Author: kittymills PM
Earth Alternative Universe f!shenko fic - Shepard and Kaidan are civilians on Earth on the day of the Reaper invasion. Inspired slightly by Solcomms Twitter event. Writing purely for my own enjoyment.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Romance/Adventure - Shepard (F) & Kaidan A. - Chapters: 13 - Words: 19,369 - Reviews: 25 - Favs: 24 - Follows: 46 - Updated: 08-06-12 - Published: 07-30-12 - id: 8376686
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
(This is the first AU fic I've ever done, normally I don't really go for them, but I was so broken after the EC DLC I needed to step away, but then I missed my Shepard & Kaidan, so I decided to try playing with them in an AU. I'm having a surprising amount of fun with it.)
It was supposed to be a day like any other. Nothing special. Just your average sunny day in Vancouver. But it wasn't. It was a day no one would ever forget, least of him but he would remember it for different reasons. He would remember it because of her.
The first glimpse he caught of her was from across the street. Tight jeans, knee high boots, a satchel resting against one hip under a black jacket. She was dressed for comfort, unlike many of the other dolled up women who strode past in their teetering heels and tiny dresses.
Her omni-tool was flaring as she looked to the sky. Even from the other side of the busy thoroughfare, he could see her brows furrowed in annoyance. The whole city had been from suffering connectivity and data flow issues today. Something was off.
Kaidan watched her for a moment more, wondering exactly what it was about her that drew his attention. She was certainly striking, but not classically beautiful, and she wasn't dressed to attract attention. He'd always been one to listen to his gut though and within moments, he found himself crossing the street, darting in between the traffic of metal and people that swarmed the commercial district to get to her side.
"Need some help?"
She looked up at him in surprise and ran a hand through her choppy dark hair. She sighed and a rueful smile graced lips the colour of pink ice. He caught a whiff of vanilla as he leaned closer to hear her answer over the noise of the street.
"I'm trying to get to the Alliance headquarters to see my uncle, but I'm completely lost." She gestured with one hand to her omni tool "This thing is telling me the global positioning system isn't available."
"Yeah," he said, slipping his hands into his pockets and rocking back on his heels. "The grid has been having issues all day. There were even power outages in some of the suburbs apparently. The Alliance HQ isn't too far from here though." He hesitated briefly before continuing on. "I've got some free time, so if you're interested I could walk you."
She eyed him warily and he removed his hands from his pockets and held both of them in front of his chest, palms up. "Not a weirdo, I swear," he smiled reassuringly.
He held his breath as he watched her eyes flicker from his face to her omni-tool, then back to him. He could see the decision making process echo in her eyes and he found himself hoping that she would agree. He suddenly wanted to know more about this woman. He saw her flex one shoulder in a half shrug, seemingly having made her decision. "I don't really have much of a choice it would seem. I need to meet my uncle in about 20minutes."
He nodded. "Okay then, let's go. I'll do what I can to get you there on time. "
She deactivated her omni tool and fell into step beside him as they moved towards their destination.
It had dawned a glorious day and it seemed that everyone was intent on being outside to enjoy it. They found themselves having to twist and snake their bodies sideways to manoeuvre through the crush of people. He kept up a quick tempo, knowing she had an appointment to meet and she kept pace with him easily, her long legs matching his stride for stride. He smiled at her as they rounded a corner and found themselves in a quieter area. The path ahead was lined with trees and garden beds containing small brightly coloured flowers. She looked around with interest.
"Are you earthborn?" he asked as they walked along.
She shook her head. "No, I was born in space and raised mostly on Alliance frigates."
"Ah," he said. "Military brat?"
She gave him a sharp glance. Her eyes narrowed and sparked fire. He immediately realised he had touched on a sensitive subject and kicked himself. Nice one, Alenko. He quickly jumped in to defend himself. "Hey, I can say that because I was one too."
"Oh," she muttered, turning away and relaxing. "Sure, yeah I guess you could say that. My whole family is military," she said.
"But not you?" he persisted, curious in spite of himself.
"No," she said looking away. She studied the trees in the distance. "Things… happened."
"Oh," he said, sensing her reluctance to talk about it. Time to drop the subject. He knew firsthand what it was like to have secrets.
They walked on in silence for a little bit longer, their pace gradually slowing. It was peaceful here. Less people, less noise. Above them, sky scrapers reached to the heavens but sunlight still found its way to them. She paused for a moment and simply turned her face to the sky, closed her eyes and let the golden light wash over her face.
"I'll never get tired of feeling the sun on my face," she said. Her eyes opened and she turned to him. He responded with a quiet chuckle, thinking how much earthborn kids must take fresh air and sunlight for granted. He was about to open his mouth to speak when without warning, the skies darkened overhead and a deafening roll of what sounded like thunder echoed through the buildings.
"What the hell is that?" She asked in alarm.
Kaidan looked around in confusion. "I have no idea."
There was the sound of explosions and they heard screams and shouting as the sky behind them lit up with a bright flash. In the distance, they saw a building shatter, carved like butter by a blood red beam.
People started to stream into the area, stumbling and yelling. Above them, a chunk of a nearby building exploded and crashed to the ground, sending up a spray of dust and debris. Again, the horns sounded and a monstrous squid like machine thundered down nearby. Kaidan felt the atmosphere change as a crackle of energy felt like it was sucking them to the machine. A portal opened and another beam of vibrant red light shot out from inside it.
He reached out and pushed her back, moving them both away from the open space and pressing themselves against the cool metallic sheets of the nearest building. He tried to make sense of the chaos before them as they huddled against the wall. They heard more screams and the crunch of metal as a building in the distance collapsed in on itself. People were running down the streets, abandoning their hover cars where they stopped.
He tore his gaze away from the invaders and grabbed her wrist. The ships he saw landing were unlike anything he had ever seen. He turned to the young woman beside him, gratified to see that while she was alarmed, she wasn't hysterical. "We have to get out of here."
"No," she shook her head vehemently. "We have to get to Alliance HQ!"
"What?" he stared at her incredulous. Was she crazy? "No, we have to get out of the city!"
She yanked her arm out of his hand and pointed at the machine that towered nearby. She raised her voice to shout over the screams and explosions. "The reapers are here, we have to get to Alliance Headquarters! Now!"
"Reapers?" He looked from her face to the hulking mass, stunned. "But I thought they were just a myth?"
"No!" she shook her head violently and started to back away, "They're real, and they're here and if the Alliance doesn't mount a defence, we're all dead. Take me to Alliance HQ. We have to go now."
It was unthinkable. This morning had dawned an ordinary day, nothing special and now it looked like his city was under attack. Was it just Vancouver? Or was the entire planet under attack? He studied her face for a split second, his mind rapidly trying to work through their options. Going to Alliance HQ seemed like suicide. They weren't soldiers, how could they help? He was a doctor for god's sake! But at the same time, she already seemed to know more than most people. Perhaps she was privy to more information than he realised.
"Okay," he ran a shaky hand through his hair. "We'll go to Alliance HQ, we aren't far now."
Her eyes were shiny with gratitude. "Thank you."
"Don't thank me yet," he muttered.
He grasped her hand again, scanning their nearby area for an escape route. In the distance he spotted an alley way that he knew circled around the buildings and took them in the direction of the Alliance HQ. Praying he wasn't making a mistake that could kill them both, he tugged her towards it.
It was chaos, dust and debris choking the air, people screaming and running in terror. As they broke from the cover of the building wall, their eyes met and he was sure she gave him a quick jerk of the head. Together they streaked across the open park to the cover of the alley beyond. A large chunk of debris thudded nearby and he grabbed her, pulling her closer to his side. She grunted in thanks and matched his stride as they ran for the alley.
From the sky came a red ball of flame exploded in behind them just as they slipped into the safety of the alley. They stopped and spun around to see the flames die away and horrible monsters emerge. Misshapen creatures with lumpy hunched backs and firing from what appeared to be a weapon on one arm, snarling and snapping as they searched for prey.
"My god, what the hell are those things?" she gasped. Dust had turned their dark hair to ash grey and dark smudges of grime streaked her cheeks. He didn't imagine that he looked any better but he was suddenly grateful she was with him. He didn't want to be facing this alone.
"I don't know. I thought reaper's were machines but they definitely looked organic!"
Without waiting to find out more, they ran deeper into the alley. It was a narrow space and dark with shadow from the tall buildings. Kaidan felt uneasy in such a narrow space and suddenly realised they might be trapped. With those monsters behind them, they had no chance but to go forward.
Together they eased their way through the alley, walking cautiously, but still trying to move quickly. When they came to a cross section he instructed her to wait while he moved a few paces in front. He inched even further away, trying to peer down the pathway ahead of him, but the dust and debris made it hard to see.
He heard a snarl behind them and swung around to find a glowing blue zombie like creature had latched onto her, wrapping its legs around her waist and its hands gripping her throat as she struggled against it.
"No!" he yelled.
He was too far away to pull it off, and without thinking, his biotics flared brightly. He sent a wave of dark energy towards the creature just as she flung herself around and slammed it into the nearby brick wall with the force of her body. The creature loosened its grip and when the wave of blue hit it, it was thrown into a pile of rubble a few metres away. She staggered back, and slumped against the wall, sliding down it while gulping in huge shuddering breaths.
Kaidan ran back to her, leaping over the blocks of debris easily and within seconds he was back at her side. "Are you okay?" he asked urgently, terrified she had been hurt but keeping one eye trained on the creature in case it moved again. She had slammed that thing with such force against the wall it was a wonder she wasn't injured herself. He reached out to touch her but she waved him off, instead placing her hand against her chest and heaving in a large lungful of air with her eyes squeezed shut.
"You're a biotic," she said, eventually looking up at him. Their gazes locked.
Kaidan stared into her vibrant blue eyes and was suddenly thrown back into memory. Blue eyes turned to brown, but instead of looking at him in gratitude, they were looking at him in fear and distrust. He mentally shook himself and the vision faded. "Are you okay to keep going?" he asked, roughly, pulling away and making a move to stand.
"No, wait!" her hand snaked out, quick as lightning to grab his wrist before he moved too far away. "You saved my life," she said softly. She squeezed his hand. "Thank you."
The tension in his stomach eased, and he stood. He hated using his biotics for so many reasons and he had expected her to look at him like most of the population, with distaste and apprehension. He was more relieved than he cared to admit that she didn't.
She climbed to her feet, rolling her shoulders as she straightened. When she turned to him, her demeanor had changed. Her eyes were sharp and full of focus and her mouth was tight in a line. He was a little taken aback. He had expected her to be shaken after that ordeal, to be teary or struggling to deal with the adrenalin surging through her but as she stood there in front of him, calm and expectant. It was then he realised she was something special.
"Come on, let's get out of here. We need to find some answers."
Without a backward glance, she strode off to the crossroad. He hurried to catch her.
"Wait! I don't even know your name."
She paused and glanced over her shoulder. "Shepard."
He waited expectantly. "Shepard? Is that a first name or a last name?"
She grunted as she climbed to the top of the debris that blocked their path, then crouched and jumped down. She landed nimbly on her feet. She looked back up at him once before turning and striding forward again. She called out over her shoulder.