Writer's notes: I always liked Kelly, and thought that she was underrated. She was always cool, and always found interesting ways to hit on the Commander. So I decided to go ahead and do a one-shot with this. I did the romance with her, (not that it was really all that hard.) and decided this would be good to show the 'sensitive' nature of her relationship with Shepard. Feel free to review, as I am always looking for feedback.
This obviously takes place at the end of Mass Effect 2, right after the Arrival pack, and just before he turns himself into the Alliance.
Disclaimer: I don't own Mass Effect, that baby is entirely in Bioware's and EA's hands.
Mass Effect: Kelly's Embrace
By: Ghost 43843
22:15 Normandy Standard Time
James Shepard entombed himself within his quarters and quietly brooded upon the dark nature of the universe. It had been less then 48 hours since the destruction of the Alpha Relay. Two days since the annihilation of more then 300,000 Batarians when the Relay was blown to atoms. He couldn't deny that he did it, and that was 300,000 souls that now weighed down in conscience. Perhaps he had bought a reprieve for the universe, but it was at too hight a cost. He barely ate, and he hadn't slept hardly at all, despite the fact his body craved it. Every time he closed his eyes, all he saw were looks of anguish and accusation from his unwanted victims. He thought briefly that maybe he should have called Kelly in, but he didn't want her burdened with any of the fallout from his choices. So, he suffered in silence and didn't see any way out of this situation.
Kelly breathed a heavy sigh of relief. Her reports were finally done, and she swore she heard her bunk as it called out to her. She stretched her arms, and gently popped her neck. She closed her eyes and inhaled deeply. Kelly heard a tone come from the console before her, and she opened her eyes to the blue avatar that EDI used when she communicated. Kelly smiled lightly. "Hi, EDI. What can I do for you?"
"Miss Chambers, I need to speak with you for a moment."
Kelly blinked. "Sure, EDI. What do you need?"
"It isn't what I need, Miss Chambers, but what Commander Shepard needs."
Kelly stood there in shock. What...What Shepard needs? What the hell happened to him down there? "Of course, EDI, I will go check on him immediately."
"Thank you, Miss Chambers, I will make sure to have the door to his quarters unlocked for you."
Commander Shepard sat at his desk, still unsure what to do. His ears perked up at the sound of the elevator as it came up. He glanced toward his door. There wasn't any way any of the crew would be coming up here, after all, he left strict instructions to be left alone. He looked back at his desktop again, and heard the unmistakable sound of the elevator as it opened up on his floor. Damn it, I said I didn't want to be bothered! Why is that so hard-
Commander Shepard? It's Kelly. Would it be possible to come in?
Shepard was surprised. Kelly? How did... He turned toward the doorway. "Of course Kelly, please, come in."
She opened the door and stepped into the Commander's quarters. He stood near his desk, his arms folded, but not in an aggressive mood. Kelly saw that he had dark circles under his eyes, and held small twitches on his face. She frowned. This is not good. He is near total exhaustion point. If he doesn't get some rest soon, he may well drive himself into insanity. Kelly smiled at the Commander. "Commander, I am sorry to disturb you, but EDI said that you might need some help."
James Shepard grimaced. EDI. Should have known. Of course she went around my back, since she has to see to the safety of the whole crew. "I don't know what you are talking about, Kelly. I am doing just fine-"
Shepard stood open-mouthed in shock. Not only had Kelly used profanity, she now looked angry at him! He backed up a step, and held his hands up in a non-threatening manner. "Well, Kelly, what I meant to say, is that I have felt better, but honestly, I am just-"
Kelly stepped toward the Commander with a look of both anger and sorrow. "Commander, Shepard, you can't keep doing this to yourself." Commander Shepard looked away from Kelly, and glanced toward the floor. She put her fingers under his chin, and gently turned him back to face her. Any traces of anger were no gone, and instead, her gaze held something that made his heart clench. Was it pity? No, it was something else, something he didn't expect, nor think he deserved...love. She leaned up, and gently kissed him on the lips. She wasn't surprised when his arms circled her waist. "What happened done there, James? What was so terrible that you didn't think you could talk to me?"
Commander Shepard looked into her green eyes, kissed her once more, and released her. He beckoned her down to the sofa, and went to his mini-fridge. He pulled out a bottle of orange juice, and gently tossed it over to her. As she caught it, he pulled out a small bottle of scotch, and a tumbler. Shepard sat down next to Kelly, and poured himself three fingers of the potent liquid into his tumbler. Kelly watched as he took a gulp of his scotch, and then poured himself out three fingers again. With her free hand, she took his unoccupied left hand. "James?"
He sighed heavily, and closed his eyes for a moment. He opened them again, and turned slightly toward Kelly. "It didn't start out too bad. You remember how Admiral Hackett reached out to me a couple of weeks ago?" Kelly silently nodded, concern in her eyes. "He had what appeared to be a simple request. An Alliance operative named Doctor Amanda Kenson was captured by some Batarians in an outlying system. She had special knowledge gleaned about the Reapers, and needed to get it to Alliance Command. The Admiral requested that I divert to Aratoht, which is in a system controlled by the Batarians."
Kelly placed her bottle of juice onto the coffee table, and placed her other hand also onto Shepard's. "I know, I still couldn't believe it when you told Joker to head for that sector of space."
He nodded, and smiled thinly. "I still remember how you looked Kelly. For one split second, you thought I had lost my mind."
Kelly shook her head. "No, Shepard. I hadn't thought you 'lost your mind', or some such nonsense." She looked sheepishly at him. "I thought that you needed an outlet after we were done with the Collector's and the Shadow Broker."
Shepard shook his head. "Truly, it didn't matter what the reason. It was hard to comply with the Admiral, simply because I still haven't forgiven them for the loss of my family on the colony. However, the Admiral rarely ever asks me to do anything, so for the sake of his friend whom was in trouble, I went ahead and accepted it."
James took Kelly's hand, kissed it, and then released her hands as he stood up. He walked over to the fish tank and watched them as they swam past. He turned his head back toward her. "When I landed in the shuttle, I headed into the prison. It was pretty awful, it was really run down and in bad shape. I finally found the doctor in the interrogation room. After we took care of the Batarian, we fought our way to the shuttle bay, and finally lifted off. She directed me toward their base of operations. It was on an asteroid that they had rigged into a make-shift weapon. It had those large thrusters built onto it. It was designed to be hurled through space, like a rock in an old slingshot."
Kelly got up, and joined Shepard at the tank. She reached over and took his hand, and she gave him a gently squeeze. He gently squeezed her hand back, and looked back at the fish. "Everything was set to go, and according to a count-down clock that was setup, there was still 48 hours to go until the Reapers were supposed to arrive. Doctor Kenson told me that they had something she wanted to show me, and since we still had plenty of time left, I figured why not. She led me right to a Reaper artifact, something called 'Object Rho'. It was at that time I began to suspect that something was wrong. There weren't any guards in place, nothing to keep the influence of that creation from messing with anyone's mind. When I talked of destroying the Reapers, she turned the full power of that object upon me."
Kelly gasped loudly. Shepard nodded his head. "At that time, several of the security troops poured into the room, and fought to subdue me. I held them off for a time, but eventually the Reaper artifact powered up, and overwhelmed me. I awoke in their infirmary, and found out that the 48 hours that were left before I battled the artifact was now reduced to less then three. I had to battle my way to the core, as the indoctrinated all over the base fought me to so I couldn't finish the project. I...I even had to kill Doctor Kenson."
Kelly squeezed Shepard's hand again. "It wasn't your fault, there wasn't anything that you could do. She was indoctrinated, and would have destroyed us all if you hadn't stopped her."
Shepard sighed again. "I know, I have no idea what I will tell Admiral Hackett when he gets here to debrief me. I don't know which will be worse, that I had to destroy the Alpha Relay, which killed 300,000 innocent souls, or that I terminated his old friend."
Kelly gently pulled Shepard to her and leaned up and kissed him tenderly again. He embraced her tightly, and as he broke the kiss he looked into her emerald eyes. "What did I do to deserve someone as wonderful as you?" Kelly chuckled. "A purely rhetorical question, my dear Commander Shepard. However, do you want my professional opinion?"
James Shepard smiled at Kelly. "Yes, Miss Chambers, I do want your professional opinion."
Kelly shook her head and gently pushed Shepard down the stairs to his bed. She shoved him hard enough that he landed on his bed, and gazed up at her in puzzlement. "My professional opinion, Commander Shepard, is that you need to catch some rest. Admiral Hackett isn't due to arrive for another couple of hours. That will give you time to catch some rest."
Shepard shook his head. "Kelly, I can't, there is too..."
Kelly leaned forward and placed a finger upon his lips. "I have the authority to relieve you, Commander, and with that, consider yourself relieved for the next couple of hours. You need rest, and will not do anyone any good if you don't sleep."
Commander Shepard wanted to open his mouth in protest, but he knew he couldn't fight her on this. He grumbled lightly, and finally nodded his head. Kelly turned with a faint smile toward EDI's avatar console. "EDI?"
"Yes, Miss Chambers?"
"I am relieving Commander Shepard of duties for the next couple of hours for him to get some rest. No one, and I mean NO one, is to bother him, am I clear?"
"Yes, Miss Chambers, that is quite clear. I will alert the crew."
"Thank you, EDI."
"You are welcome, Miss Chambers. Logging you off."
Kelly turned toward Shepard, and leaned down. Her face was just a few inches away from his. "I want you to get some rest, Commander. That, is an order." He closed the distance and lightly kissed her. "As you say, ma'm."
After a few moments, Shepard was under his sheets, and yawned loudly. Sleepily, he looked at Kelly. "Wake me, when Admiral Hackett gets here?"
"Of course, Commander."
Kelly watched as he blinked his eyes a few time, then they slid shut. Within moments, she heard his gentle snores. With a smile, she headed up the small stairs and toward the door. She hit the button to feed the fish, and turned around and looked at the sleeping Commander. With a smile, she clicked the panel that directed the lights down to 20 percent. "Good Night, James. Sleep Well."