AN: So. Extended Cut. Play through it before you read this little fix it fic. Seriously it's much better than the original ending and I'm quite happy with it. But there is still something missing...
I consider this post-canon and not necessarily contrary to it. I just had to write it after the game left me in a wrecked state. Again.
As the title suggests I took the Synthesis ending but with a little bit of the Control ending mixed in. Not much though.
It's from Liara's POV if you haven't guessed that. Also, this is in no way connected to my second, ongoing fic. The characters are quite different, except for the physical appearance and background, and the ending there will be different. Some themes will carry over but that's still far in the future.
I'm almost certain I will write another piece, but additional motivation never hurts. So please, tell me what you think about this little snippet!
No matter what happens – you mean everything to me, Liara. You always will.
Liara woke with a start. Green, luminous eyes shining in the darkness that held no secrets but no comfort either. Her apartment in Nos Astra had always felt empty, now more then ever, but it had survived the Reaper War relatively unscratched. With rebuilding still going on over a year later it had been her most sensible option.
Thessia was still in ruins, much like Earth and Palavan were and Illium as a central hub itself had drawn considerable Reaper attention but for some reason the building she was in now had been largely ignored. The panorama window through which she was shot at so long ago had been blown out and, in fact, was still missing. The weather was no trouble for the ascended anymore so replacing it was on a very low priority. Truth be told nothing was much trouble anyway.
Food and water? Enjoyable, but not necessary as she had found out after not eating for a month.
Oxygen? Not required. They could keep their bodies working on light or directly using dark energy if absolutely necessary.
Even sleep was not needed but Liara didn't do much else. At least in her dreams she was still with her. Perfection felt hallow with all the hurt she still felt. Sometimes when it all was to much, she wished she was an actual machine, incapable of feeling. At other times she clung at the bitter sweet memories not wanting to let go ever again.
She had tried to let go. There was a bright new future waiting. An age without scarcity, without war, the age of knowledge, true knowledge that made the information age most species lived before look like the first studies of a child. It had cost them their innocence but it had been worth it. Intellectually she knew that. What was one woman, one soul, in comparison to that?
But she couldn't. Couldn't let go. Everything reminded her of Shepard. Most of all the eyes. Her green eyes now peered at her from every face she looked at, even her own. She couldn't bear it.
I am yours. Always.
She hadn't said the last word but even then she knew it in her heart. It had happened before and if anything the time after Shepard returned from the dead affirmed her beyond doubt. There would be no one else. Could not be anyone else. Immortality felt like a curse to her, yet she couldn't even think about just letting go of everything. Shepard wouldn't want that and so she endured.
The whispers she could do without. It was as if her mind mocked her by projecting Shepard into anything she saw. As if she was somehow still with her, like a guardian angel out of Human myths watching over her, steering her away from the darkest thoughts.
The Green Wave had changed everything and everyone. No one knew exactly what had happened, what made it possible, although it was generally assumed to have been the Commander's handiwork, but the effects were plain to everyone. Knowledge and information, a superior state of being. A true understanding of those around you, similar to the Asari Joining but not as intimate. Still a minority blamed Shepard for everything. None actually complained about the 'upgrades' they had received but some couldn't forgive the Reapers. Emotions weren't erased only tempered by knowledge. Liara had hated the Reapers, more than most others in fact. They had taken her love from her and caused an unimaginable amount of anguish to both of them. But with understanding came forgiveness. The Reapers of today weren't the monsters of the past. She actually felt sorry for them.
To imagine the consciousnesses of billions of people, joined together and trapped in the very bodies that had tormented them in their previous lives. Forever forced to inflict the same again and again on other innocents, only disrupted by long stretches of agonizing nothingness, being conscious for ten-thousands of years in Dark Space. A single mind would have gone mad, but even that relief had been denied to them although some of them had come precariously close.
A single ray of sunshine illuminated the room, first herald of a new day of bleak existence. Something made Liara get up from the bed she never had shared with Shepard, despite wishing nightly for almost two years followed by another year after a blissful interruption. Secretly she was glad that Shepard had never been here with her. It would have made sleeping in this bed much harder.
She entered the bathroom. Personal hygiene had been instilled in her at a very young age and was about the only thing that had never faltered even in the darkest of days. Splashing some water on her face she studiously avoided looking in the mirror. For a few moments she braced herself against the sink, looking at the water draining away in a chaotic swirl. Steeling herself she looked up. Green eyes met hers, slowly filling with tears. And suddenly it was to much. The dam broke and she collapsed, sobbing uncontrolled, inconsolable.
How long she had been curled up in a ball on the bathroom floor she didn't know, but slowly she regained her senses to a faint caress of her cheek and crest. Someone tried to console her. It felt good. She didn't want it to stop, just lie there being comforted by a stranger she could imagine that everything was alright.
Shhh. Everything will be alright love. I promised to always come back to you, didn't I?
Her eyes snapped open. There was no mistaking it. She knew Shepards mental voice, for lack of a better term, better than her own. Frantically, her eyes darted over everything in the small room, searching for anything, any indication that this was more than just wishful thinking. More than yet another torment her useless brain had instigated for her.
There was no trace of anyone.
I am sorry.
There it was again, as real as any joining, any meld she had shared with Shepard in the past, even more so.
"Where are you? Why did you leave me!"
I'm here my love. I've been here with you all the time. I am sorry.
"Don't. Don't be sorry. Just come back to me. Please! I can't take it anymore..." sobbing again she covered her face with her hands. The gentle, ever so faint stroking of her head continued unabated.
I will. I promise you, as I have before, I will find a way back to you. It might take years, but I will. I will come back to you!
"I miss you so much. I hope, every second, every moment, that I wake up, next to you. That this is just a bad dream and we would laugh it off. It's awful but I would gladly trade the peace, the perfection," she almost spat the word, "to be with you again, even for a single night. But all I get are delusions. I'm likely imagining this as well. Look at the great Liara T'Soni! Hero of the Reaper War, crying in her bathroom, talking to herself..."
She was jolted upright by a green light encompassing her like a stasis bubble. She floated a couple of inches above the floor. It felt similar to the device that had captured her back on Therum, the one Shepard had saved her from a lifetime ago. Something pressed against her, electricity played on her skin. Shepard's voice boomed in her head.
Snap out of it T'Soni! I. Will. Come. Back!
Slowly the pressure lessened as she was let down on her feet. She was allowed to move again but the green light remained with her, dimmed but not extinguished. Gingerly Liara made her way out of the bathroom. She needed to sit down and the only accommodating furniture in easy range happened to be her bed. Dawn was still in it's infancy and would remain for some time, Nos Astra's location near the south polar region and the large planetary radius conspiring to prolong the transition. The whole room which would be still fairly dark at this time of day was bathed in a soft green light, emanating from every living thing in it. From the large plants in the corner, neglected yet thriving, to the omnipresent micro lifeforms, now visible wherever several of them clumped together, amplifying each other and tracing curious patterns across every surface. Strongest source of them all was Liara herself. Sitting on the edge of her bed, rigid and afraid, she asked the question she dreaded the answer of.
"Is it really you? Have you really come back?"
Yes. Open your mind and I will show you.
A presence nuzzled against her consciousness, probing and searching. It felt so alien to Liara as it had always been her to open the connection and at first she was fearful. The presence continued its advances, now pleading to be granted entry. A raw need radiated from it, mingled with love and joy. And finally she let her barriers down. Immediately the presence flooded her and washed away every doubt.
Shepard was back.
AN: Having watched the ending again I noticed that Liara actually hasn't green eyes after Synthesis. Others like Ashley however have their colour changed towards green (not full green however). Chalk it down to 'artistic' freedom but in this story everyone has green, luminous eyes.