by JoAnn

Mirror to Forest’s “Gravitate to Me”

Disclaimer: WEP owns Voltron

Disclaimer #2: The word tali ("beloved") was taken from Lynn Flewelling's Nightrunner series, published by Bantam.

Notes: Thanks to Forest for letting me write in the world of Gravitate. And for the beta’ing. I think this story stands on its own, but it's probably more fun if you read it along with Forest's Gravitate to Me. Erm. Again, cliche alert. No real surprise, especially since I start with a cliche...

As always, comments are appreciated. Discussion might even spawn more fic from me.


If you love something, set it free.
If it comes back to you, it’s yours.
If it doesn’t, it never was.
- Anonymous


Lance, I wish you wouldn’t do things like this. Not waiting for the rest of just weakens us all. Now we’ve lost two people not just one. Keith’s face is tense as he tries to coax more speed out of Black Lion. If the Princess was just ugly, we’d have so many fewer problems...

Finally arriving, he takes in the scene before him. Lance is taunting Lotor, and the two of them are trading blows and sword strokes, looking almost as if they’re dancing. Oh, no. NO. I thought this was all over. I thought you had finally discovered control, Lance. For a moment, Keith’s face shows dark despair, until he regains control. Maybe I’m wrong. Either way, first we have to get the Princess out of there.

Moving quickly, he gets out of Black, and approaches the small group. “Freeze, Lotor.” Hunk and Pidge are behind him, backing him up.

Lance and Lotor both leap away from each other and turn to face the rest of the team. Allura is tied up behind and to one side of the combatants.

“The cavalry arrives. ‘Bout time you guys showed up.” Lance’s voice is casual, but there’s an edge to it. And he’s even tenser than during the fight.

Keith’s mouth tightens. Not again. I know you, Lance. That look in your eyes. Part of you is wishing that we never showed up. I can’t believe this is happening again. His eyes flick to Lotor. Lotor, of all people.

With a wave of his hand, Keith gestures to Pidge to free the Princess. Catching sight of that, Lotor mouths some of his usual threats, but his eyes are locked on Lance. So softly that no one else can hear, Keith growls. When Lance still doesn’t break away after Allura scrambles to safety, Keith raises his voice. “Lance! Come on!” Not now, Lance. Play your games later, if you must.

Disregarding Keith’s call, Lance raises his sword in challenge to Lotor, and resets his stance.

Keith’s eyes blaze. “Lance! Now is not the time. We’re getting out of here, and that’s an order.” How can you do this, right in front of me? Keith watches, hope dying inside, as with every move Lance makes, he betrays his attraction to the besotted Lotor. His laughter chases after them as the Voltron force escapes. Finding a bit of dark humor, Keith’s mouth twists upward slightly. Lotor, you have no idea what you’re getting into. I could almost pity you.


The flight back to Arus is very quiet. Allura is riding in Green Lion; Hunk and Pidge take turns comforting her. Keith and Lance don’t speak at all.


Back at the castle, Allura is bundled off by Nanny to be cosseted and fussed over. Pidge and Hunk go to find something to eat.

Lance makes a move to follow them, and Keith grabs his arm. “We have to talk --”

Lance, a hunted look in his eyes, pulls away. “Later, okay? I’m so hungry...” I don’t want to talk. I can’t believe I acted like that... Lotor’s figured it out, and he’s going to escalate this... How could I have done this to Keith? As long as it was low-level, as long as Lotor didn’t get it, I could control it, could keep it from spilling out enough to disturb Keith.... How did I miscalculate so badly?

Keith’s eyes narrow. “Fine. But we will talk.” Sticking your head in the sand? It’s been a while, but don’t try to even pretend with me that you don’t know what’s happening. Or what you did.


Much later that night, Lance carefully sneaks into Keith’s dark room. Only to find Keith sitting up in a chair, arms crossed, waiting silently for him. Keith raises an eyebrow. Lance flushes. Then his mouth firms, even as he pouts slightly. “I don’t want to talk.” Shifting slightly, his body stance becomes an invitation and a seductive look lights his eyes. “There are better things for us to do...”

For a moment more, Keith’s face stays closed. Then he softens. “You’re right. You’re not going to change, and talking won’t make a difference. We might as well enjoy ourselves.” With that, he flows out of his chair and onto Lance -- cutting off any reply Lance might make.

In seconds, Lance is naked. A few more seconds, Keith is naked, still controlling all of Lance’s responses. Writhing, Lance comes once up against the door, once on the floor, and finally, the two come together on Keith’s bed.

Exhausted, finally coming down off of his adrenaline high from fighting Lotor, Lance slips toward sleep, coiled together with Keith. Just on the edge of oblivion, he hears Keith whisper. “Mine, tali...”

Unable to sleep, Keith stares out into the darkness of his room. Cradling Lance, he gently runs his hands over as much of Lance as he can without disturbing him. I’m not what you really want, right now, am I? But whatever happens, you _are_ going to remember me.


The next morning, Lance insists that Lotor is going to try something. The rest of the team are still keyed up and paranoid. Extra watches are posted and the whole castle tightens up in preparation for some action.

But as the days pass, most people begin lowering their guard. Lotor hasn’t tried anything yet. The Princess recovers, and starts complaining about people smothering her.

Keith and Lance don’t talk. Every night is spent in frantic lovemaking -- Lance to try to prove himself to Keith, while Keith tries to imprint himself on Lance and avert what he knows is coming.

Eventually, even Lance calms down and relaxes somewhat, leaving Keith the only one who is tense.

And then Lotor arrives at the castle, weaponless except for words.

A few snapped orders, and Keith has the guards in place, and the Voltron force ready to greet Lotor on the bridge.


Watching Lotor warily, trying to gauge what weapons he might be concealing in his clothes, Keith challenges him. “What do you think you’re doing here, Lotor?” What do you want? And where’s the trap?

“I’ve come to speak with Princess Allura.” Lotor’s voice is arrogant, even out of his ship and surrounded by guns in the hands of a guards with twitchy fingers.

“Then you can turn around and go the way you came, because you’re not getting anywhere near her.” Or Lance. Unless he wants you to.

Lotor shrugs, infuriatingly. “That would be a mistake. My terms are your terms. Any you apply, I agree to. I am unarmed, unenchanted. And Allura will want to hear what I have to say.”

Lance’s eyes narrow, as he regards Lotor. So, Allura will want to hear what you say, hmm? “At least this is a new approach. Get bored with losing the old way?”

Lotor turns his gaze to Lance, and smirks as he recoils, eyes widening. Looking at the ground, Lance hunches his shoulders protectively.

“Lance…” Keith warns. Not now. You could at least wait until I’m not right here...

Lotor smirk gets larger, eyes lingering on Lance. “I will speak with Allura.”

Regaining his composure, Lance tilts his head slightly, daring to meet Lotor’s eyes. “How ‘bout you just give me the message and toddle on home? I’ll be sure to tell the princess you stopped by.” I can’t believe I’m doing this, here and now. And in front of Keith...

Keith’s head snaps around to glare at Lance. What are you doing? The itch must be really strong for you to let _go_ like that, in front of everyone... In front of me... Is Lotor going to be the one you leave me for? Snarling to himself as he turns back toward Lotor, Keith yanks his mind back on more immediate matters. If Lotor really is sincere... No matter what we think of his methods, he is still royalty and as such does have the right to negotiate for Doom with Allura for Arus... “You will submit to all of our terms?”

Hunk and Pidge are outraged, protesting and arguing until cut off by a sharp gesture from Keith.

Lance’s eyes slide slowly shut. I can’t believe Keith is actually willing to let Lotor talk to Allura. I thought I would have more time to regain control. I have to stop this. It isn’t right, and it isn’t fair to Keith...

Eyes still focused on Lance, Lotor nods and steps forward to submit to the inspection.


At the table, Allura sits across from Lotor, flanked by her wary teammates. Posted at strategic positions throughout the room are guards armed to the teeth. Allura is focused completely on Lotor.

“What do you want, Lotor?” Allura’s voice, while hard, is hopeful.

“To tell you, you need no longer fear. There will be no more abductions. No more threats, no more bargaining. Oh, Doom will continue to attack, of course, but you, personally, are no longer a target.” Lotor’s voice is smug, and arrogant.

Lance snorts. Yeah, right. You’re going to stop just like that? “How dumb do you think we are?”

The smirk on Lotor’s face -- which has been in place the whole visit -- widens as he regards Lance. “I no longer need that tactic. I have already won.” Lotor’s eyes focus intently, freezing Lance in place for a moment before Lotor sets him free -- briefly -- to turn lazily back toward Allura. “You are already mine. You will come to me, so there is no longer any need for me to come to you.”

Flaring with outrage, Allura snaps. “You’re delusional.”

Simultaneously, unnerved by Lotor’s knowing gaze, Lance tosses out the first thing to come to his mind. “Oh, well then. Okay. Nice to know the Princess can take all the unsupervised moonlight strolls she’d like without you interfering.” Even as he babbles, his mind gibbers. He knows. He finally figured out that I want him. This whole meeting is about letting me know he knows and wants me too.... NO. I won’t do this. Not again...

Chin up, his face his usual arrogant mask, Lotor bows graciously, and walks out of the room as if the armed, nervous guards and the outraged Voltron Force don’t even exist. Satisfaction oozes from him with every movement.

Keith’s eyes narrow as he watches Lotor glide out of the room. Looking back at Lance, Keith can just see the realization sinking in. Ah, tali. He’s got you, hook, line, and sinker. Now all he has to do is let you reel yourself in. However much you fight, he’s gotten to you. Taking a slow deep breath and letting it out gently, Keith gives up. Tali, you’re never going to change, are you. So be it. As long as I’m the one you come back to, I’ll be.. content. Pulling up his walls and shields, a subtle hardness encases Keith. But I don’t have to like it. Or be gracious about it.


After the meeting, Lance manages to break away from the strategizing group of people. They’re sure that Lotor hasn’t really given up. But if he never really wanted the Princess and was actually after me... For a moment, a warm glow fills Lance. No. I am NOT going to think about it. I’m NOT going after him.. Abruptly, Lance stops in the hallway. Wait a moment. Where was Keith? I don’t remember seeing him since that confrontation with Lotor... I can’t believe I didn’t notice when he left... I’m just confirming everything he must be thinking about me now... Blanching, Lance hurries to Keith’s room. Once inside, he looks frantically about. Nobody is there. His heart stuttering in fear, Lance all but runs to his rooms.

Rushing inside, he stops, eyes widening at the sight of an absolutely still Keith. His face is hard and cold. His eyes are unreadable. Lance turns away in despair and anger. Keith, I’m sorry “I’m not going to him. I won’t!” Did that sound as weak as I thought?

Keith just shakes his head. I know you.. A wall of ice in his eyes, he asks dryly, “Why fight it? You know how you are and I know how you are. Just go to him, and get it over with.”

“Keith -- ” I can’t read him...

“Go.” Keith’s face tightens. He pauses for one terrible moment. “I’ll be here. You know that. I’ll always be there for you.”

Lance shuts his eyes. I thought that this time would be too much.... Swallowing hard, he whispers. “Thank you...”

Keith’s face is still closed. Voice clinically detached he continues as if Lance never spoke. “You’d better not take Red Lion. There’s an extra ship I stowed for emergencies in storeroom 8.” His eyes narrow. “The sooner you’re gone, the sooner you’ll be back.” And he turns around and leaves.

Lance opens his eyes to watch his lover leave. Gomen.....


Flying to the beacon that Lotor, oh so kindly left for him, Lance feels his anger and fear rising, both feeding his desire. I can’t believe I’m doing this. I can’t believe I’m going to Lotor rather than Keith. I can’t believe I’m doing all of this _again_

Finding the house, Lance cautiously steps in, met by a triumphant Lotor. The look of possession in Lotor’s eyes stops Lance cold, three steps in. No way. NO WAY. You do NOT own me. Forcing Lotor to come to him, at least this much, Lance watches with bittersweet pleasure as Lotor’s expression changes from triumph to pure animal pleasure. I am here. As you wanted. But I think you’re in for a shock, my fine prince. Giving in to the pleasure and the anger, Lance stops teasing and turns on Lotor, taking control.

Several hours later, Lance pulls away, dresses, and leaves without a word or a look back. You thought you owned me. You’re wrong. I own you. Maybe you’ll see me again, maybe not. My choice, now. Boarding his ship, Lance launches. Only one person holds me, heart and soul.


Any comments or suggestions for JoAnn should be sent through me with either the story title or JoAnn in the subject line. I'll forward them without peeking. Really I will.^^

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