So this could be seen as minor spoilers for the citadel dlc as obviously Shepard and James can have a 'one night stand' after the party. I just wondered how James would react to Shepard having a nightmare as she persistently does in canon.
James was awoken in the night by a whimper. It was low and tiny and James was half convinced he'd imagined it until the same whimper sounded again. He slowly drew himself up, his head feeling as if it was caught in a vice, and then opened his eyes. The room was gloomy, a small sliver of light managing to worm its way in from outside. It cast parts of the room into shadow; furniture taking on monstrous shapes upon the walls.
In the darkness he heard another whimper. He looked down. There was Lola. She was on her side, her hands curled into tiny loose fists. Her hair flooded down over her shoulders, adorning her creamy skin. James looked at her for a long time and noted the crease upon her brow. As he silently watched her, Shepard let out another small whimper. She was having a bad dream. As James realised this he drew back slightly, wondering whether to wake her up. He wasn't sure how she would react to finding him in her bed. Would she remember the night before? The smell of wine hung heavy in the air and the sheets upon the bed were rumpled. All around the apartment was silent save for the breathing of companions and the whimpering of their Commander. James had never seen her so vulnerable, so frightened. This woman had stood in front of armies of geth, of Reaper forces and she hadn't even flinched. Yet here she lay, small sobs emitting from the lips he had been kissing mere hours ago.
The next whimper was a little louder and James instinctively laid his hand upon her shoulder. At his touch, Shepard moved slightly as if accepting the presence of another. The crease in her forehead lessened, but did not disappear. James watched her carefully, his eyes straining in the dark to take in her face. He realised she was sweating; her fringe was sticking to her forehead. He moved his hand down from her shoulder, tracing her skin until he reached her hand. He folded his own hand around hers, wanting to keep her safe from whatever was harming her in her dreams, but not wanting to wake her up. Lola needed rest; she needed more rest than anyone else. It wasn't fair that even her dreams were haunted by problems, that even in sleep she did not gain peace. They lay there, James slightly elevated, watching her. It was silent for a while and then Shepard suddenly pulled her hand out of his and said one word. The word was 'No.' and she said it so desperately, so tragically that James' heart nearly broke. What burdens was Shepard holding on her back that she did not share with the others. Everybody knew Lola was under enormous pressure and everyone tried to alleviate it in some way, but it was hard, even impossible, to save someone from their own guilt, from their own demons. He didn't want to listen to her cry anymore.
"Lola," he murmured softly, though his voice sounded loud in the silence of the room. "Lola, wake up. Amante." He pushed her softly, but she bolted up as if she was in a warzone.
"What?" She demanded her tone business like for a second before she realised who it was she was speaking to. "…James?" She sounded as if she could hardly believe it, and then she raised her hand to push her fringe back. She brought her hand back down and looked at it, obviously noting the dampness of her hair. The look on her face became one of disdain, though not aimed towards him, it was obviously inward. "Did I wake you?" She questioned.
James looked at her for a long while before slowly shaking his head. Shepard sighed and it sounded so heavy that James almost felt weighed down.
"I'm sorry James," she muttered and she looked down at her hands. "It's…it's the nights that get the hardest you know? Because then I don't have distractions, I can't keep my mind occupied. It's free to roam and where it goes is always inevitable…" she glanced away into the darkness of the room where the shadows grouped together to form the deepest pit of blackness.
"You shouldn't have to face the nightmares alone Lola." James whispered back moving forwards slightly, his hands grasping the mattress cover, grouping the fabric together in his fists.
Shepard let out a small chuckle and then looked over at him, her eyes swelling with fondness.
"Fun benefits sleeping with Commander Shepard right?" She joked, but then her eyes became sad again. "Get woken up in the middle of the night to see her having a bad dream like a…" she paused for a long while. "Like a little kid."
"Even you need some down time Lola," James murmured. "You can't always be business."
Shepard's lips quirked into a smile again and she looked into his eyes for a long time. "You're definitely not the typical marine Vega."
James smiled back. "Well of course not," he returned. "James Vega is one of a kind."
Shepard let out a small laugh and shook her head, her eyes not leaving his. "He sure is." She replied and then she looked down at her pillow.
James extended his hand out and placed it under her chin, moving her eyes up back to his. "Are you afraid to go back to sleep cariño?"
Shepard's eyes flashed and then James realised with a sickening crunch that tears were filling them. She looked ashamed…she was ashamed of being afraid, he realised. Of being afraid to sleep at least.
"Mi amor you don't have to be afraid, I'm here with you,"
She chewed at her bottom lip, but she let one of her hands move to his face, stroking the scars that adorned him.
"I won't let anything trouble you Lola," James persisted and he kissed her hand gently, taking his hand away from her face. "Not even nightmares. Nothing's allowed to hurt you while I'm here,"
She was still silent and she looked down again. James placed his hand on her shoulder squeezing it so that she looked up to see his reassuring smile.
"And nobody's going to cross me," he smiled widely. "Look at me."
Shepard let out something which sounded like a cross between a sob and a laugh, but she was smiling now, which made James' heart beat increase. He glanced over her shoulder and saw that, steadily, it was getting brighter outside. The shadows in the room moved back slightly. If they weren't on shore leave they'd all be up by now, grumbling as Shepard flitted about in a business-like manner, throwing orders to everyone. But they weren't on shore leave and Shepard was in bed with him, her dark hair falling forwards as she began lowering herself back onto the mattress. She let her head hit the pillow and then smiled as James' hands moved around her, wrapping her close to him, their bodies lying flush together.
"No more bad dreams Lola," he whispered, his face against her hair, feeling the softness as his hands entwined with hers. "Not if I can help it."