Disclaimer: I don't own Voltron: Legendary Defender.
Author Note: This has romantic Shallura, romantic Klance, and brotherly Sheith.
Shiro landed the Black Lion in her hangar and exited his lion. He had been on a routine survey mission, which took three days. He was glad to be back with his girlfriend, brother, and friends. He was greeted by Lance, Pidge, Hunk, and Allura. He received a hug from each one and a kiss from Allura as well. He could tell they wanted to tell him something that he wouldn't like, but he also had a question. "Where's Keith?"
Lance looked down, took a breath, and met Shiro's worried gaze. "We don't know exactly. I mean we know he's in the castle, but nothing beyond that."
"Somehow, he rigged the cameras to not work in his room," Pidge commented.
"We have knocked on his door but got no reply. He's not on the training deck either," Allura added.
"And the worst part is we think he hasn't been eating," Hunk finished.
"I will find him. Thank you for telling me," Shiro said before hurrying off to Keith's room. He knocked but received no reply. He pried the door open, revealing the darkened room. Shiro located the light and turned it on. He scanned the room for his adoptive brother. He was lying on his bed, seemingly asleep. Shiro walked over and sat down next to him. He shook Keith's shoulder to rouse him, but he barely got an eye flutter. Worried, Shiro checked for a pulse on his neck and found one, but it was weak. He picked up his brother and marveled how light he was. He left Keith's room and headed for Castle Control. The other five people were there.
"I see you found-what happened?!" Allura was at his side instantly, her exclamation alerting the others.
"I don't know but he needs to be in a sleep pod now," Shiro answered.
Everyone accompanied Shiro down to the infirmary. They carefully removed Keith's jacket, utility packs, and knife. They laid these items beside the pod and loaded their barely alive teammate into it. After they activated the pod, Allura looked at Shiro. "What happened?"
"I got into Keith's room, and he was there. I thought he was sleeping, but I didn't get a response when I tried to rouse him. So, I checked for a pulse. I did find one, but it was weak. I think you were right in your suspicion that he wasn't eating." Shiro's head was in his hands. "Why would my brother not eat?"
"Your brother? You and Keith are brothers?" Lance inquired.
"Not blood related. My family adopted Keith when he was really young. His father died, and he never knew his mother, so my family was able to take him in. We fostered him and then applied for adoption. He's my little brother in every way that matters."
"Maybe he was so worried about you that he couldn't keep anything down so he just didn't eat?" Hunk suggested.
"It was a routine survey mission. Why would that worry him?"
"We won't know until Mullet is done in the pod," Lance spoke up.
"True. Allura, how long do you think it'll take?"
"It might be a couple of vargas or a quintant. It depends how his body will take the healing," Allura replied. Shiro sat down next to the pod; Allura sitting next to him. "Are you okay, Shiro?"
"No. I thought I'd be able to spend some time with my brother and my girlfriend once my mission was over, but I come back to a barely alive brother. Why would he do this?"
Allura wrapped her arms around Shiro and guided his head to get shoulder. "At least you found him in time. He'll be back with us in as much as a quintant."
"Too long. I lost a year due to being captured by the Galra. My disappearance affected Keith more than most people knew. I was always there for him whenever he needed to talk or just keeping him company. When I was captured, Galaxy Garrison reported it as pilot error and that all three crew members were lost. That report never sat right with Keith. He became angrier than normal and had discipline issues at Garrison so he dropped out. He is one of the best pilots I know."
"I can tell. The Red Lion is difficult to master, and Keith not only has done so but has an extraordinary bond with the lion."
Shiro lifted his head off the princess's shoulder. "That's true, but then why didn't Red react when Keith lost consciousness?"
"I don't know. We could talk to the others and get their opinions."
Shiro shook his head. "I'm not leaving before Keith is released from the pod. I don't care if it takes a few vargas or a quintant. I'm staying here."
"I understand." Allura gave Shiro a squeeze before standing and leaving. Shiro was left alone for a little while, but throughout his vigil he usually ended up with company. It was normally only one or two people, but one time, everyone was there. The leader of Voltron realized that the person he saw the most was, surprisingly, Lance. He wondered why the Blue Paladin was getting increasingly concerned about his rival until he caught Lance's eyes. He knew that look. Shiro had the same look when Allura was in danger. Lance was in love with Keith. Shiro hoped they acted on their emotions, because he knew Keith loved Lance too. Keith had admitted it to his brother recently.
Shiro kept his vigil over Keith throughout the night. A few times, Allura stopped by to give Shiro food that Hunk cooked. "I want you to eat, and you will need your strength when Keith is released."
Shiro relented and ate every time he was brought food, whether he was hungry or not. He knew his girlfriend and friends were looking out for him while he was worried about his brother. It seemed like Keith had been in the pod for a movement, instead of most of a quintant.
FInally, after an entire quintant, the pod's door disappeared and Keith almost fell out of the pod. Fortunately, Shiro was nearby to catch his brother, whose eyes opened slowly. "Wha-what happened?"
"That's what I want to know, brother."
Keith looked at who was holding him. He grinned and threw his arms around Shiro's neck. "Takashi! You're back!"
Shiro unwrapped the raven-haired teen's arms. "I came back to find my brother unconscious from lack of food. Why do you do that? If I don't make you eat, you almost forget entirely! You need to take care of yourself. Everyone was worried about you, even Lance!"
Keith's violet eyes strayed to the floor. "I was so worried about you that I couldn't eat. I didn't know if you were coming back."
Shiro grasped Keith's chin and forced him to look up. He was surprised to see tears in the teenager's eyes. "Why wouldn't I return? I said I would."
"You said that before the Kerberos mission," Keith whispered, a tear trailing down his left cheek.
Shiro tensed. He did say that, didn't he? He looked at his brother. More tears were trailing down his face. Keith didn't care if anyone saw them. He just wanted his brother to hug him, and Shiro could tell. He wrapped his arms around Keith. "I'm sorry, lil bro. I didn't mean to make you worry. However, we need to get you something to eat. Something light like broth would be best I think."
Keith kept his arm around Shiro's waist, while Shiro guided him by his shoulders. He sat Keith down at the table and slipped into the kitchen. He saw Hunk in there. "Hey, Shiro. Are you here for a snack?"
"I should have something, but more importantly, Keith needs something light to eat. I was hoping for some broth."
"Keith's awake? I'm glad. Everyone has been tense like they didn't think he was going to make it. I knew he would. He's a fighter. He wouldn't just give up," Hunk mentioned as he whipped up a bowl of broth for the Red Paladin. "Here you go. I will bring a snack out for you in a dobosh."
"Thank you." Shiro grabbed the bowl and a spoon. He carried them out to Keith, who was sitting there waiting patiently. To Shiro's surprise, Lance was sitting next to the other Paladin. "Lance?"
The Cuban teen looked at their leader. "What?"
Keith leaned against Lance. "Tell him please. I don't want to keep secrets from Takashi."
"Keith's my boyfriend," Lance said without further prodding.
Shiro placed the bowl and spoon in front of his brother and sat down on the other side of him. It was then that Shiro realized that Keith was wearing his jacket and had his utility packs and knife back on as well. Lance must have brought them to Keith. "I thought so. There have been less fights. I knew something was going to happen soon. I'm glad it didn't take long. How long has it been?"
"Um, three movements, almost four." Lance gently nudged Keith, so he would sit up and eat. Keith raised his head but stayed close to his boyfriend. He ate slowly but steadily.
It wasn't long before Hunk came out with a bowl of one of his concoctions. It looked appetizing. "Thank you, Hunk. It looks great."
"It's good to see you up and about, Keith. Since you are in good hands with both Shiro and Lance, I'll go tell Pidge, Allura, and Coran that you're here," Hunk commented.
Keith nodded and continued eating the broth. It didn't take more than a few ticks it seemed for the rest of the castle's occupants to arrive, accompanied by Hunk. They all sat around the table. Keith had only eaten half of the broth. He pushed the bowl away from the edge of the table and laid his head against Lance's shoulder again. Shiro knew his brother wouldn't be able to eat the whole bowl. He would have to work back up to full meals. After not eating for 3 quintants, he wouldn't be up to eating a whole lot. Lance wrapped an arm around his boyfriend's shoulders.
"Please don't scare me again, Mullet."
"We were all concerned, Keith," Allura stated.
"I know. I was just too worried about Takashi not returning.”
"Why would you worry about that?" Pidge inquired.
"He didn't return after the Kerberos mission until a year later."
Pidge looked down. "I see."
Shiro placed his left hand on top of Pidge's hands. "You will find your dad and brother. You have already made progress." Shiro looked back at his brother, who was cuddling Lance. "Next time you worry about me, go talk to someone like Allura or Lance. Don't shut everyone out. You have people that care about you."
"I know that. It was just overwhelming the longer you were gone."
Lance pulled the bowl back towards his boyfriend and urged him. "Could you try to eat a little more please?"
Keith eyed the bowl, uncertain if he could. He snuggled further into Lance's side. He couldn't get any closer without sitting on him. "Maybe later. This is nice."
Lance gently pushed the bowl away from the edge of the table and pulled his boyfriend onto his lap, holding him. Shiro was surprised at how open Lance was with Keith and how comfortable Keith was with Lance. Shiro looked at his brother. He physically looked better, but he wasn't acting right. Maybe he just needed physical touch after the trauma he had just experienced. "Are you all right, Keith?"
Keith looked at his brother. "I'm doing better, Takashi. Why do you ask?"
"Well, first you are back to calling me 'Takashi' and second, you are comfortably sitting on Lance."
"I missed you a lot, and Lance is comfortable," Keith replied simply.
"I'm just reassuring myself that he's still here. I got so used to him being around that the quintant he spent in the pod was almost torture," Lance explained.
"When we couldn't find Keith, Lance was almost beside himself with worry," Pidge added.
"I think this will make the team's bond stronger," Allura put in, getting up and walking over to Shiro. She stood behind his chair and wrapped her arms around his shoulders, her hands resting on his chest.
Shiro looked around the table at his team. Pidge, Hunk, and Lance were friends with each other from the Garrison, Coran and Allura were close as well, he and Keith were family, he was also close with Pidge (having worked with her father and brother), Lance looked up to him, he taught Hunk how to fly, he was dating Allura, Keith was the one who didn't have a lot of connections with the team. So, dating Lance would definitely strengthen the team. Shiro smiled and nodded to himself. Everything was going to be okay.