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Keith is short

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Keith is short.

 

He doesn’t like it. He doesn’t like it, but he will admit it. And most of the time, he would find a way around most of the height-related problems he would get himself into. 

 

Sometimes, however, he would not find a way. Sometimes, he would require the assistance of someone taller than him. And those times were always, without fail, utterly humiliating. 

 

Take, for example, now: He is stuck. In a hole.

 

The planet that they had been exploring, (Takaxcisalia, Coran had called it, but he wasn’t even going to try to pronounce that) had been ridiculously dull. It was made entirely of grey rock, with craters and small hills being its only features. The Takaxcisalians had been equally boring, vaguely humanoid, vast and hulking creatures. Their greyish-brown skin was hard as diamonds and they had no discernible features besides a mouth, which spoke in a strange language composed primarily of grunts and guttural sounds. Allura said that they did, in fact, have personalities- very deep down- but Keith was half convinced they were just semi-sentient rocks. 

 

Freeing the planet from the Galra had been ridiculously easy- apparently, Zarkon hadn’t wanted to waste many resources on these weird rock-people. Keith found himself agreeing with the emperor, for once. 

 

He and Shiro had been sent to explore the planet to “see the sights”, as Allura put it. It was more out of politeness than anything- they didn’t want to risk offending the people who could crush their heads in one fist with no effort at all. Lance, Hunk, and Pidge had gotten to stay behind, claiming that they were “injured” and “tired from the battle”- which was complete bullshit, but Shiro had given him a disappointed dad look when he tried to protest, so he had begrudgingly kept quiet.

 

Well, Keith told himself, at least it was Shiro who he was going with. If he was going with, say, Lance, this would be utterly unbearable. His brother was, at least, decent company. 

 

The walk was going fine-if not stupidly boring, but he didn’t want to be a Lance and complain about everything- when the ground seemingly crumbled under their feet and they fell. Into a hole. 

 

The hole wasn’t that deep, only a few feet above their heads, and neither of them was injured, which was good. Really, it wasn’t that big of a deal, it just made him grumpy. Well, more grumpy.

 

Lying flat on his back with the wind knocked out of him, he grumbled to himself about this stupid rock planet with their stupid rock people and stupid rock holes, stupid Allura for making him “explore”, stupid teammates for lying about being tired, stupid megalomaniac emperor, stupid evil empire, stupid space war, stupid space, stupid universe-  “Keith? You okay?”

 

Oh right. Shiro was here too. 

 

“Yeah,” he called, pushing himself up, “I’m fine. You?”

 

“Fine,” Shiro said, also getting to his feet. He looked around and then up, squinting at the sunlight coming from the opening. “We fell into a hole.”

 

“Oh really?” Keith grumbled. “I didn’t notice. I thought we fell into a lake.”

 

Shiro gave him a look that was half-exasperated, half-fond. “Come on,” he said, gesturing to a ledge. “If we grab onto that ledge, we can pull ourselves up.”

 

“Then can we go back to the Castle? I hate this stupid rock planet.” Keith knew he was being whiny, but he really didn’t care. He was so done with grey. 

 

Shiro sighed and rolled his eyes. “Yeah, yeah. We can go back.”

 

Keith made a grumpily satisfied noise and Shiro smiled. “I don’t know what you have against this planet. It’s nice- quiet.”

 

“It’s boring, ” Keith said, making his way over rocks half his size to the ledge. “And I lived in the quiet for a year. It gets old real fast.”

 

Shiro made a small, guilty noise and Keith internally winced. He knew Shiro felt bad about leaving him for Kerberos (even though he has told him time and time again that it was not his fault ) and he didn’t like reminding him of that year. He decided not to say anything but felt guilt rising up in him anyway. 

 

“We should get out of this hole,” Shiro said, grabbing onto the ledge. “Come on.”

 

Keith reached for the ledge- and missed. 

 

He stretched up onto the tips of his toes, but the ledge was still out of reach. His eye twitched, for fuck’s sake he did not need this right now-

 

“Keith? You need some help, bud?” Keith turned around to see his brother watching him with an infuriatingly amused look. 

 

No ,” he said. He hopped a little bit, hoping to grab on, but the stupid rock ledge was stupidly out of reach. 

 

Keith really hated this planet. 

 

He jumped again, but the ledge was just a few inches away from his hand. Shiro poorly stifled a snort. 

 

“Shut up, Shiro-”

 

“I didn’t say anything!”

 

Keith groaned and slumped forward, banging his head against the ledge. Shiro laughed and disguised it with a cough, and Keith whirled around to glare at him. He raised his hands in surrender, still grinning. “Are you sure you don’t need some help?”

 

“Yes!” Keith said, glaring. He jumped again, but he still couldn’t reach that goddamned ledge. “...no.”

 

Shiro laughed again and walked over to him. He placed both his hand on Keith’s slim waist and lifted him up a few feet like a fucking ballerina so that he could reach the ledge. Keith hated that he could do it so easily.

 

Keith grabbed the ledge and hauled himself out of the hole. Shiro followed behind him, still with that stupid amused look on his face. Shiro took one look at the disgruntled look on his face and snickered.

 

“Stop laughing at me,” Keith muttered.

 

“I’m not laughing at you!” Shiro said. While laughing.

 

Keith was unamused. “Oh yeah? What are you laughing at, then?”

 

Shiro shrugged and made a mysterious noise, his eyes alight with mirth. Keith shoved him.

 

“Let’s just go back to the castle,” Keith groaned. He needed a nap. A long, long, nap. 

 

“Alright, shortstack.”

 

Shiro I swear to god-”