A Woman Grown

by Tamysan
This is loosely based on an episode which occurred late in the first season [Episode 47: Summit Meeting] where Allura sees a vision of her father who tells her to run into the woods. She promptly meets Lotor, who tries unsuccessfully to convince her to be his Queen one last time. Of course this winds up entirely different. All characters belong to WEP of course.
– Tam

Part One

Allura could not sleep – she only pretended to for Coran and Nanny's sake. She sighed as she turned over in her bed and stared up at her ceiling, it's tiles familiar to her since childhood.

Childhood... Allura winced. Here she was, supposed to be grown, the pilot of Blue Lion, someone who had fought for her people as best she could – and she was still being treated as a child.

What made it worse was that she went along with it. What hurt the worst was that even today, the crowning glory of all humiliations, she had not protested it – not much anyway. Oh she had thrashed and flailed when Nanny had the temerity to – to – it was too humiliating to think about. But there was the truth – Nanny had taken offense to something she had done – and had spanked her in front of Keith and the others. They had laughed at her indignity – Lance especially. But it was Keith stoic quietness that upset her the most. He hadn't defended her at all. But then why should he when she didn't even defend herself? No, an adult – a real adult wouldn't have HAD to defend themselves to anyone else.

They treated her like a child because she let herself be treated like one. There was the truth and it shocked her with it's clarity. It was easy to let Coran and Nanny dictate to her what should and shouldn't be done. They had done so since her sheltered childhood and they would only stop when she was married off to some king or prince that would do the same thing. Sometimes she would put her foot down and they would back down but only temporarily – as if they were perhaps humoring her. Suddenly Allura balled her fists in anger at both Nanny and Coran and she hit the mattress with her fists – a childish action but one born out of frustration. She just didn't understand. Would her parents have kept her so – so sheltered? She had seen so much destruction on her planet and yes, death, but still she was considered a wayward child that needed to be protected and sheltered.

But that didn't give cause for Nanny and Coran to spank her or tie her to her chair as they had did when she had tried to get out and fight. She remembered being locked in her room numerous times – once for daring to wear a bikini in front of the guys. What had been wrong with that? What had been wrong with acting like someone her age, enjoying the company of her friends and not to mention some of the looks that the guys shyly gave her. But to Nanny it had been wrong. SHE had been wrong and so they had locked her in her room, only to have Lotor break in and try to kidnap her.

Lotor... Allura thought of him with a mixture of confusion and fascination. She had remembered being so frightened that night when he had broken in. He had been so close and the utter maleness of him overpowering. He could have done anything to her in that short space of time but all he did was stalk her almost menacingly, his eyes taking her in. It had been both frightening and yet – yet – exciting. Allura felt a hot flush wash over her cheeks.

Oh she didn't know! He was a monster anyway, like his father, Zarkon and he was proud of it too.

But – he had never humiliated her either. Or would he? Keith and the other guys always seemed to defer to Coran. Oh they hid it but she could tell. It was as if she didn't have an idea in her head at all and if she did, it had to be approved or disapproved.

It wasn't FAIR. It – it –

"Damn NANNY!" Allura hit the mattress again with her fist. "And damn Coran, and Keith and Lance and everyone else!" Tears started to fall from her cheeks. Great, now she was crying – just like some little girl – just like the little girl she still was.

"I want to grow up!" Allura swiped at her tears. "Why can't I? I know what I want so why can't I just – just –"

All – llllura...

"Huh?" Allura sat up and looked about her darkened room.

Alll – lllura, my daughter... The ghostly face of Alfor, hovering over her bed.

"Father?" Allura wiped away the last of her tears.

Run, child, ruuuuunn...

"But – but why?" Allura knew that her father's spirit usually came in times of trouble. Surely this was one of them.

Lotor comes... you must run to the woods – near the Painted Caves... hide yourself until he departs...

"Oh, no!" Allura's eyes were wide. "But that means he'll attack and I'll need to – "

Run, my child... run...

"But... " Allura said.

Run... go now or it will be too late... Alfor started to disappear.

"No, father, wait!" Allura reached out but he was gone. She got up and got dressed in her pink and white jumpsuit. She had better do as her father advised. After all he was never wrong. A twinge of doubt came over Allura as she thought that once again she was letting another dictate what she should do. But this was her father and this was different than Nanny or Coran at all. Her very freedom was at stake, for Lotor would surely take it from her.

How can he take what has never existed, Ally? Huh? Allura winced as she slipped on her boots. She ignored the voice in her head as she sneaked out of the castle and started to run...


"It is done, Prince Lotor... " Hagar cackled as she peered into her crystal. Lotor peered over the witch's shoulder, a frown on his face.

"Where is she?" Lotor asked.anxiously.

"Why she's doing as her dear 'father' bid her to – running to the woods near the Painted Caves. She's running toward the woods as far from the castle as she can go. She'll be quite tired by the time she gets there... " Hagar gave Lotor a sideways glance.

"Good." Lotor smiled slightly. "Father will only give me one more chance... "

"I'm sure you can get the princess this time, Sire." She'll be too tired to fight you – if you can even handle that much... The witch thought to herself.

"I better... " Lotor hissed under his breath. He was tired of her refusals but mostly his father was tired of HIM. The sooner he took Allura for his bride and killed off that miserable excuse for a father, the better. Without another word to Hagar, Lotor turned on his heel and left her lab. His destination – Arus.

Part Two

Running... it felt both exhausting and yet exhilarating at the same time. It was dark still, not long until dawn, but Allura's eyes had adjusted to the darkness and she welcomed it.

Running... a basic thing really. Running free... running wild... running with the wind in her hair – if she took out the hairpins that held her hair up in the proper princess bun. The breeze in her face was a cooling one and yet her skin felt hot. There was an urgency here – run for her freedom, for her very life, for Arus too.

Lotor is coming... Lotor is coming... run... run... run...

Her pounding footsteps seemed to echo those words the further she ran, but then then they seemed to change of their own accord.

Free... free... running to be free... Allura's heart seemed to sing. She wished she were near Castle Lake now – she'd simply throw off all abandon and plunge into the icy lake with nothing confining her. She'd feel the water on her skin, the way goosebumps would prickle up when she'd hit a cold patch. The delicious sensation of floating free, unhindered by gravity. Flying Blue Lion was almost that way too. It was the only freedom she had really and even then she knew it couldn't last forever. Soon enough she'd be married off or Queen and then –

Allura stopped to rest, bending over to hunker down on her knees – a most unladylike posture according to Nanny. God, she was stupid. Running off without taking her small container of water. But she had been in a hurry and now she was thirsty. Well there was nothing to be done for it. She knew that near the Painted Caves was an ancient well that drew off an underground stream. In the ancient days of Arus, it had been an encampment of Queen Ariella's forces when she fought to regain the planet from the Viscount and would be king, Aerus.

She could just hear Nanny's fussing and screaming when she discovered that she was gone and a part of her wanted to go back. Another part of her did not, fearing that her father was right and that if she did go back, she'd just be humiliated again. She couldn't take that anymore. But her thoughts were jumbled as she thought about the merits of simply turning around and going back. She could face Lotor and she could face Nanny and Coran, stand up to them and tell them all that she was a woman who would one day become Queen of Arus on her own merit alone. But then again, would she? Would she instead try to sneak back into the castle, go back into her room and pretend that she had been asleep all along like the good little girl she was? Go back and hear Nanny's apology that wasn't really an apology because after all what she had done was for Allura's own good? Allura swallowed hard and a moment later she began to run again – not sure if she was running to or from something...


Lotor had a good vantage point from where he stood. His tall figure was silhouetted against the tall trees and his cruiser was close enough to reach to make a clean getaway with the princess.He saw the Painted Caves nearby and smirked. Soon enough Allura would be his – and so would Arus and his father's empire. He deserved it after all the humiliations he had endured under Zarkon.

Pampered son. Ha! If only others knew of what he had to go though for those very things. Riches, wealth and planets he had conquered. Beautiful and willing women were the crown jewels in his harem, but was he really free? No, he was not. Even when he had been successful at conquering planets for his miserable father, the old bastard still had to always put some insult or derogatory tone into his compliments – like mixing a dollop of poison into the sweetest wine, turning it bitter. Oh he was a grown man but to his father, he was nothing but a tool. Heir. Heir to what? To be bossed by his father until he was married to some simpering girl whose family happened to have connections? Never mind that he loved Allura, oh no. To his father, that love was weak and –

He sighed. It did make him weak. Weak enough to come here and try to convince her one last time to become his Queen. If he had been strong he would have took Allura a long time before this. Sated his appetite for her until she would have been another nameless pleasure in his harem. She wasn't though and he knew this in his heart. She was beautiful, but she was brave to stand up to his father's might – and his own stubborn deSire to have her for his own. She was noble – foolish perhaps – but noble enough to save her planet from ruin. In battle she was not as adept as a seasoned warrior would be, but she held her own with a tenacity that few women possessed. Those were the qualities that he wanted for his Queen. Once he had daydreamed of her at his side, dressed in wedding finery and he had thought that it wouldn't matter if she wanted to be by his side or not. It did matter though, he thought with a pang. It did matter to him that she not look at him in fear and loathing. She thought him a monster because he was quite proud of the cruel things had done. In truth he would give everything just to have her accept him – no love him – even if he didn't deserve it.

Lotor shook his head angrily and he straightened up, his pride pushing through the tangled thoughts. He DID deserve her! After all, HE had conquered most of his father's planets, didn't he? He was worthy to be admired and worshiped.

~Are you, Lotor? Are you?~ A niggling of self–doubt slithered into his mind, but he ignored it by scanning the horizon for any sign of her. Perhaps she had changed her mind or perhaps she ran elsewhere! If he looked for her in his star cruiser, he was sure to be spotted and that wouldn't do at all.

And then she appeared. Lotor's eyes brightened at the joy of seeing her all alone. Now would be his chance!

On to Parts 3-4