"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 33
A Birthday to Remember

Several days had past by since the Voltron Force had returned to Arus. 

Princess Allura was greeted with eager arms by her advisor, Coran.  And he thanked the brave members of the Voltron Force for defeating Lotor's evil plans and bring Arus's Princess back home.

Sven had safely returned home to Planet Pollux, and there was no sign of a retaliatory strike from the forces of Doom.

But they were out there...somewhere...waiting for the next chance to strike out against all that was good.

But for today, the skies over Planet Arus were peacefully still.


Keith had decided to give the team a day off...for no reason at all.  A rare occasion afforded by the Voltron Commander.  He too, needed some rest, and welcomed the thought of letting the team share in his desire.

He sat peacefully up against the Lion Monument, just outside the Castle walls, book in hand, and water bottle at his side.

The breeze waffled through the air, bringing to his nostrils a fresh scent of wild flowers and green grass.  Nothing in the universe smelled like Arus did on a beautiful day. Not even his home planet Earth, could smell like this.

He brought his knees up toward him, using them as a podium to lay the book on.  As he read for awhile, he allowed his eyes to close, absorbing the sounds of the birds and insects that had been native to this beautiful planet.

He was so in tuned with the smells and sounds of nature, that he didn't notice that the planet's beautiful ruler had walked up to him.  It wasn't until she leaned down into his ear that he even knew she was there.

"Keith," she cooed in his ear. "Are you asleep?"

Keith stretched out his legs, tensing the muscles in his face, chest, and arms.

"Nope...just resting..." he said, as his body finished the stretch out.  He looked up at her.

She was dressed in her favorite pink gown.  The lion head locket was resting gently on her throat as the gold chain it was hanging from circled her lovely neck.  Her long blonde hair was hanging down her back, and spilling over her shoulders.  The crown circlet that she was
accustomed to wearing was resting gently on her head.

She was as a beautiful vision.  Keith's heart melted.

"Does she even realize what she does to me?" Keith thought quietly.

Allura only smiled.

She had vowed to him after they had returned to Arus that she would not listen to his thoughts unless he had verbalized that he wanted her to.  She kept that promise, refusing to probe his mind as to what he was thinking.

Instead, Allura whisked a box from behind her back and offered it to him.

Keith looked at it curiously. "What's this?" he asked with a smile.

"Happy Birthday, Keith!" she smiled back to him. "I'm sorry this surprise is so late. I had every intention of giving it to you at your party."

"Thank you, Princess." Keith replied, accepting the package in his hands, but noticing a frown on her face. He knew instinctively what that was all about. "Hey, the party was great!  I had a great time!"

"But you really couldn't have, Keith," she frowned sadly. "You were busy concealing from all of us how sick you really were.  How could you have possibly had a good time?"

He reached up and took her hand in his. "Because, I was with you. Anytime that happens, I'm having a good time."

She smiled at his kind gesture of words, and knew in her heart that he truly meant them with all of his being.  Allura gathered her bulky gown and took a seat on the grassy ground, right next to her Commander.

"Well, aren't you going to open it?" she asked impatiently.

Keith stared at the box curiously. "Hmmmm," he said aloud. "It's not a gold chain, is it?"

"Keith!" Allura shrieked at him. "How could you even joke about something like that!"

"I'm sorry!" Keith laughed out loud. "I thought it was funny!"

"I don't understand how you can make lightheartedness out of something that almost killed you!" she replied. "I'm shocked, frankly!"

"I didn't mean to offend you," he replied back with a crocked smile.  "I'm sorry, really."

Allura's frown quickly turned back into a smile. "Are you going to make me wait all day for you to open it?"

"Okay, Okay!  I'm opening already!" Keith replied enthusiastically as he began to tear away the wrapping paper.

As the paper gave way, he beheld a medium sized white box, taped closed.  He glanced up at her.

"What's inside?" he smiled.

"Silly!  That's why its called 'a surprise', you have to find out!  Go on now!  Open it up!" she encouraged him.

The smile he had on his face sustained there as he quickly popped the tape on the box edges. He opened up the lid, and found an object wrapped neatly in white tissue paper. He carefully lifted the object out of the box.

It felt bulky...and very heavy and solid.

He looked at her, seeing a giddy looking smile on her face, prodding him to continue.  Keith reached down and began to tear away at the tissue until he finally got a glimpse of the present inside.  He paused for a moment, then continued to finish unwrapping it carefully.

He paused again as he marveled at the item before him.

"Oh...Princess..." he gasped in astonishment as his eyes beheld the gift.

It was an exact replica of the Black Lion, made of what appeared to be solid gold.  The eyes were two sparking red gems.  The back shield wings were extended outward.

He quickly tilted his head up toward the real Black Lion, perched high above him, seemingly guarding the Castle grounds.  He then quickly looked back down at the golden replica.

"It was my father's," Allura said quietly. "It became mine when he died. And now, I give it to you."

Keith looked at her. "Oh, Princess!  I can't accept this!  It belonged to your father!  You should be the one to have this."

"No Keith, I want you to have it.  It suits you." Allura insisted, patting the golden lion's head. "Besides, I'm sure Father would have wanted you to have it."

"Allura, your father means the world to you, and so do the things he once held so dear.  How can I accept this, knowing its one of the few things you have left that remind you of him?" Keith protested.

"Because...I can't think of anyone more deserving of this honor then you, Keith.  And I can think of no other to fly Black Lion then you either. Please...accept it Keith.  I want you to have it." Allura again insisted.

Keith sighed as he looked at the golden lion once again.  He started shaking his head "Oh, I don't know, Princess..."

"Please, Keith..." she begged.

He looked back at her, and saw the warmth in her eyes.  He slowly nodded his head.

"Thank you, Princess.  I'll cherish always, as I cherish my service to you here on Arus."

Allura smiled at his acceptance of her gift.  Keith set it down in front of him and looked at it.

"Happy Birthday, Keith!  And may you have a million more." Allura sighed softly.

"Thank you.  It's a birthday I'll not soon forget." Keith replied with a grin.

Then he leaned back against the monument.  Allura did likewise next to him.

"So, I hear that Gem is accepting your offer of asylum, and is going to remain on Arus."

"Yes, she accepted this morning." Allura replied. "Lance is tickled pink!  I think he's found a new girlfriend!"

"Yeah, it'll last for about a month. Maybe two." Keith chuckled.

"Keith!" Allura sat up, staring at him judgmentally. "How can you say such a thing?"

"Because I know Lance.  I know that his intentions are all well and good, but usually fizzle out quickly.  But heywho knows?  Maybe this will turn out to be the romance of a lifetime for him." Keith replied, shrugging his shoulders.

"That would be nice." Allura replied.

"Yeah," Keith sighed. "And maybe...just maybe...he won't be the only one who finds love at long last."

Allura turned her head to look at Keith. "What do you mean?"

Keith turned his head to look back at her. "Oh...I don't know... exactly.  I guess time will answer that question, Allura."

Allura's heart began to beat faster. Could he be talking about the two of them?

Only time would tell.

The two of them sat silently, enjoying the sounds around them.  The birds were chirping a happy songperhaps even spreading the news that their Princess had finally found love as well.

But like the spring, it would take time to blossom and flourish, in order to reveal the perfection of love's version of summer.

And so, it is with love.

THE END
Keith and Allura sweetness feature...click here to view