When Shiro’s suppressants wore off and the truth about his dynamic was revealed, he expected all kinds of reactions. Anger, disappointment. He thought his teammates weren’t going to feel comfortable having an omega as a leader. He also expected the princess to throw him out of the team, or at least give the black lion to someone else.
Of course, none of this happened.
His friends were surprised but truly understanding. Even the princess and Coran were kind and everyone reassured him that he had nothing to worry about.
Things didn’t change, well, not much.
Shiro was glad to be able to be in contact with his omega side again. In no time he took over the position of the pack omega (he was the only one, anyways) and started taking care of everyone.
He started with Pidge and Keith. He knew the betas for a long time, so it was easier to deal with them. He just had to remind to eat and rest more. They could lose track of time working, or training in Keith’s case, so he always make sure they didn’t stay up late.
It took a bit more of effort with Hunk and Lance, they were good, but he didn’t know them enough. It wasn’t a problem, though. Hunk was an adorable beta who just needed someone to talk to once in a while. He also liked having company while cooking. He was sweet, and Shiro enjoyed being with him.
Now, Lance was a bit more... Complicated. He and Allura were the only alphas on the ship, and Allura was alpha prime. It was normal for them to fight once in a while and when this didn’t surprise any of them, Shiro noticed how much it affected Lance to be reminded that he wasn’t the leader of his own pack anymore. Hell, he wasn’t even the second in comand, Shiro was.
Since everyone else were betas, Shiro was the only one who could truly notice (apart from Allura) how much Lance was struggling.
It took him forever to completely earn the blue paladin’s trust. Alphas had big egos, and didn’t like to show vulnerability because they associate it with weakness. Shiro felt incredibly happy when Lance hugged him for the first time and scent him, after finanlly telling him about his feelings.
Yes, Shiro was a bit tired. He still had his nightmares and own demons to deal with, but he was happy. His team was happier now, healthier. So ignoring his problems was worth it.
Things started going shit after a while.
Missions weren’t going well, planets were lost, everyone was tired and Shiro was trying his damn best to keep the team together but it was becoming harder with each day. After every lost, Allura became more and more ruthless with training. They all knew she was worried and only wanted them to get better, but they were reaching their limits. Specially Shiro.
The nightmares were getting worse and the guilt of those planets they couldn’t save was haunting him. Shiro was feeling terrible, and the stress of everything was slowly driving him crazy.
He was exhausted. Physically and emotionally.
“Princess, don’t you think it time to rest?”
“Rest? No, Shiro. You all need to train harder! You failed as a team to complete this level! You will do it again until it’s done properly, understood?!” Shiro jumped and noded. Allura was using her alpha voice without realizing, and he was too tired to say anything agaisnt her.
“Ok, team! You listened to her! Again!”
Everyone groaned but they picked up their weapons and got in position. All except for Lance, who was really quiet.
“Lance, get in position.” The boy just let out a deep growl, took his bayard, and got ready without making eye contact.
The omega just sighed. He wasn’t sure what was going on with Lance, but everytime they were together or Shiro tried to talk to him, Lance looked angry about something.
It was worrying.
‘I’m trying to be a good omega... Did i do something wrong?’ Shiro hoped not. He already had many problems, he didn’t want to fight with the alpha too.
They managed to finish the level after a few tries. Thanks to Coran’s insistence, Allura gave them a break and let them go for dinner.
“God! I’m so tired!” Said Lance pushing his bowl of goo away.
“Same, dude! I just want to go and sleep for like, a whole week.”
“I’m so tired i can’t even move, i’m gonna take a nap right here.” Said Pidge resting her arms on the table.
Shiro chuckled. “I say we all deserved som--”
“What?! Absolutely not!”
“No, you will go back to the training room and finish the sequence until it’s perfect!” Instantly all the paladins started complaining. Shiro frowned.
“Princess, please be reasonable. Everyone is tired, i’m tired, we all need to rest. It’s useless to try to train like--” Of course, she didn’t let him finish.
“No. I don’t want excuses.” Oh no, she was using her alpha voice again. “There’s no time to rest, the galras may attack in any moment and you all need to improve. I don’t want more fooling around from you either, Shiro. You are my second in command and I want you to come with me to talk to some leaders. I hope you remember all I taught because this is really important.”
There was a moment in her rant, that Shiro completely stopped listening. He just said “yes, princess” here and there and kept his eyes on his food. He knew she didn't have bad intentions, she was just worried because everything was going wrong. Frustration and anger were clouding her judgement. But it didn’t make it any easier.
“Are you listening, Shiro?” He flinched and nodded again. He could feel the tears threatening to fall. God, no. He couldn’t break now, not in front of everyone.
But he was so exhausted.
“Yes...” And his voice was so weak that he couldn’t recognise it himself.
“Are you kidding me?” Lance’s voice surprised everyone. “I... How dare you?”
“Lance--” Hunk tried to reach for his friend, but Lance was already standing up, looking at Allura wirh fury in his eyes.
“Do you a problem, Lance?” Allura’s voice was cold.
“Yes, I do have a problem! My problem is Shiro’s position in the team.”
Everyone was startled at his words. Shiro looked lost and hurt. Was he doing such a bad job as a leader that Lance was questioning his position now? Or was he tired of being ordered by an omega?
“I don’t think it’s fair to give an omega--”
“What the fuck?! Is that some of stupid Alpha-shit?!”
“Do you think you could be a better leader or something?!” Keith and Pidge lost no time to start screaming, angry at whatever the alpha might be implying.
“Shut up!” Lance yelled using his alpha voice now and the betas back off completely after hearing his command. It was very rare for Lance to do that.“I’m trying to say that i don’t think it’s fair to give so many tasks to an omega without giving him any breaks! Shiro is a great leader, ok? I respect him as much as you all do, but omegas aren’t build to deal with stressful environments and don’t give me that look Keith, you know it’s true.”
“And what? Are you angry for that? I’m sorry Lance but this truly sounds like some alpha-bullshit to me.” Keith said in an angry tone.
“Oh yes, you are damn right. This is a fucking alpha-shit. Alpha’s are supposed to protect their packs, their omegas. None of you can see it because you are betas! But Shiro’s hurting and i don’t understand why Allura gave him the position as leader and said she was going to treat him as her equal, when everything she has done so far since his supressants wore off is imposing over him and pushing him to the limit!”
“WHAT?! I haven’t been doing such thing!”
“Yes you have! Do you see the way he jumps everytime you call his name?! You are hurting him, Allura! God! You say you don’t want ‘more fooling around’ from him, are you damn serious?! He doesn’t rest because he’s too damn busy taking care of us! He’s the one who’s taking this Voltron-thing more seriously and instead of thanking him for that and for keeping the team together, what do you do? You give only him more tasks and responsabilities when he’s at the verge of breaking!”
“I don’t care! He needs to rest, we all do! He’s been trying to tell you that for the last few days, but you use your damn alpha voice everytime he wants to tell you no and force him to say yes! How dare you to do that?! I don’t know how you treated omegas in Altea, but i won’t let you keep hurting mine!”
Nobody said anything for a few seconds. Surprisingly, Allura didn’t got angry, she actually looked shocked and ashamed.
“I know you can smell it, too. He's in distress, Shiro is not doing well and the only thing you do is to give him more orders ” Lance’s voice was softer now. “ I know you are worried about the recent attacks, but we won’t get any better if you don’t let us take a break. Please.”
“... I didn’t mean to, i never realized...Shiro--!”
“It’s ok, Princess.” But Shiro was not ok. He felt small and weak even he was none of those things.
He felt a hand on his shoulder. Lance was standing beside him, staring at him with his bright blue eyes. Shiro took a sharp breath as the alpha put his other hand on his cheek and tears started falling from his eyes.
He heard the surprised gaps of his friends and the apologies coming from Allura. Shiro couldn’t stand it anymore. He tried to keep himself together, he truly did. But the guilt, the nightmares, the responsabilities, the constant battles... It was too much.
Lance embraced him tightly and he just cried harder.
"I'm s-sorry! I'm so sorry! I tried, i tried to keep everyone happy... To help you all and be the leader you all deserve, but i can’t!”
The paladins and princess watched the scene with sadness. They never realized how much their leader was struggling.
“Come on, Shiro. I’ll take you to your room. You need to sleep.”
“But the nightmares--” Even if he tried to sleep, he couldn’t. That’s why he always did his patrol at night.
“I’ll stay with you, ok? You won’t be alone.”
That sounded... Really nice, actually. He found himself nodding, and Lance smiled at him softly. Shiro got up and just when he was about to leave the room Allura got close to him. She was trying to apologise again but before she could say anything Lance put himself in the middle and gave her a warning growl. Maybe he wasn't alpha prime like her, but there was something dangerous about him and that made everyone freeze in place.
Lance took Shiro's hand and guide him to his room. Nobody tried to follow them.
They didn't exchange any words. Shiro just kept sobbing softly all the way to his room. He hated to show weakness, he didn't want anyone thinking he couldn't handle things just for being an omega. But he couldn't stop crying, and he couldn't deny Lance's words.
Omegas weren't made for stressful environments. That was true, but it never stop Shiro. Well, not before.
He got really far. He became a Pilot, a teacher, and then his work was so good that he was choose to travel to Kerberos. But then the Galra happened, and Voltron, and allies were lost, and too many bad news followed. He tried dealing with everything himself, not wanting to worry anyone else, but now he was falling apart.
They entered to his room and Shiro walked straight to his bed. Lance just stood by the door and looked around with a frown.
“You don’t have a nest?” The alpha asked, taking him by surprise.
“Why not? Nests are important for omegas. They’re a source comfort and make omegas feel safe, so why don’t you have one?”
“I...” To be honest, Shiro didn’t have a reason. He stopped making nests when he entered to the Garrison in order to keep his dynamic a secret, but now? He had no excuse. Everyone knew, and they were ok with it. “I... I don’t know.”
Lance just sighed and shooked his head.
“Stay here, i’ll be right back.”
Shiro looked at him with fear, was he going to leave him?
“I just need to go for some things. I’ll come back, don’t worry.” Said Lance noticing the panic in Shiro’s eyes.
He left for several minutes, and Shiro couldn't help but to feel anxious.
'Maybe he didn’t want to stay here after all...'
Thankfully, that wasn’t the case. Lance showed up with several blankets and pillows in his arms. Shiro looked at him in confusion but the alpha just smiled.
“We’re gonna make a nest.”
Shiro’s eyes widen and maybe it was something silly, but it made the omega’s heart jump with happiness and excitement.
A nest. It was something he didn’t realized he needed until Lance mention it.
The alpha gave him the blankets, and even though he said the both of them were going to make the nest, he let Shiro do it. He had many brothers and sisters, and most of them were omegas. Thanks to that he knew how important things like scenting, nests, and rest were for them.
He stared at Shiro with fondness while he worked. The omega looked adorable as he tried to make his nest as big and comfortable as possible. Once he was done, the omega lost no time getting into to bed.
Lance was planning on sitting on the floor, but Shiro grabbed him by the wrist and pulled him into the bed with him. At first Lance was tense, but after seeing Shiro’s expression, he lets himself to relax a bit.
Shiro hugged him, looking for comfort and the alpha was quick to give it to him. It was a soft embrace at first, but then Lance started scenting him. The omega felt comfortable and so safe with his teammate, he did something he hadn’t done in years.
He showed submission.
Shiro exposed his neck to him, and felt how the alpha started sucking and kissing his scent glands with excitement until leaving them red and swollen.
No, he never imagined himself to ever share something so intimate with Lance. Or any alpha, really. But this was something he needed.
To let someone else take control only for a bit. To relax.
Shiro breathe in Lance’s alpha scent.
Here, with him right beside him, he felt... Better. Safe.
They both fell sleep. And surprisingly, Shiro’s nightmares never came.
“Do you think i’m a bad omega” Shiro didn’t want to ruin the moment. He was comfortable, and they just woke up. But he needed to know what the boy truly think of him. Was he truly not fit for leading?
“What? No, of course not. I think you are a fantastic omega.”
“But you said--”
“Yes, omegas don’t work well in this kind of conditions but i didn’t mean you weren’t a good leader. Just that you were having a hard time, and that you needed rest. Omegas needs that, believe i know i have many omega sibilings. Look, I know you can handle the position, you are capable of many things Shiro. But you have been neglecting yourself. You aren’t less important than any us, you know? You matter too.”
Shiro swallowed hard and closed his eyes.
"You need to rely on the others a bit more. We are a team, Shiro. A pack. We are in this together, ok? You're not alone..." The omega took a deep breath. He couldn't cry again. "You want to carry with everyone's problems, but what about yours, Shiro? I know you are having a hard time too."
"But... I need to be strong for them." He whispered.
“So? It’s ok not to show strength all the time. You are human, it's totally normal.” Shiro knew that, but he wasn’t comfortable with it. He heard Lance sigh. “If you don’t want them to see you vulnerable, why don’t you come to me? I’ll try to help you as much as you have helped me.”
“Lance, you don’t have to do that.” He did not desire to become a burden to him.
“Why not? I am an alpha. My duty it’s to take care of my pack, and right now the member who needs my help the most is this stubborn omega of mine.”
Shiro sighed and his grip on Lance’s shirt became stronger.
“It’ll be fine... Just let me take care you, ok? We don’t have to talk... I could just... Stay like this with you. Is that ok?”
Shiro was hesitant, but he nodded.
Lance smiled and kissed his temple.
“I’ll be a good alpha for you, don’t worry. I’ll protect you.”
Shiro said nothing more.
He was going to be fine. All of them were going to be fine.