Author's Note: written for Mass Effect kinkmeme on livejournal. Anon wanted: Kaidan/F!Shep; under the table groping; bonus points for spat up drinks and stammering

Disclaimer: Bioware owns all.

It had been awkward - him just showing up like the months in-between hadn't been some kind of emotional masochism. She didn't know how he'd found them (though knowing she was on the Citadel at all probably wasn't too difficult), but half of them were his friends too, once upon a time. He nodded hello, and when Garrus and Tali almost got whiplash waiting for her to reply, and she just nodded, they were suddenly glad to see him.

"Who's your friend?" Miranda had returned with a tray of drinks, hand on her hip, showing off her perfect body (Shepard hated that sometimes Miranda was the friend she loved to hate).

"Miranda Lawson, this is Staff Commander Kaidan Alenko of the Alliance military," Shepard introduced them, with an upturned palm, and watched as he took in the bright yellow-gold Cerberus logo on her catsuit. Stiff morality saves the day from Miranda's pheromones! Shepard secretly cheered.

"Nice to finally make your acquaintance," Miranda drawled with a grin, and handed out the drinks as she sat. One of the floaters came by and took the tray off her proffered hands. "Heard quite a bit about you," Miranda taunted, and Shepard tried not to blush while Tali and Garrus conveniently made themselves unable to speak due to alcohol consumption. Tali wasn't even a drinker, the little traitor.

"Oh yeah?" Kaidan tilted his head, and shot Shepard a look out of the corner of his eye.

Busted. Miranda Lawson, I'm going to kill you. Slowly. With a rusty knife. Miranda must've had mind reading capabilities too, because she replied with a quick sliding glance over Shepard, who inevitably figeted in uncomfortable social situations. This is why she liked fighting better. Less talk.

Miranda, (the bitch, Shepard thought) leaned back in her chair a little bit. "Oh yeah. Our beloved Commander here has the loveliest little photo of you on her desk."

Kaidan fucking looked like he was enjoying himself. She hated everyone. He tilted his head towards her, a small smile quirking at his mouth. She took a gulp of her drink and almost choked on it as she felt pressure move over her thigh in a smooth, confident path, outside in. She coughed delicately and cleared her throat as though the drink had gone down the wrong tube, and then she shot him a look and he turned back to Miranda as though nothing was going on.

"People surprise you every day, Miranda. It's good to know Shepard still has some surprises left in her."

She thought she surprised him good by stomping on his boot. He squeezed her thigh, fingers dangerously close to the Kaidan-Alenko-no-fly-zone-if-he's-going-to-be-an-asshole and she twitched. Suddenly she felt like everyone was in on this. Somehow. Garrus was looking passively amused, his mandibles fluttering, and Tali wasn't even looking in her direction, as though guilt would shine right through her faceplate.

Traitors. All of them. She was going to blow up her own ship.

No. No, she was going to get even. That's what she did. It was her thing. She slid slightly closer to Kaidan and put on her best sugary-sweet smile. She reached directly for his crotch, and ran her fingers over his uniform that was now not quite disguising him.

"I've got plenty of surprises left in me - I just thought you weren't interested in playing nice-nice with Cerberus?" She had almost let that turn into something not appropriate for her shipmates' ears. No, this was business. She cupped him and gave him a squeeze, felt how he was getting literally bent out of shape.

He pressed two fingers right against her, sinking into her, pressing the material of her logo-less Cerberus issue uniform against her happy button. Bastard, she thought again. Clearly she had either not gotten the full experience of Kaidan Alenko, or he'd changed a lot in the last two years. Quick deduction left her with being comfortable with a modicum of both. Her shoulder twitched and she rolled it off, letting it look like stretching a muscle. She hoped.

"Oh, I've come around a bit - I still think they're a bunch of lying, conniving motherfuckers, but can't say I don't appreciate two years worth of science on their part," he said, and she was almost tempted to stop this little power game. That was awfully sweet.

"Science and a lot of credits," Miranda's voice interrupted, and Shepard was suddenly actively aware of having an audience, instead of the passive awareness she'd been sporting for the last three to five minutes. Only her audience had dwindled from three to one. It was only Miranda left now. Deserters. Leaving her to what were clearly her baser instincts, instead of her higher ones that would have had her, well, not tracing outlines in the pants of a former friend/colleague/soldier.

"I'm worth a lot of money Kaidan, I don't know if playing nice with the Alliance is in my best interests. Who knows, maybe I have a kill switch?" she taunted. There was a twinkle in his eye that she wasn't too fond of (okay, ivery/i fond of, but in a less public atmosphere, please).

"Well then," he began, and he pressed and twisted his fingers, bringing her abruptly to the edge of a very public-inappropriate special feeling. "I guess I'm going to have to play extra nice then, won't I?"

She squeezed, and he shifted uncomfortably, dislodging her hand and his own moved back to her thigh. He squeezed and made to rise from the table.

"Miranda, it was interesting to make your acquaintance," he said with a head nod, and with a subtle readjustment of his trousers, he draped his formal uniform jacket (where did that come from? Cheater!) over one elbow and it fell artfully in front of the evidence of her success. He turned to her. "Shepard, maybe I'll see you around the Citadel," he said, and he didn't make it a question, but smiled at her just a little before turning away.

She lifted her drink up to her mouth again, she needed a bit of relief after that.

"Have fun jerking off an Alliance officer under the table across from a Cerberus operative, Shepard?" Miranda asked, her expression disgustingly satisfied.

Shepard spluttered, her drink now decorating herself, the table, and, she saw with a bit of pleasure, Miranda. Miranda wiped the little droplet off her cheekbone and grinned.

"I'm going to find something unfortunate to do to you, Miranda Lawson," she said darkly.

"I'm not worried," Miranda replied.