|Fight for the Lost
Author: thatgirlwiththe PM
Begins in the last quarter of the suicide mission and continues forward. Revolves around the growing relationship between Commander Shepard and Jack. Rated M for violence,language,and adult situations. Miranda/F!OC side-story.Rated: Fiction M - English - Sci-Fi/Romance - Shepard (M) & Jack - Chapters: 30 - Words: 233,212 - Reviews: 305 - Favs: 148 - Follows: 140 - Updated: 07-26-11 - Published: 08-09-10 - id: 6222882
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: The Mass effect universe and everything in it belongs to Bioware.
A/N: Welcome to my very first attempt at writing fan fiction. For the first two chapters I've used a lot of the dialog Bioware put into the game so I can establish some sort of ground work for my Commander Shepard. A few things before you begin reading this rather long fan fiction:
1.) My story begins directly after Shepard destroys the Human Reaper. My Shepard is a Paragade. He's a good man but does what has to be done to ensure the mission succeeds.
2.) I plan to be working the Jack relationship slowly. I don't feel her character is one that was ever meant to be rushed into.
3.) This is rated M for language, violence, and adult situations. There will eventually be sexual content, but not until much further in. I think love scenes are important, but my story will most definitely not revolve around them. So if you're lookin' for a slash fic...hit that back button.
4.) Lastly, I welcome and would absolutely love to hear feedback and constructive criticism for each chapter. When I finish this fiction I would like to come back and rewrite the first fifteen chapters. Since putting this story out there I think I've grown as a writer and a lot of things need to be fixed. So, your input is important so I can try and further myself as an author.
Fan fiction Navigator
Story Arc #1: (Jack and Shepard) Chapters 1-15.
Story Arc #2: (Original Character and Miranda) Chapters 15-30; Introduction to O.C in chapter 9.
Story Arc #3: (To be Announced...)
[One: The End Run]
"We did it", Shepard heard himself say. Their battle was over, his job was done. He had stopped the Harbingers plans, the reaper was destroyed, and the human colonies were safe… or at least for a time coming. And now all that was left was blackness and peace.
But then…something struck him. Pain.
A sharp pain stung his left ribs and Shepard groaned, blinking away the blackness and willing the light to shine once again in his eyes. He could feel something heavy on him. Whatever it was, it was pushing him down into the ground and making it hard to breathe. With a loud grumble he indicated his discomfort as he pushed himself up with two hands, balancing the large object with his back and on the top of his shoulders until he could find ground with his feet. With a final heave, he placed the palms of his hands flat on its surface and tossed it to the side. It was part of the collector base.
He kneeled there for a small moment, catching his breath and taking this chance to view his surroundings. He was on what seemed to be a damaged platform. To one side of it was a great, deep, and black abyss, and to the other, what seemed to be the longest stretch of a Collector built hallway. But he could see where it ended: There was an incline at the end of it all…though it looked to lead nowhere.
No time to worry about that now. There was a more pressing matter at hand.
"We're still here..."
It hit Shepard distinctly then as he thought to himself. It was not just him there in the Collectors base. He remembered he still had two of his crew down there with him when shit had hit the fan and parts of the base interior fell onto them.
He stood up quickly, eyes frantically searching the platform around him. He saw a crew member at the very edge. Their right arm was dangling over the side and their body was literally half an inch away from their fall. The Commander sprang into action, quickly coming to their aid and moving the lightly weighted body back to a distance that was more comfortable for him. He kneeled over her, turning her onto her back and lightly shaking the passed out form.
It was enough to stir the woman from unconsciousness. Miranda Lawson's eyes blinked open.
Shepard could see her mind racing at a thousand miles per minute as she tried to figure out what had just happened and where she was. Helping her up onto her feet, Shepard offered a single pat on her shoulder, and then turned to scan the remaining of the platform for his other squad mate.
His mind began to think the worse when he couldn't openly spot his second team member among the rubble and ruin, but then something caught the attention of his eye: It was white fabric underneath a smaller part of fallen Collector ship. "Found you," Shepard thought as he ran over, grasping the part and lifting with his legs. He casually tossed it aside and knelt to check on the state of his comrade. Mordin was alright. Grabbing him by the elbow, it only took a second to help him to his feet.
The three gathered in the middle of the platform when Shepard suddenly heard a crackling in his ear. Mordin dusted himself off before offhandedly adding, "Killed human reaper," he inhaled sharply. "Will look good on biography."
Shepard waved him to be silent.
"…c…der…om in!...Sh…rd…d…ou…read!" The commander took a step, a finger altering his earpiece in an attempt to fix his comms system.
"Come on. Come on," he thought, brow furrowing while he adjusted assorted settings and volumes.
"Commander! Come on Shepard, don't leave me hanging! Do you copy?"
It was Joker.
A small, quick smile came to Shepard's face when he realized his comms system was still up and running in a semi-decent condition. There was a chance to get them off this base after all. And he knew what that meant: It was time to get back to business.
"I'm here, Joker. Did the Ground Team make it?"
Joker's voice held a tremendous sound of relief when he heard his commander. "Good to hear your voice, Commander. All survivors are on board; we're just waiting for you! I've got you on my locater. The ship is at the far end of the stretch directly in front of you, I'll upload the coordinates to your hard-suit just in case. It's the closest I could get."
"Got it. We're on our way."
Shepard looked to his team then with a firm nod turned to begin their journey through the last obstacle they'd have to face. As they entered through the large walkway they were greeted by three vastly sized seeker swarms.
"GO!" was the only thing Shepard could yell as the three sprang to life, legs and arms pumping towards their destination. In a vain attempt to slow the swarms and allow time for his team to reach the ship, Shepard turned to face the Seekers, pistol in hand and firing violently into the black clouds. They seemed to dissipate for the briefest of moments before quickly reassembling into an even darker shade of impeding demise.
A deep, clear voice boomed and echoed throughout the crumbling base as a more massive swarm turned the corner to greet Shepard. He quickly turned on the balls of his feet and sprinted. "Human. You've changed nothing. Your species has the attention of those infinitely your greater." Shepard could hear his heart booming inside his ears, could feel the hot blood pumping through his veins, could feel his lungs aching for release and calm, and could feel the sweat dripping off his forehead from within his helmet's restriction. "Those which you know as Reapers are your salvation through destruction," the voice continued its taunts as he and his team turned the last corner. Three Collectors were there and began to charge with gun locked and loaded and aim in sight. They fired: repeatedly.
But then Shepard saw it. There she was! The Normandy! And there was Joker opening the entrance, gun in hand and determination on face. He fired back just as fiercely.
Shepard could see the incline he noticed earlier right up ahead. Mordin was already hopping into the ship and Miranda was near the peak about to make her jump as well. A large piece of the Collector base plummeted down towards them, but thankfully just missed both his ship and his fleeing crew.
"They're safe. They made it!" Only two things ever mattered to the notorious Commander John Shepard while on the job: Getting the mission done and ensuring the safety of his crew and squad.
He could hear the base begin to crumble around and above him. He could hear as hot rounds from assault rifles and pistols flew past his body in both direction. His thighs felt blazing hot as he got halfway up the incline. Breathing was becoming harder to do; even with all his military training and the rewiring from the Lazarus Project John could feel the weariness in his muscles and bones.
Then it happened: A tremendous screeching noise came from above. Shepard raised his eyes towards the offending sound to witness a humongous piece of metal come flying down and crash into his only escape route. The force and sheer weight of the object caused the last remaining platform to plummet to the deep and dark depths below. Whatever glimmer Shepard still held in his eyes began to dim as he knew there was no possible way he could ever make that jump.
But then…he saw her, and everything became slow motion.
Jack came rushing through the entrance hall of the Normandy and abruptly stopped in the doorway. She was clutching the frame as she looked out and onto the scene. Shepard, her Shepard, was under fire. She could see what little space he had left to run and she could most definitely see the gap in which he would have to jump.
John could see her face clearly; that beautiful, chiseled jaw line, those red, plump lips, and those big, hazel, expressive eyes. Her face was a face he had burned into his memory. Oh, how he knew it so well. But…then he noticed something he'd never seen on her face before: fear.
Jack, the 'badass' he'd developed such strong feelings for. The Jack he'd only begun to know and wanted to know more of…was scared.
Shepard's eyelids closed for the briefest of moments. He could see it:
Work was starting to pile up so it was only wise to be working late that night. It was the evening before their suicide mission and he had to finish going over every detail of his plan. It was all laid out. He was ready. Throughout their mission he'd made sure everyone was well equipped. He had saved up his credits and purchased the best upgrades and gear there was to offer his crew, as well as acquired and applied all known upgrades to his ship. He'd also taken time aside to help each and every member settle their past circumstances in order to ensure full focus on the up and coming mission. He had done all he could. The rest was up to the team as a whole and the leadership skills he had to offer.
Shepard placed his data pad down onto his desk and exhaled heavily, rubbing his eyes then the back of his neck.
"…Shepard," he heard. That voice was known all too well, however there was a certain level of surprise to hear the newly found gentleness in it. He turned around to face her, a small smile on his lips.
"I wasn't expecting you, Jack."
He watched as she came up close to him, studying her carefully as she moved his way. With Jack you never knew if she was going to kiss your lips swollen or smack you in the head with a biotic punch. But something was different about her right now: it was a difference in her eyes and in her attitude.
Jack looked into his baby blues for the briefest of moments before averting them. She looked at Shepard's clothes, the floor, and his desk – everywhere except back to where they started. "I was thinking about you…and…maybe you're right. That…that I need…" She turned away, her eyes fixed to the floor of his cabin.
Shepard looked onto her with the softest of gazes. Ever since he saved her from that damn cryo-prison they'd talk almost every day or at least when she'd allow it. He remembered some days he would get half way down the stairs to the base of the ship only to hear her say "I'm done talking" ,which would make him turn right around and go right back up to where he came from.
It wasn't easy liking Jack. Hell, he had even paraphrased that word for word one time. She never made it easy. There wasn't a single part of the woman that wasn't complicated. Jack was tough as nails but had damn good reason to be in his eyes. Life is a bitch, but he liked to think that just maybe…he was getting under her skin.
Slowly Shepard reached up, testing the boundaries she gave him. When he noticed she didn't budge, he reached in and softly cupped the left side of her face, "Hey…it's alright. No more questions."
Jack leaned into his hand for the briefest of moments before closing the gap and grasping him in a tight embrace. She rested her head on his broad left shoulder, letting warm tears fall from her eyes, the thick mascara and eyeliner she casually wore leaving dark streaks on the trail they made.
Shepard gently swayed her left to right as they hugged, hoping the action would have a calming effect on her. His larger hands ran up and down her back slowly, easing the tension that built up in her muscles. Jack reached up and clasped her arms around his neck as Shepard softly lifted her from the ground, her thighs wrapping around his waist.
He made his way towards the bed that was close by. Slowly and as softly as he could, he lowered her down onto the mattress. Jack let him caress and handle her body as she was lowered. The mattress was cool against her heated skin as she lay there, arms resting above her head and legs still wrapped around Shepard.
John adjusted himself as he hovered above her, politely holding himself up with his arms. He was a bit taken back by the sight below him: there she was in all of her beautiful glory, tears coming from the hazel eyes which were staring straight back at him in their vulnerability.
Shepard lowered himself on top of her, gliding his left hand along her arm so that their fingers intertwined tightly. Blue eyes traced over her features as he descended. She was stunning alright. This was the night Shepard committed her face to memory:
Gorgeous, dark hazel eyes.
A beautiful complexion; skin smooth and warm.
The cutest little scar you'd ever seen on her upper lip.
And he couldn't help notice the ever so lightly colored freckles across her nose and the cheeks. Had she always had those?
After the delicate observation his lips could finally decent and for the first time meet hers. There was a small shock when their lips first met. Whether it was a small burst of biotic power, or just in his head – he'll never know. The kiss was thick was emotion but chaste all the same. There was no tongue used, there were no hands wandering in and over sensitive areas, there was just Shepard and Jack together in thought and in the intimacy of the moment. And what's even better? Their lips just seemed to fit.
"I could do this all day," Shepard thought as he melted into her. But he knew better. She was in no condition for anything more than this. No sex. No relationship. Not like this. And most definitely not yet. He softly broke the kiss and looked down onto her. Slowly he reached underneath her back and rolled onto his, taking her with him and laying her down onto his chest. Jack gasped at being handled, but let him none-the-less. She could always kick his ass later when her mood called for it.
She reached her arm around his stomach and grasped the material of his clothing around his rib section, clasping tightly. The gesture was small but greatly showed Shepard that neither she nor he was going anywhere else that night. Shepard wrapped his arm around her and held her to him snugly. His free hand reached for his comforter and covered the pair halfway.
He could feel Jacks breathing against his body. Could feel her tummy rise and fall as the biotic slowly calmed. John looked over his chest to observe her. Her eyes were closed and she appeared to have stopped crying. Slowly he brought his lips to the top of her head and planted the gentlest of kisses.
She grumbled under her breath, clearly not asleep, "You better not die. So don't be a pussy out there tomorrow. Kay', Shepard?"
John let out a chuckle and plopped his head back down onto his pillow. Yep. She was okay now.
Jack squeezed his midsection a little too tightly. "Okay, Shepard?"
"Yeah, I got it—I actually put that on my check list just for you. It's on my data pad over there. 'Don't be a pussy, Shepard'," he playfully mocked, forming a checkmark in the air with his index finger.
Jack let her squeeze on him relax but tilted her head to look up at him with a raised eyebrow, "Did anyone ever tell you that your jokes are just so damn ….terrible?"
Shepard sighed, a wide smile on his lips as he just held onto her firmly. "What would you say if I said that I get that all the time?"
"I'd fuckin' believe it, that's what."
John's eyes snapped open.
Shepard could feel the weight of his armor, and the heaviness in his breath. He was so damn tired. Blurry thoughts and memories flooded through him as he continued his quite literal uphill battle: one clear distinct thought echoing loudly in his mind. "Don't. Be. A Pussy, Shepard. You promised."
John took off his helmet, tossing it to the side as he ran and hearing it clank and clink until it fell over into the abyss. Then he threw his gloves. He hit his emergency evacuation code on his omni-tool, stumbling as he did so, but causing a loud hiss and his gears' tight air locked seals to come undone allowing his protective torso to fall off around him.
There! He could breathe, and he most definitely felt lighter. With only a few more feet left to go, Shepard had a new determination blazing within him. He was not going to let his crew down— not going to let Jack down.
Legs pumping and lungs on fire Shepard neared the peak of the incline. With one last and mighty step he pushed himself off the edge and into the air.
Miranda yelled for further cover fire, watching as Shepard stripped himself of the extra weight and make the all balls out leap of faith towards his safety. Both she and Joker pelted enemy collectors with their pistols and rifles, while the pissed off and very worried Jack shot out the bright, blue spheres of biotic energy from her clenched fists.
This was it. Make it or break it, Shepard thought. He reached out his arms out in a final act of desperation to be greeted with the Normandy's entrance smashing into his already hurting ribs. He gasped out in pain as his arms clung for life against the door frame. Quickly both Miranda and Jack helped the Commander into the ship as Joker smashed the Red button inside sealing the door tightly shut behind him.
"Get us the hell outta' here, EDI!" Joker shouted out at the ships A.I.
"Please specify a destination, Mr. Moreau."
"Anywhere but here!"
"Very well. Brace for the ships Mass Accelerators."
With a noticeable kick in the engine, all onboard braced for the oncoming jolt. The Normandy was gone with a flash, behind them a huge ball of yellow and orange energy exploding out and into the atmosphere.
The enemy base had been destroyed, and they had succeeded.
Miranda, Joker, Shepard, Jack, and Mordin all collapsed in the ships main entrance. They sat in silence, breathing heavily but slowly calming down. Soon, they were joined by the others. Samara, Thane, Tali, Legion, Grunt, Garrus, Zaheed, Kasumi and Jacob had all crowded into the hallway. Some leaned against the wall, and some stood arms crossed looking over the damage done just at the entrance of the ship. But mostly…they were looking at Shepard.
Shepard let his head rest against the wall behind him for a moment before he heard EDI speak over the crackling intercom. "Commander, the Illusive Man would like to have a word with you."
He raised his hand to pinch the section between his eyes, and then looked to Miranda.
Miranda smiled at him then spoke up in her distinct Aussie accent. "…and you can tell him we have quite a bit to say."
The Loyalist wasn't quite so loyal anymore.
With a heavy grunt and wince of pain, Shepard moved to stand up. With the help of Jack, it made the task a bit easier. The Commander looked around at his crew with great pride before he opened his mouth to speak. "Normandy crew," they all looked to him, some with sly smirks on their faces. "Back to your stations!" Grunt pounded his fists together with a mighty 'hell yes' attached to it. You could even tell Tali must have been smiling behind her mask. "Aye aye, Commander!"
So now one question begs to be asked: Why the happy faces and eager fist poundings?
Shepard's answer would be quite simple: Because they just did the impossible and lived. They were all still together… and better yet… the mission was not over.
It was never over.
[End of One: The End Run]
A/N: Thanks to everyone who took the time to read this. Comments and concrit would be loved.
Chapter updated on 2/27/2011.