Chapter two

Shepard dozed off at his desk in his bedroom upon the Normandy. He had just finished writing up a report and had been staring at the picture of Ashley he kept upon his desk. He was woken by a knock on the door and as it slid open it was Kaidan Alenko who stepped in. He was one of the few whom had permission and access to Shepard's room if there was any need or trouble to call for it. Not only that but after all they had been through together Shepard had needed the Ex-Lieutenant more than ever.

Kaidan had been promoted during their time apart since their last mission to bring Saren down and had even managed to get the role of Spectre just as Shepard had before him, and now the two of them were together again, fighting Reapers and saving the galaxy from certain doom. He was proud of his fellow Spectre and best friend. Though now wasn't the time to celebrate. They had much to do in order to save not only Earth but every race and planet needed their help.

Offering Shepard's shoulder a light touch, Kaidan woke him up from his doze and offered the other man a tentative smile. "Are you feeling alright Commander?" He asked with concern.

"Not really. I had to leave Earth when the Reapers invaded and now everywhere is under attack and I don't know where to turn. I've lost so many friends, so has everyone. I just wish we had been able to prevent the Reapers from returning, but here they are in every corner we look, wiping out every planet we know." Shepard replied, rubbing his temple out of pure tiredness.

Kaidan offered a comforting smile to the other man, he knew better than most just how much his friend had suffered through all of this. The loss of Ashley; the woman Shepard loved, had been one of the hardest things his friend had to deal with. Often Kaidan felt guilty that he had been the one Shepard had saved back then, yet he was glad too and this left conflicted emotions floating around his head.

"I know things are hard, but we've come a long way to getting rid of the Reapers. The other races are now beginning to realize you were right." Kaidan offered, trying to reassure the other man.

Shepard scoffed loudly, "only because they have no choice any more. They refused to believe me back when all this started and continued to refuse to believe it until the Reapers were at their doorsteps."

Kaidan nodded once. He had to admit that Shepard was correct in that statement. Even when it was found out that Saren had planned to bring the Reapers back, the council refused to acknowledge that they existed. He had always felt irritated by the lack of trust the Council had for his Commander even after all he had done for them.

Shepard had done all of the jobs the Council refused to do themselves. Sure that was part of the job as a Spectre but at the same time it made Kaidan angry that they just shoved any concern aside and ignored the truth just so they could continue to live in their little bubbles.

"You should get some sleep Commander." Kaidan said after a moment. His voice hinting his concern for the other. He had noticed that Shepard hadn't been sleeping well the last couple of days – if not longer. He couldn't be fully sure of when his friend had slept properly last as they had not been together for a year or more. He had lost count of the days long ago.

Shepard had died but Cerberus had brought his Commander back. A thought that Kaidan had mixed feelings about.

On one hand he had his friend back, on the other it had been that organisation that had done terrible things in the past and were still doing even now, that had accomplished it. He still wondered if maybe they had planted a control device in Shepard's brain. A thought that was easily squashed after spending more time with him. He was the same Commander he had always known and respected.

A firm but gentle commander. Kind but knew how to fight for what was right and wouldn't back down easily nor give up. His commander that had done all he had to ensure that the Council had been saved and all races on their side at last to fight the Reapers. His Commander whom he cared for deeply, who he wanted to make everything right for.

His commander who he loved. Though he would not say so to his commander. Not yet.