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.


2. Mourning


She thought she would be ready if this ever happened. They both knew Chances were slim, but he had always made it through, no matter what the odds. But now as she  stepped away from the cold plaque bearing his name, she was faces with the fact that she would never see him again. she was alone. The tears streamed down her face,  unseen by the others, and unable to be wiped away. "We've got to get back," Joker insisted. "You're right," Garrus agreed. "I have no idea what hit is, but it knocked  out all major systems." The  shock wave  emanating from the relay had taken out essential systems and stuck them on this planet. As beautiful as it was, she couldn't wait  to get off it. "I'll get to work on the engines, Garrus can handle the comms." and with that Tali left to go to work. Work had always taken her mind off things.     A few hours in the engine room and Liara softly walked in. "Are you going to be okay?" she asked. "I don't know. So much of me is with him, I'll never be complete  again." Tali turned and her shoulders, hunched, began to visibly shake. "He was a part of all of us, and i think you're right. None of us will ever be the same." Liara  was good company. No more was said between the two, but that was okay. Everything that could be said, had been. God bless Liara, she just stayed quiet and went to  work.    It took several weeks to get everything up and running. FTL was running as close to perfect as Tali and Liara could manage, but comms were still pachy at best. Joker  was at the helm ready for departure, and tali was standing at post in the engine room. Joker's voice came over the speaker, "Are you going to be okay? Going back to  Earth, I mean?" Everyone had taken turns asking some form of the same question. "It's what Shepard would do, Joker. He gave me my homeworld, the least I can do is help  rebuild his." Joker graciously agreed and switched off. As the ship rose, Tali felt another surge of grief, turned over the engine to Donelly and Adams, and made her  way to the observation deck.    It had taken weeks at FTL to get there, but now they were 18 hours away from Earth. Garrus  had yet to say anything to Tali about Shepard, but he was always watching  her. He would bring her food and eat with her in silence, but never spoke. Now so close to Earth he figured he should talk with her. Grabbing a bottle of Turian  whiskey, he took the elevator down and walked into the observation deck where Tali lay motionless on the couch. "Hey girl," Garrus said as he gently knocked on the  door frame. She merely nodded in recognition. "I brought you something to drink. I think you're familiar with it." At this she turned her head to look and slowly sat  up. "We're almost there." he informed her. She just stared blankly at the floor. "I miss Shepard," Garrus said, more to himself than to her. "My family was never  really close. Especially my father. He was always so critical, and I got so frustrated when I couldn't please him." Tali hunched forward and turned her head. Garrus  took this as hint and poured her a drink. She quietly took it and sat back again. Garrus continued, "Shepard, I guess, became my family. Along with everyone on the  Normandy. He trusted me, and gave me no reason not to trust him with my life. He saved my life on Omega. I owe him for that. Even if he hadn't though, I would still do  anything he asked of me. We were brothers." A small sniff came from Tali, and Garrus sat back with her. "For some reason, I still have trouble believing he's gone.  There's somewhere inside me that holds out." Turning away from Tali he looked out the window. "Shepard always makes it, and something tells me, maybe he did this time  too." As Garrus finished, Tali's head dropped and he knew it was time to leave. He just put a hand on her shoulder, squeezed softly and proceeded to walk out. Before  he could leave, Tali caught him. "Garrus." He paused. "Thank you. I wish I could believe you." He simply nodded, said "Anytime," and left.    Joker's voice came over the speakers. "We're approaching earth now, but our mass effect fields aren't strong enough to take us down. We'll have to park it in orbit."  Looking at the growing sight of Earth, Tali remembered what Garrus had said last. The thought had stuck with her and she could almost believe him. She could almost  feel Shepard get closer to her, the closer they got to earth. 
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