Mind still reeling from the revelations about his mother, Lotor paused outside the door to his apartment, just staring at the metal. His reflection was cast back at him, distorted slightly, but visible enough for him to cast a critical eye at his face. He peered harder than he had ever had before, Lotor searching for some signs of his human blood. His almond shaped eyes were golden, with black slits in the center, so like a cat’s in appearance. Were they slightly smaller than the rest of the Drules, being closer to a human’s shape in appearance?
If so, it was so slight a thing as to be unnoticeable to most, Lotor frowning. His lips were a soft touch, making his mouth sensual even when it twisted into cruelty. Thin where his father’s were fat, hiding delicate fangs that were small compared to the jagged canines Zarkon had. Even his skin seemed to hold the effects of his mother’s human blood, lightening the blue drastically in comparison to his father.
He had always assumed he had taken after his mother, having seen the pictures of Zarkon’s side of the family. Never had he imagined the truth, that it was human blood that softened his looks in so drastic a manner. It was tribute to Drule DNA that he stilled retain some of the race’s traits, leaving him a pretty specimen amidst the harsh, almost lizard like looks of his ancestors.
It made Lotor wonder about his children, wondering how much more human would they look when they retained only a quarter of Drule DNA. Would their skin even be the blues, greens, or purples of Drules, or would they look like Allura, all peaches and cream complexion? Would their ears be pointed, or would they be the round shell of a human? It was troubling to think about, Lotor knowing they would have a difficult time if they looked too human. His people might not be willing to accept a ruler that looked so different from them.
If he was smart about this, he’d look elsewhere for his heirs to be conceived. Find himself a Drule woman to combat his weak human DNA. But his heart rebelled against that thought, Lotor making a fist that he thumped softly on the door. It and he, wanted no one else, not even if it meant his children would be unfit to take the throne.
“Allura.” He sighed her name, getting an odd look from the soldier patrolling this patch of hall. Lotor shot him a nasty glare, the man studiously pretending not to notice the prince’s dirty look.
Adjusting the papers under his left arm, Lotor opened the door to the outer chamber, entering the apartment. After leaving his father, he had stopped by his office, snagging the paperwork on the various fleets and their commanders. But he couldn’t calm down to think about work, not yet, endlessly going over in his mind the things his father had told him.
He thought he’d feel better if he got to see Allura, Lotor wanting to touch and hold her, take comfort from the feel of her body in his arms. He was chilled by Zarkon’s words, the horror in which he had felt in learning his mother’s untimely fate still lingering inside him. He walked across the room, heading towards the door to the bedroom, and paused, a puzzled frown on his face.
Allura sat up, legs crossed over one another, her hands resting palm up on her knees. Her eyes were closed, and she breathed deeply, chest rising with each breathe. Haggar sat perched on the edge of the bed, back to Lotor, and watching Allura, her head bobbing in approval.
“You’re still here?” Lotor said, his voice startling Allura out of her relaxed state. He had let some displeasure slip into his tone as he addressed Haggar, the prince walking closer to the bed.
“I was just about to leave sire.” Haggar said, turning to look at him.
“What are you two up to?” Lotor asked, noting the pills on the night stand, along with some herbs and a powdered incense that was lit. He fought to keep from making a face at it’s cloyingly sweet smell.
“I’m teaching Allura how to relax.” Haggar told him, Allura slowly straightening her legs and leaning back against the pillows. She met his eyes for one brief moment, than did a haughty hmph, turning away from him. Haggar continued as though Allura hadn’t just snubbed him, cracked lips smiling as she talked. “She spends far too much time stressed, and it’ll help her to be able to learn the magic she needs to protect herself and the baby.”
Lotor only heard the first part, lifting a brow in surprise. “Stressed? What does she have to be stressed about?” That earned him a dirty look from the witch, Haggar rising to stand.
“You’d be surprised…” She murmured. “Especially where you’re concerned.”
“Me?” Lotor sputtered out, annoyed. “Are you implying I cause her stress?”
“I’m not implying anything of the sort.” Before he could relax, she was continuing. “I’m merely stating fact.” Lotor gaped at her, at a loss for words as he tried to think just what he could have done to qualify as stress for Allura. “You bungle things.” She hissed, voice coming out faster now, perhaps too fast for Allura to follow. “Don’t think I don’t know about your botched proposal attempt. You think that was easy for her, especially when you start growling threats and manhandling her right up against the computer?!”
He had the good sense to feel embarrassed about that, knowing he had indeed botched the announcement that they were to marry. “But I fixed things.” Lotor insisted, feeling like a petulant child. “I freed her.”
“It doesn’t make everything one hundred percent better.” Haggar sighed, and paused to pat Allura’s hand. She switched to Arusian, Lotor only picking up part of her words as she spoke soothingly to Allura. The girl responded, voice sweet chirps as she bid the witch good-bye.
One last pat of Allura’s hand, and then Haggar was moving, striding past Lotor. His skin nearly crawled when her body brushed against his, Lotor fighting not to jump back. Haggar voice spoke in Drule, coming out fast as she let out one final piece of advice. “You’d best find a way to fix things with her if you want any chance of a future with her.”
“Fix things? Fix what?” Lotor demanded, turning to watch Haggar as she headed through the outer chamber. The witch said nothing to that, walking in her odd, jittery manner as she headed for the door. Lotor was left all alone with Allura, the prince turning to flash her a smile that was ill at ease. Allura did not return it, glancing down at her lap, her hands reaching for the bed sheet.
“Are you feeling better now Allura?” Lotor asked, coming towards the bed. He set his documents down on the edge, watching as she pulled the sheet over her legs. “No more nausea?”
“I’m fine.” She said, fingers picking at nonexistent loose threads. “Haggar’s pills made me better.”
“That’s good.” Lotor was relieved that the witch was some use after all, even as he felt annoyance at Allura’s refusal to look at him. Silence stretched between them, Lotor just staring at her, trying to figure out what if anything he had done wrong.
“Did….did you get your answers?” Allura asked, her hands still fidgeting with the sheet. He was grateful for the question, finding it a relief that she was still willing to talk to him.
“About your mother.” Clarified Allura.
“Ah….that.” Lotor sighed, and sank down onto the bed, close enough to Allura to reach out and touch her, but far enough to give her the illusion of space. She so clearly needed it, fingers moving faster on the bed sheet. “Yes, Allura. My father was surprisingly talkative where she is concerned.” A smile then, the expression wry at the heart of it. “At least once properly harassed into speaking about her.”
“I see. And was she….human?” She actually looked at him now, blue eyes wide with curiosity and some unidentifiable emotion.
“Yes, Allura.” Lotor couldn’t help himself, he sighed. “She was.” Allura’s mouth became an unhappy frown, Lotor not understanding the cause behind it. “What’s wrong?”
“Nothing.” That was a lie if ever he heard it, Lotor mimicking her expression.
“No, clearly there is something.” Lotor insisted. “Allura, what is bothering you? Have….have I done something to you?” She hesitated, and he feared she was not going to answer him. “Allura? Tell me.”
“You don’t like humans very much, do you?”
Her question surprised him, Lotor staring at her shocked. “Where would you get an idea like that?” She glanced away from him, not answering. “I can’t say I exactly love humans, although human women I adore.” He tried a teasing expression on her, but it went unnoticed. He fought back the sigh, and tried to explain. “Humans are okay. There are ones with good points, qualities I admire, and ones with bad points, that are a discredit to their race.”
“What qualities do you admire?”
He was left blinking owlishly at her, trying to think. “Well….their tenaciousness.” She looked at him confused, Lotor realizing it was a word that didn’t translate well to her. “Humans are resilient.” Another shake of her head, Lotor feeling frustrated. “Tough…they don’t give up, and they bounce back quickly from adversity….from trouble.”
He thought fast, trying to think. He was sure she wouldn’t like it if he talked about how much he enjoyed having sex with human women, finding their bodies small and tight, and pleasing to his cock. “Well, Allura…they’re smart…..” His eyes lit up as he thought of something. “Humans are hard workers. They get a task, and they set to it, with determination. Humans…humans are a kind race, they help others.”
“Unlike Drules.” She noted, and he sighed.
“Yes Allura, unlike Drules.”
“If you can…can admit that humans have good points, then why? Why did you get so upset to learn your mother was a human?” She was staring at him now, Lotor getting a glimmer of where all this was coming from.
“I’m sorry.” He said, genuinely sheepish. “I misspoke when Haggar dropped her bombshell. I didn’t mean to imply there was anything wrong with having a human as a mother. It’s just…”
“Just what?” She prodded, not willing to let him have a moment to think.
“It was shocking to me. It still is.” Lotor said, maintaining eye contact with Allura. “I just learned everything I had been told about her was a lie…I’m still reeling from the news, and it made me react in a less than favorable way.”
“And now you are okay with it?” She asked, her tone suspicious. “Just like that, you come to terms with it?”
“Not exactly.” Lotor shifted uncomfortable. “But I’m getting there.” Allura still looked like she wasn’t satisfied with what he was saying, Lotor quickly speaking. “Let me ask you a question Allura.” He paused, waiting until she nodded her okay. “How would you feel if you suddenly learned one of your parents wasn’t who you thought they were? What if your mother had turned out to be a Drule? Would you be okay with that?”
Allura was quiet, a guilty look filling her eyes. “I…I would like to think I wouldn’t judge but…”
“But you would.” Lotor said with some satisfaction. “After all that you’ve been through, all that you’ve seen of my people, it would bother you wouldn’t it?”
“Maybe just a little.” She admitted. “I…I’m sorry. I didn’t think things through properly.” Her apology was more than he expected, Lotor reaching out to take her hand.
“It’s all right.” He gave her a light squeeze, smiling slightly. “There’s no need to tell me you’re sorry.” She didn’t fight his hand’s hold on her, actually entwining her fingers with his. “Are you okay with this? Having my baby I mean? It will be part Drule after all…”
“I’d love it all the same!” Her immediate response, fiery and insistent made him smile, Lotor tugging on her hand to draw her away from the pillows and onto his lap. She started to squirm, as though uncomfortable with this sudden change of position. Lotor shushed her, wrapping his arms around her as he leaned his head forward to breathe in the scent of her hair. It was faint, the incense covering the flowery scent he associated with Allura. “Lotor…”
“Shh….let me just hold you a minute.” It was as close to begging as he would get, tightening his arms around the wriggling girl. She stilled with a sigh, leaning against his chest as he nuzzled his face against her hair. “My mother died giving birth to me.” The confession came out, surprising them both, Allura turning to look at him sadly.
“Thank you.” He said, feeling as sad as she looked. “It happens sometimes…..women dying during child birth…” He didn’t want to tell her the circumstances that led to the hard delivery, not wanting to frighten her with thoughts of the same happening to her. He’d die before he let his enemies lay a hand on Allura, and he didn’t want to give her undue stress in worrying about it.
“Yes, it does.” Allura agreed. “It’s sad…”
“Yes, very. Promise me Allura…” Lotor said on impulse, hand cupping her face so that she could not turn away from him. “Promise me you won’t die giving birth to our child!”
A slow blinking of her eyes, Allura surprised by his request. “I can’t know the future.” She said at last with a sigh. “If it’s my time to go, then it’ll happen regardless of what I promise you. But…but I….I will fight to be strong, to deliver a healthy baby for you.”
It wasn’t exactly the promise he wanted, but he accepted it all the same. “All right Allura.” Lotor said at last. “I’ll accept that for now. But I want you to work hard with Haggar. Learn the spells she is going to teach you. It may make all the difference in surviving this child’s birth.”
“All right.” A determined look in her eyes, Lotor tempted to kiss her for it. “I will do my best.” He settled for hugging her, hard enough that she squealed in protest. The sound made him guiltily releasee her, Allura slow to scramble off his lap. For one instant Lotor just sat there, savoring the memory of how she had felt in his arms. And then he moved, retrieving the papers he had set down on the bed.
“What’s that?” She asked, pointing at the documents in his hand.
“Work.” Lotor answered, watching as she settled the bed sheet around her once more. “I need to get started on deploying the armada. My father expects the results by the end of the day.”
“But…I can stay for a while if you like.” Lotor offered. “We don’t have to talk. We can just sit and take in each other’s presence, while I work.”
“All right…I’d like that.” She allowed a small smile to cross her face, Lotor grinning as he moved to lay next to her, propped up on the huge pile of pillows. Allura sat quietly next to him, glancing at the papers though he knew it would be gibberish to her. He wondered if she would like to learn to read Drule, and hesitated to ask, fearing she’d say there was no point if she intended to leave him.
Lotor repressed a sigh at that thought, eyes going over the names listed on the paper. He kept glancing back at Allura, until finally he was speaking. “Allura?”
“Would you mind terribly if I asked a favor of you?” Her look became guarded, Allura wary of what he would ask her. But she nodded her permission for him to voice it, Lotor continuing. “I’d like to have a painting made of you. Will you pose for me?”
She look surprised at the request, but nodded her head. “Yes, Lotor. I will pose for you.”
“Thank you.” He said, feeling an ease of the burden that surrounded him. He returned his attention to the paper, and soon Allura was drifting off to sleep besides him, lulled by the silence in the room. It was a quiet that was only interrupted by the crinkling of his papers, and the scritch scratch of his pen as he wrote down notes in the margins of his documents.
He didn’t protest when she rolled onto her side, her slender arm winding itself across his waist as Allura snuggled up to him. He actually smiled, pleased by the gesture, hoping this would be the first of many quiet moments they shared together.