Allura glanced at the still sparking carcass of the robeast as she descended from the blue lion. She looked over at Lance as he stepped up next to her. He was holding on to his right arm. She was about to ask him how his arm was when the sound of coughing carried through the smoke and dust. A gust of wind blew the haze away and a figure appeared walking towards them.
She felt her heart leap. "Keith!" She couldn't stop herself from running towards him. His arms opened and wrapped around her as she threw her arms around his neck. She laughed with relief. He was back with them and if he was here then the rest of the team couldn't be far behind. She pulled away as Lance joined them.
"It's good to see you, old pal." Lance laughed. "You're still rockin' the mullet? Man, you have been underground for a long time." To both Lance and Allura's surprise Keith laughed along with them.
"Yeah, we'll have to do something about that. Where are Pidge and Hunk?" Allura asked as she looked around.
"Did we get him?" a voice asked from her voltcom.
Allura raised the wrist cuff up to her chest. "Pidge! You're okay. Yes, yes we did."
"Great, now you wanna come and get us?"
She frowned. "Where are you?"
"In orbit, floating," Hunk broke in.
"Why don't you just land?" Lance asked.
"'Cause Hunk destroyed our ship when we were trying to get Keith down to you."
Lance laughed and then winced. Allura glanced down at where he was cradling his arm. "Can you pilot your lion back to the castle?" She asked.
He looked down at his arm. "Honestly? I'd rather not. Movement really hurts," he responded.
Allura looked at Keith. "Since your lion is powerless at the moment could you take the red lion up and get Hunk and Pidge while I take Lance back to the castle?"
Keith nodded. "Yeah, not a problem." He looked down at Lance's arm. "What happened?" he asked quietly.
"Looks like his arm might be broken. I'm hoping it's just a bruise."
He grasped her shoulder and gave it a light squeeze. "Here's hoping. I'll be back soon." He reached out and caught the key that Lance flipped to him.
"Treat him nice," Lance said with a smirk.
"Like he was my own," Keith responded.
Allura turned to the cadets as Keith boarded the red lion. "Don't worry about taking the lions back to their caves. Just follow me to the castle. I'm sure Pidge is going to want to look them over when he gets here."
Lance laughed. "Yeah, here's hoping that he stops to see us first." He winced as his arm was jostled.
"Yeah, he does seem to like us a little bit less than the lions," Allura agreed. "Come on, let's get you back to the castle." She gave him a slight push towards the blue lion. They climbed aboard the lion and she stood by and Lance lowered himself into the back seat. "You don't have to hover you know," Lance said. "I'm not injured that badly."
Allura gave him a sheepish smile. "I know, I can't help it though. I just got you back."
He grinned. "And I'm still here. Not going anywhere. It's just a broken arm."
"Yeah, I know." She took her seat and fired up the blue lion. She made sure to make a smooth take off and took the most direct route to the castle. She winced as Lance grunted when the lion took the landing a little stronger than she'd planned. "Sorry," she apologized.
"Hey, it's been six years since you've piloted this guy. I'm impressed with how smooth you've been."
"Are you insinuating that I'm a bad pilot?"
"No!" Lance refuted. "I would never say anything like-" Allura looked back at him and grinned. "Oh very funny. Tease the injured man."
"You did kind of put yourself right into that." She stood up. "Come on. Let's get you to the doctor." Lance followed her down the stairs and out to the catwalk. The watched as Daniel brought the yellow lion in to the bay. He did a pretty good job but the landing was rougher than was really optimal. Both Allura and Lance cringed as Vince and Larmina brought the green lion in. The lion bounced off of the entrance and practically crashed into the catwalk.
Vince apologized profusely as he stumbled out of the lion. His words came to a halt as Allura held up her hand.
"It's okay, Vince. You haven't been trained on the lions. You can't expect to pilot them very well at first. You should have seen my first attempt at piloting." She held up a finger as Lance opened his mouth to speak. "Say nothing, Commander."
She turned back to the cadets. "Why don't you guys head back to your rooms. Have some food sent to you. Let the adrenaline fade away."
Daniel looked towards the bay doors. "Yeah, okay," he said reluctantly.
"Hey, you'll have plenty of time to meet and get to know Keith, I promise," Lance said to him.
Daniel nodded and the cadets started down the catwalk. Lance looked at Allura and laughed as he shook his head. "I'm not sure what we're gonna do about that kid."
Allura crossed her arms and narrowed her eyes at him. "He'll be fine. But that's not what you need to worry about. Let's go."
He held up his hand in surrender and headed for the infirmary. Halfway to the doctor Councilor Deltrek stopped them. "Princess, the council needs to speak to you. Immediately."
She glanced at Lance and then looked back at Deltrek. "I'll be at the council room after I take Commander Lance to the infirmary."
Deltrek's face took on a sour look before he bowed slightly. He glared at Lance before turning and walking away.
"Gee, I don't think he likes me anymore than he did before I left. If anything I think it's gotten worse," Lance said through clenched teeth.
Allura gave his arm a concerned glance. "Yes, he was very unhappy to find out that the team was coming back to Arus. He was one of the biggest proponents of Wade's plan to mothball Voltron."
"Why? I never understood."
"He wanted the Voltron Force to be comprised entirely of Arusians. He always hated the fact every one of the pilots but me were from Earth."
"Well, technically Pidge isn't from Earth," Lance protested. He grinned at the exasperated look she gave him.
"He was sent from the Galaxy Alliance. You know that they are synonymous with each other." She grinned when he snorted at her statement. "Come on. Hanging around here talking isn't going to do your arm any good and if I'm later than fifteen minutes to brief the council, they'll keep me in there for the next three years of my life and you'll have to find another pilot for the blue lion."
Lance laughed. "Come on, Princess. We don't want you to be stuck with them for that long."
They headed to the infirmary where the doctor greeted them. "Princess," he nodded to her. "Commander Lance, congratulations on the promotion. It was long overdue but I was quite sad that it required your leaving us."
"Thanks, Doc, but I'm back for good now. I doubt the GA is going to be interested in taking me back as an officer. Maybe as a prisoner though."
"And they'd have to fight us to get to you," Allura said. "It looks like he might have broken his arm during the robeast attack," she said to the doctor. "I'll leave him in your capable hands while I go brief the council on what happened and what plans we have in place."
"We have plans?" Lanced asked.
"Well you might not, but I have an entire planet to worry about. I have plans for the next fifty years."
"I love an organized ruler."
Allura gave his shoulder a pat before giving the doctor a smile as she left the infirmary. The smile quickly left her face as she headed towards the council room. She was not looking forward to the panic that was sure to be the main emotion amongst the councilors.
Voltron Force Bedroom