Trust to be earned, not given away upon a fleeting whim.
Lotor respects their decision of not meeting with him on their castleship — throttling his spacecraft running on fumes to a nearby, reddish desert planet with breathable air. He greets them with a humble and cordial manner, despite having all of their bayards turned on him.
"I can supply the intel you so desire," Lotor explains, visibly relaxed, but his hands held out mock-surrender in front of him. "You've been struggling, it seems. Not even your Blades of Marmora have gained access to the most valuable of coordinates, pointing to the Galra strongholds and weaponry bases. They're hidden from even the most trusted of royal advisers or generals. But never to me."
He can practically hear the blood boiling in the Altean princess, as she rips off her helmet, glaring in defiance. Talking reason into her would be useless, Lotor supposes. The rest of Voltron's paladins do the same, with varying levels of hostility and doubt in their eyes.
"All of this I can provide… if you don't kill me where I stand."
"We wouldn't kill you," one of them speaks up gruffly. Lotor notices there's no bayard gripped in his hand, but a large, jagged knife shaped like a flame, dully glowing purplish-pink. This one — the recesses of Lotor's mind whispers, slow-familiar and encouraging, as if drawn to a heady, intoxicating scent — this one is not like the others.
A name — "Keith!" — echos within their little, ragtag group.
Keith's eyes narrow.
"That's not what Voltron does," he says flatly, lowering his weapon, much to everyone's disbelief and shame. "It wouldn't be right. You decided to save everybody's lives…"
You saved mine.
It's more of an strained, silent message between them, but Lotor gets the impression that a reluctant Keith considers himself grateful for the aid.
"Keith's right," what appears to be the Black Paladin announces, nodding and reaching out to loosely grasp the top of Keith's shoulder. "Whatever motivation Lotor had during the battle, he did us a favor. We could use as many allies as we can get at this point."
Another blow of hot, dusty wind sweeps the long, ivory-colored hair around him, as Lotor tugs off his own helmet, grinning. From the background, the Altean princess's color drains.
"Most fortunate to have that settled—now, may we take shelter before the downpour hits?"
Shards of dense, obsidian-black glass fall from the skies of Er'kit.
It starts as a trifle impact on scanners until the whirlwind destabilizes their long-range communications, and eventually falling with such a mass of devastating weight that it prompts raising the shields. By now, Lotor understands his own spacecraft would not be quickly repaired.
At the very least, they've allowed him into the lowest levels of the hanger-bay, clad in their armor.
He whistles a carefree, repetitive tune, secretly enjoying the twitches and frowns. Unlike the others, Keith appears to be deep in thought, examining and turning over his weapon.
Lotor approaches him, more than ready for idle chitchat with anyone possibly worth his time.
"Is that what you carry on your missions?" he asks, observing as the luxite glimmers. "I do admit… I've yet to see a Marmora blade up close. They're primitive to Galra, but effective."
Keith furrows his brows, finally glancing up.
"I didn't steal it—"
"I wouldn't assume so," Lotor interrupts smoothly, offering a bland, close-lipped smile until the other man grunts, looking away. "It can only be activated and held in the bare hands of its true owner, or risk fatal consequences… so I am told." He examines Keith's human-like profile, trying to sound gentler, "Was it your mother or your father, Paladin?"
A heavy, intangible emotion crosses over Keith's face.
"… My mom," he breathes out, shaking his head. "And I'm not a paladin. Not anymore."
"How much do you know about our people?"
Lotor almost regrets the question, as Keith grits his jaw and exposes his teeth, seemingly caught in a physical attempt to contain the burst of rage underneath his surface.
Yellow-bright eyes inspect him, softening. It's not the Galra way to pity anyone, especially strangers, but this may be as close to it as Lotor will ever get. How can this man be a part of their blood and not know a damned thing about it…?
Keith's pale hand wraps around the Marmora blade itself, tightening.
Blood escapes through finger-crevices, pouring onto the ground, thicker and darker than any human's.
Out of the corner of his eye, Lotor witnesses the Blue Paladin — Allura — glaring again at him only, stiffening her body and lifting her nose into the air. The Black Paladin — Shiro — rushes over, calmly prying the blade out of Keith's injured hand and soothing him with a couple of words, taking hold of Keith's wrist. He ignores Lotor, guiding them both away for a in-castle teleportation pod to what Lotor assumes is a med-bay.
There's a unnamed heat that wafts around this half-Galra, enthralling and maddening. Lotor isn't sure what to make of this constant presence yet, but…
Sticking around could unravel the mystery.
"Keith, what did he say to you?"
"Nothing," he mutters. Shiro pauses from leaning over and grabbing one of the clunkier, modified heal-lasers on a table for the open, still bleeding wound. Keith rolls his eyes at the harsh look. "Fine, yeah. Lotor asked about the blade I have and what I knew about my mom. Nothing important."
It takes a dobosh or two, but Keith feels his skin painfully restitching together with the device's help. He chews on his lower lip, as sweat trickles down the back of his neck.
"… Maybe you should hold off on telling him anything, for now," Shiro tells him lowly, rubbing over Keith's fingers with his to stimulate new, healing circulation. Keith inhales sharply, confused by the tingling in other places. "Especially if it turns out we can't trust him."
"I'm not an idiot."
Shiro's mouth quirks up in amusement.
"I know," he whispers, checking over Keith's palm one more time and jerking slightly, when a dreamy-eyed, flushed Keith stumbles upright onto his feet. Keith clutches the back of Shiro's head to correct the angle, pushing their mouths together firmly.
With a light, chuckling breath, Shiro eases the tension, kissing him in smaller, affectionate licks, until Keith's equally flushed lips slacken open. "Mmhn… what was that for?"
"Dunno," Keith says huskily, suddenly overheated and woozy. "Just… felt like it…"
Two, three, four Shiros blur apart and stare in mounting, obvious concern. "I'm not complaining, but you feel a little warm… Keith?" he raises his voice, as Keith's brain feels like it's dissolving into molten goo, as Keith shudders and careens sideways into darkness.
Eventually, Lotor finds himself allowed one level up, to a chamber-room of decent, bluish lighting, spacious enough for a cot on the left-hand side and a toilet on the right.
"Am I supposed to get comfortable?" he quips, smirking. "Or am I your prisoner?"
Red Paladin — Lance — crosses his arms rigidly and pretends to not acknowledge him, though side-eyeing Lotor venomously, guarding the single, automated door in-and-out of this room.
They remain this way for a bit — Lotor carefully removing his Galran armor, piece by piece, brushing his hair with his violet-hued fingertips, twisting it up messily into a self-holding bun, humming pleasantly while Lance impatiently waits for another paladin or Coran to relieve him of his duty.
There's a crawly, potent feeling, thickening the air. Lotor makes sure he's not being watched, rubbing his chest absently and frowning deeply. He's felt this before.
The inside of Lance's helmet buzzes, garbling a message that Lotor misses.
He regards the other man cursing and running full-speed out into the corridor, without any hesitation. The door stays open. Lotor goes to it, peeking his head out and is hit by an overwhelming, ripe scent.
Pheromones — raw, staggeringly fresh, and exhilarating. Galra.
Lotor knows immediately that his body wants whatever it is, to destroy it or drink it in. His genitals lumps noticeably in his trousers. He sighs, exasperated, following the scent-path to another level of the castleship, where nobody seems to be routinely watching their monitors.
"Where is he?" he asks, trying not to sound breathless, locating where most of Voltron's paladins argue outside of a med-bay. The pheromones are strongest behind that white, sealed door behind them.
"What do you want with our friend?" Allura shouts, coming forward and positioning herself in front of the others, as if acting as a shield. Her bright blue eyes widen. "Did you do this to him?" she shouts again, defensively holding her whirring, electrified Blue Paladin bayard.
Coran touches her elbow grimly, peering at Lotor.
"Number 4 is under quarantine until—"
"It's an Omega-Heat," Lotor says softly. The reaction is as much as he expects from non-Galran individuals — a chorus of shocked, protesting yells and groans and bemused silence.
"Shit," Lance mutters, grinding his palms over his eyelids.
"What's that mean?" the Green Paladin — Pidge — questions, blinking.
The Yellow Paladin —Hunk — shrugs wordlessly, making a face.
"It means Keith's in trouble…"
"He's not," Lotor announces, coolly dismissing Shiro's observation. He doesn't know for how long this has gone on, but knows that time is limited. "Not yet. Your Paladin needs to ride this out with an Alpha of his own kind until completion, and I fear this may be my doing if this is the first time he's experienced this."
Shiro's fist rams against the wall, before Lotor can move around him the med-bay's door. "The hell you will touch him—" Shiro murmurs, face-to-face with him, his tone icy-cold.
"It's that or he dies," Lotor hisses, narrowing his eyes. "Which would you prefer it be?"
At this, Shiro's anger brittles, weakening under the burden of his concern. His mechanical fingers squeeze together. But he doesn't threaten him, or quarrel about the lack of choices.
"Trusting me may leave a bitter taste in your mouth… this, I understand." Lotor doesn't attempt to smile, not for anyone, because this is not a victory and his instincts are simply organic. "But he lives because of it. Let this knowledge console you at the very least."
The door slides open.
Lotor's head reels pleasantly from the gust of the warm, musky scent. His knees buckle for a moment, until he feels someone's hand resting on his back, steadying him.
Coran doesn't respond to the mutter of "thank you" and steps away briskly.
His father believed Galra were the superior race of beings, and while Lotor trusted his father absolutely in his youth, his own beliefs lost their luster. He viewed the Omega-Heat as an undeniable, horrendous flaw in their genetic coding. Forcing the physiological need for sex to breed the population?
Archaic. Damaging to the respect and trust the Galra should hold each other to.
Lotor vanishes into the med-bay, straightening up and eyeing a half-conscious Keith in one of the pods. "I am truly sorry for this, bekannte," Lotor mumbles, tapping a release-button.
The ghastly blue, overhead lighting blares into Keith's eyes.
He wakes with this slow and fuzzy realization, rolling over in a barrack-cot — his everything aches bone-deep and he reeks like one of the pod-washes. "Take it easy, Keith…" Shiro whispers, already sitting down beside him, clasping onto Keith's shoulder reassuringly. "No getting up just yet."
Typical protective Shiro. Keith would smile if it didn't feel like his head was gonna explode.
"Ughhhh, why does it feel like… I got slammed around inside a high-speeder?"
"What do you remember?"
Keith squints his eyes, massaging the bridge of his nose as Shiro helps him scoot upright against a collection of blankets and pillows. "Passing out… then, now I'm here," he mumbles drowsily, glancing up when Shiro's expression hardens. "Did something happen… Shiro…?"
"Your Galra heritage affected your body's impulses." Keith turns his head to the source of the new voice, grabbing the side of his head when his equilibrium dips. He pinpoints Lotor by his entrance-way, leaning casually against the frame. He's without his Galra armor, and wearing a dark, silken uniform with no visible insignia. "You required somewhat unorthodox treatment or your death would have been inevitable."
"Arguably consensual intercourse," Shiro reiterates dryly, aiming a pointed, disapproving look to Lotor who flattens his half-smiling, lavender lips but doesn't offer a rebuttal.
Keith frowns, gazing confused between them.
"… But why don't I remember anything?" he asks.
"An aftereffect of your first heat, I believe. It's quite common among Galra." Lotor's humor drains. "Since I've taken care of it, you will need suppressants in the future, for every phoeb. Your cycle regulates itself under the medication and it'll be like nothing has ever gone amiss."
Shiro's eyes narrow skeptically. "How do you know all of this?"
For the briefest of instants, Keith thinks he's seen a wounded emotion drift over Lotor's slim, sharp features.
"I did have an Omega once. Someone I considered an equal partner, whom I fought and bled with. My most cherished person," he whispers, his smile lengthening fondly. "I refused to call them my mate, in public or private — it sounded far too insulting for their beauty and intelligence, which paled mine immeasurably."
And it disappears like a wisp of smoke, replacing with a perfunctory, glass-smooth stare.
"You may want to keep an eye on yourself as well, for several quintants," Lotor says meaningfully in Keith's direction, nodding. "Galra pregnancy can be easily spotted even in Aldean medical scans."
Keith's mouth thins. Shiro nearly gasps, losing his composure as he rises to his feet. "Hold on… let's not jump to conclusions here. Wouldn't there be something he can do for that?"
"The Galra didn't believe in ridding an opportunity." The pure sarcasm drips from Lotor's words. "It also would be near impossible to perform any life-altering surgery," he informs Keith, meeting their eyes. "If your medic tried, your Galra survival instincts would be to protect you and your unborn child without fail, to the point of murdering every living soul that crossed your path."
"Good news then," Lance says barging in, getting perplexed stares from everyone. "No, not that!" he yells, wrinkling his nose in frustration. "The storm's gone. We can get our asses outta here."
Soon enough, they're swept up into their next mission, traveling out to another quadrant of the star system.
Keith uses the bustle of activity as a welcomed distraction, silently greeting Lotor by a borrowed cargo-ship.
The other Galran nods back, halting from examining the mechanics.
"If you should need me, I have passed on my communications codes to your leader," Lotor tells him with a mellow grin, reaching out and shaking Keith's armored, darkly gloved hand.
"Guess I owe you, Lotor," Keith admits, clumsily letting go. "Again."
"Help me overthrow my father, and I'll call us even." Keith's chest feels unreasonably tight when Lotor's yellow eyes inspects him. "Rest assured, I will use my resources and send you the Omega-Heat suppressants before the next phoeb. There's always a chance of running into someone like myself."
Before Lotor hauls himself into the cockpit, Keith exhales loudly, opening his mouth.
"How… How bad was it?"
Of all things, Keith gets that digging into repressed memories isn't what he should do — but he has to. He has to know. And he didn't want to ask when Shiro had been around, looking after Keith, in fear of Shiro trying to direct away the conversation or even knowing the truth about it.
Lotor uses the artificial gravity to land gracefully onto his feet, his ivory-silvery hair fanning to his shoulders. Keith's pulse thuds in the back of his mouth.
"You did magnificently in desperate circumstances. Like any healthy Galra of your age and status would have," Lotor assures him, but a hint of frenzied, gleaming emotion bares itself. Keith takes a backwards step, unable to pull away when violet-hued fingers faintly stroke the line of his jaw. "As an Alpha… I knew what I wanted. I wanted to hold myself deeply inside you, until your own belly grew round with my seed… until your every sense blurred with delirium and all that was left was the craving for my knot…"
Drool spills out of the corners of his mouth, when he keens against Lotor's neck. Their fluid-slick bodies rutting erratically. Keith clenches down on the huge, fleshy cock throbbing and filling up his channel, whining as it pulls out, flooding hot Galran come between his legs—
"Yeah, got it," Keith whispers, dropping his head and flushing a nasty, mortifying red.
A light, airy chuckle. "Try to not think ill of me. I despise our inherent biology as much as you do," Lotor says, pulling himself back towards the cockpit. "We will meet again, Paladin."
Coran mumbles to himself, racing between holo-devices. He glances fixated at his wrist-com and scratches his upper lip through mustache. Keith narrowly avoids being smacked into, hopping off the examination table and yanking his undershirt over his head with a noncommittal grunt.
"Well?" Shiro asks with mild impatience, folding his arms.
"It appears… you've avoided a reproductive scare, Number 4!"
Sparkly, rose-colored stars pop out of nowhere, glowing and glimmering around Coran as he winks, offering a thumbs-up. "Thank god," Shiro breathes out, his relief almost palpable.
"We will keep you monitored every quintant for the rest of the moment, just in case."
"Too excessive," Keith says dully, stopped by the insistent, gentle tug on the back of his jacket.
He curiously glances over to Shiro requesting to Coran if he and Keith could speak alone. There's a nervous but frustrating mood hovering off of his best friend lately.
Shiro unfolds his arms, his brows furrowing.
"I want an honest answer out of you if you're okammfn—" The rest of Shiro's sentence muffles out to Keith's lips, when the younger man hooks an embrace to his neck, dragging him into a kiss.
"Stop…" Keith's murmur vibrates, throaty and heartfelt, "Worrying…"
He smiles and practically melts against Shiro's warm, familiar mouth, when the other man gravitates into his field, inclining and touching their foreheads together. "Okay," Shiro replies calmly, smiling too, rubbing his organic hand over Keith's clothed side.
Voltron isn't mine. I'm getting better at writing for this fandom! I think! lmao you guys can tell me if you think so... but yes, I had started out with a lowkey Keith/Lotor "first meetings" idea and it morphed into Keith/Lotor with Keith/Shiro endgame combining A/B/O and discusses of alien biology with that universe. Every time I've ever done A/B/O it's usually paired with mpreg and also it's more a pro-kink fic. There's nothing wrong with that... I just thought I would try something new for a spell! There's still a touch of kink in here, but I wanted to focus on a more desexualized approach that was methodical and less agreeable with both parties.
Also... I opened so many more doors in this fic than I expected? Lotor's eventual return, more details about the established Sheith relationship, more Keith & Lotor bonding, more about Lotor's partner, and possibly Keith getting pregnant anyway? It's all still on the table, but I'm not gonna bother if there's no real interest for a sequel. You guys let me know! Would you be interested in a sequel tackling these issues? More about the world-building too? Let me know in a comment! Thanks!