Disclaimer: Only own my Shepard, Cameron. Other than that, nada. Zip. Zilch. Zero profit coming from this.
A/N: This was just...something I thought up a few days ago and needed to get down. Criticisms and reviews would be appreciated.
Synopsis: Recent events lead Cameron Shepard to rethink her current position in life and revisit a decision she made two years ago and the emotions along with it...
Cam flinched as she awoke for the second time that night. Or what was considered night aboard the Normandy 2.0. She sighed and propped herself up, at first on her elbows then against a pillow or two, the white sheets that were draped across her front now spilling into her lap. She stared at her hands, watched as they began to shake. She gritted her teeth, forced out a breath and got up.
Cam ignored the voice and made her way to the small mini-fridge, grabbing one of the wineglasses and pouring herself a small amount of Serrice Ice Brandy. She sat on the couch, crossing her legs and frowned at the figure sitting on the foot of her bed.
Kaidan Alenko looked as vibrant as he did when he was alive. His dark hair in that same odd fashion, a sort of roughness to his face, his well-cared for physique. It was all there...well, almost all there. Kaidan was dressed in a darker armor, as if he'd be seeing combat soon. Cam's mouth quirked in a humorless gesture at the thought.
"Something funny, Commander?"
Cam twirled the glass in her hand before taking a sip. The brandy was sharp and scorched her way down her throat. It settled into her stomach, a warming numbness creeping into her system. "Just...thinking, Alenko."
"You've been doing along of that these past few weeks."
Cam spread her arms wide. "What can I say? I've got a lot of things on my mind." She paused, the wineglass near her mouth. "...talked with Ash today..." she said quietly.
Kadain crossed his arms, his brow quirked. "How is she?"
A snort. "As to be expected, given the circumstances..." another small sip of brandy. "How would you feel if someone you thought had been dead for two years showed up out of the blue with no warning or no contact?"
The two soldiers let the words hang in the air, the silence and brandy made Cam's stomach ache.
"An...interesting choice of words, Shepard."
"Hm." Cam put the glass to her lip, but bit the edge of the glass instead. " I guess it was, huh?" The glass felt like dead weight in her hands and she placed it on the table and walked over to the fish tank, gazing at the empty waters. She laid her hand against the cool glass, her reflection gazing back at her. A reflection painted with small scars, like little roads traveling across her skin.
"...fought the Collectors too. Creepy things, those Collectors..." she shuddered at the memory: hot fire raced across her veins, the Collector's dark energy scrapping across every nerve ending like sand-paper, overloading her sheilds in one brutally oppressive blast. She remembered struggling, trying to shake off the pain, trying to retaliate with a singularity or a warp and failing. Then watching as a black haired biotic sent a blast of dark energy that shattered what remained of the Collector into ashes.
The room seemed to shift around as she recalled the vivid memory, floors and wall melting and swirling like watercolors. A breeze flickered across Cam's face, scattered small shoots of grass and dust into her eyes and short brown hair. Cam looked around. She was back on Horizon, it's battle scars still smokey and fresh after the Collector's abductions.
"Miranda ended up saving my life...for the second time." Cam smiled and turned to Kaidan. "She's a really good biotic and has this impressive aptitude for combat viruses and hacking."
She sat next to Kaidan on a crate. "Can't hold a candle to Liara or Tali though...or you. You were always good at that kind of thing..."
Kaidan was quiet for a moment. Then...
"Do you really think you can work with Cerberus?"
Cam glanced at him through the corner of her vision. "Garrus thinks the same thing...he's different now, changed...hope he's doing ok." She persed her lips. "Cerberus...is necessary, right now." she finally answered. "I don't trust the Illusive Man as far as I could throw him without biotics, but...they're the only ones looking out for us."
They sat for a while, listening to the small cracklings of thunder off in the distance. A few seeker bugs fluttered here and there, wandering aimlessly. Cam's eye fell upon a husk, it's decayed body divided in half, lifeless optics staring up at the gray colored sky. She brought her knees up to her chest and was slightly shocked to discover her was dressed in her N7 armor.
"...What's it like? Where you are, I mean?"
"Are you happy?"
"Do you feel pain?" Cam felt something hitch in her chest and something felt hot behind her eyes. "Do you feel anything?" she turned towards Kaidan, her blue eyes glassy and curious.
The sentinel offered a small smile. "I don't know how to explain it...but...I'm not in pain or mad or anything. I just...am."
"It's ok, Shepard. Really." He layed a hand on her leg, squeezing it gently. Cam let out a shaky laugh, held a hand to her mouth. "I know that...you've been carrying this for a long time...but I don't...blame you for what happened."
Cam nodded, but she felt something begin to build in her stomach. "I felt... I dunno, I guess funny is the only way I could describe it. Like I was floating, but I...couldn't tell much else..." she let the hand fall to her side. "Was that the same for you when..."
Cam swallowed, tried to get the words out, but they wouldn't come."When..." Kaidan squeezed her leg again and she stood up, breathing heavily. He fallowed. The feeling was rising, going straight to her chest, practically crushing her heart.
"When you died?" she squeaked and Kaidan stepped foreward to pull her into a hug.
"Kaidan..." Cam whispered, letting the tears fall finally. "M' sorry." she clung to him. "M' so so sorry. I should have been able to save you..."
"Cam..." Kaidan started but Cam's voice cut into his response.
"Alenko, just let me say it...please. I'm sorry I couldn't save you...I really am..."
"I know, Shepard...and I. don't. blame. you. For any of it."
Cam let out a bubbling cross between a cough and a laugh. "Still doesn't make me feel any less crappy...but...I just need to say it..." she pulled back, wiping her eyes. "Y'know?"
Kaidan smiled. "Yeah, I know." he touched her arm lightly. "Be careful, Shepard."
Cam nodded. "I...I will...LT...dismissed." Kaidan saluted one last time before slowly stepping away.
Cam awoke, looking up at the ceiling through blurry eyes and smiling, as EDI flickered to life in a corner of the room, bidding her a 'good morning.'
Cam sighed and continued to stare up, the small smile never leaving her face. "Thank you, Kaidan...for everything."