Welp, didn't make it into the zine
So that means I can post my shit here!! Enjoy!!
He came awake slowly, cataloging the aches and pains that throbbed angrily at him. There was nothing broken at least, much to his relief.
Strange clicks and groans bounced around him, indicating at least a few different beings were with him. He blinked, trying to clear the darkness, but the subtle movement of cloth against his face proved to be the problem. He suppressed a sigh and listened as the various aliens argued.
The sound of a pressurized door opening cut through their conversation, and a set of steps slowly echoed through the chamber.
“This had better be worth my time.” The new voice, so clearly human and so clearly annoyed, cut through his chest like a knife. He knew that voice.
“You lied to us. You said he was dead.” The words sounded thick and clumsy on the alien’s… tongue? Without preamble, the blindfold was ripped away, temporarily blinding him as his eyes struggled to adjust.
A sharp gasp echoed through the room, earning snickers from the strange group. “That’s quite the imposter. You even got the scar right.”
“Not inop- Not ipmo- Not fake!”
His blood ran cold at the indifferent words, unable to believe he could even suggest it. He looked up into the masked face, hiding his identity from all but him.
Something was wrong.
A scuffle of movement behind him drew his attention. As he turned to look, all hell broke loose.
The masked man surged forward, easily taking out the two guards and grabbing him, ripping him away from the third alien’s reach. The man turned and ran out of the room and down the hall, and he quickly moved to follow, hindered slightly by his bound hands. They ran until they reached an airlock, and his rescuer quickly maneuvered them through, depositing them onto a much smaller ship. With a decisive hiss, the hatch sealed behind them.
The masked man took a moment to calm his breathing, removing his mask from his face, then pulled out a familiar knife and cut his hands free.
It was Keith, but he wasn’t wearing his armor. It looked like a random assortment of pieces, thrown together for the sake of function.
He was led to a large room, empty except for a single familiar pod, and another familiar face.
“Who are you?” Keith whirled on him, shoving his dagger under his chin. He raised his hands slowly and answered.
Shiro blinked, his mind reeling from the cold certainty, but remained still. “I am Takashi Shirogane.”
The tip of the dagger began to tremble as Keith’s scowl twisted with pain. “Liar! Shiro is dead!”
“What? That can’t be right. We just defeated Zarkon! I remember a huge blast, but I’m still alive.”
By now, Keith was shaking his head slowly, all anger gone as a deep grief pulled his features. “That battle was years ago. We failed. You died,” he whispered.
Shiro’s mind raced as he boggled at Keith. That wasn’t possible.
“It seems that power knocked you into our reality!”
Keith dropped his arm as Slav moved between them, peering closely into Shiro’s face.
“Clearly you are from a different reality, one where you survive the blast!” He turned to Keith, who now watched with something akin to hope, though a deep sadness still lurked.
“You’re alive…” Keith stepped forward slowly, his dagger clattering to the floor as he reached up with both hands, cupping his face as though he would break. “You’re really here.”
Shiro held his breath as Keith slowly leaned forward.
All he could do was nod. Lips pressed lightly against his, sending a jolt through his body. They pulled away slightly, and Shiro surged forward, cupping the back of Keith’s head as he pulled him closer with the other. He could taste Keith’s tears, his disbelief and desperation, and he did everything in his power to wipe them away.
They pulled apart slowly, resting their foreheads together as they breathed, the depths of their emotions leaving them dazed.
“You have to go back,” Keith whispered against his lips. “You don’t belong here.”
“What about you?” Shiro searched his tearstained face. Keith shook his head slowly as he clenched his eyes closed.
“Slav built an interdimensional teleporter from one of the healing pods. He can send you back.”
“What about you?” Shiro repeated, pulling Keith closer.
“You’ve given me a taste of something I never had before.” He looked up, the brilliant purple standing out against his red rimmed eyes. “I can live with that. They need you back there.”
“I can set the correct reality by using the dimensional wavelength and particles that are unique your reality.” Slav pointed out softly.
When he didn’t move, Keith slowly pulled Shiro to the lonely pod, shoving him gently inside.
Shiro held tightly, his throat constricting painfully as his heart twisted. “Thank you. I’m sure I… He loved you.”
Keith smiled sadly at him, gently caressing his face as though memorizing him. “He needs to know.”
Shiro suddenly froze, uncertainty leaving him cold. “But, what if…” He trailed off, unable to vocalize his fears.
“I asked Slav once if a reality existed where I didn’t love you.” Keith said gently, tracing Shiro’s lips with a fingertip.
Shiro inhaled sharply, afraid to hope for the answer. He waited on baited breath as he continued.
“He said no.”
Keith kissed him gently, feather light, yet his heart felt ready to burst. With a radiant smile, made all the brighter through his tears, Keith pulled back and closed the pod.
Panic suddenly seized Shiro as he realized he never said the words to this Keith, that he had never heard them from his Shiro’s mouth.
“I love you!”
Keith choked on a sob as tears streamed down his face.
He focused on the image of Keith’s face as darkness surrounded him, swallowing his consciousness.
He woke in a haze, vaguely noting he was still inside the healing pod. Voices began to penetrate the fog, and he blinked slowly to clear his eyes.
He locked eyes with Keith, his Keith, so different from the other, and yet it was clearly there, the answer so obvious he didn’t know how he hadn’t seen it all this time.
He was home.