Sometimes Keith scared the living daylights out of Shiro. He was brave and selfless and determined, but with those attributes came recklessness, stubbornness, and a dauntlessness that bordered on insanity.
Shiro knew better than anyone that you couldn’t just cage a person like Keith. He was constantly moving, constantly going going going . And Shiro wanted the same. He would follow Keith hand-in-hand towards any adventure without question.
Still, there was a part of him—a part which would never, ever fade—that wanted more than anything to protect Keith. He wanted to open his chest wide and pull Keith inside and just keep him safe. He loved to wrap his arms around Keith at night in their bed and feel as if he could shield him from anything that might come his way. He was the only person in the entire world to whom Keith would expose his soft underbelly; to see his vulnerability and fears.
Keith was tag-teaming with the Blade on a mission when something went awry. The details don’t actually matter—it always happened like this. Keith realizes something half a moment before the others (it’s a trap, they have prisoners, there’s a bomb), which leads to him getting himself into a precarious situation which inevitably gets dicey (he springs the trap, the prisoners are in danger, the bomb is about to explode) and the last thing Keith is thinking about is his safety. This leads to him doing something incredibly heroic and utterly stupid . He nearly gets killed (or knocked out, shot, shredded to ribbons, exploded—you get the picture) and each time Shiro’s soul leaves his body just a little bit and his heart beats so painfully against his ribs that he’s sure they’re going to crack.
Shiro reminds himself that Keith always manages to get out alive, though. Sure he’s scraped and bruised and bleeding a little, but alive nonetheless.
It doesn’t make it any easier.
They make it back to their base, Shiro is quiet the whole way. He knows that Keith can tell he’s shaken, but he would never let the other members of the team see their fearless leader as anything other than a pillar of strength. Keith’s limping just a little, there’s a cluster of bruising forming on his jaw, but other than that he’s fine. Still, he took Shiro’s hand and lead them back to their room and shuffled them both inside. As soon as the door slipped closed Shiro had Keith pressed up against the wall, bracketing Keith in with the bulk of his body and his hands fluttered over Keith’s chest and hips, pulling at his armor.
“Shiro, Shiro,” Keith whispered, trying to quell the panic he could sense in Shiro’s touch. “Shiro, I’m fine. It’s okay.” He reached his hands up to cup Shiro’s face. Shiro covered Keith’s hands with his own, resting his forehead against Keith’s.
“I need you,” he said in a hoarse whisper.
“I’m here, Takashi.”
Keith did what he could to stall Shiro’s frenzy. He opened him up slowly, kissing and caressing his hips and thighs as he mouthed reassurances into his skin. He pushed Shiro onto his back and spread open his legs and slipped inside with such tender slowness that it made Shiro’s heart clench and his stomach drop and he hooked his ankles around Keith’s waist to draw him in closer, closer , as close as he could get.
Once they were finished, Keith started to slip out and Shiro felt the wave of panic from before begin to rise up once more. He clutched Keith’s shoulders to keep him from retreating any further.
“Wait, Keith. I...I need...could we—could you?” He didn’t know how to ask. He didn’t have to words to explain. Keith brushed his fingertips against Shiro’s reddened lips.
“What do you need, baby? Anything at all.” There was nothing in this universe or any other that Keith would not give him.
“Could we lay here? With you—inside? I just. I need you to stay here with me. Just for a little while?”
Keith nodded and shifted Shiro so that he was spooned behind him, slipping himself easily back inside Shiro. He wrapped his arms around Shiro’s middle and brushed his lips along the base of his neck, humming contentedly. The feeling of Keith’s softening length inside him, with his come leaking out between his thighs and their sticky bodies pressed flush together, blanketed him like a balm to the sharpest corners of his mind. He could feel the steady beat of Keith’s heart, could feel his even breaths and he knew that this, them , together so intimately was one perfect way that Shiro alone could take care of Keith.
They lay there for a good while, hands clasped together and feet tangled.
“You take such good care of me, sweetheart,” Keith murmured into Shiro’s ear. The ghosting of Keith’s breath across his neck made him shiver.
“I just want to keep you safe,” he confessed.
“You do. I love you so much.”
Eventually Shiro felt calm enough to get up and let Keith pull him into a shower. They took turns soaping each other down gently and cleaning away the come and sweat. Keith corralled Shiro in against the wall of the shower and sucked dark bruises into his collarbone and neck with a possessiveness that made Shiro preen.
When they finally left the shower, Shiro was covered in lovebites and loose from another orgasm and his mind was blissfully blank. They laid back down and Keith once again slotted himself behind Shiro. He felt Keith probe at his hole, still soft from the shower and tacky with some leftover lube, and gasped when he felt the slicked tip of Keith’s cock press against him.
“D’you want…?” He ask spreading his legs and groaning at the ache of Keith entering him.
“Just this. I think I needed it too.” Shiro could hear the exhaustion in his voice. He snuggled back into Keith’s embrace and pulled the blankets up over them more firmly.
“Sleep,” he said as he reached back to rest a hand over Keith’s hip, securing their hips flush together. “I’ve got you now.”