Next Time, Wake Me
The rustled mutter of cotton against cotton caused her eyes to flit beyond the mess on her desk, pass the glass casing of her model ships to the lower sanctuary of her cabin. Kaidan was still in bed.
He laid on his left side wrapped up in the covers. His olive colored skin a stark contrast to the creamy color of the sheets, his face was soft and relaxed. The worry lines Shepard had noticed gathering around his eyes and at the corner of his lips were smooth, virtually non-existent while he slept. Her heart contracted painfully. She had no doubt she had placed a few of those lines on his face, as clearly as if she had taken a marker and drawn them on herself. But seeing him relaxed and sleeping soundly, knowing she was responsible for that as well made her heart untwist itself. She had no illusions. She would give him what little peace she could. They didn't have that too often. Kaidan deserved to sleep just a little longer. She could at least bring him some tranquility.
She turned back toward the door, a smile spreading across her face. She could at least say one person in the galaxy was peaceful, content and safe for the next few minutes. Yes, she would let Kaidan have that before she plunged him back into the turmoil of the galaxy.
Shepard sipped at her coffee watching as the mess hall slowly filled up with off-duty soldiers. Her eyes scanned the throngs of people waiting in line to grab breakfast and coffee before their next shift started. The coffee she sipped was delightfully warm in her hands. She was a people watcher. She liked to just sit back and listen. It was a hidden talent. Sometimes one could learn a lot from a person by just watching them.
"So next shore-leave, Johnston. You and me?" Isaacs asked of a pretty little dark featured woman, Corporal Johnston, who had taken the seat next to him, about five seats down from their CO.
Shepard tried to hide her smile. Regulations were regulations, but right at the moment with the end of the galaxy hanging above everyone's heads...she couldn't blame them, nor would she.
Technically, she was breaking Regs too. Or maybe it was had broken. She wasn't certain of the blurred lines at the moment. She was a Spectre and so was Kaidan, though he was a Major and she a Commander. If she was being completely honest, he wasn't here by full Alliance authority. Sure Kaidan had told Admiral Hackett he would be working with her, and Kaidan was a Spectre his first priority was to the safety of the Council faring races...galactic peace was their top priority.
Yeah, screw Regs. She wasn't missing out on being with him again just to appease the Alliance Brass. It was war. AND war was insane. She needed her sanity check every once in a while.
She took another sip of coffee and continued her observing. Strange thing was she felt somewhat relaxed. The crew would nod in her direction as they walked by, some even threw a smile her way as they entered the mess hall. She smiled or nodded back. Letting them know she appreciated their acknowledgments.
A hand clapped down on her shoulder. She forced herself not to jump as she tilted her head to see who…Kaidan slid into the seat next to hers. A smile splayed across his lips. Her eyes narrowed, but the grin twitching at the corners of mouth gave her away.
"Shepard, you let me sleep in," he paused removing his hand from her shoulder. She suddenly missed the firm grip. "Again." He whispered brushing his fingers down her arm. His touch sent goose-bumps cascading down her arms.
Shrugging, she looked down at her coffee mug. It was empty. "I didn't have the heart to wake you. You looked so peaceful, so content."
Kaidan's eyes followed her gaze. He gingerly took the mug from her hands. Standing up again, he leaned forward slightly his breath tickling her ear. "Next time, wake me." The soft huskiness of his voice rolled suggestive Regulation breaking thoughts through her mind. Her cheeks warmed.
"Is that an order, Major?" She teased keeping her eyes focused straight ahead.
"No, just a simple request." He moved away taking her mug with him. Shepard watched as he grabbed another mug for himself and poured two cups of coffee. Walking back over he set her mug full once again in front of her. She took it and sipped gratefully. The liquid warmed her tongue and throat. The bitter concoction danced across her tongue and played within her blood.
Kaidan sat back down next to her. His knee pressed lightly into hers under the table. It was the subtle hints she loved most. His silent reassurances were all she needed sometimes just to get through the day. The remainder of breakfast passed in companionable silence. Something, Shepard greatly loved and appreciated.