Anderson and Hackett had pulled as many strings as they could to make him comfortable, but incarceration was still taking its toll.
The hot meals were pleasant, if repetitive, and the privacy of a single shower room was nice, even if you only had a square metre of space to undress in. The bed was pleasant, and the climate control kept the temperature comfortable. He even had a reasonably nice view of Vancouver, if he was willing to crane his neck and peer to the left to see past the dreary architecture of the base and its public plaza.
But that did nothing to soften the blow of being under arrest. Technically, he was only supposed to be under house arrest—however, since he'd been listed as K.I.A. after the Collector attack, rather than M.I.A., his apartment in Portland had been sold off, and he literally had no house to go to.
Intestacy was the least of his worries. If anything, he did deserve this. The number of lives he'd sacrificed—Toombs, Kirrahe, Ashley, Kelly and the Cerberus crew, Zaeed, three hundred thousand people in an entire system—and phantasms of their deaths were more than enough to put him off sleep.
He hated this. Hated every second of it. No mission, no Cerberus goons to outrun, no Collector base to destroy, no fish to feed. No gentle blue glow from the fish tank or glimmer from the stars through the skylight: only the hard, white shadows of the moon after the base shut down for the night.
Nothing between him and his past failures.
He rolled onto his front on the bed, adjusting the sheets, naked for coolness and drowsy with prolonged inactivity. He reached for his omni-tool: one new message. A text from Kaidan: "Hey, Commander. Thought I might come down to see you today—if they let me. Here's hoping."
That'd be nice. He was due for another hearing tomorrow, and he knew Kaidan had offered to testify. They hadn't spoken since Horizon, and… he needed to make amends.
God, Horizon. Usually, he'd try to shut out memories of Horizon, of Virmire, of Akuze, by closing his eyes and listening for the gentle susurration of the fish tank.
But there was no fish tank here. No gentle hum. And, as he turned off his omni-tool and set it onto the bedside table, no dim blue glow.
Just the moonlight, through the window, cast in silver stripes across his chest, and Shepard's own guilty memories to lull himself to sleep.