The Life That Could Have Been

Kaidan sits on the sofa listening to the nothing. There was never anything. Why would there be? It's silence. Always. Silence in his heart.

Shepard's voice rang out from the kitchen.

"Alenko, what do you call this?"

Kaidan ventures to the kitchen, smiles as he sees her peering at the stew he had bubbling on the stove. Cooking had never been his strong suit, but he wanted to cook for her. Shepard would always pretend she liked it in the end too. She'd scrunch up her face, and then she'd plaster a smile on.

"It's great." She would say.

He is looking at the kitchen now. Bare. He never felt like eating now. He knew if she was here...if she was here, Shepard would reprimand him for that. She would never want him to stop because of her. She would want him to live on. Keep going. Be strong. Kaidan realises he's crying. He wants to scream.

"This is still such a bachelor pad Kaidan." Shepard tuts as she enters the living room. She's drying her bright red hair with a towel. Water glistens off of her shoulders as she pads towards him. Kaidan chuckles before he gets to his feet. His hands brush her shoulders, wiping drops of water away as he stands behind her.

"Bachelor?" He kissed her shoulder gently. "Really Shepard?"

Shepard's hand reaches up and entwines with his.

Why did it have to happen the way it happened? Why couldn't they have had one more chance? A chance without pain, without loss? Why did it have to be the way it was? Kaidan's chest was hurting. He slumped down against the wall. He didn't want to be without her. That was it. He just didn't WANT it. He stared outwards, through the glass balcony doors. It's cloudy outside. The stars he'd travelled amongst, with her, obscured. She had been his love, the reason he'd kept on going. The reason he was what he was.

She's sleeping. Kaidan finds himself so captivated by her beauty. Even now. After all this time. Every time she entered the room, he felt the breath leave his body. He watches her face, the way she occasionally wriggled her nose. His hand strokes hers gently and he gazes at her. Those little freckles on her shoulder. That mole on her collarbone. He's a damned lucky man.

The water pounds down on him. It's almost painful. He cries a lot, even now. Months and months after. He didn't even know how long it had been. He didn't want to know. It wasn't life, not without her. He could imagine how angry THAT thought would make her. But that was the point...Shepard isn't there. He rests his forehead against the cold linoleum tiles of the shower. It's reality, but it doesn't comfort him. The water begins to become cold, but he doesn't move.

Hands link around his chest. He feels her heart beating against his chest. His perfect hero.

She isn't there. She'll never be there again. Kaidan lies in the dark.