened his mouth to speak, then closed it and checked his communicator. “The Commander won't be picking you up until the evening,” He muttered, looking over at Shiro, “and you've woken up relatively early. I can give you two choices: either we look at making you forget your memories and go to the labs, or...”
“Or?” Shiro side-eyed him, his eyes thankfully back to normal. Ulaz offered him a toothy grin, “or, I see if I can grab us a ship and we can fly around Central. There's a moon and two gas planets outside, as well as the other rings. We won't have time to stop on anything, but-”
“What're we waiting for? Let's grab a shuttle!” The level of excitement in his voice was infectious and his eyes sparkled. “You can seriously do that?”
“You might not want to let the Commander know, but I'm sure if I had to, I could justify it.” Shiro looked almost giddy with excitement, and Ulaz could only smile.

 

-

 

Shiro's mouth was agape as he stared out the window. The scale of Central Command was mind-boggling, and the rings made him stunned as he tried to comprehend the time and resources used to make them. “So, what do you think?”
“Everything's so...big.” Yes, Shiro. 'Big' is precisely the word to use when looking at these mega-structures and marvels of engineering. Between the two languages you know, that was clearly the best word you could pick. “It's amazing. Just...this is the stuff of Earth's science fiction, but it's real. It's right in front of me. The scale, the size – the fact the rings go through planets.”
“It is quite the sight when you see it for the first time. You'd probably hate me when I say I don't care much for it.” Shiro whipped his head around to Ulaz, who was watching him with a playful smirk on his lips. “Are you...are you joking?”
“Me? Joke? Never, I'm far too serious for jokes.” Shiro snorted and returned to staring outside. He curled his toes inside his shoes, completely transfixed by it all.

 

It had been a few vargas until Ulaz sighed. “I'll have to take us back soon.”
“That's a shame.” Shiro was still pressed up against window, but had on occasion turned to watch Ulaz fly the shuttle. Ulaz studied him curiously, the smile on his lips euphoric. “I hope this has helped you feel a tad better. It doesn't fix it, of course, but if I can offer you some reprieve, then I'll do all I can.”
“It's been...really nice. I've really enjoyed these few vargas in your company again. I think I feel lighter after last night, you know?”
“Yes,” Ulaz gave him a slow nod, “I do as well.”
“You know what might make me happier?” Shiro sidled up beside him, and Ulaz had a bad feeling as to where this conversation was going. “What's that?”
“If you let me have a go flying the ship. I'm not a bad pilot.”
“For Earth ships, not Galra,” Ulaz cocked an eyebrow at him, and the human sighed. “Well, of course I don't know what the controls do, and I don't think you'll let me work it out. What you can do though is guide me. So,” his look was so composed it took Ulaz by surprise, “would you do me the honour of showing me how to fly her?”

 

Ulaz knew this was a terrible idea. Thace would scold him, and if Kolivan got wind of it, he'd probably rant at him for vargas about being reckless. “Fine, but I'm still keeping my hands on the controls, and you will listen to my instructions.”
“Suits me,” Shiro shrugged his shoulders and settled into the offered seat, cracking his fingers as he curled them round the yoke. Ulaz picked up the tiniest hum of excitement from Shiro and placed his own hands on top of his. “So do I pull this back to raise the nose?”
“That's correct.”
“So forward lowers it?”
“Correct again.”
“Left and right roll it in their respective directions?” Ulaz could hear he knew it already, “correct again.”
“Good.” Shiro smiled up at him and looked at the panels around him. “There's no sticks or pedals, which would be weird I guess if you had them. Where's the fuel gauge...boosters?”
“The what?”
“Well, what's the ship running on?”
“Quintessence.” Ulaz cocked his head to the side as Shiro gave him a bewildered look. “You heal me with craft fuel?”
“It's used for a lot of different purposes, however the slider is here.” Ulaz pointed at the display and Shiro nodded slowly. “We should really get back, shouldn't we?” He was quicker than Ulaz was expecting. Shiro raised the fuel output and forced the yoke back towards his body, making the ship jerk upwards.

 

Shiro offered Ulaz an apologetic look. “I'm sorry, I just haven't flown in so long.”
“Be careful of the cruiser!”
“I see it,” Shiro tilted the yoke casually to the left, the shuttle turning with more than enough room to spare. To please Ulaz, he even straightened it out and flew the thing properly, sliding the output down to what it was before. Ulaz stared at him, somewhere between shocked and vexed. “What? You let me have a go! Do you want the controls back?”
“Please. You fly quite...”
“Differently?”
“I suppose you could say that.”
“I'm used to flying military aircraft and ships like the one to Kerberos. This is weird to fly, but not difficult either. I'd need to study the controls more.” Shiro let Ulaz take the controls back and shifted slowly from the pilot seat. He would prefer to keep flying, but he didn't want to push his luck. “It's made the quintant much better.” He gave Ulaz a small nudge, the Galra snorting in response. “We're going back now.”
“Fine.” Shiro offered a grin as he settled back into his seat, eyes drifting back out to the stars.

 

-

 

“So far, training's been going okay. It's been a pain when it's been weapon-training quintants because I have to keep the inhibitor on.” Shiro flexed the metal fingers as he sat on the side of the fountain; the same one they came to movements' ago. “I feel it's detrimental to actually learning how to use it effectively – the arm I mean.”
“I can see why,” Ulaz yawned, “you have got on remarkably well with it all things considered.” Ulaz gently took his hand, rotating it back and forth. “I suppose it was your dominant hand before, but you have adapted so well.”
“That's what humans do, we adapt. I still spend time avoiding using my left, just to focus on the feeling.” Shiro pulled it back and rested it on his thigh, brow creasing as he watched the light shine off it. “I just wished it wasn't so obviously alien at times, or that I never lost it to begin with. I've noticed, heard things about this, and it makes me feel really uncomfortable. I guess...I asked for the arm, but not one with light-up action,” Shiro snorted to himself. “I guess I thought it would be cosmetic; not powerful enough to puncture bodies or break armour.”

 

“Myself and the Commander aren't entirely certain why either, however we believed at first it was so you could continue fighting. It's possible,” he raised his claws to his mouth, biting the end, “it's a trial for a new style the High Priestess is looking at.”
“So I'm a lab rat?”
“It's possible and with her involved, likely.” Ulaz didn't continue with what information he did know, as it would likely upset Shiro. She was rarely interested in keeping anything that wasn't a potential test subject alive. “Eat, you've barely touched anything,” Ulaz tapped his claw on the package beside him and Shiro reluctantly pulled it into his lap.

 

“Aside from weapon training, are you enjoying it? How are the other gladiators?” Ulaz took a bit of his food, watching Shiro scratch the back of his head. “They're generally an alright bunch for the most part. I think Kaleska kind of just adopted everyone as her kids, well, everyone except Nadiva. They really don't like him – because of how our fight went down. Zestera...I'm not sure about yet.”
“That's Commander Gnov's gladiator, isn't it?”
“Yeah.” Shiro shifted uncomfortably.
“Why aren't you sure about them?”
“They're quite brusque and snappy to begin with – there's a lot of anger there – but also Ladnok's party and what happened and urgh,” Ulaz watched Shiro place the package back to the side and rest his face in his hands. “It's going to be awkward.”
“Aphrodisiacs and hallucinogenics?”
“Yes.”
“Did you and they?”
“Mhmm.”
“Did it...hurt?”
“I don't know if I hurt them. I mean, we both knew it was going to happen, but neither of us were sober, I guess?” Shiro scrubbed at his face and Ulaz pressed a hand against his prosthetic reassuringly. “I'm sure it'll all be fine.”
“I really hope so,” Shiro stared at the floor for a few ticks, before looking back over at him.

 

“So, do you watch the fights at the arena?”
“Not any more. It's never sat well with me,” Ulaz tapped the package again for Shiro to eat, but the man shrugged his shoulders in response. “How come? I thought it was a big deal and all that?”
“Oh, it's certainly one of the Galra's favourite things, just as a healer, you can imagine I have some qualms about the harm that comes to those participating. I healed you after your battle with Champion. That took a while even with the help I had.”
“I must have looked pretty bad.”
“You did. I was also on a time limit as well, which was why it wasn't my best work.” He watched Shiro nod his head, clearly trying to recall it; his face dropped when he did. “I called out the Commander back then for his actions. I'm sorry that I've not been able to do more.” He watched Shiro pick up the package and open the top. “You really do take care of me, don't you?” He flopped into Ulaz's side and stared up at him, “I think I'd have given up a lot sooner. Don't get me wrong, I still want to give up most days. I guess what I'm trying to say is that you keep me going – you make this captivity a lot more bearable.”
“That's an incredibly kind thing to say, Shiro. But please, don't put yourself down. You are amazingly strong in your own right. I know you may not believe it, but you are.” Ulaz patted his arm, noting a few odd glances the two were getting from passers-by. “Thanks. It's nice you think so.” Shiro shifted his head a little and finally started to eat.

 

-

 

Ulaz's ears pricked again. He paused Shiro and turned around, peering back down the walkway. “You've stopped us about four times since we left the fountain. Do you think we have a follower?”
“I think we do,” Ulaz's claws tensed over Shiro's shoulder, “and I have a sneaking suspicion it's because Sendak hasn't re-collared you yet.”
“Great.”
“Don't worry, you're safe with me.” He flicked his gaze about, noting the narrow corridors between the apartment blocks. “Stay close and do exactly what I say, understand?” He hushed as he ushered Shiro down one of the vacant corridors.

 

As they walked, Ulaz could definitely hear someone behind them. “Keep your eyes forward and turn left.” He whispered, patting Shiro's shoulder carefully. As they turned, Ulaz pointed in front. “Quietly make your way up there and turn right. There will be some crates. Hide yourself behind them and leave the rest to me.” Shiro nodded in response and quickened his pace. He cast one last look at Ulaz, and ducked into the recess. Ulaz let out a long sigh and came to a stand, listening as the faint footfalls became louder. He turned on his heel, awaiting to see what degenerate turned up. He was still tired, but was more than capable of fighting. Besides, he had a few things to work through and it wasn't like he could take it out on Sendak.

 

“I was hoping you wouldn't be this smart.”
“You're not going to deny stalking us then?”
“No point. Where is it?”
It belongs to Commander Sendak.” That hopefully will scare him off.
“Then he should've collared it. Besides, doesn't seem to be bothering you.” The Galra – this one a few inches taller but much stockier, stepped a few paces forward. Ulaz folded his arms over his chest as he gave him a once over. “You think intimidating me will just make me hand it over?”
“I'd rather not fight someone who's so meek-looking. Save yourself the hassle, I'll only be about half a varga.”
“No. Get out of my sight.”
“Not even for some GAC?” The Galra clicked his tongue as Ulaz stepped forwards, cracking his knuckles. “Well, can't fault me for being friendly.” He clasped both sides of his hips, Ulaz watching intently as he drew two small daggers.

 

Shiro peered out from around the side of the crate as he heard a struggle. He bit his lip and clenched his fists tight, ready to make a run to help Ulaz. Suddenly, a large body rolled into view at the entrance to the corridor. He squinted; it wasn't Ulaz. He heard something clatter from around the corner and watched as he slowly stepped into view, lifting the large Galra up by the top of his armour. Shiro couldn't hear what he said, but considering how quickly the Galra scurried away once Ulaz dropped him, it must have been enough to spook him. Ulaz watched him leave, and after a few dobosh's motioned for him to come out. Shiro ran, body tense with worry as he pushed Ulaz out into the light, checking him for any wounds.

 

“I'm fine, Shiro.”
“He was massive, I just want to check.”
“I promise you I'm quite fine. I know how to handle myself.” Ulaz ruffled his hair. “I do appreciate the concern, but I've been in worse bouts before.” Shiro looked up at his face, back to the calm one he knew. “Still, I couldn't live with myself if anything happened to you, especially if I could do something to stop it.”
“Thank you, Shiro.” He felt Ulaz smooth his hand through his hair, then rub his fingers alongside his cheek. He leaned into the touch, offering a tender look upwards. “I should be thanking you again for looking out for me.”
“I'll let the Commander know about the incident – but we should also head back.” Ulaz's features hardened slightly as he ushered Shiro with him down the dimly lit corridors.

 

-

 

Sendak's ears pricked as he looked up from his communicator. “I was going to contact you. Where've you been?”
“Please accept my apologies, Commander.” Ulaz bowed, crossing his arm over his chest. “We've had an incident earlier, hence our lateness.”
“What type of 'incident'?” Sendak pushed himself from the wall and stalked over, noting his slave glance down quickly to the floor. “What did he do?”
“He didn't do anything. We had someone following us for a while. About a varga ago, I managed to waylay him until he pulled two of these out on me,” Ulaz reached around and pulled out a small dagger. “I don't know if this means anything to you?”
“It doesn't.” Sendak took it in his hands, brow creased as he studied it. “If anything it's new – not particularly good quality.” He handed it back to Ulaz. “I see you are unharmed.”
“Of course, Commander. Shiro did exactly what I asked of him, and is also unharmed. However, this officer, and I am guessing as much because of their uniform, was looking to harm Shiro.” Ulaz placed a hand on top of his shoulder. “He attempted to bribe me even after learning he was yours.” Ulaz's gaze narrowed and Sendak noted his claws tightened on the slave's shoulder. “I'm very pleased you took care of him in my stead. I apologise for putting you in such a dangerous situation. Has he thanked you?”
“I have, Commander.” The slave offered him a small bow as well, “I am incredibly grateful Officer Ulaz protected me.”

 

“Look up.” Sendak ordered. Shiro obeyed automatically as he felt the prosthetic claws of the gauntlet press into the underside of his chin. He watched Sendak stare at him, letting his face drop when he was content. “I presume he was well-behaved?”
“A minor issue, but it was only minor. You seem a bit on edge, Commander, are you alright?” Shiro appreciated Ulaz stressing it was just minor. “Not particularly, I just want to get back.” Shiro felt a firm hand around his arm and moved towards Sendak, his stomach sinking in trepidation as he stared back at Ulaz. “Are we leaving now, Commander?”
“Yes.”
“Goodbye, Officer Ulaz. Thank you for looking after me last night.” Shiro bowed his head, and let his gaze linger for as long as he could as Sendak led him away.

 

-

 

Shiro tensed as he felt clawed hands push the fabric up around his hips, smoothing the skin in small circles as he stood at the kitchen counter. “I'm just waiting for it to boil, I'm sorry-” He stifled a hiss as the bruises were pressed. “I missed you last night,” Sendak purred low into his ear, “and work as been terribly taxing.”
“Was it him?”
“It was.” Shiro felt a knee pressed firmly between his legs. His body still ached from last night, he couldn't cope again. “Are you scared?”
“I...I don't want to needlessly anger you, that's all.” Shiro gripped the sides as he felt the pressure increase and his feet leave the floor. He felt his groin press against the cold metal of Sendak's boots and wrapped his legs around his thigh to lever himself up.

 

“You know I had to put you in your place.” He felt the hot breath ghost against his neck. “I know.”
“However, as I said last night to you, you did please me. For being such a good boy, I'll reward you tonight. You can even pick.” Shiro swallowed the lump in his throat and tilted his head back to look up at Sendak. “You'll let me?”
“Of course.”
“Then...if it's not too much trouble, would you mind teaching me Galran?” He bit his lip as he felt the claws leave his hips. Sendak picked him up under his arms and sat him against the counter top, almost at eye-level. “I've wanted to learn for a while. After last night, well, I guess now would be a good time. If you want to reform me, I guess I need to know as much as I can about you. It means if need be I can study up on things you talk about, instead of needing to pester you or anyone else.” It could also allow us some independence.

 

Sendak considered him, lacing his claws through the dark hair. It was something he was going to sort eventually, but he would concede that the slave asking had made him a little prouder. “You understand I will be strict?”
“Yes, Commander.”
“I do not appreciate laziness either.”
“I'm rather studious, and swear I'll use as much as my free time as you allow to dedicate to my studies.” The slave lowered his head in submission, and Sendak massaged his claws into the scalp. “Then I expect you to keep your word. Perhaps,” he lifted the slave's head up by his hair, leaning in close, “there is some hope for you, my aggressive little monster.” Sendak gave him a small lick over his forehead, smoothing his prosthetic claws over the bare thigh. “Shall we start a little later?” He purred, pulling the slave into his chest. He heard a soft squeak, and presumed that was a reply of agreement.

 

Chapter Text

Ulaz placed the long needle down on the table, biting his claws anxiously at Shiro's limp form in the chair. He carefully detached the arm restraints and unfastened the brace around his neck. It had been a lot harder to do, because it turned out the human brain was considerably more complex then he initially realised. He couldn't justify requesting the delicate precision instruments he'd desperately needed for the rationale he'd given – it'd spark too many questions that he couldn't afford being asked. He'd had to heavily improvise with what he could access, and even then, as he checked Shiro's pulse, he was terrified he'd messed the whole process up. The longer Shiro stayed like this, the worse the outlook was. The man had screeched his lungs hoarse during the ordeal, and as he stroked the wet trails down the sides of his cheeks, Ulaz felt it would be another session in his apartment soon. Thace would be upset.

 

Sniffing, he finished unfastening Shiro and eased the dead weight out of the chair. He needed to readjust how he carried him, but when he finally did lift the body, he carried it with the same care you would a newborn kit. He placed him down on the table, smoothing the hair stuck to his face away. “I'm so sorry.” He murmured, stroking his cheek and giving his forehead a small lick. “Please, wake up soon.” He pressed his fingers against his neck, relieved there was still a pulse even though he checked moments before. He quickly attached as many monitors and what drips he could, again unsure how long he'd be out for. He was certain the process had worked; but he wasn't certain at what cost. He knew he had to fabricate a report for the basis he'd come in on, even though the event itself was true, but he couldn't concentrate.

 

Ulaz scratched the back of his neck as he checked the time again. It'd only been five dobosh's since he'd last looked, but it felt like two vargas had passed. He snarled, slamming the communicator down on the side as he stalked around the equipment. He needed to busy himself with something. The needles. They needed disposing of. Could he do it here? No, bad idea. It could be checked if mistakes were made, and they could be discovered and ran to see who they were used on. He took the collection of needles, which had mounted up quickly with the three places he'd had to inject at the same time. At least he'd found a way to circumvent needing three hands. He was sure he had something in his bag for this instance – wait, yes, he did. Dropping the collection next to the display, Ulaz fumbled around inside his bag for the container he was after, and hurriedly put them all inside. If anyone entered, though it was highly unlikely they would, he couldn't be caught doing this.

 

Next thing was to collect up the bottles he'd used. Out of the collection he brought with him, he only had three left which wasn't a good sign either. He prayed he'd got the dosage right and not used too much, or somehow he may've used too little? No, no he couldn't have miscalculated that far out. He'd spent the last two phoebs making sure that it would be perfect. He'd managed to catch up with Shiro twice a movement since he was teaching him one of the human languages to make translating easier, but in that time, Ulaz had been able to do small medical checks and talk him through what he needed to do. He stored the empty bottles away and picked up the communicator. This time only seven dobosh's had passed. He needed a smoke.

 

It helped to somewhat ease his anxieties, but Ulaz's mind still buzzed with worry. He'd manage to waste another twenty dobosh's, but that wasn't a positive thing either. He paced again back over to the still body, looking even paler then usual. He pressed his claws against his bare neck. There was a pulse, of course there was, the machine would have alerted him to a lack of one. The vitals were all fine as well. Everything seemed correct, but why wasn't he conscious? He rested against the table, feeling his palms sweat in the gloves. He had to take them off again, it felt disgusting. Ulaz's face twisted in revulsion as the material stuck to his fingers. He growled in frustration as each snapped off and he dropped them beside Shiro's body, wiping his hands in his bodysuit. Maybe if he poked him? Ulaz prodded Shiro's exposed skin, his hands, his cheeks and nose. “Wake up, Shiro. Come on, wake up, please.” He pulled his hand away, uncertain what he was doing. It wouldn't work. He tried again, jabbing and poking harder. He ordered Shiro to wake up, he pleaded, he begged. He slammed his fist against the table in frustration as the machine continued to show his vitals and functions were normal.

 

Was it something he missed? He pelted over to his bag, pulling out one of the bottles and reading it again for the umpteenth time. His eyes widened and he let out a guttural snarl, pushing the bottle back in. He was an idiot, stupid, a dreck. He leaned against the table, gazing down at Shiro. He choked out a laugh, “oh Shiro, you'd laugh if you knew how stupid I'd been. I missed a bit from the bottle. It said some species could be out for up to a varga and a half. You're just knocked out. I didn't fry your brain.” He clasped his human hand in both of his. “I'm so sorry I've stolen this time from you – for putting you through this all.” His voice cracked as fat tears rolled down his cheeks. The monitors continued to show all vital signs were normal. He could hear Shiro breathing.

 

Shiro stirred groggily, bringing his hand to his head. It felt like someone had dropped both Sendak and Kaleska on top of his face at the same time, and his mouth tasted of something between blood and jalapeños. He cracked open his eyes to a light that felt as intense as headlights on a dark and foggy night. He flinched away, rolling on to his side as he brought his hands up to shield his sensitive eyes. “W-Where am I?” His voice came out rough and cracked. “S-Shiro?!” Shiro's pupils moved as purple blur came at him, and he was hoisted up into the air like a rag doll and pressed against metal. “You're finally awake.”
“Y-Yeah.”
“Can you tell me your full name?”
“Takashi Shirogane.”
“How old are you?”
“Twenty-four.”
“What planet were you born on?”
“Earth. What?”
“Just answer them, then I'll explain. Can you tell me the last thing you remember?”
“I...” Shiro tensed as he narrowed his eyes, trying to focus through the pain. “I was training. Ulaz-” Shiro pulled away, looking at the face, “you- came to get me. I was hurt, you wanted to check it out. We came to...here, you healed me but needed to check my memories?”
“That's perfect, Shiro.”
“Sorry, where am I again?”
“These are the labs where I work at the moment,” Ulaz sat Shiro down and handed him a drink, a small straw poking through the top of the pouch. Shiro watched him as he sipped it slowly.

 

“I...woke up and you hugged me?”
“Yes, you were out for longer then I expected. The machine's always been quite taxing on you. Do you remember who hurt you in the arena?”
“It was...Champion.” Shiro crushed the pouch between his hand. “I'm going to kill him.” He spat, venom lacing every word. “Yes, you are. You promised the Commander.”
“Yeah.” Shiro nodded slowly, tightening his grasp on the pouch until his fingers pierced the material, the contents leaking out. The two watched it drip onto the boots until Shiro set the punctured pouch to the side, licking the liquid from his fingers. He caught Ulaz watching him, and cast him a provocative look as he inserted two in his mouth. He watched the tips of Ulaz's ears twitch and he quickly turned on his heel. Shiro grabbed his wrist with his human hand, gaze intent.

 

“I-I should probably get you back to the Commander-”
“Or, how about we spend a little more time here? I really don't feel so good.” Shiro was still in actual pain, but there was also something he needed right now. He took Ulaz's other wrist in his hand and pulled him back towards him, locking his legs around the back of his thighs. “Shiro! We can't here.” Ulaz hissed, nodding towards the door. Shiro grunted in response as he brought his arms around Ulaz's waist. All Galra had small waists for their body sizes, but he was having this now. He snuggled his face in just below the armour and let his eyes fall closed. “Well moving hurts, you're just here to help lift me.”
“You've attached yourself to me like a...limpet.” Ulaz smoothed his back affectionately, even if he was a little exasperated. “At least you didn't add Earth in front of it. Before you say it, I know there's the Ubliki, M'inek, and Puigian limpets, but they don't do the exact same things.”
“I recall your scolding.” Shiro looked up to Ulaz and unlocked his legs slowly.

 

“Can you come here?”
“If you want something, come up here,” there was a subtle grin on his face and Shiro groaned in frustration. He unattached his arms and with great difficulty, grabbed at Ulaz's armour for any type of purchase. Like all Galra armour made ever, it seemed, it rejected his fingers. He grabbed the black material that sat around Ulaz's hips with both hands, and without missing a beat, slid his fingers inside against the bodysuit. As predicted, Ulaz jerked down and Shiro grabbed him by the collar of the armour, pulling him down on top of him. “The fact you don't stop me from doing that when you can says you don't mind this.” Shiro brushed his fingers over Ulaz's cheek, one arm splayed over his head. “I don't want to accidentally injure you.”
“I know, but I'm not all totally squishy.” He watched Ulaz offer him a playful grin. “I suppose,” he muttered, “this bit isn't very 'squishy'.” He pressed his palm over Shiro's abdomen, who could only make a satisfied rumble in his throat at the warmth of his hands. “I bet you can't find anywhere that's squishy at all.” Shiro challenged, cocking an eyebrow. Ulaz shrugged his shoulders, and with no warning, slid from the table and pulled Shiro's leg up against his body. “I'd hazard a guess that this thigh is in fact, squishy. Especially,” Shiro watched the claws point at the inner thigh and swallowed, “since if I do this,” he very gently squeezed the skin together on the inside of his leg, Shiro making a pathetic squeak, “you make noise.”
Fuck.” Shiro drew his legs back and rolled to the side, swiping his hand over the skin that felt a bit too warm right now. “Are you okay?”
“I am...I am...very okay.” Shiro brought his hand to his mouth, biting the side of his finger. Stupid body, stupid sensitive skin, stupid Galra not letting me wear fucking trousers or underwear. We can't get a fucking hard-on here.

 

Ulaz watched as Shiro curled in on himself, grumbling and hissing and shaking his head. He settled down on the side of the table, and pulled him up. “Did I touch a delicate bit?”
“Yes.” His face had filled with colour again, but just his face. Ulaz eased the finger from his mouth and brought him in, giving his lips a small lick. Those grey eyes watched his own, before returning the gesture. He could feel Shiro's warm breath and swallowed the lump climbing up his throat. They really shouldn't. Really shouldn't.

 

It didn't matter who started the kiss at this point; either one of them was going to do it. Shiro moved himself to sit in Ulaz's lap, the Galra helping him like always. Shiro's fingers dug for the armour clasps, and he growled into the kiss when he couldn't find them. Ulaz, however, was kneading the exposed skin at the sides of his hips, making circle patterns with both thumbs. Shiro had to break it first, letting his body flop forward into his chest as he made whispered gasps. Ulaz nuzzled into him, slowly drawing his fingers around to his back. He just made patterns and sometimes when Shiro allowed, he'd squeeze certain places like his thigh. Shiro arched his back and leaned up to bring Ulaz back into another kiss. He deepened it as thoroughly as he could, and Ulaz allowed him to explore as much as he pleased. Ulaz carefully brought them both down to the table, rolling Shiro to his side and feeling Ulaz's hand rest again on his hip bone. “I'd rather be going back to yours,” Shiro whispered, running a finger over Ulaz's lips. He didn't reply, but the tightened grip and cuddle was all he needed as an answer. “We really need to get you back.”
“I know.” Shiro pushed himself up, combing his fingers through his hair.

 

-

 

“Do you think it's off?”
“I think so? Ulaz, would you ask him what he hears?” Haxus lifted his eyes from the data pad, hearing words that were not Galran come from his lips. That at least meant his translator wasn't working as well. He had to admit, he was surprised how much had changed about the slave again. Having said that, he'd changed quite a bit from being in charge of the ship for a few phoebs now. He was certainly enjoying himself, but it didn't feel the same without the Commander there, and he was missing his normal terminal on the bridge. Mostly, he missed Sendak, and was happy they would get to catch up later. By that, he meant eat his mentor out; it'd been ages.

 

“Shiro's said you – we – all sound like we've got sand and gravel stuck in our throats.”
“Then that's probably about right.” Haxus sighed and placed the pad to the side as he stretched. “If you would allow, Commander, I need to borrow Ulaz for a few vargas.”
“Of course,” Sendak rose from his chair and brought Haxus in close. “Thank you as always.”
“It's always my pleasure, Commander. I'll see you later.”
“You will,” Sendak gave his cheek a small lick, and Haxus returned it. Now, they had prisoners to check, and Ulaz was required to assist their temporary medical officer, who was just a bit awful at their job. As they bade farewell to the two, Haxus turned to Ulaz. “You have no idea how much I've missed you. Are you still grumpy?”
“As in am I grumpy now, or am I still going to be annoyed when you use half the quintessence?”
“I really have fucking missed you.” Haxus patted Ulaz's arm, stalking away until he heard Ulaz jog to catch up.

 

Sendak settled a little more comfortably in his chair, watching his slave trace his finger over the display as he read his notes with a deep frown, mouthing out the shapes of the words. They were sat in his office to make it seem more formal; more like a test. Sendak checked his communicator for any messages and pushed the glass of water towards the slave. “Drink that before you speak.” His lips tugged upwards at how sharply he looked up, clutching at his chest. He scowled at Sendak, then noticed the water. He composed himself again and answered in his strange husky tone. Human speak was odd to listen to, because he'd caught parts of his and Ulaz's conversations before, but even though his voice was similar, the words sounded more melodic and his lips moved differently.

 

Shiro was finally content he'd read enough of his notes and could hold another small conversation. This reminded him of when he used to go to a special cram school in the evenings to study and prepare for his Garrison exams. His mother would still be home by the time he got back, but getting ready to work her night shift at the local convenience store. One particular night he recalled after getting in, was her calling him to the table for unagi donburi. He smiled to himself, remembering how excited he was she'd made one of his dad's favourite meals again. He took the glass and chugged it back, before looking up to Sendak.

 

I'm sorry, Commander Sendak.”
You did not lie you were quite studious.”
I said I...like to read.” Shiro was still uncertain what 'study' was in Galran. Sendak shifted and rested his hands on the desk. “So, slave, lets sta