"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 25
Love Eternal

It was now eight-thirty six in the evening....

Keith had been summoned to Pidge's quarters.  For the sake of secrecy, they met there to discuss Pidge's method of tracking Keith's whereabouts, once he was taken from Arus by Audra.

The Voltron Commander entered the teen genius's room quietly... careful that no one else had followed him there. The door slide quietly behind him and Pidge quickly activated the security door lock, closing them both inside.

Keith turned to Pidge... "Well?"

"I've got it, Commander." Pidge replied, seriously. "I can insert the microchip when you're ready for it."

"Will it be seen?" he asked Pidge.

"Only if someone's really looking closely for it," the Green Lion pilot replied back.  "Otherwise...no...it can't be seen. It'll be underneath the surface of the skin."

"Okay...let's get this over with." Keith replied back with a nervous sigh. "There's not much time left."

"Right...and I want to make sure you have no allergic reaction, either." Pidge added.

"How long to know that, Pidge?" Keith replied back, suddenly jumpy. "It's not like I've got all the time in the world, you know."

"Calm down, Skipper.  If it rejects, I'll know in the next five minutes."

"And if it does?" Keith asked him. "Then what?"

"I've got another plan up my sleeve." Pidge reassured. "Okay...where do you want it?  The arm or the hand?"

"How about under my arm?" Keith asked him. "It's less likely to be seen there."

Pidge shook his head. "It should be as far away from your heart as possible.  Its rhythm might disrupt the electronic scanning signal."

Keith hesitated for a second...then said, "Well...okay...in my arm somewhere.  But try to find a place where its not likely to be seen."

"Let's use the right forearm...just below the bend of your elbow." Pidge suggested.  "That's probably the best place for it."

The young Commander nodded his head and instantly began rolling up his sleeve, exposing the skin of his arm.

Pidge took out a micro-hypo inserter and held it up to Keith's arm. Keith looked at Pidge, watching him as he carefully prepared to inject his arm with the microchip tracker.

"This might smart a bit," Pidge warned. "But it'll only sting for a second or two..."

"Do it." Keith ordered.

Pidge released the injection. It made a hissing sound. Keith felt a mere pitch, flinching only slightly...and within seconds, the chip had been inserted below the skin layers of Keith's arm, and the stinging sensation subsided.

Keith retracted his arm back, bending it a few times to test the comfort level. He didn't feel a thing in there. Only a small red spot was left as evidence of the insertion.

Pidge activated his hand scanner, which had been pre-programmed to the frequency of the microchip. Keith watched as Pidge intensely fooled with the scanner. A smile came to Pidge's face as he looked up to Keith.

"Its working, Keith." he confirmed.

"That's great," Keith replied back. "Let's hope it works for long distances."

"This baby's technology is so powerful, I could track you on a rainy day...or in another dimension...should this lady transport you elsewhere beyond our galaxy's limits." Pidge said.

"Are you sure about that, Pidge?"

"Sure as I'm the Green Lion pilot, Keith!"

"I hope so." Keith replied back, sighing slightly.

"Hey...did you talk to the Princess yet?"
Pidge asked Keith.

"Yeah..."

"And...how did she take it?"
Pidge asked him again.

"Let's just say...things could have gone worse." Keith replied back solemnly.

Pidge frowned. "That bad, huh?"

"How did you expect it to go? You didn't expect me to tell you that she's taking it well...right?" Keith groaned. "I'm leaving...how much worse can it get?"

Keith's head instantly bowed and his eyes closed up tightly.

Instantly, Pidge knew he probably shouldn't have asked the question.

"Hey...I'm...I'm sorry, Keith. I know how hard this must be on you.  Heck...it's hard on me too. I still can't believe that she's doing \this to you. What did you ever do to her?" Pidge commented.

Keith shrugged his shoulders. "She's in with Lotor. I'm not sure if he's the one behind this or not...to get me out of the way, I mean.  Audra said that she and Lotor had unfinished business to attend to.  And I'll just bet it has to do with Allura!"

"Lotor?" Pidge shouted out suddenly. "Whoa...he's not exactly your best friend, either."

"Yeah...I know. I'm sure he's got plans for me." Keith added.

"I sure don't want to know what those, 'plans' are, either." Pidge said to him.

"That's why you guys have to watch over the Princess...and I mean, like a hawk!" Keith said suddenly. "If this is Lotor's bright idea, he's more than likely going to try and isolate the Princess, once I'm gone."

"Well...we're going to do everything we can to get you back on Arus.  I promise, Keith.  We'll find you, somehow, and we'll find a way to defeat Audra in the process." Pidge affirmed.

"Don't worry about me! Just...take care of the Princess," Keith suddenly said...now in a firm tone. "She's crucial to Arus' survival. You understand? And you guys...give her your full
allegiance...just like you would to me. She's going to be in command. But, her first duty has to be to Arus. And she might not always see it that way. That's where you guys will have to watch out for her.

"I can't do that...anymore. Also...she's a leader...but not a military leader. She's going to need all of you guys to rally behind her...especially...emotionally. This is going to hit her hard...when I leave, that is."

"It's already hitting us all hard, Keith." Pidge replied. "Hunk and I heard it from Coran, who got it from the Princess. Coran called me to the infirmary, where he told us both. I played dumb, though... like I didn't know anything...for appearances."

Keith said nothing...only a dreaded nod of his head.

Pidge grabbed Keith's arm and looked at it. He nodded affirmatively.  "Well... it looks like all's okay. There's no sign of rejection." He was trying to change the subject from doom to hope. "This should work like a charm, Commander."

Keith nodded as Pidge released his arm. He then, rolled down his sleeve once again.

"Thanks for giving this a shot. It might not make a difference in the end...but at least, it's a chance." Keith said. "I've...I've got to get going. I've got a bunch of stuff still left to do...and not a lot of time left to do it in. I'll uh...catch up with you later."

Pidge nodded and watched as Keith turned and walked to the door, and releasing the security lock, the door opened, allowing Keith to exit Pidge's quarters once again.

The door closed silently...

Pidge just stood... pausing...allowing his mind to dwell on the seriousness of the situation.

"It's just got to work..." he muttered to himself.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As Keith was walking down the corridor and passing one of the lounge areas...he suddenly paused in his tracks...

He had only casually looked in the room as he was passing... but the figure that was present in the room caught his attention, almost immediately.

He backed up his steps and peered more carefully inside the room. His heart immediately sank in his chest.

She was sitting alone... with her back to the door. In her hands...she had a holo-picture. It was of the two of them...her and Keith.

"Oh, Princess..." he thought, as a sigh escaped him.

She was suddenly aware that she was no longer alone. Allura quickly turned her head... and her heart instantly fainted.  Her eyes beheld Keith, as he stood at the entranceway to the lounge.  His face was as drawn and tired in appearance... as hers was.

"Keith..." she said in a small voice, thickened by tears. Teardrops that had been falling from her eyes moistened her cheeks. She looked at him, allowing the holo-pic to rest in her lap. "Where have you been? I tried to find you..."

"I...needed time...alone." he said softly.

"I understand." she replied, quietly.

He walked in the room and took a seat in the adjacent chair, across from where she was sitting. He sighed once again as his elbows came to rest on his knees. He dropped his head into his hands and vigorously rubbed his face. Then, sitting up, he ran his hands through his thick and unruly, jet-black hair.

He slowly let his arms drop down, resting his hands carelessly in his lap.

"I'm sorry I ran out on you, back there...I just needed time to sort this all out in my head." he said suddenly. "I wasn't trying to ignore you. I know that's what you must think."

"I was beginning to." was her reply. "Perhaps...to shield my emotions..."

He looked at her face, and a wave of intense emotions came over him.

"How are you?" he asked without thinking...now realizing how stupid the question was.

"How should I be, Keith?" she said to him. "In a matter of hours, you'll be gone from this place. Gone from me. I had always imagined us being together for the rest of our lives. At least...that
was what I thought..."

"It was my plan too, Princess." he admitted.

"I'll never love anyone else...except you." she wept. "Now...I just want to die..."

"Allura...don't do this to yourself...or to me." he said to her.  "Now you're the one giving up hope. You have to believe...remember?  That's what you were trying to tell me earlier today. As long as you and I are alive...there's always hope."

"I can't hope...I've tried... but... the more I think about waking up tomorrow...and you're no longer here with me... I begin to shake." the Princess cried. "I can't live without you, Keith!"

"You have to, Allura." he said firmly, now reaching over and grabbing her hands. "Arus needs you..."

"Don't tell me that I have to pull myself together for Arus! I'm tired of being everyone's puppet! What about what I want out of life? Everything that I've ever loved has been stolen away from me! My mother...my father... and now, you! Why Keith...tell me why! Am I cursed?"

"Of course not, Allura." he replied back.

"Then explain why this is happening? Why is she taking you away from us! How could anyone be so evil... I've always believed that there is a measure of goodness in everyone's heart. But this Audra... she's coldhearted and cruel... and I HATE her for what she's doing to us all!"

Allura's head suddenly dropped and she began to sob loudly...the tears now falling like rain from her eyes.

Keith immediately came to her side and wrapped his arms around her...feeling somehow, inadequate in his attempt to console her deep sorrow. She laid her head gently on his chest. He began running his hand down the length of her hair in a soothing manner. Her sorrow cut through his very soul...

"Allura...I know I can't stop the pain. I can't even stop my own! But I want you to listen to me...and listen with your heart. You and I are joined eternally. And nothing can separate us...not really... so long as that bond exists between us! Here me, Princess Allura...I love you! I have always loved you...and I always will love you! And don't you EVER forget that, understand? But, in saying that, you must go on...and so must I! We've got to, Allura... and if you can't do it for Arus... then do it for me...and for yourself. I have to know you're going to be okay!"

He rested his chin gently on top of her head. The sobbing was subsiding, somewhat...and suddenly, she found the strength to lift her head up to look at him.

Keith raised his hands up to her face, and with his thumbs, he began to wipe the tears from her cheeks.

"Allura...this is the hardest thing I've ever had to do. This is killing me...you do realize that, right?"

She nodded her head in reply. Keith bowed his head for a moment, gathering his thoughts before continuing...

"Please understand that if there were any way around this... you know I'd rather stay here with you and the guys! But ...I just can't! I love you...so much that it's tearing me apart to see you like this! Please... don't make it any harder for me than it already is. I need you to pull yourself together...for my sake! I've got to know you'll be okay after I'm gone."

She looked at him... and suddenly, found the strength in his eyes...those deep, dark, mysterious eyes of his...

Then, the revelation suddenly occurred to her...he needed her strength too.

Allura took several deep breaths...finally gaining control of herself. Her hands reached up to his cheeks as well...

"I'll be all right, Keith," she said, bravely. "I promise...I'll be fine.  And I promise you that won't give up."

"No matter how long it takes...or even...if I never can come back?" he asked her...his eyes waning at hers.

She paused...then, sat up straight and tall, and with all the courage she could find within herself, Allura proudly replied, "No matter what, Keith.  And when you return...because, I know in my heart that you will come back to us...someday...I will be here, waiting for you."

He smiled at her. "That's my girl." was his response. "I knew you had it in you."

"And...I'll always love you, as well." she said to him.

She leaned forward...toward him. He instinctively did the same... and their lips met...tenderly embracing each other in the beauty and peace of the kiss.

But the kiss was over all too soon, and Allura rested her head on his chest once again, as he continued to hold her tightly to himself. He fought to keep the tears from his eyes...but it was impossible. Knowing that this was probably the last time he would hold her... perhaps forever...was almost unbearable for Keith. He just rested in the moment... for as long as he could.

He could feel his world closing in on him. It was like struggling to breathe...and the pain he felt in his heart was even greater than the pain he had to endure when his parents were killed in action.

Nothing could compare to what he was feeling now. Having to leave his friends... leave Allura...forever...

Allura sighed gently...and the sound of her breathing was like music to Keith's ears, breaking him from his trance of doomed thoughts. He only wished that somehow, he would be able to find a way to return to her...and soon.

Only a few, short hours remained...

Allura sensed the sorrow in his heart...feeling that it was nearly as great as her own.

She gripped him tighter...and he did the same, resting his chin on the top of her head once again, with tears dropping from his eyes, bathing her golden hair.

And the holo-pic of the two of them, fell from Allura's lap to the ground... shutting down the image on impact.