niki_chidon: (Kaidan_b&w)
Niki ([personal profile] niki_chidon) wrote2012-11-01 12:43 am

Fic: I Have Never (Grilled My CO About His Sex Life) (Mass Effect, Male Shepard/Kaidan)

Title: I Have Never (Grilled My CO About His Sex Life)
Writer: Niki
Fandom: Mass Effect
Rating: R for adult themes
Characters: Male Shepard, Kaidan Alenko, Tali'zorah vas Normandy, Garrus Vakarian, Jeff “Joker” Moreau, EDI, Samantha Traynor, James Vega, Steve Cortez, Liara T'Soni
Pairings: Shepard/several (past), Shepard/Kaidan, Joker/EDI, Garrus/Tali (implied)
Summary: After yet another Cerberus-related mission Shepard decides the crew could do with a night off even though aboard Normandy, and somehow James talks them into playing drinking games. Shepard feels it was all planned to get him to talk about his private life but in the end can't argue with the results.
Notes: Horribly self-indulgent fic! Inspired partly by all the romance options in the final game.


The group arriving back to Normandy from the planet was quiet. Just when they thought they had reached the rock bottom of what Cerberus was capable of, the organisation proved them wrong. Killing civilians? All in a day's work. Forcing them to fight for them? Sure!

“I need a drink,” James said, decisively.

“I have to admit I'm with you,” Garrus replied, and when Steve made assenting noises, Shepard came up with an idea.

It sounded good at the time.

“I think we could all do with a night off. The Asari Councilor is expecting me on the Citadel, and I got the idea it was somewhat urgent. We won't be there until tomorrow, and while there, everyone else can have a day off for their inevitable hangovers.”

“You plan on not needing one, Loco?” James asked, grinning.

“Hey, dealing with the Council – maybe not being sober yet would actually help.”

- - -

Somehow this modest plan turned into a game night in the lounge while Shepard was in his cabin changing into his civvies. James was doing the rounds, inviting everyone. Dr Chakwas declined the invitation, politely, and Shepard arrived just in time to catch the tail end of it.

“Oh no, my liver can't take Commander Shepard for more than once a year. You young people have fun.”

Shepard flashed a predatory grin to James' questioning look.

It was unanimously decided that Diana Allers was not invited, as none of them wanted to end up as a sound bite, and the actual crew had to attend to their duties. Joker was torn between flying and joining in.

“I can pilot Normandy adequately while you are relaxing,” EDI said.

“Then who do I snuggle with?” Joker asked, looking around as if waiting for volunteers.

“You do know this body does not need to be in the cockpit for me to fly the ship, Jeff. But as I cannot consume alcohol, I fail to see why you would wish to include me.”

“Think of it as a... learning experience,” Samantha said, grinning.

“I have observed the crew drinking alcohol before,” EDI reminded her.

“Oh, I bet it has been nothing like this.”

Shepard wasn't sure he liked the mischievous look in the woman's eyes. What on Earth had they planned with James?

“Come on, Tali,” Garrus was saying. “There's some Turian whiskey for us. If we filter it a few times it should be safe for you. Well, as safe as drinking anything intoxicating is, especially around these people.”

“What's wrong with us?” James demanded, all wounded innocence.

“Do you want the list in alphabetical or topical order?” Kaidan asked dryly, and opened the lounge door, then waited for everyone to pass him in.

“The Avatar of Vengeance not joining us?” Shepard asked from Liara who emerged from the elevator just as they were getting in.

“No,” said Liara, suppressing an amused smile.

“During my cycle, we did not have this thing you call 'fun',” Joker said in a bad imitation of Javik's voice, and Shepard struggled against his own grin. He supposed it wasn't fair, seeing how much the Prothean had lost, but he could be a bit of a grump.

They piled on the sofas, James supplying them with drinks from the behind the bar. After everyone had settled, James shared a look with Sam, then grinned and grabbed a bottle of tequila and a pile of glasses.

“In the interest of teaching human culture to our alien crew mates, we are now playing a game called 'Never Have I Ever',” James announced, pouring tequila into the glasses and placing one in front of everyone but Tali and Garrus. Garrus got the hint and poured a few glasses of their beverage of choice for them.

Shepard groaned. “Can we at least call it 'I Never'? So that it doesn't sound like we're a bunch of twelve year old girls?” He was just starting to get an inkling that this night might not have been such a great idea after all.

“Your wish is my command, Commander,” James saluted him with the bottle. “Well, the rules are simple. You make a statement, something you've – surprise, surprise – never done, and everyone who has done it has to take a drink.”

“For example,” said Sam. “I have never slept with a Turian,” she said, looking pointedly at Garrus, who sighed, and emptied his glass.

As if by coincidence, everyone seemed to look at Tali. She did not move. Shepard considered not drinking, but... the only way to do this was to do it honestly, so he knocked back his drink. If the theme of the nevers was going to be similar, he was going to flirt with alcohol poisoning and convince everyone he was a slut.

Well, at least it would take pressure off Tali.

Garrus looked at him with an expression that conveyed similar intent to a raised eyebrow on a human, and he shrugged.

James just looked at him with a gleeful expression before turning to face the others.

“Okay, any questions? No? Vamos!” he said, and nodded to Steve who was sitting on Sam's right side, and was therefore next in line.

“Never have I, excuse me, Commander, I have never slept with a human woman,” Steve said, grinning.

Sam smirked and drank, James did so on her other side, Kaidan, Shepard and Joker joining in, all emptying their glasses with more or less grimacing. It was good tequila, Shepard supposed, but that's only saying so much.

“Really?” James asked from Joker. “How's that work?”

“Not truth or dare, Vega,” he replied, smugly.

James filled everyone's glasses again. “Garrus?”

“I have never slept with a human,” he said, showing the Turian equivalent of a grin.

The humans groaned, and drunk as one. EDI said, “I am glad I don't have a glass,” and Joker nearly choked on his drink.

“I have never slept with anyone,” Tali said, a little wistfully.

This time there was a respectful silence while everyone else drank, no one wanting to joke about the circumstances that kept the Quarian from experiencing intimate contact with others.

“Is it a rule that all the statements have to be about sex?” Liara asked, after James had filled the glasses again, and was reaching for another bottle, as they were nearly done with the tequila.

“YES!” shouted Sam and James. “No,” said Shepard. “And it usually takes a few rounds to get really dirty.”

“You should enjoy all these secrets,” Garrus told her seriously.

“Very well. I have never been to Earth,” the Asari said, after a short period of thinking.

Well, thought Shepard while emptying his glass again, the Shadow Broker wouldn't want to reveal any momentous secrets.

“I have never been to Thessia,” Kaidan said, next to her, grinning while she was the only one who drank.

“We always had a rule that if you're the only one drinking you need to tell the others about it in detail but... it seems kinda pointless now,” Sam said, grinning.

It was Shepard's turn, and the only things that came to his head were either horribly lame or unforgivably gloomy. He had never had a family, he had never had a home, he had never had an actual relationship, he had never...

“I have never... been married,” he said, in the end, choosing the most innocuous of the gloomy suggestions, smiling apologetically at Steve, whose smile said, no hard feelings, friend, before he drank.

Sam drank too, and that took all the attention away from the shuttle pilot.

“Oh come on,” she said when she noticed the looks. “I was young and stupid. Also, not truth or dare,” she reminded James, who was obviously about to ask for details.

Huh, that counted as the first proper revelation of the evening, unless Joker actually having gotten laid counted. Of course Shepard could have gotten that info from the personnel files – not about Joker but Traynor – but he hadn't felt the need to read them during this trip. After all, these were the people he was stuck with for the duration, and if they acquitted themselves well in the field, what did their past matter?

“I,” said Joker with a very bright grin, “have never run a marathon.”

As it happened, neither had anyone else. “Really? Loco? Esteban? No one?” James asked. “That means you choose the next bottle,” he told the pilot. “The first one to hit up on something no one has done.”

“Really?” Sam asked. “We always played it that if you hit something no one else has done either, you have to take a drink yourself.”

“I suppose that depends on whether that is supposed to be a good thing or not,” Liara pondered aloud.

“Drinking or coming up with boring shit no one has done?” Garrus asked.

“Well, we should have settled the house rules. Commander?” James deferred to his CO with a cheeky smile.

“The only time I've actually played this we just ignored the whole thing and moved on.”

“You are no fun,” James decreed, but nodded towards EDI. “You playing?”

“I think it would be fairer if I didn't, seeing as I will not be able to partake in the drinking part.”

“Suit yourself, then it's my turn.” James sounded all too gleeful about that, and Shepard wasn't surprised when the Lieutenant's gaze fell on him.

“I have never fallen in love with a crazy biotic,” he said, and Shepard knew the man had just been waiting for the opportunity to somehow refer to the topic ever since he had witnessed his and Jack's reunion in the Grissom academy. Damn.

“How are we defining crazy?” he asked, non-committally.

“Jack!” James clarified, grinning.

Shepard pointedly crossed his arms, and leaned back against the sofa. He didn't want to meet anyone's gaze. Some of them knew about his relationship with Jack, hell, ship rumour mill being what it was, they probably all knew, and he didn't need anyone judging him about his choices.

“That is a pretty narrow definition for a game like this,” he said, mildly, and looked pointedly at Sam, reminding her that it was her turn.

Sam was quick to cover the awkward moment and smiled impishly at Steve. “I have never slept with a human male.”

Steve toasted her with his glass before knocking it back. Shepard drunk his without a thought, but paused momentarily when he noticed Kaidan was also drinking. Well now... that knowledge alone might make the evening's embarrassments worth it.

“I have never, uhh, embraced eternity with an Asari,” Steve said, keeping his eyes at Sam, obviously – and gleefully – expecting her to drink. She did.

Shepard raised his glass again.

“I think the implication was for...” Liara started with an amused tone, then met his eyes and veered off. “Oh.” The word sounded brittle, like the old Liara, not the confident information broker he knew these days.

“Hell, Shepard,” James said. “Okay, that's it. Truth or Dare, one round, everyone gets one question, and can direct it at anyone. Questions?”

“I refuse,” Shepard said, flatly.

“Too bad, this is a democracy, Commander. All in favour?” he raised his hand, and almost all other hands were raised, too. “Too bad, so sad, you lose. First question, me to Shepard, truth or dare? Aw, screw that, no dares. Just truths. Everyone in favour?”

Of course it was bloody everyone in favour.

“So. Asari, talk.”

“Have you ever heard of the saying, gentlemen never kiss and tell?”

“Now if only we had some gentlemen in the room.”

“Officer, and sometimes a gentleman, my mother used to say,” Kaidan said, showing his one-sided smile, and Shepard thought “traitor”. He hadn't voted yes for the truth or truth round, though, which was something.

Besides, he had been there. Waiting outside the Consort's... office with Williams while he received his... reward.

“Sha'ira,” he said, resigned.

“The Consort?” James asked. “Holy hell, Loco.”

“Of course you have,” said Joker, dryly.

Shepard didn't look at Liara. That had been before they'd even met but her crush had been painfully obvious, and the hurt in her tone now had been... not pleasant.

“Really?” Kaidan asked, and he turned to look at him. “While we were waiting for you outside?”

“I didn't know that was going to happen,” he said, defensively.

“How could you not know?” asked Sam.

“It's not like I had an appointment or something. We just... did her a favour. She offered me some words as thanks. I said, thanks I guess, and the next thing I know... well, I'm just a guy.”

If accepting her offer made the others think less of him... as long as they respected him in the field he could live with it. He shot a quick look at Kaidan, though, to try to assess his reaction. He was the only one whose opinion mattered, anyway.

“Moving on!” he said, hoping the next person would ask someone else.

Of course not. It was Pick On Shepard evening in the Normandy lounge, and everyone was joining in.

“So-o, Turian,” said Sam, her smile more wicked than impish now.

“I was young, I was drunk, he was there.” He hoped that was enough.

“Anyone I know?” Garrus asked, out of turn, but Shepard supposed the others wouldn't care.

“If I knew his name, we could find out.” There. Shepard the Slut. Less than two rounds and he was already showing himself in less than stellar light. He started to reconsider his policy on truth.

“You really were not born an officer, were you, sir?” James asked.

“I'm sorry, sir,” Steve said, reminding everyone it was his turn. “But I have to. Guys?”

“Et tu, Brute?” he asked, quietly. “Yes. Fine. Guys. If it can be found in a sleazy bar, Shepard has fucked it, can we move on?” He emptied his glass, figuring he deserved it. “Garrus already used his, so, Tali, what do you want to know?”

“I'm sorry, Shepard. But... Jack?” she really did sound apologetic. And, well, maybe she had more right to ask, since he had used Jack as a reason to dodge her careful attempts at flirting.

“Look... I could have just been her friend. I wanted to, first and foremost. It was something I could give her, someone who was actually interested in her as a person, beneath all the external crap, the attitude, the tattoos. But the only closeness she knew was sex. Well, that was also something I could give her. She is... well. That's what she needed. Someone who wasn't just going to use her. It was in my power to give, so I gave it. And if I have in any way contributed to the peace she was found, her place in a world... then I don't regret it. At all. But I did not love her, not like that, and I don't think she was capable of feeling love. We... didn't really talk about things before I turned myself and Normandy over to the Alliance, but we have now, and we agreed we're better off as friends. And next time you want to know, just ask. Preferably one on one.”

He had lost the bitterness from his voice at some point, and was actually happy for a chance to explain. Just in case someone cared. Someone dark-haired with a rank of major who sat next to him. And also so that Tali wouldn't think he just took advantage of their crew mate.

No one leered or made any other improper comments, so he supposed he still held some respect in their eyes.

“I'll pass,” said Liara but the effort seemed to cause her some strain. Shepard was sure she was going to ambush him with some questions in private after this.

Kaidan cleared his throat. “Well, since this seems to be 'Grill Shepard' round,” he said, smiling. “Want to tell us what the deal with the bondage gear is?” he finished, pointing towards Shepard's gloves and belts, and the commander threw his head back and laughed.

He looked at the black gloves with their ridiculous straps, and tugged lightly at the orange padded vest that covered the black sleeveless shirt. “When I came on board the new Normandy... these were the only clothes I could find that didn't have the Cerberus logo on them.”

He met Kaidan's eyes, and saw the understanding there. Another thing he had wanted to explain to the man – he really hadn't taken the whole “working for Cerberus” thing lightly.

Again his answer was met with a silence.

“Since we're bending the rules like crazy anyway, my question is for everyone. Who let my space hamster escape during the retrofits?”

“Your... space hamster?” Kaidan asked, as if checking if he heard correctly.

“Well, it looks like a hamster, but I bought him in space, so... space hamster?”

“Why would you...?”

For Kaidan, he was willing to answer a question out of turn.

“It gets real lonely on board a Cerberus ship,” he said, quietly, again meeting Kaidan's eyes.

Tali made a noise in the background but it was Joker who spoke out loud. “I was here!”

“Yeah... man I knew as an Alliance pilot who had just told me he joined a terrorist organisation because they let him fly? It took me a while to decide whether I had just been wrong about your character all that time.” Honesty might not make him any friends tonight, but... maybe he had been waiting to say some of these things for a long time.

“I... yeah, I suppose I can see that,” Joker admitted, quietly. “But we're good now, right?”

Shepard offered him his fist to bump. “We're good.”

This was supposed to be a light, entertaining evening. Shepard looked at Joker and tried to convey his wish wordlessly. Joker smiled in understanding, and let a huge grin grow on his face.

“So, Specialist Traynor, tell us about this young and stupid phase you had.”

After she had giggled and groaned her way through the story – which Shepard thought she just might have embellished a bit just to get the game back on track – everyone seemed to want to give the commander a break and the nevers were decidedly non-sexual for a while.

Too bad that Steve decided to taunt James with a “I've never shown up on duty drunk.” James groaned and drunk.

So did Shepard, and again James' eyes almost bulged out of his head. “Sir!”

“I have never shown up on duty drunk and gotten caught,” Shepard replied, grinning, knowing it wasn't his turn, but wanting the payback on the nosy lieutenant.

Steve grinned again, and filled James' glass just a little fuller than the man himself did.

The statements kept getting sillier while the players got drunker and drunker – off the purely sexual stuff even Liara and Tali drunk more. James, of course, had gone through all the alien races he could think of, but not even Shepard had slept with a Hanar, Vorcha, Batarian, Volus or an Elcor, and only Liara had slept with a drell.

“I would totally have slept with Thane if he had been into it,” Shepard said, mostly keeping a straight face.

Then he remembered the drell was dead, and turned serious again and raised a toast to his memory.

When it was his turn to never, determined to get rid of the solemn mood, he looked straight into James' eyes. “I have never grilled my commanding officer about his sex life.”

Everyone laughed. James drank. He decreed that Steve and Sam should also drink. “Technically, not my CO,” said Garrus, with the Turian version of a grin on his face.

“Nor mine,” said Tali, slurring very slightly. “But you are my Captain, and I shouldn't have, so...” It took a few tries to get the straw into the proper slot, but she managed to empty her glass.

Shepard noticed Garrus mixing quite a bit of purified water into the next bottle they shared.

Everyone was starting to look a little worse for wear. Sam was a giggly drunk, James was insolent, Steve was quiet, Garrus just became more boastful. Tali... was hovering between giggly and contemplative. Kaidan seemed to be the quiet type, too, though Shepard couldn't really spot that many signs of intoxication on him.

He, of course, still knew how to hold his drink even if his years of heavy drinking (and sleeping around) had been left behind as he slowly got over Akuze.

Joker was leaning on EDI and seemed just like himself, except maybe a little louder.

But back to James' insolence. He should have known the man didn't know when to stop.

“I have never fallen in love with Shepard!” he declared, grinning a bit manically.

“No.” Shepard sat up straight, and met the younger man's eyes seriously. “There are limits,” he said with quiet determination. “You are crossing them.”

“Whooo boy. Either you have a real inflated ego, my friend, or you know something we don't,” James said, shooting a sly glance at Steve, and was that what this was about? Needling Steve?

“It's okay, Shepard,” said Liara, sounding... young but determined. She raised her glass, clinked it with Tali's – and they both drank.

Shepard could only stare.

Steve looked down but he also emptied the glass.

So did Garrus.

Shepard felt like he was in an alternate universe. He... they... what?

As if on their own volition, his eyes turned to Kaidan on his right. He looked determined, and holding Shepard's gaze... he also raised his glass, and emptied it without breaking the connection.

Shepard couldn't break the gaze. Everyone else in the room disappeared. Did he just...

He got up on his knees, reached out, and pulled the other man into a kiss.

He couldn't afterwards tell if his action was met with shocked silence or catcalls – all he could recall was the taste and feel of the kiss. Burning strong alcohol, burning sensations, eager tongue coming out to meet his and inviting it to play. Whiskey, and something dark, tempting, addictive, which could only be Kaidan's own taste beneath the liquor.

His hands were still cupping Kaidan's face, still somehow aware of where they were, still restraining himself from touching more, even though he was aching to. Kaidan's hands were touching his face, neck, wrapping around him to run over his back...

After he pushed Kaidan down on the sofa it took him far longer than it should to realise that the movement meant the other occupants of the sofa had moved away.

He wrenched his face up and found out they were alone in the lounge.

“I guess the party's over,” he said, looking down at the flushed face that could have come straight from his fantasies.

“Doesn't feel like that to me,” Kaidan said, grinning, and undulating his hips purposefully against Shepard's.

“...not here.”

Getting up felt like a sacrifice but he did, pulling Kaidan after him. Holding on to his hand, he walked them towards the elevator, fighting the urge to push the other man against the wall.

Unfortunately, walking cleared his head a bit.

He let Kaidan into his cabin, then headed to the head to throw some cold water on his face.

Kaidan was looking at the hamster cage when he returned.

“You really do have a hamster,” he said, and his smile did things to Shepard's insides.

“Space hamster,” he corrected.

Kaidan laughed, then turned to face him. “Now, where were we?”

“Kaidan... we can't. Not now.”

The smile was gone in an instant, replaced by resignation. “Of course. I'll...” he let the words die off, turning towards the door, head down.

“Kaidan!” Maybe he sounded more panicked than he should have but damn. “Not now. Not not ever.” But he kept his arms folded because if he touched the other man again...

“Okay, yeah, why?”

“You're drunk.”

“So are you.”

“Yeah. And it would kill me if you regretted it when sober,” he said, reaching to cup Kaidan's face despite his earlier resolve. “You're drunk enough to... to drink to that, to tell me that, tell everyone that, and would want me to believe your decision-making processes are not compromised?”

“And by 'that' you presumably mean the Shepard love fest,” Kaidan said, dryly.

Shepard swallowed, not really wanting to consider the implications of the last “never.”

“Yeah. So if you want to take it back, I have to give you the option.”

“I guess we'll have to wait for the morning to find out, don't we?” Kaidan asked, turning again to the door.

Shepard knew he had to let him go. He wasn't drunk enough to take advantage... but what if this night was all he had? What if Kaidan did realise in the morning that it had just been the drink talking? Or that Shepard the Slut wasn't really worth the risk? They were Spectres, true, but they were also Alliance, and fraternisation was fraternisation.

“You could... sleep here,” he said, before the other man managed to get the door open.

“Why?” Oh, he wasn't just being cautious, he was pissed off that Shepard was. If there was a man more desperate to be taken advantage of...

“Because I didn't kiss any of the others who drank,” he said quietly.

A pause.

“No, you didn't.”

“Because I didn't want to kiss anyone of them.”

“And?”

“And I refuse to have our first time be a drunken hook up.” He had enough of those in his past, after all. He wanted this one to be so much more than that.

“First time?” Kaidan had turned around, and the look in his eyes was almost fearful.

“Why did you think...? Kaidan, why would you... You think I could just sleep with you and that would be it?”

“Why not?” He frowned. “It's something in your power to give that I obviously need.”

To have his own words quoted back at him was bad enough but that Kaidan was lumping himself in with Jack...

“She wasn't you! That's why I had nothing more to offer her. She wasn't you.”

“Oh.”

“Why do you think it would hurt so much to have you change your mind later?”

“Oh!”

He was debating whether to say the words. Call him a romantic, but he wanted to be sober for them. For both of them to be sober for them.

“Sleep here,” he asked again, quietly. “So that if you come to your senses in the morning...” Then I've had that. And at least I'll know right away.

Kaidan was smiling, even though he was still standing by the door.

“Do you think I'm crazy?”

Huh? Was that an answer to his request? If so, did it mean yes or no?

“Why?”

“You asked James to define what he meant by a 'crazy biotic'.” The smile was almost smug now.

“Just how drunk are you, really?” The other man had a surprisingly clear memory, and seemed to have deduced the reason for Shepard's very careful word choices earlier in the evening.

“Not so very anymore,” Kaidan admitted, stalking closer.

“I'm still not having sex with you tonight.”

“Not even semi-drunken make outs on the sofa?”

“Don't tempt me.”

“A kiss goodnight?”

“You drive a hard bargain, Major.”

“Only when it really, really matters.”

“Yeah, I can get behind that.”

The kiss goodnight might have been more like five or ten, but as long as their hands didn't stray below the waist, Shepard considered his word kept.

- - -

“Good morning, Commander!” Joker's voice in the intercom sounded way too cheery for a morning after. “Just thought you'd like to know we'll be arriving in the Citadel in a few hours.”

“...Gotcha. Thank you, Joker.”

Shepard opened his eyes, rest of his memory returning.

“Morning,” mumbled a husky voice stunningly close to his ear, and he slowly turned his head to meet a soft brown gaze. He couldn't have stopped the slow smile forming on his face even if his life depended on it.

“Morning.”

Kaidan was smiling back, head on a pillow next to his, close enough that he would only need to move his head a few inches to claim a good morning kiss. He debated the matter quickly, pitting words like “morning breath” against notions like “he's still here.”

Kissing won.

“I love you,” he whispered, pulling away from the languid kiss, not able to hold back the words anymore.

“I finally got that,” Kaidan said, smiling. “I love you, too.”

“How's your head?”

“Feels like I've been drinking hard liquor all night. You?”

“Just about.”

“You know what's a really good cure for hangovers?”

“Meeting Asari councilors in two hours?”

“Two hours is a long time, Commander.”

“But not enough for what I have in mind, Major.”

“How long do you need?”

He really wanted to say something sappy as hell, like “a few eternities” but settled for the, admittedly sappy, but maybe a bit more realistic: “Rest of my life.”

“I... think I can find room for that in my calendar.”

Just before diving in for another kiss Shepard remembered something. “I think I owe James a drink.”