Seashells: Yours will be remembered for eternity
Shepard felt... warm.
Perhaps it was the right thing to experience shortly after dying, but Shepard had never been sure what the protocol for dying was. The last time she died she had been resurrected before she had a chance to discover the meaning of life or see what happened next, not that she was keen on finding out. She just knew it would make an interesting conversation for when she returned.
Maybe she was warm because there was no going back, perhaps this was it, this pleasant heat and the cool sensation lapping at her feet. Now if only she could move. Shepard tried to open her eyes, struggled for a moment, and eventually accomplished what felt like a difficult task.
That voice, calling her... it sounded familiar. Shepard looked up and saw a blue sky, so perfect and crystal, not a single cloud to disturb its beauty. She sat up and saw the ocean, as perfect as the sky. At least she knew what was tickling her feet.
She grabbed the sand between her fingers and watched it slip between the cracks of her knuckles, she watched every little gold drop fall to the ground and realized she was no longer wearing her destroyed armour and was no longer covered in cuts or blood.
She was wearing a dress, plain and white with a nice plaited design along the helm. There was a flower in her hair too, a lily. Was this the afterlife? If it was, it wasn't half bad. She looked around, studying the small island with its lush tropical trees and sweet-smelling air.
She didn't see any bars.
"...if this thing goes sideways... meet me at the bar."
Garrus survived then, she thought. I'm glad.
She truly was, Garrus could keep on living and she could watch him from the shores of eternity. A small, selfish part of her wished he had died, just so he could be here with her, but that was unfair. He deserved a future, after everything that happened he deserved happiness. He could live for her and she could watch as he got married and had a family-
Damn it, who was calling her?
She got to her feet and turned, spotting a familiar salarian standing behind her. A huge grin split across her face and Shepard ran into the arms of Mordin, the professor laughed and soothingly stroked her hair. She pulled back and looked at him, surprised to see him wearing white shorts with a red streak up the front. It reminded her of his armour.
"Mordin..." she smiled. "You finally got a chance to study the seashells."
"Yes," he said. "Much time. Many seashells. But sad to see you."
"Sad?" she repeated. "Why?"
"Not your time," he shook his head. "You fade in and out, slip into consciousness."
"Wait..." she held up her hands. "I'm... alive?"
He nodded. "My studies prove heaven is different for each person," he explained. "This is mine. You came here, anchored, until you're found."
"But why here?" she frowned. "Why didn't I anchor myself to Thane or..." she smiled. "I know why."
He looked at her, oblivious to the answer. She grabbed his shoulder, squeezing it reassuringly.
"You're my best friend, Mordin," she said. "On the Normandy, you were the one I trusted most - beside Garrus. Every opportunity I went to talk to you, you made me laugh and helped me in more ways than one. If I am anchored between life and death, I would have preferred to be at your side."
"Good to know," Mordin smiled and passed her a blue bucket filled with seashells. "Until then, seashells to be studied."
Time had no meaning in this place, it why should it? It was the afterlife, Mordin's special little heaven, where he could study seashells and whatever else he wanted. As she sat with him, studying the beautiful and colourful shells, Shepard wondered how long she had been anchored and what Thane's heaven was like, was he with Irikah? Was he happy?
And Kaiden and Miranda, what sort of heaven were they given? Zaeed was probably lounging on a chair on a tropical beach with his beloved rifle, Jessie. But what happened to Legion? Did geth go to heaven, or did only the ones with souls go?
"Does this unit have a soul?"
She hoped Legion was in a good place, a place where he could look down with his brethin and know that their species sacrifice was not in vain. It was terrible of her to allow the geth to gain consciousness, only to have them destroyed by the red wave, and she hoped Legion knew how bad she felt. She had no other choice, she couldn't allow the Reaper's to continue to exist.
She looked at up at Mordin, "What?"
He frowned at her, "Something wrong?"
"You just called me," she said.
"Not now," he argued. "Did earlier when you lay unconsciousness, not now."
"Shepard! Wake up!"
She jumped to her feet and felt her vision darken in the corners, Mordin watched as she struggled to stand and he grabbed her. Her vision continued to darken as the voice grew louder, she noticed Mordin was smiling.
"What's... so... funny?" she gasped.
"Not yet time," he reminded her. "Did tell you."
She smiled faintly, "Thanks, Mordin," she said. "Maybe when... it is my time I'll... help you collect some more... seashells."
"Will look forward to it," he smiled.
Her vision blurred and darkened, and Mordin and the beach and the seashells were gone. It was just darkness and cold, it felt like she was drowning. She reached forwards, trying to grab hold of something or someone. She wanted to scream, call for Garrus and Tali.
Anyone who could help her.
She reached forwards once more, desperate for a lifeline, and she grabbed hold of something - someone. A hand. A turian hand.
Shepard opened her eyes and found a white ceiling before her, the faint buzz of machinery and the over-bearing smell of a hospital. She felt sore and stiff and her entire body ached, perhaps being dead wasn't so bad, especially when she compared the pain to Mordin's beach.
Shepard hear noises around her, voices, crowding around her. Her grip on the hand tightened and she felt it squeeze back. She turned her head and saw Garrus, the turian looked so... tired, but there was enough strength in him to muster a smile of relief. As her head cleared Shepard saw the balloons and flowers and get well cards that covered her suite.
Outside the window she saw London with repairs underway; she didn't see a single Reaper. It had worked. The red wave had killed them all. She now saw who the voices belonged to and her room was filled with faces she thought she'd never see again. Tali. Jack. Liara. Jeff. EDI - EDI? How was she still alive? She shrugged off it off, why question what was probably a miracle?
"Shepard," Tali smiled. "Keelah se'lai!"
"What I'd say, Garrus?" Jeff smirked. "I told you I'd help you find her!"
Shepard looked at all the faces, but the one she kept coming back to was Garrus. Her turian, he had come for her. Despite the odds, he knew she was alive and had risked it all to come back for her. How long had it taken him? The Relays were damaged; it must have taken all his resources to get here.
It didn't matter.
She took both of his hands and smiled at him. Jack ordered everyone out of the room, giving the two their privacy. Garrus squeezed her, unable to find the words to describe how he felt. The love of his life had returned to him, after everything - Saren, Sovereign, the Collectors and now the Reapers - she had come back for him.
He had found her and no matter what came next - another invasion, another war, whatever - he would always be there for her and he would always look for her, because she would always come back for him.
They were Shakarian, and no one was going to tear them apart, not even death.
"Tell me another story about the Shepard..."
A slight bit of F/ShepxMordin, because if Mordin was a romancable option I would totally have made another Shep just so I could be with him. Anway, this isn't a the-ME3-ending-sucked story. I agree the ending was terrible until the DLC was introduced. I did this because the DLC didn't give Shepard a happy ending. I wrote what I like to think happened to her and to Mordin, who was probably one of my all time favourite characters next to Garrus and Wrex.
If you want part one, Platform, follow the link - s/8451530/1/Platform