"The Enemy Unknown"

A story based on "Voltron, The Third Dimension"
Copyright 2002
By Adele Previte

"Voltron" and its characters are a trademark and copyright of World Event Productions

All other characters are copyrighted by me and can be used with my permission.

Thanks!


Chapter Eight
Quiet Moment of Solitude

The banquet ended very late...

Keith insisted on escorting Allura back to her assigned chambers, assuring Lance, Pidge and Hunk that everything was fine.  For some reason, unknown to him, the three of them seemed extremely clingy suddenly...wanting to make sure Keith got to his room safely.  He had convinced them that he would only be a few minutes, and to wait for him in his room.

Keith stifled a yawn as he walked along side of the Princess down the corridor.  He was looking forward to a nice long sleep.

He wanted to put Allura's fears to rest... so that she could do the same.

So, he offered to check her room thoroughly before she retired for the evening...just to ease her mind that all was well...especially after her earlier encounters with King Drago. But before they went to her quarters, they stopped by at his to get his blaster.

Keith Hunter was anything but foolhardy.

As they arrived at her quarters, Allura stood behind Keith as the door to her room slid open.  He poked his head in and activated the light unit next to the door.  The room went from dark to light instantly.

Everything was as Allura had left it...nothing was out of place, to the best of her recollection.

Keith moved in slowly, his blaster ahead of him and his finger alert for any sign of trouble. Reaching behind him, he grabbed Allura's hand in his, and brought her up along side of him.

"Everthing seems okay, Princess." Keith said initially. "I'll check around good, just to be sure."

Allura nodded, feeling somewhat foolish.  She was angry with herself for showing such cowardice to Keith.  For years, she had tried so very hard to show Keith her bravery, in order that she might solidify her place on his team as a member of the Voltron Force.

Somehow, cowering now, she felt that he might think her too weak to be a part of it any longer.  Even though she knew deep down inside, that there was nothing more further from the truth.

Keith led her through the main room, checking every corner, every hidden area.

Next...sitting room, and then, the sleeping area.  He crouched down low and checked under the bed...nothing there.

He checked the closets...nothing there either.

Finally, Keith checked the bathroom area, including all the cupboard spaces.  The only thing he found was some dust...a result of neglectful housecleaning.

He led her back to the main room and holstered his blaster to his belt.  Keith then turned confidently to her.

"Looks like everything is in order here, Allura." he said with a smile on his face.  "I think you'll be fine."

She shot him a smirk.  "No monsters under the bed?  You did check for monsters there...
didn't you?" she asked playfully.

The childhood reference brought a chuckle to his voice as he responded.  "No...no monsters!  I checked!"

Allura smiled slightly.  "Thank you, Keith...but...I feel so foolish asking you to check my room..."

"Now hold on just a minute, Princess!" Keith interrupted her. "There's no foolishness in being cautious! Avoiding trouble is the smartest thing you can do!"

"I didn't want you to think I couldn't do it myself," she said to him.  "I am quite sure I could have done this on my own"

"But it doesn't hurt to be with someone...just in case." Keith said to her.  "Its always better to be safe then sorry."

Allura smiled, and bowed her head. "You're very gracious, Keith."

He laid his hand on her shoulder, rubbing it gently. "And you are very brave."

She looked up to himand smiled once again. "I had hoped you would still think that of me."

Keith frowned for a moment.  "I know I scrutinize you a lot, Allura.  But I do it so that you can be the pilot that I know you're capable of being.  It's important for me, as your Commander, to know that you'll be okay, if for whatever reason, you find yourself alone,
facing danger.  That's why I've always insisted you learn to think rationally, and not act out of fear.  It wasn't that I ever thought you were too weak.  On the contrary, its because I could see in you the ability to be a great pilot and defender of your people.  I haven't been disappointed in you...not once."

"Well, "Allura smiled. 
"Maybe once, you were..."

Keith looked at her with a
puzzled expression on his face. 
"When?" he asked her.

"That time when you had
taught me how to fly, and
approved me through Coran to be on the team.  And shortly thereafter, we met up with Lotor for the first time.  He sent his attack forces to Arus, and on my own, I decided that in order to prove myself to you that I was capable of being a strong leader, I took Black Lion out to defend the Castle."

Allura bowed her head in an almost shameful manner as she continued...  "It turned out to be the biggest mistake I had made to that point.  I disappointed everyone.  Especially after I then compounded matters further by thinking if I turned myself over to Lotor, somehow, he would spare my planet and my people."

"I remember..."
Keith said slowly.

"You were injured by
Lotor's laser sword in
the shoulder while
attempting to rescue me.
All of that happened because
of my foolishness... and more
then all of that, I disappointed
you and the boys...so much so,
that you all wished that Sven
were well, and could return
to the team."  Allura added.

Keith's eyes focused on hers intensely. "Now hold on, Princess...I never once wished..."

"But you said it!" Allura said quickly, cutting him off.  "You said that Sven would have never done something like that to his team!  And I overheard Lance say to all of you that you were all stuck with me... a Princess who couldn't work with a team!"

"But... I never wished Sven to come back!" Keith defended.  "I may have said he would never do something like that, but I never once said I wished him back!  I was angry, yes... You took the Black Lion.  I trusted you to do the right thing, and you took advantage of that trust.  I was angry...and maybe a bit jealous too...jealous at the thought that I could be replaced as team leader.  But you forgot about one major detail in your self-punishment, Allura.  I attempted to pilot Black Lion after I was injured, and you defended me when I
lost control, and bought me enough time to steady myself and begin the Voltron sequence, defeating Lotor and sending him packing back to Doom."

She looked at him, struggling to find the truth that had been shining in his eyes...

"Allura...I might have died out there if not for your intervention.  And do you remember what I said to you back at the Castle?" he asked her.

"I...I...think so..." she struggled to say.

"I said...never ever doubt that I always want you on my team.  And I meant every last word of that phrase... and still do." Keith finished.

Allura's eyes began to tear up...


"That whole incident helped me to see that you had it in you to be a great pilot!  And I've never doubted that for a moment!" Keith added.  "The way you lead your people...I stand in awe of you each time you spend time with them, each time you make a critical decision
regarding their well-being. What you do on a daily basis for them including piloting Blue Lion...helps to reassure me that I was right in believing in you, Allura!"

Keith reached his hand up and wiped the falling tears from her cheeks.

"Then, my being afraid, here and now, hasn't shaken that belief?" she said.

Keith smiled, shaking his head.  "No it hasn't.  In fact, you're needing me to protect you gives me a good feeling inside, knowing that you trust me enough to look after you.  And it's my pleasure to fulfill your expectations."

She smiled gently at him.  "Thank you, Keith...for being so kind."

Keith shrugged his shoulders.  "I didn't do anything..."

"Oh yes you did" Allura said.  "Three times today, you've rescued me from danger!"

"Huh?" he puzzled. "What danger?"

"Constantine and Drago...and myself." she reminded him.

"There was no danger with Constantine..." he replied.

"Maybe not in the literal sense of the word, but I was in an uncomfortable position, and you came to my rescue." she said to him.

"I did what I needed to do." he replied.  "What I had to do..."

"And what you wanted to do." she added.  "And I never rewarded you for your bravery."

"Yeah, what about that?" Keith said with a sarcastic tone in fun. "You give Lance a kiss on the cheek! And what did I get?"

"This is what you get..." she said gently.

She leaned in toward him,
and with the swiftness of a
gazelle, her lips connected
with his, yet with the tardiness
of a turtle, they lingered there.
Keith slowly wrapped his arms
around her...holding her to
him as if to never let her go.

She reached her arms up and
allowed her fingers to run through his thick, shoulder-length, jet-black hair.

When the kiss had finished, she looked at him.  "Thank you, Keith." she said with a smile.

"WOW!" Keith beamed.  "That was some 'thank you'!"

Allura smiled tenderly at him.  "It was more than a thank you.  It was meant to tell you how special you are to me."

"You must know that I'll always be here to protect you." Keith assured her, now being more serious with her.  "It is my dutyand my desire."

She nodded.  "I appreciate your desire, and thank you for your love for me..."

"You are, without a doubt, my highest priority," he told her.  "And I love looking out for you...almost as much as I... love you, Allura."

A dead silence fell in the room, as both of them absorbed the moment of the kiss and their words to each other.

"You...you said it..." Allura whispered softly.  "You said 'I love you' to me..."

Keith remained perfectly still.  Allura brought her hand up to lightly touch the side of his face.

"Do you really mean it, Keith?" Allura asked.

"Yes.  I really mean it, Allura." Keith replied with a softened expression.  "I've never loved anyone, the way I love you.  I've never been so emotionally wrapped up in someone, so much, that I'd actually forget about my own safety.  I actually enjoyed facing off with Drago for you, tonight.  I really did!  I felt like your fairy tale 'Knight in Shining Armor'!"

The smile that was still on Allura's face grew suddenly wider.  "Well, I shall try not to be such a problem for you!' she giggled.

"Just remember not to leave your room without escort...not to go anywhere without escort. This guy, Drago, was born under the sign of 'rotten'...as Lance would say." Keith said to her.  "I don't trust him."

She nodded in agreement.  "I understand, Keith." Allura replied.  "I will make sure not to go anywhere without you or one of the other boys."

Keith nodded and turned to leave.  As he reached to the door, he turned back to her.  "I'm not far...you know that."

"I know that..." she replied sweetly.

"You can call me...if you need to," he said hesitantly, not wanting to leave her, but knowing he couldn't stay.

Allura smiled.  "If I need to, I'll call you." she said to him.  "But I'm sure I'll be fine now."

The Voltron Commander paused for another moment...then smiled at her.  "Okay...I'll see you tomorrow morning."

Allura waved to him as the door opened to the hallway and he stepped out of her room.  She hurriedly went to the door and stood in front of it.

Her smiling face was the last thing Keith saw as the door swished closed in front of him. With a gentle and content sigh...he turned to go, heading back to his room.

...with two pairs of eyes watching him leave her assigned chambers.

With evil intentions, the two shady characters followed Keith as he walked casually back to his room to meet Lance, Pidge and Hunk.
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