"Can You Hear Me Calling You?"

Story by Adele
Story Copyright 2003
A story based on the series, "Voltron, Defender of the Universe."

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!

(Note...this is the last chapter of this story.)


Chapter 35
Unexpected Confidant

It had been three weeks since Doom was defeated, and a daily routine of peace began to settle on Arus.

Slowly, the people of Arus began to come out of their below ground hiding places.

The Voltron Force had been busily helping to rebuild some of the nearby villages.  The task loomed large, because much had been destroyed during Zarkon's terror raids.  Everyone realized that rebuilding was going to take many months...perhaps, even years.

And the Princess wasted no time in tending to her royal garden.

She and some of the Castle maids had taken time each day to tend to the gardens.  It looked better than it had...but certainly, there was much more work to be done.

Allura loved to be in the garden.

She recalled the times, when she, as a small child, would attend her mother on mid-day strolls in the garden.  Allura's mother, Queen Angelica, loved roses...and perhaps, that was why Allura loved them so much as well. So much so, in fact, that Allura had designated a
large area of the garden for roses of all kinds and colors.

The boys of the Voltron Force had helped out too, by planting shrubbery, trees and other such flora décor.

She had been in the garden all day, as a matter of fact.  Coran was becoming concerned because Allura barely ate anything to keep a bird alive.  She said she hadn't time to eat. Proclaiming that much work still needed to be accomplished first before celebrations and
feasting, Allura said she had planned a gala feast for all of the people of Planet Arus...as many as would come. And she wanted the Castle to look its best.

The people deserved to have a Castle, that wasn't a constant reminder to them of the horrors of the Doom Wars.  And Allura was going to make sure that the new Castle of Lions was not merely her home...but a new found hope to all people, everywhere, that Arus would survive and go on.

Voltron had been busily clearing away debris from the old Castle, making way for more trees and shrubs to be planted along the Castle's exterior walls.

Allura wanted everything to be as perfect as possible.

And so...in the garden was where Keith had found her...

He smiled at her initiative.  If only some people on his team could work as diligently as she did, he thought.

Allura was dressed in a pink jumpsuit, and bare feet.  Her hair was up in a fashionable bun style, however, some of the pieces were falling around the sides of her face.

She looked...beautiful.

Keith suddenly cleared his throat...

"I've never heard of a mud princess, before."
Keith said, deciding to let her know he was
behind her. "Let me guess...you've always
had a secret desire to get dirty, right?"

Allura looked up suddenly and began
brushing her hands together,
smiling and sighing, nearly out
of breath. She had been on her
knees, moments before, planting
the last of the Mireo flowers... a
beautiful pink flower, with just a
hint of golden tones to it. The
Mireo plant was native to Arus...
and a favorite of her late father's.

"Oh, Keith, don't be silly!" Allura replied in a breathless fashion.  "Actually, you startled me! I...I didn't hear you step up!"

"I'm sorry about that, Princess," Keith said in a mild tone of voice.  "I just wanted to tell you that we were back from the village of Somner."

"How are things going over there?" she questioned Keith.

"Pretty good, actually!" Keith replied, with a joyful expression. "And, it looks like we've got a few of the villagers off to a good start.  They're starting to clear away rocks and other debris, making way for the new planetary building projects.  It's not perfect...but it's a start."

"That's all we can ask, isn't it?" Allura replied.

"Sure is.  I'm actually pretty happy with the turnout we got." Keith went on to say.  "At first, it kind of looked like we'd get the same response in Somner, as we did in Porter...but then, people started poking their head out, to see what we were doing."

"And what were you doing?" Allura giggled.

Keith shrugged his shoulders. "Cleaning up, what else?  We used the lions to move several large concrete slabs...remnants from destroyed buildings and such.  People seemed...
well...curious all of a sudden!  Before we knew it, there were about fifty or so of them, standing around, looking for something to do!"

"I'm glad!" Allura beamed. "Word is starting to get out that its time to rebuild our lives...
and our world."

"Seems to be," Keith said with a nod to his head.  He took a look around in the garden. "This looks to be shaping up nicely too, Princess.  You've really made this place shine!"

"Well, its good...but not good enough, yet." Allura said with a gentle sigh. "There's more to do. And I intend to stick with it, until the job is done."

"Somehow...I had no doubt that you wouldn't." Keith replied with a smile.

Allura giggled for a moment...and then suddenly, she bent down to the ground, picking up a trampled rose.  She frowned...thinking how careless she had been, having trampled the beautiful flower.

She held the flower in front of her face...

Keith saw her downed expression suddenly, and quickly tried to find something else to talk about...

"You sure do have a lot of different types of flowers here, Princess!" Keith said.  "And the roses are just stunning!"

"You know, my mother really loved roses.  Perhaps...that's why I have such a fond fascination for them, myself." Allura replied as she tilted her head.

Keith paused for a moment... "Tell me about your mother, Princess."

Allura looked up at Keith...hesitating at first...then, she gave a half-hearted smile to Keith as she continued.  "Well...my mother... was...she was a beautiful woman...a beautiful person..."

"Like her daughter, I imagine." Keith added with a wink of his eye.  "Go on..."

Allura glanced at Keith for a second before continuing.  "My mother was bright as much as she was beautiful.  She loved Arus...as much as my father did.  We were so happy...and then...then...Zarkon...he..."

"It's painful to remember, isn't it?"
Keith said quietly. "I know how
you feel..."

Allura smiled slightly, "I know you do...
you miss your parents too,
don't you?"

Keith abruptly paused for a moment...
realizing the sudden gasp he had
just heard had come from his own mouth.

"How...how do you know about my parents?" Keith asked her in a bewildered tone. "I never told you."

"You didn't have to, Keith.  I felt it in your heart." Allura replied.

"Huh?" he stammered.  "When did you..."

"Do you remember our conversation back in the library?" Allura asked him.

"Yeah...and...?"

"And," Allura replied. "When I heard my voice in your heart...I heard something else there too.  It was the cry of a young boy."

Keith's eyes were suddenly widened by her comment...and he quickly turned around, placing his back to her.

Allura walked up behind Keith and gently touched his arm.  "I know that you, above anyone, know the loss I feel...because you also feel the same for your own parents."

Keith's face suddenly tensed.  His eyes closed...

"I know you must have loved them very much, Keith," Allura replied quietly.  "As I loved my parents.  I know your head wants to believe that they are dead.  But your heart can't stop wondering if they really are.  And so, you refuse to grieve, because you can't allow
yourself to.  For doing so, would mean admitting to yourself that you have given up all hope that they are alive."

Keith's eyes squinted tightly together, and his face suddenly soured.

Allura gave a gentle squeeze to his arm.  "I know that you intended to comfort me...and I appreciate your thoughtfulness.  And I know, by your silence, that this matter is personal to you, and not something you wish to share...especially to someone you hardly know.  But I
want you to know, that if you ever feel the need to share your heart...I have a good listening ear, and I'd like you feel that you can talk to me too.  Sometimes it helps to share your burdens with a complete stranger...more so then close friends."

The Princess released her hold on Keith's arm and turned to leave.

"I'll see you at dinner, Commander." Allura added, formally, feeling that maybe she had gone too far this time.

As she reached the entrance to the Castle, she suddenly heard his voice reply back to her...


"I'll be there, Princess."


She smiled. "I look forward to your company...Keith." Allura smiled.

Keith was left to himself...and the quietness of the garden.

The sky was blue...no sign of trouble in the air...only the stirring of a calm breeze that waffled through his long jet-black hair.

He began to think on what she had said...
He began to think about his parents...

She was right.  He wasn't ready to grieve for them...not just yet.  And whether it was for the reasons that she had sited or not, really didn't matter to him.

Keith turned and looked at the bed of roses...and the lone bench that sat directly across from.  Almost involuntarily, he found his feet taking him the bench...the lone bench in the middle of the garden... and he suddenly took a seat on it.

He began staring at the red, white and pink roses that were planted there in neat rows...
suddenly remembering that his mother also favored them very much, and how often he had seen his father come home with a large bouquet of them for her.

He only wished that he had been old enough to do the same for his mother.

But....wherever she was...she understood that.  And Keith was okay with it.

Life was full of disappointments, and he once told Lance, that Allura's life was full of them...

What's one more...

Was the comment meant to refer to the Princess's life...or his own?

Perhaps...a little of both.

As he stared up into the blue sky above his head and took a deep breath in of the sweet, pure air of Arus, a fleeting thought had crossed his mind.

He came there to comfort her...and instead, he ended up taking comfort in her words of wisdom.  She offered him unexpected wisdom and comfort... once again, placed her own feelings and needs aside.

She truly was an incredible woman, wise beyond her years.

A gemstone, more precious then silver or gold...and he had the pleasure of being in her service and under the shadow of her brightness.

As Keith continued to stare up into the sky, he suddenly felt the weight of his eyelids, as sleep deprivation began to finally catch up with the young commander.  He felt the overwhelming need to closed his eyes...allowing himself the pleasure of falling asleep on the comforting bench...while listening to the birds sing to him, a sweet lullaby.

And as he drifted off to sleep, deep within his heart...he could hear
the faint voice of a comforted Princess's sigh...knowing that she, at
last, was safe from harm...and blessed with the company of now, good
friends.

And a distant planet in the Azure quadrant had found peace once more.

Thanks in part, to its good friends from Earth...and their ability to bring back Voltron, now, the returned champion and defender of that peace.

Keith rested, content in that thought.



The End.
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