"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 30
Midnight Interlude

The welcome sight of the
Castle of Lions brought on a
host of cheers over the COM. 
It had been quite a long journey
for everyone.... especially Keith.

Black Lion had Blue Lion in tow, and Keith skillfully brought both lions to the ground with hardly any turbulence.

Allura had awoke to the sound of the rousing cheers from the other members of the Voltron Forceall happy to be back home once again.  She sat up carefully, looking around.

Keith looked down from his command chair, smiling at her. "Well, Princess Allura!  Nice of you to join us for our triumphant return to Arus!"

She quickly got up on her knees, a wide smile finding its place on her face. "We're home?" she said, her captivating blue eyes, wide open with excitement. "Are we really home, Keith?"

"Sure are!" Keith said, as he retrieved his lion key. "And now, Princess, you are going to come with me and let Dr. Gorma have a look at you."

A sudden frown replaced her happy smile. "Oh, Keith..." she pretended to pout. "I'm fine.  I don't need to be fussed over like this."

"You let Dr. Gorma be the judge of that!" Keith sternly said. "Besides, after what you've been through, I'd feel better if he looked at youespecially after that arm of yours."

"Well...since I'd be doing it for you..." she teased.

Keith stood up. "Now hold on, Princess!  You are doing this for your good, not mine!"

"Okay, okay... I'm going!" she giggled, throwing her hand to her mouth.

She started to stand, but feeling still weak from her earlier episode, her legs faltered beneath her, and she fell back to her knees once again.

Keith moved in along side of her.

"Here..." he said, offering to carry her. "Let me help you."

Keith bent over and scooped the Princess up from the floor.  She wrapped her arms around his neck instinctively for security.  He reached the cockpit hatch, and opened it with his foot.  He bumped his hip up against it, allowing it to move enough for him to carry her through it.

He suddenly pictured how it might feel carrying Allura over the threshold just after they were married.

"Did I just think that?" Keith reprimanded himself. "I can't allow myself to think such things!  It's not right!"

Waiting with Lance, Pidge and Hunk, were Coran, Dr. Gorma, and the medical team.  They had a gurney for the Princess to lie on. 

Keith moved to it and started to set her on it.  Her grip suddenly tightened with tourniquet force.

"No!  You've got to be kidding me!" she protested. "I can walk!  I'm not an invalid who needs to be babied!"

"You will do as the doctor suggests, young lady!" Coran sternly replied.

"Coran!  I'm fine!  Really!" she insisted. "I can walk under my own power to the infirmary!"

"Princess!" Keith protested. "You could barely kneel!  I had to carry you, remember?  I think you should just settle down and relax let the doctor do what he needs to do."

"But, Keith I..." she pleaded.

"Princess, please..." Keith's eyes strained emotionally toward her, thinking of her comment to him just before they came out. "Do me this favor and let Dr. Gorma check you out.  You said that you'd do it for me, right?"

She paused, looking deep into his eyes, and realizing she was trapped by her own words. "Alright. I'll do it."

Keith smiled. "Thank you, Allura." he said softly. Then he looked at Coran and Dr. Gorma. "Alright, gentleman. She's all yours."

"And be careful with her!" Lance insisted. "She's been through a lot!"

Allura had laid back on the gurney with a smug look on her face, allowing herself to be wheeled into the Castle, and to the infirmary.  Coran remained behind for a moment to speak to the rest
of the team.

"She looks so worn down." Coran commented. "What happened out there?"

"Well, after a ton of delays, we finally got Queen Serena to see things our way." Lance said smoothly.

"Yeah... Planet Zorn is a new member of the Alliance of Planets!" Pidge added proudly.

"Thanks to our excellent negotiating skills!" Hunk also added.

Keith shook his head in disbelief. "Excuse me?  Were you guys on the same mission I was on?" he asked, not sure if he should take it as a joke or what. "I don't recall it being that easy!"

The three other men laughed aloud.

Coran gave them all a puzzled look. "Well obviously, it could not have been an easy mission if it took you little over a week to return home." Then he cast a frown at them after catching a glimpse of the damaged Blue Lion. "By the appearance of Blue Lion, it would seem it wasn't easy at all."

"It'll be okay." Lance waved his hand at Coran. "It's made of tough material...like its pilot!"

"Lance," Keith warned his friend sternly.

"Oh, come on, Keith!  She's made it through a lot worse scrapes than this!" Lance said, now referring to Allura. "She just needs to rest for a good eight hours or so.  She'll be back to normal after that!"

Keith frowned. "I suppose so..."

"I know so!" Lance replied.

"Well, I must go check on her. I expect you gentleman will rest until the evening."

"We will.  We're just going to put the Lions to bed." Keith said, giving a nod to his team. "Then I'll get Blue Lion to the maintenance bay for repair and diagnostic testing."

"I'll do that, Keith!" Hunk piped up suddenly. "I'm really not tired. I'd like to start looking over the Blue Lion right away. Or at least, work on it until dinner time!"

"Oh Hunk!" Pidge laughed. "You and your appetite!  Well, I better go with you.  That way I can run a quick diagnostic."

"Come on, squirt!" Hunk shouted. "Nuf' talking!  Let's get going!  I'm not missing a warm decent meal tonight!"

"Right behind you!" Pidge shouted. "Lance, you coming?"

"Nope, I'm heading for a nap!  You two tinker-bots go to it!" Lance called out. He turned to Keith. "How about you?  Aren't you coming too?"

"I'll be there soon.  You go ahead." Keith replied.

"Suit yourself!  I've got dibs on the comfy lounge chair in the rec. room!" Lance shouted. "And once I'm in it, I'm not getting out of it!"

"You do that!" Keith laughed aloud. "I'll catch up with you later!"

Lance turned on one heel, and took off running for the Red Lion.  Yellow Lion had a tractor beam on Blue Lion, towing it to the maintenance center.  Green Lion was right behind them both.  Red Lion launched into the air, heading for its resting spot in the volcano.

Keith turned to Coran. "Well, if there's nothing else, I guess I'll park Black Lion, and give him a well deserved recharge."

"Actually Commander, before you go, I would like to thank you for your dedication; not only to Planet Arus, but to the entire Galaxy Alliance.  And especially, for your personal care of our Princess.  I can rest easier knowing that you are watching over her."

"You're welcome, Coran." Keith said. "It's my pleasure."

Coran smiled. "I'm sure it is, Commander."

Keith's face remained expressionless.  Coran cleared his throat. "Um-m...  I will see you at dinner, Commander.  Until then." Coran turned and walked to the Castle entrance.

Keith studied him as he left. "He knows..." He thought. "Great...just what I need.  To be hounded by her guardian!"

Feeling suddenly worn out himself, Keith walked slowly back to Black Lion.  He looked up at it, coming to a stop just outside of the hatch to the cockpit.

"Well big guy..." he said to the black robot warrior, "Thanks for getting me through another tough mission.  Time for you and I to get a much needed rest."

He jumped into the cockpit, closing the hatch.  Moments later, Black Lion took a short hop, then lifted off toward the Castle Monument pillar...Black Lion's resting-place.

Soon, Keith headed to quiet of his room hopefully to have a long nap.

Evening came, and everyone gathered at the table for dinner.  Allura was noticeably absent from the table that evening, electing instead to remain in her chambers and rest. The mission was hard on her, and her body chose sleep over food.

Keith ate quietly, as he watched Hunk, Lance and Pidge carry on with their usual dinnertime antics.

After dinner, the team retired to the rec. room.  Coran retired to his stateroom. 

But Keith retreated to the stillness of the Castle Garden his favorite place.  The garden had such a sweet aroma of flowers.  It was well tended by the Royal gardeners.

He sat on bench near the middle of the garden.  The sun had set hours ago, and the sky was clear, full of stars. The moonlight reflected off the garden flowers.  Keith just sat there, thinking.

His mind strayed to Amy suddenly.  He recalled her face, the pained look she had as he rejected her affection for him time and time again.  He put his head down between his knees. With no one around, he could finally let his guard down.

He wept bitterly, recalling her burned body.  Recalling how helpless he felt to save her.

Then, recalling how he had hurt Allura too.  It was all too much for him to hold in any longer.

The strong leader of the Voltron Force was reduced to nothing more than a broken, weeping man, devastated by the things that he could not control.

Several hours had passed unnoticed.  Keith found himself just staring into the night sky.  The fact that it was late didn't seem to mean anything to him.  He just wanted to be alone with his thoughts.

Inside the Castle, the Princess emerged from her chambers, still feeling weak, but feeling restless after sleeping for so long. 

She had been given a clean bill of health from Dr. Gorma, and with her arm nearly mended, she was released to her chambers for a prescription of bed rest.

As fate would have it, she passed by a window that overlooked the royal garden.  It was then that she saw him...

"Keith... It's so late," she thought. "Why isn't he asleep like everyone else?  I better go check on him."

Allura made her way to the garden entrance, and walked outside, slippers, pink bathrobe, and all.  She didn't want to startle him, so she deliberately made noise as she approached.

Keith popped his head up, half asleep and suddenly wiping the tear tracks from his cheeks, then turning toward the direction of the noise.  He was surprised to see her standing there. 

The moonlight fell on her.  His heart began to beat faster, as he tried not to think about holding her... kissing her...

"Princess?" he said, quietly. "What are you doing up at this hour?  You're suppose to be resting in your chambers."

She nodded her head in agreement. "I am.  But I couldn't sleep any longer.  I might ask the same of you, Commander."

"I wanted to think.  Couldn't sleep." he said.

"Seems to me, that I've been catching you doing that a lot lately." she said with a smirk.  "You should have asked Dr. Gorma for something to help you fall asleep."

"I don't need it." Keith said.  "I took a long nap this afternoon.  Besides, I'm not the one who nearly got killed yesterday."

Allura waved her hand at him. "I received a good report from the doctor." she replied.  "And anyway, I was concerned for you.  I saw you sitting out here alone.  I just wanted to make sure you were okay."

"Thanks.  But I'm fine... really." He said convincingly. His mind, meanwhile, was fighting down emotions of guilt over Amy's death, condemnation of self, and the confusing feelings of love for the young Princess of Arus.

Allura walked over to the bench. "Mind if I sit down with you for a few moments?"

"No, of course not." he said while scooting over to allow her the room to take a seat.  She gently sat next to him, raising her head to the sky.

"It's a beautiful night." She whispered quietly.

"Nothing beats a warm starry night." Keith commented. "Especially the ones here on Arus."

"Yes. When I was a child, I used to sneak out of my room and come down here to sit and look up to the sky."

Keith chuckled. "Nanny must have had your hide when she found you were down here!"

"No. Actually, I don't think she knew." Allura said. "I was pretty quiet about it."

"She knew, I'm sure.  You just don't think she did, that's all!" Keith chuckled again.

"Yes, I suppose so.  She probably did my next day's piano lessons were always grueling the night after each midnight visit... come to think of it!" Allura mumbled out loud.

"See!" Keith teased. "Nanny was no dummy!"

They both broke into laughter. But soon, the air grew silent between them for a few moments.

"Keith..." Allura spoke up again.

"Hmm-m-m?" Keith tiredly replied, his eyes starting to finally feel tired.

"I... I want to thank you for save my life, once again." she said quietly.

"Princess, you don't have to thank me.  I was happy to do it." he replied, allowing a yawn to escape his past his lips.

"Oh, but I do!" she interrupted. "I must!"

Keith turned his head and looked at her.  Staring him straight in the face, were those beautiful blue eyes that he just couldn't help losing himself in.

She continued. "You've always made it your personal mission to watch over me.  And I just wanted you to know that I appreciate you."

Keith smiled contently. "You're welcome, Allura."

She suddenly scooted closer to him, tilting her head on his shoulder.  He could feel his body tremble at her touch.  Not knowing what to do, he chose to sit still.

Allura cuddled up to him. "I wonder..." she sighed.

"Wonder what?" Keith asked.

"I wonder what things would be like for us if I weren't a princess, and you we're a pilot."

Keith sucked in a breath and held it. "Where is she going with this?" he thought.

"Princess...I," Keith hesitated. "I don't think that's a conversation you and I ought to be having."

She lifted her head up from his shoulder, bringing her gaze to rest on his. "And why not?  I know you must think about it.  Lance thought so, too."

"He's dead!" Keith grunted to himself. "I'm going to kill him when I get my hands on him!"

"So..." Keith started, clearing his throat a bit. "What exactly did Lance say to you?"

"Just that he's fairly confident that you have some sort of crush on me." Allura said with a smile. "So, is it true?"

"Princess... I'm begging you not to take us there." He pleaded. "Some things are better left unsaid."

"But you said yourself, that there was undying affection that you had for me.  By the way where's my dragon?" she teased.

"Your what?" Keith looked at her with a puzzled expression.

"My dragon, silly!" she persisted. "Don't you remember asking me if you should go hunt down a dragon, in order to prove your undying affection toward me?"

"I believe the term I used was 'undying devotion', Princess." Keith corrected her with a smile.

"Affection...Devotion... its all the same thing, isn't it?" Allura returned with a crooked smile.

Keith nervously reached his hand behind his head, pulling on his shoulder-length hair. "Something like that, I guess..."

"So... where is my dragon?" she further teased.

Keith smiled back at her. "I let him go back into the lake for the next fisherman."

Once again, the two of them broke into laughter. 

Keith began to look deeply into her eyes. "You know, Princess, you have a heart of gold.
Don't ever lose that."

Allura smiled. "And you are much kinder than you let on to others." she said with a wink. "Don't let that go, Keith.  It's a wonderful quality."

"I have other wonderful qualities." He replied. "For instance, I have a knack for getting into trouble while keeping a watchful eye on beautiful princesses."

"And you do that so well!" she teased.

They both giggled at each other. Then the conversation became more serious.


She turned to look at him once again. "Yes, Keith?"

"If it were possible, would you...that is...would I ever stand a chance...?"

She sighed sweetly. "Keith, you're more wonderful than you give yourself credit for.  And things are always possible.  Even that."

Keith smiled gently. "You know, if I didn't practice more self discipline, I would kiss you right now."

She looked at him, the brightness of the moon reflecting in her blue eyes. "Oh Keith. I know how hard it was to lose Amy.  I don't want to be a rebound of that."

Suddenly, the mood broke, and Keith stared at Allura with the most peculiar look on his face.

"Huh?  What are you talking about, Princess?  Where did that come from?"

She rose to her feet, and took a few steps toward the middle of the garden path, crossing her arms in front of her body.

"I know that Amy must have meant something to you at some point, Keith."

Keith also crossed his arms in front of his chest, remaining seated on the bench. "Allura, Amy was nothing more than a friend.  I told you that at least a dozen times or more."

"Well, I'm sure there are other girls here on Arus that would be better suited for you." Then, she whirled around, looking at him intensely. "I just don't want you to feel like you are obligated to me."

Keith suddenly rose to his feet and walked over to where she stood.  Placing his hands gently on her shoulders, he simply smiled at her.

"Allura.  Don't you know by now that I'm not that easily swayed by anything?  And I don't feel my obligation to you or Arus has anything to do with it.  I just think that we're from two different worlds.  You're a Princess and I'm a pilot. How can I even hope to fit into your world?"

"How can I hope to fit into yours?" she said. "Do you know how hard it was for me when you left Arus to return home?"

"Yes... I do.  It was hard for me too." He replied. "I remember watching Arus as we left orbit..."

Keith suddenly allowed his mind to recall the day they left Arus to return to Earth....

He stood outside of the shuttle that would carry him away from what had become his home, and away from the only woman he had ever loved completely in his life.

With tears in his eyes, Keith bid farewell to Nanny and Coran.  He turned to Princess Allura, who was standing a slight distance away from them all.

Lance, Pidge and Hunk had already said their good-byes, and were now awaiting their Commander for the long return trip home back to Earth.

Keith walked over to the Princess, who was already crying.

He smiled at her through his tears. "Princess I... I wish I could stay.  I wish that with all my heart."

She nodded. "Me too.  But you have to go.  And I have to stay here."

He nodded as well. Coran and Nanny stood back, giving them room to say their good-byes.

Allura looked at him. "I'll watch for Earth on every clear night here on Arus."

"I'll do the same from Earth." Was all he could manage to get out.

She looked down to the ground. "Don't forget me"she sighed, heavyhearted.

Keith brought his hand to her chin, bringing her head up to meet his gaze. "Never.  I'll never forget you, Princess.  I can't." He began to scan the surrounding area. "My heart is forever here on Arus.  And someday, I'll return."

"And I'll be waiting for you." She tried bravely to smile.

He reached his hand up to wipe the tears from her cheeks. "Come now.  Such a beautiful Princess shouldn't be crying like this.  Now, smile once for me.  I want to remember your smile as I leave."

She put on a fake smile, despite her broken-heart.

He returned the smile. "There. That's my girl." He said quietly.

He leaned forward and tenderly kissed her forehead.  She closed her eyes, savoring the moment, as the tears freely flowed once again.

He bowed before her, in honor of her royalty.  Then, he forced himself to turn and leave her standing there before he decided to disregard orders and remain behind.

Allura watched him board the shuttle.

As it took off, Keith looked at her outside the window, staring down at her until he could no longer see her.  The other members of his team were in a melancholy mood as well.

Lance reached over and put his arm around his best friend's shoulders. "I'm going to miss her too."

"Yeah" was all Keith could say, as he silently watched Arus grow smaller and smaller, as the shuttled carried them further and further away.

Keith sighed somberly as he finished recalling the past...

"I still remember that feeling.  I thought my heart was going to break in half." he said to her, his hand still resting gently on her cheek. "I never want to feel that way again."

"Me either." she sighed gently. "Back on Zorn, I thought I'd lost you forever.  I thought you were serious about giving up your commission and remaining behind with Amy."

"I was under a spell. And I deeply regret everything I said or did that caused you pain, Princess.  I will carry that guilt inside for the rest of my life." Keith then brought his hand down to his side, and bowed his head. "I acted dishonorably."

"But Keith..." Allura interjected. "You had no control over that!  Hagar's spell was so strong that you couldn't break free."

"But I finally did. I just remembered what you said about following my heart." he said. "And you were right. My heart did know the difference between fact and fiction."

"Amy was seduced by Hagar's evil." Allura said. "And she in turn passed that onto you."

"Yeah, but she should have known better." Keith said, a perturbed tone suddenly arose in his voice. "She let her intense feelings for me get the best of her.  When Hagar presented the plan, it was just too good for her to resist."

"Can you blame her?" Allura said, defending her.

Keith looked at her, confused by her last comment. "Allura!  I thought you'd be the last person that would come to her defense!  After all, what she did not only affected me, but you and the other members of the Force!"

"But Keith... she loved you." Allura added.

"It's still no excuse, Princess!" Keith said sternly. "She should have known better!"

"Oh Keith, you really don't understand, do you?" she said. "Amy may have been falsely directed by Hagar's evil, but it was for love of a very special man.  Someone she cared for deeply, and would do whatever was necessary to win his love."

"Princess, I'm sorry, but I'm not sure I'm following you on this one." Keith said dryly

"Keith, she loved you. When you're in love, you tend to do things that you may not normally do otherwise."

"Like...?" he asked

"Like... protecting me as you do, for instance.  You set yourself in harm's way each day for me. I am an experienced pilot.  The best officer that Galaxy Garrison has ever produced trained me, and I have told you on more than one occasion, that I am perfectly capable of
taking care of myself. Yet, you choose to stick your neck out for me, again and again. Why?"

"Because you are important to the continuation of your planet, Allura!  I also told you eight years ago when I first trained you, that I'd prefer it if we could just get another Alliance pilot to
Arus, to take Sven's place.  But you were insistent that you'd be the one to fly Blue Lion. Against my better judgement, I taught you how to fly in combat."

Allura looked at Keith intensely as he continued:

"Princess, I have always made sure that you were protected.  Yeah... sure, I may have carried things to the extreme, sometimes.  But it was in an effort to protect you from harm."

"And not out of affection either, right?" Allura commented, her eyes reading his like a book.

Keith sighed, "Of course it was!  Do you think that I want to see something happen to you?  I couldn't bare it if you were hurt!"

"And that's what I'm trying to tell you, Keith.  Amy's love for you was misdirected, and she did do some pretty silly things.  But it was because of love for you that she did them.  Just like when you risked your life to fly over that cliff after me, back on Zorn.  Do you realize how dangerous that was?  You could have gotten yourself killed too!"

"I guess I didn't think about the consequences to myself" Keith said quietly.

"Or to others." Allura added. "Where do you think Lance, Pidge and Hunk would be now without their Commander?  Face it, Keith!  You did what you did for me not out of obligation alone... but out of love and friendship."

Keith turned his back, and walked over to the other side of the path.  He tilted his head up to the sky, staring at the stars.

Allura glanced at him. "Keith, I appreciate your protection.  I appreciate you.  But being angry with Amy for her shortcomings is not going to do you any good.  Besides, she's no longer here to defend herself to you."

"I know..." Keith whispered quietly. "I failed her too."

Allura walked quickly across the path, and placed her hands gently on his back. "Is that what this is all about?  Do you feel like you've failed her... and me?"

Without uttering a word, Keith nodded his head slightly.

"Oh Keith," she silently whispered from behind him. "You haven't failed us.  Amy is in peace. It was her time to go that's all.  And nothing you could have done would have stopped that. She's at peace, and she understands now.  I'm sure of it!"

"But what about you?" Keith said quietly. "I betrayed you, Allura.  I said so many hurtful things to you. How can I forgive myself for that?  I turned into the person I was trying to protect you from."

"You were under the influence of a spell.  You can't be blamed for that." she replied

Keith spun around and grabbed her by the shoulders, "Allura!  Don't you see? If I fell for a trick like that, what's to say that old Hagar won't come up with something that will brainwash me into turning you over to her and Lotor?  I'm a risk to you, Princess!  And I'd be a bigger risk to your safety if I became anything to you, other that your Commander of Voltron!"

She glared at him. "Nonsense!" she shouted. "You're making excuses now!"

Keith grunted aloud and turned around. "No I'm not!"

"Yes you are!" she pursued him. "You're making excuses to hide your feelings.  Its what you do best, Keith!  You don't want anyone to see you're human!  That's why you came out here, isn't it?  So you could let your guard down, cry your eyes out, and be human!"

Keith had his back to her, shouted out loud. "Yes!  Okay?  Yes, that's why I'm here!  I came here to be human, as you put it!"

He immediately turned around and faced her. "It's where I come often it's the only place I can care for you, Princess.  Any other way would not be appropriate!  I'm your Commanding officer, Allura!  I... I can't have feelings of affection for you!"

"Why not?" she shouted back at him. "Why am I so different?  Is it because of the title I bear...Princess of Arus?  Ridiculous!  I'm still a woman!  I'm still flesh and blood!  I'm not to be put on pedestal, Keith!  At the very least, I deserve your honesty!"

"I am being honest, Allura!" he shouted again. "I... I've grown very fond of you..." he quietly blurted out. "I have been since the day I first saw you standing in that rotted out castle of yours."

He slammed his fist into his other hand. "I can't believe I'm having this conversation with you!" he said. "I have rehearsed this over and over again, how to tell you all of this and somehow, it's not happening the way I planned it to."

Allura carefully approached him. "It doesn't matter, Keith.  What matters is that you've finally beginning to face your feelings."

He looked up at her. "I'm sorry, Princess.  I wouldn't blame you if you contacted Galaxy Garrison tomorrow and requested I be reassigned from Arus."

Suddenly, Allura's eyes widened. "You can't leave!  I can't let you leave me again!"

"But Princess... I have misdirected feelings for you.  I understand that you don't feel the same for me."

She hastily placed her hand over his mouth to silence him. "How can you say that?  You and Coran are both alike!  Always thinking you know what's best for me!  I'll tell you what's best for me.  You, Keith!  And I'm not about to let you leave me here alone again!  Request to be transferred is denied, Commander!  Resume your duties!"

Keith blinked several times. He reached across and grabbed hold of her hands. "Allura... I... I don't know what to say." he said quietly.

"Say nothing." She said sweetly. "Just hold me...as a friend, if you'd like."

He reached over and immediately held her close.  She placed her hands on his chest. Keith sighed gently, smelling the aroma of her hair, finding it suddenly more pleasing than the aroma of the flowers in the garden.

"Perhaps, when things are at peace, " he whispered into her ear, "We can talk about love."

She nodded her head. "Then, you won't leave Arus?"

Keith chuckled. "No, I couldn't leave Arus.  I couldn't leave the place I call home."

She brought her gaze up to his. "Promise?"

He smiled.

"Promise." he replied.

Keith planted a gentle kiss on her forehead. "Come on.  Time to get you back to your chambers."

He led her silently toward the entrance to the Castle.

As they left the garden in silence, a lone figure, who had been watching and listening to the exchanged, smiled to himself. 

As long as Commander Keith Hunter was alive, he would always be there to protect the Princess of Arus.

And now, there was another reason beyond her title, for him to do so.

Coran smiled, happy that Keith had finally faced the truth about his feelings for Allura.  And someday, he would find it in himself to confess that they are love. Coran had known it, himself, since the Force reunited together to fight Lotor once again.  He could see it in Keith's eyes.

He could also see that he made Allura very happy.  And that suited Coran just fine.

He sighed quietly, as he stood in the shadows of the darkness, knowing there was never any further need to pursue a prince for Allura.

She had already found her prince...

And Keith... his Princess.

The End.

Happy Birthday, Keith