alchera

alchera  asked:

For a prompt: "Of all the lights in all of space, none burn so bright as this."

The Rebel base on Belatha barely deserved the designation—little more than a signal relay, some spare fuel cells and a couple damp-smelling cots tucked away in a cave. “Whelp,” Han says, considering it all his hands on his hips. “Glad the Alliance is finally making good on those all promises of luxury and comfort.”

Luke huffs our something like a laugh, and Chewie grumbles under his breath that Han is welcome to share the Falcon’s narrow bunk with Jedi Knees-and-Elbows if the accommodations weren’t to his liking. Leia just sighs and trudges over to the signal relay, crouching down and tapping hopefully at the keys.

They’ve been sent on enough missions together that there’s very little talk, between then and when dusk finally falls. Luke jerks his chin toward the cave, and Han follows; Chewie goes to check the water supply as Leia swears at, kicks and gets the relay up and working. Luke and Han drag the pallets out into the starshine, play-shadowboxing with them until they’ve knocked all the dust and spores out. Luke throws his head back and laughs, even as Han tells him to keep his head down, Jedi, and throw his punches from the shoulder unless he’s looking for a broken wrist.

Leia transmits whatever message she’s meant to transmit—she’s got a security clearance far above the rest of them, hard-earned from so many years in the Imperial Senate, even if she does tend to get a little snobbish about it sometimes. When she straightens up, her knees pop. She uses the relay sparkplug to light the fire Chewie has been building; he grumbles his thanks.

Starset comes early, evening drawing all of them close to the fire. They’re used to the long hours of Yavin IV, where afternoon is heavy and dusk lingers, caught on the thick of the trees. Here there are few trees, and when darkness falls Leia looks up, and shivers. Han comes, wordlessly wraps his jacket around her shoulders. 

Luke and Han have stretched out the pallets by the fire, to dry.

“This is so…primitive,” Leia says later that evening, poking at the protein pack Luke heated over the fire. It wobbles.

“We used to do this all the time at home,” Luke says, throwing Leia a look, and her eyes go half-lidded, her mouth turning down at the corners. “Aunt Beru cooked all our meat over a carbon-smoke fire, she said it improved the taste.”

“If this was any less like meat, farmboy, it’d be green and we could have picked it off a tree” Han says through a mouthful of protein pack. (He’s a spacer—he wouldn’t know the taste of real organic protein if you served it to him on a golden platter. Both Leia and Luke are thinking this at the same time, though Luke is thinking of the few times Owen brought home fresh bantha and Beru roasted it in the courtyard, till all the air smelled of sizzling fat; and Leia is thinking of traditional Alderaanian chicken, with spices that made her cry. They both promise themselves that later, when the war is over, they’ll—

Well, they will.)

After dinner, the pallets are still damp so they stretch themselves out across the grass. It’s soft enough, and Chewie is coaxed to sing in a high, yodeling voice that is sweet and yet somehow mournful. Han is between Luke and Leia and he finds himself translating, even though his understanding of Shyriiwook past pluperfect is shaky.

(He has his hands tucked behind his head, and at some point, Luke’s head comes to rest on his bicep, with Leia’s hand tucked into the pocket of his jacket. Han stutters out the next verse, stammering, and then, the brave hero Bacca, dark-eyed clever Bacca, who loved—)

They are almost asleep, when the star goes blazing across the heavens.

They’re soldiers—even Han, who claims not to be—and so they’re on their feet before it can disappear, all that brightness. It is silver and terrible, light flooding the world and turning it to unforgiving edges. Luke is the one who looks up first, instead of to the treeline, searching for enemy blasters, but Leia is the one who chokes, stumbling backwards.

“What the hells,” Han breathes, shielding his eyes. “It looks like an explosion, did leadership say anything about a battle—?”

Leia makes a noise like a wounded animal, and when Luke and Han look, she’s staring up at the sky the way she sometimes looks at Draven, or Mothma, like she’s thinking about people that are still here, when others aren’t.

“Leia…” Luke says tentatively, reaching for her arm.

“That’s Alderaan,” she says, and her voice is hollow, half a sob. “I can—that’s where it was in the sky. That’s—Mother of Kwath, we’re…”

Han hisses, low in his throat—he’s good at interstellar calculus, he knows how far they are from that field of meteor dust, suspended in space. Light travels slower than you might think, really; there are some places it doesn’t reach for months, even years, after it lit up the sky of a world. 

Alderaan died one standard year and three months ago, but that’s not that long, when you consider how far they are into the Outer Rim.

Leia goes to her knees even before Luke can turn, and follow her down. He wraps his arm around her neck, and she sobs against his stomach. She mourns—too late, an lightyear and several months’ too late, but Leia still sobs against the scratchy white of Luke’s tunic. He holds her by the hair, his fingers wound tightly, and maybe Leia thinks—

(The problem is Luke and Han, or Leia and Han, or Luke and Leia and Han, or—no one’s really sure what the problem is, except this uneven swinging balancing act between them, full of sweetness and pain and agony. ‘Vital’ is nonspecific, it only communicates the urgency, the hotblooded need, which doesn’t….need isn’t neat. ‘Need’ is urgent, doesn’t care what it takes.

Han feels sick, watching Luke and Leia, Luke-and-Leia. They’re wound so profound, so tight—)

Leia cries all night, after. When they wake in the morning, the dying light of Alderaan is still silvery-green above them; the most immediate moon watery and weak. “We are coming home,” is Leia’s transmission, decoded because Luke and Han have gone serious and uneasy, and she can’t stand the thought of losing them.

“We are coming home, and all will be well. I tell you—all will be well.”

They fly the whole way back to Yavin IV with Han’s hand skitting across Leia’s skin, and Luke with his cheek, pressed flush against hers. An endless feedback loop of all will be well, and this I tell you; all will be well.

alchera  asked:

“We need to talk.” for DWC!

For the record, I despise writer’s block. It’s been making DWC really hard as of late :/

Anyway, thank you for the prompt! This is technically a follow-up to this prompt that I filled out a couple weeks ago. More Kremquisitor content for all of you!

For @dadrunkwriting.

One Line Prompts


“Ser Aclassi?”

Krem glanced up at the sound of his name, just in time to see an Inquisition scout drop down into a bow before straightening once more.

“What is it?” he asked.

“I have a message for you, ser. From the Inquisitor.”

Krem’s cheeks warmed, and he hoped it wasn’t as obvious as he felt. “Thank you for delivering it,” he said, glad his voice at least managed to stay fairly stable.

The scout nodded and passed over the little piece of folded parchment. She dipped down into another bow before she turned to walk out of the Herald’s Rest. Once she was out of sight, Krem broke the wax seal and unfolded the paper. In Sulahn’s scrawling hand was a simple message.

We need to talk. Meet me in the war room.

Krem grimaced a little, thinking back to the reports that he had submitted to her when he and the Chargers had returned from scouting the ruins of Haven. Had his findings upset her? Or did she believe he had forgotten a few details in his reports? Or did she simply want to discuss strategies with him before presenting them to her other advisors? He shook his head a little bit, reminding himself that he would find out soon enough.

Now if only he could stop the hammering in his chest at the prospect of seeing the Inquisitor. Ever since the rest of the Chargers had found out about his crush on Sulahn Lavellan, the young man had become hyper-aware of his actions around the Inquisitor.

He wanted it to stop.

Keep reading

Kaidan thinks about the ring in his footlocker more than he cares to admit. He feels it burning at him sometimes – like a strangely romantic game of hot potato.

Give it to her, part of him nags. Another tells him to wait. He’s been planning the moment for weeks now, and the comfort of her saying yes, of knowing there’s a future for them, that one day they won’t have to hide their feelings anymore. He thinks he should feel more hesitation, or question if she really is the one, and how the hell could he know so fast? He wonders if he’s hit an age where he now just knows when someone feels like a perfect compliment to him.

He thinks about it in small moments alone with her – like right now – as she lays in his arms, blankets tangled around her, and crimson hair spread out against her pillows. He runs his hand up and down her back as her breathing grows heavier. She strokes her hand across his chest, fingers brushing the dark hairs on his skin.

“I’ve never been to Vancouver before,” she says, half asleep. “Good food?”

Kaidan laughs and tugs her closer. “Yes.”

“Good. I’m over ship rations.”

“Me too. A steak would be great right about now.”

Shepard turns over and presses him to his back. She sheds the covers around her body and sits on top of him with one leg on either side of his body. His hands come to her waist, thumbs brushing against her freckled skin, finding the natural curves of her body.

“And your parents will like me?” she asks, a shade of hesitation in her voice. 

He knows the galaxy sees Shepard as a larger than life figure, someone unstoppable, who isn’t afraid of anything. But he knows that’s not true. Shepard’s scared of plenty, and she only says it in moments alone, with the fear that it’ll finally be too much for him to take. She’s beautiful and strong, but full of horror stories he can’t imagine living through. Sometimes nightmares of Mindoir or Akuze wake her up in tears, desperate for him to remind her that she’s alive, that he’d never let anything happen to her. Other times, it’ll be things he can’t so easily talk her down from. He can remind her that he’s not like the last person to to be with her, let her know her worth, and that no part of her past can make him stop loving her.

“They’ll love you.”

“Okay.”  

Kaidan imagines bringing her home, introducing her to his parents. He’s thought about what it’ll be like – bringing home the one to mom and dad. He didn’t imagine it’d be his CO, but he at least knows not to run away from true love when it’s right in front of him. Maybe a few months is a short time to know someone, and a month of “dating” is too short to know if he wants to marry her, but he thinks of a future without her, and all it looks like is an endless void. Something where he’s constantly searching for someone to live up to her.

“And I have so many things I want to do with you. Places I grew up, old memories, hidden gems… surprises.”

“Surprises?” she teases.

“Always full of ‘em.”

“Maybe I have a few of my own for you too,” she says, and it’s not her usual teasing tone, but something that feels like a confession. Maybe one she’s nervous about. He slides his hands over hers, and gives them a squeeze.

“Or you could tell me now?”

Shepard swallows, and thinks about the idea. He sees her contemplating, wanting to spit something out, but instead she shakes her head. Maybe whatever it is is best left for when other exciting things are coming to light.

“Two weeks, and then we’re done here. Just us. All our surprises, and the rest of our future together,” he says.

Shepard smiles and nods. “I like the sound of that.”

“Uh, Commander?” Joker says over the comms. “I think we’re going to need you up on the bridge. We’re tracking some kind of unknown enemy in the area.”

“What’s our location, Joker?”

“Just over Alchera.”

Shepard climbs off Kaidan, and reaches for her clothes where they’re strewn about on the floor. She slides on her uniform and tucks the shirt into her pants, and returns to the side of the bed. She presses a kiss to the top of Kaidan’s head, and he pulls her closer. She tilts her chin down and kisses him again. Then, the ship rocks violently. Shepard grips the wall, and looks back to Kaidan. Fear courses through her expression for a moment, but she snaps out of it, and becomes the Commander again.

“I’ll be back, okay?”

Kaidan nods, and alarms begin to sound around the Normandy. And in the middle of the chaos, of the potential danger and death around them, he finds himself thinking about the ring again. And all he can do is say a silent prayer to someone that no matter what happens, he hopes he has the chance to give it to her.

shepard-alenko  asked:

U - Coming Home for the prompts list, with Shepard :)

Wanted to make sure both people requesting this got something. Hope you won’t mind that it’s in two parts.

++

Part 1

Coming Home: Part 2 - Reflection
Suggested Musical Accompaniment

“There,” Shepard’s enviro-suit clattered against Kaidan’s, holding his arm up so the other man could follow his finger to the fleck among the stars that was the Normandy speeding across the sky, no bigger than a snowflake. “There she is.”

“Already been down here two hours,” Kaidan’s eyes traced the ship to the zenith. “Wow.”

Kaidan had asked to see the Normandy monument on Alchera, and since they were only one Relay away they’d diverted course. The whole crew was welcome to go planetside, but the junior crew members had seemed hesitant to even make eye contact with either Kaidan or Shepard in orbit above Alchera. There was an eerie silence around the ship as Shepard had donned his enviro-suit, furtive glances at the memorial wall.

It was nothing compared to the quiet of the snow and the airy echoes of their footsteps inside the frozen husk of Shepard’s first command.

“Where’s your cabin?” Kaidan asked, once they had surveyed the majority of the crash site.

“Don’t know. Didn’t see it on my first walk-through.” Lonely place, anyway. It was always Anderson’s cabin, still. Most nights Shepard slept with his head in his arms on the mess hall table.

That first walk amongst the crash site had been lonely, too. He’d insisted on going alone before: just after Horizon and just after Kaidan had told him off. The frost gilding the metal then had seemed like a silver lining on an unrecoverable time: watching the lieutenant’s pod while he slept, sitting on the steps to the CIC with him—coffee in hand—so they could talk away from the crowded mess.

Now, those memories paled compared to the ones he’d made meanwhile. And the wreckage felt more properly like a memorial this trip, instead of the rubble of ‘home.’

The sleeper pods were still intact, the icy gangway squeaked under Kaidan’s boot tread as he stooped in front of the footlocker of his old pod. He reached to open the case, then paused.

“…four years ago… I never collected my stuff, obviously. Haven’t thought about it much, but I bet my dad’s old shaving mirror in there.”

“So,” Shepard stooped beside him, “What are you waiting for.”

“Dad gave it to me just before I left for BAaT. Said it had been lucky for him and my grandpa too on missions. He said: ‘I don’t need the luck anymore, anyway. And you’re going to be needing it soon enough up there. Figured you could use a little piece of home while you’re at school.’” He dropped to one knee.

“Take a piece of home back with you today, Kaidan.”

“It feels wrong to disturb a memorial, huh? Robbing the dead…” His eyes were smiling through his helmet visor. The particular crackle the suit comms leant his already throaty voice had that way of amplifying the hesitance in his voice.

“It’s yours. Your old locker. Your mirror.”

“Not my grave, though,” Kaidan murmured.

“It is my grave,” Shepard supplied. “So what if I just reach in there and get it for you? My treat?”

Kaidan blinked. Then reached over and pried open the locker. The small silver mirror caught the starlight, the flash of the aurora crawling between a thin rainbow crack from one corner to the other.

“Okay,” Kaidan whispered to Shepard’s reflection in the mirror. “I guess this is technically yours then, huh? Since it’s your grave and all.” He gave Shepard a wry grin.

“We’ll get it sorted out once we get home,” Shepard chuckled and pulled Kaidan to his feet. “Before we go, I want to show you…”

He pointed ahead and followed, his footsteps hidden in Kaidan’s in the snow. Away from where the old bridge was bathed in light, a cliff overlooked a valley of rock and snow as far as the eye could see. A beautiful, crystalline, and empty world. Not a sign of life, the Reapers wouldn’t have looked twice. Millennia from now, this memorial would endure. Long after their apartment on the Citadel passed to other hands, or the orchard swallowed the Alenko home, or the second Normandy was decommissioned: the fragments of their first meeting would sit gilded beneath the starlight.

Like he used to behind cover in combat, Shepard took Kaidan’s head between his hands and gently pressed their helmets together.

“Ready to go home?”

End

headcanon:

the virmire survivor goes to alchera after the SR-1 is destroyed. they never tell the alliance. but they sit, quiet, in front of shepard’s helmet, and they think about how easily it could have been them, how many times they’ve escaped death - and their breathing echoes in their ears.

maybe the ghosts of the normandy talk back to them. maybe they don’t.

but shepard finds footprints on alchera, and always wonders whose they were.

4

Gingerly, he dug both hands down into the pristine powder and lifted Shepard’s N7 helmet up to his eye level. This was the one. The one he’d been wearing when he was spaced. Kaidan only knew that because, upon turning it over in his unwilling hands, he saw his own initials stenciled in red right below the N7 stamp. Shepard had wanted to put it on all of his helmets.

Art based on and created for “Galaxies” by jupiterjames

Main Link:  http://archiveofourown.org/works/2075226

Created for the 2014 Mass Effect Big Bang

Artist’s Notes:

So sorry for the long post! But this was something I’ve always wanted to do…

First of all,  am utterly amazed that I managed to pair up with the amazing jupiterjames again. She wrote this really heartbreaking piece about Kaidan going to Alchera. And it was absolutely inspiring to work with her story! Hopefully you guys will enjoy it as much as I did. :D

antivanrogue, I am tagging you for a very certain post. :p

Second of all, this is my last MEBB entry (finally!!), So, azzydarling and bioticbooty thank you so much for arranging this MEBB. Also, thank you for covering for me when my tablet broke and I needed to adjust my schedule. You guys made it possible for me to produce these pieces to the quality I am happy with.

Lastly, I hope you guys enjoyed this month as much as I have. MEBB has a lot of great stories, do go check it out! :D

Okay, so one of Sarah Shepard’s biggest fears is that her helmet comms hadn’t gone out over Alchera and that the rest of the crew had listened to her die. Her gasps for air as her suit depressurized, her struggles as she tried in vain to plug the leaks in the hoses, her little sounds of fear before it finally went quiet. I was just thinking of how the team would react to hearing that, and her receiver had been damaged, so they could hear her, but she couldn’t hear them.

Kaidan: Doesn’t understand what he’s hearing at first, he saw the pod in the cockpit deploy, she had have been on board. Fear and panic grips his chest when he finally understands. He tries calling to her, but there’s no answer, just her choking gasps for air, tears run down his face as he tries to comfort her, but she can’t hear him. He’s listening to his friend (or lover) die and there’s nothing he can do about it. He shouldn’t have left her, should have gone with her to get Joker, maybe then she would have made it. He calls her name into the silence a long time after the noises stop until he can’t bring himself to say it again.

Liara: Just sits in her seat and sobs, head down. She’s haunted by the sounds for weeks afterwards, can hear them when it’s quiet. She’s never listened to someone die before and it kills something inside of her to know that the first time she has, it was a friend.

Garrus: Grips the harness so hard his hands hurt, his jaw clenched so hard his mandibles ache. She’s his mentor, his guide, he’s learned more travelling with her than he ever did at C-Sec. He starts shaking in his seat, wanting to go to her, wanting to help her, but he can’t, all he can do is sit there until there’s empty air. Turian’s can’t cry, not really, but eventually there’s low mournful keening that doesn’t need translating.

Tali: Turns her modulator off so no one can hear her cry as she listens to her friend die, the one who helped her on her Pilgrimage, introduced her to so many wonderful things. Her hands press to her face plate, her shoulders shaking unmistakably and when she gets back to the Flotilla, she can’t sleep because of how loud it is.

Wrex: Doesn’t do anything, doesn’t move, just stares straight ahead. Eventually he starts rocking back and forth slightly. He’s heard people die, that wasn’t something new, but they had always been enemies, those trying to kill him, and it had always been quick. It was never a friend, a member of this strange krannt he had come to be in, and it was never by a slow suffocation.

and finally

Joker: Alliance finds his escape pod shortly after they find the others. He’s alone, curled up in his seat so hard he had broken bones. Wide eyed and not moving because he saw her die, he watched her as she was blown out into space. In his mind, it was his fault. He killed her, as surely as if he had held a gun to her head and pulled the trigger. He’s treated for shock and doesn’t speak for almost a solid month.