He could have brought up Horizon. He could have brought up Mars. He could have brought up everything left unsaid and undone between them. Instead, he turned to Eamon for a moment, meeting his green gaze. Kaidan nodded. “Your word’s good enough for me.”
He gave a single nod in return. “Get some rest tonight.” Eamon clapped the sentinel on the shoulder and turned for the door. He was gone surprisingly quickly. There was a rumble in his stomach and a need to close himself away in his too large quarters. With things finally settled between the two of them, it was time to move forward.
Eamon grabbed a package of rations from the mess and retreated to his cabin.
"Sorry, sorry, sorry…"
Eamon rolled onto his side and rubbed Gael’s back as it was presented to him. “Feeling any better?”
He looked at him. Eyes scanned him from head to toe, his head tilted. “Maybe one or two things more,” Kaidan smirked, leaning against the glass. “But they’ll keep, one way or another, until after this war is over.”
"We do have enough to be dealing with until then," Eamon said slowly. Finally he let his gaze slip to the window. The view of space was oddly overwhelming in ways it seldom was for the marine.
"We’re a long way from that." Too long. He tore his gaze from the expanse of space.
"I don’t know all of what they did to me anymore than you do. I wish I did. You ever meet a Miranda Lawson, you feel free to ask her all you want." Eamon didn’t realize he needed to say that until it was out in the air between them. "I haven’t changed though. Garrus will testify to that. Same Shepard."
Kaidan chuckled. “Always were stubborn,” he turned towards Eamon. “Okay, Commander. Do your worst,” he smirked as he stared at the skipper.
"Thank you." Because he was grateful not just that Kaidan was finally listening, but that he was back on the Normandy.
Within moments the glow of his omni-tool finally faded and the sentinel was no longer bleeding or bruised. “Was there anything else you wanted to work through?”
"Christ, Eamon…just trying to have a little fun…" Jenna grumbled, but she let herself be dragged along towards the door. It was nothing new, this dynamic, her brother’s sane voice talking her down from the latest explosion. She was used to it. Depended on it, really, she might have admitted if she were more sober, which she wasn’t.
As it was, she lurched forward, hooked an arm around Eamon’s shoulders, and stumbled along next to him. “Wha’s the point of going to college if we can’t live it up a bit…” Intellectually she knew what he meant; ROTC PT was waiting for them in only a few hours, but damn it, she wanted to do something.
There were times when Eamon felt like his twin’s keeper, but he never minded for long. If she needed someone to keep her back from the edge, who better than her brother. Who better than Eamon himself, who knew her best, who would be by her side no matter what happened?
Eamon circled his arm around Jenna’s waist, helping to support her as they walked towards her dorm. “The point is to give us a better chance at everything. We made a deal. Four years of school and then the military. Don’t fuck it up when we’ve only just started.”
He didn’t turn his head all the way to Eamon, but he looked a bit over in that direction as he said quietly, “Sometimes it’s all you have that makes things feel real.”
"Would think you had enough pain to make things feel real." A simple truth. Still the orange glow of his omni-tool lit the space between them. "If you don’t know how to do without it though, then you better learn how." The words were a mixture of threat and promise. "I don’t intend to leave you until you let me fix you up."
He hissed in pain at the sudden movement and pulled away. “It’s fine, Shepard. I’ll fix myself up before my first shift. Tomorrow morning, I’ll start taking care of all that spectre nonsense so you can focus on the important things,” he smirked. “And you won’t even have to talk to the council again, if I can help it.”
"Sitting here in pain until tomorrow morning won’t help anything," he said quietly but sternly. His omni-tool remained lit, ready and waiting. "Kaidan."
He lowered his hands once Eamon was treated. Kaidan crossed his arms over his chest, wincing again at the tick in his side. “Yeah. Whatever you need, Shepard.” He felt more settled now. Felt the pain give him something he’d needed. Something like closure that, with the war, was in low supply. “I’ll try and track down my Spec Ops, too. They’re well-trained, if nothing else.” He turned back to the window, licking at his split lip.
The broken skin mended under the application of medigel. Eamon ran his tongue over the spot. Like it never happened. Meanwhile green eyes tracked Kaidan’s movements.
"I need you in one piece," the commander growled as he tugged Kaidan’s arm firmly to get the man to turn back towards him. His own omni-tool sparked to life at his hand.
He shrugged, and winced. Yeah. Definitely. Bruised rib. For a sniper, Eamon could hit like a Krogan. “No need. I am, or at least was a medic,” He tilted his head. Still bleeding from the nose and lip. He pulled up his ominitool and stepped forward a step. “Here, stay still a sec,” Kaidan reached up on hand stead Eamon’s face, by putting a hand on the back of his neck as he went to apply the medicine.
How could Eamon have forgotten that bit of information? Never mind, he held still as Kaidan prepared to apply medigel. Not that he would leave without giving him a similar treatment.
"There’s more than one empty work station in the war room," he said quietly. "I want you to operate as a Spectre, not an Alliance officer. Gives you a wider scope of authority and access to more information. You’ll manage all the information feeds, Spectre level and otherwise." Eamon paused. "Keep me from having to deal with it all."
He watched the anger he’d needed to see melt back into the Shepard that Kaidan knew was in the present. He didn’t wince away when big hands gripped his blood-spotted BDU top. His own eyes were weary, pained. Older than his years by far. “Understood, Shepard,” he nodded. “To the end.”
That was all he needed to hear. His grip eased and he smoothed Kaidan’s shirt. “Med bay,” he grunted. “Now.” No need for the sentinel to walk around like this. Eamon was more than qualified to tend to the leaking cuts and blossoming bruises.
He stepped back, giving Kaidan the room to exit and lead the way around the corner into the med bay.
He didn’t stand there and take it without fighting back. Without token dodges. But he let Eamon get him back against the wall. “I don’t want the fucking spotlight. I want to be wherever you are, watching your fucking back like I used to. Haven’t done anything but let you down since the Normandy blew up,” his nose was bloody, his lip split, and he thought he’d heard and felt a rib crack. But that was fine. This was clearing the air like two marines should.
Those weren’t the words Eamon expected. He stopped, inches from Kaidan’s face. Fists still raised, he glared. Anger slipped away, replaced by exhaustion once more.
"You’re here." Those thick hands moved forward again, but they didn’t hit Kaidan again. Eamon was done with that. Instead his fingers curled in the fabric of the man’s shirt. He pushed him roughly against the wall. "Be here. Understood?”
Kaidan shook off the shock against his fist. He stayed bouncing and grunted. “Yeah. I’m still working being paralyzed watching the people under my protection taken,” he shrugged his shoulders. “Like watching Earth. All this. Paralyzed. Watching you save the galaxy,” he threw a couple of easily to dodge feints as he moved in. “Tired of sitting on the sidelines doing nothing to help you.”
Dodge them he did, anger beginning to fuel him. “You call this sitting on the sidelines?” Eamon snarled. He stepped to the side again. Fingers stretched out and then curled into fists again.
"Didn’t take you for the type to be jealous of the spotlight. Spotlight you fucking know I don’t want, never wanted.” Emotions he thought were finished boiled to the surface again. He threw punches quick and hard now, stepping in close and refusing to give Kaidan any space.
He watched Eamon stumble a bit, and that was something. As he watched the man walk around him, he thought about watching him walk through Horizon. He was aware. He’d seen the fight. And he couldn’t believe his eyes. The sniper that had known him better than anyone was fighting off the last of Collectors.
As if the great Commander Shepard had heard his prayers for it not to end this way. Not alone. Not like this. And then his eyes, the only thing he could move, caught movement. He feinted and made a few quick jabs to Eamon’s abdomen. “Saw you, you know. On that colony. Could only move my eyes. But saw you and Garrus and that Salarian, Mordin. Couldn’t really believe what I was seeing. You were gone and then, you were there. Saving my ass, again,” he sent a punch to Eamon’s jaw.
Focused as he was, the mention of Horizon threw him more than the swipe of Kaidan’s leg had. He reacted belatedly to the punch. Kaidan’s fist connected sharply with his jaw. Eamon’s head snapped with the force of the hit. His feet hurried to carry him away.
"This what you meant with needing to work through some things? You bringing up that shit again…" The commander licked blood from his now split lip.
It didn’t escape Tavi how Eamon was looking worse and worse with each passing minute. He swallowed hard, trying to calm himself down. Shoot ten people. In theory he could do it. He was good at targets. But these weren’t targets, these were moving, and these were people.
He’d never killed someone before.
He swallowed, hard, leaned out to aim his first shot. His hands shook, out of fear, out of nerves, out of pure exhaustion, all compounded onto each other. He wasn’t a soldier and it showed when he took the shot and it went far off target.
Tavi shot too fast and too nervous, two managed to go down with nonfatal shots, the rest though, the rest were standing and Tavi only noticed that his heatsink was out when the gun clicked. Staring at it, his throat closed up. ”F-Fuck…”
The turian’s shots might not have been hitting targets most of the time, but they provided for some form of distraction nonetheless and that was what Eamon needed. He peeked around the end of the car. Resting against the skycar, he used it to steady his shaking hand.
He fired four shots in rapid succession. The M-11 Suppressor did the hard work, shattering the sniper’s shields and slamming through the armor on her chest. Dead.
Eamon slumped to the side, the loss of blood causing him to finally lose consciousness.
"Gimme another one of those— oof!" Jenna yelped as a hand closed around her arm, tugging her away from the food table. "Le’ go, E! Gonna pull me over!"
But she was grinning, the alcohol in her veins far too heady for her to be irritated at her brother. “You gotta have some of this stuff, E— some batarian shit, I think. Stings going down but whoo, boy…” She laughed again, then tilted her head, puzzlement filtering through the euphoria.
"When’d you get here, E? Thought you were stayin’ at your dorm t’night…"
"Yeah, I was. Until I heard you were still out getting shitfaced. Or don’t you remember that we have someplace to be in the morning?" And to think Jenna was the one who wanted to join the Alliance military in the first place. Maybe he should have just let her enlist, let boot camp wake her up.
Eamon gave his sister’s arm another tug. “You’re already going to be in a world of hurt in the morning, don’t go making it worse.”