This Mass Effect theme kept me going throughout the process of painting this piece. Definitely recommend it for fans of the soundtrack. [link]
It's funny, a lot of people hate Kaidan as a character but I was always drawn to him for being a little more normal and down to earth than a lot of the other crew, plus he was the first biotic I met (other than my Shepard) and I thought he was really cool just for that. In ME1 since he wasn't a romance option for MShep I just thought of him as being Shepard's best bud and always kept him in my squad, I think Raphael Sbarge is an incredibly talented voice actor too and gives his dialogue a lot more depth.
Then during the horizon confrontation in ME2 I really felt like there was some sort of deeper emotional connection between these two characters that I hadn't noticed before so I was overjoyed that Bioware allowed him to become an option for male Shepard in ME3, since it just sort of made sense to me that the relationship between them had evolved over the course of the series.
So after five years spent waiting for a conclusion to their story and ME3 doing such an incredible job with their developing romance arc I was pretty devastated to see Shepard die (or seemingly die) and have no sense of closure on these characters I'd been so invested in, hence why I chose to paint this piece, giving myself the chance to see them re-unting or at least sharing one final embrace. I'm not too happy with it from a technical standpoint but it is definitely the most emotion I have ever tried to instill in a painting and means more to me than any of my other work.
"The more Shepard thought about it, the smarter that whole sanity check idea became. When he needed a background check he went to Liara and when he needed a weapons check, maybe even an ego check, Garrus was always right behind him, ready to make it happen. He was such an over-achiever he could manage both at the same time.
That was what it meant to have a good team, one that worked together better because they were different, not in spite of their differences.
That was also what the Council didn’t understand. Not yet.
Most soldiers took their time figuring it out and even Shepard wasn’t an expert on it no matter how much practice he’d been getting. He could admit to that, all his weaknesses, because everybody needed some kind of armor now and then. It wasn’t all about dinged Kevlar, reinforced polymers to protect the flesh and blood and usually sore muscle underneath.
There were times when it was helmets off, breathing conditions poor, dust and smoke in the air instead of fire, and Shepard needed it—to touch the back of Kaidan’s bare neck, where the hair was just starting to curl with sweat.
Sure, he still had his gloves on. But even through that, Kaidan’s eyes on his, Shepard could feel it.
‘I know,’ Kaidan always said.
Someday. Someday, it was going to be over."
~Spicyshimmy ( spicyshimmy.tumblr.com ) wrote that..
Re-worked this Kaidan/Shepard piece to go along with New Years Eve. Tried to make their apartment look a little like Deckard’s from Bladerunner, my favorite sci-fi movie. The music I imagine playing during this scene would be "Vigil" from the ME soundtrack [link]
This one was originally commissioned by a fellow Kaidan fan to go along with his fanfic that details out the story of what happened after the destroy ending in ME3. If you're a fan of this pairing then it's definitely worth reading. Here's a link to his story: [link]
Spicyshimmy on tumblr ([link]) wrote me a little story to go along with the New Years Theme, thanks shimmy.
December 31st, 2186CE, Shepard spent the shift of the clocks and the change to the new year in a hospital bed. He didn’t even get to blow a party horn or drink champagne or clink glasses with Chakwas, or listen to the echo of fireworks play ricochet across the rooftops, through the residential areas. People lit candles, Kaidan told him later. Or they turned on their flashlights just as the year turned, too. Little beams of light in the darkness, shining towards the local skies.
December 31st, 2187CE, Kaidan found Shepard in the restroom with his palms on either side of the sink and his head bowed toward the mirror. There hadn’t been too many fireworks, most of them privately owned and procured through pretty illegal means, more than half their number run in through Liara. But they were loud enough, bright enough, that Shepard had to excuse himself from the Alliance party. He’d put on his blues, made his appearance, delivered his toast. ‘To old acquaintances,’ he’d said, and drank without his hands shaking. Kaidan covered one of his hands, which was shaking now, on top of the marble. They had their first new year’s kiss, Kaidan’s mouth against Shepard’s pounding temple.
December 31st, 2188CE, Shepard was the guest of honor at the ball drop on the Citadel. The Presidium had never been that crowded. Krogan were chanting his name. Kaidan had on a pair of gloves—those gloves were what Shepard remembered, the way they cupped his face on three and stayed long after one. He had to be presentable for the cameras, so there wasn’t any stubble to ruin that fresh feeling.
December 31st, 2189CE, and Shepard put in appearances at the Council party, schmoozing with the other Spectres, doing what he did best—aside from kicking Reaper ass—which was not starting any intergalactic incidents. At least not after ten pm. After that he headed over to the Alliance party and listened to Hackett’s stories about the old days, followed by a brief stopover at the premiere party for Blasto: The Twenty-Third Century, where he got to shake that famous tentacle at last. It was a great night, fantastic, and Shepard didn’t realize he’d fallen asleep in the helicab back to his place on the Citadel until Kaidan was saying ‘Shepard’ into his throat, waking him up with a hand on his side. ‘I already paid the driver to go around the neighborhood a few times. Anything to get you some sleep, right?’
By December 30th, 2190CE, Shepard hadn’t RSVPed to a single invitation—and he’d stopped keeping count when the number hit twenty a few weeks ago. He shunted them into a spam filter and took a shower instead of writing up replies,then dried off while staring at the scars on his chest in the mirror—the burn ones, which had healed up just fine without any extra skin grafts.
And Shepard didn’t mind them, not now that Kaidan kissed them, or followed the patterns they made with his thumbs and knuckles on their down time.
‘Hey, Shepard,’ Kaidan said, reaching over Shepard’s shoulder for his toothbrush. ‘You know I don’t like to play messenger for Alliance business, but…’
‘Let me guess: Hackett wants to know why I haven’t put us down on the guest list for the upcoming New Year’s Allied Eve,’ Shepard replied.
‘Yeah, and he’s not the only one.’ Kaidan followed Shepard through the bedroom and into the kitchen, where the brand new fridge was stocked with snacks Shepard didn’t waste his time on naming. ‘You’re not actually planning on going to any of those parties this year, are you?’
‘Life’s short,’ Shepard replied, ‘and I never make the Blasto marathon.’
December 31st, 2190CE, Kaidan was still thinking about it. Obviously. He probably had his blues ironed and pressed and hanging in the closet as the sun went down and the Citadel turned far from dark. Lights glittered all across the Presidium and beyond, the swell of earth at close range like something Shepard couldn’t describe. It got him in the chest, under the old burn scars. When he stared at it for too long his eyes unfocused, but he also felt—and no one could know about—this great big lump sticking in his throat.
‘You’re seriously gonna pass up the private cruiser Tali’s got booked?’ Kaidan asked finally, during one of the commercials.
Thirteen episodes of Blasto: The Animated Series and counting.
”Cause I haven’t been to a party like that since I was…a whole lot younger than I am now,’ Kaidan added. Outside one of the bay windows—Shepard had bought the place for its view, also when he was a whole lot younger than he was now—they could even see one of those private parties sailing on by, music loud enough that they could almost imagine they heard it from all the way down below. ‘They can get pretty wild, Shepard.’
‘Did you get pretty wild, Kaidan?’
‘I had my moments.’ Kaidan squared his arms off across his chest, looking more and more like a TO every day. Shepard indulged in the urge to sit up straighter, fingers twitching for a salute.
Or for a beer; whichever came first.
‘Not to mention the envoy from Tuchanka’s on the Citadel, and they’re throwing one hell of a bash.’ Kaidan paused. ‘Literally, I’m guessing, knowing how Wrex likes to hit things with his head.’
‘And Kasumi rented out a museum, so I heard,’ Shepard said. ‘From the invitation, it sounds like it’s going to be the party of the century.’
‘But you’re still staying here.’
Kaidan’s eyebrows did the thing.
Shepard rubbed his chest, remembering the other thing that Kaidan’s fingers did. ‘Yeah. Guess I must be getting old.’
‘And I’m older,’ Kaidan pointed out.
Shepard tipped his chin toward the window, where the view of earth was obscured by all the buildings they’d rebuilt, all the new zoning areas that’d grown over the past five years—scaffolding only a distant memory now, along with the sound of rubble being hauled away and the beeping of heavy-duty all-terrain vehicles backing up, heading toward the processing factories. The same old lights were glowing. Not candles; not flashlights. They were winking at them, countless parties happening in practically every window, framed by the corona around the dome of earth’s pale clouds and blue oceans, cast by the hidden sun.
Then, Shepard turned back to Kaidan, neither of them shaved, the gray in Kaidan’s hair matching the gray in Shepard’s stubble. He rubbed his face, remembering two gloved hands pressed to his jaw, gloved fingertips resting over the pulse in his throat.
‘View’s better here,’ Shepard said.
They settled in by the window, Blasto recording for later, to watch the celebrations from a distance: people flooding the streets and holographic countdowns flashing on reflective building faces around the Presidium. They could hear the rumble of the final ten seconds. Nobody was chanting Shepard’s name.
‘Okay, Shepard,’ Kaidan said, fingers splayed over Shepard’s stomach.
No scars there. Shepard’s heart beat out of time. Enough shocks to the chest, and you developed that kind of arrhythmia.
‘Hey, Kaidan,’ Shepard said, turning over his shoulder, ‘how about a proper new year’s kiss this time?’
January 1st, 2191CE, Kaidan’s mouth closed over Shepard’s, holding him tight from behind.
Second doodle.. I was itching to try drawing the armor, I was going for that ME1 look for Kaidan, back when they first met and everything was new. Mucked up Shep's armor though, couldn't make up my mind. Wow Kaidan is really hard to draw! I'm trying to figure out how to play ME1 as mshep with Kaidan as a love interest, if you folks have advice I'd much appreciate it, my email is email@example.com .... I play on the xbox, but heck I'd get the whole series for PC if that were the only way with saves (..just, where does one find these saves?). thankyee!