A/N:

Slightly AU-ish .

*potential triggers

Last chapter. =)

Beta: None

Bioware owns all. Sadly.

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Zaeed knew that visiting Anderson's memorial in London would hit Shepard hard. He'd expected tears, but she stayed stoically silent the entire time. In fact the entire rest of the day, she remained quiet and withdrawn. When they finally got back to their hotel room, she immediately ducked into the bathroom and had spent the last two hours having a bath.

Another hour passed and he finally gave in to the concern that rose in his gut. He opened the door to find the bathroom empty. Goddamn it. He checked the door that led out to a small balcony. Nothing. Shepard had disappeared.


From: Massani

To: T'soni

Subj: Shepard.

Find her.

Massani


He walked the streets of London long into the night looking for any sign of her. But Shepard hadn't spent all that time as a runner with the Reds for nothing. Finding her would not be easy if she didn't want to be found. He headed over to the memorial that they had visited earlier in the day.

She wasn't there.

But a pair of dogtags hanging from the corner of told him that she'd been there at some point. He grabbed the tags and draped them around his neck under his armor. The last thing that Shepard needed was for some random passerby to steal them from the memorial. They'd end up on the bloody extranet for sale. He sent Liara a quick follow up message, maybe there was security footage from around the cemetery that would provide a direction.


Inter-Relay Text Chat

Location: London

From: Massani

To: Shepard

19:17 Z: Little Lamb?

19:23 Z: Where the bloody hell are you?

19:35 Z: I will tear this city apart looking for you.

19:38 S: London might not appreciate that.

19:42 Z: Then tell me where the goddamn hell you are.

19:45 S: I need some alone time.

19:48 Z: You can have all the goddamn alone time that you want when you come back to the hotel with me.

19:52 S: I don't think you understand what 'alone time' entails.

19:55 Z: I will leave you alone when I know where you goddamn are.

19:58 S: I'm in London.

19:59 Z: Little Lamb.

20:01 S: They Cat 6'd me.

20:02 Z: What?

20:03 S: I got a message from Admiral Hackett this morning. He tried to fight it, but I've been Cat 6'd. I am officially no longer an Alliance Marine. Retirement was not an option.

20:04 Z: Bastards.

20:06 S: It's my own fault.

20:07 Z: So how long is this alone time going to last?

20:18 S: Goodbye, Zaeed.

20:19 User has disconnected.


Shepard didn't blame Hackett. She'd known that they would Cat 6 her. They couldn't afford to let her have control of the Normandy after she'd been locked up in the psych ward and heavily sedated. The bastards could've let her retire though. Somehow, seeing Anderson's memorial had torn open the hole in her heart. She was never going to see him again, and she was never going to have the helm of the Normandy again.

What the hell was left after all of that was gone?

Zaeed.

She had intended to ignore his repeated attempts to connect with her.

And she did…for a couple days…then she finally caved.


Inter-Relay Text Chat

Location: London

From: Massani

To: Shepard

23:27 Z: Little Lamb?

23:29 S: Will you…I…

23:31 Z: Whatever the bloody hell you need, just tell me.

23:34 S: I'm…I'm down by the River Thames, near the new clock.

23:35 Z: Do not move, Little Lamb. Do not move; do not bloody do a damn thing until I get there. I'm on my way.

23:39 Z: I'm leaving this open…you tell me if something bloody changes.


Zaeed made it across London impressively quickly. He found her sitting on the edge of the river wall looking down at the murky water below. He moved quietly not wanting to spook her. Before she even realized that he was there, he had her up off the wall and in his arms. He sat on a nearby bench with her held very tightly in his lap.

"Fucking hell, you're going to kill me one of these days, Little Lamb." He muttered against her neck.

"I made a decision." She wrapped her arms around him.

"Yea? What's that?"

"I sent Hackett a message. He's going to let me retire instead of Cat 6'ing me. He said that he owed Anderson at least that. I get a nice retirement package, and I get to keep my rank." She paused for a moment before continuing. "Anderson wanted me to…find happiness."

"And?"

"I didn't have to look very far." She poked him in the chest with her finger.