The Morning Before.
“You’re getting married today.”
The words whispered in Shepard’s ear brought her out of that place between wakefulness and sleep. She blinked slowly, letting her eyes adjust to the light leaking through the semi-closed curtains. Married? Was she getting married today? A hand slid down her side, traced her hip. She smiled, moved against his hand.
“Am I?” she asked sleepily.
His lips traced her ear and he rolled onto his back, holding her to him. She let out of a small noise of protest and wiggled free, his lingering grasp turning her onto her side.
“You’d better be. I’d paid a lot for that ring.”
She threw a leg over him, pulled on his ear. ”You’re getting married too, you know.”
He pulled her to him again, his lips finding hers immediately. The kiss was deep and passionate, full of probing tongues and wandering hands, as if they were kissing for the first time. Shepard slid on top of his, straddling his hips. One arm was flung up around his hand so she could slide her fingers through his hair, tracing the path of the grey at his temples. When they parted for air a moment later, Kaidan ran his nose along her cheek, nipped at the corner of her mouth.
“Oh I know. I can’t wait to become Mr. Shepard.”
She laughed, loud and bright.
Not that long ago, Shepard had been afraid of getting married, of committing herself to someone, to building such a connection when she led such a dangerous life. But, when the war against the Reapers had finally come to an end, she’d found herself with a new outlook. When the possibility of dying was such a constant thought, shouldn’t she be with the man she loved? She wanted to spend every moment she could with Kaidan, be with him in every way… So she’s finally said yes.
Her thoughts wandering through the past, Shepard’s fingers lifted to her dogtags, hanging between her breasts. She felt the ring, a simple palladium band and smiled. Kaidan would place it on her finger later today, and she would give him a matching one.
Kaidan returned her smile and kissed her again, softer. She slid back onto her side beside him, one hand remaining on his chest.
“Can we get married in bed?” she asked. ”I don’t want to get up or dressed.”
Kaidan shrugged. ”I don’t have a problem with that, as long as you don’t mind filling our room with all the guests.”
Shepard paused, tapping her lip with one finger. She pretended to seriously consider the prospect of having all their friends and family pile into their room, watch them say their vows in bed. She laughed again, but when she turned to look at Kaidan, she found his answering smile warm and thoughtful.
“I just… it’s been a long time since I heard you laugh like that.”
Shepard shimmied closer to him on the bed and pressed her face into his neck, breathing in the scent of him. He wrapped his arms around her and held her close again. If it hadn’t been for the shrill interruption of the doorbell, they might have fallen asleep there, in the perfect moment of the morning before their wedding.