Fandom: Mass Effect
Pairing: mShepard, Kaidan Alenko
Disclaimer: owned by bioware, not me
warnings for smut, rimming, bondage, rope play
Summary: How can Shepard stay so strong when he's been through so much? The answer is- he can't. Not without Kaidan's help.
Fourth night in a row that Shepard is trapped in the middle of a dream and all Kaidan can do is watch.
He knows it’s not the one full of trees and whispers, the forest that Kaidan’s never seen but knows by heart if only from what Shepard tells him when they’re curled together in the dark at oh-two-hundred hours. That dream is slow creeping horror, the ghosts of every perceived failure coming together to haunt Shepard before they all vanish into fire and ash.
From the outside, it’s clear it’s not that dream at all.
In this dream, Shepard shifts and shakes with eyes moving beneath lids that are screwed shut, breaths coming from him as if each one is the last taste of air he’s ever going to get.
At one point, it was.
Shepard says he doesn’t remember anything when Cerberus put him back together again. He says he has no memory of his death at all but this is a damn lie because his body sure as hell remembers, reliving that singular moment each night right goddamned now.
Kaidan doesn’t need Shepard to tell him what’s happening, not when each raw recruit gets their heads filled with horror stories on getting spaced their very first day of basic, not when he has to hold Shepard down, straddling Shepard as best he can with the body underneath thrashing at full nightmare-fueled strength. There’s no way for Kaidan to dodge the elbow that comes for him, not without risking being unseated and his eye swells shut as he rides it out, Shepard tearing frantically at both the helmet and oxygen that aren’t there.
He calls to Shepard but Shepard can’t hear him when he’s floating a thousand miles above Alchera, not when Shepard is dying again and again in a place where he’s the most alone anyone could ever possibly be.
Tonight is different, though
Something new happens, something immeasurably worse happens.
Kaidan feels the man beneath him go very, very still.
The dream has never been this bad before, never gone this far. There’s no breath. There’s no twitch and that’s not a thing Kaidan can accept. Something animal, something visceral that Kaidan hasn’t known in years takes over and he’s blind to the blue fire that crackles across his skin when he reaches for a shoulder-
Kaidan lets a curse loose as soon as the energy courses between them but by then, he’s no longer alone. There’s a small jolt that brings with it a gasp and the eyes of a drowning man fly open, ripe with confusion. Shepard latches on to him as if Kaidan is the only thing stopping him from falling back into his own circle of hell, and maybe he is.
There’s no more rest for either of them that night.
A visit to Chakwas got rid of that blackened eye, but Shepard reaches for it just the same as he comes to Kaidan more stoic than he’s ever seen him. Shepard puts forward a proposal, an experiment, and it is so fraught with risk, so counter to every instinct Kaidan has that the suggestion barely gets a chance to unfurl before Kaidan shoots it down and for the first time in a long, long while, Kaidan questions what Shepard asks of him.
That’s a damn lie, too, because deep down all of the questions Kaidan has are about himself.
The discussion doesn’t come up again and there is no dream that night and none the next, which is more a relief than anything because there is so much sleep that needs reclaiming.
There’s no medigel for this. It’s not that selfsame blackened eye or a new broken bone but there’s a gaping hole all the same. Chakwas offers chemical intervention, but in the field, the cost to reflexes could mean the difference between life and death and Shepard wants nothing to do with it.
Another week passes and it’s an assault on a ruined station that does it. No atmosphere, no gravity and pitch blackness and there’s only so much Shepard can take before the dream is back again. This time it’s just as frightening, just as terrifying and Kaidan refuses to let it go as far before the shock of biotics comes. He cradles an exhausted Shepard to him and Kaidan pledges to anything that needs doing.
His abilities were a tool to Kaidan -a means to an end- and he been made to train his whole adult life in honing that tool into a weapon. Other species took these abilities for granted, refined their powers with a precision that humanity envied. Or perhaps only he envied. Other human biotics might be surgeons of their craft but Kaidan only knows his powers as a cudgel and what Shepard asks terrifies him more than anything.
Kaidan has questions and Liara is shockingly… unperturbed when he comes to her. Her counsel is thoughtful and clinical and while he tries to glean what he can, he still worries.
She begins by telling him that what they experience in life brings with it a muscle memory that carries over into dreams. Some memories… persist more strongly than others and she explains that with the right power, biotics can reset each nerve, each fiber and just as reave can take away life, it can carry a man farther from death.
This is just another battle to be won, she finishes. Just another monster to fight at Shepard’s side and that is something Kaidan only grudgingly accepts because there’s more than enough fighting as it is and the last thing Kaidan wishes to do is to make a battleground of Shepard himself.
So Kaidan settles on a different tactic, one that would give his powers a focus that has nothing to do with battle, nothing to do with war, and when he broaches the subject, Shepard’s eyes go wide more than a little before he accepts.
Preparations are more of a challenge than one would think because resources are thin. Besides, from now on, this is no one’s business but their own.
Pragmatism falls in line with precaution because neither wishes to be the cause of hurt of the other. The strips of linen they make are wide and even and it’s not like Kaidan uses the bed in his quarters anyway so the sheets are put to some use. Everything is discussed down to the smallest detail because that’s what they are good at, that’s what soldiers were trained to do and they have a plan in place before Kaidan ever cinches down the first knot.
Evening comes again and Kaidan’s doubts must be showing because there is kiss after kiss for him while Shepard offers up his wrists.
The catharsis begins with the first tie. It’s found in the patterns the ropes create on Shepard’s scarred skin and Kaidan takes the greatest care when he binds first one willing arm then the other to the head of their bed. Rope evolves its own shape Kaidan braids an ancient pattern around the torso waiting for him, creating a different form of armor for Shepard to wear.
There’s more flush to them then either would have expected once he’s done. Kaidan needs all of his focus for this but it’s not so simple with the strongest person he knows offering up everything to him, bound and long and lean. A muscled thigh nudging against his own reminds Kaidan they are nowhere near done.
There needs to be darkness so the blindfold comes next and Shepard goes rigid at the fabric over his eyes but Kaidan makes sure to chase this tension away with soft words and softer touches.
Kaidan calls up his abilities and they come to him as they always do, the field he creates so much a part of him that it floats away, radiating outwards from his entire being that it becomes an extension of his skin. He concentrates on this now and with more care than he’s taken with anything he’s ever done, he lets glowing fingertips brush against the throat so willingly bared to him.
A zap of static makes them both jump but it’s already forgotten while Kaidan listens, really listens, for every sound that Shepard makes. His thumb sweeps against a defined collar bone and Kaidan can feel the vibrations, the thrum of energy and from the soft ‘oh’ he knows Shepard can feel it too.
The ropes have their use as a guide wire and Kaidan follows their path, the intensity shifting slowly beneath his palm until he can find the boundary between pleasure and pain. Shepard is the one who leads him there. Each sigh and breath and gasp all fall to Kaidan for consideration and once it is pitch perfect, once he has Shepard singing for him, it’s only then that Kaidan moves on.
There’s a tingle as Kaidan licks his lips and he’s got no desire to waste it so he descends to deliver a kiss. Shepard is hungry for it, blindly catching Kaidan’s lower lip between his teeth. The kiss is rough and wet and even when his eyes shutter closed, Kaidan can see sparks of blue that arc between them, right along with a small jolt when their tongues meet. Whole fireworks come with their own tickle when Kaidan strums the roof of the mouth under his and it leaves his control so fragile he has to pull away.
Shepard lets slip a growl as soon as Kaidan leaves him and it’s mesmerizing to see this beautiful man straining against his leash, seeking out the contact that was lost
Watching is possible only for so long before Kaidan is called to duty. Not out of any need of Shepard’s… not at all. The word that they agreed would undo all of this is nowhere near his lips as Shepard pants out his feral frustration, ropes blanching lines into his arms as he fights himself.
No, it is Kaidan that can no longer keep away and he splays out his hand along flat abdomen which settles them both- outwardly, at least. His powers flow through him and Kaidan directs his attention to the groove along Shepard’s hip, the definition of muscle and bone too much to resist.
Breaths still come harshly to Shepard and Kaidan looks up, suddenly afraid. All of this is too new, too much and it would be too easy to go too far and Kaidan won’t allow it.
The breathing is no less harsh, but Shepard is there, nodding with vehemence because his tongue fails him.
That’s all the assurance Kaidan needs, just like all he needs is the skin of inner thigh that is so much paler than everywhere else. There are tendrils of blue that come with each bite he delivers while he works his way down. He knows Shepard is hard for him, straining as much here as everywhere else and Kaidan wills himself to ignore this, understanding that if he starts here, all of their efforts will end far too quickly.
And that will not do at all.
Nudging thighs apart, Kaidan starts in on long, flat licks that go from stem to stern, his biotics staying with him all the way. There aren’t very many of these needed before Shepard is using all of his considerable strength to dig his heels into the bed, pelvis tilting obligingly upwards and Kaidan takes it as an offering. The sounds Shepard makes are always a thing of beauty, but this… this reaches new heights, each one a halting, deep grunt that Shepard has never allowed himself before, as if he’s pouring every ounce of effort in meeting Kaidan’s tongue. It sure as hell looks like he is too as the ropes that hold Shepard down seem much worse for wear.
Kaidan throws himself into his work, his whole mouth flickering with energy as his tongue probes inwards. He loves all of Shepard, every part of him, every taste there is and this place is no different. His thrusts have Shepard throwing himself back as much as he can with the restraints in place, trying to get the man savoring him to go deeper, but it won’t be enough. Their lives dictate that this will have to end and that means it will never be enough-
“Kaidan… Kaidan, please-“
These words pour over him like warmed honey and though he’s suddenly filled with the urge to hear them again and again, Kaidan knows that now is not that time. He shifts within the home he’s made between Shepard’s thighs and Kaidan takes his cock in hand to see his power course through his body even here. The smooth head of him brings with it its own fire as he teases Shepard open and just this has Shepard moaning from a place deep within his chest.
Taking this slow is important but Shepard is not a patient man, and his bucking is driving them both mad. Kaidan feels a leg find its way around his waist while the other hooks over his shoulder and he moves forward inch by inch.
The way they fit together is perfection and Kaidan sets a tempo to recreate that fit again and again. His body moves in slow circles, refusing to accede to Shepard’s increasingly urgent demands. The sweat drips from him, his biotics taking their toll, but Kaidan will see this through, no matter what.
They’re fully skin to skin and there are tendrils of light everywhere because Kaidan is everywhere with it. He clutches Shepard’s thigh to his chest as he thrusts, tonguing at the ankle because that’s the closest bit of Shepard his mouth can reach. One hand free and it roams, discharging more energy anywhere he can find it – a nipple, a belly button, a rib- and the ropes are the only things that keep Shepard from thrashing.
His will is soon to be all that keeps Kaidan going and he finally returns his attention to what he’d ignored with deliberation. Shepard has been waiting for him and the barest touch of Kaidan against his cock has Shepard shooting everything he has between them, his shouts loud enough to chase away any ghost.
The feel of Shepard dancing around him is more than Kaidan can take and his thrusts lose some of that precious restraint he’s fought to keep all night. He dives in as deep as he can go, ripping a groan from a place within Shepard that Kaidan wants to find again and Shepard is still arcing up to meet his pounding, still matching thrust for thrust, and they are hip bone to hip bone with lightning striking between them, because they both want this night to be what Shepard remembers when his eyes close to the world, that it’s the memory of this and only this that Shepard will carry with him into the darkness.
That becomes a certainty because when Kaidan finally comes, there’s nowhere his light doesn’t reach.