plutokitty: lost: juliet and sawyer by icequeen3101 (Default)
[personal profile] plutokitty
Title: (Sub)Conscious
Fandom: Mass Effect 3
Rating: G
Warning: Spoilers through Priority: Mars
Relationships: Kaidan Alenko, m!Shepard
Summary: Kaidan thinks too much. For [ profile] joasakura.

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Kaidan thinks too much. Which wouldn't be a problem (for anyone other than himself, anyway) if he could just keep his mouth shut. But especially with Shepard, there's this need, this urge to be honest. And after they've left Earth behind (which still feels wrong) and arrive on Mars, the thoughts come constant and fast. Even in the midst of a firefight, watching Shepard fire and take cover, they rise up and plague him.

(How could you work with Cerberus?)

(Just what did they do to you?)

(Is that really you, Shepard?)

He tries to swallow the questions down. Even all these months later he isn't proud of how he behaved on Horizon, of the words he raised between them like a spiked barricade. But in the elevator, his doubts erupt, spill between them like toxic waste.

Shepard's expression makes Kaidan ashamed of himself. Disappointment, hurt, yes, but resignation too. Like the words were expected. An inevitability.

Again? that look says.

When James Vega stands up for Shepard, Kaidan wants to deck him. Not because the young meathead-in-training is being his usual obnoxious self. Because James Vega is saying the things Kaidan ought to be saying. Standing up for Shepard, not challenging him. Not undermining him.

(I'm Shepard's old friend, not you. You don't know anything about him. You'd never know if he was changed, if he was different.)

(Have you? Are you different, Shepard?)

Shepard's own response is rightly angry, not entirely reassuring. And Kaidan tells himself it's enough. If Shepard says he worked with Cerberus only to defeat the Collectors, he has to believe him. He trusts Shepard, doesn't he?

So why, looking at the face of the indoctrinated Cerberus agent, do those fears creep up and surge and overwhelm him again?

(Is that really Shepard in there? Is it really you?)

(That man died, didn't he?)

But maybe that's it; maybe more than (Cerberus bad, Shepard good, Shepard working with Cerberus=??) there's more than a hint of (You died. You died! For two years I thought you were dead and it fucking hurt and you probably never even knew just how bad, never even knew all the things I would've said to you, if I thought there was a chance you'd just listen!). Like losing a limb, he'd said, and Shepard had looked sorry, but not sorry enough.

Kaidan likes to think he wouldn't be that petty, wouldn't take his own pain and turn it on Shepard in some kind of subconscious vengeance. But why else would the needling words keep escaping him? Why else would Shepard's grim-faced flinches give him that strange sense of satisfaction?

And if he can hurt Shepard the way Shepard hurt him, then what? What will that mean?

Then that woman, that, whatever she is, Cerberus machine, is on him, and his head smashes against the back of his helmet so hard that he sees stars. His teeth close on the inside of his lip and he tastes blood and before he knows it, there's Shepard, over him. And he has his answer, as his vision begins to fade, in the anguish written on Shepard's face. In the rage and tears and desperation.

(He still cares.)

(He always cared.)

Kaidan closes his eyes, and the questions stop.


plutokitty: lost: juliet and sawyer by icequeen3101 (Default)

October 2012

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