Sheith AU Thread | ReincarnatedVillainess!Keith | Prince!Shiro | blandMC!Curtis |

Akira (Keith) was an average 20-something year old in college when he met his untimely demise during a street fight gone wrong. Next thing he knew, he was thrust into a whole new world.
This world was a lot different from the modern, dry heat of Arizona. In fact, has the world ever been this colorful before? Why does it look like it dialed-back a century? And when did he become a child? A noble one at that.

Suddenly, Akira wasn't just 'Akira' anymore.
Now, he's Keith, the only son of Krolia Marmora, the Duchess of the esteemed house of Marmora.

The days spent in denial over the outrageousness of the situation was then followed by days that filled him with an eerie sense of déjà vu. It felt like he's seen this before.
...which is stupid because he couldn't have right?

It wasn't until he was at the ripe young age of 12 (again) that the realization came down like a ton of bricks. In front of him sat the 16 year old Prince of the Kingdom of Atlas. He was as handsome as he was before... the CG art of a BL game!

Keith remembers it vividly now! "Lion Heart" was a popular BL game that his best friend, Pidge, used to play for kicks. He remembered how she first started playing it ironically before it devolved to a misplaced obligation to clear all the routes.
There is no way in hell he was just reincarnated to a BL game right? That's just crazy!

...and yet, he lived his life as Keith Marmora for 12 years now and if this was a dream, its taking way too long for him to wake up.

Maybe he's in a coma? Yeah, and this whole Keith Marm-!?
Wait a second. Wait a darn second!

Isn't Keith Marmora the name of the villain of the story?? Isn't he Prince Shiro's evil fiancé who tormented the main chracter the whole time?? He was THAT Keith?

Wait a minute, this meeting... could it be?

"Keith," his mother smiled sweetly.
Keith looked up, not even bothering to cover-up the dread from his wide eyes. Sadly, his silent plea was either ignored or misinterpreted as Krolia merely smoothed his hair gently in comfort.

"Meet Prince Takashi Atlas Shirogane. From this day forth, he will be your betrothed."
Keith bolted up his seat, startling everyone. Ignoring the varying looks of concern, his mind reeled and mocked him with visions of his death.

[From how his character became absolutely obsessed with the crown prince to him becoming a spoiled brat from all of the false attenion.]
[Then when the MC finally arrived, his character will get unbelievably jealous and end up tormenting the poor sod. Eventually, Keith ended up crazy enough to attempt to kill the MC. Lastly, Keith's character gets killed after he was banished to fight in the war for his crimes.]
"No way."

"I'm sorry dear, I didn't here you? Are you alright?" Duches Krolia asked gently, his brows furrowed in worry. However, before his mother could approach him...


Keith then took off, leaving a pair of bewildred nobles at his wake.
For a moment, both Duchess Krolia and Prince Shiro stared at the door the young boy just exited from, and then at each other.

"I am terribly sorry, your Highness! This has never happened before. Keith isn't usually like this. I-"

The Prince interrupted her with a raised hand.
Prince Shiro flashed his fiancé's mother a strained but placating smile.

"Its alright, my Lady. I imagine that this is a quite a bit of a shock for him," was the Prince's polite reply as he stood up. "Now if you'll allow me, would you mind if I try to win over your son?"
Krolia stares at the crown prince, her expression still a little bit worried but more than a little curious. "My son has been quite rude to you, your Highness. Are you still willing to vy for his favor?"

"Of couse." Shiro's voice was resolute. "I would never give up so easily."
That day went down the Marmora household's history as "The Beginning of the Great Chase".

The little Lord Keith took it upon himself to avoid the Prince at all cost. He went out of his way to be busy whenever Shiro visits, or made-up some excuse to avoid going to the palace.
But, what many (including Keith) didn't account for was the Prince's sheer will power and nerves of steel. No amount of insult or cold shoulder detered Shiro. His methods grew more a more bothersome for the troubled Keith who only wants to survive the ending of the stupid story.
And thus, three bothersome years later, we find the appointed 'villain' of the story sulking under the shade of a tree in the estate's private garden.

"I'm honored that you'd finally let me braid you hair, Keith."

Isn't it just great that you can hear Shiro's smile in his tone?
Keith grumbled in displeasure, only earning himself a fond chuckle from the annoying Prince who's used to his antics by now.

"This isn't something a crown prince should be doing you know? Where did you even learn how to braid hair??" Keith pouted, regretting his life choices.
If Keith even bothered looking at the Prince, he would have noticed the pink stain on the man's cheeks. Shiro coughed, and tried hard not to focus too much on how soft Keith's hair was.

"I-I asked my cousin Allura to teach me how to..."

Keith humed, nonchalant and oblivious.
"What made you decide you want to learn such a useless skill?" the young lord commented, a little bit confused.

"Nevermind that!" Shiro hastily exclaimed in panic, avoiding the conversation altogether. "I'm done! Have a look, Keith!"

A mirror was then shoved in front of Keith.
Keith always knew his appearance as Keith Marmora was quite a sight. His black hair was as deep and mysterious as the night sky, his eyes sparkling jewels to behold. His snow white skin complemeting whatever frivilous frills he was forced to wear that day.
But today, he looked... radiant.

Shiro didn't just fashion Keith's silken locks to a normal braid, no. He created elaborate curls or artfully arranged braids that had wild flowers woven into it. Even Keith's personal attendants weren't able to achieve something this detailed.
"Shiro... this is."

The crown prince paused for a good while as he saw Keith's full visage... before he beams at his fiancé's awed expression. Shiro looked at him, equal parts bashful and proud.

"You look beautiful, Keith," he whispered gently, his grin softening to a smile.
Keith looked up to Shiro and he couldn't help but appreciate how even more handsome the Prince turned out to be. And with that smile...

...that damned smile is so cute it's illegal!!

Where did Keith go wrong?? He had a solid plan! When did he start falling for the damned man??
Would it even matter?

Keith only has one last year left before the protagonist of the story arrives. Its not as if he'll act like the asshole he was supposed to be so Keith isn't particularly worried about being banished but what then?
Will Shiro finally leave him alone and fall in love with that other man? He's been pushing to break his engagement with the Prince for years now and now, it's probably going to happen soon. He should be happy right?

Keith gritted his teeth at the sudden thought.

A month later, Shiro visited Keith with a smile on his face and the worse news Keith has ever heard in his life.

"Keith, father is sending me to Kerberos for month to establish an alliance," Shiro mentioned casually, easily. "It's a huge job but father says he trusts me to--"
"YOU CAN'T!" Keith blurted out before he could compose himself.

He felt like he was going to vomit.

How could he forget such a crucial plot of the game? Especially one that would bring such pain and misery to Shiro?

Keith's breath quickened and Shiro's eyes widened in alarm.

Keith staggered to Shiro, arms outreached and searching. Shiro wasted no time and craddled his fiancé, trying to get him to calm down.

Keith shuddered in fear at the thought of what would happen to Shiro. The realization was sudden and weighed heavily on his heart.
This wasn't just a story inside a screen, this was Keith's reality.

His days of leisurely spending his days in the estate, having tea with his mother, and sparring with Shiro. Those were about to end because... because war is coming.

And this event is just the beginning.
Keith woke up later that night. He must have passed-out after that severe panic attack.

He didn't realize how much the news would affect him. If he was perfectly honest, he totally forgot about the whole Kerberos mission up 'til the point Shiro mentioned it to him.
Keith's memories about the events of the game were hazy and incomplete. He only remembered small key parts of the plot from Pidge's enthusiastic rants in the past. He absolutely had no idea of what the timeline of the story looked like apart from vaguely when the hero comes in.
Keith had shifted in his bed when he finally noticed a stowaway in his chambers. Had Shiro been waiting for him to wake-up? He must have, the idiot prince even fell asleep waiting.

Hesitantly, Keith reached out with his fingers and carded over the soft white locks of his fiancé.
White hair is a royal family trait, it was no question that Shiro inherited it. Its so unusual and even until now, Keith was still fascinated to see the color on such a young person.

A real person.

Maybe it didn't feel real to Keith before but now it's all too much. It's heavy.
The possiblity of the people he loved in this world getting hurt had become a possibility he couldn't bear.

But... Keith had an advantage.

He knew about the future and maybe... maybe then he can change it. In fact, fuck the plot. Keith has a say in it now.
Shiro steered and then startles when he noticed Keith was finally awake. His relieved smile was blinding... and not for the first time, Keith finds himself smiling back.

"Shiro, take me with you. To Kerberos."
The day of their departure, Shiro found Keith at the Marmora estate's training grounds.

As soon as Shiro saw Keith, he couldn't help but appreciate how graceful Keith was with a sword. He moved as if he was dancing delicately on a podium for everyone to behold.

"Is it time?"
Keith turned to Shiro, his face somber and serious.

Something changed Keith in the past two months. The Prince couldn't particularly pinpoint it but the atmosphere around Keith turned dark and heavy. As if he was carrying a burden no one can help him with. It made Shiro ache.
"Um, yes," Shiro replied awkwardly. "The carriage is waiting for us and your mother is also waiting to see us off."

Keith stared at the Prince for a brief second before he manages to crack a smile. "Well, what are you waiting for dummy? Lead the way."
Strangely relieved, Shiro paced and walked beside Keith to the estate's gates.

"You've gotten exceptionally good with the sword recently," he complimented in passing.

Keith's brow furrowed, appearing lost in thought. "Not good enough but it'll have to do."

"What do you mean?"
Keith stopped walking and Shiro looked back, a questioning look adorned his face.

"Is there any chance we can just cancel this whole trip? Do you really have to leave?" Keith asked, his gaze unreadable.

Shiro bit his lip. This wasn't the first time Keith brought up the topic.
"Keith, we talked about this. If you really don't want to come--"

"No!" Keith interrupted, his fists clenched at his side. "You're right Shiro, I'm being selfish. Let's go."

Keith has never been so frustrated in his life. There was no way for him to warn Shiro about the future.
No way other than risking them being worried for his sanity, or worse, his loyalty to the crown. He had no way of explaining where he recieved the information regarding the upcoming ambush that is bound to happen. The best thing he can do is to up Shiro's security.
His suggestion to bring more guards was met with a few raised eyebrows (particularly from his mother) but it wasn't something he had trouble finding a rational explaination to. Even that didn't seem enough so he volunteered himself for the trip as well.

He was prepared.
Well, at least, he hoped he was.

He was going to save Shiro, as many times as it takes. He has to.

After their farewells, Shiro helped Keith up the carriage, ever the gentleman. Once inside, Shiro grins. He and Keith never spent this much time together before. He was excited.
"Ready to go?"

Keith looked up at him and saw the adorable puppy dog look. The lord sighed fondly.

"As I'll ever be." At his side, Keith clutched his sword in a way that is subtle but with purpose. They're going to be fine, he'll make sure of it.
Their party made it a couple of miles away from the border between Arus and Kerberos before the inevitable happened.

Though Keith was not particularly sure when the attack would occur, he had been poised to defend, the moment they reached the gates of Kerberos.
Alarmed shouts were heard from outside the carriage as it screeched into a halt. Keith's frown deepens and Shiro's expression became alarmed.

"What on Atlas..?"

Shiro moved to open the door and assess the situation but a grim Keith stopped him. Why was Keith so strangely calm?
Keith shook his head when Shiro looked at him, his eyes wide and a question evident in his eyes. The yound lord, opens the door slightly, and peeked at the chaos outside. Even with this many guards, their entourage was not faring well. Keith would have to come out and help soon.
"Keith! What is going on? What's happening outside?!"

Keith stays silent for a moment, his eyes glaring though the slit of the door's opening.

"We're underattack," Keith says gravely. "The attackers look like druids from the North... from the Galra Empire."

"The Galra??"
Shiro shook his head in denial. "That can't be! We have an active treaty with the Empire! Surely they can see the Atlas family crest ingraved on the carriage!"

"That's just it, your highness," Keith replied, frighteningly calm as he pulls away the door and ties his long hair.
"No, you can't mean..."

Keith looked at Shiro and his eyes hardened in determination.

"They are here to declare war."

The young man turned and grabbed Shiro's sword, resting idly by the side. He handed it to the gobsmacked Prince with a stern, "Hold this. I'll be back."
"What?" Shiro asked numbly, clutching sword to his chest. "What? Keith, no! I'll come with you! If they are truly who you said they were, it's too dangerous for you to be out there!" he protested. "In fact, YOU should stay here!"

"Shiro! I don't want to argue with you.
"You're the Crown Prince of Atlas! If anything happens to you, it will be on my ass. You got that?"

"I'm still your fiancé! Its my job to protect--"


"Goddamnit Keith!" the Prince cursed, scrambling to open the door.

...the little brat jammed it from the outside.
Outside, Keith assessed his surroundings. His hand was steady with his grip of his blade.

Some soldiers have fallen but a good bit were left. Good.

The druids... they don't seem to show any signs of wearing down. Okay, that's bad.

Keith took a deep breath and his eyes darken.
The druids aren't going to succeed today, or any day for the matter. Not on his watch.

Keith roared as he lunged to the closest druid, his body moved instinctively dodging a spell casted his way. He slashed with intent, one after another, getting closer and closer to the shadow.
Keith's eyes widened as he felt a sinister shiver course through his body. Gasping, he ducked just in time to avoid getting hit by a bright flash of purple.

"Impossible! How did you-?!" A voice rasped behind Keith. Keith straightened, his stance angled to keep an eye on both.
The druid Keith was previously engaged with paused as if a divine revelation strucked him.

"He is sensitive to quintessence," the cloacked creature declared, his voice drawing all the other druid's attention. "We must capture him."

Keith bit his lip. This wasn't in the script.
"Try not to injure him... much," said Macidus. The druid's smirk was dark and malicious.

Keith didn't have enough time to worry about whether or not he messed up a little too much with his meddling because soon, had to parry against an attack.
Shiro grunted as he finally managed to loosen the jammed door. Just a little bit more and he'll be out. He promised himself that he'd give Keith a good wacking once he gets a hold of him. Shiro huffed as he pushed out with all of his body weight. A loud click and Shiro cheered.
By the time Shiro managed to open the door, it had been silent outside for a while. He'd be lying if he didn't say that, that didn't make him assume the worse.

As soon as he stepped outside, he realized he was wrong. It was far, far worse than he assumed.
Bodies of the palace guards littered the scene in a gruesome macabre. Even the horses didn't escape the masacre.

And Keith...?

Where was Keith??

Shiro's heart pounded as he searched frantically for his beloved fiancé. Keith couldn't be one of the bodies right??
The Prince simply couldn't bear the thought.

No! Keith is strong, in fact, it could be boasted that he is among the best in swordsmanship in Atlas. He survived somehow, Shiro was sure of it.

Just as Shiro concluded that, he heard an earth shattering scream. His heart hammered.

Shiro bolted to the direction of Keith's voice, his sword brandished and ready to attack. He soon came up to a clearing, not too far from the main road. He appeared just in time to see a druid crouch down an unconsious Keith, filthy claws inches away from his love.
Shiro's eyes darkened considerably while he spoke in a tone that was far different from his usual gentleness.

"Get the hell away from him."

Macidus turned to him and gave out a caricature of a smile.

"Well if it isn't the dashing young prince, ready to save the day."
"I said. Get. Away. From. Him."

The druid revealed his rotten teeth with an unsettling grin. "What if I don't want to? This fiesty little one, really gave me one for my money. He's quite a lovely fighter isn't he?" the man mocked, his finger caressing Keith's cheek.
Macidus, suddenly recoiled as he got struck on the shoulder by the Prince's sword. His eerily glowing eyes widened in disbelief.

Shiro, having seen red in anger, had thrown it at the druid, catching him off-guard. The prince wasted no time and charged at his stunned opponent.
He swiped up Keith's blade as soon as he passed it, having noticed it early on, and tackled the druid to the ground with a lion like roar. Shiro dodged a stray spell that his opponent threw blindly at him and mercilessly plunged the blade right through Macidus' black heart.
Moments passed by in silence. The druid was well and truly dead.

Shiro breathed out heavily and hauled himself up. The Prince numbly looked around and realized, that druid was the last one left. Looks like Keith did a number on them before they managed to get to him.
Speaking of...

Shiro stumbled slightly in his hurry as he ran to where Keith was. He kneeled down and immediately checked his fiancé's pulse. He let out a shakey breath when he felt the strong and steady thump of Keith's heartbeat. He craddled Keith's face as he crouched down.
Shiro kissed Keith's temple and laid his forehead against the other's.

"Thank god. Thank god, you're safe, Keith. Oh god," the Prince mumbled through stiffled tears of relief.

He had been so scared. He was so scared that he lost Keith forever but Keith is okay. He's okay.
Hours later, Shiro gently bandaged Keith's head. They were lucky enough to have been able to find some supplies from their carriage. They were also able to loot some of druids, Keith insisted on it for some reason.

Shiro pulled back when he was certain the bandage was secure.
"Are you feeling okay, Keith? You don't feel odd do you? You might've gotten a concusion," Shiro worried his bottom lip.

Keith offered him a smile though it looked more like a grimace. "I'm fine, just a hell of a migrane which I guess is normal with how they bashed my head."
It was getting dark and after deciding against making a fire in the off chance that more druids find find them, the two ended sitting shoulder to shoulder.

Shiro frowned as soon as he noticed Keith shiver against the night air. The prince then circled his arms around Keith.
Keith huffed, not at all displeased. "Is this really necessary?" he laughed. "You do know that this is inappropriate, your highness?"

Shiro ignored his reprimand and nuzzled Keith softly. The young lords was warm and comforting to have in his arms.

"I don't really care."
Shiro pouted. "Also! This is necessary. If I get a fever due to the cold it's going to be on your ass, remember?" The Prince squeezed the slender waist gently. "I think it's justified," he whispered to Keith's ear.

Keith blushed and then laughed at the obsurdity of it all.
Shiro joined in with a chuckle or two before they both sober up a minute later.

"So," Keith started after a moment of silence. "What's the plan?"

Shiro sighed as settled his chin on too Keith's head. "We have no guards, no horses, and no carriage.
"We're several miles away from the nearest town though, I don't recommend going there either. We were attacked in Kerberos soil, we're not exactly sure if the country is trustworthy."

"We should go back to the gate and find a town in Arus instead," Keith suggested.
Shiro nodded slightly in response. "That's probably the best course of action. It will take us a day and a half to get to the border from here on foot. Supplies don't seem like an issue. We have enough for the both of us to last a couple of days past the border.
"What I'm worried about is..."

"The druids."

"Yes," Shiro agreed, his arms unconsciously holding on to Keith a little bit tighter. "We'll have to be weary of them. They will probably send more on our way once they realized the others failed at whatever they were planning."
Keith was quiet for a while before he wiggled an arm free from Shiro's hold. The Prince looked on, curious as Keith rummaged his pack where he stored his loot. He took out a vial with a peculiar gold liquid and gave it to Shiro.

"This is?"

"He called it quintessence.
"He also called me quintessence sensitive. I don't exactly know what it means but, I feel its power," Keith explained as he touched the bottle in Shiro's hand. A the thrum of energy swept through him. "Its nothing like anything I felt before. It was what fuelled their spells.
"Shiro, I-I think they're building a weapon of some sort in the North. I don't have concrete evidence so it might be hard to believe--"

The Princed shushed him. "Of course I believe you Keith. I always will."

Keith looked up to his fiancé, his eyes wide. His gaze then softened.
"Shiro, I-'"

Shiro did not let him finish as he leaned down to kiss Keith. Their lips connected so naturally, as if it was simply meant to be. They parted, breaths inches away from the other and eyes staring through each other's soul.

"I'm glad you're okay, Keith...
"I love you."

Keith smiled, his eyes glistening with unexplained emotion and relief. He was so bright, so beautiful.

"I'm glad you're okay too, Shiro. I really am," the lord replied, his voice lighter than it had been for the past few months. "I love you too, so, so much."
The journey to Arus was surprisingly uneventful. It was days filled with familiar banter and nights filled with warmth as the two huddled close to one another. Despite their dire circumstances, Keith and Shiro had never been happier to be with each other.

"Shiro... I have a...
"Nevermind, it's stupid," Keith opened up on the third night of their travel.

"What? No Keith, nothing you say is ever stupid," Shiro reassured, his hand curling over Keith's slender but calloused ones. Intimate touches like this had been the norm for the two of them these days.
Keith's lips curled to a slight smile. Trust Shiro to say something cheesy like that.

"What if... what if, you find someone you'll like more than me and--"

"Okay, I take back what I said... This might be the only stupid thing you have ever said."

Keith looked affronted.
"Hey!" the lord exclaimed. "I'm serious, Shiro. You never know what happens in the future you know! You might meet the person you were destined to be with and that person might not be... me," Keith finished feebly.

Shiro frowned, his features almost saddened by Keith's thoughts.
"Hey listen," Shiro started, moving closer to Keith and holding his hand to his chest.

"I don't know what made you think that something like that can happen. I don't really believe in destiny Keith, I believe in what I feel and what I feel for you is real.
"Let's say that a person like that exists. Would that person have your smile?" Shiro asked, his grin playful.

With a light nudge, Keith lets out a disgruntled, ""

"Would they have your fiery personality?"

"Probably not... I'm quite a handful."

Shiro chuckled lightly.
"Will they have your determination and your talent in swordsmanship?" Shiro continued.


The Prince ended up pinching Keith for his cheek. "And last but most importantly, would they be the Keith that I fell in love with all those years ago?"
Keith flushed as he tried to look at anywhere but Shiro. This was way too embarrassing but at the same time, Keith's heartbeat couldn't be any louder.

"I guess not."

"Uh, wrong! It's 'OF COURSE NOT', you little brat," Shiro laughed, his smile too wide and too handsome.
"You're the Keith that I love and the one I'm 'destined' to be with in my opinion," Shiro all too naturally declared as he kissed Keith's temple. "You're the only one I'd ever want, ever since the day you became my fiancé."

Against all of Keith's defences, his heart melted.
Arus was a small village but the people were kind and very welcoming to the two. Shiro had immediately sent for a messenger to deliver a message to the palace. The message was brief but urgent enough that it was obvious that something horrible happened during their trip.
They both agreed to continue the journey back instead of waiting. The palace would likely send escorts their way but they'd rather meet them half-way and cover more ground away from the druids. Hopefully they'll be able to aquire a horse here and replenish their rations as well.
It was the night before they were set to leave the village. They were settled at an inn and both were looking forward to sleeping on top of a bed for a change. However, it was not meant to be.

"Your excellencies! There is a fire at the town square and its rapidly spreading!
"We must have your excellencies evacuated immediately!" said the panicked owner of the inn.

Keith and Shiro shared alarmed looks as they quickly gathered their meager belongings.

As they all descended down the stairs, they noticed the inn's patrons in a similar state of panic.
The village of Arus was small and compact, depending on how fast the fire has already spread, it might not be long now before it reaches the inn.

"Everyone! Calm down!" Shiro bellowed, looking and sounding every bit like the king he was destined to be.
"Evacuate to a safe area but do so in an orderly manner. Help any elderly or disabled that you can and make sure to keep track of the children."

The process had gone more smoothly after that. Keith couldn't help but admire Shiro's natural leadership skills.
Shiro and Keith soon approached the village chief to inquire about the event. Nobody knew how the fire started. It was still raging and there were still people who weren't accounted for.

Not being able to ignore this, the two had volunteered to help look for the missing people.
"Don't do anything stupid, okay?" Shiro said to Keith as soon as it was obvious that they'd have to split up to be more efficient with their search.

"I won't if you promise you won't either."

"Its a deal then," Shiro whispered as he pulled Keith to a quick kiss.
Later, Keith managed to locate a small girl who was previously trapped. He his hands stung from the burns he aqcuired when he hauled a burning wood out of the way but he considered it a worth sacrifice. He was about to crouch down to carry the girl in his back when he felt it...
He looked back to the girl... who wasn't a little girl anymore. Instead, an old woman took her place. Her hair was a dull and brittle white and her eyes were a glowing yellow.


The woman gave out a sinister smile. For some reason, Keith couldn't move.
"So it's true then," the druid drawled, her tone sparked with interest. She approached him, her steps heavy. Sharp long nails trailed over Keith cheek, deceptively gentle.

Gold eyes peered deep into Keith's eyes, into his soul.

"You do not belong here, boy."
"Your highness! Thank you so much! Everyone is accounted for and other than minor injuries, we are lucky to have minimized the damages."

Shiro smiled kindly at the chief's report. He looked back at the fire that was slowly dwindling with the effort of the villagers combined.
It was fortunate that the damage hadn't been too excessive. The fire had spread to around one forth of the town's area but it would surely be repaired in no time. Shiro would have to remember to send workers to Arus once he and Keith return back to Atlas.

Speaking of Keith...
"Has the Lord Marmora returned from his search?" Shiro asked the chief.

"We're not sure, your highness. His lordship might still be looking for possible survivors."

"Right," Shiro nodded, feeling a pit in his stomach. Something felt odd. "I'll go ahead and look for him then."
Shiro circled the permeter of the direction Keith had gone to when they separated. The longer he found no sign of Keith, the more anxious he became. Something isn't right.

Where was Keith? The fire... could it be?

Shiro cursed. He became too complacent, too laxed.
He shouldn't have, not just for the simple fact that they hadn't encountered the druids again since the ambush. He should have never separated with Keith! What had he been thinking?

Just as Shiro thought that, he heard a voice scream.


"Keith, please be okay. I'm coming."
The witch cackled, her body shot with raw power and magic. "What my druid reported was true! An unstable but a powerful essence!" she babbled, delirious with the energy coursing throught her body.

She suddenly frowned and moved just in time to dodge a swipe from Keith's sword.
She looked down on her prey and cracks an eerie smile.

"Quite a fighter, aren't you? To break my spell using such a barbaric way," she said as she observed Keith's bleeding palm from where he had clutch his blade. He seemed to have shocked his body into action. Interesting.
Keith said nothing, his throat ragged from screaming. His stance was alert but his body was incredibly weary. At the very least, he can move now. He can defend himself. Sadly, ever since that woman attacked him earlier, he felt himself grow weaker.

What had she done to him?
"No matter, you won't last long with the quintessence spilling out of you like that."

"What..? What are you--" Keith barely even finished the word before he had to roll out of the way of curse. The lord looked at the scorched ground he was previously standing on. "Tsk."
"I must bring you back," the old woman murmured, barely ever detectable by Keith's ears. "You'd be a valuable asset. The amount of quintessence we'll be able to extract from you alone..."

"The hell are you talking about?" Keith shouted through the barrage of spells aimed at him.
Keith can't keep dodging forever, whatever she did to him... Keith wasn't going to last longer.

From what he can remember in his past life, quintessence was an energy source that was present in all things. It intially was meant to be a weapon but its true potential was endless.
In the original plot, the Galra Empire focused on experimenting to weaponize it. Shiro had been an unfortunate victim of the experimentation but Keith changed it this time. Is that what messed-up the story? Keith wasn't supposed to be quintessence sensitive. Was it because of...
Keith's eyes grew in panic as he muttered to himself, "...she said I didn't belong here."

A strong force flung Keith into a wall. The lord lets out a cry before he slumps down in a heap. He felt a warm trickle slide down the back of his head into his neck. Everything was hazy.
Through the slit of his eyes, Keith can make out the witch's stride coming closer to him. Blood dripped down from his mouth as gritted his teeth, trying to force his body to just fucking move. He just needs to move.

"Now then, its time to sleep, boy."

"...fuck.. you."

The druid withdrew her hand from Keith's side with a curse. "Tsk, I'll have to take care of him first," she muttered darkly.

Keith felt his heart stop. "...hiro! No... run!" Keith warned with the remaining energy he had left. He felt so weak but he had to help Shiro.
As soon as the woman turned to Shiro he gray eyes widened in shock. He knew that the druids came from the North but to think that 'she' would come here personally.

"You have broken the treaty, Empress Honerva! You are no longer welcome within the lands of Atlas and Altea!"
Shiro wasted no time and charged while Keith... Keith didn't remember much of what happened after that, everything was such a blur. He couldn't think straight and for some reason, he knew he wouldn't last long at this rate. But he couldn't give. He had to help Shiro somehow.
It was only hours... (no maybe minutes?) later that Keith felt an incessant shake of his shoulder.

Keith stared blankly up at a ragged Shiro. His eyes were glazed over and unfocused. Shiro sobbed as he crouched over his lover. The Prince's palor was pale and sickly.
"She... she's gone now, Keith. For now. I-I managed to wound her. She shouldn't bother us for a while," he whispered, his voice shaky. Blood pooled down below them, the makeshift bandaged on Shiro's arm doing nothing to stem the flow from the missing limb.

The blood was warm.
A slow and horrific realization came to Keith as his eyes trailed at his lover's missing arm. Awareness shot through his body like a bullet.

Shiro shouldn't be missing an arm! Keith worked so hard to prevent that! Does that mean that he could never change the flow of the story?

He could worry about that later. Shiro could die from a fatal would like this. He's losing too much blood.

Finding the strength that left him earlier, Keith pushed himself up. He only barely managed to sit up, slumping down to lean against Shiro despite his effort not to.
Keith brushed off Shiro's weakening protests and focused on the wound. His vision was spotty but he could already tell that even if he were to bandage the arm again, it would still be futile.

Keith glanced at his own hands and clenched it. Earlier, he had felt it.
He felt the quintessence spill out from his body like a waterfall. Whatever the witch did to him, it cracked open some kind barrier that kept the quintessence inside him. He wasn't a hundred percent certain but maybe, maybe he could redirect the flow and focus it on something.
In the story, one of the uses of quintessence that wasn't discovered until after the war was its healing properties.

Keith wasn't sure if he could do it, he was already at his limit but he would rather die trying than not at all.


Keith hushed him.
The lord closed his eyes focused on the quintessence within him. He was able to distinguish it now that he was concentrating on it. However, controlling it seemed to be a different story. He tried to pull at the threads but it merely felt like sand slipping through his fingers.
Shiro was beginning to lean on him heavily as well. He had to hurry.

Keith pulled and pulled, his breaths become more labored with each passing second. He managed to connect the strings and tie it to Shiro's body. That's it, he could do this. Shiro's life depended on it.
"Keith!" Shiro's voice exclaimed as they were suddenly engulfed by a blinding glow. Shiro stared at Keith in awe. "Keith what are you..?"

Slowly but surely, Shiro's lethargy disappeared and his wound stitched back together. The Prince was stunned, what in Atlas just happened?
And all of a sudden it stopped.

Shiro was no longer bleeding and he felt better than he had ever been the past few days.

"Keith, just what do you do?"

Keith pulled back and looked at Shiro wearily. His eyes were rimmed with dark circles. "...quintessence..."
"H-How did you know how to use it like that?"

Keith shrugged looking incredibly tired. "...I don't know. Shiro?" Keith called out, his eyes dull as he looked at his prince. Hands blindly reached for Shiro before the prince caught and cradled it to his face.
"Shiro, I'm tired. So... so tired," Keith breathed. His head slumped down and he didn't have the strength bring it back up. Keith must have blacked out because the next thing he knew, he was once again looking up to Shiro's heartbroken expression.

"Keith, what have you done?"
"...dunno but I... I saved you... right?"

Shiro cried. "Yes, yes you did love." He didn't know what to do. He couldn't make sense of it all. All he knew was that Keith was fading and there's nothing for him to do. There were no life threathening wounds for him to patch.
There was no medicine he could give to Keith.

"...can I sleep now, Shiro?"

"No! No, Keith don't sleep now. Please don't leave," came the Prince's frantic cries. Maybe he can bring him to the town clinic. It might take a while but maybe he can--

Keith chuckled lowly.
And Shiro looked at him, distraught.

"...not like I'm going away... silly," Keith huffed his voice getting softer as his body became more limp. "...I'll see you... soon... when I wake...up."

Everything became too silent for Shiro after that. He couldn't hear anything.
He couldn't feel anything. He could only see Keith as he closed his eyes, slowly, as if the ticking of the clock slowed for that one horrifying moment.

The first few days of Keith's slumber were spent in Arus with a worried Shiro at his bedside. By the time the escorts arrived, Shiro had no choice but to transport Keith back to Atlas despite him having not gained consciousness yet.

It was a weeks later when Shiro realized it.
Keith wasn't waking up.

They were a week away from arriving to Atlas and not once did Keith even stir beside Shiro. The prince's pained gaze could see how thin Keith had become and how pale his palor was. The trip back is taking a toll on him and yet, he's still asleep.
Shiro did his utmost to care for his fiancé despite the difficulty it presented during their travel. They had even consulted several doctors in every town they encountered but none of them were able to discover what ailed the young Lord. This frustrated the prince to end.
'They must arrive to the palace soon,' the prince thought. Surely, the kingdom's best healers would be able to cure Keith of this deep slumber. They have to.

...Except, even the best and brightest from the Kingdom of Atlas and even Altea were none the wiser to Keith's condition.
With each apologetic shake of a healer's head, the prince's heart broke more and more.
It's been nearly a year since Keith had closed his eyes and succumbed to a deep, deep slumber. Exactly ten horrible months had passed for the Dukedom of Marmora and of course, the crown prince, Takashi Shirogane. It could even said that the prince was the one most affected by it.
At the prince's request, Keith Marmora has been permanently sequestered inside the palace for a good part of the year now. While intially against it, Duchess Krolia agreed at the promise of having the best and finest personnel tend to her son inside the palace.
Each day was no different from the other dreary days the prince had during the past months. Half of his time was spent at his fiancé's bedside and the other at the palace's training grounds. There had been numerous whispers of an upcoming war against the Empire.
Young men from the countryside and representatives from each household had been sent to the palace for preparation. It was no secret that the prince is building an army. His inimidating presence commanded the training grounds everyday, looking fiercer than he had ever been.
Perhaps it was his new prosthetic arm or perhaps it was the glimpses of a dark look in his face but gone was the carefee Prince of Atlas. It had been like this ever since his return from the disasterous trip to Kerberos.
The Empire had been quiet but the their kingdom couldn't be anymore restless at the silence. Atlas couldn't afford to recklessly attack the Galra Empire so for now, they prepared for the worst case scenario.

Shiro would be damned before they get the better of him ever again.
Shiro's routine never strayed from the usual. Without a doubt, as soon as soldiers finish their training for the day, Shiro would immediately head to the garden to pick up flowers. Everyday, the gardener would offer the pick up the flowers for him and everyday he would decline.
He prefered to do it himself. After all, he personally knew which flowers Keith was particularly fond of.

One day, the prince's routine was disrupted by a slumbering soldier near a white rose bush. He looked at the particular soldier blankly for a second.
Then, the prince sighed. Of all the places to nap at, the soldier picked the most inconvenient spot of all. Shiro had no choice but to tiptoe around the man to get to the roses. The prince turned away and continued his task, it was getting dark soon after all.
An exaggerated cough interrupted Shiro's work and he turned a questioning look at the young man who was previously sleeping.

"Oh! Oh my, your highness!" said the man looking flustered as he stood up. "I didn't know you'd be here. I'm sorry."

The prince stared at the plain man.
"You didn't know that I'd be at the palace garden that I regularly frequent in at this hour, everyday?"

The man flushed. "Uhm right."

Shiro sighed once more and turned back to the rose he carefully picked. Nowadays, he hasn't been in the best of moods. "You are dissmissed..?"
"Curtis, sir!" the soldier saluted before making a hasty retreat.

"Right," Shiro mumbled, not at all paying attention.

He was almost done picking out the thorns from the rose. Adding the rose to the bouquet he created, Shiro cracked a tiny forlorn smile.

It's time to see him.
Shiro could never seem to get used to the quiet that was Keith's quarters at the palace. Of course, Keith did not have a shortage of visitors. His mother would stop by every morning to visit her son and some of Keith's close relatives check up on him several days a week.
It only seemed to be quiet by the time Shiro visited. He prefered to be alone when he visited Keith but that didn't mean that he welcomed the silence that came with the room. Keith should be complaining by now, should be fighting Shiro to finally get out of bed, but he wasn't.
Instead he laid still on top of the pure white sheets that seemed to swallow his frail form in.

Keith used to be so stubborn, so strong, so beautiful, so alive. Now he seemed nothing but a lifeless doll.

Shiro bit his lip, his eyes strained from refraining to shed tears.
A warm hand cupped Keith's cold cheek in a painfully gentle manner while the prince collapsed on the seat nearest to the bed.

"Please wake up soon, Keith," he whispered to deaf ears, gaining no response in return. "Please."

The carefully made bouquet laid forgotten in his hand.
"Thank you so much, Healer Holt! You're such a wonderful healer!" Curtis smiled brightly at the young doctor who looked at him with an deadpan frown.

"Alright but do you really have to visit me everyday for the most minor of scratches? What kind of soldier is this clumsy?"
Curtis laughed sheepishly as he looked up to healer through his lashes.

Matthew Holt however, did not pay him mind as his gaze looked up the solemn figure of the crown prince who had just entered. In turn, the soldier looked at the handsome figure with flushed cheeks.
"Prince Shiro," the healer greeted as he stood up with a bow. The prince nodded in acknowledgement and with Curtis forgotten in the background, the two moved to Matt's office.

The soldier looked on to their retreating figures with a look of curiousity. Why was the prince here?
It wasn't like he was injured. The man shrugged when he figured that the prince was probably here for his arm. It was no secret that the Holts were the ones who invented the advance prosthetic.

With a hum, Curtis pushed himself off the bed and the out of the med bay.
Once out of the door, Curtis noticed something peculiar.

The soldier frequented this area due to his injuries during training and as such, it was hard not to notice a particular room located ajacent to the med bay. What was most noticable about it was that it was always guarded.
The only rooms that are guarded constantly like this are usually only the royal family's chambers but that was on the opposite of wing of the castle. Curtis would be lying if he said he was not curious about what was inside.

Who wouldn't be?
He had asked his fellow soldiers about the room before but they either had no idea or they would clam up about it. When he asked Healer Holt, the man turned serious and told him to mind his own business. Which was first of all, rude but second of all, made him more intrigued.
Today seemed to be his lucky day.

The guards were nowhere to be seen. Perhaps there had been a mishap with the shifts?

Curtis knew he shouldn't but his curiousity is literally killing him. Before he knew what he was doing, he was already inside of the room.
As soon as he stepped in, he was hit with a soft flowery scent. The room was filled with flowers. Each one fresh and plump, not a single petal withering in sight. Were all of these freshly picked from today? Why are there so many?

His hands trailed over the flowers.
There were so many and they all looked so beautiful, so alive! It was amazing! If they plucked earlier this morning, surely some of the flowers would have weathered at this point right?

Soon, Curtis' awed gaze turned to the room's center.
In the middle of the chamber was a canopy bed with its rich crimson curtains drawn out. A lone figure laid on top of it and immediately, Curtis felt anxious. He was definitely in trouble now. He waited for the inevitable scream of outrage from an offended noble but nothing came.
Confused, he focused on what looked like a young man from a far and realized that he was in deep slumber. Not only that, now that Curtis was looking, it became obvious how beautiful he was.

The soldier's steps led him to the young man and he couldn't help but admire him.
The young man's feautures were refined and fair. His long black hair haloed his pale face elegantly.

It was as if he was trance, Curtis reached out and brushed a lock from the man's face. He only wanted to get a better look at the noble's face but suddenly he felt a chill.
"What. Are. You. Doing. Here?"

Hearing the threatening growl, Curtis looked back to the door with dread. He saw the crown prince standing there with a dark piercing glare directed at him. The prince stormed towards him and for the first time ever, Curtis feared for his life.
The soldier stumbled as the prince harshly shoved him away from the prone man on the bed. Shiro imediately kneeled down and looked over the sleeping man.

Curtis looked at the sight in shock, still reeling from everything the happened seconds earlier.

"Did you touch him?"
Curtis flinched at the tone and tried to stutter out a response.

"Did you touch him?!" asked the prince once more, his voice rising in volume.

The soldier's heart leaped out of his throat. "I-I, no sire. I d-did not," he replied, his gaze falling to the floor.

"...get out."
The voice was so soft, Curtis barely heard it. For a moment, he stood there dumbfounded until the prince stood with his back still facing the soldier.

"I said. GET OUT!"

And with that, Curtis scrambled to get away. His hand was at the door knob when it suddenly swung open.
"Shiro! Did something happen to-?!"

Matt and Curtis stared at eache other in shock before the healer's face turned sour.

"What are you doing here?!"

Not knowing how else to respond, Curtis lowered his head and let out a string of apologies as he was pushed out the room.
A day later, Shiro was found anxiously inspecting the flowers in Keith's room. They were withering.

Everyday for the previous months, Shiro had brought a bouquet of flowers during each visit. At first, he intended to change it everday to insure that Keith had fresh flowers...
However, he soon noticed that none of the flowers he brought in withered at all. All of them were as fresh as the day they were picked. It bewildered Shiro to no end until Matt, who had been assigned to study quintessence, had come in to investigate the matter himself.
It apparently had something to do with Keith's abundance of quintessence in his body. It had spread to his surroundings and had brought life to everything other than himself.

It was due to this that Shiro worried his lips as he inspected the brown petals. Was Keith dying again?
"Matt, are you sure that nothing has changed regarding Keith's health?" the Prince asked for the umpteenth time today.

The healer sighed. He understood where Shiro was coming from but that doesn't mean that he would suddenly have the answer despite not knowing ten seconds ago.
"He's still stable," Matt said as he looked over the sleeping lord. He glanced back at the now brown petals of a white rose and frowned. "But it is worrisome to see the flowers wither. It wasn't like this when I visited yesterday morning. It only changed after..."

Shiro growled.
"Yes, after that nosey soldier poked his claws in--" Shiro paused and took a deep breath. He hasn't been doing well with his emotions recently. It was hard when he was always so strung up and stressed. "Adam took care of him."

"I assume he wasn't kicked out yet?"
"No, not even if I wanted to," Shiro replied with a grimace. "Adam is right, we need to keep an eye on him for the time being. We don't know what he did or what he intended to do."

Matt stood up and nodded in agreement. "For now all we can do is wait and monitor Keith closely."
The prince clenched his hand at Matt's words. It seemed like all he had been doing nowadays was wait. When will he be able to stop waiting? When can he have his Keith safely back in his arms? How much longer does he have to wait.

Matt saw Shiro's reaction and sighed sadly.
He walked up to the prince and silently offered his support with a firm hand on his shoulder.

It pained Matt to see his childhood friends like this. They've been through enough. For now, all he can do for them is to continue to further his studies and hope for a breakthrough...
Lord James Griffin frowned as he looked at the country bumpkin he was apparently in charged of now. Lord Adam said to keep an eye on him. For what? He wasn't particularly sure. For Atlas' sake he has his whole squad to take care off, doesn't have time for this clumsy oaf.
James huffed. "What exactly have you done to earn the prince's ire like this?"

Curtis paused from scrubbing the floor of the mess hall. He looked up with a sheepish smile directed to the unimpressed knight. "I seemed to have been lost to a restricted part of the castle..?"
James scoffed, "I doubt that you had just conveniently 'gotten lost' to a restricted part of the castle but I hope that taught you not to meddle where you don't belong."

At the knight's harsh words, Curtis went back to scrubbing with a crestfallen expression before he lit up.
"Sir Griffin! Surely a knight like you knows about the room across the med bay right?" he asked enthusiastically, hoping that maybe he'll finally get some answers about the the mystery.

James shot up in surprise and then narrowed his eyes looking at the soldier below him. "You-"
If that was were the soldier poked his nose in then it would make sense why he was being punished.

"I'm surprised you still have your head on after the stunt you pulled. It was a good thing that Lord Adam was the one who handled the punishment and not the prince."
"What? What do you mean?" Curtis asked as his brows furrowed in confusion. Sure the prince was angry but he wouldn't have done something like that right..? The prince he knew from the stories back home was kind and gentle. Surely he just wasn't feeling well yesterday. Right?
James sighed, he hated dealing with these types of people.

"I'll give you advice soldier and make sure to listen well. Never set foot in the room ever again and never ask anyone about that room or whatever you found inside if you value your life."

Curtis looked on, skeptical.
"What so special about that man inside anyway?" the soldier wondered out loud.

James glared at the man. The idiot was definitely lucky to still have his limbs intact. "Its none of your business. Get back to work," the knight snapped, having had enough of the conversation.
Three days later, in a room filled with withered flowers, milky white eyelids fluttered open and revealed dazzling eyes to the world once more...
The door burst open, almost flying off its hinges as the Prince of Atlas all but threw himself inside Keith Marmora's chambers.

"Where is he?! Is it true?!" the man exclaimed in borderline disbelief. It has been months and finally...

Matt stood up to greet him. "Yes but--"
The healer couldn't even get a whole sentence out before his presence was completely forgotten as the prince strode past him.

"Your highness--"

"Keith! Oh god Keith," Shiro almost sobbed, his voice breaking as he said his lover's name. He cupped the man's cheek and... paused.
"Keith?" the prince asked bewildered as he gazed at his lover's blank expression. His usually expressive eyes were glassy and glazed over. "Matt, what-what's wrong with him?"

The healer sighed. "This is why you should have let me explain first," he replied calmly.
"The Lord Marmora had just 'woken' up from nearly 'a year' of being in coma so that does mean that he wouldn't recover immediately," the healer started.

The prince's expression fell at the explaination. It would make sense that it wouldn't be that easy but he had hoped...
Shiro placed his hand over Keith's, squeezing gently.

"He is physically awake but it might take a while for his consciousness to come through," Matt informed him with a small concerned frown. "However, you'd be happy to hear that Lord Keith seems to be on the right track.
"He was able to respond to pain and he has also passed a few tests that confirmed that he's on the way to a full recovery," the healer said proudly. Keith had always been the type to bounce back from something like this. "We'll just have to be patient and guide him through it."
"Yes," Shiro mumbled, taking in the information. "Yes of course!"

He turned back to his beloved, a hopeless smile of adoration gracing his features. "Did you hear that, love? You'll probably be swing a sword and giving me headaches with your stubborness in no time," he chuckled.
Teary eyes widened as Keith's hand ever so slightly squeezed his hand back as if in response. Shiro felt the overwhelming feeling of relief pour through his chest.

"Welcome back, Keith," he whispered, his voice softer than it had been since the day he thought he lost Keith.
You can follow @AetherStaza.
Tip: mention @twtextapp on a Twitter thread with the keyword “unroll” to get a link to it.

Latest Threads Unrolled: