mass effect ficlet thing

The most amazing fortress

Characters: Joker/Shepard, Traynor
Words: 800
Rating: T


Warm, familiar, safe.

It’s Shepard’s leather jacket around him. Joker would know the scent anywhere. It smells rich and warm and like guns and oil, and just a little bit rank and sweaty because she doesn’t wash it anywhere near as often as she should.

It’s heavy. Warm. Safe. Draped over him like his own private little blanket fort. Or maybe a dragon around its treasure, because forts don’t smell of leather. But he’s feeling pretty good either way. Maybe a little too good. There’s a spaced out feel in his head he knows he should recognise but can’t quite care about. Warm is warm and comfy.

At least the bits of him that aren’t his legs. They’re kind of cold actually. And uncomfortable in the stretch-and-cramp way that comes with sitting in a position he really shouldn’t be sitting in for too long.

He tries to pull them to his chest. Ow goes something in his knees, but they comply. Definitely sitting way too long. And on something ridiculously hard, too.

Ground he realises, prying his eyes open.

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Two Species, Both Alike in Dignity
It's been 26 years since First Contact, and with the Normandy project being an unparalleled success, the human Systems Alliance and turian Hierarchy are working together more closely than ever. That means everyone's ready to get along now... right?
By Organization for Transformative Works

Characters: Garrus/Ashley (does this pairing even have a smushed name?)
Words: 12,741

Bringing this out of storage for reasons.

Mass Effect – fic, "Awakening an Adversary"

Summary: Jacob Taylor is the first living person Shepard speaks to after her resurrection. That’s a good thing, he’s a generally good guy and a fellow soldier. He’s honest and trustworthy. He’ll be able to convince Shepard that despite the past, Cerberus isn’t her enemy.



Jacob Taylor doesn’t have a degree in psychology. Or any degree in anything other than kicking ass. He’s good at that. So’s Shepard. They’re both soldiers, and, if he’s honest, they just screwed Murphy over by pure luck. Worst case scenario, Shepard out cold on the operating table when the mechs pepper her with gunshots. Second worst case scenario, Shepard awake but running around the facility with no guidance and no backup. She’s a tough SOB, even fresh off the table, she’d probably survive. But Jacob doesn’t think she’d be too interested in joining them if they have to explain to her afterwards that, yes, their facility just tried to kill her, and no, it wasn’t their doing. Fat chance.

Absolute best case, as he sees it? He’d have managed to get through the mechs and to Shepard’s room. Barricade them in, let Miranda and the rest of security deal with the mechs while he kept the sleeping beauty safe. When the smoke clears, Miranda and the Illusive Man can wake Shepard at their leisure, according to a no doubt very well-calculated plan guaranteeing loyalty.

But this? Her stumbling across him in the halls, him being her one source of info? That’s good too. Not perfect, but workable. He doesn’t have to pretend. He’s a soldier, she sees that. They’re killing enemies together. It creates a bond. She wont shoot him, not in the back and not while they’re being attacked.

And he won’t shoot her. Problem is, he can tell she’s not entirely convinced of that.

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Marionette unbound

Characters: Joker, Ashley
Rating: …umm. R-ish? idk
Words: 1300


“Wouldn’t you want your sister back?”

Joker’s made a career of staying cool in hot situations, whether it’s piloting or people getting nosy about his private stuff. A normal intruder on the bridge - still Normandy, he doesn’t think he’ll ever be on a ship that’s not a Normandy again - would’ve gotten his patented cold shoulder.

This one… not so much. The novelty tempers him somewhat. Somewhat. But mostly the fact of where she comes from.

So Joker considers the question. Ashley sits in EDI’s chair, watching him calmly but her boots on the console in front of her doesn’t look relaxed enough. Her hair is free around her shoulders, carelessly brushed away from her face but not tied back. He’s never seen it that way. The clashing calm-cool attitudes doesn’t quite fit her, or her line of thought. But he’s not exactly surprised she’s bringing up the topic. Really wishing she hadn’t, but not surprised.

“Sure, I want Hillary back,” he says, managing fantastically to keep his voice level. Both Chakwas and Adams had taken him aside before the mission started and given him a gentle but very, very insistent lecture on being nice to the guests. “But my Hillary. My sister. The one who actually remembers me. Not someone who just looks like her.”

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Mass Effect – ficlet, "Someone to watch over you (whether you want it or not)"

Characters: Joker/Femshep
Words: 350

Summary: The ancient, honourable art of giving gifts vs Jeff Moreau’s dignity.


In Joker’s opinion, Commander Shepard’s spot checks were fantastic to look at… usually. When she poked her head into his hospital room, first she sought out the people (that would be him), then the exits (or entrances, as the case may be), and then she stepped inside, and that’s when she noticed it. He wouldn’t have minded if she’d acted a little bit more like a besotted girlfriend visiting her beau in the hospital, instead of the supremely capable commander realising there was a collection of colours and fabrics in a vaguely humanoid shape just beneath the bed.

“Hi, sweetie,” he tried, but her attention wouldn’t budge, she picked it up, inspected it with a very fond look, and set it down on the bed, which granted was where it had been before it had an unfortunate encounter with gravity.

“I thought hospital rooms were supposed to be boring,” Shepard grinned, way too lightly. She was trying to hide a smile but the corner of her lip was giving her away. She was cute when she smiled… except that was on a need-to-know basis.

“This is boring. I don’t even have a vid screen.” That was a hint.

“You’re barely out of recovery.” And she wasn’t taking it, darn. Shepard tapped his nose with a finger, and being still under the effect of a lot of painkillers, his reaction was way delayed, to her amusement. “So, ah…” She looked like she was taking her time picking the joke carefully, indicating it where it sat on the bed, being… soft and stuff. “Who’s your friend?”

“It’s a gift,” Joker explained, generous patience courtesy of said painkillers.

“Uh huh. Something I should know?”

“No. It’s from EDI.”

She raised an eyebrow, still smiling-but-hiding-it. “EDI is giving you stuffies now?”

Ayep, she was having way too much fun at his expense. “Apparently someone informed her it’s tradition. Besides, it’s not a stuffie, it’s a plush bear. There’s a difference.”

“Ohh, I see. Well then, that changes things.” Shepard smirked, hid it with a smile, and adjusted the teddy bear’s bow tie.


They say you see someone's true face in their sleep

Characters: Joker/Shepard
Words: 400


It’s orders, Joker realises.

Their first night together – in her bed that’s way too hard, with a person who keeps cabin temperature at a sharp 19 and then kicks the duvet downhe doesn’t get much sleeping done. (After the bed part that calls for no sleep, of course.) So instead, he wrestles the corner of the bedding and watches her – at rest – for the very first time. His initial impression, while working out a way to deprive a special forces commander of her ankles’ foothold on the duvet, is that she’s just twitching in her sleep, legs kicking because they’re restless from the long hunt for the Collectors. She’s always in motion when awake, so of course she’s moving, running, jumping, whatever in her dreams.

But then she’s also mumbling. Well, mumbling in her sleep, but he’s willing to bet she’s bellowing in her dream, her chest suddenly drawing air and exhaling, producing words that don’t quite make it all the way, vowels without supports. It doesn’t look or feel like a nightmare, her face is calm, she’s not distressed, and whatever it is she’s saying, it’s not his name. (Though he has plans for that.)

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swaps55  asked:

3 sentence meme: Mordin Solus.

Lets take a moment to appreciate the sadism of asking for a Mordin fic - that counts sentences. There was just no bloody way to write this from his PoV.


The archaeological team found the ancient laboratory of Mordin Solus nearly three-hundred years after the last battle of Tuchanka, deep within the solid bedrock. Though its existence had been a much-whispered rumour, it’s location had remained a well-guarded secret - as had its contents.

Five cryogenic pods maintained by geothermal energy, holding five women - the very last of the krogan species.

Cutting the puppet's strings

Characters: Joker, Shepard (kinda), Kelly, drive-by Miranda
Words: 700
Rating: M, unconventional character death


“Hey Commander, it’s, uh, pretty crazy the people you can run into around here, huh?”

“Please, Jeff. I can’t do this without you.”

Joker was pretty sure he’d never had so many women smiling at him because they wanted something from him. They’d turned his chair away from the helm to have this conversation with him; on his side, Kelly was holding a steaming coffee cup out for him. Kneeling on one knee in front of him was… was the one Miranda had called Shepard. And Miranda, well, Miranda wasn’t smiling, but she wasn’t glaring at him either which was kind of a smile for her.

“But you think you can do it without Shepard?” he shot acidly at Miranda, ignoring the Shepard in front of him.

“Kaidan was right. What the hell are we doing here, Joker? Cerberus? We’ve got Mordin’s swarm protection, we’ve got the evidence we need to link the Collectors to the missing colonies and to the Reapers. Fuck this, lay in a course for Arcturus.”

“Don’t be ridiculous, Moreau.”

“Come on, Jeff,” the one in front of him cajoled, putting a way-too-familiar hand on his knee. “Don’t be like this.”

“I am receiving a communication from the Illusive Man.”

“Again? Wow, talk about clingy. Someone just doesn’t know when to let go.”

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Spectre of Death

Characters: Joker, Kaidan. Past Shenko.
Words: 1600
Rating: T, mention of off-screen character death.


Once upon a time, Joker had been proud to be carrying a Spectre on board his ship. If you weren’t a naturally chatty guy, sometimes the longest conversations you had in a duty shift were those with traffic control, and saying “Spectre business” had a way of making them amazingly cooperative.

The perk of being the pilot. The simple pleasures of life.

In another lifetime.

He was still the pilot of Normandy. He still did his job. Get the ship from point A to point B without anything exciting happening. His job description didn’t include that he had to care too much about the mission they were on. They’d been doing mostly stealth recon or stealth courier work, which was what the ship had been originally intended for after all. The Alliance kept them busy, always ready with assignments for them, even if now and then it was make-work to make them look busy.

But even then sometimes, Shepard overrode them. Like now.

This wasn’t the first time she’d instructed them to ferry Kaidan to his mission, but only the second time ever they actually did it. Twice now, Adams had arranged a delay that made them miss the rendez-vous, forcing Kaidan to take another ship. An engineering diagnostic over an error that could’ve waited a few days, and a detour to check out a too-old distress signal.

But doing it a third time would’ve strained credibility. So here they were, again.

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Mass Effect – fic, "In the silent night's comfortable embrace"

Summary: Christmas after the war, a time to reflect, and a time to be in love.


The stone fireplace crackled and radiated heat, almost as much as the lightly dozing man laying beside Shepard did. Both heats were alive, not like the static warm coming from artificial climate controls. Outside the wood cottage the forested landscape was asleep under the deep snow, and just as the heat was alive, so was the air inside the cottage, in the way you only experienced in the place where hot and cold mingled. The rich scent of the fresh spruce tree standing next to them on the floor was almost as delightful as the soft, un-nameable something that made Joker uniquely Joker.

She reverently traced her fingers on his chest, watching the heavy plaid over them move as she did.

“I love you.” Saying it felt… right. She usually didn’t, but here, in this place, at this time… it was right.

Joker sighed contently and pried an eye open, humming. “I thought you said you weren’t a romantic.”

“I’m not,” she protested, maybe a bit insincerely. Maybe. “It’s just… you’re so adorable like this, far away from all your shiny buttons.”

“Please, you don’t have to insult me.”

Yes, she did. “And your allergy to snow is cute.”

“It’s cold!” He’d probably slept for real during the doze, because his voice was pleasingly rich and deep even when it rose high.

“And you’re beautiful laying on wood and fur. It brings out your inner you.” She leaned over him and kissed him firmly before he could make another wonderfully amusing argument, pressing him into the thick reindeer plaids on top of the floorboards that had been cold but were now quite warm from both the tender and patiently radiating fire, as well as their bodies.

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A taste of things to come

Characters: Joker, Anderson
Words: 1100 (V2)

Summary: How Joker became Normandy’s pilot. It didn’t feature grand theft spaceship. It was actually kind of normal.


“What, you don’t want to know my shoesize? I’m a size 10, wide.”

Jarheads. No sense of humour. And Joker’s shoe size was pretty much the only thing they hadn’t asked for. The two sour-faced marines guarding Arcturus R&D had stopped just short of taking his ID apart after running it through multiple tests that all checked out. And then they’d started to run him through the tests. They’d taken all his biomeasures, poked his palm prints, his retinas, his blood, and his brain.

Well, mostly they’d asked him loads of random questions that someone who’d lived his life could easily answer (there’d been one about his favourite cartoon as a kid, good stuff, but he worried how the Alliance knew about that) but that would’ve probably stumped an imposter. And then just to prove they were paranoid they’d taken his crutches away (after providing him with a chair, thankfully) and scanned those even more thoroughly than they’d scanned him.

Granted, he could have fit a lot of recording devices or mass accelerator guns in them, and he didn’t even like the damn things, but it was the principle of the thing. Normally he would’ve gone without and saved himself the hassle, but his left ankle had been bothering him a few days.

Until, finally, they decided everything was in order and cleared him. He was met in the door by a command-level officer in dress blues.

“I’m Captain Anderson. Sorry about that, can’t be too careful in this stage of development. Come with me.”

“No problems, sir.” The name rang a bell, but the captain’s words stole priority. Development?

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Mass Effect – ficlet, untitled

Characters: Anderson, FemShep
Word count: 350

Summary: The dreamer, and the dream.


The staff recognised Anderson by now, and he didn’t need to ask for directions. Shepard was in her usual spot out on the balcony. The sun was filtered by a large sunscreen but still bright. The small gaps in the security windows allowed enough spring breeze in to give the appearance of outdoors, while being just as closed in as the rest of the facility. She was at a table, laying a puzzle. Curiously, the pieces – about a hundred of them, he judged – were all upside down. She was methodically testing them against the outer frame that was already in place.

“Shepard. Good afternoon.” He pulled out a chair to sit down, waving her off when she was about to get up to salute.

“Anderson! Good afternoon, sir. I’m glad you came to see me - I’m doing much better.”

It was a good attempt; a really good one. The pitch was right, the smile was right, the words perfect for someone who’d been bored a long time and finally got someone to talk to. But there was something off.

“That’s good to hear.”

She nodded and went back to the puzzle. He leaned forward, lowering his voice so the other patients wouldn’t hear. “Shepard, how are you doing? Really?”

She pursed her lips. “Doctor Wilson changed my meds again. Can’t concentrate.” She indicated the puzzle with some annoyance.

“I see. Did it help with the….” he wasn’t sure what the right word was so he went with the one she used, “…the visions?”

“Yes!” She nodded. “No more visions. They’re gone. Barely remember them.”

“That’s good.” He wasn’t sure he believed her. “No more Reapers?”

“No more Reapers. Doctor Wilson is very pleased with my improvement.” She looked up at his face, reading him as he was reading her. He wasn’t as good at faking sincerity as she was. Her shoulders slumped. “Look, just… please let me go? I’m not going to hurt anyone; I’ll go away, to the colonies somewhere, you won’t ever hear from me again.”

He drew a breath, but she recognised her mistake immediately.

“Europe, I mean. I’ll go to Europe. I always wanted to see… London.”


Mass Effect – ficlet, "The hero of this story"

Characters: Diana Allers, Kaidan
Words: 550

Summary: Diana Allers has a job on the Normandy: Help win the war against the Reapers. Nothing less.


The hardest part of interviewing Major Alenko was to get the guy to come sit down for ten minutes. Once she managed that, the first couple of minutes were nothing but routine, for both of them. Second human Spectre? Honour and a privilege. Chances in the war? Stay strong and keep fighting. Cerberus? Soon to be toast, little more than a nuisance. Alenko knew his material and the face he’d be most effective at presenting; the hard worker from next door who wanted to do some good. Calm and steady, with just a dash of humour to keep from being stale. Alright so there were some minor edits that would need doing – he mulled over some questions too long, paused and repeated himself a bit, but that was standard editing. All Diana had to do was help the presentation along with the right questions that would paint the picture of the paragon of virtue protecting humanity, giving hope where it was sorely needed.

And if that had been the whole point of the interview she would’ve probably felt a bit let down at how easy it was. You didn’t become a war correspondent to do easy. You did it because it had to be done, and done right. Sometimes there just weren’t any second takes.

So she waited patiently until she had Major Alenko relaxed. Or at least relaxed enough to trust that she wasn’t going to bite – that would’ve been unprofessional, she wasn’t doing tabloids dammit – and ready to answer questions a little less formally.

That’s when she brought up Commander Shepard.

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Mass Effect – ficlet, "0 points in negotiating skills"

Characters: Vega (mostly), drive-by Shepard
Words: 1600
Rating: T

Summary: Post-ME3, Vega is on his final mission before receiving his N7 designation. It goes well. Gunfire, explosions, rescuing damsels in distress, and all the good stuff.


The shuttle ride was strangely silent aside from the major’s dry but loud voice going over the mission plan. You cram eleven people into a space normally designed for six, you got noise. But the best of the best marines had discipline, and they’d been training together for months now. There were some tell-tale signs that this was a real mission, not a training exercise – mainly that the backtalks and the shoulder thumping waited until the important things had been discussed – but spirits were high. Everyone there had aced every examination that N-school could throw at them. More than half the class had washed out. That was expected. These people? They were in for the end.

“While these mercs are organised, and have a "platform”, and talk big, in the end, they’re still just mercs.“ The major was saying. "However, I regret to inform you of a bit of a snag in the plan.”

Cue theatrical groans. Of course there was a snag, but N-school lived for dealing with snags.

They’d gone over the finer details of the plan yesterday on the ship. This was supposed to be just the final run-over, but they’d been pushed out the door a lot earlier than anticipated. The old military doctrine of ‘hurry up and wait’ was still in full effect. “The Council, in their infinite wisdom,” there were a few scoffs, and Vega found himself joining them, “decided that it would be worth attempting negotiations with these people, so they sent a diplomat.” He made a dramatic pause as everyone looked at him. “That went exactly as well as you’d expect. There’s been no word from em since. So, it’s possible these mercs are extra happy because they have a hostage that the Council finds valuable enough that they’ve asked us to please extract.”

“So we’re doing hostage negotiation?” Lt. Baker asked, not for confirmation, but for the feel of it. Last minute details couldn’t change mission outlook without everyone else changing how they looked at it.

“Possibly,” the major emphasised. “They’ve even given us a discretionary fund of 20 million credits, in the eventuality that we will be able to attempt to barter this person free.”

“Damn, that’s a lotta credits.” Vega muttered. “They must want this diplomat, bad.”

“They do, but there’s been no demands, and they don’t expect the poor sucker’s still alive. If they did, they'da sent some goddamn negotiators, not the graduating class of N-school. But for the sake of formality, do any of you lugnuts have any negotiating experience what so ever?” It was clear he expected the answer to be no. And indeed there were a lot of shaking heads and 'no sir’s’. Baker suddenly grinned though.

“I bet Vega does. Weren’t you following Commander Shepard around when she was negotiating all those deals for the Victory Fleet?”

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Mass Effect – ficlet, "And the Dead Shall be Ward"

Characters: Ashley, Kaidan (kinda)
Rating: T
Words: 2500

Summary: Horizon. The place where heaven meets earth. Fearing capture by the Collectors, Ashley struggles to escape from the seeker swarm’s stasis – with a little help from an unexpected source.


Please God protect my unit.

The prayer repeated in the back of Ashley’s mind like a mantra, occasionally adding, Please help me.

The aliens were walking around the frozen colonist like they hadn’t a care in the world. Ashley’s rifle was in her hands, sometimes pointed right at one when it walked in front of her, paying as much attention to her as she would a bug on the ground.

It knew she was helpless. Paralysed, locked in stasis, unable to even squeeze the feather-light trigger on her rifle, but she tried, and tried, and every attempt to twitch her finger was met with maddening resistance, like trying to push a finger through ice. It felt like it should be possible, like there was softness against her fingers, but there was nothing but resistance.

And the aliens just walked all around her, taking people like they were dolls and putting them in pods, then carting them away.

People. Children.

Why were the alien bastards taking them? And where?

And why were they picking up everyone around her? Why did they come look at her with those way-too-many eyes, peering at her over and over and gesturing at her but leaving her where she was?

She had a brief, irrational hope that they didn’t want her for whatever they wanted everyone else for. But the irrational relief was short-lived, interrupted when a chill ran down her spine, making her want to – need to – shudder without being able to.

They were saving her for something else. For something worse?

Why me? Why are they ignoring me?

Please help me!

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Mass Effect – ficlet, "Courage is to be afraid by your side"

Characters: Femshep/Garrus
Words: 550
Summary: ME2-fic. Shepard takes charge of her post-death therapy, with a little help.


They sat on the Normandy’s hull, magboots secure against the metal. Beyond was the endless mists of the Serpent Nebula.

Shepard was concentrating on her breathing. They weren’t in full combat gear, just maintenance EVA-suits, the kind dock workers in drydocks wore. Durable, but wouldn’t stand up in a firefight, lighter than armour and longer oxygen by at least an hour.

Garrus was next to her, looking at her omni-tool, her arm in his lap.

“Alright, your pulse looks good, and your oxygen count is right where it should be.” He paused. “Are you sure you want to do this, Shepard?”

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Mass Effect – ficlet, "Tell me, daughters of the warm lands, have you seen my love?"

Characters: Femshep/Traynor
Rating: T for nudity and cuddles.
Words: 700

Summary: Post-ME3, pure fluff. In a cosy cabin in the woods, Samantha enjoys a lazy summer morning with Shepard.


“I love you.”

The morning sun was filtering in through the high window above their bed, giving the wooden cabin walls an almost ethereal feel. It was warm, and it felt warm; the light summer sheets had been kicked to the end of the bed, unneeded between the embrace they had shared during sleep, skin-to-skin.

Samantha smiled, comfortably snuggled up against Shepard, watching Shepard’s gorgeous eyes slowly blink open. Two blinks, three, then they finally fastened on Samantha.

Four blinks. Then…

“Coffee,” Shepard grunted and started to sit up.

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Mass Effect - ficlet, "98% successrate is nothing to sneeze at"

> exit shuttle

The Normandy Crashsite
The planet of Alchera consists of ice, snow, and rocks. The wreckage of the Normandy is stewn about in many pieces throughout this area. There is nothing here but the dead.

There are No Exits

Your Shuttle is here.
The corpse of Shepard is here. (Preserved)

> whisp shep ressing

> res shep

Casting, ‘Resurrection’ on Shepard. **********



Shepard has consented you.



You utter the words, 'Resurrection’.

Shepard’s corpse glows pitifully.

> whisp shep failed, soz

Shepard whispers, “@#%& ok, nm. grab my junk. i’m at recall”

> get all shepard

You receive an Aldrin Labs Heavy Onyx N7 Helmet
You receive Set of Dogtags
You receive an Aldrin Labs Heavy Onyx N7 Hardsuit
You receive a pair of Aldrin Labs Heavy Onyx N7 Gauntlets
You receive a Belt of Many Pockets (Closed)
You receive a pair of Aldrin Labs Heavy Onyx N7 Boots

> enter shuttle

You are overburdened.

> whisp shep lol, too heavy

Shepard whispers, “@#%& ok junk some stuff”

> junk helm

You toss an Aldrin Labs Heavy Onyx N7 Helmet on the ground.

> enter shuttle

You are overburdened.

> junk tags

You toss Set of Dogtags on the ground.

> enter shuttle

You enter your Shuttle.

Mass Effect - ficlet, "Schadenfreude"

Citadel spoilers.

Words: 1000
Characters: Joker, Kaidan, drive-by gen!Shepard.
Rating: T for cussing.

Summary: Because a true friend is someone you can say, ‘I hate you’ to.

…I think I already used that summary before. Still applies! I am writing about responsible adults, honestly! In the aftermath of The Party, Joker has a hangover. Kaidan doesn’t.


“Wakey wakey, Joker.”

Pain. Loud voice. Way too loud voice. But it was followed by the delightful scent of coffee just a moment later, and something that smelled like food. Joker cracked his eyes open to an extreme close-up of a bar-counter.

And there was light. Way, way too much light. And Pain. He squeezed his eyes back shut, ignored a familiar chuckle that was apparently taking delight in his pain, and tried to sit up straight without visual orientation. His head pounded, his neck complained, but obeyed. His back, too, after some persuasion. Only then did he pry his eyes back open. Kaidan was sitting on the other side of the bar, looking disgustingly fresh and perky. Joker glared, and managed to turn his speech-center on.

“What do you want?” Nobody had ever accused him of being a morning person.

“I’m feeding you,” Kaidan said simply, indicating the plate and mug in front of Joker. Ah right.

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Mass Effect – ficlet, "Adjusting Back to Freedom"

Words: 550
Character: Kaidan
Rating: T
Summary: After BAaT, Kaidan learns that years of conditioning don’t go away overnight. Sometimes even the simplest tasks seem insurmountable.


It was just a stupid cereal box.

The streetlights filtered in through the kitchen window, shades of amber and orange that made him think of warning lamps. The guidelights were on in the hallway, activated by him passing by on the way to the kitchen; nothing he could have done about those. The only one he’d touched himself was the lamp over the stove, and that had felt like ringing an alarm.

It was still pretty dark, shadows cast everywhere, but more than bright enough to see. He hadn’t wanted to turn more lights on in case someone noticed what he was doing. There was a constant irrational nagging feeling of guilt for being somewhere he wasn’t supposed to be, doing something he wasn’t supposed to do, and he was stupid for thinking that, but it didn’t matter how many times he kept telling himself that, the thoughts just kept coming back.

…he was pretty sure there was something wrong in his head.

It was his home too, in theory. In reality it didn’t feel like it. His parents’ home, yes. Himself, he was just… there. A visitor more than a guest.

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