"The Ambassadors of Arus."

Story by Adele
Story Copyright 2002
A story based on the series, "Voltron, The Third Dimension"

The characters of Voltron are the property of World Event Productions.  All other characters are the copyright of Adele.  Please do not use them without asking for permission.  Thank you.

Enjoy!


Chapter 11
Love's Pain

Allura just sat quietly on her cot... shock was starting to set in, as she listened to the tale that Lance, Pidge and Hunk were telling her. 

"I... I can't believe what I'm hearing!" she murmured to the boys. "He actually said he's in love with her?"

Lance nodded solemnly.  "Yeah, that's what he said, alright.  But I don't believe it!" 

Allura stared at the ground.  Her face was expressionless.  Pidge finally came up to her and sat next to her on the cot.  Lance and Hunk came up and stood in front of her. 

Lance squatted down in front of her.  "Princess... he's been hypnotized or something.  He 's not himself.  He was going to tell her once and for all, that she should leave him alone."  Then Lance shook his head.  "I just don't know what happened after that."

A deafening silence fell on the tent.  Hunk finally placed his hand on her shoulder.  "Princess, say something...please!" he urged.

She sighed heavily, and looked up at the boys.  "I have to go talk to him.  Maybe if he sees me..."

Lance grabbed her hand.  "I doubt it, Princess.  He's in deep with whatever has him.  He's not going to recognize his behavior by seeing you.  He's only going to end up breaking your heart."  Lance's voice was full of compassion, something he didn't often show.

Allura shook her head.  "No, Lance.  I have to face him.  If his feelings really have shifted, then I have to see for myself.  I can't run from him forever.  He's my commanding officer."

"But, Allura we don't want you to get hurt!"  Pidge added, grabbing her other hand, squeezing it gently. 

She smiled at her friends.  "Thanks, boys.  I really appreciate your friendship for me, and your concern.  But this is something I must do."

Allura stood up and looked at her friends.  "Wait here.  I'll be back." 

As she stepped out of the tent, Hunk's face grew angry.  "He'd better not hurt her!"

Lance bowed his head low and sighed.  "It's a foregone conclusion that he is going to hurt her... one way or the other."



Allura cautiously approached Amy's house.  As she crept up to the window and peered inside, her throat became tight...as if her heart had found its way there to stay. 

There was Keith... sitting on the couch, holding hands with Amy.  She gulped hard several times, as she approached the door.

She gathered her courage and proceeded to knock.  The giggling that could be heard going on inside, suddenly stopped.  She held her breath, waiting for the door to open. 

She heard a click and saw the doorknob turn.  Allura watched as the door flew open and Keith was standing before her.  She gulped hard again as their eyes met.  Her hand flew to her mouth as she gasped.

"Allura!" he began, rather shocked to see her.  "What are you doing here?"

She stared at him, her face suddenly becoming serious.  "I was about to ask the same of you, Keith." she said quietly. 

"Well, I'm a bit busy right now." He tried to hurry her along.  "Could we talk later?"

"No, Keith.  I'd prefer if we got this out of the way right now." She replied.  "May I take up a few of your precious moments of time?" she asked sarcastically.

He was about to say no, but felt his heart struggle with his mind to go with her. 

He ducked his head back into the house, "Amy, I won't be long." He said to her.  She was sitting on the couch, sipping tea that he had just made for her. 

"Hurry!  I'll be waiting for you, Hon!" she cooed

Allura still felt her heart in her throat, at the same time, fighting a feeling of getting sick. 

"Hon?" she thought, trying to keep her face from showing anger. "I'll give her 'Hon' alright!"   But she knew she had to try to talk some sense into him.  Either that, or find out that he truly was in love with Amy. 

They walked for a few yards away from the house.  Keith was very silent.  Allura stopped suddenly, and he stopped moments after she did. 

"What's wrong?" he asked her.

She looked up at him.  "Is it true...because if it is, I can handle it.  Just tell me, and I'll be out of your life." 

Keith's head was prompting him to respond yes... but something in his heart was aching for the young princess.... 

Allura...

He whipped his head away from her, gazing in the other direction.  He struggled with himself for a few moments.  "Why am I having such a hard time telling her?" he thought.  "Who is this woman, that she can occupy my thoughts?" referring to Allura.

He took a deep breath in and then out again.  "Allura you see, its like this..." he began. 

She stared wide-eyed at him.  He found himself looking deeply into her blue eyes... these same eyes he once trusted.  His head was still telling him to just get it over with. 

But his heart was trying to stop him for some reason.  He could faintly hear his heart trying to convey a message to him somehow...

Allura ...
You can't let her go...
Allura...

"Princess I...  I just don't... Oh, I don't know!"  He kicked the dirt at his feet in frustration.  "What I'm trying to say is... well...I...uh..."

"Yes, Keith?"  She intervened.  "Are you trying to tell me you love her?" 

Keith looked up and returned her stare.  Her face looked so sad...  "Yes, I guess so." 

She grabbed his hand in hers.  Her touch made his skin tingle... something he didn't feel with Amy, for some reason. 

"If you love her, then I'm happy for you.  But, do you really love her, Keith?  Why am I having a hard time believing that?"

He snatched his hand free from her grasp.  "You're just trying to confuse me!"  He shouted.  "Yes... I do... I love Amy!"  He grabbed his head suddenly and bent down toward the ground, grunting in pain.  His heart and mind fought for his attention...


No Keith...don't give her up...this is your love...
Allura...


Allura rushed to his side, grabbing onto his shoulders with her hands.  "Are you okay, Keith?  Are you in pain?" 

He stood upright again, shaking his head.  "No, not physically, anyway."  Then he turned to face Allura.  "Princess, I've decided to stay here on Zorn, with Amy."

She blinked hard several times before she finally uttered a word.  "Stay here?  But what about Voltron!  What about the Alliance and our mission?  Are you just going to throw years of hard work away with both hands?"

"You don't understand!  All my life, I've been driven by the military life!  This is my chance to be free of it!  If I stay here with Amy, I can be happy for the rest of life, living simply from day to day!"

"You can't mean that, Keith!   How can you throw away everything you've worked so hard for?" she shouted.  "This isn't like you at all!  You would never think of being so irresponsible!"

"I've changed, Allura!  Face it!  I've woken up to the things that really matter to me!"  He shouted back at her.  "This is my life, not yours!  And I'm not going to sit here and just let it go by!"

She walked up into his face.  "Yes you're right!   It is your life to do with as you please!  But it's also my responsibility as your friend to point out to you the truth!  Find the truth, Keith!  It's in your heart somewhere!  Find it!"

Keith hung his head.  Allura placed her hand on his shoulder.  "Besides, you made a vow to me.  You said you weren't letting me out of sight again for the rest of this trip!"

He shook his head wildly, and pushed her arm away from him.  "Just leave me alone!  Can't you just leave me alone?"

"No, Keith!  I won't leave you alone!  Find the truth, Keith!  Search your heart!  Your heart won't lie to you!"

He began to walk away from her, and as he did, she grabbed his arm.  "Look into your heart!"

He turned around in anger.  "I said, leave me alone!" 

He gave her a quick shove, and she flew to the ground.  She shrieked as she fell.  Suddenly, he felt a stabbing pain go right through him.  It was as if something inside was striking out at him for hurting her.

Allura sat on the ground, shocked that Keith had pushed her like that. 

"Keith!  What's the matter with you!  Why are you so cruel?" she shouted at him through the anguish in her voice.  "You can't do this!  We need you, Keith!"

He shook his head clear and looked at her on the ground.  "I don't need you, Allura!  I don't need any of you!  Go... get out of here.  And leave me alone!"  He immediately started running full speed back to the house. 

Allura stared at him as he ran.  Tears came to her eyes. 

"Oh Keith.! What has she done to you?" she quietly wept. 

Her heart might as well have been cut out of her.  Keith had now decided not to return to Arus at all.  No longer would she have him by her side.   

She stood up to her feet, and turned to walk toward the house.  As she reached it, she looked into the window.  Once again, Keith was sitting next to Amy and she was cuddled up next to him.  His face had a troubled look about it.

"No...this can't be happening... this can't be!"  The sad thought repeated in her head. She remembered Keith's audible voice on Arus, reciting his proclamation of devotion to her...


'Shall I slay a dragon to prove my undying devotion for you, fair Princess?'


My undying devotion for you....



It seemed so long ago, and yet it was only two days ago.  What happened to him in that short span of time that turned him against her? 

She backed away from the house and turned to leave.  Suddenly, she felt the urge to shout aloud...

"Amy, I know you can hear me!  Please don't do this to Keith!  He'll regret his decision to give up his commission!  If you truly love him, then let him go and don't do this to him!  I beg you!  He's a commissioned Alliance officer!  You're destroying everything he's worked so hard for!  Can't you see that?"

When she received no response from that, she decided to try one last thing...

"Keith, maybe I should have made you go out and hunt down that dragon!"   Her voice was cracking by now.

Again, the air was silent.  She knew she had lost him to whatever power Amy had possessed.  She could do nothing more but turn and walk away, leaving Keith to whatever fate he so chose. 

"But I know he's being used!"  She thought. "How can I possibly save him?"   She then turned, and ran away into the forest. 



In the house, things grew very silent too.  Amy quietly cuddled up next to Keith.  She had heard what Allura had said.  And somewhere in her heart, she knew Allura was right.  Keith was not truly hers not really.  He was under some sort of spell that Hagar had cast on him.  It wasn't true love...and when it wore off, if it ever did, Keith would be destroyed emotionally. 

But somehow, she didn't care. 

Keith, meanwhile, was thinking on what he heard Allura say... find a dragon and slay it.

A dragon ...

He remembered something about it... something about that statement that she said rang a familiar note in his memory.  He closed his eyes and tried to recall what it had to do with. 

Everything to him seemed fuzzy.  Even his 'love' for Amy didn't seem quite right.  But he was in love with her.  He was sure of it. Or was he?




Allura returned to the camp some hours later.  Lance, Pidge and Hunk were sitting around the fire that they had built as nightfall approached. 

Pidge smacked Lance in the chest as they saw the Princess coming toward them.  Her face was downcast and stained with tears. 

The guys quickly jumped to their feet and ran over to her.  As they reached her, she collapsed forward into Lance's arms from exhaustion.  He quickly caught her, and swept her up in his arms, carrying her over toward the fire.

Hunk was fuming "What did he say to you!"  He demanded an answer from Allura.

She waved her hand in front of her.  "Just what you thought he'd say, Hunk."  She buried her face in her hands and wept.  "I thought I was getting through to him.  Then, when he pushed me to the ground"

"WHAT!  He pushed you?"  Hunk shouted.

Allura looked up.  "It wasn't a push really, as much as I just lost my footing and fell to the ground.  He looked sorry that he did it, too.  At least, I think he did" She was still trying to protect him.

"Are you hurt?"  Pidge asked, anger on his face.

She shook her head.  "No, just in here..." She pointed to her heart.  "Oh boys  You were right. Something's taken over his senses!  He even told me that he's decided to stay here with Amy, and not return to Arus!"

"Oh no..." Lance said with a gasp.  "Give up his command?  He's really lost his mind!"

She nodded her head.  "He said he didn't care about it anymore.  His whole life had been focused on the military.  Now, he said he just wanted to rest and give it up."

"He's crazy!"  Pidge said.  "He's our commander!  He just can't walk away from us!" 

"Apparently, he thinks he can." Lance sighed.  "Okay, since Keith isn't going to continue with us, I need to step up and take over.  Our mission is to reach Queen Serena.  And we are going to do that."

Lance stood to his feet.  "Okay, I want everyone to retire soon.  We've got a busy day ahead of us."

Allura stared at the fire that was growing brighter, as the sky became darker.  She was tired of crying, and tired of feeling sorry for herself.  She had to move on in life with or without Keith.  As difficult as it may seem. 

She stood up and faced the boys.  "I'm going to bed now.  There's nothing for me to do out here.  Perhaps, sleep with help me.  I can at least escape to the quiet of my thoughts."

Lance gave her a troubled look.  "Okay, Princess.  I'll wake you in the morning." 

"If I ever sleep again" she thought.  "Thank you, Lance.  Thank you...all of you." 
Hunk hung his head as he watched the Princess turn and slowly walk away to her tent. 

"Poor Allura." Hunk sighed.

"Never mind that now.  We've got some serious planning to do before morning sets in."  Lance added.  "Come on back to my tent."

As the remaining team members made their way to Lance's tent, the bushes nearby rustled slightly, revealing the form of a shadowy figure hovering nearby.

Awaiting her chance....



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