30 Days of Shenko: 30-FutureBrielle Shepard's life seemed to begin anew on September 17, 2189. Years later, she will remember the exact moment in vivid detail: Kaidan sitting by her side, smiling more broadly than he ever had before, as they held their newborn children.Michelle and David. She thought it was impossible to be happier in her life with Kaidan until that moment."You're glowing," Kaidan murmured, pressing a kiss on the top of her head."I just can't believe all of this is real," she said quietly. She took his hand and squeezed lightly. "That you're real. That we're real.""I know," Kaidan sighed. "We're damn lucky, Shepard."Brielle chuckled. "That we are."
30 Days of Shenko: 28-Promise"When this is over, I'm gonna be waiting for you. You better show up."On quiet, peaceful nights, the unspoken promise that Brielle's words demanded of Kaidan came back to them. Their love may have been the result of a wartime romance, but those circumstances didn't dictate their relationship. What brought them together was not the glue that kept them together. What they had came from a deeper, mutual sentiment and attraction. The fact that they worked just as well sitting on a balcony sipping tea as they did coordinating a deadly mission spoke to that.Their ability to communicate wordlessly also transcended the Reaper War. Every hitch in Kaidan's chest, every breathy moan that Brielle uttered, every gentle brush of skin against skin meant something different in the unique language of their relationship.Even on the nights when the two of them only sat beside each other, reading or watching vids or sleeping (if Kaidan had had a particularly trying day), the passion between them remain
30 Days of Shenko: 26-DiamondNo matter what Brielle said to the contrary, Kaidan knew that his wife was going to be a damn near perfect mother.She had been concerned about motherhood throughout her pregnancy. She was thrilled to be starting a family, but, given the nature of her own upbringing, she seriously doubted her maternal abilities. I don't know the first thing about what makes a parent, was her constant refrain. And though she never voiced it aloud, Brielle was also concerned about how becoming a mother might compromise her ability to go back to work with the Alliance. She had, after all, been preparing for a potential position as an N7 officer at the nearby training station when she had discovered that she was pregnant. She never said it, but she didn't need to. Kaidan knew it anyway.There was a negative connotation attached to motherhood. In a world where more and more women were joining men on the front lines every day, especially after the Reaper War was won by a woman, popular culture seemed
30 Days of Shenko: 25-WinterThe first winter snowfall of Vancouver didn't hit that year until mid-February. That morning, Kaidan and Brielle were able to sit by the bay windows with six-month-old David and Michelle on their laps and watch a a blanket of snow spread over English Bay. As Brielle sipped the remnants of her second cup of tea, Kaidan's mother arrived for an unexpected visit. While she scooped David and Michelle into her arms for a hug, Brielle shuffled off to the downstairs kitchen to make a third round of tea for three."Just one," Kaidan whispered into her ear as she reached for the mugs (and nearly dropped them at the sound of his voice)."Dammit Kaidan," Brielle spluttered. "Don't do that!"He smiled and wrapped his arms around her waist. "Just one cup," he said, punctuating his words with a kiss on the neck. "We're going out.""What?""Mom's taking care of the kids for a few hours. I called her this morning.""Why?" Brielle asked briskly."Well," Kaidan replied, "We still haven't make