"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 6
Meeting 'Gem'


Princess Allura sat by the young woman's side in the infirmary.  She had just received a report from Dr. Gorma that Keith was doing just fine and was asleep, choosing to rest in his quarters. He also told her that the young woman was going to recover as well. 

Thanks to Keith's quick thinking, she was spared a lot of the trauma that often happens when someone goes into shock.

Allura sat quietly next to the young stranger.

Suddenly, the woman began to come around.  Allura rose to her feet to greet the woman.

"Welcome!  I'm glad to see you've finally awakened." Allura said brightly.

Dazed, the woman looked up, her eyes squinting somewhat. "Where...where am I?"

"You're at the Castle of Lions, in the Castle infirmary.  Do you remember at all what happened to you?" Allura asked.

"No...I ...wait...yes!  That young man who rescued me...is ...is he okay?" the woman asked, becoming concerned and emotional.

"That young man is Voltron's Commander, Keith Hunter.  And yes, he is quite well.  Actually, he was more concerned about you then himself, which is very typical of him." Allura replied.

"Then, he's okay?" the woman asked. "May...may I see him?  I would like to thank him for his kindness, and for saving my life."

"Of course you can, but not right now.  He is also resting.  It took quite a lot out of him to pull you both from the water.  It tired him right out." Allura replied.

"When then?  I must see him." the woman insisted.

Allura's eyes narrowed a bit at her insistence.
"When he awakes, he'll be in to see you,
I'm sure.  Now then, what is your name?"

The young woman settled back onto her pillow.
"My name is Gem Sisto."

"And what village, town or city
do you come from, Gem Sisto?" Allura
asked. "Is there anyone I should contact for you?"

"I escaped from Planet Doom in a space coffin.  I landed it not too far from where I fell into the water." Gem replied.

"Why were you near the water in the first place?" Allura probed.

"I was thirsty.  You see I was a slave on Fortress Doom.  I was never given enough to eat or drink.  After landing, I saw the water in the river, and immediately started drinking.  I guess I leaned too far over the edge of the riverbank." Gem explained.

"I see," Allura said slowly. "And that's when Commander Keith saw you?"

"Yes, I guess so.  I actually didn't see him until the river ran me into the rock I became stranded on." Gem replied. "When I saw someone sitting on shore, I started screaming for help.  And he got me out."

"Yes, at very great risk to you both," Allura added. "Next time, you'll need to be more careful."

"I will... trust me!" Gem agreed.

Allura moved closer to Gem's bedside. "I'm sorry!  I haven't introduced myself to you yet.  I am Princess Allura Adrienna DeVille, of the Royal House of Arus.  You are my guest here. And I am certainly glad that you've escaped Doom.  But tell me, where is your home planet?"

"I lived on the Planet Neeve, Princess.  That is until Lotor devastated our world once again, and took many of my people as slaves." she replied angrily.

"Neeve...that's the ice planet, isn't it?" Allura asked.

"Yes, Princess.  And we were happy there.  I lived on the southern end of the planet, closest to sun.  It was cold, but not as cold as the rest of the planet.  The average temperature was 35 degrees.  But it was home, and I loved it so very much." Gem said.

"I'm sorry Lotor's evil had touched your planet, Gem.  If we were aware of it specifically, we could have tried to help you with Voltron." Allura said.

"No need to apologize, Princess.  I know Voltron can't possibly be everywhere at once." Gem replied.

"Still, we wish we would have had opportunity to help out." Allura said with regret.

Gem reached out and put her hand on Allura's arm. "No need, Princess. I understand."

Allura smiled at the young woman. "Thank you, Gem. Now, if you'll excuse me, I must attend to the affairs of my kingdom.  And you must get some rest."

"Thank you for staying with me, Princess Allura." Gem replied.

"You're welcome." Allura said, brightening the smile she had on her face.

As she started to leave, Gem called out after her... "And Princess, you will send in Commander Keith to visit with me when he awakens, right?"

Allura paused momentarily. "Of course.  I'll let him know you are expecting him."

"Thank you again, Princess." Gem replied, and then settled back down in her bed to nap.

Allura left the room with a strange feeling about this girl.  As she walked down the hallway, she couldn't shake the feeling that something wasn't quite right about her. And she certainly didn't know how to take the display of affection that she appeared to have for Keith.

The thought rang in her head as she proceeded down the hallway...



Keith rose from his bed feeling well rest, and feeling much better.  He looked at his digital clock on the nightstand by the bed.  The time was 4 o'clock, in the afternoon.

"No wonder I'm starved..." Keith thought, regarding the time, and realizing that he last ate at 10:30 in the morning.

He put on his slippers and walked out of his quarters, heading down the hallway toward the Castle kitchen area.

The cooks were buzzing around, hurriedly preparing dinner.  Keith reached over and grabbed a few snap green beans from a nearby bowl.  He surmised that dinnertime was not far off, and forced himself to be content with the handful of beans until then.

He proceeded to walk out of the kitchen, down the hallway, and up to Allura's chambers.  He buzzed the doorand her voice rang out...

"Who is it?"

"It's me, Princess.  It's Keith."

The air grew suddenly silent. Keith called out once again. "Allura, are you alright in there?"

"Yes, Keith.  I'm fine.  Uh... a moment, please!" she stammered.

Keith leaned up against the wall next to her door and began chewing on his beans.

Inside her chambers, Allura hurriedly whisked the invitation returns and regrets into her desk drawer.  Not expecting his company, she had them scattered all over her desk, sorting though and separating who was coming from those who would not be able to attend the birthday
gala she was planning for Keith.

Now, she would have to begin all over again later...

"Not a very convenient time, Keith..." she chattered to herself.

After she was satisfied that all of the invitations where safely out of sight, she smoothed her gown out with her hands, and walked over to the door, opening it. But there was no one in front of it.

"Keith?" she called out.

She then stuck her head out the door, and found him leaning up against the wall, his mouth busily chewing on something.  She shot him a look.

"You could have responded, you know." she half-heartedly scolded him with a smile.

"Yes, but you're forever correcting us on speaking with our mouths full during mealtime.  I was just practicing what you preached." Keith said with a smile, still chewing on the beans in his mouth.

"...And obviously in need of more practice." Allura teased.

Keith shrugged his shoulders. "Hey, nobody's perfect."

"Except for that one minor detail, I'd say you're wrong about that, Keith.  You are the most perfect male I've ever met.  Duty bound, regulation savvy, and all-around good guy."

"I guess I pull my weight around here," Keith said, now performing a fake bow before his princess. "I also do windows, too."

"Good, because I've been meaning to speak to the servants about that.  The windows to the Castle are filthy!" Allura continued to play the game right along with Keith.

"Yeah...all eighty of them, I believe." He chuckled.

"Oh, now hold on!  I have more than eighty windows in my Castle!" she said, mocking offense.

"Okay...at least more then eighty then." Keith teased her.

"Oh you!" she said, reaching out and swiping Keith's arm with her hand.

"Well, may I come in, or should I stand out here forever?" he asked.

"Well, I don't know.  You have a very insistent young woman requesting the honor of your presence in the infirmary.  I don't want to be the one to detain you." Allura mused.

"What woman?" Keith asked.

"The woman you pulled from the river.  Her name is Gem Sisto, and she's very anxious to meet with you.  A little too anxious, if you ask me." Allura spat out.

"Oh...jealousy, Allura?" Keith teased. "That's so unbecoming of a royal Princess."

"I am NOT jealous!" Allura hollered defensively.


Keith brought his hands up in front of him. "Okay, okay...so you're not jealous!"

"No...not in the least." Allura replied, her nose now pointing in the air.

"Okay, since you're not jealous, I'll go down and see how Gem is." He replied.

"Don't be long.  Dinner will be served soon.  And you might want to invite her to dine with us this evening." Allura said. "That is, if she's feeling up to it."

"Good idea.  That way we can find out a bit more about her and why she's here." Keith replied.

"I've already done that." Allura said. "Gem was originally from Planet Neeve."

"The ice planet?" Keith questioned. "I didn't realize that anyone could survive on that frozen wasteland."

"Apparently so.  I had Pidge check it out, and there was a registry in the Alliance files referring to several villages that were stationed there." Allura replied. "Anyway, she was a slave on the flying Castle Doom.  She said she escaped using a travel coffin.  I had Pidge check
that out too, and he did find one near to the riverjust where she said it was."

"It couldn't have been easy to escape Doom.  Did you question her how she escaped yet?" Keith asked, rubbing his chin with his hand thoughtfully.

"Not yet.  She seemed tired. I wanted her to rest a bit more." Allura replied. "But..."

"But... you have doubts?" Keith questioned her.

Allura nodded. "I do.   But I'm not sure what I doubt.   So far, everything she's said has been checked out.   I don't knowmaybe I am jealous."

Keith winked at her. "You and I still have a date tomorrow to go riding.  Remember that, Princess?"

Allura smiled. "I was hoping you hadn't forgotten."

"Not on your life!  I'm looking forward to it!" Keith perked up. "But right now, let me go and question our special guest further."

"Be careful, Keith. I don't have a good feeling about all of this" Allura warned him.

"I will.  See you at dinner." Keith said, tossing her a two-f ingered salute as he walked off toward the infirmary.




Gem was sitting up in a chair near her bed. She had just begun to read a nearby book when Keith stuck his head into her room.  He caught sight of the woman Allura said was named, 'Gem'.

"Well, at least Lance will be thrilled to know that she's definitely pretty." Keith thought to himself, taking note of her.

She had long, honey brown hair with bangs, fair complexion...  She was very slender,
and very beautiful.

"Uh-hem...excuse me?" Keith began. Gem's head bounced up immediately.  A smile creeped across her face as she saw Keith standing there in the doorway. "I'm sorry, is now a bad time to visit?" he said.

"Oh no!" Gem replied enthusiastically. "Now is a great time to visit!"

"I'm sorry to disturb you." Keith said as he walked in. "I'd like to formally introduce myself. I'm Commander Keith Hunter, leader of the Voltron Force.  I'm sorry we didn't have a time for the formalities earlier."

"Oh, that's completely understandable, Commander." she replied shyly. "I'm Gem Sisto."

"Happy to make your acquaintance, Ma'am." Keith said with a brilliant smile.

"Thank you for coming to see me," she said with a returned smile. "I'm glad to finally meet you.  Can you stay awhile?"

"Well, actually, I was coming to see if you'd like to come to dinner with me.  Her Royal Highness, Princess Allura, has extended an invitation to you for dinner." Keith asked. "And if you don't mind, I'll escort you to the dining hall."

Gem brightened right up. "I would be most honored!" she said with a nod of her head. "But, I'm afraid I have nothing to wear."

Suddenly, as if on cue, one of the Castle maids walked up behind Keith. "Excuse me, Commander."

Keith turned toward the young maid and took notice of the bundle in her hands. "What's that you've got there?" Keith asked.

"Her Majesty sent me over with this gown for our guest to wear.  The package, I believe, includes shoes as well." the maid replied.

"Well, it seems you do have something to wear after all!" Keith said to Gem. "Princess Allura has sent this over for you!"

Gem sat up as the maid brought over the gown bag.   The maid laid it carefully on the bed and unzipped the bag, revealing a beautiful lilac colored gown with lace trim. "Princess Allura would be honored if you were to wear this, ma'am." the maid said.

Gem's eyes nearly popped out of her head. "Oh my" she gasped, looking at the beautiful detail on the gown. "I...I can't wear this!" she said. "It's much too beautiful for the likes of me!"

"Go ahead!" Keith said. "You'll be a knockout in it!"

Gem looked at him suddenly. "You...you really think so?"

"I know so." Keith assured her. "Now come on.  Get dressed.  I'll wait outside."

"Well..." Gem paused, looking fondly at the gown. "Alright then."

"Good. Call me when you're ready, and I'll escort you to dinner." Keith said, as he stepped out of the room.  The maid remained behind to assist Gem in getting dressed,.




"Aw, come on! I'm hungry!" Hunk shouted. "Where the heck is Keith?"

"Hunk, be still!" Allura scolded. "He'll be here soon.  We have a special guest coming to dine with us tonight, and I want you boys to show her a good time."

"Who? That girl Keith fished from the river?" Pidge asked.

"Exactly." Allura answered simply, reaching for her glass of water.

"Hey, is that why there's an empty seat between me and Keith?" Lance added with a smile.

"Yes, she is going to be sitting between you and Keith.  And Lance,...try not to embarrass yourself," Allura added with a gentle sigh.  "Or me..."

'Me?  Embarrass myself?  That'll never happen!  I'm slick!" Lance said, puffing up with pride. "Besides, someone needs to show her the ropes around here and it might as well be me!"

"I mean it, Lance!" Allura said sternly. "I want you to behave yourself!"

"You can count on me, Princess." Lance said, giving her a wink.

Keith and Gem entered the room together.  Gem's arm was wrapped around Keith's as he escorted her into the room to meet the rest of the team. 

Keith stopped in front of Princess first. "I believe you've already met Princess Allura, Gem." he said.

"Yes, and I want to thank you for the beautiful gown!" Gem said, as she curtsied to Allura.

Allura rose from her chair and took hold of Gem's hands, bringing her back up to a standing position. "Oh, please. It was my pleasure."Allura replied. "And I must say, you look absolutely stunning in that gown! I knew it would be a perfect color for you!"

"Let me introduce you to the rest of the Voltron Force." Keith said.  He turned to his left and began with Hunk. "This is Lt. Hunk Simon our resident tough guy and all around fix-it man. He's also the pilot of the Yellow Lion."

Hunk rose from his chair. "It's a pleasure to meet you, Gem." Hunk beamed.

Keith tugged at her arm to move on. "And this is Lt. Pidge Villatoro. Our teen genius, and pilot of Green Lion."

Pidge rose to his feet and bowed before her. "The pleasure is all mine, Ma'am." he smiled.

Next was Coran, seated at the other head of the table. "This is Sir Coran Anderson. Chief Advisor to Her Highness, Princess Allura." Keith announced.

Coran rose to his feet, and with his right hand, crossed it in front of his chest and bowed to her. "A tremendous pleasure to have you as our honored guest, Ms. Sisto." Coran said.

Now it all came down to Lance. Allura watched, holding her breath as Keith introduced them to each other.

"And this is my second in command, Lt. Commander Lance Andrews." Keith announced. "Our resident wise guy."

"And pilot of Red Lion!" Lance said as he rose to his feet and bowed theatrically. "I am indeed honored to be in your presence, Ms. Sisto."

"Oh!" Gem said, her face flushed suddenly. "You're the one the nurses were talking about in the infirmary!"

"Ah, I see my legendary statue proceeds me!" Lance said. "Well, between you and me... I hope you don't listen to everything you hear."

"Maybe she should!' Pidge snorted in a joking manner.

Gem giggled.  Keith cleared his throat a bit. "Uh...shall we be seated?" he suggested to Gem.

She nodded as Keith led her to the seat between himself and Lance.  When she was sitting down, Allura asked Coran to say a prayer for the meal.  When it was completed, the servants began bringing the food out to the group.

Allura took first, and then passed it toward her right to Keith.  The menu was roasted pork with orange glaze, followed by green beans almondine, and baby carrots sautéed in a honey-butter mixture.  Salad bowls were also distributed.

All seemed to be going well, until Keith felt a light kick on his leg that he identified had come from the Princess.

He looked up at her, and caught the direction of her eyes, as they directed him to look toward Gem.

He did...slightly...so as not to draw attention.  And what he saw nearly made him go white.  Gem was wolfing down her food in large gulps!

Keith glanced down toward Coran.  He had a look of shock on his face, obviously appalled by the young woman's eating manners.

Allura caught sight of Hunk staring at Gem.  She quickly took her left foot and nudged his leg. Hunk was not as nonchalant as Keith was.

"Ouch!  Now,what'd you go and do that for?" he huffed aloud at the Princess.

Allura sighed, closing her eyes, and continued eating.



After dessert was served, the team met in the lounge area.  Keith had gone to escort Gem to her assigned quarters, and Allura went to change from her formal wear to her jumpsuit. Hunk flopped onto the couch, his mouth hanging open.

"Can you believe her?" Hunk commented, referring to Gem.

"Yeah, she could actually be you, in female form!" Pidge teased. "A walking garbage disposal!"

Lance snapped his fingers at the group. "Alright guys, cut her some slack!" he demanded. "She was a slave on Doom!  Remember what that was like?  Remember, we didn't get much food and water either!"

Pidge and Hunk suddenly piped down.

Allura waltzed into the room. "Hi everyone!" she greeted her friends. Then she looked around and noticed that Keith was not among them. "Keith's not here yet?" she asked.

"Nope, not yet." Hunk said.

"I was so sure she'd go for me..." Lance said, his spirit crushed from dinner. 

Gem did nothing but hang close to Keith. Even Lance's attempts to make idle conversation seemed not to help distract her attention away from his commander.

"Well, Keith was her first contact." Pidge suggested. "It's probably just puppy love."

"Puppy love?" Allura questioned. "What does that mean?"

"Well, it's kind of like the doctor-patient syndrome, Princess.  The patient falls head over heels in love with the doctor, because he saved her life.  That's what we call 'puppy love'.   Its love that's emotional, living for the moment." Pidge replied.

"Does it last?" she asked.

"Nah...usually not." Pidge replied.

"So...I still have a chance then!" Lance said, puffing up once again.

"I suppose so." Pidge replied. "But, hey look...I'm no doctor.  I can't tell you positively it will or won't go away, and when, if at all, it will.  I can just tell you the ins and outs about it."

"Guess that means you'll have to wait, Lance!" Hunk chuckled.

"He always manages to get the girls..." Lance huffed quietly, referring to Keith. "He's a chick magnet!"

"What was that, Lance? Allura asked.

Realizing he was a bit loud with his grumbling, he quickly recovered.  "Oh, I said, 'he knows how to manage these hurdles'!"

"Oh," Allura responded, knowing full well, that was not what he originally said.

Lance breathed a sigh of relief that she did let it drop from there.




Keith had just finished showing Gem around her room, helping her familiarize herself with her new surroundings.

"Well, I'd better get going." Keith insisted. "I have to go to bed soon.  I have a long day tomorrow."

"Oh please," Gem said, rushing over toward him and grabbing onto his hand. "Couldn't you stay with me...just for a while longer?"

Keith shook his head. "I don't think that's wise.  You've been through a lot today.  We both have.  I think you need to get some sleep now."

"Oh, but I'd feel better if you would stay here...just for a few more minutes.  Please, Keith?" she begged.

Keith paused.  He suddenly realized that for the first time, she didn't refer to him as 'Commander', but instead, chose to call him by his first name.

"Look, I know you're scared, and this is unfamiliar and all, but I can assure you, you're quite safe here in the Castle.   Lotor won't be able to get in here and get after you.   Now, just try
to rest on that thought."

"Alright..." she sighed heavily.

Keith nodded his head, and put on a smile.  As he reached the door, he turned to her one last time. "Oh, by the way...I think the Princess is planning some sort of party for my birthday in a few days.  I'm not supposed to know about it.  But I would love it if you consider joining us."

Gem beamed. "Oh...I would love to come to your birthday party, Keith!"

"Good.  Now remember, I'm not supposed to know, so don't say anything.  This is between you and me, right?" Keith said.

"You and me. Got it!" she said with a wink.

"Good night, Gem. Have a good rest." Keith said, as the exited her room.

When the door had closed, she returned to her personal bag of belongings.  There was nothing much to the bag... just a few combs for her hair, and a makeup case.  She grabbed the case and sat on the comfortable bed.

Opening the case, she stared into the mirror. "This is Gem.  Do you read?"

The mirror began to twist in form.  Suddenly, the vision of Lotor's face appeared in the mirror. The compact was a communication device to Prince Lotor.

He frowned at her. "You're taking too much time!" he demanded. "You need to do better than this if you're going to win his trust by his birthday!"

"Leave it to me, Sire. I will make sure it happens as you wish it to.  Besides, the day is not a total loss.  I did manage to get invited to his surprise birthday party." she reminded the evil prince.

"Just make sure you can
do as you say. Or else" Lotor warned.

"It shall be as you desire,
Prince Lotor. You can trust me."
Gem said.

"Humph, I've heard too many
people say those exact words to me.
And they all have failed me.  What makes them any more reassuring coming from your mouth?" Lotor scoffed.

"Because... I shall be the only one who will succeed." Gem said.

"Be sure that your boasting doesn't get you into trouble!" Hagar exclaimed from behind Lotor.

"Be assured." she repeated, then closed the lid to the compact.




Keith arrived in the lounge to find Lance, Pidge and Hunk playing video games on the large-screen monitor. But Allura was no longer among them.

Keith walked over to where they were playing.  Hunk was crouched on the floor, Pidge likewise, and Lance was flopped over on the couch.  The three were involved in a heavy round of a game called 'Space Action Heroes'.

"Hey guys..." Keith addressed them.

"Hey, Keith." Pidge replied.

"Uh, where's the Princess?" Keith asked. "I thought she was suppose to be in here with you guys."

"She was, but she felt the urge to go to the archive room." Lance replied. "Now, if you don't mind, we're in the middle of a ..."

Just then, Lance's man was shot down from the sky.  As it crashed to the ground and exploded, Lance throw his wireless control pad across the room.

"Nice!" he shouted in anger. Then looked at Keith. "See what you did?"

Keith calmly smirked at him. "I didn't do anything. You're supposed to be the hotshot hero, remember? Hotshot heroes aren't supposed to be distracted by anything."

"Yeah, Lance." Hunk echoed. "That's why they call us heroesget it?"

"You're the only one who's going to get it!" Lance shouted again, flopping back on the couch.

Keith shrugged his shoulders. "Well, I'd love to stay and see how this turns out, but I think I'll go and catch up with the Princess."

"Yeah...you do that, Commander Mess-me-up!" Lance huffed.

"Hey, thanks Keith!" Pidge shouted from the floor. "He was winning too!"

"Okay, I'm leaving now..." Keith proclaimed as he left the room.  "Now that I've evened the odds a bit!"

Lance picked up a pillow and threw it at the door just as Keith had disappeared.

"Jerk." Lance huffed quietly.



Allura was below the Castle confines.  She had felt a strong urge to retreat there for some reason.  She walked around the archive chamber, staring intently at the heads of the five figures that represented the five lions of Voltron.

She passed each one carefully, but as she passed the Black Lion head, she paused. Turning toward the wall where the Black Lion head figure was mounted, she looked deeply at it.

"What are you trying to tell me, Black Lion?" she thought.

Allura had an eerie feeling ever since that girl, Gem, came to the Castle.  It was a feeling she couldn't shake.   Somehow, something was terribly wrong with her.

She walked up to the Black Lion head, and gently placed her hand on it.

"I must know the meaning of this feeling I've been experiencing." She once again thought. "I must know.  Is something wrong?"

"Princess..."

Allura jumped around with a gasp, suddenly startled by the intruder in the chambers.  She sighed when she saw it was only Keith.

"Oh... Keith, you scared me," she pronounced.

"I'm sorry, Princess. I wasn't trying to be secretive." he said apologetically.

"It's alright," she said, waving for him to come in. "I was consulting the lion achieves."

"Then, I am intruding," Keith replied. "Perhaps I should go..."

"NO!" she said with a sudden high-pitched voice. 

The response drew a raised eyebrow from Keith. She sighed heavily as she gained control
of herself. "I mean... you don't have to go, Keith.  In fact, it would be nice if you'd stay."

Keith walked toward her, his eyes fixed on hers. "I know that look, Allura." he said, gently grabbing her shoulders with his hands. "What's going on?"

She shook her head. "I don't know.  I...I feel like Black Lion is trying to tell me something, but...oh, I don't know..."

"Sure you do...trust your heart." he said to her. "If you think there's something wrong, I need to know."

She turned her head, and looked over to the Black Lion head.  The feeling was gone...whatever it was, it's gone now.

"I...I guess nothing's wrong, Keith." she reluctantly replied.

"Allura, its me...remember?  I know when something's bothering you.  Come onout with it." Keith said, bringing one of his hands to her chin, forcing her to focus in on him.

"I don't trust Gem, Keith." Allura blurted out. "I have no justification for it, other than a feeling.  Call it 'lion sense' if you'd like.  But something's not right with her.  I can feel it."

Keith listened to her.  He knew Allura would never rush to judgments unless she had a reason to.  He studied her expression for a moment.  "What should we do?"

Allura shook her head. "That's just it, Keith. I 'm acting on a very strong feeling, and nothing more.  How can we act on a feeling?"

"We can't." he said. "But we can watch for warning signs.  We can watch for anything that seems strange or unusual."

"I wish I could put my finger on it." she said, her voice filled with regrets.

"Hey, if she's lying about something, she'll slip up.  Just keep your guard up." Keith advised.

"I'm also troubled about something else...only...I can't tell you what it is." She said, thinking of the security risk involved with throwing a gala event such as the one she had been planning for Keith's birthday.

Keith smiled warmly. "Whatever it is, I'm sure you'll handle it as you always have." He knew exactly what was troubling her, but didn't want to let on that he knew about the party.

"Yes, I suppose you're right." she replied.

"Come on, its getting late.  And I'm ready to retire.  Remember...the date?" he asked her.

Her face brightened right up suddenly with a wide smile covering her face. "Yes, I remember. I'm looking forward to it."

"Good.  But we better get some sleep, or else you'll be riding fast asleep!" Keith advised her. Then he extended his arm to her. "May I escort you to your chambers, Princess Allura?"

She nodded. "You may, Commander!"

She quickly latched onto his arm.  Together they walked out of the archive chamber...



...And the Black Lion head lit up with sudden energy, like a Christmas tree.  It was acting as a warning beacon...trying to spread a warning... one that no one would see.

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