Even before he fully emerged from the blissful indifference of sleep, Kaidan’s head began throbbing anew. His brow furrowed in response, ensuring that his eyes remained tightly shut. He paused for a long moment, using the senses other than sight to get a handle on things around him. He felt the smooth fabric of sheets against his skin. The softness was relative, of course. Military standard issue sheets were not exactly luxurious, but, he reminded himself, it certainly beat a sleeper pod.
He could smell the lingering scent of Shepard on the pillow beneath his head. Even now, he was still getting used to waking up and her being there. Their initial time together in a relationship had been so unfairly short and the loneliness after the disaster over Alchera had seemed so long. This change was difficult to get used to, but he was thankful nonetheless. Kaidan didn’t really care to admit to himself just how many times he’d silently wished for such a simple truth that seemed so impossible. She was alive. She was by his side.
He remembered, as he slowly pieced things together, that he’d fallen asleep with his head on Shepard’s lap. Despite his protests, she had insisted on retreating to her cabin with him and helping him to recover. She’d shut down any and all distractions and taken the time to gently massage his head, neck, and shoulders. The migraine hadn’t fully subsided by the time he’d fallen asleep, but he did feel remarkably relaxed. He couldn’t help but find it amusing that those hands could so fluidly ease the tension in his muscles, but they’d become infamous for their ability to kill.