Chapter 4

Jeff reclined in the pilot's seat his thoughts on Shepard. She was confusing him. They had already crossed one boundary by him sharing his feelings for her and another one by having sex. Now she wanted to backtrack, to make something real out of their jump-started relationship. In his mind they were already together, they didn't need to go through the ritual of courtship. He would be happy just having a quite dinner in her room. But, no she wanted an actual date, to spend some time with him in public alone for some reason. Sesh… women.

The thought of a public date scared the hell out of him. In the pilot seat and aboard the Normandy, he was in control. He knew what to do, how to do it and when it needed to be done. There was no doubt aboard the ship only absolute confidence in his kick ass flying abilities, but out there where others could see him… could judge him, and Shepard, that was a whole different story. He was used to the stares she wouldn't be. Not that he thought she would care.

He'd never been particularly good with women. He was not suave like Garrus, or built like Jacob, those two could get their pick of any women on any planet. They would know how to treat a woman like Ember, but for some reason she picked him to turn to. Jeff knew Kaidan had hurt her on horizon and as angry as he was with Kaidan for hurting her, Jeff couldn't stay upset with him. Other than himself, Kaidan had been broken the most by Shepard's "death". Unlike Jeff though, Kaidan didn't know what he did about Shepard's resurrection, he had been there though it.

Kaidan had been accepted back into the alliance; Jeff had been put behind a desk and given evaluation after evaluation over the destruction of the original Normandy. No matter how many times he said the same thing they refused to accept his story about the reapers. He knew firsthand how Shepard felt; it was like beating your head against a wall, trying to save people too stupid to save themselves. After fighting with the alliance, they relieved him of duty, medical leave they called it. He called it bullshit. No one wanted the pilot of the ship that lost the first human specter.

Cerberus approached him shortly after that, he originally told them to piss off but Miranda was a persistent bitch. She first tried convincing him to help Cerberus stop the reapers. He shut the door in her face. Without Shepard, there to lead them there was no point. The next time Miranda contacted him she told him that Shepard was alive this had gotten his attention. He demanded to see her; he would not sign on to this project until he could see with his own eyes that Ember was still alive. He shuddered at the image of her then, alive wasn't the word he would have used. Being pieced back together was a closer description, course that was two years ago.

It was only afterwards that Miranda told him about the ship they were building that would be a replica of the original Normandy, only in larger scale with massive upgrades. Cerberus may have been bastards but they brought back one of the most important things in his life, well two if you counted the ship. They might have funded this project but they were still the enemy, Jeff knew that. Shepard may be working with them for now but she would work with the devil himself if it meant saving more lives from the collectors. Some day Kaidan would understand, but by then it would be too late for him to win back Embers heart and the flyboy would have the girl instead. He grinned.

"Mr. Moreau you have been sitting there with your eyes closed for 6.43 minutes would you like for me to assume control of the Normandy?

"Like hell you will," he growled his eyes flying open. His thoughts wandered as they traveled toward Ilium. Jeff didn't know the first thing about setting up a date. Every woman he had been with before had only been friends with benefits. He had never wanted to spend more than a few hours with a woman, until Shepard. With her, he was always finding excused to be in her presence. Running into her in the mess hall, idle conversation as she made her rounds checking on the crew, she always made a point to stop and share details of each mission with him after she had spoken to everyone else. Often she reclined in the copilots' seat watching him as she regaled her tales. Hell, in the last five years he could count on one hand the number of women he had been with not including Ebony. She was in a class of her own. Smart, sexy and funny, well she tried to be funny which was funny on its own.

He thought long and hard about where he would take her and what they would do. After they docked at the spaceport in Ilium, he poured over the extranet while Shepard, Garrus and Tali hunted down a justicar named Samara and an assassin name Thane Krios. While she fought mercenaries and gang members, he planned their first date, one he hoped she would never forget. He wasn't big on dancing, so all the clubs were out. So where the strip joints, although he knew his girl admired a beautiful body as much as he did, he didn't think it had the right feel for alone time for the two of them.

Truth be told, what she needed more than anything was just some time to relax. He grinned broadly, as an idea began to form, he switched to his Omni tool and began calling up reservations for the two of them. He sent Ember a request for shore leave and another to an old friend asking for some help. Once he was finished he sat back with his hands behind his head like a pillow and waited.