10. The Last Kiss (um ouch)
The tremor that rocked the Normandy was too strong for it to be good news. Sure, occasionally they hit rough patches or needed to divert course quickly, causing people to wobble over. But this, this was a collision.
Shepard sat up in bed and shook Kaidan, fast asleep next to her. He groaned and rolled over, but when the sirens throughout the cabin started echoing loudly, he sat up too, rubbing his eyes.
“What’s happening?” he grumbled.
“Something’s wrong,” she said, pulling on the under armor she wore below her armor set, and shoved him out of bed. “Get up!”
“Shepard, relax! It could be just a malfunction. Joker hasn’t told us anything.”
Shepard pressed a finger to her ear, radioing into Joker. “Joker, what’s going on up there?”
She waited a moment for the crackled response to come through. “Commander, we’re taking fire!”
“Affirmative. Prep the ship for evac, now!”
Shepard turned to Kaidan. “Suit up and I’m putting you in charge of getting the crew into escape pods.”
“Shepard, wait!” he said.
“Kaidan, do as I say. Get in your damn armor and get the crew off the ship. I’m going to signal the distress beacon to get the Alliance in for a pickup. Go!”
She pulled her greaves on and strapped them to her legs, and took the chest piece and gauntlets as she bolted from the room. Kaidan reached out a hand and curled his fingers around her wrist, pulling her back to him.
“Kaidan, we have to-,” she started, but immediately noticed the panic in his eyes. “We need to get off this ship. Otherwise we’re all dead. You know that.”
He nodded. “I know. Just… be careful. I’ll get everyone into the pods. Just - you - please… be careful, for me.”
She leaned forward and placed her lips against his, her hands cupping the side of his face. He grabbed at the fabric of her shirt and didn’t want to let go. She knew the chances of them getting separated, on different escape pods, not knowing the other’s fate was likely, but it was better than losing one another for good. But until they were together again, she’d remember the taste of his lips and the gentle touch of his hands on her body, and eagerly await the chance to be with him again.
“Shepard, I -,” he started.
“Kaidan, I’m going to come right back to you, I promise. I’ll find you and everything will be okay. I’m going to come back to you,” she said. “And you can tell me everything then. Okay?”
He nodded. “Okay.”
And she exited the cabin into the flames that ravaged the Normandy.