Winter Storm | Mass Effect | Guardians in the Darkness | Nyx Shepard x Kaidan Alenko
Summary: Nyx is awoken by an unexpected bump in the night and experiences her first real winter storm.
a/n: This was prompted by a post I saw of a Canadian storm. While I’ve been through hurricanes and other windy battering storms, this just floored me. And I figured that my spacer Shepard might not react ‘normally’ or calmly to such a weather event. And this happened.
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Nyx wriggled at the sounds, but they seemed so far off. So sleep held it’s grasp, though she tightened her arm around the man she was sprawled next to. A few hollow knocks resounded through the small apartment, which her dreaming brain turned into noisy neighbors. It wasn’t until something cracked against the glass a few feet above her head that she finally reacted.
“What the …?”
With the next series of high-pitched pops, she rolled off the side of the bed landing in a crouch. She yanked her sidearm from the bedside table, then rubbed at her tired eyes with the back of her hand trying to figure out what the hell was going on.
“Kaidan?” she whispered, tugging at the sheet with one hand.
He just groaned at her and stole the pillow she’d left behind, burying his face into it.
The sound cropped up again and she crept toward the door of the bedroom, expecting … Well, she didn’t really know what she was expecting, but it sounded like the damn place was under attack. The lights of the courtyard were barely visible beyond the picture windows in his living room, but she finally got a better look at what was going on. Curtains of white whirled around beyond the glass, when a large ball of ice bounced off the window she jumped at the sight and the sound that accompanied it.
The warm hand on her shoulder, prompted the same reaction. “Dammit!” She spun toward him, then back to the window being pelted. An exasperated sigh fell from her lips as she tried to calm her nerves.
Kaidan chuckled and pressed a kiss against her shoulder while his other hand slipped around her. All around them the snapping, popping, and knocking of hail echoed. She felt a little foolish realizing it was in fact just the weather that woke her and set her on edge.
“It’s just a storm.” His voice was low and gravelly, with a calm sexy tinge to it that she couldn’t rationalize.
“A storm?” she asked. “It sounds like the whole building is under attack.”
“It is. Kind of.” His words came out against her skin, between slow kisses. His arms around her waist held her tight, trying to impart some sense of comfort.
“This can’t be normal.” The building seemed to creek and moan beneath the assault of the weather. “Should we leave or seek shelter, or something?”
“We’ve got all the shelter we need,” he said against her temple, tightening his arms around her.
“Are you sure?” she asked, turning toward him.
“Yes.” He took her hand and tried to coax her back toward the bedroom. “It’s just a little winter storm.”
With an amused chuckle, he took another step and she reluctantly moved with him, but once they were in the doorway of his bedroom, she halted. Her keen gaze fixed on the insanity outside the window. The way the snow moved through the air like ribbons behind a running child and the thunk and thud of icy projectiles. There was nothing little about this.
“But,” she tried to come up with an argument that sounded cogent and viable as she gestured toward the window with her scarred and trusty Edge.
“What were you going to do? Shoot the hail before it hit the glass?” he teased, pulling her closer in order to relieve her of her pistol.
“It sounds like hell is breaking loose.”
“It is. It’s a storm.”
“This is not ‘a storm.’ Sounds like the world is ending out there,” she argued, letting him pull her against his chest. His hand moved down her arm and past her hand.
He eased the pistol out of her vicelike grip, and moved it between his hands behind her back to set it on the dresser. “It’s normal.”
“This is not—”
He pressed a finger against her lips and she huffed at him. “For winter, in Canada,” he added. “It is.”
A loud impact resounded through the apartment and she pressed herself against him. When it happened again, he chuckled and draped his arms around her.
“This is worse than Noveria,” she complained.
He hummed. “I’m pretty sure the experiments running amok still make Noveria worse.”
Another massive piece of hail bounced off the living room window, making Nyx jump. She immediately started laughing at her own reaction. Kaidan joined her, pressing a kiss to the top of her head as he rubbed her back in a soothing, repetitive motion.
“Come back to bed,” he suggested, grinning at her.
“How can you sleep?”
He slipped out of her embrace, keeping a hold on her hand as he stepped back toward the bed in the center of the room, beneath the window being pelted with speeding balls of ice.
“Aren’t you worried about all the hail?” she added.
Kaidan tugged her hand and she took a step toward him. “Nope.
“Sounds like an invasion. Almost expecting pirates to kick in the door.”
He grinned at her, clearly amused. “Lay back down. Get some rest.”
“You can sleep through this?” she asked in disbelief.
“I could if you were in bed next to me.”
That stopped all her arguments cold and flipped a switch in the back of her head. It was going to take a moment for her brain to reset after that. In her distraction, Kaidan managed to get her back into his arms.
“It’s nothing. Really.” He dropped a kiss on the tip of her nose while her brain still tried to work around the implications of what he’d said.
“What about the window?” she managed to eek out, though her mind still spun around the myriad of potential meanings to his comment that was probably far more innocent that she could let herself allow it to be.
“It’s withstood at least a dozen of these.” A soft kiss on her chin punctuated his assurance. “It’s also shatterproof.” He pressed a soft kiss to her lips, one she couldn’t not return.
“That just means it’d crush us both in our sleep.”
Kaidan snorted, then shook his head. “Would you feel safer on the sofa?”
Nyx thought about it a moment. “Nah. Too exposed. The windows in there are larger, lower surface tension.”
Her rationalization faded when she blinked up at him. His amber eyes were soft and welcoming, a little crinkle in the corner betrayed his smile and the happiness it sprang from. Her chest tightened as she looked up at him, a new realization flitting into her head.
“Besides, I think I might have found the safest place in your apartment already,” she said as her hands worked their way up his arms slowly until she could clasp them behind his neck.
That earned her a wide smile that could melt away the chill of the storm. The tip of his nose nudged hers and she tipped her chin higher to offer him unfettered access to her mouth. Kaidan kissed her softly. His hands on her hips, steered her toward the bed, though he refused to stop kissing her long enough for her to crawl back enough for him to join her.
Even as she tottered and started to giggle, he still held her cheeks gently and pressed light kisses on her mouth at least until they both found themselves back in bed. Then and only then did he brush his thumbs over the apples of her cheeks and slow his kisses.
Kaidan shifted first, grabbing up the sheets and blankets and throwing them over her legs as she rearranged the pillow he’d stolen earlier. When he laid down on his side, she turned on hers to face him, wriggling closer until there was almost no space between them. She pressed one of her feet between his ankles and he hissed in reply.
“How in the hell are your feet that cold?”
Nyx chuckled, burying her face against his chest as she shrugged.
“You couldn’t have even been out of bed for five minutes and they are like ice.”
“Must be a Canadian winter thing,” she chuckled. A series of hailstones pounded on the window and she flinched closer to him.
Kaidan just pulled her tight against him and snuggled the blankets around them, her mostly. “Must be,” he replied in an incredulous tone. He curled his finger under her chin and kissed her tenderly. “Better?”
“Best,” she said, sliding her arm around him.
The storm raged for hours more, but eventually, for all its rage and fury, it lost out to the constant, steady heartbeat that finally lulled Nyx Shepard back to sleep in the arms of a man that regulations told her she couldn’t want.