For the glory of the empire… it's a phrase Lotor has heard often. It's been centuries, and this belief has been taught and reinforced: everything they do must be for their military and their people's benefit, to further esteem and respect and the Galra's choke-hold over the universe, over the weaker beings.
He's more than eager to throw that ill-conceived notion away.
It's quiet and less crowded within the Galra headquarters, with only the dutiful, mindless sentries at their guarding posts. Lotor touches a hand over Zarkon's polished throne-arm, drawing himself out of his whirlwind of thoughts, as if they were made of a heavy and thick muck.
"You will inform me as soon as the leaders of rebel factions arrive in our sector," he says, mumbling.
One of his newest commanding officers nods and sweeps themselves into a low, deep bow, unmoving as a frowning Lotor passes them for the nearest corridor. "Yes, my Lord Emperor."
This has to work — he has lived through the Kral Zera, and succeeded in reclaiming his inheritance and aligned himself with Voltron. Now the real work of uniting all of their Galra brethren, to provide them with a reason to work together — that will be much harder.
During Zarkon's reign, the former Emperor required no sleep or privacy, due to his monstrous form. Lotor does not wish to pursue his father's example, hiring the architects to design something worth his time.
Lavished with tapestries and shelves of archaic items from his travels, he walks into his personal, gigantic chambers waned in a muted neutral color, the lighting occasionally morphing into a calming blue. Silken-soft, gossamer fabrics hanging from overhead, draping over his very own Emperor's bedding.
Keith lays stomach-first upon the duvet, half-asleep and wearing nothing but his black, fingerless gloves. He shifts a little. The fold of pale arms tighten their cradle underneath Keith's head.
There's no one to remove his armor, and so Lotor tugs open the hidden clasps at a purposely slow measure, enjoying the view. His frown disappears in favor of a gentle, amused smirk. As soon as he's left in a dark under-shirt and trousers, Lotor approaches him, climbing up onto the bedding and pressing his lips tenderly against Keith's jaw. Hot, hot skin and a bristle of facial hair.
Of all things, he never anticipated Keith — fiery and honorable and self-sacrificing.
Lotor drifts his wandering fingertips over the crest of Keith's buttocks, slipping the middle digit against Keith's warm, pliant rim, joined by another and easing inside him. The reaction out of Keith involves a whole-bodied, pleasant quiver, but he seems completely relaxed.
That must be unusual. Lotor has not known him for an extensive amount of time, or platonically, but understands that Keith does things his own way — or it's best to get out of his way.
He can feel a little of the lubricant and come oozing out, Lotor's fingers thrusting and stretching within his channel, widening apart. Keith's faint, drowsy noises increase to groans, as soon as Lotor rearranges himself above Keith, pulling out his quickly hardening cock and burying himself to the hilt, engulfed in the sensation and heat of Keith's muscles tightening, exhaling sharply.
There had been no rhythm or reason for the tension, the pure arousal between them, and Keith's decision to rescue Lotor from the Blades of Marmora's explosives, to save his life not even a movement ago. Keith had been a force of nature — adrenaline and gritted teeth and howling, euphoric moans, allowing himself to be pinned downed and fucked underneath Lotor's weight. Lotor doubts Keith has told anyone about their arranged visits, as spontaneous and irregular as they are.
Keith's breathing hitches, when the massive, lavender-hued cock inside him slams directly against his prostate. Lotor adjusts his position, angling the next set of deeper, faster thrusts to hit the same spot, listening to Keith cry out in relief, fumbling for his own cock and squirming on his belly.
That's when Lotor hears a thudding knock on his locked, chromium-reinforced door. He swears loudly in a frustrated, clumsy Altean, gripping onto Keith's narrow hips and going still.
"My Lord Emperor… the leaders have arrived," filters in, blaring through the communicator.
From there, it's only silence and the distractions cease. Keith glances over his shoulder to the other Galran, panting and irritated. "Don't look at me like that," Lotor mutters, but starting to grin.
Not so long ago, Keith had to find the means around a Galra battleship without being seen — mainly crawling through the ventilation systems or hiding out in cargo freight boxes, waiting for a signal.
Walking around openly in front of the various guards and high-ranking officials?
It doesn't feel right.
But it is.
Lotor marches a couple of steps ahead of him, with every ounce of royal formality as the other Galra bow or salute, with his head held high. Keith tugs off his Marmora hood, keeping his armor-tech on standby as it powers down to a dull, indigo glow with a tap of his wrist-console.
As soon as they're by themselves, Lotor slows down, waiting for Keith to join him mid-step. "I didn't expect you to still be here after our…" Lotor's mouth thins and curls up, "… rendezvous…"
Keith stiffens his expression.
"Your plan is to meet with the Galra rebel factions, right?" he asks. After the other Galran confirms this, Keith nods decisively, palming over his blade. "Then I'm not leaving. Not now."
Lotor chuckles, his fangs exposing.
"I can assure you that without my battalion armor or sword at the ready, I'm quite apt at defending myself. Are you so concerned about my immediate safety that you—"
"—Kolivan would want the intel, if I had it," Keith interrupts solemnly. "Voltron should know, too."
Keith knows that being tactful is something he can learn better, and his gut twists noticeably when the admiring, gladsome light vanishes out of Lotor's eyes. "Well… thank goodness I wasn't holding my breath…" he informs Keith, masking any of his surface emotions without hesitation.
More guards pass by, and Lotor walks ahead without acknowledging them, his shoulders bracing.
Keith sighs and hangs his head, clutching onto his Galra blade.
Lotor doesn't resort to gossip — he invites the other Galra to join him in discussing the strategic procedure of entering the quintessence field. It's the only reason this meeting can happen. Allura decides to keep her distance, trusting Lotor to strengthen the alliance of the Galra.
"By securing the last thought of rebellion and coax it willingly into submission," Lotor's mouth skims over Keith's kiss-bruised, muscular thigh, his words vibrating in the air, "you've won."
Despite being greeted by blasters in their holsters and scowls on their faces, Lotor announces, "My brothers and sisters, I would be honored to show you around the central command ship—as a token of faith, we will remain unescorted for the duration of your visit. Please leave your weapons behind."
Not even Lotor's firm, patient tone can settle the sudden and loud outcry, rising from the leaders.
It's a power move, Keith realizes — they either take off their armor and show they are vulnerable to outside commands right in front of the other rebelling leaders or defy the new Emperor in his stronghold and risk their operations failing through being imprisoned or gunned down as traitors.
"Yes, I understand you doubt my ability to rule," Lotor speaks up again, over the rebel faction leaders. A hush falls gradually over them. Darting in the background, Keith scans the huge imperial bridge with his face-helmet's tech, observing the feed. "You may not believe I am aware of this, but I can assure you, I am aware. I have been. I was proclaimed my father's heir and your Prince many centuries ago, understanding that I lacked the support needed to build anything substantial. I murdered my father, understanding many of you would believe that to declare treachery over a act of bravery."
"But something good has come of this. We shared different visions of the possibilities for the Galra Empire, and the others we have ruled in the past, and I now wish to unite us all for the betterment—without fear or shackles." Keith crosses his arms, watching from the fringes as Lotor offers a polite and heartfelt smile to the leaders. "The time for war is over. With the help of Voltron, we have the path to unlimited quintessence, and I wish to share it with you."
One of the female Galra huffs. "As soon as we bow to you, is that it?"
"The flame of my victory burns brightly, I'm afraid," Lotor points out softly. His smile broadens. "Perhaps it should warm your thoughts instead of smothering them down, Hexna."
Another huffing noise, but this time, Hexna smirks and rolls her eyes, undoing her chest-plate.
Keith turns his head as a red, blinking light emerges over his helmet-scanners.
That's when he hears a multitude of explosives sounding off, throwing debris and smoke and bodies into the air. It's not near enough to injure him, but Keith dodges what rains down, including a burnt, mechanical arm.
He looks around, shouting for Lotor and witnesses an unidentified agent, posing as one of the sentries, coming forward and presenting out their weapon, aiming it for Keith's direction.
"VICTORY OR DEATH!"
What appears to a blaze-glowing, purple flail whips around the Galran agent, extending and missing Keith's skull by a fraction. Keith runs towards them, furiously activating his blade.
His concentration wavers during the attack, as he spots a dirtied, ashy Lotor up on a platform, herding others to safety and jumping off. The agent swings again with a triumphant, drawn-out yell and Keith goes into defense, having the chain wrapped around his forearm and yanking him off his feet. He's ready to aim a flying kick into his opponent's solar plexus when Lotor whirls into view, plunging his sword into the Galra agent's throat, wrenching it free with a pained, low grunt.
A thickened, darkened quality of blood spills rapidly onto Lotor's pristine white uniform, bubbling from the wide-open, obsidian hole forming underneath his ribcage.
Keith repeats it, hopelessly lost in his disorientation state. He jerks back to reality, too-slow, panicking and catching Lotor's upper half as the other Galran man begins to faint, calling out for someone, anyone, help! Help us! We need a medic! He's been wounded!
In the end, the witch rescues Lotor, shoving Keith out of her way and summoning her abilities.
"Lotor was trying to save you when he was hurt," Ezor says matter-of-factly, stopping him in the corridor. She gazes at Keith with obvious, bland sympathy. "I saw it happen. We all did."
One of the loyalists to a deceased warlord Keith wasn't even aware of — they infiltrated the Galra headquarters, and then the central command ship, with the endgame goal of destroying Lotor. Their success ran out, as soon as Haggar appeared to revive her son from the brink of death.
Keith's guilt overflows in the core of his chest, threatening to burst. He refuses to leave the base, despite the chaos and uneasiness resulting, waiting for permission to enter Lotor's bed-chambers.
"Acxa wants me exiled," Keith explains, disposing of his belt. "Think she would rather have me dead."
Lotor doesn't sit up from the collection of pillows, resting a hand over his large, bandaged wound.
"If she would like to waste time blaming anyone for this… Acxa can start with herself for not acting more quickly and rescuing both you and myself from harm," Lotor murmurs, staring pensively at Keith's face as the other man avoids looking up. "… This was not your doing, Keith."
"I was supposed to protect you," Keith argues, his features pinched.
"Aaah…" Once again, a grin appears on Lotor's face, roguish and wide and so brilliant that Keith feels dizzy for a split-second. "Then it's true… you did stay for me."
He doesn't what to say to that — not when it's true — and sinks down next to Lotor, pressing his face against Lotor's side and muffles out a groan, exhausted. Two of the rebel faction leaders are dead, and the eleven remaining will pledge their allegiance once they confirm Lotor's survival.
The war isn't over.
It will be.
Voltron isn't mine. I kind of maybe signed up for 11 different events for this fandom uhhhhhhhhhh so here's the first thing I'm posting LMAO! I'm doomed! Okay, I signed up for the Keitor Exchange on Tumblr and I got stumbling-while-balancing on Tumblr and I couldn't wait to get started! I really hope you guys like it because I'm actually fond of this one with how it turned out and as always, comments/thoughts are deeply appreciated! Thank you! :D
(Translation of the title from Latin means "an irresistible urge to do something inadvisable")