Disclaimer: I do not own Voltron or any of its characters.
Rating/Setting: Rating is K. Setting is in the DotU Universe.
A/N: This is a one-shot. At least that is how I am planning it. I have too many other stories in progress, but for some reason I just had the urge to write this story earlier in the week. Fairly fluffy, not any real drama. No Beta on this one. Hopefully, it will flow okay.
Keith stood leaning up against a gray and white marble column of the Alder town hall. It retained the coolness of stone even though the day was hot and sultry for an early spring day. The coolness was a welcome relief to his back as he surveyed the people milling about. He was on duty on this beautiful day, watching the princess play with the local children. Allura had been invited to their spring festival and she had said yes, without thinking about the security risks involved. Well, maybe he was wrong there. She said yes, not caring what the security risks were. She would do almost anything to bring a smile to her people's faces. Looking around at the people from the town, he would have to say that she succeeded. Not one person that walked away from the princess was frowning.
Letting out a deep breath, he kicked at some pebbles near his foot. He looked at his foot and the new boot that he had on. Saying that she didn't want her people to focus on her security team, she had made Keith wear a modified version of the castle guard uniform. So here he was in the black boots, khaki pants and a form-fitting black tee. It was too warm for the jacket, so he had left it in Black Lion that was in a nearby clearing. Looking at his current attire, if they had to run for cover in the forest, this would be a hell of a lot better to hide in than his neon white and red Voltron uniform. The thought of running for safety brought him back to his duty and the princess.
Gazing at her in her lavender sundress, he thought she was beautiful. At the moment, she was carefree and laughing. He hoped that this would be normal for her soon. Doom had to be defeated first, but after that, maybe she would have a chance to have many days like this. However, there were those in the castle that wanted her fun and carefree days ended before they had even begun. Recently, he had overheard a conversation between Nanny and Coran about the princess and her obligation to the monarchy. Nanny had been pushing Coran to encourage Allura to get married sooner rather than later. Allura. Married. But the thoughts were worse. Allura married to someone else. He had to get rid of these feelings, these longings that he had for something that could never be.
Scanning the crowd looking for possible threats, he pushed the thoughts of a future without Allura from his mind. The day and the princess were both too beautiful to be overshadowed by thoughts of his future.
Tossing a ball to a little girl, no older than five, Allura laughed. The girl, whose name was Elsa, missed it and ran after it. Allura gazed at Elsa as she laughed and played. She had bright blue eyes and thick raven-black hair. Impossible thoughts entered her mind as she thought a child between her and Keith might look like this little one. Blushing, she looked out of the corner of her eyes to see the commander leaning against a column. Noticing that he was looking away from her she took the moment to…well… to stare at him. She would be honest to herself if not to anyone else. She was staring because she liked him. From the moment he kissed her hand in the old Castle of Lions, pledging his assistance to Arus, she had liked him. Now that she knew him as a person, that 'like' had grown into something more.
Her eyes traveled over his body, in the uniform that she had picked out for him. She had requested the uniform change so that he didn't stand out among her security detail, but she sighed as she realized it hadn't worked. Keith stood out wherever he was; he was just too handsome and athletic not to be noticed. The black fitted tee just showed off his muscles and the color matched his hair and made his eyes look ever darker than they were. The bright white uniform would have been a beacon for attention, but the simple clothing made him look attainable. Allura's eyes narrowed as she thought about that. Glancing over the crowd, she saw several girls her age taking in the sight of the handsome commander. They were giggling and glancing shyly over to where he stood. She wondered how long it would take before one or more of them would work up the courage to speak to him.
The princess' shoulders slumped. She should just go ahead and come to terms with it. One of these days Keith would start dating one of these girls. Lance and Hunk had already been on several dates, but Keith hadn't. Not yet. But it would come. He was just too good of a catch for the girls here not to pursue. She just needed to put these longings away. He saw her as the Crown Princess and the Blue Lion pilot, not as someone he would date. Yes, her longings needed to be locked away.
Keith returned his attention to the princess. Frowning, he noticed that she had lost a little of her sparkle. Wondering what happened to trigger her energy loss, he started to make his way through the village crowd.
Seeing him make his way toward her, she wondered why he was coming over. Had he caught her staring at him or was it something else? She was a little breathless as he reached her.
"Is something wrong Princess?" he asked, scanning the villagers in the area for anyone that may have said something to erase her smile. Not seeing anything or anyone suspicious, he looked back to her.
"No Keith, nothing's wrong. Why do you ask?
Feeling a little silly, he ran a hand through his hair and said, "I don't know, you just didn't seem very happy just now."
Putting on a bright smile for him, she answered, "I'm fine Keith. I was just thinking about something I forgot to do at the castle. It can wait." The lie rolled easily off her tongue, but she could tell from his demeanor, that he didn't believe her. In fact, she was sure he was going to ask more questions when two of the girls she had spotted earlier approached them.
Curtsying, the two girls spoke to Allura. "Your Highness, we'd like to introduce ourselves. I'm Margorie and this is my friend Allana." Margorie had red shoulder length hair and green eyes while her friend Allana had long blonde hair and brown eyes that were almost as dark as Keith's.
"I'm very pleased to meet both of you. Do you live here in Alder?" Allura fell effortlessly into her mode of welcoming and friendly princess. It was effortless, because it was part of her nature.
The girls didn't have a chance to answer when Keith interrupted. "I'm sorry to interrupt. I will leave you to your conversation." Turning to go, Allana put a hand on his arm. Keith looked at her hand and then into her eyes. "I'm sorry, Allana is it? Is there something you need?"
Allura could tell from looking at the girls that what they wanted was an introduction to him. She didn't want to do it. Being the instrument that led to her own misery was not what she wanted. What if her introduction led to him dating one of these girls, or worse, marrying one of them? But her sense of duty won out over her heart. "Keith, wait a minute. I think that Margorie and Allana would like to meet you." Looking to the girls for confirmation, she was unsurprised when they both nodded their heads. Holding in a regretful sigh, Allura began the introduction. "Margorie, Allana, I'd like to introduce you to Commander Keith Kogane of the Voltron Force."
Both girls curtsied to him and he bowed. "I am pleased to make your acquaintance ladies. I'm sorry to rush off, but I need to get back to my security patrol."
"Of course Commander." "We understand Commander." Both girls watched him walk away to take his post back at the column.
Allura felt her heart drop. She knew what the topic of conversation would be once the girls turned back towards her. For the next ten minutes she answered their questions about him. Nothing too personal, just some generalities and of course their first question was to ask if he was dating anyone.
At the end of the ten minutes, the girls took their leave and started in his direction. Keith saw them coming. The small group of giggling girls had caught his attention earlier. Not because he was attracted to any of them, but because he knew what was coming. He had thought he would escape the attention today since he was not in his Voltron uniform but it appeared that they had figured out who he was anyway, even before the introduction. Keith thought that most of the attention he garnered was because of his command of the Voltron Force, not because of his own personal presence. Well, he was on duty and couldn't spend a lot of time talking. He would answer their questions politely, but send them on their way as soon as possible.
After what seemed like an eternity, the girls left Keith. Allura could finally breathe. She couldn't be sure, but it looked like Keith had just made polite conversation and then went back to work. However, she just had to know. Taking her leave of the small group of farmers that had come to pay their respects, she moved toward Keith and the town hall.
"Is there a problem Princess?"
"That's the second time you've asked me that in thirty minutes." Allura smiled at him as she too leaned back on the column. They were side by side with their arms touching but the curve of the column made it difficult to look one another in the eye.
He smiled, even though she couldn't see it and said, "You know me. Always serious when I'm on duty, taking every frown and wrinkle of your brow to indicate some irritation or distress."
Laughing, she joked in return, "Likewise, I am always on watch to see how many young, attractive women will accost my security detail."
"Accost would be too strong a word and I didn't really pay attention as to whether they were attractive or not." He cut his eyes in her direction but could only see her profile. Had she singled him out? Doubting that she would mention attractive girls to the other men on security duty, he waited to see if she would continue in this line.
"Really Keith? I find that hard to believe." Turning so that her shoulder now rested on the column, she faced him. Looking at his profile, she continued, "Did you ask one of them out on a date?"
Surprised that her thoughts were of his dating, he replied, "No. I'm not here to find a date. I'm here to protect you princess."
Her voice was low and soft as she said, "I wouldn't blame if you did." Pausing here for a moment, she rushed on, "I mean, I wouldn't blame you if you asked one of them out on a date. You're allowed to, you know."
This time he turned to face her, his dark eyes intense as he said, "I know I can, I just don't want to."
"You don't want to?" Her eyes looked back into his. Could it be possible?
Why was she asking these questions? Was she just interested because they were friends, or was it possible? Looking over her shoulder, he saw Nanny pushing her way through the crowd like a long ago ship of the line. She was coming their way and quickly. Time for this unusual conversation would be short but he decided to go ahead and put it out there. Allura could just act like this conversation never happened and he'd let it go. Being sure that she was looking at him, he quietly said, "The girl I'm interested in isn't allowed to date pilots." He saw her mouth form an "oh" and then Nanny walked up.
"Princess! Why are you over here talking to the commander, when you're here to socialize with your subjects? The market area is very busy and we should go over and visit with the vendors." It was obvious that Nanny disapproved of the princess being in close proximity to Keith.
Keith couldn't resist, "That's right Nanny, I'm just a pilot." After making the comment, he turned to Allura, winked, and then he bowed. "You Highness, I'll leave you to your duties."
Watching him walk away, Allura didn't hear anything that Nanny said as she tried to pull her towards the market area. If the longing to be together had just been her feelings, she would have fought against it. But now, she knew that Keith had the same feelings. Turning to walk with Nanny, she decided she would start planning to make their secret longing a reality.
Keith took up his new post to watch her as she entered the market area. Having seen her face after his comments, he knew that he wasn't the only one with these emotions. The princess was very strong-willed and if her feelings were like his, then there was a good chance their longing would turn into something real. She was almost to the market place when glanced over her shoulder at him and smiled. And though it was out of character for him when he was on duty, he couldn't help but smile back.