A/N: Just finished the Thessia mission on my second play through of Mass Effect 3. Well to say that the Thessia mission is one of the banes of my existence in this game would be a gross understatement. I am not a fan of the Asari and you would think that with that mindset I wouldn't be so upset over the loss of their home world. Apparently I was wrong on that front. Or maybe it was more along the lines of the way the loss happened, and the fact that it was a predetermined loss no matter what you did. Oh did I mention that I despise Kai Leng? And the email he sends you after Thessia… I just want to … I'll behave and not write what I would like to do to him after that, since I think that would go even beyond an M rating here.

Anyway, this has been rolling around in my head since the first time I played through the mission, so I figured I would take the annoyance and anger of the situation and throw it into Word and see what came out. Well here it is. There were other things that annoyed me with the post Thessia mission and I hope I managed to address this as well.

To my fellow Kaidanites over at BSN, here is my take on the post Thessia happenings, and how I would have done it had I written it. Enjoy.

As always, everything to do with Mass Effect belongs to Bioware… Even Kaidan (damnit). I only play in their sandbox from time to time. Also as per norm, I have no beta (You'd think I'd rectify that…) so all mistakes are mine and mine alone.

Comments and Reviews are greatly appreciated.

Commander Shepard, First Human SpecTRe, Savior of the Citadel, Captain of the SSV Normandy SR-2. People tended to forget that beneath all the titles, behind everything she had done, she was still just human, nowhere could she ever figure out why people always looked to her with awe. She was just human, and right now, sitting in the comm room staring at the blinking light indicating the incoming transmission from the Asari Councilor, she never felt more human and less a hero. She leaned her head against the bulkhead, just listening to the chime, watching the light flash. How could she tell anyone what had happened, how could she let them know that Commander Shepard, their hero was only human. She wanted to throw something, she wanted to scream at someone, she wanted to shoot something, someone, anything. It seemed like an eternity before the chime penetrated her self-loathing, sighing heavily, she walked over and touched the controls on the QEC.

"Commander Shepard, are you there?" the Asari councilor asked as her hologram appeared before Shepard. "Commander?"

Shepard took a breath, "Councilor, the mission –" she began her throat tight.

"We've lost all contact with Thessia… the planet has gone dark." The Asari interrupted. "How soon will the Crucible be ready to deploy?"

Shepard bowed her head, the weight of the galaxy starting to wear on her, after three years of carrying it. "Councilor… I… I wish the news was better. We didn't get the information." She couldn't meet the Councilor's eyes.

"What happened?"

"Cerberus was there. We were…" the words stuck in Shepard's throat. "We were defeated. We don't know how to finish the Crucible."

"I… I don't know what to say." The Asari Councilor responded. "What was the situation on Thessia?" she asked, her attention now moving to how best protect her people.

Shepard sighed darkly, "Deteriorating fast. The Reapers are there in strength."

The Asari Councilor took in the words. "Then you'll excuse me. There are… preparations to make… continuity of civilization to consider…" she broke off, appearing distraught. "I never thought this day would come."

Shepard closed her eyes and breathed deep. "None of us did. I'm…" She began before the signal was cut. "… Sorry." She stood there staring at where the Councilor had been just a moment before. Commander Shepard had failed.

Shepard didn't remember the meeting with her squad, her mind never leaving those final minutes on Thessia, Kai Leng taking the Prothean VI, the Reapers landing, and the loss of the home world of the most advanced species in the galaxy. It was all her fault. After she somehow managed to get things done with her squadron, Shepard made her way into the rest of the ship to make her rounds. She made her first stop on the bridge with Joker and Edi; she walked up between the two of them, looking out at the stars going past.

"So Thessia huh," Joker started, "I guess the Asari are wishing they had few dancers and more commandos right about now." He started glancing up at Shepard standing there staring out the view ports. "Too soon?"

Shepard normally needed Joker's personality to get through things like this, however, this time it just rubbed her the wrong way. "If you haven't noticed we just lost a few million people, this isn't the time." She snapped, turning her attention to the viewport.

Joker tapped a couple of keys and slid through several screens before coming to the one he wanted. "You see this?" he asked, pointing to a small planet. "Tiptree, little colony out in the ass end of nowhere. My dad lives there, so does my sister. Reapers rolled through about two weeks ago." He retorted shortly. "So you can general assume I am aware that there's a war going on, Commander."

Shepard turned and began walking back toward the rest of the ship, before Joker's comment brought her up short. "So why the jokes?"

"Because Edi says that according to your armor's metabolic scans, you're under more stress now than during the Skyllian Blitz. Like more than Akuze where Thresher Maw's ate the rest of your squadron." Joker started, his voice far from the light hearted timbre it normally was. "And the last time I had a briefing with Anderson, he told me to take care of you. The guy leading the resistance ON EARTH is worried about you and I'm supposed to help."

"I appreciate the thought Joker, but I'm fine."

"The hell you are, you're like half robot at this point. No offense EDI. And it's my fault. When the Collectors blew up the first Normandy you died because I wouldn't leave. Because you had to come back for me." Joker's guilt shone through in his words.

Shepard smiled, "I couldn't leave the best pilot in the fleet behind could I?"

Joker smirked, "Yeah well I guess that would have looked bad on your report."

Shepard shook her head as she turned, and headed back out into the rest of the ship. My rounds can wait, if I'm snapping that easily at Joker, no telling what I'll do to someone else. Or to Liara if she starts moaning about the loss of Thessia one more time.

Shepard made her way back to the elevator in the back of the CIC, punching the key to take her up to the Loft and her cabin. She walked into the quiet room, pausing to stare at the fish tank to the side, letting the calm within those waters soothe her for a few moments before turning and feeding Fred, her space hamster. Finally she sat down at her desk and opened her private terminal, going through her email. Top of the list was one with the subject, Evacuating Thessia, from Asari High Command. She wondered what they needed her to do, so she immediately opened the email. She was in no way ready for what was waiting for her.

Good. You opened this message. This isn't actually asari military command. They're busy tending to what's left of their planet.

So you survived our fight on Thessia. You're not as weak as I thought. But never forget that your best wasn't good enough to stop me. Now an entire planet is dying because you lacked the strength to win. The legend of Shepard needs to be re-written. I hope I'm there for the last chapter. It ends with your death.


Shepard sat there staring at the screen; she could feel all the anger, all the pain at having lost on Thessia coming to a boil. She could feel her biotics sparking as her temper flared. She had been so caught up in the letter he had dared to send her, she hadn't heard the door in her cabin open. She was barely able to keep from throwing Kaidan across the room when he touched her shoulder.

"Shepard…" he said quietly, concern etched across his handsome features. "What?"

She only pointed at the terminal, standing and stalking around the wall of models that was between her office and sleeping quarters.

Kaidan watched her walk away, her biotics flaring over her body in ripples, her hands clenched in tight fists. He finally dragged his eyes away from her, to look down at the letter displayed on the screen in front of him. It only took him a couple of seconds to realize what had triggered Shepard's melt down. "Shepard," he whispered again, moving around to where she was staring at the wall over the couch. "He can't hide from us, we will find him." He told her, carefully running his hands lightly down her arms, taking her hand in his and nudging her to turn toward him.

Shepard stared at Kaidan, so many emotions flowing, so much anger and bitterness, all centered around Kai Leng. "I am going to kill him." She said darkly, her aura flaring brighter.

Kaidan nodded, his fingers running along her fists, trying to soothe her enough for her to not be a danger to herself or anyone else on the Normandy. He knew that no matter how much she would hate herself is she did anything like this, it was very likely something would set it off if he didn't help her calm down. "Yes you are," he replied firmly. Finally managing to get one hand to relax into his. "But right now, you need to calm down, before you do damage to yourself or blow a hole in a bulkhead."

Shepard's eyes cleared at his words, glancing down, she could see the aura radiating off of her, "Gods." She exclaimed, trying to pull her hand from his, "Kaidan… I'm sorry."

Kaidan shook his head, firming his grip on her hand. "You've nothing to be sorry for, now quit trying to push me away like you are with everyone else and let me be here for you," he whispered, tugging her arm to pull her to his chest. "Now talk to me Keira."

She let him hold her, let his warmth displace the deep seated cold that seemed to ache throughout her body. "I lost Kaidan. Just when I couldn't afford it I lost, and I don't know how to make it into a win this time." She whispered.

Kaidan ran a hand up her back soothingly. "You do what we already decided, we follow Kai Leng to Sanctuary and we get the VI back, then we get the Catalyst and send the Reapers to hell. This is just a setback Keira, we haven't lost yet, and we are far from out of the game." He told her quietly.

Shepard chuckled, "You seemed to have figured out when an 'everything will be alright' is warranted."

Kaidan laughed, taking his fingers and tilting her chin up so he could see her eyes. "Maybe I have, but you still haven't learned that you aren't alone in this. I am right here, let me help you."

Shepard smiled, letting go of Kaidan's hand and running the backs of her fingers along his cheek, "You just being with me here, standing beside me helps more than you'll ever know Kaidan."

Kaidan nodded, "There is more that I can do than just that Shepard. I am here for you, I love you and I'm not going anywhere without you, so don't be so afraid to let me carry some of the load." He told her quietly, turning his head to kiss the backs of her fingers. "I promise you, we will get Kai Leng, we will find the Catalyst and we will win… or we will all die trying. But nothing is lost yet, so we will continue to fight."

Shepard nodded, leaning up and lightly brushed her lips across his. "Thank you Kaidan. I don't know what I would do without you sometimes."

Kaidan grinned, "Let's not find out, I know I don't like not having you around, so let's just keep things and us together."

"I love you, Kaidan. More than anything."

Kaidan held her close, "I love you too Keira. We'll get through this together."