The beach they went to was not a large one. Just a small patch of sand a few miles off from the more popular beaches. There were other people there, couples mostly, but they were too wrapped up in each other to notice them, which was the whole idea. A day of peace of quiet. Afterwards, Allura planned to let them loose in the small village a few miles to the south.
Let them find some new friends, she thought.
She heard the sounds of someone moving nearby and she opened her eyes, pulling on her sunglasses. Keith grinned at her, totally relaxed. His jet-black hair was swept back from his face and a drop of clear water balanced on a single lock. She’d always thought of him as a very attractive man, even more so because he never dwelled on it and he never seemed more attractive at that moment. She blushed at the errant thought and hoped he wouldn’t notice. As usual, he didn’t.
"This was a great idea, Allura," he said.
"Thank you, but it was Lance’s idea."
He smirked. "I should have known. Still, you pulled it off. Thank you."
"We needed it."
He turned to her and grinned again.
"Go back to your nap. I think I’ll catch a few winks myself."
He laid back on his towel about an arm’s length away from her and closed his eyes. Allura did the same. They were asleep within moments, the comforting sounds of the waves lulling them.
Lance trotted up to where they were to ask where the beach balls were. His eyes gleamed mischievously when got a closer look at them. Keith had rolled towards Allura and she had turned towards him. He gestured for Hunk and Pidge to come and put a finger to his lips. They jogged up to him and he pointed to Allura and Keith. Through several gestures, he got his idea across. The other two smothered chuckles.
Carefully, they did what they had to do, managing not to wake their victims. Keith would have woken if he had not been so distraught the night before and only got snatches of sleep. The Princess had always been a heavy sleeper. It made for easy night kidnappings on Lotor's part. The three tiptoed back to the warm waters. When they were safely away, Lance began laughing so hard he nearly swallowed a lung full of salt water.
"You act like a little kid, Lance," Pidge teased.
"I know. It’s so much fun," his friend agreed between laughs.
"They’re going to kick your butt when they wake up," Hunk said.
"Hey, not just me. You helped," Lance pointed out.
"Yeah, but they’ll know it was your idea and you’ll get the most butt kicking," Pidge said.
Lance shrugged and sprayed some water in Pidge’s direction.
"Then, let the games begin," he said as Pidge sputtered.
Keith drifted back to consciousness when he felt something tickling his cheek. He rubbed against it reflexively and found it to be silky and smelling of salt water and roses.
At the same time, Allura was waking up, feeling something move at the top of her head. Vaguely, she realized her arm and right leg were flung across something warm…and moving…
Her blue eyes flew open and right across from her—much too close for comfort—was a pair of equally startled dark eyes. There was a moment of frozen surprise as she gathered what she could with her still half-sleeping brain. From what she could tell, she was wrapped around Keith as he was with her. She could feel his arm draped across her bare midriff. Her head had been resting on his shoulder and she had been very comfortable indeed. Certainly, comfortable enough to stay.
She and Keith skittered away from each other none too gracefully. Keith’s mouth moved, but nothing came out. He shut it tightly and struggled to regain his composure. Both their faces burned a deep red and it wasn’t from lying out in the sun. Down in the water, Lance, Pidge and Hunk were doubled over with laughter. Allura could see that Lance had a camera in his hand. Keith turned wary eyes at them.
"Lance, if you don't give me that camera, I'm going to break if over your head."
"I'd like to see you try, Commander Casanova."
Keith glared at him. Lance only laughed harder.
"I’m sorry about this, Princess," he said in his gravest voice. "I hope I didn’t offend you in any way."
"Don’t worry about it, Keith," she said.
Her mind wandered as she stared at him. She thought of how their limbs were entangled and entwined, how close they were and their near nakedness thanks to the bathing suits. She reddened.
Keith noticed it and vowed, "We’ll get even."
Allura’s eyes gleamed. "How?"
He rubbed his hands together. The other hooted and Keith and Allura became conscious of their closeness and intensity. Keith stood and got drinks from the cooler for them, setting himself down at a much safer distance.
"I'm not adverse to giving them stable duty," he thought aloud.
Allura laughed. "I didn't know there was a such a thing."
"I’m captain. I can make anything up," he said with a touch of humor.
She grinned. She liked seeing this part of him. He was so much more approachable and made him so unbearably cute. He was usually so detached whenever she hung around them. At first she thought it was the fact that she was a Princess, but then she realized that he was naturally like that. War did that to people and with the losses Keith had suffered, she was surprised that he wasn't a weaker man.
"What else do you want to do today?" she asked. "We're going to make the best out of this day and I’m not planning to spend it on the beach." She looked towards the crystal clear waters. "Although it is tempting."
"I don’t know," he replied honestly. "It’s been a while since I’ve had a vacation and I don’t know where to start."
"Well," Allura began, "I wanted to take you all to Alderon. It’s a village nearby and very popular with the tourists because of the shops."
Keith nodded curtly. "Then, that’s where we’re going." He lifted his wrist and checked his watch. "Want to go now?"
He stood and waved the others over. They came, although somewhat hesitantly. He smiled reassuring at them, knowing they would definitely be on guard from then on. His smile made them all the more on the edge.
"Get dressed, Team. We’re going to Alderon."
"What about the Lions?" Hunk asked.
Allura threw him an exasperated look when Keith’s good mood fizzled at the thought.
"That’s right," he muttered.
"We’ll leave them where they are and take the ground cars. Alderon is only a mile away," Pidge suggested.
Allura smiled at him.
"How did you know that, Pidge?" she asked.
The boy lifted his face to look at her, his brown eyes gleamed intelligently behind his glasses.
"I’ve been doing a little geography research," he replied.
Before Keith could talk himself out of it, Lance shoved him towards the changing tents they had put up.
"Let’s go, Keith. The clock's ticking and we’ll have to go back to the castle by the time you make up your mind. Suck it up and have fun."
"Thanks for the advice," Keith said dryly, but he did what he was told.