Lance was screwed.
He was screwed upwards, downwards and sideways.
He could always pass it off at the garrison as him just being secretive. As him just not knowing people well enough to go hunting with them.
He had a pack. A team. An alpha.
How long could he really keep the secret now? Would they laugh at him? Or would they just unanimously agree...
It was bad enough he was an omega on this ship full of alphas and betas. But he was also...
He was just...
He sighed inwardly.
Small. He was small okay?
Not to say his human side was small, oh no.
He was fairly tall. Taller than Keith even. An alpha, mind you.
So with that being said, his wolf side should be even bigger than Keith's.
Lankier and not as muscly granted.
He was small.
And quiznak it was getting harder and harder to blow off everyone's questioning gazes when he refused to hunt with his pack.
Or train in wolf form, or sleep curled up around one another.
He just couldn't. He couldn't show them.
He didn't want to be pushed around or mistreated, just because he was an adorable fucking fox.
He loved his transformation. It fit him well, and it made him feel safe. He may be small, but he was fast, and he could hide himself in any nook or cranny. Places people wouldn't think to look. Place people wouldn't even be able to reach if they did think to look.
And he took full advantage of that little fact.
He would annoy and pester his friends until they asked about it.
"How about instead of annoying me, you do something useful and come train with me and Shiro?" Keith would ask aggressively, yet somehow still tentatively. It was cute, and he always felt bad about blowing him off. He knew he was asking for Shiro too. Their alpha, who was worried it was somehow his fault Lance didn't want to reveal himself. But he would always decline, with a smile on his face. "Sorry Keith, lil old Lance has some prior engagements." Keith would always scowl afterwards and grumble as Lance sauntered off to hide somewhere out of sight. Somewhere small. Somewhere safe.
Or when Pidge would get quiet in the middle of their mindless theoretical rambling, and he'd ask her what's wrong, and she'd stare at him, intelligent eyes scanning. "Do you really not trust us?"
And he'd stamper, and stutter out indigently. "What do you mean?! of course I trust you!" And he'd watch as she furrowed her brow, and then after a moment looked away, avoiding his eyes. "whatever..." He'd hesitate slightly at her obvious dismissal, before grumbling out something about going to see Hunk. Then he would stand, and wander off to a place where he could comb through his thoughts.
Hunk's reaction was the worst. The best, somehow, but also the worst.
He wouldn't say a word about it. He'd open his mouth, a suggestion of hunting together or cuddling in wolf form at the tip of his tongue, but then his mouth would close, and Lance could tell he was struggling to put it into words, but he wouldn't voice what Hunk was going to ask him, and tell him not to worry like he could normally do with other things.
He couldn't with this.
Because as much as he loved his friends...
Wolves intimidated him.
Stronger, bigger, more aggressive.
His family always hid him away while they hunted.
People could be so cruel to defenseless creatures.
He remembers the first and only time a person outside of his family saw him.
He'd snuck out, against his mother's orders.
She was pack alpha, and he knew she meant well, but it had been a month of him locked away without the beach or the forest to play in.
So that night he snuck out to feel the sand on his paws.
And then he'd gotten chased, laughed at, threatened, caught and roughed up.
He was thankful that the boy who had found him was the same boy at his school that he had caught dragging his butt on the carpet.
With a nicely placed threat to 'accidentally' tell people who the smear on the carpet was from, he'd never seen the boy even look his direction at school ever again.
His mother had been so mad when he got home. But then she was just worried when she saw his beat up body.
"Don't draw attention to yourself. Don't let them see your weakness" Then she would hold him tight and apologize, even though it wasn't her fault.
He could almost hear her clear as day, feel her embrace. The protective aura his all-alpha family seemed to give off when they were together in public. The way his sisters stuck close to his side and scared off all the cute guys...
He was annoyed at the time, but now he longed for that.
Longed for that safety. The security in knowing your family is there for you.
With the remnants of thoughts clouding his mind, he dozed off.
It would be about the time his pack went off to play and hunt on their newest alien host's planet. He had already preemptively hidden somewhere small and out of the way.
He sighed one last time, longing for the beach. The woods. His pack.
Lance was screwed.
The group meet up went about the same as always.
Coran elected himself to stay on the castleship in case anything happened, and Lance just never showed up.
Every time they announced their nightly pack run, they'd all secretly hoped a certain blue paladin would show up. But he never did. And when Shiro and Keith stubbornly went to look for him, he wouldn't be in his room. In fact they wouldn't find him anywhere they looked.
He never joined their group cuddles. Or hunting, or running, or grooming, or training.
He was a lone wolf in their eyes, which didn't make sense.
He was the loud one. The one who hugged Hunk viciously without fear of being smushed by the over excited alpha. The one who wrestled with Pidge while she was still in wolf form, laughing and smiling at her playful puppy antics, without concern for the rough housing, and scratches he'd received. (As long as they weren't on his beautiful face)
Hell, he would go out of his way to hang out with them, to spend time with them, and generally annoy them in the most loving way possible...
out of all of them, Keith seemed way more the lone wolf type out of all of them. And yet he still participated. Still showed them his fuzzier side.
It had been months, and the pack was worried that something was wrong.
They asked Hunk about it, but even at the garrison Lance had never shown him anything. Had never confided in him. Had never cuddled or hunted or played with him as a wolf, even though they were best friends.
The thought had made Hunk visibly upset, so they had quickly stepped away from the subject.
But it was a subject they couldn't exactly drop forever.
They were a pack. And if Lance, the pack omega, wasn't comfortable around them, didn't that mean something was wrong?
Keith growled frustrated by the current circumstances, a puddle of black fur on the ground, his chin laying on cold tile as purple eyes watched the door with such intensity, the salt and pepper patterned wolf beside him feared it may melt.
Shiro nudged his mate, who just huffed, and stood silently, before they headed off to catch up with the three dark silhouettes of their packmates in the woods.
They both shared a look as they ran, a brief and silent agreement.
They would have a little chat with Lance later.
That was for sure.