Title: You Are Not Alone
Rating: PG for mainly language
Spoilers: Eh not really, takes place kinda near the end of ME3 before the final battle.
Pairing: Liara/FemShep, Miranda/FemShep
Summery: No one is made of stone and when left to their thoughts they can crumble. Shepard has a moment in the quiet of her room and it takes two very different people to bring her back from the brink and remind her of what's important.
Author's Note: This came to me after remembering a time when I had broken down, much like Shepard has in this story and it had taken two people I love dearly to pull me back. I couldn't get it out of my head that Shepard is always strong, always ready for a battle. But no one can be that strong all the time. If you don't like it that's okay, it just wouldn't get out of my head till I wrote it.
Shepard sat on her bed, knees tucked under her chin and long arms wrapped around her legs. She knew she had to get up, get her crew ready, check her armor, check messages…she had so much to do to get ready for the final battle. But she couldn't seem to bring herself to move. Her mind was as heavy as ever, weighted down by the memories and screams of those she'd lost. Her eyes squeezed shut against the images, but they wouldn't go away. The permeating smell of fire and blood choked her, gagged her until she had to scramble off the bed and began dry heaving into a nearby trashcan. Her muscles shook with adrenaline and fatigue. "Damnit," She hissed, slumping off to the side and leaning her forehead against the metal bulkhead. She didn't move as the door swished open and soft footsteps made their way over to her.
"Come, my love," Liara's dulcet voice just barely broke through Shepard's thoughts. She only twitched as warm hands wrapped under her arms and helped her to stand, moving her back to the bed where she was laid down. She felt Liara curl up behind her, a strong arm wrapping around her waist, but she still didn't move, she didn't have the energy. "Come back to me, Ayana." Warm lips caressed her neck, but still Shepard didn't move. She was still caught up in the nightmares playing before her mind.
Many minutes passed…or was it hours? Shepard didn't know. For all intents and purposes her mind had shut down.
Liara ran her hands gently over her lover's arms. She was worried about the almost catatonic state and that Ayana's skin seemed to feel cooler. 'She is going into shock.' She didn't know the cause of this, and so was unsure what to do. "Come back to me, Ayana. Speak to me. Please," She whispered over and over, caressing and peppering kisses on Ayana's neck and cheek to try and rouse her.
Almost two hours had passed before Ayana spoke again, "What am I doing? People I love…care about. Dead. Why was I brought back? I haven't changed anything. Haven't stopped anyone?"
Liara closed her eyes as she felt tears well up at the desolet tone. She was so used to seeing Ayana so strong, so unflappable that this was unnerving. She continued to kiss and hold and touch, not knowing what to say.
The door opened again, this time letting in Miranda, who stopped immidately at the two curled together on the bed. Neither were aware at first of the ex-Cerberus.
"I should be dead…why aren't i? Because Cerberus needed a front man? I haven't changed anything…people are still dying. Why did they bring me back?" The words were soft, but still cut Miranda to the core. She never really stopped to think about how this would effect Ayana, even when they were together. Her breath caught, loud in the all too silent room. Liara stared in surprise at Miranda, while both Miranda nad Ayana were focused on one another; broken purple eyes staring into sad ice blue.
"Why did you do it? Why couldn't you just…just let me be?" Ayana whispered. No tears wetted her face, no emotions twisted her features, but her eyes were desolate, stark.
Without real thought Miranda walked closer, sitting on the bed besides Ayana. "We needed a hero, Shepard. You were…are that hero."
"I haven't changed anything. I,"
"No," Miranda interrupted, cupping her ex-lover's cheek. "You have. You've changed so much. You've saved hundred, if not thousands. You are a hero."
"Planets are dying. I wasn't able to get anyone to listen."
"I'm so sorry, Ayana." Miranda kept the sob back, starting to withdraw her hand, but was stopped by Ayana's own hand clasping it. Liara felt the same as a strong arm wrapped around the one she had around Ayana's stomach. The ex-Cerberus solider and current Broker both looked at one another, ice staring deep into jewel blue. They never had anything to speak about, having little more then a mutual respect. But at the moment they connected over a love for the woman curled between them. Liara gave a small nod. Miranda stretched out in front of Ayana, keeping her hand on the woman's cool cheek while resting a leg over both of Shepard's. Ayana let out a small sob at the sudden feeling of warmth all around her, cocooning her. She dipped her head forward, into the crook of Miranda's neck while hanging tighter to Liara's arm.
"It is not your fault that your warnings weren't heeded. You've helped so many people live, given so many another chance at life."
"You saved Feros, Noveria, Tuchanka," Liara whispered, her lips close to her lover's cheek.
"You've saved the council, the citadel…Tali, Wrex, Garrus…my sister," Miranda's words broke off.
"Me," Liara added.
Ayana said nothing, didn't more. But the words were sinking in. She was trying hard to pull herself out of the black hole she'd found herself in. Her only anchors were the arm around her waist and the hand against her cheek. "But…doesn't seem like it's enough," She sobbed.
Liara closed her eyes. "Nothing about this is easy. But you have done more for this galaxy then any other person. Many will die, yes, but we will stop the Reapers."
"And because of those you've saved millions will thrive and bounce back. You are a hero Shepard."
"And you are not alone."
Those words, both Miranda's and Liara's finally broke through. A guttural sob ripped from Ayana's throat and tears streamed down her face. Neither Miranda nor Liara said anything more. They only wrapped an arm around each other to hold Ayana even tighter between themselves. They listened to the sobs, felt them wrack the long, lean body. Liara looked up and again caught eyes with Miranda. Both had tears in their eyes, but both knew the same. The torrent of tears coming from Shepard were necessary, they were healing.
Ayana finally quieted down. She was tiered, but for the first time in a very long time felt…lighter. She slumped backwards into Liara's arm and her free hand sought out the long, warm hand cradled against her cheek. Her eyes fluttered closed as she whispered, "Thank you," before falling into a deep, healing sleep.