The sudden burst of sunlight awoke Allura the next morning. Carefully pulling herself into a sitting position, the princess noticed that Nanny was by the window with her hand clutching the recently drawn curtain. Hearing the rustle of the sheets, Nanny turned to the princess and smiled. Letting go of the curtain, the older woman bent over a nearby chair and retrieved a silver tray.

"Good morning, Princess. Sleep well?"

"Yes, Nanny, I did."

"Good, I brought your breakfast since Dr. Gorma ordered you to stay in bed today. But the boys promised to visit after breakfast."

"Good," Allura replied, smiling. She loathed the idea of staying confined to bed all day but the promise of visitors roused her spirits. Plus, this little "break" would allow her to catch up on some official paperwork, which had been piling up.

"After breakfast, we will see if we can't get you cleaned. You cannot receive guests in your present condition, Princess. Well, I will let you enjoy your breakfast in peace. I will be back in a few minutes."

"Thank you, Nanny."

The older woman turned and left the room. Leaning back, Allura inhaled the delicious aroma. Then, remembering her promised visitors and Nanny's return, Allura began eating quickly. As soon as the last bite was swallowed and the juice cup was emptied, Nanny returned.

"Good, you still have your appetite. Just let me take that tray and we'll work on getting you presentable."

With some careful maneuvering, Allura was able to take a sponge bath and change into a new gown and robe. Nanny then brushed the princess's golden hair until it shined as it hung down Allura's back. Satisfied with the princess's appearance, Nanny adjusted the covers around the princess and picked up the breakfast tray.

"I will take this to the kitchen and tell Coran and the boys that they can visit now. Princess, please do not wear yourself out. If you get tired, ask them to leave. They will understand."

"I promise, Nanny," Allura replied sincerely.

She didn't have to wait long for a knock on her door. After giving her permission for the person to enter, Allura smiled to see her guardian and advisor enter the room.

"Good morning, Princess Allura," Coran greeted with a bow. "How do you feel this morning?"

"Very good, Coran. Thank you. How are things at the castle this morning?"

"Satisfactorily, Your Highness. There has been no signs of any activity from Lotor's forces and Sven is scheduled to arrive shortly."

"Good. After Sven has arrived and has had a chance to rest, ask him to see me. I would like to thank him for his help in person."

"As you wish, Princess. Is there anything you would like from your office?"

"Yes, I will need to work on the stack of papers on my desk. If you could have one of the servants to bring later this afternoon, I can work on them in here."

"I will bring them myself." The conversation paused. All the formalities had been conducted and there seemed no appropriate small talk. Coran coughed and straightened his coat.

"If you will excuse me, Your Highness, I have duties to see to in the Control Room. I will send the team in to see you, if you wish."

"Yes, I would like to see them, Coran. Thank you."

A series of knocks brought a smile from the princess. Her "come in" relayed the happiness that the visit brought her. The happiness grew with the volume of her laughter as Allura saw her first guest.

Pidge led the procession, carrying a spring bouquet half his size. With elaborate formality, the team's smallest member placed the flowers in the princess's lap. He stepped aside and the ceremony was repeated by Hunk, Lance, and then Keith.

Allura gathered the flowers in her arms and inhaled the fragrances. With a big smile, she thanked each of her friends. She erupted in giggles again by each reaction.

Pidge turned red from his neck to his ears. Hunk shrugged and then quickly left, muttering about finding a vase for the flowers. This suggestion was seconded by Pidge, who quickly followed his friend. Lance gave a cocky grin, rocked on his heels, and then turned, following his retreating teammates.

Only Keith was left. He scratched his head, obviously debating whether or not to join the quest for the vase. Deciding to stay, Keith took the chair by the window. He turned the chair to face the princess and settled back. Following suit, Allura leaned against the pillows.

"How are you feeling, Princess?" Keith inquired.

"Very good. How are you and the team?"

Keith seemed taken back by the question, but it was only for a moment. "The team is doing fine. None of the guys slept until you were out of surgery and Dr. Gorma said you would do fine. And there hasn't been any sign of Lotor, but we're staying alert."

"When will Sven get here?"

"He should be here in a few hours."

"Actually he's here now," called a voice from the doorway.

"Sven!" the two cried in unison.

Keith rose to greet his friend who entered the room with a similar bouquet of spring flowers. Sven bowed to the princess and presented the flowers to her with grave formality.

"I hope you will forgive my intrusion, Princess, but I wanted to see my friends as soon as I had arrived."

"I am glad you did, Sven," Allura answered with a gracious smile. "I want to thank you for helping the team while I get better. You don't know how much I appreciate this."

"No, I thank you, Princess. I have been wanting to visit. I just wish there had been better circumstances."

Allura smiled at the kind remark and gestured for the two men to be seated. They chatted until Hunk, Lance, and Pidge returned with a large glass flower vase. After all the flowers were deposited and the vase placed in the perfect position, the six friends settled in to visit.

Allura completely relaxed, enjoying herself completely. She realized how much the team had missed their comrade and she had missed his calming sense of humor. Suddenly, the castle's alarm went off. The five men rose from their chairs and turned to the princess.

"I'm sorry, Princess, but it looks like Lotor didn't enjoy his break," Keith stated. "We'd better go see what we are up against."

"Yes," Allura answered, trying to keep a happy face. "Good luck, team."

"Thank you, Princess," Keith answered for the team. The team vanished from the room and Allura was left alone.

She looked at the doorway until the tears welling in her eyes blurred her vision. Falling against the bed, Allura released her tears. Her injury prevented her from protecting her planet and her people. This was one battle that she could not fight.

Her thoughts turned to the men who would fight this battle instead: the men who had arrived to save her planet over three years ago, who had risked their lives repeatedly for her and would continue to do so, who had become more than just teammates or friends. They were her family now, she realized.

"I won't let them down. I will get better," she vowed aloud. "I will protect my people. It is my responsibility."