"What the Future Holds"

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 Previte.  Please do not use them without asking for permission.  Thank you.  Enjoy!

Chapter 16
The Promise Revealed

Allura returned to her chambers to take a nap.  She was very exhausted from keeping continuous vigil over Keith before he awoke.  She slept very deeply, content that dearest friend, at last, was out of danger.

When she awoke, Allura started to think again about the secret that Keith was apparently keeping from her.  She found it very disturbing.  Why would he feel the need to hide something like this from her?   Keith was her closest friend, and had never hid anything from her before, save his own personal feelings.  Those, he shared with no one.

Many things didn't add up.  So, being curious by nature, Allura decided to do the only thing she could do...sneak into Keith's room and look for clues!

Allura discretely walked down the hallway toward Keith's quarters.  Since he was in no condition to sleep there currently, she would have no trouble looking around a little bit. 

She stood in front of the door.  Then, pondered for a moment.  Should she go through with this?  She and Keith have always had a trust between them.  Entering his room without his knowledge would definitely shatter the trust they shared. 

She decided not to enter the room, and instead, turned and walked away. 

"I've got to find out what he's keeping from me."  She thought.  "But how can I do that without looking obvious?"

Allura decided to go to her father's monument, located outside the Castle in the gardens.  The monument was a black obelisk that stood about twelve feet high.  On it, there were five stones, each representing the color of the Lions of Voltron.  She walked up to it and placed her hand on it. 

"Father, I have to know what Keith promised to you!"  She declared.  "I need to know.  Father, do you hear me?"

A gentle wind was her only response to her inquiry.

She put her head down.  Allura had to know.  What was Keith keeping from her?  What was it that made him believe that she was going to die? 

"Father, if you can hear me, I need to know!"  She again attempted.

"My daughter..."

Allura looked up quickly.  She was sure she heard his voice.  But she didn't see him.  She started to turn and walk away, when...

"My daughter..."

"You are here!"  She shouted.  "Father, I need to talk to you!"

"My daughter, some things are better left in secret."  Alfor said.

"Father, if this is a promise that is going to hurt Keith, then I need to be aware of it.  He almost died for protecting me!  Do you know what he meant by 'protecting me from dying again'?" 

"Allura, my child, your friend Keith did what he felt he had to do, whatever that may have been.  He, as do all of your friends, wish no harm to come to you, and recognize the importance of protecting you from injury.  It was Keith's decision to step into harm's way in order that you might be shielded from any danger.  You must accept this without question, Allura.  You must not press to know what is unknown.  Know that his deep friendship and love for you compels him to protect you now and always." 

"But Father, I'm a pilot of the Voltron Force!  I have every right to be treated as nothing more than a warrior on a mission to protect my planet and my people!  That includes placing myself into harm's way for them both, as you put it.  I can't expect that Keith or any of the boys should treat me like anything other than a skilled pilot!"

Suddenly, Alfor appeared in front of her.  "Allura, listen to me.  You are the Princess of Arus.  You are the ruler of this entire planet.  You must act responsibly and in accordance to the wise counsel of those around you, serving in your court.  The space explorers that make up the remaining pilots of Voltron understand that you are very important to the wellbeing and balance of our planet.  It is imperative that you remember you are a princess first, and a pilot second.  You must therefore also recognize that those brave men of the Voltron Force will do what is necessary to protect you."

Frustrated with Alfor's evasion, she raised her voice, "Father, you haven't answered the original question that I put to you!  You always taught me the importance of telling the whole truth.  As a ruler, you swore by it.  As a father, you demanded it.  I want you to tell me the truth now.  I need to know what Keith promised you concerning me!  Did he know I would die at that moment that he took the blast?  Did you see him in Blue Lion before hand?"

Alfor made no response. Allura became insistent, "What's going on here, Father?  You have to tell me!"

Alfor was equally insistent that his daughter not find out the truth.  "Allura, you must drop this continuous questioning!  You know that I have never lied  to you before, and that I do not approve of lying.  That is why I can not tell you anything.  I have a promise with Keith that I will not break, as he has with me.  I am sorry daughter, but I can not reveal that conversation to you.  Farewell."

"Father, I'm sorry, but I don't agree with you!  What if it's something that Keith feels he'll always have to protect me from?" Allura was now nearly shouting in anger.

"Allura, Keith is your true friend.  Trust that no matter what the circumstance, he will always be there to protect you.  He loves you.  True love allows that task to be simple. My daughter, take care that you do not push aside that love for revelation's sake."

It was then that Alfor again disappeared.  Allura looked forward to the spot her father had just occupied.  She fell on the ground and started weeping.  All she could envision was Keith spending the rest of his life guarding her from harm at the risk of his own life.

And what was that her father said...Keith loves her

She loved him as well.  She knew it deep down inside of her heart.  She paused her tears long enough to ponder those words...

"He loves you..."

Those were the words Alfor used.  Which meant all the more reason for her not to want his protection.  She decided she couldn't bear to lose him. She would send him back to Earth first.  

"Oh Keith..." she whispered softly.  "Why won't you tell me what you know...what happened..."

Her mind was a million miles away, when...

"I...I can tell you what happened, Allura." Came a familiar voice from behind her.

Startled, Allura turned around quickly; a gasp flew from her mouth.  Pidge was standing behind her.  He had a computer disc in his hand.  She quickly let her guard down.

"Sorry to disturb you, Princess.  I was walking around, trying to decided what to do with this..." Pidge said quietly, holding the disc and a disc player in his hands.  His face had a grim expression on it.

"Pidge, what's wrong?"  Allura said, still sitting on the ground next to the monument. "You look like you've seen a ghost.  Are you okay?"

Pidge straightened himself up at her last sentence.  "Well... yeah kind of." 

Allura shot him a puzzled look.  Then a smirk replaced the puzzlement.  "Okay, Pidge.  Tell me what this is all about." She firmly said.  She wasn't about to stand for anyone else hiding anything more from her. "And please, don't try to protect me from whatever it is!"

"Okay" Pidge began, taking a deep breath.  "I found this disc imbedded it into Black Lion's circuit panel.  I apparently made it, and I put it in a place where no one else could find it, except me...when I did a normal diagnostic."  Pidge replied, still trying to figure the whole thing out himself.

"You apparently made it?" Allura questioned the 19-year-old genius. "And you don't remember doing it?"

"I don't remember...becauseI didn't do it here.  At least...not the 'here' you and I understand as the present." Pidge replied.

Allura took the back of her hand and wiped her eyes before standing to her feet.  "Pidge, you're confusing me. What's on that disc?"

Pidge dropped his head.  "I can hardly believe what's on it.  But if I didn't view it for myself, I probably wouldn't have believed it either." 

Pidge opened the portable disc player and inserted the disc into it.  Then he handed it to the Princess.  "I think this will clear up a lot of questions.  But, I don't think you're gonna like what's on it.  It's definitely not academy award winning material and its pretty disturbing."

She looked at Pidge for a moment.  Then she looked down at the disc player.  She took a deep breath, and hit play.

Within minutes, she viewed a collection of material that Pidge had recorded prior to Keith returning to the past with Black Lion...in the previous time line.  Somehow, the disc that he placed there shifted in time, along with Keith and the Black Lion.

It included scenes from what appeared to be a funeral.  Allura's face became contorted as she continued to view the disc data.  She was seeing scenes of herself in a wood-grain coffin: People were crying all around her. 

Allura's skin started to crawl.  She closed her eyes for a moment:  "How can this be?  Is this the dark secret that Keith was keeping from me?"  She wondered. 

"Pidge, what is this?"  She slowly asked, returning her focus to the viewer.  She could feel her face turning pale.   "Is...is this real?"

"Watch...it's almost over.  I say something at the end that ties this together." Pidge replied, trying to let her watch the disc without interruptions.

Allura now was viewing scenes of someone walking up to the Royal Crypt.  The Pidge that took these pictures was talking quietly on the disc

"That's Keith, once again making his way to the crypt to see Allura.  I agree with Lance, he's gonna lose it soon.  Sure hope this vector jump back in time works.  If it doesn't, we could lose him, too." 

Then, she saw an image of Keith as he opened up the crypt door.  Pidge started talking again.

"He's been coming here for a couple of days now.  Ever since Allura died, he's felt the need to glean his soul of some incredible guilt that he feels over her death.  I think, somehow he thinks he's responsible.  But, what about my role in all of this?  What if I was a little quicker getting to her, none of this... Oh, never mind.  What I should have done was disobeyed orders and not returned when Keith told me to!  I could have saved her, if Keith hadn't of stopped me!"

Allura looked up at Pidge.  "What guilt?"  She asked. "What guilt did Keith have?  And you?  What terrible thing happened would make you both feel so guilty?  Did Keith command everyone to pull back?  Did he think that his decision cost me my life?

"I don't know Princess, I really don't go into it on disc.  Watch, it's near the end.  It's going to go to me doing some adjustments in Black Lion."  Pidge again tried to re-focus her attention to the disc data.

There was a cut from the crypt to inside Black Lion, just as Pidge said.  The disc was recording Pidge's next words...

"This is my last entry.  I'm going to insert this disc into the memory chips of Black Lion.  I'm sure I'll find it when I do a diagnostic or computer virus scan and maintenance.  If this works that is.  If it doesn't work, then we'll be mourning Keith next.  He'll burn up in his attempt to vector jump back into time using the sun as a slingshot.  He's determined to do whatever is necessary to protect Allura and keep her from getting killed again."

Pidge on disc, turned around quickly to look behind him.  "Uh oh, gotta go!  Hunk is coming up. Gotta stop now.  Can't let Keith know what I'm doing!  Signing off.  Hopefully I'll find this in the future of my past...whoa, does that ever sound weird!"

The disc turned off abruptly.  Allura paused for a moment and didn't say anything.  Then, she looked up at Pidge for an explanation.

"That's all there is, Princess.", was all Pidge had to say. 

Allura was dumbstruck.  "So, that's why Keith has been acting so strange lately!"  She thought.   He traveled back in time to save her from apparent death.   She looked back down at the player. 

"He went back into time to save me?"  She said, rather stunned by what she knew.

"It looks that way."  Pidge responded, shrugging his shoulders.

"And you don't remember this at all?"  She questioned Pidge.

"No, this is a new time line.  You're supposed to be dead in the previous time line.  I guess that's what happened."  Pidge put his head down, not really wanting to think about it any further.  "So you see... I am seeing a ghost.  You:  you're supposed to be dead."

Allura paused again.  She couldn't believe it.  She was stunned that Keith would take such a risk like that.  He was a very cautious guy...so she thought.  Evidently, not entirely without surprises up his sleeves.  If he became desperate enough...she now knew he was capable of anything.

"Pidge, why do you think he would do that?"  She asked, still puzzled over the unfolding events.  "Surely, this can't be all out of guilt could it?"

Pidge dropped his jaw and stared at her. He was looking at her with that 'dah-h!' expression on his face as he answered her "As if!  There's only one answer for that question.   It's so obvious, Princess... he's in love with you!"

Allura quickly looked up at Pidge.  "Do you really think so?"  She asked, her cheeks beginning to show a slight flush.  She always had hoped he had felt that way about her, but now that it might be true, she tried to avoid her feelings.

She started trying to make excuses to Pidge:  "You must be mistaken, Pidge!  He's concerned for all of us as our commander.  Do you really think he'she's in love...with me?" 

"What do you think?"  He replied.  "He risked his life to come back in time, he almost lost it again once he got here.  I'd say at the very least, he cares a lot for you.  And it has very little to do with being your commanding officer.  He's in love with you, for sure.  But he won't admit it."

"Why not?  Why would he deny it?  Why hasn't he approached me?"  Allura asked Pidge, her blue eyes straining for an answer.  "If he really loves me, why wouldn't he tell me?"

"I'm just guessing, but I think it's because he feels that he's not good enough for you."  Pidge replied, looking up to the sky.  "I know I'd feel that way if I were in his shoes."

"What do you mean... not good enough for me?"  Allura became defensive.

"Well Princess...you're a princess.  You rule this whole planet.  Like I said already, if I were in Keith's position, I'd be worried about Coran's approval.  You know that Coran has been waiting for you to find some prince to marry and...well...you know..." Pidge said.  "Keith may feel that Coran might notapprove of him."

"Coran is not in charge of my life!"  Allura firmly stated.  "And this certainly is not something that he should be concerned with!  I will marry whomever I choose, whenever I'm ready!" 

"I'm sorry, Princess.  I was just telling you what I thought.  I didn't mean to make you upset or anything.  I know you're already upset over Keith being hurt and all."  Pidge apologized.

Allura's anger subsided, and she gave Pidge a smile "I'm sorry too, Pidge.  I didn't mean to take out my frustrations on you.  Please forgive me."  She said, equally apologetic.

"I do...and I understand the pressure you're under, Princess.  Sorry if I brought this to you at the wrong time."  He replied, head down again.

She turned her gaze back to the disc player in her hand.  She replayed the disc again.  As the scene came up when Keith was entering the crypt, she paused the disc and just stared at it.  She then stopped the disc and looked up at Pidge.  "May I hold on to this, Pidge?"  She asked.

'Yeah, sure.  Knock yourself out, Princess.  But I don't think you should show it to Keith.  He obviously didn't want us to know about this.  He made himself look pretty stupid at times to keep it from us!"  Pidge responded.

Allura nodded her head.  "Don't worry, Pidge.  I have no intention of letting him know about this."

"At least, not just yet...!" She thought to herself.

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