AN: So, I apologize for the delay in updates. I had this chapter and the next chapter for "Dinner" in the works and then totally lost my mojo. Oh, and Fable III got in the way, lol.

Quick recap: Kaidan just finished sending his "Horizon" e-mail after he realizes that he still has feelings for Serena.

Special thanks to sesheta255 for giving me that nudge to finish this! I will post the next chapter for "Dinner" soon. :)

"I still don't understand why you're not using your biotics. Granted, you haven't quite perfected your technique, but you have improved greatly," Miranda said as they made their way out of the shuttle.

Serena sighed. Since Horizon, it was the same argument from Miranda: the question of why Serena had suddenly stopped using her biotics.

"I told you already," Serena said, not quite holding back the exasperation that she felt at having to answer the same thing over and over. "It's not me. I'm not a biotic. I still don't know why you insisted on implanting me with the L5's."

Miranda considered her for a moment as they entered the elevator. Serena looked away making a pretense of looking over her armor. She was afraid Miranda would see that there was more to it than "I'm not a biotic". The truth of the matter was that her biotic power had waned considerably since Horizon. Serena had made it a point to stop using her biotics after seeing Kaidan. It hurt too much to think of him every time her body was enveloped in that blue corona.

The elevator chimed, and the door opened to the third deck. Serena waited expectantly for Miranda to get off the elevator. Instead, the door closed, and Miranda pushed the button to stall the elevator.

"'Life is too short to push away the people you love'", Miranda said, crossing her arms over her chest. "That's what you told me after rescuing Oriana. Your words are what made me go back and talk to her."

Serena shrugged, having a faint idea of where this was going but not wanting to say anything to confirm Miranda's suspicions. In the weeks since rescuing Oriana, Serena and Miranda had come to some sort of unspoken truce. They weren't the best of friends, but they had come to respect each other enough to stop their bickering. After Oriana, Serena had sensed a change in Miranda…something that had softened her considerably, though the Cerberus operative would be loath to admit it.

"Oriana deserved to know she has a sister that loves her and looks out for her," Serena finally said, feigning great interest in a deep scratch that ran alongside her gauntlet. "I couldn't let you walk away from her without her knowing that."

Miranda took a step closer, and Serena could practically feel Miranda's eyes boring into her. Out of the three people on board that knew about her and Kaidan, Garrus had been the only one to keep his comments to himself, perhaps because he had been with her on Horizon and witnessed everything. Chakwas had tried getting Serena to open up to no avail, and even Joker had offered his two cents. Serena wasn't interested in listening to them, however. And she would deal with Miranda the same way she had dealt with them. By telling her that there was nothing wrong and then running off to sulk in her room.

"Shepard, you really need to consider – "

"Commander, you have new messages at your private terminal," Kelly's voice rang cheerfully in the elevator.

Serena had never been so glad to hear that sentence. She pushed the button to the top deck and leaned back against the wall as the elevator moved up.

"Thank you, Kelly, I will be in my cabin if anyone needs me," Serena said out loud. Turning back to Miranda, she said, "You should probably go get some rest. After Haelstrom, we should be going back to the Citadel. Garrus and Thane have some personal matters they need to attend to, and we need to pick up some supplies."

As if on cue, the elevator door opened, and Serena walked to her door.

"This isn't over, Shepard," Miranda said behind her. "We still need to talk."

Serena stepped into her room and let out a sigh of relief. Miranda had been this close to mentioning something about Kaidan, Serena was sure of it. The last thing she needed was for Miranda to be butting into her personal life – what little of it she had.

She took a quick shower and then sat down at her desk to review her messages. Spam, a few thank you messages, some friendly e-mails from people she knew from her days on the SR-1. And then, something that made her heart race.

About Horizon…, it read.

Her heart pounded in her chest as she moved the cursor to open the message. She read over it once, twice…ten times. She dissected every line, relishing the sound of Kaidan's voice in her head as she read.

She let out a laugh. He even wrote like he talked. Serious, somewhat hesitant…and always leaving a way out. She immediately set upon writing him back. Something short and to the point. Something that would make him understand that she still loved him and was only working with Cerberus because no one else believed her…or believed in her.


I understand your confusion and shock, but please believe me when I say that I only just woke up a few months ago. It was never my intention to mislead you.

As for Cerberus, we both want the same thing. To save our colonies. Nothing more, nothing less.

For now, know that I look forward to finishing this mission with you waiting for me at the other end. I keep your gift close to my heart, just as I keep you.

I love you.


She took a few minutes to read it through. She wanted to say so much more, but she figured it was something that she would rather do in person. There was something in the back of her mind that was bothering her, however.

She went back to his message and read it again. There – his date with the doctor. It was something that she had just glanced overbefore and decided to skip. But as she read over it, the words took on a whole other meaning.

At first she thought that the pain in her heart was jealousy. Images of Kaidan having a good time with someone other than her made her want to break everything in sight. Her biotics flared at the thought of this faceless "doctor" being so near the man she loved.

Then, her more reasonable side intervened. Kaidan had a right to see whoever he wanted. In his mind, she was dead…and he was just trying to move on.

It was then that she realized that the pain in her heart was her own mourning. Kaidan had been without her for two years. He had grieved, and then he had moved on. It wasn't right for her to stir up whatever they had between them two years ago.

She took one last look at her e-mail and then shook her head. No. She wasn't going to do this to him again. As much as it pained her, she had to let him go…if only so he could continue moving on with his life. It wasn't fair to have him wait for her because of her own selfish reasons. He deserved someone better than her.

She moved the cursor slowly to the "X" at the top of the screen. Tears streamed down her cheeks as the prompt came up asking if she wanted to delete the message. With a small sigh, and a heavy heart, she clicked "yes".

Kaidan leaned his head back against the seat of the transit. It had been another long day with Anderson and Hackett. The past few weeks had been the same. Go into work at 0700, go over thousands of data pads filled with information about Cerberus, the Collectors, the Reapers, go home at 2000, have a small dinner, take a shower, and sleep. And the next day, start all over again.

While work kept Kaidan busy, he still couldn't help from thinking about Serena any other chance he got. The fact that he had sent her his message weeks ago, and she still hadn't replied was foremost on his mind.

The transit slowed to a stop outside his apartment building, and he dug into his pocket, bringing out his credit chit to pay his fare. He sighed heavily, finally walking into his residence and locking the door behind him.

He was tired of poring over information and getting nowhere. What they were looking for was right in front of them, he could feel it. It was just a matter of actually finding it. He had half a mind to e-mail Joker and Garrus and ask them what they were up to.

He knew Joker wouldn't be so receptive. They had parted ways soon after they had been rescued. Both had been too lost in their own grief and guilt to check up on each other. Even though Kaidan harbored the majority of the guilt for Serena's death, a small part of him blamed Joker as well. Kaidan had gone over the scenario hundreds of times…the question of "what if" laying heavily on his mind.

Things with Garrus hadn't gone so well either. Kaidan's own grief had kept him from contacting any of the Normandy's crew members after they got reassigned. He knew the turian had returned to C-Sec for a while. And then he had mysteriously disappeared. Kaidan had heard nothing else from him until he saw him standing with Serena on Horizon.

Kaidan sat back on his couch and rubbed his hands over his face. Not hearing from them frustrated him. The latest reports had them leaving Ilium. He knew that they had picked up an asari Justicar and a famed assassin. But that had been weeks ago – around the same time he had sent her his message.

He let out a frustrated groan. His thoughts always came back to his message. Didn't Serena realize that, after two years, he still hadn't moved on?

Well, of course she didn't, you idiot, he thought. The last time you saw her, you raged at her for being with Cerberus. You didn't even give her a chance to explain herself. And your e-mail was no good either…

Kaidan regretted some of the things he had put on that e-mail – namely that date with the doctor. It was one of those rare moments where he had acted before thinking. It wasn't until after he had sent the e-mail that he had realized what exactly he had written.

He hadn't meant to put that. It wasn't even something he considered a date. Much like his dinner with Lilith, it was something uneventful, something that hadn't even been worth mentioning. He figured he had added it on there as a way to show her that he had tried moving on. He certainly didn't want her thinking that he had grieved for her for two years. He had…but Serena didn't need to know that. He didn't want to come off as some pathetic loser who had fallen in love with his superior officer and just couldn't get over her.

At this, he got up to take a shower. The past few weeks since Horizon had been difficult. His body had gone through a series of intense emotions that had left him feeling drained. His mind and his heart had come to accept that Serena was alive…and his feelings for her were stronger than ever.

Even through the sound of the shower running, he heard a faint beep that signified he had just gotten a new e-mail. He took his time washing, not wanting to get his hopes up. For all he knew, it was probably Anderson detailing the next day's assignment.

He stepped out of the shower and tied a towel around his waist. Sitting in front of his terminal, he let out a breath as he saw the new message he had just received.

RE: About Horizon…

Kaidan felt his heart speed up. This was it…the message he had been waiting for. He was almost too afraid to open it. Was she going to reject him just like he had done to her on Horizon? Was she forgiving him for everything he had said? There was only one way to find out…


I understand your confusion and shock, but please believe me when I say that I only just woke up a few months ago. It was never my intention to mislead you.

As for Cerberus, we both want the same things. To save our colonies. Nothing more, nothing less.

For now, know that I look forward to finishing this mission with you waiting for me at the other end. I keep your gift close to my heart, just as I keep you.

I love you.


P.S. Our mission entails us to go through the Omega-4 relay. I don't know how long we will be gone, but be assured that I will come back. I hope to see you on Omega upon our return.

Kaidan read through the message a dozen times. His mind raced with a million questions…questions he knew would be answered in due time.

He would need to talk to Anderson to request some much needed shore leave. He wasn't too sure if Serena would send him a message before she went through the Omega-4 relay, but he knew he would hear reports of it when it happened. In any case, he wanted to be ready to leave at a moment's notice.

If anyone could come back from the Omega-4 relay, it would be her. And he would be damned if he wasn't on Omega waiting for her.