Disclaimer: Mass Effect and all characters therein are property of Bioware and Electronic Arts. No monetary profit is being made from this story.
A/N: I wanted to write something sweet—it's mildly NSFW because Joker's kinda naked, but no smut occurs. Set shortly after the events of "Die Hard the Hunter". Title taken from one of my favourite James Taylor songs—yes, I'm old enough to like James Taylor. ;)
Joker sat down on his shower-stool and started to remove his leg braces. He paused for a moment, looking up at the ceiling. The dimpled ballistic-glass tiles had been installed when Cerberus rebuilt the Normandy—"civilian comfort by design" was the term Joker used to describe it and the other aesthetic enhancements made to the ship. He reached back to hit the release behind his left knee, popping the first brace off and setting it outside the stall.
"Hey, EDI?" Joker smiled slightly to himself.
"Yes, Jeff?" EDI's voice came over the bathroom speaker. "Do you require assistance?"
"Well, I don't require it, but…umm…." Joker felt himself blushing rather self-consciously, then busied himself carefully removing his boots. He examined the bruise on the top of his left big toe, a still-sore reminder of when he broke that toe by stubbing it in the middle of the night. The fracture had healed, but it still caused him some small amount of discomfort.
"I will be there shortly."
"Thanks, EDI." Joker finished taking off his boots, setting them outside the shower stall with his braces. He stood slowly and began to remove his trousers when he heard the door to his quarters open and shut.
"I am here, Jeff." EDI slid back the curtain and stepped into the shower stall. She was wearing non-skid shower shoes, a waterproof cap over her hair, and was carrying a clear pink bar of soap and a washcloth in one hand. "Though I am curious as to why you now require my assistance for your shower, when you have previously been able to do it yourself."
Joker finished sliding off his trousers and drawers, and moved to toss them outside the stall. "I don't require it," he said quietly, embracing EDI and giving her a gentle kiss. "But I'd like it today." He reached up and removed her shower cap. "And don't worry about your hair," he continued, "It'll be fine when it dries." He reached over to the switches on the wall, and activated the shower. The spray of warm water hit his back first, causing Joker to let out a soft sigh.
EDI smiled. "I understand now. You wish to share an intimate moment." Joker nodded slightly in response. EDI placed a hand on Joker's shoulder, then toggled on the sprayer attachment after putting the soap in the soapdish. "Sit down, please. It will be much easier for me this way." Joker sat in the shower seat and closed his eyes. EDI took the soap in one hand and lathered it over her fiance's chest and shoulders. "I hope the scent is to your liking," she half-queried. Joker sniffed the air, taking in the scent of cherry blossoms, and smiled.
"It's very nice," he said, eyes still closed. "It reminds me of when I visited Earth as a kid. My parents took us to Washington, DC—when I saw the Air and Space Museum…that's when I decided I wanted to be a pilot." He sighed softly as he felt the warm water rushing over him. "This is very nice too," he said, losing himself in the sensation of EDI reaching over him to gently scrub his back. "Thank you."
"You're welcome, Jeff." EDI stepped behind him, rinsing him off. "Put your head back," she said. Joker tilted his head back and opened his eyes. EDI's polymer-strand hair was slightly curled and hanging limply from her head. Joker reached up and brushed a lock of her wet hair aside, and smiled again.
"I'm a lucky man," he half-whispered. EDI leaned down to kiss him, then reached for the shampoo. She squirted a little bit onto Joker's head, then started to softly massage it into his scalp. He sat there, eyes closed again, a slight smile on his face. He'd asked Mordin, ages ago, about how to accomplish intimacy with EDI without breaking every bone in his body—the advice he got was helpful, but Joker decided that, right now, he just liked being close to the woman he loved. He didn't care that her body was polymers, metal, and circuitry—to him, she was just as much a woman as Shepard.
EDI rinsed the shampoo out of Joker's hair, then helped him up. She reached for the washcloth and soap again, and started to softly wash Joker's chest and abdomen. She got to his crotch, and paused briefly. Joker opened his eyes and looked down. EDI started to caress him, but he reached down and took her hands in his. "Don't worry about that—it'll go away on its own," he whispered, looking into her eyes. He kissed the palms of EDI's hands, then leaned forward slightly to kiss her. "I just like being fussed over every once in a while, that's all." He reached over to toggle the sprayer off, and finished rinsing away the soap on his front with the overhead before turning the water off.
Joker stepped out of the stall and onto the non-skid bathmat. He held out a hand to EDI. "Come on," he said. "I'll dry you off. It's the least I can do." EDI took his hand and stepped out of the shower stall, and Joker kissed her again. He reached for two oversized towels—a personal luxury he'd bought on the Citadel after he and Shepard turned the SR2 over to the Alliance—and wrapped one around his waist, then wrapped the other around EDI like a shawl. He gently wiped the towel over her face and body, then started to carefully dry EDI's hair. The terrycloth wicked away most of the water, leaving her hair slightly damp. "I love you," he whispered, kissing EDI again.
EDI embraced Joker, leaning her head on his shoulder. "I love you too, Jeff. Thank you."
EDI looked at Joker and smiled. "For letting me "fuss over" you," she said. "It teaches me more about personal interactions than any databank." She stepped back and started walking toward the door. She stopped, turned, and reached out her left hand while toggling the bathroom door release with her right. "It will be easier for me to dry you off, if you are lying down."
Joker chuckled. "Will you read me a bedtime story too?" he quipped as he took her hand and they walked out of the bathroom toward the bedroom. "Maybe give me some warm milk?"
"That was a joke?"
"Only a little," Joker said. The bathroom door slid shut behind them, and the exhaust fans kicked in to remove the condensation from the air.