A/N: This went better than I expected… though I felt like I just couldn't end it there, so here's a bit extra.
THE GREATER ARK, WESTMINSTER FIELDS, Shepard-Richard Beach-house
The sun had risen again, and the soft rays were flowing through the wall length windows. In her large double bed, Jane stirred and pushed the soft white duvets down from her shoulders. She looked up and found herself to be in the arms of the man she deeply cared for and loved.
She found his embrace to be warm and comforting, and decided to move just a bit closer. John wasn't like most men she'd had been with during their academy days. He slept with a shirt on, and was always respectful of her. He never went around bragging about how she was with him.
Jane watched as his chest slowly rise and fall; she ran her hand over his heart and felt their beats fall in tune. Maybe it's a bit too sappy that something like that could happen, but right now she couldn't really care less. Gently, she cupped his right cheek with her left hand as she rested her head on his arm, and ran her thumb over the light stubble he had yet to shave off. He stirred and slowly opened his eyes. Jane smiled softly, stilling cupping his cheeks.
"Hey," she whispered lovingly.
"Hey," John said with equal measure. He gently bent his forehead down and rested it against hers. He looked into her eyes of swirling green and blue, and smiled. He placed his right hand on her left arm and held it there. Jane tilted her head upwards and closed her eyes as her lips pressed against his. A soft euphoric sense swept across her as he responded and kissed her back.
Everyday whenever they were together, started out like this, a soft wakeup call and a wordless assurance.
"We need to go see Liara and Donnie today," Jane said, breaking the kiss but remaining close.
"I know," John said, gently nuzzling her nose. "When do you want to go?"
"In half an hour," she smiled, closed her eyes and snuggled back into his arms. She always felt safe around him; she always felt that everything was going to turn out alright in the end when he was with her. Softly, she felt him plant a long kiss on her forehead, and smiled.
John steered the Audi onto the carport, it was a little old fashioned of him to be driving a car in an urban area since the on board computer systems could easily perform such a mundane task. But old habits die hard and he wasn't planning on killing this particular habit any time soon.
Shepard had to marvel at how different the Spartan looked outside of military uniform. Being a part of a Special Missions Unit and a senior officer, the regulations pertaining to hairstyles were pretty relaxed. He had grown out his hair, thought it was still considered short by most standards, and he allowed a light stubble.
With everyday passing, Jane found him to be even more human. The clothing she picked out for him was casual, but had a bit of style and flair which suited him perfectly.
After stepping out of the car, Shepard grabbed the gift box and joined John near the console as he waved his hand over the sensor.
"ID recognised," the disembodied female voice said, "stowing away your vehicle."
The grey platform beneath the Audi lifted with a hiss as the large dual doors on the car's right parted with a rumble. Mechanical arms rose from compartments within the ground and gently placed the Audi into an empty space on the rack of cars.
"They're in B-wing," Jane said, checking her Omni-tool, and brushing aside a stray lock of her brunette hair. She slipped her hands into John's, and led the way.
Still to this day, she was still surprised at how soft and smooth his hands were. She always half-expected calloused palms rubbing against hers, but every time, it was soft, smooth skin.
As Jane led the way to B-wing's foyer, more and more people began to recognise them. And it was obvious why. Shepard was by all definitions considered beautiful; she had a well-built slender frame and a fair face. The angelic green and blue glow that ran like a pulse along her skin seemed to enhance it further. John had a pattern of cobalt blue which gave him the image of a god amongst man. The people on in the Magellanic Clouds during the time of the Synthesis Event were unaffected and thus their skin remained "normal".
Both Commanders stood out in the crowd of "normality" like glowing beings. Both of them were household names, both loved and feared, and held in reverence. But Jane really didn't care about the fame anymore, she had learned to live with it, and so did John. He didn't shy away from the cameras as much as he did before, but he made no attempt to seek them out.
Humility, modesty and a buried kindness was what she loved about him. As they entered the main foyer, a few gasps were murmured. Some of the children who were waiting around couldn't take their eyes of Shepard. She was like an angel to them, and John was like a god.
Walking across the clinically white tiled floors and sweeping their eyes across the walls filled with medical bulletins and few paintings, the two reached the desk and the secretary jumped. She was young, no older than twenty-one. It was clear she was that age because her skin was still supple and her eyes were still vibrant and full of youth.
Jane, not having it in her heart to scare the poor girl smiled warmly and as if she was oblivious to her fame.
"Hi, we're here to see Doctor Liara T'Soni, she just had a baby."
"Of course Commander Shepard," the secretary managed to utter, "room twelve on level five."
"Thank you," Shepard smiled.
She led John by the hand again as he stayed close by her side. He was becoming more and more open to physical contact with her, it was something she cherished and treasured. The two made their way to the maternity ward; they didn't fail to notice the number of photos taken and the number of people scrambling out of their way. Except for doctors and nurses on duty, they were the ones who remained on course. A busy mind generally devalued larger-than-life images.
Walking down the clinically white halls of the hospital, Jane took the time to gaze out the wall-length mirrors which revealed a beautiful beach, the outstretched arms of the Ark, the surrounding Halo Rings, and the Lesser Ark.
The two soon reached a door, the guard detail stood aside and gently knocked on it. Jane heard the door part open silently, and entered the well decorated room. The lights were dimmed and the curtains were open, revealing a beautiful vista. The flowers were fresh and bright in colour.
"Hey," Shepard beamed at the Asari.
"Jane, John, so good to see you," Liara smiled.
"How are you guys?" Keyes said happily.
"We're good," Jane said on John's behalf. She looked down at the small bundle of joy that was curled up in Liara's arms. "Isn't she beautiful," Shepard cooed.
"She takes after her mother in the looks department," Keyes beamed, gazing down at his daughter.
Asari baby were one of the more adorable things Jane had ever seen. Donnie and Liara's daughter was clearly no exception. Her skin was a mix of bluish violet, and the freckles that doted the bridge of her nose and the top of her cheeks were lavender. Her eyes were bluish lavender and wide with joy. Soft pulses of emerald green ran in an algorithmic like pattern across her body.
"She's precious," Jane said, gently resting a hand on the bed rails and leaning in to stroke the baby's forehead. John moved up next to her, and rested both hands on her shoulder, an action she did not fail to notice, an action that warmed her.
"What's her name?" he asked.
"Abigail," Keyes sighed happily, unable to turn his gaze away from his little princess.
"That's a beautiful name," Shepard said. She then presented the gift wrapped box she had brought with her.
"Jane, you shouldn't have," Liara said.
Shepard handed the box to Keyes and told him to open it. When he lifted the lid off, his eyes practically bulged out of his sockets.
"Awww, this is too much," Keyes practically cooed.
"What is it?" Liara asked.
Jane smiled, she had gotten Abigail two onesies, one was a UNSC themed outfit, complete with padding that looked like the armour the senior officers wore, gold stripes, and four silver stars. The other was her personal favourite; it was a black N7 themed onesie with a hoodie.
"Oh my," Liara said with mirth and joy.
Jane was always amazed at how well John could cook, her culinary skills weren't too bad, but John, he was in a whole different league entirely. He moved with such speed and precision that was only natural to him, but supernatural to her. She wondered if they could resign from their military careers and open up a restaurant somewhere. But she knew deep down that the military life was a very large part of them. And in peace times, it wasn't so bad. A few combat exercises and consultations here and there, the workload had lessened considerably.
Since John was very well known, ONI had few uses for him in the yellow and red zones. It wasn't lost on her that Keyes continually gave him extended leave with pay. Most of the time when Jane had some Spectre duty; she'd get it cleared through UNSC Administration – which would take an hour –and then take John with her.
It was a considerably easy life these days.
"Want me to help you with anything?" she asked, spinning on the counter stool.
John shook his head, "I'll be fine."
The weather was warm; she couldn't help but notice that John did not sweat at all. He was wearing grey shorts and a white collared t-shirt. Jane was wearing a singlet top and short-shorts, and she was practically melting in the heat. The air-conditioning could only do so much.
"Why do they even bother to have a weather system?" Jane asked, fanning herself with a paper magazine while taking a swill of her blood-orange soda. She watched as the beads of water condense on the glass and roll onto her hand.
"Heat's got to vent somewhere, best to make it useful," John shrugged, flipping over the stake with a satisfying sizzle.
"Smart ass," Jane chuckled. "How is this any useful?"
"You and your fashion sense?" John suggested sheepishly.
Jane mulled over the wording, and then it dawned on her. A grin broke across her face.
"Did you just flirt with me?" she giggled.
She rarely giggled, she only reserved for something that was absolutely rare and tremendous. This was one of those moments.
"That's really sweet of you John," Jane beamed.
Their relationship was a bit unorthodox, but Jane wouldn't trade it for anything else. John was a mix between of age old experience and wisdom, with a hint of shyness and naivety. It really did make him all the more adorable.
Jane was about to say something when she saw a news bulletin flash across the wall mounted TV monitor. Today was the first year anniversary that marked the end of the war, and the beginning of her relationship with John. The picture that appeared on screen was probably one of the most famous photos taken in the history of man.
It was Arca, or Adrian as he went by these days. He was walking down the ramp of a dropship, his armour was tattered and charred, and caked in green blood. In his left hand, he held the shattered remains of his helmet, the optics dangling uselessly to the side. And in his right hand, he held his battered and scarred Ember rifle by the barrel. His face was the most haunting thing in the picture by far. He had bags under his hollow, empty blue eyes, dried red blood and soot smeared across his face; it was so think that it eclipsed the cobalt glow of his skin.
Many would believe that the blood on his face was from battle, those who were with him, knew that it was far from the truth. Jane remembered how grief stricken he was. He never showed it in his body language, but his eyes did, and his eyes wept with blood and tears. What happened on the Normandy a few hours later was something she would never forget. The sadness and despair in his eyes, the defeat in victory, the loss in sacrifice.
"Seeing him, it always reminds you of what we had to give," Jane muttered.
John gently set down her meal of steak with mushroom sauce and salad down in front of her, before placing his bowl of pasta beside her.
"He's been through more than most," was all the Spartan said.
"I don't think he's fully recovered," Jane added.
"He never will, not unless…"
"…He has someone else to help him," Jane finished.
The next photo on screen had less of a darker tone. It was the two of them stepping onto Majestic's main hangar bay, their armour was battered and charred, but they had their helmets off and tucked under one arm.
"That's a nice one," Shepard said.
But the next one was even better. Though it horrified the two of them to how as it came into existence. It had been taken on the following night after their first kiss, both of them were in Ceremonial Dress uniform, and held one another in a close embrace as they stood in front of the memorial for the fallen.
"It's been one hell of a ride," Jane sighed. She turned and planted a soft kiss on John's lips as a sign of thanks before facing her meal.
A/N: Look up Asari baby in N7 dress; it's on Deviantart… positively the cutest thing I have ever seen. =3
To those who wish I update Lost Legacy, don't worry, I have a super long chapter in the works.
Anyway, please review. I live of it... kinda.