Unexpected Rescuer

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

Ummm…. Dare I say that this is my second entry for the KAEX Challenge topic of: Stuck. While joking with other KA writers I mentioned that I had a second entry but it was just so fluffy and without plot, that I hadn't posted it. They encouraged me to post it anyway. So, just go in knowing that this is fluff and if you've already had a lot of sugar today, save this for tomorrow. ; - D

Rating/Setting: Rating is K. (snort and snicker… need to have a fluff rating) Setting is EARLY DotU.

Keith ruefully looked up at the ceiling/floor above him. He was lucky he hadn't broken his neck in the fall. Some help he'd be to the princess then. Moving to get up, he quickly discovered that his right ankle was, at the very least, badly sprained. Leaning heavily against a chair that he had been lucky enough to miss on his way down, he reached for his com. As he lifted it up to speak, he could hear rattling inside the unit. "Great," he muttered out loud to himself. "Great, just great. Nothing like being stuck in a remote part of the castle with a sprained ankle." Pulling the chair he was leaning on around, he carefully sat on it, making sure that it too, would not break. A small cloud of dust rose around him as he started making his plan to return to the underground tunnels.

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Just thirty minutes earlier, Keith had set out toward one of the towers in the ruined section of the castle. It was dangerous going as stairwells had crumbled and debris was everywhere. He had decided to go to the tower after the princess had told of the hours she spent in the primary tower looking at the view and playing when she was a girl. Her tone had been wistful as she described some of her beautiful dolls that had been left there after the castle had been hit by heavy artillery barrages and Coran had forbade her to attempt to climb the tower again. Keith had thought it would be a pleasant surprise if he could return just one thing from the crumbing tower to the princess who had lost so much. He had determined it was just an act of kindness and not symbolic of anything deeper on his part. No, that wasn't it at all. He was just trying to be nice.

And so he had set out, without telling anyone of his plans. He had made it to the level that had the first stairwell entrance to the tower and began crossing what appeared to be a stable floor. Being cautious, he had moved closer to the stone wall which would provide more stability for the flooring. He had not made it even halfway around the large room when the floor gave way. It wasn't just a small break in the floor, but a large, five foot section that fell to the room below.

And now, here he was, sitting with a bum ankle and a broken com unit in a section of the castle where no one would look for him. Stuck, that was what he was. Sighing, he realized his best bet would be to find something to lean on and start making his way back to the tunnels. He stood and began shining his flashlight around the hazy room for something he could use. Luckily, the flashlight had been undamaged in the fall and that was a blessing as this room did not have any nature lighting, except for the large window he had just created in the ceiling.

Hearing a noise above him, he quickly looked up and to his chagrin, the pixie face of the Arusian princess was looking down at him. Fear overcame him at her closeness to the edge as he shouted, "Princess, that floor is unstable! Move back!"

Giggling at him, she said, "Commander, I've had lots of dealings with these unstable floors. I'm perfectly fine where I am." She saw him wince as he moved to look up at her. "Oh! Keith! You're hurt, I'll be right down!"

"Wait, Princess! Don't come down here!" But it was too late, her head had disappeared before he had even started speaking. He looked around the room one more time. There wasn't anything useful in here for a crutch or cane. He'd have to get her to call for assistance on the com unit. Sven and Lance would sure have a good time with this one. They were sure to make his kind gesture toward the princess all romantic. He closed his eyes for a moment to think of ways to deflect their teasing, but nothing was coming quickly to mind.

Allura raced as quickly as she could to the next level down. Keith had fallen into a storage area. In truth, it was a miracle that he hadn't injured himself severely. The thought that he may have injuries that she didn't know of made her hurry a little faster. The question of why he was in this part of the castle entered her mind. She often roamed around the structure, sometimes entering areas that Coran had labeled off-limits. This had been her home and she felt compelled to keep a little of it for herself and a few broken boards weren't going to stop her.

Having reached the door to the room that Keith should be in, she called out, "Keith? Are you there?"

"Yes, Princess, I'm here. I can't get the door to open. Is there something blocking it?"

She smiled a little. It was nice having a chance to rescue this man. She thought for a moment of the hope that he and his team had brought to Arus. However, it wasn't the fact that he was the commander of the Voltron Force that made her want to rescue him. No, it was a result of the feelings she had when he kissed her hand on the day they met. From that moment, she felt that Keith Kogane would be more to her than a soldier. Shaking her head gently, she couldn't explain the feeling and if she couldn't explain it to herself, how would she ever explain it to Coran?

"Princess?"

Allura started, she had been daydreaming. Keith was right on the other side of the door and she saw the door move as he pushed against it. "Just a minute, Keith, there's debris in the way. I'll have it out of the way in just a couple of minutes." Taking a moment to gather her skirt, she moved a heavy chair out of the way and one large post. With the door clear, she was able to easily pull it open.

The door opened in front of Keith and he saw the slightly smudged face of the princess and smiled. "You could have just called for help on the com unit."

"It wasn't much," she shrugged. "I don't want everyone thinking I'm helpless, because I'm not."

Keith sensed that she was a little irritated at people considering her helpless. He held up his hands in mock surrender. "Don't worry, Princess, at the moment, I'm in no position to say that anyone is helpless."

Allura looked into his lovely dark brown eyes and saw the humor he had at his own situation. It prompted her to ask, "And what were you doing all alone in this section of the castle?" She noted that a pink tone now tinged his cheeks even in the dim lighting of the corridor.

Staring into her eyes, he debated making up a story about security, but finally he sighed and let his eyes drop. "I was hoping to retrieve something for you from the tower. You sounded like you really missed the items that you left there."

Her voice was soft and low, "That was a very kind gesture, Keith." Reaching out she took his hand, and she saw his startled eyes flies to hers at the unexpected contact.

Keith stood there for a moment with her hand in his and then he dropped her hand and moved through the door limping heavily. He was sure that it was a bad sprain. He leaned up against wall and said, "You'd better call for one of the guys. I'm not going to make it back to the lower levels by myself on this ankle."

It was easy to hear the resignation in his voice. She knew that all the guys were really close. Having been on the receiving end of some teasing, she knew that Keith was in for a lot of ribbing. He could handle it, no doubt, but she didn't like the idea of him being teased for his attempted kindness towards her. "What's wrong with me?" she asked.

"Huh? What do you mean?" Keith was obviously perplexed.

"I mean, why can't I help you? I'm not as strong as the guys, I know, but you can lean on me and I can help you."

Keith's breathing became rapid as he thought of putting his arm around her and being in close physical contact. "Um, would that be appropriate?" He wasn't sure what to say.

Smiling at him, she said, "I think it is completely appropriate and that's all that matters."

After thinking about it for only a moment, he agreed. He felt completely awkward as he put his arm across her shoulders and felt her arm around his back. When her right hand went up to grasp his as it hung around her shoulder, he felt almost giddy. What was up with him? She was a princess. They had just met. He had to admit though that things had definitely improved since he had thought he was stuck in a room with no help. He shook his head.

Allura was having feelings she hadn't experienced before. Her breathing quickened as her arm went around his muscular back. She had never held a man like this. She felt his long hair brush against her face as he shook his head. In an effort to get her mind off of what her body was feeling, she asked, "What is it, Keith, are you okay?"

He turned to gaze into her beautiful eyes, "I was just thinking how things had greatly improved for me." Seeing the confusion in her eyes, he continued hurriedly, "I was stuck in a storage room with no one to help me and here I am now, rescued by a beautiful princess." He smiled bigger as he saw a becoming blush on her cheeks.

Embarrassed, but pleased, by his compliments, she began to move forward as she said, "Here we go, Commander." What she thought to herself was that things had greatly improved her as well. A smile formed on her face as she tightened her around him.