"Happy Birthday, Keith."

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.

Enjoy!


Chapter 2
Evil is Everywhere


On one particularly peaceful day on Planet Arus, Princess Allura found herself fluttering around the Castle of Lions, hurriedly spreading the news of her intended plans to her friends, the members of the Voltron Force.

All but one...

Commander Keith Hunter would know nothing about what she had in mind.

Keith was deliberately left out on this one...and for good reason.  He would never allow her to go through with it if he had known what she as planning.  He was such a killjoy regarding matters such as these.

The Princess took the opportunity to spread her joy to her other friends while Keith was out on patrol with Black Lion.  This was the only time she had to do so...since any other time he would always managed to trail behind her with a watchful and protective eye.

Dearest Keith... always watching over others before himself.

This was her chance to do something nice for him for a change.  She had it in her mind to tell Keith's best friend first before anyone.

And Lance was on watch in Castle Control.



Allura flew in quickly, nearly scaring Lance half to death.

"Lance!" she shouted suddenly, drawing his attention away from the situation board.

Lance jumped out of his chair, grabbing his blaster from its holster, and holding it up in front of him.

"What is it, Princess?" he shouted defensively. "Something the matter?"

Allura stopped suddenly, taking notice
of Lance's defensive posture. 
An uncontrollable laugh escaped
past her lips, as her hand quickly
flew up to cover her mouth.

"No, Lance!" she assured him.
"Nothing like that!"

"Then what the heck are you doing... bursting in here like that and scaring me half to death?  I thought I missed something..." Lance scolded, returning his weapon to its resting-place. "Keith would kill me if..."

Allura immediately cut him off. "Listen...I don't have much time!"

Lance began to scratch his head. "Much time for what, Princess?"

"I came up with this fantastic idea... and the only time I can share it is now, while Keith is away!" she said, giggles ladling her speech.

"Why when Keith's gone?" Lance said, his eyelids narrowing suspiciously at the young and beautiful Arusian princess. "Just what are you scheming now, Allura?"

"Well, you know that Keith's birthday is in a few weeks, right?" she reminded.

"Yeah," Lance replied, now scratching his head again in bewilderment. "So?"

"So...I'm going to throw him the biggest affair this Castle has ever seen!  It will be in honor of his birthday!" she happily let out. "What do you think?"

Lance snorted. "I think you're crazy!  He'll never show up!  He hates being fussed over, Princess.  You should know that by now!"

"I know... and that's why it's a secret!  Got it?" Allura huffed.

"I still don't understand why you'd want to subject him to that type of punishment." Lance mused. "Now, if it were me, on the other hand, I would love that type of punishment!"

"I know...but he'll forgive me on this occasion." She said winsomely, turning her eyes upward toward the ceiling.

"Did I tell you my birthday is in six months from now?" Lance reminded, trying to annoy her with his teasing. "Hope you'll do the same for me!"

The tease worked.

"Lance!" she huffed. "I'm surprised at you!  You know Keith goes out of his way to protect and watch over all of us!   He deserves this more than any one of us!   How can you be so
insensitive!"

"Easy!" Lance said, tossing his arms into the air. "It comes natural, trust me!"

"Humph!" Allura snorted. "I was hoping you above all people, would treat him with a bit more respect!   After all, he is your supposed best friend!"

"Aw, Princess, I'm just teasing you!" Lance said, giving in to her finally. "Look, whatever you need me to do, old Lance is at your beckon call.   Just don't blame me if he gets mad at you. Remember... I told you so, Princess!"

"Thanks... I'll take my chances on this one." Allura said sarcastically. "I must hurry and tell the others, before Keith's patrol is over."

"Okay, I'll try to keep him busy for awhile." Lance said with a wink of his eye. "Just don't take too long.   Keith's no dummy.   He knows when he's being stalled for some reason."

"Gottcha!" Allura said, snapping her fingers together as she ran from the room, her pink gown and long hair trailing behind her.

Amused by what was promising to be a very interesting event, Lance found himself envious of his commander.

"Hope you appreciate what you have in her," Lance thought to himself, as if he were speaking to Keith personally. "You should open your eyes and see what you've got."

He could see the blooming love between them growing stronger with each passing day.  Only one thing prevents it from bursting into a full-blown romance...

Keith.

He was his own worst enemy when it came to matters of true importance... matters of love.

Here was this knockout of a princess, obviously head over heels in love with the guy, and all he can think of is protecting her, honorably.

Lance resumed his position in front of the monitor, observing Black Lion as its pilot guided it gracefully through the clouds. 

He shook his head...

"Some guys have all the luck," he said just above a whisper, regarding his commander's suave sophistication. "If I were only a princess magnet like Keith..."



A watchful group of eyes heard the whole exchange between the Princess and Lance.

A fly... now buzzing out of the room quickly, and down the hallway.  Through a crack in the Castle door, the fly exited the Princess' castle home, and took flight on the outside of the Castle, heading for the forest area.

Several minutes afterwards, the fly landed peacefully on a log near a stream, deep in the woods.   The fly buzzed, and its form suddenly began to lose its shape.   Twisting and turning, the form grew larger and larger, until it finally took on the ghastly shape of Hagar the Witch.

Once returned to her natural state, she cackled aloud.

"I've always heard the statement,
'a fly on the wall'.  Well, now I can say
I was one!  And what juicy news to
spread to Prince Lotor!"

She quickly moved to a coffin-shaped ship, hiding nearby to where she now stood. "So, the Princess wants to have a surprise birthday party for Commander Keith, eh?  Well, I have the prefect gift.  I will give him a present that will knock him dead!  Literally!  Then, Lotor will
be free to have the Princess as his very own.  And in return, he will give me control of half of the universe!"

The old witch laughed at the thought.

The musing thought kept her cackling as the lid of the coffin ship closed all around her.  A moment later, the ship launched into the air, then disappeared from sight under Hagar's cloaking spell. 

She quickly headed to rendezvous with the flying Doom fortress, which was hovering, undetected, just outside of Arusian airspace.
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