The ship’s engines roared with the strain of their hasty flight, the pilot testing it’s limits by easing it into it’s maximum speed. The ship seemed to shake all around them, but it held together, made to withstand the winds and the speed they were moving at. And still Lotor was nervous, his hands gripping the arm rests of the chair he sat in, nails digging into the plush material hard enough to tear.
Nearby Allura sat, strapped into the copilot’s seat, her hands held primly on her lap. Her skin was pale, and her eyes were wide, she looked very much like she wanted to cry. Lotor was impressed that she didn’t, the princess holding together in the face of adversity.
All around them, his men worked, pushing buttons, and viewing monitors. They shouted things to each other, confirming readings, and exploring what else the ship was capable of. Lotor had his own view screen floating before him, red words scrolling by at an astonishing speed, keeping him up to date on his men’s findings. He paid only half attention to it, trying to ignore the throbbing in his chest, and the way blood continued to leak out of the wound he had been inflicted with. There simply wasn’t time to deal with the bleeding, Lotor needing to be seen and heard by his men.
“Ease up on the controls a little pilot Vapish.” Lotor ordered, eyes on the readout. “Lest you break more than the barrier of speed.”
“Yes, sir!” The pilot known as Vapish said, the Drule working quickly, their speed dropping by a quarter percentage. The ship’s vibrations seemed to lessen, the engines no longer whining in protest.
“Keep an eye on our core temperature as we leave the planet.” Lotor ordered, another Drule immediately conjuring up a view screen with a readout on how hot the metal of the ship was getting. “Notify me of any changes, no matter how unimportant they may seen.” Confirmation from the men, Lotor knowing that if so much as one pin fell free of the ship’s hull, they would know.
Lotor kept his private concerns to himself, not wanting to worry his men or Allura, but inwardly he had doubts about the ship they had been given. He wondered if it would be strong enough to get them to the nearest planet, never mind all the way to Doom. It wasn’t that he was a paranoid man by nature, he was simply cautious and knew if the positions had been reverse, he would have sent his enemies off on a ship that was ready to fall apart at the slightest exertion of power.
With that thought still in mind, his fingers tapped out a pattern on the console before him, Lotor having relaxed enough to lean forward. The main view screen, the largest of them all that took up the front wall, opened it’s shutters, showing off the tranquil beauty of Arus. The castle of Lions could be seen in the distance, banners unfurled and waving in the breeze.
“Take a good look, Allura.” Lotor advised her, seeing her stare at the view screen with an expression of grief on her face. “This will be the last time you see your home for a very long time.”
“Don’t be so sure about that Lotor!” snapped Allura, a stubborn set to her jaw as she watched her homeland grow further and further away.
“You still hold onto hope?” Lotor was surprised, wondering how she could still feel that emotion. “You are a fool.”
“No, you are.” Allura retorted. “I will always believe good triumphs over evil in the end.”
“Then you are in for a rude awakening.” Lotor told her, wondering how she could believe in such childish notions. “This isn’t a fairy tale. Your people aren’t guaranteed a happy ending just because they seek to do what is right in their minds.”
“I stopped believing in fairy tales the day my father died.” Allura retorted, turning to focus her angry eyes on him. “The day your father killed him!”
“Then he dealt you a valuable life lesson.” Lotor said, watching her flinch back from his words. She seemed to grow angrier, the blue of her eyes like the turbulent ocean, and her mouth opened and closed as she sought to find the proper words to speak back to him.
None came for an alarm was set off, a loud beeping signal they could not ignore. His men began frantically working their consoles, more view screens appearing in mid air as they took in the surrounding area with the outside cameras, trying to find the cause. Lotor spotted it first, and with a muted curse in Drule, slammed his fist into the arm rest.
“Green Lion approaching starboard bow.” Vapish shouted out, causing alarmed reactions from the other Drules.
“Quickly!” Lotor snapped, standing up. “Go to evasive maneuvers! Someone, man the lasers! And keep our shield output up to one hundred percent!” He didn’t have to look at Allura to know her anger must have melted away in the face of her relief.
Lotor was running down the stairs that led up to the commander’s chair, taking them two at a time. He ignored the sharp stab of pain in his chest, grateful he was no longer dripping blood every time he moved. “Come with me!” Lotor ordered the men closest to him, and they quickly stood up to follow.
Running now, towards the back of the ship, over to where the bulk of missiles laid. Lotor bent to lift one up, the other two men hurrying to help ease his burden. They carried the heavy warhead towards the missile launch center, sweat pouring down their brow as they labored to maneuver it into position. Soon a second was added, Lotor giving a shout that could be heard at the front of the ship’s command center.
“Fire them at your will!”
The two missiles were launched, making a whistle like scream as they hurtled themselves through the air, aiming at Green Lion. Lotor and his men were already putting two more into place, ready to keep a steady supply going. Over the airwaves, Captain Syzer spoke, keeping Lotor abreast of the situation.
“Green Lion is focusing a steady stream of laser fire on our north engine! If this keeps up he’ll break through our shields and disenable it. We won’t be able to go into warp drive.”
“Focus all your attacks on Green Lion!” shouted Lotor, wiping his face with the back of his hand. He seemed to be sweating more than usual, and the pain in his chest was getting worse the more he exerted himself. “I want that ship knocked out of the sky!”
His men doubled their efforts, laser beams shooting at Green Lion. As the two ships exchanged fire, Vapish continued to weave in and out of the clouds, trying to shake Green Lion off their trail. They all knew how extremely fortunate they were to only be dealing with one lion at the moment. But that could change, and fast, Lotor desperately heaving another missile into it’s launch bay.
“We’re approaching the outer rim of Arus now.” Announced Vapish. “Estimated time to warp speed is in ten minutes.”
“We don’t have ten minutes!” shouted Syzer.
“Careful Captain, your panic is showing!” snarled Lotor, his voice holding a warning to it.
“Shields on the North engine is down to five percent!” Another Drule was shouting. “Damn it, get that lion out of the sky and now!”
Their lasers were bouncing off of Green Lion’s side, the pilot expertly avoiding most of them when it happened. A lucky break, the miracle the Drules needed to win. One of their missiles slammed into Green Lion at the precise point where it’s main engine lay. It gave off a magnificent sputter, sparks shooting out of the hole torn into the lion.
A cheer went up from the crowd as Green Lion started to fall back, it’s spare engines diverting all it’s power to keep the ship afloat. It could no longer power it’s weapons, leaving Green Lion to pitifully trail behind them like a weak kitten.
Lotor stepped back from the missile launch bay, letting out a relieved sigh. The gap between them and Green Lion was getting wider, their weapons out of range now. It would have been a fine notch on his belt if he could have taken out the pilot, but for now Lotor would settle for just getting home.
“Good job.” Lotor said to the two Drules who had helped him load the missiles. They nodded, though they were watching Lotor with some concern. Lotor glanced down and realized he was bleeding again, the exertion having jostled his wound. He frowned, realizing he needed to do something about it and fast.
“Entering warp drive in two minutes!” Vapish called out. “Everyone brace yourselves for the ride!”
Lotor and his men hurried to their seats, strapping themselves in. Allura was still sitting in her chair, hands now curled into fists that were so tight her knuckles turned white. She wasn’t saying anything, and right now Lotor was in no mood to gloat, worrying about his injury. But he noticed the way the princess’ shoulders seemed to sag in defeat, her eyes sad as she stared at her planet from outer space.
“Warp Drive in five, four, three, two….” counted out Vapish, fingers a blur on his console as he typed out commands. “One!” A low hum filled the air, and the view of Planet Arus disappeared, their surroundings fading into a blur of colors as the ship slipped into the dimension of warp drive. Only now did Lotor allow himself to relax, slumping down in his chair for a moment.
“Sir!” Lotor blinked, seeing Captain Syzer standing over him. The prince frowned, realizing he must have blacked out for a moment, long enough for someone to notice and come to check on him.
“It’s nothing.” Lotor said, struggling to release the straps across his chest. “Just a minor flesh wound.” He freed himself and stood, taking an unsteady step forward. “Come Allura.” He said, his voice commanding. “I have something for you to do.”
She finally glanced at him, her eyes showing her sadness. He ignored the look she gave him, turning to walk towards one of the private cabins of the ship. Allura seemed hesitant to follow him, but at the last second she released the buckle on her straps.
Hearing her follow him, he stepped into the cabin, flicking on a switch. The room flooded with light, showing a simple room, with a small bed bolted to the side of the far wall. It was clearly made for a human, Lotor’s tall frame would barely fit it, and not comfortably.
Silent, Allura entered the room, slipping past Lotor, though her body brushed against his. He caught the scent of her hair, and closed his eyes, letting it tease him. When he opened them, she was leaning against a wooden table, arms crossed over her chest as she stared down at the floor. He locked the door behind him, and stepped towards her, Allura trying to lean away from him.
Amused, Lotor pressed against her, liking the feel of having her body close to his. But he wasn’t in the mood for a seduction, and he ignored touching her to reach past her head. Cabinets lined up in a row near the ceiling, Lotor reaching for those now. He rummaged through their contents, finding gauze and antiseptic, along with other medical supplies.
“Here.” Lotor said, setting the supplies on the desk behind Allura. “Use these.” He stepped away from her, seeing her risk a look at him. Her eyes were surprised, and he smiled. “I’m not going to ravage you Allura. In my present condition the best I could hope for is to bleed all over you.”
“It would serve you right if you did bleed to death!” She snapped, not making a move towards the bandages.
“Perhaps” said Lotor, and reached for the sword belt that cinched his tunic at the waist. He undid the loops, careful to set the belt out of Allura’s reach. “But your situation would worsen if I were to die. Think about that before you refuse to treat me.”
She did, he could see it in her eyes, the dawning horror as she realized she’d be all alone with his men. Even worse was the thought of being delivered to Zarkon without Lotor’s protection, Allura trying to stifle the shudder that made it’s way over her body.
“All right. I’ll do it.” Allura said, then quickly added. “But make no mistake about it. It is only out of necessity that I see to your worthless hide. It’s not because I like you or anything.”
“Goddess forbid I think that.” Lotor joked, and went to remove his tunic. It was sticky with his blood, slow to peal away from his skin, but he managed, lifting it up over his head. He threw it on the floor, standing before Allura in just his pants and boots, catching sight of a hint of blush on her face. He realized this was the first time she had seen him with his shirt off, Lotor confidant that even with the blood he made an impressive sight.
“I’ll have to…to touch you.” Allura began hesitantly, drawing her eyes away from his chest. “To clean the wound.”
“Yes, Allura, I realize that.” Lotor smirked, finding her all the more adorable as she let his bare torso make her say foolish things.
“……” Allura turned away, reaching for a clean cloth and the antiseptic wash bottle he had left lying out on the table. She dabbed a generous amount onto the cloth, Lotor taking the time to perch on the edge of the bed while he waited for her.
Still silent, she approached him, Lotor noting the fine tremble in her hand as she brought it to bare against his chest. The cloth trailed over his muscles, easing down towards the wound, Allura’s eyes fixated on it. Lotor nearly let out a hiss of pain when the antiseptic touched the open wound, and Allura glanced up, expression unreadable.
“Am I hurting you?”
“No, it just stings a little.” Lotor reassured her with his smile, and she nodded.
“All right.” They were quiet once more, Lotor weathering the pain as she fussed over his wound, taking care to clean it thoroughly. Between her attention and luck, he most likely would not end up with an infection. Allura turned the cloth over, now using the clean side to wipe the blood off his abs, Lotor enjoying her touch. In fact, he enjoyed it so much, he couldn’t resist reaching up to touch her face, Allura casting him a nervous look as he stroked her cheek.
“Lotor…” Allura began, stepping back. “Why didn’t you have one of your soldiers do this? Surely they have been taught to address wounds out on the field.”
“They have indeed.” Lotor nodded, watching as she returned to the desk, picking up the gauze. She played nervously with it in her hands, fingers unwinding the gauze over and over again. “But I much prefer the tender touch of my angel to the harsh and hardened hands of my men.”
“Flirt!” Allura said it like it was a dirty word, glaring at him as she returned to his side.
“Indeed.” Lotor smirked. “But I only say what I mean when I do it.”
“You waste your time on me.” Allura said, gesturing for him to raise his arms. “Your flattery will not win my heart.”
“And what will it take to win that?” Lotor asked, eyes sincere. She merely grew more flustered, ignoring his question as she began winding the gauze around his chest. She was leaning into him, and he couldn’t resist sniffing at her hair, his hands going to rest on her hips as she tended to him. The gauze fit around him snugly, just tight enough to stay in place, and hopefully keep him from bleeding any further. Allura tied off the ends, and tried to step back, but Lotor’s hands kept her before him.
“It’s still a long ride back to Planet Doom, even at the speed we are currently traveling.” Lotor said, rubbing his cheek against her hair. “It leaves endless time, time that could be used for better things.”
She went still against him, her voice icy as she spoke. “I thought you said you were in no mood to ravage me!”
“I find myself always in the mood when you are near, my dear princess.” Lotor smirked, pressing his lips against her ear. “However what I said was I was in no present condition to do it.”
“Then what are you getting at?” Allura wanted to know.
“What indeed.” Lotor said, pulling back to look at her. One hand still on her hip, he brought the other to her face, fingers tracing her lips. They were faint pink in color, and Lotor was pleased to discover that was a natural occurrence, no lipstick staining his fingertips. He wondered what else he could learn about his princess in the time it would take to reach Doom.
“What are you doing now?” Allura asked, even as his thumb brushed across her bottom lip.
“Exploring you.” Came his answer, and he smiled. “I’ve always wondered so many things about you Allura. The touch of your hair, the feel of your lips. I now know it feels like silk, while your lips feels like rose petals to my fingers.”
“Not at all.” Lotor insisted, a thought occurring to him. “Haven’t you ever wondered about me, even just a little?”
“No never.” Came her quick answer.
“I think you’re lying.” Lotor said, his next words making her blush once more. “I saw the way you looked at my chest. It went beyond assessing my wounds. Your eyes liked what they saw.”
“They did not!” Her voice was a hissed out whisper, her eyes angry as she blushed. Lotor laughed, hugging her close to him, even as she began to struggle in his arms.
“Come now Allura, you’re always pushing me away. Just this once, I will allow you to touch me without fear of my….” His lips curled into an amused smile, Lotor hesitating for the right word. “Returning the favor.”
“How kind of you.” Allura snapped, still trying to push free. “But I’ll pass.”
“Your loss then.” Lotor told her, disappointed. He continued to hold onto her, and now his hand touched her throat, fingers brushing against the mark his mouth had left. It had darkened splendidly into a light bruise, Lotor feeling a possessive pride to see it on her. She shifted, uneasy at his touch, though Allura had to know he wouldn’t hurt her.
“When you’re not riding around in Blue Lion and slapping me in the face, what do you like to do in your spare time?” He asked her, though he had a pretty good idea what it was. He had spent a small fortune on surveillance equipment, ferreting out Allura’s secrets, what made her happy, what caused her to laugh. But he wanted to hear it from her, wanted to show he was making an effort to get to know her beyond a carnal desire.
“What does it matter?” Allura wanted to know. “Why would you even care?”
“Because….” Lotor hesitated, thinking over his words. “I want to know how to make you smile.”
“Returning me to my home is the only way you will ever accomplish that!” Allura snapped.
“Is that a challenge Allura?” Lotor asked. “I warn you now, I love a challenge.”
“I’m simply stating the truth!” Allura retorted, Lotor’s hands now brushing back her hair from her shoulders. “Nothing you do will EVER make me happy. I despise you. You and your unwanted attention!”
“You have it all the same.” Lotor told her, hands stroking down her arms. He caught her wrists, and brought them up to his face, planting kisses in the open palm of her hands. She frowned at him, perplexed, Lotor not caring to enlighten her about his actions. She didn’t know it, but to him, even the small touches mattered, so long as it was Allura before him.
“Come. Get some rest.” Lotor said, letting go of her. She quickly stepped back from him, eyes wary even though she had her freedom. “There will be much to do once we arrive on Doom. I suggest you take this time to sleep and prepare yourself for our arrival.”
With those words, he swept past her, pausing only long enough to retrieve his tunic and sword belt. It wasn’t until he was almost out of the room, that he heard the bed creak as she added her weight to it. Without a backwards glance, he left the room, locking her in behind him.