Title : In the Arms of Kalihira
Author : Maqeurious
Game : Mass Effect 2
Characters : F!Shep/Thane
In the arms of Kalihira
"Now the suns gone to hell
And the moons riding high
Let me bid you farewell
Every man has to die
But its written in the starlight
And every line on your palm
We're fools to make war
On our brothers in arms"
- Brothers in Arms (Dire Straits)
Kahje is beautiful.
I remember you telling me about this planet when we were first getting to know each other. The endless crystalline seas are as alluring as you said they would be. Not even the thick blanket of grey cloud can dampen the pure serenity of this place. I see why the Hanar are so at home here. Besides, I have always loved the ocean.
I've been scared for such a long time that this day would come so soon. Our few short months together just weren't enough. And I know that sounds incredibly selfish, but aren't I allowed to be selfish once in a while?
Memories haunt me, Thane. I see you when I close my eyes. Your gentle face, strong caring touch. Effervescent smile. Do you remember when we first met? Who am I kidding, of course you do. I admit, I fell in love with you that day, and from the very first moment you told me you were dying my mind reeled, fantasising about all the ways I was going to save you. Medical, technological; hell even spiritual. Nothing was too extreme to consider. I didn't even know you then but I couldn't fathom the thought of a universe that didn't have you in it.
As we got to know each other in the confines of Life Support, those initial feelings grew at such a rate I thought my heart would burst every time my mind would consider you and your plight. How could you accept your death so easily? So readily? It made me so angry that you couldn't see what was in front of you. I could look you in the eyes and see nothing for the longest time. But as time went on you finally started to open your eyes, and heart to me.
I don't regret saying that the night you came to me, confused and ashamed was the happiest I have ever felt. I finally felt you had acknowledged me. The real me. Not the Commander the rest of the crew saw, but the simple, human woman who had so much love to give. When you took me in your arms, stroked my cheek and pressed your lips against mine, the world came to a stand still. It was right, Thane. It was meant to be. Then you took me to my bed and and we explored each other so passionately, so... intimately I thought I was dreaming. You were always so gentle and patient, I knew you were just as afraid as I was. But it was beautiful, wasn't it? I had never felt so whole before that day, or any day thereafter.
I never told you that I found the message you left for me. I wanted to scream at you for writing that. To me, that spelt the end. Made it final. Made it too... real. I would read it over and over until I had not a tear left in me, then I'd look over as you slept soundly in my bed and wish to whatever God there was you would finally see reason. Everyday I would push the papers in front of you. The research I had done showed that the lung transplant worked more often then not. I lost count of the amount of times I begged you to have that surgery, if not for me then for your son. But you would always smile that gentle smile of yours and tell me that it would be fine. Not even when I finally broke down and got on my knees, begging you to consider it, did it sway you.
I watched helplessly as you progressively got weaker and weaker. I didn't want to risk bringing you on any missions with me least something terrible happen to you. But that just left you lonely, didn't it? But how can I apologise for that, when I don't really want to. I couldn't stand the thought of anything happening to you, so I wrapped you up in invisible cotton wool, where I could keep you safe and sound. I knew you didn't like it, you questioned me about it all the time, but what could I do? I loved you too much. I was content to just sit with you and talk to you. How I would sit in your lap, nibbling at your lips and giggling like a school girl while you'd laugh at me, trying to calm me from my illusions. Or how you would run your hands through my hair, something you were completely fascinated with, and taking the strands within your fingers, kiss them gently and tell me how beautiful I was. These moments are the ones I will cherish. These are the moments that define just how much you mean to me. Memories I will never let go of.
When I got the call that you were in the med lab my world turned upside down. Seeing you there, struggling for breath, tore me in two. I had never seen you so scared. I didn't quite understand why until Mordin explained it to me. You went to him for help, didn't you? You finally decided to get the surgery to save yourself; but it was too late. I stood in the doorway as Mordin and Chakwas tried to help you, watching as you thrashed on the table, fighting with everything you had in you for a single breath. Then you suddenly stopped, your body going limp. I thought you had passed out, or finally inhaled that precious air.. but....that wasn't the case. I ran to you then, screaming and yelling, tears thick in my eyes much to the surprise of everyone there, and pleaded for them to do something. It wasn't true. I was seeing a hallucination. You weren't dead! But they dragged me from your side kicking and screaming. I didn't want to let you go. I didn't want it to end. No matter how much I shouted at them, or cried and fought them. Nothing I did mattered. Nothing I said mattered. You were gone. Gone. I cursed them all that day, especially Mordin. That was the hardest apology I've ever had to make.
And then suddenly, I was hopelessly alone.
I started to resent many things.
I resented that I had to be strong.
I resented that I couldn't just let myself break apart.
I resented that I had to be the saviour.
Why should I be the saviour when the only one I wanted to save was no longer there? My heart is broken. I don't feel like... me. You took what was me when you died. Please don't hate me for these feelings. I know that you would be disappointed in what I'm saying right now, but I can't help the loss I feel.
But then I came here, to this beautiful planet and saw just how much the people celebrate the precious thing that is life. I felt the resentment start to lift. And now here you are, wrapped in the most beautiful of funeral garbs and ready to be received by the sea. The sounds of the Hanar and Drell singing together fill the air bringing goosebumps to my skin. I wish you could see just how many people have come to see you and say their final farewells. Even Kolyat is here crying softly to himself beside you, his hands clenching tightly at his sides. I am so glad you were able to come to an understanding before it was too late. You missed out on so much with him, but these last few months have been a good way to bridge the gap. He told me earlier that he has forgiven you and I hope beyond hope that he was able to tell you as such. He's doing his best to try and make a difference, to make good things happen so you will be proud of the man he is becoming. He'll miss you. He won't admit it, but I see it in his eyes
You're home now Thane.
You can finally rest your heavy head and be at peace. Let all of your worries finally come to rest. There are so many different worlds, with many different suns and stars; but you helped me find the one star that was my own. You helped me find you. You helped me learn about love by loving me. I have witnessed your pain and all your suffering. And although seeing you in such pain, seeing the fear and alarm in your eyes, you never deserted us. You never deserted me.
So I will follow your example and charge ahead, face this threat. I will stand up to the reapers and I will destroy them. For the galaxy, and for you. Mostly.... for you. Let me try and achieve even a portion of what you wanted. To leave the world a better place in your wake. I don't expect to make it back alive. In fact I'm hoping I don't and that thought brings me a quiet peace that I never knew I wanted. I want you in my arms again. I want to lay my head against your chest and hear your heartbeat. I want us to forget about everything but ourselves. I am tired Thane, so very tired. So please, save a spot for me. Wait for me across the ocean, be there to take my hand and we can finally be together again.
I love you Thane, please don't ever forget that. I will see you again in the arms of Kalihira.
Forever your Siha,