I own nothing. Bioware owns all. Bastards.

Ever since playing the very first game, I have had this odd obsession with Admiral Hackett. This story has been eating away at my brain for a long time. It might not appeal to the masses, but thought I would share it anyway. Enjoy. Be kind, rewind..or review rather.

Chapter One

Shepard was tired. She was bone tired as her father used to say after a hard days work on Mindoir. She'd always wondered how bones got tired; now she understand that deep ache of exhaustion that seeped into every aspect of one's body and soul. The exhaustion was worth the prize however as she had defeated the collectors, told the Illusive Man to fuck off and stopped the Shadow Broker. The Batarian relay debacle was a less than stellar moment. If their lives were the price that she had to pay for delaying the reapers, it was sadly worth the cost.

"Commander, you've got an incoming message from Alliance Headquarters." Joker pulled her out of her thoughts.

"I'll take it in my cabin." She responded as she headed up to the first floor cabin. She paused to feed her fish before allowing EDI to queue up the incoming comm. She tapped her fingers on the desk as the tell-tale blue flickered in front of her before the image of Admiral Hackett came into focus.

"Commander Shepard."

"Admiral."

"Earth is calling, Commander." He sounded strangely conflicted by it. "Time to face the music."

"Aye Aye, Sir." She bit back a temptation to offer her true feelings about the whole damn mess.

"Shepard." Hackett spoke after a long silence. "Jane, both Anderson and I have voiced our full support of you and your decisions rather loudly. We trust you."

"Thank you, Sir." She glanced away.

"But?" He prompted after another lengthy silence.

She slowly shook her head. "Nothing, Admiral."

"You have my permission to speak freely, Commander."

"Not without a hell of a lot of whiskey in my system…" She spoke with a grin. "Sir."

Hackett raised an eyebrow. "Noted. Hackett out."

"That was…odd." Shepard stared at the now dark terminal. "I need a drink."