Even marriages end when you die, Kaidan
“I understand why you cheated. But I still love you, Shepard. I want to understand what this is between us, and make it real. That’s what I want. What do you want?”
I pause before answering. Not because I’m torn for choice, but because I don’t know quite what to say. I do know what I’d like to say:
“I’m sorry, ‘cheated?’ You understand why I ‘cheated?’ I don’t think so, Major.
“So I spent some time flirting with you while we served on the Normandy. That is, if listening to you recount how you white-knighted some girl in biotic school by killing your teacher is considered flirting. Don’t get me wrong, it sounds like the bastard pretty much deserved it, but whoa. I mean, I watched the slaughtering of my entire family on Mindoir, then watched my entire Alliance unit get devoured by a thresher maw on Akuze, but I never accidentally broke a dude’s neck over a boy I liked. That’s some hardcore darkness you’ve got swirling around inside you, buddy!
“Yes, there was also the night before Ilos, and I’m not going to take anything away from that. Our ragged band of brothers was heading into an uncertain future, and you and I managed a sweet, if brief, moment of connection before it all went down. As if enough hadn’t already gone down. Between almost having to shoot Wrex and losing Ash on Virmire, I was barely holding on. You were there for me, and I was there for you. We’ll always have Ilos.
“Then I defeated Saren and saved the Citadel. Do you remember what happened after that? A Collector ship attacked the Normandy, ripped a hole in its side, and I got spaced. And DIED. I died, Kaidan. Dead. Suffocated in space, where no one could hear me scream. Not that I could, due to that whole suffocating thing. But thanks to Cerberus (I know, I know, you’re not a huge fan), I was rebuilt as a regular Bionic Woman and woke back up — two years later.
“And I’ll never forget our reunion on Horizon. Your dramatic entrance from behind those crates, touting me as the savior of the Citadel and a living legend. The awkward hug. Your accusations that I was showing up after two years and acting like nothing happened. Your petulant whining that you thought we had something, something real.
“‘Thinking you were dead tore me apart,’ you said. ‘How could you put me through that?’
“Uh, I was dead, then unconscious for two years? Then I woke up to some serious shit going down, what with those Collectors abducting people from colonies all over the galaxy? Like they did right before you got all up in my face, on the very ground we were standing upon? Believe it or not, things aren’t always about you?
“So all this talk of cheating and the ‘I still love you,’ stuff? We spent one night together, sweetie. Then you (rightfully) assumed I was dead. Then, and I can’t stress this enough, two years went by. I hate to be all Ross about this, but I think we were on a break, at the very least. A reasonable person would assume all bets were off. But like I said, I never accidentally broke a dude’s neck over a boy I liked.
“What do I want? I want you to shoot what I tell you to shoot, or lift the baddies up into the air so I can shoot them. I want you to quit being such a dummy. I want you to stop acting like a sixth grader facing rejection for the first time. I want you to get it together, Alenko.”
I don’t say this. I don’t say any of it. I opt for the kinder, simpler, “I’m sorry Kaidan, but we should just keep it professional.”
Then you make me pay for the lunch you invited me to.
You know what? Garrus is way better in the sack anyway.
Sara Clemens is an ad copywriter for a book publisher, so every single day she pretends she’s in an episode of Mad Men. You can follow her on twitter at @TheSaraClemens, and find all the things she’s ever written for the internet at saraclemens.com.