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Burn, Drown, Fight

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Keith feels like he’s going to vibrate out of his skin.


His whole world, at the moment, feels like it’s been doused in Kerosene, and he’s a match just about to be thrown. His skin is too tight, and everything’s too loud but not enough. He feels unsatisfied and overwhelmed, everything reflecting red. 


God, he felt so fucking off.


He remembers what his therapist on earth had told him, once; “ it’s the depression,” he had said, looking up at Keith through thick glasses. “It makes it feel like nothing’s right, correct?” 


Now, though, that’s useless. He’s defending the damn universe right now, and he doesn’t have time for the chemical imbalance in his brain. He doesn’t have time for anything but fight, fight, fight. 


Keith feels trapped.


“Keith, stop!” That’s Shiro’s voice. Fuck.


Keith pulls Red back to the ground, sloppily lands, and throws his helmet aside. The rest of the team is yelling now, telling Keith that they have training to complete, but he can’t right now. His ribs feel like they're going to crack, and his headache, which previously had been a light throb in his skull, is now a full–blown migraine. 


Training room, he realizes. He’s heading for the training room.


Keith screams, tearing into the training dummy with a brutal kind of force he typically reserves for the Galra. He doesn’t withhold anything now, though, and he’s floating up, up, soul leaving his body, leaving instincts and a knife in his hand.


Hey, he can work with it.


He’s just about to slash through another when the simulation stops. Dissatisfaction burns through his veins, and his soul is shoved back into his body. He whirls around, prepares to tell whoever it is off, when he’s met with a solid chest and strong arms.




“Keith, look at me.


It’s not a request.


Keith does as he’s told, lifting his chin up and meeting onyx eyes. Shiro doesn’t look mad, per se, but his expression is unreadable.


“You left training,”


And Keith comes up with a solution, to burn the kerosene away.


He doesn’t reply with words, but rather, smashes his lips against Shiro’s, gripping at his arms roughly. At Shiro’s surprised expression, he pulls away.


But, “ Then why don’t you punish me?”


Because it’s quick, burning satisfaction, and Keith can handle pain. It’s easy.


Shiro looks shocked, before his expression settles into steel. Keith’s confused.


“Keith, no. I’m not going to beat the shit out of you because you want to self harm. That’s not how this works,”




“Who says—“


“You’ve been like this all day. Listen, if you want some kind of respite, I can do that. But I’m not going to hurt you.” Shiro’s voice is firm, but not mad. His hands come to rest on Keith’s hips, and Keith’s shoulders slump a bit. The smaller man sighs.


“I’m...sorry, Shiro. I’m just–today’s been hard.”


“Hey, that’s okay.” Shiro says, pulling Keith in for a hug. Keith melts into it, and sighs quietly into Shiro’s chest.


Fuck, he’s got it bad.


“Friends in a Dom, Sub relationship,” echo’s around in Keith’s skull, and it makes his skin prickle. 


Later, he’ll take it out on himself, lamenting things he knows he can’t have.


“Can I take care of you tonight?” Shiro asks, hand settling on the small of Keith’s back. The other man nods. Shiro doesn’t reply, instead lifting Keith up into a bridal-style hold. Normally, Keith would complain, but he finds that he doesn’t really care anymore. The Kerosene has been flushed away with cool water, and Keith’s been extinguished. 


For now.


He’s buried in his own little world until Shiro sets him down, the plush sheets of the simple bed comforting. 


“I want you to take a shower first, okay? Can you do that for me?” Shiro’s voice is soft and deep, and Keith sinks further down into the water Shiro creates in him, the world pleasantly muffled. He nods, though, swinging his long legs off of the bed. Shiro has his own shower (and larger bed, perks of being the leader), and it was infinitely helpful.


Keith steps out of the shower, toweling himself off, not bothering to put any clothes on. As long as he doesn’t look down, he guesses it doesn’t matter.


Sure enough, as he steps out of the bathroom, Shiro eyes him up and down and doesn’t make any comment. Instead, he pats the bed, and Keith quickly lays down.


Shiro hums.


Blindfold, restraints, and harsh breathing. The familiarity of it, of Shiro, settles deep into Keith’s very soul, cutting into it as it does. Keith chooses to shove it down ( again), focusing on Shiro’s touch instead. 


So he lets himself drown instead of burn.