And don't tell anyone that you're tryin' to escape
And don't make a sound while you are runnin' away
'cause desertion is not looked upon mildly these days


Kaidan watched as Shepard stood from the bed, and grabbed a pair of boxers on the way to the bathroom. He fell back in the bed, smiling at the smell in the pillow; it smelled of John, but also of something else. Them maybe? He drifted off again to the humming of the Normandy and the calm he felt.

The communication system beeped waking Kaidan. For a moment he didn't quite know where he was, but as he recalled a slow, lazy smile spread on his lips. He sat up in bed and found the other side cold, Kaidan frowned and scratched his head, the com kept beeping but that was the only sound besides the ever present humming of the ship. John had not come back to bed, and he wasn't answering the call.

Kaidan crawled out of bed and on the way around the foot end of the bed found his own boxers, pulling them on less than gracefully as the urgency in the insistent beeping rushed him. Should he pick up? Was it a secret that he was here? He guessed it was so he chose to mute the call. Looking down at John's personal desk he found stacks of datapads, and a single photo in a frame, he picked it up and looked at it; it was the crew from Normandy S1, Kaidan chuckled to himself he had not taken Shepard for a nostalgic like this. He placed the picture back on the desk and looked around, John hadn't left a note or nothing, so was this one of those awkward things? Kaidan felt his heart beat a little faster as uncertainty got a hold of him. What if he had left his cabin and wouldn't come back till he was fairly sure that Kaidan had left? No. It couldn't be it they were both adults and knew what they were doing, it wasn't really a spur of the moment thing.

Or maybe? Kaidan absentminded leaned against the desk and stared at the empty fish tank, he really ought to get John some fish to fill that stupid thing, it was just depressingly empty, much like the rest of Shepard's cabin, void of personality. Funny really when Shepard himself was larger than life, he left no imprint on his personal space, maybe that was because it was always touch and go, no strings attached? Kaidan worried the inside of his cheek while pondering. Or maybe it was because he just never had time, maybe John wanted his cabin to be nice and homely, but just never got around to it?

The door opened and Shepard walked in, Kaidan froze to the spot suddenly not sure if he should have left, or atleast put on some more clothes.

"Sorry." Shepard said with a little dumb grin, "had to take care of something," his smile mellowed at Kaidan's state, messy hair and underwear. "Didn't want to wake you."

Kaidan smiled back a little too wide. "I thought you left, I mean – "

Shepard stepped closer and cupped Kaidan's face with his hands, staring directly into Kaidan's brown eyes. "Never."

Kaidan meant to say something like 'fantastic' or 'glad to hear it' but it seemed like his mouth just ran off with him, "You can still back out you know, I mean it's a small ship and it might not be the most – uhm."

"Professional?" Shepard finished the sentence.

"Yeah." Kaidan smiled nervously, why did John's intense attention always make him so damn nervous.

"I don't care if you don't." Shepard answered with a smug expression.

Kaidan let out a breath he didn't know he had been holding. "Good."

At this Shepard laughed merrily, and Kaidan couldn't honestly recall when Shepard had last laughed like this, carefree and just John in lack of other terms. No stick up the ass, rah-rah get this done, move it people, problem solver Shepard. What stood here in front of him was just John, a man with human heart and a man who never did anything half assed. "What's so funny?" Kaidan asked softly.

"You are." Shepard said as he gently tucked a wayward curl behind Kaidan's ear. "You don't have to worry so much." He leaned in and kissed Kaidan softly on his lips. "Tell you what, I'll make you a deal."

"Oh yeah?"

"Yep." Shepard grinned. "We lock the door, shut off the coms."

"I like where this is going." Kaidan smiled, feeling a little more playful again.

"And then we leave all the worry, ranks and obligations outside – just for today." Shepard still smiled but his eyes had a strange sad tint, "Let's pretend that we are the only people in the world."

"I'm sure the world can wait for a day." Kaidan mirrored raising his hand to caress Shepard's cheek.