The Greatest Gift
A Voltron Christmas Tale
Five Years later, and two weeks after Christmas.
"Princess….Princess." Keith could hear Nanny yelling from his room as he walked down the hall toward it. "It is not proper for a person of your birth to be running around like that!" He could hear the shuffling of furniture from inside. "Princess get back here!" He opened the door to his room stepping inside. A small, half wet, naked, raven tussled flash ran right for him. He dropped to his knees and caught the giggling bundle up in his arms, rising into a spin as the toddler buried her hands and face into his hair giggling the whole time. A very exhausted looking Nanny approached brushing loose strands of hair from her face. "She is just impossible!"
It was taking every ounce of his strength not to laugh at the picture Nanny made before him. Her hair had almost completely fallen from its normal tidy bun. Her dress was drenched in water and she was gasping for breath with a rosy glow to her cheeks. He instead smiled, slowly speaking his words so as not laugh. "Can… I help…you…Nanny?" The mirth in his voice was unmistakable.
"She refuses to wear her clothes!"
He turned to the little girl in his arms who was still giggling, prying her back to look at her. He tried not to get caught up in her eyes but it was too late as her saucer like blue green eyes found his and smiled up to him. He was caught and knew it, but also didn't care. He put his finger on her little nose. "Is this true Angelica? Are you not behaving for Nanny?" The toddler put on a pout dropping her eyes, she knew better than to lie to him. He used his finger to lift her chin up. "You do want to go outside and play don't you?" The girl pouted but nodded her head. "Well, then you have to put your clothes on." He walked up to Nanny. "Now why don't you let Nann…" The toddler grabbed on tight to his neck crawling up him burrowing in to his hair again. Keith couldn't help but to hug her tight. He looked to Nanny who just held out her arms in frustration. "Nanny, why don't you take a break. I'll take her this time."
Nanny harrumphed shooting him a glower but it soon melted into a smile at seeing how much the little princess loved her father and how much he loved her in return. She picked up the scattered wet towels and left the room.
Keith walked over to the bed where Nanny had set out all her clothes, sitting himself down he stood her up on the bed beside him. Grabbing the red turtleneck, he began to dress his now very cooperative daughter. "Why do you give Nanny such a hard time?" He ruffed her long jet-black hair as it appeared through the neck opening. She just smiled innocently up at him as he helped guide her arms, her small hands eventually finding the armholes. He then held out her underclothes so she could step into them and then slid them up with a tickle to the ribs finish.
"Na Na fun." She giggled and started to bounce on the bed as he searched for her paints.
He picked up her paints holding them out for her to step in. "You are going to wear her out!" He laughed as she refused his aid and struggled into her pants herself, triumphantly pulling them up all the way, grinning from ear to ear. "Good job! Soon you won't need any help." He reached out fastening them. "Now, where are your boots?" She giggled and grabbed them up from the bed but moved them out of his reach when he tried to take them. He instead grabbed her ankles pulling her feet out from under her sending her laughing and giggling flying down to the bed. He sprung up next to her tickling her little ribs causing her to squeal and squirm in delight. He then grabbed a tiny foot. "I wonder? Are your feet ticklish too?" The toddler squealed and wriggled trying to get free. "I thought so." He planted a kiss on it then blew hard, the noise sending her further into hysterics. He found her socks pulling them on and then pulled on her boots. He stood up and lifted her up into his arms giving her a big squeeze. "I love you, my little Princess."
"I wov you daddy." She kissed him with a big wet smack. He put her down on the floor, her little legs already running before they touched.
He looked out her bright purple jacket, hat, and gloves as she raced around the still standing big Christmas tree in their room. He bent down smiling as he watched her. "Ready?" She bolted for him, leaping up into his waiting arms.
The two left their quarters. She riding tall in his arms holding onto his neck, taller than everybody except Hunk that is and she liked that. She smiled and waved at all the happy faces she met in the halls. Everyone always stopped to smile and wave at her when her daddy was carrying her. She squealed and giggled waving back at them all. Keith just shook his head. "You are such a flirt." He smiled looking to her, the most beautiful little angel he had ever seen.
Lance remained motionless hunkered down in his small hole listening intently for his pursuers. He then heard the sound of feet crunching in the snow. Getting a sly grin he readied his missiles. Closer the sound got, very close now. He sprung out of his hole letting loose his two snowballs but his four year old target hit the ground anticipating his attack the snowball whooshing over his head. The boy smiled deviously up at Lance with his dark as night eyes that matched his unruly hair then ducked covering his head. Before Lance knew what was happening he was pelted from behind with snowball after snowball. "Hey! Wait!…No fair!" Lance laughed. He was then tackled to the ground. Two four year olds wrestled with him on the ground each pelting him with snow, the writhing mass laughing the whole time.
"Need any help there Lance?" Hunk laughed taking in the whole scene. The three on the ground stopped, exchanging knowing glances.
"Get Uncle Hunk!" Lance screamed and the three charged a still stunned Hunk snow flying everywhere. He was soon on the ground, the two boys pinning him trying to hold him down while Lance pelted him with snow, Hunk's belly laugh almost shaking the boys free.
"I'll save you Hunk!" The now young adult Pidge yelled charging in with his own barrage of snow missiles. Soon the whole throng was in a melee of snowballs no one remembering who was on whose side anymore.
"Gentleman…" Coran cleared his throat. "I believe lunch is almost ready."
The three men and the two boys all stopped and grinned together. "Get Uncle Coran!" They all wailed, Coran soon disappearing into a heap of snowballs. They all eventually sat on the ground laughing and smiling at one another as they brushed the snow off themselves.
"Looks like we missed all the fun." Keith approached kneeling to set his daughter down who made a sprinting beeline for Lance's arms. The two four year olds seeing their chance charged Keith each piling into a waiting arm. "Daddy, we got Uncle Lance good!" "Yeah, he never even saw me!" "Got him really good." "Then we got Hunk…" Keith tried to follow as they both continued to explain their exploits dizzying himself trying to track the explanation.
Hunk and Pidge helped Coran to his feet. Coran, Hunk, Pidge, and Lance holding little Angie then all watched their captain and king with amusement, never getting enough of seeing the three of them together. It was just like seeing triple. Keith's twin boys looked just like little versions of him, and now it was becoming apparent that they had also inherited his tactical skills as well. The Uncles were in for it and they knew it.
Lance laughed as he looked into the blue green adoring eyes of Keith's little girl. "It was bad enough with just one of them wasn't it?" he cooed. "Now we've got three!" The little girl giggled as he bounced her. "And you… you rule the castle don't you, Angie?"
"Oh boys." Allura's voice called. "Lunch is ready." She seemed to just glide across the snow towards them, the ice blue gown she was wearing hugging her every curve. Her face was radiating, captivating them all as she grew near. All of them except Keith, who's face fell flat at the sight of her, all the color draining from his face.
"Mommy!" Little Angelica squealed wiggling free of Lance and running to her mother who scoped her up into her arms lavishing her with kisses. Angelica was the vision of her mother except that her eyes were a little greener and her hair was raven black like her fathers.
Hunk stretched up. "Come on, lets eat!" He walked up to the still frozen Keith who was kneeling on the ground extending a hand down to each of the boys. "Hungry?" They both leapt to their feet and Hunk led them off to the food followed by the rest of the team and Coran. Keith remained sitting on the snow, lips slightly parted, staring at nothing.
Allura regarded him for a moment and then set little Angelica down. "Go on, go with your uncles." The little girl beamed and then ran after them, Pidge scooping her up into his arms. Allura then glided over to Keith, her face positively radiating. "Not hungry, my King?" He slowly shook his head. "Aren't you getting cold sitting there in the snow?" He shook his head again. She giggled dropping to her knees in front of him. "What's the matter, your majesty?" She smiled magnificently at him.
His eyes then focused on her for a moment, taking in her breathtaking beauty radiating before him. He swallowed hard. "I know that look and it isn't good." He reached out to her chin to pull her face square to his. "Do you have something you need to tell me?"
"No…nothing." Her eyes sparkled brightly at him.
He quirked an eyebrow at her, crossing his arms across his chest. "Nothing?"
She dropped her eyes taking his hand in hers. She then looked slowly back up to him through hooded eyes. "Well, nothing you need to worry about for say eight or so months."
His lips started to quiver as he avoided looking at her.
She let go of his hands and instead reached up to his neck. "You know I think I like this tradition your parents had of conceiving their children on Christmas."
"Why are you so damn fertile on Christmas anyway? I think I'm going to go away now for every Christmas from now on." He chuckled, finally meeting her gaze, instantly loosing himself in their blue depths, her motherly glow completely intoxicating. He reached out to stroke her cheek. "I love you, my wife."
She moved in closer lips just brushing. "And, I love you, my husband." They dissolved completely into one another lost in their kiss, passers by smiling at the couple, happy in knowing that their King and Queen truly love one another and their love spread through every part of the castle.
She slowly pulled back blissfully smiling at the man who had so captured her heart. "I saw the doctor today, he said everything is fine." Keith eyes fell to her belly, placing his hand there.
"Did you ask if it is a boy or a girl?"
She looked to him, coyly smiling. "It?"
He bit his lip. "Sorry, I mean the child."
She looked at him giggling and shook her head.
"So, you didn't ask about the child?"
She giggled even more and shook her head no again.
He looked at her confused. "No you didn't or no you did?"
"No, I didn't ask about the chil…dren."
"So you didn't…" His face dropped. "Ally?"
"Don't blame me! Twins don't run in my family."
"Twins! No, no, no!" He put up his hands in front of him.
She lunged at him making him drop his hands back behind him to catch himself as he leaned away from her. "Well, your majesty. " She grinned. "You should have thought of that two weeks ago. Our anniversary, remember?"
His face twisted into a wicked grin, leaning back further. "You seduced me."
"That's not how I remember it." She laughed pushing him the rest to the way to the ground to loom over him.
He pouted up at her. "I remember it well… it started just like this."
She leaned in brushing against his lips. "Is that so." She got a devious look sitting up on top of him pinning him down with her legs. She then aggressively went for his ribs tickling him. He started writhing and laughing uncontrollably under her onslaught, his laughter just egging her on more. Suddenly she became aware of the crowd of smiling onlookers that had gathered near them. She blushed beautifully dropping down to him to hide.
Keith laughed at her wrapping her up into his arms, cradling her to his chest. He looked to their audience. "If you would excuse us?"
The crowd all bowed deeply to the royal couple their giddy smiles not leaving their faces as they basked in the loving glow of their King and Queen.
Keith then tuned them out as he has had to learn how to do over the last five years. He grabbed up either side of his wife's face and met her lips in a tender yet passionate kiss. The onlookers eventually finding they had to turn away feeling that they were now intruding on a very intimate moment indeed as the King of Arus lay in the snow with his Queen atop him, both lost in a passionate lip lock that was not going to end any time soon.
The Story behind the Story
Philip Van Doren Stern wrote a short story titled 'The Greatest Gift'. He never could get anyone to buy it. He eventually gave up and had it printed up and sent it out as a Christmas card one Christmas. That's when R.K.O. Pictures came across it and bought the rights. But, being a short story it needed to be adapted for the big screen. They have several writers make an attempt at it but it never seemed right so they shelved it.
Enter Frank Capra. He found the story and bought the rights from R.K.O. He also got the other writers adaptations with the deal. But, he didn't like what they did with it. He felt that they were missing out on the biggest theme on the original tale. Of how one man can unknowingly dramatically change the events of his world. So he sat down himself using some of the other writer's ideas and wrote his own screenplay. Finally renaming it and shooting it as a motion picture. The film released in the theaters in 1946 and in spite of its star cast it was a flop.
But times were changing, and soon TVs were the thing to have and TV stations were hungry for anything to show especially at Christmas. When Frank Capra's film was made available for TV stations to play, it wasn't long before every TV station, hungry for Christmas content, played it at Christmas. And year after year it played eventually becoming one of the never to be missed movies of a many peoples holidays. THAT is how it became the Christmas classic we know it as today. And today one cannot imagine a Christmas without it. It truly isn't Christmas without 'It's a Wonderful Life.'
As for me, I figured I just do what Frank Capra did, and rewrote it yet again, using the same driving theme, one mans self doubts of his worth. I took a couple scenes almost verbatim from 'It's a Wonderful Life', only with slight changes. (Did you spot them?) Then I made all new scenes creating a new version of story and taking it to all new places. (and planets for that matter ;) )
Hope you enjoyed it.
Merry KA Christmas!