Riassunto: Shiro and Keith spar
Note: Scritta per la M1 della 5° settimana del COWT9 per "Scontro"
Keith and Shiro have never sparred much when they were back at the Garrison. Usually just when Keith needed help in hand to hand combat but, before Kerberos, before the Galra, Shiro hadn't liked fighting.
He did it when it was necessary, and for his training, but he would have been happy never hitting anyone.
Life really fucked him up on that one.
Still, now that they're paladin, fighting is a necessity and so Shiro trains them all with moves he didn't even remember learning himself.
The others don't take to training very well. They come when they have to, because it's mandatory, but it's obvious that Lance prefers to fight from a distance, that Pidge knows that her strength is in her mind and that Hunk really hates fighting.
Keith is the only one that seems to be able to appreciate his teachings and so they're usually alone at night, fighting, just like today.
Keith strikes towards him, trying to punch Shiro in the sternum. It's not the most tactical of moves, but it's very fast and after Shiro blocks it, Keith goes for another punch to his side.
He's trying to hit a human's weak points, which isn't a bad strategy, but they're also usually the ones that people are more conscious about.
Shiro always is. Keith is as well, but to do so he leaves uncovered... ah, there it is. He sees that Keith has left his shoulder open to a hit and he goes for it, not strong enough to hurt him, but enough to make Keith trip and Shiro can tackle him to the ground, pinning him.
"You leave yourself too open," he says, with a smile.
Keith glares at him for a second before he pushes a knee into Shiro's side.
That's why fighting with Keith is usually very fun: he's not one for strategy, but what he lacks in foresight he makes up in tenacity and the fact that he fight with every low blow in the book.
Shiro taught him that.
Normally this is when Shiro would push back, get back into a ready position, and invite Keith to try again. This time, he freezes.
There are really no explanations for when the flashback hit him. They come at unpredictable times.
Some times he's training, just like today, but other times he's under the spray of the shower, or relaxing with the team.
All that Shiro knows is that one moment he's safe, and the next he's fighting for his life in the ring. He's pushing at one of his many, many, many adversaries and trying to stay alive.
Their blood cover every inch of his skin, and there's a rush in his blood while he strikes with his hands at one after another, cutting them down.
Shiro is the champion. A death machine, and he can't stop because if he does, then he'll die. This is the only rule of the arena, and Shiro has it scratched in every scar on his skin.
He doesn't remember who is this aline he's fighting this time. He looks smaller than his usual enemies, but sometimes they did that. They gave him a fight where there was no challenge.
The entertainment wasn't the fight, but Shiro's anguish when, in the end, he killed them.
Still, what other choices does he have? Shiro doesn't want to die. He has spent too long running away from his illness to give up now.
So he lounges forward and takes the alien by the throat, smashing him against the wall. The crowd roars, chanting his name in a sick encouragement.
They love him as much as he hates them.
The alien struggles against his hold, but Shiro is steadfast. He's stronger, has hundreds of fight under his belt. Shiro is going to win.
He only has to squeeze a little tighter, just for a little while. He doesn't know if it's the best way to do this, if this will make him suffer less, but it beats being impaled, he thinks.
Shiro starts to squeeze when he hears: "Shiro, please stop" and it's not the alien. It's Keith, looking at him.
They're still in the training room and Shiro has Keith's neck under his hands. He was choking Keith.
He jumps back as fast as he can, and he feels the bile raise up in his throat. This is the first time that his flashback made him hurt someone and the idea of what could have happened... of what he could have done...
"Shiro? Are you okay?" Keith asks him, his voice a little rasper than usual because Shiro had almost choked him.
"Stay away," he cries, panicked.His hands are shaking and he's unable to stop himself from vomiting.
He's a danger to them all. A danger to everyone. He's a monster.
Of course, Keith doesn't listen to him. A second later Shiro feels Keith's hand on his back and he almost jumps back but forces himself still. He won't risk hurting Keith again. He can't.
"It's all right, Shiro," Keith whispers, sweeter than Shiro deserves, "I'm not going anywhere. I asked you to stop and you did. It's okay."
"I almost didn't," Shiro says horror coloring his voice. "What if I hadn't?"
Keith doesn't answer him, because there's really nothing to say, but he doesn't move away like he should. "You did. And if it ever happens again you will."
"Keith..." he says, turning to look at him, plead with him to be reasonable. Shiro is a danger and Keith has to see that.
He doesn't. Keith only looks more risolute. "I waited a year for you, Shiro. Don't think I won't wait many more until you're okay again. And this time I'll wait by your side."
Shiro doesn't think he deserves this loyalty from Keith but he doesn't know how to push it away. He almost sobs and closes his eyes.
This time there isn't the arena to welcome him, only Keith's hand, a comforting weight on his back, keeping him grounded.