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Lilac and Lush

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 “What!? Allura can’t marry Lotor he’s—he’s—Lotor!!”

Succinct. Her brows creased at the somewhat accusatory tone, but she gave Lance a pitying smile anyway.

“I think that’s the point, Lance. He’s Lotor. And he’s Emperor now.” Pidge pointed out.

“It does make sense. Allura is practically the head of the Coalition. An official alliance with Lotor would mean a ceasefire on both sides to ensure she and the new Emperor aren’t threatened.”

“You’re agreeing with this Shiro!?” Lance nearly jumped over the back of his deck chair to get to his captain.

Shiro jolted, glancing at her and then back at Lance. “N-no, I mean, I was only pointing out the strategic benefits of a plan like that.”

“Uh… plan?” Hunk came to stand at Shiro’s side, hand scratching his head. “Getting married isn’t a plan, it’s you know, smooches and hearts.”

“Yeah! Exactly!” Lance cheered. “She doesn’t even know the guy, let alone love him.”

She smiled at the blue paladin again, but it was small and followed by a sigh that had the whole team’s eyes on her. “I appreciate your concern Lance, but I’m a princess. For me, marriage is a duty to perform for my people. Love doesn’t have anything to do with it.”

“What!?”

“It’s true.” Coran mused, a finger curling at his chin and tapping. “I can’t say Lotor is the ideal partner for our Princess but when it comes to politics in nobility, nobody gets married unless it means progress for all. It was the same with Alfor and his wife, and they were devoted to each other in the end.”

“That can’t be right! It’s so old school! There isn’t even an Altea to represent!”

The deck goes oddly silent. Most gazes dance between each other before landing on Coran and Allura as they stand under the crystal, quiet and unresponsive.

Lance flounders, standing from his chair, “I mean—not that, you’re still Altean and still a princess, no doubt! In fact, right, of course— you’re you’re everybody's Princess! Right guys?”

“Yeah.”

“Of course!”

“Definitely!”

Her fingers feel cold as she clasps them before her, but her smile is genuine, as is the soft buzz in her chest. “Thank you. That means… so much to hear.” And it does. It truly does. Though Lance’s once again, succinct, point, is not lost on anyone.

Shiro takes the point to an argument. “Would the Galra respect the marriage though? With factions split already beneath Lotor, and him already being half Altean himself…They might think they were being overthrown.”

“I’m not sure.” She contemplates it, but it’s hard to when all she knows of the Galra has been war. And harder still when what she remembers of them in times of peace is hundreds of centuries ago now. “I suppose it would depend on him. If Lotor can inspire a majority to follow him, and me representing the power of Voltron and the Coalition, the rest would have no choice but to fall into place.”

“They might even see a marriage to you an adoption of Voltron into the Galra Empire itself,” Coran adds.

There’s almost a unison hum as all seven of them think on the idea.

Well, six.

“I can’t believe you’re all really thinking about this!? We don’t even know if the guy is trustworthy!”

“He killed Zarkon, Lance, and he even warned us about the double-cross.” Shiro admonishes.

“And he gave us all that intel, and fought his own people at the… Call Sera.” Pidge tries.

“Kral Zera.” Shiro helps.

“Yep. That.”

“Well, this isn’t what I meant when I asked how we were gonna establish peace.” Lance pushes and looks suddenly aware that he somehow suggested the idea in the first place.

“But it actually makes sense—”

“No, Lance is right.”

Allura surprises everyone and once more she has their entire attention.

“We can’t be presumptuous. Regardless of what benefits such a union would bring, as it stands now Lotor has yet to … propose,” She shifts, the word off in her mouth, especially with the image of the Galra prince being on the other side of it, “to me. Or rather, propose the idea. So for now, we go through with a simple treaty to ensure the Coalition worlds rule under themselves”

That seems to settle the issue. Especially for Lance, who crosses his arm in a slump, but looks a little more at ease.

“Can you pull up the coordinates the Prince gave us, Pidge?”

“Got ‘em in already. We should arrive in a few hours. Uh, vargas. Sorry.”

“Thank you.”

She means to leave the deck at that. They have time before arriving at the center of the Galra fleet and she means to spend the time preparing the exact treaty they had been talking about.

But Coran finds her arm and pulls her from the deck with him out the hall.

“Coran?” She questions, checking behind her to see what exactly it is they're hiding from.

“Princess, I have to warn you.”

“Coran if this is about marrying Lotor while I find the idea logical I highly doubt that—”

“That’s just it!”

He takes a deep breath, and Allura takes the time to mimic him, in the quiet Castle hall.

“Lance was right. There is no Altea.”

Instantly she frowns, and tries to hold her dear confidante's hand, but finds he’s already holding hers.

“And Prince Lotor might be half Altean, but he’s raised Galra, long after our world was destroyed.”

“Even if he was completely Galra, the point would still be the same, I mean, for goodness sake Coran, Grandmother married the Olkari prince—”

“You’re grandmother asked,” Coran stressed. “If you’re expecting the Altean way of courtship like the one your mother prepared you for you might not find it.”

“Oh… I… still, It’s… This is all just hypothetical.” She was shaking her head, pulling a little from his grasp.

“I’m afraid it may not be. And as a Princess of not just Altea anymore, but anyone in need of one, you may need to cast aside our cultural traditions to propose the idea on your own.”

Her stomach felt empty, and the image of Lotor with his hand extended morphed into a mirror image of herself. She tried to laugh. It sounded weird.

“Of course, I would never push you to do something you didn’t want, Princess. Lotor is still the son of Zarkon and it’s going to be a hard thing for either of us to forget.”

“Right.”

“But I only wanted to remind you that Altean novelties are just that. Novelties. We can’t just wait for his spriggan stone on your pillow.”

“Ah! Oh— no— you’re right. I’ll… keep it in mind.”

She would.

 


 

 

She did.

Too much, maybe.

“Would that be acceptable, Princess?”

“What? Oh, the outpost— of course.”

Lotor’s gaze leaves her once more, his hand rising to point out the Celtak system on the holo map they’re looking at.

He’s almost a head and a half taller than her. This close, she can measure the top of her shoulder to the middle of his chest. And it could be the Galra in him that makes him that way, but she thinks that had he been full Altean, he would be tall anyway.

“If we set up forces there, the purebreds and their rabble might be less inclined to reach north.”

It’s his stature though. Not just the technical number of his height, but the way he holds his back straight. The way his chin raises high. It opens his lungs and allows his voice to hold that bold, lofty quality. A sound with such deep reverberation it almost sounds amplified. It’s a tone she recognizes from her father’s way of speaking. The way she tried to emulate at times.

“If you’d like, we can arrange both Coalition and Galra forces. Not only so the Coalition might feel on equal grounds, but so my people get used to the sight of such collaboration as well.”

He’s a Prince, all in all. In his manner, in his words (even now he says coalition instead of rebellion, a level of consideration she doesn’t expect). Even as an exile Prince (or despite it) he’s very much the type of man she’d have been expected to deal with before the war had started. A diplomat. Someone she could relate to on a level maybe even Coran or the paladins couldn’t match. Someone who would understand the weight of what being a representative of a people meant.

“Princess Allura.”

Besides that, he was half Altean, wasn’t he? She could see it in the set of his nose, the high peaks of his jaw and cheeks. His hair too, was more like hers than it was, well, furry, or in tufts like most Galra men and women were.

“Princess,”

If she was being bolder, she would perhaps even admit, his, well, obvious attractiveness. Not to say she was attracted to him. Just that he was attractive. Or groomed. Or striking. Whatever word one wanted to use, it was at least undeniable that he very much looked… good. For a Galra. Especially when one could get a good view of his eyes like this. Or at least at this close range when he was looking at her.

Looking at her.

Oh, had he said something?

“Yes.” She said.

The space between them felt tense.

That probably wasn’t the appropriate response at all, if his quiet expression said anything.

“Forgive me Prince Lotor, I was, I— you were talking about the outpost.”

“Is something on your mind Your Highness?”

“No, not at all, no, please continue.”

His eyes closed briefly before he waved his console off and the map disappeared.

“I’m sorry, I hadn’t meant to ignore—”

His hand rose and he flashed her a smile that appeared sinister until she reminded herself that he could not help the sharpness of his teeth.

“No, please, it is my fault to pull you so quickly back to the field of war when we are both still reeling from the last battle.”

It would be infuriating how polite he was if she wasn’t also extremely grateful.

“You don’t have to be so considerate. This is important to your rule. I know you are concerned with establishing yourself after the Kral Zera. You’ve must have waited some time to get to this point.”

“And yet it can continue to wait. At least a quintent or two more.” He smiles, this time softly, the hair on his shoulder moving past his ear as he steps around her and extends his arm. “Please, allow me to have someone send for refreshments.”

“That’s not necessary.”

“I would see to it that I actually host my Altean Princess.” He insisted, adding a low head bow to his open arm.

The etiquette embedded into her upbringing demanded she takes the offer and so she made her way to the small table on the far side of the room.

‘My Altean Princess,’ he had said. As both an Emperor regarding his special guest, and a half Altean acknowledging his ruler. She felt hot in her dress.

He had been nothing but respectful to her since meeting. Even in the face of her own prejudice behind the cage they had kept him in at the Castle of Lions, or in the frustration at not being trusted up until the end. He never forgot the details; the bows, the honorifics, the simple idea of only looking away from her as she did. A sign of court training. He even deferred his status of Prince to her status as Princess, waiting to sit down until she left the room or entered it. Something he did not at all have to do. (Especially now, as Emperor.)

But it said… something to her. The formality to anybody else might seem cold. To Lance or, to the other paladins, it surely would.

But to her, it’s almost familiar. Nostalgic. A comfort. It’s easy to talk with someone when they're talking your native language, so to speak. And he did so in strides.

He didn’t sit until she did, but when he did it didn't make much of difference for height. He called for service from a panel on the table. And she admired the dexterous ways his claws avoided scraping the surface.

“Have you had time to take a breath since the start of it all, Princess?”

She sighed, closing her eyes. “Every now and then we get to, but you must know how it is yourself. Even in the moments, you take a break you are actively waiting for an interruption.”

“Yes.”

“And you? Do you have no relief even now?”

He’s quiet. Maybe it’s the wrong question to ask. Even though much has happened, it wasn’t actually that long ago that he struck down his own father. And even though Zarkon had been… well, Zarkon, he was still Lotor’s father.

“Much of my time was spent being neither seen nor heard if my father could help it.” He says it with the same lofty quality he always does, but he’s not looking at her this time. He’s looking at his hands. “Since his battle for Voltron and my appointed title of Po Tem, everything seemed to happen so quickly. Opportunities to finally change things the way I always wanted presented themselves in such abundance and succession I thought they might slip away if I did not leap for them immediately.”

She watches his hand open in close in a slow realization and is so enraptured by the articulation of his Galra claws that she's surprised by the contrast of a sudden soft smile at her.

“In a way, I think I might still be waiting for the next opportunity and the speed I will have to use to run to it.”

“I see.” She says.

And she does.

 


 

 

The more they talk about it, the more it simply makes sense.

Rather, the more they talk about the treaty, the more a marriage makes sense.

It’s almost disturbing how easily it would fix a lot of the incoming issues for them.

Most of the political climate is uneasy. Trust between the Coalitions and the Galra is fragile at best, with both waiting for the other to open fire. Already they had reports coming in from distant planets in their territories breaking out in fights because they had thought fighting inevitable.

Allura wonders if it would still seem that way if the heads of each faction tie their lives together in an ‘endless’ treaty. Not just a paper one that can be thrown away, as Zarkon had done with most of the galaxy. 

The purebreds in the Galra Empire argue that Lotor is not strong enough to sit on the throne. That his half-breed blood means he is weak. And despite Voltrons presence behind him, they accuse that Voltron is not truly ‘his’ to command.

Again, would they say that if he married the only one who could claim Voltron as property? Would they when in marriage, what is mine is yours?

And finally, most of the Coalition feared for their safety. They mistrusted Lotor, either because he was simply Galra because he was Zarkon’s son, or simply because they had never witnessed his aide and his welcoming nature in person.

If they saw Allura put her literal life in his hands, with something so intimate, would they not at least trust her enough to settle their doubtful ways?

But she was starting to think Coran was right.

She and Lotor had spent the better part of a dalcycle in and out of meetings on his capital ship. Usually, they were accompanied by the paladins and incoming visits from Coalition representatives. But the treaty itself hadn’t been signed. Not yet. It had a lot of work to go through. Details to iron out (trade, taxes, territories, the best part of being a ruler, her father would joke.) And almost all those details had been put on hold with arguments from both sides.

Not from Lotor or Allura themselves, but those the represented.

Lotor was still… polite. He let the coalition and his advisors do most of the talking, and stepped in to mediate debates. He pointed out flaws, bent backward and lost favor with his own people to compromise with smaller worlds.

Altogether he was admirable.

But he hadn’t… said anything.

Not that she was expecting him too!

If it wasn’t for the private idea of marriage joked about before, she probably wouldn’t have ever thought to suggest it either.

And even if he had thought of it, she suspected he was much too… considerate, to offer, or put her in that position.

He had no evidence to suggest that she might want to marry him.

No one did.

It wasn’t until Kolivan and the Blades of Marmora visited that she made up her mind.

“Allura.” Keith stood from one of the chairs in the private room when she entered. The purple Galra style lights from the table flicked beyond his silhouette, where Kolivan also stood to attention. “Is everything alright?”

“If you have suspicions about Lotor, Princess, I would suggest we talk aboard our private ship, not here,” Kolivan added.

She had really only meant to speak to Keith privately, before realizing that he probably couldn’t give her any answers, and had requested Kolivan’s presence too.

Maybe she should have kept it to only the captain.

But Keith was her paladin. Her friend. And somehow it was relieving to have him there anyway.

“No, it’s not about Lotor.” She let the mechanics on the door slide shut behind her.

“Is there some sort of issue you need the Blades to look into?” Keith asked.

She smiled thinly. “No. You can both rest easy, I’m not here on the topic of war. I’m here on the topics of peace.”

“Peace?” Keith frowned.

“Etiquette really. And Kolivan, I need your expertise.”

The Blades leader had a resting emotion of apathetic at the best and worst of times, but now his brow rose in slight surprise.

“As a General?”

“As a Galra.”

Keith's arms crossed and he turned to look at his leader as Allura did, as if waiting for whatever information was about to be prompted.

“I need someone to inform me how one courts another in the Galra culture.”

“S-say that again?” Keith sputtered, his attention immediately back on Allura.

To his credit, Kolivan didn’t balk. “For a mate?”

“For a marriage proposal, specifically.”

“Allura!”

“At what rank?”

“Nobility.”

It was Kolivan who crossed his arms now, head tilting in thought.

“We Galra do not take marriage lightly. It is a trial. A show of strength to one another.”

“As I suspected.” She chuckled, brows creasing. How was it that it always came down to violence? “Do you think you could give me more details.”

“Wait, Allura, shouldn’t you explain first? W-Why do you need to know this right now?”

“Aren’t you curious about your own mother and father Keith?” She asked. The boy looked even more shocked, his mouth closing. “If we are to live side by side, we should know more of each other.”

He didn’t respond.

“It begins with a challenge. We mate for life, and thus must show each other the full extent of our power to be considered a good match.”

“What does that mean?” It was Keith who asked, and Allura was happy to at least see his interest.

“If your partner can defeat you, or at least match you in combat, they would be a worthy adversary to stand alongside. Should you or your children ever need protection.”

“What’s a challenge?”

Kolivan regarded her with an expression akin to tiredness. To him, it was probably obvious. “A strike. Sometimes a fight. If this is nobility as you say, drawing blood is expected.”

“Blood? You really hurt them?”

“Blood doesn’t always mean pain, young blade.” Kolivan admonished, shifting, “But marriage is serious and needs to be treated with as much thought and care as any wound does. This is the idea of the act, anyway.”

Allura sighed. Maybe this was the wrong way to go. “But it’s my understanding that the Galra initiate combat to challenge rule, ranking, or even opinion at times. What’s my intended to think that this is an engagement offer and not an overthrowal?”

The room goes quiet and Allura realized she’d said a little too much. She bites her lips as Keith’s eyes zero in on her. “Uh… who are you proposing to Allura?” He asks.

“That is where Taal Selva comes in.”

“What’s that?”

Keith glares but Kolivan answers.

“Taal Selva is a series of words said after the initial strike, in which to attribute your reasoning for them as your mate. But it is done in verse. With allegory.”

“Poetry?”

“You can call it this.”

Poetry? She wasn't really good at poetry.

“Afterward you must give them three quintents to nurse their wounds, and think on their own Taal Selva to return to you, should they accept.”

“And rejection?”

“They will spit on the floor if they think you not suitable.”

“Oh.”

Kolivan seemed to sense the judgment in the room on that one. “It is done in private and is a dignified rejection. If the response isn’t public, most will assume rejection by the fourth quintent.”

“I see…”

“But if you are to ask Emperor Lotor for his life oath in this way your strike must be in public. It is his people’s right to know who might vie for their Emperor’s attention or else it’s a slight to the entire Empire. ”

“Lotor!” Keith exclaimed.

Allura tried not to blush. “Nothing’s decided yet.”

“Allura, wait, you can’t be serious,”

“I would think most would be in support, if you could actually manage it.” Kolivan nods, and really, it sort of looks like he’s smirking.

It sounds like a challenge.

“Is that a challenge?”

“Lotor may be a half-breed, and a diplomatic scholar rather than a warlord, but it has been a long time since anyone has caught him off guard in a fight.”

Allura wanted to laugh, her hands going to her hips. “You don’t think I can?”

Kolivan actually, truly, laughs. “I am not sure, Princess, but I am making no bets.”

“Has no one ever successfully proposed to him?”

“No one has beaten him in challenges to his station. As for proposal… to my knowledge, the Prince has never been recited Taal Selva.”

Allura frowns. Keith, who's been looking at her lost and a bit mortified, changes his attention. “Why not?” He asks, and Allura waits for the answer.

“He is half breed,” Kolivan says slowly.

“What has that got to do with anything?” Allura asks and tries but fails not to glance at Keith. “Surely as the Crown Prince and a great fighter at least—”

“He is… I am not a female.” Kolivan tries. He looks wrestled. “But he is not… He is not Galra in his features.”

When Keith and Allura continue to stare Kolivan gives up.

“He is very unattractive.” He says plainly.

“I thought strength was the important part,” Keith says.

Kolivan shrugs. “If there is nothing to fill your Taal Selva, I cannot imagine one would be inspired to strike in the first place.”

Allura frowns.

That’s not at all what she expected.

 


 

It isn’t what Coran expects either, which is funny since it was him who told her she might have to do this whole thing herself.

“Allura, think this over,” he tries, struggling to keep up as they walk fast paced down the halls of the Galra flagship.

“I did, and you said it yourself Coran, I would have to be the one—”

“To bring the subject up, yes, not to fight him!” Coran pleads.

Allura just shakes her head.

“You are both Prince and Princess of different worlds, planets, even, he doesn't expect—nobody expects you to do things the Galra way! When Zarkon and Honerva were married they didn’t resort to fisticuffs"

Allura actually laughs a little. “You don’t know that Coran.”

He has the decency to look dubious.

“Besides, I’ve thought of that.”

She had actually. Just the other day after they had surveyed some of his troops on their recall from the borderlines, she thought of bringing up the topic. In a diplomatic way. Where she could tentatively and casually broach the idea and hear his pragmatic opinion on it. She knows him enough now that she trusted he wouldn’t have scoffed at her or tossed her idea aside with disgust. Even if there was a chance he found her repulsive, he would have been friendly. Thorough.

“Well—think about it some more!” Coran chided.

They turn a corner, and as they grow closer, she lowers her voice to a whisper.

“If I don’t do it this way Coran, it won’t seem genuine.”

“You're both royalty— it’s not genuine!”

“Not to us— to the people! If the Galra see me propose in the Galra way, it will earn me favor. That was obvious just in the way Kolivan reacted. I have to do it this way.”

“What if he hits you back?”

At this point she was more worried she would get spit on.

When they enter the great hall of the capitol Flagship, beneath the merged banners Lotor had hung, she imagines they look like a couple of criminals, whispering angrily to each other.

“Your Majesty,” Lotor acknowledges her first, he usually does, even from atop the steps near his throne.

The paladins are around him and Shiro gives a wave as they draw closer.

“Hey, guys!” Pidge calls.

Lotor lowers himself from the high steps to extend an arm and bow his head. “We were just discussing a possible mission for Voltron, up north where the outpost we marked is.”

She doesn’t say anything on approach, noting the bodies in the room.

The ambassadors from the most recent visit are present; a few from Balmora and Rygnirth, and Ryder herself, from Olkari. And Keith stands with Kolivan in the corner… as well as more than a few Galra generals. Kolivan must have arranged it, they aren’t normally this mingled. Even at a diplomatic dinner like this one.

It would be embarrassing if it wasn’t actually terribly convenient. He had said it had to be public.

There are soldiers and sentries too, a handful, but they line the far walls. And she can only hope that if this goes down badly, her paladins will be there to hold them off long enough to make her words heard.

She would need to do it here, now, before Lotor escorted everyone into the dining quarters.

“Princess, pleaasssseeeee," Coran whispers harshly at her side as she moves in close to the group.

“Hello everyone, sorry we’re late.”

“You haven’t missed anything.” Lance drawled. “Just a lot of boring chit-chat about planets.”

“Lotor was telling us about the outer worlds having a hard time,” Shiro explains.

“Yes.” She agrees, eyeing the Prince. He smiles encouragingly. “We had been discussing that. I agree with him, we should see that Voltron protects the new outpost we want placed there.”

“I was thinking we could get some tech set up out there too,” Pidge interjected, and everyone turned to look at her. “If we take advantage of the location, we could use the higher latitudes to amplify Hunk and I’s signal to track the opposing Galra forces.”

“That might help us in the search of Haggar’s flagship,” Lotor said. He leans in, his tall frame curling elegantly to better level his gaze at the shorter, green paladin.

Allura stares at the shape of his claws as they come up to hold his chin.

“That’s exactly what he and I were thinking!” Pidge motions to her and Hunk, who gives Lotor a thumbs up.

She doesn’t see a weapon on Lotor’s hip or legs, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have one. It’s a risk she’ll have to take. It’s why she changed from her dress to the simple flightsuit, for mobility, in case she had to, well, run.

Her fingers fist and un-fist, feeling a little damp.

“We actually were wondering if there was anything in this crazy place that old lady had her hands on. Maybe something that would help us match a frequency to her space magic.” Hunk is saying.

Lotor is nodding.

He’s about an arm’s length away. Nothing is between him and the length of the room towards the wall so, if she angled it right, it shouldn’t affect any of the paladins. And glancing over her shoulder, the sentries and the soldiers look bored. At ease.

Kolivan and Keith are staring right at her.

“I believe there are quite a few items that might help the process. After dinner, perhaps I could take you to her former place on the ship. There might be something there.”

“That would be perfect.”

“Yeah and then we could install the stuff once we get out there.”

Her breath seems to wrack her whole body. She’s keenly aware of each pull of her lungs as she stares at the smooth expanse of the Prince’s purple face. Lilac and lush.

“Princess, would you be inclined—”

He turns, she hadn't expected him to turn toward her.

But it’s too late, she’d already pivoted at that moment. Her back foot slides to a bend, tapping Coran, he jumps backward from her, shouting, but it hits her ears in slow motion as her elbow extends and her fist collides with Prince Lotor’s face. It’s resistance immediately. As smooth as he appeared, her knuckles all crack in tandem as if she’s struck marble. Even still, his body gives way and the power behind her blows lifts her off her back leg as she follows through with the punch.

And then everything happens, very, very fast.

All the paladins start yelling, one of the ambassadors scream, there’s laughing somewhere, and white hair flickers through her vision before she closes her eyes and lands back on her feet.

Lotor hits the ground with a thud so loud it vibrates through the great hall and it’s answered by the echo of a handful of sentry lasers locking into a charge.

“WHAT THE QUIZNA—”

“HOLY SHIT!”

“ALLURA!”

“Ohmygosh—OHMYGOSHOMYGOSH—”

“Stand down! Stand down, please— wait—”

Her right hand is pulsing, and she’s pretty sure she’s broken a finger. Her nail might have cut into her palm because it feels wet but that might be just sweat.

But her eyes are only on him.

His elbow digs into the purple carpeting of the chamber and his hair musses away from his face. His gaze finds hers immediately, narrowed in the utmost unabashed confusion.

“Allura,” She hears him say over the yelling and jumping her paladins are doing. Or the scuffle that’s happening with whatever the Blades of Marmora are doing with the guards.

The whisper of her name blooms a deep red that pearls on his lip and trails fast down his chin.

Oh.

“Lilac and lush!!” Allura near screams. It’s hard to do, she can barely breathe. Her heart is slamming in her chest and everything feels really, really hot.

But the room goes silent. Utterly, unbearably silent.

She feels every eye on her.

Oh, she wished she could have done this the Altean way.

“L-lilac and lush,”  She starts again and, oh, it’s hard to do this staring right at his face. “with a name, I can only bear to hush,”

She watches his brows ease up his forehead. The yellow around his eyes gets large as they dilate. His head tilts, elbow stilling from trying to help himself up. He freezes completely. 

“Uh, what is happening?” Lance says somewhere behind her.

“You cut through thought, I’m wrought, unfought,”

She can’t really hear herself, but she’d repeated the words enough over the last two nights that they’re ingrained in her.

And he must hear her too because his chest is expanding and retracting so noticeably she thinks she might have knocked the wind from him through his face.

A bruise begins to unfurl so blackish blue it looks like an Altean poppy flower. 

“Taken to sleep only by dreams of white locks, tight grips, and smiles sweet.”

She’s blinking fast.

He’s not blinking at all.

The hall is silent.

But there is no hum of lasers, no more shouting, just an air of tense… awkwardness.

It’s actually much easier to take her eyes off the Prince than she originally thinks, and she ignores her paladins and their large, questioning expressions and outstretched hands to grab Coran’s arm.

“Princess,”

“We’re leaving, we’re leaving, leaving, leaving,” She hurries under her breath.

“Yes, okay, right-o!” He whispers back, and they leave like they came, like criminals.

No one stops them.