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Cherry Stems

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When Kaidan and Shepard were finally—finally—able to begin their life together, date nights became a staple of their relationship.

 Just a little over a year ago something as simple and normal as ‘date night’ seemed a far off fantasy; something relegated to their ‘one day’ talks that took up much of their time together. The Reapers were attacking, humanity as they knew it was on the brink of collapse, and Shepard was keeping up his tradition of almost dying every day. Kaidan didn’t think they’d have a chance for their one date on the Presidium, let alone making it a weekly thing they did whether they needed it or not.

 But a couple of near-death experiences, hospital visit after hospital visit, and some therapy sessions later, Shepard came home. And thus, their domestic life that they never thought they’d have the chance to enjoy was placed upon their lap, and date night became ‘a thing’.

 Sometimes it was a big affair. They’d get dressed up, go somewhere fancy and entirely too expensive, and enjoy the evening gazing lovingly into each other’s’ eyes, before venturing home where they made passionate love into the wee hours. Other nights it was simply them going down to a local bar to have a lager or two, watch whatever sports game was being broadcast on the screens above, before going home to have lazy, comfortable sex that never amounted more than a handjob and some excessive cuddling.

 Tonight was bar night.

 “I think that asari is checking you out,” Shepard mumbled, his attention focused on someone over Kaidan’s shoulder.

 Kaidan turned to look but was stopped by Shepard’s steady hand on his arm and a quick rebuke.

 “No, don’t look,” he said, chuckling. “She’ll notice you noticed and she’ll think it’s an invitation.”

 Kaidan settled back down and took a swig of his beer, finishing off the bottle. “Think she’ll buy me another one?”

 Shepard rolled his eyes. “You always did have a thing for asari.”

 “Oh and you don’t?” Kaidan replied.

 “Nah—too curvy,” he said, making a face. Reaching across the table he ran his fingertip down Kaidan’s arm briefly before grabbing his empty glass and placing it on the edge of the table. “I prefer my mono-gendered aliens to be a bit more angular. Dicks also help.”

 Kaidan laughed and slipped off his stool. “Going to get another beer—you want one?”

 Shepard seemed to consider it for a moment, attention flicking down to the vestiges of his beer before he shook his head. “Bring me back something different.”

 “Different?” Kaidan replied. Shepard wasn’t one for ‘different’ as of late, his entire life being turned upside down and shaken around so many times Kaidan wondered how he still managed to land on his feet. He preferred the familiar—familiar surroundings, familiar faces, familiar lagers…

 Shepard shrugged. “I dunno, different kind of beer or drink. Surprise me?”

 Kaidan nodded and let Shepard polish off the last of his before taking his glasses back to the bar, not wanting the bartender to have to leave his post behind the bar to do anything like clean the tables and service the customers.

 Heaven forbid.

 “What’ll it be?” the bartender asked, eyes puffy from lack of sleep. Kaidan saw him in every single time they were here, and began to suspect he was the only employee in the entire front of house.

 “Another lager and… uh…” he scanned one of the drink menus, trying to find something ‘different’ that would satisfy Shepard’s request, when he noticed a name scribbled at the bottom under the ‘non-alcoholic’ list, “And a Shirley Temple.”

 The bartender nodded and got to work, saying nothing of the peculiar drink choice.

 The asari did, however.

 “Shirley Temple, hm? What’s that?” she asked, eyes bright under the low lights of the bar.

 “It’s uh… it’s a fruity drink. No alcohol. Kids like it,” he explained, mindful of what Shepard had said earlier about her ‘checking’ him out.

 “Oh yeah? Is it for you or your friend?” she asked, smiling.

 Kaidan chanced a glance over his shoulder to see Shepard still perched on his stool, attention fixed on the screen above the kitchen doors, a boxing match on between two Krogan.

 “It’s for my partner. My… uh… my bondmate,” he said, feeling awkward using an asari term but wanting to get the information across to her that he wasn’t interested. Not that it wasn’t flattering, but he had someone to go home to—a someone who Kaidan was rather attached to.

The asari turned around and looked at Shepard, still smiling. “Is that him?” she inquired, genuine curiosity in her voice. “I thought he looked a bit familiar…”

 “He’s just got one of those faces,” he said quickly, not wanting to give away Shepard’s identity. They were both very private men, Shepard shying away from the attention immediately after the Reaper threat was stopped, wanting to live a life of solitude and peace after years of nothing but war. Kaidan had just always preferred the quiet life, and was more than happy to retreat alongside Shepard, the two enjoying their anonymity where they could.

 One of the reasons they picked this dive bar out of the hundreds of classier, posher ones that popped up in Vancouver over the course of the rebuild.

 “It’s funny—I’ve never recognized many humans in my life. Are you sure he’s not been on something? Like a magazine?” she asked. Gasping, she sat up straighter and broke out into a huge grin. “He’s not a human model, is he? I know! He’s on the cover of those fashion magazines, isn’t he?”

 Kaidan laughed. “Nah, he’s not.”

 Shepard noticed they were staring at him at that point, attention waning from the Krogan headbutting challenge. Staring right back, he quirked a brow. Kaidan just waved and turned back around to accept their drinks.

 “Nice talking with you,” he said, nodding his head to the asari as he tossed some chits down on the counter and picked up their drinks. As he left he heard the asari speak to the bartender, swearing she’d seen Shepard before somewhere.  

 The bartender just shrugged and went back to his standing.

 Approaching their table, Kaidan watched Shepard’s attention go from his face to the bright yellow and red maraschino cherry covered monstrosity that was his drink, eyebrows rising high and mouth opening slightly.  

 “What the fuck is that?” he asked as Kaidan placed it down in front of him, complete with a coaster.

 “It’s your surprise,” Kaidan replied. Deciding to push past all discomfort about displaying any public affection, he kissed Shepard quickly on the lips before hoping back on to his stool, grinning from ear to ear while Shepard continued to stare down at his drink like it might infect him with cheeriness.

 “I asked for a drink, K…”

 “Yeah, and I think that’s a drink.”

 He looked up at Kaidan. “It’s… it’s yellow. And red.”

 “Don’t forget the cherries.”

 He looked back down and seemed to notice the cherries for the first time. His look of confusion turned into that of amusement, lips pulling up into a cheeky grin.

“Wanna see a trick?” he asked, picking up one of the cherries by the stem.

 Kaidan leaned against the wall next to them and fiddled with the neck of his bottle. “You gonna tie a knot with your tongue?” he joked.

 Shepard nodded. “How’d you know?”

 Kaidan sat forward again, curiosity piqued. “Wait—you can actually do that?”

 “Yeah, of course I can. It’s not that hard,” he said, acting like what he was suggesting was as easy as rolling off a log. “Besides—you know how nimble my tongue is…”

 He winked, and Kaidan felt a rush of desire course through him at the mere use of the words ‘nimble’ and ‘tongue’. But Shepard had to be playing him—people couldn’t actually tie a knot with their tongue using a cherry stem… could they?

 “Alright, go for it. But if you can’t do it, you owe me another beer,” he said.

 “Deal. Now, do you want to inspect it before I use it?” Shepard asked.

 “Can I eat the cherry?” he asked, accepting the sugary bit of fruit—or what used to be fruit.

 Shepard nodded. Popping the cherry into his mouth, he sucked it off the stem and chewed it while flexing the stem itself between two fingers.

 “Satisfied I haven’t tampered with it?” Shepard asked.

 Kaidan nodded and passed it back. Wrapping his hands around his bottle, he sat forward and watched as Shepard dropped the stem into his mouth and began doing… something. Flexing his jaw, he looked down at the floor, seemingly deep in thought as he fiddled with the stem for a good minute.

 Just as Kaidan was about to call bullshit, however, Shepard sat up straight and reached between his lips to pull out what appeared to be a knotted cherry stem. Offering it out to him, Shepard dropped the stem onto the palm of Kaidan’s hand.

 It was, indeed, knotted. Rather neatly as well.

 “Looks like you owe me a beer,” Shepard gloated.

 “… Well… damn,” was all Kaidan could say.

 He hadn’t expected that. Shepard didn’t seem the type to know how to do that; more to the point, he didn’t seem the type to invest time to learn how to do that. There was something terribly frivolous about the entire thing. Unless he was going out to bars every night in an attempt at seducing men with his cherry knotting abilities, Kaidan couldn’t see a reason for it.

 It was impressive, though.

 “Point one for Shepard while Alenko is still at zero,” Shepard gloated.

 “Yeah well… it was probably just a fluke,” he said, not really meaning it but enjoying the friendly competitive vibe it was bringing out. “Can you do it again?”

 Shepard sent Kaidan a sideways glance, his brow quirked. “You really want me to do it again, or are you just being a sore loser?”

 “Me? A sore loser?” Kaidan faked offence, hand pressed against his chest.

 “Yeah yeah, whatever,” Shepard said, rolling his eyes. Picking up the last cherry he passed it to Kaidan, letting him eat the fruit, before taking it back and dropping the stem in his mouth.

 This time, instead of looking away like before, he locked eyes with Kaidan, jaw working back and forth, a challenge in his gaze. Kaidan stared back, not wanting to look away despite the urge to kiss Shepard. There was something so sexy about what Shepard was doing. Kaidan never thought he’d be the type to find something as cliché as cherry stem knotting erotic, but here he was, desperately trying to think about things other than Shepard’s tongue sliding around the tip of his cock, that same look of concentration and daring directed up at him from between his legs.

 “You’re getting flushed, Alenko,” Shepard said around the stem.

 Kaidan just shrugged. He wasn’t going to deny he was turned on. It wasn’t like he had anything to hide around Shepard.

 A few more seconds and Shepard was done. Pulling it out of his mouth, he dropped another perfectly knotted cherry stem on to Kaidan’s hand, a triumphant grin on his face.

 “I think you owe me two beers now,” Shepard said.

 “How about a blowjob?” Kaidan replied.

 Shepard’s brow quirked, and the triumphant grin slipped into a lazy smile. “Yeah, I would take that.”

 Kaidan nodded and polished off his beer, suddenly desperate to get home. Shepard left his drink alone.  It was worth the chits just for the cherries, Kaidan mused.

 Grabbing their coats, Kaidan slowed down only to let Shepard get situated with his cane, before they hurried out as fast as Shepard’s bummed knee would let them. The ride back home was thick with anticipation, both grinning like teenage boys about to get to second-base for the first time, but despite their eagerness (and recklessness), they managed to make it home without any serious or embarrassing accidents happening. Hurrying up to the front door, Kaidan took the steps two at a time while Shepard followed behind at a slower pace.

 “Never thought cherries would get you so hot, K,” Shepard mumbled, hand sliding along Kaidan’s ass as he tried to open the door.

 He was halfway there when Shepard’s hips ground up against him, pushing him entirely against the door, lips caressing the back of his neck. Groaning against the metal, Kaidan ground back slightly, feeling the press of Shepard’s hardening cock against his ass.

 “You wanna do this here? Outside?” Kaidan asked, amused and also incredibly turned on by Shepard’s hastiness.

 “Mm, we should probably go inside,” Shepard mumbled. He didn’t move.

 “I need to open the door, John.”

 There was a dramatic sigh behind him followed by Shepard stepping back a bit, giving Kaidan just enough room so that he could open the door. Finally unlocking it, the two tumbled into the house, laugher bubbling up between them.

 As soon as the door was shut Kaidan found himself with his back against the wall and Shepard’s lips overtop his own in a desperate kiss that tasted of lager and cherry. Responding to it with vigour, Kaidan slid his hands down Shepard’s sides and around, grabbing hold of his ass through his jeans. Shepard groaned into the kiss, his free hand coming up to tangle in Kaidan’s hair, his other gripping on to his cane like a lifeline.

 “Bedroom?” Kaidan panted out when they broke apart. Shepard didn’t reply, instead ducking his head down to gently kiss the tender skin on his neck, hips grinding slowly against Kaidan’s.

 “Don’t think I can make it,” Shepard said, face still pressed against Kaidan’s neck, tongue coming out to gently slide along the tense muscles.

 “I’m not carrying you, John,” Kaidan said, jumping slightly as Shepard’s teeth nipped where his tongue had just been rubbing. “I mean, I-I probably could but—”

 “Wasn’t thinking about that.” Lifting his head, he pressed their foreheads together and locked eyes with Kaidan, bright blue with whiskey brown. “Couch?”

 Kaidan let out a small, short moan, Shepard’s eyes bright with desire and want. Nodding, he pushed Shepard away and hurried to the living room, taking his coat off in the process. Turning around, he watched as Shepard shucked his coat before tossing his cane on to the ground along with it. Gripping the hem of his shirt, he pulled it up and off and threw it into the increasingly large pile, before striding forward, ignoring his heavy limp in favour of grabbing Kaidan by the waist and pulling him in for another needy kiss.

 Kaidan felt like he was on fire, every nerve in his body alight with desire. Parting his lips he allowed Shepard to take over, his tongue delving into his mouth and sliding against his own. He couldn’t help but think of the cherry stem as they kissed, Shepard’s tongue rubbing in just the right places, nimble and dextrous in a maddening sort of way.

 Pushing Shepard backward on to the couch, Kaidan watched him collapse with a heavy thump, chest heaving and legs spread. Ripping his own shirt off in haste, Kaidan clambered on to Shepard’s lap, wearing a grin that matched Shepard’s own.

 “Looks like I’m not the only one turned on by cherry stems,” Kaidan said, helping Shepard with his belt. Popping open the top button of Kaidan’s jeans, Shepard moved his hands back and around, and slipped under the waistband of his jeans and underpants to grab his ass, kneading the firm muscles.

 “If only you could have seen the look you were giving me back at the bar,” Shepard mumbled, voice low with desire.

 Biting his bottom lip, Kaidan flexed his ass for Shepard, earning himself a soft puff of air against his collarbone. “I take it that it was hot?” he asked.

  “You have no idea,” Shepard replied. Kissing along Kaidan’s collarbone and down, he caught one of Kaidan’s nipples between his lips, tongue swirling around the hardening numb. Gasping, Kaidan reached down and cradled the back of Shepard’s head in a gentle hold, fingers running across short bristle hair. Applying wet, open mouthed kissed across his chest, Shepard gave his other nipple much the same treatment, full lips and scratchy stubble creating a contrast that had Kaidan’s toes curling and grip tightening as he braced himself with one hand on the back of the couch.

 Shepard’s hands moved from the back of Kaidan’s jeans to the front to palm him, his grip strong but also gentle, thumb rubbing the tip of Kaidan’s cock through the thick material.

 Sitting back, Kaidan looked down at Shepard, his lips swollen and parted.

 “Gonna suck my cock?” Shepard asked breathlessly, a hopeful smile on his lips.

  Kaidan’s cock jumped at the mere suggestion. Nodding, he slipped off Shepard’s lap and on to the floor so he was kneeling between his legs. “A bet is a bet,” he said, helping Shepard out of his jeans and briefs. Throwing them on to the pile of clothes near the entrance, Kaidan took a moment to admire Shepard.

 With his legs spread, Shepard sat slouched on the couch, arms resting on the back and torso stretched out, muscles flexing with each unsteady breath in. His cock was already mostly hard and lay heavy on his stomach, the dark pink head wet with pre-cum as it peeked out from his foreskin. His balls sat low and heavy, and Shepard spread his legs that much more when he noticed the direction Kaidan’s attention had gone.

 Grinning, Kaidan looked up at him as he grasped his cock in a firm hold and began to stroke it slowly, getting it harder with every swipe of his hand upward. Immediately Shepard’s features changed, his brows furrowing and lips parting as Kaidan worked him over with his hands, strong, calloused palms gliding down the shaft and massaging his balls.

 “Best bet I’ve ever won,” he said, head lolling back as Kaidan moved to kiss his inner thigh.

 Licking a stripe up to Shepard’s hip, Kaidan continued to jerk him slowly, enjoying the twitch of his thighs and the small, needy noises he let slip past now and again. Shepard was, by in large, rather quiet when it came to sex, but every once in a while Kaidan would get a good yell out of him.

 He just had to work hard at it.

 Kissing down the v-shaped iliac crest, Kaidan lifted his head and braced Shepard’s dick upward. Sitting up further on his knees, he collected a bit of spit and dropped it down on the head, watching it mingle with the pre-cum from before. Stealing a glance up, he watched Shepard’s eyes get wide and pupils blown out, desire evident in his gaze.

 “You gonna keep teasing or—”

 Shepard stopped talking as Kaidan took him in his mouth. Closing his lips around the head, Kaidan swirled his tongue around the slit, moaning softly as the taste of Shepard overwhelmed his senses. Closing his eyes, he sucked on the tip and continued to jerk the rest of his cock, foreskin pulled down as he lavished the head with attention.

 Coming up for a second, he pushed the foreskin up and over the head, before going back down on him, lips pushing down tightly along Shepard’s length, jaw relaxing to take as much of him in as possible. Shepard let out a low grunt then, and Kaidan hummed slowly as fingers began carding through his hair, messing up the usual pompadour.

 Like Kaidan gave a shit about that now.

 Bobbing up and down, Kaidan continued to take it slow, enjoying his time despite receiving little obvious pleasure himself. Seeing Shepard so relaxed and hearing the little noises he was making anytime Kaidan did something he liked was enough of a reward for him, and he continued to pleasure Shepard with his tongue and lips, hands taking up the slack where his mouth couldn’t.

 Coming up for air after bobbing for a good five minutes, he smirked up at Shepard, Shepard cupping his jaw and traced his cheekbone with his thumb.

 “I could probably teach you how to tie a knot with your tongue,” Shepard said, voice deep with lust.

 “Yeah?” Kaidan said, ducking back down to rub his lips along the side of Shepard’s dick, tongue flicking out to taste the soft skin. Stopping at the base, he sucked the sensitive skin there for a moment, before going further down, tongue lapping at his balls while his hands petted Shepard’s thighs.

 “Y-Yeah… you’ve got some tongue dexterity too,” Shepard said, thighs tensing around Kaidan’s head as he sucked one testicle into his mouth.

 Licking a long line from the seam of Shepard’s balls all the way along the main vein, Kaidan moved back back up to the head before going back down, taking in as much of his dick as he possibly could, jaw and throat relaxing. Shepard tensed again, hands running through his hair and down his neck, a long, low groan accompanying the action.

 Kaidan stayed for as long as he could, enjoying the sensation of Shepard’s heavy cock resting on his tongue and touching the back of his throat, before he had to come back up, his gag reflex trying to take control. Sitting back on his haunches, he brushed some spit from his lips and looked up at Shepard.

 “Come up here,” Shepard said, tugging Kaidan’s hand gently.

 “I haven’t finished down here yet,” Kaidan said, nuzzling Shepard’s very obvious erection.

 “Doesn’t matter,” Shepard said, gasping as the pad of Kaidan’s thumb teased the head of his dick. “I need to kiss you.”

 Standing, Kaidan took his jeans and briefs off, finally freeing his cock. Bouncing in the cooler air, Kaidan jerked himself once—twice-- before clambering back on to Shepard’s lap. Immediately he was caught in a deep, needy kiss, Shepard cupped the back of his neck in a tight hold, fingers gliding over his amp. Giving as good as he was getting, Kaidan kissed back with just as much passion, fingers running along his smooth chest, a contrast to Kaidan’s own hairy one.

 Grinding down, Kaidan pressed his ass up against Shepard’s cock. Rocking back and forth, he braced his hands on the back of the couch, hips rolling while Shepard dropped his hands down to his ass, grabbing and spreading his cheeks. They moved together for some time, Kaidan lost in the sensation of having Shepard so close—so connected to him.

 Shepard was fully present and in the moment, his eyes locked with Kaidan’s own, the two sharing air as they panted together, both knowing what the other needed and wanted. Sometimes, Shepard was distant, caught up in past memories and regrets, a grief surrounding him, preventing him from truly being there with Kaidan. But today was a good day—and an even better night. Kaidan didn’t get the impression that his mind was wandering; he was caught up in Kaidan and only Kaidan.

 That feeling was almost better than getting his cock sucked.

 “Let me suck you?” Shepard asked, nipping Kaidan’s bottom lip.

 Almost.

 “Can you get down on your knee or did you want me to come up to you?” Kaidan asked, ever mindful of Shepard’s mobility.

 “Mind coming up?” he asked, his smile a bit sheepish.

 “Not at all.” Kissing Shepard hard, Kaidan broke away and repositioned himself on the couch so that his groin was level with Shepard’s face. The position was a bit impersonal at times, Kaidan feeling like he was dominating Shepard by standing over him, but it was more comfortable for Shepard. It allowed him to stay seated, his knee not over extended and free from uncomfortable cramping.

 Besides, just because the position wasn’t his first choice didn’t mean Kaidan didn’t enjoy it. Sex with Shepard was fantastic no matter the limitations.

 “Comfortable?” Shepard asked, looking up at Kaidan as he grasped his balls in one hand and wrapped his fingers around the base of his cock with the other.

 Kaidan nodded and braced one knee on the back of the couch next to Shepard’s head, thighs tensing as soon as he felt Shepard’s lips close around the head of his cock.

 Shepard’s mouth was hot and wet, his tongue rubbing over all the right places, a soft moan reverberating around his cock. Looking down his body, Kaidan watched as Shepard began to bob up and down, pink, full lips wrapped tightly around his cock, stretching as he went down and tightening as he pulled back up.

 Gently grasping the back of Shepard’s head with one hand and bracing his back with the other, Kaidan let Shepard set the pace, moaning as Shepard rubbed the head of his cock on the inside of his cheek, the touch that of velvet on the sensitive tip. Shepard took his time, moving up and off Kaidan’s cock a few times, a wet pop accompanying the actions, before he grabbed the back of his thighs and pulled him in tight, Shepard going all the way down until his nose was buried in the dark nest of curls at the base.

 “Oh fuck… oh fuck, John,” Kaidan moaned as Shepard’s throat took all of his cock in, intense heat encircling him.

 He’d have come right there were it not for Shepard pulling him back, his cock leaving his mouth with an audible pop. 

 “Like that?” Shepard asked, jerking Kaidan’s cock.

 “Who wouldn’t?” Kaidan said breathlessly, unable to get a proper hold of himself what with Shepard immediately applying a series of sticky, messy kisses to his inner thighs before sucking on his balls.

 Lavishing them with attention, Shepard scooted down on the couch slightly, leaving Kaidan to touch himself as Shepard held on to both his thighs, keeping him in place. His tongue was smooth and slick on his balls, and he couldn’t help but press down a little, wanting more. Shepard continued to roam, tongue switching from the base to his balls before going down further to his perineum, giving it proper attention too as he sucked and kissed the sensitive skin.

 Shepard never did things half-way.

 Kaidan was practically curled in over the back of the couch, Shepard slipping down further, ignoring the protest from his knee Kaidan knew he must be feeling. His thighs shook and his hand faltered slightly around his cock, rhythm going a bit haywire as Shepard’s tongue moved ever closer to his hole, nose pressed against the underside of his balls.

 As much as Kaidan desperately wanted him to continue, he knew he had to stop him, the area a ‘no go zone’ tonight.

 “Wait,” Kaidan croaked out, and immediately Shepard stopped.

 Sitting up, Shepard rested his head on the back of the couch between Kaidan’s arms and looked up at him. “Yeah?”

“I haven’t cleaned there properly,” he admitted. Sitting down on Shepard’s lap, he brushed his bangs out of his face, curly black hair sticking to his sweaty skin. “I wasn’t expecting anal when I got ready tonight.”

 “’s fine,” Shepard said, smiling. “My jaw was getting kinda tired, anyway.”

 Kaidan laughed and sat back a bit, grasping their cocks and pressing them together. Shepard reached around and held on to Kaidan’s back, keeping him from falling as he jerked them off. Moving together, their cocks slid together with ease, Kaidan’s hand keeping them pressed up close.

 It didn’t take long. Kaidan felt the familiar coil begin to loosen in his guts, his balls drawing up tight as his orgasm approached. Watching Shepard, Kaidan admired the taught lines in his neck and the sweat that beaded down to collect in the dips of his collarbone. His lips were parted, brow furrowed, and pupils were blown. The once-over he was giving Kaidan told Kaidan he was appreciating his view just as much.

 A couple more swipes and the twist of his wrist saw Shepard finishing, white ribbons of cum shooting up, coating Kaidan's hands. Arching into Kaidan's touch, Shepard’s grip on his back tightened, fingers grabbing his waist hard as he panted out his name.

 “Oh fuck, Kaidan.”

 That was all it took for Kaidan to come too. Curling in over himself, he rested his forehead on Shepard’s shoulder, riding out his orgasm as he shot his load, body tense and humming with pleasure, a hoarse moan pressed against Shepard’s sweat slicked skin.

 He stayed hunched over for some time, riding the afterglow wave. Shepard was gently petting his back, calloused fingertips gliding lazily down the dip of his spine.

 “Best date ever,” Shepard said.

 Chuckling softly, Kaidan untangled their limbs and sat down beside Shepard on the couch. “Yeah… yeah, that’s right up there for sure.”

 They sat in silence, both panting heavily, skin sweaty and bodies overheated. As much as Kaidan enjoyed cuddling, they were both too hot to attempt it. Instead they pressed their shoulders together as they stared dumbly at the television set in front of them.

 Suddenly Shepard moved, hand going up and into his mouth before pulling something out.

 “What the fuck is that?” Kaidan asked, eyes going wide.

 “It’s your fucking pube,” Shepard said, laughing. “You need to trim again, K.”

 Kaidan started laughing as well. It was true, he hadn’t trimmed in a while, but he also hadn’t expected this. “I didn’t tell you to shove your face against my groin. And you’re not all sparse and baby smooth, either.”

 Shepard was still laughing. “Not all of us are part gorilla.”

 Grabbing a pillow, Kaidan smacked Shepard in the face, Shepard grunting in protest.

 “Yeah well, that’s just good ol’ Canadian genetics,” he said, shoving Shepard playfully.

 Flopping down on to the sofa, Shepard giggled-- not laughed or chuckled, but full on giggled.

 “Lumberjack genes?” Shepard asked.

 “Exactly.”

 “Well I love it,” he said. Sitting back up, he turned to Kaidan and ran his hand over his chest and through the soft black hair sprinkles across. Smiling, he kissed the corner of Kaidan's jaw. “Keeps me nice and warm at night. Fucking sexy, too.”

 Kaidan grinned and turned to catch Shepard in a quick kiss. “Except when you get it stuck in your teeth?”

 “Just part of what I signed up for.”

 They kissed again, slow and sweet, a stark contrast to the passionate embraces from before. When they pulled apart, Shepard sat back down and slowly stretched his leg out.

 “What time is it?” he asked.

 Lolling his head to the side, Kaidan peered at the clock in the kitchen. “Nine-thirty. I think. Why?”

 “Wanna order Chinese?” Shepard asked. “Something about sucking cock makes me hungry.”

 Kaidan chuckled. “Yeah, I could go for some Chinese.”

 Standing, Shepard picked up his cane and disappeared into the kitchen completely naked, Kaidan watching his ass as he left. There was some thumping through the drawers for a second, followed by Shepard’s voice as he spoke into the phone ordering their usual—black pepper chicken, fried rice, dumplings, salt and pepper squid, and Canadian style ginger beef.

 Returning, Shepard has a wet cloth in his grasp and tossed it to Kaidan who caught it with little fumbling involved. Cleaning himself off, he waited until Shepard was sitting again before stretching out on the couch, his legs across Shepard’s lap.

 Shepard didn’t say anything, just accepted Kaidan’s appendages like they were his own, and immediately started to drum his fingers on his shins. Rolling his head from side to side, a crack was heard from his neck.

 “Food will be here in about twenty,” Shepard said. He closed his eyes and settled further into the couch, completely at ease.

 Kaidan basked in it.

 “Gives you plenty of time to tell me all about how you learned to tie a cherry stem with your tongue,” Kaidan said.

 Shepard snorted. Opening his eyes he looked down at Kaidan. “Yeah? I’ll spill if you tell me about the Vorcha mafia.”

 Kaidan rolled his eyes. “Guess we’re both gonna be left curious then.”

 “You’re already an enigma, Kaidan—let me have my own secrets, okay?” Shepard teased.

 “Alright, alright, I’ll back off… so long as you give me your fortune cookie.”

 “Deal.”

 Kaidan didn’t think this deal would easily end up with couch sex, but Kaidan had his ways...