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This is like 11k words long so pace yourself lol

Being accepted into a prestigious flight school like the Garrison had always been a pipe dream for someone like Keith. He wasn't stupid, he's seen his records before and knew he had a snowballs chance in hell of getting into a millitary school as long as those things existed. He was too much of a flight risk, too hotheaded and temperamental (even though he was never the aggressor, he just happened to throw a meaner punch than those around him.)

The way he thought completely changed when he met Shiro, and by extension, Adam. Two graduates from the Garrison who, for some reason, had taken him under their wings. It started when Keith stole Shiro's vehicle.

Shiro didn't press charges.

Shiro, the Garrison's golden boy, had stared at the sunset with him and his body language had shown no sense of anger or annoyance (Keith had known how to read people's body language ever since his third foster home.)

Shiro brought him dinner.

Shiro introduced him to Adam a week later.

Shiro vouched for him.

Shiro and Adam helped him study to test into the Garrison.

It all happened in a whirlwind, and suddenly, Keith was packing his bag to take his leave to the school. He had passed with one of the highest simulation scores in Garrison history. His current Foster Father hadn't even batted an eye, probably happy that Keith would be staying at the dorms and he would still receive Government pay.

That was okay. Keith was used to celebrating his victories in silence. Of course, Shiro and Adam had taken him out to eat before dropping him off at his foster home. It was the warmest Keith had felt in a while, because despite living close to the desert, the cold was always biting.

Shiro and Adam had decided to move onto Garrison grounds, where Keith knew the teachers' buildings were directly to the left of the boys dormitories. (He knew because once he got his hands on a map, he fervently memorized the large college-like grounds.) They would get one side of a floor to themselves with a large kitchen, living area, two bathrooms, and two bedrooms.

Keith would get a one room dormitory and a communal bathroom.

Shiro and Adam made it very clear that he couldn't spend every night in their living quarters because apparently it was a right of passage for one to live with a roommate in the Garrison, (but there were still some nights where the noises became too much. Where Keith looked over his shoulder every other minute waiting for something to happen. On those nights they could always seem to tell what he needed and took him back to the teachers building with them.)

But Keith didn't want to rely on the adults, not like he had the others that failed him, so he didn't go up to them when the harassment first started. Keith was no stranger to other kids being hostile towards him, he had grown up with older kids in foster homes, most of which were never nice. Then, early in middle school the rumor of him not having a family spread (was it a rumor if it was true?) and life had gone downhill from there.

Here, at the Garrison, Keith couldn't fight back against the other Cadets like he normally would without fear of Iverson catching wind of it and expelling him on the spot. No matter how bad the Garrison could have gotten for Keith, it was nowhere near as bad as being booted back to the group homes.

So he stayed right where he was and learned to ignore the stares, jabs, and mocks. It was humiliating, but getting expelled would be just as humiliating, if not more. Because then he would have let them win.

Keith had always had sharp teeth. He barred them and used them to ward off adults like a shield away from the world. But he had a soft tongue, one that fumbled awkwardly when he was faced with emotion to the point where he gave up on fitting in all together.

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