It’s amazing, Kaidan
thinks, how sometimes clothes can be sexier than wearing nothing at all.
Kaidan very much appreciates naked Shepard, but right from the moment they met, the N7 armour has always done good
things for him. There’s the N7 jacket, too. Kaidan’s always loved good
leather - the buttery softness of it under his fingers, the smell of it when he
gets up close. The time he went up to Shepard’s cabin to see him wearing that
and nothing but a pair of tight black briefs will forever be one of his
What came after wasn’t bad
Then there’s Shepard wearing yoga pants and a t-shirt in rare moments of downtime, when they have no plans other than cuddling on the sofa and
watching bad vids. Seeing someone as private and guarded as Shepard in casual clothes is intimate and sweet and somehow deeply sexy.
And right now: Shepard in swimwear. It might be Kaidan’s
favourite of all.
They’re on O’ahu, almost a year after the end of the war.
Shepard’s still healing, the scar around his bicep from the arm transplant
still red and angry under the zinc sunblock. The burn scars are faded now but
still there if you know where to look, if you know where to kiss while
whispering I love you, Shepard, I love you so much. There are other scars,
too, on legs and waist and face. Kaidan knows Shepard’s self-conscious about it,
however much he pretends he isn’t, so swimwear is a big deal. There’s black shorts
with the distinctive red and white stripe, and he’s found an aloha shirt that
miraculously doesn’t clash. Do they not make an N7 version? Kaidan had asked this morning,
grinning, and Shepard had kissed him to shut him up.
They’ve found a secluded beach on the North Shore, and they’re sitting side
by side on the sand, legs touching. Kaidan’s bad knee is screaming at him, but it’s okay;
he’s gotten good at ignoring it. There aren’t many people out here with them.
It’s early, and the winter waves are too intense for all but the very best
surfers. Along with the shorts and open shirt, Shepard’s wearing a pair of
aviators and as gorgeous as the view is, Kaidan can’t look away from him.
Catching him looking, Shepard grins and lowers his shades.
“See something you like, Alenko?”
“Very, very much.”
Shepard’s smile slips, and he looks away, squinting at the
horizon. Quietly, barely audible over the crashing waves, he asks, “Still?”
Shepard’s smile returns, and he looks at Kaidan out of
the corner of his eye. “You’re my favourite, too. Especially in those
shorts. I bet they’d look even better wet and clingy.”
Kaidan snorts and shakes his head. “Subtle, Shepard.”
He waggles his eyebrow and gestures to the ocean. “You
didn’t say no.”
“I don’t trust my leg to cope with those waves,” Kaidan says, with a shrug that belies how much those words weigh.
There’s a beat of silence, then he smiles. “But we do have a pool back
at the house.”
Shepard hmms and then stands, offering Kaidan a hand up.
He’s grinning as he does, and Kaidan can’t help but return it, because that
right there, Shepard’s smile? That sexier than all the armour and leather
jackets and swimwear in the world.
Summary: Kaidan finds a piece of their past he wasn’t expecting. WYWH universe, game three. Kaidan’s first time visiting the captain’s cabin after the relationship is official. Find it on: AO3 and FFN
A/N: for relationship week on tumblr, Tuesday’s prompt ‘Pictures of You’. The picture was taken on Kaidan’s birthday. It was given to Shepard on his birthday. And this is posting on mine. ^__^ It fits. Much thanks to @joufancyhuh for beta’ing!
Kaidan wandered aimlessly around the lower part of the cabin, awed at how spacious it was. Back on the SR-1, the loft had just been storage, but it made sense that when the ship was doubled in size, it became a bit more than just a forgotten area to stick spools of wire and other various items to repair minor things on the ship. Shepard -no, John…he had to remember he could call him John again, at least in private- was down in the mess, getting a couple of mugs of tea prepared and asked Kaidan to ‘stick around for a bit, if you want…’
He passed over the cables and open panels, smirking at the fact that Shepard finally had someplace to work on his armor in his cabin. Kaidan chuckled to himself as he scrolled through the interface menu; Shepard had always seemed to gripe about the inconvenience of his locker being on crew deck instead of down in cargo hold with the rest of the team’s gear. Especially because the workbench was down there. Damn inconvenient when he had an issue with his armor. He felt his ears tip pink; the last time Shepard had trouble with it, he had called Kaidan up to help him and-
He closed his eyes with a sharp intake of breath, stopping that thought in its tracks. That had been the last day he had seen Shepard alive on the original ship. The memory was mixed; he gained the world and lost everything all in the span of a few hours that day. No sense living in the past; done was done and the future was going to be what it is. He was just grateful they had a second chance. Damn miracle was what it was. Not everybody got what they had.
Chapters: 82/? Fandom: Mass Effect Rating: Mature Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply Relationships: Female Shepard/James Vega Characters: Female Shepard (Mass Effect), James Vega, Jeff “Joker” Moreau, Kaidan Alenko, Garrus Vakarian, David Anderson, Steven Hackett Additional Tags: Romance, Sexual Tension, Science Fiction, War Summary:
He’d worshiped her from afar, always wanted the chance to say hello, maybe to serve under her. Then his mission had gone horribly wrong and he blamed her, resented her for it. Or did he. James Vega finds himself in a position he never expected and has to come to terms with his own pain and doubt. Bioware owns all thing Mass Effect, I’m just playing in their sandbox.
Have a snippet -
The enemy numbers dwindled until only the clone and Brooks remained.
Time stopped and so did his heart as Shepard charged at the clone and
they both rolled over the edge of the cargo ramp.
‘Shepard.’ He and Kaidan yelled at the same time, both running to where she’d disappeared.
A fall from this height would kill her and James expected the worst
as they reached the opening. His eyes stung at the thought of losing
her, the idea of following her over the edge at the top of his options
because he didn’t want to live without her. He almost sobbed aloud when
he saw her hanging on, arguing with the clone.
Dropping flat he slid down the ramp while Kaidan hung on to his feet.
Hooking his fingers under her armour he heaved and pulled her to
safety. The Normandy stabilised and he guessed that EDI had taken
control. He watched through wide eyes as Shepard literally kicked the
clone off her ship. Some part of him had expected her to save her
doppelganger but, like she said, they made this personal. And yet as
they turned to walk back into the ship he saw the way she squeezed her
eyes shut, how her hands dropped to her sides and her shoulders slumped.
He wanted to hold her, to comfort her because watching yourself die
had to be the most bizarre and confusing experience he could ever
imagine. Having something you were afraid of appear before you would
send you reeling. But she walked ahead of them, distancing herself from
her actions and them. Kaidan glanced at him and he saw the worry in his
eyes. Trotting to catch up he moved beside her.
'You okay, Lola?’
'Really, because - .’
'Not now, James.’ Her voice cracked and she pursed her lips.
'Okay, but we will talk about this.’
She stopped and glared at him and for a moment he thought she would
take her anger, grief, regret or whatever she felt out on him. He could
handle it, and he would for her. But she gave a slight nod of her head
and turned to meet Joker, all signs of her distress pushed into a hole
for later as she became the strong, dependable woman everyone expected
her to be.
James hated that she did that, that she couldn’t let anyone see she
suffered. He knew the crew wouldn’t see it as weakness but she did.
Joker reported on the results of their fight, making special mention of
how Steve did some awesome flying and it reminded him that they weren’t
the only ones who could have been killed today. The ship, the crew and
the future had been under threat. Another responsibility Shepard would
carry on her shoulders.
'What about the mercs? Any of them left?’ Shepard walked with Joker as they spoke.
Joker stopped. 'Just her.’
The rest of Joker’s sentence disappeared beneath the pounding in
James’ ears. His skin burned and his fingers curled as he rolled his
neck and bared his teeth. Palming his pistol he watched as Shepard spoke
to Brooks, wanting nothing more than to put a bullet in her head.
'Admit it Shepard, you’ll miss me.’
Brooks broke free, turned and ran. A single shot rang out and she dropped to the ground.
'I don’t think so.’ James lowered his gun.
'Ah, maintenance to the shuttle bay.’ Joker spoke into his com but James didn’t miss the grin on his face.
'Nice.’ Kaidan said softly.
'Guess there’s no getting through to some people.’ Shepard sighed.
They walked off the Normandy, meeting the rest of the team on the
dock. Conversation went on around him but James only half listened. His
concern for Shepard outweighed everything else. As Bailey approached
Shepard sucked in a breath and visibly tensed.
'Maybe now we can have some actual shore leave,’ Kaidan said as he walked beside James.
'That would be nice.’ Shepard scoffed.
'Shepard,’ Bailey stood in her path, 'want to explain why you and your crew are shooting up my docks and the archives.’
James put his hand on her shoulder as she went to speak. 'I’ve got
this Commander. I can give C-Sec a report.’ He met her eyes and waited
for her to argue with him, silently pleading that that she would hear
his unspoken message. Go home, take a shower, relax. Don’t fight me, Andy, let me take care of you.
Kaidan insisted burying his face against the perfect curve of muscle and spine between Shepard’s shoulder blades. He insisted wrapping his arm around those well-defined deltoids and resting a hand on a rounded pectoral. He insisted on feeling the steady, strong rhythm of Shepard’s heart beneath his palm and the rise and fall of his breath against his jaw, softly counting the seconds, the minutes until Shepard was asleep. Shepard never asked for it, never expected it, but Kaidan happily obliged whenever the circadian cycles pulled them together for rest and refuge against stress and utter exhaustion. Shepard didn’t mind. He never did.
Shepard was Kaidan’s home, a sanctuary against all the bad in the Universe, against the thought of being lost and helpless to the atrocities of war. And even though John Shepard had told Kaidan repeatedly that his moral compass was stronger than the commander’s could ever be, it didn’t stop the nagging doubt and guilt from previous encounters—the disagreement on Horizon, where Shepard had greeted him with a smiling face while wearing the banner of Cerberus on his breast, the confrontation on Mars, where he’d openly shown his distrust and doubt of the man who had faced a joint threat without him, and then the mess on the Citadel, where he’d pointed a gun at a man he’d once considered a friend—from drilling into his heart. His mistakes ghosted after his every action. And fearing he’d repeat them, Kaidan held those prayers and anxiety tightly in his heart like a dark secret while desperately and selfishly reaching for Shepard in hopes of being forgiven, of being more. All because found life without Shepard had lacked not only excitement but true challenge. Challenge to grow and change. Challenge to be bold and have a voice. Challenge to rise against all that is wrong despite the difficulty, to take life by the balls. Never before had he felt so enthralled, so alive, and so… embraced. Accepted. Or loved. When he’d discovered Shepard had harbored the very feelings he had also kept hidden, Kaidan couldn’t stay away. How could he? His heart thundered in the man’s presence, reminding him he was alive, that blood flowed through his veins like a deluge, that there was no more holding back reservations for fear of rejection.
Now, it was Shepard he buried his face against, hiding his migraine from the rest of the universe, counting the Commander’s breath and beating of his powerful heart, lost to the daydreams of taking Shepard home to meet his mom. Of having beers on the balcony. Sharing food. Tangling those long, strong fingers in his hair. Waking up in a more peaceful setting without war or conflict, to nothing more than each other, stripped bare inside and out, sharing soft kisses in the morning light. Or the more hungry kisses right before more rigorous activities, the ones that left him breathless and moaning in the darkness, fingers twisted in the sheets; their shared moans echoing one another’s pleasures and ultimately conveying the rightness of their physical unification.
Shepard was home and he’d do everything in his power to preserve him, to preserve the future dream of going back to Earth. Together.