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Mshenko Drabbles

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“And there we were, like…” Shepard fumbled mid sentence, a growing buzz giving the telltale slur and inflection to his words. A happy smile made it way on his face as his eyes landed on Kaidan, who was talking animatedly with Steve and Jack; drink in one hand, the other waving erratically as he weaved a tale. His eyes trailed lower and landed on his ass, which looked hella fine in tight black jeans.

“Uh…Shepard?” Tali shifted uncomfortably, following his eyes and quickly turning away, clutching her drink tightly. “I’m just gonna…yeah, I’ll just go get a quick refill.”

As she shuffled away he realized he had been leering. His cheeks flushed and he stood there awkwardly for a moment, debating what to do next. “Ahh the hell with it…” Steeling his shoulders and ignoring the slight wobble to his steps he marched right up to his husband and wrapped his arms around Kaidan’s waist, planting a kiss on his cheeks and then rested his head on his shoulder.

“Heeeyyy, there you are.” Kaidan said as he absently patted John’s head with his free hand, blushing as he glanced at Jack and Steve. He gave an apologetic half shrug.

“Missed you.” Shepard mumbled, nuzzling further into Kaidan’s shoulder, taking a deep breath, breathing him in. It was a clean scent, his woodsy aftershave with just a slight hint of sweat, a scent all Kaidan’s own, and it was driving him crazy. One hand was wrapped firmly around Kaidan’s waist, the other roamed freely till it landed on his ass. Shepard gave it a good squeeze, which caused Kaidan to jump, before his settled his hand in the back pocket.

“Missed you too Shepard, even though it’s only been fifteen minutes.” Kaidan chuckled softly and started rocking back and forth, gently swaying to the music.

“Fuck me, cut my eyes out and throw them out the nearest airlock. You guys are killing me.” Jack rolled her eyes and took a long pull of her beer.

Steve just laughed and shook his head. “Seeing the newlyweds making you jealous Jack?”

She glared and gave an exasperated sigh. “Hell no! Getting married is a ball and chain man. Now they are stuck shagging only each other for the rest of their lives.” She gives Kaidan a pointed glance. “Think of all that hot tail you’re gonna miss out on. No thanks.” She takes another long pull of her beer and sets the empty glass on the bar.

“Oh Jack, you’re just jealous that this hot tail got taken off the market before you got to tap it.” Shepard laughed and shook his ass slowly, taking the opportunity to rub his crotch against Kaidan. “Hmm, yep. Your loss.”

Kaidan sputtered around his beer, taking the opportunity to extricate himself from Shepard. He looked into Shepard’s eyes and let out a, “huh.” He nodded and his eyes flashed for a moment. “Yeah, sorry guys, can you give us a few?”

“Ugh. I’m gonna go find someone who doesn’t like dick to hit on. Later losers.” Jack pushed her way through the crowd leaving Steve alone with the two of them.

“Yeah, I’m gonna take that as my queue to find James. Have fun you two.” Steve waved and made a quick beeline to James, who was attempting, in vain, to gain the attention of a woman at the bar.

“Finally” Shepard murmured. “I have you all to myself.” He tugged Kaidan away from the bar and towards the men’s room.

“Oh no, no way. We are not having sex in a bathroom Shepard.” He attempted to escape John’s grasp before finally giving in and following him into the restroom. “Its smells gross. Definitely killin…”

He was cut off as John shoved him against the wall and claimed his mouth with a kiss, automatically opening up to his probing tongue. They broke contact to catch their breaths and while Kaidan tried to control his heartbeat Shepard gave him a smug smile.

“Not bathroom sex Kaidan, just a nice make out session maybe?” He waggled his eye brows suggestively, grin widening. At Kaidan’s answering nod, he went back for more, this time trailing kisses up his neck and sucking at the pulse point. Kaidan let out a soft moan that lit a fire in Shepard’s gut. He started to grind their hips together while still sucking on Kaidan’s neck when the door opened and someone cleared their throat.

Garrus stood there a moment, mandibles twitching, before muttering “You know what, I’ll come back.” A few seconds later Kaidan lets out a snort and then a small laugh which grew into a fit of laughter.

“Whats so funny?” Shepard asked. He tried to dampen his annoyance at the interruption and the laughter was definitely killing the ‘sexy time’ mood.

“I finally just realized what was off all night.” He managed in between deep breaths and bouts of more laughter. “Why our friends have been acting so weird tonight.”

“Enlighten me?” Shepard pulled back, crossed his arms around his chest and stared at his husband, waiting for him to catch his breath.

““We’ve become the clingy newlyweds you always complained about.” He started laughing again, bowed over, hands on his thighs, shaking with mirth.

This time, Shepard joined him.

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Kaidan hunched his head and pulled the collar of his jacket up a little bit higher, trying to hide his face from the cold as much as possible. When he had started his night the weather had been just on the cool side, in between the too warm for a jacket and not warm enough for just a sweater. His breath misted in the air as he walked along the street. A pleasant buzz gave a lightness to his steps, a soft smile twitching at his lips.

Club hopping with Liara had been a pleasant distraction from the chaos of his life. The arguments and worries of earlier faded away when he was dancing to the music, random strangers flittering all about him. Easy to be swept away by that. Easy to forget his problems.

As he was passing by one of the many alleys in Vancouver, he heard a faint moan of pain. It stopped him in his tracks and he strained to hear the sound again. The hairs on the back of his neck stood up and his heart started pounding. He heard it again and when his eyes adjusted to the dark, they made out a slumped form leaning against a brick wall.

While he wasn’t in a necessarily bad neighborhood, the current situation flooded his mind with all sorts of scenarios where this could go all wrong. Potential mugging, potential kidnapping, murder, etc etc.

The man moaned again and despite his initial objections, Kaidan found his feet moving and was kneeling before the man while his brain tried to fully comprehended what he was doing.

“Sir? Excuse me sir? Are you alright?” The man lifted his head and the most beautiful blue eyes met Kaidan’s own. A little unfocused, a bit hazy, definitely blinking slowly, but even then they managed to bring a flush to his cheeks.

The man managed a lopsided smile and a rough “Hey.” The smile was gone in the next second as he took a deep breath and stifled another moan.

Laying a tentative hand on his shoulder Kaidan repeated his question. “Are you alright?”

Kaidan strained to hear as the man looked away and started mumbling an incoherent sentence. Despite himself, because it felt wrong to ogle a clearly delirious person, Kaidan allowed himself to get a good look at the guy. Dark hair buzzed close, combined with the dog tags hanging around his neck hinted at military, either current or former. His chiseled jaw had neatly close cropped facial hair which emphasized plump lips. The shoulder that he clutched was well muscled under the thin material of the shirt and even under the leather jacket the man was wearing, Kaidan could tell he was very fit. He gulped nervously as his eyes trailed lower to tight fitting jeans full of tantalizing possibilities.

Feeling like his face was on fire, and being very thankful it was dark enough to hide, hopefully, he forced his eyes back to the man’s face. Much to his dismay he was staring right at him, a smirk on his lips that stated he knew exactly what Kaidan had been doing. The blush deepened, if that was even possible.

After what left like an eternity, the silence between them almost suffocating, the man took another sharp intake of breath and moaned again. Taking his head in his hands gently he spoke. “I’m really drunk, please help me.”

Kaidan let out a whoosh of breath and tried to bite back a laugh, unsuccessfully. “Oh man, you had me really nervous with the sounds you were making, thought you might be dying.”

A snort was the man’s initial response before adding playfully, “You always ogle men as they could potentially be dying?”

“Only if they’re as good looking as you.” He shoots back, wanting to take back the words immediately, feeling like a creep.

The other man only chuckled and reached out his hands, silently requesting help to stand up. As Kaidan complied, reaching out, strong hands clasped around his own, he leaned back and pulled. The man stood up with a groan and stumbled into Kadain’s arms, wrapping him in an embrace, lips so deliciously close. Their eyes met for a brief moment or an eternity, filled with tension and silent request. An almost imperceptible nod signaling, yeah, go ahead and they were making out, tongues exploring each other’s mouths. The man’s hands roamed up and down Kaidan’s back before settling on his ass, squeezing a gasp out of him.

He wasn’t sure how long it lasted, his head swimming, before the other man just rested his head on Kaidan’s shoulder, humming contentedly.

Clearing his throat awkwardly, Kaidan patted the man’s back. “I’ll call you a cab. That ok?”

The man just mumbled and nodded against his shoulder.

Ten minutes of holding the man later, the cab arrived. After he was thoroughly kissed goodbye, much to his pleasure, Kaidan helped the man inside and was waving him off with a huge dumb smile on his face.

Checking his watch and wincing at the time, he continued his walk home. He heard rather than felt the odd crinkling from his back pocket. Reaching back he pulled out a yellow piece of paper with a name and number on it. Realization dawned on him and he let out a long and hearty laugh.

He’d have one hell of a headache in the morning and even now it threatened to kick in full boar but the buzz and the cool air were muting the pain and he couldn’t help but be in good spirits. It was a good night, he gotten a few numbers. One of them actually promising. He looked at the scrawled handwriting on the yellow post-it note and smiled. “Shepard huh? Yeah, I’ll definitely be calling you.”

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The pulsing of the club music radiated through Kaidan’s body as he danced and swayed to the rhythm of sound all around him. It was one of the few times he allowed himself to let loose and just enjoy himself. Always too worried about control. Too worried about flashing lights and loud music. Too worried about migraines and a faulty biotic implant.

Tonight was all about letting loose. About having fun and letting the fears and worries wait till tomorrow.

Tonight was about being bold and courageous. Tonight was about telling your CO you had a major crush on them and that maybe, just maybe, they felt the same way.

He tried to focus, to scan past the crowd of people around him, of the men and women dancing with him, grinding on him, to focus on Shepard. On those blue eyes and that chiseled jaw. On that hot body in a tight uniform. Of plump lips and a plump ass.

He threw his head back and ran his hands through his hair as a beautiful brunette trailed her fingers down his chest, hips brushing against his thighs and breasts touching his chest. If he wasn’t so focused on Shepard he would seriously consider asking for her number, the interest was mutual. As it was, he attempted to content himself with just the feeling of her touch, her warmth.

He imagined it was Shepard against him, strong arms touching him, wrapping around him and exploring his body. Fuck, this music was good. The tempo, the base. It coursed through him and touched him on a level only reached by alcohol or sex. Maybe it was the music, maybe it was the alcohol, but he was feeling bold.

He detangled himself from the arms, legs and bodies that surround him, made his way towards the bar where Shepard was chatting with Ashely. He tried to quell the jealousy that burned in his chest but Ashley was beautiful, strong. A talented soldier and a good friend. She was loyal and fierce. Powerful. If he wasn’t so consumed with his obsession with Shepard he might turn his attentions to Ashley. Except she was just as infatuated by the commander.

There was an unspoken rivalry between the two of them, each vying for Shepard’s affection. As much as he had tried to hide his interest he was pretty sure she knew. So when he slide up to the bar on Shepard’s other side she frowned and when Shepard turned to him with a smile and wrapped an arm around his shoulder, Kaidan had to fight a smug smile that wanted to take over his face.

He in turn put his own arm around Shepard’s shoulder and when John leaned his head in, shouting to be heard over the music and the crowd, a shiver slid down his spine. “You’re pretty damn popular on the dance floor there Lieutenant.” Shepard gave him a lopsided grin and nodded towards the dancing crowd.

“You really need to make an appearance yourself Shepard. I’d bet you’d have all the ladies lining up for a chance to dance with the first Human spectre.” Kaidan threw it out there, seeing what he’d catch. Shepard gave him a questioning glance and maybe he imagined it, because it was gone so quickly, but the blue eyes looked slightly hurt.

If it was there, it was gone and covered up with a laugh, a grin and a roll of the shoulders. “Nah, not really my style Kaidan.” And damn, hearing his name flow from those lips light a fire in his belly, boldness returning.

“Alright. Dance with me then.” And then hurriedly added, “I bet the two of us out there together would tear up the dance floor.” He glanced at Ashley, she was frowning and chewing on her bottom lip, deep in thought as she looked at Kaidan.

Ok, maybe she wasn’t aware she had a rival. Cats out of the bag now, too late for regrets.He looked back at Shepard who had the same considering look on his face and he swallowed nervously, unconsciously holding a breath. When Shepard finally smiled, nodded his head and ordered three more shots, Kaidan could breath again.

When all three of them had their shot, something neon green that glowed ominously, Shepard raised his own, let out a breathy “For Courage” and tossed his back.

Kaidan smiled and repeated the words tossing his shot back. Ashely drank her own with a muttered “well shit” and pushed back from the bar. “I think I’m calling it.” She looked between the two of them and sighed. “Skipper, LT, don’t do something stupid when I don’t have your back.” With that she waved them off and left the club.

They stood there awkwardly for a moment, Kaidan staring into blue eyes that stared back just as fiercely. “Maybe one more courage shot?” Kaidan asked. “Uh…for luck?”

Shepard let out a laugh and nodded, ordering two more glowing shots. After that Kaidan was really feeling the buzz. He grabbed his Commander’s hand and pulled him towards the dance floor, grinning like an idiot, nervousness burned away by the liquid courage. Tonight, they were going to dance with each other, they were going to forget about the outside world and the regs that bound them. Tonight they could just be.

Kaidan swayed his hips and his body to the rhythm of the music, pulled Shepard close and let his hands drag down the man’s chest. The look he received in return was almost feral, possessive. It sent thrills down his spine and pooled in his groin. Shepard wrapped his arms around Kaidan’s waist and pulled them even closer together, hips touching, rubbing together with the beat of the music. The feeling made his head spin and his heart was pounding. He threw his head back and laughed.

“What’s so funny Kaidan?” He asked, eyes crinkling as he smiled.

“You’re so drunk!” Kaidan laughed again. “You’re so drunk you’re actually dancing halfway decent!”

Shepard let out a gruff laugh of his own and pressed their foreheads together, bringing his lips so deliciously close. He trailed his tongue along the bottom of his lip teasingly and Kaidan unconsciously mirrored him, swallowing heavily.

He closed the distance between them, pressing his lips against Shepard’s, reveling in the contact, the feeling, the taste. He opened himself to the probing tongue and it was all over. He was ruined for another man, ruined for another kiss. It lasted and lasted until they had to break for air, feeling dizzy.

Twinkling blue eyes stared into soft brown, they swayed to the music, focused only on each other. The world faded away. Tomorrow would come and bring reality crashing back in. But for now, for this moment, this night, they had this. They had each other.

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Kaidan stared up at the pale grey ceiling, eyes long adjusted to the dark of the room. He followed the gentle swirl of the steel fan, watched as it circled round and round, each pass as unchanging and inevitable as the last. The fan mirrored his thoughts at the moment, the parallel not lost on him, much to his annoyance.

He let out a deep sigh and turned, carefully, to peer at the sleeping man sharing his bed. He was snoring softly, each intake of breath slow and steady, even. Each release a gentle sigh. Kaidan loved to see Shepard like this, all the hard lines and angles softened somehow, shoulders no longer carrying the weight of the galaxy. The mask and mantle of Commander gone. He was just John now.

Three years since the war was ended. The first two were hard, full of recovery, both physical and mental. Each day filled with the painful work of reconstructive surgeries or physical therapy. Each night wracked with nightmares and anguished cries.

Those earlier months, with Shepard covered in bandages and tubes and god knows what else, when he would wake from a night terror, Kaidan had never felt so helpless. Unable to hold him, to lay with him. Unable to wrap him in his arms and whisper sweet words of comfort against his ear. No. All he could do was hold John’s one good hand, kiss it, caress it, while he trashed in the bed.  While he inevitably tore his stiches or pulled out an IV, while the nurses came rushing in to sedate him, send him back into the drug induced nightmares. Those were the hard months. Survived only by numerous cups of coffee and just being so damn grateful John was with him at all.

And if there were moments when he would slip away, find a quiet spot to break down, well, he made sure they were few and far between.

It had been a rocky start, but once he was hooked up to less machines, Kaidan could crawl into that cramped little hospital bed and hold him, could offer his shoulder for John to rest on. Kaidan could run his hands through the mess of hair that had grown out, hum softly and kiss away the terror. Things were on the upward swing after that.

Each milestone in healing and recovery was celebrated. A hard earned victory for them both. Each step taken together. As in sync then as they had been in battle, knowing when to step in and when to let Shepard do it himself. It had been a long journey to get where they were now but Kaidan wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.

He cherished every moment, good and bad, because those moments had brought them here, to this place, to this point in his life. To be here, with this man sleeping at his side, it meant…it meant everything.

He let out another deep sigh and reached out to Shepard, to softly touch his cheek, to run his fingers down the stubble covered jaw, Shepard having stubbornly decided to grow a beard. To trail lower down, towards strong shoulders and a chest once again firm and heavily muscled. So much growth, so much change in three years’ time.

There were moments when this all felt like a dream, that he would wake up and realize his mind had created an elaborate fantasy world. That the last four years had never happened, that Shepard had never come back the first time. This was one of those times. He felt like at any moment he would wake, return to a reality where Shepard was dead and this made him afraid. Afraid to sleep and lose it all.

He hated nights like this, even after so long, knowing and experiencing the reality that Shepard was alive and they were together. This irrational fear remained. He just…just had to be sure.

“Shepard?” he whispered softly and then again, a little louder. “Shepard.” The man in question murmured softly and turned to face him sleepily.

“Shh… I’m sleeping.” Shepard whispered, words slightly slurred and he nestled himself in the crook of Kaidan’s neck, giving a soft, breathy kiss before wrapping strong arms around Kaidan’s waist to pull them closer. Once satisfied, John let out a happy sigh and fell back to sleep.

The fear fled Kaidan’s mind and he felt his body slacken, muscles he didn’t even know were tense loosened and with it came the need for sleep. It was as simple as hearing that gruff voice and feeling those soft lips. Shepard could quell the turmoil in Kaidan’s spirit as easily as that.

The relief he felt warred with the burning in his chest and he felt his eyes glisten with the intensity of it all. He placed a gentle kiss on his husbands head, once again a tight military buzz, and whispered. “I love you John, always.”

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Shepard stared up at the pale ceiling, trembling in the dark all around him, trying to recall where he was. The soft sound of the ceiling fan above, the silky fabric of the sheets touching his skin, the gentle warmth of a body at his side and quiet breathing, even and strong, grounded him. Kaidan, he thought. His trembling stilled as he remembered. Earth, his home, he was safe, this was familiar.

He tried to remember the dream that had woke him. A vague recollection of screams and flames all around him, but the more he fought to remember the further it slipped from his grasp, until finally it was gone; faded into the darkness around him.

All that the dream left behind was the panic, the feeling of helplessness and despair. Those remained, paralyzing him with fear. He tried to regulate his heartbeat by taking slow steady breaths, trying to put in practice the tools he learned in therapy. Easing the cover’s back he carefully left the bed, even with his own rising panic, he was conscious of the sleeping man at his back.

He slid down the side of the bed and rested his head against it. The pounding in his chest reverberated through his body, pulsed in his head. His fingers curled to fists as he clenched his pajama bottoms tightly.

A pained grunt escaped his lips, despite gritted teeth and pure stubborn will. He heard the tinkling of the tags and the soft click of paws on hardwood floors and then felt a wet nose brush against his cheek. A soft wine and a few quick licks and the fluffy face was nuzzling into his neck, soft puffs of smelly dog breath flooding his senses.

He wrapped his arms around the large form, running his fingers through the soft golden fur. “Hey Murph, good boy. Good dog, good boy Murph.” He whispered, over and over as he slowly felt his heart rate slow, just running his hands through the fur, listening to the patter of Murphy’s heart. The dog pulled back and started to lick his face again, nuzzling his chest and whining softly.

Slowly but surely the fear abated, Shepard’s anxiety leaving with it. He planted a soft kiss on the bridge of the dog’s nose and buried his face in the fur at its neck.

When his therapist had suggested getting a therapy dog he had been skeptical, maybe a tad defensive. His pride getting in the way of seeing the benefits his four legged companion offered. In the end it had been Kaidan that had swayed him. Simple comments about how he couldn’t always be there for Shepard, how not being alone while Kaidan was working would be good. Having another loving companion could help with his recovery.

It had been slow going at first, figuring out what they needed to do to ‘puppy proof’ the house; setting ground rules like, no letting them on the furniture and no sleeping in the bed. They needed to figure out what breed of dog to get, where would they train it, could you get a puppy already trained for this sort of thing? Kaidan had set upon it all with fervor, a man on a mission.

Shepard loved him even more for it.

Eventually they found a breeder who specifically worked and trained therapy dogs. The process of selecting one was far more thorough that either of them had anticipated. Going through interviews and meeting different dogs to figure out if they would be at good match.

When Shepard had met Murphy, a young golden retriever with such a calm demeanor, he knew, this was the one. He kneeled, wincing at the pain, reached out his hand and opened his palm. Murphy padded forward and gave him a tentative sniff, a lick and then rested his head on Shepard’s bad knee, a gentle huff escaped as they looked at each other. The deal was sealed.

Since then wherever Shepard went, Murphy went. As a service dog Shepard could take him virtually anywhere he needed to go. If he started to have a panic attack, Murphy was there, giving him a lick, pressing into his body, grounding him, bringing Shepard back.

A muffled “John?” came from the bed, along with the rustling of bed sheets. He heard the creak of the bed and the slap of bare feet hitting the ground as Kaidan came over and sat by his side. “Bad night?”

Shepard leaned back and rested his head on his husbands shoulder, enjoying the warmth the man brought with him. “It’s getting better.” He stated quietly.

A gentle sigh and then, “Did you want to talk about it?”

“Nah, it’s already run its course. Murph saved the day.” He chuckled softly and ruffled the dog’s ears, leaning in to give him another kiss on the nose. “Good boy Murph.”

“Ready to come back to bed?” Kaidan asked, running his fingers down John’s bare torso, placing a kiss on his neck.

Shepard nodded a quick “yeah” and Kaidan got up and flopped dramatically onto the bed, rolling over to his side. He chuckled and beckoned John over to him. John stood there a moment, hesitating before finally asking. “Hey Kaidan? Can Murphy sleep on the bed tonight?” He added a hasty “Just this once, okay?”

He stood there and Kaidan propped himself up on his elbow, both studying each other. Sleepy brown eyes met crystalline blue, a slow smile creeping on Kaidan’s face. “Yeah, ‘course.”

With a smile Shepard join him in bed, giving him a long, thorough kiss. With that done, he turned on his side and Kaidan curled up right next to him, draping his arm around Shepard’s waist. Shepard was always the little spoon. He liked having Kaidan watch his back. “C’mon Murph, up!”

The golden jumped up and nuzzled up to his waist, letting out a soft huff. And Shepard, with Kaidan at his back and Murphy at his front, felt safe. He murmured a soft “I love you Kaidan.”

Who replied, just as softly, “I love you too John, always.”

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Kaidan was busy rummaging around the closet, humming softy to himself as he searched for the object lost amidst the chaos. Ever since he moved back to the Orchard with Shepard he had avoided his old room.

Old memories, some good, some bad, lingered there. He wanted to focus on what was happening now and plan for the future. A future. They had one now, thanks to John firing the crucible, thanks to the millions, maybe even billions, who died fighting the Reapers. They had a future.

Kaidan didn’t want to spend one more minute agonizing over the past. So after giving John a very brief tour, he had shut the door and left it closed.

Both of them had moved into the master bedroom, much to their protests, mind you. His mother was nothing if not tenacious, she insisted that they take over the space. She claimed Kaidan was the “man of the house” now, with a wink towards John. Kaidan knew she was masking the pain of her loss and perhaps the thought of sleeping alone in that room was overwhelming to her. He knew it was for him. Knowing he’d never see his dad walk out that door, robe wrapped tightly around his waist, yawning and scratching at his morning stubble., that was painful.

If he didn’t have Shepard with him he wouldn’t be able to handle it. When a night got really bad, Shepard would wrap his arms around Kaidan, pull him close and whisper in his ear, soft nothings really, but the warmth of his body and the kindness in his voice were enough to still the tears and the trembling. Enough for him to find some rest.

“Aha!” He let out a pleased laugh when he pulled out a battered old black shirt, red and white bars running down the sleeve and a distinct N7 emblem on the left chest pocket. It brought a smile to his face and he lifted it to his nose for a tentative sniff. It wasn’t terrible, a little musty and very wrinkled, but doable.

With deft motions he wrapped up a smaller box with the shirt before placing it tenderly into a lager white one. After placing the cover on top, a simple red bow graced the surface.

Pleased with the results he wandered back down to the kitchen, where John was sitting, a cup of tea in one hand and a data pad in the other, engrossed in whatever he was reading. He looked up when Kaidan placed the gift in front of him, planted a kiss on his cheek and said in a singsong voice, “Happy Birthday Shepard.”

And of course Kaidan then had to sing him the birthday song, his husky voice carrying the tune quite nicely, if he did say so himself. Which he did.

His reward was a long and thorough kiss, a good squeeze of his ass and the look he got promised they’d be otherwise occupied very shortly. With a laugh Kaidan fended off Shepard’s grabby hands and pulled back. “Open your present first and then you can open your….other present.” He grinned wickedly.

Shepard laughed and nodded, reaching for the package. “No arguments here. Thanks Kaidan, this wasn’t necessary but damn do I appreciate it.” His scarred and battered fingers handled the bow with ease, opening the box to pull out the shirt, the smaller black box going unnoticed. “Kaidan…is this my shirt?” His words were hesitant, soft. Blue eyes looked up and locked with honey brown, conveying everything words couldn’t.

Kaidan swallowed heavily and nodded. “Yeah. You left it here after your first visit. That week of shore leave before…well before everything happened.” Kaidan reached out and laced his fingers with Shepard’s, finding it hard to meet those beautiful eyes, staring at their joined hands instead. “I wore it a lot after that, so that’s why it’s a bit faded but…” He glanced up again and gave John a hesitant smile. “I’m glad I can finally return it to you.”

They were both silent then, just staring into each other’s eyes, fingers laced together, breathing softly. Kaidan’s chest was tight and his heart felt like it would explode with the intensity of what he was feeling. Finally John broke the silence. “I love you Kaidan. Thank you.”

Looking down Kaidan let out a breathy huff and a little laugh. “You haven’t even opened everything yet.” He nods towards the box that had fallen to the wayside. Looking down at it Shepard freezes, hands shaking slightly in Kaidan’s the longer he stares.

It was a small box, black velvet exterior, big enough for only one thing.

A ring.

Kaidan holds his breath while he waits, nerves screaming.

John opens the box and a titanium band glints in the light, illuminating the words engraved in the metal. Always. He smiles, looks up and whispers, “Yes.”

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The artificial air on the citadel was too warm. It clashed with the night cycle and gave Kaidan an odd sense of vertigo. It should be colder than it was. His breath should be misting into the night sky, layered in a sweater and jacket, hands hidden in gloves. It would be snowing in Vancouver right about now. He could imagine it, the walk to the car, shivering, using the cold as an excuse to huddle closer to Shepard. Maybe offering him his coat, because knowing John, he would’ve stubbornly refused to wear one.

As it was, he was sweating. Light jacket slung over his shoulder with one hand, the other clasped to Shepard’s own. The man in question was humming happily to himself, weaving slightly with each step, eyes focused on putting one foot in front of the other.

Kaidan tightened his grip and pulled him a little closer, adding his warmth to Kaidan’s already over heated body. They slowly meandered their way around the Silver Sun Strip, enjoying the crowds, the lights, and each other’s company. They had an enjoyable dinner at their favorite noodle shop before having maybe a few too many at one of the many bars on the strip.

As he glanced over at his…boyfriend, it sounded juvenile in his head, lover sounded better. Shepard met his glance and gave him a lopsided grin, blue eyes twinkling among the multitude of lights. He found his heart fluttering, a matching grin plastered on his own face.

God he loved this man, if he had to guess, he had for a long time. These moments that they had together, they meant everything. For this moment, this night, they were just two men trying to navigate their feelings. No responsibilities looming over their heads, no galactic war to win. No Reapers threatening to end all life. Just the two of them, together, and Kaidan’s chest burned with the intensity of it all. He wanted their shore leave to never end. He wanted time to freeze. Let them exist here forever.

It was selfish, but he was feeling selfish tonight. He wanted John all to himself. He wanted more nights like these, a lifetime of them.

“Kaidan, you ok?” John’s voice broke him out of his thoughts and he realized his cheeks were wet and they had stopped walking.

The bustle of the crowd passed by, they stood, staring at each other and Kaidan tried to convey all he was feeling in a kiss. Leaning in, pressing his lips against John’s, soft, perfect; lips he wanted to spend his whole life kissing. It was soft at first; growing in intensity the longer they were locked together. He felt John’s hand trail down his back till it rested at the dip between spine and ass.

They finally broke away, each gasping for breath and Kaidan’s head spun, a bubble of erratic laughter escaped as he ran a hand through his hair. “I just really realized something.”

John cocked an eyebrow at him, a playful smile on his face. “Oh? Enlighten me Major.”

Kaidan pit his lip, stared at the most beautiful man, face flushed, and leaned in to whisper in his ear, voice husky. “How much I love you.”

He wrapped his arms around John’s waist and buried his face in the curve of his neck, too embarrassed to look him in the face, too terrified to see any form of rejection there. He waited, heart pounding, desperate for a certain response, the one he wanted to hear so badly.

He felt John’s lips tickle his ear, warm breath blowing softly, a gentle kiss planted on his temple. “I love you too Kaidan. More than I ever thought I could love anyone.”

Kaidan’s heart swelled, elated and he had to blink back the tears that threatened to fall. “Fuck John, I need you.” He had to resist grinding against the man in the middle of a crowded street as he heard John’s answering growl. As it was they were probably quite the spectacle, two Spectre’s making out as they were. He just hoped no one from Citadel News was watching.

“C’mere.” John grabbed his hand and started pulling him along the street, eyes roaming before finally finding what he was looking for; a dark alleyway, not too far off from the Armax Arena. It took only a few moments before they were hidden under the cover of semi darkness.

Shepard slammed Kaidan against the wall, hands sliding under the thin cotton of his shirt, tongue sliding up his neck. He stopped at the pulse point and bit down, forcing a cry from Kaidan’s lips, nerves on fire. The cry turned into a moan as Shepard began to suck and nip, eventually trailing up, tongues meeting in frenzied swipes.

Kaidan’s brain short circuited. All objections forgotten, everything focused solely on the pleasure he was feeling, focused as it slowly pooled in his groin. He thrust his hips up, body acting according to its own whims, grinding against Shepard.

It was Shepard’s turn to groan this time and Kaidan felt his erection rub against his own, the layers of jeans and briefs separating them. Too much separation, he wanted skin on skin.

“Fuck, Kaidan I want you so bad.” Shepard squeezed Kaidan’s ass and slipped his hands below the jeans, the briefs, calloused hands rubbing against the soft skin. Kaidan gasped and rolled his head back, exposing his neck further, which John took advantage of, diving back in, kissing, nipping, biting.

Their grinding increased in intensity and Kaidan had to bite his lips to stop the loud groan fighting to break free, conscious of the fact that just a few feet away was a busy street full of people. It was thrilling; it was terrifying, it was so fucking hot. “Take me then.”

Shepard growled into his ear, giving one more good thrust of the hips, before sliding down, unzipping Kaidan’s jeans, slowly sliding them down his legs. His breath huffed against Kaidan’s dick, which was throbbing behind the dark fabric of his briefs. He let out a muffled moan as Shepard’s tongue slid along the fabric, and Kaidan’s hands ran through the short stubble of John’s hair, nails leaving an angry red trail along his skull.

“C’mon John, fuck, j..just do it.” And he did. With a rough jerk, he pulled the briefs down to settle around Kaidan’s ankles, hard cock exposed to the artificial air. His legs almost gave out as John’s lips surrounded the head of his dick; wet heat surrounding him. His tongued teased the head, swirling around slowly, before going in for a deep swipe. Kaidan bucked his hips, stifling the moan that wanted to rip through the air.

John bobbed his head, each swipe going deeper and deeper until Kaidan was swallowed to the hilt, tongue and suction threatening to send him over the edge.

“J..John..wa…just wai…uhh…no…STOP!” He forcefully pushed Shepard’s head away from his dick, panting, soft lips leaving his cock with an obscene pop. His legs were shaking and his heart was pounding. A thin trail of spit connected his dick to those amazing lips.

John gave him a concerned look and stood up so they were face to face. “Something wrong?” He nuzzled his face into Kaidan’s neck and pressed a few sweet kisses there.

Kaidan could only chuckle and shake his head. “No. That was great. Amazing actually. I just didn’t want it to be over so quickly.”

Shepard let out a throaty chuckle, eyes glowing with want, need and it made Kaidan’s dick throb, he reached down to give it a few hard tugs before sinking to his knees. He traced John’s bulge through his jeans slowly, looking up, waiting for the subtle nod before popping the buckle with a rattle. With a few swift movements his dick was exposed and bobbing, pre-cum already glistening wetly. Kaidan took a moment to admire the sight before exhaling, warm and wet , slowly along its length, John moaning as he did.

Kaidan stroked his own dick a few more times, keeping himself hard, before descending on his lovers cock. He ran his tongue on the underside, trailing the bulging vein, enjoying the taste that was just so John. He takes him as he deep as he can on his first try before pulling slowly back, John’s soft panting encouraging him to continue, taking him again and again, throat adjusting until he was buried in the trimmed pubes at the base of Shepard’s dick.

He swirled his tongue and tried to increase the suction and John moaned loudly, the sound carrying down the alley. A shaky “shit…Kaidan” and he pulled back, letting the dick drop and bob, wiping his mouth with his arm.

Shepard pulled him up roughly and then his tongue was once again assaulting his mouth, and damn if it wasn’t amazing as both of their spit slicked dicks touched, slid and created blessed friction as they rolled their hips together. As they both broke for air, Shepard whispered in his ear “I’m gonna fuck you…want you so bad Kaidan.”

A thrill of anticipation travelled down his spine and he nodded and managed a “Yes, god yes” before being turned over and pressed against the alley wall. He felt Shepard’s hands slid up and down his back appreciatively before resting on his ass. A small gasp escaped his lips as he felt Shepard’s cock slide between his cheeks as he pulled them apart, it turned into a low wanton moan the longer he was teased.

“God you’re so fucking sexy Kaidan. Fuck, I love you so much.” He craned his head to look over his shoulder at the man behind him, watched as John let a trail of spit leave his mouth, land on his dick and stroke it up and down the shaft.  And then he was trailing wet fingers around the ring of muscle, prodding gently, finding purchase before finally pressing in. Kaidan moaned and thrust his hips back as he was slowly finger fucked, lost in the sensation. Soon one finger was joined by two and then three as they stretched him out, pumping and scissoring inside him. Each gasp and catch in his breathing encouraged John on, all while Kaidan watched.

“Enough…John, no more...ah fuck, no more teasing. I’m ready. Fuck me.”  Shepard let out a low growl and it sent shivers up Kaidan’s spine, anticipation growing, his own dick still angry and hard. He licked his hand and started working it with slow strokes.

He let out a stuttering breath as he felt John press his dick up against his ass, slowly forcing the ring of muscle apart before finally sliding home. He watched as John threw his head back and moaned, loudly, before pulling out and slamming home again with a wet smack. A few more rough slow thrusts and then Shepard was pressing his body against Kaidan’s, forcing him closer to the wall. His thrusting picked up pace and he panted against Kaidan’s neck, warm breath coming as soft puffs in time with his thrusting.

It was good, so fucking good and Kaidan was so blissed out he didn’t even notice the noises he was making, Shepard pumping into him harder and faster with each, determined to fuck them right out of Kaidan’s mouth.

“Oh god, Shepard…so close” he whimpered. Shepard ran his tongue along Kaidan’s neck, up to his ear where he nibbled gently and that was the breaking point. Kaidan came, warm cum spilling into his hand and over, coating the alley wall liberally.

He could feel Shepard increase pace, thrusts erratic and hard, each one pulling him closer to the edge, every thrust met with a met smack of skin. With a low grunt Shepard pulled out and slammed back in, burying himself to the hilt and came, filling Kaidan, marking him, claiming him as his own. He bit into Kaidan’s shoulder as he rode out the aftershocks of his orgasm, body twitching with each spike of pleasure.

“Damn John…” Kaidan panted, feeling as Shepard slowly softened and then slide out of him. He groaned at the loss of connection, even with their sweat slicked bodies touching.

John let out a breathy chuckle, kissed his neck and let out a strained “Yeah.” They stayed pressed together for a few moments, each panting and trying to catch their breath until Kaidan snapped back to reality.

They had just had sex in a dingy alleyway, a public crowd less than twenty feet away. At any point someone could have witnessed their copulation, hell, someone already might have, neither of them would have noticed. Panic sets in and he pushes Shepard off of him and reaches down to pull up his briefs and pants. “Oh my god, what did we just do? John, put your pants on.”

His lover just stood there a moment, lower half exposed to the world, crooked grin on his face and started to laugh. It was nice and despite his best efforts a matching grin stretched his cheeks, his own laughter bubbling up.

As they made their way back to the apartment, John’s arm around Kaidan’s shoulder, he leaned in, voice low and husky. “I’m ready for round two” and Shepard nodded enthusiastically, “oh and John?” They both pause and John looked over at him, blue eyes meeting honey brown. “This time…I’m the boss.”

Chapter Text

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Kaidan ducked behind a stack of crates as a stream of gunfire flew over his head and ricocheted off the solid steel he used for shelter. He glanced to his left and Shepard’s crystal blue eyes met his own whiskey brown. He was panting heavily but John had his trademark lopsided smile pasted from ear to ear, he gave Kaidan a thumbs up before lighting blue, his biotics flaring to life.

“Damnit John! No!” He should have saved his breath as it was wasted on the man. He had leapt over the crate and flung himself forward in a Biotic Charge and Nova combo, scattering the enemy. With a curse Kaidan rolled from cover and laid out cover fire so Shepard could get clear.

More rifle fire came from his right as Vega took the spot Kaidan had just vacated. “Loco really is hella loco, Blue.” He said it through gritted teeth, a frown contorting his face.

“Every god damn day Lieutenant.” The problem was it was true and it frustrated Kaidan to no end. John was a brilliant soldier and effective commander. He was a tactical genius and his charisma was inescapable if the man could manage to broker peace with the Quarians and the Geth. He would risk life and limb to keep his crew, friends and civilians safe. He was a man of honor and this was one of the reasons why Kaidan was so bloody smitten. But damn if the man didn’t test his patience.

One of these days all of Kaidan’s hair, the stuff John loved to run his hands through, always complimenting him on, was just going to fall out from stress and worry. Shepard was a brilliant soldier but his self-preservation instinct was total shit. Hence, Biotic Charge into a group of Cerberus soldiers with barely any thought. Or at least that’s how it felt to Kaidan.

A few more shots and a Reave later the last of the enemy in this section were taken out. Kaidan made his way to the Alliance terminal, retrieving the needed data and wiping the console so Cerberus could no longer steal it. It was encrypted so Kaidan had no idea what was worth the cost of sending a strike force against a military outpost and frankly he didn’t care, his annoyance at John feeding into his hate for Cerberus enough that he felt the fury deep in his chest and the spike of pain sear through his head.

The beginnings of a migraine of course. Kaidan tried to take a few calming breaths, rolled his shoulders and gave his temples a gentle rub. I didn’t help, he knew it wouldn’t but he always tried anyways. He let out a soft sigh and said “Alright, I got the data secured.”

“That was some damn good shooting Major.” John’s voice sounded hoarse and more than a little tired but there was a playful lightness to it as well.

Kaidan was having none of it. He whirled on the man, frustration boiling over. “Stow it Shepard.” He pointed an accused finger at the man and let out a heavy huff. “Keep pulling stupid stunts like that and it won’t matter how good a shot I am.”

John’s smile faded from his face and hurt flashed across his face before being schooled to careful neutrality. The tension smoldered in the air as the two men stood staring, one face like a thunderhead the other blank, a silence growing all the louder and unbearable the longer neither said a thing.

An awkward cough, a clearing of the throat and Vega shuffled, eyes trained at his feet. “I’m gonna call Cortez, let him know we’re ready for extraction. I’ll just be over…” He risked a glance between his two superiors and frowned. “Yeah.”

He left the two of them alone and some of the tension in Kaidan’s shoulders melted even if the anger still simmered in his gut. “Well? Don’t you have something to say?”

Shepard sighed and rolled his shoulders, armor clunking softy. “What do you want me to say Kaidan? What is there even to say?”

Kaidan leaned his hips against the console and folder his arms around his chest and huffed. “How about ‘Wow Kaidan, sure am sorry about putting myself in harm’s way unnecessarily’ or how about ‘Thanks for making sure I didn’t die from my own stupidity’ or wait this one could wor…” He was interrupted by a pair of soft lips covering his own and John’s arms gently pulling him into an embrace. Kaidan kissed back by instinct while his brain temporarily short circuited.

The kiss went on for a few more seconds before Shepard pulled back, eyes silently pleading with him before burying his face in the crook of Kaidan’s neck. His breath was warm against Kaidan’s skin. “I’m sorry I made you worry Kaidan. Thank you for keeping me safe.” His voice was a hushed whisper. “I love you.”

Anger and frustration melted away and Kaidan’s heart was heavy with a different emotion, strong and compelling and making his chest tight. He wrapped his arms around Shepard and pulled the man into a crushing hug, attempting to convey all he was feeling as he blinked back tears and his throat constricted against the words he tried to speak. “I’m sorry too. The thought of losing you again…it makes me crazy.” He tried to tighten the hold and whispered his promise, “I love you John, always.”

They kissed again, this time fiercely, as if they were both starved for affection. Lips opening to probing tongues and soft sighs. John bucked his hips against Kaidan’s own and a jarring scraping of armor against armor broke them out of their daze. They pulled back with a soft embarrassed chuckle.

Kaidan felt a thrill of anticipation roll up his spine as Shepard’s blue eyes flashed with mischief, a predatory grin on his face. “I just thought of a perfect way to say I’m sorry.” He glanced around for Vega and finding him nowhere in sight, reached out for the armor plating protecting Kaidan’s ass and groin. It detached with a soft hiss and Kaidan groaned softly.

This was a terrible idea and the very thought of what was about to happen flooded his body with adrenaline, growing half hard already though seeing Shepard sink to his knees and bury his face in Kaidan’s crotch had his dick’s full attention. It was hot, John looked so good in his armor and on his knees. He skillfully tugged Kaidan’s under armor hiding his dick back, letting it fall free and heavy, before leaning back slightly to admire his handy work.

Shepard’s breath was hot and wet as it puffed against Kaidan’s dick and he let out a soft moan before running his tongue along the underside of the entire length. Kaidan bucked his hips and groaned at the contact, savoring the sensation as it rolled into his gut, balls pulling tight. Shepard gave the dick a few more quick swipes of the tongue before taking the head into his mouth, using his tongue to fondle the slit before sinking down slowly. Tight wet heat encompassed Kaidan and he groaned again, this time louder, unable to stifle the sound.

He bit into his armored gauntlet and rolled his head back. Shepard was a master at this and he knew how to tease and twist and could coax all sorts of noises from Kaidan’s mouth. He set to it in a frenzy and Kaidan started to thrust slowly in time with Shepard’s dipping head.

Their enjoyment was interrupted by an unsuspecting Vega who strode backwards into the room, rifle out and eyes trained towards the door he just came through. “We got trouble incoming Commander and Cortez is still ten minute….oh SHIT.” He finally looked over at the two of them, Shepard frozen in shock with Kaidan’s dick still partly in his mouth and Kaidan, horrified, pushed his head away while simultaneously trying to tuck himself back into the under armor.

Vega had watched the whole disaster with a look of fascination and desire mixed with mild embarrassment, his face flushing red. He cleared his throat and turned his attention back towards the entry way. “Sorry to interrupt but we have more Cerberus goons headed our way.”

Shepard looked distinctly annoyed when he asked “How many Lieutenant?”

Kaidan could feel the heat in his own cheeks as he kept his gaze to the floor, embarrassed and maybe a little ashamed. While they had not been keeping their relationship a secret they had certainly been making an effort to limit any public displays of affection while on duty. Scuttlebutt was going to have a field day with this.

Vega shrugged, face still red and still staring out the door before replying. “About ten or so I’d say. You could probably finish up. I’ll handle it.”

Kaidan looked up and let out a strangled “What?!”

The Lieutenant shuffled his feet without shifting his gaze, attempted an air of nonchalance but a small smile fought for dominance on his face. “I’ll handle Cerberus Blue. Commander, you finish up what you were doing here.”

The fire in Kaidan’s cheeks was back again and he struggled for a reply, Shepard beat him to the punch though. “I like your thinking Vega. Holler if it gets too much.”

“Aye Aye.”

Kaidan could barely wrap his mind around what had just happened before Shepard once again had Kaidan’s dick out, slightly softened at this point, but his skilled tongue worked it back to full hardness before Shepard took it all the way to the hilt, nose brushing against the trimmed pubes. Kaidan threw is head back with a startled moan and that was when the gun fire started. Vega took a defensive position and lobbed a few grenades, Shepard kept working Kaidan’s dick.

“Shepard…If we die, I’m going to kill you.” The man pulled off his dick and a trail of spit was strung from the tip of Kaidan’s dick to those soft kissable lifts. John chuckled and shook his head and got back to work.

Cerberus was finished before Shepard was.

Chapter Text

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Kaidan ran his fingers over his face and then through his hair as he watched John pace back and forth, fists clenched and glaring daggers at everything in the space they called ‘theirs.’ They had been going in circles for a while now, arguing back and forth. The man before him was inconsolable, carrying a weight on his shoulders that was entirely unnecessary. It was not his to shoulder.

He extended a hand forward, reached out, “John.” The man turned with a sneer on his normally stoic face.

“You don’t know Kaidan! How could you? You don’t understand anything.” Shepard roared. The sound seem to startle them both and Kaidan flinched back as if struck.

Pain danced along Kaidan’s chest before being buried by a burning fire, anger and frustration bubbling up and over. He felt himself snap.

“I was there too Shepard,” Kaidan yelled back, “I fought and I gave it my everything. Thessia still fell.” He strode up to the other man, and gripped him by the shoulders, both breathing heavily. Kaidan stared into blue eyes, chipped and cold like ice and he stilled a shudder through sheer force of will. Lowering his voice, barely above a whisper, he continued. “That’s not on me. It certainly isn’t on you. It’s on Kai Leng and Cerberus.”

He breathed a deep sigh and dropped his hands, feeling helpless. This was new territory, fighting with Shepard.  It felt ugly, unnatural. A part of him wanted to curl up and cry and the other wanted to slap the man for being so thick headed. Kaidan did neither. Instead he cupped Shepard’s face gently, calloused fingers tracing red scars that glowed faintly. “You’re blaming yourself, but you’re wrong.”

Kaidan leaned in close and pressed a soft, chaste kiss against Shepard’s lips. John’s expression remained stony and closed off, shoulders tight and body rigid. Kaidan felt the remainders of his resolve cracking away. His shoulders started shaking and tears leaked down his cheeks. He pulled away and scrubbed at his face, angrily wiping the tears away.

“Don’t shut me out John. If you have to carry this then don’t carry it alone.” Kaidan’s voice was pleading and he felt pathetic in his weakness. He hung his head and started at the floor, no longer able to face the man he loved. “I can help…I can…”

“Kaidan,” John interrupted and Kaidan risked a glance. John remained as distant as ever, brow scrunched into a frown. “You should go.”

“John, please…just.”

“Go. Now.” The voice was firm and short, all Commander and no John Shepard.

He felt the tears well up in his eyes again as he stumbled past his Commander. The door barely had time to shut before the first sob escaped his lips. He made it to the elevator when he broke down. EDI had the grace to announce a ‘malfunction’ as he broke apart and the lift stalled. By the time the doors opened to the crew quarters, Major Kaidan Alenko looked calm and collected, each step measured, every inch the dedicated soldier.

Inside he felt numb, cried out and hollow. He wondered how they would come back from this.

Chapter Text

What We Witness


 

Kaidan Alenko had seen a lot in his years with the Alliance, hell even before that. When he had told Liara about the three things that would stick with him till the end of his days, the three things he wished he could forget…he wasn’t lying.

The first time he saw a life taken, the first time he had taken a life and finally, watching Thessia fall; each one burned into his brain.

So yeah, he had seen a lot in his years, and he would only see more to come; a little over thirty and Kaidan felt ancient. Always tired, always a migraine around the corner waiting to knock him on his ass, always the next mission, and always the war.

He saw the toll it took on him, the way the war etched itself on his body. He saw it in the new scars that peppered his skin, saw it in the new lines on his face, saw it grey that grew expanded around his temples and he saw it in Shepard’s face when they looked at him, frown marring that perfect visage. One more weight, one more unnecessary burden they added to their shoulders.

Some days he worried the war would be the end of him, the end of both of them; old soldiers who knew the score. Yet he knew there was no place he’d rather be than here, by Shepard’s side. Fighting the fight, working to save what they could, remembering what they couldn’t and then, maybe, just maybe, they could build something new, something better…together.

Kaidan Alenko had seen a lot, he would see more, and he would fight. For the future with Shepard he so desperately wanted, and for the future of an entire galaxy. He would carry the weight of that burden and the weight of what he witnessed. He was a soldier first, man second, and for now, that would have to be enough.

Chapter Text

Bite Me, Kaidan

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“Happy Birthday John!” A husky voice filled the room and Shepard groaned groggily, fighting a losing battle to stay asleep. Faint morning light filtered through the shades covering the windows, that and the unmistakable scent of bacon brought him to full consciousness.

Shepard buried his face into his pillow and groaned again. Surely it had to be too early for this, it felt way too early to be awake. “Come back to bed Kaidan,” he mumbled into the pillow.

Kaidan laughed and the sound did funny things to Shepard’s belly, as it always did. “It’s well past nine, birthday boy. I let you sleep long enough. Let’s see here, I have bacon, I have eggs, and I have hash browns. A breakfast, fit for a king.”

That perked his head up, and his stomach betrayed him with a growl. “Ok, ok. You’ve convinced me. There wouldn’t happen to be coffee included in the deal, would there?”

His husband hummed a moment before a small “ah-ha” escaped his lips. “You know what, it says here coffee costs extra.”

Shepard finally turned over to study Kaidan’s face, morning stubble unshaven, whiskey brown eyes dancing and a small smile twisting those fucking sexy lips. He felt his face flush and found himself interested in something other than breakfast, but his stomach growled again and he frowned. Breakfast and coffee first. “What’ll it cost me?”

“Just this.” Kaidan leaned down and claimed a kiss, gentle but insistent, and Shepard found that breakfast faded from his mind once again, attempting to deepen the kiss. Much to his dismay the object of his desires pulled away with a chuckle. “Breakfast first.” 

The biotic grabbed a tray laden with food and placed it on Shepard’s lap before grabbing two steaming cups of coffee and crawling into the bed with him. They ate breakfast together, occasionally feeding each other bites of egg and hash, stealing quick kisses here and there. As far as birthdays went, this was already shaping up to be one of the best Shepard ever had.

After breakfast exercise consisted of a quick but excellent session of fucking, Kaidan riding him hard and fast, a luxurious soak in the hot tub, and then more fucking, this time Shepard found himself filled. All in all, it was an unforgettable morning and John found his heart was full and content. Moments like these, lazy mornings spent with Kaidan, with his husband, were everything to him. This is what he had fought for, sacrificed for, bled for, and was prepared to die for. To know Kaidan was alive, happy, and that he could be a part of that happiness…well, Shepard didn’t think it would ever stop amazing him.

When they finally found themselves downstairs, cleaned and dressed, it was just a bit past one in the afternoon. Lazy morning indeed; he found himself smiling.

“I got you something John.” Kaidan pushed a brightly wrapped present in his hands, Blasto and his many tentacles displaying pistols covered the thing and ‘This one wishes you an enkindled birthday’ written all over it. He snorted and rolled his eyes, trying to down play how much he fucking loved it. How the hell he got so lucky to have Kaidan in his life he’d never know, but Shepard planned to never take a moment of it for granted.

The wrapping paper was torn apart quickly and a model Quarian freighter, the one he had been searching for forever, was displayed before him. As quick as that Shepard felt like a giddy little kid, excitement flooding him as he wrapped his husband into a crushing hug and laughter bubbling out uncontrollably. “Where did you find this? Kaidan, this is the one I was missing!”

His husband laughed with him and pulled him in for a quick kiss. “I know, John. But I’m not telling you how I got it.” Kaidan’s face twisted into a misgives smirk. “A man has to have some secrets you know, even from his husband.” The biotic winked and Shepard found himself thinking about taking the man back upstairs.

“Thank you, Kaidan. This is excellent.” Shepard put the model kit aside on the counter and pulled the other man into his arms again, another round of kissing followed. Eventually they came apart, to breath if nothing else and he found his head was swimming. “Ok. Yeah, ok. We need to leave or we’ll spend the entire day doing nothing but having sex.” And wasn’t that an intriguing idea.

Kaidan grinned and shook his head, as if reading John’s mind. “I have a reservation for dinner at that sushi place, hopefully this time it won’t get shot up and destroyed, yeah? I had to promise nothing would happen, Spectre guarantee, for them to let you back into the place.” He laughed at Shepard’s scowl and grabbed his hand to pull him out the door. 

They spent the few hours before dinner strolling the strip hand in hand, stopping here and there to admire a view or when they found an interesting shop worth browsing.

Dinner was an elaborate affair, and much to the managements delight, entirely uneventful. The food was good and the drinks even better. As they left, the manager wished them a good evening and even welcomed them back again. The line of people waiting were abuzz and even a few paparazzi showed up to take some photos, as the Spectre ‘it-couple” strode out.

Shepard strutted for the cameras and Kaidan hid his embarrassment with a smile and large aviator sunglasses, causing John to snort in laughter. He swooped Kaidan into his arms for a long kiss, causing the crowd to laugh and cheer before they called up a cab. Shepard grinned from ear to ear and Kaidan’s cheeks were a nice rosy shade of pink when they stepped into it.

“That was fun,” he said, grabbing the flustered biotic’s hand and kissing it. “Thank you for an excellent evening.” 

Kaidan sighed and shook his head. “You’re incorrigible John. I should just send you home after the stunt you pulled, but…the night’s not over yet.” He punched in an address and the cab zoomed off. After a short drive, they found themselves in front of the theatre, ‘Blasto, Revenge of the last Prothean’ displayed in bright letters above them.

Shepard grinned as that child-like excitement filled him again. He knew Kaidan didn’t enjoy the Blasto movies, not even a little, so he gave his husband a grateful kiss on the cheek. “Thanks, Kaidan.”

———————

The two of them left the theater laughing and shaking their heads. The movie had been a total flop, full of terrible one liners and more than its fair share of explosions. Over the top and cheesy, Kaidan had said, and Shepard more than agreed. The quality of Blasto films had been steadily declining and as much as he hated to admit it, it was probably time for him to let Blasto go.

“Oh man, that movie John, I still can’t believe you loved that series.”

Shepard shrugged his shoulders defensively and shot his husband a scowl. “It was a lot better before they changed actors Kaidan. You can’t fault the whole series because a new Blasto isn’t as good as the old one.”

His husband didn’t look convinced, fixing Shepard with a sardonic smile.

“Bite me, Kaidan.”

The biotic’s smirk turned downright possessive and predatory. “Oh, believe me John, I plan to.” The words were a promise and they couldn’t keep their hands off of each other the whole way back to the apartment.

When they finally got home, Shepard found himself pushed up against the wall, his husband lit up with the blue of biotics. His hands were pinned above him and Kaidan proceeded to claim Shepard’s neck with a series of bites, followed by gentles kisses. They would bruise and the thought that someone would see them tomorrow and know what it meant sent a thrill of excitement down John’s spine, straight to his dick.

He threw his head back as far as he could to expose more of his neck to Kaidan’s ministrations and the man obliged. In between panting breaths, he managed to croak out, “Best-fucking-birthday, ever.”

Kaidan growled in agreement.

Chapter Text

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The fight had been a big one, it had left Kaidan feeling empty and drained. All the anger that had fueled harsh words and snide remarks was gone, all that was left in its place was a hurt still tender and regret. It was terrifying how two people who could fit so well together could clash so harshly. It was amazing how two people could build a life together and find so much happiness in it.

Shepard and Kaidan rarely fought, both of them usually in sync, ready to give or take, an ebb and flow that worked just as well in domestic life as it had in combat. They worked.

Maybe it was because they fought so irregularly, that it made the times when they did fight all that much worse. Kaidan wasn’t sure, all he knew is he regretted the loss of control. He regretted his raised voice and pointed accusations, he regretted the look of hurt in Shepard’s eyes and he regretted seeing the hurt be replaced by anger.

Kaidan mulled the fight over in his mind over and over, replaying the parts he would change, how he should have responded differently, how that would have shifted the outcome completely.

Regret turned to sorrow and a building need to hold Shepard against his chest, to whisper his apology and know that things were going to be ok.  The logical part of his brain knew it would be, that this was just a bump along the road of their relationship. They had faced and overcome much worse. But his heart said otherwise, it ached to make things right between them.

The soft strumming of an acoustic guitar gently pulled him from his thoughts, the quiet tune drifted from their living room, the song plucking at his heart just as Shepard plucked at the strings of the guitar. It was their song, the one they decided summed up ten whole years of their life together, as absurd as that was. The chords were like a balm to his heart, and he followed the sound to see Shepard on the couch, staring out over the view of English Bay. It was a beautiful view, the sunset over the water was a brilliant shade of orange and pink, the light spilling through the windows and casting Shepard in a breathtaking light.

His heart quivered and he started to hum to the tune, soft and husky, before the words floated from his lips. Kaidan had always been secretive of his singing voice, a smooth baritone, but Shepard had always been good at discovering his secrets.

As he raised his voice Shepard slowly turned, hands that had held weapons for so long strummed the guitar as if meant to make music, never war. Their eyes met and Kaidan faltered, steps slowing to a halt but his voice kept singing and his eyes kept staring. Shepard’s nod had him moving again until he sat next to them on the couch. Kaidan rested his head on Shepard’s shoulder and closed his eyes, let the song and the music overtake him, soothe the ache in his heart.

Shepard kept playing and Kaidan kept singing, that form of unspoken communication. That ebb and flow. He knew it well. It said, every things gonna be ok, that all was forgiven.

Sometimes, it worked like that.