"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 26
Moving on

Allura's eyes had fluttered beneath her eyelids, as she started to awaken from what seemed to be a very long, uncomfortable sleep.

The brightness of the morning sun had peeked through the seams in her tent, and allowed the bright beams of light to flood the inside.  She finally opened her eyes, and looked around. 

Was it a dream? 

Had Keith really been hereholding her in his arms?  Comforting her?

She sat up in her cot, stretching her back out.

"Oh," she whined. "I can't wait to get back home and into my own bed!"

She had missed the comforts of the castle for nearly a week now.  She suddenly found herself wanting to go back home... even if it were only to listen to Coran's endless nagging about royal affairs and protocol. 

She did missed home...very much.

Allura threw back the covers, and put her feet on the cold plastic floor of the tent.  Her toes curled, and she instinctively retracted her feet back up to the cot, suddenly chilled from the cold ground.  She thought of her warm slippers in her chambers, and a cup of hot tea waiting for her by her bed.

As she stood up, she could feel herself begin to wobble a bit, and so she quickly sat back down.

"Come on, Allura." She thought. "You've got to get it together here.  You need to fly Blue Lion again.  You can't let Keith and the boys down!"

As she struggled with her equilibrium, a voice quietly whispered through the closed tent flap.

"Princess?" the quietly voice called. "Princess...are you awake?"

It sounded like a male voice.  It was hard to tell from the whisper, who the owner as...although she had her suspicions.

"Who is it?" she asked. "Lance? Keith?"

The voice identified himself. "It's me... Keith.  May I come in?"

She brightened up at the sound of his voice. "Yes!  Please come in!"

Keith opened the flap and stepped inside. "Good morning, Princess." Keith greeted her with a smile. "How are you feeling?"

"Actually, I think I need to get my ground legs." She joked. "I'm a bit shaky, I'm afraid."

Keith walked into the tent, and knelt at her side. "Pidge made breakfast.  It looks good!  If you'd like, I can help you out to the campfire."

"Thank you, Keith!" she smiled. "I'd like that."

Allura extended her hands to Keith, and he stood to his feet, pulling her up to him.  They were dangerously close to each other.too close as a matter of fact.

Keith looked down into her beautiful ocean blue eyes.  And she smiled shyly at him. "Come on," he said, escorting her by her arm. "I'm hungry! And Pidge makes the best pancakes I've ever tasted!"

"Um-m-m!  Sounds delicious!" She replied. "Lead the way!"

As they began to carefully walk toward the group, Keith began to share with Allura the layout of the day.

"First, we'll go back to the village and pick up Amy's things.  She said they're all ready for us to pick up.  Then, we'll leave for Arus." He briefed her.

"And what about Queen Serena Octavia?" Allura questioned, gripping tightly to Keith's arm for support.

"She agreed to allow her planet to become a member of the Alliance!" Keith said. "Amazing, huh?"

"Well, it looks like our mission was accomplished after all!" she said.  Then Allura thought about what Keith had said a moment earlier. "And Amy?  Is she coming to stay on Arus?"

Keith shook his head. "No. I can't have that.  There's too much at stake in protecting Arus.  I can't have her hanging around like that.  She'd only interfere with my everyday duties to Arus and to you."

"If you'd like her to stay on Arus, please don't let me be the negative influence." She said, stopping them both in their tracks. "I don't want to become a stumbling block between the
friendship you both share."

"No, its not that, Allura." Keith said, trying to explain. "Its just that, she's too obsessed with me.  She needs to be on her own...back on Earth.  Lance has agreed to take her back home to Earth once we reach Arus."

"I see..." Allura said quietly. "And you're sure I had nothing to do with that decision?"

Keith smiled. "Of course you did!  I also am protecting my interests."

"Interests?" she smiled coyly. "What sort of interests are you protecting?"

"Oh, interests in a certain Princess of Arus" he replied, somewhat evasively. "After all... I swore an oath to you to protect you and your planet.  I won't let anything interfere with my vow to you and Planet Arus."

She smiled. "I'm sorry for smiling.  It's just... Well...I..."

"You don't have to say another word." Keith said with a wink. "I completely understand."

"The only words I'm going to speak, are get me to the breakfast table!  I'm starved!" she giggled.

"Well, let's go, shall we?" he said with another smile.



An hour later, the team was finishing up breakfast. Amy sat slightly off from the group.  Pidge came up to her, and sat down beside her.

"What's wrong, Amy?  You hardly touched your breakfast." Pidge said, noticing that her plate was practically full.

Amy sighed, "I'm just not very hungry, Pidge.  That's all."

"You didn't eat last night, at least, not that I'm aware of.  You didn't eat this morning.  And I can't imagine that Lotor was any type of a good host.  I'd venture to say you didn't eat much while in the palace either, did you?" Pidge added.

Amy remained silent.

Pidge looked at her carefully.  It was obvious that Keith's rejection of Amy's love was not sitting well with her.  In fact, the girl looked down right depressed.

"Hey, why don't we go for a quick walk," Pidge tried to offer. "I can..."

Amy sighed heavily, "Thanks, Pidge.  I know you're only trying to be nice. But, I'd rather just sit here, okay?"

Pidge shrugged his shoulders. "Okay... " He then got up and strolled away.

Lance approached Amy from behind.

"You know," he began. "Any uneaten food around here is just open invitation for Hunk to gorge himself!  You'd be saving him some unneeded calories by eating your breakfast."

"Nice try, Lance." Amy said. "As I told Pidge, I'm not hungry."

Lance took a seat next to Amy. "Oh, so you 'd rather just sit here, looking pathetic, huh?"

Amy began to bubble with anger. "Look, did I invite you to sit here?  No...I don't think I did! So, you can leave now!"

Lance shrugged his shoulders. "Yes, you're right.  You didn't invite me to sit.  But then again, I've never been one to wait to be invited.  My theory is that if you sit around and wait to be invited, chances grow very slim that it will happen. S o I make my own invites!"

"Well, you're not welcome at this party..." she said coldly.

"Oh...did I tell you that I like to crash parties, too?" he said with a smile.

"Well then, maybe I should move my party elsewhere!" she hissed at him.

"Wouldn't work!" Lance said, shaking his head. "I'd only tag along for the ride!"

Amy grunted and turned her body around, so that her back was to Lance. "Can I pay you to leave me alone?"

"Nope, that won't work either.  You see, the only money I find useful these days is Arusian money.  If you give me Zorn money, I'd only give it away.  And what good does that do for me?" Lance replied. "So... you might as well talk to me!"

"Right," she said. "Just what am I suppose to talk about?"

"Oh, let me think..." Lance hinted sarcastically. "How about a certain Commander of Voltron?"

With her hand, she flipped the few strands of hair that hung in her eyes. "I have nothing to talk about."

"I think you do." Lance said. "You know, as I recall back to our days of the academy, it was you that initiated the relationship between the two of you.  Keith wanted nothing to do with it."

"Yeah...well he should have told me then." she replied angrily.

"As I recall, he tried.  But you were persistent.  Keith isn't your type anyway." Lance said. "You'd only be bored.  He's nothing but a walking regulation book!"

"I guess so..." she somberly said. "I just don't know if I can ever get over him."

"Sure you can!" he piped up. "You know, you've got your whole life in front of you!  You should be excited about going back home!"

"What's there to look forward to there?" she asked as she started to turn around and look at him.

"Life!" Lance exclaimed. "And you'll be missing it, if you just sit around and pout like there's no tomorrow!"

"There isn't.  Not without Keith." Amy sadly replied.

"Amy, you have to get over him.  This isn't worth it.  It isn't even right! Keith has his affections set on someone else.  You have eyes...you can clearly see that, can't you?  You have to move on."  Lance said, placing his hand on her shoulder. "You can do it!  It'll be a lot easier when you and he aren't seeing each other daily as you are now."

"I suppose so.", was all she could say to him.

Hunk walked up to the fire, and began to put it out.  He looked up at Lance and Amy. "Hey, Keith said we're leaving in twenty minutes.  Better get a move on!"

Lance waved his hand at Hunk. "Yeah, yeah!  I know!"

"Okay, but don't blame me if he gets bent out of shape because you two aren't ready!" Hunk reminded. "You know how he gets!"

"Don't worry about us.  We'll be ready!" Lance shouted.

He stood up, and turned to Amy. "Come on, you can ride with me in Red Lion."

Amy looked up reluctantly, meeting Lance's gaze.  She extended her hands to him, and he pulled her up to her feet. Lance then leaned down and picked up Amy's plate of untouched food.

"Seems like such a pity to waste this." Lance said, trying to coax her to taking a bit or two.

Impulsively, she reached into the plate, and plucked up a pancake.  Lance stood there in shock as he watched her stuff the whole thing in mouth.  Lance suddenly laughed out loud as he watched her struggle to chew the oversize mouthful.

When she had finally got enough down her throat, she said, "Okay...happy now?"

Lance smiled and nodded his head in approval. "Come on!  Next stop, your village, and then to Arus, and then...home."


Home...

It seemed like such a funny word. Amy hadn't seen home in many years.  She had a fleeting thought of how things must have changed.

"Hey...are you coming?" Lance said, interrupting her thoughts.

"Huh?" she asked, a bit disoriented. She looked and saw that Lance had extended his elbow to her. "Oh, yes."

She hooked on gently, and the two of them walked to the campsite, preparing to head for the village.




Keith had gone to Black Lion, leaving the details of packing to Hunk and Pidge.  Allura had already been escorted to the Blue Lion.

The Princess took her seat in her pilot chair.  As she glanced at the controls, she could see the superficial damage that her poor lion had sustained at the hands of the Robeast.

"I wonder where Lotor went to?" she thought as she surveyed the damage. "He wouldn't give up this easily without a fight."

Allura looked through her main view screen.  She saw Keith jumping down to the ground from Black Lion, with a mini computer in his hand.  He headed toward the now disassembled campsite. 

She continued to watch him as he walk off, admiring him for the person he was.  She sighed
as she thought sadly how bad Amy must feel about losing him.

Again, she put herself in that position, and wondered how she would have felt if she were in Amy's position.  A tear came to Allura's eyes, as she pondered the thought of ever losing her handsome knight.

"Oh Keith..." she sighed again. "If only we could..."

"Princess...come in.  Do you read?" Keith's voice was now being heard in the Lion's cockpit.

She gently smiled, "As if he knew I was thinking of him..." she thought, before answering the hail.

"Allura here. What is it, Keith?"

"Princess, we'll be leaving in about five minutes for the village.  I know I asked you before, but... are you sure you're okay to pilot Blue Lion?" he asked, a load of concern could be heard in his voice.

The smile she had on her face continued to stay there. "Yes, Keith.  I'm well enough.  Really! I'll be fine!"

"Okay...if you're sure then..." he said cautiously.

"Besides, knowing you, you won't let me out of your sight anyway!" she teased.

A small chuckle could be heard as a reply. "Okay, then prepare to fire up the lion.  We'll be there shortly."

"I read you.  Allura out."

She shut off the COM, allowing the cockpit to fall silent once again.  She breathed deeply in and out again.  Then, clearing her head, she began her final checks before liftoff.  It was going to be a long journey back home to Arus.  But one she was really looking forward to.

She missed her home.  She missed her people.  She missed her room.

It would be good to return home.

Just then, Allura caught a glimpse of the team walking toward their lions.  She took note that Amy was close to Lance, and he was leading her to the Red Lion.  Amy must be riding with Lance.  Once again, she found herself feeling sorry for Amy.

And once again, Keith's voice came over the COM, interrupting her thoughts.

"Princess...this is Keith.  Are you ready?" he asked.

She grabbed her lion helmet, and put it on her head.  Activating the helmet COM, she replied, "Yes Keith. I'm ready when you all are!"

"Good.  Now I want you take it easy.  No fast maneuvers with that lion, got it?" he said.

"Yes sir!" she teased, giving him a military-type voice and response.

"Very funny, Princess!" Pidge said, now coming over the COM too. "You should be a comedian!"

"No thanks!" she replied. "I'm happy just being a princess!"

"Too bad!" Pidge joked. "I could be your manager!  With me, we'd make the big time!"

Lance was now online. "You, Pidge...the big time?  Nothing's big about you, little guy!" Lance teased.

"Very funny, Lance!" Pidge said. "Just for that, you can cook next time!"

"Oh great..." Keith mumbled. "Just who are you punishing with that?  Him or us?  He's a terrible cook!  We'll all starve!"

"Hey, I heard that, Commander Chef-miester!" Lance barked back in fun. "I wouldn't say your culinary creations are anything to delight about either!"

"I never said they were!" Keith mused back.  "At least I don't pretend to be a great cook!"

"Lance is the only guy I know that can successfully burn a pot of water!" Hunk replied with a snorting giggle.

"Hey, watch it, chubby!" Lance replied.  "I notice that you never decline eating one of my famous creations!"

"That's because its either that... or starve!" Hunk replied.

"I think I'd rather starve, myself" Pidge added.

"Okay wise guys!  That's it!" Lance huffed in a playful voice.  "From now on, my nights to cook are...  'fend for yourself' nights!"

Allura was laughing over the COM. "You boys are too much!"

"Okay everyone." Keith finally said, trying to refocus the team back on their return home. "Let's get going! Insert keys!" he commanded.

As the keys were inserted, and each Lion came alive, Keith gave the order to lift off.

"Okay team!" he said. "Let's go get Amy's things, and head back for home."

A resounding cheer could be heard over the COM.  Everyone was indeed happy to be heading home at last. It had been a very mission, with many twists and turns.

It would be good to finally see the green hills of Arus once again.



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