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What Could Have Been

Chapter Text

It was late in the evening. Crimson bled into the bright flames of orange and golden yellow, bathing in the hints of cobalt and violet. The sun was barely peeking over the horizon, and the endless land took in the sunset, washing in shades of gold and vermillion. Keith lifted his head, watching dull grey clouds drifting past.

Turning back to the sight before him, he jumped and slid off the rock he was on. He kicked off the hard ground, sprinting, with a small trail of dust left behind him.


He eventually slowed down into a halt. Taking in small gasps and gulps, he hunched over, before he stood up and stared.

His desert shack.

It was exactly as it was when he– they– left. A little battered and worn down, but still a place of coziness, and in a way, safety to him. But– he reminded himself, keeping his eyes trained on the shack– right now, he was here because something called out to him.


It was a familiar feeling, a pull that he had felt so many years ago. A pull, telling him that there was something, something unknown, something hidden, something that he needs to investigate. He still didn’t know what to label it, but- but the closest thing he could describe it as was–

The universe telling him, there’s still a story, a story left untold, a story yet to unfold and be revealed.

He scanned the area before him. Nothing extraordinary– not yet, at the very least. He trusted his instincts too much to give up now. He decided that perhaps, his vision was too narrowed, and glanced into the horizon and the sky.

He smirked.

Bingo.

Clouds of smoke was puffing out from a few meters away from the shack. He rushed towards it. His eyes widened in surprise.

What was a Garrison fighter jet— a broken one, too— doing here?


The window of the jet was cracked and shattered, pieces of broken glass scattered inside it. Keith clapped his hand over his nose and mouth to stop breathing in the smoke. Not the best method, but that will have to make do for now. He used his free hand to open the jet and stepped inside warily.

He glanced around, eyes darting everywhere. The smoke was making it hard to see; his watering eyes didn’t help much either. He spotted someone in the pilot seat. They were slumped over the controls, Keith noted, and they were not moving. Unnervingly so. He knelt down, peering into the helmet, and gasped. He coughed and bolted out of the jet immediately. He shoved the shack’s door open and searched for a cloth, a towel, or- or anything, anything that he could use. He found his old clothes in the corner of the shack. Good enough, he supposed, and poured a bottle of water on them. He tied the soaked clothes around his face, covered his nose and mouth, and darted back into the jet.


He grabbed the person– the man, he corrected, the man who he knows– and dragged him out of the jet, bringing him into the shack. He laid him down onto his bed and took off his helmet gently. His face crumpled slightly at who it was.
He wasn’t surprised– he had been expecting it, after all– and yet, he couldn’t help but stare at the man who had been his mentor along with Shiro.




“Shiro, Shiro? Shiro!” Shiro immediately turned around and nearly crashed into Keith, who was right behind him, hunched over and panting.

“Woah there–“ he took a step back– “what’s the rush?”

“A half-dead man… i-in my- just- my shack, quickly!”

“A what?”

“Wait, I mean-“ Keith stuttered, trying to find the right words. “I mean, just– quickly! I found a broken Garrison fighter jet, okay?!”

“A Garrison fighter jet?” Shiro straightened up, before tilting his head in confusion. "Wait, it's broken? That's weird, near your shack too–" Keith groaned and threw his head back, throwing his arms up in a flailing motion then folding them in frustration.

"Shiro!"

"Alright, alright!" And off they finally took– well, it was more as if Shiro was dragged away by Keith, who attempted to run while dragging Shiro and failed.

 




Merely a few minutes later, Keith found himself flying across the desert on his hoverbike (damn was he glad she was nearby and still working) with an unconscious man cradled in Shiro’s arms. Shiro was mumbling about how this was “a miracle” and that they “needed to hurry, or he’s going to die”. He would have rolled his eyes— those were what he was trying to say to him, damn it— but the situation on hand was important.


They soon found themselves inside the Garrison’s medical office. Ever since Earth had gotten involved with the war— the Garrison more so than any other places— the Garrison had expanded, now having medical bays, a training deck similar to that at the Castle of Lions, and more. Normally, Keith didn’t go to the medical bays at all (contrary popular belief that he was reckless enough to land himself in the medical bay, he wasn’t impulsive to that extent despite the others’ insistence); which meant that he didn’t know who to call and where to go when he was actually in it.

Luckily for him— and his unconscious mentor— Shiro knew exactly where to go to. Probably because he visited all of them when the Lions fell, Keith mused. Shiro rushed his words when explaining to a doctor, who then started shouting orders, carrying the unconscious man into a ward.

 

The older man immediately slumped down.

“He’s… I can’t believe it, I-“ Keith rubbed his shoulders, attempting to comfort him, “he’s alive, Keith. Alive. Adam is alive.”

“He wouldn’t have been if you hesitated any more,” Keith replied, keeping his gaze on Shiro, who merely smiled shakily; he knew that Keith meant that in a good way. In a “you-saved-him-you’re-a-hero” way.

The corner of Keith’s lips twitched upwards into a small smile (he hoped it was reassuring).

Chapter Text

“I’m sorry, Lance, but I don’t think I can accept this… date.”

It hurt.

Lance knew that she would probably reject him, but damn it, it still hurt. Still– he couldn’t let it show on his face. He forced a smile.

“It’s fine princess.” Allura stared intently at him, eyes flickering to the side occasionally.

“Lance, please know-”

“Yeah, I get it, you don’t really like me that way-”

“Lance, please . Listen to me.” Allura took a deep breath. “You’re right. I do not like you in the romantic way. Admittedly, there was… a period of time when I thought I did, but I realised that I was not over Lotor completely. If I date you now, Lance, not only will I be denying my actual feelings, I will also be using you as a rebound. I do not want that. You’re a dear friend to me, and using you as a rebound will only hurt you. I can’t do that do you. That’s why I cannot date you, Lance, please understand.”

 

Lance blinked, processing what Allura had just practically dumped on him.

Allura was in love with Lotor. He knew that as a fact.

Lotor basically betrayed them. He also knew that.

Allura thought that… she had a crush on him. He didn’t know that.

Allura thought that dating him will be the same as using him as a rebound.

He didn’t know that, but he guessed he could understand that. If he was in the same situation– he doubted that he ever will, but still, he could empathise– he would think like that too, and actually… he…  would be a rebound, wouldn’t he?

“I… Thank you,” Lance paused, “for… telling me this. I can understand. I guess? I don’t know 100%, but I think I know what you mean.” He tensed, a sudden thought coming into mind. “Wait, we can still be friends, right?”

“Oh, we absolutely can! That is, if you’re fine with it?” Allura seemed to light up at the question. Lance smiled despite himself.

“Yeah, of course I am! So, uh… see you later?”

“Yes, of course. I’ll see you later.”

 

Lance turned to leave, but then–

“Oh, wait, Lance!” He had to turn back to face Allura.

“Yeah?”

“I would advise you to look through your feelings once again. I don’t think you like or love me anymore, not in the romantic sense– I would imagine it’s more of an infatuation. There’s someone else that I suspect you love romantically.”

“I… Wha? I- Um- Alright! Thanks for the advice!”

With that, Lance turned around and rushed into the Garrison building.

Infatuation? Love? Someone else?

 

Everything Allura just said didn’t make sense to him.

He needed to talk to someone– not Pidge and Hunk, not just yet– that he knew would give pretty blunt and straightforward (not necessarily clear, but they try) answers.

He also knew that he would have to search for them.

 


 

“Man, you can be a real hard guy to find when you want to be.” Lance grunted as he climbed up the Black Lion after searching for that someone for more than an hour . He wasn’t too surprised, though, when he found them on their Lion. He had actually slapped his forehead for not searching one of the most obvious places they would be at.

“Hey Lance.” Keith– his someone – turned around to greet him. “What are you doing here?”

“Oh, no, I just decided to find and climb onto the Black Lion for no apparent reason and found you on it.” Lance moved to sit beside the other boy. Kosmo, who was beside Keith, greeted him happily, giving a small bark towards him. He gave a small ‘hey’ back. “Uh, I was searching for you? Why else?”

“I don’t know? That’s why I asked. But now it seems really dumb to,” Keith said, leaning back onto his hands. “And the Black Lion is actually a he. He’s mad that you called him an ‘it’.” Lance stuck his tongue out at him. Keith flicked the air in front of his face in response.

“And since when did you care about that?” Lance lazily scratched Kosmo behind his ears, making him preen.

“Since Black started bitching to me about that?”

“Wow, even Black bitches?” Keith nodded his head, heaving a big sigh purposefully. Lance snickered. “Anyways, so since a few seconds ago.”

“Yeah.”

They shared a laugh.

 

Lance took a few moments to study the boy beside him.

Jet black hair that flows beyond his shoulders (he stared at the stray locks, thinking wow his hair looks really soft), and pretty thick eyebrows (definitely thicker than his, anyways).

Blue-grey– maybe even purple or violet– eyes (eyes that looked like they contained all the stars and the galaxies and hell, even all of the universe in them, if he described it poetically), and pale skin (alright, perhaps more fair than pale).

Chapped lips (he really should get some lip balm, Lance thought idly), a sharp chin and a firm jawline (holy shit).

Defined shoulders and lean but strong muscles (fighting an intergalactic war really helped with that; Lance was quite certain that even he himself gained some muscles), and– wait, stop, that sounds gay.

 

Shaking his thoughts away, Lance turned his head to see what Keith was looking at. He was met with the sunset sky– pink and yellow and orange were painted across the sky; grey clouds were floating across the sunset, occasionally obscuring the softly glowing sun, with some of them drifting above them.

“You watching the sunset?” Keith hummed in response.

“Yeah.” A small pause. “Might be a while before we get to see it again.”

That dampened Lance’s mood slightly.

“Man, I’m really gonna miss this place,” as he did for the past year or so. Lance kept his eyes locked onto the darkening sky. From the corner of his eye, he saw Keith shifting slightly.

“That’s why we’ve gotta end this war.” A tone of finality. It was a statement– a command, but also a reassurance saying we’re going to finish this off . “And we’re gonna do it with the Lance that’s the Paladin of the Red Lion. The Lance that’s always got my back–” He turned to face Lance properly. Lance’s eyes widened at the small smile on Keith’s face, but quickly drank it up. “–and the Lance who knows exactly who he is and what he’s got to offer.”

 

Lance choked on his spit out of surprise. Keith, startled, started to pat his back while leaning down to look at his face properly.

“You alright there?” Lance nodded his head. He let out a few more stray coughs before sighing.

“Yeah, I’m fine. Yeah. God, I didn’t expect that.” His mind helpfully supplied him with images of the scene again; Keith turning his face slowly, lips tugged upwards in a small yet gentle smile, his eyes meeting Lance’s, and Jesus Christ stop .

He was starting to get an idea of what Allura meant by saying that he“had a romantic attraction towards someone else”, and a very good idea of who that “someone else” was. But shit , him ? Why? Why a boy (not that he had a prejudice about it– he just never thought he would like a boy himself), why out of nowhere , why him out of all the people and– just–  why ?

 

“I… Yeah, thanks for the pep-talk! I guess you got better at it since the last time,” Lance stood up abruptly, making Keith flinch in surprise. Lance looked at him apologetically. “Y’know, with the whole ‘leave the Math to Pidge’ and whatnot.” He paused, thinking. “Actually, yeah, you really did get better.” From the corner of his eye, Lance could see Keith flushing and scratching the back of his neck.

“Well, I mean- I’m bad at pep-talk in general, so…” Keith huffed. “Whatever. You got the point. ‘S enough.”

Lance hooted out a laugh. Keith glared at him, annoyed, with his face still slightly flushed.

 

“Yeah, I guess. ‘M gonna go now, see you later!” Lance jumped off the Black Lion, making Keith’s eyes widen. He reached out to grab Lance, but couldn’t get him in time.

“Wait, Lance, don’t-” He winced when he heard a loud thump and a distant ow . “…jump off…” He peeked from the top of the Black Lion and watched Lance run off to the Garrison building. Sensing a gaze on him (probably), Lance stopped running and turned around. Keith tilted his head and leaned closer to the edge, watching curiously. Lance winked and finger-gunned at him, then turned back and started sprinting once more.

Keith blinked.

He then bursted out laughing.

Chapter Text

Shiro had been sitting on a stool beside Adam’s bed, staring at the man he had loved and still loved. The stool made his back hurt— he had been sitting on it for hours now, after all— and he promised himself (and Keith, who came and went frequently) in the end that he would leave at eight.

He glanced at the clock.

Only ten minutes left.

He reached out and brushed the tan man’s bangs back.

“Adam…” he whispered, voice hoarse from not speaking all morning. He didn’t exactly feel disappointed when there was no reply or any reaction at all; no matter how much he wished for it, he hadn’t been expecting a miracle to happen. The fact that Adam was expected to even wake up today was a miracle in itself (thank God for human and Altean technology combined together, Shiro thought). He sighed softly.

“I missed you. Keith didn’t say it out loud, but I know he missed you too. He and I both, we were really happy when he found you. It’s such a coincidence that you crash-landed near his shack, right?” His lips stretched into a smile, but his brows were still furrowed as if he was wincing. “I-” he cut himself off. Should he say it? “I love you. I hope you wake up soon,” with that, he stood up and walked towards the door. He could practically hear Keith saying ‘finally!’ once he leaves this room.

 

To be completely honest, Shiro didn’t like this. He didn’t like this at all. And guess what, Shiro thought, that was an understatement. He hated, despised, fucking detested and loathed this.

The last time Shiro saw Adam was before he even knew of this war’s existence.

(How long ago was that? He could barely remember. Was it two years ago? Or three?)

The last time he saw him was before he went to the Kerberos mission.

(A small, childish part of him cried and screamed that it was that goddamned mission that made him get captured by the Galra. The– hopefully– more mature, more grown-up part of him said that it was him himself who even agreed to it.)

The last time he saw him was when they fought.

( “If you decide to go,” he had said, “don’t expect me to be here when you get back.” )

 

Even when Shiro thought he was dead, he wasn’t given any time to properly grieve. We’re sorry for your loss, they had repeated mindlessly. But the war , they had always, always, always reminded, the war does not wait for anyone.

Heaven knew that that was the one thing he always kept in mind.

 

He was stopped by a small, quiet groan. He whipped his head around, and holy shit, his wish came true, this is so cliché but he’s so glad—

“‘Kashi…?”
He couldn’t help himself, really, how could he when Adam was turned towards and was staring at him through his half-lidded eyes?

“Adam-“ his voice cracked in the middle. “You’re awake…” He rushed to the bed. Adam gave a weak half-smile and tried to sit up. When his attempt failed, he grunted, and Shiro laid him back down gently.

“No– you can’t sit up yet.” Adam sighed.

“Ho-w…” He winced at how his voice sounded croaky, but continued on, “how long…?”

“It’s only been a day or so since we found you. The doctors guessed that you were probably unconscious for two weeks before we found you, though…”

“Actually, it’s shorter. Ten days. You were really lucky that the only major injury was that cut and burn on your face and your arm. Hallelujah for shock-proof materials.” Their heads turned to see Keith, who moved towards the bed. “Welcome back, Adam.”

 


 

“He’s fine now. He still needs to rest for around a month or so, but after that, he should be fine physically. Please remind him that he should try to minimise his movements unless absolutely necessary for a week, and provide him any help if needed.” The doctor– Shiro couldn’t remember her name right now– said. She glanced briefly at Adam. “He was very lucky to be found by you, Officer Shirogane.”

“Well, it was actually Keith who found Adam.”

“Then he was very lucky to be found by Paladin Keith.” The doctor flashed a quick smile. “I must go now. Please remember all the things that I have told you, Officer Shirogane, and please do keep them. We say those warnings and precautions for a reason, a reason that I hope that you understand.” Before she even listened to his response, she swiftly left the room, shutting the door softly behind her. Shiro thanked her silently. Keith turned around towards the door.

“I’ll get going now,” he said, giving a small lopsided smile to Adam, “I’ll talk to you later.”

 

When Keith left, Shiro turned to look at Adam, who was now staring- actually, no, glaring at him. Shiro shivered at the glare and gave a hesitant smile; as a reply, Adam’s glare increased in intensity. Alright, so the smile might have been a wrong move, Shiro sighed in his mind. Albeit slightly intimidated to do so, he pulled the stool beside the bed closer to him and sat down on it.

“So.”

“You left.” There they were; the words that would start this inevitable talk. The words weren’t spat out, though, like Shiro had expected them to be; instead, they were said clearly and punctuated. They contained much more venom than if they had been spat out. Shit, Shiro thought, if he's speaking like that, he's pissed.

“I’m sorry.”

“You went on that mission even though I told you specifically not to.”

“I’m sorry.” Shiro fidgeted with his hands, feeling a bit like a little child who was getting scolded by their parents.

“We even fought because of that stupid mission.”

“That was my fault.” It was .

“They said it was pilot error.” The wall became the new victim of Adam’s glare. Shiro internally sighed in relief at the frankly terrifying glare turning away from him, before blinking in surprise when the words registered in his brain.

“They said it was pilot error?” He couldn’t help but repeat it back. Adam muttered out a ‘Keith didn’t tell you?’ before he nodded, his face a dark storm of worn-out sombreness and faded rage. Shiro turned his head to stare at the floor blankly.

 

“I can’t… I can’t say anything about you almost dying.” Shiro heard the audible gulp and watched the other man’s adam’s apple bob up and down. “I can’t say anything, because I almost died too.”

“For the same cause.” Protecting the Earth.

“For the same cause.” Protecting you .

There was a moment of silence. Shiro opened and closed his mouth, searching for words to say, to comfort, to reassure that they–  he – were–  was – alive. In the end, what he came up with was a weak “aren’t you mad at me?”. Adam turned to look, to properly look at him. Shiro thinned his lips.

 

“I’m already past the stage of being mad at you, don’t you think?” Adam’s laugh was humourless and empty. “I think I passed that stage about a year and a half ago. You can go ask Keith, he was with me that time. Hah, would you believe me if I said that he was one of the only things that kept me stable?” When Shiro remained silent, Adam barked out another laugh. “Don’t give me that look. And then he got kicked out and ran away to, apparently, find you. According to him, he somehow knew that you weren’t dead.”

“Might be something related to his Galra heritage.” Shiro said. Adam seemed surprised for a second, before he shook his head.

“Of course he’d be…” Shiro answered the unasked question with ‘half’. “Half alien. That kid was always a little unique. Different, if you will. Never knew what it was, but apparently it was his heritage. Mother-side, I’m gonna assume.” Shiro knew that the other man was rambling. He kept silent, however, because he felt as if the rambling accomplished two things: one, Adam could express his feelings, and two, they could avoid the elephant in the room.
The more mature part of him yelled at him to get yourself together, motherfucker, you have to talk about this.

 

After what felt like thousands of hours of silence– which was probably merely a minute or two– Shiro cleared his throat.

“Adam,” he tried, “about before I left-” before he could say anything else, though, he was cut off.

“Look, I love you, okay?” Adam spat out, his face crumpling up. “I love you. I love you , you fucking asshole, and I don’t know why . We fought before you left, and you still left, but you- you piece of shit, you were–  are my fiancé and even though I said I won’t wait for until you come back, I still cried and was destroyed when they had the funeral! Because I really thought you were dead! All because I still love you, you dick!

“You still love me?” His voice was small and meek. Adam groaned.

“Yes, I still love you even though I don’t understand why!” He gritted out, throwing his hands before recoiling in pain. Shiro winced.

“…I’m sorry for hurting you. I thought I was doing the right thing-”

“The right thing for the Garrison , not for us -”

“-and it was my dream to go on that mission-”

“I get that. It was my fault for shouting at you, but-”

 

“-Adam, please listen. I understand why you tried to stop me. It was risky, and you were just worried about me, and I ignored it. I regret not understanding sooner, and I regret that fighting with you was my last memory of you before I left. But I don’t regret all the things that happened after I left. I may have got tortured by Zarkon’s army, but I met and got to know my teammates who I’ll never trade for new ones if given the choice to. I may have got dragged into this war against my will at first, but now, we’re nearing the end, and I don’t want to give it up just yet. Not yet, when we’re so close to ending this once and for all. I’m so sorry, I didn’t want you to get involved in this war, but- but Adam -”

“I get it.” Shiro sucked in a sharp breath, glancing up to meet Adam’s unwavering gaze. “I get it. You’re saying that you can’t quit this war, because while horrible things happened, good things also happened, right?” Shiro nodded his head. Adam’s lips twitched into a small smile. “Yeah. I didn’t exactly expect you to quit the war. But don’t expect me to quit now, ‘cause I’m gonna fight till the very end now.” Shiro nodded once more, and Adam’s smile turned into a playful smirk. “I need to save someone from their saviour complex, after all.”

“I don’t have a saviour complex, Adam!” Adam laughed out a ‘sure you don’t’ , and Shiro sputtered, indignant.

“So,” Adam started once he calmed down, “mind telling me what happened while you were out in space?”

Oh, this was going to be interesting, all right , Shiro thought.

 


 

( “What?! The Lions were literally just sentimental mecha cats?”

“Yeah, and they transform together to make a huge robot called Voltron.”

“Oh my god. Sentimental transformer mecha cats. Takashi, this is like the show we loved to watch. Even the name is the same!”

“I know! I mean, there are some things that are different, but it’s almost the same!”)

 


 

Shiro was proud to say that he only jumped in his seat when someone barged into the room. He deemed himself lucky for being in his own dorm room and not with Adam; Adam would have jumped out of his skin. He turned to the door to look at Lance. What was Lance doing here?

“Shiro? I need your help.” He watched him walk into the room, not bothering to stop him. It was an unexpected visit, not an unwelcome one. He stayed silent and waited for Lance to collect himself. Lance mumbled out one syllable words (mainly uh , um , well , and eh ) before clearing his throat.

“I… think I like boys.” Well, that escalated quickly, didn’t it? Shiro muttered a bitch me too under his breath. “It’s so confusing. I thought I liked girls, and now I like boys?”

“Well, you might like both,” Shiro said. He honestly didn’t know if he was helping or not, but it was worth mentioning. “Like bisexual. Or pansexual. Or even demisexual-”

“I- I get it.” Lance still looked a bit unsure. “But what if it’s just a passing attraction? Like, I don’t really like boys… but I think I do?”

 

Shiro blinked. He turned to look at Lance, who he could see was avoiding his eyes. Despite the lack of reciprocation, Shiro kept his eyes on him.

“When I first met Adam,” he began, feeling like an old grandpa telling ‘when I was your age’ stories; he watched Lance glancing up sharply to look at him in confusion, brows furrowed. “I fought a lot with him. He and I were complete opposites and got on each other’s nerves a lot. We fought so much that all the people around us were tired of it.

“We were forced to work together often. We did complete the missions and simulations, but we still fought while doing so. Working together with someone for so long, though… it makes you get to know them and bond with them, doesn’t it? We found out that we were actually similar to each other, and grew closer.

He wasn’t my gay awakening, but apparently I was to him. He said that he was so confused, but he thought it was worth trying out. I mean, it was mainly because I confessed to him first, but still. And we became fiancés. My point here, Lance, is that whether your attraction is a “passing” one, or one that “stays”, it’s worth trying out. Especially if it helps you figure out.” Lance nodded, listening and clinging to every word he said.

“Thanks, Shiro.” Lance said, visibly relaxing. Shiro managed to nod and reply with a ‘no problem’ before he couldn’t resist the playful grin that spread across his face.

 

“So, about that guy that’s your bi awakening…” He trailed off, watching as Lance’s face turned from its natural tan to a shade of pink that reminded him of Valentine’s day cards. Lance tried to laugh it off.

“Uh, no one. It’s no one! I just had this thought, y’know?”

“Is it someone I know?” Shiro said, and grinned when Lance bit his lip. So it was someone he knew. But who, was the more important question. It wasn’t James; he could remember them ignoring each other after the landing unless necessary. It wasn’t Kinkade; Lance didn’t show any signs of interest towards him at all, not even a single tiny sign.

“Is it one of those Galras at the BoM, like Kolivan or-”

“What the hell , Shiro?” Lance looked– frankly– disgusted. Shiro couldn’t help the snicker that left his mouth.

“Alright, sorry.”

That left the Paladins– so himself, Hunk, or Keith (Keith was technically in the BoM too, but he decided to count him as one of the Paladins). He was sure that it wasn’t him– after all, if it was him, it would have been a long time ago, since Keith had told him that Lance knew him; which means it would have been an admiration for a “hero” instead of a genuine crush or love. That left Hunk and Keith.

“Is it Hunk?” Lance stared at him with a deadpan face, crossing his arms. Shiro shrugged.

“Really? The Hunk that I know? The Hunk that is my best friend along with Pidge? For who-knows-how-long?” So that was a definite no. That left-

“Oh my god, you like Keith! ” Lance sputtered out some gibberish, his arms tightening around his torso, his face turning into a shade of a tomato. Shiro felt his lips stretch into a huge grin.

 

“You like Keith! My little brother! My emo little Galra brother that’s in our team!” Lance looked like he wanted the floor below him to swallow him up. Shiro practically felt his eyes sparkling in delight. Lance leaned back a little before he processed what he said completely.

“Hold on, emo little Galra ?” Lance snorted. “I mean, yeah, that’s true, I guess.” Shiro blinked, realising something.

“Wait, your problem wasn’t completely about your gay or bi awakening, was it?” Shiro’s theory was confirmed from the way that Lance flinched. Shiro furrowed his eyebrows. “What’s the problem?” Lance’s mouth shaped out silent words until he sighed and hunched into himself.

“I just… want to know why I like him all of the sudden. It just seems really out of nowhere, y’know? I mean, I can accept that I might be bi, ‘cause I’m pretty sure that I was checking out a guy when I was in Garrison without realising it if I think back, but… why Keith? Why him? Out of nowhere! I thought I liked Allura one second, but after getting rejected by her, I suddenly like Keith? It doesn’t make sense!” Shiro’s eyes widened at the outburst. Lance sucked in a huge breath, then let it out.

 

Shiro searched for the right words to say. He already had a pretty good idea of the situation– he just needed to words his thoughts right. He called out Lance’s name, making him look up.

“If you want me to be completely honest,” Shiro said, “I think you started moving on from Allura since a long time ago.” Lance stared at him, blue eyes curious. “When Keith left, it left a void in you, didn’t it?” The other boy blinked, gaping at him; his face practically screamed ‘how did you know’ . Shiro raised an eyebrow, smiling. “There’s just some things that you notice when you’re the spectator.” Well, technically speaking, the clone was, but his memories were transferred to him. So he was the spectator.

“You like Keith acknowledging you as his right-hand man and as his friend. And you started isolating yourself from your team when he wasn’t there. You were less happy, less social, less yourself when Keith wasn’t here.

“You didn’t really flirt with Allura from a long time ago, Lance, and I think that’s because you were moving on from her. Maybe at some point you were genuinely in love with her, I wouldn’t know that; but you accepted that she didn’t love you back, didn’t you?” Lance nodded, not saying anything. “I think that’s when you started really moving on from her. And while you were doing so, Keith came back. You were really happy to see him again, I could tell– so why were you so happy that he came back?”

“‘Cause he was safe,” Lance mumbled out, his arms crossed once more. “He came back safe. And, well, I mean I guess I just was ? I don’t know.” The tips of Shiro’s mouth stretched into a gentle smile.

“Are you sure it wasn’t because he came back to you?” Lance stared at him blankly, blinking several times before his eyes widened.

“Oh fuck,” Shiro heard Lance mutter under his breath, “shit. Shiro. I think you might be right.” Shiro chuckled and dragged out two chairs and sat down one of them (he realised now that this was going to be longer than he thought it would be). He gestured for Lance to do the same, who did as he was told.

“So, what I’m saying is, you might be in love with Keith longer than you think you are, and you might have not been in love with Allura longer than you think you weren’t.”

"…Shit, I think I have to rethink my whole life now," Lance joked while laughing nervously. "But uh, thanks a lot, Shiro. That actually helped a lot." Shiro merely shrugged in response– a silent you're welcome. 
He would listen and help out his team any day; especially if the troubled one is his maybe-future-brother-in-law.