The morning came and in turn, the chance Shepard knew he had to take in ridding of the irate children and Jessie J. Shepard was pondering to himself, “I can’t act like I promised Kaidan a white picket fence after we were honorably discharged.” Kaidan sensed trouble but not uneasiness in him and kissed his paramour on the cheek to bring him from his over-concerned state. He told him, “Babe, look at me. Everything will come to a head today. After this, we can have the settled life we want.” Shepard kissed his cheek in return and told him, “I’m glad I took that sanity check years ago.” He woke Matthew up and told him, “Up and at ‘em soldier. You need a new uniform.”
After refurbishing Will and Kaidan’s t-shirt and casual Alliance trousers respectively for Matthew, Shepard radioed the entire Armada to congregate in the meeting hall. “Leave everything but your precious mementos and weapons.” he advised. “We’re not going to be back after today.” Once out of their quarters, the Commanders and Matthew were met with a readied Authority. Catya’s ring blade, Blyvy’s mace, Violetta’s baseball bat, Will’s brass knuckles, Mileena’s Sais, Nina’s presence and Christie’s caked on with blood boots reaffirmed that after today Shepard and Kaidan were done fighting. They grabbed their combat shotguns and Matthew took the Zhua and demonstrated a freakish proficiency with it. “Well damn.” he said. “Well damn indeed.” Christie began. “Well, fuck this place. We need to head out.”
The Authority stepped into the elevator and left behind their luxurious incubation chambers. The very presence Shepard noticed in Nina would cause him slight concern as she looked somber with ominous blood flow. “Are you alright, Nina? You seem way quieter than normal.” Her non-verbal Morse code had the Commander worried but his feelings would have to subside as the elevator doors opened. Once all accounted for, the Authority were greeted with cheers from the Armada. “Whoa.” Catya began. “I didn’t think accolades quite like this could be made for bloodthirsty psychopaths like us.” Mileena countered, “What about all the shit you, Blyvy, Christie and Violetta did that got you applause?” Catya retorted, “Well we were all working with at best, disaffected people that developed a bloodlust. We’re dealing with former martial arts academy students who in a matter of seconds turned into looting, angry, disparate animals begging to see blood spill.” Mileena simply responded, “Fair enough.” The Authority proceeded to take the stage where Shepard affirmed that this would be the last time the Armada would reside at the base.
“The time to cower and retreat had already long since passed.” he began. “Now, we head to the harbor where we entered this life of bubbling and boiling tensions. Head to the front with the weapons and mementos you were told to save.” He ended the speech and with the Authority in tow, drove the cocoon out of the base’s door while Christie was shouting to the Armada “Keep up you sons of bitches!” They rushed to the harbor and as was Christie’s tradition, a C4 ridden explosion made sure the base left no traces of their presence there. “Goddamnit Christie!” Mileena exclaimed. “How much C4 do you have?” “I’m thinking at least another 400 lbs worth.” Christie replied.
Once nearing the harbor, the sight of numerous irate children had confirmed Christie’s suspicions that had she not killed the leader, they would have received faulty locale tips. “Do we make a bloody mess of them yet, Commander?” an Armada soldier asked. “Don’t act until I give the go-ahead.” he responded. Blyvy nudged him and pointed out, “I see a ship carrying the bitch we’re after right now. Once it docks, then it’d make sense to strike.” Shepard concurred and had reduced speed of the cocoon until Blyvy could determine if it was docking on apparent schedule. Nina finally uttered an urgent call to begin the attack. “iHeartRadio is attempting to sabotage our ideal conditions of an in-harbor attack. If we don’t strike, the irate children will gain strength.” Shepard pressed, “How do you know this Nina?” She pointed out one of the ship’s semaphore coded flags was refurbished in the iHeartRadio colors and logo. Blyvy confirmed this adding, “They would pull some tacky shit like this.” Shepard exclaimed to the Armada, “Everybody attack now!” The Armada proceeded to swarm the harbor in killer bee fashion with twice the ferocity. The horror of the irate children only fueled the quelled bloodlust of a group of near renegade former military personnel, crew, spawn, quad and legion co-leaders.
Yet their fury was nothing compared to the disillusioned and disparate Wu Shi Academy students. Before even Christie could lay her hands on a potential victim, the students themselves accounted for half of the irate children’s blood spilling. Students left and right grabbed irate children and ripped limbs from them. Said limbs were used to club other victims to bloody pulps. One student proceeded to shock Christie herself by performing a “Russian Mouthwash” by having an irate child’s teeth being mashed into the corpse of another victim. “Holy shit...” she thought to herself. “...the creativity Raiden never nurtured is just sad.” The half the students finished off caused a mass retreat of other irate children. “Everyone move in on the retreating targets post haste!” Shepard shouted.
The Authority bum rushed the retreating irate children and did numbers on them. Catya’s infamous ring blade sliced through the targets with the disgusting ease. Slashed throats and giddy declarations further emphasized her psychosis. “Teehee! Your voice is a little scratchy!” Blyvy’s mace and Violetta’s baseball bat provided sadistic grounds for a game of “Valhalla Sky-ball”. As Violetta smacked an irate child in the head, Blyvy in turn would swing her mace and kill them as the spikes of the mace tore into their skull. “Another bunt...” Blyvy began. “You’re getting sloppy kid.” “Oh fuck off.” Violetta replied. Will’s brass knuckles and Mileena’s Sais made just efficiently gruesome combinations with the irate children they sent to hell. He punched certain victims into Mileena’s Sais and she in turn performed Frankensteiners where the sheer force in her legs shattered the backs of the victims before Will beat their temples in and had them forcibly embrace death. Matthew contributed greatly in his lethal mix of Capoeira and Zhua handiwork. For every swinging kick that didn’t do the job alone, he would swing the Zhua and tear apart every opponent’s head apart. Between the six of them, the harbor had been coated in the other 45% of the targets there.
The remaining five percent were mowed down with Shepard and Kaidan’s combat shotguns. Although successful in trampling certain targets, it would be their weaponry that spilled the remaining blood. Bullets were cast like hell’s iteration of the messenger God; the harbor was rendered sanguine from repressed bloodlust and the desire to leave the world of conflict. Each target’s blood-curdling screams validated the Commanders’ ascension from the idle, stagnant microcosm of damnation. When the last two bodies of the irate children fell, the shift turned to the ship iHeartRadio had sent Jessie J on for the concert. As it pulled up to the site of the Armada’s destruction, Kaidan had noticed that Nina had gone missing. “What happened to Nina?” he began. “Where is she? Shepard! Nina’s missing!” Shepard would’ve began a search for her had it not been for the personnel of the ship being horrified and demanding the heads of the Armada.
“Who are you horrible people and what have you done here?” one personnel member asked. “You must be the reason this harbor was left in terrible shape the first time!” Christie reacted, “You must be the reason these sick fucks kidnapped two people we ended up having to rescue!” The personnel were floored to learn of the irate children’s actions. As Christie was continuing her tirade against the iHeartRadio personnel, Catya saw a figure swimming near the fuselage of the ship. “It can’t possibly be her.” she thought to herself. Once she scurried to the cocoon and noticed a powerful explosive nicknamed the “Mother of All Bombs/M.O.A.B.” missing, she rushed to the Commander. “Shepard...” she started. “...Nina’s about to blow up the ship with the M.O.A.B. in tow.”
His eyes were dilated from horror. The bomb Nina had taken was powerful enough to get the job done but often killed the detonator as well. “Why the hell would she do this?!” he wondered. “She doesn’t have to die to end this! No one on our side has to die for this to be over!” Before his reflexes had him dive near the fuselage, Violetta said to the Commander “Nina’s on the ship! What the hell is she doing?!” Before he reacted further, a soaked Nina delivered a stern and ominous message to the iHeartRadio personnel. “I hope your families know you loved them before you died defending a poor excuse of a pop singer.” Shepard was scrambling mentally as to what to do next. He had Catya show him to the cocoon for a full weapon inventory check. “If we can figure out what type of M.O.A.B. she has, maybe we can diffuse it or prevent her from being in the explosion.”
Christie tagged along out of concern and naturally Kaidan was worried that Shepard’s uneasiness could resurface, so he tagged along as well. Once the four of them were at the cocoon, relief was beginning to set in as more iterations of the M.O.A.B. were sighted. The timed iteration, the C4 replicating iteration and an iteration of the device requiring a code word to detonate it were accounted for. Shepard asked Catya and Christie, “What version of the M.O.A.B. does Nina have?” Catya’s mind was racked with mental recollection while Christie had a gut wrenching realization. “Oh no...she’s going to live up to the ‘Human Osprey’ moniker I gave her.” she said. Catya then remembered what iteration of the M.O.A.B. Nina had taken. “She has the pressure sensitive version of the bomb that when dropped from a high point of any structure is twice as powerful.” Kaidan confirmed the fears that were setting in and saw Nina with the bomb in her hands readied to jump from the top deck of the ship onto the personnel.
Apart from the M.O.A.B. itself, Nina had revealed stealing a megaphone from the cocoon as well. Shepard grabbed the other megaphone and attempted to talk Nina from her kamikaze style desire to end the conflict. “Nina!” he started. “You don’t need to do this! We can easily gun them down and after that it’s over!” She responded, “I know full well what I’m doing here Commander. Once I detonate this, nobody will want to disrupt the life you and Kaidan deserve.” Shepard pleaded, “Kaidan and me leading a happy life isn’t dependant on you dying Nina! I’m having the Armada gun down the personnel.” His call was met with the swift brutality as the guns they drew made short work of the personnel. “See?” he pleaded with her. “You don’t need to drop the M.O.A.B. Please come down from the ship.” Nina proceeded to do the near impossible when she broke the heart of the Commander. Her response to Shepard’s pleading was a cold but tearful, “Get the hell out of here, Shepard. Get the hell out of here! All of you; get the hell out of here now!”
When she pressed the button arming the bomb, Blyvy realized that Nina had been plagued martyrdom. “She’s not kidding! This is not a drill!” The Armada ran fast and far away from the harbor. The Authority huddled in the cocoon as Kaidan and Christie were attempting to have Shepard settle into the cocoon. He was inconsolable from her action being finite despite his efforts. His shouting, “No! Nina!” had fallen on deaf ears as things around him moved at a slower pace. Kaidan finally broke Shepard’s mental haze when he had to slam him to the floor of the cocoon. He told a near sobbing Shepard, “Don’t look! For the love of God, don’t look.” The cocoon sped off to avoid the inevitable blast. Once they had caught up with the Armada, Kaidan told them, “Keep running! Don’t look back!” He bunkered down with Shepard just as Nina and the M.O.A.B. made contact with the corpses of the iHeartRadio personnel. The blast had destroyed what was left of the ship and nearly engulfed the cocoon and Armada’s space.
The Authority members left were able to escape virtually unharmed physically. Some of the Armada soldiers weren’t as fortunate as their superiors as the blast knocked some to unconscious states. Once the blast had become past tense, Shepard’s tears were the first vocal patterns anyone heard. As much as Kaidan wanted to console him, he realized that the self-imposed martyrdom Nina had in her was a flashback of his decision to save him over Ashley on Virmire; the very reason Kelly Chambers had staged an attack on him in the first place. Against that very instinct however, Kaidan began to tell the man he followed to hell and back that things were going to be OK. “Shepard...Shepard, can you hear me?” he asked.
“I couldn’t save Nina...” he began. “...in all my years fighting, I lost very few people under my watch.” Kaidan finished, “...and Nina’s death hurts like hell right now because of the fact she wasn’t a soldier, but a young girl who was infested with martyrdom.” As Shepard was touched by the sentiments, his beau continued “I’m not the only one who’s going to wish she never pulled what she did. You can look to this very Armada and find tearful, angry yet mournful faces over losing someone who was going to live had they not sought false heroism.” Christie confirmed his words by shedding tears of her own. “He’s telling the truth Commander. Before Catya made her protective eyewear, I pretty much opened up that beating thing in my chest that I normally rip out of others. Seeing her become a martyr for no reason upsets me just as much as it does you. We’re going to move on because we at least have better memories of her before today.”
Catya added her sentiments in the matter. “It’s going to be the toughest time for me as well. She’s about to have me break a personal code I have of not mourning false martyrs. She was a sweet blue turned silver eyed girl who thought making a statement like that made her some type of supernatural protective force. I’m going to miss her more than I hate her, but goddamnit if it isn’t near the cost of compromising a hardened principle of mine.” Violetta looked to the remaining members of the Authority and Armada alike and beckoned them, “Say anything you want about Nina’s memory as you see fit now. Before I do...please; if you have anything to say, do it now.” Will gave his perspective on things saying, “Now that I look back, she always seemed to be contrarian; especially with choosing to stay with us and not wanting to leave with Silas and Therese.” Violetta interjected, “That is the least dense thing you’ve ever said. I too, detected vibes that she was putting on an act of wanting to fight, but only to spurn the others.” Will continued, “Be that as it may, she was still able to clue us in on a lot of what we saw. I’ll remember her for the positives but might not forgive her negatives.”
Matthew had opted not to contribute much other than what his impressions of her were in the short time they met. “All she seemed like was an introspective and deep person. It’d be wrong of me to be affected to the tune of what you all are feeling. However, Nina’s action floored me and I too might not forgive her for that. I’ll mourn but it’ll feel weird knowing the Commander did his damndest to save her.” Nobody else decided to speak on the matter, let alone Violetta. Kaidan took this as the cue needed to bring Shepard out of his tearful guilt. “You know full well bringing things on yourself is never conducive to your health. We’re all in this with you, Shepard.” The Commander’s tears subsided once he saw Kaidan’s face have a surrounding beam of light around him. “I did everything I could, right?” he asked. “You always checked to see if there was anything you missed.” Kaidan replied. Shepard grabbed his beau and kissed him like they were the last two surviving members of the Armada.
Mileena then asked, “Where do we go from here?” No one in either the Authority or Armada wanted to entertain answering the question. Only Blyvy responded, “We don’t hate that question, Mileena. We just don’t know how the fuck to answer it right now.” Hours elapsed as the mood had shifted from that of mourning and reverence to a much-needed if not cumbersome time for introspection and future-tense thinking. Matthew realized only moments later that despite completing the mission and ridding the world of villainous cretins, their actions did qualify as an act of mass murder. “Anybody else want to have this moment to think while we’re on the run from any 5-0?” he rhetorically posed. Catya responded, “No 5-0 is actually focused on crime-busting, but I like how you think.” Shepard’s mental state was further racked with instability once he realized he and Kaidan couldn’t make good on settling in Seattle. “I need a moment in private with you.” he whispered to him. He had the rest of the Authority clear out of the cocoon and assess what they could of the remaining Armada.
“You’re confused as to where we’re supposed to end up aren’t we?” Kaidan asked.
“I wanted us to be able to live a settled life without conflict like this.” Shepard replied.
“All you’ve ever done is resolve conflict; not further it or cause it.”
“What I wanted was to not have either of us worry about the other anymore.”
“Both of us are still here, Shepard. You and I lived up to our ends of the deal.”
Once it sank in that throughout the conflict neither he nor Kaidan had garnered so much as a scratch, Shepard had an epiphany that he meant he didn’t want to see the look of utter heartbreak on his beau’s face again. He said to him, “I never wanted to see that look you had as you were being evacuated from before I fired the Crucible against the Reapers. All I wanted was to see you without an iota of heartbreak.” Kaidan reciprocated Shepard’s earlier favor of grabbing him tight and passionately kissing him like they were the remaining survivors of the Armada.
Blyvy went back to the cocoon and relayed to the Commanders, “Of our some 497 foot soldiers, 17 died in the blast from Nina’s act of false martyrdom.” Kaidan thanked her, saying “It’s good to know that the Commander saved 480 lives.” With that, Shepard took that as a cue to figure out the answer to Mileena’s question of where the Armada was to head next with their mission complete. Christie asked Shepard for his thoughts. “You’re the only one that can make sense of everything that even reads as even vaguely cryptic.” “The only thing that makes sense to do is go our separate ways.” he began. “You and the others may have been in the picture long enough to help us out, but the thing Kaidan and I wanted was a life without further conflict.” She countered, “Not to be a bitch about semantics, but without us the mission would’ve never come to fruition like this. We can easily come with you and no longer fight people.” Kaidan retorted, “You wouldn’t really give up fighting. We’re flattered at the sudden desire to keep company after the mission ending, but we all know it couldn’t last forever.” “Damn, you’re right.” Christie replied. Shepard added, “That and when it comes to sex, I would appreciate not having a group of people outside listening in on us.”
Christie only chuckled then responded, “Don’t you at least want Matthew with you two for another romp before you distance yourself from all of us? Seems improper not to consider such a tantalizing offer.” “Damn, she’s got us there.” Kaidan smarmed. Matthew chimed in, “Sure I’d have sex with the two of them again, but at this rate they need time to themselves. Without us and we have to be cool with that.” “I always seem to get the gentlemanly ones wanting to get in my pants.” Shepard snarked. Catya began the goodbyes of the Armada knowing that the decision was finite. “You two take care of yourselves. Love and fuck each other with the same fervor.” Violetta then said, “Just remember that a peaceful life is one without children.” Blyvy added her goodbyes; “You two have had the hottest sex and biggest hearts out of men I’ve ever met in my livelihood.” Christie gave her goodbyes last but made it the most lasting. “My apologies for using the B***** S******** word in public. Oh and happy travels, motherfuckers.” “Well damn.” Shepard said.
Will and Mileena then took their turns hugged the Commanders goodbye. “The lady and I are headed to a place where her many vices can be satisfied.” Will said. “Where would such a place be with her vices?” Kaidan queried. “Las Vegas!” Mileena exclaimed. “Bright lights and crazy people mix well there.” Matthew was the last of the Authority to give goodbyes to the Commanders and his goodbyes would be lasting memories. He grabbed Shepard, kissed him and cupped his loins. “That one’s for you.” he said before he grabbed Kaidan, kissed him and grabbed his ass saying, “That’s for you.” He finished his goodbye with, “Call me at this number once you’re ready to have me in the middle or whatever’s humping your camel.”
Blyvy did want one thing back from the Commanders. “We’ll need the keys to our heirloom you’ve been driving. Just formality of getting the fight out of you and all that shit.” Shepard tossed the keys and felt the uneasiness leave him. Once she caught the keys, Catya took them, started the cocoon, rounded up the Authority and Armada members and said to the Commanders, “Steal yourselves a new car, bitches.” She sped off, confirming that Shepard and Kaidan were no longer facing conflict and could begin the new life they always wanted. Shepard looked to his beau and romantically offered in a twisted fashion, “Let’s pick out a car to commandeer together.” They roamed the streets for not even five minutes until they spotted a blue Subaru BRZ. “Alliance blue...” Kaidan began. “Let’s take this one!” Shepard went to the driver’s side to find the door unlocked and the keys in the ignition. “Hop in.” he playfully demanded.
Once in the car with Shepard at the wheel, the two liberated lovers decided that Seattle for all of its eventual cathartic properties wasn’t fit for living in permanently. The two of them feared that the other would be consumed by the loss of Nina. Kaidan thought to himself, “Even with me being able to bunker him down in time, he might still think he saw the whole thing. I prevented him from seeing it, but dammit if I’m not thinking he’ll have visions of it.” Shepard in turn reflected to himself, “Kaidan’s going to take this on himself for me. He’ll hop on the good foot and harbor guilt for the two of us. I can’t have him think either of us did anything wrong. I tried and failed to talk her out of detonating the bomb on her person and he protected me from a grisly sight without bloodshed.” The pregnant pause was broken when Kaidan offered a sweet, almost anecdotal benefit of not settling in Seattle. “There wouldn’t be enough dark truffles on pillows to feed you with.” he told his paramour. The slight laughter was enough to reaffirm their beliefs that they would finally move on.
Kaidan asked Shepard, “Where do we go now? Besides ‘not Las Vegas’ because Will and ‘Jaws’ are there.” He decided the two were to venture to San Francisco to at least let Dr. Chakwas in on what had transpired in the final hours of the mission. “Last I checked, I think the phone was with one of us.” he said. Kaidan checked his pockets and reacted, “No phone on me.” At a stoplight, Shepard found the phone in his right pocket and asked his beau to dial up the Safeguard. “Call Dr. Chakwas for me and tell her we’re on our way to see her, please.” “Ay, ay sir.” Kaidan replied. He dialed the number for the Safeguard and on the first try heard Maureen greet the call. “Alliance Refugee Safeguard, West Coast division; this is Maureen, how may I be of assistance?”
“Maureen, it’s former Alliance Major Kaidan Alenko calling on behalf of me and former Alliance Commander John Shepard.” he replied. “Kaidan!” she began. “Thank goodness you two are alright! We just caught wind of an explosion in Seattle and were wondering if the Armada had survived the blast.” Kaidan explained, “We’re on our way to San Francisco to want to talk to Dr. Chakwas about what happened up there.” Maureen replied, “I’ll have Dr. Chakwas know you two are en route to the Safeguard. Do you need the address of the facility?” He responded, “Yes we will need the address. I don’t believe we asked Dr. Chakwas for the address the last two times we’ve seen her.” Maureen relayed, “We’re on 90 Seventh Street, fifth floor.” “Thanks Maureen. We’ll be there soon.” he said.
Hours later, the two of them arrived in San Francisco and headed to the address Maureen had given them. As they were exiting the car, Dr. Chakwas said to them “Commanders! Over here!” The two then were escorted to the elevator where the Dr. began pressing the two for information about the explosion. “We only caught wind of it before you called. What do you know of the explosion?” Shepard explained, “The Armada I led originally gunned down the remaining irate children that kidnapped Silas and Therese. iHeartRadio personnel then attempted to intervene on their behalf...before Nina jumped from that ship’s top deck with a M.O.A.B. and detonated it; killing herself in the process.” Dr. Chakwas was floored. “Nina died after you gunned down the enemies?” “Even after the iHeartRadio personnel were gunned down.” Kaidan confirmed.
Once the elevator doors opened, she led the two to her office. She said to Maureen, “I need you to hold appointments of mine until I reacquaint myself the former Commander and Major.” Once they were inside and the door to her office was closed, Dr. Chakwas asked Shepard “Did you try to talk Nina off of detonating the bomb?” He replied, “I more than tried. I had the Armada gun down the iHeartRadio personnel to prove she didn’t need to die so Kaidan and I could be happy.” “What do you mean ‘so you and Kaidan could be happy’?” she pressed. He explained, “The last thing she said to us before telling us to get the hell out was ‘nobody will want to disrupt the life you and Kaidan deserve’ after she did what she did.”
Dr. Chakwas knew he was telling the truth but was still racked with confusion. “She legitimately thought she had to die in order for you two to be free from harm’s way?” Kaidan replied, “She didn’t realize her mortality had no correlation or effect on me and Shepard’s happiness.” The Dr. reluctantly entertained the idea of Nina’s death as a martyr before realizing, “No martyr figure would do something like this. She died a fool but a compassionate fool.” She then pressed on the whereabouts of the Armada. “Where did the rest of them end up?” Shepard replied, “17 of the foot soldiers died in the blast from the M.O.A.B. and the rest are with Christie and the other members of the Authority. The only known future whereabouts are that Will and Mileena intend to settle in Las Vegas.” “At least Will isn’t shallow.” she snarked.
Shepard then proceeded to ask the Dr. about Silas and Therese. “Did those two ever get reunited with their foster families?” She replied, “Yes, both of them were reunited with their foster families. Amazingly, neither family wished to press charges against us despite the fact that it was our crosses to bear.” Kaidan pressed, “Did they get any therapy or counseling here before they were reunited?” The Dr. replied, “We were able to feed and clothe them in non tacky attire, but when we called the families to let them know we recovered them they insisted on immediate reunions with them.” Kaidan though touched at the sentiments expressed concern of their well beings. “I’m not saying corners were cut but isn’t there some protocol or prerequisites in place to have them mentally stable before reunions like this?” She assured him, “We told them that right as we called them but that didn’t seem to matter to them. They simply wanted the children they had applied for and were able to begin raising back with them. We did send them literature on bereavement and mental health as a formality.” Kaidan exhaled a sigh of relief as Shepard pressed, “Is there anything else you need explained from us about Seattle?” “No, everything seems to be in order. Thank you for your time Commanders.” she replied.
After feeling more than satisfied more or less with the explanation of the aftermath, she escorted the two down the elevator and to their car. “Thank you for letting me know about everything that happened. Drive safe and for God’s sake don’t stop loving each other.” she told them. Kaidan chimed in, “You won’t have to worry about that. I followed this man too closely to let life’s obstacles like this get in the way of that.” Shepard cheekily added, “Besides, who else am I going to find that can make bacon, beef and garlic with hot sauce the way he does?” “Jackass.” Kaidan playfully purred to him. After receiving further well wishes from Dr. Chakwas, the two hit the road again and attempted to figure out where they would end up having to settle. “Your call, Commander.” Kaidan began. “San Francisco is tied to the Armada by proxy so now we’re two cities out of luck.” Almost out of character, Shepard responded “Let’s go where the wind takes us.” “Wow, Shepard. Did you really just say that?” he playfully reacted. He kissed him and said, “Yeah. So, how about sightseeing the U.S.? It’s sure to have changed since we’ve been in space.” “Don’t be too much of an optimist, Shepard.” Kaidan cheekily smarmed.
Hours later in a Los Angeles Hilton, they decided to call up Matthew to see if he was still interested in any advances. Shepard dialed the number and Matthew teased them for a lack of restraint. “Well, well, well...” he began. “You want me with you two that bad huh?” “Where are you?” Shepard queried. Matthew replied, “En route to Los Angeles; about five minutes from the city actually. As soon as the Co-Viceroys stopped at a nearby diner with the Armada for a celebratory feast, we ate and then got abandoned by them; but not before they told us ‘Well, it was nice kicking ass with y’all. We paid the check so you can all fuck off now. Love you!’” Kaidan chimed in, “Was that all Catya? I swear she’d be the type to put people down without resorting to profanity only once.” Matthew responded, “I see you nabbed a smart one, Shepard.” After chuckling, Shepard told him “I’ll text you the address of the Hilton we’re in right now.”
The feast Matthew spoke of took place at a diner not five miles away from where the Armada as a whole saw the Commanders. Treating the diner like another conquest, Christie shooed off the regular clientele while being more than out of characteristically nice to the staff. “All we want is a nice place to celebrate a going away dinner as we see fit.” she began. “Fuck with us even once and I’ll have your spine down your throat.” An Armada soldier warned the staff, “I’ve seen her do that and some other crazy shit along the way.” As caloric monstrosities were ordered and handed out to the diner’s most successful rush, Catya proposed a toast to the departed Commanders. “Everyone, shut the fuck up; to our old friends and dear sons of bitches Shepard and Kaidan! May their sex life be longer than their rap sheets!” “Hear hear!” the Armada exclaimed.
Matthew recollected further that Blyvy was the friendliest she had ever been with him that very instant. “I’m glad at least you stayed along for the food.” he remembered her telling him. “Stick around and I can have Christie jack the keys to the poor bastard running this place’s Corvette out front.” The thing that stood out as much as Blyvy’s twisted sense of kindness was Violetta buying food for the Commanders based on impulse. “Those two deserve these porterhouse steak sandwiches and fries like the rest of us. Next time you fuck them, give them the sandwiches and freak them out by telling them it was from me. There’s another set for you too, you adorable schmuck you.” Once the check arrived, Christie handed Matthew the keys to the ride Blyvy noted. “She said to and I was disgusted how easy it was to do it. Act surprised when Catya, Blyvy, Violetta and me ditch this bitch.”
Five minutes exactly after they spoke, Kaidan looked out of the window to see Matthew drive to the hotel front in a Chevrolet Corvette Stingray convertible. “He rides domestic in more than one way.” Kaidan playfully snided. Shepard replied, “Bring him up to the room. I’ll keep the door unlocked.” “See you in a few.” he teased. Minutes later after an elevator ride, he met up with Matthew in the lobby and redirected him back to Shepard. “Good to see you again.” Matthew said. “It hasn’t been that long.” Kaidan teased. “What’s in the to-go box?” He replied, “Porterhouse steak sandwiches and fries courtesy of all people, Violetta.” “I’ll be damned.” Kaidan began. “She did have a considerate bone in her body.” Once off the elevator, they knocked on the door to let Shepard know they were back. “Shepard, you nearby?” he asked. He opened the door to a surprised Shepard. “That was fast.” he said. “Hey Commander.” Matthew playfully cooed. “Nice to see you and the Major here in...familiar territory.” His response was locking the door and rushing the two to the bed with impressive speed. “Damn, man. It hasn’t been that long since we last did this.” Kaidan said.
Impulse had turned into a new found aphrodisiac for the Commander. He stripped Matthew of his clothes first, surprising and arousing his beau. “Shepard...my God...that’s really hot.” he said. The Commander responded by stripping him of his clothes more expediently than normal. “I’m still me, Kaidan.” he seductively assured. Kaidan in turn had Matthew assist in stripping Shepard of his clothes and letting their hands and kissing lead the way. He hated being idle in the action and grasped each of his carnal admirers with equivocal passion. He and Kaidan’s tongues once again met and swirled into each other’s mouths.
Shepard in turn grabbed Matthew and re-introduced him to his tongue. “Both of you miss this, don’t you?” he teased. Kaidan replied, “Careful Commander...that will result in things going thump against the headboard.” “Don’t act like it’d be punishment. I want to see that.” Matthew chimed. Shepard countered, “You know full well you want in on this too.” The two of them tossed Shepard onto the bed and each let their oral fixations result in vocal accolades and reverberations that drove them to maintain the act. “When did you two get even better at this?” he asked. “Wait, why do I care?”
After fifteen minutes between the two of them, Shepard had Matthew work some magic on Kaidan. Their alternating oral skills had him almost twitch with elation. “Wow...sweeter than bannock...holy shi...” Matthew in particular was euphoric in every swivel of his head and in every hair stroke Shepard took advantage of. “You could get used to this, couldn’t you?” he asked him. “Damn right.” he replied. Twelve minutes later, Matthew was on the receiving end of Kaidan and Shepard’s gifted skill set. Reminded of the legs he had longer than the Sahara, they fell into the same pattern of heavenly alternation. “So this is the thanks I receive for bringing steak sandwiches?” Matthew began. “Shit, I should’ve realized that sooner.” His innate toe-curling had led to reverberations that only enabled the Commanders to keep at it. Twelve minutes later, Kaidan had started a chain in which Shepard was beneath him and Matthew was on top of him.
Then, the combination was Shepard on top of Kaidan and Matthew on top of Shepard. The combination in turn led to Matthew on top of Shepard and Kaidan on top of him. He then switched it to where Shepard was on top of him and Kaidan was beneath him. The overall result was almost a potential turning kinetic energy driven breeding ball of clenched linens and emitted vocal praises. Their names proceeded to fill the room with every plosive and formed syllabic fireworks. “Kaidan!” “Matthew!” “Shepard!” Three hours and fourteen minutes later, the three of them relieved themselves of the built up energy they had created into glossy humectants that coated them near evenly.
Exhausted, happy and hungry, Kaidan led the others into the shower to clean themselves off. “We do have to wash up for dinner.” he purred. They were as diligent in their coitus as they were in their cleanliness. “I’m cleaning places I don’t even think my doctors at Huerta Memorial knew about.” Kaidan said. Shepard added, “I’m reminded of certain places I didn’t learn I had until after Project Lazarus.” Matthew chimed in, “I’m just a lucky son of a bitch.” The Commanders laughed and eventually were cleaned up. They stumbled in remembering how to dress themselves, but minutes later they were able to remember what was stripped off of who. “That was amazing.” Kaidan said. “I don’t think I’ll have it that good for a while.” Shepard assured him, “We’ll have each other and we always try to outdo each other in some way, right?” Matthew proceeded to where the food was placed in the rush of getting undressed. “I’ll trust this place has a stocked fridge of something to drink with our dinner.”
Over tokens of Violetta’s gratitude in the form of porterhouse steak sandwiches, Coke Zeroes and Canadian Lager, the Commanders and Matthew conversed one last time over where they could end up. “I know you and the mister here have plans to end up somewhere.” Matthew began. “Any thoughts about staying on the West Coast?” Shepard replied, “It’s a distinct possibility, but I want to take things easy with him. We never did get to enjoy all the sights of space, so second best is sightseeing or possibly reliving most of what Earth has.” Matthew looked at Kaidan and said, “You’ve got a keeper in this one.” “I know.” Kaidan said with pseudo smugness. “What about you? Sticking to California?” He replied, “That’s how it’s looking. Seeing this much of the sun and all this beefcake along the way has me sold already.” Shepard smarmed, “You do realize that not all the beefcake is shaped and molded like we are, right? It isn’t wise to invest on a preview alone.” Matthew countered, “Beefcake is visual. This was sex and I don’t care if it’s this good again in five minutes or five years from now.”
After their indulgent merriment, Matthew advised them to keep the number in case they were to ever settle in California. “I’ll be here.” he reminded them. Minutes later, he rode down the elevator and proceeded to drive off in his Corvette. Kaidan looked into Shepard’s eyes and asked, “We’re not settling here yet are we?” “No, not yet.” he replied. “All we need to do is take in sights and go where ever our hearts desire.” Suddenly there was a knock on the door. They both decided to answer and found the bellhop offering them a special treat for choosing the Hilton in Los Angeles.
The bellhop said to them, “Our apologies for not stocking these on the bed earlier for you two and your friend earlier.” and handed them dark truffle chocolates. “Again, our apologies gentlemen. Do enjoy your stay at the Hilton!” They thanked the bellhop, closed the door and called Matthew under the presumption he had put the bellhop up to the dark truffle stunt. “That son of a bitch is after our goods again.” Shepard said. Matthew answered, “Hello?” Kaidan simply asked, “How much did you pay that bellhop for the dark truffles?” “Damn; foiled again.” he responded. “Well thank you for the stunt no matter how much subtext was lacking.” Shepard added. “Keep my number no matter the amount of subtext you think I need.” Matthew retorted. “Talk to you soon.”
After the conversation, the two retired to the bed for the night and fed each other the truffles that ended up a bigger picture for them both. Shepard asked his beau, “It isn’t Seattle or San Francisco...but is it close to what you wanted?” He replied to his paramour, “As long as it involves you, scooch closer and let me shut you up with a truffle.” Once the truffles had fed the other and lulled them to sleep, Kaidan played big spoon while whispering “I’ll always love you, Shepard.” Shepard in return played little spoon and responded, “And I’ve loved you since I saved you from the beacon.” A goodnight kiss was the piece de resistance as the two of them were finally living the life they so desired after mass amounts of combat nearly destroyed them both.