The strange chapter number is intentional - this is extra material in light of ME3's release being so close, but is absolutely part of the story (which was started before I played Arrival, hence the changes).

Wrong Time, Wrong Place

03 / 02

Three months later

The great Commander Shepard, saviour of the Citadel and the galaxy, has finally been taken down. Not by Reapers, or Collectors, or by a war.

By red tape, and paperwork, and an Alliance that couldn't give a shit about bravery or years of service. Or even Reaper invasions.

She has to hand herself in, they've said, like a lamb to the slaughter, for trial. He grits his teeth, looks away from her, but she brings his face back to hers, her eyes soft.

"We could just..." he starts, then trails off. He shrugs, the words sounding hoarse and desperate even to his own ears, as he says, "Fly. We don't have to do this - "

"I do," she says, like it's the simplest thing in the world. "I have nothing to hide. I did what was right."

"You can't let them... mmph." She shuts him up by giving him a lingering kiss, then stands, brushes herself off.

"How do I look?" she asks, holding her arms out and doing a slow twirl in her dress uniform.

"Um... commanderly?" he tries.

She laughs, but it's forced. "Good." The word is quiet, and there's a shake to it. They walk to the elevator, her hand warm in his, and separate when it arrives at the CIC.

She's there, with a hand on his shoulder as always. Her voice is quiet, but the shake is gone, as she says calmly, "Set a course for the Citadel."

He briefly places a hand over hers, words unneeded, and then does.

I understand that these were very, very late chapters - blame writer's block and good ol' forgetfulness. I haven't been as involved with the ME fandom of late - BioWare's other lovely IP, Dragon Age, got in the way somewhat - but that will change with the release of ME3. I've been missing it, anyway. I told myself that I was going to finish this before the third game came out, and managed to.

By the way... (Nodding patiently) I understand that a Jokermance in ME3 would make all of my stories non-canon, yes. I would still love with all my little fangirl heart for it to happen.

Here's to ME3, and series two of the oneshots (hopefully). :)