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

part 21: joker.

They hand him Shepard’s dog tags after the battle because he’s the most visible member of the Normandy now and the Normandy is the most visible reminder of Shepard.

“Do you think she’s still alive?” The reporters crowd in around him and shove recording devices under his nose.

Shepard flashes before his eyes. Shepard, an untrained spectre staring down the Council, Shepard, pushing people off the burning SR-1, Shepard, lying dead on a cold operating table, Shepard, grinning at the new SR-2, Shepard, wiping away her tears after leaving Earth, Shepard, balancing the weight of trillions of lives on her shoulders, Shepard, crawling through rivers of blood on the Citadel, Shepard, laughing, saying to him, “I love you, Joker, stay safe up there.”

“Do you think she’s still alive?”



just one chapter left after this one! a massive thank you to all the readers, likers, rebloggers, kudosers, and rebloggers who have kept up with this project!!

a steven bust because it’s been too long since i’ve drawn him


there seems to be an trend for people to consider Jessica’s murder amongst one of the Boss’ worst crimes. until my recent SRtT replay i wasnt actually sure why this was held up as being one of the worst things the Boss has done. i mean, sure, it was a violent and sadistic death but the Boss has committed an awful lot of murders and not all of them get the same fandom reaction of “this was an evil thing to do”. i dont see a lot of people protesting the Boss brutalising Mr Sunshine’s corpse, or them leaving Akuji Sr to burn to death. 

but theres this scene in Saints Row the Third that id actually forgotten

[transcript: “Let me tell you about Jessica Parish, a girl from Stilwater who ran away from home to be with her tough guy boyfriend. Jessica thought her life was pretty sweet. Until a gangbanger kidnapped her, threw her in the trunk of a car, and laughed as her boyfriend crushed her in a monster truck rally. If Jessica Parish was your daughter, how far would you want me to go?”]

a lot of people in the fandom came in through the newer games so its understandable that they would buy what Cyrus said. after all, its technically accurate. Jessica was killed by the Boss in that method, and the Boss probably did laugh over it. but as someone who came into the series through the first games this always seemed to me less a description of the Boss’ crimes and more obviously carefully phrased propaganda designed to turn people against the Saints.

see the thing is, this quote from Cyrus makes out that Jessica was an innocent who got killed for just no reason at all. it completely absolves her of guilt. but Jessica was not an innocent. shes not even likeable. SR2 wants us to dislike her so much it goes out of its way to portray her as being racist just to give us another reason to not like her

[transcript: [to Carlos] “I’m still Jessica… ya know, you mind me of my old house cleaner…”]

SR2 makes it pretty clear. Jessica was not an innocent. she was a Brotherhood lieutenant. she was very much involved in the running of the gang and she was ruthless

[transcript: “Honey, you want me to have someone take care of them?”]

[transcript: “I’m glad you two are having fun, ‘cause god forbid we do something about the Saints…”]

[transcript: “Sweetie, it’s not a big deal, just kill ‘em.”]

and heres the reason Jessica was killed. it wasnt for being Maero’s girlfriend. it wasnt for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Jessica killed Carlos. 

[transcript: “Well, I just wanted to let you know that since you were nice enough to give my man a makeover, I should return the favour… don’t worry, by the time we’re through with him Carlos’ll look just as handsome as Maero.”]

[transcript: “I’m sure you’ll do something scary. Do me a favour. When you’re scraping up your buddy’s face, just remember Maero gave you a chance to be his partner.”]

thats the key phrase, really. “I should return the favour”. Maero didnt kill Carlos– he was absolutely on-board with the revenge but he didnt execute it, it was Jessica. the Boss didnt kill her for some kind of sadistic kick, they killed her because she had their friend tortured until the Boss had to perform a mercy killing. 

Carlos’ bio from the SRIV website also confirms that it was Jessica who killed Carlos;

[transcript: “After befriending the Boss during a shared stint in Stilwater Penitentiary, Carlos became a member of the Third Street Saints– though a short-lived one. The Boss took Carlos under their wing and entrusted him with leading the charge against a rival gang called the Brotherhood. While not a natural at gang life, Carlos tried his best to prove himself. He met his fate during the street war escalation when Jessica, the girlfriend of the Brotherhood’s leader Maero, took him hostage in revenge for the Saints dosing her boyfriend’s tattoo ink with radioactive material.”]

this isnt trying to say she was worse than anyone else or that the Boss is right to go around killing people or that Maero is innocent or who was wrong who was right blah blah. i just made this post to clarify that despite what Cyrus says, Jessica was not an innocent caught up in the gang warfare. she was a gang lieutenant who was just as involved in the Brotherhood storyline as Maero. 

the Brotherhood storyline is a big mess of people making very poor decisions and unnecessary brutal deaths and horrifying violence that all could have been avoided if people had just had some fucking respect

(although admittedly Maero was kinda right about the Boss not exactly having a lot going for them at the start of SR2 when he actually had a fully fledged gang so, yknow, maybe Boss coulda been a little less extreme than “im going to burn off your fucking face with radioactive waste”)