Lion House Restored
Disclaimer: WEP owns Voltron and all its characters.
Beta: Thanks again to Dawn! I haven't run her off… yet. ;-)
This is the second installment in my "Chivalry" arc. 1. Chivalry, 2. Lion House Restored
Rating/Setting: Rating is T. Setting is DotU in flavor but is AU in some ways. If you've read Chivalry, then you have a 'feel' for the setting. Hope you enjoy the story.
Last few paragraphs of Chivalry to set the stage…
Nanny stood there for a moment and gently let go of his hand to reach up and brush his hair out of his eyes. She could tell by his breathing that exhaustion had finally overtaken him and he had drifted off to sleep. Moving to the door, she softly whispered, "Sleep well, Chosen of Lion House," and left the room.
Keith went into a deep sleep where visions of an Arus from a millennium ago crowded his dreams. He saw men in tunics and leggings who wore the same signet ring as he did. He dreamed of an arena similar to the one where he had just fought Lotor. But this time it was different, it was filled with people and the foe he faced was not Lotor, but a large red-headed man who wore a tunic similar to his, but with an eagle on it. As Keith turned to survey the crowd in his dream, he saw an older version of Olen on the platform. The dream was incredibly vivid. The most vivid he had ever had…
Then as the crowd shouted, "Akira!" "Akira!" "Akira" the arena spun around him at an ever increasing speed. Finally, he opened his eyes in his dim hospital room as he drew rapid, shallow breaths. It hadn't been a dream at all. It was a vision of Arus' past… and his future.
Keith stared at the wall in front of him and worked to control his heart rate and breathing. His heart had been beating so rapidly, that it had triggered a response from the medical team.
"Well, Commander, it looks like you were right." Gorma looked at him over the scanner that was in his hands. "That must have been some dream to get your heart rate up like that." A smile broke across his face. "Try not to have any more dreams like that, will you? With all that mystical healing you've got going on inside, readings like the ones you just had cause my heart to race a little, too."
Giving a tentative smile to the doctor, Keith said, "I'll try, Doc." Watching as Gorma moved to the door, Keith stopped him. "Dr. Gorma?"
"I don't feel like going back to sleep right now. I was wondering if you would mind calling Nanny for me." Seeing the question in the doctor's eyes, he elaborated. "Nanny assisted me with research that helped me win the challenge and I'd like to talk to her a little more about what happened." It was the truth, but it wasn't his primary purpose. No one could know of that until he found out more about the vision.
"Of course. I'll let her know that you wish to see her."
Keith closed his eyes as Gorma exited. Over the last several months, he and Gretchen had bonded in their research for clues to the Right of Challenge. She would be a great help as he tried to learn what the vision meant. But then, there was the question of whether Coran and Gretchen already knew. A short while later, he heard a faint swish as his door opened. Opening his eyes, he saw that she hadn't come into the room, but was framed by the bright hallway light behind her. Finally, she took a step in and the door closed behind her.
His tone was serious and accusatory when he stated, "You know."
Fiddling with her apron, she held his eyes as she walked forward to his bedside. "I know that there is a prophecy related to a man known as 'the One.' The prophecy stated that Lion House would be decimated and would not exist in a time of great trial and devastation for Arus. The One would arise as a lion to restore the House to its former glory."
It seemed like Gretchen had been looking into this since his return. "Is there more?" Seeing the question in her eyes, he queried, "Is there something related to 'the One' and Arus' past?"
Eyes widening, she said, "There is the prophecy that says that the One who becomes the Lion House restorer will make at least three quests. I'm not sure about all of it… I only started looking when you came back with that tunic and the ring."
"So you knew the moment you saw them?"
Nodding her head, she answered, "Yes, Keith. Coran and I both know. Allura also knows some, but not as much as we do." She watched as he drew a deep breath and closed his eyes. She wondered how he knew there was more to being a knight of Lion House than just the title. "Why did you ask me to come? What has happened? You didn't seem to know anything about this when you first arrived back."
Keeping his eyes closed, he raised his hands to massage his temples.
Seeing the movement, Nanny became concerned. "Do you need me to call Dr. Gorma? Do you need some pain medication?"
Dropping his hands back to his bed, he opened his eyes and gave her a rueful smile. "No. Dr. Gorma just left my room a short while ago." Keeping eye contact, he continued, "He was here due to my elevated heart rate. I told him that I had a nightmare." Keith saw understanding dawn in her eyes. "I didn't have a nightmare, Gretchen. I had a vision. It was of Arus' past, but I was in it."
"Keith, we should really call Coran and have him here as well. There is much for us to do and find out. Coran and I were going to talk to you when you were out of the medical wing. Now it seems that we need to go ahead and speak. The prophecy is moving faster than we thought possible."
As she moved to the com unit, he thought about the vision. How soon would he be taken to the past? How would he get there? Thoughts then turned to the specifics of the vision. He was in an arena in front of a crowd. He was there to fight. He would be fighting again with similar weapons with a man who probably wielded them better than Lotor.
Suddenly, he realized Nanny was talking to him again. She was saying that Coran was on his way. Reaching out, he took her hand and held it tight. The action caused Nanny to stop speaking and look at him. "Gretchen, does the prophecy say that I'm going to die?"
Blanching, Nanny doesn't say anything for a moment. "No, it doesn't say that."
Realizing that she was leaving out vital information he keeps her hand and asks another question. "What does it say, Gretchen?"
She understood that he would find out soon enough, but she hated that she had to tell him this now. He and Allura were so happy. Letting out the breath that she had been holding, she replied, "The One is without family or wife and will suffer through his quests not knowing if he is victorious or vanquished. If he refuses his destiny as the One, the woman that he loves will die an agonizing death."
Keith couldn't even speak. What the hell was she talking about? He would have denied it as being absurd… refuting that he was the One, if he hadn't had the vision. The title he had gained was supposed to allow him to marry the woman that he loved, not kill him… or her. Sitting up abruptly in the bed, he began pulling out IVs. The room spun around him as he swung his legs off the bed. He could hear Nanny frantically telling him to lie back down, but he wasn't going to do that. He turned his head as Gorma ran into the room with a nurse.
"Keith! What's going on here? You should be lying down." The doctor took in the body language of the Black Lion pilot and Nanny and knew that something had happened; it wasn't something small. Changing his voice to a softer one, he said, "Nurse, please leave us." When the door had closed behind her, he walked closer to his patient, but spoke to Nanny. "What happened, Nanny?"
She started to speak but Keith butted in. "I'd rather not talk about it right now, Doctor. Just get me some pants, please; I need to leave."
Commander Kogane had always been a difficult patient for Gorma. He always thought that he was well when he wasn't; he always tried to check himself out early. That was his MO. However, this was different. "Perhaps I should contact Princess Allura. She always gets you to see reason."
Keith's head snapped to the side as Gorma moved towards the com unit. "Don't do it, Doctor," Keith growled. "I don't want her to know what's going on."
"And what IS going on, Commander?" Seeing Keith look at him with questioning eyes, he added, "Doctor/patient confidence."
Nodding with his trust now completely in the doctor, he said, "I've just learned I'm part of an Arusian prophecy that says I'm going to endure suffering." Keith saw the doctor's brow wrinkle in concern. "But there's more, Doctor. It says that I'm single and that if I refuse my destiny, the woman I love will die."
Gorma blanched at the words. The noble title would have allowed the commander and the princess to wed, but now it seems that that very title would keep them apart. Now the aggressive words and actions of the man before him made perfect sense. Knowing that there was a reason Keith wanted to leave, he asked, "So what did you want to do this afternoon?"
Keith could see Nanny wringing her apron and the concern in the doctor's eyes. They cared about him. Lowering his voice he said, "I need to speak to Alfor… I don't want to wait until I'm officially released." Looking back to Nanny, he said, "If you knew that the person you love more than your own life was in danger because of your actions, wouldn't you want to find out everything you could as quickly as you could?" Now he turned back to Gorma.
"A set of your clothing is in the closet. I'll bring it to the bed for you." After laying the clothes on the bed, he said, "After you learn all that you can, Commander, please come back to the med wing. You really need to stay here for a day so that I can monitor you." Laying a hand on Keith's arm, he added, "You won't do the princess any good if you're not healing."
Nodding his head, Keith said, "Okay, Doc, I'll come back. I just won't say when."
Gorma knew it was the best he was going to get out of Keith.
Keith picked up his clothes from the bed. Looking at Nanny, he arched a brow. "Would you mind, Gretchen? I don't need assistance getting dressed."
Nanny's face colored slightly as she "hmffed" at him and made her way to the door with the doctor. However, she always liked having the last word. "I'll be waiting out here, Keith." Even with the seriousness of what was happening, she couldn't resist adding, "I'm sure if Allura had been in the room, you would have been fine with her assisting you." Closing the door, she turned to find an open-mouthed Dr. Gorma. Hitting him in the arm, she said, "Don't look at me like that. You know it's true."
Not knowing what to say, Gorma turned and left. It seemed that the rumors were true. Hurricane Nanny had finally warmed up to the commander's feelings for the princess. It was just sad that everything else now seemed against them.