|Learning to Trust Again
Author: MarvelGirl017 PM
Kaidan has returned to the Normandy, but things are still uncertain between him and Shepard. He has questions that only she would have the answers to. Takes place during ME3 May contain some spoilers from ME2 and ME3 Rate and Review please! Thanks for reading!Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Humor - Kaidan A. & Shepard (F) - Words: 2,564 - Reviews: 1 - Favs: 1 - Published: 06-28-12 - Status: Complete - id: 8264826
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Authors Note: All Characters, universe, and properties of Mass Effect belong to BioWare and EA. Hope you enjoy! Please read, rate and review- thank you!
Kadian walked into the new 'bar' on the Normandy. He grabbed a large bottle of whiskey, a glass, and sat down to pour himself a drink. He couldn't help but laugh and wonder who's idea it was to have a bar on the Normandy, but part of him knew it was Shepard. She was always putting the crew first, and this seemed like something she would come up with. The door opened and a familiar voice spoke.
"Now that looks like an awfully big bottle for one person to drink by himself." Garrus said as he walked into the room.
Kaidan looked up. "Well Garrus I would most certainly love some company," he said with a chuckle as he got up and grabbed another glass from the bar. As he turned to walk back to his seat he could tell Garrus had something on his mind.
"Something wrong Garrus?"
"I was going to ask you the same thing."
Kaidan paused and gave Garrus a puzzled expression.
"You've been on the Normandy for two days now and you've barely said a word to Shepard. That's not like you Kaidan, I know things got a bit…heated on the Citadel, but you had no choice…you had to take the shot"
Kaidan slumped into a chair and sighed heavily. He poured himself a glass of whisky and then one for Garrus. As he passed the glass to him he finally broke the silence.
"I…" he sighed again, "it's not about Udina, I know I did what was necessary there…it's more…complicated than that. "
"Well this turian has seen his share of 'complicated', maybe I can help?"
After a long pause Kaidan finally spoke, "I'm just not sure if I can trust Shepard."
"I don't even know if she's the same woman! After everything we all went through together on Virmire, Iilos, and then watching her die on the Normandy. Garrus, I can't even begin to tell you how manly nights I've lost sleep replaying that in my head. Then to just see her show up on Horizon, two years later, with Cerberus no less…she betrayed me." He drank his whisky in one quick shot and then poured himself another one.
"Kaidan, as someone who was there with Shepard on Horizon let me…enlighten you on a few things." Garrus filled his glass again and stirred the drink with his finger.
"When we first got word of Horizon, and what was going to happen there, I'd never seen someone in more of a panic than Shepard was that day. The minute we landed all she wanted to do was find you and make sure the Collectors didn't take you. Sure, she'll say that she was there to save the colony and stop the Collectors, which is true, but we all knew her priority was to find you."
Kaidan's mouth opened a little in shock, but quickly covered it up by taking a sip of his drink.
"When you found us, she already felt defeated because we couldn't save the colony, and then you…oh how do you humans put it. What did Vega say? Oh yes, you stomped on her heart and broke it."
"She betrayed me Garrus! She betrayed everything we stood for! How could she just…forget everything? Cerberus must have 'reprogrammed' her into thinking they were the good guys"
"Do you really think that Kaidan? Do you? You do realize that Tali, Joker, and myself joined Shepard's cause to stop the Collectors; were we 'reprogrammed' too?"
"That's different, Garrus," said Kaidan defensively, struggling with his thoughts.
"Let me tell you something Kaidan, when we left Horizon that day I saw something I'd never seen Shepard do. I don't think she'd ever admit to it, but when we were flying back to the Normandy she was sitting in the corner of the transport ship…and crying."
Kaidan looked up at Garrus quickly. Shepard…crying? In all the time he had known Shepard Kaidan had never seen her cry. Why in the world would she cry?
Garrus nodded and took a sip of his drink.
"Kaidan, I'm going to be blunt here: quit being an ass and go talk to Shepard. Just sit and listen to her side of things, maybe you'll learn a thing or two." Garrus then got up from his seat and walked towards the door. Before he left he turned around and said, "Thanks for the drink. I'll be calibrating the guns if you need me."
"Thanks, Garrus," said Kaidan as the door closed.
Kaidan put his glass down, got up from his seat and paced the room. After fifteen minutes of pacing he finally left the bar and got in the elevator. As he rode it up to Shepard's cabin he could feel one of his headaches coming on. Maybe it was the stress of knowing the conversation he was heading into. The elevator stopped and opened to the top floor where Shepard's cabin was, he walked to the door, took a deep breath and knocked.
"Yes?" Said a familiar voice inside.
"Um…it's Kaidan…can I come in?"
Silence filled the air for a moment before Shepard finally said, "Yeah…"
As Kaidan walked in he couldn't help but be in awe of the beautiful room Shepard had. He looked around for a brief moment before he locked eyes with the Commander sitting on the couch with a pile of reports around her.
"I'm sorry, is this a bad time?" Said Kaidan as he evaluated the stack of reports.
"Well with everything going on with the Reapers I don't think there's ever a good time," said Shepard as she put the current report she was reading down on the table. "What can I do for you?" She crossed her arms and leaned back on the couch. Kaidan leaned against a wall, took a deep breath and finally spoke.
"I want to talk about Horizon, Cerberus…everything. I'm sure it's not the best time to do that, but like you said…when will there be a good time?"
Shepard rubbed her temples and let out a long sigh. "I thought we already talked about Horizon while you were in the hospital?"
"We did briefly but I want to know things from your point of view. I'll be honest, I know I haven't given you the chance to really explain yourself. Like, why didn't you contact me? Why Cerberus? What happened to…us?"
Shepard leaned forward on the couch for a moment and didn't speak. Kaidan could tell she was thinking deeply. She then looked up at him and motioned for him to sit by her on the couch. Never one to disobey orders, he sat down beside her.
"Kaidan, after the Normandy was destroyed…I don't remember much. I remember floating in space and then realizing the air supply to my suit had been cut. Then everything went black. The next thing I knew, I was waking up on an operating table. A voice is telling me to get up and run, I was in a state of utter confusion."
Kaidan sat quietly just watching as Shepard relived the events in her mind.
"Not too long after I was told that two years had passed. I thought to myself, 'Two years? What the hell happened to me? Where am I now? Where is my crew? Where's Kaidan?' It was a rollercoaster of emotions."
"I can only imagine."
"Then I was told that Cerberus had 'rebuilt me' from the ground up. I'm still not entirely sure what that means..."
Kaidan got up from the couch and started to pace the room while Shepard spoke. The sheer mentioning of Cerberus got his blood boiling.
"Then I spoke to the Illusive Man for the first time. He told me I had been declared dead by the Alliance, and that there were entire human colonies disappearing. I didn't trust him…Hell, I still don't trust him. The only reason I, for lack of a better word, 'helped' him stop the Collectors was because it was all connected to the Reapers. If I could stop the Reapers through this opportunity, maybe we wouldn't have to go war and we could all live in peace. Idealistic thinking I know."
Kaidan huffed loudly as he paced around the room. How could Shepard be so…stupid! She was smarter than that, why would she trust the Illusive Man? Trust Cerberus? He thought.
Shepard paused and watched Kaidan as he made his fifth lap around the room. He stopped, looked at her and motioned for her to continue. She felt like she was being interrogated, but if this conversation would help calm him down, then she was willing to talk.
"Come on Kaidan, you know if you had been in the same situation you would have done the same thing."
"But why didn't you contact the Alliance? The Council?"
"I did!" Shepard snapped. "The first opportunity I had to go to the Citadel I went, and I immediately went to the Council. Do you really think I forgot that I am Alliance first? The Council returned my Spectre status and told me to take care of the situation quickly so I could end my relationship with Cerberus."
Kaidan stopped his pacing for a moment and looked at Shepard with shock.
"Wait…the Council knew of your involvement with Cerberus?"
"Yes, and so did Anderson. The Council could not get involved with the disappearing colonies, as you know, so they agreed that my working with Cerberus was for the best."
"That's…" Kaidan looked down at the floor in anger.
"Look, if you want to hear my side of things then let me talk. Now…as to why I didn't contact you." Shepard looked at Kaidan with true sadness in her eyes.
"I desperately wanted to contact you. But I couldn't message you; Cerberus was watching my every move. I asked Anderson about you when I was on the Citadel. He said he couldn't tell me where you were, only that you were alive. I had no way of finding you and no way of contacting you without sending up a million red flags."
Shepard stopped and let out a very deep sigh. Kaidan could hear the desperation in the tone of her story, but he still couldn't wrap his mind around it. He could tell she was searching for words so he took the opportunity to once again lean on the wall. Shepard looked up and finally broke the silence.
"Then Horizon happened. I was told ahead of time that you were stationed there; my heart sank into my stomach. If the colony was going to be abducted there was a chance I was going to lose you…forever. When the battle was over, and we had lost the colony to the Collectors…I was crushed. I had failed; I didn't know how I was going to be able to go on. Then you just walked around the corner and well…there you were. I had envisioned what I would say, how I would say it but when I saw you it all just went away. All I could do was wrap my arms around you. You were angry, and you had every right to be! What could I possibly say in a few moments that would make everything okay? I didn't want to hurt you anymore than I already had. I mean... I was dead for two years! You must have moved on. Just because I hadn't moved on didn't mean that…well…we both know how that conversation ended."
Kaidan watched as Shepard brought her knees to her chest and held herself on the couch. She closed her eyes and took a few more deep breaths. As she lifted her head to face him Kaidan noticed there were tears in her eyes.
"Kaidan, I love you. I never stopped. I kept a picture of you on my desk for God's sake! I want us to work, but for that to happen you have to trust me! If I had known then what I know now…no…I can't say that. Working with Cerberus was, unfortunately, the right decision at the time. By using their resources I was able to save hundreds of thousands of lives! I can't regret that decision. Kaidan…I'm sorry things turned out this way."
Shepard wept into her knees. Kaidan was shocked to see his Commander, his Shepard crying. She always was putting on the brave straight face, was always the calm and collected one. To see her so vulnerable made his heart ache. He walked over, sat down on the couch, and wrapped his arm around her.
"Jade…thank you for telling me your side. I can tell it was difficult for you," Shepard's head perked up when Kaidan used her first name.
"I want there to be an us…but it's going to take me a little time to process all of this. I've always loved you, and when I lost you on the Normandy it tore me apart. That's why it hurt so much to see you two years later with Cerberus. It was as if you were cheating on me with the enemy."
Kaidan paused and remembered Garuss' words to him.
"I've been told by a very reliable source that I've been an ass, so let me work hard to correct that. That is…if you're okay with that."
Shepard looked at him and a slow smile spread across her face. She then leaned her head on his shoulder.
"Let's take it slow Kaidan, there's a lot going on in the universe right now. We both need to focus on the priority and stop the Reapers."
Kaidan nodded. Once the Reapers were stopped, maybe then they could finally begin their lives together.
"Now there's just one more question I have Shepard. What was that about a picture of me on your desk?"
Shepard laughed and blushed before admitting, "I would kiss it before every mission for good luck, but I put it away when you came on board. I didn't want to make you uncomfortable."
"Well, I guess you could put it back on there again. I wouldn't want to ruin your lucky streak," he said with a huge grin on his face.
Shepard then turned and kissed Kaidan's cheek.
"I don't think I'll need it now. I've got the real thing right here," said Shepard as she returned to leaning her head on Kaidan's shoulder.
Kaidan closed his eyes and smiled. It didn't matter what had happened with Cerberus, he was finally with Shepard, and he knew no matter what happened that they would always find a way back to each other again.