by JoAnn

A ways back, I wrote A Midwinter’s Dream. When I wrote it, I took a 90 degree turn into weirdness, and lost the most of the edge. This is closer to how the fic ought to have turned out. The ‘///\\\” is where I start the new bits. Of course, as I reread the beginning, I changed it somewhat, but it’s pretty much the same as the beginning of “A Midwinter’s Dream.” I sorta changed writing styles in between writing the first section and the newer bits. Hopefully, it’s not *too* jarring…

Phoenix -- your “I Can’t Get Over You” songfic was an inspiration.

Raini -- This wasn’t exactly what you meant, when you told me about what you thought would be the most unlikely and scariest pairing. But then again, my preferences are rather strong. ^_^ Does this count as my darkfic for payment for the art? {thoughtful look} It’s sort of happy in a dark way, so maybe not…

Thank you, kaie, for reading this -- especially since you didn’t know what you were getting into…

This is a departure from my usual happiness and light.


Disclaimer: WEPownsVoltron.


[in the Castle of Lions]

I'm so tired. Why do I do this to myself? Keith rubs his temples as he sits, huddled against the door of his room. I pretty much _let_ myself be captured. It wouldn't have been so bad, if Lotor hadn't decided to come and gloat in person. Damnit! _How_ can I be attracted to someone like _that_? Besides, of course, the fact that he's tall and graceful with long hair, yellow eyes, and a one incredible body... Keith sighs, and slouches down further. Even his actions can barely dim the attraction. In every taunt, every gesture, I can see where Zarkon twisted and tried to break him. I can see how he learned to armor his vulnerable parts deep within. I want to show him how being vulnerable can make you strong... It's never going to happen. He wants the Princess. Keith shakes his head, and sighs, staring sightless up at the ceiling. At least _he_ isn't completely off limits. At least, sometimes, I can imagine that he feels the same. Unlike... Keith cuts himself off and closes his eyes. Taking a deep breath, he levers himself off the floor, face carefully blank, and crawls into bed.

[on Planet Doom]

Another day, another failed plan... Lotor sighs in disgust. Of course, at least this time, I captured the great Captain of the Voltron Force... I wonder what he’d think of me, if he knew that _he_ draws me more than that Princess of his... Lotor snorts. Women have their own beauty and strength; Loki knows that the Princess has both in abundance. But there is something about having a strong man submit that feels so much more powerful than when a woman gives herself... When a woman gives, it feels like she takes you, but when a man offers, you’re taking him... I wish... But despite what Father thinks of me, I’m not such a fool as to believe Keith would stay by my side. Lotor frowns darkly as his thoughts turn to his father. How can he have so little belief in me? I conquered hundreds of planets before Arus -- how can he actually believe that this one small planet, half-broken, could really stand against me, if I truly desired to take it? No matter what sort of outdated guardian it has... I do wonder what Haggar’s reasoning is. From what I’ve seen of magic, she has more than enough to be able to deal with five unmagical humans and a rather idiotic ghost Shaking his head, Lotor shrugs. Whatever her reasons, they have helped me. As has this belief of my Father in my incompetence, but it still hurts... Lotor sighs. I made my choice. Seeing him in action is worth losing face in Father’s eyes. Especially since I never was good enough for Father anyway... Lotor tosses back a drink, and loses himself in the hypnotic swaying of his harem.

[a few weeks later, on a Doom ship]

Captured again. Because of the Princess, again. Figures. I wish the she’d stop running off by herself. You’d think that she’d have learned by now not to do things like this... You’d also think, that if the ghost she sees really _is_ King Alfor, her father, he’d stop inciting her to put herself in danger.. But what do I know? I’m just a common pilot... Keith grumbles to himself. At least this time I managed to keep anyone else from being captured. Shifting uncomfortably, he winces. Surprisingly, I’m actually tied up pretty good -- Lotor must have been making some improvements to his robots, for them to take such precautions. Keith sighs. Maybe it’ll be interesting this time. Maybe there’ll be a new twist to the same old -- get-captured-Lotor-taunts-get-free-Lotor-throws-threats-as-he-flees scenario... Face, blanking, Keith manages to look up defiantly as Lotor saunters into the cell, alone. Then again, maybe not. Looks like this is going to be a standard gloating scene... He does look good... Gotta think about business, now. Keith shakes his head, slightly, and starts to think up suitably defiant and pompous remarks...

“Well, Keith.” Lotor watches in satisfaction as Keith twitches in surprise at his given name. “You don’t seem to be picking up my hints.” Lotor’s wicked grin widens further. Now, or never. The hunt has been good, but now I want certainty. And just maybe, the small taste I’ll have will be enough to sustain me. “Since I have you alone in my power, I believe I will be direct -- and find out for sure, one way or another...” We’ve been dancing around one another for so long. Sometimes I’m sure he feels the attraction, other times, all I can see in his eyes is the Princess...

Keith’s eyes widen in shock as Lotor stoops down swiftly, and belying his sharp movements, bestows the lightest, gentlest kiss on his lips that Keith has ever received. Stunned, he freezes in place, not responding one way or the other, unable to even think for a moment.

Lotor, now crouched around Keith, is most carefully _not_ touching Keith, his face hovers a few breaths away. “Well?” A touch of uncertainty hides deep in Lotor’s eyes; his voice is soft with an almost scared pitch buried in the customary arrogance.

Keith, still in shock from the lust he can see in Lotor’s eyes, can only lick his lips and stare back at Lotor. Directed at _me_. Gods, its been so long since I’ve seen just that look directed toward _me_... Lust wars with a lifetime of responsibility. *Get a hold of yourself! This is _Lotor_ -- if you give in this, you’ll give up your place in the Alliance, on the Voltron Force... This could be him playing with me, to break Voltron subtly, rather than through brute force…* Looking deeply into Lotor’s eyes, Keith can believe that Lotor wants more than just his body. But… this time, I think I’m safe. I think he really wants *me*.... But do I have the right take the chance, with so many people depending on me?

Lotor, watching the conflict in Keith’s eyes, feels his bravado start to slip. Damnit, react! One way or the other. I do care, but now I want to _know_... I guess I’m living down to Father’s expectations... I’m so far gone, I don’t even care _what_ he’s calculating behind those big eyes of his...

A piece of paradise handed to me, and I’m thinking of giving it up? For a team and a planet that doesn’t listen to me, and a duty to a government that can barely bestir itself to help? I will take what I can, and find comfort in it... If he lets me, I think I can love him, even if I don’t burn at his touch the way I do for Lance... Determination in his eyes, Keith leans forward that last small bit, and gently kisses Lotor back.

This feels so much better than I even imagined... Lotor deepens the kiss, and absent-mindedly frees Keith. Their limbs entwine, and they slide to the ground, still kissing.

The door suddenly slams open. Lance, Allura, Pidge and Hunk fly through the door and take up battle stances.

"What the --" I don't believe this! Keith's... Keith's... He's _kissing_ Lotor. Passionately! Willingly... He’s not tied up... How could he _do_ that? I thought he wanted _me_… Lance’s eyes are wide with shock and dismay.

Allura pales. She stands immobilized as the two she considered _her_ courtiers appear perfectly happy with each other rather than her.


Coolly, Keith uncoils from Lotor. In the stunned silence, he paces forward, and pulls the blaster from Lance’s loose grip. Backing up until he stands just in front of a prone, still-stunned Lotor, Keith calmly aims at his teammates. “Get out. For the memories, I’ll give you a chance to leave this ship alive.”

Disbelieving, Pidge glares at Lotor. “What did you --“

Cut off by blaster fire, Hunk just barely manages to knock Pidge clear, as the blaster shot slags the metal that Pidge had been standing on.

Keith’s face is a cold mask. “I say again. Leave.”

Furiously, Allura puffs up, waving her blaster in agitation. “No! We’re not leaving you here!”

Eyes narrowing, a slow, deep anger surfacing in his face, Keith fires.

Shrieking, Allura reels into Lance’s panicked grip as her blaster explodes in her hand.

Lotor is slowly coming to his feet behind Keith, a look of disbelieving wonder on his face. Placing his hands possessively on Keith’s shoulders, Lotor manages to reconstruct his mask, and sneers at them, his voice a silky, menacing hiss. “You heard him. Take your chance and go.”

Shaking in outrage, helpless since Keith’s aim never wavers from their huddled group, Hunk manages to prod his shocky teammates into motion, disappearing down the corridor.

Tilting his head back, Keith smiles slowly into Lotor’s eyes. “You want to conquer the universe?”

Sliding his hands down Keith’s arms, linking their hands over Lance’s blaster, Lotor loosens his mask and smiles back. “Sure.”

[on Planet Doom]

Walking into the throne room, Lotor is shadowed by a cloaked figure -- one that doesn’t kneel before Zarkon, even though Lotor does.

Frowning, Zarkon thunders. “Who is that?”

Looking up, the serenity in Lotor’s eyes takes Zarkon aback. “My lover. My shield mate.”

Rising slowly, stealthily, Haggar’s gnarled hands clench in anticipation. Coba raises his head, ears tilted forward intently.

Surging to his feet, Zarkon bellows in outrage. “You fail to defeat Voltron again -- and you think to take a lover without permission?”

Smiling faintly, chillingly, Lotor stands up. “I don’t need your permission. Or your blessing. Not anymore.” Looking over his father’s shoulder, Lotor tilts his head in invitation. “Haggar. Care to take your chances with us?”

Ignoring Zarkon’s outraged ramblings, Haggar examines the two below her carefully. “Yesss. I think I will.” One sharp gesture, and Coba leaps, latching on and crushing Zarkon’s throat mid-bellow.

Tumbling from the dais, Zarkon claws impotently at the blue cat riding at his throat. Looking up, his last, wavering image is of the cold black eyes of his son’s lover.

Settling an arm around Lotor’s waist, Keith offers what comfort he can. Looking up at Haggar, he lifts an eyebrow. “No need to hide from us.”

Lotor nods, tearing his gaze away from his mutilated father. “Theatrics are not needed.”

Laughing, the sound somehow more chilling for its sheer normalcy, Haggar gestures again, and the illusion lifts. Walking down the dais, dressed in Haggar’s old, ragged cloak, is an ordinary appearing woman. Not beautiful, not ugly, and apparently just reaching the middle ages. “I can see that this will be a much more comfortable arrangement.”

Smiling faintly at the difference, Keith’s eyes laugh at the witch.

Clearing his throat and throttling his startlement, Lotor pulls himself together. “What do _you_ want?”

A frightening smile slips across her face. “Lance.”

[5 years later]

Jaw tense, Hunk watches, dry-eyed, as the yellow and green lions are melted to slag before him. Standing tall and defiant, he glares balefully, impotently, at the dark figures above him. On one side, Pidge watches as well, his young face grooved with lines he shouldn’t have. On his other side, Allura, blue eyes more than half-mad, mutters ceaselessly about revenge, running her fingers over the scars lacing her right hand.

Looking down into their despair, Keith’s lips curve into smile -- besides his eyes, they are the only facial features visible below the black cat half-mask he wears. “The second step, my Prince.”

Shaking his head, Lotor laughs softly. “And what a step it was.”

Hand stroking the soft brown hair of her kneeling pet, Haggar smiles at Lotor. “So, you have fulfilled your end of our deal. How can I balance the account?” Curiosity lending an eerily innocent air to her, she lifts her eyebrows. “And, why did you save the Blue lion? I understand about Black, and I thank you for Red, but the Blue lion? Surely you don’t have feelings for that mad princess.”

His eyes sliding away from Lance’s horribly blank face, Keith shrugs and speaks softly. “There was only ever one person who saw all of me -- and still wanted me.”

Stiffening, Lotor grips Keith’s hand hard. “The Blue lion is for that person?” Jealousy leaking past his guard, Lotor can’t stop the words pouring out. “And what of me?”

Mouth curving mysteriously, Keith laughs softly. “You just want part of me. If I showed you everything, you would have fled in terror years ago.”

Eyes flickering between the two, Haggar hums softly in amusement.

[Two years later]

“As I told you, my Prince. Once Arus was broken, the other planets have fallen rapidly in line.”

“So I see.” Narrow yellow eyes watch as Keith, usually the epitome of stillness, fidgets ever so slightly, needlessly adjusting his mask. “And what is the point of this next piece of drama?”

Looking seriously at Lotor, Keith reaches out and gently strokes his cheek. “We’re good together. But to take on the Alliance will take a certain… edge that only one person I’ve ever known has.”

Lotor looks away, jealousy seething deep inside, thinking of the Blue lion secreted away. “I broke him!”

“So you did. But the only reason you managed to do so was because a part of him wanted it.”

Lotor frowns petulantly, pushing the twisted hunger down.

Wrapping himself around Lotor, Keith’s soft laughter tickles Lotor’s ears. “No need to hide, my Prince. It’s much too late for sweetness and light between us. As for him -- I know his tastes. What you did to him, he savored almost as much as you did.” Keith rubs his hands over Lotor, working the resistance away. “Trust me.”

Closing his eyes, certain of destruction, Lotor gives in to destiny. “Always.”

One last soothing rub, and Keith unfolds himself from around Lotor. “So, then. They’re waiting for us.”

[in the slave pits of Doom]

Four hated figures walk arrogantly through the pits of Doom.

Lotor, head held high, is in the lead, scanning the seething mass of bruised flesh for a flash of dark hair and unbreakable, defiant dark eyes.

Pacing him on the right is a dark shadow, cloaked and hooded, a gleam of light tracing a whisker before the face sinks back into the shadows.

On Lotor’s left glides the witch Haggar -- the expression on her face sending shivers of horror through any that dare to look on her. Power colors the air around her and her pet.

Behind Haggar, collared and leashed, walks a brown-haired, violet-eyed man. He moves with a dancer’s grace -- and has the blank-eyed look of someone who is worse than dead. He watches unseeing and uncaring as slaves are beaten from their path.

As one, they stop before one huddled, ragged couple. The Royal couple of Pollux. Sven and Romelle.

Hopelessness in her eyes, the blond woman tightens her grip on Sven, and spits at Lotor.

Smiling cruelly, Lotor gently wipes the spittle from his face.

Crouching down, the dark figure on his right reaches out, and with odd gentleness, forces the man to look in his eyes.

Dark eyes widening, involuntarily pulling his body from Romelle’s panicked grip, Sven reaches out, his hand shaking. “Keith?”

Romelle’s eyes widen in disbelief even as she’s ignored.

Pulling his hood off, Keith smiles sweetly at Sven, eyes glittering behind the mask. “Yes.” One dark-gloved hand clasps Sven’s.

Flicking his gaze around, Sven swallows a gasp at the jealousy radiating from Lotor, at Haggar’s mundane appearance, at the shattered remains of Lance. “What happened?” Barely a whisper, still the stunned voice somehow lacks the horror that would be expected.

Keith settles back against his heels. “I got tired of Lance fucking with me.”

Lifting an eyebrow, humor rising helplessly in his eyes, Sven can’t help but smile. “So I see.”

Face turning serious, dismissing the thought of his once-love, Keith gestures with his free hand. “Join us.”

Romelle tightens her grip on Sven’s hand almost to the point of pain. “You can’t!”

Keith continues to ignore her. “Remember when, each time the Alliance shafted us, we’d plan what we could do to them, if only we had the resources? Now -- Lotor and Haggar have the resources. We have the ability.”

Black eyes glowing, sucking Sven in. Causally, he breaks Romelle’s grip on his hand. And then, he reaches out to Lotor, even as Keith does the same. Startled, Lotor pulls them both to their feet, pulling them away from Romelle.

Sven smiles slowly. “Okay.”

[Ten years later]

Death and destruction have decimated the universe.

Arus is now a barren wasteland, where only a few survivors eke out a meager and marginal existence.

Earth is nothing but a shattered half of a planet, incapable of sustaining life.

The Drule empire is slowly dying of its own poisons as over-population chokes the life from the few planets left to them.

The reign of Lotor of Doom is complete. For now.


Any comments or suggestions for JoAnn should be sent through me with either the story name or JoAnn in the subject line. I'll make sure it gets to her, and I won't even peek!^^

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