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June 1st, 2147

Keith fiddled with his boutonniere in a gilded mirror, hung on the wall of a ruined castle. He looked as out of place as he felt. His suit, white and fitted cleanly to his body, contrasted against the crumbling gray of the castle stones, poorly lit with lightbulbs in faux-medieval sconces. The shadows cast his face in a gaunt light, making him appear ghoulish as he fiddled with everything in the tarnished mirror of the groomsmen’s room. His mother stood behind him with a small smile on her face, head tilted to the side. 

“You look fine, honey.”

Keith sighed as he looked at her for a moment before turning his eyes back to his reflection. He was tired, bags under his eyes now perpetual instead of incidental. 

Anxiety crept up his spine like smoke from a fire. He sipped whiskey from the glass at his right; condensation made his hands feel more clammy than they really were. Between that and how tight his throat already was, he wasn’t sure how he was going to get through the next few hours. 

He stepped over to the thin window built into the castle’s turret he was trapped in. With a shove and a shudder that made him think the window wasn’t supposed to open, he cracked the frame far enough to justify pulling a loose cigarette from his thin, faux-gold case. 

His mother rolled her eyes behind him as he flicked open his lighter and put the cigarette between his lips. 

“How I wish you had inherited a Galra’s sense of smell.” Her tone was less soothing now, more approaching a “mom-voice”, but Keith continued to lean out the window and smoke. 

Krolia’s heels clicked against the stone as she paced. Keith could hear her jewelry clink against itself as she checked her watch (in both Terran hours and Universal vargas). He didn’t have to look to see the expression on her face, but his sweat-sticky back prickled with anxiety again as he ignored her. Despite everything, he didn’t like disobeying his mother. 

The rock under his elbows turned to dust and he watched as flecks of granite and limestone shed into the bushes four stories below him. The leaves and flowers shook slightly as the rocks hit them, so Keith intentionally broke off more stone to throw downwards, just to watch, all while the burn of his cigarette lit up the back of his mouth. 

He closed his eyes and tried to enjoy the last pulls of smoke into his lungs but the summer day was too hot to smoke enjoyably in. For Keith, smoking was more of an October habit, but today was a special occasion onto which he could project his self destructive tendencies willy-nilly. 

He let the butt of the cigarette fall from his fingers just as he opened his eyes, but didn’t get to see it hit the greenery below, catching only the aftermath, the shaking of leaves after the action. 

He sighed again, fully hunched and resting his head on his arms as they hung out the tiny castle window. 

“What if I just flung myself out this window?” 

“You wouldn’t die from forty feet, Keith.” Krolia’s heels clicked away from him and the heavy oak door groaned as she pulled it. A full grown human would need two hands to wrench open the old thing, hung on rusted hinges, but Keith knew his mother opened it with one.

He turned, and paused for a single moment, trying to savor the last few moments of freedom he could muster. 

Looking over her shoulder from the doorway, her olive green dress fluttering slightly in the breeze, Krolia beckoned over to Keith to follow her. 

She stood with one foot in the hallway, and the other on the red, worn carpet in Keith’s chamber. It had probably once been magnificent and period-correct, tying the room together. Now, though it was threadbare and marred the aesthetic of the rest of the space. Dark wooden furniture decorated the circular stone room, including a lounge chair, a marble-topped desk below the hung mirror Keith had just been gazing in. Gold filigree decorated the tarnished mirror, polished only at the curves and turns as if thousands of groomsmen past had worn it down for good luck. Tapestries hung around the walls, keeping the room nearly reverent with silence. Keith knew there was a party below him, but he couldn’t hear it. 

He looked at the room, wanting to freeze the moment in time. He wished he could do anything to change the course he was about to go down, but he knew he couldn’t. 

Nothing was going to change this moment, ever. 

“Keith! Come on ,” Krolia said, stern and frowning. 

He hurried forward, crossing the carpet and catching up with his mother. She hooked her arm in his, like she knew he was about to throw a toddler tantrum in the aisle of a grocery store, mad he couldn’t have the oreos he wanted. She walked through the halls and down the stairs with purpose, Keith stumbling behind her. His feet were so clumsy all of a sudden, he was struggling to find his purchase as he walked. 

Certainly, the churning in his stomach had nothing to do with it.

As they made their way down the barren hallways of the castle ruins the noise of the wedding party grew louder and louder filling Keith’s head like the smoke of his cigarette- whispy, but dangerous. 

Pidge’s squeaking shriek cut across the courtyard, making Keith wince. Matt’s reedy laugh followed as he howled at whatever prank Pidge was in the middle of pulling. They stood off to one side surrounded by fluttering white banners and green bouquets of flowers and balloons. Pidge had her hands on her knees, bent over in laughter, and Matt was sitting on the ground in his white suit, laughing along to whatever Pidge had said. 

The party-goers swirled around and Keith only felt sturdy where he was connected with his mother. Guests milled about, already with drinks in their hands, even though the wedding hadn’t started yet. At least he wasn’t alone in his alcoholic pursuits today, he mused. 

To the left, Lance and Hunk brushed off white seats, removing pollen and leaves from where they swirled down from trees and neighboring flowers. They were pink-cheeked but smiling, talking to each other. 

All-in-all, the ceremony was set to be one for the ages. Keith knew if he were to be feeling negatively about anything, he should be superficially jealous at the splendor, wondering when his time would come, or when he would have the funds. Instead, he was left contemptuous of the whole affair, sour at the idea of watching Shiro marry another man. He had tried to keep his temper in check, but it was leaking out now, especially as he drank. 

His mother tightened her grip on his arm and steered him away from the party, into the shade of a hulking juniper tree, both of their shoes crunching fallen needles to dust. 

“Keith, you need to pull yourself together. Can you do that for me?” 

He looked up at his mother; the disappointment on her face made Keith want to hide his face. Only a mother could put so much venom in a single glance and Keith felt every bit the petulant child Krolia was treating him as. 

“Yes, Mom,” he grumbled.

“Your time will come, sweetpea. You’ll be fine. Just drink some water.” 

Her platitudes made no difference in the moment as he felt only a mixture of venom and sadness inside him still. Nothing was going to cool the fire that Shiro had lit inside him, and he knew that. 

As he stood there, looking up at his mother, the other paladins’ voices became clearer, cutting through the buzzing of the party grounds. It was time to go inside and get the man of the hour. 

Keith’s stomach dropped to ice as he reckoned with his fate. He had stared down death once or twice before, and he could do it again. He let go of his mother’s steadying arm and stepped forward to join the others. 

Across the lawn and through an old, knotted oak door was Shiro’s room. Gilded and furnished, it was full of original art, tapestries and rugs, not reproductions like those that had decorated Keith’s. Shiro sat at the far end on a rich wooden bench, bent over tying a perfectly polished black shoe. He sat in front of a stained-glass window, painting him in reds and greens and blues and yellows, dancing along the back of his white suit. The room smelled like heavy cloves and spices, a medieval perfume that leached from the walls themselves. Backlit like that, Keith’s breath was stolen from him. He knew he had no right to fawn over a person that had never rightfully been his, but he did anyway.

Shiro looked up, a slow smile filling his face. 

“Hi guys,” he said at them, sounding as if he had just been reminded he had any friends at all. 

Lance shoved in on the bench right next to Shiro, an entire head shorter even while sitting. 

“Man, this venue is amazing. This shit is beautiful. You know when we get Allura back we’re bringing her here.” Lance’s blue Altean marks shimmered as he looked around, eyes wide. The group murmured in agreement as Lance continued to chatter away about the ceremony and the location. 

Shiro had scouted the castle nearly a year ago, saying it felt fitting to have his wedding in such a place, reminiscent of the Castle of Lions in so many ways. He wanted Curtis to feel included in the paladins’ group; he wanted to feel some grandeur once again, since he rarely needed to pilot the ATLAS anymore. Keith had poked fun at him back then, but he kind of got it, too. There was a reason he kept leaving Earth, and it wasn’t to see the sights. 

Shiro stood, brushing off his pants, and started to fiddle with his cufflinks. He looked down at the floor, like he did when he had to make a hard announcement. Keith was struck by how similar an expression he was wearing when he told them a peace treaty hadn’t been signed quite yet, and things might take a little longer than expected. 

But this time he picked his head up and smiled at the room again, looking suddenly and shockingly like when he announced the war was over, and the ships could be grounded once and for all. 

“Thank you guys for being here. It’s surreal to see you all like this,” he addressed the room. Keith hated how he tracked Shiro’s face, seeing how he didn’t look at anyone in particular. 

“Yeah, man! We wouldn’t miss this for the world!” Hunk’s voice, deep and solid like rock, had the power to shake Keith nearly off his feet. His heart sped up before Keith could tell himself he needed to get his goddamned focus right. 

Through the open window of Shiro’s room, music trickled in and alerted them to the time. It was time to go, and Keith’s job as best man was about to start. He pulled away from the group to slam back the rest of his drink, wobbling as he went. The warmth filled his belly but didn’t provide any comfort, only a sickly feeling as he continued to sweat in his suit, sure that spots of damp were becoming visible on his back or under his arms. 

The group shuffled out of the room, suddenly quiet, like they were all nervous, but Keith was sure he was the only one about to make a fool of himself. He wanted to shove a fist into his mouth but figured that would really be pushing the boundaries of appropriately shameful in public. 

In the entryway that faced the garden, the groomsmen (and lady) lined up with the opposing party. The night before, at the rehearsal dinner Keith had met Curtis’s best man, or in this case, his best lady. His sister, a girl of only about twelve. (Curtis joked that his parents had had him young, and his sister was the follow-up, whom he had remained close with throughout her childhood). At the back of the line, ahead of Shiro, Keith linked arms with Curtis’s sister, feeling perhaps the most ridiculous he had ever felt in his life. 

She was tall enough that they didn’t look horrendously mismatched, but holding her thin arm was awkward to say the least. He felt like he was doing something wrong now on two counts, not just one. 

Keith swallowed dryly, trying to ignore how the girl was staring up at him, mouth slightly open in awe. 

The doors to the garden swung open. The party became bathed in heat and light, the scent and sight of green carnations and roses flooded the entryway. The music doubled in volume, and Keith blinked, overwhelmed, squinting while his eyes adjusted. 

The pairs drifted off down the aisle towards Curtis, smiling at the altar next to the officiant and nearly bouncing as he waited for his groom to descend towards him. 

Curtis’s sister tugged at Keith’s arm, jolting him out of his reverie. She hissed at them that they had to go, and off Keith went, down a white brick walkway towards an elevated altar, only to split from the girl he escorted to stand in his rightful spot at Shiro’s wedding. 

Best man. 

He watched Shiro walk, and the crowd rose for him, honoring him with their attention. He looked regal, all in white, floating Altean arm glowing softly even in the daylight. The music picked up, swelling with emotion as he stepped up to look at the man he loved, mixing with the wind that blew an incredibly-timed gust of petals around the garden, leaving sweet-smelling pollen in their hair and noses. 

The crowd hushed, finding their seats, and the ceremony began. 

The officiant, some long lost relative of Curtis’s, had a droning voice. He remained monotone throughout the whole thing, even when he attempted humor and relatability. The attendants chuckled along politely, waiting in the hot sun to get to the good stuff. Multiple women (and Coran) broke out paper fans, breezing themselves in the cloying, perfumed aired. Keith wished he had one as sweat dripped into his eyes. His mom had been right, he should have braided his bangs away from his face, but instead, here he was, sweating all over himself.

Keith had half a mind to daydream, but before he could find a suitable thread of consciousness, he was being reminded to grab the rings from his breast pocket. Shiro took them from Keith, their skin grazing in a way that made Keith sweat in an entirely new way.

Shiro slid Curtis’s ring onto his finger, and Curtis did the same. They kissed. The crowd clapped. And it was over. 


The party had just begun, and Keith was puking in the bathroom. He stumbled away from the stall, needing to grip the edge of the countertop to stay upright. He took a gulp of hair to calm himself down. His mouth hurt from bile against chapped lips and he just wanted- no, needed- a glass of water. 

“YO. My DUDE. What the FUCK?” The door to the bathroom crashed open, jarring Keith half out of his skin. 

Lance. Unsteady on his feet but sturdier than Keith, for sure. 

Keith flipped him off and went back to contemplating the black hole of the sink drain, wondering if maybe he held his breath he could fit inside.

“It’s like...fuckin’...only eight-thirty and you’re, like, fucking puking. What the FUCK?” Lance slid in next to Keith, crowding him, pushing him up against the wall until he was wedged in the corner of the wall and the countertop, faux-marble biting into his hip. 

“I’m the best man, I gotta party,” Keith shrugged. “Fuck off, you’re pinching me.” 

Lance put his hand on Keith’s shoulder, pulling him away from the wall in an awkward shuffle. He set (or threw) his glass onto the counter top so he had two hands free, both of which ended up on Keith’s shoulders, blocking him in so he had to stare at Lance’s slightly-unfocused eyes. 

“Keith. Keithy-Keith. You gotta get back out there. Get a hot chick for me, okay. Stop being such a light-weight.” 

Lance’s breath smelled like whiskey, and Keith could see his pores. He made a mental note to tell Lance that tomorrow, knowing it would piss him off. 

Keith rolled his shoulders, trying to get Lance to let him go. When that didn’t work, Lance still hanging on like a drunk little barnacle, Keith removed the hands from his shoulder himself, and sighed.

“Oh, I get it. I... man...I’m so sorry,” Lance sounded heart-broken all of a sudden, as if some puzzle piece had snapped into place in his alcohol-addled mind. He rubbed at his eyes, almost like he was going to cry from the thought of... whatever he was thinking. 

“This must be, like, really hard. Like, personally. I’m sorry,” he continued, patting blindly for his glass behind him.

“What are you talking about?” Keith asked, not really wanting to hear whatever the answer was. He liked to think his not-so-brotherly-love of Shiro was a well-kept secret, known only to his mother. He had said the words to Shiro, and had gone so far as to kiss him all that time ago, but he wasn’t sure Shiro even remembered either of those moments. One fueled by close-range-rage and the other by karaoke-alcohol. So, the fact was, only Keith’s mother knew. 

If Lance McClain of all people had figured it out, Keith didn’t want to hear it. His stomach lurched and Lance moved his mouth like he was finding the right words, struggling to make his phrasing as painful as possible. 

“Like...cuz you...y’know,” Lance looked away as he spoke, awkwardly fiddling with the glass he had finally found. 

Keith frowed, unanswering and unmoving. He imitated a brick wall as best he could, but still Lance talked without talking - mumbling around the subject without saying it. 

“Like! Cuz, you’re half Galra, right…?” he finally spluttered, looking ashamed of himself. 

A rush washed over Keith, almost making him lean back against the wall he had just been shoved up against. 

Lance continued, “I’m sorry! I didn’t wanna stereotype…” 

Keith rolled his eyes, finding his footing. He shoved around Lance, making sure their shoulders knocked.

“That has nothing to do with anything!” He could hear the astonishment in his own voice and their footsteps echoed in the tile bathroom as they shuffled around each other, Lance turning drunkenly to look at Keith’s face again. 

“Well, like, your mom. She’s wasted ,” Lance said, like that clarified the whole situation. 

Keith turned away from Lance again and ignored his headache as he went back out onto the dance floor, focused now on finding his mother. The dance floor, black save for the glittering lights hanging on the vaulted ceiling and artfully-exposed rafters, was packed. The wedding party was almost comically huge and Keith was feeling that now as he got crushed and jostled between dancers and drinkers. 

He nervously skated past Shiro and Curtis, slow-dancing to a fast song, and found his mother strewn almost entirely across a table, Kolivan rubbing her back in small circles. 


Keith tried his best to sound stern, but he knew he was nearly as drunk as she. 


Krolia did not move an inch from where she was laying, mumbling something that Kolivan was pretending to hear. 

Keith sighed, and sat next to her. Her eyeliner was smudged in a not-on-purpose way, and she was talking about the music to someone that certainly wasn’t him or Kolivan. He sat there for a moment, wondering if she was ever going to notice him, or if she was simply going to watch the night go on from her horizontal position at the table, when she finally started to haul herself up. Her cheek stuck to the tablecloth for a microsecond, and Keith stifled a laugh. 



“Reminds me know. Your Pop.” 

Keith rubbed her hand when she reached for him, her head still tilted forward even as she tried to talk. He made eye contact with Kolivan, who shrugged, and pushed a full glass of ice water down the table so it would be resting in Krolia’s eye-line if she ever picked her head up. 

“She scolded me earlier for drinking,” Keith half-yelled, trying to get across the music to Kolivan. He offered a half smile in response but said nothing.

Krolia shifted between them, holding her head up for a moment, only to slur, “S-smoking.” 


Kolivan nodded again, and Keith realized he probably could not hear a single thing anyone was saying over the music, but he didn’t fight it. His own head was swimming still, and he knew that if he had just two or three more drinks he would be passed out on the table alongside his mother. 

He sat back, feeling the rungs of the chair press into his spine, and tried to relax. He kept his hand on his mother’s, feeling the warmth of her skin and trying to find comfort in it. Instead, he was just annoyed, bothered by the loud music, the swirling of his stomach and the idea that he had to comfort Krolia in any way. He supposed they could perhaps bond over the idea of lost love, but it just made him uncomfortable to think about needing to listen to her stories about his father. 

He grumbled to himself. 

Krolia’s fingers, sharp nails and all, curled around Keith’s hand as she pulled herself up. If talking to Lance had been bad, talking to his mother in this state was going to be much worse. 

She furrowed her brow at him, focusing as hard as she could. He had never seen her like this, and it was hard not to laugh even in his bad mood. She stared so intently at him he thought she was going to burn a hole in his forehead. 

“Keith,” she managed, mouth forming around the word slowly. 


“Your time...will come,” she nodded sagely. Keith rolled his eyes - very much not wanting to have that conversation. 

Krolia saw, looking at her son through half-closed lids. “Don’ roll yer eyes at me, young man.” 

Keith sighed to himself but kept his face as impassive as possible. “Yes, mother.”

She knew, and he knew she knew, because he was the one that told her. He had no interest in dragging it all up and out into the open again, especially not here, at the party. He may have been miserable, but he was smart enough to be miserable in private, especially not with Kolivan pretending he wasn’t listening to every word happening between Keith and his mom. 

Keith stood, pulling himself up and out of his chair despite his body starting to ache from the alcohol, standing in the sun for the ceremony, and the alcohol, again. What food he had had at dinner wasn’t helping any longer, that was for sure. 

“Where you go?” Krolia asked, looking up at him, sadness on her face. 

“Just getting some air, mom, don’t worry.” 

She nodded and closed her eyes before leaning back so she was nearly resting against Kolivan’s chest despite them being in separate chairs. Keith chose not to investigate. 

Keith did go out to the balcony though, inspired by his own excuse for air. As he stepped outside, a rush of cool night air ran through him, making him shiver. The transition from hot banquet hall to cold outside was jarring, and Keith reflexively hugged himself. His skin was tacky from sweat, now drying, leaving him feeling like he was covered in a film of something nasty. 

Still, he tried to relax his shoulders and enjoy the moment alone. He looked up at the stars peaking through the evening sky, not quite black yet. He hadn’t been flying in a long time and missed space - especially Diabazaal - quite a bit. It had become a second home to him. He fit in with lonesome and independent Galra more than he would like to admit. He would certainly love to be there, even in the ice deserts, right now. 

Under his hands, the metal railing encircling the balcony chilled him and without his suit jacket on (left behind... somewhere …) he couldn’t help but shiver. The air stung even at his eyes, making him want to blink. 

Keith rubbed at his face, momentarily distracted by how uncomfortable he felt. But when he opened them, he stared. A flash of light blipped into his vision from down on the castle garden, momentarily illuminating the wedding altar. 

A large black and blue wolf, uncannily familiar, appeared out of the light, and even though he was too far away to truly smell it, he knew the garden would reek of ozone. 

Kosmo turned his head backwards, looking at something moving behind him. Keith’s stomach flipped inside his body, not for the first time that night. But this time, everything was different. Kosmo had walked around himself, turning to get the attention of the man he had blipped into existence alongside him. A man with long black hair, braided down his back, walked alongside Kosmo. He wore all black, even down to his fingerless gloves. 

Keith was staring down at himself from the wedding castle. 

He ran. 

His shoes slapped against the dancefloor, then the hallway, and out to the entryway he had been in hours before. He could hear himself breathing, confused, as he went out to the garden on instinct, not memory. 

The garden was nearly the same as it had been all those hours ago. The chairs were gone, their only trace small indentations in the ground. The wedding arch was still standing, but the white and green flowers that had adorned it had begun to fall to the ground, littering the grass as it fell apart under its own weight. Fairy lights still remained in the trees and bushes, but some of the bulbs had burned out. 

Kosmo lingered in the archway, the first to notice Keith. He whined, confused by his two Keith’s, standing twenty feet apart. 

Keith’s voice failed in his throat as he stared at himself. Though he had seen himself at a distance during his time on the space whale, this was so uncomfortably different. Not only was he watching himself, he was being stared at just as intently. 

His visitor spoke first. “I didn’t expect to get seen.” 

Keith huffed a laugh. “Why are you wearing my face?” 

“I’m no chameleon. I just didn’t think we would meet like this,” the double said. He was casual, almost annoyed in his tone, as if he really had no intention of talking to anyone. Maybe he was the real Keith, afterall. 

Keith stepped forward, wrenching his feet from where they were glued to the ground. He approached cautiously, deeply aware that he only had his blade on him, tucked away in his waistband. Old habits, and all that. If this visitor had anything more powerful than a knife, he was in trouble. 

Kosmo, though, lept over the raised altar and bound to Keith with happy familiarity. He was larger than Keith remembered, having been away from him for a meer day. Even Kosmo didn’t grow that fast, though. Keith pet his snout, and Kosmo sat, wagging his tail against the ground. Because he was so large, the sound was loud enough to make Keith wince. 

Keith felt as if he was looking at an old film of himself. He recognized the body language, the expressions, but he couldn’t remember the exact thoughts he might have been having at the moment. His head swam, trying to think of any explanation for what was happening. 

“Is this...a Voltron thing or a space whale thing?” 

“Space whale,” his double said, casually. “Kosmo’ll start blipping for long periods of time some day soon. Start going with him.” 


Kosmo stood back up. Keith’s version of Kosmo was about as tall as he was, but this Kosmo was almost six inches above his head. But he was still just as friendly, licking a large, disgusting stripe against Keith’s cheek. Kosmo walked back over to the other Keith, circling him, and emitting a slow whine. His marking started to glow, and the other Keith touched Kosmo’s shoulder, as if to anchor him. 

“While I’m here I should tell you - whatever you do, don’t -” 

His sentence was cut off by Kosmo, blipping himself and the other Keith solidly out of existence. Ozone lingered in their place, the only trace of them left behind. Not even the grass was bent over in their wake. 

Keith stood, open mouthed, staring at the altar. The night shifted back into its rightful place, nothing but a small breeze disrupting the air. Silence surrounded him. His own breathing was too loud to bear. 

He crept forward, scared to shift the universe any further than it had already been shifted. He sat on the raised altar and fell forward, his head hitting his hands with a soft fwap.

He sat for so long he began to shiver again, teeth clattering against each other, making his head ring and his neck ache. But still he didn’t move from his precarious seat, unsure about what to do next. Could it have been a hallucination? A drunken dream? If the person had been nefarious, Kosmo would not have stood by him. Nor would he have left without delivering what was clearly meant to be a crucial piece of advice. So...did that mean the other Keith was really, really him? And if so, what did that mean?

He sat in silence, thoughts swirling, body aching from the hard riser. He didn’t notice Shiro until he was already nearly upon him. The soft sound of footsteps alarmed him, and he whipped his head up to see who was approaching, deep embarrassment filling his belly. 

“Hey...came to find you,” his voice was soft, almost cautious. He paused in front of Keith but didn’t sit. Keith stared up at him, knowing he looked the fool. His blood rushed to his face, surely making him even redder than he already was. 

A cry hiccuped its way out of Keith, surprising both of them, as he looked up at Shiro, illuminated by the stars and fairy lights. 

“God. Sorry. You can ignore me,” Keith mumbled, hoping beyond hope Shiro would listen to him. But he knew Shiro wouldn’t, because Shiro had never left him alone when he stumbled upon Keith crying which was, horribly enough, too many times to count. 

He sat down next to Keith, smelling like sweat, deodorant, and alcohol. Their arms brushed, soft cotton on cotton, almost slippery. Keith was comforted by Shiro’s presence and, simultaneously, angry with himself. 

“Just tell me what happened,” Shiro replied, still as cool and calm as ever. 

Keith flopped backwards, gazing up at the stars through aching eyes. His chest was tight, and it kind of hurt to breathe, but he shuddered a breath anyway. 


Shiro lay down next to him, looking upwards as well. “I miss the stars, too. We should go sometime.” 

Keith turned his head slightly, looking at Shiro’s profile. His eyes lingered on the scar on Shiro’s nose, how there was an almost imperceptible piece missing from the very top of the bridge. Keith didn’t say anything, and instead let Shiro keep talking. The low rumble of his voice was so painfully familiar. Keith had been listening to it for nearly ten years at this point and he hated how he could recognize every bump and crack in Shiro’s tone, revealing hidden messages, almost as if they were there just for Keith alone. 

Shiro hummed for a moment before he turned to meet Keith’s eyes. 

“I think you should date someone.”