Kaidan Alenko/Sam Shepard fic doodle, rated T, fluff as far as the eye can see
The oscillating lights over the casino dance floor are a bit much, but between the music and the formalwear and Shepard on his arm, this infiltration mission almost feels like…a date.
Kaidan’s pretty sure he’s not the only one who thinks so, either. Shepard’s gaze drifts his direction in between nods as they stand near the bar and listen to Jonah Ashland bemoan the loss of his helium-3 refineries into a glass of ryncol. Feigning sympathy for Ashland’s financial hardships is a lot of work, but Shepard has always been good at that kind of thing, much to most people’s surprise.
Not tonight, though. The next time Kaidan catches his eye something softens in his face, and the corner of his lip turns up in a smile Kaidan spent two years after Alchera trying not to think about. The somersault in his stomach definitely makes it feel like a date, rather than an attempt to figure out who else hates Shepard enough to try and assassinate him over sushi.
“Follow the blue wiring.”
Of course, Liara covertly whispering instructions over the comm ruins the illusion a little.
Shepard politely disengages himself from Ashland, but doesn’t miss the opportunity to lace his fingers in Kaidan’s as they walk away. The thrill that runs up Kaidan’s spine makes it hard to care whether Brooks makes it safely through that grate or not.
“So, how many ways did you imagine to off Ashland just now?” Kaidan asks.
“Six,” Shepard replies. “Only two used biotics.”
Kaidan chuckles, regretfully turning loose of his hand when Shepard finds the junction box they need to get into to disable an alarm waylaying Brooks’ progress. Liara talks him through hacking a nearby security camera that’s too close for comfort. Kaidan keeps watch while he does it, but he can’t help stealing a few glances over his shoulder.
“You’re staring,” Shepard says, and there’s actually a flush to his neck that Kaidan is positive has nothing to do with the warm lighting.
“Hacking’s usually my job,” Kaidan replies. “If I knew you looked this good doing it, I’d have sloughed it off on you a long time ago.”
Liara, EDI, and Brooks are all listening, but Kaidan doesn’t give a damn, not when Shepard laughs low in his throat, expression almost bashful.
The Savior of the Citadel. Savior of the Galaxy, if he keeps at it. Bashful.
God, he’s beautiful. And distracting. Maybe it’s a good thing Kaidan’s not the one deactivating security.
“Think I got it,” Shepard says a few moments later, then speaks into his comm. “Brooks, alarm’s down. You’re clear.”
“On it. This might take a few minutes.”
“You should mingle,” Liara suggests, in an innocent tone that is anything but innocent. For all her secrecy when it comes to being the Shadowbroker, she’s one of the only people Kaidan knows whose poker voice is as bad as her poker face.
He makes a note to thank her later.
“You heard the doctor,” Kaidan says softly. “Let’s mingle.”
“Shall we chat up more corporate trillionaires who are concerned about losing a few billion in the middle of a war fighting for our very existence?” Shepard asks. “I’m on a roll with murder scenarios.”
“No,” Kaidan says, taking his hand and taking the lead. “Dance with me.”
“Dance? We’re supposed to be blending in.”
“I have faith in you,” Kaidan says with a smirk, and boy does it stroke his ego to see Shepard look at him like that. Like Kaidan’s just swept him off his feet. Like it’s not Commander Shepard looking at him at all.
They wade into the small knot of guests moving around the dance floor, some more gracefully than others. Kaidan pulls Shepard close, the subtle intersection of their biotic fields sending a current buzzing through his nerves. He still can’t wrap his head around how easy it is to simply belong in someone’s arms.
Shepard’s eyes lock on his as they sway just enough to the music that no one can accuse them of standing still. The soft smile comes back. Kaidan’s pretty sure he falls in love a little harder every time he sees it, and he’s in no hurry to find out how much farther he has to go before he hits bottom.
He’s enjoying the freefall.
“Almost forgot how good you look in a suit,” Shepard murmurs, looking him up and down in ways that make getting out of the suit seem more important. “It’s been since…”
“Vancouver,” Kaidan supplies, smile faltering only for a moment as it skips across Mars, Horizon, and Alchera, before landing back at the inquest on Earth after the Battle of the Citadel, and the gala his mother had thrown. Feels like a lifetime ago. In Shepard’s case, it’s even true.
“Yeah. Wish I’d told you how good you looked that night, too.”
“I seem to recall a joke about arm candy,” Kaidan says.
“Wasn’t a joke.”
Kaidan’s stomach flips again.
Kaidan bites back a disappointed sigh. It’s Brooks. So much for taking a while.
“Problem?” Shepard asks, brow creasing in a way that suggests he’s thought up a new murder scenario just for her.
“There’s a guard…right below me.”
“On it,” Shepard replies, before muting the comm and giving Kaidan a regretful look. “We always get interrupted, don’t we? I never get to just…dance with you.”
“Panic attacks, casino infiltrations,” Kaidan muses. “Yeah, our track record isn’t great.”
Shepard cups Kaidan’s cheek. “I love you, you know that?”
“I love you, too,” Kaidan murmurs, leaning into the touch. “But we probably need to stop Brooks from getting caught so we can figure out who’s trying to kill you and kill them first.”
So much for the date.
Well, they didn’t exactly manage to get the intel they were after, but Shepard got to trash talk the mystery figure behind the plot, so at least he seems chipper as they gather back at his new apartment on the Sunset Strip.
It’s a hell of an apartment. Earlier, Kaidan hadn’t exactly stopped to think about the fact Anderson just gave a place like this to him – he’d still been a little distracted about the fish tank fiasco, and the fact that Shepard had managed to take on an entire band of former Alliance guns-for-hire without a hardsuit and still come out of it intact. But now that the excitement has died down a little, well…it’s a hell of an apartment.
Joker has made himself at home on the couch in the expansive living room overlooking the strip, complete with a piano and a roaring fire. Kaidan is pretty sure Cortez and Vega found the bar over in the next room. Garrus, Wrex, and Javik have all wandered upstairs, and might require a search party to find again. There are at least three bedrooms up there, and another living room space. The apartment has a fountain.
Sam, if you ever wanted proof you’re Anderson’s son in everything but name, here it is. He just bought you a house.
Granted, Anderson probably hadn’t anticipated his pool table being used as a war room, but EDI, Liara, Tali, and Brooks make themselves at home doing exactly that as they study Kahn’s wiped data drives and talk about recovery. Kaidan hovers for a few minutes to see if he can be of help, but between the four of them he’s more redundant than useful, so he wanders over to the fireplace, running fingers across the mantle. Through the shutters, the glitz and glitter of the Sunset Strip’s neon lights bathe the living room in a glow of shifting hues. Not exactly the window onto the stars Shepard probably preferred, but it’s still a hell of a view.
Picturing Shepard living in a place like this takes a few mental gymnastics, and a small swallow of disappointment. With roots on the Citadel ready and waiting, he can’t imagine Sam will ever entertain living back on Earth once this is over. Assuming there’s anything left on Earth to make a home with. Assuming there even is an after.
No, he promised himself he wouldn’t go down that road, and they’d promised each other they’d live and breathe what they have, not dwell on what they might not.
Sometimes it’s hard.
The hairs on the back of his neck stand up, Shepard’s biotic field flooding him with warmth.
Then again, sometimes it’s easy.
“Hey, you,” Shepard says, circling arms around him from behind. Kaidan inhales deep, closing his eyes and leaning back against him.
Yeah. Now is what’s important. Now is all that matters.
“Hey,” Kaidan replies, smile in his voice. “Over under on how long it takes them to restore the data?”
“Long enough,” Shepard replies, spinning him gently around until they’re face to face.
“Long enough for what?”
“This. Glyph. Play something.”
Kaidan’s smile gets bigger.
“What type of music do you prefer, Commander?”
“Something we can dance to. Nice and slow, so I don’t make an ass out of myself.”
Joker sniggers from the couch. Kaidan uses the arm he has looped around Shepard’s back to flip him the bird.
There was a time when they would have gone to any lengths to hide what they have. But not anymore. Funny how resurrection and the end of the world reshuffles your priorities.
“You’re still wearing that suit,” Shepard says in a low voice as Glyph plays a soft, simple piano melody. Tali and Liara peer in their direction from the pool table. He could be wrong, but Kaidan’s pretty sure Liara smirks.
“Haven’t had a chance to take it off,” Kaidan replies.
A playful grin crosses Shepard’s face. “How about I help you with that later? But for now, I owe you a dance.”
“Get a room,” Joker calls out.
“I have a suite of rooms now, Joker, and you’re squatting,” Shepard replies good-naturedly. “So if you don’t like it, fuck off.”
Kaidan chuckles softly, and Shepard draws him closer.
“I love that laugh,” he murmurs, leaning closer until they’re cheek to cheek. “I love you.”
“Shepard,” EDI calls from the pool table. “I think we have something.”
“In a minute,” Shepard tells her. “I’ve got something more pressing to attend to right now.”
“More pressing than figuring out who’s trying to kill you?” Brooks asks, bewildered.
Kaidan huffs. “She doesn’t know you very well yet. Give her time.”
“Only time I want is with you,” he grumbles. “This is supposed to be shore leave.”
“Hey,” Kaidan whispers in his ear. “Who says it’s not? I’m yours all night.”
Shepard makes a soft sound that just about takes Kaidan out at the knees. “I get the feeling it’s going to be a late night. Probably with gunfire.”
“Still yours after it’s over,” Kaidan replies. “And until the gunfire starts, we have right now.”
“Yeah. We do.”
His arms tighten around Kaidan, who melts readily into them. Behind them, the flames of the fire dance in the fireplace. Out the window, the Sunset Strip hums with activity. Somewhere on the Citadel, an unknown enemy is trying to steal Shepard’s life, while outside the false safety of the Widow nebula, the reapers burn the galaxy down at an ever-quickening pace.
But for now, in this quiet, stolen moment, they dance.
I love video game ocs. Ocs from their own worlds are amazing too but video game oc creators have to create something from what they’re given in game and just gotta roll with it but everyone still has such unique and amazing characters. No two are alike even though we’re all playing the same game with the same character creator and it’s brilliant
Hackett: My cat is stuck in a tree. The Alliance needs you, Commander.
I’d rather rescue Hackett’s cat than half the shit he asks Shepard to do.
PARAGON: Find ladder.
RENEGADE: Knock it down with a stick.
HA, I have something for this:
“Do you believe all this about reapers?” Williams asked. “That Saren’s gone batshit enough to buddy up with machines that want to wipe us out Old Testament style?”
“Yes,” Kaidan said, looking back out into the blue wisps of the nebula.
“Because of the evidence, or because of Shepard?”
Kaidan shifted his feet uncomfortably. She was more perceptive than he gave her credit for.
“He’s not like other soldiers, is he?”
“Not that I’ve met,” Kaidan admitted.
“How well do you know him?” she prodded. “There’s a lot of rumors out there. People talk about him like he’s Jekyll and Hyde. No one knows if he’s going to climb a tree to rescue the kitten or just set the tree on fire and hope Kitty learns how to jump.”
Now it was Kaidan’s turn to laugh. “Pretty sure he’s not the kitten murdering type, but I guess you never know.”
Playing the Mirror Match in the Armax Arena:
Me, as Vanguard!Shepard: [hides behind a crate]
Mirror!Vanguard: HI HELLO FUCK YOU [nova]
Me: NO YOU DID NOT [charge]
Mirror!Sentinel: [whips out twin omni-blades]
Me: What the fuck.
Mirror!Soldier: Here, have Carnage, because I hate you.
Mirror!Adept: [hits with Warp] LOL THROW
Mirror!Infiltrator: [headshot with the Widow]
Me: WHERE THE FUCK ARE YOU I CANNOT SEE YOU.
Mirror!Infiltrator: Oh my god that’s the point.
Me: [charges the engineer]
Me: [is surrounded by all six mirrors]
All six mirrors: [feral grin]
Me: Is this what I do to people?????
For those interested, here is the latest on the MELE modding front: an announcement and update from the ME modding community about the talks between them and BioWare in the run-up to MELE’s launch. BW were indeed in talks with multiple leading figures in the ME modding community, as this GameInformer article reported at the time - the modders just couldn’t say anything until now due to NDAs. they collaborated and the modders “wanted to take this opportunity to let you all know so that you can rest assured that BioWare were serious about supporting [their] efforts to set up LE modding and put the speculation to rest. So a big thanks to BioWare/EA for giving us the chance to be involved in those discussions, as it’s helped put us on the path to a brighter modding future!”. [full statement]
Quoting from the full statement:“These discussions are a large part of why we’ve been able to get our modding tools back up and running so quickly.”
Confused, I replied with a tweet asking where these tools were and if I had somehow missed this. I got a reply!
LEGENDARYEXPLORER IS RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER, Y'ALL.
That means modders will soon be able to, hopefully, recreate or port their old mods into the new version of the game. Things like textures that replaced .pcc files were not compatible between the original trilogy and LE because the original trilogy was 32bit and LE is 64bit (amongst other differences). I tried with an absurd amount of force to get LE to play with the old .pcc mod files and it… well with this mod tool and the trilogy save editor you can get them to install, but they will not behave properly. They can break other textures and even the texture you tried to install will not work properly.
So there’s LOTS of hope to be had here. I just hope the modders who were prolific for their hair and outfit mods return to update. Otherwise, I'mma be learning that shit real fast.
How does one write words to create sentences that make characters do stuff.
Asking for a friend.
A Western Mass Effect AU.
“I’m a terrible follower.”
Fuck, if she didn’t sound so small.
“That meant to surprise me? ‘Cause it don’t.” His free hand captured hers, their fingers intertwining. “It ain’t gonna kill you to let go once in a while.”
She narrowed her eyes at him, damning him for messing with her, for using her own words against her. “You’re such a fuckin’ smartass.”
Kaidan laughed again, his chest blowing firm against hers. “I have my moments.”
Williams began to strum in time with Tali’s bowing and music filled the air. One hand on his arm and the other captured in his, Avory did her best to keep up as he moved them across the ground. Side to side, back and forth, he guided her with gentle pressure on the small of her back. She kept her eyes on their feet. For some fuckin’ reason, she couldn’t stop stepping on him. Each time, she cursed, and each time, he acted like he couldn’t feel it.
“Stop lookin’ at my feet and you’ll stop steppin’ on ‘em.”
“Where else am I supposed to look?”
Kaidan laughed, clearly amused by her frustration, but not at her expense. On her back, his fingers curled, pulling her imperceptibly closer. “At me. At them. Anywhere but down.”
long live :: two of pentacles :: does a scorpion sting when fighting back
get you a girl who can do both
Olivia shifts Nico up higher onto her hip. He rests his head on her shoulder as she turns down the next aisle. “You want ice cream?” she asks quietly. Physical therapy was rough for him today.
He nods and curls his talons into her shirt, holding on tight. “Strawberry,” he says.
She presses a kiss to his forehead. “You got it.” She finds the dextro strawberry ice cream and puts a pint in the cart.
They make it all the way through checkout before the cameras start. A flash catches on the glass windows and flares in her eyes. Olivia sees purple spots across her vision. Nico whimpers and buries his head in her shoulder. She murmurs assurances to her son, pays for their groceries, and steels herself as she walks out. The press has left them alone for a few months, but under pressure from the Council and the press, her office just released an updated relay repair schedule.
She was never going to make everybody happy, certainly not by announcing yet another delay to Thessia’s relay, but the press release was only a few hours ago. She’d hoped for a little longer respite before the chaos started. If wishes were horses, she’d be drowning in it.
“Director Shepard! What was your logic for choosing the Aru relay over the Athena relay?”
“Director!” “Captain!” “Doctor!” “Shepard!”
Olivia grits her teeth. She’s been down a press secretary for a couple of weeks and so all the news outlets have been very diligent in finding her to accost with all of their questions. Her new press secretary starts tomorrow, at least. “It’s okay,” she whispers as Nico whines at the noise and lights. “I’ve got you.”
She makes her way through the mob by being none-too-gentle with the cart. It’s a grocery store and both she and her security team thought she was clear to go on her own for just a quick grocery run. Evidently they were all wrong. When a particularly insistent reporter shoves a microphone right in her face, she steadies her grip on Nico and pushes the reporter’s hand out of the way without care for his equipment. The microphone crashes to the concrete and shatters. The press mob immediately goes silent.
“Back off,” she growls. She turns to address all of them. “If you have questions about the relay schedule, you can call my office. I’m happy to answer your questions if you follow the proper press channels. But right now, you are scaring my son. Let us through,” she orders through clenched teeth.
The crowd respectfully parts for them and they make it the rest of the way to the skycar unbothered. Tonight’s news will be the clip of her smashing a reporter’s equipment on repeat without any context – it’s on countless cameras, plus the omnitools of a few civilians in the parking lot – but she doesn’t care. Though Nico was in no physical danger, he’s scared. No one gets to frighten her child. She’d have them all fired if she had any control over it. Forcing herself to take even breaths so she doesn’t betray her own anger and make Nico more upset, Olivia puts their groceries into the car one-handed, returns the cart to its corral, then sets Nico into his seat in the back.
“You okay?” she asks softly, buckling him in. He’s still too small to sit safely in the front seats.
Nico sniffles. She can tell that he’s trying so hard to be brave for her and pretend that he isn’t scared, but he shakes his head. His subvocals pitch up into a high distress range. Though she’s adept at reading turian subvocalizations, she can’t cancel out Nico’s distress with a soothing frequency like Garrus does. She instead cups his mandible, brushing her thumb over his cheek. “I love you,” she says, gently tugging him forward. She bumps her forehead against his. “We’ll be home in a few minutes.”
He nods. She kisses his forehead, then shuts the door and gets in, driving off. They’re almost home before his subvocals start to calm down.
Nico’s still rattled (truthfully so is she), despite his calming subvocals, and Olivia settles him on the couch with a promise to be right there. She rushes to put the perishable groceries away; everything else can wait until later. In case he gets wind of it, Olivia sends a quick text to Garrus to let him know what happened and that they’re okay, then scoops a small bowl of ice cream for Nico. She sits next to him on the couch. Before he starts to eat, Nico crawls into her lap. Olivia shifts and settles her arms around her son as he curls into her.
“You’re okay,” she promises, pressing a kiss to his crest. “Want to watch some TV?” she asks as he dips his spoon into the bowl.
“Can you play Mario?” he asks quietly.
Olivia smiles and turns on their game system. He’s still a little too young to really enjoy MarioKart for himself, but he likes watching her play. “Sure.”
Gorgeous commission from @xla-hainex featuring my custom!shepard Maric and Kaidan during ME3.
I love the detail in this! I love Maric’s renegade scarring, I love the desperation in the kiss, the way both of them are holding each other tightly <3 <3
Its just beautiful <3
give me two characters who are each other’s home. two characters who feel completely safe, warm and protected in each other’s presence, and who are completely respected by the other. two people who, on some level or another, were missing that little extra spark they needed to feel fully confident and accepted as their whole selves until the other came along. they don’t “fix each other” or “make each other better”–they give the other the support they need to build on what was already inside them. sure they might kiss, or make goo-goo eyes, but they can also just…talk, and make each other laugh and smile, because for once they feel comfortable enough in themselves and with each other to be vulnerable in that way. two complete people who finally find someone to share all of themselves with. and no matter what they do or how far they go, they’ll always have each other to come back home to.
Shepard can dance just fine. Just needs the right partner.
I think it’s safe to say it’s going to take me forever to get through the Citadel DLC, because I cannot stop taking photos.
(It’s not Wednesday, but I don’t want to wait until Wednesday!)
Many a non-quarian, meeting a quarian for the first time on the Citadel or Ilium, has wondered why quarians would choose to spend their lives behind opaque or translucent masks. If they must wear masks for safety reasons, so be it, but why would anyone choose to wear an opaque mask when a clear one could serve just as well for safety reasons and allow others to see one’s face?
The answer actually lies in old quarian customs of the many of the cultural groups that escaped Rannoch on the Migrant Fleet. For centuries before the Morning War and the quarian exodus, most quarian clothing in these groups already involved items that covered the wearer’s face. This could be with a veil, a mask, a scarf, a helmet and faceplate as we see on later quarian suits - but regardless of type, before their exile, most quarians were already wearing clothing that included face coverings.
This was not, as many would assume, derived from modesty rules or taboos around showing the face. Because Rannoch is a hot, arid world with large stretches of desert, pre-exile quarians were generally in higher danger from environmental hazards like sunburn or sandburn than other species on other worlds. Covering the face was initially born from necessity, to protect quarians’ more delicate eyes, noses, and other organs from harm from the sun, sand, or other foreign objects. But as with many customs born of necessity, people began to add their own style and flair to the process. The face coverings became more elaborate and sometimes ostentatious, often extending to highly decorated veils held in place with brooches, custom-made masks, and so forth. Entire outfits were sometimes designed to highlight the face covering they were worn with.
The wearing of a facial covering also enabled the wearer to bring a bit of shade around with them, connecting them to a precious resource needed under Rannoch’s harsh sun. When in shaded areas or indoors, many would take their face coverings off, but just as many would keep them on. The face coverings were a part of every outfit someone wore, a reminder of their people’s traditions and their inextricable link to Rannoch.
After the Morning War and the beginning of the Migrant Fleet, some quarians decided to move away from the custom because they were no longer bound to the whims of planetary weather, while others kept their face coverings as a link in the chain to their ancestors and their homeworld. As their immune systems weakened and scientists looked for a way to build suits to safeguard the people, covering the face became more than just a relic of Rannoch and returned to being a necessity. As such, most quarian faceplates were made opaque/translucent rather than transparent, hearkening back to the already age-old tradition of covering the face.