Not many people knew Keith's true secondary gender. At the Garrison, people could only guess, but most agreed he was probably an alpha.
Everyone in the garrison was on suppressants. Throwing that many newly presented, horny teenagers together would be a disaster, so everyone had their rut or heat suppressed as well as their scents. This allowed for mixed gender dorms, and with no other indications as to secondary genders, people turned to gossip.
There was one old, outdated myth that people sometimes talked about though. It said that alphas took on a more dog or wolf like appearance, while omegas were more like cats. This rumour never mentioned betas however, so most people didn't consider it. It wouldn't have applied to Keith anyway, since he had fox ears and a bushy fox tail. His ears were burnt orange at their base, darkening to black. His dad used to joke that he looked like a black fox when his unruly hair covered all but the tips. His tail was similar, orange to black except for the shock of white at the very top.
So, when Keith found himself launched into space with three cadets and an Officer from the Garrison, he never bothered correcting them when they assumed he was an alpha.
After their disastrous first meeting with Zarkon, and the subsequent separating of the team for several quintants, the team had changed. Allura was worried that they wouldn’t work together as well as before. So, she had decided that they all had to reintroduce themselves, give each other their basic information, as a "bonding exercise". Keith, unfortunately, seemed to be the only one with an issue with this.
"I'm McClain, Lance McClain, alpha, 19 years old," Lance said, shooting a wink at Princess Allura. His ears perked up as he looked at her eagerly. "Hunk, you go next."
Hunk glanced around the circle, before hesitantly introducing himself, "Umm hi, I'm Hunk Garret, yes that's my real name and I'm a beta. Oh! I'm 19 as well, Pidge you should go next."
"I'm Pidge, not yet presented, I'm 16 and I have better things to be doing," Keith ducked his head to hide his smirk, although Pidge noticed anyway. They made eye contact and grinned. Although Keith had kept his distance from the team, he got on fine with Pidge. What they both lacked in height they made up in snark and sarcasm.
Shiro sighed, he had a bad feeling about letting those two get close. "Guess I'll go next then. My name’s Takashi Shirogane, but you can just call me Shiro. I'm 23 years old, and I'm an alpha."
"No way, man! That's not fair! That means there's three and possibly four alphas on the team! This is going to be some much work!" Lance spluttered, glaring at Keith as though this was his fault.
While Pidge and Hunk looked confused, Shiro nudged Keith to introduce himself. His ears pinned themselves to his head. "I'm Keith, and depending on how long we've been in space, I'm 17 or 18. I think I'm still 17 though."
Pidge, Lance and Hunk launched into a debate about how long they estimated they'd been in space. Shiro, however, wasn't going to let Keith off so quickly. "You never said your secondary gender," he said giving Keith a serious look. Luckily, the proximity alarms went off, and Allura started urging them to their lions. Keith had so far managed to avoid divulging that information and he was going to try his hardest to keep it that way.
Saved by the bell Keith thought, as he raced to his lion.
Several hours, later Keith collapsed into his bed. The battle had been a hard one, but they all were.
Just as he started to take off his armour, the door slid open. Keith froze, hand automatically going for his knife, before he recognized Pidge in front of him. He stared at them for several long seconds, before they shuffled over and flopped onto his bed.
Keith felt that he must have missed some social cue or something, because this had never happened before. In the (possible) months they had been in space, none of the paladins had ever actively sought Keith out, just to enjoy his company. None of them had even been in his room!
So, he stood there, armour partially off and stared, perplexed, at Pidge, until finally they huffed and patted the spot next to them. "Geez Keith, you look like I just asked you to solve an impossible riddle, just sit down."
Hesitantly, Keith lowered himself onto the bed. His mind raced through the past couple of days, as he tried to remember if Pidge had any reason to interact with him. Had he accidentally eaten their food goo? Maybe he somehow broke their earphones? Oh god, what if, when he tripped and fell onto Greens paw, he accidentally damaged her?
He was getting lost in his thoughts, but Pidge's voice snapped him out of it. "You're an omega, aren't you."
Keith gaped at them, struggling to put his thoughts together. While he never really planned on hiding his gender from the paladins, he was scared of them treating them differently. "How did you figure it out?" He asked, instead of the hundred other questions rolling around in his head.
Pidge smirked, "Well, it was pretty easy, once I started looking. Firstly, everyone mentioned their gender at least once, except for you. Lance always talks about how you're an alpha, but he doesn't have any proof, just gossip and rumours. Then I noticed that you cover your scent. The rest of us did too, but the suppressants from the Garrison are wearing off. You clearly had another source. And lastly, no matter how much you try not to, you always end up in the middle of the group. In training, while we're eating, hell even in battle! You always try to move to the edge, but everyone subconsciously follows you. And people are always trying to get your attention! Hunk bakes specifically for you all the time. Lance has his made-up rivalry. Shiro is always showing you his new moves for training. Even I do it! I always ask you about mechanics and engines, even though Hunk was the one training to be an engineer!"
Keith looked at them, before taking a deep breath to calm his heart. "I guess some things can't stay hidden for too long, am I right Katie," he said smirking. Although he looked calm and collected, inside he was shrieking.
Pidge gasped, before turning a deep red, "Okay so you got me there, I'm actually a girl, or um, I’m biologically a girl? I kind of identify as non-binary. How about a pinkie promise not to rat each other out?"
Keith grimaced, but interlocked his pinkie with theirs anyway. "Wait, what pronouns do you want me to use?" he asked.
"She/her or they/them, although use they/them in front of the others please," they replied. Their tail flicked lazily behind them. They were pleased that someone had been considerate enough to ask them that, it hadn't happened before.
The pair glanced at each other, before bursting out laughing. And Pidge would be the first to say that Keith had the cutest laugh they'd ever heard.