He scratched at his face where the skin broke around a lattice of ugly red scars and failing dermal implants. He had looked better. “Look,” he prompted. “You, uh. You ought to stay. There’s got to be some doctor that—”
”And dwell on what cannot be fixed? No. I will go while I am able.”
Shepard’s narrow-eyed expression eroded away. It wasn’t even the words: it was something in the tone, or the voice, or the calm, or the abrupt culmination of eight weeks of events he had never quite stopped long enough to sit down and process. Right. Thane is still dying.
Defeat like that took you by the ribcage; even his lungs hurt. He flexed his fingers. “Yeah,” he answered, but it fell flat. Go while I am able. When he spoke again his throat was tight with an awkward sincerity that he hated.
”Look, this, uh. Might work out. Yeah? I mean, I’m not so bad.” I’m not so bad. He hated that sentence as soon as he said it. He’d tried that line before, once. The thought made him bristle all over again. Cerberus? You’ve changed, Shepard.
”Look,” he went on, correcting himself, “I just mean — maybe if the whole fucking world doesn’t end, you and me.” He thumped the side of his fist against the railing for emphasis because it drowned the note of desperation in his voice.
“You and me,” the assassin quoted, his gaze rising to meet the commander’s failing, red-flecked eyes. Arashu, help this man; I lose my strength by the day. “Yes, siha,” he finally said, and his smile was brief. “Perhaps, ‘you and me.’”