"Where Have All The Children Gone?"

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 23
The First Date of Destiny

Princess Allura checked her hair and dress one last time in the mirror.  Her makeup was perfect... her hair was lovely... and the dress was elegant.

So why was she so nervous?

"You look lovely, Your Majesty!"

Allura turned and gave a quick smile to her personal maid, Marie.

"Thank you, Marie!  I hope he thinks so too!" Allura nervously sighed as she spoke to Marie. "What if he doesn't like the dress?  Do you think I should change it?"

"I think he's going to be very impressed!" Marie replied with a wink. "Princess, you look absolutely gorgeous!"

"Do you really think so?" Allura asked again. "I'm just not sure..."

"I think that the Commander is going to be awe-struck when he sees how beautiful you look!  It's all so exciting!  You're first date, Princess!" Marie beamed.

"I hope this isn't a mistake..." she worried aloud.

"Majesty!  Any one of us girls would give anything to be in your place this evening!  You are going out tonight with the most handsome and charming of men in your entire kingdom!  Out of everyone...he wants to be with you!" Marie sighed. "Wish I were you tonight!  Commander
Keith is soooo dreamy!"

"Still, we have such a wonderful friendship.  I'd hate to lose it over this." she pondered nervously.

"If I may be so bold, Princess," Marie asked.

"Oh...go ahead!" Allura chuckled. "What great wisdom are you going to bestow upon me?"

"Your Majesty, Commander Keith is a noble man, with noble intentions.  He doesn't appear to want to cause you any harm whatsoever.  I can't imagine that he would hurt you." Marie told her.

"Perhaps not," Allura started. "But I'm so nervous..."

Marie smiled.  "If your mother were here, she would tell you to relax and enjoy yourself."

Allura smiled. "I know.  She would say that.  I miss Mother... especially now. I wish she were here to..."

The door sound immediately cut her off in mid sentence.  Allura suddenly found her heart in her throat once again.  She froze... knowing that just on the other side of the door... was Keith.

Marie hurriedly went to the door of the Princess's chambers to answer it.  Allura remained hidden away in bedroom, suddenly finding herself afraid of her handsome young protector.



"Allura!" she shook her head. "What's the matter with you? Marie's right...Keith would never hurt me."



Marie shuffled back into her bedroom. "Princess!  He's here!  He's here!  The Commander is here!" she whispered excitedly. "And...he's brought you a gift!"

"A gift?" Allura beamed suddenly. "What is it?"

"Oh no!  You get out there and see for yourself!" Marie scolded.  "Have a good time!"

Marie exited Allura's room by way of another door, leaving her alone to face her fears.  She turned to the mirror for one last look at her appearance.

She was wearing a simple, yet elegant gown, cream in color.  Lace along the
bottom and puffy short sleeves.  She selected cream colored gloves to go with her outfit.

She had on white slipper-shoes, and she left her hair down, dangling gently about her shoulders. Her lipstick was on perfectly, and her blush was just right.



"Well...brave princess, get yourself out there!" she scolded herself. "Will you make him wait all night?"



With a deep breath, she turned and exited her bedroom.  As she walked into her receiving room, she saw Keith sitting patiently on one of her chairs.

Keith saw her enter the room, and immediately rose to his feet. "Good evening, Princess." He greeted her. "Wow!  You look beautiful!"

Allura could feel the heat
in her face. "Thank you!" she
replied. "And I must say
that you look absolutely
handsome yourself,
Commander!"

Keith was dressed in a
pair of black pants, creased
on the sides, a white shirt with
a high collar, buttoned up to the neck,
a black vest over the white shirt, and a
stylish olive-green jacket to compliment
the outfit.  His shoes were shiny black...
perhaps freshly polished for the occassion.

In his hand, he held a single red rose.

He looked very handsome...

Keith crossed the room to meet her.
"Here Allura, this is for you."
Keith replied as he
handed her the rose.

Allura gasped. "Oh Keith!  Red roses are my favorite!"

"I know." He smiled. "I hope you like it.  I read somewhere that a single red rose on a first date is supposed to convey great admiration from the person giving it, to the person receiving it."

She buried her nose into the rose, smelling its sweet aroma. "Oh, its lovely, Keith!  Thank you!"

"Not half as lovely as you are, Allura." he replied. "May I help you put it in some water?"

"Oh, yes!" she replied, and he followed her over to a nearby vase.

Allura placed the rose on the counter and grabbed a pitcher that had been filled with drinking water.  She filled the vase with it.

Keith, meantime, had grabbed a pair of scissors and had trimmed the bottom of the rose, giving it a fresh cut... and when she had finished filling the vase up with water, he immediately placed the rose into the vase of water.

Allura turned and helped him arrange it.  When their hands accidentally touched each other, they both retracted.

They looked each other square in the face.  And then...both laughed.

"I...uh...guess you've noticed that I'm a bit nervous," Keith braved to say. "I don't do this very often."

"You?  The 'brave and fearless' Commander Keith Hunter?  Captain of the great Voltron Force?  You...nervous?" Allura said, stressing the words as she spoke.

Keith took his right hand and nervously rubbed the back of his neck.  "Yeah.  And you know, I tried to tell myself for the last several hours, that I had nothing to worry about!  Guess I can't get
my head to believe me."

Allura suddenly broke out a fit of giggles.  Keith stared at her, his own face now, breaking a smile of its own, as he waited to hear what she was laughing about.

"Oh Keith!" Allura chuckled. "I was just as worried about this moment as you were!"

"You were?" he asked, suddenly sounding like a little kid.

Allura nodded her head to him.  "Yes... and I'm so happy that we didn't allow our own fears to stop this moment from happening."

They both suddenly found each other's eyes...

"Come on, Allura." Keith said to her, as he offered her his elbow. "I've made reservations at the restaurant in one of the villages near the Castle.  And I've got a surprise waiting outside
for us!"

"A surprise?" she giggled. "What surprise?"

"Come with me, and I'll show you!" he replied with a wink.

Allura slipped her hand gently around Keith's elbow, and together, they made their way out of her room.

Minutes later, they were both walking out of the main doors of the Castle... and they stopped suddenly.

"Oh... Keith!" she gasped joyfully.

"Do you like it?" he asked confidently. "I arranged it while you were laid up in the infirmary."

Before them both stood a large, white, open-aired carriage, drawn by a well-groomed white horse.

"It's from the village, right?" she asked.

"Um-hum..." he nodded with a smile.

"A red rose, a horse-drawn carriage...and dinner at that restaurant you spoke of..." she said slowly.  "All of this...for me?"

"I wanted this to be meaningful," he replied. "Besides, that's what I told you I would do on our first date.  Don't you remember?"

"I do," she smiled tenderly at him. "I do remember...and its all happening just the way you said it would."

Keith reached his free hand over and grasped her small hand as it hung gently onto his elbowgiving it a friendly squeeze.

"Shall we go?" he asked.

"Oh yes!" she smiled as she allowed him to escort her to the waiting carriage.

The coachman stepped off of this perch and opened the door for the couple, and the same time, bowing before Princess Allura.  "Your Highness," the coachman said. "It is an honor that I and my horse should be the ones to take you to your destination this evening!"

"Thank you!" Allura smiled. "Oh, but please, you don't have to bow!"

The coachman looked up and returned a smile to her. "Thank you, Princess Allura!  You are truly as lovely in spirit as you are in appearance!"

"Again, I thank you!" she said, continuing to smile while taking the coachman's hand to help her ascend the two steps up to the carriage seats. 

Keith nodded appreciatively at the coachman as he too followed the Princess up into the carriage and took a seat across from her.

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

Inside the Castle, three pairs of eyes stared at the romantic scene that was unfolding...

"Well guys," Lance chuckled.
"Care to take any bets that we are
watching our future King board
with his Queen?"

"Keith?  King of Arus?
Are you serious, Lance?"
Hunk replied as he
stuffed a piece of chocolate
in his mouth that he grabbed from the
pantry a short time ago.

"King Keith of Planet Arus..."
Pidge mused. "Kind of has a nice ring
to it, don't you think?"

"You guys are crazy!"
Hunk chuckled, his mouth
full of chocolate. "Get real!
It's just one date!"

"Yeah," Lance sighed. "But what a date! Do you guys realize that this is the first serious date Keith's had in nearly nine years?"

"Whoa!" Pidge gasped. "That long?  What the heck took him so long?"

Lance pointed out the window. "He was waiting for the right girl to come alongand she finally has." Lance said, referring to Allura. "She's quite a woman"

"Wow! Who'd have thought our Commander would become a king of a planet!" Pidge replied. "Soon I'll be saying, 'I knew him when'..." Pidge suddenly let out a chuckle.

"Guys...I wouldn't march them down the church isle just yet," Hunk replied. "Keith never said he was in love with her!  And as I recall, I've never heard her say it of him either."

"They don't have to say it," Lance replied with a gentle sigh. "It's written in their eyes."

"And besides, Hunk old buddy," Pidge added, grabbing on to his arm.  "This could be the night they do say it!"

"Nah," Lance scoffed. "Keith's not ready to all out admit he's in love with the Princess. But he's close. Give him a little longer."

The three Voltron pilots chuckled as they left the window just as the carriage pulled away.

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

After arriving at the restaurant, and being seated in a very secluded area, Keith began to run the scenario of their arrival in his mind, as it has occurred.

The people stared as he escorted Allura into the restaurant.  The patrons stopped eating and talking as they watched their Princess being escorted on the arm of the handsome Voltron Commander.

The old mindset of, 'you're not good enough to be with her' came creeping back into his psyche, and he suddenly felt very privileged to be in the same room with her.  She looked absolutely gorgeous, and he couldn't help but stare at her.

"So," Allura said, breaking the air of silence. "What do you suggest for dinner?"

"Uh...gee, I haven't even looked at the menu yet," Keith replied, suddenly caught off guard, and now realizing she had caught him staring.

Keith and Allura opened up their menus and looked over the selections.

"M-m-m-m," Allura moaned with a smile. "This looks tasty!"

Keith looked up from his menu. "What does?"

"This..." Allura said, pointing to her turned menu. "Roasted broccoli and garlic chicken with almondine cream sauce!"

"Yeah, that looks good, but I was looking at the Seared Bell Steak with mushrooms and onions."

"Oh, that looks good too!" Allura thought aloud. "I'm not sure which one to pick!"

"Toss a coin!" Keith suggested. "Heads you have chicken, tails you have steak."

"Oh my!" she sighed excitedly once again. "I think I've found what I'm getting..."


"And that would be?"


Keith and Allura suddenly looked up from their menus to find a formally dressed waiter standing before them. "Good evening Your Highness... Commander.  My name is Desmond.  I will be your waiter this evening.  Forgive me for the intrusion you were about to say what you were going to have."

"Uh...yes," Allura smiled shyly. "I would like to get the broiled Sandfish with lemon and garlic."

"An excellent selection, Your Majesty!" The waiter said as he wrote down her selection. "And to drink?"

"Just water, please." Allura replied politely.

"And for you, Commander?" the waiter asked, turning to Keith.

"I'll have what the Princess is having, please." Keith replied, suddenly changing his mind, and at the same time, drawing a very bright smile from his royal date.

"An excellent choice, Commander!" The waiter replied. "And for your drink?"

"I'll have water too."

"Thank you.  I'll put your meal selections into the kitchen.  If you need anything, please call for me!" the waiter beamed as he practically skipped away to the kitchen.

Keith and Allura watched as the waiter left the area.  Keith turned his attention back to his Princess. "You know, its nice to step out with you as a date, rather then having to give you orders as a team member."

"I know." Allura replied. "I really do appreciate everything you've done for my planet...my people...and for me, especially."

Keith smiled. "It is a pleasure to be here, Princess.  I'm glad I was reassigned back to Arus.  I never stopped thinking about you...uh... that is...your planet!"

Allura smiled. "It's alright, Keith.  There's no pressure here.  Feel free to say whatever you'd like."

"I just sometimes wish, that I could take off the commander hat now and then.  I always have to watch myself around the other guys.  I can't afford to lose their respect.  Besides, I have a reputation to protect." Keith replied.

"What reputation?" Allura asked him.

"I'm the old, 'stick in the mud' and...I guess that's okay.  I wish I could drop my guard sometimes. But I can't afford to show the others that...well that..." Keith paused for a moment...thinking.

"That you're human?" Allura said, finishing his sentence for him.

"Yeah...that I'm human." Keith echoed.  "I wish I could, but I can't... not as long as I lead the Force.  I need to be the one who follows the regs...otherwise, someone might get hurt."

"I know," Allura said quietly. "I understand.  I sometimes take things too personally when you holler at me for not doing something right..."

"You're a bigger responsibility for me then the rest of the team is."Keith interrupted.

"Because I'm 'the Princess'...right?" Allura sighed.

"That...and the fact that I hold a high regard for your safety." Keith replied. "That's one of the reasons why I wasn't too thrilled about this resurrecting the tradition of the Festival of Lions business.  It was a huge security riskand I knew it."

"Keith...we've been over this before," Allura said quietly.

"Not nearly enough, if you ask me!" Keith replied sharply. "My lack in judgement placed your life and the lives of the children of Capri in tremendous danger!  You could have been injured or enslaved!  Do you realize how close I came to losing you?"

Keith was so busy making his point that he hadn't noticed that he had grabbed onto Allura's hand. "I regret letting my guard down, and I must apologize for allowing my personal feelings to get in the way of my better judgement."

"You're beginning to sound like a commander rather then a date, Keith." Allura replied quietly, a touch of annoyance was now evident in her voice.

"You don't seem to understand that it would tear me apart if anything happened to you, Allura!" Keith said to her.

"I know..." she sighed.  "But, I sometimes have to do things that may not meet with the safety standards that you and Coran set for me.  I'm the princess of this planet.  And as princess, my duty sometimes requires me to leave the safety of my Castle to be with my people."

"I'm not saying you should be cooped up in the Castle, Allura." Keith replied. "All I'm saying is that you should use good judgement.  You know, Lotor is hovering around waiting for you to make that one fatal mistake, and then he'll be there to scoop you up and away from Arus.  The other day was a perfect example of that.  We still have no idea who it was who leaked the information to him of your visit to Capri in the first place."

"Nothing at all?" she asked him.

"No.  Which means that someone could once again provide vital information concerning you.  To that end, Coran and I are suggesting that going forward, any information on future events outside of the Castle will be limited to a need-to-know basis."

"I see," Allura replied. "Of course, I understand."

"Good.  And for goodness sake, will you trust a little more in my judgement and experience in security matters?  If I think things are too dangerous, it's not because I'm paranoid.  It's because I'm trained to pick up on things like that.  I don't want you taking any unnecessary chances with your life." Keith added.

"So...does that mean you no longer want me on your team to pilot the Blue Lion too?" Allura snipped. "I already explained this to you!  You know my passion to fly Blue Lion!"

"Princess!  You're putting words in my mouth..." Keith replied, now becoming annoyed at unwillingness to listen to reason.  "Of course I still want you on the team!  Don't be ridiculous!"

"I'm not being ridiculous, Keith!" Allura huffed, now pulling her hand away from Keith's grasp. "If it were up to you and Coran, I'd be in an unbreakable box, shielded from the world in which I live!"

"No...that's absolutely not true, Princess." Keith said to her, his voice a bit more calm. "I want you to continue to live your life as you always have.  Just think about what you're doing, and what the consequences for your actions will be.  Ask yourself if what you're doing will help or hurt the people of your planet, and those of us who care very much for you."

Allura's chin lowered a bit.  After several minutes of silence between them, she finally replied to him.  "You're right, of course.  But you know what?"

"What..." Keith asked tartly.

"I wish that I could take off my princess crown, much in the same fashion that you wish you could remove your commander hat." Allura sighed.  "If I were just a regular girl, probably no one would even notice me.  Especially Lotor..."

Keith smiled. "You know, Allura. it's not your title that attracts me to you.  It's your personality. It's who you are inside that I admire most of all.  Your title is immaterial to me."

"Thanks..." she replied quietly. "But it's because of my title that I'm such high maintenance to you and the team."

Keith's eyes widened. "Who put that into your head?" he demanded angrily. "I want to know!"

Allura's eyes locked with his. "You did.. Commander."

"Me?" Keith gasped. "How could it be me?  I've never said that..."

"Not verbally you haven't," she said in a small voice. "But you have non-verbally conveyed that to me in your actions.  Sometimes the way you act makes me feel as if you're tolerating me being around you and the team.   The 'little princess' and her 'toy lions'... and 'we'd better go along with her or else...' sort of thing.  You know."

Keith paused, his mouth was opened, but with no sound coming out of it.  He looked deeply into her eyes, and saw the tears building there.  This was not how he imagined his first date with the Princess to be.  He never thought that he would make her cryand he couldn't stand to see her in tears.

"Allura..." he started to say to her. "I never meant for you to think that.  I didn't mean to convey that to you, because it simply is not true!" He reached across the table and with the knuckle of his finger, he wiped the tears coming down her cheeks.  "I'm so sorry, Allura, please don't cry. You've got to believe that I never thought that of you.  It never crossed my mind!  It's my pleasure to be with you!  Please believe me, Allura!"

She nodded, but said nothing.

"You do believe me, don't you, Allura?" he repeated again. "Because it absolutely is the truth!"

Allura looked into his dark eyes...

"I...I believe you, Keith." she said softly. "Your eyes tell reveal to me what your heart is saying."

"Then, if you had only looked into those eyes, you would have known that I never for a second thought such a thing of you." Keith replied, now taking her hands into his.  "I hold the highest regard for you, Allura.  Please believe me.  I guess I am kind of rough on you sometimes.  But that's because I don't want to see you get hurt.  When you were injured this last time out, I sat outside the infirmary, blaming myself for your injury, and wishing with all of my heart that I could take your place."

"Oh Keith," Allura sighed gently. "I would have done the same if you were in there.  I'd have wish it on myself too."

"Well then, I guess you and I are going to have to be more careful...for each other's sake." Keith suggested with a wink.

"Yes!" she smiled back. "I suppose we will!"



The dinner was delicious, and the night seemed to fly by.  After taking in some of the sights of the bustling town, including viewing a marvelous art gallery, the Princess and her Commander suddenly discovered that the time had slipped quietly away from them, and decided it was time to return home.



The carriage had returned them back to the Castle several hours after they had left.  With neither of them admitting fatigue, they walked the Castle grounds together, sharing thoughts and simple
conversation, until suddenly they had found themselves walking quietly through the Castle gardens...and to their familiar bench.

The young couple sat down together, taking a moment to enjoy the peace and quiet of the late evening atmosphere.

Allura had picked a rose from the garden's rose bush... and she held it in her hand as she sat down next to Keith.

Keith, meantime, sat back on the bench and tilted his head upward to gaze at the stars, with his arms crossing over the front his chest.

He was taking in a deep breath of fresh night air, savoring its sweetness, when suddenly he became still as he felt the Princess lean up against the right side of his body.

"So peaceful," Allura cooed as she too stared at the stars above them. "It's hard to believe that such evil lurks out there in all that peacefulness."

"Yeah, its out there...but lets not focus on that, shall we?" he sighed in return.  "Evil takes enough of our attention away from the beauty of a quiet moment.  Lets not give it more then its due."

"An admirable thought, Keith." Allura replied softly.

The air grew silent and still as the two of them stared toward the heavens.  "You know," Keith said suddenly,  "I remember when I was young boy...I used to lay awake at night and stare at a starry night from my bedroom window...a night just like this one."

"Hmm-m," Allura murmured. "What were you thinking of?"

Keith let out a quick breath of air.  "I was thinking about what it would be like to be out there what it would be like to be free to fly around in the starry sky above my head.  I thought how much freedom there would be in that feeling."

"Is it everything you had hoped it would be?" she asked softly, turning her head upward to look at him.  Her head was still resting on his shoulder.

He nodded his head to her. "And more," he replied. "It's a feeling like I never thought I'd experience.  When my parents disappeared during a routine space mission, I suddenly grew angry with the stars...angry that they had taken my parents away from me without warning...without so much as even allowing me to say goodbye."

Allura sat up suddenly. "Oh, Keith," she sighed sympathetically. "It must have been awful for you."

Keith shrugged his shoulders. "Its life.  I understood that.  My parents had spent many years drilling that into my head as if...they knew that it would happen someday, and they wanted me to be prepared  for it."

"How can you be prepared to deal with something like that?" she asked him. "No amount of preparation can truly make you ready to accept the loss of a parent.  I should know..."

Suddenly, Keith turned his head to look at her. "I'm sorry, Allura." he replied.  "I didn't mean to cast a dark shadow over our evening."

"No, you haven't," she replied back with a smile. "I remember how it was like for me to grow up as a princess of a royal lineage.  It was hard...so many people wanting to shield me away from harm.  It wasn't always like that.  I once was able to run and play out on the hills near the Castle...free to be a child.  But then Zarkon ruined all of that.  When my mother passed on after a lengthy illness, my father had the grueling task of raising me and ruling the kingdom of Arus.
I once read in my father's archived journals, that he very much feared for my safety.  I also read about the wicked king named Zarkon, of the rouge planet of Doom, who had been terrorizing the
galaxy.  It was not long before I was to be born, that my father thought that Arus might be next in line for domination.  And I also read how my father's insight was the driving force for him to create the robot lions from the legend of ancient lions of Arus.  Those lion spirits are part of the robot lions of Voltron, just as my father's spirit will always be a part of Arus."

"Your family's history is incredible, Princess." Keith marveled. "Your father was a very wise ruler...as is his daughter."

"Not as wise as I think I should be, I'm afraid." She paused. "You were right back there at dinner.  I take far too many chances with my life.  I really need to look at things the way you doyou know, see things as they might really be, instead of how they appear to look."

"That takes practice, so go easy on yourself if you don't get it right the first time." Keith smiled back at her. "You're pretty wise for your age.  Your strength of leadership comes out in you at the time you most need it.  I saw the way you handled yourself and the Lion Claw against Lotor. You had it well thought out... if Lotor wouldn't leave willingly, then he would die in the Castle he desired to possess.  You showed great strength of will, Allura.  You stood up to your enemy, and refused to be intimidated by evil."

Keith tipped his head back up toward the skies over Arus. "You should commend yourself."

"If anyone is to be commended, its you, Keith." Allura replied. "You have risked your life for me more times then I'd care to count!  Sometimes, your devotion to duty scares me!"

"Its more then devotion to duty, Allura," Keith replied. "Yes, I have made a vow to you to keep Arus safe to the best of my ability.  But there's more there that drives me to keep that pledge, more then I'm perhaps willing to admit to myselfor to you."

Keith stretched out his body and raised his hands above his head before bringing them back to rest over his head, cradling it in his entwined fingers.  "I guess Lance was right when he said that there's more in my heart for you then mere duty.  I'm not really sure if I understand myself what exactly that is, so I really have nothing to share with you about it.  Only to say..."

Keith suddenly sat up straight and took his Princess's hands into his.  "Only to say that my devotion to you runs very deep.  I don't know if its love or not... but its there, and its worth exploring.  At least, I think it is.  But I won't force this on you.  If you wish to explore it with me...fine.  If not, then say the word, and I'll quietly back away from it."

Allura looked at him with tender blue eyes.  She smiled gently. "Keith Hunter, my champion, my protector, and my friend," she whispered. "There is no one else of whom I'd rather spend this time investing on what may lie ahead for us then with you.  I'd be honored if you would court me. That isif that's what you're proposing that we do."

"Of course that's what I'm proposing... but on Earth, we call it dating.  It sounds a bit less formal, and a lot less intimidating for me." Keith replied sheepishly.

"Why, Commander Keith!" Allura blushed fondly. "I do believe that I've finally found something that you are afraid of!"

"Afraid?" Keith choked out. "Who said I was afraid?"

"Just by the way you said itcourting verses datingthat one word is less intimidating then the other.  You're afraid, aren't you?" she smiled.

"Afraid of what, Princess?" Keith snorted.

"Afraid perhaps to lose your heart to someone?" she cooed.

"You're starting to sound like Lance," Keith grunted.

"Perhaps," Allura replied with a devilish smile as she reached up and gently caressed his face with the back of her hand.  "But just to let you in on a little secret I've been keeping...you're the only man that I've ever considered being serious with.  But I'm a bit lacking in experience in this field as well.  So I guess you'll just have to teach me the finer points of romance...much like you've taught me about the finer points of being an Alliance pilot."

Keith smiled at her graciousness. "You're too much sometimes, you know that?" he smiled at her.

"Oh, I know," she snickered. "Its what keeps me one step ahead of you boys."

"Perhaps we've underestimated you, Princess Allura." Keith chuckled.  "You seem to have more cunning then we had given you credit for."

Allura snuggled closer to Keith.  "I'm not cunning enough to realize that I need to be protected. I understand my position as princess may in fact jeopardize the safety of my teammates.  The example that made that so crystal clear was when Lotor came dangerously close to conquering us. I can never allow that to happen again.  And with your help, it won't."

She sat up once again.  "Keith, as leader of the Voltron Force, it is your responsibility to see things that I can't see.  I am therefore submitting myself to your better judgement.  If I had only listened to you in the first place, none of this would have ever happened.  I could have lost you in all of this..."

"And I could have lost you too, Allura," Keith replied seriously. "And I can't allow that to happen.  You're too valuable to the continuance of this planet.  You're also too valuable to me."

"Well, that shall never happen again.  This whole experience has become a valuable lesson to me. And I will see to it that I take your wisdom into deep consideration.  I had thought that you were just being overprotective.  I now know that I was wrong.  And I'm deeply sorry for causing you and the others grief that could have been avoided, if I had only the insight to put my stubbornness aside and listen to the good voice of reason." Allura sighed remorsefully.

"That's Coran's job as your advisor," Keith replied. "He's your voice of reason."

"Yes, but I think he uses you to get through to me." Allura replied. "I am so eager to do things that show me to be strong, that I sometimes forget the a strong leader must take the advisement of those who have had more experience in dealing with unknowns.  Coran has been the Royal Advisor for many years, and I sometimes get a stubborn streak in me and neglect his wisdom. He's dealt with Doom for many more years then I was even alive.  I should have listened to
him when I first suggested this tradition business.  It might have stopped right there."

"Well then, I agree that you have learned a very valuable lesson, Princess." Keith replied. "You've learned that as a leader, it's always wise to allow those around you to advise you in the paths that might be best taken.  But just remember something else...you listen to the advisement...but do what your heart tells you to do.  Don't become so rigid on the rules that you put aside the gentleness that you need to be a ruler.  You can't rule from your throne all of the time.  You need to be with your people.  And I recognize that, but you need to
use wisdom to select the best way to do that."

"I know," Allura sighed. "I placed the children of Capri in great danger.  I regret that."

"Don't." Keith said firmly. "The children would have given anything to be near their princess. And the people of Capri appreciated a visit from their ruler.  But perhaps a bit less fanfare would have been in order.  Anyone who works as Lotor's stool pigeons knew where you were goingand why.  They warned Lotor, and he acted.  Perhaps the dinner would have been enough, but the scavenger hunt wasn't a good thing.  It placed you in a vulnerable situationone that I'm
angry to say I couldn't help you out of.  That nearly killed me to know that I was powerless to save you from Lotor.  And I can't let that happen again.  I will not allow you to be in that type of a
position again."

"Oh Keith," Allura replied. "I will try harder, I promise!"

"You just keeping being you.  You're kind, gentle, and wise, above all else.  Don't ever lose those qualities.  Just do whatever you can to make the wisest decisions.  Your life and the lives of those around you depend on that." he told her.

"I will, Keith," Allura smiled. "I promise."

"Good." Keith smiled back, as he looked at his watch. "Well, its getting late, and we have lion practice in the morning.  Guess we better turn in now."

"Ever the firm Commander, huh?" Allura sighed gently.

"Well, Zarkon and Lotor won't excuse a late evening, as a reason not to pose a threat to us. We have to be ready for anything that comes our way." Keith replied, now suddenly taking on the commanding officer stance.  "We can't defend the planet, bone tired."

Allura frowned. "I suppose you're right."

"Don't worry," Keith smiled.  "I'll be planning our next date for the very near future."

"Oh that would be wonderful!" Allura beamed. "It's been such a marvelous evening!"

Keith rose to his feet and extended his elbow.  "May I escort you back to your chambers, fair Princess Allura?"

"Yes, by all means, Commander Keith!" she politely giggled as she reached for his arm.

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

The walk was shorter then both of them wanted it to be.  Before they knew it, they were standing in front of her chambers, bidding each other good night, and pleasant dreams.

"May I have the pleasure of kissing your cheek good night, Princess?" Keith asked boldly.

Allura's face blushed quickly. "You may, Commander." she replied with a sweet smile.

Allura closed her eyes and Keith leaned forward and gently kissed her on the right side of her face. Her skin was savory smooth, and the scent of her nearly caused Keith to faint.

Allura's skin tingled at the pleasant sensation of Keith's lips gently pressing against her skin. They opened their eyes to look at each other.

"Good night, Keith," Allura said. "And thank you again for a most wonderful evening."

"Good night, Allura." Keith replied. "And thank you, for accepting my invitation."

Keith turned and began to walk down the hallway, a short jog to his own quarters.

As Allura turned to enter her room, she suddenly was beckoned to stop as she heard Keith's voice from just down the hallway...

"Oh, hey... don't forget," Keith called out. "Lion practice is at seven o'clock sharp tomorrow morning!  Don't be late!  I don't want to have to make an example of you to the team!"

"I'll be there, Commander!" she returned with a smile.

"Good night then!" he replied. "See ya tomorrow!"

Allura paused in her doorway to hear his door swoosh shut, before allowing her own door to close behind her.

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

"One-thirty..." Allura sighed, as she once again tossed and turned in her bed.

She couldn't sleep.  Her mind was filled with all of the joy her heart felt.  Her heart was all a flutter over the possibility of a romance with her charming Commander.  He was so handsome...
and Marie was certainly right that any girl would be falling over herself to be where Allura was right now

The time was late as she gazed at her alarm clock once more.  But she didn't care.  She would nap again after lion practice.  She rose from her bed and walked to her desk.  Allura opened the journal that set on her desk and took hold of her pen in her hand, and began to
write...



Dear Journal,

It's been a most fascinating evening!  Where to begin...

The day that I thought would never happen, has finally happened!  Keith has finally noticed me as something more then merely a stuffy royal!  He's discovered feelings for me hidden within his heart.  Lance was right!  Keith does care for me deeper then mere friendship!  Life is exciting! I only wish that Mother were still here to tell me more about what I'm feeling.  But I'll survive. I have thus far.

And who knows?  Perhaps he is the man my heart has been longing for.  NoI know he is!  I've known it since I've first gotten to know him.  He's stubborn, intense, rigid, and mysteriousyet kind, gentle-hearted, caring, and compassionate... all of the things I've always known the man I'd fall in love with would be.  My heart tells me that he is the one that I shall spend the rest of my life withthe one that will rule Arus with me forever.

I hope my heart is right.

Live is exciting...and I can't imagine spending a moment of it without Keith in it.  In fact, I could never imagine being without him, ever again.

Faithfully yours,
Allura.



The End








">
">
">
">
">
">
">
">
">
">
">
">
">
">
">
">
">
">
">
">
Home