here have a shepard

love, shepard: a study in platonic “i love yous”.

part 19: tali.

Tali has never been on Rannoch before, but she knows her homeworld in her bones. The sunset-swirled sky, the rushing rivers and the weathered cliffs, she knows them.

This is what home is, not a place, but a knowing. Home is traveling through tides of light and shoals of dust and coming to a place where you unquestionably, unconditionally belong.

Shepard’s gentle touch pulls Tali from her wonder.

“I love you, Tali,” Shepard whispers and in that moment, Tali realizes why Rannoch is so achingly familiar. Why she recognizes home as if she has had one her whole life.

Home is in Shepard’s eyes.


Shepard Twins Moodboard: Finch and Falcon

For the smart Shepard and the broken Shepard; the loud Shepard and the quiet Shepard. For the one with the golden heart and the one whose words can inspire armies. For those who stand hand in hand at the end of all things because they’re stronger together.



I was going to post these as one giant sketchdump, but I realized that other than this set, they were distinctly themed. I’ve been struggling with drawing characters interacting with one another, and there’s this great drawing floating around of kissing references, so I thought I’d give it a go! 

Here we have Tanna Shepard and Liara, Regina and Emma, and Kya and Lin. <3 

and this time I didn’t forget Lin’s scars


The progression of Charley Shepard: Soldier, Commander, Spectre

Art credits go to:

Blue Suns Mercenary (with Zaeed)- esakris
Council Spectre- inquisitorsophie
Cerberus Renegade- helilart
Lovebirds- birdcrow
The Galaxy’s Savior- neotericwitch
Post-Reaper War (with Kasumi)- rayeliann

pancakes for shepard

Mornings that Charlie had to go to school, it was usually Kaidan who had to wake her up, knowing that Shepard would just grunt and roll over, pulling another pillow over her head. And he didn’t mind. Shepard would make her way out of bed eventually to get ready for work and send their little one off to school. On weekends, it was usually Charlie that came bounding into their room, demanding to climb onto their bed and snuggle with them until they were ready to wake up.

But today, however, Kaidan was woken up by tiny fingers poking his side, and a soft bounce next to his bed. He popped open an eye and looked at the clock. It was seven, still a little early for any normal Sunday morning. She was a tiny ball of dark curly hair - just like his - with the faintest freckles across her nose, and her mom’s bright green eyes. 

“What’s up?” he asked.

Keep reading

New fic: The Other Commander Shepard

All right, I’m doing the thing.

This fic started with a “what if” that wouldn’t go away, and then I pondered it and tinkered with it and kept coming back to it over the last few years. So now here it is. I’m hoping for weekly updates, and I have enough written I think I can sustain that for a while.

This is Val Shepard, about whom I have written extensively here and there. I don’t think my other fics are essential to understanding this story, but you may enjoy them.

Warnings: You can expect some canon-typical violence on occasion, and I make no promises regarding characters’ survival.

Thanks are owed to everyone who has ever expressed interest in this story, but especially to @theherocomplex and @probablylostrightnow, for beta-reading, cheerleading, and hand-holding.

The prologue and first chapter have been posted to both AO3 and I’m going to post the prologue here and link you to the rest, since the first chapter is longer.


Prologue: Imagine the final sound as a gun

Shepard fires her gun—but this isn’t her gun, is it? She dropped her gun, or lost it. She’s not sure when. A while ago. She doesn’t remember where this one came from. It doesn’t matter. It fires, and that’s all she needs. She aims the gun and pulls the trigger, and there’s fire, red fire that blossoms around her, fire and smoke pouring out of a mess of wires. The smoke stings her nose and throat, and the fire’s too bright, it hurts her eyes

(She always liked watching fire, liked the crackling flames of her apartment fireplace, clean and bright.)

She closes her eyes, and wipes her arm under her nose. There’s blood on her face, blood in her nose, blood running down her arm. Her mouth tastes of blood. The side of her head throbs in time with her heartbeat. She tries to catalog her injuries. Ribs hurt, arm hurts, thigh hurts, head hurts — it would be easier to say what doesn’t hurt. Her skin feels hot. Burned maybe. Her brain throbs. Amp overload. Too much biotics. She tries to take a step, but her legs won’t work right.

She falls. Her knee hits the deck, her thigh, her shoulder, her back, each impact jarring her head and her arm and her side and everything else that hurts. Everything hurts. She stays down. It’s cooler to lie on the deck, the metal is cold and hard against her back, against her legs, against her head. Air passes over her head in a vast rush, hot and then cold. Her armor doesn’t feel right. Something’s cracked and something’s poking into her ribs. Every breath takes a greater effort. She has to think about it, now in, now out.

It’s getting harder to think. If she stops thinking, will she stop —

Her father used to tell her myths and stories. He told her that Valkyries come for the fallen. Valkyries take slain heroes to their rest, to feasting and glory. She forces her lungs to open and waits for the Valkyrie. She deserves one, doesn’t she? This time she can see her death coming. She knew it was coming all the time, but for a while she pretended she didn’t. Now she can’t pretend any more, but it’s taking so long to come.

Cold. It’s so cold. Wasn’t it too hot? Did she black out for a while? She’s not sure. Isn’t she supposed to be dead by now? She’s not sure. Only that she’s cold. Too cold to move, she can’t feel her hands or feet any more, can’t tell if she’s still in armor. Can’t tell where she is, or whether her eyes are opened or closed. She can’t see anything. Are her eyes closed or is it dark? Where is everyone? She can’t speak, can’t move, pinned in place or too frozen. Something is twisting, something is falling, all around her, pushing her, forcing her, crushing her.

Oh. She can feel after all. That hurts. She tries to cry out as she is bent and compressed by the forces bearing down on her. Everything hurts, everything burns, every fiber of what’s left of her body, muscle and bone and skin, could sear away into a puff of ash, threads stretched too tight and heated beyond their ability to bear, annihilating her as they go. She tries to cry out, but she can’t hear her own voice. She reaches, frantic, for something, anything to hold onto. If she holds on, maybe the Valkyrie will come. Maybe it will stop hurting. She grabs and pulls and reaches with every spark of will she has. She’s always been stubborn. Pig-headed, her mother said, strong-willed, her teachers said, insubordinate, her first CO said. Dad never seemed to mind, though. She asked him why the Valkyries didn’t get to be heroes, too, and he spun her stories of Brunhilda the Valkyrie. Dad liked to call her his Valkyrie, but she couldn’t reach him in time. Always the wrong place at the wrong time. Mindoir, Elysium, Eden Prime, Alchera, Bahak. A whole string of wrong places, wrong times, but she never lets go once she gets there.

The Valkyrie has to come for her. She’s done enough. She did good. Anderson said so. Is there a bar in Valhalla? There has to be, right? She wants a drink. Maybe if she holds on until the Valkyrie comes.

She just has to hold on.

Continue reading on AO3 and

Shepard was used to seeing the world on fire. First it was Mindoir, where she’d had to watch Hannah Shepard - the woman she looked up to with everything in her - lay down her life to save her daughter, where she had to watch the people she’d grown up around her whole life torn down to nothing.

And then it was Akuze, and the Citadel, and Earth, and a hundred other places she’d saved, and places she’d been too late to save. She’d watch so many things burn, that she never had much time to be thankful for the things that had lit up, and not burned down.

Shepard woke to a small patch of warmth against her chest, and a soft grip on her t-shirt, which damp with sweat. There was a tiny kiss on her nose and a little wiggle up closer to her. 

“Mama,” the little voice whispered.

Shepard opened her eyes just enough, and gave a faint smile at the mini person curled up in her arms. She laid between Shepard and Kaidan, a hand gripping Shepard’s shirt, and Kaidan’s arm draped over her.

“It’s okay. I’ll protect you.”

“I know you will, little bug. Thank you.”

Kaidan shifted, and opened his eyes just slightly. He sighed and gave a tired smile.

“Everything okay?” he muttered.

Shepard nodded. “Yeah, it is.”


The little one looked between both of them for a second. It was easy for Shepard to fall back into horrible memories, about her family, of the friends she’d lost, of the things she’d personally lost in herself. But it all seemed to be okay in moments like this.

Hannah Shepard wasn’t gone. She was in her arms right now, with an Alenko tagged onto the end of her name, with her mother’s small nose and freckled face, and her father’s wildly curly hair that she’d learn to tame in time. And the two things that mattered most in Shepard’s world were within arms reach. It was enough to sleep at night.

“Uh oh,” Hannah whispered. “Here.”

She used all her strength to pull Kaidan closer to both of them. He happily obliged, kissing both of his best girls on the head and draping his arms over both of them. Shepard took the little one against her chest, rubbing her back gently as she drifted off to sleep again, little coos and tiny snores occasionally resonating from the child.

And the world didn’t look like fire anymore. It looked like a happy ending.

I feel like starting a discussion or something, but I’m curious so here’s a question:

Did your Shepard have any dreams as a kid/teen?

Did they always want to become a soldier? Did they have other plans for their life? Did they even have any dreams as kids?

I want to know if your Shepard has had big dreams or no dreams at all. I’m really curious to read about it. I might add my own headcanons.