A/N: Okay, just for references, this isn't in a storyline with the previous chapter, it's just something that came to mind and wouldn't leave. So, here's another little snapshot. It's a little AU from the canon endings, but for some reason the endings from MGS3 and MGS4 came into my head with ME characters, so I just rolled with it.

This isn't what she deserved.

That is his sole thought, as Garrus Vakarian limps into the ancient human military cemetery. His dress uniform is crisp and immaculate, an olive green color laced with black, with the bars signifying his new rank as General in the Hierarchy armed forces. The numerous medals and awards across the chest of his uniform gleam in the sunlight as Sol slowly starts to slide beneath the horizon, and the feeling of the briefcase in his hand is cool and soothing. He grunts, the incline of the path bringing a stab of pain to his bad leg. Harbinger's blast had about destroyed the entire thing- shrapnel from the Mako had nearly torn it off, but thanks to emergency medical care, the crew of the Normandy had held him together until Chakwas could get her tools to him.

He could regain complete functionality with few cybernetic implants, but he refuses. Garrus wants this injury. If only to remember her by, every day. Blinking his one remaining eye, he struggled onwards, heading for a small grove of trees, with a single fresh grave and headstone.


Garrus feels a low keening noise building up in his throat, but he continues moving, slowly entering the shady area of her resting place. The previous morning, he'd been in this same spot, dead to the world as he stood and watched Shepard lowered into the ground with full honors right after Anderson had been a few dozen yards away. There hadn't been a single being capable of tears who hadn't shed at least a few. Even the sergeant-at-arms for the burial detail had been misty-eyed. A real wood casket, such a rarity in this day for humanity, covered with a tattered Alliance flag had been lowered into the ground as the burial detail fired their volleys from Mattock rifles in precise coordination.

If this thing goes sideways, and we both end up there, meet me at the bar. I'm buying.

Liara had wept, while Traynor stood beside her, trying to offer her comfort. Vega had stood at attention resolutely, until the casket was completely buried, along with every surviving Marine from the Normandy. Tali had been completely silent, just as numb as Garrus. Joker stood alone, grieving for both Shepard and EDI. Javik had made his brief appearance, and had appeared more respectful than Garrus could ever remember seeing him. The Prothean had laid down his particle rifle and stood next to the tombstone for a moment, bowing his head, then left with Liara soon after. Kaidan had stood next to Hackett, expression mournful, as the overcast sky rumbled softly, warning of an impending storm. As the last of of the Normandy crew left silently, Cortez stopped, and rested one hand on his shoulder with a knowing gaze of sadness. Garrus had nodded, and the other male had left.

The injured turian blinked again, then reached up and rubbed the black piece of fabric covering where his right eye had once been with the back of his hand lightly. And he remembers.

And if I'm up there in that bar, and you're not...I'll be looking down. You'll never be alone.

A sound of pain escapes him as he slowly lowers to one knee, joints protesting in his damaged leg, muscles flaring up in pain. The second soon follows, and he sighs; a defeated, broken noise as he rests before the stone embedded in the earth, the rifle still propped against it. The briefcase is set upon the fresh soil, and opened with a faint click. Inside, rests a single picture. Taken at Dark Star, right after the destruction of the Collector Base. An aching reminder of what he'd never have again; Shepard and him both drunk out of their minds, her straddling his lap with her arms around his neck and head resting on his shoulder, his eyes closed. Garrus sets it at the base of the stone, and closes his eyes now as well. Reaching up, he violently tears the identification tags from around his own neck, and slowly sets them down as well.


A losing battle inside of his head is waged. Slowly, his hand wraps around the grip of his sidearm, pulling it from his hip holster. He laughs bitterly, examining the weapon. She'd disobeyed his order. Had always been difficult with following those, just like him.

She had been wrong, though. He felt more alone than ever before in all his life.

His hand clenched so tightly around the grip of the pistol that he heard his knuckles pop, as he lifted the weapon. The barrel rubs gently against a scarred mandible, and his mind flashes back to the first time she touches his face, eyes full of wonder and care, the soft smile comforting him, easing away his nervousness.

The Hierarchy, the Council, the galaxy all wanted more out of him. Garrus had nothing left to give. He'd done his duty, like a good turian for once. Orders for a return to Palaven this evening are on his omni-tool, ignored. He was tired. His thumb finds the safety, flicks it off. This was his choice. His need. The galaxy would survive just fine without him. The barrel comes to rest against his temple. His body relaxes.

He is at peace.

As the sun sets on the peaceful scenery of a well-kept, sprawling area of grass and masonry, a single, echoing shot rings out.


"Right behind you, Shepard."

A/N: Posted this, realized I missed a few things...and then realized that this was a lot darker than I'd originally planned. So...yeah, sorry for this dampener...