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Anniversary

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Art by the ever wonderful Angmarluna!

 

Kaidan glanced at the old-fashioned clock hanging over the fireplace, then back at the message on his omni-tool with a frown.

Fucking flight delayed again. Looking at 02:00 landing now. Damn it. Can’t find anything getting into London any time sooner that’s not already overbooked. Shit. K, I’m sorry.

He dropped down to the couch, letting the duffle slip from his fingers and land on the floor with a thump. He wasn’t even mad anymore, just resigned. An overwhelming sense of weariness swept over him and he typed back a quick reply.

Not your fault, James. Just sit tight and be safe. We’ll make it up tomorrow night. Love you.

After sending the message, Kaidan slumped back against the couch, reaching up to run a hand through his hair and wondering if he looked as bedraggled as he felt. It had been a hell of a day. He and James had both been out on assignment for the past six months, Kaidan bouncing around the galaxy on SPECTRE business while James was busy training N7 recruits in Rio. When they realized they were going to be apart on their tenth anniversary, they’d scrambled to rearrange their schedules so they could both take a few days off to celebrate together.

At least, that had been the plan.

He glanced at the clock again and let out an audible sigh. It read twenty to midnight, which meant the day was almost over. Despite trying to set it up so they’d both be home by noon, they’d now managed to go almost their entire anniversary without even getting to see one another. If Kaidan was a different sort of man, he’d be raging about how unfair it was.

As it was, he was already feeling a little bit guilty at being relieved that he wasn’t the only cause of their disrupted plans. When his initial departure from the rebuilt Arcturus Station was delayed by a slew of last-minute meetings he couldn’t get out of, he dreaded relaying the news to James. But it seemed that fate or luck or the universe in general was against them. Because not only did Kaidan’s return home get pushed back, but an unexpected and severe system of storms moved in across the Atlantic and was wreaking havoc with travel plans all up and down the coast of South America.

“You’d think in this day and age, this sort of thing wouldn’t be a problem for us anymore,” he muttered to the empty room. “I mean, come on, we can travel through space. Hopping around one planet shouldn’t be such an issue.”

He stayed on the couch grumbling for a few more minutes before finally shoving himself up again and heading up the stairs to the bedroom. Might as well go to sleep. James would be home when he would be home, and they could still celebrate together. They both had the rest of the weekend off, after all. He tried not to be too upset that they couldn’t have the actual day together. It was just a number on a calendar, right? As he brushed his teeth, he did his best to ignore the churlish voice in the back of his head saying a celebration on a different day just wasn’t the same.

~~

Kaidan woke to strong arms circling around him, pulling him close for a tight hug. Warm lips and scratchy stubble nuzzled his neck and ear. “Happy anniversary, mi amor.”

Still groggy from sleep, he wasn’t able to bite back a grumpy, “Not our anniversary anymore.”

James laughed, a low rumble that Kaidan could feel, and kissed his temple. “You sure about that?”

Confused, Kaidan sat up, then glanced at the clock where James was pointing. “Nine o’clock?” His brow furrowed. He didn’t think he’d slept that long, and it sure as hell didn’t feel like morning already.

Another laugh from James, and then, “Twenty-one hundred hours, Vancouver time. Still our anniversary.” At Kaidan’s look of surprise, James pulled him into another hug. “We met in Vancouver. Got married there. Only seems fair we get to celebrate on their schedule, yeah?”

Kaidan grinned and let out a laugh of his own. “Yeah,” he agreed, leaning in to kiss James. He’d grown up outside of Vancouver, after all, and James was from California. If either one of them had a native time zone, that was it. “Totally fair,” he added as he pulled back. “Happy anniversary.”

“You hungry?”

Kaidan started to protest that there was no way he could eat at, what, four o’clock in the morning, but before he could say anything his stomach gave a loud rumble. It occurred to him that he couldn’t remember the last time he’d eaten an actual meal. With all of the running around all day, he hadn’t exactly had time for food, other than the occasional snack grabbed here or there. “Yeah,” he said, kissing James’ cheek, “I could eat.”

“Cool,” James said, stealing a kiss of his own. He climbed off the bed and moved to the door, waiting for Kaidan to throw on a pair of sweats and an old t-shirt before leading the way downstairs to the kitchen.

His stomach rumbled again as the smells of food reached his nose, and Kaidan quickened his steps, elbowing his way past James to get to the bottom of the stairs. An amused chuckle followed him down. He reached the kitchen and stopped in the doorway, eyes going wide as he took in the meal spread out on the table. All of their favorite breakfast foods were there: the huevos rancheros James had learned from his abuela to make (God bless her, Kaidan thought), along with tortillas, beans, and rice. There were also hash browns, buttermilk biscuits, sausage, and a heaping pile of bacon. Tucked in around the dishes, he saw salsa, guacamole, butter, honey, and even a small jar of maple syrup.

“How long have you been home?” Kaidan asked, staring at the feast. Where had all of it even come from? He was positive there hadn’t been anything in the fridge, not with them both gone for the last few months.

“’Bout an hour,” James answered, moving behind him and wrapping his arms around Kaidan’s waist in a tight hug. “Called the all night grocery on my way home and scheduled the delivery to get here when I did.” He kissed the side of Kaidan’s neck before resting his chin on his shoulder, big and warm against Kaidan’s back. “Was gonna let you sleep and just get up and make us a big breakfast, but,” his stomach finished the sentence by letting out a loud growl of its own.

“But you were hungry,” Kaidan laughed, leaning back into him.

“Yeah,” James agreed, “I was. But that wasn’t really it.” He shifted, turning Kaidan a little in his arms so he could kiss him properly. “Missed you, K. Didn’t want to just climb into bed and not even say hi. Then I got the idea about changing the clocks, and…”

Kaidan turned the rest of the way around, cupping James’ face between his hands and pulling him close for another kiss. “I missed you, too.”

James dropped his forehead against Kaidan’s and squeezed him in another hug, holding him tightly. “Been too long,” he muttered. After a moment, he broke the embrace and gave Kaidan a gentle push toward the table. “Come on, don’t let it get cold.” He ambled over to the fridge and opened it up, pulling out the finishing touch: a six-pack of Kaidan’s favorite beer. He opened a bottle for each of them and then dropped into his own chair, piling a plate high with food.

They were mostly quiet while they ate, and it wasn’t until Kaidan had fetched them each a second beer that they bothered with conversation again. “How’s the new batch of recruits looking?”

Pendejos,” James snorted. “All of ‘em. Little shits think they’re such hot stuff, getting into N school. Gotta train that out of ‘em before they’re good for anything real.”

“Imagine that,” Kaidan drawled, trying not to laugh, “soldiers talented enough for N training being cocky. If that’s a requirement, I can’t imagine how they ever let you in.”

James barked out a laugh and tossed a biscuit at Kaidan, who caught it with his biotics before it got anywhere near his face. “Hey,” James pretended to protest, “when I was in N school we’d all just survived a war against a galactic menace. We’d earned the right to be proud of ourselves.”

Kaidan chuckled as he buttered his biscuit and then drizzled honey over it. “You don’t think they feel the same thing about whatever they’ve been through to get them into the program?” He still helped out the Alliance by training biotics from time to time, and he’d seen enough of that in his own students.

“’Course they do,” James said, dipping a sausage link in some syrup before taking a bite. He chewed and swallowed before adding, “They wouldn’t be in Rio if they weren’t good. But it sure as shit doesn’t help with their training. So I’ve got to remind them that once they’re mine, they’re starting from zero again.” He shot Kaidan a grin. “My trainers did the same damn thing. Part of the job.”

“And I guess you’re pretty good at your job, huh?” Kaidan teased, reaching across the table to take James’ hand.

“Damn right, I am,” James agreed, squeezing Kaidan’s fingers. “Just wish that didn’t mean I have to spend so much time away from you.”

“I don’t know,” Kaidan said, voice softening, “I think we manage to make it work.”

“That we do, K,” James agreed, “that we do.” He lifted his bottle toward Kaidan in a toast. “Here’s to ten years behind us and many more to come.”

Kaidan returned the gesture, toasting to James as well. “Happy anniversary, love.”

“Happy anniversary,” James echoed. They both tipped back their beers to drink.

“This was a good idea, James,” Kaidan said, gesturing around the table. “Thank you. I know it’s silly, but…”

“But it just didn’t feel the same celebrating on a different day?” James nodded. “I know. I get it.” He shot Kaidan a sheepish smile.

“I’m glad you found a way to make it work,” Kaidan returned. “Maybe we should make this a new tradition.”

“I dunno, K. You’re getting a little up there. Not sure your stomach can handle too many of these big meals in the middle of the night.”

Kaidan rolled his eyes and pushed back from the table, gathering up empty dishes. “You’re not far behind me, James.” He nudged James’ shoulder on his way to the sink. There was a scraping of a chair behind him and when he turned around to get another load of dishes, he found James bringing a pile over as well. “Hey, I’ve got it,” he said. “You cooked.” They were both pretty handy in the kitchen, so they’d long ago decided it was fair to declare that whichever of them made the meal, the other one cleaned up after.

“Nah, I’ll help. It’s a special occasion. Doesn’t seem right for me to get to do the fun part all by myself and then leave you the chore. Besides,” he winked as he set down the dishes and went back to the table, “the sooner we’re done down here, the sooner we can go back to bed. Together.”

“You have a point,” Kaidan agreed, pretending to take a moment to think it over. Despite the late hour, now that his hunger was sated, Kaidan was starting to realize just how long it had been since he’d seen his husband. Going to bed together sounded like a fine idea indeed, and the sooner the better.

They made quick work of the cleaning up. Kaidan rinsed the dishes and loaded the washer while James put away the leftovers and wiped down the table. Once the kitchen was in good order and the dishwasher was humming away in its work, Kaidan held a hand out to James, pulling him close.

James went without argument, letting Kaidan wrap him up in his arms, sliding his own around Kaidan’s waist. He let out a contented sigh and tilted his forehead to meet Kaidan’s. “Long fucking day,” he murmured, soft enough that Kaidan wouldn’t have heard if it they weren’t standing so close. “But this,” he said, voice returning to its usual volume, “this makes it all worth it.” He squeezed Kaidan tighter.

“Any day that ends right here with you is worth it in my books,” Kaidan agreed. He tilted his head back, angling to catch James’ lips with his own. He took his time kissing him, savoring the sensation of their lips moving together, tongues tangling and sliding against each other. He slid his hands up, cupping James’ face, stubble scraping against his fingers.

James made an appreciative noise, pushing in closer, pressing their bodies together, pinning Kaidan against the counter. His hands moved up Kaidan’s back, pressing into sore muscles, releasing tension Kaidan hadn’t even realized was there. James shifted, trying to deepen the kiss even more, and Kaidan gasped as James’ cock brushed his own. Even through their pants, he could feel his husband’s eagerness, and from the moan James let out, he knew his own was obvious as well.

“Upstairs,” James muttered, half plea, half demand.

“Mmm, I don’t know,” Kaidan drawled. “It’s been a while since we’ve done this in the kitchen.”

James let out an amused snort. “Because the last time we did, someone complained about his back for the next week. And the time before that, we were finding pieces of broken coffee mugs for at least a month after. Not to mention-.”

“All right, all right,” Kaidan laughed, pulling James in for another kiss, then another. “The bed is good.”

“It’s better than good, mi amor,” James returned, peppering a trail of kisses along Kaidan’s jaw to his ear.

Kaidan rumbled his assent and James pulled back, one hand tracing around Kaidan’s shoulder and down his arm to link their fingers together. He turned to lead Kaidan out of the kitchen, pulling him along in his wake.

They lumbered up the stairs together and James pulled Kaidan into the bedroom. Kaidan had to bite back a laugh at the sight of James all but bouncing in anticipation. It really had been too long. Somewhere in the back of his mind a voice spoke up, saying maybe it was time to do something about that. He shushed it and redirected his attention to his husband. The voice wasn’t wrong, but now wasn’t the time to think about it. Now was a time to just enjoy being reunited with the love of his life after a long separation.

James started to lift up his t-shirt, but Kaidan put out a hand to stop him. “Let me,” he said, grinning at James’ quick compliance. He took his time about undressing James, teasing the hem of his shirt out of his pants, sliding his hands up underneath it, running his fingers along the muscles in James’ chest and letting the fabric rake up around his wrists.

James let out a low moan of appreciation, leaning into Kaidan’s touch. Kaidan’s heart sped up at the sound and he stole a quick kiss before urging James to lift his arms and pulling the shirt the rest of the way off. James moaned again when Kaidan dropped his hands down to his pants, then growled when Kaidan let go of him again and took a step back. “Should probably get rid of the shoes first, love,” he murmured. That got a mollified grunt of agreement, and James dropped down to sit on the edge of the bed, fumbling with the knots of his laces in his hurry to take off his sneakers. Kaidan watched in amusement, waiting until James had balled up his socks and tossed them in the direction of the dirty clothes hamper before speaking again. “That’s better,” he said as James looked up at him. “Now come here.”

James pushed himself off the bed so fast he almost collided with Kaidan, who had moved closer when he started to stand. They shared a laugh and James wrapped his arms around Kaidan’s waist, pulling him in for a tight hug. “You’re enjoying this,” he accused before pulling back enough to steal a kiss of his own, teeth pulling at Kaidan’s lower lip in a gentle tug before letting go.

“Aren’t you?” Kaidan settled his hands on James’ hips, waiting for the grin of agreement before letting his fingers slide along the waistband, coming to a stop at the button. He held James’ eyes as he undid the button, relishing the catch in his husband’s breath as he slid down the zipper, then pushed down his pants. He slipped his fingers under the elastic of James’ underwear, smirking when James’ eyes dropped shut, and the underwear followed the pants to the ground.

James let go of Kaidan to step out of the rest of his clothing, kicking it to one side. Kaidan took a step back, eyes wandering over James’ form, drinking in the sight of him. His gaze traced every line of ink, every edge of muscle, every scar, reacquainting himself with the oh-so familiar body after a long separation. There were a few new scars, he noted as he finished his inspection. He’d have to get James to tell the stories that went with them. Later, though. He licked his lips, lifting his eyes to meet James’ and melting a bit at the eagerness he found there.

“Do I get to return the favor, or you gonna give me a show?”

Kaidan laughed. “What’s your preference?”

“Hmm.” James pretended to think it over. He winked at Kaidan and then dropped back down to sit on the bed, leaning back on his elbows to make sure he was fully on display. “Show sounds nice.” He shifted on the bed, his cock twitching as Kaidan reached for the hem of his shirt. James cleared his throat. “Make it a quick one, though, yeah? I think I’m ready for the main attraction to start.”

Kaidan nodded and pulled his shirt off at last, tossing it into the hamper with a neat little swish. James whistled his appreciation, eyes raking over Kaidan in the same way Kaidan had looked at him a few minutes before. He pushed down his sweats, stepping out of them and kicking them to join James’ clothes on the floor. He only hesitated for a moment before getting rid of his own underwear as well.

James held out a hand and Kaidan went to him, linking their fingers together as he climbed up on the bed. He straddled James and wrapped his free hand around the back of his neck, bringing their lips together in a hungry kiss, letting his forward momentum carry him forward until he had pushed James back on the bed and was lying on top of him.

James kissed back, just as hungry, and bucked up against Kaidan. He slid a hand between them, fingers tracing along Kaidan’s cock. His thumb swept lightly over the head before wrapping Kaidan up in a firm grip, pumping his fist and drawing a strangled groan from Kaidan as he pulled back to break the kiss.

“God, I’ve missed you,” Kaidan panted as he dropped his forehead to James’ and pushed himself up a little, giving James more space to move. He had to slide his hand free of James’ neck to do it, his other hand still linked with James’ in a tight grip. Finally being together again after all of this time, neither of them wanted to let go. He was close to coming; he could feel the pressure building up already. He almost let James finish him off, but he wasn’t in the mood for quick and dirty. He’d been waiting all day—hell, he’d been waiting months—and he wanted to make tonight last as long as he could.

He leaned in and caught James’ earlobe between his teeth, loving the moan James loosed when he tugged at it. He managed to slip his fingers free, pressing a reassuring kiss to James’ jaw when he tried to protest, and he placed his palm on James’ chest, right over his heart. “I have an idea,” he whispered.

“Oh?” James’ hand slowed on Kaidan’s cock as his attention shifted.

“Mmhmm,” Kaidan said, concentrating. The familiar tingle of his biotics washed over him, and James gasped as he was surrounded by a shimmering blue field of energy.

Dios,” James sighed. “Oh, that feels good.” His hand dropped away from Kaidan’s cock, fingers digging into the bedcovers as he arched into the sensation of being wrapped up in a biotic field.

Kaidan sat up, hand still covering James’ heart, and clambered off of his husband, kneeling beside him on the bed. He didn’t need to maintain the contact to keep up the field, but years of experimentation had taught him that it heightened the intensity of the sensation for both of them. James stared up at him, eyes full of want and need and, oh yes, challenge. Kaidan smirked. Concentrating on James’ heartbeat under his fingers—much faster than usual, he noted with a hint of smugness—he focused on the biotic field, letting it wash over James in waves, moving in time with his heart.

“Oh, Dios, si! Si, Kaidan!” James panted, his hips lifting from the bed as he arched up again. “Fuck,” he whispered, voice dropping as it always did when he was getting close to his climax.

“Do you want me to keep going,” Kaidan asked, “or-?”

“Don’t you dare stop,” James demanded, reaching up to wrap a hand around Kaidan’s wrist. “Please,” he added, no less demanding. “I’m so close.”

Kaidan chuckled and nodded, shifting down so that he lay next James, propped up on one elbow. He leaned over to kiss him and slipped his hand from James’ heart to his cock, wrapping his fingers around it and beginning to pump in a slow, steady rhythm. James bucked into his hand, spurring him on faster, but Kaidan didn’t give in. He did intensify the strength of the biotic field though, causing James to cry out in a sharp shout, cut off with a strangled groan as he came.

“Fuck,” he said again, hips dropping back down to the bed with an audible thud. “You have no idea how much I needed that.”

“I think I have some idea,” Kaidan said, arching a brow. He let the field fade, a slow ebb to bring James down gently.

James laughed. “Okay, maybe you do.” He levered himself up enough to cup a hand around the back of Kaidan’s neck, pressing a hard kiss to his lips. “Damn, K, I missed you.”

“Missed you too,” Kaidan murmured, running his fingers through the mess on James’ stomach with idle satisfaction. “You need a minute?”

James grunted, falling back to the bed again and throwing an arm over his eyes. “Used to be I’d already be on top of you by now, making sure you got yours just as good. This getting old shit is for the birds,” he grumbled.

Kaidan’s cock twitched at the thought of James’ reciprocation, but he laughed and shook his head. “Ah yes, you are so ancient.” He bent down to press a kiss to James’ cheek. “If you’re that old, what does that make me?”

“You’re not old,” James scoffed. He lifted his arm and looked Kaidan up and down with an appreciative glance. “Shit, I think you’re in better shape than I am these days. You’d think chasing after all those kids half my age would keep me in top form.”

Kaidan snorted. “If they’re in N school, there’s no way they’re only half your age.” He gave James an appreciative look of his own. To his eyes, James didn’t look any less fit than he’d ever been. More so, if he was being honest. He suspected it was just the fact of being around so many bright-eyed and eager recruits in a teaching position that was making him feel the years he had on them more than his actual age. “Besides,” he offered, a teasing note entering his tone, “I’d be willing to bet you could take any of them in a pull-up or push-up contest.”

James smirked at that. The gloomy mood that threatened lightened as Kaidan had intended. “Yeah,” he agreed. “Bet I could.” He pushed up on one elbow, rolling to face Kaidan. He reached out and trailed his fingers down Kaidan’s stomach, knuckles brushing against Kaidan’s flagging cock, renewing its interest in the proceedings. “How are you doing? Ready for round two?”

“Think I might be,” Kaidan grinned. “I should probably go grab the lube though.” He cleared his throat and shot James a questioning look. “That is, if you’re up for…”

James responded by cupping the back of Kaidan’s neck again, pulling him close for a searing kiss that sent thrills running through his body like flame. James might not have any biotics, but was more than capable of making Kaidan feel fireworks all the same. “Oh I’m up for it,” James growled. “Been looking forward to it all damn day.”

Kaidan chuckled at that and pulled back, face flushed with heat. “I’ll be right back,” he promised as he pushed himself off the bed.

“You’d better be.”

Kaidan laughed as he darted into the bathroom, heading straight for the drawer that held the lube. He probably should have put it in the drawer of the nightstand, but it had been in his toiletry bag and he’d been so tired by the time he got home, he hadn’t really been thinking. It worked out though, because the trip allowed him to grab a clean washcloth and run some warm water over it before returning to the bedroom.

James lay sprawled out on the bed, staring up at the ceiling with his hands laced together behind his head and a smug grin on his face. Kaidan had to stop and catch his breath at the sight of James on display for him like that. God, but he was beautiful. A bit battle-worn and rough around the edges, sure. But weren’t they all?

He climbed back up on the bed and knelt beside James again, bending over to give him a kiss on the forehead before moving to apply the washcloth to his stomach, cleaning up the evidence of their earlier efforts. James let out a contented sigh, relaxing even further. He turned his eyes to Kaidan and his smile softened. “C’mere,” he said when Kaidan finished, and tugged him down to curl up against him. They shared a slow, sweet kiss, just enjoying the press of their bodies together. “Missed this even more than the sex,” James rumbled.

“So you’re saying we should just call it a night now, then?” Kaidan teased, unable to hide a smirk at James’ answering growl.

“Oh, hell no.” He reached a hand between them circling Kaidan’s cock in a firm grip. “’M not done with you yet, tonight. Don’t think you’re done with me either.” He gave Kaidan a few hard strokes to emphasize his point.

Kaidan let out a strangled groan. “No,” he managed. “No, I’m really not.” Don’t think I ever will be. He pushed himself up again, moving around so that he was kneeling between James’ legs.

James let his thighs fall open wider, an eager grin crossing his face. “Good.”

Kaidan smiled and leaned over to press a kiss to the side of James’ thigh, popping open the lube as he did so. He coated his fingers and reached down to begin preparing him. As he worked, he kissed a line down James’ thigh, over his stomach, and up the other one. The fingers of his free hand trailed over James’ stomach, feather light touches that had him shivering. He settled down on the bed further, leaning to mouth at James’ cock—still soft but giving the occasional twitch of interest.

Kaidan played with James like that for a while, taking his time and enjoying the sight of his husband spread out for him, at his mercy. Still riding the bliss of his earlier orgasm, James was in no hurry, and Kaidan had always been a patient man. Some things were worth waiting for. Worth doing right.

By the time he judged James loose enough, James was hard again and starting to return to his demanding self. Kaidan smirked and coated his cock in lube. “You ready for me?”

Si, Kaidan. Fuck me already,” James moaned.

“Yes, sir,” Kaidan whispered, enjoying the shudder of lust that ripped through James at the response.

He settled into position and began pushing his way through the tight ring of muscle, bit by slow bit. James growled and tried to push down but Kaidan had a firm grip on his thighs, holding him in place until he was fully seated. He leaned forward, letting James rest his legs on his shoulders, then pulled back slowly before pushing in again. Repeating the movement a bit faster, he reached a hand, still slick from the lube, for James’ cock, pumping in time to his thrusts.

“Oh, fuck,” James hissed. His own hands were clenched tightly in the bedclothes, trying to hang on for dear life as Kaidan took him.

Kaidan stretched it out as much as he could, but it wasn’t long before even his patience snapped and he could no longer hold back. He let go, coming with a wild cry. For a few long moments, there was no sound but their harsh breathing, and the slippery noises of Kaidan’s hand still working at James’ cock. He managed to make himself slow his strokes as he pulled out, moving with as much care as he could. He shifted to let James’ legs drop down on either side of him again and renewed his efforts, bringing James off with a strangled shout before collapsing beside him on the bed.

“Damn,” he managed, after a few more long moments of harsh breathing had tapered off.

“Yeah,” James agreed, scooting over to snuggle against him, burying his face in Kaidan’s neck. “Yeah,” he said again, sliding an arm over Kaidan’s stomach.

Kaidan nodded in silent agreement. Maybe it was the endorphins talking, but he suddenly couldn’t remember what had ever possessed him to think it was a good idea to keep working at a job that kept him away from his husband for so much of the year. If anyone had asked him in that moment, he would have told them that the SPECTREs were overrated and he was more than ready for retirement. A nice, quiet retirement in Rio.

Good thing no one asked him in that moment.

Still, he mused as James reached across him and fumbled for the washcloth, maybe it is time to start thinking about a change.

“Washcloth’s cold now,” James complained with a grimace. He started to wipe himself off anyway.

“Want me to go get a new one?”

“That would mean letting go of you,” James objected, handing over the cloth for Kaidan to begin his own ablutions.

Kaidan snorted. “You’re gonna have to do that for us to get under the covers,” he pointed out.

“Like hell I am.”

“I’m not sleeping on top of the blankets, James.”

“’Course not,” James agreed.

“Then how-?”

James rolled on top of him, stopping the question with a kiss. He reached over and pulled down the blankets on the now empty half of the bed, then rolled back, taking Kaidan with him. He tugged down the blankets on the other side then, and with a little bit of kicking and squirming, they managed to get the blankets free and pulled over them. “See?” James beamed at him. “Snug as bugs.”

Kaidan laughed and kissed him. “I love you.”

“Love you, too, K.” He reached over to turn off the lamp, dropping the room into darkness. “Happy anniversary, mi amor. Dulce sueños.”

“Sweet dreams, James,” Kaidan echoed. “Happy anniversary.”