With the help of the burly, castle guard Jensen, Nanny had been moved to more comfortable surroundings. Allura had gone with her, clutching the pitcher of water Pidge had given her. The young pilot hadn’t stuck around for Nanny to revive herself, the boy eager to join his team mates out on the battlefield. Allura had wished him good fortune with all the sincerity she could manage, the princess more than a little envious of the fact that he could still fly a lion and she couldn’t.
She felt guilty for that bit of envy, but felt it all the same. And not just envy, but a whole myriad of other emotions, Allura mourning the loss of her life as a pilot. There was grief, and there was anger, though she never turned that anger inwards. Certainly not towards the child she carried inside her, Allura knowing it was innocent of all that was happening around her. No, if anyone was to be blamed, if anyone was to be hated, it was the child’s father.
Allura had been quietly dealing with a lot of negative emotions towards Lotor and what had happened between them for months now. She had had no one to confide in, not even with Pidge had she wanted to reveal every intimate detail of her drugging and rape. It was a lot to deal with, a lot to accept, and Allura was surprised she hadn’t broken down yet in tears.
Nor did she feel relieved of the burden that came with keeping such a secret. It was simply too soon, Allura unsure of how the others would cope with what had happened to her. There had simply been too little time for them to process what had happened, save for instant reactions of anger. And beyond that anger, a practical side had emerged, near ruthless when the suggestions were made that she abort or abandon the baby she carried.
She had of course refused to even consider such acts of cruelty. Her friends had seemed to accept that, though Allura couldn’t know for certain. The only thing she could believe in for sure was their anger, Allura witnessing how a killing rage had seemed to fester within the members of the Voltron Force. They all wanted to make Lotor pay for what he had done to her. Allura had thought she had talked them down from such a dangerous action, but she had been wrong. At the first available opportunity, Keith had taken off, determined to end Lotor’s miserable life.
She had sent the other pilots after Keith, more concerned that the captain of the Voltron Force would instead get himself killed. It looked very much to be a suicide’s run, Lotor’s ship flanked on all sides by many of the larger Drule vessels. It seemed near impossible to reach him, and even more so to fight one’s way back to freedom once one was caught in the midst of all those ships.
There was another concern. One that was almost as horrible to contemplate as Keith going out in a blaze of glory. With a direct attack on the flag ship, Lotor’s curiosity would be roused. He would become suspicious, wondering why any of the Voltron Force would attempt such a suicidal maneuver. He would go digging for answers, send his witch spying out the truth. It would be a disaster to have Lotor discover just what was happening to Allura.
Of course she realized they couldn’t put off Lotor finding out forever. But for now, they had time. The time needed to make plans. Would it be enough to keep Lotor from taking the child, from claiming Allura and Arus as his? She did not know, and that had her shaking. Allura did not want to be Lotor’s. In no shape or form, not even as his wife. Nor did she want the claim he had on her to jeopardize Arus any further, Allura wanting her planet free of Doom’s control.
It was bad enough he had forced her to sign documents that technically gave him control of Arus. She sincerely hoped a case could be proven that those documents weren’t binding nor legal. And all because she had signed them under extreme duress. But with a court date continuing to elude them, Allura wondered if they would ever get a chance to present Arus’ case before a judge.
She sighed, thankful that at least Garrison was on Arus’ side. Neither Garrison nor the Alliance wanted Doom to gain control of Arus. Her planet might no be very significant seeming, but it did hold the rights to the robot Voltron. As part of the documents she had signed, Voltron along with Arus, now technically belonged to Doom. The Denubian Galaxy would never be the same if the Doom Empire was free to use Voltron for it’s evil.
Allura wished she could turn back time, and undo the events of that horrid day. Allura didn’t think she could prevent the sex from happening, but at the very least she could have delayed the signing of those documents! She felt very much like all that was happening to Arus was HER fault. And she would continue to feel that way should Doom get it’s way, and it’s hands on Voltron. In a single stroke of a pen, she may have damned the entire galaxy!
She was grimacing at the upsetting turn of her thoughts when Nanny moaned. Allura immediately focused on the woman’s face, perching on the edge of the couch that Nanny had been laid out on. The woman’s face was pale, her eyelids started to flicker open. All of Allura’s earlier anxiety came flaring back to life, the princess caught in the grip of her fears once more. And all because Nanny mattered to her, especially the woman’s opinion of Allura and the situation she found herself in. Allura didn’t dare hope for Nanny’s approval, but she had hopes for Nanny to show her an understanding side.
Another moan, the woman turning her face to the side. Her troubled eyes were revealed, Nanny looking as sick as Allura felt. “Oh…” She said, eyes noticing Allura. “Oh. What happened?” She looked confused, struggling to sit up. Allura reached out to help her, easing her slowly into an upright position.
“Don’t move too quickly.’ Allura advised. “You had a nasty fall.”
“Fall?” Nanny’s brow furrowed, the woman looking around the room. It was one of the receiving chambers, where Allura often entertained the few but important guests that came to planet Arus. This room in particular had been located close to the Jonias conference room. It had been chosen for the fact that it had a couch in which they could lay down the unconscious woman.
“You fainted.” Allura clarified, and saw Nanny frown. “Don’t you remember?”
Nanny started to shake her head no, then seemed to think better of the action. “I…” She licked her lips, still frowning. Allura stood up, and went to pour the woman a glass of water from the nearby pitcher. “I had an awful dream.” Nanny said at last. “A nightmare….”
Allura knew that it was no dream, her hands starting to shake as she began pouring the ice cold water into the glass. “Oh?”
“Yes.” Nanny continued, but she sounded uncertain. “Such an awful dream…no doubt brought on by the siege Doom is forcing us to go through…” Allura turned back to Nanny in time to see the woman shudder. “Those terrible Drule! I wish they would leave us alone…”
“That’s unfortunately not going to happen any time soon.” Allura said, handing Nanny the glass. The woman’s own hands were shaking, nearly spilling the water as she attempted to drink it. “Doom is set to be a permanent part of our lives….now more than ever….”
“It’s only until we can get a court date!” Nanny exclaimed. “A judge will surely dismiss those documents that fiendish prince forced you to sign…” Her gaze lowered, Nanny glancing at Allura’s stomach. She shuddered again, surely trying to dismiss what she had heard as nothing more than a dream. Allura held back her sigh, realizing she would have to break the news to Nanny all over again. Force her to accept the situation as reality and not the imagining of a dreaming mind.
“It’s more than just those papers you know.” Allura began, nervous and slow. Nanny gave her a quizzical look, her frown not diminishing. “Those documents aren’t the only reason…” She shook her head, fumbling for the right words. “They won’t be the only hold Lotor has on Arus now.”
“What do you mean, princess?” Nanny’s look was uneasy. “What other hold could Prince Lotor possibly have on our world?”
Allura blew out a breath, wishing she could delay the news even for a second more. “It has to do with my condition…” Nanny began to shake her head no. “It has to do with the child I am carry—”
“No.” Nanny grit out in interruption, then spat the word out louder. “NO!”
“Nanny, you have to hear this!” Allura exclaimed, watching as the woman’s agitation increased ten fold.
“No, it’s not true!” Nanny continued, looking everywhere but Allura. “It was just a dream, a nightmare!”
“I wish it was just some dream. But it’s true, and no matter how you try to deny it, it won’t change the fact that I am pregnant!” Allura cried out at the exact moment Nanny began to wail.
“NO!” She actually threw the glass down on the floor. It shattered, the water soaking into the carpet. “No! I won’t accept this! This can’t be real!” Allura couldn’t help but be aghast, knowing how careful Nanny usually was not to break anything. “How….no, why did this happen?!” Nanny began to cry, covering her face with her hands. She hadn’t yet worked herself up to great panting sobs, but her shoulders shook all the same. “Why did this have to happen to such a good person?”
Allura didn’t know how to answer that question, the girl shrugging though she knew Nanny couldn’t see. She stared down at the wet spot on the floor, feeling as though Nanny’s tears would make her break down in response.
“He’s a monster.” Nanny continued. “Forcing himself on you. On making you carry his child!” Her crying rose in pitch, Nanny overcome with emotion. “I never thought this would happen…..where was the Voltron Force?! Why didn’t those boys protect you?!”
“They couldn’t be around me all the time.” Allura pointed out. Nanny sniffled loudly, hardly mollified by the answer. “Nanny please….calm down…”
“How can you ask me to be calm? You were violated…!” She exclaimed loudly, and Allura was grateful the door was closed. If only to keep from drawing any further curiosity from the castle staff. They were already wondering the reason behind Nanny’s collapse, their tongues sure to be wagging with speculation. The last thing Allura wanted was the gossip hounds to get wind of her pregnancy, especially not this soon.
“Violated…” repeated Nanny, her voice a soft whisper now. She shuddered again, lowering her hands though she couldn’t quite meet Allura’s eyes. “It must have been awful for you…” Another shudder. “How badly did he hurt you?” She started to reach out to touch Allura’s arms, then thought better of the gesture.
“He didn’t hurt me in the way you think.” Nanny let out a scoffing sound, Allura hurrying to explain. “I was drugged at the time.”
“With Haggar’s potion. It made me…act different.” Allura explained, cringing. She didn’t want to get into explicit details, especially not with her Nanny! But the woman was staring at her, questions in her eyes. Questions that would be voiced, Allura inwardly sighing. She had known that sooner or later someone would want to know the details. She had thought she had been lucky in the conference room. Lucky that no one had pressed her for the exact details of her rape at Lotor’s hands. But it seemed the luck ended now, Nanny holding this morbid need to know and understand.
“Different how?” Nanny asked, then shook her head. “Wait…this was the same potion that made you lash out at me…I had almost forgotten all about that incident…” She gasped. “What did it make you do?!”
“It changed my nature…” Now Allura couldn’t look at Nanny. “It made me want Lotor…” She remembered how she had acted around Lance and Keith, eyeing them with interest. “I think it would have made me want any man really…Lotor just happened to be the nearest target at the time.”
A strangled sound from Nanny, the woman trying not to process the thought of her princess jumping any man that was near. “Whatever the case.” Allura continued, playing with the baggy front of her shirt. “I…I didn’t fight him. It meant he had no reason to hurt me to gain my compliance.” She shivered, feeling her eyes grow wet as she tried not to remember. But the memories insisted on coming, the second time she had lain with Lotor most potent in her mind.
She hadn’t wanted to do it at first, fighting the potion’s effect on her. But the documents had been before her, Lotor insisting she add her signature to them. Allura had known once the potion took effect, she might very well do anything, even sign the documents in order to bed Lotor. So she had thought to take control of the situation in the only way she could. She had seduced him, cringing inwardly until the onslaught of the potion’s effects had made her want and enjoy Lotor’s attentions.
The enjoyment hadn’t lasted. By the time they were done, and she was free of the potions’ effects, she had broken down in tears. Even though Lotor hadn’t hurt her in the expected manner, she had still cried. For the loss of her innocence, the loss of her free will, and for the hopelessness of the situation. The violation of her body and free will had hurt almost as much as if he had beaten her. It made no difference that he had been gentle and affectionate, that he hadn’t savagely raped her. Her choice had been taken away, her body used in a manner she couldn’t condone.
“But he did hurt you.” Nanny pointed out, voice surprisingly soft for all the emotion she was displaying. “He forced himself on you with the use of Haggar’s potion. He took away your free will, he USED you.” The tears could no longer be held back, slipping down Allura’s cheeks in acknowledgment of what Nanny had said. “Oh child…” Nanny sighed, and pulled Allura into a big bear hug. Allura began to cry harder, pressing her face against Nanny’s shoulder but making no attempt to muffle her sobs. Nanny began to stroke Allura’s hair, trying to comfort her as best she could.
She made no effort to hold in her hurt, the build up of three months of enduring her pain in silence exploding in Nanny’s arms. Allura would cry and grow red faced, nearly hyperventilating from the force of her tears. Nanny would hold and rock her, whispering soothing sounds though she had no real words of comfort. It was enough to be held, Allura clinging to Nanny’s dress as she cried in a way she had never before done.
Allura didn’t know for how long they stayed that way, sniffling and sobbing as her Nanny held her. But her voice was hoarse sounding by the time she calmed down, Allura asking a question that had been long on her mind. “Oh Nanny, what am I going to do?” Nanny was quiet, just stroking her hair. “Lotor will want this baby…if only because of the claim he’ll be able to have over me….He’ll try to use the baby to manipulate me, to gain the advantage over me and our planet…”
“We won’t let him.” Nanny said fiercely. “We will protect you and the baby!”
Allura was grateful that Nanny had included the baby in on that protection, even if she doubted they could keep them safe from Lotor. A hiccup of sound escaped her, Allura lifting her head to gaze up at Nanny’s face. “You don’t want me to give up the baby?” Her voice was uncertain then. “Or to…to…” She couldn’t even finish, the thought of an abortion so abhorrent to her.
“I don’t want to force you to do anything you don’t want to do.” Nanny told her. “You’ve had enough of your choices being taken away from you!”
Allura thought she might start crying again. “I think the others don’t yet understand that. They don’t see this baby as half of me. They just see it as proof of Lotor’s crime.” She shivered. “They’re so angry…”
“They’re not angry with you.” Nanny said quickly. “I’m sure of it.”
“I know that.” Allura assured her. “But it doesn’t change what they feel. They want to kill Lotor!”
“I would like to kill that fiend myself!” Nanny muttered.
“You don’t understand….After you collapsed, Keith took off! He went after Lotor in black lion…he’s jeopardizing everything! Lotor will become suspicious…he’ll find out about the baby…it’s too soon for that. We have no plans in place to protect it or Arus! Keith is going to ruin everything!” Allura wailed that last sentence out, and Nanny scowled.
“The captain is being a hot head. I ought to slap some sense into him when he gets back!” Allura couldn’t even muster a weak smile at the thought of Nanny badgering Keith.
“The others have gone after him.” Continued Allura. “I pray they can talk him down, and back to the castle.”
“I’m sure they’ll manage.” Nanny sounded confidant. “Cooler heads will prevail.” She reached into her apron’s pocket, pulling out a lace handkerchief. “Here. Dry your face off.” Allura grateful took the handkerchief from Nanny, wiping her face down with it. “Now, as pressing a concern as the captain’s actions are, there are other things to consider….”
“Consider?” echoed Allura, confused.
“Yes, the baby’s health.” Nanny explained. “I take it you’ve kept this a secret from everyone, including Doctor Gorma. You need to get checked out.” She hesitated. “I’ve heard rumors about Drule pregnancies. How they are much more difficult for a human to carry to full term.” Allura blinked, not even having thought of that. “I’d feel better for you both once you are under the doctor’s supervision.”
“Me too.” Allura said.
“We have to make plans, you’re right. We have to find out how and if we can retain sole custody of the baby.” Continued Nanny. “We have to make sure Doom can’t claim Arus if you name this child your heir to the throne.” She sighed. “I dearly hope the captain is brought back before that Lotor gets wind of your condition.”
“So do I.” Allura said. She hugged Nanny one last time, then pulled apart to stand up. Nanny also stood, though seemed a little shaky on her feet.
“I can’t imagine how rough these last few months have been on you. Keeping such secrets form us.” Nanny sighed. “But there is no need to hide anything more form us. We will all be here for you…”
“I don’t know if that’s true…” Allura confided, thinking of the boys’ anger. “They were so angry…”
“With Lotor, not you!” Nanny quickly retorted. “Never with you….”
“I just hope they don’t let this anger blind them towards loving my child.” Allura said, placing a hand on her belly. Nanny tried to hide her worry, but Allura saw it all the same.
“It’s a part of you…how can they not love the child?” She asked, just as a rumble shook the castle. Both women turned unsteady on their feet, the ground shaking as though an earthquake had hit the castle.
“What was that?!” Allura exclaimed, putting out her hands to prevent Nanny from falling.
“I don’t know.” Admitted the older woman. “But I think we better get to the control room and find out!”
With that, it was decided, the two women rushing out of the room. The castle would shake again, rumbles making everyone unsteady. Allura had a bad feeling about this, knowing the castle wasn’t on any fault line. Whatever was shaking the castle had to be an unnatural cause, and her sinking suspicions had her looking towards Haggar and Lotor as the culprits. She didn’t want to be proven right, Allura thinking they had enough to deal with, without another trick of Doom’s adding to their troubles.