Merla sat in front of the mirror, bright pink hair in her hands as she stared at her reflection. She scowled at the little lines developing between her eyebrows and at the corners of her mouth. Too much scowling, too much hard work. Her mother would have said that her beauty had grown character. Six years ago, Merla would have said she was turning into an old hag. Now... now she was just glad she could look at her face in the mirror at night.

The war had not been good to her... but it had been far worse to Lotor. She closed her eyes. It had taken her years to forgive her former husband for everything he had done to her. It had never been anything physical... but it was just amazing the kind of damage emotions could do to a person. And Lotor had been amazingly good at manipulating her emotions.

She still remembered those last few days before her prince's death quite vividly. She still remembered how he had torn apart his chambers as report after report had come in, telling of endless defeats at the hands of the Alliance. Meanwhile, the citizens of Doom had rioted outside the castle, demanding access to the stores of food within.

Looking back now, Merla could see that Lotor had been doomed from the begining. How blind she had been back then.

When the end had come, it was only her position as leader of a technicaly nuteral planet that had saved her from the same fate as Cossack. Lotor had died at the hands of his beloved Allura, his pretty head split open by a rock she had hurled from three feet away. Merla remembered how all that lovely white hair had been stained red with her beloved's blood.

The Queen of the Seventh kingdom was jolted back to the present as the bright pink hair in her hands began to pull away. "Mooooommy! You said you were gonna make my hair jus' like yours!"

Merla smiled, stroking her daughter's hair soothingly. "Sorry, lovey. Mummy got a little lost in thought."

The six year old girl stomped her foot, glaring at her much the way her father had used to glare. "Your always thinkin. You need ta be payin' attention to me!"

"Of course, Lysandra. Of course." Merla murmured as she began to braid her daugher's hair.