The last thing Kaz says to Big Boss while he’s in a coma are those three words he used to say in better spirits after a successful mission.
“Come on home.”
And maybe it doesn’t sound right, but it’s the best he can do. He ties his scarf around Big Boss’s wrist and leaves the hospital for the last time.
Nine years later, the first thing Big Boss says to Kaz is “Kept you waiting, huh?” and then tying Kaz’s scarf back around his neck, pulls him forward by it and kisses him.
There are memories written and etched in each of her scars, in each of his grey hairs, in the lines on their faces, in the phantom pains of previous wounds, and the nightmares of lost comrades. Some things never change.
Like the way she lifts her right arm to rub the back of her neck when she’s stressed or uncomfortable, and how he removes her hand to replace it with his own. Like the way he rubs his head when a migraine is coming on, and how she exchanges his hands with a kiss and then a shove into bed.
Some things never change.
Like how they make love like it could be their last. Like nothing else matters or even exists at the moment except them. Like the skylight in their bedroom that reminds them that even though they are not as close to stars, they can still feel them. Like how they fall asleep next to each other always glad the other is there, even if they’ve had an argument.
And some things do change. Like spontaneous trips to countries (not planets) they’ve never been to. Like going grocery shopping and putting furniture together. Like the mundane change of the seasons in which they exhaust every available stereotypical activity. Having cookouts, carving pumpkins, building snowmen.
Some things do change.
Like the color of that empty bedroom that will soon be a nursery. Like the size of her belly, and the addition of a small person to those stereotypical seasonal activities.
They’ll always be old soldiers, but maybe now old soldiers of a different sort.
“All these years and still nothing to show for it,” Shepard says disparagingly.
Kaidan shakes it off and returns to original position to ready his attack. They circle, and he reaches with the knife again, this time off to her side. She dances around it easily, making it seem like he had never really aimed right in the first place. And in less than a second, she disarms him, and with a twist of his arm and a loud, satisfying (well maybe not for him) crack, he’s on his back.
She looks down at him with a smirk.
“Don’t hold back, Boss,” he says sarcastically, rubbing his head.
When she offers him a hand, he looks at it warily before accepting, and she pulls him back to his feet. Her hand lingers before squeezing his and letting go. “Go rest up.”
“Thanks, Boss,” he says, giving her a small smile.