Matt was ecstatic when a messenger informed him that all the knights had returned safely. Princess Allura would be so thankful. Banishing a whole group of thieves from the forbidden forest couldn’t have been easy. Wanting to be the bearer of good news to the princess, Matt quickly made his way to the drawing room where the princess was most likely taking her afternoon tea.
Surprisingly, he caught sight of Shiro at the courtyard. Just….standing there, staring at his palm. He hadn’t even taken off his armor yet. Matt paused his steps. Curiosity got the better of him, so he walked towards his friend, “Shiro, what are you doing?”
Shiro simply acknowledged Matt by turning his body towards his friend but his eyes were still glued to the object he held. Shiro stared incredulously at the small ball of… crimson scales and curled ebony wings. He couldn’t even see the snout of the tiny dragon but at least it was warm on the palm of his hand. He could see Matt’s eyes widening comically out of the corner of his eye.
“Shiro.” There was definitely underlying panic in Matt’s voice, “Is that a dragon?”
Holding up the small curled dragon on his palm to Matt’s eye level, Shiro placating said, “Matt, meet Keith.”
The dragon drew both their attention when it started purring somewhat and then all of a sudden, sneezed a small ball of fire towards Matt, who opted to stare at ‘Keith’ blankly after mutely dodging the stray burst of flames.
In that flat (disapproving) voice that Shiro absolutely despised, Matt asked, “Shiro. Why?” Matt started gesturing with his hands to stress on his distress of the situation, “HOW?”
And that made Shiro think. How does one explain that a tiny dragon decided to reside in his right pocket? Looking at Matt and remembering how utterly skeptical his friend was, Shiro huffed. One does not.
From where Pidge sat on the low branch of the red pine tree, she saw Shiro stuff a handkerchief into his pocket. She had no idea what her expression was like but it must have been something that bordered between curiosity and incredulity because Shiro looked up to her and explained, “Keith will get cold when I go to the mountains tomorrow.”
Right. The dragon. The dragon currently residing in Shiro’s pocket. The small dragon that drove Matt crazy for some reason. Shiro’s dragon, Keith. Pidge rolled her eyes. God forbid the dragon from freezing to death by refusing to leave the knight’s pocket.
Pidge, being the responsible mage that she was, floated down from the branch, wrestled the handkerchief from the dragon in Shiro’s pocket, charmed the damn cloth to be fireproof, and then returned it without saying a word.
Keith thanked her by donating a piece of lint from Shiro’s pocket.
“You,” Pidge said in a distant voice as she studied the lint, “Are a very generous dragon, Keith.”
Shiro smiled proudly at his little dragon. Keith never parted from anything in its hoard after all.
Lance rarely questioned his superior (and idol) but he seriously thought he imagined the whole thing. It’s not every day that you see a knight purposely climb a tree just to pluck a single small acorn and just… drop it into their pocket.
And Lance didn’t even have to ask because Shiro was already approaching Lance with a huge grin, “I got Keith an acorn.”
Shiro then proceeded to show Lance the content of his right pocket pouch.
They both peered inside to the sight of a very satisfied purring dragon wrapped around the recently dropped acorn.
After multiple encounters with the ‘wild and the weird’, the sight warmed Lance’s heart as he cooed, “Aww, he likes it.”
Not even Keith biting Lance’s finger (because he wanted to pet the dragon) could deter Lance from continuously adoring the small red dragon. Lance did scream however when Keith started spitting multiple fireballs to his hair.
Lance scowled the whole journey back to the castle with his uneven hairline but occasionally, he would give Shiro small trinkets he found that Keith might like.
Shiro’s pocket was heavy with Keith’s newest hoard thanks to Lance. Keith especially loved the small shard from Shiro’s chipped blade that Lance picked up for the little dragon. Lance received TWO pieces of lint from Keith in return. Returning to the castle in high spirits, Lance showed off his lint to Pidge and bragged about how he got more than she did.
Pidge refused to fix his hair that evening.
Everyone knew Keith the Dragon. Most avoided Shiro because it was logical to stay away from a dragon. But those that had actually seen Keith would pounce on Shiro just to see the little thing. One of them, was Hunk. And Hunk, adored Keith, debatably, more than Shiro did if not the same. Hunk even carved a plate for Keith.
Hunk was the only other person Keith allowed to lift it out from its humble home that was Shiro’s pocket. Whenever Shiro was available, Hunk would offer to feed Keith. Keith’s diet was a healthy breakfast of a peeled grape, a satisfying lunch of one fried potato stick dusted with salt and a hearty dinner of a thin strip of roasted beef.
Accepting the plate from Keith, Hunk served up the dragon’s meal, “Here ya go, Keith.”
Hunk’s plate for Keith was one of the objects that the dragon did not hoard to itself all the time. Keith seemed perfectly fine to let Hunk use it whenever he wanted to feed Keith. (But Keith did fuss whenever Hunk would keep the plate away longer than necessary)
At the end of every meal, Hunk would return Keith to Shiro and they would both watch as Keith curled around itself and drape its wings over its whole body for a short nap in Shiro’s pocket.
Hunk made a sound that resembled a high keen, his own form of cooing after the dragon. Keith always ignored it instead of reacting unfavorably. Never bite the hand that feeds you. The dragon allowed both Shiro and Hunk to watch it rest.
As strange as it was to bend over and look into someone’s pocket for a questionable amount of time, everyone accepted the notion when it involved Shiro and his dragon.
Everyone always asked if Shiro had a charmed pocket to keep all of Keith’s hoard. Pidge would gladly do so but that wasn’t the case. To be honest, it was the princess who suggested an immobile ‘treasure chest’ for Keith. It wouldn’t do to have one of her best knights to drag a dragon’s hoard but it was dishonorable to simply throw away a dragon’s hoard. So, after a dubious discussion involving Princess Allura communicating with Keith through her trusted mice in the presence of a very serious Shiro and a very confused Matt who kept frowning at the whole scene, the princess and the dragon came to an understanding.
In Shiro’s quarters at the castle, there was a niche, an alcove that was built for Keith’s hoard. Every time Shiro came back, he would allow Keith to rearrange his old and new items in the alcove. At first, it looked like an organized mess. But as days turned to weeks and weeks turned to months, Shiro realized that Keith arranged all the items according to color.
The alcove was beautiful with its slow transition from light colors to darker ones. Only four items were a permanent fixture in Shiro’s pocket: the fireproof handkerchief, an acorn, a blade shard, and a small piece of carved wood that was Keith’s plate. These were the four items that Keith would not part with to the safety of the alcove in Shiro’s room.
Shiro never questioned it.
Some would ask what Shiro got out of taking care of Keith. They didn’t see the point when Keith did nothing for Shiro.
Then again, no one seemed puzzled when Shiro braved extreme cold climate without the safety of extra layers of fur in his attire. No one questioned how strange it was that Shiro never got lost in any forestry which he had never ventured into. No one commented on Shiro’s luck at avoiding strike after strike from his enemies.
All the while, Keith purred around its precious hoard and ignored the swaying of its home every time Shiro ventured on his missions.
Keith didn’t like to leave the lovely domain of Shiro’s pocket except for when Shiro was asleep. Shiro had a strong heartbeat that Keith loved to listen to. It was always erratic when the knight was awake but when Shiro rested in his quarters or in his tent, his heartbeat would slow to the perfect rhythm that Keith appreciated. Whether it was sleeping over Shiro’s chest (when Shiro slept on his back) or perching in the crook of Shiro’s neck (when the knight slept on his side/stomach), Keith preferred Shiro’s calm heartbeat rather than the confines of his pocket any day.
If Keith woke up with Shiro stroking the dragon’s red scales, Keith would sigh and emit the loudest purr, enjoying the resulting rumble that resonated in its body when Shiro chuckled out loud.
No one was ever there to witness their little adorable morning routine. By the time Shiro was ready to leave his room and start the day, Keith was already nibbling on a newly peeled grape, nesting against the fireproof handkerchief and surrounded by other precious trinkets in Shiro’s right pocket.