Pause 23

The soft murmur of voices was what Allura awoke to. The voices were almost to low to make out, but loud enough to frustrate her out of her sleep. And all because she wanted to know what was being said. When her eyes snapped open, she was confused. There were no group of people near to her, the voices coming from a wall mounted view screen in one corner of the room.

Allura stared uncomprehending at the monitor. There was several men and one woman seated behind a desk, and they were discussing something. At the bottom of the screen, written in a language she could not read, were words flashing by at a slow crawl. The people at the desk were animated, debating something heatedly. The sound on the monitor was too low for Allura to hear properly, but then the picture was splitting, a square box in one corner showing different footage from the center of the screen.

She stared, recognizing herself and Lotor as the prince dragged her past a crowd of reporters. Both she and Lotor had been wearing hooded cloaks that hid their identities. They had not stopped to respond to the reporter’s questions. As she watched herself be pulled along by Lotor, she saw what had to be a hospital ahead of them. And that is when it all came flooding back to her. She now knew she was on planet Sarook, inside the city capital, in a hospital Lotor had all but shut down for their private use.

Allura remembered how she had accused Lotor of being selfish. She still thought that, thinking him especially cruel to shut down a medical center that so many people were dependent on. The exclusive use of the hospital was not something that impressed Allura, especially after the procedure she had been forced to undergo. She frowned, tugging at the thin sheet that covered her.

She was still wearing the hospital gown. That too was lifted up, Allura staring at the wide gauzy bandage that was secured in place around her abdomen. Her hands started to shake, her anger renewed as she remembered Lotor had really gone through with it. He had let a doctor stab into her with a needle, regardless of the risk to her baby.

She was as worried as she was angry, her shaking hand reaching as though she would touch the bandage. A voice suddenly startled her, Allura not having realized anyone else was in the room with her.

“I wouldn’t.” Her hand froze before so much as her fingertips could graze the bandage. Allura recognized Lotor’s voice, and immediately shot up. Just as sudden, a sharp pain in her abdomen hit her, Allura crying out in pain. Lotor hurried forward, out of the darkened corner of the room. His hands touched her shoulders, Lotor forcing her back down on her back against the pillows.

“You shouldn’t try to sit up.” He told her. “The pain will be less if you minimize your movements.”

Tears of pain were in her eyes, Allura not caring if she was overreacting. The pain was just more proof of what had happened to her, Allura fearing her baby was in danger. “I wouldn’t be in any pain if you hadn’t forced me to have that test!”

“You know why it was necessary.” Lotor was still holding her down. Allura tried not to panic, but she really did not want his hands on her at the moment. “The lies you told me left me with no choice…”

She stiffened as much as she could before the pain tore a sob from her lips. “So that’s it then. You got the proof you wanted?”

“Not yet.” Lotor admitted. “The doctor is not done running tests on the samples.” He sighed, some of his impatience in that sound.

“When will the results be in?”

Lotor shrugged. “Don’t know. Could be any minute, could be a few more hours.” He looked at her then. “Would you like some water?” Lotor was already turning to pour her a glass.

“How long have I been out?” Allura asked, grudgingly accepting the glass from Lotor’s hand.

“Almost seven hours.”

“Seven hours?!” She almost jerked up again, but Lotor quickly held her against the pillows. “You let me sleep for seven hours?”

“You needed your rest.” Lotor told her. “The procedure took a lot out of you…”

“I fainted.” Allura remembered. “Just after Doctor Shavat took the needle out of me…” She shuddered, wondering what kind of disaster it would have been if she had fainted during the procedure.

“There’s no shame in that.” Lotor said. She flashed him an annoyed look. “You were very brave, all things considered.”

“I didn’t feel very brave.” Allura admitted. “I was frightened out of my mind…” Her voice softened to a whisper. “I still am…”

“The baby will be fine.”

She gave him an annoyed look. “You don’t know that! You don’t know what damage this test could have done…Lotor, they shoved a needle into my body, piercing into where my unborn child is! There’s no way you can guarantee it won’t have an adverse effect on it, or on me!”

His look was difficult to explain. “That’s why you’ll have the best round the clock care. I won’t let nothing bad happen to this baby.”

“Nothing except what you do to it!” Allura shot back, her words like acid. He had the grace to look guilty in response. “You know I’ll never forgive you for this.”

“For wanting to find out if the baby is mine?” Lotor sounded shocked.

“You could have waited until after it was born!” Allura exclaimed.

“I didn’t have the luxury of that kind of time!” Lotor retorted. “My father would have come down on you like the angry hand of a God! He would have made attempts on your life, on your baby’s life…”

“I wouldn’t be in danger if you let me go back to Arus!”

“You’re naive if you believe my father couldn’t get to you there!” snorted Lotor. “You placed yourself in danger the instant you lied about the baby not being mine…”

“I lied because I saw no other choice!” Allura felt there was no reason to keep up the pretense. It was inevitable, the doctor arriving soon with the results that would confirm Lotor’s suspicions. “I didn’t want your claim on me, or my child…”

“It’s my child too!” Lotor roared. “I have rights…”

Allura didn’t see it that way. “You gave up any rights to this child the minute you drugged and raped me! As far as I’m concerned, you’re nothing more than the sperm donor. Unwanted and unneeded in our lives.”

Shock colored his eyes, an instant before they turned angry. “That’s not your decision to make.”

“I’m making it all the same.”

“How unfortunate for you then, all the power is in my hands. And Allura? I will be a part of this baby’s life.” Lotor looked threatening in the moment, but she refused to flinch.

“I will get away from you somehow…”

“Keep dreaming.” Lotor mocked. “You’re never going to get away from me. I’ve got you in my grasp, and I will never let go…” She seethed in response, glaring at him.

“I hate you!” She spat out angrily. “What kind of life will my baby have with you as it’s father? A terrible one! You’re cruel, and you’re selfish. You punished me, and you punished the baby. And all because you didn’t like that I lied to you.”

“You brought this on yourself with your lies!” Lotor argued heatedly.

“Will you blame me if I miscarry too?” Allura demanded.

“I didn’t WANT to do this. But you left me with no choice!” Lotor stepped back from the bed, his hands clenched into fists. “Do you know what Haggar told me to do when I told her your claims about the baby’s paternity? DO you?!” He roared as she shook her head no. “The witch told me it would be better to abort the baby, even if there was a chance it was mine. Abort it, and make an attempt at creating a new child with you!”

She wasn’t as shocked as she could be, Allura hands hovering over her stomach. “You’re all monsters!”

“So quick to judge!” Lotor was bitter then. “But I didn’t for one instant considering aborting the baby, even with the chance it might be some other man’s bastard! I protected it and you!”

“You call this protection?” She gestured wildly at her bandaged abdomen.

“YES!” He insisted. “The doctor will sign off on the results, and neither Haggar nor my father will be in doubt about whose baby this is. Zarkon would never hurt his own grandchild.”

“I’m supposed to believe that monster has enough heart to care about his own blood?” Allura demanded.

“It’s the truth!” Lotor growled out, and then was forced to duck as Allura threw her half empty glass of water at him. “What do you think you’re doing?!” He shouted, as the glass crunched under foot.

“Get out! I don’t want to speak to you anymore! I can’t even stand the sight of you. I…” She flinched, feeling her stomach cramp up. Her tears fell, Allura trying not to hunch over.

“Allura, what’s wrong?!” Lotor asked, alarmed.

She managed to grit out an answer, when all she wanted to do is scream. “What do you think?! Something went wrong with the procedure!” She cried out in pain, more tears falling.

As panicked as Lotor looked, he didn’t turn stupid. He grabbed the remote, and pressed the nurse’s call button. The woman would appear almost immediately, hurrying to Allura’s side. She actually shoved the prince out of her way, moving to lift up Allura’s hospital gown. Allura was wracked with pain. The nurse checked Allura’s underwear, and seemed to sigh in relief.

“There’s no bleeding.”

“What’s wrong with her?!” Lotor demanded.

“I’m losing my baby aren’t I?!” Allura cried out between pain fueled sobs.

“Be calm your highness, and answer my questions. On a scale of one to ten, how bad is the cramping?”

“At least a six…” Allura said tearfully. She was fighting to remain still, wanting nothing more than to hunch over. The nurse murmured something, and began checking Allura’s vitals. That included her temperature, the nurse making sure Allura wasn’t running a fever. She then used a stethoscope on Allura’s belly, listening to the baby inside her.

“I can’t say for sure…”

“Then what good are you?!” Lotor interrupted with a growl. The nurse ignored him.

“But you’re not bleeding, you don’t have a fever, and you’re not leaking amniotic fluid. I’ll continue to monitor you of course, but I sincerely believe this is not the start of a miscarriage.” Allura tried to relax at that. “I can give you a mild pain pill for the cramping. That should help lessen your pain.” The nurse turned to look at Lotor, not quite managing to keep the glare off her face. “I’d recommend not aggravating her. Stress is not good for her, nor is arguing. She needs to relax, and rest…not have a shouting match with you that I can hear from several doors away!”

Lotor had the grace to look embarrassed. The nurse turned back to Allura, and patted her hand. “I’ll be right back with that pain pill.” The prince would wait until the nurse left to speak.

“I’m sorry, Allura.”

She said nothing, just letting her tears roll down her cheeks as she tried to endure the pain silently. Lotor stepped closer to the bed, his hand reaching out towards her hair. At Allura’s gasp, he seemed to reconsider the attempt to touch her. But not before he made an angry fist.

A few minutes later, the nurse would hurry in, Doctor Shavat not far behind her. Allura would gratefully swallow down the pain pill, not particularly interested in what the doctor had to say. It was the opposite for Lotor, the prince practically jumping on top of the doctor.

“Well?!” He demanded with a gruff growl.

“I managed to get preliminary results.”

“What does that mean?” Lotor asked with a frown.

“It means some of the sample testing will take a week or two before I can do a full diagnosis of the baby. However..” The doctor smiled. “I know for a fact who the father is.”

“It’s me, isn’t it?” Lotor asked.

The doctor nodded. “All the genetic markers are in place and match up.” Lotor did not relax though, glancing at Allura with new worry in his eyes. The doctor also turned to look at her, though he didn’t frown. “The princess will need time to recover. She should spend the next few days in bed., only getting out to go to the bathroom.”

“Done.” Lotor told him.

“There’s more to be considered for her care. She needs to be closely monitored. Especially given the severity of her cramping. She needs to avoid stress, and she absolutely must not do any heavy lifting, pushing or pulling.” The doctor explained. “She must also avoid sexual intercourse for the next two to three days.”

Allura thought the doctor knew Lotor too well if he had felt the need to make a mention that she couldn’t have sex for the next few days. And Lotor didn’t look particularly happy to hear that tidbit of information either.

“You have a doctor onboard your ship, don’t you?” Shavat asked. Lotor began to nod, the doctor continuing. “I would like to send over my recommended care for the princess’ recovery…”

“I have a better idea.” Lotor interrupted. “You’ll come with us to Doom, to personally supervise Allura’s recovery.”

The doctor’s eyes immediately widened, the man stuttering out a protest. “Oh I couldn’t…”

Lotor cut him off. “You’ll be properly compensated for your time and expenses.”

“I have patients here that need my attention….” It was clear Lotor didn’t give a damn about the other patients.

“Would you refuse a direct order from your prince?” Lotor demanded. The doctor couldn’t pale because of his Drule coloring, but he still managed to look frightened.

“No, of course not.”

“Then it’s decided. Get what you need. I want to leave for the space port within the hour.”

The doctor bowed. “Of course. I shall bring along the samples, and continue the testing as we travel to the home world.” He glanced at the nurse. “Continue to monitor the princess in my absence.”

“Yes, Doctor.”

Shavat would bow, and leave the room. Allura was still in pain, hardly able to relax. The nurse stood next to the bed, attempting to fluff the princess’ pillows. “You just lay back, and think positive thoughts. Think of the baby, and how happy you’ll be when he’s born.”

“HE?” Lotor seized upon the word. “We’re having a a boy?”

The nurse actually flushed, her lily white skin showing off the red blush vividly. “Ah…Doctor Shavat didn’t tell you?” She looked worried, as though she would get in trouble for revealing this tidbit of information.

“No, he did not.” Lotor looked at Allura, pride in his eyes. “A son! You’ve given me a son!”

“I haven’t given you anything yet.” Allura pointed out, wincing as another sharp cramp hit her. Lotor seemed to flinch in response to the pain she was in, a guilty expression on his face. He probably did regret doing the procedure now, especially with the threat of miscarriage looming over Allura. But all the regrets in the universe, couldn’t change what had happened.

“Stay with her.” Lotor ordered the nurse. The nurse nodded, Lotor stalking out of the room before she could say anything. Allura didn’t know what Lotor was up to now, but she knew he didn’t leave her because he trusted her. What he trusted was that she was in too much pain to risk getting out of that bed. There would be no escape attempt this day.

Allura sighed, and glanced up at the corner view screen. This time she remembered not to jerk upright, her eyes going wide. But she hissed at the nurse, frantic for the volume to be turned up. She could see pictures of herself, the reporters talking animatedly. With the volume increased, Allura listened as the reporters speculated on just where Prince Lotor has taken off with Allura.

“He has to have taken her to planet Doom!” argued the man.

“Our field reporters have been stationed near Doom, and they insist no sign of Prince Lotor or his ships has been spotted.”

“That doesn’t mean they’re not already on Doom. They could have switched ships.”

“Then why hasn’t the Empire made it’s demands for Arus known?” Demanded the woman. “King Zarkon would be sure to press the advantage holding the princess Allura would give him.”

The male reporter had no answer to that. “What is Garrison doing about the princess’ abduction?”

“Garrison is currently lending support to the siege on planet Arus. The Voltron lions haven’t been able to get past the barricade the Doom fleet has set up.” The woman sighed. “It doesn’t look good for Arus or the princess.”

“You shouldn’t be watching this rubbish!” admonished the nurse as she shut off the monitor. “It will only upset you.” The sad fact was, the nurse was right. If possible, Allura felt even more upset after hearing the reporter’s comments about the situation the lions were facing. Her tears fell once again, Allura slumping against the pillows. Things really didn’t look good for her, or for her baby.

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