A/N: This fic is an AU fic with John Shepard, canon Shepard born in 2154, and his older sister Keira Shepard, she is 2.5 years older than John. John is a soldier, Keira a Vanguard. John – Colonist/Ruthless, Keira Colonist/Sole Survivor, and Keira was sent to BAaT in 2166, she is the only biotic in the family. Story will take place from 2166 through the events of the Mass Effect games; I will try not to run to many direct dialogs from the game.

Keira Shepard sat quietly in the lounge of the intake for BAaT, having just arrived on a shuttle from Arcturus Station. The trip had been very long, and it felt like she hadn't slept since leaving Mindoir, already she missed her parents and siblings, especially her brother John. It seemed sometimes that he was the only member of their family who accepted her as she was, everyone else in the family seemed to see her as something to be pitied, but never loved. No way that a child of Jack and Hannah Shepard's could be a biotic. So here she was, waiting to complete the in processing for the Biotics Acclimation and Training program. It had seemed like her parents couldn't get rid of her fast enough.

Kaidan came out of the docking tube on Gagarin Station, Jump Zero, glancing around and seeing who all was around the room. Even though his father had been Alliance, Kaidan had never been off of Earth, his parents had seen him as far as Luna Station, wanting to see him all the way but they men had said they couldn't, so here he was, so far away from home, and all alone. A tall woman with blonde hair came in through a door at the back of room Kaidan was standing in. "Have a seat young man; we will get you processed as soon as possible."

Kaidan gave the room a second glance around, seeing several kids his age sitting around the room, this is a small girl that looked of Eastern European descent sitting with a group of kids around her, all of them talking together. Probably came in together, he thinks. Turning his head, he spots another girl sitting by herself along the edge of the room, she isn't as pretty as the other girl. However, like he is, she seems to be here alone. Kaidan notices the red of her hair color and the soft tan covering her skin indicating Earthborn or from one of the Colonies, making a decision he turns and walks over to the girl.

Keira glances up as someone approaches her, meeting caramel brown eyes set into a strong face framed with black hair. "Uh hi," she muttered, turning her attention back to her lap.

Kaidan shook his head, "Mind if I sit here," he asked.

Keira shook her head, indicating the vacant seat with her hand.

Kaidan settled down in the seat, glancing over the girl again. "I'm Kaidan," he said, extending his hand.

Keira looked over at the boy, "Uh, Keira," she said quietly, taking the proffered hand and shaking it quickly before returning her hand to her lap.

Kaidan set back in the chair, watching the other group of kids, while he had plenty of friends back home, he wasn't really one for large groups, at least not if he didn't know anyone, though the petite girl in the middle of the group seemed to capture his attention.

Keira noticed Kaidan's gaze on the group across, "Her name's Rahna, she's from Turkey," she told him.

Kaidan glanced back over at Keira, "Oh, how…"

Keira smiled, "She came on board at Arcturus, so I watched that little group for the last leg of my trip. She seems really nice," Keira explained.

Kaidan nodded, "Thanks," he said quietly. "So where did you come in from," he asked.

Keira sighed, "Mindoir, guess it could be worse, I could still be there," she replied.

Kaidan arched an eyebrow. "Why would you not want to be there," he asked.

Keira turned her head to look at the boy, "Let me guess, you're parents are ok with your biotics?"

Kaidan nodded, realizing where the girl was going. "You're family doesn't," he stated.

Keira nodded, "Yeah, only my brother John ever accepted me, now he's still on Mindoir and I'm here. I miss him," she said sadly.

Kaidan went quiet for several minutes, before trying to talk to her again. "I'm from Vancouver," he told her.

Keira glanced over at Kaidan, "I have never been to Earth, this is probably the closest I've been," she replied. "Do you miss your family?"

Kaidan nodded, "Yeah, my dad retired from the Alliance not long after I was born, so both of them have been a part of my life. They were with me until Luna, then the guys from Conatix wouldn't let them come any further with me," he explained.

Keira turned her attention back to the group in the middle of the room, "I wonder why this had to happen to any of us," she muttered softly.

The door to the right of them opened, "Keira Shepard," a man called sharply.

Keira glanced up, "Well that's me, I guess I'll see you on the other side Kaidan."

Kaidan nodded, "Yeah, I guess we will," he replied.

It was three months before Kaidan saw Keira again, the girls and boys had been separated, followed by a separation by age groups, also they were grouped by implant, Kaidan having been one of the first to receive his. The nosebleeds were a nuisance, but the headaches had quickly become close to debilitating. It had taken almost two months for the doctors to find a treatment regimen for him to combat the migraines.

It was when everyone had been brought into the main audience chambers, to meet the newest instructor to the program, that he saw the red head again. He glanced over at Rahna who was standing near Mark, "I'll be right back," he told his friends, walking away to where Keira was sitting. "Hey Keira," he said, settling down into the seat next to her.

"Kaidan," she replied as way of greeting.

Kaidan noticed something about her, "Everything alright Keira?"

Keira nodded, "Couple of the kids in my group washed out last week," she told him. "Chris, well it wasn't pretty when they took him out," she said with a shudder.

Kaidan laid his hand on her arm, "I'm sorry, we've had a few of those as well," he said to her, his voice quiet with sympathy.

"Hey Alenko, what are you doing with the Colonial, get over here so we can all get settled," Mark shouted across the room.

Keira frowned, "Your friends are calling you," she told him.

Kaidan glanced over at Mark, "Yeah, listen if you want to talk…"

Keira smiled bitterly, "Thanks," she replied shortly.

Kaidan stood, his eyes going from his group of friends to Keira and back again. "Hey why don't you come sit with us," he finally said.

Keira gave Kaidan a look of disbelief, "I don't think your friends will like having a 'colonial' around," she responded darkly.

Kaidan gave a short chuckle, "Yeah well they'll get over it, come on," he insisted, slipping his hand under her arm to pull her up. "You can't stay alone around here, you need friends," he told her as he pulled her toward his group of friends.

Keira reluctantly followed Kaidan across the room, keeping her eyes on the tall boy as they moved. She flinched when the boy who had shouted spoke up.

"What the hell Alenko, why you bringing colonial over here," he said angrily.

Kaidan opened his mouth to respond but was beat to it by the petite girl in the middle of the group. "Mark we are all here for the same reason, there is no reason to act like that with her," she told the boy, her hand on his arm, "I'm Rahna," the girl said with a smile extending her hand.

Keira took the hand, "Uh Keira," she replied.

Everyone turned when there was a loud noise at the podium. "Sit down, you lot lack discipline," a Turian said snarling at the groups of students standing around talking. "I am Commander Vyrnnus and I was at the helm of the dreadnaught that killed your father," he told the group.

Kaidan frowned, "My father was retired before the war," he said quietly.

Apparently not quietly enough, "Really, the he was luckier than you will be," came the snapped reply from Vyrnnus.

Keira frowned, she knew about the Alliance and the First Contact War, her parents had been newlyweds when the war happened, and they had been planning to move to Shanxi before the attack. When the opportunity to move to Mindoir came up after the war, they had gone that direction instead, further away from Earth, and hopefully safer. The thought made her wonder why Conatix had brought in a Turian instructor, especially one who had served in the First Contact War.

Kaidan glanced around the classroom, smiling shyly in the direction of Rahna. He jumped when Keira elbowed him. "What'd you do that for?"

Keira laughed, "Your tongue falls any further out of your mouth, you're gonna trip on it," she said with a chuckle.

Kaidan blushed, "I don't know what you are talking about."

Keira nodded, "uh huh, you just stick to that story there Kaidan," she replied, nudging him with an elbow again.

They had been at Jump Zero close to a year now, Keira had run into issues with her amp when she first arrived, which should have put her behind the rest of the group, however, she had managed to catch up relatively quickly and could now do pretty much the same things the rest of them could do, and had integrated herself into their little group pretty well over the past few months, though she could mostly be found around Kaidan and Rahna, sometimes it was a wonder to figure out if they three of them weren't siblings the way they acted around each other, or at least the way Keira acted. Kaidan, who was usually quite boisterous around his other friends, including Keira, tended to be quiet around Rahna. Keira thought it was hilarious to give him a hard time about.

Commander Vyrnnus commanded everyone's attention when he stepped into the room. "Alright people today we are going to do something simple, so that any of you can do it."

Keira sighed, that meant they were all in for a world of hurt, "This is going to be fun," she whispered to Kaidan.

Kaidan nodded darkly, "Yeah," he replied in agreement.

"Since the two of you have decided to exclude the rest of us from your lovely conversation, you can come up here and give a demonstration of what we are doing today," Vyrnnus said sharply, his eyes firmly on Kaidan.

Fuck, Keira thought darkly. She and Kaidan stood up and moved toward the front of the room, not getting ten steps before they were both bowled back by a Shockwave and slammed into the wall behind them. Keira stood up, anger simmering beneath the surface, she started forward when she felt Kaidan's hand on her arm, she glanced over and he shook his head.

Vyrnnus watched the two closely, "Afraid your girlfriend will get hurt Alenko, you going to protect her," he said, trying to rile up the young biotics.

Vyrnnus watched the two students, they were the strongest in this group, maybe in all the groups, it was just a matter of getting them to put the effort into it. He knew he could make those two into something very powerful, with the right motivations. It never took much to rile Shepard, but Alenko was always there to calm her back down, Vyrnnus needed to find a way to rile Alenko, then he'd figured he'd see something out of both of them. If they died, so be it, but Vyrnnus didn't think it would come to that.

Kaidan walked into the girls dormitory, glancing around he saw Keira sitting at a desk near her bunk, looking around once more, he shrugged when he saw that Rahna was nowhere in residence at the moment, so he walked over to Keira. "Hey," he said by way of greeting.

Keira glanced up from the book she was reading, "Kaidan," she replied lightly.

Kaidan pulled a chair over and sat at the end of the desk. "You know Keira, you really need to stop letting Vyrnnus get to you," he told her quietly.

Keira put the book down, and turned her attention to her best friend. "Kaidan, he's just going to keep doing this shit until we either wash out like Steven and Geoff, or we die like Marcus. So yeah I'll keep letting him get to me, and eventually you'll see it to and quit holding me back on it," she replied, the agitation visible on her face.

Kaidan let out a sigh, "Keira, the only thing losing it with Vyrnnus is going to get you is as dead as Marcus," he said, his voice sad. "I don't want to see you like Marcus."

Keira ran a hand through her short hair, still growing out from the surgery for her implants. "Kaidan…" she began softly.

"No Keira, you have to stop trying to go after him at every turn, for two years I have watched you get angrier and angrier with him every time he does something, he's trying to make you go after him, he's trying to break you."

Keira closed her eyes, "I know Kaid… I just…"

Kaidan reached out and took her hand, the static shock something they were both used to now, "Keira, you're my best friend, I would be lost without you around, so please, try to ignore the shit he does," he asked quietly, his voice still sad.

Behind her eyes, Keira could still see Marcus on the floor of the training room, blood running from his nose and ears, his eyes glassy and sightless. She remembered the look on Vyrnnus' face when he walked over to the body, one of absolute disgust. "You fail you die, that is the way of life," he had said harshly.

"I can't let it go Kaidan, he pushed all of them to the breaking point and beyond, he wants us to break or fail, and I refuse to either. If it kills me then so be it."

Kaidan looked down at his lap, "Good luck then Keira," he replied the sadness in his voice almost heart rending. "I think we shouldn't hang out so much."

Keira's eyes shot open, meeting Kaidan's. "What? Why? Kaidan…" she stuttered.

Kaidan stood up, his hand light on her shoulder, "If you're determined to let Vyrnnus kill you, then I need to back away, I'm sorry."

Keira watched as Kaidan turned and walked away, her heart pounding in her chest. She didn't notice the tears running down her face as he left the dormitory.

They had been told to gather in a group in the cafeteria that morning, Keira hadn't seen or talked to Kaidan in almost a week, and she missed her friend. Instead Mark had latched on to her with Kaidan gone. He had kind of become her rock in the storm that was going on in her mind and her heart. She saw Kaidan walk in next to Rahna, she saw him glance around, meeting her eyes for a moment before going on around the room to see who was there. He and Rahna moved to the opposite side of the room from where Keira and Mark were. Keira put her head down on the table, fighting tears again.

Mark watched Kaidan, he wasn't happy with the way his friend had treated Keira, in fact he wanted to slap him upside the head for not seeing what he had in the girl. She was very pretty, her red hair now short, cut in A-bob, with her bangs lightly swept to the side, her green eyes were fathomless. Of course thinking about it, she was just as unaware of Mark as Kaidan was of her. Sighing, Mark put a hand on her arm, "Keira, he'll come around."

Keira looked up, "I don't think so Mark," she whispered.

Vyrnnus came in to the cafeteria at that time, looking around the room. "I want everyone to break up into pairs; we are going to work on control today. No one leaves this room until everyone has mastered this lesson, am I clear."

Most of the students nodded, Keira just glared, she had a bad feeling about this day from the time she woke up, now it was getting worse.

"Alright all of you go and get a glass of water and sit back down. You are not to drink any of it; if you do you will be punished."

Keira and Mark were closest to the fountain and had theirs before anyone else, and settled down into their chairs the glasses sitting on the table between them.

Vyrnnus nodded as everyone sat down. "Now you are going to move the glass of water with your biotics, if you drop the glass or spill any water out of it you fail and you will start over. Once you are able to move the glass without dropping it or spilling any of it, you will be allowed to drink it, until then, you don't get anything."

Mark and Keira looked at each other, they both knew this was not going to be a pleasant day, as some of the kids in their group didn't have much in the way of control, certainly not this amount of control.

Vyrnnus nodded once more, "This lesson begins now."

Keira and Mark were able to move their glasses around without much effort, though Mark had spilled the water from his a couple times trying to use his biotics to balance the glass while it was in the air. Keira kept her glass in the air for a long period of time, watching and waiting for Mark to accomplish the feat. The students were in the cafeteria for hours, most still trying to do the lesson without at least spilling some of the water. Keira glanced over to where Kaidan was sitting with Rahna, he had his glass in the air much like her own, but Rahna was having trouble getting hers to balance, more trouble than Mark had had. Keira watched as Rahna's glass spilled a couple of times, each time, Kaidan getting up and getting her more water, and using a towel to clean up the mess.

Kaidan sat next to Rahna, quietly talking to her, encouraging her in the lesson, trying to keep her spirits up when the glass dumped over again for the umpteenth time. He once again got up, grabbing the glass and putting more water in it, before drying the table and sitting it down. "I know this isn't your strength Rahna, I know it's hard just concentrate on the glass, make your biotic field like a table underneath it," he whispered softly.

Rahna looked at Kaidan so sadly, "I can't Kaidan, I'm so thirsty," she said quietly, reaching out for the glass on the table.

Vyrnnus took that moment to turn around, "I said biotics only," he yelled, grabbing Rahna's arm, pulling it behind her and snapping the bone.

Keira heard the commotion behind her, and turned, just in time to see Vyrnnus break Rahna's arm, her biotics flared with her temper, but Mark grabbed her. "He'll just kill you," he whispered harshly to her.

Kaidan saw Vyrnnus break Rahna's arm, and his patience snapped in that second, and he saw red, he finally understood everything Keira had been trying to tell him, and he jumped at Vyrnnus, "Get the hell away from her you monster," he cried, slamming into his back.

Vyrnnus laughed, slamming Kaidan back into a wall, "We should have bombed humanity back into the stone age," he snarled, pulling a knife from his boot.

Kaidan shook his head trying to clear it when Vyrnnus was on him, Talon in his face, "I'll start with you," he told the young biotic.

Kaidan felt his biotics surge through him and kicked Vyrnnus right in the face, breaking one of his mandibles as the Turian went flying across the room, landing against the far wall with a sickening snap.

Keira struggled in Mark's grip, "He's going to kill Kaidan," she snapped at her friend.

Mark held tight to Keira's arms, pinning her to her chair, "If you go to help him he'll kill you too," he told her sharply.

Before Keira could respond there was another loud slam, as she saw Vyrnnus hit the wall near where she was with Mark. Glancing over she saw Kaidan struggling to stand, she nodded to Mark who went over to where Rahna was crying and Keira made her way to Kaidan. "I'm so sorry," she whispered as she helped him up.

Kaidan glanced at his friend and smiled, "So am I," he replied, turning and walking over to where Rahna lay on the floor crying, when he knelt down next to her, she screamed, trying to get away from. "Rahna?"

Keira saw the absolute fear in Rahna's eyes, it was the same look she had always given Vyrnnus, Keira stepped between the two of them, "Rahna it's Kaidan, he would never hurt you," she told the girl. Rahna shook her head, still trying to get further away from Kaidan.

Kaidan watched in horror as the events finally penetrated everything, glancing across the room where a medical team had come in and were working on Vyrnnus while another team was moving across to Rahna, it was a mere moments before the room was cleared of everyone but Kaidan, Keira and Mark. "What have I done," Kaidan whispered.

Keira turned and put an arm over Kaidan's shoulders, "What you had to Kaidan," she told her friend softly. "Rahna will understand when the shock of it all wears off."

Kaidan nodded, "Yeah," he said in a quiet voice. He turned and walked out of the room leaving Mark and Keira standing there.

It has almost been a year since Vyrnnus had been killed, a year since Rahna had spoken to him. Kaidan made his way to the shuttle heading back to Earth; he glanced over and saw Keira standing off to the side so he walked over to her. "Thank you," he whispered.

Keira hugged him, "What for?" she asked.

Kaidan looked at her closely, "For being here," he whispered before he turned and walked away.

Keira watched as Kaidan got on the shuttle, watching as students continued moving toward the shuttle. She was headed to Arcturus, she had contacted a recruiter after comms had been opened, and she would be joining the Alliance as soon as she turned eighteen, which though still almost a year away, she was looking forward to. The recruiter had told her she could work with some of the prep groups on Arcturus and that he would find a family for her to live with for the next year. So she was lost in thought when Rahna walked up to her.

Rahna approached Keira, "I just wanted…" she began, her words cut off by the sound of a sharp slap, her hand immediately going to her cheek. "Why…" she asked, tears streaming down her face.

Keira glared at the girl, "He loved you, you were everything he could think about, he protected you and what did you give him for his trouble? You ran away from him, 'oh poor little Rahna so scared of the big bad biotic that killed Vyrnnus'. If for no other reason than to have saved Kaidan the heartache of it, the fear, and the loss of whom he thought he was, I wish I had killed Vyrnnus years ago," she snarled at the younger girl, turning around and stomping off to her own shuttle.