Quick Disclaimer: Voltron is the property of WEP.
This is a sequel to "Something To Remember Her By". It takes place a year after the defeat of Doom. Sven has given in to his emotions (with a little coaxing from his friends that it was all right to give in and have a little fun once in a while) and declared his love for Princess Romelle. Romelle returns his love and has the blessing of the family to allow him to court her, which she desires. They have, formally, announced their engagement and are now making preparations for their wedding.
It is time consuming and hard work but Romelle doesn't seem to mind as she plans most of it to allow Sven to relax and take in the situation. She would like to see him help more but knows his heart isn't in it. She knows doing things like this isn't something he is readily able to do. It is close to Christmas and they plan to have the wedding on Christmas day as their gift to the people of Pollux.
The only damper on the festivities is Sven. The closer it gets to Christmas the worse he feels. He knows he shouldn't be feeling the way he does but he can't help it. He has always wanted his mother to see him get married but she had passed away while he was still at Galaxy Garrison Academy, and a Christmas wedding too.
When he had realized that fact he sank into a deep depression and nobody could bring him out of it. Not even Romelle. She knew it would take a miracle to get him to come around. Little did she know a Christmas miracle was exactly what she was going to get.
Sven wandered listlessly through the Royal Gardens. His hands were clasped behind his back and his head was down. He found it chilly but not cold. The garden had lost its splendor during the fall and now looked like dead stalks and husks of trees sticking out of the ground.
It had snowed quite a bit but a lot of it had melted with the rains that sometimes fell during the early winter and only a light skim of snow was left. Just enough to cover things.
He couldn't have felt any lower if he tried. The wedding was getting closer as the days went by. That wasn't so bad but the fact that one thing he wanted most for his wedding was never going to happen.
His mother swore she would be around to see her son's wedding no matter what. But circumstances hadn't worked out that way. She never had got the chance to see how her son had turned out, that had stung, but what had stung more than anything was the fact that she had been unable to keep her promise to him. She was not going to be able to see him get married. It, definitely, put a damper on his Christmas spirit.
He tried to be cheerful but found it hard and the closer it got to Christmas, the harder it got. He felt like he was going to go out of his mind. He brushed the snow off a small stone bench and sat down. He knew what he had to do. He had to make peace with himself, he had to say goodbye. He had to go back to his home, his mother's home.
He had to see it again; he had to talk to her. He wanted to, formally, invite her to the wedding. If she was still lingering around, which he sincerely hoped she wasn't, he hoped she would hear him and come even if it was in spirit only.
A shadow fell over him, then, and he looked up sharply. Romelle stood over him wrapped warmly in a heavy cloak.
"I brought you your jacket. I thought you might be cold." She brought out from the folds of her cloak a thick winter jacket. Black as night, the only coloring it had was the silver zipper and snaps on the cuffs and hood.
Sven took it and snuggled into it. "Thank you." Romelle sat down beside him and he gave her a slight smile, "I was starting to feel a chill there."
"Not much wonder. It worries me sometimes. You get so lost in your thoughts and wander around. I think sometimes you could walk off a cliff and not even realize it until you were planted in the ground below."
"I know, it's a bad habit. Look, Romelle, I have something I have to do. It's very important to me and it requires I go to Earth for a few days."
"So close to our wedding?" Romelle looked startled.
"Yes. It won't take more than a week. There are some ghosts that I have to make peace with before I feel that I can truly be at peace with myself and enjoy my marriage."
"I understand," Romelle leaned over and gave Sven a light peck on the cheek, a small smile sat on her lips, "go and do what you need to do and I'll be waiting here waiting for you."
"Thank you, Romelle."
It was an hour later that found Sven packing a few things in a backpack; Romelle was sitting on the edge of his bed.
"I'll miss you while you're gone."
"I know but I'll try to be back as soon as I can."
"I know you will." Romelle got up and went over to him. She lightly touched his shoulders and he turned around, "I want you to be careful."
"I will." Sven lightly pecked her on the cheek, "I'll try to be back as soon as I can and that way we can continue with the wedding."
Romelle smiled softly and left him to finish packing. As Sven finished his gaze shifted over to a picture of him and Romelle that had been taken at her birthday. He had to admit they did look good together.
He gave the picture a quick smile as he went to meet his shuttle. He was quiet on the journey to Earth. His mind lost in their thoughts. He didn't realize how fast the time went until he felt the pilot touching his shoulder and telling him that they had landed.
Sven looked up at him for a few minutes, startled, then thanked him. He gathered up his stuff and stepped out into the bright sunlight. He hailed a taxi and told the driver to take him directly to his mother's old house. He didn't have time to rest, the sooner he did this and got it over with the sooner he could get back to Romelle.
The driver looks back at him, startled, "Are you sure you want to go there?"
"Yes, why? What's wrong?"
"Nothing sir, it's just there' nothing there anymore. It's been a forest for quite awhile now."
"That used to be Claymoore Settlement. I grew up there. Do you know if it has been destroyed?"
"No, that's a pretty old settlement. The houses were probably moved to an area where they could be cared for better."
"Yeah, Mom used to tell me how a lot of people still clung to the old values and refused to give them up. Especially the older people, so the New Alliance made allowances for them. It reminded people that sometimes the simpler ways were really the better ways."
"The only problem is that now that the older people and their family lines are dying out, the younger generations are giving up the old ways and looking toward the more modern side of society."
"Could you take me to where I might be able to find where Claymoore Settlement has been moved to?"
"Sure, that would be the local town hall, you should be able to find everything you need there."
"Thank you." The driver started up the taxi and drove off. Sven was quiet the rest of the journey. Even with all the technological advances there were still the few family lines that had survived for hundreds of years that refused to change to ways of their ancestors. Sven's family line had been one of them. The Anderson family line had been strong at one time but as their interests died out they realized things were changing and, gracefully, bowed out of the rat race for control.
They settled into a quiet life with the money that they had accumulated to support them. When Sven's father, Lee Anderson, had met Sven's mother, Amanda Hamilton, she was just a quiet country girl and that's what attracted Lee to her.
After they had gotten married they moved to Claymoore Settlement to be away from the noise of the city. A little while later Sven, named Sven-Patrick after a relative of Lee, was born.
Sven was startled out of his thoughts when he felt the cab come to a stop. He looked up at the driver, "We here all ready?"
"Yeah, this is the place."
Sven slowly got out and paid the man.
"Do you want me to wait for ya?"
"No, I don't know how long I'll be. If you happen to be around when I come out, I'll flag you down."
"Sure thing. Take 'er cool."
"No prob." Sven smiled then turned and went into city hall. Sven slowly approached the large desk in the middle of a huge lobby. The woman sitting there slowly raised her head to look at him.
"Is there something I can help you with?"
"I don't know. I'm trying to find the new location of the Claymoore settlement. One house in particular, the Anderson homestead."
"That could require some digging. A lot of the old settlements have fallen into disrepair or have fallen down and been destroyed. No one wants to take care of them anymore, costs too much and takes up too much time. No one cares anymore so no one visits them. Nobody cares about the past anymore."
"Please, dig. I have time. This is very important to me."
The woman smiled sweetly as she got up and came around the desk. "Follow me." She led him up a set of steps to a back room. It looked like it hadn't been used very much. There were a few desks with computer terminals at each one and the walls were lined with books, which were lined with a thin layer of dust.
"This is where we keep detailed plans of the colonies and changes to their size and population. These records go back almost two thousand years. The only people that ever visit this room are contractors. They remind me of vultures circling, just waiting for an historic building to be declared derelict so they can destroy it and turn it into one of those fancy shopping malls. God, it pisses me off."
"Are you serious? Then maybe I'm too late, maybe Claymoore don't exist anymore."
"Well, we'll know in a minute." The woman sat down at one of the computer terminals and turned it on. Sven sat down beside her, watching. After a few minutes of typing she looked over at him.
"You can breathe now. Claymoore still exists but it has been removed from its original location. About fifty of the original hundred houses have managed to survive. Five years ago they made the highway going out that way larger but they couldn't touch the houses because of their historic value so a compromise was made.
"The houses were moved instead of torn down but the construction company had to pay to have them moved. They did, the only thing was it took all their money to do it and it put them out of commission. It took all the funds they had for that year but for some reason, when they had the money again, they never did build the highway."
"What a waste."
"Yes, the move weakened a lot of the houses and they crumbled and fell down. There aren't many left standing. Nobody wanted to take the responsibility, let alone take the money, to fix them up, so there they sit falling apart."
"Does it say if the Anderson homestead is still standing?" "According to these records it still is but that could've changed. It was a sturdy house during the move but it might have weakened it, so who knows."
"Could you print off a map? I have to go there, I have to see. There's something I have to do."
"Visit some ghosts, huh?"
"Yeah, you could say that."
She got up and went to a printer at another desk and watched the paper scroll up. She tore it off and brought it over to him.
"I hope you're good at reading these things because I haven't a clue. The only thing I know is that they're in relation to here, I think."
"In other words, if I walked out the door and looked at the 'you are here' symbol and went from there I would find the Claymoore Settlement?"
"Now you got it."
"Thanks." Sven replied with a small smile on his lips. He clutched the map tightly as he left the building. As he looked around a cab pulled up to the sidewalk. Sven quickly recognized the driver as the guy that had brought him there. Sven went over and got in.
"Are you any good at following maps or taking directions from one?"
"Sure, just call out the streets and I should get an idea of where're you're going."
"Okay, here goes." Sven started to call out directions and the driver deftly guided the car through the streets. Within an hour the Claymoore Settlement came into view.
"There it is." The driver stopped his car just outside a huge iron gate that seemed to encircle the settlement. "Well, this looks like this is as far as I can go."
Sven paid the man as he got out, "Don't wait for me. I don't know how long I'll be. Though I will need a ride back into town. Could you be back here in about an hour and a half?"
"Sure, not a problem. If you're not here I'll come looking for you. Some of those old houses aren't in the greatest of shapes, you could fall through a floor or something."
"Thank you for your concern. I'll try to be careful. I will be at the Anderson homestead, if I'm not here. It's this house here." Sven pointed to a square on the map as he handed it to the driver.
"No prob. See you then." He replied as he drove off.
Sven took a deep breath and slid open the iron gate. Within a few minutes he was standing in front of his old home, the Anderson Homestead.
It didn't look all that dilapidated but it sure did need some repair work and a whole lot of loving.
He hadn't been back to this house since his mother had taken him away from it when he was twelve. She couldn't stand the abuse of her husband any longer. After they had left they had drifted around for a while before she could make enough money for them to be able to settle down properly.
He never knew the reason why his father had started drinking and doubted he ever would but, in his mind, it had destroyed a perfectly good marriage. He knew it had broken his mother's heart to leave her home but for their own protection they had to. They found out that a few years after they had left his father had drank himself to death in a bar one night. He went in, drank most of the evening away, got up to leave and fell to the floor dead.
According to the autopsy, it had been alcohol poisoning, he had been drinking heavily long before he had gone to the bar so the bar nor the bartender had been charged with anything.
Sven shook his head to clear his thoughts and reached up to turn the doorknob. It was, surprisingly, unlocked. He, carefully, stepped inside and closed the door behind him. The house hadn't really changed that much, there were still some furniture and pictures on the wall. Except for the dust it looked pretty much how he had left it. There were even some dishes in the cupboard.
Sven smiled to himself. His mother had been so meticulous about where she put things in there. Plates on one shelf, cups and glasses on another. His father just shoved them onto any old shelf and that's how they looked right now. Nothing had been touched since his father's death, except for the moving of the settlement.
Sven slowly started up the stairs to the second floor. His father had inherited this house from his parents but never lived in it until he had met Amanda. Lee's grandparents had been Swedish and had come to America because they thought it would bring them prosperity and it had.
When Lee was born, Lee's grandparents gave their children American names so that they would fit in better and keep their newfound power flowing. They were raking in the big bucks and they didn't want to jinx it by keeping any strange and hard to spell names in the family.
But when Sven was born, Lee wanted to keep the old and the new alive so he gave Sven a combination of both. Sven was given the name Micheal Sven-Patrick Anderson, Micheal being a good common name and Sven-Patrick after his, (Lee's) grandfather.
His parents had always called him Micheal but, for some reason, Sven didn't take to that name. He didn't like it and chose to use Sven whenever he was out with his friends or in school. Only his parents were allowed to call him Micheal, any one else that did, did so on pain of a very brutal beating. Sven had been known to put kids in the hospital over that name.
Sven stopped up short and all thoughts vanished from his head when he heard the creaking of the step and the sagging under his weight. A sharp snap sounded and his foot went through with a resounding crunch.
Sven let out a howl of pain and fear as he pulled his foot out of the hole.
He tried to hop and turn around on his good foot but found himself losing his balance and plunging back down the stairs. The last thing he knew was the taste of blood in his mouth and the intense pain that engulfed his entire body as he slowly lost unconsciousness.
When Sven, slowly, opened his eyes he was unsure of how much time had passed. He rolled over onto his stomach and sat up, the pain was gone. He rubbed his eyes slowly and looked around. The house had a fresh look to it, like it had just been cleaned. A shadow fell over him just then and he looked up quickly. Lance stood there. He was dressed in his regular clothes but, for some reason, they looked wrong on him.
"It's about time you woke up. I was just about to pour a bucket of water over your head. Now, come on, get up, I got some things I gotta show you."
Sven got up quickly and followed Lance upstairs.
"What's going on? What are you doing here?"
"I'm a messenger, sort to speak. I have to show you a few things. You're, actually, still unconscious at the bottom of the stairs but don't worry. That cab driver will find you. You'll be fine."
"What have you got to show me? This had better be good."
"Oh, it is. Its October 3rd, your birthday. It's the happiest day of your parent's lives. You were born in this very house, just as they wanted."
Sven and Lance went into Sven's parent's bedroom. Amanda lay, exhausted, on the bed with Lee sitting beside her holding a newborn baby. The doctor was preparing to leave.
"Isn't he beautiful?" Amanda looked up at her husband adoringly. "Yeah, but what are we going to name him?"
"I've been giving that a lot of thought the last few days and I was thinking that I want you to name him."
"Yes. You helped me get through this. I don't know how I would have dealt with this without you by my side."
"I've thought about a name too. I want his first name to be something sturdy, something plain and simple, something American. I was thinking, what about Micheal?"
"He has to have at least one middle name but I thought, why can't he have two?"
"No law against it."
"I would like Sven-Patrick, after my grandfather."
"Than that's what his name shall be; Micheal Sven-Patrick Anderson."
Lance took Sven by the arm and took him out of the room.
"See, she loved you from day one."
"Yeah, I see."
"Come on down to the living room and see what's in store for you there."
"God, Lance, you sound like a game show host."
"Thank you. Now, take a look at that: your first Christmas."
Sven watched as Amanda proudly helped her little boy play with his new toys, Lee watched contently.
"She was always around you, helping you. She loved you more than life itself. She was even there for that all-important crisis when you were eight. Remember Karla Robertson?"
"Not right off hand."
"Then follow me." Lance led the way to the kitchen. A sad eight-year-old Sven sat at the kitchen table. His mother was busy making cookies. She smiled brightly as she handed him the beaters but he pushed them away.
Seeing her son obviously upset, she laid the beaters down and sat down beside him.
"Want to tell Mommy all about it?"
"That new girl, Karla, she hates me."
"What makes you say that?"
"I think she's a pretty girl and I went over to talk to her but she turned her nose up and walked away. She said she didn't want to associate with trash like me."
"Why would she call you trash?"
"Because she's sophisticated and I'm the class clown."
"Well, I'll tell you right now, Micheal Sven-Patrick Anderson, I don't care what anyone thinks of you I will always be proud of you and I love you."
"Thanks Mom, I love you too."
Lance turned from the scene to look at Sven, 'Convinced?"
"Yeah," Sven's voice hitched slightly, "yeah."
"Good, then my work here is done. I gotta go 'cause your time is up. The cabbie is coming to find you. Once he touches you, you'll wake up so I'll have to go."
"Lance, please, do you know if Mom is still here? Is here spirit here?"
"That, I don't know. I'm just in your mind; I'm not a ghost. I can't sense things along that plane. But she's probably happy. Be of good cheer and everything will work out for the best, you'll see."
Sven closed his eyes and when he opened them again he was on the floor with the cabbie leaning over them.
"I knew something would break. These old houses aren't too sturdy anymore. I shouldn't have left you alone. But, don't worry, I called for help. An ambulance should be here in a few minutes, so in the meantime, you just lay still."
Sven closed his eyes; he wanted to relive the memories Lance had so graciously shown him. When he opened his eyes again he discovered he was in a hospital bed. The real Lance was looking out a window at the foot of the bed.
"Lance?" Sven found his voice was a little rough.
Lance turned and came to him. He sat down on the edge of the bed.
"Do you realize Romelle is having a cow? She thinks you're on your death bed."
"What's the matter with me?"
"You have a broken ankle and a bad concussion but the doctors say you can go home tomorrow. You should be okay to travel by then."
"Did you tell Romelle what was wrong?"
"Yeah, but she wouldn't believe me so I had to call Keith and Allura and get them to tell her. They radioed me back and told her they got her to see reason, that you were going to be okay and not dying."
"She has a flair for the overly dramatic."
"So I noticed but, I suppose, she has a right to be after all the shit that you guys have been through."
"Lance, I'm really sleepy, I would like to rest."
"Sure buddy." Lance patted his shoulder, "take all the time you need."
Lance left as Sven closed his eyes and went to sleep.
When Sven opened his eyes, Lance was sitting by the window reading a book.
"Hey, since when do you read sappy romances?"
Lance looked up and a big grin spread across his face.
"For your information, I wouldn't be caught dead reading a sappy romance. This just happens to be a new horror novel by that Cerio Mando."
"Yeah, I remember reading one of his books before. Gave me the willies for weeks. "
"I know, this is seriously creeping me out and I ain't even half way through yet. But, anyway, you feel ready to head back to Pollux?"
Sven gave a slight stretch, "You bet."
Lance helped him to get dressed and into Red Lion.
"We're riding in style today?"
"Quicker, easier and a lot more smoother ride."
"You wanna believe it too. Safer too."
Lance gave a soft smile, "You wanna talk about what happened back there or are you gonna bottle it up and I have to pry out the cork?"
"No, the cork is loose enough as it is. I keep thinking about Mom, I wanted her to be at my wedding so bad."
"Your mom's dead, Sven."
"I know that." Sven's voice was a little sharp with irritation, "it just got to me after awhile. She promised me that she would be there but she died when I was at Galaxy Garrison
"I guess it got to me more than I realized because I sank into a depression and I couldn't concentrate on the wedding or anything. Everyone could see it and it was really upsetting Romelle.
"So, I decided to go back to the Anderson Homestead to make peace with myself and, formally, invite Mom to the wedding. And I know what you're thinking, I'm screwy.
"Whether her ghost was there or not, and I prayed it wasn't, I would invite her and that way I would feel better. I never got the chance. A step broke and I fell down them. I had the strangest dream while I was unconscious.
"You gave me a guided tour of some of the really great times I had with Mom. You were dripping with nice, it was disgusting not to mention disturbing."
"I see." Lance gave a slight wink then turned his attention back to flying as Pollux approached.
"We're here." Lance landed the Red Lion and helped Sven out. Romelle, who had been waiting since she had learned that Lance was bringing Sven home, almost suffocated him with hugs and kisses.
"You had me worried to death. What were you trying to do to me? Give me a heart attack? Come on, you're going to bed and staying there for a few days, no ands, ifs, buts or maybes."
Sven looked over his shoulder at Lance who was getting a huge chuckle out of it.
"Help me." He mouthed silently.
"Touch luck, pal, she's your problem not mine. Let me know what happens." Lance headed back to his Lion and took off.
Romelle got Sven settled down in bed and, even though she fusses over him with ever little detail, like a mother hen, he did have to admit that the flight had tired him somewhat. Romelle have him a gentle hug and left him alone to sleep.
It didn't take very long for Sven to fall asleep. He wasn't sure how long he had been asleep when he heard someone calling his name. He slowly opened his eyes to see Keith standing over him.
"Keith? What are you doing here?"
"There's something I have to show you. You know you're not the only one that's having a rough go with this wedding. Romelle is trying her best to please you but thinks you're on the verge of a break down."
"I'm not though...."
"You've got to tell her that, sit down with her and talk to her. Get things out in the open. I know you're a private man, we all can be at times, but this is one time you have to be out in the open about everything."
"I find it hard but I know its hurting Romelle. I've got to go to her now."
"Can't. You're dreaming, sort to speak. But I can show her to you, I was going to do that anyway. I want to show you what your depression is doing to her then I'll leave you alone and you can go talk to her."
"How can I go to her now? My crutches are over there." Sven pointed to a corner by the window, a good distance away from the bed, "Romelle put them there so I couldn't get up while I was supposed to be resting."
"In this dream you don't need them, get up and see." Sven slowly got up and applied pressure to his bad foot. No pain followed and he found he could walk on it freely.
"Now," Keith moved towards the door, "we have an appointment to keep."
Sven let himself be led down the hallway towards Romelle's room, he could hear voices coming from inside. Like magic they passed through the door and were in the room.
Romelle sat cross-legged on her bed hugging a pillow while Bandor sat in a chair beside the window. Romelle was talking.
"I just don't know what to do anymore, Bandor. I've tried everything I could think of to make Sven happy but nothing seems to work. I know this is all so new to him but I thought this would make him happy."
"Has he talked to you about it?" Bandor pushed himself up in the chair a little to sniff the breeze that came in through Romelle's open window.
"Yes, to a degree. He's upset that his mother can't be here. She died while he was in training at Galaxy Garrison. He said she promised that she would be at his wedding no matter what, but now that's an impossibility."
"Have you tried getting him really active in helping to plan the wedding?"
"Oh Bandor, I've tried. He's done a few things but it seems like he does it with only half a heart. It's like a task or chore that he does out of necessity and not something done out of fun."
"Romelle, until Sven gets past this thing about his mother not being able to come, have you considered...."
"Yes, I have." Romelle cut him off, "I have considered calling off the wedding and now that he's hurt himself, I'm going to do it."
"It would be for the best, until he gets things straightened out and his mind on the right track. The throne of Pollux is no place for him. The stress would be too great. If he isn't on the verge of snapping now that would definitely do it."
"I'll go talk to him when he wakes up."
"It's for the best, Romelle."
"I know it is but I so wanted to give my people the gift of a wedding, the gift of a king and queen again." With that Romelle began to cry.
Bandor went over and brought her into his arms.
"I know, but some things can't or don't work out like we want them to. Sven's been through a lot of shit over the last little while, we can't expect him to forget about it so easily and move on. Miracles don't happen like that."
"I know, Bandor, I know. I wish they did but they don't happen like that anymore."
Sven heard no more as Keith led him back out of the room. "I...I didn't realize. I've been so wrapped up in my own misery I didn't stop to think that it was affecting others as well."
Keith led him back to his bedroom where Sven, gladly, laid back down on his bed.
"No, because you bottle to much up, keep it to yourself. You don't sit down and talk things out with the people who care about you."
"I know, it's just that when I was growing up you learned to keep your mouth shut lest you got smashed."
"But you must realize, Sven, this isn't home anymore and there are people out there who care about you and really want to help."
"I know, I've got to get used to that."
"Especially Romelle. She loves you with everything she has and would do anything for you. Don't mess that up."
"No, not now, not after hearing that. I understand now. From now on things are going to be different."
"They had better be, I don't want to have to come visit your mind again."
"Don't worry, you won't have to."
"Good, now get some rest and I'll see you at the wedding."
"See you, Keith." Sven closed his eyes and it wasn't long before he drifted off back to sleep.
When Sven opened his eyes he was in his room staring up at the ceiling. He had been dreaming, hadn't he? Keith really couldn't have been here. Surely Keith wouldn't have come all this way just to chew him out about his personal life, would he? And how would Sven have been able to walk on his foot?
Another mystery arched his eyebrow. But yet he had to, his foot was throbbing. The pain had been a dull throb, but now that he realized it had been aching the pain intensified until tears threatened to flow.
Sven reached over to a small stand by the bed. A pill bottle rested there with a glass of water. Romelle must have known that he would have pain and requested pain pills for him. He, gratefully, took one and settled back in the bed to let it work.
It didn't take long before Sven found his eyelids growing heavy. He could feel his body relaxing and didn't try to fight it. He yawned a couple of times before falling into a deep and sound sleep. A sleep of the drugged but not drugged enough to keep him from dreaming again.
"Sven, can you hear me? Sven?"
Sven, slowly, opened his eyes to the prodding but familiar voice. Coran stood over him.
"Coran? What are you doing here?"
"I don't have much time but there is something I must discuss with you."
"What is it?" Sven sat up in bed sharply.
"It's about Romelle. No, do not worry, she is in no danger." Coran reassured him after seeing Sven's look of concern, "but she is very upset. I fear that she thinks that you do not love her anymore."
"But I do, she can't let go of that. She can't stop believing."
"She has stopped believing in you because you have stopped believing in yourself. You have gotten yourself into this rut, or depression, or whatever you wish to call it about your mother and she cannot help you get out of it.
"I'm afraid, my friend, that if you do not do anything to correct this you will lose Romelle forever. She is so upset that she is on the verge of calling off the wedding for fear that you do not love her."
"But I do."
"Then you must tell her, sit down with her and talk this out or things could end up in a very bad way."
"What could be worse than losing Romelle?"
"Ah, the future, my specialty. I can see it as clearly as I can see you. Unfortunately your outlook is very grim indeed."
"Will you tell me? Will you so that I may know what I'm up against?"
"If you do not talk to her this very day she will plan to call off the wedding with the fear that you do not love her. If you do not talk to her and convince her of you undying love for her by nightfall the wedding will be called off.
"She will fall into a deep depression. It will break her heart and will refuse to see you. She will never recover from this heartbreak. She will never marry and, eventually, die from her broken heart. Bandor will be forced to take everything into his own hands.
"He will have to lead his planet, take care of his sister, find a wife, produce an heir and rule the planet. It will turn him into a bitter old man with a great hate for you.
"Though it will not matter much to you or anyone, he formally banishes you from the palace."
"Do you know what happens to me?" Sven's eyes were wide even though they were glistening with tears at hearing this horrible news of the future.
"Yes, I do."
"Tell me, please, I must know."
"The depression will be too great for you to handle, even though your friends want to help you you shun them. You bottle everything up and it gnaws at you like an open wound.
"You can't stand being at the castle anymore, or anywhere your beloved Romelle was and Bandor getting on your case all the time don't help any so you leave. Bandor formalizes it with banishment.
"You pack your few belongings and leave the castle forever. You build a shabby cabin in the woods and live out the rest of your life as a miserable old hermit scarring off anyone who ventures too close. You will die there, no one cares. They discover your bones only when the sightings of the old hermit of the woods stop."
Sven's eyes widen in horror and tears flow freely, "Oh God, no, please say it isn't so. Please, no, it can't be."
"It can and it will be unless you talk to Romelle. Don't wait another minute, you must talk to her, show her how much you love her. Marry her."
"I will, I must. I love her, oh God, how I love her. I've been such a jackass not to let her know. I've been so close-minded and obsessing over my mother that I completely forgot about her.
"I'll make it right, I swear I will. I'll make it right." Sven repeated over and over until he heard a soft voice calling his name.
He opened his eyes when he felt a cold rag being placed on his forehead. Romelle leaned over him, a soft smile on her lips but a worried expression on his face.
"Oh God, Romelle. I had the worst dreams. They were so real. One was so real where I got up and walked, that my foot started aching. I took a pain pill and I dreamed again. It was real too, horrible."
"The pain pill was too strong, I should never have left them for you. I came in to check on you and you were barely breathing. I got the doctor and he injected something that would neutralize it."
Sven reached up and touched Romelle's hands, "We've got to talk. It's important."
Romelle smiled softly, "Tell me whatever your heart desires."
"I've come to my senses, hopefully I'm not too late. I realize now I was foolish to try and chase after a ghost. I know my mother loved me and I know she couldn't keep her promise not out of malice towards me but because her body wouldn't allow her to keep it.
"She had no control over the health of her body. You can do everything in the world to keep it healthy but sometimes it still fails. I realize that now, you know what they say about hindsight. It's 20/20. They weren't lying either. I've put a lot of things in jeopardy going on that foolish quest including nearly getting myself killed.
"But I've come to my senses. Mom loved me when she was alive and still loves me now even though she's up in Heaven. I truly believe that's where she is now, she's so good and kind that there's no other place that she could go. And I know that she's been so good and kind that God will allow her to come to our wedding.
"Which brings me to the next thing I want to tell you. Don't ever think for one single moment that I don't love you because I do. I'll never stop loving you. I'll never stop loving you. I know I haven't shown it lately but I do, I really do. I love you with all my heart. Please, don't ever forget that.
"Please don't call off the wedding. I love you so much and I really do want to marry you. I don't want you to die and be bitter. I don't want to spend the rest of my life outside these walls."
"Sven, what are you talking about?"
"I had a dream that the wedding was called off. Coran was here telling me that you died bitter and that Bandor banished me from the castle and I lived as a hermit in the woods until I died and someone found my bones."
"Yuck, Sven, that's gross."
"Romelle, I'm serious."
"I know, Sven, I know." Romelle soothed as she coaxed Sven into lying back down, "you just relax. Try and get a little bit of sleep. You need your rest."
Sven nodded his head slowly and took a few deep breaths to slow his breathing down.
"Is your foot still hurting? I can get the doctor to give you something."
"No, it's fine now. The other painkiller seemed to have knocked it out for good. I think a good night's sleep will help."
"Sure." Romelle leaned down and gave Sven a light kiss in the forehead. It worried her that Sven's forehead was still slightly feverish but she hoped a good night's sleep would help.
Sven gave Romelle a small smile and closed his eyes. It wasn't long before he was sound asleep, a quiet dreamless sleep.
THREE WEEKS LATER
"Sven? You awake? Sven?" Sven slowly opened his eyes and turned over. Slowly the images of Lance and Keith in tuxedos came into view.
"What time is it?"
"Almost nine. You plan to sleep the whole day away?"
"Christmas day. Your wedding day, remember?"
"Don't tell us you forgot that." Keith gave a little chuckle. "I remember, I remember. It's just that I didn't think the night would go so fast after last night. I can barely hear anything over the buzzing in my ears."
"Cold shower and hot coffee time." They helped Sven up, got him refreshed and dressed in his tuxedo.
It looked strange for Keith and Lance to see Sven in something other than black. The sharp white tuxedo made Sven's pale skin even paler and his huge black eyes and black hair stand out and look unreal on him.
"Sven, you've got to get out into the sun more." Lance quipped. "Now that Doom is defeated, maybe I will." Sven shot right back.
"Okay, time out. Let's not have any blood shed, not over that gorgeous white suit." Keith chucked mildly, "Now, let's go. We got a wedding to go to."
The wedding went off without a hitch on that beautiful, wintry Christmas day. It was all anyone could do to sit still as they wanted to start celebrating the wonderful events that happened that day.
As Sven kissed Romelle at the end of the ceremony and she gently took his arm he was sure he caught the sight of something out of the corner of his eye but he couldn't place it. As he led Romelle out of the chapel and to the reception hall, it nagged him.
It drove him nuts until an hour into the reception. He excused himself telling Romelle he had to go to the washroom.
Quickly he made his way back to the chapel. He slowly went back in. A slight figure sat in the very first row, center, in the middle of the pew. Sven quickly approached.
"The reception has started if you wish to join in."
"I would like to but I don't have time." The familiar voice said. Slowly the figure turned around. Sven gasped and took a step back. It was his mother.
"Yes, my love. I promised I would be at your wedding and I meant to keep that promise. There was never anything for you to fear, my love for you brought me here." Amanda smiled brightly, "Don't ever forget that, Sven. I love you. I'll love you forever."
"I love you too, Mom, and I'll never stop." Sven moved close and they embraced.
"Don't ever forget how much I love you, and I promise I'll watch over you and Romelle." Slowly she faded away leaving Sven hugging thin air.
"I love you too, Mom. I promise I'll never stop. And I promise you this, I know Romelle will agree, our first born daughter will be named after you."
"I know." Came faintly to his ears like a whisper on the breeze and then was gone.
Stifling the tears that were threatening to overtake him he quickly straightened himself and went back to the party. Romelle was, patiently, waiting for him.
"Feel better now?"
"More than you could ever know." Sven brought Romelle into his arms and awkwardly dipped her, giving her a deep, passionate kiss while everyone cheered. Truly he was better and for that her was eternally grateful.
ONE YEAR LATER
"Sven, it's time."
"Are you sure?" Sven propped himself up onto his elbows and rubbed the sleep from his eyes.
"Yeah, this is no false alarm. This baby's coming and he ain't going to wait. I think we'd better get down to the hospital."
Sven got out of bed and quickly got dressed. He got Romelle bundled up in her robe and got her to the hospital as fast as she was able to go. The doctors greeted her with smiles,
"Ah, I see the heir to Pollux has decided to make an appearance." "You got that one right." Romelle managed to grind out as they helped her up onto a stretcher.
"Don't you worry, everything will work out all right." The doctor smiled down at her.
And everything did work out fine and it wasn't long before Romelle was holding her brand new daughter in her arms.
"She's beautiful," Romelle whispered, "she looks just like you."
"Yeah, but she's got your hair." Sven gave her a big smile, "of course you know what this means. Since it's a girl we now have to try for a boy."
Romelle glared at her husband, "Not for awhile we ain't. Nor for at least a year, got me?"
"I'm only kidding. We'll wait until you're ready. Now, what are we going to name her?"
"I'm not sure. I was thinking after my mother, Mayella. What about you?"
"I was hoping we could name her after my mother, Amanda."
A light sparkle came to Romelle's eyes, "How about Amanda Mayella? That sound right?"
"Sounds perfectly fine to me."
"Princess Amanda Mayella. Welcome to Pollux, little princess, welcome to Pollux."