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You Blend Better

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“You could have brought Vega, you know.”

Allie cast a sidelong glance at the man beside her. She didn't dare look at him straight on because damn, he looked good and the last thing she needed was to be caught staring. “I know,” she murmured, praying Brooks would hurry up so she wouldn't have to have this conversation.

“So why didn't you?”

Allie sighed. “Because he stands out, with the muscles and the tattoos and all. And he isn't exactly subtle. You blend in better.”

Kaidan raised an eyebrow and studied her for several moments before replying. “Is that the only reason?”

Allie closed her eyes and shook her head. No, Kaidan. It isn't. It's the convenient one. The one that makes the most logistical sense. I wanted you to come along because I miss you. Because I want to pretend this might be a real date. Because you look fantastic and I want people to be jealous that I'm the one with you.

“Yes, Kaidan, that's the only reason. This is an undercover op, remember? We both need to blend. If it wasn't for that, I'd bring a full team and we'd go in guns blazing.”

She risked looking at him then, not surprised to see an expression on his face that said he didn't believe a word she just said. “You could have said no, you know,” she added.

Kaidan frowned and Allie just shook her head, not wanting to further defend her reasons for bringing him. Instead, she let her eyes slide along his body, noting how well the tux fit and how well it suited him.

“It's kind of scary how quickly Liara could get this stuff,” she noted. She turned her attention back to the living room and hoped he'd accept the change in topic. “Especially stuff that fits so damn well.”

Kaidan cleared his throat and from the corner of her eye, Allie could see him adjust his cuffs. “I haven't worn a tux since prom in high school,” he admitted. “It feels strange being dressed up but not in my blues.”

Allie hummed in agreement – she hadn't dressed like this since she helped Kasumi break into Donovan Hock's vault to retrieve that greybox. She wasn't usually a dress kind of person but had to admit the short black number Liara found for her to wear made her feel more than just a little attractive.

She risked another glance at Kaidan and noticed him staring at her. She felt her face get hot and she quickly looked away. “Everything ok, Kaidan?” she asked.

“Yeah. Just... you look good, Allie. I think this is the first time I've ever seen you out of uniform like this. Wait, that didn't sound right,” he stammered and rubbed the back of his neck.

Allie shook her head and chuckled, thankful to see Brooks finally make her way over to them. “You look good, too, Kaidan,” she murmured.

She didn't miss the grin that spread across his face as the trio stepped through the door.