After the Storm: Chapter 20The young Templar stood in the Cousland's home.
He had expected it to be huge, as an ex-noble's mansion. It certainly had seemed bigger, when he had rushed in with the Order to arrest him. Now, with everyone gone and most everything cleared out, it seemed rather...humble.
There was a small porch leading up to the door, and a short hallway leading into the living room. From there the kitchen was just visible to his right, and stairs to his left that curved out of sight, probably up to the rogue's room. The trapdoor to the cellar was past the kitchen, which he had already explored, and there wasn't a separate dining room, just a large table and a few chairs pushed to the side in the corner by the stove.
The furnishings were nice, but not anything unattainable for a commoner. A blood-red rug lay underneath the couches and next to the fireplace. A few polished lamps carved from bone. An oak side-table, small, plain designs etched into the legs.
The only thing that was out of place and the
What friends are forI've been expecting this.What friends are for1 year ago in Romance More Like This
It was inevitable.
There's no way I could have prevented it.
But it still sucks.
And dealing with the aftermath.
The snide remarks.
The witty comments.
"You and Kaidan, huh?"
as I sit around the table with a few members of the crew.
Kaidan got a migraine this afternoon:
a really bad one.
He tried to pretend that it was okay.
But I saw right through it,
and sent him down to see Chakwas.
His absence gave them a chance to ambush me.
And now I'm here:
and at the mercy of my crew.
Garrus looks increasingly cheerful.
Joker is smirking.
Traynor seems unperturbed.
Vega looks kinda uncomfortable.
And Liara is regarding the whole thing with bright-eyed eagerness.
"You and Kaidan, huh?"
Garrus snipes, and
I shoot back,
glowering at him.
A bit touchy, are we?"
I fold my arms across my chest stubbornly.
"A bit nosy, are we?
Keep out of my business."
Garrus feigns shock.
Time capsuleWe sit in his roomTime capsule1 year ago in Romance More Like This
with the black box in front of us.
“I got the idea from Liara,”
shifting forward to type something into the keypad.
“Thought it would be best to be prepared.”
I move forward too
as his hands cradle the device
and a blue beam projects up towards the ceiling.
“What is it, Shepard?”
“A time capsule.
Liara made one to preserve the history of the Reapers.
this is to preserve a different history.”
The beam radiating from the capsule’s surface flickers,
morphing into a tiny
If I look hard enough,
I can make out the tiny scatter of freckles across the bridge of its nose
that no one else ever notices Shepard has.
Miniscule scar at its temple.
Wearing Alliance blues.
The tiny Shepard raises a hand and salutes.
Then grins at me
sitting back and folding my arms across my chest.
Meet the Parents: Part IKAIDANMeet the Parents: Part I1 year ago in General Fiction More Like This
I think so."
"Good. Let's go."
We're in Vancouver.
Shepard didn't want to go.
He really loves London.
He loves the air,
the feel of it.
He loves our apartment.
but not cramped.
In a noisy part of town,
but he doesn't care.
It's just me and him,
and that's how he likes it.
it's not gonna be just me and him.
and my parents.
He's eager to meet my mom.
He really is.
But my dad...
"So what happens if we don't get along?"
glowering as he tugs his luggage along behind him.
if he doesn't
of his son's fiancee?"
"It'll be fine, Shepard,"
trying to keep him calm.
Dad will, uh...
He'll like you.
Shepard looks skeptical.
for good reason.
Dad and I...
our relationship is kind of...
Shepard hates him.
He's never met him-
hell, he's never even seen him-
and he hates his guts.
All based off of a conversation we
What you need"Kaidan,"What you need1 year ago in Romance More Like This
staticky over the intercom,
and in that one word,
I know something's wrong.
"Kaidan, can you...
can you come down here?"
His voice is quiet.
Breathed into the comlink.
And pleading with me.
"I'm coming, Shepard."
I'm already moving,
taking the turns through the hallways towards his quarters.
I don't ask what it is.
I already know.
Everyone on the ship knows.
Shepard's locked himself in his room a grand total of one time,
and that was after the destruction of Earth.
this is Earth all over again.
I tried to go to him before.
In the hours after we'd boarded, I'd went to his room,
only to find it locked tight and refusing to budge.
I'd called his name,
banging on the metal with my fist.
and when that didn't work,
I resorted to
He still didn't answer.
I was worried,
but I stopped trying after a few days.
I knew he'd come around eventually.
And I guess I was right.
I'll be waitingShepard.I'll be waiting1 year ago in Romance More Like This
Come on, Shepard.
Open your eyes.
I know you can hear me.
It's time to get up.
Open your eyes.
He's dead, Kaidan.
I don't think so.
That's not possible.
He's just sleeping.
Come on, Shepard.
Look at him, Kaidan.
He's just tired.
There's blood all over him.
That's not blood. That can't be blood.
Shut up, why don't you?
Open your eyes.
He's just sleeping-
Why won't you wake up?
Don't do this to me,
not after all this time,
not after what you promised me-
you said we'd be together,
you said you would be waiting-
And I wake up.
Covered in icy cold sweat,
Shepard's arm is draped over me.
He mumbles something as I pull myself up;
his hand slides off of my chest and falls
Meet the Parents: Part IIIKAIDANMeet the Parents: Part III1 year ago in General Fiction More Like This
I wake up to a soft warmth
and the pleasant feel of hands over my back.
I mumble into the pillow beneath my head.
There's a soft laugh.
His fingers move gently over my bare skin,
working out the knots in my shoulders,
rubbing the stiff muscles in my neck,
moving slowly down my spine.
I open my eyes,
and turn my head.
I smile at him,
His hands pause over my back.
He leans in and kisses me,
quick but soft,
then moves back,
swings his legs over the bed.
I look over at the clock blearily.
It's five AM.
"Where are you going?"
I ask him,
but in my morning stupor,
it sounds more like
He pulls on a pair of jeans over his boxers
and then wriggles into a sweatshirt.
and looks over his shoulder,
grinning at my grumpy expression
and rolling his eyes.
"I'll be here, Kaidan.
I'm not leaving.
Don't worry about that:
your mom's cooking
Meet the Parents: Part IISHEPARDMeet the Parents: Part II1 year ago in General Fiction More Like This
It's a hell of a first impression
when the people you most want to impress
come home to find you making out with their son pinned against the wall.
It doesn't help that Kaidan's blushing.
This is the most awkward silence
I have ever experienced.
Kaidan's mom's face is unreadable.
Kaidan's dad's face is thunderstruck.
Kaidan gestures to me.
He clears his throat.
"This is Commander Shepard,"
and his blush deepens even further.
Something kicks in.
I don't know if it's from years of defying others,
or just another one of my act-fast, think-later instincts.
But I yank Kaidan closer to me
and slide an arm around his waist.
"Kaidan and I are getting married,"
I say unabashedly,
like it's no big deal,
and Kaidan's mom's eyes get so big
I think they might burst.
"We stopped by and you weren't here,"
I tell them.
says Kaidan's mom faintly.
Matt and Mello: Go - Part IV"Where is he? Near said you had him. Where is he?"Matt and Mello: Go - Part IV2 years ago in General Fiction More Like This
Matt tugged at the car door frantically; it swung open and he stared at what was inside.
Mello's body was bloody and limp. The skin on the upper part of the left side of his face was torn almost completely away; blood oozed from the chunks of raw flesh. The same wounds were visible along his shoulder. Matt wanted to look away but couldn't; it was like something out of a nightmare.
You can't be dead. You can't be dead. You can't
And, as if he had heard him, the blond's eyes found Matt's and he smiled, a small, weak smile that was as ghastly as it was relieving.
Matt burst into tears.
So this is what happens when I leave you, Mello?
If I had known I would have stayed, a hundred times over.
Mello drifted into consciousness.
The first two things he was aware of was that he was home, stretched out on the couch, and that Matt was sprawled on the floor below him, snoring and clutching a blanket.
Matt and Mello: Go - Part IIIMatt's fingers clicked over the buttons as fast as they could.Matt and Mello: Go - Part III2 years ago in General Fiction More Like This
But not fast enough.
SORRY, read the screen. GAME OVER.
"Ugh!" He threw the remote to one side. Usually gaming would serve as relaxation for the redhead. But not tonight.
Where is he? He should be back by now. Unless...something went wrong?
Nothing went wrong. He'll be home soon. Nothing went wrong.
The minutes dragged by.
Mello didn't know how far he'd come and he didn't know how long he'd been running. As soon as the explosion had died down, he'd taken off- not in any particular direction, just putting as much distance as he could between himself and the collapsed building, the dead police chief and the roar of destruction that had rung in his ears.
The pain hadn't diminished and the smell of burning flesh was still thick in his nostrils. The left side of his face and upper arm were dripping blood, nauseating him as he stumbled forwards. Blackness surged at the edges of his vision, threate
Matt and Mello: Go - Part I"So if that's what you think- then leave!"Matt and Mello: Go - Part I2 years ago in Romance More Like This
The silence was resounding.
Matt blinked behind his orange goggles. "Wha-what?"
The rage in the blond's face did not waver. "Leave! Get out!"
Mello crossed the room and yanked the door open. "Out. Now."
The redhead began to panic. "Mell, wait- I'm sorry-"
"-Please, Mell, this is all over a stupid little thing-"
"Get the hell out!"
Matt's expression was filled with desperation. "But- what about us?"
"I- don't- want- you- here!" Each word was a dagger and Matt winced visibly as they hit.
He glanced down at the floor, littered with pieces of the objects they'd thrown at each other, and then around the trashed apartment- slowly, as if trying to memorize the details.
His eyes met Mello's cold, blue ones.
"Okay," he murmured.
"Okay what?" Mello snarled.
Matt stepped forward and brushed his fingers down the blond's cheek, the same gesture from the night Mello had left him.
The blond's breath
Matt and Mello: Go - Part IIThe phone rang once.Matt and Mello: Go - Part II2 years ago in General Fiction More Like This
A third time.
There was a click on the other end of the line.
"Hello?" Mello burst out. "It's me, I-"
"Hi, you've reached Matt. Just leave a message and I'll get back to you whenever I can."
"Fuck," the blond cursed.
He sighed. "Matt, it's Mello. Again. Um...I dunno, just...call me back, 'kay? I, um...I love you. So...yeah. Bye."
Mello snapped the phone shut and tossed it on the table.
Two weeks had passed since Matt had left. The redhead hadn't answered his phone once.
He sighed again and stood, pocketing his cell and grabbing his motorcycle keys. It was time to get going; the mafia was expecting him and he had more important things to do other than feel sorry for himself.
And if he could pull this part of the investigation off, maybe Kira's arrest wouldn't be too far away.
He only wished that Matt was here to help. He'd call him again later.
Matt's phone vibrated i
Matt and Mello: Christmas"Mello."Matt and Mello: Christmas2 years ago in General Fiction More Like This
"You gotta get up."
"Hmm go 'way."
The blond sighed and cracked an eye open blearily. Matt was tugging on his arm now, red hair sticking up in sleepy cowlicks, face flushed with eagerness, goggles swinging from his neck. His expression brightened further as Mello stirred and he sat back on his heels as the blond sat halfway up, rubbing the sleep from his eyes.
"It's Christmas, Mello!" Matt chattered excitedly. "We gotta go- gotta get downstairs- get dressed already, won't you?"
Mello yawned. "I don't need to get dressed to open presents, stupid. Gah. What time is-" Catching sight of the clock, his eyes widened and he groaned, dropping his head in his hands. "Matt! It's three in the morning!"
Matt nodded enthusiastically.
Mello pulled the covers over his head.
"No, c'mon!" The gamer pleaded, poking at the heap of blankets that enclosed his best friend.
The heap remained motionless.
FallingThere's this weird feeling in the pit of my stomach,Falling1 year ago in Romance More Like This
watching Kaidan dance.
A light-headed feeling.
When he dances.
When he laughs.
When he looks at me.
it's making me feel like-
like I've been shoved out of the airlock.
That sort of thing.
Makes me feel strange, and-
Isn't that what people say?
God dammit, that sounds so fucking
It's been one of those odd days:
the ones where we sudddenly find that we have time on our hands.
Unsure of what exactly normal people do with time,
and I are spending it at the Purgatory.
Just us guys.
The music is good
the drinks are good
and Kaidan is...
A great dancer.
Which is just weird,
because before I could never picture him dancing.
It's been years since I've danced.
Garrus forced me out on the floor.
Laughed as I flailed around.
I've given up.
I'm standing here,
I'm sorry: Part IIThe volunteer station is desolate.I'm sorry: Part II1 year ago in General Fiction More Like This
Almost no one has shown up today.
It's just me
and a few other Alliance members.
We start hauling out the remains of a collapsed building,
tossing the rubble into giant metal dumpster.
I move most of the stuff biotically.
It's not as hard as having to actually carry everything around,
But it's still tough work.
We clear about half of the area
in three hours.
covered in grime,
with our chests heaving,
one of the soldiers suggests we take a break.
We accept eagerly,
stumbling back to the station and relaxing,
muttering as our sore muscles sigh in relief.
One of the guys throws me a canteen;
I catch it and drink gratefully,
wiping my mouth on my sleeve and nodding to him in thanks.
They strike up conversation.
Talking about "old times".
I sit and listen.
had been stuck together on Earth when the Reapers attacked.
Separated from their individual squads,
they had banded together for the s
Hope and a Fighting Chance, Chap. 1Hope and a Fighting Chance, Chap. 12 years ago in Drama More Like This
Let him go!
Hold on, Kaidan...
Don't give up... saved my life, and I can't... Oh Goddess... Please pull through, Kaidan... We all need you, but Shepard... I'll go see how he's doing... be right back... better not go anywhere...
Hey Kaidan... Don't know if you can hear me... take my chances... Don't die, Kaidan... You've got to fight... need you in this... I could use you... Come on Kaidan, fight... that's an order...
Back when... fought Saren... glimpse of Shepard's mind... just the way he looks at you... seen you look back... Shepard... his main reason to fight... lost so much already... Please live, Kaidan, for his sake as much as yours... You're a good friend... care for yo
Reignite: Part IJOKERReignite: Part I1 year ago in General Fiction More Like This
"This is Admiral Hackett.
Normandy, come in.
Joker, come in.
I grab the headset.
My voice is shaky
But he interrupts my stumbling phrases
and half-formed words
to shatter my world.
The headset slips
through my numb fingers.
I'm scrolling through old messages.
Reading them won't do me any good.
Nothing can come of it.
My eyes travel over a message labeled
"So you're a daddy's girl?"
And I open it
Saw you talking to your dad the other day.
How's it going?
She bugged my office.
Did you know-
She told me I'm quarter krogan.
I'll keep that in mind...
'keep that in mind'?
What do you mea
ReceptionI'm only going because Shepard doesn't know how to put on a tie,Reception1 year ago in General Fiction More Like This
and because Shepard insists on going.
To Spectres Commander Shepard and Major Alenko,
is how the letter began.
You are hereby invited to a celebratory dinner
honoring your services in the Galactic War.
That's what they're calling it.
There's no mention of the Reapers in that name.
Or of Saren,
or of Sovereign,
or of anything that associates with the suffering we've endured.
Their focus is on hope,
so the war's title was based off of the fact that the galaxy united.
they're romanticizing it.
I don't approve,
but there's nothing much to be done.
The media is already eating it up.
I don't want to go to the dinner.
Neither does Shepard.
But he pretends he does.
He jokes about how
it's another boost to my bloated ego.
Then he rubs the back of his neck and glances at the suit in the closet
when he thinks I'm not looking.
I remember how his face fell when he read the letter.
They did t
Hope and a Fighting Chance, Chap. 4Hope and a Fighting Chance, Chap. 42 years ago in Drama More Like This
"Can you feel it Shepard? Feel the quickening? Illusive Man better say his prayers tonight, 'cause we are coming for him. Murderous asshole. Oh yeah... Tide is turning... I feel it."
They had been confronted to many atrocities over the last few years, but this? He didn't know how Shepard had managed it... Calmly convincing Henry Lawson to hand Oriana over to them in exchange for his life. Perhaps because deep down, he knew that Miranda was going to take a stand against her father and put an end to his horrible schemes, once and for all. If she hadn't, Kaidan probably would have been the one giving him a little "biotic push" in the right direction. Which was down... Way down...
The thought of taking another person's life had never been one to make him feel any sense of satisfaction... Until now...
"After what I saw down th
Matt and Mello: WaitingDid you ever wonder what I was doing, all those years without you?Matt and Mello: Waiting2 years ago in General Fiction More Like This
The first few weeks were the worst. I didn't talk. I didn't eat. I slept nearly all day. I smoked for the first time.
Roger came to me, eventually. He yelled a lot, about health and standards of living and how I was making a fool of myself. I guess his throat got sore, though, because finally he just deflated and sat on the edge of my bed and took my hand and told me that he was sorry, that you weren't coming back.
I cried at that, and he patted my back and said comforting things, but I pushed him away. It wasn't him who I wanted to be there, consoling me. It was you.
Don't look at me like that: you look like a hurt puppy. It's not your fault, not really. You only wanted to protect me, keep me out of your way, Near's way, Kira's way. You wanted me to have no part in any of it, other than a confused spectator.
After my stage of depression came a desperate hope.
I waited for you, you know. Every day, I ignored all the act
Matt and Mello: SurrealDo you remember, Matt?Matt and Mello: Surreal2 years ago in General Fiction More Like This
Do you remember the first time someone was shot in front of me? I was 16; I had been with the mafia for a couple of years then. And they'd killed people, you know, and I'd helped, yeah. But it hadn't...ever been like this. When I'd proven my worth by tracking down their main rivals, I had just pointed them in the right direction and set them loose. Like dogs. Death had never been so up close, so...real.
They used a pistol, at point blank.
I wanted to close my eyes. I didn't.
When the body stopped twitching in its death throes and the gunshot's echoes faded, the guys all laughed. They laughed with slow chuckles, wiping their hands on their jeans, and tossing rags playfully at the member chosen for clean up. They looked at me and waited and I knew what I was expected to do.
So I laughed, too.
And then when it was all over, I came back to you shaking and trembling and drained of color, and you held my hair away from my face as I threw up and stroked my back in a gen
Never do that againHe doesn't give me warning.Never do that again1 year ago in Romance More Like This
Doesn't send a message.
Just walks right in.
Couldn't care less.
That's Shepard for you.
in between backing me up against my desk
and pressing his lips against my throat,
"Damn, that sucked."
I close my eyes briefly.
That's one way to put it.
It's been a long day.
A shitty day.
the worst day I've had in a long, long while.
Shepard ran another suicide mission.
Or something close to it.
Clambering into a giant metal mech suit,
inventing this crazy plan.
Locking his eyes onto my own.
His voice quiet:
I'll be fine, Kaidan,
like saying it out loud made it true.
Vanishing over the edge.
Leaving behind nothing but a splash
and those empty words:
I'll be fine, Kaidan,
knowing that it's not a promise.
Just an attempt at small comfort.
Wondering if that's all I'll have of him to remember.
I'll be fine, Kaidan,
as his good-bye.
"You're an idiot,"
Shakedown run: 1The first time I meet John,Shakedown run: 11 year ago in Sci-Fi More Like This
he tries to hit on me.
The Normandy is a beautiful ship.
it's everything I'd ever dreamed of commanding.
It's everything my father had ever dreamed of me commanding, too.
Which puts a bit of a damper on things.
A bit but not much-
and it's easy to forget about Dad when I walk through the gleaming corridors,
when I take a look around my own private cabin,
when I imagine her taking off.
I'll be out of here soon.
And then a true Commander,
and saluted to
and not just another soldier.
Joker's voice on my comlink jolts me out of my thoughts.
Some of your new crew personal have arrived.
Would you like to stop in, check 'em out?"
I breathe a quiet sigh and rubbed my temples.
I'll be right there, thanks."
My pilot's voice quiets then,
drops down to a mutter.
One of them is a bit...
Not Once, Not EverThe cops surrounded Matt, their headlights blinding. His heart sank as he shaded his eyes, taking in his surroundings. Doors slammed and metal clicked; the police readied themselves, guns loaded.Not Once, Not Ever2 years ago in General Fiction More Like This
It would be okay; it would all be okay. Mello would have a plan. He always did. Anyway, the police wouldn't shoot. If he surrendered, they wouldn't.
He reached for the door handle.
It would be okay.
The air was heavy, dense with the premonition of rain. Clouds choked the sky; the only light source was the paltry glow of a few lampposts lined along the streets. A cold, gentle wind brushed through, lightly touching the backs of the necks of the few late stragglers hurrying home from their daily routines. Soon the roads were silent, the sidewalks deserted.
All except one, lone figure, the upturned flaps of his jacket giving him an ominous, dangerous look. He walked with his head down, half-closed eyes fixed on the pavement before him; shadows lightly maske
Reignite: Part VISHEPARDReignite: Part VI1 year ago in Romance More Like This
Hugh says I can see Kaidan again.
Two days have passed-
since he was kicked out.
And I've been terrific.
Hugh said it himself
As I'd found that I was able to wiggle the toes
on my left foot.
It took a lot of concentration.
I can't feel my legs at all.
Hugh says that I will,
I'd stared at my toes.
Pleading with them.
Just a litte?
Not a lot.
Maybe you could just
You can do it,
just a little-
you won't even feel it!
Losing my patience,
as I always do,
and threatening them.
Threatening my toes.
Or I'll cut you off!
I guess it wasn't such a crazy idea,
Hugh was estatic.
He'd said that this small movement
was the first step in being able to walk again.
He was positively
We should celebrate,
At first, he wanted to
crack open a case of