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.
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.
I'm such a dork for these two. This was inspired by Shepard's comment during the Samara mission when he asked Kaidan if he could learn to biotic float, to which Kaidan replied "Not in the next ten minutes."
Though I’m not crazy about the ending to Mass Effect 3, it at least leaves things open enough for each person to craft their own story of what happens after the war. In my mind Shepard would take a few years off from active duty to recover from his injuries and probably retire from the alliance. But being the workaholic that he is he’d eventually return to his role as a council spectre. Luckily, he’s still got Kaidan to remind him to take it easy every once in awhile.
As for Kaidan he’d continue to teach a class of biotic students as well as resume his own spectre duties. With the citadel being so close to earth he’d be able to easily serve both the alliance and council. Plus without the impending threat of a reaper invasion he’d have more time to improve his biotics and finally master that tricky biotic floating thing.
Sorry I haven’t been posting art lately, been super busy with work this month, hopefully things will slow down in January.
There was only ever one person for my Shepard, and that person was Kaidan Alenko. Getting to watch these two awkward dopes slowly build a relationship over the course of the trilogy was a personal highlight for me as a gaymer who just wanted to have the same fun everyone else was having in this incredible universe. And as I prepare to take these two on their final adventure with tomorrow’s DLC I just want to say thanks Bioware, from the bottom of my sappy heart.
Link to music from the extended cut sums up the mood I was going for, being that of great loss and hardship but with hope for the future and a new beginning: [link] I view this as my personal conclusion to Mass Effect 3 and the Shepard/Kaidan storyline since we weren't shown what happened after the breathing scene and I felt like Shepard deserved more than a torso shot if it really was the end to his story. Went with the destroy ending obviously.
I tried to write a short story of how I imagined this ending playing out. It didn't go so well haha. But I've never been much of a writer anyway. I'll stick to painting from now on.
Shepard lay dying beneath the rubble of the citadel. His synthetics overheating, his biotic implant pulsing out of control. He knew he didn't have much time left and had no delusions of being found or rescued, after all no one had even seen this part of the citadel until he and Anderson had been brought here a mere half hour beforehand. "I'm sorry Kaidan, looks like I wont be waiting for you when this is over after all," he uttered in the quiet darkness. Though as much as it pained him to think of breaking his promise to Kaidan Shepard felt a certain sense of peace. He'd finished what he set out to accomplish all along, the reapers were destroyed, never again would they pose a threat to the galaxy. He'd been offered alternatives by the catalyst but Shepard knew better than to trust an uncompromising construct responsible for the deaths of unfathomable innocents across aeons of time; both synthesis and control allowed a free pass to the reapers and Shepard couldn't risk them ever getting out of hand again. The decision to destroy them had been the obvious choice.
This victory was not without it's sacrifices though, as Shepard felt his own cybernetic implants giving out he realized that across the galaxy the GETH as well as EDI were also facing their final moments of existence. The catalyst hadn't lied when it warned him the Crucible would be indiscriminate. Shepard had never been much of a spiritual person but he believed that if there was such a thing as a soul, synthetics were just as worthy of having one as he or anyone else had been. "Legion, EDI, I'll see you both on the other side," Shepard thought to himself as his senses dimmed.
It was nearly time, Shepard could feel it now as his breaths quickened and fresh currents of blood spilled from his wounds. He took these last moments to look back on his life, his troubled youth spent running with street gangs on earth, leaving for a chance at something better with the Alliance as a young man, surviving Akuze, stopping Sovereign and the Collectors. Recalling these defining moments gave Shepard comfort as his world began to fade away but the memories that his mind settled on the most were those of Kaidan Alenko. Thinking back to the time spent getting to know one another on the Normandy SR1 and how close they'd become as friends. The disappointment he'd felt on Horizon at having lost Kaidan's trust coupled with the joy he'd felt at getting a chance to rebuild that trust and camaraderie. The sanity checks, their first date on the citadel, their first kiss, the passionate nights spent in Shepard's cabin. Finally telling Kaidan he'd always love him no matter what happened... all of these moments flooded Shepard's mind, smiling he closed his eyes and let the darkness take him.
Kaidan's eyes slowly opened, he wasn't well rested and his headaches would only get worse if he didn't get a real nights sleep sooner or later but he forced himself up for the sake of appearances; a week had passed since they'd crash landed and he knew morale was low. It was Kaidan's duty along with the other senior crew to inspire confidence. The Normandy was in bad shape and it would take an optimistic and determined team to bring her back to being space-worthy; there would be time to mourn the lost someday but for now Kaidan would have to be strong, he couldn't give in to his emotions, not yet in any case. Still he was in no great rush to leave Shepard's cabin, it was the one place on the ship that still contained the man's essence, so much so that just being there gave Kaidan hope that Shepard might somehow waltz in at any second, Kaidan realized this was probably hurting him more than helping him but he wasn't ready to give up sleeping here yet, it had become "their" room and sleeping anywhere else would mean accepting that the man he had loved was really gone. The room was dark and difficult to navigate without the ambient glow of fish tanks to light the way, it was a real shame that they had all died in the crash landing Kaidan thought to himself. Shepard had loved those fish and prided himself with collecting all sorts of exotic species from across the galaxy, almost as much pride as he'd had in his model ship collection, many of which were miraculously still in decent shape, though it seemed fitting that the Sovereign model lie shattered on the floor - it had always kind of creeped Kaidan out anway. Rubbing his eyes to try and adjust to the dim light Kaidan stumbled over to a nearby storage locker and retrieved his clothes. Checking to make sure the hamster had food he took a last look across the room and proceeded to the elevator shaft to make the morning briefing.
As Kaidan climbed down the ladder to reach the crew quarters he heard raised voices, it sounded like there was some sort of argument happening in the life support room. "EDI had every right to survive, just as much as me or you!" He recognized the voice as Joker while another heavily accented voice replied: "That is not so, a machine is just a machine, no matter how attractive or helpful it is manufactured to be, human, you should be reveling in your victory, your emotional attachment to this platform is misguided," Obviously Javik was exhbiting his usual tendency of offering uncensored and probably unsolicited criticism. Kaidan knew this could get ugly fast so he decided to intervene, despite the fact that this really wasn't going to help his growing headache.
"That's enough Javik, surely even the protheans understood the need to mourn," Kaidan said as he entered through the battered doorway. Joker was sitting next to EDI's motionless body sprawled out across the table, since she'd gone offline a week earlier Joker had been trying everything he could to bring her back, but his efforts had proved futile, even Tali had considered her to be beyond repair, this hadn't stopped him from keeping a sort of vigil at her side, tinkering with her charred hardware every few hours, hoping for a miracle. Javik was leaning against the far wall, arms crossed and wearing his usual apathetic expression. "Indeed we did, but only when it was warranted. Tears would never have been shed over the death of a synthetic in my cycle. It is a foolish notion. Your commander understood this, he died knowing this and the sooner you both accept it the better off we will all be" and with that the Prothean paced towards the exit. Kaidan moved to the spot Javik had been occupying and leaning against the wall he observed Joker as the man diligently removed a section of plating from EDI's forearm. Kaidan had always felt a bit of mixed emotion towards having to interact with a body that'd nearly killed him on Mars but in the short time he had known her he'd grown to become quite fond of the AI and her quirky personality. She'd also proven to be invaluable in helping him track down his biotic students on earth. "He's wrong ya know," Kaidan said to Joker, "Shepard would never have willingly done what he did unless there was no other option... EDI meant a lot to him." Joker paused from his work and leaned back in the chair, his weary eyes raising to meet Kaidan's. "You think I don't know that? It doesn't change the fact that Shepard killed her. I know he did what he had to do but I'm still pissed off about it...dammit... she meant everything to me. Shepard knew that and he killed her anyway." The truth was Kaidan had been avoiding Joker ever since it all went down for this very reason. Shepard HAD killed EDI, however noble the cause had been that was simply the reality of the situation. Kaidan shifted uneasily, searching for something to say "I know Joker, you didn't deserve to lose her so soon, and well....I'm sorry." He didn't have the proper words and felt himself somehow feeling guilty so he began to leave when Joker intervened. "Kaidan wait... I'm being unfair, I know how much Shepard meant to you and I just wanted to say... "I'm sorry too." "What do you have to be sorry for?" Kaidan asked. "Back on the SR1, when the collectors hit....it's my fault Shepard died, it's because of me that you had to deal with losing him all those years, I never apologized to you for that and I want you to know that I've always felt terrible about it." Kaidan took a moment to process what was said, "I appreciate that Joker, really I do. We weren't together back then though, not like you and EDI anyway." "Maybe not" Joker replied, but it was pretty damn obvious you two loved each other, even if you were the only ones who didn't realize it. Again Kaidan reflected on what was said, recalling the days when he and Shepard had just been good friends, knowing that there was something deeper between them but being too afraid to say or do anything about it, letting out a sigh he looked again to Joker "Yeah... I guess we did...I just never thought I'd lose him so soon. Maybe if I'd been honest with him sooner...told him how I really felt...maybe we'd of had more time together, heck I don't really know. Joker smirked at this, "Ya know I'm pretty sure Shepard felt the same way about it. When I asked him what he thought about me and EDI he told me to live each day like it was my last, even if it meant I'd look like a fool, I'd say it's a safe bet he'd had a couple regrets of his own concerning you Kaidan." Joker looked back to EDI "Look I guess what I'm trying to say here is well...me and EDI...we might not have ever even happened if it hadn't been for Shepard learning from his regrets with you. I want you to know that no matter what I say, whatever stupid joke or snide comment I make in the heat of the moment... you and me...we're good and I'm here for you if you need someone to talk to." "Thanks Joker, I really do appreciate that, and I'm extending the same offer to you. I'll send Tali over after the briefings over, maybe there's something she missed when going over EDI yesterday." "Heh, Tali misses nothing Kaidan, but thanks. See ya around."
The briefing had been a short one, it had consisted mainly of going over plans for rationing food and outlining systems tests that would need to be carried out later in the day. Liara had also been rather optimistic about her ability to get the comm systems in her room functional again. "That's great Liara, let me know as soon as you've got them up and running," Kaidan said. The whole crew had been eager for any news of what had happened to the rest of the galaxy, aside from observing massive explosions on the citadel and the geth fleet shutting down alongside the reapers they were still largely in the dark as to just what had happened. "Alright people let's get to it." Kaidan set off to begin his own work on the ships navigation systems when he suddenly felt a sharp pain at the back of his skull, a jolt that reverberated across his entire upper body making it hard to focus, brushing his hand across his upper lip and bringing it in front of his face Kaidan focused on the familiar sight of blood stained finger tips. Nose bleeds were nothing new to the major but he needed a moment to regain his balance, leaning against a nearby wall for support Kaidan checked his pockets for something to wipe away the blood with. "You ok Alenko?" Garrus asked, handing Kaidan a rag from the nearby counter. Kaidan took it and nodded appreciatively. "I'm fine Garrus, it's nothing I haven't dealt with before." "You sure? Chakwas would be delighted to have someone to look after, I'm beginning to think she was a little dissapointed there weren't more serious injuries sustained during that crazy landing we pulled off." "I'm sure Garrus... it's just that I haven't been sleeping well and that's never a good thing for my headaches. Maybe when we're off this planet I'll get a few good nights rest." Garrus gave what seemed a disbelieving look, though it was always hard to tell with turians. "Maybe you will, but we both know that the thing keeping you from sleeping at night is still going to be there even after we've made it off this world, why don't you and I have a little chat. Just five minutes and then I'll let you get back to work." The turian started off towards the main battery area, Kaidan hesistated before reluctantly following along, he knew better than to argue with Garrus. "Have a seat," Garrus said pulling over a nearby weapons crate. As Kaidan sat down his head continued to throb, maybe it was good he spend a few minutes off his feet he thought to himself, though he knew what Garrus was getting at and he wasn't looking forward to discussing it. He'd already had to bring up losing Shepard with Joker and wasn't sure he wanted another reminder. "Look Kaidan, I know you're doing everything you can to appear strong for the crew but the fact is you haven't really talked about this with anyone since we got here, you've got to face it sooner or later. I know you better than anyone here and I can't imagine how this must be affecting you." Kaidan looked to the floor, not wanting to admit that everything Garrus was saying and was going to say was the truth, it had always been more his style to keep his thoughts to himself, deal with issues on his own terms. "I don't deny that you're right Garrus, but you know we have a responsibility to the crew, we can't let them see us lose hope... If Shepard were here..." Garrus cut him off "If Shepard were here and saw you like this he'd drop whatever he was doing and make sure you were ok. He always kept an especially watchful eye on you and he'd never forgive me if I just stood by and didn't say something. Talk to me Kaidan, right now you're fighting a battle with yourself and unless you let an ally or two in to help there's no way you'll make it out alive. The turians words fell on him like well aimed thannix missiles, tearing away at the defenses he'd placed to keep others from seeing just how vulnerable he'd really been. Kaidan felt his eyes getting misty, turning away he tried to hide what he knew was coming. Garrus took a seat next to him and raised an arm, resting his heavy claw on the man's shoulder, a somewhat awkward gesture though Kaidan appreciated the effort. Raising his arms to his knees Kaidan buried his face into his hands and began to cry, no longer able to hold back the swelling tears Wiping his eyes Kaidan looked up to the ceiling, trying to find something to focus on and finding nothing, giving in he turned to Garrus and took a deep breath... "He really loved me Garrus, he told me that the last time I saw him and then he was just...gone...forever, I wanted more time..didn't we deserve that? His sadness turning to anger, Fucking military protocol and this stupid war always getting in the way." The turian sat silently next to Kaidan, gently rubbing the man's shoulder and giving him a few minutes to weep and vent his frustrations. "And all those months I spent doubting him! Accusing him of being a cerberus puppet... What an idiot I'd been, how could I have done that to him Garrus?" What the hell was I thinking?" At that comment Garrus broke his silence to speak "Kaidan that's all in the past, you had your reasons and what matters is that you were there for him in the end. Besides, you're forgetting that in those last moments you also finally managed to tell Shepard you loved him too. Think about how happy he must have been to hear you say that, no matter how the situation played out down there he died knowing you believed in him. Don't discount the effect something like that can have on a person." Still feeling devastated but ultimately grateful for the chance to finally vent Kaidan slowly raised to his feet, still wiping away fresh tears. "Thanks Garrus, I just...I can't let go, and don't think I'll ever be able to." "Believe me, I understand what you're going through." Garrus said, "I doubt I'll ever really get over his death either, he was like a brother to me. " Kaidan composed himself and turning to Garrus managed a smile "Yeah, you two were really something , no Shepard without Vakarian ey Garrus?" Garrus stood up and flashed his best attempt at a smile to mirror Kaidan's, "damn straight." "Look I've been thinking, maybe we can put together some kind of memorial service, something to honor his memory, I don't know if it'll help us any but it's worth a shot and who knows how long it'll be before we're out of this place and able to give him a proper one. What do you think?" Kaidan took a moment to ponder this suggestion, he wasn't ready to say goodbye but Shepard's sacrifice needed to be honored. "Yeah, I'd like that Garrus." "and well...I just want to say thanks a lot. If you hadn't made me do this well.... let's just say you were right, I needed to talk about it." Garrus gave the major a quick pat on the back and headed for the exit, "Don't mention it Alenko, besides if you weren't being your usual stubborn self then I'd of really been worried," For the first time since losing Shepard, Kaidan managed to laugh.
It was decided that the following evening would be spent as an opportunity to mourn and reflect on the lives of those who'd been lost. Nearly everyone had gathered at the memorial wall for the night's tribute. As Kaidan stood alongside his friends he looked down at the metal plate he'd spent the afternoon engraving with the words Commander Shepard." Looking up at the wall before him Kaidan glanced over the names of others who'd paid the ultimate price for the war effort. Mordin Solus, Thane Krios, Ashley Williams, and in a matter of minutes he'd be placing Shepard's name alongside them, though for now another hero would be getting his moment of recognition. Chakwas stepped out from the crowd first, walking to the memorial she fastened Admiral Anderson's nameplate to the center aisle, a place of respect befitting the man's rank and history as the first captain of the Normandy. Stepping back to observe the memorial in it's entirety Chakwas offered a few words: "To David, a man whom I was honored to have served with over the years and proud to have called my friend, your sacrifice will never be forgotten." She raised a salute to the memory of Anderson, inspiring the others to do the same, a moment of silence followed as crew members bowed their heads, remembering the man who'd been like a father to many of them. As Chakwas moved away from the memorial Joker limped forward to take her place. Slowly approaching the wall it became obvious to Kaidan that this was going to be just as hard for Joker as it would be for himself. As he reached the base of the monument Joker looked up at the spot reserved for EDI's name and then back down to the plate, he began to shake uncontrollably when suddenly Liara appeared at his side, lending a helping grip to steady Joker's now trembling hands. "You don't have to do this now Joker, there's no shame if you're not ready." The Asari said in a soothing tone. Taking a moment to collect himself Joker took a deep breath and sighed. " No, it needs to be done, and I have to be the one to do it, it's what she would have wanted,"... he closed his eyes and stood quietly for a few moments, upon opening them he looked to the vacant spot on the wall and whispered to himself "For you EDI." Joker raised both arms to the wall, fastening EDI's name alongside the others. "Wherever you are out there, know that I'm with you." It was as serious as Kaidan had ever seen the man. A minute of silence passed, broken only by the occasional interruption of someone crying, in fact there had hardly been a dry eye in the whole room.
As Liara helped Joker back to the assembled crowd Kaidan felt a knot growing in his stomach. Despite having his friends there he'd never felt so alone; even with their help it was clear this was going to be even more difficult than he'd anticipated. Slowly he began to walk towards the center of the memorial wall and upon reaching it he looked down at the plate in his hands, "Commander Shepard" he read as he lightly brushed his hand over the smooth metal surface. As Kaidan stood there the hesitation grew, he would have attributed it to not wanting to let go but this was something else... he needed a moment to think but he also didn't want to appear selfish in front of the crew, after all Joker had just had to say goodbye, it wouldn't be right for him to not go through with his own obligation. "You can do this Kaidan," he thought to himself, beginning to raise his arms when suddenly an unseen force froze him in place, not so much physical as it was a mental block, it nevertheless kept him from proceeding any further, as he stood there motionless a familiar entity occupied the space around him. Immediately Kaidan recognized the presence as Shepard, the feeling was faint but unmistakably there. It was something Kaidan had noticed in the past when sticking behind on the Normandy during missions, a certain change in the air's chemistry that alerted him to Shepard's return, even before they were in the same room. He'd always just thought it was his imagination but this was something he hadn't felt since losing Shepard a little over a week ago and the feeling was growing in intensity. Kaidan stood there paralyzed with indecision, not knowing what to do. A few more moments passed before he allowed himself to think it for the first time. "Shepard...are you... still out there?" Feeling the others staring at him like this was making the hairs on the back of his neck stand up. He knew these were his friends but how could he explain to them what was happening? He didn't want to appear in denial but with each passing second the inexplicable belief that Shepard was somehow still alive grew within him.
Suddenly a junior comm officer came running out of Liara's room, her face brimming with excitement. "Comm channels are back online and we've made contact!" ..."They're saying he's alive, Shepard is alive!" The words washed over Kaidan, dispelling any last vestiges of doubt he'd been holding onto. Dropping the name-plate Kaidan fell to his knees, tears of relief streaming down his face as exuberant shouts of joy echoed from every direction. Garrus walked over to the man's side and extended an arm to help. Grabbing hold Kaidan pulled himself up and tried to stretch his arms around his friend, too happy to care about how incredibly funny it looked hugging bulky turian armor, "I knew he was alive Garrus, I don't know how but something changed just now, I felt him here, still with us. Leave it to Shepard to cheat death twice I guess. Garrus looked Kaidan in the eye and said "Yeah well I'm beginning to think Shepard gets a real kick out of making us all worry like this, remind me to kick his ass if he tries for a third time.
"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..
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!