Citadel: Crucible Control Room

Shepard stumbles closer to the panel, the blue light turning the blood on his hand a purplish color. Looking up he could see the Reapers tearing apart the ships of the Alliance. The thought, 'Is this the right choice?' Crosses his mind. With a grunt he turns to look at the Catalyst AI, "How do I know you're not indoctrinating me?" A deep breath sends a sharp pain into his side.

The AI regards him for a moment, "We tried. We failed, or do you really think those attempts were just dreams?" The AI turns to look out at the battle around them, "It's obvious that even Leviathan tried and failed." Returning to look at Shepard while pointing at the fleets, "You don't have much time, choose or let the cycle continue."

The AI then fades away leaving Shepard alone. He considers what the AI told him, it's true that he doesn't feel the pressure in his head like when confronting the Illusive Man. Determination giving him new found strength, he takes the final few steps gripping the first control column. The contact sending tingles down his arm. The image of Kaidan passes through his mind as he takes hold of the second column.

SSV Normandy: Medical Bay

Dr Chakwas activates the safety strap over Kaidan just as the Normandy bucks suddenly, nearly knocking her on top of the Major. "Doc, I'm okay. Go get strapped into your chair before you get hurt." Javik had refused the doctors order to stay, saying something dismissive as he left.

Chakwas opens her mouth to respond, but Joker cuts in over the com, "Everyone get strapped in!" She double checks the straps holding Kaidan then moves to her safety chair at the front of the Medbay, leaving Kaidan to his thoughts as the pain medicine begins to work. Drowsiness begins to take hold as the ship shudders from a glancing blow.

"Kaidan." Shepard voice startles him.

He can't believe his eyes, "Shepard?" A hologram of the commander is standing next to his bed.

"I'm sorry my love, we don't have much time." A tear rolls down his cheek. "I have to go with the Reapers to keep everyone safe."

Voice cracking, "Why?" Tears welling up in his eyes.

"To stop the cycle, someone has to control the Reapers." Shepard's holographic hand reaches for Kaidan's cheek, "Once I take control I don't know if I can see you again, but know that I'll always love you and I'm watching over you."

Kaidan wriggles a hand free from the strap and reaches out for Shepard, his hand passing into the hologram. Shepard gives him a smile as the hologram fades.

35 Years Later

Admiral Kaidan Alenko stands at the podium looking out at the graduating class of Shepard Academy for Biotics. Trying to ignore the migraine that's been building the whole ceremony, he concentrates on his closing statements, "It's been 25 years since the founding of this great academy. The goal was to bring together the brightest adepts from all the Council races to train together. The rumor is true, this is my final year as Dean, but I've never been more proud of any group of graduates. You are the best sentinels, adepts, and vanguards that have ever graduated from this fine institution." The pain in his head begins to cause his vision to blur. Fighting back the pain he continues, "I know you're all eager for this ceremony to end so you can go celebrate. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the class of 2218." Cheers fill the room.

Weeks later Kaidan is resting as comfortable as the pain medications could make him in Huerta Memorial. It's been over a year since his L2 implant started to fail, it won't be long before it completely fails. Turning his attention to his guest. "You know, I think this is the same room I was in during the Reaper War." A bit drowsy from the medications making his speech slurred,

Steve Vega-Cortez pats his arm, "Perhaps it was though they've remolded since then." Changing the subject, "James tells me Alan came by to see his uncle Kaidan the other day."

A smile crosses his pale face, "Has it been that long? The days kind of blur together in here." Considering his long friendship with his old crew mates, "I remember the day you asked me to officiate your wedding to James and when you two adopted Alan. I still say he's got your eyes Steve."

A knock on the door draws their attention to Liara, "Hello I heard you were awake." Entering the room setting a medium sized box on the bed tray. "A, friend asked me to give this to you."

"Who?" Kaidan asks as he opens the top of the box.

With a wink she says, "I can't tell you."

Raising an eyebrow in mocked irritation, "You know, for the Shadow Broker you're a terrible source of information." Taking the final wrapping off he pulls out a device, "Is this one of the time capsules you made?"

Liara looks surprised that he remembers, "It's similar design, but different." Helping Kaidan clear away the warping materials and activating the device.

A beam seems to scan the room before turning to scan Kaidan's face. The beam goes out a light the only evidence that the device is still working. "That's it?" Looking perplexed.

Liara smiles as if she knows a secret, "For now." Leaning in to kiss his forehead, "I should let you rest."

Steve clears his throat, "I should head out too, Sir."

Both leave Kaidan alone. He tries to activate the device again, but nothing seems to happen. Growing bored he turns on the HD to watch the news. "... will be present for next weeks 35th anniversary of the Reaper War here on the Citadel. In other news, the Eden Prime colonial parliament has..." Kaidan tunes out the noise, hardly paying attention and soon falling asleep.

A touch on his cheek awakens him. A blueish hologram of Shepard is standing next to him, "Hello my love, I've missed you." Kaidan is no longer in the hospital, they are standing in what seems to be a plaza on the outside of the Citadel. The Earth is above them with many ships within view as they arrive or depart the great station.

The pain of his implant no longer bothering him. Reaching out toward Shepard he notices that he's also a hologram, "Where are we?" Puzzled.

Shepard embraces Kaidan smiling, "We're together again. You and I to guard the galaxy together."