She stared at it.

For sure this time, she thought. She had checked the box and everything. It had a picture of a happy, round human woman holding her swolen belly, smiling at the camera like the thing in her hands was a sack of money rather than a collection of cells that was going to eat, shit, sleep, and yell for the next eighteen years.

She bit her tongue and looked at it. A little pink plus. She picked up the other one. A little smiliey face. The other one. A 'pregant'. She waved them a little, as if to dry them. She then placed the three sticks near her feet, and laid on her bed.

She inhaled. This is what Earth smelled like, she thought.

It had been seven months since she had her pregnancy scare. Now, she had had a birthday. She was officially 34, and wasn't allowed to be a stupid young adult anymore. And now this little thing growing inside of her was going to make sure she didn't spend late nights at bars or stayed up watching TV in her pajamas and eating food that her husband had left in the refridgerator. Last night she had eaten canned cheese on wheat bread just because she was hungry.

God, that was weird to say. Husband. Hus-band. She had said it a few times over the past three months. It never really got her. She thought being married was supposed to make her go all Leave-It-To-Beaver, make her want to dress up in flowy vintage dresses and wear pearls while doing household chores.

Ha. That was funny. Her doing household chores. She looked up at her bedroom and noted the clothes thrown about, the knocked over knic-knacs on the dresser, and the scortch mark from where she had seen a cockaroach and shot at it out of fear.

That's one thing no one ever knew about Aiden Shepard. She hated cockroaches.

Or...did Aiden Shepard-Alenko hate cockroaches?

Would fetus Shepard-Alenko hate cockroaches?

She looked at the pistol on her night stand and grabbed it, hastily clicking it to 'safety', wanting to get in the habit before it would be too late and she would find her kid just wandering around, playing space soldier, and then shooting the dog.

She looked up at her dresser and noted the broken glass. She pushed herself up, carefully, scared to somehow rupture the holding nest that was her uterus, causing some complete malfunction and her losing...whatever it was. She went over and scooped up the broken glass, tossing it in the trash can. She looked at it.

So, this is how it happened, she said, grabbing hold of her stomach and remembering the night she had gotten knocked up. It was after some party, she couldn't remember because she was almost gone from drinking so much. She had pulled him into the room, already unbuckling his belt. She climbed on top of the dresser while he reached and pulled off her underwear. She pulled her dress down to her stomach, thanking god she wasn't wearing a bra that night so she wouldn't have to fiddle with tiny clasps on a night where a peg box would've have left her bewildered. She let down her hair, pulled his pants down, and threw caution to the wind.

It had felt somewhat...better, that night. They had talked about having kids, and mutually agreed that they would stop trying not to have them. That night, instead of sex just being something that the two of them used for their own pleasure, they had dove into the primal meaning of it. They were using it as a tool to create another life rather than just a random hook-up in a married couple life.

Apparently, using sex in it's purest, biological form really got her hot a bothered. She had knocked over the glass vase when she finally came on top of the dresser and had forgotten to clean up the mess.

Shit, is this what kind of mother she was going to be? Just leaving glass about, after breaking it in the heat of a hard, satisfying fucking? Was she going to leave bug spray near the cereal too?

Well, no, she shot bugs.

She looked back down at the pee sticks she had held under her just ten minutes earlier. She picked them up, putting them between each finger, and then slashing through the air, like she was Wolverine. She laughed at herself and placed the three urine sticks in her pocket and pulled her flannel over it.

She and her husband lived in Canada. A far step from Mindiour, she thought. She looked out her window at the forrest just by her house. She lived a few miles from Toronto, just near some fresh air. She had missed the smell of the country, from when she had lived on the farm as a small girl, and now she was back. She could reach out her hand a feel nature.

This was the enviroment her children were going to grow up in, and she loved it.

She had left the Normandy in the care of Joker and left Miranda and Garrus as co-commanders while she was away. She had fought, died, and fought again to save the universe for four years without a vacation, and now she was officially taking a year off as a freelancer. Kaidan still worked Alliance, but has asked to be transferred to a base in Canda, where he could be close to his family and live with her while she was on leave.

Now, though, she was going to have to request more leave, and then...

she hated the idea of leaving the Normandy and everything she had dedicated her life to, but a military ship was no place for a kid. What if something happened, a crash, an attack, fuck, even PIRATES, maybe...

She tried not to dwell on the uncertain future, and rather on how she was going to tell her husband who would be arriving home in thirty minutes.

Panic overtook her.

Thirty minutes? Thirty minutes was nothing. How was she going to explain...SHITTTTTTTTT.

She ran to the bathroom. She stashed the tests under the sink and turned on the faucet. She wet her face, ran some water through her hair, and rubbed her eyes.

She'd play sick.

Thirty minutes later, she was laying on the couch, under a blanket too small to cover her feet, trying to will herself to go to sleep. She closed her eyes with almost such a force it was like she was trying to crush the sand in the corners with super human force. She turned but was careful not to lay on her stomach. She eventually gave up and just stared at the ceiling.

When the door opened though, she forgot all about being sick.


She froze.

"Aiden?" she heard keys get placed on the end table.

"Yeah?" she said, getting up.

"Hey," he smiled, and walked over to her. "What's wrong? You sick?"

"Uh, a little, yeah. I was just going to head to bed."

"You need anything? I could head to the convienient-"

She smiled.

"No, I'm fine," she said, thinking how he would be like this whenever their kid got sick.

"Alright," he said, unsure what to make of it.

"There's some spagetti in the fridge," she said. "I was going to warm it up but then I just got..."

"Yeah, it's okay. Go lay down, I can get it." he kissed her forehead.

She walked back to their room and closed the door, dropping the blanket. She covered her arms, thinking how cold it actually was in this freaking house for it being June. She walked over to the dresser and pulled out some pajama shorts. She took off her jeans, threw them into the hamper, and pulled them over. Then she grabbed one of his shirts and changed into that, inhaling his smell and feeling completely and utterly comfortable. She went over and picked up the blanket, and headed outside to watch the sunset over the evergreens.

An hour later in the dark, she found herself thinking while sitting on one of the bar chairs placed out there to look over the fence with her feet casually placed on the fencing of the balcony. She thought of her future, of the cluster of cells multiplying inside of her gushy warm insides. She let her fingers dance over her stomach, looking up at the sky.

"You're not sick,"

She turned around, startled. he stood there, still in his work clothes, at the door frame.

"What do you mean?"

"I mean," he said, walking out. "Everytime you're sick, you ask me to go to the convienint store and buy you potato chips. You have patterns, Aiden." he smiled and pulled up the other chair.

"Why are you so annoyingly good at being a husband and remembering tiny shit like that?" she put her hand in her hair, fighting off a smile.

"It's how I am. Tell me what's up," he said, scooting closer.

"It's nothing," she said getting up, wrapping the blanket around her.

"What do you mean it's nothing? You didn't lie to me about being sick because you thought it would be fun."

"It's nothing okay? Just drop it."

"No, I won't," she heard a crackle of energy behind her and turned around.

"I'm fine, alright?" she said.

"Why did you tell me you were sick when you're not?"

"Maybe I just wanted to lay down?"

"You put fake sweat in your hair."

She felt her hair instictivly.

"Fuck you and your observent tendencies."

"Are you going to tell me what's going on?"


"Jesus, Aiden you're making it such a -"

"I'm pregnant!"

His face fell and the energy in his hands faded.


"I-I took the tests before you got home," she said, wrapping the blanket around her more. "Human ones, this time. There's pictures and a 'HUMAN' in large print so I couldn't have messed it up this time...I took three. All different brands. They're all positive, unless the smiley face means I'm not, and if that's the case then they're some sick bastards and Motherhood Inc.-"

"You're sure?" he said, still looking dazed.

She looked up. "Uh, yeah," she nodded. "For sure. I bought the expensive ones. So...they don't lie." she smiled.

"You knocked me up."

He stood there, a little blank faced.

"Oh god, please say something."


"You're not happy. Fuck. Maybe I really am sick! Go get me potato chips!"

"I have to call my mom," he said smiling.

"Not for a 'how do you perform an abortion at home' advice, right?"

"I have to call my mom," he walked up to her and put her face in his hands. "and tell her the woman of my dreams is going to have my kid,"

"So, you are happy."

He kissed her. "Elated."

She broke out in a smile.

"Father of my child,"


"Baby Daddy."



"Woman I stupidest luck to find,"

"Guy who I let put it inside me,"

He smiled.

"We're going to have a baby."

She nodded.

"We're going to have a baby."