Shiro worried his lip with his teeth as Allura looked over the hybrid, a deep frown on her face.
"His temperature is low, but it may just be stress that's making him sick. There's no sign of infection, his wounds look clean…" She brushed Keith's bangs from his forehead as he slept. "If only I could get him to the hospital, then I could be sure."
"Is there anything I can do to help more? He's- he was terrified of me when he saw me in my Garrison uniform. They had him, Allura. They had him. What if they hurt him too?" Shiro started to pace, his heart thundering in his chest from the sick possibilities. "What if they experimented on him? Who knows what Sanda has in the restricted areas-"
"He may have been scared, but I think he trusts you the most, Shiro." Allura straightened, patting him on the shoulder. "He's been through a lot. We just need to show him that not all humans are monsters."
He nodded slowly, looking back to Keith when Allura left the room. Shiro sighed, running his flesh hand over his face before he laid down on the bed. He watched Keith sleep for awhile, how the hybrid's brow was furrowed and how he shivered. Against what his brain was telling him, he shimmied underneath the covers and gathered Keith into his arms, humming softly whenever the hybrid fussed in his sleep.
"I'm not giving up on you, Keith." Shiro held him close, keeping his voice at a whisper. "I promise."
Keith was confused, again, to say the least. Shiro wasn't sending him back to the humans with needles, and he wasn't sure why. None of Shiro's friends mentioned it, either. They told him that they weren't going to send him back, and a small part of him was starting to believe it.
He currently was sitting on the couch, watching Lance play some sort of game on the television. The hybrid was tired, still recovering from his panic attack a few days ago. They told him that he could trust them, and he felt like he could. He figured a nap wouldn't hurt until Shiro got home from wherever he went.
Slowly, Keith stretched out on the couch, closer to Lance. A small part of him was nervous, but-
"Huh?" Lance froze as soon as Keith's head pressed against his leg, and he looked down to see the hybrid looking up at him nervously. A small smile crossed his face as he leaned back more into the couch. "You look exhausted, dude. Come on, get comfy. You know you can't curl up like that with your back."
Keith blinked, but moved further up so his head was comfortably resting on Lance's thigh, facing the television. Lance switched it to a normal program to watch, glancing down at Keith every so often. Hesitantly, he rested his hand on Keith's shoulder, rubbing his thumb against him. Lance felt the hybrid tense up, but slowly, very slowly, the tension bled out of his muscles.
Lance smiled to himself when he heard the soft sounds of sleep coming from Keith, and ended up falling asleep himself half way through the show he was trying to watch.
The more he found out things about Shiro as the days went on, Keith realized, the more a curious feeling built up in his chest.
Said human was currently unwinding his bandages, with Keith sat on a chair in the dining room. The hybrid sat as still as he could, ears twitching to the sounds of Hunk in the kitchen.
"Well." Allura stood next to Shiro, carefully running her fingers along the skin between the wounds. "Looks like we can remove your stitches, Keith. How does that sound?"
He nodded, hoping the heat that flooded his face wasn't blush when Shiro moved in front of him and held his hands.
"It might sting, ok?" Shiro gave him a smile, and Keith timidly returned it.
He growled softly at the feeling of the stitches being removed, gripping Shiro's hands tightly. Shiro murmured reassurances to him, rubbing his thumbs along Keith's hands.
"All done. And it looks like you're starting to put on weight. Which is a good thing." Allura patted him on the head, and handed back the hoodie Shiro let him wear. "How do you feel?"
Keith blinked, and stretched a little. His back was sore, and he still felt the pull on his skin, but he felt so much better than he had in a long time.
"I feel great. Thank you."
It wasn't long before Hunk had finished dinner, ushering everyone into the living room for a movie night. Keith's tail thumped against his thigh when a plate of food was put in his hands, and Shiro sat closest to him as they piled around the couch when the movie started.
Keith was thankful for the lights being out during the movie, or else Shiro might have noticed him sneaking glances, just to watch the human laugh with his friends. The warm feeling grew, and the realization of what it could possibly mean ruined his appetite. He was falling in love with Shiro, hard. Galra courted in a very specific manner, and it all started with a warmth building in their chest. Keith was imprinting on Shiro.
He was making a mistake.
He didn't want to fall in love, not yet anyway. There was no fathomable way Shiro could love him back. Keith was broken, used up, scarred and useless. He didn't have the stamina he used to, the agility or strength, everything he needed to impress a potential mate.
"Keith? You alright?" Shiro leaned in, his voice kept at a whisper.
Keith nodded slowly, pushing his food around on his plate. He wasn't hungry anymore. The hybrid set his plate down, motioning towards the stairs and left the living room before Shiro could stop him.
He slowly made it to Shiro's room, curling up underneath the covers as the unbearable loneliness crashed into him. He couldn't be loved, not now, not ever.
Keith just needed to accept it.