Be who you areee

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Keith hadn't been doing too well lately, and that much was very evident by the other pilots of Voltron. He had been spending way too many hours on the training deck, and even the princess had to stop and frown at the hours logged by the red paladin because apparently it was unhealthy even to altean standards.

Shiro knew that Keith hadn't been getting much sleep either because everytime he stepped out of his room at midnight earth time to do his nightly rounds, the light to Keith's room was always on.

They all knew where this was stemming from, the exhaustion and the overworking, but none had the heart to bring it up. It was no secret now that Keith had alien DNA, Galran, to be specific, though once the bomb had been dropped the red paladin hadn't lingered to actually have a conversation with the rest of them.

He had shut them out.

Even Shiro.

He had been missing meals lately, choosing to skip out on them in order to train or hide out in his room. During team training (that took place at least three times a week) he worked well with them, but never looked them in the eyes. As if he was waiting for something, a taunt or even a punishment.

Shiro would never forget the way Keith had physically flinched away from him when he raised his arm for a quick victory high five. Keith thought he was going to hit him, and nothing could describe the pain in his chest.

It was obvious that the team was in for a long discussion on the matter as soon as possible, though 'as soon as possible' would have to wait for a few days because the princess and Coran were off on another planet embarking on a diplomatic meeting while the Paladins guarded the castle.

And watched Keith continue to deteriorate before their very eyes.

Shiro had desperately tried to get through to Keith in those times, sitting off to the side, pretending to be interested in working the altean weight machine when really he was just keeping a close eye on Keith's training progress. On the way he swayed in place while still ordering the simulation to up a level.

Pidge never talked about the elephant in the room, instead she simply buried Keith in technical codes and analysis, which Shiro knew he appreciated.

Whenever he did show up for meals, Hunk made sure to give Keith an extra serving, and to keep things normal Lance tried his best to keep up the banter. But the atmosphere was always tense as if Keith was ready for things to go south. As if he had an escape plan mapped in every room incase one of the Paladins decided to corner him.

So yes, a conversation was needed. It was needed very badly.

But Shiro was patient because he knew Keith and he knew the red paladin would run away if he wasn't ready to talk, (which, he obviously wasn't.) That, and the fact that both Alteans needed to be present because Shiro caught the look of inner turmoil Allura had on her face every time she saw Keith.

She needed this conversation just as much as him.

It had been two days since Allura and Coran had left for the diplomatic meeting and the team was getting skittish. No distress signals had popped up and no Galra ships had tried to destroy them (which in the grand scheme of things was good, but not good for the mounting paranoia.)

To burn off the excess energy, Shiro ordered for a training session that none of the paladins had argued against.

"So, what's it today captain?" Lance asked, the last to bound into the room. He had his armor backwards, but Shiro decided not to comment on it because at least it was on. Pidge and Hunk looked at him eagerly and Keith kept his stare to the floor.

"Just because the princess is gone doesn't mean i'm taking it easy on you," Shiro smirked and watched as the Garrison trios faces fell.

"You disappoint me," Pidge grumbled, and Hunk shrugged sheepishly as if saying 'what can you do?'

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