Several minutes later they found themselves in the captain's cab, nerves flooding in alongside Kaidan's excitement. Shepard left Kaidan at the door, moving to his desk to pull out a bottle of rum, the name of the label making Kaidan whistle softly. "You trying to impress me, Shepard?"

Shepard gave him a quick grin, pulling out two glasses and heading for the couch. "Steve managed to find this among the supply chains, told me to wait for a special occasion. This seems appropriate."

Kaidan had no idea who Steve was but he made a mental note to find out and thank him. For now, he tried to occupy himself with examining Shepard's cabin.

It was cleaner, bigger by far than the captain's quarters of the SR-1, and far more commanding. The fish tank Joker had mentioned took up half of one wall, and figurine ships decorated the area around the desk. Kaidan busied himself with inspecting the trinkets rather than focussing on his anxiousness.

He was in Shepard's quarters. Shepard was pouring them drinks. A promise of relaxation hung in the air. Kaidan was half-hard just thinking about it, but still his nerves persisted.

Finally moving to the couch, he sat a distance away from Shepard and took the tumbler of dark liquid the man handed him, taking a large gulp. His eyes watered slightly as he swallowed the harsh liquid, throat burning, but the slightly sweet aftertaste had him bringing up the glass to finish off the drink.

Warm fingers took the now empty tumbler and Kaidan distantly heard it being set on the table before the hand was back, tangling in his hair, encouraging him to turn towards its owner. Lips, warmer than the fingers brushing across his neck, caught his as he opened his mouth to say... something, he just wasn't sure what anymore.

The distraction was welcome, almost enough to pull him from his thoughts as Shepard moved closer, his knee bumping against Kaidan's and the new contact had him pulling back. The sight of the concerned and slightly hurt gaze had all of Kaidan's nerves and doubts rushing forward.

"Shepard, what are we... Are we really doing this?" His breath was ragged as he tried to get the words out. The hand that had come to curl around the back of his neck fell away as Shepard leaned back, a look of confusion on his face. "I mean..." he shook his head, failing to find the words he needed. But it was only a second before Shepard seemed to understand; a small smile crept onto Shepard's face and he leaned back in, closer this time.

"Yeah Kaidan, we're really doing this." The words were spoken directly against his lips as Shepard slotted their mouths together again. Kaidan moaned into the kiss as the words washed over him, and he slid his hands up Shepard's body, one stopping to curl into the soft fabric of his hoodie, the other working its way up to trace the nearly invisible scar at the base of the vanguard's skull.

The man shuddered, a whimper escaping him as he pressed his head back against Kaidan's questing fingers while simultaneously shifting his hips closer. Kaidan started with surprise when Shepard swung his leg over Kaidan's hips, shifting to settle on the sentinel's lap.

His hand that had been tangled in the hoodie fell to Shepard's hip and Kaidan broke away with a gasp. "Careful Shepard, you're still hurt."

Shepard snorted as he nosed his way down Kaidan's neck, forcing him to tilt his head back. "You really think Michel would have released me if I wasn't healed enough to be ready for action?" He spoke into the dip between Kaidan's neck and shoulder, rocking his hips forward, drawing a loud groan from Kaidan.

"But this..." He broke off with a gasp as Shepard shifted forward a second time. He tried again, scraping together what fragments of coherence he could find. "This isn't action, John. This is us." His voiced wavered dangerously and Shepard stilled for a moment before pulling back. The smile was still present but his eyes were concerned.

"Well, I was hoping to get some action tonight." He brought a hand up to stroke Kaidan's cheek. "I'm fine, Kaidan. I've done a lot more with worse wounds. And I'm almost all healed up. It's practically just a scratch now."

"But you-"

Shepard leaned back suddenly, causing Kaidan to bring his other hand to his hip to steady him. He watched as Shepard pulled both his hoodie and shirt up his chest, revealing the clean bandages. Without ceremony he grabbed an edge of the bandage and peeled it off. There was a scratch, just like Shepard had said, but the bruise made Kaidan's breath catch. Dark purple and red stretched up his side onto his ribs, fading into a rather repulsive looking yellow around the edges. Swallowing, he ghosted his fingers over it. "Shepard, I don't-"

Shepard silenced him with another kiss, tongue working to distract Kaidan from his thoughts. His hand left the fabric of his shirt and came up to join the one already threading through Kaidan's hair, using the grip to steady himself as he rocked his hips forward again. Kaidan's eyes slid shut as Shepard ground against him, their growing arousals catching against each other, still trapped by their clothing. Shepard's hand trailed down his neck, fingers tracing along the cords of muscle and curling under his collar. With a soft growl Shepard pulled back, both hands moving to the clasp on Kaidan's shirt, undoing it before moving to the top button.

Kaidan put a hand on Shepard's chest, the other coming up to grasp the fingers working on undoing the buttons. Shepard let loose a groan but this time it was one tinged with frustration as he raised an eyebrow at him. Kaidan opened his mouth to say something, anything, but nothing came to mind.

With a sigh, Shepard let his forehead fall forward to rest against Kaidan's, making no attempt to kiss him this time. "Alright, what's really wrong?"

Kaidan shook his head. "It's... It's nothing Shepard, nothing's wrong, it's just..." Shepard pulled away and looked down, hurt.

"Alright... look, if this is going too fast, I understand. I just didn't want to waste any more time. But I don't want to push you into anything, either."

"I just can't wrap my head around this." Shepard brought his gaze back up to meet Kaidan's hesitantly, doubt still present in his eyes. "Why would you want to be with me after all I've done?"

Shepard's eyes widened and the small smile curled back at the edge of his mouth and his voice was warm when he finally spoke. "When you shot me, it was the worst thing I'd ever been through, not because I'd been shot, but because you didn't trust me." Kaidan sucked in a harsh breath but Shepard brought a hand up, fingers covering his mouth, keeping him from speaking. "But then you turned around and shot Udina, and I knew. I knew I still had a chance and I wasn't going to waste it." Shepard paused, bringing his other hand up to frame Kaidan's face, keeping him from looking away. "I'm not going to waste this, Kaidan. Making it more complicated in times like this doesn't do us any favors, so I'm simplifying it. I want you. I think you want me too."

It hit Kaidan then, this, this thing they had going, this could be real. Even after everything he had done, Shepard still wanted this as much as he did. They could do this. The realization had Kaidan's nerves solidifying into resolve, and a kind of happiness and warmth he had never known existed. He reached out, hands settling on Shepard's hips, pulling the man back towards him, matching the grin that suddenly broke across his face. He let out a strangled moan as Shepard settled back onto his lap, mouthing along Kaidan's jaw, teeth nipping, aiming for areas that made him squirm.

After several minutes of reveling in their newfound closeness, Kaidan decided to step it up a notch. Shepard gave a sharp gasp as the sentinel activated his biotics, and his breath hitched when Shepard's eyes flared an intense blue as his biotics reacted to Kaidan's. He hooked his hands under the vanguard's thighs, earning a loud laugh from him as he stood and carried the man over to the bed. He pushed him backwards onto the bed, cushioning his fall with a layer of pulsing blue; the grin Shepard gave him had a flush crawling up his neck and his chest tightening with a teenager-like giddiness.

Shepard propped himself up on his elbows, legs sprawling open, making Kaidan lick his lips. He took a deep breath before following, moving to settle over Shepard, bringing their mouths together in another kiss. The smile hadn't faded; Kaidan could feel it against his mouth as they moved against each other, Shepard laughing breathlessly. The vanguard rocked his hips upward, hard cock grazing against Kaidan's own through their trousers, and Kaidan was left gasping around the man's tongue.

After several minutes, Shepard pulled back to focus on unbuttoning Kaidan's shirt. He dropped his eyes to the scarred hands working on the clasps of his uniform. His own hands made their way to the zipper of Shepard's hoodie, pulling it down and trying to push it off the vanguard's shoulders. It got stuck, earning a frustrated growl from Shepard as the material got caught underneath him. He let loose a full body wiggle that had Kaidan fighting back laughter as Shepard worked to get rid of his shirt as well. He sent Kaidan an amused glare as a snort of laughter escaped him. He threw the shirt and hoodie over Kaidan's shoulder before pulling him down, ravishing his mouth, and Kaidan buck his hips against Shepard's, making them both moan against each other's into the kiss. Kaidan slowly worked his way down Shepard's neck, paying close attention to the places that made him gasp and writhe.

"You have no idea," Shepard gasped as his arousal brushed against Kaidan's thigh, "how long I've been wanting this."

"You and me both, John." He listened as Shepard let out a loud moan, focusing on leaving a mark, something that said mine. When he leaned back, the mark stood out against pale skin on Shepard's collar bone.

Shepard watched him with hooded eyes as he moved back in, mouthing his way down Shepard's chest. "I like it when you call me John," he breathed, letting his head fall back onto the pillows. Kaidan smiled around Shepard's nipple before moving to the other, wringing a loan moan from the man. A hand slid into his hair, fingers stroking against the amp port at the base of his skull, making Kaidan let loose a whine against Shepard's sternum. His other hand came up to grasp Kaidan's bicep, attempting to center them both.

Kaidan moved down Shepard's stomach, hands ghosting down his sides, making him shudder. He hooked his fingers into the hem of the vanguard's jeans, deftly undoing the button and sliding the zipper down. He pressed his hands against the hot skin, sliding them around Shepard's hips, thumbs caressing his hip bones before his fingers curled into the warm curves of his ass. He slid his hands down Shepard's sculpted thighs, pulling his jeans down past his knees, then drew back to give Shepard room to kick them off along with his shoes.

He moved back up Shepard's body, giving the man one last kiss before sitting up, fingers working to unzip his shirt. He tossed the top half of his uniform in the same direction Shepard had thrown his own shirt, hands slowing down as he started to work on his pants. As he unbuckled them he sent Shepard a sly grin, slowly pushing the pants over his hips. Shepard's mouth was open, eyes intense as they followed Kaidan's movements.

With his pants off, Kaidan crawled onto the bed, laughing as Shepard immediately hooked a leg around his and flipped them over, pinning the sentinel to the mattress. A hand came up to tangle in his hair, fingertips teasing the sensitive skin around the amp, making Kaidan thrust his hips up into Shepard's, both of them moaning as their hard cocks brushed against each other's. Kaidan hooked his leg behind Shepard's knee, seeking more friction, and let out a whine when the vanguard pulled away, leaning over to rummage through his nightstand.

Kaidan blinked as Shepard leaned back over him and offered him a bottle of lube. "You want me to…." He trailed off as nerves came rushing back and smiled as Shepard nodded, trust and want mingling in those blue eyes. Glancing at the bottle, he noticed it was unopened, and gave Shepard a meaningful look. The man shrugged, trailing his fingers over Kaidan's collarbone.

"Never really had the time, what with saving the galaxy," he said softly.

"That doesn't make it a good thing, Shepard," he murmured. Kaidan wasn't fond of the idea of Shepard being with someone else during his time with Cerberus-or ever, he realized-but with all he had been through, he deserved some relief, however fleeting.

Leaning back against the pillows, he opened the bottle and poured the liquid over his fingers. He paused for a moment, letting it warm against his skin, before bringing them back to trail along the cleft of Shepard's ass. He nearly got lost in the view as Shepard tilted his head back, lithe body tense with anticipation where he kneeled above Kaidan, his bliss was somewhat muted as his eyes traveled down Shepard's body; the bruise looked almost like a shadow from this angle but he knew it was there. He brought his hand up, palm settling lightly over the center of the discoloration. "Shepard, are you sure this is okay?" he asked, tilting his head to indicate their position. Shepard looked down, analyzing their bodies for a long moment, but then he was pressing back against Kaidan's the fingers near his entrance, a silent request, and Kaidan knew it was okay.

Shepard let out a shuddering breath as Kaidan let his fingers circle his entrance, gasping softly as he pushed a single finger in, stretching Shepard as gently as he could. A sharp nip to his neck had him pulling out, coating his fingers again, and returning with two. Shepard let out a huff as he scissored and twisted them, curling them in an attempt to make Shepard writhe.

"Fuck." Hot breath exploded across his collarbone before teeth dug in, making Kaidan arch his neck into the sting. They both stilled, breathing deep for several long seconds, before Kaidan added a third finger, twisting them.

Shepard's hand flailed, reaching out for the abandoned bottle on the sheets and flicking the cap open. He nearly dropped the bottle as he poured the slick liquid into the palm of his hand before shutting the cap shut and tossing it onto the pillow, kneeling up and reaching back. Kaidan twitched as the cold liquid dripped from the vanguard's hand to his stomach but groaned as Shepard wrapped a sure hand around the sentinel's erection, coating it.

Kaidan waited until Shepard was rocking down onto his fingers, whines catching in his throat, to slide his free hand up around his own erection, guiding it to Shepard's entrance. Removing his fingers, he dragged Shepard down onto his cock, moaning as tight heat slowly surrounded him. Both of his hands came to rest on Shepard's hips, controlling his movement as he sank down. Shepard's eyes were closed, head dropped forward as he took long, slow breaths. Kaidan trailed a hand up Shepard's side, attempting to memorize the feel of the man around him and at the tips of his fingers.

He thrust up slowly, allowing Shepard to adjust, allowing them both several moments to just feel. He felt Shepard's skin, letting his hands wander, one sliding along Shepard's thigh as the other trailing upward to give a hard pinch to one magnificent nipple between thumb and forefinger. Shepard gasped and dropped forward, planting his hands on either side of Kaidan's head. "Didn't know you like it rough, Major," Shepard growled in his ear, before sinking his teeth into Kaidan's shoulder. Kaidan jerked against the pain mixed with pleasure, thrusting upward involuntarily. Shepard was moaning, and then he was kissing Kaidan, and when his tongue worked its way into the sentinel's mouth he began rocking his hips.

"Oh, jesus, John..." Kaidan gasped into the kiss, and Shepard took mercy, pulling away to let him catch his breath. He pushed himself upright and sat there, looking down at Kaidan with love in his eyes.

"Call me that again."

It took him a moment to understand, but Kaidan was too out of his head to disobey. Besides, he liked how it felt in his mouth. "John."

Shepard's eyes fell shut and he inhaled shakily. Kaidan tilted his hips, hoping to get Shepard to gasp for a whole other reason.

Hitting the spot. Just, there.

Shepard moaned loudly, splaying a hand on Kaidan's chest as he rocked forward, blue shimmering around his fingers, spreading across Kaidan's chest until it encompassed both of them completely. Kaidan curled his fingers around Shepard's bicep, watching as the dark energy flared brighter at their points of contact. He pulled Shepard down again, gasping as the vanguard's corona flared, bright across his entire body now, strong enough he could taste it, the familiar tang of ozone mixed with a surprising bite of citrus. He wanted another taste and turned his focus to making sure he hit that spot with every thrust. The only sound in the cabin became the slap of flesh against flesh and broken moans mingling with harsh gasps.

Shepard's other hand, the one still slick with lube, moved to his own dick, working it with efficient strokes. He shuddered as he twisted his wrist, leaning down to catch Kaidan's mouth in a messy kiss, their breath becoming uneven and their rhythm faltering.

"Oh, fuck Kaid, I'm gonna..." Shepard gasped, hand fisting his cock with hard strokes.

"Let me see you, John," Kaidan breathed, thrusting his hips up harder, drawing a broken sob from the trembling man above him. He was beautiful, as taken apart as he was now; Kaidan couldn't wait to see him crumble.

And he did. Kaidan watched in awe as Shepard's head tipped back, mouth open in a silent scream, blue crackling and pulsing across his skin as he came, clenching around Kaidan and bringing him crashing down after him, blue flickering at the edges of his own blurred vision. Shepard's arms finally gave out and he collapsed against Kaidan's heaving chest, nose pressed against his still racing pulse. The silence was comforting as Kaidan trailed his fingers over Shepard's shoulder.

As he felt the vanguard's breath even out and a smile spread across his face, his thoughts strayed to earlier and how he had been so unsure coming up to Shepard's cabin. It was a feeling he had gotten used to over the years he hadn't been working under Shepard's command, that uncertainty about every decision he made on or off the field. The feeling had slowly been replaced as they made love, companionship and trust slowly chasing the doubt away. As he gazed down at the man in his arms, a thought crossed his mind. No matter how bad this war got, no matter what happened in the end, he'd never have to worry because they would be fighting together. Until the end.