This first bit was just a drabble in response to a prompt at the me_challenge community at livejournal. A glimpse of what Shepard might be like if she ever gets that teaching job. XD

"My name is Andrea Shepard." The woman at the front said, staring at each person in the room with eyes like cold steel. "I used to be a Spectre until..." The woman trailed off.

Tomas risked raising his hand. "Until what, ma'am?" He flinched when that hard gaze turned on him, but her lips curved in an approving smile.

"Until I retired to give the future of the Alliance some help." She raised an eyebrow, surveying the class. "That means you." She shook her head. "God help us all."

Tomas frowned. "We're the best, ma'am. We wouldn't be even on this station if we weren't all at the top of our classes-"

"Grades have nothing to do with it, Mendoza," Shepard said, spearing him with her glance again but this time he was prepared for it and held his ground. She looked back over the class. "Improvise. Adapt. Overcome. Learn those skills and you might pass this class. Learn those skills and you just might have a chance to be what I was—a Spectre."

The class sat in rapt silence. Shepard allowed a smile to curve the ends of her mouth. "Now that I have your attention, the fun can really begin. Who wants to learn how to diffuse three nuclear bombs in less than five minutes?"

The following deleted scene is why chapter 3 was so short. The more I wrote of it, the more bored I became, so I stopped and scrapped it. I kept it just in case I would rework it later, but I never did. It was more or less to explain how Kaidan found out Shepard was on Mindoir, but I think the story is fine without all the details being explained.

Thane walked in silence beside his son on the Presidium. While their relationship wasn't quite what he'd hoped it to be, he couldn't deny that they'd come far since Kolyat's intended assassination plot. It was fortunate, as his last doctor's appointment had informed him that the Kerpel's had taken over nearly all of one lung and half of the other.

"Do we need to stop?" Kolyat asked, apparently noticing Thane's shortness of breath.

"There are some benches ahead," Kolyat said, taking Thane's silence for assent. "They used to sit across from the relay monument. Only…"

"They removed it once Commander Shepard revealed its true nature," Thane finished. "Unsurprising. If Saren could get in so easily, it's no wonder they'd want to make sure no one else did. Especially with Illos being in the Terminus."

They walked along the pathway toward the benches. One of them was already occupied by a human. Kolyat took no notice but Thane stopped. He'd seen that face before—

Commander Shepard's cabin is large; luxurious, but noticeably absent of private mementoes. He glances around while she finishes typing on her console—another goodbye note perhaps—and his gaze falls upon a single photo on the desk. A human male with a dark crop of that alien "hair" and a smile curving the edge of his mouth. His curiosity is piqued. In a room so bare of anything personal, the photo was startling. He has barely time to wonder who was important enough to merit a photo on her desk when she turns around, ready to conclude their business.

Thane pulled himself from the memory, finding Kolyat staring at him oddly. He nodded reassuringly but his gaze slid again to the human whose picture was on Shepard's desk. He looked upset; his eyes staring out at the empty pedestal where the relay monument used to sit.

"Excuse me," Thane found himself saying, "do you… know Commander Shepard?"

The human looked up, gaze suspicious. "And if I do?"

Thane inclined his head. "I'm sorry, I don't wish to intrude, but I couldn't help but be curious… you see, your picture was on her desk."

"Really." The man's voice was flat.

"Dad…" Kolyat muttered.

Aaaand, that's it.