(A/N AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH ok this is gonna be my first upload of the Voltron fics i've been working on for months and I'm uber nervous. This one was the first one I wrote between seasons three and four so my canon knowledge will reflect that fact. I was also still getting used to writing Keith instead of Fang or Max and getting used to writing in third person so this one might not be perfect but here it is anyway enjoy.)

Iverson sat at his desk, staring down at the report in dismay. All the instructors received it the night before, but he still couldn't quite believe what it said. The Kerberos mission was humanity's first real foray into the final frontier, and to have it end in such disaster, all crew lost was… devastating, to say the least. This morning the principal was going to have a special assembly to break the news to the students. Well, all but one. That one was Iversons job.

The door to his office slid open with a slight hiss from the hydraulics. For once, the kid was on time. The thought occurred to Iverson that he already knew, that the news had leaked into the school somehow, but he dismissed it quickly. If he knew, there definitely would have been an incident before now. He wasn't exactly the quietest student.

"Sit down, Keith."

"What's going on?" Keith asked, settling into the chair in front of the desk. He crossed his arms tightly over his chest and narrowed his eyes at the teacher. "I don't remember doing anything wrong in the last few days."

"You're not in trouble." Iverson responded gravely, making Keith raise an eyebrow.

"Then why do you look like you just went to a funeral?"

"The Garrison received a report last night." he began, watching Keith's face closely. "We've been investigating for several weeks, but the higher ups have determined this is the most likely outcome."

"Will you spit it out already?" Keith asked snappishly. The instructor was normally harsh, but today he seemed practically depressed.

"We haven't received a single transmission from the Kerberos mission in a month, Keith." he said softly. At the mention of Kerberos, Keith sat up straighter and locked his eyes on Iverson. "Based on the data we could gather, the mission has been deemed lost. The crew is presumed dead."

The room was quiet for a moment while Keith stared at his teacher. Finally, he spoke.

"That - that doesn't make sense. What happened?"

Iverson blinked, a little surprised he hadn't immediately erupted into a storm of fists and swear words.

"The… report said," he said carefully, trying to prevent a meltdown. He hadn't been able to believe it when he read it, so God only knows how Keith would react.

"The report said that the mission failed due to pilot error."

Keith grew very still, and his black eyes narrowed into slits. His arms were no longer crossed, but instead hanging by his sides, his fists clenched so tightly his hands trembled.

"Is this some kind of sick joke?" he hissed.

"What? N-"

Keith sprang to his feet, knocking his chair over with a huge crash. Iverson didn't flinch, but just looked at him sadly. The poor kid.

"Shiro is the best pilot the Garrison has." His whole body was shaking now with barely contained rage. "That's why you chose him for the mission."

"Even great pilots make mistakes-" Iverson tried to say, but Keith cut him off.

"Not Shiro. Shiro would never make a decision that put anyone in danger. Ever."

Iverson got to his feet, standing several inches taller than the teenager. Keith just tilted his head back and continued to glare at him, not intimidated in the least.

"Look, Keith-"

"No!" He had escalated to yelling now. The reality of the situation was starting to sink in, and he could feel his control slipping. "If Shiro is… If Shiro is gone, I want to know why. I want to know the truth."

"That is the truth." Oh, Jesus. Why did they give him this job? He had no idea how to deal with kids who needed comfort. Discipline, he could do. Comfort, not so much. What Keith needed was a shrink, not a drill sergeant.

"Keith. Listen, I know this is hard. Maybe we should go down to the counselor's office-"

With a snarl on his face, Keith took a step forward, snatched a coffee mug off of the desk, and sent it smashing against one of the metal walls. The shattering glass summoned the sound of boots rushing down the hallway, the school's security having anticipated something like this.

"I am not going anywhere until you tell me what really happened to Shiro!" he shouted, his voice drowning out the hiss of the door as the security guards entered. Iverson waved a hand to them, telling them to wait. He didn't want to make this a problem if it didn't need to be.

"Son, you need to calm down now." he said in his drill sergeant voice. Usually that worked on teenagers. Unfortunately, it had never worked on Keith.

"I. Am. Not. Your. Son. Tell me the truth!"

He wasn't going to give up. So, with a sigh, Iverson signalled the security guards. Before they could touch him, Keith had whirled around and decked one of them. The others surged forward immediately, and in a few seconds had the kid slammed up against the wall. He struggled and squirmed, yelling at Iverson the whole time.

"Take him back to his room." Iverson instructed with a sigh, returning to his chair. His office was a total wreck, strewn with knocked over furniture and broken glass. It was only 8 am, and he already had a pounding headache. Brilliant.

Keith was still yelling as he was dragged out of the office.

"Tell me the truth! Iverson, you son of a -" The door slid shut, but the whole school could probably hear the imaginative swears Keith had created for his teacher.

He kicked and fought them all the way to his room, but he wasn't able to break free before they reached it. He was shoved unceremoniously inside, the lock on the door engaging behind him.

For a moment he stood still, letting the silence press in on him while his mind spun at a million miles per hour.

Pilot error. That's impossible. It just can't be true. Shiro's the best pilot in the whole Garrison, he couldn't have made a mistake that bad. But why would they lie about it? What were they hiding?

At first he was so preoccupied with the lie that the full brunt of the situation hadn't hit yet. But right in the middle of his thought stream, it finally did, and it seemed to him like the whole world stood still.

Shiros's gone.

The grief welled up in his chest like a tsunami. The feeling wasn't unfamiliar to him, but that didn't make the rage and despair hurt any less.

Shiro's gone.

He couldn't hold it in anymore. It was all too much.

Shiro's dead.

Finally thinking that word made Keith snap. With a guttural scream, he smashed his fist into the wall. The metal dented slightly, and Keith's eyes filled with tears. Whether it was from grief or pain, he couldn't tell. But he still wasn't assuaged, so taking a few strides forward, he picked up his lightweight desk chair and chucked it against the far wall. The clanging of metal on metal hadn't faded from the room before he was sweeping everything off of his desk to the floor with a howl.

There wasn't a single piece of furniture in the room that didn't take the brunt of his rage in the next half an hour. Several more dents appeared in the walls of the dorm, all accompanied by shouts and hissed in breaths when the pain set in. Eventually his energy failed him, and he collapsed on his bed, curled up against the wall with the collar of his jacket pulled tightly against the back of his neck.

And there he stayed, for hours. The lock on his door disengaged at some point late in the afternoon, but Keith didn't move.

What was the point? The only person he cared about, the only person who cared about him, was dead and gone, whatever remained of him floating somewhere in the cold vacuum of space. Shiro was the whole reason he joined the Garrison, and he was so proud of Keith when he got in. He tried so hard in all his classes, trying to be as good as Shiro. And now he was gone, chewed up and spat out by what he aspired to for so many years.

Keith didn't sleep at all that night, and when the sun rose the next morning, he was still in the same place. He managed to pull himself together enough to go to class (more out of habit than anything else). His black gloves covered up the bloody knuckles, but nothing could hide his red and puffy eyes.

As he walked down the halls towards his first class, he could feel eyes on him from every direction. The word Kerberos was on everyone's lips, and if anyone didn't know how close he and Shiro had been, they definitely did now.

When he finally made it to class, he sat slumped in his desk and stared straight ahead, grinding his teeth. If a single person tried to talk to him, he would lose it again.

The instructor saw him come in, and for a moment looked as if he would try to approach Keith. But Keith shot him a look full of daggers, and that changed his mind right away.

The other students gave him a wide berth, filling up the front row that was usually barren in order to avoid sitting next to him. Usually the star student, Keith now had nothing more to offer the instructor than stony silence and a gaze that went through the board rather than paying attention to anything written on it.

This zombie-like state carried Keith through the next week or so. He barely ate, barely slept. When he did sleep, he dreamed of Shiro, of his bloated corpse floating through the stars. He ignored every class, every instructor, and every piece of coursework. The one time Iverson tried to put him in the flight simulator, he crashed it on purpose and stormed out.

Iverson was at a loss. Keith was his favorite student, and the other instructors expected him to control the situation, but he didn't know how. So he just let the kid be, and hoped time would dull the sting of loss.

One day, approximately two weeks since he'd gotten the news about Shiro, Keith was on his way back to his room from another day of ignoring classes. He reached the door, but he stopped before opening it, just standing in the hallway with his fists clenched. He couldn't go on like this.

If Shiro is really gone forever, I need to know why. I need to know the truth about Kerberos.

For a moment he continued to stand there, trembling slightly. He knew what he was about to do was a massive breach of security, and if he got caught, his days at the Garrison were over. Everything he worked for, gone.

But what's the Garrison worth without Shiro?

"Damn it." he muttered to himself, and without giving it another thought, turned and raced down the hall towards Iverson's office.

If Iverson lied to me about what happened, maybe that report he mentioned will tell me, he thought as he went. Slowing to a much quieter walk as he approached the office, he crept up to the small window next to the door. Perfect, Iverson wasn't there.

He pressed the button to open the door, but it didn't budge. Iverson, that paranoid bastard, must have locked it.

Keith furrowed his brow at it, and without thinking about it too hard, smacked the door console with his fist. The glass cracked, and with a small shower of sparks, the lock disengaged, allowing him to pry the door open manually.

Ok, I gotta be quick, he could be back any second.

Luckily for him, it seemed Iverson wasn't quite as secure with his computer as he was with his office, as it lacked a password and opened up immediately. It didn't take Keith very long to locate the Kerberos report, since it wasn't classified and had been sent to all the instructors.

The report itself was surprisingly undetailed. Besides all the military jargon and info about the three man crew, all it said was transmissions had been cut off and the crew was presumed dead. They hadn't recovered any wreckage or bodies, no one had even seen the ship, even the drones sent out after them to monitor progress. Under cause of failure, all it said was:

The pilot is presumed to have crashed the ship or made some other error in judgement that resulted in the lives of the crew.

Even the guys in charge of the mission don't know for sure what happened. Keith mused, staring blindly at the screen. There isn't any wreckage or anything. Maybe their transmitter just broke. Maybe Shiro isn't dead after all.

For a moment he felt hope starting to bloom, but he squished it quickly. It was more practical to assume Shiro was still dead, and be happy if it turned out to be wrong. If he started thinking Shiro was alive, and then they found his body, it would be like losing him all over again. But still, the possibility gave him some small comfort.

What now? With this little evidence, we can't just give up on them. Maybe I can talk to Iverson, and he can-

A noise from the hallway made him look up, just in time to see fingers forcing their way into the opening of the door.

Shit

Keith leapt to his feet, frantically looking for some means of escape or a hiding place. But there wasn't any. He was caught. With a groan, he faced the door and braced himself for the inevitable shitstorm.

Unsurprisingly, it was Iverson prying the door open.

"Damn and blast it all." he was muttering, pushing the door just wide enough for him to fit. He stumbled through, straightened up, and then caught sight of Keith, standing behind his desk with his arms crossed.

"Keith? What on earth are you doing in here?"

"They didn't find the bodies."

"What?"

"I read the report. They didn't find anything to prove they're dead."

Iverson looked at him for a moment, and then let out a deep, deep sigh, almost seeming to deflate. He rubbed his forehead, looking as utterly exhausted as a man possibly could.

"You broke in here… to read the Kerberos report." It wasn't a question, and it didn't need an answer, so Keith said nothing.

Iverson was pinching the bridge of his nose now. "Son, do you realize how vast space is? To expect to locate the bodies-"

"So what?" Keith interjected, irritated Iverson had called him son again. "We're just supposed to give up on them? For all we know the transmitter is just broken!"

"If that was a possibility, they would have accounted for it." Iverson snapped back. "Do you really think you're smarter than the people who launched this mission to begin with?"

Keith clenched his jaw stubbornly. "I'm not giving up on Shiro."

Iverson had completely lost his patience. He stormed forward and slammed his fists down on the desk, making Keith leap back against the wall.

"Why can't you get this through your head?" he snarled. "Your friend is dead, you stupid kid."

Keith's face twisted in rage. Grabbing hold of the desk by the edge, he flipped the entire thing, sending the computer and everything else clattering to the ground, right on top of his instructor. Iverson went down under the barrage of office supplies, swearing the whole way. Keith nimbly hopped over him and darted for the door.

"Keith! You get back here you little-"

He shoved his way through the broken door and continued down the hall, heading for the exit.

Great, before I probably would have just been expelled, now I'll be in trouble for assaulting a teacher. Damn brilliant, Keith.

He skidded around a corner, but came around too quickly and ran into the wall. He shoved himself off and continued, plowing his way through crowds of students that had nothing better to do after class than stand in the halls and talk.

"Hey, what's going on?"

"Is that Keith?"

"What the heck is he doing?"

Just underneath the chattering voices was the steady rhythm of boots on the floor. Crap crap crap.

The front entrance was right in front of him. He hadn't the slightest, remotest idea what he was going to do once he got out. The Garrison was in the middle of the desert, miles from anything. If they really wanted to find him, they would. But hey, the pros and cons kind of worked out. Best case scenario, he's expelled and has to leave anyway. Worst case scenario, he gets arrested, and he'd have to run anyway. Logical conclusion: keep running.

He crashed out into the sun, the heat washing over him like a warm blanket. The sun was only a few hours away from setting, so it wasn't as bad as it could have been, all things considered. Immediately swerving off to the right, he made a beeline for an outcropping of red stone pillars.

The guards, with Iverson close on their heels, reached the doors just as Keith disappeared among the rocks.

"Wait, wait!" Iverson called, stopping the guards in their tracks. "Just let him go." It's not like he saw anything actually confidential. Besides, the desert was far too harsh for a 17 year old to survive on his own. He'd show back up soon enough.

"Iverson!" He turned to see a fellow instructor rushing up to him. She was the head of the tech department, and taught the cadets decoding and algorithms. "What's going on? Was that one of the students?"

Iverson didn't answer either of her questions. "I think we should make the Kerberos report confidential." was all he said.

"What? Why? Everyone already knows about it."

Iverson let out a resigned sigh. "Because kids are stupid."

(A/N AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH ok I'm done. This story will be updating every Monday with a new oneshot from my ridiculous backlog so be on the lookout! Also if you were wondering the cover photo for this series is a picture drawn by my friend Lyall Grimm on here, send her some love if you like it!

Until Next Fic-

Silence)