"Forever...United."

A story based on, "Voltron, The Third Dimension"
Copyright 2004
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! 

Enjoy!


Chapter 10
Mistrusted Feelings

Standing near the tunnel entrances, Princess Allura anxiously awaited the arrival of her friends, who were returning to Castle Control from the lion shuttles.

She had returned to the Castle, only moments ago.  But the devastation that surrounded the Castle of Lions did not go unseen by her eyes, as Black Lion landed back on the Lion Monument.

The grounds were littered with burned-out hulks that were once ships, belonging to her Royal Air Fleet.

Her surprise to see Keith and especially, Pidge, cast a ray of hope on the dark cloud of sorrow that had griped her heart, lately.  But now, she had to work on restoring her relationship with Keith...which she perceived, should not be too difficult to do.

She was sure he would understand, once she had laid it all out in front of him.

Pidge returned first, hoisted up by the T-bar that had originally carried him down to the chute.

Coran turned his head and smiled. "Welcome back, Pidge!"

Allura ran to Pidge, embracing him in her arms.

"Oh, I could kiss you, Pidge!" Allura said, suddenly, in an excited tone of voice.  "You don't know how timely your return was!"

"Aw, shucks, ma'am!" Pidge replied in a mocking tone of voice, made to sound like a cowboy. "T'weren't nothin' at t'all!"

Allura giggled suddenly releasing Pidge and kissing his cheek in earnest.

"For that...I'd fight off Lotor's whole fleet!" Pidge cried out, joyfully.

The sound of another T-bar returning to its position caught the attention of Pidge and Allura. Coran rose from his seat to greet the return of Commander Keith, as he stepped out of the Number four tunnel.

"Welcome, Commander!" Coran said, boisterously.

Keith said nothing.  His eyes immediately swept the room, finding Allura instantly.

At first, Allura's response was a joyful one.  Seeing him back on Arus...back home...made her hear sing.

Keith's eyes narrowed suddenly, as he gazed at her, then quickly looked away.

Allura paused... her impulse was to run to his arms.  But now...his expression told her to keep her place.

"Coran, we need to effect repairs on the Black Lion." Keith said sternly.  "Pidge and I can handle it, and with any luck, we can have the matrix reconnected within the hour."

"Understood and agreed." Coran replied.

Keith nodded to him and then, turned his attention to Pidge.  "Go get whatever tools we need for the job, Pidge.  And make it quick.  Lotor could be planning his next attack as we speak. We've got to ready for him, when he does."

"What about Hunk and Lance?" Pidge asked him.

"As soon as we have repaired Black Lion, I'll work on getting Lance back here from Pollux. Then, we'll find Hunk and talk to him as well." Keith replied.  "Our priority is to be ready for the next attack.  We need the Black Lion completely operational to do that."

Allura stood quietly off to the side, suddenly feeling very much like a stranger in her own Castle.

"I'll meet you at the Black Lion!" Pidge said, running off.

"I will attempt to find out any information I can on Lotor's movements." Coran advised.

"Good." Keith replied.  "Keep me informed."

Keith suddenly paused...looking to Allura's face, once again.  Her expression was dismal, suddnely.  She appeared to be blankly staring at him.  He forced his eyes from her and then, turned to leave.

He made it as far as the door, when he heard Allura calling after him.  He paused...but did not turn his head to look at her.

"Is that it?" Allura said suddenly,
with a hint of sarcasm to her voice.

"Is that what?" Keith replied back,
still refusing to meet her gaze.

"No greeting...no hello...not a word?"
Allura said.

"What would you have me say, Princess?"
Keith said in reply.

"How about, 'I'm glad you're safe, Allura'...?
The old Keith would have done that!"
Allura replied back to him.

"I'm the same, 'old Keith' that I was days ago,
Allura." Keith replied solemnly.  "The same
guy that's still confused by your actions and
reactions."

Allura paused...then said, "Keith...I need to talk to you."

"I've got work to do." Keith replied back in a cold manner.  "Its going to have to wait."

Allura was taken back by his unfeeling response to her.  She suddenly ran up to him, standing directly in his line of sight.

"But...I have something to say to you!" Allura said to him.  "I want to explain why I..."

"There's nothing to explain." Keith said coolly, cutting her off.

"But there is, Keith!" Allura said to him, grabbing his shoulders with her hands.  "I..I...lied to you!  And I have to tell you why I lied to you!"

Keith's eyebrows lifted up slightly in response to the beginnings of her confession.  "Lied to me?  Lied about what, Allura?"

"My feelings for you." she said, somewhat sheepishly.

Keith crossed his arms over his chest.  "Princess...now is not the time to..."

"It is the time!" Allura interrupted quickly.  "I have to tell you this...right now!  So listen, okay?"

Keith blew out a frustrated breath of air.  "Okay...go ahead.  I'm listening."

She was momentarily stunned by his lacking compassion, but nevertheless, she had to speak her peace.

"When I told you that I didn't love you anymore...there was a reason I did it." Allura began.  "I was under advisement."

"From whom?" Keith said, in a rather tart tone of voice.

"I...I was confused, Keith," Allura continued on.  "When the guardian came to my room and told me that you were going to die if I didn't..."

"Whoa...whoa...wait a minute!" Keith stopped her suddenly.  "What, 'guardian' are you talking about?"

"The one sent by my father." Allura replied back.

"Wait a minute!  Let me get this straight!  Your father said that he sent you a 'guardian', that appeared in your room and told you I was going to die?" Keith said, trying to sort through her jagged thoughts.

"She said that you would die, if I didn't renounce my love for you!  And she that Arus would also be doomed to the same fate that would come to you!" Allura repeated.  "But, she told me that she was sent by my father."

"She told you this?" Keith asked her, stunned by her words.  "And you believed that?"

"What was I supposed to believe!" Allura shouted at Keith suddenly.

"Are you sure it wasn't Hagar in disguise, posing as a 'guardian' being?" Keith asked her.

"I...I don't know." Allura stammered suddenly.  "All I know is that I loved you so much...too much to risk it being true!  The guardian showed me how you were to die…and it was when the G'Donar ship had hit your lion from the rear compartment...the weakened area, specifically!"

"And...that's why you pulled that crazy maneuver...trying to save me by positioning yourself under my lion, right?" Keith asked her.

Allura nodded in silence.

Keith looked at her.  "But, even so...with that being said...do you understand what you did to me?  Why didn't you just come and tell me?!  Why put us both through this whole charade?"

"Don't you understand?  Haven't you heard a single word I've said???  I was afraid!!!  Afaid for your safety!!" Allura said in a slightly elevated voice.  "The guardian told me that if told you...you would surely die...no matter what I did or said!"

Keith stared at her with a blank stare.  "Allura...I do understand...but...you can't expect that this is a bandage to make it all okay again.  I...can't just pick up where we...I...need time."

Allura's facial expression became downcast instantly.

"I'm sorry Keith.  I know I can't undo the pain I've caused to you...that I've caused to us both."

"You're right.  It can't." Keith replied...suddenly stone-faced again.  "I...I trusted you with the very part of my life that I tried so hard to protect!   I opened myself up to you and gave you my heart.  Why didn't you trust me enough, to tell me what was going on!"

"But Keith...don't you see?  I was so sure that the guardian's warning was true...I just take the chance...I couldn't bear to lose you!" Allura cried.

"That was a lost cause, it seems!" Keith shouted back. "By protecting my feelings...at the same time, you alienated yourself from me!  What was I supposed to think?  Now, you're standing here, telling me that you were manipulated by some...guardian-ghost that can predict the future...and now, you want me to trust you and carry on like nothing happened?  How am I supposed to do that?  I don't work like that, Princess!  It is entirely possible, that I no longer
feel the same way about you, either!"

Keith knew his last statement was the furthest from the truth.

"Then, why did you risk your life out there for me?" Allura shouted, pointing her finger toward the ceiling.  "Go ahead...tell me it was out of duty and honor...and nothing more!  Go ahead, Keith!  I'm waiting to hear it!  SAY IT!"

"NO!" Keith shouted at her.  "You've said enough for both of us!"

Keith stepped around her and walked down the corridor.  She ducked her head out into the corridor after him, shouting,  "Where are you going?"

"I'm going to ask the pilot of the alliance ship to hang around for a few days, while I sort this mess out!  Then, I'm going to help Pidge reattach the Black Lion's weapons system matrix! Then, I'm going to call Pollux and try to convince Lance to come to his senses and get
back here!"

"Then what?" Allura shouted at him down the corridor.

"Then...I don't know what!" Keith shouted back at her.  "I've got a lot of thinking to do!"

"And...that's it??" Allura exclaimed.  "You just end it like this??  Keith!  KEITH!"

Keith continued down the corridor...leaving Allura fuming as she stood and watched him leave her sight. Then, she turned and went into Castle Control, convinced that he was behaving in a most, irrational manner.

And the air shifted above the area that Keith and Allura had been standing in...

The faint image of a woman hovered in midair... the image...was Audra.  She had been the one responsible for the recent rash of squabbling between the Voltron Force.

And she took great delight in seeing this particularly negative exchange that had just taken place between Keith and Allura... orchestrated by her.

She had been inserting angered thoughts, telepathically, into the minds of Keith and Allura...and of the others....unbeknownst to any of them.

She gloried in the result of anger and tension between the Princess and her former Black Lion Knight.  One step closed to completing her ultimate plan to conquer Arus...and taking the young Commander as her personal slave for life.

And if she had her way...more was to come.