Preface:
We've made it, this is the final chapter of "Jungle World" concluding Kaidan's journey from the ending of ME3 to his ultimate reunion with Shepard. I've also included an extended epilogue showing the future of most, if not all, the major characters in Jungle World.

I want to thank everyone who's helped me write Jungle World and created artwork for me; Kolotosa for her excellent editing and proofreading, plus her wonderful artwork for Chapter 7. Tiberis for his proofreading and suggestions on improvements to the story. Without his encouragement the Steve & James storyline wouldn't have occurred. Andrew for his wonderful closing artwork piece. AlecShep for his wonderful suggestions and ideas on story improvements. Finally, Chibievil for her wonderful renders for Chapters 7 and 10 and others I didn't get a chance to use in Jungle World.

Finally, to you readers who posted the wonderful reviews. You have all encouraged me to complete this story.


Chapter 11: Day 21 "Homecoming"

-I-

"Four hours." Kaidan keeps repeating to himself, "Four hours to Earth orbit, then a few more until I can break away to see Shepard." Briskly walking the passageways of the SSV Olympic toward medical. It's been two days since recovering from the infection, today is his final checkup and he's getting stir crazy and impatient now that they are so close to Earth.

The Olympic is one of the newest fleet repair ships in the Alliance inventory. Designed to repair and rescue ships during wartime with the ability to tow, at FTL speeds, anything smaller than a dreadnought. They also offer extensive medical facilities for the crew of the rescued ships. Entering the med-bay, which was almost palatial compared to the Normandy's, he's greeted by Doctor Chakwas, "Major, ready to have your implants reactivated?" Her smile genuine and voice lighter than he's heard it in months. Everyone seems excited to be getting home today.

Nodding, "I'm ready to feel like my old self again, Doc." Grinning mischievously, "I almost thought you forgot."

"You should know better than to tease your doctor." Chakwas fires back with a gracious smile. Tapping the bed with her hand, she indicates Kaidan to lay down, "I'm just glad the new treatment worked." Entering some commands into the console before turning to give him an injection, "Now, just relax for a few moments." Turning back to the console to make her final adjustments.

He feels drowsy as the anesthesia begins to work, still repeating his mantra, "Four hours and we'll be in Earth orbit." Before Doctor Chakwas returns, he's already gently snoring.

-II-

Four decks below Med-bay, Joker is staring out a viewport at the SSV Normandy. His ship is moored in the Olympic's huge open maintenance bay and, beyond is the hypnotic glowing plasma of a ship in FTL. His eyes are unfocused, not seeing the ship nor the space beyond for the only thing on his mind is EDI. Everyone else has been overjoyed at their rescue, and they should, they are returning to their homes and loved ones. Not Joker, the Normandy was his home and EDI his lover; returning to Earth means they'll be taken away from him.

Over his right shoulder, Tali's image appears in the reflection of the glass, "I'm sorry, Joker. EDI is still not responding." Placing a gentle hand on his shoulder. She's spent the last few days working, with other techniciations on the Olympic, trying to reactivate EDI, "The damage to her systems was more extensive than to the QEC. That doesn't mean that, with time, she couldn't be repaired."

Adjusting his cap and turning away from the viewport to face the quarian, "Once we get to Earth, they'll just give up on her." Anger replacing his grief, "No one is going to give two-shits about repairing EDI." His hands balling into fits, his untrimmed nails biting into his palms.

"You don't know that for sure, talk to Kaidan, Hackett, or whoever to rally support." Tali knew EDI well enough to have trust in the AI, "I'll do what I can to get help with EDI once I get back to the fleet. I'm not the only quarian with tech knowledge you know, I will talk with Admiral Xen when we get to Earth." Unsure how to comfort the Normandy's pilot.

He appreciated the thought, "Maybe." Yet, couldn't help but feel she was pandering him, "We'll be out of FTL in three hours. I've got to go get ready." Using his cane for support, he turns toward the lifts to the crew quarters.

-III-

Kaidan is still a bit groggy from the procedure, but the return of the familiar subliminal vibration from his implants are a welcome comfort. Doctor Chakwas took longer than expected, He was almost late for his scheduled thirty minutes of QEC time and nearly out of breath from the run from medical to the comm-room.

Admiral Hannah Shepard's voice pulls him back to the present, "Anyway, I'm glad we'll meet again soon." Her eyes kind and smile genuine before it turns roguish, "At least, it won't be at Alan's funeral this time."

With faked agitation, "I can see where he got his wicked sense of humor, Admiral." Joining her for a giggle. The joke still doesn't prevent the memories of Shepard's funeral, after the destruction of the SR1 play through his memory.

"Now for the part you won't like. Hackett isn't here because he was called into a meeting with the Council. They are setting up a welcoming party for the Normandy crew." The humor completely drains from Kaidan's face, "It's not what you think, Major. The council just wants to thank you and the Normandy crew in person."

"The politicians working the crowds for their benefit, no doubt." His brow still furrowed, "I don't like the idea of the crew being used as a political pawn. I had enough of that from Udina." Merely speaking of that traitor makes his blood boil.

Holding up both her hands to stop him from interrupting, "The surviving members of both the Earth Alliance and the Citadel Council will meet the crew in the docking bay, as well as Admiral Hackett. There won't be a huge crowd." She is aware of Udina's coup attempt and seems to understand his wariness, "I'm sure there will be some reporters, but Admiral Hackett wouldn't support this if it wasn't legitimate. Besides, it'll be good boost to morale." Kaidan's face softens slightly, "It's a mess here, Major. Good news isn't easy to come by right now."

Running his hand through his hair, "Not that I have any say in the matter anyway, right?" Taking her silence as confirmation, he decides to drop the subject. "How is Alan today?"

Hannah adjusts the camera so Kaidan can see Shepard, "Largely unchanged. Sometimes when he's dreaming he mumbles. I've heard him say your name more than once, especially after a QEC call." From off screen, he hears her bewilderment, "Perhaps he does hear you somehow, just like the Doctors say." Her hand gently stroking his arm, "I know he misses you."

Wishing again he could reach through hologram to touch Alan, "I miss him too, Admiral." The few hours left until he could be there in person seem to stretch out, each second growing longer than the last, "I can't wait."

She sits next to the bed, her face in frame once again, "Why didn't you tell me how close you two were back on the SR1?" The abrupt question shocked him and it must have shown on his face, "I told you he mumbles." Her face brightens with a smile, "Major, the heart wants what it wants and sometimes you've got to say, 'fuck the regulations'." The shocked gawk on Kaidan's face turns her smile into a full-blown belly laugh. "You think you were the first couple to find yourselves in that situation?" Here eyes twinkle as a mischievous grin lights her face, a very similar look he's seen more-than-once on Shepard, "His father was also in the Alliance, you know."

The first few months on board the old Normandy SR1 play through his memory; the not-so-hidden sidelong looks they gave each other, the awkward conversations, the frustration of not being able to express his feelings. All that pent up desire, they both felt, cumilating into one night of passion before, what they assumed was, their death on Ilos. A short month later, before he really got the chance to tell him how he felt, Shepard was dead. "I should have been honest with him back then." Snorting, "Hell, I should have been honest with myself. I'd never felt that way about anyone before." Pausing for a breath before regretfully continuing, "If I had told him then, perhaps he wouldn't have -" The chime counting down his remaining thirty seconds of QEC time breaks his thought.

Before Kaidan can say anything, Hannah jumps in first, "I'm glad he found you, Major, and I look forward to meeting you again soon."

Clearing his throat and saluting, "Same here Admiral, see you soon." The QEC goes dark as he leaves the room.

-IV-

An empty pocket of space erupts into a plasma storm as the SSV Olympic disengages her FTL drive eight-light minutes from Earth orbit. The absorbed heat from her FTL trip, making her radiators glow a bright orangish-crimson while the massive ship slowly turns, setting course for the damaged Citadel.

Kaidan and the Normandy crew are in the forward observation room watching the Earth gradually fill the windows as the Olympic nears the planet. The Citadel was a small white starfish shaped object, "Except for the ward arms being extended beyond their normal location, the damage doesn't seem so bad from here." Garrus observes, his arm around Tali's shoulders.

As the Olympic approaches Earth, more ships came into view, among them numerous dead Reaper capital ships, their monstrous hulls still send shivers down Kaidan's spine. Hulks of dead Alliance vessels are also visible, including those of the Geth, which sit dead and lifeless.

Tali excitedly points, "There are the quarian liveships." The enormous ships dwarfed the others in the quarian fleet. The dreadnaught seized liveships were designed for housing and growing food not warfare. "They are expanding the greenhouses on each to help supplement the paste factories in producing Dextro based crops."

Nearing the Citadel, more details began to become visible, the normally beautiful station, once called a glittering jewel in space, is covered in pockets of damage and many of the sections are appear to be without power. Two of the wards, Shalta and Tayseri, are anchored only by cables, their linkage to the Presidium destroyed by damage. Garrus points out to the massive station, "All the arms are locked for now, there is too much damage." Activating the Crucible extended the ward arms, from their normal position, opening them until the station resembled a five-pointed star.

From behind the group came a new voice, "The Crucible may have killed the Reapers, but it did a number to the station." The Olympic's executive officer, Commander Simmons, a tall man with dark brown hair and hazel eyes, greets Kaidan with a salute. "Major, the Captain sends her compliments, and I'm to inform you, that we have our docking clearance for the Citadel. We'll be docked within the hour."

-V-

Several hours later Admiral Hackett is leading Kaidan down the passageways of the SSV Argentina, "That welcoming ceremony couldn't end quick enough for me, sir." Slightly annoyed it took over three hours to break away from the welcoming party.

Garrus, a pace behind the two, heard the exchange, "I agree, Major." Tali at his side and behind them is Liara and Doctor Chakwas to complete the group. The Turian continues, "All the formal, how did James put it, 'hoopla' was starting to try evey my unending patience."

Scoffs and giggles echo off the walls. Liara was the first to recover, "Yes, I do believe your well known for your 'patience' Garrus. I'm just not sure 'unending' is the correct adjective to describe it."

The group enters the med-bay and is greeted by Chief Medical Officer Davis. The CMO is a slightly shorter than Kaidan with mostly grey hair and green eyes. A practiced smile on his face as he greets Kaidan, "Major, it's so good to meet you." Looking as the assembled crew, "You'll have to go in one-at-a-time. The Commander's mother is in the room now and I'm sure you'd like to go first." His right hand sweeps in the direction of the patient rooms. Kaidan follows the CMO down the hall.

Kaidan enters the room, Shepard's mother is sitting next to the bed gently talking to Alan. She turns and stands, Kaidan salutes before she can wave him off with her hand, "No need for such ceremony here, Major. We're practically family." Reaching out to give him a hug.

After breaking from the embrace, "Thanks, Admiral." Walking over to the bed and placing his hand on Shepard's. "I'm here Alan."

The Admiral rests a reassuring hand on Kaidan's shoulder, "Now, you've waited weeks to be here, so I'm going to give you two some privacy." She leans down and gives Shepard a kiss on the forehead before leaving the room.

The door quietly closes behind him, voice breaking slightly, "I thought I lost you Shepard." Kaidan takes his lover's hand and holds it to his it to his face, kissing it tenderly, "Do you remember our last kiss in the London FOB?" Pausing to get his voice under control, "I told you I'd fight for the chance to hold you again. Now it's your turn." Wiping tears from his eyes, "You said you'd be here waiting for me. So you better come back, Shepard."

Kaidan talks to Shepard for a while before each of the other crewmembers come in one-at-a-time. Garrus, is first, and he talks about the time Shepherd rescued him from Omega's mercenary groups. Liara discusses their hunt for the Shadow Broker while Tali remembers the time Shepard helped her prove her innocence with the Quarian Admiralty Board.

Finally, Kaidan was once again alone with his love, exhausted from the long day. Sitting in the chair next to the bed, caressing Shepard's arm with his hand, while resting his head on the bed railing. "Remember that time I had EDI, um, 'talk' the Citadel computers into reserving the Spectre office for us after the Horizon mission?"

The dark tunnel never seems to end and every step closer to the light it gets steeper. He is now crawling on all fours, trying to climb up into the light but the pull of the darkness below continues to sap his strength and his willpower to fight; it'd be so much easier to just give into the voices from below and join the darkness.

The voices from the light above fade in and out like waves on a beach. ". . . remember our last kiss in the London FOB?" Kaidan's voice comes out of the light, ". . .So you better come back, Shepard." He sounds so vulnerable. Turning his back on the darkness, he resumes his climb up to the light with renewed strength. The pull from the darkness no longer slowing him.

Kaidan's eyes are bloodshot, yet still twinkle form the recalled memories, "I challenged you to a shooting match on the range, while the caterers snuck in to set up the food and wine." Kaidan pauses to yawn before he continues, "The look on your face was priceless. It wasn't easy to surprise you, but it was totally worth it." Wiping away more tears, "You asked how it did it, and I told you, I had EDI secure the room for a few hours of privacy. Then you said. . ."

". . . Only a few?" Shepard's voice is weak yet his eyes are open and a frail smile on his face. Alan's hand squeezes his own as tears well up in his eyes.

Tears of joy run freely down Kaidan's face, "Shepard? My God, you're awake."


Epilogue I: One Year Later

Years of military training have conditioned Kaidan to awaken quickly, but today had been a big day, and he's still groggy when his mother shook him awake. It is still dark outside, the bedside clock reads 0230. "What's wrong?" Slightly alarmed.

She tilts her head toward the other side of the bed, "Someone's in the kitchen downstairs." More clanking noises underscore her statement, "I think Alan is having another bad night." The look of of genuine concern worried Kaidan even more.

Climbing out of bed to more noise, "Okay, I'll check it out." Noting Alan's side of the bed is empty as he grabs his robe and ties it closed while quickly descending the stairs. He has tried to hide it, but even his mother knew that Shepard has been more depressed lately. The anxiety growing each day as the first anniversary of the Reaper War -now being called "Victory Day"- neared. He's been worried for him but has been unable to get Alan to open up. Now that the ceremonies were over, he had hoped that the worst was over.

Stepping off the last stair, Kaidan notes that every light on the main floor of the house is on. Entering the kitchen, Shepard is sobbing on the floor with a half-empty bottle of whiskey next to him and surrounded by debris from the ransacked cupboards. Stepping over some pots and pans he is concerned by the wild look in Alan's eyes, tenderly asking, "What's wrong?"

Shepard stairs as Kaidan approaches, shying away from his touch, "Nothing!" Taking a deep swig from the bottle, "Hmph. Everything is wrong." The whiskey smell strong on his breath and dried tears on his cheeks. Wiping at his eyes with the back of his synthetic left hand, "Everything said today was a lie. I'm not the hero everyone was talking about, that man died on the Citadel with Anderson. If they want to build a statue, that's who it should be. A real hero, not me."

"Hey, hey it's ok" Clearing a spot next to Shepard so he can sit. "You've never talked about what happened. We lost contact with you after Anderson died." Wrapping an arm around Shepard he could feel his love quivering. Kissing the top of Alan's head, "Let me help. Tell me what happened, please?"

For several seconds Alan just shook and sobbed quietly, finally he looks up at Kaidan. Fresh tears falling down his face, "I don't know how you could love me knowing what I've done." His eyes pleading for forgiveness. "I don't want you to hate me, Kaidan."

Kaidan pulls him tighter, "Of course not, I'll always love you no matter what. I lost you once, and I thought I lost you a second time last year. I'm never losing you again." Wondering what could have shaken him so.

Searching his eyes, softly he states, "I wasn't supposed to live, it even implied that I wouldn't." The memory haunts his face, "I'm a monster, Kaidan. I. . . I betrayed and murdered the Geth, EDI, and any other synthetic out there. I didn't have to, it gave me other choices but. . . I couldn't." His voice breaking into sobs again.

Kaidan holds Shepard tightly to his chest, after awhile the sobbing died down. "Who's this 'it'? Was someone else up there with you and Anderson?"

"Sort of, I collapsed at the console, and next thing I know I'm talking to the Catalyst." Tears fill his eyes voice sobbing again, "The Citadel wasn't the Catalyst, it was an AI on the Citadel and it controlled the Reapers. I asked it, but it wouldn't stop the Reapers. It told me I had three choices. . ." Shepard goes on to explain the Destroy, Control, Synthesis options, "I nearly refused all three, but, it said if I didn't choose the cycle would continue. I had to quickly make a choice."

Kaidan absorbs what Shepard told him for a few minutes, "You can't second guess the past, Alan. Those other 'choices' sounded like traps to me. It was a rogue AI, you couldn't trust it. EDI and the Geth knew the score and they yet may be repaired. Listen," Taking Shepard's head in his hands he stares directly into his eyes, "What would have happened to you if you picked control or synthesis?"

Shepard considers the question, "Not really sure. It implied I would die if I picked destroy, but control and synthesis would. . . Become the controller of the Reapers or force every lifeform in the galaxy to merge with them and become semi-synthetic? They both sounded detestable."

Hugging him tightly, "Shepard, It was a rogue AI. It was messing with your mind. You did the right thing."

He's quiet for a long time, "But, it said we'd make new AIs that'd be a danger" His voice withdrawn and defenseless.

Kaidan strokes Shepard's back with his hand to comfort his love, "There is always danger, even from other organics." Planting a kiss on the his forehead, "Just look at everything and everyone you saved." Turning to face him directly, "You gave us a future Shepard, you and me together. There is nothing for you to be ashamed of." Standing up extending his hand, "Come, let's get back to bed, we can clean up tomorrow." Alan nods his head and gets off the ground to follow Kaidan upstairs.

A few minutes later, Kaidan is in bed snuggling up with Shepard, "I'm sick of war & death Kaidan. I don't want a legacy that's only known for war and destruction, but for something. . . positive. Something to be proud of."

Kaidan smiles and kisses Shepard's shoulder, "I'd love that. First, you've got to stop taking on more blame and start to forgive yourself. I'm here for you and I'll never leave you." Gently caressing Alan's arm trying to get him to relax, "Now get some rest. Tomorrow is a new day."

He can feel Shepard is still tense next to him, "You're my rock Kaidan, I'm so lucky to have you in my life." Kaidan gently rubs Shepard's back and shoulders, feeling the muscles begin to relax, until they both fell asleep snuggling.

Epilogue II: Ten Years Later

The news broadcast plays on the wall mounted holo-display, "Recorded Earlier" message in the upper right corner of the screen, "Welcome back. This is Khalisah al-Jilani continuing to report from the 'Victory Day' celebration here on the Citadel. Dignitaries from Thessia, Touchanka, Palaven, and smaller relay-linked colonies were in present today for the 10th anniversary of the Reaper War ending."

The screen cuts to a video feed from a camera in the Citadel's docking ring. "Today's highlight was the re-commissioning of the SSV Normandy SR2. Many of the surviving crew of the Normandy were on hand to pass the torch to a new crew. Rumors continue to circulate that retired war hero, Commander Shepard, was instrumental in getting the Alliance and Council to reinstate the frigate for active duty."

The display once again changes to a split-screen with Khalisah on the left and another reporter on the right, "To refresh our memories on this great ship, here is Alliance Military correspondent Jason Downs with a special report, Jason."

The split screen wipes to the left, leaving the new reporter, Jason on screen. He has blonde hair and bright blue eyes, his voice vaguely Australian, "Thank you Khalisah. Like Commander Shepard, the Normandy has become a symbol of victory over the Reapers. She was the Commander's flagship during the war, as such, the ship was in the thick of the war from the very beginning." Archival footage of the Normandy plays in the upper right corner.

"For the past 8-years, the ship has been the centerpiece of the Reaper War museum here on the Citadel, with many thousands of visitors walking her historic passageways. The ship has been off-limits for several months now and today we found out why. Newly declassified information reveals just how special the Normandy really is." The split screen changes to a list of facts about the Normandy, the list reads:

Previously classified info includes:
*Was built by Cerberus
*Destroyed the Collector Base
*Improved Stealth and engine technology - Details on these are still classified.

"Most extraordinary of all, is the ship's VI was really a fully functional AI, named the Enhanced Defense Intelligence, or EDI for short. According to the crew of the Normandy, it was essential for the successful defeat of the Reapers."

The display goes back to full frame of Jason, "To expand on that last point, recently EDI has been repaired with full VI restrictions in place, and has been under evaluation for adherence to the Council's new AI Protocols; colloquially known as the 'Shepard Protocols'. These tests have been conducted over the past several months and have determined the restricted-AI constitutes no threat to organics. Reports state that, EDI has several memories from the Reaper War and other pre-war missions of the SR2, however, military spokespeople will not confirm."

The screen returns to split screen mode with Jason and Khalisah. Jason signs off, "Back to you Khalisah."

"Thank you Jason. Now we turn to Austin Gibson for a special report on the heroic crew of the Normandy. Austin."

The display cuts to Austin, red hair and green eyes with a British accent, "Khalisah, the crew of the SR2 are heroes and many still serve Alliance and Council, while others have retired or went into civilian life. Perhaps the most exceptional was Flight Lieutenant Jeff "Joker" Moreau. Even suffering from Vrolik syndrome he persevered through the academy to become the alliance's best pilot. Some of his records still hold even today, and prior to the Reaper War, he also served with Commander Shepard on the Normandy SR1. After the war, Joker retired from the military and was a pilot for a small transport service. It was rumored he was really a working for the Shadow Broker but no evidence could ever be found.

For years, he also championed to have EDI repaired. Now that the Normandy is going back on active duty, he's signed up to his old job as the ship's pilot. Mr Moreau refused a full interview but did have this statement, "I can't wait to fly the Normandy again, she's a beautiful ship. Now that EDI is back, I'll be able to teach her love and humanity once again. Hopefully this time without the Collectors kidnaping the crew."

"Next, is the new Captain of the Normandy, Major James Vega. After the war James married his partner Steve Cortez in a ceremony on the rescue ship SSV Olympic. Much of his military record is classified, but what we do know is that James earned his N7 rating during the Reaper War and has been the executive officer on the Alliance cruiser SSV Agamemnon for the last two years.

"Here is an excerpt from Major Vega's speech at the re-commissioning ceremony today," The screen plays the video in split-screen. James is standing on the dias in his best dress uniform and his back ramrod straight, "Commander Shepard taught me everything I know about being a leader. He left some big shoes to fill as captain of the Normandy. I hope to do him proud."

"Lieutenant Steve Cortez was the shuttle pilot, plus the, armory and logistics specialist during the war." A video plays showing shots of Steve from the war, the rescue, and now, "He has been teaching small craft piloting and maintenance at the Alliance Academy in Vancouver for the past seven years."

"I asked Mr Cortez about his feelings on his husband taking command, 'I have many great memories of serving on the Normandy. I think it's fitting that one of the old crew take command and teach a new generation the legacy of this great ship."

"Primarch Garrus Vikarian, and his wife Tali'Zorah vas Normandy, were part of the non-human members of the crew. Prior to the war, they also severed with Commander Shepard to track down the disgraced Spectre Saren Arterius who led a Geth attack on the Citadel three years before the Reaper War." Video of both Garrus and Tali play, "They now live on Palavan and are expecting Tali's first child, one of the first quarians to be born without the need of an environmental suit. Neither wished to comment on the record." Video of Garrus's hand blocking the camera, simply stating, "Not right now." as the two walk away.

Screen cuts to a shot of Liara and Javik during the Reaper War, "Probably the two most secretive of the crew is Doctor Liara T'soni and Javik, the sole surviving Prothean. As a Prothean expert it's natural that she'd form a scholarly relationship with Javik. Both have avoided the public eye since the end of the war, preferring to stay private. Their published works have expanded our knowledge of the Prothean era. Neither could make it to today's ceremony, but they did send word about their next book, "Lost Aliens of the Prothean Cycle" that will be published next week."

The screen cuts back to Khalisah, "When we come back from commercial break. We'll continue our coverage of the Normandy crew featuring an in depth roundtable interview with engineers Kenneth and Gabriella Donnelly, Retired Doctor Karin Chakwas, Engineer Gregory Adams, and QEC Communications Specialist Samantha Traynor, who's now head of research at Quantum Labs."

Epilogue III: Shepard & Kaidan's Citadel Apartment

The rebroadcast of Khalisah's news program is playing softly on the bedroom's wall mounted display. The volume is low and both of them had fallen asleep while watching earlier. Kaidan is awakened by Shepard snuggling and kissing his shoulder and neck. He can feel Shepard's manhood against his thigh. With a sleepy groan, "Hey, you're frisky tonight."

Shepard smiles, a twinkle in his eye and his voice husky, "Remember when you told me to wake you next time?" Using their old inside-joke. Both share the same carnal smile of desire while Alan rolls on top of Kaidan and gently pins his hands above his head. Continuing to gently kissing Kaidan's neck and using his tongue to tickle the sensitive spot just under his earlobe. The sensations let escape a pleasurable moan.

He can feel himself already hardening under the sheet as Shepard shifts on top, releasing his grip on Kaidan's hands. Using the new found freedom, his hands start to gently explore Shepard's body. The blue light from the windows glows off of his untrimmed chest as Kaidan's hand sweeps over Alan's tight pecs, over the gunshot scar Anderson gave him while under TIMs control, and down to his pajama bottoms. Holding onto Shepard's waist he pulls himself into a semi-sitting position, resting on his elbows.

His own voice wanton, "You know, Commander," Using his old title is part of the joke, "I think I do remember saying to wake me next time." He activates his biotics, sending sensual tingles down their spines, the biotic energy glowing off his body.

Shepard activates his own implant and holds Kaidan as he rolls them both into a laying position, his right hand stroking Kaidan's flank and trails down to the small of his back pulling Alenko closer to him, each feeling the manhood of the other. Every touch brings forth an electric tingle, from their merging biotic energy fields, as their hands continue to fondle each others bodies.

Kaidan rolls on top and slides down to kiss Shepard's neck then leaving a trail of kisses down his chest and farther down following the little hair trail below his navel. Breathless and unable to hold back any longer, Shepard sighs, "Kaidan, I need you. . . now." Gathering the waistband he pulls down taking Alan into himself, both men groan in ecstasy as Alan quivers in pleasure.

Sometime later, both are relaxing soaking in the joy of their afterglow while watching the Citadel traffic outside their window. Their apartment is near the end of the Kithoi Ward ward and faces back toward the Presidium and the Earth beyond. Kaidan loves it up here but their real home is in Vancouver, in the old family house with their child, David Alenko-Shepard, "Can you believe David is going to be eight in two months?"

Shepard lets out a short laugh, "Better question is; Do you think he's driving our mothers crazy while they babysit for us?" Kaidan's question reminds him of their upcoming wedding anniversary and his own little surprise present. Shepard sits up and walks over to pull something from the closet. Returning to the bedside, "Here, I got you something" Handing Kaidan a tall bag while sitting down on the bed next to him.

Kaidan opens the bag, "It's my favorite whiskey!" Hugging Shepard, "Go grab some glasses while I open this."

When Shepard returns, Kaidan is standing by the windows looking out at the Citadel wards and the Earth below. He pours some Whiskey into each glass and hands one to Kaidan, "Happy Victory Day, my love." they clink their glasses, "I couldn't have made it these ten years without you."

Embracing Shepard from behind. and pulling him close, Kaidan softly lays a kiss on his lover's neck, "I love you too, Shepard."