Shiro stepped out of the Black Lion just behind Keith with Krolia following him out. He smiled as he stood outside, in front of the Lion, on Earth after years and years and just took everything in.

All this time –fighting a ten thousand year old intergalactic space war– he hadn't had the time to comprehend and process through all that he have been through for more than a few moments. Because there were people to save and he couldn't afford to lose himself in self-pity, couldn't let his team down. The team who looked up to him because he was suppose to be their stability.

So, he never gave it more than a couple of moments in all this time to think about what he had left behind in order to save millions and millions of lives.

He never really gave it a thought of who he had left behind.


Until he saw him standing there right in front of him staring at Shiro like he had seen a ghost. Until he saw him step forward as his gaze flickered towards Keith and then came back to Shiro and stayed there.

He didn't thought about it until he saw Adam.

And then like a crushing weight had been put on him, his shoulders slumped and he gasped and from his periphery he saw Keith put his hand on his back to support him as if Shiro would collapse any moment if it weren't for Keith's hand, and maybe it was the case. Maybe Shiro would have collapsed because he wanted to step forward and meet Adam half way in between just like they always have, but his legs wouldn't work and he stood there uselessly trying to not loose anymore of his composure in public than he already had.

So, when Adam came and stopped in front of him his gaze flicking between Keith and Shiro, he could've sworn he saw a tear slip down Adam's face as his hand came up and touched Keith's face. And even then he notice how Keith tensed beside him at the touch at first but then smiled his soft, shy smile he used to give Shiro when Shiro would tell him that it didn't matter to him that Keith wasn't related to him by blood, Keith was still his little brother and he loved him.

He didn't however notice when Adam's hand slipped from Keith's face and hovered over Shiro's. His attention now undivided and solely on Shiro and his eyes flicking all over his face before he touched Shiro's cheek as if to make himself belief that it wasn't all a cruel dream –nightmare, because nightmares were also dreams.

And before he knew it, Shiro was being enveloped in a warm embrace of his –friend? Lover? Ex-boyfriend? He didn't know it yet. Maybe they'll talk it out when they get a chance after all of this was over.

But then he realized with a start that it really was over. It was over and he was home and in the arms of a man he cared for the most and he melted in the embrace.


Shiro stopped acknowledging the fact that he was in public because everything and everyone be damned; it had been years since he'd seen Adam and years since he'd been held in his embrace. And he didn't realized it until he heard a soft sniffle and a grunt –because Paladin armors were uncomfortable and hard and certainly not made for being held in a hug as if you were someone's lifeline.

"You're alive. You're alive, I thought you were dead."

And he held Adam with just as much fervor and buried his face in his neck and sniffled himself because if there was anyone who knew how to make Shiro cry it was Adam and Keith, once they both started crying.

It was some time after that he heard Keith call out Adam's name softly –and if he didn't knew Keith like he did, he wouldn't have recognized the shakiness to it. So, he let go slowly, hand still on the other because Shiro had to know it wasn't one of his rare dreams, as well, where he never left on the Kerberos mission and never got imprisoned in an alien spaceship. But then he felt Adam pull away and turn towards Keith and fragmented words bubbled out of his mouth.

"I- You brought him back. You're back. I'm –I'm sorry. I should've-"

Keith interrupted Adam by diving in for a hug. Shiro stood there staring because this was Keith and Keith didn't initiate hugs. So, for him to do this in front of everyone –Shiro had the nagging feeling that something must have happened, that shook both of them before all of this started, when he was gone.

"Adam –I'm sorry. I'm sorry. It's not your fault"

And Shiro realized Adam was squeezing Keith with the same intensity that Shiro used to after a particularly bad night on Keith's end, because even now Keith's voice was choked when he spoke.

Shiro looked around and saw that Krolia had joined the Alteans and was now talking to Iverson; he wondered when she had moved from her place from behind Keith and him.

"I expect a detailed explanation of why I thought my friend was dead and his little brother was missing and presumed dead for so many years. And don't give me the censored shit that you're gonna give the officials."

And when Adam had called Shiro his friend just now, there was a little uncertainty in his voice that was present in Shiro's own thoughts.

But before he could give it further contemplation, he was being pulled into yet another hug –now with Adam and Keith, both– and his train of thought changed to how this was enough for now. That he had however long he wanted –needed– to think about all these things.

So, he laughed softly and sighed in relief then. He relaxed.


Because this was all that mattered for now.