I may have accidentally married into Galra royalty.

Keith and Shiro were friends and got married entirely without meaning to, but they don’t regret that, not now.
Now, Shiro is simply eager to meet his husband-turned-boyfriend’s friends and family. The thing is, Keith is kind of a celebrity, and that… that comes with perks.

Chapters: 9
Words: 27,067

don’t wanna walk alone (or run away)

Chapter 9


“They’ll like me, right? I know I’m not that great, but I’m… okay. Right?”

“Keith. Your picture’s already framed and put up alongside the family portraits. They adore you.”

Chapter Notes:

*arrives 1 week late with starbucks*

sorry, life and family and avengers endgame happened. what’d i miss? OH MY OWN UPDATE OK

p.s. i gave up on thinking of Galra names for grandpa and grandma so i settled for japanese names which could also sound… a bit… Galra?
and i liked the one time i named Shiro’s grandpa ‘Ryou’ so i’m using that again for this.

“I’m gonna bring strawberries.”

That’s how Keith declares himself, arriving in a blink of light with Kosmo, right in the middle of Shiro’s quarters. The wolf stays only long enough to nose Shiro’s hand and get a short head scratch before blinking out again.

Shiro smiles at Keith, not getting up from his seat in the couch just yet, data-pad still in hand from when he’s reading through old Blade mission logs.

“Hello to you too, starlight.” he greets back. “You’re saying something about-”

“Strawberries.” Keith says, starting to pace. “A basket. Maybe two? You said your grandfather can’t stop eating them, right? What’s your grandmother’s favorite flower? Grandmas like flowers, right? Maybe something new – maybe she’ll like juniberry? They don’t grow here but they’re really pretty. Or… or maybe tea? Nice dinnerware? I don’t really know any grandmas except Lance’s grandma, and she liked all of those…”

Shiro blinks. Is Keith talking about what Shiro thinks he’s talking about?

He sets his data-pad aside, then reaches out to take Keith’s hands and pull him closer.

“Whoa. Alright, let’s slow down.”

Keith comes easily, stopping to stand in front of him. He’s wearing another one of Shiro’s shirts, too big for him, the wide collar sliding down one shoulder. Shiro tugs it back into place.

“What are we talking about?”

Keith shrugs. “Something for your grandma and grandpa when you introduce me to them next week.”

Shiro lets out a small laugh. “What happened to not wanting to win them over with gifts?”

“This is different. You’ve been telling me how excited they are to meet me.” Keith says, brows furrowed and lips curled into a small frown. Shiro has learned to read Keith’s variety of frowns – right now he isn’t upset, he’s just thinking really really hard. “I wanna give them something nice to make up for not introducing myself to them sooner.”

“Make up-? Keith…” Gently, he guides Keith to sit down on his lap. Keith settles snug against him. It’s one of the earliest staples in their relationship, how they both feel most comfortable curled up with each other. “There’s nothing to make up for. You didn’t make a mistake. If anything, I should be the one doing the making up, I kept this from them for too long.”

Keith crosses his arms across his chest. “Fine, but still. I want to bring them something nice. Something they’ll like.”

“You know you don’t have to.”

Keith absentmindedly pokes at the dark purple crystal hanging in a chain around Shiro’s neck. “I want to, though. As courtesy. Don’t Galra have a custom like that? Terrans do, when we visit friends and relatives.”

Shiro shakes his head. “Not really. Unless there’s a special occasion, like a name day, or an anniversary.”

Keith sits up straighter then. “What about a promotion? Doesn’t that count?”

Shiro’s eyes go wide before looking down, cheeks darkening slightly. “I… I guess it does.”

“Then it’s settled. I’ll bring strawberries and flowers. And maybe tea, if I can get the delicious Altean ones that don’t require alchemy lessons to make. Besides, didn’t your grandparents say we’ll be having a feast to welcome you home?”

Shiro sighs, smiling fondly. “They did say that.”

“Then it’s perfect for when you tell them the good news-” Keith pauses. “Wait. We’re celebrating more than you coming home. You think I should bring cake?”

Shiro chuckles and holds his raised hand, lifting it to press a soft kiss against his fingers, then to the crystal he’s still holding. Keith doesn’t have to look down to know that his own crystal is glowing under his shirt – he can feel it against his skin, warm, with a faint pulse of quintessence.

“Bring whatever you want, starlight.”

“Maybe chocolates too, and lots of-”

“Don’t overdo it.”

“Okay, then. Just the cake.”



Shiro catches Keith slipping several chocolate boxes in the picnic basket, anyway. It’s followed by a suspicious-looking bottle-


“Coran said grandpas like nunvil!”



A week later, Keith finds himself walking with Shiro through the narrow but bustling streets of his home sector. A lot of people recognize Shiro and tell him that they’re really glad to see him home. When they come across elder Galra, Shiro greets them first, and they call him ‘young Shiro’ and ‘our Blade’. Some ask how long he’ll be staying and he answers the same: a few quintants at most. They all ask who Shiro’s “friend” is with knowing smiles, and Keith nods politely at them as Shiro simply says they work together.

“Do I smell like you that much?” Keith whispers.

“I… I can’t tell anymore, to be honest?” Shiro shrugs. “Ulaz said we’re the opposite of subtle.”

Keith huffs. “Whatever. Subtle is for losers.”

Shiro only sends him a fond, amused smile, and Keith returns it, this time taking his hand as they keep walking.

They stop in front of a quaint but cozy little house. The property is gated, with what looks like a little vegetable garden and a small hovercar parked up front.

Shiro lets out a breath. “I know it’s not your mansion-”

“I love it.” Keith says, cutting him off. Shiro looks at him, and there’s a furrow to his brows. He looks back at Shiro with a minute frown. “They’ll like me, right? I know I’m not that great, but I’m… okay. Right?”

Shiro stares at him for a couple of ticks before chuckling. “Keith. Your picture’s already framed and put up alongside the family portraits.” He places his hand on the security pad and the gate opens for them. “They adore you.”

Keith doesn’t look very convinced, but he lets Shiro pull him forward. The front yard isn’t very big, it only takes a few steps before they’re in the front door, which automatically slides open and-


Both of them freeze at the sudden sound, a rush of something , and then at the tiny, curly, shiny strips of paper that slowly fall all over them.

“WELCOME HOME!” two voices greet them happily.

Shiro blinks, while Keith pulls at one of the strips from his shirt, squinting. “Is this… confetti?”

Shiro looks up to see his grandparents standing giddily in front of them, grins wide and excited, each holding a long… cylindrical… thing…

“Do you like it? We got this strange contraption from the Earth store in the mall! We were told it’s used to welcome guests with a colorful surprise during celebrations.” Grandfather says, proudly brandishing said contraption.

Shiro stares. “Um.”

Meanwhile Keith laughs, delighted. “Party poppers! I didn’t know people still sold these…”

Grandmother beams, shuffling forward. “Do you like it, Keith?”

Keith beams back. “I love it, ma’am. Thank you for the… ah… colorful surprise.”

Grandmother claps her hands before gesturing for him. “Oh, you’re most welcome! Come here, young one, let me look at you.”

Keith takes her extended hand and steps forward. Shiro really took after his grandmother, who stands tall despite her old age, with a sweet face and a pair of big, expressive ears. Keith only reached her shoulders, but she leans down for him.

Her eyes are as kind as her grandson’s, her smile fond. “You look even lovelier than in the photos. No wonder our Shiro is so taken.”

Keith blushes, chuckling awkwardly. “T-Thank you, ma’am. Oh, these flowers are for you.”

She gasps as she takes the little bouquet. “My, my! Are these juniberry blossoms?”

“Yes, ma’am.”

“They’re beautiful!” She marvels, looking delighted. “Ah, and no calling me ma’am, now. Call me Rei.”

Keith nods. “It’s good to finally meet you, Rei.”

“Very good. We’ll work that up to ‘Grandmother’ soon.” she nods, squeezing his hands appreciatively before standing straight and finally turning to her grandson. “Now, you .”

Shiro smiles nervously, rubbing the back of his neck. “I’m… home?”

“Yes, you are.” Rei nods, taking a step forward and opening her arms. Shiro sighs as he melts into the warmth of his grandmother’s arms wrapped snug and tight around him.

They hug for a full minute, before she pulls back and looks him up and down with a proud smile.

“Look at you, my kitling. You look different.”

“I do?”

“Yes, you are standing straighter and taller, and you look very strong.”

Shiro laughs softly. “Thanks, Grandmother-”

He freezes when her grin extends to show fangs . “It’s the first time you’re back home since joining the Blades, and you come with a potential mate, whom you are married to, who is also royalty. My sweet, sweet kitling. You left two deca-phoebs ago a Blade trainee and you come back a royal ?”

Shiro gulps. Ah, here we go. All he can say is “Uhhh…”

And then she reaches up to flick his ear painfully. “I had to find out through a planet-wide broadcast?! While your grandfather filmed me?! And you drop all this information through a written message! Which I read…. While your grandfather filmed me!”

“It’s a very good reaction.” Shiro’s grandfather tells Keith, sidling up beside him. While he is of a smaller build than his wife and grandson, Shiro must have gotten the white tuft from this side of the family. “I will show you later. It’s good to meet you, Keith. I’m Ryou, grandfather to a disaster.”

“Good to meet you, Ryou.” Keith says, smiling. Ryou is friendly and gentle, and Keith is pleasantly surprised that his voice is very much like Shiro’s. The old Galra reminds Keith of, strangely enough, Thace – calm and collected but with a quick and dry sense of humor. Keith is close with Thace, so he finds it easy to reply, “He’s a pretty cute disaster. I think you did alright.”

“A guy as big as our Shiro, cute?” Ryou laughs. “Thank you, we tried our best.”

They both look to where Rei is still going on about Shiro’s gradually, increasingly worrying and dubious messages over the past phoebs, while Shiro sighs and looks to his boyfriend and his grandfather, big eyes calling for help.

That earns him another flick to his ear.

“Don’t look at them, they won’t help you. When were you going to tell your poor old grandmother? I remember specifically asking you if you’ve found anyone you like in the Blades! And you said, ‘no grandmother, but I have found a very good friend ’ – and then I just learn that you have married this good friend?”

“It was an acci-”

“Honestly, I don’t mind, I am happy for you, but these are one of the things we would have wanted to know right away !”


“Did you know what happened when I found out? I broke the good teacup.”

Shiro gasps this time. “N-Not the good teacup-?”

“Yes, I saw you in that broadcast and I dropped the good teacup! And your grandfather-” at this, she turns to glare at her mate, who only shrugs. “-was only laughing at me and won’t hand me the controls to rewind the broadcast and confirm that it was really you. Then he ran away for the rest of the quintant to avoid answering my questions.”

This time, Shiro is the one who looks at his grandfather in disdain. Ryou looks unrepentant. Meanwhile, Keith is hardly containing his giggles.

“The neighbors were also asking me if that was you, with Ambassador Krolia’s- Is that a scar on your shoulder? What happened? Who did this? Grandmother will make sure they regret it!”

And just like that, she is now fussing over her grandson like he is back to being a kit.

“He got that because your grandson is a hero.” Keith says, catching all their attentions. His smile is soft as he continues, “We were involved in a search and rescue, and he was injured protecting someone. It left a scar because when it was all over, he knew there were people who needed the healing pods more than he did, so he gave way for them.”

Slowly, Rei turns to look back at her grandson, who is looking down, now self-conscious. She sighs and takes him into her arms again, where he goes willing and happy. “Oh, my kitling. We are proud of you and what you chose to do.”

“Thank you, Grandmother.”

“And we are very happy that you’ve found Keith and you brought him home to meet us.”

Shiro only nods against her shoulder, eyes meeting Keith’s, who watches them quietly.

When they pull away, she flicks his ear once more. “You could have told us earlier, though! Seriously! You silly kit…”

Before Shiro could try to apologize again, she only huffs and turns around, smiling sweetly at Keith. “Now, you two get yourselves settled. Dinner will be ready soon, I tried some of Chef Hunk’s recipes from the book that you kits got for me.”

“I’m sure they’ll taste wonderful.” Keith says, then picks up the picnic basket he had left on the floor. “We also brought some fruit, and cake.”

“Strawberries?” Ryou asks, leaning eagerly towards the item, sniffing.

Keith nods, offering the basket to the older Galra, who takes it happily. “Shiro told me you loved them.”

Ryou ruffles his hair while he turns to Shiro. “I like this one, kit.”

Shiro laughs. “I knew you would.”



Rei serves an utterly delectable dinner, and over the meal, Shiro finally tells the whole story to his grandparents. He’d already told them over his last message, but it’s different, hearing it out loud. Plus, Rei and Ryou were both eager to hear the details – all the details, and Shiro is happy to provide when they have questions.

He’d missed being home.

Keith listens, content, chin in his hands as he watches Shiro with his little family, already learning more about all three of them from this conversation alone.

Shiro had gotten his calm and patience from his grandfather, while his protective and nurturing side he got from his grandmother.

Rei wears her heart on her sleeve, always curious and expressive. Keith sees her eyes widen momentarily at some parts of Shiro’s stories, and he couldn’t help but grow fonder of her if only because Shiro does the same too.

Ryou, while collected, laughs freely and with abandon. The way he sits, the way his eyes soften, the way he picks at his food carefully first before enthusiastically digging in for the rest – all things Keith had seen Shiro do.

It’s a lovely dinner, and when Rei notices Keith’s silence and asks if they’re being too loud, Keith only shakes his head and smiles.

“No, it’s alright. I like listening.”

He does, and they don’t question him after, but they keep smiling at him kindly, without condescension.

Yep. This is Shiro’s family, through and through.



“Oh, my God. These are adorable.”

“Aren’t they just? Oh, this – his first tournament! He was the champion!”

“Wow.” Keith looks up momentarily from where he and Rei were hovering over the little frames propped up in the hallway table. Each of them displayed photos of family and friends that changed every few ticks or so. “Shiro, you were so tiny!”

He didn’t look to see Shiro’s reaction, already turning back to the photos, but he does hear Shiro’s indignant squeak, followed by Ryou’s laughter.

“I should have hidden those photos…” Shiro grumbles.

“Yes, you should have.” Ryou agrees. He sips the tea that Keith had brewed after dinner, and his brows fly up. “This is really good.”

“Keith got it upon recommendation by Princess Allura.” Shiro tells his grandfather.

Ryou almost chokes on the tea. “P-Pri-… of-… of Altea?”

Shiro grins. Ah, so that must have been how he looked like whenever Keith dropped one of his ‘this-celebrity-is-my-friend-no-big-deal’ bombs on him.

“They’re good friends. Right, Keith?”

“Hm?” Keith hums, still preoccupied with the pictures of Shiro through the years and the stories that came with each of them. “Yeah, we grew up together.”

Shiro looks to his grandfather and shrugs. “They grew up together.”

Ryou takes a long moment just to stare down at his cup of tea before taking a second sip. He sighs right after. “You must send this blessing home more often, kit.”

Shiro simply nods. His grandparents never asked him to send souvenirs and gifts home, but he often did anyway. This is only the first time his grandfather asked anything of him since he got in the Blades, and Shiro would be glad to indulge.

They’ve spoiled him as best as they can. It’s his turn now.

He watches as his grandfather pokes at his slice of cake and then takes a careful bite.

“Keith made that cake with his mother.”

Ryou stops, then looks to where Keith and Rei are still enthusiastically talking about the family portraits. “His… mother. Ambassador Krolia?”

Shiro nods.

Ryou hums in thought. “She never seemed like the domestic type, in her public appearances. She always looked like she’s all business.”

“You’ll be surprised.” Shiro says with a smile. In the few times he’d spent with her, it always struck him how maternal Krolia could be, freely affectionate with her son, and even with Romelle, Pidge and Keith’s other friends. Even with Shiro.

“Aw, this one’s from the gala…” he hears Keith say, and he turns to see his boyfriend looking up at the big frame with a photo of him and Keith, both smiling, the little Fluvakian princess adorably beaming between them.

“You looked so lovely there, kitling.” Rei marvels. “As did our Shiro, very handsome. Such fancy robes! I bet he didn’t know what to do with it.”

Keith chuckles lightly. “He had help.” He puts the frame down. “It’s so sweet that you keep all these photos here, on display. I’m used to seeing home galleries, but they’re always just boring formal portraits. These ones are great, you can really see that they’re… moments. Memories.”

“You flatter me, young one!” Rei laughs. “I simply like going back to these moments. It’s been really different without Shiro around, he’s our only kit now.”

Keith turns to look at Shiro. “You hear that, babe? You should come home more often.”

Rei laughs again, and ruffles Keith’s hair. “Oh, Keith. You’re too sweet. We understand that he’s very busy. Your line of work is important.”

“No, I mean…” Keith raises an eyebrow at Shiro. “You’ll be getting more leaves now, right? C’mon, Shiro. Tell them.”

Shiro looked to both his grandparents sheepishly, then sighs. “So, um,  there’s something else I should tell you…”

“Seriously?” Rei asks, exasperated as she settles her hands on her waist. “You are courting, married, royalty… there’s more?”

“It’s good news! I wanted it to be a surprise and I wanted to tell you myself!” Shiro reasons quickly, and he sees his grandmother’s expression turn expectant.

He also looks to his grandfather, who is waiting for him to speak, fork with cake raised halfway to his mouth.

Finally, he takes a deep breath and beams at them. “I got promoted to Lieutenant.”

Keith has to cover his ears when Rei shrieks and bounds across the room to hug her grandson. Shiro laughs as his grandmother practically tries to squeeze the life out of him. Ryou pats his grandson on the back with a smile.

Keith quietly settles on one of the free seats, pouring himself a cup of tea as he lets the family celebrate.

“We’re so proud of you, kit! Our Blade! A Lieutenant!” Rei rejoices, peppering Shiro’s face with kisses.


Ryou exchanges a smile with Keith as they knock their teacups together. He looks to his wife and grandson again. “Don’t smother him, my heart. You’re embarrassing him in front of his beloved.”

Keith blows on his tea first and takes a sip, hoping it hides his blush. He always forgets how romantic Galra get with their names for loved ones.

When Rei finally lets go, she settles beside Keith, and is delighted when he pours her a cup of tea, proper posture and all.

He catches Shiro grinning at him and pouts. “Shut up. We had to take lessons about this, okay?”

Shiro serves the cake while Ryou proudly relays to his wife that it was Keith and his mother who baked it.

“Ambassador Krolia!” Rei says in awe as she looks at Keith. “You do look so much like her, kit. Oh, I admire her work. She does so much for the coalition.”

“I’m sure she appreciates that you think so.” Keith says. “She’s really busy but I’m sure she’ll find the time soon. We should all go to dinner together.”

“That would be great. In speaking of your family… you are Emperor Lotor’s cousin?”

“Mm-hm. On the Galra side.” As he looks around thoughtfully, his eyes catch on something. “Auntie Honerva.” he says, pointing at the portrait of the retired empress. “She gave us a really nice wedding present.”

Rei’s eyes light up. “Did she? I adore her… Daibazaal has always had intelligent empresses, but she was something else, applied every bit of knowledge she has, pioneered a new technological revolution… Though we don’t hear much from her nowadays… How is she doing?”

“She and Uncle Zarkon are really enjoying retirement. Cats. Each other’s company. They’re doing great.” Keith says. He tugs at the chain around his neck to show her his crystal pendant. “They sent me and Shiro a matching pair of these.”

“My, that’s beautiful.” Rei whispers, leaning forward to get a better look. “Is it a Balmera? No, those are white.”

“We’re not sure, but she said it’s kinda inspired by Mamora blades, so maybe luxite?”

Shiro watches them talk for a while, just smiling fondly. Beside him, his grandfather hums as he savors his tea.

Ryou lays a hand on his grandson’s arm gently. “You’ve done very well for yourself, kit.”

Shiro looks down, nodding. “I think so too.”

“Oh?” the older raises an eyebrow, looking bemused. “Do you, now?”

Shiro blinks. “Yes?”

Ryou chuckles, shaking his head. “I could have sworn, if I told you that two deca-phoebs ago, you’d only have answered that you simply got lucky. Now you know all this is simply because of you and your hard work. I am glad.”

Shiro only smiles down at his tea before meeting his grandfather’s eyes. “Thank you, grandfather.”

“Taking compliments a lot better now, too. This new life you have is good to you.”

“It is.”

Shiro looks across them again, where his grandmother and Keith are already deep in conversation about their life with the Blades and the Coalition.

Ryou watches his grandson take a sip of tea first before he speaks.

“Now that you know we can handle news about your new life, I hope you don’t hold out on telling us things anymore.”


“For example, we don’t want to learn about a great-grandkit when they’re already celebrating their first name-day.”

Shiro almost spits out his tea.






Chapter Notes:

and i am finally done!

really, i never planned for this fic to be this long, i originally just wanted to write a quick one-shot, but this AU just evolved so much. so thank you for sticking it out with me!

thanks to everyone who read, left kudos, commented and left kudos-comments to this fic. you’re all so sweet! I LOVE Y’ALL! MWAH

Story End Notes:

title is from the song “let’s get married” by bleachers because that is the theme song of this here lil series apparently.
series art and doodles: [here]

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