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"I wouldn't want you to miss me," he says, and his smile is sharp, and his teeth are sharp, and his eyes are holes in his head. You wonder how you managed to so thoroughly destroy this thing between you, when you hadn't even known it was there.

"I wouldn't worry about it," you say. But you do.

***

He's there like gravity, he's been holding you down. He's there like oxygen, too much and you forgot to breathe.

***

He passes you like a stranger, and you can't help but watch him go. You are stuck until he moves from sight, then you continue into the hall.

"Dude," says Hunk, hollow and tired. "Keith."

"Keith." says Pidge, vicious and snarling. "What the fuck did you do."

***

"He'll come round," Shiro says, easy and soothing. "Just give him some time to calm down."

Shiro has never been easy.

A small part of you wonders if he was right. It is quickly smothered by the implications of if you were wrong.

***

"I can't locate him on the scans," says Coran, factual and anxious. "We'll need to search all of the levels manually."

***

This place is like an empty morgue. It's so shiny and antiseptic, and haunted by its missing dead. 

***

"One of the pods is gone," says Allura, strong and unsettled. "I don't. One of the pods is gone."

***

He's there like gravity, you don't notice but he keeps you grounded. He's there like oxygen, but then he's not and you. can't. breathe.

***

"Keith," Hunk says, terrified and furious. "What the fuck did you do." 

"We have to find him," says Pidge, haunted and determined.

***

"You're upset," says Shiro, kind and implacable, as he tries to take your burden. 

You try and let him take it, but your heart stutters, what-if, what-if, what if he was right.

***

It's like you are space, and he opens the airlock. All of the atmosphere rushes into you.

"Did you miss me." he states. 

"Who are you," says Shiro, steely and implacable.

"I don't," says Shiro, confused and quiet. "I don't know."

***

He is still absent.

"You were right," you say. 

He shrugs and doesn't look at you.

"I didn't want to be."

***

He walks past you, like an acquaintance. You watch, and then you follow.

"I'm sorry," you say, soft and unsure, "for the things I said."

"You weren't wrong," he replies.

"I was," you say, but his face is empty, and you hate yourself.

***

You say, "I missed you, when you were gone."

*** 

You say, "I still miss you."

***

You say, "I need you."

***

You reach out.

***

Eventually, he reaches back.

***

He keeps you grounded, and you can breathe.