|Night is Darkest before the Dawn
Author: Anna Kruczynski PM
Shenko because, well you know, all the feels. Post EC DLC, so yes, spoilers.Rated: Fiction T - English - Drama/Romance - Kaidan A. & Shepard (F) - Chapters: 6 - Words: 5,887 - Reviews: 15 - Favs: 11 - Follows: 34 - Updated: 10-02-12 - Published: 07-01-12 - id: 8273879
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
He watched the wind in her hair, strands of strawberry blond flying off in different directions. She seemed at peace, her synthetic hand resting on the rail in front of her. The nurses told him she came up here a lot, dragging her IV behind her, enjoying the cool wind coming from the coast.
He could only imagine what went on in her head that moment just before she turned it in his direction.
The smile on her face was heartbreaking.
"Didn't notice you there."
"I know. You ah, you sneaked out on the nurses," he said, slowly stroking her cheek with the back of his hand, trying not to touch the stitches on her face.
He swallowed when he felt her cold skin underneath his fingers, her left eye still tearing uncontrollably while she tried so desperately to ignore it.
"A woman deserves her little secrets."
He kissed her on the forehead and mumbled a little 'no doubt' when his lips touched her skin.
They stood side by side for a long while, both of them silent and listening to the sounds of the city around them. The sounds of what was left of the city.
"It's quiet," she said.
He watched her shiver as a gust of wind tore her apart.
"Here," he whispered, taking off his own jacket and draping it around her shoulders "you're freezing."
She allowed him to finish his little gesture without interruption.
"I'll be damned," he smiled, "I think this might be the first time since…well…ever, that you let me take care of you."
"What can I say," she shrugged, "there's a first time for everything."
He met her smile with his own. It was crazy how frequently the corners of his mouth raised up when he saw her. They never had been in a situation like this, the absence of lingering doom hovering over both their heads, regs biting them in their arses. These were things of the past now. They could finally enjoy themselves in each other's company now and Kaidan was enjoying every second they spend together in public.
Shepard on the other hand had a hard time adjusting to civil life. The military was in her blood, her crew was like her family. Kaidan had felt the kinship as well, but in the end, the only family he needed was standing right beside him and to him she looked as gorgeous as she'd always had.
Sure, the war had left its mark on her, both physically and mentally. She was more quiet than before and sometimes she would disappear to a place where Kaidan could not follow, waking up with wide eyes, drops of sweat glistening on her forehead and the names of the dead on her lips. He took comfort in the fact that she always seemed to calm right down when she noticed he was in the room, watching over her while she slept, watching over her while she regained some of her old self.
"Kaidan look," she said, pointing at the office building opposite of the hospital.
"There's a lady in there who brings the man in the cubicle on the far left his lunch every day."
Kaidan tried following her gaze. It was stuck on the fifth floor.
"He should totally ask her out."
He smiled, in spite of himself.
"And look, two floors above them." She turned toward Kaidan to check if he was seeing what she was seeing, her eyes curious like those of a new born baby after all that they had seen.
"She always sits on his desk like that. They should court martial her for wearing a dress like that."
He crossed his arms in amusement when she stopped talking.
"Well in a sense it is your fault Shepard."
She turned toward Kaidan again with a pondering expression on her face.
"If you hadn't been there to stop the Reapers 'miss long legs' over there would be six feet under instead of prancing around in that skimpy dress."
"Well if you put it that way."
"These people are still here, living their lives as if nothing happened because you were here when it mattered most."
"You make me sound like a saint Kaidan."
He took a last step in her direction and wrapped his arms around her.
"I know you're not a saint Shepard."
The wicked grin on his face made her want to reach out and touch him.
"Not even close."
She traced the line of his jaw with her finger as a lopsided grin graced her face.
"So tell me then Major, what exactly am I?"
"On your answer to my question."
She watched him dig in the pocket of the coat around her shoulders.
"Shepard," he said, opening the little jewellery box in his hand.
Shepard covered her mouth with her hand as she watched Kaidan drop to his knees, tears welling up in her eyes as she closed the distance between them.
"Would you marry me?"