Late Night Activities
Pidge watched the various monitors for any signs of trouble. However, so far it had been quiet night. Glancing at the time, he was relieved he had only forty-five more minutes before his shift was over, and then he could head to bed.
He heard the door to the Control Room open. Leaning back in his chair, Pidge was surprised to see Keith enter. He sat up straight as the captain approached.
“Hey, Keith, what’s up?” the youngster asked, turning his attention back to the monitors. At this hour, Keith was usually prowling the grounds before taking his shift in the Control Room. So, why was the captain here?
“Pretty peaceful tonight,” Keith remarked, pulling Pidge from his thoughts. “Anything I should know about.”
“Nope. Like you said, it’s pretty peaceful tonight.”
Keith nodded. “Well, why don’t you go ahead and turn in. I’ll cover the rest of your shift.”
“That’s okay, Skip,” Pidge said hurriedly. “I want to do my fair share.”
“I know you do, Pidge. You’re doing a good job. Now, go ahead and turn in. Or do I have to make it an order?”
Although the last statement was intended to be a joke, Pidge heard the underlying impatience in the captain’s voice. Taking the hint, he vacated his chair and gave a salute. “Night, Keith.”
“Good night, Pidge. See you at morning practice.”
As he came to the door of the Control Room, Pidge paused. Keith was already seated and watching the monitors. Giving up on understanding the captain, Pidge headed toward bed.
* * * * *
With a sigh, Allura signed the last required document. Hopefully, she would be caught up with her paperwork for a while. Turning off the lights, she left her office.
Dr. Gorma was still guarded in his opinion of Coran’s chances. They all knew it wasn’t a good sign that the castle advisor hadn’t regained consciousness yet. However, Allura made herself cling to hope.
She tried not to think about what it would mean to lose him. It would be like losing her father again. Coran was the one who pulled her through that dark period. What would she do without him?
She knew she couldn’t sleep right now, morning practice or not. As she passed through the corridors of the castles, she merely nodded at the guards, who bowed slightly. When she entered the infirmary, the nurse rose.
“Your Highness, you shouldn’t be here,” she stated.
The princess paused, gazing thoughtfully at the door beyond the nurse’s shoulder. “I know, but I need to see him.”
“Please. Dr. Gorma said that speaking might help Coran wake up faster. I promise not to stay long.”
The nurse studied her for a long moment. Then, she nodded. “I will be checking on both of you in about fifteen minutes. That should be long enough, Your Highness.”
“Thank you.” With a grateful smile, Allura entered the deathly quiet room.
* * * * *
“I’ll be back tomorrow,” Allura concluded as the nurse entered the room. “I promise, Coran.”
With a final word of thanks to the nurse, Allura left the infirmary and began to wander around the castle. She knew that sleep was still far away. As she passed down one hallway, she met Pidge.
“Hey, Princess,” he greeted, his glasses shining in the dim light. “Can’t sleep?”
She smiled. “Not just yet. Aren’t you supposed to be in the Control Room?”
“Keith relieved me. I guess he got done with his patrols early. So, I get to turn in early. See you at morning practice.”
“Good night, Pidge.”
As the boy left, Allura smiled. She wasn’t that surprised to learn that Keith was in the Control Room, doing an extra shift. That’s how Keith dealt with things. He escaped through his work.
Constructing a plan, the princess headed to the kitchen. She wanted to know what was bothering Keith. She needed him to talk to her about it.