Vanilla and Ghosts
A/N - For day 5 of Kaidan Alenko Appreciation Week: Memories
I started writing something cute and happy … and it turned angsty. Eep. Now you get some post-Alchera Kaidan feels. Sorry. (Art is by @reellifejaneway2.)
“Pancakes or bacon?”
Kaidan shifted sleepily as a soft voice stirred him from sleep. The scent of coffee was thick on the air as a cool, long fingered hand traced ticklish patterns on his chest. He cracked an eye open slowly and grinned as he found Shepard leaning over him, the morning light dazzlingly bright around her. Her wavy red hair hung mermaid-like around her face, and she was wearing one of his Alliance shirts, the baggy material hanging off one shoulder.
“Mmm,” he slid his hands under the hem of the shirt, fingers closing around a tiny waist as he pulled her on top of him. “Both sound delicious, but I can think of something else I’d rather have for breakfast.”
Shepard laughed huskily and allowed him to tumble her onto the bed, placing her hands on either side of his face, trapping him under her; a willing prisoner. Her green eyes flashed like jewels, and the smile that lit her mouth caused his heart to skip a beat. A surge of wild, desperate longing flared within him, and he clutched his hands around her tightly, holding her to him.
He never wanted this moment to end.
She leaned down and kissed him, her hair falling around them in a vanilla scented curtain, and Kaidan groaned as he skimmed his hands up her back. Urging her closer. Pressing as much of his hands to her silken skin as he possibly could. Her tongue slid across his lower lip in a hot, wet, line, and he opened his mouth to hers, deepening the kiss, accepting all of her, wanting more still as she plastered herself against him.
“Kaidan!” she whispered, her voice breathy and soft, a gentle sigh that sent goosebumps prickling across his skin. “Please!”
He nipped along her jaw, his hand sliding along the curve of her naked hip and cupping one rounded buttock, kneading her flesh. A bubbly, dizzying joy filled him as she whimpered with need and trailed kisses down his neck, as eager and excited as him. They were so well matched. So perfect for each other. The previous night had been everything he’d dreamed of and more.
He never wanted this moment to end.
But he it would.
It already had.
The knowledge hit him hard, and with the realisation that none of this was real, the dream dissolved like cobwebs in the wind; fine gossamer threads that refused to stay in place no matter how much he tried to hang onto the memories. Shepard’s joyful cries and soft laughter faded into background static. The vanilla scent of her hair became the powdery linens of his hotel bed. And the touch of her body on his, her warmth and solid weight lifted like a ghostly presence, leaving him cold and alone.
He could still feel her there beside him.
Could still remember her touch.
But Shepard had been gone for a long time now.
Like clockwork, Kaidan Alenko woke up at 3.14am in his hotel room; the precise minute that the Normandy had gone down over Alchera. The precise minute that the woman he loved had been left alone in space to suffocate. The precise moment that his world started unravelling.
He lay in the dark with his memories for several long moments, fists clenched, muscles knotted, a bitter pain burning in his chest, wishing he could bring her back by force of will alone. But she wasn’t coming back. Shepard was gone forever. Kaidan sighed, rolled over, took two sleeping pills and washed them down with a gulp of whiskey straight from the bottle.
No more dreams tonight.
No more ghosts.
No more memories.
It was time to let go.