Author's Note: I didn't like the ending for Mass Effect 3. To be honest, I loathed it. Right up there with Brussels sprouts and Mayonnaise.

I am using my own John Sheppard: A true Paragon of virtue, raised among the stars, noted as a War Hero against the Batariains.

This idea came to me last night, and I just had to write it out. Enjoy!

It would end here.

That single thought filled Sheppard's head. The problem was- what answer would he give to the Catalyst?

Would he choose to destroy the Reapers- beings immeasurably deserving of death? But thereby destroying the innocent Geth as well, not to mention his loyal AI, EDI?

Or would he choose to control them, to send them into Dark Space never to bother another being? To leave them unrepentant for crimes to great to be measured?

John Sheppard was a man known for thinking on his feet, and he was certainly doing that now. He stumbled up the path toward the two pillars that would control the Reapers.

"Then you chose to control the Reapers? To put an end to their cycle, to put an end to the Mass Relays?" The Catalyst said.

"No." Sheppard stated decisively. "This ends here, but I will not fall for the tricks of the being that created the evil of the Reapers." With that, he raised his pistol and emptied the clip into the control pillars.

They sparked, sizzled, and shattered.

Outside, the Reapers halted in their attack. The great fleet redoubled their efforts, and explosions sparked across space.

Then, with a great outrush of energy, the Crucible fired, its brilliant-blue energy wave striking the Reapers. The instant it had passed, the great shapes of the Reapers turned- and opened fire on one another.

The great Fleet, undamaged by the wave, joined in the chaos. Reapers fell like wheat before the scythes of the harvesters.

"What have you done?" The Catalyst almost-yelled at him.

"It's like this." Sheppard coughed. "I figure that, since that would let me control the Reapers, it contains some pretty vital control equipment. If so, destroying it would end your control of the Reapers." He coughed, in too much pain to continue.

"Those organic species died in hatred and fear of the Reapers. Without your control, they would lash out against every Reaper in sight."

Outside, the Reapers fired on each other, dissolving kinetic barriers and melting away armor. Whatever was not killed instantly, the organic species would soon finish off.

"Your Wheel is broken." Sheppard coughed his final words to the catalyst before crumpling. "The Timeline is restored."

The great arms of the Citadel folded slowly away. No one was there to watch the Catalyst scream in rage one last time and vanish, its will and power broken.

At the Chariton relay, the SSV Normandy SR-2 hung in space, whole, hale and untouched. A second later, it jumped to FTL- towards Earth, not away from it. The ship was returning to its Captain.

"Ah. Awake. Need to listen quickly, not much time."

Shepard rolled over, muttered something rude about Mordin Solis, and tried to go back to sleep.

Wait- Mordin? Isn't he dead? He sat up.

The original Normandy's sickbay whirled about him, and everything was much too bright.

"Mordin! Aren't you..."

"Yes." The Salarian stated "Dead. No going back. Undiscovered country. Interesting, though. Know much more now. Understand...can't tell you. Couldn't comprehend until 'dead'."

"Mordin, what's going on?" He stated plainly.

"Not dead yet, but almost. I was someone you could recognize, could explain choice quickly."

"What choice?"

"You killed Reapers. Great evil. Worth noting. You could go on, have peace," He paused for breath, "Perfect happiness."

"Or?" Sheppard asked.

"Could go back. Have a long life. Peaceful. No more wars for many years. Rebuild civilization-

"What's the downside?" Sheppard interrupted.

"No downside." Mordin stated. "Just giving you a choice. Thought it would be more polite."

"Then I will go back." Sheppard said. "Civilization still needs help."

"Ah. Go because of Liara. Worried Asari not welcome in Human afterlife." Mordin stated. "Shouldn't worry. No species division..."

The next thousand years were calm ones for the galaxy. They had enough troubles to forget war for a while.

It seemed as though Time itself had turned on the Reapers that had so long held it in sway. What was left of them rotted or dissolved quickly, and, within the year, there was little sign that they had ever existed.

The Citadel was finally towed back to the Serpent nebula; its arms now locked open- the need for defense would not be seen again within even Asari lifetimes.

Garius returned to Paliven, where he lived out the remainder of his life. When Primarch Victus died of old age, Garius was named Primarch. He died in his sleep a hundred years later, a much-loved ruler of his people.

Tali'Zorah vas Normandy returned to Ranoch, but she traveled the galaxy often, exploring and helping the galaxy rebuild. When death finally found her, she was laid to rest in the soil of her beloved home world, leaving behind a strong empire forged from two disparate peoples. To this day, the Geth still tend her grave.

Kaden Alenko was wounded in the Reaper conflict, and never really recovered. He left Earth in a one-man shuttle shortly thereafter. Of his wanderings, many stories are told, though few can confirm them. Some say that he lives on to this day, guarding the galaxy from any of the Reapers that survived.

When disease and age finally caught up to Captain Jeff Moroe, EDI would mourn him too greatly to be understood by organic life. With his casket in the Normandy CIC deck, she passed through the Dark Space Relay of the Citadel, never to be seen again, though some still say that, in their wanderings, they somehow found a way beyond the mortal world.

John Sheppard would go on to serve humanity's represenitave to the Citadel Council, where he served to the end of his days. He and Liara T'soni would have five children, and lived happily until the end of their days, and his daughter and granddaughter would serve on the council after him.