Day Four: Torture
Takes place around the middle of season three, no spoilers. Words: 1.7k
Lance gasped in pain, his arms straining against the chains that held him up, making him dangle a foot above the floor. Haggar hit him with another blast of energy and Lance almost blacked out, his mind in a blurry haze of pain.
“Tell us the secrets of voltron!” she screeched, her face contorted with hatred.
“Never!” Lance groaned, the chains digging into his raw wrists. “No matter what you say, no matter what you do, I will never betray my friends.” Another strand of energy hit Lance square in the stomach and he screamed, sweat dripping in his eyes. Haggar prepared another hit but Lotor placed a hand on her shoulder.
“Now, Haggar, we don’t want to kill the boy, do we?” he chucked as if Lance’s death was a joke. To Lotor, it probably was. “Give him a break, and we’ll try again later. Maybe some loneliness will make him break.”
“But-” Haggar protested, but Lotor shushed her.
“Obey me, Haggar, and soon I will allow you to use the full extent of your powers.” Haggar seemed to like that and her ragged face contorted into and ugly smile. “Goodnight, blue paladin.” Lotor flicked off the lights, plunging Lance into darkness.
Lance wasn’t sure how long he had been in the Galra base. After a scouting mission gone horribly wrong he had been knocked out by one of the sentrys, and he had woken up some time later in a strange room he didn’t recognize, strong chains attached to the ceiling holding him in place. At first he had tried escaping but in the end he had realized it was hopeless and he resigned himself to waiting for the rest of his team to find him.
Being alone in the dark gave Lance time to think, and sometimes he thought that the thoughts drifting in and out of his head were worse than anything the galra could ever come up with. They don’t need you, whispered the little voice in his head. Shiro’s back, and they have five paladins again. They’re not coming for you. You’re not needed. Lance squeezed his eyes shut, willing the voice to go away. Recently his doubts had gone away, leaving him in a temporary state of happiness but here, alone in the dark of the galra base they had resurfaced, tormenting him when he was alone. Lance took a deep breath, staring up at the ceiling, willing the voices to stop.
Lance wasn’t sure when he fell asleep but he woke up to metal clinking together. He opened his eyes to see a long white table spread out in front of him, covered in long metal objects, their ends sharp and pointy. Lotor stood on the other side, polishing a long spear like object. The lights glinted off of the end, making the tip look purple. When Lotor saw Lance’s eyes open he grinned, setting the spear down. His grin wasn’t friendly or kind; it more closely resembled the grin a predator gave its prey before pouncing and ripping it to shreds. Haggar was no where in sight.
“Hello, Lance,” Lotor said, examining a thin metal stick with a studded ball at the end. “I wasn’t sure if you’d wake up this time. Haggar really.got you that time.” He was casual, the possibility of Lance’s death not even bringing up an ounce of emotion. “I could call Haggar in again, but I thought some time for just us would be helpful. After all, I am well practiced in the art of torture.” He selected one of the spears. “Here’s how this is going to work. You tell me what I want to know,” he looked up at Lance, a gleam in his eyes. “Or I impale you with this spear.”
Lance didn’t think he had ever seen anything that sharp. The closest he had ever encountered was his Mama’s steak knife, and he had seen that cut straight through the toughest meat you could imagine. “Let’s begin, shall we?” asked Lotor. “What is Voltron’s greatest weakness? There’s something off about Voltron, but I just can’t seem to put my finger on it.” Lotor didn’t know about the lion switch, and there was no way Lance was going to get rid of the team’s only advantage.
“No,” he responded, trying to stop his voice from shaking. He wanted to ooze confidence, as if he was sure his team would be there to save him any minute, when in reality he wasn’t sure if they were coming at all.
Without hesitation Lotor plunged the spear into Lance’s stomach. Lance was stunned for the first few seconds until he screamed, the pain like nothing he had ever experienced. The wound burned, pain shooting through his veins.
“Hurts, doesn’t it?” Lotor mused. “The poison won’t kill you, at least not immediately. You will stay in pain until you tell me what I need to know. Are you prepared to do so?” Lance couldn’t speak, the pain too great but he managed to make his mouth moist enough to collect a small ball of spit, sending it flying into Lotor’s smug face. The smile disappeared from his face, replaced with a sneer.
“Prepare to pay for that, paladin.” He grabbed the thin pole with the spiky ball on the end, sticking it inside Lance’s wound, stretching. it out. Blood dropped out onto his bare stomach, stopping near his belly button. Lance bit his tongue, unwilling to show Lotor how much pain he was in. Lance would never give him that satisfaction.
For what seemed like eons to Lance Lotor asked the same question, and Lance refused to answer. Every time Lotor would make the hole in Lance’s stomach bigger and Lance would hide the pain, and ignore the fact that the skin around the wound was slowly turning green. Soon he was nearly passed out, the blinding pain keeping him in a limbo between consciousness and unconsciousness. He was bleeding slowly, the torture tools on the table covered in blood, his blood. The thought made him sick, that a part of him was so close to the galra prince.
He barely noticed when the commotion started, the doors crashing down all around him. He glanced up, the scene sliding in and out of focus. Five figures lept into action, their features blurred.
“He’s getting away!” someone yelled, and three ran out one of the doors, the only one still attached to the wall. The remaining two figures, clad in black and pink armor, approached him. The one in black reached up, unhooking Lance from the ceiling. Lance felt large, soft hands gathering him up and cradling him in his arms.
“You’re going to be fine, Lance,” came Shiro’s voice, sounding like it was a million miles away. “I’ve got you.”
Lance woke a few times after that, a different paladin always watching over him. When he woke for good he was in his bed, aching all over. Keith sat by his bedside, his head in his hands as he stared at Lance. Lanxe trued to sit up but he was stopped by a blinding pain in his stomach.
“I wouldn’t do that,” Keith advised. “The bandages won’t hold.” Keith looked exhausted, as if he hadn’t gotten a wink of sleep in years. Lance lifted up his shirt to see his abdomen wrapped tightly in thick white bandages. Underneath he could see a faint shade of red and green.
“What happened?” Lance groaned, his voice barely discernible. Keith glanced down, sadness filling his expression.
“When we finally found you you were almost dead. When you didn’t come back from your mission we searched for you, but Lotor hid the base. It took us a week to get to you. I’m not exactly sure what kind of poison he used, but it could have killed you. The galra have antidotes, but no one had any idea how to cure you. You were green by the time we got you to a pod. You’ve been asleep for a week and a half.”
That long? Lance had thought he had been out for two days, at the most. He definitely didn’t feel as rested as he should. He was still tired and in pain, his wound throbbing.
Keith reached over, putting the back of his hand on Lance’s cheek. “Your fever has gone down, at least. There were times that it was so high I was scared it might be the death of you.” Keith was keeping up a brave front for Lance but Lance could see the worry hiding in Keith’s eyes. From the sound of it he had been on the brink of death for a week and a half, the feeling of worry coating everyone in the castle. “How do you feel now?” Lance answered with a shrug, not wanting to scare Keith any more than he already had.
“C’mon, Lance,” Keith pleaded.
“Not great,” Lance responded, and Keith gave a dry laugh.
“I’d think that was the understatement of the century. It’s not like anyone expects you to wake up at a hundred percent. Allura said you’d need at least a week of bed rest before she’d even think of letting you out of the castle. Personally, I agree with her.”
“What?” Lance scoffed. “When have you ever cared about my health?” Keith seemed mad.
“Do you even know how scared I was?” He was definitely mad. “For a week and a half you were on the brink of death. You had a 106 degree fever! You’re my friend, Lance, and I almost lost you.” Lance couldn’t help but be shocked. He had always thought that he and Keith had always just been teammates, nothing more, or at least that was what Keith thought. Clearly, Lance had been mistaken.
“I’m sorry,” Lance finally managed to squeak out after struggling for words.
“It’s fine,” Keith said with a strangled smile. “Just- try not to scare me like that again. So, are you hungry? Hunk’s been talking about his famous healing soup ever since we got you back. Personally O think it’s his coping mechanism, but it probably tastes good.” Lance swung his legs over the side of his bed, testing out his legs.
“I’m not sure how well I can walk.” Keith reached out an arm for Lance to grab on to.
“Don’t worry about it. I’ll be there every step of the way.”