Right. I said I would post more quicker, but... No, no, and no. I just couldn't get started, and this isn't that long either.
No excuse again. Perhaps I shall do better next time...
The coffin was there, right there. A coffin, not him. He was not there, he was not anywhere. Tali did really know where he was, what had happened to him now, but just thinking about that made it all feel so empty, so meaningless. She'd like to think that he was somewhere else, in some better place where he could spend eternity and more with his friends and ancestors. It was a nice thought and she hoped it was true, perhaps more than anything else in the world. She could see him smiling, happy; could see him with Kaidan, not alone, not needing to fight. He could be at peace, he had deserved it.
And perhaps... perhaps he would be there to greet here when she... She could not even finish the thought., the pain was too much.
Tali took the geth OSD from her pocket, caressing it with her fingers gently.
She missed him so much.
Tali sat on the bed in his room,his head resting peacefully on her lap. Her hand caressed his hair gently, feeling the softness of it even through the suit. Her hand travelled all along his head, reaching his neck, then starting again. Perhapstherewereworseplacestobethanhere, she thought jocularly. Such as that Citadel Tower, Feros, all those colonies they had travelled to... And Virmire. It was always good to think about Virmire, if one wished to completely depress themselves, that is. And she felt a pang of guilt immediately after that stupid joke, even if it was only in her head. Virmire was not funny, it was not amusing in any manner. Kaidan had died there, died to allow the rest to escape. He was a hero, and no one should taint his memory with stupid thoughts like that.
"Something wrong?" John suddenly said.
"N-no... Why would anything be wrong?"
"Just the weary sigh."
Tali hesitated for a moment; did she really need to burden him with such morbid thoughts? "I just... thought about Virmire."
"Ah," Shepard muttered, his face noticeably darkening with emotion.
Neither spoke for a while, both just contemplating that in complete silence. Tali knew she shouldn't think things like that, knew that there was no point in this, but she still wondered if there would have been something they could've done differently. There had to be some mistake that caused all that, there had to be something they could've done to save him. Or maybe not. Did it really matter at this point? It wouldn't help anything, wouldn't help Kaidan.
"I do miss him," John said suddenly, his voice pulling Tali away from her thoughts, bringing a smile to her face.
"I do too."
"He was a good man. Those are rare."
Tali raised her eyebrows "Those?"
"You do not consider yourself among them?"
"Hardly?" Tali asked, puzzled. Well, that reasoning did HARDLY make sense; who else had saved the galaxy lately? Or a colony? Or Liara or... her?
"Yeah, hardly," John replied with a shrug. "I don't really feel a need to help anyone, but wouldn't turn my back on someone needing it either. Doesn't really bother me."
He had talked about that before, about how he really did not care about other humans, or anything really. Yet he always strove to help everyone around him; Wrex's family armor, Garrus and his... predicament, and of course her as well. The disc... It seemed like he wished to make himself believe that he did not care. But why would he? Shouldn't one be proud for doing what was right, for helping others? Or was that simply what quarians did? It was... confusing. "But you do that all the time. Help others, I mean."
John looked somewhat puzzled. "What do you mean?"
"You are a bit dense, are you?" she asked humorously. "Garrus, Wrex, Liara..." Tali still felt somewhat embarrassed to mention it, for it had meant so much to her... And she could never pay him back. "..me."
And now John looked just as embarrassed. "I just... tried to help."
"I just wish..." Tali began, lowering her head for the same reason that had plagued her thoughts just a moment ago. "...just wish that you didn't get into trouble for the disc...or won't get..."
His eyes met with hers, a sly smile on his face. "It was a gift."
Tali forced out a chuckle. "Do you often give people gifts like that?"
Tali peered at the disc again, recalling the time when he had given it to her; it wasn't so long ago, but the time couldn't have been more different, simpler, and happier. It was both terrifying and remarkable about how only one thing could change everything, destroy everything. And just this small memento remained. It would probably be very important for her people, perhaps more important than anything before, and thus important to her, but she would give it away in a heartbeat just to see him again. Even for just a moment. To say goodbye.
She pocketed the disc, took out her omni-tool chip from her wrist and stared at it in turn. Auntie Raan had given it to her when she'd left the Flotilla, and had proven very useful; it had saved her life dozens of times already, and was very precious to her. Just like someone else. She pressed the chip against her mask's mouthpiece, giving it a gentle kiss. Perhaps the mask was in the way, but she didn't care about that now. She placed the chip on top of John Shepard's coffin, staring at it with a sad smile. "I hope I see you again."
She walked away and did not look back.