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Mass Effect Kink Meme: Mass Effect 3 PART II

Post your requests anonymously, and fill any prompts that catch your eye. We’re not picky around here; anything goes. Fanart or fanfic, het, femslash, slash, threesomes and moresomes, or just gen-fic; as long as it’s part of the Mass Effect universe, there’s a place for it here.


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Nine Particular Worries of Kaidan Alenko 1/?

AN: This wasn't what I was intending to write next in the Chaos-verse, but wouldn't leave me alone.

Month One

He'd been waiting for this moment for years. Since Shepard had been found, unconscious in the hallways of parliament on Mars, and whispered her quiet revelation through guilt ridden tears.

She sat on her knees atop the sofa, her arms crossed over its back, her bottom lip neatly caught between her teeth, her eyes fixed on him half way across the room.

But he'd been waiting for some distant point in the future, after Kelly Chambers would give them a stamp of approval, and the galaxy was rebuilt, and somehow the world was different, ready.

Shepard lowered her head slightly, staring up at him through long eyelashes.

In the four years since the Agincourt had reunited them, he wasn't sure they'd spent more than a few days apart. At first it was walking on eggshells. She hadn't been alone since her recovery from Earth, her old crew with her through her unconscious screaming, a fleet of counsellors and doctors trying to repair whatever had happened to her on the Citadel.

And even they were reuinted, sometime he saw her staring into nothing, her lips mouthing words he couldn't hear.

It was a year before the marines stopped guarding her, another before the Parliament gave in to the clammering of the public and anointed her humanity's Ambassador to the Council. And now she was Councillor herself, and almost the woman she once was. After all, he was the only one who saw the nightmares.

"Kaidan?" she whispered.

He cross the floor towards her and cupped her face in his hands, bowing to kiss her forehead. "That's great news," he said warmly, as warmly as he could.

She didn't hear the reservation, her face breaking into a radiant smile as she wrapped her arms around his neck, pulling herself up so she could kiss him. Her body pressed against his, strong, solid, real. Her smell and taste were a grounding current. Years of this and it was nowhere near enough.

How had they come out of it together, when so few else had?

His arms circled her waist, his body responding to hers eagerly and thoughtlessly.

"Do you want a boy or a girl?" she murmured into his ear as they fell back to the cushions. She had already divested him of pants and shirt, her fingers making quick work of his wits as they danced over his skin.

"I don't think it makes a difference," he replied, honestly, and lost himself inside her.


Even by their standards it was a marathon. They ended up in bed, but only because most other surfaces had been sampled. Lowell City glittered out the window, not quite a field of stars, but better than nothing. He'd seen the plans for their quarters on Bastion, but for now, Mars was still the defacto capital of the galaxy.

Not bad for a backwater.

He sat on the edge of their bed, listening to the gentle snore of his wife, feeling the pleasant ache in his very core that came from their exhausting activities.

The lights of Lowell City played across her bare shoulder, glittered in her hair. He couldn't help turning to brush strands from her face, to press a kiss into her shoulder, curling up beside her and cradling her body closer. He could never deny her anything.

How could they think about a baby, when the asari were grumbling and the quarians threatening to split and the krogans proving their numbers accurate. It was the wrong time.

Re: Nine Particular Worries of Kaidan Alenko 1/?

OP here (do I still get to call myself that?)

This is beautiful, as usual. Every word seems calculated to have the most meaning possible. My favorite lines were:

Her smell and taste were a grounding current. Years of this and it was nowhere near enough.

*sigh* *Sob!*

More please?

Re: Nine Particular Worries of Kaidan Alenko 1/?

NO, you can't stop there! We need more of this.

Nine Particular Worries of Kaidan Alenko 2/?

Month Two

"It's not a problem at all, Liara," Shepard was saying, her voice all warmth and honey. Kaidan suppressed the urge to speak, since they'd had the argument twice already.

Their archaeologist friend smiled and pressed a kiss against Shepard's cheek, kissing her baby after. "And you'll be very good for your aunt and uncle, won't you, Rallik?"

Javik circled into Kaidan's peripheral vision and he raised a hand to greet the prothean while keeping his gaze on the screen. Javik rocked back on his heels, scrutinising the picture. "In my cycle, we did not have time for such frivolous activities," he announced.

"Go Terra Bucks!" Shepard called over her shoulder.

Kaidan grimaced. "Panthers' rule," he retorted, out of necessity.

Javik's eyes narrowed. "There is still work to be done. And yet you waste your free time watching . . . games."

"It's really more of an art form," Kaidan said, and was rescued by Liara calling for her mate. He closed his fingers around the neck of his beer bottle and tried to ignore the pang in his gut for this ritual, so long foregone, that used to be his and his father's.

Again, in his peripheral vision, he caught sight of something. This time it was Shepard, a small asari child in her arms, balancing on her hip. She rocked as she walked, her face lit up with simple joy as little Rallik met her gaze.

"We won't be long," Liara said again, "good bye, little wing, bye."

Kaidan fixed his attention on the screen, running his mind over the statistics of the game, the exact score needed for the Panthers to break even, the probability that they wouldn't.

Shepard was kneeling by the mammoth windows looking out over Lowell City, hair glinting in the fiery light that seemed to wreath Mars always. She had Rallik sitting in front of her, emptying the contents of one of the many bags Liara felt was necessary for a night at the Alenko-Shepard residence. As the game progressed, Shepard made stuffed animals dance in the air with her biotics, took Rallik into the kitchen for a meal, and then into the spare bedroom to read a story.

She didn't ask him for help once. Part of him wondered if this was deliberate, if he should a message into her actions. Look, I can take care of this varren pup all by myself, and I will walk it, and feed it, and do everything it needs.

And immediately, guilt swamped him the moment the thought announced itself in his head.

More likely, if message it was, it was one of sympathy. This was a family tradition, in a family consisting of two.

The after-match analysis was in full flow when she returned, Sol making its slow descent behind Mars' horizon. She checked her omnitool before dropping down onto the couch beside him, sighing longingly at the next beer he was reaching for. "You think a sip would irrefutably damage the little runt?" she patted her stomach as she spoke.

"Probably not," he said, but he chose not to open the bottle. He gathered the remainders up between his fingers and rose to his feet, taking them back to the kitchen while Shepard dug into the chips he'd left behind.

"How did Currie get on with his knee injury?" she called after him.

He glanced towards the hallway where the bedrooms were, but couldn't hear Rallik stirring. "Not bad," he said when he returned, not wanting to be the one to wake the baby through shouting. "He was pulled off in the second half."

"Hmm." She licked salt off her fingers and gave him a quizzical frown as he sat again. "So why do our friends go off to watch opera and we sit in and watch games?"

"Because we're human," he muttered, his tone no match for the teasing levity in hers.

"Ouch." She reared back and sat with her hands in her lap, scrutinising him. He sighed, rubbing his hand over his eyes, pinching the bridge of his nose, and tried not to flinch away from her hand as it teased at his sideburns. "What's eating you, Kaidan?" she murmured.

What indeed? The silent secret they hadn't told anyone, not Liara, not Tali, not Garrus. Only Chakwas knew.

In case, Shepard said. Things could go wrong.

Things he wouldn't think about.

Wouldn't let himself think about. In case . . .

"Just . . . a little stressed," he said.

Nine Particular Worries of Kaidan Alenko 2.5/?

A tiny smile curled her lips. "You've been a little stressed for, ooh, about a month," she pointed out, her hand dropping to cup one of his. He grimaced, busted. His wife chuckled and worked her way under his arms. "I know what's going on in there, Admiral," she teased, poking a finger against his temple.

He bowed his head to kiss her cheek. "I'm sorry," he murmured.

"It's okay, you know," she said, settling down against his chest and flicking through the stored programs on her omnitool. Some asari drama she'd been addicted to recently began to play on the screen. "I know it was a bit . . . sudden."

"We were trying," he said, something he'd been telling himself for weeks now.

"I take it Rallik hasn't sweetened you up then?" she asked.

"If that was your plan, you might have chosen a kid that could actually talk. At least that would be interesting," he muttered.

"You think?"

"Yeah. Once they get to the 'people' stage, you can talk to them."

"Great, so it'll only take you eighteen years to cheer up," she muttered.

"Oh come on, they start talking before that, surely?" he grinned at her as she twisted to look at him, a mock scowl marring her features. Before he could give in to temptation and sooth the lines away with his lips and tongue, her omnitool began to beep and Rallik's tears sounded through the room. He sighed as she laughed and clambered out from his arms.

She winked at him. "At least you've still got a few months to get used to this," she said.

He wasn't sure that was a point in his favour.

Nine Particular Worries of Kaidan Alenko 3/?

Month Three

Four years and counting since Victory Day and Kaidan still wasn't used to seeing turians and krogan working side by side, building more accommodation outside Lowell City's dome dome.

The tram slowed as it reached Tian Plaza, some of the passengers already getting to their feet. Kaidan paused to let two salarians off first, nodding to them as they expressed their thanks. He wasn't really used to being recognised yet, either. Although in the final months of the war and ever since, the efforts of Allers and her colleagues had made him almost as recognisable as his wife.

And speaking of the devil, she was standing at the reception desk of the clinic, leaning on the edge of the desk. She was wearing the grey suit that always put him in mind of her now infamous armour set. He knew the comparison was also valid in her mind, it was her favourite outfit for picking a fight with the Council. She turned when he approach, the flash of red of the shirt she wore underneath reminding him of the N7 stripe. He kissed her cheek. "I thought I was going to be late," he said.

She grunted something and eyed the receptionist, who paled and pressed the call button on her keyboard a little more forcefully. "It won't be long," she said.

He hadn't rescued anyone in a while, relegated these days to finding the right person, or squad, for the right job. So he placed a hand on Shepard's arm and guided her away from distressed damsel. "I hear you were causing some trouble today," he said in a low voice.

Crossing her arms and planting her feet firmly, Shepard tilted her chin upwards and met his gaze, fire flashing behind her eyes. "I don't happen to think that ensuring any sentient species gets its place on the Council, if they so wish, is 'causing trouble' -"

Raising his hands to stop the flow, he couldn't help himself from chuckling as she shook her head, realising where they were and that he had only been teasing. The clinic's other patrons were staring, or trying not to, and Councillor Shepard was almost bubbling with rage. He stepped in closer, shooting a glare at one particularly curious young human who wasn't averting his gaze. "You talking like that is what got us here, if I remember correctly," he murmured, and was rewarded by her grimace turning quickly into a smile. She sidled closer, heedless of their surroundings, and placed a hand on his chest.

"How long do you reckon Chakwas will be?" she asked, her eyes narrowing when he looked up over her shoulder. "She's standing right behind me, isn't she?"

"Not right behind you," he assured her as Chakwas approached.

"Sorry to keep you waiting, Shepard, please come on in," Chakwas said to her, shaking both their hands before leading the short procession to her office.

On the Normandy, Chakwas' med-bay had always been bereft of personal touches. Sometimes a stray coffee mug could be found, but no photographs, no cushions, not even a radio or music playing when she was off duty. Her office in the clinic was much the same. Kaidan found himself pacing the large, window-less room while Shepard lay back on a pallet bed, Chakwas placing a small sensor atop Shepard's stomach.

"How have you been feeling?" Chakwas asked.

"Grumpy, lately," Shepard muttered, her attention fixed on the screen Chakwas' readings were flashing up on. Kaidan wished for a painting he could contemplate, or a fish tank. Hell, he'd take a magazine. Shepard would ask him about the screen later, wanting him to interpret the medical readings to the best of his ability.

"Hormone swings are to be expected," Chakwas said mildly. "Although, it may just be stress. I hear the raloi want a place on the Council?"

"And they'll get one if I have my way," Shepard said darkly.

"When do you ever not get your way?" Chakwas asked, amusement dancing in her voice. She caught Kaidan's gaze over the orange glow of her omnitool. "And how are you, Admiral, adjusting to the news?"

Confronted by his wife and the steely eyed Chakwas, Kaidan was forced to stop pacing and come to a stop at Shepard's head. She raised a hand, fingers extended, and he took it. He raised the palm to his lips and she smiled. "I'm getting there," he told Chakwas.

Nine Particular Worries of Kaidan Alenko 3.3/?

"Well perhaps this will help," Chakwas said, pointing to the screen.

He and Shepard craned their necks to see, Shepard's fingers tightening around his.

It was still a cluster of cells, really, amorphous and undeserving of the title 'foetus'. So fragile it had to be kept quiet, hidden from their friends. More than capable of destroying the world he had carefully constructed around Shepard and himself.

A few dark grey clusters were highlighted in green at a tap of Chakwas' fingers on her omnitool. "These cell formations are characteristic of early biotic nodules," she announced.

Shepard's fingers were squeezing his painfully tight. She cleared her throat. "Should . . . is that something we should be concerned about?" Her voice came out far more level than Kaidan's would have.

Nose wrinkling in annoyance, Chakwas turned away from them for a moment, grabbing a data pad from her desk. "I'm no specialist, Shepard," she began.

"You're my practitioner," Shepard said resolutely. "I want you for this, Karin."

Chakwas nodded, this being an argument she'd heard before. She handed the pad to Kaidan. "I've been doing some research. Your generation is really the first to see biotic pregnancies and, of course, the war disrupted a lot of medical record continuities."

"Chakwas," Kaidan snapped, his fingers aching.

"In utero exposure to eezo is completely unavoidable for a foetus with a biotic mother," Chakwas said. "This will result in either termination, or the formation of biotic nodules. However, there is some evidence to suggest that secondary eezo exposure need only be minimal for full biotic manifestation. Certainly much less than the one in ten rate for the population at large. Some speculate the root of this variation is genetic, in which case . . ." she eyed Kaidan carefully, the face of a friend becoming the impassive mask of a professional, "in your case, any children you two may have together will face the likelihood of biotic complications."

Shepard's hand went slack in his and she dropped her arm to her side. He placed his hand on her shoulder instead.

Shepard licked her lips. "I shouldn't use my biotics."

"It wouldn't make a difference, Shepard," Chakwas said softly. "And I take the development of these nodules as a positive sign. The foetus is adapting to the eezo in your system." She smiled suddenly. "And if the baby's anything like you two, it will be a fighter. Would you like to know the sex?"

Shepard shook her head, her arms crossing over her chest, her hand rubbing the fabric of her coat sleeve as if she was cold.

Nine Particular Worries of Kaidan Alenko 3.6/?

"Very well then," Chakwas said. "Everything else checks out fine, Shepard, you and the baby are in good health."

The Saviour of the Galaxy remained on the bed for a little longer, her gaze lingering on the screen. Then, she swept the sensor away with one hand, returning it to Chakwas with a business-like nod. "I have to get back to the Council chambers," she said to neither of them in particular. "It might be a long session tonight."

"Rest is important, you know," Chakwas called after her, but she laid a hand on Kaidan's arm as he moved to follow his wife. When the door closed behind Shepard, Chakwas frowned. "How is she, really?"

It was a little like a sucker-punch to the gut, muted through the realisation he wasn't the only one apprehensive. "I don't know," he admitted. "She . . . she's excited, Karin. She wants this, so badly." He circled the pallet bed, rolling his head from side to side. "I don't know what to say to her."

Chakwas sighed, blowing hair back from her face as she sat down behind her desk, hitting the chair heavily. "Does she still have the nightmares?"

"Yes," he answered quickly. But . . . it had been a while since Shepard's last appointment with Kelly. "I don't know. Less than before, but, yes, they're still there. And she works so God damned hard." He braced his arms on the bed, stretching out as his back as he did so, feeling the vertebra pop and crack. "I don't know, Karin."

"And how are you?" Chakwas asked softly.

He glanced up. "I'm scared this won't be everything she wanted. I'm scared the kid might be . . . I don't know, I watched my mom raise me. And Shepard . . . she lost her family so young. How the hell do we raise a kid?"

Chakwas smiled. "The same way everyone else does, Kaidan. Though don't ask me how, I've never fancied the idea myself."

He grimaced at that and stood straight again. "Well. Thanks, I guess."

"For what it's worth, I have heard it said that you become a parent when you first hold your child. Well Shepard has a head start on you, it doesn't mean you won't feel the same eventually." Chakwas offered him a half shrug.

Nothing he said to that could sound grateful, so he left without saying a word.

Re: Nine Particular Worries of Kaidan Alenko 3.6/?

OP here again:

I'm loving how terrified Kaidan is. He is so not on board with this. And it makes sense, he's so (understandably)protective of Shepard, that anything that could cause her physical or emotional harm would be, at the very least, suspect.

And your explanation for why biotics might be somewhat inherited is really good, at least for my non-sciency mind.

I am so excited to read more!

Nine Particular Worries of Kaidan Alenko 4/?

Month Four


Hmmm. Ahh.

Yes, that was . . .

The rise to consciousness was slow, dominated by the feeling of pressure against his cock, the warm body stretched out beside him, and the movement of the foam mattress as it adjusted to the movement of bodies, supporting spines as best it could.

"Mmm," he shifted an arm so she wasn't lying against it, his mind fighting awareness with even more ferocity than he expected. His eyelids were heavy, but he could feel his hips lifting as one slender leg draped over his thighs.

"Are you awake?" she murmured in his ear, a breathy chuckle making him groan in acknowledgement. "Ahh. Good. I think my hormones are kicking in."

"That'd be a lot more convincing if it was unusual," he muttered, turning his head to the side and opening one eye. The chronometer blinked at him, almost mockingly, and Shepard slapped at his chest in irritation. "Honey, it's quarter to five!" he complained, his hands alighting on her hips as she straddled him, knowing his complaints were never going to slow her. His eyelids closed again as her warm, slick heat surrounded him.

"And you've got to go in half an hour," she replied. "I'll miss you."

He rolled his hips slowly, taking his time with every movement, keeping his eyes closed. Their apartment was warm, the thin sheets bunching around his thighs and the small of her back. "It won't be long," he promised, eyelids fluttering open to catch sight of her, open-mouthed and watching him through long eyelashes, her arms pushing her breasts together as she supported her weight above him.

She pouted her lips when she caught him looking. "I'll still miss you."

"Ahh," he arched his back, pulling on her hips. Her head tipped backwards, exposing the underside of her throat, her hair falling back over her shoulders. The chronometer continued to flash, a pulse too slow for the flick of Shepard's fingers between them. He thought about the journey ahead of him, the few weeks he would spend apart from her as he oversaw the military components of Bastion Station.

Bastion, a station created from salvaged metal, Citadel fragments. It was going to be their home, the cradle of the civilisation they were rebuilding.

It would be protected. He would leave her for long enough to make sure of that.

Her hand ran over his cheek, sticky from her arousal and his. "Hey, you still in there?" she asked, leaning down to kiss him.

"Still," he promised, blinking up at her. Latching his fingers around her wrists, he drew her hands towards his chest, sighing as she lay down on top of him, resting her cheek on his shoulder. "Will you be okay while I'm gone?"

He could feel her smile, even if he couldn't see it. Sol was beginning to rise, Mars dust scattering the light. Their bedroom felt greyer than before, the orange glow of the chronometer washed out by the dawn. "I'll be fine," she murmured. "Will you be okay without me?"

Splaying his hand over the small of her back, he brushed his thumb in small arcs over her skin.

"Kaidan?" she lifted her head, propping her elbow against the pillow and resting her cheek on her hand. "You okay?"

He pressed his lips together, enough to make her eyes grow sympathetic.

"It won't be long." she murmured, rubbing her nose against his.

"I know." He placed his hand at the nape of her neck and drew her down for a kiss.

"You be careful out there," she said when they parted.

He smiled, brushing hair back from her face. "What could go wrong?"

"I don't know." She scrunched up her face, admitting the paranoia he didn't own to. "But . . . stay sharp out there."

"You too." He glanced at the chronometer as the alarm started to beep and sighed, patting her lightly on the ass. "Come on, up you get. I swear to God Hackett knows when I'm late because of you."

She erupted into peals of laughter, rolling off him as he clambered from the bed. "Okay, now I'm officially turned off. Congratulations Kaidan."

He bowed as headed for the shower. "Maybe your hormones will have come back in a week."

Re: Nine Particular Worries of Kaidan Alenko 4/?


Moar, plz?

Nine Particular Worries of Kaidan Alenko 5/?

"Well, what about Vega?"

Kaidan sat back in his chair, feeling as though they'd been here before. Hackett reached for the coffee pot and poured himself some fresh.

The other admiral at the table, suggesting Vega, leaned forwards, her brows pinching together in irritation. "His jacket is good," she added, a touch defensively. "He can get the job done, that's what we need."

Hackett was busying himself with the creamer. Kaidan clasped his hands on the table and tried not to be distracted by the cruiser outside the window. Honestly, he was surprising himself by how quickly he was adapting to life on Bastion. It would feel . . . strange . . . to be back on Mars. "Vega is a good soldier," Kaidan agreed at last. "I've worked with him. But we need someone who's used to dealing mixed species teams."

"And Vega's not?" Jane interrupted. "He served with you on the Normandy!"

Kaidan nodded his head once. "But Riley commanded a mixed species team out in Terminus systems for months. She knows how to lead, out there, on her own." He glanced at Hackett, watching them both. "She's my choice for this."

Hackett's eyes flicked to Jane and then back to Kaidan. He cupped his hands around the coffee mug. "It's Riley's mission," he said at last. "Give the order."

Kaidan met Jane's gaze and offered her a rueful smile as she made a note on her pad. She only shook her head and moved on to the next item on the agenda. He sighed. The soldier was a prickly woman, but he liked her well enough. He didn't want to undermine her, or imply that she didn't know the people she commanded, but . . . Vega was the wrong choice. Not that he'd ever let Vega know about the mission he'd missed out on.

Jane waited for him as they wrapped up their session, her uniform wrinkling as she crossed her arms tightly across her chest. "Since you shot me down, Alenko, fancy a drink?" she asked. "I promise not to do anything Shepard wouldn't like," she added with a wink.

He grinned. "Where are we going to find a drink?" he gestured to the deserted corridors of Bastion, where the occasional salarian engineer could still be seen making the final connections between the stations multiple systems. Bastion was strange, not quite unnerving, but certainly unexpected. He'd seen enough abandoned ships and planets in his time, but Bastion was something different. Bastion just . . . wasn't finished.

"We could find somewhere," Jane said with a shrug.

"Well, I'd love to, but I'm afraid I still have some business to settle before I catch the next flight back to Mars." He was grateful for Jane's easy shrug. Evidently she'd made her efforts towards conciliation and wasn't going to push for anything more. She waved and let him go without further comment. He crossed Bastion's core ring, looking up at what would eventually be a simulated blue sky. He'd heard they planned on having a weather cycle, sometimes storm clouds, lightning, day and night. At the moment, it was a blank ceiling with cords of holographic projectors.

Bastion had been modelled on the Citadel, although much smaller and more modular. The plan was to add to the wards as time, population and money allowed. The new Council would be based here, while Alliance Parliament would remain on Mars. That meant it would become his home.

The quarters reserved for himself and Shepard were a sprawling apartment in the most prestigious section of Bastion's inner circle. He found the rooms abandoned by construction workers, the plastic protective coating still on the fittings in the kitchens, a few of the items they had ordered delivered but not installed. He took a quick look at the master bedroom, noticing the large bed that was still wrapped and new. He wondered if any construction worker had ever been tempted to try out the bed, but the mattress looked pristine under its protections.

Nine Particular Worries of Kaidan Alenko 5.25/?

The front door chimed and opened, a voice calling his name.

"Hackett?" he responded, returning to the hallway.

Hackett dismissed his two marines and they took up an at-ease position outside the doors. "Thought I might find you here," Hackett said, entering the living room and scanning the bare walls. "Everything here that should be?"

"Everything that I think we ordered," Kaidan said with a shrug.

Rubbing a hand along his chin, Hackett nodded. "How do you feel it went in there today?"

"About Riley?" Kaidan raised his eyebrows. "Well, I'm glad you backed me, sir, she's the right one for the mission."

Hackett's scar twitched with his cheek, but he only nodded. "I'm glad to hear it. Looking forward to getting back to Mars?"

He grinned. "Am I that obvious?"

At that, Hackett softened slightly, a warmth creeping into his eyes and smile. "To someone who knows you, Kaidan."

Kaidan nodded. "Well, since you put it like that. I was talking to Shepard last night on the QEC. We would have liked to tell you this together, but she thinks a reporter might have gotten wind of it. We want you to hear it from us, not the news." He took a moment, something inside him wanting to savour this. "Shepard's pregnant."

Hackett took a step backwards, his jaw dropping. In the space of a heartbeat he moved with the speed of a soldier, seizing Kaidan by the shoulder, his hands tight. "Kaidan . . . that's . . ."

Kaidan felt a laugh inside him and he gripped the older man's elbow. "Yeah. It's something."

Hackett's eyes grew suspiciously cloudy and his grip slackened for a moment. "Congratulations, Kaidan, that's wonderful news. When? How long till the baby - is it a boy or a girl? Have you got something to drink around here?" Hackett recovered himself enough to move towards the kitchen, living in hope of the construction workers taking a few breaks here and there. Kaidan followed.

"She's due in another four months, give or take. We'd rather find out the old fashioned way."

Hackett's search of the cupboards came up short and he scowled. "Is that why you're so eager to head back? Hold on, Lewis!" he hollered on one of his marines, the young man scrambling to leave the entrance hallway. "Find me a bottle of whiskey or something, immediately."

Lewis threw a salute but hesitated. "Sir, I-" he glanced back to his fellow.

"Son, I'm with Prime Spectre Kaidan Alenko, you really think something's going to happen to me?" Hackett snapped. "Go!"

Kaidan leaned against one of their shiny new counters and watched the marine scurry off.

"Have to celebrate right," Hackett said to him.

Kaidan must have hesitated a moment too long because Hackett's grey-blue eyes narrowed and he approached. "How you feeling about it Kaidan?"

"Ah," he shrugged. "Everyone assures me this is normal new father worries." He couldn't help looking towards the hallway where Hackett's one marine remained. He kept his voice low. "I don't know. I'm more worried about Shepard than she is."

"What does Chakwas say?" Hackett asked, matching his volume.

"Physically, she's fine. But . . . you know how she was after Victory Day. Sometimes it's like she's forgotten all that."

"Maybe that's for the best," Hackett said softly.

"Maybe," Kaidan agreed. "But she was a mess, and it doesn't feel that long ago. She tried to kill Chambers once. For a while there, I wasn't sure if I'd ever get her back."

Hackett's face sobered and he ran his fingers along the line of his scar as he thought. "Do you think she would hurt the baby?"

His head snapped up so fast his neck hurt. To hear that fear articulated was . . . "No," he said, the thought evaporating like morning mist. "No, I don't. I trust her." One of the weights that had been resting on his chest alighted.

Hackett nodded in satisfaction. He sighed softly, staring out the tall windows at Bastion's version of the Presidium. "Did you know, Jane was nearly a Spectre instead of Shepard?"

"What?" His mind raced to make the connection between his wife and the Admiral he'd been arguing with today.

"Yes. Udina, Anderson and I came up with a shortlist. Shepard was on it, and Jane, and John Doe, did you ever meet him? They called him the Butcher of Torfan."

"I never met him," Kaidan said softly.

Nine Particular Worries of Kaidan Alenko 5.5/?

"They were all potential candidates," Hackett said. "I sometimes wonder what would have happened if we had chosen Jane, or John, instead."

For a moment, Kaidan imagined seeing Jane walk on to the Normandy that day, instead of the woman he now called his wife. Instead of his wife's quick smile and laughter, Jane's snappy wit would have led them into battle all those times. It would have been Jane holding it together for the sake of her crew, when all seemed lost. Would it even have been her crew? Could anyone but Shepard cajole and threaten krogan?

"So why was it Shepard?" he asked.

"A combination of small factors," Hackett said with a shrug. "She was closest to Anderson. She was most acceptable to Udina, an easy sell. And I knew I could trust her. I remember the three of us sitting down to discuss it. Udina said 'what about Shepard', and the fate of the galaxy was decided."

Kaidan glanced around as Lewis returned with a bottle of whiskey. He turned to the cupboards, finding a few coffee-stained mugs and giving them a quick wipe down with his hand as Hackett thanked and dismissed Lewis, taking the bottle from him.

Hackett twisted the bottle's top off and poured them both a strong measure. "After Victory Day, for weeks afterwards, I wondered if I had made the right choice. If I could have spared Shepard that by giving it to Jane would I? Not knowing how Jane would do?"

"You don't think Jane or Doe would have made it?" Kaidan asked. "I know Shepard's good, but the war was fought by a lot of people." He sniffed at the whiskey in suspicion.

Hackett set the bottle on the counter and fixed Kaidan with his unnervingly steady stare. "If there's one thing I've learned, Kaidan, it's that things have a way of happening, regardless of how you think you've prepared for them. I think the stage changes, I know the players do, but the story is never too different."

Kaidan stared into the depths of his mug. "But it's the players who are the important part," he said quietly. "It's the players you care about."

"Exactly. Sometimes I wonder, would I have given the burden to Jane, if I had known what it would do to Shepard? Even if I personally believed that Shepard was the only one who could survive it? I don't know. Sometimes I think I owe it to Shepard. I took a lot from her."

Kaidan raised his mug to Hackett's, clinking the ceramic together. "I appreciate what you're trying to do, but if you're hoping I'm going to have a revelation, you'll be disappointed. How's a kid going to live with parents like us?"

Hackett just smiled. "I think the kid will do fine. Congratulations, Kaidan, sincerely."

Kaidan smiled and raised the mug to his lips. The whiskey was firy, and surprisingly dry as it slid down his throat, warming him from the inside.

Re: Nine Particular Worries of Kaidan Alenko 5.5/?

This story is so awesome and I can't wait to read more a!a! I am loving this a lot!

Nine Particular Worries of Kaidan Alenko 6/?

Month Six

"Admiral Alenko!" Allers always started like that, probably to remind her audience of who, exactly, she had the pleasure to be talking to. Kaidan had made a game of guessing her skirt length in these interviews and he reckoned today was a personal best on her front. It was more of a belt. Allegedly she had a devoted asari following and he was always tempted to ask Liara if that was the the truth. Allers' camera drone buzzed at him as it repositioned itself for a new angle. "I hear congratulations are in order."

He nodded his head. "Thank you."

"I'm sure the whole galaxy is excited for you," Allers added. "Do we get to know if it's a boy or a girl?"

He held a hand up to stall her. "Even we don't know that."

"I see." Allers glanced at her omnitool, checking her notes. "The Alliance plans for Victory Day are in full swing, what are Victory Day celebrations like in the Alenko-Shepard household?"

He wondered if Allers ever thought she should be invited to these things, the news crews were always clamouring for invites. But he and Shepard had always treated their celebrations as gold dust, meant for those they wanted to impress, diplomats needed to be kept sweet, envoys from races who needed to be seen as accepted. Reporters were strictly not allowed. He nodded at Allers. "They're a little crazy, I have to admit. Anyone within a month's travel time comes round. Councillor Zorah makes a mean dextro based pie, so I'm told."

Allers laughed in a perfunctory sort of a way. A few of the passing dignitaries outside the parliament chambers looked around to see what the reporter might find so amusing.

Kaidan nodded to the camera. "Between you, me and the gate post, this might be the first Victory Day celebrations Councillor Shepard actually remembers. We've had to order in a lot less booze this year."

This time Diana laughed for real. He could see her pupils narrowing, that little joke was going to get this interview played again and again. Good.

"But we have a lot of 'smaller' parties before Victory Day," Kaidan continued smoothly. "There's a lot to celebrate. This week commemorates the peaceful end of the so-called Twilight War, between the geth and quarians, you'll remember Diana. We always celebrate that. It's a good day."

Allers was nodding, her fingers speeding over her omnitool as she worked. "Then I suppose you don't mind commenting on the fact that the intention is to install Bastion station with a fully functioning and actualised Artificial Intelligence? That doesn't seem very safe, Admiral."

Bingo. He could have kissed her. "Diana, do you think I'd want to raise my child somewhere that wasn't safe? Progress is still a work-in-progress, if you don't mind the pun, but we're convinced he's the way forward. Artificial Intelligences are not our enemy, and we will not be afraid of them." He clasped his hands behind his back, standing a little straighter for a moment. He'd seen his wife do this countless times but it wasn't until he'd hit Spectre and seen his own interviews that he realised why. It was a great shot to end on. "If you'll excuse me, Diana, I've still got some things to tidy up before the party starts."

"Not at all," Allers assured him smoothly. "Thank you for your time, Admiral. And congratulations again."

He nodded and kept his smile until he was out of sight of the cameras. Was it Allers who leaked the news of Shepard's pregnancy? He wasn't sure, they couldn't know really. But if he'd had to bet . . .

Nine Particular Worries of Kaidan Alenko 6.3/?



Over the next few days he barely saw Shepard and when he did it was ships passing in the night, a kiss in the kitchen or a quick, breathless attempt to feel the baby kicking, which always seemed to happen exactly when he had his hands full and then exhausted itself when he splayed his palm on her distended stomach.

But it was worth it. For tonight. For the continued delight of Tali and the other quarians. To hear Garrus try and convince Vega that being Archangel was better than an N7 commendation. He was pulled in for a dance with Kasumi, the tiny little woman surprisingly strong as she insisted he had been neglecting her.

"I guess I have," he agreed, "but are you sure you're not just trying to keep out of Bau's sight?"

Kasumi laughed in delight, spinning under his arm. "Spectres," she muttered. "Your kids are going to have some trouble sneaking in at night."

"Kids?" he repeated. "There's just one at the moment, Kas."

"At the moment." She stood on her very tiptoes to kiss him on the cheek in gratitude for the dance. He wrapped his arms around her waist and hugged her briefly.

He noticed his wife talking with the raloi envoys, trying to make them feel as though they belonged, so he went for Tevos and Liara, hoping their archaeologist wouldn't be stirring up any trouble. Tevos spotted him a mile off, relief passing over her face, and she greeted him loudly. "Admiral, it's very good to see you, congratulations!"

"Yes, congratulations," Samara chimed in, materialising at his elbow with a drink for Tevos in one hand.

"Thank you, both of you," he said.

"We'll continue this discussion later," Liara told Tevos, her chin tilted high. "But I'm still very concerned, this 'poor cousin' of the galaxy mentality will not help us. We would do better to share what we know." And she gave Kaidan a pointed look as she walked off.

Tevos sagged against Samara's shoulder, "Thank you," she whispered to Kaidan. "I don't believe Dr T'Soni truly realises the problems our people face."

Samara cleared her throat before Kaidan could respond. "We will not discuss politics when we have been invited into Shepard's home," she said firmly. Tevos nodded, flushing slightly.

With politics off the table, chit-chat seemed confined to the impending baby, with Samara and Tevos offering asari titbits of knowledge and Tevos managing three jabs at Liara's way of raising Rallik within ten minutes. He extracted himself by feigning concern for Shepard's welfare - "Yes she's been on her feet all day, if you'll excuse me?" - and wondered that if he and Shepard still had parents their older friends would feel that they could back off. Or perhaps they'd just have even more advice to contend with.

Nine Particular Worries of Kaidan Alenko 6.6/?

He approached Shepard from behind while she was talking spiritedly with Sparatus and Victus. He laid a hand on her hip to announce his presence and she managed a breathless grin mid-tirade before continuing, "and then I had to go back to Qui'in and beg on my damned knees for him to testify. I think he realised he was never going to shake me so he agreed. And that, gentlemen, is how I brought down Anoleis." She finished with a triumphant clap of her hands.

Kaidan laughed. "That old one?" he asked.

"They asked," she defended herself, sidling closer to him. "How's it going?"

"I think Liara's on the warpath," he said, and Sparatus snorted in agreement. He studied his wife's face for a moment. "Do you want anything?"

"Well if you're offering, I really want an orange juice. Well actually I really want a batarian uncut ale but I'll settle for juice," she said.

"In your condition you need extra vitamins from fruit juices," Sparatus announced, his mandibles flaring in a turian announcement of authority. "And mineral supplements."

Kaidan knew he was staring but couldn't help himself. Shepard laughed. "Sparatus! Have you been checking up on me?"

Sparatus nodded gravely. "Of course. I can't afford to lose my best ally while Councillor Korlack insists on pushing his reparations bill through."

Shepard laughed. "Yeah, ally," she drawled. "Does that mean you'll support my petition for the raloi to have a dreadnought?"

Sparatus bobbed his head a few times, a turian laugh. "Well you do insist on giving every race a seat on the Council, Shepard, I figure you can reap some of those benefits instead," he said.

Kaidan left them to it. When he returned with the orange juice they were still playing their games of one-upmanship.


She found him the next morning sprawled on the couch with the remainder of the salmon pastries on a plate balanced on his belly. She ran her hand through her hair as she surveyed the destruction left in the wake. "Does it always look this bad, or am I usually just hungover?"

He glanced up from his omnitool and took a quick inventory of the room. "It usually looks like this. Except sometimes you're under the table."

"Ugh," she muttered, rubbing her back as she padded through into the kitchen. "What are you reading?"

"Medical notes on pregnancy," Kaidan said, flicking to the next page. "I'll be damned if I'm going to be upstaged by Sparatus."

He caught sight of the smirk on her face before she turned to hide it. "Oh my God, have you seen the kitchen? Maybe we'll go out for lunch today," she called back to him.

"Sounds like a great idea, apparently exercise is very good for you," and he ducked the empty chip packet she lobbed at him.

Re: Nine Particular Worries of Kaidan Alenko 6.6/?

We're still here anon, and we miss you. ;3

Re: Nine Particular Worries of Kaidan Alenko 6.6/?

This anon has been reading this from the start. I don't alway remember to post a comment. I really do love this story!

Nine Particular Worries of Kaidan Alenko 7/?

Month Seven

The target was concealed within the Council chambers, curled up in the bay of one of the windows. Deimos twinkled far above her in the twilight, barely distinguishable from the stars and Kaidan paused for a moment, reconsidering the plan of attack.

Tali glanced around, catching his reflection in the glass. When she saw it was him she leaned back against the sweeping curve of the window sill, dark hair peeking out from behind the veil. He approached slowly, wondering if she might get up and leave, or announce she was feeling a cold coming on and lock herself up in her suit once more. He was surprised to see her face bared today, and it threw him.

"Hello, Kaidan," she said, as he took a seat on the wide sill beside her. "If you're looking for Shepard, she's still in her office." She looped her arms around her calves drew her knees up to her chest to rest her chin on them.

"Actually, I'm looking for you," he said.

Tali's dark eyes narrowed and she curled up a thin lip to reveal the dagger-like teeth quarians had kept hidden for so long. "Garrus send you?" she asked, her r's rolling like a purr, distress and unease coming off her in waves.

He nodded. "Yeah, apparently you're in need of a friend right now."

Tali laughed and nudged his boot with her toe. "Did he tell you why, or are you supposed to figure that part out yourself, Spectre?"

He shrugged and leaned back against the wall, siding down the curve of the sill a little. "I got the impression Garrus expected me to figure it out for myself. You've rattled him, Tali, what did you do?"

The quarian's eyes closed for a moment and she tilted her head back, exhaustion writ large on her features. Whenever she was unsuited, which happened more and more these days, he felt like a voyeur. To see her thoughts written on her face was an invasion of his friend's privacy. When she opened her eyes again, her lips curved in a half smile. "I think the quarians are going to split. Titan isn't enough for us, really."

He nodded, an unhappy ache settling in his chest at the thought. "Shep thinks as much. She's been trying but . . . I think part of her respects the quarians for wanting to go back to Rannoch."

"It is our home," Tali agreed quietly. Her arms tightened around her knees. "Garrus and I . . . have agreed to adopt."

"Tali," he breathed, the thought of his old friends with a baby - turian or quarian? - he couldn't keep the grin off his face. "That's great news," he said, the echo of the words so many had said to him causing Tali's face to crumple. "Oh . . . Tali . . ."

Shaking her head sharply, she reached up with gloved fingers to brush her pale cheeks. "It's okay," she protested, as he gathered her up in his arms. She gave up after a moment and relaxed into his chest, a hiccuping sob signalling the beginning of tears.

Kaidan didn't expect this was what Garrus had commissioned him for. He liked Garrus well enough, but Garrus was Shepard's friend. Their competitions and running jokes were almost impenetrable to the outside observer, their arguments could last for weeks, Shepard stomping about in a rage until Garrus finally caved or Shepard reconciled her opinions. Tali was like a sister lost to Shepard, another young woman shouldering too much, but Tali was his friend. It was no accident that Garrus had asked Kaidan to check on his wife, no accident that Shepard had chosen to reveal too much of the Council's inner workings to him when it came to the quarian people's plight.

Tali shook in his arms as her sobs worked their way out. Kaidan hoped no one came in and saw the quarian Councillor lose her composure in the arms of the Alliance Admiral. The front of his shirt grew damp and he stroked her back as she slowly regained control. "You know when he first asked," she said quietly, "I wondered if it was some kind of trick, or ploy. If he thought looking after a baby would keep me here when my people left."

"Tali," Kaidan murmured, kissing the crown of her head.

"I know," she murmured in shame. "How could I think that? Even for a moment?"

"We all have dark thoughts sometimes, Tali. You should hear some of the things I've been thinking lately."

Nine Particular Worries of Kaidan Alenko 7.5/?

"But you seem so happy," Tali said. She shifted so her back was against the glass and she could look up at him without breaking the embrace. "You both do, you're the perfect little couple for humanity. I don't even give that to my people, I have to fall in love with a damned turian."

He chuckled and she scowled at him. "Sorry," he offered. "I just . . . Shep and I are not perfect. I don't know how she's put up with me lately."

"Because she loves you," Tali said, as though it was obvious. "And Garrus loves me, keelah knows why." She sighed, folding her arms tightly over her chest and making herself as small as possible. "What do I do, Kaidan? Do I take Garrus away from his planet, from his family, from his friends, because some of my people think I should? Because the homeworld I won for them is so far away?"

Kaidan sighed, his breath rustling some of the short, fluffy dark hair that fell across Tali's forehead. She reached up to brush it back under her veil. "What do you want to do, Tali?"

Tali shrugged. "I don't know."

"Yeah, you do," Kaidan said softly. "You're just not used to asking for it. You're like Shepard, neither of you ever take a moment for yourselves."

"Well, you and Garrus take care of that for us," Tali said with a smile. She groaned, covering her face with her hands. "I want to be here, Kaidan. This is my home. You are my home, all of you. There will be quarians here, there will be quarians on Titan, and I am the Councillor, I have to be here for my people, so we do not withdraw from the Council again. We have a place here, and we have a place across the galaxy."

Kaidan dug his fingers into her ribs, making her squirm and squeal. "Nice sentiments, Councillor," he drawled. "What do you want?"

She sighed, "I want . . . to adopt a baby with Garrus. I want to rebuild. I want . . . a crystal ball so I can see what the future holds."

"Yeah," Kaidan agreed. "Let me know if you ever get that last one."

Tali nodded and clambered from her seat, turning back to extend a hand and help him up. "Are you really worried about the baby?"

"Terrified," he admitted, pulling himself to his feet.

Tali's eyes widened, and she patted him on the shoulder. "You'll be great at it, Kaidan. We all think so. And if you hurt Shepard at all, Wrex will kill you, so you can't afford not to be!"

Nine Particular Worries of Kaidan Alenko 8/?

Month Eight

"Aren't you supposed to have a nesting instinct?" Kaidan demanded, lifting the crates with biotics as Shepard tapped her fingers off her chin, considering the placement of the table again. It was an ancient thing, carved from Tuchankan wood in an old krogan style, and a gift from Bakara and Wrex. Kaidan would have liked it a little better if it wasn't made from a wood so dark as to be almost black. Their apartment on Bastion was almost universally grey and white. It was only now he realised he wanted colours. They had lived so long on Mars' red surface that Bastion seemed cold and drab in comparison.

"This is nesting," Shepard said. "I don't know, I think maybe it is better in the hallway."

Kaidan lowered the crates carefully. "I did say so."

Shepard said nothing, her lips pressed in a tight line, her hand rubbing her back. He hesitated, his fists clenching. If he asked, she'd brush him off with an excuse or underplay it. The pain he knew she could handle, he wished she wouldn't have to, but it could be weathered. What hurt him now was the fear he saw. Not on her face, not in the line of her fingers on her back or anywhere so obvious and telegraphed. He saw it in her silences, the laughs that didn't come, the absence of a smile when he met her gaze.

The door opened and he heard the distinctive tread of krogan feet. Since Victory Day celebrations they had been hosting their krogan delegates. Allegedly, it was for the opening of Bastion, for diplomacy, for remembering the fallen.

It was for Shepard.

Wrex was carrying one of their latest with them, a hatchling that had somehow curried favour with Bakara and been awarded the title Urdnot Mordin. Bakara stamped her foot and snorted when she spotted Shepard on her feet. "What are you doing up?" she demanded. Her gaze darted to Kaidan. "You allowed this?"

"Allowed," Kaidan muttered, but keeping his indignation quiet.

"Sit. Now," Bakara ordered. "This is why we're here. You direct us from the sofa," she added. She lifted Shepard easily, something that not even Wrex would have had the quads to do, and deposited the Councillor on the cushions.

Kaidan lifted the table with his biotics once more, carrying it back to the hallway while Wrex followed. "Why Bakara's here," Wrex said. "I just do what I'm told." He shifted the weight of Mordin in his arms, checking to see if she was still sleeping. Kaidan set the table down and fine-tuned it's position with muscle instead of powers. Wrex watched in silence, the gears turning with an almost audible grumble. Kaidan was willing to wait him out. The krogan was building to something, had been trying to get Kaidan on his own since he'd arrived, but never quite coming to what he wanted to say.

"Just let him ask you, whatever it is," Shepard had whispered the other night. "In his own time. He'll work up to it."

"But why me? Why not just say it to you?"

"Because it's not for me. It's for you." She had leaned against his shoulder and pulled his hand round to her stomach. "Baby's kicking. Baby agrees."

He felt the baby stirring under her skin, strong, fighting the problematic eezo surges like Shepard was.

The moment seemed to pass for Wrex and the big krogan returned his attention to the sleeping baby. When the door chime went again, Kaidan greeted Liara and Javik, noticing Tali and Garrus further down the street. He stood against the door to keep it open, grinning as Garrus fussed over the small, scraggly little turian in his arms. Things moved fast, in this galaxy. It didn't take long to find an orphaned turian who needed safety and security. And Tali's face was bright when she passed him in the hall.

"How's our girl?" Garrus asked as he stopped to return the greetings.

"I'm glad Bakara's here," Kaidan answered, and Garrus nodded. Kaidan found himself captured by the bright blue eyes of Rael. The little turian had been picked up from a colony orphanage, a baby given away by an anonymous mother. Maybe she couldn't look after him, maybe she wouldn't. Rael had lived in that orphanage for a year and a half, and now he was living on Bastion, would be the turian child everyone looked to, the model of their society.

Nine Particular Worries of Kaidan Alenko 8.5/?

Kaidan extended his hands. "Come on, I barely got to play during the party," he said, and Garrus and Tali exchanged a smug look before Garrus handed Rael over.

"You'll have your own soon enough," Tali told him, linking arms with Garrus as they proceeded into the living room. "Oh you two have unpacked so much more than we have!"

"Maybe they had a plan and labelled their boxes," Garrus muttered. "Just a thought."

"I know exactly what's in every box," Tali responded.

Kaidan followed them, bouncing Rael in his arms as the little turian stared around at his surroundings with wide, startled eyes. The kid wasn't speaking yet, and according to the doctors might not speak for a while. Orphanages were under strain, care was not optimal.

Kaidan tightened his arms around the little creature, feeling his soft plates give slightly. Rael laid his head on Kaidan's shoulder, drawing his thumb up to his mouth. He walked towards the window, pointing out to the lake that was still being filled and the sky that was still a blank wall. "You see that? There's going to be fish in there. We were promised fish."

Rael pointed to the glass with his free hand and chirruped.

He turned his head to see Shepard watching them from the sofa, her eyes unreadable. He smiled and she smiled back, her hand on her stomach. Then their baby fought another pulse of biotics and Shepard shivered in pain, her eyes closing, her face impassive as she fought the sensations.

"What are we looking at?" Tali asked as she approached. "What do you see, Rael?"

Kaidan grinned as Rael looked over, identifying his new mother immediately and extending both arms, determined to be held by his mother and not just another human stranger. Kaidan relinquished his his charge and crossed the floor to Shepard, leaning down to kiss her forehead. "You want anything?"

"For this baby to be born," she said, and she tugged him down beside her as their friends gathered round. "And also I think I want that table through here."

Re: Nine Particular Worries of Kaidan Alenko 8.5/?

Aww, so many babies! <3 <3
I love this story so much! Really can't wait for next parts and the conclusion :) Great job, a!a!

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