The Hockey Game

"This is quickly being called the match of the century!" the announcer said excitedly.

"True. People will be talking about this for ages. Already the Alliance team has taken a brutal beating by the Drule team," the co-announcer added.

"So it's thirteen-three for the Drules."

"Like that's a surprise," Lotor said under his breath, clearly bored.

"So it looks like the Alliance is using their last time-out to regroup, and the Captain does not look pleased."

Allura watched the events anxiously. She had known that agreeing to the challenge from the Drule had been a mistake, but Lance and Sven had insisted on it. She could not understand what the men saw on the sport. In her opinion, it was brutal and senseless. And she especially could not understand why they used ice, of all surfaces, to play upon. It was just too treacherous and insane in her view.

The invitation, or rather challenge, had come in a month earlier. The Drule found out that Earth had a similar sport to their own and King Zarkon decided to test out the strength of each member of the Voltron Force by staging the game. Lance and Sven, although wary, had promptly accepted since they missed playing hockey. The rules were slightly different; in fact, the only rule was: get the puck in the net by whatever means.

"Coach Koran and Captain Keith look like they're not in agreement on what to do next."

"Oh, Keith has just skated off, calling the rest of the team out. It looks like they're ready to continue."

"And the puck is dropped. Oh what a hit. The left wing, Jeff has been taken out by the Drule right wing, Cossack."

"It's just as well, he wasn't doing much," Lotor commented again.

"Omigod. Both teams don't seem to care that Jeff is lying on the ice after taking that stick in the kidneys. Lance and Sven from the Alliance have already thrown their gloves off ..."

"Not a good move."

"They're both on top of Hazar, trying to beat him senseless."

"Sven's got his stick back and is bludgeoning Hazar!"

"And an uppercut from Hazar sends Lance off to the side. Oooh! Lance's helmet's come off! Cossack and Yurak have already begun taking turns punching him across the face."

Lotor sat drumming his fingers in front of him. "And I'm stuck here missing all the fun."

"The Alliance Captain has gotten into a heated argument with the ref. It looks like the linesmen are having trouble stopping the action!"

"Oh, the tragedy of it all!"

Blood stained the ice and several of the players from both sides had already been removed from the game with broken limbs and in cases, missing body parts. Equipment involved an armour-like outfit, but even that was not enough to contain the force of the physical blows delivered.

And then, to Allura's horror, another member of the Alliance team got knocked flat and he couldn't get up. She was relieved that Keith, Lance, Hunk and Sven were still standing, despite the many hits, but she was very concerned about them. Across the arena from her she could see King Zarkon's box, and Lotor sat beside his father looking like he was bored to tears. Upon seeing the last extra player of the Alliance removed and the obvious disadvantage at having one less player, Lotor leaned to say something to his father. They seemed to argue over something and Lotor stormed off.

Allura closed her eyes and said a small prayer for the Alliance team. It was obvious they were under a severe disadvantage playing the Drule who relished in this form of bloody sport. Although she was repulsed, she continued to watch the game in morbid fascination.

"And we have an addition to the Alliance team!" The announcer suddenly cried out. "It seems that the game will balance out after all!"

Scowling, Allura looked at Pidge who was sitting beside her. Pidge shrugged, not knowing the answer either. And then they saw a tall, armoured form enter the ice rink. Allura gasped as she saw long white hair cascading down the back of the player from under the helmet.

"Lotor?!" Pidge and Allura gasped together.

"And we have Prince Lotor of Doom joining the Alliance!" The announcer said enthusiastically. "This game is in for some interesting twists!"

"Yeah, Bob. This is definitely turning into the match of the century!"

"Let's see how things turn out."

Lotor entered the rink and immediately ploughed his way to the puck, using his shoulder to knock anyone out of his way. He moved at a surprising speed and dodged anyone who moved in to batter him out the way. He reached the main melee, where the puck was, and with a spin, snatched it away. He then began to literally run across the ice with the puck, dodging or battering the opposing players.

"And the Alliance finally has a player who knows how to play!" Bob, the announcer said.

"Prince Lotor steals the puck, and what a steal!"

"The Prince just took Cossack and tossed him into the box like a rag doll. It looks like he's out for the game!"

"And it's Prince Lotor down the ice, Keith and Sven trying to cover him..."

"Unsuccessfully. Yurak has cross checked Keith into the boards."

"That's gotta hurt!"

"Keith is down, and the ice gets another coat of blood tonight."

The Alliance's fourth goal that night was quite dramatic, with Lotor being pushed at the last moment and dragging two other players with him. They all ended up in the net with the puck in a tangle of hockey sticks and limbs.

Allura looked puzzled at Pidge. "He's helping us?"

Pidge was surprised. "Who would have guessed!"

"The ref has signalled the goal and is about to send out the medics to check on the injured players on the ice."

"Hazar seems to be annoyed with the medics trying to carry him off the ice. It doesn't look good for Hunk and Keith who still have not moved since they got hit."

"Oooh, Hazar delivers a well placed upper cut to the medic."

"He must be feeling better!"

"Oh, wait, now Keith has done the same, delivering a less enthusiastic slap. But he looks hurt."

"Yeah Bob. It's obvious that he's hurting."

"Oh shut up!" Keith snapped at the announcers.

"Just doing our job!"

Lotor moved to the centre at the starting point. When the ref signalled for them to begin, instead of taking the puck, Lotor tackled the Drule in front of him and then was shoved roughly to the side by another who came to take the puck. Regaining his balance, Lotor chased after the usurper and knocked him aside a few metres from the Alliance net. He saw as Hunk got the puck and began to move back towards the Drule net. Lotor smiled subtly and raced up, overcame Hunk and continued on, working as a battering ram to clear the way for him. To Hunk went the credit of the fifth goal.

The next goal was Lance's. Lotor was going at full speed towards the Drule net when a wall of players moved to get on his way. He waited till the last moment, shot the puck at tremendous speed at Lance who was behind the Drule, and then jumped up into the air, flipped over their heads and landed on his feet as Lance scored and the Drule fell into a disastrous heap on the ice.

Lotor arched an eyebrow. "Wussup...?" He asked no one in particular.

Keith caught up to Lotor when they began to regroup again. "What gives?"

Lotor looked at him. "I got bored." He shrugged.

Keith nodded, not quite understanding the logic, but knowing that they didn't have time to talk right at that time.

"And what a devastating miscalculation on the part of the Drule team."

"They'll be feeling that tomorrow."

"That's going to leave a mark."

"But you've gotta remember they must be used to playing with the Prince."

"But not against him."

"And the ref signals the face off."

"Ooh! Hazar and Yurak have double teamed the Prince..."

"But he's still standing! What a player! He's got the puck and is off."

"The other Alliance players aren't doing much to keep the rest of the Drules back. Sven has broken from the melee, and skates after Prince Lotor."

"He passes the puck to Sven who has a clear shot of the net."

"He shoots, he scores!!!!" The announcer sounded as if ready to blow a few arteries.

The game continued on with Lotor taking the blunt of the blows to assure that the other members of his team scored and that the Drule didn't. The Alliance caught up with the lost scores quickly enough.

"He's an awesome player," Pidge commented.

"I don't think it has anything to do with how well he plays," Allura said. "I think it's more to do with the fact that he's just as rough as the others if not more."

"Well, at least they are not hesitating to hit their Prince," Pidge grinned.

"I'm sure that rank has nothing to do with the game. Lotor looks like he's been playing this for a long time, and by the looks of it, he always get just as beaten as he beats." Allura shook his head. "What a horrible way to grow up!"

Pidge looked thoughtful. "That certainly explains a lot about them. Lance was telling me that Hockey can be rough, but I don't think this is what he meant."

Allura nodded and looked back at the rink. And that's when she saw Lotor fall.

"And Prince Lotor has just been passed the puck from Hunk."

"He's going full tilt down the alley!"

"And the Drule defenseman is standing his ground, guarding the net."

"And the defensemen has just knocked the Prince flat!"

The Prince had been coming at full speed towards a particularly large Drule. The latter, however, waited until the last moment to lower himself and using his shoulder, barrelled into Lotor's stomach, lifted him high over his head and tossed him back. Lotor fell in a loud crash on his back and remained unmoving on the ice.

"Ooh! It looks like Prince Lotor is out of the game," The announcer said. "The addition certainly boosted the Alliance, but now the Drule will probably gain the upper hand again."

"That's right, Bob! The Alliance has just lost their key player."

"Keith has called the team aside, using the time for clearing the bodies out to his advantage."

"Wait, the Captain and the right wing have gone to check on their fallen comrade."

Whereas penalties did not apply, the ref did call for a pause so that the body could be removed. By the time the rowdy Drules acknowledged this and stopped, Lotor had rolled to his side with Keith and Lance's help. He waved a dismissing hand at them and got to his hands and knees. The medics arrived with a stretcher and after getting into an argument with Lotor, who refused to be taken away, shrugged and left. Lotor got to his feet unsteadily and scanned the rink.

"Come, we have a game to finish," he said quietly.

Lance scowled. "Ahm, Lotor, you should pull out, man. That was one heck of a blow."

Keith nodded. "We're winning and there are only a few minutes left."

Lotor shook his head. "To the game, men..." He closed his eyes briefly. "It just winded me. Come, let us go."

"Wait. Prince Lotor seems to be insisting he's good to finish the game!"

"What a trooper!"

"Prince Lotor is up and skating around as if this were a leisure skate!"

"Oh, it looks like we've upset the Prince. He's standing in the middle of the arena, tossing his stick towards us."

"You have to give him credit. That was a great throw. Perhaps he might take up professional baseball after this."

"We'll get our interviewer to ask him if cross-sport is in the cards for the future."

And the game restarted. Pidge noticed that Lotor was skating a lot slower than before and that he was dodging more than ramming the Drule players. Allura also saw this and sighed in worry. The game lasted a little longer and it was finally over, with the Alliance coming out victorious.

"With three seconds left in the game, Prince Lotor, assisted by Keith and Sven have won the game!"

"And Bob, the Drule do not look pleased!"

"Wait Bob! Hazar is taking out his frustration on his own goalie!"

"And the others have joined in!"

"Oh the insanity of it all!"

Lotor made quick his exit while the Alliance gathered for a group hug and to receive the trophy. He made his way to the change room, and by the time he managed to painfully strip himself he heard the others coming. He rushed to the shower stall holding his abdomen and let the water wash over him, to the world looking like he was just enjoying a shower after a sweaty game.

"Hey, Lotor," Lance called from somewhere in the change room. "We're going to celebrate. Wanna come?"

"Ahm... I think I'll pass," Lotor said, sounding indifferent. "I don't think my father is going to be too happy with me not only beating our own team but also going out to make merry with you."

"How's the belly?" Hunk asked. "That was a pretty rough blow you got there."

"Oh, it's all good." Lotor said distracted.

"Are you sure?" Keith looked very concerned. "That wasn't a love nudge."

"I've come across some pretty rough love nudges," Lotor said distantly.

No one found it too strange when they were done dressing that Lotor was still in the shower. They figured the Prince was just vain and was taking his time about his hair or something. Meanwhile, Lotor had his head against the wall, and his shoulders hunched over.

Allura met the Voltron pilots outside the gates. They all embraced and Allura knitted her brows.

"How's Lotor?" She asked.

"He's alright." Lance said.

"Where is he?" Pidge asked. "We didn't see him come out, and we've been here for a while waiting for you guys."

"He's still in the shower," Hunk said. "I guess he's got some big date tonight or something."

Keith shook his head. "I have a feeling he wasn't too truthful about his state of health."

"You should go and check on him," Allura said.

"Well, he won't admit to it," Lance said helplessly. "We even invited him to come out with us."

Allura sighed. "Let me go and talk to him." She began to walk into the corridor.

"Ahm, Princess, that's - er - a men's change room and Lotor was, well, naked," Keith said.

"Don't worry, I'll call before I walk in," she said flatly. "You don't really think I want to see him naked, do you?"

She moved quickly and decided to peek in before calling to Lotor. Luckily for her, Lotor had already put on his pants and sat on a bench, with his head back, leaning against the wall. She gasped as she saw his stomach. The bruise was black and purple and it was from his waist almost to his chest. It was not wonder he had refused to come out. He was probably in too much pain to even move.

"Lotor..." She called softly as she entered.

But the damage was done. Lotor startled and jumped up. He grimaced and then blanked his face. "Allura... What are you doing here?"

She put her hands on her hips. "I'm here because you're too stubborn to admit that you're hurt."

"Oh, it's just a flesh wound." He said casually and bent slowly to get his shirt. "You know, you shouldn't be here..." He turned slightly and smirked at her. "Alone in a change room with me..."

Allura rolled her eyes. "Can you not think of anything else? I'm here because I'm concerned about you!" she snapped. "Is this the thanks I get? At least pretend you're decent, and stop saying such things."

Lotor sighed. "I'm sorry..." he mumbled and pulled on his shirt gingerly. "The others are probably waiting for you."

"Yes, I know." She paused. "Are you going to have a doctor look at that?"

"It's just a bruise." He shrugged.

"It looks to be a lot more than just a bruise!" she said sternly. "Stop being so proud and promise me you'll have it at least looked at."

Lotor sighed loudly. "Fine."

Allura crossed her arms. "You're lying."

"Allura, it's..."

She interrupted. "It's bad!" she said angrily. "Are you blind and numb? Come with me, Lotor. We'll have it checked out now."



Lotor nodded and complied, if a little slow. The pain was intense and he was honestly afraid of fainting. As it was, he felt light-headed and he had to think before making any movement. He followed Allura as if he were in an underwater dream, and by the time they reached the infirmary he was completely unaware of where or whom he was. However, he felt safe with Allura and did not make the previous effort to remain in control of himself. He vaguely remembered being led to a bed and lay down where he succumbed to unconsciousness.

Allura looked up at Dr. Gorma apprehensively. He examined Lotor carefully and looked back at the Princess.

"I'm surprised he lasted as long as he did..." he said quietly. "He's got at least two broken ribs. Luckily for him, the bones did not pierce any internal organs so he doesn't need surgery." He paused. "Princess, he's a mess."

"Can you do anything for him?" she asked.

"I'll do all I can." He smiled. "Go now. I'll patch him up here and then have him moved to the castle where I have better instruments to monitor him."

"Thank you, Doctor."

Allura entered the infirmary with Keith four days after the fateful game. King Zarkon had been indifferent when they had called him to let him know of Lotor and to ask him about moving Lotor to Doom. By the tone of Zarkon's voice, it had been obvious that Lotor would have simply been neglected and either he would heal on his own or die.

"How is he?" Allura asked.

"I can't break the fever," Dr. Gorma said, frustrated. "It doesn't get better or worse, it just stays there, lingering."

Lotor had developed the fever about two hours after falling unconscious. He responded to all outward stimuli but had not woken up, and often he would open his eyes and snarl whenever he received a particularly painful injection.

"Is this normal?" Keith asked, confused. "Aside from the fever and being out of it, I mean?"

Dr. Gorma shook his head. "I don't know. I've never administered a Drule before." He paused and moved to the bed where Lotor lay in a casual sprawl. "And this is what I find most interesting." He lifted the blanket enough to show Lotor's abdomen. "Look at that. Princess, you saw how he was four days ago. Notice any difference?"

Allura's eyes widened. The horrendous bruise was now a darker shade of blue than Lotor's own complexion and nearly gone. Keith looked at it, but not having seen how the damage had looked initially just shrugged.

"He's healing at a remarkable rate." Dr. Gorma covered Lotor who shifted in his sleep/unconsciousness. "And look at these."

He placed two X-rays on the light table. One had four bones broken right in half and the other showed the same four bones with only a few cracks where the break had been. Keith began to understand what had shocked Allura.

"I have a feeling that the fever and the unconsciousness are just side effects of his own natural healing process. What would have taken months for anyone to heal, it will take him only a few weeks." Dr. Gorma paused. "And given that he's half human, I'm certain a pure Drule would heal even faster."

"He's half human?" Allura and Keith asked together.

Dr. Gorma raised an eyebrow. "According to the blood sample I got from him, he's got human DNA." He looked at Lotor as if he was a strange puzzle.

Keith marvelled over the discovery. "I wonder who his mother was..." he said distractedly. "I don't think any woman would have married Zarkon willingly."

Allura sighed. "That certainly explains a lot about Lotor," she said quietly.

The Princess had gained much insight into Lotor since the game. A lot about his disposition was explained since she began to understand what kind of people he had grown up with, how they treated one another, and how his father felt about him. She looked down at him. He looked peaceful, his hair in a dishevelled mess, fanned out over the pillows.

"When do you think he'll wake up?" Allura asked.

Dr. Gorma looked thoughtful. "I would guess in a few days... If my guesses are correct."

Allura nodded and left with Keith.

True to Dr. Gorma's words, Lotor woke three days later. He blinked owlishly and then scowled, confused as to where he was. Before he could get up, Allura and Dr. Gorma walked in to find him sitting up in bed.

"You're awake!" Allura said cheerfully.

"Where am I?" Lotor asked.

"In an infirmary on Arus," Dr. Gorma said. "You have been here for about a week." He moved over and pushed Lotor back on the bed. "Stay still for a few moments. I'll just run the last tests."

"What happened?" Lotor asked curiously, obliging to the Doctor's command. "I remember you coming to see me and then, nothing."

"I brought you to Dr. Gorma and you fell unconscious," Allura said. "We've been taking care of you. We called your father, but he didn't seem too willing to take you back in the state you were in. I was afraid of him not looking after you properly so you stayed here with us."

Lotor nodded. "Thank you... That was not necessary. I didn't mean to be a burden."

Allura shook her head. "You weren't." She knitted her brows, confused at Lotor's sudden polite disposition. "Lotor, why did you join the game? I mean, why did you join the Alliance?"

He shrugged. "Frankly because I was really bored." He paused. "I also knew that you guys were going to lose. You don't strike me as the type who can play a real Drule game. So I decided to tip the scale lightly. Hockey has always been my favourite game."

Allura looked shocked. "Lotor! That game is brutal and bloody! How can you like that..." She rolled her eyes. "Ah, yes, I almost forgot who you were for a moment."

"What's that supposed to mean?" Lotor demanded, sitting up.

Dr. Gorma placed him down on the bed again. "You're not done yet." He turned to Allura. "Princess, please stop upsetting the patient."

"You've been told."

Allura looked affronted. "Preparations will be made for you departure as soon as Dr. Gorma releases you. Good day." She left.

Lotor smirked. "She's certainly something else."

Dr. Gorma looked up from his clipboard. "Prince Lotor, tell me something, have you always been able to heal at a such phenomenal rate?"

"Phenomenal? There's nothing phenomenal about it really. I'm a runt, and I'm the slowest to heal out of everyone." Lotor looked annoyed.

"You're not a runt. You're half human."

"That's just an excuse." Lotor waved a dismissing hand. "If you're wondering why I get better quickly, it's because I'm half Drule."

"I suspected as much."

"But there's really nothing phenomenal at my personal recovery rate, let me assure you."

"Still..." Gorma looked back at his papers. "You've defied all the scientific studies I've ever learned and conducted."

"So let me guess..." Lotor arched an eyebrow. "You would like me to stay so that you could study me, am I right?"

"Ahm... sort of."

"I don't think so." Lotor stood up. "I'm going back to Doom today. My father is probably birthing a giraffe by now because I'm not there to lead the attacks." He rolled his eyes. "That creature can be quite melodramatic, let me tell you. I think we would have a whole zoo by now if it was physically possible."

At that Keith strolled in. "What did you say to Allura?" Keith sounded upset.

"She couldn't handle the truth," Lotor said.

Keith raised a suspicious eyebrow but said nothing. "So what are you doing now?"

"I'm going back to Doom."

"Why?" Keith asked. "I doubt that your father will want you around after you helped us out."

"Oh, that was a week ago." Lotor waved a dismissing hand. "The old fogy can't remember that far back. He's probably mad now because I'm not there."

Keith shrugged indifferently at Lotor. "Well, thanks for helping out in the game. We couldn't have done it without your help."

"I know." Lotor began to get dressed.

"You weren't just standing around like this when the Princess came in, were you?" Keith looked upset at Lotor's nakedness.

Lotor, being Lotor, decided to take full advantage of the situation. "Well, it is my room and all... She just walked in." He shrugged. "She didn't look like she regretted the vista."

Without warning, Keith jumped at Lotor, and punched him across the face. Lotor looked angrily at him, before picking him up and throwing him hard against the wall.

"Don't try me, little man," Lotor snapped. "You don't have the parts to stand against me." He finished getting dressed and left.

On his way to Doom, Lotor thought about the events that had just passed. He knew Allura was caring and very humane and would never allow anyone to suffer regardless of whom he or she was. This certainly explained why she had taken the time and effort to help him. What he did not understand was why the Princess and Keith always asked him to change his ways and to abandon his current lifestyle. Did they realise that he was happy as he was? That he enjoyed the supremacy he held?

Lotor sighed and looked out the windows on the ship at the universe. 'Why do they keep pestering me? There's so much out there, why don't they bother someone else? And why is my father so bent in capturing Arus anyway? He'll gain nothing from it. At least I get the Princess...' He smirked. 'And won't that be fun!'

Keith was lounging on a couch when Allura finally came out of her rooms after venting her frustration with her meeting with Lotor. Keith regarded her and sighed.

Allura sat across from him and cocked her head. "What's on your mind?"

"Princess, when you went to see Lotor..." He paused. "Was he at least decent?"

"He's a pig!" Allura huffed. "At first he was very courteous, and then he just became a royal pain in the rear!"

"Well, I meant more in a physical sense..." Keith flushed lightly. "Was he dressed?"

Allura scowled. "Well, no."

Keith looked very surprised.

"I mean, he was under the blankets, so I guess it didn't really matter." She paused. "If that's what you meant."

Keith nodded. "He said he exposed himself to you. I didn't think he would lower himself that much, but when you're involved, I never know what to expect from him."

"I understand, Keith." Allura said quietly. "Lotor can be quite bad at times. I wish he could mend his ways and we could live in peace, but I don't think that's ever going to happen."

"No, probably not," Keith sighed regretfully. "He's not all that bad, you know. Playing with him, gave me a whole new insight about him. He is quite resourceful and an excellent team player. He could have taken over the game and won it alone, but he made sure to pass the puck to the rest of us so that we could have a chance too."

"I saw that. I was rather surprised at that, truth be told. I thought he had joined in just to show off."

"Well, he did do quite a bit of that," Keith said bitterly.

Allura nodded. ''Well, at least he shows off well...' she thought distractedly and looked into Keith's eyes. "But it's over. He's gone and now we just have to wait till he comes back and commences his assaults again."


The End

Story by: KK60