ME3: Return Home

I finished my 3rd playthrough of Mass Effect 3, and loved the Tali romance so much that I really had to write a fan-fic. I wanted to see them reunited, so I made it happen. First shot at any sort of romance so cut me some slack. There are two more chapters to come. One from Tali's end, and the final from Shepard again.

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1. Survival

 

A Sharp intake of breathe stunned the world around him as the slightest spark of life slowly crept Back into his ragged, beaten body. A faint moan escaped his lips as  he fell from consciousness again. A slower breathe this time, showing signs that his mind has become more grounded and his body more stable. His breathe was still weak  but steadily became more consistent  as he painfully began to regain his senses. His ears responded first as he slowly picks out familiar sounds of crackling fire and  the rumble of falling  rubble. Finding himself again, he found he was unable to move, whether from the damage he had sustained or from a pressing weight of stone or  metal, he couldn't tell. He tried to open his eyes but those don't respond either. Resigned to his entrapment, he started thinking to regain some control over his  world.   

"My name is Kirk Shepard. I am a veteran of Akuze. I serve on the Normandy..." As the memories seeped into his exhausted mind, a faint mumble comes from his mouth.  "Normandy, a fine ship." Surprised at his sudden ability to speak again, the rest of his memories began to flood back. A sudden flash, "The Reapers. They're gone," and  with it a wealth of joy and relief. "It's done, I can rest." This feeling was accompanied by a less positive one, but just as strong. His crew. Where could they be?  Did They get out in time? My friends   Are they okay? Garrus, James, Joker, they must have made it, they're strong. "Tali, oh please, let her still be alive." The fear  was quickly replaced though, with the assurance that Shepard's other companions would have kept her safe. Garrus would never let anything happen to her. There was  another feeling though. Less emotional, and more logical. She was still alive. it could just be his mind trying to console him, keep him sane. It couldn't be though.  This was not his mind saying this. Eezo connected everything in the universe. Perhaps it was his biotic connection with eezo and the universe telling him she was alive . Whatever it was, it was enough; The thought that she may still be out there. He couldn't stay there to die. He wouldn't.  

Strengthened by this idea, he attempted to move again. This time with more success. With a shot of pain up his arm, he slowly lifted his hand. Every movement was  excruciating, but since when had pain been a reason to slow down? He brought his hand to his face to clear whatever might be blocking his vision. A mix of blood and  dust has sealed them shut. As he explored his face with his hands, something felt odd about his fingertips. In a few moments he realizes that one of his fingers has  been severed. He used the still seeping blood to soften the crust over his eyes and cleared them to see his situation for the first time. He must have fallen more or  less straight down from the Citadel, because the tower that housed the reaper beam was roughly 300 meters away. Looking down, he notices that luckily the debris  covering him is small enough to move. Unfortunately, it was also heavy enough to have broken his leg on impact, as he found out when he tried to move it. A sharp gasp  and a muttered curse, as he realizes he'll have to work slowly. Piece by piece he removed the bulk of the debris until what what left could easily be slid out of.   

With what little strength he had recovered, he heaved himself out of the wreckage and rubble. The effort almost made him pass out again, and he realized that most of  his ribs are probably broken too. "How am I alive?" After the explosion and the the fall from space there are surprisingly few open wounds, save for his fingers and  dozens of small cuts and abrasions. "I've got to get moving. Who knows how long I've been out." The first thing on his agenda was to find something to brace his leg. H e wouldn't be getting far the way it was. He spotted a stretch of post and started dragging himself over. As he reached the post, it dawned on him. There was no way  to lash it this leg. Keeping a cool head, he figured it could be used as a crutch until something better could be found.  He propped himself up on the post and looked  around to find his bearings. He spotted the hill he charged down with Anderson and his forces. "The FOB isn't too far away." So, with a destination and a goal he made  his way up the hill.   

Hours later, Shepard was losing strength. He had found a fallen soldier and used his clothes to cover any remaining wounds and lash the post to his leg. He had also  used the rifle as a more effective crutch, but this had only helped for so long. Shepard could only push his ruined body so much further. Slowly though, he began to  hear what sounded like voices. Barely audible at first, but gradually he could pick them out as Krogan. it must be a scouting party looking for survivors. Feebly  Shepard Called out for help. The footsteps paused and a voice said, "Hey, I think I heard something." Another voice replied, "You're hearing things. This is too  close  to the beam for anyone to be here."   

"We're out here to find people, we should at least look."

 "Fine, but I still think you're crazy."

 "Finally, rest. I'm going to be okay." He was going to go back to the Normandy. He would see his friends again. He would see Tali again.   

The Krogan voices again; closer this time. "Over here. I found him, and he looks bad." The bigger one admitted, "Good catch, now get him back to base." Shepard asked  faintly, " The Normandy. Where is she? Is it coming?" The smaller one picking him up answered. "We just got comms back up, and have sent out hails to all ships, but we  haven't heard from the Normandy yet." The bigger one again, "She's probably on her way back as fast as FTL can bring her."   

The Krogan strode into the base with Shepard in his arms. Walking up to a building, he spoke to an Asari medic at the door. "You take this one. He looks bad, but he'll  make it. He's tough." They took him inside and laid him down on a cot. The Asari and alliance medics began to clean him up and address his wounds. As his features  began to reveal themselves, Shepard heard a familiar voice before falling unconscious again. It was Krogan. Grunt. "My God. That's Shepard."

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