The chapel was a set of rooms that was located on the hotel’s property, walls painted a cheery white that held the faintest of blue undertones to it’s surface. Marble columns held up the ceiling, strands of green garland coiling around them, dotted with festive looking flowers. Gold fabric was draped between the columns, forming half circles of shiny material that reflected the light from the crystal chandelier.
The chandelier itself was immense, taking root in the center of the ceiling, a million cream colored candles standing lit on the crystal surface. It was an impressive sight, Allura wondering how they kept the candles lit for the process of lowering the chandler. No sign of wax on the carpet below, a long line of red velvet that led pass white wooden benches that held cupids and hearts carved into their backs.
The carpet went up several steps, leading to a platform at the front of the chapel. There a stand was placed, holding up a heavy tome that held the many different vows that each planet in the Denubian Galaxy had. It wasn’t all of them, but even with the most distant and less populated planets left out, the book was still thick with words. A royal purple book mark was in the center of the open book, marking a page for the minister to read from.
Behind him was the wall, a large statue situated before it, nearly grazing the ceiling with it’s wings. It was of a man and a woman, each one bearing only one wing, unable to fly unless they worked together. They held each other’s hands, the statues smiling, gazing into their bejeweled eyes. Allura had asked one of the ladies who worked in the chapel about the symbolism behind the statue, learning it signified the belief that man and woman were incomplete until they found their other half.
As of this moment, the benches were empty, Hunk and Pidge off on some mysterious errand of Sven’s. Allura had heard whispers that Romelle had wanted a very rare flower for her bouquet, her cousin disappointed that the chapel had none. She was making do with the flimsy practice bouquet they had lent her, clutching yellow and white flowers against her pale purple bodice.
Allura stood next to her, holding a bouquet of her own, her fingers nervously playing with the blue ribbon that tied the flowers together. She and her cousin stood out in the hall, gazing inside the open doors, waiting for the signal to proceed. Keith and Sven were currently standing up on the platform, deep in conversation. Lance was at the foot of the steps, face animated as he talked with the minister.
“I’m so sorry again.” Allura said, glancing at her cousin’s smiling face. “I didn’t meant to delay things by arriving so late.”
“It’s fine.” Romelle reassured her, placing her hand on Allura’s shoulder. “Just don’t be late for the actual ceremony!”
“I’ll try not to be.” Allura promised, then sighed. “Hopefully there won’t be any calls from Zarkon to deal with.”
“How did that go?” A curious Romelle asked, even as she shivered at Zarkon’s name.
“It’s as well as can be expected.” Allura glanced down at her flowers, unsure if she wanted to smile or to frown. “He’s very upset over the treaty.”
“What part?” Romelle wanted to know.
“Where to start?” Allura wondered out loud. “The no slave clause, the lack of use of Voltron for the Empire, the money he has to spend on Arus, or even the fact that the treaty does not allow him to mine to his heart’s content.”
“That man has no heart!” hissed Romelle, in a startling burst of anger.
“You’re probably right about that.” Agreed Allura. “He already wanted to send his men to Arus. Even before I get back there with my….husband.” She still needed some getting used to the idea of calling Lotor that, finding it hard not to stutter out the word. “I left Lotor to argue with him about that, and anything else that might concern the king.” She sighed, the sound drawn out. “I won’t even get to see Arus one last time, free of Drule influence.”
“I’m sorry.” Romelle was sympathetic, giving Allura’s shoulder a squeeze. “I know all too well what it is like to see your home invaded by those Drules.”
“At least you’re people were able to drive them off the planet.” Allura pointed out. “Arus will not be so fortunate.”
“Ah but Pollux was only able to do so with the help of Voltron and Garrison.” Romelle said. “Doom has been diligent in attacking us on a regular basis since then.”
“I’m sorry I couldn’t negotiate a deal for your planet as well.” Allura’s tone was regretful, knowing Voltron would no longer be allowed to help Pollux out.
“We’ll manage somehow. We always do.”
They fell silent when a group of women passed them by, the trio clad in the navy blue uniforms of the wedding chapel. They had bright pink hearts on the lapels of their shirts, and the women glanced at the two princesses, smiling. Allura smiled back, then saw the oddest thing, one of the women leaning forward to whisper something to the other two. She was treated to a look by all three, and then they giggled, and hurried away, but not before they cast one more look towards Allura before disappearing around the corner.
“What was that about?” Romelle asked, and Allura shrugged.
“I don’t know.” It wasn’t the first time someone had laughed at Allura since she had arrived at the chapel, the princess noticing how people paused to nudge each other, and nod in her direction. It troubled her, Allura not used to being the center of so blatant gossip. “So…” Allura said, trying to shrug off what had just happened. “Do you have your vows ready?”
Romelle and Sven had opted to write their own, forgoing both Earth and Pollux’s traditional vows. “Almost.” Romelle smiled, nodding her head. “I just have one or two things to figure out. But…..it’ll be ready for tomorrow.”
“It’ll have to be! Tomorrow is the actual wedding!” Allura exclaimed with a giggle.
“I can’t wait for Sven to see me in my wedding dress.” Romelle said, and then with a sly look in her eyes, confessed the following. “Even more, I am looking forward to him taking it off me. I’ve bought some special undergarments just for him. The girl at the counter said they are sure to drive a man’s passion wild!”
“I’m sure he will be most ardent for you with or without those garments.” Allura said, thinking of how Sven and Romelle acted around each other, always touching and smiling.
“I hope so.” Romelle had a familiar, dreamy look in her eyes, surely thinking on her wedding night to Sven. Allura smiled at her, but inwardly was thinking about her own wedding, disappointed she had not had her own gown to wear. The joy of choosing a dress had been denied to her, lost in one drunken moment of bad decision. She didn’t even have a wedding dress to save, both for the memories and the chance to pass it on to her own daughter in the future. But Allura held back her sighs, not wanting to bring gloom into the rehearsal with her dismal thoughts.
She glanced back inside the room, seeing Lance nod and pull away from the minister. The man walked over to the stand, glancing down at his book. For the rehearsal he would stick with vows the church had printed up. Keith and Sven had stopped their conversation, turning expectantly towards the doors. Lance was hurrying up the aisle, intent on fetching the two princesses.
“Okay ladies. If you’re ready we can begin.” Lance held out his arm to Romelle, the princess taking hold of it with her free hand. The brown haired pilot was filling in the role of Romelle’s father, the princess having neither brother nor father to give her away for this ceremony.
“I’m ready!” Romelle exclaimed with an excited laugh. Lance gave the thumbs up signal to the minister, and the organist began playing the pipes at the minister’s gesture. An ethereal sounding song began playing, Allura stepping forward at the first notes of the song.
Smile plastered on her face, Allura walked down the aisle, being sure to move at a speed that was neither too fast, or too slow. Keith’s eyes were on her, his eyes crinkled with happiness, but it could not compare to the beaming look of sheer delight on Sven’s face. And it was all for Romelle, the black haired man staring past Allura to look at her cousin.
She reached the steps, and began climbing up them, turning to stand to the right of the minister. Now she looked and saw Lance walking down the aisle with Romelle, the princess practically glowing as though it was her actual wedding day.
Within seconds they were at the steps, the minister asking, “And just who gives this woman to be wed?”
“I do.” Lance said, and handed Romelle over to Sven’s arms. He helped his bride up the steps, and together they stood before the minister and his stand, staring into each other’s eyes.
“Normally this is the part where I give a long speech about marriage and commitment but….I think I will save that for the actual ceremony.” The minister said with a kindly smile on his face.
“I have no objections to that.” Sven answered, and Romelle nodded her head.
“Now….after the speech, you are to hand your bouquet to your maid of honor.” The minister waited for Romelle to do just that, Allura holding both bouquets in her hands. “And you Keith, will hand the rings to Sven and Romelle.” They waited a beat, though right now the rings were in the hotel’s vault, being kept safe until the actual ceremony. “Now princess Romelle, please take Sven’s hand in yours and repeat after me.”
“All right.” Romelle reached for Sven’s hand, holding it before her as though she was slipping a ring on his finger.
“I Romelle….” began the minister, and Romelle repeated. “Princess of planet Pollux, do solemnly swear to take Sven of Earth to be my lawfully wedded husband.” Romelle was in the midst of saying those words, when Keith let out an angry snarl.
“What is he doing here?!” Even the happy couple turned to look at what Keith was glaring at, Romelle’s face paling in horror. Allura turned at the exact instant Lance jumped up, an unhappy frown on his face.
Sure enough, the prince was walking down the aisle, looking around with interest at the tasteful surroundings. Allura stifled a groan, seeing Keith take an aggressive step forward. “Keith, leave it alone.” Allura ordered, and handed the flowers to Romelle. “Cousin, I’m sorry. I’ll get rid of him.”
“Thank you Allura.” Romelle’s voice was faint, the princess looking distressed to see her past tormentor at the ceremony. Allura nodded, and walked down the steps, feeling Keith close behind her. She held back a sigh to find him disobeying her command, the captain determined to have words with Lotor.
“Lotor….” Allura approached him, meeting him in the center of the aisle. The prince of Doom smiled to see her, but the expression was lost when he saw Keith behind her. “What are you doing here?”
“I came looking for you.” Lotor said, stating the obvious.
“How did you know where to find me?” She asked, frowning at him. Did he have spies even here on Las Tibayas, watching her every move?
“I asked the hotel clerks which way you had gone.” Lotor explained, and that mollified her.
“You shouldn’t be here.” Allura began, only to have Keith interject his opinion.
“That’s right, you shouldn’t! You have no business even thinking of attending this ceremony. Not after the way you treated Princess Romelle.”
“It was a regrettable situation all around.” Lotor began, causing Keith’s fists to clench. “But I never meant any lasting harm to the princess.”
“You tried to kill her!” Keith pointed out, voice a loud hiss. “You tossed her into the pit of skulls….”
“Where she met her fiancee Sven. Yes I know. A happy ending for all involved.” Allura stared in disbelief at Lotor, shaking her head no. “Is it so wrong to want to offer my congratulations? The princess is now my cousin through marriage to Allura.”
“You’re still at war with Pollux!” snapped Keith. “You’ll be back to attacking them at any day.”
“Not while we are on this planet for this joyous occasion.” Lotor’s tone was bland. “I’ve agreed to look the other way, and not apprehend wanted criminals who have terrorized the Doom Empire.”
“My cousin is not a criminal!” Allura said, though she knew Romelle and Sven had done some questionable things in attacking planet Doom.
“Call her what you like, you have to admit I am being more than generous in not arresting them at once.” Lotor sounded as though he was trying to reason with her, Allura sighing.
“Why are you really here?”
“I wanted to see you.” Lotor promptly answered. “I missed you Allura.” Keith snorted at that, but Allura look surprised. “It was hard work talking to my father, and I thought…well…I thought it would be worth it if I could see your face.”
“You’ve seen it now go.” Keith’s tone was nasty.
“Perhaps if Allura was to come with me….” Lotor began, but Keith quickly negated the idea.
“She’s not going anywhere with you!”
“Does he speak for you now Allura?” Lotor looked at her, eyebrow raised. “Does the captain make all of your decisions.”
“Then please. I’d like to spend some time with my wife.” Lotor implored, holding out his hand to her. Keith looked ready to slap that hand aside, Allura biting her lip as she considered. Footsteps sounded behind them, the minister approaching.
“Is there a problem here?” He asked, looking between the three. His eyes settled on Lotor, the minister taking on a look of recognition. “Ah…I thought it was you.” He smiled and reached for Lotor’s hand, giving him a firm handshake. “How are you settling into married life, you two?”
Lotor blinked, but did a fast recovery, returning the minister’s gesture. “Just fine.”
“How did you know we are married?” Allura asked, and the minister glanced at her.
“Dear child, I was the one who performed the ceremony!” Allura’s turn to blink, surprise at the heart of it. She and Lotor had gotten married here in the hotel? It was one more piece to the puzzle that was her wedding night, Allura wanting to question the man. But she knew now was not the time, it wouldn’t be fair to her cousin to cut in on her time.
Keith was angry, his glare now fixed on the minister who had let go of Lotor’s hand. “Do you often make it a habit to perform marriages between two people who are drunk?!”
“It’s not against the law to marry someone who is inebriated.” The minister was clearly taken back by Keith’s anger, fixing wide eyes on the captain.
“It should be.” Keith said bluntly.
“Tell me…” Allura’s quiet voice broke into the conversation. “Did I seem….resistant to the idea?”
“Oh no princess. I had never seen such a happy bride before that night.” The minister smiled. “You were glowing, happy and in love. The both of you clearly cared a lot for each other.” She felt the heat rise to her face, a blushing Allura glancing at Lotor who was grinning.
“I have so many questions for you…” Allura said, then sighed. “I would like to speak with you when you have the time.”
“Of course.” He nodded. “Perhaps after tomorrow’s ceremony.”
“Allura?” Lotor, touching her shoulder. “I’m still waiting for your answer.” She glanced at him, and knew that at any second his face could turn stubborn.
“You’re not going to leave are you?” She followed up her question with another, an answer held within it. “Not without me at least?” He just nodded, still wearing that pleased smile. “All right…”
“Allura you can’t be serious!” Keith protested, and she shot him a look.
“You are to remain here. Convey my apologies to my cousin.” Allura took Lotor’s hand, and began walking with him up the aisle. Keith’s voice carried, the captain still laying into the minister, snidely making a comment about how most marriages on Las Tibayas probably wouldn’t even happen if not for alcohol clouding the couple’s minds.
“He never lets up does he?” Lotor asked as they passed through the archway of the door. “He’s like a ghoul dog, always nipping at your heels.”
“He’s just over protective of me.” Allura said, feeling she had to defend Keith’s actions.
“He doesn’t need to be. Not now.” He was firm on this, holding onto her arm possessively. “I will be your white knight now, you’re protector.”
“Some knight….” Allura replied, noticing the women from earlier were back, and pointing at her and Lotor. “Will you defend me, while running off to attack other worlds?”
“Actually, I thought I’d stay on Arus with you.” His tone was casual, but he too had noticed the staring trio. “I’ve more than earned a vacation from my father’s never ending invasions. Might be nice to run a kingdom for once. With your help of course. I am sure you can teach me much about Arusian politics.”
“You’d listen to me?” Allura was surprised, even more so when he nodded.
“Of course. You’ve proven yourself a capable ruler on more than one occasion. It’s even more remarkable considering your young age. I’m sure you have valuable advice to impart.” They had drawn closer to the giggling women, and now one broke away from the bunch, walking with a determined purpose towards Lotor and Allura.
Keeping one eye on the approaching woman, Allura smiled at Lotor. “Thank you. It matters much to me that you would value my opinion.”
“I value everything about you Allura…” Lotor said huskily, then glanced at the intruder to their conversation. “Yes?”
The woman wore a smirk on her face, and for one-second she looked back at her giggling friends. “I’m supposed to tell you something…” Lotor looked at her impatiently, clearly displeased to be interrupted by a worker. “Maintenance was wondering if you want back what you left in the broom closet.”
“Broom closet?” Lotor look bemused.
“What we left?” Allura was equally confused.
“Yes….you left a pair of panties inside….pink ones.” The woman smirk grew as Allura paled, her tone a bit nasty as she continued. “I suggest next time you find somewhere a bit more private for your….amourous activities.”
The other two were openly laughing, and Allura knew why now. She couldn’t believe it, she and Lotor had been so drunk they had apparently not even waited until they got to a hotel room. Lotor looked annoyed at the laughter, a growl escaping him.
“Tell your friends to mind their manners.” He snapped, Allura tightening her fingers on his arm. “Before someone teaches them and YOU the error of your ways.” The laughter had died down at his words, the woman looking a bit intimidated by Lotor. “Come along Allura.” Lotor said, and ushered her past that bothersome trio of workers. Allura held her head high, though inwardly she was dying of mortification. Just what had gone on the night she and Lotor had wed?!