i headcanon that after Shiro disappears the paladins sometimes use his name as encouragement. it starts with phrases like ‘what would Shiro do’, ‘Shiro wouldn’t want you to do this to yourself’, ‘Shiro what should i do’ etc.
then it goes to comments like ‘Shiro wouldn’t like this’, ‘I don’t think that’s a Shiro-approved idea’, ‘Shiro would be proud’ etc.
one time Keith is about to do something extremely stupid and all he can do is look upwards and mutter ‘Shiro I’m sorry’ before he does the Stupid Thing
then Lance accidentally mutters ‘Shiro help me’ when he and Keith are arguing about Keith having done the Stupid Thing (bc he’s been thinking too much about those words) and there’s a moment of heavy silence before the tense atmosphere breaks and the whole group erupts in hysterical laughter because what the fuck even
and suddenly it’s a Thing (bc it’s as ridiculous as it is therapeutic)
phrases like ‘Shiro forgive me’ become common when someone is about to do something Shiro wouldn’t approve of, the list of such things growing increasingly larger as the phrase is used for more and more trivial things
“Shiro forgive me,” Pidge says as she locks Keith in the decontamination chamber and activates it, because Keith has been stinking up the place by constantly training and refusing to shower.
“Shiro, if you’re seeing this, look away because I think he’s about to do something stupid,” Hunk mutters as Lance gets that special gleam in his eyes.
Lance: “For the love of Shiro, listen to me for one second goddamnit!”
Hunk: “Don’t you mean ‘Shiro damn it’?”
Lance: “Shut your quiznak, Shiro would never damn anything!”
Pidge, quietly: “Not all men.”
Keith, just as quietly, but confused: “But Shiro would?”
"WHAT IN SHIRO’S NAME IS GOING ON HERE?!”
“Shiro bless you, you innocent bean,” Pidge tells Keith, and Keith is confused but also smiles because he can’t help but be touched. Everyone resolves then and there to use this phrase on him more often.
“Guys wait. Before we go into this battle-”
“I just want to say”
“May Shiro be with you”
And then one day Shiro is back and old habits die hard, words keep slipping and Shiro is Hopelessly Confused and Not (at all, absolutely 0% nuh-uh) Amused. Especially when one of the first words upon finding him are an automatic “Thank Shiro you’re okay” and there’s just… a pause. Such a heavy pause.
but then one time Shiro does an awesome thing and everyone’s like “how did you do that” and all Shiro says is “i work in mysterious ways” and everyone is just d o n e