It had taken him hours to settle down enough to sleep, Lotor spending that time in deep thought, trying to analyze every moment he had spent with Allura. He struggled to not fall into the habit of a lover scorned, knowing that only colored his perception of the memories. Instead he tried to see it as an outsider, looking over Allura’s words and actions, the very look in her eyes when she told him she loved him.
Viewed that way, he could very well believe she loved him, Lotor even thinking back to the incident on his ship. She certainly hadn’t seemed nervous as she talked with him, and those kisses of hers had certainly been fueled by some strong feeling. He just had to figure out if that feeling was passion for him or desperation for her people. He could remember when Keith arrived, how Allura had avoided looking at him. As though it pained her to see Lotor. Since being brought to this prison, not once had she hidden her eyes from him when she spoke on her love. Lotor knew that people generally had a difficult time looking him in the eye when telling him lies, and yet Allura didn’t flinch back from proclaiming her love.
She did it repeatedly, and sometimes she grew angry, raging at him for not believing in her love. Lotor sighed, finding that upon wakening he was just as troubled as he had been the night before. Perhaps even more so when he went to wrap a possessive arm across the girl snuggled up at his side, only to discover that space on the couch was empty.
Lotor snapped open his eyes, seeing an empty room. That ruled out the possibility that Allura was preparing breakfast for them, Lotor frowning as he looked around. The door to the bathroom was open, no sign of her there. He tried to tell himself to stay calm, that he was panicking for nothing. Allura was probably just exploring, he’d get up and track her down, chastise her for wandering around the prison so carelessly.
Nodding to himself, he went to pull back the sheet around him, wondering at what point during the night had Allura fetched the blanket from his cot. He jerked it back further, and gasped, seeing blood on the white sheet.
It made him panic, Lotor not thinking clearly as he stared at the red stain, the color faded somewhat so as not to be too fresh. He looked down and saw blood on the couch, his fingers touching it, finding it still wet.
“Allura…” He breathed out, wondering at the cause. A stray thought ran through his mind, Lotor remembering the day he had taken her virginity, the brutal way he had hurt her. Anxiously he checked his pants, but the material was too dark to tell if it was stained. He got to his feet, pausing just long enough to zip up his pants, his eyes looking at the floor.
Blessedly there was no more blood to be found, but what he did uncover had left him shaken to the core. He hurried towards the door, and stepped out into the hall, looking both ways as he tried to decide which way to go. It was then that he heard it, the sound faint but carrying down the hall, coming from the holding cell he had prepared for Allura.
Lotor moved in it’s direction, and the closer he got, the more it became apparent that it was a woman crying. It made him move faster, Lotor breaking into a run, bursting into the room and glancing around. The bed was empty, the sobbing louder as it issued out of the bathroom.
“Allura?” Lotor frowned, and stalked over to the room, pausing in the doorway to see her on her knees. Her head was lowered, her hands over her face as her shoulders shook. She was wearing his shirt again, and try as he might Lotor could not see any signs of blood on her. “What’s wrong?”
She reacted to his voice, turning to look at him, tears in her eyes. He immediately fell to his knees beside her, reaching out to touch her. “Lotor…”
He ran a hand though her unruly hair, and offered a small smile to her. It didn’t calm her, in fact it made her cry harder, Allura suddenly flinging her arms around him. “Shhh….” Lotor said, petting her as she sobbed against his chest. “You can tell me. What’s happened?”
“You’ll think I’m being silly.” She sniffled, arms tightening around him. “You’ll laugh or get mad.”
“I promise I won’t get mad.” Lotor assured her, seeing her risk a glance up at him.
“I promise.” Swore Lotor, ready to do anything to put the smile back on her face. She did a little nod, allowing Lotor to wipe at her cheek with the sleeve of his shirt. “Now tell me…are you injured?”
“No.” She sniffled, lower lip trembling as she hesitated over the words. “It’s…it’s…that time of month. I got my period.”
“Ah.” Lotor did a slow blinking of the eyes, registering her words. He didn’t quite hide the smile, relieved to find the reason behind the blood.
“You promised!” Allura cried out at his smile, thumping a fist against his chest.
“Forgive me.” Lotor soothed. “It’s just when I woke up and saw the blood, I thought….”
“Thought what?” She asked when he fell silent.
“I thought I had hurt you last night during sex.” He explained. She quickly shook her head no, Allura offering protests to calm him.
“You didn’t! You couldn’t!”
“We both know that’s not true.” Lotor said, remembering the damage he had done the first time they had had sex. Allura didn’t try to argue, merely sniffled and leaned against him. “Are you in pain? Is that why you’re crying?”
“I’m sorry. I don’t think I have anything for this kind of problem.” Lotor said, trying to think of the things that were associated with a woman’s monthly cycle. He was pretty sure there would be cramping, but he didn’t expect pain so bad as to reduce her to tears on the floor of the bathroom.
“It’s not the cramps.” Allura said, and he saw she was chewing on her lip.
“If not the cramps, then what?” Lotor asked. “Why the tears, is something different this time?”
“Yes.” She buried her face against his chest, hiding from him. “I’m just a stupid, silly girl.”
“I don’t think that’s true.” Lotor told her, and his hands urged her to look at him. “You are a bright, capable young woman. Who is just going through a difficult time.” To his astonishment, that made her cry harder, Allura’s voice rising in a wail.
“I don’t deserve to be praised by you!”
“Allura what?” Lotor asked, confused.
“I don’t! I’ve lied and deceived you, I’ve even tried to manipulate events so that we can be together always.” Tears were falling faster than he could wipe them away, Lotor frowning at her words. “What’s worse, I’m in pain, the worst kind, an anguish of the soul. And it’s all because I am not pregnant with your child!”
He blinked stunned. “That’s why you’re crying?” He asked, and to his horror she burst into a fresh wave of tears, all but wailing as she spoke.
“I am a horrible person!”
“You’re not!” Lotor protested, Allura furiously shaking her head no.
“I am! Because I want to be pregnant, because I tried to ensure I would get pregnant by you! Oh! Why did my period have to come now?!” She lamented with a dramatic sigh.
“You wanted to get pregnant by me?” Lotor asked, seeing her nod. “Why? Why would you…”
“So we could be together!” Allura retorted. “So you would have to marry me. So you would have to accept me into your heart!” Lotor didn’t know what to think, kneeling there stunned as he listened to her confession. He was familiar with this tactic, knowing many a woman had tried the pregnancy ploy in hopes of forcing him to marry them. Never had he thought Allura would go so far, be so desperate to be with him. “What you must think of me!” She said, pulling away from him. “You must hate me even more!”
“I don’t hate you Allura. I thought we established that the other day.” Lotor said, not trying to make light of the situation.
“Even after you know what I wanted from you?” She demanded, and at his hesitation began sobbing, loud, heart rending cries that pained him to hear. He hovered his hands over her, unsure if he should touch her or not.
“Allura….I…” He what? He understood? He forgave her? Lotor wasn’t sure, sighing as he patted a hand on her shoulder. “I think it’s too soon to be wanting a baby. You’re young, you have your whole life ahead of you…”
“Stop talking as if I will have a future without you!” She was still doing that horrible crying, tearing at his heart with each wail. He was ready to promise almost anything to get her to stop, Lotor opening his mouth to speak.
“Allura, I don’t know what the future holds for us. Maybe we won’t be together in it. Maybe we will…but…” He shook his head. “But a baby won’t decide it for us. So don’t try to bring one into our lives prematurely.” She just kept on weeping, Lotor unsure if she had even heard what he said. “Allura!” His voice came out harsh, Lotor trying a different tactic on her. “Stop that crying! It won’t…”
His sentence died down, Lotor hearing the sound of footsteps as someone burst into the bedroom. More than just one, it was several people, Lotor already whipping around to stand. Allura let out a sniffle, but was otherwise silent, peering past him at their intruders. Lotor only had time to note their white spandex uniforms, splashes of color across the shoulders and on their boots, before one was barreling towards the bathroom.
The man clad in white with the red accents screamed, a sound that was pure in it’s animal ferocity. A weapon was in his hand, he was shaking so badly with rage that the blaster was unsteady in his grip. Lotor tensed, his hand dropping to his side to grab for a sword that was not there. He inwardly cursed, knowing he had spent the last weeks without a sword by his side, leaving him helpless before his unwelcome guests.
The furious man noted Lotor’s lack of weapon, his dark eyes mocking as he met Lotor’s stare. The prince watched as the man slowly smirked, reaching the archway of the bathroom as he took aim at Lotor’s chest.
“Keith!” Allura cried out, voice cracking from all the crying she had done. She didn’t sound happy to see him, but the captain of the Voltron force took no notice of that. Instead he spoke, eyes on Lotor as he addressed the princess.
“Are you all right Allura?”
“I’m fine Keith.” Allura said, and Lotor sensed movement behind him, Allura rising to her feet. He didn’t turn to look at her, keeping an eye on the captain. Keith nodded his head, growling as he spoke.
“We went through a lot of trouble to find you Lotor. You’ll pay for what you did to Allura!”
“What he did to me?!” Allura repeated, then gasped out a response. “Keith no! You’re misunderstanding the situation! Lotor…he didn’t…”
“There’s nothing to misunderstand!” Keith interjected, glaring daggers at Lotor. “He kidnapped you, held you prisoner, and raped you! And now he’s going to pay!”
“Don’t I even get a chance to explain myself?” Lotor asked, noting that the other members of the Voltron force were crowding in close behind Keith. But they couldn’t get into the room, Keith’s body blocking the doorway.
“As if I would want to hear the filthy details of what you’ve done to her!” Keith snarled. “We’ve seen the bed, we’ve seen the chain. Hell, we heard Allura crying! That’s all the proof I need to kill you!”
“So you play judge, jury and executioner?” Lotor lifted a brow, speaking towards the men behind the captain. “Do you agree with your captain? He’s threatening to shoot an unarmed man.”
They exchanged glances, unsure, and at last the large man in white with yellow accents spoke. “It does look pretty damning Lotor…”
“But is it right?” Lotor asked, even the smart mouthed Lance had no quick answer for him.
“Keith don’t…” Allura said. “Let us all just calm down and talk this out.” Her voice seemed to only further serve to enraged the captain, Keith shouting as his finger starting to pull back the trigger on his blaster.
“I’ll calm down when he’s dead!”
“Keith no!” Allura cried out, even as Lotor tensed, not knowing what to do. If he tried to dodge the blast, Allura would be hit.
Apparently Pidge thought of the same thing, he was shouting, taking a step towards the captain. “Keith no! In this close quarters you could hit the princess! Someone stop him!”
Lance and Hunk both lunged, tackling Keith just as he fired off the shot. Lotor stood proud, not flinching as he went to await the blast, not knowing if it would be a killing blow or if it would merely stun him. But in the instant before it could hit him, Allura leaped in front of his body, letting out a high pitched scream as the blast hit her dead center in her chest.
“Allura!” Lotor cried, moving to catch her crumpling form. She sagged so heavily, he went down with her, shock making him unable to support her. He vaguely heard the cries of the Voltron force, the men all screaming the princess’ names, even as Hunk wrestled the blaster away from Keith’s hands.
“Allrua…” Lotor repeated her name, kneeling with her laid across his lap. “Why did you do such a thing?”
“Don’t you know by now?” She asked, lifting a shaking hand to his face. She seemed to transfer her trembles to him, her eyes growing dim as Allura struggled to speak. “It’s because I love you. With all my heart…”
“Love…” Lotor gasped out, choking bitterly on his words. “You really do love me don’t you?!”
She just smiled, seeming relieved to have him believe her at last. There was arguing behind him, the men practically screaming at each other. Hunk had Keith’s arms behind his back, holding the near hysterical man back but also preventing the other two men from entering the bathroom. All the shouting died down in an instant when Allura looked at them, the princess gesturing for silence.
“You are not to kill this man.” She ordered, and at Keith’s protest her blue eyes narrowed. “You’re not King yet Keith. And until the day comes that I do take a husband, my orders are still to be followed implicitly. Is that understood?”
A hesitation from Keith, the black haired man gritting his teeth together before he spoke. “Yes, princess.”
“What about the rest of you?” Allura demanded, even as her hand fell away from Lotor’s cheek. He could feel how weak she was, see the struggle to remain conscious on her face.
“Try to save your strength.” Lotor urged her, and she shook her head.
“I have to make sure you’re safe first.” She whispered, still looking at the Voltron force with an imperious stare. Finally, one by one they began to speak, sheepishly muttering they’re agreement. Allura gave a small smile, and it was then that she sagged completely in his arms, her eyes falling close. For one horrifying instant Lotor thought she was dead, the prince bringing his fingers to her neck to feel for her pulse. To his relief it still beat, weak but steady, Lotor sighing as he stared down at the girl in his lap.
“Come on Keith…” Hunk said, Lotor not paying them any mind as the big man drew the smaller one away from the bathroom. “Let Lance and Pidge deal with him.”
“Frankly Hunk, I think you’re the only one with the strength to take on a Drule.” Keith muttered.
Footsteps approached the pair on the bathroom floor, Lotor looking up to see Lance holding a blaster pointed at him. “All right Lotor. Hand over the princess quietly, and I won’t blast you into a forced slumber.”
Pidge kneeled down before the royal pair, eyes cautious behind his glasses as the pilot reached to touch Allura’s face. At a growl from Lotor, the boy quickly pulled back his hand, and turned anxious eyes towards his partner.
“If you shoot me now, you won’t have anyone to carry me.” Lotor pointed out, hearing Lance laugh.
“What makes you think you’re coming with us?” He demanded, not lowering his weapon.
“I’m a wanted criminal in these parts. And I make a valuable hostage. Surely you’re not going to just leave me behind?” Lotor let out an amused snort, though inwardly he was screaming at these fools, the prince frantic to get Allura to a doctor. “If you do, I’ll only come back and do worst next time.”
“Which is why we should kill him, regardless of the promise to the princess!” Keith shouted from the next room.
“Fine. You’re coming with us.” Lance didn’t bat an eye at Keith’s shouts, smirking at Lotor. “I’m sure you’ll love the dungeons in the castle. They’re a lot cleaner than anything you have on Doom.”
“You would know slave.” Lotor said, a disdainful sneer on his face. Lance colored at that word, and for a second Lotor thought the man would shoot him. But he relaxed, the tension leaving him as he gestured with his free hand for Lotor to stand. “Nice and easy Lotor…don’t want any….accidents to happen.”
Hefting Allura up into his arms, Lotor stood, walking past Lance and into the bedroom. Lance and Pidge followed close behind, weapons trained on his back even as Keith let out an outraged sound. “You’re just going to continue to let him hold her?!”
“We really don’t have time to argue about this captain.” Lotor said calmly. “Our dear princess is in need of medical attention thanks to you’re efforts.”
“She’s not your princess!” Keith snarled, absolutely furious as Lotor carried Allura past him. Hunk was still restraining him by the arms, Keith bristling with rage as he shouted. “And she wouldn’t be injured if you hadn’t kidnapped her in the first place!”
Lotor did not dignify that with a retort, cradling Allura closer to his chest as he walked out of the room and into the long hallway. The Voltron force followed, practically running as they tried to keep up with his brisk pace.
“Careful guys…” Keith hissed out advice. “He’s full of tricks. Better keep an eye on him.”
“Got it Keith.” Lance said, then chuckled. “Just give me an excuse Lotor. That’s all I need. One reason to shoot you.”
“Hey Hunk…” Pidge’s voice, the boy trying to be quiet. “Why did Allura jump in front of Lotor like that? Why would she protect him at the risk of her own life?”
“I honestly don’t know little buddy.” Came Hunk’s reply.
Lotor wanted to turn around and shout at them, tell them the answer was obvious. But he held back his elation at finally realizing the truth, far more concerned with the fact that Allura had grown so pale than any realizations of love. He didn’t know what the future held for them, but right in this moment he was secure in the knowledge that the princess of Arus loved him. And that was something no one could take away from him.