Title: Blind

Rating: M

Summary: Vega isn't her LT, but what is he precisely? Shepard/JamesVega

A/N: Thanks for reading. Review please.


Shepard was leaning over her console at her desk, standing rather than sitting, and typing up the mission report to send back to the Alliance. The room was cool and dark, all the artificial lights shut off at her request; during their last fight with Cerberus, she'd been hit full on with a flash grenade. Despite the fact that it had happened hours ago, her eyes still watered and stung whenever she stared too intently at her screen or walked into a room with too many lights. A few crumbs littered her desk next to an uncapped water bottle where she'd bothered to grab some food from the mess and eat it without really tasting it. Food didn't really concern her anymore, but she was careful to eat enough to keep up her strength.

The whoosh of the automatic door opening didn't startle her the way it probably should have. When she worked with Cerberus, no one came to her cabin. It was off-limits, but somehow reality hadn't been quite so crushing back then. So people like Liara and Allers came and went. It wasn't a big deal, really. The Alliance had taken all of her model ships and put them in the cargo bay, and she hadn't had time to dig them out. Her hamster was MIA. The cabin didn't have a single personal touch to it save for the jellyfish bobbing blissfully in her aquarium.

"Hey there, Lola," Vega's voice drifted from the darkness behind her as strong arms enveloped her waist. He pressed her forward so that her hips were locked against the desk as she hummed pleasantly in response, jabbing the send key with her pinky finger. "How's the eyes?"

"They sting a bit," she answered truthfully, biting her lip and drumming out a rhythm on the desk with her fingers. "Give me a few hours, and I'll be fine."

"Got EDI to turn off all the lights, huh?" he glanced up at the ceiling. "Yeah, I've been hit with a flash grenade a few times. Hurts like hell."

"I just didn't close my eyes in time, LT," she sighed, leaning against his chest, feeling his heart pulsing against her back. The heat that came with his embrace was almost too enticing, a drowsiness seeping into her veins and bringing forth a well-hidden exhaustion."I was kind of focused on not taking a bullet."

"I hear that," he murmured, placing a kiss behind her ear. His hand slid up over the swell of her breasts and trailed over her collarbone, thumb resting just at the hollow of her throat. "Man, I got to say I was freaking out for a minute there. Seein' you not moving...I thought...game over, you know?"

"Is this a confession, James?" she teased, breaking free of his light grip to turn around and secure her arms around his neck. There was still a tear in his tight shirt just above his lower belly from an omniblade that stuck too deep in his armor. She tilted her head up and kissed the scar on his lower lip, sliding her fingers through his short hair. Amazing how much taller he was than her, how big he was in comparison to the room.

He growled a Spanish phrase against her lips and reached down to haul her up by the backs of her thighs to set her on the desk. The water bottle toppled to the ground, gushing clear liquid out onto the thick carpet beneath their feet, but she paid it no mind. The console beeped in complaint when she sat on it, but James quickly pushed it out of the way, his lips on her neck, hot tongue laving at the bite marks he'd given her the other night casually hidden by her long black hair.

"How do you manage to drive me so crazy, Lola?" he asked, hands rubbing up and down her back, pausing to drag his nails lightly over her ribs. Shepard smiled and squeezed his waist with her strong thighs, listening with relish at his broken groan as he moved even closer. The sound shot through her like electricity, pooling in her lower belly as pure want and desire.

"I'm practiced," she whispered in his ear, biting at the lobe. James pulled back slightly, eyes meeting hers. When they first had sex down in the docking bay after they saved the Citadel from Cerberus, it was frantic and desperate and pathetically needy. He'd pinned her up against the wall just out of sight of Cortez and the other engineers, eyes dark with lust while they were both still running on adrenaline. They'd had to be quiet so as not to alert the others of their activities, and James' shallow thrusts and drugging kisses had definitely tested her limits of self-control.

A casual fling, or so she thought. A few days later, though, and James had shown up at her door as repentant as if he'd just killed her firstborn son. As if he'd stepped out of line. As if she hadn't clawed up his back something terrible with her blunt nails, begging wantonly in his ear with each snap of his slim hips for more and harder and James. Shepard hadn't treated him any differently afterward, hadn't said a harsh word or given him a reprimand. Must have just been his sense of character that brought him back to apologize for taking advantage on the first date, no matter how much the girl batted her eyelashes and begged for it.

This, however, this was different. James wasn't just her LT anymore, and he wasn't just a booty call, though they talked a lot less than they made love. With extinction threatening and James wanting to opt for the N7 program and the sheer odds of anyone surviving a relationship with Commander Shepard being slim to none, she didn't know where it was going or if it was going anywhere. Still, when James looked at her like that—open and reverent and full of respect—she felt like they might have a future. Hell, that the galaxy might have a future.

"Believe it or not," he cleared his throat, bracing his hands on either side of the empty glass casing behind her head. "I didn't come here for...well, just this."

"Yeah?" she nipped lightly at his lower lip, tasting whiskey. "What for, then?"

"I..." and she smiled against his mouth, saw his resolve falter, and felt him tense. "Never mind. It's stupid."

"Trust me, Vega," she tugged on his shirt collar, "I've heard some stupid things in my life. Lay it on me. I won't laugh. I promise."

His gaze softened, and he kissed her again, short and sweet. Given his size and the potential for violence locked within, he was a surprising gentle lover. He was more likely to kiss her than toss her about, more likely to tease than take what he wanted. The little surprises were what really got to her, sinking through the carefully erected barriers and flying straight into her heart.

"I almost believe you," he answered after a moment's pause, reaching up to tuck some stray hair behind her ear.

"You of all people have to know that I have some pretty solid control," she assured him, hand coming to rest over his speeding heart. "Tell me."

James sighed, closing his eyes. He still smelled like sweat and blood, like gunfire and smoke. Muscles flexed beneath her fingertips, the slow shift of power beneath smooth skin. There were a million reports she had to file, a hundred different messages to send. They had to meet with the Quarian council on the far rim of the universe, but at that moment she didn't want to go anywhere. Apparently James felt the same way as he shifted her weight—as seamlessly as if she weighed nothing at all—until she was fixed more around his waist that actually on the desk. His hands slid around her thighs, hoisting her up so that she was delightfully curled around him, arms about his thick neck, noses touching.

"I love it when you manhandle me," she whispered in his ear as he gave her long legs a tight squeeze.

"I know you do, babe. It's why I do it."

They kissed slowly, and he pushed his tongue past her lips with a forceful hunger, tracing the soft shape of her mouth as he walked her towards the bed, so skillfully maneuvering down the stairs that she didn't even know they'd descended until she was jolted by his knees hitting the mattress. She moaned as his hand came up to cup her breast, fingers kneading. "Wait," she gasped against him as he made to let her down. "What is it you wanted to tell me?"

"Nothing," he replied, dropping her promptly on the bed. She fell the short distance and hit the bed with surprise, fingers catching in his belt to pull him down after her as she crawled backwards closer to the pillows. Only four or five times this had happened, and yet they fell into the ritual smoothly. As if this was meant to be.

James pinned her to the bed with his weight, careful not to crush her thinner frame as he hooked her mouth again with his and tilted her head back, thumb brushing over the tender flesh of her throat. She felt him rocking against her, only a slight undulation of his hips which were not correctly aligned with hers. His groin was snug against her belly, and she could feel the affect their activity was having on him. His belt buckle was biting into her flesh.

Wanting to waste no time, Shepard tugged at the bottom of his shirt, making it clear that she wanted it off. One advantage to being involved with military men was that they always stayed in shape, and James was no exception. On the contrary, he was heavily build and toned. When her cold hands caressed his abdomen, he jumped a little in surprise and sat up to yank the offending garment off in one swift tug.

The blue glow of the aquarium skewed what normally would have been a stark contrast between his mocha skin and the white downy sheets. Ropy muscle wound up his arms like vines around a tree, further defining his large chest. Dog tags glinted against his chest, the chain resilient and made out of silvery steel. Previous experience let her know about all the fine scars hidden by the poor light, the brief brushes with death, the medals earned by true and battle-hardened soldiers. A particularly gruesome gash, healed and faintly pink at the edges, caught her eye near his hipbone where his pants rode particularly low. A fine trail of hair led from the middle of his torso down, deliciously teasing.

He must have noticed the way her breath hitched, the tremor of desire that shivered pleasantly through her, because he smiled cheekily and kissed her again. "You just using me for my body?"

"Like you aren't doing the same," she retorted as he reached for her and unzipped the N7 hoodie given to her by Kaidan and tossed it casually to the floor. She closed her eyes and let herself feel, the wonderful friction as he covered her totally with his heat, calloused palms moving along her delicate skin.

The accusation was ridiculous as well as false. Shepard was thin and wiry, managing a C-cup only on her best days and wore coarse, military-grade fatigues wherever she went. Not exactly sexy. The only reason she was wearing the hoodie was because it was comfortable and she had been planning on sleeping for a few hours before meeting with the Quarian councilors. She didn't own any lacy underwear or toys or particularly offending garments. She wasn't curvaceous or seductive and hadn't worn her hair down since she was sixteen. Didn't even know if it curled or fell straight.

No, their relationship wasn't built on sex appeal or lust. She didn't exactly know what it was built on, but she knew it wasn't that.

James ducked and trailed open-mouthed kisses along her belly, biting gently at the remaining baby fat she earned after months of being locked down on the Citadel. If he minded the fact that she was not so trim as she normally was, he didn't show it, a low growl of desire reverberating in his massive chest as she carded her hands through his hair and shifted her hips upward, seeking anything, especially him, to press between her legs. He slid upward, along the length of her body, and kissed her slow and deep, fingers sliding beneath the cargo pants and gripping her bare hips with powerful fingers.

She gasped, then, and felt her breathing quicken, her heart soar at the anticipation, their eyes meeting, impossible, dark, earthy brown with flecks of pure gold shimmering, pupils blown wide with lust. It was her turn then to shuck of her shirt and push at his shoulders, taking the reins, his hands coming to rest boldly on her rear as she kissed along his jaw, the stubble grazing her silken lips. And his deft hands sneaked beneath the thin cotton of her trousers and forbidden waistline of her panties to caress warm flesh, and she wrapped her arm around his neck and made him angle his neck to keep their lips connected.

"James," she sucked in a breath, his body like a brand along hers, a heater producing wave after wave of drowning warmth. Even impossibly hotter was his desire straining against her thigh, making her throat close up with want. When she rolled her hips against his, seeking to touch, to feel, he cursed in Spanish against her lips, flipping them over a little roughly so that he was back in charge.

His hand slid up her back, sandwiched between her and the mattress, his fingers fumbling with the clasp of her bra. It clicked, and he slid the clothing off without ceremony, hand closing over her left breast and licking a hot trail along her slender neck. She mewled in pleasure, hugging him frantically closer by pawing at his back, feeling the welts from her fingernails from the last time they'd played this game. The fact that they were not yet healed stirred something primal and possessive in her, and she sank her teeth into his shoulder, hooking her leg around his waist.

"Ow," he growled, low and gravelly in her ear, though it was not even enough pressure to break the skin. "Not so harsh, Lola. Not a battle."

"Since when?" she challenged, plunging her hands past the steel of his lower abdomen to grip his member and stroke it slowly. He froze on the spot, a fierce shiver ripping through him and making his shoulders tense.

"Not fair," he groaned. She grinned and let go just long enough to undo his belt buckle, which still painfully embedded itself in her skin whenever he leaned down too hard, and fumbled for the zipper to pants. The very sound of it sliding, metal over metal, warm from the heat bleeding from her skin, slightly slick from her sweating hands, sent a thrill through her that made her moan brokenly.

James sat up, swift and controlled movements and fixed his thumbs onto both sides of her pants. With a hard yank he pulled them off and tossed them to the ground, and she laughed dazedly as he pushed her up, further into the pillows so that they parted and she could feel the cool metal of the headboard against her bare and damp back. The laughter soon turned into a gasp and then a groan of surprised pleasure as he enveloped one of her naked breasts, strong hands massaging her ribs. Shepard gripped the sheets tightly in her fists, twisting beneath his ministrations.

"Laughing at me," he frowned playfully. "Only woman ever to get the better of me in bed."

"Doubt it," she breathed teasingly as he removed her panties a little less violently, and she squirmed as his breath ghosted over her heated core. A very pathetic whine escaped her lips, and she clasped a hand loosely over her mouth, breath almost held in anticipation. She wanted it, wanted him. "James...please..."

James Vega was not a tease. He didn't let her beg for long, didn't get off on breaking down the commander's control, simply gave her what she wanted, sliding a hand beneath her, palm flat against her lower back to arch her hips up and toward his mouth. Her knees were bent, legs sensually parted. A pink tongue snaked out, flicking against her pleasure center, and she bit deeply into her palm at the intensity of the feeling that followed.

Shepard writhed, twisted, and tried to keep quiet though no one would hear them in her cabin. EDI was not a voyeur, and Joker no longer had access to her room via cameras imbedded in the walls. It was just the two of them, and while Vega could make her melt and break and utterly, ridiculously human in his all-too-skilled hands, she was still the commander of the Normandy SR2 and did not want to cry out like a wanton whore because her LT knew just where to put his tongue.

However, that entire train of thought disappeared when she felt fingers pushing against her aching walls, sliding inside so perfectly and so well-trained that she actually did jerk and cry out, arching her back, feeling Vega's pleased laugh vibrating inside of her. Gasping for breath, she was silenced by his lips and searching tongue, tasting the heady scent of sex and spice and feeling him whispering more foreign phrases against her lips. His fingers did not cease to move during the exploration of his mouth, and each bump and thrust of the appendages inside of her only furthered the coming wave.

Even though she was burning alive inside and squirming on the sheets and whispering embarrassing things and begging for James to just finish it, he did not. He pulled away, kissing away her disapproving whine. The slickness clung to his skin; she noticed it when he laced their fingers, feeling his belt press deliciously—not half as good as what she wanted—against her core, stomach sliding against her own, his pants still in the way.

"God, would just get naked already?" she cried. "James!"

A chuckle, low and strained but still there, near her ear. Despite his amusement, his seeming calm, she could feel his excitement in little and less noticeable ways. There was a definite tremble in his muscles as he shifted to the side of the bed, sliding off sinuously and tugging on the leather belt with one hand so it practically poured through the loops until he made a show of dropping it on the ground, letting go completely, dark eyes never leaving hers. There was a increase in his breathing, a less-than-graceful need for urgency as he removed his boots and shimmied out of his pants. The boxers disappeared last, and he climbed back on top of her, the wondrous feel of naked skin against naked skin nearly stopping her heart.

Despite the fact that he was kissing along her skin again, his member insistent and impatient against her thigh, driving her absolutely mad with desire, she actually managed to fumble her way into the drawer at the side of her bed and toss a condom at him. His typical groan of slight protest—he knew it was important, simply didn't want that barrier between them, even if it was only a millimeter of very thin latex—made her laugh at the normalcy. Made her think that, perhaps, if they were a normal couple on Earth that this might be his same reaction. That they were almost normal.

Their eyes met as he tore at the foil with his teeth, spitting the piece in his mouth out to the side. The animalistic aspect of the gesture shot straight through her, made her eyes darken with lust and reach out for him. She edged impossibly closer.

"Give...me a sec," he opened the package and rolled on the condom out of her sight, their bodies cemented too closely together for her to see anything going on below the waist.

"Hurry," she whispered in his ear.

Finished, he gripped her waist and kissed her, sinking inside without so much as a fair warning, and she groaned at the boldness of it, then cried out at he slid to the hilt. Vega was bent over her, his height meaning that he had to arch his back in order to be face to face with her, a dark shadow cast over her face. She closed her eyes, the pain in them forgotten, a grenade the furthest thing from her mind, as he rocked his hips gently at first and then with an increasing frenetic energy.

It was unlike the first time where he'd teased with shallow thrusts. Now they knew one another, could map the sweet spots and places that elicited gasps and swear words and muttered Spanish phrases during mounting ecstasy, and he slammed inside deep and to the core, as if meaning to meld rather than have sex. As if this were a permanent arrangement, and they weren't all going to die.

Or perhaps as if they were going to die.

Seeming hours passed, that final threshold always out of reach as he built her up to it, made her so ready for it before stopping, resuming his slow kisses and endearing caresses, his confessions breathed against her skin before starting again, the hectic pace resuming, his kissing harsh, tongue probing, the metallic taste of blood lingering between their locked lips.

Eventually, though, she spilled over the edge, the white light taking her nearly by surprise. Shepard groaned loud and low, in her chest rather than from her throat, and she felt him tremble against her, his body seize up and his own answering moan possibly the most erotic sound in the entire world. He hugged her close, almost painfully so, against his chest until it was over, their skin positively soaked with sweat, the glow from the aquarium playing on the droplets clinging to his sculpted body.

Then he pulled away and removed the condom, stumbling on shaking legs to toss it in the trashcan that was probably way too far away before collapsing next to her on his belly, head buried against his arms as he tried to slow his breathing.

She was still trembling, eyes wide as she uncurled her toes and let out a breathless giggle, not exactly sure why she was laughing but just knowing that it felt good. Vega's own smile answered hers as she twisted to face him, modestly crossing her legs and laying her cheek gently on the back of her hand.

"So, LT," she started, trailing off.

"So?" he raised an eyebrow. "You got a...question or something, Shepard?"

"Tell me what you were going to say before?" she asked, knowing full well that she was being manipulative, pouncing while he was still recovering. She laid a hand gently on his shoulder, thumb caressing the skinny white scar there.

"Ah, you're...not gonna...let this go, are you, Lola?"

"Come on. Indulge me."

He frowned, sat up a little on his elbows, and dragged a hand over his face. His hair was mussed, sticking up and matted down at the same time with sweat. The dog tags around his neck swung to and fro, and she had almost forgotten that they were there. Yet they were, glistening in the pale light. Shining beacons. A brand as much as anything else. He saw her looking and, after a moment's hesitation, clasped them in his hand and pulled the chain over his head.

James kissed her once before pulling back, looping the chain around her neck and watching as the warm metal came to rest just between her breasts. The gesture struck her in the heart, and she didn't know what to say.

"I was just...thinking," he muttered, keeping his eyes on the bed rather than her face, "that when this is all over that...I'd like to take you out. Shepard. Commander. Make this something real."

Her eyes widened a fraction. "Are you asking permission to court me, James Vega?"

He swallowed, clearly nervous. "Uh, maybe."

The very thought that he wanted more, that this wasn't just a casual fling, that despite all the shit he'd seen her do, seen her go through, he wanted to stay...she felt a pang in her gut, a heart-wrenching desire to accept overwhelming her. She touched his face, kissing the scar on the corner of his mouth almost lovingly, chastely.

"Yeah, okay. I think...okay."

Why? Because I enjoyed the casual flirting between Shepard and Vega. It was cute. Thanks for reading. Review please.