About your "I don't have any ships post," neither did I. When I watched Voltron I had no inclination to ship anyone. When I rewatched it before S3, no ships had made its way into my cold heart. Then S3 hits and Keith shows up looking for Shiro and I was like "Damn. He really cares about him." Finally Keith says "As many times as it takes" and I clutched my heart. You don't get more intimate than saying you'd put yourself through hell countless times in order to save someone you love.
Ya I can see what you mean, usually I don’t go into a series looking to ship something. But yes, watching Keith grieve Shiro throughout season 3 was just so damn heartbreaking. Even if I didn’t ship it, I’m pretty sure that character arc still would’ve broken me. Because you know it’s been weeks now, months–everyone else has moved on, but Keith’s still searching, he never loses hope. He’s still looking, because if he doesn’t, no one else will
And it’s always Keith who we see mourning Shiro. Keith who’s still carrying a torch for him all these time, who can’t bear the thought of losing Shiro when he’s endured that hell once already, who’s so overwhelmed by emotions both human and galran he lashes out in his rage and grief, taken aback by his own behavior because he’s bottled his feelings up for so long he’s just ready to burst. And we know from Joaquim that, “He latches onto Shiro at times because Shiro’s sort of the only thing that can really calm him down and keep in check.”
Later he mentions that “[Keith’s] got this emotional side to him,” and Lauren adds that, “It’s kind of exasperated by the fact that Shiro’s gone. Like he’s having a hard time dealing with it, he doesn’t really know how to feel. And I think he just goes back to that inner part of himself where it’s just—he can’t control his emotions. And that comes from the galra side.” Shiro literally helps Keith retain his humanity; he’s the only balm that can really soothe these volatile, intense galran emotions Keith really struggles with. And so to lose that one person who was so grounding, who was his anchor–you know that really hit him hard
And really, you feel Shiro’s loss through Keith. He’s the one aching and longing and hoping and fighting–he’ll save Shiro on his own if he has to, because it seems that’s exactly what Shiro did for him. And even though lots of fans don’t ship it I imagine it still must have been painful to watch Keith endure all of this, to know that he lost the person he cares for the most and would give anything to have them back.
He’s so invested in Shiro, so adamant about finding him–it really stings to see the others pull him aside and say you have to move on. And the fact that he’s really the one with his heart bleeding out over Shiro, that you have people telling him Shiro would want him to go on, it does give me the sense that this is someone mourning a lover. Keith’s grief is almost singular and possessive in nature–he accuses the others of not caring about Shiro the way he does, reminding them that, “We don’t have Shiro anymore either. Everyone seems to have forgotten that.” This is a very deeply personal, intimate loss. And it runs much deeper than any connection he’s ever had with the other paladins
and then that reunion!! When you finally see Keith save Kuron and the look of absolute adoration on his face–the way they both slowly drift into each other’s orbit in a scene that’s just the two of them. How Keith is the only one Kuron is comfortable having at his bedside, the fact that Keith must’ve been there to have these talks and care for him all this time. And the way Kuron says, so matter-of-factly, that Keith has always been there to save him, and just how unbelievable that is–again, really reads like something you’d expect from a love interest to me. And Keith’s confident, gentle promise of “As many times as it takes,” is just so heartfelt and sincere I can see why it changed your mind