Hi all!

Okay, so this little ficlet popped into my mind last night after reading Queen Merla's review.  So this one's for you, Queen Merla ;-)

I have bits and pieces of stories floating around my head, including a chapter story about Sven and Romelle, another Pidge story, and a Hunk story.  I've also been deep in discussions with friends about Harry Potter, brought about by the new movie and the release of the title of the sixth book and I have been wanting to do a Sirius Black story for ages.  So as soon as I can sit down and sort through my thoughts, I hope to post more stories.

I hope you enjoy this plotless little ficlet, it was another mini-story I wrote late at night while sleep escaped me.  It takes place in the middle of "A Long Awaited Love Story" after Sven and Romelle marry.

Enjoy!

Failte

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Sven pressed his forehead against the cool glass of the window and looked out over the darkened landscape of Pollux.  It was a cloudy night, dark and eerie.  Every so often a cloud would shift and one of Pollux's six moons would appear in some form, two were full, three were half and one was quarter.  Lights flickered across the castle grounds as guards continued their overnight duty, patrolling.  Just out over the hill, near the edge of the woods, where a creek led to a pond and widened out and fell into a series of low waterfalls, rushing over rocks, was the skeletal beginnings of their home.

He had drawn up the plans for their house just after he and Romelle married.  When they had learned two weeks before that she was pregnant with their first child, Sven had pushed forward the construction of their house.  He wanted his child to have a home, a home of their own, when he (or she) was born.  It was driving him crazy to know that, while he could supervise the building, he was unable to actually help with the physical labor. 

The damage done to his back years ago by Haggar was never allowed to properly heal.  As time passed, Sven knew he was getting better and working out and undergoing physical therapy was helping, but not enough.  He was unable to do any heavy lifting or strenuous work.  As it was, he wasn't even allowed to carry his wife over the threshold of their new home. 

A soft sigh had Sven glancing over his shoulder.  Romelle, his wife of just over six months was stretched out across their bed.  He smiled softly to notice that she was more on his side of the bed than her own, the blankets clutched under her chin.  Sleep was evading him tonight, a million thoughts swirled around his mind and kept him awake long after his beautiful wife had surrendered to a peaceful slumber.

It amazed him to look down on this beautiful woman and to know she was his and he hers.  He was a broken, worthless man. Even when he was a soldier without an army, a pilot without a ship, she loved him.  Completely.

How did this happen?  He wondered.  Just two years ago I thought my life was over.  I was left for dead in the Pit of Skulls, my friends thought I was dead, no one was coming for me.  Then, one day, an incredible woman appeared before me.

Sven's gaze shifted unconsciously to rest on the framed photo of the two of them on their wedding day.  It sat in the middle of the mantel over the fireplace opposite their bed. 

Their room was bare.  Neither of them had anything when they met and they were still just building their lives together.  The mantel held a handful of photos, their portrait from the wedding, a group shot of the two of them with the Voltron Force just before they returned to Pollux, a picture of Romelle and her brother Bandor, Romelle and Allura, and a picture of Sven, Keith, and Lance from their Academy days.  Only images of happy times.  No pictures of Romelle's parents or her brother Avoc.  She had told him that her life had truly begun that day when she came across a 'wild man' in the Pit of Skulls, she didn't need a reminder of what life had been before then.

Now they were married and living in the royal palace on Pollux while Bandor ruled over the planet.  With Sven's help, they were rebuilding their military to protect against any attacks by Lotor and Doom.  But Sven was relegated to planning and educating.  Not what he wanted to do.  He wanted to be out there in the depth of the battle.  It wasn't that he wanted to be leading the men into battle, but he wanted to be in the midst of the men.  He couldn't just sit back in the safety of the castle and send other men out to do his bidding.  It just didn't seem right.

There were times, especially now, late at night when he was alone with his thoughts, that Sven longed to be back in Blue's pilot seat.  To feel as though he was doing some good.  To know that he was worth something. 

His head snapped up at the sound of a quiet whimper.  He turned too quickly and winced as pain shot through his back.  But Sven ignored the soreness as his wife whimpered again and he watched as she curled into the fetal position, burying her face in the blankets.

It had been several months since Romelle had last seen Lotor.  The Drule prince had sneaked up on her and Allura on Arus, startling them both.  It had been the first time since she had been banished to the Pit of Skulls that she saw him and she had been roughly thrown back into horrible memories of torture, rape, and agony.  Nightmares plagued her for over a month after that experience.

Now the nightmares had returned.  Sven had realized a few nights before that they had returned around about the time she had become pregnant and he is convinced that, even though she didn't know she was expecting at the time, her body realized what was going on.  And with the new life growing inside her, her hidden anxieties surfaced, not just about her own safety but also the safety of her unborn child.

This reminded Sven of his own inadequacies.  What kind of father would he be when he couldn't run and play with his kid?  Dr. Indermac, the physician to the Polluxian royal family, had assured him that he would grow stronger with time.  But what if he didn't?  What if he couldn't even pick up his child?  What if he couldn't build a treehouse or throw a football or give piggyback rides?  What if he wasn't able to protect his family from an attack because he couldn't fight?  What right did he have to even start a family when he wasn't sure if he could keep them safe?  What if he cost them their lives?

"No."

It was barely a simpering whisper, but Sven heard his wife cry.  Shaking his head and clearing the doubts from his mind, Sven crossed to the bed and sat carefully down, caressing her silken, gold hair.  He could feel her tremble and could see her mouth moving wordlessly.  Stretching out beside her, he gathered Romelle in his arms.

And what about Romelle?  He thought.  She was the most important person in his life.  No, she was his life.  She had endured way too many hardships at the hands of Lotor and in the Pit of Skulls.  When they had been rescued and examined by Dr. Gorma on Arus, she was so weak and ill.  Her recovery, as well as his own, has been long.  What if this pregnancy was too much for her?  She was a small, delicate woman, not that he would ever say that to her face, but she was.  If anything happened to her, he didn't know what he would do.

Sven lay in bed, cradling his wife in his arms, ignoring the pain in his back that throbbed with his heartbeat.  Romelle calmed and seemed to slip back into her peaceful slumber, cuddling against his solid chest.

Even when he allowed himself these moments of self doubt, Sven knew he had plenty to be thankful for.  He had never considered himself much of a religious man, but when he remembered back on all that had happened to bring him to this point in his life, he knew there had to be a higher being looking out for him and Romelle.  Who would have thought that the worst thing that ever happened to him, being captured by Doom and thrown in the Pit of Skulls, would lead to the greatest thing in his life, meeting Romelle.  It seemed as though everything happened for a reason.  His injury sent him to Planet Ebb, which had been attacked by Doom, where he was recognized as a member of the Voltron Force and spared, but when it became apparent that he was useless to Lotor, he was thrown in the Pit and when everything seemed hopeless and he was waiting for death, Romelle appeared and his life truly started.

"No."  Romelle tensed in his arms.

Sven tightened his arms and turned his face into her hair, "Shh, Elske, it's all right.  You are safe, Romelle, it's all right."

She whimpered quietly.

"You're safe, my love, you're safe.  It's all right," he continued to whisper words of comfort in his hoarse, tired voice. 

Finding safety in his embrace, Romelle relaxed again.  Sven stroked her hair, feeling himself relax along with her.  He suddenly felt guilty about all the self doubt he had allowed himself to slip into.  He had been selfish and thoughtless.  Even if he wasn't able to fight, he could help in other ways and no matter what, he would do everything in his power to make sure Romelle and their children were safe.

"Sven?"

He looked down to see his wife watching him with heavy lidded eyes, "Yes, Elske?"

"What is it?"

"Vhat?"

"You're upset."

He pressed a kiss to her forehead, "I'm not upset, Romelle."

Knowing he wouldn't tell her anymore, Romelle laid her head on his chest and wrapped her arms around him, gently stroking his back, "I love you."

"I love you too."

"Everything will be just fine."

"Ja, I know."