"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 25
A Final Plea

The fire burned brightly, reflecting onto Keith's face.

Once again, he found himself sitting alone quietly near the warmth of the night fire.  It was late, but sleep had escaped him yet again.

His thoughts were upon the young princess he'd grown so fond of, and had grown so protective of. 

Looking back on his life, he had realized that his destiny had been to find her on Arus.  He could feel his heart telling him that this was the woman he would spend the rest of his life with.

...and it suddenly scared him to death.

"Keith..."

He heard a whispered voice along side of him.  He looked up...

It was Amy.

"What are you doing up?" he asked her. "Pidge saw you head for your tent hours ago.  You must have been tired to go to sleep that early."

"Not really... just a lot to think about." she replied quietly.

Keith shifted his weight. "I know you missed dinner.  Are you hungry?  I could fix you something.  My cooking skills aren't as great as Pidge's, but they'll do!" he chuckled.

Amy shook her head. "No thank you, Keith.  I'm not hungry."

"Suit yourself." he said, returning his gaze back to the fire. "So, what did you come out here for?"

He suspected he knew the answer to that question already, feeling like he had been in this position before.

"I needed to talk to you, that's all." she replied. "May I sit down?"

"Sure." Keith replied, now becoming quiet too.

Amy scooted in next to him.  The fire was nice and warm, and she was chilled... not just from the night air, but from Keith.  It appeared he was becoming cold to her all of a sudden. After several minutes of silence, she finally spoke up:

"Keith..."

"Look, Amy.  I know what this is about." Keith said, not turning his head to meet her gaze, but instead, continuing to look at the fire. "I've already told you that for your own good, you need to move on with your life."

"I know that," she said. "I just wanted to tell you how I felt, in hopes that..."

Keith abruptly turned around. "Amy, I don't mean to be crass... but your affection for me has got to stop!  This is not good for either one of us!  Don't you see that?  You're obsessed!"

"I am!  I am obsessed with you!  Can't you see how much I love you, Keith?  How can you just throw my love away like a cheap rag?" she shouted.

"Keep your voice down!  You're going to wake up the whole camp!" he scolded.

Keith sighed heavily, not wishing to hurt her, but wishing only to get his point across to her.

"Look, Amy.  I realize that I'm as much to blame here as you are.  After all, I'm the one who, like a fool, told you it would be okay for you to continue to love me.  Only... I never thought that you'd actually carry that flame so strongly for all of these years."

"But don't you see? I did! I've been in love with you for so long... that I don't know how to fall out of love with you!" she said. "Couldn't we at least try"

"I don't love you, Amy." He said flatly. "Please, try to understand that.  I want to be your friend."

"But... you came after me!  You were willing to leave Allura with Lotor in order to save my life!" she said, her voice slightly elevated. "How can you say you don't care for me when you were willing to just hand Allura over to Lotor like that?"

"Because...that was the plan!  Allura couldn't sacrifice you for her own freedom.  I'm the one that came up with the plan to make it look like we were leaving her there!  It wasn't out of love... at least, not the kind you're thinking of!  We all did it because we couldn't stand by and let Lotor destroy an innocent life for the satisfaction of his obsession with the Princess!  It tore me apart to leave her!"

"But I know you did it because somewhere inside your heart loves me!" Amy shouted.

"SH-H-H!  Keep it down!" Keith hushed her. "Do you want someone to hear you?"

"Who?  Princess Allura?" Amy hissed at Allura's name. "That's why you love her, you know. Because she's a princess!  She makes me sick!  She's your weak link!  How can you even stand being near her?  I saw her in battle today!  I saw the way she responded to your orders!  She whimped out, Keith!  She's nothing like you...she's not brave like you!  She's not skilled like you are either!  She's a cowardly, sniveling, prissy little princess girl, who's trying to hook you in with her innocent game!  She's got you wrapped around her pinky finger, Keith!"

"Alright!  I'm not going to just sit here and let you talk trash-mouth about the Princess!  She the most kindhearted woman I've ever met!  She never thinks of her needs above others!  You have no idea how stupid you're making yourself sound right now!" Keith said with a tone of anger in his whispered voice.

"You're in love with her position, Keith!  You love the idea that you can protect someone as vulnerable as she is!" Amy said. "That's why you love her!  You're in love with the idea of loving someone of her stature!  That's it!  You're deceived!"

Keith shook his head. "No, Amy.  You're the one who's deceived.  I love Allura for a lot more than just her position!  I love her for who she is!  As a matter of fact, it's because of her position that I don't dare pursue her right now!"

"Why? Afraid of rejection?" she said sarcastically.  She was trying to get into his head.  If she could cast any doubt about his affection for Allura, perhaps that would be enough for her to rattle him.  Then she could move in.

But Keith stood firm.

"Rejection has nothing to do with it!  It has to do with honor!  I'm honor bound to protect her! She's my Princess!  I have sworn to protect her!  And it's because of my oath to her that I need to be aware of my position in her life!  I can't afford to let my love for her become a stumbling block to either of us!"

"In what way?  How can love become a stumbling block, if it is truly love?" Amy pressed.

Keith huffed. "Look, I don't have to explain myself to you or anyone else!  Its sufficient to say that I know my place in her life."

"So, how is that love?  How can you have love without physical affection?  Haven't you longed to hold her, longed to kiss her?  Aren't these the things you share with someone you love?" she said. "Keith!  You're in love with something you can never completely have!  Something that's completely out of your reach!"

"You're wrong, Amy!  Allura and I share something far greater than physical affection!  We share each other's thoughts, dreams, hopes, sorrows, and fears!  We share friendship, and yes...love!  But not in the way you mean!  Love isn't just physical!  Love is far deeper than
that!  Love is... caring, sharing, and always wanting what's best for the other person.  Its unconditional."

"But, there's no physical at all." She said. "All there is... all there will ever be... is longing!"

"And maybe that's not too bad." Keith said. "If things work out for her and I somewhere down the road, then our friendship will be the basis for our life together."

"But... you and I have a strong friendship!" Amy said. "How do you know that you're not in love with me?"

"Oh, come on, Amy!  How can the sun know when its time to rise in the morning?" Keith said.

"What's that suppose to mean?" Amy asked sarcastically.

"It means that I know beyond doubt that I don't love you!  And I'll know when its time for my love to arise and take its rightful place... just like the sun knows when to rise in the morning sky!  I know my heart...you don't...so stop trying to figure me out!"

Amy said nothing for a few minutes. S he knew she was fighting a losing battle with him.  It was then that she finally said something that sent a cold chill up Keith's spine.

"Then... I have nothing to live for."

Keith turned and looked at her. "Yes you do!  You have your whole life ahead of you!"

"Not without you.  I might as well die now." she said quietly.

"Amy, are you trying to tell me something, here?  Are you telling me you're thinking of doing something to yourself?" Keith said, fear in his eyes.

"No, I'm just saying that I can't live without you.  So why bother living?" she replied.

"Life's one big adventure after another!  Life is what you make of it!  You'll find someone else, and forget all about me!" Keith said with a smile.

"No I won't.  I'll never love again." She immediately started to break down. "It hurts too much!"

Keith hesitated, then gently placed his hand on her shoulder. "If it didn't hurt, what's the point of trying?  If you never know sorrow from losing love, how are you going to ever rejoice at love's triumph?"

"I only wanted you..." she sniffed.

"I know.  And I'm sorry that I let you carry it this far.  I should have never allowed that.  I'm sorry for hurting you, Amy.  I'm sorry for giving you false hope.  It's a pain that I can't undo."

"I know.  But I'm the one who chose to carry this." she said tearfully. "I just don't know where to go from here."

"You'll find someone else... wait and see!  Pretty as you are, I'll bet once you return to Earth, you'll have men falling over you left and right!" Keith tried to encourage.

She giggled through the tears. "Most likely falling over me when they dance with me! I still can't dance, you know!  Remember when you tried to teach me back at the academy?"

"Yeah...and you kept stepping on my toes!" Keith chuckled back.

"Yes." She said. She stood up and looked at him. "I'm going back to bed now."

Keith stood up next to her. "Are you going to be okay?"

She smiled at him. "Yes... you don't have to worry about me, Commander Hunter.  I'll be just fine.  Like you said, I'll find someone else...eventually."

Keith smiled back at her. "You will!  Then you'll look back to tonight and wonder why you were so upset over this."

"Maybe." She sighed, resigning herself to the fact that she had to finally let him go. "Goodnight, Keith."

"Goodnight, Amy.  Pleasant dreams.  And I mean that!" he said. Then he quickly added "Just not of me, please!"

"Ha!  Don't flatter yourself, flyboy!" she teased.

After they both laughed again, Keith patted her on the shoulder.  "Goodnight, Amy."

Amy turned and walked back toward her tent. Keith silently stood and watched her disappear into the night.

He then shuffled over toward Allura's tent.  He was going to check on her before he retired for the rest of the night. 

As he peeked in on her, and saw her peacefully asleep, he felt his heartbeat quicken in
his chest.

He knew someday, he would find himself her Prince consort.  He wondered if he was worthy of such a high honor.  But looking at her, he knew that no matter what happened, he was staying near to her.

His heart's desire...
his princess...
his love.

Nothing could take him away from her again...nothing.

He closed the tent flap, sighing thoughtfully, as he returned to his own tent, to bed down for the night.



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