For the record, this is a female Shepard, Paragon, Vanguard - Colonist, Sole Survivor history. Spoilers for ME2 will be the basis for this story, all the way through, so beware if you haven't finished the game yet! R&R if there's something from the game and the relationship between relevant characters you'd like to be explored as I add new chapters. If it's a request/suggestion I can use I'll work it in!

Ghosts - "The Die is Cast"

He watched as Kara Shepard slammed a fist onto the manual override to seal the escape pod doors. His duty, his promise that their relationship would never get in the way of a mission and her orders, when on duty, were the only thing that made him finally relent and climb into that pod. But he couldn't help but feel that he was abandoning her. He told himself that she was Shepard. She'd survived more than anyone he knew. She would find her way out of this.

He'd seen the footage from the cameras mounted to the escape pods, of the Commander, his Shepard, writhing desperately as she floated in space. But deep in his gut it didn't seem real. Inevitably, unbidden, the last moments he'd seen her eyes through the visor of her helmet came to him when he closed his own. As time marched on, slowly they changed from the commanding gaze compelling him to get in the pod - transformed into a haunting plea to not let her go. To save her. He'd awakened in a cold sweat many a night to those green eyes.

She watched as Kaiden Alenko turned on his heel and stormed off. Watched, because that was all she could do. For the first time in her life, Kara Shepard, the great communicator, was at a loss for words. Words flowed like wine when arguing for a greater cause, but when it came to fighting for herself, she suddenly found her mind a blank. Because her muse had fled behind a stack of crates toward an unknown destination.

Back on the Normandy, Shepard slumped into the chair at her desk, and ran a hand through her sweat-dampened red hair as her eyes met with the image of Kaiden's sitting beside her console. Somehow they no longer looked back at her with love she had seen in them just that very morning, instead they seemed to look past her, no longer seeming to know her at all. Like the real Kaiden's had on Horizon just an hour before. She sighed, turning the picture on it's face as she felt the the hurt and anger that welled from within threaten to overwhelm her. She closed her eyes as a single tear rolled down her hot cheek, leaving a cold wet trail in it's wake.

Next chapter: Letters are written and decisions are made.