A/N: I only started playing ME3 two weeks ago, because my Collector's Edition took its sweet time getting here (long story). Anyhow, a few hours into the game, this little tidbit got planted in my brain. (Spoilers for the first few hours of the game, obviously)

After the Mars mission, Shepard goes to the Huerta Memorial Hospital on the Citadel where Kaidan (or Ashley depending on who survived Virmire) is recovering from Cerberus' brutal attack. My Spacer/War Hero/Paragon/Sentinel FemShep (from my previous ME one-shots, "For the Lost" and "Re: About Horizon...") has a few things she wanted to tell Kaidan.

This piece ended up being a bit more reflective than I expected, but I don't want to tweak it any more than I already have. Please read and review; any feedback is greatly appreciated!

She faced the window which overlooked the Presidium, her blue gaze all steel and ice. Alexandra Shepard had been waiting for hours, it seemed. As she paced back and forth in Huerta Memorial Hospital's main hall, the same thoughts born of impatience and frustration churned in her head. The well-kept, peaceful Presidium grounds, in sharp contrast, felt… wrong. It didn't seem right, what with everything the Spectre had seen in the last forty-eight hours.

It had been just another day under house arrest in the Alliance's Vancouver headquarters, or so it had seemed. But before she knew it, Vega had come in, the Brass wanted to see her, and then, the Reapers arrived. Death and destruction had rained from the skies into the harbor's crystal waters. The cries of the injured and dying had been absolutely deafening, the acrid smell of burning flesh had made her gag. Alexandra had seen action before, but this… Never like this.

And then Anderson had returned her dog tags, reinstated her and ordered her to leave without him. Shepard recognizes the need for her to flee, but that didn't mean she had to like it.

Admiral Hackett had directed her to the Prothean Archives on Mars, and although it had been disheartening to see it under attack as well, albeit from a different foe, it felt good to have Kaidan at her side again. In all the months since her return to Earth, he hadn't replied to her messages, hadn't come to visit. She'd had a glimmer of hope in the morning of the attack, as he'd written he'd "try to drop by", but… In her heart, she knew her old lover still distrusted her, believed she "was with Cerberus". They had spoken briefly, and maybe, just maybe, there was a chance they could still patch things up.

Up 'til now, the Commander had felt conflicted about the Human supremacist organization. On the one had, they had performed those horrible experiments on rachni, husks and who knew what else. They had killed Rear Admiral Kahoku for no good reason, other than investigating their activities. But on the other hand, they had given her another chance at life; they had rebuilt the Normandy, the ship which had become her home; they had given her everything she needed to stop the Collectors. It was hard to hate Cerberus when she owed them so much, yet another reminder that the world wasn't black and white, but shades of grey.

And when that… thing, that Cerberus monster had held his life in its hands, when it had crushed him and tossed him aside without a second look, that's when the last shreds of gratitude had thoroughly evaporated. Alexandra had emptied her entire clip on the thing and only Liara's hand on her shoulder had broken her daze.

Shepard shook the idyllic image of the Presidium from her eyes, it was too jarring, and turned once again towards the hallway which led to the Intensive Care Unit. She had been told, in no uncertain terms, to *wait*, and though it took every bit of patience, self-control and concentration, wait she would. The infuriatingly peaceful view of the Presidium beckoned, but the Commander kept staring, wishing someone, *anyone*, would come out and tell her something, *anything*.

At last, Doctor Chloe Michels came walking down the hall, Salarian resident in tow.

"You may go in now, Commander Shepard" she said, all smiles. Alexandra wanted to both thank and punch her.

There he was, eyes bruised and closed, lying deathly still. Although she wanted nothing more than to rush over and kiss him, she simply sat beside him and took his hand in hers.

"Kaidan, I… I don't know if you can hear me", the red-haired woman fumbled for words, "but there are some thing I really, really need to tell you."

There was no answer, save for the monitor's rhythmic beeps.

"I missed you. I… *miss* you. It's just not fair, after all this, after Horizon, after the Collectors, after Earth… I was hoping we'd finally have another chance."

Alexandra glanced over once more at the view of the serene Presidium Commons. They made her want to scream, but she drew a ragged breath and focused on Kaidan instead.

"What I wrote, I meant. Every single word. I still love you, Kaidan. And I could use you. Maker, it would be good to have you by my side."

Her voice dropped to a whisper. "Please… don't die."

Shepard would've stayed there if she could, but she knew she had to go. The threat of the Reapers, Earth's fate, Hackett's orders, they all lay heavily on her mind. The Spectre got up and made for the door, turning back one last time.

"I could really use you, Kaidan. If you won't do it for me, do it for your commanding officer." Alexandra added a half-hearted "that's an order" and left, the doors sliding home behind her.

Kaidan's eyes slowly fluttered open.