“You’re my brother,” he says, the hot blade coming closer to his face.
“I love you,’ he says, and there’s a hitch. A stutter. And the blade presses closer, scorching, tearing a shout from his throat and making his vision bleed red at the edges.
Everything’s a blur after that, as Shiro tells him the team, their family, is gone by his own hand and tells Keith to just give up the fight. The burst of strength to push the weapon away, to cut it off, Shiro’s barely there whisper of his name, even that one moment when everything seems to stand still around him, just before everything comes crashing down around them. Everything is a blur.
The pain he feels in his entire body, in the burn on his cheek, isn’t even a small fraction of the agony that is ravaging his heart as he looks at the one person that means more to him than the entire universe put together.
He tries to hold on, when the platforms breaks and tilts and they slide off. Shiro’s fallen unconscious, he’s a dead weight, and Keith barely manages to catch his wrist in time, and all his instincts are screaming at him to let go, to save himself at least.
But Keith would rather fall, would rather die, than ever give up on Shiro. (Even now, even when this Shiro is not- is not his Shiro, not the Shiro he’s known for years, Keith can’t make himself let him go. Maybe I’m just selfish like that, the thought passes lightning-quick and rueful through his mind as he struggles to pull them both up.)
Memories flash through his mind, unbidden, as he struggles, as he looks down at the man who’s given him so much. The first time he ever saw Shiro, the races through the desert at sunset, Shiro’s words and endless patience, his endless kindness.
Yes, Keith won’t ever let go.
And when they fall, because they do, inevitably, fall, Keith closes his eyes to the image of Shiro’s unconscious face being enveloped in bright light.
If he dies, then he wants Shiro’s face to be the last thing he sees in this life.
(They don’t die though, because Shiro has taught him to never give up on himself, and because he can’t give up on Shiro either, and because he wants to live, he wants them both to live, for as long as possible.
It’s probably what helps Black find them and save them.)
(Or maybe it’s Shiro’s soul inside Black’s consciousness.)
(Or maybe a combination of both.
Keith will have to ask about that later, when they have some time to breathe, to settle, and to talk.)