James was bleeding - it didn't seem bad at first, a trickle of blood from his brow, a cut on his cheek but, as Lance glanced down, there was a bandage wrapped tight over his forearm. Before he could open his mouth to ask, James gave him a tired(more) smile and said, "we found him."
Keith only looked better by virtue of his coal-black coat, Lance could smell the blood in the air. Keith raised his head when Lance tumbled out of James's truck and hit the ground running toward where Keith lay near the trees. The black wolf was on his feet in an instant, ears back and teeth glinting white in the dying light of day.
Lance didn't even slow down.
Shiro lay with his back against the tree, covered in dried blood and matted dirt. His hair was cut short, chopped and matted and Lance stood before him, chest heaving, heart in his throat.
"I'll just be a few days," Shiro teased him, coming around the couch and catching Lance's hand, tugging him close and dancing him around the living room to the music on the television. "You'll barely even miss me."
"Is he-?" James asked as he caught up to them, and Keith stood, head butting against James's side until he raised it and set his injured arm on Keith's head.
"No," Lance said, voice strangled as he crouched beside his husband, brushing grime and blood from Shiro's face. He could feel Shiro's breath against his fingers, faint but present, but the relief was already being swallowed in his chest. "No, he's alive." He pulled Shiro's head in, pressed their foreheads together, and closed his eyes.
"But whoever did this," Lance said, the rage constricting his throat, "they're already dead. They just don't know it yet."