A Mother's Gift

Disclaimer: I do not own Voltron or any of its characters.

Rating/Setting: Rating is K. Setting is DotU. Takes place after the episode in Season 2: "Doom Girls on the Prowl" where Allura and Keith are in the crypt area and Allura says "I guess he [Alfor] approves of you Keith."

A/N: Done in response to the KAEX Challenge for Mother's Day. (Has to do with a mom, has to be KA centric, happily ever after, and must be a complete story.) For some reason, I thought Allura's mom's name was Eleanor, but I can't find it anywhere, so if someone else used this in the past (and it's very possible with all the Voltron stories I've read), no infringement intended.

CHAPTER ONE

Moving at a brisk pace in the pre-dawn hours, Keith walks toward the underground chamber containing King Alfor's crypt. His booted feet tap out a solitary rhythm down the long empty corridor. He was not sure why, but it seemed that King Alfor wanted to talk to him. Tonight's vivid dream was fresh in his mind as he walked along. Alfor had asked for him to come to the chamber and when the late king asks you to come, you don't say no.

Entering the dark crypt chamber, the automatic electronic torches flickered to life, illuminating the room in a soft warm glow. The king had summoned him here but he saw no indication that Alfor's spirit was present. Perhaps he needed to announce his presence. "King Alfor, I'm here. What do you need of me?"

There was no response. The room appeared to be exactly what it was, a room for the dead. There was no life here – real or spectral. Keith had almost determined that he had been wrong about his dream and the summons, but then a sparkling glow began to form on the steps in front of him. He didn't have to wait for the apparition to fully appear to know that it would be King Alfor. Dropping to one knee and bowing his dark head, he waited for him to speak.

The spirit of King Alfor looked upon the young man that was kneeling at the bottom of the steps and smiled. His wife had been right all along, Keith was perfect for their headstrong daughter. The king spoke as he walked down the steps to stand on the same level as the commander. "Arise, Commander Kogane."

Rising from his kneeling position, Keith repeated his question from earlier, "Do you have need of me King Alfor?"

Smiling, Alfor replied, "Yes, I do. However, you already know I need you to protect Arus and my daughter. But it is not I that needs to speak with you."

Two lines formed on Keith's brow as he frowned at the translucent form of the king. "If you don't need to speak to me, why did you summon me here?"

"I summoned you, because the one that wishes to speak to you is very limited in her ability to appear in this world."

Lifting a hand to scratch his head, Keith tried to clarify. "King Alfor, you're being vague and I don't understand-"

"It's all right Keith, it will be made clear this evening."

"Tonight?" Keith asked. He was usually a patient guy, but he had never witnessed the late king being this vague.

"No, this evening. You will need to go to the hillside where Queen Eleanor is buried, precisely thirty minutes before sunset. Place your hand on the royal insignia imbedded in her monument. Eleanor will appear to you and will speak of the things that are in a mother's heart."

Even though Alfor was a spirit, Keith could see the love he had for his wife in his eyes. Whatever the late queen was going to say, it was going to be important. Allura would want to be there. She hadn't seen her mother since the day she died more than ten years ago. Nodding at the king, Keith said, "Allura and I will be there waiting for the exact moment."

Shaking his head ruefully, Alfor said, "No Keith. Allura is not to come; you alone are to meet with the queen."

A note of pleading crept into Keith's voice as he replied, "But King Alfor, Allura will be crushed if I don't bring her to speak to her mother. If she learns that I saw Queen Eleanor and didn't take her…." Keith ran a hand through his hair. The princess wouldn't just be crushed, she'd probably be livid at him. Their relationship had started moving toward something more personal, this could derail things. Looking back at the king and narrowing his eyes, his tone was tense, "Have you changed your mind about my worthiness King Alfor? Are you and the queen trying to stop us from pursuing a relationship?"

A booming baritone laugh rang out in the crypt chamber. It was a sound that had probably never occurred in this solemn room. "No my son, I'm not trying to derail your relationship with my daughter and neither is Eleanor. In fact, it is quite the opposite."

"What do you mean?"

Alfor neatly avoided a direct answer to Keith's question. "The insignia on the queen's monument can only be used once, and it can only be used by the person who will one day marry our daughter." Alfor watched as Keith's eyes widened and his mouth dropped open.

"Marry your daughter?" Keith was stunned. He had assumed after his last encounter with Alfor in the crypt that the late king approved of him, but he hadn't expected King Alfor and Queen Eleanor to so openly express the wishes of his heart.

Alfor moved to stand directly in front of Keith and gazed into his eyes. Shadows caused by the flickering torchlight played across both of their faces as Alfor intoned, "Isn't that what you want? To marry Allura?"

Keeping his gaze steady upon the late king, Keith confidently replied, "It is my King."

Then as Alfor started fading, he said, "Then go tonight at the appointed time and meet with the queen. She knew before I did that you were meant to be together." With the last of his words, the sparkling glow disappeared leaving Keith in the soft torchlight with a myriad of questions that would have to wait until sunset for answers. And even then, would Queen Eleanor answer them?