I don't own anything about Mass Effect 1 and 2. Not the characters, storylines- none of it.

I love Samara and Shepard's friendship. If I had the choice, I would have spent the journey to the Relay hanging out with her.

Shepard moved through the SR2 Normandy with an unnaturally casual approach. For once, and only for a short time, there was nothing to do. ETA was two hours, all the preparation work was completed. People were going about their business; keeping busy to distract their minds from the mission they may not come back from. Shepard's neck rolled from one side to the other- the tension within strong shoulders was building ever frequently, but it was no time for sore and locked muscles. There would be time to suffer in pain later.

The door to the observation deck initially would not open. Locked from the inside. Not a sound flowed from the other side. The tangerine light from the omni-tool appeared around Shepard's hand.

"Samara-" Shepard alerted her, "I'm coming in."

After a few moments entering a code into the tool, the door opened with a harsh cut. But unlike all other times, the Justicar was not perched there, in the centre of the room, locked in fierce meditation with biotic fields pulsing and swirling in her hands. Instead, she overlooked the great view; decorated as though thousands of tiny diamonds had spilled out onto a dark velvet background. As the Normandy moved at a gentle pace, diamonds seemed to roll- each would twinkle and fade randomly in passing moments. She kept her back to Shepard, and for a few moments her head was hung low, as though she were staring to the ground.

"Locking the door?" Shepard questioned.

"I apologise." She replied.

"Something wrong?"

She lifted her head, turning to stare back to her companion, "I wish to be alone on the eve of battle. Nothing more." Her gaze then belonged to the great abyss.

"Oh." The Commander replied, but her words weren't something to be driven away by. They drew Shepard in. "Reflecting on the odds?"

"Shepard, please."

"I think we've moved past the pleasantry of ignoring the obvious. " Shepard replied, smiling lightly. But the words received no response from the Justicar, so Shepard chose a bold movement; steps forward. The Commander closed the distance from Samara, standing beside her and staring forward. It was best not to chance eye contact; these kinds of conversations could still be awkward, even between friends and comrades. "Something's bothering you?"

Samara kept an air of silence about her; perhaps taking the time to form the appropriate words, or simply buying a few more seconds of peace. "I believe I have learnt to deal with the burdens of my life."

"Things aren't always that simple." Speaking from experience, of course.

Samara could tell this, simply by the tone of voice. "For someone so young, Shepard, you hold a great deal of life experience."

"Honestly, though. If I had to guess I would pick the obvious." Shepard spoke with a serious tone, looking over to the Asari with a questioning gaze. "Morinth."

"You wouldn't understand." She interjected quickly, trying to stop the conversation there.

Nevertheless, Shepard wasn't one to retreat on pressing matters. "No, you're right. But I would listen."

"There is nothing to say. I did what was necessary, however-" Her voice cut suddenly, and she shook her head. "No. I am at peace with it." Shepard found difficulty in this statement; who was she trying to convince with those words?

"Samara..." Shepard used a calming tone, reaching over to place a hand on her shoulder.

"I don't need pity, Shepard." She called back; Shepard could remember her saying similar words on the exact same subject, though this time, there was more intensity behind it. Samara rolled her shoulder back slightly, forcing the hand of comfort from her form. Her gaze became glued to the stars. For safety.

"I know that." Shepard said, seemingly unaffected by the cut she'd taken. Taking a step back, the Commander rolled on a heel and turned to leave. "For once, would you just accept the fact that it's actually affecting you? It doesn't make you weak. It makes you-" The instinct was to say human. Hell, it may have even pulled a smile from her, but Shepard thought against it. "-Real."

Then between them, there was nothing. Not a sound or subtle movement. Just rolling diamonds on a velvet background; the great abyss and so much more. "It isn't fair, Shepard," She finally spoke, piercing silence with that naturally strong voice. "None of it is."