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It's Good To Be Home

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There was a list.

It was written a long time ago—or, rather, started a long time ago, because it was constantly being added to during those long months and years in space.

It had started off as a piece of paper he labeled “Ways to Die”. But after being kidnapped by a flying space lion, he’d transferred the list to a small notebook he’d found lying around and retitled it “A Thousand Bajillion Ways to Die in the Universe”. That notebook filled quickly, so he attached another to the back of it with some Olkarian superglue. And then another…and another.

Now, several years (four for most everyone, six for him because of a trip through a time rift) after joining Voltron, his list spans four notebooks and part of a fifth. He’s up to almost twenty thousand entries.

The point is, Keith made a long, long list of every possible way he thought he might die. It covered everything from being stranded on a planet with violent sandstorms and no water to choking on the Garrison’s excuse for meatloaf.

Hyperventilating in a dressing room and accidentally suffocating himself with his tie was, strangely, not on the list. Keith really thought it should be. Katie, watching passively over the top of their magazine, gave him an odd look when he burst into hysterical laughter even as he gasped for breath.

After several minutes of alternating between high-pitched laughter and struggling to breathe through his sudden panic, he finally snapped out of it when his companion rolled up their magazine and slapped him across the face with it.

Unfortunately, that was the exact moment that Lance decided to barge into the room, trailed by a much more subdued Hunk.

“Woah!” the Blue Paladin shouted, his hands flying out in alarm. “Pidge, what the quiznak?”

They twisted the magazine between their hands casually. “Glad to see you using that word correctly for once,” they snarked. Then they shrugged. “Keith was freaking out. He needed snapped out of it.”

Lance made another disapproving noise as Hunk rounded him to approach Keith.

“How ya doin’, buddy?” Hunk said gently, his hands settling on Keith’s shoulders. “Big day.”

Keith instantly relaxed in the younger man’s presence, even as Lance squawked indignantly behind him.

“Oh, yeah, let’s just ignore the gremlin attacking a man on his wedding day!”

“It won’t leave a mark,” Katie replied blandly.

“Oh, because that makes it better—”

Hunk sighed heavily. “Lance, why don’t you and Katie go find the princess. I’m sure she could use the help.”

“But she’s still working on decorations,” Lance whined.

Katie elbowed him pointedly, giving Hunk a sugary smile. “Sure, honey,” they said, sarcastically doting. They leaned up to peck Keith on his cheek and their husband on the lips. “Try to get him there on time.”

They gave Hunk and Keith a smirk and a wink, clearly amused, before marching over to Lance and dragging him by the ear toward the door as he complained.

“I’ll try,” Hunk called after them, “but no promises!” He gave Keith a conspiratorial grin. “They’re only like this because Shay made them promise to play nice.”

Keith managed a small grin as the door swung shut on the Green Paladin’s laughter, but after a few seconds, he sighed and slumped into the closest chair with a groan.

He covered his face with his hands, fingers buried in his shaggy hair. “I don’t even know why I’m so nervous,” he muttered. “We’re basically already married, anyway.”

The Yellow Paladin sat beside him and rubbed his shoulder soothingly. “It doesn’t mean you can’t be nervous,” he said gently. He barked out a laugh. “Quiznak, you saw me ‘n’ Shay when we were planning to ask Kay to marry us. We were a total mess, and all they did was say, ‘Duh, we already are.’ Like it was nothing.” He grinned fondly. “And it was. Not nothing, but simple. Easy.”

Keith snorted. “I remember that,” he said softly. “I mean, seeing you guys so happy is one of the things that made me think…”

“Maybe you could be, too?” Hunk supplied when he trailed off. “It was right around that that the two of you moved in together, right?”

Keith nodded jerkily. “We were already together, but…I figured, you know, between paladin work and Garrison work…” He sighed, combing his fingers through his hair. “But now it’s just—we live together. We’re each other’s emergency contact. I still…”

He swallowed thickly and pressed a hand over his heart, where a small jingling sound made itself known.

His companion zeroed in on it. “Oh.” He smiled sympathetically. “I guess you have ‘something borrowed’ covered, then, huh?”

Keith’s lips twitched slyly. “Does it count as borrowed if you stole it before anyone noticed?”

Hunk pretended to think about it. “Well, there’s no way he doesn’t know by now, so I think you’re good.”

They both laughed, and Hunk pulled him to his feet.

“Come on, let me fix your tie.” His gaze flickered up, and his smile only grew. “Your hair’s a mess, too,” he observed casually.

Keith immediately panicked and reached to fix it, only to have his hands batted away with a tsk.

“Don’t touch it,” Hunk scolded as he worked to unravel the tie. “Allura will be here soon. She’ll fix it.” He paused, then shook his head. “Or at least make it presentable. You might even convince her not to put flowers in it.”

Keith scowled as he finished, crossing his arms. “She better not put any damn flowers in my hair,” he said sullenly. “Last time she did, she used some weird Krellian vine and it made me sick for a whole week.”

Hunk winced. “I almost managed to forget that,” he muttered. “I’m sure Shiro liked it, though, what with the way you were—”

Keith coughed, turning red as he interrupted what was probably the beginning of a ramble. “I—no. We didn’t…”

Hunk blinked, surprised. “Oh. I just thought—”

Keith shook his head and shrugged. “I mean, we’d already agreed to wait. And I was clearly out of my mind, so there’s no way he’d have agreed…And then when I came out of it—I just wanted to forget about it. So, no. We didn’t.”

He was quiet for a long moment, and Hunk clasped his shoulder and gave him a smile, which he returned tensely.

There was a light knock on the door, and he instantly seized up.

Another knock. “Keith?” Allura called from the other side. “May I come in?”

“Y—Yeah,” he called back. “It’s open.”

The door’s hinges squeaked a bit as she pushed it open.

“Ah,” she said cheerily as she approached, “I see you two clean up nicely.” The princess laughed as Hunk swept her into a hug. “How has your vacation been to you, Hunk?”

“It’s been great,” he said excitedly, releasing her. “So much has changed—it’s almost like me ‘n’ Katie are learning along with Shay, sometimes.”

“I’m glad you’re enjoying yourself,” Allura replied happily. “I truly think we all needed this break.”

Her smile grew wide and bright as she turned to Keith, dragging him into a hug of her own. “If it isn’t the man of the hour,” she mused. “Well, one of them, I suppose.”

“Hey, Princess,” he replied, returning the hug. “Did Li see anything interesting?”

“Not for a while. Don’t worry, today will be perfect. And you should have a few months of vacation left. No alien invasions as an excuse to duck out.” She giggled as she let him go, and her gaze raked over him critically. She poked at his sides with a hum. “I told you that tailor was a good idea.”

Keith frowned. “I had a perfectly good appointment before you interfered.”

“His designs did nothing for you,” the princess argued. “You have a good figure—there really was no sense in hiding it with a loose jacket.”

Keith sighed, giving up the useless fight for once. Hunk just laughed and embraced them both before taking his leave to find his spouses.

Once the door clicked shut behind him, Allura turned serious.

“What’s wrong?” she demanded.

Keith shifted his weight and glanced away. “What makes you think something’s wrong, Princess?” he hedged.

Allura crossed her arms, raising a challenging brow. “Well, for starters, I can’t remember the last time you called me by a title when nothing was wrong.” He winced. “And you gave up on that argument a little too quickly.”

Keith cringed, and she settled a hand on his arm.

Gently, she continued, “Besides, after three decaphoebes, I’d like to think that we’re friends. That I know you well enough to see you struggling.”

Keith was quiet for a moment before muttering, “Four, actually.”

Allura tilted her head in thought. “Hmm, I suppose so,” she said finally, amused. “Even so, the fact that you’re still avoiding the question only tells me I am correct.”

The Commander of Voltron was silent for a long minute. Then he sighed and slumped in defeat, his head falling on the woman’s shoulder.

“You are my friend,” he said quietly.

Allura giggled lightly as she embraced him fully, and her fingers were soothing as they combed through his hair. “I should hope so,” she teased lightly.

Keith smiled faintly. “You might be my best friend, though,” he admitted. “Besides Shiro, I mean.” She hummed her acknowledgment, and he sighed. “Did you know he’s the reason I was in the Garrison?”

Allura paused for a moment before continued her motions. “Really?”

“Yeah. I was just a kid, back then. Barely old enough to apply to the program. T—Shiro came to my school for recruitment, and…I don’t know. He seemed…different. From the teachers, the staff—they all thought I was nothing. A waste.”

“But not Shiro?”

“No.” He laughed, and it came out a bit wet. He felt Allura’s arms tighten around him. “Even after I stole his car, he still gave me a chance. He convinced everyone that I was worth it, and he sponsored me, and then when I was enrolled…You remember what I was like, in the beginning? Well, I was worse at the Garrison. I didn’t take orders well, and James wasn’t exactly nice back then.” He snorted.

“But Shiro never gave up on me. Not once. It would have been so much easier to just send me back to the home, but he was convinced I could be great.” A sniffled worked its way out of his nose. “And I…I tried to be that for him, too. I knew he was sick, but it didn’t change that he was the strongest person I ever knew.”

Allura hummed. “I think you’ve succeeded, Keith,” she said softly. “One would have to be completely blind to not notice it. You two have never given up on each other, no matter what. Even before you were together, I think. When you were just friends and brothers-in-arms, your faith was a constant that we could rely on.”

Keith smiled. “You mean when he was literally dead and I wouldn’t let anyone replace him on the team?” he snarked.

“Well, he wasn’t—” She stopped, then shook her head. “Oh. Right.”

He barked a laugh. “Yeah.” He sighed. “I’m just…I love him.” A breathy laugh. “I love him so much, Allura, and it’s been two years since I realized it. But it happened before we were even together, I think…And I love him so much now, and we’re about to get married, Allura. With vows and rings and all our friends and—it’s all a little…”

“Overwhelming?” she finished. “Keith, it’s alright to be nervous. It’s alright to freak out a bit. But you and Shiro are going to be so happy together—forever. No one else matters. It’s just about you two, and the bond that you share. That you’ve always shared.”

The princess released him and pushed him to stand straight. “Now. I think we ought to get that hair straightened out.” And she pushed him into a chair in front of a mirror.

As she worked to get his mess of a hairstyle under control, she watched him through the reflection curiously.

“If it makes you feel better,” she said conversationally, “Shiro had to redo his eyeliner three times this morning because he kept bursting into tears.”

Keith’s eyes widened. “He was crying?”

Allura rushed to reassure him, “Not in a bad way! He’s just…emotional. Happy.” She laughed. “And nervous, like you.” She paused to squeeze his shoulder lightly. “You aren’t alone, Keith.”

He let out a breath, a weight lifting from his chest. “Okay,” he said simply.

A few minutes later, as Allura was finishing his hair, yet another knock sounded.

The princess looked over at the door, head tilted in confusion. “Who could that be?” she mumbled to Keith. “Your mother, perhaps?”

Keith shook his head. “No, she was here earlier. She and Kolivan are helping Shay and the Arusians in the kitchen.”

They both shrugged, and there was another knock.

“Hey, Keith?”

He sucked in a surprised breath at the sound of Shiro’s nervous voice. Allura had teamed up with Commander Holt and his wife to make sure that the two of them kept to all the wedding traditions they could think of. His own mother had joined them, adding some Galran wedding traditions to the mix.

Unfortunately, Colleen and Sam had been especially insistent on the rule of the fiancés not seeing each other before they were at the altar, which meant that Keith hadn’t seen Shiro since the other night—they’d fallen asleep, and by the time Keith woke up, the Holts had apparently already come to drag Shiro away.

“Can I,” Shiro continued, hesitant. “Can I talk to you?”

Allura, to her credit, managed to refrain from squealing in his ear from glee. Instead, she calmly called back to Shiro, “I thought we agreed to uphold the custom of husbands-to-be not seeing each other?”

Shiro sighed out a groan at being caught out, and Keith could almost hear him pouting. “So?”

Allura rolled her eyes, exasperated. Keith clasped her hand in reassurance.

She sighed. “Fine.”

Looking around the room quickly, she grinned and tugged him over to the back corner, where a sheet-like curtain separated them from the actual dressing area.

“Keith,” she said sternly, “you stay back here.”

Keith’s smile was a bit harassed, but he nodded. “Yes, ma’am.”

Allura nodded wit finality and marched to the door. He couldn’t see past the curtain, but he heard her open the door and let Shiro in.

“No peeking!” she called sternly just before the door shut. “I mean it, Shiro!”

“Yes, ma’am,” Shiro replied, a smile in his tone as he echoed Keith.

Once they were alone, silence reigned for a long moment. Finally, Keith cleared his throat. He heard Shiro jump, and he grinned.

“What did you want to talk about, Takashi?” he asked.

Shiro seemed to fumble for a moment before stepping close enough that Keith could see his shadow through the sheet.

“I, um, I have something for you.”

He sounded nervous—it came out like a question.

Keith blinked in surprise. “What?”

“I have something for you,” Shiro repeated, more certain this time. He reached around the curtain to hold a small box out to Keith. “Since Allura and Sam have been making us stick to tradition, I figured you could use something blue. And new.”

Keith’s face felt warm as he took the gift and opened it. “T—Takashi!” he stuttered as he caught sight of the contents of the box.

A thin silver chain held a quarter-sized pendant with two glittering stones. On one side lie a gem of a dark purple color—amethyst, Shiro’s birthstone. On the other, an Olkarian gem of deep navy blue that glittered like the desert’s night sky.

“What—Where did you get this?”

Shiro sounded sheepish. “I…might have asked Pidge to make it?” Keith snorted, and he continued, “It was going to be for your birthday, but—”

“Haggar attacked Olkari and we were busy for two months,” Keith finished.

“And then I was planning for Christmas Eve—”

“—and the Atlas got a computer virus.”

“And Valentine’s Day and White Day were both out because—”

“—we were in Japan.”

“And when we got back, it was Easter, and…”

“Lance and Allura burned down the Garrison’s sports field.” Keith sighed heavily. “The universe has really bad timing.”

Shiro gave a startled laugh. “Really?” he said innocently. “I hadn’t noticed.”

Keith was quiet for a moment. Then he closed the box and set it aside.

“Thank you, Takashi,” he said softly. Shiro’s hand was still partially in his view around the curtain, and he quickly seized it, clasping it with his own and entwining their fingers. “I love it.”

Shiro squeezed his hand. “I’m glad,” he said, sounding relieved. “I have one, too. Aqua tourmaline instead of amethyst, but…”

“We’ll match,” Keith finished. He grinned. “Do you have the other stuff? Something old, something borrowed…?”

Shiro hummed in confirmation. “Yeah. Coran gave me some sort of Altean pocket watch that belonged to his grandfather, so I’m covered on both.” He nudged at Keith’s hand. “What about you?”

“Well, my mom found an old handkerchief of my dad’s in the shack,” he said slowly. “So that’s sort of something old and borrowed.”

“And? I can tell when you’re not saying something, Keith.”

Keith huffed a laugh. “I have something else, too, but…I mean, is it still borrowed when you’ve had it for seven years?” He paused. “Well, five. But seven. I hate time rifts.”

Shiro chuckled. “Seven. If it came with you into the rift, it’s seven.”

“It…did.” Keith grimaced a bit. “I never really took it off…”

He heard Shiro suck in a breath. “Oh,” he said faintly. “Are you talking about…”

Keith bit his lip, reaching under his collar and pulling out the beaded chain. He lifted it over his head and held it out around the curtain to show his fiancé.

Shiro made a noise in his throat. “Keith…”

“I…” He swallowed. “I know I shouldn’t have taken them…or hidden them. But…You were the only person who cared about me. And no one was there for you. And I hated it. So I just…I thought maybe keeping them would keep you safe.” He snorted. “Not that it kept you from dying, but…I mean, you came back.”

Shiro was quiet for a long moment. So long, in fact, that Keith got a little worried.

“Please don’t cry again,” he blurted.

The Captain of the Atlas barked a sobbing kind of laugh. “Too late.”

“No, wait—”

Keith started around the curtain, intent to help his fiancé, but Shiro’s hand stopped him from seeing him.

“No, Keith,” he warned, voice still unsteady. “I’m not really in the mood to be murdered by your mother on our wedding day.”

He huffed, rolling his eyes. “She wouldn’t murder you.”

“I really think you’re underestimating your mother, babe.”

Keith pouted but stayed behind the sheet nonetheless. “Are you okay?”

“I’m fine.” Shiro curled Keith’s free hand around his old dog tags. “I’m fine, I promise. I knew, mostly, I just…I wasn’t sure.”

“Hunk said you had to know, by now,” Keith replied helpfully. “I thought I should tell you, anyway.”

“It’s okay, Keith.”

He squeezed his hand, and they stayed in comfortable silence for a bit, until Allura returned and dragged Shiro out of the room to get into position.

Their wedding party and the procession was an odd one.

They had Lance’s nephews and nieces, as well as Hunk’s smaller siblings, going down the aisle first to toss flowers over it. Then Shiro would walk down the aisle.

Shiro didn’t have anyone from his family to walk him down the aisle; his father had never really accepted him when he was alive and had passed away before they returned from space, and his supportive mother had died when he was in his teens. Instead, Allura was going to walk him down the aisle, along with Coran.

After that, Hunk and James would walk down the aisle as Shiro’s best man and Keith’s best man, respectively, and then Lance and Pidge behind them.

In the beginning, Keith had planned to ask Lance to be his best man. But after he and Allura had their little bonfire incident, and after Lance said some choice phrases about both his prospective best man speech and “the Sheith Honeymoon”, Keith had instead asked James. (He was too afraid of what Katie would do to ask them.) At least with James, he could be reasonably certain he wouldn’t lose the ring or say something disturbing at the reception.

Reasonably.

Finally, Krolia would walk Keith down the aisle to stand in front of Shiro.

Keith didn’t exactly appreciate the thought of being “the bride”, but his mother had insisted that if she was going to give away her son, she was going to give away her son.

Regardless, when the doors opened, and Keith was standing at the back of the church, twisting his two necklaces between his fingers and looking out at all the guests gathered, he was glad he was the last to enter.

How else would he get a view like this?

The walls were decorated in red, white, and black ribbons and flowers. Flowers from many of the planets they’d visited littered the ground, and at least one person from each of those planets was present.

In the front pew sat Allura, clad in her official Altean Royalty dress, the blue color matching her eyes perfectly; Coran, in his own official Altean Military dress of a darker blue; as well as Commander Iverson, in the olive-green Garrison Commander garb. The Alteans had bright smiles across their faces, and even Iverson was cracking a small smile.

At the altar, James and Pidge stood off to the left, serene smiles stamped onto their faces. James cut a nice figure in his navy suit and a forest-green tie that matched Pidge’s blouse. Pidge had forgone a traditional dress and instead decided on a simple suit, substituting a gold skirt for the pants, and their matching jacket lay unbuttoned to reveal the green shirt beneath.

On the right stood Hunk, clad in white with a yellow-gold tie, and Lance, wearing a suit of a light blue hue not unlike Allura’s dress and a white tie.

In the middle stood Shiro, his back turned to the room. Sam, who was performing the ceremony, laid a hand on his arm, prompting him to turn around.

Shiro and Keith’s suits were a matching pair.

Both wore black pants and a white undershirt, but everything else was made to complement each other. Shiro’s jacket was as white as Keith’s was black, but their vests were opposite. Likewise, while Keith wore a white tie striped through with black, Shiro wore one with red stripes on a black background.

Paladin attire, through and through, and a matching set, at that. Made to show each other with themselves.

Keith had, of course, seen Shiro’s suit, but seeing him standing there, waiting at the end of the aisle with a bright smile and shining eyes, almost made him stumble. Luckily, he didn’t, and he managed to keep step with Krolia as the Canon started.

“Breathe, Keith,” Krolia muttered through her smile.

Keith glanced up at her briefly and forced himself to suck in a breath.

“Better?” Keith hummed assent. “Good. You’ll be fine.”

“Thanks, Mom,” he mumbled.

As they reached the step leading to the altar, Keith turned to her, accepting the kiss to his forehead.

“I love you, Keith,” she murmured. “I wish you every happiness with Shiro.”

Keith smiled and nodded. “I love you, too, Mom.”

He squeezed her hand briefly before releasing her to clasp Shiro’s outstretched hand instead and allowing him to lead him to stand in front of Sam. The commander’s eyes flickered to the tags hanging from Keith’s neck, and he smiled softly at both.

Standing across from each other, Shiro and Keith made quite the pair of lovesick idiots. Both had bright smiles on their lips and tears in their eyes.

“You made it,” Shiro murmured.

“Of course.”

“I was a little worried when you missed that step.”

His grin turned sly, and Keith flushed and turned to look at Sam.

Soon, they were through with all the boring business of “we are gathered here today” and “forever hold your peace”, and Sam turned to Shiro.

“Takashi Shirogane, do you take this man to be your wedded husband, to love and honor him in marriage?”

“I do,” Shiro said, his tone steady and sure as ever.

“And Keith Kogane, do you take this man to be your wedded husband, to love and honor him in marriage?”

“I do,” Keith replied, equally certain.

And then it was time for the vows.

Neither of them had been too keen to recite the plain vanilla vows that were standard. Sickness and health seemed a bit anticlimactic when they’d literally brought each other back from the dead; for rich or for poor was less than important to them when they had each other; and ‘til death do us part was a little redundant at this point.

Instead, they had their own vows.

Shiro went first. He sucked in a deep breath, and then he began.

“Keith. I can’t remember a time when anyone stood by my side with the same faith and dedication as you’ve always had. All my life, people had told me that I was less because of my illness, that I would never be able to do anything. But even after you found out, you supported me in everything I did. Even when everyone else gave up, you never did. I died, and you didn’t give up for even a second.”

He breathed deeply again, squeezing Keith’s hands with a soft look in his eyes.

“I told you a long time ago that the most important thing was to not give up on yourself, but I never told you that I already had. Until you. You made me want to be better, to have faith that everything would work out.” Shiro swallowed. “And you convinced me that I was better. Your unwavering dedication was the one thing that kept me going, and it’s still one of the reasons I’m still here. I fell in love with you in space, but my home is always with you, and it always will be. I’m always glad to have you back beside me, and I hope to keep you there. Forever.”

Once he finished, it was Keith’s turn, and he was torn between letting the emotions from Shiro’s speech spill out of his eyes and laughing at the irony. Because they hadn’t read each other’s vows, and Keith was very amused by it, and he was sure Shiro would see why.

“Shiro,” he started, tone stilted. He breathed deeply, steadying himself by his grip on Shiro’s hands. “I kinda wish we’d coordinated our vows.”

Shiro raised a brow as Pidge and Lance snickered behind them, but Keith just shook his head and started over. He’d spent a month memorizing this thing, he wasn’t about to change it on the fly now.

“Shiro. I can’t remember a time since my dad died when anyone stood by my side with the same faith and confidence that you’ve always had in me.”

Behind them, there was a murmur as several people chortled over the similar lines. Keith’s face heated further, and he gave himself a moment before he continued.

“Ever since I was a kid, people had told me that I was a waste. Nothing. I’d never be able to do anything with my life.” He gulped, gaze flickering away briefly, and Shiro rubbed circles over the backs of his hands soothingly. “But then you showed up. You supported me, no matter what I did, and it stuck with me for a long, long time. Even when I was lost in the desert when you were gone, I knew that someone believed in me, would always be with me.”

Keith smiled lovingly up at Shiro. “There were so many times I fell in love with you on our adventures. So many times, and for a long time I couldn’t say anything. And then, when we got back, after everything that happened with that, you were still there when I woke up. And I realized, looking at you, that you’d brought me back this time. I died, and you stayed by me. The thought of you waiting for me was what kept me from slipping away completely. And when I woke up, you were there, and I realized you hadn’t given up on me, no matter what. Just like you said, all those years ago.”

He breathed deeply again before continuing, “You said you’d never give up on me, and I couldn’t give up on myself, either. And I trusted you then, and I tried to live by that. But I never told you that I had never believed in myself before you. You made me want to be better than everyone said I would be, to have faith that everything would work out. And you convinced me that I was better. Your unwavering conviction was the one thing that kept me going, and it’s still one of the reasons I’m still here.”

He smiled brightly, tears in his eyes to match Shiro’s, and finished, “I fell in love with you stranded on an alien planet, caught in the orbit of a strange sun, and battling alien forestry. But my home is you, with you, and it always will be. I’m always glad to be back by your side, and I hope to stay there. Forever.”

Both stayed caught in the other’s gaze for a long moment, as Hunk sniffled loudly, and James rolled his eyes (and surreptitiously wiped the corner of his eye). Then Sam called them back.

“And now, the rings.”

Keith took one from James, and Shiro took the other from Hunk.

Shiro put his on first, cupping Keith’s hand tenderly as he slipped the band onto his fiancé’s finger.

He smiled gently as he recited, “I give this ring to you as a symbol of my love. It is not the only one, but it is the strongest—just as a ring has no end, neither will my love for you. Wear this ring, and think of me, and know that I love you, wherever we may be.”

And Keith replied, “I will wear it gladly and always, and think only of you and our love as I look upon it. As a ring never ends, neither shall my commitment to you, wherever we may be.”

Then they switched, and Keith’s hand trembled just slightly as he slipped his own ring onto Shiro’s finger and recited the words back to him.

“I give this ring to you as a symbol of my love. It is not the only one, but it is the strongest,” he said shakily, though gaining confidence, “for just as a ring has no end, neither will my love for you. Wear this ring and think of me—and know that I love you, wherever we may be.”

And when the ring was secure, Shiro entwined their fingers and replied, “I will wear it gladly, and forever, and always think only of you and the love we share as I look upon it. As a ring never ends, neither shall my commitment unto you, wherever we may be.”

“With that,” Sam announced, “I am proud to pronounce you husbands in marriage. You may now kiss the groom!”

Technically, they had planned to simply lean into a simple kiss. But between Lance and Sam and Pidge cheering and catcalling, Keith couldn’t resist adding something.

So he quickly released Shiro’s right hand and instead wrapped his arm around his husband’s—his husband’s—waist, dipping him back quickly and pressing a deep kiss to his lips.

Both were smiling brightly as they kissed in the middle of the cheering, and they laughed when they finally straightened to turn toward the crowd. Everyone quieted as Sam made the official announcement:

“May I present to you—Mr. and Mr. Shirogane-Kogane!”

And they raised their clasped hands to the air and stepped down from the altar into the aisle to begin the recession, followed closely by the wedding party and then by the guests.

Soon, the reception would begin, and everyone would party, and there would be speeches and embarrassment and bad dancing all around. And after a few too many drinks, Lance would accidentally spill the beans about Allura being pregnant and subsequently need saving from Coran.

Soon, Keith and Shiro would climb into a car with a sign on the back saying, “Just Married”, and start the journey to their honeymoon. Soon, they would have their Egyptian Honeymoon Vacation interrupted by a crisis in Cairo concerning yet another giant alien cat god.

Soon, Keith and Shiro would be tested almost beyond their limits, barely making it through—making it through, nonetheless.

But for now, it was just them—it was just this:

Two hands, clasped tightly with a boundless love; two men, with everyone they cared about still behind them in loving solidarity.

It truly was good to have each other back; it truly was good to be back.