I own nothing, sadly. I do love Shega, I admit it! I love, love, love Vega and think he's adorable. This is part of my Shega series, this comes before "The only one I can trust." And I have another pre-oneshot to post for this series.

Also SORRY! For the minor technical fault which caused a different story to be originally posted under this heading! Thanks to Lexi76 for Spanish suggestions!

The lift doors closed behind Shepard, leaving her in the one position she'd hoped to avoid for the last few years. She was in a confined space with Lieutenant Kaiden-fucking- Alenko. Fuck. Major, now, she sighed, shifting from one foot to the other, feeling a bead of sweat trickled down the small of her back.

"Shepard. I need a straight answer!" His voice was hoarse, with a whining undertone that had been a perpetual addition since they had argued on horizon, that and the kicked puppy look he wore like a badge of honour.

"Kaiden." She pressed her gauntleted hands to her hips, sighing,

"Don't Kaiden me!" He snarled pointing at her, "This is business! Do you know anything about why Cerberus is here?" His voice was petulant, childish. The anger was immediate and raging,

"Why would you think that I know anything?" She felt his hackles raising to meet hers,

"Well you worked for them, didn't you ? For god sake, how am I supposed to not think that?" She felt the sneer, even if it was hidden behind his helmet.

"We joined forces to take down the Collectors ! That's it!" Her voice was rising now, "Who else was going to? You? Mr Bleeds blue Allience soldier ?" He ignored the quip,

"But it was more than that! They rebuilt you, ground up! They gave you resources, a ship-"

"Let me be clear, lieutenant!" She cut him off, "I have had no contact with Cerberus since we took down the collectors, in fact I had no contact with anybody."

"Shepard-" The pain in his eyes was evident,

"And I have no idea why they're here, or what they want."

"Yeah, I b-"

"For the record." James' deep, slightly accented voice cut through the haze of hurt and bewilderment, Shepard felt the burden in her chest lift a little: he had been her stalwart, and often only, defender apparently that still stood. A flutter of something fizzed through her, "The commander has been under constant surveillance since she came back to earth, there's no way they could have contacted her."

Kaiden eyes the younger man with venom before looking at her regretfully,

"Shepard…I'm sorry, it's just." The elevator hissed as it acclimatised, they removed their helmets. She walked away from him, sighing out all the pent up frustration,

"You of all people should know what I'm about, Kaiden." The elevator started up again, grinding upwards until it suddenly stopped, throwing them all. Shepard fell forward bouncing off of Kaiden's armoured chest and back into James' waiting arms.

"I got you, Lola."

Lola… she filed that away under 'interesting'. Kaiden looked up at them, deep brown eyes taking in the scene with distaste: she half fallen, him supporting her with one hand on her waist and the other under her armpit.

"The elevators stuck." James said nonchalantly, trying to defrost the atmosphere,

"Really?" Kaiden drawled, "I hadn't noticed, you must have been top in your class at college." James flushed, looking down at the ground, uncharacteristically quiet, which confused Shepard, until she remembered how he had once told her that he'd always wanted to be a teacher. How he didn't think he was smart enough, how he couldn't afford a college education. And she was suddenly angry enough to spit nails,

"Don't you dare take your guilt out on him!" She was in his face now, "Don't you dare, you son of a bitch! This is your doing, not his. If you want to start on someone, try me, 'cause I sure as hell don't have to keep my mouth shut because of protocol."

"Well maybe you should, Commander."

She threw back her head and laughed, teeth flashing in the light,

"Oh really Major, you forget," She stepped up, lips inches from his, noting how his eyes flicked down, "I'm a spectre and you are back on my ship" She practically shouted the last few words, "So forgive me for not wetting my lacy panties when you pull rank on me." A small smile quirked his lips, his breath was warm and minty on her face. James chuckled,

"Lacy panties." He muttered before giving a full, rich laugh that made her smile, and Kaiden scowl,

"Enough Lieutenant, you're on thin ice with me as it is."

"Oh I'ma sorry," James hammed up his accent, "But I no hablan Inglés."

"I said enough." Kaiden stepped passed her, "I've had enough of your shit and I know what your about." He prodded James in the chest, Shepards heart sank, bad move, she thought milliseconds before James' fist sent Kaiden reeling. The older man bounced back up, slamming his opponent in the jaw,

"Enough!" She pushed between the two of them, "That's enough-"

"You know!" James cut over her, "You're a piece of fucking work Major: you act like the wounded party, like she did you wrong. She died!" He had pushed forward now, placing himself between Kaiden and Shepard, as if to protect her from his brand of hurt, "She fucking died! What's your excuse? Huh, coño?" They were nose to nose, James sneered and, God forgive me, but he was sexy as hell when he snarled like that,

"Don't got one huh? Well I might not be a graduate, I might be 'less intelligent' than you, bit of a idiota, but even I know that she's the best chance this galaxy has. Even I" He punched his chest, "Who's spent less than a year with her can see that she's too good for you!" He prodded Kaiden, "Cabron."

For the first time in years, Shepard was speechless and, it seemed, that Kaiden was in the same position. When the elevator jumped into life again, she snuck a look at the man who had jumped so passionately to her aid…and found him looking back at her from under his brows. The looked away simultaneously, then locked eyes again, his lips twisted into a sensual smile and it was she who looked away first, finding her face growing curiously hot. The doors opened up to let them through, ushering them into battle.

The next in he series "Sure thing" is now up: s/9105385/1/Sure-thing