Title: The Lion King
Rated: NC-17 some parts may be rated under that but the story over all is rated for mature readers.
Disclaimer: I don't own Voltron... WEP entertainment does...Only original characters and storyline are mine. That means Mena who appears in Part 4 or 5 is mine... Zejan has permission to use her, and if you ask nicely... you can too... just ask!
Characters: Keith, Lance, Princess Allura and the rest of the cast from the series.
Spoilers: Based on the Anime series Voltron from the early to mid eighties, also rerun on Cartoon Network in the late nineties. Any episodes and all episodes from the Lion Voltron series may be mentioned in storyline, so having watched any or all would definitely be helpful but not necessary.
"The Lion King"A Volton: Defender of the Universe Fan Fic
Part 2- "With Friends Like This..."
Lance entered his room and flopped down on his bed to ponder the situation, namely that Keith was acting real funny, and he couldn’t figure out why. It was time to call for back up.
Standing up, he moved over to his view screen, where he punched in the access code to planet Pollux.
“Planet Pollux… Castle Control… This is Lieutenant Lance Barton requesting to speak with Commander Sven Affleck.”
Static filled the room, and then a voice with a very thick Swedish accent crackled from the speaker. “State your concerns wit Commander Affleck.”
Lance grinned and rolled his eyes. “Cut the crap-it’s me.”
Sven’s face popped up on the monitor. “It's so gutt to hear from you, my friend.” He took one look at his former teammate and inquired, “All right- who is she?”
Lance’s eyes twinkled; Sven always knew when something was afoot. “It's your wife, old pal- I got it bad for Romy.”
His friend smiled blandly. “Be serious, please. Anyway, I don’t tink she vould hafe you.”
“What makes you say that?”
“She has met you.”
The Red Lion pilot laughed heartily. “Once they have Lance, there’s no turning back.”
“Come now Lance…”
Lance smirked placing his hands behind his head and leaning back in his chair. “So how are things with Romelle?”
“Some ting tells me that you didn’t call me up to talk of nonsense.” Sven replied calmly.
Lance breathed a sigh. Sven was a lot like Keith; he couldn’t get anything past him. “You're right, I didn’t call to chat about your sex life. Although it’s gotta be more lively than our commander’s.” He added, shrugging and shaking his head.
Sven, noticing the clouded look in his friend’s eyes shook his own head. “How bad is it?” He asked, in a worried tone.
“I got promoted.” Lance stated plainly, trying to hide the fact he was happy about it.
The Swede looked taken aback. “Ex coose me?”
“You heard it right. It’s all happening so fast. Keith got his Major stripes too.”
“What is da problem den?” Sven asked sounding perplexed.
“I was getting to that. Keep your shorts on… no, really, keep your shorts on.” Lance grumbled. “I don’t need to suffer another disappointment right now.”
"Oh ya, that's right… Jeff vould be crying and you vould be drooling, my friend.” Sven joked with the sense of humor he only showed around Lance and Romelle.
“In your dreams.” Lance retorted. "Anyhow… the reason I called you. You have to talk to Keith. He’s going to throw away a promotion because he’s too scared to leave Allura.”
“Seems to me, Lance should be taking care of himself.” Sven said, wisely. “I have already spoken to Keit and he has invited Romelle and I to Arus to spend a few veeks vhile you two go to Terra for your ceremony.”
“Wait a second… so Keith isn’t giving up the promotion?” Lance asked in surprise. “I didn’t think he was stupid enough to bump heads with Galaxy Garrison… that’s my department!" He smirked.
Sven snorted with laughter. “Tell me about it.”
“What about Allura?”
“I tink she iz going vit you.”
“Woo hoo… road trip with the princess.” Lance gave a whoop of joy.
“Only you vould see it in dat vay.”
“Just call me crazy.” Lance replied, with a wink.
“Vhy not… it’s the trut.” Sven grinned at him.
“So when do you plan on arriving?” Lance asked him.
“As soon as possible. Romelle is looking forvard to seeing Allura bevore you depart to Terra.”
“It’ll be good to see you, and maybe when you get here… you can have a talk with Keith… and if that doesn't work, at least try to convince him into going into one of the cities and getting laid. " Lance stated his teasing words threaded with seriousness. "That man is so uptight if you stuck a lump of coal up his ass, in two weeks you’d have a diamond, and I am willing to bet a months commission that his problem is sexual. I’d even be willing to pay for the deed myself.”
Sven sighed and shook his head. “I vill see vhat I can do. Sven out.”
“See ya buddy.” Lance replied.
Meanwhile, in the Captain's quarters...
Keith lay quietly on his bed. He couldn’t quite get himself to look in the mirror yet, so he stared at the tile and marble in the ceiling. If only he could get himself to admit his feelings openly to Allura… maybe it wouldn’t be so tough leaving her behind.
The other problem was he wanted her to go with them. It would be an opportunity to get to know each other without their titles getting in the way… well except for the promotion thing. And for her being a royal princess thing. If he heard Nanny call any of them ruffians, or heard her tell Allura that her actions did not become her station, even one more time…closing his eyes and opening them again, Keith could only see red; red tape that is.
He turned to his side and fought to clear his mind. He'd be in serious trouble if he didn’t get his head on straight.
Surprisingly, it wasn't long before he yawned and closed his eyes; sleep was upon him, but whether it was a peaceful rest was yet to be determined.
A few days later... Castle Landing pad...
The day promised to be beautiful. No cloud lingered in the blue Arusian sky, and the sun was already a brilliant shade of gold above the mountains. Eight figures stood at the landing bay awaiting their guests. Six out of the eight were excited to see their friends that would be staying on an extended visit. The castle never looked so good, not since the days of King Alfor had it shone so wonderfully.
The entrance of the spacecraft slowly opened. Princess Allura wrung her hands waiting with a mixture of nervousness and excitement. This would be the first time she had seen her cousin since the wedding, and she was anxious to drill her cousin about the honeymoon. As they waited for their guests to disembark, Lance made sure he kept his gaze from his Captain, knowing his motives would be clear if he made eye contact. Keith’s birthday was the next day and he was going to make sure he enjoyed it, hopefully with the help of Sven.
It was the Princess Romelle who first made her descent down the small craft’s staircase followed closely by her new husband. The Red Lion pilot stifled a laugh watching Sven shadowing his bride. It reminded him of Keith when he escorted Allura. Although, Sven had an even bigger reason to follow Romelle so closely now, he still could not believe a member of the team was well… ‘tied down’ and it was beyond his comprehension why anyone would purposely give up the chance to meet and greet many different women. Until Sven actually went through with it…
Lance shot a look at the Captain. And there was Keith, making with the puppy eyes at Allura. His two best friends, hung up on women.... it was enough to make him want to vomit… or was it? He felt the stab of jealousy hit his gut and almost cringed. He hated feeling that way, and knew it was turning him into a real hard ass. They had all been a team… but since Sven’s marriage… Lance had already felt like a third wheel with Sven...so what would happen if Keith got hooked up?
He shot a side -glance at Allura then looked down at his feet and sighed. Who was he trying to kid? He was a life long bachelor… and he knew it, so he might as well be happy for his friend. At least Sven was getting the perks of marital bliss on a regular basis. It remained to be seen if Keith would ever get anything...or Lance, himself for that matter.
The royal couple now stood in front of the team along with Nanny and Coran. Romelle smiled at them all, and then as her eyes came to rest on Lance… a playful smirk crossed her lips at the memory of all the hard times he had given her. She then moved on to wink at Keith and then to meet a familiar blue-eyed gaze.
“It’s so good to see you again, Cousin.” Romelle greeted Allura, her voice warm with affection.
Sven came to stand beside Romelle, his bearing unconsciously regal. He definitely looked the part of a prince consort… a king, even.
“Gutt to see all ov you.” He greeted his long time friends. He looked happier than anyone could have ever imagined.
“Must’ve been quite a honeymoon.” Lance blurted out, in true Lance fashion.
The rest of the team flashed him a dirty look.
“Yah, it vas fun.” Sven answered, smiling at his wife.
“You two must be so tired! Your room is all prepared. You should rest before lunch.” Nanny informed them, quickly grabbing the luggage and placing an arm around Romelle’s waist. “Ack! Princess Romelle, our princess should take a lesson from you and accept that her kingdom deserves an heir.”
“Nanny… I only married a few weeks ago… don’t have me barefoot and pregnant before I am ready.” Romelle protested, sending a knowing smile to Allura and then one to her husband.
“Ya, Nanny… that is my job.” Sven replied, impishly. He looked over at Lance and Keith. “So... vhat’s dis I hear about your birtday, Keit?”
Later that morning... Allura's bedchambers...
“So?” Allura’s eyes grew wide with curiosity.
“So... what?” Romelle teased, as she sifted through the packages of gifts she had brought for her friend.
“Don’t play coy with me.” Allura retorted. “You know exactly what I mean. I want the dirt! Nanny never tells me the good stuff. You’re all I have left.”
“I take it things are rather slow with a certain captain,” Romelle picked up an article of clothing and placed it on the bed. “Here… I brought you back something from Planet Aphrodite.” She smiled and nodded at the gift.
Allura ran her hands over it then picked it up, as she tried to decide what it was. “What is this for?”
“Just in case your commander ever gets his ass in gear.” Romelle teased. “You know… picks up the pace…” She snapped her fingers with her words
“Hmph… like that will ever happen. He’s too, 'you're a princess, and I’m a pilot'.” Allura mimicked Keith’s tone of voice. “All right, that's enough about my nonexistent love life. I want to hear something mushy.”
A sly smile crossed Romelle’s features. “Are you sure you want to hear about it? It might just make you jealous.”
“Jealous? I'm already jealous!” Allura flung herself onto her bed. “You get to kiss the man you love, lay next to him every night, and you don’t have to walk out of the room if he’s in his towel… or in the shower…” She muttered the last words.
“The shower? Allura … have you been holding out on me?” Romelle’s eyes danced. “You saw Keith in the shower? This I must hear! I may be married but I’m not blind… and next to Sven, Keith is one damn fine looking man.”
“All over…” Allura added.
With a puzzled look, Romelle took a seat on the bed next to her cousin, who added, “Remember a while back before the period of peace and return of Lotor to power on Doom?”
“How could I forget?” Romelle answered quietly.
“Yes, well...when Arus was getting ready to host the Space Olympics, I sorta walked in on him in the shower at the construction site.” Allura’s cheeks flushed furiously. “My god Romy, he didn’t even grab for a towel. He’s that confident in his appearance.”
“Amazing… I’ll bet Lance would’ve jumped straight for a towel.”
“What makes you think that? I saw him naked once too and he’s not what you would say …err … small.” Allura admitted.
“Oh my, does Commander Keith have some competition?” Romelle inquired, knowing the answer but asking anyway just to get a rise from Allura.
“No way Romy… what makes you say that? Besides, it was an accident I saw Lance!"
“It wasn’t an accident you saw Keith?” Romelle prodded.
“What do you think?” Allura quipped. “I’m no mastermind… but I do know when there’s a bunk house full of good looking guys and a shower running that you don’t ignore it.”
“You’re saying Hunk and Pidge are good looking?”
“Well, um… no… but Pidge has definitely grown into his look. You know… since his voice changed and all. And they can’t really call him their ‘lil’ buddy anymore.”
Romelle laughed at the thought. “Let’s talk of something else. I can’t see my husband 'til the boys let him go anyhow.”
“You never did tell me about the honeymoon.” Allura propped herself on her elbow and flung a small pillow at Romelle.
“What did you want to know?”
Allura’s eyes grew even more mischievous. “Why everything, my dear Romy… everything. AND if you leave anything out… just remember… you aren’t the princess on this planet… I am.” She threatened with relish.
Just outside Allura's bedchambers…
Lance leaned against the door, having happened by, and lured in by the Princesses' voices drifting through the door. He felt a little guilty, but fought back the urge to turn and go. ~So this is 'girl talk', huh? ~ He pondered.
“I take it things are rather slow with a certain captain… “Here… I brought you back something from Planet Aphrodite.”
Lance gave a start. Had he heard Romelle right? Did Allura have it just as bad for Keith as Keith did for her?
~Damn it… That makes sense… I always had a gut feeling, now I know~
“What makes you think that? I saw him naked once too and he’s not what you would say …err um … small.”
~Not small huh? ~ Lance felt himself blush as he leaned in further, hoping to hear a follow up comment or comparison to Keith, and wondering exactly what the Princess thought of that part of his anatomy… even though he didn’t have those feeling for her anymore. It would be something to tease her about if the time came.
~ What do you think? I’m no mastermind… but I do know when there’s a bunkhouse full of good-looking guys and a shower running that you don’t ignore it. ~
"Ahh… that’s good to know… Ally you dog… proud of ya though, girlie" Lance thought aloud in a hushed whisper. He placed his ear up to the door again. This was so interesting; two princesses drooling over their respective men… it made Lance contemplate opening the door and shocking the hell out of them- and sorry about telling Allura not to throw Keith a party. He shook his head as he remembered the conversation earlier that morning...
Earlier that morning... just before Sven and Romelle's arrival, Observation room...
“Mornin Princess…” Lance had greeted her warily, knowing Sven and Romelle would be there momentarily. He had to think fast but nothing was coming to him; he could not think of one good reason for her not to throw a party for Keith. Actually there were two reasons to throw a ball; the arrival of friends… and Keith’s birthday, although Allura had thrown parties for reasons far less than that.
“Yes… good morning.” The Princess' tone seemed distant and guarded.
~ She's never been this way with me before…~ “I wanted to talk to you about tomorrow night’s festivities… Sven and I have a small thing planned for Keith tomorrow night… I hope you don’t mind… because he’s really looking forward to it.” He had blurted out, the lie coming too easily.
“But I thought…” Allura had tried to catch a word in edgewise… but with no luck. He was on a roll.
“Think of it as a present to Keith… it’ll be good for him to get out of the castle with Sven and me. The three of us haven’t done anything together in so long… we've forgotten what it’s like to have a boys night out.” Lance concluded smoothly.
After that, Allura had reluctantly agreed to his request, then turned on her heel and walked away, looking disconsolate. He knew he'd have to talk to her later. He hadn't meant to hurt her feeling.
Lance snapped back to reality when he heard the giggling and realized with a sense of chagrin that he had missed some of the conversation.
He strained to hear more, but what he heard next was not all that interesting to him. He couldn’t very well tease Sven about Romelle and his sex life… because they were married. Rolling his eyes, he pushed himself off the wall and turned to leave. He really didn’t care about what Svenny and Romy did on their honeymoon anyway. He could just about guess, although he did fight back an urge to stay and hear the steamy details so he could rattle Romelle’s cage when the opportunity knocked. He had other things to worry about, however, and he was supposed to meet the rest of the team in the rec room.
Stretching and yawning, he quickly set off down the corridor, heading for the rec room where he knew the others were awaiting him.
The Rec Room seconds later...
Lance walked into the brightly lit room.
The rest of the team were lounging around the place; Pidge and Hunk immersed in a game of Go Fish and Keith and Sven were watching the vid screen seemingly interested in one of the older movies of the many that had been imported from Terra. Lance had already watched all of them, for he was a huge fan of the movies and all the glitz of Hollywood. The Red Lion pilot smirked looking from Keith to the screen, as he realized the flick that was playing seemed to mirror Keith’s problem. A B movie, with some television actor, the plot focused on the poor guy running around the city of San Angeles on a quest for a condom so he could spend the night with the girl of his dreams.
Lance sighed; he still didn’t know what was up with his friend; every attempt he had at talking to him failed.
Keith was way too frustrated with something to be any good to anyone, except on the battlefield; there he was kicking some butt. But the tension leaking over into everyday life was making him becoming impossible to live with lately, and Lance couldn’t think of anything that would benefit Keith in the long run, especially since he now knew both Allura and Keith were playing cat and mouse games, both having feelings but both too stubborn to act on them.
He watched with interest as the actor climbed a tree, proceeded to drop the item in his hand… and then cursed violently as the tree fell inside the girl’s bedroom. An idea formed in Lance’s head as he laughed. ~Maybe if I can introduce Keith to another girl… he can get rid of some of that pent up tension… it always worked for me at the academy. ~ He thought smugly.
But then...another voice echoed through his skull. ~Do you really want to hurt the feelings of those you love? ~ Lance winced; the voice sounded a lot like Sven accent and all. ~Desperate times call for desperate measures. ~ Lance heard his mind reply. He determinedly shook off the schizophrenic moment, putting up a front that he had been using lately.
“You know Keith… if you ever had a problem like that… all ya gotta do is ask.” He joked.
Pidge looked up at him and grimaced.
Keith ignored the comment and simply stared at the screen. “I’d like to see the rest of the movie without you yapping.” He commented.
“Does Nanny know you’re watching this ‘filth’?” Lance asked, trying to imitate Nanny's familiar hauteur, but failing miserably.
“It’s hardly filth, Lance-at least, not like the triple X rated ones we catch you adding to the import list.” Keith responded.
“Those weren’t triple X …” Lance shot back, then relented. “Well, ok, some of them were but how else are we gonna keep up with the times if we don’t do ‘research’?” He sat down by his friends on the large couch, kicked off his boots to reveal the hole in the toe of his sock, and plopped them on the coffee table.
“Ewww… put those shoes back on! " Hunk exclaimed. “That smell could scare off one of Lotor’s Robeasts! Nope, Go Fish!" He added, to Pidge.
“Hey Hunk… too bad you got nightshift tomorrow night… we have a hell of a party planned tomorrow.” Lance said impishly, with a sidelong look at his friend.
“Hey! I told you not to do anything about it-it’s just another day!” Keith complained. “Why do you people have to make such a big deal about becoming another year older?"
“You’re just pissed off because you’re gonna be a quarter of a century old.” Lance mused.
“It’s better than being pissed on.” Keith retorted smartly, surprising himself and everyone else in the room.
“Very true…” Sven grinned. “But it' s not efery day you become an old man of tventy fife.”
“Oh shut up!” Keith responded in exasperation. “I happen to know you turned twenty five last year… and my dear Lance-you’ll be there soon enough, three months if I’m not mistaken!”
Lance just rolled his eyes at the reminder. Of all of them, Hunk was the oldest, being twenty six, Sven was twenty five, Keith would be twenty five with him following, then Allura who turned twenty one just two months ago… and then there was Pidge, who was not a boy anymore. When they had arrived on Arus, Pidge was twelve. Now he had grown into a young man of seventeen, and Lance suspected the youngest of their ranks wasn't even a virgin after the last palace ball.
Curiosity now getting the better of him, Keith found himself wondering what Lance had in mind for the celebration. Maybe a drink and a night out was what he needed. “By the way, how’d you get Princess to agree to us just doing something on our own instead of throwing one of her parties?” He asked.
“I just told her that you said you didn’t want her to make a fuss over anything. ” Lance lied. Truth was it had been like pulling teeth to get Allura to not throw a huge ball for the commander. However, she had quickly relented when Lance explained to her that the Captain was in dire need of a 'night out with the boys', as he had called it.
“That’s right, blame everything on me,” Keith muttered.
“Hey… you have been sort of a stick in the mud lately.” Lance protested. He glanced at the entrance to the room, almost expecting the Princess to enter and challenge his statement. He really hadn’t meant to lie to Allura… and once he had, he had felt guilty… but no one would catch him admitting it. Besides, he always had had a burning curiosity to find out just how far Keith would go if provoked. "Sorry you can't go along, Pidgeon...but you're still underage." He added.
“That's cool with me... " Pidge quickly spoke up. “Since no one will be here, it’ll give me the chance to watch that ‘Star Wars’ set again.”
“But you’ve seen all six twelve times already! ” Hunk complained loudly.
It was obvious to everyone that Pidge had been getting into Terran pop culture way too much and Nanny would throw a fit if she heard the music the boy listened to, or watched the movies any of the guys were having sent; especially Lance's list.
Besides the Star Wars movies, and the South Park references Pidge was growing fond of, he was also listening to a lot of some babe named Jennifer Lopez who was on his top favorite list of 21st century Terran pop music artists. Hunk could see why, since the woman appeared to have had a nice, rounded backside. He smiled as he thought of the image. ~She must have liked to eat too… ~ he thought. He did like some of the other music Pidge listened to as well… what was the name of that group again? The Dixie Chickens?
He turned his thoughts back to his friends. “You know, you guys should be glad I have duty… because I'd drink you all under the table. Where are you going anyhow?”
“Probably the city of Altaire.” Lance answered. “It’s not that far so when Keith gets plowed, he’ll be able to walk home with out a problem.”
Keith let out a chuckle. “I don’t think I’ll be the one walking home! But in second thought...if we end up not driving, I might be walking home but I will sure as hell be standing straight. If memory serves me, you're the one that gets staggering drunk, not me.”
“You can laugh now, Mon Ami… but we’ll just see what happens tomorrow night.” Lance challenged, and then turned his attention back to the movie and the plight of its hero. ~ Poor guy… all that trouble just to get laid. ~
Rec room: next day at dusk…
Allura flung herself down into one of the huge cushiony chairs. Sighing with boredom, she flipped on the vid screen.
~Why wouldn’t Keith just let me throw him a birthday party here… it’s not like Nanny’s parties aren’t any fun! Besides, we have to be up early tomorrow, if we are going to make the transport to Terra. ~
“Penny for your thoughts.” A voice came from the entrance to the room. Allura looked up and smiled at Romelle. “Do you know where the boys went?” She asked, trying to hide her dismay at the prospect of Keith going into the city without her.
“I believe Lance and Sven took him on a boys night out.” Romelle replied, sitting in the chair next to Allura. “You do realize that Keith does need to get out of the castle sometimes, don't you? Besides... think of it this way... it's a boy's night out... which means no girls.” She told a small white lie to make Allura feel better.
“But he’ll be out of the castle for six weeks, starting tomorrow! I don’t understand why he wouldn’t want to spend his birthday with me.” She pouted.
“Who says he didn’t? Although... it’s not like you two have anything really going on… a few long glances, and you being a peeping tom, and that's it! Besides, you know how Lance is when he makes his mind up to something; Sven said that Keith’s been acting strangely lately, so they are taking him out to talk to him. Romelle glanced outside. “I do hope Sven comes home early, though… If you ask me, Lance is the one that's been acting funny. What a cracker....”
Allura gave her a worried look. “You're telling me! I know Lance has been acting weird!" She paused, as she chewed on the end of a well-manicured nail. "I’m going to go out of my mind wondering what they are doing... and by the way, what's a cracker?"
“I think it's time you got acquainted with the Terran vocabulary, cousin! ” Romelle chuckled. “How about if we go back to your room and I show you that book I got on my honeymoon.” Her eyes grew wide as she gave Allura a knowing look.
“The one by that author who writes stories that Nanny would burn if she found them in the castle?” Allura asked, looking hopeful.
“The very one.” Romelle nodded.
“What are we waiting for then? I know Pidge has been patiently waiting for the vid screen in here.” Allura was on her feet in an instant, her thoughts temporarily diverted from worrying about her handsome prince.
City Of Altaire…
“Ok Keith… I know it’s been a while but somehow I doubt you forgot how to do this.” Lance’s eyes were focused, and he stared at the three shot glasses in front of him. He picked up a shot glass and slyly smiled at Keith. Licking the salt from his wrist, he swallowed the contents of the glass. “Bottom’s up.”
Keith chuckled… Lance made it sound like their days at the academy were full of keg parties and drinking games. Although they did indulge once in a blue moon... Lance more so than himself... He sighed... then looked over at Sven and back at Lance. It was his turn. He repeated Lance’s actions and almost choked. “Hey… wait a second… this stuff doesn’t taste like Tequila.
“That’s cause this is Arus Mon Ami… It’s not.” Lance sucked on his lime. “It doesn’t have a taste to it. That’s why you suck on the lime. It’s twice as strong as Tequila too.” Lance wiggled his eyebrow and smiled with the lime still in his mouth. His smile soon lit up when the music started. A song he loved as a kid and very Terran started playing. “This night is gonna get good.” Lance downed another shot and stood.
“I tink dey made tis song fer you.” Sven cried. “Only you vould enjoy such a sleazy song.”
“You’re just jealous… I can have all the girls I want… You on the other hand are tied to a ball and chain.” Lance snapped. He moved his shoulders to the music.
“Wanna tell her that I’m sorry for the pain that I’ve caused… I’ve been listening to your reasons…” Keith sang along with the song, then looking at Lance, he went to the next line. “It makes no sense at all.”
“No sense at all huh?” Lance’s eyes came to rest on a girl at the bar. “This song’s a classic. “Wasn’t me…” He smiled… “You just gotta know how to handle the situation.” He was on a mission… he only hoped he could remember it was for Keith and not himself.
Keith and Sven watched Lance go. “It’s my birthday and he’s skipping out on us for the first pretty girl he sees.” The Captain pouted.
“Aw… drink up my friend…” Sven said handing him another shot. Keith took it and grabbed for another one. He looked up again. His head was spinning. He had only had four shots, why was his head swimming so? “What is this stuff?” He asked again. “I notice you aren’t drinking a lot of it.”
“I know better.” Sven replied. “This stuff could knock ofer an elephant.”
The Scandinavian eyed the bottle then looked at Lance again. It appeared he was making some progress. The girl at the bar had long blonde hair and Sven couldn’t see her face but Lance sure looked intrigued. Sven shook off his impure thoughts. If Romelle saw the look he flashed the girl at the bar, there’d be no question if Pollux would get an heir. "How are tings wit Princess Allura?"
"What are you implying?" Keith asked, defensively.
"Nuting... I just know how you feel about her...tink of it this vay... I am a pilot and I got the girl." Sven pointed out reasonably.
Keith gave Sven a quizzical look. He had never thought of that! "If you could inform me as to how you did so... I'd be willing to take notes." He replied, a bit indistinctly.
"There are no notes to write. Just follow your heart." Sven smiled; his friend was looking pretty smashed. "If you don't make some sort of move, you may loose her forefer." The words sounded wise beyond his years.
"I don't know how." Keith admitted, gulping down another shot of the liquor.
Sven watched him, realizing he had hit a nerve.” I think I should call it a night.” He ventured.
“You aren’t leaving me here with Lance.” Keith slurred. “That’s a command.”
Sven shook his head. Keith was drunk. So was Lance. He, on the other hand, had someone to get home to. He stood up. “Tell Lance tat it vas fun but now, I half to go.”
Keith placed his head on the table. For a moment, he thought he might pass out. He raised his hand to say goodbye, since he didn’t have the strength to say it properly.
"Heafan forbid Lotor attacks now." Sven laughed. "See you bright and early." With that, Sven turned and walked out of the tavern.
Lance watched him go. A wicked smile crossed his face. Leaving gave Sven deniability and it also relinquished him from any form of guilt regarding what he was about to do. He quickly stood from the stool he sat on and invited the girl he was with to join him and his friend.
“Hey Mon Ami…” Lance greeted Keith who was lying in a puddle of drool.
“What is that stuff? I have never reacted to alcohol like this before.” Keith mumbled into his sleeve.
Lance’s eyes danced. “Jeff, I want you to meet someone.”
Keith tried to straighten up. He was able to pick himself up only slightly until he saw the person standing next to Lance.
“Princess?” He whispered. It couldn’t be her. Nanny would never let her out of the castle. Let alone allow her to come to this sort of place.
“Her name… is Anne Marie. She’s a local I think...” Lance’s voice was saccharine.
“Nice to meet you Anne Marie.” Keith murmured.
“Don’t worry Annie… he’s not usually like this.” Lance shrugged his shoulders. With the thought that maybe Keith was drinking too much, he motioned for Anne Marie to sit down.
“Anyone ever told you that you look a lot like the princess of Arus?” Lance asked, taking a seat of his own.
Anne Marie’s resemblance to the princess was uncanny… and that had been what had drawn Lance to talk to her. Her hair was almost the same color, and a bit longer with layers cut into the shoulder line… Her eyes were different, in the aspect that they held a tint of green that made her eyes sparkle a magnificent aqua. Her body was a mirror image to Allura’s. If not for the eyes, Lance would have thought she was the princess.
Anne Marie smiled. “I get that a lot. Especially the hair; I am just about to cut it off.” She took a sip of her own drink. Lance grabbed the glass in her hand.
“Hey… if you’re gonna drink with the big boys… you have to have a big boy's drink.” He said pouring her a shot of what he and Keith were having.
She agreed too quickly… or at least Keith thought she did. One shot was placed in front of each of them. With that, all three drank down the contents of the glasses and sucked on a lime.
Anne Marie smiled to herself. The one who called himself Cliff was very flirtatious. The other who said his name was Jeff seemed like a bore, but she would change that-she had to. They all had been drinking something Anne Marie knew was a dangerous concoction, but it, like herself, was not what it appeared to be.
She flashed a winning smile at ‘Cliff’. She knew they hadn’t told her their real names...it had been early when Sven left the group. Just after ten thirty. Lance and Keith were quite drunk, although, Lance hid it better than his commander. Lance even hid it well enough to pick up a local girl, a prostitute by trade who was not a stranger to the tavern in Altaire. Yes, she knew exactly who these men were… the first and second in command of the Voltron Force. One of them had to be the one she needed. Both of them were more than dreamy. Both were heroes in their own right.
The Captain didn’t seem to be enjoying himself, or be at all into the festivities. She turned to the man she knew as Cliff. “Let me help you with your friend. He needs a different sort of drink.” With that, she flagged down a waiter, and ordered something Lance had never heard of. Three drinks came back in seconds. Lance looked at the stuff in little round containers.
“Are these jello shots?” He asked turning to place a tip in the waiter’s pocket. He then looked at Anne Marie sheepishly… “My aun… er mom was a waitress back home…”
“What are jello shots?” Anne Marie asked innocently.
“Never mind, it’s a Terran drink that we haven’t had in some time. This looks a lot like them.”
She handed Lance the drink who swallowed the semi solid shot and then handed one to Keith. “Oh… no, these are what is known on Arus and surrounding planets as the antidote for the 'Tasteless Death'. They won’t take away your buzz… it’ll just give your captain a jolt... wake him up a bit.”
Lance stumbled over her words of recognition. “Wait… how’d you know?”
“You don’t think your face is not known? You have been here for years… savior. I am just happy that I am your entertainment.” She stood and went over to Keith who was just now swallowing the blue drink. “Good. Now things should get interesting.”
“How so?” Lance asked looking at Keith as he suddenly sat up and became aware of his surroundings. Lance was a little skeptical… something inside him kept nagging at his gut. It was normal feeling for him when something wasn't right. It seemed almost magical. He blew it off as best he could.
“What happened?” Keith asked, as he looked up into the girl’s blue-green eyes. His head still felt the alcohol, although now, he wasn’t slurring his speech nor was he lying in a puddle of his own drool. “I’m going to have a hell of a headache tomorrow.” He groaned.
“Don’t think of tomorrow… Captain. The night is still young and so are we.” Anne Marie cooed, placing a seductive hand on Keith’s shoulder. Lance watched with interest, then suddenly an image of Allura rose before him. Almost spitting out his drink, he thought… ~ Where did that come from? ~
The feeling he had moments ago crept back up to his consciousness and suddenly he wished Keith would knock her hand away. He would much rather leave than hurt the Princess.
“If you figured out who we are, then you know we don’t get a lot of time to play.” Keith tentatively placed a hand on Anne Marie’s at his shoulder and for a second, Lance could've sworn he was going to remove it again. To his shock, Keith didn’t… instead he ran his hand down the girl’s arm.
Lance shuddered and gulped down a large swig of beer. ~Whoa… He's really gone. It must be because she looks like Allura. Can't he see that she’s no Princess? ~
His conscience screaming at him, Lance folded his arms, sitting back and assessing the situation. Yes… this would turn out to be some night all right. . ~Happy birthday… Mon Ami…~ He thought bitterly.
They continued to drink like they hadn’t drank in years. Not since the academy had Keith consumed so much beer. They had resorted to the safe stuff after the ‘antidote’, for Lance insisted he wasn’t taking any more chances on the Arusian liquor.
Somewhere between the laughing and the beer games, Keith hit it off well with the girl named Anne Marie, who wore a simple emerald green silk tunic, which was native to the people of Arus and which flattered her curvaceous body. Lance could feel the heat rising in places he rather it not, for he was also definitely attracted to the girl.
But something was wrong. He couldn’t shake the feeling in his belly.
From the looks of it, Keith was also attracted to Anne Marie and Lance found the notion bothered him… to the point that he wanted to drag Keith from the establishment. It shouldn’t be happening… not like this… and not with someone that resembled Allura. Keith, no matter how he rationalized it, deserved her, not this poor imitation.
Lance opened his mouth to inform Anne Marie that they needed to leave, that Lion practice came early…but before he could do so, she was inviting them back to her loft.
Moments Later... Anne Marie's loft...
Anne Marie opened the door to her home and left it wide open as Keith and Lance entered after her. She lit a candle in the corner, walking over to a small switch that turned on the circulation system. The fans came alive along with the small light from the candle. Lance felt the darkness around him like none he’d ever felt before.
Keith took a seat over on the bed, and Lance quickly sat next to him, his mind wandering, feeling something mystical pass through his soul. For some reason, this woman was different than the other girls in the club… he sensed something… something he only sensed around…~No… that wasn’t it ~… he was imagining things. He had to be. ~Nothing will happen as long as we are sitting here together. We are a strong force to be reckoned with… she surely wouldn’t try something on both of us…~
His eyes fell on a large chair in the corner. He was getting tired. He’d go over there and take a nap if Keith decided to be with the girl. Then he could take him home, throw him onto his bed and then he himself could take a cold shower. There was really no need for sleep if he took a nap. It was a long ride to Terra. He would sleep on the transport.
Anne Marie stood, her back towards them, lighting more candles. Keith turned to Lance, looking as if he were in a haze of some sort. Lance was still feeling the liquor himself and prayed that he’d be able to maintain control and keep things in line. He started to move to the chair, when he caught Keith’s expression. Something about it sat him back down in his spot, telling him not to move just then.
“What’s this?” Keith said flirtatiously. “Dinner and a show?”
Anne Marie smiled wickedly. She picked up two glasses of Brandy and walked towards them. “I don’t think you boys have had enough to drink…” she said musingly. “Here.”
She handed them the glasses. Each took what was offered. Keith quickly took a drink but Lance was reluctant to do so… but after a moment he took a small sip of his own. There really was no point in being rude… Anne Marie had been nothing but nice to them so far.
Keith lifted the glass to his lips, peaking over the rim in time to see Anne Marie unfasten the belt around her tunic. The fabric fell to her shoulders, revealing her intentions. Keith coughed, choking on his drink. Lance dropped his glass to the floor. It spilled slightly on the bed covers and landed with a small crash onto the hard wood floor.
“I’ll take that as a compliment…” Anne Marie purred. Her eyes caught the flame of the candles. “You must like what you see.”
Keith glanced at the door. He tried to stand. It had been a bold move on her part, and enough was enough… he had to get out of there. Lance just sat there, staring at Anne Marie, as if he were almost in a trance of some sort. Anne Marie placed both hands on Keith’s shoulders, and forced him down in his seat as Keith had done to Lance only seconds ago.
“Let’s get out of here.” He hissed to Lance.
“You’re kidding… right?” Anne Marie cooed, letting the silk fall and pool at her ankles, putting her naked body on display for them.
Lance was now fully aware of her intentions, but his body was quickly taking on a mind of its own. Keith’s quickly averted his eyes, but to no avail… he was peaking as well.
She moved closer to the two men that now sat motionless on the big bed covered with an off-white comforter. The predatory look in her eyes intensified when she moved, her arms softly brushing against her body as she crossed the gap between them, walking with an elegance that did not fit her profession. She smiled wickedly at her guests as she halted in front of them. Both men stared… it was hard not to.
Lance lost all train of thought; his only hope of salvation was his level headed captain.
However, when he glanced at Keith, he knew better than to rely on him. ~ God damn it! ~ He cursed silently. He watched in momentary awe as she stood above them, and then gave into his body. Trying to block out his mind, he closed his eyes and readied his lips for a kiss he knew was on the way.
To his chagrin, Anne Marie merely touched him briefly with her open hand as she swept it forward, connecting with Keith’s jaw almost lovingly. She then lowered her head and touched Keith’s lips with her own. Lance, feeling extremely out of place, began to feel his legs again. He started to stand.
He knew when he wasn’t wanted… or needed. But should he let Keith make such a huge mistake? He couldn’t possibly… but... Keith was a big boy now. He could handle his own repercussions. He’d have to. Lance knew he was now virtually useless, unless his big head got back into the game.
Anne Marie seemed to read his mind, and even though she was now focusing her attentions on Keith, she broke her intoxicating kiss long enough to turn to Lance.
“Don't worry...you will get your turn, lover…”
With that, she turned toward Keith again, who was still in a daze and did not even know the kiss had began or ended.
“As for you…” she whispered, “...I will show you things you only imagine.”
A few hours later...
Lance groggily opened one eye and peeked at the situation.
Scanning the unfamiliar scene, he wondered where he was. It certainly wasn't his room… or any place else in the castle for that matter.
He drew himself on to his elbows. A draft from behind him quickly made him aware that he wasn’t dressed. “Wait a minute… what the hell happened here?” He said aloud. He turned and sat straight up, grabbing a blanket to cover his nakedness, then started to move his leg but found there was something pinning it down. He looked over next to him to see what had imprisoned his leg.
A long shapely leg was locked around his knee. Golden hair trailed down the mattress next to him, and he realized his fingers were entwined with it. ~Damn, this wasn’t supposed to happen~ He thought with self-reproach. Leave it to him to screw things up… although if he knew Keith, he was probably home at the castle, in his own bed… no wait… there were six pairs of legs… Lance strained to look over the naked girl.
“Oh shit…” He cried out. He jumped from the bed with the blanket covering vital parts of his anatomy. “Tell me I didn’t do anything with Keith… shit oh shit oh shit.”
Anne Marie stirred slightly and then opened her eyes Propping herself on to her arm, she laid her head in her hand.
“Hi ya, lover.” She cooed.
“Hi…” Lance said in guarded tones. “What went on here?” He glared at her.
Anne Marie absolutely purred. Lance had almost been ready to believe there was nothing going on… but once he looked into her eyes, a chill rocked his inner core. The figure on the other side of her moved. Lance’s breath stuck in his throat.
“You don’t remember?” She asked, an evil smile on her face. Lance shrugged resentfully. “Then my dear man… let me fill you in on your conquest.” With one sentence, her words brought back the events of the night before. It was all too much like a dream… it had no real basis for reality.
Lance glanced at a digital clock in the corner. It was just past three thirty… they had to get out of there. The transport didn’t leave til eight o’clock. However he knew without a doubt that they had better be back way before that. They did have an image to uphold, and if Nanny found out what he, Lance, had pulled, it might jeopardize Keith’s well-laid plan to take Princess to Terra with them. Lance stopped in his tracks, his mind racing and replaying his actions from the night before. He remembered nothing… save the drink. He remembered both of them sipping brandy… If not for the nagging in the back of his skull, he would have let it go right then, but he needed to know what happened with Anne Marie and with Keith. Being roommates at the Academy, the two of them had been in the situation before, the difference being that they had never woke up to just one girl or in the same bed... and then there was the fact that Keith had been with someone he loved at the time.
Lance was angry with himself for letting them get into this situation. He didn’t mind that he might have slept with Anne Marie: his worry was for Keith, for he knew his friend would feel horribly guilty about everything and Lance felt more than responsible for that guilt.
“You came of your own free will.” Anne Marie cooed silkily. “I must say it was quite a night.”
“Just tell me that things aren’t going to be weird with me and my friend.” Lance retorted grimly.
“Whatever do you mean, weird? Nothing happened that you did not want to.” She answered with a sly look.
“Ha… I’ll just bet.” Lance's chuckle held no hint of humor. “Are you saying we all… um… well you know… had sex?” He couldn’t believe how low he could sink when he was drinking. ~ Beer goggles…~ He would’ve vowed then and there that he had taken his last drop of alcohol, but knew that he had made that same vow many times before with little success.
“Hmmm…” The answer was noncommittal.
“Jesus… I hope we were careful. I don’t need any lil Lance’s runnin around right now.” He looked over at Keith, who was still passed out. “Or was that your game? To get knocked up by one of the pilots of Voltron… and have neither of us know who the real father was? To create some huge paternity suit?”
“Ah… Lieutenant. You misjudge me. If you look carefully you would see that we were quite careful.” She took out a cigarette and lit it. Lance grabbed for his clothing and began to dress.
“So you slept with both of us?” He asked pulling on his blue shirt.
“I’d hardly call it sleeping. Lance…” she hissed his name. “You enjoyed it while it lasted. Don't lie.”
“I am not saying I don’t enjoy having sex. I am just worried about Keith is all. Things could be really weird between us from now on.”
“How typical of a male homophobic. " Anne Marie sneered. "If you must know… you both kept to you own side of the bed.” She took a long puff on her cigarette. “Except the time you thought he was me and kissed him. I must say it was quite a turn on."
Lance’s expression turned to one of horror, and his lips puckered as if he had tasted something sour. “I think it’s time we left. Did you take payment for your deeds?” he asked, showing blatant disrespect. For the first time his words reflected what his gut had been saying.
Lance was almost in a panic... the only thing he knew was that they had to leave and fast... before Anne Marie turned into Lotor's witch Haggar. That was the feeling he was getting... all night. He finally pinpointed it when spoke her last words. He went over to nudge his friend. “Keith? Rise and shine pal… it’s time to go.”
Keith stirred and opened his eyes. “Where...are we?” His brow looked troubled as he scanned the area.
“Don’t think of that now… we gotta go! Nanny’s gonna be missing us.”
“It’s that late?” Keith sprang from his position; giving only a brief glance to the girl he had laid with moments before. He suddenly came to realization he was naked, reached for his own clothing and hastily dressed himself. Zipping his flight suit and running a hand through his hair, he stood and met Lance's eyes, a sudden feeling of dread filling his own stomach. "What did you get me into this time… friend?”
Anne Marie lazily looked on as they headed for the door. Lance caught her gaze.
“I do hope you left me some credits.”
“I wouldn’t worry, Lieutenant. This one was on the house.”
She laughed as they quickly exited her chambers. Her job was done- she was happy with the offering and that she had caused distrust in the friendship. The spell could be broken now...all she had to do was wait.
To be continued...
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Interlude One- "What Lies Beneath"
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