Jane laughed at Kaidan's obvious aggravation for being interrupted by a knock at the door. She started to make her way towards the door, but Kaidan instead put her back on the couch with her injured leg propped up on a pillow, and went to answer the door himself. Even from down the hall Jane instantly knew who was at the door with his signature nickname calling.
"Hey Major, where's Lola? We wanted to see how the superhero was fitting in with her new domestic lifestyle." James Vega's voice boomed through the house, even though he was still at the front door.
"Umm, she's in the living room. What are you-," Kaidan said when he was interrupted.
"Sorry for dropping in like this, I think James just wanted to tell Shepard the news about his N7 training." Steve Cortez apologized, as he also stepped into the house and headed down the hall after James. When Kaidan returned back to the living room Jane was still laying on the couch in her N7 sweat and tank top, with her leg propped up, Steve was in a recliner, and James was standing in front of Jane animatedly telling her his news.
"Lola, everything is crazy. Ever since the chain of command had been reestablished again after the war, they started the N7 program up again and readdressed my application. With me serving under you and getting a personal recommendation from you, they said they would make me a N7 if I could complete the final tests of training! The tests are next week. It's going to be loco!" James said practically bouncing with excitement. Kaidan watched Jane during the whole exchange and even though she was smiling, he still noticed the way she rubbed her leg and that her face was slightly pale.
"You earned to have a N7 badge next to your name Vega. And besides, with me as your coach, how could have you failed?" Jane said as she smirked.
"Yeah, yeah Lola. I owe you a lot. Hell, the galaxy owes you everything. We were going to bring you flowers but I told Cortez that you didn't do that prissy stuff. So we got you the best thing in the world, practically impossible to get, but we got it because we are so amazing and you should thanks us…" James kept going on and boosting his ego.
"Get to the point James," Steve scolded. Instead of James saying anything else, he reached into the grocery bag he was carrying and pulled out a huge tub of ice cream. Jane's eyes went wide as if James just held the cure to the world's problems in his hands.
"Did I mention that you're my best N7 recruit I've ever coached?" Jane said as she reached for the huge tub of ice cream.
"I'm the only N7 recruit that you've ever trained… and you didn't really choose to train me, the war forced you to take me with you and learn." James argued.
"Details, details. Nothing matters except the fact that you brought the savior of the galaxy ice cream. You know the way to my heart Vega…" Jane said flirtatiously and laughed when Kaidan came to sit on the side arm of the couch between her and James.
"No need to start a fight Major, we're leaving now. Estaban needs to fly me back to prepare this gorgeous body to be N7 material." James said, grinning from ear to ear. Both James and Steve headed out the front door, got into the skycar, and flew away. Kaidan came back from showing the two boys out and found that Jane was no longer in the living room. There was banging from the kitchen. Kaidan walked into the kitchen to find Jane sitting on the floor against the cabinets, with a mountain of ice cream in a bowl, and a spoon that was almost bigger than her own mouth.
"Do you have something against eating at the table?" Kaidan teased as he approached the ice cream.
"Climbing on top of a chair with my bad leg was too much effort. The floor was much closer." Jane replied as she stuck a spoonful of ice cream in her mouth and moaned. Kaidan slid down next to her and went to reach for the spoon in the ice cream bowl. Jane snatched the bowl out of his reach before he could touch the spoon.
"Don't even think about it or you'll be sleeping on the couch." Jane teased as she stifled a yawn.
"And if you don't put away the sugar you will never be able to go to sleep." Kaidan scolded as Jane rested her head on his shoulder. Reluctantly Jane handed over the sugary treat to Kaidan, he placed it in the freezer, and helped Jane up.
"Isn't weird to go to bed and not have to plan how to cure the genophage? Nor get the turians and krogan to work together?" Kaidan said as they walked to the stairs.
"I'm still waiting for the other shoe to drop. The way I look at it, this is just shore leave. Knowing my luck, there is a baby reaper waiting in deep space to attack." Jane said as she went walk up the first step. On about the fifth step, her leg gave out; causing her to gasp in pain a she fell on the step. Kaidan rushed to help her.
"I'm fine! I can do it myself." Jane said, nearly snarling. She picked herself up and stubbornly walked the rest of the stairs. By the time she reached the top, she was drenched in sweat and her leg was throbbing. She leaned against the wall to support herself, and then looked up at Kaidan. Looking at Kaidan was a mistake. His cool demeanor was nowhere to be found, but instead his eyes showed anger and frustration. The whiskey colored eyes usually filled with love and gentleness, were filled with fueled anger. Jane refused to let his disapproval get to her. She was automatically rubbing her sore leg and was about to continue the walk down the hall to the bedroom, but Kaidan intervened. He threw her over his shoulder as if she was nothing but a ragdoll and marched down the hallway.
"Put me down!" Jane furiously screamed as she pounded with her fists on his back.
"Oh you want to go down?" Kaidan said maliciously and threw her down on the bed. He started pacing in front of her.
"What the hell is your problem?" Jane said as she sat up on the bed.
"What is my problem? Maybe it's the fact that you push yourself too far without considering the consequences? You did your mandatory physical therapy at the hospital in record time, and had the fastest recovery ever recorded! But yet, you push things to the extreme like trying to walk up a whole flight of stairs! You probably pushed back your therapy by weeks!" Kaidan ranted as he continued to pace. There was no answer from Jane on the bed. "Oh, so now you don't have anything to say?" Kaidan fired as he turned to face Jane. Jane had her hand firmly placed against her thigh and when she looked up, she was pale.
"Yeah, I'm guessing walking up those stairs hurt quite a bit," Kaidan muttered as he went to look at her leg. When he moved her small hand away, that's when he saw the blood seeping through the pant leg at a steady rate. What the hell… Kaidan thought. He quickly rolled up her N7 sweat pants to see that her leg was practically torn open, and she was losing blood fast. They were low on medi-gel after the war so they had to stitch her leg up manually; the stitches must have torn. Think… think… just like on the battlefield, come on, Kaidan thought to himself as he applied pressure to the bleeding.
"Here, hold pressure on this while I go get medi-gel," Kaidan said to Jane, but when he looked up at her, her eyes were lolling back into her head and she passed out. It was like ice was being shot into Kaidan's veins. He ran to the cabinet in the adjoining bathroom and grabbed the tube on medi-gel. He ran back to Jane and rubbed most of the bottle on the wound, causing the bleeding to slow considerably, but the wound was still open and exposed. He had to improvise. He cut off circulation from the rest of her leg by using a makeshift tourniquet from items in the bathroom. Then, Kaidan sterilized a needle, found thread in a standard med-kit, and stitched up the wound.
Kaidan released the breath he felt he had been holding the whole time tending to Jane. He pulled up an application on his omni-tool. I've never been so greatful I'm a sentinel, he thought as he pulled up a medical app he was given in the Alliance. He checked her vitals, and she was stable. Kaidan undressed the pale woman before him, changing her out of the bloody clothes and removing the tourniquet. He then lifter her up, stripped the top bloody covers off the bed, and placed her under the crisp clean sheets beneath. Kaidan stripped off his shirt and pants, wearing only his boxers, and laid beside her. Her stubbornness and her thinking that she isn't good enough to be worthy of love nor praise, will be the death of her, Kaidan thought as he watched the slow rise and fall of Jane's chest as she slept. She never did give me a straight answer to the question of if she would marry me. She's avoided everything since the war ended: she's ignored the calls from Hackett, won't face her disability, won't admit how hard it is to settle down, and refuses to accept help. And now, she won't even admit that someone could lover her enough to spend the rest of their life with her, Kaidan pondered. She's banged up. Mentally and emotionally, literally and metaphorically, but every day she walks outside with a smile on her face, because that's who she is. She's Commander Jane Shepard, the women who thought that it was the duty of the strong like herself to protect the weak. And Kaidan wished that he would also be able to tack onto her character the title of 'wife.'