"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.


Chapter 12
Love's Silent Plea

Lance had just closed his mini computer down for the night, and placed it to the side of his cot. He looked up, and took notice of Keith's absence, by way of his empty cot.  He took a deep breath in, and let it out slowly, thinking about the friend that he undoubtedly was going to be leaving behind in the morning. 

Lance had known him for many years.  And in those many years, never has he seen such behavior displayed by Keith.

Keith had always prided himself on his military discipline.  Lance thought of how often he found himself at the top of Keith's black list, whenever he failed to act in anyway other than professional.  Now, it seemed that Keith had turned his back on that discipline.

He sighed again, suddenly seeing a vision of Allura in his mind.  He felt bad...especially for her.  It was then that he decided to check on her before retiring for the evening.  She was probably asleep already.

He opened the flap on his tent, and walked over toward Allura's tent.  When he reached it, Lance stopped suddenly.

He heard a sound coming from inside.  He tilted his head close to the tent flap, trying to hear the sound again.  It was then that he recognized it Allura was crying.  He could hear it better now. 

He cleared his throat a bit before announcing himself.   "Princess  are you alright in there?"

The sound suddenly stopped.  Lance tilted his ear again toward the flap.  When he didn't hear anything, he asked again.  "Princess it's me, Lance.   May I come in?"

He listened for a response.  Finally, silence was broken as Allura opened the tent,  "If you'd like..." was all she said as she walked away from the opening, and turned on the lantern.   

Lance entered the tent as Allura sat on the cot, her head hanging toward the ground.  He walked over to her and sat down next to her on the cot.  "Are you okay, Allura?"  He asked quietly.  "I'm sorry to disturb you.   I didn't mean to.  I just wanted to check on you before I went to bed."

She slowly shook her head,  "No you didn't disturb me."  Her voice trembled.  Lance cupped her hands with his right hand. 

They said nothing for a few minutes.  She finally sighed loudly, her voice cracking as she struggled to talk through her tears.  "He didn't come back, did he?" referring to Keith.

Lance bowed his head.  "No he didn't."

"He must still be with Amy."  She said, her chin quivering as she struggled to speak through the endless flow of tears.  Then she looked up at him, her eyes very swollen.  "Why, Lance?  Why is he doing this?"

"I wish I knew, Princess.  It's like he's under a spell of some kind.  I'm not sure."  Lance said, struggling to find the words that would help comfort her.

Allura returned her gaze back to the ground.  "I've grown attached to him, I'm afraid. How am I going to make it without him, Lance?  Every time I think of returning to Arus without him, and waking up tomorrow knowing we'll be leaving him behind  I start to shake."

"I know.  I know."  Lance replied quietly.  "I don't like it, either.  But there's nothing we can do to change his mind."

As she looked up, Lance could see the tears streaming down her face, reflected in the light being given off by the lantern.

Allura suddenly began to curl up on the bed in an almost fetal like position. 

"I can't imagine he said he loved her.   Do you really think he does?   There must be a way to reach him!"

Lance stood up from the cot and walked over to the head of it, sitting down next to Allura.

"Believe me, Princess.  I wish there were a way.  Hunk, Pidge and I were hashing through everything, trying to think of a way to talk him out of staying.  Short of kidnapping him, there's no other way, I'm afraid."

The tears began rolling sideways on Allura's face.  "What am I going to do without him, Lance?"  Her lower lip curled downward with anguish.  "He's my best friend.  I love him, Lance, and I thought that maybe he loved me, too.  Maybe... it was all just a dream."

Lance reached his hand up and caressed her face gently, wiping away some of the tears.  "No it wasn't a dream.  He loves you... I know he does.  Something inside of him still remembers that.  Maybe someday soon, he'll remember and return to Arus.  But right now..."

"I know... right now... he's staying here...with her."  She wept.  "I wish I could make myself sleep.  But I can't.   I think I'll never sleep again!" 

She turned and buried her head in her pillow and wept uncontrollably, her body convulsing with each sob. 

Lance reached up and covered her with his arms.  "It's okay, Princess!  Everything's going to be okay!  Please, Princess!  Please don't cry..." 

Allura's body shook as she cried, heaving as she took a breath between sobs.   Lance gently rubbed her back... in an effort to comfort her. 

He stood up, and rubbed her head.  "That's it!  I'm sleeping here tonight!  I'm not leaving you alone like this!"

She suddenly stopped crying... long enough to look at him.  "No, Lance!  I'll be all right.  You don't have to stay here..." she tried to sound convincing, her voice still shaking.

He looked at her.  "You're not all right.  And I need you to be.  If staying here is the only way to help you fall asleep, then I'll do it!"

"It won't matter."  She said as she started to sit up. "Besides, if you stay up all night with me, who will lead the team in the morning?"

"Then, we'll wait another day!"  He said.  "I'm not leaving you like this!"

She wiped her face with her hands, gaining some control.  "No, really.  I'm fine now.  I just needed to get that out."  She said, once again trying to convince him not to stay.  "You go ahead and go to bed.  I'll be fine."

Lance looked at her carefully.  He could tell she was lying, but maybe she needed to be alone right now.  "Okay I guess.  I'll go.  But if you need me."

"I know where to find you."  She tried to put on a crooked smile.

He smiled a fake smile back at her.  As he turned to leave, he stopped at the tent flap.  He turned his head around, and looked at her again.  "You're sure?"

She nodded quickly.  "I'm sure."

"Okay.  Goodnight, Princess, and a remember if you need me, just whistle!"

"I will.  And Lance thank you."  She said quietly.

He smiled again.  "Hey, anytime you need me old Lance is here!"

He closed up the tent as he left.  Allura reached over and turned out the lantern again.  She returned to fetal position on her cot.  Her thoughts continued to be on Keith, and tears began once again. 

Several hours had passed, and sleep had finally found her.  Her mind began to reach out to Keith through her tormented dreams ...

"Keith... Keith... it's Allura!  Oh Keith... please can you hear me?"

Lance was never one to obey orders especially if it didn't suit him.  He had pulled up his cot outside of Allura's tent.  He didn't really expect to sleep... just catnap.  His concern was to make sure the Princess would be okay.  And he intended to stay nearby, even if she didn't want him to. 

Every so often, he would hear the breeze stir the bushes, and he would awake and walk around to check things out.  When everything looked okay, he returned to his cot and settled back down again. 

He'd occasionally look in on Allura too.  He sighed when he saw that she had finally fallen asleep.  

"Poor kid..." he thought.  He looked up into the night sky, his mind finding its way to Keith.

"Keith..."  He thought.  "You've just got to come back to your senses, buddy!"   He rolled over and resumed his catnap.

Hagar had been nearby the entire evening.  Her plans to spirit the Princess away in the night would now have to be on hold. 

"I'll look for another opportunity!"  She thought.  As she finally turned to leave, she gazed back for a moment, looking at the sleeping Lance. "I've removed one hero from her life.  It makes no difference how I illuminate the others!  Allura will be mine!  And I'll present her as a very special gift to Prince Lotor!"

She quickly hovered toward the forest.  It would be at least one more day for them to reach the palace.  She knew she had one more chance still left to snatch her.   And even so, there was a reception waiting for them once they reached Queen Serena Octavia's palace.  

With Commander Keith now out of the way, the Voltron Force would be disoriented and easier to capture.  Voltron would soon be theirs as well, and she could give that to Zarkon.   With Voltron in their grasp, and Princess Allura, Lotor's wife, there would be no stopping the force of Doom from taking over the entire galaxy!

She delighted in the thought as she disappeared into the night.

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