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Knowing

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Liara is the first.

They are down on Eden Prime, looking for the info Cerberus is bound to have collected about the pod, and she hears Kaidan calling, “Hey, babe, look at this.”

Her head snaps into the direction of the two men but they don't seem to notice anything off, Shepard going to Kaidan, and pausing to look at the pads he found.

Like it is the most natural thing in the world to be called “babe” by his fellow Spectre. Like it is so natural it just slipped out even with witnesses around. Like it is so normal that they don't even notice.

And that means only one thing.

The Shadow Broker has completely missed something that is happening right under her nose.

* * *

Steve is next.

He is the last to exit the Kodiak as always, and the landing party is already suiting off. Liara is nowhere to be seen, obviously headed to her own cabin to change, but Shepard and the Major are still in the middle of removing their armour.

Shepard leans forward to remove a boot, and leans on Alenko to keep his balance. That's nothing too weird, something close friends would do, but when he straightens up he lets his hand slide down to the other man's ass, and that... that is a little weird.

The Major doesn't even seem to notice, which leads Steve to think that either Shepard does that to everyone, or then it's something so normal for them they do it without noticing.

And he knows for a fact Shepard doesn't do that with everyone.

* * *

Tali notices that something is different as soon as she is back on board the Normandy.

Shepard and Kaidan have always been close, good friends as well as brothers-in-arms, they have always worked well together in the field, and the off-duty time together has been easy, comfortable.

Well, Horizon aside, but she doesn't think it would have been so bad if they hadn't been so close before.

So she's happy they seem to have resumed their friendship at first but then starts seeing... things. Nothing concrete, not a single action or a look or a word she can point to, but a whole lot of actions and looks and words that seem to point to an even closer closeness, easier ease, an even more impressive awareness of each other in a battle and that points her to a single conclusion.

When she wasn't looking, they fell in love.

* * *

Maybe Javik was the second, actually, because he knew the moment he saw them together.

The fact he didn't know enough to comment on it, or care enough to say anything until weeks later is another matter.

Besides, smelling pheromones is cheating anyway.

* * *

And maybe EDI was first, after all, because nothing happens on the Normandy without her knowledge.

Maybe she didn't know enough about humans to understand what the awkward shuffling by the door meant, or what the lingering looks foretold, but even she could recognise a kiss when she saw one.

She saw many.

* * *

Joker is at a disadvantage, being mostly stuck on the bridge, so he can be excused on not knowing sooner.

Actually, if he hadn't been evesdropp... that is, accidentally stumbled on the line of their private helmet comms while they were down at Ontarom, he would probably have been the last to know.

He swears he'd have been happy to not know in such needlessly descriptive detail.

* * *

Doctor Chakwas claims she knew from the moment Shepard showed up to visit Kaidan at Huerta Memorial, but she is obviously full of shit, or taking unfair advantage of women's intuition.

* * *

Garrus just smirks when asked.

He says he knew when the men drew guns at each other at Citadel.

“The expression in their eyes was something out of Fleet and Flotilla.”

Who knew he was a closet romantic?

* * *

James is, of course, as always, the last to know.

He blames everyone on the ship on not giving him a head's up before he had to witness a worried Shepard almost rip off the helmet from an unconscious Alenko and frantically demand him to tell him he was okay after a lucky shot by a Cerberus soldier (now ripped apart) pierced his barrier.

He can never look at his commander the same way again after hearing him whisper “Shh, it's all right, love” and “Take your time, sweetheart” and other equally sappy things into the Major's ear.

Who knew he was capable of such sapp... tenderness?

* * *

And anyway, James isn't bitter at all that everyone knew before him.