Allura eased herself out of the wheelchair and onto the seat of the weight machine.

After storming out of dinner, she had gone to her chamber. Still restless, she changed into some workout clothes and headed toward the weight room. She knew it would be deserted at this time of night.

Settling into a more comfortable position, Allura reached up for the bar below her feet. Since she couldn't use her legs, she might as well strengthen her arms. She soon lost count of her repetitions as she analyzed her actions of the past few days.

'What a brat I've been,' she chided herself. 'A truly royal brat.'

Her arms kept pulling the bar to her chest and then relaxing the tension in a controlled fashion without her conscious thought. Sweat began to run down her body and the bar became slick. Still, the princess didn't notice, lost in thought. Suddenly the bar slipped from her grasp. Her left arm swung behind her, banging her wrist against another piece of equipment. The bar, flying back to its original position, popped both of her shins.

Allura hugged her left arm against her chest, sobbing. She couldn't do anything right now. 'No wonder the team was so happy to have Sven back. I will just have to offer to let Sven take back control of the blue lion,' she thought, tears streaming down her cheeks.

But the thought torn her heart apart. Being a part of the Voltron Force, actively fighting for her people, had made her feel alive for the first time in a long time. She couldn't give it up that easily. Besides, such an offer would make Sven have to decide between the team and Romelle. That wouldn't be fair to him.

'I wish I had somebody like that,' she thought, remembering the way that Sven and Romelle looked at each other. The captain's face appeared in her mind.

'No,' she thought, shaking her head, 'he would never see me as Allura, only as the princess.'

The pain in her arms and legs dulled into an ache. Wiping away her tears, Allura began to transfer herself back into the wheelchair. As she gingerly sat down in her seat, she noticed someone by the door of the weight room.

Keith was standing there, studying her every move. Suddenly self-conscious, Allura wondered how long he had been standing there. Had he seen her cry?

She sat regally erect in the wheelchair and turned it so she could face the captain directly. As if to answer her challenge, Keith stood straighter, too. She began to wheel herself to the door he was standing by.

"Good evening, Princess," he said, giving her a small bow.

"Good evening, Captain." She continued to wheel herself to the door but Keith made a move toward her. She stopped and gazed at him expectantly.

"Princess, would you join me for a stroll of the garden?"

"Are you trying to placate me, Keith?"

"Placate you, Princess?" he asked. "No, if anyone should apologize for dinner tonight, it should be you."

"Me?" she cried.

"Yes, you, Your Highness," he replied evenly.

"The only thing that happened tonight was that I was tired and wished to rest in my room. What's wrong with that?"

"There's nothing wrong with that, Princess, if that was the reason. But you've been avoiding your friends and your duties."

It felt as if he had slapped her.

"Avoiding my friends and duties! You and Coran seem to make it a point to continuously lecture me on my duties. I know my responsibilities, Captain. I can take care of myself!"

She make an attempt to move past him toward the door, but he shifted, completely blocking her way. Anger seeped through his self-control, crackling in the air. Allura realized that he was now closest to losing his control. Cautiously, she backed her wheelchair away from him.

"Your ability to take care of yourself is not in question at the moment, Princess, though it could be." That last phrase hung in the air, surprising the both of them. Keith then visibly soften. "You're worrying us, Princess. You're worrying us a lot."

That soothed her somewhat, except that he had easily insulted her in the breath before that. "I'm sorry I have everyone so worried. I don't mean to. I'm fine. Really."

"What's eating you, Princess?" Keith asked, not letting the matter drop that easily. "Yes, your leg will heal, but more than that is going on. Even you must realize that."

"A teacher, a soldier, and a psychiatrist." Her sarcasm grew with each word. "I never knew I was so lucky." Dismissing the conversation and him with a wave of her hand, she wheeled herself to the door. "Good night, Captain."

He stood in front of her again, blocking her way to the door. He lowered his face to hers until they were eye level. His eyes searched for something in hers." I'm your friend, Allura. You must know that."

"Friendship only goes so far, Keith," she said softly. With that, Allura turned to the door and wheeled herself out.

"Can we go any farther?" he asked aloud, sure that the princess was gone. For once, the answer troubled him.

* * * * *

"What have I done?" Keith asked himself that question a hundred times as he paced along a path in a secluded part of the castle grounds.

He did care more for her than what friendship called for, he finally admitted to himself. Yet, it wasn't that simple. She was royalty, a princess, and bound to marry a prince.

'If only things were different,' he thought but stopped any such idea. A hundred million different things would have to change if there was to be anything more than friendship between him and the princess. While he was one for hope, he tended to be more realistic.

He would still be her friend. He gave his word to protect her and Arus and meant it now more than ever. Besides, Allura was getting better, physically and emotionally, everyday. Things would go back to normal soon he hoped.

"Depressing the hell out of yourself, aren't you?" Lance stood in front of his friend, stopping his pacing.

"Go away, Lance," he warned. "I'm not in the mood."

"Man, that funk of the princess must be catching!"

Keith grinned in spite of himself. Lance and his quirky sense of humor could cure just about anything. 'And he knows just when and how to use it,' Keith thought.

"All right," Keith said aloud, "what do you want?"

"When are you going to tell the princess?" Lance asked bluntly.

"Tell her what?"

"Glad you remembered to take those stupid pills this morning, Keith," Lance's tone biting with sarcasm. "Or maybe, you think we are all blind. Tell her your feelings. It's hurting you both."

"It's not that easy, Lance," Keith said, kicking a stone from the walkway.

"Sure it is," Lance proclaimed. "You love her. She loves or hates you, depending on the conversation you two had had before a particular moment."

Keith grinned again at the summation of his relationship with the princess.

"If you will finally admit your feelings to each other," Lance continued, "then bam!-happily ever after."

"Fairies died out a long time ago, Lance," Keith said, turning to resume his pacing.

"Yeah, maybe," Lance conceded with a thoughtful expression. "Yet, in all those stories, love was the greatest force of all."

With that, Lance left, leaving the captain to his thoughts once more.