A/N - For Day 6 of Kaidan Alenko Appreciation Week: Love Interests, I decided to write a fluffy post war Shenga piece about Kaidan, Zi and James, and their movie nights.
The movie nights with Zi and James are special, not because Kaidan especially likes the movies Zi chooses, or the healthy snacks that James prepares, but because it’s their time together. They curl up like puppies on the couch, wrapped in blankets and in each other, and forget the world outside. Kaidan and Zi sneak chocolates and buttery popcorn, and James pretends not to notice as he eats his kale and lentil bites.
It’s warm and comfortable between them, and Kaidan feels safe and loved in the darkened room as the vid casts flickering lights over them. There is something about the feel of their bodies that relaxes him; about the strength in James’ arms, and the softness of Zi’s curves as they lay together. Something in the scratch of James’ fingers through his hair, and the knowing looks he and Zi exchange at the predictable plot twists. A million little touches and looks, built up over months and years spent together as a romantic triad.
It’s the smell of James’ aftershave as Kaidan rests his head on his chest, and the biotic tingle of Zi’s powers as she wriggles and spoons against him, her back flush against his chest. It’s her soft giggle when she’s amused, and the tension in James’ body during action sequences. Kaidan feels it with them, loves their emotions, he feels a thrill that he’s lucky enough to have two such amazing people to share his life with; so open, so beautiful, so loving.
It’s squashing together on the couch, holding each other close, and managing to defy gravity while wrapped in each other’s arms. It’s suffering through Shepard’s terrible movie choices: The Blasto Christmas Special: Blasto Saves Santa, Home Alone 17: Lost on the Citadel, Die Hard 1 and 2, and even some obscure Vorcha-Human co-production Christmas movie which James claimed was cinematic brilliance, but which appeared to be 45 minutes of a vorcha blowing things up while riding in Santa’s sleigh before learning the true meaning of Christmas from a small human child.
It’s all of that and more.
It’s Zi inevitably falling asleep in his arms, her face free of tension as he traces the curve of her cheek with his fingers, and trails them over the fullness of her lips. He loves her so much it hurts. So much it’s a warm glow inside of his chest that never fades. It’s the kisses he and James share as she sleeps between them, the pleasant ache of need that the other man stirs within him, and the knowing gleam of his eyes in the dark.
And, fuck, what he wouldn’t do for him. For them both.
It’s love. Pure and simple. Love. And he’s known it was love for a long time, maybe from the first night they slept wrapped in each other’s arms. All the other emotions, the lust, the disappointment, the jealousy, the anger, the happiness … they were all a part of it; colours of the emotional rainbow in which they lived their lives. But when they lay like this together and watch movies, everything fades into the gentle background hum of the love he feels for him.
He never expected to make it through the war, never expected to find the kind of peace he has in their arms, never expected to fall in love with anyone, let alone two people … or be lucky enough to have them love him back. But it’s when he’s lying here with them on their movies nights, safe, warm and snuggled up, he finally believes it.
Because here, in their arms, he found home.