This has been sitting on my flash drive for a while so I could try to figure out what to do with it. Not sure if there is any more to it or not or even what possessed me to write it in the first place. But here is it for whatever that's worth...
I own nothing, not even the voices in my head...
It was a bad idea. He knew it was a bad idea. In fact, it was so bad that if it wasn't the worst idea he'd ever had, it was definitely in the top five. Deep down, he knew it was wrong, knew that he shouldn't be here, knew that he shouldn't be doing this, but alcohol can be a powerful thing. And, thanks to the influence of more than a few drinks, the message remained safely buried deep down with his few remaining sober brain cells.
Keith looked up the sheer expanse of gleaming metal that formed the outer skin of the Castle of Lions and sighed. His destination was still several dozen feet above him. The small balcony shimmered in the moonlight, beckoning him, drawing him ever closer, like a moth to a flame. And like that proverbial moth, it could spell his doom as well. His grip tightened on the rope and with the deliberate, careful slowness of one who has had too much to drink, he began to pull himself further up the wall.
A few yards below him, another figure clung to the thick cord and urged the captain on. His whispered words were just a little too loud to truly be considered whispers as they rasped through the chill night air. The duo continued their upward trek in the slow, awkward, clumsy manner that can only be achieved through great overindulgence in strong drink.
"What are they doing?" Pidge asked quietly, his eyes glued to the view screen in Castle Control.
"It looks like they're scaling the castle wall…" Hunk responded bluntly, as he watched the slow progress of his teammates.
"I figured that out, Hunk. But why are they doing it?"
"Beats me. I'd think it would be faster and easier to get wherever they are trying to go using the castle corridors, but they must have a rea-" Hunk froze as his captain momentarily lost his hold on the rope and hung swaying in the breeze. He and Pidge watched in silence as Keith managed to regain his grip, pulling himself up and resuming his skyward trek.
"Are they…?" Pidge began.
"Nah, they couldn't be. Could they?" Hunk asked, meeting his teammate's gaze.
They turned in unison to watch their friends continue their drunken climb, cringing each time one of the pilots fumbled, letting out sighs of relief each time they recovered.
"We should probably go out there and rescue them before they kill themselves," Pidge muttered.
"Maybe, but they've almost made it to the Princess's balcony. I'd worry more about startling them with one of the lions at this point."
Pidge just nodded, unable to tear his eyes away from the giggling duo on the screen.
"Almost there," Keith called down to Lance in relief. The climb had proven more difficult than either man had anticipated. A few minutes later, they made their way over the railing, landing with dull thuds and giggles on the hard, stone floor of the balcony.
"You wait here," Keith said, pointing a spot next to the balustrade as he stumbled to his feet.
"No way, Keith. You can't complete a dare without a witness. You wanna lose the bet?"
Waves of black hair swept forward into his face as Keith hung his head in dismay. "No, I didn't come all this way up the side of the castle just to lose on a technicality. C'mon," he sighed in resignation as he beckoned his friend to follow him.
A short time earlier…
"Just one drink, Keith," Lance wheedled as he dragged his companion closer to the bar.
"That isn't what I agreed to, Lance," he complained, eyes sweeping over the crowds swaying to the music of the band playing in the corner of the room.
"Yes, it is. You said that it only made sense to check out some of the businesses that people were opening up," he countered, his hand moving in a wide arc to encompass not just the building in which they found themselves, but the entire section of the village as well.
As the Voltron Force continued to drive the forces of Doom away from planet Arus with greater and greater success, the citizens of the planet began to feel more secure in their own safety. Instead of remaining hidden in the caves that dotted the landscape, they began to rebuild their villages, cities, and towns. First houses sprang up throughout the countryside, then farms, and then, as people began to move about over greater distances, inns and pubs were built to provide food, drink, and bedding to the weary travelers. It was in one of these pubs that Keith and Lance found themselves now.
"Right, check out, as in visit. I didn't say anything about drinking, Lance."
Lance stared at his friend for a moment. Keith returned the glare and raised an eyebrow.
They remained locked in place, neither one moving or backing down until a burly man approached them, two foaming mugs clenched in one meaty fist. When the drinks were thrust between them, Keith's gaze first dropped to the beverages, then followed a path along the man's arm until he found himself staring into a smiling face. "On the house, boys. A thank you for everything you've done to restore our world. If it wasn't for you, I wouldn't have this thriving business."
Lance beamed and gratefully accepted the offering, taking a deep draught before his captain could stop him.
The barkeep turned to Keith, still holding the remaining mug before the dark haired youth. Glaring at Lance out of the corner of his eye, Keith took the drink from the man's hand, bowing his head in thanks, but made no move to sample it.
"Don't just stand there looking pretty, boy. I've got barmaids for that. Drink up!"
Realizing that there was no way to refuse without causing offense, Keith took a sip of the bitter ale, wiping at the foam clinging to his upper lip with his free arm.
"No need to nurse it. Enjoy!" he boomed, clapping Keith across the back and causing the thinner man to stumble forward at the unexpected gesture.
The drink sloshed in his mug as Keith brought it to his lips for another sip. This time he was expecting the sharp taste and was surprised to find it slightly less harsh than before. He drank deeply from the stein, hoping to appease his host and end his obligation. The man grinned in response and moved back into the crowds, disappearing in a way that seemed impossible for someone of his size and stature.
Keith turned to face his companion only to find himself alone, an island amid a swirling sea of people. Searching the crowd for Lance, he slowly made his way to the bar, absently sipping from the mug in his hand as he went. By the time he reached the counter, he'd nearly finished the ale. He placed the heavy tankard on the smooth surface, watching in fascination as the dregs sloshed across the bottom. Tearing his eyes from the remains of his drink, he turned to face the room, once more seeking any sign of his friend. Completing his visual circuit, he found himself gazing at the bar once more, where his empty drink, now sat full and frothy again.
With the first ale now comfortably circulating through his bloodstream, he no longer felt the urge to turn down this new one, and so he picked it up, savoring the beverage as it slid down his throat. Drink in hand; he made his way into the crowd, mingling with the swaying throng. Before long, this mug too was emptied only to be replaced by a glass of some clear, bright liquid. He found the sharp, tangy taste of this new beverage pleasing and sipped at it happily.
Eventually, the two lion pilots found themselves together at the bar. Lance clapped his captain on the shoulder, smiling in an unfocused way as he tried not to topple from the stool on which he perched. They chatted amiably and animatedly, no longer aware of the rest of the people in the building.
"I dare you!" Lance shouted, sliding from his stool. "I don't think you're man enough to do it!"
Keith's face flushed red to match his outfit before he leapt from his seat to stand face to face with Lance. "I'd do it in a heartbeat!" he shouted back. "But she's not here, so I can't!"
"So, climb the castle to her room. I double dog dare you!"
"Fine! You're on! Let's go!" Keith stumbled to the doorway and began walking back to the castle, not bothering to see if Lance was following him or not…
Keith stood beside Allura's bed and watched her sleep. Lance leaned against the wall on the other side of the room and raised one eyebrow as he stared at Keith.
"C'mon, do it already. We don't have all night," he prodded slightly louder than perhaps was wise.
Keith tore his gaze from the princess and met Lance's eyes blearily. "Shhh. You're spoiling the mood…"
Lance sighed, his eyes rolling.
Satisfied that his friend wasn't going to interrupt the moment again, Keith turned his attention back to the occupant of the bed. He reached out with one hand, gently stroking Allura's cheek and sliding an errant blonde curl behind her ear. At least, that's what he thought he was doing. In truth, his movements were somewhat clumsy and uncoordinated, a far cry from his normal effortless gracefulness. Dropping to the bed, he bent closer and brushed his lips against hers. The kiss was sloppy and unromantic, yet when he pulled away, Allura's eyes fluttered opened and she smiled at him shyly.
"Princess," he murmured, "You're awake…"
"It's like Sleeping Beauty," Lance giggled from his vantage point against the wall.
Allura turned from Keith to glare at Lance. She pointed to the door. "Out! Now!"
Reluctantly, the red lion pilot pulled himself away from the wall and made his way out of the room. Keith started to follow him, only to be stopped by a slender, delicate hand on his arm. Allura sat up in her bed, gently tugging him down until she could reach up to caress his jaw. She cradled it tenderly and placed a light kiss on his lips before releasing her hold on the captain. "Now, you may leave too, Keith."
He stood and slowly walked toward the door. As he neared it, Allura's voice penetrated his alcohol soaked fog, "And Keith, next time you want to sneak into my room to kiss me, please be sober. I think we'd both enjoy it more…"
He blinked rapidly as the words sunk in. Keith smiled broadly at the princess before nodding and exiting into the hallway.