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
"The Lyin' The Witch and the Wardrobe"
Lance made his way towards the castle. Crouching low and dragging Keith close behind him; the two quickly stopped behind a bush near the entrance. Lance tried to catch his breath while turning to look at Keith for the first time since leaving Anne Marie. He wore a tired expression on his features and he seemed a little more than worried. Something about her did not sit well with him. A vision of her filled his head haunting his thoughts.
Keith also stopped to catch his breath. “Do you mind explaining to me what the hell happened back there?”
“Would if I could…” Lance’s expression fell onto palace guards. ~ But I don’t think you’d believe my explanation…~ he thought. “Right now, we need to figure out how we are going to get in there without having to explain ourselves.”
“And just what would we tell them if we had to say something?” Keith growled.
“Don’t look at me… you’re the commander…” Lance snapped. “You should know better by now than to listen to me.”
“Who was that back there… and what was that drink you were pouring down my throat?”
“I was just trying to loosen you up… you’ve been so uptight lately.” Lance admitted. He sat down on a grassy knoll near the lake. “Man, why do I feel like we did when we snuck around back at the academy?”
“I’ve been uptight lately? Go look in a mirror Lance… you’re the one acting funny.” Keith raked a hand through his hair and glared at his companion. He then sat down next to him, glancing up at the black lion statue. "Since when did we start buying hookers Lance?" Keith mouthed off disgusted.
Lance looked hurt... but not only did he know Keith was right... he agreed with him.” It wasn't supposed to be like that." Lance whispered. "This shoulda never happened... do you really think I'd plan such a crazy night? C'mon Keith... you know me better than that. I had no idea she was a hooker." His words were full of angst... "I'm... I'm... sorry... I was wrong." Lance apologized.
Keith sighed... partially accepting Lance's apology. “Maybe we can get into the castle through black lion?” He thought aloud.
“Nope… that won’t work… you know the sensors will go off the moment we get within yards of it.” Lance set his jaw. He was tired, even more tired than he thought he was. His second wind had come when he woke up… but it was because of his reflexes had kicked in and told him that they needed to be anywhere but Anne Marie’s place. If Allura found out what Keith did tonight, she’d never accept him as a suitor. Let alone give him any cookies. Lance sighed, it was his fault and he knew it. A trace of anger at himself crossed his mind. But this wasn’t the time to battle with himself. He turned to Keith. “Do you remember anything about tonight?”
Keith looked at the ground, his face ashen. “Not a single thing…” He looked up at Lance. “When did Sven leave us? Will he know where we were going?”
“I doubt it… I remember more than you do, and he left way before he could see what Anne Marie had planned.” Lance whispered hoarsely.
“You know Lance… how are we going to keep this from Princess… or anyone else for that matter. We obviously slept with a prostitute…” Keith shuttered at the image in his head. Yet… a thought accompanied it. ~She was beautiful… Her hair… so much like Allura’s… her eyes… now where have I seen them before… and her name… Anne Marie… I know that name. ~
Lance noticing Keith was deep in thought snapped his fingers in front of Keith’s nose. “Arus to Keith…”
“Ugh??? Oh… sorry, I was just thinking.”
“About…” Lance pushed for him to answer.
Keith didn’t want to answer him right then… he didn’t know what his answer should be. “I was just thinking about how we are going to have to degrade ourselves and get physicals before we leave for Terra… you know… checked for STD’s and such. The girl was a prostitute Lance… where was your head.” Keith shouted in a whisper. “Where the fuck was your head!” He paused shaking his own head… “Wait a second… I know exactly where that head was.” He gave Lance an evil look and turned towards the forest once again.
“Keith… I don’t know for sure, but I don’t think anything happened.”
“Who are you kidding… we both woke up buck naked. And your Johnson was pretty hard if you wanna know the truth.” Keith’s voice dripped with disgust.
“You’re one to talk… You get a hard on if Allura breathes on you.” Lance snapped back. “I just wanted you to get rid of some of your pent up frustration. I know you are too bull headed to act on your true feelings for the princess.”
“This isn’t about Princess right now.”
“Oh… but isn’t it? It’s HER you’re afraid will find out about your little romp in the sack with Anne Marie.”
~Anne Marie…THAT’S IT! Anne Marie was the name of my first girlfriend… the first girl to ever touch me and allow me to touch her, the girl that taught me how to make love. ~ Keith closed his eyes, deep in thought. An image of the woman he woke up with came across his brain. A pair of eyes burned into his being. ~That’s where I saw those eyes… Anne Marie at the academy had those same aqua eyes. Her hair was a beautiful chestnut brown… this Anne Marie seems to be a mixture of every woman I’ve ever been attracted to. ~
“I’m not afraid of Princess finding out that I am a man… I know that I am not worthy of her.” Keith exhaled slowly through gritted teeth.
Lance noticed the far off look in his captain’s eye. He put a reassuring hand on his shoulder. “Know this, Mon Ami… neither of us did anything to be ashamed of. I think she tricked us so she could justify being paid.” He looked away thinking. His revelation of the night’s events would not justify his actions. “If you want… I can sneak us into the castle infirmary and run a few tests to see if either of us have had sexual relations in the last twenty four hours…”
Keith blushed…”Uh Lance… I don’t think it would give an adequate reading.”
“What do you mean? Are you telling me you got some nookie with one of the castle staff?” Lance’s eyes flashed, his old self, shining through his weak features.
“Um… not exactly…” Keith was now red with embarrassment.
“You didn’t…” Lance cried, his eyes wide with fascination and laughter.
“I did… in the shower… It only happened once… and I…” Keith stammered. He didn’t really want to tell Lance any of this… it was none of his business… but he had to be able to find out if he had slept with this Anne Marie.
“Did you come?” Lance asked seriously, deciding that it was best to leave Keith’s pride intact for now… he could always tease him later about saying hello to his monster.
“That’s a really dumb question… can ANY of us get off with that ass Lotor attacking every two seconds?” Keith shot off. He wasn’t in the mood for Lance’s twenty questions. The incident in the shower had happened days ago… but he still wasn’t over the humiliation of resorting to such a mundane activity.
“I’ll take it as a no…” Lance stood up… “Here’s the logic in my questioning…” His logic was simple… if his feeling couldn’t give him a decent reply, then science would and Lance was smarter than he led on about such subjects… In fact… Lance was very skilled in areas of intellect for complex formulas and certain mathematics; he had also found he had above average agility… which saved his sorry butt quite a bit. He never did know why he could look at a figure and understand it… it was something he hid, although his good sense told him he should be proud of it. Back at the academy, Lance may have been looked at as lazy but his smarts had escalated him to finish within the top ten of his class with almost no effort. He turned back to the task at hand… looking again at the palace guards. “I really couldn’t care less if you got off or not. The point being, that neither of us have showered… and if we had any kind of sexual encounter, then plain ol’ DNA and blood tests will give us our answer… If we take specimens from ourselves and run them over a microscope, we can see if there are any traces of semen or blood…” He hesitated… “or female DNA.”
Keith started to brighten up. Lance was smarter than he led on to be at times. “Just out of curiosity, have you done this before?”
“Shhh…” Lance motioned, a single finger to his lips and a hand covering Keith’s. “It’s time to go… if we want to get this over with before Nanny and company wake up. We have a few things to do before we depart for Terra this morning.”
Keith nodded his approval. His mind was soon at ease, for a sense of peace washed over him and a feeling that nothing really did happen with Anne Marie. He wondered where the feeling was coming from… he hadn’t had it a second ago… not until he looked Lance in the eye. It was almost spellbinding. He waited for Lance to signal him, with stealth like movements, he quickly accompanied his companion around the castle guards and into the entrance. They had made it… Now all they had to do was get to the infirmary. That would probably be easier than sneaking into the castle at this hour. They leaned against the corridor walls and slowly moved in the direction of the medical wing.
Ten minutes later... Castle infirmary...
Keith held a piece of cotton between his elbow and forearm. Lance extracted the catheter and placed the blood on the slide along with the skin scrapings Keith had done for a different test that made Keith cringe.
“Weeelll???” Keith was anxious. He practically couldn’t sit down.
“Hang on a second… alright… alright… here we go…” Lance looked at the red blood cells at the other end of the scope. “Don’t worry about a thing Mon Ami… from the looks of this, your gun hasn’t shot off in ages.” Lance teased. “Okie dokie… my turn. Remember…” Lance took a seat where Keith had been. “Feel for the vein before you stick me… then withdraw the needle leaving the catheter so that the blood can collect in the tube.”
“Gotcha… I have done this before.” Keith said taking the cap off the needle with his teeth. He tightened the elastic band around Lance’s bicep and proceeded to feel for a vein. He swiped the area with an alcohol swipe then inserted the needle. Dark red blood quickly collected in the specimen tube. Lance watched as it filled to the line and kept going.
“Hey! Don’t take it all… Leave a little bit. You know blood is sorta vital for me to live…” Lance cried.
Keith snapped back from his train of thought. “Sorry…” He apologized, taking the catheter from his arm and placing a cotton ball on the needle stick. Lance rubbed his arm to get the circulation going again. Keith took out a wooden tool used for skin scraping and hair specimen collections. “Alright, now the fun part. You can do the honors of this… I don’t want anywhere near that area of your body.”
“That’s not what you said last night…” Lance made a kissing noise towards Keith.
“Is everything a joke to you?” Keith asked seriously, rolling his eyes.
Lance looked at the clock… it was close to five. They needed to get to their quarters and fast. He hurried and grabbed the tool from Keith’s grasp. Holding it between his fingers, he unzipped his pants and made a few short scrapes across his genital area. “This is humiliating…” Lance breathed as he placed the collected material onto a slide, zipped up his pants shifting himself into a comfortable position, and finally turning to look at the results on the scope. He sighed in relief when his results came back as Keith’s did. “We’re ok.” He stated simply. “Now we can get ready for departure at 0800.”
“It’s good to know these things Lance…” He stopped breathing and looking at the exit door. “I still don’t understand why she went through all the trouble to get us to think we had intercourse with her. Was she trying to cause a rift in our friendship? And where did you learn to do this… I swear if I find out you’ve done this before… I’ll demote you down to line chief.”
Lance shrugged his shoulders and tried not to laugh… “I don’t get it either… I figure since she is a professional lady of the night that she knew she wouldn’t get paid if she didn’t do her job. And you won’t demote me to line chief if you want the food to be edible. I only cook for certain young princess.”
“But Lance… She didn’t take any money. She said this one was on the house.” Keith reminded him as they put the instruments away. “And you better be talking about some unknown princess from a distant planet that you met on some supply run.” He cracked a grin and then covered it with a stoic expression… he knew Lance was just trying to lighten up the mood. With that, they proceeded to leave the infirmary.
“Yes… I found that odd myself.” Lance scratched his head. “It doesn’t matter… No harm done. Neither of us slept with her, we are back in the castle in one piece I might add… and we are leaving with the princess for Terra because we kicked some serious Drule ass over the last couple of years.”
Keith couldn’t help but smile then, even though his head was already showing signs of a killer hangover. “You’re right… even if we had slept with her… it wouldn’t be the first time you woke up in that situation… although it was never with a prostitute was it?
“Hey… everyone experiments at the space academy.” Lance grinned and swiped his entry card to his quarters. He wiggled his eyebrow and stepped inside. “See ya in a few,” his voice was muffled by the closing door, Keith stopped for only a second before going on to his own quarters and the shower that was waiting for him.
A few moments later, Lance’s quarters…
Lance stared blankly at the darkness outside his window. He took a seat on the large bed that took up half the left wall of his room. Placing his head in his hands, his mind drifted to the previous events of the night. He needed to calm down soon… before the transport arrived. The sun had not come up yet, the stars and moon were still the only light from his window.
Lance felt odd, he couldn’t put his finger on it to why he felt this way. He just did. Nothing in all his time on Arus, or his time on Terra had felt so strangely inviting to him. Like it was part of him. But it couldn’t be… what ever it was; it couldn’t be part of him. He was very aware of who he was. His name was Lance William Barton… he was a first lieutenant in the Galaxy Garrison Space force. He was a pilot… a pilot in the most prestigious defense force in the universe. He was also a man… from Terra… or so his brain told him. He remembered bits of his home world that had been destroyed by Zarkon… and he knew the woman he called mom was not his real mother. However, Lance knew way more than that… he could never bring himself to admit it… until now…
Lance had never really cared to find out about his family tree, it did not interest him… much. When Pidge’s home planet of Balto had been shot out of space by Zarkon… Lance had felt the pangs of not knowing what had happened to his own world. But he did not need to know yet. Lately it had been on his mind. Going home to Terra had been something to look forward to at first. His promotion, seeing his mother… they all held special ties to him. And awoke other ties that had remained deeply embedded in his psyche.
Lance looked up and again out the window. What was he feeling right then? He had felt it before, whenever he was near Haggar or something unexplainable… but never so strongly as he had felt in the company of this Anne Marie. He had dismissed his ‘feeling’ to being one of aggravation; not feeling it had anything to do with Haggar as a person… he didn’t even think of the witch as a person. She was evil… full of magic and madness. Something Lance did not want any part of… but Anne Marie… there was something else besides the madness behind her. He had always paired madness and magic together with evil… but if he actually thought about it… Was his parents’ evil?
He couldn’t tell Keith that his feelings about Anne Marie were what told him that nothing had happened… for some reason, Lance doubted anything could happen between Anne Marie and himself. He was overwhelmed with the realization that she was for some reason after Keith. Something that was more than obvious in the one kiss he witnessed between them. Lance sighed, he supposed he should be happy for his captain, having some sort of admirer. However, not her… not Anne Marie. He’d almost be tolerant of anyone else that would show an interest in Keith besides Allura… mostly because Keith didn’t act on his interest for her, and not because Lance didn’t approve of Allura. He loved her… like a sister. When they had first arrived on Arus, he had developed a small crush on the beautiful princess, not caring about her title and looking past it to see the young woman behind the circlet. Her being underage among a few other obstacles created a challenge he actually liked. However, once she joined the team, and he was able to get to know her as a person… his feelings of lust turned into that of love and respect. He couldn’t figure out how she managed to survive through the turmoil and war she had witnessed. She was definitely a strong person in his opinion.
Lance hadn’t been showing any respect to anyone lately though and he was starting to feel guilty for it. His own anguish was apparent. He didn’t want the team knowing he was having what they would call inner turmoil… not Lance, not the brash good looking, razor-sharp tongued pilot of the red lion. He was crude, somewhat shallow and self-involved… he knew that. Everyone knew that, and they all accepted him for what he was. Some would even call him a hero. Lance didn’t see it that way. He didn’t understand why he was being honored at Galaxy Garrison. He had only become a pilot to settle a score with Zarkon… but along the way he had found that you could get more bees with honey than with vinegar. What really happened was that he met Sven and Keith. Sven had told him that… and Keith had touched a part of him that he didn’t realize was there. So why was he being so disrespectful to the most important people in his life?
He stood, walking over to his balcony and opening the sliding glass doors. He entered once again into the crisp night air that held the illusion of night, but was in fact almost dawn. He leaned on the railing, taking a long deep cleansing breath. He had hoped it would clear his thoughts along with his lungs. There was however, no such luck and Lance turned to go back into his room because of the slight chill and dampness in the air at that early hour. With a heavy heart, he strode over to his mahogany dresser. Opening a dresser drawer he pulled out a velvet box with some sort of insignia on the clasp. He placed it down softly and reached again into the drawer… finding a small bottle of what looked like cough syrup. He opened it hastily taking several huge swallows before replacing the cap. He read the instructions on the bottle before putting it back where he had hid it. Doc Gorma had prescribed it for him a while ago, when he had caught a very bad cold, the cough syrup had something in it that was known as an opiate on Terra. Here, there weren’t as many stringent laws; morphine was abundant, and used as a powerful painkiller/sedative/cough suppressant with little to no caution. You could even get it without a prescription on Arus. Lance figured the planet had seen enough suffering and wasn’t aware of the drug’s addictive qualities… or even why it was so highly addictive… Lance closed his eyes waiting for the drug to take affect and relax him. He didn’t like to take the elixir but he also knew that his reaction to the contents of the box were somewhat nerve racking. He shook every time he opened the velvet box. He was uncertain why he even had it in his possession. Slowly he unhooked the clasp, the dragon embossed seal folded backwards revealing a blue sapphire stone. His eyes widened as he placed a hand on top of it. Finally Lance picked up the stone, eyeing it cautiously.
“What is your secret?” Lance whispered, to the stone, and suddenly feeling foolish. “Great Lance… you’re talking to a rock…whose loonie tunes now?” He shook his head, holding the stone between his thumb and forefinger. “Where did you come from little rock?” He sat again on his bed scratching his head, debating whether he expected it to speak back to him as he had done so many times when he had lifted it from its sheath. “I guess my mother wanted me to have this.” Lance spoke in a sad tone, for the first time in a long while thinking of his birth mother. The stone began to radiate light, a beautiful blue light, confusing Lance even more. “It’s like it’s almost magical…” Lance cried with intrigue, as he stared into the sapphire jewel. He looked up from his thoughts to see the sun beginning to show signs of awakening. The sky was taking on an orange/pinkish hue as the blue of the night started to fade into the horizon. He enclosed the stone in his palm, wrapping his fingers and thumb around it. He placed it into its velvety case and latched the clasp, again uniting the dragons on the insignia.
He had felt magic… he was certain now… Many times before had he sensed the old witch’s evil… her spells…the time Allura was cut with a knife… and they had to pretend to think she was dead… Lance found it impossible not to rush into the forest and mix a blend of berries to feed her. And Lance didn’t even know what these berries were called nor did he know anything about cooking. The time Sven got hurt… Sven took his place… Lance had found the old witch first because he sensed her. Then there were SO many times he should be dead if not for his agile flying and incredible good luck in the cockpit of his lion. It seemed his lion bonded with him… it seemed ALL the lions bonded with their respective pilot. Again… Magic. Lance had lost count how many times he had known what was happening… when others did not. When Haggar had kidnapped Queen Orla, Lance knew before anyone, save the mice… he could smell the spell Haggar had cast. Was that too freaky? But it was how he felt.
Lance caught a glimpse of himself in the mirror above his dresser. “I’m human… there’s nothing magic about me, well except for my dashing good looks and that lucky rabbit’s foot.” He put the box away. Lance was tired; he felt drained of all his strength… the sapphire jewel did that to him every time he held it. Turning away from his dresser, he let his knees fall to the bed followed closely by the rest of him. But sleep would not welcome him… he turned and turned to no avail. Sitting up and throwing his legs over the side of his bed, he stood hesitantly. Grabbed his brown jacket and slid on his boots.
“Oh well…” He sighed. “It’s better this way. If I did fall asleep I would probably sleep through the castle alarm and Keith would have to come drag my sorry hung over butt out of bed.” He pushed the button and his door opened to reveal the well-lit corridor. The lights were rigged to come on at exactly 5 AM so Lance knew it was close to six. He had another hour before he would be needed at Castle Control to prepare for their trip. ~Maybe this trip will do me some good…It might get my mind off this magic crap that’s going through my head. ~ He turned the corner making his way to the kitchen, he figured he could get something to eat and some coffee there. At least then he would be doing something. ~I wonder if that’s why Hunk eats so much ~ He entered the kitchen, only to discover he wasn’t alone.
Castle Kitchen... a few moments later...
Allura looked like a mouse caught in a trap when Lance entered the room… her body almost hidden behind the huge silver doors of the icebox. She looked almost embarrassed as she peaked from behind the door.
Lance smiled… for the first time in hours. “Don’t worry Ally… I won’t squeal. I came here for the same reasons.” He quickly crossed the distance between them and ducked his own head into the refrigerator’s contents. With a disappointed look, he then let Allura push past him and sit at the large island in back of them.
“I couldn’t sleep.” She stated simply knowing if Lance looked in her eyes he’d know she was fibbing.
“Me either…” Lance admitted sitting down next to her. “Care to tell me why?” He said trying to catch her gaze.
“Not really… You haven’t been very approachable lately.” Allura’s voice cut him.
“And all this time I thought it was Keith who was acting funny.” Lance muttered. “What do you mean?” Lance said deciding to play dumb.
“I mean you have just been so different lately… like you have your own sort of agenda. You hardly speak to me, or anyone else except Keith. What exactly did you do with him last night anyhow?” Her words were like ice and he was beginning to figure out that it was him and not Keith that was acting funny. Keith was just reacting to emotions he was trying to keep in check… Lance on the other hand wasn’t so good at keeping them that way.
“All I can say is that I am sorry for any wrong I might have caused you. Since the word from Galaxy Garrison came… I don’t feel like myself… to tell the truth… something I honestly admit I haven’t been doing a lot of lately, I don’t think I am worthy of such an honor. Keith is… sure… he is noble and giving. He has the heart of a lion and truly deserves to be promoted.” Lance looked away… stood and walked over to the coffee pot and poured himself and Allura a cup of coffee. “This stuff will stunt your growth.” He said a slight tease in his words.
“Maybe you should be telling Pidge that… he’s been consuming it like water… something about wanting to add a brand called Starbucks to the import list.” Allura placed her arm on the table. “Now… Lance… we are supposed to be friends… you have been one weird ‘cracker’ lately.”
“I seriously think you’ve been talking to Pidge way too much lately.” Lance observed.
“Actually Romelle introduced me to some Terran vocabulary.” Allura blushed… had she used her newly found vocabulary out of context?
Lance handed her the coffee mug. “No… it’s just odd coming from you. That’s all.” He sat back down next to her. “Princess, I apologize for my cracker behavior. I’ve been ruder than usual… and I do hope you will forgive me. I am only human you know.”
“But Lance, that doesn’t explain to me why you are acting this way.” For the first time, Allura met Lance’s gaze. A far off look clouded them and she was even more curious to why.
“You wouldn’t believe me if I told you.” Lance shrugged. “I don’t even believe it.”
“I’m a great listener… I told Keith the same thing a few days ago and he seemed to be satisfied with what ever I said.”
“That’s because even something as simple as your presence would satisfy that man.” He paused. “Well… not exactly satisfy…” Lance whispered then turned red at his own innuendo.
Allura remained unnerved though. She simply looked at Lance the way she always did the way that made him feel that she would understand what he would tell her and not goad him like his teammates would. “You do remember that we all come from different places in the universe…”
Allura nodded. He had her undivided attention. “Go on.” She prodded.
“Well, Sven and Keith are both from Terra… Pidge is from Balto.. .a planet that was once known for its psychic abilities.”
“Yes… I think it is why Pidge has such intelligence. Although I think he does feel he is missing out on his true gifts. Things like those are gifts Lance and should be appreciated if you are blessed to have them.”
Lance looked taken aback. He hadn’t expected her to say that. “I don’t know where I am from originally.” He muttered into the air mostly but Allura heard him. “I remember being very young when my family had to flee the mountains on Planet Azzuria.”
“Planet Azzuria is not known for anything out of the ordinary.” Allura pointed out. “What is it you are trying to say Lance?”
“I don’t think… no… that’s not it. You see… My mother, my Terran mother the one that took care of me, when we left Azzuria she was not from Azzuria… she could do things…Allura… things that scare me to think about.”
“Like what?” Allura asked intrigued by the tale.
“She could light a candle with no match… make a traffic light turn green when she came to the intersection… I mean all that is stupid and trivial… and even I found those things easy to do.”
Allura smirked. “Are you telling me your mother was a witch?” She quirked an eyebrow and then seeing the hurt in Lance’s features, she stopped then cleared her throat. “Go on.”
“What I am about to tell you, you can’t blame Keith for, because nothing happened… and it was all my doing. I should not have lied to you my fair princess… you deserve more of a protector than I could ever be.”
“Stop tormenting yourself… I know that you were not exactly truthful Lance.” Allura admitted. “Just tell me what it is that is bothering you.”
“As you know, I have been focusing my efforts on getting Keith out of the castle for what was deemed to be a boys night out. Sven returned early… where as, Keith and myself were still at the oasis.”
Allura’s eyes grew wide as she tried to picture the two in a drunken stupor. “You don’t seem too lit up to me.”
“I guess Arusian liquor doesn’t stay with you that long. Although there were some events that sobered me up all too fast.” Lance was now too far into his story to stop, he felt a pang of quilt at his confession and bit his lip hard to punish himself. “I met this girl… she looked a lot like you only with different eyes and her hair was a bit longer in a different style.”
“Figures… you would go looking for a girl. Tell me Lieutenant did you find the time to lie with her.” Her voice was one of disgust… and Lance figured he deserved that.
“Nothing happened with her Princess… even though we were drinking I would like to think we kept our good judgment in tact somewhat.”
“Why are you telling me this?”
“You asked.” Lance said plainly. He had to tell someone what was going on.
“True…” Allura agreed then sat back quietly once again sipping her coffee.
“Nothing happened, because this girl was not what she seemed.” Lance paused. “Do you understand what I am saying?”
“I think so… She wasn’t the right girl for you?”
“No… she was full of hate. I could feel evil within her being… she had a huge distrust of me.”
“That’s all women Lance… you do have a reputation.” Allura giggled.
“I knew you would laugh at what I was trying to say.” Lance looked downcast. “I am speaking of magic. I felt magic tonight… more strongly than I ever have.”
Allura gasped. “You never said anything about being able to sense magic. There are only certain races in the universe that can do that.”
“Don’t you think I know that.” Lance’s voice was almost bitter. “You’d think they’d tell me if I was supposed to be some sort of magician but no one did. My god Allura… do you know the guilt I carried when Sven took my place at the end of Haggar’s staff?”
Allura was silent… her eyes danced across Lance’s face searching for answers that were not there… she could only see questions, that she did not have an answer for. “I had no idea.”
“Did you know that when Haggar took you to the dream realm and Keith had to rescue you that I sensed Haggar’s presence before she took you but ignored it until it was too late? I waited for a mouse to come tell us what was going on.”
“It’s not your fault. You couldn’t have known.”
“BUT I did know. That’s what I am trying to tell you.” Lance slammed down his coffee mug, spilling it contents over the edge.
“Even if you did know… you couldn’t have stopped it.”
“Couldn’t I have?”
“Lance, you were needed… you bravely fought the Drule empire to save the base. You have fought valiantly for 5 years here on Arus. You saved my life with the rose of Lirah… You are the only one to have fought Haggar and remained standing. You do yourself injustice to wallow in self-pity. If you do indeed have this gift of Magic… you should find out what you can and use it to your advantage instead of letting it turn you into a ruthless prick.” Allura smiled at her wise words. Her father would be proud except for that last line.
“What if I can’t handle the responsibility? What if I get corrupted like Haggar? I do not understand my heritage. I don’t think I want to understand.”
“You must though Lance… or it’s being will consume your soul and you will be even more like Haggar than you want to be.” Allura words went to Lance’s heart. She cared for him… he knew that… and he knew he couldn’t turn his back on her.
“Will you help me?” Lance asked humbly; his eyes again focusing on the floor.
“Of course I will silly.” She smiled at him with genuine affection. “We’re friends aren’t we…” She paused laughter in her pretty features. “but Lance… quit with the macho BS and come back to us as you usually are. You don’t have to put up a front to your friends.”
Lance smiled back at her. “Will do…” He agreed looking at the clock on the wall. “For now though I think we have a transport to catch.”
Allura nodded a simple yes, took Lance’s hand and proceeded to guide him out of the kitchen.
Seconds later, Lance and Allura entered Castle Control, only to find that they were several moments late. Keith glared at Lance who was holding Princess’s hand a little to friendly… for his liking. Sven and Romelle both noticed it also… Romelle winking at Allura good-naturedly and Sven flashing a look of warning to his friend. Lance let go of her hand and placed both hands in front of him like he was being held up. “It’s not what it looks like… I swear.”
“Sure…” Romelle teased. She couldn’t resist.. Lance had always tortured her to no end.
Keith looked miserable… Lance wondered if he had gotten any sleep. The hour and half would probably not be enough. Keith looked like he should though, for as much alcohol he had consumed. Lance stifled a chuckle looking at his captain and then turned to Sven, who looked like he had a wonderful night sleep.
“So what’s going on… the transport here yet?” Lance asked, his eyes falling on the console.
“We got a memo from Galaxy Garrison stating that the transport has been delayed. It will be another two days before they can arrive.” Coran said, making his presence known for the first time since Lance and Allura arrived.
“What do you mean delayed.” Lance growled.
“They sent word that there is an asteroid storm near the Denubian galaxy and that they are trying to wait it out.” Coran explained. “They would have sent another ship but it would take the other one just as long to get here.”
“Well there goes my vacation.” Lance complained.
“Ja… I thought ewe got plenty vacation last night.” Sven laughed until he caught the stare of Keith and Lance. “Bad night?” He added quickly.
“You have no idea.” Lance replied.
“I vill leave it at tat ten.” Sven quickly said. He stepped towards Romelle. “Ah I guess you vill hafe more time wit Allura than ewe taught.”
Romelle nodded. She wasn’t so sure that Allura would be happy about the sudden change in plans. She knew Allura was looking forward to getting out of the watchful eye of her guardians… and into the watchful eye of a certain commander. She smiled at her thought.
Allura sighed… She looked over at Lance who had stepped several feet away from her to elude the snickering. ~At least now, I can help Lance with his task. ~ She walked towards Coran and Keith. “Coran, if we are not departing for Terra this morning… Would it be all right if Lance and I are excused? There is something I want to check on and I request his presence.”
“I suppose that would be ok, would you be so kind to inform us to where you are going?” Coran asked, a hint of protection in his voice.
“The archives… I want to look up some histories on planets not in our galaxy.” Allura stated simply. “And Lance just so happens to have a special interest in one of the planets I am going to look up.”
“Lance has a special interest in a book?” Keith looked a little timid. He didn’t know whether or not to trust him after last night. He felt a sudden pain in the back of his head, the decided that if Lance was in any way near the shape he was in, he wouldn’t be any threat to the princess’ virtue. Not that he thought he would be normally, he was finding himself jealous of Sven even. He turned to Coran and excused himself as well.
Unknown Corridor inside the Castle of Lions...
Allura turned to Lance as he eyed her questionably. She had led him through some dark and twisting hallways and he was confused to where they were heading. He looked at her with questions in his face as she grinned at him openly. "Just where are we heading?" He inquired.
"It's just a bit further. Not much of a hike..." She answered. "This is the old part of the castle...that was incorporated into the new one. That's why it is such a long way." She flattened a loose tendril of hair from her face, tucking it behind her ear.
"I understand that... but you still haven't answered my question.... You've told me how we are getting there.... but not where we are going." Lance replied. He was a little winded... from his exhaustion. If not for his curiosity, he'd have gone to bed... almost thankful for the delay so he could catch up on his sleep from last night.
They came to a huge mahogany closet like structure. Allura stopped in front of it, and drew in a deep breath. "You will find out soon enough Lance... we are here."
"An old wardrobe? Why do I feel like we are in a C.S Lewis novel and about to embark on an adventure into Narnia." Lance teased as Allura opened the double doors.
"Who is C.S Lewis?" Allura asked as she pulled the doors wide open, revealing a snaking staircase. She peered inside.
Lance looked on with a new wind in his lungs. His energy seemed to be returning. "He's the author of a children's book... The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. It's funny how it references our situation... I mean with the Lions... and the witch... and now... a wardrobe... " Lance pointed out.
"Sounds like a book I'd like to read. Could I look at a copy when we do finally make it to Terra?"
"We'll make it... Garrison won't stand for anything less." Lance added as he ducked under the doorway and started to follow Allura down the stairs.
"This pathway leads to the ancient archives... my father's library." Allura said.
Lance cracked a grin. Leave it to Good King Alfor to hide his library like that. He shook his head in good nature. "Just what are we looking for in this library anywho? He asked, a hint of laughter in his words.
"Well, I figured we would look up ancient races with the abilities to sense magic." Allura replied nonchalantly. "It's a start." She mussed.
"You're the princess... you know a hell of a lot more about this sorta thing than I do."
Allura eyed him skeptically. "Hmmm... really? Somehow Lance... I don't believe you... and if you want my help you are going to have to be very honest with me... and trust me. I can not help you if you do not give me all the details."
Lance looked at the ground. A stitch of fear rose in his throat at her words. She wasn't telling him anything he didn't already know. Problem was, he didn't know what he had to tell her. He could only tell her about gut feelings and things he had sensed in the past. Nothing concrete. "I'll cooperate... the best I can... But Ally... you know that some of the stuff I know is very hard to explain."
"Just do the best you can. I'll interpret the rest." She reassured him.
"Then my fair princess... let's get started. We have a lot of reading to do and only two days to do so." Lance said as they entered a huge chamber decorated with huge tapestries and imperial rugs. Books lined every inch of the walls, along with paintings of the good king and Allura's mother, Queen Arielle. To the right of that, was a painting of the whole royal family... consisting of King Alfor, Queen Arielle and Allura. The rug was a huge area rug that looked oriental in origin. It covered the entire room save about half a foot border near the perimeter. Lush furniture adorned the chamber as well... 'king' size couches and two large chairs were strategically placed in opposite corners with the couches in the middle of the room, facing each other with a beautifully hand crafted table between them. Exotic lamps were positioned near the reading areas, and Lance could see another opening just past the tapestries which he figured held more books... in fact, he was positive that the room beyond held a lot of King Alfor's books... for this he could tell was just the sitting room. He looked around eyeing everything before commenting to Allura. "This is gorgeous... how come you never showed any of us this archive before?"
"It wasn't needed. This room was very special to my father. Now, let's look for what we are here for." Allura stated simply. She walked over to a ladder that was hooked to the walls, ceiling to floor for the books were shelved that way as well. "What do you want to start with? History of planets that have been destroyed or that no longer exist? Psychic abilities... magical trinkets. You tell me..."
"Is there anything on sixth senses?" Lance spoke freely. He found he did trust Allura with his life.
"I'll just bet there is... somewhere." Allura answered. "Let me check in the other room."
Lance sat down on the large couch... it was unbelievably comfortable. He could have taken a nap right then... he imagined King Alfor probably indulged in such recreation often. A good book, comfortable setting, a nice afternoon nap when he was studying. Lance rested his eyes. Although he had barely closed them when he heard something coming from the entrance he and Allura had came from. He stood to investigate. "Ally?" He called.
"Hmmm?" Allura answered from the opposite direction.
"Oh nothing..." Lance's voice trailed off as he reached the doorway. "Who's there?" Lance shouted in a hushed tone trying not to startle the princess.
A figure appeared in the doorway... looking pretty embarrassed at being caught. Keith was definitely not as good at the stealth spying as Lance... or was he just not as good at it because of Lance. He had never got caught by anyone else.
"What are you doing here?" Lance asked him as he appeared from the shadows.
"I thought I'd help." Keith admitted. He had never known Lance to want to research something. He knew it had to be important. He knew Lance like a brother, so it was time to act like one.
"You're kidding." Lance's lips curled into a half grin. "We could use the help." Lance said turning back towards his seat. Keith followed watching Lance take his seat once again.
"What exactly am I looking for?" Keith asked striding over to a group of books on the build in wall shelves.
Lance yawned. "Anything and everything on magic."
Allura heard voices and appeared in the entrance between the rooms. "What's this? Is this going to be the new rec room?" She scolded playfully holding several large books. Keith immediately went to take them from her.
~Chivalry really isn't dead...~ Lance smirked as Keith took all of the books out of the princess's grip. She fained a disappointed look... but Lance knew better... she was tickled for Keith's attention... He almost got up and left... then he could easily close the entrance to this archive, leaving them trapped here until Lance decided was adequate time for them to finally get their acts in gear. However, they had gathered to help him... so he was going to be thankful and pliant. No famous Lance tricks that were his style in situations like this. He knew that if he did that... his chances for finding out what he needed to know would be next to none.
Keith placed the books on the large table... they all took a seat and grabbed a book. Asking Lance questions about certain things as they read through.
Lance forcefully closed the book and desperately rubbed his eyes and bridge of his nose. "I have not done that much reading on such useless information since high school." He cried.
"Wait a second... I might have something here." Allura said deep in her reading. "You said the planet Azzuria was you home planet before it was destroyed? You then went to Terra with you parents..."
"They weren't my real parents... Megara knew my real mother though... I am sure of it." Lance stated. "And yes... we did live on that planet before Zarkon attacked my home in the mountains. Why? What did you find?"
"Here... I'll read it to both of you." Allura began...
~ Historical documents state that a race of humans with special abilities had fled their home planet of Vovin and relocated to Planet Azzuria. Azzurian people were not known for any specific abilities which made the new race of people have to hide their talents. Such talents included a sixth sense that had the uncanny ability to seek out and aid fellow races that were magical. These people, with such mystical powers were known as Mages.
Although having almost been wiped out by attacks from evil forces, they are not unlike sorcerers or even witches... although stronger in some aspects... Mages cannot be sensed by witches or humans that have fallen upon the craft of magic... fellow Mages can and do recognize each other with a sixth senses unless a Mage has not been brought to his or her power... the novice Mage can and will have some of their power but can slip undetected by other Mages, whether they are being looked for or not. A mage can pass for a normal human being and could be anyone. ~
Allura looked up from her reading, Lance, his jaw slacked... his mouth open wide, his eyes full of a mixture of revelation and terror. It was a little more than obvious the passage hit close to home. Keith and her exchanged a glance.
"What's the name of that book...?" Keith asked taking it from Allura. "The Sixth Sense...?"
"Sounds like an Oscar winning Terran movie." Lance said, almost coming out of his shock.
"Here Lance... there's something in here about some sort of magical stone... it looks like a ruby.... Look, here's a drawing." Allura took to book back from Keith and shot him a look for taking it from her. She held it to Lance so he could see.
"A mage can pass for a normal human being... but they aren't normal... are they or even human for that matter." Lance breathed.
"Lance... we don't see it like that..." Allura offered and nudged Keith to respond too.
"Right Lance... what's going on in your head?" Keith looked worried. Lance was staring at the picture in the book.
"I've seen that jewel." Lance spoke softly.
"O-k... " Keith said. "Where?"
"In my dreams... in my hands...I have something almost identical only it's a Sapphire." Lance looked away.
"Would you show us?" Allura asked.
Lance turned to her. "We haven't even found what we are looking for... I think we should just forget this..." His words were hollow... he knew better.
"Lance tell me one thing... does any of this make sense to you?" Allura asked placing a warm hand around Lance's shoulders.
Lance tried to turn his head... but quickly relented and nodded.
"That settles it then... you do have magical abilities.." Allura looked at Lance.
"It's all so magical." Keith teased.
Allura and Lance shot him a dirty look.
"What? He can do it to me but I can't do it to him?" Keith cried. "It's really nothing new... Lance has always had a certain sixth sense... his gut feelings alone have save all our asses."
"Yes but now that he knows where it comes from... he can use it... learn from it. He needs to learn from his power." Allura reminded them.
Lance stood and turned to go. "I think I know where to start..." His tone was quiet... and startled both Allura and Keith.
"Where's that?" Keith and Allura asked in unison. They looked at each other and then quickly away. Lance smirked.
"The sapphire my mother gave me..." Lance simply said as he shrugged. He turned to go.