AN: Just a bit of Shenko fluff. Nothing too long; maybe one or two more chapters. Enjoy!

~Kassy


Shepard fidgeted in her seat as she glanced nervously at the man sitting next to her. Lieutenant Alenko had his eyes closed, and his head rested back against the seat. He looked oddly relaxed – a sharp contrast to what was going on inside her head.

This was a bad idea, she thought.

She thought back on what had started this whole mess. She and the lieutenant had been asked to attend a ceremonial dinner for some admiral that, apparently, they both knew. They had requested a few days shore leave to be able to attend the dinner and had taken off from the Normandy together.

Unfortunately, Hannah Shepard had also been invited to this dinner. And, also unfortunately, she had seen her daughter arrive with the very handsome Lieutenant Alenko. Granted, she and Alenko had parted ways as soon as they had stepped foot in the ballroom, but Hannah Shepard spotted a perfect match for her daughter when she saw one…or so she said.

So, Hannah had made her way to Alenko (amid furious protests from a very embarrassed daughter), chatted him up, and invited him to spend the weekend at the family home. Shepard had done a mental facepalm at this before Alenko surprised her by accepting the invitation.

Shepard knew he was just being polite, but, quite frankly, the poor guy didn't have a chance. When Hannah Shepard set her mind to something, nothing could get in her way. Not to mention, she had a way with words – something Shepard herself had inherited.

And so, here they were, on a shuttle to the rarely used Shepard homestead. Alenko had taken everything in stride, not even mentioning how very awkward the whole situation was.

This was definitely a bad idea.

Shepard gave his arm a gentle nudge…and then completely forgot what she was going to tell him when he turned around to look at her.

His dark brown eyes looked at her questioningly. She could feel her heart accelerate under his warm gaze. Her skin tingled from where her arm had brushed against his. She opened her mouth to say something – anything – but the words got caught in her throat. Did it just go up like 50 degrees in here? Her body began to feel unnaturally warm, and she couldn't seem to catch her breath.

"Commander?" he asked, a worried look now etching across his face.

"I – uh…" she managed to stutter. So much for having a way with words.

Must. Look. Away, she thought as she forced herself to face forward. She closed her eyes and mentally chastised herself. What the hell was wrong with her? Of course she thought the lieutenant was handsome. And, hell, if she had a credit for every time she stared at his butt, she would be rich by now. But that was beside the point. She was acting like lovesick teenager, and this had never happened to her. Ever.

"Are you okay?"

She turned back to look at him, but was very careful to avoid looking into his eyes.

"Uh, yeah, sorry. Lost my train of thought for a moment," she replied, focusing on the shuttle door behind him. "You don't have to do this, you know. You can pretend to be sick and go back to doing whatever it was you were going to do with the rest of your shore leave. I'll cover for you, I promise."

His small laugh brought her gaze back to his face. "It's okay, Commander. I had nothing else planned for the weekend. Besides, I don't think your mom left me much choice."

She gave him a smile before looking out the window. "Yep. That's Hannah Shepard for you. My mother will force you into doing something without actually forcing you to do it. It's a gift. And a curse." She noticed that they were nearing her house, and she turned back to him. "Last chance to back out."

He gave her an odd look, something Shepard couldn't recognize, before his face broke into another laugh. "I'll take my chances."

Shepard shrugged as the shuttle pulled up to the front of the house. "Don't say I didn't warn you," she called over her shoulder as she stepped out of the vehicle.

Hannah Shepard pulled her daughter into a quick hug before moving over to Alenko.

"Thank you for the invitation, Mrs. Shepard," Alenko said as he, too, was pulled in for a quick hug.

"Oh, hush!" Hannah Shepard replied, keeping one hand on his arm. "Please, call me Hannah."

Shepard managed to stifle a laugh. She had never seen her mom acting like this. Sure, Hannah had always tried to set her up on dates, but this was the first time she had actually invited someone over for the weekend. Not that Shepard would tell Alenko that. She didn't want him to think that her mom was trying to set them up. She was, but Alenko didn't need to know that.

In fact, the less he knew, the better. Hannah had something up her sleeve. Shepard could feel it.

She followed her mother and Alenko into the house. It was a small ranch-style house, only three bedrooms with a large open kitchen and living room, but it was the 100 acres the house sat on that Shepard loved the most. After months in space, it was always nice to come home to the Shepard homestead during shore leave. She would usually spend that time enjoying the fresh air outside.

Shepard made her way to her bedroom, leaving her mother to give Alenko the house tour. She thought about saving Alenko from her mother, but then changed her mind. He could take care of himself. She was in the process of taking out her clothes from her duffle bag when the bedroom door opened.

"You know how contractors can be, so God knows how long that will take," Hannah was saying as she motioned Alenko inside. "So, you'll be staying in this room, instead."

"Uh, mom? I think you mean he'll be staying in the guest room. That's the room next door." She gave her mom a weird look. She knew Hannah was getting up there in age, but surely she remembered the layout of the house. It wasn't like they lived in a mansion or anything.

"No, no, dear," Hannah replied sweetly. "If you had bothered to follow us on the house tour…" (Shepard barely managed to roll her eyes). "…you would have heard me explain that the guest bedroom is being renovated. You and Kaidan will simply have to share your bedroom and bathroom."

Shepard looked from her mom to Alenko, who was starting to look slightly uncomfortable at this turn of events. Serves him right. I tried giving him a way out, and he didn't take it. She moved past him and her mom to the guest room and saw that a large piece of plastic covered the door. She moved her hands up to remove the plastic before she was stopped by her mom.

"What are you doing?" Hannah asked, grabbing Shepard's arm and leading her back to her room. "I told you, it's being renovated. If you remove the plastic, the dust will spread all over the house."

Shepard gave her mom an I-know-what-you're-doing-and-it's-not-gonna-work look, but Hannah simply smiled again and pushed both Shepard and Alenko back into the room.

"Why don't you both take some time to freshen up?" Hannah said, her eyes twinkling. "Dinner will be ready in an hour." And with that, she simply closed the door leaving Shepard and Alenko in awkward silence.

Shepard groaned. Hannah must have seen something in Alenko to make her not only invite him over to the house, but also have him stay in her bedroom. She turned back and noticed that he had resigned himself to following Hannah Shepard's orders. He had his back to her as he looked at her trophies and pictures. She allowed her gaze to move down until it rested on his butt, then shook her head and went back to sorting out her clothes.

She sighed. This is going to be a long weekend.