Tali'Zorah vas Normandy sat alone in the lounge of the Normandy and for the umpteenth time that evening, took another shot of dextro-wine. Her filters were off but at this point she just couldn't bring herself to care anymore.
"If this kills me, all the better then." she bitterly thought.
Her inner voice disagreed though, "Don't. He wouldn't want that."
"Screw what he'd want! The damn bosh'tet had to run of to save the day from the reapers again and now he's-he's..."
"Gone."A whisper escaped from her. The anger that swelled in her deflated as quickly as it rose, instantly replaced by a void she wasn't sure what to call. Sadness didn't describe this...this blackness inside her, it didn't begin to touch the raw agony she felt and it certainly wasn't how one felt after losing him.
She didn't know how long she sat there, but slowly the memories of their last goodbye crept into her thoughts. She quickly took another gulp, hoping to numb the pain.
She recalled how he'd halted his frantic reaper death-run just because she hadn't been fast enough to avoid the flipping Mako. How he heroically flew through the air over the Mako giving hard-earned ground just to get to them. How he'd called in the Normandy for an evac right in the middle of the hot-zone. Just. For. Them.
She remembered her hope when he stepped on the ramp with them, she remembered the way her heart sank when he passed her to Garrus. She pleaded with him, she couldn't leave him like that, not then, not ever. He told her then that he needed her to make it out alive, to go back to Rannoch and build herself a home.
Anger flashed again and the wine glass fell to the floor, shattering with a sharp ringing ping. "The nerve of that selfish bastard! Didn't he know that without him, home just didn't have any meaning to her? Didn't he know she already have a home? A home in him? What use was saving the galaxy when there was nothing left to care about in it?" She noticed that her mask had fogged up before realizing that hot tears were running down her face.
She didn't know if the tears were for her pain or for anger, there were certainly plenty of both. Pain at losing him, at being left behind to live a life devoid of him. Anger at his decision, at Garrus for holding her in a vice-grip when she tried to go after him anyway. The anger came and went, the tears she decided, were not for her anger. A part of her knew the logic of their decision, she wouldn't have made a difference anyway, not the way her suit was ruptured. And yet, another part of her screamed at her self for even thinking that, hated the logical side for even suggesting that there was a reason for leaving his side.
She longed for him so badly, so desperately that she could imagine the doors opening behind her. She'd turn and there he was, mangled up and bloodied but there nonetheless. He would flash her his lop-sided grin and say...
She was hallucinating now, she was sure of it, the combination of the fever, the alcohol and her own imagination made it sound like he called out to her.
"Tali" She froze. "aren't you even going to say hi?"
She turned slowly, hoping against hope that this wasn't all in her head.
And there he was, that same lop-sided smile right in front of her.
At this point, she didn't care anymore, even if this was just some alcohol induced dream or hallucination, she'd enjoy it while it lasted.