Disclaimer: I do not own Mass Effect.

Secrets

Tali looked up and just watched the Normandy's Tantalus Drive Core quietly. It's engine silently chugging along as it propelled the ship in FTL travel across the vast open of space. It had only been a couple of weeks since after the attack on the Citadel. Saren was killed, and Sovereign destroyed. Steadily, the Council worked hard to restore the peace that it held once before. Even though Shepard risked thousands of lives to save them, they still cast him off, now to search of Geth activity in Citadel space.

She thought about what she said before, that she would go back to the Migrant Fleet and end her pilgrimage, thanks to the help of Shepard who obtained Geth data for her that would help her people as a whole. However, Tali still remained on the Normandy, right beside Shepard. He never asked her if she wanted to go back to the Migrant Fleet yet, and she really didn't care at all. Tali just wanted to be close to him because she felt... well, she felt... a strange mix of emotions. Whenever Shepard came down to the Engineering deck to talk to her, she'd always start sweating under her suit. She'd stutter a bit on her words as her heart kept beating faster and faster. She always hid her emotions from Shepard. Obviously Shepard cared about Liara or Gunnery Chief Williams than her.

But still... she secretly wished that maybe...

BANG

The deck shook and groaned under pressure as pieces of the ship tore apart and flew haphazardly across the floor. The rumble nearly caused Tali to fall down, but she clung to her holographic display.

"What happened!?" Engineer Adams beside her yelled.
"We're being attacked!" a crew member yelled back.
"What the hell? by who?!"
The crew member started to yell back, but he was cut off abruptly from Joker's message.

All hands to life-pods! Repeat, All hands to life-pods! Multiple Hull breaches on every deck, the Normandy is gone; get your asses off the ship!

Adams and the rest of the crew started to sprint for the life-pods but Tali just stood there in shock.
What.. what about Shepard? she thought.
"Tali!" Adams cried out, "we have to get out of here!"
"N-no.." She hesitated.
"Tali!" He yelled again.
"Where's Shepard?! I have to.. I need to.."
"He's up on the Mess Hall! The elevator is down; there's no way you can get up there! Tali, he'll be fine, we gotta get out of here!"

Tali was about to go and try to look for another way up herself, but Engineer Adams grabbed her hand and pushed her towards the life-pods. At first she resisted, but then it made sense to get off the ship herself too. Knowing Shepard, he'll be fine.

But still....

For the first time since she met Shepard, she felt completely helpless. She knew he would be fine, Shepard had already beaten the odds multiple times. The deck exploded around her as both of the ran for the life-pods. The rest of the crew was frantically strapping themselves in and sealing the pod for jettison. Adams, still urging Tali towards a nearby pod, set himself in and buckled the harness.
"That's all we can fit in this one!" another crew member yelled.
"Sealing the door!"

The transparent door slid shut and sealed itself. Tali just sat there looking out the door and watched the Normandy as the pod lurched out into space. Fear started to come over her now. She wished she was with Shepard so that she could know for sure if he got out or not. She hated sitting in the pod, not knowing what happened to him. Sure, she had close crew-mates right beside her, but without Shepard, she felt... alone. Tali sniffled, fighting back an overwhelming sensation and just kept looking out the window, at the burning Normandy.

Keelah please... she begged, please...

Suddenly, the Normandy gave in and exploded into a huge fireball. The pod shuddered from the shock wave and pieces of the Normandy flew out at all sides. Tali just whimpered in fear while the crew-mates behind her just gasped in horror at the scene. Seconds later, static crackled over the PA inside the pod. Joker's voice fought through the static, obviously in pain.
"Everyone okay?" He asked.
"Joker!" Tali exclaimed and scrambled to the PA system. "Shepard! Is Shepard with you! Please, is he okay?!"

The line just crackled with static for a couple of seconds until Joker finally spoke.
"Tali... the Commander is.. he didn't make it..."

She collapsed.

Tali couldn't hold it back anymore. She sobbed and held her head in total disbelief. A crew member patted her on the shoulder reassuringly, but she just shook it off and started pounding at the transparent door that was still in full view of the fiery inferno that was once the Normandy.

"SH...SHEPARD!" She cried out, and just kept slamming the door, sobbing