Mass Effect is a videogame rated M for Mature , containing violence, sexuality, alcohol and drug references and other stuff that may be objectionable for younguns. This fanfiction is my own take on the canon, but it *is * in keeping with the tone of the videogame. I rate this fanfic M for Mature as well. You were warned (or promised??)
Much thanks to the KAST (Kaidan Alenko Support Thread), the FemShep.com folks, and all you awesome readers for inspiration and encouragement.
My Shepard is a mix of BioWare writing, Jennifer Hale’s voice acting, and my own quirky imagination. BioWare owns the rest of the Mass Effect stuff. So they made the sad stuff happen. I just tried to make sense of it in my fic.
Kaidan hadn’t felt a thing.
He had always assumed that when Shepard died, he would feel it at once.
It wasn’t something he had thought about, exactly. It was just that from the moment he met her, he had felt her biotic energy like a subtle electric fire. Whenever she was near, he could somehow sense her presence, her energy. And as he rarely left her side during the course of their missions, that meant he could feel her with him almost all of the time.
There had been two times he’d felt her energy falter, two times he’d thought she’d died. One was when she had touched a strange beacon on Eden Prime. The beacon had sent her into a coma for hours. It had also given her visions that told her about the Reapers, ancient sentient machines set on destroying all life in the galaxy. Then, at the battle of the Citadel, Shepard had stopped said Reaper and had nearly died in the resulting blast.
Both times, Kaidan had sensed that she was departing as her frequency dimmed. Both times, he’d been dizzy with relief when she had come back to him safely.
Somewhere in the back of his mind, Kaidan had assumed that if ever something *were * to happen to Shepard, that he would know right away. And along with that unspoken, unacknowledged assumption was the hope that if ever he were to lose her, it would be ages from now, after many, many years together.
But the end had come too soon.
He’d felt the first blast like a punch to the gut. Fires broke out everywhere along the ship and people ran for the escape pods. Kaidan had run to find Shepard, following that strange, biotic link that seemed to tie him to her. She had been on the crew deck, sending out a distress call. She had also been putting out fires and making sure that everyone, even their stubborn helmsman, left the ship. As usual, she was setting everyone else’s safety above her own.
Kaidan had insisted that he would not leave her side. But she told him to get the crew onto the escape pods. She made it an order. Kaidan had hesitated, but he did as she asked. And at the time, he did not think of it as a mistake. After all, a woman so full of authority and power, a woman who had lived through some of the craziest situations that the galaxy had to throw at her and laughed about it later, well, she couldn’t possibly meet her end in something as simple as an attack on her ship.
But she had.
And Kaidan hadn’t felt a thing.
Instead, he had seen it. He had been looking out of the escape pod window, watching, to his horror, as the strange ship, the one that looked like rock laced with wire, had come around again and shot through the Normandy with beams of pure fire. The Normandy exploded. The last pod had shot away. Kaidan’s heart was pounding.
Then Joker’s voice came over the radio, the comm link between all the pods. The helmsman had screamed just one thing:
There was a long, horrible silence as everyone who had escaped the blast realized what had happened. In that moment, the strange ship disappeared as suddenly as it had arrived. Then, finally, someone radioed Joker to demand to know what happened. It had sounded like Garrus. But Joker had been stunned to silence. He hadn’t spoken for a full minute until several voices shouted at him to tell them where Shepard was. Joker finally spoke: Shepard had closed the lock to his shuttle, gotten him out safely.
Then she’d gone down with the ship.
Several people in Kaidan’s escape pod looked at him nervously. Behind his breather mask, he could feel tears running down his face, but he didn’t speak, didn’t even move. He was completely numb. It was as if the world had just stopped, frozen in orbit, and he’d gone flying off into the atmosphere, into a place where there was no sight, no sound, no gravity, just – nothing. He was floating, floating like the escape pod they were in, surrounded by vacuum and darkness.
Shepard was dead.
And Kaidan didn’t feel a thing.