Dear Shepard,

I might be dead by the time you read this, if you ever do read this. Nobody but the nurses and doctors visit us anymore. Nobody cares enough to remember you're still here. It's been eighteen years, they say, I should just give up— but they didn't know you as I knew you. They think you're brain dead, but I can still see a flicker of recognition in your eyes when your gaze follows my movements. You're still inside that brain of yours, I know it.

I haven't left your side since you were moved here. I'm having problems with my breathing and my arms and legs have become riddled with arthritis. My migraines are far worse, to the point of fainting, but Chakwas would help me from going comatose. You remember Doctor Chakwas, don't you? She was our medic on the Normandy. She was killed by somebody in the psych unit— the bastard stabbed her in the throat with a needle repeatedly.

Everyone has gone their separate ways— Garrus is next in line to control the turian military, Tali is the leader of a colony on Rannoch and she was able to bring Legion back to life, Liara is… being well, a broker, the krogans have an overflow of children which has helped interspecies adoption. Anderson's body was never found, unfortunately, but we were able to rebuild the mass relays with Hackett's help, which helped us find Joker and EDI.

Funniest thing though, James and Steve got married. Never expected that one, but I can't say I'm not happy for them. They adopted a baby krogan and named it after you. He's all grown up now, and he came by just before he enlisted in the military. I hope you don't mind, but I gave him your dog tags, for good luck. I don't expect you to go rushing back to the military, either way.

Sometimes, I sing to you. You always said I had a good voice, but I think you might've been a little tone deaf. I've actually caught you humming in the middle of night— it's a garbled mess, but it gives me and the doctors hope. They use you to find a cure to the indoctrination, and they think they've gotten somewhere. Not far enough, if you ask me, though.

Jesus, I don't know what I'm trying to say anymore. I miss you, John. I wake at night crying because I can't hold you as I used to. You aren't there to whisper in my ear that everything is going to be all right, to kiss my worries away.

I hate it.

I hate you for leaving me.

I hate everyone for giving up on you.

But most of all, I hate me for not knowing when to let go, when to stop loving you.

I love you too much, Shepard.

And that's why I am going to walk up to the top floor of the hospital, step out onto the edge, and jump.

Very sincerely yours,

Kaidan Alenko-Shepard